Chess Instead of Checkers

President Barack Hussein Obama is a brilliant genius.

Cribbing as I often do from liberal talker Thom Hartmann, but I agree with him: Obama’s announcement today on off-shore drilling is a political master stroke.

What the President has achieved by backing offshore drilling—and, yes, I realize it does break a campaign promise, but what the heck—is to shoot the Republigoats in the kneecaps when it comes to the debate about energy policy. He has co-opted the only somewhat legitimate policy point that was offered by the McWeirdsmile campaign in 2008. He has, in one fell swoop, shut them down completely on this issue.

Just you watch. Republigoats will either have to commend President Obama for embracing “drill baby drill,” or they’ll have to forward the ludicrous argument that they no longer support it now that he has. I’m sure that this lunatic bunch will choose the latter and will continue to look like the Upper Class Twits that they are.


Three essential paragraphs from today’s Eugene Robinson regarding yesterday’s “Hutaree” arrests:

The episode highlights the obvious: For decades now, the most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right.

It is disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to dismiss groups such as the Hutaree by saying that there are “crazies on both sides.” This simply is not true.

It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction—the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day—and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies—is calibrated not to inform but to incite.

It is stunning, absolutely stunning, to hear Prudence Palin out-and-out deny the straight line that exists between her rhetoric since the summer of 2008 and the violent atmosphere in which we live today. I will go on out and say it: The responsibility for this condition rests almost solely on the shoulders of one Prudence Palin. Every time this horrific woman comes to the table with some baseless yet terror-inducing charge, “Obama consorts with terrorists,” “Obama wants ‘death panels,'” every time she does this, it’s a call to arms for some bunch of troglodytes or another.

Robinson does not even mention terrorism on the behalf of those who oppose a woman’s right to choose. All of the following people have been convicted of a violent crime against providers of the safe and legal procedure in these Untied States of America known as abortion: Michael Griffin, Paul Hill, John Salvi, Eric Rudolph, James Kopp, Shelley Shannon, Matt Goldsby, Jimmy Simmons, Kathy Simmons, Kaye Wiggins, and, of course, Scott Roeder, among others.

Talk about a crowd that “pals around” with terrorists.

A Note on Those BS Lawsuits

The challenges to the health care reform legislation are for the most part political posturing. There is, unfortunately, not a GOOP attorney general in the land who does not want to be Governor, then maybe President, and the path to power currently opened appears to lead through this silliness.

Of course, there has never in our history been a more partisan Supreme Court than this one, and I have no doubt that Antonio Scalito and company would destroy the legislation if they possibly could. Hopefully, Justice Stevens will not retire, and Justice Ginsburg will live until after this case is heard.

You have to dig through the bullshit pretty deep to see what the real issues are. Here are a couple of comforting notes.

The first issue is the claim that the “mandate” that citizens buy health insurance is unconstitutional because it forces citizens to buy a product from a private company. Of course the states mandate that people buy car insurance, but that is squarely within the state’s “health and welfare” powers and is not on point. More relevant is the fact that the federal government does mandate the purchase of flood insurance for some homeowners. The distinction there is that the flood insurance is a single payer, FEDERAL program, so the government is not mandating purchase from a private corporation. The most useful point is the fact that the “mandate” is not a mandate. The legislation levies a tax on people who do not have health insurance. They are not required to buy insurance, but if they do, they don’t pay the tax. In short, there is no mandate. The taxpayer has an option not to buy insuance at all. And because the measure is the exercise of the federal government’s taxing authority, it is, in the words of the Supreme Court, “plenary” and is constitutional.

The second argument of interest is that the expansion of Medicare is an unconstitutional violation of the Tenth Amendment. (The states’ rights clause.) Couple notes about this. First, if it is unconstitutional to expand Medicare, isn’t it unconstitutional to have it in the first place? The likely reason it is not unconstitutional in the first place is that it is voluntary. States are not required to provide Medicare for their citizens. They can stop taking the federal money and drop the program at any time.

Let’s see how many of those hot dog attorneys general are willing to run for Governor on that platform.

Spinning for the Pope

Pope Benny Ratzinger has his own take on the sordid tale of priests buggering boys in the USA and in Ireland and in Germany. “Petty gossip,” he says. Forgetaboutit!

In the meantime, the Pope’s Propaganda Ministry was out in force over the weekend, with everybody and his auntie trying to put a palatable spin on Pope Benny’s fumbling complicity in the Catholic Church’s cover up of sex abuse. The New York Times ran an article that says that the Pope was a “doctrine” guy, not a “detail” guy, so he would naturally miss priests buggering altar boys in the sanctuary after mass. In the Times OPEd section, there is a guy who claims that Pope Benny did more than anyone to resolve the problem of priests who like to bone little boys. Really. I am serious.

John Allen, (curiously the same guy who is advancing the “doctrine” guy theory) a correspondent for the National Catholic reporter, says that about 10 years ago, Pope Benny, while heading up the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was given the job of handling all sex abuse complaints in the church. Allen says that the then Cardinal Joe Ratzinger read all the complaints that came to the Vatican and became something of an authority on the ways little boys get buggered. Then he took “administrative “ action. In 60 percent of the cases he apparently defrocked the offending priests. He also urged a “zero tolerance” policy on the priesthood. So for the first time, I guess, the Vatican took a position that it should not sweep this stuff under the rug. Then it proceeded to sweep it all under the rug.

Obviously, the first aim of the Vatican’s new policy was to handle the matter internally. In other words, protect the Church. The Church did not choose to do what any other citizen would think is natural in such circumstances… report it to the authorities. There are cases where the Church deliberately took steps to cover up abuse… for example forcing children to swear themselves to secrecy… there is no evidence that the Church’s new policy included reporting to the authorities. No reports were made to the police in the 60 percent of the cases where Cardinal Joe actually booted out the offenders… turning them loose on unsuspecting communities. And the 40 percent of cases in which the church took no action? No action, I guess, even though there was enough evidence for the Vatican to investigate. Would there not also have been enough evidence to pass along to law enforcement officials who would have had more direct access to witnesses and the accused and may have been better positioned to determine the truth than a handful of priests on the other side of the ocean?

The Pope’s personal history in these cases is anything but clean. While he was Archbishop of Munich a known bugger was transferred into his diocese and turned loose on an unsuspecting parish. And the New York Times reported this week that The Archbishop of Milwaulkee specifically asked Cardinal Joe for permission to defrock a priest accused of molesting more than 200 boys at a school for the deaf. The Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who appears to have had a glory hole in his confessional, was instead transferred to a rural parish, where he was free to sin again.

We understand, of course that Cardinals are not to be bothered with the petty concerns of young boys trying to protect their own asses. They have important people to suck up to … that’s how they get to be Cardinals, and how Cardinals get to be Pope. The Times reports that at one point in Cardinal Ratty’s career, he refused to take a meeting with a delegation of local priests, but had time to meet with Ruth Carter Stapleton, an American evangelist and sister to President Jimmy Carter. (I suspect he was trying even then to form alliance with American evangelists in an effort to take over and destroy our Constitutional freedoms.)

The Pope has many times demonstrated his concern for doctrine. The Times also reports that while ignoring his own buggering scandal, he refused to allow a Munich University to hire a liberal scholar.   He has worked hard to reinstate formerly banned priests who practiced the Latin liturgy and refused to recognize the reforms of the Vatican Council, one of whom was a notorious anti-Semite. He was a prime mover in the decision to ex-communicate a Rochester, NY parish because it encouraged women and gay people to participate in the Mass. He gladly invited the Conservative wing of the Episcopalian Church back into the fold, without reservations, when they refused to recognize a gay bishop.

The Pope is without doubt doctrinal. He is not a moral leader. He does not have the courage to stand for what is right, and he has dedicated his career to dragging the Church back into the dark ages.

Attention Tea Partiers: The Sequel

Symbolically, many of you are complaining that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid themselves are exempt from health care reform.

I have news for you regarding this symbolism.

Today is Nancy Pelosi’s birthday.

She is 70.

(I know, right?)

Harry Reid’s birthday is Dec. 2. He will be 71.

Both of them have been eligible for Medicare for approximately five years each.

Nyah nyah.

Bring It On

There is a dumbass GOOP blogger in Alabama who is telling everyone to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic Party offices. The reasoning is that if they throw bricks now, we will all be scared into reestablishing the neofacist Mecca of George W.Busch. If we do not heed their warnings, they will shoot us with their guns.

This guy, whose name is Mike Vanderbooger, had urged all his patrons to restore their arsenals, be sure they have plenty of provisions at hand, and prepare for revolution. Three million patriots, he claims, are cleaning their guns and preparing for war. I really don’t expect much to come of this. There are only cowards in Alabama… a fact they amply demonstrated by quivering in their boots over the prospect of having terrorist trials in New York.

Be that as it may, Mr. Vanderbooger’s “knuckle under or we will kill you” threats sound very familiar.   House GOOP leader John Boner said Ohio Democratic Representative Steve Driehaus may be a “dead man” if he goes home to his district. Last year Boner, speaking before a hysterical crowd of dumbass rednecks who were shouting “Bring Out Pelosi” (they apparently had plans for the speaker), urged them on, shouting that “Pelosicare is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the 19 years I’ve been in Washington.” (He apparently missed the part about Busch’s laws allowing federal agents to sneak into your house and wiretap your phones at will.) Representative Michelle Bachmann (GOOP-MI) has suggested that a revolution is necessary every now and then (and seems to think this may be a good time for one.) She has also said her constituents should be “armed and dangerous.” Rep. Steve Kling (GOOP IA) complemented the work of the guy who crashed his plane into the IRS building in Austin, TX.

On the Senate side, Sen. Tom Cobman of Texas vowed to take vengeance on any Congressman who votes for the health care bill by refusing to allow him or her to be get a federal appointment if they ever need one. Sen. Jim Demented (GOOP-SC) said last summer, “It’s the people’s government. And the people are going to have to take it back.” And of course Sara Paling has suggested that her minions “need to reload.”

The attitude of these dumbasses, most of them from the south, reminds me of the hotheads who led the southern states into treason in 1860. They were sure to a man that any southern gentleman was the equal of a hundred Yankees, and all they had to do was make a show of force and the Union would dissolve. These calculations were wrong headed and crazy in 1860, and they are wrongheaded and crazy today. I cannot imagine that the government doesn’t already have a number of these nutjobs in its sights.

Moreover not all liberals are going to be pushed around by a bunch of right wing thugs, and I suspect this nut Vanderbooger may have sounded the alarm.

In the words of the Great Moron, “Bring it On.”

Hmmmm…the Sequel

By the way. As it turns out, Eric Cantor was LYING.

…an investigation found that the bullet was probably a random shot, fired from as far as a half-mile away, police said today. It appears it wasn’t fired at Cantor’s office, which is minimally marked and in a city with serious gun violence problems.


As TPM put it: It wasn’t quite as bad as showing up this morning with a backwards B scraped on his cheek.

Or, as Cody put it: Cantor’s “Backwards B” Moment.

How big a moron does Eric Cantor think you are? Salon says it is improbable anyone was targeting him specifically because you can’t even identify his office from outside.


Attention Tea-Partiers:



Congress has exempted itself from FOIA, from OSHA, from anti-discriminatory statutes, from minimum wage laws, honoraria, and probably a buncha more.

Exempting itself and the executive from health care legislation is NOT an aberration.

I didn’t say it’s RIGHT. I said it’s COMMON.

Let’s deal in facts, people, and not talking points.