Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wingnut Wrapup

A last dose of garbage for 2014.

I'd like to start off today with some of the headlines featured in one day at

"Liam Neeson Cancels Move to Ireland Over Government Water Regulations: ‘They F***ing Better Listen’" 
"Police: Baby Jesus Taken, Replaced With Pig’s Head" 
"Seahawks Star Marshawn Lynch Fined for Crotch Grab After Dramatic Touchdown"

God, what a horrible world we live in.  How will we ever survive?

And while we are on the subject of headlines, here's an important clarification regarding a right wing claim, from Little Green Footballs:

"No, Argentina’s president did not adopt a Jewish child to stop him turning into a werewolf"

Well, glad to get that straight.    Okay, then, onward:

Michelle Malkin, Town Hall:  "All Life Matters: Jahi McMath's Journey"

Michelle, I don't know how to break this to you, but "all life matters" doesn't apply to Jahi McMath, because she is dead.  She's been dead for a year.  Deal with it, already.

Kevin Glass, Town Hall:  "Democrats: The Party of the Rich"

Ha. who are you going to get to believe that one.  Kevin backs up his absurd claim by citing a number of rich people who donate to Democrats.  I guess it is just inconceivable to him that there are people in the world that care about anyone but themselves.

John C. Goodman, Town Hall:  "Is Obamacare Causing Health Care Rationing?"

Well, no it's not.  But what a good lie to spread, now that all your other lies about Obamacare are proving to be so wrong.  By the way, think about this idea for a minute.  Rich people can have all the medical care they want- it's only when poor people get treatment that there suddenly isn't enough to go around.  But at least Republicans can claim that they are not causing health care rationing.  "None" is not a ration.

Diane Kish, Town Hall:  "Santa Comes Early Bearing Gift of $2 Gas"

For Conservatives, it's much easier to believe that Santa did it than to think Obama had anything to do with it.

Joy Overbeck, Town Hall:  "Barack Obama has a strangely inconsistent view of Christianity."

Not quite as inconsistent as those whose view of Christianity doesn't include helping the poor and the sick, etc.  as far as I can see.

Bill Tatro, Town Hall:  "And a very MERRY CHRISTMAS to you SONY...SONY has shown strength of character. They have decided to follow the words of one of the worlds greatest drawers of lines in the sand, Barack Obama. They have decided not to cower and will screen The Interview on Christmas Day after all."

"Strength of character," as usual consisting in choosing making money over the safety of the consumers of their product.  Standard corporate practice, in other words.

Nick Sorrento, Town Hall:  "Hollywood, as we have seen over the years and particularly with recent “leaks” has no shame. They will do what they have to do to protect their increasingly dying product...People want movies. They want stories. That isn’t going to change. But the old way of doing movie business, with large fixed costs and huge personnel overhead (at least for “Hollywood” movies) just doesn’t make sense."

Sage advice from someone who apparently has never had a thing to do with making a movie, and doesn't have a clue why it takes so many people to make a top-level one.  But you see, the whole problem is the "huge personnel overhead': i.e. it's all the workers' fault, so let's fire a bunch of them.  After all, none of them brings anything to the table as a result of their decades of experience.  We could just hire a few minimum wage workers to be D.P.'s and editors and costumers, and no one would notice.  I mean, anyone could make a movie, right?

D. W. Wilbur, Town Hall:  "Liberal Mental Illness...Reading recently that the New York Times has suggested that former President Bush and Vice President Cheney be prosecuted for torture I was overcome with sadness. Sad in knowing that, in America, we still have people suffering from forms of mental illness which give little hope of recovery."

It being a specimen of mental illness to want to prosecute the worst sort of sadistic criminals, but not to have committed the crimes in the first place.

Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media:  "‘Toxic Cocktail’ Hitting Russia as State Dept. Preparing More Support for Ukraine...Russia prioritizing imperialism over its citizens’ well being, official says, as sanctions and low oil prices sting."

And just think- it was only a few short months ago that all you Conservatives thought Putin was the greatest leader since George Washington.

Chris Queen, PJ Media:  "... a Disney Christmas Is the Best Kind of Holiday"

Because to Conservatives, a manufactured fantasy is always preferable to reality.

Rod Cackley, PJ Meida:  "From Ferguson to Detroit, Police Departments on Edge After NYPD Assassinations"

Believe me, they are not as on edge as every black teenager in the country who has to walk down the street.

Jim Hoft, Media Matters:  "Attkisson: White House Is Hiding Photos of Obama the Night of Benghazi Terrorist Attack"

Benghazi!  Yippee!  Hiding Photos!  This would be the same Sharyl Attkisson who...oh God, the list of right wing lies, including defending the Ferguson police based on phony testimony, she has told is so long that I can't even bear to repeat them.

And, I think the next guy is a little confused:

Alan Caruba, Renew America:  " Does anyone find it ironic that the "Prince of peace" was born in a nation, Israel, that much of the rest of the world wants to destroy?"

Really?  Just maybe Alan is referring to this guy, who really was born in Israel:

Assuming, however, that he is referring to Jesus, I seem to remember that he was born in the Roman Empire about 1900 years before Israel even existed.  But then, what do I know?

Bryan Fischer, Renew America:  "Trusting God with the arc of your child's life"

Yeah, Bryan, trust God.  Just not his representatives here on Earth.  If you know what I mean. At this point, I'd just about as soon trust my kids to Charlie Manson.

Ciff Kincaid, Renew America:  "The Obama-Pope axis of Marxism"

Yup, the Pope is a Marxist.  Here's some of Cliff's evidence:

'The awareness is growing among Catholics that this pope is radically different than Pope John Paul II. Associated Press quotes Efrain Rivas, a 53-year-old maintenance man in Miami who was a political prisoner in Cuba for 16 years as saying, "I'm still Catholic till the day I die. But I am a Catholic without a pope."

And who better to turn to for getting incisive analysis of the world political situation than a 53 year old maintenance man?

John Ransom, Town Hall:  "The truth is that while Sandy Hook and Ferguson gets all the pub, the real tragedy happens everyday where rich, white liberals never go for a photo op, like the East Garfield neighborhood in Chicago."

Because rich, white Conservatives spend so much time hanging out down there with their black homies.  Of course, Conservatives don't give a damn about poor people, so that's okay.  You are just not allowed to show any sympathy for the disadvantaged unless you spend most of your time in a high-crime area.

Kevin Glass, Town Hall:  "The Presidency Can't Stop Obama's "Golf Tradition"

You see, if he worked on Chrismas, he would be a filthy Communist trying to destroy Christianity.  But of course if he takes the day off he is a shiftless you-know-what who has no right to be President.

Paula Boyard, PJ Media:  "You Won’t Believe Why Police in This Small Village Are Pulling People Over"

And you know what?  I don't care either, as long as it's not to murder them.

Wesley J. Smith, National Review Online:  "Can a Man be Both Mother and Father of Child?"

What do you think, dumbass?  And these are the people that are against sex ed.

Michael Walsh, PJ Media:  "With Two Years Left, the Inflection Point of the Obama Presidency"

Yup, this is the point where he turns out to be nothing but a dictator.  Why did he wait for three fourths of his Presidency before starting to do what he intended all along?  Because...who knows?  But for sure it was part of some nefarious plot, we certainly know that.

Bob Unruh, Renew America:  "Sheriff Joe's amnesty war heads to Supreme Court"

Translation:  Sheriff Joe's amnesty war got unceremoniously tossed out of court.

And the greatest delusion I've heard in days, and that includes the one about the Roman Empire having moved to Greenland:

M. Joseph Sheppard, American Thinker:  "American Achiever of 2014: Sarah Palin"

And what did she achieve in 2014?  God only knows, other than enriching herself and continuing to spout her slimy lies.  Well, here's one example from the article- a Facebook post:

"Palin's post has been shared by more than 16,000 Facebook users and "liked" by more than 70,000."

70,000 likes! Amazing.  Let's remember that the following YouTube video now has more than 21,000,000 views.  Sort of puts Palin in perspective:

Dr. Ben Carson, Town Hall:  "The Wisdom of Peace Through Strength...It was extremely encouraging to see the United States and Sony eventually stand up to the cyberbullying of the North Koreans by allowing the movie "The Interview" to be released despite threats of retaliation."

Grow up, already.  It's a fucking movie company deciding when to release a grade B movie, not fighting the Nazis.  For God's sake, get a grip and deal with something real.

Ben Shapiro, Town Hall:  "Return of the 1960s...President Obama and his ilk quest for a return to hopier, changier times -- times like the 1960s."

When the United States was in the middle of the greatest period of economic growth in its history, the Middle class was thriving like never before- oh yeah, and taxes on the "job producers" topped out at 90% without slowing things down a bit.  The only thing people like Ben are interested in is the last one, of course.   Better a Bush depression than a boom, if it means that rich people don't have to pay taxes.

Rachel Marsden, Town Hall:  "Cheap Oil Could Be A Trojan Horse For America..."Subversion introduced from the outside." That's part of Encyclopedia Britannica's definition for a Trojan horse, the hollow structure that allowed Greek soldiers to penetrate the city of Troy and win the Trojan War. What if the drop in oil prices currently making everyone cheer at the pumps is exactly that -- a Trojan horse?"

Because the fall in oil prices is helping fuel a great upswing in the American economy under Obama.  Can't have that in the leadup to the next Presidential election, can we?

Charles Payne, Town Hall:  "The Minimum Wage Farce and Saving Unions"

In this article, Mr. Payne makes the classic Republican point that it is a farce when full time workers can afford to support themselves on what they earn.  I mean, they are still getting more than slaves, and from what I've heard, those slaves had it pretty damn good.

Michael Schaus, Town Hall:  "Remember When Communism Was All the Rage?"

No, not really.

I do remember when racism and right wing hatred were all the rage.  It was yesterday.  And, really, today too.

Well, I hope you can still have a happy New Years Eve, after all I've done to ruin it.  See you next year.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Good Enough?

Just not all the way to your destination.

A Bunch of Murdering Whiners

Bill Bratton, the head of the New York Police Department:

" Police Feel 'Under Attack' From Federal Government Leaders"

You know what, buddy?  They don't feel this under attack:
Or this under attack:
For people who go around our cities confident that they can shoot anyone they want and get away with it, they sure are a pack of pathetic, whiny cowards.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Milestones in Lunacy- The Greenland Theory

I ran across a conspiracy theory today that had even Green Eagle staggered by its sheer audacity, so I would like to share some of it with you.  I usually don't link to right wing sites, as you know, but this one is so massively loony, and has so much that I can't do justice to in a post that I;ll make an exception in this case, for those of you who want a good laugh.

Anyway, here are the basics:

"Top 10 “Greenland Theory” Revelations:. 
1. The Greco-Roman Empire faked its own death 714 years ago and relocated to Greenland 
2. Greenland is actually green and therefore not covered in ice and snow 
3. Switzerland is home to the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) 
4. The Earth is an oblate spheroid (i.e., a disc) rather than a round basketball-like shape 
5. Earth has a second moon, the light of which is the Aurora Borealis 
6. The Romans spoke English as evidenced by the Roman Score (i.e., the Roman alphabet) 
7. The Greco-Romans were the first to invent gunpowder 
8. The Holy Bible is the allegorical and metaphorical history book of the Greco-Roman Empire 
9. G.O.D (i.e., God) is an acronym for Greenland of Denmark 
10. The Earth is governed by the Great White Brotherhood in Greenland"

And really, there's more in the actual post, such as the fact that 1300 years of world history never happened.  God knows, it will probably be no more than a couple more years before Louie Gohmert starts pushing this one.

Right Wingers Perfect Their Tactic

I saw this photo today at Hullabaloo, of an airborne banner paid for by New York police.  This sort of thing, and the accompanying demands that Mayor DeBlasio had to resign because the police were mad at him, motivated me to make a comment I've been meaning to air the last few days:

Digby mainly talks about the gross inappropriateness of city employees behaving in this manner, but it made me think of something else:  The systematic way the right has worked for years to delegitimize Obama and force him, somehow, to leave office.  With the good degree of success that this tactic has had in diminishing Obama's ability to do his job, it was perhaps inevitable that it would be expanded, and used against any left of center leader the right could find.  Well, here is a new example of it, and we can only expect many more in the future.

There are, of course, some who are so lost in their fog of right wing delusion that they actually believe that no liberal has a right to govern, no matter how much public support they may have, but we know perfectly well that 90% of this is simply a gigantic smear campaign designed by its rich financiers to get their way, when electoral winds blow against them.  It's just one more example of the pervasive Republican contempt for democracy, which seems to only be justified if it produces the results they want.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

And a Merry Cthristmas to You Too

Green Eagle indulges in his usual season's greetings:

And all the best in the new year.  Just remember not to call up that which ye cannot put down.  Particularly at Christmas dinner.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wingnut Wrapup

God, the fury over Cuba and a movie has been strong on the right.  Which leads me to this question:

Chuck Baldwin, Renew America:  "Are you mad yet?"

Yup.  I sure am.  Well, on with the idiocy:

Conn Carol, Town Hall:  "Obama blames Sony"

Well, no he didn't.  But since when does a blatant lie bother Conservatives?

Allen West, Town Hall:  "The Evolution of an American Patriot – From the Battlefield to Capitol Hill to Policy Development"

Assuming that Allen West was talking about himself, that should have read  "from war criminal to getting kicked out of Congress for being a lunatic, to living off of wingnut welfare spouting the worst right wing delusions."  It is one of the most sickening signs of the deformity of the right wing in this country today that they chose to make a leader and a hero out of a torturer.  But I guess it fits right in with Dick Cheney and all.  "Patriot" indeed.

Mark Davis, Town Hall:  "From Cuba to Sony, Tis' The Season For Surrender"

Cuba:  I thought you had to be at war before you could surrender.  Sony:  Hey, I thought you approved of government keeping its hands off when a corporation makes a decision based on the free market.

Brent Bozell, Town Hall:  "Are There No Media Ethics On Hackers?"

No, Brent.  There aren't any ethics panels for burglars either.  Or, apparently, torturers, corrupt riggers of Wall Street or lying pundits.  Hackers are the least of our problems.

David Limbaugh, Town Hall:  "More 'Tolerance' From Stalinist Universities"

This entire rant is about not "universities," but about one teaching assistant at Marquette University who decided not to include gay rights in a discussion one day in her ethics class.  That's all it takes to be a Stalinist these days.  Quite a change from the time when it took killing a few million people.

Donald Lambro, Town Hall:  "Obama Appeases, Begs, Grovels His Way Through Shameful Deal With Cuba"

At least he didn't send Saddam Hussein a cake, or kiss any Saudi dictators.

Erick Erickson, Red State:  "George Clooney discovers the essential uselessness of the Hollywood he helped create."

Useless?  "Hollywood" is a business.  It exists to make money, for which George Clooney is exhibit number one of that fact.  I never noticed people like this jerk Erick yelling at the washing machine industry or the necktie industry for not standing up against North Korea.  Whether that has anything to do with the fact that neither of the two just mentioned industries are perceived to be owned by people of a certain religion, I'll leave to your imagination.

Roger Kimball, PJ Media:  "Is there any totalitarian American enemy that Obama won't cozy up to?"

Yeah, there is:  the Republican party.

Andrew C. McCarthy, PJ Media:  "What Part of Keeping Cuba Isolated Has Not ‘Worked’?"

All of it, you stupid dick.  Grow up and face reality already.

David P. Goldman, PJ Media:  "Why Liberals Really, Really Hate Us"

Because you are destroying the world, and going around crowing about it.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "New Cash Cow for ISIS: Trafficking Human Organs from Kidnapped Captives"

Free Enterprise!!!  No Regulation!!!

And the winner of Most Unapologetic Lie of the Day:

Cliff Kincaid, Renew America:  "Surprise: the Koch brothers are not conservatives"

Ha ha.  They're big supporters of the John Birch society, which their father helped found.  They're really liberals, just like Hitler.


All the way to the end of his term!  The dictator!

Pat Buchanan, World Net Daily:  "Obama throws Fidel a rope"

Don't worry, Pat.  From what I hear, Fidel is too old to catch it.

Wayne Dupree, Town Hall:  " Sharpton, Poverty Posse Fails to Inform Minorities of Choice"

Their choice to remain poor and be killed by cops.  Sharpton never has a thing positive to say about that option.  FREEDOM, hooah!

Neil Stevens, Red State:  "This is why we need the NSA:  North Korean attackers broke into Sony systems in the US"

Right, the States Rights champions are all of a sudden totally down with Federal surveillance of everyone when it comes to protecting a foreign corporation.

Newsmax:  "Ex-Reagan Cuba adviser: Obama's timing is 'the worst' 

The worst except if he had waited longer.  The best would have been, oh, say, during the Nixon administration, but no, we had to carry on this utterly unproductive, vindictive cruelty to another nation for an extra fifty years before someone finally had the guts to stand up to the hate-filled right wing screamers in this country, who only feel good about government when it's hurting someone.

Garth Kant, Renew America:  "Bachmann leaves Congress with message for America"

Yeah.  A message.  "I'm still stupid."

Jonathan Abbamonte, American Thinker:  "Will Pro-Life Organizations Be Forced to Pay for Abortion?"

Forget that.  I'd be satisfied if they were just forced to pay for all the annoyance they've caused and all of our time they have wasted trying to shove their fanatical idiocy down our throats.  How about starting by taking away their tax exemptions?

Tony Lee, Breitbart:  "White House Fears ‘President Cruz’ Will Overturn Exec Amnesty"

President Cruz.  If that's the biggest thing they have to worry about, they might as well go back to dealing with a squabble between a foreign country and a foreign movie studio.  Or to worrying about an attack from Mars.  That is about as likely as Cruz ending up as President.


I can't wait.  Maybe her "network" would be a perfect home for "Brawling with the Stars."  I know the competition would be stiff to get a chance to throw a punch at Bristol.

Andrew Stuttaford, National Review Online:  "Well, whaddya know...A New York City charter school offers a whopping $125,000 salary to staff its classrooms with top-tier teachers. A new study suggests the model has worked... The contrast is stark—students’ test scores jumped the equivalent of an extra year and a half of schooling in math, with a half-year progression in both English and science…"

But of course, if you suggest raising public school teachers' salaries, you are a Communist union thug trying to rip off the American people.

Katie Pavlich, Town Hall Newsbimbo of the year:  "WATCH: NYPD Officers Turn Their Backs on NYC Mayor De Blasio"

Maybe they should have turned their backs on Eric Garner before strangling him to death.  I can only hope that the next time they ask for a raise, De Blasio turns his back on them.  The problem is, liberals are too nice to realize that a little bit of vindictiveness can go a long way with right wingers.

Jeff Jacoby Town Hall:  "A Happy Christmas for the Castro Regime"

I thought the term was "Merry Christmas," punk.  What are you, some kind of liberal Atheist?

And now the runner up for the most unapologetic lie of the day:

Sharyl Attkisson, disgraced right wing ex-reporter:  " I called CDC not long ago and said, “How many active cases are being monitored in the United States of Ebola?” And they said, “1,400.”

1400 people in the US with active cases of Ebola.  And it's all a big secret.  Here's someone that just can't stand it that Obama dealt with the Ebola "crisis" with his usual understated competence.  So, it's time for a malignant lie.  And a lie that is all over the right wing blogosphere today.  You know that, in a day or two, when this preposterous story is discredited, it will disappear from the wingnut world without a trace, like all of their other lies.  Except, of course, the ones that they still repeat over and over again despite the fact that they know perfectly well that they are false- Benghazi, trickle down economics, no global warming, you know, the staples.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "Interview: Former Senior CIA Official Defends Interrogation Program, Blasts 'Political' Report"

Interview:  Charlie Manson defends killing Sharon Tate.  That makes it okay, I guess.

Kurt Schlichter, Town Hall:  "Don’t Blame Sony – Blame Obama and the Tort System"

Who is blaming anyone?  I thought corporations were free to make whatever decisions they wanted, based on the free market.  By the way, nice move there, Kurt, to take advantage of a totally unrelated issue to try to push through the corporate holy grail of "tort reform," otherwise knows as "making it impossible for actual human beings to sue businesses."

Well, how about this touching story of overcoming adversity:

Julian Young, Town Hall:  "In elementary school, I was labeled a low achiever. My teachers constantly advocated to my father about holding me back a grade and even worse, I was placed on Ritalin and different medications to address my behavior and in an attempt to treat some of my disengagement with school overall...Now I am the founder and Executive Director, of The Start Center for Entrepreneurship, a social impact organization that empower communities through innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development."

Hooray! Today, you get paid because you are a black man who is willing to spout white racist ideology!  You must be so proud of yourself.

Roger Kimball, PJ Media:  "Will Bill de Blasio Be Forced to Resign?  Can the mayor of New York govern the city without the support of the police?"

You know what?  If he's really lost their support, this would be a good time to step on their necks until they start to act like human beings.

And now, the Right Wing Story least likely to be true, from the king of  stories least likely to be true:

Jim "Dim Bulb" Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "SHOCK REPORT: US Paid $5 Billion & Released 5 Taliban Prisoners For Deserter Bergdahl"

Source? Some guy who used to be in the National Guard.  I'm sure he got a personal telegram from Barack letting him know about the $5 billion.

Ann Coulter:  "You Can't Be Raped Unless You Are 'Hit On The Head With A Brick' First"

And she should know, because it's obvious that she was hit on the head very hard with a brick, a couple of decades ago.  Probably multiple times.  Given that it is Ann Coulter we are talking about here, she probably liked it.

And a final treat:

Juan Williams, Fox Business News:  "People are fed up with Obama making political decisions on his own"

I mean really, how dare he?  Who gave him the right to run the country?

New York Times Does the Right Thing for Once

I am not going to quote from this editorial in the New York Times yesterday, but it is an open and forceful call for the prosecution of everyone involved in the Bush Administration torture policy. Well, okay, just this little bit listing some of those that should be included as defendants:

"any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered, including Jose Rodriguez Jr., the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the videotapes; the psychologists who devised the torture regimen; and the C.I.A. employees who carried out that regimen."

Please go to the link and read it, if you didn't see it in yesterday's paper.  I am stunned at this forthrightness from the Times, which has so often collaborated in the worst of the (Republican) government's abuses.

I wish I could tell myself that this is a move toward justice being dealt out to these malignant people. Well I can't go that far, sad to say, but it's nice to see the truth in print once in a while.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Torture- It Really Protects Us- No, I Mean Really

Did it ever occur to the people who say this sort of thing that what would really protect us is being the kind of people that no one hated?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Contrarian Views About the Interview

Well, it seems that everyone is just hopping mad that Sony has at least temporarily withdrawn their movie "The Interview," a supposed comedy revolving around the murder of Kim Jong Un.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have nothing but contempt for Kim Jong Un, but it doesn't extend to my approving of the Sony Pictures Corporation* making money from ridiculing and pretend assassinating this pathetic jerk.

Well, here is what I haven't heard from all of the people weighing in on this subject today:  Sony is a Japanese company.  The US and North Korea certainly haven't had the most cordial relationship the last few decades, but the history of conflict between Japan and Korea goes back hundreds of years, and includes episodes of barbarism on the part of the Japanese, most notably in the period before and during World War II, for many of which (e.g. the comfort women) the Japanese still refuse to accept responsibility.  This film simply adds insult to some very grave injuries on the part of the Japanese, and (to me anyway) makes North Korea's touchiness on this subject much more understandable.

In any event, the stupidity of basing a comedy on the assassination of a very real foreign leader is pretty monumental.  North Korea responded in an essentially nonviolent way, and to tell the truth, I have no sympathy for Sony in this case.

*Disclaimer:  I feel called upon to reveal that I spent 8 months working on a Sony TV show last fall and winter.  I have also worked on a Judd Apatow movie.  I don't think that has anything to do with the opinions I have about this film, but maybe I'm wrong.  I certainly never felt mistreated on either project, and would be happy to work for them in the future.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Whatever you may think of the weakness that Obama has shown over the years at standing up to the rich and their subsidiary, the Republican party,  he finally did something really brave in starting the process of ending our malicious and cruel embargo of Cuba for having the unmitigated gall to pick a government we didn't like.  This action is decades overdue, and shows a level of courage that none of the six or so previous Presidents could muster.

We know he is now going to be attacked by right wing liars for decades to come because of this, but he did the right thing.  Thank you, Barack, and may we see a few more things like this before you leave office.

Wingnut Wrapup

Today's Wingnut Wrapup respectfully dedicated to Missouri State Representative Rick Brattin:

"...brain dead deadbolt extraordinaire Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin has a nice idea. women who want or need an abortion must get a mans approval."

Rick, maybe you'd like to consider relocating your political career to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, where they are far more on board with your line of thinking.

Cal Thomas, Town Hall:  "Why Release a Report on the CIA in Wartime?"

And of course, since we all know that we are now in a perpetual war against "terror" until the end of time, the American people don't have the right to hear the truth about anything.

Cal continues with the usual Republican cant:

"There is a dispute among politicians and intelligence experts as to whether these tactics resulted in any information that was helpful in defending the U.S. from another terrorist attack."

No, there is a "dispute" between those who accept the truth and Conservatives, who also "dispute" global warming, the existence of racism in this country, the age of the earth, evolution, Obama's citizenship, Keynesian economics and a thousand other facts- a dispute between the honest and the stupid, corrupt, hate-filled greedy people who call themselves Republicans.

Daniel Doherty, Town Hall:  "Cruz: "Our Friends No Longer Trust Us and Our Enemies No Longer Fear Us"

Ted, did you ever think about whether that might be the result of certain Americans electing corrupt, nonsense spouting demagogues like you?

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "Botched Rape Claims Won't Get You Fired At Rolling Stone, But Bad Music Reviews Could?"

You bet.  Rolling Stone is a music magazine, remember?  That's why they call it Rolling Stone and not Rolling Bone.

Rich Galen, Town Hall:  "Is it the Torture or the Telling...The closest I have ever come to being involved with torture was during my stint in Baghdad when I made occasional visits to the infamous prison: Abu Ghraib."

Hey, readers, I wonder if any of you made "occasional visits" to Abu Ghraib prison.  You know what?  I don't want to hear jack from someone who was close enough to the Bush administration that they could make "occasional visits" to their torture chambers.  Really, I mean, enough's enough.

Michelle Malkin, Town Hall:  "Welcome to TotCare: Obama's Preschool Takeover"

Oh God!  Now he's taking over the preschools!    And here's the outrage, according to this pathetic person:

"On Wednesday, the White House Summit on Early Education will unveil nearly $1 billion in new "investments" to "expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America"

Investment in education! What a horrid crime!  And while we're on the subject:

Burke & Sheffield, National Review Online:  "Preschool Isn’t the Answer...Instead of pricy pre-K, promote job growth."

Right! Send those four year olds into the mines.  That'll fill up their free time, and give them a good head start on learning what to expect out of life in the new corporate America.

Bridget Mulvaney, PJ Media:  "Cheney: Report ‘Full of Crap’

Takes one to know one.

Washington Examiner:  "Issa: 'I'm the bane of Boehner's existence'"

No you're not, Darryl.  You are an egomaniacal liar who is an embarrassment to everyone who voted for you, and to the entire country.  But "bane?"  Don't put on airs.

World Net Daily:  "World's top atheist sounds a lot like Jesus"

Well, I'll tell you something:  I'll bet you that the world's top atheist sounds a lot more like Jesus than any right wing Evangelical Christian you are likely to run across.

World Net Daily:  "Dawkins becomes a creationist!"

Surprise! This article is not about famous evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, as you might expect, nor even about Darryl Dawkins, late of the Philadelphia 76ers.  It's about some ex-veterinarian homeschooler named Karen Dawkins.  Talk about truth in advertising.

World Net Daily:  "Terrorists kill more than 5,000 in single month"

Still, a long way to go from the 37,000 in the United States alone that tobacco companies kill every month.  How about a war against them?

Carol Brown, American Thinker:  "Attacks against Darren Wilson continue"

None of them having resulted in putting eight bullets in him, I'd like to point out.

Craig Anderson, Tea Party Report:  "Ferguson – Full of Crap-Flinging Monkeys"

No, we're not racists at all, no sir!

Mack Davis, Town Hall:  " Senate "Torture" Report Takes Its Place on the Ash Heap of Shame...It is a pack of lies and misrepresentations. It is dishonest to the core and makes little effort to seem otherwise."

Which Mack knows because he was there, right?  He doesn't need any multi-year studies to know the truth.

Michael Schaus, Town Hall:  "Who Would Have Guessed that Santa was a Republican?...I have given it many hours of thought (no I have nothing better to do with my time), and I am convinced that Kris Kringle is (undoubtedly) a member of the Republican Party."

Republican?  Are you fucking crazy?  He gives stuff to poor kids.

Repair Man Jack, Red State:  "You Don’t Have To Tolerate Anti-Southern Bigots"

No, just treat them the standard Southern way:

Roger Simon, PJ Media:  "Who would join the CIA now, knowing your own government doesn’t have your back?"

Who would join the CIA knowing that it is a pack of vicious, lying torturers?  Oh right, Conservatives would.  Sorry- please forget that I asked such a stupid question.

Michael Walsh, PJ Media:  "Ted Cruz for President?  Unfortunately, the GOP "leadership" will do everything it can behind the scenes to make sure Cruz gets nowhere near the top of the ticket."

But not the Democratic leadership, Michael.  It would be a dream come true for them.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "Hmm: 'Team Marco 2016' to Huddle With Major GOP Donors Next Month"

Man, that is exciting.

Lee Duigon, News with Views:  "“It was pittie/ One so wittie/ Malcontent,Leaving reason/ Should to treason/ So be bent.But his gifts/ Were but shifts/ Void of grace:And his braverie/ Was but knaverie,Vile and base.” 

The poem with the funny spelling was written in 1584 to memorialize the execution of a traitor. But to me it seems to describe the current occupier of the White House."

Right, Lee.  Think your quoting sixteenth century poetry hides the fact that you are an ignorant racist?

Bad History Lesson of the Day:

"Greg Corombos, World Net Daily:  "Seventy years ago this month, American heroes successfully held the small crossroads town of Bastogne, repelling Nazi Germany’s last chance at a settled peace and making total victory in Europe all but guaranteed. 

Acclaimed author and reporter Dr. Jerome Corsi...carefully explores the question of whether divine intervention is responsible for the Allies prevailing against seemingly insurmountable odds and in horrific conditions."

Divine intervention, right.  I guess God must have been the copilot on an awful lot of those 5,000 bombing sorties that it took to destroy the oilfields at Ploesti, Rumania, Hitler's last source of fuel, because the allies wiped out the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge when all of the German tanks ran out of gas.

And may I remind you that the two things that Jerome Corsi is "acclaimed" for reporting are the Swift Boat lies against John Kerry and Obama's fake birth certificate.

Ben Carson, Town Hall:  "The recent release of a Senate report commissioned by Democrats regarding torture of terrorism suspects in order to obtain vital information was a waste of $40 million of taxpayer money."

Well, this time you are right, Ben.  Not that stupid Americans don't need to have this thing rammed down their throats, but first of all, we knew all of it already, and second, the gutless "leaders" in Washington aren't going to do a damned thing about it.

Brent Bozell, Town Hall:  "Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are polar opposites, a Tea Party conservative and an Occupy Wall Street socialist."

This is the right's latest approach to the threat that is Elizabeth Warren- call her the Ted Cruz of the left.  Never mind the fact that Cruz is a mentally disturbed person who was brought up by his delusional father to believe that God has chosen him to run the country, while Elizabeth Warren is a highly respected former Harvard economics professor.  Actually, the comparison does serve a purpose, however- to highlight the difference in what it takes to rise to prominence in our two political parties.

Jonah Goldberg, Town Hall:  "Jonathan Gruber Should've Been Time's Person of the Year"

Actually, by those standards, Jonah Goldberg should have been Time's person of the year, because Gruber said one stupid thing this year, while Jonah has said a thousand.

Ben Shapiro, Town Hall:  "The Suicidal Hashtags of the West"

If you really think that article would be worth reading, you are hopeless.

John Warren, Town Hall:  "Why Benghazi Still Matters"

It's all they've got.

Toby Westerman, Renew America  "Jesus is with us, whether the left likes it or not"

He just loves hatred and greed.

Shahriar Kia, American Thinker:  "U.S. Cannot Remain Indifferent on Human Rights Violations in Iran"

It can, however, remain indifferent to human rights violations in Ferguson Mo, Cleveland and New York.

And with that, enough for one day.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rallies or Clown Shows?

As I mentioned, Conservatives just took two more occasions to utterly, catastrophically fail at bringing out their allegedly massive ranks.  We are at a point now, when I think it might be useful to look at the right wing "marches" on Washington and elsewhere over the last year and a half, just to get a real sense of their miserable performance.  So, here is a list, along with links to my posts about them, where you can find much more photographic evidence; however, before I do, I'd like to provide a picture of a left leaning demonstration this weekend in New York, protesting police misconduct;
This essentially spontaneous event is a real demonstration, reminiscent of those from the Vietnam era, and provides a helpful contrast to the utter nonsense cataloged below:

December 10, 2014:

Sheriffs' "massive gathering" in Washington to protest Obama' immigration action:   Turnout?  20

NumbersUSA Immigration Rally in Washington:  Turnout?  Under 10

Late October, 2014:

Impeach Obama Week 2:  Numerous "rallies" around the country, almost none of which drew more than 10 people.

August, 2014:

Impeach Obama Week 1:  Numerous "rallies" around the country, almost none of which drew more than 10 people, just like Impeach Obama Week 2.

June 21, 2014:

National Organization for Marriage March for Straight Marriage:  Maybe 600, a massive crowd by right wing standards.

May 16, 2014:

Operation American Spring, which Conservatives predicted would bring between 10 and 30 million people to Washington:  120?  150?  maybe.

Mid-March, 2014:

"White Men's Marches" scheduled around the country:  Maximum turnout in any one place- 9.

November 19, 2013:

Larry Klayman's massive (and massively promoted) "Independence Day" march on Washington to drive Obama out of the White House: Attendance under 100.

October 13, 2013

Veterans' "Million Man March" on Washington:  15? 20?  Most of the people in this photo are clearly tourists.

October 11, 2013:

Truckers' drive in to bring Washington to a halt- Thousands of truckers predicted to participate:  Actual attendance, about 30.

September 11, 2013:

March on Washington to express fury over Benghazi:  attendance maybe 100 if they were lucky.

Bikers' Ride In on Washington:  Predicted attendance: 2 million.  Actual attendance: about 600.

September 9, 2013:

Massive march on Washington to demand Obama leave office:  Attendance? apparently zero.

Well, there you go.  And let me add that I didn't leave any successful ones out.  This is it, as far as I know.  I think this list makes it pretty clear how ludicrously the press is acting to treat these people as some sort of real political force in our country.

I want to add here a link to this post about the true historical inspiration of these right wing marches, which may surprise some people.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hey, It Works!

I am so sickened by the massive defense of our nation's program of systematic torture under the "leadership" of Bush and Cheney, that I cannot even pretend that it deserves a detailed response from decent human beings.  So, I am going to invite a guest commentator to make my point, at least about the despicable argument that torture was okay because it supposedly worked:

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

That's it.  I'm out of here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Satan, Thy Name is Antonin

Antonin Scalia, the ideological leader of the Conservatives on the Supreme Court, weighs in with his opinion on torture:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is joining the debate over the Senate's torture report by saying it's hard to rule out the use of extreme measures to extract information...Scalia told a Swiss broadcast network that American and European liberals who say such tactics may never be used are being self-righteous."

Justice Scalia, just what is it about the phrase "cruel and unusual punishment" don't you understand?  Did your fine Constitutional education stop with the second amendment?  Or maybe you are reasoning that if we torture lots of prisoners, it won't be "unusual" any more, and so then it will be just fine if it's cruel.

Of course, there are some Conservatives who argue that what we do to people who haven't been charged with a crime is not "punishment," and therefore anything goes.  After all, the Constitution doesn't say a word about cruel and unusual interrogation- that's okay as long as we don't know if they are guilty or not. 

 This could apply to any of us, naturally, but who cares as long as, so far, it's only foreign Muslims that have been the victims, right?  Guys like the great Justice Antonin Scalia would never stand still if, just to pick a far-fetched example, American police started gunning down random people in the street without a concern that they would be expected to justify their actions.

Well, this is how a country becomes an abomination to the world.  And no "responsible" person will state the obvious: a nation which allows a person like this to make its laws is lost.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Oh God, They "Marched" on Washington Again

In keeping with the absolutely shameless promotion and then failure of endless wingnut marches on Washington, there were two related ones today, to protest the Obama administration's failure to treat immigrants like subhuman animals.  The fact that they were abysmal failures will clearly not stop this endless succession of humiliating performances from continuing, as long, I guess, as they can be used to bilk money from the stupid, ignorant people who make up the Republican base.

First up was a meeting of the cracker, ignorant Sheriffs who have fallen in with right wing politics in the last couple of years:

"Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson of Bristol County, Mass., sent a letter to organize a meeting of sheriffs in Washington, D.C., on December 10, two days before the existing government-funding bill expires, to meet with congressmen and encourage them to take action to secure the border. 
Hodgson wrote. “Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator David Vitter and other members of Congress have agreed to join us at the Capitol to demand immediate action to secure our borders as the first step in achieving legitimate immigration reform in the future. Several sheriffs have agreed to work in a spirit of cooperation to assist in recruiting at least 200 sheriffs to travel to Washington, D.C. for this historic meeting and press conference with members of Congress.”

Despite the presence of several right wing luminaries, here is the turnout:
What can you say?

Along with this thunderous protest showing the wrath of the American people, there was another mighty arising of the people:

"Several blocks away and a few hours later, the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA staged what can very loosely be called a rally on Capitol Hill...the rally drew fewer than 10 people, two picket signs, and one American flag."

As illustrated here:
As I have taken the trouble to document, this phenomenon happens over and over again, with exactly the same pathetic result.  And here it is again, with no change.

When you think of the tens of thousands that turned out in truly spontaneous protests over the recent police murders of black kids, it's a wonder that even our pathetic mainstream press can take the far right in this country as some sort of real force.  But I guess if they go down the road toward admitting that the Republican party represents absolutely no one except the Koch brothers and a few hundred other rich sociopaths, and that the supposed Republican "base" is essentially nonexistent, they will be replaced with someone who will report things a little more to the satisfaction of their masters.  As Dan Rather learned, standing up to power and telling the truth once means more than decades of work as a reporter, and you can always be replaced with some toady like Chuck Todd who will report things the way he's paid to do.

Update:  A little late for it, but compare this to what I have described above:

"Thousands of protesters paralyzed parts of New York and Washington on Saturday, stepping up demonstrations across the United States demanding justice for black men killed by white police.
The rallies in the US capital, New York, Boston and in several Californian cities were among the largest in a growing protest movement sparked by the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9."

There is just no comparison between the actual size and potential power of the left and the right.  I repeat what I have demonstrated so many times now:  the supposed right- the teabaggers, the anti-immigration fanatics, the haters of rights for minorities- they are close to being nothing but a gigantic mirage, supported by tens of millions of dollars of subsidies from rich psychopaths, and promoted endlessly by the corporate media.  Yesterday's marches against police repression are a sign of what a real popular movement can do, without rich people's money and without synthetic promotion by the press.  The more people realize where the power really lies, the less the Koch brothers and their ilk will be able to get away with screwing us all.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

But What About Guantanamo, Guys?

I know this is completely irrelevant, but I would like to remind people that the treaty which we forced on Cuba to let us take extended possession of the Guantanamo area specifically laid out what it could be used for, and a prison or concentration camp was most decidedly not on the list.

Yeah, yeah, what do this country's word and its reputation around the world, and the Constitutional mandate requiring that we uphold treaties, mean when some right wingers decide they are so angry that they'd like to torture people?  What is more important, our right to torture or our honor?  I mean, it's pretty obvious who comes down on which side of that argument.

Wingnut Wrapup

Well, I waited a few days until the sick crowing that we all knew was coming from the wingnuts over their having murdered another black guy and gotten away with it had had some chance to die down- not that it will ever go away completely, of course- right wing lies never die- but I guess it's time to get back to work.

Let's start with this:  From the nethermost depths of the right wing psyche, this forgery:

Elvis, right.  And what, exactly, would it prove if one long dead rural Southern cracker hated Jews?  After Ted Nugent and the Duck Dynasty guys, will right wingers bow in adoration before any ignorant fool that spouts the words they want to hear?  Not, by the way, that this is Elvis.  I never was a big Elvis fan myself, but people who are seem to universally agree that it is a poor imitation.  Well, anyway, on to those who spout their ignorance with a computer keyboard instead of a guitar:

Leah Barkoukis, Town Hall:  “While your Executive Order pad is out, can you write one to bring my son and the tens of thousands (actually over 100,000) killed by illegal aliens back to life and to bring our destroyed families back together?” Don Rosenberg, whose son, Drew, was run over by an illegal immigrant in 2010, wrote in a letter to President Obama just days before he announced his executive amnesty."

100,000.  And, if you will pardon my language, I wonder what asshole Leah plucked that number from.  She sure didn't provide any source in her article.  According to Leah they are making a quilt like the AIDS quilt to commemorate this cause.  Listen, guys, give me a call when it gets big enough to cover my Corgi, and maybe I'll give you a few bucks for it.  Winter's coming, and I don't want him to get cold at night.

Derek Hunter, Town Hall:  "Outside of perhaps a drum circle or Phish concert, there are few things progressives enjoy more than dead people."

Right you are, Derek.  That's why we all supported George Bush's mass murder in Iraq, while you high minded right wingers opposed it.  Oh, wait a minute...I think I got something a little backwards there.  Never mind.

Doug Giles, Town Hall:  "Last week, as I was watched the Ferguson fiasco go down, I kept bouncing back and forth between CNN and MSLSD to see how the Left was pitching this massive destruction of personal and private property...As I watched... “men of God” cheerlead this mess, I started thinking to myself, “Self … what Bible do they read? … ‘The Race-Baiters Grievance Edition?’ “; because no one who’s ever traipsed through an unadulterated New Testament would think that such mayhem, for such a flimsy -- no … farcical -- reason is remotely justifiable."

Of course, Jesus engaged in "destruction of personal and private property" because of usurious charges by money lenders at the Temple.  But  "destruction of personal and private property" just because police murdered a black kid?  No, that is way out of bounds.  By the way, just let Jesus come back and try that trick again, and see how he likes a little mace in the face.

Bruce Bialosky, Town Hall:  "Savings Blacks from Liberal Leaders"

Well, saving their votes, of course.  The actual "blacks" themselves?  Who cares?

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "These Two States Cut Medicaid…And Saved Money... According to state data, 173,469 Medicaid cases have been cancelled between February and September."

Amazing proof that Conservatism works!  Take medical care from a couple hundred thousand people, and your costs go down!  Who would ever have thought of that?  And those 173,469 people?  What happened to them?  Who Cares?  Because COSTS WENT DOWN!!!  And what about this horrid abuse:

"...the Illinois audit found that more than 8,000 dead people were still on the state’s Medicaid rolls."

Disgusting!  I bet those 8,000 former people were really using a lot of medical services too.

Red State:  "On Any Black Friday, WalMartStrikers Could Be Replaced—Permanently."

You know, I think the guillotines are just around the corner.  Crow while you can, Red State jerks- it's hard to spread hatred without your head.  Although if anyone can find a way, it will be right wingers.

Dr. Helen Smith, PJ Media:  "Don't buy the hype...Social justice is not a force for good"

Of course not!  Justice is evil!  At least when it costs rich people money.

Steven Kruiser, PJ Media:  "Here We Go Again: Austin Shooter ‘Likely Had Anti-Government Motive’"

Outrageous!  How can liberals possibly conclude that from the mere fact  that he shot a hundred bullets at government buildings?

Elliot Bakker, American Thinker:  "Obama is Failing our Military...At a time when Obama is slashing the defense budget, this increase in the funds sent to Africa can only mean that the U.S. will be less prepared for the threats that actually impact our national security directly"

Because A) We can't spend money on anything without taking it away from the military, and B) Ebola, which just before the election was the greatest threat to our national security since the Nazis, is, now that it might be a good idea to spend some money dealing with it, utterly irrelevant.


Well, that explains a lot.

Michelle Malkin, Town Hall:   "Obama's Scandal-Tainted BCGB (Best Chicago Golfing Buddy)...In his "Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior," George Washington offered this sage advice: "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

Boy if that's the standard, the last President wouldn't have been allowed to talk to his own Vice President.

Pat Buchanan, Town Hall:  "Racist Cops -- or Liberal Slander?"

By the author who brought you "Adolf Hitler- Evil Dictator or Liberal Slander."  The guy has been defending the Nazis for decades- why shouldn't we expect him to approve when police act like the Gestapo?

D.W. Wilber, Town Hall:  "Benghazi Baloney...The real question underlying Benghazi is why Americans serving this country overseas were set up to be killed by a State Department who ignored warnings from security experts that the Benghazi Consulate was ripe for the picking."

Yes, they were "set up to be killed" by the State Department.  Benghazi- the lie that will never die- or at least until after Hillary runs for President.

Jeffrey T. Brown, American Thinker:  "Who is Leading and Financing the Orc Army of the Left?"

Gun crazy right wing rioters at the Bundy Ranch are patriots...Peaceful left wing protesters are an "Orc Army."  Oh, by the way, if you are looking for an answer to Jeffrey's question, you won't find one in his article; just a whole bunch of sleazy implications with no basis in any kind of fact.  That's because unlike Teabaggers, left wing demonstrators are financing themselves, not taking millions from the Koch brothers to create their phony events.


I just want to bring this to your attention because of the use of the term "Obama Intifada," and the suggestion that Obama is deliberately fomenting a race war.  I have seen this term used a couple of times in recent days on right wing websites.  I suspect it's their next meme, so let's see if they run with it.

Derek Hunter, Town Hall:  "Progressivism Claims Another Life"

That would be- believe it or not- Eric Garner, who was killed  by progressive regulations on cigarettes, not by being choked to death by policemen.  That's their story, and they're stickin' to it.

Moe Lane, Red State:  "Democrats still confused as to why the South has given up on them."

No we're not, Moe.  We know exactly why.  So do you.

Kurt Schlichter, Town Hall:  "Will The GOP Lose To Hillary In 2016 By Nominating A Loser Like Jeb?"

Yup.  In case you haven't noticed, the Republicans always nominate the guy the rich people want, and right now that looks to be Jeb.  Of course, all their other choices are losers too, so I guess it doesn't make that much difference.

Kathy Shaidle, PJ Media:   "Palin/Nugent 2016?  Dream Ticket or Nightmare?"

Depends.  Dream ticket for the Democrats, I'll tell you that.

And just in case you need a little help in getting your priorities straight:

James Delipole, Breitbart:  "Girls Don't Need 'Body Confidence' and 'Be The Change' Badges. They Do Need to Know How to Cook, Bake and Sew"

I can't even think of an appropriate comment for that.

And finally, a classic bit of lunacy from World Net Daily:

"IS FACE ON MARS REALLY OBAMA?  President's image keeps appearing in most unexpected places"

Yup, that's what the article is about.  And they really seem to think it might be true.  Oh well...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Supreme Court- A Rigged Game

The following information from Reuters, via the Huffington Post:

"A Reuters examination of nine years of cases shows that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court succeeded at getting their clients' appeals heard at a remarkable rate...Although they account for far less than 1 percent of lawyers who filed appeals to the Supreme Court, these attorneys were involved in 43 percent of the cases the high court chose to decide from 2004 through 2012."

Needless to say, the vast majority of these lawyers represent corporations.

"They basically are just a step ahead of us in identifying the cases that we'll take a look at," said Justice Anthony Kennedy. "They are on the front lines and they apply the same standards" as the justices do."

Well, that's comforting.  The Justices on the Supreme Court rely on a group of corporate lawyers to identify the cases they will consider.  It will come as no surprise, I guess, that these guys "apply the same standards as the justices do," at least the five Justices who currently make up the court's conservative majority.  Why, after all, should they decide for themselves what cases are important to the country, when they have corporate lawyers to do the job for them?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Sovereigns and the Posse Comitatus- a Bit of Shared History

With the recent two incidents involving right wing Christian terrorists in this country*, and the total suppression, as usual, of their political affiliations by the mainstream press, I thought it would be beneficial to take a few minutes to consider briefly the history of these two groups, the Sovereign Citizen movement and the Christian Identity "religion."  This is not a complete story- the Christian Identity movement is an outgrowth of the British Israelite movement, which since the 1870's was based on the absurd claim that Northern Europeans were the real descendants of the Jews in the bible.  Various explanations have been given about where today's Jews came from, some going so far as to claim that Jews (and black people too, of course) are actually not human beings at all, but spawns of an affair which Satan supposedly had with Eve, which is why God ejected Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.  Well, enough of this idiocy, on with the story.

First, with Christian Identity, of which the violent cult of Phineas Priesthood, which has always openly advocated anti-government violence is a part.  The absurd British Israelite movement had pretty well collapsed by the 1920's or so, and was moribund until recreated by a man named Wesley A. Smith:

"Wesley A. Swift (1913-1970) was a former Methodist minister from Southern California. In the 1940s, Swift started his own church, later known as the Church of Jesus Christ Christian. 

He was active in far right-wing groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, and developed a close friendship with prominent postwar anti-Semite, Gerald L. K. Smith. Because of the activities of Swift and associates such as Bertrand Comparet and San Jacinto Capt, Christian Identity increasingly became linked with extreme right-wing ideologies. Richard Girnt Butler, founder of the Aryan Nations, was a close California disciple of Swift."

Gerald L. K. Smith was a rabid demagogue who was one of the precursors of the right wing radio talk shows which emerged in the 1960's.  Far more important to our narrative, however, is the second figure mentioned here- Richard Butler.  Butler is probably the most known of these people, having spent his wealth establishing the Hayden Lake, Idaho compound that was the center of American White Supremacy, and whose presence continues to tarnish the name of Hayden Lake as a refuge for haters to this day.  Famous alumni of the compound include Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge fame, Nazi spree killer Buford Furrow; Oklahoma City bomber Timothy was highly influenced by Butler's book, The Turner Diaries, which approvingly describes a fictional bombing almost exactly like the one McVeigh carried out.  Let me continue with more source material.
Richard F. Butler, in all his glory
"The origin of Aryan Nations is in the teachings of Wesley Swift, a significant figure in the early Christian Identity movement...In 1957, the name of his church was changed to the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, which is used today by Aryan Nations churches...
There are three main Aryan Nations factions. One is led by August Kreis III and Charles John Juba...In 2005, the Holy Order of the Phineas Priesthood, formerly in association with the faction operated by Kreis, seceded and formed Aryan Nations Revival, based in New York..."
A pleasant day in the sun at the Hayden Lake compound.  Note the similarity
of the jerks in the back row to, oh, say, ISIS guys.

Now, before making any comment on this, I would like to move on to the antecedents of the Sovereign Citizen movement.

"The Christian Patriot movement is a movement of American political commentators and activists. They promote various interpretations of history and law with the common theme that the federal government has turned against the ideas of liberty and individual rights which were behind the American Revolution, and America's Christian heritage
The movement originally referred to the late 1980s' Posse Comitatus group, a militant far right organization. Posse Comitatus followed an ideology based on the teachings of Posse founder and Christian Identity minister William P. Gale...This ideology holds that state and federal governments are agents of an arcane conspiracy to deprive Americans of their rights as "sovereign citizens." It also holds that this conspiracy can be undermined through various legal pleadings from English common law and other sources, such as a motion protesting the way a defendant's name is typeset in a legal complaint. The ideology persists despite numerous court rulings that have declared its theories frivolous."
A book by William Potter Gale.  I think the cover says it all. 

And lest we forget the connections:

"Developing strong ties to the white supremacist Christian identity movement, they believe themselves to be the true Israelites, chosen by God, and they state that the Jews sought to help Satan to destroy civilization, and undermine white citizens' rights by means of the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service."

And now, back to Richard Butler for a bit, as he is, in a sense, the man who ties it all together:

"While helping to "expose" communist teachers as a member of the California Committee to Combat Communism, Butler met one of his most important influences — William Potter Gale, a retired Army colonel who had served on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. 

In 1961, Butler began attending the church of the Anglo-Saxon Christian Congregation in Lancaster, Calif. The pastor there was Wesley Swift, a Gale acolyte who preached that whites are the true Israelites and Jews are descended directly from a mating of Eve and the devil. A former Klan organizer, Swift formed the virulently anti-Semitic Christian Defense League in 1962. He chose Butler to be its national director, a post Butler held until 1965.  

By 1977, Butler had decided to form the Church of Jesus Christ Christian at the farmhouse. The political arm of the church, where Butler preached the racist Christian Identity creed, would be called Aryan Nations, and its ideology included a large dose of Hitler worship."

William Potter Gale and Wesley Swift.  There they are again.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has this to say about Sovereign Citizens:

"The movement is rooted in racism and anti-Semitism, though most sovereigns, many of whom are African American, are unaware of their beliefs' origins. In the early 1980s, the sovereign citizens movement mostly attracted white supremacists and anti-Semites, mainly because sovereign theories originated in groups that saw Jews as working behind the scenes to manipulate financial institutions and control the government. Most early sovereigns, and some of those who are still on the scene, believed that being white was a prerequisite to becoming a sovereign citizen." 

Now for some conclusions.  You can see from the above material that the Sovereign Citizen and the Christian Identity movement have a common origin, and that is with the most extreme race-hating, Aryan supremacist people this nation has ever seen.  They are not independent political or religious groups, free from any place on the political spectrum, as they are so often portrayed in the mainstream press.  They occupy a political space between the out and out jackbooted thugs that call themselves Skinheads and the (by now) mainstream views of the likes of Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz. My purpose here is not to present a litany of the abominations they have perpetrated- the Sovereign Citizens alone have been responsible for over a hundred murders in the last couple of decades- but simply to place them clearly on the political spectrum as  the vicious right wing haters they are.  This is why, when we see the stupid claims of the Christian Identity movement, or the pseudo-legal gobbledygook spouted by Sovereign Citizens, we should not allow ourselves to be lulled into thinking they are harmless eccentrics.  They are hate-filled political killers, no different in their attitudes than ISIS or Al Qaida.  The only difference is that ISIS and Al Qaida are 10,000 miles away, while these guys are right here, killing away, only to be ignored by the press.

Now, I must say that there is at least one hopeful sign in all of this.  Far from the spontaneous uprising of angry citizens which these groups claim to be, they actually have a history in which the same names show up again and again, and owe their origins to a concerted effort of an almost laughably small number of Americans.  Still, they have been good at one thing: convincing the press like many of the right wing fringe groups I document here that they actually represent some real groundswell of anger, and so they find themselves the center of far more attention than they deserve.  Oh, and they have guns and they have demonstrated they are willing to use them.  In any real confrontation with the government they would be slaughtered, but I suspect that they have committed the cardinal political mistake of believing their own propaganda, which makes it almost inevitable that this confrontation will come, sooner or later.

*If you want to learn more about these two acts of antigovernment terror, you can look at previous posts of mine, here and here.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Clown Car is Filling Up Already

This news, from Crooks and Liars:

"Romney Inner Circle Convinced He's Running"

And some people have been worried that the Republican primary season won't offer as big a circus as last time around.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Little Lack of Self- Awareness, What?

Here's an article from Town Hall, entitled  "We Don't Hate White People...Y'all The Devil,"  with the following text:

"Here's some basic on-the-ground Ferguson reporting from Truth Revolt's Ami Horowitz that you will NEVER see from the MSM [WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE]:"

And then, a video of (horror of horrors) a BLACK MAN saying that EXACT THING!!!"

Now, for a quick scan of some of the comments on this post:

"As I have said many times. These beasts are no longer human; they are only humanoid and beyond redemption. They have no ability to exercise rational thought."
"I have not worked hard my entire life following the american dream, following the laws, behaving with respect, and trying to be a good addition to society, to have to live with these animals...It appears the majority of blacks do not care about being decent additions to society. It's as if they enjoy behaving like thug animals. Either that , or I am totally wrong and they are born like this."
"Ghetto trash-talking monkeys too stupid to know they're being played like a violin."
"Now I feel obliged to call these buffoons "n!ggers" - I certainly wouldn't want to make liars of them, and I'm already a racist, regardless of what I do or say, anyway. Sigh... I find myself wishing more and more that repatriation had been mandatory after the Civil War."

I don't think any comment is necessary.