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Translating The Tea Party Movement & Right-Wing Politicians (2nd Edition)

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The "angry" Tea Party movement has recently gained a lot of undeserved strength, ironically because the alleged “liberal” media has paid so much attention to it. In my opinion, the “Tea Baggers” and Sarah Palin aren’t really a separate autonomous movement, but actually GOP rejects that have been “disavowed” by the Republican Party for being an embarrassment to them. The official party uses them to express unpopular views and to take stands that are in line with most GOP supporters, but the tea baggers can loudly and frequently express them separately so that the Republican Party can assert that they don’t really “represent” the party’s “official” opinions, all the while hiding in the safety of knowing that the movement in general will support all GOP candidates and issues.

Provided here is a "conversion tool" of sorts, to help understand terms employed by the GOP's Religious/Political Right/Angry Tea Party wing in their unjustifiably over-publicized editorials, church sermons and political speeches. These are the words and catch-phrases that are used by people that believe in their hearts that they have the god-given right to judge people and to declare anyone this or that. So what do they mean when they talk out of both sides of their mouths?

Here are a few translations.

Do you still beat your wife?:
A tea bagger will often slip an assumption into a statement to sneak it under the enthusiastic press’ radar for wide distribution. A sentence that starts with “Obama, who loves to devalue the U.S. dollar…” followed by something that makes little or no sense is a common tool. You are so flabbergasted at the ridiculous assertion that followed that you let them imply that President Obama loves to devalue the dollar as a given, rather than argue with it. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes an assumed truth; which is one of the GOP’s main tools… which leads to:

A phrase which if screamed angrily and plastered across enough picket signs leads the uneducated to believe strongly that their taxes have gotten higher under the Obama administration. In actual fact for 95% of Americans, their taxes have gotten lower during the current administration. The GOP wealthy are actually trying to convince the general public that middle income families are paying as much (or in danger of paying as much) as they are in an attempt to get their own taxes lowered. And why do the rich pay at higher tax rates? Well, actually they don’t. The ever higher rates are actually an attempt to get the GOP wealthy to pay their fair share after their tax accountants have reduced their IRS payments down to next to nothing through deductions and loopholes.

What hysterical tea-baggers don’t want middle America to consider is that without taxes, our roads, schools, bridges, libraries and essential public services would vanish for lack of funding. Another fact is that as federal taxes go down, usually state and local taxes go up, figuring that we can afford to pay them more, now that we’re paying the fed less. Since the average wage earner only sees less in their paychecks, they blame the U.S. government.

So let’s take a look at those well known catch phrases used by Palin and the political right and let a “liberal” translate them to you in terms that make sense.

Almost half of Americans pay no income taxes at all!:
This little catch phrase, while true, allows Republicans to lead the common American to believe that the liberal poor don’t pay their fair share. The key phrase is “Income taxes.” Most middle-income families with four or more children actually pay little or no income taxes after deductions. They do however pay federal and inflated state and local taxes, along with Social Security etc. This is a method of getting us to feel sorry for the GOP wealthy who are supposedly paying more than their fair share but actually aren’t.

Un-American, unfair and/or detrimental to the struggling middle-class:
Anything that the Tea Party movement disagrees with, is described using these phrases…whether it’s true or not. These descriptions have the convenience of the speaker not having to prove the declaration after it’s uttered.

Anyone who is white, heterosexual, married (or engaged to be), attends and tithes a minimum of ten percent to a Christian (preferably Baptist) church at least once a week, and is a registered Republican voter. The opposite terms "abnormal," "repugnant," "evil," and of course "offensive" are usually used nearby as a companion in the same paragraph or comment with this word. Blacks and Hispanics can sometimes be “normal”, but only if they completely adhere to strict guidelines, and stay in the background as much as possible. Be warned that the Republican Party/Tea Baggers will include you in their ranks in order to lure you into the voting booth, but the very moment the polls close on Election Day, you’ll be stuck outside their door without an entry password or their secret handshake.

Law abiding:
This hijacked term has been twisted to mean "those who adhere only to "God's law", in an attempt to misguide the uneducated into believing there's a difference between "god's law" and "civil" laws. For instance, several states and/or municipalities have "Consenting Adult" laws, which state that any two adults of legal consent age, regardless of sex, may engage in sexual activities in the privacy of their own home. To the Religious/Political Right, this is not one of God's laws, and therefore if you recognize the concept of "Consenting Adult" you are not a "law abiding" citizen. The same goes for a lawful legal abortion, etc. etc. ad nauseum. The Republican Party will not recognize an abortion as a legal right guaranteed to all Americans because they disagree with it. After all the GOP has no use for the Supreme Court unless it’s to do things like electing George Bush, preserve your right to own machine guns or control what children read or learn in public schools. Back in the seventies the court was packed with reactionary liberal judges who legislated from the bench; so their opinions legally binding or otherwise don’t count.

States rights/Big Government:
This implies that the government is so big that it won’t allow individual states to govern themselves. It’s a term yelled from the rooftops when the government won’t allow a state to do something, or forces them to do anything they don’t agree with. If the government didn’t have this power, southern blacks would never have gained the right to vote, attend whites-only schools and colleges, eat at a “whites only” restaurant, marry someone of another race or gain equal employment. Big government is only needed by the angry Tea Party/GOP to protect gun rights and overrule state legislation protecting legal abortion or granting gay rights.

Running up the American debt for our children:
Something the former Republican president and congress had no qualms about doing after Bush conned the country into thinking that Saddam Hussein had something to do with planning 9/11 and was about to use “weapons of mass destruction” on our helpless children. Those trillions of tax-payer dollars were justified regardless of the national debt or not. Nor does it matter that a Republican administration initiated the billions in bank bailouts that the GOP is trying to pin on Obama and counting on the short memories of voters.

2nd amendment rights are threatened!:
The NRA doesn’t want to let slip their control over the Republican Party, so they convince normal Americans that the federal government is about to take their rights to own hunting rifles away from them. To quote Robin Williams, “The NRA says that you have the right to use armor-piercing bullets if you're a hunter… WHY? How many deer wear bullet-proof vests?” Someone please inform me of any time during his administration when President Obama has suggested taking the right of gun ownership away from everyday people?

“The NRA says that you have the right to own armor-piercing bullets if you're a hunter… WHY? How many deer wear bullet-proof vests?”

Only those who strictly worship the Flag, the Bible, and any denomination of the Baptist Church as a holy trinity, which is quickly replacing "Baseball, mom, and apple pie". You must worship all three equally or be branded unpatriotic, traitorous, liberal, unchristian and/or a deviant.

Example of their hypocrisy: the "Patriot Act" has nothing to do with being patriotic in the literal sense of the word.

In God We Trust:
What this phrase means is their god to the exclusion of anyone else’s god. If you actually pressed a religious/political fanatic into explaining the phrase, you’d be appalled to discover that most “god fearing” people believe that unless you belong to their specific fundamentalist sect, you won’t make it to heaven, nor if it was up to them will the U.S. Government guarantee your right to worship (or not worship) as you please… or haven’t you noticed there are no officially recognized U.S. religious holidays that aren’t celebrated by Southern Baptists; nor are there likely to be.

Unborn child:
A phrase that makes as much sense and is just as misleading as calling a used car “pre-owned.”

This term should be obvious, but isn't. The word "evil" was hijacked by the Religious/Political Right, and the Tea Party movement loves to use this term to describe anything that they don't agree with. For example there is President Ronald Reagan’s beloved use of “The Evil Empire" to describe the former Soviet Union (not the one associated with Darth Vader). An associated adjective would be G.W.’s constant use of the term "evildoers." By his own definition President Bush was doing "evil" by haphazardly tapping innocent citizens phones because they "might" be terrorists, and/or holding foreign prisoners captive without legal representation, and in some cases psychologically or physically torturing them for the purpose of getting information from them. However the term “evil” only applies if you’re anything but a Republican Christian.

This used to be a proud term, meaning all-inclusive, all-encompassing and all-accepting. It used to be that you'd brag proudly of attending a Liberal College or studying Liberal Arts. However when used by the Religious/Political Right it means, (forgive me for being blunt here) "Fag lover," "God-hater," "Baby Killer" and "Against the Flag."

This term has taken on a meaning of its own, and usually when used by the Religious/Political Right is opposite of its intended "worldly" definition. A new religion as been defined as Secular Humanism, a very slippery term which can mean anything they conveniently want to oppose.

Offensive: see "Evil".
Beware I'm about to use most of the Liberal Thesaurus on these next two terms!

God is actually someone you unconditionally love, and who loves and accepts everyone; in other words he’s a liberal. (Hmmmm I wasn't struck by lightning while typing that sentence!) God speaks through you and to you and not through self-appointed, self-anointed men who pick and choose which Bible verses are significant and which aren't in order to argue in favor of slavery, prohibition of alcohol, or the suppression and segregation of one population over another.

God fearing:
This term is probably the most self-serving, judgmental, hypocritical, morally ambiguous, intellectually bankrupt, long-winded and biblically challenged phrase of them all. Religious zealots use this term to make ordinary people "fear" god, and in so doing you will fear them by association. To fear God, is to fear your reverend/priest/minister/rabbi, through whom God supposedly speaks to you.

Racially balanced:
As in the oft-quoted, "The Republican Party is very racially balanced." This phrase is used during hurriedly arranged photo ops after someone of prominence has made the insinuation to the mainstream media that the ridiculously angry Tea Party movement is composed of mostly loud-mouthed white people.

Someone is bound to utter this phrase just as you notice that all of the women, Blacks and Hispanics in the group have suddenly been pushed up into the front row smiling proudly for an unexpected camera, not realizing that behind them the next solid three rows are the white guys hiding their smirks because they know that they're really the ones in charge.

Judeo-Christian Values:
Note Judeo always comes first. This phrase is used often and loudly when the vocal right-wing Christian section is emphasizing that they have generously included Jews in their outrage about abortion, gay rights, or tax breaks for major corporations. Usually the next day the more extreme fundamentalists of the group give a sermon to their followers stressing that while they love their Jewish brothers (well, maybe just enough to get the election swung in their favor), they must still realize that in order for Jews to get into “their” heaven, they still must first accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

Sort of how they feel about their southern private Golf Clubs.

Your facts are only theories:
A phrase used most often when they know Democrats are speaking the truth, but they haven't found time to "Google, Bing or Yahoo" something opposing from a right-wing slanted website to refute it yet.

Knee-jerk reaction:
This translates to "They've intelligently reacted to something important before we did, causing us embarrassment, so we'll dismiss it as nothing in order to distract the public." The press in the past has had knee-jerk reactions to rising gas prices at the pump, but don't worry… soon it'll be "old news".

Some of my best friends are gay:
They live about three miles from me. My sister's hairdresser's maid introduced me to a plumber who lives next door to one, but I can't remember his name. He says they're nice people.

Impeding Our Free speech:
This translates to "Not permitting right-wing political or religious propaganda (most famously the 10 commandments) to be prominently displayed in and/or on public buildings".
See also:

Violating the spirit of the First Amendment:
This translates to their right of refusing to allow “liberals” to employ the "Free speech amendment" for such things as homosexual pornography, cuss words on The Sopranos reruns or showing nude scenes from True Blood on HBO. Hypocritically this phrase does not include publishing books criticizing George Bush or Ronald Reagan, nor the broadcasting of slanted opinions disguised as “facts” from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin or Glen Beck.

Our children's education is threatened by Obama!:
Never mind that federal school money was diverted to support private parochial schools, or that right-wing laws were passed to force teachers to have students believe religious texts over science books. Never mind that the Tea Party’s stand on lower taxes is causing withering teacher salaries or larger, harder to manage class rooms… it’s all Obama’s fault.

I am praying for you!:
Personally I'm disgusted every time a politician utters this phrase. We were asked to pray for the lives of two space shuttle crew’s safe return, we were asked to pray for several sets of coal miners to be found alive, and Bush asked America to pray constantly for the victims of the World Trade Center to be rescued alive along with the lives of the victims of the Pentagon. All the GOP is doing is kissing the collective asses of the Political/Religious Right… nothing more-nothing less. Except giving false hope to grieving families.

This term is used frequently to stress the "sex" in homosexual, because the only real difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual is who they sleep with at night. The idea behind using the word "homosexual" is to emphasize the myth that gays are nothing more than sexual beings, to the exclusion of all else, as if this is the only thing they think about night and day. This increases the "icky" factor, causing normal god fearing people to shield their children and themselves from such beasts because homosexuals, like AIDS, rapidly spreads like a disease infecting innocents on contact. Usually in the same sentence or article you'll find such terms as "predator," "recruits or recruiter," "pedophile" or "degenerate" to bolster the claim that gays are only dangerous sexual beings. The term "gay" is avoided at all cost. Fear of this word is what brings right-wing voters out in droves, usually in loaded church buses helping the elderly get to a voting booth in exchange for looking over one of their "voting guides."

Note: in discussions concerning granting gay rights or gay marriage, a Tea Bagger will invariable make the ridiculous assertion that, “If we let them do that, the next thing you know they’ll want to be able to marry animals.”

Special Rights:
This a term describes a set of basic human essentials that the Religious/Political/Tea Bagger Right angrily reserves only and wholly for itself. By using the term "special" it convinces regular folks that gays want rights that "normal God fearing" Christians don't or can't have or that the faggots want to take away from them; rights that they covet exclusively for themselves! In actuality the "special" rights that the "Religious/Political Right" don’t want you to know that those heathen gays want are the following simple items:

1. The ability to visit a lover/partner of 10 years in an intensive care ward as a "next of kin", without being barred from the hospital and/or by the opposing family. (Fortunately that heathen liberal Obama forced this one upon the American public against their will.)

2. The unopposed ability of one partner/lover to inherit the property they've shared and nurtured for a lifetime from the other.

3. The ability to have both lover/partners listed as "parents" or "guardians" of the biological or adopted children they've lovingly raised and nurtured together.

4. The right to jointly own property, and to jointly file income as a couple

A pedophile is a homosexual that is attracted to, and tends to kidnap, eat, and/or molest innocent little children of either sex (go figure) and is morally unredeemable. A heterosexual with the same tendencies is a "misguided soul" who merely needs some loving prayer and religious help, in order to redeem himself in the eyes of the lord.

In conclusion:
I miss the good old days when a church or a temple united and pulled a community together, instead of dividing it. A thief, an adulterer or even a prostitute didn't have the sanctuary doors judgmentally and verbally locked against them. They were welcomed with open arms in fellowship. In doing so, they and the congregation learned through love and gentle acceptance to change their ways.

The power of hate is a potent weapon, and in the wrong hands can and does push love and acceptance aside.

I'm sad that those days are gone, probably forever, and I'm hoping that someday a surgeon will find a way to separate the Religious Right from the Political Right, who've been joined at the hip with the Tea Party movement for far too long.

People such as Sarah "angry" Palin, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, the late Jerry Falwell, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh want nothing more than to acquire personal power through the use of the name God and christian "patriotism" to allow them to think and form your opinions for you. They gain this power through unwarranted publicity for the outrageous things they intentionally say. They use God, not to spread the meaning and teachings of the Gospels, but to line their pockets, and gain prestige. Robertson and Graham and their like are nothing more than "thieves at the steps of the temple,” pulling in tens of millions a year in untaxed income for private jets, limos, mansions and to buy massive amounts of slanted commercials in local elections through third parties to amass even more power. They are men who have become so secure in their own sacredness in the scheme of things that they probably believe that God doesn't allow the sun to shine until they wake up in the morning.

I thank God daily that I consider myself a Christian… Just not "their" brand of Christian and remind you that this is only my personal opinion; presented as such and not as undeniable facts as others do.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • I would use other adjectives like selling out in the name of power. The very real danger is of these people getting elected.

    The GOP leadership foolishly thinks that they can ride these people’s coat tails into power and then ignore them.

  • Igor

    Mourdock is testimony to the decline of the republican party.

  • …when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended. See above

  • NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) Top Republicans were slow to embrace tea party-backed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock after he ousted a longtime GOP senator from office. Though he eventually won their support – and money – Mourdock could see both fade after telling a live television audience that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended.”

    Mourdock, who’s been locked in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

    “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said.

  • Once again the GOP can’t seem to get their facts straight… even in the same room!!!

    To Mitt Romney, the economy is in a shambles. To fellow Republican Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, it is a glowing success.

    Romney and Walker offered clashing portraits of the economy at a Waukesha County GOP dinner on Saturday.

    It was a jarring display of how political imperatives can lead candidates of the same party to examine the same set of facts and reach wildly different conclusions that suit their needs for an upcoming election.

    Facing a June recall vote sparked by his fight with unions of government workers, Walker cast himself as the governor whose fiscal restraint has turned Wisconsin’s economy around.

    “The unemployment rate is now below 7% for the first time since 2008,” he boasted. “We’re headed in the right direction.”

    “We helped to improve the economy by understanding the people create jobs, not the government making it easier for the people of our state to create more jobs,” he told the hundreds of Republicans gathered in a hotel ballroom.

    Moments later, Romney stepped onto the same stage and — after the requisite tribute to Walker — offered his bleak description of America’s economy.

    “We know that under Barack Obama, 800,000 jobs have been lost,” said Romney.esday. “We know that under Barack Obama, 2.3 million homes have been foreclosed upon. We know that under this president, chronic unemployment is the worst it’s been in American history.”

    Romney acknowledged the nation’s recent job gains, but told the crowd to keep in mind that – – – Obama’s main economic stimulus measure – – – “expired three years ago.” (The $787-billion stimulus package did not expire three years ago; Obama signed it into law in February 2009.)

    “The recovery you’re seeing is in spite of his stimulus, not because of it,” Romney said. “His stimulus failed the American people.”

    In actual fact, Obama’s stimulus helped America recover from the Bush era 2007-2009 Great Recession/bank failure that caused all of the foreclosures and jobs loss in the first place.

    Keep in mind that Obama only took office in January 2009 and has been trying to help the country out of the recession since.

    The Bush era recession was not something that could be fixed instantly by flipping a light switch somewhere-as the Republican’ts would have you believe.

  • Michelle… Dear… a plausable explanation of why you were not granted that miracle:

    From page four of this article…
    God is actually someone you unconditionally love, and who loves and accepts everyone; in other words he’s a liberal. (Hmmmm I wasn’t struck by lightning while typing that sentence!) God speaks through you and to you and not through self-appointed, self-anointed men who pick and choose which Bible verses are significant and which aren’t in order to argue in favor of slavery, prohibition of alcohol, or the suppression and segregation of one population over another.

  • I will give the GOP credit for no longer trying to say that they’re separate from the tea baggers.

  • God help us if Santorum is elected in November-the guy is a psycho

  • Igor

    Looks to me like it’ll be Romney/X, where X = none of the primary also-rans.

  • Or John McCain

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I want to see a Santorum/Bachmann ticket!

    But in reality, it will be Romney…and he’s smart, so he’ll probably pick Condi Rice or David Petraeus for VP, and that will make for a tighter race.

  • Bachmann’s sanity-challenged religious-nut backed campaign came back to bite her in the ass. Promising a miracle from God with such conviction shows just how blessedly delusional she really is, as evidenced by how often she’s been accused of playing fast and loose with facts and making irresponsible accusations.

    When swine flu broke out in 2009, Bachmann implied that it was the Democrats’ fault, saying, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under Democrat President Jimmy Carter.”

    In fact, the 1970s outbreak came during the administration of Republican President Gerald Ford.

    She also perpetuated the falsehood that Obama’s 2010 trip to India cost $200 million a day — an inaccurate figure that came from an anonymous source at a news organization in India.

    In 2008, she attacked Obama for possibly having “anti-American views.” She also called on the media to investigate anyone in Congress who may also be “anti-American” — prompting accusations of a new McCarthyism.

    Democrats can only hope Romney chooses her as his running mate…

    … or even better, Sarah Palin

  • St. Michelle Bachmann didn’t get the miracle from god she was promised… poor thing

  • Dear God-hell has frozen over! I’m linking a comment to redstate.com!?! A small quickie read that’s revealing I think here

  • It’s money-plain and simple… it’s power plain and simple. Local Churches concern themselves with helping their community. Mega churches like the ones supporting assholes like Santorum are in it for cash. They want the big mansions, the limos and the millions in the bank under the guise of helping some poor nation in Aftica with their starving children.

    Those millions go towards political power by backing candidates and then wanting a quid-pro-quo.

    If it were up to me-every church taking in more than $75,000 annually would be taxed on their income-non profit or not.

  • It’s really amazing that such low weights like Santorum are in the running. They all want to turn the clock back to the nineteenth century, and believe it or not, the evangelicals would love nothing better.

    Let’s reinstitute the system of slavery, I say, and get it done with.

  • Thanks Roger-as usual I’ll be here to uncover all the political hypocrits like Ricky


  • Hello Jet, happy New Year. May you stay relatively healthy for the duration.

  • RedStage.com: Rick Santorum knowingly sat on the board that supports gay rights!

    From “For All of Santorum’s Traditionalism Rhetoric,” posted over at the right-wing website RedState:

    Universal Health Services, on whose board he sat until he left in June of this year, runs a PRIDE Institute in Minnesota. It’s the “nation’s first and leading provider of mental health service to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.”

    Ironically, given Santorum’s strong comments on “homosexual acts,” according to the PRIDE Institute, its exclusive focus on the gay community is necessary because “the society in which we live marginalizes the LGBT community” with “negative covert and overt messages about the gay and lesbian lifestyle.”

    In fact, the PRIDE Institute brands the kind of language Santorum used “heterorsexism.”

    We shouldn’t however, hold it against Santorum. Often when principle and paycheck come in conflict, paycheck wins. Principle does not always feed a family.”

  • FACT: House and Senate Republicans did NOT cave to Obama when they granted the middle-class tax cut extension.

    The caved to their Oil Company owners who had that teensy little UNRELATED cross-country oil pipeline deal snuck into the tax bill hoping no one would notice it.

  • I guess I’ll have to write a new article now that Obama has made the 4th paragraph obsolete

  • Indeed, Igor indeed. With enough pain a man will tell an interrogator anything he wants to hear to stop the pain… and it’s usually not the truth

  • Igor

    Waterboarding is torture and it is both immoral and illegal. It is also ineffective. So all we accomplish with torture is to give employment to torturers, the scum of society. Pretty sick.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, took aim at some of the current aspirants for that title on Monday for advocating simulated drowning as an acceptable means to interrogate suspected terrorists.

    Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) talks with reporters at the Capitol on Oct. 18, 2011. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) In a post on his Twitter account, Mr. McCain said he was “very disappointed by statements” at Saturday’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina in support of waterboarding, the controversial interrogation technique that was banned by President Barack Obama as one of his first acts in office.

    During the debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Atlanta businessman Herman Cain said the technique should be reinstated as an acceptable means to force otherwise uncooperative prisoners to divulge information.

    “They’re wrong,” Mr. Obama told reporters in Hawaii on Sunday. “Waterboarding is torture.”

    Mr. McCain issued his own statement Monday siding with his rival from the last presidential election. The Arizona senator, a prisoner of war in Vietnan, has been a longtime critic of the so-called enhanced interrogation measures adopted by the Bush administration to pry information from suspected terrorists.

    The Saturday night debate exposed numerous differences among the Republican candidates on a range of foreign policy matters, from whether to invade Iran to the wisdom of starting a trade war with China and whether Pakistan is an enemy or ally. Unlike previous years, foreign policy has divided a party that was almost monolithic in its support for robust military spending and aggressive intervention in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

    In the debate, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman both disagreed with Mrs. Bachmann and Messrs. Perry and Cain on the issue of waterboarding. The Texas congressman deemed the technique “torture” and declared, “Torture is illegal.” Mr. Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China, said the U.S. diminishes its “standing in the world and the values we project” when soldiers or intelligence personnel simulate drowning or perform other acts that have been judged as torture.

    Two other leading candidates in the polls – former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney – weren’t asked to address the issue during the Saturday night debate.

  • The problem is that the religious right sees science as a threat to their power. They have the mistaken notion that if you believe in science then you don’t believe in religion, so they try to convince their followers that science is only a “theory”

    It’s impossible for a star to be more than 6000 light years away because according to them god didn’t create the universe yet.

    They let children die because they believe it’s more important that people believe in “god’s will” rather than modern medicine-which is why they fight children being vacinated.

    GREED also plays a huge part of it because as science reveals more and more of religious teachings to be false, less and less people are putting money into their collection plates.

  • We need to give kudos to some senior GOP figures like George Shultz, who is leading a pushback of sorts against some of the more wacky and untenable Tea Party/Mouth Foamer positions, in particular on the subject of global warming.

    “They’re entitled to their opinion,” Shultz said with characteristic diplomacy, “but they’re not entitled to the facts.”

  • You know, I’m beginning to suspect that Perry is just a GOP ploy to make whoever they finally decide on look “normal” in contrast.

    Maybe they can talk John Boehner into running with Sarah Palin as their running mate?

  • I think you’re wrong Dread. the GOP knows that the only voters that can be rabidly relied on is the “foaming at the mouth” religious right and the lunatics who are obsessed with changing this coundry into their idea of a theocracy. Come election day as in the past they’ll be church-bussed to the polls in droves while the middle of the road moderates will stay at home.

    There’s a damned good reason why election day is on a workday and the polls close at 6ish. The average middle-road voter holds a 9-5 union job and can’t get off work to vote, and is to tire afterward to deal with the long lines. The GOP counts on that every election cycle and will fight to keep it that way, despite the fact that election day should be a holiday or on a weekend.

    The terrifying part is that they haven’t thought it all the way through as to what it’d be like if they actually succeeded… and the consequences that’d follow

  • This sort of thing is happening regularly at GOP debates, and yet I’m sure the usual BC apologists will continue to insist that the party (Republican and/or Tea) hasn’t been subsumed beneath the Religious Right.

  • Isn’t thanking a soldier for his service supposed to be a sacred thing to Republicans and especially Teabaggers? At the last GOP presidential debate most decent people like myself were shocked when the audience loudly booed Stephen Hill, an openly gay soldier who sent in a video question from Iraq about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    I’d come to expect that from the Tea Party, but even so I was a little surprised that not a single GOP candidate on stage was going to step up to defend the soldier or for that matter even thank him for his service to our country.

    Rick Santorum went so far as to accuse him of receiving “special privileges” for “sexual activity” and implied that it was “tragic” that Hill was permitted to serve his country openly. Even then, none of his supposedly patriotic fellow candidates spoke up.

    All I can say is that I can only hope that this isn’t an example of the average Republican voter since most Americans would balk at insulting an active servicemember.

    It’s only my opinion mind you, but the hypocritical teabagger candidates’ silence spoke volumes. Today’s normal Republican presidential candidates, even the supposed moderates seem to live in fear of crossing a small – but attention getting and loud – base that has developed an alternate view of reality and a dangerously twisted idea of what America is supposed to be about.

  • Rick Perry got some ‘splaining to do. If the word NIGGERHEAD was painted over and obscured as he claims, at the entrance to the hunting ranch he loved so much so many years ago, how is it that so many people know about and remember seeing it to this day?

    He says the rock that “Niggerhead” was painted on was also turned face down so no one could see it, yet so many others describe it as being able to read the word after it was so poorly painted over.


  • NIGGERHEAD??? Niggerhead??? Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain criticized the name of a hunting camp once leased by Gov. Rick Perry’s family as “just plain insensitive” in an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

    The name of the camp-“Niggerhead”-was first reported by the Washington Post on Saturday. The paper said the name was painted on a rock at the entrance of the property.

    Perry reportedly began hosting fellow lawmakers, friends and supporters at the secluded ranch early in his career.

    “My reaction is, that’s just very insensitive,” Cain told Fox. “[There] isn’t a more vile, negative word than the N-word, and for him to leave it there as long as he did, before I hear that they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country.”

    Ray Sullivan, Perry’s communication’s director, pushed back against the Post report on Sunday.

    Sullivan said the governor’s father, Ray, painted over the name in the early 1980s. That conflicts with the accounts of seven sources who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity. They claim the offensive name was visible during the 1980s and 1990s, when Perry launched his political career, with one source saying the word could be seen as late as 2008.

  • Rick Perry Fiddles (lies) While Texas Burns and Proves How Idiotic the Tea Party is!

    GOP Creed: Above anything else, it is the sworn duty of every Republican in congress to make sure that Barack Obama accomplishes little or nothing while in office… no matter how that goal is accomplished…


    It was one thing when Perry conned his fellow Texans to pray for rain enmass (and failed)-because God steered Hurricane Lee away from the state at the last second-depriving him of rain messiah and sainthood…

    …but when he dug in his boot heels at Wednesday night’s debate and insisted despite scientifically proven facts that global warming was an unproven theory, longtime watchers scoffed it off and asserted that it was simply Perry being Perry.

    What Perry is doing is at best idiotic and at worst irresponsible behavior for the governor of a state and points out a glaring difference in intelligence between the political parties.

    Nearly 8 in 10 Democrats believe that global warming is happening, as do just over 7 in 10 independents. Just over half of Republicans share that view. But only 34% of tea party idiots accept the notion and more than half, 53%, reject the notion our atmosphere is getting hotter DESPITE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN TEXAS!

    In a follow-up question, participants were asked if, in fact, global warming was happening, what was the cause. Fifty percent of tea partyers attributed it to natural causes, rather than man’s activities; 21% wouldn’t even entertain the question, again insisting it wasn’t happening.

    That number compared to 43% of Republicans and 35% of independents who blamed nature. More than 6 in 10 Democrats cited human activities.

    Among other findings:
    A substantial majority of Democrats, 72%, worry about global warming, compared with 53% of independents, 38% percent of Republicans and 24% of tea party activists.
    Tea party acolytes are more likely to be “born-again” or evangelicals (46%) than Republicans (31%), Democrats (21%) or independents (20%)
    Democrats are more likely to believe that humans are evolved from earlier species of animals (62%) than independens (57%), Republicans (51%) and tea party followers (34%)

    With his poke-in-the-eye stance on global warming and provocative statements on Social Security, Perry is clearly focused on winning the party’s nomination by leaning far right, leaving the wooing of those independents, moderate Republicans and cross-over Democrats for later. (Presuming he makes it to the general election.)

    In a way I hope he’s nominated, it could wake up the rest of us to the danger of this wacko and his rabid apostles and get us to the voting booths

  • Lest we forget the 7.1 earthquake in Alaska a few days ago Mrs. Palin?

  • Tropical Storm Lee is supposed to dump a lot of rain on Louisanna soon… Maybe if Texas’ govenor would stop having his people pray for rain to their “imaginary friend” they’d get more than the few sprinkles that are expected for them from the same storm.

    Bachmann and Robertson keep declaring god’s judgment on the heathen east coast for the earthquake and floods… but they’re strangly silent on why god steered Hurricane Lee away from Texas.


    By Jim Forsyth

    SAN ANTONIO | Fri Sep 2, 2011 4:24pm EDT

    SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) As Louisiana prepares for the drenching rains of Tropical Storm Lee, no more than a few sprinkles are expected over the long holiday weekend next door in Texas, which is suffering from an historic drought.

    What little rain is forecast for Texas is expected to be confined to the far southeastern part of the state, where the drought is the least severe.

    “This is more of the bad luck that Texas has been experiencing,” said Scott Landes, Senior Meteorologist with the Weather Channel.

    He said the presence of the massive rain maker in the central Gulf of Mexico could actually decrease the chances of next door Texas getting any showers at all.

    “When you have that strong low pressure system to the east, that will just pull in a high pressure ridge from the west into Texas, and that will bring with it gusty winds which will dry out the state even more.”

  • God’s not mad at me. I’m not afraid of God. The proof is Ohio wasn’t touched. If god loved Rick Perry he’d have pointed it to texas, let it lose strenght so there wouldn’t be that much damage and poured all that water on them where they need it.

    The problem is God knows that Rick Perry wants people to worship him… not god.

  • No-one said he had to be consistent. Do not question God’s prophets, or He will smite thee down.

    (Actually, it’s more likely that he will smite some poor random sod in North Carolina, but still, let it be a lesson to you.)

  • Pat Robertson made a point of mentioning the Washington Monument damage, but Pat’s also the one who said that Washington was sent as a saviour from god.

    Pat; Short term memory loss?

  • I bet the KKK is pissed that the MLK memorial wasn’t damaged but the national church was.

  • He had a lousy vacation there once.

  • Why would God cause a flood in Vermont?????

  • Um Michelle? that storm was probably twice as bad as normal because the Atlantic was significantly warmer, feeding energy into it.

    It actually wasn’t a particularly strong storm. What was remarkable about it was that its path meant that it scored, or potentially scored, a direct hit on most of the east coast’s major population centres.

    Perhaps the fact that it got downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm before it got to New York, and caused much less damage than was feared, means that God wasn’t all that miffed after all…

  • Oh for Christ’s sake: Michele Bachmann has again asserted her right to be God’s only sacred mouthpiece.

    Bachmann says Hurricane Irene and last week’s earthquake were messages from the almighty that Washington must change its ways and cut spending and taxes.

    Um Michelle? that storm was probably twice as bad as normal because the Atlantic was significantly warmer, feeding energy into it. Of course, if God were sending a message with natural disasters, he might be miffed by the world’s indifference to climate change, a notion that Bachmann has called a scientific “hoax, voodoo, nonsense, hookum.”

    But Bachmann doesn’t see that possibility, probably because she’s plugged into the divine message, which the rest of us can’t hear.

    By the way, what message is God sending to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s drought-stricken state? Perry is ahead in the GOP polls, after all and supposedly more christian than Michelle or her crackpot husband. Why hasn’t Perry gotten any of that rain he’s got his whole state praying for?

    Hey, maybe God is sending Bachmann herself a message.

    According to Bachmann, what is God angry about? Why, domestic spending, of course. She told seniors in Florida that Irene was “an act of God” and politicians should heed.

    “Washington, D.C., you’d think by now they’d get the message,” she said. “An earthquake, a hurricane. Are you listening? The American people have done everything they can, and now it’s time for an act of God and we’re getting it.”

    Her loyal audience laughed. My reaction was to be appalled but not surprised. Bachmann’s people now say she was kidding.

    I’m not so sure about her dubious intelligence. A joke about a disaster that has so far claimed at least 25 lives would seem ungodly.

    So, when is a quake only a quake, a storm only a storm? When it hits and Bachmann is not on the campaign trail. She had nothing to say about hundreds of other natural disasters before she became a candidate.

    She’s not alone in her God channeling. Former Fox News host Glenn Beck called the hurricane and earthquake a “blessing,” because “God (is) reminding you, you’re not in control.” Televangelist Pat Robertson says hairline cracks left in the Washington Monument by the earthquake also are a sign from God, though much subtler than quakes and floods. (Gee, I didn’t hear what God’s message was regarding the greater quake damage done to the Washington National Cathedral’s spires… um Pat?)

    [silence-crickets chirping]

    Sometimes I wish God would simply dial us all direct instead of “speaking” though obvious con men… and women.

  • Yes Doc, I’m all too familiar with Perry’s cronies. I wrote an article about his Texas Taliban

  • … He’ll also continue holding prayer meeting all over the place.

    Dubya also held a lot of prayer meetings, but he was no fundie however much he pretended to be in order to court the Christian Right – who he then proceeded to snub as soon as he walked through the front door of the White House.

    The difference with Perry is that he actually believes it. As one example, he keeps appointing creationists to the Texas State Board of Education.

    I’m seriously wondering where all these moderate, socially liberal, secular conservatives who Dave keeps insisting are taking over the GOP are. They need to show up and man up.

  • I agree with Doc. I’ve always maintained that the GOP intentionally threw the 2008 election knowing the economy would tank after Bush’s 2008 bank/stock market debacle, and assuming that whomever was elected would get blamed for not fixing his mess fast enough.

    They’re banking on American’s legendary short attention span in hopes they’ll remember that this was the GOP/Bush’s mess in the first place that we’re trying to recover from

  • I can’t imagine either party deliberately throwing a presidential election, for any reason. It’s just that the Tea Party wing is the most vocal part of the GOP during this early part of the nominating process.

    Perry, however much he may look and sound like a wacko extremist to liberals, could probably pass for a mainstream candidate if he had to. That’s why he’s worrisome.

  • 345: He can do for the U.S. what he did for Texas. Inflate his employment by counting hourdes of mexicans working at or below minimum wage so he can brag about how he’s increased employement.

    … He’ll also continue holding prayer meeting all over the place.

    How much rain has Texas gotten since he’s been calling on all of his constituents to pray for rain?

  • Jet, Perry would be a disaster as president, as would the majority of current GOP frontrunners, but I’m starting to suspect that the Republicans want an unelectable idiot to be their candidate.

    Think about it. Some respected economists are predicting that the economy is going to tank again big time in, oh, early 2013.

    So, if the GOP candidate wins, he or she is either going to have to shoulder the responsibility for the whole mess, or blame it on Obama… which is exactly what the Repubs have been scorning the Dems for doing since, oh, early 2009.

    They could easily put up someone competent like Romney and have a great chance of winning back the White House. But nope, it’s gotta be a maniac.

    And make no mistake: what the Democratic campaign hitmen did to Palin will seem like spa treatment compared to what they’ll do to a Perry or a Bachmann.

    Early days yet, though. Hopefully (for all our sakes and whoever wins next year) the GOP will come to its senses and realize that deliberately throwing the most important democratic election in the world is no way to run a railroad.

  • Or to put it another way “Me thinks he doth protest too much!”

  • Rumors of Rick Perry’s own gay affair[s] have buzzed around Austin for years. Could be just typical political scuttlebutt, could be an astonishing example of hypocrisy in action.

  • Rick Perry’s Gay Alcoholism Comparison Is Anti-Science: Thursday, August 25, 2011…

    Rick Perry used part of his 2008 book ‘On My Honor’ to compare gay love to alcoholism.

    “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” wrote the Republican presidential candidate.

    “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.” (Perry also used that book, discussing the Boy Scouts, to claim rival Mitt Romney was too gay-friendly.)

    Though disturbing and wrong, Perry’s summation is not rare. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee previously compared homosexuality to drug addiction.

    “You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal,” the 2008 presidential candidate said about LGBT rights. “That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want who use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them.”

    And failed Colorado senate candidate Ken Buck told NBC journalist David Gregory that same-sex desire, like taking that proverbial drink, is a choice.

    “I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice,” said Buck after being asked if homosexuality genetic.

    Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott did the same in 1998, saying, “[Sex addiction, kleptomania and homosexuality] are all kinds of problems and addictions and difficulties and experiences of this kind that are wrong. But you should try to work with that person to learn to control that problem.”

    These comparisons are more than offensive, they’re anti-science.

    Medical professionals agree that alcoholism — and addiction in general — is a mental illness. They also agree that homosexuality is not: the American Psychiatric Association removed same-sex desire from its list of mental illnesses in 1973.

    Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and others, then, are propagating an ideologically driven perspective that goes against science.

    Sure, there’s no consensus that homosexuality is natural, but the nation’s premiere medical professionals, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, agree that biology plays a role in one’s sexuality. Just like their climate change denials, Perry and his ilk are turning their back on rational, reasonable and erudite arguments — simply to score a political point.

    If they want to sustain their own careers, as well as the Republican Party, they will heed party peer Jon Huntsman’s words about another contentious and almost-proven scientific issue, global warming:

    “The minute the Republican Party becomes the anti-science party, we have a huge problem.”

    Considering that the majority of the nation supports gay rights, the GOP has no choice but to start accepting facts: same-sex love is not a mental illness like addiction, nor is it wrong. It is, quite simply, nature. Take it from one who knows.

  • The ridiculous part of it is that redneck Elvis fans will forgive her, where if Obama had done it they’d be screaming to the high heavens.

  • Evangelists put words in God’s mouth… their own, whether they’re inspired by him or not.

  • Glenn Contrarian


    What?!?!? People are HOMOsapiens? I think they ALL need to go to Michelle Bachmann’s husbands taxpayer-funded pray-away-the-gay clinic!

    On a side note – I really enjoy it when evangelicals claim that God only made man and woman and therefore gays are against God, because then I ask them why does God allow for even ONE natural hermaphrodite to be born…’cause even one means that God does allow it. It’s fun to watch them flip and flop around that one.

    And just to remind everyone, I am a strong Christian. It’s just that most ‘evangelicals’ don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.

  • I wonder who’s going to break it to Michelle that Elvis was a homosapien?

  • Yeah, but half of the under 20 crowd would need to be told who Elvis Presley was.

  • @ # 333:

    Ah well, I guess she can kiss goodbye to the boomer vote.


  • (TCOWTF) In a joint statement Pres. Obama was condemned this morning by Tea Party candidates Rick Perry, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann for going through with his plan to allow homosapiens to serve openly in the military.

    Shortly afterwards at a rally, Palin sang “Happy Birthday” to George Washington and Perry praised his gallant, groundbreaking, and long service to our country in the Senate. Bachmann went on to offer prayers for his grieving widdow.

    …Just kidding

  • Next thing you know she’ll be trying to get rid of homosapiens

  • An thay want to put this dingbat in charge???

    (CNN)Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann stepped all over Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes while stumping Tuesday, when she mistakenly wished “The King” a “Happy Birthday.”

    August 16 actually marks the 34th anniversary of Presley’s death.

    “Before we get started, let’s all say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Elvis Presley today,” Bachmann greeted event attendees at a “Join Team Bachmann” rally in Spartanburg, SC.

    “We played you a little bit of Promised Land when we pulled up. You can’t do better than Elvis Presley and we thought we would celebrate his birthday as we get started celebrating taking our country back to work.”

    But Presley’s birthday is in January, so the tea party darling’s well wishes are eight months too late.

  • It was an inside joke on Blackadder because it was Fry that suggested that his military assistant in series 4 be called “Darling”

  • STM

    I don’t think Fry’s sexuality was any secret.

  • I’m hooked on “House”, his american accent is excellent. They say he reverts to his native accent when he directs an episode and no one can keep a straight face.

  • STM

    Yes, mea culpa, typo … I did say in the preceding para that Laurie was brilliant as Bertie Wooster.

  • He’s in “Bones” now here.

  • I have a cunning plan my lord!

  • He’s also out-celibate, I believe. 🙂

    Did you ever see the film Wilde, Jet? Fry was outstanding as Oscar in that.

  • re 322-Blackadder that is. I saw it on PBS here and had to have it so I bought it on Amazon

  • Steven Fry came out as gay a few years back, he used to be comedy partners with Hugh.

  • Stephen Fry played Jeeves, Stan.

  • I have the entire set of series and all the specials on DVD-I use it when I need to smile

  • STM

    Hugh Laurie is brilliant in Jeeves and Wooster. Pretty good upper-class twit accent, too, in his portrayal of Bertie Wooster.

    Anyone who hasn’t seen it should, especially if they’re a fan of Laurie. His mate Stephen Fry as Wooster is even better.

  • Ah, yes, Blackadder.

    But Hugh seems to have already lost his English accent here…

    Not to worry, though, he got it back again.

  • Doc, speaking of Spanish Inquisition tactics, here’s “House”‘s Hugh Laurie in an early role before he lost his English Accent.

    Just returning the laugh you just gave me…
    try this one

  • Thanks doc. Let’s see, the worst case scenario would be Rick Perry with Bachmann as his VP.

    Between his prayer meetings and her anti-gay attitude…

    …we just barely made it through George Bush, what does god want to punish us?

  • “The ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy has worked very well,” Bachmann told Crowley.”

    So did the Spanish Inquisition.

  • On CNN’s State of the Union, host Candy Crowley asked Rep. Michele Bachmann if she would bring back the controversial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy that prevented gays from serving in the US military.

    “The ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy has worked very well,” Bachmann told Crowley. “It worked very well, and I would be in consultation with our commanders. But I think yes, I probably would.”

    In 2004, Bachmann told the National Education Leadership Conference that homosexuality was “part of Satan.” She added, “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. Personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement. And that’s why this is so dangerous.”

    Is “that is the view President Bachmann would have of gay Americans?” NBC’s David Gregory asked Bachmann Sunday on Meet The Press.

    “Well, I’m running for the presidency of the United States,” Bachmann replied. “I’m not running to be anyone’s judge.” “But you do judge them,” Gregory responded. “I don’t judge them,” Bachmann disagreed. “I am running for presidency of the United States.”

    “Congresswoman, do you think that anyone hears that thinks you haven’t made a judgment about gays and lesbians?” Gregory asked. “That’s all I can tell you. I am not judging,” Bachmann insisted.


  • WASHINGTON — US Representative Michele Bachmann, fresh from a victory in a key Republican test vote, said Sunday she would reinstate a ban on gay troops serving openly in the military.

    President Barack Obama has certified that the US military is ready to accept gay soldiers, and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is due to be formally repealed on September 20 after 18 years in force.

    But Bachmann, a favorite of the ultraconservative Tea Party movement, said she would revisit the policy if she reaches the White House.

    “The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has worked very well,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    “I would be in consultation with our commanders, but yes, I probably will” reinstate the ban, she added.

    The ban was overturned in a law adopted in December 2010 that first required the top military officer, the defense secretary and the president — who is also commander-in-chief — to certify the change would not harm military readiness and that the armed forces were ready to carry it out.

    In the interim, the Pentagon has drawn up new manuals and prepared the entire armed forces, some 2.3 million people who serve as both active troops and reservists, for the new policy.

    Bachmann has raised the ire of gay rights activists amid reports that her husband’s Christian counseling center offered programs aimed at changing the sexual orientation of homosexuals.

  • Just when you thought those crafty teabaggers couldn’t get sillier we Have this…

    The ex-Alaska governor and Tea Party poster girl could not use her clout to help Idaho outsider Vaughn Ward gain the Republican nomination to oust Rep. Walt Minnick, a Democrat.

    Despite Palin’s pleadings, Ward lost by nearly 10 percentage points to Republican rival Raul Labrador, 48.1% to 38.8% in Tuesday’s Idaho primary.

    “I called Raul Labrador and congratulated him on his victory and will support him in his effort to reclaim this seat for the GOP in November,” Ward told The Associated Press.

    Although many would believe that getting Palin to support a campaign would make that person a shoo-in, Ward’s loss may have had more to do with a series of gaffes that plagued his campaign.

    The Iraq War veteran was accused of plagiarizing President Obama when he announced his campaign, and he came under ire again for allegedly taking position tatements from GOP candidates’ Web sites in ther states and using them as his own.

    Then there was Ward’s error in calling Puerto Rico a country during a debate with Labrador. It is actually a commonwealth of the United States.

    Ward was an early front-runner in the primary race and was designated as one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s top 23 recruits in its “Young Guns” candidate development program.

    “It’s kind of embarrassing,” said state Sen. Monte Pearce, a New Plymouth Republican and one of his chamber’s most conservative members. “I saw people at the store, people in the polls, everybody just shaking their heads.”

    Sarah must’ve been coaching him.

  • I wouldn’t worry about those few.

  • I’d Think that would be rather obvious. Several here are convinced of the Tea Party’s belief that this nation was founded by a bunch of born-again heads-in-clouds Jeasus lovers and I intend to prove them wrong.

  • He must have went to the bar that has “Straights Only” in the window.

  • Are these the words of a devoutly Christain man… one of our founding fathers?

    “We think ourselves possessed, or, at least, we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects, and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact! There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not better; even in our own Massachusetts, which I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemers upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. It is true, few persons appear desirous to put such laws in execution, and it is also true that some few persons are hardy enough to venture to depart from them. But as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated. Adieu.
    — John Adams, one of his last letters to Thomas Jefferson, January 23, 1825

  • What are you doing, Jet?

  • The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?
    — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815

  • “For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement of England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of the Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law … This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it … That system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians.

    — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814, responding to the claim that Chritianity was part of the Common Law of England, as the United States Constitution defaults to the Common Law regarding matters that it does not address.

  • “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

    We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.

    — Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808) ME 16:320. This is his second known use of the term “wall of separation,” here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter. This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause: Reynolds (98 US at 164, 1879

  • Overheard Cell phone conversation in Houston Oil country…

    M: “Hello?”
    W: “Honey, it’s me. Are you at the club?”
    M: “Yes.”
    W: “Great! I am at the mall two blocks from where you are and Ijust saw a beautiful leather coat. It’s absolutely gorgeous!! Can I buy it?”
    M: “What’s the price?”
    W: “Only $1,000.”
    M: “Well, OK, go ahead and get it, if you like it that much.”
    W: “Ahhh, and I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the 2011 models. I saw one I really liked. I spoke with the salesman,and he gave me a really good price…and since we need to exchange the BMW that we bought last year…”
    M: “What price did he quote you?”
    W: “Only $60,000.”
    M: “OK, but for that price I want it with all the options.”
    W: “Great! But before we hang up, something else…”
    M: “What?”
    W: ” I stopped by the real estate agent this morning and saw the house we looked at last year. It’s for sale!! Remember? The one with a pool, English Garden, acre of park area, beachfront property.”
    M: “How much are they asking?”
    W: “Only $850,000 – a magnificent price. It may seem like a lot, but I was reconciling your bank account…and I see that we have enough in the bank to cover the down.”
    M: “Well, then go ahead and buy it, but just bid up to $920,000. OK?”
    W: “OK, sweetie…Thanks! I’ll see you later!! I love you!!!”
    M: “Bye…I love you too…”
    The man hangs up and closes the phone

    The other men are looking at him in astonishment and derision.
    The man holds up the phone and asks “Anyone know who this phone belongs to?”

  • Sex education Texas style:

    There was a farmer, sitting on the front porch of his house this one hot summer day, when this kid comes walking down the road carrying a big bundle of wire?

    Hey kid! The farmer says. Where ya goin with that wire?

    Well, the kid drawls, this here ain’t just any ol wire, this here’s chicken wire — I’m fixin to catch me some chickens!

    You can’t catch chickens with chicken wire!

    Sure I can! the kid says, and takes off down the road. He comes back at the end of the day and sure enough, he’s got a whole mess of chickens caught in his chicken wire.

    Well, the farmer is sitting on his porch the next day, and the same kid comes walking down the lane, carrying a big roll of tape. Hey kid! The farmer yells. Where ya goin with that tape?

    Well, this here ain’t just any ol’ tape, this here’s duck tape –I’m fixin’ to catch me some ducks!

    You can’t catch ducks with duck tape! The farmer yells back.

    Sure I can!’ the kid says, and takes off down the road. He comes back at the end of the day and again, the farmer can’t believe his eyes. The kid had a whole bunch of ducks all wrapped up tightly in his tape.

    The next day the farmer’s sitting on his porch again, and the kid comes walking down the road carrying a stick.

    Hey kid! The farmer says. Where ya goin with that stick?

    Well, this here ain’t just any old stick,this here’s pussy willow.

    Hang on, the farmer says. I’ll get my hat.

  • Darn, Jet. I thought these were the rules on the wall of the Governor’s waiting room.

  • Rules posted on the wall of a Dallas Men’s Golf Tournament…

    1. Back straight, knees bent, feet shoulder width apart.
    2. Form a loose grip.
    3. Keep your head down.
    4. Avoid a quick back swing.
    5. Stay out of the water.
    6. Try not to hit anyone.
    7. If you are taking too long, please let others go ahead of you.
    8. Don’t stand directly in front of others.
    9. Quiet please … while others are preparing to go.
    10. Don’t take extra strokes.

    Well done. Now flush the urinal, go outside, and tee off!

  • That’s enough, Jet. You’re keeping me at the computer against my will.

  • Which test? You don’t mean for medical students, do you?

  • The Texan Liberitarian vetinarian

    A Houstan man brought a very limp huntin’ dowg into a veterinary clinic.

    As he laid the dog on the table, Old Doctor Buck pulled out his stethoscope, placing the receptor on the dog’s chest.

    After a moment or two, the Doc shook his head sadly and said, “I’m sorry, but your dog has passed away.”

    “What?” screamed the man. “How can you tell? You haven’t done any testing on him or anything. I want another opinion!”

    With that, the Doc turned and left the room; a few moments later he returned with a Labrador Retriever. The Retriever went right to work, sniffing the poor dog on the table, checking him out thoroughly.

    After a considerable amount of sniffing, the Retriever sadly shook its head and went, “Woof.”

    The veterinarian then took the Labrador out and returned in a few moments with a cat, which walked around the poor dog several times and then sadly shook its head and said, “Meow.” The cat then jumped off the table and ran out of the room.

    The veterinarian said, “There’s nothing more I can do,” and handed the man a bill for $600.

    The dog’s owner went postal. “Six hundred dollars?!!! Just to tell me my dog is dead? This is outrageous!”

    Doc shook his head sadly and explained, “If you had taken my word for it, the cost would have been $50. But with the Lab work and the cat scan…”

  • Did Dubya fail that test? OMG, ROFLMAO, Jet, THAT was funny. Great narrative of the history of arithmetic in TX as well. Problem is that pretty much can be repeated for 99% of the school districts in this country.

  • Yep, pay attention, people!

  • How Texas medical students are taught observation skills…

    Students at a Dallas Med School were receiving their first anatomy class with a real dead human body. They are all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet.

    Then the professor started the class by telling them: “In medicine, it is necessary to have 2 important qualities as a doctor: The first is that it is necessary that you don’t get disgusted.”

    The Professor uncovered the sheet, sunk his finger in the butt of the dead body, withdrew it, and then stuck his finger in his mouth and sucked it.

    “Go ahead and do the same thing” he told his students.

    The students freaked out, hesitated and subsequently taking turns, sunk their finger in the butt of the dead body and sucked it after withdrawing it. When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and told them:

    “The second important quality is observation. I inserted the middle finger and sucked the index.

    Pay attention people.”

  • It’s here with a date stamp on it, I’m not worried.

  • I love this, Jet. Don’t tell me you just thought this up. If so, it’s a work of genius.

    You’d better publish is quickly before you lose all property rights.

  • Examples of Texas Math Classes-now follow me on this one…

    Teaching Math in 1950:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

    Teaching Math in 1960:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

    Teaching Math in 1970:
    A logger exchanges a set “L” of lumber for a set “M” of money. The cardinality of set “M” is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set “M.” The set “C”, the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set “M.” Represent the set “C” as a subset of set “M” and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set “P” of profits?

    Teaching Math in 1980:
    A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

    Texas liberals Teaching Math in 1990:
    By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels “feel” as the logger cut down the trees?
    There are no wrong answers.

    Teaching Math in 2010:
    El hachero vende un camion carga por $100. La cuesta de production es……….

  • Should be “safe” – scare quotes are a must in the interest of the novice.

  • And you’re sure right about making passes. A straight is as safe in a gay bar as he wants to be.

  • I don’t believe I meant to deny that, Jet – only used it as an example of how things get sorted out in real life.

    I’ve lived in SF, Jet for over fifteen years, South of Market. So I could tell you a thing or two.

  • I’m a shameless heterosexual and that is very true, Jet. Plus you get much hotter and/or more interesting women in gay bars.

  • You’re wrong about the gay bars Roger. Most gay bars are frequented by straight couples who want to have a good time just being themselves instead of in straight bars where you arbitrarily have to be either the toughest-cleverest “cock of the walk” or the sexiest most entertaining woman alive.

    Straights are more than welcomed in a gay bar. There is an unwritten gay bar law that is VERY strictly followed. If you hit on someone and you’re turned down it means NO on the first time… no second chances.

    A gay bar is a relief zone where you can take a break from “putting up a front’ to impress people. Straight men love their first experience in a gay bar because it’s their first time at having a good time without worrying about being judged.

    It saves on hurt egos and sore jaws.

  • And that’s a better argument to the effect that “free market” tends to resolve such cases, more so than Rand Paul’s argument that the owner will suffer financially.

  • Besides, Jet, don’t things of that nature get sorted by themselves. Like gay bars, for example, without there being any need to post signs “Straights not allowed,” or the places where, say, the bikers hang out.

    Or like some of the mostly black-frequented places in Harlem, NY.

  • Thanks Handy, maybe it will sink in. The reason he was called a racist was because he refused to answer her question directly when she asked if Paul would support a resturant in his district that put up a white’s only sign in their window.

    He went on and on about how he abhored racism and how people had a right to do what they wanted on private property, but through all of his speechifying he nver answered if he’d support that sign…. and he probably never will-which leaves a lot of people to draw their own conclusions.

    Just because you “abhor” it doesn’t mean you won’t support someone else’s right to discriminate.

  • And the due is so noted. Like I said, I really do love Rachel Maddow. Especially the Geek side of her. More on the Right should go on her show because she does provide a civilized environment for a debate.

    At least with Maddow you don’t get the snarckiness of Chris Matthews or the bellowing of Ed Shultz. And of all the Progressive pundits she was the first to dare question President Obama. If she were a bit more moderate I think she’d be a formidable force among pundits. Again, it’s Morning Joe for me.

  • Just to give Ms. Maddow her due: She did not “harp” on the race issue. [During the interview she was just trying to pin Paul down to a yes/no answer.]

    The next night on her show, she devoted the whole first segment to “Why Rand Paul Matters.” And she specifically and extensively discussed the other implications of Paul’s strict libertarianism, beyond the attention-getting comments about the Civil Rights Act.

  • Any comments? Discuss, maggots … am I being racist, or do cars and Asian folks…

    Well, as someone who swears at at least 6 Asians per week for their driving, it’s not racist, Stan. It’s the norm. Remember, there’s a huge Asian population in the shadow of Harvard and MIT. Couple that with the horrific traffic patterns designed by the British and we have a recipe for disaster. I spend more time screaming than not going through Cambridge. And 75% of the time they’re talking on a cell phone while attempting a left hand turn.

  • Stan, just because the steering wheel is on the right side doesn’t mean it on the “right” side.

  • STM

    I forgot to mention the street in question is a rather steep hill, so by the time the runaway car hit our cars, it was doing about 50mph and had already smashed the buggery out of the side of a parked 4WD.

    I just can’t be amgry with him though … he’s too bloody nice.

  • STM

    Silas” “I have some Asian friends who are GOP hardliners”.

    I have some Asian friends whose motor-vehicle insurance premiums are through the roof.

    In fact one just totalled four cars – yes, four, including our two – oin the street outside our place the other week while trying to – get this – clutch start an automatic, which eventually got away on him as he alternatively jumped in and out of the car, pushing it from behind in neutral and trying to start it.

    It was Aussie suburban mayhem … the cops, firebrigade, a fleet of tow-trucks and ambulance turned up. I said to him: “Jim, you realise you can’t clutch start an auto, don’t you?”

    He said: “I think I been working too hard and my head is not in the right place”.

    I can’t hate him though … he’s a lovely bloke. He probably just shouldn’t be driving a car. He came round the other night with a bottle of nice wine.

    Isaid: “Jim, tell us what time you’ll be there and I’ll park the cars on the front lawn”.

    “Tee hee hee,’ he said.

    I used to think this was a stereotype, but my last four accidents have been with Chinese folks … including one in Chinatown who side-swiped about 10 cars.

    The insurance guy said to me: :”All I’ll say is they’re very good customers”.

    I thought it was becayse we drive on the left-hand side of the road in Oz, but I’ve heard Americans say the same thing and you guys have the steering wheel where the front passenger seat should be and drive on the wrong side of the road just like the Chinese.

    Any comments? Discuss, maggots … am I being racist, or do cars and Asian folks – who in Australia also tend to come from the former British colonies and are lovely people already used to our way of life AND who’ve learned to drive on the correct (left) sideof the road – just simply not mix.

  • See page 4 of this article Roger/Silas under the heading “Racialy Balanced” the paragraph is continued on page 5

  • Amazing.

  • I have some Asian friends who are GOP hardliners. The same for a few Blacks. Roger, there is a huge gay population which is quite Conservative and only express it in the privacy of the voting booth. These are the “non-Whites” I speak of. They believe in GOP core principles and abide in the shadows waiting for the tide to turn.

  • “Non-white angry Republicans”?

    Do explain!

  • Libertarians believe in the Constitution verbatim as Christian literalists believe the Holy Bible is the undisputed Word of God. Its really is that simple. The fundamentals of Libertarianism are the problem when trying to apply them to a multi-cultured society. We can have far less government and a more robust free market. But in achieving those goals, Libertarians would have to surrender a few fundamentals, i.e. no corporation should be allowed to grow so large that its failure would result in an economic tsunami.

    Libertarian dogma is blind to race. Any race is welcome at their table, so long as they pull their own weight. The problem is the majority of Tea Party Libertarians come across as angry white people. Many in America look at Republicans the same way. The reality is there are many non-White angry Republicans out there who stay away because they don’t want to be grouped in with the whackos.

  • It surely looks like, bud, we’re one of the few voices for sanity in this insane world, Jet. Good for you. I never realized you have such strong political convictions.

  • Great quote, Jet. Give credit to William Buckley Jr. Of course, people like Rand Paul are clowns, and I don’t care what LB will say.

  • You do have a good point, Silas, about RP being so much out of the mainstream that, in a sense, Rachel’s harping on the racist angle is a disservice.

    Still, we’re not here to discuss him: think of the topic you started. Don’t stray off course.

  • After reading that I’m bound to ask what’s the difference between a Libertarian and a Republican?

    Serious answers for a serious question only please…

  • Now THIS should raise the hair on the back of a few necks!!! I love this if only for the headline…

    Rand Paul and the Perils of Textbook Libertarianism
    New York Times…

    When Rand Paul, the victor in the Republican Senate primary last week in Kentucky, criticized the Civil Rights Act of 1964, singling out the injustice of non-discriminatory practices it imposed on private businesses, the resulting furor delighted Democrats and unsettled Republicans.

    Mr. Paul hastened to state his abhorrence of racism and assert that had he served in the Senate in 1964, he would have voted for the measure.

    On the surface Mr. Paul’s contradictory statements might seem another instance of the trouble candidates get into when ideological consistency meets the demands of practical politics. This was the point Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, made when he said, in mild rebuke of Mr. Paul, “I hope he can separate the theoretical and the interesting and the hypothetical questions that college students debate until 2 a.m. from the actual votes we have to cast based on real legislation here.”

    But Mr. Paul’s position is complicated. He has emerged as the politician most closely identified with the Tea Party movement. Its adherents are drawn to him because he has come forward as a kind of libertarian originalist, unbending in his anti-government stance. The farther he retreats from ideological purity, the more he resembles other, less attractive politicians.

    In this sense, Mr. Paul’s quandary reflects the position of the Tea Partiers, whose antipathy to government, rooted in populist impatience with the major parties, implies a repudiation of politics and its capacity to effect meaningful change.

    In an essay in The New York Review of Books, the historian Mark Lilla noted a distinction between traditional populist movements, which “use the rhetoric of class solidarity to seize political power so that ‘the people’ can exercise it for their common benefit,” and today’s insurgents, who favor “individual opinion, individual autonomy and individual choice, all in the service of neutralizing, not using, political power.”

    It’s not surprising that there should be tension between Republican officials, who want to guide Mr. Paul closer to the center, and libertarians who have said Mr. Paul’s criticism of the Civil Rights Act is in line with the doctrine.

    “The foundation of libertarian thinking is private property as a limit on state action,” David Bernstein, a libertarian law professor, explained to Talking Points Memo, the popular political blog.

    “So if a private business chooses to discriminate, a typical libertarian would say that’s a business owner’s right to do so.”

    This is precisely the case Barry Goldwater, the leader of the Republicans’ conservative wing, made on the Senate floor just before the final vote on the Civil Rights Act. “I am unalterably opposed to discrimination of any sort,” Mr. Goldwater said, even as he attacked provisions of the bill that “would embark the Federal Government on a regulatory course of action with regard to private enterprise and in the area of so-called ‘public accommodations’ and in the area of employment.”

    Public accommodations included gas station rest rooms, drinking fountains, lunch counters, hotels, movie houses and sports arenas. It is hard to imagine a candidate today making the case that discrimination in such places should be allowed. Indeed Mr. Paul has said he favors the “public accommodations” provision. But in advancing the autonomy of private businesses, he is reviving libertarian thought in its peak period. In his 1962 book “Capitalism and Freedom,” Milton Friedman, the right’s most influential economist, equated the Fair Employment Practices Commissions — created to prevent workplace discrimination — with “the Hitler Nuremberg laws.”

    But he also applied the comparison to “the Southern states imposing special disabilities upon Negroes.” In other words, he recognized that Jim Crow was itself a form of intrusive government, only enacted at the state level.

    This points to the bind Mr. Paul is in. However attractive it may be just now to depict all political conflict as a neatly bifurcated either/or, with the heroic individual pitted against the faceless federal Leviathan, the truth is that legislative battles over civil rights laws were waged within government, and between competing incarnations of it, federal vs. state. Passage of the Civil Rights Act, as Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina observed last week, hinged on the Interstate Commerce Clause, which “was properly used by the courts and the Congress.”

    The reasoning was clear: since the federal government built the highways that goods were shipped on and created tax codes favorable to businesses, it had jurisdiction over how businesses operated. Even Mr. Friedman acknowledged that racial discrimination could not be interpreted in the exclusive terms of individual choice. “When the owner of the store hires white clerks in preference to Negroes in the absence of the law, he may simply be transmitting the tastes of the community,” he wrote.

    But he stopped short of noting the obvious, that in such instances the white community’s “taste” had made it the enemy of individual African-Americans who were forbidden to sit at a luncheonette or take their children into a Woolworth’s rest room.

    Mr. Paul has tangled himself up in a similar contradiction. His championing of private businesses, ignoring the rights of just about everyone else, places him on the wrong side of history, just like the first opponents of the Civil Rights Act. One fierce opponent of civil rights legislation, William F. Buckley Jr., admitted as much. “I once believed we could evolve our way up from Jim Crow,” Mr. Buckley said in 2004. “I was wrong: federal intervention was necessary.”

  • I do love Rachel Maddow. And I thought her interview with Rand Paul was OK but she could have been a bit more aggressive. Mr. Paul “regrets” going on Maddow. He shouldn’t. He could have clarified his remarks at any time. And any politician who has the courage of his/her convictions would have asked to return to the Maddow Show just for that purpose.

    The problem with Ms. Maddow is that she’s too far on the Left. She does a damn good job exposing the shortcomings of our government and politicians. Unfortunately, that which she spews is tainted by her ideology. She’s almost the antithesis of Glenn Beck. Had she as much estrogen coursing through her veins as he, it would be so.

    Handy brings up a very good point. “Although the racism angle is mostly a red herring, his views about the BP oil spill, the WV mining disaster, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the implications of his philosophy for things like food safety, pollution standards, the minimum wage, put him way outside the mainstream of American political opinion.” This is what the MSM should be discussing. There’s so much more that proves Rand Paul is out of the mainstream. Why just settle on the race issue?

    I follow media closely. I try to scan all the networks and support that which I hear with that which I read. Sometimes it takes reads from two or three organizations before I can draw my conclusions. What I see is that there are three hours per day when Cable News is fair and balanced. It’s on MSNBC and it’s with Joe Scarborough. Outside those hours it is Bloomberg and the BBC.

  • My sister, Handy, has come from the same liberal college background as I. In fact, more radical if I may say, being once a member of SDS. But she joined a tea party movement in KY. I’m not sure how she feels about Rand Paul’s latest.

  • No sweat, Silas. At least we’ve got a topic, which goes beyond calling people names.

  • Exactly, the MSP couldn’t.

  • Framing this as a conspiracy theory about the mainstream media is a joke. If Paul’s views weren’t extreme, he would not be receiving this kind of coverage.

    Although the racism angle is mostly a red herring, his views about the BP oil spill, the WV mining disaster, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the implications of his philosophy for things like food safety, pollution standards, the minimum wage, put him way outside the mainstream of American political opinion. Not just the Washington establishment or the media establishment, but Mom and Pop in Iowa and, yes, Kentucky.

    And anyway, I thought Silas loved Rachel Maddow as much as I do. Her interview was not even borderline unfair. Do you really think so?

    The story is that the GOP nominated an eccentric. The things he has said are appalling and occasionally hilarious. How could the news media resist that, and why should they?

  • Let me ponder this and get back to you.

  • I don’t necessarily follow how a third party would make the government more willing or able to disinvest itself of business interests and act more independently.

    Again, take the British parliamentary system as a guide. Have they been more able to pursue a more independent course of action?

  • Well, a multiple party system chips away at the political ATM machine operated by the PACs. The oil disaster in the Gulf proves that the time for civil battles are over. Anything less than Federal and State criminal prosecutions of corporate executives is unacceptable. It’s time for the government to govern. And, if those presently elected choose to neglect their sworn duties, it is incumbent upon the rest of us to throw them out or even see them criminally prosecuted for taking our money as their pay under false pretenses.

    There are those in government who will respond to the will of the people if it is vocal and consistent.

  • “In the end, one has to give way to the other. And my fear is that the give away has been accomplished beyond any repair with the corporate moguls having prevailed.”

    You’ve hit on the crux of the problem, Silas. So then again, my question is – how will a multiple party system alter things?

  • I’m not a qualified authority on British politics, Roger. I have British and Australian friends who express quite often that American politics are viewed as soap opera by other “free” nations. From my interactions with them I’ve learned that while they’re not always in agreement with their government, they do view their government as being more responsive to the people as opposed to special interests.

    I don’t think the framers of this land had any idea how we would evolve. They had farmer mentalities. With the explosion of the Industrial Revolution came a shift in the way routine business was conducted. Roger, we have a propensity to repeat history as opposed to learn from it, case in point:

    People who hike the trails of New England from Rhode Island to Canada can see the ruins of railroad trestles, bridges and abutments and have no clue why they are even there. Many years ago while doing genealogy research I wanted to learn more about why all these manifestations were rotting away, abandoned for all time. That’s when I learned about the Grand Trunk Railway. Here was an ambitious project which had it come to fruition would have changed the lives of those living in New England for 200 years. It would have connected the Port of Providence to Quebec. Commerce and trace would have been phenomenal and there would have been less reliance on private transportation. The project died with the sinking of the Titanic. There was our first lesson in “too big to fail”. The hopes of New England and Canadian economies were pinned to this project — an iceberg stood between progress and poverty.

    As I watch the debates unfold concerning financial regulation and reform, I keep hearing “too big to fail”. Well? Is that what has happened to the United States? Did we create a Federal system so large, so cumbersome, that it is destined to fail? And in allowing government and corporations to grow so large have we created an environment which forces both to be married in order to survive? In the end, one has to give way to the other. And my fear is that the give away has been accomplished beyond any repair with the corporate moguls having prevailed.

    Our physical infrastructure is in decay almost to the point of being terminal. Our dependence on foreign energy makes us unwitting victims because we’ve been fed a line of bullshit since FDR. The Information Revolution is built upon a very fragile foundation. A handful of corporations maintain control over the Information Superhighway. At any given moment they could pull that plug. And where would we be? We’re not as solid as “they” would have us believe. And THAT, my friend, is what frightens me most.

  • I definitely agree that the British political system is considerably more civilized than ours, and that we stand much to gain from adopting a parliamentary form of government.

    So the first question, apart from having the electorate have its say in a formed government and thereby bypassing the usual drama that accompanies American brand of politics, how are we going to be more immune from infiltration by business interests?

    Is the situation in Britain less acute for the fact?

    Your thoughts.

  • I don’t think the divides are as pronounced in Britain, Roger. A British Conservative is no where near the personality of a typical American Conservative. I do think we have become too big to manage on a Federal level unless, of course, you are an agent of a PAC or an operative of a mega-corporation. The maladies our economy face today are an extension of GOP policies. The Democrats consistently prove that they lack the fortitude to slam their opposition in fear of financial reprisals from PACs & friends. The GOP is poised to make major gains this fall and it has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with the channeling of money from K Street to the Rotunda. Them that has the cash prevail.

    This is political war, Roger. The powers that be today in both major parties don’t give a damn about God, Faith and Country. And each politician who tries to peddle that point of view sooner or later is exposed for the fraud they really are. If we are too big, then let’s have a frank discussion about it and do something proactive. If breaking this nation into smaller nations is the answer, let’s do it. No malice. No bloodshed. I think that would serve the memory of our forefathers far greater than the mess we’ve become.

  • BTW, I do have to thank you, LB, for your comment about my intolerance. You may be right, and I’m thinking about formulating a response.

    Offhand, the first thing that comes to mind is that online communications are different in nature than communications in person. What is quite tolerable in the latter context becomes less so when put in writing.

    I’m aware it’s a rather lame response, but it’s a start. I’m not trying to justify myself now, just to think through it.

  • I’m all for redistribution of political power, Silas. But do tell? They have that system in Britain, and to the best of my knowledge, the British suffer from the same if not similar maladies.

    Are you thinking perhaps that because of it’s size, the effects in the US would be pronouncedly greater?

  • It’s like this. The Tea Party has little chance of becoming a real factor in our political equation. The MSM saw to that by highlighting the negative aspects of the movement as opposed to digging deeper. The Tea Party will have some effect on this election cycle but it won’t be major. This is exactly what the two major parties are banking on. Again, I refer you to Anderson, Perot and Ventura. Three movements that had momentum until the MSM misreported the facts and we, the unsuspecting public, accepted without question.

    If we are to accomplish real reform it has to begin with the decentralization of political power between the two parties. I would rather see labor unions unite and form a Labor Party. Let the Tea Partiers implode. Libertarians will return to their roots. The remainder will be left with nothing. In the meantime Blue Dog Democrats will have no option but to join moderate Republicans on the GOP side. And Progressives will have the Democrat Party all to themselves. Again, it’s time for the redistribution of political wealth where Wall Street can’t just bounce between two parties at their whim.

  • Silas happens to think it’s a splinter. And if he’s right, isn’t there a possibility, however remote, that GOP might become more responsible and responsive to the country’s needs?

    That’s how I surmise the thrust of his argument.

  • I’m all for the Tea Party breaking away from the GOP-Divide and conquer I say! The reality is that the lunatic fringe Tea Party and the Republican Party are one and the same…

    …this has been a recorded announcement 🙂

  • So Jet, what do you think of Silas’ argument of trying to use the Rand Paul movement to set up a third party? At least he’s thinking strategically and that’s a plus when compared to what I thought was a show of sympathy with Rand Paul’s position.

  • From the Los Angelos Times…

    Headline: Kentucky’s Senate candidate Rand Paul in trouble again

    By Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau

    May 22, 2010
    Reporting from Washington

    On Tuesday, Rand Paul was the outsider of the moment. On Friday, he was out in the cold.

    Few Republicans jumped to the aid of their party’s Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate as he took heat Friday for questioning tenets of civil rights legislation and, later, defending the oil company at the center of the epic spill in the Gulf of Mexico by saying “accidents happen.”

    The silence could hardly come as a shock for a candidate who won his primary Tuesday by promising to tear down the establishment.

    But Paul’s base — the “tea party” movement he has embraced and claimed to speak for — was also all but mum. Two leaders declined to claim Paul, the son of libertarian icon Rep. Ron Paul, as a movement spokesman. Others dodged questions about his statements.

    “He’s a politician. He doesn’t represent the movement on anything regardless of what he says,” said Mark Meckler, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, an online network for local groups. “He’s a guy running for office.”

    As such, Paul has demonstrated a clumsy streak.

    In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the eye doctor turned candidate said Friday that by lashing out at oil giant BP, President Obama had been “un-American in his criticism of business.”

    Eleven people were killed in the explosion that caused a massive leak spewing oil into the waters. Experts have said BP appears to have vastly underestimated the amount of oil flowing into the gulf.

    A spokesman for the Republican National Senatorial Committee, the arm of the party charged with helping support Paul’s bid to replace retiring GOP Sen. Jim Bunning, tried to clarify Rand’s remarks.

    “Rand Paul was simply making a point that every time an issue arises, the automatic response from the Democrats is not to find out what went wrong and why, but to propose more government, more regulation and more taxes,” Brian Walsh said.

    Late Friday, Paul canceled a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who hand-selected Paul’s opponent in the primary, has stayed quiet on Paul’s unconventional remarks this week, which began Wednesday when he appeared to reject portions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Paul later said he would have supported the act if he had been in Congress at the time.

    McConnell’s spokesman issued a statement saying the senator considers the act a “monumental achievement for the country and is glad to hear Dr. Paul supports it as well.”

    Privately, Republicans said Friday that if elected, Paul and his vote would be welcomed into the caucus, but his more controversial views might not.

    “Very extreme statements like the one on civil rights won’t be tolerated,” said a former leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid angering party officials. “He’ll be treated much like Ron Paul is treated in the House — he caucuses with the majority, but they won’t have him on every vote.”

  • Jet, let go of the race issue. It kills all possible conversation.

  • “it may be he just hasn’t had as much practice as you and Roger, Jet.”

    Low blow, LB. What you’re doing is just exchanging insults.

  • It’s interesting that the best defense against being narrow-minded is to accuse everyone else of it first.

  • E.B. theres a difference between mis-typing a word (which we all to-even you) and mispelling a word on a hand scrawled sign.

  • You’re trying to say racism is dead in the U.S.? tens of thousands of skinheads will be surprised at the news!

  • Baronius

    El B, do I expect anyone to think outside their comfort zone? Based on this thread, no. I’m hoping they’ll notice one thing, though. For the last few decades, if you accused someone of racism they’d run away and cower in the corner. That’s over. They’ve cried wolf too many times. From now on, if you call someone a racist, they’ll stand there and wait for you to make your real argument. They won’t run away, although they may walk away shaking their heads after realizing that the accuser doesn’t have anything substantive to say.

  • STM

    All this talk of tea parties is making me thirsty.

    I’m going to have a nice cup of tea.

  • “the Texan was so ignorant he couldn’t spell the word n…”

    looking at this thread, it may be he just hasn’t had as much practice as you and Roger, Jet.

    Baronius, give up. They are too locked into their own narrow-minded bigotry to believe that not everyone has the same starting point

  • I certainly would like to thank Rand Paul for reviving my little article here-nearly 500 readers today-thoug not many diggs.

    Need sleep-more tomorrow.

  • Interesting… interesting. Lest we forget that Pres. Obama’s campaign was funded on line by contributors of no more than $5-10 at a time… oh corporations joined in with big bucks afterwards, but the little people kept him afloat when he was faultering.

  • There is an interesting article in the Washington Post about the shift of Wall Street and PAC money to the GOP this election cycle. The last time the GOP got this level of funding resulted in some of the most catastrophic financial policies. Guess what? That was during a GOP majority in Congress. We’re about to repeat history once again. When Wall Street pays the GOP, they get swift results. Read the article for yourself.

  • I was going to claim that that stood for Grand Old Bastards, but actually I just mistyped…

  • Granted Silas, I just hope the tea partiers become the face of the GOB because the more you learn about them, the more repugnant they are.

    The problem with the Tea Partiers or the TP’ers is that they are actually three separate factions that don’t really support each other as much as they seem to think they do.

    The Racists-that don’t like a black GOP Leader or president

    The anti-government nuts such as the militias and gun nuts

    and the “budget’s out of control” and the anti tax fringe who can’t get it through their thick sculls that taxes fund things like social security medicare, bridges, highways, hospitals and even garbage collection… and their cherished congressmen’s salaries.

    If all those services went private we’d be paying a hell of a lot more than we are now.

    ah garrr ohn teeee

  • Jet, there are two parties: Democrat and Republican. The Tea Party is not a bona fide, government recognized political party. It is a movement comprised of mostly Republicans, who, naturally support other Republicans. I guarantee you that if a White man had been made Chairman of the GOP as opposed to Michael Steele, there would be a very small Tea Party movement. And the reason for that is quite simple. The perception is that the majority of those who claim to be Tea Baggers are, in fact, racist, homophobic bigots who have equal rights as the rest of us. That, in and of itself, pisses the hell out of them.

    The majority of Republicans have a real sour taste for what’s happening. But their hands are tied. The funding and power is concentrated in the extreme Right fringe. Until Republicans like the courageous former Senator Lincoln Chafee take a stand, it will just get worse for the GOP in the long run.

    Again, Jet, I think the most effective way to achieve political reform is by breaking up the parties that are “too big to fail”. It’s all about business and free enterprise, Jet. And in order to insure the continuation of free enterprise and the free market system we have to recognize that there have to be corporate ceilings. No company should be allowed to accumulate such control that they end with a monopoly. Big business has a stranglehold on our politics. That means big business is controlling our governance. We have the ability to change it. But it requires the active participation of the majority of our citizenry. And that, my friend, ain’t gonna happen.

  • Kids, for the last time the Republican party and the tea party is the SAME THING. What party did Paul run under? What party is the Tea Party backing?

  • Why not, Roger? Look at what’s happened in the United Kingdom. I’m convinced that the GOP and Democrats have a vested interest in maintaining the 2 party structure. It’s the only way they can stay married to Big Business. Two years ago, Wall Street was Barack Obama’s banker. Today Wall Street is funding his opposition. It’s a political ping pong game. It’s easier to manipulate a government when there are only two players actively participating. Let the Tea Party become the Christian Tea Party. Let the GOP return to its roots in Lincoln and let the Democrats go back to be the “social consciousness” shtick. Throw in a heavy dose of Greens and Libertarians with a pinch of John Hagelin and you have a robust, proactive political system. And if that upheaval should cause the break up of the union, so be it. I would rather see 5 or 6 smaller nations than a United States perpetually at war with itself.

  • We can pick it up tomorrow, Silas. At least we’ve got a topic now.

  • Well, at least now you’re providing a context for your earlier remarks.

    Do you really see a multi-party phenomenon as any kind of resolution of the present impasse? Help me understand.

  • Actually, Roger, my objectives have been evolving all day. The more I listened and read, the more I realized that this really is history repeating itself. And I got sucked in. If reasonable people who wanted real, positive change banded together imagine what we could accomplish! Instead, every time there is a threat of a legitimate 3rd party candidate somebody somewhere is ready to tear them down. So who really wins?

    You’re right about one thing. I do want to see a legitimate 3rd party movement — just not the Tea Party in its present configuration. Nothing would make me happier than to see a robust multiple-party system. And if we can achieve that goal, Roger, I think we’ll finally be able to move to a new paradigm where we really begin to think outside the box of national borders and isolationism.

    I hope you realize that such a shift from a dual party system will lead us to that global vision you and Cindy share. If we’re going to make it happen we have to think in terms of political upheaval. I think you and I both hope for pretty much the same outcome. It’s just that our respective paths to that destination are a bit different.

  • Of course, you’re still hoping on saving the American political system. Well, I happen to think it’s past saving. In fact, this very episode goes to show how divided as people we really are.

    And of course you’re forgetting the major culprit, my friend – no not the federal government per se but its complicity with Big Business. So no, it’s not a political breakdown that will cause our final demise but the economic breakdown. You should hope the Republicans take over the White House and both Houses come 2012 and put on real screws. The kind of unrest and upheaval we will experience then will be something we haven’t seen yet.

    The tea party movement will be like a little storm in a teapot.

  • You should have just said that and express your objectives clearly rather than defending his agenda. That’s where you’ve been derelict.

  • Start harping on it, Silas. I haven’t used that word. But I see where you’re coming from. You do want the Tea Party to become legit.

  • OK, can I ask a stupid question leading into another one? Just what exactly did Rand Paul say to indicate that he is, indeed, a racist? And why does Rand Paul’s opinion stir up such a hornet’s net? Aren’t we feeding right into the MSM and two party system? Are the majority of you so naive to believe that there is real indignation against Rand Paul in both major political parties?

    The GOP and Democrats are the winning beneficiaries in this entire debate and are loving every second of attention spun by the MSM about him. It deflects attention from the incumbents. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Rand Paul. He’s an insignificant little gnat in the whole scheme of things and is the fuel behind this 48-hour news cycle. By the end of next week the MSM will be chatting about something equally as stupid.

    By demonizing Rand Paul one thing is accomplished — a bonafide third party movement once again is derailed. This is a repeat of Anderson ’80, Perot ’92 and Ventura ’98. Every time a third party movement gains traction somebody derails it. Let the Tea Party develop an organization and gain political clout. Let them threaten the GOP and the Democrats. By shaking up the political status quo we can effect real, positive change that provides us an opportunity to create a more equal and just society.

  • Baronius. I never called you a racist, nor did I call Rand Paul a racist. Look through this comment thread and prove me wrong.

  • Baronius

    What debate? You call me a racist. You present no argument for your side. You deny the use of reason and facts. There’s no debate taking place, and given your assumptions, I don’t see how there ever could be. And on top of that, after hitting me with the most vile, shameful accusation possible in our modern culture, you say “no hard feelings”. Why on earth shouldn’t there be hard feelings?

  • Besides, Baronius. This debate isn’t over. May the best man win.

    No hard feelings, I hope.

  • I’m seeing a new face, Handy. Good for you.

  • Sorry, Baronius. To issues like that I respond like a human being. And what makes you think, BTW, that philosophy, any logical thinking for that matter, is value free or value neutral. Now, it is you who are making this assumption.

  • “It’s possible to sympathize with his argument . . .”

    About separate water fountains. Sorry, it’s possible to understand his argument but sympathize with it . . .

    And again, if you discriminate against a whole class of people rather than specific individuals – that is bigotry in my book.
    I’m not saying those are Rand Paul’s own views; but he did go on record to express them, for whatever reason, as though there were his own.

    As far as I am concerned, it’s an open and shut. To whatever political advantage or disadvantage this episode may or may not be put – that’s not my concern.

    It appear though that Silas and some other people are happy for the fact, hoping to derive whatever political mileage. To which I say – shame!

  • Baronius

    Roger, I thought that you were a philosopher. Philosophers are supposed to be able to think through an issue, considering all its implications. Yet here you are sticking your fingers in your ears and singing “La La La” when a traditional topic of political philosophy, the limits of governmental power, is raised.

    I always say, keep your powder dry. You need to be able to defend any one of your political positions at a moment’s notice, because the political landscape can change that quickly. The right got crushed a few years back because they took for granted the country’s support for the Iraq War. Ask yourself, what are you taking for granted?

  • You don’t need that, Jet. Whatever Rand Paul is, his statements speak for themselves. And I don’t care whether LB or Baronius try to couch it under the banner of questioning the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act (after fifty years and counting) or the proper or improper role of Federal government in our lives.

    If not a subterfuge, it’s too say the least in bad taste. Rand Paul could have chosen from a plethora of examples to make his points, but he didn’t. So yes, I disagree with Handy here who argued for the integrity of Rand Paul. Integrity aside, he definitely decided to pander to his constituency; and that’s precisely what he did.

    We are not talking here about political correctness. It’s insanity.

  • Jet, I can’t believe I’m the one saying this, but 4, or 400, outrageous posters do not prove the whole movement is based on racism.

    They’re most upset about rampant government spending. And as I noted above, they are not very good at arguing even that point.

    I abhor the ugly side of those rallies as much as you do, and I’ve written about it here often. But it bothers me to caricature anyone, even the blasted Tea Party.

    When you use over the top, messy, ugly rhetoric to argue against them, you run the risk of making them look good.

  • It wasn’t “his choice of examples.” Paul was ambushed by interviewers – first the Louisville paper and then Maddow. Perfectly fair game, especially since he handled it so clumsily, but he didn’t bring it up independently.

    And he is not a bigot. By repeating that over and over you just cloud the issue.

    It’s possible to sympathize with his argument without agreeing with him or wanting him to win the election.

  • You’ll note in example four-the Texan was so ignorant he couldn’t spell the word nigger!

  • Here are a few popular posters from tea party rallies… go ahead-tell me how they’re not racists.

    example one

    example two

    example three

    example four

  • Well, Silas was right Jet, my friend. Unbeknown to all of us, Rand Paul had come down like mana from heaven. Now we can truly find out where each person’s heart is, whom can you trust and who is your enemy.

  • Right, Jet. Who in the hell is the minority now? Are the whites suddenly scared out of their mind that it is they who demand protection from the feds. LB’s comment is a real puzzler.

  • LB, I never called him a racist. A bigot he may be, because discriminating against an entire class of people – be they women, blacks or whatever, as opposed to individuals (for objectionable behavior, improper dress code, etc) – is what I understand by bigotry.

    And it’s nice that you’re bringing up the fed’s role – because that’s of course Rand Paul’s point in a roundabout kind of way. But he surely could be addressing this particular issue from any plethora of examples rather than resurrecting the kind of ugliness that existed not too long ago in this country in the South.

    So to say the least, his choice of example(s) to argue against the role of the fed and its encroachment on freedoms and rights certainly was a provocative one and deserving negative attention.

  • E.B. you really must come up with some better more mature way to settle an argument than selfrighteously waggling your finger at anyone you disagree with and pronouncing “You’re acting like children.”

    I’ve seen some of your comments and you’re no one to judge my friend.

    One of the tasks of the government is to protect the minority from the majority. It’s like in the old west when the town wanted to lynch someone for something he didn’t do. Occasionally the law or the mayor had to step in and stop it.

    Fifty years ago the government had to step in and force southern schools to accept black children. if the government didn’t do it, segragated shcools would still be the norm. By Rand’s own words he’s saying the government has no business interfering with private matters.

    The only reason this is being poo hooed is that race isn’t that much of a big deal nowadays but back then my black grandfather was put in jail for marrying my white grandmother… In Kentucky. And he’s lucky he wasn’t lynched!

    The teabaggers want it both ways-they want their social security and medicare but they don’t want to pay for it through taxes.

    If they’re elected they’ll run this country into the ground in debt on their no-new-taxes and their republican allies will start giving huge “trickle-down” tax cuts to wealthy corporations again to stimulate employment-and look how well that worked out.

    Don’t forget that this financial disaster we’re in was INHERITED from the Bush administration and 10 years of a REPUBLICAN led congress.

    It’s like Obama said, the Rebuplicans ran our economic car into the ditch, then stood back and refused to help him get it back out and even began bitching that he wasn’t doing it fast enough.

  • Jet and Roger, go ahead and call me a racist because I agree with Baronius and others. If you read what Rand says, he is clearly talking about his views on the role and authority of the federal government. He’s not talking about race, has said so many times repeatedly. Yet, you both act like children, covering your ears and screaming “La la la, you’re a racist” as if that wins your argument.

    I can understand Rand’s worldview, but I agree with Andrew Sullivan and others that the federal government needed to act in the defense of the minority. The fed’s role is what you should be arguing.

    That you both miss the irony that you two are the most intolerant people on this thread would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. Have you swayed anyone with your bullying?

  • And BTW, your very last comment confirms what I’ve been saying all along. You are using the political to justify the ethical.

    It’s one thing to argue for a split along whatever lines, it’s quite another to be whitewashing a bigot, free as he or she may be to express their opinion, in order to argue for the split. So forgive me if I’m not going to play your game.

  • Silas, you’re going through a phase and excuse me if I let you do it alone. In fact, you’re becoming less and less comprehensible. But that’s alright. Nothing stands still.

    What is moral? Civil Rights Act was a moral and the right thing to do. And so was Brown versus the Board of Education. Likewise with Roe versus Wade. Do you want me to continue?

    You are complicating things unnecessarily and as I said, it’s your right and privilege, but spare me your birth pangs.

  • That’s not how freedom will be won.

    Are you implying that we are not free? Do you feel our liberation cannot be accomplished using political means, Roger? Seriously, do you think it’s too late to facilitate a political upheaval? In the end, are we going to embark down the road of violence? Does it all go back to one of my earlier propositions about breaking the system apart? Perhaps the best way to accomplish a more global approach is by splitting up what we have into smaller factions. Just food for thought.

    Silus makes a beautiful comment like that and then screws it up by thanking an ex con?

    I didn’t want to plagiarize, Jet. “Being a good thing” is such a Martha Stewart phrase. I’d still love to see the resurrection of print media.

  • Good things come from moral right, never from compromising with evil.

    Roger! There IS the problem. Just what is moral? It seems to be that there are varying degrees of moralities and no standards. What the Civil Rights Act accomplishes is setting the standard. Perhaps you will finally see what I’m trying to accomplish here. Nazi doctrine is evil yet we don’t have the right to stop people from hearing it. We DO, however, have a right to reject it as a standard in our society. Or do we? How do we draw lines of demarcation in this exercise.

    It comes right back to this article. Just how do we translate the Tea party message? Is there even a core message to be heard? Has the MSM made more out of them than they deserve in the name of ratings? The MSM pundits are obsessed with this little man from Kentucky. Rand Paul is a naive purist because he is intellectually incapable of logically accepting that the human condition cannot flourish in a world of absolutes. In the meantime we’re on the brink of economic and environmental disaster beyond our wildest dreams which will make the last 24 months seem like a stroll through the merry old land of Oz.

  • Does Cokie Roberts live in Massachusetts, Silas?

    Nope. Close but no cigar.

  • I just think that Silas is trying to teach us a lesson in civics by referring to a bigot Rand Paul.

    Sorry, I don’t buy it. We can accomplish the first without requiring the second.

    Of course he’s got a right to his own opinion. [Edited]

  • Silus makes a beautiful comment like that and then screws it up by thanking an ex con?

  • Have I messed up in how I am trying to communicate my message? Let me be less prose-driven and to the point:

    1. Rand Paul has a right to his opinions and to express them in the public forum as a legitimate candidate for political office. I have a right to reject his view on issues and in doing so I, personally, have tried to understand why he maintains his point of view in developing that rejection.

    2. The MSM is using Rand Paul as a scapegoat for the responsible journalism they are morally bound to deliver. Since the MSM is no longer bound by a moral code of standards, they resort to propagating stories which drive advertising revenues. Therefore, I reject that which the MSM spews except between the hours of 6AM and 9AM on MSNBC whence I can gawk at Joe, Mika, Willie, Jonathan Capehart and a gloriously diverse array of guests.

    3. Continually I advocate for truth in education free of the dictates of dogma and politics. The reason why blind bigotry festers is because we pass on to our children that which has been indoctrinated in us. Instead of blindly accepting that which we have been taught, we should open our eyes and think for ourselves.

    If we took a little time to understand how another draws a conclusion we can learn something. That’s the point I am trying to make. If we were a more informed public, there would be a legitimate demand for responsible journalism. The exposure of Blumenthal by the NYT and the expose by St. Petersburg Times prove that there remains a hunger for responsible, investigative journalism. When newspapers such as these provide the same, the market should support it. A little less time watching pundits and more time READING newspapers is a good thing. Thank you, Martha Stewart.

  • I think Scott Brown is kind of a dumbass and should be easy to beat. But it’s true that Dems have to find an effective candidate.

  • No, he’s not clever enough for any of that, just a sign of the times. But I detest Silas’s suggestion of putting it to anyone’s advantage. The position is abhorrent and it should be considered as anything less than that. If the fuckers want to have their own pro-Nazi party, let them, our constitutional system can handle it. But never, never suggest that we need this to make this Republic stronger.

    Good things come from moral right, never from compromising with evil.

  • Does Cokie Roberts live in Massachusetts, Silas?

  • It’s not like Rand Paul is cleverly trying to sneak a racist message by us, written in code. It’s not like he’s calling on restaurants to please stop serving minorities.

    He’s just being a libertarian.

    At their core, libertarians want the government to provide police and fire protection and a [purely defensive] military. Anything else is a compromise.

    Most libertarians are willing to stretch government’s role a bit beyond that, of course. But at their core they don’t really love this.

    The Tea Party is mostly concerned about the government spending too much money. [But if you mention cutting Social Security, Medicare or the Defense budget, they don’t like that very much. When you point out that that’s the only way to solve the deficit — along with raising somebody’s taxes, they get really unhappy.]

    Libertarianism and the Tea Party overlap but they are not identical. And caricaturing all of them as racist cave people is untrue and serves no good purpose.

    Talking about small government and decreased spending is one thing. But most Americans are not really ready for the reality of that. They think it’s just a matter of getting rid of earmarks and welfare cheats.

  • You’re speaking politics, Silas, of political strategies. Fuck that nonsense.

    That’s not how freedom will be won.

  • Actually, Jet, I’m hearing from Republican friends that Rand Paul may be the best medicine. There are plenty of Republicans in Congress who detest the current GOP leadership which is in a pickle over what to do with Dr. Paul. At the same rate, there are plenty of Democrats who won’t admit in public that they’re tired of Reid and Pelosi. Perhaps Reid, Pelosi, McConnell and Boehner should be driven from office.

    This election could reshape the management of Congress if the voters actually gave a damn about House and Senate rules. We need an overhaul in the way Congress conducts its business and the issue, in and of itself, never gets discussed in the media. It’s all part of the need for election reforms.

    Take Scott Brown, for instance. Many on the Democrat side whined and tried to make Senator Brown out to be some Tea Party trophy. He’s proven that he is beholden to no one including his own party. As I predicted during the election, Scott Brown continues to prove that he was more deserving of the Kennedy mantle than Martha Coakley. And, as a result, there is only one viable candidate to challenge Scott Brown in the 2012 election. Here’s a hint. She’s well versed in Louisiana-style politics with great name recognition.

  • Baronius is an alien – the only reasonable conclusion.

    Is Silas about to become one too?

  • It is a lost cause, Jetski. I give up.

    My only concern is – Silas’s ruminations. What on earth had gotten to him?

  • Silas is reaching where no man has reached before. Of course not all teapartiers are Republic. Did Jet insinuate any such? He only spoke of strategy – my goodness – a forbidden word in the realm of American politics.

    Rand Paul is a fool. And the fact that he’s got many supporters doesn’t make him any less of a fool. Again, I fail to see why you valorizing what should simply come under the rubric of misguided honesty.

    As to Baronius’s ever clever retort, nothing is racist to him because racism is a taboo word in his vocabulary. Everything is a matter of constitionality, just like a Catholic Bible is to any law-abiding and God fearing Catholic.

    One just wonders how many of the past Catholic Church pronouncements and edicts would Baronius consider as subject to review and possible revocation, because he’s surely quite liberal when it comes to overturning the landmark Supreme Court decisions and laws of the land.

    Jet, that’s not an issue of race, that’s an issue of the scope of government.

  • Dear god, he believes that!!!

  • Baronius

    not admitting minorities – race
    government not having the authority to force someone to admit minorities – scope of government


  • Right Now: Rand Paul cancels Meet the Press appearance

    Washington Post – David Weigel – ?14 minutes ago?
    After two days of bruising media coverage about his views on elements of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the campaign of Kentucky US Senate candidate Rand Paul tells me it has canceled the candidate’s upcoming appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press>”

    Those damned liberals

  • Baronius

    “he also suggested the federal government shouldn’t have the power to force restaurants to admit minorities against their will”

    Jet, that’s not an issue of race, that’s an issue of the scope of government.

  • I’ll ask the question again, why wouldn’t Rand answer the question put to him about would he support a whites only sign in a resturant in his district in the video I linked to?

  • Jet, not all members of the Tea Party movement are from the GOP. There are a few Democrats and plenty of Independents riding the wave. The problem here is that there are a myriad of movements within the Tea Party and as a result the Tea Party remains undefined. The media and politicians are trying to paint a broad stroke across the movement and that’s just not the way it is.

    There is a collective frustration in America and we’ve become accustomed to right vs. left. We think in terms of absolutes and can’t grasp the concept of building bridges instead of dams. The two-party system needs to go. The method by which we arrive at Presidential candidates needs a serious overhaul. The concentration of political capital must be siphoned from the two major parties. We need a redistribution of the political wealth. That’s not socialist, that’s politically expedient in preserving the American dream.

  • “But in the basic sense, he’s presented some valid points from which we could have a civilized debate.”

    No, Silas, there can be no civilized debate about only Whites, “No Niggers Allowed” sign.

    There’s only one thing that Rand Paul and his kind have contributed to the current debate – and that is to make us all realize how much fucking backward we still is.

    If there be another redeeming virtue, I’ll kiss your ass in public.

  • Jet – I love this. It’s the best analysis I’ve heard thus far.

  • Headline: GOP officials ponder how to help, and tame, Paul
    By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Even as national Republican officials seek ways to limit damage from Rand Paul’s unorthodox remarks, the Kentucky Senate nominee raised more eyebrows Friday by defending the oil company blamed for the Gulf oil spill.

    Those comments, on top of Paul’s earlier suggestion that businesses should have the right to turn away racial minorities, sent gleeful Democrats into full attack mode while top Republicans pondered how to calm things down.

    It’s a delicate issue. The Republican establishment spurned Paul and supported his opponent, Trey Grayson, the hand-picked choice of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

    Paul, a favorite of the tea party movement, walloped Grayson in Tuesday’s primary. Now, chastened GOP leaders are dealing with a novice and outsider who, feeling his oats, has expressed his robust libertarian views in a series of interviews that have caused political pros to wince.

    High-ranking Republicans from Washington have quietly reached out to Paul and his aides, trying to start healing the breach and to nudge him toward greater campaign discipline, said three GOP operatives close to the situation.

    The three, who would speak only on background to avoid antagonizing Paul and his supporters, disagreed on how the initial exchanges have gone. A Washington-based Republican official, who has spoken with Paul’s campaign advisers, said the harsh national reaction to the nominee’s MSNBC interview on Wednesday “was like a wake-up call” to his inner circle.

    “They know they messed up” by allowing liberal show host Rachel Maddow to draw out Paul’s thoughts on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the official said. Paul told Maddow he abhors racial discrimination, but he also suggested the federal government shouldn’t have the power to force restaurants to admit minorities against their will.

    Re-read the last sentence?

    Um who owns the Republican Party? Wall Street aond Big Oil. Gee why is Rand defending BP?

    Nah he’s a Tea Partier-not a republican!


  • Baronius,

    I haven’t the faintest what you’re talking about. Which particular comment of mine do you have in mind?

  • Jet, discrimination isn’t indigenous to South of the Mason-Dixon line. There is a fierce anti-Asian sentiment right in the shadows of MIT and Harvard which neither institution is willing to admit for reasons which are quite apparent (biting the Asian hands that feed them).

    Bigotry can’t be stamped out by a Constitutional Amendment. Rampant racism and class warfare can’t be eradicated by legislation. Rand Paul’s words are being parsed in order to bolster sides of the argument. But in the basic sense, he’s presented some valid points from which we could have a civilized debate. While we find a restaurant refusing to seat a Black person abhorrent what about this? A restaurateur refuses to seat a skin-head in a Nazi uniform. How would MSM and the politically correct folk handle such a dilemma? Is the Nazi protected Constitutionally? Life is nuanced. Law is absolute. Let’s have an absolutely civilized discussion.

    And, Jet, if you didn’t engage in certain activities voraciously, you wouldn’t have required that eye appointment! 😉

  • All of you need to stand back and look at the forest instead of the trees.

    Someone in the Republican Party is an absolute GENIOUS. He took all the embarassing,loud-mouthed rednecks and put them in a “Different” party so that The GOP leadership can whisper sideways with their hand over they mouth that they don’t realllllly represent the Republican Party… no no they’re not us!”

    It’s absolute GENIOUS.

    Take all the far-right foaming-at-the-mouth born agains waving their bibles frantically over their heads with one hand and a photo of an aborted fetus in the other, that the old farts waving prefabricated picket signs over their head with a picture of a gun on it because they don’t think anyone in the crowd can figure out what G-U-N spells, get some poor old woman in a housedress who was conned into screaming STOP OVERTAXING THE RICH at the top of her lungs… and then spotlight Sara Palin who is more of an over used and tired Saturday Night Live joke than a leader… fund them and call them a separate party…

    They’re not Republicans-They’re the Teabaggers!!!

    the campaign has worked so well that people are beginning to believe that the Tea Party is separate from the Republican party.

    Um what party are the Tea Party candidates registering as?

    Show me one democrat Tea Partier!

    Wake up America-The tea party is nothing more and nothing less than the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party.

    and I hope to god you’re not stupid enough to elect them.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I think it’s great that you acknowledged that you’re unfamiliar with this issue, but generally when someone realizes that they don’t know what they’re talking about, they either learn about the subject or stop talking. That’s the key. You want to be someone who understands the issue and is talking, or someone who doesn’t understand the issue and isn’t talking.

  • I bet a lot of you don’t live south of the mason-dixon line do you?

  • Look at this! All I did was go to an eye appointment! Hayhem chaos!

  • How noble. I suppose you regard it as a badge of merit.

    Well, my view of it is, it’s just plain dumb, and it’s got nothing to do with consequences, political or otherwise.

    Again, I’ll raise the same point I raised to Silas: what’s the point. And unless it is simply to make us realize how divided as a county and people we have become, there is none to speak of – just as word of of bigot as per above given definition.;

  • Rand Paul didn’t say it was a good or desirable thing for a business owner to discriminate — only that it’s unconstitutional for the federal government to order him not to.

    I’m sure Rand Paul would much rather be talking about something else. If he’d been a skilled enough politician to just lie about it [“Of course I support the Civil Rights Act!”] this would never have turned into an issue.

    He’s like that character in the Jim Carrey movie “Liar Liar” who’s compelled to always tell the truth no matter the consequences.

  • I still think it’s bigotry to discriminate against a whole class of people – be they black, women or gays. It’s not bigotry, however, to discriminate against particular individuals for whatever reason – say, not subscribing to a particular dress code (like wearing no shoes or shirt when wanting to be served, etcetera, etcetera).

    So perhaps you can enlighten me on the “naive purism” idea.

  • A naive purist – fine, I’ll buy that. But what’s your point, Silas, and I’m not talking about the media having a field day?

    If you mean he hastened the country coming to a peak, then yes, he’s doing us public service.

  • You’re right. Rand Paul didn’t open anything up except the mouths of pundits who tend to make mountains out of molehills while ignoring the impending volcanic eruption. Now that he’s on the national political stage the “Progressive” MSM will skewer him on the Left while FOXnews props him up on the right. The entire process is a substitute for the lack of soap operas on daytime television. I don’t really believe Rand Paul is a bigot — a naive purist perhaps but not overtly racist. What I do believe, however, is that those in the Progressive MSM are relishing this whole drama. It gives them an opportunity to be equally self-righteous as those on the Right. The bottom line is that the words bellowing from both sides are all hollow.

  • Well, so be it.

  • Paul’s stand is more likely to lose votes than win them. Even in Kentucky.

    He is not “sucking up” to anyone. He is sincerely expressing his philosophy, which is similar to his father’s, and also to that of Ayn Rand, and, on BC, Kenn Jacobine, Dave Nalle, and Baronius, on many issues if not all.

  • In short, Silas, in your fervor, you’re confusing your general ideas about the inefficacy of the Federal government with R. Paul’s ruminations.

    The very fact that his ruminations are used to exemplify the government’s encroachment on our lives is no reason to accept them at face value.

    These are two different subject matters, each deserving a separate discussion.

  • You’re on the right track, Silas, when you’re speaking of the hypocrisy. We’re still being ruled by the political elite, our duly elected representatives of the ruling classes. But what has this got to do with Civil Rights – basic rights as regards accommodation and public access. In effect, as a result of you impassioned plea, you’re throwing out the baby with bathwater.

    Rand Paul did not open any relevant discussion, something that may have evaded us for the past fifty years. He’s simply playing up to his constituency. You’re giving him way too much credit for being a free and independent thinker. Free and independent thinking has always got to do with the future, never with contemplating the past.

    In the final analysis, what I really think you’re doing is praising a bigot – not a racist, mind you! – for the strength of his or her convictions which make him a bigot. You might as well praise George Wallace or Archie Bunker, it’s the same to me.

    We may understand these people, but to say this is not to say that we should valorize them. And it’s got nothing to do with the Federal government or what you may think of it, and how it encroaches on our lives. I’m speaking from a human perspective.

  • Good governance: A homophobic anti-semite misogynistic racist opens a bar in the community. Residents get together and buy him a bus ticket to the coast.

    High probability: That same homophobic anti-Semite has a paid subscription to RentBoy.com.

  • #161,

    You speak like a tactician, Mark. And to follow this trend of thought, I don’t necessarily disagree.

  • And I bet Mitch McConnell would leave a bigger tip than Charlie Rangel.

  • Mark

    What is the Federal government doing to insure that the same little Black lady has equal access to the halls of Congress? The Federal elections system is designed to keep that lady our of the Congressional dining room.

    I believe that she is still allowed in as a server.

    nice comment Silas

  • OK, I’m going to sound like a douche but just what exactly has Rand Paul said which is so damned wrong? Is he not entitled to his opinion? We’re supposed to be a free thinking society which debates issues in an open forum sharing opposing points of view. Do I agree with what Rand Paul stands for? Not entirely. That being said, I do believe Dr. Paul makes some great points with regards to the Constitutionality of law. I think he’s spot on about state’s rights in this Federal system.

    Where he fails — miserably I might add — is in recognizing that the Federal government really does have a role in laying the foundation and ground rules for how states behave in this Federation. Did we need the Civil Rights Act? Of course we did! We had to bring this country out from the mode of 18th century norms. These are growing pains which we suffer and are natural in the course of societal evolution.

    We’re a young nation by historical standards. And in our youth we fail to understand the big picture. That which was the norm in 1760 is not so today. Slavery is abolished. Women are almost equal in status to men. Tenants at will have an equal voice at the polls as their property owners. Children are actually finishing high school rather than work the wheat fields or dig in the coal mines coming out of the 6th grade. These are all radical departures from that which was the norm 100 years ago.

    To paint a picture that all Tea Baggers are white supremacist right wing religious zealots accomplishes nothing. There are many elements of the Tea Party message which deserve serious consideration — even adoption. Rand Paul affords this nation an opportunity to rethink the role of Federal government in our lives. This is healthy. While I understand his logic behind keeping the Federal government out of private enterprise, I think Dr. Paul is beginning to understand that Federal government has a very necessary role in the application of a level playing field among all states within the Union.

    Perhaps what isn’t being discussed is that Federal government is a typical organization in the “too big to fail” category. It’s become a burden on our everyday lives. It’s intrusive, mismanaged and ineffective when it comes to responding to those things which are appropriate for a Federal response. Take this oil disaster in the Gulf. I really don’t give a damn who is to blame here. I want it cleaned up and not at taxpayer expense. It is the obligation of the Federal government to step in and say, “OK, corporate petroleum, you made this mess now clean it up.” If the oil barons fail, strip them of their assets and apply them to agencies and companies who will. It’s that simple.

    I question the Constitutionality of our Federal elections process. I think our Presidential Primary system is Unconstitutional because it affords smaller states greater power in deciding who will occupy the Oval Office. We should have a National Primary Day and a smaller window of opportunity for politicking. This two year Presidential elections process is a farce. Regardless on where you stand when it comes to President Barack Obama one thing is very clear. This man who was legitimately elected by the majority of the active electorate was destined to fail from Election Day. He’s caught up in the quagmire that is Washington. He’s fighting a political and corporate battle which he can’t win. Lobbyists and special interests need to be hog tied and ridden out of Washington on that over-priced under-utilized high speed rail. Members of Congress should spend the majority of their time LEGISLATING and overseeing the Federal government as opposed to fund raising.

    What’s interesting to me is how so many self righteous politicians have expressed such disdain for Rand Paul’s remarks. I keep hearing about equal access of the Black lady at a lunch counter in Alabama. Forget that for a minute. What is the Federal government doing to insure that the same little Black lady has equal access to the halls of Congress? The Federal elections system is designed to keep that lady our of the Congressional dining room. Sure, anybody can run for office. But the entire system is designed to favor those who have the financial connections. The remainder sit out in the cold struggling to make it through life.

    Perhaps it all comes back to the “too big to fail” issue. Have we become so large that it’s impossible for our Federal government to be effective? Has the gap between the rich and poor become so wide that there can be no bridge? Is it time to seriously consider breaking this continent into smaller nations? We’re at those crossroads, folks. We need a rational national discussion about our future. Do we have the collective resolve to recognize where we’re at?

  • Mark

    I dunno, Rog. An airlock or two would be handy now and then. Libertarian society reduces to vigilantism.

    Good governance: A homophobic anti-semite misogynistic racist opens a bar in the community. Residents get together and buy him a bus ticket to the coast.

  • The idea of a “pure libertarian society” is not intellectually appealing in any sense of the world, IMHO. It’s totally unrealistic and irrelevant, and it’s got nothing to do with counting noses or amassing votes.

    What is intellectually appealing, but infinitely more challenging to realize both in theory and in practice, is the idea of a human community, and of balancing individual rights against the public, communal good.

    Consequently, Rand Paul’s excursion into our inglorious past is but a rumination, on the order of contemplating a kind of world that once was but which, by all reasonable standards, we had better put behind us.

  • The idea of restaurants or motels again refusing service to blacks is so repugnant that it takes over this discussion completely. [Although we should keep in mind that it isn’t a dead issue: Denny’s got sued for racial discrimination quite recently.]

    There never has and never will be a ‘pure’ libertarian society. So insisting on ‘pure’ principles like ‘no government interference in private business’ is not going to fly politically, no matter how appealing it may be intellectually.

    I am not in the habit of quoting the rebarbative Jon Kyl, GOP senator from Arizona. But he had a good political assessment of this:

    “I hope he [Rand Paul] can separate the theoretical and the interesting and the hypothetical questions that college students debate until 2 a.m. from the actual votes we have to cast based on real legislation here.”

  • almost … meant “always”

  • Exactly, Jet. Vision is almost a matter of looking forward. A vision into the past is no vision at all but a voice of reaction.

  • Fair analysis, Handy, it’s not about racism. I’m not certain, however, about the import of you last statement. Is it good for Paul to stick to his principles because by doing so he will lose?

    Anyway, that’s how I read it.

    I was unaware, BTW, of Buckley’s or Goldwater’s arguments to the same effect. Should they be relevant thirty or more years since? Haven’t we progressed enough as a society to consider such arguments null and void? They may have had greater resonance when they were first advanced, but today?

  • You know Bill Mahar had a great quote last week that I wish I could’ve included in this article. he said:

    “The Tea Party keeps saying they want to take this country back: I’d rather take it FORWARD.”


  • Baronius

    Jet, based on the things you say, I wasn’t surprised by the idea of you thinking of yourself as a stereotype. I got that #141 was a joke, though.

    Handy, you get it, and that heartens me.

  • Rand Paul is just holding firm to his principles. He’s actually being an anti-politician. Most politicians lie about their real feelings on certain issues to get elected. He’s choosing not to do that, and is paying a political price.

    I’m not saying I agree with him. But his argument is not new. William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater made similar arguments 50 years ago. They were not and are not “closet racists.” Just adamant about libertarian principle.

    Paul extended his political clumsiness in a later interview yesterday, by saying BP shouldn’t be “jumped on” for the oil spill and that WV mining company shouldn’t be blamed either, because, you know, accidents happen.

    And he has expressed strong opposition to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    So this isn’t about race. But the Civil Rights Act argument provides the most dramatic demonstration of the consequences of this “the government should keep its hands off business” philosophy.

    Seat belts, smoking restrictions, pollution standards, food safety, toy safety all fall under this rubric. It’s good that Paul is staying true to it. And if he continues to, I assume he will lose the election in November, if he lasts that long.

  • I would have thought they’re natural.

    Oh, human folly, there is no limit to thee.

  • Baronius, you must read 140 and 141 together! [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Thanks Glenn, now that I’ve got the Adsense report and have plugged in this URL to track it, believe me I’m not disappointed. This article is getting hundreds of readers a day despite being published the middle of last month and I’m not complaining about the lack of comments at all.

    This is more of a dictionary for what the teabaggers mean when they’re talking out of both sides of their mouths, so I’m not anticipating fan mail for a bullshit translation tool.

    I’m a little disappointed at the lack of diggs though hint hint :0

  • Baronius – I give up.

  • Well, Jet, private clubs still have that exempt status, but they’re certainly not in the category of a place of doing business. And Rand Paul conveniently merged the two under one umbrella.

    I already spoke of laws prohibiting discrimination and sexual harassment in work places, or in renting a property, but Baronius conveniently bypassed these considerations (or at least implicitly argued these laws may be unconstitutional simply because some jerk may decide to say so in order to appease the tea party clowns.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I don’t care if you were being facetious. It didn’t make any sense.

    Jet, you’re only a stereotype if you choose to be one.

  • I was being facetious, Baronius. It was merely an introduction to the rest of the argument.

    But that’s alright.

  • Wow-We should all become tea baggers!!

    Keep the damned government off of private property!

    Resturants won’t be answerable to health departments!

    Private property abortion clinics will be legal and untouchable!

    Drug companies won’t have to go through the FDA as long as they sell to pharmacies on private property!

    Resturants with GAYS ONLY signs in the window!

    Lamborghinis will only be sold to Italians!

    Jewish delis won’t have to sell to Catholics!!!

    The Ku Kux Klan could by a stretch of freeway and make it whites only!!!

    Grocery stores can begin selling food a different prices depending on whether you’re a card-carrying born-again Christian or not!


  • Baronius

    Roger, that doesn’t make sense. Statute of limitations for what?

  • Roger, prohibition was an amendment; maybe he wants to revoke the civil rights act and make it only apply to public areas so that golf clubs and sancks bars can go back to “Whites Only” if they want to as long as they’re on private property.

  • Well, what do you suggest then, Baronius? Is there a statue of limitations to apply here? Should there be? How far do we want to go back? Back to the Constitution itself? If if any of our laws that have been passed since are liable of being revoked, why not the Constitution itself? Why that particular document should be regarded as sacred? If we’re always capable of erring, why not say we erred in this respect too?

    The kind of position that’s implicit in your argument, if drawn to its logical conclusion, is that most if not all laws are merely expression of the political power. And as the political power is subject to vagaries, so are the laws.

    I’m quite comfortable with this position but are you comfortable with it too? Mind you, I’m not making your type of argument. You do.

  • I play my stereo all the time! “)

  • Baronius Baronius Baronius… I AM a sterotype

  • Baronius

    Roger, just because a law is passed and the Supreme Court accepts it doesn’t mean that everyone agrees that it’s constitutionally sound, or outside the realm of debate.

    Jet, I don’t watch Fox News (except for Red Eye), and I never praised Palin for her intellect. You deal in stereotypes.

  • What I wonder is – how does the constitutionality question come in fifty years after the Civil Rights Act passage? So I suppose then that LBJ in his infinite wisdom acted rather rashly, or on an impulse, and rammed the Civil Rights legislation down the American people’s throat for fear that separate water fountains in Southern restaurants might be constitutional.

    So here we are, well into the 21st century, and Rand Paul, the legal scholar that he is, re-opens the constitutionality question which for fifty some years has escaped the keenest legal minds this country has produced; and folks like Baronius, again, God bless his soul, lauds Rand Paul for his integrity and brilliance. And so do most of the tea party clowns.

  • I calls dem as I sees dem

  • That was a low blow, Jet.

  • No problem there Roger, he considers Sarah Palin an intelectual.

  • Interestingly, Baronius called it an “intellectual debate.”

    Go figure!

  • Actually, he did come across as a little weasel, especially towards the end. Rachel was very professional all throughout, but did manage to trip him up.

    It was a good show.

  • I don’t envy you, Jet, if that’s your real resolve.

  • I guess every article I’ve quoted or read is wrong Baronius… I’ll have to start watching Fox i guess.

  • Baronius

    Jet, what did he say that was racist, or that a reasonable person couldn’t defend? Just because it makes “allies” uncomfortable doesn’t mean it isn’t arguably true.

  • even his allies are “troubled” by his racist remarks and opinions.

  • Okay Baronius, either I’m a psychic or I’ve just experienced deja vu. Of course you didn’t see how he wouldn’t answer the question about a resturant posting a “Whites Only” sign in their window did you?

    Of course not

    Nor did you watch him weasle out of every question with a platitude on a different subject acting more slick than Willie ever did, did you?

    Of course not.

    You were too busy agreeing with him and cheering at your monitor to notice.

  • Baronius

    Well, I just watched the interview.

    Before you pass a law, you consider the implications of it. You consider its constitutionality. What you shouldn’t do is vote yea or nay based on impressions or slogans. I’m really impressed by Paul’s thinking.

    I can’t think of a good word for the opposite of demogoguery, but that’s what Paul displayed. It’s particularly impressive on this issue, where every politician cowers in fear and repeats platitudes. (OK, Paul did repeat some platitudes, but he went beyond them.) We all sit around and complain about campaign pablum and the lack of intellectual debate; well, this is what intellectual debate looks like. Anyone who rejects Paul based on those comments is part of the problem. If, as a country, we are so easily soothed by the repetition of cliches that we’ve become afraid of different thoughts, then we have bigger problems than one Senate seat.

  • I’m past worrying about small shit, Jet. But Mark I do respect. I know he’s playing a devil’s advocate. He just isn’t patient enough and wishes to see the end before its time.

    Well, my motto is, no wine before its time. So I’m not going to badmouth the Civil Rights Act just because I want the government to fail. I’ll exercise my patience. It will fall of its own accord, for being a whore to Big Business.

    It is written. It is done.

  • Careful Roger, you may have just offended Doug

  • I can understand Mark’s position, Jet, and in a way, I agree. Government is evil, no less evil than Rand Paul. Mark is looking for the entire system to fall flat on its face. And so do I, BTW.

    To change the subject, what I found most ludicrous about Rand Paul’s interview was his gun analogy. If a restaurant owner has a right to prohibit patrons from carrying heat when frequenting their place, he has an equal right to prohibit Niggers.

  • I hope all of you remember what happened the last time a bunch of right-wing nuts herded this country into complacency.

    We allowed them to REWRITE the U.S. Constitution in favor of prohibition against any alcoholic beverages

    After the American people realized that their lack of a vote figuring it was a forgone conclusion that something that ridiculous would pass congress, they had to rise up against it… and at what cost? Gangland “speakeasys” and crime from giving people what they wanted but what some selfrighteous jerks had denyied them in “the name of god”.

    The bible also prohibis sex between husband and wife unless it’s for procreation-remember that and remember the Sodomy laws of the 50s and 60s that had to be later repealed. No roal or anal sex between husband and wives and no fucking unless you’re making babies.

    What happens when all the stores are closed on the Sabbath (sundays-jews don’t count with southern christians)

    No government interference-no taxes!!!!

    No funding for road repairs, no new hospitals, no bridge repairs, no city services.

    Are the Tea Baggers stupid enough to not realize that if Federal Taxes go down, local and state governments use that as an excuse to RAISE taxes? If their revolt trickles down to the local level, who will pick up the garbage piling up at the curb?

    What happens when the water and sewage treatments plant go off line for lack of funding?

    When will the U.S. wake up and learn that the Tea Baggers DON’T CARE about the consequences of their temporary popularity and stop it before it really gets rolling?

  • Mark

    I oppose government involvement in either of those examples, as well, Jet.

  • I bet you think the government shouldn’t be involved with abortions issues either right Mark? I bet you were royally pissed that the California government got involved with denying gay rights too… right?

    You’re a vocal supporter only when it suits you.

    The sword cuts both ways

  • Political correctness or incorrectness be damned. It’s not the issue. Human decency is. And in this one respect, the Civil Rights Act was a step in the right direction.

  • Most telling of all Roger is how he wouldn’t answer the question of if a private business owner put up a WE DON’T SERVE BLACKS sign in their window in a business in his district, would he support it.

    He was asked and pressed twice and would NOT give a direct answer.

  • Mark

    Gotta go with Doug’s political incorrectness here — we need non-governmental solutions.

  • And BTW, I’m beginning to understand why you make it a point not to get terribly involved in political discussions. It ain’t worth it to take it as serious as you do. For the most part, you’re dealing with immature, unarrived people. The country is burning and they go about their merry way screaming “give me freedom,” “give me personal liberty.”

    This nation had had it.

  • But I will as soon as I turn off my i-Tunes. For now, classical music holds greater sway.

  • Of course he would be rambling. What other human being wouldn’t?

    Besides, he’s a non-entity, a Sarah Palin’s creation. Only American morons would be excited about having another moron represent them.

  • By the way after you’ve watched the interview-re-read this piece and see how right I was!

  • Click the link on 112. Pay attention to all of his quotes, then WATCH Paul himself in the 2nd half SIDESTEP every question with an indirect and rambling answer and I’ll let the man make my point for me quite nicely.

  • Thanks.

    I really don’t understand Doug. My initial impression was he was a reasonable person. Has he been infected by the “tea party” bug?

    It certainly looks like it.

  • Roger there’s a lot of set-up in it, but the interview is there-note his quotes from other interviews!

  • Doug,

    Perhaps Jet doesn’t consider it important to pay close attention to nonsense. Neither do I.

    He may have misspoken calling Rand Paul a racist, that’s immaterial as far as I am concerned. But the Civil Rights Act certainly goes beyond mere public places. It stipulates a rule of conduct throughout the land.

    If you have issues with that, knock on the doors of SCOTUS.

  • Jet, have you got a link to the Rachel Meadow’s interview – on Utube preferrably?

  • doug m


    It’s not about being pro-business. It’s about being anti-a government using powers it doesn’t have. You appear to neither comprehend the Bible, the law, or the defenition of semantics. But it is conveinent to give up when you offered no support for your position.

    I don’t have a website, but I don’t see how that discredits me. It’s clear any moron can have one.

    Baronius, I am impressed you found four points. I couldn’t get my head around the babble.

  • Hypothetically, if the Civil Rights Act is the law of the land – and I agree with Dreadful, no need for a constitutional amendment – than on what basis can we distinguish between public and private spaces.

    An employer, though a private firm, is certainly bound by anti-harassment and anti-discrimination laws. And so is a an apartment house owner with respect to rental properties. So on what basis, could anyone tell me, should a restaurant proprietor be exempt.

    Baronius, bless is soul, is known for throwing the monkey wrench into the works. What on earth has the constitutionality got to do with that. I might understand attribute such concerns to Goldwater. But to compare Goldwater to Rand Paul is but a Jedi trick. The man was but an MD throughout his adult life, and his sudden entry into politics, drafted as he may have been by the teapartiers, certainly doesn’t warrant any such attribution. “Constitutional concerns”? Give me a break.

    Again, the issue is not whether Rand Paul is a racist – that’s neither here nor there – but the soundness of the position. And it’s certainly an attempt to take us sixty years back when we had separate water fountains in public places, one for the whites and the other one for the coloreds.

    Nice job, Baronius.

  • From the Washington Post:
    Headline: Rand Paul confuses supporters, spurs anger with comments on Civil Rights Act

    By Krissah Thompson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, May 20, 2010; 2:54 PM

    Despite attempts to clarify his position, Senate Republican nominee Rand Paul has angered civil rights leaders and confused some supporters by getting involved in a contentious debate about whether the government overreached in its attempts to bar discrimination.

    Paul, who won his primary election Tuesday, launched into what has become a national political storm by arguing the merits of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which legally barred racial discrimination in public and most private places.

    He argued that the government should not have interfered with the operations of private business — even to enforce civil rights — while emphasizing that he does not support discrimination. He has made similar statements to his hometown paper and to NPR but the lengthy Maddow interview took off online.

    Paul’s views on race and Jim Crow have been called into question — even by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill. His campaign has tried to halt the conversation quickly, putting him on the air with conservative talk show hosts and releasing this statement midday: “I have clearly stated in prior interviews that I abhor racial discrimination and would have worked to end segregation. Even though this matter was settled when I was 2, and no serious people are seeking to revisit it except to score cheap political points, I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

    After Paul clarified his position, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who did not back Paul in the primary, distanced himself from Paul’s earlier argument. “Among Senator McConnell’s most vivid memories and most formative events in his career was watching his boss Sen. John Sherman Cooper help pull together the votes to break the filibuster and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in a written statement. “He has always considered the law a monumental achievement for the country and is glad to hear Dr. Paul supports it as well.”

    Still, questions about whether Paul’s views are outside of the mainstream remain, said Dewey Clayton, a political science professor at the University of Louisville. “When he’s talking with Kentuckians, he is talking about being a part of the tea party movement and advocating less government,” Clayton said. “There’s a lot of excitement over the fact that he won his primary, but I don’t think a majority of Kentucky citizens are going to support [Paul’s argument about the Civil Rights Act.] It be problematic for him down the road.”

    It’s already become a problem in some corners. NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said he will send out a challenge Friday to Paul to debate the issue. Jealous took Paul’s argument as a broad disapproval of the act, though Paul said in the interview that he supported the act’s intent.

    “It should be troubling to the entire country that we have a credible candidate who is a fan of taking the country back to the 1950s,” Jealous said. “This is not philosophy. This is reality, and there should be no room in politics for debating something as dead and dead wrong as Jim Crow segregation.”

    On Maddow’s show, Paul argued his point, refusing to retreat as she kept putting the question of government’s role to him.

    “Do you think that a private business has the right to say we don’t serve black people?” Maddow asked.

    Paul’s response: “Yes. I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But I think what’s important about this debate is not written into any specific “gotcha” on this, but asking the question: What about freedom of speech? Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent?

    Should we limit racists from speaking? . . . I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things freedom requires.”

    Brian Darling, director of Senate relations for the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Paul made a “political mistake” by talking about the Civil Rights Act with Maddow but that his position is “perfectly defensible.”

    “He’s saying that private business should be able to make decisions on their own without the federal government telling them what they cannot do, and he believes that the Constitution mandates that the federal government has very limited powers, and he doesn’t believe that the government should be telling private business what it should do,” Darling said.

    Using a topic as politically charged as racial discrimination to make a point about property laws was poor judgment, “but considering that its not an issue that’s pending before the House or the Senate, I don’t think it has legs,” Darling said.

    Wendy Caswell, a food service worker who organizes the Louisville tea party group, endorsed Paul’s candidacy and said she is still supportive — though confused about the civil rights debate.

    “It’s not something that’s regularly brought up when he speaks to us,” Caswell said. “He’s on the mainstream on the issues that matter to us when it comes to balancing the budget and enforcing term limits. Most of his ideas and concerns about the direction the government is going in echo our concerns and our beliefs.”

    Like it or not they are arguing that as far as they’re concerned the Government has no business telling someone on private property what and who they can and can not discriminate against.

  • Strike that!

    You’re going to object that we’re talking about local tavern. OK.

  • “but how does the government have the ability to impose racial equality?”

    The same way, Doug, it had done when the National Guard was sent in by JFK to enforce school integration in Alabama.

  • While I don’t think it’s okay to discriminate, unless someone shows me different, Goldwater and Paul may be right about the constitutionality of the matter. Instead of the Civil Rights Act, it may have been more proper for Congress and the states to amend the Constitution.

    There was no need, and the Civil Rights Act is perfectly sound. The 14th Amendment already afforded all Americans, regardless of sex, race, colour or creed, the equal protection of the law. This includes the interstate commerce clause, which is specifically referred to in Title II of the Act.

    As I see it, a restaurant owner is still perfectly entitled to refuse to serve someone based on, say, antisocial behaviour, BO, or even simply because he doesn’t like him.

    What he can’t do is refuse service because of something inherent and unchangeable like the colour of the customer’s skin.

  • doug m

    Dr Dreadful, you are misreading the situation on my end completely.

    While I don’t think it’s okay to discriminate, unless someone shows me different, Goldwater and Paul may be right about the constitutionality of the matter. Instead of the Civil Rights Act, it may have been more proper for Congress and the states to amend the Constitution.

    As far as Jet’s rhetoric, I know full well what he’s is attempting, but if he’s going to incorrectly call someone a racist, he’s not getting a free pass playing one. I don’t suffer fools who act brave through their keyboard. Plus, he could have made his point without resorting to such language.

  • …Glad I could help…

  • Baronius

    Jet, how am I supposed to reply to “it’s an excuse and you know it”? Obviously, I disagree.

  • Baronius

    Doug, it’s not the grammar of comment #91 that bothers me; it’s the way Jet misses the point on at least four issues.

  • Typical pro-business. Let’s give them all the benefits and worry about the consequences later.

    Doug you don’t have a lot of room to be accusing me of name-calling or being judgmental.

    You poor thing, just like in the bible; in law for every argument there’s an equally stong counter argument and I’m not going to walk into that obvious trap when the debate is based on unprovable opinions on both sides.

    I’m not a dumb as I look and I don’t have all day to argue semantics with you.


    at lease I post my websites in my name URL for all to see, are you ashamed of yours?

  • doug m

    Jet, a person isn’t racist because of who they and their family are, but it’s because of their actions. What grown person doesn’t know that?

    Why not cite the legal basis for your position rather than flail around throwing insults like a poo-flinging monkey at the zoo? Bleeding hearts don’t count for much in a court of law.

  • Let’s sort this out…

    Jet: I don’t think Doug was saying that it’s OK for a restaurant owner to racially discriminate. I think he was portraying this as Rand Paul’s position.

    Doug: Jet is not using racial and sexual epithets to cause offence. He is using them as a rhetorical device.

    In short: both of you are putting yourselves in somebody else’s shoes, and failing miserably to convey this to one another.

  • [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor] Baronius-it’s an excuse to use loopholes to discriminate and you know it. Let’s see how far we can bend the law without breaking it to give rednecks an excuse to refuse service to blacks as long as it happens on private property.

    The government has as much control over what happens on public property as on private or there’d be anarchy.

    That’s like saying the government has no business telling a privately owned southern “bible” school that it’s okay to not accept black children on their privately owned property.


  • Doug I’m gay, my grandfather was black and my aunts are mostly jewish-I’m the furthest thing from a racist you can find.

  • Baronius

    Doug’s right. I don’t know much about Rand Paul, but his comment isn’t racist. He takes the same position Goldwater did at the time, worried about the constitutionality of the law.

  • So business owners be them small or corporate shouldn’t have to abide by the same laws as regular people do? So now some redneck business owner is exempt from any civil rights law?

    Let’s turn that around a moment-Anti-abortion protesters have no business complaining because abortions are performed for the most part on PRIVATE PROPERTY and the teabaggers have no business saying they can’t… right?

    That’s the problem Doug-Big Business wants to be regarded as a citizen instead of a corporate entity.

    They want all the privleges without the responsibility. The bigger the corporation the more right-wing it is.

    They can interfere with and pour millions into Republican policital campaigns now with impugnity thanks to the Supreme Court, but at the same time assert through the tea party this bullshit, which you seem to be backing wholeheartedly.

  • Jet, re-read my comment. I didn’t call anybody a racist, certainly not Nalle.

    Inflexible ideology, whether on the left or right, can lead to indefensible stands on a lot of issues.

    It’s extremely unlikely that Paul’s views will ever change any anti-discrimination laws. But his view that the government should keep out of private business in all circumstances could have a lot of other types of consequences.

    The race/civil rights example is just a particularly shocking way to dramatize this extreme view.

  • doug m

    Voting does not happen in the private sector, so that’s a flawed example.

    And I must say for one who sits in judgement of who is a racist, it’s rather surprising to see you use so many derogatory terms. Or maybe you think it’s okay to use those words in that context, which would call into question who the racist really is.

  • doug m

    Jet, [Edited] I didn’t say it was okay, but how does the government have the ability to impose racial equality? And if they have that power to tell a business who they have to serve, does not that same power allow them to tell a business who they can’t?

  • Paul is a racist-albite a corporate one, but a racist. Using his logic the government wouldn’t be able to “force” voting rights, equal employment rights or anything else on people as long as they discriminated on “private property”

    Well-hell, lets get a few corporate sponsors to buu up towns all over the U.S., call ’em “private property” and write our own laws! No niggers, no Fags, no Spics, no Kykes, no mixed race brats!!! It’d be all legal ’cause it’s on private property.

    Hell, I bet the mayor could marry his sister!

    Which is about as dumb an assertion as saying that after granting the fags their right to marry we’ll be forced to let redneck farmers marry sheep.

  • #84 I’ll agree 100% with one exception. From my own personal dealings with him, Dave Nalle is neither a racist nor anti-gay.

    I disagree with nearly everything the man writes and stands for, but I won’t let that assumption stand without disagreeing with it.

    Nalle is a man of principals and he’s also someone I respect and consider a friend.


  • Doug, you said “If a restuarant doesn’t want to serve blacks, so be it” I was going to reply that I absofuckinglootly don’t believe I just read that…

    On second thought I sadly do.

    So you saying it’s okay to discriminate on private property. No interacial couples in hotels, no Mexicans in Italian resturants, No jews as airline stewardesses.

    Them niggers can marry some chinese woman if they want but I don’t have to serve them in my privately owned cafe.

    YOU my friend are a fucking racist-whether you admit it or not.

  • Rand Paul is not a racist.

    But his libertarian ideology is completely rigid and inflexible, and he can’t/won’t bend it even enough to say, “Of course I support the Civil Rights Act. Of course it’s ok to forbid lunch counters to discriminate.”

    He is an extremist, and a prisoner of his own extreme “principles.” Just like Dave Nalle and Kenn Jacobine and…

    The Maddow interview is an amazing thing to watch. She’s devastating without ever being rude or nasty. And Paul is an appealing and articulate man, so watching him struggle with this is…well, great television.

    Can’t wait to see how it plays out.

    For more great commentary on the story, see Ezra Klein and Andrew Sullivan.

  • doug m

    I don’t see how Rand is a racist. He just doesn’t believe the government should get involved with private business. If a restuarant doesn’t want to serve blacks, so be it. Now as a white man, I wouldn’t eat or work there, but why not let the community and the marketplace decide?

  • Believe it or not, he’s got a good chance in KY come November.

    My question was about Rand Paul in particular. After all, he’s got some pedegree. Is his father a racist, too?

  • I’m going to assume you were being sarcastic about never guessing a teapartier was racist.

  • There you go, Jet. The people’s idol.

    Interesting scoop on Rand Paul. Never would have guessed it.

  • Here’s the quote that got Mr. Paul into trouble.

    Paul’s views on the issue first came under scrutiny last month during an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal.

    “I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains, and I’m all in favor of that,” he said. “I don’t like the idea of teling private business owners — I abhor racism… I do believe in private ownership.”

    This means it’s okay for the civil rights act to prohibit racism in public employment and on public buses etc.

    But the Civil rights act has no business telling private business owners who they can and can not discriminate on private property.

    No blacks in MY resturant!
    No jews in MY gas station
    No Mexicans in MY rental property

  • Dislexia can be so embarrassing-I of course meant Rand Paul… ouch

  • Well isn’t this interesting? Rand Paul is revealing his true colors as a racist and wants people to be able to carry guns into restaurants!

    The Associated Press
    Thursday, May 20, 2010; 10:50 AM

    WASHINGTON — Kentucky Republican Rand Paul says he would have opposed forcing businesses to integrate under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    The Senate candidate was questioned about the landmark federal law in interviews on National Public Radio and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Wednesday. He said that while he liked the Civil Rights Act and opposes racial discrimination, he thought a lot of problems could be handled locally instead of nationally.

    Asked by Maddow whether or not lunch counters should have been desegregated, as in the 1960s in the South, Paul declined to give a yes or no answer. Instead, he said he doesn’t believe in discrimination, suggested the issue was abstract, and raised the idea of who decides whether customers can bring weapons into restaurants.

    Time to brush up on their vocabulary lesson in this article!

  • Care to explain #75? Don’t quite get it.

  • I never thought I’d show support for a conservative republiccan like Bennett, but this is absolutely rediculous.

    This is a one vote issue, because he voted for the Wall-street bailout.

    Not conservative enough for the Tea-Party???

    He’s against any liberal social issues like aborthion and gay rights.

    How far right to you have to be??????

  • The all-inclusive Tea Party of the “common people” show how far right-wing they really are.

    When Utah’s Republican Party holds its nominating convention on Saturday, the conservative insurgency could claim a significant scalp. Senator Robert Bennett, the three-term GOP stalwart, is lagging badly behind two Tea Party–fueled challengers. In a recent Salt Lake Tribune survey, Bennett garnered support from just 16% of state delegates, a figure eclipsed by attorney Mike Lee’s 37% and entrepreneur Tim Bridgewater’s 20%. Bennett’s anemic polling has his antagonists clamoring at the prospect of ousting the cycle’s first sitting Senator — and backers fearful that Bennett will earn the ignominious distinction of being the rare incumbent who fails even to crack his party’s primary ballot.

    Under Utah’s peculiar primary system, the party’s 3,500 state delegates — tapped by the 75,000 voters who turned out for local caucuses on March 23 — will cast secret ballots to winnow the candidate pool from eight to three, then vote again to narrow the race to two finalists. A candidate who tallies 60% of the vote would sidestep a primary and win the nomination outright; otherwise, the top pair proceeds to a June run-off. Citing his sagging status within a changing party, analysts have already penned Bennett’s political obituary. “Bennett has almost no shot of getting more votes at the convention than Bridgewater and Lee,” said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, the firm that conducted the Tribune survey.
    (See the 10 races that have Republicans worried for 2010.)

    Such an outcome would be the bruising fall Tea Party members have frequently predicted but so far rarely forced. But Bennett, 76, would be an unlikely victim. The son of a former Utah Senator and grandson of a former Mormon church president, Bennett has long boasted sterling conservative bona fides, and easily won re-election to his third term in 2004 with 69% of the vote. A proponent of the flat tax and opponent of abortion, he earns stellar grades from interest groups like the National Rifle Association, the American Conservative Union and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Yet his support for bank bailouts, his sponsorship of an alternative health-care proposal that included an individual mandate and his robust defense of earmarks are anathema to the state’s swelling coterie of right-wing activists.
    (See pictures of the Tea Party movement.)

    “The main issue was TARP and the bailout votes,” says David Kirkham, the Provo-based founder of the Utah Tea Party and a state delegate at Saturday’s convention. When he was nominated at a local caucus, the first question Kirkham faced was whether he backed Bennett. “I said, Absolutely not,” he says. “Everybody I talk to is very anti-Bennett.”
    (See 10 candidates who have the potential to be the next Republican surprise.)

    Tea Party leaders and anti-Bennett groups have cast the Senator’s plight as a harbinger for Republicans who fail to court newly energized conservative voters and heed the anti-incumbent winds buffeting Washington’s elite. But other analysts say that is giving the Tea Party movement too much credit. They view Bennett’s potential demise as the product of the blood-red state’s unique nomination system, in which a few thousand delegates have the clout to choose a U.S. Senator for a few million residents. “Utah has the highest barrier for entry onto a ballot of any state in the country,” says Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. “So the incentives are all toward kissing up to very, very few people.”

  • Dear god; Clavos read it without fainting?

  • I’d think that’d be obvious Stan, They brought them with them!

  • STM

    I’d like to know who’s looking after the trailers while the baggers are out protesting.

  • Clavos

    ¡Viva La Raza!

  • Yeah, Jet. My head hurts too from this. I was never much for the philosophy – whether it was “Likutéi SiHót or the secular philosophers. In Jewish culture, this kind of discourse is known as pilpúl – pepper. I don’t have Hungarian tastes and do not need that much pepper. A good cup of coffee is my style. Speaking of which, if I don’t make myself one soon, I’m going to nod off to sleep….

  • Ruvy, Jeff’s #64 seems to be saying “Judge not, lest ye be judged thyself”… but I’m not sure why, or in what context? It doesn’t seem to have any relation to the article or any comments you’ve made.

    Of course I could be wrong-and usually I am…

    If you do-Please don’t explain, my head hurts enough anyway…


  • Jeff Forsythe

    I will be tardy for work. More this afternoon if I can Mr. Ruvy

    Mr. forsythe

  • Jeff Forsythe


  • Mr. Forsythe,

    Are you referring to my comment #75 in Jet’s article about currency? I can attempt to answer comments in the same thread, but when they cross threads this way, the comments get jumbled up like a ball of yarn…..

    If you are referring to this thread, what are you referring to?

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Ruvy, the wise Hillel said that you can’t judge your fellow, but you can judge the person in whose place you are – namely yourself. So if you want to help your fellow improve himself, criticize yourself in a way that gets him thinking, too.

    In the story of Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch. Once, while receiving people in yechidut, Rabbi DovBer suddenly stopped the yechidut, locked his door, and refused to see anyone for many hours. Chassidim outside his door heard their Rebbe weeping and praying.

    Following this incident, the Rebbe was so weakened that he was confined to his bed for several days. Later, one of the elder Chassidim dared to ask the Rebbe what had occurred. Rabbi DovBer explained: “When a person seeks my assistance in curing his spiritual ills, I must first find the same failing – be it in the most subtle of forms — within my own self. For it is not possible for me to help him unless I myself have already experienced the same problem and undergone the same process of self-refinement. On that day, someone came to me with a problem. I was horrified to hear to what depths he had fallen, G-d forbid. Try as I might, I could not find within myself anything even remotely resembling what he told me. But Divine Providence had sent this man to me, so I knew that somewhere, somehow, there was something in me that could relate to his situation. The thought shook me to the very core of my soul and moved me to repent and return to G-d from the depths of my heart.”

    In other words, you can’t judge yourself, either. If you have a problem, then you’re the problem – you need someone outside of your problem to help you solve it. But if that person is outside of your problem, then he can’t truly know it, so he can’t solve it, either. What you need is a Rebbe – someone who is infinitely beyond your problem, yet knows that if you have the problem, he has it too.

    Mr. Forsythe

  • zingzing

    you’d better explain yourself a little bit better. “a movement that doesn’t exist?” of course it doesn’t exist. most people aren’t so callous. i don’t see who he’s blaming either.

    and “hate salesman?” back that up.

    you’re being purposefully vague. it’s transparent. you can’t answer the question, can you?

  • Baronius

    Zing, I’m talking about the Tim Wise article that blames people for their reaction to a movement that doesn’t exist. Wise is a hate salesman.

  • Thanks Zing-This EDITORIAL is a reaction to what I’ve already seen that has been documented on TV. In no instance have I speculated of what they “might” do.

  • zingzing

    baronius, blaming the right for things who might do? and what did i hypothetically say they would do? whoever “they” are.

    i’m not blaming the right for anything, i’m just saying their rhetoric is very inflammatory. inflammatory rhetoric has a tendency to inflame things. as in most anything, if something sticks around long enough there will be a backlash. if the tea party doesn’t dwindle out (which is a good possibility), the backlash will either come from within or without. if it comes from without, what do you think it will be?

    (maybe this is what you refer to, i dunno. i’m not the one who created the hypothetical situation. i’m just saying it’s possible it could come about given the current political climate. you can’t deny that, can you? if your side can do it, i don’t doubt ours can… and i think #40 might go a long way towards proving that in your eyes…)

    and if you’re taking my words and extending them into hypothetical territory, you’re at least as guilty of anything you say i’m guilty of as i am of being guilty of them… whatever that might be.

    (i’m not sure, because your wording is so vague, but is it the “death threats” bit that has you all atwitter? unless you refuse to look into the dark heart/freely available writings of the tea party, i guess that can’t be it…)

    and don’t think i don’t see what you’re doing… what would you say if it was minority groups that were using militant, inflammatory, threatening rhetoric against conservatives? what do you think of the black panthers? al qaeda? (and no, i’m not directly comparing the tea party to al qaeda… so don’t get your panties in a bunch.)

    you don’t have to answer the question, it’s a free country, but it would only confirm my suspicion that conservatives can’t rationally explain why one is ok and the other is not.

  • A strange thing… I’m getting lots of personal e-mails supporting this editorial and yet they’re not leaving their comments here.

    The impression I’m getting is that they think they’ll get ganged up here.

    Has the mood shifted that much since I’ve been gone?

  • Since you seem to be discussing something serious, here is a serious article on where you seem to be going….

  • Baronius

    Zing, so now you’re blaming the right for things you think they would do, hypothetically? I guess my comment #40 was prescient.

  • zingzing

    aww. sure, that’s the reason. it’s not because you know he’s right. or at least it’s a good question. really, what if it was a bunch of black, latino and muslim people were running around saying/doing the things the white tea party is (except, of course, turned against the conservatives)? unfortunately, with the rhetoric the tea party employs, that might happen. if it does, things could get ugly. they already are ugly, but that’s ok, because death threats and the like really increases our “freedom” as americans.

  • Baronius

    I’ve run across Tim Wise before. His thinking is exactly what a healthy society needs to get out of its head. I don’t want to sit around and think about race.

  • Of course the teabaggers don’t want to discuss how much (10s if thousands of dollars) local taxes pay for the overtime for cops to protect and direct traffic around their loud and angry rallies either-do they? Maybe the city should charge them a fee for those services rather than charge the taxpayers

    NO MORE TAXES! No more schools, no more roads/bridges, no more police, no more libraries, no new fire/rescue trucks or firemen, no highschool football/basketball teams, no more elementary band classes, teachers thrown into bankruptcy while trying to teach 50-60 kids per classroom, no new school busses…

    Taxes pay for all the branchs of the military… and Haliburton-they’d go bankrupt!, Taxes pay for flood control.

    go ahead keep screaming “fuck taxes” because without them we’ll have to borrow even more money and run up the deficit and then we’ll become a province of China (if we aren’t already)

    I bet you can’t guess what one of George Bush Sr’s jobs was before he became president?

    Ambassador to… you guessed it!… China

  • Simon & Gargunkle: “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”

  • zingzing

    baronius: “I made it almost a paragraph before I realized it was Tim Wise. I’ve got better things to do.”

    yep. the typical cowardly dismissal i expected. pathetical predictable. the idea behind it is not changed by who it is that’s writing the idea down. you can dismiss the writer, baronius, but if you made it a paragraph in, the idea’s already in your head. so what does it make you think?

  • That’s typical, though, Jet.

    Most people only look to having their own views confirmed, not challenged. Even the brightest, I daresay, so Aunt B is definitely no exception.

  • If I can listen to Limbaugh on occasion, Aunt B can read Wise

  • Baronius

    I made it almost a paragraph before I realized it was Tim Wise. I’ve got better things to do.

  • Great link, zing. I think it’s the same Tim Wise who had written another column about Rev. Wright.

  • 44 indeed it was Cindy

  • Barnious, I wonder what you think about color-blindness after considering that article.

  • er…tim

  • 38 zing,

    great article by time wise.

  • We might even have enough postage left over to mail Obama to Mars and Bush to the moon!

  • I hate rice pudding

  • I got whiplash just trying to figure out the logic of that last statement… ouch!

    Though I’ve never considered ot until now (thanks to you) do you realized that if we pulled the military out of places where we have no reason to be and stopped building fighter jets and destroyers to dogfight with the massive Taliban Air Force and Navy how many unemployed we could support until they found maningful jobs? … or or even pay down the National debt to stop paying China tens of millions a month in loan interest that could be used to rebuild and update our infrastructure?

    Trillions of bucks used to put industry back to work!

    It boggles the mind… of course it’d also put Haliburton out of business, but their headquarters in the middle-east, they’re an off-shore foreign company now.

  • Baronius

    Well, I really hate it when liberals throw rice pudding at pictures of Cheney, because they really mean that they want to gut the military.

  • The media, i suspect woulve been ignoring them by now Zing… As I mentioned in the article (which I’d like your opinion of and your Digg) haven’t you noticed that all the blacks and hispanics are near the camera in neews shots and everyone in the background are exclusivly shrill whites.

    Why would the media be ignoring them by now? Because of the fact that the only well-behaved, civil lucid, and well-educated members of the Tea Party ARE black! If they were all black they’d be boring… except to the Klan of course.

  • zingzing

    imagine if the tea party was black

    (note the timothy mcveigh mistake… given all the typos, it’s obvious this guy wrote this very passionately, and without time for links to his sources, but still, he makes an interesting point. would love to see how bc’s teabaggers respond to it. outright dismissal is my bet, but i think that would be cowardly. there’s no denying that if the tables were turned, they’d be horrified.)

  • I… I’m crushed. Oh this is horrible. Oh well, try-try again. Maybe he liked the Mt. Everest one. I KNOW he looked at the new $100 bill (it had a picture)… hopefully he won’t have too much tropuble cleaning the crayon marks he left off of his screen.


  • Arch Conservative

    I’m sorta disappointed though, if Arch doesn’t post a snide and disapproving remark on an article it’s not worth writing

    It’s been nice weather out here in New Hampshire all weekend. I just came in for a moment ot read the news and catch up ON BC.

    I skimmed through the responses.

    I didn’t read the article but given it’s title and author I’m sure it’s nothing but whackadoo moonbat garbage.

    I have better things to do.

    It’s going to be almost seventy today and I have yard work to do.

  • Ahhh the unprovable statement meets the unreconcilable opionion Baronious. In your opinion which you’re trying to push as fact, the tea partiers and Right wing republicans have never said those things.

    Just because you declare it, doesn’t make it so, it just makes me think you’re a tea partier at heart of whom I hurt his feelings…

    nothing more.

    I present my opinions as opinions

  • I wish the tea partiers and right-wing politicians said half of the things you claim they do.

    Who knows, Baronius? Maybe some of them will read this article and do just that, just to piss off people like Jet even more….

  • Baronius

    Jet – I wish the tea partiers and right-wing politicians said half of the things you claim they do.

  • Drat-I knew there was a Teabagger phrase I missed-darn darn darn darn-DARN


    This article is…..HOGWASH!

  • Certainly Jeff,
    Volume one is published in Sports
    click here

    and Volume two is published in culture
    click here

    They have different titles on BC because they’re under different sections, but on my own personal blogs (click my name above) they’re entitled “How Famous Athletes Are Gay” Vol. I & II (the pictures are a little “racier” on mine than what I can publish here)


  • Jeff Forsythe

    Jet would you post a link to the athlete article you mentioned? I cannot find it and it sounds interesting

    Mr. Forsythe

  • Expect an e-mail shortly, it’s part of the Adsense set up everyone was giving me hell on the yahoo forum about.

    Let me know if you need instructions and I’ll send them along.

  • And Jet, do tell me more about that digg link that lets you see how many people read your articles…. That is something of real interest to me. Give me a holler on e-mail, if you would.


  • By the way, Jet. You are not the only guy who can put out an 8 page piece on the tea partyers. I set this link up for you so you could see it as a single page (hint, hint, Phil Wynn).

  • No problem Glenn, with the new digg tool/link I can track the number of readers on my Adsense report-in about 12 hours since it was published this article’s been read by 103 people vs 24 comments vs only one Digg, so I’m not discouraged in the least.

    I’m more proud of my gay athletes article from five years ago that brings in about 1400 readers a week without new comments.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jet –

    I’m grinning from ear to ear! Well done!

    The only sad part is that when you slam the Right with unassailable fact or logic, they tend to pick up their toys and go home. If this article doesn’t get so many comments, that’s why.

  • I did, however manage to mention the exploitation of American Jews Ruvy, on several occasions.

  • Maybe he fainted while reading my Mt. Everest article in the culture section?

  • I doubt he’ll understand the whole article

  • Heck, I fergot. Bing’s an atheist. He’s liable not to understand the context of that comment….

  • Hey Bing!! The Philistines in the Temple of Dagon are calling for you to come out so they can make sport of you!

  • I was honestly amused by this article, Jet. I didn’t think much of its editorial slant, but you did turn out a good piece of writing. Looks like you really shined up that hatchet before using it. I guess the “tea baggers” piss you off, eh?

    I’m so glad I’m not an American anymore. I’d be so full of despair if I were.

  • #16-I’ll jot that down on a post-it note and stick it to my monitor Jeff.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Jet the next time one of your antagonists spout off about how liberal the U.S. media is you should reiterate your point in the opening of this article about how much coverage they have given the so called angry Mrs. Palin

    Mr. Forsythe

  • Well Cannon, consider that Palin had a college education and look how that turned out.

    That and her whiney voice just cuts right through me.

  • Yes, Jet. He joined the gay parade.

  • I think you’re right on both counts, Cannon.

  • Cannonshop

    #1 Well, Roger, it could be a demonstration of the false utility of NYT polls (i.e. if you want a specific outcome, hash the questions until the answers bear zero resemblance to reality), or the poor state of American PUBLIC Education.

  • Maybe he took a trip to Mt. Everest?

  • Well, Archie is a horse of another color. He’s a straight shooter, though, have got to give him that.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Give him time Jet. Exceptional article if not a bit lengthy. I like a piece that doesn’t pull any punches and enjoyed it. Unlike Palin you are not one to talk out of both sides of your mouth

    Mr. Forsythe

  • I’m sorta disappointed though, if Arch doesn’t post a snide and disapproving remark on an article it’s not worth writing.

    Maybe I’m just being impatient

  • point taken

  • Dave’s always fair when wearing an editorial hat. In fact, he’s fairer than most of his own writings indicate.

    It’s just that by his own admission, he’s engaged in political action here, and fairness has no place.

  • Tread lightly Roger, Dave edited this piece and was damned fair about it, making next to no changes.

  • “Racially balanced” – Dave Nalle’s favorite expression.

  • STM

    I love the bit about “racially balanced”. Lol.

    That means enough weight from uppity whitefellas on one side to counteract the opposite arguments from uppity blackfellas, hispanics and other non-WASP/anglo-celt/northernm European-descended folks on the other.

    It’s one thing not to want to give your country away willy-nilly, another to base it purely on race.

  • Thank Roger. as for the poll… your guess is as good as mine

  • Good show, Jet.

    I’m still puzzled by the recent NYT poll according to which, the teapartiers are better educated than most Americans.