Monday morning’s 9 barely interesting things

1) Obama At AIPAC  | Andrew Sullivan - For the worldview of Cheney and Netanyahu to prevail, Obama must be defeated. That is clearly the agenda of the current Israeli government, and what the NYT delicately but accurately calls “Israel’s backers” in the US. My worry is that once the Likudniks begin to realize Obama may not be defeated by the GOP at home, the current Israeli government would launch a war without warning to create a crisis to humiliate the president, rally end-times evangelicals to vote, send oil prices soaring, and force the US president to coopt a war he does not want and does not yet believe is necessary. If that helps the GOP nominee, so much the better. Every GOP candidate is now committed to the most extreme positions of the Likudnik Israeli right – and are to the bellicose right of most Israelis. I hope that the Israeli government is not that reckless or extreme. But ask yourself when thinking about Netanyahu: what would Cheney do? These individuals are radicals. They turned the US into a torturing nation and regarded that decision as a “no-brainer.” A “wag-the-dog” scenario in which Netanyahu creates a war to wound and weaken a US president before an election is, sadly, not unthinkable. And he will have the GOP as his critical back-up.

2) Should We Be More Scared Of Pandemics? - “Worst case for a severe pandemic would certainly be in the millions [of deaths] in the U.S. alone,” says John Barry. He has advised the last two U.S. presidents on the flu virus and wrote The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. … When the so-called Spanish flu struck in 1918, it resulted in 500 million infections and 50 million to 100 million deaths, in a world with a population of about 1.8 billion people. That’s equivalent to around 385 million deaths—only a little less than the current population of South America—if extrapolated out to today’s population. “Because of the mildness of the 2009 pandemic, I would say most people underestimate the threat,” says Barry.

3) And Breitbart goes out not with a bang but a whimper - Apparently the big expose Breitbart promised before his death has been released at one of the Big Morons sites, and the shocking revelation is… Obama attended a play 14 years ago that was about Saul Alinksy. || And THIS is the “damning information” that caused Breitbart’s “assassination” by Obama, according to conspiracy theorists. lol.

 4) David Frum: HBO’s ‘Game Change’ Charts Sarah Palin’s Revenge - The professionals soon discover their mistake. “I don’t even like to say this, but has it occurred to you guys that she might be mentally unstable?” asks one staffer about the woman the McCain campaign proposed to put next in line to America’s nuclear codes. As they come to know Palin, the campaign professionals begin to feel an awakening of conscience: first qualms, then fears, and finally revulsion—not for the campaign, not for their careers, but for their country. They supported McCain because they saw him, in Schmidt’s words, as a statesman and national hero running against a celebrity with no major life accomplishments. In hopes of reversing adverse poll numbers, they yoked a great man to a running mate who was not merely unworthy, but dangerous. Some of the best acting in the film is in the looks of unspoken dread that flit about the faces of Sarah Paulson’s Wallace and Harrelson’s Schmidt as they react to Palin’s wilder and wilder provocations. What have they done? And if this campaign somehow wins—and Palin is put within reach of the presidency—what might they have done?

If ever there were a scenario in which Godwin’s Law was apropos, Sick Rantorum is it.5) Santorum: Contraception ‘a grievous moral wrong’ - “The Blunt amendment was broader than that. It was a conscience clause exception that existed prior to when President Obama decided that he could impose his values on people of faith, when people of faith believe that this is a grievous moral wrong. [...] I’m reflecting the views of the Church that I believe in. We used to be tolerant of those beliefs. I guess now when you have beliefs that are consistent with the church, you are somehow out of touch with the mainstream. And that to me is a pretty sad situation when you can’t have personally-held beliefs.” || I find it “pretty sad” that, as president, Santorum would like to impose his personal religious beliefs on the entire country.

motherjones:Context: Rick Santorum pledges to repeal 130,000 legally recognized same-sex marriages if elected president.6) Santorum backs nullifying existing gay marriages - There are 18,000 married gay and lesbian couples in California and at least 131,000 nationwide according to the 2010 census, conducted before New York state legalized same-sex marriage in July. Rick Santorum says he’ll try to unmarry all of them if he’s elected president. Once the U.S. Constitution is amended to prohibit same-gender marriages, “their marriage would be invalid,” the former Pennsylvania senator said Dec. 30 in an NBC News interview.

7) 99% of Republicans expect their kids to go to college, according to Pew report. - No matter what political beliefs they hold, nearly all parents—99 percent of Republicans, 96 percent of Democrats, and 93 percent of independents—expect their children to go to college, the survey found. That resounding endorsement makes clear that Santorum is all but alone in his opinion that only snobs encourage all kids to go to college. || And there you have it: 99% of Republicans are snobs.

8) Chris Wallace: Fox News covers contraception for female employees - During a discussion about women’s health issues on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace revealed that the insurance provided by the conservative news network included oral contraceptives. “Before coming on today, I checked with the women here at Fox News and it turns out that Fox News health coverage does cover — there’s a co-pay — but it does cover contraception,” Wallace explained. “When it comes to contraception, you know the idea that — and we’re not talking about religious institutions. According to the Blunt amendment, any — U.S. Steel, as I said, Fox News, any company could simply decide, we are not going to offer that. An insurance company could decide, one that has no ties to any religious organization.” || There’s an FYI for Limbaugh and his zombie hoard — the “sluts” at Fox News have the health insurance benefit that Sandra Fluke was talking about. 

9) You might wonder: how are Limbaugh’s hoards in the wingnut blogosphere handling the advertising exodus from the barren land of El Rushbo? Like this:  SLUTGATE: CONTACT CARBONITE – DROP ED SCHULTZ!!!!! – A 30-year-old poses as a 23-year-old, chooses a Catholic University to attend at $65,000 per year and can not afford ALL the birth control pills she needs… so she wants the US taxpayers to pay for her rampant sexual activity. By all accounts she is banging it five times a day. She sounds more like a prostitute to me. She must have an gyno bill to choke a horse (pun intended). Slut was a softball. Obama calls her and tells Sandra Slut Fluke that her parents should be so proud of her. He’s a pimp. As for Rush calling a spade a spade, or in this case, a slut a slut, advertiser Carbonite is playing selective outrage. Contact Carbonite here and demand that they drop their ads from Ed Schultz’s program. || That’s courtesy of a woman, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. Who better to casually throw around such pejoratives about another woman than a true lady like Geller?