To fundamentalists of any Abrahamic religion, women are property and must be managed by men.
To fundamentalists of any Abrahamic religion, women are property and must be managed by men.
“Mosques are not churches like we would think of churches. They think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches — we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.” – Colorado state Sen. Kevin Grantham (R), quoted by the Colorado Statesman, saying a proposal to ban construction of new mosques should be considered. (via)
All loving Christians are invited to celebrate the word of God at Rev. William Collier’s annual conference — that is, as long as they are white. [...] The Alabama town’s mayor is renouncing the Reverend, saying that such hate speech is unwelcome in the town. But Collier defended the flyer this week, saying that he isn’t a racist — just that “the white race is God’s chosen people.” (via)
During his Thursday Focal Point radio program, Bryan Fischer equated the healthcare mandate with going to church: “We know that going to church is good for you, it’s good for your health. So we are going to mandate that you go to church for your own health and we are going to tax the atheists who don’t go to church. Now we can’t make you go to church, but we are going to penalize you if you don’t,” Fischer continued. “We are going to assess a tax on every atheist who doesn’t go to church because those atheists are endangering their physical health.” (via)
“I liked the idea of giving parents the option of sending their children to a public school or a Christian school. Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion. We need to insure that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools.” – Louisiana state Rep. Valarie Hodges (R), quoted by the Livingston Parish News, upon learning that the recently passed voucher program can go to Muslim schools as well as Christian schools. (via)
Aren’t American fundagelical children adorable (like their parents)? Or look at it this way: the Taliban will have nothing on the next generation of Christians.
It’s election day in Wisconsin, Maryland, and DC.
THE WHITE HOUSE / DEMOCRATS
Obama: Supreme Court won’t overturn health care law – “I think [the individual mandate] is important and I think the American people understand, and I think the justices should understand that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to insure that people with preexisting conditions can actually get health care,” said president Obama … Overturning the law would be “an unprecedented, extraordinary step” since it was passed by a majority of members in the House and Senate,” he said. “I just remind conservative commentators that for years we’ve heard that the biggest problem is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That a group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”
Andrew Sullivan comments, “Too aggressive? A harbinger of a campaign theme if the Court strikes the law down? Or a necessary self-defense? After Citizens United, I’d lean to the latter.”
Obama to slam Republican ‘social Darwinism’ — He will roast a budget passed by the Republican House of Representatives, and backed by the party’s presidential candidates, as a “Trojan horse,” according to excerpts of a major speech he was due to deliver later Tuesday. […] “Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly-veiled Social Darwinism… But Obama argues that the plan will punish the middle class and further enrich the wealthy, a message around which he is building his campaign for a second White House term. “It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it,” Obama was to say in his speech, in a repudiation of trickle-down economics. “By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.” […] Obama will also use his speech on Tuesday to make a new push for the “Buffett rule” a plan named after billionaire financier Warren Buffett, that would mandate that all Americans earning over $1 million pay at least a 30 percent tax rate.
“This is not your father’s Republican Party. This is a different party than I’m used to…. It really is different.” – Joe Biden (source)
Joe Biden dismisses Mitt Romney as ‘out of touch’ — “Here’s what I don’t think that Governor Romney seems to understand,” Biden said. “It’s not just about the kid that doesn’t get to go to college because we’re not willing to help him. It’s about that parent, that proud parent looks at his kid and knows, ‘There’s nothing I can do to help this kid.’ … I don’t know that he understands that there are people like my dad who felt ashamed that he wasn’t able to borrow the money and apologizing to me. The worst thing in the world for a parent is to know they can’t help their child, whether they’re sick because they can’t get insurance for them because they have a preexisting condition, or they can’t help get them to college.” That doesn’t mean Biden is counting on an easy win, but he said the anti-government rhetoric out of the Romney camp as it fights to secure the nomination guarantees that voters will have a stark choice in November. “This is the first time the Republicans aren’t hiding the ball,” Biden said. “They’re saying exactly what they think. They’re not talking about compassionate conservatism.”
Clinton praises U.S. for uproar over Limbaugh comments – “As a woman and as someone who can vaguely remember being a young woman — and as a mother of a young woman of that age and generation — I thought the response was very encouraging.” “I think we need to call people out when they go over the line. They’re entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to engage in that kind of verbal assault,” she said, according to a transcript released Monday. […] “There’s been no place better to be a woman than in 21st-century America. So we cannot allow any voices to be given credibility that would undermine the advances that women have made in our country,” she said.
THE SHORT BUS: AKA THE 2012 GOP PRIMARY
Romney: Obama wants to ‘establish a religion called secularism’ – “I think there is in this country a war on religion. I think there is a desire to establish a religion in America known as secularism. They gave it a lot of thought and they decided to say that in this country that a church — in this case, the Catholic Church — would be required to violate its principles and its conscience and be required to provide contraceptives, sterilization and morning after pills to the employees of the church. … We are now all Catholics. Those of us who are people of faith recognize this is — an attack on one religion is an attack on all religion. It’s one more reason we need to get rid of Obamacare. It’s also one more reason we need to get rid of Obama.”
“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote…” — JFK (what religious freedom USED to mean)
Wisconsin Chaos Buries Romney’s Big Moment – Romney is on the verge of all-but-officially taking the GOP nomination on the strength of a growing delegate lead and impressive array of endorsements. But the Wisconsin contest, where Romney is favored despite starting behind Rick Santorum in polls last month, also happens to be taking place in the only primary state so far where the presidential battle is an afterthought. Instead, Wisconsin is dominated by Gov. Scott Walker’s recall battle and the ongoing legal fight over the controversial labor law that precipitated it. “Frankly, the presidential primary is being well overshadowed by the recall election,” Wisconsin GOP strategist Mark Graul told TPM. “People are just so hyper-focused on this recall that the presidential election is really just a distant second in most activists’ and voters’ minds, not just on my side of the aisle but with Democrats as well.” This week, the state officially certified the petition campaign to recall Walker, setting a June 5 date for the election that Democrats had gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures in order to force.
Rick Santorum Faces Triple Wipeout in Wisconsin, Maryland, and D.C. — The poll shows Romney leading 40 percent to 33 percent in Wisconsin, and here’s the key stat: Santorum has lost every state for which there is exit polling when the percentage of evangelical voters is less than 50. And in Wisconsin, says NBC, evangelicals make up 41 percent of the Republican electorate. Santorum’s failure to expand his base beyond very conservative and religious voters has hurt him badly in such states as Michigan and Ohio, even as he has racked up wins elsewhere. And he looks to be toast in Maryland, where a Rasmussen poll has him trailing Romney, 45 percent to 28 percent. Santorum has no intention of pulling the plug on his campaign, even if he gets wiped out on Tuesday. || me: HOORAY!
BEARING FALSE WITNESS: Santorum Claims California Universities Don’t Teach American History – “I was just reading something last night from the state of California. And that the California universities – I think it’s seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught.” In fact, of the 10 UC system schools, just one (San Francisco) doesn’t offer American history courses. But that’s because it doesn’t offer any humanities courses at all — it’s a medical school. Meanwhile, Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz all offer numerous American history courses. All require students to take U.S. history before they can graduate.
1) YOUR 21ST CENTURY REPUBLICAN PARTY:
2) MITT ROMNEY:
3) RICK SANTORUM:
4) F&%KING RUSH LIMBAUGH:
1) Rush Scrubs ‘Slut’ Comment, Demand for Fluke Sex Tapes - RushLimbaugh.com appears to have removed parts of his radio transcripts from February 29 and March 1 in which he called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and demanded a sex tape as a thank you to taxpayers for subsidizing her birth control. The links to “Butts Sisters Are Safe From Newt and Rick” and “Left Freaks Out Over My Fluke Remarks” now show blank stretches of white space. On March 3, Limbaugh posted an apology on his website. On March 5, he apologized at length on his show. In between, he was not apologetic at all. It’s the first round of insults and that bit of doubling down that appear to have been scrubbed.
Limbaugh, the perverted, chemically enhanced sex tourist, can never scrub the internet:
2) Dead Air On Rush Limbaugh’s Show - Rush Limbaugh has characterized the almost 50 advertisers that have ditched him as an insignificant number compared to those that remain. “It’s like the couple of french fries left in the bottom of the bag you get at the drive thru.” And yet Media Matters reports today that twice during the Limbaugh show there were periods of dead air, the second of which lasted 2:38. How many french fries was that again?
3) Quote of the Morning - “To Rush Limbaugh: Hey Jackass, stop using our music on your racist, misogynist, right wing clown show. Sincerely, Rage Against The Machine” Tom Morello ——- HA! And so they join Peter Gabriel and Rush. Who’s next?
4) Jon Stewart mocks Breitbart’s Obama footage - In the video from 1990, Obama is seen encouraging students to “open up your hearts and minds to the words of Professor Bell” and then hugging the Harvard law professor. “Oh. He hugged the professor. Is there something else I’m missing?” Stewart wondered. “But who is Sean Hannity?” he asked. “Because as he has shown us in the Facebook era, you are who you like.” Stewart then played clips of Hannity describing Oliver North, who was involved in the Iran-Contra affair, as his “good friend.” He said the same about Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy, convicted murderer Don King, and rockstar Ted Nugent. “How radical is the crowd Hannity runs with?” asked Stewart. “The guy threatening to stick a gun in the president’s mouth is the one who hasn’t seen the inside of a jail cell yet. Sean, digging through twenty and thirty years of old archives to find evidence of how radical Obama will be as president is wasting valuable time you could be spending bedazzling American flag jean jackets.”
5) Rick Santorum To Single Mothers: Government Paternity Tests Or No Welfare - During his first U.S. Senate campaign in 1994, Santorum made unwed mothers and welfare reform regular features of his stump speech. Recently, Mother Jones reported that the candidate had once argued that single mothers were “breeding more criminals” and advocated that they should be denied welfare benefits if they refused to identify the child’s father. [...] The Observer-Reporter newspaper in Washington, Pa., captured Santorum’s focus on mothers during a report from that March. The paper noted that “his bill would encourage states to refuse welfare to unmarried parents, require unmarried minor mothers to live with their parents, and the bill would reduce federal payments to states that do not achieve high rates of paternity establishment.” Santorum also had a theory about working mothers long before his book “It Takes A Family” was published in 2005. He claimed higher taxes were forcing women to join the workforce. At a campaign stop in April 1994 in Latrobe, Pa., he said the Clinton administration was “taxing families out of existence.”
6) The Case for Obama - Paul Glastris at the Washington Monthly: ”In short, when judging Obama’s record so far, conservatives measure him against their fears, liberals against their hopes, and the rest of us against our pocketbooks. But if you measure Obama against other presidents—arguably the more relevant yardstick—a couple of things come to light. Speaking again in terms of sheer tonnage, Obama has gotten more done than any president since LBJ. But the effects of some of those achievements have yet to be felt by most Americans, often by design. Here, too, Obama is in good historical company.” He goes on to explain that a number of cornerstone social programs (Social Security, the GI Bill) were pretty weak (and criticized for being so) when first passed, until subsequent legislation turned them into the programs we see today. We’ve heard this argument before, but Glastris’ piece is the best recitation of the argument I’ve seen…
politicalprof: The times they have a’changed.
John Heilemann wrote a really good piece for NYMag about how the GOP is currently tearing itself apart:
…All of which is to say that when Santorum takes the podium to address a Michigan Faith & Freedom Coalition rally in Shelby Charter Township, the 1,500 souls he sees before him are his kind of people—and soon enough he is speaking their language. To explain how America has always differed from other nations, Santorum invokes the Almighty: “We believe … we are children of a loving God.” To elucidate the evils of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and cap-and-trade, he inveighs against liberal elites: “They want to control you, because like the kings of old, they believe they know better than you.” To highlight what’s at stake in 2012, he unfurls a grand (and entirely farkakte) historical flourish: “This decision will be starker than at any time since the election of 1860”—you know, the one featuring Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas on the eve of the Civil War.
[...] The transfiguration of the GOP isn’t only about ideology, however. It is also about demography and temperament, as the party has grown whiter, less well schooled, more blue-collar, and more hair-curlingly populist. The result has been a party divided along the lines of culture and class: Establishment versus grassroots, secular versus religious, upscale versus downscale, highfalutin versus hoi polloi. And with those divisions have arisen the competing electoral coalitions—shirts versus skins, regulars versus red-hots—represented by Romney and Santorum, which are now increasingly likely to duke it out all spring.
[...] Only the most mindless of ideologues reject the truism that America would be best served by the presence of two credible governing parties instead of the situation that currently obtains. A Santorum nomination would be seen by many liberals as a scary and retrograde proposition. And no doubt it would make for a wild ride, with enough talk of Satan, abortifacients, and sweater vests to drive any sane man bonkers. But in the long run, it might do a world of good, compelling Republicans to return to their senses—and forge ahead into the 21st century. Which is why all people of common sense and goodwill might consider, in the days ahead, adopting a slogan that may strike them as odd, perverse, or even demented: Go, Rick, go.
That ending though… Charles P. Pierce responds to the ending of this, otherwise, really good piece:
As to that last part, well, I’d like to know the scenario under which any of those guys would be more “moderate” — and, thereby, more “electable” — in 2016 than they are today. They certainly don’t represent a “moderate” reaction to a potential Santorum electoral cataclysm. Zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan is an outright extremist on fiscal policy, and counts as a “policy intellectual” only on those days when actual policy intellectuals are at the dogtrack. Chris Christie is “moderate” in almost nothing in his life, including his utter inability to avoid being a jackass on television. He’s also on the wrong side of most social issues. Bobby Jindal signed on with Rick Perry’s semi-militia “Tenth Amendment” bullshit, and he’s every bit the ultramontane Catholic that Santorum is. It’s far too late for Jeb Bush a) to take back all the Schiavo nonsense, and the anti-affirmative action pandering that had people sitting in at his office, and b) to change his last name. Which leaves us with Mitch Daniels, value-sized governor of Indiana, union-buster,defunder of Planned Parenthood, and, lest we forget, the budget director under George W. Bush, where his job was fairly easy because all the really big stuff — two wars, Medicare Part D — was kept off the books.
These are the people who, if it becomes absolutely necessary, are going to lead the Republican party back from the brink and back to “serious and forward-thinking” moderation? Does Heilemann have the faintest clue how absolutely rabid the Republican base is going to get if the Kenyan Muslim Usurper gets re-elected at all, much less decisively? (I suspect he does, because he’s a good reporter.) It is going to be four completely batshit years of internet conspiracy theories, fantastical chain e-mails, talk-radio hydrophobia, and bloody-fanged abandoned wrath until hell won’t have it any more. Anyone who wants to run in 2016 is going to have to spend a lot of time being the respectable face of all of that — or, at the very least, doing things to placate the madmen that nobody with any self-respect should want to do. The clown car, alas, has become a motorcade.
1) Romney Says Obama Has ‘Secular Agenda’ (or Wait a minute! Isn’t the US of Amurica SUPPOSED to be a secular nation?) - ”You expect the president of the United States to be sensitive to that freedom and protect it and, unfortunately, perhaps because of the people the president hangs around with, and their agenda, their secular agenda, they have fought against religion. I can assure you, as someone who has understood very personally the significance of religious tolerance and religious freedom and the right to one’s own conscience, I will make sure that we never again attack religious liberty in the United States of America.” || Note: I wonder if Santorum thinks Romney, as a Mormon, is a true “Christian”?
2) Romney makes no apologies for his cars (warning: Washington Times article) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, criticized by some for his unprompted comments Friday on the number of cars his family owns, said Sunday he can’t please everyone on the campaign trail. “I can’t be perfect. If people think there’s something wrong with being successful, then they ought to vote for the other guy, because I’ve been extraordinarily successful,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” Mr. Romney, campaigning in Michigan on Friday ahead of Tuesday’s primary, told an audience that his wife, Ann, “drives a couple of Cadillacs.”
3) Santorum: Romney and Paul in ‘coordination’ against me (or the calculated alliance between Romney and Paul to vote Santorum off the island) - “I felt like, you know, messages were being slipped behind my chair,” he added. Santorum’s remarks, which came in response to a question from a member of the audience, reflect growing attention on a theory about an unlikely political partnership. “It is pretty remarkable in 20 debates that Ron Paul has never attacked Mitt Romney,” Santorum said. Calling him Romney’s “wingman,” Santorum said of Paul, “he is no conservative,” adding, “we don’t need the Ron Paul faction and the moderate establishment teamed up to attack the real conservative in this race.”
4) Michigan Tea Partiers Share Rick Santorum’s Fears Over Obama’s College Push (Teabaggers are equating college with Communism now) - But for the tea party crowd gathered here as part of an Americans For Prosperity rally, Santorum’s words about higher education were right on point. “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said. “What a snob!” Santorum started by saying some people don’t need to go to college: “Not all folks are gifted the same way. Some people have incredible gifts with their hands.” He then suggested there was an sinister motive behind Obama’s push to get more Americans in college classrooms. [...] So I set out into the crowded ballroom to find out just what the people the AFP crowd thought of Santorum’s attack line. Turns out they quite liked it…
Ayatollah Santorum’s Bluecollar Pandering Fail - Today at an Americans For Prosperity rally in Michigan, Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for wanting to send more Americans to college. “There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor,” Santorum declared. But back in his 2006 Senate re-election campaign, Santorum was touting his plan to send every Pennsylvanian to college. Evan McMorris-Santoro reports from Michigan.
Also at this rally: Santorum Again Relates Food Stamps to Minorities (except this time he didn’t say “BLAH people”) - Rick Santorum on Saturday resuscitated one of his more controversial remarks from the past few months of campaigning for president, connecting food stamps with “minority communities.” Speaking to a large crowd at the conservative Americans for Prosperity Presidential forum here, Santorum said he planned to “talk to minority communities, not about giving them food stamps and government dependency, but about creating jobs so that they can participate in the rise of this country.”
5) America’s last hope: A strong labor movement - Instead of being fundamentally discredited, the oligarchs and plutocrats who crashed our economy are raking in record profits and acting even more aggressively to bury the American labor movement once and for all. Over the last year, several labor leaders have told me that they believe unions have only about five more years left if they don’t figure out some kind of breakthrough strategy. The complete collapse of unions would have devastating consequences. The labor movement has played a crucial role in advancing economic justice in the workplace and in politics. Union membership raises median weekly earnings and reduces race- and gender-based income gaps, and union workers are much more likely to receive health care and pension benefits than workers who are not members of a labor union. The decline of organized labor is directly linked to the rise in economic inequality over the last 40 years and the onset of a “Second Gilded Age.” The decline in union density coupled with the decline in the real value of the minimum wage explains one-third of the dramatic growth in wage inequality since the early 1970s.
6) Practically Frothing For War - The redemption of Rick Santorum as Serious Foreign Policy Thinker(tm) comes courtesy of Michael Ledeen in the WSJ. And so it goes. Clearly the Murdoch machine is hedging their bets when it comes to the very real possibility that the man who will carry the GOP’s standard into battle against President Obama is going to be a know-nothing fundamentalist dipstick. So like Bush 43 before him, the same “scholars” who told us that it didn’t really matter that the Republican candidate is a moron because he would be surrounded by a brain trust of great minds led by the necessary vision and will to “win” are hard at work constructing the exact same fantasy with Iran as their target.
7) Last week the Christianity police (Rick Santorum and Franklin Graham) came forward to discredit the president’s religious beliefs - According to a 2008 poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, more than half of American Christians believe there are many paths to heaven. The data say it best: No matter what exclusivist doctrines pastors preach from the pulpit, Americans are more open-minded. Last year, an evangelical pastor from Michigan named Rob Bell roused the ire of his colleagues by suggesting, in a book called “Love Wins,” that mostly everybody goes to heaven. It was a massive bestseller. America was founded by people who hoped that by allowing religious diversity to flourish, they might discourage extremism from growing. Counter to the claims of so many Christian conservatives, the intent of the First Amendment is not to protect any particular brand of Christianity from government encroachments, but to allow all kinds of believers to practice freely.
8) What Happens At A Brokered Convention? - The last time Americans saw a full-on major party brawl was when Teddy Kennedy decided to push his liberal economic vision at the 1980 New York City Democratic convention. Kennedy attempted to overcome sitting president Jimmy Carter’s nomination by fighting a rule change that would compel delegates to vote on their first ballot for the candidates to whom they had pledged their votes during the primaries. He lost this challenge, along with the nomination, but fought hard to have his pro-workers’ rights views incorporated into the party platform. Kennedy’s impassioned speech to convention delegates led to 40 minutes of floor demonstration, proving once and for all the power of quivering, patrician timbre, and straight-up audacity. Jamelle Bouie believes that “Republican leaders would have a serious problem on their hands if they tried to buck the voters and install a candidate of their own.”
9) OPERATION HILARITY: How Serious Is The Democratic Crossover Vote Threat In Michigan? - Are clever Democratic activists really going to cost Mitt Romney his home state on Tuesday? Or is the grassroots plan to use Michigan’s open primary as a means to humiliate the candidate most see as the biggest threat to President Obama in the fall just a red herring? Romney’s allies aren’t worried. Democrats and Obama’s campaign aren’t getting involved. And yet, activists think they just might pull this thing off. Welcome to the Michigan primary sideshow that just might play a part in the main event.
In a 2008 interview with the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life Rick Santorum said the following:
Ed Kilgore says,
As it happens, the Santorum appearance Waldman wrote about occurred around the same time in 2008 as the Pennsylvanian’s now famous speech at Ave Maria University when he regaled his audience with a narrative of the ongoing war for America between true Christians and Satan. He sadly concluded that mainline Protestantism, which was “gone from the world of Christianity,” had already been lost to His Infernal Majesty. Clearly, the apostasy of liberal Protestants was on his mind at that time, perhaps because of the rise to national power of Barack Obama.
As Waldman noted, this is not that unusual an attitude for self-consciously conservative Christians to have these days, but it’s unusual to hear it from a politician. Rick Santorum cannot have it both ways, though. If he feels so strongly that Christians who don’t share his particular “world view” aren’t really Christian at all, then he should be loud and proud about it, and stop pretending he’s just this mild-mannered man of faith being persecuted by people who despise the very name of Jesus Christ.
It’s easy enough for the far right to judge liberals and Obama, especially by those who call themselves “Christians” — they do it all the time.
But I’d really like to hear how all the rightwing, born-again, evangelical Protestants feel about Santorum’s conclusion that they and their religion are ‘gone from the world of Christianity‘.
We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.
So, you see, you’re not a real Christian either. Sorry! Deal with it, I guess. Only Saint Santorum decides who’s in or out. I wonder if Jesus Himself would make Santorum’s cut?
Jed Lewison brings up a good point about tonight’s GOP debate – Rick Santorum’s answer to the religion question will define Wednesday’s debate:
With Rick Santorum’s radical views on the role of religion in public life under fire not just from those of us on the left but also Mitt Romney’s allies in the Republican establishment, here’s an easy prediction for tomorrow’s debate: How Santorum handles the “are you a religious fanatic and/or would you govern as one?” question will define the debate. Thanks to Newt Gingrich’s famous outburst, John King might not have the guts to open the debate with that question, but there’s no way he can avoid asking it without looking like a total idiot. When he does, if Santorum betrays even a hint of defensiveness in his answer, it could be a disaster for his candidacy. On the other hand, if he goes on the attack against his critics, it could send starbursts flying throughout the GOP and presage a mad rush to his candidacy like the one Gingrich experienced in South Carolina.
Will the typically angry, low-info, resentful, cheering-for-executions-and-deaths-of-the-uninsured teabaggy audience applaud louder for an American Theocracy as envisioned by the little mullah, or for an American Plutocracy as plotted by the King of Bain? Tune in!
In Michigan, Romney has successfully clawed his way past the fanatical Cardinal Santorum (Jesus’ proxy here on Earth) to hold a lead of 32%. Soon we’ll find out if Michigan Republicans prefer a plutocracy or a theocracy.
Mitt Romney now barely leading in Michigan after spending twice as much as Santorum – A new snap poll from Michigan firm Mitchell Research & Communications Inc. shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney retaking the lead in the state with 32 percent of voters polled on Monday, President’s Day. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum took 30 percent, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got nine and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) sees seven.
But how much money does a 2% lead cost?
It has to be the money. I can’t imagine the people of Michigan are being swept away by Romeny’s personal anecdotes:
source: sandandglass: “The trees are the right height.”
They’re back: Social issues overtake US politics - All of a sudden, abortion, contraception and gay marriage are at the center of American political discourse, with the struggling — though improving — economy pushed to the background. Social issues don’t typically dominate the discussion in shaky economies. But they do raise emotions important to factors like voter turnout. And they can be key tools for political candidates clamoring for attention, campaign cash or just a change of subject in an election year. “The public is reacting to what it’s hearing about,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. In a political season, he said, “when the red meat is thrown out there, the politicians are going to go after it.” || Note: the GOP doesn’t want its voters to pay any attention to income inequality, their own job performance in Congress, or the plans they have to give more tax cuts to the wealthy paid for with austerity for the rest of us. So, social issues are back with a vengeance.
Santorum: Emotions of Women in Combat ‘May Not Be in the Interest of the Mission’ - “I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved. It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat.” || Note: Also, too: that whole “time of the month” thing, amirite?
Rick Santorum is coming for your birth control - “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” (actual Rick Santorum quote from Oct/2011)
The Contraception Fight—David Frum - ”This is not a contraception issue. This is not a social issue. This is a constitutional issue.” So they say, so they may sincerely believe. But politics is not only about what you say. It is also about what your intended audience will hear. If the audience is paying attention, for example, it will notice that Republicans are not proposing to allow employers and plans to refuse to cover blood transfusions if they conscientiously object to them (although there are religious groups that do). Or vaccinations (although there are individuals who conscientiously object to those as well). Or medicines derived from animal experimentation. (Ditto.) No, Marco Rubio’s Religious Freedom Restoration bill provides for one conscientious exemption only: contraception and sterilization.
Most of Obama’s “Controversial” Birth Control Rule Was Law During Bush Years - In December 2000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies that provided prescription drugs to their employees but didn’t provide birth control were in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prevents discrimination on the basis of sex. That opinion, which the George W. Bush administration did nothing to alter or withdraw when it took office the next month, is still in effect today—and because it relies on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Employers that don’t offer prescription coverage or don’t offer insurance at all are exempt, because they treat men and women equally—but under the EEOC’s interpretation of the law, you can’t offer other preventative care coverage without offering birth control coverage, too. “It was, we thought at the time, a fairly straightforward application of Title VII principles,” a top former EEOC official who was involved in the decision told Mother Jones. “All of these plans covered Viagra immediately, without thinking, and they were still declining to cover prescription contraceptives…”
At CPAC, Undermining the Power of American Workers - The panel got a little more honest as it wore on. Both Gerard Malanga from the Manhattan Institute and Kevin Mooney from the Pelican Institute for Public Policy went on at length about how the movement to roll back union rights was less about the economy than about demolishing organized labor as a political force. They cited a number of polls in which union members were dissatisfied with what their unions were doing for them. They mentioned, at length, how far behind the now truncated benefit packages of public sector workers the benefits offered to private sector union workers are. (This, of course, has a lot to do with the rolling back of unions that started under Saint Reagan in 1979, and because a lot of private-sector pension funds have been looted by succeeding generations of Wall Street sharpies, all of which got blamed at the ground level on the unions who were under assault.) To sow division between private-sector and public-sector unions is a nifty way to demolish the political effectiveness of both of them. || Note: and that’s called The Republican Strategy.
Protesters deliver petitions demanding Apple respect worker rights - Protesters on Thursday delivered petitions to Apple’s store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal demanding the company improve worker conditions in its factories in Southeast Asia. An annual internal audit of Apple’s supply chain found many of its suppliers overworked and underpay employees, and nearly one-third were negligent in managing hazardous substances. (see related post on the working conditions)
Obama says $26 billion deal with banks will help millions of homeowners - President Obama hailed a landmark deal struck Thursday with the nation’s largest banks over alleged foreclosure abuses, arguing it will help millions of people dealt a blow by the sagging housing market. Under the agreement reached Thursday, large banks — including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup — are expected to pay approximately $26 billion to cover refinancing costs for homeowners and reimburse them for shoddy foreclosure practices.
“The financial services industry went from having a 19 percent share of America’s corporate profits decades ago to having a 41 percent share in recent years. That doesn’t mean bankers ever represented anywhere near 41 percent of America’s labor value. It just means they’ve managed to make themselves horrifically overpaid relative to their counterparts in the rest of the economy. A banker’s job is to be a prudent and dependable steward of other peoples’ money – being worthy of our trust in that area is the entire justification for their traditionally high compensation. Yet these people have failed so spectacularly at that job in the last fifteen years that they’re lucky that God himself didn’t come down to earth at bonus time this year, angrily boot their asses out of those new condos, and command those Zagat-reading girlfriends of theirs to start getting acquainted with the McDonalds value meal lineup. They should be glad they’re still getting anything at all, not whining to New York magazine.” - Matt Taibbi
Pandering to fundamentalism is a full-time vocation in the GOP. Beginning in the 1970s, religious cranks ceased simply to be a minor public nuisance in this country and grew into the major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa Caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. The results are all around us: if the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution versus creationism, scriptural inerrancy, the existence of angels and demons, and so forth, that result is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary or quaint beliefs. Also around us is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science; it is this group that defines “low-information voter” – or, perhaps, “misinformation voter.”