31 August, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Ooo, Virginia, you're in for such a treat! Look who you've got running for Gov (h/t):

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

The 93-page document, which is publicly available at the Regent University library, culminates with a 15-point action plan that McDonnell said the Republican Party should follow to protect American families -- a vision that he started to put into action soon after he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.

But that's not the best part. This is:

The thesis wasn't so much a case against government as a blueprint to change what he saw as a liberal model into one that actively promoted conservative, faith-based principles through tax policy, the public schools, welfare reform and other avenues.

"Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state," he wrote. "Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society." [emphasis added]

Frothing fundie goodness wrapped in a crispy Con shell, right? And the only meager defense he can muster up is to say, "But I've changed!"

Two ways to defeat this sack of Con shit, liberal ladies and gentlemen of Virginia. When you're talking to folks who don't think the Establishment Clause is folklore, remind them that a man who's hit ten points on his 15-point action plan to establish what amounts to a theocracy on the Commonwealth can't credibly claim he's become a moderate. And when you're talking to frothing fundies who think that 15-point plan of his is divine, remind them he's distancing himself from it at Mach 7.

That should do.

Speaking of elections, there's two things the voters of Arizona should know before McCain stands for reelection. He admits that torture is illegal:

Sen. John McCain disagrees with former Vice President Dick Cheney's claim that enhanced interrogation techniques helped keep the country safe. "I think the interrogations were in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the convention against torture that we ratified under President Reagan," McCain told CBS' Bob Schieffer Sunday.

But thinks we shouldn't investigate:

"I believe that the president was right when he said we ought to go forward and not back. I worry about the morale and effectiveness of the CIA. I worry about this thing getting out of control," the Arizona senator said.

There's something deeply, deeply wrong with that man.

Speaking of things that are deeply wrong, is it just me, or does it seem really warped when companies not only whip their employees into a frenzy of fear about pending legislation, but start whipping up their customers, too? We saw Wellpoint send out an email blast to its customer base warning of increased premiums and all sorts of mayhem if health care reform passes. Now there's an electric company trying the same thing on clean energy legislation:

An electric utility in southern Illinois is frightening thousands of its customers by spreading misinformation about President Obama’s clean energy reform agenda. The Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative has joined the American Petroleum Institute’s “Energy Citizens” propaganda campaign, telling its members to oppose the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Wayne-White is even “organizing a bus trip” to the state capital to join an API rally on September 1:

Wayne-White encourages concerned citizens to participate in the free bus trip and rally in Springfield. The co-op recently mailed out nearly 10,000 informational letters and signature forms to enable concerned citizens to help themselves by speaking out and opposing this issue. As of Monday, more than 4,000 postcards had been returned to the co-op office which will be hand-delivered to Burris and Durbin at their Springfield offices, the Wayne-White news release said.

Wayne-White’s CEO Daryl Donjon has claimed that the legislation, which would spur a clean-energy economy by capping pollution and supporting renewable energy and efficiency, “is an unfair tax to the Midwest and would raise electric rates by 80 percent.” In the letter sent to Wayne-White’s captive audience, the utility claims “Cap & Trade” will “lead to the transfer of wealth from the midwestern states to the coastal states” and is “scary.”

I do believe he gets his talking points from watching Faux News. Needless to say, they're false. Totally false.

There's something deeply wrong with the utility companies in Illinois. Donjon wants his customers to suffer polluted air and the effects of global warming. People's Energy of Illinois doesn't mind if their customer base dies in gas explosions as long as they can save a penny or two on high-pressure gas inlet valves. My Illinois readers may want to remind their utility company that dead customers = fewer customers. They seem to be forgetting that minor detail.

Moving on to astroturfing and other news, you're going to love this:

So far, we’ve had Birthers, “death panels,” a “death book,” concentration camps for conservatives, and the pervasive “Obama=Hitler” meme. And that’s just been in the first eight months of Barack Obama’s presidency.

But if you thought the wingnuts had already driven over the cliff and into the abyss, just wait. They really have just gotten started on their descent.

In a few weeks, there’s going to be a big gathering of right-wing True Believers in St. Louis, at a convention called “How to Take Back America”.


Guest wingnut luminaries speaking at the convention will include Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Steve King (the guy who claims that gays and lesbians wouldn't become hate-crime victims if they didn't flaunt it), Joseph Farah of World Nut Daily, and Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin (more about him shortly) plus, of course, such convention organizers as Phyllis Schlafly.

As Kyle at RightWingWatch notes, it looks to be a smashing good time, especially at the workshops, where you can bone up on such subjects as:

"How to recognize living under Nazis & Communists"

"How to deal with supremacist judges"

"How to defeat UN attacks on sovereignty"

"How to stop socialism in health care"

"How to counter the homosexual movement"

"How to stop the killings: pro-life solutions"

And a paranoid time will be had by all. It's too bad I don't own a fleet of black helicopters - this would be a prime opportunity for a prank.

Here's something you probably won't see on teevee, although you would've seen nothing else if someone vaguely associated with the left had spouted it:

Via Burnt Orange, while Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) appeared at a MoveOn.org health care event yesterday in Austin and reaffirmed his support of the public option, a couple hundred wingnuts staged a counterprotest.


Secessionist-in-Chief Rick Perry and GOP Rep. Brandon Creighton (who authored a secessionist bill) were supposed to speak at the event but backed out at the last minute. Here's who replaced them.

Instead of Perry or Creighton, the protesters had Larry Kilgore, a “Christian activist” and candidate for governor who has endorsed executions for homosexuals; Debra Medina, a Ron Paul Republican and a slightly-less long-shot candidate for governor; and Melissa Pehle-Hill, yet another fringe candidate and a member of a self-appointed “citizens grand jury” investigating Barack Hussein Obama, aka Barry Soetoro.

Kilgore captured the sentiment of the mob. (video here)

I hate that flag up there,” Kilgore said pointing to the American flag flying over the Capitol. “I hate the United States government. … They’re an evil, corrupt government. They need to go. Sovereignty is not good enough. Secession is what we need!”

We hate the United States!"

Why does the right hate America?

Because the left's in charge right now. They'll be back to calling us traitors for requesting that the United States stop torturing people and not engage in so much domestic spying about two nanoseconds after another Con manages to weasel his way into the Oval Office, never fear. In the meantime, perhaps we should see if there's a few square miles of the country we could lop off and shovel them all in to. After all, they'd like to secede so very much, and I hate to disappoint them.

They can travel to the new country of Greater Wingnuttistan on the Teabag Express:

An update on the cross-country Teabagging from CNN.

Hundreds of people turned out for a series of weekend events as the Tea Party Express cruised across northern Nevada.


At an event Saturday in Winnemucca, Nevada, Carolyn Rowe came to the tea party in a T-shirt depicting Obama as the joker from "Batman." In place of the familiar "Hope" logo of Obama's campaign was the word "Joke."

She says she is concerned about the number of so-called "czars" in the Obama administration and she fears losing her choice of doctor if health care reform passes.

"I believe he's trouncing the Constitution and taking control of our country in a direction we don't want," says Rowe, from beneath a wide brimmed straw hat. "I think he has a hidden agenda, and I think he doesn't tell the truth and that in itself bothers me."

So to review, George W. Bush started a war on false pretenses, illegally spied on American citizens, held people without warrants and tortured them, ginned up phony terror warnings for political gain, pissed on the Geneva Conventions and led the universe in signing statements -- but Obama's "trouncing the Constitution" because he wants everyone to have access to health care. Interesting.

A study in contradictions, are they not? And when they preach concern for the elderly, remember they only mean those elderly people who don't try to mention inconvenient truths at town halls:

Here's a press report of the event. This bit, I think, tells you what these brave, civil, patriotic dissenters are all about:

The tone of the forum was set early when audience members began shouting over 84-year-old Germaine Duval of Manchester, who told of having a stroke while she was driving near Livingston Park.

A hospital stay left her with thousands of dollars in bills, although she has Medicare, she said. "You have to do something about the gap (in Medicare coverage)," she said, but several people began shouting she had gone over the two-minute limit set for speaking.

Which speaks for itself.


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