Monday, November 22, 2010

Headlines - Monday November 21

A British panel show discusses the absurdly crazy American Republicans. 

Nicholas Kristof: America no banana republic  
John F. Kennedy was assassinated forty-seven years ago today. Where were you when you read The Warren Report, and then laughed? We will probably never know if H. L. Hunt hired Blackwater to shoot JFK in the head, but most people reject the Oswald conspiracy theories and have accepted that President Handsomepants' violent murder was just another routine CIA hit job. Sarah Palin says that John Kennedy betrayed his religion, so maybe Jesus was the guy with the gun at the Grassy Knoll? We simply do not know. Many equate JFK's assassination with the End of America's Innocence. Apparently everyone still had a super clean conscience in 1963, even after we dropped all those atomic bombs. [Voice of America/The Atlantic

We are surprised that they were punished at all, but a suspended sentence for this is downright insulting "Two Israeli soldiers convicted of using a Palestinian child as a human shield during an offensive in Gaza in 2009 have received suspended sentences and been demoted. ... The soldiers had forced the nine-year-old boy to open suspected booby-trapped bags at gunpoint. ... It occurred during Israel's three-week conflict with Hamas, which rules Gaza. ... It was reportedly the first such conviction in Israel, where the use of civilians as human shields is banned."

"Sorry, sir, but the customer has changed his mind and wants you to hold the onions."
This Week In Holy Crimes

Over the last seven days...

Virginia: Pastor J.P. Hale sentenced to six years in prison for indecent liberties with a child.
Pennsylvania: Father Robert Timchak sentenced to six years in prison for possession of child pornography.
North Carolina: Rev. Walter Donald Bradshaw arrested for the rape of an 11 year-old girl.
South Carolina: Pastor David K. Love arrested for the murder of a parishioner.
New York: Rabbi Milton Balkany convicted of extorting $3.5M from an investment fund.
Missouri: Pastor Terry McDowell arrested for the rape of a girl he was babysitting.
Washington: Pastor Steven Welty sentenced to 26 years to life in prison on six counts of child rape and incest. His youngest victim was four years old.
Massachusetts: Father Keith LeBlanc charged with stealing $83K from his parish to pay his online porn bill.
British Columbia: Hindu priest Karam Vir charged with sexual exploitation of a child.
Virginia: Pastor Dennis Erb charged with child molestation.
Florida: Pastor Rodney McGill charged with investment fraud. From prison. Where he's serving 20 years for the same crime.
Georgia: Pastor Brian Gray charged with child molestation and burglary.
Utah: Pastor Aaron Witcher charged with eight counts of rape of underage girls.
Pennsylvania: Father Francis J. Drabiska resigns after confessing to robbing parish of undisclosed amount.
New Brunswick: Court agrees to Catholic diocese's request to shield amounts paid to victims of priest molestation.

This Week's Winner
Kenya: Pastor Marcus Ondiegi has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for the rape and HIV infection of an 11 year-old orphan girl. Ondiegi had told the child's grandmother that unless he was allowed to pray over the child for one week, evil spirits would make her insane. Instead he raped the child nightly until she escaped.


I can't think of a better headline to summarize what's arguably been the biggest story of the week:

TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine

Okay, so can we fix this already?

Meanwhile, I hear that Rick Santorum is opposed to the body scanners. Rick Santorum! Yet another wingnut who manufactured fear in order to push for all sorts of awfulness. Honestly, I never really believed the far-right would pull this kind of switch -- on national security. I wonder how they feel about wiretaps these days.

New Afghan war plans could cost US taxpayers an extra $125 billion
At the NATO summit, President Obama's push to soften troop withdrawal deadlines could bring remaining war costs to $413 billion, according to one independent analyst.
Rethink Afghanistan: The Afghanistan War is broken, and we the people are just...broke.
Dear Tea Party: If you're going to stand for anything, you must demand that your new members of Congress refuse their government health coverage
Skippy's environmental news stories.
As always, fair and balanced for the Republican side. More from Media Matters:
Between January 1 and October 31 of this year, five potential Republican presidential candidates -- Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum -- who also serve as Fox News contributors or hosts have appeared on the network for a combined total of nearly 66 hours. Media Matters for America estimates this time to be worth at least $40 million in advertising costs.
Tools for tools
Eugene Robinson

For what it's worth, my advice for Obama is to forget the Republicans. Not literally, of course -- the new House leadership is going to make itself hard to ignore. But ultimately, it's the president who sets the agenda, and who ultimately is held accountable for America's successes and failures. Obama's focus should be on using all the tools at his disposal to move the country in the direction he believes it must go.
Including Gitmo.

Progressives are right when they complain that the White House must do a much better job of making the case for its policies. But the challenge goes well beyond communications. Judging by the way they snubbed Obama's invitation to break bread together, Republicans seem eager for gridlock -- and the chance to blame the president for not getting anything done.
If I were President and those assholes had snubbed me like that, they would have arrived for lunch in the company of a couple large MPs each, whereupon they would have been served a nice lunch and been informed politely in my best drill field voice that an 'invitation' from the President is a summons, not an option.

Dessert would then be served along with a nice slide show of their future accommodations in a lovely sunny clime with gentle tropical breezes should they transgress again, with a gentle voice-over explaining how the Bush rule that the President decides who is an 'enemy of the people' is still very much in effect. Maybe just a coupla slides of a CIA Gulfstream with a nice, er, rendition of "
They're Coming To Take Me Away".

Bipartisanship, much less capitulation as compromise, my ass.
"While you're down there, would you mind checking my Laramide Orogeny?"
Oompa Loompa, Boehnery-y-don't

Representative John A. Boehner, the soon-to-be Republican speaker, pledged recently that he would fly commercial airlines back home to Ohio, passing up the military plane used by the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. But that does not mean he will endure the hassles of ordinary passengers, including pat downs and other new security screenings.

As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Ronald Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. There was no waiting for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the identification-checking agents, the metal detectors and the body scanners, and whisked directly to the gate.

Well, that's a relief. Imagine the horror of the innocent TSA agent watching his hand turning orange after he felt-up Weepy's ol' gavel.


Is the water in Texas laced with LSD? That's the only explanation that makes any sense Rick Perry was on Fox News Sunday this morning, where he dismissed Social Security as a scheme that would make Mr. Ponzi himself blush (it's not), that federal programs are all failures and Texas has the answers (they aren't and they don't), that no jobs were created or saved by the stimulus (3.3 million people who have jobs because of it would disagree) and that the auto bailout was a failure (it wasn't - GM just launched the biggest IPO in history). Somewhere, Vladimir Lenin is beaming with approval at the way the students have surpassed the master.
Seriously - it's the only thing that makes sense "Speaking today on MSNBC, Texas Governor Rick Perry said the United States ought to consider a military invasion of his neighbor to the south, Mexico, arguing that it was needed to fight the drug war as well as to secure the border between the two nations. ... Perry, who is also the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said the Mexican government would have to approve the invasion, but didn't see this as a serious obstacle, adding that the new war might be an important part of immigration reform."
The Crying Game
Nancy Pelosi Doesn't Understand Why John Boehner Cries So Much
Only a monster wouldn't cry every 5 seconds.
Nancy Pelosi did an interview with Sunday's The New York Times Magazine in which she let America know that she was not put on the cover of a different, money-hemorrhaging magazine (Time) when she became House speaker. But John Boehner was on the front of that magazine recently, promoting his new role as the star of The Cat in the Hat 2, because he is a MAN. Nancy Pelosi does not like this, even though she says she doesn't care, so she took the time to tell everyone John Boehner is a big crybaby who weeps over things that don't matter (like getting a new job title), whereas she barely ever cries because her entire body is made out of testicles.

You know what? He is known to cry. He cries sometimes when we're having a debate on bills. If I cry, it's about the personal loss of a friend or something like that. But when it comes to politics — no, I don't cry. I would never think of crying about any loss of an office, because that's always a possibility, and if you're professional, then you deal with it professionally. [...]

I have deep emotions about the American people. If I were to cry for anything, I would cry for them and the policies that they're about to face.

You know who did cry when he lost an office? John Boehner. God forbid something should happen to Obama or Biden, because if this man becomes president, we will have to hold his hand every time somebody refers to him as "Mr. President" or plays "Hail to the Chief" or salutes him. [NYT via Wonkette operative "J C"]

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