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."
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:
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.
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.
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.