Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday August 7

Kansas City Priest Pleads Guilty
He was producing kiddie porn - what else?

"I like rape ...and I like filming rapes..."


You don't need the details because it's the same story, over and over. Jerry Sandusky rapes a dozen kids and the uproar (rightfully) was heard around the world.

The Catholics have been running a professional, worldwide organized rape club for decades or centuries and they get a pass from prosecutors "because they are holy men."
Rmoney lying again, this time about Israel
And the press is calling him out for it. But when will they start asking Romney about it personally? Asking him, to his face, why he keeps lying to the American people in his ads? From National Journal:
While it's hard to remember who did what first, Romney took an early step down the low road when he quoted President Obama in a television ad late last year: "If we keep talking about the economy we're going to lose.'' Only the quote was from 2008, before Obama was elected, and he was referring to remarks by Republican John McCain. More recently, the Obama campaign has unfairly characterized Romney's position on abortion in television ads.

But Romney's most recent ad is particularly galling because it seeks to suggest the president is anti-Israel or anti-Jewish.
Romney's campaign clearly knows these facts but can't be bothered with a more nuanced and honest criticism of the administration's failure to broker peace in the Middle East. That's a shame.
Now it's time to ask him to his face why he keeps lying in his ads.
Romney claims that he told the person running his blind trust to administer it in a way consistent with his public positions on issues.

That was the first mistake. Romney has taken every side of most hot-button issues, so which way should the trust go?

Second, it should have been clear that Romney meant consistent with his new-found conservative values. In that case, it shouldn't take a rock scientist to figure out that the "morning after pill," which conservatives consider a no-no, is off-limits. But Romney invested. Or stem cell research (again he invested). Or in Chinese companies (they even had the word "China" in their names!). Or companies that do business with Iran.

No wonder Romney won't release his tax returns. There's good reason to fear what's in them, in addition to what's NOT in them (such as payments for ten years of taxes he reportedly didn't pay).

Politifact rated Harry Reid's statement that a Bain investor called him up and told him that Romney didn't pay any taxes as "Pants on Fire."


Dana Houle explains why Politifact is politistupid:

Harry Reid says he heard from someone that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. We don't know if what Reid said was true or false, because the evidence that could be easily proffered to settle the dispute is still being held back by Mitt Romney. But Politifact says Reid isn't telling the truth, so they issued their idiotic pants on fire judgment againt Reid.

The logical problem here is that Politiface is saying Reid is lying, and supporting their claim by citing tax experts who say that the it can't be true that Romney didn't pay taxes. But that's not what Reid is saying, he's not saying he knows Romney didn't pay taxes. Rather, he's saying he was told Romney didn't pay taxes. If the claim is wrong, it's person who made the claim who's wrong, not Harry Reid for repeating it.

Politifact goes on to wonder whether it is likely that Romney paid no taxes:

Still, we wondered how likely it was that Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years.

The geniuses at Politi-WTF answer their own question referencing a bunch of gibberish that nobody gives a shit about:

More »

Surely, this is yet another nutbag acting alone:

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) – A mosque in southwest Missouri burned to the ground early Monday in the second fire to hit the Islamic center in little more than a month, officials said.

The fire at the Islamic Society of Joplin was reported about 3:30 a.m. Monday, the Jasper County Sheriff's Office said. The sheriff's department said the building was a total loss. No injuries were reported and no charges have been filed.

Imam Lahmuddin, who leads the mosque and was in the building until late Sunday, said he was "sad and shocked" about the fire.

"I'm still in front of the building looking at the damage and nothing can be saved," Lahmuddin said in a telephone interview Monday. "But since we are people of faith we just can remember that this is a thing that happened because God let it happen, and we have to be patient, particularly in the month of Ramadan, control our emotions, our anger."

Authorities sifted through the black debris Monday. Only remnants indicated a building had been there, including some stone pillars that were still standing and a few pieces of charred plywood loosely held up by a frame. At least a dozen law enforcement vehicles and a fire truck were at the scene.

A blaze at the same building July 4 caused minor damage and was determined arson. No arrests were made and the FBI has offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to charges in that fire.

Whatever this arson is, it isn't domestic terrorism. I mean, sure, it's the second fire at that same mosque in a matter of weeks, but it's not domestic terrorism. Don't dare call it that.

By the way, I'm still waiting for folks to start claiming that the victims of yesterday's temple shooting should have been armed. I'm sure Louie Gohmert and his ilk have no problem with arming brown maybe-terrorists, right?


He's in the apple pie, too

What happens now is obvious. Sikhs are one variety of otherness, so Wade Michael Page must also be reduced to his otherness: white supremacist, skinhead rock band, tattoos, "less than honorable discharge," a drunk, & of course "evil." As if one has to be all those things to hate Sikhs. There you have it: lone crazy white male hating men wearing turbans & their families. Now we can all feel exonerated. Got news for you. The hatred isn't aberrant in America. Americans killing people we hate isn't unusual either. We had a guy firebombing synagogues in Jersey last year. Only reason he did it at night when the buildings were empty was he didn't want to be caught. Luckily, he was caught anyway. They can't stamp "evil" on Page's forehead & make me believe he's truly exceptional. He's in the apple pie, too.

I'm sick of how our media handles these horrifying outbursts of violence. Sick of the formulaic distancing, the apologetic attitudes, at the attempts to reassure us that this isn't really America.

I have read so many comments on NJ.Com, the Star-Ledger website, denigrating Sikhs Hindus, Muslims, all these haters need is a phony name to hide behind & it all comes vomiting out of them. Then of course there's the so-called "dog-whistles," the code words of bigotry Republican candidates must master in order to speak to the "base." Otherwise they'd never make it through the primaries. The other day, an idiot told me "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day" was about supporting free speech. No, quite to the contrary, it was to openly express bigotry toward gays & lesbians without actually having to say it with free speech, & get away with it day. It was the opposite of the Cathy family's forthright prejudice. But that kind of evasive shit passes for "truth" in America. & we know where it's coming from.
Turning the Page Too Often
Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page ironically belonged to a rock band named "End Apathy." If you can't suss out why that's so ironic, then perhaps you shouldn't be reading this.
Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page ironically belonged to a rock band named "End Apathy." If you can't suss out why that's so ironic, then perhaps you shouldn't be reading this.

But if you're endowed enough intellectually, then you'll immediately appreciate the irony of a man belonging to a group named "End Apathy" going out one fine day and carrying out, for no known reason, the latest act of right wing domestic terrorism in a string that never seems to end our collective apathy.

And as with the Aurora theater shooting two and a half weeks ago, we may never know what twisted motive Wade Michael Page had for walking into a Sikh temple filled with peaceful Indian Americans during their Sunday worship and
murdering six people and critically injuring an Oak Creek Wisconsin police officer. Perhaps, as with the ignorant, misguided cretin who killed a Sikh man on September 15, 2001 in retaliation for September 11th, Page never looked beyond the distinctive turbans of Sikh males and assumed they were Muslim.

Despite the wearisome pattern (alienated white male, in this case, a right wing skinhead white supremacist), we're told by 2nd amendment advocates that "this isn't the appropriate time" to talk about gun control, to, if you'll pardon the pun, turn the page.

Personally, I don't know what better time there is to discuss gun control than after the slaughter of innocents who simply wanted to see a movie in Colorado or attend service in their house of worship in Wisconsin, or to a youth retreat in Norway. And with 24 hour news cycles in today's media, we cannot wait for Congress to come back in five weeks to get around to doing something about it. We need to think first, then talk secondly, then pressure Congress and the President to take a stand against the NRA and other gun-clutching lunatics who scream about freedom and government interference as if their first amendment rights were at stake.

There are no hard and fast answers let alone solutions to curb the spate of gun violence that's come to characterize this country as synonymously as baseball, apple pie and cheating on your taxes. If there were, you can be sure the NRA and other right wing special interest groups would be deploying 100 squadrons of lobbyists to Capitol Hill and spending billions to prevent their implementation.

The right wing position on gun control that's rooted as much in an addiction to incumbency as any other corrupt motive, cannot hold. But this moderate, centrist administration led by a so-called Democratic president who pretends as if gun control and mass slaughter of innocents isn't an issue even worth addressing, to judge by the complete paucity of mentions, proves that, as Yeats could have put it, the center cannot hold, either.

Another point absolutely no one is talking about is how this affects our nation's youth that obviously takes its cues from the generations that come before it. On Twitter yesterday, one woman lamented that her 13 year-old son, on hearing of the Sikh temple shooting, commented that mass shootings don't even feel like news any more. They look to us and the world we've created and recreated for guidance. And if a culture of apathy toward gun violence is all we can teach them, then perhaps that culture is partly to blame for what happened to Wade Page and other mass murderers who came before and after him.
I'm a Secular Humanist but part of me hopes there is a God because Pat Robertson really needs to feel more wrath than mere mortals can rain down. The TeeVee preacher is on another one of his tirades where he blames anyone and everyone (who isn't a white Christian of his particular bent) when something bad happens. It was feminists and abortion that caused the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001; and now it is atheists who "hate god" (an absurd concept, because how can they hate something they don't even believe in?) who are responsible for the white-supremacist nutcase who killed six in a Sikh temple on Sunday.
Last week, in what Reuters called "a rare show of bipartisan unity," the Senate Finance Committee approved a package of so-called tax extenders by a 19-5 vote. The extenders package contains a variety of expiring tax provisions that are regularly renewed.

The senators on the committee were slapping themselves on the back for achieving some modicum of tax reform — with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) even saying, "By doing this, we've come a long way toward functionality" — but the package includes several problematic provisions, including:

– A tax break for NASCAR;

– A tax break for producing rum;

– The extension of two provisions that help corporations offshore their profits and avoid taxes.

Citizens for Tax Justice noted that, if Congress actually allowed the latter two corporate tax provisions to expire, "many U.S. companies will have much less incentive to send their profits (and possibly jobs) offshore." Overall, the bill would spend $40 billion next year on special interest tax breaks.

The tax code is absolutely plagued by preferences and subsidies, which are essentially spending programs that are administered through the tax code. These tax expenditures total $1 trillion every year. However, senators on the Finance Committee seem content to celebrate their work, even after leaving some of the most egregious examples of these giveaways untouched.


Inevitably, someone was going to use yesterday's mass shooting in a Wisconsin Sikh gurdwara to argue something insanely stupid. Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds has thankfully stepped in and made it so that we no longer have to wait. READ MORE »


This is interesting! Dick Morris, professional toe-sucker, says His Lord High Hairgel Mittens of Romney should not sweat the poll numbers showing him down 10 or a thousand nationally, forever, because he has seen the real poll numbers, done by an outfit he trusts (Rasmussen, probably), and they show a trend for his Mittness!

On Friday, I saw the real numbers. These state-by-state polls, taken by an organization I trust (after forty years of polling) show the real story. The tally is based on more than 600 likely voter interviews in each swing state within the past eight days."

"The trend line is distinctly pro-Romney. Of the thirteen states studied, he improved or Obama slipped in nine states while the reverse happened in only four. To read the media, one would think that Romney had a terrible month. In fact, the exact reverse is true."

But where are these real poll numbers? Are they from Harry Reid's double secret source? Are they with the yellowcake in Niger?



Exactly how many stupid, stupid people do we have in Congress these days, toiling away in the world's most deliberative lawmaking body, making decisions that will probably imperil the very survival of the human race? And of these stupid, stupid people, how many are willing to talk to reporters and make good and sure that there is a RECORD of their stupidity for posterity? Turns out, quite a few!




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