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Sunday, July 31, 2011

"People have a hard time seeing extremism in their own religion"

'Christian terrorist'? Norway case strikes debate
By Jesse Washington, AP National Writer

When the "enemy" is different, an outsider, it's easier to draw quick conclusions, to develop stereotypes. It's simply human nature: There is "us," and there is "them." But what happens when the enemy looks like us — from the same tradition and belief system?

That is the conundrum in the case of Norway and Anders Behring Brevik, who is being called a "Christian extremist" or "Christian terrorist."

As westerners wrestle with such characterizations of the Oslo mass murder suspect, the question arises: Nearly a decade after 9/11 created a widespread suspicion of Muslims based on the actions of a fanatical few, is this what it's like to walk a mile in the shoes of stereotype?

"Absolutely," said Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. "It clearly puts us in a position where we can't simply say that extreme and violent behavior associated with a religious belief is somehow restricted to Muslim extremists."

"It speaks to cultural assumptions, how we are able to understand something when it (comes from) us," Tyler said. "When one of us does something terrible, we know that's not how we all think, yet we can't see that with other people."

Psychologists say stereotypes come from a deeply human impulse to categorize other people, usually into groups of "us" and "them."

"Our brains are wired that way," said Cheryl Dickter, a psychology professor at the College of William & Mary who studies stereotypes and prejudice.

When Dickter examined brain waves, she found that people process information and pictures about their "us" group differently compared with information about "them" groups. People remembered information better when it reinforced their stereotypes of other groups, she said, and when information didn't fit their stereotype, it was often explained or simply forgotten.

"That's how stereotypes get maintained in the face of all this (contradictory) information," Dickter said.

So during the first reports that someone had detonated a car bomb and then opened fire at a youth camp in Norway, many assumptions clicked into place.

"In all likelihood the attack was launched by part of the jihadist hydra," Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote within hours on the Weekly Standard website.

The massacre was actually committed, police say, by a blond Norwegian whose photo would not seem out of place in an American college directory. As Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto emerged, calling for violence to rid Europe of non-Christians and those he deemed traitors to Christian Europe, some seized on the religious aspect of his delusions.

Mark Juergensmeyer, editor of the book "Global Religions: An Introduction" and a sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote an essay likening Breivik to Timothy McVeigh, the American who killed 168 people in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. It was the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil until 9/11.

McVeigh and Breivik were both "good-looking young Caucasians, self-enlisted soldiers in an imagined cosmic war to save Christendom ... and both were Christian terrorists," Juergensmeyer wrote.

In a column for, Alex Pareene said Breivik is not an American-style evangelical, but he listed other connections to Christianity. "All of this says 'Christian terrorist,'" Pareene wrote.

Such claims drew strong resistance. "Breivik is not a Christian. That's impossible. No one believing in Jesus commits mass murder," Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News show.

That makes sense to Joyce Dubensky, CEO of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. She said it also makes sense that "millions of Muslims say Osama bin Laden is not a Muslim, that no one who believes in the prophet Muhammad commits mass murder."

"We need to hear Bill O'Reilly, but we also need to hear and understand the voices of the overwhelming Muslim majority around the world who condemn those who are terrorists in the name of their faith," she said.

People have a hard time seeing extremism in their own religion.

For Christians who think of their faith as preaching peace, how to explain the faith-sanctioned killing of the Crusades? For Muslims, what about the thousands of jihadists now following violent interpretations of Islam?

Or consider the Ku Klux Klan's burning crosses. If those were the actions of a misguided minority, shouldn't the same be said of the 19 men who hijacked airliners on 9/11?

Art Markman, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said research shows that when people are asked to describe someone else's behavior, they focus on personal characteristics — who that person is. But when asked to describe their own behavior, people focus on their individual situation.

"If you're a Christian and you see this Norway murderer, you say, I have these teachings and I haven't murdered anyone, so the teachings can't be the problem," Markman said. "But if you're talking about the 'other,' it's different. And if you don't know what the actual Muslim teachings are, it seems like a plausible explanation."

Some Christians say they do know the Muslim teachings, and that they are the problem. "There is a lot of text to justify the link between Islam and terrorism," said Michael Youssef, founder of the Evangelical-Anglican Church of the Apostles in Atlanta. "In the Quaranic text, and in the tradition that was written by the followers."

Many Islamic scholars say violent interpretations are wrong, and Youssef acknowledges that. However, "If your role model is Jesus, then nonviolence will be the way you change things. If your role model is somebody who waged war and killed people, then you say, 'I can do that,'" said Youssef, who was born in Egypt to Christian parents.

But Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer and author of the upcoming book "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era," said the Norway attacks "proved that terrorism can be committed by a person of any race, nationality or religion."

Iftikhar, who is Muslim, said one effect of the tragedy would be "to restart a debate on the term terrorism, and who and when the term should be applied."

"Sadly, the last ten years, the term has been co-opted in public discourse and only applies to Muslims," he said. "Now here we have a right-wing Christian extremist who has committed an act of terror, and many people don't know how to react."

Read between the lines

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that Washington filed a new lawsuit against the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The suit is a major development in the state’s longstanding fight to ensure timely cleanup of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste stored in Hanford’s leaky underground tanks, and continuation of the process to license Yucca Mountain as a deep geologic disposal site.
The new suit, which is a petition for a writ of mandamus filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court, alleges that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is “unreasonably withholding agency action.”
“It’s the federal government’s responsibility to clean up Hanford,” McKenna said. “This lawsuit seeks to compel the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to immediately resume consideration of the application to build and operate a repository at Yucca Mountain.”

Saturday, July 30, 2011

State workers get pay cut-- what about legislators' pay cuts?

And what have we been saying about Republicans being on the side of the wealthier class? Looks like we have some proof here!
Lawmakers cut state worker pay; few took cuts themselves

Lawmakers cut most state workers’ by 3 percent this year, but few have taken pay cuts of their own despite crafting legal language encouraging themselves and statewide elected officials to do so.

Four House members – out of 147 Senate and House lawmakers – have elected to cut their pay.
[snipped] [And which party do the four represent? One Republican, three Democrats.]

A few state officials are donating money to charity or scholarships instead of waiving pay. As of Friday, Gov. Chris Gregoire, state Treasurer Jim McIntire and state schools superintendent Randy Dorn, all Democrats, were the only statewide elected officers to have signed up for pay waivers using a new form available through the state Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials’ website,

Kittty Cop

Graphing the deficit


Friday, July 29, 2011

Local righties don't want to allow anybody on the other side to have their say

Some people can't stand somebody else giving it right back to them!

The great thing about being a mindless progressive is never having to think or say anything honest or original or even pertinent - just stand up the sound bite wheel, give it a spin, and #PLONK! the answer into the comment.

in reply to The_Monk
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Did it make you feel good to have my comment removed?
in reply to The_Monk

Especially since the comment contained nothing even remotely offensive?
in reply to Anonymii

Exactly, Goover. I substituted the word "conservative" for his word, "progressive", leaving the rest of it alone. They're proud of being conservatives so why did its use in my comment mean the comment needed to be deleted? I (and apparently nobody else) didn't ask that his comment be deleted just because it includes the word "progressive".
in reply to Goover

Is Boehner now a lame duck?

Boehner discovers the obvious
Our view: After House's failure Thursday to pass its debt limit plan, speaker must realize a bipartisan deal is the only path forward
10:42 a.m. EDT, July 29, 2011

Today House Speaker John Boehner is scrounging around to find the few votes he needs to pass a deficit reduction and debt limit increase plan, an increasingly difficult proposition as his party's conservative wing is growing bold in its revolt against his leadership. But the task is really not so difficult. In fact, there are 193 votes ripe for the taking. They're called "Democrats."

Mr. Boehner has resisted crafting a plan that will attract any of them out of the realization that it would irreparably fracture his caucus and threaten his leadership. But after his failure to round up the 217 Republican votes he would need to pass his plan, the speaker surely must realize that it's already too late to avoid that. President Obama, speaking at the White House this morning, pointed out the obvious lesson that Mr. Boehner should have taken away from Thursday's events: "Any solution to avoid default must be bipartisan."

Given the fact that 53 Democratic Senators and two independents had already sent him a letter saying they would not pass his two-step debt limit increase plan, and that President Obama had already promised to veto it, Mr. Boehner already knew that jamming his bill through the House with no Democratic support was unlikely to work. Despite his boasts that the Senate would cave in and take his bill as the August 2 deadline neared, the chances always were that the final deal would not be on his terms.

House approves revised Boehner debt-ceiling plan

After a belabored and bruising struggle to appease conservatives, the House of Representatives has passed Speaker John A. Boehner's bill to raise the debt limit and reduce the deficit.
"Never in our history has there been an intentional disaster perpetrated by the very people who were elected to be the caretakers of this country. That is exactly what will happen if we refuse to take action to prevent default and pay our nation’s bills now," said Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), the newly-elected congresswoman from a heavily-Republican district who was chosen by party leadership to deliver the closing argument.
Boehner's struggle to win over his GOP colleagues came at a cost. The struggle appeared to weaken the speaker just as the weeks-long debt limit standoff is coming to a head before the Aug. 2 deadline. Many lawmakers acknowledged that the most recent revision to the bill only made the proposal less palatable to the Senate and, in the end, undermined the party's attempts to cut federal spending.

Boehner, a moderate? Ha!

If John Boehner is a moderate, we have a problem
The nation needs jobs, not ideological war

Dan Rodricks, 11:58 AM EDT, July 27, 2011

I heard someone use the term "moderate Republican" the other day, and I looked around for Mac Mathias. Of course, the great Maryland senator departed this life in January 2010, at the age of 87. He had retired in 1987, having served in Congress for 25 years. Once upon a time, Senator Mathias was aligned with something called the "influential liberal wing of the Republican Party," a phrase you could never conjure today without first doing some herb — and, even then, it would have to be really good stuff.

Once upon a time, there were Republicans in the middle and the middle-left. Rockefeller Republicans, they were called — fiscal conservatives, skeptical of big government social programs, but supporters of sensible government investment in education, health care and the environment for the good of the nation.

Wayne Gilchrest, an Eastern Shore Republican and Vietnam veteran, was among the last of that crowd, and he survived long past his expiration date. It was the far more conservative Andy Harris who finally unseated Mr. Gilchrest in the 2008 primary.

Mr. Harris, of course, is in Washington now, part of the tea party-beholden freshman class that has created the mess over the nation's debt ceiling. Their agenda is extreme — repeal the health insurance expansion that Congress enacted only last year, cut as much federal discretionary spending as possible, encourage the continued concentration of wealth by the richest Americans by sparing them new taxes, and force cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. These aren't sober grownups acting prudently to get the American house in order; these are extremists trying to gut the house and reduce its reason for existence.

When I heard the term "moderate Republican" the other day, it was used to describe the speaker of the House, John Boehner. A man who proposes cutting federal spending by $1.2 trillion in a first round and by another $1.8 trillion in a second round, while standing firm against new taxes even for the wealthiest Americans, is now considered middle-of-the-road.

So, as the right moves further right — and perhaps right off the cliff — President Obama and the Democrats still look like liberals, despite two decades of instruction by their party's leadership to move to the magic middle. It was Bill Clinton, welfare reformer and capital punishment supporter, who took the party to the political median strip. From there, he presided over a stable economy and, ultimately, federal budget surpluses.

It was his Republican successor and his accomplices in Congress who led the nation back to a string of annual deficits caused by big tax cuts and expensive wars.

Then came the Great Recession, and things got worse just as Barack Obama was taking the oath of office. Two years later, we had the tea party revolt, a full-fledged attack on the federal system at a time when Wall Street, and not the government, deserved popular anger. Claiming to be all about "creating jobs," the tea party Republicans have instead embarked on an ideological battle.

So here we are, with this new breed of Republicans and, with them, a stalemate and near full crisis at a time when the nation's economy is still fragile as a house of cards and millions have been out of work for six months or longer. The Rockefeller Republicans and the Wayne Gilchrest moderates would never have played these games with the nation's fundamental finances.

What we're seeing today is, in a sense, a new kind of culture war — over the "culture" of federalism — when what the nation really needs is sound governance and rational leadership to get us through a tough time.

No wonder Americans flooded congressional offices with phone calls and emails this week. Most of us are out here, working — or looking for work — trying to keep up with bills, trying to figure out what comes next for the economy, and for our children. In Washington, we have zealots who want to defy even a compromising president and rewrite the Constitution — Andy Harris insists on a balanced budget amendment — in the midst of a stagnant economy.

"Too much drama," Americans popularly grumble as they leave a room or a relationship. Sooner or later, that's what sensible Republicans will say about the tea party. For the sake of the country, we should hope it's sooner.

Thanks a pantload......

The Norwegian man who allegedly killed dozens at a kids summer camp claims he legally bought high-capacity ammunition clips by mail from the United States, prompting Capitol Hill’s leading gun-control advocate to say on Thursday that America should be ashamed such purchases aren’t against the law.
Anders Behring Breivik wrote in a 1,500-page manifesto that he bought 10 30-round ammunition clips for his .223 caliber rifle from an undisclosed, small U.S. supplier, which had acquired the clips from other suppliers. Norway forbids the sale of clips for hunting rifles that hold more than three bullets, according to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wow,..I never knew that I was so powerful....

GinaMD 3 comments collapsed Collapse Expand
Do I have to go to the editor or what ? You are deleting my comments for no valid reason !

These were in response to ..sidrat38 's comment

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Tammy McGee , Moderator for 2 comments collapsed Collapse Expand
Do not threaten me. Your comments are exactly where you posted them. If you have an issue, call us or email us. Do not post threatening comments, or call us out on these threads, or I will remove your ability to post.

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Yeah! Me, (I guess...)

.....I only posted one little sarcastic comment.......

Fiscally irresponsible

CHICAGO • Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, the tea party-backed Republican who squeaked into office last year by vowing to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington and who has been one of President Barack Obama's most outspoken critics during the standoff over the debt ceiling, is being sued for more than $100,000 in unpaid child support, a newspaper reported.
The freshman congressman's ex-wife, Laura Walsh, filed the claim against him in December as part of their divorce case, saying he owed $117,437 to her and their three children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in a story published Wednesday. She contends that Walsh loaned his own campaign $35,000 and took international vacations but said he couldn't afford child support payments because he was between jobs or out of work.
"Joe personally loaned his campaign $35,000, which, given that he failed to make any child support payments to Laura because he 'had no money' is surprising," Laura Walsh's attorneys wrote in the motion. "Joe has paid himself back at least $14,200 for the loans he gave himself."

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

McCain accuses conservatives of “deceiving” America

By Greg Sargent  |  03:13 PM ET, 07/27/2011

So the debt limit debate has come to this: John McCain, who you may recall was the GOP’s 2008 standard bearer, is now openly accusing conservatives of actively misleading America with their completely unrealistic demands, which he labeled “deceiving” and “bizarro.”

In a seminal moment in this debate, here’s some video of McCain on the Senate floor today, unleashing an angry tirade at conservatives who are still holding out for a balanced budget amendment as part of any compromise on the debt ceiling. McCain accused them of “deceiving” America into believing such a thing can pass the Senate: McCain on the “balanced budget”

There are Republicans in both the House and Senate who are still pushing for another vote on the balanced budget amendment, even though “cut cap and balance,” which contains such an amendment, has already failed in the Senate. Tea Party GOP Senators such as Jim DeMint and Rand Paul are calling on colleagues to reject John Boehner’s proposal for a two-tiered debt ceiling increase, and are instead demanding another vote on “cut cap and balance.” Meanwhile, House conservatives such as Mike Pence are also urging another vote on a modified version of a balanced budget amendment.

To such conservatives, McCain offered a simple answer: You’re in fantasy-land, and you’re doing your constituents a disservice by perpetuating the falsehood that such a thing can ever happen.

“What is really amazing about this is that some members are believing that we can pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation — and that is foolish,” McCain said angrily. “That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving many of our constituents.” McCain went on to rip the idea as “bizarro.”

Tellingly, McCain cited today’s Wall Street Journal editoral excoriating conservative opponents of the Boehner plan as out of touch with reality for thinking they can do better. McCain’s angry tirade on the Senate floor today perfectly captures the rising frustration, anger, and panic of more responsible Republicans and GOP establishment figures as they come to terms with the true depths of the delusion that is now afflicting some on the right — and the danger it is now posing to our economy and country.

While monitoring the blog...

It seems that someone really is interested in this story, as they keep going back to it over and over....

Herrara's website is back up

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Beck hypocrisy

.......................................... Points Out Beck's Hypocrisy On Norway Youth Camp
July 26, 2011 6:04 pm ET by Karen Famighetti

Glenn Beck's comment yesterday that the Labor Party youth camp attacked by a terrorist in Norway last Friday "sounds a little like the Hitler Youth" is perhaps a new low point, even for him. But Beck's comparing the victims of a terrorist attack that resulted in 68 deaths to the Hitler Youth isn't just egregious -- it also smacks of hypocrisy.

As points out in an article covering Beck's comment, the 9/12 Project -- which Beck founded and heavily promoted during his run on Fox News -- runs "Patriot Camps" for young children that include "Educational exercises will focus on our Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and the values and principles that are the cornerstones of our nation." The article also points out that:
[I]n August, the Danville, Kentucky, chapter is holding a "Vacation Liberty School" that organizers pledge "will help your children understand where we came from. Understand where we went wrong. Understand where the fork in the road was, and which path we should have taken."
Beck's comment was criticized by the National Jewish Democratic Council today. Once again, Beck has demonstrated that there are no limits to how low his rhetoric will sink.

Palin's film tanks

Palin’s ‘Undefeated’ tanks, heads to Pay-Per-View

"The Undefeated," the documentary about Sarah Palin, appears to have suffered box office defeat.

The film opened in 10 locations last week and upped its exposure to 14 cities this weekend. But Reuters today reports that even as the number of screening venues increased, box office revenue has declined by more than 63 percent. It grossed only $24,000 this past weekend.

Victory Film Group and distributor ARC Entertainment announced Sunday that the doc about the former Alaska governor will be available via video on demand and pay-per-view starting Sept. 1. "ARC will continue to expand the limited engagement theatrical release nationwide throughout August and September as demand across the country remains high," the companies announced in a press release.

But reports such as the one in Reuters suggest lagging sales and attendance prompted the hasty pay-per-view push.

The film was largely panned by critics, despite invoking cheers from Palin supporters. Reports prior to this weekend indicated a per-screen average of $7,500, a figure Atlantic Wire editor Gabriel Snyder (former box office reporter for Variety) said last week was "not a number that anyone should brag about."

The companies backing the movie said in their release Sunday that per-screen averages were "above $11,000 in top markets."

Supporters hoped the film (which was made without Palin's participation) coupled with Palin's bus tour (which is currently stalled) would boost Palin's popularity ahead of her official 2012 decision. The potential candidate has stated she will announce her 2012 plans this August or September.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Contacting Herrera Buetler's office by email

Server is too busy

It seems President Obama's plea to contact Congress worked a little too well.  The server crashed.

Someone isn't playing well with others

This comment was flagged for review.  

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Taking bets?

The question:  how many comments will be posted before one of the Zero's righties accuses Pitts of being a racist even though this item does not mention anything about race?
One of the biggest news stories of the summer all but ignored by Fox
By Leonard Pitts Jr.

The first "racist" comment was at 5:27 am (the fifth comment).... and 12 of his best friends have "liked" his comment.

Pitts is a racist.

Why would anyone listen to him is beyond me ...
Today 05:27 AM


Saturday, July 23, 2011


You can kiss my wrinkled old ass.

Try cloning that comment on The Olympian.

Miracles never cease!


At present there are 56 comments posted on Marriage is a gift from God, and so far all 56 are still there!  See, Tammy, et al., it can happen if you are more judicious about using the delete button....  (I hope I haven't jinxed it, now.  LOL)


Look who stole my comment:

  • Spinnacher
    At present there are 57 comments posted here and so far all 57 are still here!  See, Tammy, et al., it can happen if you are more judicious about using the delete button....  (I hope I haven't jinxed it, now.  LOL)
    Tammy McGee , Moderator for
    Or perhaps it could mean that there's a group of people here interested in having a discussion rather than slamming and disrespecting each other.
    in reply to Spinnacher

  • UPDATE 2:

    One of our readers caught it, too:

    Tammy, I presume that you are familiar with the "other" blog that "Spinnacher" and others keep posting digs at.  You might check it today-- you will find that Spinnacher plagiarized the comment he just posted from that blog.
    UPDATE 3:
    BULLSHIT!  All he did was leave out the link to the URL....

    UPDATE 4:
    Tammy finally got off her duff and removed Spinnacher's illegal post.

    The Olympian has a page on The News Tribune website????

    Look for yourself.  The beginning (as if it hadn't already begun) of the end.

    This is called "zoning"

    Good for the goose.....

    Since it has been determined that the shooter in Norway was a Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist that was known for anti-Islam rhetoric, can we now conclude that this is a case of Christian terrorism?

    A suspected right-wing Christian gunman in police uniform killed at least 85 people in a ferocious attack on a youth summer camp of Norway's ruling Labour party, hours after a car bomb killed seven in Oslo.
    Police said the suspect immediately surrendered when told to do so and has confessed, Reuters reported.
    Witnesses said the gunman, identified by police as a 32-year-old Norwegian, moved across the small, wooded Utoya holiday island on Friday firing at random as young people scattered in fear.
    Police detained the tall, blond suspect, named by local media as Anders Behring Breivik, and charged him for the island killing spree and the Oslo bomb blast.

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Fucking Racists

    Looks like Intertubes is back at again with his dysfunctional logic and progressive liberal babble. Isn't time that before we are hit here that we get our borders secured? It is probably to late now and while Nappy is concentrating on frisking 6 year olds at the airport the next attack Islamic terrorist attack will be in our own back yard. On the other hand as Newt Gingrich has predicted so well we will lose a city before this Islamic terrorist problem is handled once and for all.

    Reports are the terrorist is from the Far Right of European politics.

    And what is with referring to our President as Nappy? You really are a straight up racist ain't ya?

    Actually, someone who's not a racist would read it as "sleepy" type.

    And he wasn't referring to Obama.

    Really !!?! You are really going to argue that !?! From the sentence structure it is clear Nappy is used as a proper noun. Given that, just which Federal Official could our little buddy be referring to?

    Not even a nice try Granola. You are an apologist for a racist.

    Get a grip. He's referring to Janet Napolitano ... Director of Homeland Security.

    Oh really. Last time I looked there was nothing Nappy about Janet Napolitano.

    It's OK to call out a racist when they are dumb enough to be a blatant about their bigotry as MoNo has.

    Have they no shame? Or no brains?

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    Social Security does not contribute to the budget deficit.

    Living in a World of lies


    Lie 2: Balancing the budget demands painful, but necessary, cuts in Social Security. Not true. As Senator Bernie Sanders points out, Social Security has not contributed one penny to the budget deficit. In fact, the trust fund has a $2.6 trillion surplus. With no adjustments, it can pay out every benefit owed for the next 26 years.

    Indeed, Social Security and Medicare are part of today's discussion about debt reduction for one reason only: because Republicans are using this excuse to achieve something they've always wanted: getting rid of both programs.


    glenn's making up his own facts again!

    Presumably he's referring to Governor Gregoire..... so how does he figure that a state official can have federal agents investigated?  And where's his proof that these "illegals" were offered jobs?  Sheesh.....

    The last time ICE arrested a bunch of illegals in Washington, the Goddess of Femininity had the agents investigated and the illegals were offered jobs! This state is nuts and getting nuttier.
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    Something I didn't know about Michele Bachmann (not that I care that much about her..)

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Decisions, decisions, decisions

    So God creates gay people huh?  Does he create serial killers too?  We are not robots, we make our own decisions and have our own free will to make either good or bad choices.  Sorry your analogy makes no sense.
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    So, tell us Spinnacher, when did you make the decision to become heterosexual?  Since it was a decision, that would mean you were something other than heterosexual prior to your decision.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    "A secular society provides the most freedom for the most people ..."


    -- found some good comments posted to a pro-religion, anti-gay, LTE Rules and regulations serve a purpose:

    *  Dryad
    All one can hope for is a peaceful coexistance and to underestand the other's point of view.  Accept the fact they are there and not going anywhere.   I don't think you are going to convince someone to change their belief system by throwing out bits and pieces of their theology to support your beliefs.  
    People's value systems run deep be it sexual, religious, or otherwise.  Accept the fact we are different and the not everyone is going to accept you.   Additionally, people always make judgements based on their values.  Rather than dwell on trying to make everyone accept your values, spend your energy on people that do accept your values.

    *  Maxim
    I'll repeat what I've heard around, and I thought apt:
    "How many gay people does God have to make before people figure out He may want them around?"
    *  fishparts
    This letter is the perfect justification of why we'd all be better off in a completely secular society.  Embrace logic and science instead of quotes from an old book.

    *  Wooly_Bugger
    It's odd that some Christians express an irrational fear that the US will embrace Sharia law when the Christian version of that action is their fondest desire. A secular society provides the most freedom for the most people, a good thing in my book.

    The True Definition of "Irony".

    "Offensive words can prevent intelligent debate about issues of importance"

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    .......The comment section has been shut down.

    "Offensive words can prevent intelligent debate about issues of importance"

    I was slow today at checking out The Zero, so when I got to the article Offensive words can prevent intelligent debate about issues of importance, there weren't any comments.  I don't know if comments weren't allowed in the first place, or if the mods deleted them because the offensiveness of the comments proved the premise of the article!  Anybody get there before I did and can say whether there were comments made?

    Reporting on Bachmann's migraines-- sexist or not?

    Reporting on Michele Bachmann's Migraines Isn't Sexist

    The Daily Caller has an article up today alleging that Michele Bachmann suffers from debilitating migraines, and that to control the migraines, she's popping pills like Tic Tacs. A former adviser tells the Caller: "When she gets ‘em, frankly, she can’t function at all. ... She carries and takes all sorts of pills. Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes." Bachmann's spokeswoman says that the congresswoman does have migraines, but that they are not incapacitating, and that they're controlled with medicine.

    Former DoubleX contributor Noreen Malone has a roundup of various women commentators who say that the Daily Caller article is gender biased, because migraines are a condition that is more associated with women. Mother Jones writer Clara Jeffery tweeted: "2 to 1 that Bachmann's pill popping = advil and estrogen. It's called menopause, people. Survived by powerful women all over the world."

    While Jeffery might be right to be on guard for possible sexism in the coverage of Bachmann's medical condition, the initial coverage in the Caller isn't biased. Recall the hysteria surrounding John McCain's health and pill-taking: In the run-up to the 2008 election, pundits were fretting about his bout with melanoma and worried that his Ambien use might cloud his judgment. It's possible that the Caller article was just a bunch of disaffected former Bachmann cronies dissing their former boss. But if Bachmann really does have debilitating migraines that put her out of commission for days at a time, that's relevant, gender-neutral information.

    Just WHO is "vile, unprofessional, and despicable"?

    Allen West Tells Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz to "Shut the Heck Up"
    By Rich Abdill. Published: Wed., Jul. 20 2011 @ 9:18AM

    Republican Congressman Allen West, everyone's favorite Iraqi-torturing politician from the 22nd district, has given us another lesson in the statesmanship he holds so dear.

    West sent an email to fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz late yesterday after she made remarks on the House floor that referenced him after he left. In the email, West called her "the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives," and "not a Lady," according to Politico.

    This, in seemingly unbalanced response to Wasserman Schultz's remarks on the House floor yesterday that included "The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from South Florida."

    West also wrote in the email "let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige," and said "If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up."

    He then had the nerve to sign the letter "Steadfast and Loyal." We get it, Congressman. You were in the Ivy Division. But to whom are you steadfast and loyal?

    Despite West's demands that someone with a beef tell him to his face, his short political career has so far consisted largely of talking behind people's backs and making statements not to people's faces and not on the House floor, but to the media and to people with checkbooks.

    Like in April, when he went on Fox News and called "Barack Hussein Obama" a "low-level socialist dictator" who showed "third world dictator-like arrogance." West added that he was "sick and tired of ... this Marxist demagogic rhetoric coming from the president." He said the president's April budget speech was "absolutely beneath the statesmanship or the atmosphere or the aura that the president should show."

    Obama could learn a lot from West's statesmanship -- just fire a gun past someone's ear if they don't tell you want you want to hear.

    And then last month, when West said the entire GOP presidential field "scared the hell out of [him]" because "none of them really understood national security," then tossed in that "we know that the left does not want to stand up for the defense of this country." Whose face was he saying that to? Potential donors. He knows that's how it works. He just doesn't seem to care.

    Then there was the time Republicans tried to hide $12 billion in budget cuts behind a bill that would pay U.S. troops during the budget crisis. When Democrats rejected it because of the cuts, Speaker John Boehner accused them of hurting the troops, even though he and everyone else knows the bill was never about the troops in the first place.

    West came out against his own party and stood up for the military, albeit by invoking Nazi Germany, writing that "Churchhill stated: 'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' Mr. Speaker: I once again will not be feeding the crocodile."

    Which seems great, except then he voted for the bill. That's one full crocodile.

    The full text of West's email is below; it's cc'd to Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Republican House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and West's chief of staff, Jonathan Blyth.
    From: Z112 West, Allen
    Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
    To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
    Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
    Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

    Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

    I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior......which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

    You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

    Steadfast and Loyal

    Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

    The GOP's non-solution -- we need to call their bluff!

    The GOP’s Cynical Bluff
    By Tina Dupuy | July 19th, 2011

    GOP leaders in Congress don’t want a balanced-budget amendment. The party which rails against government bureaucracy is counting on government bureaucracy to prevent them from successfully changing our founding documents. It’s perfect because they don’t actually want to amend the Constitution – well, not in a serious way. Maybe in a drunken, overly-clever, 1:30 AM in a Hill-adjacent dive bar kind of way: “The 28th Amendment should outlaw blue food on Wednesdays…that’d be hilarious!!”

    Now the debt ceiling, originally a WWI cap on bonds the government could issue (back when Congress insisted on actually paying for wars), is the catalyst for yet another insincere call to pass a constitutional amendment. Since 1962 Congress has raised the debt ceiling 69 times with no pageantry and little protest. Basically, the debt ceiling is a stupid wonky antiquated law we should scrap altogether.

    But instead of a reasonable discussion about the health of our finance laws, the minority party (loosely) controlling one-half of one of the three branches of government is demanding two-thirds of the Congress get together to propose an amendment for then three-fourths of state legislatures to ratify BEFORE allowing the country to pay its creditors in the next few days. This can be summed up in one word: cynical.

    It’s like insisting we touch down on Neptune before we land on the Moon again: It means you want to appear to be advocating “big ideas,” when, in fact, you don’t really want to go to either destination and despise travel in general. And since you know Neptune will never happen, you can be for nothing while appearing to be enthusiastically for something – albeit something impossible.

    It’s cynical. It shows contempt for governing and a presumption that American’s are too ignorant to catch on.

    If Republicans were serious about their newest go-nowhere proposal, they’d quietly try to acquire support from Democrats while trying to gather a consensus from their constituents. Just ask anyone alive during the Equal Rights Amendment debate in 1972. They will tell you how amending the Constitution is a lengthy, drawn-out, overwhelming campaign, and it was meant to be so. The GOP isn’t interested in this process.

    Neophyte Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) favorite go-to non-solution is “constitutional amendments.” He’s a self-described libertarian. His admitted scorn for government showed when he proposed repealing the 14th Amendment to eradicate alleged “anchor babies.” This was an idea to strip citizenship from children born in the U.S., thus creating more illegal immigrants. Paul now says he’ll filibuster raising the debt ceiling until a balanced-budget amendment is passed. He told ABC News in June, “We will vote to raise the debt ceiling if we get a balanced-budget amendment.”

    With the deadline of Aug. 2 rushing down, Republicans flooded the Sunday morning talk shows this week with a show of solidarity in – you guessed it – cynicism:

    Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) on CBS’s Face the Nation: “Why in the world isn’t there the votes for a balanced-budget amendment in the U.S. Senate? That’s the question Americans ought to be asking.”

    Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) on NBC’s Meet the Press: “The only plan on the table that’ll keep us from default and will keep us from falling to a negative rating is the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan.” Then he followed with the dubious statistic, “Now folks can say that it’s outrageous to balance our budget, but over 70 percent of Americans think we need to.”

    Over on ABC’s This Week, Raul Labrador (R-ID) magically added to the popularity of the GOP’s pet proposal: “Eighty percent of the American people want us to have a balanced-budget amendment. I’m not sure why the President is standing in the way of that.”

    Why is the President standing in the way of this sham demand? “I think it’s important for everybody to understand that all of us believe that we need to get to a point where eventually we can balance the budget,” President Obama said at one of the many press conferences on the debt ceiling. “We don’t need a constitutional amendment to do that; what we need to do is to do our jobs.”

    Speaking of jobs, that’s what the GOP ran on: jobs. But once sworn in, they’re nothing more than ineffective congressional seat-fillers on the public’s dime.

    We as citizens need to call their bluff. They don’t want to amend the Constitution.

    Their real goal is the pyrrhic victory of making the President fail because they think the GOP will rise from the country’s ashes.

    © Copyright 2011, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.