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Friday Talking Points [320] -- Congress Briefly Interrupts 3-Month Vacation To "Work"

[ Posted Friday, September 19th, 2014 – 16:57 PDT ]

Congress followed up their recent five-week vacation with almost two whole weeks of actually doing their jobs, so to reward themselves they're now going to take off on another vacation. Until mid-November. The American people will show their disgust at this pathetic work ethic by returning upwards of ninety percent of them to office, if this year is anything like a typical one. The big question on everyone's mind is whether the Democrats will hold onto control of the Senate, which will mean two years of gridlock with the Republican House, or whether Republicans will gain control of the Senate, which will mean two years of gridlock with both the Tea Party and the president.

Sorry to start off on a negative note, but there is indeed little positive to be seen in the biannual frenzy of congressional campaigning which is about to begin in earnest. There is one bit of comic relief to be found in this midterm dance, and it is coming from an unexpected state: Kansas. The Democratic Senate candidate just won a court case which will keep his name off the ballot. The Republican official in charge of elections, after arguing in this court case that he legally needed to print the ballots starting today, is now saying he's going to wait a week so that the Democrats can call a convention and name a replacement to the ballot. Democrats are not going to do this, however, so like I said we've got at least one more week of amusement from the heartland in store. The "What's the matter with Kansas?" jokes just write themselves, don't they?

Little noticed outside of Baltimore, we just celebrated the bicentennial of our national anthem. I wrote about this earlier in the week, and last weekend the anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore (or the Battle of Fort McHenry) was celebrated in the city, even if the rain put somewhat of a damper on the day.

The coalition against the Islamic State began to come together this week, although (amusingly) both Syria's Assad and Iran tried to join, but were rebuffed. Insert your own witty "enemy of my enemy" quip here.

An act of terrorism happened against a United States congressman, and the suspected perpetrator was quickly arrested. You'd think this sort of thing would attract more media attention, but, sadly, you would be wrong.

The United States Air Force very quietly changed a rule last October, to mandate that anyone enlisting or re-enlisting use the phrase "...so help me God" in their oath. When the matter was noticed and legal action begun, the Air Force last week very quietly reversed their position and brought it back into line with every other branch of the armed services -- meaning the phrase is now optional (as it should be).

A court down in Florida ruled that it was OK for schoolchildren to be given religious books, so the Satanic Temple announced it would be joining in the fun and handing out copies of The Satanic Children's Big Book Of Activities. Hey, fair's fair -- if it's OK for one side of the debate, it has to be OK for everyone, right?

In other church/state news, a teenager in Pennsylvania is facing two years in jail for desecrating a statue of Jesus -- not by physically harming or altering it, mind you, but merely by taking (and publicly posting) a photograph of him in an amusing (to him, obviously) position with the statue. I could have sworn America decided "blasphemy" laws were unconstitutional a long time ago, but I guess I would be wrong. In related "teens posting stupid stuff online which comes back to bite them" news, a 19-year-old Republican candidate for state government in Wisconsin had to withdraw from his race after disgusting and racist comments were uncovered from his past online postings.

Moving back to politics, Hillary Clinton went to a steak fry in Iowa, followed by 200 "journalists" who were there to report on the experience for the rest of the world. Jason Linkins at the Huffington Post has a hilarious write-up, which is well worth a read if you want a chuckle. I had to follow up on his column yesterday, by proclaiming Hillary the perfect Schrödinger's candidate, for those who enjoy a bit of quantum physics with their political commentary.

Republicans have been busy little beavers in Washington, during their two weeks of "work" in the midst of three solid months of vacation, by conducting all the important business of the nation. Ha! Not really -- instead, they found time to vote on a bunch of bills they had already passed, and to also tackle the important issue of the handful of people who have withdrawn federal dollars inside a marijuana shop in Colorado. No really -- that was more important than voting on whether President Obama had the legal authority to start another war or not. You just can't make this stuff up, folks.

The best example of "our tax dollars at work" from last week, though, had to have been the group who attempted to turn in a half-million signatures in support of restoring the Voting Rights Act. The civil rights group thought they'd turn it in to House Speaker John Boehner's office, since he's the one who could make such a thing happen. On Wednesday, during business hours, they could not turn in their signatures, because Boehner's office door was locked and nobody responded to a knock.

Nice work if you can get it, eh?

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

A few weeks ago, this column came out strongly for providing all cops with body cameras to record every interaction they have with the public. At the time, there was a petition on the White House website asking President Obama to come out in favor of the idea. We are happy to report that the White House has now done so. This is an idea whose time has come, and what studies have been done seem to show that members of the public and cops themselves both act a lot better when they know that their actions are being filmed. Seems like a win-win all around, so President Obama deserves at least an Honorable Mention for getting behind the idea.

While not technically a Democratic organization, we are going to bend the rules (as we are wont to do, at times) and hand out an Honorable Mention to the Marijuana Policy Project, for their recent advertising campaign in Colorado. Colorado has already legalized recreational marijuana use, but M.P.P. has now begun an ad campaign to educate people (tourists especially) as to what marijuana will actually do to you. This is most important when it comes to "edibles," or marijuana products that are eaten and not smoked. While many people have had some experience with smoked marijuana (and therefore are able to regulate their dosage), the world of edibles is currently unregulated and unrestrained -- meaning strength varies wildly from one candy bar to another.

Maureen Dowd, a national newspaper columnist, famously took a recent trip to Colorado and bought an edible (candy bar) and ate so much of it she got zonked out of her brain. She then wrote about the experience, which angered many pro-marijuana folks for its one-sided take on the situation. But now M.P.P. is addressing the very real need for educating the public better about edibles with their ad campaign, and they rather obviously poked a little fun at Dowd while doing so.

For taking on the responsibility for this public service education campaign, and for getting in a dig at the Queen of Snark herself while doing so, M.P.P. deserves at least an Honorable Mention.

But we have to give the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week to Harry Reid, who held the fourth vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act right before the midterm campaign got rolling. Republicans blocked it, yet again. This gives Democrats a good talking point to use out on the hustings -- Democrats are trying to guarantee equal pay for women, and Republicans are fighting against the idea. Women voters may be key to the midterm election, and this was an excellent political move by Reid to showcase which party is on whose side in the debate.

For his political acumen in bringing the Paycheck Fairness Act up for a vote right before campaign season, Harry Reid is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Sigh.

We really wish we didn't have to, but it seems Joe Biden deserves another Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. On multiple occasions this week, Biden's mouth got him in trouble. First it was using the Shakespearean term "Shylock" (which has blatant anti-Semitic overtones) when speaking about bankers. Biden did quickly apologize for that one, but what really earned him the award came soon after. While speaking to a Democratic women's conference, Biden praised a few members of Congress for working to get things done in the face of divided government. The problem arose when Biden decided to say some kind words about former senator (and Republican) Bob Packwood -- who was disgraced when it came out that he was somewhat of a serial sexual harasser. Packwood was known for groping and kissing women without their consent, in fact.

Right in the midst of the domestic violence problems in the NFL (and elsewhere) is, quite frankly, not the time to say kind words about Bob Packwood. Furthermore, in front of a women's conference is never really the place to say kind words about Bob Packwood, no matter what you may think of his legislative record.

So, for Joe Biden being Joe Biden, he has earned his third Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. Think before you speak, Joe. Please?

[Contact Vice President Joe Biden via the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 320 (9/19/14)

Continuing the theme from the awards section, many of our talking points this week center around the Republican War On Women, and the chasm between what Democrats want to do and what Republicans refuse to accept. In any case, these talking points (as always) are offered up for all Democrats to use, most especially those who are being interviewed on Sunday's political talk shows. Enjoy, and use responsibly.

 

1
   The doctor is out

This one is just too, too funny.

"A little earlier this year, many Republican pundits were predicting that they had a shot at a Senate seat in Oregon because they had nominated such a stellar candidate. Not only was she a woman (helping them with their War On Women image), but she was a prominent doctor and surgeon. Monica Wehby was supposed to be one of the point people in the fight against the horrors of Obamacare, we were told just a few months ago. Because she was a doctor herself, she would help personalize the issue in a way that Republican consultants never could. Well, it turns out she cribbed most of her health care plan from a Republican consulting group. That's right -- she plagiarized boilerplate anti-Obamacare language from Karl Rove's group, and then offered it up on her website as her own idea. Polling now shows she is quite likely going to lose this race by a healthy margin, and that was before the plagiarism story made the news. We can now confidently say 'the doctor is out' in Oregon."

 

2
   Knuckleheads!

John Boehner commits Washington gaffe by telling the truth. This is a dandy quote all Democrats should now use, for as long as the Tea Party is still a force within the Republican Party, in fact.

"You may think it partisan of me to state the obvious -- that the Tea Party is nothing more than a group of obstructionists devoted to doing absolutely nothing in Washington. Coming from a Democrat, such a comment might be discounted as partisan rhetoric. So allow me to quote Speaker John Boehner, so that partisanship can't even enter into the equation. This past week, Boehner said, and I quote: 'On any given day, 16 of my members decide they're going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing. You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference. Dealing with Democrats is one thing, dealing with the knuckleheads is another.' Unquote. I propose that the media immediately begin following Boehner's lead, and instead of speaking of Tea Partiers in Congress, use the term 'Knucklehead faction' instead."

 

3
   War On Women (part 1)

What century do these people think they're living in?

"A Republican House member from Florida recently decided it was a good idea to hold a guys-only fundraiser for his re-election campaign. I guess he thinks that women still only control their husband's household budget, and have no access to any money for such male-oriented things as political campaigns. When the campaign of his challenger, Gwen Graham, called the event 'offensive,' Steve Southerland dug himself a deeper hole by replying: 'Has Gwen Graham ever been to a lingerie shower? Ask her. And how many men were there?' You know, it's pretty easy to see why the Republican Party has such a gigantic and growing problem with women voters. It's because of attitudes like Southerland's and other Republicans who seem not to have gotten the memo that women can now actually vote and they do not appreciate being disrespected in the political arena."

 

4
   War On Women (part 2)

Or maybe that should read: "Tales from the Stone Age, part 2."

"Out in Arizona, the vice-chair of the state Republican Party was just forced to resign after stating that he'd like to see Medicaid recipients sterilized. On the radio recently, Russell Pearce said the following: 'You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations. Then we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.' Pearce, in his resignation statement, made a laughable attempt to walk back these remarks: 'This was a mistake. This mistake has been taken by the media and the left and used to hurt our Republican candidates.' So, let me get this straight -- the lefty media is using Pearce's own words to report on Republican values as publicly expressed by a party official, and that is now hurting Republican candidates, which is somehow supposed to be unfair? Do these guys ever listen to themselves? I mean, honestly."

 

5
   Make it easier by making it more expensive

Ah, but those crafty Republicans think they've got a way to deflect all that "War On Women" stuff. This one is fairly sophisticated (as political ploys go), and it needs to be fought back against by Democrats.

"I see that several Republican Senate candidates have now come out in favor of selling oral birth control 'over the counter,' instead of by prescription. They are desperately trying to get rid of their party's whole 'War On Women' image with this ploy, but what they are actually in favor of is making life more difficult for women, as usual. It sounds like they're for making birth control pills more accessible to all, but in reality they are trying to shift all the costs of birth control from insurance companies to the women's own pocketbooks. Obamacare -- which Republicans are still trying to kill -- mandates insurers pay for birth control costs. But insurers rarely pay for over-the-counter medicine, meaning that women would have to foot the bill themselves rather than the Obamacare guarantee that the insurers pay the costs. I would welcome moving birth control pills to over-the-counter status, as long as the bill doing so also mandated that all the costs would still be paid by women's health insurance. By leaving this part out, Republicans are trying to fool women into thinking that they're for wider access -- when, in fact, they are doing this to make life more expensive for women. But I'm pretty confident that women understand the difference, even if the Republicans think they can fool all of them."

 

6
   Impeach!

There isn't really even anything partisan about this one, because most Democrats have been just as silent as most Republicans have been.

"I call on the House of Republicans to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against federal judge Mark Fuller, and I further call on every senator to vote in favor of removing him from office. This man was just convicted of beating his wife in an Atlanta hotel room, and does not belong on the federal bench. While politicians may decry the problems in professional football, this is a problem in our own backyard which needs immediate action. Domestic abuse is a serious offense that should automatically disqualify someone from a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. While the court he works for has stripped him of his docket, the American taxpayers are still paying his full-time salary, and will for his entire life if Congress does not act. Fuller has made a statement saying he hopes to resume his work on the bench. He should not be allowed this opportunity, and if he does not immediately resign, Congress should exercise its constitutional power and duty by removing him from office."

 

7
   Barracks humor

And, finally, one that will give everyone a laugh.

"I see that the National Senatorial Committee just sent out an email urging their supporters to 'fire Harry Reid' because he is nothing more than a lackey of a person they identified as 'Barrack Obama.' That's B-A-R-R-A-C-K Obama. It seems that six years into his term in office, the folks trying to get Republicans elected to the Senate still haven't learned how to spell the president's name. Or maybe it was just their attempt at 'barracks humor,' who knows?"

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

67 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [320] -- Congress Briefly Interrupts 3-Month Vacation To "Work"”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. MDDOTW

    Really?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm curious about how the women at the conference reacted to Biden's statements and what the reaction was by his other audiences to what he said.

    I'm guessing that the only entity to react was the media and blogosphere, as per usual.

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, and I'm sure the commentariat had a field day with it too, not surprisingly.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    SIGH, indeed.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Insert your own witty "enemy of my enemy" quip here.

    Obama should have followed the Klingon model.. :D

    q'OaStaHvuIS wa' ramn loSSSaD HoGh SIjlaHt qeItbogh loDD

    "The enemy of my enemy is the enemy I kill last"

    An act of terrorism happened against a United States congressman, and the suspected perpetrator was quickly arrested.

    What did I say before!?? Molotov Cocktails are weapons of war...

    Since we're also calling it terrorism, I guess ya'all concede that the response of the Ferguson PD was warranted, eh? :D

    Can't have it both ways....

    A court down in Florida ruled that it was OK for schoolchildren to be given religious books, so the Satanic Temple announced it would be joining in the fun and handing out copies of The Satanic Children's Big Book Of Activities. Hey, fair's fair -- if it's OK for one side of the debate, it has to be OK for everyone, right?

    So, ya'all wouldn't mind a Nazi based religion or, gods forbid, a religion built around Ronald Reagan???

    Where does one draw the line???

    Let me finish up with one of the TPs because work beckons...

    Ya know, the Democrat's "war on women" accusation would have a LOT more credibility if Dems didn't worship Slick Willie and accept him as their spokesperson...

    You mentioned Packwood as a "serial harasser"... Surely Clinton fills the bill as well, eh??

    Why does one get worshiped and one gets denigrated??

    Ahh yes, that's right....

    The almighty -x after their name...

    The Democrats will NEVER have *ANY* credibility against the GOP over this "war on women" crap until they hold their own accountable..

    It's really THAT simple...

    I owe... I owe... So off to work I go... :D

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    White House intruder arrested after entering front doors
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-white-house-jumper-20140919-story.html

    A person jumps a fence and invades an area...

    At the White House, it's cause for an evacuation and an arrest...

    On the Southern Border?? It's perfectly acceptable...

    Pure Kafka....

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Liz(2)

    Your basically asking....

    How much wood would a Packwood Pack,
    if a Packwood could pack wood?

    At a women's conference.

    Well, most of the audience weren't frantically Googling Packwood on their mobile devices, and PW did resign 19 yrs ago. But cameras were rolling...

    No audible gasps, the brief PW reference apparently got lost in his larger point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIZ2SKz0WbU

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    How much wood would a Packwood Pack,
    if a Packwood could pack wood?

    hehehehehehehe

    "That right thar was funny as hell, I tell yooo waat"
    -Larry The Cable Guy

    :D

    Good one, TS....

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    But seriously, Bob Packwood is a reasonable comparison to Bill Clinton..

    Both are serial harassers, although Clinton has ventured into rape...

    Both have done good things for this country, politically and policy wise..

    Yet, around here, Packwood is a villain and Clinton is a hero...

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yes, TS, that is what I suspected.

    There are certain countless "reporters" who hang on every word that the vice president (and Senator before that) utters just to add yet more fodder to the asinine media storyline on Biden.

    After a quick perusal of his "reports", the guy in Chris's link appears to be just another one of them and they are dime a dozen.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let me try that last part, again ...

    After a quick perusal of his "reports", the guy in Chris's link appears to be just another one of them and, in terms of worthiness, they're a dime a dozen.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    No audible gasps, the brief PW reference apparently got lost in his larger point.

    As it should have but, apparently, not around here. :(

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's really hard to believe that no Democrat this week did anything worthy of being dishonoured with a MDDOTW award.

    We must be missing something ...

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's really hard to believe that no Democrat this week did anything worthy of being dishonoured with a MDDOTW award.

    Would you like a list??? :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Did you know that there are many "reporters" - and, others, of course - inside and outside of the Jewish state - who are in the business of trying to depict Biden as being anti-Israel?

    In reality, NOTHING could be further from the truth and Israel knows no better friend in the US government than Senator and Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. PERIOD.

    And, that's all I'm going to say about that.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Would you like a list??? :D

    Please, by all means, proceed! :)

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's a start..

    Politician accused of dropping pants, hurling racist slurs dropping out of race
    http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2014/09/council_candidate_dropped_racist_slurs_pants_at_middlesex_diner_cops_say_now_he_drops_out.html

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    See, now THAT is what I'm talkin' about!

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    On multiple occasions this week, Biden's mouth got him in trouble.

    Please do enlighten us on all the other episodes where "Biden's mouth got him in trouble" this week ...

    Were there just so many examples that you couldn't possible list them all in an FTP column or could it be that you're just not that kind of writer? I know it's the latter but, you get my point.

  20. [20] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    By the way, it was my birthday, yesterday!

    Heh.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Happy Birthday, Liz!!!! :D

    Mine's in 8 days... The big Five Two :D

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There you go, giving away my age, AGAIN!!!

    Thanks, Michale. :)

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Naw, I said *I* am going to be the big five two... :D

    What are the odds???

    :D

    Michale

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We're practically twins. :)

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    You poor poor woman... :^D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    YoYoTheAssyrian wrote:

    "So, ya'all wouldn't mind a Nazi based religion or, gods forbid, a religion built around Ronald Reagan?"

    Ehh, the point is that bronze age fantasies deserve no special treatment. Your religion is between you and your "god," kindly leave the rest of us out of your insanity.

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ehh, the point is that bronze age fantasies deserve no special treatment. Your religion is between you and your "god," kindly leave the rest of us out of your insanity.

    Yer preaching to the choir.. I am as agnostic as they come and am frankly embarrassed over public displays of religiousity...

    My point was simply that there ARE lines that SHOULDN'T be crossed... The Left preaches about tolerance while at the same time being as intolerant as possible over things that THEY don't like..

    In this particular case, the notion that "anything goes" is nice and poetic on the surface, but as usual, the devil is in the details... No pun intended.. :D

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's always a good day when Obama Poll Numbers go down..

    realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

    ... and the GOP chances of taking the Senate go up...

    washingtonpost.com/wp-tran/politics/election-lab-2014

    :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:
  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Thanks but, I try very hard to stay away from articles like that ...

    I've always used what people say about Biden and his "gaffes" as an extremely accurate barometer of diminished personal integrity and character - not Biden's, theirs.

    I have to disagree with this reporter's analysis of how Biden's so-called gaffes and peoples' reactions to them have not been detrimental to his career, at least insofar as so many American voters who largely wallow in ignorance don't take him seriously, at best and, at worst, see him as nothing more than a caricature of triviality and insignificance.

  31. [31] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    @Michale [#27] My point was simply that there ARE lines that SHOULDN'T be crossed... The Left preaches about tolerance while at the same time being as intolerant as possible over things that THEY don't like.

    The line that was crossed was in making it legal to give FL children religious books. No material regarding religion, unless theological/cultural academic content, should be allowed: whether Christian, Satanic, Reagan deificative (new word! TM) worship, or otherwise.

    I think you and I are on the same side on that, but I fail to see how "The Left" is being hypocritical when simply pointing out the absurdity of the FL law by highlighting the obvious conflict it invites by people submitting texts antithetical to what the FL legislators probably intended. Indeed, Nazi-deification propaganda would have been just as effective at making the same point. And I'm sure, given the all too prevalent prejudice right now, a Muslim submission would have elicited a nearly similar reaction (New York mosque, anyone?).

    This isn't, or at least shouldn't be, a partisan issue. It wouldn't be if the Religious Right hadn't taken over much of the Political Right since the 80s.

    In any case, in 3 months we'll see the annual nativity scene stories demonstrate -- again -- why a strict separation of church and state is wise and a public good for all.

  32. [32] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "the Satanic Temple announced it would be joining in the fun and handing out copies of The Satanic Children's Big Book Of Activities."

    Oh no! The End is near again. A parody religion is protesting by promoting their not-god. How could Satanists be worse than the war-mongering, misogynist, homophobic, poor people-hating cult of the zombie god? Answer: they couldn't.

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    RD,

    The line that was crossed was in making it legal to give FL children religious books. No material regarding religion, unless theological/cultural academic content, should be allowed: whether Christian, Satanic, Reagan deificative (new word! TM) worship, or otherwise.

    Completely and unequivocally agree.. Kudos on the word creation.. :D

    I think you and I are on the same side on that, but I fail to see how "The Left" is being hypocritical when simply pointing out the absurdity of the FL law by highlighting the obvious conflict it invites by people submitting texts antithetical to what the FL legislators probably intended. Indeed, Nazi-deification propaganda would have been just as effective at making the same point. And I'm sure, given the all too prevalent prejudice right now, a Muslim submission would have elicited a nearly similar reaction (New York mosque, anyone?).

    The Left is being hypocritical by not recognizing that there ARE limits to ANY freedom...

    Or, more accurately, the Left is being hypocritical by setting the limits based on their partisan agenda...

    It's the "anything goes" mentality as long as the "anything" is what the Left agrees with..

    It's a convoluted thought process to be sure.. Made more so by my nearly irresistible urge to smackdown the Hysterical Left at any opportunity.. :D

    This isn't, or at least shouldn't be, a partisan issue. It wouldn't be if the Religious Right hadn't taken over much of the Political Right since the 80s.

    Again, we agree. It shouldn't be a partisan issue. But I have to wonder if one of the reasons that the Left is so "in your face" over this issue is to lash out at the Right Wing which is, as you point out, by and large religious..

    Present company excepted, of course. :D

    In any case, in 3 months we'll see the annual nativity scene stories demonstrate -- again -- why a strict separation of church and state is wise and a public good for all.

    Now, in this case, I would have to disagree...

    There is a HISTORICAL/TRADITIONAL context that needs to be taken into account over the Xmas season...

    As much as I get frustrated over the Right and their "it's god's will" crap, I get JUST as frustrated over the Left and their "YOU CAN'T SAY 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' YOU HEATHEN!!!" crap...

    Even though Christmas is steeped in religion, in the here and now, it's more of a traditional holiday, than a religious one..

    It's the same with those loonies who want to take IN GOD WE TRUST off of our money.. While I agree with them in principle, there are much larger issues to worry about..

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh no! The End is near again. A parody religion is protesting by promoting their not-god. How could Satanists be worse than the war-mongering, misogynist, homophobic, poor people-hating cult of the zombie god? Answer: they couldn't.

    But, that's just it..

    It is NOT a parody religion.. To those people who believe, it's as real and serious to them as the christian religion is to christians...

    Now, the Spaghetti Monster religion.. THAT's a parody religion.. :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have to disagree with this reporter's analysis of how Biden's so-called gaffes and peoples' reactions to them have not been detrimental to his career, at least insofar as so many American voters who largely wallow in ignorance don't take him seriously, at best and, at worst, see him as nothing more than a caricature of triviality and insignificance.

    I think the author meant that Biden's gaffes are not indications of how he really is.. As you have pointed out, Biden is a great friend of Israel.. No one with more than two brain cells to rub together would ever think Biden was an Anti-Semite based on what he said..

    That's the point I have been trying to drive home around here for quite a while..

    An Anti-Semitic statement does not necessarily an Anti-Semite make..

    A racist statement does not necessarily a racist make..

    The Hysterical Left would do well to remember these pearls of wisdom...

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    The point I am making here is that when respected writers hand out MDDOTW awards for using "blatantly" anit-semitic language - knowing full well that that thought never entered the speaker's mind - or for making a reference about someone in an inappropriate setting where no one else in attendance was bothered by it, then respected writers only succeed in feeding into the asinine media storyline on one of America's few dedicated statesmen.

    THAT's what I have a problem with. I take issue with things that Biden believes and policies that derive from those beliefs while others are only on the lookout for certain words that THEY feel Biden should not say.

    All I'm saying is that when it comes to taking issue with what Biden has to say and "Biden being Biden, let's stick to the substance of the matter. If that was done in this case, there would be no MDDOTW award for him, just a brief analysis of the substance of his speeches which were only mentioned in passing here.

    By the way, Michale, I would argue quite strenuously that what Biden said was decidedly NOT a racist statement, anyway you slice it. And, that makes the MDDOTW award even more distasteful.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    By the way, Michale, I would argue quite strenuously that what Biden said was decidedly NOT a racist statement, anyway you slice it. And, that makes the MDDOTW award even more distasteful.

    Of course it wasn't a racist statement..

    But it was an Anti-Semitic statement..

    I simply mention the racist thing because it's the same issue... Simply because one says something one time does not mean that's who they are..

    It's the same argument that David and JL and I debated when Sotomayer made her "Wise Latina" comment..

    It was a racist comment, but that doesn't mean Sotomayer is a racist..

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    rdnewman wrote:

    Michale [#33]

    The Left is being hypocritical by not recognizing that there ARE limits to ANY freedom...

    Or, more accurately, the Left is being hypocritical by setting the limits based on their partisan agenda...

    It's the "anything goes" mentality as long as the "anything" is what the Left agrees with..

    Your assertion takes a leap here (though, ironically, not a leap of faith). I'm inferring that you mean to say that somehow allowing/submitting/sympathizing with Satanism is somehow over "the line". Given how much we're in agreement overall, I don't understand how either of us, Left or Right, could consider submission of Satanism any different than any other religion. Or are you suggesting that it's a false equivalence?

    As much as I get frustrated over the Right and their "it's god's will" crap, I get JUST as frustrated over the Left and their "YOU CAN'T SAY 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' YOU HEATHEN!!!" crap...

    Well, can't speak for others, but I'm good with you saying Merry Christmas if you don't mind me saying Happy Holidays (see we're starting in Sept. already...can't say I'm proud to contribute to that). In general, expecting others to be respectful of each other's beliefs is not the same as demanding obedience. It's not constructive for you to highlight extremist nontheists anymore than for me to highlight extremist theists and use that as a sweeping generalization of the "Hysterical Left" (ad hominem noted) or the Political Right.

    Just for the record, it's okay for a Christian to say MC to me: it's almost always meant with good intent and kindness. Likewise, it's just as kind and thoughtful for someone to say Happy Hanukkah or the like even if the listener doesn't share the same religion. Happy Holidays is just as welcoming and kind without highlighting a potential difference between people.

    So I agree, it's silly to make a big deal out of it. And I agree that Christmas has a cultural, non-religious history (esp. true given its pagan roots) that multi-generational European-Americans share. And it's silly to consider those who say Happy Holidays are imposing some kind of political correctness on others -- it's simply a polite way to wish others well without having to assume things about them. And that's, well, that's just being nice.

    There are several other sites that debate "In God We Trust", "under God", and other government imposed observations of religion, so I won't go on, but really, it's very simple:

    The American Government is obligated by the First Amendment to tolerate any religion among its citizens without prejudice, and without promoting or requiring any. That tolerance for a given religion, any religion, extends until the practices of that religion interfere with the rights of other citizens.

    If the government, at any level, shows a preference for any religion, regardless of historical context, the government is out of line and should be pushed back.

    Florida government officials were out of line. The Satanists were not.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Given how much we're in agreement overall, I don't understand how either of us, Left or Right, could consider submission of Satanism any different than any other religion. Or are you suggesting that it's a false equivalence?

    I am saying that if one allows that Satanism is a legitimate religion then I postulated a scenario where you have a Nazi religion or a Ronald Reagan religion and I would ask the resident Lefties of Weigantia to comment on their tolerance of THOSE "religions"..

    It's been my experience that, in the here and now, those on the Left who preach tolerance are often the most intolerant people one could ever meet...

    Well, can't speak for others, but I'm good with you saying Merry Christmas if you don't mind me saying Happy Holidays (see we're starting in Sept. already...can't say I'm proud to contribute to that).

    You are then the exception that emphasizes the rule...

    It's not constructive for you to highlight extremist nontheists anymore than for me to highlight extremist theists and use that as a sweeping generalization of the "Hysterical Left" (ad hominem noted) or the Political Right.

    Is it truly an 'ad hominem' if it's factually accurate?? Because I can provide a buttload of factual examples that prove beyond ANY doubt that "Hysterical" Left is an apt descriptor...

    So I agree, it's silly to make a big deal out of it.

    Hang around for a few months and I bet we'll have a ton of people whose sole purpose in life seems to be to "make a big deal out of it"... :D

    And it's silly to consider those who say Happy Holidays are imposing some kind of political correctness on others -- it's simply a polite way to wish others well without having to assume things about them. And that's, well, that's just being nice.

    And, if those on the Left would adopt the SAME attitude on those who wish others "Merry Christmas" then there wouldn't be any problem..

    But they don't so there is...

    The American Government is obligated by the First Amendment to tolerate any religion among its citizens without prejudice, and without promoting or requiring any. That tolerance for a given religion, any religion, extends until the practices of that religion interfere with the rights of other citizens.

    And yet, this particular administration bends over backwards, sideways and every which way to accomodate Islam... A religion that, is obvious, goes out of it's way to "interfere with the rights of other citizens"...

    So, THAT theory seems to be out the window...

    Florida government officials were out of line. The Satanists were not.

    Is offering religion the same thing as imposing religion???

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    proclaiming Hillary the perfect Schrödinger's candidate, for those who enjoy a bit of quantum physics with their political commentary.

    Would that be Schrödinger's cat-i-date?

    :)

    -David

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    A religion that, is obvious, goes out of it's way to "interfere with the rights of other citizens".

    The religion and the nutjobs are two different things.

    This is like judging Christianity by the actions of Dick Cheney.

    I seem to recall we had this same conversation about bin Laden. Shouldn't we go after the actual criminals?

    -David

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    The religion and the nutjobs are two different things.

    This is like judging Christianity by the actions of Dick Cheney.

    Ignoring the obvious innaccurate and bias of your comparison, when Christians start slaughtering innocents by the thousands, you would have an argument..

    Not until then....

    I seem to recall we had this same conversation about bin Laden. Shouldn't we go after the actual criminals?

    Bin Laden was not "an actual criminal"??

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is like judging Christianity by the actions of Dick Cheney.

    I am also constrained to point out that many of the "actions" created by Dick Cheney are in use by Obama and his administration..

    Funny how ya'all ignore that point. :D

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    akadjian wrote:

    when Christians start slaughtering innocents by the thousands, you would have an argument.

    Like the 500,000 Iraqis killed in the Cheney/Bush war?

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131015-iraq-war-deaths-survey-2013/

    I suppose we could just say those people are "evil" and "bad" and this might make us feel better but I think we just have better propaganda.

    many of the "actions" created by Dick Cheney are in use by Obama and his administration.

    Yeah, it's unfortunate, isn't it? If we had less corrupt people in office, we could get rid of these policies. Peace never sold any weapons though ...

    Our policy should be the same as it should have been for 9/11: go after the criminals.

    -David

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Like the 500,000 Iraqis killed in the Cheney/Bush war?

    How many have died under Obama's "leadership"???

    Yeah, it's unfortunate, isn't it? If we had less corrupt people in office, we could get rid of these policies. Peace never sold any weapons though ...

    So, you concede that Obama is a corrupt leader??

    Hallelujah!!! Common ground... :D

    You have taken a very large step here today...

    Congrats...

    Our policy should be the same as it should have been for 9/11: go after the criminals.

    The problem is, the current administration thinks that anyone who simply believes differently is a "criminal" or a "terrorist" or an "arsonist"...

    Thought Crime at it's finest...

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    I suppose we could just say those people are "evil" and "bad" and this might make us feel better but I think we just have better propaganda.

    Yes, I am sure that, according to the Hysterical Left, every single one of those 500,000 alleged victims were innocent and virginal... :^/

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "This is like judging Christianity by the actions of Dick Cheney."

    . . . or Duck Dynasty

    "I'm just saying either convert them or kill them, one or the other." - Phil Robertson getting all Jesusy on Hannity

  48. [48] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I do like the idea of the Dems in KS nominating some random person named Pat Roberts if that secretary of state insists that they put somebody on the ballot.

  49. [49] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Maybe the Ebola will go global while we're distracted by Ali G's latest video. Packwood? Biden's gonna have to talk all chummy about Inouye to cause a shitstorm loud enough to get some attention. Disappointing indeed.

    BTW - in other horse race news: a horse called Shylock ran at Belmont Park in NYC this last weekend.

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is the problem ya'all have..

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/bret-stephens-what-obama-knows-1411425811

    Ya'all THINK that Obama actually knows what he is talking about..

    Yet, the facts )FACTS, mind you( paint a completely different picture....

    Michale

  51. [51] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I do like the idea of the Dems in KS nominating some random person named Pat Roberts if that secretary of state insists that they put somebody on the ballot.

    LOL ... Joseph Christ? Pat Buchanon? Ted Kruz?

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    LOL ... Joseph Christ? Pat Buchanon? Ted Kruz?

    Ya know, if Republicans joked about defrauding voters like that, ya'all would hysterically scream, "VOTER DISENFRANCHISEMENT!!!!!" to the high heavens...

    "What's good for the goose is nobody's business but the gander's..."
    -Mr Furley, THREES COMPANY

    :D

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Ya know, if Republicans joked about defrauding voters

    Joked?

    Nah. It's when they actually do it by gerrymandering and things like Republican-issued ID.

    I mean ... what could possibly go wrong w/ Republican-issued IDs?

    I thought y'all hated the gub'ment.

    -David

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nah. It's when they actually do it by gerrymandering and things like Republican-issued ID.

    Yea, and the Hysterical Left would *NEVER* scream hysterically about a cop car parked a couple blocks from a polling station, but then see nothing wrong with armed militant Black Panthers at a predominantly white voting station..

    I mean ... what could possibly go wrong w/ Republican-issued IDs?

    Actually, they are state issued IDs, but why let facts get in the way of grand partisan hysterical BS, eh? :D

    Michale

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    I still see no logical reason why IDing for voting is such a problem for you people..

    And ID is needed for practically every aspect of an American's life...

    Let's face it.. If the Republican Party was the Party Of Free Stuff and illegals voted overwhelming for the GOP, ya'all would be as adamant for Voting ID as the GOP is...

    Don't bother denying it because we ALL know it's true...

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I still see no logical reason why IDing for voting is such a problem for you people.

    People already show ID to vote.

    I see no logical reason for Republican-issued IDs.

    -David

    p.s. What do you mean 'you people'? :)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPxs0Qh72kY

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    People already show ID to vote.

    ID that cannot be verified...

    Your Obama has absolutely NO PROBLEM forcing people to get insurance...

    Surely it's not such a stretch to force people to obtain photo ID...

    p.s. What do you mean 'you people'? :)

    A wholly under-rated movie that was funny as hell!! :D

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN

    Democrats are doing their damnest to make it happen...

    Michale

  59. [59] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I still see no logical reason why IDing for voting is such a problem for you people..

    I see no problem whatsoever with forcing someone to show a legitimate ID to prove that they are who they say they are. Every state in the union already did that. What the new ID laws actually do is force everyone to jump through multiple hoops (and in some cases pay a fee) to get a uniform ID, for which they need multiple other pieces of evidence. A college ID card should be sufficient. A birth certificate should be sufficient. Driving is a privilege; voting is a constitutionally protected right. Any ONE of the seven different forms of ID that I had to provide to get a driver's license should be sufficient in and of itself in order for me to vote.

    If anyone dares to vote fraudulently, i say investigate thoroughly and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. But the new breed of voter ID laws don't mostly go after fraudulent voters, they mostly present obstacles to the old, the poor, minorities and college students.

    That, my friend, is not a legitimate requirement for identification. Although certainly more limited in scope than the laws of the 1890's, it's essentially a POLL TAX. A POLL TAX is what it is, and I would suggest we start to refer to it as such. HEY CW, here's a talking point for you: "POLL TAX LITE"

    for more information on the parallel, here's an article at politico:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79416.html

  60. [60] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Another thought, CW: Although this might be a bit labor intensive at the outset, I think it might be a good idea (and bring more web traffic to our favorite blog) to keep a catalog of current and past talking points for the public to use. Much as you keep a catalog of presidential polling data, this would be like a phrase-bank, organized by topic, that people could draw from when trying to frame an issue of their choice.

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    I see no problem whatsoever with forcing someone to show a legitimate ID to prove that they are who they say they are. Every state in the union already did that. What the new ID laws actually do is force everyone to jump through multiple hoops (and in some cases pay a fee) to get a uniform ID, for which they need multiple other pieces of evidence. A college ID card should be sufficient. A birth certificate should be sufficient. Driving is a privilege; voting is a constitutionally protected right. Any ONE of the seven different forms of ID that I had to provide to get a driver's license should be sufficient in and of itself in order for me to vote.

    Are you saying that the GOP is wanting to require everyone have a voting ID???

    If that is the case, then I am with you. That's ridiculous..

    But, as near as I can tell, the GOP is pushing for everyone to have a PHOTO ID for voting..

    I see no problem with that and anyone who DOES see a problem with that is only interested in cheating..

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:
  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    I see no problem with that and anyone who DOES see a problem with that is only interested in cheating..

    Present company excepted as usual.. :D

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    Holy crap!

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/09/23/1411505445739_wps_3_Americans_weren_t_amused_.jpg

    How frakin' INSULTING!!!

    This guy is a clown.. Pure and simple....

    Michale

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/09/24/hicken-weasel_why_colorados_gutless_gov_is_in_trouble_124081.html

    That's what happens to politicians who ignore the will of the people...

    As Democrats have done time and time and time again...

    Michale

  66. [66] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But, as near as I can tell, the GOP is pushing for everyone to have a PHOTO ID for voting..

    that's the rhetoric, but in practice it means allowing some photo ID and not others.

    "Under the Texas law, for example, you can vote with a hunting license but not a student ID — a fact only explained by political calculation."

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    that's the rhetoric, but in practice it means allowing some photo ID and not others.

    "Under the Texas law, for example, you can vote with a hunting license but not a student ID — a fact only explained by political calculation."

    I am sure there are other explanations..

    If I could examine the evidence.......

    Michale

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