Wednesday Mashup (9/2/09)

September 2, 2009


  • I happened to stray over to the National Review Online and found that Jonah Goldberg highlighted the above photo of President Obama that appears on the White House site (here – doesn’t say anything about it, but really, does he need to?).

    Oh yes, I’m sure an enterprising Obama staffer waited for exactly the right moment for Obama’s head to line up with the light so he could be photographed for that “halo” effect.

    Well, shockingly, I must point out that the Obama people were found out (horrors!); this is the pic they intended to publish at the White House site instead.

    The “Doughy Pantload” strikes again (idiot).

  • bush_3

  • I should note that I probably wouldn’t even care about the Goldberg thing above were it not for the fact that the wingnutosphere is apoplectic over an upcoming speech to be given by President Obama next Tuesday (Media Matters tells us the following from here – we’re talking full-on Drudge/Malkin umbrage-induced mode, as usual)…

    Numerous conservatives have claimed that President Obama’s upcoming September 8 speech about “persisting and succeeding in school,” along with classroom activities about the “importance of education,” will “indoctrinate” and “brainwash” schoolchildren. Conservatives have compared Obama’s address to Chinese communism and the Hitler Youth, while also calling for parents to “keep your kids home” from the “fascist in chief.”

    I really can’t think of a word for the gall of anyone who claims this against Obama while they no doubt sat silently while Number 43 proselytized from his White House “bully pulpit” every chance he got, to the point where those “value-voter fundies” out there thought he was something more than he was supposed to be (though, as we know, he was much less than he was alleged).

    And a symptom of that mentality was captured in the film “Jesus Camp” (here), in which we learned the following…

    (Pentecostal minister Becky) Fischer (who runs the “camp”) and the other ministers often profess their devotion to George W. Bush, because of his supposed born-again Christian beliefs, and at one point bring in a cardboard cutout of the man and encouraging all the children to stretch out their hands toward it and pray for him. The children are also taught that abortion is evil, with tiny dolls that are supposed to be fetuses passed out among them to touch and adore. At another point the entire congregation, including the children, is led in a chant of “Righteous judges!”, repeated until many of them are crying or shaking, and are then told that they have made a sacred covenant with God to pray every day that abortion be outlawed. A third scene shows some of the children at home, being taught by their parents to say an altered version of the Pledge of Allegiance, not to the American flag but to a “Christian flag” that consists of a blue cross on a field of white.

    Even now, my words do not do justice to the insidious and vile coercion used against these poor children. The film shows clearly how all of this activity takes place in an atmosphere of extreme emotion and intense peer pressure, the same technique used by many cults to break down people’s resistance and then rebuild them in a way congenial to the cult’s beliefs. The children interviewed for the film appear to be willing subjects who have wholeheartedly internalized the precepts of fundamentalist Christianity, which is not surprising, considering every peer and authority figure in their lives acts likewise and puts them under pressure to behave this way. (Most of these students are homeschooled, of course; one section shows one of them watching a young-earth creationist video and being taught by his mother to say that evolution is “stupid”).

    And Jed L. is referring to the latest Glenn Beck insanity with this post title, in a related vein.

    On a national level, the Republican Party does not deserve to be taken seriously because it has sold itself lock, stock and barrel to these life forms. And they deserve any and all punishment that ensues as a result.

    I can only hope and pray that this thought occurs to the national “leadership” of the Democratic Party, which, despite its flaws, still comprise the only adults in our political discourse.

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  • And one of “high priests” of wingnuttery, Sen. Tom Coburn, wrote the following in the Murdoch Street Journal yesterday…

    Let’s save money by spending less. This argument doesn’t require a clever explanation, but it does requiring putting the government in the position where it has to set realistic priorities. Most families realize that they can’t live indefinitely on borrowed money and would be delighted if the government joined them in the real world of tough spending choices.

    However, Congress has shown no sign of departing from the status quo. Spending bills continue to grow faster than the rate of inflation as members still earmark funds for special projects for parochial interests. The most recent appropriations bill to pass the Senate, the Agriculture Department bill, included a 15% spending increase over the previous year’s bill, which itself was a 21% spending increase over the preceding year. In today’s economy, such spending increases make Americans realize that the political class isn’t even close to getting it.

    Oh, and in the matter of not “getting it,” it should be noted that Coburn voted for the TARP bailout last year (here, but not for assistance to the automakers, of course).

    To be fair, I supported TARP also, for all of its flaws. However, I’m not the one who is now masquerading as a political tightwad in the hope that my past profligacy will be forgotten over subsequent news cycles.

  • jamestraficant

  • And finally, congratulations for former Dem Ohio congressman James Traficant, who recently finished serving his prison sentence for bribery and racketeering (here). I have to admit that it got kind of monotonous with former congressman William Jefferson as the only one-time Dem in our national discourse accused of financial malfeasance (barring the eventual issuance of a House Ethics Committee report on Charlie Rangel, of course, noted here).

    The Traficant story also tells us the following…

    In Youngstown, former Traficant congressional staff member Linda Kovachik hung yellow ribbons outside her house to welcome Traficant home. She talked Tuesday with Tish Traficant, who indicated that her husband plans a short vacation after his release.

    No word on whether or not those ribbons were made by illegal immigrants (Traficant opposed illegal immigration, you see – he was the only Democratic member of Congress who advocated a new election for the seat of Repug Bob Dornan, which was won by Dem Loretta Sanchez, with ol’ Jimbo alleging possible voting in that race by illegal aliens; Sanchez would later introduce a bill expelling Traficant from the House of Representatives…nice touch).

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