Archive for February 2010 – Page 3

Frank Rich: Tea Party ideology "plays to the lock-and-load nutcases out there"


By GottaLaff
Barry Blitt

Frank Rich:

[I]f I were to place an incautious bet on which political event will prove the most significant of February 2010 [...] I’d put my money [...] on the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. [...]

What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass — or, worse, flirted with condoning it. [...] [H]e did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom. Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack’s crime. [...] No one in King’s caucus condemned these remarks. [...]

Two days before Stack’s suicide mission, The Times published David Barstow’s chilling, months-long investigation of the Tea Party movement. [...]

Barstow confirmed what the Southern Poverty Law Center had found in its report last year: the unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right that was thought to have vaporized after its Oklahoma apotheosis is making a comeback. And now it is finding common cause with some elements of the diverse, far-flung and still inchoate Tea Party movement. All it takes is a few self-styled “patriots” to sow havoc.

Equally significant is Barstow’s finding that most Tea Party groups have no affiliation with the G.O.P. despite the party’s ham-handed efforts to co-opt them. [...] They are not to be confused with the Party of No holding forth in Washington — a party that, after all, is now positioning itself as a defender of Medicare spending. What we are talking about here is the Party of No Government at All.

The distinction between the Tea Party movement and the official G.O.P. is real, and we ignore it at our peril. [...] [L]eaders of the Party of No are anathema or irrelevant to most Tea Partiers. [...] The passion on the right has migrated almost entirely to the Tea Party’s counterconservatism.

The leaders embraced by the new grass roots right are a different slate entirely: Glenn Beck, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin. Simple math dictates that none of this trio can be elected president. [...] But these leaders do have a consistent ideology, and that ideology plays to the lock-and-load nutcases out there [...]

No less an establishment conservative observer than the Wall Street Journal editorialist Dorothy Rabinowitz describes Paul’s followers as “conspiracy theorists, anti-government zealots, 9/11 truthers, and assorted other cadres of the obsessed and deranged.” [...]

Such violent imagery and invective, once largely confined to blogs and talk radio, is now spreading among Republicans in public office or aspiring to it. [...]

Whether consciously or coincidentally, Stout was echoing Palin’s memorable final declaration during her appearance at the National Tea Party Convention earlier this month: “I will live, I will die for the people of America, whatever I can do to help.” It’s enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.

You can read the whole thing here.


"Yoo, Bybee, Cheney and Bush have never suffered the burden of a conscience"


By GottaLaff

I've said this before, but I have no problem being redundant when it comes to torture: These thugs should be in prison.

Via the L.A. Times letters to the editor, Yoo asked for it:

Letting them off solves nothing

Re “Cleared but not vindicated,” Editorial, Feb. 23

The last line in your editorial reads: "They may not be disbarred, but they are disgraced."

In order for anyone to feel disgraced, they must have a conscience. It's been painfully obvious -- for some time now -- that John C. Yoo, Jay S. Bybee, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have never suffered the burden of a conscience.

What is disgraceful is that so many of the Bush administration's transgressions will remain not only unpunished but uninvestigated.


The "torture memo" and the horrors that sprang from it have discredited America and American ideals. The damage to our national security will take a generation to repair and, meanwhile, puts our nation and our citizens abroad at great risk. Yoo and Bybee could not have done more damage had they been undercover agents in the employ of an arch foe such as, oh, Al Qaeda.

Hmmm. Hmmm. If only there was a way to wring a confession out of them . . .

Hmmm. Hmmm. Indeed.


Obama's medical checkup finds him in excellent health and `fit for duty'


You bet your bippy he is. Now if the R's would only let him get down to work.

— Barack Obama has finished his first medical checkup as president and knows when he's supposed to go see the doctor again — when he's 50.

The 48-year-old commander in chief had a physical examination on Sunday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. His last one was in January 2007, when he was an Illinois senator.


The president was told to come back in August 2011 — after he hits the half-century mark — for his next checkup.

Obama also met with 12 members of the military who were receiving treatment at the medical center for injuries they suffered while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.


"500,000 or more homosexual men in uniform" during WWII


By GottaLaff

Via the L.A. Times letters to the editor:

A veteran's viewpoint

Re “Not quite ready to end ‘don’t ask,’ ” Feb. 24

Perhaps Times readers would like an opinion on the matter of gays in the military from a Navy veteran of World War II.

Looking at the numbers, we must have had 500,000 or more homosexual men in uniform during the war.

I served as an officer aboard two troop transports, each with a crew of about 600 men, and as a senior officer on a floating dry dock with some 500 enlisted men. Everyone showered together and slept in three-tier bunks, 40 or so to a room.

Sodomy was a crime under all military codes, but never did any of us hear of a homosexual incident or a complaint from any enlisted man. I'm sure that there were a few prosecutions, but any such cases were negligible in number.

The current rules are unnecessary and wasteful of talent.

This is the same point I've made in previous posts. Why does anyone assume that gays in the military have some strange uncontrollable lusty urge that they must and will act upon... and straights don't? Why are they more of a threat?

They don't.

They aren't.


Video- Chris Matthews: "Will there be George W. Bush nostalgia this November when his book comes out?"


Wow. Via Heather.


Sunday Linkage


More coffee.

Woman vet says rural attitudes hurt

Her dying wish came true: Mother suffering from terminal cancer passed away 10 minutes after seeing her daughter marry

Massive head of pharaoh unearthed in Egypt

Suicides still big military problem

Singles, especially women, a growing share of homebuyers

Portland gay couple, survivors of Vietnam War, now find peace


Cartoons of the Day


A twofer today. Click to enlarge, via.