Sunday Links from The Political Carnival
NIMBY Example of the Day
Exxon CEO Joins Lawsuit to Stop Fracking Near His Home
One might think it takes a particularly ignorant individual, or individuals, to criticize the First Lady of the United States for wearing a ball gown to a state dinner. Yet, that is exactly what happened following last week’s official dinner honoring French President Francois Hollande.
On Tuesday, February 11th, First Lady Michelle Obama dazzled dinner guests wearing a GORGEOUS blue and black-laced gown designed by Venezuelan-America designer, Carolina Herrera. The next day, as if on cue, right wing darling Michelle Malkin, and her Twitter #BowDownWednesday crowd, were appalled – JUST appalled, I guess unhappy that Mrs. Obama did not “Bow Down” to their tacky level.
Amanda Marcotte states it best in the title for her piece on Slate.com, “How Dare Michelle Obama Wear a Ballgown to a State Dinner.”
The loonier edge of the right-wing media has been up in arms all week at the temerity of the Obamas to think they get to host state dinners for foreign leaders just because the country elected Barack Obama to be our president. The outrage (hopefully) reached maximum capacity when Michelle Malkin and her outrage crew at Twitchy discovered that the first lady wore ... wait for it ... a ballgown to Tuesday's state dinner for French President Francois Hollande. Not just any ballgown, but an expensive one, as tends to be the case when it comes to ballgowns worn to state dinners. Blood pressures at Twitchy rose to worrying heights when it was discovered that some journalists thought Michelle Obama looked lovely in her ballgown. In retaliation for the travesty of the first lady donning formal wear to a formal dining event, Malkin started retweeting her followers taking selfies of themselves in cheap clothes meant for casual events. We all know Michelle Malkin is not ignorant, no; she is just mean, mean and very good at frothing the ignorant masses.
Here are a few other First Ladies who missed the Malkinite message:
March 31, 1987 President and Mrs. Reagan host French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and his wife, Bernadette. photo by Ron Edmonds/AP
You're pro-life'? Will you raise the children of pregnant mothers who don't want them?
A few years ago when Mississippians voted against the 'Personhood' amendment, Amendment 26, in, according to some at least, the most religious state in the nation, I stood holding a 'No on 26' sign from dawn to dusk down the street from a polling station. I have never received such good will sent my way on any other occasion. Cars going by honked, people waved, people stopped to tell me thay had just voted against the amendment or were on their way to vote against it. I felt like an Olympic hero must feel bringing home the gold. They were of all ages and races.
Until one guy came up to me, Bible literally in hand, and started to berate me for encouraging people to kill babies. We went through the usual discussion, that a zygote or a fetus is not a baby, that it's the woman's decision to choose what to do with her own body, and so forth.
Then I asked him what he would do if his wife got raped? (He was wearing a wedding ring.) Note: his wife was nowhere to be seen.
He told me she would bear the child. Then I asked him what they would do once the child was born. He said they'd give it up for adoption, of course. When I asked him why they would not keep it, he said it would be the child of a crime and not of their blood.
So what does his attitude tell me? One, that he did not for a second consider what his absent wife would have thought about it, that he made a decision for another person about what she would do with her own body, and three, that, once the child was given away to the adoption agency, he would completely wash his hands of the matter.
So just who are these people who proclaim themselves 'pro-life'?
I am not maintaining that all 'pro-life' people are terrorists or child molesters, but here's one who is and he does not seem all that dissimilar to the Bible carrier who verbally harangued and assaulted me. Just sayin'
A few paragraphs from the article:linked-to below:
On Friday, a Washington man named Curtis Anton Beseda was charged with 1st degree child molestation of an 11-year-old child at a local grocery store. When confronted by a store employee, Beseda stopped fondling the little girl and fled, escaping any immediate capture or arrest. But, the molestation was actually caught on the store’s video cameras, so the police were able to have local media broadcast the man’s face out to the public, looking for help with his identity.
Beseda claims that the abortion clinic bombings were “for the glory of God.” And so what about the child molesting? Is that too for the glory of God??
As insane as this is, Beseda is actually considered a hero and a martyr for the pro-life movement. They even honored him at their 1995 national banquet, and read his hand-written letter from prison to the gathering. In his letter, he pleaded for support for Shelly Shannon, who was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for the 1993 shooting of a Kansas abortion doctor. She also set fire to more than 6 clinics.
If you're not familiar with Stan Freberg (a comedy genius), then watch the video above and then please do yourself a huge favor and get to know him better. He was a huge influence on me personally, and is rarely mentioned any more. His satirical talents and wicked sense of humor were unprecedented back in the 1950s and '60s.
Which leads me to the Los Angeles Times an op-ed by Jonathan Zimmerman (who teaches history and education at New York University). He chronicles the deteriorating meaning of Christmas as it devolved into blatant commercialization to satisfy corporate greed and the insatiable global obsession with profit.
He starts out by mentioning everyone's favorite former Alaskan Half-Gov, Exploita McSellBooks, by noting her rage at "angry atheists"... as she hawks her own commercial Christmas products for all the personal gain she can wring out of them.
Take it away, Jonathan:
Despite what Palin and Wildmon would have you believe, the first war on Christmas was waged by devout Christians. The holiday wasn't a reflection of their religious heritage; instead, Christmas was a sin against it.
Start with our Puritan forebears in Massachusetts, who between 1659 and 1681 made it illegal to celebrate Christmas. (Lawbreakers were fined 5 shillings.) As the Puritans correctly argued, there was no historical or biblical reason to think that Christ was born on Dec. 25. The date was chosen because of its proximity to the winter solstice, making Christmas a pagan holiday in Christian garb.
But there was more.
Yes, there was much more. Please follow the link to learn all about it. Read it and weep, Sarah Palin. Zimmerman ends with this:
The most important war over Christmas was fought between God and Mammon, and it ended long ago. I don't have to tell you who won.
Now because you've been good, fake Santa brought you all a special treat:
The inimitable and brilliant Jon Stewart manages to sum it all up in one sentence:
By the way-- You're upset with a department store, because in their effort to get you to buy a Swarovski crystal Hello Kitty snowman figurine, they're not invoking Christ's name enough.
Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:
...Red States adopting the total GOP assault on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) refused to accept federal funds for expanding Medicaid eligibility, leaving many of their citizens without coverage that they could receive under the act. But the Republican politics of damning anything associated with the ACA as the work of the devil has left many white and minority Americans in healthcare Hell.
Ironically, CNN notes that "most of the people who fall into the coverage gap live in the Bible Belt, a 14-state region in the South stretching from North Carolina to Texas and Florida." Yet, and this is why this GOP political act of condemning individuals, families and children to death or bankruptcy becomes relevant to religion. [...]
CNN did find a pastor or two who would go on record:
The Rev. Phil Wages, senior pastor Winterville First Baptist Church in Georgia and a blogger, was one of the few Bible Belt ministers willing to speak on the subject. [...]
“I have an issue with the government coming in to get money through me - through taxes - to take care of people, when my argument is that I should be free to give to charities or to my church in order to take care of the sick and destitute,” he says.
The most fundamental rebuttal to the argument of Rev. Wages is then why are so many millions of Americans without healthcare insurance if the churches are taking care of them?
After all, a lot of these people are low-paid working people who don't receive health insurance as part of their jobs [...]
Indeed, CNN includes a counter-argument to Rev. Wages:
Wages’ position is impractical and unbiblical, says Ronald Sider, a longtime advocate for the poor and author of “The Scandal of Evangelical Politics."
Churches and charities don’t have enough resources to take care of an estimated 48 million Americans who don’t have health care. The Bible is filled with examples of God's fury over economic oppression of the poor, which Christians should regard as scandalous, he says.
“If you are not sharing God’s concern for the poor, it raises huge questions about whether you are a Christian at all,” he says about pastors who say nothing about the uninsured poor.
Anyone can deem themselves a good person by claiming to be "saved" by Jesus, but Jesus preached saving others from injustice, poverty and hunger.
You can't be "saved," until you understand that Jesus rebelled against those who sought financial gain at the expense of others. Jesus was an advocate of God's compassion toward all, particularly those scorned and left behind.
Meanwhile, millions in the Evangelical and Baptist South will continue to be the victims of a trumped up theology, rigged for those who find comfort in the words of pastors who sell the snake oil of "salvation."
Please read the entire post here.
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Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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