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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5: Iowa House Republicans

lady justice

Photo: Scott* via

Ever since the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous 2009 ruling that same-sex marriage is legal in the state, Iowa conservatives have worked tirelessly to undo the decision. With no legal leg to stand on, right-wing activists have turned to the political system, successfully removing three of the seven justices through ballot challenges, then unsuccessfully trying to pressure the rest to resign, or impeach them.

With those efforts failing, Republicans in Iowa’s state legislature have come up with a new plan: cutting their pay until they quit.

The Iowa City Gazette reports that the right-wingers’ amendment to House File 120 would lower the salaries of the four justices who were part of the decision legalizing same-sex marriage, while leaving the salaries of the other three unchanged.

“It’s not the merits of what they said in that decision,” Rep. Dwayne Alons told the Gazette, presumably with a straight face. Rather, he’s just trying to stop “an encroaching wave” of judicial decisions with which he disagrees.

“It’s our responsibility to maintain the balance of power,” Rep. Tom Shaw concurred, doubtless without any sense of irony.

If the amendment to scale justices’ salaries based on their perceived liberalism somehow passes through the House, it will almost certainly be swiftly struck down by the same court system it targets.

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  • John Pigg

    Offering low income kids free breakfast and lunches but asking them to do basic chores first?

    Only in the US would that be considered crazy.

    Side note: In schools in South Korea all children are required to assist in the cleaning of the school and do their room assignments daily. Halls, classrooms, bathrooms, and teachers lounges are all cleaned communally. They also employ a janitor.

    Child Labor laws accomplished great things around the turn of the century. It would be a stretch to say that they are always perfect. I have seen a Soccer Club in Indiana fire all their youth referees under the age of 13 because it clashed with the youth labor laws. Indiana’s state assembly had to pass a special law to allow for referees under 13 to begin refereeing U6-U8 games. Child Labor Laws are not perfect.

    A great many times and on a great many issues US law trumps the laws of common sense. The only way we continue to grow and progress as a society is by contributing idea’s and programs that advance society. I think free food for kids providing they help out at school is a great idea, and it shouldn’t be sacrilege to suggest it.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Yes..that’s how it starts. Then, once the money grubbing right gets that one under control, the next thing is an end to ALL child labor laws. No one disputes that children can have chores to do to teach them responsibility. However, that is not government’s responsibility. It’s the job of PARENTS. So now because children in a foreign country clean toilets, American children must do the same to save the Great Angry White Bitter Middle Aged Bully Confederacy from having to spend tax dollars on professional, hygienic cleaning for schools? If the southern and midwestern states are so hard up for money, why are they allowing House Republicans to hand $13 billion this year, $12 billion last year and already a project $14 billion next year to these Big Oil Big Daddy states?

      Since when it is the job of school children to clean school toilets? How about we enforce legislation that all men from 35 to 50 must clean toilets in their workplaces? That be the kind of labor you’d like too? I thought so.

      • adriancrutch

        I even brought my own toilet brush from home!

      • John Pigg

        I am not saying that it is. Your point is valid that you would have concerns about how such a program would be instituted. However, suggesting someone is crazy for suggesting that children take communal responsibility of their school seems a bit much.

        An idea should be based on the idea. As far as the idea goes it is not a bad one.

        As far as your point on Red States and finances how is that relevant to the conversation of whethor or not it is a good idea?

    • RobertCHastings

      Thanks for the input. However, not until Kim Jung Un pushes the button will we be living in the Peoples’ Republic of North Korea. If you want to live there, fine. I know a Congress preson who would be willing to get you a visa. Apparently, you did not read the entire article about child labor, just the part you wanted to read.

      • John Pigg

        I live in South Korea, also known as the ROK. The PRK would never dare to invade for a variety of reasons but that is a foreign policy conversation.

        I did read the whole article. I don’t want to live here, but I am capable of seeing benefits in having the children perform basic chores.

    • Susan Dean

      I have lived in South Korea. The children polish the floors of their schools with broken pieces of Cocoa-Cola bottles, down on their knees rubbing the same area over and over to get the proper shine. They are subjected to extremely severe discipline. Child slavery is not the answer.

      • John Pigg

        I don’t know where you taught at, but at my school that is not the case.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        I don’t know where you get the idea that is child slavery.

        Over there, it is a Cultural Norm to require children to do chores appropriate for their age group. As far as discipline, our culture could learn a lot from them.

        Please, don’t try to place our western cultural values on Asian cultural values. It’s like comparing night and day.

    • holyreality

      More like dumb.
      Schools already dumb down der kinder with a curriculum that is designed to produce obedient workers. Creativity is filtered out while proper regurgitation of what they are told is rewarded.

      Students are taught that the authority determines when they can advance with the rest of their “class”.
      The Authority is always watching so it’s best not to break the rules.
      Self worth and dignity is not inherent, but a reflection of what your peers think of you.
      This work for your food lesson fits right in, maybe these future employees will toil for food and not need a paycheck.
      GENIUS if you are the Authority.
      Labor laws in general served us well, we would not have weekends, vacation pay, or benefits period. Child labor laws forced parents to give their children a childhood, a mark of a free society. Child labor exploitation is the mark of the third world.
      Common sense indeed.

      • John Pigg

        I agree with you that it would be impossible to implement. But simply suggesting some sort of communal chores is not a bad idea.

    • progressiveandproud

      Can you imagine the taunts and ridicule those low income students will be exposed to by other students and even some staff? Why don’t we allow children to be children and not have them work for their food?

      • John Pigg

        That is more of a discussion over implementation. As long as the work was not strenuous, or demeaning I do not see why it should not be considered. But yes it would run high risks to a potentially demeaning work relationship. I don’t think it would be possible to implement. But at the basis I do not think it would harm children if the work was equal and easy.

        EDIT: I think all students should be subject to communal chores, not low income ones.

        • RobertCHastings

          Glad to see that you modified your stance somewhat from your previous post. To single out those children who are obviously poor will tend to heap upon their already burdened shoulders the additional disdain of their classmates, and of society as a whole, basically forcing them to see themselves as something less. If, however, ALL children are required to work for their meal, that does change things. But that isn’t going to happen, simply because the students who can afford their own meals would, understandably, rebel, as would their parents, and as should the parents of the poorer students who receive free meals IF their children are required to work. So, it students are required to work, communally, it should necessarily be for a goal that is for the good of their entire community. This is apparently a thought process not pursued by the conservatives found in today’s article.

          • John Pigg

            Well truthfully it just comes from reading the article. Once I listened to the Fox commentary it became apparent that they were talking about different things.

            I think its great that they are providing free meals a day to all in the school, regardless of income level.

            I did not think it was ridiculous to suggest that the students complete chores as a school first.

            I do not think I did a good job really stating that argument, due to becoming distracted with a discussion of child labor laws.

            Thanks for the response.

        • plc97477

          We started into this topic because one of the crazies advocated making poor children work for their lunches. Nothing about the richer classmates. How many kids would make it to graduation with that hurdle to cross?

      • plc97477

        If they are going to work for their food make sure that it is all of them.

    • CrankyToo

      Free food is not free if you require children to pay for it with their labor. Moreover, having spent two years in Korea, I think I can say with a modicum of of authority that we should not aspire to be like them.

      • John Pigg

        There are many things things that I don’t agree with but sometimes they get it right.

    • Sand_Cat

      You said the important thing: ALL CHILDREN, not just the poor and disadvantaged ones.

      • John Pigg

        Yes, the moment the work is assigned exclusively to those less fortunate it becomes a terrible idea.

        I think practically it would be extremely difficult to implement. But in general social programs work best when they are assigned to all without regard to class, race, or creed.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      You have to realize that is Asia, the main “cultural” mindset is on the “community” and as such the entire community, including children, participate in all activities.

      It is the total opposite in this country.

    • Kathryn Murray

      It is one thing to require all children rich and poor to do community service for a GRADE as part of their homework to teach them responsibility but it tells poor, hungry students they are worth less than their peers if they are required to work for something that is their parents job to provide. If the parents can’t provide, it is up to the other people in a civil society to look after the well being of all the children of society. Forcing poor children to provide for themselves not only teaches that they are unequal to their wellborn peers, it also teaches them that adults don’t have any obligation to look after the rest of society. They may grow up to view and treat elderly and disabled people like garbage and we would be teaching them that adults other than their parents hate them and think they are worthless and don’t deserve the same education as their rich and middle class peers. Isn’t the belief in birthright and royalty the reason we broke away from England and started our own government in the fist place. Isn’t our society supposed to be about merit and having equal representation and public education for all so our children would all have a fair start in the first place?

      • John Pigg

        A lot of this plan depends on how you read it. I agree with you that all students should do it for a grade.

        But if you read this plan as some fat, rich, white, Republican forcing a few low income students to become slaves. Yes, that is deeply inappropriate.

        However, if you read it like I did, with the stereotype that a great many West Virginia students are poor and low income and they get a free lunch if they sweep the floor or take out the trash. And most of the school participates… Then for me I have a hard time seeing the problem with it as long as it is instituted fairly, and with tact.

        But your point is well noted that such a system would have to be implemented carefully. I am not necessarily advocating this particular point. Only pointing out that we shouldn’t discount it just because its a new or different idea.

        Thanks for your response.

        • plc97477

          I for one would not expect the crazy in the article to be good at implementing said program.

          • John Pigg

            me either……

    • plc97477

      The difference in Korea’s schools and what they are talking about here is the “all” children are required to help out. I have no problem with that, but beware of the rich parent who finds out their child is going to be expected to do their fair share.

  • AlfredSonny

    Are the Republicans shooting in their own feet by ignoring 90% Americans’ request to improve the gun safety by giving them the right to attack the government for not representing them?

    • CPAinNewYork

      At the next election, everybody should vote the GOP candidates out of office.

      • We’ve been hearing “vote ’em out – vote ’em out – vote ’em out” for years and they never get voted out. Sad proof that many American voters are as dumb as the politicians they are voting for.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Could be honest differences of opinion or different “hot buttons.”

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          What’s the use of even voting them out? They’ll just be replaced by basically the same asshole.

          The problem is, is that the basic structure of our government and economic models have gotten so corrupted, I can only think of one thing that’ll change it and I don’t like what it might be.

          • plc97477

            Have you ever thought of making the government better by running yourself and putting at least one honest person in washington?

        • RobertCHastings

          The effort was made this past November and results show that the total vote for contested House races favored the Democratic minority by several percentage points. While it DID result in making the Democratic Senate majority stronger, it only managed to shrink the Republican majority in the House by about ten seats. However, it was a significant step in the right direction, and, if Democratic organizers can get out the vote in 2014 like they did in 2012, Republicans will lose their majority in the House.

          • plc97477

            We still need to deal with gerrymandering and other types of cheating.

          • RobertCHastings

            Unfortunately, both parties engage in this largely illegal activity. The party that is in power in any given state legislature at the time data is compiled on a Census is the one that gets to redraw voting district lines, and all too frequently this power is used to entrench one party in a particular voting district. This is based upon dividing the total number of Representatives into the total population, and arriving at a number that gives roughly equal representation, approximately 620,000 people per Representative.

    • plc97477

      We can hope.

  • What scares me the most is that millions of fellow Americans listen to and support these guys. One thing is to listen to an opportunist, or a deeply disturbed or ignorant person blabber nonsense, knowing that millions of people actually believe and support what they are saying and are ready to take up arms to get their way regardless of what the majority of Americans want is downright scary.

    • CPAinNewYork

      What surprises you? Throughout history, demagogues have frequently attracted large groups of adherents. Weak-minded people seem to be fascinated by them. Consider how popular Hitler and Mussolini were with the people.We had Huey Long, Joe McCarthy, etc.

      • RobertCHastings

        Point well taken. Hitler told the Germans of the early thirties what they wanted to hearto make up for the humiliating loss of WWI. McCarthy told his legions what they wanted to hear about the communists, and just happened to throw in some of those groups that traditionally do not favor the conservative cant (Hollywood, writers, intellectuals, etc.). In most of such cases, the masses evenutally realize how badly they have been duped and abandon the dark side.

        • I think the greatest tragedy is that the “masses” never own up to their duplicity in creating these monsters and the misery they cause.

          • RobertCHastings

            You are absolutely right as far as America of the fifties is concerned. McCarthyism ruined lives and the folks who supported him have yet to come clean. However, Germany and Poland both have their own Holocaust museums, and fully admit their complicity in the horrors of the Third Reich.

          • plc97477

            Maybe it is something in the water that keeps Americans from owning up.

          • RobertCHastings

            You mean like the Bushites refusing to admit there were no WMDs in Iraq? Or Nixon refusing to admit his complicity in Watergate? Or Johnson lying about Tonkin Bay? We do manage to get ourselves into difficulties and then either ignore the cause or refuse responsibility for it.

        • exdemo55

          Now this is this week in crazy:

          According to a new report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute (GAI), President Barack Obama has spent over twice as many hours on vacation and golf (976 hours) as he has in economic meetings of any kind (474.4 hours).

          • RobertCHastings

            And that point demonstrates – what. 960 hours is about 40 1/2 days. Considering he has been president for over four years, by comparison to many other presidents that is a significantly low figure. Economic meetings have taken up just under 40 days of his total time in office, which is probably a great deal more time than George W spent on economic matters. Apparently you feel you are making a statement and proving a point – what is it?

          • exdemo55

            Go back and recalculate. You’re assuming he spent the entire 24 hours of the day playing. If it takes 6 hours to play a round and add the time it takes to prepare, your looking closer to 140 days. And about 70 days on economics. Your other comments about other presidents you just made up because you don’t like what you read.

          • RobertCHastings

            I ASSUMED you were quoting from a reliable source, like the GAO, or some other non-partisan group. Apparently, I was mistaken. Your GAI is anything but nonpartisan, and the membership of its investigative board brings into serious question their impartiality, and their personal integrity and, by association, yours.

      • exdemo55

        Sounds like you’re describing Obama and his followers! Obama’s government controlled socialist economy is just like Hitler’s. And after he took control of the economy he took the German people’s guns.

        • plc97477

          Hitler was anything but a socialist.

          • exdemo55

            Like it or not, the fact is the Hitler Nazi economy was government controlled socialism. You can look it up. And after he got control, he took the German peoples’ guns. Those are facts.

          • RobertCHastings

            And Obama’s government is socialist? In what ways is it that similar to Hitler’s Germany? Really, you should at least, the VERY least, give us your definition of “socialism”. That might help to clarify this discussion for I think we are confusing two entirely different form of government.

          • exdemo55

            Socialism: Obama’s and Hitler’s dream.
            : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
            a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
            : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

          • RobertCHastings

            And you still see “socialism” as that form of government which Obama is pursuing? There is none so blind as he who will not see. This current administration has no desire to be the repository of the means of production and distribution of goods, and if you think otherwise, well, that’s your opinion and, by all means, don’t let your opinion become clouded or confused by the facts.

          • exdemo55

            You need to open your eyes:

            Obama is a socialist
            In the United States, we are fighting the battle of the welfare state, and we do not know what the outcome will be.

            The European welfare state takes one half of national output to provide state health care, pensions, extended unemployment benefits, income grants, and free higher education. Failed nationalizations taught European socialists to leave enterprise in private hands and coerce it through taxation and regulation to contribute to what the state deems the “social welfare.”

            The November 2011 Declaration of Principles of the Party of European Socialists (PES) summarizes the European socialist agenda. I condense its main points and compare them with Obama’s statements and legislative initiatives:

            PES: The welfare state and state-provided universal access to education and health care are society’s great achievements.

            Obama: Favors universal access to health care and associated benefits as a critical expansion of the welfare state.

            PES: A strong and just society must ensure that the wealth generated by all is shared fairly as determined by the state.

            Obama: Favors progressive taxes on the rich to redistribute income and wealth from winners to losers and to ensure that all pay their fair share. (As he has said: “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”)

            PES: Collective responsibility makes society stronger when people work together, and all people are enabled to live a dignified life, free of poverty and protected from social risks in life.

            Obama: Favors collective responsibility (as defined by the federal government) to protect all from social risks through food stamps, welfare programs, extended unemployment benefits, guaranteed health care, the bailing out of big companies, forcing renegotiation of mortgages, class action law suits, and other measures. (Instead of opportunity and incentive to succeed, no one is allowed to fail).

            PES: The state must insure that economic growth is environmentally “sustainable.”

            Obama: Favors carbon taxes, higher energy prices, restricted drilling and refining, and subsidies of green technology for the “common good,” even at the expenses of higher conventional growth and jobs.

            PES: If unfettered by state control, market forces, driven by and greed and shift power to the privileged few, deepen economic, geographic and social inequalities, and create economic crises.

            Obama: Shows a distrust of market forces and advocates selective regulation, subsidies, and taxation to persuade or coerce business to promote the general welfare as he defines it. Industries not part of his collective endeavor (oil and gas and coal) are penalized. Industries that serve his conception of “general welfare” (green technology) are to be promoted even if the market rejects them.

            PES: Ensuring long lasting prosperity, stability and above all, peace requires effective coordination in the international realm based on democracy, mutual respect, and human rights.

            Obama: Places reliance on international institutions, international consensus, and mutual respect in the conduct of foreign policy. (The United States must coordinate its foreign policy with international organizations and treat even rogue nations with respect in the hope that they will voluntarily improve their behavior).

            PES: A strong state must preserve the public good, guarantee the common interest, promote justice and solidarity and allow people to lead lives rich beyond material wealth, so that each individual’s fulfillment is also part of a collective endeavor.

            Obama: Advocates a strong state that offers the “positive right” of political and economic justice to its citizens. He complains that the U.S. Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties,” that dictates what government “can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.”

          • RobertCHastings

            You seem to be confusing “welfare” and “socailism”, two entirely different terms. All I requested was an adequate definition of “socialism”, which you have failed to provide.
            Sounds like you are much more concerned with the rise of socialism than most. I think they have meds for that.
            Obamacare (which is no more than an enhancement of Medicare) and its conjunct, Medicaid,along with Social Security are all a safety net that provides people WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED INTO THEM security. They are not welfare, which is just another term you use loosely.
            Perhaps you should look at the supposed transfer fo wealth which is something the wealthy want to protect against. Even CONSERVATIVE economists have seen a HUGE transfer of wealth over the past thirty years – $30T (trillion),from the middle class to the wealthy. Sounds like they just can’t get enough.

          • exdemo55

            First you said Hitler was not a socialist. After I proved you wrong, you said Obama was not a socialist. Read the post again while laying aside your biases. The only thing keeping Obama from doing just like Hitler is the Republican Congress.

          • RobertCHastings

            And how did you prove me wrong? Sorry, I missed something along the way, there. I believe Hitler was what is called a fascist. Socialism MAY have something to do with his economic policies, but I believe it was probably by coincidence rather than by intent. Socialism is government ownership and control of the means of production and distribution. Once again, “while laying aside your biases”, were you to acquaint yourself with the facts as they are IN THIS COUNTRY, AT THIS TIME IN HISTORY, our current president and his administration simply are not pursuing a socialist agenda.
            Your thing about the welfare state is, simply, crap. Unless, of coourse, you are referring to CORPORATE welfare.
            I did read your spiel and, if you have a problem with what the goals of those folks in Europe are, then you really are screwed up. Go a problem with free public education? Might as well blame that one on the socialist Ben Franklin. The thing about “a strong state” is found in our own Constitution, almost verbatim, and, as such, appear to be our founding principles. Thanks for debunking everything you said, all by your little old self. My, aren’t you a brilliant debater.

          • exdemo55

            Despite his “colossal economic failures” and a national debt “above $16 trillion” Barack Obama was given a second term. It is not because the conservative message was wrong; it is because Obama is a master of marketing his message. Seductive and false advertising as well as outright bribery marked this man’s first term and will certainly be the hallmark of his second.

            He mesmerized a misinformed or ill-informed public, convincing them that his promises would result in a piece of the pie for them. Thus, currently, “…more than half the population — 50 percent plus one — is dependent upon government benefits. For the past four years, the Obama administration has created a Franco-German welfare state whose sole purpose is to forge a majority political coalition wedded to the Democratic Party.” The explosion of food stamps, the bailouts — all translated into an ‘I got mine, not gonna’ worry about anybody else’ mentality that has ruptured this country into two camps. There are those who pay and there are those who expect the payment without any effort on their part. As David Limbaugh has written in Crimes Against Liberty, “in his monomania for socialism, Obama will brook no challenge”

            He has been mentored by communist leaders throughout this career.

            He consistently uses the Saul Alinksy parameters of controlling the narrative.

            Through his many executive orders, he has taken away liberties of the American people.

            He shamelessly engages in unconstitutional actions and displays disregard for the rule of American law.

            He has indicated his willingness to work with Vladimir Putin of Russia as well as radical Islamists who front for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and other Islamic militant organizations bent on America’s destruction.

            Obama has thwarted all attempts to expose Fast and Furious and the Benghazi debacle, thus eliminating all transparency concerning these serious situations.

            He has been caught in many prevarications and outright lies.

            He is comfortable with destroying capitalism, which he despises, in order to initiate a communist doctrine of spreading the wealth or asset equality. Thus, no American can improve his lot, and the Horatio Alger narrative that boasts of opportunity with hard work is extinguished.

            He has capitalized on divisions in the country to redirect attention away from his unilateral and unconstitutional actions.

            He has publicly stated that he has no use for the checks and balances so vital in American government.

            Read more:
            Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    “Offering low income children?” I get it. If hoochie coochie Big Mama and Big Daddah have lots and lots of moolah….their children get to keep their lily white (the only color the biased poster had in mind) hands delicate and clean? How is that NOT discrimination and demonizing parents who lost jobs during the GOP crackdown on US employment from 2001 to 2008 by the Corporate Socialists eating up our tax dollars like pigs? I’m so sure our Constitution was written for the Koch Billionaires only.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The real joke is that when only the low income children learn all that responsibility and figure out how they’ve been demonized, they will then assume all that responsibility and stick it to the Big Money power bois…who haven’t a clue what real responsibility is. All sense of responsibility is tied to their moolah and not much else.

  • RobertCHastings

    Sounds like Tremblay and Beck have gotten into channeling, something any channeler likeJohn Edward or Teresa Caputo would shudder at. Beck and Tremblay do not have the gift. Nor does Pat Robertson, who I had assumed would be saying the Boston bombing happened because of a gay pride parade or something. He must have been dormant for a while. The Republican legislators, both in the US Capitol and others, are just carrying on the grand old tradition of the Grand Old Party. Where is Michelle Bachman this week, or Rush?

    • CPAinNewYork

      I didn’t like Billy Graham and I don’t like Pat Robertson. In fact, I can’t think of a single religious “leader” that I do like. They all seem to be sanctimonious hypocrites.

      • RobertCHastings

        I’m not crazy about Billy Graham, either. But I loved listening to George Beverly Shea – the music was the message.

      • Allan Richardson

        How about the Dalai Lama? Or in the past, Mary Baker Eddy? Charles and Myrtle Fillmore? Martin Luther King, Jr.?

        • CPAinNewYork

          The only two in your list with whom I’m familiar is the Dalai Lama and MLK. MLK was ok, but I don’t recall any religious sermons from him. He was totally into civil rights. I don’t remember anything that the Dalai Lama said or did, except to get out of Tibet when the Communist Chinese moved in.

          • RobertCHastings

            Virtually every public speech MLK gave during the battle for Civil Rights was a sermon, much like Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.

          • Allan Richardson

            Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ Scientist (and copyrighted the trademark “Christian Science” so that similar groups not affiliated with her could not use it). Charles and Myrtle Fillmore of Kansas City, MO, founded the Unity movement. These are examples of religious leaders with true spirituality who encourage people to form their own opinions and listen to the voice of their own inner connection to the Divine, not simply parrot agreement with a creed.

            And MLK used faith to promote justice and peace, not hatred, while the Dalai Lama has done the same since leaving Tibet. Both of these men represented victims of injustice, but preached compassion and non-violence even toward the oppressors. Quite similar to the FIRST generation of the Christian Church, rather than most of its subsequent history!

          • RobertCHastings

            Amen, brother, Amen. Two of the most recently occuring recognized religions in this country, Mormonism and Scientology, are built upon historical fallacies or pure science fiction. I really have difficulty understanding how Scientology obtained tax status in the first place. Before entering the race for president, Mitt Romney had penned an autobiography which revealed much about his life as a Mormon, declaring the turmoil he felt in the 1960’s when the college he was attending refused to play basketball with Brigham Young University because of their apartheid. Interestingly, their Elder had a conversation with God and the Mormon church changed their religious evaluation of blacks. Interesting because no other mainstream church claims to have personal contacts with God. Those who achieve the highest levels in Scientology learn that God did not put us on Earth, aliens did. I find it very difficult to accept that as a recognized religion.

          • Michael Kollmorgen

            I firmly believe that “mankind” is not a natural product of our ecosystem.

            I am beginning to believe Aliens did put us here in the primordial soup so to speak and let us spread from that point on. I think some alien landed here, had to take a dump and we’re the results of it.

            There is no way, if there was a god, that he would have created a being that could be so disastrous not only to his own species but the very environment he lives in. I don’t believe a god could be this perverted.

            And, I doubt, if a god did create us, he/she/it, would have not let us go for as long as we have.

          • RobertCHastings

            I never would have imagined that I would be attempting to lead you. We must all follow our own beliefs, and, to be honest, There is so much about the Christ myth and the Creation that is hard to believe,thus the thing about faith. The early Christians preempted a pagan holiday for the birth of Christ (Dec. 25) in order to give Christ a proper birthday, and to supercede with Christmas the pagan holiday. The idea of the virgin birth was by no means original, we all can remember at least one story from Greek mythology of Zeus and his dalliances. However, the Christ story seems to have come from the Persian, and not the Greek. In Genesis I found the first of innumerable contradictions in the Old Testament, for there are two differing versions of the creation of Adam and Eve. There is much in the Holy Bible and its evolution that demonstrates Christianity is like the Republican party, just a bunch of angry, old white men who want to keep their hold on power and deny power to others.
            That being said, let me relate a story of my own. At 15, I was a member of a church choir and at practice one Wednesday evening, during a break I entered the chapel and knelt in prayer. What happened I have no explanation for, but I do know that since that moment I have had a deep abiding faith in the existence of God. That was 53 years ago, before I even started to understand the fallacies of the Bible, and I have not ceased in my belief, nor has it weakened. I have, however, come to the very personal realization that one’s relationship with God is extremely individual. This AFTER that period of juvenile and adolescent hormonal hyper activity that drives many to unreasoning behavior. Is my belief based upon reason? Apparently not. It is based entirely upon personal experience that, from time to time, is reinforced by what reason would not support.

          • plc97477

            One of the funniest things was when Pepsi Co. gave a bunch of money to the mormon church and the president of the church had a dream in which god told him they could drink sodas now. I have not figured out why folgers hasn’t gotten on the band wagon.

          • RobertCHastings

            I am sure that if Fred Astaire Dance Studioswere tomake a sizeable donation to theMormon Church, they would receive another similar visitation.

      • I’m an atheist, so I see the vast majority of religious leaders as lying cultists. But I have to admit, I’ve read a number of the Dali Lama’s books and find him to be interesting, honest, earnest, and a very good human!!

        • Michael Kollmorgen

          If you like the Dali Lama, you might like reading: Master of Wisdom, Writings of the Buddhist Master Nagarjuna, translated by Chr. Lindtner.

          In Taoism, a good book is The Book of Changes and The Unchanging Truth by; Taoist Master Ni, Hua Ching.

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        When I was young, very young, I used to like Billy Graham. Though as I got older, I started realizing that it’s all BS.

        Now, that I’m an old man, I have very little use for any western religion whatsoever. And, it’s not really even the religion, but its leaders which I despise the most.

        You could claim I am an Atheist and you’d be 99% correct.

        • I as well.

        • RobertCHastings

          Unfortunatley, all too frequently religion today becomes about the local leader (minister,priest, whatever) and not about the theology. Because of a personal experience I had as a fifteen-year old, I could never become an atheist, although I can understand the propensity. Sometimes even my mother thought I was an atheist. I believe, absolutely, that it is not necessary to attend services or participate in rituals, and that the most spiritual are those who KNOW they have a personal relationship with God. From what I have read from Elaine Pagels and Bart Ehrman and some of the writings of C S Lewis, the religious life is largely personal, and institutionalized religion is little more than simply an institution.

        • plc97477

          I don’t claim to be an atheist, Just that I haven’t found a religion that’s good enough for me.

    • july860

      Apparently Michelle is complaining about how Obama handled the bombing. Not sure what her beef is, cuz I didn’t bother reading the article.

      • But you can guarantee she has one, though it is probably just as bat s**t crazy as everything else she spews.

  • David Turrentine

    glenn beck will go with this conspiracy theory but ignores the conspiracy theories tying the bushes to 9/11

  • This is likely a misquote, but the intent is the same.

    “Evil Can Be Every Bit As Pure As Good.” Damien Thorn, Omen III.

  • howa4x

    Most of the right wing is divorced from reality. It is almost like they live in a parallel universe. Their message is simple and they try to get people to repeat jingles or short sentences. Although a lot of the ultra right watch Beck and the crew at Fox and Friends some actually can understand reality. My neighbor, a constant Beck devotee with serpent flag and all said some false statements he heard on Beck’s show about health care reform. When I patiently went through all his questions and explained it, he stated to me that was the 1st time he understood the purpose of the ACA. The problem we have is that democrats don’t fight for what they believe in and run from people like this or try to compromise away the essence of their beliefs. If they confronted the tea party at the beginning people like Beck wouldn’t be as popular. He started out as a comic, albeit not a good one. One of the few on the left that takes on all these people is Bill Maher who confronts their silly and stupid antics. The good news is that while all these right wingers at the state level try to enact their agenda, they repel moderates, and independents, two of the very groups they need to win. Beck also scares thinking people which is good in a way. The far right will always be out there, but as technology gets their message out to more and more people, polls show they turn off more people from their message then turn on.

    • CPAinNewYork

      I understand that there was a small fire at the new George W. Bush presidential library. Both books burned, but the real tragedy is that George got to color in only one of them.

      • RobertCHastings

        Ouch! Well done! Simple, direct, and to the point!

      • july860

        Good one-but was the other dot-to-dot?

        • Joseph Hemphill

          pop up

      • exdemo55

        Let’s match Obama’s academic performance against Bush’s and see what we find.

        • CPAinNewYork

          Dubya shows evidence of terminal stupidity. He didn’t qualify for entrance to Harvard Business School, but was admitted. Who pulled the strings for that and his subsequent “graduation” is self-evident: Daddy Bush.

          • exdemo55

            And who pulled strings for Obama? Affirmative Action!

          • CPAinNewYork

            Bur Obama shows intelligence. Dubya doesn’t, except that he’s been smart enough to keep his mouth shut since leaving the presidency. Not so with Cheney, who seems intent on “redeeming himself” in the eyes of the people.

            I recall reading that Dubya pulled a “C” as a Yale undergraduate and probably needed help from his father in achieving that.

          • exdemo55

            Obama doesn’t show intelligence. He can’t even speak without getting into trouble without a teleprompter. He’s so dumb he won’t even release his grades.

      • plc97477

        Thanks for the laugh.

    • holyreality

      Both wings need each other to make a healthy whole.
      Rightwing dogma, and refusal to accept left help in recognizing what facts are versus what someone told them that makes sense to them at the time is the root of this bubble world where Raygun’s Narrative is to be fervently worshiped, and contrary input must be ridiculed.
      Bill Maher is trying to reach out but his brutal satire renders his message “Far” left.
      Thom Hartman OTOH appeals to an eighth grade intellect in simple to understand language to list the facts.
      He takes on verbose and rude conservatives on his show segment; the Lone Liberal Rumble. These hardcore libertarians constantly badger and talk over his simple coherent arguments.
      List the facts, that is the best way to break the code in right wing acolytes’ dogma.

    • plc97477

      I too had a friend that told me once that baby bush was the best president we ever had. After talking to her for a while She not only voted for Obama twice but talked her husband into it also.

  • pemmons

    Isn’t singling out specific people for such treatment known as a bill of attainder, hence unconstitutional?

    • mah101

      The constitutionality of an issue only matters when the GOP supports that issue. If it conflicts with THEIR goals, then the constitution is an outdated arcane piece of vellum that needs to be changed to reflect their narrow and bigoted perspectives, or simply ignored as no longer relevant.

  • alsoavietnamvet

    According to Nancy Marshall (reporter for Marketplace) the operational cost of the House of Representatives is $1,925,000 per day (salary, office, staff). The Tea Party says the government needs to curb “wasteful” spending, yet they have “wasted” $69,300,00 on 36 votes to repeal “Obamacare”!!! Now, they want to WASTE the time to have ANOTHER vote, eventhough it failed 36 times. Once, again, they’re demonstrating that THEIR agenda is more important than the PEOPLE’S needs. We need to get rid of these USELESS a**holes. Term limits are needed!!!

    • progressiveandproud

      Term limits already exist, they are called elections.

      • alsoavietnamvet

        The House Republicans have “rigged” their elections, through gerrymandering, so they cannot lose. Term limits will/should (I hope) prevent their “votes” from being bought/influenced by big money contributors.

        • progressiveandproud

          I understand the gerrymandering mess; however, learning how government works and developing the relationships needed to work together takes time.

          Term limits will prevent congress from being able to develop those relationships and understandings. The end result well be that only the lobbyists and aides will be able to work the system. That is the reason repubs. promote term limits, it will basically take the real power away from congress and give it to unelected, agenda driven groups. Term limits here in Michigan have helped to create a catastrophe for the state.

    • Sand_Cat

      But the 37th time is the charm…or the 38th, or maybe the 39th…

      • plc97477

        They even acknowledge it is a waste of time. One part of me is okay with that cus think of the damage they could do if they were not wasting time.

  • Fox “News” and Pat Robertson are both lying Bastards!

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    How about this conspiracy theory: Beck, Tremblay, Jones, Coulter, Malkin, Hannity and all the other Tin Foil Followers were responsible for the Boston Bombing because:
    A. They wanted to start another war B. They wanted to prove Beck is a great Conspiracy Theorist, C. They wanted to prove Jones is clairvoyant, D. They wanted to increase Defense Budget, E. They wanted to blame it on Obama Administration, F. All of the above.

  • FOX Noise is about as STUPID as Canterburry…

  • The Boston bombers earned their time on news and TV. Canterbury and Gingrich do not deserve any new or TV time.

  • exdemo55

    This is what is crazy this week:

    In congressional testimony last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blamed Republican governors for her department’s failure to create a “model exchange” where consumers could shop for health-insurance coverage in states that don’t set up their own exchange.

    Nice try, but GOP governors aren’t the problem. Team Obama’s tendency to blame someone else for its shortcomings is tiresome. The Affordable Care Act requires HHS to operate exchanges in states that won’t operate their own. Since the act became law in March 2010, it has been abundantly clear that the agency would have to deploy a model exchange. It is Ms. Sebelius’s fault there isn’t one.

    There is more to this failure. Even exchanges organized by Democratic and Republican governors may not be functioning by the health-law’s Oct. 1 deadline, because HHS has been slow with guidance and approvals.

    Last month Gary Cohen, an official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who oversees technology for the exchanges, told members of America’s Health Insurance Plans (a trade association) that he was “pretty nervous” about implementation. He hoped enrollment is “not a third world experience.”

    Part of this problem stems from the way the law is crafted. For example, a subsidy to help small businesses provide insurance coverage while ObamaCare ramped up was so complicated and difficult to use that only 1% of its $40 billion budget was spent.

    Other provisions have been poorly executed or needlessly delayed. Ms. Sebelius’s HHS has missed dozens of deadlines for major rule-making or program start dates required by the law.

    For example, ObamaCare created the Small Business Health Options Programs, where small businesses could select insurance plans beginning in October with coverage starting in January. The program has been set up, but employees are offered only one plan, not a choice among many. HHS announced a full range of plans would be delayed until 2015.

    Then there is President Obama’s promise that no American would be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. The Affordable Care Act set aside $5 billion to subsidize, through 2014, coverage for an estimated 270,000 to 350,000 people with pre-existing conditions and no insurance. So far 135,000 have been covered but the $5 billion is nearly exhausted. HHS stopped signing up people in February.

    A long-term care entitlement, the so-called Class Act, turned out to be so fiscally untenable that Democratic support evaporated before its 2012 start date. The entitlement program was repealed in the December fiscal cliff deal.

    Then there is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the 15-person committee charged with reducing Medicare spending to a “target level” by 2015. Its recommendations take effect automatically unless overruled by a congressional supermajority.

    By law, the board cannot “raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums . . . deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.” This means that the board would likely have to cut reimbursements to health providers who already receive roughly 80% of what private insurers pay for the same procedures for non-Medicare patients. This will discourage doctors from taking on Medicare patients.

    The IPAB’s first recommendations are due Jan. 1, 2014 and are supposed to take effect a year after that. The president hasn’t appointed anyone to the board, and it’s unlikely he can come up with 15 nominees, get them confirmed, and have them in place to deliver recommendations in time. Maybe he plans to leave the recommendations up to the secretary of HHS, which is allowed under the health law, but that ought to concern anyone who’s seen Ms. Sebelius in action.

    Or maybe the president will just let the deadline for IPAB recommendations slide. An ugly battle in 2014 over Medicare cuts proposed by a committee he appointed might rile up seniors in the midterm elections, leading to the defeat of House and Senate Democrats who voted for the law.

    Still, the administration is eager to get one health-care program under way. ObamaCare provides $54 million to hire individuals and groups to facilitate enrollment when the exchanges begin this October.

    There are rumblings in Washington that HHS believes more money is needed for these “navigators” or “helpers.” The House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote Ms. Sebelius this week asking what kind of groups are eligible, how they’ll be selected, what standards must they meet, how they will be trained and supervised, and what the success measures will be. This program could turn into patronage for Mr. Obama’s liberal allies such as unions and community activists.

    The Affordable Care Act may be unworkable in the aggregate, but it is also dogged by incompetent implementation. Even Democrats are increasingly concerned. At a hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Max Baucus expressed his frustration about a variety of problems, including whether the health-insurance exchanges will be established on time. “I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” he told Ms. Sebelius.

  • JDavidS

    Even for Beck I believe his tin-foil hat is on a tad too tight. Can anyone explain why every time I hear Beck I can hear the theme from “The Twilight Zone” in the background? As for Robertson, he disappointed me. I was sure he’d tell us that the Boston bombing was Gods’ revenge for us allowing gays to run in the marathon.