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This Week In Crazy: God Wrote The Constitution, And The Rest Of The Worst Of The Right

Memo Pad Politics Slideshow

This Week In Crazy: God Wrote The Constitution, And The Rest Of The Worst Of The Right


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

5. Operation American Spring

Screenshot: YouTube

Screenshot: YouTube

Operation American Spring, the revolutionary group dedicated to removing the “despotic and tyrannical federal leadership” from office, makes a return appearance to our list this week after “winning” the coveted number one spot last time.

These self-styled patriots have a big day ahead of them on Friday as they make their way to Washington, D.C. to carry out their coup against the federal government.

A leader of the group, retired Army colonel Harry Riley, said, “We are calling for the removal of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Eric Holder as a start toward constitutional restoration.” Their objective is simple — to preserve the very existence of America and restore our country to its free citizens by removing the “greedy, self-serving occupant[s] of the White House or Congress” and “removing the flea infestation that is sucking the blood out of America.”

Riley is optimistic that he’ll get a decent showing for the coup d’état on Friday. “We have well over 1 million militia members mobilizing; bikers, truckers, hunters, Tea Party groups—citizens across America. No, I don’t think 10 million [participants] is high at all.”

It gets crazier: Another right-wing blogger warned other patriots that Friday’s protest is itself a nefarious plot. David Chase Taylor wrote, “In essence, ‘Operation American Spring’ is a trap to set up well-meaning ‘patriots’ [his scare quotes] for acts of state-sponsored terror so that Obama’s political opposition can be vilified and a civil war can commence.”

Taylor continued: “It is during one or both of these seemingly harmless events that a state-sponsored coup d’état and/or terror attacks will likely take place. Although terror plots are always subject to change, most likely target is Washington, D.C., namely the Obama White House and the Washington Monument.”

Feeling inspired yet? Watch here for more, via Operation American Spring’s YouTube:

H/t: RawStory


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  1. dmhlt_66 May 16, 2014

    NOTE: To “Operation American Spring”
    Forecast for DC today is thunderstorms, heavy rain & flooding
    Got anyone in that “expected crowd of TEN MILLION” named Noah?

    1. TZToronto May 16, 2014

      Those on the right should see this as God’s comment on the whole “Operation American Spring” thing. If it were a progressive gathering and it rained, the right would have no problem saying it’s God’s opinion of their warped, anti-American views.

      1. RobertCHastings June 21, 2014

        Well, we DO know how those conservative comments have proven to be SOOO out of touch with reality. The AIDS epidemic could have been stopped at least seven years earlier had Reagan and his advisers accepted it for what it was, rather than saying it was God’s revenge on the gay community. And, of course, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blamed Katrina pretty much the same thing. I guess they are STILL hung up on the whole Sodom and Gomorrah thing.

    2. RobertCHastings May 16, 2014

      The closest they can come is Charlton Heston who, since his portrayal of Moses, has believed he was God.

      1. Allan Richardson May 17, 2014

        Eventually, God told him he was mistaken. As are any of us who believe we are God. We are all PART of God, but we are not THE God in ourselves.

        1. RobertCHastings May 18, 2014

          Jesus taught is disciples to find God, they must look within themselves, telling them, essentially, as Shirley McClain wrote, we are ALL a part of God for we carry God within us. This is probably the main reason so many folks think Shirley is a bit loopy. However, IF, INDEED, God is within all of us, there is absolutely no need for the church (with small OR capital C).

          1. plc97477 May 19, 2014

            There’s your problem, no one can make a bundle on selling god to others if everyone has their own personal worship.

          2. RobertCHastings May 19, 2014

            The Jews, at on time, had a hierarchical system somewhat like the Catholic Church. Today is much different and is centered on the individual talking with God. The Quakers do not have much except Meeting Houses, with their services monitored by elders, not directed by preachers, with all congregants being allowed to participate with questions or answers. Main stream Christianity AND Islam have become personality cults, with preachers pulling in thousands to mega-churches and their own TV networks (remember “Stranger in a Strange Land”?), and Imams, seemingly, serving their own agendas. Protestantism grew from men like Calvin, Fox, etc. drawing people away from the main church, espousing their own views of Christ, much as Islam divided into Sufism, Sunni and Shia. They are ALL the same, with the same goals, the same desires, and the same God, so why do they hate each other so much?

          3. plc97477 May 20, 2014

            The reason they hate each other so much is because they don’t like sharing the money with others. It is all about the money.

          4. RobertCHastings May 20, 2014

            I have read the Bible several times, and cannot recall any passages that lay out a church hierarchy, especially anything that even vaguely resembles the ones we see in today’s churches. Jesus instructed His disciples to look within themselves to find God, and His teachings along this line pretty much preclude any church hierarchy. The early Christian church established a hierarchy for the main purpose of controlling people. While this proved invaluable during the Middle Ages, it is proving to be quite problematic in a modern society.

          5. rkief June 1, 2014

            If I didn’t know any better, I would think you were talking about American corporations.

          6. plc97477 June 1, 2014

            They are a lot alike. That is why the repugs are kissing their butts. Have you ever looked into how much money the religions have?

          7. RobertCHastings June 21, 2014

            Churches today are corporations, except their profits are exempt from taxation (as long as they maintain their distance from political commentary). Perhaps the IRS should have been examining churches rather than non-profits.

    3. adler56 May 17, 2014

      When I think of Americans I don’t picture bikers, rednecks, tea baggers or any extreme right wing kooks.

    4. pszymeczek May 19, 2014

      President Obama saw the tens of protestors, and promised to leave office – at noon, January 20, 2017.

  2. Annemb May 16, 2014

    Hey right wingers, God did not write the Constitution, men wrote this document.

    This group of men, some signers of the Declaration of Independence, gathered in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787 to put into writing, precepts for this new secular nation. After much discussion and consensus they decided on the original document of the Constitution, leaving room for amendments. They were wise Indeed.

    1. idamag May 17, 2014

      The man, who actually penned the document that was argued and compromised, didn’t believe in formal religion. His words, ” It matters not to me whether a man has one God, many gods or no god…”

      1. Annemb May 17, 2014


      2. CamCubed May 17, 2014

        Importantly, he also wrote of the freedom of conscience — that is, for people to come to believe what they feel is right in their hearts. Forcing people to convert harms both them and the religion forcing the conversion, because it’s a false conversion that violates freedom of conscience.

        And TJ knew that “forcing conversion” didn’t just mean “convert or die, infidel”. It also meant subtle laws meant to punish “outsiders”. He was writing as a sideways jab at Puritan New England. Puritans did a wonderful job of building the basis of a social system to protect people on hard times. But you also had to commit to the religion.

        After all, that’s why the Puritans came in the first place. They weren’t trying to escape “religious oppression”. They were trying to escape religious TOLERANCE that they feared was corrupting their children. They sailed to America to build a Christian utopia in which to raise their children morally and religiously.

        Yes, the old tales about our country being founded by people fleeing persecution are distorted myths. Their idea of persecution was not being allowed to persecute. Kinda like today, with fundamentalist Christians complaining that their religious rights are being persecuted by not allowing them to discriminate on the basis of race or sexual orientation.

        1. idamag May 17, 2014

          Yes, and that is why I think religion should be personal. When it comes to religion – one size doesn’t fit all.

    2. RobertCHastings June 1, 2014

      But, like the original writers of the Bible, they were “inspired” by God and wrote His Word. Right? Or, like the writers of the Bible, were they inspired and driven by current political events, something that seems more realistic.

      1. Annemb June 1, 2014

        Thanks for your post.

        I studied the Hebrew Scriptures prior to entering seminary with a Rabbi who told me … “the bible is not a book of science, but a book in which men try to articulate their belief in God.” Yes, the bible was inspired, but cannot to be taken literally. It is a book with myths (stories that tell greater stories), allegory, symbolism… Genesis was written during the Babylonian Exile, the creation stories from Macedonian myths. Instead, what are the Scriptures telling us today. There is much to learn and to understand Scripture.

        1. RobertCHastings June 2, 2014

          Thanks. You have apparently been exposed to a specialized training that more of us should receive. To understand that the Bible is neither a textbook nor a roadmap is perhaps the most important thing that can be said about it. I have read some very interesting books by Elaine Pagels and Bart Ehrman, both New Testament scholars who have done a great deal of research into those gospels that are NOT included in the New Testament canon. They manage to make quite clear much of what you have said about interpretation of the Bible. Aside from the idea of Divine inspiration, the Torah AND the New Testament were transcribed by MEN who, quite naturally, had their own political and social milieus in which they lived which informed their take on older ideas and testaments. Aside from the issue of one-for-one correspondence in translation from one language to another, the issue of idioms can be even more challenging. One need only look closely at signs posted in public places giving English and Spanish versions of what one’s rights are in banks, in hospitals, etc. to see the difficulty in direct translation. To make this issue even more difficult and pointed, try doing the same with a language that is no longer spoken. To superimpose a world of 2,800 years ago onto today’s world (in the case of the Torah), or of even 1,700 years ago (New Testament) and expect a 100% correlation is foolish and, ultimately, ignoring reality.

          1. Annemb June 2, 2014

            Thanks for a well-articulated and accurate post! I have been blessed with learning the Hebrew Scriptures from a (famous) Rabbi even before I decided to enter seminary. He taught the course, “The Bible As Literature” at USM (University of Southern Maine) which was the key I needed to understand Scripture, which I have grown to love. He also shared what Jews suffer. In fact, when I said that I wanted to convert he replied, “Why would you want to be a part of a faith where you would be persecuted? Stay where you are.”

            Have you a copy of the book “The Five Gospels. What Did Jesus Really Say?” by Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and The Jesus Seminar”? An excellent resource to keep on hand. What do you know about the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary? These were deliberately omitted from the Canon of the Bible, by the Ecumenical Council in 325 c.e.

            Thanks again for your excellent and well-written post. Keep studying…there is so much to learn.

          2. RobertCHastings June 2, 2014

            What is left of The Gospel of Mary is enormously telling, both in what it has to say about the relationship of Jesus to the women in His life, AND to the fears of the Catholic (and, by extension, Protestant) hierarchies. Mary was, apparently, close and trusted confidante of Jesus, accepted as an EQUAL, something which His other disciples (some of them) had a problem with. According to what Pagels and Ehrman have to say about the early Christian church, and which can be verified with a little research, women frequently headed up large congregations prior to the Council of 325. For obviously political reasons, this was not an acceptable norm for the Church fathers. What a shame! In the modern era, the first female head-of-state, Golda Meir, set a high standard for ALL leaders.
            What I have learned about the Jewish experience is primarily gleaned from the writings of Elie Weisel. I have tried to expand my horizons beyond the restrictions placed upon us by “mainstream” writers, especially those who cannot (or will not) see beyond the constraints of fundamentalist Christianity.

          3. Annemb June 2, 2014

            You are very knowledgeable and wise indeed from which I have benefited. And, thanks so much for your posts and suggestions.

            I learned much from Rabbi, who I affectionately call, “My Rabbi” including what so-called Christians, ministers included, have disrespected him and his Faith. Jews have an ongoing learning of their Faith. I remember learning from Rabbi and his congregation on Friday, then returning to my church the following Sunday and hearing the congregants say the same thing over and over again, even in the Adult Sunday School. They are NOT learning, devoid of new ideas/interpretations, I remember thinking. Instead they repeating what they hear by rote.
            Jews aren’t afraid to discuss Scripture with an open mind, gaining new understandings. Whereas Christians, in my experience, fear a new interpretation or understanding, often remain “stuck” because they refuse to go any further or beyond what was written.

            I’d appreciate if you would suggest some reading material for me.

            Thanks again for your words.


          4. RobertCHastings June 2, 2014

            In addition to Elaine Pagels and Art Ehrman, I recommend Elie Wiesel, Ken Wilber, minister Robin R. Meyers, and Bishop John Spong. Of course, you can never go wrong with the Dalai Lama. Oprah Winfrey has opened the eyes of many to other truths, and other ways of finding one’s own truth; however, I feel she has strayed by supporting Joel Osteen’s gospel of opulence. In the movie “independence Day”, Judd Hirsch responds to a statement by the Sect. of Defense when asked to sit and pray who says, “but I’m not Jewish.” Hirsch’s response? “We can’t all be perfect.” So many Christians accept the myths of the Old and New Testaments as literal history, even sending out “scientific” expeditions to look for Noah’s Ark, or to establish the geological validity of the Great Flood, rather than looking at these stories as parables or metaphors. There is much in the life of Jesus that I personally have difficulty accepting as absolute truth, especially those parts of His mythology that occurred previously in other belief systems, such as the Immaculate Conception, a claim that I understand did not appear until at least a generation AFTER His crucifixion. To blindly believe what others may instruct one is not a way to establish a genuine faith, but a false faith based upon interpretation and hearsay.
            This is great, let’s keep it up.

          5. Annemb June 3, 2014

            A great post!

            The Gospels, a different genre, were written by men who never met Jesus but heard about him. Mark’s gospel is the first, written around 55 or 60c.e., Matthew and Luke follow around 85c.e. and John around 99c.e. Luke wrote Acts. I may be off on the exact year, but I think I’m close. Matthew and Luke used Mark and Que for their sources. These three are called the Synoptic Gospels. Also, the writers wrote for their communities.

            There is mythology, e.g. Immaculate Conception, metaphor and more to try to explain Jesus… Are you familiar with Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth”? He talks about the “hero” which I personally found helpful.

            Have a good day.

          6. RobertCHastings June 4, 2014

            It is interesting that “Que” was used as a SOURCE, and therefore accepted as being “gospel”, but was not accepted as “canon”. I have read some of Joseph Campbell, especially those things discussed by Bill Moyers. Campbell is someone our fundamentalists would greatly benefit from reading.

          7. Annemb June 4, 2014

            Whew! I was wrong when I quoted “Que” as a source. I apologize for the error. I meant “Q” not Que as the source.

            Yes, the fundamentalists would greatly benefit from reading Campbell. Too, it’s sad that our society equates myth with untruth, when in fact myths are stories that tell greater stories.


          8. RobertCHastings June 5, 2014

            Edith Hamilton, in “Ritual to Romance”, exposed many American school kids to the myths of the ancient world, and helped at least some explore the relationship between myth and reality. Campbell took those myths and explained why they fascinate us today and how they appear today in everyday usage. Even such mundane items as a world atlas hold mythical meaning, and the characteristics we look for in our heroes arise from such ancient individuals as Ulysses and Hercules, as well as Athena and Aphrodite. When Thor and Loki are united with comic book heroes like Captain America and Ironman, we begin creating our own myths that are obvious attempts to encourage people to believe what was taught by the ancient myths – how the world functions and WHY evil (and good) happens.
            “Q” was undoubtedly a source for the early Christians and, like the “gospels” of Mary and Thomas, was excluded from canon for a reason, unfortunately depriving later readers of the New Testament of the richness and diversity of thought to be found among the early Christians. The political power of the Christian Church was becoming solidified by the time of the Conference of 325, and ANY works that disputed or confused that claim to authority were declared anathema. This was, perhaps, the greatest tragedy of early Christianity, making the Church an institution rather than the source of hope it should have been for every individual.

          9. Annemb June 5, 2014

            Yes, you are correct in your post!

            The bishops, including Eastern Orthodox, convened for the Ecumenical Council of 325c.e., to solidify the Christian faith as they saw/ understood it — whatever would support what THEY considered valid. There were many “heresies” at the time, hence, they omitted much from what we have today as the canonized bible. A sad commentary of the church. IMHO, this was not only a matter of faith but political. I believe that the Christian Faith lost much of what it was meant to be — transformative! The church became a hierarchy with rules, regulations, dogma, doctrine, etc. And instead of being a source of good in the world, became corrupt. I also don’t believe that Jesus wanted to start a church. He was about transformation of the individual and of society. Of course he was a threat to the status quo which led to his execution by Rome.

            There were seven Councils until the schism between East and West I believe in the year 1054. (I’ll let you know if the year is incorrect.) The Eastern Orthodox Church does not count the subsequent Councils as valid because they were not a part of them. (See, “The Orthodox Church” by Timothy Ware.)

            I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

          10. Annemb June 8, 2014

            Just finished watching, “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” on the National Geographic Channel. You may remember several months ago that a piece of coptic papyrus was found. You may be interested in seeing this one hour presentation.

          11. RobertCHastings June 10, 2014

            I am so sorry I missed it. We have been on vacation at the beach since last Saturday. NG offers such specials in their store online. I will have to look it up, if just for the references it will offer. Thanks for the heads up. I have read some of what has been deciphered, and it is very interesting, and very important, if this is what we have referred to earlier as the “Gospel of Mary”.

          12. Annemb June 11, 2014

            I took a chance and searched for “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” on Netflix. It didn’t come through. However, I took the chance to watch “Gospel of Judas” again. I’m glad I did because it gave me the chance to review what I had seen before. I’ll be sure to watch it over again several times.

            Have a good evening.

          13. RobertCHastings June 21, 2014

            Look at IMDb.com (Internet Movie Data base). There are two entries. One is for one episode of a long-running talk show, the other is for a Smithsonian TV movie. IMDb provides links for viewing the movies. good luck.
            We are back from our vacation, and the adage about “My worst day at the beach (golfing, fishing, etc.) is better than by best day at work” is OOOOH so true. Hated to come back.

          14. Annemb June 21, 2014

            I’m glad you had a chance to “vacate the premises” and to enjoy your vacation. Grateful for your safe return too.

            Since I last wrote I have seen, “Who Is Jesus”? and more on Netflix, which titles I need to copy and send you. What I liked about “Who is Jesus”, is that it has three short “segments” (Parts 1 & 2 about 48 minutes and Part 3 an hour+) — Childhood, Mission and Jesus’ execution by Rome. At the end of Part 3, an archeologist shows a finding – which he stresses was found in Jerusalem – a foot bone with a nail through it. I found that the first segment of this series helped me understand the world of the Jews through a child’s eyes, why he “said” what he said, and the reason for his mission of hope to the Jews as he spoke about the “Reign of God”… For me, the gospels lack this information…I know that none of the gospel writers knew Jesus but heard of him. And that they wrote what they heard, to their respective communities, before information was lost forever. (Gospel was a new genre.)

            Also, you’ve mentioned “Gospel of Mary.” I’ve got to find this important gospel by Mary Magdaline.

            It was mentioned in “Secrets…”

            Look forward to hearing from you.

            Have a great day and weekend.

          15. Annemb June 21, 2014

            I just watched the trailer for “Beginning of the Planet of the Apes.” It was really good…so sad what humankind has done to the planet, our furry kin and the climate over the centuries.

          16. Annemb June 3, 2014

            I wasn’t sure of the history of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, so didn’t address this one in my last post. I did a search. Here’s a Catholic web site to check out: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm

            Christians understand the partaking of the fruit by Adam and Eve to be “original sin”, while Jews understand their Scripture to mean “consciousness.”

            Luke’s narrative of the conception and birth of Jesus is a myth. This is the Hero myth Joseph refers to in his interviews. That which I referred to in my earlier post was not entirely correct.

            As you most likely know, it is extremely difficult to “explain” one’s faith, so myths, metaphors, symbolism are used. In our pre-theological classes in seminary, we read, wrote, discussed myths and other genre in preparation for our theological training. In subsequent courses throughout seminary this was a big help to understand Scripture when we wrote our exegeses and our sermons later on. It was exciting! These pre-theological courses brought the Scriptures to life. It was wonderful!

          17. RobertCHastings June 3, 2014

            The idea of “original sin” is to me confusing. Several years ago I was working in a manufacturing plant in which a woman worked who was single with two young children. One night when she was at work, she received notice that her two children had been killed in car wreck while out with their babysitter. A young man, an unlicensed evangelical Christian preacher, told her the children were going to hell because they had not been baptized and thus absolved of “original sin”. Needless to say, I and several of my associates were prepared to lynch him. I could not then, nor can I now, perceive of ANY incarnation of Jesus in which He would permit these innocents to be sent to hell and forever beyond His embrace. As you say, it is difficult to understand religion without the fables and myths that are used to illustrate particular points. When these points are, however, interpreted literally with no concept of their deeper (or higher) meaning, religion becomes something other than what was intended or what it SHOULD be. I think an individual’s religion is precisely that, an individual religion that describes how ONE individual sees the universe and the individual and the relation of the two with God.

          18. Annemb June 3, 2014

            You make some valid points. “Original Sin” was a dogma that came about because Adam and Eve “sinned” when they partook of the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil against God’s command. Of course Adam and Eve didn’t “sin” as Christians interpret this. Jews interpret the action as “consciousness.” The creation myths were written during the Babylonian Exile. They were taken from other myths and written as have been handed down in the Hebrew Bible. Of course the Midrash goes into much more detail about this as it does on stories of the Bible.

            My heart goes out to the woman whose
            children were killed. As for their “going to hell” because they
            weren’t baptized – that’s B.S. The evangelical minister had no business condemning those innocent children. It was difficult enough for the mother who lost her children and was suffering. I’m willing to bet that she blamed herself for their deaths. She didn’t need to hear some idiot, who presumed to be speaking for God judge her children – condemning them to hell. Nowhere is this in Scripture; this is church dogma. Baptism brings the child / person into the Christian Community.

            God’s love goes above and beyond our love. Have you seen, “Afterlife”, a film less of less than an hour, and in which those who have had Near Death Experiences give their thoughts on the subject, and more.

            I admit that I believed this once for years beginning when I was in the Catholic Church. However, it’s been many, many, years since I believe in “original sin” and much less that innocent children, who the Catholic Church says go to Limbo, and others will be condemned to hell by a loving God because they “weren’t baptized.” It was not God’s will that the children be killed; they were killed by the driver.

            Have you read the book, “The Will Of God” by Leslie Weatherhead? He wrote the book when a friend lost his daughter to death and kept blaming God for taking her.

            Thanks so much for your response. I enjoyed the discussion.

  3. Grannysmovin May 16, 2014

    Who opened the corral gate and let the Jackasses out this week?

  4. Buford2k11 May 16, 2014

    Ah, the United States of the Insane…we really need sanity tests to go along with the registering of politicians who run for office…or are we stuck with the insane running the asylum???

    1. idamag May 17, 2014

      Nutjobs, they happen. The tragedy is that someone actually votes for them.

  5. FT66 May 16, 2014

    These people are really crazy. If the Constitution was written by god, how come they have been amendments every now and then? Did god allow to do so?

    1. ThomasBonsell May 16, 2014

      Got to consider that they also claim god wrote the Bible and they haven’t abided by that book ever; always picking and choosing what to accept and then getting most of it wrong because they can’t understand allegory, parable or metaphor.

      1. RobertCHastings May 17, 2014

        The problem with lending ANY interpretation to our Holy Bible is there are very few people alive today (if ANY) who can actually fluently utilize the original language in which the Bible was written. As anyone who has been confused by postings on the walls in hospitals which purportedly give an appropriate Spanish rendering of American regulations, much is lost or changed simply in translation. Interpretations tend to be tainted by whatever political or social biases that influence the translator, as well as clearly reflecting the virtual impossibility of perfectly rendering idiom from one language to another. I am NOT a linguist; but I know a little French and Spanish, and I don’t believe it is possible to render the English “whatever” into an equivalent in Spanish or French, conveying all the nuances of the English. This simple example should illustrate the problems associated with a truthful and completely accurate rendering of the ancient Torah into spoken modern English, let alone the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

        1. idamag May 17, 2014

          As far as the King James Version, many people can’t understand Shakespeare so How can they understand the Bible?

          1. RobertCHastings May 17, 2014

            Modern Biblical scholars have many problems with the King James version. Until the Gutenberg Bible ushered in the age of the printed word, every version prior to this was done by hand, subject to the biases and whimsies of the particular priest who was doing the transcribing. As an aside, I and many others engage in genealogical research. Using ONLY the US Census forms, one can easily find the transformation of many surnames over time (ie. – Kuhl – Coole – Cool, etc.). If it is so easy over the period of two hundred years for just surnames to be so drastically changed, think how easy it is to change entire passages over 2,000 years as to be totally unrecognizable from the originals.

          2. idamag May 17, 2014

            That is an excellent example. I do a little genealogy, also, and have found many variations of both last and first names. Handwriting can look like something other than was meant. Nome, Alaska got its name when they hand entered into a form. “Name.” and it was mistaken for Nome. There is now evidence that some books were actually left out of the Bible.

          3. RobertCHastings May 17, 2014

            Over 1500 years ago, the early Church fathers gathered to decide which “gospels” would be included in the Bible as canon text. Some writings contained items that did not agree with what these “fathers” felt was proper doctrine and were declared blasphemous. Thus, much that was written by the early Christians during the first four centuries after the death of Christ was destroyed and declared anathema. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and others, much of what was for 15 centuries thought to not even exist was discovered, and showed the variety and divergence of Christian theology during that period. But for that discovery, we would never have known that Mary wrote her own gospel, or that there were several other options for the Book of Revelations.

          4. idamag May 17, 2014

            That is true and they are still trying to suppress that which was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

          5. RobertCHastings May 18, 2014

            Over the ten years, two of my favorite writers have been Bart Ehrman of the University of North Carolina and Elaine Pagels of Princeton. Both have written extensively about the new discoveries regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the history of the exclusion of many writings from the orthodox canon.

          6. Annemb June 2, 2014

            Yes, it was at the Ecumenical Council of 325 that the Bible was canonized, using the gospels that would support their belief.

          7. RobertCHastings June 4, 2014

            And their beliefs in 325 regarding Jesus were quite different from those who actually associated with Him during His lifetime. Paramount in their thoughts were the supremacy of men over women AND the political power a unified church could wield. And. apropos to today’s frenetic religious situation is the fact that they had a Roman emperor on their side, basically establishing a state religion.

          8. Annemb June 4, 2014

            You are exactly correct!

            Until the third century salvation meant transformation … after that the meaning was changed to what is believed today. To me the change makes no sense whatsoever, because Jesus spoke about transformation.

            When he became emperor, Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. He didn’t convert till on his deathbed.

            Have you heard of the “Jesus Seminar”? This is a gathering of scholars who decide what Jesus actually said, may have said, possibly have said and did not say, in the gospels. I / we use it in Bible study.

          9. RobertCHastings June 5, 2014

            Is the “Jesus Seminar” available over the internet? Is this an ongoing discussion, or has it been committed to print? This sounds like something I would personally be interested in. Please tell me some more about it.

          10. Annemb June 5, 2014

            John Dominic Crossan is a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar. Crossan has written many books including “The Historical Jesus.”

            I have a copy of “The Five Gospels What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus.” New Translation and Commentary by Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and The Jesus Seminar. 1993. My copy is “old”, as there are revised editions.
            The Scriptures studied are color-coded in the book as follows:
            **red, That’s Jesus
            **pink, Sure sounds like Jesus
            **gray, Well, maybe
            **black, There’s been some mistake

            I find this part of biblical study exciting as to me, it brings a truer Jesus to the fore as I learn what and why the writer wrote as he did. Also, our group finds this exciting as we understand what Jesus really said and what was redacted by the gospel writers.

            I heard about the Jesus Seminar in seminary and we refer to the book in our weekly Bible study sessions. If you don’t mind waiting, I’ll look into it and get back to you with as much detailed information as I can. In the meantime, does your local library have a copy or could you borrow it through Interlibrary Loan?

            I’ll get back to you.

          11. Annemb June 5, 2014

            Here are results of my search.


            The history of The Jesus Seminar.


            Of course there are pros and cons of The Jesus Seminar, but I chose a few of the pros.

            Yes, the schism between East and West happened in 1054. The schism was due to the “Filoque Phrase” .. the Eastern Church believes the Holy Spirit descends from the Father (only) and the Western Church believes the Holy Spirit descends from both the Father and the Son.

            Hope this is okay.

            Blessings and enjoy reading.

          12. plc97477 May 19, 2014

            Some of them on purpose.

          13. ThomasBonsell May 18, 2014

            The Old Testament is much older than 2,000 years old and was mostly in oral form since people back then didn’t have printing presses to print their knowledge, libraries in which to store it and absolutely no computer memory banks.

            These stories were for the most part stories created to pass along knowledge using “fictional” story lines to do so. The particulars of those stories may change by each generation but that was okay if the lesson of the story remained. My interpretation of the Noah’s flood story isn’t about water or a god who killed the entire population of the earth except for eight humans and one pair of each animal spcies.it is an ancient myth telling those people the obligation of a leader (Noah) is to protect the people he leads by making provisions when times are good to save them when a calamity comes.

          14. RobertCHastings May 18, 2014

            Interesting how so many of the stories portrayed in the Old Testament appear in the other religions of the pre-Christian era. Long before the birth of Jesus, Persia had their own immaculately conceived messiah, and Greek mythology is rife with stories of the gods having intercourse with humans and animals, siring demi-gods or immortals.

          15. rkief June 1, 2014

            Interesting and relevant take,. Yes, indeed!

          16. Allan Richardson May 18, 2014

            Some linguists have speculated that English would have changed much more since Elizabethan days if not for the retaining effect of Shakespeare and the King James Bible. Greek has changed also, but not so much that Greek speaking Orthodox worshipers have to have the liturgy, or the Septuagint and Greek New Testament, translated for them; like Shakespeare, a definition of an occasional archaic word is sufficient for them.

          17. ThomasBonsell May 18, 2014

            Right on.

            I have never been able to read Chaucer or Beowulf with any functional degree of comprehension, even though I could understand Marx, who was one complicated puppy in the art of writing.

          18. Allan Richardson May 18, 2014

            Of course! Shakespeare wrote pretty much modern English; Chaucer wrote in something halfway between English and German/Dutch; and Beowulf is written in almost pure German/Dutch (being from the Frisian Islands might have been a help), formally known as Anglo-Saxon.

          19. ThomasBonsell May 18, 2014

            In fact the Bible even supports what you say.

            In II Timothy 3:7 Paul wrote that the people would be studying the Bible for ever and never being able to understanding it. Pretty much says right there that a literal reading of it is wrong and futile.

            That has proven to be true and shows an astute understanding of human nature by Paul.

      2. Allan Richardson May 17, 2014

        Furthermore, and this is the problem with trying to be a fundamentalist Christian (or one of that small minority, a fundamentalist, i.e. Chasidic, Jew) and a loyal American, our First Amendment is a direct contradiction of the Biblical code for Israel, in which even TOLERATION OF ANOTHER’S lack of correct worship is blasphemy, punishable by death on the spot, via stoning by the witnesses. And likewise for toleration of another’s improper diet, clothing, hairstyle, love life, etc. Our form of government is secular, meaning neutral as to religion and (in theory) all personal conduct not DIRECTLY threatening to others, while the Biblical form of government is theocratic, acknowledging only one legally permissible form of belief, worship, or personal conduct.

        1. idamag May 18, 2014

          And let’s keep it that way.

        2. ThomasBonsell May 18, 2014

          Right on.

          And if we examine first-century Christian law or ancient Jewish law, these righties claim to cling to, we find they are basically modern-day Sharia law the right is horrified is taking over America so much they have felt a need to pass laws forbidding Sharia law being practiced in their state.

          A violation of the First Amendment, I might add..

    2. RobertCHastings May 16, 2014

      The Mormon Church is subject to changes in their holy scripture through the vehicle of direct conferencing with God. Romney made us all aware of this when he discussed his autobiography during the last presidential election cycle. He claimed that he was upset over learning that Stanford refused to play the BYU basketball team because of the Mormon refusal to accept blacks as equals. Lo and behold, God spoke to their elder and things were changed. Wow!

      1. plc97477 May 16, 2014

        Pepsi gave lots of money to the mormon church and lo and behold the president was visited by god in a dream and the mormons were allowed to drink cold caffeine. I am still not sure why folgers hasn’t figured this out yet.

        1. adler56 May 17, 2014

          Iced coffee would be cold caffeine. Folgers doesn’t have to pay a bribe.

      2. idamag May 17, 2014


      3. pisces63 May 18, 2014

        Uwhen Donnie and Marie’s show first aired the racial intolerance came up when it was told black men could not become elders in the church. Raised so much hell, their leaderhad an epiphany and now they can.

        1. RobertCHastings May 18, 2014

          I still cannot stomach the Osmonds. Romney’s run for the presidency did not help. I have not read Romney’s autobiography, but he said enough about it during the primaries. He claimed to have been upset that Stanford would not play BYU in basketball because of the Mormon stance of blacks, this during our very public and vocal criticism of South Africa over apartheid. It was sort of hard for us to carry that one off, considering our own problem with racism.

    3. adler56 May 17, 2014

      God didn’t want women voting and he thought slaves were only 3/5ths of a person? That God?

      1. idamag May 17, 2014

        How about the God that said if a man rapes another man’s daughter, he shall marry that daughter?

      2. RobertCHastings June 1, 2014

        Apparently, based upon the Right’s reaction to Obama’s responses to Syria and Russia and his withdrawal from Afghanistan, they prefer the God who would destroy ALL life in one Flood (nuclear holocaust?) and hit the reset button.

      3. Annemb June 2, 2014

        Nope! That’s man!

    4. rkief June 1, 2014

      And since God is supposed to be omnipresent, why don’t other nations have our same (or a comparable) Constitution?

  6. johninPCFL May 16, 2014

    Yeah, Hannity’s moving AFTER his kid graduates, because in Texas the kid would already qualify for a Texas college degree. Welcome to backwater, Sean!

    1. jakenhyde May 16, 2014

      Yep…..Texas, the land of Perry and Gohmert and Cruz and, of course, Dubya. Gotta love them Texans…….’cause not too many other people do.
      The last sane person Texas had in any position of power was Ann Richards.

      1. LTCErnest May 16, 2014

        Please keep Hannity in New York, Florida, anyplace but Texas. We have enough troubles now.

      2. rkief June 1, 2014

        Unfortunately, Texans were unable to resist the devious rants of Karl Rove about Ann Richards (like those against John McCain and Hillary Clinton) that helped Dubya to win the governorship.

    2. adler56 May 17, 2014

      How old is this “kid”? 4? 6? Hannity is so full of it.

  7. Ken Nardone May 16, 2014

    ‘Merka! The land of the free*
    * if you are a straight, white, Christian, gun toting man with the I.Q. of a flea.

  8. paulyz May 16, 2014

    The headline of this Post once again pushes buttons. While there may be some wackos, the HUGE majority of Conservatives & Tea Party & like-minded persons do not believe that the Constitution was written by God as anyone else.

    Even DeLay mentioned that most founders & Americans were Christians & they wrote the Constitution according to Christian principles. But being as humans are not perfect, some people in power have not lived up to these principles.

    Many Governments have been tried throughout history, and they all fall short of God’s plan.

    1. ModDem67 May 16, 2014

      Actually, most of the Founding Fathers were deists.

      1. CamCubed May 17, 2014

        Not quite. Check my post above. It’s better to say they were all secularists, because they were, but only Paine was a committed deist. Franklin flirted with it and Jefferson’s brand of Unitarianism was close. But most belonged to pretty standard denominations of Protestantism.

        What we forget is that all Christianity, even Puritans, in the Founders’ day once highly cherished education and scientific discovery. This was especially true of the upper class (such as the Founders), who felt no need to pander to the uneducated masses. Once the Second Great Awakening was in full swing (around the 1820s, after all the Founders were dead or close to it), not only did the upper niche of society feel compelled to pander to this new brand of religious crazy, the politicians themselves were becoming fundamentalist douchebags (like Andrew Jackson), riding waves of populist religion into office.

        This is how it’s been ever since. America did not last very long before the religious nuts took over.

    2. jakenhyde May 16, 2014

      That’s all right paulyz. God’s plan has no business being involved with any government anyway.

    3. RobertCHastings May 16, 2014

      Jefferson and MOST of the first string Founders were NOT Christians, but Humanists. Adams was perhaps the only really prominent “Christian” among our first four presidents. Washington, Jefferson and Madison ALL made it very clear how it was vitally necessary to keep religion out of government.

      1. CamCubed May 17, 2014

        Hamilton was Presbyterian. Washington and Madison were Episcopalian. Jefferson was raised that but turned to Unitarianism. Adams was Puritan. Franklin was raised Puritan but danced back and forth between Puritanism and deism. He simply refused to commit. The only die-hard deist was Paine and his principles resulted in being blackballed by the American public. Nobody attended his funeral but a handful. Such shameful treatment.

        Nevertheless, as you said, they were ALL secularist, clearly distinguishing religion from politics in all their writings. That the principles of America were “Christian” is only as true as the principles of Western civilization being Christian. As in, it’s an unavoidable framework that influences perspectives on morality and autonomy and had for centuries. The Framers INHERITED a tradition of philosophy established long before their time that had traded in scholastic-religious assumptions for secular contractarianism.

        The religious fundamentalists should blame Isaac Newton. He was one of the most important figures to influence modern philosophy. Through Newtonian mechanics, intellectuals realized that the universe was mechanistic by comprehensible “laws”, rather than divine teleology. And if that was true, then explaining things with “Goddidit” was now irrelevant, which made God less and less useful in the intellectual’s life. And that sentiment would influence, directly and indirectly, the formation of new political philosophy that would rescue us from monarchical tyranny.

        1. RobertCHastings May 17, 2014

          “Democracy” had its origins much before the birth of science, and the philosophical basis for our Constitution and Declaration was laid before the birth of Christ. Jesus DID, unlike his modern adherents, believe in the equality of ALL men, as well as in the five pillars that hold up both Christianity and Islam. And Jesus would have abhorred the church state, or a state church. He would be rolling over in his tomb at the thought of Rome and the Holy See. And those who would perpetuate their own narrow visions of Christianity to the exclusion of ALL other religious doctrines need to examine what is going on in some of the other less religiously tolerant regions of the world today. Iran is a theocracy that is posing as a republic, with an elected parliament and president, both of which are powerless before the Ayatollahs, who wield the absolute power that would adhere to those who would establish a “Christian” republic here. Religious freedom, as hinted at in our First Amendment, is much more deeply explored by both Jefferson in his contributions to the Virginia state constitution, and by Alexander Hamilton in his contributions to “Common Sense”. All but a very few of the original colonies advocated and enforced their own state religions, a condition very few of those at the Constitutional Convention wished to see perpetuated.

          1. CamCubed May 17, 2014

            Oh, of course. The re-discovery of ideals of democracy and republicanism date back to ancient Greece and Rome. But they were blown off for centuries, not by Christianity, but some serious loopholes in republicanism — enabling the rise of the Caesars. Christianity simply kept them alive a little bit longer, and set the stage for feudalism and monarchy. It wasn’t until the Renaissance/Reformation that the old principles were rediscovered and restored, enabled by a relatively new way of thinking that breaks from Scholasticism.

          2. RobertCHastings May 17, 2014

            Christianity, in the guise of the Holy Catholic Church, did nothing to keep the principles of democracy alive through the Middle Ages. Along with ALL the advances of Grecian and Roman philosophy, including the ideals of democracy, the Medieval church erased ALL cultural advances. Near the end of this reign of religious terror, even those who signaled a new age of reason, such as Copernicus and Galileo, were persecuted and their discoveries blasted as the work of the devil. ANY ideas that differed from the basic flat-earth geo-centrism were dealt with as heresy, and the Church maintained its supremacy in ALL areas for as long as it could. What is truly disturbing about this period in Western history is that Islam flourished, developing their own philosophers and advances in mathematics (algebra) and science, while the Catholic Church viewed them as infidels and barbarians. Western civilization was preserved by monks in isolated monasteries who had managed to conceal certain documents, without having any understanding of their portent, just copying them, because that was what they did. Paradoxically, it was the Church that sponsored many of the advances of the Renaissance. But, lest we lose sight of the true role of Mother Church in Western history, this closed and secretive hierarchy even today has perpetrated some of the worst imaginable crimes upon the world, including most recently the scandal of pedophile priests. And we are just beginning to gain historic perspective into the culpability of the Catholic in the persecution of the Jews during the Nazi era. The Church, in its adherence to the principle of Papal infallibility, has clearly demonstrated just how wrong it is for democracies to entrust their wellbeing to religion.

          3. CamCubed May 18, 2014

            Theocracy is definitely epic fail. Although bear in mind two things: a) there were pockets of “Christendom” that weren’t entirely opposed to knowledge and wisdom, and while they regularly tested papal patience, the crackdown wasn’t always as awful as we’re often led to believe (e.g., Galileo’s persecution is often made out to have been torturous, when in reality he was slapped down into the equivalent of house arrest — still persecution, but not as monstrous as the myths still told, and b) much of Islamic’s philosophical and mathematical breakthroughs derived from keeping alive Grecian ideas that Western Europe was dismissing as heresy, notably Aristotle. Also, there is a third player we often forget about entirely: the Eastern Empire were Europeans with a slightly more open-minded (Islam-influenced) mindset, and they kept much knowledge alive, too.

            Until, of course, the Ottoman crackdown came with proto-wahhabi extremism. Then the Muslim world collapsed onto itself. 🙁

    4. idamag May 17, 2014

      Delay lied. Not all of them were.

  9. herchato May 16, 2014

    You’re lucky day New York!

  10. exdemo55 May 16, 2014

    Research which heaped doubt on the rate of global warming was deliberately suppressed by scientists because it was “less than helpful” to their cause, it was claimed last night.

    In an echo of the infamous “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s top academic journals rejected the work of five experts after a reviewer privately denounced it as “harmful”.

    Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of the authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dissenting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being published.

  11. exdemo55 May 16, 2014

    Des Moines, IA NBC affiliate WHO reported on Thursday that Mercy Medical Center, a hospital in Des Moines, has had to lay off 29 people, which is attributed in part to the ObamaCare law according to Bob Ritz, president of Mercy Medical Center.
    “As the federal government and state payment systems continue to ratchet down on what they pay us and our costs go up, we have to look for opportunities to create cost efficiencies,” Ritz said. “And one way you do that is you reduce your management costs. So if we have a department that has a director and a manager and two supervisors for let’s say 75 staff, we may remove one of those positions to what we say are the layers of management.”

  12. exdemo55 May 16, 2014

    A scientific study which suggests global warming has been exaggerated was rejected by a respected journal because it might fuel climate scepticism, it was claimed last night.

    The alarming intervention, which raises fears of ‘McCarthyist’ pressure for environmental scientists to conform, came after a reviewer said the research was ‘less than helpful’ to the climate cause.

    Professor Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of five authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dissenting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being published.

    ‘The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist,’ he told the Times.

    Prof Bengtsson’s paper suggests that the Earth’s environment might be much less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought.

    If he and his four co-authors are correct, it would mean that carbon dioxide and other pollutants are having a far less severe impact on climate than green activists would have us believe.

    The research, if made public, would be a huge challenge to the finding of the UN’s Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that the global average temperature would rise by up to 4.5C if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were allowed to double.

    The paper suggested that the climate might be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than had been claimed by the IPCC in its report last September, and recommended that more work be carried out ‘to reduce the underlying uncertainty’.

    Get ready for a barbecue weekend! Temperatures to hit 25C in the South on Saturday as downpours fade away

    New glass technology could stop hundreds of MILLIONS of birds from flying into windows every year

    The five contributing scientists submitted the paper to Environmental Research Letters – a highly regarded journal – but were told it had been rejected. A scientist asked by the journal to assess the paper under the peer review process reportedly wrote: ‘It is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.’

    Prof Bengtsson, 79, said it was ‘utterly unacceptable’ to advise against publishing a paper on the political grounds.

    He said: ‘It is an indication of how science is gradually being influenced by political views. The reality hasn’t been keeping up with the [computer] models.

    Professor Bengtsson currently works for the Meteorology department at the University of Reading

    ‘If people are proposing to do major changes to the world’s economic system we must have much more solid information.’

    Next year the UN hopes to broker an international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol which would impose legally binding targets on every country.

    The last attempt, at the Copenhagen conference in 2009, ended in disaster, with recriminations flying and all chances of a deal in tatters.

    The Paris conference in December 2015 is thought by many politicians to be the last realistic chance for a deal to be made if disastrous climate change is to be averted.

    A controversy at this stage risks putting the science which underpins the negotiations at doubt, something many – not least politicians in Britain and the US – will be keen to avoid.

    The publisher of the Environmental Research Letters journal last night said Professor Bengtsson’s paper had been rejected because it contained errors and did not sufficiently advance the science.

    A spokesman for IOP Publishing said: ‘The paper, co-authored by Lennart Bengtsson, was originally submitted to Environmental Research Letters as a research Letter.

    ‘This was peer-reviewed by two independent reviewers, who reported that the paper contained errors and did not provide a significant advancement in the field, and therefore failed to meet the journal’s required acceptance criteria.

    ‘As a consequence, the independent reviewers recommended that the paper should not be published in the journal which led to the final editorial decision to reject the paper.’

  13. Pamby50 May 16, 2014

    Just watched the news. Operation American Spring had only a few hundred show up for the rally. I guess they couldn’t find enough lunatics to come march today.

    As for Sean Hannity, I’ll wait till my kids graduate from high school before I move. Stop the insanity Sean. You aren’t moving. If so, you would have done it already.

    1. idamag May 17, 2014

      Just like crappy pants who said he was leaving the United States if Obama got elected. He’s still stinking up the country.

    2. CamCubed May 17, 2014

      Because it was rainy. Everyone knows you don’t overthrow the government if it rains.

      1. idamag May 17, 2014

        I looked at the pictures and I didn’t see any rain.

  14. ORAXX May 16, 2014

    This sounds like a coalition of the people you’d least want to see running the country.

  15. progressiveandproud May 16, 2014

    Wow! No Beck, Limpdick, Coulter, what’s up with that? I guess they couldn’t think of anything crazy enough to qualify this week. They must be losing their touch.

  16. exdemo55 May 16, 2014

    Amid contrived outrage over Benghazi and the improving fortunes of its healthcare reform, the Obama administration could be facing a genuine scandal about its treatment of military veterans that has the potential to attract broad political condemnation of its competence.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is facing mounting evidence that some of the hospitals it runs have been keeping two sets of books to make it look as if they were reducing waiting times to see a doctor.

    More damning, the department is investigating the claims of a whistleblower doctor in Arizona that dozens of patients at one hospital died while they were languishing on a hidden waiting list without ever being given an appointment.

    Richard Griffin, the department’s acting inspector general, admitted on Thursday that its review could lead to criminal charges. In the first political casualty of the scandal, Robert Petzel, the department’s undersecretary for heath, resigned on Friday.

    If the evidence of mismanagement continues to accumulate, the Obama administration will find itself not in another partisan knife-fight, but under fire from both parties in a Congress where the uniformed military is venerated.

    The veterans’ healthcare scandal is, in part, one of the unintended consequences of the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq, which have created “our 9/11 generation who have served with honour in more than a decade of war,” as President Barack Obama described them on Thursday.

    More than 970,000 veterans from those wars have filed disability claims, taking the total enrolled in the VA system to 8.57m by the end of 2012.

    At the same time, the healthcare system is dealing with the fact that many of the 6m veterans from the Vietnam era are now reaching the age when they start to require a lot of medical services. In 2010, the administration expanded coverage to exposure from Agent Orange, the chemical used during the war in Vietnam, prompting another surge of claimants.

    The result has been a constant struggle to meet new demands, despite big spending increases. The budget for the VA has risen from $73.1bn in 2006 to $153.8bn this year. However, the number of outpatient visits at its facilities has increased from 46.5m in 2002 to 83.6m in 2012. “I am amazed this is still happening, given the big increase in resources that the department has received,” said Phillip Carter, a former army officer who researches veterans’ issues at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

    I am amazed this is still happening, given the big increase in resources that the department has received

    – Phillip Carter, Center for a New American Security

    The VA, which runs 152 hospitals and 817 outpatient clinics, has long suffered from delays and a dysfunctional bureaucracy. In 2010, it introduced a new appointments system which promised a 14-day wait for an appointment with a primary care doctor or a specialist.

    While there have been reports for several years that the new waiting line system was being abused, the subject really began to gather steam three weeks ago when CNN interviewed Sam Foote, who had recently retired as a doctor after working for 24 years for VA hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona.

    He said that as many as 40 patients had died after being placed on a hidden waiting list that could last for up to a year, while officials at the hospital shredded documents and faked evidence to make it seem as if waiting times were under control.

    Three officials in Phoenix have been put on leave, although Mr Griffin said there was no evidence yet that patients had died because of delayed appointments.

    Since then, whistleblowers have alleged similar practices at least seven other VA hospitals around the country and claimed that officials at the hospitals were sometimes paid bonuses for reducing declared waiting times.

    The political impact of the scandal has been somewhat muted so far, in part because of the respect still enjoyed by the veterans affairs secretary, retired four-star general Eric Shinseki who was himself wounded twice in Vietnam. Appearing before a Senate hearing on Thursday, Mr Shinseki received pointed questioning, but in a tone more respectful than almost any other cabinet member would have encountered. “I am mad as hell,” he told the committee.

    However, if Congress concludes that efforts to manipulate waiting lists have become systemic – or if the allegations that patients died while waiting for phantom appointments are proved – Mr Shinseki will face huge pressure from both parties to resign.

    Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator for Connecticut, said there was “solid evidence of wrongdoing within the VA system”, while his colleague from Washington Patty Murray told Mr Shinseki: “The standard practice at the VA seems to be to hide the truth.”

    In a sign of how serious the White House believes the political fallout could become, the president’s deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors has been dispatched to the VA to help manage the fallout.

    1. CamCubed May 17, 2014

      This isn’t something Obama has done but rather something he hasn’t. No president has.


      Since there was a VA.

      When the proto-VA was established after the Civil War, you can only imagine how much of a nightmare the paperwork was back then. It hasn’t improved since, in large part because the executive branch — that is, every president since Grant — hasn’t been bothered to make it their pet project to push through Congress (a body equally apathetic — which says oodles about us, who elect them).

    2. charleo1 May 17, 2014

      Who is surprised about a scandal at the VA? Certainly not the men, and women who have had to put up with sub standard treatment, and long waiting lines, to get into facilities that are often hundreds of miles from their homes, jobs, and families, for decades. But, no crybabies here. They truly are our very best. And, the American that doesn’t believe the Country owes them a bigger debt, than just our gratitude, is very hard to find. So, let’s put the pressure on Congress, and the President, to set aside the politics on this one, and challenge ourselves to do the right thing, for the right reasons. It was only a few weeks after the 9/11/01 attacks, I had the opportunity to speak with briefly with a Marine recruiter. I ask him how business was going. And he told me he had never seen anything like it. That recruiting offices all across the Country had so many applications they were short on having enough officers to keep up! It was a very emotional time, and I was getting choked up. So, I thanked him for his service, and said something like we’re all with you. And, never had I felt more lucky to be a member of such a Country, so blessed with such brave young patriots. Well, now it’s our turn to step up for them. Not to get bogged down in gotcha politics. But do whatever is necessary to get these people the care they deserve, in as timely a manner as we would expect for ourselves, or our kids. The Country owes them that.

      1. Duckbudder May 18, 2014

        I get my health care from the VA, and I must say it has been top notch.

        1. charleo1 May 18, 2014

          I’m glad to hear that you’re being served well.
          And thank you for your service to the Country.
          But, isn’t there a real problem for many, getting
          appointments, and receiving care in a timely manner? I don’t know, because I’m not a Vet.
          But, I sure do believe in taking care of these
          men, and women, that stepped up, and served
          this Country. I see it as a promise this Country
          made to our military personal. And one we should
          damn well keep.

    3. Allan Richardson May 18, 2014

      What better way for Congress to smear the President than to underfund the VA, thus forcing its middle managers to resort to phony books to protect their own jobs from being held responsible for the delays resulting from the underfunding? True, they SHOULD have honestly reported the delays, but THEY would have been fired for failures caused by Congress, and like anyone with a job these days, they did not want to take the chance.

      And notice that the administration ITSELF is doing the investigation, and was not complicit in the cover-ups. This administration, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, WANT to solve the problem now that they know about it. And I hope they can get the message through the right wing noise barrier to the people that, even after punishing those who kept false books, the ONLY way to have the backlogs and delays STOP is to have Congress allocate MORE MONEY to the VA, and that Congress is refusing to tax the wealthy whose assets have been protected by those veterans enough to pay for their timely access to care.

      1. exdemo55 May 18, 2014

        Man, that’s a lot of contortions you going through to protect Obama.

        1. Allan Richardson May 18, 2014

          Not very contorted, considering that the natural behavior of the Republican species is to underfund or defund any function of government except actually MAKING war (not taking care of the veterans afterward) or enforcing unnecessarily strict laws on citizens (other than themselves). Making the VA less efficient is just a happy (for them, not the veterans) side effect. And blaming the results of the underfunding on the “African Muslim socialist” in accordance is standard operating procedure.

          By the way, why did you quit being a Democrat? Do you hate people or facts more?

          1. exdemo55 May 19, 2014

            If the want to see what the future Obamacare will look like take a look at the current VA. I oppose liberals, I don’t hate them

  17. idamag May 16, 2014

    I guess whe we gave these subversives an inch, it wasn’t such a smart thing to do.

  18. Budjob May 17, 2014

    These people are as crazy as a fly in a bass drum and as ignorant as the back of my balls!

    1. Wanna Talk May 17, 2014

      Why the vulgarity?

      1. Budjob May 17, 2014

        Wanna,You haven’t heard how vulgar I can get when it comes to republican pieces of shit! End of discussion!!!

  19. highpckts May 17, 2014

    They are all certifiably CRAZY!!! To think they are trying to run this country!!

  20. RobertCHastings May 18, 2014

    Gohmert is FUCKED UP. He yaps about the genital disfigurement in African countries, yet is among those who are perfectly willing to do basically the same with women in the US, in order to tame their libidos.

  21. JSquercia May 22, 2014

    I certainly hope the General was a better soldier than he is a predicitor

  22. JSquercia May 22, 2014

    Hey Sean why not leave RIGHT NOW . Could it be that you recognize that both Texas and Florida have MISERABLE education systems and want to take advantage of the superior education that Long Island schools provide


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