GOP establishment abandoning Tea Party nutjob Dan Maes

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 14:19 By: Tom Swiss

I previously mentioned Colorado gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, who argued that efforts by Denver's mayor -- and now Democractic nominee for governor -- John Hickenlooper to make that city more bike-friendly were "converting Denver into a United Nations community, " "part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty, " and "contradictory to our own Constitution."

Maes, in this year where insanity has become a popular fashion accessory for victors in Republican primaries, won the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Apparently the fatal blow to his opponent, former Representative Scott McInnis, was self-inflicted -- McInnis admitted to plagiarizing a paper on water issues, one that he was paid $300,000 to write.

But now, not only the Republican establishment but the Tea Party leadership is backing away from Maes. Seems that not only is he a UN conspiracy theory nut, but he lied about working undercover for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and about how he left a small-town Kansas police department, and has incurred record fines for paying himself more than $40,000 from his campaign fund.

O'Donnell wins Delaware GOP Senate primary -- good news for Democrats

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 23:02 By: Tom Swiss

I recently mentioned nutcase Christine O'Donnell, a candidate for the GOP nomination for the Delaware Senate race whom the "Tea Party Express" has backed to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars. O'Donnell grabbed my attention because she's opposed to masturbation on the basis that the Bible says "lusting in your heart" is the same as committing adultery, and called the fact that we have a sexually unhealthy society "wonderful," saying "It's called modesty."

The Delaware GOP tried hard to shoot her down and get more-or-less sane Rep. Mike Castle, a former two-term governor, as the nominee; they went so far as to put out robocalls featuring O'Donnell's campaign manager from her 2008 campaign, accusing O'Donnell of "living on campaign donations — using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt." The GOP dug up records showing that the IRS had once placed a lien against her and that her house had been on the brink of foreclosure; it's also been revealed that she -- falsely -- claimed to have carried two of the state's counties in a race against Biden six years ago.

Showing just how deranged the GOP is this year, Republican voters chose Christine O'Donnell as the nominee for the U.S. Senate seat for Delaware, with 53 percent of the vote. I expect that Democrats all across the country are smiling that someone the state's GOP chairman said "couldn't be elected dog catcher" is now the candidate they'll have to beat, rather than the experienced and well-liked Castle.

Maryland elections: there are alternatives

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 00:35 By: Tom Swiss

While a lot of Marylanders will be heading to the polls tomorrow to select the Democratic (not "Democrat", if you can't get the grammar right you disqualify yourself from being taken seriously) and Republican candidates for the upcoming general elections, there are some other alternatives.

The Maryland Green Party is running Maria Allwine and Ken Eidel for Governor/Lt. Gov and Natasha Pettigrew for the Senate. They've also got candidates for Anne Arundel County Executive, and for the Montgomery County Council and the Washington County Commission.

The Libertarians (who generally don't understand the meaning of the word, having stolen it from socialist anarchists, but I'll cut them some slack) have Susan Gaztañaga and Doug McNeil for Governor/Lt. Gov, and candidates for most of the Congressional seats and several down-ticket races.

There's also a Maryland chapter of the nutjob Constitution Party (link deliberately omitted), who believe that the U.S. was founded "on the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and wants to "restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations" -- showing that, like a lot of folks on the far right making a lot of noise about the Constitution these days, they have failed to read and understand it. Sort of like the barbarians in that Star Trek episode whose "holy words" were "E pleb neesta"; it took Captain Kirk to come along and teach them about "We the People" and the Preamble to the Constitution.

more teabagger nuttiness

Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2010 - 14:57 By: Tom Swiss

According to Newser, Christine O'Donnell, a Tea Party candidate for the GOP nomination for the Delaware Senate race, is opposed to masturbation because the Bible says "lusting in your heart" is the same as committing adultery. (She has, of course, taken the Bible quote out of context.) She said of the fact that we have a sexually unhealthy society, "That's wonderful. It's called modesty."

The "Tea Party Express" has pumped a quarter of a million dollars into this nutjob's campaign.

Delaware's mainstream Republicans are attacking O'Donnell -- the state GOP chairman says she "couldn't be elected dog catcher." (Where, exactly, is dog catcher an elected office, anyway?) Democrats, I'm sure, would love to run against her rather than moderate Mike Castle.

the shameful legacy of the "swiftboating" campaign

Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2010 - 10:15 By: Tom Swiss

NPR reports on how the Army is routinely denying the Purple Heart to soldiers who have sustained traumatic brain injuries, despite the fact that such injuries are explicitly listed in regulations for the medal.

In 2008, the top medical commander in Iraq, Brigadier General Joseph Caravalho, blocked doctors from talking about the Purple Heart with soldiers who suffered mild TBIs, claiming that "in many cases, [concussions with] minimum medical intervention will not warrant this award" -- a statement that contradicts Army regulations, which require only that the injury must require treatment by a medical officer and must be documented. "Concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions" are explicitly included in the list of injuries eligible for the award.

So what's the deal? One officer says that "no more John Kerrys" became a catchphrase among some medical officers in Iraq.

An open letter to Sarah Palin

Posted on: Sun, 08/29/2010 - 12:39 By: Tom Swiss

Dear Ms. Palin:

I am not quite sure how to react to your remarkable claim that the way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., is to support the military.

It's difficult to believe that you could be so totally ignorant of Dr. King's anti-war activism. King wanted us to honor our soldiers the same way that today's peace movement does: by bringing them home and apologizing to them for sending them on a fool's errand. In one of his most famous speeches, he spoke against the American invasion of Vietnam and said that it made the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today".

On the other hand, I am reluctant to believe that you are so evil, so deliberately and shamefully immoral, that you would knowingly and maliciously twist the legacy of one of the greatest Americans in history. I don't want to think that you're deliberately employing the Big Lie technique.

I try to assume the best in people. In a case as outrageous as this, that's really difficult; but I will operate under the assumption that somehow, you never actually learned about Martin Luther King and what he stood for.

If that's the case, at this late date I honestly don't know if it's useful to try to teach you. One would have to dig down through decades of beliefs built on top of a foundation of dangerous ignorance.

But, as I understand them, one of the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ -- a man whom both you and Dr. King claim to follow -- is that all people, however wretched, are capable of salvation. So to attempt to honor Dr. King, I will choose to believe that even you, Ms. Palin, can be taught and can reform your ways.

So let me present you with some excerpts from that famous April 4, 1967, speech at Riverside Church in New York City, where he spoke to a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned. Here's what Dr. King really thought about war and militarism; and where he speaks of communism in Vietnam, we could just as truthfully say the same of religious extremism in Iraq and Afghanistan:

"The King's Torah": oy, it's hateful

Posted on: Thu, 08/26/2010 - 17:43 By: Tom Swiss

Every religion's got 'em. Christianity has its Fred Phelps (of "God Hates Fags" fame) and its racist Christian Identity groups; Muslim extremists are in the news so much it takes effort to remember that they're a small band of nutcases; Hindus have been implicated in Indian nationalist attacks against Muslims; Pagans have the occasional racist nutjob who thinks Asatru or Druidism is about ethnicity and "White power"; and even Zen Buddhism had, during World War Two, leaders who supported slaughter in the name of Japanese nationalism.

And yep, Judaism's got them too. Haaretz reports on "The King's Torah", a collection of Halacha (Jewish religious law) put together by nutcase rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur. It claims that "Thou shalt not murder" applies only "to a Jew who kills a Jew", that it's fine to kill children of Israel's enemies because "it is clear that they will grow to harm us", and that non-Jews are "uncompassionate by nature", and should be dealth with harshly to "curb their evil inclination". An expose in the Israeli tabloid Ma'ariv called the book "Jewish terror".

One of the book's authors, Shapira, was suspected in 2008 of involvement in a rocket attack on a Palestinian village; no arrests were made. The other author, Elitzur, penned article in a religious bulletin saying that "the Jews will win with violence against the Arabs."

are half of right-wing bloggers paid shills?

Posted on: Tue, 08/24/2010 - 23:25 By: Tom Swiss

According to this story at right-leaning site The Daily Caller, the GOP has made it "standard operating procedure" to pay bloggers for favorable coverage. One GOP blogger-for-hire estimates that "at least half the bloggers that are out there" on the Republican side are taking payola.

The results during the California primary for governor, pitting Meg Whitman against Steve Poizner, were almost funny:

One pro-Poizner blogger, Aaron Park, was discovered to be a paid consultant to the Poizner campaign while writing for Red County, a conservative blog about California politics. Red County founder Chip Hanlon threw Park off the site upon discovering his affiliation, which had not been disclosed.

teabaggers headed to D.C. for revisionist civil rights demo told to avoid African-American parts of the city

Posted on: Tue, 08/24/2010 - 13:53 By: Tom Swiss

When you combine Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, and the recent bizarre historical revisionist attempt of the right wing to claim the Civil Rights movement as a conservative one, you know there's going to be some laughs. Beckites and tea baggers from all over the country are heading to D.C. for a rally on the anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. The only problem is, D.C. is full of, you know, black people; so a Maine Tea Party group has offered some interesting advice on how to stick to "safe" areas of the city, with such helpful tips as staying off of the entire Green and Yellow Metro lines -- keeping you safely away from such dangerous areas as the National Archives, Howard University, the University of Maryland College Park, and the U Street corridor.

When I head down to D.C., by the way, I usually drive to Greenbelt and take the Green Line downtown. Guess I've just got more guts than these teabaggers. (Of course, I am from Harm City -- okay, the suburbs of Harm City, but still -- so I don't scare easy.)

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