The CraigsList Killer More than “Boy Next Door”

CraigsList killer Philip Markoff was clean cut, handsome, and a College Republican. Still, not all College Republicans become serial killers. It is far more likely some deep-seated hatred of women and people of other races that set off his CraigsList spree. To be clear, College Republicans do not hate women and minorities. Not at all.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It is true that the CraigsList killer is described as being the boy next door. Perhaps Philip Markoff was just an average guy on the surface. Heck, they describe all serial killers that way, don’t they? Here’s part of the description, from the New York Daily News:

English teacher Sonja Hluska remembered him as a smart kid with a good sense of humor.

“He was one of my most polite students. He was kind.

“Just a nice, clean-cut boy wanting to succeed. That type that you’d like to mother,” she said. “I just still can’t believe it.”

At college, he was a member of the College Republicans and was fairly unremarkable except for the occasional offensive comment, said ex-classmate Joe Coe.

“He was someone that had issues with people of color, had issues with women,” Coe told CBS.

“He gave off a creepy vibe,” said another SUNY classmate.

Let me say immediately that it is not true that becoming a College Republican will make you into a serial killer. It might warp you in other ways, but it could be argued that you are already warped to even consider becoming a College Republican.

What is important to note here is the misogyny and bogotry underlying Mr. Markoff’s character. I know, I know, it is everyone’s right to be bigoted and misogynist, but shouldn’t we someday see this as a clue to underlying deep resentments? Shouldn’t basic hatred be something that sets our alarm bells ringing?

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Joe the Private Lap Dancer

It is unclear why anyone would pay $1,000 for a private session with Joe the Plumber. Given the Republican experience over the last few years with Gannon/Gucket, Larry Craig, various Preachers, etc., it isn’t surprising to see a Republican candidate use sexual favors as a fundraising tool. Still, this is very odd. File this under “nutjobs.”


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I’m not sure how to explain this. A candidate in New Jersey, running in the Republican primary for Governor, has hired Sam Wurzelbacher to help him raise money. Steve Lonegan is the candidate, and he is the Mayor of a small town. He’s very conservative on fiscal issues, and on the pro-choice issue as well. (Gay marriage has become almost toxic in New Jersey for those who openly oppose it.) But Lonegan is surely playing to the whack job base with his hiring of Joe the Plumber to help him with fundraising. Here’s the brief story from WCBS:

Steve Lonegan’s campaign announced the man who became known in the 2008 presidential campaign will appear at a taxpayer rally in Clark on May 5.

. . .

Lonegan’s campaign is charging $1,000 for a private meeting with the one-time plumber and the candidate. General admission is $50.

OK, I can’t fathom why anyone would pay $50 to be int eh same room with Wurzelbacher. I SURELY can’t imagine why someone would pay $1,000 for a private meeting with Wurzelbacher. What’s he going to give, some more regurgitation, like when Wurzelbacher was teabagging with fellow Republicans last week? Or is there more Sam Wurzelbacher is offering at these expensive private meetings. I’m betting it is lap dances with Joe the Lap Dancer that Lonegan is peddling to raise election funds. Or, a bit more benign, maybe people get to rub Mr. Clean’s head. Still, something is very odd with anyone who wishes to pay $1,000 for the privelege of private time with Sam Wurzelbacher.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

The Americans Are Revolting

For eight years, the right-wing of America could have protested the destruction of the Constitution. It didn’t. Now it’s protesting a tax program that not only will bring this nation out of a deficit and recession created by the Bush–Cheney Administration but which would benefit 95 percent of all Americans.


Commentary By: Walter Brasch

The Americans are revolting!

All across the country–from Boston to Atlanta to San Antonio–thousands of Americans, inspired by Fox News and radio conservative talk show hosts, took to the streets to protest.

They protested a fascist government that has restricted their freedom of speech and freedom of religion, protected by the First Amendment. They protested thousands of instances where the government infringed upon their rights of privacy, protected by the Fourth Amendment. They called out the government for violations of the rights of due process, protected by the fifth and sixth amendments. They protested the use of about $1 trillion to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq. They protested the apparently unregulated policies of the banks, money lenders, and Wall Street financiers who brought this nation into the current recession that has led to an 8.5 percent unemployment rate and several hundred thousand to lose their homes to foreclosure actions. They protested the fact that about 46 million Americans don’t have health insurance, that as many as five million Americans are homeless, about a fourth of them veterans. They protested the use of torture, of the destruction of the environment, of the awarding of no-bid sweetheart deals worth hundreds of million dollars to companies that do business with the President and Vice-President.

Actually, they didn’t do any of that. Not now and certainly not during the Bush–Cheney years.

What they protested was taxes. For these protestors, April 15, the deadline for paying taxes, was Tea Day.

They cried out against taxation without representation, conveniently forgetting that the United States, because of its revolt against the monarchy more than two centuries ago, has one of the most representative democracies in history. Without understanding either history or government, the protestors wore tea bags on their baseball caps, wore revolutionary era costumes, threw tea bags onto the ground and into the rivers, and even littered the grounds outside the White House with tea bags. Since every protest has to have signs, these protestors also carried signs–”Give me liberty, not debt,” “No more spending,” and “Taxation is Piracy.” Ironically, it was tax-provided rescue equipment that volunteers used to rescue one protestor after she fell into the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

Their “official” website attacked the government for “spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying,” conveniently forgetting that it was the Bush–Cheney Administration that left the nation with the largest deficit in history. Underlying the protest was their hatred of the policies of Barack Obama, whom they called a fascist, a socialist, and a Communist, unable to understand or differentiate among terms they loosely threw out. President Obama, although in office less than three months, is riding high with a 67 percent popularity rating. But these souls, very few of whom voted for him in November, have now not only protested policies that are bringing the nation out of a financial abyss, but are often calling for his impeachment, something they never called for during the previous eight years.

So, they complained about fascist–or socialist–or communistic–policies, and failed to understand that it’s only the wealthiest 5 percent whose taxes go back to the rate it was when George Bush took office and lowered taxes for the wealthy.

But, these protesting masses aren’t the rich, and they aren’t being forced to give up more of their income. In fact, the Obama tax cuts benefit about 95 percent of all Americans.

The idea of a Tea Party was probably that of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who ranted against any government assistance for persons who lost their homes through foreclosure. Pushing the tea bagging of America were Fox mouths Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and dozens of other conservative talking mouths who are among the top 5 percent, and whose seven-figure incomes would be reduced under the Obama plan to restore fiscal sanity to America.

Well, I guess it’s true. Americans really are revolting.

[Walter M. Brasch is a university professor of journalism, social issues columnist, and the author of 17 books. His current book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available from amazon.com, bn.com, and other stores. You may contact him through his website, www.walterbrasch.com]

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 by Walter Brasch |

Chuck Poll, Says NY GOP State Senator Hugh Farley

Siena College conducted a poll of the citizens of New York and it shows strong support of gay marriage in every geographical area of the state. Denying reality is a common practice among Republicans, though, and State Senator Hugh Farley is the latest GOP Champion at the sport. Let’s hope voters in his district are heavily lobbied.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

In New York there’s been a lot of eyebrows raised in the last couple days by a poll out of Siena College’s
The Albany Project.”
Some, such as syracuse.com’s Delen Goldberg, think the important part of the poll is Governor David Paterson’s historically low polling numbers, so much so that they omit reporting on the other aspects of the poll. The rest of the poll is the interesting part – it shows that New Yorkers in virtually every county are supportive of gay marriage. Here’s the description of the data from the Siena Poll:

By a 53-39 percent margin, voters support the Senate passing a bill to legalize same sex marriages that would virtually ensure its becoming law. Democrats, independent and young voters, and women strongly support Senate passage. Republicans strongly oppose passage, with men, older voters, African Americans, and Protestants also opposed. Support is strongest in New York City. Every region of the state supports passage.

“By a fairly significant margin, voters would like to see New York join with Vermont, Massachusetts, Iowa, and other states in allowing same sex couples to marry here,” Greenberg said. “For women and young voters it–Ÿs a resounding –yes.–Ÿ Men and older voters are more closely divided and more likely to say –no.–Ÿ “

That fits national demographics, at least concerning which segments of the population support gay marriage. Anecdotally, at least, I frequent a message board where about 98% of the population of thousands consists of young mothers (I’m a new father, myself), and my estimation is that the big majority of them support gay marriage. Still, I’m pleasantly surprised that this poll shows support for gay marriage in all counties of the state of New York. That won’t stop Republicans, though. This is going to be another of those times where they simply refuse to listen to their consituents. Here’s the response of Hugh Farley, who simply doesn’t believe the numbers int he poll, from WTEN in Albany:

Those leading the charge against the bill were mostly Republicans, such as State Senator Hugh Farley.

“I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Farley said, although adding, “I have nothing wrong with a civil union.”

. . .

Despite the Democratic support, most believe that the legislation may not even come to a vote this year.

Senator Farley explained his reasoning.

“Because I don’t think there’s enough votes, and the Majority Leader says he’s not gonna’ put it up until he’s got the votes,” he said.

Farley also said that he does not believe the Siena poll is accurate.

Man, this guy is so flustered with the poll he couldn’t even get his sentences out properly. Farley chucked them all up, didn’t he? I think it is also interesting that Chuck Hugh Farley uses the term “believe” to describe his view, raiher than basing it entirely on facts. Perhaps he’s being artful, as much as he’s able, and perhaps it’s an innocent usage, but the opinions of his voters are not a matter of “belief,” but in the long run they are an important matter to him, or should be. They are the ones who appear to want gay marriage in New York, and they will vote on Farley’s continued presence in the State Senate, or simply Chuck Hugh Farley.

I am encouraged by other opinions quoted in the WTEN article:

Public sentiment has not changed the minds of many lawmakers, but Assemblyman Reilly says it has.

“Quite simply, I changed my mind,” he told NEWS10.

Reilly voted “no” on gay marriage two years ago, but now admits that public opinion has helped to change his mind about the issue.

“This was a situation, or issue, that 25 years ago was unthinkable,” Reilly said, “Today, it’s more acceptable.”

Albany Assemblyman McEneny said he believes it’s an issue of equal rights. McEneny not only voted for the bill when it passed the Assembly two years ago, but he is also a sponsor.

“When [I was] growing up, people who were gay stayed in the closet more,” McEneny said, “I think people realize today is in a more open society that there’s an awful lot of people they can identify with that are perfectly normal who just happen to have a different sexual orientation.”

Governor Paterson put fellow Democrats on the spot by endorsing gay marriage without enough votes in the Senate to pass it. With opponents like the Catholic Conference trying to block the legislation, getting the support for it is critical.

Assemblyman Reilly showed his support, saying, “I am Catholic, but I believe that priests should be married, I believe that women should be priests and I believe that gay people should have the right to be married.”

What’s encouraging here, and difficult to pry out of the poorly worded sentences, is that some lawmakers in New York are changing their minds about gay marriage, whether because of the poll or because the issue is getting more and more press, or whatever. That’s a really good sign, whether David Paterson has support for himself or not. “Chuck” Hugh Farley remains with the extremists on the right on this issue, and seemingly had such difficulty pronouncing the words “civil union” that he couldn’t put together an intelligent sentence. To me that speaks of blind grooping affter a compromise, because he knows his position is in deep trouble.

Well, I say we need to steamroll “Chuck” Hugh Farley and those who think like him on this issue. Lobbyists should carry this poll with them to rallies and to offices in Albany. This is ammunition with which to tell people like Farley that their vote counts, but so does the vote of the citizens of New York, and they want gay marriage.

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

How to be a Hit at the Prom This Year! Dress Made of Condoms

Well, wouldn’t a dress made of condoms come in awfully handy on Prom night? The big question is how many whack job extreemists will show up to protest the dress.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The Philadelphia Daily News has a picture of a wedding dress made of condoms, though I think it would probably come in far more handy as a Prom dress. Just think, all the other attendees would be your best friend as they head to their after-Prom activities (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

This was done by a design student at Rosemont College, where I’m sure extra security is being laid down with the expected protests from extremists whack jobs due in 5. . . 4. . . . 3. . . 2. . .

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Why the Philadelphia Inquirer is in Bankruptcy

They hired Rick Santorum to write a column. $1,750 per column is chicken feed, but Santorum’s was a quota hire. They needed a Republican on the opinion pages, no matter the quality. Santorum has since turned in bad writing based in faulty logic and data in severe need of a fact check. Philadelphia Inquirer = FAIL.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It is all about poor judgement. A couple of years ago Brian Tierney, a PR man clearly over his head running Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., the Inquirer’s parent, led a consortium that took control of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. Tierney worked hard to turn the corporation behind, including renegotiating union contracts and enlivening the advertising base of both papers. But those of us in the know were ready for Brian Tierney, long a Republican operative, to put his right wing stamp on the papers, and he did so by hiring Rick Santorum, failed former Senator from Pennsylvania. That’s just a bad business decision.

Hiring Santorum to write a column that is never anything more than a meandering screed about how Democrats are flirting with the anti-Christ, attacking Santorum’s blessed traditional values, playing right into the hands of “Islamofascists, etc., is simply a poor choice. Santorum is not a good writer and his ideas are extremist and his use of logic is ill, and not a good “ill,” either. Santorum is basically of the Republican school of “if they disagree with me, then they are the enemy,” a school that is about as anti-American as it gets. But the Phildelphia Inquirer puts him on its editorial pages every two weeks, without editing or fact-checking, once every two weeks.

Friday in Clout we found out what the Philadelphia Inquirer pays Rick Santorum:

Former U. S. Sen. Rick Santorum is collecting $1,750 a shot for the columns that appear every other week in the Inquirer, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The checks are sent to a post office box in Great Falls, Va. – close to a Starbucks, we figure.

OK, it’s only $3,500 a month, but I could probably find 1,000 people who would write a better column than that of Rick Santorum who would cost less and inform the readers more. This is simply a bad business decision. They hired a poor writer with substandard thinking skills who is also a failed extremist right wing politician to write a column solely so the Inquirer had a voice fromt he right wing on its pages. The Bush Administration showed incompetence for eight years, and I suppose Brian Tierney, the CEO of Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., is just continuing the tradition.

When it comes to it, I say no bailout for any newspaper, not after this kind of demonstration of gross incompetence.

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Major Garrett, Wearing Underwear, Attends White House Briefing

Major Garrett of FoxNews showed up at a White House briefing yesterday dressed so radically that one of his colleagues exclaimed, “There’s a guy in his underwear back there.” It is unclear whether this was a calculated move for publicity by FoxNews, or whether Major Garrett was caught in one of those embarrassing dreams.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Major Garrett of FoxNews wore his underwear to a White House briefing yesterday. It was reported by Politico, who failed to weigh in on the boxers or briefs controversy.

I’m thinking the guy wanted to get an angle for a story on Bo, the Obama’s Portuguese Water dog. But other speculation is rampant behind the scenes, and revolves around restrooms at Reagan National Airport, teabagging, and squash courts. I understand Major Garrett is claiming the clothing is what he wears to the gym, which evidently is SOME gym!

Bottom line? Who wears gym clothes to a White House briefing? No, this isn’t a real issue, but I’m a bit of a Miss Manners on this sort of thing. I likely wouldn’t be able to bring myself to dress in anything more casual than a button-down short and khakis, and I am notorious for writing at the computer in my pajamas. Hey, there we go. Bloggers are stereotyped as typing in pajamas. Maybe Major Garrett is trying to make the stereotype of Fox reporters a little more edgy. Now that stereotype is of Fox reporters teabagging each other off the set, though, and I’m not sure there is anything edgier. Ergo, by showing up to the White House in his underwear, Major Garrett is trying to improve the reputation of FoxNews reporters.

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Next GOP Campaign to Alienate Independent Voters

The news out of Trinidad and Tobago this morning has Obama signalling a new beginning in Western Hemisphere relations, including with Cuba and Venezuela. The GOP will react by refighting the Cold War, complete with sugar cane to go with the teabags. That will further alienate independent voters. Republican FAIL again.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It’s going to be Cuba, folks. The GOP is going to get a bunch in their underwear about Barack Obama working to change the direction of US policy towards Cuba. There’s a photo on virtually every front page int he country today with Barack Obama shaking hands with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and Obama recently eased restrictions on the long, long economic embargo of Cuba. That’s enough ammunition for the whack jobs in the GOP to seize on this. Perhaps the sex-crazed teabagging didn’t alienate enough independent voters (MSNBC has video), so they’ll work this issue. From the Washington Post we have a glimpse of yesterday’s actions, which will spark the faux Republican outrage:

“The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba,” Obama countered in his own speech. “I know there is a longer journey that must be traveled in overcoming decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day.” Earlier this week, Obama lifted restrictions on travel to the island by Cuban Americans.

The administration has been careful to accompany its outreach to Cuba with demands that the government allow more political and personal freedoms before the embargo is lifted. “They’re certainly free to release political prisoners,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters yesterday. “They’re certainly free to stop skimming money off the top of remittance payments as they come back to the Cuban island. They’re free to institute a greater freedom of the press.”

But events appeared to be outpacing the administration’s efforts to adjust its Cuba policy on its own terms. Earlier yesterday, the secretary general of the Organization of American States said he would ask its membership to readmit Cuba – ejected in 1962 at U.S. urging – when that organization meets next month. Bipartisan bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress to lift all travel restrictions and ease the embargo.

And it was not at all clear that Cuba is ready to grasp the olive branch Obama is extending.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that a reported willingness by Cuban President Ra–ºl Castro to discuss “everything” with the United States was a “welcome overture.” Her comments followed news accounts from Cuba that quoted Castro as expressing willingness to talk with the United States about “human rights, press freedom, political prisoners, anything they want to discuss,” as long as it was a conversation between “equals” that respected Cuba’s sovereignty.

There we have it, Obama reaching out to mend fences and begin with a new relationship with Cuba. His handshake with Hugo Chavez can be seen in the same light. There’s nothing here, though, to indicate that Barack Obama is giving away the store or anything. He’s simply showing himself and his administration as ready to improve those relations, and he’s getting at least a glimmer of positive response from Chavez and Castro. How could the Republicans possibly try to exploit that? Well, you can bet they will.

The Republican teabagging debacle played to the Republican whackjob base and alienated independents partly because of its ludicrous imagery and the whackjobs it attracted, but it also alienates because with its rallying against supposed socialism it is fighting the Cold War again, 20 years after the Cold War ended. The only vestige we have of the Cold War now is the relationship the US holds towards Cuba and Venezuela. Just take a look at how Presidents of the past dealt with Cuba. The results have been almost no change in Cuba, and a hardening of the radicals on the subject. But, hey, those radicals on the subject of Cuba are already voting Republican, and the small “c” notion of conservatism suspicious of change of any kind is a notion they embrace, even when conservative voices such as The Economist in December called for change in the US stance towards Cuba:

All this means that for the Castros, Barack Obama may turn into a far more formidable foe than his predecessors. The danger starts with his example: after all, a young, black, progressive politician has no chance of reaching the highest office in Cuba, although a majority of the island’s people are black. Mr Obama has already promised to reverse the restrictions on remittances and travel by Cuban-Americans imposed by Mr Bush. Once he is in office, the new president should go further and urge Congress to lift the embargo altogether. It is wrongheaded and ineffective. If it went, Cubans would know they had nobody except their rulers to blame for their plight.

That’s good policy thinking there. 50 years of the US embargo on Cuba has done nothing, so why not make a change, show the Cuban people what change means to them and their lives? There’s a lot of chance for success here, and the next three and a half years could see a thaw in relations where tourism flourishes in Cuba and Americans in general come to embrace happier relations with the country. Oh, the Republicans will howl that easing the embargo and encouraging tourism will put money in Cuba’s economy, but they’ll appeal only to the GOP base, and will alienate independents, if this issue shows up on the radar screen of anyone at all but the Republican base.

That’s the bottom line, I suppose. The Republicans will try to fight the Cold War all over again by whining about Obama’s attempts to change policy towards Cuba. Not a doubt about that. The leaders of the Republican Party, Hannity and Limbaugh and Gingrich and G. Gordon Liddy, will whine and howl, but nobody really cares besides the hardcore Republican base. Sure, much of that base consists of Cuban-Americans in Florida, but I’m thinking even they will be won over eventually as they are able to visit relatives and see their homeland. And surely the Cuban-Americans do not rive the Latino vote in this country, not if you look at the results of the last Presidential race.

The big thing is that the Republicans will stand foursquare in the way of progress and reconciliation on this issue as just another facety of their “Just Say No” agenda. They’ll likely put together sugar cane parties to go with the teabagging (is there a sexual innuendo to go with “sugar cane?”). Mojitos will be downed among Republicans, or poured into the Miami harbor, or whatever, and independent voters will be turned off.

Ah, Republicans are so predictable!

Saturday, April 18th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

99 Potential Job Openings in Iowa

It some Republican state Senators in Iowa have their way, then County Recorders there will resist issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian citizens. The Senators are denying the whole thing, while also whining that religious rights are being abused! Oh the HORROR! Iowans, get your resumes ready, County Recorder jobs could open soon.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

With the Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in Iowa, it is of to the County Recorders in all 99 Iowa counties to hand out those marriage licenses to both hetero and gay and lesbian couples. But there are rumblings here and there that some of the County Recorders are unhappy with the prospect of carrying out their sworn duty. There are even some Iowa Republican Legislators who are DENYING they ever had anything to do with encouraging that discomfort felt by some of the Country Recorders. Here’s a bit of the story from the Des Moines Register:

E-mails obtained by The Des Moines Register, meanwhile, show the struggle recorders are going through.

Warren County Recorder Polly Glascock said in an e-mail to colleagues that a woman from the Statehouse called her to ask how she’d handle the gay-marriage issue.

Glascock answered that she would be required to process the applications. “She inquired as to why I thought I had to do that – it’s not a law, it’s an opinion,” Glascock wrote.

The caller was the clerk of Republican Rep. Kent Sorenson.

Sorenson, a Warren County resident who is opposed to marriage for same-sex couples, said Thursday that he did not ask his assistant to make the call.

“I’m not calling for anarchy,” he said. “I want to make it clear that I’m not calling, pressuring her not to do her job. She has to do her job. That’s up to her, the oath she took and what she feels she has to do.”

In an e-mail to colleagues, Johnson County Recorder Kim Painter wrote: “The tentacles of people who want to turn this into something it should not be – a political stunt on the 27th – are reaching out, trying to locate a recorder willing to perpetrate an act of civil disobedience in a county where the sheriff won’t arrest, and the attorney won’t prosecute.”

In her e-mail, she said that she hopes none of her colleagues “go rogue.”

No, a Republican would never encourage a civil official to refuse to uphold the law! No, never! Kent Sorenson is clearly on the record as denying anything happened, and they’ll never prove it, either! Although Republican State Senator Merlin Bartz sure seems to be suggesting that County Recorders refrrain from carrying out their sworn duties. Sure, he sues artful language in his denials. . . Republican all the way, I suppose. Here it is:

Republican Sen. Merlin Bartz of Grafton said recorders are at the forefront of the debate. “They could pull out the code book and say, –I can’t do it,’” he said.

Asked if he is encouraging recorders to commit civil disobedience, Bartz answered: “I have to decide whether or not it’s civil disobedience. If you look at the code book, it hasn’t changed.”

Sioux County Recorder Anita Van Bruggen said her personal belief is that marriage is only between a man and a woman. She said she asked her county attorney whether she must follow the ruling. “He said if you do not, you face removal,” Van Bruggen said.

Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, said the Iowa Supreme Court set “a different set of moral standards” that conflicts with Iowans’ constitutional right to freedom of religion.

“If you believe this is wrong based on your theology,” he said, “how can you then deny your faith?”

Hey, there’s the crux of it at the end there, special rights for Christians who don’t believe in gay marriage. That’s the view State Senator David Johnson is pushing. They have no special right to work for the government and at the same time disobey the state of Iowa’s laws. No, that’s not how it works in America. Nobody has the right to a state job and also the right to disobey jobs. We voted that idea out with Dick Cheney.

If these Republican state Senators in Iowa have their way, there will be 99 jobs available in Iowa soon. Progressive job candidates should get their resumes ready.

Friday, April 17th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Homeland Security: Pat Robertson Edition

Pat Robertson has done it again. Blaming gays isn’t enough. He wants to enable terrorists by jamming the phone lines at the Department of Homeland Security. Really, he did it on TV on the 700 Club. No word on whether he used puppets in his presentation.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Pat Robertson is off his meds again. In protest of the Homeland security report the other day that has all the right wing whack jobs in a dither, Robertson got on his 700 Club yesterday and told his listeners to jam the Homeland Security hotline. From Crooks and Liars:

Robertson: If that had been a Republican, there would be outrage and screams for Janet Napolitano to resign immediately. That – Terry, you’re somebody who favors life, wants to keep little babies alive. Somebody who has been a veteran and served our country as a proud member of the military. Somebody who is opposed to the left-wing policies of the administration and who wants to express his or her views as they are entitled to under our Constitution, these people are now being stigmatized as terrorists! This is an outrage!

Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to do something about it. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what would. And I want you to call a number. This is the Department of Homeland Security.

[Reads number]

… And just say you protest. This is an outrage!

And Janet Napolitano has got a lot of explaining to do. And that lame excuse she was giving – –Oh, I’m sorry they characterized all veterans that way’ – I mean, come off it!

Meeuwsen: The report was the report. I mean, it is astonishing that it was allowed to leave under that –

Robertson: It – it shows somebody down in the bowels of that organization is either a convinced left-winger or somebody whose sexual orientation is somewhat in question.

But it’s that kind of thing, somebody who doesn’t think that we should have abortion on demand, is labeled a terrorist! It’s outrageous!

. . . (and later in the show)

Now, that in my opinion, is an outrage. And I think if you don’t speak out against it, it’s going to be allowed to stand. So I want to give you that number again. Ring those phones up there in Washington, let them know people care.

[Reads number]

That you protest this – ah, stigmatism of law-abiding Americans as being right-wing threats to America.

[Repeats number]

And if you jam up their lines, good for you!

I guess sending teabags wasn’t enough for Robertson, he wants to really make a dent in our ability to defend ourselves. Hey, did you notice him questioning the sexuality of Homeland Security workers? That’s code for blaming gay people for everything. He’s done that once or twice in the past, of course, so that’s not really news.

Someone should investigate him.

Friday, April 17th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |
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