Catapulting the Propaganda: Tender Sensibilities and Faux Outrage

When a foreign official accuses another nation of engaging in Goebbel-esque propaganda campaigns, it’s sure to make news. Yesterday, Brazil’s trade minister accused “rich nations” (read: the U.S.) of using Joesph Goebbel’s infamous strategy of repeating lies enough times that the lies become conventional wisdom. The Bush administration reacted sharply – but didn’t deny the accusations, only the reference.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Faux outrage always amuses me, particularly when it’s projected for media / public consumption. Here’s how it works: someone (say, a politician) will make an outrageous or insulting accusation; hyperbole to emphasize a point. Someone on the opposite side of the political fence takes public umbrage – “Gasp! How can you say that? Oh, my tender sensibilities!” – without disputing the main point of the accusation.

Such an occasion occurred yesterday at World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. According to reports, in advance of a WTO meeting this week, Brazil’s trade minister Celso Amorim accused “rich countries” of engaging in Goebbel-esque propaganda in attempting to ram through the Doha trade accords:

Brazil sought to play down a spat with the United States on Sunday that threatened to sour a week of key World Trade Organisation talks after its foreign minister likened arguments of rich countries to Nazi propaganda. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters on Saturday that “misinformation” about the WTO talks recalled the comment of Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels that a lie repeated often enough will be accepted as truth.

A spokesman for U.S. trade chief Susan Schwab said Washington regretted the comment. “We are here to negotiate on substance and that kind of venomous name-calling does not have a place in these talks,” spokesman Sean Spicer said on Sunday…

By way of background, the Bush administration has been trying to hammer out an overarching WTO deal ( _blank”>the Doha accord) since they’ve been in office, and have met with tremendous resistance from developing countries. In response to this resistance over the past seven years, U.S. negotiators have done what the Bush administration has fashioned into an art form: catapulting the propaganda, telling outright lies and half-truths, and acting as an 800 pound gorilla on the world trade stage.

Admittedly, most Americans (and the legacy media) don’t pay a moment’s worth of attention to this stuff, but when the trade minister of another country starts making nazi references to characterize the Bush administration’s approach to trade talks, it becomes news. And apparently, the tender sensibilities of U.S. negotiator Susan Schwab were offended. The U.S. State Department immediately began dialing up the faux outrage, and issuing statements that refer to Schwab’s heritage as the child of Holocaust survivors.

What’s interesting is that none of the statements deny the crux of Amorim’s characterization of the talks, only that Schwab was personally offended. But then, that’s how the Bush administration’s communication apparatus has always rolled. Deflect, rather than deny. Ratchet up the rhetoric, rather than respond to the core issues (and certainly there are many core issues in dispute, at least in terms of agricultural trade).

In the end, though, Celso Amorim probably accomplished what he intended to do with such inflammatory remarks. He made the point that the U.S. is controlling the WTO “message” in a manner that does little more than amplify the interests

Friday, August 5th, 2011 by Richard Blair |

Opening The Files: 10/13/07

Things are heating up for both sides in the Get Gore campaign.


Commentary By: The Xsociate

An Assault on Nobel Reason

Depending on ones political slant, yesterday you were either suffering from Goremania or Gore-aphobia with the news that Al Gore had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Righties immediately sought to downplay the significance of the award. They were joined by the always obliging Fox News who, though a little slow on the uptake, were soon smearing in style.

With this cap to a year of awards, naturally the topic soon turned to the heated speculation (pun intended) of whether Al would seek out the most coveted prize of all: the Presidency. It’s not all that surprising that in the wake of this award, the thirst for a Gore candidacy would only become more parched. After all, it is but another example of how were it not for the decision of nine Supreme Court justices seven years ago to award Bush the presidency, we may not find ourselves in such dire straits regarding a multitude of problems facing humanity.

In light of that, it’s not surprising there are those pondering what might have been.

Noam Scheiber wonders what effect all the gaga over Gore is having on Bush. Al probably shouldn’t wait up for that congratulatory call.

Gotta love Fox News’ suggestion about who should have been awarded a “peace” prize. Then again, “peace” has been a pretty relative term with them for a while. Hunter, meanwhile, has some other suggestions.

Bob Franken ponders what a head to head with fellow Tennessean Fred Thompson would look like should Al run. For Fred’s stake, lets hope it doesn’t come down to giving short, concise answers.

And some wonder what Gore’s advocacy of confronting climate change has to go with a world peace. My bloghost at ASZ Richard Blair connects the dots for us.

(X-posted at The Xsociate Files)

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 by The Xsociate |

GOP Surprised by Specter Announcement, NYTimes Headline

The GOP leadership in the Senate was caught by surprise by Arlen Specter’s becoming a Democrat. That shows how out of touch the GOP leadersip is. They will be surprised this morning that the New York Times sees signs of change in the GOP on the gay marriage issue. No, the Times is wrong on this one. The GOP will remain bigoted.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The GOP Senate leadership was surprised by Arlen Specter’s defection from the Republican Party yesterday. Considering the failures and incompetence demonstrated by Republicans over the last eight years or so, a picture of a bunch of befuddled GOP Senators seems appropriate to me. One thing I don’t expect is any immediate change in the Republican platform in order to create a “big tent.” (Scarborough this morning noted that the GOP is suffering from a “small tent,” and there’s no sign of a wonder drug to help with that.) But the New York Times, in a journalistic coup, has spotted signs that the GOP is softening its stance on gay marriage. Really, here’s the New York Times headline: “Signs G.O.P. Is Rethinking Stance on Gay Marriage.” This may be the stupidest story of the year from American print journalism in the “not in WingNutDaily” category.

The Times story is based on a couple factors. First there was former McCain campaign staffer Steven Schmidt who wrote about how the GOP should de-emphasize the issue of gay marriage. Hey, NYTimes, that’s the opinion of one guy, and if you look around at the GOP reaction to Steven Schmidt’s opinion you’ll see that the rank and file think he should just shut up. Then the Times cites the Specter defection as a sign the GOP is thinking of changing its tune on gay marriage. Hey, even if GOP outlier Olympia Snowe shows regret for Arlen Specter leaving the GOP, that just isn’t a sign that the GOP is softening its anti-gay stance. Good God, the big headlines all over the right side of the blogosphere was “Swine Flew” in response to Arlen Specter’s defection yesterday – and while I’m unsure that the headline is anti-semitic, it can’t be denied that there’s just one Republican JEw now in Congress, Eric Cantor. The GOP is alienating both Jews and gays.

The New York Times here is right to note that demographics are not in favor of the GOP on the gay marriage issue, and that those demographics are getting worse everyday. Here’s a snippet fromt eh Times article:

Consider this: In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, released on Monday, 31 percent of respondents over the age of 40 said they supported gay marriage. By contrast, 57 percent under age 40 said they supported it, a 26-point difference. Among the older respondents, 35 percent said they opposed any legal recognition of same-sex couples, be it marriage or civil unions. Among the younger crowd, just 19 percent held that view.

. . .

This does not mean, Republicans said, that most Americans are suddenly embracing the idea of same-sex couples going to the chapel. It is more that, for a lot of these Americans, gay marriage is not something they spend a lot of time worrying about, or even thinking about.

For younger respondents, this shift may in part be cultural: the result of coming of age in an era when openly gay people have become increasingly common in popular entertainment and in public life, not to mention in their own families or social circles. Familiarity in this case breeds relative comfort, or perhaps just lack of interest.

Again, this may be reality on the ground, but nowhere here is there evidence that the GOP is recognizing that reality and changing as a result. I suppose I expect them to recognize that their virulent opposition to gay marriage, and their close ties with a religious right wing that is bigoted on the issue, is harmful to the GOP, but that recognition is a long way off. For the Times to crow in a headline about how they’ve read tea leaves that show there are portents of change int he GOP – HOGWASH!

The big stories here are that the GOP is blind to the future. They couldn’t see that Specter was ripe to switch parties and were supposedly stunned by the development. They can’t see that such divisive and extremist views such as they hold on gay marriage are only going to further alienate Americans who believe in offering, as Olympia Snowe notes, “individual opportunity” to Americans. Heck, the Dems sure knew Specter was ripe to switch parties, with Biden, Casey and Rendell all recruiting Specter for the Dems for a month or two prior to this announcement. There’s your stark difference there between the parties. The GOP is not only “just say no,” but also a bit of an ostrich with its head in the sand concerning political reality, especially on issues like gay marriage. The Dems, on the other hand, are bringing about change, in Vermont and DC and Iowa, for sure, but also in PA with the gain of a Democrat in the Senate.

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

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 |

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 |

Death Threat For Iowa State Sen. Who Supports Gay Marriage

One result of the legalization of gay marriage in Iowa is that at least one legislator, Matt McCoy, has been threatened with death over his stance. The State Senator from DesMoines is getting extra police protection from the rabid nutcases afraid of gay marriage. No word as yet on Glenn Beck’s involvement.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The Iowa State Senator in question is Matt McCoy, the only openly gay State Senator in Iowa. Here’s the story from the Quad City Times:

Lt. Mark Logsdon of the Iowa State Patrol confirmed Monday that Sen. Matt McCoy, an openly gay lawmaker and Des Moines Democrat, has reported being the target of a death threat.

McCoy was seen emerging from a meeting with law enforcement officials at the Capitol late Monday afternoon.

“That’s all I can say, I’ve been threatened,” McCoy said when asked what the meeting was about, but confirming it was a death threat.

Logsdon said the threat came to McCoy’s Des Moines office at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, and House Speaker Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, also have been the target of “troublesome phone calls,” Logsdon said.

“At the very least, it’s certainly a harassment of a public official,” Logsdon said.

Opponents of the same-sex marriage ruling rallied at the Capitol again Monday, promising to turn up the heat on state officials to get them to start the process of amending Iowa’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Is anyone surprised at this turn of events? The heat of the rhetoric has certainly heated up, especially with videos like that of the National Organization for Marriage, which distorts facts all over the place in presenting its dire warnings. OK, maybe that wasn’t the real video. Neither is this video. Sorry, I think NOM has taken the real stupid video off the air after everyone got hold of the audition tapes of the actors hired to portray real people. But you get the idea. These people are afraid, so they are making others afraid. It doesn’t take much to figure out that threats would result.

I’m hoping none of these folks are big fans of Glenn Beck. Just sayin’.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

2M4M, New Extremist Right Wing Project, Now Gay Website

We all remember Rachel Maddow making fun of the National Organization for Marrigae and its new 2M4M project, which evidently is a dating service for gay threesomes. But the right wing whack job organization didn’t stop their stupidity there. They don’t own www.2M2M.org, which is now a pro-gay marriage web site. Please visit.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

OK, this one shouldn’t be surprising. We know, for instance, that the whack jobs on the social conservative extremist end of the GOP spectrum are a bit on the dim side and don’t play all that well on the internet. We,, it was last Wednesday that the National Organization for Marriage launched their 2M4M campaign, not understanding that “M4M” is a standard abbreviation in personalsfor “man looking for man.” In other words, their cute slogan reads like a solicitation for group gay sex. Hey, even Rachel Maddow has made fun of it. Today we find that the National Organization for Marriage was so stupid as to not buy up the domain names for their new initiative.

www.2m4m.org is now a place of inclusion that stands for civil rights. You may go there for stories from people who support gay marriage, and you may go for links to very good videos explaining the distortions spewed forth by the right wing whack jobs. The site is expanding fast from its apparent launch yesterday. And I hope 2m4m.org takes a leading role in this fight for gay marriage, helping all Americans secure their religious freedom from those on the extremist right wing who wish to keep religious freedom only for themselves. Therefore my plug.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Mel Gibson, Victim of Gay Marriage

Mel Gibson, famous for his homophobia and anti-semitism, has been served divorce papers by his wife. His extremist political views have come back to bite him in the ass. Hey, but who’s crying? Mel will probably just go into a drunken rage and punch somebody while teabagging, or something just as sweet.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Mel Gibson, who has been accused of both anti-semitism and

Monday, April 13th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Republican Flu Season: Whackjobberai Teabaggerhea is Rampant

Stay home April 15th so you don’t catch the Republican Whackjob Flu, and also so you don’t get exposed to the thousands of perverted sex acts infected GOPers will be performing in public. GOP marriages will collapse because of this disease, and after Iowa and Vermont, there are few enough GOP marriages intact. Suck it NOMTWEETS!


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Republicans are under the weather lately. GOP Governors Palin, Jindal and Sandford couldn’t find a way to screw their own constituents by refusing stimulus money, the stock market is up and offering a glimmer of hope, gay marriage is gaining a foothold in Vermont, Washington, DC and Iowa, change the landscape for that issue, and Barack Obama just got back from a successful trip to Europe which included a side trip to Iraq where US troops mobbed the President. Worse still, there’s a dire outbreaak of whackjobberai Teabaggerhea, that disease that inflicts Republicans from time to time, and this may be the worst outbreak on record. Oh, sure, the mere nomination of Sarah Palin in the Fall, followed by her characterizing Obama as palling with terrorists, represented a dangerous outbreak of the whackjob flu.

The whackjob flu can strike any Republican, but when it does it makes them do some pretty whack job things. I’m thinking Rush Limbaugh has a premanent case of the disease, which leads one to believe that at least one man is right to call him a “Brainwashed Nazi.” Heck, and that was a fan of his show who did that!

CALLER: Thanks Rush. Rush listen, I voted Republican and I really didn’t want to see Obama get in office. But you know Rush, you’re one reason to blame for this election, for the Republicans losing. First of all, you kept harping about voting for Hillary. The second big issue was the torture issue. I’m a veteran. We’re not supposed to be torturing these people. This is not Nazi Germany, Red China, North Korea. There’s other ways of interrogating people, and you just kept harping about, it’s okay, or it’s not really torture. And it was just more than waterboarding. Some of these prisoners will killed under torture.

And it was crazy for you to go on and on like Levin and Hannity and Hewitt. It’s like you’re all brainwashed. And my last comment is, no matter what Obama does, you will still criticize him because I believe you are brainwashed. You’re just – and I hate to say it – but I think you’re a brainwashed Nazi. Anyone who can believe in torture has got to be – there has got to be something wrong with them.

Rush Limbaugh, of course, lashed out and called the caller a RINO, because to Rush has the GOP Whackjob Flu as part of his permanent condition. I’m betting that’s why Limbaugh was addicted to drugs a few years back. Self-medication – that’s the ticket!

Perhaps what took the Republicans over the top, what lessened their immune systems enough so all of them are catching the whackjob flu are indications that liberals are winning the culture wars. Hey, mass murders across the nation have Republicans and their friends the NRA on the run a little bit. Liberals are winning on the issue of gay marriage as well – heck, there’s a phenomenon on Twitter where everyone types “suck it, @NOMTWEETS,” to screw around with the ugly organization National Organization for Marriage. Those folks are taking a huge beating.

Manifestations of the disease? Man, the Republican whackjob flu, Whackjobberai Teabaggerhea is striking everywhere, so be careful. Republicans across the country are going to be performing sex acts with each other on April 15th. Yes, you heard it right. Led by such whackjobs as Glenn Beck and the FoxNews team, Republicans across the country are going to “teabag” with each other at the same time. OK, we might excuse this as a warped little fraternity trick, but it seems they think masses of GOP members licking each other in the privates is going to be an effective protest against taxes, or some such nonsense. The Centers for Disease Control needs to get on this fast, as there is a clear risk of sexually transmitted disease with this sort of behavior, and I don’t think they make condoms for testicles. The rest of you, please stay off the streets on the 15th of April – Republicans Gone Wild has never looked like this.

Of course there’s more evidence of this epidemic. One Republican Congressman, Spencer Bachus of Alabama, is counting the socialists in Congress, and cigar smokers are joining the tea bag brigade to protest health care for children. The Republican tea baggers won’t let RNC Chair Michael Steele speak at an event, even though he dearly wants to join in the fun. (As I understand it, he’s allowed to tea bag, just not allowed to stand on stage and exhort Republicans while they commit the sex acts in public.)

Wow! I don’t think there is a cure for the Whackjob Flu. Yes, if you are a reality-based liberal you have a certain immunity. Still, avoiding FoxNews is a good prophylactic. You can also make sure not to turn on any radio shows that feature fat blowhard Republicans. Other than that, stay indoors if you can, and if you absolutely must go out on April 15th, make sure you have a blindfold for the kids.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Iowa Gay Marriage Opponent Says “Suck” a Lot

US Representative Steve King (R-IA) discussed whether he will run for Governor in the next couple years, using the word “suck” a bit more than politicians normally do. What’s that all about? Anyway, he’s evidently planning to lead a revolution in Iowa to change things back to the way they were. Fat chance.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

US Representative Steve King of Iowa is thinking of running for Governor in Iowa now that the courts there have paved the way for gay marriage in the state. Gee, this guy has a way with words. From the Des Moines Register:

U.S. Rep. Steve King said Monday that he is more likely to run for governor next year in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling last week overturning the state’s ban on gay marriage.

“When these kinds of things happen, it sucks me into the Iowa policy in a way that I haven’t been sucked into it in a while,” King told The Des Moines Register. “It’s not a predominant component. But when these kinds of things happen, does it make me more or less likely? The answer is more likely.”

Given that the gay marriage issue can’t come to any kind of vote for a long, long time, I’m thinking Mr. King is going to find himself on the wrong side of this one. But, you know, the extremists on the religious right just might give him some campaign bucks. The thing is, there are probably a few other Republicans who are thinking just like him, that fighting gay marriage is their ticket to bigger and better things. The infighting in that primary might just be horribly fierce, paving the way for a moderate Democrat.

Meanwhile, Iowans have a few years to get used to the idea of their fellow citizens marrying gayly, raising families, and being good neighbors. Someone ought to start a campaign of gay and lesbian Iowans sharing recipes with their neighbors, or something like that. Being visibly “normal” is probably important over the next few years.

As far as Steve King is concerned, why did he choose the word “suck?” Man, is he trying to be subliminal or what?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |
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