Republicans speak to the invisible man


Marco Rubio spoke to the RNC last night, and reminded everyone that we atheists aren’t Americans after all.

We are special [We are?] because we’ve been united not by a common race or ethnicity [This is true of many countries. What about Canada?]. We’re bound together by common values [Again, trivially true of most countries]. That family is the most important institution in society [Is there a country that doesn’t have and value families?]. That almighty God is the source of all we have [Nope. Wrong. We built that].

Special, because we’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government [Nice sentiment in a speech where he’s trying to convince us to rely on Mitt Romney].

Our national motto is "In God we Trust," reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all [Fuck you too, Marco Rubio].

And special because we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition that "for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required." [Say what? So the rich should pay more taxes?]

We are a blessed people [Nope. We’re lucky. Some of us are rich. But millions are poor and hungry and ignorant. Don’t forget them]. And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America [What seems to be making us particularly exceptional among wealthy nations is the idiocy of our leaders and the piety of our population, neither of which is anything to be proud of].

I think it was a theme. They brought on Clint Eastwood to make a stumbling address to an invisible man in an empty chair, and Rubio to do the same thing with a bit more polish.

The Republicans can kiss the atheist vote goodbye, but it makes me wonder…are there any atheists left in the Republican party, besides Karl Rove?

Comments

  1. says

    Clint Eastwood debated an empty chair. And lost. And then one idiot Republican chortled, “Ha, Eastwood is going to make Obama’s day.” No doubt he was thinking about the punk kid who “feels lucky” and gets blown away in “Sudden Impact,” but he doesn’t understand the expression. It was Dirty Harry’s day that “got made” and the connotation is good.

    On the other hand, the idiot Republican is right. Eastwood did make Obama’s day by turning the GOP convention into an extended and bewildering improv workshop. Romney can’t even run his own convention right, let alone a nation.

  2. Gene says

    “…are there any atheists left in the Republican party, besides Karl Rove?”

    Unfortunately, being an atheist does not give people a lock on rational thinking. If Ayn Rand was around today, I think she would likely be backing her acolyte Paul Ryan, even though he disavowed her precisely for her atheism.

  3. spqri3 says

    As president, I’ll respect the sanctity of life. I’ll
    honor the institution of marriage.
    (APPLAUSE)
    And I will guarantee America’s first liberty, the freedom
    of religion.
    (APPLAUSE)
    President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the
    oceans.
    (LAUGHTER)
    And to heal the planet. My promises to help you and your
    family.
    (APPLAUSE)
    I will begin my presidency with the jobs tour. President
    Obama began his with an apology to our.
    (LAUGHTER)
    America he said had dictated to other nations. No, Mr.
    President America has feed other nations from dictators.
    (APPLAUSE)
    (AUDIENCE MEMBERS): U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A..
    (APPLAUSE)
    Every American…
    (AUDIENCE MEMBERS): U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.
    ROMNEY: Every American was relieved the day President
    Obama I gave the order and SEAL Team 6 took out Osama Bin Laden.
    (APPLAUSE)
    On another front, every American is less secure today
    because he has failed to slow Iran’s nuclear threat. In his
    first TV interview as president, he said we should talk to Iran.
    We are still talking, and Iran’s centrifuges are still
    spinning.

    ____________________________________
    Time for war and God to take over.

  4. hexidecima says

    Very nice with the comments. It seems that the GOP/TP really does only have inept lies to spew. It’s a shame that Mr. Rubio forgot to mention those other scriptures that Christians love to ignore, like oh, thou shalt not bear false witness, taking care of the “least of these”, giving up all you have and being an itinerate preacher, trusting this god for everything, stoning adulterers, killing disobediant children, etc.

  5. says

    I only saw a bit of Eastwood, but he sure sounded old. And I do have to wonder what he was thinking supporting the current lot, since I hear he actually supports gay marriage.

  6. anteprepro says

    Special, because we’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government

    I would say that what would really be special is if our leaders and government who aren’t so smart would realize that they aren’t so smart and would occasionally Shut The Fuck Up on subjects where they are completely incompetent. Because if we had leaders who didn’t believe they were so smart that they could be relied on by everyone on every subject, we would have a lot less problems. And a lot less Republicans.

  7. tgriehl says

    Wait, the Right is run by ultra-nationalist, jingoistic, bigoted religious fundamentalists?

    My poor innocence has just been shattered. Hopefully I can rebuild…

  8. kreativekaos says

    Unless I misunderstood, at a point somewhere in the last quarter of so of Romney’s speech, did he not fire off a smarmy, cheap shot remark at the Obama administration’s concerns about climate change (which got chuckles from the audience)?

  9. anteprepro says

    The Republicans can kiss the atheist vote goodbye, but it makes me wonder…are there any atheists left in the Republican party, besides Karl Rove?

    I doubt there are very many. S.E. Cupp and an assorted number of A * anti-activists, I’m sure. But it isn’t exactly rare for there to be Republicans who are member of unprivileged groups that Republican policy screws over and that the majority of Republicans sneer at and actively disenfranchise. Privileged Republicans are convinced that they are entitled to use their vote to screw people over in the name of Principles. Unprivileged Republicans are convinced that it is Noble and makes them One of the Good Ones if they use their vote to self-flagellate and screw themselves in over in the name of Principles. It’s all about the Principles, and not about whether it actually hurts or helps people, including oneself.

  10. kreativekaos says

    President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the
    oceans.
    (LAUGHTER)

    Yep,..thought so. Thanks spqri3@3

  11. says

    Clint Eastwood, another old white man who has made a living pretending to be tough, while never actually doing anything. Talks about values, while fathering seven kids with five women. In other words a perfect republican.

  12. otis says

    Special, because we’ve never made the mistake of believing that we are so smart that we can rely solely on our leaders or our government

    That’s strange and incoherent, how does intelligence lead to dependence on government? Or conversely, does stupidity breed independence?

  13. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The whole event was a disaster after a disaster and we know it won’t play that way to the entrenched right wingers, but hopefully that shitshow will help push the moderates and undecideds away from the GOP.

  14. StevoR says

    Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.

    Aren’t words like that on the flags of several Islamic nations and isn’t it the US constitituion that says freedom of religion NOT compulsory belief in one or more gods goddessses an d spirits?

    Since when has the USA been a theocracy?

    Oh & Could be mistaken but the national motto of the United States was, I’d thought, e pluribus unem Lati for “From many one”, isn’t it? C’est nes pas?

  15. blf says

    Best comment I’ve seen is from a reader at The Grauniad‘s site:

    Clint looked a tad bewildered and for all we know really did think Obama was sitting on the invisible chair.

    Some of The Grauniad’s own analysis was rather amusing as well:

     ● He has to pretend to be normal and it never works

     ● There just wasn’t much there, there

  16. Stevarious says

    are there any atheists left in the Republican party, besides Karl Rove?

    Sure! There’s Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, James Dobson…

    Really any ‘religious leader’ with a net value of seven figures or more is almost definitely a secret atheist, pretending to believe for the shills.

  17. schweinhundt says

    Um, herr doktor P.Z., I thought a certain Somebody wasn’t going to watch the convention…?

  18. kreativekaos says

    We are special [We are?]

    And we have honored those blessings with the enduring example of an exceptional America [What seems to be making us particularly exceptional among wealthy nations is the idiocy of our leaders and the piety of our population, neither of which is anything to be proud of].

    This the interview I would like to see….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEyUWKJFER8

  19. StevoR says

    @11. kreativekaos :

    President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans.(LAUGHTER)
    Yep,..thought so. Thanks spqri3@3

    Thing is with Hurricane Isaac flooding parts of new orleans down the road and many of them coming from States affected by droughts and fires and no-longer-so-freak weather events plus having, maybe some of them atleats heardabout therecent record arctic sea ice melt
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/08/27/arctic-sea-ice-extent-now-at-record-low-levels/

    plus more :

    I thought the audience there seemed decidedly uncomfortable and uneasy at that little jibe.

    Could be a vote loser for them as people finally realise that, surprise, surpirse the experts did actually know what they were talking about after all!

    http://climatecrocks.com/2012/07/19/is-it-warming-yet-more-americans-say-like-duhh/

    Maybe? Maybe they’re catching on, too late, to that?

  20. StevoR says

    @25. Dangnabbed typos. Sorry. Guess y’all get the gist anyhow, yeah? Hopefully.

    @22. chigau (違う) :

    Latin?
    C’est nes pas?

    Meh, Latin is a dialect of French or vice versa rather, they’re all romance languages after all! ;-)

  21. spqri3 says

    PS: How does a guy they so desperately tried to get rid of during the primaries swoon the conservatives so now that he is the nominee? Perhaps the etch a sketch moment technique is better in a shotgun media society. I hope Obama gives em something to remember with the debates.

  22. hypatiasdaughter says

    #16 StevoR
    Alas, it’s both. It was adopted in 1956, that great age when adding goddy stuff into the public sphere would beat back the red menace.
    And it is a pointed lesson as to why fighting those stupid battles over petty intrusions into the public sphere, like school prayer banners, mangers at city hall, memorial crosses and city council prayers are more important than they appear. Letting them go without challenge will come back and bite you in the ass at some future date.

  23. RFW says

    @ 16 StevoR says:

    e pluribus unem

    Recte, E pluribus unum

    Note spelling. It’s a complete sentence, too, as Latin often dropped the verb where it is understood from context. Hence capital E.

    Freely translated as “Out of many arose one.”

    Yes, I’m being a bit of a grammar nazi in posting this, but spelling the national motto right is important – in some sense.

  24. Brownian says

    In the latter half of that Newsroom bit, what time period is he talking about?

    When exactly was the “used to be”?

  25. kreativekaos says

    Stevor@25:

    I thought the audience there seemed decidedly uncomfortable and uneasy at that little jibe.

    Could be a vote loser for them as people finally realise that, surprise, surpirse the experts did actually know what they were talking about after all!

    Maybe? Maybe they’re catching on, too late, to that?

    Interesting,… maybe you detected some reservation on the part of the peanut gallery at the remark made (true, it wasn’t a huge gaffaw moment with uproarious laughter).

    I wasn’t watching in a focused manner, but I thought the reaction by the attendees was stark enough.

    As far as them catching on,.. one could only be so optimistic.
    But judging by the seemingly endless supply of political and media idiots and cowards that populate the political scene, I don’t get that nice warm feeling that things are shifting. Wish I could say I did.

  26. consciousness razor says

    And special because we’ve always understood the scriptural admonition that “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required.” [Say what? So the rich should pay more taxes?]

    No, you misunderstand. I’ll try to translate.

    Obviously, those “to whom much is given” refers to the poor: you know, welfare queens and such. We give them stuff, and that’s why they should pay more taxes, die in our wars, and so on. Because it’s in the Bible. All that is required of illegal immigrants, for instance, is that they become white and vote Republican. However, the fact of the matter, Biblically speaking, is that the rich don’t get anything, because they already have everything, thus nothing is required of them. Obviously.

    Now I’m going to wash my hands a few times. (Translation: masturbate)

  27. kreativekaos says

    @ Brownian, #31…

    ‘The Newsroom’ is a drama after all… but one could think that ‘used to be’ may be referring more to the idea that, as a greater populace, we didn’t always tend to ‘roll over’ and accept the political and social bullshit we do now ( ‘Tea Party’, dominating right-wing media, etc); that we had a somewhat tougher media (Murrow, Cronkite, others) than we do now; that in terms of the larger nation, we weren’t as stupid a nation (greater acceptance of science, higher levels of K-12 education, graduating more college students (especially in STEM fields as opposed to things like business, psychology, etc.) as we are now… and seemingly are continuing to becom).

    Even when I was in my pre-teens to early twenties, I have never felt we’ve lived up to our potential; never felt we were ‘the greatest nation’– just too much chest-beating, ‘feel good’ rhetoric. Personally, I certainly had, nor have, any illusions about the US being the greatest nation on the face of the planet.

    There is probably potential, if there were ways to overcome the huge inertia of right-wing influence. I just fear the past 32 years have really encrusted the tools and thinking that could advance us.

  28. says

    After watching the parade of mormon speakers who talked about how Awesome Mitt eased their pain I am convinced that if I were mormon Mitt would care about me and might even help me.

    Non-mormons, however, can expect to be layed off if it will make Mitt some money.
    Greed and Debt link.

    All of Mitt’s stories about friends and community were tied to the LDS Church.

  29. says

    @ #2 Gene – Actually Ayn Rand disavowed & warned against Reagan because he combined politics & religion, so there’s every chance that she would be warning against Ryan & most of the Republican party today as well.

  30. says

    Ex-mormons talking about the convention, and about Mitt Romney’s speech:

    “Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention.”

    Looks like Mitt was unleashing his “Fast and Testimony Meeting” persona. It often, in Mormon circles, involves actual bursting into tears, but Mitt probably thought that was a bridge too far for national television.

    WHAT? Mitt Romney is afraid he’ll go to hell?

    1) There is no hell in Mormonism. There are only the three degrees of glory and outer darkness.

    2) As a recipient of the Second Anointing, he has been guaranteed the Celestial Kingdom.

    3) He has no respect for the millions of Mormons listening who know darn well Mitt Romney the Royal One chosen to Save the Constitution is not afraid of going to hell.

    MR and the other Mormon speakers spent the entire evening trying to make Mormonism sound like just another Christian religion. It was deliberate misrepresentation, and the joke about going to hell was part of it.

    OMG – it’s BISHOPS GONE WILD!!!!!!

    Duplicity splattered all over the place!

    Lies upon lies, misrepresented precept upon misrepresented precept!

    We’re not bishops, we’re Pastors!

    We don’t have Sacrament Meeting, we have Worship Service!

    We don’t have Temple Rituals, we have Temple Worship!

    As a member of the TSCC most of my life, I had to look up the definition of “pastor.” I’ve heard that word, but never in Morg Meetings….

    One ex-mormon also said it was strange to hear mormons referring to Romney as “Mitt,” since all of them would have known him in real life as “Bishop Romney” or “President Romney.” [Stake President]

  31. Skip White says

    For some reason, when I read “for everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required,” I think of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

  32. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Family is also the basis of evolution. If we weren’t all mixing and matching our genes, then caring for our young, we’d hardly evolve at all.

    I watched the first few seconds of Eastwood, and just shut it off out of pity.

    Has any of Mitt’s charity gone anywhere but to the Mormon community?

    Conservatives who give money to their church and who follow the rules of their god, are obviously going to resent the government wanting money and making rules. A lot of the conservative hatred of government is displaced anger toward their own religion, not wanting to be double-dipped (so to speak), and confusing the premises of government with their religion’s premises.

  33. says

    Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all

    Hence our guns, autos, and iPhones.

    We have faith that God will do what, again?

  34. says

    Has any of Mitt’s charity gone anywhere but to the Mormon community?

    Not that we know of. One of the good things Romney did as Governor, (and that was mentioned twice, once by Ann Romney and once by Jeb Bush), was the establishment of the John and Abigail Adams SCholarship. This program is government funded, and sends kids to public institutions of higher learning that are also government funded. It is so-called Big Government all the way.

    When Romney arranges for nice things to be done for non-mormons, he also makes sure he doesn’t pay for it.

    Other policy stances from Romney past and Romney present generally negate any positive programs that are for people-in-general rather than just for mormons.

    About an hour before Romney’s acceptance, viewers were treated to a video featuring a recipient of the John and Abigail Adams scholarship, a merit scholarship Romney created in Massachusetts. Ann Romney also mentioned the program during her speech to the convention earlier this week.

    But the Obama campaign’s Truth Team tweeted that under Romney college fees in the Bay State “skyrocketed so dramatically that the Adams scholarship had little impact.”

  35. captainoblivious says

    The Republicrats lost me long ago, back in the 80’s. I am a Libertarian (a vegetarian libertarian infidel, no less), but I used to hold my nose and vote for Team Red on occasion, because Demoblicans are just plain silly. No longer. Screw em.

    The current insanity has me almost ready to vote for Obozo, just to prevent the wingnuts from getting too full of themselves.

    Alas. We have exactly the government that we deserve. A pity.

  36. says

    That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: “you are better off today than you were four years ago.” Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president. — Mitt Romney

    Uh …. What about George W. Bush? We were so much worse off after W that it took Obama three months to slow, stop, and then reverse the job losses?

  37. says

    Romney bought space on Twitter. Who does that?

    Link.
    The Romney campaign is officially the first campaign to buy space on Twitter. The Wall Street Journal reported that it purchased the hashtag, “#RomneyRyan2012,” as a nationally promoted trending topic on Thursday night. The campaign’s digital director, Zac Moffatt, told Mashable, “I really think that this convention is achieving what it set out to do, which was to provide a convention without walls.” As of 9 p.m. last night, the hashtag had amassed 10,000 unique tweets. The whole promotion cost Romney’s campaign at least $120,000.

    However, the effort may not have paid off. The Twitter stream for “#RomneyRyan2012″ is filled with anti-Romney sentiments, many of which were retweeted hundreds of times due to being so prominently displayed:

    Mitt Romney pulled off an amazing feat tonight. He spoke for 30 minutes without saying anything. #RomneyRyan2012 #RNC2012 — Adam Hammer (@AdamHammer) August 31, 2012

  38. Larry says

    That is the Republican strategy to divide the population and make people wish they’re in the “good” group. Rubio did it by saying “Real” Americans have faith (further subtext – they have Christian faith). Ann Romney did it by talking about how she and Mitt have a “real” marriage, as opposed to those fake same-sex marriages I guess. Sarah Palin did it 4 years ago with all her talk of “real” America.

    The frustrating thing is they don’t usually say anything explicitly hateful. So they can fall back on “We never said anything hateful about atheists or gay people or city-dwellers” and conservatives will rush to judgement that it’s really the godless, gay liberals that are pretending to be victims and are making a big deal over nothing and are generally hating on conservatives.

  39. consciousness razor says

    I need a shower.

    Translation: You need — wait, no, wrong Bible. You need a shower.

    ———

    The current insanity has me almost ready to vote for Obozo, just to prevent the wingnuts from getting too full of themselves.

    Now that’s what I call some good libertarian thinking, right there. Fuck everybody. You’re almost going to do something, because what really matters is keeping people from getting too full of themselves. But you’re not going to do it, because fuck everybody.

  40. says

    Back to the topic of this thread, Marco Rubio. This was not the Rubio who pushed hard earlier to get the Republican party to change their stance on immigration.

    Link.
    …The effort pitted him against the anti-immigration hardliners in his own party. In those days, Rubio appealed to what he said was the soul of the party ready to get behind DREAM — and ready to call out the anti-DREAMer wing of the GOP.

    Rubio’s DREAM dreams came to an end in June when President Obama created his own DREAM-like program by executive action, temporarily suspending deportation of DREAM-eligible illegal immigrants brought into the U.S. as children.

    But you’d never know about Rubio’s DREAM push from his performance Thursday night. Instead, Rubio offered a compelling address full of personal anecdotes and attacks on Obama but light on substance. The central message was one of American exceptionalism, a crowd-pleaser in any GOP audience.

    “Mitt Romney believes that if we succeed in changing the direction of our country, our children and grandchildren will be the most prosperous generation ever, and their achievements will astonish the world,” Rubio said.

    Not if they self-deport, Rubio. That was such a weak finish, that I think Rubio had to blame Romney for it, knowing that it didn’t apply to many Latinos.

  41. says

    That is the Republican strategy to divide the population and make people wish they’re in the “good” group. Rubio did it by saying “Real” Americans have faith (further subtext – they have Christian faith). Ann Romney did it by talking about how she and Mitt have a “real” marriage, as opposed to those fake same-sex marriages I guess. Sarah Palin did it 4 years ago with all her talk of “real” America.

    The entire Republican convention and most of the speeches overtly or covertly indicated that it takes a Real American to be President, and that’s what Romney is. The implication is that President Obama is not a real American.

  42. Waffler, of the Waffler Institute says

    Alas. We have exactly the government that we deserve.

    Speak for yourself.

  43. devnll says

    are there any atheists left in the Republican party, besides Karl Rove?

    Thats hardly fair; Karl _does_ believe in a god. He just also happens to believe that its himself.

  44. truthspeaker says

    American exceptionalism is dangerous enough without giving it a religious backing.

    We’re not special. We are, to paraphrase Johnny Rotten, just another country.

  45. Rey Fox says

    E pluribus fucking unum, dipshit.

    American exceptionalism is dangerous enough without giving it a religious backing.

    These days it needs religious backing just to give it a veneer of legitimacy.

  46. says

    Alas. We have exactly the government that we deserve. A pity.

    I’m not buying that. We have almost, but not quite, the government that billionaires bought. The takeover, the plutocracy, is not complete, but Republicans are working on that last little bit of resistance.

  47. says

    Funny how Rmoney mentioned that there should be no reason that women shouldn’t have a bigger say in government matters or somesuch. The same guy who wants to fucking ban abortions. There is just no irony meter that could withstand such hypocrisy.

  48. says

    Funny how Rmoney mentioned that there should be no reason that women shouldn’t have a bigger say in government matters or somesuch. The same guy who wants to fucking ban abortions. There is just no irony meter that could withstand such hypocrisy.

    Romney and Ryan are also against equal pay legislation for women.
    http://feministing.com/2012/08/13/why-paul-ryan-is-bad-news-for-women-and-everyone-else/

    In a sure indication of how “corporations are people” Romney thinks, today he called the United States a “company.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/08/31/783791/romney-calls-america-company/

    Paul Ryan and I understand how the economy works, we understand how Washington works, we will reach across the aisle and find good people who like us, want to make sure this company deals with its challenges. We’ll get America on track again.

  49. says

    Salon has updated its Mitt’s master gaffe list, excerpt below.
    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/27/mitts_master_gaffe_list/
    Within text at the aboe link, backup links are provided for sources.

    49. “That very optimism is uniquely American.”
    Truth: Actually, according to Gallup polls several years running, Nigerians are the most optimistic people in the world. Greeks are the most pessimistic. Americans are somewhere in the middle. (Aug. 30, 2012)

    48. “But today, four years from the excitement of the last election, for the first time, the majority of Americans now doubt that our children will have a better future.”
    Truth: Setting aside the fact that it contradicts his earlier claim about Americans’ optimism, he’s right that Americans are not very optimistic about their kids’ future. But it’s hardly “the first time.” (Aug. 30, 2012)

    47. “When I was 37, I helped start a small company.”
    Truth: Bain Capital was not and never has been a “small company.” (Aug. 30, 2012)

    46. “And let me make this very clear — unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.”
    Truth: Obama did not raise taxes on the middle class by any stretch of the imagination. The stimulus actually gave a tax cut to 95 percent of working families via a cut in payroll taxes. Republicansfought the extension of that cut when it expired. Meanwhile, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, Romney’s budget plan would raise taxes on the middle class, while cutting taxes on the wealthy. (Aug. 30, 2012)…

  50. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-august-29-2012/rnc-2012—the-road-to-jeb-bush-2016—the-republican-platform

    At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Samantha Bee learns that government is meant to protect the individual liberties of everyone lacking a uterus.”

    She gets the Republicans to use pro-choice language …

    I twitched bad every time the Republicans accuse President Obama of being “divisive”. They are dividing this country, and they are dividing the rich from the poor.

    I really think Romney will do anything dirty he can think of to try to win. Whether he wins or loses, he is dividing this country further in the process.

    I hope he divides the Republican party so much more that it falls apart. How can they expect a poor Southern Baptist to vote for a rich Mormon? If Catholicism wasn’t already the fundamentalist’s pet hate, it would be Mormonism.

  51. Gregory Greenwood says

    captainoblivious @ 46;

    Alas. We have exactly the government that we deserve. A pity.

    I would just like to pick up on an important point made by Lynna, OM @ 57;

    I’m not buying that. We have almost, but not quite, the government that billionaires bought. The takeover, the plutocracy, is not complete, but Republicans are working on that last little bit of resistance.

    The idea that people in democracies get the government they deserve (because they voted the gits into power, afterall) only holds where the democractic system in question can be considered functional enough to provide a credible representation of the public will. America’s system is simply not fit to do that, and hasn’t been fit for a very long time indeed.

    The simple fact is that, in order to be any kind of serious contender in modern US politics, one needs a serious capacity to fund-raise. In practical terms, that means corporate backing and large donations from exceptionally wealthy private donors, and the side who can raise more has a vast advantage.

    While the parties only need to gull the public into voting for them at infrequent intervals, they cannot affors to cross their financial backers, lest the funding they rely on dries up.

    The super rich have all serious contenders in any significant election bought and paid for ahead of time. Whoever the public plumps for, the same set of interests will ultimately be protected, often by broadly the same means.

    It is hardly reasonable to blame the ordinary citizen for the consequences of a system where money has always spoken louder than votes, and all this is without even dealing with such issues as the… questionable nature of former President George W. Bush’s 2004 election win…

  52. says

    Tim Dickinson, writing for Rolling Stone, confirms that a federal bailout was used to save Bain, and to save Mitt Romney’s bacon. (Reminds me of the 1.5 billion in federal dollars Romney used to save the 2002 Olympics.) Dude can’t function without federal money, and that doesn’t even count the two big tax policy loopholes that feed the private equity industry.

    … government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds….

    The FDIC agreed to accept nearly $5 million in cash to retire $15 million in Bain’s debt – an immediate government bailout of $10 million. All told, the FDIC estimated it would recoup just $14 million of the $30 million that Romney’s firm owed the government.

    It was a raw deal – but Romney’s threat to loot his own firm had left the government with no other choice. If the FDIC had pushed Bain into bankruptcy, the records reveal, the agency would have recouped just $3.56 million from the firm….

  53. says

    Addition to the excerpts posted in my comment @64:

    Bain Capital – the very firm that had triggered the crisis in the first place – walked away with $4 million. That was the fee it charged Bain & Company for loaning the consulting firm the services of its chief executive – one Willard Mitt Romney.

  54. says

    I didn’t think there was anything left, no subject untainted, when it came to Paul Ryan’s lies, but Runner’s World may have found one.

    Paul Ryan claims that he ran a sub-3:00 marathon. Runner’s World has checked marathon results and cannot find any that back up Ryan’s claim.

  55. says

    Lynna:

    Actually, according to Gallup polls several years running, Nigerians are the most optimistic people in the world. Greeks are the most pessimistic. Americans are somewhere in the middle.

    Now that makes me want to learn more about Nigeria!

    Captainoblivious:

    The current insanity has me almost ready to vote for Obozo, just to prevent the wingnuts from getting too full of themselves.

    I ♥ it when a libertarian accuses someone else of being a wing nut.

  56. says

    Here is some good news that may affect the November election.

    It is also evidence that the Obama administration is doing something right. They are fighting back against voter-suppression laws in several states.

    Ohio.

    A federal judge sided with the Obama campaign on Friday and ruled that Ohio made an “arbitrary” decision when it took away early-voting rights for most voters but carved out a special exemption for military and overseas voters.

    In granting a preliminary injunction against early voting restrictions, the judge ruled that the “public interest is served by restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters.”

    Texas and South Carolina.

    As news broke on Thursday that a panel of federal judges had blocked a Texas voter ID law because it was racially discriminatory, a separate panel was busy questioning whether South Carolina would even be able to put their voter ID law into effect if the court was to let it move forward.

    Texas.

    “That law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect: it imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty. And crucially, the Texas legislature defeated several amendments that could have made this a far closer case.”

    In addition to these hopeful signs that voter-suppression may be less effective than Republicans would like, some of their redistricting plans have also come under fire.

    A redistricting plan signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Tuesday. The judges found that seats belonging to white incumbent members of Congress were protected under the plan while districts belonging to incumbent minorities were targeted for changes.

    We still have a ways to go when it comes to ending Republican-initiated restrictions on voter registration, but it is heartening to see that someone is fighting back.

  57. says

    Lot’s of discussion up-thread about Clint Eastwood’s spaced-out performance, but apparently we missed the point. Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio will set us straight.

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was sold. “I thought it was terrific! He said all the right things, standing up there and talking to Mr. Obama and he wasn’t listening!”

    Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who asked if Salon was a “beauty shack” — said, “I also like Clint Eastwood, that was nice of him to come down. A great actor, a great American, and I like the ‘make my day.’” Arpaio said he liked Eastwood’s unusual format as it helped him “come around to meet the people.”

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/31/jan_brewer_loves_clint_eastwood/

  58. The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says

    How does a guy they so desperately tried to get rid of during the primaries swoon the conservatives so now that he is the nominee?

    Republicans are legion. No matter what rhetoric they may use in speeches and interviews, they all vote nearly identically. In this sense, it doesn’t matter whether Romney wins the nomination, Ron Paul wins the nomination, or Sarah Palin wins the nomination. The idea that Republicans do not march in lockstep when it’s time to vote is one of the less plausible lies the media has swallowed; when it’s time to vote, the votes will go with the tribe.

    Of course, something like 90% of registered Democrats, when polled, think Obama is substantially better on civil liberties and war than Bush was, even though that is demonstrably not the case, so the “tribal thinking” thing runs both ways.

    Alas. We have exactly the government that we deserve. A pity.

    I’m not buying that. We have almost, but not quite, the government that billionaires bought. The takeover, the plutocracy, is not complete, but Republicans are working on that last little bit of resistance.

    You misunderstood captainoblivious. By “we” he meant Libertarians. With that caveat, it’s perfectly true.

  59. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    captainoblivious:

    Alas. We have exactly the government that we deserve. A pity.

    How and in what way have hundreds of millions of Americans come to deserve this government?

    Unlike you, I feel that Americans deserve better leadership across the board.

    Perhaps you feel *you* deserve this kind of government because you’re a libertarian?

  60. kreativekaos says

    Gregory Greenwood @ #63:

    The idea that people in democracies get the government they deserve (because they voted the gits into power, afterall) only holds where the democractic system in question can be considered functional enough to provide a credible representation of the public will. America’s system is simply not fit to do that, and hasn’t been fit for a very long time indeed.

    Agreed. In my life, I peg the major fork in the road around 1980– when RR got voted in.

    It is hardly reasonable to blame the ordinary citizen for the consequences of a system where money has always spoken louder than votes

    While there is a certain amount of truth in that, the electorate is responsible for the final choice–at least until such time we devolve beyond ‘democracy’, and slowly slide into one of the other controlling politcal’-isms’.

    I feel the electorate isn’t free and clear of certain degree of responsibility. If the people can’t strive think beyond the platitudes and rosy scenarios presented them and can see when they’re being duped and ripped off, then perhaps we are getting the governments we deserve.

  61. billhaines says

    Our national motto is “In God we Trust,” reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.

    Reminding those of us who know better that most legislators in ‘our’ Congress are ignoramuses or enablers of same.

    The USA has four official mottos.

    The first three appear on the Great Seal, design adopted by Congress in 1782 (six years before the original Articles of Confederation were superseded by the Constitution and its Amendment I which prohibits establishment of religion) and never rescinded, still printed on some paper currency and used on a die stamp by our State Department to proclaim treaties and commissions: “E Pluribus Unum” (Latin “One From Many”), “Novus Ordo Seclorum” (Latin “A New Order of the Ages”) and “Annuit Cœptis” (Greek “Favored Endeavors”). The last of these original three is religious, as is the symbol below it on the Seal; it appears above the ‘Eye of Providence’, and both motto and symbol refer to divine blessing.

    The fourth motto appeared first on currency at the direction of Congress beginning in 1864, thus violating Amendment I, in the opinions of rational Americans both then and now: “In God We Trust”. It was adopted by Congress as ‘the’ national motto in 1956, confusingly without reference to the pre-existing mottos on the Seal, and again violating Amendment I. There were some efforts to convince Congress to do this prior, and some groups such as the Catholic Knights of Columbus claim responsibility for it even today, but actually it was Eisenhower’s personal effort (spurred not by others’ but his own careful conversion to Presbyterianism upon winning the Presidency following many years’ lapse from his parents’ Jehovah’s Witness faith) that succeeded.

    History lesson for the day. ;)

  62. leonpeyre says

    StevoR:

    C’est nes pas?

    Argh! What is it with Americans and the French language, anyway?

    The expression is “N’est-ce pas?”.

  63. nmscorpions says

    I would note that the national motto “In God we Trust” was forced on us by Christians in 1956 in an effort to differentiate us from those awful atheistic communists. (Along with mandating putting god on our money and adding it to the Pledge of Allegiance.) For 174 years “E pluribus unum” had been our de facto motto.

    “faith in our Creator” was never “the most important American value of all”

  64. says

    @leftwingfox

    Holy crap, is that Leonard Nemoy narrating?!

    Indeed it is. I almost spit up my oatmeal this morning cause I was laughing so hard watching that.

  65. 'smee says

    Late to the party, pardonez moi, s’il vous plait?

    @7

    Because if we had leaders who didn’t believe they were so smart that they could be relied on by everyone on every subject, we would have a lot less problems.
    And a lot less Republicans.

    I agree. I think less republicans would be great. May I suggest 15% off the top, as a start. (It’s not as if it’s a part they use, except to make mindless noises)

  66. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    When Rmoney and them talk about small businesses, they really mean large businessmen.

    When they talk crazy about no abortions at all, they are setting up for a compromise that forbids some abortions.

    When they talk bad about abortion, they think they are following God’s will. God is pro-abortion, and has no place in American laws.

    They say “corporations are people”. Two gay men could form a corporation/person, but those same two gay men can’t form a family and raise a child.

    The Biblical right doesn’t realize that corporations are the “image of the beast” from the book of Revelations. The beast was a soulless, heartless man with no morals, heart or conscience, motivated only by greed. Corporations are the spirit and image of that man, and Romney has made them alive.

    As for the mark of the beast, upon the forehead or hand, without which you cannot buy or sell, take out your credit card and look at it. There’s the logo of the beast, there’s a picture of your face, and you have it in your hand—now explain all that to a mystic from a culture that forbids images and usury.

    One of the horsemen of the apocalypse was a buyer and a seller.

    The religious right know nothing about their religion or their nation, but by God they are going to make this a theocracy.

  67. epikt says

    “Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention.”

    That’s just mean. Do you have any idea how many hours he spent practice-crying in front of his Humanization Consultants before he learned to simulate it semi-believably?

  68. Stevarious says

    That’s just mean. Do you have any idea how many hours he spent practice-crying in front of his Humanization Consultants before he learned to simulate it semi-believably?

    Not to mention the team of engineers that worked so many unpaid overtime hours to install iTearDucts™ on his face and get them to work with his OS?

  69. says

    Speaking of the iTearDucts, I noticed that both Ryan and Romney gave a shoutout to iPods in their speeches. And Romney takes his iPad to church because he has the Book of Mormon installed on it.

    In other news, more critics are drop-jawed over the level of lying in the Romney/Ryan campaign.

    “The Romney campaign has, as is strikingly evident at the Tampa convention, broken new ground in its brazen and cynical disregard for the truth,” said Thomas E. Mann, a longtime political scholar at the center-left Brookings Institution and co-author of the recent book about politics, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.”

    Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, he added, are “counting on a mainstream press, fearful of being charged with partisan bias, of shrinking from their responsibility to report the truth.”

  70. JohnnieCanuck says

    Lynna, thanks.

    Stake President Romney.

    If only I had a sense of humour, I’d probably be able to make up at least a dozen jokes about that.

  71. says

    Republicans have more and even better ways to destroy the economy than have been discussed so far. The Gold Standard makes their eyes light up.

    …For now, the newsworthy thing to consider is that a substantial portion of the Republican Party disagrees with mainstream economic thinking — to the point that the 2012 GOP platform includes a clear shout-out to good old gold.

    The exact words “gold standard” aren’t included in the text, but the intent — the longing — is obvious.

    Determined to crush the double-digit inflation that was part of the Carter Administration’s economic legacy, President Reagan, shortly after his inauguration, established a commission to consider the feasibility of a metallic basis for U.S. currency. The commission advised against such a move. Now, three decades later, as we face the task of cleaning up the wreckage of the current Administration’s policies, we propose a similar commission to investigate possible ways to set a fixed value for the dollar….

    …the gold standard is alluring for the same reason that biblical literalism, border walls and strict constitutional constructionism are hot sellers for the Republican hard right. The gold says, flatly: This is the truth, no ifs, ands or buts. It is a commandment.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/31/the_gold_standard_delusion/

    Part of my mandate is to give ‘Tis Himself heartburn.

  72. madscientist says

    Which god would that be – Rubio’s or Romney’s? Did no one remind the audience that Romney’s god is not their god?

    Watching the RNC is like watching a congress of baboons in heat (hey, haven’t we got one of those in the Capitol?) only not as interesting.

  73. KG says

    I am a Libertarian – captainoblivious

    You chose your nym well. Obliviousness is the primary characteristic of libertarians: oblivious of history, oblivious of privilege, oblivious of the fact that the chief oppressor in most people’s lives (at least in democracies) is either a member of their family or their employer, oblivious in all too many cases of scientific findings that show the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of libertarianism.

  74. says

    Republicans are all about spending cuts. Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke seems to be getting a little fed up.

    Ryan and Romney both came down on the cut-spending-some-more! side in their convention speeches. Bernanke recently gave a speech in Jackson Hole, WY, and basically shook his economic finger at Republicans.

    Mr. Bernanke said that the Fed’s policies over the last several years have provided significant benefits, but that a clear need remained for the Fed to do more and that, in his judgment, the likely benefits of such actions outweighed the potential costs.

    “It is important to achieve further progress, particularly in the labor market,” Mr. Bernanke said in his prepared remarks. “Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.”

    [Steve Benen translating Ben Bernanke] “For the love of God, Congress, please do something to help the economy. Spending cuts are holding us back, so do the opposite.”

  75. elliete says

    “exceptional America” Well, being the only developed country without some kind of a free health care system is exceptional.
    To think of it, being a more or less okeish country with a deeply religious majority is weird too.

  76. kreativekaos says

    All the depressing observations about Republicans and their convention– any predictions about what the DNC might have in store?

  77. says

    Did no one remind the audience that Romney’s god is not their god?

    Romney’s Jesus is not their Jesus either.

    “If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get up on the top of a mountain and crow like a rooster: I shall always beat them…. My enemies… think that when they have my spoke under, they will keep me down: but the fools, I will hold on and fly over them…. I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408-409).

    As ex-mormon, “anagrammy,” noted:

    Jesus is the God of this world and every planet has a Jesus, a Heavenly Father and Mother, Adam, Eve, a Satan. In Mormonism these are job descriptions–roles. Mormons claim to worship the NAME of Jesus. … Mormons are specifically discouraged from striving for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and those who preach this, like my former religion professor, were publicly corrected at Brigham Young University by apostle Bruce R. McConkie, author of “Mormon Doctrine.”

  78. The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says

    All the depressing observations about Republicans and their convention– any predictions about what the DNC might have in store?

    Sure: a heaping pile of right-wing crap that is less loony than the RNC by exactly one step along the axis of every issue. (So: lots of talk about taxes being bad and promises to keep them low, lots of kowtowing to the religious right, more talk about how nobody actually like abortion so it’s okay to make it hard to get one as long as it isn’t impossible, etc.)

    The people running the Democratic party have long since decided that the best way to get votes is to move as far right as possible without going past the Republicans. As the Republicans have moved, since the 60s, from center-right to right to loony tunes, the Democrats have moved from centrist to center right to right. Obama, don’t forget, has offered to cut Social Security and Medicare (and was only prevented from doing so by the fact that the Republicans were basically too racist to talk to him), started a bunch more military nonsense, and has been fighting as hard as he can for opaque government and an almost totalitarian executive branch.

  79. anteprepro says

    All the depressing observations about Republicans and their convention– any predictions about what the DNC might have in store?

    Lots of nodding, some gentle pokes and weak jabs at Republican lunacy, some stronger punches against Republicans that are completely misaimed, some stale jokes that are at least something approximating funny, an abundance of half-hearted whitewashing, and some brainlessly optimistic hopemongering.

    It is so wrong that the above would clearly and undeniably be an improvement over the RNC.

  80. Gregory Greenwood says

    kreativekaos @ 77;

    Agreed. In my life, I peg the major fork in the road around 1980– when RR got voted in.

    The American political system certainly seems to have undergone a dramatic rightward shift over the last thirty years or so, but I wonder whether the rot hadn’t already set in even earlier. How else would a former B-movie actor with the political chops of a decomposing halibut even get a shot at the Presidency in the first place?

    While there is a certain amount of truth in that, the electorate is responsible for the final choice–at least until such time we devolve beyond ‘democracy’, and slowly slide into one of the other controlling politcal’-isms’.

    Which, by the looks of it, may be sooner than any of us want to contemplate…

    I feel the electorate isn’t free and clear of certain degree of responsibility. If the people can’t strive think beyond the platitudes and rosy scenarios presented them and can see when they’re being duped and ripped off, then perhaps we are getting the governments we deserve.

    I agree that the public is not entirely blameless – a liking for glib, easy non-solutions to complex social, economic and political problems over the unpalletable truth is an endemic blight on many electorates – but there is an entire industry full of very slick and clever operators dedicated entirely to manipulating and misleading them. It is certainly true that vast swathes of the public have made bad and irrational electoral decisions based upon the stew of half-truths, disinformation and lies fed to them by rightwing pundits and talking heads, but it is equally true that the system was already rigged against them, and even if they had made the better choice of the available candidates, things would likely have not turned out all that much better.

  81. says

    Representative Todd “legitimate rape” Akin is having a little spat with Karl Rove. You see, Rove threatened to murder Akin, jokingly of course. But Rove is an atheist, so perhaps he has no moral compass, and we should expect the worst. /sarcasm. More likely: Republicanism distorted Rove’s moral compass. So we should expect the worst. (But not the murder of Todd Akin.)

    Rove joked to donors in Tampa on Thursday, “If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”

  82. says

    How and in what way have hundreds of millions of Americans come to deserve this government?

    because the majority do nothing (outside of voting, maybe) to change it.

    I read the discussion about whose fault it is with a lot of frustration, because voting was the only thing really talked about as far as what americans can do to change things. There are many options in addition to voting, and people have changed things for the better as a result of their non-voting actions (such as widespread protest). We should all strive to do more than vote.

  83. Olav says

    PZ:

    are there any atheists left in the Republican party, besides Karl Rove?

    There must be many, especially in the leadership of the party. They will just not admit it, lest they lose the support of the base.

    They live up to the famous quote, “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

    Useful.

  84. says

    Is Rubio really claiming that Iran doesn’t place particular importance on faith in god? Or is he claiming that Iran’s dominant god is false, while America’s dominant god isn’t?

  85. firstcircleofhell says

    @Lynna #37, thanks for providing the “Greed and Debt” link.

    Somewhat related, an anecdote from local life, which, if true of the broader population, gives me some hope …

    Most days find me early in the morning at my local YMCA, where after some desultory exercise I find myself in the men’s locker room, which has a collection of men that represents men of the local area who exercise at the Y early in the morning and also stay to shower (as has been said in possibly more than one movie, an admittedly small demographic).

    In any case, a day or so after Ryan was selected as the vice nominee, as we were shaving, a local man who keeps his bucket truck clean, has pride in his work, and generally strikes me as one of the registered republicans who sticks with them even though he has an inkling in the deepest recesses of his mind that the guys who run the party don’t give a shit about his interests, said, “I’m a fucking republican, and I ain’t voting for them fucking assholes.”

  86. madscientist says

    @StevoR#16:

    “Aren’t words like that on the flags of several Islamic nations…”

    I don’t know of any (but I’m no expert on Arabic or muslim nations). Some flags do declare “Deo Optimo Maximo” except in Arabic (Allah Akbar), or in english “God is Great”.

    The Republicans sure are ignorant of history – religion was the nation’s “first liberty”? I have no idea what that means. The Bill of Rights came years after the US Constitution and the Establishment Clause prevents the establishment of a state religion (and thus guaranteeing an individual’s right to practice a religion of their choice – well, not really because religions themselves remove that choice). As then president Thomas Jefferson put it:

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

    And yet the GoP party base is hell bent on demolishing that wall of separation – praise allah! Oh, goddamn – wrong goddamned god.

  87. madscientist says

    @Lynna#93:

    Ah, Ben Bernanke. As Paul Krugman recently wrote (or at least he implied in his article), Bernanke’s pretty useless. The economy’s gone down the shitter and increasing some government spending is likely to do some good although spending a lot on SooperDooperGiant projects will be far worse so the government will simply sit on its hands and do nothing and hope the problem goes away although doing nothing is also very very very bad … or at least that’s my summary of Krugman’s summary of Bernanke’s speech to a very privileged audience.

  88. kreativekaos says

    #97-#99, Vicar, ante, Greg:

    Yes, you pretty much nailed it.

    Greg, I was saying pretty much the same thing about Ronnie baby at the time. (I like your descriptor or Ronnie BTW.)

    I remember a fairly well know anti-nuke activist at the time (a female doctor [can’t remember her name], who I think was an Australian and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility) who had a personal meeting with Reagan concerning nuclear weapons limitation/build-down, and she had reported coming away from the meeting totally stunned at how ‘out of it’ he was, lacking in understanding of the seriousness of the nuclear escalation, saying essentially he didn’t have a clue, and reported some of the absurd things he said.
    You’re right,… the seeds of the direction we’ve been going were planted a bit earlier, but with Reagan in power, like a fucking neodymium magnet in iron filings, began to pull together, solidify and pump this warped new view of politics, religion and supply side econ that they began to mesmerize the public with–more or less effectively– for the past 30-plus years.
    So much of the public bought into it at the time, with it being passed down, almost religiously, to the point where people have been and still are voting against their own best interests.

    I would like to say it’s been interesting to observe the slow fade of political awareness, the dissipation of a robust media courage and slow breakdown of progress in the areas of social, economic, educational and other areas,….. but it hasn’t– it’s only been discouraging.

    Absolutely…. it’s been a two way street. As you mentioned, the electorate bears some responsibility, being lulled by so many social and political distractions–casual as well as planned, no doubt. But as you and others have correctly mentioned, the game has been being increasingly rigged and engineered for decades, and to be sure, there is only so much the brighter, more informed and aware segments of the populace can do to correct it,… without having the leveraging tool of multiple millions to wield as a counterbalance.

  89. kreativekaos says

    Must-read autumn book lists for the Romney/Ryan ticket:

    The Jefferson Lies by David Barton
    Leave Us Alone by Grover Norquist
    anything by Glen Beck
    as many as possible in the Left Behind series

  90. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    kreativekaos: the woman was Dr. Helen Caldicott. Unfortunately, she went off the deep end when she decided that all war and violence was the result of “androgen poisoning”, and she publicly mused about keeping her children isolated from her husband and his toxic maleness.

    As for Mr. Rubio: as an atheist, I tell you, fold it into sharp corners and shove it up your ass. Sideways. With walnuts. Twice on Sundays.

  91. captstormfield says

    @#1. Zeno

    Dirty Harry quibble: The punk who, as it happens, didn’t feel lucky and therefore didn’t get his head blown clean off was in Dirty Harry. The “make my day” punk in Sudden Impact didn’t get blown away either. Harry shoots first, chats later.

  92. Jonathan, Foot In Mouth says

    How do you fix a system this broken? Do we just wait until people start shooting each other? Until there’s a coup attempt we can’t stop in time? Until a GOP candidate just takes the dogwhistles out of all his orifices and runs on a white power platform? Because I live in a neighborhood that thinks white privilege is a chess rule, and I still feel like I’m surrounded by looney tunes.

  93. unclefrogy says

    How do we fix it you ask. Do we just let it get worse? I doubt we can stop it from getting worse. We are too late to stop it now I’m afraid.
    There are too many who fear the future and fear the truth the reality of who and what we are in space and time and want the illusion of religion of belief and the security of power. They want the prosperity of modern times where the fruits of science and reason meet the creative mind of people to solve problems and devise miracles and wonders. You can’t have any of that without all the bad things like freedom and open communications between people any more.
    We have let the ignorant flourish in their ignorance for too long. We probably could not have done it any other way. The old ideas and the old gods ain’t going to go peacefully any how.
    To night I am reminded of this song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5fHpC4Wux8

    uncle frogy

  94. says

    “Annuit Cœptis” (Greek “Favored Endeavors”).

    Greek?! It is Latin. It means “He/she/it favors our undertakings.”

    Freely translated as “Out of many arose one.”

    Yes, I’m being a bit of a grammar nazi in posting this, but spelling the national motto right is important – in some sense.

    Ortum est is what you had in mind?

  95. Rolan le Gargéac says

    StevoR @18 31 August 2012 at 9:26 am

    Which I can’t type in English let alone another tongue. Sigh.

    Certainly not french mon p’tit gars !

  96. StevoR says

    @79.leonpeyre

    StevoR: C’est nes pas?
    Argh! What is it with Americans and the French language, anyway?
    The expression is “N’est-ce pas?”.

    Fair enough. I’m Australian actually. Did French in high school for a few years a very long time ago and, yeah, sure its rusty as all heck. Cheers.

    @106. madscientist :

    @StevoR#16: “Aren’t words like that on the flags of several Islamic nations…”
    I don’t know of any (but I’m no expert on Arabic or muslim nations). Some flags do declare “Deo Optimo Maximo” except in Arabic (Allah Akbar), or in english “God is Great”.

    Okay. Might well be what I’m thinking of.

    The Republicans sure are ignorant of history – religion was the nation’s “first liberty”? I have no idea what that means.

    Would the nations first liberty be the time it broke away from the northern hemisphere’s equivalent of Gondwanaland mayhaps? Dunno.

  97. StevoR says

    Small garfish at a guess?

    (Would wikilink ‘garfish’ but using my brothers computer and not too familiar therewith. My own home computer is hors de combat right now, net~wise anyhow alas.

  98. Rolan le Gargéac says

    ‘youu @83 31 August 2012 at 3:16 am

    Late to the party, pardonez moi, s’il vous plait?

    Je vous en prie, rentrez !

  99. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    mon p’tit gars !

    Right over my head mon amis, mate.

    mon p’tit gars == little boy

  100. ezraresnick says

    The irony is that earlier in his speech, Rubio claimed that Obama “divides us against each other” — before going on to make nonbelievers into second class citizens.

    I’ve written about this here.

  101. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Rubio’s just making the obvious point that WE value families, unlike the Pod-People of Japan, Iceland, and Monaco.

    I’d say they think they value REAL families.

    You know, white xian hetero couples with 1,5 white kids and one dog.

    Not those FAKE weird reconstituted/non-white/non-xian/monoparental families, or, dog forbid, a family with two same-sex parents.

    How do you fix a system this broken?

    I don’t know if it can be fixed.

    I used to think our system was broken, but we are going to vote this tuesday in an election that is, according to the most recent survey, a very close fight between 3 parties, one of which is less than a year old.

    But people here don’t think they’re better than everybody or that they’ll be filty rich one day if they pray the right god.

  102. Rolan le Gargéac says

    StevoR @121 1 September 2012 at 8:15 am

    Right over my head mon amis, mate.

    Well funny !

    @122

    Small garfish at a guess?

    Now you’re just pulling my pud ! Coming the acid ? Throw another squid on the barbie and have a tinnie with me ! Cheers ! She’ll be beaut !

    Rolf Harris for Queen !

  103. Rolan le Gargéac says

    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith @124 1 September 2012 at 8:28 am

    mon p’tit gars == little boy

    Condescending assholism, correct !

    Rem acu testigi !

  104. says

    Tom Smith, Republican Senate nominee in Pennsylvania, is proudly and cluelessly carrying the banner for right wing misogyny:

    Perhaps where we’re making our mistake is, that we are asking President Obama and Sen. Bob Casey, to do something they have no knowledge of. They’ve never been in business. They’ve never ran businesses. They don’t have that knowledge. I mean, it would be like, your wife wrecks the car, you gonna take it to the beauty salon to get it fixed? No.

    This is the same guy who compared his daughter’s pregnancy to rape. The daughter had consensual, out of wedlock sex.

    This is the same guy who told a group of republicans at a charity fundraiser that he allowed his wife to get a new dress for the occasion.

    This is the same guy who mused out loud that women he saw talking together at a Paul Ryan event were “talking about shoes.”

    Dear Republican women, RUN!

  105. says

    Bryan Fischer and other religious right dunderheads expressed outrage that Ishwar Singh, president of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, was invited to deliver the invocation at the RNC.

    Religious tolerance for christians only, goddammnit! Link.

  106. says

    Irin Carmon interviewed women at the RNC. Full text and Carmon’s thoughts on the broader implications of Republicans vs Strawmen here.

    “Eve ate the apple,” said Kathy Berden, “and that’s our lot in life.”

    We were sitting just outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum minutes after Mitt Romney spoke at the Republican National Convention Thursday night, and Berden, a grandmotherly delegate from Michigan, was talking about Ann Romney’s declaration that women’s lives are a little harder than men’s. Berden agreed with Romney about that, and also, apparently, that it wasn’t government’s role to do anything about it. She’d told me that we’d been hearing so much this week about women because while “Democrats pander to women on reproductive rights, Republicans really respect women as joint partners.”

    I was surprised to hear her use the phrase “reproductive rights,” which I’d never heard a conservative use. Berden blamed it on seeing Sandra Fluke on TV all the time, volunteering with a chuckle, “She’s a grown woman, we shouldn’t have to pay for her stupid birth control. She could cross her legs.”

    “To be fair,” I replied, with some hesitation, “she never talked about herself. She talked about her friend who was raped, she talked about her friend who had a medical condition…”

    “She did so,” Berden persisted. “She said that she couldn’t afford as a student to pay for birth control. She said that. I heard her.”

    She didn’t. That was what Rush Limbaugh said she said, though….

    … “Planned Parenthood is spending a million and a half tax dollars a day on abortion,” Ginger Howard, a Georgia delegate, cheerfully told me at the Focus on the Family lunch. (No, it’s not.) Of course, this was just before Michele Bachmann declared, as she has before and would go on to repeat several times in the week, “that for the first time in human history we have full taxpayer funding of abortion.” …

    “Where does that come from?” one of my colleagues asked me as we trudged back to the parking garage in the baking heat. “I mean, it must be based on something.”

    “It’s based on nothing,” I said, unless you think that requiring private insurers to cover birth control counts as “taxpayer-funded abortion.”…

  107. says

    All right. Good. We are now able to clear up, debunk, and throw in the trash bin yet one more of Paul Ryan’s lies.

    No, he did not run a marathon in under 3 hours. He ran Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 1990 when he was twenty years old. His time was 4:01:25.

    No, he did not even run a marathon in under 4 hours.

    Source

    And what, exactly, had Paul Ryan claimed previously?

    Ryan had said in a radio interview last week that his personal best was “Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.”

    Dude, you are delusional.

    Link to radio interview.

  108. Jonathan, Foot In Mouth says

    @uncle This is how the Roman Republic died, isn’t it? So bogged down in petty one-upmanship and partisan politics that even reforms everybody knew were necessary couldn’t get passed, because nobody wanted to let the other side get credit for it. Even common-sense civil rights legislature that would have stopped an impending civil war wasn’t as important to the Roman Senate as keeping up with the Ionii.

    It got so corrupt that mob violence was the only way reforms got passed. And the one-percenters, who saw themselves as defenders of freedom and liberty, formed counter-mobs. And then came the lists of proscribed names, the purges and counter-purges, until almost everybody with any vision or ambition, let alone strong opinions one way or the other, was a head on a spike in the Forum. There was nobody left to keep the next generation of strongmen from just carving up Rome between them–and when they purged each other, the last man standing was Caesar.

    And incidentally, while we’re talking Roman politics, Cato? The fella that right-wing think tank is named for? When Rome’s bankers all went bust at once, he flipped them off and let ‘em fail. And the folks he tried to defend the Republic against? They were social conservatives.

  109. marcelkincaid says

    Rmoney and Ayn Ryan will win because the only thing that matters is turnout and the Republicans have the double whammy of huge amounts of Citizens United money and voter ID/suppression laws due to their very calculated program of putting Republicans into key offices.

    If you want me to be wrong, make me wrong.

  110. unclefrogy says

    Mr foot in mouth
    may be so, but I was kind a thinking of the Maya and the ecological collapse but You can just look at the middle east and more current variations on the same process.

    I live in earthquake so I always remember it is not if it is when!

    uncle frogy

  111. Jonathan, Foot In Mouth says

    @froggy But if the system collapses, we go with it–or at the very least, our liberties. Without a central government, you go back to the old strongman model like Rome did–only now they have tanks.

  112. athyco says

    Lynna, I went to Google to see if there was anything more about Run, Ryan, Run. According to an article posted fourteen minutes ago…he says he “misspoke” and should have rounded his time to four instead of three. Yeah.

  113. Jonathan, Foot In Mouth says

    Violence is just gonna make things worse… but I don’t know what can make it better. So many people acting like… like… SHEEP! MOTHERFUCKING SHEEP! I hate, hate, hate admitting it, but the PrisonPlanet crowd is right! We’re all mindless! Tractable animals! So many people on both sides that can’t stop jumping at trigger words like Pavlov’s pooches, can’t disassociate heartwarming kitschy stories from reality, can’t stop and think and… WAKE THE HELL UP! I know what it sounds like and I just don’t give a flying fuck anymore!

    I tried, I swear to invisible space-turkey I tried to respect my fellow man, but even this! Even that phrase I used just now is part of this vast web of corrupting, dysfunctional ideas we’ve woven into our entire society! Women are canned goods–discard if seal is broken! Foreigners are dangerous and different! Trust the pederast in the silly hat! Anyone who’s qualified to speak authoritatively on anything is an insidious, dead-eyed mandarin! JESUS FREEDOM BOOTSTRAPS WOULD YOU KINDLY?!

    God, how far is it going to go? How stupid and passive are we? How much longer are we going to lie down and take this? How long are we going to be the collective bitch of the elites? When will we come up with some good metaphors for docility and submission that don’t reflect a deep-seated cultural misogyny? When is somebody going to walk up to one of these jackoffs and put a hole in the space where politicians used to have brains? When are we going to figure out that that won’t actually fix anything? How the hell are we going to end this civilization-wide, history-long cycle of one essentially identical sociopolitical clusterfuck after another?

    Will there be anyone left when it does stop?

  114. unclefrogy says

    many ways it could collapse we are so very much interconnected around the world think trade and banking all that requires credit and that requires some order and stability for money and goods to change hands. Tanks need oil and a lot of it so does commerce at least energy that can be used.
    don’t forget that we have been practicing just in time inventory for some time now it is all moving no one wants to have large inventories waiting around for long.
    just look at what happens to oil prices if there is just a little “local” temporary disruption speculation meets demand meets greed with a bang. We live in cities now not in the country ain’t nothing here.
    It looks like hell to me

    uncle frogy

  115. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    My wife just showed me a picture of President Obama relaxing in a chair in the Rose Garden, with an empty chair next to him. It’s captioned “President Obama visits with Clint Eastwood”.

  116. ckitching says

    This is the same guy who compared his daughter’s pregnancy to rape. The daughter had consensual, out of wedlock sex.

    Well, if the man she had sex with did not compensate him, or was not approved by him, it must be exactly like rape — someone devalued his property by using it without his authorization. After all, the bible says…

    You’re not going to deny that they’re allowed to treat their children as property are you? Parental authority must trump the rights of children to be treated humanely and get the care they need. Otherwise, society might collapse or something.

  117. Amphiox says

    Without a central government, you go back to the old strongman model like Rome did–only now they have tanks.

    Tanks need oil and a lot of it so does commerce at least energy that can be used.

    The only weapon strongmen need to oppress others in the absence of functional government is willing muscle, and the only energy source they need is food.

    Ryan had said in a radio interview last week that his personal best was “Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.”

    So at last we know. 2:50 = 4:01 must be the math Ryan used when he determined that a voucher would be sufficient to cover the medicare costs he wants to cut.

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I always have wondered wyy the concept of vouchers save money. After all, 10-15% must come off the top as profits. Oops, forgot the concept of rethugilican graft. If it goes into the pockets of their backers, it isn’t graft/corruption….

  119. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Nerd, that’s the same as the health-insurance game. Instead of managing the healthcare costs directly, there’s a whole layer of insurance companies taking a cut.

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    there’s a whole layer of insurance companies taking a cut.

    Which brings up the real question, Why if you are trying to minimize costs/taxes?

  121. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Which brings up the real question, Why if you are trying to minimize costs/taxes?

    Because reducing costs has nothing to do with it. Almost every time a government function has been privatized, the government has ended up paying more for less services. It is (ideologically) all about making government smaller — reducing the number of people in civil service. It is (really) all about setting up ways for those who own large companies to reap huge profits by taking over a governmental function, providing fewer services, and raking in large profits to cover ‘overhead’.

  122. Amphiox says

    I always have wondered wyy the concept of vouchers save money. After all, 10-15% must come off the top as profits.

    Well, the vouchers are a fixed cost, divorced from any pesky realities about what health care actually costs in reality. If your voucher is $1000, and the healthcare you need is $2000, in the current system the government pays the full $2000. With vouchers the government pays just half, and it sucks to be you, too bad.

  123. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    It is (really) all about setting up ways for those who own large companies to reap huge profits

    Yep. As has been said, capitalism is only good for those with capital.

    And those large owners are who are meant when Rmoney talks about small businessmen and job creators. Which is just stupid since most businesses these days are all about employing as few people as possible—see “lean manufacturing” for an instance.

    (I worked at a place where the founder cared about his employees, which was great. His son, the owner when I worked there, liked to brag about how many people he employed, which was good. His staff got on a lean manufacturing kick, and a lot of people lost their jobs (one guy lost his life in a very preventable accident), which was bad.)

    Springfield, Missouri, has a cabal of business owners who are determined to keep the workforce low-paid and poorly-educated. The whole town suffers, except those Republican expletives.

  124. rogerfirth says

    Wait Karl Rove is an atheist??

    For fuck’s sake!

    Karl Rove will be whatever he’s paid to be.

  125. chrisv says

    Come on folks! What the Republican Party is trying to do is to duplicate the political/social/economic systems that dominate the Central and South American countries where the very wealthy support the church and the church supports the very wealthy. An RCC-supported oligarchy, supported with force wherever and whenever required. Can’t happen here? Ask Occupy ****. Ask American Indians. Ask African Americans. Try running as a candidate for the Communist Party. How much momentum do you think you could develop before you were shut down? Again, tell a lie enough times and eventually people will believe it. When you have the power of the media (Fox News, right wing radio), unlimited funding (Citizens United), made politicians, all supported by ‘da church, the sky is the limit.

  126. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Try running as a candidate for the Communist Party.

    The CPUSA doesn’t run candidates at this time. This will probably change if the USA gets rid of first past the post voting, but for now you can think of the CPUSA like an NGO.

  127. vaiyt says

    @152: The RCC is quite defanged in these parts of South America… but America-funded evangelicals are coming just around the corner. Joy.

  128. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    With vouchers the government pays just half, and it sucks to be you, too bad.

    Actually, it sucks to be the Redhead who could use and improve with in-home rehab until she is able to go to out-patient rehab on her own…