It is finished

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Late in the midnight hour, the President addressed the nation basking in the glow of a landmark political triumph over right-wing massive resistance to health care reform. His understated demeanor and measured words belied the enormity of this breakthrough.

Ted Kennedy would be so proud that his dream of universal health care is on the path to reality. His instinct that Barack Obama was the president we needed was vindicated in last night’s roll call. At the president’s side in this fight was the most effective Speaker of the House in living memory, Nancy Pelosi.   She refused to let this effort die and she helped revive the push for reform the pundits thought dead.

Nobody but Barack Obama could have pulled off this legislative victory.  Behind the genial exterior and megawatt smile is a disciplined, ruthless, pragmatic pol equipped with a flawless mastery of policy minutia.

The president’s  politically expedient compromises with the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies greased the skids of the legislative process and ultimately resulted in the enactment of a recycled package of Republican proposals from the last health care showdown 16 years ago that provide at last a framework for health insurance for most Americans.

While others focused on progressive goals like covering everyone, bringing down health care costs and providing competition, Obama focused on getting a passable bill that partially addressed those goals. This President is interested only in the art of the possible.  Ideology is secondary.

Obama won and left the Republicans sputtering unintelligible nonsense for over a year.  They showed their arses last night, every flat hairy butt cheek. They used every arrow in their quiver to defeat reform: fear, deception, xenophobia, and racism.  They still lost.

Over the course of the next few years, 32 million Americans will finally gain access to health insurance they should have had all along. It is the most expensive in the industrialized world and doesn’t cover what it should, but it is better than nothing at all. 

My hat is off to the Commander-in-chief for this triumph over unadulterated Republican evil.

I still want a public option.

Obama in the Lions Den

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Sorry, y’all.  I am one of the poor people that doesn’t have internet access at home and I messed around and got snowed in.   But if y’all ain’t seen this nearly hour and half long exchange with the President and the House Republicans, you really need to.  It is one thing to know the president is brilliant, it is quite another to see it in real time.  They knew the brotha was coming and they knew his purpose was to engage them in serious dialogue. They brought less than nothing to the table.  These are the fools the good people of Massachusetts sought to empower through the election of Scott Brown.  The Republicans are revealed here in all their ostentatious glory as the ignorant, obstinate, and fact challenged dilettantes that they are.  The president is nothing short of amazing.  This is the president that I voted for.

Skeptical Brotha to Martha Coakley: Thanks, Byotch

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Her Imperial Majesty Queen Martha I, Empress of Massachusetts

Your Imperial Majesty,

On behalf of the 45,000 Americans without health insurance who may die this year because you sat on a 30 point lead. Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of the dozens of unemployed men I pass on the way to work everyday that viewed Ted Kennedy as a hero and needed another one to look out for the rights of unemployed workers. Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of those who revered Teddy Kennedy as a progressive champion and are thankful to God for his 47 years of service. Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of the Kennedy Family—particularly Vickie and Teddy Jr. who deferred campaigns of their own and instead wasted their time raising money for you and cutting television ads on your behalf.  Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of all the judges Barack Obama could have appointed to reverse the right wing B.S. that reigns supreme in the federal courts had you won.   Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of the struggling taxpayers at the mercy of the banks and credit card companies that could use a consumer protection agency that will never materialize because you were to %*& # busy vacationing in the middle of a special election campaign.  Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of the struggling homeowners who were targeted by banks and mortgage companies as suckers to saddle with predatory loans.  Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of those sickened by the smiles you put on the faces of racist miscreants like Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, and Rush Limbaugh for making their dreams of total Republican obstruction come true.  Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of those who saw through Scott Brown’s campaign of fear and ignorance because they know that mindless obstruction is no substitute for creating jobs, and standing strong for peace and economic justice.  Thanks, Byotch.

On behalf of those who took the time to vote for your imperial candidacy even though you couldn’t be bothered to actually come up with a coherent campaign theme and tell people who you were and what you stood for.  Thanks, Byotch.

Sincerely Pissed,

Skeptical Brotha

Demonizing Barack: The enduring racist double standard

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(Obama sets the record straight on Race, Religion, and his Pastor)

Having absorbed all of the calumny, reprobation, and histrionics I can stand regarding Barack Obama, Trinity United Church of Christ and its former Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, I can be silent no more.

Having failed to make the manufactured Farrakhan smear stick, Obama’s tormentors have succeeded in distorting Jeremiah Wright into his horrifyingly racist doppelganger.

First, let me say that Barack Obama’s “denunciation” of some of Dr. Wright’s justifiable indignation about America’s hypocrisy regarding race, war, and Hillary Clinton, left a bad taste in my mouth, a very bad taste indeed.

Obama, the Junior Senator from Illinois, has labored mightily to run a campaign which focuses on that which unites rather than that which divides because it is a reflection of the way he has lived his life and made his career as an organizer, lawyer, state legislator, senator, and presidential candidate. He hasn’t always met that goal. His unequivocal support of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of innocent Lebanese civilians in 2006 and his failure to adequately address the Clinton campaign’s deliberate and repeated attempts to racially polarize Democrats reflect his craven accommodations to America’s racial hypocrisy.

A sistah named Cassandra from Michigan emailed me saying, “For the first time I don’t care whether or not he wins if he must shed his spirituality and dilute his soul to neutralize the stench and sting of truth that so many White Americans refuse to acknowledge…The hypocrisy and denial of how racism is destroying the integrity of working class and poor American blacks, whites, Latinos, Arabs and Asians is the seam that is dividing and will eventually shred the Democratic Party.”

Americans talk a good game, but in the end, as Jesse Jackson before him, he is being held to a racist double standard that previous white Presidents and Presidential Candidates were not held too.

Barack Obama’s religious affiliation with Trinity United Church of Christ is an affirmation of his own bi-racial heritage as the son of a Kenyan and white Kansan. To say that his membership in the United Church of Christ, a predominantly white denomination created in 1957 from the Congregational Christian Church and the Evangelical Reform Church is somehow suspect or racist is both ludicrous and false.

Trinity United Church of Christ is both integrated and welcoming of all people-including gays and lesbians. When Hillary Clinton’s denomination, the United Methodist Church, sent conflicting signals over the issue of homosexuality and restricting the role of gay clergy and the ability of gay congregants to have their unions blessed in the Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ went in the opposite direction in affirming its covenant with gay clergy and parishioners. Years before then, Wright established an AIDS ministry and a singles ministry for gay and lesbian congregants.

Lisa Miller, writing in Newsweek said, “As a leader, Wright defied convention at every turn. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune last year, he recalled a time during the 1970s when the UCC decided to ordain gay and lesbian clergy. At its annual meeting, sensitive to the historic discomfort some blacks have with homosexuality, gay leaders reached out to black pastors.”

“At that session, Wright heard the testimony of a gay Christian and, he said, he had a conversion experience on gay rights. He started one of the first AIDS ministries on the South Side and a singles group for Trinity gays and lesbians—a subject that still rankles some of the more conservative Trinity members, says Dwight Hopkins, a theology professor at the University of Chicago and a church member.”

Given the hatred and venom spewed forth in too many black pulpits toward black gays and lesbians, Dr. Wright stands out as enlightened, inclusive, and welcoming. But he would have to be in order to grow the church from 80 to 8000 members in three decades. Dr. Wright is the opposite from the bitter, angry, and bigoted portrait the corporate media has fashioned.

Come on, people. Do you really believe that a “black racist” would choose a 90% white denomination in which to plant his flag or are you just some kind of a damn moron engaged in a typical form of racist projection. I defy anyone to name one integrated, gay-friendly, mainline, protestant, predominately African American congregation you’ve ever stepped foot in where you’ve experienced hatred. I know damn well that nobody can because there is no such thing. Are you seriously scared of a moderate, bi-racial politician who bends over backwards to be inclusive, mainstream and non-threatening? Please.

Don’t fall for the right-wing attack campaign launched by Fox News and its corporate mimics.

Obama’s rise to prominence has been swift but it is not unlike that of another little known state politician who rose to prominence over thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter. Carter, you’ll recall was a born-again Baptist layman who also made common cause with all people regardless of race, religion, or background in order to heal the nation after Watergate. During the first months of his presidency in 1977, his home congregation, the Plains Baptist Church, of Plains, GA, forced out Pastor Bruce Edwards, because he sought, with the support of the President, to integrate the church.

During the waning days of the Presidential campaign, a black minister and “publicity seeker,” Rev. Clennon King, challenged the official policy of the church forbidding “Negroes and other civil rights agitators,” from membership. I find no record of the firestorm of criticism we see regarding Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. Nobody called on him to resign his membership or denounce the racially prejudiced people with whom he had lived his entire life.

Plotting a middle ground, the church, following Carter’s lead, denied Rev. King membership. The final straw, however, came after Pastor Edwards and his wife adopted a half-Hawaiian child. According to the President’s brother Billy, it was bad enough that the pastor was a liberal integrationist, but adopting the “tan-skinned” child was “99 per cent of the preacher’s problem,” wrote Margaret Montagno in Newsweek.

The Plains Baptist Church subsequently changed its policy in word, but not in deed. Nicholas King, writing in the New Republic said, “The ‘opening’ of the Plains Baptist Church was achieved last fall under the leadership of the Carter family…But there was opposition to the opening from the church’s old guard, and the only black face in the congregation the Sunday Jimmy Carter first returned to Plains as President belonged to a Secret Service man.” After he left the presidency, Jimmy Carter left the church and joined with former Plains Baptist Church members at Maranatha Baptist Church. The small congregation of 135 opens its doors to 12,000 visitors a year to hear the President teach Sunday School. A few years ago, Carter also left the hopelessly right-wing Southern Baptist Convention.

According to the Los Angeles Times, during the 1980 presidential campaign, in the midst of a conservative tide taking over the Southern Baptist Convention, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Bailey Smith, proclaimed, “God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” Again, nothing was heard from the media calling on President Carter to renounce the convention of which he was a member or for then Governor Ronald Reagan, who had addressed the same gathering of evangelicals in Dallas that same day to renounce the divisive and anti-Semitic statement of a right-wing supporter. The Washington Post covered the story on page F10 on September 26, 1980. The New York Times covered the story on three occasions and A 18 was the closet it came.

Lastly, can anybody recount for me the media firestorm over Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani. Refresh my memory about how many times the clip of the Religious Broadcaster and Baptist Minister advocating the assassination of the president of Venezuela, a supplier of oil to the United States, was run on Fox News and the rest of the corporate media in denunciation of Giuliani. How many times did they run the clip of Robertson agreeing with Jerry Falwell about the proper blame for 9/11 on abortions and gays and lesbians in a manner meant to accuse Giuliani of intolerance?

Today, nothing is materially different for the Hawaiian bred Barack Obama than it was for the half-Hawaiian son of Jimmy Carter’s Pastor. America, like Plains Baptist Church, has the same problem and like Jeremiah Wright has pointed out eloquently for thirty-six years as Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, race is 99 per cent of it.

Pastor Wright leaves Obama campaign

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Hat Tip: by Alex Johnston, MSNBC

 

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., condemned racially charged sermons by his former pastor Friday and urged Americans not to reject his presidential campaign because of “guilt by association.”

Obama’s campaign announced that the minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., had left its spiritual advisory committee after videotapes of his sermons again ignited fierce debate in news accounts and political blogs.

Obama did not clarify whether Wright volunteered to leave his African American Religious Leadership Committee, a loose group of supporters associated with the campaign, or whether the campaign asked him to leave.

“I think there was recognition that he’s obviously on the verge of retirement, [that] he’s taking a sabbatatical and that it was important for him to step out of the spotlight in this situation,” Obama said.

Wright was the latest in a series of advisers to Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who have stepped aside as supporters of both candidates trade racially charged accusations.

Obama rejects comments
Obama spoke warmly of Wright, who retired last month as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Wright is a man “I’ve known for 17 years, [who] helped bring me to Jesus, helped bring me to church,” he said.

“I strongly condemn” Wright’s statements, but “I would not repudiate the man,” Obama said. “He’s been preaching for 30 years. He’s a man who was a former Marine, a biblical scholar, someone who’s spoken at theological schools all over the country.

“That’s the man I know,” Obama said. “That’s the man who was the pastor of this church.”

But Obama acknowledged that “there’s no doubt this is going to be used as political fodder, as it has been in the past.”

“What I hope is [that] what the American people will trust is what I believe,” he said, that “my values, my ideas, what I’ve spoke about in terms of bringing the country together will override a guilt by association.”

But the sermons, at least one of which was delivered long before Wright retired last month, revived uncomfortable questions about Obama’s ties to the minister, whom conservative critics have accused of advocating black separatism.

A videotape of one sermon captures Wright using a harsh racial epithet to argue that Clinton could not understand the struggles of African Americans.

“Barack knows what it means, living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright said on Christmas Day of last year. “Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a [N-word]!”

In another sermon, delivered five days after the 9/11 attacks, Wright seems to imply that the United States had brought the terrorist violence on itself.

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York, and we never batted an eye,” Wright says. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is brought right back in our own front yards.”

In a later sermon, Wright revisits the theme, declaring: “No, no, no, not God bless America — God damn America!”

Obama: I didn’t hear inflammatory sermons
Obama took the title of his 2006 autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope,” from a sermon by Wright, who baptized him and officiated at his wedding. He has called Wright “a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible.”

In his remarks on MSNBC, Obama expanded on a brief posting that was made under his name earlier Friday afternoon on the Huffington Post Web site.

“The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation,” the posting said, adding that over the years, “Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life.

“In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.”

Obama wrote that he had known of similar statements by Wright over the years, which he strongly condemned. He wrote that he chose to remain in the church because “Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community.”

Clinton adviser gives Obama a pass
There was no formal reaction from the Clinton campaign, but Lanny Davis, a senior adviser, said he took Obama at his word.

“I give Senator Obama completely — completely — the benefit of the doubt that he has nothing to do with this bigotry that’s being spewed forth by this man,” Davis said on MSNBC’s “Tucker.” “For me, that’s all he has to say.

“I think we should stop this guilt-by-association thing, because some of our supporters say stupid things,” Davis said.

But the videos created a firestorm among political observers and commentators.

“Mr. Obama obviously would not choose to belong to Mr. Wright’s church and seek his advice unless he agreed with at least some of his views,” Wall Street Journal columnist Ron Kessler, publisher of the conservative Web site NewsMax.com, wrote Friday.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of the Web site of the conservative magazine National Review, wrote Friday that “now we know he’s contributed money to, voluntarily listened to, and publicly defended a cleric who peddles racial warfare.”

Others saw an attempt to “smear” Obama.

“How come righteous Republicans are rarely asked about the views of their spiritual advisers? Or why wasn’t George W. Bush (and the presidents preceding him) forced to distance himself from the anti-semitic comments of Billy Graham?” Ari Berman wrote Friday on the Web site of the liberal magazine The Nation, for which he is a contributing writer.

MSNBC cancels Tucker Carlson

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Word came today that Tucker Carlson’s show on MSNBC has been canceled. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus. No word or term adequately describes how much I loathe Tucker Carlson. He reminds me of the grade school classmates that I despised as a child. Their privilege and disdain of Negroes was some kind of a birthright that they wore proudly on angelic faces that showed me nothing but expressions of contempt.

I rarely call adults significantly older than me by their first names. Living in the south for more than 15 years has intensified that trait. I use Ms. or Mrs. or slap Mr. or Ms. in front of a first name. I can recall going home to the Midwest once and going to the grocery store my semi-retired grandma worked in as a demo-lady and came across some teenage boy calling her by her first name. It was like fingernails on a chalk-board. I almost lost it before grandma shooed him away. Mama confessed that she didn’t like children in the store calling her by her first name, but had resigned herself to that Midwestern habit.

I told grandma that I considered it HIGHLY disrespectful and hoped that she would say something. It was all I could do at the time to keep it together and not go off on the kid. Nothin’ makes me see red quicker than oblivious or deliberate disrespect. All of that brings me to Tucker Carlson, the subject of this post. He reminds me of that boy in the grocery store: disrespectful and oblivious.

Tucker Carlson is the kind of smug prick that causes sweet, Christian ladies like my grandma to bake up sumptuous batches of homemade cookies laced with rat poison and offer it to him with honeysuckled sweetness. Tucker ain’t got no home training and is contemptuous and disrespectful of any and everything black, or anything which could level the playing field. In short, he is addicted to white supremacist notions of superiority and is in desperate need of an intervention.

I know what you’re thinking, “Skeptical Brotha, that’s kinda strong isn’t it?” Sadly, no, Carlson is an unrepentant critic of Affirmative Action, Black politicians, Democrats, or anybody else more liberal than a movement conservative with an affinity for the confederacy.

Four years ago he asked Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton the following question about the University of Michigan case, “At the heart of one of these cases is a story of a woman named Jennifer Gratz. She applied to the University of Michigan. She had a 3.8 grade point average and she didn’t get in, partly because she was white. Now if your daughter was applying to college and she didn’t get in part because she was black, meaning her race counted against her, I think you would call that what it is, it’s racism. And I think you’d call it that. Why not call it that here?”

Where to begin? First, Tucker

 

Second, you should discard these antiquated and illogical fallicies about Affirmative Action. He wouldn’t know what was fair if it came up and bit him. It is supremely insulting that anybody could actually say with a straight face that stealing someone’s labor for two centuries and actively discriminating against them for another 75 years doesn’t merit some form of recompense. It’s completely absurd.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, before it was denatured and de-fanged with the addition of a stable of right-wing Handkerchief Heads, wrote, “Discriminatory actions by individuals and organizations are not only pervasive, occurring in every sector of society, but also cumulative with effects limited neither to the time nor the particular structural area in which they occur. This process of discrimination, therefore, extends across generations, across organizations, and across social structures in self-reinforcing cycles, passing the disadvantages incurred by one generation in one area to future generations in many related areas.”

“These interrelated components of the discriminatory process share one basic result: the persistent gaps seen in the status of women and minorities relative to that of white males. These unequal results themselves have real consequences.”

Tucker Carlson fails to recognize the context of America’s persistent inequality and fixates on the fiction of “reverse discrimination” to the exclusion of the routine “every day” racism which genuflects to white privilege and grants him two shows on two different networks to disseminate his ignorance to an unsuspecting public.

Lastly, Tucker has a rather odd fascination with the United Church of Christ-or rather Barack Obama’s church. It seems that Obama’s membership in a mainline protestant denomination is troubling to the Episcopalian Carlson. Senator Obama himself has said, “Commitment to God, black community, commitment to the black family, the black work ethic, self-discipline and self-respect. …Those are values that the conservative movement in particular has suggested are necessary for black advancement.” He added, “So I would be puzzled that they would object or quibble with the bulk of a document that basically espouses profoundly conservative values of self-reliance and self-help.”

His attacks on Obama’s “separatist” faith and the black church are tinged with the acceptable racism of snarky disdain and contempt I felt from my white peers many moons ago. Coupled with the right-wing inspired Muslim smear and fear bomb, they are a potent cocktail too strong for the average member of the white working class and bedrock of the GOP coalition.

Thanks be to God that the preppy klansman no longer has two mainstream media perches from which to spew his racist condescension and religious bigotry. I know Grandma is just as pleased as I am. Perhaps now that MSNBC has finally given Tucker the boot, they can find a woman or person of color ” to diversify their all white-male line up.

Giuliani’s Christmas Ad (Revised)

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Copying front runner Mike Huckabee and sinking in national polls like a stone, a desperate Rudy Giuliani came out with his own holiday ad to deceive and reassure gullible Republicans.   

Rudy: There a many things I wish for this Holiday Season.  I wish for peace with strength, secure borders, a government that spends less than it takes in, lower taxes for our business and families, and I really hope that all the presidential candidates can just get along.  

Santa:  Ho, Ho, Ho, I was with ya right up until that last one. 

Rudy:   Can’t have everything. I’m Rudy Giuliani and I approved this message. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.   

This is the parody ad I would have him release.  

Rudy:  There are many things I wish for this Holiday Season.  I wish for another 9/11 to scare the American people into voting for me, a government that spies on its own people, huge tax loopholes for the rich, and I really hope that before Bernie Kerik goes to jail, his mob friends will help me rub out the smug prick with perfect hair, Mitt Romney. 

Judi, the social climbing homewrecker: I wanna be First Lady and America’s Queen. 

Black Santa:  Ho, I was with ya right up until that last one.  

Rudy:  You black bastard, I’ll teach you to never say everything that pops into your head to a white woman.

Rudy’s security team shoots Santa in the back 41 times and calls it justifiable homicide because Black Santa “fit the description.” 

Rudy:  I’m Rudy Giuliani and I enthusiastically approved this gross display of racist police state fascism.  Merry Christmas. Seig Heil.

Mitt Romney’s Christmas Card (Revised)

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I’m dreaming of White Christians
Just like the ones I need to win
As my hypocrisy glistens, 
and white folks listen 
To a slick Arkansas huckster trudging around Iowa in the snow 

I’m dreaming of White Christians 
With every Christmas card I write 
May your days be merry and bright 
And may all the rapists Huckabee lets out of prison be white 

I’m dreaming of White Christians 
With every Christmas card I write 
May your days be merry and bright 
And may all the rapists Huckabee lets out of prison be white

From my right-wing stepford family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas.

Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season and he wants you to support the strongest possible GOP candidate to beat Hillary Clinton and her radical leftist, homosexual agenda.

Mitt Romney’s Faith in America Speech (re-written)

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Banner 6.11.07

As prepared for Delivery at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, December 6, 2007

Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind introduction.

It is an honor to be here today. This is an inspiring place because of you and the First Lady and because of the exaggerated film propping up your fragile ego exhibited across the way in the Presidential library. For those who have not seen it, it shows the President as a young pilot in a segregated unit, shot down during the Second World War, being rescued from his life-raft by the crew of an American submarine.

It is a moving reminder that when America has faced challenge and peril, Americans rise to the occasion, willing to risk their very lives to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege and preserve our economic and political supremacy. We are in your debt. Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, your generation rose to the occasion, first to defeat Fascism, and first to incorporate its ruthless cruelty and amoral ideology to unapologetically crush European style democratic socialism. You left us, your children, an ignorant, strong, and jingoistic America. It is why we call yours the greatest generation. It is now my generation’s turn. How we respond to today’s challenge to defend white anglo-saxon protestant privilege will define our generation. And it will determine what kind of America we will leave our children, and theirs.

America faces a new generation of challenges. Radical violent Islamofascists seek to destroy us. An emerging yellow peril in China endeavors to surpass our economic leadership. And we are troubled at home by government overspending on unproductive black welfare cheats, overuse of foreign oil, and the invasion of our borders by illegal aliens.

Over the last year, we have embarked on a national debate on how best to preserve white anglo-saxon privilege. Today, I wish to address a topic, which I believe is fundamental to America’s greatness: our shallow religiosity. I will also offer perspectives on how I would use faith to pander to and trick bigoted, anti-Morman evangelicals into giving me the Presidency. 

There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator to enslave the African and kill the Indian. And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of white supremacy and the promotion of theocracy.

Fascism requires the complicity of religious zealots just as religious zealotry requires fascism. Fascism opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs in communion with a God that validates his evil. Fascism and religious zealotry endure together, or perish alone. Given our grand tradition of religiosity and faux liberty, some wonder whether there are any questions regarding an aspiring candidate’s religion that are appropriate. I believe there are. And I will answer them today.

Almost 50 years ago another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was a right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President, not a Catholic running for President. Like him, I am right-wing anti-communist war hawk running for President. Unlike him, I define my candidacy by a phony profession of religiosity. A person should not be elected unless he is willing to shamelessly pander to right-wing people of faith.

Let me assure you that no authorities of my church, or of any other church for that matter, will ever exert visible influence on presidential decisions. Their authority is theirs, exercised secretly within the nefarious province of religious institutional back channels, and it ends wherever the limitations of their imaginations begin.

As Governor, I tried to position myself to run for President as best I knew how, serving my ambition and subverting the Constitution. I openly comingled the particular teachings of my church with the obligations of the office and of the Constitution – and of course, I would unapologetically do so as President. I am not above using any doctrine of any church to obtain the plain power of the office to subvert the sovereign authority of the law.

As a young man, Karl Rove described what he called America’s ‘political religion’ – God, Guns, and Gays. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my ticket to unlimited power. If I am fortunate to become your President, I will serve no one religion, no one group, and no one cause, except white anglo-saxon protestant privilege. A President must serve only the common cause of the white people of the United States.

There are some for whom these commitments are not enough. They would prefer it if I would simply distance myself from my religion, say that it is more a tradition than my personal conviction, or disavow one or another of its precepts. That I will not do. I believe in my Mormon faith and I sometimes endeavor to live by it. My faith is the faith of my fathers – I will be as true to them and to my beliefs as the political expediency of this campaign will allow.

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, they can kiss my grits. But I think they underestimate the shallow stupidity of the American people. Americans claim not to respect believers of convenience but never seem to tire of voting for those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.

There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? The answer that I am required to give to be elected is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. I say that to distract you about the fact that my church’s beliefs about Christ may not be the same as those of other faiths.  I will then appeal to our country’s fake tradition of religious tolerance after reassuring you that what I believe isn’t all that different from the theology of the evangelical rubes I need to win the nomination.

There are some who would have a Republican presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines, which enables the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. However, the reality is that no non-believer will ever be nominated by the Republican Party.  And if the besotted wingnut we eventually nominate ever becomes President, you all better get on your knees and pray.  

I believe that every GOP candidate I have encountered claims to be closer to God than me. And in every candidate in my party I have come to know, there are features in each I wish were in my own: I love the profound and shameless hypocrisy of the Catholic adulterer Giuliani, the slick Willie approachability of the Evangelical Huckabee, the lazy spirit of the Pentecostal Thompson, the confident fanaticism of the libertarian Ron Paul, the ancient Episcopalian McCain, unchanged through the ages, and the endless commitment to the frequent, fruitless prayer to God for the miracle it will take to elect Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter or any one of us for that matter.

As I travel across the country and see our towns and cities, I am always moved by the many houses of worship with their steeples, all pointing to heaven, reminding us of the source of our electoral bread and butter.It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the Republicans in America, we share a common creed of amoral religiosity. And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the vacuous religious principles that urge us all on a common course.

Whether it was the cause of abolishing Affirmative Action, or denying America’s racist holocaust, no movement of false conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the racial delusions of white people.

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for no good reason. Religion should dictate to the state and no state should interfere with the free practice of theocracy. The secular humanists are intent on driving religion from the public square and they are wrong. The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square.  

We are one nation ‘Under a greedy capitalist God’ and in God, we do indeed trust. We should begrudgingly acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in word but not in deed. God should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of historical propaganda, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.  

Our greatness would not long endure without the respect earned by our cluster bombing warmongering, upon which our political power as a nation rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any non-white Christians, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who’s blind to our tyranny.’ Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage.

Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: a fealty to helping the rich escape taxation, the obligation to serve the fascist power structure, and a steadfast commitment to white supremacy?  They are not unique to any one conservative. They belong to the great amoral indifference we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Republicans of different faiths meet and stand as a fascist theocracy, united.

We believe that every single white human being is a child of God – we are all part of God’s chosen people.  The conviction of the inherent and inalienable worth of every white life is still the most elementary political proposition ever advanced.  Trent Lott put it, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”   

White Americans acknowledge that white privilege is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed so many for privilege. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America’s sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve white supremacy, for us and for freedom loving Europeans throughout the world.

America obviously learned nothing from that Century’s terrible wars. –Which is probably why we let the ignorant patrician in the White House lie us into a quagmire in Iraq. America‘s resolve in the defense of false religiosity has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of fascist theocracy.

These American values, this great amoral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours. I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbors. I ignored my father marching with Martin Luther King. I forgot my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements. Totally ignoring my parents noblesse oblige, I am now deeply moved by George Herbert Walker Bush’s broken pledge:  Read my lips: No new Taxes.     

My faith is grounded on these truths. You can witness them in Ann and my sickening “Father Knows Best” marriage and in our family. We are a long way from perfect, I don’t think Ann has ever had an orgasm, and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self-same as those Republicans from the other faiths that stand upon this common, porous foundation of phony religiosity. And these convictions will indeed deform my presidency.

Today’s generations of Republicans have always known of a Bush in the White House. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path the Bushes took to achieve it. They came here to Texas from Connecticut to seek freedom from patrician obligation. Upon finding it for themselves, they ran for office in the longest quest for dynastic power in the nation’s history.  

After twelve years of supply-side mismanagement, they found themselves out of power. Eager to get back in the game and repulsed by her liberal beliefs, Ann Richards was destroyed to make way for Dubya and she was exiled from Texas so the fortunate son could propel himself from Austin to D.C.   As a former governor of Massachusetts and the father of five sons, perhaps I can install one of my boys in the White House just like the ignorant patrician’s daddy did for him.   

It was in Houston that founding father Bush defined a revolutionary vision of dynastic power, grounded in self evident truths about the supremacy of oil, and the inalienable right to plunder the world in search of it, which is endowed by the Creator.  We cherish these sacred rights, and secure them by shredding the Constitutional order.In such a fluid campaign, I am deeply thankful that we live in a land where hypocrisy and religiosity are friends and allies in the cause of fascist theocracy, joined against the evils and dangers of another Clinton presidency.

And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, had better do it with one eye open because I am liable to say or do anything to win this race. In that spirit, let us give thanks to the divine ‘author of liberty.’ And together, let us pray that this land may always be blessed with a nuclear arsenal capable of annihilating our enemies.  

God bless the United States of Hypocrisy. 

 

Justice Harold Melton, Sonny Perdue’s Colored Confederate

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Harold Melton and Clarence Thomas

“The past is not dead.  In fact, it’s not even past.”-William Faulkner 

The news broke late Friday that the Georgia Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, overturned Genarlow Wilson’s conviction for aggravated child molestation, and the 10-year mandatory sentence that he received as a result of engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 and both were in High School.  

In reading the dissenting opinion, I discovered that Georgia’s newest State Supreme Court Justice, Harold Melton, a 41 year old African American and appointee of Republican Governor Sonny Perdue, is an undercover confederate with a disturbing penchant for distorting the rule of law.  Justice Melton signed on to a dissent in the Wilson case that only Federalist Society fascists like Clarence Thomas could love.  

The gross overcharging of Genarlow Wilson by Douglas County District Attorney David McDade, a racist if their ever was one, was a perversion of the law not intended by the legislature that echoes Douglas County’s only recorded lynching. 

“In Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia 1880-1930,”  “The lynching of Peter Stamps on July 24, 1885, in Douglas County, Georgia, is another example of the severe consequences of defying the color line in sexual relationships.  For almost a year, Stamps, a black tenant farmer, had been the lover of his employer’s sixteen-year-old daughter without arousing suspicions.  But when the girl became pregnant, the romance could no longer be kept secret.” 

“Stamps was promptly arrested for rape even though the girl adamantly refused to accuse him.  While he was being transported to the county jail, a mob seized him and hanged him. The tragic affair ended when the young girl committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.” 

In Douglas County, Georgia, Genarlow Wilson isn’t the first young person destroyed because of an unhealthy adult preoccupation with consensual, pre-marital sex among teens.   While all of the participants in the titillating sex party that was recorded on videotape were black, the unfettered white power to destroy their lives for a horrible youthful mistake remains the same.  All of the boys were branded as sex offenders for life.  None of them, however, served the time Genarlow Wilson did because he fought the charges, especially the rape charge for which he was acquitted. 

Because of that fact, I do not believe the District Attorney’s feigned concern for the girl who claimed that she was raped because after his fairness was challenged in the media, he distributed 35 copies of the videotape, which meets the statutory definition of child pornography, to the public.   Those are not the actions of man who believes he’s trying to protect a girl from unscrupulous teenage predators, but rather, they are the actions of a racist trying to cover his ass by clouding the issues and smearing Genarlow Wilson as some kinda teenage R. Kelly.

A real black man or woman would know and understand that and conduct themselves accordingly.  His two black colleagues on the court certainly did. Unfortunately, Harold Melton is not a real black man. He’s nothing more than a Clarence Thomas clone and a colored confederate faking the funk and fighting on the wrong side.   

Black Judges like Clarence Thomas and Harold Melton are fully aware of the historical context of the racial struggles of the African American community and are capable of meting out justice in cases like Genarlow’s,  but they are too blinded and ashamed to acknowledge the tawdry sex scandal that gave birth to their own nefarious power.  

Their power is the result of illicit fornication between Machiavellian southern rednecks and northern patricians in the Republican Party who unapologetically manipulate the inflammatory symbols of segregation, white supremacy and the irrational fear of black crime, to enrage and corral a provincial white electorate into voting GOP slates of pinstripe troglodytes like Douglas County DA David McDade into office.  Their mission: reverse the gains of the civil rights movement and keep colored folk like us in a designated place of impotent subordination.

Georgia State Flag, c. 1956-2001

In the same manner that George Herbert Walker Bush used Willie Horton to exploit the irrational and racist white fear of black crime, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue used the issue of changing Georgia’s confederate emblazoned Flag, demanded by African Americans and their white democratic allies, to inflame a bigoted rural electorate against his democratic opponent, former Governor Roy Barnes.    

Sean Wilentz, writing for Salon.com, breaks down the implicit racism employed by the maniacal right, “Republican politicians then exploited the issue, with all its blatant racial overtones. The Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate Sonny Perdue, backed by Georgia Republican state chairman and former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, upheld the honor of those who died defending slavery, and pledged that, if elected, he would push for a statewide referendum to restore the old flag, nearly two-thirds of it taken up by the Confederate emblem.” 

“The tactic worked like a charm, especially in Georgia where the Democrat Barnes had been expected to win reelection handily. The election returns clearly show that rural white voters switched in droves to vote Republican, and that the flag controversy was one important reason why.” 

“… a victorious Sonny Perdue, appearing against a backdrop of Confederate emblems, jubilantly exclaimed, with dubious taste, a line from an old black spiritual made famous by another Georgian, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, free at last!  Since then, Gov.-elect Perdue has backed off from his pledge to restore the old flag, and said with a straight face that the issue was only a “small” reason for his victory. And so his campaign appeals seem to have been just a cynical ploy, in a long tradition of Southern racial demagogy.” 

Once elected Governor, Perdue plucked Harold Melton out of the obscurity of the Attorney General’s Office and made him his chief counsel.   A black Republican of long standing, Melton graduated from Auburn University and interned for Alabama Republican Governor Guy Hunt, a right-wing crook indicted and removed from office for diverting $2oo, 000 dollars from his inaugural ball fund to personal use.  

Upon Melton’s graduation from law school at the University of Georgia, he spent 11 years in the Georgia Attorney General’s office, most of it under Mike Bowers, a sanctimonious, homophobic party switcher with gubernatorial ambitions who zealously persecuted gay people using Georgia’s antediluvian sodomy laws while simultaneously carrying on a decade long extramarital affair with his secretary.   

Melton absorbed his patron’s homophobia and facilitated Sonny Perdue’s demagogic crusade to “preserve marriage” as the Governor’s Chief Counsel.   After Perdue had solidified his credentials as a southern redneck, and he couldn’t fulfill his promise to restore the flag because of a hostile legislature, he moved on to exploit homophobia to distract the same fools fixated on preserving their southern heritage of hate. Perdue shrewdly gave them the gays to demonize and focus their hatred on.   Georgia’s passage of a so-called “marriage amendment” solidified the GOP stranglehold on state government and assured Perdue’s re-election.    

As a reward, Melton was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2005, pissing off a lot of white conservatives who believed that the first GOP appointment should have gone to one of their white wingnut fellow travelers.   His vote against Genarlow Wilson and in a death penalty case I will subsequently discuss, should have quieted all the talk about Melton not being sufficiently conservative.   

Melton, the Death Penalty, and Georgia’s history of lynching 

I have never been amused by the Republican habit of dismissing and ignoring the history and persistence of racially motivated murder in this country.  Between 1882 and 1968, 492 lynchings of black men and women took place in Georgia, 479 of them murdered at the hands of white mobs, a number that ranks Georgia second only to Mississippi in the savage sweepstakes of white supremacist killing.    

This next vignette of hate should have some significance to the Governor because it happened six months before he was born, and directly implicated a gubernatorial predecessor. In July, the Associated Press wrote about how they uncovered evidence, through the use of the Freedom of Information Act, that implicated former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge, a virulent racist, in the lynching of two black couples after his 1946 re-election.

Talmadge, who died just months after his 1946 election to a fourth term, dominated Georgia politics in the 1930s and 1940s with a mix of racism and pocketbook populism.He came under FBI scrutiny because of a visit he made to the north Georgia town of Monroe two days before the Democratic gubernatorial primary and a day after a highly charged racial incident there, a fight in which a black sharecropper stabbed and severely wounded a white farmer.”

“The sharecropper was one of the four people who would later be lynched.In a report sent to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the agent in charge of the investigation said Talmadge met with George Hester, the brother of the stabbed farmer. Citing an unconfirmed witness statement, the agent said Talmadge offered immunity to anyone “taking care of negro.”

“…The lynchings of Roger and Dorothy Malcom, and George and Mae Murray Dorsey on July 25, 1946, came eight days after the election and followed weeks of simmering tensions. There were rumors that George Dorsey, an Army veteran, had secretly been dating a white woman — a taboo in the segregated South. And the town’s white establishment was enraged with Roger Malcom, who was imprisoned after stabbing white farmer Barney Hester.”

“Malcom was waiting in jail when white farmer Loy Harrison paid $600 to bail him out. Harrison said he was driving Malcom, his wife and the other couple home, when he was ambushed by a white mob that surrounded his car near the Moore’s Ford Bridge. As many as 30 people converged on the vehicle and pulled out the two couples, dragged them down a nearby trail and tied them to trees.”

“Then the mob fired three volleys of bullets at the couples, leaving their dead bodies slumped behind in the dirt. One of the victims, Dorothy Malcom, was seven months’ pregnant. An outraged President Truman dispatched FBI agents to Monroe, about 45 miles east of Atlanta. But the local community — both white and black — clammed up.”

…Black families, who often sharecropped on white farms, were “frightened and even terrified” when approached by FBI agents. One farmer fled into a cotton field and had to be chased down, eventually telling an investigator he had been warned not to talk.” 

Baby Boomers like Sonny Perdue turn a blind eye to the cruelty and malevolence of their parents’ generation and the six lynchings,  which occurred in his home county in the twentieth century.  His guilt is submerged into the “good works” he performs like opening his home to a black foster child or his close personal and professional relationships with a few people of color. However, when Perdue’s back was against the wall, like Eugene Talmage’s was in the election of 1946,  he resorted to the same bag of tricks and he drew from the well white supremacy and division because of a desperation to seize power.  His desire to paper over the racial divisions he created with appointments like Harold Melton only makes the problem of racial discrimination worse.  

The spirit of fear inculcated and bred into black people by enduring generations of racist terror like the aforementioned lynching, is all over the next case.   The manner in which Georgia carries out the death penalty more closely resembles a lynching than a carefully designed legal process, which respects the constitutional rights of the accused.  Just weeks before the prevaricator from Pin Point, Georgia, Clarence Thomas, was disingenuously accusing his inquisitors of subjecting him to “a high-tech lynching” a real one was taking place in a Savannah, Georgia courtroom, in a town he claims to know well.   

The case of Troy Anthony Davis, a death row inmate, is one that shocks the conscience.  Convicted of the murder of a white police officer and the shooting of a black teenager, his conviction was obtained as a result of the perjured testimony of African American witnesses coerced to appear by a racist and incompetent Savannah police force.   The state had no physical evidence in this case tying Davis to the crime and all but three of the “witnesses” recanted their testimony.     Don’t believe me?   Read for yourself.  

Affidavit of Darrell Collins: 

When I got to the barracks, the police put me in a small room and some detectives came in and started yelling at me, telling me that I knew that Troy Davis…killed that officer by the Burger King. I told them that… I didn’t see Troy do nothing. They got real mad when I said this and started getting in my face. They were telling me that I was an accessory to murder and that I would pay like Troy was gonna pay if I didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear. They told me that I would go to jail for a long time and I would be lucky if I ever got out, especially because a police officer got killed.” 

“… I didn’t want to go to jail because I didn’t do nothing wrong. I was only sixteen and was so scared of going to jail. They kept saying that…[Troy] had messed with that man up at Burger King and killed that officer. I told them that it was Red and not Troy who was messing with that man, but they didn’t want to hear that…After a couple of hours of the detectives yelling at me and threatening me, I finally broke down and told them what they wanted to hear. They would tell me things that they said had happened and I would repeat whatever they said.”  

From the Affidavit of Antoine Williams:

 I couldn’t really tell what was going on because I had the darkest shades of tint you could possibly have on my windows of my car. As soon as I heard the shot and saw the officer go down, I ducked down under the dash of my car. I was scared for my life and I didn’t want to get shot myself.” 

“…Later that night, some cops asked me what had happened. I told them what is written here [in the affidavit]. They asked me to describe the shooter and what he looked like and what he was wearing. I kept telling them that I didn’t know. It was dark, my windows were tinted, and I was scared. It all happened so fast. Even today, I know that I could not honestly identify with any certainty who shot the officer that night. I couldn’t then either. After the officers talked to me, they gave me a statement and told me to sign it. I signed it. I did not read it because I cannot read.”  

From the Affidavit of Benjamin Gordon: 

Later that night, police officers came and dragged me from my house in Yamacraw. There were police officers everywhere after the police officer was killed and it seemed like they were taking everyone in Yamacraw to the police barracks for questioning. I was handcuffed and they put a nightstick under my neck. I had just turned sixteen and was scared as hell.” 

“The police officers took me to the barracks and put me in a small room. Over the next couple of hours, three or so officers questioned me – at first, they called me a motherfuc*er and told me that I had shot the officer. They told me that I was going to the electric chair. They got in my face and yelled at me a lot. The cops then told me that I did the shooting over in Cloverdale.”

“I just kept telling them that I didn’t do anything, but they weren’t hearing that. After four or five hours, they told me to sign some papers. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I didn’t read what they told me to sign and they didn’t ask me to.” 

In their zeal to avenge the killing of a white police officer, police misconduct mimicked an angry lynch mob hell bent in defending white supremacy by pinning any nigger with the crime.  This case has bounced between state and federal courts for 16 years and they have continued to reject any claim of innocence and refused to consider affidavits recanting perjured testimony. 

A law signed by Bill Clinton makes it all but impossible to considered new evidence of innocence  in the federal courts, and a ruling in Herrera v. Collins, a U.S. Supreme Court Case in which Clarence Thomas was in the majority, allows states to execute people they know for certain are innocent of the crimes for which they have been sentenced to death.   You read that right.  Clarence Thomas ruled that there is no constitutional problem with executing innocent people.   

In the last eight years, six brothas-Willie Williams, Calvin Johnson, Robert Clark, Douglas Echols, Samuel Scott and Clarence Harrison, have been exonerated by the state of Georgia after being convicted on the basis of false eyewitness testimony.   

Apparently, Harold Melton is ignorant of these cases and is following in Clarence Thomas’s corrupt footsteps because when Troy Davis reached the end of the line, and his execution date was set,  he voted against the Georgia Supreme Court hearing this case to consider evidence of witness recantation and claims of actual innocence, something appellate courts rarely do after they’ve already heard the case.   Melton, in effect, voted to kill this brotha and proved that he is possessed by the same spirit of evil that has Clarence Thomas in its grip. 

Melton faces the electorate for the first time next year. So let the word go forth, from this time and place, that its open season on Sonny Perdue’s colored confederate, in solidarity with Genarlow and Troy, because Melton’s anti-black jurisprudence is the historical fruit of the poisonous tree of white supremacy and further proof that “The past is not dead.  In fact, its not even past.” 

 

Craig bows to the inevitable and will resign

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photo by Buddy Stone courtesy of Flickr

Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig will resign from the Senate amid a furor over his arrest and guilty plea in a police sex sting in an airport men’s room, Republican officials said Friday.

Craig will announce at a news conference in Boise Saturday morning that he will resign effective Sept. 30, four state GOP officials told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Word of the resignation came four days after the disclosure that Craig had pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge arising out of his June 11 arrest during a lewd-conduct investigation at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The three-term Republican senator had maintained that he did nothing wrong except for making the guilty plea without consulting a lawyer. But he found almost no support among Republicans in his home state or Washington.

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter appeared Friday to have already settled on a successor: Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, according to several Republicans familiar with internal deliberations.

Craig’s spokesman, Dan Whiting, had said earlier that the senator would announce his career plans Saturday. The spokesman would not say whether Craig intended to resign.

Craig has been out of public view since Tuesday, when he declared defiantly at a Boise news conference: “I am not gay. I never have been gay.” But Republican sources in Idaho said he spent Friday making calls to top party officials, including the governor, gauging their support.

There has been virtually none publicly.

Asked Friday at the White House if the senator should resign, President Bush said nothing and walked off stage.

Republican officeholders and party leaders maintained a steady drumbeat of actions and words aimed at persuading Craig to vacate his Senate seat.

GOP lawmakers, hoping to get the embarrassment to the party behind them quickly, stripped Craig of leadership posts on Wednesday, one day after they called for an investigation of Craig’s actions by the Senate Ethics Committee. Craig complied with the request.

With his wife, Suzanne, at his side, Craig said he had kept the incident from aides, friends and family and later pleaded guilty “in hopes of making it go away.”

Craig, 62, has represented Idaho in Congress for more than a quarter-century and was up for re-election next year.

Republican officeholders and party leaders wanted Craig to give up his seat in the Senate as soon as possible. Their preference, according to several officials, was for a successor to be selected and ready to take the oath of office when the Senate returns from its summer vacation next week.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Craig’s conduct “unforgivable” and acknowledged that many in the rank and file thought Craig should resign.

Republicans, worried about the scandal’s effect on next year’s election, suffered a further setback Friday when veteran Virginia Sen. John Warner announced he will retire rather than seek a sixth term. Democrats captured Virginia’s other Senate seat from the GOP in the 2006 election and have sought to line up former Gov. Mark Warner to run if the seat became open.

The contest for control of the next Senate was already tilted against Republicans, who must defend 22 of 34 seats on the ballot next year, before the Craig scandal and Warner’s announcement.

With a GOP candidate other than Craig, Republicans would stand a much better chance of keeping his Idaho seat in 2008. Idaho is one of the nation’s most reliably Republican states. The GOP controls the statehouse and all four seats in Congress, and Bush carried the state in 2004 with 68 percent of the vote.

Risch, the lieutenant governor, served for seven months as governor last year after former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne was named interior secretary. Risch had said earlier he was interested in Craig’s Senate seat if Craig did not seek re-election in 2008.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, also had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Craig, but the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because Craig has not resigned, said Otter would choose Risch.

Mark Warbis, a spokesman for Otter, said the governor would not comment until he hears from Craig.

Craig served in the House before winning his first Senate term in 1990 and compiled a strongly conservative voting record.

On Thursday, the Minneapolis airport authorities released a tape recording of Craig’s interrogation minutes after he encountered a plainclothes officer in an adjacent stall in an airport restroom.

Craig and airport police Sgt. Dave Karsnia disagreed about virtually everything that had occurred — including whether there was a piece of paper on the floor of the stall and the meaning of the senator’s hand gestures.

Craig denied that he had used foot and hand gestures to signal interest in a sexual encounter.

“I’m not gay. I don’t do these kinds of things,” Craig told the officer. “You shouldn’t be out to entrap people.”

Karsnia accused Craig of lying and grew exasperated with his denials.

“Embarrassing, embarrassing. No wonder why we’re going down the tubes,” Karsnia said

Larry Craig’s revised statement to the Media

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Sen. Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican, made the following statement at 4:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.

BOISE, Idaho  — “First, please let me apologize to my family, friends, staff and fellow Idahoans for the obvious and unnecessary lie I’m about to tell. I did nothing at the Minneapolis airport I’m willing to cop to. I regret my stupid decision to plead guilty and the shame and derision that has brought to my wife, family, friends, staff, and fellow Idahoans. For that, I offer this, the lamest apology in the history of all mankind.

“In June, I overreacted, told the truth, and it was a politically poor decision. While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, somehow, for the second year in a row, I keep being exposed as someone with the proclivity to solicit sex in a public toilet.  I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away. I did not seek any counsel, either from an attorney, staff, friends, or family. That was a stupid mistake, and I deeply regret it. I could have lawyered up and muddied the waters sufficiently to get this charge thrown out, but I didn’t for rather transparent reasons.  I have now retained counsel and I am asking my counsel to review this matter to see if he can get me out of this s#*tstorm.

“For a moment, I want to put my state of mind into context on June 11. For eight months leading up to June, I had been relentlessly and viciously exposed for what I am by the Idaho Statesman. If you’ve seen today’s paper, you know why. Let me be clear: I am not willing to admit to being gay and never have been.

“Still, without leaving me a shred of dignity, the Statesman has exposed my extra curricular fornication. In pleading guilty, I overreacted in Minneapolis, because of the stress of the Idaho Statesman’s persecution and the deliciously sarcastic gossip it has fueled around Idaho. Again, that overreaction was a mistake, because if my Republican colleagues were willing to let  the obvious lies of  Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and Alberto Gonzales pass unchallenged for years, I don’t understand why they can’t back me up one more time. Furthermore, I should not have kept this arrest to myself, and should have immediately hired an attorney and public relations mouthpiece to spin the lie of the century on my behalf. I wasn’t eager to face the music, but I should have done so anyway.

“I love my wife, family, friends, staff and Idaho. But I love serving Idaho in Congress more. Over the years, I have accomplished nothing for Idaho, and I desperately hope Idahoans will allow me to continue to do that. There are still fascist goals I would like to accomplish and hypocrisy I’d like to revel in.  I still cling to the delusion that I can be an effective leader for the religious right. Next month, I will announce the fact that I will not seek re-election.  I am just putting this face-saving B.S. out there as a Hail Mary pass to see whether or not there are enough gullible troglodytes left in Idaho to vote me back into the Senate.  

“As an elected official, I fully realize that my life is open for public ridicule and scrutiny, and I take full responsibility for the “brilliant idea” of blaming the Media for exposing my hypocrisy and the mistake in judgment I made in attempting to handle this matter myself.”

“It is clear, though, that through my actions I am obviously lying to Idahohans and the American people. For that, I ask the people of Idaho on bended knee to please look the other way and let this pass down the memory hole like Vietnam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Iraq, Impeachment, and all the rest of the crap in Washington. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzze let me be a Senator again!!!!!!!!”

ABC Republican Debate

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gopdebate

The comb-over caucus met again for another one of their forgetable debates yesterday morning on This Week with Georgie the Greek.   On display was the full panoply of GOP wingnuttia and delusional posturing on abortion, immigration, and the War in Iraq.  It was truly not worth watching except that the applause of partisans cheering for their guy was totally unexpected.  

The buzz being generated on the right by Ron Paul is interesting.  First, he’s foresquare against the war and they applauded him lustily for it.   Second,  he’s a former libertarian Presidential candidate and has generated fanatical enthusiasm from the small government and anti-tax zealots that dwell therein.   Third,  his fundraising is picking up substantially.  His candidacy is harnessing the resurgence of far right wing extremism and in that respect, his candidacy is reminesent of Barry Goldwater’s in 1964.  He is not a traditional Republican by any means.  He’s too far to the right.  Crony capitalism is not his deal.   He’s all about drowning government in the bathtub.    

My favorite line of the debate was Mitt Romney’s shot across the bow to Barack Obama.  He said “He’s willing to have tea with our enemies and to bomb our allies,” or something to that effect.   It was a great line and a signal to the sentient that this crowd are the most dangerous reactionaries to ever seek the presidency in a long time.   Nothing will be settled in this contest until Fred Thompson joins them on stage and his full campaign platform is unveiled for all to see.  

After the mauling that Giuliani took on abortion, I was surprised that the NYPD didn’t storm the stage to arrest his challengers.  In the perfect police state of his fantasies, this is what would happen.

Elizabeth Edwards confronts Ann Coulter, the fascist strumpet

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Hat Tip: The Hill by Klaus Marre

With the second quarter drawing to a close, the presidential campaign of former North Carolina senator John Edwards (D) on Wednesday again turned to one of its most reliable “fundraisers,” Ann Coulter.

In an e-mail to supporters, Edwards’ wife Elizabeth described why she called in to MSNBC’s “Hardball” Tuesday. The show featured the conservative pundit, who has often attacked Edwards. This week Coulter proclaimed “If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.

Elizabeth Edwards said she decided to call the show to appeal to Coulter to stop the attacks. “I told her these kinds of personal attacks lower our political dialogue at precisely the time when we need to raise it, and set a bad example for our children,” she said. “How did she respond? Sadly, perhaps predictably, with more personal attacks.”

The e-mail is coupled with an appeal for campaign donations. “Please give what you can right now to help raise the dialogue and show that Ann Coulter-style politics will never carry the day,” Mrs. Edwards wrote.

It is the second time in as many quarters that the Edwards campaign is using Coulter for a fundraising appeal. In March, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate raised “Coulter cash” after the right-wing pundit called the senator a “faggot.”

Elizabeth Edwards is a good one, Y’all.   I woulda cursed the heifer out.  It may not have solved anything but at least it would have made me feel better.  I then woulda cursed out Chris Matthews for his craven ratings grasping.   The fascist strumpet is a mouthpiece of hate and doesn’t deserve the platform.  It only legitimizes her hate.  He is beneath contempt.

Campaign Mailbag: Rudy’s 12 commitments

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12 CommitmentsDear Wingnut,

I’m running for President of the United States based on the fear and hate I can offer the American people. When I was the Mayor of New York, the city was in a crime crisis, a budget crisis and a financial crisis. When I left office, we had turned the city into a boiling cauldron of racial division and economic stratification.

Many of the things I did as Mayor of New York City are irrelevant to what America needs now. That’s why today I announced my 12 commitments to you, the American people. These commitments are intended to lift my megalomaniacal ass into the White House.

My 12 commitments to the American people are:

  1. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  2. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  3. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  4. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  5. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  6. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  7. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  8. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  9. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  10. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  11. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11
  12. I will shamelessly exploit the fear of terrorism and tragedy of 9/11

My focus – as it was when I ran for Mayor – is on the accumulation of unlimited power. Because real leadership is focused on handing our nation to the next white generation far more right-wing than it was when handed to us. Today, I’m asking you and all of my fellow White Americans to join me in this mission. Will you go to my website, JoinRudy2008.com, to sign my petition and show your support? I also ask that you forward this to 12 of your most right-wing, knuckle dragging friends and get them to sign it as well.

Nothing polarizes a government and a people better than a racist control freak that challenges it to deform, change and regress. I can divide this nation in ways nobody thinks is possible and can’t be accomplished. I did it as Mayor of New York City, and I can do it again in Washington.

It’s a hard job and I can’t do it alone. Will you join me? Please visit JoinRudy2008.com and sign my petition to show your support. Please ask 12 of your scariest wingnut friends to sign on as well. Together, we can destroy constitutional government forever.

If I am elected President, I want to establish a fascist police state. That is the kind of leadership I am offering. And that is why I am running for President.

Sincerely,

Giuliani Sig

Campaign Mailbag: John McCain fundraising appeal

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 John McCain 2008 - John McCain for President

I wanted to forward on this important message we sent last week in case you missed it. As we approach the financial reporting deadline at the end of this month, For the love of God, please join us in reaching our goal.  

Thanks,
Christian


Today, we at the McCain eCampaign invite you to be a part of our new online initiative to help us reach our desperate goal of raising anything respectable by June 30th.

During his remarkable century of service to our country, John McCain has served in the Navy, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate. In 1917, he was serving our country as an aviator in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Forrestal in the First World War.

An accident aboard the ship made him fixated about a career in politics and provided him an option to return home and receive psychiatric help, but he did not take it. Instead, he chose to continue his “service” to his country by running for Congress, then transferring to the U.S. Senate. In 2000, he was shot down in the Republican Primaries and spent the next eight years of his life as the prisoner of a beltway delusion that he could be President. The years John McCain spent running for President only strengthened his delusional love and respect of our unpopular commander and chief.

Today, John McCain continues his eons of “service” to our great country as a U.S Senator and as a candidate in a fruitless run for President. John McCain has never been a man to take the easy way out. As he seeks the Presidency again, he has alienated the base with his stupid support of Dubya’s Immigration bill-and killed his chance at the brass ring. This is the essence of the ass-out predicament we’re in as a campaign, and we desperately hope that you will join our campaign today so that we will continue to have futures in Republican politics even if he doesn’t. Your immediate contribution will help catapult our careers off this sinking ship.

We are approaching the end of the second quarter fundraising deadline on June 30th. The McCain eCampaign has pledged to raise anything respectable by this date, and we desperately need your support today to reach our goal.

Will you give $50, $100, $250, $500 or even $1,000 today to help us reach our goal by June 30th?

You have likely heard the pundits refer to this campaign as a “Dead Man Walking”, and in the early death throws. In the highly unlikely event he is elected President, it will be because we have a strong grassroots network of besotted wingnuts like you.

If you have already given to the campaign, we thank you for your idiotic generosity. We ask that you give one more contribution of whatever you can afford – whether it is $50 or $500 – every little bit helps us reach our goal. If you have not made a financial commitment to McCain 2008, you really shouldn’t bother, but if you must, do so by following this secure link.

You are the backbone of our campaign, and we are always thankful for your wasted energy, wasted time and wasted financial commitment. Once again (and we cannot say this enough), thank you.

Sincerely,
Christian Ferry
National eCampaign Director

P.S. We are approaching our second quarter fundraising deadline on June 30th. We know that Old Man McCain isn’t up to the challenge. Now is the time to show your compassion to us, his long-suffering campaign staff, as we seek to support our families. Please help the eCampaign reach our fundraising goal of anything respectable by June 30th.

God Bless you!