The “Old White Douchebag” Effect

Bob Welch, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin chapter of the National Rifle Association, has assured his minions that the “Connecticut Effect” of 20 dead first-graders and six dead teachers will blow over quickly and then it will be business as usual. Continue reading

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Lindsey Graham’s Benghazi Obsession

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and John McCain of Arizona, are the Senate’s “Three Stooges” on the subject of the fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 of last year. They keep picking at a scab and pretending it’s an open wound, insisting that some very answered questions about that day remain unanswered. Continue reading

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Does Rick Santorum Know He’s an Embarrassment?

With 20/20 hindsight, it is easy to see that Mitt Romney was, if not unelectable, fighting an uphill battle. In a year when the incumbent was supposedly politically weak and vulnerable, the best option the GOP had was not much of an option at all. Romney looked vaguely presidential, if you squinted hard enough, but his chief asset seemed to be that he was not Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachman, or Rick Santorum. The primary selling point of the others had been that they weren’t Mitt Romney. That fact alone throws the Republicans’ current problems into sharp relief.

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(Don’t) Send in the Drones

The Justice Department is releasing to Congress a memo detailing the administration’s legal justification for what we normally call the “drone program.” The real issue is whether or not the Executive Branch has the legal authority to order the killing of a terror suspect, especially if that terror suspect is an American citizen. Whether or not the killing is done via a Predator or Reaper drone, or by Seal Team Six kicking down someone’s door is a side issue.

To kill Americans fighting for an enemy during a time of war is not controversial. German-Americans occasionally wound up fighting for the Wehrmacht during WWII, and some of them never came home. If you wear the uniform of the other side during a hot war, that can happen. For some reason, however, people have a problem with targeting American citizens, who have admittedly made the irrational decision to join al Qaeda, in places that are not currently war zones (i.e. not in Afghanistan), all without the usual safeguards in place to prevent state power from being used arbitrarily.

Normally, before the government can end someone’s life, there is a little thing known as due process. Continue reading

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Pat Robertson: Marketing Department Emeritus

Rev. Pat Robertson has reached a stage in life where, if I were at that position, I’d hope my family would ask me to stay upstairs when company is over. You can’t blame everything he says on advancing age, because he’s always been slightly nutty. Even as a middle-aged buffoon, he was predicting that Disney Gay Days would increase the ferocity of hurricanes striking Florida.

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Scouting May Soon Be Openly Fabulous

Bowing to pressure from corporate sponsors to wake up and smell the 21st Century, the national organization for the Boy Scouts of America may vote as soon as this Wednesday to lift their ban on gay members and allow local groups to decided whether or not to admit LGBT youths to their troops.

Predictably, the usual suspects on the right have chimed with cries of alarm Continue reading

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Republican Cannibalism

This past week, former Senator Charles Hagel began hearings on his nomination to serve as the third Secretary of Defense under President Obama. The President must believe that Hagel is the man for the job, because it was almost inevitable that the nomination would be controversial on both sides of the aisle. Continue reading

Jenny McCarthy Plays With Fire

jennyBeing a Playboy Playmate is probably not the most relevant public thing Jenny McCarthy ever did, but it could be the most harmless. In private, Ms. McCarthy is the mother of a son named Evan, who is autistic. In that role, she deserves nothing less than our empathy, support, and compassion.

That role, however, has led her down another public path, one that has the potential to cause great harm, and for which she deserves no small amount of scorn. Ms. McCarthy is convinced, in defiance of all logic and evidence, that her son’s autism was caused by normal childhood vaccinations, and has become a vocal crusader in that very dangerous cause.

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George Takei is a Hoopy Frood

Within the context of the works of Douglas Adams, a hoopy frood is just a “really amazingly together guy.” According to Plato, every thing in the world has its ideal form. In other words, every chair you see is just an imperfect example of the ideal chair.

I think if there is a Platonian ideal of the Hoopy Frood, it would bear a strong resemblance to George Takei.

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Inducting Wayne LaPierre into the Marketing Department

As Executive Vice-president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre is currently the face of pro-gun side of the gun control argument. In the wake of the Sandy Hook mass shooting in December, he has been holding up his end about as well as Todd Akin has been presenting himself as an expert on the female anatomy. In Senate hearings yesterday, LaPierre’s arguments against universal background checks for gun transactions couldn’t have been more fanciful if he had hired Lewis Carrol as a ghost writer. He has the additional problem that he is arguing against the position supported not only by 92 percent of the American body politic, but by 80 percent of his own members.

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