Moderate Republicans Probably Still Exist, They Just Aren’t Running For President

There is a major difference between being “too moderate to win the GOP presidential nomination” and actually being a moderate.  John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio is indeed, frighteningly enough, more than likely a member of the former category.  He may even be the most moderate member of the GOP to run for the 2016 nomination.   What he certainly is not is a moderate.

Don’t get me wrong here, compared to the other candidates, Kasich sounds like he belongs in a different party at times.  He used his faith as a reason to accept the ACA medicaid expansion, he doesn’t think deporting 11 million people is a realistic goal,  and he believes climate change is taking place.  Yay?

But check out all of his views.  Sure, his faith caused him to go along with the medicaid expansion, but it also seems to color his opinions on all the issues.  He believes the death penalty is compatible with Christianity, has a nice, fresh “A” rating from the NRA, seems to subscribe to the “just say no” school of drug policy. he supports tax cuts for “job creators” while he deceives people about the so called “death tax” that he wishes to eliminate.  I’m not going to spell out all his views for ya, if you are interested, click the above link.  I just want to point out one of his “moderate”moves as governor of Ohio, as seen on Wonkette today:

still drinking the delicious Kool-Aid flavor called “John Kasich is actually a moderate.”

We are here to tell you that flavor is garbage. That flavor is a lie. Witness Kasich’s latest super moderate action: defunding the ever living fuck out of Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

The bill strips state and some federal funding from health clinics that perform and promote “nontherapeutic abortions,” including Planned Parenthood facilities.

while the bill grants an exemption to abortions performed in cases of rape, incest and preserving the life of the mother, it jeopardizes the fate of other vital women’s health programs.For example, the $1.3 million in state grants that Planned

Parenthood is slated to lose was allocated toward HIV testing, cancer screenings and programs that help prevent domestic violence and infant mortality.

I really don’t give a shit about your views on abortion.  Why?  Because none of that fucking money was going towards abortions.  Cause it isn’t about abortions.  If it was, then the “pro-life” advocates would be screaming for universal access to long term contraception.  You know, something that actually reduces abortions.

Until proven otherwise I have to assume this war against Planned Parenthood is just what it seems.  The policy position that sexually active women do not deserve reproductive health care and cancer screenings because they are slutty slut sluts who should have kept their knees locked.

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Justice Antonin Scalia, RIP

Rest in peace, Justice Scalia.

My original idea for this post was to quote the old saying “if you can’t say some thing nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all,” followed by a page of nothingness.   However, great minds think alike, as they say (or obvious jokes are obvious), and Mock, Paper, Scissors had it up and posted before I could even open my browser.  Good show Tengrain.  Good show.

So having lost my planned commentary on Antonin Scalia’s death, I was left with a choice.  I could make the same joke as I originally intended to make while linking to MPS and congratulating them on beating me to the punch, I could post absolutely nothing on the subject, or I could turn my brain on and actually write something about the passing of a Supreme Court Justice.  The first option was out immediately.  Sloppy, lazy, and no matter the truth, it would appear as if I simply stole tengrain’s joke and called it a day.  The second choice is exactly what I am trying to get away from by relaunching the blog.  No, I was going to post something about the news.  Ignoring it was really not an option.  So it seems now, as I drink a cup of Peet’s and breath out a immense cloud of nicotine spiked vapor that I must remember where the “on” switch is located for my brain.  I promise the following will be a bit more substantial than my tweet of “ding dong, the witch is dead.”  Also, unless otherwise noted, the factual information in the following comes from Wikipedia.


Antonin Scalia, born March 11, 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey, was one of the most divisive figures in American government.  After attending Georgetown University for his undergraduate degree, he went on to Harvard Law.  At both schools, he was an exceptional student, according to Wikipedia:

In 1953, Scalia enrolled at Georgetown University, where he graduated valedictorian and summa cum laude in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. While in college, he was a champion collegiate debater in Georgetown’s Philodemic Society and a critically praised thespian.[20] He took his junior year abroad at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.[13] Scalia studied law at Harvard Law School, where he was a Notes Editor for the Harvard Law Review.[21] He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law in 1960, becoming a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University: The fellowship allowed him to travel throughout Europe during 1960–1961.[22]

After six years in a Cleveland law firm, Scalia became a law professor at the University of Virginia, sacrificing a chance at becoming a partner in the firm to follow his desire to teach.  In 1971, after 4 years teaching, President Nixon drafted Scalia into public service, appointing him as General Counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy.  His virginity thus ended, Scalia would continue in public service until President Carter’s victory left him unemployed.

  • General Counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy, 1971
  • Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States, 1972-74
  • Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, 1974-76

During the Ford presidency, Scalia appeared to spend most of his energy arguing for executive privilege, testifying several times before Congress in support of President Ford’s desire to not turn over certain documents.  He took a key role in arguing for a presidential veto of a bill amending the Freedom of Information Act that greatly widened the scope of the act, a position that was successful partially, as Ford did indeed veto the bill, only to see his veto overridden.  In 1976’s case Alfred Dunhill of London, Inc. v. Republic of Cuba, Scalia had his first opportunity to argue a case before the US Supreme Court and was successful.  Also successful was Jimmy Carter’s attempt to win the White House, resulting in Scalia returning to the private sector.  He first spent a few months with the American Enterprise Institute, a well-known conservative think tank.  He then went back to teaching, this time at the University of Chicago Law School, as well as spending a year as a visiting professor at Stanford.

After Reagan took control of the White House in 1980, everything seemed set for Scalia to return to public service.  It seemed to take longer than expected, however, as his first desired position went to another candidate, and then he declined an offered position, preferring to wait for something more consequential.  This paid off in 1982 when he was offered, and accepted, a position on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  While serving in the DC circuit, Scalia built up an impressive conservative record and quickly rose to Pres. Reagan’s short list for the Supreme Court, along with Robert Bork.  Then in 1986, Chief Justice Burger announced his retirement and Pres. Reagan first nominated Justice Rehnquist to fill the position of Chief Justice, and then Antonin Scalia to fill Rehnquist’s Associate Justice role.

Looking back on the confirmation proceedings, it is easy to just assume that nominees were just rubber stamped back then when you notice that Scalia faced no opposition and was confirmed with a 98-0 vote.  Things really are not that cut and dried, however, as Scalia’s confirmation hearings took place soon after the divisive fight over Renhquist becoming Chief Justice.  Yes, Presidential nominees were met with less knee-jerk opposition at the time, but some think that a large part of why Scalia flew through the proceedings untouched was due to the Judiciary committee having no taste for a second fight, along with a reluctance to hold up the potential first Italian-American Supreme Court Justice.  While Scalia was approved 98-0, the vote for Renhquist to become Chief Justice was a much tighter 65-33.  No matter the confirmation process, on September 26, 1986, Scalia became Justice Antonin Scalia, the first Italian-American to sit on the nation’s top court.

To say Antonin Scalia was a divisive figure on the Supreme Court would be an understatement on par with saying the GOP controlled Congress that Pres. Obama must work with is a little bit obstructionist.  His Originalism did not always mean he fell on the conservative side of decisions.  He was a strong defender of the Confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment, protecting the right’s of defendants to confront their accuser, including lab technicians in drug cases, as well as the Sixth Amendment’s promise of a trial by jury, striking down a judge’s ability to increase the sentence of a convict if the judge felt the crime was motivated by hate in Apprendi v. New Jersey.  In Blakely v. Washington, and then United States v. Booker Scalia took down mandatory sentencing guidelines, turning them into suggestions rather than ranges set in stone.  Fans of the Fourth Amendment could also find opinions by Scalia to like; in Kyllo v. United States he found that Han and Leia’s son was indeed guilty of murdering his fa…wait.  Sorry, that’s Kyllo, not Kylo.  Sorry.  ahem, in Kyllo v. United States he wrote the majority opinion finding that thermal imaging of a home was an illegal search, and dissented in the 1991 case County of Riverside v. McLaughlin that found it was legal to hold someone arrested without a warrant for 48 hours before seeing a magistrate.  In 1990 he wrote the Court’s opinion striking down a hate speech law in St. Paul, admirably protecting the First Amendment.  (Sorry fellow liberals, if you support hate speech laws you may want to reexamine the reasons why.  Hate speech needs to be confronted and defeated in the marketplace of ideas, not outlawed and suppressed.)  Unfortunately, while more than I expected to write in this section, that is about it when it comes to praising his decisions.

I am not going to spend a lot of words detailing his opinions progressives would find noxious.  There really isn’t a need, as most liberals know exactly who Antonin Scalia is and what his beliefs are, because he made them no secret.  He was outspoken, at times rude, at times condescending with those who disagreed with his views.  Life truly is black and white, good and evil to Justice Scalia, as anyone who saw him turn on an interviewer who seemed incredulous at his belief in a literal Devil:

Soon afterwards Senior brought the conversation to the afterlife asking, “You believe in heaven and hell?” to which the Justice responded, ‘Oh, of course I do. Don’t you believe in heaven and hell?’

Turns out Ms. Senior does not – to which Scalia tsked, ‘Oh, my.’

In a reflection on salvation that seemed to be comparing Judas Iscariot to gay people, Scalia was unwilling to speculate if Senior’s disbelief indicates that she will wind up in hell. However, just as Senior was ready to move on to Scalia’s drafting process, the Justice leaded forward and told her:

“I even believe in the Devil.”

Go on..

Q: So what’s he doing now?

A: What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.

But as the questioning continued Scalia appears to have gotten irate saying:

You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!

 

While a devout Roman Catholic, Antonin Scalia was pro-life only in relation to the unborn, supporting the death penalty fully.  His support for the death penalty included killing those who offended at 15 and 16 years of age, as well as the mentally retarded, using his originalism as justification in the latter case.  He firmly believed that the Constitution did not include a right to abortion, urging his fellow justices to overturn Roe V. Wade at any possible opportunity.  In Stenberg v. Carhart in 2000, Scalia dissented from the Courts decision to overturn Nebraska’s ban on “partial-birth abortions” due to the lack of an exception for the health of the mother, comparing the Court’s decision to Dred Scott and Korematsu.  In 2007, Scalia joined with the four other Catholics on the Court in Gonzales v. Carhart  to uphold a federal ban on the procedure, a decision that faced blazing criticism on First Amendment grounds.  From Wikipedia:

University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey R. Stone, a former colleague of Scalia’s, criticized Gonzales, stating that religion had influenced the outcome as all five justices in the majority were Catholic, whereas the dissenters were Protestant or Jewish.[68] This angered Scalia to such an extent that he stated he would not speak at the University of Chicago as long as Stone is there.[69]

Ahem.  Me thinks the esteemed juror doth protest too much.  Scalia was firmly against affirmative action, voting against it every chance he got, and was similarly skeptical of laws that sought equality of the sexes.  Recently Scalia allowed his hatred of affirmative action to get the best of him in Fisher v. University of Texas, either revealing his own racism or simply giving the appearance of racism.  As Mother Jones reported:

During oral arguments in a pivotal affirmative action case on Wednesday morning, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raised the suggestion that African American students might belong at less rigorous schools than their white peers, and that perhaps the University of Texas should have fewer black students in its ranks.

Scalia’s comments came during arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case over whether the university’s use of race in a sliver of its admissions decisions is constitutional.

He said:

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.

He went on to say, “I’m just not impressed by the fact the University of Texas may have fewer [blacks]. Maybe it ought to have fewer. I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”

Even more than affirmative action however, Justice Scalia saved his worst vitriol for the gay and lesbian community.  In 1996 Scalia dissented from the majorities opinion in Romer v. Evans, a ruling that effectively ended the 1986 ruling that permitted states to make homosexual sodomy illegal, Bowers v. Hardwick.  Quoting from Wiki once again:

Scalia later said of Romer, “And the Supreme Court said, ‘Yes, it is unconstitutional.’ On the basis of—I don’t know, the Sexual Preference Clause of the Bill of Rights, presumably. And the liberals loved it, and the conservatives gnashed their teeth.”[78]

In 2003 Lawrence v. Texas formally reversed Bowers, a case that Scalia not only dissented from, but practically made a mockery of himself over.

According to Mark V. Tushnet in his survey of the Rehnquist Court, during the oral argument in the case, Scalia seemed so intent on making the state’s argument for it that the Chief Justice intervened.[79] According to his biographer, Joan Biskupic, Scalia “ridiculed” the majority in his dissent for being so ready to cast aside Bowers when many of the same justices had refused to overturn Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.[80] In March 2009, openly gay Congressman Barney Frank described him as a “homophobe”.[81]Maureen Dowd described Scalia in a 2003 column as “Archie Bunker in a high-backed chair”.[82] In an op-ed for The New York Times, federal appeals judge Richard Posner and Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall described as radical Scalia’s positions on homosexuality, reflecting an apparent belief that the religious stances supposedly held by the majority of US citizens should take precedence over the Constitution and characterizing Scalia’s “political ideal as verg[ing] on majoritariantheocracy.”[83]

Scalia was a supporter of the 2nd Amendment as well, and I really don’t think I need to tell you how he voted in regards to marriage equality.

As disgusting as I find many of the man’s beliefs, it can not be said that he was not a brilliant legal mind.  He was a man of conviction who seemed to love life, taking his role on the Court seriously while never losing his sense of humor.  For such a conservative firebrand, it may come as a surprise to find his closest friend on the Court was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a progressive hero.  The two shared a love for the opera, ”  even appearing together onstage as supernumeraries in Washington National Opera‘s 1994 production of Ariadne auf Naxos.[103] Ginsburg was a colleague of Scalia’s on the D.C. Circuit, and the Scalias and Ginsburgs had dinner together every New Year’s Eve.[141]”

I am not going to lie.  I feel the nation is much better off with Scalia off the Supreme Court.  Even if the US Senate succeeds in obstructing Obama’s nominee to replace him, even if a Republican wins the White House this year, I find it unlikely that they can get a nominee approved who is as dependable of a conservative vote as Scalia was in his time on the bench.  I believe he used his originalism as an excuse to hide his religious motivations behind, with the Court’s 5-4 ruling along religious lines in Gonzales v. Carhart being one of the low points in the history of the Court, making mockery out of JFK’s famous speech allaying fears of his Catholicism.  His belief in a literal Satan as an actual force in reality, while possibly shared by a large portion the the population, is none the less terrifying coming from a man with his level of education and power.  That being said, I wish I was celebrating his removal from the Court because he retired; not due to his death.  I wish nothing but the best to his family and friends in this difficult time.  As a person, I know the pain that his death has caused his loved ones.

Yet as a public figure, as a Justice of the Supreme Court, I am nothing but glad to see him go.

 


I have oral surgery later today, so this will be the last post of the day.  I hope to have a post detailing what Scalia’s death means to the 2016 Presidential campaign tomorrow.

School is Now in Session

Greetings, students.  Please find your seat.  I’m not going to call roll today, but I will insist on enforcing our usual “no cross talk” policy.  Today’s lesson will be quick and hopefully, easy to understand.  Ready?

For arguments sake, let’s say that you run an establishment that hosts weddings.  To really crank up the realism in this scenario, let’s also say that you are a horrible bigot.  Now as a horrible bigot who runs a wedding hosting establishment, I am sure you are asking yourself who you are legally allowed to discriminate against.  You know how it is, life is short and you only get so many chances to ruin someone else’s day for no reason other than your own prejudice or outdated cultural beliefs.  The damn government already pissed in your Cheerios by forcing you to open your establishment to black weddings, and it was only by the grace of god that the resulting lingering odor of fried chicken and watermelon stained table cloths that you were positive would be the end result never materialized.  Thanks again, Jesus, for that small blessing.  Then that damn government went and forced you to open your doors to those unbiblical heathen sinners who were engaging in the abomination of miscegenation.

While you were certain god had a lightening bolt with your name on it for allowing that blasphemy to occur, Jesus apparently understood that you were forced by the evil, mean jack-booted federal thugs to permit these weddings, and approved of your little acts of protest (cranking the AC in the winter and the heat in the summer while claiming the system was broken) enough to spare you and your family.  Even though you managed to escape the fires of hell in that instance, when you saw those two carpet-munching man-haters trying to mock god himself by pretending their demon-possessed souls and father-abused bodies could feel love, god’s perfect gift to the world, you had to put your foot down.  After all, it was Adam and Eve, not Audra and Eve, and didn’t god send Aids down from heaven to deal with dykes like this?  And while Jesus himself may not have said anything about homosexuals, the Old Testament and Saul of Tarsus, who most definitely was not a sexually repressed closet case, both condemned the beast like act.

Imagine your surprise when, after honoring your hateful god and turning those sinners away, you found yourselves the proud owners of a 13 thousand dollar fine for discrimination.  You almost swear, before catching yourself of course, wondering what happened to this great nation when god-fearing Christians can’t even discriminate against a couple of queers anymore.  I mean, you weren’t going to stone them to death, even though, biblically, that’s exactly what you should have done.  You just didn’t want their icky gay germs to contaminate your beautiful wedding location.  What’s worse is that if you catch the Aids from breathing the same air as these god haters, the government probably won’t even let you sue them.  How is that fair?  Having not taken this class yet, you call up your lawyer to see if you can do anything about this horrible infringement on your religious liberty.  Your lawyer, after performing a ton of research on your bank account balance, assures you that you should give him a lot of money.  He definitely, without a doubt, is not telling his friends about the unwinnable case he just took on for a couple of rich religious idiots and how, counting appeals, he just paid for his first house, that sports car he always wanted, and an engagement ring for his soon to be trophy wife.  I promise that, after a couple of lines and beers, he never once said to his friends, “Hey, some people hit the lottery, some people inherit, and some people find well-off religious bigots; we all get rich in different ways.”

Now I totally admit that I made our hypothetical business owning bigots into a pair of ridiculous strawmen.  Yet cases such as this one are currently taking place, as students who clicked the above link now know.  Let’s look at that non-hypothetical case, shall we?  Once again, here is the link.

Owners of a New York wedding venue who were fined $US13,000 for violating the state’s anti-discrimination law are arguing Monday that they should be legally allowed to follow their Christian faith.

The owners of Liberty Ridge Farm north of Albany refused to host the 2013 wedding of Melisa and Jennie McCarthy, citing their own religious beliefs. Now the business, owned by Robert and Cynthia Gifford, is appealing a ruling from the state’s Division of Human Rights that it violated New York law and is seeking to have the fine reversed.

Now note first of all that the owners of this particular venue were fined for violating the New York state anti-discrimination law.  Why is this important?  Because if you take a look at that law you will notice that it applies to the following: “age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, marital status, or disability.”  Well, will you look at that?  Sexual orientation is included.  Unfortunately that is not always the case in the United States, but in New York state it is part of the law.  So let us see what the bigot’s Gifford’s lawyer is going to argue in this case.

“It would violate the Giffords’s faith to facilitate this union,” attorney Caleb Dalton told a five-judge supreme court appeals panel.

But Dalton, counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said the Giffords’s faith did not allow them to participate in a marriage other than between one man and one woman.

So it seems that Dalton is arguing that this case sees two rights in conflict:  the McCarthy’s right to access versus the bigot’s Gifford’s right to religious freedom.  Or as the bigot Cynthia Gifford melodramatically puts it:

Cynthia Gifford told reporters they are asking the court to respect the freedoms upon which the United States was built.

“When the government tells you what to say and punishes you if you don’t, it’s very frightening,” she said. “And all of us Americans should be scared about this, no matter where we stand on the issue.”

Now churches, as far as I know, are exempt from anti-discrimination laws.  It would be kind of heavy handed after all to force a church to hire an atheist pastor.  I believe that exemption ends once the employees no longer have any pastoral duties.  My uncertainty on the matter is irrelevant, of course, because the homophobe’s Gifford’s business is not a church.  Their argument is absurd, which you can discover by substituting any of the other protected classes in place of homosexuals and see how long it would take their case to be thrown out of court.  If the Gifford’s bigoted viewpoint became law, you would immediately have various businesses not only refusing service to homosexuals, but also to blacks, interracial couples, women not accompanied by a man, Muslims, Jews, women, Catholics, the disabled, and white males over 50 (that would be my store.  Hey, they may be a Trump supporter, and I’m not taking that chance.), to name a few.  Perhaps the Giffords feel it should only be a narrow exemption allowing the discrimination against homosexuals, but there is not only no logical reason to limit the religious freedom exemption to only that group, it would also be ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, especially after this year’s ruling on marriage equality.

Now I am sure I have some libertarian students who feel a business owner should be able to serve who ever they want, with the only possible punishment for open bigotry being from the free market.  To those students I kindly say, “Fuck off.”  (I have tenure.)  While they are kindly fucking off, they can remove their cars from the tax funded roads.  Every single business, no matter how small or large, benefits from the public coffers.  Be it the publicly funded roads that their customers travel on, to the publicly funded police force that protects their business, we all depend on public money at some time.  New York state has decided that one of the concessions they demand from people who wish to operate a business in their state is is adherence to the state’s anti-discrimination law.  If you are not willing to obey that law, then you are perfectly free to move your business to a different state or country with laws more to your likings.

We keep hearing people in these situations complain that their religious liberties have been violated.  Bull.  We have freedom of religion in this country, as we have freedom of speech, yet neither freedom is absolute.  I hate the “yelling fire in a crowded theater” example, so instead I will suggest you visit the nearest airport and joke about how long it took you to hide all the bombs in your suitcase.  From your jail cell, please write me and let me know what they said when you played your “freedom of speech” trump card.  Religious freedom has limits as well.  Even if I sincerely believe that the only way to please Jesus and get into heaven is by using copious amounts of heroin, the drug task force is not going to allow me to freely practice my religion.  Child sacrifice, ritual cannibalism, marrying multiple 12 year olds, and the withholding of medical care from minor children are just some of the “sincerely held religious beliefs” we have decided, as a society, are not to be protected.  Your religious freedom stops when it begins to affect the freedoms of other people.

You can march in bigot parades every weekend.  You can attend and tithe a church that preaches that Starbucks includes human semen in their lattes.  You can write internet post after internet post about how all homosexuals are going to burn in everlasting hell.  You can even preach that the bible calls for the death penalty for homosexuals, at an event with presidential candidates in attendance.

What you can not do, assuming you are in a state that protects people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, is deny them the same services you offer to everybody else.  It really isn’t that difficult of a concept.

Quiz on Friday.  Enjoy the rest of your day.

 

The Right’s Hypocrisy in One Sentence.

From Ben Carson, via The Hill:

“Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

Wait.

What the holy Jesus fuck did he just say?

Is he suggesting that Republican Christians don’t feel the same exact way, or is he playing the tired old “Christian Nation” card?  Want to see the Right Wing Outrage Machine crank up into Spinal Tap levels?  Make the exact same, word for word argument suggesting that Christians are unfit for the Presidency.

*shakes head sadly*

Cause Kim Davis definitely doesn’t feel her religion affects what she does as a public official, that’s for sure.

The Suspense is Killing the Lions.

At approximately 8 am this morning, September 14th, 2015,  a mere two days before my fortieth birthday, potential lion lunch Kim Davis will return to work at the Rowen County clerk’s office.  What she will chose to do upon re-assuming her clerkly duties is anybody’s guess.  Even her “lawyers” claim not to know what this morning will bring.

Even Davis’ lawyers at Liberty Counsel, the Florida-based group that has been representing her, haven’t offered specifics on what she plans to do.

“Kim Davis is the only person that can decide what Kim Davis will do,” said one of her attorneys, Harry Mihet. “She has told the court and everyone else that she will not — under any circumstances — violate her conscience and the core of who she is.”

I find it hard to believe Mrs. Davis has not informed the Liberty Counsel of her plans for this morning.  If I had to guess, I would assume that Kim Davis has told her “lawyers” that she will be violating the court order against her once again this morning and the Liberty Counsel is claiming ignorance in case the threat of returning to jail changes her mind at the last minute.  After all, it wouldn’t be good for their little martyr’s image if they publicly announced her continuing defiance only for her to back down at the last minute.

And that, after all, is what this is all about.  The Liberty Counsel has never had the best interests of Kim Davis in mind at any point of this case.   They are using her to create a martyr for fund raising and rabble rousing.  Even that bastion of liberalism Fox News admits that for her to have a legal leg to stand on would require a leg transplant while questioning the intelligence of her team of “lawyers.”  Any member of the bar that understood the concept of “ethics” would have explained the legal reality to her by now and urged her to either resign or allow her deputy clerks to issue the licenses.  Instead they watch their client go to jail as she ignores orders from the Supreme Court, while staining their briefs at the thought of the bigot bucks rolling into their coffers and the visits from Republican presidential nominees hoping to court the bigot vote.  It plays right into their absurdist narrative of Christians as a persecuted group in the United States, and while an honest examination of the case quickly shows that Kim Davis is in no way being jailed because of her religion, honesty has never been important to the more extreme Christians in their quest to make America a Christian nation.

Perhaps a frightening addition to this story came to light this weekend as well, as the Oath Keepers has offered to provide a security detail for Kim Davis to prevent her future incarceration, should she choose to continue violating the court order.

In a statement on their website, Stewart Rhodes, the group’s founder, said that, “Federal District Court Judge David Bunning grossly overstepped his bounds and violated Mrs Davis’ due process rights.” He continued:

No one man should have that kind of power in his hands alone to decide guilt and impose a sentence of indefinite detention. Under our Constitution, that dictatorial power does not exist. We must stand against this. And so we will protect her and prevent it from happening again.

Now I do want to point out that neither Kim Davis or the Liberty Counsel apparently want anything to do with these lunatics.

A spokeswoman for Liberty Council, a conservative Christian group that has supported Kim Davis throughout the controversy, condemned Oath Keepers in a statement: “Neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel heard of Oath Keepers before erroneous reports of their involvement in our case. Likewise, neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel supports or condones any form of armed resistance, violence, or force.” Davis’ lawyers have reportedly turned down Oath Keepers’ offer of protection, so that’s a grand total of one thing they’ve done right.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Oath Keepers will listen.  They continued “protecting” military recruitment centers after being asked to stop, so while I doubt they will show up, they are still an armed, insane wildcard to add to this mix.

So what will happen?  We won’t have to wait that long to find out, as the office opens in 20 minutes as I write this sentence.  My prediction?  Kim Davis is going to fire every deputy clerk except her son, who stood by her the whole time, and once again stop issuing marriage licenses.  This will lead to a court date tomorrow, resulting in her ass returning to jail.  While Kim settles down to a dinner of fine jailhouse cuisine, her “lawyers” will be partying like it is 1999, still unable to believe they actually found a rube like Kim Davis who is willing to do jail time for their fund raising campaign.  Of course, thanks to the new reality of crowd sourced bigot jackpots, no one should actually feel bad for Kim Davis and the way she is being used, because she will make out on this deal in the end.  No, the true losers in this case are the Christians living in places where they are actually persecuted, as all this time and energy which could be used to make their reality a bit better is instead wasted defending a person who had to show up and beg to be persecuted.  And Rowen Country tax payers, who will have a nice bill at the end of the day from lawsuits, especially if Kim Davis fires her deputy clerks.  Hell, just any Rowen County resident for that matter, since they now have to drive to a neighboring county for a marriage license because their elected clerk doesn’t feel like doing her job.  Also on the loser list, intelligent members of the GOP, who have to watch their presidential candidates support this idiot.  And participants in any Mike Huckabee related drinking game, who have all died from alcohol poisoning.

And perhaps most of all, the poor hungry lions, who no matter what happens, will never get to eat Kim Davis.

T-minus 4 minutes.

Live-blogging the persecution, 2015!

Excuse Me, Mr. Huckabee? Your Kim Davis Martyr Boner is Visible. Think of the Children.

Okay, there is beating a dead horse and then there is the rapid fire, blister-raising, skin-chafing deceased equine torture that only takes place when Mike Huckabee sees something that would let him use the words “martyr” and “persecution” in a sentence near the word “Christian.”  While it is perhaps the easiest thing in the world today to find a person to compare Kentucky law-breaker-for-Jebus Kim Davis to (Seriously.  Think of anyone you know who sucks at their job.  Got someone in mind?  There’s your comparison for Kim Davis.  You’re welcome.), to say Huckabee is reaching a bit with his latest comparison is kinda like saying that Huckabee mentions his faith every now and then.  Really Mike? Abe fucking Lincoln?

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, Huckabee said that’s just like Abraham Lincoln, who was not in favor of the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision which held that African Americans were not full citizens.

“Look, you would have hated Lincoln, because he disregarded the Dred Scott 1857 decision that said black people aren’t fully human,” Huckabee said when host Joe Scarborough questioned him about his support of Davis. “[Lincoln] disregarded [Dred Scott] because he knew it was not operative, that it was not logical.”

No, Mike.  No.  Although it is an easy mistake.  Here, I will help you out.  Abe Lincoln was President of the United States, that position you want but will never ever have.  Sorry.  Before he had the job you will never have, the Supreme Court got really high on some nasty drugs and issued the Dred Scott ruling.   Lincoln was not in favor of what may be the worst Supreme Court ruling in the history of our nation. a ruling that pointed at all the stuff in the Constitution that talked about “all men” and “created equal” and such and so on, then said “oh but not for darky, oh snap!”  At which point the Justices in the majority probably high fived, made a few racist jokes, smacked their secretary on the ass, then ran out the door and jumped in the windows of the General Lee, which they drove out to the farm where they kept the slaves they used for sex.  (Or something like that. ; )  This was in a time of upheaval and change that led to The War to Keep Black People as Property.  (Hey, if southern revisionists can give it names like “The War of Northern Aggression,” then I can name it as I see it as well.)  Now this is important, so pay attention.  While Lincoln disagreed with Dred Scott and spoke against it, he never refused to issue any marriage licenses because of his personal talks with J.C.

Kim Davis, on the other hand, is an elected official who really needs to do her fucking job.  A job that she apparently does not understand.  She is not required to morally approve of the relationship between the people applying for marriage licenses, she is just required to verify the people meet the legal standards to get married.  Thanks to the Supreme Court people can get married now to people who have the same no-no spots, so peens and peens and hoohas with hoohas.  Her job is “paperwork is good?  Check.  Issue license.”  Other than her son, all the deputy clerks in her office are totally down with the law and their job and are all like “Judge type person, we want to do our jobs but crazy Christian lady scares us and will probably fire us, and we like having jobs, so help!?!” Unfortunately, Kim Davis believes that every time she issues a marriage license she is saying, loud and proud, that Jesus H. Christ, acting through his oh so humble vessel Kim Davis, morally approves of this love match between no no spots that are not the same.

Now some of you may be reading along thinking (out-loud cause thinking be hard when done at the same time as reading) well good for Kim, after all, “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!”  If you are thinking that please send me a message and permission to use your real name and likeness.  But your homophobia aside, this is one of those slopes that are like slip and slides, you know, like the homophobes insisted that gay marriage would unleash an unstoppable torrent of increasingly absurd marriages (man marries dog, man marries baby, man marries frog, man marries toaster oven, man marries Fleshlight, man marries right hand, man marries ham sandwich, asks for annulment upon eating said sandwich, man marries both his left and right hands, society has crumbled, cats and dogs living together, seas of blood, checkmate, atheist!  I mean checkmate pro-equality fascist!) except this slope is actually slick and all sorts of things are ready to start slipping on down.  (And no, no gay man is  going to slip anything into any scared straight guys because of the Supreme Court.  Unless the scared straight guy wants something slipped inside, in which case two consenting adults yadayada)   What do I mean?  Well, if this homobigot in Kentucky can refuse to give teh ghays a marriage license cause Jesus, then what exactly is stopping the Clerk in Alabama to stop issuing interracial marriage licenses cause of his Jesus?  Then Clerks all over the nation go crazy, with different marriage requirements in every county, let alone every state.


 

“Hi, we’d like to get a marriage license.”

“Sorry son, but it is against my religious convictions to issue a license to anyone under 33.  If Jesus thought you should get married young, he would have been married before he died.  Now you can’t go to the next county over either, cause Jed believes with all his Jesus loving heart that blonds and brunettes are not allowed to get married to each other.  It is crazy, he makes people prove their natural hair color.  The county down south is pretty much out as well,  I’m afraid, as Clerk Robertl Silma seemingly issues licenses at random.  See he took a vow of silence last year and he never did learn to write, so no one has been able to figure out why he refuses each couple.   Now if your star signs are compatible, Clerk Grisn in Chekard county will issue you a licens….what’s that?  She’s a Scorpio?  Well, that options out the window.  You can’t go to North county cause you’re a lefty, can’t go to Brower county cause she is jewish and you’re Christian, can’t go to Lux county unless you speak in tongues, you can’t speak in tongues can you?  Thought not, let’s see….”

-4 hours later-

“Alright, if you go to Tuscaluna county

“Um, that’s a 5 hour drive….”

“Are you going to keep interrupting me?  As I was saying, if you go to Tuscaluna county and drive towards the state park, you will find a cabin right outside the park.  In the cabin lives a woman who will give you a token that proves your true love.  Once you have the token, then drive out of state, to Misango county.  While the Clerk is only on duty one Tuesday a month, since the county has a population of 272, and he is so conservative that he refuses marriage licenses to women who wear pants, but he does believe in true love and will issue no question asked licenses to anyone who brings the woman’s token.”

“You’re sending me on a fucking quest to get a marriage license?


So yeah.  Kim Davis does not equal Abe Lincoln.  Kim Davis is also not a martyr, unless being locked in jail until you ask to be let out is actually a path to martyrdom.  Which, while personally not a believer in martyrdom, I still get the feeling the actual people who got horribly tortured to death for their faith would tell Kim Davis to eat a bag of dicks.

Right after telling her to do her damn job.

Though on the bright side, at least her office has started to do its damn job.

 

 

Really Rachel? Really?

I have to admit, I was so caught up shopping for a gay wedding present for the totes-legal-now-that-the-Supremes-said-that-everyone-needed-to-stop-kung-fu-fighting-long-enough-to-get-gay-married-everybody-even-puppies-goats-llamas-cable-news-shows-websites-and-straight-men-except-not-Jared-from-Subway-cause-seriously-fuck-that-guy impending nuptials joining The Wonkette and The Rachel Maddow Show in the bonds of holy matrimony, wondering what happens on the honeymoon for a website/cable news show marriage, who would get pregnant, and if they would give birth to little podcasts and oh my god this sentence ran on so long I got lost.

Okay, so I was busy doing that thing mentioned in the above sentence so I almost missed this little comment from Rachel Maddow on her show last night, and that would have been a shame because I so disagree with her for once.

There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person.

I understand, Rachel.  You are always trying to get Republicans to come on your show, and those that do are always treated fairly.  Perhaps in the not too distant future (na na na), when elected Republicans can once again govern like adults without fear of being primaried for the sin of compromise, more members of the GOP will realize appearing on your show is not like a progressive on The O’Reilly Factor.  Of course, for that possibility to, well, be possible, you can’t exactly go around calling Republican candidates for President “terrible people,” now can you?

But I can.  Especially when the Republican in question actually is a terrible person.  In fact, one of the most pressing questions I hope to answer in my 17 part on-going series, Getting to Know the Trip, is if there is a non-terrible person in the field.  (Preliminary answer?  No.  They’re all pretty terrible.)  Things need to change if we have any hope of reclaiming our democracy and building it back up to something other than a world wide joke.  One thing that really needs to change is that the press needs to live up to the responsibility the Founding Fathers gave it by enshrining Freedom of the Press in the Bill of Rights.  The only bias a news anchor/reporter should have is an overwhelming bias towards reality. Stop covering politics like sports and stop being afraid of offending people if a political party takes a stance in opposition to objective fact.

While I am going to save most points for when I get to Jeb in my Goat Countdown, hearing Rachel last night compelled me to let you all know a few reasons why yes, Jeb Bush is a terrible person.  And we’ll start off with the two words that should immediately disqualify him from the Presidency:

Terry Schiavo

Raise your hand if you remember this ghoul trying to score political points by reinserting the feeding tube into a women in a persistent vegetative state, forcing her to “live,” against the wishes of her husband (and guardian) and, if you believe her husbands word, and I have no reason not to, against her own wishes as well.  Die with dignity? Not with Jeb on duty:

She had left no will. No written instructions. She was 26. To try to determine what she would have wanted, there was a trial, in the Pinellas County courtroom of circuit judge George Greer, in which Michael Schiavo relayed what she had told him in passing about what her wishes would be in this sort of scenario. Others did, too. She also had next to no chance of recovery, according to doctors’ testimony. Greer cited “overwhelming credible evidence” that Terri Schiavo was “totally unresponsive” with “severe structural brain damage” and that “to a large extent her brain has been replaced by spinal fluid.” His judgment was that she would not have wanted to live in her “persistent vegetative state” and that Michael Schiavo, her husband and her legal guardian, was allowed to remove her feeding tube.

But that was before the Jeb signal went up!

So on October 15, 2003, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube came out. Judge’s orders. She would die within two weeks. This stage of the case looks in retrospect like the start of a test. Just how much power did Jeb Bush have?

HB 35E was filed after 8 at night on October 20. Many lawmakers already were gone for the day. Gelber, the state representative from Miami, put his suit back on at his apartment in Tallahassee and hustled back to the Capitol. Fellow Democrats gathered around as the attorney and former prosecutor began to read the bill one of Bush’s staff attorneys had helped to write.“Authority for the Governor to Issue a One-time Stay …”

Gelber looked up.

“I don’t have to read anymore,” he said. “It’s clearly unconstitutional.”

“The governor can’t just change an order of the court,” Gelber explained this month. “It’s one of the most elemental concepts of democracy: The governor is not a king.”

But the governor is Jeb!  He’s better than a king.  Letters poured into his office, each attempting to suck his dick a little bit better than the previous one.  Oh, it must have been good to be Jeb in those heady days.  Unfortunately, those pesky courts, you know, the ones who had earlier ruled in favor of Terri’s right to die with dignity?  Yeah, those ones.  Well, they were about to meddle around and ruin poor Jeb’s good day.

Back in Florida, though, the courts were focused not so much on what was “morally obligatory” but more on what was legally mandatory.

A circuit judge ruled Bush’s “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional.

Well, that’s only a circuit court.  Wait til it gets to the Florida Supreme Court.  They’ll see it Jeb’s way, I just know it.

The seven state supreme court judges took less than a month to dismiss unanimously “Terri’s Law.”

Oh.  Well, that was embarrassing.  Unanimous?  Damn.  The only thing worse would be if the Chief Justice released a written smackdown that Foster could mark up with bolding and italics on his blog, in this article.

“If the Legislature with the assent of the Governor can do what was attempted here,” chief justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her ruling, “the judicial branch would be subordinated to the final directive of the other branches. Also subordinated would be the rights of individuals, including the well-established privacy right to self-determination. No court judgment could ever be considered truly final and no constitutional right truly secure, because the precedent of this case would hold to the contrary. Vested rights could be stripped away based on popular clamor. The essential core of what the Founding Fathers sought to change from their experience with English rule would be lost …

But that was like, forever ago.  Surely Jeb has learned from his attempt to destroy the system of checks and balances to score cheap pro-life points.  No matter how many letters from supporters he received over the matter, he had to hear the overwhelming outcry in opposition to his privacy and self-determination shredding power grab.  Right?

No, not really.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he had no regrets about fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive, addressing the mid-2000s controversy on his second trip to New Hampshire this year.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he told New Hampshire business leaders at St. Anselm College’s Politics and Eggs breakfast in response to a question about whether he would have handled things differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Speaking of the past, it turns out that Jeb longs for the good old days, back when adulterous women were forced to wear large letter “A’s.”

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

Who’s a cute little misogynist?  Come on, Jeb, make that “grrr” noise.  It will go great with this quote from Alternet:

After all, we’re talking about a man who once put the life of a disabled woman who’d been raped at risk by intervening legally to force her to carry her child to term — a move a Florida court later found illegal.

We’re talking about a man who, as governor, signed a controversial abortion ban into law — and praised a similar measure passed by the House on Wednesday as “humane and compassionate.”

We’re talking about a man who likes to defend his anti-choice record by saying “the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected” — even though he’s shown he’s not above playing politics with a child’s body, once going so far as governor as appealing the decision of a court that ruled a 13-year-old girl could have an abortion when her pregnancy posed an extreme risk to her health.

We’re talking about someone who likes to talk a big game about how taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortions — even though he slipped millions in taxpayer dollars to Florida “crisis pregnancy centers” notorious for lying to and misleading women about their reproductive health choices. (This, in a state where 73 percent of counties have no abortion providers and crisis centers may be the only places women have to turn for the medical care they desperately need.)

And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all.

And since I want to save most of the ammo for my 6k or so word introduction of Jeb that is still probably a couple months away, I will leave you with this recent little gaffe.  Wasn’t Jeb supposedly the establishment candidate who wouldn’t make stupid gaffes?  From Correct the Record, though you can find it just about anywhere:

 Jeb Bush: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

I know you were trying to be nice, Ms. Maddow, but he is a terrible person.

Now I’m going to do a knife hit to get the taste of yet another bush out of my mouth.  Have a good weekend, I’ll try to get a few posts up during the weekend.

For those interested, here is the order for the next few parts of Getting to Know the Trip

  1. Bobby Jindal
  2. Lindsey Graham
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Jim Gilmore
  5. George Pataki

I will try to have Gov. Jindal up on Monday, although his is going to be so much fun that it may take til Wednesday.  I mean, this is a Governor who has pissed off just about every single voter in his state in his hopeless attempt to win the presidential nomination.  A legitimate answer to the question “What is wrong with the United State’s method of electing a President?” would be simply pointing at Jindal.  He is a guy who got himself elected Governor of a state solely as a stepping stone to higher office, and every single decision he makes as Governor is informed by his higher goal.  Yes, it will be fun.

After I finish out the under 2% gang I’ll make a schedule for the other candidates.  I’m thinking of going by national poll numbers, which is meaningless, but hell, Fox News thinks they mean something, so why not?  We’ll see.

If you have a few minutes, I urge you to read the whole piece on Jeb and the Terri Schiavo over at Politico, titled “Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’.”  It’s worth checking out, if only to remind you of the situation.