In defense of religious bigotry

To be clear, I’m not condoning the wingnut attacks on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. There’s plenty of reasons to vote against The Anchorman — his religion is not one of them.

But to be honest, certain religious beliefs would be a deal-breaker for me. Any fundamentalist — be they Christian, Muslim or Jew — is automatically disqualified. Same with Scientologists.

Voting against religious bigots doesn’t mean you’re bigoted against religious people.

Which begs the question … is Anthony Weiner Muslim?

How to be a wingnut columnist:

1.) Tie everything to the Muslim plot to rule the world; 2.) Reference Obama allegiance to Saul Alinksy; 3.) Follow with ominous use of  “community organizing”; 4.) Add George Soros, the cherry on top.

Example:

Less than a year ago, in July 2010, Huma Abedin married Jewish U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). Attesting to the strength of her relationship with the Clintons, former President William J. Clinton officiated at the ceremony. Not unlike President Obama, the Clintons, as well as powerful politicos such as George Soros, are devotes of Saul Alinksy, who is considered “the founder of modern Community Organizing.” From my position, I clearly see that the actions of this group signal their socialist agenda, which includes domination of the U.S. by a Muslim ruled world.

Students, please note that, while an effective model, Eliana Benador’s column is not perfect. For one, she failed to mention Ronald Reagan or freedom.

Buy me some peanuts and jellybeans

There’s no politics in baseball — at least there shouldn’t be. But the geniuses within MLB’s promotions office don’t agree, setting aside June 14 to commemorate Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday at various ballparks around the league. The Braves will mark the occasion thusly:

President Reagan’s favorite treat, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, will be given away to the first 10,000 fans to attend the game;

Stewart McLaurin, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s Centennial Celebration, will serve as Honorary Team Captain;

National country artist Tim Dugger, member of the Reagan Centennial National Youth Committee, will sing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch;

A Major League Baseball Video Tribute to Ronald Reagan will be shown; BravesVision will show Reagan trivia between innings.

How ’bout Braves Vision feature baseball trivia! I go to Turner Field to be distracted from life’s various irritants, not reminded of them. Please tell me Blockhead Hannity won’t be throwing out the first pitch.

What exactly is the point, injecting a divisive figure into a nonpartisan gathering? I suspect the event will attract as many fans as it repels. And before conservatives throw a fit, I’d be just as opposed to a day honoring JFK.

Can’t wait for Glenn Beck bobblehead night.

What’s changed in 60 years

How does a college professor obtain a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s? Or a local sportscaster and her commercial fisherman husband afford a $1.7 million second home?

It wouldn’t have happened without their political careers. We’ve come to accept the public servant as millionaire, despite the example of Harry Truman.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an “allowance” and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”

I don’t begrudge anyone getting rich. But wealth is not always an option You enter fields like journalism, education and politics knowing they are not lucrative financially. Or at least they shouldn’t be.

Instead politicians follow the path of many religious leaders, living like pimps while reassuring the peasants they are empathetic. But hey, if Jesus was rich, why not them? Note that these prosperity preachers have among the largest congregations in the country.

Blame yourselves.

And Jesus went into the Temple and sent out all who were trading there, overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those trading in doves.

Noted & Quoted, statesman edition

There was a brief window in time when Southern voters elected smart, prudent politicians like Sam Nunn.

“Today our airwaves and public debates are filled with attempts to not just denounce opponents’ logic but to impugn their motives. Demagogues and rabble rousers are not new to American history — but the economics and the technology have changed,” Nunn said. “A large number of these folks are making millions of dollars dividing America into segments and yelling, ‘Sic ’em!’”

These political entrepreneurs have made humility unfashionable. It has become a sin in politics to say — nay, to confess — ‘I’m not sure.’ “

Nunn probably couldn’t get elected today. Conservatives would brand him a liberal and progressives would raise money to defeat him.

Foghorn Leghorn for govenah

Five staples of campaign commercials for those seeking office in Georgia:

1. Starched blue jeans;
2. Claims they are being unfairly attacked;
3. Children as props;
4. A vaguely rural setting;
5. A highly affected Southern drawl, reminiscent of Kevin Costner’s character in “JFK” (it’s pronounced “dollars”, Casey Cagle, not “dollahs”).

Too bad Tammy Metzler isn’t on the ballot.

Out of context outrage

Definition of WHORE

1
: a woman who engages in sexual acts for money : prostitute; also : a promiscuous or immoral woman
2
: a male who engages in sexual acts for money
3
: a venal or unscrupulous person

I’m glad Jerry Brown challenged Tom Brokaw’s ridiculous comparison. The N-word is exclusively an epithet, having no other meaning. But there are whores in the world, and they’re not all women. It’s not a synonym exclusive to slut. Does anyone really believe Brown (his wife, whomever) was implying that Meg Whitman is an easy lay?

Whitman’s manufactured indignation doesn’t speak well for her, but NOW comes off far worse.

NOW endorsed Brown after the “whore” tape came out, then chastised him, saying anyone who uses the word should be fired.
That is, everyone but the candidates they endorse. When hypocrisy and hypersensitivity collide, you get NOW.
” ‘Whore’ could mean a million things,” Marlene “Brandy” Baldwin, San Francisco’s last grand madam, told me a few days ago. “Like, if you’re married to your business and neglect your family, you’re a whore.”

The Capt. Renault deflection

Ask a strategist or operative a probing question and they’re liable to respond with a famously cynical quote turned hackneyed political cliche.

I’m shocked, shocked my party is … (take your pick) stoking public resentment, exploiting the partisan divide, etc.”

Of course they choose less incriminating, vague language. But at the end of the day, the perfect storm of political mimicry has produced a deflection that reporters need to vigorously challenge.

Do it for the memory of Claude Rains, if nothing else.

coakley campaign: we’re not to blame

It’s the party’s fault, not hers. This from the candidate who didn’t bother to hide her contempt for traditional shoe leather campaigning.

Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive.

“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that.

If you can’t win as a Democrat in Massachusetts you have no one to blame but yourself.

you can’t save lives AND money

A federally appointed public health task force recommends turning *medical convention on its ear, yet no specialists were consulted.

The task force acknowledged that mammograms can save lives and fear their new guidelines may be misinterpreted. “We aren’t against screening women in their 40s, we just don’t think it should be routine,” Petitti said.

Such vague rationale belies trust, as does the task force’s argument that women need to be protected from a fear of contracting cancer:

A test can trigger unnecessary further tests, like biopsies, that can create extreme anxiety.

You know how women tend to worry themselves needlessly.

Of course, Dr. Berry noted, if the new guidelines are followed, billions of dollars will be saved.

“But the money was buying something of net negative value,” he said. “This decision is a no-brainer. The economy benefits, but women are the major beneficiaries.”

No, the biggest beneficiaries are the insurance companies and, potentially, the federal government.

Others fear insurance coverage of mammograms could be dropped based on the new recommendations.

“Certainly mammography does pick up things at [age] 45 that would have been much more serious in five years,” said Dr. Anne Wallace, director of the University of California-San Diego Moores Breast Cancer Program. “What worries me is if insurance companies won’t allow women who want early detection in this age group to be screened.”

*Note the institutional bias on display in The Times article.