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Some of you may have seen the "RedState Morning Briefing Summary" diaries that I've been doing.  The stories in the RedState Morning Briefings are chosen by site editor Erick Erickson from among the "front page" postings of the previous day.

The RMBs are only published on weekdays.  Even thought the conservatives are supposedly more hard-working than we are, I guess that doesn't include weekends.

In order to get my RedState fix, I've decided to add a weekend feature.  This will summarize the contents of the RedState recommended diaries list.  This, like the one on Daily Kos, is comprised of user-written commentary selected by recommenders.

Due to the tiny size of RedState, the recommended list often takes a long time to change.  (Note: I see that it has changed from since I started this. Oh well.)  It also doesn't take much in the way of recommendations to get on it.  Typically, there are only about a dozen recommenders and a dozen comments on a RedState recommended diary.

If you think what's on the RedState Morning Briefing is low quality, then you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Woonsocket Tea Party group stops supplemental tax increase.

It’d be nice if we all had enough money to buy all the things that we wanted. We don’t. And until we do, that means that state and local governments need to start doing what the rest of us have to do: start living within their means. That includes not taking the attitude that just because it’d be nice to do something doesn’t mean that there’s an obligation to do it, or that people in opposition to doing something that they can’t really afford aren’t just being mean or cruel about it, or that there’s any obligation for the universe to conform to anyone’s individual will.

Blah blah blah.  The Republicans lowered taxes and raised spending for eight years.  We're spending trillions on a war we can't afford and didn't need to fight.  Now these people are heroes for making sure their children's schools go bankrupt.  What utter fucknuts.

Not Another Obama Rant

If you’ve read my prior articles, then you know I am not too fond of the activities of the Obama administration. I’ve gotten criticism from my friends on the left for only complaining when I disagree with Obama, yet never saying anything about the good Obama has done. So for this article, I’ve decided to not discuss the disagreements I have with the Obama administration — this article isn’t about that.

This isn’t about Obama promising during the campaign that he was not for "big government or small government but smart government" ...

The article goes on like that with it's one gag: "I'm not going to talk about [repeat debunked Obama smear here]."  Another example is how the author claims that Obama promised to end earmarks; he didn't promise to end them, and the Republicans — many of same ones who whined about earmarks — inserted at least half of them.  Still, according to this ignorant repeater of propaganda, Obama's the hypocrite.

Pirates and Power Games: Bringing the Devolved State of Somalia into Focus (Updated!)

Imagine you are walking down the street, and down a small alley, you see four dogs. It is obvious the dogs were once well-taken care of, but one by one, they were left to fend for themselves. They are skinny, dirty, and you can hear them whimpering. Feeling terrible for them, you decide to nip into the store adjacent to the alley and buy a few cans of dog food, figuring it’s the least you can do. The shopkeeper notices what you are doing, and asks if you plan on feeding the strays in the alley. He is concerned, because he has noticed that the dogs tend to get snappish when the restaurant that shares the alley begins cooking food for the dinner rush. You acknowledge his uneasiness, but take it in stride: after all, they’re hungry! It’s only natural that the smell of food gets them worked up!

What the hell is this about?  Most of the post is a short story that purports to explain the Somalis by comparing them to stray dogs who live in an alley.  Then along comes a Nice Human™ (I guess that's the U.S.) who tries to help and ends up paying a terrible price for this good deed.  It's The White Man's Burden except even more offensive.

Time for a New Moral Majority

For lack of a better term, a new moral majority is sorely needed. People of faith need a re-awakening to the fact that the eternal truths they hold dear in private are applicable to all of reality, all seven days a week, both in private and in public. There must be no more fear and no more diminishing of faith as a guide in private and in public life . . . a new moral majority needs to grab the cultural bull by the horns before it goes completely rabid with the progressive virus.

Where to start? By defining shared principles.

I not only went to Church today, but I also attended a performance of Jesus Christ, Superstar (no kidding), so I could really spend some time tearing into this misrepresentation of Christianity.  Unfortunately, I've got a lot of other garbage to summarize, so I'll do my best to keep this short.

Here's just a sample slice of this crap-loaf:

We are also told, by God, that we will be held responsible for the use, misuse, and neglect of our talents. Herein is the oft neglected responsibility component. A new moral majority should indeed hold up something like the beatitudes as a model, but equally so, a new moral majority should also embrace the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14 - 30. We should always be reminded that personal responsibility, to the best of an individual’s capacity, is an expectation of adulthood in these United States. In the parable of the talents, the servant with one talent buried it for fear of the master. For reasons of fear, he abdicated his responsibility.

Basically, the author (predictably) goes on to use this parable to attack the welfare state.

Now, you could just say, "So what, we have a secular government and we require secular reasons to formulate public policy," and you'd be correct.  In fact, there are plenty of secular reasons why we don't want to live in a banana republic where the rich live in enclaves and everyone else lives in a slum where people are dying in the streets.  Still, our spiritual beliefs can motivate us to support one policy or another according to how they inform our conscience.

The parable the author cites is about people who have received something extra and how they have a responsibility to apply those gifts.  Welfare and other social programs are about people who are suffering because they have nothing, including access to the mainstream of society.  Ironically, the very next part of Matthew speaks to that.  From The Message translation:

[Jesus] will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to [feed, clothe, or care for] someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

So, basically, if you want to drag Christianity into the arena, then building social safety nets and providing universal access to health care are not only a good idea, they are your holy mission.  Most of these theocrat assholes don't even read the Bible and those who do, obviously don't understand it.

If you're unfamiliar with Matthew 25, it's worth reading if only to increase your cultural literacy.  I recommend reading the easy-to-grok version in The Message translation.

If not, at least try to ponder the level of dementia required to make this claim (back to the article):

...outside of the religious context, marriage is just a grab-bag of legal goodies, not the bedrock of society.

If Grocery Shopping Were Just Like Health Care
This is another analogy that flares up into a flaming inferno of hot stupid almost immediately.

The problem: Americans are spending more and more of their hard-earned money on food. Millions of Americans are hungry due to a lack of food. Americans who lose their jobs may be unable to afford to buy food.

The current food distribution is unequal; some have plenty to eat, some have too little. Many grocery stores turn people away who cannot afford to buy food. This is a crisis. We cannot be competitive for the 21st century unless all Americans are secure in their food!

Um.  Food stamps, anyone?  This is just one of several programs designed to keep Americans from starving to death if they can't afford or obtain food. I guess the message here is that if we can take the same sarcastic lack of compassion shown here for starving people and apply it to sick people, the world will be a better place.

Remember, these are the people who talk endlessly about how we're a Christian country.

Liberal pagans sacrifice children to global warming idol [Earth Day update]

Gamecock’s Earth Day wish? Subdue it and have dominion over it, as in Genesis 1:28 "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth", but I digress...

When Moses descended from Mount Sinai 5000 years ago with the Ten Commandments, the pagans of Canaan were sacrificing virgins to Baal. The Hebrews and Christians civilized the Western World including founding most of the great universities, where, within several centuries, those behind the Ivory Towers indulged in making themselves God.

The 21st Century liberal pagans may be worse than their ancient ancestors however, given their sex education zealotry likely sacrifices many children’s virginity before the tots are themselves sacrificed to Gaia:

There’s a new bogeyman lurking in the closet, and this one isn’t imaginary. Us. One out of three children aged 6 to 11 fears that Ma Earth won’t exist when they grow up, while more than half—56 percent—worry that the planet will be a blasted heath (or at least a very unpleasant place to live), according to a new survey.

When I was ages 6-11, 35% of my age group were convinced that we would die in a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.  Progressives offer hope; it's the conservatives who trade on fear.  Note the messages of the 2008 election: "Hope" vs. "Don't vote for the secret Muslim who hates America."

I really thought this article was just going to be another misapplication of religion, but it really transcends that and enters into a realm of gibberish that almost defies belief.

Return of the Enumerated Powers Act

Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) has re-introduced in the House HR 450, the Enumerated Powers Act, which would compel lawmakers to cite specific constitutional authority for all bills. This is not the first time he has introduced this bill. See here, here, and here for other discussion on it. It has no chance of passing through the Democrat dominated Congress, or even getting out of Democrat-controlled committees, but it needs to be cheered on.

I'd like to see where there's a specific Constitutional authority to ban abortion or gay marriage.  I guess that's why they want a Marriage Amendment and a Human Life Amendment.

It would be awesome if the conservatives decided that all the legislation they wanted had to be in the form of Constitutional Amendments.  They'd never get anything passed.  Ever.  What a beautiful world it would be.

A Tragedy That Needs To Be Politicized

Other times, the worst of consequences should and could have been prevented.  Huntsville, Alabama teenagers Leigh Anna Jimmerson and Tad Mattle appear to have been stricken down by just such an act of unconscionable non-random malice.  They were rear-ended by a drunken driver Friday night and killed. The drunken driver was obviously in our country illegally.

The last sentence makes it sound like we know that the driver was an illegal immigrant because he caused a drunk driving accident. I thought that was just an accident of bad writing, at first. Then, I read this:

So a man with no legal address of record, four separate aliases, a set of fake IDs and a long list of priors for flying blind has just killed two young people. If this man isn’t illegally in the United States, I’ll pay $50 to anyone who presents proof of his legal status. Show me a properly filled out I9 on the man, and I’ll personally apologize for ever stating that he was an illegal alien before the Huntsville Police publically confirm this obvious fact.

So yeah, that's what he meant: a guy with a Hispanic name and a rap sheet gets in a drunk driving accident and we can assume he is an illegal immigrant.

I guess I know what he means by "politicizing" this: "Someone douse the cross in lighter fluid, I'll go round up the boys."
Truly Disturbing Attack on Freedom of Religion

DETROIT — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University Thursday after school officials dismissed a student from the school’s counseling [sic] program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable.  The school dismissed Julea Ward from the program because she would not agree prior to a counseling [sic] session to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and would not retract her stance in subsequent disciplinary proceedings.

OK, quick story: When my wife was getting her Masters in Theology, she also lectured in Evolutionary Biology.  At the start of her course, she would give this little speech:

This is a course on evolutionary biology.  You will be expected to learn about the subject and apply your knowledge.  If your religious beliefs compel you to reject the legitimacy of this material, you will fail the class.  I have a bunch of drop forms here, drop now before you have to take an 'F'.  If you are thinking about staying in the class and besting me with Biblical arguments, you should also know that I'm in Seminary and I assure you that I know the Bible better than you do.  You will lose the arguments.  You will fail the class.  Drop now.  You've been warned.

People have every right to believe what they want to, but they have no right to expect an entire field of study to accommodate them.  The field of psychology has accepted, for decades now, that homosexuality is neither unnatural, harmful nor wrong.  If that's a problem for this woman, she doesn't have to pursue a career in the field.

Moving on...
Going Against the Flow

Napolitano is an idiot; no question about that but to call for her resignation will change nothing.  As one put it:

"I don’t know that the secretary understands the depth of the disruption that she’s caused," Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, told FOX News on Thursday, referring to the report on extremist threats. "I think the appropriate thing to do is for her to step down and let’s move on." 

except there will be no moving on. Like everything else in Washington, D.C. once done, it is rarely undone. The report is dissminated and the investigations will go on whether it’s Napolitano in charge or a replacement.

Napalitano hasn't apologized and won't be fired because she's done nothing wrong.  She didn't even do what they are accusing her of.  This article also quotes the Queen of Wingnuts, Michelle Bachmann.

It's just a huge display of faux outrage marshalled against a completely fabricated offense.

Originally posted to The Red Pen on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 04:43 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Utah is killing education (8+ / 0-)

    but put a $100,000 drone on its Stimulus Wish List.

    What priorities.  We have one of the lowest $$/student ratios in the country, the kids go to school year round in most places, and class sizes are ridiculous.

    Tell me, how do two full-time working parents with no domestic help and little time make up the difference for their children?  They can't.  Many in Utah can't write a simple letter without many errors.  It's shameful.

    But, hey, they built that Real Soccer Stadium in Sandy/Salt Lake we all voted AGAINST!

    Poverty does not mean powerless. Unite!

    by War on Error on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 04:56:06 PM PDT

  •  I can still remember the recurrent childhood (6+ / 0-)

    nightmares...

    When I was ages 6-11, 35% of my age group were convinced that we would die in a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

    Picnic in Mill Creek Park with my mother and brother and sister. A sunny day, playing in the field, then all of a sudden streaks in the sky, flashes of blinding white, then large blackish mushrooms clouds rising while I try to run in slow motion...

    It is not so much that this nightmare cannot still actually occur as it is that the extreme propaganda of the past has been ratcheted down for now.

    Economics is a set of beliefs created to delude the masses into acting against their own interests, enshrined in legislation and enforced at the point of a gun

    by lightfoot on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 04:59:01 PM PDT

    •  Living near a prime target (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lightfoot, The Red Pen

      of a Soviet nuclear strike in the 50's...I always laughed at the drills in grade school...throw yourself on the ground behind a tree...get under your desk and cover your head with your hands...get in hallways and crunch down covering you head with your jacket...As if any of this would matter!!!

      When I was 9 or 10...sitting at the dining room table and listening to a salesman explaining why Dad and Mom should invest in a fallout shelter for my Sister and I??? Dad and I went out and bought Mom her own car the next day! Who needed a fallout shelter that doubled as a fruit and vegetable cellar.

      In the late eighties finding a storage room in the basement of the local post office filed with ten-gallon containers of water and upon testing at the city water dept...finding it drinkable??? Cases of powered milk...boxes of K-rations...dried foods in cans...little round crackers in metal tins...all found to be eatable...area was a fallout shelter in the 50's. Thirty-five years it had been stored there. Postmaster had terrible time finding someone to take responsibility in federal government as to OK its destruction. Eventually Feds came with truck and took it all, according to private contractor with work crew, to a Fed warehouse in Pa???

  •  You are a brave one to (10+ / 0-)

    go where others fear to tread.  Thanks for the Sunday afternoon comedy show.  I was laughing so heartily that my daugher wanted to know what I was doing.  I told her I was on the DK web site.  She guessed the rest because she knows I love this site more than any other.  Oh, and BTW, Erick Erickson is on the city council in my city, and he's as nutty here as he is on bedstate (pun intended.)

  •  Forgive me - but since it's Sunday & your Diary (21+ / 0-)

    ... has a religious theme going, I'll drag out a dozen Bible-thumping Oldies-But-Goodies again:

    Seems homophobic christianists favorite passage of the Bible is Leviticus 18:22 - but I think we’d be interested in their responses to other passages they always choose to ignore:

    1. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.  Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.  Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should this be a neighborhood activity?
    1. Leviticus 25:44-46 clearly states that we may indeed possess slaves, both males and females - and we can even leave them to the kids in our Wills.  However, it also states they have to be purchased from neighboring nations - or be immigrants.  A good Christian friend of mine claims that this applies only to Mexicans, but not Canadians.  I personally would prefer owning a Canuck.  Is it true I can't own a Canuck?
    1. Turns out that God not only lets us own slaves, but we can sell our kids as slaves also.  Well, one of my friends would like to sell his daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.  She’s a Yale graduate, fluent in several languages and is soon getting her MBA from Stanford.  In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
    1. A friend of mine feels that even though the Bible says that eating shellfish is "detestable" (Leviticus 11:10), it is a lesser offense than homosexuality (s.v., your earlier Leviticus 18:22 citing).  Me?  I’m not so sure of that.  Is being gay or a crustacean cruncher-muncher worse?
    1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, the Bible tells me it creates a pleasing odor unto the Lord (Leviticus 1:9).  The problem is my neighbors.  They claim the odor is not pleasing to them in the least.  Should I smite them?
    1. My eldest son is getting married this year to a girl whose father and mother are strict fundamentalist evangelicals.  They have informed me that in lieu of a dowry they will be providing me with one hundred foreskins of Philistines as provided for in 1 Samuel 18:25.

    I do not know – nor do I WANT to know – how or where they’re getting them.  But I am hopeful you can tell me where I can exchange them for a set of bath towels or bed linens ... or something a little more practical.

    1. Unfortunately, my youngest son is extremely lazy, rebellious, goes out drinking with his buddies and will not obey either me or his mother.  He wants to know when the city elders stone him to death, as Deuteronomy 21:18-21 clearly directs they must, will they be using big old boulders or small stones?
    1. This next one is extremely touchy, but it seems if I'm going to avoid doing a lot of laundry (not to mention possible sexual harassment lawsuits), I need some help.

    I know that I am forbidden to have any contact whatsoever with a woman while she is in her period of "menstrual uncleanliness" – even to sitting on a chair where she had previously sat (Leviticus 15:19-24).  

    The problem at the office is, how is one supposed to know these things?  It seems like merely asking the women in the office causes them to take great offense.  Some help here, please.

    1. Leviticus 21:18-21 has numerous restrictions about who exactly can approach the altar to worship God.  (And He's clearly not an "equal access" God since the lame, deformed, crippled and even those with damaged testicles are forbidden.)

    But I’m focusing on the one concerning having an eye defect.  I wear glasses.  Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    1. Most of the guys I know shave on a daily basis, get their hair trimmed regularly and some even have tattoos – although these are all expressly forbidden (Leviticus 19:27-28).  How should they die?
    1. I know from Leviticus 11:7-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes a man unclean.  So exactly what kind of brutal Biblical punishment do you think the NCAA and NFL should be meting out to all those big, burly football players?  (And does wearing gloves, like some receivers and backs do, give them a possible loophole?)
    1. My uncle has a farm.  Year in and year out, he violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field; as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread.  (She really seems to like that all-season linen and wool blend).

    Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Leviticus 24:14)?  Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family gathering like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Leviticus 20:14)?

  •  Can we please let them secede? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancelot, Poom, The Red Pen

    Honestly, if they can just go hole up in some doomed state and turn it into a Banana Republic with a Halliburton-built wall to protect them from all our tolerance and well-funded schools, clean environment and universal health care, I'd be a happy camper.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 05:34:40 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the work you do that goes into these. (7+ / 0-)

    As ridiculous and backwards as I find the Right to be, it really is best to keep a watchful eye on what they're doing (within constitutional bounds, of course - no warrantless wiretapping).

    We rely on your donations to bring you sigs like this. If you contribute today, we'll send you this free T.R. tote bag. (-10.00,-8.87)

    by Texas Revolutionary on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 05:36:53 PM PDT

  •  About those filthy "illegals" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo, followyourbliss

    Right wing corporations and policy are creating and maintaining the "desperation niche" which disenfranchised Mexicans are filling. They want laborers they can overwork, poison with pesticides, subject to dangerous conditions in slaughterhouses, sexually abuse, deny workman's comp, etc. The whole "clamp down on illegals" bullshit is just theater designed to keep undocumented workers terrified and to keep them from organizing.

    Hiring "illegals" is about breaking the back of labor, and it's a right-wing shenanigan through and through. If they were serious about containing the situation, they'd fine and imprison illegal employers, and leave the workers alone.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 05:57:52 PM PDT

    •  Or even fine and imprison (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhetoricus

      the employers and forcibly deport the workers over the fully-walled and Army-patrolled border. They could avoid hypocrisy just by combining their positions and yours.

      But they can't even do that.

      If they did, they might have to mow their own fucking lawn.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 06:45:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not Sure If This is the Apology (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Red Pen, bushondrugs

    by Napolitano you're referencing.  If so, you may want to edit your diary, since she did apologize and it was accepted by the American Legion Commander.

    "Give me but one firm spot to stand, and I will move the earth." -- Archimedes

    by Limelite on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 06:09:22 PM PDT

  •  Balloon animal out of logic! (3+ / 0-)

     title=

    As long as prejudice exists in this country - in this world - we are all its victims. ~~ Keith Olbermann

    by Purple Priestess on Sun Apr 26, 2009 at 06:59:30 PM PDT

  •  You've managed to make them look like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancelot, The Red Pen

    they stand for something. Or discuss something outside of their Anglo-mania.

    Or their focus on the almighty dollar.

    Recommended.

    They're a nasty bunch of mutherblammers.

    Tickle tickle! Let's discuss! No! Never? No! Blam.

    Straight down the highway, and don't veer. Neither an inch to the left nor an inch to the right.

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