Honestly, when can we all just admit that the Catholic hierarchy has absolutely no grounds to claim moral authority on any topic at all, but particularly on the topic of human sexuality. Seen on CNN: Top U.S. archbishop linked to abusive priest payout plan.
According to this story, Archbishop Timothy Dolan was perfectly willing to hand out $20,000 a pop to his priests who he knew were raping kids. On the other hand, Dolan is really, really, really against any church affiliated organization, such as a Catholic hospital, having to include contraception in their insurance plans for their non-Catholic employees.
If I really thought there was a hell, I can say with absolute certainty that these assholes will be rotting there.
Today I read this:
Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents
..and it honestly freaked me right out.
It’s a Washington Post article by Jason Horowitz about how Mitt Romney was (and probably still is) a total sociopath during his tony prep school days. In one incident, memorable to all who participated (except for Mitt Romney who claims no recollection), Mittens led a small horde of other prep school students into an assault on another student. Apparently the other student, a year behind Mitt in school, had returned from spring break with floppy, bleached blonde hair, which was unacceptable to young Mittens. Our fearless psychopath and wannabe POTUS led an assault on the kid, and while his crew held the guy down, Mitt cut off his hair.
What the hell.
Anyway, after picking my jaw up off the floor, in an effort to save my sanity, my brain made an inevitable connection. Watch the following video and try to deny that Mitt and Chet are the same goddamned person.
Lovely interview with Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. He makes an excellent point, flagged on Digby’s Hullaballoo, which is that although liberals frequently express astonishment at what we perceive to be the conservative base voting against their own self-interest, this is not necessarily true.
As Robin notes in the interview:
I don’t have a theory of false consciousness; I don’t think anyone’s being distracted. I think the right really does deliver the goods of power and privilege to more than an elite class. And the way it does that is often through the private life of power, the slave plantation being, of course, the most obvious form, but the family and the workplace also being critically central. Burke understood this—that our identity is a historical inheritance, and one of the main aspects of that inheritance is this private relationship of power and domination. And that relationship is so close to us that to give it up would really be a form of self-destruction.
And as Digby further states, noting that conservatives have a different definition of what their self-interest is:
They believe that giving up their private power would be far more destructive than giving up political power. Sure, right wing politicians are all liars and cheats and do anything they can to hold on to their public power. That’s the gig. But to the true believers their central concern is losing the privilege that defines them. And it isn’t really about money, although that’s tangentially part of it. It’s about hierarchy, status and dominion.
Click the link for the entire interview, which is great reading. I know what I’m downloading onto my Kindle next.
Boston Review — Corey Robin and David V. Johnson: Contraception and Counterrevolution The Reactionary Mind, conservatism.
In an editorial today, the New York Times takes note of the horrific contents of unsealed National Organization for Marriage (NOM) memos, pointing out that the contents of the memos clearly identify NOM as a purely political organization, despite its claim to be a social welfare organization.
Among the highlights are the following:
The documents brag about its “crucial” role in passage of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage that was overturned by a federal appeals court. They describe the group’s use of “robo-calls” to scare residents in different states away from supporting marriage equality. They talk of a plan to “expose Obama as a social radical,” but the most appalling portions deal with the group’s racially and ethnically divisive strategies.
“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” says one memo.
Another stated aim is to manipulate Hispanic voters by making the exclusion of gay people from marriage “a key badge of Latino identity.”
Although I am sure that the evidence, as usual, will fail to convince those who need convincing, it should be painfully obvious that NOM consists of horrible, hateful people whose entire existence revolves around constant attempts to insure that other people are miserable and oppressed.
However, I took special note of the paragraph following the above, in which the NYT noted that House Speaker John Boehner recently appointed NOM’s co-founder, Robert George, to a U.S. commission “focused on addressing religious intolerance and extremism around the globe.” This is the same Speaker Boehner who is wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible DOMA in court.
Aside from the obvious prejudice and desire to oppress and marginalize, I do wonder what’s the connection between Boehner and NOM?
Fantastic article in the Washington Post on how the landlord of an abortion clinic chose to respond to anti-abortion harassment:
A clinic’s landlord turns the tables on anti-abortion protesters – The Washington Post.
Todd Stave owns the building in which LeRoy Carhart operates. Carhart is one of the few doctors in the country who does late-term abortions. In addition to protesting at the clinic, the forced pregnancy freak show began harassing Stave, including calling him at home and showing up at his daughter’s school. In response, Stave recorded the telephone numbers and addresses of the people who were harassing him, and distributed them to what began as a small group of friends, who then called the harassers at home. Since then, the group has gotten much bigger. Stave founded an organization called Voice of Choice, and its thousands of volunteers will respond, in a calm and measured way, to the harassing tactics of the forced pregnancy crowd.
I love this guy.
Paul Krugman has a must-read piece up on the influence of the shadowy corporate-sponsored group, American Legislative Exchange Council (“ALEC”), on state legislatures.
For one thing, the “shoot first, avoid arrest” bill that has allowed Trayvon Martin’s killer to avoid charges was drafted by ALEC. ALEC has also provided multiple state legislatures with voter ID bills intended to suppress the votes of minorities, the poor, and the elderly. It should be a surprise to no one that many members of ALEC are the corporations that are bring us the privatized prison-industrial complex, and who are also bringing us privatized, for-profit schools that are bringing profits to its members at the expense of actual education.
We are looking at a very, very bleak future for the vast majority of our citizens if ALEC continues to write our state’s laws unchecked.
The same Wisconsin Republican shitheel legislators, Glenn Grothman and Don Pridemore, famous previously for introducing Senate Bill 507, which specifically blames single mothers for child abuse, are now on the record as discouraging women from seeking divorce, even in instances of abuse.
Pridemore, in his infinite wisdom, helpfully explained that abused women should just send their thoughts back to what originally attracted them to their husbands to begin with.
Close your eyes and think of England, ladies.