Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sarah Palin advocates a theocracy, and isn't laughed off the stage

I've written before about Sarah Palin's vast misunderstanding of the Founding Fathers and the First Amendment in particular, but this is starting to get a little ridiculous. At an evangelical women's conference in St. Louis Friday night (which didn't allow press), the former half-term governor yet again distorted the Framers' beliefs to suggest they would support a theocracy, as she apparently does. Greg Sargent of The Plum Line obtained a transcript of Palin's speech:
I beg you, Women of Joy, to bring light and be involved, loving America and praying for her. Really, it is our solemn duty. Praying for true spiritual awakening to overcome deterioration. That is where God wants us to be. Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our Founding Fathers, they were believers. And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

GOP environmental group asks "What Would Reagan Do?" on climate change

Ronald Reagan's cult appeal has reached an almost mythical status in the Republican Party. During the 2008 GOP primary, every candidate argued ad nauseum over who was more like the Gipper. Last fall, Republican National Committee members proposed a conservative purity test based on Reagan's "unity principle," that "someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent." Of course Reagan would have failed the test, but don't tell the RNC.

Especially on teevee, it seems like nearly everyone on the right is asking "What Would Reagan Do?" about every political issue du jour. When the compromise climate bill hits the Senate next week, it will undoubtedly face fierce opposition from many conservatives. Some may use Reagan to illustrate their disapproval. But a Republican environmental group (yes, it sounds like an oxymoron) is using Reagan's own words to challenge the GOP consensus on climate change and energy legislation.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tax day Tea Party rally in Columbia (PHOTOS)

The Tea Party came to Columbia on April 15 for a tax day rally outside the State House.
There are a couple interesting things about this photo. First, the Associated Press claimed over 1,000 people attended the rally. This picture was taken about 15 minutes before the rally was supposed to begin -- problems with the sound system caused a half-hour delay until former mayoral candidate Joe Azar came to the rescue. As you can see, there are only about 200 people in the photo at most. Even at the height of the rally, there were no more than twice as many people as in the photo. Midlands blogger Wes Wolfe estimated only about 250 people in attendance. Perhaps the AP used the Fox News method of counting.

Another interesting thing: Out of the hundreds of people in that photo, there is exactly one black person. She's standing at the far left under the red and white umbrella. You can click through to a hi-res version to see for yourself. Now let me be clear: I did not see a single instance of overt or insinuated racism at the event. Still, it's interesting how in a city that's 46% African-American, the tea partiers were almost exclusively white. For most of the rally, the most "ethnic" person I could see was Nikki Haley.
Like I said, I didn't see any racism at the rally. But there was a whole bunch of good old-fashioned stupidity. The above photo is of a "Liberalism is a mental disorder" sign being held by a woman with purple hair and son carrying a "Germany thought the Nazis were great" sign. As far as irony goes, it was one in a series of amusing occurrences. Before the rally they played "We Will Rock You," sung by a gay man who died of AIDS. At least they're tolerant of his music? Then they played the Love Shack. Right outside Mark Sanford's office. How is that no one caught that?
It wouldn't be South Carolina without at least one poster advocating secession.

"If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport" pretty much sums up the entire event.
Tell you what -- I'll drive on roads paved by the government, and you can drive on roads paved by Jesus.
These anarchists, like most everyone else I encountered at the rally, had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

Uh, what?
Gov. Mark Sanford speaks while former WIS anchor Susan Aude', who emceed the rally, looks on. Sanford received a mostly positive reaction from the crowd, getting loud cheers and applause and only one shout of "Traitor!"
...From this guy, Edward Quick of Sumter. Here a state trooper warns Quick about heckling the governor.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jim DeMint tries to pass the buck on the C Street cover-up

Over the past year there's been a fair amount of coverage on the C Street House, which is owned and operated by the secretive religious group The Family. Several conservative members of Congress live at the house, paying about $950 a month for upscale accommodations just blocks away from the Capitol. According to the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, that's about half the market value of apartments in that area.

It also might break congressional ethics rules. CREW has filed an ethics complaint against several C Street residents, including Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), laying out their argument here:
The House and Senate gift rules specifically include “lodging” as a prohibited gift. ... In addition, members may not accept gifts offered to members of Congress because of their official positions. As only members of Congress appear to live in the C Street House, it seems likely that it is because of their positions that they are permitted to live there and are offered below market rent.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Henry McMaster: Playing Politics With His Office?

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster has been in the news a lot lately for leading a group of state attorneys general in a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn President Obama's health care reform law. McMaster knows it, too -- he produced a video of his many teevee appearances saying health care reform threatens our "liberty, freedom and sovereignty," which are "held by a thread" (presumably by McMaster?):