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    Todd Courser: You're Sure That's Just Tea You're Drinking?

    Here's a question:  If you were a state lawmaker (male, married) known for sniffy, holier-than-thou, just awful Tea Party politics and you were having an affair with another sniffy holier-than-thou Tea Party lawmaker (female, married) and you realized you were about to get caught, how would you handle it?  Would you think, seriously, that the best way to deflect from the real affair was to invent a phony story about being accused of a liaison with a male prostitute and then get really pissed at the person spreading that story, even though that person was you?

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    The GOP Debates: That's Entertainment

    Yesterday, some 16 months before the next presidential election, the Republicans launched the first in a l-o-o-n-g series of candidate debates.  Four hours later, the second one took place.

     
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    In Praise Of E.L. Doctorow, The Man Who Looked Into GWB's Eyes And Saw Nothing.

    I heard the sad news yesterday that E.L. Doctorow has died.   I've read and loved several of his books, so of course I feel as if I know him personally.  I loved Ragtime and The Book of Daniel and Billy Bathgate.  I couldn't get into Loon Lake,but I'll accept that as my problem and not his.  World's Fair and Homer and Langley are both sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. 

    His writing is what I would call "luscious with an edge".  It's stylistic and mesmerizing but you know there is something dark lurking nearby.  There is no relaxing with a Doctorow novel, even in the midst of the quiet, beautiful parts.  He will grab you and hold you and take you to places unexpected and thrilling.  He will force you by sheer wordsmithing to accompany him.  He will make you stop and read over and over again the same brilliant, awesomely brilliant, passage. 

    He was, as everybody knows, quite a writer.

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    "Onward, Christian Soldiers". Not just a hymn anymore.

    I guess you've heard that the Rightward so-called Christians have a flag, yes, a flag, and some of them think it would be cool to fly it above the American flag on the same pole, even though flag etiquette has said forever that no flag should fly above Old Glory.  Their reasoning?  Something about God coming first, which they assume any good American should obviously recognize.

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    Goodness and Mercy and The Charleston Massacre

    On Wednesday evening, June 17, a 21-year-old White Supremacist sat for an hour in a prayer meeting with the good people of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and, when the hour was up, opened fire with his .45 caliber Glock.  He slaughtered nine innocent church members for no other reason than that he held such a deep, abiding hatred for blacks he wanted to be the one to kill them.  His goal was to start a race war.


    Later, after he was caught, he admitted to the police that the parishioners were so nice to him he almost didn't do it.  It was the twist of the knife for those of us already grieving over his murder victims.  One single second of conscience, one deviant drop of human kindness, and the people who welcomed him into their fold might have been saved.

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    No More Making Fun of the Iowa Straw Poll. Except This One Last Time

    Just got the news that Iowa has decided to dump their traditional GOP fundraiser, their presidential-hopeful-quasi-indicator-of-nothing, their old-fashioned, hilariously awful Iowa Barbecue and Straw Poll .  I thought I would be happy when they finally took my advice and got rid of that thing, but now I feel sad.  I've laughed so much over their shenanigans, I feel the way I do whenever a favorite comedy show bites the dust. Sad, but so glad for the memories.

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    Beau Biden: What Might Have Been

    I awoke yesterday to the news that Beau Biden has lost his battle with brain cancer.  The pain I felt, even though I didn't know Beau Biden personally, was a visceral as if I had lost a dear friend.  It's no secret that I adore his father, Joe, and much of what I'm feeling, I'm feeling for him.  (I wrote about him here.)  The grief, the sorrow, must be awful.  He lost his first wife and his small daughter in a tragic car-truck accident, and nearly lost Beau and his brother, Hunter. He should not have to endure another loss of a beloved child.
     

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    Breaking (Old) News: Bush and Cheney Lied us into Iraq.

    In a startling conversation on Tuesday--three days ago by my calendar, not that you would know it by the mainstream media coverage--Chris Matthews, bless his passionate, irritating bulldoggedness, pulled the truth out of Michael Morell, George Bush's CIA intelligence briefer during the lead-up to the Iraq war: the Bush White House lied about WMDs in order to get us into a war with Iraq.

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    Sarah Palin: Out. Carly Fiorina: In

    In 2007, the story goes, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and a few GOP movers and shakers went on a cruise to Alaska  and met a certain Sarah Palin, then-governor of that great state.  It's safe to say she knocked Kristol's socks off (and his head cockeyed, though he didn't know it at the time).
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    No Excuses: Angry Thugs and Looters are Still Thugs and Looters

     

    I know you might hate this, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I'm going to write this as a mother, as a grandmother, as a card-carrying citizen of the United States, as a goddamned human being.

    I'm white, but if you dare hold that against me you're no better than those who hold color against anyone.  We're going to talk about those stupid vandals who rampaged through their own Baltimore neighborhood the night before last, looting, burning, destroying nearly everything in sight.  They were black kids and they used the funeral of a young black man as an excuse to raise so much hell we'll be adding Baltimore once again to the list of the worst riots in the U.S.

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    As Long as There is a Constitution, The GOP Can't Win

    It's been a while, but here I am.  Illnesses and the vagaries of the gypsy life have taken a toll, frazzled my brain, and, if you can believe it, have led me to thinking about things other than the state of the nation.  During my enforced R&R I read a few novels, watched a few movies, spent time with friends, marveled at scenery, and all-around de-fragged.  I hung around on the edges of the political debates, but found myself thinking the unthinkable:  "Who cares?"

    Now I'm back.

    So. . .

    What the devil has gotten into those Republicans?  Are there no grownups left in that party? It's as if, this past January, they all just got out of juvie, where they were plotting their mischief, and now's the time to put their malicious but childishly goofy plans into action.

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    Ramona's picture

    Christian Guy talks up rape and murder of Atheist Wives and Daughters at Prayer Breakfast. More Coffee, Anyone?

    Phil Robertson, the Duck Dynasty actor and self- professed loyal follower of Jesus Christ, Son of God--the same guy who's been in trouble before for saying bad stuff he heard straight from God's mouth--had this to say at a prayer breakfast the other day:

    "I’ll make a bet with you. Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’ "
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    Not "The Onion": GOP Senators Tell Iran Obama's Not The Boss, They Are

    In a stunning open letter to the leaders of Iran, 47 Republican senators let it be known that while Barack Obama might occupy the White House and temporarily hold the title of President and Commander-in-chief of these United States, it is Congress--most especially the Republican Congress--that holds the cards when it comes to any kind of nuclear deal.

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    Yes, Virginia, There Is A Unicorn Hunters Society

    There is a real Unicorn Hunters Society in the United States, in case you hadn't heard.  It was formed in 1971, even though, as you know, unicorns have been around forever.  The society is based at Lake Superior State University (hereafter known as LSSU) in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan (pronounced "soo saint Marie, hereafter known as The Soo).

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    CPAC! A Fond Look Back on the Circuses That Were

    It's CPAC time!  I almost missed it!  (My invitation no doubt was lost in the mail.)  Since 2009, shortly after I first started writing this blog, I've been fascinated by the dizzy doings over at CPAC (Conservative Po
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    Yes, Rudy, It Was a Horrible Thing to Say. Thank You

    According to an article in Politico, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani told a group of Republicans gathered to pay some sort of attention to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker that it's his belief that President Obama doesn't love them, him, or even the entire United States of America.

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    Ramona's picture

    We Need Paid Sick Leave Because Workers Are Humans First

    There's a fuss going on in Michigan over whether the state should mandate paid sick leave for all workers.  It's the Democrats who are proposing it but the Republicans dominate the government, so at this point it's not a question of winning the issue, it's a question of how far their bill gets before it fails.  (The sad backstory:  This same bill was first introduced in 2012.  The Republicans made sure it didn't get to committee for consideration. It was reintroduced in 2013.  Same story.  Now, in 2015, the Dems, bless their hearts, are trying again.)

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    The Things We Leave Undone While We Sweat The Small Stuff

     

    In this country millions of children are going hungry.  There are as many reasons as there are hungry children, but not a single one of them is the fault of the child.

    This year's count puts the homeless at nearly 600,000. Many of them are our veterans, come home from wars with wounds that won't heal.  Nearly a third of them live on the streets.  Some cities work diligently to keep them off the streets, not by sheltering them but by making their attempts to sleep outdoors more difficult.

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    Vandals, I Don't Get You. Can We Talk?

    van·dal

     
    noun: vandal; plural noun: vandals
    1. 1.
      a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property.
      "the rear window of the car was smashed by vandals"
      synonyms:hoodlum, barbarian, thug, hooligan, delinquent, despoiler, desecrator, saboteur
      "vandals defaced the front steps of the church"
    2. 2.
      a member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries and sacked Rome in AD 455.
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    The Cowardly Liberal Talks About Strength

    About once a year or so I have a confidence crisis.  When it happens I'm able to convince myself that I can't go on writing about politics and hate and fear and unfairness.  This year it was even worse, brought on by the very real fact that the dreaded Republicans swept the elections last November and are now in almost complete control of our lives.

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