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April 13, 2010


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big bad wolf

SC, the events you go to have much better silent auction items than the events i go to. i mean really, what am i, an effete, displaced, non-gunning northeasterner to do with a guided hog hunt?

reagan didn't need church. did jesus go to church? no, but he was recognized by john the baptist, as reagan was by pat boone (apocryphal, perhaps, (the reagan part, not the jesus part, but it should be true).


What's more, the Reagans made a big splash about re-introducing alcoholic beverages to the White House after Carter's no-drinking years (ha! See what I did there?)

What else is bugging (or, at least, amusing) me?

Well, per your recommendations, C, I had a good laugh at the takes by John Cole and Roy Edroso, respectively, on poor McMegan's attempt to buy a house in DC. She wonders why the ones she wants all get snapped up quickly--uh, because they were priced really well compared to similar properties, and the buyers were smart? Magic Market Fairy Dust, baby! And then, she grouses that in many cases, the horrible tenants are actually living in the property--and won't let mean-spirited people intrude on their privacy to look in cupboards and closets--due to those oppressive DC tenant's rights. The same rights that McMegan admits to having taken advantage of when she herself was a tenant, by the way, but this is totally different. Because now it *doesn't* serve her needs and purposes.

The best part? Grousing about the houses' proximity (or lack thereof) to a Metro station. I thought libertarians didn't use public transportation on principle.

Whither going Galt, one wonders?

M. Bouffant

Gobble, gobble.

mark f

Where was the union? The union is generally holding these companies up demanding all kinds of safety. Why were these miners continuing to work in what apparently was an unsafe atmosphere?

Like Rush says, UMW = safe mines. Let's join Rush Limbaugh in calling for unionization of all Massey plants.

mark f

Er, mines.

Sir Charles


The school my kid goes to now has a lot of professionals -- especially lawyers. So you have that level of affluence, that of pretty well-salaried people -- although the school actually gives a lot of finanical aid to those in need and manages to be pretty diverse as a result. The school that my son went to previously, however, had more of the entrepeneurial class in it -- owners of start ups, venture capitialist, successful business owners. And that is where you see these ridiculous auction items -- like the fully crewed 110 foot yacht for a week (two people got a week each for $10,000) and the 40,000 square foot vacation home. It was mind boggling.


Having bought real estate here in DC three times in three quite different neighborhoods in 1986, 1989, and 1997, I found Jane Galt's unfamiliarity with the market system amusing. One of the things you figure out rather quickly is whether you are in a buyers or sellers market and whether you can dicker over price and contemplate making an offer or whether you need to jump right in. Once you've had a house snatched from under you that you wanted, which happened to me in late 1997, I figured out that the market was turning and that full price offers would be the order of the day. The next house we saw that we wanted, we put down a full price contract the day it went on the market. That's the way things work.

What I think McMegan is not quite grasping is that to get what she wants here, she and future hubby are going to need to be able to shovel out at least $650,000 -- and that isn't going to get them much. It must be hard to relate so much to the wealthy and then come to the realization that you are not one of them.

(I could rent them a room I suppose -- but then I'd have to deal with all of those pesky tenant issues.)

mark f,



I didn't know you had such a discriminating palate when it came to gin! Hendrick's is delicious, but damn you pay through the nose for it.

Sir Charles


I feel slightly guilty because this was a charity event, but I got all of this stuff for less than market price. As a result, no tax deduction on these items.

I have not had Hendrick's but have heard it's quite good.

I try to be a polyglot with respect to alcohol -- appreciative of the truly good, but willing to slum it.


Sir C.

I know exactly what you mean and am the same with wine. With the exception of the varietals I simply don't care for regardless of price (which most definitely includes cabernet sauvignon, so I'm part of the great unwashed from the perspective of most serious oenophiles), the really excellent ones I've tried were wonderful, but I can't afford them, so I look for what tastes really good in the price range I can deal with.


Re: Beinart

Never read him, or even heard of him before, but if he thinks Reagan was deeply religious I think the most apt one-word description of him is probably sophomore.

low-tech cyclist

bbw - not an important point, but just for the record, Jesus did go to church - well, synagogue.

Mark 1:21: They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach.

Mark 1:39: So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues...

Mark 3:1: Another time he went into the synagogue...


Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Three cheers to the people of Broward County & Palm Beach -- including my in-laws, I hope, voting absentee. Yesterday was the first by-election after HCR passed and those Republicans were gonna show da woild how much voters in general and seniors in particular hated it. Ed Lynch was gonna be a real player in the future, taking the seat by running on a "Repeal the whole damm thing" and anti-Obama platform.

The result?
Ted Deutsch (D) 62%
Ed Lynch (R) 36%

Keep running on repeal guys. (Note that there have been 6 House by-elections since Obama was elected. So far it's 6-0)

low-tech cyclist

Mind you, FL-19 has a Cook PVI of D+15, so Lynch was a longshot from the outset. But the fact that Lynch ran 11 points worse than the PVI, after making the special election into a referendum on Obama, is quite cheering.

Sir Charles


That's great news and something of which I was unaware.

l-t c,

Silly rabbi -- that doesn't count. He didn't go to a church where they worship Jesus. (Which come to think of it would be a pretty creepy thing to do.)

I've got to drive to Richmond in a couple of hours. I am going to pretend that I am U.S. Grant as I make my triumphant march southward to destroy the confederacy. (It really is a route that takes you through the sites of unspeakable carnage -- my meeting is actually pretty close to the Cold Harbor battlefield.)

low-tech cyclist

In addition to overlooking the similarity of right-wing Christianism and radical Islamism on issues of sex and gender roles, Beinart misses the part that's staring him in the face in his own words: sure, "the Christian right moved from an apocalyptic struggle against a godless foe (Communism) to an apocalyptic struggle against a god-fearing one (“Islamofascism”) without missing a beat," but the fact remains that apocalyptic struggles tend to be the province of religious extremists in the first place.

Moderate Christians and mainstream Muslims, let alone most secular types, aren't interested in a fight to the death between the saints of God and the heretics of Allah, or vice versa. It's just the crazies of each faith that want that shit: that don't mind ushering in the Kingdom of God, or its Islamic equivalent, on top of a mountain of bodies of those who worship God the wrong way, or not at all.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

I want to discuss the article, and two more that really do get the Fundiecrazies right, but first, on an *ahem* much more important topic, Sir Charles, it's only one week in, but right now I'd find it hard to justify a bet that your home-town team won't beat mine in the standings this year. (Ironically the third team in each race comes from litbrit's neck of the woods. In the AL her local -- very local, envy, envy -- team should be in the three-horse race till the end and should get a playoff spot. In the NL her 'state team' is so truly awful defensively that it should catch up with them and they'll be down with Sir C's Nats and my beloved NY Mess fighting for third. (While Atlanta suitably celebrates Bobby Cox's final year.)

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Another piece of electoral good news, Rick Green the corrupt, fundie, hot-tempered idiot who was running for the Texas Supreme Court also lost the primary -- though it is scary that he got 48% given that his only 'qualification' was his work with David Barton and Wallbuilders and his support from Alan Keyes and Chuck Norris.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Yesterday seems to have been filled with good news. The Missoula, Montana anti-(LGBT)discrimination ordinance passed 10-2, with a delightful grace note.

Urging him to halt his "ignorant and hurtful" crusade, the daughter of one of the most outspoken critics of Missoula's proposed equality ordinance came out Monday night as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
"Dad. I strongly disagree with the way you have been portraying the LGBT community," said Taryn Nash, who identified herself as an LGBT member to her father for the first time during the public meeting of the Missoula City Council. "You have gone too far. I will not sit back any more and be quiet. I love you because you are my dad, but I have lost respect for you."

And, for every one of you who have been disturbed by seeing a parent of an LGBT disowning them, time for a turn-about.

Nash's father, Tei Nash, is chairman of NotMyBathroom.com, the group formed to defeat the anti-discrimination ordinance, fearing for the safety of families. He apparently had left the overflowing City Council Chambers before she spoke, but on the live television feed, she told her father he risked losing her forever.
"You need to realize this crusade you are on is wrong, and it affects me personally," said Taryn Nash, who broke from her studies in Spokane to testify. "Right now I am ashamed to call you my father."

Damn, yesterday was a good day!

Sir Charles


I remain a devoted Red Sox fan, so my following of the Nats is pretty casual. I would like to see them do well for the sake of DC baseball.

Right now it appears that they will at least outperform the Orioles who are living proof that you should never let a lawyer run anything.


DC baseball has long been best characterized as "First in war, first in peace, and last in the League". ;p

Sir Charles

Since my tax dollars helped pay for that damned stadium I feel I have a vested interest in the team having some success. We'd be happy with a .500 team at this point.

Plus it's nice to hope on the subway and go to a game instead of having to drive to Baltimore. You used to be able to go to Baltimore games on the train -- Camden Yard is literally a train yard -- but CSX, which owns the tracks, didn't like the uncertainty of the time for the post-game train to leave, and so nixed this practice, which really sucks.

Sir Charles

That would be hop, not "hope, but given the Nats ineptitude, hope might be a good typo.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Oddjob: Yeah, the only time since Walter Johnson they had a halfway decent team, they moved to Minnesota, and replaced by one of the first two expansion teams -- and the initial expansion was designed to give the new clubs the worst possible choices. Then that team starts showing a tiny bit of promise and 'off to Texas.'

I actually lived in Baltimore briefly 3 times in the late 60s -- and Billie died there. For me, all I can say is Boog, Davey, Mark, Brooks, Don, Paul, Frank, the 'three-headed catcher,' and 4 20-game winners.

(Btw, haven't been there in decades, do Arrow 77 Beer, White Coffee Pots and Esskay Franks still exist?)

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Not all the news is good. The result in this was good, but its very necessity was horrifying. Click through to read the whole piece, it is really worth it, but here's the lead (h/t Steve Benen)

A federal judge Tuesday ordered a rural county in southwestern Mississippi to stop segregating its schools by grouping African American students into all-black classrooms and allowing white students to transfer to the county's only majority-white school, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

And a few details

For years, the local school board has permitted hundreds of white students to transfer from its Tylertown schools, which are about 75 percent African American and serve about 1,700 students, to another school, the Salem Attendance Center, which is about 66 percent white and serves about 577 students in grades K-12. The schools are about 10 miles apart.
Salem became "a racially identifiable white school while the student enrollment of the Tylertown schools has become predominantly black" because of the transfers, U.S. officials alleged in December, based on data from the 2007-08 school year, according to Lee's order.
At the same time in Tylertown four K-12 schools, "District administrators group, or 'cluster,' disproportionate numbers of white students into designated classrooms . . . resulting in significant numbers of segregated, all-black classrooms at each grade level," the judge wrote, summarizing the Justice Department lawyers' case.

Help, my calendar's busted!

Sir Charles


I don't know if you saw that Mike Cuellar, ex-Oriole pitching great, died recently. He was a good one.

Esskay is still around. Don't know about the other two.


I've got to think that law gets struck down quickly.


oddjob, that kind of teacher is ANATHEMA to my mind, at least.

We're a household of out-of-the-box thinkers, I'm afraid: artists, musicians, writers, and an entrepreneur who didn't finish middle school.

You should see Son Three's paintings--he's ten--they blow people away. Thankfully, he has a wonderful art teacher who really gets him; indeed, she knows how to bring out his strengths at the easel. It makes me very sad when I hear about the stultifying teach-to-the-test crap going on everywhere: how many non-linear thinkers--how many young artists, musicians, writers, actors--are prevented from developing their talents or even realizing they have them in the first place, one wonders? How many depressives will come out of these soulless institutions, convinced there's something wrong with them, certain their mediocre academic achievement reflects on their self-worth, alienated and eternally unrewarded because their brains and cognitive styles don't fit the standard mold?

It kills me. Because all these fundies and wingnuts go on and on about their Baby Einsteins and slap My Kid Was Student of the Month at XYZ Elementary bumperstickers on their Escalades and Navigators, but what they really want is a compliant, easy-to-manage A student, not an Einstein (who gave his teachers hell and was kicked out of at least one school, if I recall correctly), and certainly not a Picasso.


Thomas Edison also was home-schooled after being kicked out for being too difficult to handle in class. IIRC Andrew Wyeth only had an 8th grade education. I know for sure he had a very, very negative opinion of typical American schooling, at least insofar as becoming an painter is concerned. He felt very, very strongly that if one was to become a painter than in your youth the best place to be was outdoors - on one's own, as often as possible. He felt that was where the youthful painter-to-be would get the only education that mattered.


I've got to think that law gets struck down quickly.

Most likely. On the other hand, who would have expected SCOTUS to throw away a century of jurisprudence in favor of turning coportations into legal virtual humans?

kathy a.

orly taitz update: she hasn't landed in the hoosegow yet, but she was dis-invited to a teabag event. apparently even they have standards of some sort. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/14/MN811CUA8U.DTL

low-tech cyclist

Then that team [Senators v.2.0] starts showing a tiny bit of promise and 'off to Texas.'

Prup - I was enough of a baseball fan then that I must correct that bit of history.

After gradual improvement (from terrible to merely not so bad) under Gil Hodges (who jumped to the Mets, managing the 1969 'Miracle Mets' season), they had one winning season in 1969 (86-76) under owner Robert Short and manager Teddy Ballgame. But they fell apart in 1970 and 1971, going 70-92 and 63-96. They were even worse in their first two seasons in Texas.

So when they left, it wasn't at a point where they were showing promise. Short had already exploded the team, and while it did have some young prospects (Jeff Burroughs, Toby Harrah), but it wasn't at all apparent in 1971 that this team was going anywhere but down.

Sir Charles

l-t c,

I saw that team at Fenway Park that year as a nine-year old. Williams got a really warm reception from the crowd. Frank Howard hit a towering home run over the left field wall that looked like it was going to go into orbit. I also remember that their catcher, Paul Casanova, had an absolute gun of an arm.

There's actually a brief discussion in Ball Four about Williams' coaching that season and how he had even guys like Eddie Brinkman thinking they were hitters.

Sir Charles


You know you are really crazy when you are too crazy for the teabaggers.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

I thought I had remembered them as turning the corner before they moved -- I do remember Williams getting a lot out of them -- but I bow to your memory.

And while the electoral candidates didn't want to be seen with Orly the Magnificent, some of them had no problem appearing at a rally headed by Alan Keyes, Orly's client in some of the cases.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

A bit of 'legal analysis' from Bryan Fischer -- whose rabid homophobia predated his appearance on the national stage, when he ran the Idaho Values Alliance. (If 'mouth froth' could be turned into biofuel, Fischer could keep Delaware heated this next Winter.)

[A] gay judge's sexual preference will, without any question whatsoever, "interfere with their job." It's not possible for it to be otherwise ... We simply should not elevate to the highest court in the land people who are known for engaging in sexually abnormal behavior which would technically make them felons in a quarter of the states over which they will have jurisdiction.


A homosexual judge cannot help but give the home-field advantage to every legal team appearing before him who represents homosexual causes. It will be impossible for the visiting team, the team representing sexual normalcy and natural marriage, to get a fair shake in his courtroom.


Only an utter fool could convince himself that an active homosexual judge could be impartial in rendering judgment on such cases. The scales of "justice" would be tipped irrevocably toward the homosexual agenda and it would be moronic to think otherwise.
With an active homosexual on the bench, Lady Justice will no longer even pretend to be blind. She will be peeking out from under her blindfold to determine the sexual preference of those standing before her, then will let the fold slip back into place before ruling in every case to legitimize sexual deviancy.
Bottom line: the American ideal of absolute equality before the law will inevitably be shredded by a homosexual judge. Neither the Constitution nor the American people should be subjected to that kind of judicial malpractice. We can and should expect more from those who occupy seats on the highest bench in the land.

(h/t Kyle at PFAW's Right Wing Watch, which belongs on the 'read every day list' with Steve Benen, Ed Brayton, Dave Neiwert, and MMfA)

low-tech cyclist

SC - I remember both the discussion in Ball Four, and the reality, quite well. Brinkman hit .266 and .262 in 1969 and 1970 after hitting .188 and .187 the previous two seasons.

Somewhere in that book, someone quotes Williams in batting practice, late in his career, saying very unflattering things about Jim Bunning and his little shit slider. Every time Bunning has been in the news lately, I've been meaning to dig that out, but haven't yet managed to do so.

Sir Charles

l-t c,

I actually started writing a post about that scene a couple of weeks ago during the Bunning filibuster.

"Here comes Jim Bunning. Jim Fucking Bunning with that little shit slider of his. He doesn't think he can get me out throwing that shit, does he."

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Going back to the original topic of the similarities between 'radical Islam' and 'the Religious Right' ('radical Christianity') the problem is that "The Religious Right" doesn't exist. There are at least five different and distinct versions of Radical Christianity, and one of my consistent points has been to try and differentiate between them. There is some overlap in the membership, and they all have some 'pet hates' in common, but their ideas, both political and theological are completely different, and one of the problems is that people don't realize how radically different a subgroup such as the "New Apostolic Reformation/7 Mountains" group is from what they picture. (Or how peervasive it is. By some good estimates, the combined membership of churches connected to or aligned with the NAR comprise the largest 'denomination' of Protestants in the World. And they are, unlike the other groups which are almost entirely American, truly worldwide.)

I'd like to impose on Sir Charles' bandwidth and give a short (maybe) comment describing each of them, ending with the NAR. And even if you skip the rest, please read that last one. These people -- and they include people ranging from Rick Warren to Ted Haggard to Lou Engle to Thomas Muthee -- are powerful, numerous, scary and totally insane, and the need to be known. (They are not, btw, "The Family" who, despite the scary stories are mostly 'legends in their own minds.')

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Back to baseball. Jim Bunning may have been a shit Congressman and Senator -- and is now supporting the son of the Texas Doctor to replace him, going against the rest of the Ky Republican establishment -- but don't denigrate his pitching. A hell of a lot of batters who started with the attitude you quote wound up walking back to the bench shaking his head. A lousy politician even pre-senility, but he was one of the greats in his first profession.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

I do want to get these few comments made, though they may skip into tomorrow -- hell, you can skip over them, and all Sir C. has to do to pay for the bandwidth is to sneeze about three times during his next client conference. I hope at least a couple of them find them worth reading, because I really do think it is important to realize that there are "Religious Rights" not A "Religious Right" and the one we think of is perhaps the least significant. More importantly, to understand the way this has been a factor in politics, it also helps to realize how each group defines "Christianity" in ways entirely different -- with the NAR redefining it in a way that makes the word incomprehensible to someone who uses it in the 'ordinary way.'

Starting off with the least significant, the 'Prosperity Gospel.' The 'Name it and Claim it' Christians span the gamut from religiously veneered self-help to equally veneered 'get rich quick' schemes -- with the extra incentive that you can't get sued or get asked for the money back if God doesn't follow through on your promises. Faith healres of the Benny Hinn type fit in this group as well.

And while they may preach on Galatians, Revelations, or obscure sections of Matthew, in essence they boil Christianity down to one verse, which they 'retranslate' as "Whatsoever you ask the Father for in My Name -- provided you show your faith by sending an offering to the preacher bringing you My Words -- it shall be given to you."

Theoretically these preachers are not inherently political and it is easy to imagine a Prosperity Gospel preacher with a moderate view on political or social issues. (Two of the originals, Norman Vincent Peale and Reverend Ike were not particularly conservative.)

But in today's religious climate, they tend now to combine a lot of Republican Dogma with their sermons -- partially because they have always been -- I hate this term -- in a 'co-dependent' relationship with the GOP, each group cheerfully using the other. But if there is a tendency to hit the usual social issues, this group tends to be even stronger on the pro-business, anti-tax end of things -- obvious from their audience.

However there is another consequence with this group -- true, in a small percentage of cases, but in enough to be worth being concerned about. After all, prayers don't get answered. And these people are frequently not that successful, and the one thing they don't have is prosperity -- and they never ask if they would if they had the money they gave in tithes and 'prayer offerings.' And of course, sick loved ones don't always get well.

But how do they cope with this. Well, learning to disconnect 'beliefs' from reality helps -- and boy does it help the next Republican asking for their votes. But beyond that, some will abandon God, prayer, or that particular preacher -- and we don't have to worry about them. Some will 'do the right thing' -- from the preacher's perspective -- and blame their own weakness, sinful nature, and lack of faith. And they deserve as much pity as the preachers deserve contempt.

But in a reasonable number of (unreasonable) cases that isn't enough. God can't be punishing them, God couldn't have been lying in the Bible, and a Man of god wouldn't steer them wrong. There's got to be Another Explanation. Something is working to defeat God's plan and promise for them.

And that's when they start filing in the bingo card of the crazy as everyone offers them a different them to blame. The bankers, the Jews, the illuminati, the gays, Obama's Marxist Fascist radicals -- and most of all, behind them, Satan.

And that's when they move towards the scary end of the spectrum.

Gene O'Grady

I am old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan, back when he was still occasionally trying to be reasonable as governor of California, caught a lot of flak for signing the (pre-Roe v. Wade) abortion liberalization bill in California.

He was in most respects a terrible president, had a mixed record of not particularly intelligent good sense and gratuitous, and rather vicious, nastiness as governor, but was never the least bit religious. Or, as my mother put it when she watched in tears as Carter conceded, "He's a dignified Christian gentleman and Ronald Reagan isn't any of those things."

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