Recently speaking during the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama cited a passage from the Book of Luke as moral justification for the well off to – like himself – to pay a little more in taxes. What kind of tax increase is President Obama talking about. In 1982 the top individual tax rate was 50%. It is now 35%. As we recently learned from Mitt Romney’s tax records he pays an effective rate of about 15%. While I don’t think a top individual rate of 50% is burdensome since we would still have write-offs, deductions and various incentives aimed at things like installing solar panels, many people obviously feel a top rate of 50% even on the richest, is too high. president Obama is speaking to the general neighborhood of the same top rate as we had in 1993 of 39.6% According to the far Right a return to a rate 4.6% higher than now, which would only affect the richest people in the U.S. is the road to serfdom. To add imagined insult to imagined injury, President Obama invoked Jesus – Obama Cites Jesus and the Right Loses Its Mind
And now right-wing leaders and Republicans are outraged, with Sen. Orrin Hatch lashing out about it on the Senate floor and Rep. Phil Gingrey walking out in protest while Ralph Reed, of all people, is saying that Obama went “over the line”:
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition said that for the president to tie his tax policy to Jesus’s teachings “is theologically threadbare and straining credulity.”
“I felt like it was over the line and not the best use of the forum,” Reed said. “It showed insufficient level of respect for what the office of the president has historically brought to that moment.”
And of course Bryan Fischer, who thinks the Bible ought to be the foundation for all our public policy, including putting animals to death, was incensed that Obama would dare to claim that the teachings of Christ support his agenda when, in fact, his agenda “is in the spirit of Joseph Stalin” and Karl Marx:
As we have said before, it is amazing President Obama even bothers to talk about his Christian faith because nothing he says will ever be acceptable for the “real” Christians in the Religious Right.
I’ve heard far Right culture warriors like Pat Robertson bemoan what he sees as a modern trend to make God into man’s image. Yet here we are with far Right conservatives turning Jesus into a right-wing conservative. Conservatives first instinct is to mace, arrest or throw in jail guys wearing scandals, a beard and hemp clothing. These are just a few passages that if recited by a Democrat would drive the Right crazy,
Blessed is he that considers the poor: Yahweh will deliver him in time of trouble. Yahweh will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and you will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. – Psalms 41:1-2
Modern conservatives consider the working poor deserving of their plight. You live week to week for a paycheck, barely able to survive, than God must want that for you as punishment for something: Look at Christians like Mitt or the Bush family. They’re wealthy because they are conservatives and that quality makes them deserving of riches. Be like them and you’ll get rich too.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Distribute? Talk about socialistic propaganda to redistribute income. Do good? Rick Santorum, among millions of conservatives and libertarians believe that your only obligation in this world is to make a profit. Don’t do any of that mentally taxing moral reflection on balancing fair profits with doing good, that is just crazy Marxist talk.
“Give, and it shall be given to you. A good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over shall be put into your lap. For with the same measure with which you measure, it shall be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
I know I care about this a lot more than you do, but I’d like to point out that none of the stories most of us have been paying attention to in recent days — Komen and Planned Parenthood, Romney’s “truly poor” remark, the Trump endorsement, the job numbers — have been a big deal over at Fox Nation. Over there, the only story that matters is Fast and Furious. This is the lead story at Fox Nation now, as it has been for most of the day; prior to that, this was the lead story for most of yesterday.
Good point in regards Fox Nation. They are the Big Conservative Soapbox. Their job includes a lot of the typical Ministry of Propaganda duties, among them directing attention away from real news to the faux outrage of the week. The Right has been paying attention to the other news – The so conservative they haven’t been to the bathroom for years National Review Sees “Gangsterism” Behind Komen’s Planned Parenthood Shift. That is correct. America should know that NR is in the biology business and when they say that every uterus in the USA is conservative, its as though it were written in granite tablets. Rush Limbaugh couldn’t even be bothered to find a new canard, claiming that abortion causes breast cancer. It doesn’t and what that has to do with Komen funding cancer screenings is anyone’s guess. Like every other issue conservatives tend to treat health issues like a connect the dot game where its OK to cheat as long as you win.
A commenter at that link has it right about Fox Nation. Like every, scandal, screw-up, quagmire, stunt, thievery, curb stumping, caught with porn on their computer, suggesting a swinger marriage to wife two and the mistress, every back room K-Street scheme, every hypocrisy – the conservative noise machine is their to misdirect. The Fast and Furious brouhaha is somewhat clever. In this case it might be too clever for even the far Right, outside the subculture of the NRA, to follow or care. Not to mention that it contains the usual amount of right-wing hot air and very little substance to date – No, “Holder’s No. 2” Didn’t Call Gunwalking A “Terrific Idea”
The Daily Caller’s lede:
The head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and Attorney General Eric Holder’s highest-ranking deputy, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, called Operation Fast and Furious and gun walking a “terrific idea” in emails to now-former Acting Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Director Ken Melson back in late 2009, according a report released by Republican staff of the House Oversight Committee.
The Daily Caller has become one of big conservative media sites. So we can only assume that in the general tradition of conservatism, they are all about the facts and nothing but the facts. Note the name in bold above:
By the way, “Holder’s No. 2” isn’t Lanny Breuer, it’s Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
Which sums up their whole reportage on Fast and Furious, long on heated innuendo and short on even basic facts. There has been very little push back from more moderate voices about Fast and Furious – a continuation of a program started during the Bush administration. They only facts we have are the ones that come out of the hearings held by one of the most corrupt members of Congress, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). Issa say Holder knew about and sanctioned F&F which resulted in the death of an ATF agent ( not to brush over that detail. A genuine tragedy and testimony to how bone headed the program was). Holder says he did not know until after the fact. Issa has never, much less conservative web sites any evidence that Holder is lying. Issa has served up a contract theory over cooked even by wing-nut standards, How Issa’s Paranoid ‘Fast And Furious’ Witchhunt Endangers America’s Law Enforcement System
Yesterday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) convened the sixth hearing on one of a series of deeply misguided gun stings that began in 2006 under George W. Bush. Issa, however, has shown little interest in actually getting to the bottom of how these ill-conceived operations, which eventually led to illegal guns being turned against federal agents, came about and what can be done to prevent similar errors from occurring again — he’s refused, for example, to call Bush era Attorney General Michael Mukasey to testify. Instead, he’s relied on a series of increasingly paranoid and ridiculous conspiracy theories to try to lay the blame for these operations at Attorney General Eric Holder’s feet.
Last December, for example, Issa touted the absurd notion that the Obama Administration is somehow using the high-profile gun violence that occurred during this operation as part of an intentional campaign to discredit the Second Amendment. In Issa’s words, “they’ve made a crisis and they’re using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people’s second amendment rights.” Issa, of course, was not able to cite a single example of people’s Second Amendment rights being taken away, because none exist.
[ ]…At yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) was left with the unfortunate task of asserting this Fox Mulderesque theory:
This thing has gone wrong, was set up to go wrong, and, frankly, I think was set up to deal with Second Amendment liberties of law abiding citizens and pushing into a perception that it was the problem of the Second Amendment as opposed to law enforcement.
It’s difficult to even get your head around this accusation, which originates from a former militiaman who supports violent resistance to imagined government attempts to seize his guns. The claim appears to be that a series of botched gun stings that begun during the Bush Administration were actually part of a secret Obama plot to release guns to Mexican drug lords, so that those guns could then be used to kill federal agents, which would then cause a national uprising in support of gun control. Maybe when the Obama Administration was done executing this Rube Goldberg plan, they would then sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
But there’s another, even more disturbing aspect to this hearing, and the five others that have proceeded it. The reason why Attorneys General Mukasey and Holder did not stop these unfortunate operations from occurring is because they cannot reasonably be expected to know about every single operation conducted by every single field operative in every part of the country. The Attorney General supervises nearly 112,000 employees.
If Issa and his ass pimple sidekick get to have their theories I get to have mine. This is all about tying Holder up with testimony and preparing testimony that he cannot do job of enforcing civil rights violations and going after Jim-Crow-Lite voter restrictions enacted by some states.
Speaking of ass pimples – Orly Taitz loses birther case against President Obama to an empty table
Orly Taitz represented one of four plaintiffs challenging President Obama’s eligibility for placement on the Democratic ballot in Georgia. The President and his counsel were subpoenaed to appear in court to defend against these challenges, but the President’s attorney issued a nice letter to the judge stating that the Court had no business or jurisdiction even hearing the case and therefore the defense would not be in attendance.
So Taitz and her fellow attorneys presented their best arguments without challenge from the defense, and requested a summary judgment on the merits.
And the Court’s judgment: the plaintiffs have no case and no credible evidence, and there is no law to support their claims. Judgment for the defendant, represented only by an empty table, on the merits. Or in this case, utter lack thereof.
I read the occasional conservative news column by a lonely conservative making the case that conservatism needs to rid the movement of the crazies, the loons like Taitz. The problem with that is there would only be a few hundred conservatives left.
One last item. This past week conservatives were complaining about President Obama singling out the Koch brothers in a speech. Claiming that it was exactly like Nixon’s enemies list. Which once again, they make it too easy. They’re finally acknowledging half century old crimes of the far Right and their paranoia. Thanks. WE look forward to the confessions and apologies for the 2000 to present era some time in 2062. The problem with this boohoo crocodile tears for the Koch brothers is that if they have targeted Obama, he has every right to fight back. The Koch brothers and their circle of lazy plutocrat friends are targeting the President – Koch Brothers Convene Billionaires’ Meeting for 2012 Elections
The summit, organized by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, was cloaked in secrecy. Helicopters, private security and police officers from neighboring cities patrolled the area constantly. In previous years, Supreme Court justices, some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country and Republican politicians like Congressman Paul Ryan have all gathered at these twice-annual events. The Esmerelda Renaissance, the conference venue this year, was guarded carefully with every entrance blocked and the entire 560-room resort rented out. I arrived at the hotel the night before the event, but was followed closely by security and asked to leave the next morning before the Koch meeting guests arrived.
Though the donors will funnel tens of millions of dollars into the election this year, they will not have to disclose a single cent. Using an elaborate array of foundations, nonprofits and other legal entities, the Koch network sponsored bus tours, attack ads, think tanks, and hired Tea Party organizers to shape the midterm elections two years ago. Now, they appear to be expanding their effort.