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November 30, 2015

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I'm noticing more scrutiny of media whitewashing among the public. However, I agree that there is little chance that this massive sea change will resolve itself peacefully. The U.S. will pay the piper for its exploitation of foreign resources, incompetent military interventions, and intentional dumbing down of the citizenry.

The hypocrisy of liberals never ceases to amaze me. You write (presumably with a straight face)

"The conceit about the former was made more inconvenient when Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat and former mayor of Denver, labeled the crime "a form of terrorism." It is important to call things by their correct names."

Yet, your beloved Barack Obama is the one who refuses to mention "Radical Islam" as the root cause of international terrorism.

Moreover, you berate those "...on the right" for "supporting presidential candidates who are serial liars." And Hillary isn't? Give me a break!

No one I know of condones the shootings that took place in Colorado Springs (or any of the "domestic terrorism" events), but those in Colorado who have interacted with the suspect likely know more about the situation than bloggers in Seattle or Phoenix.

As irresistible as it may seem to advance your agenda by blaming "Arizona crazy" and/or the "Republicans" or "the right" for everything, it only exacerbates the problem.

How is not expecting those who disapprove of abortion to pay for it "denying women control of their bodies?"

Peggy Goldwater and Gabby Giffords represent the best that Arizona has provided over the years in public spirited women. We could do with more of their kindness and compassion and less smearing and demonizing of those with whom one does not agree!

Father Richard John Neuhaus, an eminent conservative intellectual, wrote an essay in his journal First Things that defended "lethal force" against abortion providers and even implied insurrection against the federal government was the moral response to Roe vs. Wade.

If one sincerely believes that abortion is exactly the same as murder, then resorting to violence is entirely reasonable and even laudable and morally correct. It's akin to transubstantiation, which holds not that the wine and wafer are symbolic of Christ's blood and flesh; but rather that they (allegedly) actually become the blood and flesh of Christ. "Abortion is murder" doesn't mean "it's like murder, metaphorically"; it means "Abortion is exactly the same as murder." That assertion has certain logical and moral ramifications...

Abortion is often compared to the Holocaust by anti-choicers. If Nazis were operating an extermination camp up on the corner next to your neighborhood Safeway, who wouldn't be seen as a hero by bombing the place? Shooting the SS guards and camp doctors? And surely the women who seek abortions should be treated exactly like anybody else who would murder an infant.

So people who say "abortion is murder" ought to be confronted at every opportunity with the consequences of what they say and believe. If they really mean it, then they fully support acts of violence committed against clinics and abortion doctors. (In fact they should be asked why they themselves are not putting to the torch clinics like one would torch an extermination camp if one could) They fully support capital punishment for women who seek abortions.

Or, they say "abortion is murder" but are moral cowards.

Or, they don't really believe abortion is murder.

Robert Bohannon says no one on the right condoned the shootings. He must not view twitter: http://usuncut.com/news/pro-lifers-showed-us-how-not-to-respond-to-planned-parenthood-attacks/
The right has terrorized Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for decades and have outright murdered abortionists. It's not "lone wolves" doing this, not when they're being encouraged by groups such as Operation Rescue and right-wing pontificators like Bill O'Reilly. Speaking of serial liars...

Greg:

Bohannon said no one he knows condones the shootings, not "no one on the right".

Here's what Mike Huckabee said:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/29/politics/mike-huckabee-planned-parenthood-domestic-terrorism/


Most of RC's original post can be boiled down to:

1. Nutjob commits crime.

2. Left leaning organization/person or government is target.

3. All (most??) on the right are murderous thugs and endorse the carnage.

Just another weakness in the "progressive" agenda.

I wish that we cared and provided as much protection to the children who are alive and abused and murdered.
Children are basically on their own when they leave the womb.
No one gets excited about their treatment like they do abortions.
Seems upside down to me.

Radical Christian Republican commits multiple murders and attempted murders motivated by political right-wing fury. No difference between him and Radical Muslims who smear the almighty by each and every action and word. You betcha!

Planned Parenthood does not receive taxpayer funding for abortion.

Right-Wing rhetoric is more dangerous to Americans than ISIS rhetoric.

We love our guns more than our children.

I'll assume it's a given that right-wingers call their terrorists "lone wolves" simply because they don't want anyone to understand how central the cold civil war is to their political calculations. Divide and conquer is more than a tactic, it's the only real idea behind its ideology. That ideology, in a nutshell, is that America is the same thing as its white Christians. On the continuum linking racism and bigotry to fascism, it sits squarely in the middle, the necessary link between mere xenophobia and genocidal ideation.

When Carly Fiorina announced that she saw a video from Planned Parenthood of dismembered baby parts, she was intentionally lying in order to inflame her party's know-nothing base. Killing abortion doctors rarely if ever elicits denunciations from the right. Why should it? They simply mutter "lone wolves" and jack up the hate rhetoric on other outsiders, say Mexicans or Syrians.

Right-wing extremism was mainstreamed 35 years ago when Ronald Reagan was elected president. Still, America was more centrist then than divided. People in the Deep South still elected Democrats like Al Gore, Dale Bumpers, Sam Nunn, and Fritz Hollings. Now, it's virtually impossible to imagine any Democrat getting elected there. The same goes for many Plains and Rocky Mountain states that once sent liberal lions like Frank Church, Gale McGee, George McGovern, and Mike Mansfield. Now, it's not simply Republicans who get elected but the craziest right-wingers around.

What happened is that conservatism detached itself completely from objective standards of truth-telling by the mid-90s. As Stephen Colbert noted, "truthiness" took over. If something sounds good, simply say it anyway like Der Donald or Carly. If someone denies it, just chant "liberal media conspiracy". Science itself is now just one more aspect of a global conspiracy that only conservatives are smart enough to expose. And if there's no science in their denialism, well, who needs pointy-headed liberals anyway?

We're not talking to each other because you either trust experts, science, empiricism, ethics, and journalism, who you give up altogether and simply trust radio demagogues like Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and those endless chain e-mails from in-laws across the country. Once you've deconstructed "truth", the only thing left to do is tribalize around your own reality inversions. It makes conspiracy theorizing fun and paranoia de rigeur and wise.

As Norm Ornstein and Thom Mann wrote in It's Even Worse Than It Looks, the Republican Party today is an ideological outlier, detached from traditional political norms and a prisoner of its own entertainment-news media complex. Its currency is now extremism for its own sake since upping the rhetorical overkill is a guaranteed attention getter among the mouthbreathers. If you're a Republican now, you're condemned by your own party's social reality to minimize, distort, and deflect this ugly situation. Still, if you're interested in preserving the Union (more so than, say, the Neo-Confederacy), you may wonder if there's any road back from the most reckless rhetoric in modern American history. I tend to doubt even an electoral catastrophe would chasten the zealots on the right. Their cult promises nothing less than a full-scale retreat from the Enlightenment and an open society. As the French would say, it's nostalgia for the mud.

Since you weighed in, INPHX, where do you stand on the abortion issue?

I don't want planned parenthood to be defunded. We need the services they provide. I don't believe in abortion for almost any reason. The only exception would be that the pregnancy were going to terminate on it's own, no matter what. But since women are going to have abortions regardless of what I think, I do think they should be done so in a clinical setting. But for me, it has nothing to do with women having the right to control their own bodies, because I believe that the life of the unborn child is being disregarded in favor of the life of the mother. But no law or absence of law can change that. Moral issues are personal.

If the "pro-lifers" cared as much about children after they are born as they do when they are fetuses the entire movement would be much stronger. But seeing as these are generally the same voters who vote to defund education and social programs that would benefit many children, it does not seem that they are serious. Also, most religious pro-lifers are opposed to teaching or promoting any type of sex education, even when it's proven to lower the abortion rate.

InPhx, I read it differently. Maybe he can clarify. He didn't say "no one I know," he said "no one I know of." I know of a lot of writers, but I don't know them personally (they're often a sorry lot, eh, Jon?). I read that as he hadn't come across people who cheer the news of another attack on an abortion clinic, and I know of many who did just that. I could say that I saw thousands cheering the news in Colorado Springs, but that would be wrong. Although if it happened, it wouldn't surprise me, not in Gordon Klingenschmitt territory.

As in some many issues it’s a case of dumb vs.dumber. I won’t mired down in the mud of this one.

I’d like to see the posted by moved to the top of the posts so that you could know to scroll through when encountering a certain posts as a waste of time. I’d posit that the Soleri/In Phoenix being known as “Emil’s Revenge”; a pissing contest that grew tiresome a long time ago.

With RC’s admonishment: be constructive and try to add value. I’ve always stated I’m a GOP guy; and a tea-party at that.

Let me offer the dumbest idea ever posited here: “Prejudice Is Bad”. I don’t think it would take more that moments of honest thought to see the dumbness of this idea. I have thousands of them; I don’t know how any sane could function without them.
The next time you are argued to post let it sit for a few minutes, reread and hit post if you can say this is not dumb.

I disagree with you, wkg. Let's not shut people down. The comments on this column are interesting and include different viewpoints. All I hear from you is complaining, followed by a rather incoherent point (I think I understand you to mean we all have inherent biases; nobody is denying that, but using them to enact injustice, oppression or murder is another matter. But maybe I don't understand you.).

Disagree with you WKG,

The soleri versus INPHX debates are good read and INPHX's vapid arguments that mostly represent your GOP tea party beliefs are properly exposed and shot down in the process.

What an older white male GOP southerner such as yourself believes to be dumb is certainly not the same as what other people believe to be dumb.

Thinking before posting is a good idea but spontaneous statements in a blog also have their place.

When you're white, and you live in a conservative area, you hear the damndest things: I remember when the OKC bombing happened, I heard people I worked with or sat next to on a barstool say that while they condemned the bombing, they understood the anger behind it, because of Waco and Ruby ridge. So I fully expect to hear someone say they condemn the shooting, but they "understand the anger." of course, they don't, they just need other people to hate.

Back in his AZCentral blog days, Talton had a mainstream GOP commenter named Pete who attacked Democrats in mostly predictable ways. One way that surprised me was Waco, which he posited was one of the absolute worst things the government has ever done to the American people. I remember the irony: four ATF agents - cops - were shot by a wacked-out Christian cult and who do conservatives support? The radicals, who burned down their own compound rather than submit to legal authority. Imagine for a very brief moment if those protesters had been black Philadelphians what the reaction would have been. No need! Here's a link: http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/14/us/police-drop-bomb-on-radicals-home-in-philadelphia.html?pagewanted=all

Something terrible has happened to this country. Right-wing media have weaponized the ordinary frictions of our social life and turned them into Armageddon-like dramas where white people become the real victims. Timothy McVeigh turned Waco into a brazen attack on the American government for the sake of revenge. He was a textbook right-wing radical for whom the right-wing media bore not a moment's chastening self-examination. Nor was Eric Rudolph, the 1996 Olympics bomber, subjected to an analysis of his inciting motives. "Lone wolves" and all that.

This country is in crisis less from Muslim terrorists than a civil war being inflicted on us by right-wing media, their political vector, the GOP, and a wholesale abdication of mainstream journalism to correctly analyze this situation. Right-wing extremism has been mainstreamed to the point that it's only stray voices like Dave Neiwert or the Southern Poverty Law Center who raise alarms. As Robert Bohannan's, INPHX's and wkg's whiny comments illustrate, a false equivalency is being substituted for any kind of tempering conscience. Maybe everything really is Obama's fault. Or maybe the American right is simply beyond the kind of decent behavior where fallible human beings reclaim a bit of perspective and suggest that the right can be more responsible than it has been. I've been waiting over 20 years for those voices but they either leave public life or slip more and more into apostasy like David Brooks. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/opinion/the-green-tech-solution.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

Soleri writes:

"When Carly Fiorina announced that she saw a video from Planned Parenthood of dismembered baby parts, she was intentionally lying in order to inflame her party's know-nothing base."

When Obama was pitching the "failure to be" known as Obamacare and told us we could keep our plan if we wanted to, was he intentionally lying or just ignorant, and, which one is worse?

And what were his motivations? Inflaming his parties' know nothing base? Lying and doing anything possible to drum up support for a bill with almost no widespread support?

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/dec/12/lie-year-if-you-like-your-health-care-plan-keep-it/

Back to the issue:

There are a lot of Americans who are pro life. There are a lot of Americans who are anti big government. There are a lot of people who watch violent video games or other kinds of violent media.

About .0002% of them ever engage in any kind of violent behavior.

So.

It's not the message; it's not the words; it's not the rhetoric; it's not the media.

It's the nut job.

But that won't keep the looney left from painting everyone with the same brush, cause, well, Ronald Reagan.

INPHX, that same "you can keep it" statement was judged as true in 2008 by -- wait for it -- Politifact! Obama was talking about the supermajority of Americans who are covered by their employers. For most of us, nothing changed. I know several people who were able to retire early because they now have affordable health insurance. Before that, the cost was too prohibitive. Tell us, did you believe Sarah Palin when she talked about "death panels" as though end-of-life discussions were actually shadowy figures who would decide whether patients would live or die? Did you believe Bill Frist when he diagnosed Terri Schiavo via videotape and said she wasn't brain-dead? Do you believe that Obama was born in the United States? Finally, do you believe that Planned Parenthood was selling "baby parts" and that what Fiorina is saying is true. Not that she says it's true, that the harvesting of baby parts *is* true.

INPHX, when Obama made that statement you can keep your plan if you so choose, it was not 100% correct. More like 98% correct, but point taken. Obviously Obama is a tyrant because you confuse a little bit of puffery with pathological lying. 15 million people have health insurance now because of him. Of course, that makes the program a "failure" since basic human decency is something your party is steadfastly opposed to.

On the other hand, your favorite candidate from several months ago asserted she saw a video which didn't exist. When called on that erroneous assertion, she merely doubled down on it. This suggests Carly is a say-and-make-it-so postmodern politician. In other words, a liar. A "nut job" got the message, however. So what if three people were killed so Carly could pretend she loved fetuses as much as she does private jets and extortionate CEO packages? Your birdbrain party base knows that voting against its own interests needs some powerful reasons. Like lies, innuendos, racism, and pure bigotry.

Oh no! I'm Chatty Cathy! I said something mean about the political party dedicated to making the rich richer by making the stupid stupider.

INPHX, "the issue" on this column is the closing of the American mind, pace Alan Bloom.

What have you changed your mind about as an adult?

I'll tell my changes as time allows. Must catch high-speed rail to Phoenix today.

Well, this is interesting. I am now motivated to make a large donation to Planned Parenthood. That seems to be the best way to fight back: with money. As I often think: "Taking care of women and children's needs isn't always understood as necessary, but everyone understands money."

Soleri:


Boy, I'm shocked.

You rationalize away the lie a sitting President told when pitching his signature expansion of the safety net at a time when it's passage was clearly on the ropes (again- was he lying or just ignorant and which is worse??) and then compare it to something a candidate for President said.

What if he'd told the truth?

You don't see the difference because your tunnel vision doesn't allow you to.

Don't know where you got the 15 million; here's another number:

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/08/obamacare-paid-enrollment-drops-to-99m.html


But that's not even the point.

See, "x" number of people being insured does not equate to success (or failure) of a government program (well, at least not to anyone with any sense). It's just empty headed cheerleading, but I guess the shoe fits.

There are things like costs, goals, implementation, costs, economic effects, costs, unintended consequences, costs, projections, anticipated tax receipts,timing, costs, a whole list of items that need to be considered.

Much like your cheerleading for Obamacare, I'm sure many in the Air Force are thrilled to death about the F-35 and somehow able to ignore the cost and timing fiasco.


Note INPHX trolls, doesn't answer my question.

Rogue:

As I have aged,I am much more liberal on many social issues (and I hope the GOP moves this way). Abortion (OK, but restrictions on those under 18), gay marriage (fine with me), immigration (you can't deport millions of people), assisted suicide, much more of a libertarian outlook on these types of things.

Abortion is not a litmus test (either way) for me.

I'm even more conservative economically- balanced budget, too much regulation, looney tax policy, lack of accountability. Let markets work.

Most importantly, totally cynical about peoples motives. The overwhelming percentage of people who are alleged to be devoted to the "common good" are not. Teachers, cops, firefighters, other public education, politicians, you name it. They're in it for them, not us.


BTW, only a nut would think that a complete de-funding of Planned Parenthood is a good idea. If there are problems, you fix those with a scalpel. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Thanks, INPHX, although I disagree with you about most public servants. But that's an interesting change of mind.

Rogue:

Just did.

Awaiting your adult changes.

Here's an essay I wrote about some ways I changed. I'll offer more as time allows. It's going to be an insane week, working in two cities as it were:

http://roguecolumnist.typepad.com/rogue_columnist/2010/02/teen-age-republican.html

Robert H. Buchanan:

How is not expecting those who disapprove of abortion to pay for it "denying women control of their bodies?"

I'm rarely surprised at how dim a view anti-choicers take of women but this "pay for it" talking point is particularly insulting. Women of childbearing age - who use contraception and have abortions as part of our health care - work and pay taxes and insurance premiums just like you do. It really burns me up that a bunch of nosy prudes can get away with providing me with substandard health coverage where I have to pay out of pocket for what the insurance I have already paid for should cover!

But I guess it stands to reason that if anti-choicers think they own women's bodies they also own our money. Or maybe, like Romney, they believe we're all "takers" who don't work. Must be interesting going through life not even noticing half the workforce.

And could someone who balks at their precious tax dollars going to health care to the dirty sex-having ladies kindly point me to where I might get my Iraq War refund?

INPHX, don't let me interrupt your heavy breathing since that's the only thing you seem to do well but Obama getting wrong by a couple of percentage points the number of people who would be able to keep their same health insurance is, in the nature of things, a minor mistake. 98%, in other words, is still a good mark. Only the absurdly specious (read: right-wing ideologues) would regard this as a "lie". In a world where leaders tell lies that cost the lives of thousands (George W Bush, for one), Obama's "lie" is either a failure to throw a promised touchdown in the first half or a reasonable approximation of actual reality. I have no idea who you are as a person although I get the strong impression that your hobgoblin of choice is exactitude. This is fine attribute in the world of accounting. In political discussions, it would be utterly disabling. Imagining hold Jeb Bush's feet to the fire for saying his brother kept us safe during his presidency. I don't regard this bit of fraternal excuse-making as an egregious lie but it neatly elides the reality of 9/11 when his brother happened to be president. It suggests that we grade Republican presidents on a curve given their unfortunate disposition for incompetence. When you can locate Obama telling a whopper along the lines of Saddam Hussein harboring al Qaeda terrorists, give it a whirl, otherwise your "lies" are so tendentious as to be pathological nitpicking.

Soleri:

Wow.

Still defending him.

On a reality based blog.

I'm shocked.

Guess a black man in the white house just cannot tell a lie.

Would you say he was honest in his campaign criticism of the Bush policy on foreign detainees?

Politico wouldn't:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/178/develop-an-alternative-to-president-bushs-militar/

Look- why argue?- you'll figure out some twisted way to defend that one, too.

Let's just highlight our differences-

I hold him accountable for his promises and words and you don't, because, well, Rush Limbaugh.

Fair enough?


BTW, 98% my ass:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/obama-admin-knew-millions-could-not-keep-their-health-insurance-f8C11484394

From that article:

"Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”


Remember, it's suppose to be a reality based blog.

So, catastrophic plans that don't meet minimal requirements for coverage don't get grandfathered in. Well, isn't that the original issue? You sell plans that largely worthless and a vehicle comes along that demands products meet minimal requirements and that they actually serve the public at an affordable price. But if you like crap, you can keep it. You just won't be subsidized for it.

You're a salesman for a party that doesn't think anyone should get free stuff, including life-saving health care. Obama disagrees. Because you're a SOCIOPATH, you will nitpick factoids that bolster your viewpoint that people are better off dying than the rich paying slightly more in taxes. That's fine. You're not a Republican for nothing. You probably had to practice at being an asshole, too.

At any rate, since your value system is fairly horrifying, utterly indecent, and largely cruel, I'm not exactly sure why anyone should get exercised about the "lies" you condemn your betters for using. You still can't defend yourself or your despicable values. As a human being, you are really beneath contempt. But if it's "reality" you want, I'll tell you politics and business are pretty much the same. They depend on salesmanship. If Obama's sales' job left out some fine print, which probably didn't alter the final outcome of the Congressional vote, indulge our yawns. Gee, it's almost as if you a wounded faun thinking that people routinely talk and think in broad brush strokes. When a Republican does it, you're perfectly fine. When Obama does it, you see red. Or should I say black?

Obama lies, you make silly excuses, Carly tries to appeal to the great ignorant unwashed masses, and I'm a racist sociopath.

Clear as mud.

Nurse Ratchet go home yet or does she stay late on Tuesdays?

Soleri:

Well, there you go. It's your fail safe. It's your trump card. It's Obama jumping into a phone booth and emerging with the red "S" on his chest, immune from any criticism or questioning, because of, well, I guess a kind of affirmative action that you guys have invented.

See, criticism of Obama has to be because he's black. He lied, and I point it out because he's black. He's ineffective, and it's because I'm in the Klan. He can't deliver on his promises, is completely impotent, and his reign is the main reason that so many of the elected offices in this country have gone to the GOP during his reign, because he's black.

See, my side hates blacks. But we love expanded government, we love cancelling the Bush tax cuts only for the rich, we think spreading the money around is a great idea, we think executive orders are a swell way to solve immigration problems, and we are just charmed when a sitting President lectures the SCOTUS at a state of the union speech.

And we love all the other Democrats. At least white ones.

Soleri, my side impeached Bill Clinton over nothing. But he was WHITE. Your side accuses W of being a war criminal and Dick Cheney basically of being a Nazi.

It's politics, pal.

Not racism.

Just politics.

So, what I'm hearing from "conservatives" is the same thing I've heard after every weekly massacre: the right-wing hate show hosts and demagogic Presidential candidates aren't responsible when some fly-wing plucker decides to go Rambo over an issue that's got nothing to do with them and is none of their business: we have to protect their First Amendment rights! Its a terrible tragedy, but these mentally ill, what are you gonna do, right? So, I guess it would be fine now if Obama or some other Kenyan devil claims that Henry Kissinger is Satan (if there is a Satan, he'd be my first guess)and the Bushes and Cheney are demons (seems as likely an explanation as any for the chaos they've created). I'd like to exercise my free speech and say I think the deaths of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, et al. would benefit mankind greatly and make God happy as all get-out. It'd be a shame if the collateral damage includes innocents and children, but hey, what're you gonna do with these crazies, right?

And Mr. Bohannon, no disrespect intended, but it's a dangerous oversimplification to say radical Islam is at the root of the catastrophe in the Middle-East, because behind every geo-political meltdown there's a Western Empire sucking other people's resources dry: hell, after what the French did to Syria and Vietnam, it's a miracle there aren't more terror attacks in Paris.

I am a retired teacher from a family of educators. I take great offense at inphx's assertion that teachers are "in it for themselves".
inphx needs to check out how financially rewarding it is to be a teacher.

I don't always agree with RC, but I appreciate his posts because his arguments are generally credible and reasonable. IMO he lost some credibility on this one. Trying to tie Jared Loughner's crimes to right wing politics is an eyebrow-raisingly weak arguement. He was found incompetent in court twice and finally after extensive medication was found competent enough to plead guilty and is serving his life sentence in a prison medical facility. The driving factor for profoundly mentally ill people such as Loughner is complete self absorption. They are not capable of functioning as part of a community or rationally absorbing information. He may have gravitated to fringe right wing conspiracy ideas, but his views were mostly scattered, bizarre groupings that only made sense in his mind and probably changed from day to day. To place the violently mentally ill at the feet of any larger political events or even community trends is very unfair. The only reasonable connection between Loughner and Arizona politics is the inadequate mental health system. The state is hardly alone in that shortcoming, and it also ties into the national problems with the mentally ill since the deinstitutionalization movement, much lower mental health budgets and higher legal hurdles to commitment in the interest of individual rights.

I am reserving judgment on this latest shooting because of the lack of information available on it. Is the media covering up to conceal the shooter's connections to right wing antiabortion politics, as RC implies? Or are they covering up that this may not be a straight forward antiabortion rampage as it has been portrayed, as more conservative sources have questioned? Or is the media not really covering up at all, they simply have a sensational newsworthy crime and a lack of hard info because the authorities have been very tight lipped about it? Personally I don't think the media know WHAT to do with this story and probably don't have much interest in digging very deeply.

I'm wondering if there's any approach besides vituperation that somehow cuts through the GOP Big Lie program. Could I mention, for example, a lie so noxious and contemptible that it's also a proxy for racism and xenophobia? I'm talking about Birtherism, which INPHX regards as a "legitimate question". Never mind that there isn't and never has been a scintilla of evidence that Obama isn't what the record shows - an American born on American soil. Nothing. Yet, someone who imagines pathological lying in the most routine expressions of political rhetoric cannot be bothered to concern himself with lies so cosmic in their distrust of democracy that they are virtual injections of poison into the public discourse.

There are questions asked of INPHX that he simply refuses to acknowledge, such as Sarah Palin's Death Panels lie. When creating hysteria about government, nothing beats outright contempt for standards of evidence and trust in the political process. Simply brazen it out with lies so huge that any sane and decent person would be outraged. Not INPHX. Nope. Time to ferret out another Obama campaign promise that didn't materialize.

The game that instinctive demagogues play, from Joe McCarthy to Richard Nixon to Ted Cruz, is one of utter disdain for the proportionality of human communication. Obama, by all accounts, is a careful politician. He doesn't manifest rough language for others. He's measured and diplomatic. He's occasionally caught by his offhand style, such as telling Hillary that "you're likeable enough". But if you search for toxic lies, the kind that are essential for the success of the Republican Party with low-information voters, there's nothing.

So, when the cynical INPHX skips over basic economic facts to indict deficit spending, you begin to see the outline of his strategy. Heavy breathing about nonexistent threats in tandem with a conscious decoupling from the chains of causality. Obama came into office with the worst economy of any president since early FDR. What did Republicans do? Create a Tea Party, a group of ignorant stooges demanding that government spending be cut in the midst of an economic freefall their own party created. And their lies are so systemic that they indict the beneficiaries of 1979's Community Re-Investment Act for getting mortgages. Somehow it's their fault that housing crashed in 2007! And let's not forget Dodd-Frank, a weak-tea effort to corral the worst of Wall Street's epidemic fraud. Lying big is not a bug, it's the dominant feature of Republican politics.

Or, how about the most looming, existential crisis in the history of our species, climate change? The evidence is rigorously scientific and overwhelming. But when Republicans lie, so do so on a scale that would make Goebbels blush. Deny science and create paranoia about it. Suggest, ever so helpfully, that the world's scientists are in a secret conspiracy to either control the world or, at a minimum, secure research grants for themselves. Cui bone?. Obviously, a major donor base of the GOP, Big Oil.

INPHX is a one-man band for the worst aspects of our political culture. Nitpick the venal sins of the other side while vandalizing with epic deceit and contempt self-government itself. The Republican Party is powerful today for one reason - its willingness to lie about this nation's history by deflecting blame to its least powerful citizens (and I don't need to remind you what hue their skin is). This lie is obnoxious that it suggests a wholesale retreat from the basic rules of human decency. That Republicans lie and cheat is hardly a revelation, it's a necessity given their sole interest in the betterment of the rich. What is different is the substitution of a public sewer for public discourse. Donald Trump, the leading Republican in the race for president is empowered to tweet - not once but twice - an incendiary lie that the majority of white murder victims were killed by blacks.

Anyone who is a Republican today is so damaged by their party's cynicism that they can no longer utter simple truths. INPHX is an obnoxious troll, liar, and pathetic hack. But, in truth, he's no different than millions of fellow Republicans who ingest garbage via Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and internet sites like The Drudge Report. The damage done to this nation by these mindless stooges is incalculable. They are, in their totality, a much greater threat to our nation than ISIS or any other external threat. That they call themselves patriots is not merely a poignant delusion, it's the inversion of any standard that would uphold basic fairness and trust in the public square. They are democracy's auto-immune disease, and they're killing us more surely than any random terrorist in a suicide vest.

Soleri:

Christ.

7 paragraphs?

If brevity is the soul of wit, well......

Let me summarize down your "position"

Nazi comparisons (two??), a greater threat than ISIS, incalculable damage, and no decency.

Because Obama lied pitching his healthcare bill.

The "logic" of the looney left continues to amaze.....

Three great posts in a row by Pat, Jon7190 and Soleri. Thanks Jon9170 for saying what I had been trying you put together the last few days. I think above Michael Fallia makes a logical argument that abortion can be viewed as terroism anti abortion groups and those that participate in the facilitation of performing abortion can been seen as victims of those anti abortion organizations whose retoric advocates violence against abortionists. BUT I agree with Jon 7190 Loughner and the latest shooter appear to be insane victims driven by thier insanity while illogically feeding on the openly verbal war about abortion. The latest shooter killed a responding policeman that had nothing to do with abortion. And then unlike a true fanatical martyr for the cause of ridding the planet of baby killers he gives up instead of killing until killed or DBC, death by cop. All that said, I'm generally but not totally opposed to abortion, not on religious basis but that of responsibility for ones own actions.
And Ramjet I agree there are good teachers just as there are good cops.
Unfortunately today there are almost no Good Republicans.

Interesting that the Tucson killer didn't go after Republicans, the state's much more ubiquitous office-holders. All the incentives and pressure (and mindset) caused the media institutions to look away and move on. Thus, "the work of a madman."

I also wanted to comment on INPHX's statement about public servants being in it for themselves. I am a professional firefighter and paramedic. I earn a paycheck and like most people, I like it to be as large as possible to support myself and my family. To that end I promote, work overtime and a side job, support our contract negotiations with the city to get the best salary we can, etc. But I chose this profession knowing that the pay was lower than other fields I could have gone into. I chose it because I like the work and I get satisfaction in being able to help people in their emergency situations. It is an important job to society and I find that fulfilling. If all that makes me "in it for myself" then so be it.

Actually the true public servants that can't be accused of being in it for themselves are volunteer firefighters. How many people are willing to do a potentially dangerous part time job for no salary?

That comment about public servants makes me think that INPHX really has nothing worthwhile to say. It's specious on its face. I know several schoolteachers, and they're all in it for the kids. My old high school football coach once took the stipend he and his assistants got for coaching and divided it by the hours put in. They were below minimum wage. I roomed with a paramedic in college and knew a bunch more because if it. They could have made more in the Pennsylvania coalfields but liked the action and serving the public.

Words matter and nobody knows that better than Republican operative Dan Luntz.Read his book and discover why it's no wonder the anti choice crowd chooses to call the fetuses" babies".They knew if people thought of abortion as "baby" killing,they could ramp up the base and appeal to the wing nuts.Now the chickens are coming home to roost and they are likely to nominate a candidate so far to the right,that they don't have a chance to win.RC is right that riding a tiger is exciting,but there is no way to get off.

I think the thrust of INPHX's argument--any of his arguments--is that we're all in it only for ourselves, and those who don't make Trump money, or at least Fiorina money, are quite simply, losers. Indeed, the motto of his chosen party is "I got mine-"F" you!". Can't afford healthcare in our wonderful "free" market? "F" you! Think there shouldn't be unreasonable restrictions on voting? "F" you! Think there might just be a hint of racism in the Right's treatment of President Obama? "F" you! Think a union might help you get a living wage? Double "F" you! Think the greatest country there ever was or ever could be should take care of its poorest citizens? Triple "F" you! After a while, it gets predictable.

Jon said, "Interesting that the Tucson killer didn't go after Republicans, the state's much more ubiquitous office-holders. All the incentives and pressure (and mindset) caused the media institutions to look away and move on. Thus, "the work of a madman."

But Zoellner did not move away from the politics of the shooting with his book, "A Safeway in Arizona. " However a now deceased friend of mine and in my opinion an expert on violence told me he thought too much was about the politics and not the killers madness. I believe Jared Loughner was on course to kill and to be killed. Given different noise in the arena his victims might have been Communists or maybe even Republicans.
But Doughty is correct, the vitriolic attacks of the right has nearly brought us to war. Will the "Left" start shooting the "Right."

Let's move on to the latest mass shooting in San Bernadino. Colorado Springs is old hat.

A terrorist act or just your weekly mass shooting in the US? A trillion dollars down the US Military Industrial Complex rat hole and the forfeit of all privacy rights for US citizens to "keep us safe".
The Second Amendment Cult(aka the NRA) of unfettered citizen access to assault rifles and grenades must not curtailed.

Who has the higher kill count of Americans, the Second Amendment Cult or Islamic Terrorists?

Vote

"Let's move on to the latest mass shooting in San Bernadino."
Fits a better definition of Terrorists. Normal appearing folks with a good work history and no criminal background (that is known as of now). Well stocked up automatic weapons and tactical gear and went up in a Martyrs hail of bullets for Allah.

"According to the Pew Research Center, 55 percent of adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases."
--55/45 is a pretty close to even split and there have been a number of media pieces about how millennials seem to be skewing more conservative than their parents and that it has given new life to the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

"Increasingly, abortion foes are also opposed to birth control." --I don't believe this to be the case. All the numbers I've seen show that even amongst the most conservative people, birth control is widely used and accepted.

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