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Playing the Gay Card

Three time former GOP presidential candidate Alan Keyes is delusional.

On TV a few days ago, Keyes said that he does not believe the shooting in a black church by a white supremacist was racially motivated. Seriously. Despite the statements of witnesses or the fact that the shooter himself published a racist manifesto online. Keyes says that the “storyline” about racism being the motivation for the multiple shooting was “fabricated without much regard for the facts” and attacked people who sought to “play the race card” in the wake of the shooting.

And then he played the gay card. Keyes actually suggested that the shooter was committing a terrorist act on behalf of gay rights and against churches who oppose gay marriage. Keyes speculated that the shooter may have been trying to terrorize people who oppose “the destruction of traditional marriage.”

I know this is hard to believe, but you can watch Keyes say it himself:

Keyes also claims that any animosity he has faced because he is black “pales in comparison to the animosity I have encountered based on my Christian faith”. The only explanation I can come up with is that he faces animosity because he says really stupid and annoying things about his religion. Maybe he should shut up.


The Real Colbert

Stephen Colbert (the real one, not the fake conservative) makes fun of the Supreme Court:

UPDATE: Hey, never let it be said that we aren’t “fair and balanced”. Here’s Bill O’Reilly’s response to Colbert on Fox News:

Colbert has said that he modeled his conservative persona on Bill O’Reilly, so is O’Reilly a bit miffed now that Colbert has abandoned that to star on the Late Show?

I’m getting tired of the lie that freedom of religion means that people can do anything they want as long as it is their deeply held religious belief. The same stupid excuse was used against the civil rights of blacks. If a baker refused to sell a wedding cake to a black person (or to a white person, when the cake was going to be used in an interracial marriage), would O’Reilly be so quick to tell the government to leave the baker alone?


Late Night Political Humor

“There are reports that Hillary Clinton’s campaign is saving money by encouraging staffers to take discounted buses between New York and Washington. Not to be outdone, Bernie Sanders is actually Fed-Exing himself to every speech.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Hillary Clinton has released a 14-song Spotify playlist to go along with her 2016 campaign. The weird part, though, is that it’s just ‘Eye of the Tiger’ 14 times.” – Seth Meyers

“Bernie Sanders told reporters that his campaign will have plenty of money to compete for the Democratic nomination. Then he said, while writing down an order, ‘And I’ll be right back with your pancakes.'” – Jimmy Fallon

“Today Jeb Bush announced he’s running for president on Snapchat. By using Snapchat, Bush’s message will disappear after 10 seconds just like the excitement over his campaign.” – Conan O’Brien

“Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill wore seersucker suits to work yesterday, in honor of National Seersucker Day. In a related story, ISIS is still a huge problem, you guys.” – Jimmy Fallon


Having a Gay Time!


Liberty and Justice



Online comments


Justice Scalia is Not Happy

One might even say that he isn’t very gay.

It was bad enough yesterday when the Supreme Court deflected a challenge to Obamacare (over his vigorous dissent), but today it legalized same-sex marriage in the whole country. In Scalia’s dissent to the gay marriage ruling, he quoted from the majority opinion and gave his version of sound legal advice:

Scalia dissents

Fortunately, history has passed Scalia by. Gay marriage is no threat to our country (it is a boon), and hippies haven’t been called that for a very long time. The new theory is that “Scalia has been a secret goth this whole time”.


A Climate for Evolution?

I’ve been concerned about all the money being donated by the Koch brothers to prestigious museums to influence their exhibits, but now we know what Science on Koch looks like. A reader [thanks Jay!] sent me this photo they took at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History:

Climate Change on Koch

So climate change was a good thing that helped us evolve into modern humans? I just hope that the current round of climate change (and resulting mass extinction), which we are unleashing on ourselves, makes way for a smarter species that doesn’t shit all over its own home.


Late Night Political Humor

“According to a new survey, Lord Voldemort from ‘Harry Potter’ actually has a higher favorability rating than most GOP presidential candidates. Or in other words, ‘He who must not be named’ is more popular than ‘He whose name I forgot’ and ‘What’s her face’.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Republican candidate Carly Fiorina said that if she becomes president she wants people to be able to take out their phones and vote on ideas during her speeches. Which worked out well for people who already had their phones out during Carly Fiorina’s speeches.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Presidential hopeful Rand Paul warned the media today that if anyone is mean to his wife during the campaign, they’ll have to answer to him. And Hillary Clinton said that if anyone is mean to Bill, that’s totally fine.” – Seth Meyers

“Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan is now a full-time paid staffer on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. While Tonya Harding was hired to take care of any other Democrats who enter the race.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Vladimir Putin traveled to Italy to meet with Pope Francis yesterday. They say Putin should be done with confession by sometime next fall.” – Jimmy Fallon


It’s Alive!

Obamacare survives its second court challenge, and it wasn’t even close. By 6-3, the Supreme Court sided with Obama that federal subsidies are legal. Although Republicans spoke angrily about the decision, they would have been in quite a pickle if the case against the ACA had won. Millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance subsidies, and they would have blamed the Republicans for it.


Flag this Error

Ann Coulter proved in just one sentence that she is not just hateful, but ignorant. Appearing on Fox Business Network, Coulter talked about efforts to take down the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol, efforts that are supported by the South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley.

I’m appalled by––though, I really like to like Nikki Haley since she is a Republican. On the other hand, she is an immigrant and does not understand America’s history.

Three interesting points. First, Coulter decides who to like based on their political party? Second, immigrants can’t understand history? And third, Nikki Haley was born in South Carolina. She is not an immigrant (although her parents are).

Added bonus factoids: Apparently Confederate flag sales at Amazon are up 2,305%. The Confederate flag is now outselling the US flag (just before the 4th of July!). Amazon has announced that they are pulling all Confederate merchandise, as are Walmart and Sears.


Trumps Me!

Matt Lubchansky
© Matt Lubchansky

What an amazing political system we have. Rich people competing to be elected. Other rich people giving money to them to run for office. Rich pundit people on TV telling us who to vote for and judging how “serious” the candidates are by how much money they can raise from other rich people.

It’s rich, I tell ya!


Late Night Political Humor

“What a game last night. The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals. The next time you’ll see someone fighting this hard for Ohio won’t be until next year’s presidential election.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Jeb Bush is taking his presidential campaign on a tour of Europe. He’s telling Europeans, ‘I like you guys because you’re comfortable having the same family in charge for centuries.'” – Conan O”Brien

“Hillary Clinton has joined Instagram. Meanwhile, her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders joined telegram.” – Seth Meyers

“Hillary Clinton joined Instagram this afternoon and somehow she’s already deleted thousands of photos.” – Seth Meyers


Catholic in Name Only

Republicans successfully purged moderates from their party by saying that they were RINO — Republicans in Name Only. But now we are seeing something truly amazing — conservatives who profess to be Catholics attacking Pope Francis and calling him names, because he issued a papal encyclical on climate change that calls on us to reject rampant greed and treat our God-given planet with more respect. How dare he!

My favorite, although almost incomprehensible, comes from professional political candidate Alan Keyes, who while claiming to be a Catholic, attacks the the Pope, saying that he looks more like Marx, Stalin, or Mao Zedong, and claims that Francis is exploiting the issue of man-made climate change as “an excuse to advance a totalitarian agenda for the use or abuse of government power throughout the world.” Keyes goes on to repeat the misinformation about climate change that “the facts have not been thus established. In fact much that has come to light supports the view that scientific data were purposely skewed to support a conclusion contrary to fact.” The best part (hold on tight) is “But if the climate change allegations against humanity are unproven, the whole push for totalitarian government remediation of the allegedly terrible damage we are inflicting on God’s creation is a slander against the human race, a sin against humanity being committed as a pretext for the rape of human life, human conscience and God-endowed human liberty.” Wow.

The right-wing noise machine was even worse. Rush Limbaugh says that the encyclical “seems to confirm” that Pope Francis is a “Marxist”. He also called the encyclical “The Pope’s Leaked Marxist Climate Rant”.

Michael Savage was even blunter, saying “The Pope is a Marxist. I stand by those words. He is a wolf in pope’s clothing, he is an eco-wolf in pope’s clothing. He is a stealth Marxist in religious garb.” He also said “He sounds like the false prophet in revelation … directing mankind to worship the Antichrist.”

Fox Business News warned that Pope Francis and President Obama are forming “a policy alliance” and are “a powerful force, a very powerful force, pushing left.” He then asked: “Will Francis and Barack reshape the world by taxing the rich, taxing fossil fuels, and redistributing the wealth? That’s exactly what they are trying to do.”

Have any of these people calling the Pope a Marxist read anything in the Bible about Jesus Christ?

And of course, Republican presidential candidates are getting into the act. Jeb Bush, who also claims to be Catholic, suggested that the Pope should butt out of political issues. Rick Santorum, a self-professed devout Catholic, slammed Pope Francis for getting “involved with controversial political and scientific theories.” (Santorum, of course, doesn’t mind making religious issues like gay rights into political issues).

The “religious right” has shown their true colors. They worship only money and greed.


Late Night Political Humor

“During a recent speech, Mike Huckabee said he is the only person who has fought the Clinton political machine and won. ‘You sure about that?’ said President Barack Obama.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Mike Huckabee said he’s the only person who has fought the Clinton political machine and won. As opposed to Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who’s the only person who fought a fax machine and lost.” – Jimmy Fallon

“Yesterday in Iowa just four supporters showed up to eat lunch with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. It’s always a bad sign when your entire voter base can fit in a deli booth.” – Conan O’Brien

“Presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham, who is single, said today that if elected he will have a ‘rotating first lady.’ Even creepier, he said it on Tinder.” – Seth Meyers

“Donald Trump said over the weekend that his decision whether to run for president is going to make a lot of people very happy. That’s too bad. I was hoping he would run.” – Seth Meyers

“In a recent interview, Vladimir Putin said that despite any conflicts the West has no need to be afraid of Russia. Although keep in mind that Putin said that as he was petting a tank.” – Jimmy Fallon


Fact Checking Satire?

Here’s a new one for me. PolitiFact Texas has done a fact check on some satire by Andy Borowitz. Quotes from Borowitz have appeared in this blog, but he normally writes satire in a humor column for the The New Yorker.

Borowitz recently posted on Facebook “Texas is now our most pro-life state, with just seven abortion clinics and a little over ninety thousand gun stores.”

So PolitiFact decided to fact check his numbers. They found that instead of seven abortion clinics, Texas actually has 22 clinics that are licensed to provide abortions (it is unclear whether all of them actually provide abortions). Ironically, those clinics are concentrated in just seven large cities in Texas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Fort Worth, and McAllen), which does mean that only people in those seven locations have local access to legal abortions. So in a way, Borowitz’s exaggeration (perhaps accidentally) is more relevant than he expected.

As for gun shops, Texas has 10,847 licensed gun dealers, although likely only around 6,000 of them are brick-and-mortar gun stores (gun dealers also sell at gun shows and online). So Borowitz was off by an order of magnitude. I have to wonder if those gun shops are concentrated in those same seven cities.

Bottom line? Even PolitiFact admits “Remember, though, he’s a comedian.” And the New Yorker points out that the figures “aren’t factual”. Still, with almost 500 times more gun dealers than abortion providers, I’d say his satire is dead on.


Terrorist Propaganda

Glenn Greenwald makes a strong argument that the word “Terrorism” has become a meaningless propaganda term in the West. Or maybe not meaningless, but the meaning has sunk to “any heinous act of violence perpetrated by a Muslim or other minority, usually against white westerners”.

How else do you explain how hardly anyone is describing the shooting in South Carolina as terrorism, even though the goal of this hate crime was to terrorize blacks. Indeed, early news reports even declared that there was “no sign of terrorism”. Would they have said the same thing if the shooter was Muslim?

Greenwald points out how the term has lost all meaning, allowing it to be used for pure propaganda:

The examples proving the utter malleability of the term “terrorism” are far too numerous to chronicle here. But over the past decade alone, it’s been used by Western political and media figures to condemn Muslims who used violence against an invading and occupying force in Afghanistan, against others who raised funds to help Iraqis fight against an invading and occupying military in their country, and for others who attack soldiers in an army that is fighting many wars. In other words, any violence by Muslims against the West is inherently “terrorism,” even if targeted only at soldiers at war and/or designed to resist invasion and occupation.

By stark contrast, no violence by the West against Muslims can possibly be “terrorism,” no matter how brutal, inhumane or indiscriminately civilian-killing. The U.S. can call its invasion of Baghdad “Shock and Awe” as a classic declaration of terrorism intent, or fly killer drones permanently over terrorized villages and cities, or engage in generation-lasting atrocities in Fallujah, or arm and fund Israeli and Saudi destruction of helpless civilian populations, and none of that, of course, can possibly be called “terrorism.” It just has the wrong perpetrators and the wrong victims.

And this is not a new phenomenon. Even before 9/11, our government branded Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. Iraq was on the terrorist list, then off it, according to our whims. Reagan armed and funded terrorist groups in Latin America, while hypocritically condemning Russia and Iran for being state sponsors of terrorism.