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The latest blue state political news, from the most reliable sources, all in one place.

Daily Kos Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:07 GMT  

Open thread for night owls: David Brooks is absolutely clueless on still another subject
U.S. infrastructure is crumbling and David Brooks has at his fingertips the wrong answer why.
At the Campaign for America's Future, Dave Johnson dismantles the latest David Brooks nonsense:
owls
The New York Times’ David Brooks writes today in “The Working Nation“: ”Western economies delivered broad and growing prosperity for the middle class. This nurtured a general faith in political institutions and culminated in the democratic triumphalism of the 1990s.” But now government is not delivering, he writes. The result, he says, is that the middle class is hollowing out, earnings are stagnant, there is not enough work, people are left without purpose, morale and faith in government and institutions has plummeted.

The labor force participation rate is at its lowest in decades. Millions are in part-time or low-wage jobs that don’t come close to fulfilling their capacities. Millions more are in dysfunctional or unhealthy workplaces, but they don’t feel they can leave because they don’t think there are other jobs out there that pay the same amount.

So far so good…

Oh My God!

Then Brooks lays out his prescription to fix the problem and the only possible reaction is, “Oh my God!”.

It begins with this stunning statement: “The country is palpably in the middle of some sort of emotional recession. Yet over the past five years, the political class has done essentially nothing.”

The “political class?” And then he writes this:

…there’s a completely obvious agenda to create more middle-class, satisfying jobs. The federal government should borrow money at current interest rates to build infrastructure, including better bus networks so workers can get to distant jobs. The fact that the federal government has not passed major infrastructure legislation is mind-boggling, considering how much support there is from both parties.

“Both parties” support maintaining our infrastructure? Oh my God! It was the strategy of the Republican party to block exactly this so they could campaign on a theme of “Obama’s failed policies”! And for decades it has been the strategy of the conservative movement to make government fail and thereby turn people against government. They are succeeding, the success worries Brooks, so he points his finger at … “the political class.”

Oh my God! Brooks is not witnessing a failure of “the political class” to act, he is describing the success of conservatives and the Republican Party in shaping the current election environment using obstruction and demoralization as a strategy. [...]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos the day after this date in 2002Politicizing intelligence gathering:

So you're a Bush Administration official looking for a reason—any reason—to invade Iraq (say, Donald Rumsfeld). You ask your intelligence agencies (CIA, DIA, NSA, etc.) for confirmation that Iraq has ties to Al Qaeda. The agencies mine their assets, review their data, train satellites and listening devices and whatever other exotic technologies they may have on the Iraqis and scattered Al Qaeda members.

And after analyzing everything, they conclude there are no ties between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

This is a setback. You can't give the real reasons for an Iraq invasion—oil, political gain, and revenge for daddy's assassination attempt. You just HAVE TO HAVE evidence linking OBL to SH.

So what do you do?

Well, given that this admininstration is the most intensely political in the history of our fair nation, you simply follow from the Rove game plan -- you create a new "intelligence agency" and fill it with political appointees who will confirm whatever lies the administration spews. […]

So to clarify, the CIA (and other intelligence agencies) gather the information. They then interpret it. But if the administration doesn't like that interpretation (e.g. Hussein and OBL hate each other and would never work together), the new agency can take a look at the info and arrive at a more "acceptable" conclusion (or in Rumsfeld's words, "assist policymakers in assessing the intelligence they receive").

The gods save us from this cabal.


Tweet of the Day
We're not really a terrorist organization.

We're just very concerned about ethics in videogame journalism.
@alqaeda



On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Updates from Ottawa. Greg Dworkin was called away, presumably for a NYC-area Ebola-related emergency. Cruz staffer shows it's hard to know when a kook is joking. Chuck Todd says "disqualified" language was "sloppy." In a related story, Armando passes on Steve Singiser's take on the failed OR-GOV analysis. FYI: Canadian vs. US gun laws. Ernst's gimmetarian gun line, analyzed. Lead exposure's links to impulse control problems & violent crime. So where are people being exposed to the most lead? Gun ranges. Chiquita Brands is looking to pull off a tax inversion. Fine! See if we topple any more foreign governments for you!


High Impact Posts. Top Comments

Pensito Review Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:07 GMT  

Christie Whines He’s Misunderstood

My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them.

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the New York Daily News.

My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them.

— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the New York Daily News.


Mike Luckovich Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:49:07 GMT  

01/08 Luckovich cartoon: Chilled out

010814-toon-luckovich-ed


ThinkProgress Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:07 GMT  

How A Former Advocate Of Ex-Gay Therapy Is Working To Protect Others From Harm

Tim Rymel hopes conservative Christians appreciate what he's learned first-hand about the harms of ex-gay therapy.

The post How A Former Advocate Of Ex-Gay Therapy Is Working To Protect Others From Harm appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Tim Rymel - Going Gay

CREDIT: Tim Rymel

“The religious right continues to tout, ‘We have thousands of ex-gay people,’ and they don’t exist. The thousands do not exist.”

Earlier this year, a group of former ex-gay leaders — individuals who made a career at some point in their lives promoting or administering ex-gay therapy — published an open letter decrying all forms of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). “It is our firm belief,” they wrote, “that it is much more productive to support, counsel, and mentor LGBT individuals to embrace who they are in order to live happy, well-adjusted lives.” The letter helped launch the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ #BornPerfect campaign, which calls for more laws protecting people from the harms of reparative therapy.

Among the signatories was Tim Rymel, who at one point in his life was an evangelical Christian minister and a vocal advocate for ex-gay therapy, offering his own personal testimony to support his cause. From 1991 to 1996, Rymel served as Outreach Director for Love in Action (LIA), a residential facility for ex-gay therapy based in Memphis, Tennessee. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because after Rymel’s time there, LIA began a youth program called Refuge that in 2005 became the center of a big controversy after a young man named Zach Stark blogged on MySpace about how he was treated in the facility, which he was forced to attend by his parents. Love In Action eventually closed its youth program, but still serves adults under the new name “Restoration Path.”

Rymel now identifies as gay and is working against the harms of ex-gay therapy. He details his journey of self-acceptance in a new book called Going Gay, and he spoke with ThinkProgress about what he learned along the way and what he’s now trying to teach others about homosexuality and Christianity.

Are Conservative Christians Willing To Listen?

In Going Gay, Rymel writes, “I’m not out to evangelize God-fearing Christians and make them gay, as though that were possible, or destroy their theology.” Instead, he hopes to “draw people into relationship with their God and with each other.” But, he says, many of the conservatives he was hoping to reach can’t get past the title or the picture of the Pride Flag on the front. “As soon as they see the title, it is — you know, as somebody said, ‘Why don’t you go straight instead?’ — and then they don’t read the book.” But some are asking more questions, and Rymel has a lot of answers to offer them.

He’s been writing about his journey out of ex-gay therapy to correct “20 years of silence.” He said it took that long to come to terms with what had happened — including not only coming (back) out, but also divorcing his wife and the mother of his two children. In turn, he’s mostly been hearing from others who’ve gone through a similar process. “The audience seems to be the middle aged — late 40s, early 50s — people who are saying, ‘That was my experience,’ or, ‘That’s what happened to me in the church.’”

Still though, Rymel is committed to having these important conversations with his detractors. In the book, he concedes, “We will never come to terms on arguments based solely in beliefs, so we may choose to agree to disagree. Whatever our beliefs, however, we are all driven by the same desires for love, belonging, and acceptance.” He hopes that if people are at least wiling to listen, he can meet them where they are and help them better appreciate what it really takes for people who are gay to feel that acceptance.

Stepping From One World To Another

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Rymel’s story is the juxtaposition he draws between his understanding of his own sexual orientation and the very different process of understanding who gay people are culturally. Religion influences how people see gender and hierarchies, he explained to ThinkProgress, and those ideas are reinforced in ex-gay therapy. “When you’re in those movements, it is said, ‘Well this is how men act, this is how women act,’ and the reason you didn’t act this way is because of a broken relationship with your father or an overbearing mother.”

Letting go of those gender roles didn’t automatically happen when he came to terms with being gay. “I took that with me into the gay culture… I took on that role, and kept perpetuating that role.” As he began to study more about sexuality, particularly the research of Lisa Diamond, he began to better appreciate the fluidity of gender. “You have people who come in all shapes and sizes,” but it takes removing that “cultural overlay” to see who people really are. Doing so helped him arrive at self-acceptance, appreciating his own authenticity, even if someone suggests, for example, that something he says or does is effeminate.

“When you come from that environment and you step into the gay community, there is no place that you feel more insecure,” he recalled, noting that his perspective reflects entering a culture focused on youth as a middle-aged man. “I think there’s a lot of shame in the gay community because we feel like we have to be something that we’re not, so for me, stepping into the gay community as a Republican evangelical Christian with these ideals of very traditional family roles… I never felt like I belonged.”

Now, though, Rymel says he feels perfectly comfortable in both gay and straight worlds. “I’m being who I am,” he explained. “As I dealt with my own shame of trying to hide from everyone, all of that went away… Now I don’t feel the shame, and I feel like I belong.” He described that process as a difficult “unraveling,” unpacking his preconceived notions so that he could then “reassemble who I’m supposed to be.”

On His Time In The Ex-Gay Movement

Though Rymel spent many years working for an ex-gay ministry, he spent very little time administering therapy himself. Instead, his job was to promote the ministry’s message in the media.

In the book, he recounts a radio interview he did with “two activist, angry lesbians,” to discuss the work of Love In Action. “We accept people as they are and allow God to change them as he changes all of us,” he told them. When one of the women then asked if that meant that they did not accept gay people as they are, he offered, “No, we do, but God loves them too much to leave them that way.” The other woman forebodingly responded, “What are you going to do 20 years from now when you come to realize you are gay, nothing’s changed, and you have no place to go?!”

At the time, Rymel told himself that “the most important thing was that we got the message out.” Now though, as he told ThinkProgress, “I certainly regret having delivered that message,” but he explained that, “We absolutely believed what we were saying was true.” He joined LIA because he believed in its mission. “We saw things quite differently and we honestly truly felt with all of our hearts that we were doing the right thing, that we were serving God. We were doing what we were supposed to be doing.” As far as he knew, the men were coming willingly, so he never felt anyone was there involuntarily.

He unequivocally now says, “I feel bad about what the message we gave out. We were wrong. I was wrong.” And he also wants people to know that he takes responsibility for the harm he might have perpetuated, adding, “I certainly apologize to people who have been affected by my words or what we have done in the past. I hope that they’re able to pick up and move on and pull their lives back together as we have tried to do.” He hopes his first-hand experience in the ministry helps others understand what’s actually taking place in them.

What To Do About Ex-Gay Therapy

As was said in the open letter, Rymel opposes any ex-gay therapy for minors: “I have no qualms about saying that’s wrong and that that needs to be stopped,” because he worries about “a parent forcing a child into something that is ultimately going to harm them.” Laws have already passed in New Jersey and California protecting young people from being enrolled in the treatment, and conservatives’ attempts to challenge those laws have failed.

But Rymel is a little less sure about how best to go about regulating conversion therapy for adults, recognizing that there could be religious liberty issues at stake. “Having been a conservative pastor,” he explained, “We’re not qualified. You think you are, but you’re not. But how do you stop that?” While he’d be fine with laws governing psychological and medical professionals, it’s harder to stop religious leaders from taking it upon themselves to try to pray away the gay through pastoral ministry.

He cited his own experience pursuing ex-gay therapy to demonstrate why laws alone won’t bring an end to ex-gay therapy. “Even if it had been outlawed,” he admitted, “I still would have gone somewhere and found help because my beliefs were so strong at the time that the law was not going to stop me. You can put any kind of law you want, but it doesn’t matter; it’s not going to change morality.”

That’s why he wants to help conservative Christians who might be inclined to try to change a person’s sexual orientation. He wants them to know, “We’ve never changed anybody’s sexual orientation. It’s never been documented anywhere,” and his next project is dedicated to telling other such stories.

Rymel is now connecting with people who attended Love In Action while he worked there to tell “Ex-Gay 25 Years Later” stories. Of the 15 he’s reached out to, only three of them still identify as ex-gay, and only one of those three has been willing to talk to him on the record. What he’s already found is that those who now identify as gay are doing well, while those who still identify as ex-gay continue to struggle with their identities. He’s combining their stories with a meta-analysis of the available research to try to paint a picture of what the ex-gay movement actually looks like and debunk the myth that there are thousands of ex-gays out there. “The thousands do not exist,” he told ThinkProgress.

“There is no such thing as ex-gay,” Rymel now asserts, but he acknowledges that beliefs don’t change so easily. He hopes that conservatives can they see themselves in his story: “I was one of you… I was as far right as you can get as a Republican, so I completely understand religious liberties, I completely understand where you’re coming from and faith and all of those things, but this doesn’t work. So now what do we do? What are our other options?”

The post How A Former Advocate Of Ex-Gay Therapy Is Working To Protect Others From Harm appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Restaurant Industry Is Rife With Race Discrimination

You don't want to be a person of color working in the restaurant industry.

The post The Restaurant Industry Is Rife With Race Discrimination appeared first on ThinkProgress.

shutterstock_105118202

CREDIT: Shutterstock

A new study from the Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United) found that race discrimination pervades the restaurant industry nationwide.

ROC investigated the policies of 273 fine-dining restaurants in the Metro-Detroit area, New Orleans, and Chicago — three cities where people of color constitute the majority of the population. It found that applicants of color are only 73 percent as likely to get a job offer. And earning 44 percent less than their white counterparts, workers of color are effectively charged a “race tax,” according to the labor group.

The quality of jobs also differs by race. People of color are generally confined to “lower-wage” work and “less visible” work in “back of the house” positions like prep cooks and dishwashers and lower tier front of house positions like bussers and runners. Just 22 percent have non-managerial, top tier, front-of-the-house positions, while white workers hold 81 percent of managerial positions.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) refutes the study’s claim that race discrimination is a systemic problem in restaurant labor. “The restaurant industry embodies the American Dream. Half of all US restaurants are owned or co-owned by women and one-third of restaurant owners are minorities. Restaurants employ more women and minority managers than virtually any other industry,” it claimed in an official statement.

ROC’s co-founder and co-director Saru Jayaraman thinks otherwise. “It’s abhorrent that skin color and gender are still obstacles to finding a living-wage job and being able to support yourself and your family,” she said. “While women and people of color make up the majority of the restaurant industry’s workforce, they are continually shut out of the restaurant industry’s limited living-wage opportunities.”

But race discrimination is not the only form of discrimination that is deeply rooted in the industry. The ROC also found that women make 11 percent less than male workers. And a separate ROC report released earlier this month found that sexual harassment is a rampant problem.

The post The Restaurant Industry Is Rife With Race Discrimination appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Three Things Conservatives Wrote This Week That Everyone Should Read

Helping liberals understand where their ideological foes are coming from.

The post Three Things Conservatives Wrote This Week That Everyone Should Read appeared first on ThinkProgress.

elephant-16

CREDIT: Shutterstock

Welcome to TP Ideas‘ weekly roundup of the best conservative writing! Every Friday, we take a look at three pieces by right-leaning writers that constructively articulate core elements of their worldview. The goal isn’t to find conservatives telling us how right liberals are, but rather to pick out writing that helps liberals understand where their ideological foes are coming from.

So let’s get started.

1. “The Death Of The Parish” — David T. Koyzis, First Things

Given the partisan tribal shuffling that’s occurred around climate change and fossil fuels, the going assumption these days is that if someone is a conservative they’ll be a fan of the car-based lifestyle. David T. Koyzis is not one of those conservatives. And this week he published a short piece in First Things arguing that the creation of the automobile has changed church life and Christians’ relationship with their churches, very much for the worst.

Essentially, by freeing people to travel great distances with ease, cars have allowed everyone to treat which church they attend as a matter of consumer choice. Before the arrival of the automobile, people were largely stuck attending whichever church was within easy distance, and had to deal with whatever the nature of the sermons, the personality of the congregation, the theology of the community and so forth happened to be. By Koyzis’ lights, not only has this change made the ways people relate to their church more shallow, it’s made the ways churches relate to people more shallow as well:

The most important consequence of this trend is that the gathered church — as distinct from the church as corpus Christi, which is all-encompassing — has been reduced to a mere voluntary association of like-minded individuals who can join and quit, or come and go at their discretion. The church, like any other commodity in the marketplace, exists only to serve the needs of its individual members. In this respect John Locke’s definition, scarcely deemed orthodox in seventeenth-century England, seems uncontroversial today: “A church, then, I take to be a voluntary society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord in order to the public worshipping of God in such manner as they judge acceptable to Him, and effectual to the salvation of their souls” (emphases mine). Note the contrast to the scriptural definition of Church as the covenant community of those called by God into a living relationship with him.

The territorial parish cannot easily withstand this new ecclesiology. Near universal automobile ownership has made Christians of virtually every tradition into consumers of perceived spiritual goods. It is de rigueur these days to claim to be “spiritual but not religious,” because religion implies binding obligation within a larger authoritative community, while spirituality leaves the individual in control and need not entail a transformed life and redirected affections. Everyone becomes a seeker and churches are compelled to attract potential members by whatever means necessary. Why? Because no one has to show up, after all. They can easily drive past the nearest church building and find another congregation that better meets their subjective needs. Or they can simply stay home and sleep late. The net effect is that the institutional church has no more authority than its members are willing to grant it. In other words, it is one more voluntary association not essentially different from the local birdwatching society.

What Koyzis is getting at here is an idea that pops up in regular intervals in conservative thought — especially religious conservative thought — about the value of unchosen things and the value of having your life shaped and directed by forces greater than yourself. This can be the neighborhood in which you grew up, the circle of friends you fall into, obviously the family into which you’re born, and also the church community and religious tradition you attend. When we can literally chose every force that structures our lives for ourselves, the bottom drops out of our lives in a way; when all the meaning in our lives is meaning we’ve constructed, it becomes harder to actually see that meaning as having real substance or staying power beyond the momentary passage of our own lives.

“We cannot, of course, return to a pre-automotive past,” Koyzis admits. But he does recommend churches just stop constructing parking lots, and thus force themselves to look for congregates in their immediate vicinity — and hopefully encourage the locals to re-embrace “the parish model” as well.

2. “Palin The Piñata” — Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review Online

Sarah Palin and her family, including her daughter Bristol Palin, apparently got into an altercation recently at a party. Gawker picked up the story and released the explanation an understandably-agitated Bristol Palin gave the police about what happened. This included some man pushing and dragging her while leveling all sorts of derogatory verbal abuse. The story shot around the media and wound up on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, where Sullivan called the incident “an outtake from the old Jerry Springer show” and an example of what John McCain “intended to bring within a heart beat of the presidency.”

Over at National Review Online, Charles C.W. Cooke is no fan of Sarah Palin. (Or of ThinkProgress, for that matter.) But he found this latest reaction to the Palins a step too far, and came back hard this week at the way “the self-appointed smart-set has treated Palin as a walking, talking source of confirmation bias.”

The first question we might ask of Sullivan and of anyone else who has taken an interest in this story is, Why are we spilling so much ink on this topic at all? Sarah Palin does not hold public office. She is not running for public office. Indeed, she does not even have a television show. Certainly, she is not anonymous — her relentless lust for attention is one of the things I dislike about her — but we might expect that her success in drawing notice would be commensurate with her position. She has no position. Why, then, the obsession?

The second, related, inquiry is this: If it is a sign of poor “judgment” to choose as veep someone whose children are a mess, why does Joe Biden get a pass for the conduct of his son, Hunter, who was kicked out of the Navy Reserve for having been discovered using cocaine? Take a wild guess as to which tale has been of more interest within the Beltway: That of Bristol Palin or that of Hunter Biden. (Hint: It ain’t the one involving the serving politician and his family.) Back when Bristol Palin was a minor, her pregnancy was treated as an indictment of the Republican party’s entire “family values” platform and as an example of the rank hypocrisy of the moral Right. Today, the man who is second in line to the presidency announces that his child has been discovered on the wrong side of a law the breaking of which often ends in imprisonment, and he is unlikely to face so much as an interview with the police. What, pray, does that say about the “bigger picture”?

The third question, as The Week’s Matt Lewis observes, is this: “If Bristol Palin was physically and verbally assaulted by a man, shouldn’t we be up in arms about that, and not about her reaction?” This lattermost wringer is all the more poignant in light of the current focus on domestic violence and sexual assault, and our tendency to regard each and every incident in which a man uses his superior strength for ill as evidence of a broader “war on women” or a “culture of rape.” Who among us can say with a straight face that, if Malia Obama had been attacked at a party or at a concert or at her school, the headlines would have focused on her reaction to the onslaught? Likewise, if Chelsea Clinton had been pushed to the floor, dragged across the grass, and robbed, would we really be breaking down the language she used in the aftermath?

Now, there’s an at least implied dismissal of the sexual assault problem in Cooke’s piece, and a certain chip-on-the-shoulder tone to his earlier paragraphs. But it’s hard to argue with the central guts of his argument: the Palins do indeed seem to often be viewed as fair game in a way the families of other high profile figures are not. And while people are certainly entitled to be silly and get drunk and boisterous at parties from time to time, no one should ever be treated the way this guy apparently treated Bristol Palin.

3. “Sublime Recovery Vs. Banal Recovery” — Eve Tushnet, The American Conservative

Eve Tushnet is a conservative writer, a committed Catholic, a lesbian, a celibate, and has had her battles with alcoholism. (Yes, you are more boring than she is.) She laid out two narrative models of recovery from addiction in The American Conservative this week, which she sees as vying for dominance in modern culture: the “sublime” recovery versus the “banal” recovery. The first is closely associated with the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and is essentially a spiritual and moral transformation involving “humiliation, surrender, and obedience.” The second involves nothing so transcendent, and is simply the end of drug abuse due to a long and unhurried transition out of it, or just a moderation of drug use that’s sufficient to make room for a healthy life.

After acknowledging the resonance many aspects in the “sublime” model have with her own experience, Tushnet mounts a defense of the alternative route, worrying that “the increased prominence of the dramatic 12-step narrative… may make it harder for us to accept that anything else is ‘real’ recovery at all.”

Maia Szalavitz, a truly invaluable journalist whose work I’ve recommended here before, recently asked, “Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It–Why Is This Widely Denied?” Part of the answer, I think, is that the growing-out-of-it type of recovery is invisible–and it’s invisible because it’s boring. It’s banal. As far as I know there are no novels or sitcoms about banal recovery, because it looks like staying basically the same. You get to keep the self-image you started with: You can keep thinking you’re smart, good, and competent, able to handle whatever life throws at you. You’re able to keep mislabeling your luck as “Good Choices I Made,” if that’s a thing you do.

But this banal recovery, this recovery in which you get to hang onto your ego and keep all your fantasies of competence, makes certain things possible. I know a lot of people who went from destructive use of drugs and alcohol to moderate use, and what that made possible for them was friendship, marriage, babies, honesty, wholehearted religious participation. And these experiences are sublime. People who managed to avoid the unconditional surrender of sublime recovery have so many other, more beautiful paths to surrender.

Marriage is humiliating, parenting is humbling, friendship is a school for gratitude. The fantasies and ego will be burned off by love. Banal recovery makes possible a sublime everyday life.

After noting that the spiritual gauntlet of the sublime route and the 12-step approach has often been embraced by left-wing celebrities and other personalities battling their own drug problems, Tushnet also quotes another essay by Helen Andrews that gets in an interesting jab at liberals. “The irony is that the aspects of AA that seem to resonate with them are the things they hate about organized religion,” Andrews writes. “The admission of powerlessness, the submission to authority, skepticism about the value of thinking for yourself, the rote repetition of phrases that to an outsider seem vapid, sentimental, or silly.” Like Koyzis’ argument in the previous piece for not being able to choose your church, the value of the sublime route lies in its obliteration of the individual, subsuming them into something unchosen and larger than oneself. But the very fact that there are different routes to this sublimity — the ostensibly conservative-preferred religious route and the liberal-preferred spiritual one — suggests the self-contradictory ways we can choose which form of unchosen surrender fits best for us.

However, the banal recovery model gestures at another bit of wisdom that’s popped up in conservatism from time to time: namely, the value of the everyday life simply lived, and the victories won in forging relationships with our friends, our spouses, our families, our neighbors, and so on. To crib a Lord of the Rings reference, grand adventures to slay orc armies and evil dark lords are all well and good. But what really lasts — and what those grand adventures are meant to protect — are the Hobbits’ quiet daily lives in the Shire, built around friends and farming and a cold pint of beer.

The post Three Things Conservatives Wrote This Week That Everyone Should Read appeared first on ThinkProgress.


PoliticusUSA Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:07 GMT  

Friday Fox Follies – A Shakespearean Festival
The death of Ben Bradlee got me thinking about what passes for the sorry state of journalism these days. Watergate reporting may have been the high-water mark, but that should also remind us that Richard Nixon's media architect was Roger Ailes, current president of the Fox "News" Channel, the low water mark.

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It Gets Worse For Republicans As Mitch McConnell Busted For Using Non-Kentucky Woman in Ad
Mitch McConnell has done it again. The fading Kentucky Republican has gone beyond paying people to attend his rallies to having a non-Kentucky woman appear in his ad touting female support for Sen. McConnell in Kentucky.

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Open Carry Enthusiasts Plan On Marching Through St. Louis Carrying Pistols And Rifles
A gun rights activist from Ohio plans to lead a march through downtown St. Louis on Saturday afternoon. The walk through the heart of the downtown area will start at 1 PM local time and consist of other open carry enthusiasts.

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Paul Krugman Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:08 GMT  

The Profits-Investment Disconnect
Corporate cash, all dressed up with nowhere to go?
The Invisible Moderate
If only Obama would call for Obama's policies!
Fly the Derpy Skies
Why was Ron Paul staring at me?

Media Matters for America - Latest Items Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:08 GMT  

Listen To A Muslim Community Leader Call Out Sean Hannity's Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

From the October 24 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: Why are so many people though, why are there so many radical Islamists? What is the attraction to this way of life? What is the attraction to this extremism?

YOUNUS: First of all Sean, I disagree. I think this is sort of McCarthyism. These guys, I don't consider them Muslims. I mean you can call a rotten tomato a strawberry but that doesn't make it a strawberry. These people...

HANNITY: Excuse me, this is not McCarthyism, sir, with all due respect, If somebody is killing in the name of Allah and in the name of Islam, that views everybody else as apostates and infidels... Hang on, let me finish. If they're quoting the Quaran, they're doing it. I would agree it is a perversion, a hijacking  of a religion, but there are an awful lot of them buying into this ideology and I would also add that those that say that they're moderate Muslims, while there are some very outspoken  people, their numbers are few.  

YOUNUS: Well that's the point. First of all, I would ask you not to legitimize their distorted version of Islam. That is exactly why I'm saying these are rotten tomatoes. 

[...]

YOUNUS: You've made a lot of charges here. You've called out my Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who said loyalty to the country where you live is part of your faith. It's because of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that the Muslim community joins Americans all across the country, we join we call it Muslims for Loyalty. There are 40 such rallies last year on the 4th of July. I'm going to ask you after I finish, how many of those Muslims came on your show? And how many times did you talk about that on your show? I also have to say that these are the reasons, this is Islam. It's not in spite of Islam it's because of Islam that members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community are cops, they're serving as marines, and military. And when you say our laws, excuse me sir, I am also an American. This is also my country. These are also my laws. So stop othering three to seven million people because when you do that you only allow radicals to go out and recruit more.

[...]

YOUNUS: And see, I ask David one quick question. This is Faheem again. When we come out in the mass, thousands of us joining these Fourth of July parades, people like David don't want to talk about that on their radio shows.

WEBB: Yes I do. I talk about it, and what I'm talking about is when you don't come out. And I use the example of Miami, the same place where literally 10 or 12 years where the radicals come out and you can see the videos, the Clarion Project puts them out, I don't see surrounding them peaceful Muslims. I don't see surrounding them Muslims like yourself that want to go out and say this isn't us. You have to confront your own problem, because it is a problem for the world.

YOUNUS: I completely agree with you, David. I've written over 100 articles and that is the reason that I'm on this show. I completely agree that we need to work together to root out extremists because they are just as much a danger to me and my family as they are to  you. So I'm fully in line there, but I think that the idea that somehow Prophet Muhammad is tobe blamed, or the faith, or the Quran has to be blamed, it's almost like I believe that in the brain of Islam today there is a tumor. But thank god people like you are not neurosurgeons because you'd be taking an ax and chopping off that head. And that is exactly what scares me, because we need to use kind polite language to distinguish between what these people are doing. 

Previously

Watch A CAIR Representative Shut Down Fox News' Attempt To Attribute A Terrorist Group's Actions To Islam

Muslim Leaders Have Roundly Denounced Islamic State, But Conservative Media Won't Tell You That


Right Wing Watch Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:08 GMT  

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/24/14

http://blog.buzzflash.com/rss.xml Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:08 GMT  


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