The Watering Hole, Thursday, August 30th, 2012: GOP Elephant Lies

On Tuesday night, Fudgie the Whale New Jersey Governor Chris Christie heaved himself onto the stage at the Republican National Convention, and proceeded to spew more lies than I could count. I don’t have the time to go through all of them, so I’m providing the transcript here, while focusing on the lines and lies that truly pissed me off. I’ll keep my own comments brief:

“Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree.”
Really? The G.I. Bill, a highly-successful Government program?

“The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected…”
Sure, dictators, tyrants and bullies can be respected (read “feared”) without being loved.

“Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required…It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues. And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.” Which ‘leaders’ is Christie blathering about? And who has “stood silently by and let” who “get away with” what? Republicans have certainly been vocal enough against President Obama since before Day 1, as well as being extremely vocal when saying “no”, because “no” is all that the Republicans require to “make President Obama a one-term President.”

“But tonight, I say enough.”
Okay, Christie’s emphasis was on “enough”, but I felt that he had already said more than enough. And at this point in his spewch, I was ready to “say enough”, too.

“I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.” Speaking up for yourselves, instead of simply calling President Obama every dog-whistle name and label you could think of?

“We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.” So, you admit that never really did “what is right” before now?

“We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.” I can’t wait to see Christie call Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, the Tea Party contingent, the Republican Governors, Paul Ryan, and Mitt Rmoney on the carpet…oh…d’oh!

“Tonight, we choose respect over love.” I think “love” already rejected you, and one doesn’t “choose” respect, one earns it.

“We are not afraid. We are taking our country back.” Damn, after years of telling us to “be afraid”, now the Republicans aren’t afraid anymore?! And, for the umpteenth time, FROM WHOM OR WHAT ARE YOU TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK?

“I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America.” Simple-minded, maybe, at least simple enough not to remember that their “ideas” are pretty much the same as BushCo’s “ideas”, which, in the real world, failed America: cut taxes, eliminate regulations on big corporations, drill anywhere and everywhere, and start another war.

Now for the really big lies. My comments would be superfluous:

“Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats:

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.”

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.”

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.”

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.”

“We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.”

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.”

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.”

They believe in teacher’s unions. We believe in teachers.

“We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.”

“We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.”

“It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party.”

“We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing.”

“For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, an education system that’s failing to compete in the world.”

“It doesn’t matter how we got here. There is enough blame to go around”

“Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.”

“It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.”

“There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country. These feelings are real.”

“There’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll. You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls. That’s what we need to do now.”

“A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.”

Damn Republicans ruined my Acme(TM) Mass-Projection Particle Meter! Of course, my Acme(TM) Wireless Lie-Detector blew up at the sound of Governor Ultrasound’s voice Monday night. :(

This is our Open Thread. Have at it!

The Watering Hole – Monday, July 30th, 2012: The United Theocracy of America

(Note: all emphasis mine)

2 Chronicles 7:14:  “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

A sidebar article at US NEWS & World Report caught my eye yesterday. How could I resist the headline, “Evangelical, Baptist Churches To Hold Massive Gathering Before Democratic Convention”?

On September 2, 2012, the evening before the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Charlotte, NC, a coalition of varied churches “…will host a massive church service in the 20,000 seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.” This event is called the “Charlotte 714″, [short for "Charlotte 714, Humbly Exalting Jesus" [short for "Charlotte 714, Humbly Exalting Jesus as King in Our City"]

Charlotte714 is a call to the Church of Charlotte to a 40 day fast culminating with a special city-wide gathering the night before the Democratic National Convention on Labor Day Weekend. Charlotte714 is not a political event or a protest or demonstration. It is a gathering of believers seeking spiritual renewal in the church through biblical repentance. We humbly bow in Jesus’ name requesting that He hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.

Charlotte714 is a proclamation that Jesus Christ is King, and that returning to Him in repentance is the only hope for our nation. From this position of authority, we lift up our hands in prayer for our city, our nation, and our leaders as directed in 1 Timothy 2. At the heart of Charlotte714 is restorative love. Love toward all people that we may be restored to God and fully submitted to Christ.”

No, no political agenda there.

The event’s ‘invitation’ page uses – or misuses, or abuses – a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. in their justification of their ‘come to Jesus’ day:

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

According to the Charlotte714 site: “The essence of Charlotte714 is captured best by late revivalist, Charles Finney”:

“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits…If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

- and -

The organizers of Charlotte714 are Christians who love Jesus and the City of Charlotte and want to provide a forum for the city church to unite together in the name of Jesus in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14.”

Those organizers, David and Jason Benham, who head BENSON Companies,both graduated Liberty University in 1998. Jason Benham says ““For us to take credit for building a successful business would be like a shovel taking credit for digging a hole. We’re simply the tools God chose to use to build a successful business.”

David Benham is described on the Benham website “As a follower of Christ, he believes the marketplace is a powerful venue to impact lives.” “By remaining true to our core principles, despite the economic circumstances, we’ve grown our company by faith instead of it simply growing because the market is strong”.

On Jason Benham’s “about” page, “BENHAM Companies exists to build, strengthen, and reproduce the heart of Jesus Christ in believers around the world by teaching them to be Kingdom Builders in the marketplace and to give abundantly to His work on the earth.” Hmm, sounds a bit C-Street-ish to me.

Read the BENHAM Companies’ Global Initiative: something they call “Missioneering”, “…eras[ing] the line that separates business and ministry…”

I don’t know if this is supposed to be part of their ‘Missioneering’: “David Benham in this short 4 minute video expresses the very heart of God, as he brings Biblical truth to a horrible tragedy [Aurora, CO, shootings.] Jesus, and Jesus alone, is our answer.”

Here’s where some dots connect: David and Jason Benham’s father, “Flip” Benham “…is and has been the Director of Operation Rescue /Operation Save America since 1994. Randall Terry was the founder of Operation Rescue, and then the leadership was passed to Keith Tucci…In 1994, the leadership was passed to Flip Benham and that is where it remains.”

So, this is a “non-political” evangelical/fundie gathering, the day before the Democratic National Convention, organized by a corporation/ministry, that just happens to be closely connected to OR/OSA. If it’s ‘non-political’, then why can’t I find any indication that this same group is gathering before the Republican National Convention? Maybe they feel that one big prayer meeting will be enough for Jeebus to ‘hear them’ and act to ‘heal our land’?

I had to laugh at this one:  Operation Rescue/Operation Save America issued a “Press Release” stating: “Operation Save America Prepares for Invasion of DNC: “The DNC is coming to Charlotte, bringing its “culture of death!” Read some of the rest, about the blood running in the streets – somebody’s on some nasty drugs there.

This is our daily open thread — Whatcha thinking about?

P.S. – Here’s some interesting info on Tampa Bay’s preparations for the upcoming RNC there.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, May 2, 2012: Corporate Person Hood, Part IV

"Tweeter," our investigative journalist hard at work.

Once again, The Zoo has learned exclusive inside information into the developing story of Corporate Person Hood. According to sources deep inside the executive branch, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., has convened a secret grand jury for the purpose of seeking indictments for First Degree Murder against Bain Capital.

This stunning development began shortly after Presumptive Presidential Candidate Mitt, Corporations are People, Romney stated, in public, that Corporations are People. With that admission, investigators sprung into action.

We’re focusing on the period from 1984 to 1999” an insider revealed. That’s when Romney ran Bain, driving 17 companies into bankruptcy or complete closure. “The bankruptcy cases don’t interest us right now. That’s kind of like sending a Corporation Person into ER, and they recover. We want the cases where the Corporation Person ceased to exist because Bain sucked all the life out of it. That’s murder, and there’s no statute of limitations on murder.”

Sources also indicate the DoJ is looking to indicte Romney as a co-conspirator with the Corporation Person Bain Capital. “He may well be the master-mind behind the whole thing,” another anonymous insider stated. The insider then added, off the record, that the indictments are being planned for the week of the Republican National Convention.

The Zoo stopped by Romney’s headquarters for comment, but staffers there were too busy shaking Etch-a-Sketches to speak. One harried staffer paused just long enough to say, “look, we’ve got thousands of Etch-a-Sketches to shake…one for each of Romney’s positions he has held over his entire political life. We don’t have time to respond to every little rumor about Romney killing this Corporation Person or that Corporation Person.” With that, a moving van arrived. “Oh God, it’s his Stances on Women Etch-a-Sketches – they’ve finally arrived.” The staffer ran screaming into the headquarters, “A LITTLE HELP HERE!!!”

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
IF BAIN CAPITAL SHUT DOWN KELLOGS, WOULD IT BE A CEREAL KILLER?

Where’s the Outrage?

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Last night at the Republican National Convention, President Bush spoke for barely eight minutes. (Funny how the president’s name was not mentioned once during any of the other speeches that evening!)

During the President’s speech, he said several things that outraged me, yet there is nothing, NOTHING in the media or anywhere on the blogosphere that I could see.

While most of the speaker’s last night either exaggerated the truth or out-and-out lied, that is to be expected. But as President of the United States, I am appalled by the blatant partisanship displayed by OUR president.

While there were several things that I found offensive, this is the most egregious:

Fellow citizens: If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain’s resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry left never will.

Excuse me? Angry left or right, we are all America’s citizens and as President of the United States of America you should represent all of us. I understand that this is a political convention, but that type of discourse has no place even there.

I would remind you, Mr. President, what Senator Barack Obama said just the other night: We are not from red states or blue states, we are from the United States, and as such, you are supposed to represent us as well. After all, it is US who pays YOU. Which leads to my next outrage.

We have seen John McCain’s commitment to principle in our Nation’s capital. John is a steadfast opponent of wasteful spending.

Wasteful spending? Like privatizing our military? Corporations like KBR, Haliburton and Blackwater have flourished under your less-than-watchful eye. KBR alone has garnished multi-billions of dollars in contracts – with more than a billion being in dispute, criticized by a civilian overseer who was ousted from his job as a result of daring to question that one instance of wasteful spending!

Perhaps you are referring to funneling the American treasury to your cronies who barely rebuilt New Orleans or funding of private schools in Washington, DC through vouchers – which was an abysmal failure. That was wise spending? Going into debt into the trillions was not wasteful?

For the entire time you were in office, Mr. President, you cared little about the average American and even less for the people who are fighting your war. When they returned from your war, injured, some near death, you allowed them to suffer in the hell holes of the Walter Reed’s in America.

And that, brings me to another outrage.

John is a leader who knows that human life is fragile, that human life is precious, that human life must be defended.

Which human life would that be, Mr. President? Those warriors I mentioned above? The ones who you and Senator McCain continuously refused to provide and updated GI Bill to by threatening a veto – then took credit for once it passed with a veto-proof majority? Or the ones you or Senator McCain refused to insure under S-CHIP? Exactly whose human life is it you want to protect and defend? Oh, right…the ones not yet born. Even to the detriment of the mother, the human fetus is king.

Is this the kind of strength of office you are so proud of? Are these the principles you so proudly claim?

And that leads to my final outrage.

When he takes office next January, John will have an outstanding leader at his side. America will have a strong and principled vice president in the governor of the great state of Alaska, Sarah Palin.

I don’t think much needs to be said about this, Mr. President. With you, and your second, Vice President Cheney, there are few who could be less principled. That said, Governor Sarah Palin appears to be trying hard as the head of her state. The principles she offers are ones that the masses in America neither value nor appreciate.

I am outraged by your words, Mr. President. And I doubt I am alone.

The full speech is below the fold.

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