Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why does the Right always compare Obama's record with Ronald Reagan instead of Ole Dubya

I came across this article from Investors Business Daily slamming Obama for not having a recovery as robust as the Gipper's:

To really get a sense of how dismal Obama's confidence ratings have been, you need to compare them to those during the Reagan recovery (for a visual display, see chart).

The 1981-82 recession lasted almost as long as the last one — 16 months vs. 18 months — and pushed unemployment higher. Yet confidence roared back as Reagan's economic policies powered a strong and sustained recovery, with the index topping 100 most months.

Two thing I'd like to cover here. First, while it's definitely true that the Lord Reagan's (peace be upon him) recovery was better, the author neglects to mention several of the reasons why. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. The author DOES cite specific reasons, but I'm assuming he's hoping that his readers are too stupid to realize he's bullshitting them:

Indeed, the only reason the economy continues to struggle for breath is because Obama continues to choke off its air supply. Even now, he has no clue how his policy prescriptions of vast new federal spending, gargantuan debt, massive regulation, a government health care takeover, and endless bashing of businessmen, profits and the "rich" are hampering growth.

Exactly. Everyone remembers how The Gipper courageously and patriotically slashed government spending immediately after he was sworn into office. At least, that's what the Righties claim had happened. Of course, in this little world I like to call "reality", that couldn't be further from the truth. Reagan massively increased spending, which eventually resulted in a tripling of the national debt by the time he left office (that's a 300% increase, compared to Obama's 50% increase, for those of you keeping score).

The biggest drag on the Obama economy is the massive amounts of public sector job losses (600k so far). The Gipper thankfully didn't have to worry about that:

Which president’s economic recovery benefited most from an increasing number of government jobs? Oddly enough, it was President Ronald Reagan, who successfully ran for re-election in 1984 by proclaiming it was “morning in America.” Reagan, running in a year when unemployment fell over a percentage point to 7.5 percent, is generally (and incorrectly) remembered as the first conservative president to dramatically shrink the size and role of government.

There is also the little unfortunate fact that Reagan also raised taxes several times, including this whopper in his first term:

Of particular interest is the “Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982,” the largest of Reagan’s tax increases, and generally considered the largest tax increase — as a percentage of the economy — in modern American history. (The economy began booming in 1983, by the way.)

And  furthermore, the top tax rate that Reagan had during 6 of his 8 years, was fifteen points higher than that uber-commie, Barack Obama himself! (50% vs. 35%).


Okay, so we got that out of the way. The other problem I have is that, as you may have guessed from the title, conservatives are always quick to bring out Reagan when trying to defend their policies, but they seem to almost always ignore a certain someone. This guy wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, had a speech impediment, thought he was a cowboy, and held office from 2001 -2009. Did ya guess yet?

Of course, it's no surprise that the righties would rather pretend ole' Dubbers wasn't president for the prior two terms, and I don't really blame them. They have to keep peddling their trickle down, voodoo economics, and they can't point to someone who actually implemented it for nearly a decade, and didn't have jack shit to show for it. So they always have to keep pretending that taxes were never lowered, regulations have increased, and the strongest economic booms always happened when government spending was massively slashed. It would be nice if more people in the mainstream media called out these people, but alas.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Republican Strategist Says Obama is the Most Liberal President Ever Because Obamacare Contains Individual Mandate

I'm a fairly big fan of Bill Maher's show, Real Time, but for some reason, I somehow missed a good chunk of one episode that aired on May 4. Not sure how I missed it, but I came across it when I was looking for something else on the youtubes.



For this episode, Maher invited Republican strategist and former Rudy Giuliani aid, Susan Del Percio. He started off the show by asking a question most of us on the left have been asking for the past 4 years: Why is Obama the most leftist president in American history? The best Percio could come up with was to mention Obamacare. While attempting to go down that path was dumb by itself, what REALLY caught my eye was when she tried to say that it was a super leftist program because of the individual mandate!

"He [Obama] was originally against the mandate, but Nancy Pelosi had to drag him to the left."
This is absolutely stunning. Not only was the individual mandate an idea concocted by the left, but Nancy Pelosi (!) was the one who was actively supporting such a thing and strong arming Obama into supporting it! Wow.

If the individual mandate was as liberal as she claims, most of us on the left would be ecstatic. But it's not. The individual mandate was a Republican idea (as Maher points out a few minutes later). George H.W. Bush supported it, Bob Dole supported it, the Heritage Foundation supported it, and so did a certain "extremely conservative" Republican presidential nominee.

There were other provisions like the public option that were farther left to what we wound up with, that Obama may have wanted, but he sure as hell didn't fight for it, and took that option completely off the table after a while. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was the one that fought hard to try and have it contained in the final bill (obviously we know how that went). And that's without getting into the whole MUCH further left, extra socialist, single payer thing (also known as medicare in some parts). In other words, Percio has this whole thing ass backwards.

Also, lest anyone thinks that she accidentally misspoke, here she is a few minutes later:


"...


It's even to the left of what he wanted. He has bent himself more to the left on his first two years of his administration being led by Nancy Pelosi."

No, you twit. It's to the RIGHT of what he wanted. And she says this mere SECONDS after admitting that Republicans in the 90s would have supported such a thing.

Of course, Percio isn't stupid. She's just a lying hack. Some times I don't know what's worse.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Joe the Plumber Says Founding Fathers Wanted People Like Him and Al Sharpton to Run For High Office

On his program earlier today, MSNBC's Al Sharpton invited Sam "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher to respond to Vice President Biden's comments about someone being a private equity manager not being any more qualified to run as president, than a plumber would:




[...]Plumbers aren't qualified to hold office so he's sitting there and saying he and his Harvard and Yale examples that are currently running this country are allowed to run this country? It just doesn't make any sense. Our founding fathers wanted people like you [Sharpton] and I to come from the community and represent our fellow Americans.
Okay, two things.

First of all, while right wingers love to take jabs at any institution of higher learning that doesn't include finger painting classes within its curriculum, they should be aware that many of their supposed heroes went to these depraved dens of Godlessness.

-Thomas Jefferson went to the College of William and Mary
-John Adams went to Harvard
-Samuel Adams also went to Harvard
-Alexander Hamilton went to (what is now known as) Columbia.
-James Madison went to (what is now known as) Princeton

And the list goes on and on. In fact, most of the founding fathers were a bunch of latte-sipping book readers.


Secondly, and just as amusing is "Joe's" assertion that the FFs wanted people like him AND Sharpton to "represent the community and our fellow Americans", considering that White people who didn't own property couldn't even VOTE until several decades after the nation's founding. And also considering the first African American legislator in the federal government didn't appear until some time a whole century later.

Come on, Joe. I expect a little better. Even from you.

Okay fine, I don't. But still.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

B Movie Actor: "Obama Forcing Catholic Institutions To Cover Birth Control For Their Employees Is EXACTLY The Same As Henry VIII Killing Thomas More"

Ultra right wing "News" site CNSNews, interviewed movie "star" Eduardo Verastegui, his opinion on the Obamacare regulation that will mandate all employers to cover contraception for their employees health insurance plan:

Eduardo Verastegui, who plays the Catholic martyr Anacleto Gonzalez Flores in the soon to be released film For Greater Glory, says that Mexican President Plutarco Calles, whose government was responsible for Flores’s martyrdom in 1927, and President Barack Obama, who is moving forward in 2012 with a health-insurance regulation that will force Catholics in the United States to act against their faith, are both like Henry VIII, who martyred St. Thomas More in 1535 when More refused to act against his faith and take an oath affirming that Henry was the supreme authority over the church in England.

I had no idea that this new regulation allowed IRS officials the legal authority to have employers hanged, drawn and quartered for failing to comply. Wonder if there's a similar provision in Dodd-Frank...


To be fair, I should mention that the CNS interviewer was the one who originally injected the Henry VIII stuff in his question. Course, that still didn't mean Verastegui had to agree with such an idiotic comparison.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pedophile Scumbag Limbaugh Calls 14 Year Old Caller "Babe"

So here we continue with the ongoing series where I find myself being incredibly shocked, while simultaneously not being shocked at all:


LIMBAUGH: Let's go to Katie, Island Park, Idaho. Glad you called, great to have you on the program. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Yeah, my name is Katie, and I'm 14, and I'm not sure if I qualify to be a Rush baby or a Rush babe. What do you think?

LIMBAUGH: You're 14?

CALLER: I'm 14.

LIMBAUGH: You're four-- you're both. You are Rush baby and a Rush babe both. We'll count you both.

CALLER: All righty.

LIMBAUGH: Have you signed up at our Facebook page?

CALLER: Yes, I just did this morning.

LIMBAUGH: Well, then you're a Rush babe. That's it.

CALLER: All righty.

LIMBAUGH: Fourteen. Well, thanks very much, Katie, I appreciate it.

CALLER: Thanks. Thanks, Rush.

I must say, even for El Rushbo this is pretty strange. Not the fact that he has perverted and depraved loli fantasies, mind you (I fully expect that), but the fact that he expressed them out loud. All naughty thoughts and desires one has with underage children should remain in the confines of one's gingerbread house, after all.

Rush finished off the call with this gem:

LIMBAUGH: See, folks, this program has no boundaries. We have people from all three sexes, we have people from all religions, we have people from all genders, all demographics, all ages. A 14-year-old Rush babe. By the way, I've got audio sound bites coming up in the next hour. Fox News went to the NAGs' protest. Wait till you hear it.

"Some of my best friends are 14 year old babes!"

I should take solace in the fact that at the very least she wasn't a prepubescent boy from the  Dominican Republican, but sadly I can't.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

CNBC hack refuses to admit that Romney was lying about the deficit under Obama

On Friday, political satirist, Bill Maher invited CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on his show, Real Time, to bat for the conservatives (at least the economic conservatives, anyway). Ms. Caruso-Cabrera said many inane things, but the highlight of the episode was what she DIDN'T say.

For those of you haven't been keeping with Real Time this season, Maher started a new gimmick that he calls "Dispatches From the Bubble", which consists of showing a clip of some random right winger saying something clearly factually incorrect in every plane of reality except when inside the right wing "bubble". The bubble is impenetrable to everything except right wing talking points.



For those of you that can't watch videos at work, Maher showed a (very short) clip of Mitt Romney saying the following about Obama:

Romney: "...and added almost as much debt to this country as all the prior presidents combined."

Maher then went to quickly comment and get the panel's response (which included The Nation's national correspondent, Jeremy Scahill, and former New Jersey Senator, Bill Bradley).

Maher: This is important because this is a big inside the bubble thing. "Added almost..." - key word being "almost" because it's nothing near- all previous presidents combined. Let me give you the facts. Reagan tripled the debt. Tripled it. Bush doubled it. Obama half. It was $10.5 trillion when he took office, Bush took office when it was $5 trillion, so he doubled it. Now it's 15. But a lot of that is because of obligations from George W. Bush. And because we had a recession left to him by George W. Bush. So can you really blame Obama for doubling - not that that's the truth -  the deficit.

Caruso-Cabrera: So your point about George W. Bush is exactly why conservatives don't like "moderates", because moderates helped George W. Bush spend all that money...

Maher: Let's talk about Obama. Did he double the debt as Mitt Romney said or is that a lie?

Caruso-Cabrera: (throws hands up in the air) It's gone up what, you just said 50%?

Maher: 50%. Which would be half, not double.

Caruso-Cabrera: And by the time he's out of office? If he gets another four years? He'll have doubled it.

Maher: Okay, so now we're projecting into the future?

Scahill: Facts are, you know...

Maher: Is Mitt Romney...

Caruso-Cabrera: He said ALMOST!

Maher: Is Mitt Romney a liar when he says he doubled the debt?

(several seconds of silence while camera is on Caruso-Cabrera)

Caruso-Cabrera: You're all looking at me!

Maher: Cause you're the only one crazy enough to say "yes"! Did he?

Bradley: Of course not.

Maher: Okay. So why won't "conservatives" call him out on is bullshit?

Of course, the only conservative on the panel didn't even attempt to bother answering such a question. One really needs to see the video to properly see this scene play out. Maher looks directly at her, waiting for her to call out Romney for  -what even she just acknowledged seconds ago- clearly peddling bullshit, and she just sits there in complete silence with a stupid, smug smile on her face the whole time.

This little exchange is noteworthy for the following reason: When right wingers are confronted with unpleasant information, they try to distort, muddle, distract, talk louder, fabricate, or simply just change the subject. But rarely do we see any right wingers just sit there in complete and utter silence.

Caruso-Cabrera tried -pathetically I might add- to claim that Romney was correct about Obama ALREADY racking up almost as much debt as all the previous presidents combined, as long as we ignore that whole present tense thing. But after that, probably cause at that point she may have realized how stupid her argument was, she didn't say a word. But in doing so, she basically impied : "Well, sure you may be right that Romney said a factually incorrect, and completely indefensible thing, but that doesn't mean I'm going to acknowledge that!".

This is exactly what Maher been saying the last few episodes. The Republicans know that they can't run against the real Obama because he hasn't done much that would have been objectionable to Republicans just a few years ago. So they create this evil, ultra liberal communist, atheist, muslim Kenyan who is responsible for everything bad in America. And any attempt to stray away from that caricature is completely and utterly unacceptable.



UPDATE: Now with video!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mitt Romney: "J.P. Morgan's $2 billion loss is someone else's gain"

 During an interview with conservative blogger Ed Morrissey, Romney was asked about his thoughts on the recent $2 billion trading loss suffered by J.P. Morgan (skip to 3:58)


Romney: That’s the way…America works. Some people experienced a loss in this case because of a bad decision. By the way, there was someone who made a gain, all right. The $2 billion J.P. Morgan lost someone else gained.

Reeeeeeeally, now?

While Mitt's right that somebody else did gain what J.P. Morgan lost, that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a really stupid thing to say. If some random thug robs someone on the street for $100, we don't say that it's okay because there wasn't a net loss of money between the two parties.

But here's another question. Does this mean Mitt doesn't have a problem with that whole wealth redistribution thing anymore? After all, money lost from taxes on a  rich person will be gained by someone else on a lower tax bracket, right?

Psst, Mitt. there's something about Bill Clinton you should know about...

It really shouldn't be that difficult for Mitt Romney to think before he speaks. It shouldn't be, but apparently, it is:



“I will work with you to make sure we put out this spending and borrowing fire,” said Romney.
He went on to criticize the culture in the Capitol of spending and program proposing in order to solve the nation’s problems. “Washington has been spending too much money and our new president made things worse,” said Romney.

Romney then took a swipe at Obama for rejecting President Bill Clinton’s “doctrine” of balancing budgets to meet spending proposals. He suggested that this was the result of a personal animus between Barack Obama and the Clintons.

“Almost a generation ago, Bill Clinton announced that the ‘era of big government was over,’” said Romney. “President Obama tucked away the Clinton Doctrine in his large drawer of discarded ideas along with transparency and bipartisanship. It’s enough to make you wonder if maybe it was a personal beef with the Clintons, but probably that – it runs much deeper than that.”
Most of the media seemed to have focused on the baseless and idiotic claim of supposed "personal animus" between Obama and Hillary Clinton, but I found the bolded portions more interesting.

It's true that Clinton met with Republicans to cut spending, but it would really do Romney and his team some good if he realized that this was followed after Clinton raised taxes early into his first term.

Romney missing basic facts is not really surprising, sadly. In order to defend their own policies, the Right routinely.invoke people who, in many cases, did the opposite of what they're arguing for.

-President Kennedy cut taxes, but he also increased spending in education and anti-poverty programs.

-Reagan cut taxes but he also raised them several times. And also massively increased spending.

-Thomas Jefferson may have had included the word "creator" in the Declaration of Independence, but he was exactly a Bible thumper. At least, not a conventional Bible thumper anyway.

You get the idea.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Haley Barbour admits Democrat-controlled congress couldn't pass tax hikes on the rich, but still thinks Obama will do it with one controlled by Republicans

Chris Matthews brought former Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour on his show to discuss Obama and Romney's campaign strategies. The question of why businesses were sitting on two trillion dollars in wealth was brought up, and Barbour attempted to provide an answer:




Barbour started off by saying that businesses were holding onto that money because back when the Dems had control of congress, Obama was threatening to tax these poor folk into oblivion. This struck me as rather odd. It is true that Obama's original plan was to raise taxes on businesses. It's also true that Obama failed to enact said tax hikes. Considering the Dems lost their supermajority in the Senate almost two and a half years ago, you'd think that with the threat of an impending tax increase now gone, these businesses would flood the economy with tens of millions of new jobs during that time. Didn't exactly go according to plan. Anyway...

In the same segment, Barbour later goes on to criticize Obama for failing to raise taxes when he had control of congress! After Matthews rightfully questioned where the current fear for tax hikes comes from, given that it would be infinitely more difficult, if not impossible to get a tax hike passed with a Republican congress, the best Barbour could come up with was a pathetic defense about how Obama "wants more" tax hikes.

I'm guessing that without the worry of having to be re-elected for another term, Obama may OFFICIALLY begin his communist, Kenyan dicatorship and start bypassing congress entirely, and start unilaterally enacting all the tax hikes he's always dreamed of!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tony Perkins: Government isn't the solution to economic issues, but IS the solution to social issues

Martin Bashir had on Family Research Council founder, Tony Perkins on his show today to discuss why religious people care more about gays getting married than old people dying of starvation.




Perkins answers Bashir's question by saying that he feels that he feels the best anti-poverty program out there is "the family", and that the government isn't the solution to poverty. To the first point, I'm sure it sounds like a catchy phrase, but I'm not sure if Mr. Perkins is aware that there is such a thing as poor families too.

As for the second point, it just drives me crazy that there are scumbags like Perkins who use government to advance awful social views that they get from the Bible, but do not want government involved when it comes to (surprisingly humane) economic views, also espoused in the Bible.

Why do these people get tax exempt statuses again?

Bishop agrees Jesus would defend gay people being oppressed but decides to ignore him anyway

On today's episode of Hardball, Chris Matthews had  on Bishop Harry Jackson, to debate same sex marriage. This part of the segment caught my attention:




Matthews: You think he [Jesus] would have been chasing after the kid with the long hair and cutting his hair or would he be the one protecting the kid with long hair in high school.

Jackson: He would be protecting the kid in high school.

Matthews: Right, I thought so, but you're with the guy who's going after the kid...

Jackson: No, no no. I'm not necessarily with him right now.

Jackson went on to talk about "righteousness" and "justice", not exactly detailing what the hell his actual point was in the context of defending his anti same sex marriage stance. Slightly later on, he said that he supports the idea of civil unions, but allowing gays to marry would some how discourage heterosexual couples from getting married.

At the very least, Jackson seemed to acknowledge the type of person Jesus actually was (unlike certain people), though it's a shame that he's decided to not be anything like him.

Forbes columnist gleefully approves Facebook Co-Founder renouncing U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes

Right wingers have the strangest role models. John Tamny, a columnist for Forbes Magazine, recently penned an article about Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, heroically renouncing his U.S. citizenship because of the jack booted thugs at the IRS. It's quite the article:

As is well known now, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin recently renounced his U.S. citizenship. Though no specific reason was given by Saverin for his decision, wise minds could very credibly proclaim him an American hero for doing what he did. Indeed, Saverin’s U.S. “de-friend” is great for economic growth on its face, and then the political implications of his move will hopefully pay future taxation dividends that accrue to entrepreneurialism and advancement. Media members will vilify Saverin, but hysteria from that quarter is to be expected.

Saverin’s essential maneuver will at first glance hopefully get Americans thinking once again about our wrongheaded system of taxation. As it stands now, Americans, through taxes levied on income and capital gains, are explicitly forced to “prove” their income to the IRS.
Think about the above for a moment. A nation founded on skepticism about politicians and government now has as one of its most powerful institutions a revenue agency meant to badger its citizens about how much they owe a government utterly contemptuous of constitutional limits.  To this insatiable beast, Saverin is apparently saying no.  Good for him!
FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY WE ARE FREE AT LAST. Tamny goes on to write several additional paragraphs about how absolutely amazing this real life John Galt is (presumably ejaculating multiple times along the way).

While it is unfortunate that Mr. Saverin decided to take his business elsewhere, I truly doubt we're going to see a mass exodus of super rich people any time soon. I have no idea what Saverin's current plans are, but the U.S. still currently has the largest economy in the world, and life will go on. It's the same reason why many fortune 500 companies are still located in high tax hellholes like California and New York instead of low tax paradises like Alaska or Wyoming.

But there was something else that struck me about this piece. For years, and years, right wingers like Tamny have consistently told us that ANY criticism towards America was considered blasphemy of the highest order. One never, ever apologizes for America. Not for slavery, not for the forced relocation of an entire people, not for torture, not for internment camps, not for any civil rights injustices, not for wars created under false pretenses, not growing inequality, not anything. Hell, Romney even wrote a book about such a concept! Those issues that were mentioned were unfortunate, but not significant enough to besmirch the good name of the United States.

But a 15% tax on capital gains? Sorry, that my friends, that's a bridge too far. That's completely worth spitting in the face of Lady Liberty herself. That's worth defecating on the Constitution. That's worth pissing on George Washington's grave. An American soldier can go off and die in a war for many things, but this is not one of them. And that my friends, is what makes Saverin a TRUE patriot.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

RNC Chairman: JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion loss proves that we need LESS regulation

RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus was on Meet the Press today to discuss, among other things, the topic of financial regulation in the wake of JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion trading loss, this quarter. (Skip to 7:31)




Gregory: [...] In light of the losses on Wall Street this week, you think we need less financial regulation rather than more?

Priebus: I think we need less. I mean the fact of the matter is that Dodd-Frank didn't work. The reality is that we've got 5 to 10 banks in this country, that under our GDP, those 5 to 10 banks make up a huge majority of this country's GDP. Now that's an issue. I do agree that this too big to fail mentality is a problem but I don't think Dodd-Frank fixed anything, in fact I think they made things worse. 
Gregory: So you're satisfied with the way Wall Street operates with the kinds of bets were taken by JP Morgan Chase that led to this kind of loss. You don't think Washington regulators can remedy that?

Priebus: Well, certainly Dodd Frank didn't remedy it. And the record of this president is that he wasn't able to remedy it either.

Gregory: Senator Levin said the Vockler rule, which would govern how they use their money to make these kinds of trades to hedge their bets, it would address that.

Preibus: Listen, I'm not a financial expert or an expert on SEC, but I can tell you this president talks a lot about regulation on Wall Street, he takes millions and millions of dollars on Wall Street, what he's done over the last 3 1/2 years...

...

...they haven't controlled any of these things. So, they've made things worse.

There's a few angles to this. First off, I'm continuously amazed that despite what happened at the end of 2008, with that whole economic collapse thing, low lives like Preibus are not only not afraid to support going back to those policies, but are willing to do so, loudly and proudly.

Second of all, if you, yourself admit you're not a financial expert, you probably shouldn't be criticizing someone else until you've brushed up on the subject.

Third, while it's true that Dodd-Frank, as it was written, didn't prevent this from happening, I'm curious how it "made things worse".

 Fourth, and this is probably the most important point, the reason this happened was because the provision in Dodd-Frank that would have prevented the current situation hasn't even taken effect yet:

The so-called Volcker rule is expected to take effect this summer. But the Fed clarified Thursday that it won't enforce it until July 2014.

Congress directed regulators to craft the rule as part of an extensive regulatory overhaul passed after the 2008 financial crisis. Regulators hope it will limit the kind of risky trading that hastened the financial crisis and forced taxpayers to bail out the banks. It was named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

The Fed said it issued the statement to clear up confusion. Some banks had worried that they might have to 
start complying with the new restrictions sooner.


Finally, what exactly was the point of bringing up the fact that Obama's been receiving millions of dollars in campaign donations from Wall Street? Is he sad that he's taking money from them, while still having the audacity to enact mean regulations? Or is this another Rovian attempt to show that Obama's the one in cahoots with the big bad bankers, while simultaneously arguing in their favor by repealing Dodd-Frank?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Idiot congressman defends denying poor children school lunches by quoting non-existent scripture

On Wednesday, MSNBC's Martin Basir invited Rep. Joe Barton to discuss an upcoming vote in the House that would slash funding for, among other things, Meals on Wheels, and school lunches for poor children. Barton, some of you may recall, was the dipshit congressman who apologized on the House floor to BP in 2010 for our ocean getting in the way of their oil.

Barton said a few interesting things, but one thing that REALLY caught my attention was when he tried to defend his callous cuts by pointing to the Bible. (Skip to 8:08)




For those of you that can't watch clips at work, here's a partial transcript:

Bashir: I know you're a long time member of the Methodist Church. Is that correct?

Barton: Yes, sir. That's a true statement.

Bashir: How do you square your approach with the Psalm 146, where the Psalmist writes this: "He gives food to the hungry. The lord protects foreigners. He defends orphans and widows."  Isn't this the exact opposite of the cuts being proposed by Republicans in congress?

Barton: No, the lord helps those who helps themselves...

Bashir:  Which verse of scripture is that, sir?


Barton: Well, it's uh..


Bashir: I don't think you'll find that in the Old or New Testament.


Barton: Well, that was taught to me by my father who is president of the United Methodist school board in Waco Texas, and Bryan, Texas. 

So Bashir quoted scripture to make his case against the Repubicans' policy, and Barton tries to defend himself by using a line, which he THOUGHT was also scripture, but actually doesn't exist in the Bible. And his father taught him that? Sounds like a pretty shitty teacher. I Wonder if his dad happens to be David Barton...

But what made that exchange worse was that here you have a guy who clearly thought that he was being clever with his rebuttal, and yet when it was made painfully apparent that he was full of shit, he remained absolutely unfazed. Not only was he not bothered by this, but he actually laughs about it ("Haha, so you mean one of the basic tenets of my religion, which I followed throughout my entire life was actually never advocated by the central figure of said religion? Boy is MY face red!")

In fairness, I suppose I can't be too hard on Barton for having no understanding of his religion, since most of his fellow Christians don't seem to have any understanding either.

Oh, and for the record, Jesus also never said that women who take contraception are sluts.



 UPDATE: Minor correction. Some readers have informed me that BP used to stand for British Petroleum, but it no longer does. It's simply BP p.l.c.

UPDATE #2:  Some readers criticized this story as being inaccurate, since they feel Barton wasn't attempting to use a Biblical argument. Really? If that was the case, the discussion would simply be as follows:

Bashir: The Bible says blah blah blah.

Barton: Well, here's a NON-Bible related rebuttal to show that this is superior to your actual Bible related argument!


Does anyone think any Republican would even REMOTELY attempt such an argument? It doesn't matter if Barton's defense comes outside the Bible, because he will not acknowledge that anyway.

Second, we don't need to speculate what Barton may have been thinking. Again, look at the exchange. He was obviously taken aback when Bashir asked him where in the Bible his quote was stated. That's why he tried to damage control by bringing up his dad and made the reference to his Church!

Come on, people. This isn't that hard.


UPDATE #3: Also, related to Update #1, I've also gotten complaints about being "xenophobic" for referring to BP as British Petroleum? Um...that wasn't my intention at all. I honestly thought that was the company's actual name. But for the record, I have absolutely no problem with the fine folks in Great Britain or most other countries for that matter. So apologies if anyone was mistakenly offended.

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