Don’t Forget 1996

While conservatives are laughing themselves silly over Chicago’s failed bid to host the 2016 Olympics, deluding themselves into seeing their own rabid hatred of Barack Obama reflected in the eyes of the IOC, let’s take a step back here. Putting aside for the moment that Rio is an excellent choice to host the 2016 games, if I was on the International Olympic Committee, I dunno if I’d be so keen on hosting the Olympics in the America either. I don’t know how much American news the Swiss receive, but if they saw one of the gun-toting mobs of tea baggers holding signs of the President’s face Photoshopped with a Hitler mustache, it probably wouldn’t do much to help them forget that the last time the United States hosted the Summer Olympics, a right-wing domestic terrorist planted a bomb in the middle of the Centennial Olympic Park.

If you take a look at Eric Rudolph’s statement on the Olympic Bombing, it looks like something that could have been written yesterday :

Even though the conception and purpose of the so-called Olympic movement is to promote the values of global socialism, as perfectly expressed in the song Imagine by John Lennon, which was the theme of the 1996 Games even though the purpose of the Olympics is to promote these despicable ideals, the purpose of the attack on July 27 was to confound, anger and embarrass the Washington government in the eyes of the world for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.

I’m not saying this is why the IOC didn’t chose Chicago, but if I had to chose a venue for the Olympics, the recent explosion in right-wing lunacy would certainly make me think twice about whether or not it’s safe for the United States to host another Olympic Games.

Conservative Politics Disguised As Religion

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Presidential Prayer Team. After all, they were the ones who gave us my favorite bit of post-9/11 kitsch :

On a lark, I decided to check in on the organization whose self-described mission was to “pray for our national leaders in accordance with biblical principles, regardless of political persuasion“, but it seems like the election of Barack Obama has dampened the enthusiasm quite a bit. Here’s what the PPT site looked like back in 2006 :

And here’s what the Presidential Prayer Team site looks like today :

Funny how a “non-partisan organization” would go out of its way to avoid using the current President’s name or photo. It’s almost as if members of the Presidential Prayer Team are less likely to pray for President Obama than President Bush. I wonder why that is?

Bonus detail : Notice the site no longer references a Bible quote in the masthead. Is 1 Timothy 2:1-2 not as popular now as it was when Republicans ran the country?

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.


“This is the cause of my life. New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American – north, south, east, west, young, old – will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”

Ted Kennedy, exactly one year ago today

Let Joe Be Joe

You know what the healthcare debate could use right now? Profanity.

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

The debate over healthcare has become so poisoned with lies and bitterness, we need something to really shake it up. Something that really grabs attention and is a game changer media-wise. If I were in charge of media strategy for the White House, I’d get Joe Biden on a high profile interview show and when the subject turns to the townhall protests/death panels/etc., I’d have him say that it’s “bullshit”.

Do it on a Monday and the VP’s potty-mouth will be the trivial topic du jour for the entire week. Republicans will spin up the faux outrage machine, reporters will pepper Robert Gibbs about whether or not Obama would repudiate Biden, and news outlets across the country would report the story and its various twists because, like it or not, it would be one of those silly little news stories they can’t help but obsess over.

Sure, there’s downsides. Biden looks like a jackass (again), it would distract from the White House’s wonkish healthcare messaging (that people aren’t really following anyways), but there are two huge upsides.

One, it energizes the base. When Dick Cheney told Patrick Leahy to fuck himself, liberals nearly passed out from all the faux outrage, but at the end of the day Cheney refused to apologize and conservatives respected him all the more for it. With liberal enthusiasm pretty much at a nadir, we could use a galvanizing middle-finger like gesture to feel more empowered (because our majorities in both houses of Congress don’t seem willing to stand up for anything).

Secondly, if Joe Biden calls protester bullshit for what it is, every mention of the story just repeats the association. Death panels, bullshit, pulling the plug on grandma, bullshit, euthanasia, bullshit, socialism, bullshit, Hitler, bullshit. It’s a seed that needs to be planted in the minds of every uninformed person who’s seeing footage of these rabid townhall protests and thinking “If they’re THIS mad, there must be something wrong.”

Ummm…no, it’s just a bunch of bullshit.