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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Stories to Watch: 8/6/13

Republican messaging has painted them into a corner. This was demonstrated when Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina caught an earful from 'baggers at a town hall after saying he wouldn't join the effort to defund Obamacare. They have a choice: face the wrath of the base in primary elections or take the heat for a needless government shutdown in the general. It's a no win. Greg Sargent notes that this is the anti-healthcare reform messaging turned into a runaway train: "[S]imply arguing against Obamacare and even advocating for its repeal no longer count as real opposition to the law. If you are not willing to shut down the government — doing untold damage in the process — to force an outcome that even proponents of a shutdown confrontation appear to know is never going to happen, your opposition to Obamacare is now suspect."

A rightwing Christian organization falls for kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro's lies hook, line, and sinker. Castro blamed all his crimes on porn and that was exactly what the anti-porn Institute on Religion and Public Life wanted to hear. The story reminds me of the Christian conservative leader James Dobson's interview of serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy too blamed everything on a "porn addiction," rather than take responsibility for his actions, and Dobson ate it all up. The religious right seems to love psychopaths, because the psychopath's self-serving lies and excuse-making are exactly what they want to believe. And that does not say good things about the Christian right.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Oak Creek massacre, when a white supremacist went on a shooting spree at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb. In her remarks closing the ceremony at candlelight vigil, Sikh storyteller Valarie Kaur said, "America must remember Oak Creek, because what happened here could happen again. It could happen in a church or synogogue, a mosque or another gurdwara. In a time when hate and gun violence continue to threaten the safety of our streets and schools, our homes and houses of worship, there are no spectators. Whether in a school in Newtown or a theater in Aurora or the streets of Chicago, violence can rip through any one of our communities."

Attorney General Eric Holder formally announced at the Oak Creek memorial service that the Justice Department would begin tracking hate crimes committed against "Sikhs, Hindus, Arabs, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Christians."

A drone strike in Yemen kills four. Who they were or why they were killed seems to be a mystery, but the consensus seems to be that it's connected to the threat to US embassies. In any case, things seem to be getting pretty hot there and the US and UK are urging their citizens to leave the country. The State Department is ordering it's staff out of Yemen. So yeah, not a good place to be right now.

PolitiFact makes an amazingly bad call in saying that a claim by Eric Cantor about "growing deficits" is "half true." It is, of course, all false.

In other bad reporting news, CNNMoney blows a story about insurance premiums and Obamacare.

Racist Iowa Rep. Steve King is off to South Carolina, where he'll meet with various and sundry wingnuts to weigh a run for president. There was some noise about him making a possible Senate run, but this is better news, since he couldn't possibly win in a million years and he can only make the rest of his party look bad.

Rand Paul has extremely questionable taste in friends, although a fifteen year relationship with Alex Jones would explain Paul's penchant for stupid conspiracy theories.

Finally, here's "The 7 Craziest Obamacare Conspiracy Theories," as long as we're on the subject.

[cartoon via McClatchy Newspapers]

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