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Just plain stupid

The Catholic Church wingnuts are at it again, protesting plans to give Archbishop Desmond Tutu an honorary degree from Gonzaga University. Apparently it’s now imperative that Anglican bishops conform to Roman Catholic views on abortion, birth control and gay rights. Charlie Pierce:

Desmond Tutu is a genuine hero. He evinced more courage on any particular afternoon of the 1980’s than these people collectively have demonstrated in their entire lives and then, when his work for justice was done, he helped put his country back together again. In addition, he happens to be a high-ranking cleric in his own church. He won a Nobel Prize. His views on abortion and gay rights — as if opposition to them were the encompassing definition of Catholicism even for most Catholics — are as irrelevant to his life’s work as are his opinions on the designated hitter and the future of high-speed rail. Are these people seriously arguing that any speaker at any commencement at any Catholic college must adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church even if said speaker is, you know, not Catholic. This is an appeal back to the stifled, bell-jar, We’re-The-Only-Path-To-Salvation-So-Don’t-Sing-With-The-Protestants Catholicism of my youth. At my graduation from Marquette in 1975, an honorary degree was given to Elie Wiesel. Strangely, the heretic Jesuits involved never asked him about The Pill.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Tutu_Stupid_For_Words#ixzz1stUOIYpD

Work, work, work

Today I got to lean way back from the wall via two long belts and then pull myself up again, pushing my shoulders back together – which, after years of sitting at the computer, slump forward as the default position. Lots of hand weight action today, and I’m also steadily increasing the amount of time I spend on the bike and the treadmill. My goal is to get to the point where I can actually run on the treadmill. Woo hoo!

I feel a lot better. I really enjoy working out and now that I’m seeing results, I’m even more motivated. For instance, I put the AC in my kitchen window the other day, didn’t pull my neck out and my back didn’t even hurt the next day. That’s amazing.

24-hour news cycle

Another great one from the Onion:

Super PAC

A Rick James parody:

Behind the Cato myth

Yes, Cato does occasionally say something sensible, like their stance against war. But they’re still captive to the right-wing machine.

And that’s why we call them “stink tanks.”

The bubba job

Unanswered questions about the Oklahoma City bombing.

Mutants stall Gulf clean-up funding

John Boehner and his Republican buddies who control the House are still insisting on amendments to a transportation bill whose passage is tied to the passage of the Gulf clean-up bill, called the Restore Act. More here.

UN to investigate plight of Native Americans

Pretty damned disgusting that it’s necessary, don’t you think?

The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history.

The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on Monday.

Many of the country’s estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.

The UN mission is potentially contentious, with some US conservatives likely to object to international interference in domestic matters. Since being appointed as rapporteur in 2008, Anaya has focused on natives of Central and South America.

A UN statement said: “This will be the first mission to the US by an independent expert designated by the UN human rights council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples.”

Anaya, a University of Arizona professor of human rights, said: “I will examine the situation of the American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian peoples against the background of the United States’ endorsement of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.”
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Looking back

I think Huntsman might have attracted the large percentage of moderate registered Republicans who no longer vote if he’d said these things earlier:

Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman slammed his party during an interview this weekend at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He compared his party’s demand for purity and discipline to the Chinese Communist party, BuzzFeed reports, saying that Ronald Reagan would “likely not” be able to win the GOP nomination today.

He said he regrets taking such a hard line against tax increases, criticizing pledges like the one from anti-tax activist Grover Norquist that almost all Republican politicians sign. On his party’s foreign policy, Huntsman said, “I don’t know what world these people are living in.”

And Huntsman, who, during his presidential run, slammed his party’s denial of climate change and evolution, said this weekend, “I had to say I believe in science — and people on stage look at you quizzically as though [you were] an oddball.”

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Huntsman downplayed much of his criticism and attempted to make nice. But when asked about presumed nominee Mitt Romney — whom the former ambassador once called “completely unelectable,” but has since endorsed — Huntsman couldn’t help but bring up the candidate’s flip flopping:

The eulogy for economic-based liberalism?

Interesting interview in which Eric Alterman points out that cultural liberalism is flourishing – but the idea of using the government to intercede in the economy on behalf of people who need protection is on the ropes. Via Raw Story:

Writer and historian Eric Alterman appeared on the April 20 edition of “Moyers and Company” to discuss his new book The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama.

In a wide-ranging and thoughtful discussion, Alterman makes the case to Bill Moyers that while social liberalism is flourishing, economic liberalism has fallen on hard times. The majority of people in the United States believe that racism is wrong. Acceptance of the idea of same-sex marriage has charged ahead with surprising speed. And yet, only a tiny minority of people in the country self-identify as “liberal.”

Alterman believes that liberals in the U.S. have “overpromised and underperformed,” and ultimately become victims of their own belief in the rectitude of their ideas. Of course racism is wrong, says Alterman, but what are we going to do if the dismantling of a racist system doesn’t go as planned?

He believes that liberals need to go on the offensive and learn to be cannier and more flexible in selling their message and implementing their ideas. Just because it’s right, he maintains, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work.

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