How Old Is The Earth? And Other Tests Of Republican Rationality

I am weary of homeschoolers, most of whom are homeschooling because they want to indoctrinate their children into the ways of some form or other of fundamentalist Christianity.

While I support religious freedom, I’m not sure our country can afford to support the freedom to isolate children from the intellectual lifeblood of the nation, so their parents can condition them to believe that the Bible, a book two to three thousand years old, is a greater source of scientific knowledge than modern science itself.

But that’s for another day.

Today, I want to point out how powerful the fundamentalist-evangelical voter is in the Republican Party and suggest a question the Joplin Globe could put to all local candidates for political office.

A Kentucky blogger, Barefoot and Progressive, posted a video of Rand Paul‘s appearance at a conference of Christian Homeschool Educators last Friday.  The Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate was asked a question by one of his Christian brothers as to how old the libertarian-conservative believed the earth was:

Paul:  I’m gonna pass on the age of the earth. I think I’m just gonna have to pass on that one.

Obviously, the questioner put Paul in a political dilemma—no matter what his views are.

If he believes the earth is only 6000-10,000 years old—the typical fundamentalist belief—then he certainly can’t say so and risk losing what little intellectual credibility he has left with the rational world.

If he doesn’t believe the earth is about the same age as Joan Rivers, but instead believes it is 13.7 billion years old, then he certainly can’t say so at a conference of homeschool educators, especially in Kentucky, where conservative Christian voters make up a large chunk of the electorate.

So, what does he do?

Paul:  I’m gonna pass on the age of the earth. I think I’m just gonna have to pass on that one.

Well, I’m not going to let him pass.  I’m going to assume, since he won’t defend Reason—remember, he is supposedly a rational libertarian?—that he is a boneheaded fundamentalist fool, who believes  Adam and Eve were real folks who lived about 6,000 years ago.

All of which leads me to suggest something to the Joplin Globe, currently running a weekly Sunday feature called the 100 words project, in which the paper solicits questions from local folks (so far, local conservatives) to ask the zillion candidates running to replace Roy Blunt, who are supposed to answer in 100 words or less.

Here’s my simple question suggestion, the same one which Rand Paul was asked:

How old is the earth?” 

Or, how about one I use as a test of rationality:

Were the biblical Adam and Eve real people who lived less than 10,000 years ago?

The answer to either one of those questions would tell me more about the candidates than a thousand questions like,What specific steps will you take, if you are elected, to make sure you are responsive to your constituents back home?

What say you, Joplin Globe?

 

The Afghanistan War: “This Is Going To End In An Argument”

I realize that the Rolling Stone article that doomed General McChrystal is old news now, but the most disturbing thing in it, now that McChrystal is gone, is this:

Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it’s going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm. “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win,” says Maj. Gen. Bill Mayville, who serves as chief of operations for McChrystal. “This is going to end in an argument.”

If Mayville is right, it ought to end today.

 

Spend, If You Love Democrats

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

                                                            —Rousseau

Consumer spending, experts tell us, represents about 70% of the Gross Domestic Product.  The bottom line is that if folks are spending money, the economy will grow.  If they’re not, it won’t.

During the 1960s, the personal savings rate—the amount of personal disposable income not spent on current consumption—was in the 7 to 10% range; during the 1970s it was in the 8 to 12% range.  During the late 1980s and 1990s, the rate began to decline, and after 2000, the average rate began falling to less than 2%.

See for yourself [click on for better view]:

The source of most consumer spending is, of course, wages.  And since median wages—in inflation-adjusted dollars—have declined over the last 10 years (I will refrain from pointing out who was in charge during that time), a lot of the money consumers spent was borrowed, just to keep up with “normal” rates of consumption. (By the way, there is no doubt that the rich got richer during this same period, wealth becoming more concentrated at the top than at any time since the 1920s.) 

This seemingly irrational continuance of credit-fueled spending may have been based on what smart people call the “wealth effect,” a condition in which consumers assume continued appreciation of their assets, primarily their homes and other investments, most of those investments residing in their employer-sponsored 401(k)s.

The economic crisis of 2007-2008 changed all that, obviously.  There no longer is a sense of stability—of certainty—that the expectation of rising asset values brings, since folks lost a lot of value in both their houses and their 401(k)s.

Thus, there may be what some are calling a “new normal” in play these days, based on doubt and uncertainty, which breeds caution, which results in less consumption, which retards economic growth, which slows the recovery.

The savings rate is on the rise.  In 2009 it was over 4%, the highest rate since 1998. That translates into hundreds of billions of dollars not contributing to the GDP.

Much of the increase, I believe, can be attributed to employment fear: fear that workers are just a pink slip away from personal disaster, and employers can either openly or subtly threaten them with economic extinction.

In May of this year, consumer spending increased, but only at a rate of 0.2 percent compared to April, which showed no increase over March.  Historically, the current recovery’s increase in consumer spending is less than half of that which followed the crippling recession during Reagan’s first two years in office, 1981-1983.

Add to all that the fact that in order to keep pace with population growth, the economy needs to create about 130,000 jobs every month, over and above that needed to put folks back to work who were victims of Republican economic and regulatory policies.

See here:

No doubt, a powerful argument can be made that over the long term, an increase in the savings rate, even though it means a slow recovery, will be good for us.

Unfortunately for Democrats, all of the above is not easily explainable to impatient voters, and November is on the horizon.

No Chicken Dances For Sodomites

I know conservatives won’t see it this way, but the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today in applying the Second Amendment to states and municipalities is a blatant example of selective activism. 

I say “selective” because if the conservatives on the Court—who once again joined together to essentially overturn Chicago’s gun law—had wanted to demonstrate what Jonathan Turley has called, “a more deep-seated jurisprudence,” they could have overturned what is known as the Slaughter-House Cases.

The issue in the 1873 Slaughter-House Cases was,

Whether the 13th and 14th amendments guarantee federal protection of individual rights of all citizens of the United States against discrimination by their own state governments.

The answer in 1873 was NOPE.

The Los Angeles Times summarized the issue today:

In the 19th century, the court limited the reach of the Bill of Rights and said it put limits only on the federal government. Most protections in the Bill of Rights — such as the right to freedom of speech or the right against unreasonable searches — were extended to states and localities in the middle of the 20th century.

Essentially, over the years the Court has not incorporated to the 50 states the entire Bill of Rights, but has retained discretion to apply its protections as it sees fit.

In today’s ruling on the Second Amendment, the Court did not overturn the Slaughter-House Cases, missing a chance for the conservative justices to, again in Jonathan Turley’s words,

…prove that they have a broader vision of individual rights that goes beyond the barrel of a gun.

Well, apparently they don’t.  Justice Sam Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, specifically addressed the Slaughter-House Cases:

We see no need to reconsider that interpretation here. For many decades, the question of the rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment against state infringement has been analyzed under the Due Process Clause of that Amendment and not under the Privileges or Immunities Clause. We therefore decline to disturb the Slaughter House holding.

So, in effect, the conservatives on the Court have selectively incorporated gun rights to all states and municipalities without expanding the reach of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause, and as a result, it still matters where you live, in terms of enjoying Constitutional rights.

Astute readers will ask, why?  Why wouldn’t the Court just go the whole way and make the Bill of Rights—the entire enchilada—applicable in every way to the states and thereby establish once and for all, “a unified base of rights for all citizens“?

Hint: Homosexuality is a SIN.

Huh?

Conservatives fear that if the Court were to overturn the Slaughter-House Cases and make the entire Bill of Rights forever binding on state governments, that future “liberal” courts might discover that homosexuals enjoy equal protection of the law under the Bill of Rights and thus the states would not be able to prohibit those nasty sodomites from doing the Chicken Dance at their wedding receptions.

Now, doesn’t that make conservative sense?

 

[The chicken dancer photo (which is not a picture of a “nasty sodomite” by the way) courtesy of: http://bwunderground.wordpress.com/ and Bush/Alito photo: Reuters]

Chuck Purgason Has Kidnapped God!

While in Springfield this weekend, I was lucky enough to stumble upon KSGF News Talk’s Nick Reed, a right-wing talk show host.

Wow!  A conservative talker right here in the Ozarks!  Just what we need. There just aren’t enough of those guys around to suit me.

In any case, one caller to his weekday show (thoughtfully rebroadcast on Sunday evening, it being such a wonderful example of Bransonesque political chic) happened to be a self-proclaimed campaign worker for State Sen. Chuck Purgason. 

In case you don’t know, Purgason is a follically-challenged conservative who has dumped his toupee and is hoping to upset Roy Blunt in the Republican primary this summer, as the Republicans hope to hold on to Kit Bond’s senate seat this fall.

Mr. Purgason, who has portrayed Roy Blunt as a Washington insider (which, of course, he is, having been instrumental in passing the unfunded Medicare Part D and TARP), was term-limited out of the Missouri House in 2004, and he simply moved on to the Missouri Senate, just like our own Ron Richard is going to do. 

So much for the philosophy of term limits, which in Missouri means you move from one legislative body to the next and hope at some point a chance to run for governor, or for a seat in either the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, materializes.

Nick Reed, the host of the extremely boring talk show—this guy is no Rush Limbaugh, I tell ya—was gently asking the gentleman caller and Purgason campaigner if he thought the grossly underfunded Purgason (apparently he has something over $1000 to run his campaign, compared to over $3 million for Blunt) had a snowball’s chance of beating Blunt.

To which the earnest campaign worker replied that in order to keep them positive, Purgason told him and other campaign workers:

“We’ve got God.”

We’ve got God“?

Well, that answers one of the most perplexing questions in the history of man: Where’s God when you need Him?  The answer appears to be that either Chuck Purgason has kidnapped Him and is holding Him hostage, or God is busy secretly convincing reluctant Tea Party conservatives—as they say their daily prayers—to vote for the former West Plains native.

Either way, I would have thought that the news would have spread far and wide by now.  But I couldn’t find a word about it in the Springfield paper or our own Joplin Globe, not to mention the New York Times or the Washington Post, papers that might be interested in knowing that God was here in Southwest Missouri, either imprisoned at Purgason’s campaign headquarters or busy on the campaign trail clandestinely campaigning for the anti-choice, fair tax-loving, conceal-and-carry gun advocate and confirmed Baptist.

And we all know that God, being a Republican, is also anti-choice on abortion, loves the fair tax, and carries a rather big gun.

What he thinks about the Baptists is still a matter of contention.

Shame on Republicans, Shame On Those Who Support Them

It’s so easy to govern, when you’re not governing.

Today’s Joplin Globe (way back on page A-7) carried this relatively tiny headline:

Republicans killed it.  Killed it dead:

The 57-41 vote fell three votes short of the 60 required to crack a GOP filibuster, delivering a major blow to President Barack Obama and Democrats facing big losses of House and Senate seats in the fall election.

Not to mention a “major blow” to those who have already been victimized by previous Republican mismanagement of the economy:

The demise of the bill means that unemployment benefits will phase out for more than 200,000 people a week. Governors who had been counting on federal aid will now have to consider a fresh round of budget cuts, tax hikes and layoffs of state workers.

The Democratic-sponsored bill that went down to defeat had already been scaled back to appeal to those mythical “moderate” Republicans, who, in the end and as they almost always do, joined the Obama-haters in their party and refused to give Obama and the Democrats a “victory.”

If you buy any of the dook coming from the lips of Republicans who say they support such benefits but want them paid for, then you were not only born a sucker, you will die one.

The bill they defeated, with yet another in a long line of filibusters, was essentially a way to keep the slowly but steadily improving economic recovery from stalling;  in effect, the legislation was another way to stimulate the economy so we don’t slide into another recession.

And Republicans know that, too.  That’s why most of them opposed it. I’m sadly confident that a large number of Republicans wouldn’t mind seeing the economy tank again, power—and defeating Obama—meaning so much more to them than unemployed ingrates on the public dole.

I think back to the two massive tax cuts passed by Republicans in 2001 and 2003, when they controlled the White House, Senate and the House.

The cost of the Bush tax cuts has been about $1.8 trillion.  Yes, that is a “tr” on the front of “illion.” Those tax cuts—which benefited disproportionately the wealthy—are due to expire on January 1, 2011, and Republicans, of course, are demanding that they not be allowed to expire (at a 10-year cost of $2.2 trillion).  How to pay for them has not been proposed, naturally.

At the time of passage of the 2003 tax cut law, Republicans claimed that passing tax cuts would stimulate the economy and cause it to grow. Here are George W. Bush’s words at the signing on May 28, 2003:

By insuring that Americans have more to spend, save and invest, this legislation is adding fuel to an economic recovery. We have taken aggressive action to strengthen the foundation of our economy so that every American who wants to work will be able to find a job.

My how things change when you’re not responsible for governing the country.

The Bush tax cuts, which cost so much then and now, were never offset by spending cuts or paid for in any way.  They were funded by unprecedented borrowing, leading to many of the problems we have today, and hamstringing the current administration as it tries to deal with our economic troubles.

And today, when folks need it most, there isn’t one Senate Republican—many of whom voted for the 2001 and 2003 deficit-financed tax cuts—who could find it within themselves to help the more than 200,000 people who will lose their benefits each week or keep states from having to kill jobs and services.

Shame on Republicans, but more than that: shame on anyone who would put them back in power.

Obama, Carter, And The Chipper Gipper

Realizing I am but a lowly blogger and Paul Greenberg is a mammoth Pulitzer-totin’ columnist, I will nevertheless attempt yet again  to criticize the opinion of a man who seems to have (well, his columns read like he seems to have) a firm grasp of “What It Means To Be An American.”

In today’s Joplin Globe appeared Greenberg’s already out-of-date commentary on Barack Obama’s oil speech last week.  But maybe a chance to resurrect Jimmy Carter once more was just too tempting for our fair newspaper to resist printing a column whose stale-by date had come and gone. 

Here is Pultizer Paul’s opening paragraph today:

Surely it’s just my fallible memory, but I can’t recall a presidential address that has fallen as flat as Barack Obama’s last week, at least not since Jimmy Carter gave his (in)famous malaise speech back in the dismal summer of 1979.

Poor President Carter.  He hasn’t been president for 30 years—thirty years!—but conservatives rarely miss an opportunity to scratch his eyes out anew, usually with a view to tainting a current Democratic president.

The usual mode of attack is to bring up that “(in)famous” Malaise Speech.  The one that supposedly doomed Jimmy Carter’s presidency and put him forever in the pantheon of pathetic presidents.  Greenberg writes that in the speech, Carter’s message was easy to discern:

…that beleaguered president got his message across clearly enough: He was the victim of a crisis of confidence on the part of the American people.

Sorry, your Southern Highness, but that wasn’t the message of the speech at all.  Read it for yourself right here.

The message of the speech—which had as its backdrop the “energy crisis” of the time—no matter what you think of the wisdom of it, was to honestly express to the American people what their president thought was a major problem going forward:

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

He continued:

The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.

Carter’s message in the 1979 speech was not one which attempted to blame the American people for his own problems, as the myth about the speech—told and retold by conservatives—would have it.

How about this paragraph, which could have been written yesterday:

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

Again, folks, that was 1979.

In any case, the speech itself was very well received at the time. Americans initially responded positively to Carter’s call to renew their “strength in the struggle for an energy secure nation,” and his poll numbers went up 11 points. 

That solidly contradicts Greenberg’s—did I mention he has a Pulitzer Prize?—claim that such honest talk from our presidents “just doesn’t seem to get it done…in flyover country, where introspection may be taken as just an early symptom of constipation.”

Notwithstanding Greenberg’s uninspiring vision of the common folk, the real reason the American people abandoned the sentiments in the speech is because Carter, only two days after the speech, fired his Cabinet, understandably causing the public to lose confidence in his leadership.

As Ezra Klein wrote last year,

The real lesson of that period is that presidents shouldn’t abruptly fire their cabinet and signal that their government has fallen into chaos. Voters, it turns out, have a quirky tendency to find that sort of behavior unsettling.

So, our Pulitzer winning writer from Arkansas, who just doesn’t like Barack Obama’s un-Arkansan—and by subtle implication, un-American—demeanor, has it all wrong about Jimmy Carter’s speech.

But for conservatives, particularly those who feign an unassailable acquaintance with the sensibilities of the American people, the truth doesn’t often get in the way of an opportunity to denigrate a Democratic president, past or present.

Finally, commenting on the American people’s penchant for the positive, for leaders who exude confidence no matter the circumstances, Greenberg said, “we like our leaders chipper, especially when the roof is falling in,” like, he continued,

Ronald Reagan when he inherited the Carter Malaise but acted as if he had just been handed the lead in a musical comedy co­starring Jimmy Cagney — and the happy ending was waiting in the very next reel.

Like any good conservative, Greenberg can’t resist a tip of the cap to the patron saint of deficit spending, Ronald Reagan, especially when attacking a Democrat, whether it be Carter or Obama.

But the truth—there’s that nasty word again—is that on January 28, 1983, Reagan’s approval rating was at 35%, and if an election had been held at that time, Greenberg’s philosophy-hating, non-introspective, flyover-country nobles would have sent the Chipper Gipper back to Hollywood.  As it turned out, the economy improved and so did Reagan’s approval ratings.

You see, it’s not cheery, starry-eyed optimists we want, Mr. Greenberg, it’s results. Carter didn’t bring us any and Reagan did.

And Obama has only been in charge about a year and a half.

Obama Acts, But Doubt Remains

Now that Obama has made his decision—delivered with characteristic aplomb—about General McChrystal, and now that he has put the towering figure of General Petraeus in charge of and reaffirmed our commitment to the McChrystal/Petraeus/Obama strategy in Afghanistan, perhaps things will improve there.

But I remain highly skeptical (as do most liberals) of not just the strategy itself, which appears to require a much longer engagement than Americans will support, but of the overall goal: essentially creating an Afghanistan with sufficient strength to keep out the Taliban forever.  That doesn’t seem possible to me, unless we are prepared to stay engaged on the ground for many, many years at greater and greater cost.

Obama will be faced with a crucial decision next summer, one that will possibly determine his presidential fate.  Either he will continue with the counter-insurgency strategy and thus extend our commitment, or he will begin a substantial withdrawal and pursue the Biden course of air strikes on strategic targets, occasional special ops incursions, and other less costly (and less visible) tactics.

Either way is fraught with political difficulties from the left and right, but after listening to his speech today, I am confident that whatever he does, it will not involve the dynamic of politics.

Obama just doesn’t seem to be built that way.

What Conservatives Believe

Globe blogger Kaje ask me in the comments section yesterday if I had read the platform statement of the Texas Republican Party

Well, sadly, I hadn’t.   But now I have, and it is wonderfully descriptive of the lofty goals of utopian conservative thought and representative of Tea Party Republicanism everywhere.

First, the preamble of this 25-page, 16,174 word document begins:

The embodiment of the conservative dream in America is Texas.

Now, who could argue with that?

Here are some of their can’t-miss principles:

4. We Believe in…The sanctity of human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.

Since most abortions are nature- or God-induced, Texas Republicans have one hell of a task “protecting” the fertilized egg from the hands of the Almighty, but it is a worthy goal, right?

6. We believe in…Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

I’m so glad I’m a self-sufficient “natural” man, even though I’m really not sure what “natural” means. And I”m glad I don’t live in Texas where I just might find out. 

9.  We believe in…A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.

Let’s talk about this one, after a formerly-unencumbered BP gets that damn hole plugged up.

Other notables from the Cro-Magnon wish list:

 … We further support abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not originally delegated to the federal government under a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Wait a minute…they stole that one from Southwest Missouri Republican candidates for the 7th District House seat, didn’t they?

We urge our national leadership to protect our Constitutional rights and swiftly wage successful war on terrorists… to reasonably use profiling to protect us…

I’m guessing a “reasonable” use of profiling in Texas would amount to suspecting anyone not wearing a big-ass cowboy hat and dook-stomping boots, while driving a pickup truck with a “Obama Is A Socialist” bumper sticker slapped across the tailgate.

One of the philosophically dumbest declarations in the document is this one:

…we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.

Oh, my. They also want to restrict the Court’s jurisdiction to rule on “cases involving family law” and “cases involving sodomy.”  After that’s done, we can get rid of the Supreme Court, since it won’t have enough work to keep it busy.  But beyond that, how can a Constitution-loving political party basically write out of existence the Supreme Court?

Texas Republicans are also concerned about “The Symbols of Our American Heritage,” and, by God, they mean business:

Ten Commandments – We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols. 

This, of course, does not apply to Islamic religious symbols or to those Longhorn hood ornaments so popular in certain parts of the Lone Star State. 

But perhaps the most offensive, as opposed to philosophically dumbest, statements in the document are related to homosexuality: 

We believe that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God… 

We oppose the legalization of sodomy. We demand that Congress exercise its authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to withhold jurisdiction from the federal courts from cases involving sodomy. 

Now, since the breathtakingly detailed Texas GOP platform does not bother to define “sodomy,” I took it upon myself to find out what it could possibly mean.  Here is a definition from Wikipedia

Sodomy (pronounced /ˈsɒdəmi/) is a term used in the law to describe the act of “unnatural”[1] sex, which depending on jurisdiction can consist of oral sex or anal sex or any non-genital to genital congress, whether heterosexual, or homosexual, or with human or animal.

Wow!  I’m betting that many of the Texas Republicans who stand behind (sorry) their platform are serial sodomites, as defined by Wikipedia. 

But more than that, to place the blame on homosexuals for the “breakdown of the family unit,” when Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich have had SEVEN wives between them is, well, more than a little brazen. 

In any case, you get the idea about Texas Republicans and the calcified conservatism sweeping through the national GOP. Their comprehensive platform—which demands fealty from potential candidates—just about covers every facet of life.  

Not only do they hate sodomy and abortion and the Supreme Court, they also want to privatize Social Security and repeal “ObamaCare.”  

They want to exclude from the Americans with Disabilities Act those who have “learning disabilities.” 

They equate the theory of evolution and Intelligent Design. 

They oppose “government-sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development.”

They oppose gambling.

They oppose “sex education other than abstinence until heterosexual marriage.”

They oppose “all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms” and “reject any monitoring of gun ownership,” and they oppose “Gun Free Zones.”

They support state militias and believe County Sheriffs should assist them.

They believe the separation of church and state is a “myth.”

They “resist making Workers’ Compensation mandatory for all Texas employers.”

They want Congress to repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

They want the government to “clarify” the Fourteen Amendment’s granting of citizenship to anyone born here and limit it to only those born to American citizens—all without recourse to a Constitutional Amendment.

They want the government to take us “back to the moon.”

They support strong relations with Israel, “based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.”

They want us to pull out of the United Nations.

Oh, yeah.  I almost forgot. They support the Boy Scouts.

 

 

God Kills Man Using Leviticus-Loving Grizzly Bear

Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish led me to this bit of Americana:

Commenting on an AP story on the death of a man in Yellowstone National Park, who was killed by a grizzly bear, Bryan Fischer, a man with fundamentalist poison gurgling through his veins, said this:

God said a curse would fall on a land which turned its back on him, and one consequence would be more tragic deaths at the hands of predatory animals. The truly sad thing here is that we are bringing this curse upon ourselves.

No, the truly sad thing is that people like Bryan Fischer are so comfortable canoeing down the mainstream of conservative thought, as demonstrated by his status as an invited speaker at this year’s Values Voter Summit, sponsored by America’s preeminent bullshit disseminators, the Family Research Council.

Here is the webpage, promoting the Festival of Intolerance, featuring America’s finest reactionaries, including Mr. Fischer, right next to thrice-married, family-values man, Newt Gingrich:

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