Monthly Archives: August 2007

Remain Calm. Nothing’s Gonna Change.

Some of y’all are no doubt concerned that the recent exodus of knob-gobbling Texas toadies from the Bush Administration might signal changes in the administration’s dealings with Congress.

Well, don’t you worry your pretty little heads about that. U.S. News and World Report advises that the Bush lunacy train will continue plowing along the same pig-headedly belligerent and recklessly dangerous track as always.

Especially comforting is Bush’s intention to keep “block[ing] what he considers profligate spending by the Democratic majority on appropriations bills.” After all we’re spending TWELVE FUCKING BILLION DOLLARS EVERY WEEK on our crusade campaign to bring Jesus democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, with no end in sight. Every little saving helps.

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Toobin: Craig Confesses Perjury to Deny Homosexuality

It’s well known that Senator Larry Craig (R-Closet Case) went on TV yesterday to deny being gay and apologize for his grievous error in pleading guilty to a criminal charge arising from a June 2007 incident in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport men’s room.

Last night legal analyst Jeff Toobin appeared on Anderson Cooper’s CNN program and opined that Craig may well have opened himself up to a perjury charge. Toobin said that if Craig was in fact guilty of nothing, as he claimed during yesterday’s press conference, then he lied under oath when he entered that guilty plea before a Minnesota judge. Here’s video of Toobin’s commentary courtesy of Crooks and Liars.

I’ve never much cared for Toobin, and this sort of half-assed, amateurish pop legal “analysis” is the reason. The state of legal reporting in this country is abysmally poor, and Jeff is part of the problem.

The Plea Petition that ol’ Larry signed indicates that he was charged with two offenses: (1) Disorderly Conduct; and (2) Interference with Privacy. He entered a guilty plea to the disorderly conduct charge only, admitting in the process that in the airport bathroom he “[e]ngaged in conduct which [he] knew or should have known tended to arouse alarm or resentment or [sic] others which conduct was physical (versus verbal) in nature.” (Emphasis added.) It certainly looks as though the disorderly conduct charge was based on Craig’s overtures to the undercover cop and not just the bullshit statements he made after the cop flashed his badge.

However, Minnesota law defines perjury as making a false statement, without belief in its truth, where the statement is required or authorized to be made under oath or affirmation. Craig didn’t sign the Plea Petition under oath or affirmation, and the document indicates that he didn’t make any in-person court appearances during which he could have made sworn statements. Thus, the perjury thing seems like a pretty big stretch.

Come on, Jeff. This story is funny enough all by itself without embellishment, isn’t it?

Manufactured “Christian Free Speech” Lawsuit Filed

This one’s been in the works for a long time. Erica Corder was one of fifteen (!) valedictorians for the class of 2006 at Lewis-Palmer High School near Colorado Springs, CO. She and her fellow valedictorians were given thirty seconds each to speak during the school’s May 25, 2006 commencement ceremony. Each of the speakers was required to submit their remarks to school officials for approval in advance, and even rehearsed their joint presentation before the school’s principal.

Public schools are understandably skittish about religious speeches during graduation exercises. School districts are government entities, so prayers and other religious speech at school functions that can reasonably be attributed to school officials open up the district to lengthy and expensive Establishment Clause litigation. See, e.g., Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992).

At the commencement ceremony Erica departed rather substantially from the text she submitted to, and had approved by, school officials:

“We are all capable of standing firm and expressing our own beliefs, which is why I need to tell you about some- one who loves you more than you could ever imagine. He died for you on the cross over 2,000 years ago, yet was resurrected and is living today in heaven. His name is Jesus Christ. If you don’t already know him personally, I encourage you to find out more about the sacrifice he made for you, so that you now have the opportunity to live in eternity with him.”

Corder planned her little proselytizing exercised for months in advance, but didn’t bother to tell anyone.

The principal allegedly told Corder that she wouldn’t get her diploma unless and until she wrote an email to parents explaining her actions and absolving the school of any responsibility for the content of her speech. Corder claims that the principal refused her first tendered apology and insisted that she add the sentence, “I realize that, had I asked ahead of time, I would not have been allowed to say what I did.”

Corder, now a college student in Florida, filed suit against the school district yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. She alleges that the district’s post-commencement conduct constituted viewpoint discrimination and violated her First Amendment free speech rights.

Dissemblin’ Mat Staver of the Falwell-funded Liberty Counsel represents Corder. Anyone with the stomach for it can check out Dissemblin’ Mat’s rhetorical excesses here.

So why is this a “manufactured lawsuit”? The answer lies toward the end of the Colorado Springs Gazette article linked above. Erica’s father was a director at Focus on the Family, James Dobson’s filthy rich and highly influential theocracy mongering organization dedicated in large part to through-and-through Christianizing government at every level.

Erica’s dad says that neither he nor FoF had any idea what she was up to. If your bullshit alarm didn’t explode when you read that, return it for a full refund. Given the well established fact that lying for the Lord is what FoF is all about, it’s virtually certain that they not only had advance knowledge of but actually orchestrated the whole mess.

Sen. Larry Craig: Not Gay, Not Even a Little.

Good God, what a mess.

You can’t swing a dead e-cat on these here intarwebs without hitting news of Senator Larry Craig’s (R-Idaho) June 11, 2007 arrest for lewd behavior in men’s room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and subsequent plea of guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. Here’s an example from the good folks at Blogging Blue.

How does an upstanding member of the Party of Personal Responsibility handle such a situation when the news goes public? Judging by Sen. Craig’s statement earlier today, you: (1) deny any wrongdoing; (2) recant your guilty plea; (3) deny any and all gayness; (4) blame the whole thing on the Idaho Statesman newspaper for conducting a “witch hunt” relating to your sexual orientation; and (5) refuse to say anything else on the advice of newly-retained counsel.

Meanwhile, this 25-year-old video about the 1982 congressional pages scandal is making the rounds. Craig, then a member of the House of Representatives, wasn’t identified as one of the lawmakers engaged in extorting gay sex from underage pages. Even so, he came forward preemptively to deny the non-accusations, presumably out of apprehension that he might be so identified. Can’t help but wonder where that apprehension came from.

Conservatives are scrambling to see who can throw Craig under the biggest bus. To cite but one example, here’s Michelle Malkin’s take. Apparently, the GOP’s family values rules for males are: misconduct with women (i.e., David Vitter – hookers, reputed diaper fetishism) — forgive and forget, especially forget; misconduct with men or boys — banishment.

Anyhoo, the rest of the blogosphere has this story well and truly blanketed. I’ll close by noting that this case poses once again the age-old question:

Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?

Bush Poised to Play Musical Incompetents With DHS, Justice Dept.

Just when you think you’re far past being horrified over anything the Bush Administration might do, a story like this comes along.

According to Think Progress, CNN reported that Bush plans to nominate Michael Chertoff, the ghoulish and incompetent fear monger who currently runs the Department of Homeland Security, as the new Attorney General.

Clay Johnson III, currently the Deputy Director of Management at OMB, will take over at Homeland Security. Johnson’s qualifications: unthinking loyalty, up to and including keeping a George Bush doll on his desk.

The nightmare continues. People need to stop tossing around the term “lame duck” when referring to Bush. The term imports a sense of impotence that just doesn’t square with reality. In truth, there’s no limit to the damage these fuckers can do over the next year and a half.

Fundies and Money and Lies, Oh My!

Here we reported that disgraced ex-preacher and drug-addled sodomite Ted Haggard recently emailed a Colorado Springs, CO teevee reporter to say that he and his family were moving into a Phoenix, AZ halfway house operated by an Assemblies of God church. Not so, says one of the church’s ministers:

“That was premature,” Leo Godzich, minister at First Assembly church, told the Associated Press Monday.

First Assembly Pastor Tommy Barnett founded the Dream Center and is a mentor to Haggard during his spiritual recovery.

“That is not part of his restoration plan. I think he visited the Dream Center, saw it was a good place for people to rehab and got excited,” Godzich said.

After all, Ted Haggard is an excitable guy. If there ever were plans for the Haggards to move into the Phoenix Dream Center, those plans are clearly off the table in view of Ted’s recent money-grubbing shenanigans.

Speaking of money grubbing, you may recall from yesterday’s story that Haggard — a millionaire — is encouraging supporters to pay his living expenses by making tax-deductible contributions through Families with a Mission. Today’s Rocky Mountain News has some entertaining factoids about Paul Huberty, the big cheese at Families with a Mission:

While serving with the U.S. Air Force in Germany in 1996, then-Lt. Col. Paul G. Huberty was convicted of sodomy, indecent acts, and adultery involving a 17-year girl who accompanied Huberty to Europe as his “legal ward,” according to military court records.

In the same trial, the 18-year Army veteran also was convicted of “dishonorably fondling his genitals” during an incident involving two Dutch women at a public swimming pool in the Netherlands.

When, oh when, will these people learn to fondle their genitals honorably?

Couple the above with his 2004 conviction for attempted sexual assault in Hawaii, which occurred three years after he founded Families with a Mission, and we see that Mr. Huberty is quite the little horndoggy.

Don’t worry, though. Huberty is only going to keep ten percent of the money we send him support Haggard.

Bob Allen Wins One

I should really leave this story alone, but I just can’t help myself.

Florida State Representative Bob Allen (R-Cockmeister) actually won one in court yesterday. Although the judge denied his motion to dismiss a solicitation charge arising from his offer to blow an undercover cop and pay $20 for the privilege, the prosecution can’t use his post-arrest statements (“stocky black guy”, “Would it make a difference if I told you I was a state representative”, “I have $800 in my car”, etc.) at trial because he wasn’t Mirandized before making the statements.

That’s right – even gluttonous, lying, hypocritical Republican sex criminals have constitutional rights, at least until the gluttonous, lying, hypocritical Republican sex criminals take them all away.

Trial is scheduled to commence on September 19.

Vick Loses Career, Finds Jesus

By now everyone knows that dog butcher and laughably overrated ex-quarterback Michael Vick formally plead guilty yesterday to a federal criminal charge arising from his pit bull fighting operation in Virginia. Thankfully, he’s also found Jesus.

A cynic might say that Mr. Vick has experienced an epiphany of convenience. A cynic would be correct.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines specify a base sentence of 12-18 months for the conspiracy charge to which Vick admitted guilt. However, the judge made it abundantly clear at the plea hearing that he’s free to adjust the sentence upward if he goddamn jolly well feels like it, and that Vick has waived his right to appeal regardless of what sentence the judge ultimately imposes. The sentencing hearing doesn’t take place until December 10, which gives Vick plenty of time to be seen praying, donating money and singing Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.

In related news, Jesus denies that Vick has found him.

Ted Haggard: Begging Money in the Lord’s Name With the Able Assistance of a Sex Criminal

We all know the story. Ted Haggard had it all. He was the pastor of the New Life megachurch in Colorado Springs, CO, the Christian fundamentalist’s Mecca, and president of the politically influential National Council of Evangelicals. In the latter capacity, he participated in weekly phone conferences with White House staff.

It all came crashing down last November amidst allegations that ol’ Teddy had been getting tuned up on methamphetamine and boinking a male hooker for the preceding three years. Four evangelical preachers were appointed to oversee Ted’s spiritual rehabilitation.

After several weeks of intensive counseling, Haggard came to the conclusion in February 2007 that “he is completely heterosexual.” Thank goodness for that! We’re not entirely sure why he shoved his dick up that dude’s ass, but it most definitely did NOT have anything to do with gayness.

Today’s Rocky Mountain News reports that Haggard and his family are now living at the Phoenix Dream Center, a halfway house for recovering drug addicts, hookers, ex-cons, etc. affiliated with an Assemblies of God church in Phoenix, AZ. Ted says the pastor asked him to “counsel” male residents of the halfway house and teach a “group” every now and then.

Ted also sent this email to a reporter for KRDO-TV, the ABC affiliate in Colorado Springs. Haggard advised that he and his wife, Gayle, are back in school. Gayle is after an undergrad degree in psychology and Ted is pursuing an MS in counseling.

Ted’s email is bereft of mention that: (1) New Life Church paid him $138,000 when he resigned last November; and (2) he and his wife still own real property in Colorado Springs valued at $715,000. But never mind that shit. The point is that Ted and his wife are full-time students and won’t be able to support themselves for the next couple of years, so they need help from the faithful. Haggard informed the KRDO reporter that folks who want to give him money can sent it to a private mail service address in Scottsdale.

Ever the thoughtful Christian, Ted considered that some of the brethren might be seeking a way to make their donations tax deductible. For them Haggard suggested making donations to the Colorado Springs post office box of an outfit called Families with a Mission. All one need do, Ted says, is specify that the donation is for the Haggards. Families with a Mission will send ninety percent of the donated money to Ted and Gayle, keeping ten percent to cover administrative expenses.

Trouble is, Families with a Mission is operated by a twice-convicted sex offender named Paul Gerard Huberty.

Mike Ware, pastor of the evangelical Victory Church in Westminster, CO and head of the four-preacher crew charged with Haggard’s restoration, is more than a little miffed over Teddy Boy using a sexual predator’s organization to raise funds. Ware is on his way to Arizona tomorrow to get a face-to-face explanation from Haggard.

You’re a bad, bad, completely heterosexual bitch, Ted. Prepare for your spanking.

Apocalyptic Nutjobs and Their Influence Over the U.S. Military

It’ll come as no great surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention for the past 6+ years, but Dominionist and Dispensationalist end-times wackos have considerable influence over American military policy. This essay, recently published at truthout.org, provides some rather disturbing details supported by equally disturbing links.

Thanks to Religion Clause for the heads-up.