So, It Seems The Pope Was Set Up

From Charles P. Pierce at Esquire:

Can somebody please get a decent spin doctor to the Vatican press office immediately?

“The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis, and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said in a statement released on Friday morning.

​It’s increasingly apparent that Papa Francesco got played here, which is what somebody from the Vatican Press Office should have said right from jump. I think it’s also time that Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the papal nuncio to the United States, be summoned back to Rome to be knuckled, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, either. He and the lawyer for faith-based goldbricker Kim Davis, the extremely greasy Mat Staver, whom Vigano joined at an anti-marriage-equality march last Spring, pretty plainly are behind this bag job.

In a phone interview on Friday, Mr. Staver said the meeting had been called by the Vatican. Mr. Staver said the request had come on Sept. 14, the day Ms. Davis returned to work after her release from jail. At the Vatican on Friday, a spokesman, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, said the invitation had been extended by the office of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the nuncio, or envoy, in Washington, not from Rome. Who brought her in? “The nuncio,” said Father Rosica, who is working with the Vatican’s media office in advance of a major meeting of bishops that begins this weekend. “The Nunciature was able to bring in donors, benefactors.”

​The Vatican should have been all over this as soon as the story broke. The delay in responding to what is plainly now some high-level clerical ratfcking makes the Vatican’s most recent explanations vulnerable to attacks that it is doing some cassock-covering here. And that’s unfortunate, because Davis and her lawyers should be read out of the ranks of decent people for manipulating this situation to her cheap advantage. I have no illusions about the pope’s view on marriage equality, but he seems more willing than his predecessors to leave the issue to the civil authorities, and to the individual informed consciences of gay Catholics and their confessors. That may be as far as we can expect him to go. I think Kim Davis, and her most recent husband, and her dingy legal team are lucky the Church doesn’t have dungeons any more. What a creepy bunch.




“Things I Learned From Republicans In September”

From the Daily Kos: Written by Bill in Maine

Extra learny this month:

Same-sex couples getting married is the same as gassing the Jews at Auschwitz. (Bryan Fischer, speaking for the American Family Association)

If you work hard, you won’t have time to get hooked on drugs and that will solve all our drug-problem woes. (Rand Paul)

Muslims can’t be president. (Ben Carson)

Elephant in graduation gown

Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution at the behest of Satan. (Carson again)

America should get back in the torture business. (Carly Fiorina)

Diversity sucks. (Rick Santorum)

The discovery of water on Mars was faked by NASA. (Rush Limbaugh)

It’s acceptable to walk into a classroom of seven- and eight-year-olds and coldly ask them, “Do you know what a nuclear weapon is? Do you know that there are schools that train children your age to be suicide bombers?” (Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon)

Immigrants need to speak American. (Secretary of Energy Sarah Palin)

The Dred Scott decision is still the law of the land, so slavery is still on the books. (Mike Huckabee)

To appeal to Latinos, just leave ’em a little tip when you check out of your hotel. (Gov. John Kasich)

The issuance of secular marriage licenses to same-sex couples is leading America into the very pit of Hell. (Kim Davis’s lawyer Mat Staver)

Congratulations. You may now add a sparkle pony sticker to your diploma.



Carly Fiorina—Another Great GOP Scientific Mind

Speaking at a town hall on Thursday in Alden, Iowa, Fiorina responded to a question from a mother of five who claimed that one of her children had an adverse reaction to a vaccination, saying “It’s always the parent’s choice.” She continued by referencing her pre-teen daughter, whom Fiorina said was bullied by a school nurse into being vaccinated for the human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease.

“Measles is one thing…,”Fiorina said.  

Fiorina, who ran for Senate in California in 2010, said she disagreed with the state’s decision recently to eliminate a parent’s right not to vaccinate their children, even in cases of religious objection.

From the Daily Kos–written by Hunter: “This is, I’m afraid, an easy one. If your religion says your child might get a potentially deadly disease but you’re not allowed to prevent it with a simple series of shots because that would go against God’s Will, your religion is stupid and wrong. Shh—no. No more talking. God at no point said you couldn’t wear your seat belts because if it is his will that you be catapulted through your windshield and be reduced to a stain on the back of a sleepy trucker’s rig, you had better not thwart him on that, nor did he warn against bandaging your gaping wounds because if God says it’s time for you to bleed out you had better sit there on your ass and bleed out with dignity, and if you think God wants to give you polio in order to better spread His Holy Infectious Word you’re wrong and none of the rest of us have to listen to you.

Where was I? Ah, right. Trying to parse out just what Fiorina’s actual policy stance is when it comes to childhood vaccinations. She seems to be strongly for them, except for the one preventing cancer, because that’s the one we should defer to religion on, in that a lot of parents don’t particularly mind their kid someday getting a preventable cancer if they don’t have to explain the birds and the bees to their little princess. On all the others she demands parents be given the right to let their kids get deadly communicable diseases, but also supports the rest of society then shunning those kids as a matter of immunological self-defense, and all of it sounds a great deal more complicated than Just Get Your Damn Shots Already.

There’s nothing quite like the rigors of the campaign trail to unclarify a person’s belief system. This whole thing smells strongly of just tell me what to say, for God’s sake, and I’ll say it.”



The Human Puppy Mill Show Has Been Canceled

Aww.  TLC’s “Nineteen Kids And Counting” show has been canceled in the wake of revelations about the eldest Duggar’s molestation of his younger sisters and one other non-related girl.

I guess the old cash cow just couldn’t justify keeping them on the air no matter how much they tried to rationalize the situation: “The girls didn’t know what was happening! No harm, no foul!  They were just too tempting in their wetsuits when they went swimming!  We should have made them stay inside in a dark room so the boys wouldn’t have sinful thoughts!”

The Duggar family has released a statement, of which I will provide translation for those of you who don’t understand God Talk:

“It is our prayer that the painful situation (for our wallets) our family went through many years ago (curse you, Oprah!) can point people toward faith in God (just our God you understand, not those other false ones that y’all mistakenly believe in) and help others (again, only those who have been saved, not you other people who’re going to hell anyway) who also have lived through similar dark situations (dark as in keeping everything swept under the rug) to find help, hope (we’re holding out hope for a spin-off in the future, so we’re golden) and healing, as well,” the statement continued. “We appreciate the love (only heterosexual love, not that icky kind with rainbows), support (especially the monetary kind because, God knows, it’s expensive having this many kids), prayers and kindness extended to us by many of you (the rest of you can go to h-e-double hockey sticks, if you get our drift). You have deeply touched our hearts (and wallets) and encouraged us, during this time.”



New Word of the Day: Whinarrhea

Dear GOP windbags dog whistling on marriage equality:

I get it – you’re really really PO’ed that gay people now have a Constitutional right to have, or be, an ol’ ball and chain too, and now you’re pretty much just impatiently awaiting the rapture with great annoyance.

Believe me – when it comes to the Supreme Court, I’ve been there. I was dismayed at the Citizens United decision that gave your ilk all that dark money to play with. I was downright angered when they handed George W. Bush the Presidency by halting the Florida recount. I was disgusted when they gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. There is no doubt that no matter where one is on the political spectrum, we can all agree that the Supreme Court makes mistakes. We might disagree on which specific decisions constitute those mistakes, but we would all agree that they make them.

You have every right to whine and rant. We are a proud nation of whiners and ranters. I fully support your rantitude and your whinarrhea. It’s the American way.

But what you don’t get to do — and I’m talking primarily to you, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and US Senator Ted Cruz — is advise people to feel free to disregard a United States Supreme Court decision. It is unpatriotic, and it’s un-American.

Let that sink in: what you are doing is un-American.

Marbury v. Madison was decided in 1803. It is settled law. The case determined that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what the US Constitution means, and how our laws fit, or don’t, into that Constitution. It means that when it comes to the Constitution, the Supreme Court gets the last laugh. Maybe you were out sick the day they taught that in 10th grade.

So do what you must to curry favor with your political base. Say what you need to say to give Tea Party Republican primary voters a teeny weenie little stiffie, so they will love and adore you come time for the next election.

But while you’re doing all that, just keep in mind that the stuff you’ve said this week about the marriage equality ruling is really stupid. It is un-American, it runs contrary to the Rule of Law, and, since you’re lawyers and know better, I wish they’d disbar you for having promoted it.

Worried about your religious freedom, General Paxton and Senator Cruz? Fine – I support your religious freedoms. And since I do, I strongly suggest you promptly go right out and don’t marry any other dudes. You can also choose to block off the rest of your schedule today, so that you can invest all your time not hanging out with any same-sex couples. That’s pretty much the end of your religious freedoms in this matter.

Meanwhile, the rest of us would very much appreciate it if you would abstain from trying to destroy 212 years of American Constitutional scholarship, so you can curry favor with your base in the next election.

Well said, Harold.  [slow clapping]