I’m not a big baseball fan, but I did develop an interest in Red Sox pitcher, and outspoken anti-government bootstrapper, Curt Schilling. Back in November, a lawsuit was filed against Schilling by the state of Rhode Island for bilking the taxpayers for millions of dollars. It’s been a while since I heard about any updates, aside from this somewhat recent report about Schilling politely asking a judge to simply forget about this whole bamboozling business and call it squaresies. Seems like he isn’t having fun anymore.
I was curious to see if Schilling learned anything – anything at all – from this catastrophe, so I went to check out his blog, which sadly wasn’t updated very often. So then I decided to scout his twitter feed, which fortunately, proved to be more useful. Sadly, however, it seemed Schilling was just as teabagger-y as ever:
Yes, if anyone has a right to speak out against crushing debt, it’s Curt Schilling.
For we all know, you would never do such a thing, right, Curt?
Indeed. And the $75 million government loan you took didn’t include a single penny from the tax payers of Rhode Island either.
I don’t think I’m being unfair with my criticism. Here’s a guy who constantly spewed Randian garbage like this and this, only to turn around and not only seek out evil socialist assistance, but actively encourage states to listen to that advice, as well!
Granted, I suppose it’s too much to expect that such an experience would cause Schilling to reevaluate his economic beliefs. But at the very least, you would think Schilling would have enough sense to keep his politics to himself. But as I’ve said many a time, self awareness and shame are commodities that were always in short supply among teabaggers.
Ever since I started following politics, I found that one of the most shocking things when it came to this subject was how politicians (oh hell, why sugar coat it? Republicans) consistently, and more importantly, openly say absurd and idiotic things. Things that even someone who doesn’t follow politics would say “Wait, WHAT?” Examples include one of my personal favorites, Senator Jon Kyl’s famous “Not intended to be a factual statement” comments, and Rep. Steve King’s absolutely glorious and breathtaking defense of dog fighting (easily the greatest thing I’ve seen in all of 2012).
And here’s the thing. Even in a world of chock full of moronic statements, the aforementioned examples stand out because they were prepared beforehand. These comments would still be awful and worthy of ridicule even if they were off the cuff, but one could at least grant some leeway. But no, Kyl and King came up with those remarks, presumably proofread them, and thought they appeared more than appropriate to go public.
Brother Benen provides us with yet another example of this phenomenon:
“Because of the president’s reluctance to cut spending, we’ve been caught in this battle of having cliffs and having these deadlines. This is no way to run a government. But until the president gets serious about the serious structural spending problem that we have, we’re going to have to deal with it. I suggested to the president the other day, the best thing we can do is find some way to get the Senate to finally do their work, have a large agreement that begins to address the spending problem, puts us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years, and get out of this cliff business. It’s not good for the country for us to continue to go through this.”
Let the bolded simmer in your brains for a bit. Here you have the (nominal) head of the Republican Party in the House saying that these consistent, manufactured crises are indeed a bad way to run a government, but he and his party will continue to govern in that fashion because Obama doesn’t want to give them what they want. This is Boehner’s defense! As Steve points out:
The fact that the House Speaker doesn’t see the flaws in saying this out loud is disconcerting.
On Monday during his Inauguration speech, President Barack Obama did what no President had before him and that was to link the ongoing struggle of the LGBT community to that of Women’s Suffrage and the Civil Rights Movement for African Americans. This comment simply reflects the great strides that have been made by the LGBT, especially in the last four years. From achieving hospital visitation rights, the repeal of DADT, and more. The shackles of being treated as second class citizens has been loosened more so than at anytime before and hopefully the cuffs will be fully removed this year when the ban on gay marriage is struck down by the Supreme Court.
For too long gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender citizens of this country have been forced to hide who they are in all arenas of life. From their employer, their friends, and even their families. Our country has been dragged kicking and screaming (as we unfortunately usually are) when it comes to recognizing that the problem doesn’t lie with the persecuted group (in this case the LGBT community) but rather the problem lies with the rest of us.
Children have been persecuted by their classmates just because they have two mothers or two fathers. They are bullied because they may happen to be attracted to boys instead of girls. Athletes are forced to go to far lengths to prove their heterosexuality to their teammates and fans just so they aren’t kicked off of their team or lose their endorsements. Just until last year, this country’s hero’s who voluntarily enlist in our military and lay their lives down for the rest of us were forced to hide that they were gay.
When the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was being debated in Congress, if you’d have been listening to folks like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Laura Ingraham, you’d have thought that such a repeal would mean that the very foundation of our society was being threatened. Oliver North even argued that by repealing DADT, we would be inviting NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) into the military. Once the beacon of Republican modernism and sanity, John McCain said this regarding the DADT repeal, “I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage.Today is a very sad day.” The amount of fear-mongering and vitriol that went around was simply horrifyingly depressing. In the end, no freedoms were stolen, rather equality was provided.
The LGBT community has pushed so hard and has traveled so far in spite of the rest of society trying to stand in its way. By not only mentioning the LGBT in his speech on Monday but linking them to the Women’s Suffrage and Civil Right’s movements – communities who didn’t wait for the society to supply them with equality but went out and claimed it – the President proclaimed what the rest of us need to recognize. The LGBT community is here to stay and it’s our job as their brothers and sisters to recognize them as such.
Pictured above: President Johnson signs, as Martin Luther King Jr. watches him, the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Today is MLK Jr. Day, and as we all know, Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. This movement culminated in the passage of two of America’s most important pieces of legislation: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Today’s also the day that Obama gave his second and final inaugural address. Most of those who watched the speech agree that it was one of, if not the most, progressive speech Obama ever gave. In it he espoused equality for pay among men and women, the freedom to marry whomever we love despite our lover’s gender, how voting should be the easiest thing to do in the world, and that we need – we absolutely must – tackle climate change. That’s not everything he mentioned, but what was clear in Obama’s speech was that an activist government is better than a government that doesn’t do anything. How government action doesn’t make us less free, it makes us more free, because the more risk we bear together and as a nation, the more risk we can take as individuals and succeed.
So let’s go back about fifty years, to a clear demonstration of the kind of activist and good government Obama was talking about, and realize how America is now better off.