Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Santorum Family Hits Iowa

Minus the "family" part, that is. From the Des Moines Register:
Rick Santorum’s “family tour” in Iowa kicked off Tuesday without the family.

The clan of nine, including all seven children, began their road trip Monday from their Pittsburgh home. A crew of reporters – a Fox News satellite truck, ABC News and an array of other TV, print and radio staff – waited with cameras poised at a coffee shop in Ankeny for Team Santorum’s arrival at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.

But the candidate arrived alone. . . “The kids are going to be fishing and four-wheeling and doing some fun stuff today,” Santorum explained during the coffee shop stop. “Not that this isn’t fun … but they deserve a break today. I’ll be seeing them tomorrow night.”

So even the Santorums don't want to spend time with Santorum? Maybe it's because every time he opens his mouth, he says something like this (in response to the legalization of gay marriage in New York):

I am not, as some in this race have said, OK with New York doing what they’re doing. What New York did was wrong. I will oppose it and I will go to New York, if necessary, and help overturn it...

I’m for great latitude for the states to do a lot, but not anything. And this idea that the 10th amendment means there is no boundary to what the states can do is a misunderstanding of the 10th amendment and I will stand on that ground.

Or this:

We created a society that changed the world. Why? Because it’s bottom up. Free people. … That combination took civilization from a point of view that for 2,000 years from the time of Jesus Christ to the time of the revolution, life expectancy was the same: 40. … Didn’t change for thousands of years. Until America.

We’ve gone through an industrial revolution, a technological revolution. Life expectancy has doubled. Why? Because for the first time we let people be free. No king, no monarch, no emperor, no big government telling people how to run their lives. That’s the key of America.

That’s why people want to come here. It’s not because of the government guarantees of benefits. It’s because of the government guarantee of freedom. That will be lost if Barack Obama is re-elected.

Without even a hint of irony.

Perhaps the rest of the Santorum clan don't want to spend time with their wizened patriarch because, when confronted about the fact that his campaign t-shirts were made in the Dominican Republic, he responded thusly:

It’s tragic that so many products in this country are made outside of this country. And what we have to do is create a different dynamic. I think my policies are very clear that we have to go out and make setting up a business in this country productive.

Unfortunately under this administration and frankly previous administrations we have had had a unfriendly environment, particularly to the textile business.

. . . You probably can find a T-shirt occasionally made in the United States but it’s harder and harder to do. That’s the tragedy. It’s a case in point of the tragedy of those kinds of jobs that should be in the United States but are not.

I kind of feel sorry for Rick, so I'm going to help him out. I did a Google search (which I assume Frothy is understandably reluctant to do) and found these companies that sell wholesale t-shirts made in the good old U S of A:

American Apparel
Ethix Merch
Blank Shirts
Wholesale Direct USA
Bare Apparel

You get the picture. It's all well and good to blame current and previous administrations for the fact that there aren't a lot of manufacturing jobs left in the United States, but believers in the free market (like, presumably, Rick Santorum) should understand that one of the most basic principles of economics is the idea of supply and demand. If you demand t-shirts that are made in the United States (as the customers of the aforementioned companies have obviously done), manufacturers will open up new supply lines.

If, on the other hand, you pretend that you couldn't find anything that's made in the US, because "waaaa it's so hard," you make it pretty obvious that pinching pennies in your under-funded campaign is more important to you than living by the ideals you claim to stand for. I can see why your children are embarrassed to be seen with you, Rick. God knows I would be.

Redefining "Rick"


I hope they put this definition on a different website, because it sounds even too vile for the good people at Spreading Santorum.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Santorum has a Bias

Not that anybody is surprised by this or anything, but Rick Santorum indicated at a campaign stop last week that he believes that the US government should have a bias against anyone choosing to breed or adopt who is not a married straight couple (via Think Progress):
SANTORUM: But what I believe is that government should have a bias, a bias in favor of what is best for society, a bias in favor of what is proven to be best for children, which is the future of society.

From just the standpoint of how do children who are born out of wedlock do with respect to their educational achievement, their professional achievement, with respect to their criminal record, with respect to drug use, with respect to having children out of wedlock themselves, with having broken families themselves — how do they do? In every measure — every measure, overwhelmingly — they do worse.
The video is on Think Progress, if you feel inclined to watch it. Otherwise, please enjoy the following statement from the American Psychological Association:
Lesbian and heterosexual women have not been found to differ markedly in their approaches to child rearing (Patterson, 2000; Tasker, 1999). Members of gay and lesbian couples with children have been found to divide the work involved in childcare evenly, and to be satisfied with their relationships with their partners (Patterson, 2000, 2004a). The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers' and gay fathers' parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation (Armesto, 2002; Patterson, 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1997). On the contrary, results of research suggest that lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.
Once you've enjoyed that, please enjoy this quote from the Journal of Marriage and Family:
Because access to legal same-sex marriage is so new and rare, we do not yet have research that compares the children of married same-sex and different-sex couples. Even so, scholars have achieved a rare degree of consensus that unmarried lesbian parents are raising children who develop at least as well as their counterparts with married heterosexual parents (e.g., American Academy of Pediatrics, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001; Tasker, 2005).
And, for good measure, here's one more tidbit from the APA:
Results of research to date suggest that children of lesbian and gay parents have positive relationships with peers and that their relationships with adults of both sexes are also satisfactory. The picture of lesbian mothers' children that emerges is one of general engagement in social life with peers, with fathers, with grandparents, and with mothers' adult friends—both male and female, both heterosexual and homosexual. Fears about children of lesbians and gay men being sexually abused by adults, ostracized by peers, or isolated in single-sex lesbian or gay communities have received no support from the results of existing research.
The Family Research Council does have some studies that say that gays and lesbians are too busy fucking and doing drugs to be good parents, but I'm not actually going to link to them because, well, they're a hate group. I've never found a word they've promoted to be true.

In closing, I'd like to present you with this quote from the State of California in 1948, during the Perez v. Lippold anti-miscegenation case (via equalitygiving.org):
It is contended that interracial marriage has adverse effects not only upon the parties thereto but upon their progeny . . . and that the progeny of a marriage between a Negro and a Caucasian suffer not only the stigma of such inferiority but the fear of rejection by members of both races.
Just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Irrelevant GOP Primary Candidate Battle: Who is the Biggest Bigot

When I heard Rick Santorum was going to be running for the Republican Presidential, I had two thoughts: (1) aside from fun stuff like giving me an excuse to write for this blog, he's going to be a totally irrelevant candidate; and (2) he was sure to be the biggest bigot of the Republican presidential candidates. Let's be honest: while Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin clearly hate gay people, only Rick Santorum has made it the front page of his political career.

But, lo and behold, Herman Cain may be giving Rick Santorum a run for his money. Cain has outright stated that he wouldn't name a Muslim as a member of his cabinet because, at least as far as Cain is concerned, just being Muslim makes you prone to being a terrorist.

The good news is that Cain and Santorum are equally irrelevant because neither actually has a chance to win the Republican nomination. But the mere fact that you have two candidates for a major party's presidential candidate who are taken seriously by at least a significant part of that party that have made prejudice towards a minority a significant component of their campaign is disconcerting enough.

Dan Savage Has Had Enough Santorum

From Slog:

Remember when Ann Coulter apologized for her liberal-bashing books Godless, Treason, and Demonic? Or when Jonah Goldberg apologized for Liberal Fascism? Or when Michele Bachmann apologized for suggesting that the media investigate liberal members of Congress for their anti-Americanism? Or when Rick Santorum apologized for comparing same-sex couples who want to marry to Islamist terrorists who want to kill Americans?

Yeah, me neither.

Conservatives beat up, impugn, and slam liberals all the time. And conservatives make their attacks personal because their policies are unpopular and they'll always have an easier time running on "Who you'd wanna have a beer with?" So they beat up and brutalize their opponents. Because they're bullies. And like all bullies, they react with shock and sputtering rage when someone they're beating the shit out of has the nerve to swing back at 'em.

For the record: Rick Santorum is America's leading anti-gay bully. He wants to reinstate DADT, ban gay people from adopting children, split up bi-bational gay couples—he wants to prevent a gay person from being at his partner's bedside during a medical emergency, for Christ's sake, because perversions like that somehow undermines straight marriage.

But while we're on the subject of traditional families: I support families with mothers and fathers. Hell, I'm the product of one of those traditional families. (And I believe in raising children—those barbarians aren't going to raise themselves.) I also support families with fathers and fathers, families with mothers and mothers, and families with just a mom or just a dad. Support for families isn't a zero-sum game: support for gay families takes nothing away from straight families. Rick Santorum is the hateful douche who's out there telling people that you can't support one kind of family without taking a shit on all other kinds.

You tell him, Dan.

Slate's "Lube Job"

Somehow I missed this for like three weeks:
It's hard to imagine that many people who search for "Rick Santorum" want to get Dan Savage's site. While I have little sympathy for Santorum, this is clearly a case in which Google is not working as intended. A more perfect search engine would not be so easily gulled.

At the same time, it's fair to say that SpreadingSantorum.com is something more than a Google bomb. It's a form of political protest—a campaign that has survived for eight years because lots of people believe that Santorum deserves to have his name dragged through the … not-so-palatable substance. When Roll Call asked Santorum about santorum, he characterized it as a hall of mirrors: "It's one guy. You know who it is. The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate." In this, he is dead wrong: If this were just the work of Dan Savage, Spreading Santorum would be nowhere near the top of the search results.
Thanks for the shout-out, Slate. But since santorum definitely means "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex," I think you're wrong about our awesomeness meaning that Google doesn't work properly.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pledges are the Best, You Guys

The fine people at the USA Today published an editorial written by Rick Santorum on the subject of his love for pledges. Let's check it out:
Every candidate, once elected, pledges by oath or affirmation to execute his or her duties of office in compliance with the laws of the state and country and Constitution. But the pledges we see today are oaths to voters on how a candidate will execute those lawful duties if given the privilege of being elected. . . .

Every candidate has heard the cynicism about politicians: "Oh, they will say one thing now, but just wait until they are elected." A lot of that is true about too many politicians and elected leaders. Pledges are our way of saying: "Not us."
That's right, folks: nothing says "I'm as good as my word" quite like signing a non-legally-binding document published by a right-wing borderline-hate group. All that honesty is actually staggering. I'm sure that American moderates will be so impressed by Santorum's willingness to engage in conservative publicity stunts that they'll be clamoring to vote for him in the next election. Who needs a president who has made good on many of his campaign promises when you've got a candidate who can sign a pledge?

Pledges only hold as much weight as the person signing them chooses to give them. I'm more interested in politicians who allow the nuances and complicated situations that arise with elected office to make them rethink their previous positions than ones who insist that the pledges they've signed have some magical deeper meaning, particularly when those pledges say things that I find to be morally repugnant.

So, in case there was any doubt, Rick Santorum, once elected, is going to ban porn, discriminate against pro-choice individuals while making appointments, and hold the belief that slavery was better for black people than having a black president. What a champ.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of pledges, I hope that those of you who have not signed the Pro-Choice pledge will do so. You know, because pledges are really important.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Santorum on Black People?

Remember that marriage pledge that Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann signed? The one that wanted to ban porn? Well, as it turns out, the pledge is even more sinister than previously anticipated. Here's a passage from the original version (that has since been removed):
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.
One of the great American films is a little silent number called The Birth of a Nation. Released in 1915, it revolutionized the already fledgling film industry in the United States. It also portrayed, in no uncertain terms, an image of black people that was so outrageous that it offended white audiences in 1915. The idea was an old one: that black people were so savage that without the calming influence of a white-controlled society, they would revert to a level of violence and sexual aggression found primarily in wild animals.


This idea had been used as an argument against abolition. It was used again to argue against African-American suffrage and desegregation. I thought that we had moved past this kind of rhetoric in American society. I was under the impression that whatever kind of racism we have today, we still recognize the humanity of all American citizens. Obviously, however, this isn't the case for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and The Family Leader (the organization that wrote and promoted the pledge).

This isn't okay. This isn't something you can remove from the pledge and pretend it never happened. You can't apologize for stating that black people were better off as slaves than they are now. That's not how it works. Do us all a favor, Dumb and Dumber, and stop running for president. It's offensive.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Original Intent" Is a Farce

Whenever a court makes a decision that conservatives like Rick Santorum do not agree with, they have a go to complaint: that an activist judge was going against the original intent of the Constitution! And, of course, as far as conservatives like Rick Santorum are concerned, the original intent of the Constitution is pro-Christian and pro-low taxes.

But what does "original intent" really mean? What was the original intent of the founders?

The title of my post is actually a bit of an overstatement. It's quite clear that the founders as a group did share many concerns and goals. For example, it was clear that the founders all intended for their to be three branches of government, and that the legislature would be bicameral. It was clear that they were concerned about the executive branch gaining too much power. It was clear that they wanted to intend for a national military. It was clear that they wanted it to be an amendable document.

But with the way the Rick Santorums of the world talk about original intent, it's like they think the drafters of the Constitution were this hive mind that all thought with the same mind and spoke with the same mouth about all issues. That simply wasn't true. A basic understanding of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, the two main representatives of the different viewpoints that led to the Constitutional compromise, highlights this fact. Alexander Hamilton believed in a significantly stronger federal government that James Madison did. By the way, Hamilton represented the viewpoint aligned with George Washington, and his acts as Secretary of the Treasury included instituting a National Bank. Just to give a comparison point, the control a National Bank has over a nation's economic policy makes the Fed's power look miniscule.

Madison, on the other hand, was the representative for the state's rights side, a very important side that ensured the Bill of Rights was included in the Constitution. By the way, the three most historically important founding father followers of this viewpoint (Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe) all governed similarly Hamiltonian Federalists during their Presidential terms. Jefferson was actually disappointed enough in his time as President, where he greatly expanded the power of the federal government and the executive branch, that he didn't list being the third President of the United States among his accomplishments on his tombstone.

This isn't to say that there aren't times to call for judicial restraint. For example, it would have been nice if the Conservative 5 now running the Supreme Court (Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy) had shown some restraint in the Citizens United Decision. But our founders couldn't have imagined the challenges of the world we live in, which is why they created very broad, amendable guidelines. Original intent, as many in politics currently use it, is a meaningless statement that they just use to support their positions they don't have actual rationalization for. The media should treat the phrase as such.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Santorum Hates Porn

From The Huffington Post:
Republican presidential contenders Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have lined up behind a new pledge focused on social issues put forth by Bob Vander Plaats, a former candidate for governor who now reigns as a conservative kingmaker in the Hawkeye State. . . .

Standing behind the pledge entails supporting a "federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman." Among other things, it also means backing a ban on pornography.
In response to this shocking development, I propose a new pledge, called The Porn Pledge. Here it is:
I pledge to watch porn.
Just sign it in your head for chrissake. We don't need to know your business.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Utter Silliness of the "Evolution Is Just a Theory" Argument

It's pretty well known that Rick Santorum is an ardent supporter of teaching creationism in schools. The argument that creationists like Santorum often use is that evolution is just a theory. And since it is just a theory, it's clearly utterly and completely fallible, and alternate theories like intelligent design are just as reasonable and should clearly be presented side by side.

In reality, of course, this is a massive misunderstanding of how science works. Let's review with the very basics of science: there are events or facts that occur. Then science attempts to explain why those things occur. That is called a theory.

If I pick up an apple and drop it on the ground, what fact just happened? The fact that happened is that I picked up an apple and dropped it on the ground. Gravity is the theory that explains why the apple to fell to the ground. Just because gravity is a theory, should we teach some faith based theory, something like angels constantly blow on the Earth to hold everything down to it?

Or should we stop distinctively teaching germ theory because it is just a theory, and also teach in our public schools that people may get sick because the humors have turned against them? The "it's just a theory" argument that creationists use to try to discredit evolution is utter silliness. And for the funniest moment in the history of laying the smack down on creationists, check number 7 on this Cracked.com list.

Santorum Can't Do Math

Via ThinkProgress:



I think my question about whether Santorum is stupid or just in it for the fame and money has finally been answered: dude is dumb. Santorum is so dumb, he heard somebody say it was chilly outside so he went and grabbed a bowl. Santorum is so dumb he thinks a quarterback is a refund. Santorum is so dumb that he thinks a discrepancy in the reported number of jobs created by the stimulus package is the same thing as job loss.

That's pretty dumb.

Not only is his math totally funky, but he also seems to think that the stimulus package created more jobs than there are people in the American workforce. According to ThinkProgress, Santorum was actually trying to quote this article from The Weekly Standard, which claims the following:
The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

In other words, the government could simply have cut a $100,000 check to everyone whose employment was allegedly made possible by the “stimulus,” and taxpayers would have come out $427 billion ahead.

Furthermore, the council reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now. In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the “stimulus” has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.

Multiply by one hundred, change the seven to an eight, completely misquote the already absurd article and - hey! - you've got a running platform! Frothy's gotta go, guys. After all, if your santorum is running, you're doing it wrong.

Oh, and for those of you who actually like math and enjoy using it for good instead of evil, here's an awesome t-shirt I found at Mental Floss:

You're welcome.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Santorum’s Big Government Hypocrisy

Santorum’s announcement of his presidential bid included the following statement:

“Today across America, people are looking for a leader who is optimistic, and who believes that we must meet those challenges, that we can meet those challenges, and that we can keep faith, not with big government, but with free people.”

Closet-cases like George Rekers, Larry Craig, and Ted Haggard are a goldmine of schadenfreude, but the self-hating gay is hardly the only breed of hypocrite on the political scene. While Santorum may be spouting off about personal freedom and limited government, that certainly hasn’t been his history in either word or deed. And it’s not just the lefties who have noticed.

Santorum’s notorious support of anti-sodomy laws during the Lawrence vs Texas decision of 2003 was a clear rejection of individual rights. He also made a high profile statement about federal usurpation of state authority as one of only three senators to vote in the Palm Sunday Compromise, which got the federal government involved in the Terri Schiavo case back in 2005. The legislative and executive branches passed a law that applied to exactly one person. Doesn’t that level of acute interference kind of epitomize the problem with big government?

It’s not just Santorum’s hypocrisy or the pandering turnaround that grates, but the fact that he prioritizes his religious beliefs above any convictions he may have about what constitutes good governance.