News Roundup for 5/27/09

Thomas scowls
Clarence Thomas being warm and delightful

-Headline of the day-
"Flashback: George HW Bush On Clarence Thomas' 'Great Empathy.'"

When it comes to attacking Obama's Supreme Court nominee, the right is floating a few trial balloons. The problem is that these balloons keep popping under the weight of their own dumbitude. Which is why an early attempt to paint Sonia Sotomayor as irrational isn't working out so well. Barack Obama promised that he'd choose a person of "empathy" and the right dived on that comment as if someone with a complete lack of empathy were a sane and logical jurist.

As I pointed out yesterday, the opposite is true. Someone without empathy is literally a psychopath.

Still, since the Republican party is the party of torture, the right isn't going to let a little disability like psychopathic personality disorder cast a shadow over their ideal of the perfect Supreme Court nominee. Empathy is bad in a judge, they say, and if that means the best person for the job is a serial killer, then the best person for the job is a serial killer. That's just the way it is.

So they need to get right on with working to impeach Clarence Thomas, who was sold to the American people as not being a psychopath. "I have followed this man's career for some time," Bush the Elder said of Thomas in 1991. "He is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor."

Not only is he a person of "great empathy," but he's "warm" and "delightful!" That's code for a leprechaun or an elf or something -- maybe even gay. And, of course, we all remember how the Republican party attacked Clarence Thomas for being warm and delightful and non-psychopathic.

Maybe criticizing Sotomayor for not being a psycho isn't the best way to go. They can always pile on her about not being a kleptomaniac or a firebug or something. (Talking Points Memo)

-"OK, how about in my backyard?"-
With Barack Obama looking to shut down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, elected representatives have been quick to reject the idea of putting the prisoners in US prisons. US prisons are made out of cardboard and terr'ists have superpowers, so that's just not safe. Besides, all those al Qaeda guys are violent, soulless crazies and everyone knows that the place for soulless crazies isn't in US prisons, but on the Supreme Court.

Anyway, someone didn't get the memo. According to the report, "The tiny town of Hardin, Montana, is offering an answer to a very thorny question: Where should the nation put terror detainees if the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is shut down by the end of the year as President Obama has pledged?" Turns out Hardin wants the diabolical supervillains in their town.

"It would bring jobs. Believe it or not, it would even bring hope and opportunity," says Hardin's economic development director Greg Smith. "Hope and opportunity"... Pffft! It'd bring certain death, destruction, and the end of the United States. It'd probably even make Baby Jesus cry. Just ask those in the know.

"Housing potential terrorists in Montana is not good for our state," Max Baucus, the state's senior Democratic senator, wrote to the nuts at Hardin. "These people stop at nothing. Their primary goal in life, and death, is to destroy America." And we know that, if there's one thing about American terr'ists -- of which there are plenty in US prisons -- they'll stop at something. We just haven't figured out what yet. These al Qaeda guys are literally devils. Maybe even witches.

"I just don't think it's appropriate, that's all," says Montana Sen. John Tester. "I don't think they know what they're asking for."

Seriously, these guys have to stay in Gitmo, because there's something in the soil there that's like crosses to vampires to them. Sure, Hardin has a state-of-the-art maximum security prison and Guantanamo is basically a dog kennel kit someone from the Pentagon bought at Lowes, but that's no excuse not to FREAK THE FUCK OUT! over the idea that terr'ists might brought into your town.

Come on, Hardin. Get with the program. (CNN)

-In other words, "pancake whistle marshmallow railroad"-
Appearing on C-Span's Students & Leaders series, Texican Rep. John Culberson's plan was to get all Libertarian on an audience of students' asses. Government is nothing but oppression and intrusion, John Culberson insisted and, next to the terr'ists, Washington is the biggest threat to the American Way of Life. "I'm very focused on eliminating -- shutting down as much of the federal government's functions as I can," he told them.

Teabags forever! w00t!

His plan went off the rails, however, when a student asked him about gay marriage. He then fell into rambling incoherence as he tried to keep the "big gummint is out to git you!" argument going, while also arguing that big gummint has to save you from the Homosexual Menace.

"Federal law cannot permit -- if one state, Vermont, wants to do that, you can't let that cross state lines," he said. "You've got to let -- frankly, a lot of these issues have got to be left up to the states. But the federal government cannot permit for example -- The federal government has a legitimate role in interstate commerce. And that's where the federal government comes in. I think the federal government can't recognize -- shouldn't recognize it, it's just a bad idea. And uh -- But fundamentally, the right of privacy's fundamental. I'm not interested -- what people do at home's their own business."

I dare you to make less sense, Rep. Culberson. And I'll give you a dollar if you can. (Think Progress)

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