Ralph Reed, performing a rap music song he composed for the young people
-Headline of the day-
"Reed starting 'hipper' Christian Coalition."
Yo, yo, yo! Jesus H. is in da hizz-ay!
Maybe you know who Ralph Reed is, maybe you don't, but he was Pat Robertson's right hand man for a while there, helping run Pat's Christian Coalition. Then he got into the business of screwing Indian tribes out of gambling rights -- while getting the tribes to foot the bill for the effort -- with Jack Abramoff. Since he sucked so bad at that whole Republican political corruption thing, I guess he's decided to go back to his first love -- Republican religious fanaticism.
Ralph's launching a sort of Christian Coalition 2.0, which he says is going to be off the hook. "This is not going to be your daddy's Christian Coalition," Reed said in an interview to describe his new venture, the Faith and Freedom Coalition. "It has to be younger, hipper, less strident, more inclusive and it has to harness the 21st century that will enable us to win in the future."
Younger and hipper isn't going to be very hard -- Pat Robertson's three days older than water. But "less strident" and "more inclusive" just isn't Ralph's style. He's a world-class dick. According to the report, after being considered a religious right wunderkind, he was forced out of the CC 1.0 in 1997 "as the Federal Election Commission was investigating whether it violated campaign finance rules. By 1999, the IRS had revoked the Coalition's tax-exempt status for taking partisan stands in elections." Once a force to be reckoned with, he transformed the Christian Coalition into a weak and dying organization that no one really cares about anymore.
"Even though I’ve been doing other things, this is kind of like Steve Jobs returning to Apple," Reed said.
Well, it would be, if Steve Jobs had been fired from Apple after running it into the ground, then went on to a career in what's basically organized crime. This may very well be the last time you ever hear of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Ralph really sucks at this stuff. (Think Progress)
-A crucial tool in fighting terr'ists-
Remember how the Bush administration had to perform warrantless wiretaps or we'd all die? They couldn't be bothered to get a warrant -- no time, no time! -- even though they could go ahead and start eavesdropping and get the warrant later (yup, that was the law).
Turns out that the whole program saved us from pretty much nothing. According to the report, "A new report by the inspectors general of the agencies charged with catching the evil-doers determined that many agents were flummoxed by the vague information coming out of the overly-secretive program, and those who weren't couldn't demonstrate how it was helpful." In other words, it didn't really accomplish anything. Well, other than add one more crime to the long list of those committed by the Bush White House -- I think they were shooting for some sort of record.
The inspectors general reported that FBI agents "criticized" the program for "providing insufficient details." The problem? Too much secrecy. The White House made it all so secret that they couldn't tell anyone about it. So whatever it was that was earth-shatteringly important that they needed to get it immediately and without a warrant sat on someone's desk, waiting for someone to use it. Even then when it got past the veil of secrecy, it wasn't all that useful, since "the FBI's process for disseminating [the program's] information failed to adequately prioritize the information for investigation."
So it didn't save any lives and it didn't catch any terr'ists, but it was the most important thing that government could possibly do. No word on how much all this nothin' cost us, but you've got to believe it was a bundle.
Protest that, tea baggers. Your tax money down the freakin' drain and Obama didn't have squat to do with it. (Truthdig)
-Quote[s] of the day-
"Watch Supreme Court nominee on TV b4 Judiciary. I b there most of this wk."
"Chr Rangel wealthy 1pc make 27pc of total income pay 40pc of income tax U hv 5pc health care surTax Howhi taxes go to satisfy u?Let's talk."
-Sen. Charles Grassley.
My spell check just burned out dealing with that. Someone stage an intervention or something. Chuck Grassley's Twitter use has to end. (Wonkette)