Archive for the ‘Television’ Category


Smart v. Stupid

The GOP’s worst enemy is its candidates

A Mormon, a nutbag and a lunatic walk into a bar…

Posted Feb 17, 2012, 11:36 am

Jimmy Zuma

The low quality of Republican candidates continues to haunt the party. Each remaining contender for the nomination is wildly weird, each more hooker than prom date.

First up, the strangely robotic Mitt Romney (R-Finance Industry). Kind of out of touch, Romney is a strong proponent of bankruptcy, layoffs, and the joys of firing people. To his credit, he’s the only potential nominee not owned by single rich guy. Of course, he is one.

But to evangelicals, Mitt is a devil-worshipping Mormon. Hence the public code language. When they say “he’s not a true conservative” they mean “he’s not a Christian.” In speaking to the New York Times, the Reverend R. Philip Roberts, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (until last week) put it this way:

“The concern among evangelicals is that the Mormon Church will use his position around the world as a calling card for legitimizing their church and proselytizing people.”

The evangelical dilemma: do I vote for a Mormon because he can beat the Black Muslim? Both get their benefits package from the Devil right? One can just imagine how that conundrum bounces around and around in the mind.

If that wasn’t enough, Mormons also believe God’s has a wife, who they call the Holy Mother. And they baptize dead Jews. No kidding. Newsweek asked Mitt if he had baptized any dead Jews. Sure he said, but not lately.

So it is no surprise that a Gallup poll found one in five Americans simply won’t vote for a Mormon. One can imagine that’s mostly the in league with the Devil thing, but for at least some of them, the baptizing dead Jews thing probably accounts for some of it.

Then there is Rick Santorum (R-Dirty Industrials) He’s everything an evangelical could want. Except that he is a Papist. You may not know what that quaint, archaic word means. But in evangelical Christianity (like in the Church of England in the 1700s) “Papist” is used as a derogatory term for people who worship false gods (specifically the Pope, all those saints, and the Virgin Mary.) relies on contributions from our readers to support our reporting on Tucson’s civic affairs. Donate to today!
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That said it is fair to say that evangelical Protestants are OK with Santorum’s Bible-dominated plan for U.S. government. Santorum recently said that the French Revolution was a failure because it focused on “fraternity” rather than “paternity” – paternity meaning God, not your dad.

Women voters of all kinds are divided into two groups, those who enjoy sex and those who wish the sex was better. Men are divided into those who enjoy sex and those who enjoy sex but wish they were better at it.

Still, nearly all conservative women use birth control and Santorum is on record being against family planning because – and I’m not kidding – sex is not supposed to be fun. The anti-sex constituency, though, is very, very small. Women voters of all kinds are divided into two groups, those who enjoy sex and those who wish the sex was better. Men are divided into those who enjoy sex and those who enjoy sex but wish they were better at it.

Santorum now believes he can extricate himself from this problem by claiming his birth control views are personal and that he would never enforce them on others. But this ignores the possibility that most Americans believe anyone who opposes sex being fun is, well, kind of a moron. Nobody wants a moron in the White House.

There is not much left to say about Newt Gingrich (R-Vegas Casinos.) He still has an outside chance but Gingrich is kind of off the radar unless he finds more money. He was able to compete up to now because of his casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson. Shelly is saying privately that he’ll either drop support for Gingrich or maybe give him one more round of funding in order to hurt Rick Santorum. One of America’s preeminent Zionists, Adelson is apparently OK with the whole baptizing dead Jews thing.

Gingrich’s narrative has been written for him. He is pursuing a personal vendetta against Romney, it goes. And this personal-grudge campaign has clearly worn out its welcome.

The more we get to know these guys, the more they come up short. I guess that’s why independent voters have shifted to President Obama by 17 points since January.

Jimmy Zuma lives in Washington, D.C., where he writes the online opinion journal, Smart v. Stupid, and contributes to Technorati. He spent 5 years in Tucson in the early 80s, when life was a little slower, swamp coolers were a little more plentiful, Tucson’s legendary music scene was in full bloom, and the prevailing work ethic was “don’t – unless you have to.”


by Sonia Scherr on March 24, 2010

A leading anti-abortion webmaster who is widely known for his extremist tactics is behind a new Internet site taking aim at gay and abortion rights supporters with ties to Kenya.

Neal Horsley — best known for his defunct “Nuremberg Files” website targeting physicians who provide abortions — now controls (“SEE” stands for Stop Exporting Evil!) Horsley’s latest website features “Not Wanted” posters with the photographs and, in some cases, contact information of purported gay rights activists and abortion providers working in Kenya. It lists the names of others, along with an appeal to “send us INFO!” The website encourages readers to print out the posters and distribute them in the United States and Kenya. (Abortion laws are highly restrictive in Kenya and homosexual activity is illegal. In recent weeks, Kenyan activists have reported a rash of anti-gay violence, including the Feb. 12 beating of a man outside a health center that provides HIV/AIDS services, according to Human Rights Watch.)

“Project SEE Coalition roving photojournalists on the ground in Africa and the USA are currently gathering evidence which we hope will lead to the arrest and conviction of members [of] the international conspiracy to violate anti-abortion and anti-sodomy laws worldwide,” the website states. Elsewhere, it adds: “We advocate that abortionists and women determined to murder babies be driven back into filthy back alleys like other murderers, and advocate ‘homosexuals’ be likewise driven back into the closet, arrested and prosecuted for sodomy according to God’s law.”

One of those targeted by the website is Kenneth Hieber, who owns a New York-based travel company, Gay2Afrika, Inc., that caters to gays and lesbians. “I was repulsed. Absolutely repulsed,” Hieber, whose photograph appears on “Not Wanted” posters published on, told Hatewatch. The posters refer to Hieber as a “shoga” — a derogatory Swahili term for homosexual — and one of them includes a biblical verse in Swahili (Leviticus 20:13) calling for the death penalty for homosexuals. (“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them,” according to the King James version.) The website also identifies Hieber as the CEO of Gay2Afrika and provides Hieber’s work address and phone number. Emblazoned on a snapshot of the Gay2Afrika website are the words, “Is Homo-Sex-Tourism Coming to your Town?”

Hieber said this characterization of Gay2Afrika is false. “We are a company that serves with the utmost dignity and respect the gay and lesbian traveler to Africa. To even begin to contemplate that we are potentially selling sex tourism is absurd.” He also said has made him sufficiently concerned that he is increasing security for himself and his staff. “I feel very threatened personally,” said Hieber, a naturalized U.S. citizen from South Africa.
Hieber E-mailed Go Daddy, the website host for, which urged him to ask his local law enforcement agency to investigate and then to contact Go Daddy if the website needed to be taken down, according to an E-mail Hieber forwarded from Go Daddy’s Abuse Department. (Hieber said he contacted the New York Police Department shortly after discovering the website on March 8. Officers said they did not believe the website constituted a direct threat, though they would consult with their legal department. Hieber hasn’t yet heard back from the NYPD, which did not respond to a request for comment from Hatewatch.) Christine Jones, general counsel for Go Daddy, said the company has checked the Web links it received in the complaint about “Because there’s nothing that’s per se illegal, even though there seem to be things that could offend some people, our current position is we’re going to leave it up,” she said. As it did with Hieber, the company typically asks people to speak to their local police about whether there’s a legitimate threat. “We’re not in a position to be the decider of fact in these cases,” Jones said.

Horsley, 65, of Carollton, Ga., is listed as the registrant and administrator for, which in some ways resembles a toned-down version of his “Nuremberg Files.” In the late 1990s, the self-described former marijuana trafficker created the online listing of abortion providers and other supporters of abortion rights, with the names of those who’d been murdered crossed out and the names of those who’d been wounded in gray. This website became a central issue in a civil lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood and several abortion doctors against some of the nations most hard-line anti-abortion activists and groups. (Horsley was not a party to the lawsuit.) Though there were no explicit calls for violence on the website, a federal jury decided in 1999 that it constituted a “true threat” and thus was not protected by the First Amendment. The plaintiffs were awarded $107 million. The trial judge also ordered Horsley to take down his website.

Even after a federal appeals court largely affirmed the verdict, Horsley was undeterred. By 2001, he’d launched his website, which featured videos and photos of patients entering and leaving abortion facilities. In 2008, he was found guilty of obscenity for a campaign sign showing the head of an aborted fetus. Earlier this month, Atlanta police arrested Horsley and charged him with making terroristic threats, disseminating threats through the Internet and criminal defamation, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the charges stemmed from threats he allegedly made against the singer Elton John, who told Parade magazine that he believes Jesus was gay. Horsley was released yesterday from Fulton County Jail after posting a $40,000 bond. Horsley did not respond to several phone and E-mail messages this week.

Also promoting is Michael Bray of Wilmington, Ohio, who was convicted in connection with a series of 1984 bombings in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. The bombings targeted clinics, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Abortion Federation, a trade association of abortion providers. According to Bray, the 1993 killing of abortion doctor David Gunn was a “rational way of following the Operation Rescue dictum: ‘If you believe abortion is murder, then act like it.’” Shortly before the trial of Michael Griffin for Dr. Gunn’s murder, Bray was among 34 signers of a “defensive action statement” that asserted Griffin was justified if he killed Gunn because he did it to save the lives of unborn children. Bray, 57, is listed as a contact on and endorses the site in an online statement. In a brief phone interview, he said he’d given support to the site, but was not directly involved in it.

Meanwhile, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and other human rights and faith-based groups are discussing how to challenge the website without further endangering the leaders in Africa who are being targeted by it.

Jonathan O’Toole, the editor, did not return a phone message seeking comment.


President Barack Obama talked a lot about economic recovery during his State of the Union address on Jan. 27, 2010, including the benefits of the economic stimulus bill passed last year.

The stimulus, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, included tax cuts for many Americans, Obama said.

“We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses,” Obama said. “We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college.”

Democrats applauded, while Republicans were silent for the most part. In one of the unscripted moments of the night, Obama looked at the Republican side of the room, smiled and said, “I thought I’d get some applause on that one.”

Here, we wanted to check Obama’s statement that he cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.

The key word in his statement is “working.” Obama’s claim is based on a tax cut intended to offset payroll taxes. Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

The tax cut was part of Obama’s campaign promises. During the campaign, Obama said he wanted $500 for each worker and $1,000 for working couples. Since the final number was a bit less than he promised, we rated his promise a Compromise on our Obameter, where we rate Obama’s campaign promises for fulfillment.

During the campaign, the independent Tax Policy Center researched how Obama’s tax proposals would affect workers. It concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama’s plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes. According to the analysis, the people who wouldn’t get a tax cut are those who make more than $250,000 for couples or $200,000 for a single person. Obama said he intended to raise taxes on those high earners, a promise he reiterated during the State of the Union, and that revenue would offset the stimulus tax cut.

Because the stimulus act did give that broad-based tax cut to workers, we rate Obama’s statement True.


First Posted: 03-20-10 04:56 PM – Updated: 03-20-10 05:08 PM

Abusive, derogatory and even racist behavior directed at House Democrats by Tea Party protesters on Saturday left several lawmakers in shock.

Preceding the president’s speech to a gathering of House Democrats, thousands of protesters descended around the Capitol to protest the passage of health care reform. The gathering quickly turned into abusive heckling, as members of Congress passing through Longworth House office building were subjected to epithets and even mild physical abuse.

A staffer for Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-M.D.) had been spit on by a protestor. Rep. John Lewis (D-G.A.), a hero of the civil rights movement, was called a ‘ni–er.’ And Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was called a “faggot,” as protestors shouted at him with deliberately lisp-y screams. Frank, approached in the halls after the president’s speech, shrugged off the incident.

But Clyburn was downright incredulous, saying he had not witnessed such treatment since he was leading civil rights protests in South Carolina in the 1960s.

“It was absolutely shocking to me,” Clyburn told the Huffington Post. “Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday… I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins… And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus.”

“It doesn’t make me nervous as all,” the congressman said, when asked how the mob-like atmosphere made him feel. “In fact, as I said to one heckler, I am the hardest person in the world to intimidate, so they better go somewhere else.”

Asked if he wanted an apology from the group of Republican lawmakers who had addressed the crowd and, in many ways, played on their worst fears of health care legislation, the Democratic Party, and the president, Clyburn replied:

“A lot of us have been saying for a long time that much of this, much of this is not about health care a all. And I think a lot of those people today demonstrated that this is not about health care… it is about trying to extend a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful.”


Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map:

None of the judges used the “Save” option on this contestant last week.