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Posts Tagged ‘Republican

Arizona won't kill school sports — and itself

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With 14 of 15 counties reporting — including its largest, Maricopa — Arizona appears to have passed Proposition 100 by a 64-36 margin. Prop 100, passed first by the state’s legislature, raises Arizona’s state sales tax from 5.6 percent to 6.6 percent through 2013, providing an extra $1 billion to schools, health care and public safety, and preventing an immediate $900 million cut — $450 million of it to education — in the state budget.

For purposes of this blog, passage means that Arizona schools will not be eliminating or greatly reducing their sports programs.

As you might recall, in my Prop 100 preview, I talked a lot about how Arizona was making itself the capital of Scared Old White People, what with all the anti-immigrant legislation and the threat of voting down Prop 100 despite knowing the trigger would be pulled on some draconian cuts. With Prop 100’s passage, perhaps Arizona does need to build its Scared Old White People Capitol building yet.

However — and I say this as someone who has broken the tape on 40 — a quote like this one from the Arizona Republic makes me wonder if health reform legislation missed the boat by not really having death panels.

But for Tempe residents Al and Joan Laninga, both retired and registered Republicans, the proponents’ campaign was not necessarily persuasive – at least not in the way it was intended.

Joan, 71, a retired private school teacher, said the amount of the tax was insignificant and she had initially considered supporting the tax hike, but the campaign changed her mind.

“First it was all about having enough police and fire,” she said. “When they changed their focus to education, I figured the whole thing was a scare tactic.”

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Written by rkcookjr

May 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

America's craziest Christian football coach declares run for Congress

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davedaubenmire

Dave Daubenmire is the most successful high school football coach in America at running his offense out of the wingnut formation.

Since 1999, when he got canned from London (Ohio) High School following a lawsuit over his bringing his extreme religion into the classroom and the locker room, Daubenmire has become a right-wing media star, with multiple appearances in his ever-present cross cap on such standard who-loves-America-the-most shows such as Hannity.

Daubenmire, who as football coach at Fairfield Christian Academy in Lancaster, Ohio, can preach to the converted all he wants without the mean ol’ ACLU getting in the way, wants to fight the evil godless government from within, having filed to run as a Republican for the House of Representatives seat held by Democrat Zack Space, one of Daubenmire’s many mortal enemies.

From the Chillicothe Gazette:

Daubenmire said the time is right for a conservative grass-roots campaign to succeed, especially in a district dominated by Republican presidential candidate John McCain in the 2008 election.

“I could run as an independent, but I don’t want to do that,” Daubenmire said [Jan. 28] on his radio show on WLRY, in Rushville. “I’m convinced whoever wins the Republican primary will be the next elected representative in the 18th District.

“(Space) is not even a Blue Dog. We have the most traitorous Democrat, Zack Space, in that position.”

Daubenmire used his radio show to blast the president and the policies of the Democrat-controlled Congress.

“I don’t think we understand the depth of the evil that is involved in the American government,” Daubenmire said.

“We watch the president of the United States. If he is under demonic control, we watch him on TV and we are hypnotized and drawn to him and how articulate he is. We say he’d never do that or that would never happen. What are the limits of the depths of evil of the evil one? How evil could his minions be?”

The … coach said on the radio show he was still undecided about entering the race, saying he would be assaulted by news media and portrayed as an idiot.

“The question I’m struggling with, I guess, I don’t know, is who better than me to grab the sword of the spirit and go into the devil’s lair and swing that sword,” Daubenmire said.

Here is video of Daubenmire swinging his sword in a sit-in outside Space’s home office in Dover, Ohio. He vowed to sit there until Space had a town hall meeting on health system reform, specifically one involving Daubenmire personally. (Space did have meetings, though none involving the coach.)

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If Daubenmire sounds like he’s moved beyond Christianity into delusion, it’s because he has. In his personal bio, Daubenmire notes he started his Pass the Salt ministry after a great victory over the American Civil Liberties Union. It sued the London City Schools on behalf of parents complaining that Daubenmire required players to participate in team prayer, and preached during practice and during class. The case was settled the day before it was supposed to go to court in 1999, and Daubenmire was fired. Here is how Daubenmire recalls the ending:

After a two year battle for his 1st amendment rights and a determination to not back down, the ACLU relented and offered coach an out of court settlement. God honored his stand and the ACLU backed off. Coach’s courageous stand, an inspiration to Americans everywhere, demonstrated that the ACLU can be defeated.

And here is the ACLU’s recollection, in a release whose title begins ACLU Declares Victory:

The settlement, which ACLU attorneys have been quietly negotiating with lawyers for the district and the coaches since early last month, prohibits future acts of religious indoctrination and establishes a system for reporting violations of the agreement to the United States District Court in Columbus [also, for two years any violations had to be reported to the ACLU]. …

[T]he London School Board voted unanimously to accept the terms offered by the ACLU.

Daubenmire also never mentioned that he sued the complaining parents for defamation — and lost.

Of course, Daubenmire has a long history of using the ACLU’s scorn and other people’s disapproval as the fuel for his holy fire, and I don’t mean the one he set when he publicly burned a copy of the Koran. Like his good buddy Alan Keyes, Daubenmire uses his runs for office (he also ran unsucessfully for the Ohio State Board of Education in 2004) to bring more attention to his own activities, and get himself more time on Fox News.

In fact, Daubenmire, as he hinted above, is running as a Republican out of expediency, not out of love for the party. He probably is insulted that the Chillcothe Gazette referred to him as a conservative, given one of his jeremiads: “Let Conservatism Die.”

Meanwhile, the modern “conservative” movement awakened by Barry Goldwater, carried up the mountain by Ronald Reagan, preached over the airwaves by Limbaugh and Hannity [editor’s note: great way to guarantee future apperances on their programs], and destroyed by GW Bush and the Republican Party is still being called “conservatism” by those on both the winning and the losing side.

… [C]onservatives went “compassionate” (which really meant compromised) and sold Christianity down the river; Only Christians aren’t smart enough to realize it. They still vote the way “conservatives” Hannity and Limbaugh tell them to, because, after all, they are “conservatives” too. Christianity and conservativism are not the same thing.

… You wouldn’t have to look very far into the “conservative” Republican Party to find the fornicators, covetous, idolators, railers, drunkards, or extortioners. Just look at the guest list at a Republican fundraiser. Those “conservatives” are the one’s [sic] that our Christian leadership are breaking bread with inside the big Republican tent. Is it any wonder they have lost? Has the Republican Party compromised their position to advance the standards of Jesus or has the Christian leadership compromised on the standards of our Savior to advance Republican candidates? … Let conservatism die.

I’m not sure the coach’s offensive activities will get him elected, but they certainly will score points with a certain amount of the electorate — the ones who enjoy watching their politics run out of the wingnut formation.

Criminal charges dropped in ex-Congressman/youth soccer coach punchout

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January 19th was a very big, happy, victorious day for a Republican. Yeah, Scott Brown, too.

Former U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi on Jan. 19 learned he will not be facing criminal charges relating to a scuffle in which he allegedly punched a neckbrace-wearing youth soccer coach. On the other hand, the coach, Chris Hester, also will not face criminal charges for his part in the fight.

Each independently decided to drop pursuing a criminal case against the other regarding the bout, which occurred after a 10- and 11-year-old match in Madison, Miss., that featured Pickering’s son on one side and Hester coaching the other. The fight started because Pickering claimed Hester was verbally abusive to his son. By the way, both men are in their 40s, not that you would ever know. At least they were mature enough to decide that it would be better not to make 10- and 11-year-olds go to court for the grind and pain of testifying as to where on the doll Pickering punched Hester.

The judge, and I translate from legalese, called both men douchebags, and everyone went on their way. “I regret very much the entire episode, Pickering said after the court hearing. “I was trying to protect my son. I believe Mr. Hester was trying to protect one of his players. What we’ve learned is there’s a better way to do this, and there’s a better way we could have handled everything that night.” And with that, it was over.

Well, not quite.

Reporters at the scene noted two major signs that to Hester, this wasn’t over. One is that he refused to shake Pickering’s hand when he extended it. The other was him and his lawyer holding a press conference to announce they would be suing Pickering to cover Hester’s medical bills, perhaps not including the neckbrace he was wearing at the time he got punched.

Sadly for Pickering, he’s pretty familiar with the inside of a courtroom. Not only is did Pickering get divorced, but his ex-wife followed with a so-called alien-of-affection lawsuit against Pickering’s mistress. So Pickering might have to go through the pain and grind of testifying where on the doll his mistress touched him.

Written by rkcookjr

January 19, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Former Congressman accused of punching youth soccer coach

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One day you’re a rising star in national politics, the next you’ve fallen from grace to the point you’re punching a kids’ soccer coach who wears a neck brace.

Chip Pickering, once a shoo-in to replace his old boss Trent Lott as the U.S. Senator from Mississippi, instead is begging coach and nurse Chris Hester to drop simple assault charges against him after the two got in a scuffle following a 10- and 11-year-olds’ soccer game in Madison, Miss.

Hester’s team was playing a team featuring Pickering’s son. Hester said Pickering attacked him in his truck, while Pickering said that after he went to upbraid Hester about being what he called verbally abusive to his son, Hester attacked him. For what it’s worth, Hester also has a simple assault charge against him related to the incident. He might have a neck brace, but apparently his fists still work.

Each side’s lawyers are talking to see whether charges might be dropped before a scheduled Jan. 19 court date. Pickering already is on the record saying he wants to settle this “man to man.” Um, Chip, you already tried settling one conflict with Hester man-to-man, and it’s safe to say that didn’t work out too well.

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I’m sure the coach hurts, but I haven’t seen such a hilarious neck brace since the cancellation of whatever the last sitcom was that featured a fake auto accident injury as a major plot device.

If this were just a lesson in how even the most august among us are prone to going goofy at youth sports events, the story would end here. Unfortunately for the Chipster, the incident appears to be part of a precipitous decline from future U.S. Senator to someone going to the courthouse enough to get a punchcard that would make his 10th appearance free.

When Lott resigned as Senator in November 2007, Pickering, his former aide and the son of a judge (Charles Pickering) famously appointed by President George W. Bush and famously not confirmed because of Democratic objections (and a judge who is a longtime power-broker in the Mississippi Republican party and a Tea Partier), was rumored to be the top choice to replace him. Pickering not only refused to take Lott’s seat, but he also announced he would resign from the House of Representatives in 2008 after 12 years, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife and five sons.

At least with his wife, Chip Pickering’s pledge to “spend more time” meant “spend more time with her before a judge.” In June 2008, Pickering announced he and his wife Leisha would divorce. A little more than a year later, Leisha Pickering sued Chip’s alleged mistress, Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, in what’s called an alienation-of-affection lawsuit. (Mississippi is one of four states that allow those, which gives aggrieved ex-spouses-to-be the right to sue homewreckers on the grounds they sabotaged a legally binding contract. I guess that sounds easier to rationalize to yourself than “she was my husband’s reverse cowboy.”)

As part of the court cases, apparently Republican bigwigs are trying to make sure a diary Pickering kept of his shenanigans, a missive that includes the names of his boys who covered his tracks for him. This is a bit of an issue because Pickering is the third member of the s0-called, allegedly highly religious C Street Fellowship, following Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (a former House member) to be caught walking the Appalachain Trail.

So I can imagine that the lawyer(s) for Chip Pickering are trying to impress upon the soccer coach with the neck brace to be a little understanding. After all, Chipper’s having a bit of a rough go. C’mon, man, be a pal!

If Pickering is being made to look a fool for the youth soccer incident, well, it’s hardly the first time. You might remember Pickering for his co-starring role as a Congressman appearing a church to preach against evolution and for Christian government in a little movie called Borat.

“He never played Little League Baseball”

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Barack Obama, in his brief presidency, has maintained high approval ratings, somewhere in the 60s or 70s. That still  leaves a lot of people who disapprove of the job he’s doing. No problem there — no president is going to have 100 percent approval, and it’s good for democracy to have an opposition ready to point out the shortcomings of those in power and to offer alternative solutions.

However, this blog post will focus not on the thoughtful dissenters, but on the batshit crazy brigade. They’ve brought youth sports into this, so it’s my duty as an American to point out their WTF-ness. Like how Obama is anti-American because “he never played Little League.”

The contention comes in an a recent interview by Pamela Geller, proprietor of the blog Atlas Shrugs, with Lt. Col. Allen West (Army, retired), an announced U.S. House candidate for Florida’s 22nd district (which had been in Republican hands for decades before incumbent Ron Klein won in 2006. West already lost to Klein in 2008).

Here is the video of the interview, with the youth sports portion coming at 3:31.

The money quote, from West: “You know what, I tell people, you know, [Obama] never played Little League Baseball.”

Geller (channeling Fonzie): “Heyyyyyyy!”

West: “There’s something about growing up playing Little League Baseball, church youth league sports, things of that nature, which are the fabric of this country. And he never did that.”

No wonder this had to be said at a free speech summit — MY GOD, WHY DIDN’T THE MEDIA TELL US OBAMA NEVER PLAYED LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!!! HOW CAN WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO NEVER PLAYED LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!!!!!!!

The tradition of presidents playing Little League Baseball is a long one. I mean, only one in the long tradition of presidents played Little League Baseball: George W. Bush.

bush-p04

My teammates called me, “The Decider.”

OK, so maybe West’s point wasn’t that Obama specifically played Little League itself (though Joe Biden did. So did another veep known for public utterances of stupidity, Dan Quayle.) After all, the league wasn’t created until 1939, and many kids, such as my own, play in youth baseball leagues with no Little League affiliation.

However, if the point is that Obama doesn’t get America because he didn’t play sports as a kid, did West and Geller not get the memo about Obama playing high school basketball? Or what a friggin’ sports nut Obama is?

A few things to put West’s comments in context. Atlas Shrugs is a screeching jeremiad against jihads real and imagined, a site dedicated to letting us know the Muslims are going to kill us all, and they’ve been given the ammo now that a Muslim not born in America is in the White House. Atlas Shrugs trades in the fake-birth-certificate, secret-Muslim stuff even a lot of conservatives have dismissed. Would Obama have been more American if, like Eisenhower, he played semipro baseball under a fake name? West gained fame in conservative circles as a victim of American pussy injustice when in 2003 he was fined, but not court-martialed, for harsh interrogation techniques in Iraq.

The interview took place at something called the Free Speech Summit in Palm Beach, Fla., a gathering dedicated to denouncing the world pussy injustice of not having the right to shout “Fire! (At a Muslim!)” in a crowded theater. One of its keynoters was the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose greatest hits against Islam include calling it “the ideology of a retarded culture.”

Earlier in the Geller-West interview, both talk about how Obama can’t be American because he was fooling around “on the streets of Jakarta” (referring to the part of Obama’s childhood spent in Indonesia), and other, similar contentions to show that Obama is going to turn us into a Third-World Islamist state. The kicker is that by not having played Little League Baseball, Obama never learned to love America like those who did.

But why should we care? What does Obama’s youth sports experience mean for the stimulus package? If you have an argument with Obama, isn’t the issue with his policies, and not whether he ever wore a uniform sporting the phone number of a local hot dog stand?

So if parents already don’t feel forced to push their kids into organized sports, here’s one more reason: if you don’t, when your child becomes president, the future batshit crazy brigade is going to use it to disprove his or her’s fitness to lead the free world — if OBAMA HASN’T KILLED IT BY THEN!!!!!

By the way, in the interview West never mentions whether HE played Little League Baseball. I say, right now, release the transcripts! Show us the documentation! I want receipts from any youth league in which West participated! And I’m going to pore over it, because I won’t believe it’s from an AMERICAN league! And don’t just give me pictures — I’ve heard of Photoshop! Let’s release the documents, Lt. Col. West! Perhaps otherwise we’ll have to tell people that, you know, you never played Little League Baseball.

Written by rkcookjr

May 5, 2009 at 12:46 am