Since this week has been all about the godsbothering, a historical sidebar I’ve been saving, from Kevin M. Kruse at the NYTimes:
… The concept of “one nation under God” has a noble lineage, originating in Abraham Lincoln’s hope at Gettysburg that “this nation, under God, shall not perish from the earth.” After Lincoln, however, the phrase disappeared from political discourse for decades. But it re-emerged in the mid-20th century, under a much different guise: corporate leaders and conservative clergymen deployed it to discredit Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
During the Great Depression, the prestige of big business sank along with stock prices. Corporate leaders worked frantically to restore their public image and simultaneously roll back the “creeping socialism” of the welfare state. Notably, the American Liberty League, financed by corporations like DuPont and General Motors, made an aggressive case for capitalism. Most, however, dismissed its efforts as self-interested propaganda. (A Democratic Party official joked that the organization should have been called “the American Cellophane League” because “first, it’s a DuPont product and, second, you can see right through it.”)
Realizing that they needed to rely on others, these businessmen took a new tack: using generous financing to enlist sympathetic clergymen as their champions. After all, according to one tycoon, polls showed that, “of all the groups in America, ministers had more to do with molding public opinion” than any other…
If you read the whole thing (it’s not very long!), there are two obvious conclusions to be drawn:
(a) the GOPers haven’t had a new idea in at least fifty years; and
(b) the genuinely religious among us prefer to keep our faith separate from the machinery of government, because trying to combine the two is bad for both endeavors.
So… back in the Reality-Based Community, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
I will brush my hair. I do so once a week.
AP is reporting that Whitney Houston has died.
The reason that the GOP hasn’t had a new idea in 50 years is because they haven’t gotten those old ideas into law. Once they’ve accomplished that, they will come up with something new.
I just saw it trending on twitter. Thought it was a joke, but it’s all over Msnbc right now.
Otherwise known by said corporate leaders and conservative clergymen as the “Jew Deal.”
According the MSNBC.com, Whitney Houston is dead at the age of 48.
I’m trying to teach the kids to make their own dinner so I can work.
The S/O caught Vibrio food poisoning from raw oysters yesterday and can’t get out of bed.
(those things are all unrelated)
Bless her heart. RIP.
I’ve always enjoyed The Bodyguard. It might be a chick flick and I would understand if the guys weren’t as fond of it.
Gonna miss that girl.
Just gonna sit around and listen to Father Coughlin radio addresses since I just can’t get enough of listening to religious idiots.
Even more than that.
I’m not an expert on the Gilded Age, but from what I’ve read, the way the GOPers (and Bourbon Democrats, the “Blue Dogs” of their day) ran the country back then was identical to how it is now: buy up all the political institutions available and exploit the shit out of cultural divisions (urban/rural, North/South, native/immigrant and black/white) to keep the people at each other’s throats so they won’t notice when you rob them blind.
The more things change…
I can’t say that I was a fan of Whitney Houston (although The Bodyguard wasn’t bad). That said, she had undeniable talent.
WTF? I thought my wife was joking.
Finally got my sidewalks cleared of snow.
In theory, we had 9 inches of snow. In reality, we had drifts. So it took more than one try to finish the task, with a substantial rest between spurts of effort.
Whitney Houston. What a waste of a great talent.
And now it’s cocktail hour. Time for a vodka.
I’m going to sit around and laugh at the Maine caucus results. The RomneyTron_2012 (Rev. 497.c) won by 194 votes, 2,190 to 1996, over the Paultard (circa 1832.)
No actual Tampa delegates were awarded, that’ll happen at the state convention during the first week in May.
These “final” results came-in with only 84% of precincts reporting and:
Webster is the GOP state party chair for Maine.
Democracy. What a concept. Sometime the GOP should check it out.
@Linnaeus: HOLY SHIT!
Seems to me that The Powers That Be are well-served by the outbreak of culture wars every election season.
Can’t have the peasants talking about those who actually are screwing them over.
Note that the words “under God” appear in neither of the drafts of the Gettysburg address, only in the post-speech copies.
G got the alert from CNN on his iPhone. Given her history, I’m assuming her death will turn out to be drug-related.
What a waste.
It is so sad about Whitney. She had a tragic adulthood dealing with addictions. I remember seeing her perform at my college before anyone had heard of her. It was a free concert that was a girl with a beautiful voice.
Waiting on the first bobby brown/crack joke…go!
TMZ says Whitney Houston died at the Beverly Hilton hotel and a crime lab vehicle was just seen there.
That seems to be a familiar script.
they tried to make me go to reeeee-hab,
but i said nooo, noooo, nooo…
Packing for a trip to a place where it’s sunny right now: Yuma. Ugh.
But, it’s to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday so we will have a good time despite being in Yuma. I am packing shorts as I speak.
And awaiting a nice pizza and salad because I don’t want to cook tonight, and do not want to clean up the kitchen again.
Whitney’s death = Obama’s fault
Villago Delenda Est
Yeah, my first thought was “what drug wound up killing her”.
We’ll have to wait a bit (NO! I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW!) to find out why this happened to a 48yr old.
@opie jeanne: I’m trying to think of a nice thing to say about Yuma. Um, it’s halfway between Tucson and San Diego?
Palin at CPAC saying that a long competitive primary will “strengthen” the GOP nominee in November:
It is to laugh.
Villago Delenda Est
The Founders were both much closer in time to the bloody period of the Reformation, and also much better read about it than most Americans are now.
So their perspective about church and state meddling in each others’ affairs was “doan want”. That’s why Madison was so absolutely adamant about the “no religious test” clause in Article VI of the Constitution. He wanted to make sure that purges of good public servants because the walked into the “wrong” church on Sundays didn’t happen in this country, as they frequently happened in England in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
@Linkmeister: Both versions of “3:10 to Yuma” were pretty good.
Can’t stand the idea of the passive resentment of bartenders of a loser-with-a-book wasting valuable bar space. Dinner for one at home is on the agenda. Thinking a risotto of barley and vegetables with a little pork.
@Linkmeister: Heh. It’s a hole.
And it’s so damned hot there most of the time that you can get a nasty burn just touching the door handles at a restaurant.
@Omnes Omnibus: They were, and we visited the prison in Yuma that the main character was so anxious to avoid. Very interesting place, the cells had stone walls. Way ahead of its time, more humane in the treatment of prisoners than other prisons of its day, but I think I’d choose a prison in a more temperate climate, if given my druthers.
Baron Jrod of Keeblershire
Well, some genuinely religious folks think that’s true, but get very sad and hurt if us heathen types react too strongly when the ungenuinely religious ones push to make their medieval conceptions of the world the law of the land, and therefore the genuinely religious folks would like us to shut up about it and stop being so mean.
Isn’t that right, Burnsie?
Seems like young pastor Fifeld made a bit of a deal with the devil. This glowing church history article doesn’t say that how he managed to pay off that big debt in such a short time.
Here’s the lovely Whitney Houston, in a moment of Zen, performing at the Grammy Awards (back when they were still watchable).
“One Moment in Time”
Well done Whitney.
@Linkmeister: I have an aunt in Yuma who is charming. For that reason alone it is a welcome destination.
Having one of these, a stuffed pork chop and a spinach pasta salad. Life is good.
@Martin: I have cousins in Yuma myself.
I’m gonna say this again…. DAMN
Whitney was playing when I hooked up with my first real high school girlfriend.
Gin & Tonic
@Anoniminous: 2,190 votes might, just might win you one of the seven seats on the town council in the dipshit little New England (not Maine) town I call home.
A neighbor of mine has gotten hooked on antidepressants and has become a drug addict. She has gotten 2 DUIs, lost her job, friends, can’t drive anymore and her young kids are suffering. Thank goodness her husband is still sticking with her to help her over this. What a sad situation that she doesn’t seem to be able to overcome. I don’t have much experience with drug addiction, but it has to be horrible for everyone involved.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
Yes, but I want to escape from all three of them.
It’s February temperature is more comfortable than most places in the country.
just saw galexy quest for the 5th time (it’s been a while since the 4th)
best line in the movie:
guy fleegman: I know! You construct a weapon. Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?
Democracy is the system where the peons have equal voice with important people, isn’t it? I think the Republicans are going to stay as far away as they can.
She’s still heeeeeeere!
You are very welcome, enjoy.
@Gin & Tonic: 2190 votes would barely win you a board on my homeowners association.
I’m still recovering from a rally at the Madison Capitol, shades of last February. Today marks a year since Walker dropped the bomb on us (his words to the fake David Koch), so there will be events throughout the next week. Today’s rally was small since it was obscenely cold (much colder than it ever was at any of the rallies last year; yes, Wisconsinites are used to cold, but standing outside in ten degrees and a wicked wind for two hours strains whatever preparations you can make), but it’s good to get together periodically and remember that it ain’t over yet, not by a long shot. Even if we get rid of Walker (whether by recall or indictment; it’s hard to say at this point which will come first), it’ll be years before we can undo all the damage.
Eets not a Yuma.
And you can go back even further to John C. Calhoun, who defended slavery as a social necessity because it kept poor white people from killing rich white people and taking all their shit.
By Grabthar’s Hammer!
@Gin & Tonic:
If there were 2,190 votes in an election in the dipshit little New Mexico town I call home it would mean (roughly) 1,200 more people voted than live in the little dipshit town I call home.
But I get your drift.
A quick in-the-head add sums to 5,285 people turned-out versus 5,491 in ’08. In 2008 a total of 1,049,816 were cast in Maine so a little over half of one percent bothered to engage in the process. A wave of popular support for the Romney_Tron it ain’t.
The state polling so far for 2012 is interesting. Did you all realize that Obama is polling ahead of or tied with every GOP candidate in the following states:
Michigan (8 points ahead of Romney)
South Carolina (LOL!)
Needless to say, he’s leading in places like NY, CA, IL, etc. In the states above, he’s typically 46%-50%, so hardly a slam-dunk, but a strong base to start from. The problem state is PA where’s he’s down by 2 to Romney.
If your instinct was that Obama is in trouble because of the economy, those numbers should be quite a bit worse. Too far out to be predictive of much, but our President is far from an unpopular guy.
“by Grabthar’s Hammer…what a savings.”
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
I was born in Yuma.
But I only lived there for a few weeks, so I couldn’t tell you a thing about it.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
Gonna see how many facebook friends I can piss off with your link.
This whole ‘primary’ process has become a mockery. Single digit percentage of voters determining their party’s candidate is reddiculous. Can’t both the parties come out with a better process ?
I’m not saying this isn’t possible (is it?), but I’ve never heard of anyone becoming addicted to anti-depressants and becoming a drug addict. What anti-depressants are we talking about here? Were they prescribed? I know it’s none of my business, but I’ve never heard of, say, Zoloft addiction or Pristiq addiction….
@Martin: Your list is 193 EVs. Add NY and Cali and you’re at 277.
Basing a prediction of a presidential election result on a single factor, such as the economy, isn’t the way to go. For one, it’s who gets blamed/praised for the economy and, right now, the GOP is shouldering most of it. (IMHO) For another, it’s too simple minded.
Just as a example, should Santorum or Gingrich get the nomination Obama should get the woman vote well into the 60 percentile.
We live and work about 2 miles from his former church, The Little Flower, which we call The Church of the Little Hitler. last week my boss had me cornered in his truck and started going on* about how he’s pissed about organized religion and doesn’t know if he’s an Atheist or not. I advised him to Google Coughlin and read a bit. If he did, he’s an Atheist for sure now.
*because his wife told him to quit talking to her about it.
Mr Stagger Lee
@Linnaeus: Nobody could top her rendition of the National Anthem, a standard that nobody has yet topped. I enjoyed her music. Thank You Whitney for your music!
EXCUSE me? She has become a drug addict on anti-depressants & this caused her to get DUIs?!?
Is she a Scientologist by any chance? She may have a lot of problems but I’ll bet you 10,000 Burundi Francs she did not get addicted to, or by anti-drepessants/
Anti depressants are not physically addictive, though Xanax that is sometimes prescribed for anxiety and depression is a
benzodiazepin-, or valium type drug, and is addictive. There might be other drugs some docs might prescribe that can be addictive, but with the the drugs that are Prozac, SSRI’s, or older Tricyclic antidepressants, are not thought of as addictive in a true sense.
I spent ten years in Yuma one summer.
There are so many good scenes & lines in that movie. One of my favorites is Alexander Dane’s meltdown back stage
“There were five curtain calls. I was an actor once, damn it!”
Or Gwene DeMArco’s:
“Oh my god! I’m repeating everything the computer says.”
@MikeJ: And Illinois, Vermont, Hawaii, etc. that are locks for the Democrat. If he carried that list and the other expected states, it’d be a landslide.
@Anoniminous: Well, the economy does matter, but it’s not the snapshot state of the economy that matters, but the first derivative of where the economy is. If it’s headed upward or downward, that’s what drives views of the incumbent. If its headed notably upward, voters are generally afraid to fuck with what seems to be working. If its headed notably downward, then its time for a change. That is stubbornly reliable, given a competent opponent. The economy wasn’t much better for Reagan in 1984 than it is now for Obama, but it was clearly improving – both on jobs and on inflation, and that’s most of what mattered. And that’s why just that last jobs report triggered such a shift in attitude on the election – it wasn’t that unemployment went down so much, but that the trend clearly landed into the ‘notably better’ category.
@Rihilism: Well, since I have virtually no experience in this area, I’m not sure the nature of her addiction. Maybe it’s an addiction to how she feels when she takes them, she also will drink while she is on them and that brings a whole host of problems with it. I don’t have contact with her or her family to know the extent of the problem.
I’m a little shocked. I had no idea she do young. Not much older than me. It’s not right.
I just got home from a friend’s house to find out that Whitney died. What a loss of a great talent. Her version of the national anthem may be the best vocal version ever.
Do you have a useful suggestion? In any case, Maine is a caucus rather than a primary, so calling the low turnout here a problem with the primary process is inaccurate. Even where there have been primaries with low turnout, I don’t think the process is to blame. After all, the Democrats managed to get lots of voters out to help them select their candidate in 2008. The problem with the Republicans this year is the candidates, not the process.
@Suffern ACE: Yeah, I was surprised to see that she is only three years older than me. Such a sad end.
True the candidates are a problem, but so it the process. Caucus aside, can we really not come up with a way to allow people to vote online? Doesn’t need to be an exclusive method, just an optional one. Just making the voting process easier is certain to lead to better participation rates.
@cathyx: Ah, alcohol. If she always drinks when she takes the drugs, there you have it. The DUIs probably happened because she’s an alcoholic. Medication and booze do not mix well at all.
@Roger Moore: What was the turn-out in ME for Obama-Hillary ?
For one thing, they could shift the voting date to a weekend so that people will not have to choose between voting and losing their job.
No offense to Whitney Houstion and may she RIP, but per some comments above I’ve always been partial to Marvin Gaye’s rendition of the National Anthem at the ’83 NBA All Star Game, as vocal versions go (Hendrix obviously kills), ‘cuz it wasn’t all “Kate Smith on steroids” like Whitney’s. Just saying…
Whitney was an extraordinary talent, but she suffered from coming along when the music industry had pretty much turned to shit. Her material was, more often than not, crap. Working with, say, Jerry Wexler back in the day she would have fulfilled her promise and stayed truer to her roots (Mother Cissy was one of the Sweet Inspirations who sang with Aretha, Wilson Pickett, Esther Phillips, Hendrix, Van Morrison, etc. etc. eventually backing Elvis on his tours!). As it was, it was a very mixed bag. Not that her place in pop history has anything to do with her personal issues, which were tragic.
I know we keep talking about how turnout is low because the candidates are so weak, but I am wondering what we’re comparing it too. Looking at Maine 2008, the candidates were Paul McCain Romney and huckster, the latter receiving 1 percent of the vote. Are the current candidates even weaker than that?
@amk: From what can find online the final result was 2,306 Obama and 1,973 Clinton.
@Martin: Yes, family makes it a reason to go to Yuma.
@PurpleGirl: The underlying mental state that gets one prescriptions of anti-depressants might play some role too. Observed behavior could be wildly overdetermined.
@Jewish Steel: Schnort! I laughed.
@opie jeanne: Good!
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
Christ, and I hear people worry that Diebold has security holes. Do you honestly think that this is a good idea?
@sfinny: Hardly 5K out of 320K regd dems in 2008 in ME.
Pathetic isn’t it, especially given the “Obama-Hillary war” ?
Evolving Deep Southerner (tense changed for accuracy)
@cathyx: So you’re saying you actually don’t know a God damn thing except she gets fucked up and out of control a lot?
Sounds like somebody needs to mind their own fucking business to me.
@Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: It’s very dry there, and most of the time it’s really hot there. Lots of rocks and sand, strip malls beside the freeway, a generally defeated look if you never get off the freeway.
They have a jr college in town. I don’t think I’ve been to what I’d consider a downtown area.
Evolving Deep Southerner (tense changed for accuracy)
@cathyx: And before you say it again, “Keep evolving some more.”
Yeah, yeah. Save it before you waste the keystrokes.
ETA: Condescending bitch.
In the Wasteland, TS Eliot said that April was the cruelest month but March ain’t shaping up to be so hot, either.
@cathyx: Someone else has probaby beaten me to it, but you are REALLY not supposed to drink while you’re on those meds.
Just spotted an article that the US Catholic bishops intend to fight against the compromise on contraceptives. They don’t know when to quit.
As the General said, if she was given Xanax, that actually is considered addictive. Most of the SSRIs are not, but I’ve heard some sad stories about Xanax.
Add alcohol to that, and you have a very, very nasty mix.
@opie jeanne: I think it depends on the meds and to some extent on the person taking the meds. I’ve been on SSRIs or SNRIs for the past twenty years and while I’ve always been told to be cautious when drinking, I’ve never been told it was strictly verboten (while I’ll rarely drink nowadays, I drank “successfully” on numerous occasions during my squandered youth with no repercussions aside from the occasional bout of the icks). Now, an old friend of mine was an alcoholic who used chlorazepate for anxiety and, in his case, that was truly an ugly combination…
Gah. Stupid moderation. Can someone please free me for the crime of using a brand name?
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):
Yes. Done properly it’s not a problem.
@Rihilism: Maybe I’m wrong about other meds, but the two I have experience with had big scary warnings about not drinking while using them: Paxil and Zoloft.
@Rihilism: In case my post seemed a little flip towards drinking and meds, let me add that antidepressants and alcoholism are never a good combo, for anyone…..
So the antidepressants were not working and she chose to self-medicate with alcohol.
Most of my dads family didn’t have access to modern medications and depression was not understood at all. Those that didn’t go the AA route pretty much died from various end results of their self-medication.
Ah, a little web research has led me to info on the potentially dangerous effects of mixing MAOIs (which I’ve never been on) with alcohol.
And something I’m well aware of, alcohol is a depressant, so it is unwise to consume booze without talking to your doctor first….
@Bruce S: Marvin Gaye’s was great, but it was pure Marvin Gaye. I like a version (like Whitney’s) that’s about the song, first and foremost.
Perhaps someone might be be so kind as to warn any wandering Catholic bishops they might see in my immediate vicinity to keep well back. If they weren’t so busy frantically digging themselves in deeper, they’d venture far too much within range of me with another shovel coming to smash them upside the head. I suppose in a nod to local tradition, I should make sure I’m armed with a rusty one.
Stomping about muttering “Will no one rid me of these turbulent priests?” and going on about the entrails of the last Bishop is simply not doing it for me anymore.
@scav: Pitchforks, not shovels.
Wellbutrin has a really, really scary “no alcohol” warning, because it can cause seizures in alcoholics and bulimics.
RPC average has him up by 2.3 in Penn. Its only the last poll taken by some university that has him down and that seems to be an outlier as it is the only red number poll on the list.
@Omnes Omnibus: Normally yes,, but I really really really want to hear the splat this time. A simple piercing isn’t going to do it for me.
@scav: Not canonical, but it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it.
@Mnemosyne: Yeah , I had a doc give me xanax for sleep problems which turned out to be sleep apnea. I took them for three days and said no more threw them in the trash. They did help me sleep a little but when I woke up it was hell.went back to a different doc and he gave me attivan which worked like a charm and no waking up and climbing the walls.
@opie jeanne: Hmmm. I was on both at different times many years ago (15-20 yrs ago). Perhaps the warnings have become more dire over time as possible interaction effects became more apparent from larger numbers of people being on them. Or perhaps I just wasn’t paying close enough attention. Well, dodged a bullet there. As I said, it’s not an issue for me anymore since I rarely indulge and never more than vanishing quantities. But, I will check with the doc about my current meds on the next visit….
@Rihilism: I was on Paxil in 1997, Zoloft in 2005-06. With Paxil there was a warning about liver damage, ironic because I didn’t know that I had had Hepatitis C since 1985. I was only on Zoloft while I was being treated for Hepatitis C, because the Hep C treatments can make a mess of your emotions, possibly even make you suicidal or violent. My liver was already under attack from the Hep C and the meds, so the docs didn’t want anything else messing with my liver.
I didn’t drink for a year and a half, from the time of the initial diagnosis to the end of treatment, and I became all too aware of where my liver is located because it hurt sometimes during treatment.
Treatment was successful, I have tested negative since 2006, but I’m not very interested in alcohol these days. I used to like wine with dinner at least twice a week, I used to like a margarita every now and then, or a sloe gin fizz, but most of the time now I just taste whatever wine my husband is having and that’s enough for me.