Political Cartoons from Tom Toles – The Washington Post

Tom Toles: Political Cartoons from Tom Toles – The Washington Post.

GOP candidates RSVP to same-sex weddings – The Washington Post

As my colleague Jonathan Capehart points out, the current field of Republican 2016 contenders and potential contenders offer a painfully contorted array of responses to the question of whether or not they would attend a gay wedding for a friend or loved one. Rick Santorum would not go. Ted Cruz called it a “gotcha.” Marco Rubio would. John Kasich would and has. Scott Walker went to the reception.

It’s tough! Can you simultaneously be a decent human being who celebrates your friends’ milestones and also be a Disapproving Frowny-Face Standing Athwart History Shouting “No!” for the voters? (Keep in mind that Disapproving Frowny-Faces Standing Athwart History Shouting “No!” tend to fare better through the primaries.) How do you parse and contort? Do you catch up to the majority of the country, or drag your heels?

For the ease and convenience of these candidates, here is an RSVP card for the next time this issue  arises.

via GOP candidates RSVP to same-sex weddings – The Washington Post.

Why Are You a Republican? – The Washington Post

For me this question gets to the heart of it. A lot of conversations end with ‘that’s the GOP position.’ But where should the conversation start?

I think it should start with why are you a Republican? The question is brought into focus by a rather astonishing interview I will link to below. The interviewee, a Republican, drops the following: “The GOP has scores of racists. Under Richard Nixon’s blessing, the GOP took advantage of disgruntled Democrats in the South. They are still there and their children are there. This is very much known in our party. This was a conscious strategy.”

Okay then! Sure, he’s admitting the obvious here, but two things about that. It is obvious, and it’s rarely admitted. Call me a starry-eyed idealist, but I have to say that a party’s decision to broaden its base by appealing to racism is kind of a disqualifier, period.

On the other side, here are the reasons I think someone might choose to identify as a Democrat. Democrats were right about civil rights. They were right about women’s rights. They were right about the environment, and yes including climate. They were right about gay rights. They were right about a social safety net, including Social Security and Medicare. They were right about Obamacare. Yes, they have been careless about deficits, but since 1980, the GOP has been downright reckless there. The Democrats used to be a bit inattentive to the health of the overall economy, but after the Clinton boom, the Bush collapse and the Obama rebound, I’ll let you make the case that that still applies. The Democrats have been lax on performance-review of government programs, but they have improved substantially on that. On campaign finance and wealth distribution, they have been ineffective, but the GOP has been actively terrible.

This brings us to the interview, and back to my question. Why at least, is THIS GUY a Republican?

via Why Are You a Republican? – The Washington Post.

Humor: The Borowitz Report

Originally posted on Seniors for a Democratic Society:

Peace with Iran Could Limit Ability to Bomb It, Warns McCain

BY ANDY BOROWITZ

CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY T. J. KIRKPATRICK/GETTY

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Shortly after world powers successfully negotiated a nuclear-framework agreement with Iran, Sen. John McCain warned that a lasting peace with the Middle Eastern nation “could greatly limit our ability to bomb it.”

“President Obama is hailing this framework as something that could enhance the prospects for peace in the Middle East,” McCain told reporters at the United States Senate. “For those of us who have looked forward to bombing Iran for some time now, that would be a doomsday scenario.”

“The Iranians know well and good that if they abandon their nuclear program exactly the way we’ve asked them to, we can kiss bombing them goodbye,” he said, shaking his head ruefully. “It’s a damn shame.”

As for President Obama, McCain added, “Sometimes I think…

View original 96 more words

TPM: The Curious Indifference to an Iranian Bomb

Now all of these would be great from the point of view of the US and its regional allies as status quo powers and others would simply be good in more objective moral terms. Indeed, if what was being contemplated was opening diplomatic relations with Iran or entering into some sort of de facto alliance with them then at least some of these might be worth insisting upon.

But all the threat talk we hear about an Iranian nuclear weapon is that it is so grave and singular a threat that almost anything and everything must be considered to counter it – even a catastrophic war to push the Iranians’ nuclear capabilities back years. If it’s really that serious – and I think it is that serious – why would you do anything to get in the way of securing that goal?

Adding something preposterous like demanding Iranian recognition of Israel (something even most of what must now be considered Israel’s de facto anti-Iranian allies like Saudi Arabia won’t do) is clearly no more than an effort to make any agreement impossible. Other demands like ending support for Assad might be more plausible. But again, if the Iranians having a nuclear warhead is really this kind of singular threat, why would you put something which is clearly not at all comparable as an obstacle in the way of solving it? One might as well demand that the Iranians do something to make Farsi easier for westerners to learn as part of the deal.

Yes, these are all things that would be very nice to have. But they each pale in comparison to something that the regional powers agree is a must-have – preventing the Iranian regime from building nuclear weapons, both because of the immediate threat of such weapons in the hands of a revisionist power but also because of the regional arms race it might trigger. Making such demands can only mean one of two things: either you don’t really believe an Iranian nuclear weapon is quite as dangerous as you claim or you really don’t want any agreement short of war. Or to put the latter point differently, you don’t want any negotiated settlement but only an abject defeat, which is probably only achievable through military action.

Demanding a sterner steal on the nuclear front is one thing. Adding on these non-nuclear riders only makes clear that you’re not playing on the level at all.

via TPM: The Curious Indifference to an Iranian Bomb.

Political Cartoons from Tom Toles – The Washington Post

Tom Toles: Political Cartoons from Tom Toles – The Washington Post.

TPM: The cake-pizza-flower wars/freedom movement

It seems like we are well into the concern-troll phase of the cake-pizza-flower wars/freedom movement, which one might call either an organized retreat or a fall back to guerrilla insurgency in the all but lost battle against gay marriage. Because really, a lot of this is not that complicated. If you ask a baker to bake a cake that says “God hates gays” and they refuse, that’s not an imposition on your religion – unless you’re a complete moron.

Similarly, demanding a Jewish baker bake you a swastika cake and having them turn you down is not a denial of your free speech rights. Cake is not speech, even under the living constitution. And to get closer to the mark, I think if a gay couple went to a baker and asked for a wedding cake with two tuxedo-clad men at the top of the cake sodomizing each other, I suspect that few people would say the baker was outside his rights declining to bake that cake. (Jonathan Turley, who in addition to his other virtues has made something of a career out of what you might call the higher concern troll, makes the whole thing a lot more complicated than it should be in this piece in the Post.)

The fairly straightforward issue here is that if you are refusing people service based on their identity, especially if they are fast becoming a protected class along the order of racial and ethnic and religious minorities, that it is a problem if you deny a gay couple the same service that you would provide to a straight couple. To give the pizza example, the pizzas do not become gay because they are being catered at a gay wedding (who orders mall pizza for their wedding?)

Same with flowers. If you won’t send the same floral arrangement to a gay wedding as a straight wedding, that’s a problem. On the other hand, if just hypothetically, a lesbian couple wanted an elaborate floral arrangement symbolizing a graphic sex act, yeah, I think the florist can turn you down, just as I imagine it’s obvious the florist could turn down a hetero couple in a comparable situation.

Need more help? A black baker refusing to bake a cake for a white person because of centuries of discrimination? Not okay. A black baker refusing to bake a cake celebrating the KKK? Okay.

The closest I think you get in cases such like these, is that presumably the traditional man and woman statuettes at the top of the cake are replaced with two men or two women. But again, I think this is well within the conceptual framework of providing the same service to different people.

via Go Forth and Troll No More.