Month: March 2013

Not Gun Control

They’ll be damned if they let the government get in the way of their guns, but that doesn’t mean they don’t believe in gun control:

Your rights, our decisionThe owner of a Tucson gun store where Mark Kelly recently purchased an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle canceled the transaction because Kelly did not plan to keep the rifle for his personal use.

Doug MacKinlay, owner of Diamondback Police Supply at 170 S. Kolb Road, posted on the store’s Facebook page Monday that he canceled the transaction March 21. A full refund was sent to Kelly via express mail, MacKinlay said.

“I determined that it was in my company’s best interest to terminate this transaction prior to his returning to my store to complete the Federal Form 4473 and NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) required of Mr. Kelly before he could take possession of this firearm,” MacKinlay said in the statement.

Carmen Duarte’s story for The Arizona Daily Star makes the point clearly: The government shouldn’t make gun control policy based on crime, justice, and safety; that should be left to the political whims of gun store owners.

The bottom line, of course, is that this has never been about “freedom” or the Second Amendment. It’s about empowerment. Gun owners like to feel empowered to kill someone for whatever reasons they invent, and gun store owners, apparently, like the empowerment of deciding what legal purposes they will allow you to put a gun to.

But don’t worry, it’s not really gun control. It’s just Arizona.

A Weak Analogy

Four guys set out from Los Angeles, road-tripping north on a week-long beer run to Bellingham. You know, get themselves some Boundary Bay IPA.

BARACK: Damn it, I told you, we should have stayed on I-5. Now we’re in Lodi, damn it!

JOHN: That’s your fault, you know.

BARACK: Yup. I listened to you. “Go right! Go right!”

ERIC: You always want to go left! How far are we from Boston?

BARACK: Boston? Why Boston?

ERIC: That’s where the beer is.

BARACK: Boston?

ERIC: Yeah. We agreed to go get some beer. Why can’t you ever compromise?

BARACK: Compromise? Hey, I’m driving two thousand miles, alright? I still don’t see why we couldn’t just pop down to Stone, or maybe stop off at Firestone-Walker.

JOHN: We always have to do it your way.

BARACK: My way? Bellingham was your idea!

JOHN: Just head west, or we’ll never make it to St. Louis.

BARACK: Saint L— . . . . Wait, what?

ERIC: We’re looking for good American beer. Made in the U. S. of A.

BARACK: Freakin’-A.

MITCH: Who’s the scary black man? And why’s he drivin’? Carjacking! Carjacking!

ERIC: Head west, or we’ll never make it to Kentucky.

BARACK: Turn left?

MITCH: [singsong] The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home . . .

ERIC: You always want to turn left.

JOHN: True.

ERIC: I said head west.

BARACK: We’re heading north. And—

ERIC: I know! We need to be heading west to get to Kentucky.

BARACK: You’re kidding, right?

MITCH: [singsong] ‘Tis summer, the Darkies are gay . . .

ERIC: Why can’t you be more cooperative? You know, try to compromise?

BARACK: [shrugs] Fine. Where we going?

JOHN: Well, you’re driving. Isn’t it your job to know?

BARACK: Two minutes ago, we were going to Bellingham.

JOHN: Well, show some leadership.

BARACK: Okay. We’re going to Bellingham, just like we agreed when we started.

ERIC: [muttering] Always trying to make people do things your way.

BARACK: Okay, how ’bout this? You don’t want to follow the original plan. You can’t figure out where we’re supposed to be going. So, pick one and let’s go.

MITCH: [singsong] Weep no more, my lady . . . .

JOHN: [rolls eyes, mutters aside] The fool can’t even make a decision on his own.

ERIC: Kentucky!

BARACK: [sighs] Alright. Kentucky it is.

ERIC: Yay! Gonna get me some Jack Daniels!

BARACK: Um . . . that’s in Tennessee.

JOHN: [tears springing to his eyes] Damn it, man! Why do you always have to be like that?

BARACK: Like what?

ERIC: Angry liberal elitist!

MITCH: [singsong] For the old Kentucky home far away . . . .

ERIC: [angrily] And look, you made him cry.

BARACK: [quietly, irritated] I need a cigarette.

JOHN: You and me both.

ERIC: Wait! Why are you turning?

BARACK: Explain it to him, John?

JOHN: [barking laughter] Like that’ll work.

MITCH: [singsong] They hunt no more for ‘possum and coon . . . .

At a press conference today, congressional Republicans furiously criticized the president’s leadership skills. “You’d think he couldn’t find north on a map,” said Speaker Boehner. “And he can’t make a decision for himself.” Senate Minority Leader McConnell agreed: “He thinks he can carjack the economy and drive it into the ocean. Well, we won’t let him.” House Majority leader Cantor added, “He can’t compromise with anyone, always trying to take his elitist attitude and shove it down your throat. Yeah, like Tennessee is in Kentucky.”


Less Unexepected?

We should not say it was expected, as such. That is, certes we’ve heard such things in the past, but one would think that if a stunt is laughed off enough times, people might realize it doesn’t work. Or perhaps that is simply the (ahem!) nice way of saying we would ordinarily expect such things except that we give people in general more credit than that.

Or, as Diana Buendia explains for WBEZ:

WBEZ 91.5 logoSome African-American clergy and conservative Catholics say they’ll ban Illinois lawmakers who vote for same-sex marriage from their churches.

About two dozen priests and pastors joined the Catholic Conference of Illinois to form a new religious coalition yesterday.

“We want to make sure that we a send a message to our elected officials that as a collective community and a collaborative, we will not allow you to speak in our churches, you will not be invited to our church when you’re running for office because we as a community are incensed,” said Bishop Lance Davis, senior pastor at a church in Dolton, who’s part of the group.

In a way, it falls within the realm of the obvious and expected; to the other, though, the problem with such a demonstration seems so obvious that it is hard to believe they are really—yes, really—attempting this stunt.



Green Street UMCI used to make the joke that I would not get married, at least, until gay marriage was legal; the rationale was that I refused to take part in a discriminatory ritual. This was, ultimately, a joke, of course, with the obvious retort being to wonder who would ever marry me.

Setting that aside, though, let us check in with Meredith Bennett-Smith of Huffington Post, who offers us this lede:

A United Methodist church in Winston-Salem, N.C., has vowed to stop performing weddings until same-sex marriage is made legal.

Yes, you read that correctly.


Your Recommended Daily Allowance of Papal Minutiae

Because it’s one of those things you pick up along the way, and never really stop to think about until someone mentions it, and then you’re, like, Oh, yeah. Well, that makes sense.

Y’know?Pope Francis

Spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi sought to clear up any possible confusion, noting that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who announced the name to the world, said simply Francis. It is listed that way in the first Vatican bulletin on the new pope.

“It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II,” Lombardi quipped.

So, yeah. Now we know. Seems obvious when—if—you stop to think about it.

Image credit: Kap, via Cagle Post.

A Quote: Ryan on Republicans and Health Care

Paul RyanSay what you will about the psychopathology of everyday life, but these are Republicans, after all. Or, more accurately, this is Rep. Paul Ryan. You know, the alleged conservative policy wonk who needs to be taken seriously on budgetary issues? The guy who ran as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate last year?

“This to us is something that we’re not going to give up on, because we’re not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people.”

Yes, really.


You know, as in the phrase, “Freudian slip”?

(Tip o’the hat to Jed Lewison.)

Not Exactly News ….

“Congressional Republican leaders are now saying they won’t even talk to the president unless Obama agrees—before any meetings even take place—to give them what they want.”

Steve Benen

Is anyone really surprised that it comes to this?

No, really. How is it not the expected outcome?

For all the pundits who complain bitterly that Obama hasn’t done enough to schmooze with lawmakers, doesn’t an anecdote like this suggest the problem is not entirely the president’s fault? Are we to believe that all five—invited in secret so they wouldn’t have to take heat from Fox or the GOP base—were all washing their hair that night?

Another day in WashingtonOn a more substantive note, the piece also included this key piece of information:

What spurred Mr. Obama to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans with a flurry of phone calls, meals and now Capitol visits were the recent announcements by their leaders—Speaker John A. Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky—that they will no longer negotiate with Mr. Obama on budget policy as long as he keeps demanding more tax revenues as the condition for Democrats’ support of reduced spending on Medicare and other entitlement programs.

This is important. Congressional Republican leaders are now saying they won’t even talk to the president unless Obama agrees—before any meetings even take place—to give them what they want. In other words, when the White House announces that all efforts at deficit reduction in the coming years will include literally nothing but 100% spending cuts, then GOP leaders will be prepared to negotiate with the president.


A Scary Trend

ProtectionNow trending:

The Yakima County sheriff’s office says a man mistook his pregnant wife for an intruder at their Terrace Heights home and shot her, leaving her in critical condition.

So let us go over this, just so we’re all clear on the issue: When people remind that one is more likely to shoot a household resident than stop a criminal with a gun, it isn’t a suggestion.