Wikileaks on TPP, the south hates gays, and conservative Catholics ain’t feelin’ the love

Let’s start the morning out with a nice assemblage of articles, both fun and serious, that I’ve been meaning to share.  Sometimes the day goes by so quickly, and I find myself with 20 open tabs on my Web browser.  Well here are a few of them:

Conservative US Catholics feel left out by Pope’s embrace because he’s kinda sorta being nice to gays and other people the church has shat on for decades.  Just like conservatives to see compassion as a zero-sum game.

“It seems he’s focusing on bringing back the left that’s fallen away, but what about the conservatives?” said Ms. Kurt, a hospice community educator.

Yes, when will the Catholic Church ever do anything to conservative?

Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, via the Argentine Presidency website.

Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, via the Argentine Presidency website.

Hateful southern states are now breaking federal law in their zeal to hate the gay, and especially gays in uniform.  The NYT editorial board is not amused:

The states defend their position by arguing that state laws do not recognize same-sex marriages. But state bans cannot override a valid order from the defense secretary responding to a Supreme Court ruling. The Constitution’s supremacy clause gives precedence to federal law. In fact, state law does not really come into play as the applications, which are federal government forms, are processed by federal employees on federal computer systems.

If the states persist in their defiance, Mr. Hagel will need to consider transferring federal dollars, equipment and National Guard work assignments to bases in other states. Such resistance to civil rights should not stand.

The last surviving cast member of “I Love Lucy” has died.

Wikileaks has found out all sorts of nasty details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that Gaius (and Bill Moyers) warned about the other day.


The 30 most powerful photos ever taken.  Okay, perhaps not “the 30” most, but some of them are awfully good.

Why TIME’s “Gods of Food” are all men:

Well I think it reflects one very harsh reality of the current chefs’ world, which unfortunately has been true for years: it’s still a boys club. There are of course very good and terrific female chefs: Carme Ruscalleda, Elena Arzak, April [Bloomfield] of course, Anita Lo of course, and of course Alice [Waters]. But it’s very strange, the network of women, as Anita herself has been saying for so many years now, isn’t as strong as the network of men. And when you look at this chart it’s very clear. It’s all men because men still take care of themselves. The women really need someone — if not men, themselves actually — to sort of take care of each other. The thing about the women I named, they are all spectacularly good chefs. But they also had to force their way to where they are now, they are almost their own creations. It’s unfortunate, the women who are there are very good, but very few of them actually benefitted from the boys club, as you can see from the chart.

 Ted Cruz’s father is apparently a racist too.


A wonderful collection of postcards from the Paris World Fair of 1900.

McClatchy has more on the ongoing brouhaha over “60 Minutes” fake Benghazi whistleblower that we’ve written about a few times:

In an email Wednesday, CBS declined to respond to questions about the accuracy and origin of some of the other aspects of the report. But it acknowledged that it was undertaking “a journalistic review that is ongoing” – the network’s first acknowledgement that concerns about the report may go deeper than just the discredited interview with security supervisor Dylan Davies.

“60 Minutes” spokesman Kevin Tedesco said CBS had begun the review “the moment we confirmed there was an issue in our story.” But he declined to elaborate on the investigation and did not respond to specific issues McClatchy raised about the segment, including unsourced assertions that al Qaida was behind the Benghazi attacks and claims about the investigation that the FBI and other experts question or deny outright.

How to interpret the low Obamacare enrollment numbers, from TNR:

The October numbers are low, which was to be expected given the website problems and tendency of people not to buy insurance right away. But what matters isn’t the figures for October or even November. It’s December and the months that follow—particulalry into next year, as the prospect of paying fines for uninsurance start to hit people in the face. “It’s too early to say anything useful,” says Jonathan Gruber, professor of economics at MIT. “And, really, I don’t think we can draw any significant conclusions about effectiveness of the law until March, because any firm conclusion requires effects of individual mandate to be felt.”

My very good friend Mark (aka Bicyclemark) has a cool Kickstarter project about the the migrant workers of Dubai. I just chipped in 50 bucks, if you can help him out too, that’d be very cool.  Do go check it out. Here’s Mark’s pitch:

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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16 Responses to “Wikileaks on TPP, the south hates gays, and conservative Catholics ain’t feelin’ the love”

  1. EdA says:

    And proof of the hostility that this administration has towards organized religion is the fact that despite the blatant and blatantly illegal politicking for or against particular candidates from the pulpit, to the best of my knowledge the IRS has taken NO enforcement action to strip any religious group of its 501(c)(3) status, which allows contributors to deduct the money they give to these hucksters from their taxes.

  2. ArthurH says:

    This just in! Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL, is threatening to conduct an exorcism on the Illinois legislature for enacting the same-sex marriage law. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan turned the tide in favor of the bill by quoting Pope Francis on not judging the gay lifestyle. As a result many Catholic legislators voted for the measure. Poprocki claims Madigan twisted the Pope’s words, and frothed about how same-sex marriage is the work of Satan, whom he described as the father of lies. He ordered Catholic legislators to repeal the law or face “exorcism” at the ballot box. Methinks it would be much easier is Catholics without hate in their souls (and I know there are many) to conduct an exorcism of certain church leaders.

  3. karmanot says:

    Think of Palin as a succubus and it all makes sense.

  4. Ninong says:

    National Guard troops in each state are under the command of the governor of each state, except when they are federalized. They are paid with federal funds but they come under the control of the state governor. That’s why President Kennedy federalized the Mississippi National Guard in 1962 to prevent Gov. Ross Barnett from using them in any way to block James Meredith from attending the University of Mississippi.

    It wasn’t that Kennedy needed the Mississippi National Guard but rather he didn’t want the governor to try to do anything stupid. Bobby Kennedy sent in 500 federal marshalls and JFK sent in hundreds of regular Army troops from outside the state to prevent violence.

    Anyway, the governor commands the state’s National Guard except when they are on active duty. When they are activated to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, for instance, that’s federal. If they’ve activated by the governor to help out due to a hurricane, that’s state. They’re paid with federal funds except during state activation for local emergencies. However, even in those cases, the state will ask for federal assistance later on to pay the bills. When the state’s governor activates the Guard to help out in a hurricane, they can perform police duties. When they’re under federal activation thay cannot by law perform police duties.

    Here’s the rub: all of their payroll is covered by federal funds except when they’re under state activation for a local emergency. Altogether, about 95% of the cost of the Guard is covered by federal money! That state pays almost nothing!

    The National Guard is part of the Department of Defense and ultimately come under the jurisdiction of the President as the Commander in Chief. But some state governors — always from the South — have a history of trying to act like bigshots and pretend that they’re really in charge when all the president has to do is activate that state’s entire National Guard if he wants to. Of course, that would be sure to create a sh**storm in the Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives. Under the Constitution, the President is Commander in Chief and he alone has the authority to activate a state’s National Guard without the consent of Congress. It’s his call.

  5. zorbear says:

    I disagree. Conservatives are never happy with the status quo. They always want to turn back the clock. If we had followed the lead of the conservatives, we’d have left the caves and gone back up the trees…

  6. Ninong says:

    The only thing “conservatives” ever conserve is that status quo. If we had followed the lead of the “conservatives” we would all be singing God Save the Queen.

  7. Ninong says:

    Apparently they’re upset at some recent comments Francis made to a few reporters that seemed to betray a softening of the Catholic Church’s intolerance for anything other than their official position on anything and everything.

    Maybe they’re not familiar with Cardinal Bergoglio’s previous statements on anything and everything? He’s vehemently opposed to gay marriage and believes it is the duty of all Catholics to vigorously oppose it. And he said so repeatedly. He’s also opposed to anything even closely associated with abortion in any form.

    Any recent statement he might make about “who am I to judge” can be seen as more condescending than anything else. He doesn’t accept the right of gays to be gay, he feels sorry for them and hopes that they will see the evil of their ways and repent, etc., etc. No different than Benny before him. By the way, Benny is living quite comfortably in retirement in the Vatican Gardens. He has five Memores Domini to prepare meals and keep house for him and Bel Giorgio. And, best of all, they take a vow of silence!

    Benny gave up the ruby red slippers but what about the Pratesi sheets?

  8. chris10858 says:

    Im not sur eif it is within his power but if so, Secretary Hagel should order a halt to federal dollars being paid out to the National Guard troops in those states that are breaking the law.

    Also, if troops in those states are under his direct command, he should issue a direct order to the generals and other leaders for them to comply. If they refuse, then they need to be let go or charged with refusing a lawful order. The chain of command must be protected in order to maintain a cohesive and functional military force.

    I’m former military and I recall that if I were to refuse a lawful order from my commanders, Id be in the brig within a few minutes.

  9. chris10858 says:

    I saw Palin express “concern” about some of the things the Pope has been doing. Wow.. the rest of the world stands in awe at what the Pope is doing while Sarah Palin seems ready to label him a liberal, socialist, or one of those other labels she paints everyone not as batshit crazy as her.

  10. Monoceros Forth says:

    The poor right-wing American “conservative” Catholics…

    Apropos of nothing, I don’t even like describing the American right as “conservative” even with quotation marks. I’m not sure that “conservative”–or “liberal” for that matter–are terms that have any meaning left whatsoever in them. Nevertheless I’m pretty sure that “conservatism” didn’t always mean a fixed program of name-dropping Jesus, hating queers and hurling wads of cash at rich people, which seems to be all that “conservative principles” calls for these days.

  11. Ninong says:

    The poor right-wing American “conservative” Catholics are upset over the new pope’s seemingly temperate statements about gays? Oh, that’s rich! This guy has a treasure chest of previous public statements going back decades denouncing gays and their sinful ways and how they will ruin the family and destroy humanity. Okay, maybe I added the “destroy humanity” part (that’s the Patriarch of Moscow’s line) but not the ruin the family part, because he has said that in the past. He has also said that gay marriage must be protested vehemently by all Catholics because it is against God’s plan and that all children are entitled to “human growth” in a family and that such “human growth” can only be obtained in a family led by both a mother and a father.

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  13. Monoceros Forth says:

    Considering that right-wing American Catholics are getting to be just another flavor of sex-obsessed evangelical nutcase, I’m sure they could easily find another home in the highly unlikely event that the Vatican changes out from under them. All they need to do is renounce the doctrine of transubstantiation and form a “personal relationship with Jesus”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.

    I find myself trying to think what photographs throughout history have been the most powerful and influential. Examples that come to mind: the 1940 photo of the dome of St. Paul’s wreathed in smoke; the 1970 photo of a student lying dead on the pavement after the Kent State massacre; the infamous and controversial 1968 photo of Gen. Nguyen Loan executing a franc-tireur on a Saigon street.

  14. cole3244 says:

    the pictures were amazing.
    the good thing about the cbs fiasco is that cbs & 60 minutes have lost more credibility.
    cruz’ father is crazier than he is, hard to believe.
    when will people of conscience stop supporting the catholic cult that abuses their children.
    the south hates gays, the list is actually much longer.

  15. Drew2u says:

    But, ya know, Assange and Snowden are the traitorous ones. /snark

  16. Indigo says:

    If the Trans-Pacific Partnership turns out to be as ruinous to small Asian farmers as NAFTA has been to rural Mexico, the Japanese might just throw our scrap metal back at us again. And I wouldn’t blame them.

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