Who said that the excesses of the lunatic fringe were going to end anytime soon?

Some on the right are livid about [Krispy Kreme]’s innocuous-sounding press release this week: “Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet ‘free’ can be.”

Krispy Kreme used the “c” word, and the American Life League is outraged. “The unfortunate reality of a post-Roe v. Wade America is that ‘choice’ is synonymous with abortion access, and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand,” the group’s president, Judie Brown said in a statement. ALL added, “President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda. Celebrating his inauguration with “‘Freedom of Choice’ doughnuts — only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion — is not only extremely tacky, it’s disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.”

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SNL’s send-up of an early Bush State of the Union could easily have been done in recent days. In it, Will Ferrell’s Bush reflects on the disasters he’s unleashed on the US:

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Following up on my earlier post on the strangeness of thinking that God intervenes in people’s personal lives, I just wanted to relate a personal story that my mom just told me that got my blood boiling.

As a brief backstory, my stepdad’s father (call him Barry) is currently close to passing away from cancer. He and his wife are very sweet people and I’ve taken quite a shine to them over the past few years while getting to know them. The doctors say he only has a short time to live and my mom and stepdad have been taking care of him in his final days.

A lot of relatives have been coming in to visit to pay their respects over the past week. One of the relatives that have inquired with my mom about coming to visit is Barry’s sister. In turns out that Barry’s sister is a serious born-again fanatic who constantly berates Barry and his wife about how insufficiently Christian she considers them to be.

Well, here’s the kicker. While Barry slowly passes away and his wife begins the difficult grieving process, this is what Barry’s sister told my mom on a recent phone call:

Well, as you know, I’m over here praying for a cure. If he believed in the Lord enough, he’d be cured.

Can you begin to grasp the viciousness and cruelty of a person lobbing this razor-sharp barb into a household that is dealing with the slow passing of a loved one? To think that this horrid woman would utter such bile — at a time when Barry’s wife must be going through all sorts of pain, regret and suffering — is nearly beyond comprehension.

Although this is but one example that happens to be palpably close to my heart, there are countless other examples out there of horrid, mean-spirited people who cloak their innate sociopathic viciousness in the false veil of self-important righteousness. How does an allegedly Christian person say something like this and think that the Jesus they purport to believe in would sanction such thoughtless cruelty?

Jesus, please save us from your followers…

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Thanks to my friend Bobby for the following words of wisdom uttered by Premier Bush during his eight-year reign of terror. It will be nice to have someone other than a simpering idiot in the White House for the next four years.

‘The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.’

‘If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.’

‘One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’.’

‘I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.’

‘The future will be better tomorrow.’

‘We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world.’

‘I stand by all the misstatements that I’ve made.’

‘We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe.’

‘Public speaking is very easy.’

‘A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.’

‘I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.’

‘We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.’

‘For NASA, space is still a high priority.’

‘Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.’

‘It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.’

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My favorite periodical, The Economist, rips into Bush in a new must-read piece written to mark the departure of one of the most shameful and failure-ridden Presidencies ever to blight our national stage:

HE LEAVES the White House as one of the least popular and most divisive presidents in American history. At home, his approval rating has been stuck in the 20s for months; abroad, George Bush has presided over the most catastrophic collapse in America’s reputation since the second world war. The American economy is in deep recession, brought on by a crisis that forced Mr Bush to preside over huge and unpopular bail-outs…

It is not all his fault. But for the most part, good policy repeatedly took a back seat to Mr Bush’s overweening political ambition. Both the country and, ultimately, the Republican Party are left the worse for it.

One particularly poignant take-away:

[T]he three most notable characteristics of the Bush presidency: partisanship, politicisation and incompetence.

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I have to give massive props to CNN’s Rick Sanchez for his withering smackdown of Samuel Joe the Undeserving Fraud Plumber:

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I bet a lot of neoconservatives wish that any statement made by them more than a couple years ago was automatically purged out of existence.

Here’s Paul Wolfowitz back in 2000 (h/t Daily Dish):

“No U.S. president can justify a policy that fails to achieve its intended results by pointing to the purity and rectitude of his intentions,” – Statesmanship in the New Century, in Kagan, R. and Kristol, W, eds. Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy, San Francisco, 2000, p. 335.

Now reflect on Bush’s recent farewell remarks:

Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.

I wonder what Wolfowitz would have to say now?

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I hate bad logic — especially when it appears in otherwise reputable sources. It hurts my brain to read it. So when I came across a new article in the Wall Street Journal that made that claim that Bush’s illegal wiretapping activities were somehow vindicated by the recently published decision from the FISA court, I got a huge headache.

I wanted to write a point-by-point explanation of why the article was so incorrect but I don’t have much time and Anonymous Liberal already did it for me:

1) From 1978-2006, there was a law in place that said “don’t do X; if you do X, it’s a felony.”

2) The Bush administration secretly did X.

3) When it was caught doing X (a felony under existing law), it argued that it had the “inherent authority” to do X regardless of what the law says, a claim that has no support in constitutional case law.

4) This “inherent authority” argument was emphatically rejected by the Supreme Court in the Hamdan case in 2006 in a virtually identical context, causing widespread wailing and gnashing of teeth among right wing true believers (see McCarthy, Andrew).

5) The Bush administration, after a series of adverse court rulings, was finally forced to go to Congress in 2006, and Congress amended the law to expressly allow the Bush administration to do X.

6) Now the FISA Court of Review has ruled that Congress was within its authority to pass that law and so the Bush administration is free to do X.

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