Monday, October 20, 2014

"Let's not get ahead of the 19th century here or anything..."

For those of you who've been mildly surprised with the almost modern Papacy of Pope Frank, the week started out pretty well.
In a dramatic shift in tone, a Vatican document said on Monday that homosexuals had "gifts and qualities to offer" and asked if Catholicism could accept gays and recognize positive aspects of same-sex couples. The document, prepared after a week of discussions at an assembly of 200 bishops on the family, said the Church should challenge itself to find "a fraternal space" for homosexuals without compromising Catholic doctrine on family and matrimony.
But finishing what you start, is not exactly a strong point on Vatican Hill.
Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families. The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.
So much for lightening up, Francis.

Of course, in reality it matters not.

Overwhelming 85% Of Young American Catholics Support Gays And Lesbian, Pew Report
If you cannot lead, and refuse to follow...get out of the way. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Friday, October 17, 2014

All in for crazy

Jodi Ernst the Republican half of one of the nastier senatorial campaigns in the nation ("you hate farmers" versus "you hate everyone") is in a very tight battle. Counter-intuitively this may help.
Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst said she would support a federal bill that gives legal personhood rights to fetuses from the moment of fertilization, effectively wiping out legal abortion in the United States.
Which is a crazy position, held by crazy people...let's welcome the latest potential group of attempted murderers under that scenario.

But in an off-year election, crazy votes an especially large share of the vote.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Imagine if we'd added them to the bombing rolls?

The Bush Administration's clever plan of not so cleverly creating Iran's largest client state has a least one advantage.

When the rest of the left-overs rise up, they have an interest in maintaining their inadvertently gotten gains.
General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force - one of the key players in the war against Islamic State (Isis), normally keeps a very low profile. But a recent spate of photographs – showing a shy, silvery-haired man in his late 50s wearing a revolutionary scarf around his neck – point to a striking shift in Tehran’s strategy in its fight against the jihadi insurgents who have taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria. Once rare and amateurish, images of Suleimani are now taken professionally as Iran publicises its indispensable role in Iraq
Strange...and ignored bedfellows and all that.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Simulate this!!!

Yeah, this is undoubtedly intended to give comfort to somebody...
Regulators from the United States and the United Kingdom will get together in a war room next week to see if they can cope with any possible fall-out when the next big bank topples over, the two countries said on Friday. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Monday will run a joint exercise simulating how they would prop up a large bank with operations in both countries that has landed in trouble.
How many times do you have to simulate giving really rich people, the great wealth deprives masses' money? Isn't that any day ending in "Y"? [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why we haven't even bombed these people...yet

Let's see off the top of my head which countries in the Islamic World we've bombed in the last decade: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, and Somalia. And, of course, it's been habit forming...with lots of coincidences.
The US Has Bombed at Least Eight Wedding Parties Since 2001
In fairness, that last story is ten months old. One could assume this is a sign things are not working too awesomely.
Though Tunisia is in many senses the most advanced and secular of Arab states – and the only country to have come through the revolutions of 2011 relatively unscathed – that is only half the story. According to some estimates, there are more Tunisians fighting for Isis than from any other single country.
...but of course, it will be argued it just means we have to bomb another country. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hey 'murica

It's been yet another tough week to not be a Walton or Koch family member.

But hey, there's still good news out there if you look hard enough (or spend a couple minutes on Google) but it is out there.
Prison officials unveiled the renovated execution chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Thursday and expressed confidence that the agency would be ready for the state's next scheduled execution in November. The $71,000 reconstruction of the death chamber and adjacent witness rooms gives executioners more space in which to operate. Department of Corrections also spent about $34,000 on new medical equipment, including $12,500 for a surgical table and $6,000 for an ultrasound machine to help locate veins.
Finally, Oklahoma's pressing "claustrophobic executioners" dilemma has been eased.

So one problem solved.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Everybody chill...



Uh-oh...

A Texas health care worker who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for an Ebola patient who later died has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S.

Uhhhh...uh-oh...

 On the western edge of Iraq's capital, Islamic State group militants battle government forces and exchange mortar fire, only adding to the sense of siege in Baghdad despite airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition.