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  • Rain God Barack Obama Responsible for Drought, Says GOP

    To his credit, Speaker John Boehner has never entertained theories of Barack Obama being a Kenyan-born secret Muslim.

    But neither is the president a boring mainline Protestant. The truth is much more interesting: President Obama is the Hawaiian deity Lono, a rain god sometimes known as Lono-makua (Lono the Provider) for his ability to part the skies and bring fertility to starving crops.

    Yet for some reason, Obama-Lono is displeased. Maybe it's the insufficient tribute of his relatively lackluster fundraising. Maybe we have not sacrificed enough Christian gun-clingers in his honor. Whatever the reason, Boehner would like Obama-Lono to stop taking it out on Midwestern farmers…

    Obama, "continues to blame anyone and everyone for the drought but himself," reads a release from Boehner’s office posted online and distributed to reporters Monday. The quote was attributed to Boehner himself in a Financial Times story. The online post and the press release came from Boehner spokesperson Kevin Smith.

    The statement was later amended to read, "the president continues to blame anyone and everyone for failing to respond to the drought but himself," but the Republican National Committee went ahead with an attack blaming Obama for a 15% hike in the price of groceries, which can partly be attributed to the drought.

    Whatever the haters say, this approach to the drought represents an improvement in conservative messaging. Not only do these Obama critics reject Islamophobic conspiracy, they're beginning to accept anthropomorphic climate change. Though in this case, the "anthro" is just one guy.

    This is also means the Republicans believe that government has some role to play in disaster relief, either by passing a farm bill or literally making it rain, a definite improvement from the old philosophy of beating the drought with nothing but bootstraps and Boehner's tears.

    Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Agriculture, Barack Obama, Climate Change, John Boehner, Republicans, Weather
  • Bringing Much Needed Positivity to Tragic Tornado Disasters

    Nothing like a series of tragic and fatal natural disasters to bring out the best in people.

    It really does my heart good to know we have people like progressive radio host Mike Malloy out there, bringing glimmers of hope into the darkness of despair

    "Their God… keeps smashing them into little grease spots on the pavement in  Alabama, and Mississippi, and Arkansas, and Georgia, and Oklahoma," Malloy says in his broadcast from Friday.

    "You know, the Bible belt, where [in a mocking voice] they ain't gonna let no goddamned science get in the way, it says in the Bible, blah blah blah blah blah. So, according to their way of thinking, God with his omnipotent thumb reaches down here and so far tonight has smashed about 20 people into a grease spot on highway 12, or whatever the hell highway they live next to."

    Now, as moving as his smashed greasespot analogy is — and it is almost heart wrenchingly moving — it does ring a tad bit false to my ears. Because clearly, we cannot blame God for these horrendous tragedies. Oh, certainly not!

    No, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the victims. Isn't that right, Pat Robertson?

    Read More »

    Tags: Christianity, Natural Disasters, Pat Robertson, Religion, Weather
  • Ron Paul: Tornadoes Are Nature's Way of Marketing Insurance

    For those frustrated by the constrained range of policies offered by mainstream politicians, Ron Paul's campaign offers a welcome opportunity to learn how a doctrinaire libertarian would respond to difficult events, such as the recent spate of deadly storms that tore through the South and Midwest. Unfortunately, espousing this doctrine often makes Paul look an F5-scale clown

    "There is no such thing as federal money," Paul said, on CNN's State of the Union. "Federal money is just what they steal from the states and steal from you and me."

    "The people who live in tornado alley, just as I live in hurricane alley, they should have insurance," Paul said.

    Paul said there was a role for the National Guard to restore order and provide care and shelter in major emergencies, but that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) led to nothing but "frustration and anger."

    Of course by "insurance," Paul might mean "millions in earmarks and other federal disbursements," since that's what Galveston, Texas received in the aftermath of a series of hurricanes, at Paul's behest. Or maybe the residents of Kentucky and Indiana could be more self-reliant than that: I hear bootstraps make excellent construction tools.

    Alternatively, we could invent a newfangled system of compulsory contributions, commensurate with income, that could be redistributed to people who are unfortunate enough to suffer from a natural disaster. We could call it "a government."

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Indiana, Kentucky, Natural Disasters, Republicans, Ron Paul, Weather
  • Missing Ron Paul Votes Mistaken for Penis Enlargement Ads

    Ron PaulCaucuses are known for being a bit chaotic, but nothing compares to last week's GOP contest in Maine. Some counties had their caucuses cancelled due to minor snowfall while others were unable to send their final vote count to state officials.

    The reason? Apparently, caucus emails look a lot like ads for Cialis

    Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted that the state party made numerous clerical errors in counting the state's caucus results – even omitting some votes because emails reporting tallies "went to spam" in an email account. However, Webster insisted that the errors did not change the outcome.

    On Saturday, he had declared former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney the winner of Maine's Presidential Preference Poll by fewer than 200 votes, even though not all municipalities had reported results…

    Even as the state Republican Party prepares to issue new vote totals, certain municipalities have not yet gathered to caucus. Washington County, where 118 votes were cast in the 2008 caucuses, is scheduled to caucus this Saturday after its caucus was postponed due to inclement weather last weekend.

    I'm not surprised Maine's Republican caucus results were mistaken for spam. Mitt Romney looks like the guy on a mountain bike in every Lipitor commercial, and Ron Paul probably wants the Treasury to buy gold from a Nigerian prince.

    Spam filters could also have confused "rise in Santorum support" with "dick enhancement." It's a pretty easy mistake to make.

    Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Internet, Maine, Mitt Romney, Primaries, Republicans, Ron Paul, Weather
  • Tornado Watch in South Carolina: What Does it Mean?

    TornadoIt's a known fact that weather plays a role in primary elections, because it gives the 24-hour news networks something to focus on when they run out of footage of people exiting elementary schools. Never before has this fact been more true, because there are actual scary-sounding tornadoes predicted for parts of South Carolina today.

    Luckily, Indecision's own Dennis DiClaudio has written an entire book about weather. I keep a copy at my desk and a spare in my purse, so I turned to page 112 for an informed explanation of tornadoes and their impact:

    For every one worthwhile thing we don't understand about tornadoes, there are at least three dozen totally effing bizarre things we do know about them. For example, we know that they have a strange affinity for naked chickens.

    Got it. So I think this means Rick Santorum will do better than expected in the Low Country.

    Photo by Steve Bronstein/Stone/Getty Images

    Tags: Primaries, South Carolina, Weather