Texas GOP Congressman Invites Hitler To Holocaust Memorial Service

OK, that headline may be a little over the top. But only a little. The real story is that “Texas Congressman Invites Ted Nugent, Who Threatened The President’s Life, To The State Of The Union.” Yep, that is actually happening.

Ted Nugent SOTU

“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama,” [Rep. Steve] Stockman said on his congressional website on Monday.

Stockman is the GOP crackpot who promised to fight President Obama’s perfectly reasonable gun safety proposals with everything, up to and including, filing articles of impeachment. Now he will be personally escorting into the halls of Congress the washed-up schlock-rocker who publicly told Obama that…

“You might want to suck on one of these, you punk? Obama, he’s a piece of sh*t and I told him to suck on one of my machine guns.”

And then there was the time that he said…

“I vow that I will use our freedom to get these dirty c*ck-suckers out of the White House. The president is a bad man. The vice president is a bad man. They’re all bad people. If you don’t get that, you’re a dead motherf*cker.”

Ted Nugent Vow

And who could forget his threat that…

“If Barack Obama becomes the President in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

Nugent is an utterly repulsive, pseudo-patriot whose very presence at the State of the Union is an insult to the solemn historical address that is mandated by the Constitution. Furthermore, it is an overt act of disrespect on the part of Stockman to invite a man who expresses such vulgar disdain for this president and the country who elected him. However, it does help to make clear the level of hatred that the Republican Party harbors and how eager they are to embrace the sickest freaks in their flock. America will be able to judge the dignity (or absence thereof) of the GOP and their guests as compared to, for instance, Michelle Obama’s guest, Cleopatra Cowley, the mother of slain fifteen year old Hadiya Pendleton, a victim of the sort of gun violence that is the predictable result of Nugent’s NRA agenda.

Stockman and Nugent are well aware of the deliberate controversy and divisiveness they are inciting. It is their intent to drive a wedge between Americans who are anxiously seeking common ground on the critical issues that will be discussed by the President. And it is the sort of brazenly political gesture that has resulted in Republicans sinking to record lows in favorability and congress having a lower rating than cockroaches, lice, and root canals.

[Addendum] Media Matters has posted a collection of 20 Inflammatory Comments by Ted Nugent. Don’t click unless you have a strong stomach. And while these remarks reveal Nugent to be a humongous douche nozzle, they say far more about the congressman who is making Nugent his date to the SOTU prom.

Pope TV: The Fox News Connection To The Vatican

Well, here we go again. There’s gonna be another new Pope and for some reason American television is going to be plastered with wall-to-wall coverage of a religious enterprise’s loss of its CEO and their search for a new leader.

Pope TV

With the announcement that Pope Benedict will resign at the end of this month, it also seems like a good time to reprise this article about how a Fox News reporter became the PR man at the Vatican:

Awash In Scandal, Vatican Turns To The Pros At Fox News For Help
[June 24, 2012] It was announced yesterday that Greg Burke, the Fox News correspondent in Rome, has accepted the position of senior communications adviser in the Vatican’s secretariat of state. The article in the Associated Press notes that the Vatican has been having a number of problems such as “a scandal over Vatican documents that were leaked to Italian journalists,” […] “Benedict’s now-infamous speech about Muslims and violence, his 2009 decision to rehabilitate a schismatic bishop who denied the Holocaust, and the Vatican’s response to the 2010 explosion of the sex abuse scandal.”

When an institution as prominent as the Vatican requires professional guidance through a maze of public relations challenges as steep as these, it only makes sense that they reach out to experts in the propaganda arts. Conveniently, Burke was at hand in Rome and, as a member of the ultra-conservative Catholic prelature, Opus Dei, his accordance with Church dogma is not in doubt.

Presumably the Vatican is confidant that Burke will bring some measure of expertise to his new duties whitewashing the Vatican’s malfeasance. However, Fox News is better known for their prowess in inventing scandals that never occurred (i.e. Birthers, voter fraud, war on Christmas, fast and furious, etc.), rather than in quelling actual scandals. Nevertheless, Burke’s first statements after the hiring suggest that he is precisely what the Vatican is looking for:

Burke: You’re shaping the message, you’re molding the message, and you’re trying to make sure everyone remains on-message.

In other words, Burke will be doing for the church exactly what Fox News has been doing for the Republican Party for years. Which raises a question far more interesting than the one about a Fox News correspondent going to work for the Vatican: What was a member of Opus Dei doing covering the Vatican for an alleged “news” organization for the past ten years? That would be indisputably unethical. It would be fine if he were assigned to farm subsidies or Wall Street, but not the church with which he is so closely associated. That would be like having a top Republican strategist working as a political analyst at a news network.

Oh wait…Karl Rove is already doing that at Fox News. And Fox also employed four prospective GOP presidential candidates in the past year. And they also employ executives who were caught instructing their news staff to slant their reporting to favor Republicans. And they invite Republican politicians and advocates to appear on the air far more often than Democrats or liberals. Mitt Romney alone as appeared on Fox & Friends 21 times in the last year, while appearing only once on any Sunday network news program.

It may be be indisputably unethical, but it’s also the Fox News business model. Whether or not it works at the Vatican remains to be seen. However, the Republican Party and the Vatican have much in common. They are both trying to sell stories on faith to ill-informed people who are motivated by fear.

So get ready for the onslaught of PopeMania that is bound to persist at least until a new Pope is crowned sometime between now and the end of March. Mr. Burke is already on the story and has secured a high profile Op-Ed on Fox News written by John Moody, Executive Vice President and Executive Editor at Fox News, as well as a Pope John Paul II biographer. Moody’s article, not surprisingly, concludes by praising Benedict as “brave” and reminding the Fox Flock that “the promise of heaven [is] lasting and infinite.” You know…..journalism in the proud tradition of “We preach, you deify.”