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Why hasn’t anyone asked…

… why uber rich campaign donors don’t pay their taxes with that campaign money?

Take Sheldon Adelson, please.

Sheldon has pledged $100,000,000 to help Romney’s campaign. Sheldon is a pro-Israel supporter who thinks that Israel has fallen apart since 2008 because of something the Obama administration has done.

Not true. Israel is falling apart because the more powerful Israeli political parties have been making crazy deals with the super ultra orthodox Jews in order to form a ruling coalition. These religious Jews on steroids don’t like women to sing in public and refuse to put their time in with the Israeli Defense Force. They’ve become the Israeli version of the American quiverful movement. Yeah, wrap your head around that concept. That would be like Obama and Romney making nice to Michelle Duggar and her friends. I’m sorry, the Duggars don’t have friendships, they have fellowships. Different concept altogether. You stick with your friends through thick and thin, but you can dump your fellows whenever their womenfolk raise their hemlines to the bottom of their kneecaps or cut their hair. I can assure you that the Duggars would drop their fellows in the blink of an eye if any of them didn’t adhere to their strict lifestyle choices.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, in the US, you might see the political parties not being quite so enthusiastic about supporting women’s rights to make her own reproductive decisions or even get a decent job in the little Depression. Women might be encouraged to get married or stay home instead of work or poverty might be blamed on women refusing to marry. Have we seen anything like that in the NYTimes?

In America, the effect is more diffuse. In Israel, it’s a lot more obvious because it’s a much smaller country. In Israel, your minister of health can refuse to hand an award to the woman who won it because the Jewish fundies might have a fit. Women might be discouraged from speaking in public. Or singing. You could have men in the IDF refusing to serve with women. You could have men spitting on little girls for not dressing modestly. The Jewish fundies also reproduce like rabbits. And because their numbers are increasing disproportionately in a country that can’t dilute their political strength, the other parties are having an increasingly difficult time working with them.

In THIS country, it is possible to dilute the fundie strength but we won’t for some reason. Yes, we still cling to the concept that the Duggaresque evangelical patriarchalists are admirable for their piety and respected because they hide their anti-everyoneelseism behind their worship of a Judeo-Christian diety (who biblical scholars know is an amalgamation of mesopotamian and canaanite deities. And let’s not even get started on Noah’s flood). We’re all supposed to feel guilty and dirty because we can’t live up to their vision of heavenly perfection and rely entirely on our own, while the Duggars themselves live in a socialist microcosm of their own making. And yet, they get a disproportionate amount of attention. You’d think the whole mid section of the country is going quiverful even as many quiverful women are getting the hell out of Dodge. It’s just not true that Americans are craving 12-20 children and summers without shorts or bathing suits. If anything, Americans, especially young Americans are turning away from fundamentalism and religion. How ya’ going to keep’em down on the farm after they’ve seen the Internet?

The Duggars seem to represent a certain mindset of smug, condescending selfishness that that is enviable. There is no shame in Duggaresque selfishness because they are covered by god. They sure seem self-sufficient. I’m sure the Discovery Channel pays them nothing {{eyes rolling}}. And because they are so insular with their friends, er, fellows, and community, it looks like they are in a different world even if they live in America. In their world, they don’t drive down roads that are paid by Arkansans or Americans. Those are Duggar roads. And they don’t get medical care or goods and services from people who were educated in public schools. Those people just pop up out of nowhere and do things for the Duggars when they’re needed. They’re like the people who inhabit the Necessary Room at Hogwarts. There when they’re needed, gone when they’re not. They don’t really exist with needs of their own. So the Duggars don’t have to worry about the effect of their anti-tax politics are on those non-existent people.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah, Sheldon Adelson. So, Sheldon thinks that Mitt is going to do a better job of protecting and defending and carrying out Israeli foreign policy here in the US than Obama. I’ve always wondered about politicians who represent Israel in government. I mean, is that legal? Don’t they take an oath to defend the US and its constitution and antiquated notions like that? And besides, don’t we already do enough for Israel? We’re already kinda on the hook for defending it against its enemies. We’d turn any country that tried to nuke Israel into a glass parking lot. Isn’t that understood and hasn’t it been since people Obama and my age were little kids?

So, what more does Sheldon want? Says Sheldon:

Adelson, like other members of his family, had been a Democrat. But, as his wealth grew, he began to favor tax-averse Republican economic policies. He argued to an associate recently, “Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?” Three years ago, at an event in Washington, D.C., celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Adelson, who was being honored that evening, told the audience about the time he had spent with William Bush, the brother of George H. W. Bush, during the 1988 election. “He explained to me what Republicanism was all about . . . so I got to learn about it and I switched immediately!” Adelson said. But it was only after he went to war against the union that he became so partisan. He began donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican National State Election Committee.

Oo! Oo! Sheldon I have the answer to your question about why taxes should be coming out of your hide. It’s because that’s where the money is! You’re sitting on it. You could pay people more but it seems like you don’t like doing that and you really don’t like unions. You as an individual can’t spend all the billions of dollars you have on yourself. It’s just not possible. And you didn’t earn all that cash. You just happen to be the one collecting it.

So it doesn’t really have anything to do with Israel. But make no mistake, Sheldon is a lot like the American quiverful evangelicals. He also doesn’t recognize the people around him as being necessary. They just come and go, they serve him things and whisk those things away. They’re silent and efficient.

When Sheldon makes a donation to a Republican’s campaign, it never occurs to him that that $100,000,000 might be better spent making sure the silent and efficient ones can get to work and feed their families so they can continue to wait on him.

$100,000,000 could buy a lot of textbooks, math teachers and hot school lunches, vaccinations, tooth fillings and asthma medications, pothole patches, bridge repairs and policemen. But Sheldon doesn’t want to share with people who are not his fellows. He can’t control them.

He’d rather give that money to politicians.

**************************

Sarah Silverman has an offer Sheldon can’t refuse:

Um, don’t give your money to Obama either, Sheldon. Just pay your f^&*ing taxes. That’s all we ask.

Red Beanie Boys: nuns help poor too much and condemn sexytime violations too little

Has the whole world’s first and second estates’ completely lost it?  I mean, talk about people who could use a refresher course in the classics.  Don’t they remember what happened to all those kings and princes who insisted on playing god with the power of life and death?

The Vatican is definitely pushing the envelope.  They’ve decided to step in and take over a North American nuns organization, rather imperiously, a la the UVA Board of Visitors, because:

In April, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI had authorized a takeover of the LCWR, which represents about 80 percent of the nation’s 57,000 nuns and sisters. The Vatican’s “doctrinal assessment” said the group was not sufficiently promoting orthodox teachings on sexuality and gender and was spending too much time focusing on social justice issues.

Although the Vatican has been officially scrutinizing the LCWR for several years — and has viewed the U.S. nuns with some suspicion for decades — the takeover came as a surprise. LCWR leaders requested a face-to-face meeting with Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain, who Benedict named to direct the Vatican effort.

After last week’s talks in Rome, Farrell and Mock said the meeting had been an opportunity for “open dialogue.” A Vatican spokesman said the meeting took place “in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.”

But right after the meeting, Levada gave an interview in which he said the talks may in fact be a “dialogue of the deaf,” and said the nuns are associating with people who “aren’t representing the church with any reasonable sense of product identity.” Sartain and another U.S. bishop involved in the takeover also said the investigation was aimed at the LCWR, not nuns in general.

Farrell called Levada’s comment “unfortunate” and in its statement on Monday, the LCWR rejected efforts to try to separate the group from the wider community of U.S. nuns, which it said has “keenly felt” the impact of the Vatican campaign.

Yes, the comment was unfortunate but not nearly as unfortunate as the sentiment behind it.  By the way, when did the Vatican get a marketing department concerned with “product identity”. Can you just imagine the personality statement from the ad and marketing group?

“Our product says tradition.  It is not crunchy granola.  It doesn’t wear jeans or have a vegan diet.  It’s wine in golden goblets. It is not who you want to have a beer with. It says it’s going to be here for another 2000 years. It is gentlemen’s club. It’s about labor and delivery while strapped to a bed, not earth mothers and unassisted home water births. It’s the beauty of shame and the ecstasy of fasting…”

Lovely.  More authoritarianism just keeps coming our way.  This won’t end well.

Meanwhile, here’s a great idea:

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