That’s what suspected Pentagon Shooter John Patrick Bedell wrote on a site that promotes the legalization of cannabis. Hard to argue with.

As of now, there’s no reason to think that Bedell is anything other than an unbalanced guy with a history of mental disturbance.


Is this him?

UPDATE: Yep, looks like. Pentagon Shooter John Patrick Bedell – here’s his mugshot from a previous arrest. This guy seems to have a history of depression and being generally weird; more news to follow as it leaks out.

It sure could be. Right name, right age, fits the developing story that he’s from California.

UPDATE 2: Here’s another picture:

The news has hit the wires:

Two police officers at the Pentagon were wounded on Thursday evening when a man walked up to them outside of the complex’s Metro station and, without saying a word, opened fire on them, Pentagon officials said.

The shooting took place about 6:40 p.m. at the entrance to the Metro station across the street from the Pentagon, prompting officials to place the huge Arlington office complex and Department of Defense headquarters on lockdown for a brief period of time. Witnesses told local news stations that they heard gunshots and saw people screaming and scrambling to get out of the area.

The shooter approached the two officers at a security screening area outside the complex and reached into his pocket, pulling out what the officers thought would be a Pentagon pass, Richard S. Keevill, the Pentagon Police Chief, said at a news conference. Instead the man pulled out a handgun and started shooting at them, prompting the officers to fire back.

“They said he walked up very cool, like there was no distress,” Chief Keevill said, quoting the officers. “He had no real emotion in his face.”

So, who is John Patrick Bedell, and what’s his problem? Since there’s obviously no reason not to engage in some irresponsible speculation at this point, let me draw attention to the following:

There’s a lot more here:

A few highlights: “Bedell stood there staring at Detective Anderson.” “Bedell just stood there in the doorway refusing to move or even acknowledge that he was being spoken to.” “Bedell acted as if he did not even hear what was being said to him.” Is this our guy?

12:58 – Awww – now it’s time for our legislators to get on the bus that’s waiting outside so they can go vote. I find this charming, and convenient, as it will allow me to eat lunch.

12:57 – Wow. Whoever had “dead sister’s teeth” in the pool, collect your prize.

12:54 – Louise Slaughter! For the win!

12:51 – Joe Biden opens his mouth!

12:41 – Cantor’s decided that this has all gone far enough. Time to close ranks, stop pretending to want a solution, and just sling some BS.

12:39 – Cantor’s here, he brought his props, and he hasn’t listened to a word so far.

12:37 – “It’s a lot cheaper to insure people who promise not to get sick.” Nice one, Kathleen.

12:31 – Wow, Barack …that was COLD. Tells McCain he lost, then slaps FOX for good measure.

12:26 – Question: who wants to hear what John McCain has to say? Not his party, not the Dems … what’s he doing here?

12:22 – Wow. Sucks to be Rep. George Miller. He’s half man, half machine, all uninsurable.

12:16 – Four of Boustany’s top five donors are medical PACs. Worth noting.

12:11 – Bam! Obama just broke Boehner, then turned Kyl’s attempted counterpunch into a devastating throw. His kung fu is strong today.

12:06 – C’mon now Jim, this is turning into a Grandpa Simpson story.

12:03 – Clyburn is mainly just filling time here, nothing really new so far…

11:57 – Obama getting a little tetchy, but keeping it together.

11:53 – Jon Kyl is in Talking Points mode.

11:47 – Okay, POTUS has thrown down the ‘this is not government takeover’ gauntlet. Will GOP pick it up?

11:41 – Procedure fight! I think Mitch is counting the moderator’s time as Dem time. Semi-fair.

11:39 – Andrews is being sneaky-clever, and the Repubs know it.

11:35 – Obama steps in, but not to contradict. This’ll be a point for Camp if he realizes it’s time to shut up before he oversteps.

11:34 – Numbers flying thick and fast. Can the Dems counter with data? If not, I think Camp will pull out a point for the GOP.

11:32 – Wow – Dave Camp, suicide bomber. He’s throwing accusations and talking points like smoke grenades; I think he thinks Obama’s gonna cut him off.

11:26 – I … think Max Baucus is on drugs. He’s either about to throw up or burst out laughing.

11:25 – John Kline going positive – let’s see how POTUS returns serve.

11:18 – Hoyer: “You believe in this rhetorically, but it’s not in your legislation.”

11:17 – Steny Hoyer looks more Republican than the Republicans. He should ask Boehner for some melanin.

11:12 – Emerging theme: POTUS lets a Republican talk, then says he’s already incorporated their popular points into the bill. So far no real push-back, so it might work.

11:10 – Coburn has been the first disappointment of the summit. This is talking-point salad – a long walk for a short, irrelevant beer.

11:09 – Wow – that whole spiel was an attempt to stick tort reform to insurance fraud? Coburn is like a talking-points Mad Lib.

11:05 – Sen Coburn is a doctor – and he’s making doctor-references! That make no sense! Still!

11:02 – It’s a fight for the floor. Obama’s winning, but the substance will determine whether he looks like the adult or just petulant. This is going to come down to a facts-fight. Yay!

10:59 – Here we go. Gloves coming off – POTUS and Lamar Alexander getting into it on teh facktz.

10:53 – The jaws of the TRAP are closing. If something doesn’t happen to shake up the tone of this summit, everybody’s going to come off looking reasonable and the GOP will be utterly screwed.

10:51 – Reid’s prepared remarks don’t fit the flow of the discussion, but they’ll look good on cable.

10:49 – Repubs looking reasonable, Dems looking tough? This is madness!

10:45 – Harry Reid – sob story segues into RAW POWER. “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.” That’ll make SportsCenter highlights.

10:43 – Owtch. Health care as a right? Bad idea, bad politics.

10:40 – This is really just a great format. When these people have to sit together and look each other in the eye, they really do come off looking like leaders.

10:38 – Nancy Pelosi is SEVENTY YEARS OLD! Who cares that she can’t smile, that’s freakin’ amazing.

10:37 – The President is being-in-charge. He looks like the boss. Boehner and Admiral Ackbar were right! It’s a trap!

10:34 – Uh oh. Never mind – back to the scrap-everything talk. It’s on now.

10:30 – GREAT opener from the GOP. They look like conscientious adults who are looking to compromise. Major strategy shift? Are they really that afraid of reconciliation?

10:27 – Lamar is in the ZONE. Auto recall metaphor! Obama: secretly Japanese?

10:23 – Boom – Republicans playing tough-but-nice-ish. This might actually be interesting.

10:22 – This is amazing:

10:18 – Newsflash: the President is speaking slowly to the American people, using easy words and short sentences.

10:14 – Awww … the President’s certainty of the goodwill in the room is adorable. I could just eat him with a spoon.

10:08 – Shout out to the Jobs Bill. Somewhere, Scott Brown is feeling like Bob Dylan at the Free Trade Hall.

10:07 – Let’s do this!

10:05 – Waxman is a tiny, tiny person.

As we await the kickoff of today’s Big Health Care Smackdown Kabuki Whatever, let’s not forget how the incentives align for the two parties:

OUTCOME Democrats Republicans
Mainstream Base Mainstream Base
Bipartisan Passage – Major W W w L
Bipartisan Passage – Minor W w w l
Reconciliation – Major w W l W
Reconciliation – Minor w w l W
Nothing Passes L L w W


Those are the five options – major or minor reform with bipartisan support, major or minor reform by reconciliation, or nada. Major bipartisan reform would be a huge win for the Dems, so the Repubs won’t let that happen. Likewise, the Dems can’t afford to be left holding an empty bag. Any reconciliation would energize both bases, and any compromise would discourage the bases and encourage the moderates on both sides. The only likely results that today can prepare us for will be:

1) A moderate HCR package with a few R votes

2) A moderate HCR package passed through reconciliation

The third option, a massive package (including a Public Option) passed by reconciliation, is … unlikely. If it happened, all the back-biting we’ve seen in Washington thus far will have been a tickle-fight compared to the warring to come.

Let’s watch and see!

Damn Obama! Damn his secrecy! Damn his lies!

Health Care Summit Won’t Be Seen Live on Most C-SPAN Channels

Despite pleas for greater access to coverage of health care reform debate, viewers may not be able to watch live coverage of Thursday’s White House health care summit on C-SPAN — or even C-SPAN 2.

You won’t see it on C-SPAN. More than a year after candidate Barack Obama promised that the entire health care debate would be broadcast live on the channel, and after months of Republican complaints that Democrats were negotiating behind closed doors, Thursday’s health care summit will not be broadcast on C-SPAN.

Obama’s top-level bipartisan summit won’t even be seen on C-SPAN 2.

Heed our pleas, dammit! Gracious, we can’t even watch it on C-SPAN? Not even on C-SPAN 2? Good Lord, will we need to decrypt some Russian-language PPV channel to watch this thing?!?!? Whatevah shall we do? Wherevah shall we go?

Oops, read on.

Television audiences who rely on C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2 for uninterrupted coverage of public affairs events will have to tune to C-SPAN 3 or other cable outlets, including Fox News, to watch the event. will stream live coverage of the White House summit in its entirety.

I did not add the bolding, or the italics. That was all them.

Television audiences who rely on C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2 for uninterrupted coverage of public affairs events will have to tune to C-SPAN 3 or other cable outlets, including Fox News, to watch the event. Also, if  it’s sunny outside, thirsty people who rely on standing outside in the rain with their mouths open are screwed.

Ryan Sorba has been on TV and met famous people - and the picture he chooses for his MySpace profile is of him flexing his muscles and covering his crotch.

The world is a big, scary place, and some people just can’t handle it. This gives rise to a very particular type of toxicon: someone whose phony expertise is based not just on a failure to recognize one’s own ignorace, but on an urgent psychological need to believe that one understands something that makes one feel frightened and inadequate. Very, very inadequate.

Meet Ryan Sorba.

On 2/19/10, Ryan Sorba addressed a crowded ballroom at the annual CPAC conference of conservative political luminaries. This is what he said: 

“I’d like to condemn CPAC for bringing GOPride [sic] to this event. Civil rights are grounded in natural rights. Natural rights are grounded in human nature. Human nature is a rational substance in relationship to the intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction. Do you understand that? Civil rights when they conflict with natural rights are contrary… Will you sit down? The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do.”

Here’s the vid:

Sorba was quickly booed off the stage. The firestorm of commentary that ensued dissected exactly what Sorba’s words and the reaction to them says about the state of conservative thinking with regard to homosexuality. What hasn’t been examined is what they say about Mr. Sorba, which is interesting – because if you look at his actual statement, he never really attacked homosexuality at all.

Most peddlers of homophobia understand that there are two basic ways to go about it. If you know where the exits are, you can do a hit-and-run by invoking junk science to suggest that gay-ness is dangerous and harmful and then hauling ass before you get called on it. Alternately, you can stake out a nebulous high ground by applying adjectives like ‘immoral’ (which are impossible to argue with). Neither of these methods offers a knock-out blow, but they can satisfy an uncritical audience or rope-a-dope an unprepared opponent. In short, they work. So why didn’t Sorba stick with them?

Although Sorba’s actual words don’t add up to a meaningful sentence in the English language, his intentions are clear. He’s trying to argue that the legitimacy of sexual activity is in some sense based on the making of babies. One might certainly infer from this an attack on any lifestyle that involves non-reproductive sex, and many have been quick to poke the obvious holes in Sorba’s thinking (what about heterosexual sex in which the woman is pregnant, or one or both parties is infertile?).  These arguments, though reasonable, miss a larger point. Why should we read between the lines, when we can just consider what Sorba actually said?

“The intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction.”

Not fun. Not pleasure. Not even between heterosexuals. The ‘intelligible end’ – i.e., the whole point of sex – is reproduction.

In other words, if you enjoy sex, you’re missing the point.

Why does Ryan Sorba feel the need to convey this perspective? Why must he concoct such rickety logical frameworks to support his thesis that sex isn’t supposed to be pleasurable, goddammit?  And why is he so defensive and on edge that he’s constantly threatening anyone who might disagree with him?  There must be a reason for this behavior. Even if it’s only a little one. An eensy-weensy, shamefully tiny reason.