From the Truth is Stranger than Fiction files this morning:

McDonald’s advises its low-wage workers to try “breaking food into pieces” to feel full, and urges them to “pack your bags” for vacation, “chew away cares” with gum, “keep the faith” by going to church, and “sing away stress.”  And, oh yeah, return some of those Christmas gifts to get the cash!

In response to criticism over Walmart employees holding a food drive for fellow Walmart employees, the company is pushing back.  And it’s Ashton Kutcher to the rescue!

A freshman teaparty congressman from Florida, Trey Radel, was busted buying 3.5 grams of cocaine last month. Today, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year probation and fined $260.

One of the strangest stories I came across today was our friend GottaLaff  at  The Political Carnival  who told us that her Facebook account was suspended for posting this picture:

Yet, the miscreant who goes by the name Everest Wilhemsen is free to post things like this:

We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him. His willful violations and alienation of our Constitution, constant disregard for our peaceful protests and corruption of all the three branches of government, (i.e., rogue and illegitiimate government), reveal the dictator that he is. Obama and his co-conspirators disrespect our Constitution (constitutional rule of law) and abuse the American people. The authority to kill Obama comes from the 2nd Amendment of our Constitution: He is levying war on the United States and aiding and comforting our foreign enemies — the 2nd Amendment gives us the right and duty (authority) to engage an enemy of the United States that does so with the design to reduce us under absolute Despotism. I would be very surprised, if Obama does not leave Washington DC today (Nov. 19th) …never to return, if he is not dead within the month. PLEASE JOIN US AT CHRISTIAN AMERICAN PATRIOTS MILITIA:

From our religious hypocrisy file, as you can see from the name of his FB group, he claims to be “Christian”…

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK this Friday, posts like the one I’ve copied above are even more troubling than usual, as the crazies are everywhere you look.  And yes, I blame Ronald Reagan

Yesterday, we got the news that a former VA state senator and gubernatorial candidate, Creigh Deeds, was stabbled multiple times by his son Gus, who then used a gun to kill himself.   This should never have happened, as the Huffington Post reports:

The 24 hours preceding the violence had been tumultuous. An emergency custody order had compelled Gus Deeds to Bath County Hospital for a mental health evaluation, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Deeds was released because no psychiatric facility in Western Virginia had an available bed, Dennis Cropper, the executive director of the Rockbridge County Community Services Board, told the Richmond paper.

Ronald Reagan is to blame because of his dismissal of Jimmy Carter’s Community Mental Health Centers program, as detailed in this Salon excerpt  from “American Psychosis” by Dr. E Fuller Torey:

One month prior to the election, President Carter had signed the Mental Health Systems Act, which had proposed to continue the federal community mental health centers program, although with some additional state involvement. Consistent with the report of the Carter Commission, the act also included a provision for federal grants “for projects for the prevention of mental illness and the promotion of positive mental health,” an indication of how little learning had taken place among the Carter Commission members and professionals at NIMH. With President Reagan and the Republicans taking over, the Mental Health Systems Act was discarded before the ink had dried and the CMHC funds were simply block granted to the states. The CMHC program had not only died but been buried as well. An autopsy could have listed the cause of death as naiveté complicated by grandiosity.

President Reagan never understood mental illness. Like Richard Nixon, he was a product of the Southern California culture that associated psychiatry with Communism. Two months after taking office, Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, a young man with untreated schizophrenia. Two years later, Reagan called Dr. Roger Peele, then director of St. Elizabeths Hospital, where Hinckley was being treated, and tried to arrange to meet with Hinckley, so that Reagan could forgive him. Peele tactfully told the president that this was not a good idea. Reagan was also exposed to the consequences of untreated mental illness through the two sons of Roy Miller, his personal tax advisor. Both sons developed schizophrenia; one committed suicide in 1981, and the other killed his mother in 1983. Despite such personal exposure, Reagan never exhibited any interest in the need for research or better treatment for serious mental illness.

It’s worth reading the entire article (and perhaps, the entire book) to see how much damage Reagan’s policy regarding the mentally ill has caused.

The next 48 hours will undoubtedly be filled with tributes to JFK and investigative reports about Oswald – though I don’t think we’ll ever really, truly know what happened that day.

This morning, I spoke with Russ Baker of and author of  Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces that Put it in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America about the 10-part series he excerpted concerning George HW Bush’s relationship to the events of Nov. 22, 1963.  

Crooks & LiarsSusie Madrak weighed in on that discussion, and other items of interest too…