Dear Fellow Firedogs, Gentle Readers, and Other Sane and Sensible Citizens of the Planet Earth:

As a resident of Minnesota, I feel I must apologize for the actions of Tony Cornish and Bradlee Dean, especially as they pertain to the recent school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Tony Cornish is the violence-obsessed Republican state representative from Good Thunder who thinks along with Wayne LaPierre that arming teachers and militarizing schools are good ideas because the Israelis do these things — except that as Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen notes, they don’t:

Apparently, Israelis aren’t happy being dragged into America’s gun control debate, either. In Israelis shoot down NRA’s claim that the Jewish State uses more weapons to keep schools safe, the New York Daily News reported on Sunday:

When it comes to Israel and school shootings, Wayne LaPierre doesn’t know what he’s talking about, Israeli security experts said Sunday.

Such shootings are very rare in Israel and have been associated with terror attacks, not crazed gunmen, they said.

Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said the situation in Israel was “fundamentally different” from that in the United States.

“We didn’t have a series of school shootings, and they had nothing to do with the issue at hand in the United States. We had to deal with terrorism,” said Palmor.

“What removed the danger was not the armed guards but an overall anti-terror policy and anti-terror operations which brought street terrorism down to nearly zero over a number of years,” he said. “It would be better not to drag Israel into what is an internal American discussion,” he added.

“There is no comparison between maniacs with psychological problems opening fire at random to kill innocent people and trained terrorists trying to murder Israeli children,” said Reuven Berko, a retired Israeli Army colonel and senior police officer.

Not having been shamed by the Israelis into silence, Cornish insists on pushing his guns-in-the-schools scheme, and calls for cutting school sports programs to pay for it (because of course he backed cutting the Local Government Aid that once paid for such things as guards in schools).

But as breathtakingly crass and stupid as these gambit are, they seem downright commonsensical compared to the latest outbursts of hate preacher Bradley Dean Smith, better known under his stage name “Bradlee Dean”, who has spent the past two weeks claiming that the Newtown shootings were “staged” — craziness that attracted the attention of both Media Matters and Wonkette.

Sally Jo Sorensen, as usual, delves a bit deeper into Dean’s cray-cray:

Bluestem suspects that the local radio broadcasts are just playing to Dean’s Minnesota base of Tea Party members, homophobes and Ernie Leidiger. Bluestem noted the SW Metro Tea Party’s obsession with United Nations treaties in SW Metro Tea Party Patriot so knows Democrat Senate & Obama will hand over Internet to UN.

The anti-UN rants fit in well with the Tea Party’s shift to an anti-Agenda 21 focus popularized by the John Birch Society types.  On Christmas Day, the New York Times noted in Clout Diminished, Tea Party Turns to Narrower Issues:

Even more telling, Tea Party activists in the
middle of the country are skirting the fiscal showdown in Congress and
turning to narrower issues, raising questions about whether the movement
still represents a citizen groundswell to which attention must be paid.

Grass-roots leaders said this month that after losing any chance of repealing the national health care law,
they would press states to “nullify” or ignore it. They also plan to
focus on a two-decade-old United Nations resolution that they call a
plot against property rights. . .

With North Star Tea Party Patriot and SW Metro Tea Party co-founder (and Bradlee Dean fan) Cindy Pugh heading to the legislature, all Bluestem asks is that Speaker Thissen and Minority Leader Daudt avoid those awkward moments when Dean ends up being chaplain for the day in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Ah, yes. Bradlee Dean as chaplain for the day, giving the invocation. When that happened, I knew the Republicans’ days in control of the state legislature were numbered.