Morning headlines

— Lyin’ Ryan is at it again, this time telling an audience of senior citizens that Obamacare includes death panels. Maybe he’s taking Sarah Palin’s advice that Romney/Ryan need to “go rogue.”

— Mitt Romney lists the U.S. as a “foreign country” on his tax returns. Whoops! It turns out it’s just a preparation error, but can you imagine the perfervid wingnut conspiracy theories if Obama made a similar mistake?

— The Obama campaign is said to be worried about voter complacency and is making efforts to combat that. Good. At this point, complacency is the main thing I worry about in the upcoming presidential election, as well.

— In a speech to African-American political leaders, First Lady Michelle Obama called voting rights the country’s “most important civil rights issue.” She’s probably right, of course, but cue the wingnut outrage.

— Ralph Reed: he’s baaaccckk! Amazing how so many Republican crooks — from Watergate convicted felons like Chuck Colson to Irangate scammers like Eliot Abrams — are “rehabilitated” and welcomed with open arms right back into the highest reaches of the GOP.

— Speaking of 90s relics that are back, Andres Serrano’s controversial artwork “Piss Christ” is making headlines once again. It seems that it’s being displayed at a private gallery in New York City, and the usual suspects on the religious right are demanding that Obama “condemn” it. Their argument is that since Obama denounced the anti-Muslim film “Innocence of Muslims” that sparked worldwide riots and a crisis in the Middle East, he needs to repudiate “Piss Christ” as well, because otherwise that would totally be showing favoritism toward Islam and insulting Christianity. Yeah, that sounds like an awesome plan — I’m sure that running around to museums all over the country and denouncing art that anyone deems offensive would be a great use of the President’s time. And isn’t it strange how every time economic issues come to the forefront, as they have with Romney’s infamous “47%” remarks, the right loves to gin up a culture war to distract us all? It’s a giant relief to all sane people that these kind of orchestrated right-wing hissy fits are not nearly as effective as they used to be.

— Finally, the Vatican has appointed Salvatore Cordileone, a man known as “the architect of Proposition 8,” to become San Francisco’s new archbishop. Excellent move! Among other things, Cordileone has said that gays and lesbians “in sexual relationships of any kind” should be denied communion. Members of San Francisco’s LGBTQ Catholic community “worry that they will be marginalized after Cordileone’s arrival.” You think?

Kathleen Geier

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee