In what has regrettably become an all-too familiar occurrence in America, the virulently mephitic members of the Westboro Baptist Church have announced that they plan to picket the funerals of those killed in yesterday's bombing attack on the Boston Marathon in an apparent attempt to make the actual perpetrators of the attack seem like decent human beings by comparison. They will fall short in this effort, should they even decide to follow through on their threat, but by golly, they are going to give it their best shot, if their Twitter feed from yesterday offers any indication.

Westboro Baptist kept up this charmless social media assault throughout the day yesterday, like blithering idiots.

In recent months, two of the granddaughters of Westboro's leader, Fred Phelps, have left the group, because what a way to waste your life. In a statement offered on Feb. 6, sisters Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper stated, "We know that we've done and said things that hurt people ... Inflicting pain on others wasn't the goal, but it was one of the outcomes. We wish it weren't so and regret that hurt."

One hates even to give the nonsensical antics of the Westboro Baptist Church oxygen, but it's worth doing if only because wherever these bell-ends travel, communities of decent people typically come out in force to manifest elaborate displays of niceness. Westboro's plans to picket a funeral in Newtown, Conn., was thwarted outright when several groups turned out to oppose them.

I hate to break from family-friendliness here, but it should be said that it's only natural to read about the people of the Westboro Baptist Church and think, "Wow, these people are assholes." But that is unfair to assholes, which serve a useful purpose. If anything, the followers of the WBC lack them. Which means you know what they are full of.

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  • Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.)

    “This is a horrific day in Boston. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. I have been in touch with the President, Mayor Menino and our public safety leaders. Our focus is on making sure that the area around Copley Square is safe and secured. I am asking everyone to stay away from Copley Square and let the first responders do their jobs.”

  • President Barack Obama

    <blockquote>The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight. And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss. ... We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. Today is a holiday in Massachusetts -- Patriots’ Day. It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation. And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition. Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.</blockquote>

  • Vice President Joe Biden

    VP Biden: "Our prayers are with those people in Boston who have suffered injuries. I don’t know how many there are."

  • Sen. William "Mo" Cowan (D-Mass.)

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

  • Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney (R)

  • Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)

  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

  • Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.)

  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.)

  • Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.)

  • Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)

  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

  • Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.)

  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R)

  • Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R)

  • Gov. Maggie Hassan (D)

  • Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

  • Speaker John Boehner

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

  • Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.)

  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

  • Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)

  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)

  • Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)

  • Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

  • Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)

  • Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)

  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

  • Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.)

  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

  • Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)

  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)

  • Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

  • Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

  • Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)

  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

  • Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

  • Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)

  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

  • Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)

  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

  • Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)

  • Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)