Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Republi-CON Fear, Anger and Hatred, Courtesy of Officer Dan Page of the St. Louis County Police Department

"Does it come as a shock that Officer Dan Page, who was suspended by the St. Louis County Police Department after shoving CNN correspondent Don Lemon mid-reporting, has some bizarre and offensive ideas about blacks, women, and the government? . .

In a handful of interviews unearthed by Rachel Tabachnick of Political Research Associates, Pages further opines that there is a military plot to overthrow the United States and establish a one-world government".

Read Slate, Dan Page’s Deeply Disturbing Views on Race, Sexual Assault, and Government.

Anyone want to guess the type of radio and TV that Dan Page frequents?

Without fear, anger and hatred, where would the Republi-cons be. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Even More Republi-CON Family Values

UPDATE III: In 2012, Tennessee Republican Representative Scott DesJarlais was exposed as having had extramarrital affairs, having slept with his medical patients, and having supported his ex-wife's decision to get two abortions before their marriage, despite his staunch public pro-life stance. Roughly one month later, he won re-election to Congress. It seems he may go on to do so again: DesJarlais officially won his Republican primary contest on Monday.

Read Slate, Hypocritical Pro-Life Doctor Who Had Sex With Patients Ekes Out GOP Primary Win

Don't ya just love those so-called Republi-con family values.

UPDATE II:  "According to a new report from the Chattanooga Times Free Press the congressman, who is also a doctor, admitted to sexual relationships with multiple patients and co-workers during sworn testimony at his divorce trial and urged his now-ex-wife to get two abortions, despite campaigning for Congress as an antiabortion rights, family values candidate.

The paper obtained a transcript of his 2001 trial, in which DesJarlais cops to having 'had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn.,' in the paper’s words. The relationships with patients both occurred in 2000, when DesJarlais was married."

Read the Washington Post, Rep. DesJarlais admitted to affairs with two patients during divorce trial, which notes he was won "reelection with just slightly less of the vote than he took in his first campaign in 2010."

UPDATE:  "Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais stands adamantly against abortion except when it endangers the political life of the father." 

Watch the Colbert Report, Alpha Dog of the Week - Scott DesJarlais:

Ya gotta love those so-called Republi-con family values, this time a pro-life congressman and doctor pressured his mistress patient to get abortion. 

Read the Washington Post, Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais pressed mistress to get an abortion, report says.

The article cited also notes that during his divorce, "he eventually admitted in court papers to at least four affairs. Court records indicate that at one point in the marriage, [DesJarlais and his then wife] had a 'written agreement to date other people.'"

Read about other so-called Republi-con family values.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

So You Don't Believe in Global Warming, Then Explain What Happens to 35 Gigatons of CO2 Each Year

UPDATE X:  "[Guess] what the more accurate, current number for the human-made CO2 pollution put into the air every year is?

40 billion tons."

Read Slate, Did I Say 30 Billion Tons of CO2 a Year? I Meant 40.

UPDATE IX:  "In 2012, National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell investigated peer-reviewed literature published about climate change and found that out of 13,950 articles, 13,926 supported the reality of global warming. Despite a lot of sound and fury from the denial machine, deniers have not really been able to come up with a coherent argument against a consensus. The same is true for a somewhat different study that showed a 97 percent consensus among climate scientists supporting both the reality of global warming and the fact that human emissions are behind it.

Powell recently finished another such investigation, this time looking at peer-reviewed articles published between November 2012 and December 2013. Out of 2,258 articles (with 9,136 authors), how many do you think explicitly rejected human-driven global warming? Go on, guess!

One. Yes, one. . .

If you listen to Fox News, or right-wing radio, or read the denier blogs, you’d have to think climate scientists were complete idiots to miss how fake global warming is. Yet despite this incredibly obvious hoax, no one ever publishes evidence exposing it. Mind you, scientists are a contrary lot. If there were solid evidence that global warming didn’t exist, or that CO2 emissions weren’t the culprit, there would be papers in the journals about it. Lots of them."

Read Slate, The Very, Very Thin Wedge of Denial.  

UPDATE VIII:  That's 35 gigatons of CO2 each year "[f]or the roughly 7.2 billion people who live on Earth today. . . 

A recent United Nations analysis of world population trends indicates global population growth shows no signs of slowing, with current projections estimating a staggering 11 billion people could inhabit the planet by the year 2100, faster growth than previously anticipated. The majority of this surge in population is likely to occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with the population of Nigeria expected to surpass that of theUnited States before 2050, according to the statistical analysis."

Read Discovery News, What 11 Billion People Mean for Climate Change.

And overpopulation is not the only problem, it is also over-consumption.

What happens as those 'other' people start "eating imported Argentinian beef. Drinking wine from Australia. Playing Wii on flat-screen televisions. Driving 4,000-pound sport utility vehicles. Driving 1,400-pound compact cars. Driving at all. Using toasters. Shopping for new jeans. Leaving the lights on in more than one room at a time (not an option). Turning on a heater. Turning on an air conditioner. Taking a bath. Urinating into drinking water. Eating corn. Eating beef at all, Argentinian or otherwise. Deciding which pair of shoes to wear. Flying on airplanes. Using toothpicks. . .

On a carbon scale, one American equals about 20 Indians, 30 Pakistanis, and 250 Ethiopians."

Read Slate, Is Overpopulation Really the Problem?

UPDATE VII:  "Here’s a finding that shouldn’t be all that surprising: Since 1991, roughly 97 percent of all published scientific papers that take a position on the question agree that humans are warming the planet."

Read the Washington Post, Scientists agree on climate change. So why doesn’t everyone else?

UPDATE VI:  "The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.

Scientific monitors reported that the gas had reached an average daily level that surpassed 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.

The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea. . .

From studying air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists know that going back 800,000 years, the carbon dioxide level oscillated in a tight band, from about 180 parts per million in the depths of ice ages, to about 280 during the warm periods between. The evidence shows that global temperatures and CO2 levels are tightly linked.

For the entire period of human civilization, roughly 8,000 years, the carbon dioxide level was relatively stable near that upper bound. But the burning of fossil fuels has caused a 41 percent increase in the heat-trapping gas since the Industrial Revolution, a mere geological instant, and scientists say the climate is beginning to react, though they expect far larger changes in the future."

Read The New York Times, Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone

UPDATE V:  "For decades now, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years — a fact scientists discovered by analyzing ancient air bubbles trapped in ice cores:

In fact, even that’s probably an understatement. Recent studies have estimated that current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are at their highest levels since the Pliocene, the geologic era between five million and three million years ago. "

Read the Washington Post, Carbon-dioxide levels are at their highest point in at least 800,000 years.  

UPDATE IV:  'Droughts, wildfires, and unprecedented heat waves,' might be one explanation for 35 gigatons of CO2 each year.  Read the Washington Post, Odds of record U.S. heat being a random event: 1 in 1.6 million

UPDATE III: "Back in 2010, Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic, decided to launch the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. Remember, this was not long after the Climategate affair had erupted, at a time when skeptics were griping that climatologists had based their claims on faulty temperature data.

Muller’s stated aims were simple. He and his team would scour and re-analyze the climate data, putting all their calculations and methods online. Skeptics cheered the effort. . . The Charles G. Koch Foundation even gave Muller’s project $150,000 — and the Koch brothers, recall, are hardly fans of mainstream climate science.

So what are the end results? Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science. Back in March, Muller told the House Science and Technology Committee that, contrary to what he expected, the existing temperature data was “excellent.” He went on: “We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups.” And, today, the BEST team has released a flurry of new papers that confirm that the planet is getting hotter. As the team’s two-page summary flatly concludes, “Global warming is real.”Here’s a chart comparing their findings with existing data:"

Read the Washington Post, A skeptical physicist ends up confirming climate data.

UPDATE II: Wonder what the deniers have to say about this? Read the Chicago Tribune, Stifling heat grips half U.S., some records set.

And take a look at the drought map, "the United States looks as if it has been set on fire and scorched at the bottom edge. Scorched is how much of the Southeast and Southwest feel, in the midst of a drought that is the most extreme since the 1950s and possibly since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The government has classified much of this drought as D4, which means exceptional. The outlook through late September shows possible improvement in some places, but in most of Texas, Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, and northern Louisiana and Mississippi the drought is expected to worsen."

I guess someone should ask Pastor Truthiness (who likes to attribute horrible events to God's wrath over any idea, person, or group he hates) why God is punishing the Bible Belt. Could it be a sign of his displeasure with Pastor Truthiness' sermon's of hate and his support of Middle East dictators?

UPDATE: Maybe that 35 gigatons of CO2 is causing global warming after all. Prof. Richard Muller, a UC Berkeley physicist who has been leading the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, an effort partially financed by none other than the Koch foundation . . . [aimed at showing] researchers at NASA and other groups analyzing climate trends have massaged and distorted the data. . . [and] hoping that the Berkeley project would conclude that global warming is a myth were surprised when "Muller reported that his group’s preliminary results find a global warming trend 'very similar to that reported by the prior groups.'" Read the Los Angeles Times, Critics' review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming.

"Every year, human activity emits about 35 gigatons of CO2 (the most important greenhouse gas). Of that, 85% comes from fossil fuel burning. To a lot of people, that doesn't mean much -- who goes to the store and buys a gigaton of carrots? For a sense of perspective, a gigaton is about twice the mass of all people on earth, so 35 gigatons is about 70 times the weight of humanity. Every year, humans put that in the atmosphere, and 85% of that is power. Large actions, across whole nations and whole economies, are required to move the needle." Read The Atlantic, Why It's Hard to Talk About Energy.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cha-Ching, Baby, Cha-Ching

UPDATE XI:  Here is a sample. In response to Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s speech on the '11 Commandments of Progressivism' that fast-food workers deserve livable wages, Palin said on her new channel:

'We believe?' Wait, I thought fast food joints, hurh. Don’t you guys think that they’re like of the Devil or something ... Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint that you just don’t believe in, thought you wanted to, I dunno, send them to Purgatory or somethin’ so they all go vegan and, uh, wages and picket lines I dunno they’re not often discussed in Purgatory, are they? I dunno why are you even worried about fast food wages because ... Well we believe in an America where minimum wage jobs, they're not like life time gigs, they're stepping stones.

Read Slate, Sarah Palin Is Getting Good at Her Tina Fey as Sarah Palin Impersonation.

Or watch the Great Palin herself:

Reminds me of the election criticism of her tired cliches, random jargon, and catchphrases she had been coached to repeat, often resulting in nonsensical answers and gibberish during the election.

She must be using the Sarah Palin Quote Generator.
UPDATE X:  "Sarah Palin announces the launch of her own online news channel as part of a continuing quest to remind America of her existence. "

Watch The Colbert Report, The Sarah Palin Channel, which notes that "[i]t's all about Sarah Palin . . . a safe space where like-minded folks can hear things they already agree with from someone whose opinions they already know.":

UPDATE IX:   It is the "the most rigorous infotainment site ever launched by a half-term governor of Alaska.

Read The Atlantic, Sarah Palin's Low-Budget TV Channel Is Pricier Than Netflix.

UPDATE VIII:  Years later, still monetizing the flools (a flock of fools).

Read the New York Daily News, Sarah Palin's new online channel provides commentary and more for $9.95 per month.  

Read also Slate, Sarah Palin to Sell Her Real American Lifestyle for $10 a Month, which notes that "Palin’s audience is composed of people who are steeped in the paranoid belief that everyone else is out to get them, a paranoia she's happy to stoke at every turn."

UPDATE VII: Giving new meaning to never missing a chance to monetize, first get knocked-up by your teenage boyfriend, then run a con as an "abstinence ambassador." Read the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Non-profit paid Bristol Palin more than it donated to anti-teen pregnancy programs, which notes:

That abstinence "charity" (a term used loosely as you will see) "took in about $1.7 million in donations and only gave $35,000 to groups trying to lower teen pregnancy rates.

Forty-six percent of Candie’s total expenses — $573,000 — went to Palin. Only 6 percent went to anti-teen pregnancy programs.

About $165,000 was paid to ABC for TV advertising."

Even for the Palins, this con strikes me as immoral.

UPDATE VI: Taking a chance to monetize to a new low, now she's cashing-in on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. CBS News, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin Sept. 11 Event Ticket Price: $73 to $225.

Pretty despicable if you ask me.

UPDATE V: Like Mother, like daughter -- never missing a chance to monetize. Read WHYfame, Bristol Palin's Story Sold to Us Weekly for $100,000!

And admit it, you knew it was coming, another unreality show. Read My Fox New York, Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston Eye Reality Show Ahead of Wedding.

UPDATE IV: Now the Palin clan will monetize out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy. Read the Washington Post, Bristol Palin to hit the paid lecture circuit, speaking about teen pregnancy.

UPDATE III: Compare Palin's efforts to monetize her new found 'celebrity' with Truman's refusal to accept corporate positions at large salaries. He declined the corporate offers because he knew they didn't want him, they wanted the office of the President, about which he later wrote "I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency."

FYI, when Truman retired from office, he returned home to Independence, Mo., his "only source of income was his $111.96-per-month World War I pension. In those days, ex-presidents didn't get pensions."

Later, Congress did enact a pension for former presidents. But when Congress attempted to give Truman the Medal of Honor, he said he would refuse it, saying the Medal of Honor was for combat bravery, and in any case, he did not consider that he had done anything to merit any award.

Truman is also quoted as saying: "My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference."

Truman also said "I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."

I think it's time to dig him up and clone him.

UPDATE II: "Nowadays, for both poles of the political spectrum but especially for the right, politics is a business—the entertainment business. The freak show, as Mark Halperin termed it, has been turned into a fully merchandised product. It was Fox’s Roger Ailes who had the insight that the American right was an underserved market, one with a powerful kind of brand loyalty. Fox News has turned a disaffected segment of the populace into a market, with the fervor and idiosyncratic truth standards of a cult. Wingnut-ism has been monetized, is one admittedly partisan way of looking at it. Palin stokes the disaffection of her constituents and then, with the help of Fox, offers to heal them, for a price. And—surprise—they’re more affluent than most Americans. Fifty-six percent make over $50,000 a year, according to a Times/CBS poll. Running for president is no doubt part of her business model. But forget elections (as many Palin supporters already seem to have done); she’s already the president of an alternative America—and also its CEO. " Read New York magazine, The Revolution Will Be Commercialized.

UPDATE: Not only is she getting the green, she demands the divas treatment and doesn't want you to know. Strictly nondisclosure, The Rogue Diva requires first class for two from Anchorage to California if she flies commercial, if not, a private aircraft that "MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger." In addition, she need a suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel. (Don't ask me why she needs three rooms for two people.) Of course, that is in addition to her speaking fee, as high as $100,000. Read the Washington Post, Calif. students find Palin contract in trash.

BTW, don't forget to "stock her lectern with two water bottles and bendable straws."

Just show her the money!

As I said last July, "[w]hy will the Rogue Diva quit her office early? The media was unfair. People were filing ethics complaints against her. Bloggers (and late night comedians) were saying mean things about her. She didn't want to be a lame duck. The state would be better off without her. Those are some of the reasons she gave.

She will build her network for 2012 by campaigning and fund raising for other candidates.

But I think the primary reason she quit is to cash in with a book and some speeches, maybe a little paid commentary on not-the-FoxNews, before she loses the 2012 Republi-con primary."

And cashin in she is. Read ABC News, Sarah Palin Has Earned an Estimated $12 Million Since July.

Cha-Ching, Baby, Cha-Ching! Those Republi-cons are all about the money!

Now if they could only balance a budget.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Myth of Voter Fraud

UPDATE XII:  Another example where Republi-cons never let reality spoil a good delusion.

Read the Washington Post, A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast, which includes a list of the 31 incidents.

The article also notes that "ID laws are not aimed at the fraud you’ll actually hear about. Most current ID laws . . . aren’t designed to stop fraud with absentee ballots (indeed, laws requiring ID at the polls push more people into the absentee system, where there are plenty of real dangers). Or vote buying. Or coercion. Or fake registration forms. Or voting from the wrong address. Or ballot box stuffing by officials in on the scam. In the 243-page document that Mississippi State Sen. Chris McDaniel filed on Monday with evidence of allegedly illegal votes in the Mississippi Republican primary, there were no allegations of the kind of fraud that ID can stop."

UPDATE XI:  "[V]oter-impersonation is a fake problem that doesn’t need a solution.

Judge Adelman agrees, and supports his stance with a treasure trove of evidence. Citing research on the incidence of in-person voter fraud in American elections, Adelman notes that, in eight years of Wisconsin elections—2004, 2008, 2010, and 2012—researchers could identify only 'one case of voter-impersonation fraud.' And in that case, it was a man who 'applied for and cast his recently deceased wife’s absentee ballot.' Likewise, after 'comparing a database of deceased registered voters to a database of persons who had cast ballots in a recent election,' in Georgia, another researcher found 'no evidence of ballots being illegally cast in the name of deceased voters.'

Adelman even notes the sheer difficulty of committing in-person voter fraud, throwing water on the claim that this could ever be common. 'To commit voter-impersonation fraud,' he says, 'a person would need to know the name of another person who is registered at a particular polling place, know the address of that person, know that the person has not yet voted, and also know that no one at the polls will realize that the impersonator is not the individual being impersonated.' He ends with a note that sounds like sarcasm, 'Given that a person would have to be insane to commit voter-impersonation fraud, [the law] cannot be deemed a reasonable response to a potential problem.'

He also makes a key point about public perception: Insofar that anyone believes that in-person voter fraud is a problem, it’s because elected officials—almost all of them Republican—treat it as such, as they push for these laws. Put simply, voter impersonation is a fake problem that doesn’t need a solution."

Read Slate, Why Wisconsin’s Voter ID Decision Is a Very Big Deal.

As the Judge notes, Republi-cons continue to promote the voter fraud fraud.

UPDATE X:  In Ohio, "17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election"

That was "0.0003 percent of the total of ballots cast for either Obama or Romney in" Ohio .

Read Slate, Did 17 Illegal Voters in Ohio Steal the 2012 Election?

What a problem NOT!

UPDATE IX:  An "extensive probe" was conducted by South Carolina of "207 votes that allegedly were made by dead people in the Nov. 2, 2010 election — when a total of 1,365,480 votes were cast . . . (Note that the number of alleged dead votes was less than 2/10,000th of all of the votes cast in that election.) . . .

In the end, just five votes remained unresolved after extensive investigation."

The rest were "clerical errors."

Read another Four Pinocchios Republi-con claim about voter fraud at the Washington Post, The case of ‘zombie’ voters in South Carolina.  

Once again proving that you should always assume that a Republi-con is lying if his/her lips are moving.

UPDATE VIII:  How frequent is in-person voter impersonation?  "[A]bout one for every 15 million prospective voters."  Read the Washington Post, Election Day impersonation, an impetus for voter ID laws, a rarity, data show.  

UPDATE VII: "A court filing by the state of Pennsylvania, ahead of a trial starting later this week on a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups against the state’s new voter fraud law, contains an astounding admission:

The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there 'have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.'

In other words, the state knows that voter fraud is a nonexistent problem, but will nonetheless defend a law that could potentially disenfranchise a huge number of the state’s voters. Of course, it’s not hard to see why the state — and particularly its Republican governor — would continue to support the measure."

Read the Washington Post, Pennsylvania admits it: no voter fraud problem

UPDATE VI: It is amazing, "the lengths to which Republican lawmakers will go to cut down the number of people who get to vote (preferably, of course, people who might vote Democratic)." Read The New York Times, Voter Suppression, Again, in Minnesota This Time.

UPDATE V: "The ACLU is offering a $1000 reward for anyone who can find a recent example of voter impersonation in Minnesota. My guess is they won't have to pay up." Read The New York Times, All Quiet on the Voter Fraud Front.

UPDATE IV: Efforts to restrict voter eligibility are nothing new.

"Many of the late 19th- and early 20th-century laws operated not by excluding specific classes of citizens but by erecting procedural obstacles that were justified as measures to prevent fraud or corruption. It was to “preserve the purity of the ballot box” that legislatures passed laws requiring voters to bring their sealed naturalization papers to the polls or to present written evidence that they had canceled their registration at any previous address or to register annually, in person, on one of only two Tuesdays. . .

The new procedures were widely recognized, by both their advocates and their targets, as having a far greater impact on some groups of voters — immigrants, blue-collar workers, the poor — than on others, and they often succeeded. In Pittsburgh in 1906, a personal registration law, sponsored by Republicans to check the influence of a crusading reformer, cut the number of registered voters in half.

In the 1930s, “pauper exclusion” laws were invoked to disenfranchise jobless men and women who were receiving relief. In 2000, Massachusetts disenfranchised prisoners after they formed an organization to promote inmate rights.

The targets of exclusionary laws have tended to be similar for more than two centuries: the poor, immigrants, African-Americans, people perceived to be something other than “mainstream” Americans. No state has ever attempted to disenfranchise upper-middle-class or wealthy white male citizens."

Read The New York Times, The Strange Career of Voter Suppression.

UPDATE III: Doonesbury takes on the voter fraud myth:

UPDATE II: Read the Washington Post, Five myths about voter fraud and The New York Times, The Myth of Voter Fraud.

Let's admit the obvious, the Republi-con myth of voter fraud is just an effort to suppress votes that favor other parties.

UPDATE: "The foundation of Florida’s election-law changes, the bedrock belief that spurred major reforms this spring, was the notion that voter fraud is rampant. So the Legislature passed and Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that limits early voting, makes it harder for some groups to register voters, and will cause headaches for voters who’ve recently moved. Their ballots might not even be counted.

And guess what? We’ve known for months the “voter fraud” excuse was phony.

Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux and Susan Blackwell, president of the Okaloosa chapter of the League of Women Voters, told us in May that instances of fraud are rare. It just isn’t a big problem."

Read the Northwest Florida Daily News, The myth of Florida voter fraud.

From Colbert Nation:

And when people [Republi-CONs] don't like get elected, there's only one explanation.

SEAN HANNITY (10/29/2010): Allegations of voter fraud continue to pop up all across the country.

BILL O'REILLY (10/28/2010): ... voter fraud ...

FOX NEWS MALE (10/31/2010): ... voter fraud ...

RUSSELL PEARCE (6/9/2010): ... voter fraud ...

MATTHEW VADUM (6/2/2010): ... voter fraud ...

Yes, voter fraud! Take Ohio, a crucial swing state in the last few elections. There, a statewide survey of votes cast in 2002 and 2004 found that out of 9,078,000 votes, there were four instances of fraud. That is a jaw-dropping 44 one-millionths of one percent! Folks, our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small, it could be hiding anywhere!


The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Republi-CON War On the Poor, the Middle Class, and 'Lazy Blacks'

UPDATE IV:  The best defense is a good offense.

Read USA Today, Congressman charges Democrats with 'war on whites'.

Of course, Republi-cons never let reality spoil a good delusion.

Read the Washington Post, White people are winning the war on whites
UPDATE III:  "So who can blame poor Sean Hannity for looking like a right-wing blockhead for promoting the cause of a guy who turned around and said crazy, racist things? Well, I can.

Let me tell Sean about the Racist: The Racist hates federal subsidies. Not the subsidies that provide grassland to Nevada ranchers at below-market values. Nor the subsidies that bring water to the desert by, say, building Hoover Dam. Nor the subsidies that benefit mining operations in the Silver State. No, the Racist hates subsidies that sap the human soul: like food stamps for moms with hungry children. Especially if those moms happen to be, well, differently pigmented from him.

That's what's so interesting, not about this racist moron but about the Republicans who supported him until he revealed his views on slavery.

Bundy was plainly a nutcase, and the right-wing pundits and politicians should have seen that. He should never have been portrayed as a hero or a victim or anything other than a lawbreaker, a freeloader, a moocher. A taker.

For two decades, he grazed his cattle on land that did not belong to him and refused to pay the landowner. Right-wingers, one would think, would hate that. He refused to respect law enforcement, in fact threatened to take up arms against the peace officers whom Republicans usually trip over themselves to honor. I thought conservatives believed in law and order.

What if, instead of being a right-wing rancher who flouted the law, Bundy was the leader of a left-wing group of college radicals who occupied a government building? Ronald Reagan notoriously said of Berkeley protestors, "If there is to be a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement!"

Or what if Bundy had been the leader of the New Black Panther Party? What if he and his followers had, for 20 years, brazenly stolen from the federal government, refused to obey court orders and threatened police with guns? Would Hannity have been duped into defending him? Fat chance.

Or, umm, what if Bundy had been a Muslim, declaring a tiny caliphate on that dusty piece of Nevada? Does anyone really think Fox News would have made a hero of him then?

Bundy's status as a deadbeat welfare queen should have been sufficient for the likes of Hannity to know better than to support him. His threats of violence against American law enforcement personnel should have had Hannity up in arms.

Instead, the right-wing noise machine once more looks like a bunch of dupes and dopes, blindsided when their newest hero turns out to be a racist. It won't be the last time this happens."

Read CNN, Conservative hero is racist rancher? Didn't see that one coming.

UPDATE II:  It's all Martin Luther King Jr.'s fault says Cliven Bundy:  "If I say Negro or black boy or slave, if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be (offended), then Martin Luther King hasn't got his job done yet."

Read CNN, Rancher says he's not racist, still defiant over grazing battle.  

UPDATE:  The newest Republi-con hero -- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

"Since 1993, the feds say the Nevada rancher has been illegally grazing his herd on federal land. So, acting on a court order, the Bureau of Land Management tried to seize some of Bundy’s herd. Next thing you know, he’s a Fox News-enabled hero of the put-upon right wing with a platform to pop off about government overreach and whatever else is rattling around upstairs. And when that happens to some conservative heroes, they always seem compelled to expound on the plight of the Negro."

Read WP, Cliven Bundy's outrageous comments about 'the Negro'.

I've talked about the Republi-con war on the middle class, now an observation by "a Republican in good standing (although maybe not anymore), indeed someone who used to be known as a conservative firebrand, is telling. Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else. . .

One reason, the sociologist Daniel Little suggested in a recent essay, is market ideology: If the market is always right, then people who end up poor must deserve to be poor. I’d add that some leading Republicans are, in their minds, acting out adolescent libertarian fantasies. 'It’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,' declared Paul Ryan in 2009.

But there’s also, as Mr. Little says, the stain that won’t go away: race.

In a much-cited recent memo, Democracy Corps, a Democratic-leaning public opinion research organization, reported on the results of focus groups held with members of various Republican factions. They found the Republican base 'very conscious of being white in a country that is increasingly minority' — and seeing the social safety net both as something that helps Those People, not people like themselves, and binds the rising nonwhite population to the Democratic Party. And, yes, the Medicaid expansion many states are rejecting would disproportionately have helped poor blacks."

Read The New York Times, A War on the Poor.

Also this week, a senior Republi-con party official admitted that strict new voter ID laws were intended to prevent the poor and "a bunch of lazy blacks that wants the government to give them everything" from voting.

The next day, he told "the Mountain Xpress in a follow-up interview that 'the comments that were made, that I said, I stand behind them. I believe them.'"

The official was asked to resign by party officials, in part, because he "did not seek approval from party officials before speaking with 'The Daily Show.'"

Read the Los Angeles Times, GOP official ousted for 'lazy blacks' comment on 'The Daily Show'

Monday, August 4, 2014


I'm sarcastic & I have a smart ass attitude . . . It's a natural defense against drama, bullshit & stupidity:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Those Wacky Wepubli-CONs

UPDATE: "As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I’ve been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions.

But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.

Whitney, a graduate of Nicholls State University who is running for Louisiana’s open 6th District, owned a dance studio in Houma, La., for 34 years and also worked in sales for small telecommunications and oilfield equipment companies. She clearly relishes poking Democrats in the eye, cites Minnesota’s Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) as a political role model, and takes kindly to the nickname 'Palin of the South.' . .

The GOP’s fringe fears aren’t limited to the Deep South. In Wisconsin, state Sen. Glenn Grothman is locked in a fierce three-way primary for retiring moderate GOP Rep. Tom Petri’s 6th District, near Sheboygan. In 2012, Grothman sponsored a bill to classify single parenthood as a contributing factor to childhood and neglect. Grothman has derided the Democratic group Emily’s List as a 'historically racist organization' and has been quoted alleging 'unwanted pregnancies are the fault of mothers … many mothers lie about the circumstances of their pregnancies.' If Grothman wins the August primary, he would be the favorite in November. . .

[A]t the moment, there are more than enough exotic Republican candidates not easily persuaded by basic facts or scientific evidence to overshadow others in the GOP laying out cogent policy alternatives, such as retiring GOP Rep. Dave Camp, whose tax reform plan died a quiet death this spring. The newest pack of provocateurs threatens to continue wreaking havoc on the party’s image among the growing ranks of independents and college-educated voters in 2015 and beyond."

Read the Washington Post, The most frightening candidate I’ve met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls.  

 "Timothy Ray Murray lost out to opponent Frank Lucas in the Oklahoma Republican Primary and rather than take defeat gracefully he, well, he claimed Licas wasn't human.

In an incredible statement on his website after his defeat, Murray wrote: ‘It is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive.’

He went on to claim that Lucas was in fact HANGED in a televised execution in Ukraine in 2011 and replaced by a robot body double."

Read Daily Star, Failed US politician claims opponent was executed and replaced by a ROBOT.

According Murray's webite:

"This is a situation similar to the Senators’ from Kentucky situation in the 2012 election. I am contesting that this matter has happen since his election was blocked, because of the U.S. Defense Department’s use of Mr. Murray’s DNA. To my knowledge, the U.S. Defense Department has not released to the public that information, as it is their confidential information about many people. Congress is likely wanting me to state that all my DNA used will not result in benefits to people I have never had relations with of a family nature. I have been bound to protect that information unless it causes harm to The People."

Read also Business Insider, Oklahoma Republican Claims His Opponent Is A 'Robot Look-Alike'.

Another one lost to hysteria, dispair, and rage, thanks to Hedgehog News and the tea party radio network

The Mess That is the Middle East

UPDATE IV:  Of course maybe "[t]he conflict raging in Gaza is different this time. . .

'This is unprecedented in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict,' says CNN's Ali Younes, an analyst who has covered the region for decades. 'Most Arab states are actively supporting Israel against the Palestinians -- and not even shy about it or doing it discreetly.'

It's a 'joint Arab-Israeli war consisting of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia against other Arabs -- the Palestinians as represented by Hamas.'"

Read CNN, This time, Gaza fighting is 'proxy war' for entire Mideast.  

UPDATE III:  Two years later, Israel loses again because:

You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power - he's free again. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Read also Slate, Israel’s Deadly Gambits, which notes that "[t]he Israeli government seems to have forgotten how to think strategically; at the very least, they have a self-destructive tendency to overplay their hands. . .

[T]he Iron Dome anti-missile shield, whose production [Obama] greatly accelerated, has shot down the few dozen—out of several hundred—Hamas rockets that would have exploded in Israeli cities.

As a result, Hamas’ rockets—most of which have landed in the middle of nowhere—have killed just one Israeli, while Israeli air strikes have killed more than 200 Palestinians and wounded another 1,500-plus, most of them civilians, many of them children, including the four children whose deaths while playing on the beach were captured by photographers on the scene.

Fatality ratios mean little up to a point, but a 200-to-1 ratio seems awfully disproportionate. Israeli bombs have struck 1,500 targets in Gaza so far—another remarkable fact: Who knew there were 1,500 militarily legitimate targets in that tiny, impoverished strip of land?"

UPDATE II:  As I first stated more than three years ago, "[t]he reasonable solution has always been obvious: to draw a borderline somewhere between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea that both sides, however grudgingly, could live with. Yet the conflict casts a shadow over world peace, and continues to fester."

Read The New York Times, The Elephant in the Map Room, which notes that"we need to look at the conflict with fresh eyes. For Jewish Israelis, the Biblical relation with the land of their forefathers is crucial to why they're there. But in his controversial book 'The Invention of the Jewish People,' Shlomo Sand argues that Judaism used to be a proselytizing religion like Christianity or Islam, and that consequently many of today's Jewish Israelis are descendants of converts, without an ancestral link to Eretz-Israel. Inversely, many of the Palestinians may just be the descendants of the large Jewish community who remained to toil the land, even after the destruction of the Temple and the suppression of the Bar Kochba revolt in the first and second centuries, respectively - and who gradually converted to Islam in the centuries after the Arab conquest."

UPDATE: A new foreign policy for the Middle East:

Some, no make that many, took issue with my frank discussion of the options in the Middle East. As I see it, kill them all (one side or the other, right-wing radical propose killing all the Muslims and letting Allah sort it out, but not very Christian if you ask me), relocating one party to someplace outside the Middle East, such as South Florida (again either party makes no difference for the discussion cause it ain't gonna happen), or relocation within the current borders of Israel, I suggest Palestinians to the north.

Of course the discussion wasn't well received. But I think most people fail to understand the situation in the Middle East. As luck would have it, Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist sums it up well in his article today, Don’t Try This at Home:

"Where to begin? Palestinians are now divided between the West Bank and Gaza, with a secular Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah in the West Bank and a fundamentalist Hamas government based in Gaza. But Hamas is further divided between a military and political wing, and the political wing is further divided between a Gaza-based leadership and a Damascus-based leadership, with the latter taking orders from both Syria and Iran.

Are you still with me?

Best I can tell, the Palestinians from Gaza are simultaneously negotiating a cease-fire with Israel in Cairo, pursuing war-crimes charges against Israel in Europe, digging new tunnels in the Sinai to smuggle more rockets into Gaza to hit Tel Aviv and trying to raise money for reconstruction from Iran. Meanwhile, the West Bank Palestinian leaders are busy publicly collecting food and blankets to help all those Palestinian civilians brutalized by the Israeli incursion into Gaza, while privately demanding to know from senior Israeli officials why they wimped out and didn’t wipe Hamas in Gaza off the face of earth — casualties be damned.

Israel, meanwhile, has a government in which the prime minister, foreign minister and defense minister each has a different peace plan, war strategy and cease-fire conditions for Gaza, and the foreign minister and defense minster are running against each other in Israel’s election on Tuesday. Speaking of that election, a whole new party, Yisrael Beiteinu, led by Avigdor Lieberman, which has been accused of having “fascist,” viciously anti-Arab leanings, appears headed to make the biggest gains and possibly become the kingmaker of Israel’s next government. The other day, the Labor Party leader, Ehud Barak, was quoted in the newspaper Haaretz as criticizing Lieberman as a lamb in hawk’s clothing, asking: “When has he ever shot anyone?”

How did this conflict get so fragmented? For starters, it’s gone on way too long. The West Bank is so chopped up and divided now by roads, checkpoints and fences to separate Israel’s crazy settlements from Palestinian villages that a Palestinian could fly from Jerusalem to Paris quicker than he or she could drive from Jenin, here in the northern West Bank, to Hebron in the south.

Another reason is that every idea has been tried and has failed. For the Palestinians, Pan-Arabism, Communism, Islamism have all come and gone, with none having delivered statehood or prosperity. As a result, more and more Palestinians have fallen back on family, clan, town and tribal loyalties. In Israel, Peace Now’s two-state solution was blown up with the crash of the Oslo peace accords, the rising Palestinian birthrate made any plans to annex the West Bank a mortal threat to Israel’s Jewish character, and the rockets that followed Israel’s withdrawals from both Lebanon and Gaza made a mockery of those who said unilateral pullouts were the solution.

All of this has led to a resurgence of religiosity. According to Haaretz, the following questions were posed by a well-known rabbi in one of the pamphlets distributed by the Israeli Army’s Office of Chief Rabbi before the latest Gaza fighting: “Is it possible to compare today’s Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David? A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land.”

Who in the world would want to try to repair this? I’d rather herd cats, or become John Thain’s image adviser, or have a colonoscopy, or become chairman of the “bad bank” that President Obama might create to hold all the toxic mortgages. Surely, any of those would be more fun. If Mitchell is still up for it, well, then God bless him. My next column will look at some ways we might just start over. "

Here is my suggestion, rearrange the current borders as such:

In short, New Palestine to the north, New Israel to the south, exact borders TBD, BIG wall in between.

Better hurry, before the next war starts.