Monday, February 29, 2016

From The Zombie Department

Ben Carson Quips: Trump Supporters Are Like Zombies | Crooks and Liars:

...When Metaxas asked how it’s possible that Trump could be carrying the evangelical vote in GOP primary contests, particularly when the billionaire mogul has repeatedly praised Planned Parenthood, Carson said he wasn’t surprised that such comments didn’t impact his standing in the polls: “I don’t know that there’s anything that hurts him. I think he was right when he said, ‘I could shoot somebody and it wouldn’t hurt me.’ People are almost blinded, almost like zombies...”

Rally To Clinton

Uppity Woman | I'm just one of those Uppity Women. Live with it.:

...3 : People are rightly frightened at the thought of a Trump candidacy and see they need a fighter to beat Trump. They really don’t see that in Sanders, they know Clinton can take a punch and get up and punch right back after 2008 and after the start of this year of hell. Could this be a run to safety?...

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Trump Hearts Racists

Trump Refuses To Condemn KKK And White Supremacists That Support His Campaign (Updated) | Crooks and Liars:

...Much to my surprise, Jake Tapper actually did ask the GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, about his support from white supremacist groups and former KKK grand wizard, David Duke on this Sunday's State of the Union on CNN.

Good for Tapper, but what we got in response was basically the Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes excuse:..

Saturday, February 27, 2016

On Feeling The Blister

S. Carolina Primary and Bernie isn’t there today. Who can guess why? | Uppity Woman:

...If I could channel Bernie’s brain right now, I know what I would find. I’d find the aging hippy who never moved on, who never held a job until he got a government job at age 40, mumbling about how he needs an ego fix, and knowing he’s not going to get that from adults with any wisdom. He wants those easy-to-dupe college kids who score high on the Narcissist scale, so he can promise them they will never have to get off their own Entitled Asses and take responsibility for their own Special Snowflake lives. The ones who are accustomed to getting a trophy just for showing up. And as we all know, history is riddled with charismatics who targeted the young as their “army”. It never ended well. So we need to end it before its dirty root takes hold. But Bernie’s followers don’t know what’s being done to their heads. That’s the job of people who recognize him for what he is...

Clinton Manifesto

Yes, it really does take a village to become a civilized society.

This is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a Hillary Clinton political manifesto - The Washington Post:

... In the decades since, it has also become her touchstone, the argument she still reaches for when explaining her vision. “I believe the idea of the village and its shared responsibility for our children is even more essential today than it was in 1996,” Clinton wrote in the book’s 10th anniversary edition. She drew on it again during her first run at the Democratic presidential nomination, in 2008. “After all these years, I still believe it takes a village to raise a child,” she said in remarks before the Urban League, where she pledged, “as your president, to build that village.” And Clinton returned to it in the speech launching her 2016 presidential campaign, calling for “an inclusive society” — or, she added, “what I once called ‘a village’ that has a place for everyone.” As if we didn’t remember...

The Best Political Picture Of This Year

Click on the link. Give him some traffic. Both of you.  driftglass: Chris Christie Has Billionaire From New York He'd Like To Sell You

On Teams And Team Building

“Your assistance is greatly appreciated” | The Confluence:

...And in today’s NYTimes Magazine, a study at Google to find what are the characteristics of good teams bears this out. The article is called What Google Learned from Its Quest to Build a Perfect Team. To boil it down, the secret is that people who see their jobs as a crucial parts of their whole lives make better team members. That is, sharing yourself as a person doesn’t just happen in your off hours. You’re going to spend 33% or more of your day at work. It *is* your life. Those people on your team? They’re not just colleagues. They’re people with personalities and lives of their own. Get to know them...

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Bully Ticket One Step Closer

Gov. Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump | Crooks and Liars:

I speculated yesterday that either Gov. Chris Christie was too scared to attack Donald Trump or he kept his powder dry so he'd be in line for a VP or Attorney General nod from Trump in the future. I think this endorsement spells it out for the New Jersey Governor...

Biden Blue In Mexico

Biden in Mexico: 'I almost feel obliged to apologize' for GOP rhetoric -

Speaking in Mexico City, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday came close to offering an apology for comments made by Republicans about Mexico and Mexican immigrants on the campaign trail.

"I almost feel obliged to apologize for some of what my political colleagues said," Biden said alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. "It's a heated campaign season and I just want you to know, Mr. President, that the most heated rhetoric you've heard from competitors for the nomination for president is not who we are as the American people. It is not the view that is the view of the majority of the American people. It's the exact opposite. It's the opposite view..."

Ben The Knife Does Fruit Salad Annie

"...and the maters got his granny." If you get that, then your brain operates funny.

Ben Carson Will Look At SCOTUS Nominees' 'Fruit Salad Of Their Lives' | Crooks and Liars:

Ben Carson won this debate, hands down. Here we have the winning line, where he assures the viewing audience that the way to evaluate Supreme Court nominees is by looking at the "fruit salad of their lives."

Congress Is Beyond Awful

The Worst Congress Money Can Buy:

...The Republican-controlled Congress is not "dysfunctional." It would "function" perfectly well if there were an occupant in the White House who gave the Republicans everything they wanted. With divided government they act like petulant children. Voices in the press decrying "dysfunction" render invisible the corporate oligarchy that has bought off the institution.

Whether attacking Planned Parenthood and women's reproductive rights, trying to privatize everything from the Veterans Administration to the U.S. Postal Service, handing over Social Security to Wall Street, selling off federal lands, obstructing everything President Obama does, or the million other hidden giveaways to banks, corporations, and the National Rifle Association -- all these actions drive home the point that we have the worst Congress money can buy...

Vets Can't Vote In WI

Wisconsin Veteran Denied Right to Vote Because of Voter ID Law:

...Now, it seems casting your ballot in a state election has become harder than surviving the slog up Mount Suribachi was.

In her letter, Bradley said her uncle had fought at Iwo Jima, the bloody World War II battle that was immortalized in a photo of the U.S. flag being raised on the tiny Pacific island. Tuesday marked the 71st anniversary of the 1945 flag raising. Bradley's uncle, Leo Olson of Reedsburg, tried to use his veterans ID card to vote in last week's primary for a seat on the state Supreme Court, but that form of identification can't be used under the state's voter ID law. Olson does not have a driver's license. That could soon change because of legislation the state Senate is to take up next month. Even if approved, it may not be in place for the April 5 election, when voters will decide the state Supreme Court race and cast ballots in the presidential primaries. "He considers voting part of his patriotic duty," Bradley wrote to Walker. "Yet, last week this proud patriot of 90 years of age was embarrassed and confused when he went to the polls and was denied his right to vote. Then he presented his veterans administration card with his picture on it, he was told that the card was not listed as 'acceptable' proof of his identity. He responded: 'You mean veterans can't vote?'"...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Maher Asks The Hard Questions

Bill Maher is right about ISIS: New study confirms numbers in his controversial Hollywood Reporter piece -

...How come Saudi Arabia didn’t take in any Syrian refugees? … Why don’t they fight their own battles? Why are Muslim armies so useless against ISIS? ISIS isn’t 10 feet tall. There are 20,000 or 30,000 of them. The countries surrounding ISIS have armies totaling 5 million people. So why do we have to be the ones leading the fight? Or be in the fight at all?

PunditFact, a branch of the fact-checking site PolitiFact, analyzed Maher’s figures in a recent report and found that they’re, by and large, on the mark...

More On Media MudBuggery

driftglass: What Are They Saying? My Wingnut is a Little Rusty:

...Trump understands the mob. Understands what they want. Understands that the people who are most responsible for (and have profited most handsomely from) the corruption of our media and our politics are the very people who are now having the mass fainting spells and public fits of howling fantods over Trump pointing the finger at them and calling them weaklings, mama's boys and bought-off whores.

Of course America's media and political establishments never saw any of this coming because America's media and political establishments have been (as the kids say) getting high on their own supply for decades now. They have closed themselves off behind their own increasingly-absurd fairy tales which everyone from Michael Steele to David Brooks to Chuck Todd keeps repeating to each other in the belief that by the sheer power of their repetition (and the sheer tonnage of the money they are willing to spend to sling their bullshit on every media outlet in the land) they could force reality to abide by their delusion.

Ironically, having been routinely demonized at 180 decibels every single day for the last 50 years by the Right, and having been alternately hippie-punched and held at a disdainful arms-length by the Democratic Party establishment, Liberals like me have been granted an unexpectedly privileged vantage point from which to survey American media and politics...

Did Achilles Find Another Heel?

Puns, allusions, illusions. inferences fully intended. Donald Trump rejects Mitt Romney's ironic tax attack -

Donald Trump is leaving the door open to not releasing his tax returns, just hours after Mitt Romney warned Wednesday that the billionaire's tax documents could contain a "bombshell."

The GOP front-runner said in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper that he will "make a determination over the next couple of months" as to whether he will release his tax returns...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Something Else For Faculty To Worry About

Texas academics told to avoid ‘sensitive topics’ to prevent angering gun-toting students:

...The faculty senate at the University of Houston prepared a slideshow for recent faculty forums warning that academics may want to “be careful discussing sensitive topics; drop certain topics from your curriculum; not ‘go there’ if you sense anger; limit student access off hours; go to appointment-only office hours; only meet ‘that student’ in controlled circumstances...”

Hoping She's (GOP Lipper) Right

After Nevada, GOP Pundit Predicts End Of Republican Party | Crooks and Liars:

Amanda Carpenter is very depressed about the outcome of the Nevada caucuses. So depressed, in fact, that she had some dire predictions for the future.

"How confident are you about Texas, and at this point does it really matter," Anderson Cooper asked.

"I'm really struck in thinking about what a Donald Trump nomination would actually mean," she said. "I really think it's the end of the Republican Party..."

"Sane One" Goes Insane

John Kasich signs bill to defund Planned Parenthood -

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Sunday prohibiting the state from contracting for health services with any organization that performs or promotes abortions, blocking government funds to Planned Parenthood...

Bernie Hypocrisy On Gitmo

Bernie Sanders hits Hillary Clinton on Gitmo despite similar vote -

Bernie Sanders attacked Hillary Clinton's record on the detention center at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday, just after President Barack Obama delivered his blueprint for the controversial military prison's closure.

But Sanders himself has voted against shuttering the U.S. military facility in Cuba.

And unlike Clinton, he has not signed on as a cosponsor to legislation that would have led to the closure of the facility, otherwise known as Gitmo...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Voting For Clinton

Bernie Is Nice Enough But Hillary Is the One Who Can Govern!:

I support Hillary, but don't get me wrong--I like Bernie. I know Bernie, I used to date him. Well, not actually him, but guys like him, smart, articulate, with great ideas to save the world . . . and from Brooklyn. After all I went to Barnard and there were plenty of guys from Brooklyn there. Besides, I was short. ( It was a time when gender roles were really constrained . No self-respecting male would date anyone a hair taller than he.) So believe me I dated a lot of guys who are like Bernie and would vote for him. But most of the guys on campus, the ones who did not date me because of my ethnic background might not. (Yes, there was more discrimination of more people -- Irish, Italians, Jews -- back then). Trump has proven that bigotry still sells.

Bernie doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being elected in a general election. Just wait until the Republican "machine" goes after him as a socialist, an atheist, an Easterner and a Jew. Pew found that 50% of Americans would not vote for a socialist -- and yes, I know that a democratic socialist is different from a communist -- but really this is the age of sound bites not deep analysis...

The Dick (Cheney) That Keeps Giving

The Biggest Iraq War Scandal That Nobody's Talking About | Alternet:

The first 10 pages of “The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America’s Soldiers” will rip your heart out. In the opening chapter of this new book, Joseph Hickman, a former U.S. Marine and Army sergeant, shares the brief and tragic life story of one Iraq War veteran. In a nutshell, a healthy young man shipped off to Iraq, was stationed at a U.S. military base where he was exposed to a constant stream of toxic smoke, returned home with horrible respiratory problems, was denied care by the VA, developed brain cancer and died...

The Daily Flashback: CO Pot Edition

Why is marijuana banned? The real reason is worse than you think:

...Mason went on to lead the campaign to legalize cannabis in his state. His fellow citizens voted to do it—by 55 %. Now adults can buy cannabis legally, in licensed stores, where they are taxed—and the money is used to build schools. After a year and a half of seeing this system in practice, support for legalization has risen to 69 %. And even Governor Hickenlooper has started calling it “common sense...”

Monday, February 22, 2016

Priebus Doing Weaslespeak

...and yes, I'd love to see him in a French Maid outfit serving drinks to tRump.

Donald Trump Has RNC Chair Reince Priebus Sweating:

...Of course, as the Clinton Guy points out, there is always the possibility of a brokered convention which, along with sweeping Chris Matthews into heavenly bliss on golden clouds of glory, will be a delightful television spectacle, especially if the Trump folks think they're being euchred out of the nomination. Luckily, none other than Reince Priebus will be up there on the rostrum to maintain order.

Remain calm. All is well.

Newt Roasts Fox

The following is just as small, delicious sample:

Newt Gingrich Blames Fox News, 'Invented' Donald Trump's Candidacy | Crooks and Liars:

...Kilmeade looked perplexed and said "why?"

Gingrich: Look, that's because of you guys Donald Trump gets up in the morning, tweets to the entire planet at no cost, picks up the phone, calls you, has a great conversation for about eight minutes, which would have cost him a ton in commercial money, and meanwhile his opponents are all out there trying to raise the money to run an ad. Nobody believes the ad.

The boys try to defend themselves...

Flint And Nestle

In Michigan, Nestle Gets Free Water, Flint Pays For Poison | Crooks and Liars

Sunday, February 21, 2016

High Wages = High Economy

New Report Undermines Right-Wing Media Claim That Higher Minimum Wages Threaten Job Creation | Blog | Media Matters for America:

According to a recent report by the private payroll firm Automatic Data Processing (ADP), the state of Washington received the highest score in the nation on wage and job growth in the fourth quarter of 2015. The state's outstanding performance runs counter to the doom-and-gloom scenarios pushed by right-wing media about the supposed side effects of elevated minimum wages...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Losing The (Rightwing) Faith

Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal — Life Tips. — Medium:

...I could no longer reconcile Jesus’s calls for non-judgment, loving your enemies, and taking up your cross with many of the Religious Right’s positions on social services, women’s rights, and the LGBT community. Even though I felt alone in my theological shift, I was not. A recent Pew Research Center poll puts the evangelical retention rate at 65%, and while we don’t know to what extent education plays in the decision of a believer to leave a tradition, I suspect the fears of many of my religious peers regarding secular education were not unfounded. It isn’t just general education that can shift beliefs; indeed a recent study by Baylor University researcher Aaron Franzen found that increased reading of the Bible correlated with greater passion for social justice — a trait typically associated with liberalism.

Having my worldview fall apart like a house of cards was unnerving, but it only increased my desire for knowledge about the theology of my youth. I continued to study religion, and I received my PhD in Religious Studies two years ago. Now I no longer identify as an evangelical, but I study them for a living...

Good News On Clinton Front

Hillary Clinton Just Won The Nevada Caucus:

Hillary Clinton prevailed in the Nevada caucus Saturday, defeating Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in what is shaping up to be a protracted battle for the Democratic presidential nomination...

BernieBros/Obots Strike Again

Man Tries To Place Obituary For Hillary Clinton In Las Vegas Review-Journal | Crooks and Liars:

You know what? I still don't have a dog in this primary race but this is just unnecessary and uncalled for. All the incendiary rhetoric on the left side of the primaries seems to have caused some people to lose their damn minds.

Don Schubert tried to place an obituary for Hillary Clinton in the Las Vegas Review-Journal as a joke...

The Pope Must Apologize To The Donald

As if...

Crazy Pastor Demands Pope Francis Apologize For Remarks About Trump | Crooks and Liars:

Really, the arrogance of some of these pastors is amazing, but not at all surprising. Robert Jeffress is one of my favorites, because he's such a hypocrite.

Now he's not just a hypocrite, but also a hypocrite who is demanding Donald Trump receive an apology from Pope Francis for his comments about Trump's Christianity, or lack thereof...

Friday, February 19, 2016

Timing Is Everything

HBO's 'Confirmation' film rattles some Washington power players:

A group of former politicians and their aides are bracing themselves for a new HBO movie that dramatizes the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and claims of sexual harassment made by Anita Hill, with some suggesting the possibility of legal action...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Can We Please Bury Caesar?

Scalia was an intellectual phony: Can we please stop calling him a brilliant jurist? -
...Sunstein’s assessment strikes me as not merely wrong, but as the precise opposite of the truth. Scalia was not a great judge: he was a bad one. And his badness consisted precisely in his contempt for the rule of law, if by “the rule of law” one means the consistent application of legal principles, without regard to the political consequences of applying those principles in a consistent way.

One of Scalia’s many obnoxious qualities as a jurist was his remarkably pompous, pedantic, and obsessive insistence that the legal principles he (supposedly) preferred – textualism in statutory interpretation, originalism when reading the Constitution, and judicial restraint when dealing with democratically-enacted legal rules – were not merely his preferences, but simply “the law...”

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Evils, Right And Left

Uppity Woman | I'm just one of those Uppity Women. Live with it.:

...There have now developed some people on the American Left, who have become the flip side of the Right’s win at any cost approach. They are the people who perverted the caucus system to get Obama nominated last time. They literally locked people out of rooms, so they could not vote. They tore up their voting sheets. They threw some of them away so they would not be turned in and counted. These things were documented a thousand times over. They accused Hillary Clinton and her husband, the former President, of being racists. They thought that this all was okay, because they had a greater good in mind, the election of Barack Obama. Just like the Right thinks that God has given them the right to do anything they want to do, in order to build the theocratic oligarchy they believe in...

FixingThe Next SCOTUS

Hillary, Bernie and the Future of the Court:

...To be sure, there are real and important differences between Sanders and Clinton. But no matter which Democrat wins the nomination, if she or he loses in November then much that is dear to their supporters will take a beating -- environmental protection, pay equity, gun control, voting rights, women's rights, combating money in politics and, yes, whatever chance exists to curb the excesses of Wall Street. And there is one forum where virtually all of these issues are certain to play out, for good or ill: the Supreme Court.

With Scalia's passing the Court is now in equipoise -- four justices appointed by Republicans, four by Democrats. Hanging in the balance is the legal future of core issues like affirmative action, union rights, reproductive freedom, and environmental protection. Even if Barack Obama sends a nominee to the Senate, Mitch McConnell has pledged to block a vote. Thus the course of the court -- and, in many ways, the fate of progressive values -- depends on this election...

On The Murder Of Flint Michigan

#FlintWaterCrisis news round-up: Gov, Snyder releases new emails & things are looking VERY bad for him and his administration – Eclectablog:

...In late March 2013, a full year before Flint switched to the Flint River as the source for its drinking water under the order of its Emergency Manager and with sign-off by their boss State Treasurer Andy Dillon, DEQ officials warned them about the potential for problems. In an email sent on March 26th, Stephen Busch, a staffer in the drinking water division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informed his superiors about problems they could anticipate making the switch. That email was then forwarded up the food chain to Treasurer Dillon. Here’s are some of the warning flags he raised:...

Trumpism Explained

Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community:

...The people who support Trump are supporting him because he’s the kind of guy who will stand up the president and say that he wasn’t even born here. They don’t care whether he’s an economic protectionist or not. But they damn sure like that he’s willing to tell the Mexican government that he’s going to force them to pay for a Great Wall on the southern border.

In the battle of us vs. them, The Donald has been winning from the start...

Comment Of The Day: God Takes Scalia Edition

NC GOPers scramble to defend ‘racial gerrymandering’ after counting on Scalia to side with them

Every single thing the Republicans do and have been doing for at least 8 years cuts their own throats. They are literally incapable of getting anything right anymore. Where are all the Evangelicals touting God's will? Didn't God take Justice Scalia while Obama is President because He wants Obama to make the appointment? God does love the American Constitution and the duties given to the President within as the Right says God wrote it doesn't He? If God wanted a Republican to name the next Supreme Court Justice, then he would have given Justice Scalia a little more time on earth. Wouldn't He?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Crazy In NC: Scalicide Gerrymandering Edition

NC GOPers scramble to defend ‘racial gerrymandering’ after counting on Scalia to side with them:

At a heated hearing on Monday, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina made a last-minute plea to keep in place two congressional districts that were recently struck down by a federal court for racial gerrymandering.

Lawmakers, who spoke to voters at five locations throughout the state via teleconference, said that they would do everything possible to see that the current districts — which must be redrawn by Friday — remained in place. But an appeal to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for a stay has become uncertain because lawmakers were counting on the support of recently-deceased conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, The News & Observer reported...

On Non Lame-Duckedness

Barack Obama Is Not a Lame Duck Until the Votes Are Tallied:

Let us be honest with our colloquialisms. The president will not be a "lame duck" until after the election results are tallied in November. You cannot lame-duck him eight months before that. By attempting to do that, you are failing in your duty not only to the Constitution, but also to the catechism of political cliche, which is something up with which I will not put.

And even then, history tells us, the incumbent president can still do stuff. For example, there were no lamer ducks at the end of their presidencies than Lyndon Johnson in the autumn of 1968 and John Adams in the autumn of 1800. Even then, LBJ, by sheer force of being LBJ, and because Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King had been murdered by firearms earlier that year, managed to get Congress to pass a bipartisan gun-control law at the end of October of his final year in office...

No To O'Nominee

Orrin Hatch: Leaving Supreme Court Split 4-4 Is 'A Smart Thing To Do' | Crooks and Liars:

..."Now wait a minute," Hatch shot back. "A 4-4 court functions it's functioned in the past. It will function this time. Just on the really controversial issues they will probably put them off for a year. It is not the end of the world. As a matter of fact, it is a smart thing to do..."

Monday, February 15, 2016

Clinton Public Service Defense Post

Uppity Woman is once again doing us all a favor in creating a safe haven for reasonable people, plus some genuinely interesting and informative posts such as this one.

Information Please | Uppity Woman:

Consider this a starter Quick Reference Sheet of sorts, for those times when you’re looking to get your fingers on a rebuttal in a hurry.

My friend John West put together a list of links to counter the BS from the BS peeps showing up in his feed on some specific hot-button issues...

Appointing To SCOTUS, Part 1

Sometimes, Scalia Surprised the Living Sh*t Out of Me:

...Of course, this is all my bollocks. In 2012, the "American people" decided that Barack Obama should appoint justices to the Supreme Court to fill any vacancies that occurred between January of 2013 and January of 2017. Period. Just because Mitch McConnell is a complete chickenshit in the face of his caucus doesn't obviate that fact. The 36 percent of eligible voters who showed up for the 2014 midterms, the lowest percentage in 72 years, don't get to cancel out the expressed wishes of the majority of the 57.5 percent of eligible voters who turned out to re-elect the president in 2012. And before this meme really picks up steam, 17 justices have been confirmed during election years, including Roger Taney, which sucks, in 1836, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist, who were appointed in 1972, and Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed in 1988...

Pundit Star Wars

CNN Media Critics Rip Apart Joe Scarborough: His Bias Is 'Damning To The Credibility Of MSNBC' | Crooks and Liars:

CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter and Baltimore Sun media critic David Zrawik blasted MSNBC host Joe Scarborough over the weekend for his "unashamed" bias in favor of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Daily Flashback: Imaginary Raygun Edition

driftglass: Sunday Morning Comin' Down: The Roof. The Roof, The Roof Is On Fire:

...We must being with the fact that, on the Right, the sanctity of Imaginary Reagan is absolute. One Reagan, holy, Conservative, and unapologetic. Period.

Of course, the faithful are permitted to mention his Humble Origins as a dirty liberal, but only in a voice tinged with breathless wonderment as they tell the children of his Inevitable Ascension to becoming our Greatest Imaginary President of all. The man who single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union. The man who who invented the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. This is settled doctrine, and those who speak of dark heresies -- who whisper of Reagan's sedition, his backroom deals with terrorists to fund illegal wars, his cutting and running from Lebanon after getting 241 Marines killed, his many tax increases, his often dangerously addled and hostile relationship with reality, the not-at-all subtle racism of his 1980 campaign, and so forth -- are cast forever out of the company of the Elect and into the wilderness with the dirty hippies, the uppity Negroes, the mouthy feminists all other manner of unclean persons.

One Reagan, holy, Conservative, and unapologetic. Period...

Crazy In NC: Drug Testing Edition

Drug tests dispel a myth about North Carolina’s poor | News & Observer:

...About 7,600 Work First applicants were screened, and 159 were required to be tested. Of those, 70 didn’t show up for the test. Of the remaining 89, 21 tested positive. The positive tests are only 0.3 percent of those screened. Even assuming all the no-shows were drug users, the percentage is still less than 1.2 percent. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the rate of illicit drug use among Americans 12 and older is 9.4 percent.

The day before North Carolina lawmakers saw the low numbers, Tennessee lawmakers heard the same about their drug testing program for welfare recipients. Over the last year and a half, Tennessee has screened 39,121 people, drug-tested 609 and found only 65 who tested positive. That’s 1.6 percent of the total applicant pool...

Debate Wars

Charles Krauthammer Likens GOP Debate To Thermonuclear War | Crooks and Liars:

The CBS South Carolina GOP presidential debate was so bad that even Fox's Charles Krauthammer was forced to admit just how nasty and personal it was during his network's post-debate analysis this Saturday night...

Latinos Not Loving Anti-Latinos

...well, duh, gee. I wonder why.

Latino voters not feeling the love for Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio - Chicago Tribune:

...This scrutiny will do them no favors. While some may imagine that Cruz or Rubio would get a boost in the general election from being the first Hispanic presidential nominee, either one would only help to hand the White House to the Democrats. The reason is simple: They continue to spurn other Hispanics.

Here we have two children of immigrants trying to get elected by demonizing immigrants. Indeed, Rubio and Cruz embody a reality that they and their party deny: Latinos become Americanized very quickly...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

On Scalia's "Originalist" Nonsense

Antonin Scalia was only an ‘originalist’ when it was convenient:

...But I wonder whether the people that Scalia seeks to channel for this understanding, using his historical originalism theory to divine what the people in the state ratifying conventions of the Constitution in 1788 or the Bill of Rights in 1791 understood those words to mean, would agree? Under the Bill of Rights, would those Founding-era people have agreed with the majority in Hobby Lobby that the religious rights of the owners of corporations trump the constitutional rights of their workers to exercise their personal autonomy privacy right to choose their own form of family planning? In Scalia’s historical originalist terms, if there had been a tea shop run by two former employees of the British East India Company in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1791, would Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have agreed that under the First Amendment religion clauses its owners could have imposed their Church of England religious views on their American employees in opposition to a federal law dealing with the personal autonomy choices of their workers? Of course not. It is hard to imagine that the same people who fought and won a revolution against the economic enterprises of King George III and Parliament, believed that the Bill of Rights were intended to protect the free speech and religion rights of such corporations...

The Middle Must Hold

Hillary Clinton shouldn’t apologize for being a moderate.:

Most liberals think the Republican presidential race is nuts. Those right-wing candidates are sucking up so hard to the Tea Party and the Bible thumpers that they’ve lost touch with reality. But a similar problem is happening on the Democratic side. Sen. Bernie Sanders is pulling the party to the left, Hillary Clinton is chasing him, and the issues and positions under discussion are drifting away from the political center...

Young Clinton Supporter

Bernie bros won't shout down Hillary backers:

...Bernie’s candidacy is no revolution. Every smart woman knows what it feels like to have a man yell at her when she says something smart. This is why I’m supporting Clinton, and there are many other girls like me who know exactly what she’s up against.

We live Clinton’s experience every day, even though our struggles against ordinary sexism are not “sexy” to report. We understand, and nod, thankfully, when Madeleine Albright stands onstage with Clinton and says “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” or when Madeleine Kunin writes in the Boston Globe about the sexism she had to deal with when Sanders ran against her in Vermont. We recognize the sexist tropes launched against Clinton and repeated uncritically in the media...
The comments on this post make her point perfectly as a host of loudly critical Bernouts swarm.

The Blame For It All

driftglass: Today In Both Sides Do It: Charles Craphammer And The Very, Very Last Remake Of Beau Geste:

...It is also happens to be an article of faith among Major American Media Corporations that not letting stale frauds like Charles Krauthammer peddle their perfidy in Major American Media Corporations would ruin "balance" and destroy the First Amendment or something.

For the benefit of future historians, the incestuous relationship between the dangerous and deluded Right and the Major American Media Corporations whose business model includes giving those dangerous delusions the widest and most uncritical platform possible in the name of "balance" is what wrecked this country.

Ruly Teachers Become Un

Huh. A victory for the little guys against one of the masters of the universe? (i.e. a higher ed CEO) My bold.

President Tries To Gut Catholic College, Sparks Revolt | The Daily Caller:

"Our community is suffering,” the faculty letter says. “We have come to the sad conclusion that this state of affairs cannot be resolved while you continue in your current office. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart, in a loving spirit of compassion and forgiveness, that we appeal to your generosity of spirit and ask that you resign your position for the good of our community by 9:00 AM on February 15, 2016.”

Whether the faculty will get their wish is unclear. Thus far, the school’s board has steadfastly stood behind Newman, instead suggesting that unruly faculty are to blame for tensions at the school.
It's always labor that is responsible for "tensions" since they are also in charge of management. Somehow. As one of my colleagues remarked years ago, "I'm not in charge of my own morale if I'm not in charge of my environment."

SOS Albright On Gender

Madeleine Albright: My Undiplomatic Moment - The New York Times:

...The battle for gender equality is still being waged, and it will be easier if we have a woman who prioritizes these issues in the Oval Office and if the gender balance among elected officials reflects that of our country. When women are empowered to make decisions, society benefits. They will raise issues, pass bills and put money into projects that men might overlook or oppose.

Despite decades of progress, women still make less money than men for equivalent work. Paid family leave remains an elusive dream. Sexual abuse against women continues to plague our communities. And many politicians still act as though the top threat to our national security is Planned Parenthood...

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Marco Plan

Marco Rubio's Tax Plan Does Not Compute:

There is no con more neocon than Young Marco Rubio. And there is no more laughable specimen on the Laffer Curve, either. Because he has not had an original thought since the onset of puberty, Young Marco has been stuffed full of Reaganaut mythology. I fully expect that, any day now, he'll turn up in Berlin, saying, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall," over and over again until a kindly passerby nudges his brain into the next groove.

The Tax Policy Center got ahold of Young Marco's economic plan—titled, I believe, "Fck Math. An F-35 In Every Pot." Apparently, as a result, most of the Center's experts can be found under sedation in the emergency ward of Our Lady Of The Magic Asterisk Hospital...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Daily Flashback: Bernie Forclosure Edition

Daily PUMA: Why Hillary Clinton treads lightly when responding to Bernie Benedict Sanders Inane accusations about Wall Street and Hillary Clinton.:

...Where was Bernie Sanders in 2008 regarding Parallel Foreclosures? If Bernie Sanders was protesting Parallel Foreclosure as being unethical and even constitution busting back in 2008, then Bernie knows it was Barack Obama who was complicit to Wall Street, not Hillary Clinton. If Bernie Sanders does not know about parallel foreclosure in 2008, then he's a social activist fraud who was oblivious to over a million homeowners losing their homes to parallel foreclosure tactics...
Update from linked site (Daily Puma):

Alessandro Machi said...
Bob, I just thought I would let you know that I was meaning to update my article. Barack Obama does not deserve all or even most of the blame. Ultimately, there are only a few candidates in the 2016 race who can be completely absolved from their role in Parallel Foreclosuregate of 2008 through 2011.
Among those with any chance of winning either the Republican nomination or democrat nomination in 2016 who can't be blamed, Donald Trump would be one, simply because he was not an elected official back in 2008 through 2011, and Hillary Clinton, lost her Wall Street support to Barack Obama because she stood with the homeowners instead of Wall Street.
And the media was the most complicit of all by ignoring the parallel foreclosure issue altogether.
Note that last sentence. The media never adequately addressed this issue, nor did they expand on the urgency of people losing their homes. My own family was very nearly caught in this web of thievery. 

Couldn't Happen To A Nicer Bunch Of Terrorists

Report: The Trump Campaign Is Tearing Apart Fox News | Blog | Media Matters for America:

New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman highlighted the "confusion" at Fox News about the network's role in the "altered media ecosystem going forward," in particular over the coverage of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Trump has been a regular fixture on Fox News since 2011, which paved the way for his presidential run. The relationship between Trump and Fox became tumultuous following Fox's first GOP primary debate in August 2015, during which moderator Megyn Kelly questioned Trump about his history of sexism. Yet, Fox continued to give Trump more than double the airtime of any other candidate. Trump ultimately skipped Fox's second primary debate in January after the network released a mocking statement in response to his demand that Kelly be removed as a moderator. Fox chairman Roger Ailes and network personalities have since struggled with their coverage of Trump...

SCOTUS Helps Kochs And Hurts Earth

SCOTUS Puts The Brakes On Obama's Clean Emissions Rule | Crooks and Liars:

Well, thanks for that, Supremes. While we've got Flint kids poisoned and Porter Ranch people exposed to all sorts of carcinogens and other toxic fumes, the United States Supreme Court brought the President's Clean Power initiative to a screaming halt...

Monday, February 08, 2016

Cruz Channeling Rove

Ted Cruz' Newest Dirty Trick: Phony Check Enclosed Fundraising Mailer | Crooks and Liars:

Ted Cruz has apparently shrugged off the criticism he took In Iowa over his shame-baiting mailers along with his Ben Carson "dirty tricks" during the caucus itself and immediately implemented a new Rovian dirty tactic to the voters of New Hampshire...

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Rubotic Seizure

Cannonfire--Rubio's BSOD moment:

...Marco Rubio is now the official candidate of Uncanny Valley. The funniest response I've seen so far appeared here: "I think Christie caused some sort of divide by zero error in the Rubot's operating system. Rubio is acting like one of those Star Trek robots that go all explodey when presented with a simple contradiction in logic..."

Cop Sues Victims

Chicago police officer suing estate of teen he fatally shot | US news | The Guardian:

A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old college student and accidentally killed a neighbor has filed a lawsuit against the teenager’s estate, arguing the shooting left him traumatized.
Families of two people killed by Chicago police seek answers: 'When does it end?' The unusual lawsuit was filed on Friday amid Chicago city leaders’ efforts to win back the public’s trust after several cases of alleged police misconduct.
Stories of orphans pleading for mercy after killing their parents spring to mind.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

More Material For The GOP Slime Machine

I said it before and I'll say it again--- the GOP will skin Bernie alive and eat his flesh. The swift-boating of a true American war hero like John Kerry will be nothing compared to the Bernie roasting, because this time they have some actual facts to propagandize. 

Uppity Woman | I'm just one of those Uppity Women. Live with it.:

...Bernie also despised JFK. He said JFK “Made me sick”. The reason Bernie despised JFK had to do with one of his heroes: Fidel Castro. Bernie declared that Castro “Transformed Cuba”. Bernie was right. Castro sure did transform Cuba. Oh yes, indeed he did. Castro was just one more example of how easily Socialism “For The People” can evolve into Fascism under a “Charismatic” leader...

Jobs And Unemployment Improve

...and of course the praise for President Obama immediately rose up in a heavenly chorus from the hallowed halls of Congress--- in an alternate universe.

Wages Rise as U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls Below 5% - The New York Times:

Is the American worker finally getting a raise?

After years of scant real gains despite steadily falling unemployment and healthy hiring, wages picked up significantly last month, a sign the job market could be tightening enough to force companies to pay more to attract and retain employees...

Friday, February 05, 2016

The Ever Expanding Police State

In a classic case of give them an inch, the NYPD has turned a nuisance abatement ordinance into a mighty weapon to use against the poor and minorities. It is our shame that this practice, among so many others, is allowed in a civilized, so-called Christian country. C&L's reporting on this issue is outstanding. The NYPD Is Kicking People Out Of Their Homes, Even If They Haven’t Committed A Crime | Crooks and Liars

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Smirking Of Congress

<clairvoyant vision snaps into mind> "Mr. Shkreli, I see the IRS in your future." Could this finally engender some actual bipartisan action on a problem?

Martin Shkreli pleads the Fifth, then tweets about 'imbeciles' in Congress:

WASHINGTON—Embattled drug entrepreneur Martin Shkreli — who vigorously defended his decision to hike the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 — suddenly went silent Thursday at a Congressional committee, smirking and grinning instead of answering questions...

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Santorum Pulls Out

As noted in the hilarious comments accompanying this post, Santorum Suspending Presidential Campaign | Crooks and Liars, the jokes just write themselves.

Flogging The Bernie(O)Bots

This rant just about sums of my feelings, except that I can't claim to be female--- but that doesn't mean I'm not a feminist. And for all the holier-than-thou Naderites appearing to try and toss the election and all the SCOTUS appointments to the GOP: explode. An All-Caps Explosion of Feelings Regarding the Liberal Backlash Against Hillary Clinton

The Daily Flashback: She Shoulda Sued Edition

Survive And Advance ! | Uppity Woman:

...We will see how this continues to play out. It is interesting that in 2008, despite obvious massive rule-breaking at the caucuses by the Obama people; despite the DNC rigging the whole thing in favor of Obama, to the extent that he was given many delegates in a state where he was not on the ballot; and where some delegates which Hillary won were summarily given to him, Hillary and her campaign did not sue anyone. She put the party and the country ahead of herself. I was very disappointed that she did not sue, and fight at the convention, but that is not how she thinks or acts. She always sees the larger picture, and wants to do what the thinks is the right thing for the American people...

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Comment Of The Day: Sympathy For The Devil? Edition

Bosses Find Part-Time Workers Can Come With Full-Time Headaches : Shots - Health News : NPR

Oh those poor restaurants that have to actually provide benefits to employees. Oh the humanity! It's not like Burger King is a multinational multi-million dollar operation or anything... Oh wait...

Socializing costs and privatizing profits.

I couldn't care less about the burger flipper's poor choices that led them to that position. What makes me angry is that a corporation thinks it's okay to pay executives million dollar bonuses and use accounting gymnastics to minimize tax liability while their employees are on welfare and receiving healthcare on the state's dollar. It
sickens me.

I have 0, nada, NO sympathy for these corporations. If your business model means you have to treat your workers like indentured servants, you deserve to go out of business.

Because They Wear Cowboy Hats how I summarized the entire Bundy Bunch silliness and our tolerance for their antics. (Substitute black skin or Southern accents and you get an entirely different reaction scenario.) Here's a more thorough explanation of the criminal terrorists and their enablers.

COLUMN-Ammon Bundy and the myth of the American West | Reuters:

....Bundy has been claiming land and rights that dismiss a century of laws and legislation. He also ignores the land's first occupants, the Burns Paiute, who continue to rightfully claim that land. He sidesteps his family's dependence on government support and subsidies - which include a sizable federal Small Business Administration loan for more than a half-million dollars. He banters about a potential armed revolution while proclaiming his dedication to the U.S. Constitution.

Bundy's confused rhetoric is partly a refraction of spotty Christian theology, fringe militia movements and American mythology. Yet he is standing on solid ground in the imagined West in which his ideology resides. (Dawn G. Marsh)

Clinton Wins

Hillary Clinton wins Iowa caucuses -

Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa Democratic caucuses, according to final results from the Iowa Democratic Party.

She just edges Bernie Sanders in the total of state delegate equivalents awarded Monday night.

"I am so thrilled," Clinton told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. "My luck was not that good last time around, and it was wonderful to win the caucus, to have that experience..."

Monday, February 01, 2016

On Those Cruz Mailers

Ted Cruz’s Iowa Mailers Are More Fraudulent Than Everyone Thinks - The New Yorker:

...The Cruz mailers have been widely condemned by Iowans. “I just wonder how many of these went out to people who might seriously believe they committed a violation or were embarrassed that their neighbors might know about their alleged voting record,” Braddock Massey, a Rubio supporter who lives in West Des Moines and received one of the mailers, said.

Donna Holstein, who was listed on one of them, was upset to learn that she had been given a failing grade and that her neighbors might be told whether she participates in the caucus. She told me that she has voted consistently but that she can’t this time because of a disability.

“I’m crippled, so I can’t go to the caucus,” Holstein said. She was not happy about being shamed in front of her neighbors. “That’s what you call a bully,” she said about Cruz’s tactics. “I wish he would quit.”