The Walking John Birchers


Anyone else remember the John Birch Society? I had relatives wrapped up in it — they were dangerously nuts and full of evil ideas that even I, as a young kid, could tell were demented and destructive — and that last article brought back ugly memories. They seemed to have declined rather precipitously in the 90s, but I should have known…they were just going underground. They’ve risen from the dead now, as the Tea Party.

Here’s an account by a woman who grew up in a John Birch family. I only saw these jerks tangentially, on the fringe of my family, but I can tell you that this story rings true, and I agree — life in that kind of society would be hell.

I recognized the anti-government rhetoric and the unlimited money and I realized that Tea Party had locked arms with libertarians, big business, the religious right and the John Birch Society. This was a potent coalition of ideology, money and power—a coalition fifty years in the making.

Most Americans have no idea that these “new” ideas are the same “old” ideas that the John Birch Society preached fifty years ago.

I do.

I lived in the heart of radical right-wing extremism. I left the movement when I realized that living in a Birch society, libertarian America would be hell.

Who elected Jack D. Ripper?

Here’s a treat: a congressman who has been in office since 1989, and is on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

claiming Global Warming they create powerful Global gov. Claiming tooth decay they mandate chemical fluoride in our water

He’s a Republican, of course.

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Ben Carson did experiments on tissue from aborted fetuses


The paper leaves no room for ambiguity.


Note that there’s nothing at all wrong with this — the use of fetal tissue in these kinds of experiments, and many more, is ubiquitous, and it is not obtained by magic, but by the ethical donation of fetal material from abortions and miscarriages and stillbirths. I don’t object at all to Carson having participated in this kind of research.

I do object to him now declaring that it is unethical in all circumstances.

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Bernie! In Seattle!

Several members of my family back home attended the Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle, and my niece took a few pictures.


I have also been chastised for saying I’d be willing to vote for Hillary Clinton in the election. I find myself in the strange position of being the conservative member of my family. I’m almost afraid to go back to visit next week: have I become the cranky old right-wing uncle who makes a nuisance of himself once a year at family reunions?

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Breitbart for sale


While Fox News is frantically struggling to scuttle the Trump’s presidential campaign, there is one media outlet that has been proudly and loudly in his corner: Breitbart.


Or maybe not.

According to four sources with knowledge of the situation, editors and writers at the outlet have privately complained since at least last year that the company’s top management was allowing Trump to turn Breitbart into his own fan website — using it to hype his political prospects, and attack his enemies. One current editor called the water-carrying “despicable” and “embarrassing,” and said he was told by an executive last year that the company had a financial arrangement with Trump. A second Breitbart staffer said he had heard a similar description of the site’s relationship with the billionaire but didn’t know the details; and a third source at the company said he knew of several instances when managers had overruled editors at Trump’s behest. Additionally, a conservative communications operative who works closely with Breitbart described conversations in which “multiple writers and editors” said Trump was paying for the ability to shape coverage, and added that one staffer claimed to have seen documentation of the “pay for play.”

Breitbart also went all-in on the idea that gamergate was about ethics in journalism. I don’t think they’d recognize ethics unless it ran up and paid them with a big check.

The GOP is rotten to the core


Let’s spell it out: in their desperate effort to achieve relevance through stridency, the Republicans have turned their backs on half the electorate. Brilliant move, guys.

It’s nice to already know the Republicans’ strategy as they lurch toward the long and bumpy road to someone else’s presidency. Removes the mystery.

Their new mantra, in GOP-speak: So long, ladies.

I’ll give them this: They’re no longer pretending to care about us. Yay for them for ending that charade. They don’t want us, and apparently they’ve decided they don’t need us. Or, as Jeb Bush put it on Tuesday: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

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