Stephen King Responds.

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Yesterday, I posted about the extraordinarily racist governor of Maine: “You Shoot the Enemy.” Guess Who the Enemy Is? – and Stephen King, a very famous Maine resident, has responded.

“Our governor, Paul LePage, is a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist. I think that about covers it,” King tweeted.

LePage made news this week for claiming that most drug dealers are black or Hispanic, and then calling a lawmaker who criticized his comments a “son-of-a-bitch socialist c*cksucker.” The incident provoked Maine’s largest newspaper to apologizing on behalf of the state for electing LePage.

It looks like LePage has pretty much the whole state cringing in embarrassment.

This is not the first time that King, who lives in Maine, has criticized his state’s Tea Party governor.

“One must admit LePage has elevated assholery to a level far past the extraordinary and into a rarified sphere that might be termed divine,” King said in January after LePage complained that urban drug dealers named “D-Money” were coming to Maine and impregnating “young, white girls.”

Then, in March, he said LePage was “full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green” for claiming he had moved out of the state to avoid taxes. “Tabby and I pay every cent of our Maine state income taxes, and are glad to do it,” King continued. “We feel, as Governor LePage apparently does not, that much is owed from those to whom much has been given. We see our taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much. State taxes pay for state services. There’s just no way around it. Governor LePage needs to remember there ain’t no free lunch.”

It’s a genuine pity LePage will not be out of office until 2019. I think perhaps people of Maine should look to possible ways to boot LePage now.

Via Raw Story.

The Civil War Was About Free Speech.

Sid Miller. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay.

Sid Miller. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay.

For bigots, the Civil War was never, ever about slavery, oh my no. It was about everything and anything under the sun, but not slavery. Sid “Jesus Juice” Miller is pushing the “it was about freedom of speech!” button.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is planning to the restrict the display of Confederate flags by “amend[ing] our policy to make clear that Confederate flags will not be displayed from any permanently fixed flagpole in a national cemetery at any time.”

As expressed in a letter written by Roger Walters, interim undersecretary for memorial affairs, “We are aware of the concerns of those who wish to see Confederate flags removed from public venues because they are perceived by many as a symbol of racial intolerance.”

But a recent vote indicated a majority of House Republicans oppose the VA’s attempt to restrict where and when the Stars and Bars can be displayed. So does Sid Miller, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner who was recently tapped to be Donald Trump’s national co-chairman of his agriculture advisory team.

In a Facebook post published Thursday, Miller suggests the Civil War was first and foremost about protecting free speech — not slavery. He also strikes a skeptical note about whether Confederates who fought against the United States behaved treasonously.

Responding to a Washington Post column supportive of the VA’s move, Miller writes that the piece “makes my blood boil” and says the Post isn’t “entitled to… attempt to read the minds of my long-dead Confederate ancestors and determine that their actions and motivations during that awful war were treasonous.”
He also denounces “politically correct bureaucrats” pushing for the Stars and Bars to be banned.

“With all that is going on around our world and the serious threats that exist to our country and our constitiional [sic] freedoms by those who carry black flags with Arabic writing upon them, I would think that those in our national government would simply leave alone the flags marking the burial grounds of our Confederate dead,” Miller writes. “Unfortunately, I fear that is just wishful thinking on my part and highlights why the outcome of the upcoming election is so very, very important.”

https://www.facebook.com/MillerForTexas/posts/1884355138453315

Full story at Think Progress.

Sunday Facepalm: God Can’t Read the Clinton Emails!

Trey Gowdy. Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Trey Gowdy. Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Hillary Clinton’s legal team took such painstaking efforts to delete the former secretary of state’s emails that “even God can’t read them,” according to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Gowdy argued the use of BleachBit, a software whose website says it can “prevent recovery” of files, further bolsters accusations that Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, had something to hide in deleting all the personal files from her time at the State Department.

According to Clinton, the emails she deleted were all of a personal nature, most of which pertained to yoga and her daughter’s wedding. Gowdy, though, isn’t so sure and wants to know if the presidential hopeful considered emails about the Clinton Foundation personal.

“She and her lawyers had those emails deleted. And they didn’t just push the delete button; they had them deleted where even God can’t read them,” the lawmaker said during an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Thursday. “They were using something called BleachBit. You don’t use BleachBit for yoga emails or bridemaids emails. When you’re using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.”

You really can’t mock these people sufficiently, they do such a good job of mocking themselves. “Where even God can’t read them.” No god is specified here, but I will assume Mr. Gowdy is referencing good ol’ Jehovah. A god which Christians insist is all powerful and all seeing. Can’t hide from God, oh no! God sees everything, every dirty thought, and where you put your naughty hands! Unfortunately, it seems software has breached that all powerful thing god had going. Tsk.

Via The Blaze, so take along a truck full of salt if you click over.

“You Shoot the Enemy.” Guess Who the Enemy Is?

CREDIT: AP/MICHAEL DYWER.

CREDIT: AP/MICHAEL DYWER.

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) has been mouthing off, a lot. He has frothed about every group he doesn’t like, and it seems if you aren’t a hetero christian white man, you’re in one of the hated groups. Mr. LePage has a particular hatred of anyone who is not verifiably pasty white, and he doesn’t seem to care who knows it, either. He is an ardent Trump fan, which I’m sure is no surprise. In his latest screed, Mr. LePage identifies the enemy: People of Colour, and what you do to the enemy: you shoot them.

In a Friday press conference following his homophobic remarks about a state lawmaker, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) called people of color and people of Hispanic origin “the enemy” and implied they should be shot.

“A bad guy is a bad guy. I don’t care what color he is. When you go to war, if you know the enemy, the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, you shoot at red,” he said. “You shoot the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”

The governor has offered a veritable potpourri of racist and homophobic remarks over the years. In his voicemail to state Rep. Drew Gattine (D) on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to convince people that he is not a racist, he said, “I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker.”

Oh, yes, helping black people, but you just can’t stand having them in your pristine state of Maine. I’d be willing to bet your idea of help is not the same as mine.

On Wednesday, he called Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim soldier, a “con artist.” During a town hall on that same day, he said nearly all of Maine’s drug dealers are black or Hispanic. “I don’t ask them to come to Maine (to) sell their poison, but they come,” he said. “And I will tell you, that 90 percent-plus of those pictures in my book — and it’s a three-ring binder — are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Connecticut, the Bronx and Brooklyn.”

LePage grabbed national headlines earlier this year when he said men named “Smoothie, D-Money, and Shifty” were dealing drugs in Maine. He added, “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve got to deal with down the road. We’re going to make them very severe penalties.”

Among his other comments, he told the NAACP to “kiss my butt,” accused asylum seekers of bringing the “ziki fly,” and told the president to “go to hell.” LePage is an enthusiastic supporter of the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.

It’s not just the presidential vote that’s important. It’s equally important to usher these asses who run on bigotry and stereotypes out of office, too.

Via Think Progress.

A Tale of Two T-Shirts.

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Rush Limbaugh’s rant that the Obama administration intends to flood conservative rural areas with lesbian farmers has inspired not only a musical tribute but an “America Needs Lesbian Farmers” T-shirt.

T-shirt maker Raygun unveiled the shirt on its Facebook page Thursday. It’s bright green with gold lettering and sells for $21.

News of the Department of Agriculture’s outreach program to rural LGBT people, designed to increase awareness of helpful government nonprofit programs, had Limbaugh warning that the federal government was attacking conservative values and conspiring to fill rural enclaves with LGBT liberals.

Full story here. This is a good idea, and I hope to see people wearing these Tees all over the place. On the other hand, there’s…

lgbtq-for-trump-tshirt-x750

A new “LGBTQ for Trump” shirt will set you back $30 — and set your rights back even further.

LGBTQ for Trump? That’s what the Republican presidential candidate is selling on his website, even if his stances on equality leave you feeling more “LGBTQ against Trump.”

Trump has been aggressively suggesting he’s the better candidate for LGBT people. After the horrific attack in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured at a gay nightclub on June 12, the Republican candidate spoke out against the attack. “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community. Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?” said Trump. A simple fact-check would answer that question.

Full story here. I shouldn’t even have to mention what a terrible idea this is, and I can’t help but speculate how much Trump has spent on this utter isht.

Facebook, Oh Facebook VI.

Current Midland City, AL Mayor Patsy Skipper's swearing-in photo from February (Twitter.com).

Current Midland City, AL Mayor Patsy Skipper’s swearing-in photo from February (Twitter.com).

Yet another person who doesn’t seem to understand that posting on FB or other social media is akin to shouting from the rooftops. “I lost. The nigger won”. I am so glad you lost, Ms. Skipper, it’s the very least that could happen to you.

The Republican mayor of Midland City, Alabama got nasty on Facebook after losing her seat to a black candidate in this week’s mayoral election.

“I lost. The ni**er won,” griped Mayor Patsy Capshaw Skipper when someone asked her how the election turned out.

WTVY said that Skipper was defeated by Jo Ann Bennett Grimsley, former assistant city clerk and an employee of the Dale County government for 27 years. She has previously served as the city’s water clerk and county court clerk.

Mayor Skipper was named interim mayor last February when her husband — former Mayor Virgil Skipper — retired for health reasons. County officials voted 3 to 1 for Patsy Skipper to take over her husband’s position.

Voters, however, preferred to see Grimsley at the city helm, casting 233 votes for Grimsley as opposed to Skipper’s 148.

Congratulations to Ms. Grimsley! I’m sure she will do a great job, although doing better than Ms. Skipper is a low bar.

Via Raw Story, where you can see a screen capture of the post.

In Trump We Trust.

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“In Trump We Trust.” Yes, that’s really the title of Ann Coulter’s latest book, a paean to what she calls the great orange hope.  Christ. Well, if that wasn’t enough to get the facepalm going, this certainly is:

She also attempts to answer for his past mistakes, including when he mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a musculoskeletal disorder.

Coulter, in a chapter entitled “Disabled Reporter Joins Media Effort to Create More Disabled Americans,” writes that Trump wasn’t making fun of Kovaleski’s disorder; he was just doing an impression of a “standard retard”:

Trump denied knowing that Serge was disabled, and demanded an apology, saying that anyone could see his imitation was of a flustered, frightened reporter, not a disabled person. It’s true that Trump was not mimicking any mannerisms that Serge has. He doesn’t jerk around or flail his arms. He’s not retarded. He sits calmly, but if you look at his wrists, you’ll see they are curved in. That’s not the imitation Trump was doing—he was doing a standard retard, waving his arms and sounding stupid: “’Ahhh, I don’t know what I said—ahhh, I don’t remember!’ He’s going, ‘Ahhh, I don’t remember, maybe that’s what I said!’”

Right. Well, that clarification makes it…much, much worse. There’s an old saying that’s apt here: with friends like these, you don’t need enemies.

Via Jezebel.

Oh, That Evil Anti-White Agenda.

Richard Spencer (Facebook).

Richard Spencer (Facebook).

Poor, poor Richard Spencer. His um, appeal to Ms. Clinton didn’t work at all. Neither did his frothy demands. Ms. Clinton went right ahead with her speech, the full text of which can be read here. Back to Mr. Spencer’s wish life:

Right Wing Watch notices that Richard Spencer, who last year hosted a conference on white racial identity that proposed the creation of whites-only states in the U.S., has issued a preemptive strike against Clinton’s speech that attacks her for allegedly hating white people.

“Over the past few months, Hillary Clinton has engaged, rhetorically and directly, with an array of groups that support an anti-White agenda,” Spencer wrote. “Whether that’s endorsing the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, which is directly responsible for a rise in violence throughout America, or her surrogates chastising European-Americans for their background and heritage.”

Spencer then called on Clinton to apologize for hating white people so much, despite the fact that Clinton herself is white.

“We call on her and her allies to issue an apology to European-Americans everywhere and confront her own troubling links to extremism and the civil unrest she has stoked for months,” he wrote.

Spencer attended a pro-Trump party at this year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he was quoted as saying he and his movement have “taken over the right” by nominating a presidential candidate who addresses the alt-right’s major concerns.

Goodness. You’d think treating people like people was genocide of white folks or something. Is it wrong of me to hope that Mr. Spencer gets stuck some place where Ms. Clinton’s speech is on a loop?

Via Raw Story.

ZAPP presents…Famous Trump Quotations!

Nothing else today will be anywhere near as cool as this gift from Billy West, so this is Cool Stuff Friday. :D

MAKE AMERICA BRANNIGAN!

Homosexual totalitarianism is out of the closet!

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will meet with a group of around 700 evangelical pastors this week, hoping to win over hardline, anti-gay Religious Right leaders who have thus far been hesitant to embrace his struggling candidacy.

Trump is scheduled to speak on Thursday at a closed-door meeting in Orlando, Florida hosted by the American Renewal Project (ARP), a group of evangelical Christian pastors. The event has been widely criticized as anti-LGBT, with another selected speaker — former Florida senator and former GOP presidential candidate Mark Rubio — fending off accusations of insensitivity for appearing at the event so soon after the tragic murder of nearly 50 people in Orlando at a gay nightclub in June.

Rubio has also defended his doing so, won’t shut up about it, actually. These are people who have no empathy whatsoever, don’t know what compassion means, and are utterly bereft of lowly sympathy.

Accusations of anti-gay sentiment are rooted in inflammatory statements made by the ARP’s founder, David Lane. Lane’s group is sponsored by the American Family Association, which is listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, he has personally called for “war” against the “pagan onslaught imposing homosexual marriage” in the past, and repeated similarly bombastic sentiments to Bloomberg this week.

“Homosexual totalitarianism is out of the closet, the militants are trying herd Christians there,” Lane said.

Indeed, Lane appeared hopeful that Trump would be swayed to his right-wing ideology. He said he appreciated the businessman’s support for repealing the Johnson Amendment — the law that makes it illegal for churches to retain tax-exempt status if they explicitly endorse candidates — but remained focused on pushing him to embrace policies many believe discriminate against LGBT people in the name of religion.

“[Repealing the Johnson Amendment is] a good first step,” Lane told Bloomberg. “But what about the religious liberty of Christian photographers, Christian bakers, Christian retreat centers, and pastors who believe same-sex intercourse and marriage is sin? These Christians were simply living out their deeply held convictions of their Christian faith when they politely refused to provide services for a same-sex wedding. Doesn’t the First Amendment give us all a right to our beliefs?”

As usual, these bigoted hate-mongers manage to completey lose the “all” in all a right to our beliefs. Yes, we certainly do have the privilege to believe whatever we like, no matter how daft, reasonable, or hateful. The key word being all. That means you don’t get to make the rules, Mr. Lane. Your right to believe what you like does not extend to harming people, and yes, discrimination is harm.

Trump could, hypothetically, push on without such endorsements, but there is a tactical value at stake: Evangelical turnout operations are often heavily reliant on leadership — especially faith leaders who attend Pastors and Pews meetings, many of whom played a key role in evangelical get-out-the-vote efforts during the 2012 election cycle.

This means Lane’s wish for a more vocally-anti-LGBT Trump could very come true, if only out political necessity. Nearly three-quarters of white evangelical Christians remain opposed to marriage equality — even though most other major religious groups in America support it. Since the group still makes up a sizable part of the Republican electorate, Trump may be hoping to revive his rapidly decreasing poll numbers by winning back the core of his Republican base.

This might be more than a probability, given Trump’s latest attempt to wrest money from people, the “Trump Gold Card“:

According to Trump, the card will signify to the world that you “are tired of a government that bows down to foreigners, refuses to even say the words ‘Radical Islam,’ and leaves our borders wide open!”

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Trump Woos Radical Christians at Think Progress. The ‘Trumpet your Trumpness’ is at Raw Story.

32.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Whitehouse.gov.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Whitehouse.gov.

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, as many as 2 million sheep grazed on the Navajo Nation.

That was in addition to hundreds of thousands of goats, cattle and horses that foraged on the 27,000-square-mile reservation spanning parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The Navajo population itself had quintupled since 1870 and, at the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, about 39,000 Navajos lived on the sprawling reservation, embracing a life of pastoralism and moving livestock from winter homes to summer pastures.

But the Navajo, who were almost entirely dependent on income from sheep and wool, were hit hard by the worst economic disaster in American history. The livestock population skyrocketed while revenues plummeted, and the Navajo Agency reported in 1933 that income had “greatly reduced to the vanishing point,” according to Raymond Friday Locke’s “The Book of the Navajo.”

The land was also showing signs of overgrazing and environmental distress, and its deepening gullies and parched vegetation caught the attention of the federal government. Four months after Roosevelt took office, his newly appointed commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier, toured the Navajo Nation and proposed an aggressive and often coercive livestock reduction program.

John Collier. Corbis image/Wikipedia.

John Collier. Corbis image/Wikipedia.

[Read more…]

Trump’s Border Wall Would Work, In All the Wrong Ways.

Javelinas in the creosote | Photo: Dave Hensley, some rights reserved.

Javelinas in the creosote | Photo: Dave Hensley, some rights reserved.

Chris Clarke at KCET has an excellent article up about the far reaching effects of Trump’s wall.

California’s border with Baja California is a complex region with unique environmental issues. Our Borderlands series takes a deeper look at this region unified by shared landscapes and friendship, and divided by international politics.

A female arroyo toad shelters under a streamside cottonwood in early March, twenty years from now. It’s unseasonably warm, and there’s something ancient stirring inside her. She listens. A male is singing. She finds his song beautiful. Everything in her wants to follow that sound, to find the male and mate with him. She would release her eggs for him to fertilize. Those eggs would grow in long submerged strings, until a new generation of arroyo tadpoles hatched from them a week later. Her drive to find that male is irresistable. But she cannot reach him.

A month and a half later, three hundred miles east, a small group of javelinas cools its collective heels in the shade of an ironwood tree. The engaging, pig-like beasts are hungry. A couple of them root in the soil of the wash, looking for tubers. Not far away, a mesquite hangs heavy with last year’s crop of pods. The javelinas can smell those pods, even after a season of drying on the branch. The one tree could feed the entire pack for two days, and the javelinas would disperse a few of the seeds elsewhere to make new mesquites. But that’s not going to happen. There’s something in the way.

In July, wild eyes scan and a pair of slitted nostrils sift the desert breeze. The jaguar finds no good news in the air. He curls back his upper lip and tries again, head held high. He’s not looking for food. Here in the Patagonia Mountains of southern Arizona, game is plentiful enough to keep his ribs well hidden. It’s plentiful enough, in fact, to support a few more jaguars, to provide a launch pad for North America’s largest wild cat to reinhabit the southern Rocky Mountains. But that would require the cooperation of one or more female jaguars. And thanks to a project propelled by destructive politics and fear, there won’t be any lady jaguars in the Patagonia Mountains anytime soon.

In previous articles in this series we’ve looked at a some of the likely unintended environmental consequences of the gigantic border wall proposed by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, from the climate impacts of such a massive construction project to the wall’s inevitable disruption of stream courses resulting in massive floods.

But some of the longest-lasting environmental consequences of the proposed border wall would result from the wall doing precisely what it’s supposed to do: stop migration across the border. The wall will impede a lot more than just human beings from migrating. It will stop animals as well, and their genes, and even the plant species they disperse.

This excellent, eloquent article can be read in full here. This is a discussion too few people are having, and it is a vital one. If humans are good at anything, they are absolutely great for being self-centered and consumed by the short term. Trump’s wall is a good example of that, but so is the complete lack of concern for just how far out such an abomination would ripple. Read up, learn, pass it on.

Like Father, Like Son, oh no…

Ted and Rafael Cruz: Like Frightening Father, Like Scary Son.

Extremist antigay preacher Rafael Cruz groomed his son for the presidency since the age of 9 — and now Ted Cruz is ready to put his father's hateful views into practice. (AP Photo)

Extremist antigay preacher Rafael Cruz groomed his son for the presidency since the age of 9 — and now Ted Cruz is ready to put his father’s hateful views into practice. (AP Photo)

Ted Cruz is bad enough all on his own. If Cruz is elected, however, it will be a two-for-one deal. The devil and hellfire Daddy Cruz goes right with him.

If you follow politics at all, you probably know Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz’s major issue stances — he’s anti-LGBT equality, anti-abortion rights, a proponent of free-market economics and an aggressive foreign policy.

But to really kow Cruz’s worldview, it’s important to know his father, mentor, and top campaign surrogate, 76-year-old Rev. Rafael Cruz.

“Rafael Cruz is an extremist,” Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, tells The Advocate. “He is the senator’s role model. Rafael Cruz spoke at the World Congress of Families event in Utah with a gay-bashing lineup of hateful speakers, and he is Ted’s surrogate traveling across the country on the campaign trail bashing gay people. Like father, like son.”

And the elder Cruz, who hit the campaign trail extensively in Ted’s successful run for U.S. senator from Texas in 2012 and is doing so now in his presidential effort, says the things his son — or almost any politician — can’t get away with.

[…]

Among Rafael Cruz’s other antigay greatest hits: At the World Congress of Families event last November, he said gay people want to legalize pedophilia, starting with an effort to strike down age-of-consent laws. Indeed, he has frequently described LGBT people as sexual predators. He has also said marriage equality is part of a government plot to “destroy the concept of God” and establish socialism in the United States.

[…]

The lack of distance between father and son shows how dangerous a Ted Cruz presidency would be, Smith tells The Advocate. He “lets his father say all the fiery gay-bashing rhetoric, but Ted Cruz will implement that rhetoric in his policies and appointments,” Smith says. “He is the worst candidate in the race, and I have no doubt he will discriminate against gay and transgender people all over the United States if he is elected president.”

Full Story.