1. says

    President Obama gave a weekly address that included a lot of references to workers, unions, the labor movement in general, and government regulations — all the stuff the rightwing hates. (Or thinks they hate: when questioned on specifics, even a lot of right-wingers like overtime pay, etc.)

    The eight-hour workday, 40-hour workweek, weekends. Overtime and the minimum wage. Safer workplaces. Health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and retirement plans. All of those gains were fought for and won by the labor movement – folks who were working not just for a bigger paycheck for themselves, but for more security and prosperity for the folks working next to them as well. That’s how we built the great American middle class. […]

    Obama followed with economic good news brought about by his administration: jobs added, unemployment rate lower, adding 16 million citizens to the tally of those who have health insurance, lots of places raising the minimum wage, etc.)

    Then he moved on to begging Congress to do their freaking job:

    This month, Congress has an opportunity to continue that progress. As always, the deadline for Congress to pass a budget is the end of September. Every year. This is not new. And if they don’t, they’ll shut down the government for the second time in two years. At a time when the global economy faces headwinds and America’s economy is a relative bright spot in the world, a shutdown of our government would be wildly irresponsible. It would be an unforced error that saps the momentum we’ve worked so hard to build. Plain and simple, a shutdown would hurt working Americans.

    Well, yes, President Obama, but a shutdown could also hurt you, so of course a lot of Republicans will push for that. They want to sap any momentum your administration has built up, and they don’t care if they hurt working Americans.

  2. says

    Mike Huckabee is diving deeper into the legal/cultural morass around the Kentucky clerk that refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will hold a rally in support of county clerk Kim Davis on Tuesday outside the Kentucky jail where she’s being held. He announced plans for the “#ImWithKim Liberty Rally” on his campaign website.

    […] the candidate, an ardent opponent of same-sex marriage, will meet with the Rowan County clerk before the rally. […]

    A petition on Huckabee’s website calls on President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Judge David Bunning to release Davis from jail.

    “Immediately release Kim Davis from federal custody. Exercising Religious Liberty should never be a crime in America. This is a direct attack on our God-given, constitutional rights.”

    It has already received more than 55,000 signatures, CNN reported.

    […] On Thursday, [Huckabee] called her arrest proof that we’re witnessing the “criminalization of Christianity in our country” and insisted that “Government is not God.”

  3. says

    Kim Davis’s attitude may be representative of more rightwing approaches to life in the USA than we realize. She embodies the protection of privilege, and she feels threatened. Writing for Salon, Elias Isquith took a closer look at the Kim Davis story, and he came up with a broader interpretation. Here’s an excerpt (emphasis added):

    […]Conservatives are supposed to be the guardians of law and order; yet here they are, defending someone who quite explicitly claims to be above “man’s law.” What’s more, conservatives are supposed to loathe despotic government bureaucrats; yet here they are, defending an official who is using state power to further her own agenda.

    If we apply our traditional understanding of conservatism, it doesn’t seem to add up. […] it’s not Davis who’s mistaken; it’s our understanding of conservatism itself.

    […] Instead of holding fast to the traditional understanding of conservatism as an ideology that promotes stability, gradualism, order and restraint — none of which can be found in the Davis case — […] let’s assume that it’s the actions of practitioners […] that truly count. […]

    Corey Robin, a professor at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center […] says Conservatism is “a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.” […]

    As a county clerk in small-town Kentucky, Davis’ power is negligible. But her privilege — specifically, the privilege of being able to marry (again and again and again and again) — isn’t. Gay marriage, which is representative of the full acceptance of gay and lesbian people into the mainstream, severely challenges the version of Christianity she’s embraced. Her (highly selective) Biblical literalism can’t allow it; and if that crumbles, her vision of herself as “saved,” as one of God’s elect, goes down with it.

  4. says

    Remember the big guy that escorted Jorge Ramos out of a Trump press conference at Trump’s behest (though Trump denied he gave the order)? Well, that guy is Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller.

    Schiller recently made more news by delivering a right cross to the head of a Latino protestor, Efrain Galicia, outside Trump Tower. This was on the day that the chairman of the Republican National Committee visited Trump there to beg for a signature on a loyalty pledge.

    […] “The Secret Service would not operate that way,” Ralph Basham, who oversaw the federal protective agency from 2003 to 2006, said of the fisticuffs outside Trump Tower. “They’re not a bunch of jackbooted thugs.”

    Trump aides took exception to suggestions that his team was to blame. A campaign spokesperson said that the protesters “were harassing people on the street” and that a Trump security guard was “jumped from behind.”

    The “jumped from behind” claim is bogus. The Latino man, who is much smaller than Schiller, was trying to retrieve a sign/banner that Schiller had taken from him. As for the “harassing people” claim, view the video. It looked to me like people on the street had plenty of room to walk around the protestors who were stationary and were holding signs or banners.

    Of course, the Trump contingent is suing: “The authorities were contacted immediately, a complaint was filed and we will be pursuing legal action against this individual,” said a campaign spokesperson.

    The protesters were wearing faux Ku Klux Klan hoods and carrying signs, including a large blue banner that read “Make America racist again,” a play on Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America great again.” […]

    In a video posted online, a man identified in news reports as Schiller appears to rip away that sign at the curb outside the tower before turning and walking back toward the building. A smaller man chases him and, as he grabs Schiller from the back, the security guard, wearing a suit, turns and slugs him.

    News accounts identified the protester as Efrain Galicia, a Mexican immigrant who has lived in the United States for three decades.

    “They pushed me around,” Galicia said, according to the New York Post. “It’s like the way his boss behaves: pushing out ­Ramos from Univision. These guys, his servants, they think they can do the same thing.” […]

    Washington Post link

  5. says

    Roger Stone used to work on the Trump campaign. Now he doesn’t work for Trump so he has time on his hands, and he has an urge to cause political mudslides of trumpian proportions. What’s a guy to do?

    Stone is writing yet another anti-Hillary Clinton book.

    The book, “The Clintons’ War on Women,” is “the definitive exposé of Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, and their abuse of people,” according to author Roger Stone.

    Here is some of the anti-Clinton material that Stone intends to rehash:

    – Hillary ordered the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Texas.

    – The Clintons took part in murder and drug smuggling.

    – Hillary ran a terrorist organization to distract from Bill’s affairs with other women.

    – Hillary is a lesbian.

    – The Clintons are still waging a war on women.

    Stone plans to coauthor the book with notorious doofus Robert Morrow. Morrow has a habit of accusing everyone of being gay, a murderer, and a money launderer.

    Holy crap, Mr. Stone! Working for and supporting Trump was bad enough, but this book plan is even worse. Marketing ploy run amok. New heights of unethical chicanery and batshit craziness combined.

  6. blf says

    From the is-this-thug-for-real department, the dimwit’s dimwit, Sarah Palin makes pitch to lead — and ‘get rid of’ — a Trump energy department:

    ● Former Alaska governor says position would be a ‘short-term job’
    ● She criticises Obama’s Alaska trip as a ‘tourism jaunt’

    She also rejected President Obama’s focus on the threat posed by climate change, particularly to her state, saying: “I’m not going to blame (…) changes in the weather on man’s footprint.”

    Asked about her hopes for a job under Trump, Palin said: “I think a lot about the Department of Energy because energy is my baby.

    “Oil, gas, minerals, those things God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations for us to import their resources.

    “I think a lot about the Department of Energy and if I were head of that I’d get rid of it. I’d let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people that are affected by the developments within their states.

    “If I were in charge of that it would be a short-term job, but it would be really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.”

    It possible would be, especially if they were attached to reality and not beholden to Faux & Kochroch Bros., UnLimited. But that person ain’t you, and ain’t gonna be appointed by emperor trum-prat.

    In one speech in Alaska, Obama said “any so-called leader who does not take this issue [AGW] seriously, or treats it like a joke, is not fit to lead”.

    Palin was asked if she took climate change seriously.

    “I take changes in the weather, the cyclical changes that the globe has undergone since the beginning of time, I take it seriously,” she said. “But I’m not going to blame those changes in the weather on man’s footprint.

    “Obama was up here looking at the glaciers, and pointing out a glacier that was receding. Well, there are other glaciers though that are growing up here. He didn’t highlight that.”

    Palin added: “These blames on man’s activity, some of that I know is bogus.”

    “These blames”? Can you speak something resembling English?

    On immigration, Palin responded to a spat between Trump and Jeb Bush over the former Florida governor’s ability to speak Spanish by saying immigrants to the US should speak English first.

    “When you’re here, let’s speak American,” she said.

    No. “American”? Can she possibly be that uneducated of a self-centred incurious eejit?

  7. says

    blf @7, Oh, for fuck’s sake. Palin has, if anything, gotten worse than she was when she was a vice presidential candidate. Although, I have to concede, maybe she does “speak American,” as awful as that is.

    In other news, Rachel Maddow covered the fight between Donald Trump and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In response to a thoughtful op-ed, Trump printed out the op-ed and wrote across it in big magic marker:

    Kareem – Now I know why the press always treated you so badly — They couldn’t stand you. The fact is that you don’t have a clue about life and what has to be done to make America great again! Best Wishes, Donald Trump

  8. says

    Donald Trump gives Palin a run for her money when is comes to “speaking American.” Here is a single sentence from a speech Donald Trump gave:

    Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.


  9. says

    Supporting unions, (instead of breaking up unions as Scott Walker has done), turns out to a feminist issue. Supporting unions = supporting women.

    Among full-time workers ages 16 and older, women represented by labor unions earn an average of $212, or 30.9 percent, more per week than women in nonunion jobs […].

    Men of the same age range who are represented by unions earn, on average, $173, or 20.6 percent, more per week than those without union representation […]

    Union women experience a smaller gender wage gap. Women who are represented by labor unions earn 88.7 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts, a considerably higher earnings ratio than the earnings ratio between all women and men in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015c).

    Women of all major racial and ethnic groups experience a union wage advantage. The difference in earnings between those with and without union representation is largest for Hispanic workers. Hispanic women represented by labor unions have median weekly earnings that are 42.1 percent higher than those without union representation. Hispanic men with union representation have earnings that are 40.6 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts.

    Hmmm, also an Hispanic issue. And, it turns out, a healthcare issue. Women workers represented by unions are more likely to have benefits like health insurance. Greater financial security and health benefits, sounds good to me.

  10. blf says

    Lynn@9, Unless I’m getting my examples of ‘trum-prat borks “american” megasalad’ mixed-up, when that example first happened, I pointed out (on Ed’s blog here at FtB) the trum-prat actually got one thing right. There was a Dr John Trump at MIT, who apparently worked with Dr Van de Graaff on million-volt generators. As I recall, I suggested the trum-prat left his head inside a running megavolt generator for far too long, which explains the hair: It’s trying to cover up all the holes and carbonized emptiness beneath.

  11. says

    Today being Labor Day, it was appropriate for President Obama to announce his executive order that requires all federal contractors to provide to employees at least seven days of paid sick leave.

    Paid sick leave is common in most developed countries, but not in the USA. Because the USA has a Republican-dominated House of Congress, a bill introduced in March of 2013 to provide more workplace protections has never made it out of committee. As we’ve seen on other issues, President Obama is reduced to making what changes he can via executive orders that affect federal government employees and contractors.

    Low income jobs are more likely to be jobs that offer no paid sick days. Once again, we have a feminist issue since low-income jobs are dominated by a female work force.. Once again, we have an Hispanic issue, since low income Hispanic workers “have less access to paid sick leave and family leave than any other racial group.” Link

    Some states have passed laws requiring paid sick leave, and some cities have also done so. New York City, Portland (OR), Pittsburg, Seattle, San Francisco, the State of Connecticut, and New Jersey have paid sick leave laws. Our federal government lags behind thanks to a loud and largely illogical group of right-wingers in Congress.

  12. blf says

    We asked all 22 presidential candidates to define a US refugee policy. Few had clear answers:

    The Guardian pressed every contender for the White House on how they would confront shocking realities from abroad. In the midst of a campaign charged by immigration, just two called for taking on more refugees
    Last week, the Guardian contacted the campaigns of every candidate for the White House — 17 Republicans and five Democrats — to ask two questions. Should the US be accepting more refugees? And, as president, how would each candidate define US policy toward those seeking asylum from war-torn and impoverished countries?

    But even as presidential candidates offer foreign policy pitches through a lens of moral leadership, just one of 22 contenders — former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley — said unequivocally that the US should take in more refugees and put forward a specific number. In a statement issued on Thursday, the Democrat called on the government to accept 65,000 refugees from Syria over the next year.


    Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, a Republican, suggested on Sunday that no additional refugees should be taken in until the US contends with the threat posed by the Islamic State [daesh].


    Ohio governor John Kasich, another Republican candidate for president, took a different view earlier on Sunday by acknowleding that the US bore some of the responsibility for accepting refugees. But the responsibility, he added, “fundamentally falls on Europe”.


    Several campaigns, including those of top contenders such as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her closest challenger, Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the specific question of whether the US should accept more refugees.


    Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, also pinned the issue on what he called a “leading from behind” strategy on Obama’s part. In a statement to the Guardian, the Republican also expressly ruled out taking in more refugees, which he said would be a “ridiculous” approach to resolving the crisis.
    “And no, the answer is not for America to increase the number of refugees we take in. We are already the most compassionate and generous country in the world and it is not even close.”

    “No other country provides anywhere near the amount of assistance for hurting people around the world as we do.

    We interrupt this babbling thug to point out that whilst he probably meant “to people who are hurting” rather than the stated “[to] hurt people”, that later interpretation is perhaps more-correct. USAnnilate!annilate!annilate! does have the largest military and, as I recall, exports more weaponry, then any other country. Now back to the thug…

    But the idea that we can fix all these problems by just accepting the world’s refugees is ridiculous. We simply have to get a new commander in chief, fast.”

    […] Trump, the GOP frontrunner who has positioned himself as the face of the conservative movement against illegal immigration, said the US should “possibly” accept more refugees.


    Other Republicans have raised national security concerns over opening up the US to more refugees. On Sunday, Carly Fiorina said the US cannot relax its criteria for letting refugees in and warned against those who might be affiliated with terrorist activity.

    “The United States, I believe, has done its fair share in terms of humanitarian aid[“…].


    The Kentucky senator Rand Paul sounded similar alarms, citing the US government’s acceptance of refugees from Iraq and Somalia — some of whom he said now wished to harm the country.


    Lincoln Chafee, the former Rhode Island governor who is polling below 1% in the Democratic race, said the US “unfortunately bears a great deal of responsibility for the refugee crisis because of our invasion of Iraq and the spread of chaos in the region as a result”.

    He stopped short, however, of saying more refugees should be taken in, in his statement to the Guardian. Only two of the 22 candidates vying to hold the most powerful position in world policy — O’Malley and Kasich — appeared ready to go that far.

    Relative to GNP, USAllmineminemine is one of the most niggardly sources of foreign aid, ranking about 20th at only c.0.19% — less than a third of the 0.7% of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals target. The thugs claim USAllmineminemine provides the most assistance of all is correct-ish in absolute terms at c.$32bn, but only by squinting and ignoring the EU’s collective c.$68bn, more than twice as much for a region of similar-ish size, population, wealth, albeit far more governments and cheeses.

  13. says

    blf @13, Thanks for that compilation of all the Republican statements on immigration. Most of them have both empathy and logic deficits when it comes to immigration.

    Meanwhile, Sweden is doing the right things in the right ways. What a great example, really shows up the USA.


    On September 2, the Swedish Migration Board announced that Syrian asylum seekers would be granted permanent residence, a status that allows refugees to live and work under the same conditions as every other Swedish resident and also permits family reunifications.

    Even before the decision to offer permanent residence, Sweden – population 9.5 million – was accepting more Syrian refugees than any other Western country, aside from Germany. According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, in 2012 the Swedes received 7,814 asylum requests from Syrians – more than France, UK, US, Australia and Canada combined. […]

    Al Jazeera link

  14. says

    Sometimes it seems like there is nothing that a Republican candidate in the USA can do that is so awful that he/she will be immediately rejected by the public.

    In Canada, they have some awful politicians (Harper), but they do have a few standards. If a politician pees in your coffee mug, the public will condemn him.

    A Toronto businessman who had been running for Parliament with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s party made the wrong kind of splash and is out of the race after being caught on video urinating in a coffee cup.

    The tinkling tale of Jerry Bance, who had been filmed while working as an appliance repairman, caps a bad week for Harper. The prime minister now faces re-election as Canada has entered a recession. […]

  15. says

    More Kim Davis news, apparently she doesn’t to be a martyr in jail for much longer. Her fellow religious nutjobs, (cleverly disguised as lawyers), have filed another appeal.

    Kim Davis is launching a new appeal. The Kentucky county clerk who was sent to jail on Thursday after repeatedly refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has launched a new appeal to the order that placed her behind bars. “While most Americans are enjoying the extended holiday weekend with family and friends, Kim Davis sits in isolation for the fourth day in jail,” her attorney, Mat Staver, said in a statement Sunday, according to CNN. “We are working through the holiday to secure Kim’s freedom.”

    Although the notice to appeal that was filed by her lawyers on Sunday […], doesn’t outline why her attorneys think she should be released “Davis’ legal team seemed to indicate they would argue the contempt of court ruling was a violation of due process,” […] Another lawyer for Davis, Roger Gannam, told Reuters that “the contempt order itself was unlawful.” […]

  16. says

    As most of you know by now, Rep. Trey Gowdy (a Republican from South Carolina) chairs the House Benghazi Committee. Gowdy has leaked deceptive info to the press on multiple occasions in the past.

    Well, that sneaky, unethical, pompous man has done it again. Here’s what Gowdy told us: “Serious investigations do not leak information or make selective releases of information without full and proper context.” Here’s what the fool did: He leaked info to Poltico that was so misleading it should be classified as a lie.

    When former State Department Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills agreed to testify, she pleaded with the committee to hold a transparent, public hearing, open for all the world to see, so there’d be no concerns about misleading leaks. Gowdy and his team refused, insisting that Mills answer questions behind closed doors. Committee Democrats asked for a full transcript to be released to the public and the media, but Gowdy and his team refused this request, too. […]

    Cheryl Mills, a trusted Hillary Clinton staffer who oversaw the release of her emails, told House investigators that no work-related messages had been withheld or destroyed to keep them from public eyes — and Mills said she never knowingly mishandled classified information, a source familiar with her testimony told POLITICO.

    But raising alarms on the right, Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department, also told the House Select Committee on Benghazi that she reviewed and made suggestions for changes to the government’s official, final report on what happened in Benghazi, according to a separate, GOP source familiar with what she said.

    The “raising alarms” part refers to the ARB (Accountability Review Board), a government panel that gave a draft of one of the nine previous investigations to the Secretary of State’s office. This question about the ARB report has been asked and answered many times. Gowdy is bringing it up as if it were new. Not only is it not new, all, all of the previous times it was raised the answer was: no, Hillary Clinton did not try to influence the outcome of the investigation; and, no, Cheryl Mills did not try to influence the investigation.

    Gowdy is looking for shit to throw at the Hillary Clinton campaign. We the taxpayers are paying for this. We don’t need another Benghazi Committee. We don’t need politicians like Gowdy that leak like a sieve and still have no clue when it comes to true transparency.

    Here’s a list of the previous Benghazi investigations:
    – Independent State Department Accountability Review Board
    – Senate Intelligence Committee
    – Senate Armed Services Committee
    – House Intelligence Committee
    – Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
    – House Armed Services Committee
    – House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
    – House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    None of the previous investigations confirmed rightwing conspiracy theories, so Gowdy wanted to grandstand in yet another investigative committee. So far, we the taxpayers have spent over $4.3 million on this nonsense.

  17. says

    Colin Powell broke Republican ranks and made a public statement in support of the Iran nuclear deal.

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed support for the nuclear agreement with Iran on Sunday, calling the various planks Iranian leaders accepted “remarkable” and dismissing critics’ concerns over its implementation.

    “It’s a pretty good deal,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    MSNBC link
    Powell used to work for Bush and Cheney.

  18. says

    While working to prop up Republicans trying to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal, Dick Cheney proceeded to lie more blatantly than usual:

    The Fox News host flashed that data on screen so no one could miss it, and added: “So in fairness, didn’t you leave — the Bush-Cheney administration — leave President Obama with a mess?”

    “Well, I don’t think of it that way,” Cheney countered. […] “But the centrifuges went from zero to 5,000,” Wallace pressed.

    “Well, they may well have gone but that happened on Obama’s watch, not on our watch,” Cheney replied.


    There’s no wiggle room here, no “that’s my interpretation” way out of this. Cheney lied. The Iran nuclear program went from zero nuclear centrifuges to 5,000 during the Bush/Cheney administration. In Cheney’s alternate universe, Obama is to blame for shit that happened on Cheney’s watch.

  19. says

    This is a followup to comment 20.

    Here’s more backup for the fact that Cheney is lying:

    Bush and Cheney may have rhetorically opposed the Iranian nuclear program. In reality, they allowed it to blossom. As Marc Champion explained several months ago, “at the start of Bush’s presidency, Iran had no operational centrifuge cascades and no stocks of enriched fuel, so it had no means of making a nuclear weapon.” Then things got bad: “By the time Bush left office in January 2009, Iran had just under 4,000 working centrifuges and an additional 1,600 installed. These had, to that point, produced 171 kilos of low-enriched uranium. Oh, and Iran had covertly built a new enrichment facility under a mountain at Qom.”

    Measured by results, rather than sound bites, Cheney was the greatest thing that happened to the radical regime in Iran since it took power.

  20. says

    Donald Trump found yet another way to praise himself: he claims that the school he attended was like military service.

    Donald J. Trump, who received draft deferments through much of the Vietnam War, told the author of a forthcoming biography that he nevertheless “always felt that I was in the military” because of his education at a military-themed boarding school.

    Mr. Trump said that his experience at the New York Military Academy, an expensive prep school where his parents had sent him to correct poor behavior, gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

    NY Times link

    Well, let’s add that bit of nonsense to the time he dissed John McCain for being a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Okay, now let’s see if the number of military service members planning to vote for Trump goes up.

    About McCain, Trump said in July: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

    Here’s a true thing that Trump said: “When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same. The temperament is not that different.”

  21. says

    Congress came back to work today after taking six weeks off. As was noted in another thread, congress critters take off all the time they want and it never negatively affects their pay, their health care benefits, etc.

    Now that they took so much time off they have very little time to address a looming deadline.

    When Congress returns for business on Tuesday, lawmakers have scheduled a mere 12 legislative days to find a bipartisan compromise to keep the government open, vote on one of the most contentious foreign policy matters in a generation, reconcile the future of funding for Planned Parenthood and roll out the red carpet — and a few thousand folding chairs — to greet Pope Francis.

    What could go wrong?

  22. says

    Oh, FFS, problems with the basic concept of separation of church and state … again.

    Robert Lloyd applied for a job as Williamson County Constable in Texas. He was well-qualified after 25 years in law enforcement. But he didn’t get the job because he is not a Baptist. (He may eventually get the job thanks to a lawsuit he filed.)

    […] the Williamson County Commissioners asked him illegal questions about his views on gay marriage, religion and abortion.

    “I was shocked,” said Lloyd. “I was sick to my stomach when I left because I had never believed that things like this in government would go on.”

    The commissioners were deposed, and in the interviews admitted they asked those questions.

    His lawyer said commissioners asked the questions about gay marriage, abortion and religion because they are all Baptist and wanted a Baptist candidate.

    “If you don’t go to the church that they go to, you can’t have a job as a public employee in Williamson County,” said Krause Yang

  23. says

    Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey and candidate for president, said some stupid stuff.

    Recent violence against law enforcement is President Barack Obama’s problem, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday, blasting the president for failing to lead and uphold the rule of law.

    “This is the president’s problem, because he has not allowed law and order to be the rule of the day in the United States. Lawlessness has been the rule of the day,” Christie said in an interview on “Fox and Friends” after the hosts recounted recent killings of police officers in Illinois and Texas, and another shooting in Nevada over the weekend. “And now the president says little or nothing about these police officers that are being hunted.”

    Christie also lied. President Obama has commented multiple times on the deaths of the police officers. He offered personal condolences to their families and coworkers. One example: “We cannot erase every darkness or danger from the duty that you’ve chosen. We can offer you the support you need to be safer,” the president told a large gathering at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol. “We can make the communities you care about and protect safer, as well. We can make sure that you have the resources you need to do your job. We can do everything we have to do to combat the poverty that plagues too many communities in which you have to serve.”

    Christie lied on Faux News, and he was allowed to get away with the lie.

  24. says

    As you may have already heard, a federal judge released Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis.

    According to her lawyers, Davis plans to continue refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

  25. Al Dente says

    Lynna, OM @25

    The commissioners must be unfamiliar with Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution, which reads in part:

    …no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    I suspect the county will lose the lawsuit.

  26. Al Dente says

    Lynna, OM @26

    Christie lied on Faux News, and he was allowed to get away with the lie.

    Of course Christie got away with the lie. He was saying nasty things about Obama on Faux News, which means they automatically weren’t lies, even though there was no truth in them.

  27. Saad says

    Lynna, #27

    The judge didn’t say anything about her name having to be on the certificates.

    But I’m wondering if that can even be allowed. I would have thought there’s standard procedure about the clerk’s name being on them.

    Judge Bunning seems to have made it pretty clear that even indirect interference in marriage licensing will be a violation of her conditions of release.

  28. says

    Al Dente @28, yes, you are quite correct. Some sources are reporting that the commissioners are going to mount a “religious freedom” defense. [sigh]

    So glad to see that Mr. Lloyd is going after them in the courts.

  29. says

    I guess this is the next chapter in the ongoing Kim Davis saga: her supporters are trying to one-up one another as they define her “martyrdom” and/or create outrageous comparisons to describe her suffering.

    Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel attorney who is representing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during her ongoing refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses, appeared on the “WallBuilders Live” radio program today, where he said that requiring Davis to issue such marriage licenses is like requiring her to provide licenses to “sodomize children.” […]


    One Liberty Counsel attorney active in the case, Harry Mihet, recently spoke at a rally outside the jail where Davis is being held in contempt, where he invoked Martin Luther King Jr. to defend Davis, claiming that the clerk will never resign from her post.

    Mihet also appeared on American Family Radio’s “Sandy Rios In The Morning” yesterday to discuss the case, comparing a judge’s decision to put Davis in the custody of U.S. Marshals after he found her in contempt of court to the massive persecution Christians faced in Romania under the brutal Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.

    Reflecting on Ceaușescu’s attempt to push the church underground and round up Christians, Mihet said that “never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that the day would come that I would have to represent an American citizen jailed for her convictions.”


  30. says

    Saad @30, I noticed that. I think that the residents of Kentucky may have to wait until the legislature is back in session in January for some of the issues to be resolved.

    In the meantime, I think some of Davis’s coworkers took delight in issuing same-sex marriage licenses in her absence. They will not be likely to comply with interference on her part in the future.

    And, as you say, the judge may put Davis right back in jail.

  31. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Al Dente #28.
    It took the Fourteenth Amendment for that clause to be applied to state/local governments. The Due Process clause is what applies the US constitutional rights to the states. (from the Wiki article)

    The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local government officials from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without legislative authorization. This clause has also been used by the federal judiciary to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy.

    Many state/local governments still pretend they haven’t got the memo yet.
    Saad #30

    But I’m wondering if that can even be allowed. I would have thought there’s standard procedure about the clerk’s name being on them.

    As near as I can tell with Google Search, Kentucky state law requires the elected Clerk’s name to be at least prinited on the license (the Kentucky County Clerks Association is now petitioning the Kentucky legislature to change that, *links available lead to liberturd websites*), and probably all paperwork issued by the office. It doesn’t require a signature, except when accepted after being returned and processed for the State Archives.
    It is fait accompli that Davis’ name is now on documents associated with gay marriage.

  32. says

    Scott Walker is not just saying some stupid stuff, he is promising to do stupid stuff.

    […] the same day he takes the oath of office, Jan. 20, 2017, he would undo President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and start dismantling Obama’s national health care law.

    “President Reagan once said that we needed to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. Since he left, the swamp has filled up again. We cannot expect those from Washington to fix Washington. Some people think you can fix Washington by putting new so-called experts in the same old places,” Walker will say, according to prepared remarks released Monday. […]

    Moving forward from the Eureka speech, Walker will unveil a new “day one promise” every week — things like ending Obama’s executive actions, an action he can take without the help of Congress.

    Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel link

    Walker is currently taking a two-day motorcycle tour in New Hampshire.

  33. says

    A description of the release of Kim Davis from jail:

    […] Davis was released from custody just hours before Huckabee’s rally, so she came out to speak alongside Huckabee, Staver [lawyer] and her husband, taking the stage to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.”

    Davis, the Religious Right’s favorite new “persecution” victim, received a hero’s welcome as Huckabee and Staver declared her victorious over the forces of darkness/the rule of law.

    After briefly losing her composure, a teary-eyed Davis thanked God and the crowd, beseeching attendees to keep up the fight. Huckabee then closed things out by claiming that pastors and school administrators may soon end up in prison for opposing gay marriage, even though that is not the reason that Davis was put in the custody of U.S. Marshals.


    Fascinating details: “Eye of the Tiger” theme song, and the vision of Davis as having triumphed over the forces of darkness. What a circus.

    People in the audience were holding up signs that read “Beginning of a new HOLOCAUST???” etc. They all seemed super happy to have been persecuted, supposedly persecuted, or that they might imminently be persecuted.

  34. says

    Nerd @34, thanks for the clarification, and for the sentence “Many state/local governments still pretend they haven’t got the memo yet.”

    That’s perfect summary for the situation.

  35. says

    Ah, Republicans, you never give up. We know that tax cuts for the upper middle-class and the rich do not pay for themselves with a resultant surge in economic growth. No, that doesn’t happen.

    The previous head accountant for the Congressional Budget Office, Doug Elmendorf, wasn’t a partisan lackey. He wouldn’t tell Republicans what they wanted to hear on any analysis he did. So what did Republicans do? They ousted Elmendorf and appointed Keith Hall. Hall is now the CBO chief. He was touted as a reliable Republican. Unfortunately for the rightwing, Hall seems to still have a working brain.

    The new Republican-appointed director of the Congressional Budget Office delivered some bad news … to the party’s “Reaganomics” devotees: Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves through turbocharged economic growth.

    Keith Hall, who served as an economic adviser to former President George W. Bush, made the pronouncement at his first news conference after the CBO reduced its 2015 budget deficit forecast by $60 billion. […]

    “No, the evidence is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves,” Hall told reporters. “And our models that we’re doing, our macroeconomic effects, show that.”–business.html

  36. says

    This is a followup to comment 38.

    Steve Benen from The Maddow Blog, wrote about the Congressional Budget Office.

    […] Congressional Republicans were already seething after the CBO reported in June that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, 19 million Americans would lose access to health care benefits and the deficit would grow by a third of a trillion dollars over the next decade.

    GOP lawmakers expected the budget office to release figures that reinforced party talking points, not issue a report that made the party look even worse.

    In other words, congressional Republicans went out of their way to ignore the advice of experts and choose a CBO chief who would tell far-right lawmakers how correct they are – and they ended up with a new head of the CBO who’s irritating Republicans with pesky facts and evidence. […]

  37. says

    Now that Republicans have lost the fight to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal, they are looking for ways to take the teeth out of the deal.

    Some Republicans, including Lindsey Graham, have proposed we “strip the IAEA, a United Nations agency, of the U.S. portion of its funding.”

    Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are absolutely essential to ensure compliance outlined in the Iran nuclear agreement. The USA provides about $88 million of the budget for the IAEA, and other countries cover the rest.

    Graham has power in this situation because of his role as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations…. Graham said that without the military facilities being subject to inspection, it would be impossible to determine the prospect of development.

    Is this guy effing bugnuts?

  38. says

    Speaking of bugnuts, Cheney has always been that way, but if possible, he’s even worse of late. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, offered insanity as an explanation for what’s wrong with Cheney.

    Chris Hayes hosted an excellent segment, including an interview with Wilkerson. Excellent.

  39. says

    Scott Walker said some stupid stuff:

    I’m not president today, and I can’t be president today. Everybody wants to talk about hypotheticals; there is no such thing as a hypothetical.

    That was Walker’s way of refusing to answer questions about the refugee crisis hitting Europe.

  40. says

    The TV camerawoman who was seen to trip and kick refugees has been fired.

    […] Hungary’s N1TV Internet channel said their employee, widely identified in Hungarian media as Petra Laszlo, has been dismissed because she “behaved unacceptably” at a makeshift gathering point where police take migrants immediately after they enter Hungary near the village of Roszke.

    In videos posted online, Laszlo can be seen kicking at least one migrant in a group trying to break through police lines and tripping a man carrying a small child while also running from police.

  41. says

    So far, 28 Republicans have signed on to a plan to shut down the federal government if they don’t get their way when it comes to defunding Planned Parenthood. All of the core group of 28 are men.

    Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee is investigating Planned Parenthood on the basis of the bogus videos released by the Center for Medical Progress extremists in the anti-abortion rightwing. The House Judiciary Committee is made up of 22 Republican men, and one woman.

    The pledge to shut down the government reads, in part:

    “cannot and will not support any funding resolution—an appropriations bill, an omnibus package, a continuing resolution, or otherwise—that contains any funding for Planned Parenthood, including mandatory funding streams.”

    In addition to the 28 men in the House of Representatives, some Senators (Ted Cruz and a few others) also want to shut down the government over what they mistakenly think is federal funding for abortions. The $500 million that Planned Parenthood receives is used to provide birth control, annual exams, cancer screenings, etc. — by law, it is not used for abortions.

  42. says

    More coverage on Lawrence Wilkerson’s comments about Dick Cheney.

    […] I have been searching for a single word that would describe Dick Cheney. And I am afraid the only one that I can think of is ‘insanity’. It’s a deliberate, it’s a methodical, it’s a lucid, often lucid insanity. But it is insanity nonetheless. He can’t recognize reality. He can’t recognize the truth. The good thing Chris, for this country is that Independents, Republicans, and Democrats wish he would just go away now. He has almost no influence. You saw the influence he has virtually by numbers. Those at the AEI today that listened to his speech, that’s about it. […]

    Video is available at the link, in case you had trouble viewing it at the link in comment 41.

    Lawrence Wilkerson is a Republican.

  43. blf says

    More on the thug’s Kangaroo Kourt Kircus (@44), Planned Parenthood not invited to congressional hearing on organization:

    House judiciary committee will hear from ‘experts on the issues surrounding Planned Parenthood’ but representatives from the organization are not invited

    Conservative lawmakers who demanded Planned Parenthood executives answer for “alleged atrocities” are holding the first in a series of congressional hearings on Wednesday on the video controversy that has rallied anti-abortion Republicans, and could become the flashpoint in a battle over government shutdown .

    Noticeably absent from the hearing, however, is Planned Parenthood itself.

    The House judiciary committee will hear from “experts on the issues surrounding the alleged acts of Planned Parenthood” […] but declined to invite representatives from the women’s healthcare organization.


    “For 15 years anti-abortion activists have been trying to manufacture public outrage, and for 15 years their attacks have fallen apart upon closer inspection,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice-president for Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a statement on Wednesday.

    “The Center for Medical Progress may have a different name, but this is the same cast of characters and follows the same script. There’s a reason those who oppose women’s access to health care have had to resort to lying and inventing false claims to make their case: the vast majority of the American public wants to ensure women have access to safe, legal abortion.”

    Requests for comment from the committee and its ranking members about why Planned Parenthood was not invited were not returned.


    Republican leadership is wary of tying the issue to the upcoming spending bill, which must be passed by the end of the month to avert a shutdown. If the spending bill fight forces a shutdown, Republicans worry their party may get blamed for the shutdown, and that Democrats would use the moment to shift the focus from Planned Parenthood’s conduct to GOP extremism.

    “It’s bad enough that Republicans are once again attacking Planned Parenthood and women’s health, but it’s even more disappointing that some Republicans still haven’t learned their lesson and are threatening to shut the government down if they don’t get their way,” Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, said in a statement to the Guardian.


    The “panel of experts” asked to speak at the hearing titled “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider”, includes the two women who will recount the story of how their mothers attempted to abort them failed.


    The hearing ignores Democrats’ request that congressional committees either suspend their investigations into Planned Parenthood or also investigate the actions taken by the Center for Medical Progress.

    “As more information has come to light about Planned Parenthood’s involvement in fetal tissue research, it has become apparent that the allegations against the organization are without merit,” Democratic representatives Elijah Cummings and John Conyers wrote in a letter last week.

    The letter notes that the Center for Medical Progress “may have violated numerous state and federal laws in their clandestine effort to roll back the rights of millions of women” who depend on Planned Parenthood for health services.


    Despite reluctance from Republican leadership, it remains unclear how close to the edge [Kandidate Klown Kar kook Ted] Cruz and other Republicans are willing to push the defunding fight. Though given Cruz’s recent rhetoric — and his record — it’s perhaps best not to underestimate the senator’s commitment.

    “It’s a question of to what extent Republican leadership can control the Tea Party side of their caucus, which is pushing toward the brink of another crisis,” a Democratic aide told the Guardian. […]

  44. says

    blf @45, well that’s special. They investigate Planned Parenthood and do not have representatives from Planned Parenthood testify before Congress? Typical. I guess they are afraid to hear facts, afraid reality will bring them down from their rage high.

    The title of the hearing, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider,” boggles the mind.

  45. blf says

    Oregon judge against same-sex marriage displayed Hitler photo in courthouse:

    Vance Day, who is under state ethics review for refusing to marry gay couples, said he put up picture of Nazi dictator to honor second world war veterans

    An Oregon judge who refused to perform same-sex marriages is facing multiple complaints in a state ethics investigation, including that he put up a picture of Adolf Hitler in the Salem courthouse, a state judicial commission has said.

    Marion County circuit court judge Vance Day is facing an ethics review for screening wedding applicants for gay couples and then refusing to perform the marriages, according to a notice by the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability on Tuesday.


    In addition to the wedding refusal, Day faces complaints of putting up a picture of Hitler in the Marion County courthouse and allowing a veteran with a felony to handle a firearm.


    “We went to war against Hitler,” [Patrick] Korten [A PR hack for Day] said. “His picture was there. It was not admiringly. It was him as the epitome of the enemy that we went to fight against.”

    As one of the commentators puts it, “No doubt the good judge will put up a picture of a Ku Klux Klansman on Martin Luther King day to honor civil rights marchers. And a photo of Osama Bin Ladin on 9/11 to honor first responders.”

  46. says

    The Koch brothers have been whitewashing (deceptively editing) Wikipedia articles since 2011.

    Now we have direct evidence of whitewashing efforts by Koch Industries.

    This evidence strongly suggests that, over a period of YEARS (at least 2012), individual accounts directed by Koch Industries and/or operating on its behalf have:

    1) Systematically removed content containing specific citations that paint the company in a negative light.

    2) Responded to negative content with a “playbook” that consists of objecting on the grounds of various arcane Wikipedia rules and/or making broad sweeping objections while steadfastly refusing to engage with or discuss the specific negative content itself.

    3) Posted company statements, and other astroturf that links to company-owned websites, both in place of and in addition to organic Wikipedia content.

    The evidence presented is strongly suggestive of a pattern of long-term abuse, by multiple users, who have diligently worked to exclude and divert negative information from pages related to the Kochs over a multi-year period. Furthermore, the sophisticated efforts to divert negative information from SERPS and seeming use of a “playbook” to suppress negative content are suggestive of an organized reputation management effort. […]


    At the link there are a lot more fascinating details. This is a real scandal. For example: Rolling Stone’s “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire was cited multiple times, and reverted without explanation multiple times. The whitewashing effort was broad and deep, and it violated Wikipedia’s Terms of Service.

  47. says

    Bernie Sanders put out a thoughtful statement on the criminal justice system of the USA, and the reforms that are needed. I agree with him when he suggests eliminating privately run prisons.

    It is clear to most Americans that we need major reforms in our broken criminal justice system. We need to end the tragic reality that the United States has more people in jail than any other country on earth, and that the people being incarcerated are disproportionately black and Hispanic.

    We need to take a hard look at why the rate of recidivism in this country is so high and why we are not developing successful paths back to civil society for those who serve prison time.

    Further we need to end, once and for all, the disgraceful practice of corporations profiting from the incarceration of Americans.

    As a nation, our goal must be to do everything we can to create the conditions that prevent mass incarceration. At a time when we are spending $50 billion a year on our correctional system, it makes a lot more sense to me to be investing in jobs and education for our young people than in more and more jails. Not only can we prevent thousands of lives from being destroyed, we can save billions of taxpayer dollars. Locking people up is a lot more expensive than schools.

    Overall, we need bold change in our criminal justice system. A good first step forward is to start treating prisoners as human beings, not profiting from their incarceration. Our emphasis must be on rehabilitation, not incarceration and longer prison sentences. The basic decisions regarding criminal justice and public safety are, without a doubt, the responsibility of the citizens of our country and not the investors in private corporations.

    My legislation will eliminate federal, state and local contracts for privately run prisons within 2 years. It will reinstate the federal parole system. It will increase oversight and eliminate the overcharging of prisoners by private companies for banking and other services. It will end the mandatory quota of immigrants detained. It will require ICE to improve the monitoring of detention facilities and eliminate private detention centers within 2 years.

  48. says

    So far, Rick Perry has shut down his campaign offices in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I think he’s done and just doesn’t know it. He has no money to pay staffers.

  49. says

    Oh, good, we may, at last, get Louie Gohmert out of the House of Congress. Gohmert has been called the dumbest congressman.

    Now he says that if the Iran nuclear deal is treated like a treaty by the House and Senate, he will not run for a seat in the House again. He’s outta there to protect what he calls his “integrity.”

    This news was delivered gleefully today by Glenn Beck. Beck is not celebrating Gohmert’s imminent self-deportation from Congress though, he is celebrating the fact that Gohmert is brave and is taking a stand, etc. etc.

    If Glenn Beck praises you, look around to see what you are doing wrong.

  50. says

    Donald Trump was on the same stage today as Glenn Beck and Ted Cruz. Trump added his own brand of stupidity mixed with arrogance.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told those who gathered outside the Capitol Wednesday to protest the Iran nuclear deal that “we will have so much winning” if he’s elected President.

    “We will have so much winning when I get elected that you will get bored with winning,” Trump said.

    Trump also called the nuclear agreement with Iran the worst deal he’s ever seen.

    No, The Donald did not offer any details at all. No details about what is wrong with “the worst deal he’s ever seen,” and no details about what he would prefer as an alternative. I’m getting bored with this guy.

  51. says

    This falls into “the company you keep” category. I’ve posted before about über rightwing, über religious pseudo-historian David Barton. That doofus has decided to run Ted Cruz’s Super Pac.

    Barton’s 2012 book about Thomas Jefferson was so full of inaccuracies, so full of actual lies and misleading maundering that even Barton’s christian publisher couldn’t take it. They pulled the book from circulation. Barton’s big idea is that America should be a christian theocracy. I guess Ted Cruz agrees with him.

    It’s another mind-boggling moment in U.S. politics when Ted Cruz, presidential candidate, is backed by this guy.

    A long-time vice-chairman of the Texas Republican Party, where he is based, Barton is notorious for exaggerating his own accomplishments and for regularly making outrageous statements such as his assertions that the Founding Fathers opposed the teaching of evolution, that the Bible opposes Net Neutrality, and that Jesus opposes the minimum wage.

    He is also a Second Amendment radical who believes that there should literally be no limits on what sort of weapons individuals can own, including tanks, jet fighters, or nuclear weapons.

    But most of all, Barton is vehemently anti-gay, claiming that schools are forcing students to be gay and that the government should regulate gay sex. Recently, he has been telling audiences that the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage will force all student athletes to share the same locker rooms and churches to hire pedophiles to run their nurseries while requiring the military to protect those who engage in bestiality.

    Barton also believes that homosexuality is “very repugnant” and that the government can outlaw it and has repeatedly asserted that a cure for AIDS will never be found because the disease is God’s punishment for sin. […]

    Right Wing Watch link

  52. says

    A more in-depth look at Kim Davis’s lawyer, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel:

    […] he believes that the gay rights movement is “doing the bidding of the Devil” and is part of the spirit of the Antichrist and “demonic.” […]

    Staver has actually praised moves in Russia, India, Malawi and Nigeria to outlaw homosexual relationships or speech in favor of gay rights. […]

    [snipped bit about gay rights advocates being just like terrorists]

    Staver warned that the Obama administration was planning to impose “in-your-face forced homosexuality” upon the nation.

    […] warned that gay people seek to “groom” and “entrap” children […]

    “If they cannot understand this basic human relationship between a man and a woman, then they are not competent for public office.” […]

    Staver predicted that the legalization of gay marriage will lead to a new generation of criminals, claiming that the children of two women are more likely to turn to a life of crime […]

    He even claimed that transgender people will use the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to rape and kill women and girls […]

  53. says

    Donald Trump gets caught in another, blustering, stupid lie.

    Donald Trump said on Tuesday night that he never backed Planned Parenthood, despite statements he made in August suggesting that he would not push to defund the organization.

    During an interview on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly asked Trump why he supports Planned Parenthood and does not want to cut off federal funding for the group.

    “I’m not supporting Planned Parenthood,” Trump responded, adding that he would cut off federal funding for the organization.

    “I don’t know where you got this information, I never said that,” Trump continued.

    O’Reilly said, “That was the report.”

    “You read a wrong report, Bill. You have bad researchers, what can I tell you,” Trump told O’Reilly. “A lot of people say it’s an abortion clinic. I’m opposed to that. And I wouldn’t do any funding as long as they are performing abortions. And they are performing abortions. So I would be opposed to funding. I would be totally opposed to funding.”

    Talking Points Memo link

    Donald, do you have problems with your memory? One month ago, on CNN, you said you wouldn’t jump to defund Planned Parenthood.

    […] politicians need to look at the positives, also, for Planned Parenthood. I’ve had many women, I’ve had many Republican conservative women come up and say Planned Parenthood serves a good function other than that one aspect.

    The “one aspect” he was referring to is abortion.

    Trump also previously supported abortion exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother.

    Now he supports bullshit.

  54. says

    PZ covered the Rolling Stone interview of Donald Trump in this post.

    Here is a cross post of one of my comments in that thread:

    Trump doesn’t really need strong needling from an interviewer to reveal his many flaws, his outrageous ego being just one. In the Rolling Stone interview, Trump reveals his flaws … but Trump supporters won’t care and/or they simply won’t see those flaws.

    The more Trump looks like a cartoon character, the better the base of the Republican/Tea Party likes him. Without providing any details, Trump can say that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are “stupid, very stupid, very very stupid,” and his followers will think “that’s right, they’re stupid.”

    […] In late July – just seven weeks ago – 39% of Americans believed Bush would eventually be the Republicans’ presidential nominee. In this latest poll, among all voters 41% said Trump is likely to win the GOP nod, and among Republican voters, 51% said Trump is probably going to prevail.

    Note, 32% of Republicans support Trump, but 51% of Republicans expect him to win the nomination – suggesting there are quite a few GOP voters who don’t necessarily intend to vote for Trump, but they nevertheless see him in a strong enough position to advance to the general election.


  55. says

    Another cross post from the “Has the media no shame?” thread.

    During the damage control interview this morning, Trump also gave his own analysis of the Rolling Stone article:

    ” […] the pictures in the magazine were magnificent. Overall, it was probably a pretty good story.”

    So, yeah, the article posted lots of photos of Trump, and he does like looking at himself. From the Rolling Stone article:

    Hope Hicks, Trump’s communications director who, several years ago, was studying at Southern Methodist University, leads me into the boss’s office, which is as much Trump’s trophy room as workspace. Every flat surface is adorned by his image: framed magazine glossies from Important Publications, none more so, at least per Trump, than the 1990 Playboy where “I was one of the only men to ever get on the cover.”

    This reminds me of Trump doing his version of damage control after the remarks about Rosy O’Donnell became fresh news again. He told us that it is hard for others to make fun of him in that way because he is “so good looking.”

    Trump in a nutshell.

  56. says

    A $15 per hour minimum wage was passed on a city basis previously, but now New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will push for a $15 minimum wage for the entire state of New York.

    Campaigns for a $15 minimum wage are also gaining ground in Oregon and California.

  57. says

    Glenn Beck just called Sarah Palin a “clown.” How bad do you have to be for Beck to think you are a clown?

    The pronouncement by Beck follows a rally held in Washington D.C. that was supposedly going to bring a God-approved hammer down on the Iran nuclear deal.

    I’m going to say it, I don’t care what Sarah Palin says any more. Sarah Palin has become a clown. I’m embarrassed that I was once for Sarah Palin. Honestly, I’m embarrassed.

    I don’t know who she is any more, I don’t know what she stands for. I saw a clip of her talking to Donald Trump. What the hell is that? I don’t even know who she is any more … Don’t care. I don’t care.

    YouTube link to the Palin speech that triggered Beck’s “clown” comment.

    Rachel Maddow showed clips from the anti-Iran deal rally that was held yesterday. She highlighted rally speeches by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, and Sarah Palin. Rachel’s segment begins with a Mexican soccer ad that makes fun of Donald Trump. The video is about 16 minutes long, and all of it is excellent. “Amazing vocal performance” by Palin.

  58. says

    Here are some highlights from the anti-Iran-deal rally in Washington D.C. yesterday:

    [Ted] Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general and famed trial lawyer, suggested a fleet of lawyers could defeat both Iran and any effort by the president to lift sanctions. “Any bank that listens to this president and hands over billions of dollars to a terrorist will face billions of dollars in civil litigation.” […]

    Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson told the crowd that, unlike Obama, he would never make deals in the first place with anyone who was “hollering at the top of their lungs when I walk out of the place, ‘Death to you. I’m going to kill you.'” Besides, he said, when God decided to become flesh, “What kind of flesh did he become? Jewish flesh!” So it was important, he said, to help the Jews. “They wrote the Bible, for crying out loud,” he explained. “Therefore, you never want to put them in unnecessary danger.”

    Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, provided a characteristically nuanced analysis of how the country should handle the “braggadocious No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism.” She said, “It’s up to us to tell the enemy, ‘We win, you lose,’ just as Ronald Reagan would have told them.” Simple as that. And if calling the Iranians doesn’t get the job done: “You cut off their oil and drill, baby, drill for our own.”

    Describing the entire negotiation of the Iran deal as incompetent, Trump first insulted the Obama administration, calling the president’s team “very, very stupid people.” He then pointed to his tested and proven skill in negotiation, assuring the crowd that a deal with Iran is like any deal. Echoing Palin’s argument, he said, “We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning.” He did not suggest that the Iranians might get bored with losing.


  59. says

    The Oathkeepers, a recognized hate group of armed doofuses, has sworn to protect Kim Davis from rearrest. Some of the pronouncements from the Oathkeepers also sound like a threat to the judge that put her in jail in the first place.

    […] And I think while everybody else is painting the picture, I think the true picture is just what I said I said about the judge and I still feel he needs to know that he’s not out of the woods because they let her out, you know? He’s still gonna be held accountable.[…]

    […] You know, offer her if she wants a close protection team, we’ll provide it. But, regardless, people should consider her under our protection. We’ll make sure that our people are keeping a close eye on the situation and we’re gonna have boots on the ground to keep watch regardless. Because this judge needs to understand that he’s not gonna be able to just go grab this lady whenever he feels like it. […]

    So, you know, as far as we’re concerned, this is not over. And like you said, this judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and you know, we’ll be there to stop it and intercede ourselves if we have to. If the sheriff, who should be interceding is not going to do his job and if the governor is not going to the governor’s job of interceding, then we’ll do it. […]

  60. says

    Here’s an excerpt from Palin’s speech at the anti-Iran-deal rally:

    So up there in Alaska, across the way Russia, you know there is a name for this taking advantage of America. There is a Russian name for that. And it is called “fortushka.” And that means Obama’s window of opportunity. So as Obama leads from behind the skirt of his right-hand man, Valerie Jarrett, then it’s up to Congress to close that window. He may propose. You dispose, Congress. You gotta be in it to win it because we want peace. With unapologetic mighty red, white, and blue, we’ll have peace.

  61. says

    At the anti-Iran-deal rally, Trump used R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” song as his walking-to-the-microphone soundtrack.

    R.E.M. was not pleased. Michael Stipe said:

    Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you–you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.

    Bassist Mike Mills said:

    Personally, I think the Orange Clown will do anything for attention. I hate giving it to him.

    And here is the official R.E.M. statement from their Facebook page:

    While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here. The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current Presidential campaign.

  62. says

    Oh, good, a Republican Senator has to decided to support Democratic Party legislation to fix the Voting Rights Act (a Supreme Court ruling recently hobbled the VRA — it needs to be restored).

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is that brave Republican.
    More here.

  63. says

    Mike Huckabee is so confused! Well, he was always untrustworthy and somewhat confused, but his recent support of Kim Davis seems to have further unhinged him.

    Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said on Wednesday that the Supreme Court decision that upheld slavery “remains to this day the law of the land.”

    Huckabee appeared on conservative radio host Michael Medved’s show to defend Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who went to jail for contempt of court after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The former governor compared the Supreme Court’s recent decision to legalize same sex marriage to the Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery.

    “Michael, the Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land which says that black people aren’t fully human,” he told the radio host. “Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”

    Medved corrected Huckabee, noting that the Dred Scott ruling was later overturned by a constitutional amendment.

    “Well the Dred Scott decision was overturned by the 13th amendment and if you go look at the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858 right after the Dred Scott decision was adjudicated, Governor — and seriously it’s right there — Lincoln says, ‘we must respect this decision as the will of the court but I think it was wrongly decided and now we must overcome it.’”

    (Medved got his history wrong — the 13th amendment abolished slavery, but the 14th amendment overturned the Supreme Court decision.) […]

  64. says

    This sounds like good news to me. The state Supreme Court in Washington State has ruled that the charter schools there are not public schools, they are private schools. As private schools, they do not qualify for public money.

    Charter schools are often used to sneak religion or Tea Party-ish politics into education, and/or to benefit the children of more well-to-do parents at the expense of children from lower-income households. In many states there is also a problem with oversight/regulation, with charter schools being subject to less regulation than traditional public schools.

    The charter school movement has been expelled from Washington state’s public education system, with a Supreme Court ruling late Friday that the privately run schools are not public schools under the state’s constitution. Meanwhile, the quick fix for that sizable hurdle sought by the state’s charter school proponents—a special legislative session—does not appear likely […]

    “It is not practical to call a special session on a whim,” said Lisa Harper, a deputy spokesman for Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, […] Inslee opposed the 2012 ballot initiative creating charters and their looser regulatory framework that the Court cited, ruling they were not public schools because they were run by private boards.

    There are 1 million public school students who deserve a more equitable funding formula, […]

    Charter school proponents [considered] asking local billionaire Bill Gates, one of the nation’s top charter school benefactors—spending at least $440 million—to write a check to keep the charters open until the legislature acts. “The downside is that would re-enforce that they are private schools,” Keim said.

    For all these reasons, Washington’s charter schools face an uncertain future. That is not just because the state’s Supreme Court found they did not fit the constitutional definition of public schools, but because it also rejected the charter lobby’s top talking points: that they represent an evolution in public education, and that tax dollars should follow students regardless of their academic setting. […]

    The ruling, written by Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, begins by saying it is “not concerned with the merits or demerits of charter schools.” […]

    “The [2012] Act was intended to provide parents with ‘more options’ regarding the schooling of their children,” the court’s ruling said, [in summary]. “But the new schools came with a trade-off: the loss of local control and local accountability… Under the Act, charter schools are devoid of local control from their inception to their daily operation.” The court explained this was the case because they were not run by locally elected school boards, and were exempted from much state regulation and oversight. […]

  65. says

    Campaign finance laws in the USA are a shambles. The laws are so ridiculous, so toothless, that, as everyone knows, various billionaires and corporations are effectively buying politicians.

    Nevertheless, Carly Fiorina apparently finds even those toothless laws too restrictive, so she has been avoiding the laws, and mocking them. Consider the name of her super PAC: CARLY for America:

    CARLY for America used to be called “Carly for America,” but earlier this year the Federal Election Commission told them that it was illegal for the group to use Carly’s name in its own name. The solution they came up with was to change “Carly” to “CARLY,” which is a backronym for “Conservative, Authentic, Responsive Leadership for You.”

    So they’re not using her name, they’re just using a word that has the same letters arranged in the same order as her name. And the FEC seems to be okay with that because, again, our campaign finance laws are loophole-ridden and barely enforceable.

    Salon link

    Carly Fiorina also thumbs her nose at the FEC at pretty much every campaign event. The CARLY PAC people show up to do all of the work.

    At a typical Fiorina campaign stop, a CARLY For America staffer was stationed at a table outside of the event space to sign up attendees for the super PAC’s email list. Another staffer handed out CARLY For America stickers to attendees as they arrived. When Fiorina and her staff entered the event, they were usually met by a room covered in red “CARLY” signs and tables covered in pro-Fiorina literature, all produced by CARLY For America.

    National Journal link

    The law says that super PACs may not coordinate with the campaign staff of candidates, nor with the candidate himself/herself. Obviously, these people are coordinating.

  66. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Trump used R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” song as his walking-to-the-microphone soundtrack.

    R.E.M. was not pleased.

    being a Spingsteeniac, this is reminiscent of W using the Boss Born in the USA, as his campaign jingle. Bruce was most displeased about that. ‘The title line of that song is so often taken out of context. (*shaking head*) Listen to the whole song for a change’. [that was a paraphrase of the Boss response to W misusing the song as representative of W iconic patriotism.]
    Summarizing Boss response, ‘that song don’t mean what you think it means’.
    This issue of popular songs being absconded for political campaigns seems endemic. As if it was written in the rule book: “political campaign requires popular songs to act as attention seeker”. okay to start like that but then it seems they’ve (all) continued it into: “and then baffle them with bullshit”

  67. says

    This isn’t a moment of political madness, but it does relate to politics in the US. I hope it’s ok by you-
    Bargaining for the American Dream: What unions do for mobility:

    Research by economists Raj Chetty of Stanford University, Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard University and Patrick Kline and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, shows that some regions of the United States have levels of mobility—that is to say, the ability to improve upon the situation of one’s birth—similar to Denmark and Canada. However, that same research reveals that other U.S. areas have mobility levels that are lower than any other advanced economy for which data are available. The research of Chetty and his fellow authors also show that five factors have the strongest geographical relationship—positive or negative—with mobility: single motherhood rates, income inequality, high school dropout rates, social capital, and segregation.

    This report examines the relationship between mobility and another variable that Chetty and his co-authors did not consider: union membership. The analysis in this report begins on the area level using the same methodological approach as Chetty and his co-authors for their five factors. But the analysis then goes beyond this area-level analysis, using another dataset that matches parents with children that allows for the comparison of outcomes for children who grew up in otherwise similar union and nonunion households. This individual-level analysis is more appropriate than the area-level analysis for examining whether parents’ union membership actually influences mobility.

    •Based on the research for this report, it is clear that there is a strong relationship between union membership and intergenerational mobility. More specifically: Areas with higher union membership demonstrate more mobility for low-income children. Using Chetty and others’ data, we* find that low-income children rise higher in the income rankings when they grow up in areas with high-union membership. A 10 percentage point increase in a geographic area’s union membership is associated with low-income children ranking 1.3 percentile points higher in the national income distribution. This relationship between unions and the mobility of low-income children is at least as strong as the relationship between mobility and high school dropout rates—a factor that is generally recognized as one of the most important correlates of economic mobility. Indeed, union density is one of the strongest predictors of an area’s mobility. Furthermore, unions remain a significant predictor of economic mobility even after one controls for several variables including race, types of industries, inequality, and more.

    •Areas with higher union membership have more mobility as measured by all children’s incomes. We also measure the geographic relationship between union membership and another measure of mobility: the income of all children who grew up in an area after controlling for their parents’ incomes. According to our findings, a 10 percentage point increase in union density is associated with a 4.5 percent increase in the income of an area’s children. Here again, union density compares quite favorable with other common predictors of an area’s mobility. In addition, the relationship between unions and the mobility of all children remains strong after adopting several additional controls.

    •Children who grow up in union households have better outcomes. Using a different dataset, we match parents and children to compare the outcomes of children who grew up in otherwise similar union and nonunion households. The findings show that children growing up in union households tend to have better outcomes than children who grew up in nonunion households, especially when the parents are low skilled. For example, children of non-college-educated fathers earn 28 percent more if their father was in a labor union. This analysis helps provide evidence suggesting a link between unions and economic mobility.

    These findings are new and illustrate a previously ignored factor that could be essential for promoting economic mobility. However, they are not surprising, particularly given the extensive research that has been done on unions and middle class incomes. Previous research by the CAP Action Fund has found a strong geographical relationship between union membership and intragenerational mobility—the relationship between someone’s earnings when they are 35 to 39 years old and when they are 45 to 49 years old. Our findings also coincide with the findings of several studies showing that falling union membership has been a key driver in the rise of income inequality. Most recently, Bruce Western and Jake Rosenfeld of Harvard and the Washington University at St. Louis, respectively, found that the decline of labor unions explains up to one-third of the increase in male wage inequality between 1973 and 2007.

  68. says

    Tony @71, thank you for posting that. The fact that upward economic mobility correlates with higher union membership is important.

    That study is yet another reason to distrust the anti-union fervor of politicians like Scott Walker.

  69. says

    Karl no-self-awareness-whatsoever Rove used a personal email account when he worked for the Bush/Cheney administration. More importantly, Rove was the center of an investigation about emails missing from his personal account. Five million emails were missing in total, and most of those were from personal accounts used by 22 White House staffers, most notably Karl Rove. Rove used personal email for 95% of his email correspondence.

    The emails that went missing were related to the scandal over partisan firing of eight U.S. Attorneys.

    What is Rove doing now? He is making a big, noisy stink about Hillary Clinton’s use of email.

  70. says

    Rightwing doofuses are now calling the Iran nuclear deal “ObamaNuke,” or “Atomic Obamacare,” which is kind of catchy, but really stupid. National Review link.

    The complaint has no foundation since Obamacare is working well, thank you.

    The rightwing is comparing an international agreement to an issue confined within the borders of the U.S.

    There is common ground in both instances: Republicans respond illogically to both issues, and their hatred (voiced loudly for a long time) feeds a need for rage while simultaneously sifting out all the facts and throwing them away. We don’t need no stinkin’ facts.

    Common Core is Obamacare for K-12 public education.
    Environmental protections related to carbon pollution are Obamacare for energy markets.
    Financial regulations are Obamacare for banks.
    Hillary Clinton’s plan to make college more affordable is Obamacare for higher education.

  71. says

    Jeb Bush put out a trickle-down economic plan that he himself describes as time “to let the big dog eat.” WTF?

    Bush’s PR flacks have succeeded in casting this plan as a “populist” revision of the tax code. It is not, most decidedly not. I am reminded of PZ’s recent thread “Has the media no shame?” Apparently, most of the media, including NPR and the NY Times, have no shame.

    If you have heard about Jeb Bush’s new tax plan by reading political reporters, you have probably heard that it is a “proposal to reform the tax code” that will “crack down on hedge fund managers” (CNN), that it is “mainstream and ordinary” with “a populist note” (NPR), that it “challenged some long-held tenets of conservative tax policy” (the New York Times), and has “a nod to the populist anger roiling both parties” (The Wall Street Journal).

    It is, in other words, the same sort of coverage George W. Bush received when he unveiled his tax cuts in 1999, and which the campaign successfully cast as a populist departure from traditional Republican priorities.

    The gullibility some in the press are showing about Bush’s tax plan would be shocking to someone who hadn’t watched the 2000 campaign. (Matt Yglesias on Twitter)

    A more fact-based analysis would note that the Bush plan benefits the über wealthy, and that there is no way to pay for this redistribution of wealth for the 1%.

    Jeb lightly rebukes Wall Street with a baby jab at hedge fund managers, then he proposes new tax breaks for rich folks, and for corporation. There’s also a thin veil of tax reforms for middle- to low-income workers, but the balance is way off. Way off! Most of the make-the-rich-richer plan takes money from low- to middle-income people in order to funnel it to the top predators.

    “A new analysis by the business-backed Tax Foundation shows that the biggest percentage increases in after-tax income under Mr. Bush’s tax plan would go to the top 1% of earners, people making more than about $406,000.” — Wall Street Journal

  72. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Jeb’s platform, as a single soundbite, sounds good, “Make government smaller”. The issue he refuses to explain is the specifics. Details.
    EG many agree that DOD is too big, and spending for weapons to only be used as deterrents is somewhat wasteful, being a form of corporate welfare, to fund the industries producing those weapons [NRA?] and support equipment for maintenance, etc.
    To even suggest reducing the military budget would produce too much pearl clutchin and gasps of fright, to even consider. So many have proposed meeting the “reduce govmint size” req. with “eliminate health service and edumacation”, which are only LongTermInvestments instead of the DOD’s which is simple costs for right now!.
    Jeb is playing the “long con” of saying what people want to hear, where the listeners infer differently than what Jeb actually meant by his phraseology. IMO

  73. blf says

    Poll finds almost a third of Americans would support a military coup. It must be pointed out this is a online self-selecting “survey” and hence prone to numerous biases. It was not, to the best of my knowledge, “Pharyngulaed”, which is perhaps unfortunate:

    The YouGov survey showed 29% of Americans could imagine supporting a coup. Yet, 41% said they could not imagine supporting such an event.
    YouGov, which conducts internet polls about “politics, public affairs, products, brands and other topics of general interest”, surveyed 1,000 people online on the issue.

    They found that 43% of Republicans would support a military coup in certain instances, while only 20% of Democrats and 29% of independents would.


    Abraham Wyner, director of the undergraduate program in statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said that online polls were “worse than just about any other way you can put together a poll” because they were prone to selection bias, meaning proper randomization was not achieved and the sample was not representative of the population — since people can choose to participate.

    Possibly the best comment so far: “Dwight Eisenhower warned us about this coup as he left office 65 years ago. Many today would suggest the coup succeeded as planned, and U.S. wars are now for-profit, branded, logoed, and sold on the stock market.”

    (And of course, Preview isn’t working…)

  74. says

    Rick Perry suspended his campaign for the presidency because God told him to do so:

    When I gave my life to Christ, I said your ways are greater than my ways, your will is superior to mine. Today I submit to you his will remains a mystery, but some things have become and become very clear to me, that is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States […]


    blf, preview is working for me.

    Regarding a military coup in the USA, that’s the wet dream of Oath Keepers and other armed far rightwing groups. And, as we’ve seen, domestic terrorism is more of a threat than terrorism from outside our borders. NY Times link

  75. says

    Legislators in Oklahoma still want to erect a six-foot-high Ten Commandments monument at the state capitol, despite the fact that the state’s Supreme Court ruled against them 7-2, noting that state government must be neutral when it comes to religion.

    So the doofus-headed Attorney General Scott Pruitt (a Republican, of course), fights on:

    Pruitt’s latest legal filing in Oklahoma County District Court argues that the June 30 ruling is hostile to religion and therefore violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    “In its decision to remove the monument, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held that no matter how historically significant or beneficial to the state, state law prohibits any item on state property or to be funded by the state if it is at all ‘religious in nature,’ ” Pruitt said.

    He said the ruling prohibits manifestations of faith from the public square and creates hostility toward religion.

    Tulsa World link

    Pruitt is saying that to remain neutral equals hostility , specifically, hostility toward Christians. My bet is that won’t fly with the court either.

  76. says

    More “religious freedom” nonsense from the rightwing, this time in West Virginia. A parent sued the local board of education, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institutes of Health “alleging that the his religious freedom rights had somehow been violated because his child learns about evolution in public school.”

    The N.I.H., really?

    Americans United for Separation of Church and State link.

    The local parent didn’t get far. A federal court decided, yet again, that teaching evolution in public schools does not violate the First Amendment.

    From the doofuses complaint to the court:

    Their actions during the 2014-2015 school year affects my child’s future directly through the state grading system to enter college and the ability to earn economic security and a good job in her chosen veterinarian medical field of work, by being taught a faith base (evolutionary ideology) that just doesn’t exist and has no math to back it […]

    [head meet desk]

  77. says

    Yet another clue that the Republicans should give up on the issue of Hillary Clinton’s emails:

    “There is no question that former Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision — she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server,” […]

    When good news associated with Obamacare is confirmed, rightwing media does not cover it. When good news confirming Clinton’s right to delete her personal emails is confirmed, the rightwing media does not cover it.

    Buzz Feed link

  78. says

    Ben Carson couldn’t find evidence of “overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused” when it comes to climate change.

    Governor Jerry Brown of California decided to help Ben Carson out. He sent Carson overwhelming evidence.

    You can lead Ben Carson to evidence, but you can’t make him read it.

  79. says

    When your news source is arrested for promoting terrorism, perhaps you should question the methods you are using to vet your news sources. Maybe? Breitbart, get a clue.

    The guy who started a sort of troll war aimed at Shaun King, Joshua Goldberg, is also a news source for Breitbart.

    [Joshua] Goldberg had several online personas: an Islamic radical who was popular in ISIS social media; a white supremacist on hate site Daily Stormer; a feminist on Daily Kos; a radical free-speech advocate on Q&A site, and a sympathizer with GamerGate. Goldberg is also accused of being behind a Times of Israel blog post that called Palestinians “subhuman.”

    Goldberg’s trolling turned serious when he was arrested Thursday by the FBI on the grounds that he told a would-be terrorist how to build a bomb meant for a 9/11 attacks anniversary event in Kansas City, Missouri.

    The Daily Beast link

    Rightwing whackos are trying to nurture another terrorist attack within U.S. borders. What the fuck for? To push for war, and for more anti-muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment. This is worse than flooding the media with deceptively-edited videos. Glad the guy was arrested.

  80. says

    Republicans failed to stop the Iran nuclear deal, so they need some more red meat to chew on. How about President’s Obama’s plans to push for an international agreement to combat human contributions to climate change? Yeah, that’ll do.

    Top Republican lawmakers are planning a wide-ranging offensive — including outreach to foreign officials by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office — to undermine President Barack Obama’s hopes of reaching an international climate change agreement that would cement his environmental legacy.

    Think Progress link

    Writing for Think Progress, Joe Romm characterized the rightwing approach as ” nakedly immoral and self-destructive greed.” That’s about right.

    Just like they did with the Iran nuclear deal, Republican leaders are contacting leaders in other nations directly to ask those leaders to oppose President Obama’s plan. One of McConnell’s aides informed “foreign embassies about GOP plans to oppose Obama’s strategy on global warming.”

    Also, fuck that bit about “cementing his environmental legacy.” President Obama has a greater concern, addressing global warming. The opposition is the group that thinks in terms of preventing Obama from cementing his legacy. Tunnel Vision on the part of the GOP, those narrow-minded doofuses of very little brain.

  81. says

    Oh, FFS, Governor Haley. That “unethical practice at clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood” has been debunked.

    Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina was just looking for an excuse to shut down some of the Planned Parenthood clinics in her state. Her excuse is bogus, but that’s not a problem apparently.

    Haley said, “Over the past weeks, I have been shocked by recent accounts of unethical practices at clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood, particularly those regarding the sale of human fetal tissue.”

    Haley pushed the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to suspend the licenses of two clinics yesterday. There are only 3 clinics in the entire state that provide abortion services.

    The suspensions are politically motivated. Last year the health department found one of the clinics to be 100% compliant with the law. Now, suddenly it isn’t compliant?

    Inspection tactics, including noting if an abortion is performed sooner than 60 minutes after an ultrasound, are being used to suspend the licenses of clinics.
    The Post and Courier link

  82. says

    As he exited the presidential race, Rick Perry took the opportunity to say what he really thought of Donald Trump:

    We can secure the border and reform our immigration system without inflammatory rhetoric, without base appeals that divide us based on race, culture and creed. Demeaning people of Hispanic heritage is not just ignorant, it betrays the example of Christ. We can enforce our laws and our borders, and we can love all who live within our borders, without betraying our values.

  83. says

    More religious right-wingers have decided to make maximum use of the press coverage that will accompany the return of Kim Davis to work on Monday. Count Ray Comfort in.

    Ray Comfort says he’ll be in Kentucky to promote “Audacity,” which is an anti-gay film. If you join Comfort there, he’ll give you a book, a t-shirt or a copy of his movie. Comfort has also paid for the services of a plane to fly a banner overhead.

    Comfort is not pleased that mainstream media has not covered his film. How is he supposed to get out the word that God is going to hold gays “morally accountable,” that God is going to send them to Hell, and so forth?

    Vimeo link to interview with Ray Comfort on Bryan Fischer’s rightwing show.

  84. says

    Rush Limbaugh loves Donald Trump. For the infamous kiss-on-the-lips photo, see this article.

    A good sign of the times: despite fawning over Trump daily during his radio show, Limbaugh is, once again, losing sponsors. He is even losing more radio station outlets. The turn against Limbaugh began in 2012 and it continues to this day. He still has millions of listeners, but his audience is steadily dwindling. And his BFF Trump will not save him. Details at the link above.

    You can hasten Limbaugh’s demise. There’s a petition and a list of sponsors to whom you can complain.

    Rush is still on the air spewing his hate speech thanks, in part, to Tea Party and Koch Brothers donations. The FCC should shut that shit down. If someone pays you to spew their propaganda, you are supposed to reveal that fact on the air. Rush doesn’t do that. Link

    Here’s a handy link to a few dozen examples of Limbaugh’s most egregious hate speech. Limbaugh tries to trump Trump when it comes to undocumented immigrants, calling them an “invasive species,” “mollusks,” and “lazy spermatozoa.” That last one is really weird, but then so is Rush’s brain.

  85. says

    Sales of freeze dried food have increased by more than 500% in Utah. Mormons (and many other sects, including evangelical christians) are responding to a plethora of doomsday predictions that cite September as the month in which we’ll see a worldwide financial collapse, and/or armageddon in various flavors.

    And, of course, the doom mongers are making use of “blood moon” superstitions, near-death experiences, visions and whatever.

    […] History, some preppers [mormon slang for those obsessed with prepping for the End Times; also a term sometimes applied to others whackos] believe, is divided into seven-year periods — like the Hebrew notion of “shemitah” or Sabbath. In 2008, seven years after 9/11, the stock market crashed, a harbinger of a devastating recession. It’s been seven years since then, and Wall Street has fluctuated wildly in recent weeks in the wake of China devaluing its currency.

    Thus, they believe, starting Sept. 13, the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, there will be another, even larger financial crisis, based on the United States’ “wickedness.” That would launch the “days of tribulation” — as described in the Bible.

    They say Sept. 28 will see a full, red or “blood moon” and a major earthquake in or near Utah. Some anticipate an invasion by U.N. troops, technological disruptions and decline, chaos and hysteria.

    Some of these speculations stem from Julie Rowe’s books, “A Greater Tomorrow: My Journey Beyond the Veil” and “The Time Is Now.”

    Rowe, a Mormon mother of three, published the books in 2014 to detail a “near-death experience” in 2004, when the author says she visited the afterlife and was shown visions of the past and future. […]

    In 1991, dozens of chapters of the conservative, mostly Mormon, American Study Group sprouted across the Intermountain West, preaching a cataclysmic scenario, which included a global economic collapse, primarily in the banking industry, followed by rioting and natural disasters. […]

    Next week, the Ezra Taft Benson Society will host a banquet for members in Orem, under the title “Exposing and Stopping Modern Gadianton Robbers.” […]

    Some commenters have noted that God would not interrupt Football Season, so they’re not that worried … yet.

    Also from the comments:

    This is one of those occasions when Fundamentalist polygamists and some mainstream Mormons share the same (kooky) beliefs. The Kody Brown cult (AUB) is all agog with this stuff, especially since their leader Lynn Thompson has been accused of child sexual abuse by multiple women. Put that together with September 26/27 anniversary of the “8 hour meeting” that supposedly gave them their authority to break away from the mainstream church to keep to practicing polygamy, this is dynamite stuff! Sit back and enjoy the show :)

  86. blf says

    Hum… September this year. Disasters so far:

     ● Mr  Corbyn is now the head of the British Labour Party (only a disaster to the B.Liar-ite kooks and crooks who used to run the show).

     ● Crane collapses in Mecca, killing numerous people. Definitely a disaster. (Except, I suppose, to the people nutters worried about something magical, since the “wrong” sort of people were killed, and it fell at(? on?) the Grand Mosque.)

     ● Restaurant blown up in India, many killed. Another definite disaster, and worse, deliberate.

     ● Severe fires and extremely severe drought in California. Absolutely a disaster. (Except they have Teh Gay there, so it’s all right…)

     ● For that matter, Teh Gay. Not a disaster, and not specific to this month or year, but who care when you and your sky faeries are making shite up?

     ● Typhoon in Japan, large sandstorms in Middle East, and the trum-prat is still lying. All to be expected, albeit I believe the sandstorms are larger than typical (well, the trum-prat’s hot air has to go somewhere…).

     ● Thugs fail to stop the agreement between Iran and the Group of Six. Not a disaster, except in the minds of some nutters in the Israeli “government” and their USAnnihilate!annihilate!annihilate! sycophants.

    Other disasters, real, imagined, and not. Yep, world’s gonna end. Better stock up on freeze-dried jello.

  87. says

    This is a followup to comment 91. Here’s some of what Rush Limbaugh said on Friday, September 11:

    What do they think modern-era feminazi-ism is about? I mean the whole point of modern-era feminazi-ism is embodied in my undeniable truth of life number 24: Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of pop culture.

  88. blf says

    And from the “I didn’t do it, says Thug, it’s all Obama/Clinton/____(insert bogeyperson of choice)___‘s fault” authorization excuse department, Chris Christie: ‘Stop blathering’ about Bridgegate and focus on Hillary Clinton:

    Republican presidential candidate says he offers ‘honesty and candor, not perfection’ and so-called scandal has not stained his administration

    The Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie came out swinging on Sunday, in response to the latest developments in the so-called Bridgegate scandal.

    The New Jersey governor […] said on NBC the media should “stop blathering” about Bridgegate and insisted what mattered was how he reacted to it, and said it had not left “a stain on my administration”.


    Bridgegate concerns the September 2013 closure of traffic lanes on the busy George Washington bridge, which runs between Fort Lee, New Jersey, and upper Manhattan, in an alleged act of political payback.

    As successive investigations have been carried out, allies of the governor, including members of his staff have been indicted. Christie himself has denied knowledge of any plan to close the lanes, and no evidence has come to light indicating any culpability on his part.

    This week the CEO of United Airlines, Jeff Smisek, resigned as a result of a subsequent investigation into the workings of the Port Authority, the body responsible for the bridge, which is run jointly by New York and New Jersey.

    Investigators are focusing on conversations United management had with the chairman of the Port Authority board of commissioners, David Samson, a Christie appointee and friend, over supposed “quid pro quo” political dealings.


    “You have absolutely no idea as you sit here today that he did anything wrong,” Christie told NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday, when asked about David Samson. “Nor does anyone else. So let’s just stop reading the newspapers, OK, and just blathering back what that is.

    Eh?: “stop reading the newspapers“! A nice, clear, mostly unambiguous example of the contempt of thugs for reportage. Just do what we say, only read what we provide (if we even bother to educate you chattel slaves), and all will be as we want it. And shut up.

  89. says

    Legislators in California sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. The bill would allow doctors in that state to prescribe life-ending drugs to Californians that request them.

    In other news, The New York Times has become, in some people’s opinion, a propaganda machine with the aim of taking a hatchet to Hillary Clinton. Media Matters link that presents an interview that Chris Hayes hosted with David Brock. Brock does bring up a lot of good points. The video is about 6 minutes long and is worth watching.

    There is a pattern of running inaccurate stories, and of relying on rightwing sources that provide the newspaper with skewed or false information.

  90. says

    blf @93, the “freeze dried jello” made me laugh. If you make it, mormons will buy it. A business opportunity!

    blf @95, I saw that interview with Christie. He is certainly desperate to throw “Bridgegate” off a bridge. He’s fed up. But really, at least bridgegate is a real scandal instead of a fake one. I almost choked on my coffee when Christie suggested that we stop reading newspapers. And that pivot to harassing Hillary Clinton about her emails (which is mostly a fake scandal by the way), that pivot was so fast it made my head spin. (Donald Trump should be jealous.)

    Chris Christie doesn’t believe in segues. He’s also operating in “look over there!” mode all the time in order to distract everyone from the terrible job he has done, is doing, as governor of New Jersey.

  91. blf says

    Lynn@97, There’s a long history of people blaming The New York Times, The Grauniad, Le Monde, and other similar important and widely respected newspapers in the world, for reporting — or not-reporting — what they do / don’t like or agree with. The “Israel is always right” nutters (who are very reminiscent of S.African apartheid supporters) are constantly going after The Grauniad — you can, e.g., find numerous Grauniad-hating-sites on the web with a distinct pro-Israel flavour — simply for The Grauniad either pointing out cases where Israeli actions or claims are dubious or wrong, or for being not-always-hostile to Palenstine / Arabs / etc., or for publishing opinion pieces written by people who are indeed sometimes anti-Israel or antisemitic.

    It is possible The New York Times is more susceptible or prone to relying on dubious sources then The Grauniad: NYT is very much a for-profit company. So is The Grauniad except they are owned by The Scott Trust, whose central objective is “To secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity: as a quality national newspaper without party affiliation; remaining faithful to its liberal tradition; as a profit-seeking enterprise managed in an efficient and cost-effective manner.” The Scott Trust does not pay dividends and has been designed in such a way no single individual or organisation can take control.

    I believe — albeit I may be mistaken — The New York Times is far more susceptible to outside influences. I have no idea about Le Monde, except, as I recall, it is one of the very few papers (The Irish Times being another) which is also owned by a Trust, albeit probably not as robust as the Scott Trust.

  92. says

    So far, Trump’s claim that he will win, or is winning, the Latino vote is handily debunked by the latest polls showing that Latino voters prefer Hillary Clinton (69% to 22%), a three to one margin.

    Scott Walker has decided that the way to increase his poll numbers is to go after labor unions even more viciously than he has done in the past. Can’t Wait for this one to backfire on him.

    […] [Walker proposes] eliminating unions for employees of the federal government, making all workplaces right-to-work unless individual states vote otherwise, scrapping the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices and making it more difficult for unions to organize.

    […] Labor law experts said such an effort, if successful, would substantially reduce the power of organized labor in America.

    […] The goal, Walker said, is “to achieve fairness and opportunity for American workers.” […]

    Sheesh. Apparently Walker doesn’t like the National Relations Labor Act that was signed by President Roosevelt in 1935.

    Lee Adler, a labor law expert at Cornell University, said Walker’s proposals would eliminate workers’ rights and make it more difficult for people to join the middle class.

    “Mr. Walker could only be making these type of proposals to satisfy his most backward-looking, wealthy contributors, just as he pursued, as governor, policies advanced by these people that sought to destroy school teachers and other public employees’ rights in Wisconsin,” he said.

  93. says

    The fact that Planned Parenthood did not break any laws seems to be a fact that has finally made it through the anti-fact force field surrounding some Republicans. To counter this, they have decided to shut the P.P. organization down anyway. Facts be damned.

    Congressional Republicans say they are determined to shut Planned Parenthood down, regardless of whether it broke any laws.

    In more than two months of investigations, members have yet to turn up evidence that Planned Parenthood acted illegally, the same conclusion reached by a half-dozen state investigations. The Department of Justice has so far declined to launch a formal probe.

    Several Republicans acknowledged this week that they may never find proof of wrongdoing at Planned Parenthood — but said it doesn’t matter.

  94. blf says

    This will not surprise anyone who can breathe and walk at the same time, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric could lose Republicans the 2016 election:

    The GOP frontrunner’s comments, widely read as hostile to the Latino community, are alienating voters seen as key to winning the White House

    They have come to Florida from across Latin America.

    El Salvador. Colombia. Puerto Rico. Mexico. Cuba. Some driven by economic opportunity. Some by conflict. Others by natural disaster. Most are in the US legally, sometimes for decades. A minority are not.

    But for many within the US’s Latino community those distinctions are being blurred by Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and xenophobic presidential campaign.

    “We’re all Mexicans now,” said Miguel Mendizabal, a lawyer who immigrated legally to the US from Ecuador at the age of 13. “I think Trump has helped many Latino people begin to see that they’re all treated as one person. This has helped rally a lot of people in favour of immigration reform. I also think he’s made it much harder for any Republican candidate to win an election.”

    That is a view shared by Hispanic leaders in the Republican party, who warn that the tenor of the immigration debate led by Trump is alienating voters seen as key to winning the White House in 2016. Their concern is not only the debate about policy, including Trump’s widely scorned threat to deport 11 million people, but his claim that Mexican immigrants are responsible for a (non-existent) crime wave and suggestion that speaking Spanish is un-American.

    Hector Barreto, head of the Small Business Administration in George W Bush’s White House and co-chair of Mitt Romney’s “Hispanic Leadership Team” in the 2012 election, said that the longer Trump continues his run the more damage he will do to the eventual Republican nominee.


    Conventional political wisdom has it that the Republicans must win [Florida, “with its rapidly growing and diversifying Latino population”,] to take back the presidency.

    The key to Florida, according to its former governor Jeb Bush, another presidential candidate, is a Latino vote that has shifted sharply away from the GOP in recent elections.

    Two years ago, Bush warned in his book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, that the Republicans “cannot win future national elections without increased Hispanic support” in key swing states.


    “On the Republican side this has become a trigger point,” said Barreto, who now heads the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute. “You can’t even talk about it any more. Unless you agree with the extreme positions of somebody like Trump, you’re not credible on the issue.”

    Bush blames shrinking Latino support for the GOP over the past decade — Romney won just 27% of the Latino vote nationally, down from 40% for Jeb’s brother, George W Bush, in 2004 — in large part on the “toxic” immigration debate within the party.

    Bush said it “hung like an anvil” around Romney’s candidacy after his widely ridiculed assertion that millions of undocumented immigrants would “self-deport”.

    “The toxic rhetoric of ‘self-deportation’ suggests that certain groups are not wanted,” Bush wrote.


    Anthony Suarez is a Republican activist who presents a Spanish-language radio talk show in Orlando, is president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida and is founder of the San Juan Hill Republican club. He said the noise around immigration was drowning out the GOP’s message on policies that connect with conservative Latinos.

    “One of the things I have been urging within the Republican party is that you can’t get to the message of fiscally responsible government when the first message that you hear is we want to kick you, your grandmother and your family out of the country. No one will hear you,” he said.

    The Republicans’ struggle to win Florida is not made easier by the dramatically shifting demographics of its Latino population. It used to be that the party could count on solid support from the large Cuban American population who wanted to maintain a tough US stand against Fidel Castro. But a younger generation of Cuban American voters cares less about Castro and has moved toward the Democrats, in part drawn by Obama’s election campaigns.

    Meanwhile a surge in the Latino population in Florida from other places, particularly Puerto Rico, has robbed the Republicans of that advantage.


    Puerto Ricans, who tend to register as Democrats or independents, are arguably the Latino population least affected by the immigration debate because they are born as US citizens. But Suarez said the ties were still there.

    “I’m of Puerto Rican descent,” he said, “and in the Puerto Rican community this language — even though immigration has nothing to do with Puerto Ricans — it resounds because every Puerto Rican has somebody who’s an immigrant. In my own family, my daughters are married to a Dominican and Argentine.”


    There is no doubt that Latino perceptions of Trump and Republican immigration policy are shaped by Spanish-language news reports largely unseen by the rest of America. Whereas much of the English-language media treats Trump as something between an oddity and a clown, the nightly news on the two principal Spanish-language television stations, Univision and Telemundo, has been more extensive and hard hitting.

    It was one of Univision’s most prominent faces, Jorge Ramos, co-anchor of its nightly news and, polls say, the most trusted source on news among Latinos, who was thrown out of a press conference by Trump after challenging the candidate over his plans to deport millions of people and build a wall the length of the Mexican border.


    Suarez said that if Trump were to get his party’s presidential nomination, it would see the Latino vote go almost entirely to the Democrats – as happened with African American voters during the struggle for civil rights.

    “If Donald Trump should be the Republican candidate, in my opinion it would be the biggest disaster for the Republican party since the Republicans turned against the civil rights movement in the 1960s,” said Suarez. “It will be the defining moment when people ask, ‘When did you lose the Latino vote?’ It would be disastrous.”


    The assumption among many Republicans is that Trump will burn out, although that view is being increasingly tested by his resilience in the polls. But if Trump’s candidacy does founder, the question for the party will be whether it will have done lasting damage to the bid to take back the White House in 2016.

    There are warnings from history. Republican control of California was wiped out in the years after the party backed a 1994 ballot initiative to bar undocumented immigrants, including children, from using public services such as schools and healthcare. Voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 187, known as Save Our State (SOS), only to see it struck down by California’s supreme court. But the most lasting effect was to mobilise Latino voters against the Republican party.


    Opinion polls suggest that permanent damage may not yet be done to Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination.

    In August, a Quinnipiac poll showed that Bush and Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban American from Florida, both stand a substantially better chance of beating Hillary Clinton in Florida than Trump.

  95. says

    blf @101, that was interesting.

    What I take from that is that Trump’s anti-immigrant stance has not only lost him a lot of votes, it has also united Latinos from various countries. Trump’s schtick is a model for uniting Latinos against Republicans.

  96. says

    Marco Rubio’s history includes a stint as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rubio is now leveraging this slim mormon background to win votes in western states.

    The fact that Rubio thinks having been a mormon is a good thing boggles the minds, but apparently mormons in Nevada are happy with Rubio’s courtship.

    […] Rubio is subtly leveraging his LDS background to build support in Nevada, where the state’s LDS community isn’t huge — Mormons make up just a small percentage of the population — but represents an influential constituency in Republican politics.

    Yeah, mormons are influential. They hold a disproportionate number of local, county and state political positions. And I don’t think Rubio is being “subtle,” he’s obvious in his pandering.

    Rubio has held kitchen-table meetings and private meet-and-greets with prominent LDS church leaders, lining up support from some of the top Mormon names in Nevada politics, including Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison. […]

    “In touring with Hutchison, that’s a really good way to let everyone know in the LDS community that Marco is doing the legwork,” said Steve Fellows, […] a former Mormon bishop […]

    As state chairman for Rubio’s campaign, Hutchison also hosted a backyard event at his Las Vegas home in July attended by state legislators, activists and political operatives — roughly half of them LDS members. Standing on a basketball court emblazoned with the Brigham Young University logo, Rubio emphasized his conservative bona fides […]

    Rubio has extended family in Nevada, many of whom are still part of the Mormon Church, including Democratic state Sen. Mo Denis. Though Rubio eventually left the church, his familiarity with the faith and its teachings are noticed and appreciated. […]

    Politico link

    Beware mormon voting blocs. Eighty-eight% of them voted for Romney.

    “In Nevada, LDS voters are a critical voting bloc. They are civically active, organized, highly informed and incredibly influential,” said Jack St. Martin, president of Engage Nevada, a nonpartisan voter registration group. “Just look at the number of past and present LDS elected officials, of both parties, and you understand how much they enrich Nevada politics.”

    “Enrich” is not the word I would use. Mormons pollute local school boards, for example, and negatively affect public education. Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is an example of how mormons negatively affect land management in the state.

  97. says

    Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University today. The Bern is a brave man. Liberty University is a private, evangelical christian “university” in Virginia. It deserves the scare quotes.

    Sanders quoted the bible and made an effort to find common ground with the students, but the audience was cool. They applauded questions that attacked Sanders for his support of a woman’s right to choose.

    In one telling moment, Sanders pointed out that the Founding Fathers created a country that was based on racism. That must have hit Liberty U. students directly in their misconceptions about the Founding Fathers.

    I would also say that as a nation, the truth is, that a nation which in many ways was created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back on racist principles, that’s a fact, we have come a long way as a nation.

  98. says

    Yes, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis went back to work today. She hid out in her office with the blinds closed. The Deputy Clerk issued marriage licenses, including a license for a lesbian couple.

    Davis gave a deluded, self-aggrandizing speech in which she claimed that licenses not approved by her were not valid. Her equally deluded lawyers said they will file a new lawsuit against Governor Steve Beshear. They claim they have a case because the governor failed to provide reasonable accommodation for Davis. I guess the accommodation would be: don’t obey the law, that’s fine; and don’t do your job, that’s fine.

  99. says

    Some members of Oath Keepers have suggested that the judge who put Kim Davis in jail should be arrested. (See comment 63.) They are not alone. The head of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt, also called for the arrest of Judge David Bunning.

    […] This district court judge merely withdrew his horns, they haven’t been cut off. And we’re not finished until we can cut that district judge Bunning’s horns off. In fact, he’s the one who should be put in jail for violating his oath of office. […]

    Right Wing Watch link

  100. says

    Here are some excerpts from Kim Davis’s deluded back-to-work speech:

    I am here before you this morning with a seemingly impossible choice, which I do not wish on any of my fellow Americans. My conscience or my freedom. My conscience or my ability to serve the people that I love. Obey God or a directive that forces me to disobey God.

    Effective immediately, and until an accommodation is provided, by those with the authority to provide it, any marriage license issued by my office will not be issued or authorized by me.

    Any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.

    I love my deputy clerks and I hate that they have been caught in the middle. If any of them feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them.

    Salon link

  101. says

    Mississippi is the only state in the U.S. that still bans same-sex couples from adopting children, and even from fostering children. That Mississippi law is unconstitutional according to the recent Supreme Court Obergefell decision, which banned discriminatory state legislation.

    No problem, says Mississippi. We will defend our unconstitutional legislation. Heading this quixotic venture is Governor Phil Bryant and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood. They will spend lots of taxpayer’s money. They will fail.

  102. Al Dente says

    Lynna OM @109

    Quoting Kim Davis:

    I love my deputy clerks and I hate that they have been caught in the middle. If any of them feels that they must issue an unauthorized license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice and I will take no action against them.

    What about your deputy clerks who are doing the right thing by not discriminating against the people you hate? Will you take action against them?

  103. microraptor says

    Wait, if Rubio used to be a Mormon, wouldn’t that make him an apostate and therefore less popular to the Mormon voting block?

  104. says

    microraptor @112, you may have underestimated the mormon skill of selective condemnation. They don’t condemn Marie Osmond for not wearing her sacred undergarments either. Fame, even Marco Rubio’s level of semi-fame, earns you a pass.

    Technically, the worst thing a mormon can do is to accept and believe in the Book of Mormon and then reject it. Technically, Rubio is worse than an infidel. He’s headed for the Outer Darkness for sure

    In the meantime, Rubio is saying nice things about mormons and they are desperate for that kind of semi-fake love. Maybe the mormons think they can bring him back into the fold.

  105. says

    For those of you who have been following the Jade Helm conspiracy, you will be relieved (or, I don’t know, disappointed?) that the military training exercise ends today. And, lo, President Obama did not use the military to take over Texas.

    […] From July 15 to today, the military organized some training exercises for about 1,200 people in areas spanning from Texas to California. Somehow, right-wing activists got it in their heads that the exercises, labeled “Jade Helm 15,” were part of an elaborate conspiracy theory involving the Obama administration, the U.S. military, Walmart, and some “secret underground tunnels.” […]

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) felt the need to order the Texas Guard to “monitor” the military exercises – just in case. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) stoked the same fires, and even Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) arranged a meeting with Pentagon officials and a three-star Air Force general, just to make sure American officials weren’t planning a takeover of America, or something. […]


  106. says

    Republicans in North Carolina are keeping it classy, as usual.

    A North Carolina lawmaker is defending his sharing of a Facebook meme that imagines Benjamin Netanyahu calling President Obama a “coward” and “Islamic son of a bitch.”

    The meme, which state Rep. Michael Speciale (R) publicly shared on his Facebook Sept. 5, shows a picture of the Israeli prime minister speaking to Obama and envisions a conversation in which Netanyahu tells Obama “Look you Islamic son of a bitch, unless you give all your land back to the native indians, don’t pretend to lecture Israeli’s [sic] about our borders when you can’t control your own.” […]

    Representative Michael Speciale defended his post:

    I find it interesting how many liberals pretend that they are offended by this post, yet they have no problem with Obama destroying the very fabric of this nation. […]

  107. says

    The Club for Growth, a far rightwing organization that is to the right of Donald Trump, came up with an advertising campaign designed to take The Donald down. I doubt that it will work, but it is interesting that they are trying.


    […] “What we’ve said to our members is that ‘Trump is a liability to the future of the nation,’ and we’ve asked them for support for Club for Growth Action to get that message out,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a statement to The Washington Post earlier this month.

    Trump and the Club for Growth have been engaged in a nasty back-and-forth for months […] [Trump said] that McIntosh asked him in June to donate $1 million to the group.

    “They’re critical of me because I wouldn’t give them a million dollars,” Trump said in the interview with The Post. “They came to my office, the president of the Club for Growth came to my office; he asked for a million dollars. He asked for it in writing, just to show you how truly stupid he is. I said, ‘You must be kidding.’ I had no interest in doing it. . . . We told them no, and immediately thereafter, he came after Trump.” […]

    The Club for Growth people say Trump asked to meet with them, which is probably right. Trump always tells stories like this as if the peons were coming to him as King and asking for money.

    YouTube link to one of the ads characterizing Trump as a liberal.

    YouTube link to another ad that highlights Trump’s support for “the government taking private property and giving it to corporations” (Supreme Court KELO decision, or their spin on that decision).

    In the past, the Koch brothers have contributed to funding for The Club for Growth. It seems to still be a cog in the Koch machine, and also has billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer as a source of funds. It is a 501(c)4 organization. In 2013, they donated a lot of money to Ted Cruz.

  108. says

    Hillary Clinton outlined her plan to “end campus sexual assault.

    […] Clinton’s three-pronged plan largely reflects the approach laid out by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) in a bill she unveiled in July. It involves programs aimed at preventing assaults, to be conducted both on college campuses and in high schools; increasing access to support for assault victims; and requiring that colleges and the criminal justice system create processes that provide fairness for both alleged victims and the accused. […]

  109. says

    Hillary Clinton has some union support that may help her in the New Hampshire primary.

    […] The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, which has 340,000 members, announced in a statement it would back the former secretary of State’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    It’s the fourth national labor union to announce support for Clinton as she seeks to beat back a challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), who is aggressively courting the support of union workers.

    In addition, the New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association, which has 16,000 members, said Monday it will also support Clinton for president. The endorsement gives Clinton the backing of the biggest public employee union in a critical early-voting state.

    Clinton is seeking to shore up her support in New Hampshire against a growing threat from Sanders, who has become the front-runner in recent polls of the Granite State. […]

  110. says

    Mike Huckabee said some really stupid stuff about the flood of refugees from war-torn countries. Huckabee was especially dismissive of refugees from Syria:

    “Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we’ve got cable TV?” Huckabee asked, in an audience question-and-answer session at the conservative Eagle Forum conference in St. Louis. “I don’t mean to be trite.”

  111. says

    The people he inspires, and the company he keeps, continue to make Donald Trump look bad. I just wish more people noticed how bad.

    A group of Donald Trump supporters erupted in cheers and shouted racist comments outside an Iowa college stadium on Saturday when a woman tore the sign an anti-Trump demonstrator was holding in half. […]

    The woman who attacked the sign is from West Des Moines but is not an ISU student, according to the Iowa State Daily. She has since deleted her social media accounts. A moment before she rips the sign, she can be heard in a video saying that she’s going to destroy the poster and “vote for white supremacy.”


    Other comments at the same rally included:
    – Latinos should speak English
    – “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right.”
    – “Send the illegals back to where they came from.”

    After a speech in Dallas, Trump supporters chanted “Blue lives matter.”

  112. says

    President Obama commented on the rash of anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from rightwing candidates:

    “This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that’s out there in our politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else,” Mr. Obama said. “Don’t pretend that somehow 100 years ago the immigration process was all smooth and strict. That’s not how it worked.” The grandparents and great-grandparents of politicians taking a hard line on immigration, he said, were also “somehow considered unworthy or uneducated or unwashed.”

    “When I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care, I think that’s un-American,” Mr. Obama said.

    The fact that he called them “un-American” has a lot of right-wingers red with rage. Let them splutter and spit.

  113. says

    Scott Walker is dropping in the polls. Even his rabid anti-union statements don’t seem to have helped him, nor did the fact that he rode a motorcycle around New Hampshire.

    His emphasis now is to explain why he is suing the federal government over the fact that the feds won’t let him drug test food stamp applicants in Wisconsin. I hope this does not give him a boost in the polls.

    For us, it’s not a punitive thing, it’s a progressive thing. We’re trying to help people who are in need of our assistance to get jobs, because the best thing we can do with them is to make sure they get the skills and education they need, and make sure they are drug free if they have an addiction, to get back in the workforce.

    Translation, let them go hungry if they test positive for drugs. It will do them good to be hungry.

  114. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    For us, it’s not a punitive thing, it’s a progressive thing.

    For a long time they’ve used words like “liberal” and “progressive” as if they were insults. They got mileage out of that for a good while. So it’s surprising to me to see how desperate they’ve come in their derangement. With policy so far out of line with what people want, they have to paint themselves as endorsing progressive policies because of their worries of being seen as unelectable extreme?

    That’s just …


  115. says

    This is a followup to comment 92, a comment about the 500% increase in sales of dried food (armageddon supplies) in states dominated by religious fundamentalists of all stripes. Some politicians are stoking the fear fires, as are many religious whackos.

    And, oh dear, it looks like atheists are going to have competition when it comes to eating babies.

    Televangelist Jim Bakker, hawking his trademark buckets of survival food on his program earlier this month, warned his studio audience that they must hide the food they store up in preparation for the Last Days because as the world collapses, even their “sweet neighbors” will become so ravenously hungry that they will steal food and even eat their own babies […]

    Bakker explained that although some pastors are urging their congregations not to listen to him, he feels a moral obligation to sell his food buckets: “When you’re huddled in a corner with your grandbaby and they’re screaming and crying and there’s no food – I don’t want that blood on my hands.”

    Right Wing Watch link

  116. says

    Glenn Beck has a plan to relocate a lot of refugees from Syria. You may have heard of this plan, which sounds like a fundraising scam, The Nazarene Fund.

    Did you know that Beck plans to save only Christians?

    Beck plans to relocate 2000 christian refugees, which is more than the number of Jews saved by Oskar Schindler during WWII, as Beck constantly repeats in a Trump-ish “I’m the biggest and the best” manner.

    He is not going to bother with Muslim refugees, because, as he says, he can’t tell “which is the good Muslim and which is the bad Muslim.” He goes on to explain his christians-only plan:

    […] The right thing is to save people’s lives, especially those who you know are not here to kill us, not here to convert us or behead us. Again, I wish I could say this about others, but the only ones I know for sure don’t want to convert or kill us are those Christians in the Middle East who have been marked for death.


    I hope someone is tracking the money that comes into The Nazarene Fund so we’ll know when Glenn Beck uses some it to support his rich man’s lifestyle.

  117. says

    Elizabeth Warren is making a great deal of sense … again. This time she is taking on a common practice of employers in the USA, the practice of checking the credit score of a potential employee.

    Credit reporting companies that sell Americans’ personal data to potential employers have pushed the narrative that a credit history somehow provides insight into someone’s character. But, as even a representative from the TransUnion credit bureau admitted, they “don’t have any research to show any statistical correlation between what’s in somebody’s credit report and their job performance.” In fact, research has shown that an individual’s credit has little to no correlation with his or her ability to succeed in the workplace. Credit reports are not a way to screen out bad potential employees; they are just a way to discriminate against people who have fallen on hard times.

    Not only are credit reports poor indicators of job performance, but in many cases they aren’t even accurate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported in 2013 that as many as 1 in 5 consumers could identify at least one error in their credit reports. That’s compounded by the difficulty in correcting errors—not only are consumers often unaware an error exists in the first place, but credit reporting agencies can be frustratingly slow to respond when it comes to fixing those mistakes.

    For hardworking people struggling to make ends meet, the only way to get back on their feet is to find a good job and earn a paycheck. But even when they are able to sell their homes—often at a loss—or after they are forced to close their business’ doors or find temporary work, that bad credit history continues to haunt them.

    And despite the often-desperate effort to find a job, many employers are unfairly shutting the door on applicants with less-than-stellar credit. We should call this what it is: discrimination.

  118. says

    Crip Dyke @124, the rightwing love of redefining words to mean the opposite of their dictionary meaning bothers me too. But, as you rightly point out, it is also a sign of desperation on their part.

    Rightwing politicians have often named legislation or organizations they support as if they actually understood sarcasm and irony. They don’t. Examples:
    “Right to Work” laws
    “Paycheck Protection”
    “Patriot Act”
    “Defense of Marriage Act”
    “Religious Freedom Act”
    “Americans for Tax Reform”
    “American Legislative Exchange Council”
    “National Organization for Marriage”

    It’s like Mike Huckabee saying he is not being trite when he is being trite.

    Donald Trump says he cherishes women.

    Scott Walker labeling his retrograde, screw-the-poor policies as “progressive.”

  119. says

    A PAC supporting Kanye West’s 2020 campaign for president produced some campaign ads.

    Meanwhile, I listened to Donald Trump’s speech that he gave in Dallas. He criticized the Iran nuclear deal as the worst contract ever, but he provided only debunked and false reasons for the deal’s supposed badness (like the claim that IAEA inspectors have to wait 24 days before inspecting operating nuclear facilities; and like the claim that the Iranians are inspecting themselves).

    The reason this bad deal came about was, in The Donald’s mind, because John Kerry broke his leg while riding a bicycle during the time the negotiations were in full swing. This made Kerry a ridiculous figure, and Iranian negotiators made fun of Kerry and did not respect him. Trump promised never to ride a bicycle if he is elected president.

    There was a lot more (more than an hour’s worth of drivel), but I just can’t bring myself to summarize it. Basically it was all of the “Kerry rode a bicycle” low quality of discourse.

    Kanye West would be an improvement.

  120. says

    More from the category “the company he keeps.” Donald Trump appeared on stage with Robert Jeffress, and Trump praised the hate monger.

    Donald Trump appeared at a campaign rally with Fox News contributor and pastor Robert Jeffress and praised him as “a good guy … I love this guy.”

    Jeffress has attacked LGBT people as leading “miserable” and “filthy” lives, and called Catholicism a “cult-like, pagan religion,” Islam an “evil, evil religion,” Mormonism a “cult” from the “pit of hell,” and Judaism and Hinduism religions that lead people to “an eternity of separation from God in Hell.”

    Media Matters link

    Yes, Jeffress sounds like an ideal Trump supporter.

  121. says

    What Justice Scalia wrote in 1990 when the Employment Division v. Smith case was being decided:

    The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind—ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races.

    Yes, Justice Scalia, you were right then. That sort of thing just doesn’t wash when one is trying to run a country.

    But now we have Kim Davis and her ilk. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by Congress, an act in which the concept of “accommodation” for religious principles was enshrined in law. Then, in 2014, the Supreme Court, including Scalia, lost its mind and approved accommodation for a corporation, Hobby Lobby.

    In fairness, we must remember that four of the Supreme Court justices did not lose their minds. They wrote dissenting opinions.

    Kim Davis and her lawyers are simply pushing the door of “accommodation” open wider. Davis wants to be able to choose, on an individual basis, which parts of being a citizen of the USA suit her, and which parts she will discard or disregard.

  122. says

    Ayn Rand worship is still going strong in the Republican Party. And it’s the most rabid of the rightwing doofuses that express their love for Ayn Rand.

    “Ayn Rand, one of my all-time heroes.” — Ted Cruz

    “I’m a big fan of Ayn Rand, and I’ve read all of her novels.” — Rand Paul

    “We really have developed this culture of entitlement and dependency. That is not what America is all about. I mean, America — and that’s of course what ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is all about — it is about individuals aspiring to build things to make their life — and, as a result, the world — a better place. If we shift to a culture where people are saying, ‘I’m happy to sit back and let the government provide me with things,’ that becomes a dangerous point and time for this country.” — Senator Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)

  123. says–a-history-526286403955

    The link above is for a Rachel Maddow segment covering the recent history of foreign policy or national security speeches (including Biden’s charming use of “malarky”). It includes Trump’s nonsense-filled speech staged on a decommissioned battleship, the USS Iowa.

    Trump’s speech was billed as a “major national security speech,” but the exceptionally short (for Trump) speech was mostly Trump talking about Trump, with thirty seconds of national security thrown in … if you can call this part of a national security policy statement:

    We’re gonna make our military so big and so strong and so great and it will be so powerful that I don’t think we’re ever going to have to use it. Nobody’s gonna mess with us.

    Trump’s speech was, supposedly, a fundraiser for a veteran’s group. The group that sponsored the speech is not a group. It is one guy, a rightwing doofus, who scams money from people who think they are donating to a veteran’s group. Here is Rachel Maddow’s coverage of the “veteran’s group,” Veterans for a Strong America, that apparently consists of one person.

    That Maddow segment covers the history of Veterans for a Strong America kissing Trump’s ass by posting defenses of Trump online, including this:

    The feuding between Mr. Trump and Senator McCain has nothing to with Mr. Trump’s high regard for the military or veterans as a whole. Mr. Trump is a supporter of the U.S. military and of America’s veterans.

    One guy is running that ass-kissing show, and that one guy reports to the IRS that Veterans for a Strong America has $30 in its bank account. Presumably, he has more money now since The Donald gave a big speech for him.

    A guy named Joel from South Dakota runs the fake vet’s group. Trump gave a fake national security speech for Joel. People paid up to $1000 for a ticket to see Trump on a battleship. Trump claimed that Joel’s group has “hundreds of thousands of members.” Nope. It was all made up.

  124. says

    “Assumptions and fear don’t keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building.”
    That quote is from Hillary Clinton’s twitter feed.

  125. blf says

    KA-POW! WHAAAAP! BANG! This is great, Donald Trump’s critics hit back by ordering piñatas of GOP frontrunner:

    Sellers say they are having trouble keeping up with demand, possibly because they offer people the opportunity to do what his rivals have as yet failed to do

    Donald Trump’s foes may be waiting to take a whack at the Republican frontrunner at Wednesday evening’s presidential debate, but many members of the public have been doing just that, as sales of Trump piñatas rise across the US and Mexico.

    Trump critics have been ordering piñatas resembling the business mogul, who has upended the Republican race with controversial comments about Mexicans, women and American veterans.

    Minaz Ahamed, co-owner of Jack’s Wholesale Candy & Toy Co, a candy and piñata warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Daily News that Trump piñatas were their “hottest seller” and that “we are selling ’em almost as fast as we can order ’em”.


    Dalton Javier Ramirez, who claims to have been the first in the US or Mexico to make a Trump piñata, told NPR […] “I never thought they would want this piñata all over the US. They’re ordering them for demonstrations and marches. I even have a museum in Houston that wants one.”

    There are very few comments at the moment, but the first is great: “When the Trump piñata splits open, what falls out? Money? Candy? Or, is it empty, like his ideas?”

  126. says

    More detail on Veterans for a Strong American, and the guy who heads it (the guy who may be the only member), Joel Arends. Link

    According to, Veterans for a Strong America has $30 in cash on hand, and $318 in debts.

    Trump’s take on this is delusional:

    I am honored to receive the endorsement of this fantastic group. I have always felt our veterans are our most important people and I hate to see how they are treated like third class citizens. If I win I am going to get our vets the care they need, treatment they deserve, and make America and our military great again! […]

    Just finished the wonderful event on the U.S.S. Iowa. VETERANS FOR A STRONG AMERICA endorsed me. Such a great honor, thank you!

    More condemnation of this event, from a real veteran’s organization:

    Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, tweeted after the event,”Just learned Trump did an event today announcing he’s been endorsed by a vets group that nobody’s ever heard of. w/out a real vets platform. Are they a 501c3/c19? Have they ever testified on the hill? Do they have any real programs? What have they done? These are questions to ask.”

    In addition to this on-point condemnation, we can suss out the Veterans for a Strong America unethical approach by looking at some of their past activity.

    Veterans for a Strong America announced in March that it would be suing the State Department over Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Washington Examiner reported.

    It says it was one of the first to seek access through the Freedom of Information Act to Clinton’s Benghazi-related emails.

    “At this point in time, I think we’re the only ones that specifically asked for both her personal and government email and phone logs,” Arends told the Examiner.

    The organization produced anti-Obama ads centered around the killing of Osama Bin Laden, during which Arends claimed to speak for Navy Seals.

  127. Saad says

    I love that almost all the replies to this Huckabee tweet are negative. Put a smile on my face.

    But what if they just want cable TV? Do they still matter? You are such a hypocrite

    But why do you fight so hard to deny those babies decent healthcare, nutrition, education once they are born ?

    How about it’s time for you to stop putting your religion into women’s uterus’s?

    whats your actual plan for our nation aside from yelling about how sinful my uterus is? Yelling about gay ppl doesnt count

    Unborn Person? Calling a fetus an unborn person is as crazy as calling yourself an undead corpse.

  128. says

    blf @136, they should use those piñatas as stage decoration for tonight’s debate.

    In other news, extremist Republicans in the House of Congress are moving forward with their plans to shut down the federal government if the new budget fails to defund Planned Parenthood.

    I cannot and will not fund a vile, racist organization who specializes in convincing mothers to kill their children and then selling their baby parts to the highest bidder. During the funding debate two years ago, Mitch McConnell finagled a $2.8 billion dam for his home state. And now when it comes to keeping his pro-life campaign promises, I’m pretty certain he still knows how the process works.

    The quote above is from Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and he has plenty of friends who back him up. The destructive act is being planned in concert with Republicans in the Senate, including Ted Cruz.

    House leadership (John Boehner) and Senate leadership (Mitch McConnell) do not want to go along. But it looks like extremists in their ranks will force the issue.

    This probably doesn’t need to be repeated, but just in case:
    – Planned Parenthood is not racist
    – PP does not “convince mothers to kill their children”
    – PP does not sell baby parts to the highest bidder

    All of that crap has been debunked multiple times.

    The timeline we’re looking at here is two weeks. Without a new budget, the federal government will shut down in two weeks. Of those two weeks, Congress critters are taking one of them off — they won’t be working.

  129. says

    This is a followup to comment 139.

    At least one Republican has had enough of this shutdown-the-government threat. Let’s hope others follow Tom McClintock’s lead.

    A member of the House Freedom Caucus — the hard-right conservative group of representatives […] announced his resignation from the group Wednesday over its threats to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.

    Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) released a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the caucus’ chairman, explaining his reasons for resigning. He said that while he supports the conservative principals espoused by the group, he objects to its tactics, pointing to the House Freedom Caucus-driven antics this year over homeland security funding, a trade bill, the Iran deal and now, Planned Parenthood. […]

    Make no mistake, McClintock is still a hard-right culture warrior. He’s mostly complaining about the fact that circus sideshows like the shutdown threat make it harder to pass conservative legislation. Still, there’s a ray of hope when one member of the House Freedom Caucus sees the the ridiculous nature of the defund-Planned-Parenthood movement.

  130. says

    I’m going to have to agree with Donald Trump on this one: the three, 3!, hours that CNN has allotted for the Republican debate tonight is too long.

    […] Can you believe @CNN is “milking” it for almost 3 hours? […]

  131. says

    “We know that ISIS wants to infiltrate its people through refugees.”

    That’s Republican dunderhead, Peter King, a congressional representative from New York, speaking.

    His “ISIS embedded in refugees” argument is being repeated by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, by Rush Limbaugh, and other rightwing guys who are reality-phobic.

    Here’s a counter-argument based on facts:

    […] National security should never be taken lightly, but that shouldn’t stop us from asking whether ISIS even wants to send operatives disguised as refugees to the U.S. in the first place. So far, the group has prioritized buttressing their self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq over attacks on outside targets.

    […] the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and a number of foiled plots inspired by the jihadi group shook the nation along with other Western countries. These incidents were not committed by infiltrators […] They were committed by people with valid passports who were born in the countries they were attacking.

    ISIS currently has thousands upon thousands of people with valid western passports fighting for them in the Middle East. These people are a much more pertinent threat than refugees largely because they can travel so easily. A voyage that might take a Syrian refugee months would take a European or American passport holder less than a day.

    What this opposition comes down to is American’s generally negative view of Islam. […]

    Think Progress link

  132. says

    Sometimes the Pope has a good effect — lots of bad effects, yes, but sometimes a positive effect. The Pope’s views on climate change have positively affected some rightwing members of Congress.

    Ten Republican representatives have reportedly signed on to a call for action on climate change, a move that’s a dramatic departure from their caucus, but broadly in line with the views of the American public.

    Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) will sponsor the resolution, which is expected to be released Thursday, ahead of Pope Francis’ Congressional speech next week. […]

    Gibson has said the resolution will have three key elements: recognizing that human activity contributes to global warming, acknowledging future impacts, and committing to address greenhouse gas emissions in “economically viable ways,” […]

    Like 31 percent of Congress and 22 percent of the general public, Gibson is Catholic. More than half of the resolution’s confirmed co-sponsors are also Catholic. […]

    As a Catholic and a former military officer with 24 years of service, Gibson is particularly well-suited to be a Republican speaking out on climate change. The military has repeatedly identified climate change as a national security issue and has itself begun broadly transitioning to renewable energy. […]

  133. microraptor says

    Oh, forgot to say, as the link suggests, the artist used her menstrual blood to paint a picture, so some people may not wish to click the link.

  134. says

    Cross posted from the “I did not watch the Republican debate” thread that PZ posted.

    Marco Rubio on gun laws:

    First of all, the only people that follow the law are law-abiding people. Criminals by definition ignore the law, so you can pass all the gun laws in the world, like the left wants. The criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals.

    Rubio went on to connect gun violence to marriage equality and to President Obama’s “left-wing government.” Category of worst-segue-ever.

    You can’t have a strong country without strong people, you cannot have strong people without strong values, and you cannot have strong values without strong families and the institutions in this country that defend and support those families.

    Today, we have a left-wing government under this president that is undermining all of the institutions and society that support the family and teach those values.

    Rubio was anti-factual when it came to purported violence from North Korea:

    There is a lunatic in North Korea with dozens of nuclear weapons and long-range rocket that can already hit the very place in which we stand tonight.

    The “dozens” part of that is wrong, and it is unlikely that North Korea has what it needs to deliver a nuclear weapon long distance — to California for example. It’s true that N.K. is a huge problem and a nuclear threat, but exaggerating the problem doesn’t help to solve it.

    Rubio also claimed that “we have a president that is more respectful to the ayatollah in Iran than he is to the prime minister of Israel.” Not true, not ever true. Not true in the past, not true now.

  135. says

    This is a follow up to 134 and 137.

    Rachel Maddow dug deeper into the fake veterans group for which Donald Trump gave a fake national security/foreign policy speech. That was the speech on the decommissioned battleship.

    Trump’s campaign personnel billed the speech as a major foreign policy address. There was no foreign policy in the speech. And, more fakery, the Veterans for a Strong America scam is worse than previously noted.

    Fiasco that should be covered more widely.

  136. says

    Carly Fiorina said that she wants to rebuild the Sixth Fleet, in part to handle Putin. Ezra Klein addressed Fiorina’s blatant bullshit (“blizzard of bull” as journalist Laura Clawson called it):

    The Sixth Fleet is already huge, and it’s hard to say why adding to its capabilities would intimidate Putin — after all, America has enough nuclear weapons pointed at Russia to level the country thousands of times over. Her proposal for more military exercises in the Baltics seemed odd in light of the fact that President Obama is already conducting military exercises in the Baltics. And the US already has around 40,000 troops stationed in Germany, so it’s hard to say what good “a few thousand” more would do. And pushing on a missile defense system in Poland is a very long-term solution to a very current problem. In total, Fiorina’s laundry list of proposals sure sounded like a plan, but on inspection, it’s hard to see why any of them would convince Putin to change course.

  137. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @151
    in ref to Late Show with Colbert, the Raygun “Bear scare” was nostalgic. That it actually presented two fair views of bears. “Is there a bear? is it calm, or ravenous? Let’s be strong.” with a man standing in front of a bear, on a mountain ridge somewhere. Was refreshingly different than today’s fearmongering ads.
    The Rubio, derivative, “scorpion ad”, was a much more offensive. Pretty clear what it meant to imply.
    “There is scorpion in the desert, with a poisonous sting.” yet the final shot is the scorpion confronting a boot that doesn’t move against it. The expected sight is for the foot to stomp the scorpion threat, yet it remains immobile, while the scorpion backs away.
    Colbert pointed out that the ad asked more questions than answered (which desert, what does scorpion represent, etc, who does boot represent, why did the boot let the scorpion retreat?, etc) I suppose that was the point of the ad, to get the viewers imaginations riled up with fear, looking for relief, when pops up over the Scorpion, “Rubio knows.”

    It would be nice to be able to reply to such an ad with a simple, “yeah, a scorpion is in the _desert_, leave it there, We don;t need to go there, it’s a _desert_!!!!”

    Colbert’s satire of the ad, goin all arachnophic, somewhat missed the mark. Not his best, but adequate.

  138. says

    Cross posted from the “I did not watch the Republican debate” thread that PZ posted.

    The Republican candidates plan to revamp the Supreme Court to fit their ultra conservative view of the USA. IF one of them is elected president. Very scary. They do not think, for instance that John Roberts is conservative enough. But it was Roberts that provided the fifth vote in some crucial decisions:
    – gutting the Voting Rights Act
    – removing most of the limits on money in politics (Citizens United)
    – giving religious liberty rights to corporations (Hobby Lobby)
    – upholding late-term abortion bans
    – taking the teeth out of anti-discrimination laws

    Holy crap! Republicans think they need a Justice who is more conservative than Roberts? Ted Cruz said:

    I’ve known John Roberts for 20 years, he’s amazingly talented lawyer, but, yes, it was a mistake when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He’s a good enough lawyer that he knows in these Obamacare cases he changed the statute, he changed the law in order to force that failed law on millions of Americans for a political outcome.

    And, you know, we’re frustrated as conservatives. We keep winning elections, and then we don’t get the outcome we want.

    And here is Mike Huckabee’s litmus test for people he would appoint to the Supreme Court:

    Number one, I’d ask do you think that the unborn child is a human being or is it just a blob of tissue? I’d want to know the answer to that. I’d want to know do you believe in the First Amendment, do you believe that religious liberty is the fundamental liberty around which all the other freedoms of this country are based? And I’d want to know do you really believe in the Second Amendment, do you believe that we have an individual right to bear arms to protect ourselves and our family and to protect our country? And do you believe in the Fifth and the 14th Amendment? Do you believe that a person, before they’re deprived of life and liberty, should in fact have due process and equal protection under the law? Because if you do, you’re going to do more than defund Planned Parenthood

    Jeb Bush also made noises about Justice Roberts not being conservative enough.

  139. blf says

    This is related to @143, Republicans to break rank with party leaders in call for climate change action:

    At least 10 House Republicans sign on to resolution in mini-rebellion seemingly designed to put pressure on presidential candidates and party leaders

    Nearly a dozen Republican members of Congress will break ranks with leaders of their party on Thursday, and call for action against climate change.

    The mini-rebellion a week before the pope visits Congress appears timed to ratchet up the pressure on Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders to soften a party line of casting doubt — or simply denying — the existence of climate change.

    So far, at least 10 House Republicans have signed on to the resolution acknowledging that human activity contributes to climate change, and calling for actions to respond to the threat of climate change.


    It is unclear how the Republican leadership will respond. The party has vowed to defeat Barack Obama’s plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants, the pillar of his plan to fight climate change.

    The House speaker, John Boehner, has sidestepped the issue of climate change, saying: “I am not a scientist.” [You are also neither useful nor familar with even the concept of reality –blf] A number of Republican presidential candidates including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas deny the existence of climate change. […]

    Democrats and campaigners had been quietly cultivating moderate house Republicans for months to try to neutralise the highly partisan profile of energy and climate change issues.


    By any standards outside of those of Republicans in Congress — where a majority denies the human contribution to climate change, or opposes action on climate change — the resolution would be seen as exceedingly timid.

    It calls on the house to “study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates”.

    The formulation is bound to outrage some because there is no doubt that climate change is caused by rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    The resolution also limits the potential scope of any action, saying efforts to deal with climate change should not impose any costs on the economy.

    But after five years in which Republicans have blocked all efforts to deal with climate change, it’s a start.

    I haven’t read the following (I need to leave soon-ish), but apparently, and perhaps surprising only for the claimed reason, Pope Francis faces challenge persuading US’s Catholic leaders on climate change: “Campaigners say challenge lies in diverting church leaders from preoccupation with gay marriage in order to take up public cause the pope is seeking to ignite”. Really!? These eejits are worried about SSM? Geeesh! Another preoccupation would be avoiding trial or paying restitution over mass child rape.

  140. says

    Cross-posted from the “I did not watch the Republican debate” thread.

    Amy Davidson, writing in The New Yorker, called the debate “crowded, bloated, sour, and long.”

    Yes. And the moderators made it longer and more ridiculous by asking questions like the one about code names; and by asking questions that amounted to “so-and-so said this about you, what sort of nasty thing do you want to say back?” The moderators were often as bad as the candidates.

    It’s as if they all wanted to produce an entertaining reality show, Real Candidates of the Republican Party. The only thing missing was liquor. (Though I’m sure the at-home audience was drinking as a survival tactic.)

  141. says

    Here’s an excerpt from Amy Davidson’s article (link in comment 155):

    The exchange [about vaccines] was of a piece with the rest of the debate and with the state of the Republican Party: fervid, claustrophobic, recklessly insinuating, and, at the same time, utterly timid when it comes to extremism in its own ranks.

    The discussion about vaccines was immediately preceded by one about climate change: Tapper—citing George Shultz, Reagan’s Secretary of State, who said that his boss had urged industry leaders to come up with a plan to move away from chemicals destroying the ozone layer “as an insurance policy in case the scientists are right”—asked Marco Rubio why we shouldn’t now do the same, just in case there was something to the overwhelming evidence of climate change, rising sea levels, and retreating glaciers all around us.

    “Because we’re not going to destroy our economy the way the left-wing government that we are under now wants to do,” Rubio said. “Single parents already struggling,” he added, couldn’t afford to do things that, in his view, wouldn’t affect the climate. And anyway, “America is not a planet.”

    I think it was right after that that Chris Christie tried to prove that New Jersey is a planet.

  142. says

    This is a followup to comments 1, 4, 139, and 140.

    Republicans, some of them anyway, are threatening to shut down the government … again. This threat is related to the fact that the most far right of Republican Senators and Republicans have completely bought into the bogus, deceptive videos released about Planned Parenthood.

    Ted Cruz said:

    Absolutely we shouldn’t be sending $500 million of taxpayer money to funding an ongoing criminal enterprise, and I’ll tell you, the fact that Republican leadership in both houses has begun this discussion by preemptively surrendering to Barack Obama and saying, ‘We’ll give in because Obama threatens a veto.’

    You know, Obama’s committed to his principles. His liberal principles, he will fight for them. He says, ‘I will veto any budget that doesn’t fund Planned Parenthood,’ and Republicans surrender. We need to stop surrendering and start standing for our principles.

    Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog put together a list of the more recent shutdowns and threats of shutdowns:

    * April 2011: House Republicans threaten a government shutdown unless Democrats accept GOP demands on spending cuts.

    * July 2011: Republicans create the first-ever debt-ceiling crisis, threatening to default on the nation’s debts unless Democrats accept GOP demands on spending cuts.

    * September 2011: Republicans threaten another shutdown.

    * April 2012: Republicans threaten another shutdown.

    * December 2012: Republicans spend months refusing to negotiate in the lead up to the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

    * January 2013: Republicans raise the specter of another debt-ceiling crisis.

    * September 2013: Republicans threaten another shutdown.

    * October 2013: Republicans actually shut down the government.

    * February 2014: Republicans raise the specter of another debt-ceiling crisis.

    * December 2014: Republicans threaten another shutdown.

    * February 2015: Republicans threaten a Department of Homeland Security shutdown.

    * September 2015: Republicans threaten another shutdown.

    Republican presidential candidates who have expressed some support for this ridiculous brinksmanship, this latest shutdown threat, are:
    Ted Cruz
    Carly Fiorina
    Chris Christie
    Ben Carson

    No wonder some people think Donald Trump might be an improvement. (He wouldn’t be, but you can understand some of the frustration that fuels part of his appeal.)

  143. says

    Carly Fiorina is not backing down from the lie she told about Planned Parenthood.

    […] During the debate, Fiorina told her Democratic opponents to look at the videos and “watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” […]

    “Analysts who have watched all 12 plus hours say the scene you describe – that harrowing scene you described — actually isn’t in those tapes. Did you misspeak?” he [George Stephanopoulos] asked.

    “No, I didn’t misspeak, and I don’t know who you’re speaking about in terms of watching the tapes, but I have seen those images,” Fiorina responded. […]

    Stephanopoulos then referenced a report by Vox’s Sarah Kliff, who said that she watched all of the videos released and that she did not see the scene Fiorina described.

    “Well, you know, there’s a lot of commentary about these tapes being doctored. In fact, that’s what the mainstream media keeps talking about, is the tapes and their origin,” Fiorina replied. “Rest assured I have seen the images that I talked about last night. Rest assured that human lives are being aborted fully formed in order to harvest body parts.”

    Kilff recently watched all 12 hours of the footage released by The Center for Medical Progress, and detailed what she saw, noting that Fiorina’s description does not match anything in the videos.

    “[…] — the legs kicking, the intact ‘fully formed fetus,’ the heart beating, the remarks about having to ‘harvest its brain’ — are pure fiction,” Kilff wrote. “Either Fiorina hasn’t watched the Planned Parenthood videos or she is knowingly misrepresenting the footage. […]”

    Kliff does point out that The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway found a documentary series produced by The Center for Medical Progress that uses footage from Planned Parenthood, as well as stock footage not shot in a Planned Parenthood clinic. According to Kliff, the documentary does include footage of a kicking fetus, but that footage was not shot in a Planned Parenthood.

    That documentary, “Human Capital,” also includes an interview with a former Planned Parenthood technician who said she was once ordered to procure a brain from a fetus, according to Vox. Kliff notes that in the documentary, there is no “mention of instructions to ‘keep it alive so we can harvest its brain,’ so it’s still not the footage Fiorina describes having watched.” […]


  144. says

    Hmmm. Here’s an interesting twist to the story of attempts to close Planned Parenthood clinics in Utah. The state’s governor, Gary Herbert, is, of course, a mormon, and he has ordered state agencies to stop distributing federal funds to Planned Parenthood. An excommunicated (former mormon) woman, Kate Kelly, is helping to fight Herbert. In Utah, this means she is not only fighting the governor of a conservative state, but she is fighting the LDS church.

    The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah’s fight to maintain its federally funded programs in the state will be spearheaded in part by Kate Kelly, the attorney who led a push for female ordination in the LDS Church.

    Kelly will join the staff of the Utah family-planning organization Monday as strategic advocacy and policy counsel. “[…] women of Utah need to stand up for reproductive rights,” Kelly said. “I think what Gov. Herbert did negatively affects women in Utah, his constituents and particularly low-income women of color who access services of Planned Parenthood.” […]

    The governor’s order came in response to the release of videos recorded secretly by a national anti-abortion group. The footage shows Planned Parenthood officials in Houston describing how they provide fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.

    Yeah, it’s those damned, deceptive videos again.

    [Kelly] decided to apply for the Planned Parenthood job, she said, after seeing it advertised online when she returned to the U.S. for her job with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Kelly founded Ordain Women in 2013 in a push for women to be allowed to join the priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She stepped down from Ordain Women’s board in July, about a year after being excommunicated from the church. […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link

  145. says

    In what looks like a replay of Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare (they voted more than 40 times to repeal it, all failures), Republicans are now voting repeatedly to disapprove the Iran nuclear deal.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now 0 for 3 on the resolution of disapproval.
    The Hill link

    Senate Democrats blocked a resolution disapproving the Iran nuclear deal for a third time Thursday, sealing a major foreign policy victory for President Obama. […]

    Republicans had hoped that by staging repeat votes they could pressure at least two more Democrats to buck Obama and vote against the deal.

    But Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested that Republicans were wasting precious floor time with only a handful of working days left ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

    “Senator McConnell has decided to waste an entire week on something that has already been decided, twice,” he said. “Despite the fact that the government will be shut down in a matter of days, the world’s greatest deliberative body is doing a show vote.” […]

  146. says

    Speaking of all those dozens of unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare, did anyone else notice that Obamacare was not mentioned during the Republican debate?

  147. says

    Donald Trump held a town-hall event. It was his first public speech since the debate. He let an audience member get away with saying that President Obama is a Muslim, and that Obama was not born in the USA. The audience member also brought up the conspiracy theory that there are Muslim terrorist training camps inside the U.S.

    Trump nodded along and offered, “We’re going to be looking into that.”

    At his first public appearance since Wednesday’s GOP primary debate, Republican front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday fielded a question from a supporter in New Hampshire about Muslim extremism. The issue? The questioner described Muslims as a “problem in this country,” before adding, “you know our president is one” – and Trump just let it slide. […]

    Thursday’s questioner went on to ask what Trump would do to curb the growth of extremist training camps. “We’re going to be looking into that,” the real estate mogul responded.

    You have to see the video to believe it. Trump was cowardly.

    “We’ve got a problem in this country called Muslims,” the man said. “You know our president is one. He’s not even American.” Instead of cutting the man off, Trump allowed the voter to add, “But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: when can we get rid of them?”

    Trump’s audience members might enjoy some of Sam Harris’s rhetoric.

  148. says

    This is a followup to comment 162.

    When asked by MSNBC to explain his response to the anti-muslim birther at the town-hall event, Trump said, “Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake.”


    Trump’s campaign staff issued a statement: “To be clear, Mr. Trump’s response to the question regarding training camps in this country was we will look into it.”

    As we’ve discussed before, 43% of Republicans believe the president is a secret Muslim. Trump supporters believe the lie in greater numbers.

    Trump’s birther background may not bite him in the ass after all. The birther thing and the Muslim thing are equally nonsensical. BTW, I remember Trump’s promotion of the birther ideology, how bombastic he was. He sent investigators to Hawaii, and, he said, we would not believe what they found.

  149. says

    Rachel Maddow interviewed Bernie Sanders last night.–government-under-conservative-attack-527751235782

    The interview is in two parts, the link is to the first segment, which starts with video of Trump saying he’ll look into the issue of Muslim training camps. Trump goes on to answer a question about veterans, a question which included the assertion that CNN “is a Clinton network.” Bernie Sanders responded to the veterans question.

    The Maddow interview went on to discuss more broadly the problems that ensue when Republicans want to privatize everything.

    You can access the second segment of the interview at the same link.

  150. says

    Whoops. Regarding comment 164, that interview with Bernie Sanders is in three parts, not two. All of the segments are good, all are dense with real facts.

  151. says

    This is progress, slow and minuscule progress, but progress nonetheless.

    Eleven House Republicans signed on to a resolution Thursday that recognizes humans have a role in causing climate change.

    The resolution also endorses steps to combat global warming, though it stops well short of calling for specific solutions.


    There are 247 Republican legislators in the House of Congress. Eleven of them are brave enough to make a vague gesture toward recognizing and dealing with global warming.

  152. says

    This is a followup to comments 162 and 163.

    MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell remembers interviewed Trump’s Iowa co-chair and Apprentice runner-up Tana Goertz last night. Here is an excerpt:

    O’DONNELL: When will the time be right to reveal, he said to Meredith Vieira that it was “absolutely unbelievable,” what his detectives were finding in Hawaii four years ago. He’s never told you about it? You’ve never asked him about it? It was unbelievable and you weren’t curious about it?

    GOERTZ: Never was curious once, because he’s not a liar. If they found something, it will come out. The time isn’t right, and guess what? Mr. Trump does what he wants and he’s not going to do it on our time. He’s going to do it when the timing is perfectly strategic and it’s not now and it wasn’t the place for him to say it. …

  153. says

    Well this is amusing. Republican candidates and other rightwing leaders are on Mackinac Island for a conference. There will be, among other events, six more hours of speeches from presidential candidates. Maybe that’s why the staffers got into a bar fight.

    John Patrick Yob (Rand Paul staffer) and Rich Beeson (Marco Rubio staffer) engaged in fisticuffs.

    Brandon Hall, a conservative blogger from Grand Haven, said Friday he witnessed Yob being punched at Horn’s Gaslight Bar, a popular Mackinac Island watering hole.

    “As I was sitting at the bar talking to someone at Horn’s in Mackinac Island Thursday night, I witnessed (the man) suddenly, out of nowhere, approach one of Rand Paul’s advisers, John Yob — unprovoked — and try to hit him,” Hall wrote on his West Michigan Politics blog. “(He) missed a full on shot but still struck Yob’s in the face with a powerful blow near the jaw.”

    Hall said the Rubio campaign official was at the bar trying to drum up votes for the Florida senator in the presidential straw poll The Detroit News and are conducting this weekend at the conference.

    Detroit News link

  154. blf says

    Lynna@166, The Grauniad summarized the vague gesture (see @154) as “By any standards outside of those of Republicans in Congress — where a majority denies the human contribution to climate change, or opposes action on climate change — the resolution would be seen as exceedingly timid.”

  155. says

    This is a followup, sort of, to comment 168. Trump’s staffers will not be able to participate in the bar fights on Mackinac Island. Trump has withdrawn from the conference. That’s odd.

    Donald Trump is pulling out of an appearance today at the Heritage Action Presidential Forum, saying he has a “significant business transaction” to attend to.

    According to statement from the Trump campaign, the deal was expected to close on Thursday:

    Mr. Trump has a significant business transaction that was expected to closeThursday. Due to the delay he is unable to attend today’s Heritage Action Presidential Forum. He sends his regrets and looks forward to being with the great people of South Carolina on Wednesday in Columbia.

    […] The forum is a high profile campaign event in Greenville, S.C. hosted by Heritage Action, the activist arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

  156. says

    blf @169, “exceedingly timid” is an appropriate description. Leave it to the journalists who are Brits to get it right.

    Here’s some exceedingly-batshit-whacko climate change news from the USA.

    A leader at the Heartland Institute, a conservative group backed by the Koch brothers focused on skepticism of climate change, on Thursday compared Pope Francis’ focus on the environment to elements of paganism present in Christianity in the Middle Ages.

    Gene Koprowski, the director of marketing at the group, spoke at a press conference announcing the Heartland Institute’s plan to join a coalition “challenging the pope’s views on global warming and the nature of capitalism.” […]

    He then referenced the medieval Feast of Fools, festivals with pagan origins held by Christians, in which festival-goers would elect a mock pope. […]

    “This is a pagan ritual, pagan remnants that were seeping into the church. One of them also was ‘nature worship.’ What is environmentalism but nature worship?” […]

    “I’m wondering, as a scholar, if pagan forms are returning to the church this day,” he said. […]

    “This is not communism that has entered the church, it’s rather paganism,” Koprowski added.

    […] what I’m saying is, just as in the Middle Ages when they had sort of a false belief in paganism and naturalism they had to tamp down by the Vatican, that’s the same thing that’s happening today, except we don’t have anybody tamping it down at the time,” Koprowski said. […]

  157. says

    Oh no. Conservative politics have damaged the brain of a 13 year old boy in Georgia.

    The kid posted a video calling President Obama “ignorant,” and “incompetent.” CJ Pearson is especially fired up about the Muslim kid that was invited to the White House.


    When cops are gunned down, you don’t invite them to the White House. You never did. But when a Muslim kid builds a clock, come on by. What is this world you’re living in? When the shooting in Chattanooga happened, it took you longer to lower the flag to half staff than it took you to light the White House in rainbow colors after the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage.

    Depressing video available here.

  158. says

    blf @172: Ha! Laugh-worthy (in a pained, black comedy way). Great cartoon. Hits all the right notes.

    A followup on the news about Trump’s failure to shut down anti-Muslim/birther comments from audience members in New Hampshire:

    […] New Hampshire is 94 percent white, but the number of residents of color and religious minorities has greatly increased over the past few years.

    This change has come with an increase in incidents of Islamophobia. A local gun shop, Granite State Guns & Survival Gear, declared themselves a “Muslim-free zone.”

    Earlier this summer, Trump and many other Republicans running for president attended a New Hampshire conference sponsored by a group that believes American Muslims are infiltrating the U.S. government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. The group’s staffers have also advocated outlawing the practice of Islam in America.

    Just a few years ago in nearby Boston, a Muslim woman wearing a hijab was violently attacked by a stranger who accused her of a connection to the Boston marathon bombing.

    Civil rights groups are concerned that Trump’s tacit support for anti-Muslim speech will echo what has happened with his rhetoric against Latin American immigrants: that it will evolve into violence.

    Since Trump infamously characterized Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” supporters of his have verbally and physically attacked Latino protesters and openly advocated for white supremacy. Two brothers who beat and urinated on a homeless Latino man in Boston in August cited Trump as the inspiration for their crime. […]

  159. blf says

    An extremely worrisome collision with reality, Donald Trump on vaccines: ‘It’s not helpful’, experts say:

    The Republican frontrunner told similar anecdotes about employee’s baby contracting autism at Republican debate — and on Fox News in 2012

    Donald Trump blames a link to vaccines for causing autism. But he can’t blame vaccines for his own apparent memory problem.

    The Republican presidential frontrunner told the GOP debate on Wednesday about one particular case. “People that work for me, just the other day, two years old, beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later, got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”

    Whatever the cause of the ailment, it was a sad story. But not, it seems, a new story. In April 2012 the tycoon-turned reality TV star told a very similar tale to Fox News.

    “It happened to somebody that worked for me recently. I mean, they had this beautiful child, not a problem in the world, and all of the sudden they go in and they get this monster shot (…) they pump this in to this little body and then all of the sudden the child is different a month later.”

    Was Trump referring to two different cases, or was he recycling the same story and freshening it up with a “just the other day” reference? His campaign did not respond to a Guardian query on Thursday.

    The apparent blurring of time, according to political and medical experts, fit a pattern of smudging facts about vaccinations.

    Trump, they said, peddled a false theory which put children’s health at risk. “What Trump said is not just wrong, it’s dangerous because if people take him seriously and delay vaccines for their children the children could get sick,” said Jack Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College and author of The Politics of Autism: Navigating the Contested Spectrum.

    “A lot of what Trump says is annoying but this is serious. Vaccines are just about the only cause of autism that scientists have ruled out.”

    Matt Zahn, medical director of epidemiology and assessment for the Orange County Health Care Agency, which battled a measles outbreak at Disneyland earlier this year, lamented the candidate’s intervention. “It’s not helpful. It does give the impression that the water is muddy when it’s not at all. It’s disappointing that this issue has been raised again.”


    Pitney said one hostile critic on Amazon urged people to burn his book The Politics of Autism. Misguided progressives and conservatives embraced conspiracy theories about vaccinations, he said, but in this race for the White House it was an issue only among Republican candidates. “It joins with anti-government sentiment on the Republican side.”

  160. Saad says

    Trump’s ridiculous response to his racist supporters

    During that event, on unidentified man said, “We have a problem in this country — it’s called Muslims,” adding, “We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American,” the man added. “That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”

    Trump responded, “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying bad things are happening, [and] we’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”

    A second Trump supporter endorsed the first man’s claims during his own moment in the question-and-answer session.

    “I applaud the gentlemen who stood and said that Obama is a Muslim born abroad,” he said.

    “Right,” Trump replied before moving on to the next questioner.

    Is that the most vague and meaningless response given ever to anything?

    Also, I hope more of his supporters spew their hideous bigoted lies on the national stage like this.

  161. says

    Congressman Paul Gosar (a Representative from Arizona) is planning to boycott Pope Francis’s address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow.

    The earth’s climate has been changing since God created it, with or without man. On that, we should all agree…If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change then he can do so in his personal time. But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous…

    When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.


    Gosar is a dentist as well as a Congess critter. He likes to display his ignorance. He self-identified as a Tea Party candidate when he ran for office. He was endorsed by Sarah Palin, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others. Birds of a feather being ignorant together. Gosar lists his religion as Roman Catholic.

  162. microraptor says

    @173- it’s a problem, but honestly I wasn’t that different at that age (except it was Clinton in the Oval Office). Hazards of growing up in a Conservative household, but don’t write the kid off as a lost cause yet.

  163. says

    This is a followup to comments 134, 137 and 149.

    To add to the ridiculousness of the supposed “major foreign policy address” Donald Trump delivered on a decommissioned battleship, the group for which he was raising funds had its non-profit status revoked by the IRS.

    The Internal Revenue Service revoked the nonprofit status of the veterans benefit organization that hosted and sold tickets to a foreign policy speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump aboard a retired U.S. battleship, The Associated Press has learned. The group’s endorsement of Trump at the event also could raise legal problems under campaign finance laws.

    Associated Press link

  164. says

    The White House statement on the racist and stupid comments made by members of Trump’s town-hall event:

    “People who hold these offensive views are part of Mr. Trump’s base,” said Josh Earnest. “Mr. Trump himself would be the first to tell you that he’s got the biggest base of any Republican politician these days. Now it is too bad that he wasn’t able to summon the same kind of patriotism that we saw from Senator McCain who responded much more effectively and directly when one of his supporters at one of his campaign events about seven years ago raised the same kind of false claims.

    Now what is also unfortunate is that Mr. Trump isn’t the first Republican politician to countenance these kinds of views in order to win votes. In fact that is precisely what every Republican Presidential candidate is doing when they decline to denounce Mr. Trump’s cynical strategy because they are looking for those same votes.

    Now other Republicans have successfully used this strategy as well. You will recall that one Republican Congressman told the reporter that he was David Duke without the baggage. That congressman was elected by a majority of his colleagues in the House of Representatives to the third highest ranking position in the House. Those same members of Congress blocked immigration reform. Those same members of congress oppose reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Those same members of Congress couldn’t support a simple funding bill because they are eager to defend the confederate flag.

    So those are the priorities of today’s Republican Party. And they will continue to be until someone in the Republican Party decides to summon the courage to stand up and change it.”

  165. says

    This is a followup to comment 158.

    Here’s a very thorough debunking of Carly Fiorina’s lie about the footage of an aborted fetus she claimed to have seen.

    Video available at the link.

    […] pressed to identify which video contains the gruesome scene Fiorina described, neither her campaign nor the anti-abortion group who produced the sting videos have not been able to do so. […]

    During the debate, Fiorina said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could watch “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

    No such scene was present in the hours of sting videos released in recent months. […] the Center for Medical Progress, which produced the videos, pointed to a section of the third episode of its “documentary” series “Human Capital,” a spin-off of the initial “sting” videos.

    “The footage in question was from Grantham Collection & Center for Bio-Ethical Reform used to illustrate the first person eye witness testimony of Holly O’Donnell of the barbaric acts committed inside Planned Parenthood abortion facilities,” David Daleiden — leader of the project — said in a statement.

    The video cuts between three separate interviews: two with representatives from two different procurement companies and a third with Planned Parenthood official Deborah Nucatola.

    The first interviewee says that there are times after a procedure that the heart is still beating; the second interviewee says sometimes a chemical known as digoxin is used in certain abortions but would not be in the tissue samples the actor posing as a buyer is seeking; the third interviewee, the Planned Parenthood official, explains that digoxin is used by some providers, “so that they have no risk of violating the Federal Abortion Ban.”

    “If you induce the demise before you do the procedure, nobody’s going to say you did a ‘live’ — whatever the federal government calls it — ‘partial birth abortion,” she says.

    It is none other than Daleiden himself — in the next cut of the video, appearing on CNN — who then makes the claim that that digoxin and other chemicals used to “kill” fetuses before a procedure are not used in when the tissue is going procured, because “that poisons the organs and the tissues.”

    The video then jumps to O’Donnell, an ex-staffer at yet another tissue procurement company, who describes being asked to procure a brain tissue from an aborted fetus, but such footage is never shown.

    While she is describing the incident, footage is shown of a fetus in a tray, footage Center for Medical Progress is now admitting it did not film itself, but rather obtained from anti-abortion groups. The Center for Medical Progress itself came under fire for a separate image used in one of the videos that was not an aborted fetus, as suggested, but in fact a stillborn. The photo was taken without the mother’s permission from a Daily Mail article about the woman’s miscarriage.

    There is no proof that the footage cited by Fiorina’s defenders was filmed in a Planned Parenthood clinic, nor that it was even of an aborted fetus.

    Furthermore, there is no point in the scene where someone is overheard saying, “we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

    While Fiorina has continued to defend her debate remarks, her campaign has complicated things by offering a video separate from the Center for Medical Progress series to show what inspired her. As Vox reported, the one-minute video was a uploaded by a group called “Save Babies” (not by Center for Medical Progress) and is a mish-mash of some footage from the sting campaign, but also other footage not from those particular videos.

    As Vox noted, the scene Fiorina described is not there either. […]

    Fiorina’s suggestion of a “heart beating” may have come from earlier in the video, where O’Donnell describes an abortion provider being able to tap an aborted fetus with an instrument to get its heart beating. There is a cut between O’Donnell describing that incident and when she was asked to procure the brain tissue, so it is unclear that she is even talking about the same fetus.

    When she describes the heart beating incident, again, no footage depicting the episode is shown.

  166. says

    Donald Trump’s campaign office issue a policy statement today on gun control. He wants to expand gun rights.

    The short statement proposes nationwide concealed carry permits (the permits are presently issued on a state-by-state basis), and he wants to end bans on magazines that hold more ammunition.

    Other points:
    – no ban on carrying guns on military bases
    – no ban on carrying guns in recruiting centers.

  167. says

    Glenn Beck thinks the Donald Trump campaign is a plot to discredit the Tea Party. The plot, Beck says, was hatched by Big Business.

    Things are pretty bad when Glenn Beck has to come up with a conspiracy theory to dismiss Donald Trump.

  168. says

    By the numbers:

    – 61% of Trump’s supporters think Barack Obama is a Muslim

    – 61% of Trump’s supporters think Barack Obama was not born in the USA

    Looking at those numbers, I don’t think Trump will apologize for his recent failure to correct statements made by an audience member at his town-hall event. He is counting on those people to keep his poll numbers up.


  169. says

    Hilary Clinton’s response to Donald Trump’s failure to correct the guy who claimed President Obama is a Muslim, is not a citizen of the USA, etc.:

    I was appalled. He should have from the beginning repudiated that kind of rhetoric, that level of hatefulness in a questioner in an audience that he was appearing before.

    Let’s see what he does. I think that his taking a time out to think hard about what happened last night, what he did not call out or repudiate at the time, gives him the chance to express his regret about that kind of behavior and those sorts of comments in one of his political events.

  170. says

    This is good news.

    President Obama, in a historic first for the Pentagon, has chosen to nominate Eric Fanning to lead the Army, a move that would make him the first openly gay civilian secretary of one of the military services.

    Fanning’s nomination is the latest in a series of actions taken by the administration to advance the rights of gays and lesbians throughout the federal government. The Obama administration has overhauled internal policies to provide benefits to same-sex partners, appointed gay men and lesbians to the executive branch and the federal bench and ended the 18-year ban on gays serving openly in the military.

    Fanning, who must still be confirmed by the Senate, has been a specialist on defense and national security issues for more than 25 years in Congress and the Pentagon. […]

    Washington Post link

  171. blf says

    Playground atmosphere at Republican debate puts antics ahead of substance:

    Mike Huckabee may have called the heavyweight field of five governors, three senators, two business leaders and a neurosurgeon ‘the A team’, but after two debates it’s time to wonder: will there ever be a serious discussion among them?

    On one question, at least, the bickering candidates in Wednesday’s Republican debate did agree: it was a juvenile way to pick a president.

    Precisely how juvenile was, of course, open to yet more squabbling. This was “childish back and forth”, charged New Jersey governor Chris Christie. “My goodness, that happened in junior high. Are we not way above that?” wondered Kentucky senator Rand Paul, before refining his age estimate up a couple of years and concluding the debate had a “sophomoric quality”.

    “I thought everybody here passed ninth-grade civics,” quipped Mike Huckabee, in a question that cast doubt on Paul’s suggestion they were ready for the second year of high school.

    Much of their ire was aimed at current frontrunner Donald Trump, who yet again revelled in his depiction both as schoolyard bully and picked-upon tall poppy with the same hurt expression.

    But the few adults in the room struggled to rise above the fray either. CNN host and teacher-figure Jake Tapper was accused of encouraging the Lord of the Flies mood by needling the candidates on points of disagreement between them. […]

    As several candidates pointed out, the biggest casualty was not the pride of the Republican party, but the opportunity to discuss matters of serious national importance.

    “Listen, I if I were sitting at home and watching this back and forth, I would be inclined to turn it off,” said Ohio governor John Kasich before being interrupted by Tapper. “People at home want to know across this country, they want to know what we’re going to do to fix this place, how we’ll balance a budget, how we’re going to create more economic growth, how we’ll pay down the debt. What we’re going to do to strengthen the military.”

    Tapper later said he ran out of time when asked, for example, why no one had brought up the hot-button issue of policing and race discrimination at any point during the three-hour debate.

    When the host did try to shift the conversation to awkward topics such as global warming, he was quickly shot down in flames by Marco Rubio and Chris Christie, who dismissed the issue as a liberal conspiracy. […]

    “We’re the A team,” said Mike Huckabee in a rare moment of trying to turn fire on Democrats instead. But after last night’s performance, more than one campaign official was heard wondering whether it is time for another review of the format that seems to suit broadcasters more than politicians or the American people.

    Excerpts from some of the comments:

     ●  “Perhaps the problem with Republicans is that they long ago abandoned any attempt at leading the country anywhere besides backwards? They seem less like leaders than folks who look for hot button issues than leap in front of the parade of crazies that pursue such issues. […]”

     ●  “Watching the republican debates yesterday was like going through the looking glass and finding a surreal world. It was truly a Mad Hatters Tea Party (pun intended). I know it’s been said a lot lately but these people are really scary. They came across as the Inquisition, the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and Joseph Goebbels all at the same time. The world hasn’t heard such saber rattling since World War I. Their default position is always war, death, and destruction. Their only tactic is to instill fear and out-macho each other as though building another Great White Fleet will solve all our problems. I didn’t hear one iota of reasonableness or circumspection. […]”

     ●  “This was total dross. Not one new platitude was uttered. We need to take our country back; this, the greatest country on earth — yes, we know and we’ve heard it over and over and over — there was not one proposal of a solution to anything […]”

     ●  “Top Ten GOP Panderfest Recap: 1) War on Iran; 2) War on Planned Parenthood; 3) War on Women; 4) War on Hispanics; 5) War on Trump; 6) War on the Environment; 7) War on Intelligence; 8) War on Rational Thought; 9) War on Equality; 10) War on Sanity.”

     ●  “In order to even be a GOP candidate one must embrace ignorance, be anti science, anti choice and pro war(with the possible exception of Rand Paul, who is looney on any other subject), especially be pro any war of aggression against countries that have no intention, or capability, to invade the US, meaning the rest of the world. The more know nothing, science hostile, xenophobic and warlike a candidate is, the better their chances. Even the two so called doctors in the race, are anti evolution, ‘young earth’ followers and climate change deniers. It’s the triumph of the dunces and a circus of grotesque clowns that shames every American with a double digit I.Q.”

    The only good thing that can be said about the show was it didn’t set off The Big One. The sheer density assembled over an earthquake fault should have caused some massive deformations (of the Earth’s crust, as well as reality), triggering a really big quake. (On the other hand, there was that quake in Chile…)

  172. blf says

    When I lived in USmogAndmoarsmogistan, I drove an Audi. It was a good car, with the only problem being a wonky radio. So it pains me to say this, but I will never again do business with Audi and VW. This is inexcusible, Volkswagen under investigation over illegal software that masks pollution (the boldfacing is mine):

    California and EPA accuse VW of installing ‘defeat device’ software that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions while a car is undergoing official tests

    The US government has ordered Volkswagen to recall almost 500,000 cars after discovering that the company deployed sophisticated software to cheat emission tests allowing its cars to produce up to 40 times more pollution than allowed.

    The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday accused VW of installing illegal “defeat device” software that dramatically reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions — but only when the cars are undergoing strict emission tests.

    “Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test,” Cynthia Giles, an EPA enforcement officer said. “We intend to hold Volkswagen responsible.

    “VW was concealing the facts from the EPA, the state of California and from consumers. We expected better from VW,” she said. “Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health.”

    The EPA accused Volkswagen of using the device in 482,000 four-cyclinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars in the US since 2008. VW must recall all the cars, remove the defeat device and improve the cars’ NOx emissions, which creates smog and has been linked to increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses.

    “A sophisticated software algorithm on certain Volkswagen vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test,” the EPA said in a statement. “The effectiveness of these vehicles’ pollution emissions control devices is greatly reduced during all normal driving situations. This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard.”


    The EPA said Volkswagen could face other action and fines for the alleged breach of the Clean Air Act. The maximum fine for violations of the act is $37,500 per vehicle, which works out to a maximum possible fine as high as $18bn.


    When confronted with the EPA and Carb’s [California Air Resources Board] evidence, VW admitted that its cars were fitted with the “defeat device”.

    Let’s be clear here: VW(and Audi) were deliberately trying to pollute the planet. The maximum possible fine should be imposed — the full c.$18 billion — and as much as possible, other sanctions (prosecutions?) applied.

  173. blf says

    And back to bigots (at least she isn’t trying to kill everyone on the planet), Kentucky deputy clerk casts doubt on validity of Kim Davis’s marriage forms:

    A deputy clerk in Kentucky is concerned that embattled Rowan County clerk Kim Davis has altered marriage license paperwork, according to a notice filed on Friday.

    Richard Hughes, who represents deputy clerk Brian Mason, filed a notice in a Kentucky district court saying that Davis may have altered forms used in the marriage licensing process, raising questions over the validity of licenses issued in the county.


    Mason told his attorney that Davis confiscated the original forms this week and handed out an altered form that did not include her name and does not mention the county. The new form has Mason’s name and a place for him to write his initials but not his signature.

    Hughes said: “Those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court’s orders.” [The bigot was released on the condition “that she would not interfere with how licenses are issued” …]

    Davis has said that any license issued — with or without her name — is not valid unless she authorizes it. However, when she was released from jail she changed the marriage license forms to say they were being issued under the authority of the federal court. Davis’s attorney said this new form, if OK with the judge, would solve the problem because gay couples would have a marriage license and Davis would have a clear conscience.

    But lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the gay couples that sued Davis, said they are concerned the new forms might not meet the requirements of Kentucky state law. Hughes echoed those concerns in Friday’s court filing.

  174. says

    Donald Trump has responded via Twitter:

    Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!
    This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something.
    If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!
    If I would have challenged the man, the media would have accused me of interfering with that man’s right of free speech. A no win situation!

  175. Platylobium Obtuseangulum says

    @ 191. Lynna, OM :

    Hey Trump :

    1) Every time? No. That time someone directly spews birther shit in front of you at a major political event? Well, yeah, that time you kinda seriously do.

    2) I rather doubt that. Usually take peoples’ words for things but in your case here not so much. Oh is that kinda an implied admission of trolling in “RL” here?

    3) Actually there is a chance I think. Because Obama isn’t as much of a scumbag as you are and probably would tell the truth in your defense if the occasion to do so ever arose although given his followers aren’t the sort that believe the sorta crap that yours do its less likely. But say an Obama fan said something utterly wrong about you, Trump, in front of Obama at a major political or media event, I do think Obama would correct them. Apart from anything else – like ethics – he’s got the sense to know how it looks to do otherwise.

    4) Really? (Eyeroll.) Um, you *are* challenging “the man” (President actually) by running to replace him (& his party’s choice) as President and also all that birther shit you’ve spewed before.

    I very much doubt that the media – which has really given you a pretty softball run – because that’d be obviously wrong and why would they? Nothing to do with Freezepeach actually and not exactly a no-win situation either. Hint : had you just said : “Well no. I do accept that Obama is a Christian and was born here and that stuff about him being born in Kenya was debunked” well, that’d be a win for you on the facts and might’ve gained you some respect and coverage and more. Y’know like what John McCain did in 2008 I think in similar circumstances. At the very least you wouldn’t look like the sort of douchebag loser who actually believes such utter rubbish so you lost when you could’ve won here. Okay, maybe not won that pitiful fools vote -or his like “minded” friends (although who else would they vote for?) but in so many other ways. Too bad, you’ve flubbed it. Again.

  176. says

    Cross-posted from the “Maybe I’m just too cynical” thread.

    Interesting take on the Trump town-hall event — from The New Yorker.

    “You can make them vicious, violent, horrible questions, even though you’re sort of, probably, on live television,” Donald Trump said to the audience at a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire, on Thursday night. He was explaining the format of the event […] In New Hampshire, he elicited ugliness, he got it, and, to all appearances, he relished it. […]

    It can’t be said that Trump didn’t have control of the [first] exchange; he had, after all, broken in twice. And he had another opportunity to do so when, later in the event, another questioner rose to say, “I applaud the gentleman who brought up the Muslim training camps here in the U.S.A.—the F.B.I. knows all about that.” To which Trump replied, again, “right.”

    “But America has also guns pointed at ordinary citizens here,” the second man said, and then hesitated. […]

    The man launched into a disjointed attack on the Bureau of Land Management. “How can we get in and stop them?” he said.

    “So many things are going to change,” Trump said, and then offered some news-you-can-use for conspiracy theorists.

    “Being in real estate, we have Army bases, Navy bases—so many are for sale,” Trump said. “And so many of them have been sold over the last short period of time.”

    And just who is buying those military bases? The audience seemed to know. Evan Osnos wrote recently about the support for Trump among white supremacists and other extremists in this country. It can seem, though, as if they are not only listening to him but as if he is listening to them.

    Trump is learning the practice of politics in halls echoing with American paranoia. […]

  177. microraptor says

    Question: since Trump is now so pro-gun, is he planning to start allowing guns into his casinos and other property?

  178. says

    microraptor @194, My bet is that Trump will allow himself, and no one else, to carry a concealed weapon into his casinos and onto his golf courses.

    In other news, city council members in Coolidge City, Arizona (“Kook Ridge”) have lost their minds again. They voted to think about allowing only Christian organizations to offer prayers before public meetings.

    […] On Monday’s agenda was a resolution to allow members of all religious organizations within Coolidge to offer a prayer, moment of silence or short message at the start of council meetings. Councilman Rob Hudelson, a Baptist pastor, suggested amending the resolution to limit it to only Christian groups. His proposal passed on a 4-2 vote.

    Councilman Gary Lewis said he seconded Hudelson’s motion and was among the four who supported it. Lewis said his vote was in support of asking the city attorney for more information, not a final decision on the matter. […]

    “I’ve had conversations with many people in the public, including local pastors,” he said. “And while many agree that it was a good idea, it is not something that would be (legally) successful, and I agree with that. I don’t agree with anything that would bring that much litigation towards the city.” […]

    City Attorney Denis Fitzgibbons said he told the council that the proposed change would be substantial and require a resolution to be rewritten and voted on at a future meeting. […]

    The ACLU of Arizona already plans to weigh in on the matter. Legal Director Victoria Lopez said they will send a letter to Fitzgibbons and the council explaining that limiting invocations to a single religious group would violate the First Amendment. […]

  179. says

    More city council news from a conservative community: God told a city councilman in Alabama to pass an ordinance banning “busting slack” in the town of Dadeville. No word or whether or not God used the phrase “busting slack” or the more traditional “baggy pants” or “saggy pants.”

  180. says

    John Oliver made fun of and tested the IRS rules for non-profit, religious organizations. He got away with it, of course. But now he is shutting his church down.

    It is I, Megareverend and C.E.O. of Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption Church, Pastor John Oliver.
    We thank you for all your kind donations, but I’m sorry to report that we have closed down the church. And let me take a moment to explain why – it’s certainly not because we have to.

    We have still, miraculously, not broken any laws by promising you untold riches in return for sending us money. We’re also not closing down because you all kept sending us actual seeds, even though we explicitly told you not to. We’re closing because multiple people sent us sperm through the mail. And when someone sends you jizz through the mail, it’s time to stop whatever you’re doing.

    So we are shutting this s**t down. Praise be!

    P.S. All previous monetary donations have been forwarded to Doctors Without Borders. We did not send the sperm.

  181. says

    The doofuses supporting Kentucky clerk Kim Davis used the song “Eye of the Tiger” to usher her onstage when she was recently released from jail. Survivor’s Jim Peterik threatened action against the doofuses if they did not stop using his music.

    Donald Trump used R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It,” and was roundly dissed by band members: “Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you–you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

    Now its the Dropkick Murphys having a beef with a politician they don’t like. Presidential candidate Scott Walker was using the Boston-based punk band’s music, and they told him to stop. Back in January, the band told Walker, “we literally hate you,” after he walked onto the stage to one of their songs at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

    The Dropkick Murphys then praised Martin O’Malley for using their music. “It’s nice to have a guy who stands up for working people using it !!!”

    I see a pattern here.

  182. microraptor says

    I forgot to post this earlier, but on Rachel Maddow last night she had one piece stating that Bernie Sanders was apparently tied for first place (with Trump and IIRC Carson, though I’m not positive about that) in the New Hampshire Republican Primary polls right now.

  183. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @199:
    clarification please. your phrasing puts Sanders in the Republican primary. That, I find difficult to accept as other than mistake. I’m sure his generic primary polls, might rank him as high or higher than Trumpster and Carsock, overall. Yet, to call it (q)the New Hampshit Rethuglican Primary poll” seems a little too specific.
    is that Maddow’s error or mine, misunderstanding your phraseology? sorry. too early, need more java juice.

  184. says

    Bernie Sanders is an Independent from Vermont. He has been an Independent for decades. He caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate. He is a Democrat for the purposes of the presidential election, probably because there is not a big enough “Socialist” party in the USA.

    The whacky poll that showed him winning the Republican primary in New Hampshire (or being tied with Donald Trump) was shown as just that, whacky, by Maddow. The title of the segment was “The News Gods Must Be Drunk Today.”

  185. blf says

    From the adventures in legalland department of rabbit holes, Teen prosecuted as adult for having naked images — of himself — on phone:

    North Carolina high schooler and his girlfriend face legal proceedings over selfies as both the adult perpetrators and minor victims

    A teenage boy in North Carolina has been prosecuted for having nude pictures of himself on his own mobile phone. The young man, who is now 17 but was 16 at the time the photos were discovered, had to strike a plea deal to avoid potentially going to jail and being registered as a sex offender.

    Experts condemned the case as ludicrous. The boy was, however, punished by the courts, and had to agree to be subject to warrantless searches by law enforcement for a year, in addition to other penalties.

    The young man was also named in the media and suffered a suspension as quarterback of his high school football team while the case was being resolved.

    Cormega Copening, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was prosecuted as an adult under federal child pornography felony laws, for sexually exploiting a minor. The minor was himself.

    “It’s dysfunctional to be charged with possession of your own image,” said Justin Patchin, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin and co-founder of the research website

    Copening was charged with four counts of making and possessing images of himself and one count of possessing a naked image of his 16-year-old girlfriend.

    His girlfriend, Brianna Denson, took a plea deal after being prosecuted on similar charges for having naked, suggestive pictures of herself on her cellphone.

    While the pictures were technically illegal, actual sex would not be — the age of consent for sexual intercourse in North Carolina is 16.


    Patchin said he and other experts in the field had discussed this case and had heard of “zero examples” of under-18s being charged for having their own naked selfie in their phone.


    The legal bind came because the two were over 16 and so could be charged as adults in North Carolina, as is common with some felonies — but the crimes they were being charged with related to laws against sexually exploiting minors.

    Each was therefore simultaneously the adult perpetrator who is considered a predator and the minor victim who needs protecting by the law.

    “It’s ludicrous,” said Fred Lane, a computer security and privacy expert and author of the book Cybertraps for Educators, based in New York. “It’s crazy. It’s an overreach.

    “There is a streak of moralizing that runs through this country that is disturbing sometimes.”

    Meanwhile, the leader of a large organized paedophile ring is about to visit USAbsurdtine on a diplomatic passport and, amongst other things, address (a joint? session of) congress. (I also assume the two teens’s lawyer(s) made a bundle rather than correcting a wrong.)

  186. blf says

    Having now insulted and alienated pretty much every Latino (see @101), the trum-prat is moving on to another marginalised group, Trump: I would have ‘just listened’ if supporter had opposed black people:

    Republican hopeful says his reaction to an anti-Muslim audience member would have been the same had the person rejected African Americans

    Donald Trump on Sunday defended his failure to challenge a supporter who made anti-Muslim remarks at one of his presidential campaign rallies, by saying he would have responded the same way if the man had attacked black people.

    Speaking as new polls indicated that he continues to lead the Republican 2016 primary field, Trump rejected suggestions that he was wrong to indulge the man, who told him in New Hampshire on Thursday: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.”

    Asked on CNN if he would have felt moved to correct the supporter if the man had said “we have a problem in this world, it’s called blacks”, Trump refused to back down.

    “No, I would have probably just listened to his question,” he said. “I mean, who am I?”

    Trump has been sharply criticised for his response to the supporter, who stated President Obama was Muslim and claimed “we have training camps, growing, where they want to kill us” while asking the opening question at the rally in Derry.

    “A lot of people are saying that, and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there,” Trump replied. “We’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.”


    “We have radicals that are doing things,” said Trump. “I mean, it wasn’t people from Sweden who blew up the World Trade Center.”

    The trum-prat has probably just insulted people in Saudi Arabia and Germany, as there were connections between the hijackers and those countries. He doesn’t do diplomacy very well.

    Interviewed later on ABC News, Trump refused to say whether or not he believed Obama was a Muslim born overseas. The property tycoon has in recent years been a leading light in the so-called “birther” movement based around the conspiracy theory that the president was born in Kenya.

    “I don’t get into it,” Trump repeated on Sunday, when asked if Obama was born in the US. “Frankly, it’s no longer of interest to me.”

    Subsequently asked if the president was a Muslim, Trump again demurred. “I don’t like talking about someone else’s faith,” he said.

    Asked the same question minutes after Trump, an exasperated Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, another 2016 presidential hopeful, told ABC Obama “was born in the United States. He’s a Christian.”

    Within the comments is this question, which I really like, “If I was a journalist, I’d be asking what Trump’s response would be to an audience member talking about America’s Christian problem. You know, those who really do have militia training camps on American soil: A Christian militia in America’s midst“.

  187. blf says

    No-where near adequate (see @189), VW software scandal: chief apologises for breaking public trust:

    Martin Winterkorn orders external investigation after US regulators found cars gave inaccurate data on toxic emissions

    Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation after US regulators found that software the carmaker designed for diesel cars gave false emissions data, its CEO said today, adding he was “deeply sorry” for the violation of US rules.

    “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Martin Winterkorn said in a statement published by the carmaker on Sunday. “Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter.”


    In Europe, new laws have forced manufacturers to test their cars under real world conditions and not in laboratories, helping to reduce unrealistic claims about emissions. By 2017 all new cars will have to be more stringently tested, effectively ending an era when car makers could exaggerate the performance of their machines.

    One comment pretty much nails this inexcusable behaviour — which VW / Audi obviously already knew about as they admitted it essentially immediately — “Deliberately rigging software to fool smog testing shows malice of intent.” And, I would add, a complete disregard for the planet / environment and human (and other) life.
    Another comment, “Fucking pathetic modern day apologies. Don’t say sorry for ‘breaking trust’, ‘causing upset’, or whatever. Say sorry for doing wrong.”

  188. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    hate to say it, but I can, somewhat, see Trumprat’s point. (we do it here all the time, btw) When someone says something totally offensive, it’s usually advisable to simply listen. Maybe nod, saying “I’m listening” (with implication of, “…waiting for you to dig yourself deeper into that hole you’re digging”.)
    What trumpster is trying to dash past is that his response was not just letting the dingbat dig himself deeper. Trumpy actually helped him, “yah, …that’s something we’re looking into…” He didn’t just silently listen. He did respond, and did not correct the wingnut from the long disproved myth of Obama being Muslim.

  189. Saad says

    slithey tove, #207

    Keep in mind this is the same Trump that insisted Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. because of his skin and “funny” name.

    There’s no chance Trump was thinking what you’re saying. He agrees with the guy but was being political about it.

    Also, “that’s something we’re looking into” is a code way of saying he agrees.

  190. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 203:

    A teenage boy in North Carolina has been prosecuted for having nude pictures of himself on his own mobile phone. The young man, who is now 17 but was 16 at the time the photos were discovered, had to strike a plea deal to avoid potentially going to jail and being registered as a sex offender.

    It is reasonable to be suspicious of the piccy, as being stored for distribution. Regardless of the person, the fact it was nude of an adolescent and stored on a distribution device (cell phone), make me somewhat suspicious of his motivation.
    agree the charge is ridiculous and the rationalizations, not fair.

  191. says

    blf @24, second half: I saw the way that Trump repeatedly skipped around answering that question on the ABC News show. He’s a slippery character.

    When questioned by Chuck Todd, Trump also blew the dog whistle again that Obama is a Muslim, but he did it in his a slightly different sneaky way:

    CHUCK TODD: Can you imagine supporting or being comfortable if a Muslim ever became president of the United States?

    DONALD TRUMP: I can say that, you know, it’s something that at some point could happen. We’ll see. You know, it’s something that could happen. Would I be comfortable? I don’t know if we have to address it right now. But I think it is certainly something that could happen.

    TODD: You said you’d have no problem putting a Muslim in the–

    TRUMP: I mean, some people have said it already happened, frankly. But of course you wouldn’t agree with that.

  192. microraptor says

    @209 Slithey-

    It is reasonable to be suspicious of the piccy, as being stored for distribution. Regardless of the person, the fact it was nude of an adolescent and stored on a distribution device (cell phone), make me somewhat suspicious of his motivation.

    He’d texted it to his girlfriend. I don’t see what could be suspicious about it. I’ve got a ton of old pictures on my phone just because I haven’t bothered going through and checking whether I still wanted them or not.

  193. Saad says

    PZ, not sure if you’ve heard about this already, but I just saw this on Mano’s blog:

    Alabama puts one-page insert in all public school biology textbooks about evolution

    This week, Alabama made headlines for revising its state science education standards. For the first time, teachers in the state will be required to teach evolution and the fact that humans contribute to climate change. But buried in that news was acknowledgement of a “sticker” that the state requires be placed on its biology textbooks, telling students that evolution is a “controversial theory,” not a fact.

    That sticker is actually a one-page insert placed in the front or back cover of every biology textbook a child reads in public schools in the state, according to Steve Ricks of the Alabama State Department of Education. “It encourages students to question the theory [of evolution] and ask questions about it.” The insert was advocated for by conservative Christians, according to the Associated Press.

    There’s a picture of the insert there too.

  194. says

    Republican candidates for president are vying with each other to see who can abolish the most critical parts of the federal government “on day one.”

    Rubio wants to get rid of the federal Department of Education.
    Carson wants to eliminate the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Perry wanted to eliminate three departments, but couldn’t remember which three.
    Santorum: “[…] the first thing I’d do is abolish the State Department and start all over.”

    The State Department was created in 1789, so if Santorum abolished it that would put an end to a long run. Santorum went on to explain his reasoning: “Every problem that the State Department has, the answer is diplomacy. Why? Because if it’s not diplomacy, they don’t have a job.”

  195. says

    Here are the results from a new national poll:

    Clinton is backed by 42% of Democratic primary voters nationally, compared to 24% for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 22% for Biden and 1% for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    That’s a slight uptick for Clinton.

    Trump has experienced a decline in his poll numbers.

    The survey by CNN of 444 registered Republican voters put Donald Trump in first place with 24% support, a drop of 8 points since their last poll, and Fiorina in second place with 15%.

    That’s an eight point drop for Trump.

  196. says

    Trigger warning for rape.

    In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

    “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

    Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records. […]

  197. says

    Evil hedge fund managers prove once again that they can be sociopathic:

    Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

    The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    NY Times link

    In a related story, Hillary Clinton says she will stop the practice of prescription drug “price gouging.”

    Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on.

    Clinton’s tweet cause the NASDAQ’s Biotechnology Index to trend downward. I guess Wall Street takes her seriously.

    Here are few more examples of price-gouging:

    • Cycloserine, used to trade multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: 30 pills now cost $10,800, up from $500 after Rodelis Therapeutics acquired the drug

    • Isuprel and Nitropress, heart drugs: price increased 525 percent and 212 percent, respectively, after Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquired them from Marahton Pharmaceuticals; Marathon had bought the drugs in 2013 and quintupled their prices

    • Doxycycline, an antibiotic: went from $20 a bottle (Oct. 2013) to $1,849 (April 2014)

  198. says

    Get ready to take a shower after this one. It’s a deep dive into the rightwing swamp. Note that this guy loves Donald Trump.

    In addition to his video railing against President Obama for nominating a “flaming fag” to lead the Army, extremist right-wing activist Theodore Shoebat posted another hour-long video on his website today lionizing Vladimir Putin for being the greatest Christian leader in the world and blasting Republican presidential candidates for daring to criticize the Russian president.

    Heaping praise upon Putin for fighting the twin scourges of Islam and homosexuality, Shoebat let loose with attacks on various GOP presidential hopefuls […] at one point calling for Sen. Lindsey Graham to be “arrested and executed.” On the other hand, Shoebat had nothing but praise for Donald Trump.

    But Shoebat was especially outraged with Carly Fiorina for “bashing Putin,” declaring that she had no right to do so because she is “ugly,” and “a wretch,” and “white trash” and, most importantly, a woman because women have no place in politics.

    “I don’t believe in women in politics,” Shoebat declared. “I don’t believe in women voting. I don’t believe in the suffragist movement, I don’t believe in women in politics. If they’re so righteous, let them stay at home and teach their children that righteousness. They have no place on the podium, they have no place in the political sphere.” [snipped bit about how mothers should raise their children to be proper christians]

    Right Wing Watch link

  199. says

    This is another “the company you keep” comment. Ted Cruz is keeping company with Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore. He named her to a leadership position on his campaign team.

    Fiore is a supporter of Cliven Bundy, the armed and dangerous rancher that refused to pay the grazing fees for his cattle.

    Fiore told us that cancer is “a fungus” and that we could flush it out of our bodies with salt water and baking soda. That’s helpful.

    She suggested that “young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm” in order to prevent rape.

    Sounds like a perfect fit for Ted Cruz.

  200. blf says

    Another thug bites the dust, Scott Walker to end 2016 presidential bid in race’s first shock dropout:

    The Republican candidate, once a frontrunner in polls, has virtually disappeared from the race amid several gaffes and campaign funding shortages

    In the first major wipeout of the 2016 presidential campaign, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker will withdraw from the race for the White House, the Guardian has learned.

    Walker scheduled a surprise news conference in Madison for Monday evening. A source familiar with his campaign’s deliberations confirmed to the Guardian that the governor will announce he has dropped out of the Republican party’s crowded nominating contest.

    With four months still to go until the Iowa caucuses, Walker has been struggling to overcome funding shortages and a seeming inability to make a mark in a large Republican field.

    A CNN/ORC poll following the second Republican debate last week showed Walker failing to register with even 1% of the vote, instead scoring an asterisk.

    It was an astounding fall for a candidate who had once been touted as the great conservative hope for retaking the White House and led early polls. As a Republican governor who was thrice elected in a state that reliably votes Democratic in presidential races, Walker was considered to be the rare candidate who could both toe the conservative line and win.

    Only by the deluded, who have to “un-skew” polls and do not know what “reality”, “evidence”, “humanity”, or “the common sense of a dead duck” means. Walkonyou was never viable, much less plausible, believable. or even useful.

  201. says

    This is a followup to comment 217.

    At least one of the greedy sociopaths that tried to increase prescription drug prices has folded under public pressure:

    […] The drug, cycloserine, is used to treat about 40 patients a year who have tuberculosis that is resistant to most of the usual drugs. The rights to cycloserine had been acquired last month by Rodelis Therapeutics, which promptly raised the price for 30 capsules to $10,800, from $500, giving rise to concern among doctors who treat tuberculosis.

    But Rodelis has now returned the drug to its previous owner, a nonprofit manufacturing organization affiliated with Purdue University, according to a statement issued on Monday by the organization.

    “We discovered literally on Thursday the strategy that had been undertaken’’ by Rodelis, said Dan Hasler, the president of the Purdue Research Foundation, which has oversight of the manufacturing operation. “We said this was not what we had intended.’’ […]

  202. says

    Nope. Members of Black Lives Matter did not vandalize this guy’s truck:

    A Texas man who raised almost $6,000 in funds online to repair his truck was arrested on Friday after authorities determined that he vandalized the vehicle himself and tried to blame supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement for the damage […]

    Police charged 45-year-old Scott Lattin with making a false report after arresting him at his home in Whitney, Texas. […] his arrest warrant stated that he admitted to damaging the truck for “insurance reasons.”

    Lattin organized the fundraiser after claiming last week that vandals spray-painted “Black Lives Matter” across his truck as well as “F*ck the police” because he had decorated the vehicle with the phrase “Police Lives Matter” in support of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth, who was shot and killed at a gas station last month. Both authorities and conservatives have attempted to connect Goforth’s death with the movement, seemingly without any evidence. […]

  203. says

    Marco Super-Confused Rubio said some more stupid stuff about Planned Parenthood:

    Now what you’ve done is you’ve created an industry—now what you’ve done is you’ve created an incentive for people to be pushed into abortions so that those [fetal] tissues can be harvested and sold for a profit […]

    If you go to one of these centers young women are provided very few options. In many places they’re not told anything about, for example, adoption services that might be available to them. In essence, you come in and it’s already predetermined. This is the direction—this is what this place does. It provides abortions, and we are going to channel you in that direction.

  204. Saad says

    Kim Davis could be back in court for altering marriage license forms

    She’s already spent five days in jail, and now a Kentucky clerk could be back in court soon for altering marriage license forms issued to same-sex couples.

    Monday, lawyers for two gay couples and two straight couples questioned the validity of the new marriage licenses and asked a federal judge to order Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis’ office to reissue them. If she refuses, the lawyers asked the judge to put the office in receivership and have someone else do it.

    [. . .]

    But when Davis returned to work last week, she confiscated the marriage licenses and replaced them. The new licenses say they were issued not under the authority of the county clerk, but “pursuant to federal court order.” Davis said this accommodation preserves her conscience while also granting licenses to same-sex couples.

    But on Monday, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union wrote that the validity of the altered licenses is “questionable at best,” and the new licenses bring “humiliation and stigma” to the gay couples who receive them. They asked Judge Bunning to order Davis’ office to reissue the licenses. If Davis interferes, the lawyers say Bunning should place her office in a receivership for the purposes of issuing marriage licenses.

    “The adulterated marriage licenses received by Rowan County couples will effectively feature a stamp of animus against the LGBT community, signaling that, in Rowan County, the government’s position is that LGBT couples are second-class citizens unworthy of official recognition and authorization of their marriage licenses but for this Court’s intervention and Order,” the lawyers for the couples wrote in a court filing.

  205. says

    Senator Ted Cruz, (Republican doofus, friend of Donald Trump, and presidential candidate), said some stupid stuff about the Supreme Court Justices:

    Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who argued nine cases before the Supreme Court as solicitor general of Texas, declared on Friday almost every Democratic nominee to the high court has voted as a “radical leftist nutcase.”

    And he said that half of Republican-appointed justices are “screaming trainwreck disasters,” specifically naming Earl Warren, the former chief justice who is best known for authoring the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that outlawed segregation but who also earned conservatives ire for running an activist court. […]

    “You know, Democrats are batting almost 1.000 when it comes to Supreme Court nominees. Every Supreme Court nominee they put forward votes like a radical leftist nutcase.”

    “Republicans, we bat about .500. About half of Republican Supreme Court justices actually honor their oath to defend the Constitution. The other half are screaming trainwreck disasters. Earl Warren was a Republican nominee. Bill Brennan was a Republican nominee. John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Harry Blackmun, who authored Roe vs. Wade was a Republican nominee.”

    Holy crap, Ted, that’s some ridiculous pandering you put forth for the Heritage Action Forum. You thought no radical leftist nutcases were listening, right?

    Cruz seriously dislikes Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. How can you not love, or at least respect The Notorious R.G.B? Cruz even made noises about Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts being a disappointment to conservatives. If you think Citizens United and the Hobby Lobby decisions were bad news, just elect Ted Cruz president to see even more bad news. Cruz plans to purge the Court of liberals (of reasonable people and of women).

  206. says

    Rachel Maddow hosted a great segment on Governor Scott Walker’s withdrawal from the presidential race.

    The segment begins with a reporter in London asking Walker about evolution. A series of other gaffes are highlighted. Basically, Walker ran for president and people saw that he was both dull-witted and narrow-minded.

    I like the way Walker claimed to be ready to fight ISIS because he fought public school teachers in Wisconsin. Good entertainment, that.

  207. says

    With all-Pope-all-the-time coverage in the news today, this thread will probably be light on political news.

    Also, yours truly has to earn some money today by working on a few proposals that may help refugees from Syria (not my proposals, I’m just the writer for other organizations). At least I will be spending my time on something worth more than Donald Trump’s inanities.

  208. says

    Ben Carson’s inanities about Muslims have increased his cash flow:

    Carson’s campaign reported strong fundraising and more than 100,000 new Facebook friends in the 24 hours after he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

    His campaign manager Barry Bennett told The Associated Press on Monday: “While the left wing is huffing and puffing over it, Republican primary voters are with us at least 80-20.”

    “People in Iowa particularly, are like, ‘Yeah! We’re not going to vote for a Muslim either,’” Bennett said. “I don’t mind the hubbub. It’s not hurting us, that’s for sure.”

  209. says

    Ben Carson’s longer, and still stupid, explanation of his opposition to a Muslim president:

    Absolutely, I stand by the comments. What we have to do , we have to recognize that this is America, and we have a Constitution, and we do not put people at the leadership of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the Constitution.

    So if, for instance, you believe in a theocracy — I don’t care if you’re a Christian and you’re running for president and you want to make this into a theocracy — I’m not going to support you. I’m not going to advocate you being the president.

    Carson went on to say that he would support someone with a Muslim background who is “willing to reject the tenets [of Islam] and accept the way of life that we have and clearly will swear to place the Constitution above their religion.”

    Carson made the comments on Faux News, in an interview with Sean Hannity.

  210. says

    This is a strike that should get a lot of news coverage thanks to the Pope’s visit.

    A few hours before Pope Francis arrives in the District of Columbia for the first leg of his U.S. visit, Capitol food service and other government contract workers will walk off their jobs.

    The workers will strike Tuesday to renew their call for a $15-an-hour wage and the right to unionize. […]

    These workers represent about a third of the workers in the Senate and CVC. Labor organizers say there are roughly 90 Senate workers and 30 in the CVC. On the House side, there are around 125 cafeteria workers and 40 workers with the banquet agency, Capitol Host.

    Many of these workers are returning to full-time work after the six-week August recess, a period indicative of the challenges facing the food service workers at the Capitol, who struggle with low wages and uneven work schedules.[…]

    Democratic Party presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, will join the striking workers.

  211. says

    A few bits and pieces from rabid rightwing media:

    Talk radio host Michael Savage took issue with Obama’s recent nomination of a gay man to be Secretary of the Army, attacking Obama’s nomination of Eric Fanning as a sign that Obama’s “a mad man” and “a psychopath.”

    Conservative talk show host Michael Savage […] ultimately returned to his theory that Obama is in fact a secret Muslim Brotherhood supporter, but also a Maoist. He claimed that “ObaMao” is running a dictatorial socialist system complete with “reeducation camps” — i.e. schools and universities — and “the only thing missing now is the actual beatings, arrests and murders in America.” He predicted that such violent actions are on their way, just as anti-Semitism spread gradually throughout Hitler’s Germany before leading to horrific atrocities.

    “We are living through a very dangerous transition in America right now and there is only one individual who actually knows what is going on and is willing to say it, he is as clear-eyed on it as I am, Donald Trump,” Savage said. “Which is why all the Lilliputians of the Reich are attacking him.”

    Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission joined Jerry Newcombe on his “Vocal Point” radio program earlier this month to discuss Kim Davis […] “governors and mayors and higher authorities” should all be following her lead in resisting the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality. […]

    “And when human authority, whether it be in the home, whether it be in the church, whether it be in the state, when human authority lines up with God’s canons of righteousness and justice, then they are to be obeyed,” he said. “But when they tell you it’s okay to murder innocent, pre-born children, then they are to be disobeyed. When they tell you that you are to marry people who are violating God’s standards regarding marriage, they are to be disobeyed. And this woman in Kentucky is doing what other, if you will, higher magistrates — governors and mayors and higher authorities — should have been doing all along.” […]

    […] The presence of two of Utah’s top elected officials [Governor Herbert and Attorney General Sean Reyes] lends legitimacy to the gathering of opponents of reproductive rights and LGBT equality from around the world. Among the speakers are the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, Peter Sprigg and Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council, Sharon Slater of Family Watch International and Mark Regnerus, whose faulty research on gay parents has been used to justify anti-LGBT discrimination around the world.

    The World Congress of Families is also anti-contraception.

    Most of the quoted text above was excerpted from Right Wing Watch.

  212. says

    Ta-Nehisi Coates will be writing for Marvel’s “Black Panther” comic. This is good news. I have great respect for Coates.

    Ta-Nehisi Coates’ year keeps getting better. In addition to writing a book, “Between the World and Me,” that’s been universally praised by everyone who isn’t a blinkered, hidebound fool, the New York Times’ George Gene Gustines reports that the life-long comics fan is writing a year-long narrative arc for “Black Panther” which will begin publication in 2017. […]

    The arc will be called “A Nation Under Our Feet,” and will involve a violent uprising by a superhuman terrorist group known as “The People” in Black Panther’s home county of Wakanda. “It’s going to be a story that repositions the Black Panther in the minds of readers,” Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said. “It really moves him forward.” […]


    From a review of Coates’s book “Between the World and Me”:

    “Ta-Nehisi Coates is the James Baldwin of our era, and this is his cri de coeur. A brilliant thinker at the top of his powers, he has distilled four hundred years of history and his own anguish and wisdom into a prayer for his beloved son and an invocation to the conscience of his country. […]”—Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns

    Chris Hayes interviewed Coates:

    Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic.
    A Critique That Misses the Point: Mass incarceration is a complicated problem—and deserves to be treated as such.

    Ben Carson, Bigot

  213. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 232:
    like how Carshit likes to say things to be interpreted however he wants. He explains his comment, “I don’t think a Muslim should be president.” as “The Constitution rules above all religions, of course I don’t want a Muslim theocracy for our president.” Retconning the initial comment as being synonymous with “If a Muslim was running for POTUS, I wouldn’t vote for him”, which is fine and acceptable. To say “Muslims [generically] should be disallowed to become POTUS”, is a little different than the retcon he tries to foist.

  214. says

    The Obama administration is on the side of the homeless. Various Republican politicians (mostly at the local level) are not for helping the homeless, they are for arresting them.

    After arguing last month that local ordinances criminalizing people for being homeless are unconstitutional, the Obama administration will now tie federal funding to whether municipalities are cracking down on criminalization measures.

    Every year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives out $1.9 billion in grants to local Continuums of Care, public-private partnerships that tackle homelessness in a specific area. […]

    Last week, though, HUD announced that it would begin asking applicants to describe the steps they are taking to reduce the criminalization of homelessness. Ordinances that criminalize homelessness, also known as “anti-vagrancy” or “quality of life” laws, include making it illegal to sit down on a sidewalk, ask passersby for spare change, or sleep in a public place.

    Applicants for the federal money will have to show they are engaging with local policymakers or law enforcement about criminalization policies, as well as implementing new community plans to ensure homelessness is not criminalized. Failing to combat such ordinances will hurt a Continuum of Care’s chances of winning new funds. […]

    Yes, take their money away if they are going to use it to arrest homeless people.

  215. says

    Donald Trump wants you to know that he as ignorant and arrogant about global warming as he is about most other issues.

    I’m not a believer in global warming. And I’m not a believer in man-made global warming. It could be warming, and it’s going to start to cool at some point. And you know, in the early, in the 1920s, people talked about global cooling. I don’t know if you know that or not.
    I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems. […]

    Trump said that today.

    A couple of journalists have pointed out that Trump is wrong (also mindlessly repeating conservative conspiracy theories) about the supposed discussion in the 1920s about global cooling.

    From David Roberts at Vox:

    […] I briefly considered factchecking this word salad [Trump’s word salad on global warming]. For instance, nobody in the 1920s thought the earth was cooling.

    In the 1970s, a few scientists briefly speculated that the effect of aerosols in the atmosphere (blocking sunlight out) might overwhelm the longer term effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (trapping heat in). But then they did some science, discovered that was wrong, and adjusted their views accordingly.

    According to climate change deniers, because a few (not even most — just a few) scientists briefly postulated an incorrect theory about the balance of atmospheric forcings some 40 years ago, all subsequent climate science is nonsense and you can’t trust what those climate scientists say. They’re always changing their minds! […]

    Anyway, despite this trope being aggressively, almost comically stupid, it has been around for decades. It is repeated by deniers to this day, with numbing frequency, which makes Trump’s “I don’t know if you know that or not” extra amusing.

    […] And I realized that factchecking Donald Trump is a category error. It’s like polishing a duck.

    […] Except I have to ask: what is going on with this “nuclear warming” business? This is not the first time Trump has said it. For instance:

    They talk about global warming is our biggest threat. The global warming we have to worry about is nuclear warming. That’s the global warming.

    What now?

    A nuclear blast would be very, very warm, very, very briefly, for those located near ground zero. After that, though, the big fear is nuclear winter, whereby soot kicked up into the atmosphere by nuclear blasts blocks out the sun. So I’m not sure what “nuclear warming” is. Or why “that’s the global warming.” Or why, whatever it is, it can’t be solved alongside global warming, rather than in its place. Or why …

    Oh, screw it.

  216. Saad says

    Jeb Bush says multiculturalism is wrong, hints at white supremacy, gets international standing of America wrong

    Note: Stupid CNN videos autoplay

    Jeb Bush argued Tuesday that the United States is “creeping toward multiculturalism” and described it as “the wrong approach.”

    His answer came in response to a question at an Iowa diner Tuesday from a woman who wanted to know how the former Florida governor would help refugees and immigrants integrate into U.S. society and “empower them to become Americans.”

    “We should not have a multicultural society,” the Republican presidential candidate responded.

    But Bush, who’s a self-admitted policy wonk and tends to use nuanced language, was referring to “multicultural” in the literal sense — a social model in which cultures live in “isolated pockets,” as he described them, rather than assimilating into society.

    America is so much better than every other county because of the values that people share — it defines our national identity. Not race or ethnicity, not where you come from,” he said. “When you create pockets of isolation — and in some cases the assimilation process is retarded because it’s slowed down — it’s wrong. It limits peoples’ aspirations.”

    “empower them to become Americans”….. so just help them take the citizenship test? That’s how they’d become Americans. Culture, language, etc has fuck all to do with it.

    Oh… he means empower them to become like the default white Americans…

  217. Saad says

    Jeb Bush says multiculturalism is wrong, hints at white supremacy, gets international standing of America wrong

    Note: CNN videos autoplay

    Jeb Bush argued Tuesday that the United States is “creeping toward multiculturalism” and described it as “the wrong approach.”

    His answer came in response to a question at an Iowa diner Tuesday from a woman who wanted to know how the former Florida governor would help refugees and immigrants integrate into U.S. society and “empower them to become Americans.”

    “We should not have a multicultural society,” the Republican presidential candidate responded.

    But Bush, who’s a self-admitted policy wonk and tends to use nuanced language, was referring to “multicultural” in the literal sense — a social model in which cultures live in “isolated pockets,” as he described them, rather than assimilating into society.

    America is so much better than every other county because of the values that people share — it defines our national identity. Not race or ethnicity, not where you come from,” he said. “When you create pockets of isolation — and in some cases the assimilation process is retarded because it’s slowed down — it’s wrong. It limits peoples’ aspirations.”

    “empower them to become Americans”….. so just help them take the citizenship test? That’s how they’d become Americans. Culture, language, etc has nothing to do with it.

    Oh… he means empower them to become like the default white Americans…

  218. blf says

    “Test”@239: Looks outside… Yep, sky continues to be the expected colours with the clouds casting rather pretty shadows on the still bubbling molten lava. Partial success, I’d say.

  219. blf says

    VW/Audi has admitted that c.11 million cars worldwide (albeit mostly in Europe) contain the pollution test “defeat device” (see @189 & @205). When the car is not being emissions tested — that is, essentially all the time (normal usage) — the emission controls are disabled, allowing the cars to spew up to c.40x(!) as much poison into the air. (Some reports say “may contain” rather than “do contain“.)

    The Grauniad analyzed the implications, VW scandal caused nearly 1m tonnes of extra pollution [per year], analysis shows:

    Volkswagen’s rigging of emissions tests for 11m cars means they may be responsible for nearly 1m tonnes of air pollution every year, roughly the same as the UK’s combined emissions for all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture, a Guardian analysis suggests.


    A Guardian analysis found those [“recalled 482,000 VW and Audi brand cars in the”] US vehicles would have spewed between 10,392 and 41,571 tonnes of toxic gas into the air each year, if they had covered the average annual US mileage. If they had complied with EPA standards, they would have emitted just 1,039 tonnes of NOx each year in total.

    The company admitted the device may have been fitted to 11m of its vehicles worldwide. If that proves correct, VW’s defective vehicles could be responsible for between 237,161 and 948,691 tonnes of NOx emissions each year, 10 to 40 times the pollution standard for new models in the US. Western Europe’s biggest power station, Drax in the UK, emits 39,000 tonnes of NOx each year.

    According to Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge, Drax (historically one of the most polluting power stations in Western Europe) “has the highest estimated emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the European Union.”

  220. says

    Mike Huckabee said some stupid stuff about who should vote in the U.S., and who should not vote.

    […] “I know that most politicians say we want everyone to vote, I’m gonna be honest with you, I don’t want everyone to vote.” […]

    The Republican presidential candidate, who currently lags near the bottom or middle of recent national and state polls, said many voters don’t know what the Constitution says. […]

    That’s right. The guy that sided with Kim Davis, the guy that claims the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality can be superseded by Kim Davis’s religious beliefs, that guy says some voters shouldn’t vote because they don’t know what the Constitution says.

  221. says

    Donald Trump has a faulty circuit in his brain, or something. He has trouble defining the word “bigot.”

    Donald Trump continued to defend his failure to correct a town hall audience member who said President Obama is a Muslim, arguing in an interview with CBS that it’s not clear whether the man who asked the question was a “bigot.”

    In an interview for “60 Minutes” set to air in full on Sunday, CBS News’ Scott Pelley asked Trump what his decision not to call out a supporter who said that Muslims are a “problem in this country” says about the real estate mogul. “Well, he said much more than that. That was part of the statement. He then went onto say other things,” Trump responded.

    CBS’s Scott Pelley pressed Trump again, describing the questioner a a “bigot.” Trump replied, “You don’t know that. I mean, he asked a question. You don’t know that he was a bigot.”

    Uh, yeah, we do know the guy is a bigot. We know that from the way he phrased his question: “We’ve got a problem in this country called Muslims. You know our president is one. He’s not even American. But anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: when can we get rid of them?” The first three sentences of that question undoubtedly put the questioner into the “bigot” category.

  222. says

    Some mormons might feel comfortable with Ben Carson because he uses mormon lingo. Carson calls Satan or the Devil, “The Adversary.”

    “I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary, and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct.”

    The editors didn’t realize that when they reported what Carson said, they should have capitalized “The Adversary.”

    BuzzFeed link

    Carson’s most recent defense of his past comments is that he doesn’t want to talk about his faith, nor about the faith of others. Big copout.

  223. says

    Bernie Sanders wrote a thoughtful essay that expanded on his reasons for promoting legislation that will end for-profit prisons.

    The United States is experiencing a major human tragedy. We have more people in jail than any other country on earth, including Communist China, an authoritarian country four times our size. The U.S. has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet we incarcerate about a quarter of its prisoners – some 2.2 million people.

    There are many ways that we must go forward to address this tragedy. One of them is to end the existence of the private for-profit prison industry which now makes millions from the incarceration of Americans. These private prisons interfere with the administration of justice. And they’re driving inmate populations skyward by corrupting the political process.

    No one, in my view, should be allowed to profit from putting more people behind bars – whether they’re inmates in jail or immigrants held in detention centers. In fact, I believe that private prisons shouldn’t be allowed to exist at all, which is why I’ve introduced legislation to eliminate them. […]

    Much more detail at the link

  224. says

    Donald Trump is claiming that Hillary Clinton started the whole “birther” thing during the 2008 campaign.

    Trump tweeted:

    Just remember, the birther movement was started by Hillary Clinton in 2008. She was all in!

    Trump is not alone. Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and other news media personalities have joined Trump in this assertion. Trump is basing his conclusion on this exchange, which took place on “60 Minutes” in 2008:

    “You don’t believe that Senator Obama’s a Muslim?” Steve Kroft asked Clinton.

    “Of course not,” she responded. “I mean, that’s, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. There isn’t any reason to doubt that.”

    “You said you’d take Senator Obama at his word that he’s not a Muslim. You don’t believe that he’s a Muslim or are implying—?” Kroft presses.

    “No,” Clinton said. “No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know.”

    Don Lemon of CNN recently brought the matter up again in an interview with Clinton:

    “People have been saying on-air here, and I’ve been reporting it on CNN and I’ve been reporting it here, that you were the person behind the whole birther thing and that the senator at the time, the President-elect, actually confronted you about that. Do you care to respond?” Lemon asked, according to audio posted by Mediaite. “Did you or your campaign start the whole birther thing? And did you have a confrontation with the President?”

    “That is so—no,” Clinton responded. “That is so ludicrous, Don. You know, honestly, I just believe that—first of all, it’s totally untrue. Secondly, the President and I have never had any kind of confrontation like that.”

    “This is such a bad example of what’s wrong with instantaneous reactions and Americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and paranoia, like Donald Trump,” she continued. “Obviously all of us have to stand against it. I have been blamed for nearly everything. That was a new one to me.”

    Yes, the right conclusion is that Trump is feeding prejudice and paranoia. Sometimes he does it overtly, and sometimes covertly, but he is consistent.

  225. says

    Donald Trump has decided to boycott Fox News (again?). He’s not getting the kind of bended-knee worship he craves. Trump tweeted:

    @FoxNews has been treating me very unfairly & I have therefore decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future.

    Trump also renewed his feud with Megan Kelly. We thought that was over. No, for Trump it is never over. Sample tweet:

    Do you ever notice that lightweight @megynkelly constantly goes after me but when I hit back it is totally sexist. She is highly overrated!

  226. says

    This falls into the “company you keep” category: Donald Trump is going to speak at the “Values Voter Summit” run by The Family Research Council. The Summit has a reputation as one of the most openly bigoted and extremist conferences that Republican presidential candidates attend.

    Perhaps in preparation, The Donald expounded on his relationship to God today:

    Well I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it fifteen years ago. I made one of the great deals they say ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this (points to his golf course and nature surrounding it), and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.


  227. says

    Rick Santorum weighed in on the issue of a Muslim president in the U.S. He defended Ben Carson.

    “What he was saying is, is a devout Muslim who believes in the totality of Islam — which is both a political doctrine and a religious doctrine, which means Sharia law — can a devout Muslim who believes in Sharia law, should that person be elected president?” Santorum said. “Well, the answer is no, they shouldn’t, because that belief structure is antithetical — and, by the way, they wouldn’t be elected president.”

    “I would have said, could a Muslim be elected president? Of course a Muslim could be elected president,” he continued, “we can’t bar someone from a certain religion from being elected president. Is a Muslim who believes strictly in the adherence of Sharia law be elected president? I would oppose them for electing president, and I think most Americans would too.”

  228. says

    Oh, FFS. Carly Fiorina lied her ass off during a Republican debate. She got away with the lies for the most part.

    With that encouragement, she has decided to lie some more. She and her campaign staff put together a fake video to prove that she had not lied earlier about what she saw on one of the deceptively-edited videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress. She is covering a lie about a faked video with another faked video.

    Fiorina and her team put together a video that is a mashup of discredited shit from past videos, and her new fake is still NOT a video that ever existed before — it did not exist in the CMP collection of anti-Planned Parenthood videos. It exists now as an even more blatant example of misleading propaganda.

    Here are the contents of Fiorina’s new lie:

    – A photo of a Pennsylvania woman’s stillborn son, which was used without her permission and falsely passed off as an aborted fetus in an earlier video by the discredited Center for Medical Progress […]

    – Video from the discredited Grantham Collection, an old anti-abortion archive based in Florida. The video is likely not even a fetus. The Grantham Collection has been called out in the past for posting photos alongside totally false claims about what they are (such as a photo of commonly used sponge tongs found in most hospitals, which the archive claimed were a tool used to tear babies’ limbs apart).

    – The audio from a video the Center for Medical Progress secretly recorded of a doctor in Colorado.

    – Video from a Center for Medical Progress interview with a woman who claims she used to work at an independent tissue research organization in California.

    – Audio from a phone conversation the Center for Medical Progress secretly recorded with a man who works at another independent health care organization in California.

    Planned Parenthood has responded:

    […] Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of PPFA [Planned Parenthood Federation of America] writes. “Simply put, the video you described at the debate does not exist, and the video you’re now asking people to watch is not what you claim it is.”


  229. says

    Rightwing media seems to have settled on a description of Pope Francis. The Pope is a Marxist.

    Here are a few excerpts:

    He has been selected – hand-selected – by the New World Order. He is the first non-European pope in twelve hundred years. The same people who gave us Obama gave us this pope. The same people who gave us Obama and the pope are giving the world a good beating. He is from an area where Marxist theory was used to rule over the people.

    The pope is a danger to the world. […] The only thing the pope knows about meteorology is that when it rains his highly-paid aides in the Vatican take out umbrellas and open them for him. The man knows nothing about climate. And for a religious man to do this is incomprehensible. […]

    And I think this pope, this deceiver — what do you think because someone wears a holy robe, they’re holy? Are you people nuts? How many imams are terrorists? Oh, you’re willing to go along with that, aren’t you?

    Well, the pope is a Marxist. I stand by those words. He is a wolf in pope’s clothing, he is an eco-wolf in pope’s clothing. He is a stealth Marxist in religious garb. […]

    The quote above is from Michael Savage’s conservative radio show. He went on to say that the Pope is “directing mankind to worship the Antichrist.”

    […] This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. There’s no such — “unfettered capitalism”? That doesn’t exist anywhere. […] — Rush Limbaugh

    Radio host Alex Jones’ Infowars website issued a “special report” about how the “Pontiff [is] a socialist tool to usher in one-world government” and “how the Pope is a part of the globalist plan to destroy the world and usher in a one-world government.”

    George Will: Pope Comes Out Of “Anti-Capitalist” Strand Of Catholicism That Is “Confused About How To Help The Poor.” Will said Pope Francis comes out of a Latin American “anti-capitalist” strand of Catholicism.

    I am sighing because the Holy Father is a challenge for traditionalist Roman Catholics, of which I am one. Particularly, traditionalists who came of age under John Paul II and then under Benedict XVI. Who, though they had impulses that were not exactly Ayn Rand on capitalism, were far more into philosophy and theology, and far less into the economy … This particular Pope, who has proclaimed himself a Peronist, is somewhere between a communist with a lowercase “c” and a Marxist with an uppercase “M.” At the same time he is trying to be a Roman Catholic — uppercase “R,” uppercase “C.”

    The last quote is from Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano.

    Breitbart said that Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, an “out and out marxist,” controls the Vatican, and the Pope. That particular conspiracy theory comes from Christopher Monckton.

  230. says

    Ted Cruz’s father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, is campaigning for him in Iowa. The elder Cruz has picked up the “Marxist” label that is being applied to the Pope and is using it to connect President Obama and Hillary Clinton to marxism. Yeah, they’re all marxists. Not.

    Our country’s on the edge of a precipice. If Hillary Clinton becomes president in 2016 you can kiss this country goodbye. This country cannot survive another four years, let alone eight of these failed economic policies of this failed Obama administration. We have had the most lawless administration in the history of this country. We have an administration that tramples on the Constitution, tramples on the Declaration, tramples on the separation of powers, tramples on the rule of law, and basically is destroying this country at an accelerated pace. And I will tell you what, Hillary is no better than Obama. Hillary is a Saul Alinsky follower just like Obama. Read Alinsky’s rules for radicals and the Communist Manifesto, they look identical. Alinsky was a communist and his teachings are marxist…They are trying to take this country down the same road.

    Rafael Cruz also presented an extended rant of religious freedom:

    The Obama administration has been talking about freedom of worship. Most of us don’t see anything wrong with that. [But] freedom of worship and freedom of religion are two entirely different things. Freedom of worship is what you do in a house of worship. In all communist countries you have freedom of worship…Obama is trying to restrict our freedom of expression in the marketplace. That is not America. America is the only country on the face of the earth that was founded on the word of God. Don’t believe this garbage from Obama that this is not a Christian nation, this country was founded by Christians; was founded as a Christian nation.

  231. says

    Here’s some good news, Donald Trump gave a speech and the crowd was not yuuuge. Trump ended up speaking in a half-empty ballroom in South Carolina. Photos at the link.

  232. says

    Yeah, you need good lawyers.

    Volkswagen has hired the US law firm that defended BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster to help it deal with a growing collection of investigations and law suits over the emissions scandal that has rocked the car maker and dragged in the German government.

    Are there law firms that specialize in defending über assholiness?

  233. Saad says

    (cross-post from racism thread)

    Presidential hopeful and racist theocrat Mike Huckabee says Obama just pretends to be Christian

    Mike Huckabee suggested President Barack Obama “pretends to be” a Christian in knocking the President’s handling of Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S.

    When asked on Newsmax TV’s “The Hard Line” on Tuesday about Ben Carson’s comments that a Muslim should not be president of the United States, the former Arkansas governor began by saying there is no religious test for public office, but then shifted to a comment about Obama.

    “I’m less concerned about what faith the person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their politics … I’m also concerned about a guy that believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and then says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith,” Huckabee said.

    “I’m disappointed if someone says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but you invite the pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy. I think there’s something very unseemly about that,” he added.

    He also tweeted this about the Pope’s visit:

    I welcome @Pontifex to America & offer my apologies that @POTUS will not offer him the warm, respectful welcome he deserves

    Ha ha. He’s just jealous that the Pope came to see Obama and has never even heard of Mike Huckabee.

  234. Rich Woods says

    @Lynna #256:

    Are there law firms that specialize in defending über assholiness?

    Yes. Yes, I do believe there are. Because everyone deserves a defence*. Especially a pre-emptive one.

    *Proportional to the depth of their pockets, naturally.

  235. Rich Woods says

    @saad #257:

    “I’m disappointed if someone says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but you invite the pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy I think there’s something very unseemly about that,” he added.

    ‘Governor Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation,’ said Senior Advisor, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, ‘and not focus on questions of religious belief. He wants to assure persons of all faith traditions of his firm commitment to religious tolerance and freedom of worship. Governor Huckabee believes that one of the great strengths of our nation lies in its diversity of thought, opinion and faith.’” — NYT, 12 Dec 2007

    Oh wait, wrong campaign. Obviously what Huckabee says only applies when he says it, and is not in any way to be interpreted as a matter of principle holding sway at any other time in his life.

    God preserve us from hypocrites…

  236. says

    From Lynna’s @251:

    “Well, the answer is no, they shouldn’t, because that belief structure is antithetical — and, by the way, they wouldn’t be elected president.”

    Did he think this sounded ok in his head? Bc I’m wondering what it’s antithetical TO.
    I love the not-too-subtle implication that the “totality” of Islam is worse than the “totality” of Christianity.

  237. says

    Donald Trump said today that if he is elected president, the USA will not accept any Syrian refugees.

    This comes after the Pope made speeches about the importance of accepting immigrants.

    Trump has a tin ear.

  238. dianne says

    Least reassuring reassurance about why Trump won’t win: the superdelegates. The superdelegate system was put in place to make sure that “populist” movements don’t get control of the situation and win over the person that the establishment wants. In short, Trump won’t win because he doesn’t have enough support in the oligarchy, no matter how many average US-Americans he can convince. I’d almost rather have Trump win than that be true. Not quite because Trump scares me, but almost.

  239. says

    We heard the typical non-answer from Trump today on the subject of deporting every undocumented immigrant in the USA:

    […] Trump has been vocal that he plans to deport all undocumented immigrants from the country, but has yet to tell how he will go about it.

    Camerota [Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day”] asked, “How would you specifically go about it?”

    Trump then dodged the question.

    “Through good management and through a process. And the process is the bad ones go and they never come back,” Trump said. “They’re never coming back. The really good ones, and there are many, they will go and they will come back legally. They’ll come back on an expedited system.”

    She then asked if he would use the National Guard or police to enforce the policy.

    “I would use different forms,” Trump said. “It will take place and it will be done effectively and warmly and humanely. And a lot of people will be very happy about it. Did you know i had a good hispanic poll the other day?”

    Trump then pivoted into talking about his poll numbers.

    Well, I’m reassured. /sarcasm How about you? “Warmly and humanely” … dude, you are in LaLa land. Your train is off the tracks. All of your screws are loose. Your ego has ballooned out to Pluto. Do the people you hire routinely let you get away with this nonsense?

  240. says

    Here’s a new approach to gerrymandering in order to keep Democratic Party candidates out of office, and to ensure that Republicans stay in office.

    A white Florida Republican suggested knocking a black, longtime Democratic congresswoman out of her seat by gerrymandering more prisoners into her district […]

    […] state Rep. Janet Adkins (R) made the suggestion regarding U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown’s (D) district in a closed-door meeting of the North Florida Republican caucus.

    “It’s a perfect storm,” Adkins said on the audio recording. “You draw it in such a fashion so perhaps, a majority, or maybe not a majority, but a number of them will live in the prisons, thereby not being able to vote.”

    Adkins made sure there were no reporters in the room before she made her comments, according to the report.

    Brown, who is black, has filed a lawsuit to challenge the proposed redrawing of her district. She also told the Florida Senate Redistricting Committee that she was concerned that redrawing her district to include more prisons would lower its black voting population from 50 to 45 percent […]

    Adkins […] said she was having a “private conversation” and noted that she does not serve on the state House redistricting committee. […]

    Additional link

  241. says

    Ben Carson, the Republican presidential candidate running second to Donald Trump in many polls, believes in a literal 6-day creation:

    It says in the beginning God created the heaven and Earth. It doesn’t say when he created them, except for in the beginning. So the Earth could have been here for a long time before he started creating things on it. But when he did start doing that, he made it very specifically clear to us the evening and the morning were the next day because he knew that people would come along and try to say that, “Oh, it was millions and millions of years.” And then what else did he say in the very first chapter? That each thing brought forth after its own kind. Because he knew that people would come along and say, you know, this changed into that and this changed into that and this changed into that. So at the very beginning of the Bible, he puts that to rest.


  242. says

    For those who may have missed the Pope’s address to the joint session of Congress, here are some highlights:

    I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States—and this Congress—have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature. […]

    […] every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation. […]

    I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life. […]

    When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue—a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons—new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces. […]

    Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. […]

    We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants…Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our ‘neighbors’ and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal solidarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this. […]

    Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade. […]

    We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. […]

  243. says

    This is good news, a good court decision. We will soon be finding out more behind-the-scenes details about those deceptively edited videos from the Center for Medical Progress.

    The Center for Deceptive Propaganda about Planned Parenthood wanted to keep their filming methods and their editing methods secret. The 9th Circuit court of Appeals said, “NO!” They will have to participate in discovery and turn over information to the National Abortion Federation and to StemExpress.

    In a separate case against CMP brought by StemExpress, the tissue procurement company featured in some of Daleiden’s videos, a judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court said Tuesday that Daleiden has to turn over documents in that case as well.

    The ruling allows StemExpress — which worked with Planned Parenthood clinics before becoming embroiled by the scandal — to obtain documents, communications and certain unedited footage from the Center for Medical Progress.

    Yes, bring those doofuses and their methods into the light. Let’s examine them.

  244. says

    This is a “the company you keep” story, and a tale of Donald Trump getting what he paid for.

    Jeffrey Lord is using his CNN political commentator position to defend Donald Trump’s most outlandish remarks on the campaign trail. Lord’s pro-Trump advocacy has been so over the top that his own colleagues have repeatedly called him out for pushing inaccuracies, defending misogynistic and anti-Muslim remarks, and carrying Trump’s “fetid water every day.” Lord’s ongoing defense of Trump should not be a surprise, as the billionaire businessman reportedly “helped Lord get his job at CNN.” […]

    Lord Is an anti-immigrant lynching denier who compares opponents to Nazis. CNN hired Jeffrey Lord, a writer for The American Spectator and, as a political commentator in August. He has a history of pushing fringe rhetoric and misinformation. Lord engaged in a “profoundly ahistorical” crusade to deny the lynching of a black man, pushed bogus conspiracies about Democrats, and compared his political opponents to Nazis and the KKK.

    Donald Trump Reportedly Complained About CNN’s Coverage And Suggested They Start Booking Lord. […]

    Washington Post opinion writer Erik Wemple wrote that “CNN has a built-in advantage: One of its very own contributors is a Trump supporter who’s willing to defend the indefensible at every turn.” He added that Lord appears on CNN ostensibly just “when the network needs someone to defend Trump” […]

    Yes, Trump keeps company with fellow bigots, racists and doofuses. Trump helps them get jobs where they can portray him positively in the media.

  245. Saad says

    Jeb Bush: Democrats lure black voters with “free stuff”

    Jeb Bush told a South Carolina crowd Thursday that Democrats play to African-American voters by offering “free stuff,” a similar comment to a contentious one that Mitt Romney made in the days after his 2012 loss to President Barack Obama.

    Bush, analyzing Republicans’ chances with black voters, said that his party needs to make a better case to the traditionally Democratic voting bloc.

    “Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and ‘Get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff,'” Bush said Thursday at an event in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

  246. says

    Regarding Nerd’s comment #273, when we see Boehner quitting in the middle of a Congress we are seeing something highly unusual. There are no precedents in the modern age.

    Boehner served in Congress for nearly a quarter of century. The most recent years were a constant struggle during which Boehner, never a guy with great ideas, had more trouble than usual thanks to rightwing House members who just wanted to blow everything up all the time.

    I am, on the one hand, glad to see Boehner go, but on the other hand I think his successor will be even worse, more hapless, more rightwing. Less well be accomplished in terms of legislation (hard to imagine less than almost nothing), and more self-inflicted wounds will occur. More brinkmanship, more threats to shut down the government, default on debt, blow up international agreements, etc.

  247. says

    I see that rightwing media sources are already blaming President Obama for John Boehner’s departure.

    However, some of this sudden goodwill toward Boehner (Obama frustrated him to death?) is a change from what a lot of Republicans have been saying, that Boehner is keeping true conservatives from doing their job in Washington. In a recent poll, only 26% of Republicans approved of Boehner.

  248. says

    When Marco Rubio announced Boehner’s resignation, Rubio’s audience stood up and applauded.

    More signs of bad shit coming soon:

    […] “Today’s announcement is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington. Now is the time for a principled, conservative leader to emerge,” Heritage CEO Michael Needham said in a statement. […]

    In an op-ed for the Independent Journal Review, Red State’s Erick Erickson said that Boehner had “increasingly marginalized conservatives.”

    “Boehner’s problem is that he held more and more of his own party in the House in contempt. In the end, it wasn’t just the conservatives who felt shut out and unable to do business with Boehner. Everyone else did to [sic]. So Boehner had to go,” Erickson wrote.

    Conservative groups like Gun Owners of America and FreedomWorks applauded their supporters’ efforts to oppose Boehner.

    FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon said in a statement that Boehner’s decision to step down is “a huge victory for the House Freedom Caucus.”

    Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) one of the House members who has pledged not to vote for a bill that includes funding for Planned Parenthood, marked Boehner’s decision as a loss for the “establishment.”

    Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), who ran for speaker in January as part of an attempt to oust Boehner, did not hide his excitement about Boehner’s resignation on Friday.

    “I am really excited and ecstatic about this,” he told The Gainesville Sun. “It couldn’t be a better day politically for us.” […]

    Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, on Friday called for a leader in the House who will fight to defund Planned Parenthood.

    “American voters who put the Republican Party into the majority have grown weary of GOP leaders running into these political battles waving a white flag.” Perkins said. “If Republicans will not fight to end taxpayer funding for an organization that is trafficking in baby body parts, and possibly infanticide, what will they fight for? We welcome Republican leadership that understands that some values, like life, religious liberty and national defense are worth fighting for – no matter what.” […]

  249. says

    Even while he often fought the most rabid of his rightwing colleagues, Boehner racked up a bad record.

    In October 2013, he shut down the government over “the threat of Obamacare.” Standard & Poor’s, that shutdown cost the USA $24 billion, a loss of 0.6% of the GDP in the fourth quarter.

    He killed bipartisan immigration reform. His excuse was that had technical difficulties, therefore the government can’t do anything right. WTF? Bipartisan immigration reform passed the Senate, and 200 House members signed on to the bill, but Boehner refused to bring it up for a vote. Boehner was probably afraid of backlash from the rabid rightwing.

    He used the debt ceiling to blackmail Democrats and President Obama. That fight brought us sequestration, automatic budget cuts, from which we are still suffering.

    He ran the least productive Congress in history according to the Pew Research Center.

    He led a Congress that tilted at windmills, voting more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare.

    More tilting at windmills: Boehner spent $2.3 million defending the Defense of Marriage Act.

  250. says

    Yesterday, John Boehner’s communications director told Time magazine, “He’s not going anywhere. If there’s a small crew of members who think that he’s just going to pick up and resign in the middle of his term, they are going to be sadly mistaken.”

    Uh ….

    Who wants the job of House Speaker? The record is scary: “Newt Gingrich resigned in disgrace; Bob Livingstone resigned in disgrace; Dennis Hastert is under criminal indictment; and John Boehner is quitting mid-term.” (The quoted text is from Steve Benen, who writes for The Maddow Blog.)

  251. says

    Saad @272, Jeb bush inherited wealth and power. Now he does a Mitt Romney and accuses African-Americans of wanting “free stuff?” Who is going to vote for this guy? Mitt Romney.

  252. blf says

    Teh trum-prat not only has a tin ear, a problem with the word “bigot”, and no connection to reality, but also is unaware of those and other problems. Other people are not, Donald Trump booed by conservative crowd for first time in his campaign:

    The audience reacted negatively to Republican frontrunner calling Marco Rubio ‘a clown’, but Trump insisted to reporters ‘those weren’t boos, those were cheers’

    For the first time since running for president, Donald Trump got booed on Friday among a crowd of staunch conservatives.

    At the Values Voter Summit, a gathering of social conservatives in Washington DC, Trump received an angry response after calling his fellow Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio “a clown”.

    Trump later told reporters, “those weren’t boos, those were cheers.”

    The Republican frontrunner has been engaged in a war of words with the Florida senator in recent days. Trump has criticized Rubio for missing votes in the Senate, and the Florida senator went after Trump as a “touchy and insecure guy” who “can’t have more than a 10-second soundbite on any key issue”.

    The boos marked the first time Trump has met such a hostile reaction on the campaign trail. […]

    The boos weren’t the only negative reaction that Trump got from the audience. When the Republican frontrunner claimed that he won the most recent GOP debate based on polls, an audience member shouted: “No, you didn’t.”

    After speaking, Trump left quickly without taking questions from reporters.

    Some of the comments are speculating teh trum-prat “thought” the boos were for robuoverandover.

  253. says

    blf @282, Ha. That’s funny.

    When Trump flew to Texas to expose himself to what he characterized as extreme danger at the border with Mexico, protestors met his plane. Trump claimed that the protestors were supporters cheering him on. One has to wonder if he really sees and hears such a skewed world.

    In a way, a horrifying way, that’s an impressive display of ironclad hubris.

  254. says

    Now that the rabid rightwing has forced Boehner out of office, they say that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader is next.

    According to Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ), that’s what happened, the House Freedom Caucus forced Boehner out by threatening a coup … and they had help from God — all those prayers from those attending the Values Voter Summit. (Ted Cruz pushed that line too. God wanted Boehner out.) Now they have their sites set on McConnell.

    […] “Mitch McConnell is infinitely worse as a leader than Boehner,” Salmon told reporters Friday. “He surrenders at the sight of battle every time.”

    Boehner was under extreme pressure from the House Freedom Caucus, which was pushing for a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding. McConnell has put in motion a plan to avert the shutdown.

    “I was texting back and forth with one of my friends on the Senate side, Mike Lee,” Salmon said, referring to the Utah senator. “And I said, the next guy in the crosshairs is probably going to be McConnell.” […]

    So, “the next guy in the crosshairs is McConnell.” Right. Like I said, things are going to get worse, not better. The rabid right pushes their ill-informed ideology even harder. Feeling sorry for President Obama.

  255. says

    Kim Davis never was a Democrat, she just claimed to be one. Now she is officially switching parties. She and her husband will be Republicans. The Republican Party has already welcomed her.

    “We are pleased to announce that Kim Davis will be honored at this year’s Values Voter Summit. After meeting with her last week, I can tell you that Kim Davis wasn’t looking for this fight, but she is not running from it either. What militant secularists are almost certainly afraid of is what is coming to pass: courage is breeding courage. When other people might have cowered in fear, Kim took a stand. And today, millions of Americans stand with her and for the religious freedom upon which our nation was founded.”

    Kim Davis also has a new book deal with a christian publisher.

    […] the Rowan County clerk who made headlines for refusing same-sex couples marriage licenses, has signed a seven figure book deal with Forever Faith publishing and her memoir I’m a Survivor will be released just in time for Christmas. […]

  256. says

    Cheap. Vaudevillian, whatever adjective you choose … the Trump show at the Values Voter Summit was even more stomach-churning than usual:

    In a rather transparent attempt to appeal to the Christian conservatives who make up the audience at the Values Voter Summit, Donald Trump brought a Bible with him to the podium when he spoke today, because “it brings back so many memories.”

    Trump them proceeded to spend the next 20 minutes delivering his standard stump speech, which consisted of relentless boasting interspersed with personal attacks on his rivals and vague but grandiose promises to solve all of this nation’s problems.

    At one point, after wondering why we even need to hold an election considering that he is leading in all the polls, Trump took a moment to assure the audience that he is actually a nice person.

    “People were not sure I was a nice person,” he said, “and I am. I am. I am. I am. I’m a giving person. I believe in God, I believe in the Bible. I’m a Christian. I have a lot of reasons. I love people.”

    Trump later closed out his speech by hoisting his Bible in the air and declaring “this is the key.”


  257. says

    I am so relieved (not). Trump has weighed in the issue of the “War on Christmas.”

    The word “Christmas.” I love Christmas. I love Christmas. You go to stores, you don’t see the word “Christmas.” It says “Happy Holidays” all over. I say, “Where’s Christmas?” I tell my wife, “Don’t go to those stores. I want to see Christmas. I want to see Christmas.” Other people can have their holidays but Christmas is Christmas. I want to see “Merry Christmas.” Remember the expression “Merry Christmas”? You don’t see it anymore. You’re going to see it if I get elected, I can tell you right now.

    This is a flip-flop on Trump’s part. In the past his Trump Hotel Collection cards read “MAY PEACE, JOY, HOPE AND HAPPINESS BE YOURS DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND THROUGHOUT THE NEW YEAR. HAPPY HOLIDAYS.” The all-caps bit is from the original. All-caps is a Trump style that he repeats everywhere, as in TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION, etc.

  258. says

    President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a joint press conference where China made a financial commitment of $3.1 billion to help developing countries lower greenhouse gas admissions, adapt to climate change, and make other adjustments to address climate change.

    This is one outcome from bilateral talks between Obama and Xi Jinping.

    Obama’s commitment of $3 billion to the United Nation’s Green Climate Fund is opposed by Republicans in Congress. They have blocked the first payment of $500 million. The rightwing take on this is that they will do what they can “to prevent $3 billion in taxpayer dollars from going to the Green Climate Fund, where the money will be spent by unelected UN bureaucrats to dictate U.S. policy and hinder developing countries’ ability to aggressively address the economics of poverty.”


  259. says

    Rand Paul’s campaign, and members of his family, are in big legal trouble.

    Rachel Maddow reports on new details revealed about the federal trial of former Paul family political operatives in a bribery scandal that shows among the possible witnesses Rand Paul’s own father, former Congressman Ron Paul, as well as his sister and current chief presidential campaign strategist.

    Whoops. Big October surprise. I think this will take Rand Paul out of the race.

  260. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Not yet October and already Christmas season controvs???
    To reiterate, talking to Mr. Trumpster, Happy Holidays is simply a euphemism for M.C., attempting to be all inclusive. What is wrong with greeting even non-christians with wishes to be happy during the same period that the Christians are celebrating. Must Christmas be totally exclusive to a specific subset of people?
    raising the observation that there *are* people who refuse to give presents to non-Xians for Xmas (one group in particular), while they will not reciprocate by refusing gifts from nonXians for the holiday.
    ;-D Of course, I do it the correct way. Solstice time is to party, invite friends regardless of heritage, hand out gifts to each of them, be kindly accepting of, without expecting any, gifts reciprocated.
    Sorry, I’m just trying out some egotism, by declaring myself the source of correct practice. However, I am just playacting, simply describing my approach (to the holly days [deliberate misspelling]). Not actually declaring it the “proper method”.
    Back to War on Christmas. It is still baffling that people would object to the inclusive greeting over the exclusive one, especially for a holiday that in intended to be attractive. In response I tend to remind the xmasholics that the holiday is pretty much a retconned pagan holiday. That the date itself is a mismatch to the birth they are celebrating. The RCC adopted the holiday to lure the celebrating pagans to accept the Xian theology over their pagan theology.
    sorry to get longwinded. pshww

  261. says

    Cross-posted from the “You don’t have to be smart …” thread.

    Another example of rightwing politics melding with rightwing religion:

    Attorneys with Americans United for Separation of Church and State today warned Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach to stop using his office to promote Christianity and to cease coercing employees to attend religious services.

    […] Courtney Canfield, an employee in the Secretary of State’s office, filed a lawsuit alleging that she was fired after she declined to attend religious services run by Dave DePue, an evangelical chaplain who calls himself the “state minister” of Kansas. In court documents, Canfield asserted that Kobach routinely invited employees to attend DePue’s services and even issued a “prayer guide” for each week’s gathering. […]

    “By encouraging employees to attend your personal prayer meetings – held in the very office where you conduct the government’s business – you endorse and promote religion,” reads AU’s letter.

    “[…] Even if attendance may technically be optional, when a direct superior strongly encourages employee attendance at an event that he holds in his office, many employees will consider non-attendance to be a potential threat to their jobs.”

    The letter asks Kobach to cease the Bible studies in their current form and tells him to stop using the resources of his office to endorse religion or coerce employees to take part in worship services. […]

    Kobach has also been involved in several schemes to disenfranchise African-American voters.

  262. says

    Confluence of religion and politics:

    Representative Bob Brady, a devout Catholic and Democrat from Pennsylvania took Pope Francis’ water glass on Thursday.

    After Pope Francis addressed congress, Rep. Brady made his way to the podium to get the leftover liquid so he could drink it

    He also shared the water with his wife Debra and his staff, and plans to use the rest to sprinkle on his grandchildren

    Brady poured the liquid into the mouths of others rather than letting them hold the glass and had his staff send out the photos. […]

    Daily Mail link.

  263. says

    Carly Fiorina failed the test of being reasonable and of understanding basic science just as badly as did Ben Carson.

    2) California “destroys lives and livelihoods with environmental regulations” [Fiorina claimed].

    [B]etween 1993 and 2013, thanks to energy efficiency, the average residential electricity bill in California declined, on an inflation-adjusted basis, by 4 percent, even as bills rose elsewhere in the country. Between 1990 and 2012, the state cut per-capita carbon emissions by 25 percent even as its GDP increased by 37 percent. … Oh, and California created more jobs than any other state in the nation last year, with the fifth-highest GDP growth rate. And its budget is balanced.

    6) “Coal provides half the energy in this nation still”

    No, it doesn’t. Coal provides 20 percent of the total primary energy used in the US.

  264. says

    This is a followup to comments 273, 274, 276, 277, 278, 279 and 280.

    Here’s some useful background, and insight on John Boehner’s situation.

    Don’t cry for John Boehner. It was he who created the monster that has now come back to bite him.

    It was he who led the charge after 2010 to create severely gerrymandered districts across the nation on the theory that would insure a GOP House majority for a full decade. And he largely succeeded. Look at Ohio for example; a roughly 50/50 state but with a 75%/25% GOP advantage in the House delegation.

    But in so doing, he oversaw the creation of districts where the only thing a GOP candidate had to fear was a more conservative primary candidate to their right. The end result of that has been the Tea Party wing in the House that has given Boehner so much grief. And now they have successfully driven him out.

    Whoever succeeds Boehner will not likely be willing to stand in the door blocking the crazies from getting their way now. […]


  265. Saad says

    Texas senator, 2016 presidential candidate, and all-around bigot Ted Cruz wants to kill Ayatollah Khamenei (auto-playing video)

    Ted Cruz suggested Friday, perhaps half-heartedly, that the U.S. might have to kill the Iranian ayatollah if the country tries to acquire a nuclear weapon.

    Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Cruz launched into his usual stump speech denouncing the Iran nuclear deal, vowing to tear it up on the first day of his administration.

    “And if the ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to the 72 virgins,” Cruz said, grinning as the crowd cheered in approval. He was referring to the belief among some Islamic extremists that they will receive 72 virgins in the afterlife upon martyrdom.

    Cruz, whose stump speech routinely features a parade of exaggerations and laugh lines that are typically well received by his conservative audiences, frequently calls the Iranian leader a “radical theocratic zealot” but rarely calls for such direct action to be taken against him.

    Using the 72 virgins thing makes it an anti-Muslim sentiment too.

    Also, Cruz calling anyone a theocratic zealot is fucking hilarious.

  266. says

    A new voting bloc may be emerging in Canada. First Nations people have decided to take a different approach to politics in Canada.

    THE FIRST NATIONS, or native Indians, of Canada have had full voting rights since 1960, but until very recently many of their leaders used their influence to dissuade their people from going to the polls. Now that may be about to change.

    Since 1960? Holy crap, that is late in the game.

    “The view was that it’s not our government,” says Jean Guy Whiteduck, who has been chief for 30 of the past 40 years of Kitigan Zibi reserve north of Ottawa, home to a band (sub-division) of the Algonquin people. Such purism reflects the idea that the 850,000 members of Canada’s First Nations, with their 617 bands, have a sovereignty of their own and must deal directly with the monarch who reigns over Canada as well as Britain or her representatives. […]

    The list of complaints is long. The government barely responded to a damning inquiry into boarding schools where aboriginal children were abused; it refused to hold an inquiry into the cases of more than 1,000 aboriginal women who were murdered or went suspiciously missing since 1980; it underfunds health and education on reserves, which is a federal task; and it changes environmental and other laws without consulting First Nations.

    “Since the Canadian government doesn’t respect us, we have to change it to one that will,” says Tyrone Souliere, a founder of Rally The First Nation Vote, a movement which helps people register to vote and learn about local candidates.

    Ordinarily 1.4m aboriginal Canadians would have little electoral clout in a country of more than 35m people, […] But the electoral race is tight. The latest forecasts give the ruling Conservatives a nine-seat lead over the Liberals, their traditional rivals, with 116 of the 338 places in the House of Commons. The centre-left New Democrats are tipped to take 114 seats. The Assembly of First Nations, an advocacy group, has produced a list of 51 ridings where the aboriginal vote could decide the winner, either because of a slim margin or a high aboriginal population. […]

    Sensing a more open door, the opposition parties are wooing aboriginals. The Liberals would invest C$2.6 billion ($2 billion) in aboriginal education over four years, and the NDP pledges a swift inquiry into the ill-fated aboriginal women. The Conservatives have yet to make an offer.

    More than any party’s promises, the call from First Nation leaders to vote could be the factor that pushes aboriginal participation above the previous level of around 40%. Add in the seductive idea that indigenous people may now be swing voters. […]

  267. says

    Cross-posted from the “You don’t have to be smart to be an MD” thread.

    Ben Carson added to his litany of stupid comments. He would consider religion as probable cause for searches.

    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told ABC’s This Week that he “would certainly be willing to listen to somebody” argue that the religion of Middle Eastern refugees should be considered probable cause for searches or wiretaps.

    “I personally don’t feel that way, but I would certainly be willing to listen to somebody who had evidence to the contrary,” Carson said on the program Sunday morning. […]
    For search warrants, “probable cause exists when there is a fair probability that a search will result in evidence of a crime being discovered,” according to the Legal Information Institute. In other words, using religion as a test for a search warrant would suggest that members of a religion have a “fair probability” of committing a crime. While Carson did not say he agreed that religion should be enough for probable cause, it may be broadly representative of his beliefs about Islam that he would entertain the idea.

    During the broadcast, Carson also backed up comments he made Friday asserting that “many of the immigrants trying to cross the border into the U.S. are hardened criminals from Iraq, Somalia and Russia.”


  268. says

    John Boehner has given his first interview since announcing that he would resign on October 30.

    Excerpt below:

    Asked Sunday by host John Dickerson on a live broadcast of CBS’s “Face the Nation” whether those hard-liners are “unrealistic about what can be done in government,” Boehner exploded.

    “Absolutely, they’re unrealistic!” he said. “But, you know, the Bible says beware of false prophets, and there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done.”

    Boehner referred, as he has in the past, to the ill-fated 2013 shutdown over funding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare: “This plan never had a chance,” he said, but he blamed outside forces for leading Republicans down an ill-advised path: “We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know! — are never going to happen.” […]

    Speaker Boehner said the House of Representatives will pass the Senate’s government funding bill this week that will be accompanied by the creation of a separate, special committee to investigate an abortion controversy involving women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood.[…]

    Boehner addressed the remaining five weeks of his speakership, in which he pledged to “get as much finished as possible.” Pressing matters include striking a deal with President Obama to keep the government open through the coming fiscal year, raising the federal borrowing limit, passing a long-term transportation bill and extending popular tax breaks.

    “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn,” Boehner said. “So I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets here.” […]


    Well, that will be a change if Boehner does get a bunch of stuff done. He will have to work with Nancy Pelosi and use the votes of Democratic Party members to get anything done.

  269. Saad says

    The Nice Pope supports Kim Davis and second-class citizen status for gay people

    Pope Francis said on Monday government officials have a “human right” to refuse to discharge a duty, such as issuing marriage licenses to homosexuals, if they feel it violates their conscience.

    Speaking to reporters as he returned home from a 10-day trip to the United States and Cuba, Francis also repeated his condemnation of priests who had sexually abused children, saying the victims had been “crushed by evil.”

    Although the Argentine-born pontiff delved into some of the United States’ thorniest political debates during his visit, he never specifically referred to a controversy over same-sex marriages, which the Church firmly opposes.

    On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays.

    “Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,” Francis said.

  270. says

    Elizabeth Warren defended the Black Lives Matter movement, and also made some strong points about community policing.

    […] Watch them march through the streets, ‘hands up don’t shoot’ – not to incite a riot, but to fight for their lives. To fight for their lives. […]

    Policing must become a truly community endeavor-not in just a few cities, but everywhere. Police forces should look like, and come from, the neighborhoods they serve. They should reach out to support and defend the community – working with people in neighborhoods before problems arise. All police forces-not just some-must be trained to de-escalate and to avoid the likelihood of violence. Body cameras can help us know what happens when someone is hurt.

    We honor the bravery and sacrifice that our law enforcement officers show every day on the job – and the noble intentions of the vast majority of those who take up the difficult job of keeping us safe. But police are not occupying armies. This is America, not a war-zone and policing practices in all cities-not just some-need to reflect that. […]

    Warren’s speech also acknowledged related issues such as voter suppression, economic justice, housing discrimination, predatory banking practices, and social justice.

    Think Progress link

    Transcript of speech

  271. says

    The guy John Boehner supports to replace him as Speaker of the House, current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, seems to be a conservative in the John Boehner mold — some bad and some good habits of mind.

    On the other hand, Tea Party members of the House of Representatives are backing Representative Daniel Webster. Webster has some weird associations. He is tied to the Institute in Basic Life Principles, which was founded by Bill Gothard, the doofus that taught a bunch of patriarchal/authoritarian crap to the Duggars.

    […] Webster could also win support from the Religious Right, as he has, in the words of University of North Florida professor Julie Ingersoll, “aligned himself with organizations and individuals who advocate the application of biblical law to contemporary society, including wives submitting to their husbands.” […]


    […] The world from which Webster emerges is [an] evangelical subculture promoting women as hyper-fertile wives and mothers in obedient service to God. Webster is a protégé of the highly controversial evangelist Bill Gothard, founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (whose board of directors is chaired by another House Republican, Sam Johnson of Texas). Gothard’s other, probably most famous disciples are the Duggars, stars of the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, the anti-contraception poster family.

    Depicted as a wholesome, if large, all-American family on cable television, the Duggars were honored at last year’s Values Voters Summit with a “Pro-Family Entertainment” award. There, they were lauded for using their television show “to make Christ known and make others see that the Bible is the owner’s manual for life.” Their promotion of Gothard’s teachings includes, among other things, prohibiting their teenaged children from dating and requiring courtship instead. They’re schooled to save their hearts for the mate God chooses for them. […]

    […] Webster repeats, “Wives, submit yourself to your own husband,” and, “She should submit to me. That’s in the Bible.” […]

    While GOP leaders like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Rick Perry have also worked with Gothard groups, his best known disciples are the Duggar family, which recently faced its own sex abuse scandal. Gothard’s teachings on patriarchy and sexual abuse, which appeared to blame women survivors, drew controversy in the wake of the Duggar scandal. […]

  272. says

    John Oliver skewered the Fox News coverage of the refugee crisis.

    Salon link
    Scroll down for video.
    Excerpt from transcript below:

    […] Oliver began with an all out assault on Fox News for showing what they said was a new video online that “some” say makes people nervous about taking in refugees. The footage featured a packed public transit train with the crowd chanting “Allahu akbar” or “God is great” in Arabic. The caption reads below the video “Terrorists Inbound? Taking refugees could open door to jihadists.” The Fox News reporter said “those are reportedly Muslim refugees” and then goes on to say “to be clear, we’re not saying any of those people are terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terror group, but it does highlight just how many of these refugees who are fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria are Muslim.”

    Oliver lit the Fox News anchor up for claiming she wasn’t calling the people in the video terrorists since the screen actually read “Terrorists Inbound?” below the video. Oliver’s crack research team also uncovered that the video Fox News was showing was uploaded in 2010, not, as the reporter claimed recently of “Muslim refugees.” Oliver’s suggestion was to just use the footage from the film True Lies with the Islamic terrorists because it’s only slightly more racist and is at least of actual terrorists albeit fictional ones. […]

  273. blf says

    And now from the thug morals (lack of) and facts (lack of) departments, Carly Fiorina endorses waterboarding ‘to get information that was necessary’:

    Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who surged in recent polls of Republican voters, supports the controversial interrogation method that has been called torture

    Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has endorsed waterboarding, the controversial interrogation method that has been called torture, as an important tactic that was used only “when there was no other way to get information that was necessary”.

    In an interview with Yahoo News, Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who surged in recent polls of Republican primary voters, said: “I believe that all of the evidence is very clear — that waterboarding was used in a very small handful of cases [and] was supervised by medical personnel in every one of those cases.”

    The 2014 Senate report that called waterboarding — in which water is poured over a cloth on a prisoner’s face in order to simulate the feeling of drowning — tantamount to torture and said it produced little useful intelligence. Fiorina called the report “disingenuous” and “a shame” that “undermined the morale of a whole lot of people who dedicated their lives to keeping the country safe”.

    Naureen Shah of Amnesty International told Yahoo of Fiorina’s comments: “This is completely rewriting the history of what happened.”


    Fiorina also said “I’m not aware of circumstances” in which the NSA surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden “went too far” […]
    The presidential hopeful has long been one of the most ardent hawks in the Republican field. In the most recent presidential debate, Fiorina endorsed a major build-up of the United States’ armed forces and a far more confrontational approach with Russia and Iran.


    The use of waterboarding […] was banned in 2006 and the United States has not waterboarded detainees since then. The 2014 report by the Senate Intelligence Committee condemned the CIA’s use of waterboarding and found that the tactic was not an effective interrogation method.

    The Grauniad is immediately, and quite properly, taken to task in the comments for its less-than-direct introduction, “What a lead-in: ‘waterboarding, the controversial interrogation method that HAS BEEN CALLED torture’! The Guardian seems determined to outdo the New York Times in its use of weasel words.
    “Even Charles Krauthammer — who endorsed the practice — described waterboarding as ‘a terrifying and deeply shocking torture technique in which the prisoner has his face exposed to water in a way that gives the feeling of drowning.’ As Andrew Sullivan so often reminded us, ‘Waterboarding is a war crime, with no statute of limitations.'”

    Other comments point out how deluded this thug is. For instance, “Fiorina said: ‘I believe that all of the evidence is very clear — that waterboarding was used in a very small handful of cases (and) was supervised by medical personnel in every one of those cases.’
    “Medical personnel? Then she’s as naively deluded as she is morally wrong. The United Nations Report of the Committee Against Torture: Thirty-fifth Session of November 2006, stated that state parties should rescind any interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, that constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
    “Just because you are a bitter, homophobic, crackpot science believing, barking mad right wing harridan does not make torture an acceptable technique for the men and women on the front lines, protecting your sorry, Iran sanctions-busting ass.”

    Best comment so far, “A spokesman for [daesh] has stated that they only use beheadings ‘when there was no other way to get information that was necessary’.”

  274. blf says

    Re @304, whilst this analysis of the trum-prat’s tax “plan” is probably rather flawed — it relies quite heavily on the Cato Institute, which is a lyingturdian bunch of wanks heavily involved with at least one of the Kochroach brothers — it does make some valid points, none particularly surprising given whose “plan” it is, Trump’s tax proposal is ‘nothing radical’ — and the richest get the biggest cuts:

    Republican candidate promised to eliminate income tax on those earning less than $25,000 a year, but that group already pays no such tax, experts say

    [… A]ccording to tax experts across the political spectrum, Trump’s policy proposal is nothing new, “not a radical plan” so much as Republican orthodoxy including tax cuts for the poorest Americans that already exist.

    The rest of the article — this is an astonishingly poor “analysis” in The Grauniad — is sufficiently vague I’m not going to bother excerpting it. For instance, it says “even the rich would be getting a tax cut — in fact, the most generous one”, but does not seem to explain what most generous means.

  275. says

    How do House Republicans reward the most outrageous and least logical of their members? This is how: they elect them to higher positions of power within the House.

    […] While Representative Kevin McCarthy of California appears to have the momentum to become the next speaker of the House, the race for his current job, majority leader, has been thrown into a bit of chaos, with the only female candidate for the post withdrawing from consideration and an incipient grass-roots effort emerging to persuade Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who has been leading the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of state, to step into the race.

    New York Times link

    […] Gowdy was tasked with examining the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, but his panel has since evolved into a taxpayer-funded anti-Clinton operation — which has led to widespread praise for the South Carolinian among his GOP colleagues.

    Indeed, there was quite a bit of chatter overnight that some House Republicans actually hoped to persuade Gowdy to run for Speaker of the House, though as the morning progressed, it seemed more likely that he’ll compete for House Majority Leader.

    Gowdy has not yet officially announced whether he’ll pursue any position in the GOP leadership, though some of his closest allies are now pushing his unannounced candidacy with great vigor. […]

    Maddow Blog link

  276. says

    Carly Fiorina lies some more … different subject, same tactic.

    Carly Fiorina has spent every day since the last GOP debate lying about seeing something she couldn’t possibly have seen, because video of it does not exist. Now she’s switched things up and started lying about not saying something she most definitely did say, because video of it does exist. Fortunately, the saintly folks at Right Wing Watch […] have her nailed:

    Host: Here in Iowa, when you say Supreme Court decisions are the law of the land, that sets us off. Iowans got bludgeoned by decisions here, and we went through Civics 101, and we don’t accept the proposition that court decisions are the law of the land.

    Fiorina: Yeah, I actually—with all due respect, Jan—I think that is, ah, a quote from, ah, someone else, not from me. I know there are many Republican candidates, [John] Kasich among them, ah, who have said those exact words. But there’s no doubt—there is no doubt—that we have a problem with our judiciary.

    In that same interview, Fiorina bothered to repeat the lie, twice. Here’s evidence of her saying what she said she did not say:

    I think the Supreme Court ruling [on marriage equality] will become the law of the land, and however much I may agree or disagree with it, ah, I wouldn’t support an amendment to reverse it. Ah, and I very much hope that we will come to a place now in this nation where we can support their decision and at the same time support people’s right to have—to hold religious views and protect their right to exercise those views.

    More from David Nir at DailyKos:

    In addition to the rather bald fact, of course, that Fiorina can’t even tie her shoes in the morning without lying, you’ve got to love that a former Fortune 500 CEO is willing to agree with a wingnut radio host who insists that “Civics 101” says that Supreme Court rulings are not the “law of the land.” Well, either love, or be absolutely terrified that this woman is being taken seriously by the press and is surging in the polls. For the moment, though, we’ll just reset the clock on “Number of Minutes Since Carly Fiorina Just Made Shit Up” to zero.

  277. says

    This is a followup to comment 307, where Congress critter Trey Gowdy is mentioned.

    “The Benghazi Select Committee has now become one of the longest and least active congressional investigations in history,” Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, wrote in a statement. “The Committee has squandered the last 16 months and more than 4.5 million taxpayer dollars dredging up political attacks to impact the 2016 presidential election — a severe misuse of taxpayer funds and Congressional power.”

  278. says

    Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is testifying before Congress. Pity her.

    The disrespect that Republican members of the house are showing Cecile Richards is off the charts.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) repeatedly interrupted Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards as she tried to answer his questions Tuesday in front of the House Oversight Committee. […]

    Chaffetz, who chairs the committee, started off by asking Richards about funds that were sent overseas.

    “Do any of these funds go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo?” Chaffetz said early in the back-and-forth.

    “Congressman, let me tell you —” Richards said before Chaffetz interrupted her.

    “No, no, no. We don’t have time for a big narrative,” Chaffetz said.

    “I’m not going to give you a narrative —” Richards said.

    “Yes or no,” Chaffetz replied, before Richards gave a more lengthy response.

    A few moments later, Chaffetz asked Richards, “In your 2013 tax return, it lists $3.3 million marked as ‘investment’ in Central America and the Caribbean. I’m just asking you if that investment was an actual investment.”

    “We don’t own anything in those countries. What —” Richards said as she was interrupted by Chaffetz.

    “OK,” he said. “I have to keep going.”

    Chaffetz and Richards later squabbled about the difference between the main Planned Parenthood organization and its fundraising arm.

    “I just want to make sure you understood my statements as I know that we’re talking about federal funds,” Richards said. “Zero federal funds are related —”

    “It’s the co-mingling that bothers us!” Chaffetz replied. “Every dollar —”

    “We —” Richards said.

    “Now hold on,” he said.

    There were several instances when Richards attempted to clarify statements Chaffetz made about Planned Parenthood, interjecting with an “excuse me, sir” to which Chaffetz would say, “hold on.”

    Chaffetz also continued to interrupt Richards’ testimony, which was noted by some of his fellow Congress members.

    At one point, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) asked Richards after he asked a few questions, “Is there anything else you want to add, uninterrupted, with some sense of respect, Ms. Richards? Let me at least provide that to you.”

    Chaffetz also took time to note Richards’ salary.

    “Your compensation in 2009 was $353,000. Is that correct?” he asked.

    “I don’t have the figures with me, but —” Richards said.

    “It was,” Chaffetz replied. “Congratulations.”
    Scroll down to watch video.

  279. says

    This is a followup to comment 310.

    Republicans also showed Cecile Richards a slide of a graph showing bogus, fake data presented in a simplistic, childish style. They claimed the graphs showed the number of breast exams done by Planned Parenthood going down over time, while the number of abortions skyrocketed.

    “I’m going to deny this slide that you just showed me that no one has ever provided us before,” she said. “We’ve provided you all the information about everything — all the services that Planned Parenthood provides. And it doesn’t feel like we’re trying to get to the truth here. You just showed me this.”

    “I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports,” Chaffetz said.

    “Excuse me,” Richards said. “My lawyers have informed me that the source of this is Americans United for Life which is an anti-abortion group so I would check your source.”

    Chaffetz, paused, stuttered a bit and said, “Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that.”

    There’s an image of the pulled-this-out-of-our-asses graph at the link.

  280. says

    More fake shit from the far right:

    The conservative, Christian law firm representing defiant Kentucky clerk Kim Davis admitted late Monday that a photo it circulated of a Peruvian prayer rally in solidarity with its client was actually a photo of another event entirely. […]

    That photo was used during the ceremonial presentation of a “Cost of Discipleship Award” to Kim Davis at the Values Voter Summit.

    We can conclude that they don’t value truth, don’t value facts.

  281. says

    Republicans have been coming after National Park lands, and other public lands, for decades. Their schemes have included plans to cede Park lands to state control, passing legislation that defunds the National Park Service, opening Park lands to development and to extractive industries, etc.

    Now they have a new tactic:

    […] Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) [mormon über conservative guy] announced that he intends this week to kill the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is known as America’s best parks program. The move — which is expected to succeed — places dozens of U.S. national parks at heightened risk of commercial development, including Grand Teton National Park and Gettysburg National Military Park.

    The LWCF is a budget-neutral program that uses fees from offshore oil and gas development to fund national, state, and local conservation projects. Although the program enjoys widespread bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Wednesday, September 30.

    […] Bishop, who serves as chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, promised to block all attempts to save the program unless significant changes are made to its structure to prevent the federal government from protecting additional land. […] In July, 2014 […] Bishop wrote that the LWCF should be transformed into a program to pay for “the education of future American energy industry workers” and to “help local governments.”

    In addition to helping create tens of thousands of local parks and outdoor recreation projects, LWCF is the only source of funding the U.S. government is able to use to purchase pockets of unprotected land within park borders, known as inholdings. Bishop has long been a vocal opponent of using LWCF funds to purchase inholdings, telling a reporter in March that “there’s no way in hell I am going to allow you just to spend that to buy the inholdings they’re talking about or to expand the footprint of the federal government.”

    Okay, right there Bishop revealed himself to be an anti-government-at-all-costs doofus. State legislators in Utah, and the lawmakers that Utah sends to Congress, are particularly rabid when it comes to public lands. They hates ’em. They want to drill and build on those lands.

    […] the practice of purchasing inholdings helps protect national parks from development, reduce maintenance costs and improve management. […] 43 percent of all national parks across 44 states are still at “potential risk of development because of unprotected private lands within park boundaries.” […]

    […] there is “intense pressure to commercially develop privately owned lands in and around Gettysburg National Military Park.”

    At Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the NPS is scheduled to use LWCF funds to purchase 640 acres of state-owned land in 2016. According to the NPS, the area is at risk of “the development of these lands into further resort housing, or by individuals for trophy homes [which] will destroy the integrity of the open space, the wildlife habitat and the migration corridors of the landscape.”

    Although the idea of building a mansion in the middle of a National Park seems farfetched, these inholdings of land within national parks have been developed into luxury homes in the past.

    “If a willing property owner wants to sell his or her inholding to the National Park Service and protect the land for future generations, the only source of funding available to make the purchase is the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” […]

    […] there appears to be [bipartisan] support for reauthorizing LWCF […] Bishop’s statements make it unlikely that the program will be renewed by Wednesday […]


  282. says

    You have got to be kidding me. Ben Carson loves rightwing conspiracy theorist and general whacko, W. Cleon Skousen. Holy crap. Skousen is dead now, but his legacy lives on in the likes of Glenn Beck, and in the lives of a lot of mormons.

    Skousen influenced former mormon “Prophet, Seer and Revelator’ Ezra Taft Benson. Skousen’s books are used as textbooks in universities founded/supported by Glenn Beck. Skousen was a rabid anti-communist who also claimed that a global cabal of Jewish bankers controlled the world. One of his books referred to the “blessings of slavery.” Skousen wrote that Communists created “a regimented breed of Pavlovian men whose minds could be triggered into immediate action by signals from their masters.” (I think he was referring to mormons and predicting Ben Carson. /sarcasm)

    Skousen eventually became so embarrassing that even LDS (mormon) leadership warned their members that he did not speak for the church. That didn’t, hasn’t, stopped many mormons from being Skousen disciples to this day.

    This is the second time that I’ve seen a close connection between Carson and mormonism. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, but he uses mormon terms, like “The Adversary,” (see comment 246), and he promotes mormon views of history (faux history and nutjob conspiracy theories).

    […] In a July 2014 interview, Carson contended that Marxist forces had been using liberals and the mainstream media to undermine the United States.

    His source: Skousen. “There is a book called The Naked Communist,” he said. “It was written in 1958. Cleon Skousen lays out the whole agenda, including the importance of getting people into important positions in the mainstream media so they can help drive the agenda. Well, that’s what’s going on now.”

    Four months later, while being interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Carson denounced unnamed Marxists who were presently seeking to destroy American society: “There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called The Naked Communist, and it laid out the whole agenda. […]


    Skousen claimed to have been a CIA agent, but in the non-fantasy world, “Skousen worked in the FBI for 15 years which he claimed allowed him to see the top secret information that detailed the vast Communist conspiracy. However, the FBI said that he mostly did clerical work and that he was never trusted with high level information.”

    J Edgar Hoover maintained a 2,000 page FBI file on Skousen and considered him an extreme right wing threat to the Republic.

    I think this love of Skousen reveals how unsophisticated Ben Carson really is. Skousen’s books are hyperbolic, not founded in fact, and not well-written. Tellingly, Skousen was active in the John Birch Society. He predicted total communist takeover by 1973. Carson usually talks about Marxists, Saul Alinsky, and other dark forces that he thinks Skousen documented as tearing down the United States.

    No wonder Carson thinks that Satan (The Adversary) promoted the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution. It all fits together in Whacko Conspiracy World.

  283. says

    As Republicans in the House of Congress try to defund Planned Parenthood, with threats to shut down the government if they don’t get their way, one of their major talking points is that there are thousands of already-existing clinics that could replace Planned Parenthood. That talking point is a lie, patently false, easy to disprove.

    Yes, there’s a list of 13,540 clinics, listed by state, that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services) put out. Most of the clinics listed do not have a certified OB-GYN on staff. They do not have the expertise, nor in most cases the medical equipment, to provide reproductive health services for women.

    Many private clinics do not take Medicaid patients. About half of Planned Parenthood patients rely on Medicaid.

    […] the Congressional Budget Office estimated in a report issued earlier this month that if Planned Parenthood were defunded, as many as 650,000 women “in areas without access to other health care clinics or medical practitioners who serve low-income populations” would lose their reproductive health care.

    And a survey by the Guttmacher Institute found that women often value specialized family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood over primary care clinics for reasons such as affordability, increased confidentiality, and a greater range of contraceptive options. Guttmacher also reports that in 103 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only “safety net” family planning service, meaning that a large portion of their patients are either uninsured or reliant on Medicaid. […]

  284. says

    Thanks to Nerd and to blf for bringing up Donald Trump’s tax plan.

    For rich people, Trump offers to:
    Cut the top marginal rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent
    Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax
    Eliminate the estate tax
    Cut the corporate tax rate to 15 percent

    Those are the obvious goodies for the rich, and the plan provides details, numbers. When you get to the supposed ways in which the tax plan will supposedly cost Trump and other rich people millions of dollars, there are no specifics.

    This vague category includes:
    Eliminating loopholes for the very rich and special interests.
    Ending carried interest tax breaks, unless those tax breaks grow the business or create jobs.
    Do something unspecified about the exemption on life insurance interest for high-income people.

    Trump’s plan also exempts individuals making $25,000 or married couples making $50,000 from paying Federal income tax. These people already do not pay federal income tax for the most part.

  285. says

    Experts analyze Trump’s tax plan:

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s tax plan would cost an eye-popping $12 trillion over 10 years, according to a new estimate that runs directly counter to the billionaire’s pledge not to increase the deficit with the proposal.

    The conservative Tax Foundation, which has been scoring candidates’ tax proposals throughout the race, found that Trump’s changes to the individual tax code would add $10.2 trillion to the deficit using traditional scoring methods, his corporate tax cuts would add $1.54 trillion and his proposal to eliminate the estate tax would add another $238 billion.

    In addition, the gains from the cuts would disproportionately benefit ultra-wealthy Americans like Trump, whose personal income, business earnings and inheritors all stand to gain from a number of its provisions. According to the analysis, the wealthiest 1% of Americans would see their after-tax incomes increase by 21.6% versus just 1.4% for the poorest 10%.

    For perspective, the same group pegged the cost of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s tax plan at $3.66 trillion, Sen. Marco Rubio’s at over $4 trillion and Sen. Rand Paul’s flat tax proposal at roughly $3 trillion. […]


    My own analysis is based on Trump having said, “This will be a rocket ship for the economy,” and that his plan “doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.” In other words, bluster combined with trickle-down voodoo economics.

    Trump, like other Republican candidates, claimed that his plan would offset its cost by encouraging further growth. The Tax Foundation also scored it using a model that assumes supply side conservative theories of economic growth are correct and found it still would add $10.14 trillion to the deficit.

    And we know that supply side conservative theories have been proven wrong, so Trump’s tax plan is even worse than the Tax Foundation says it is.

  286. says

    More economists weigh in on Trump’s tax plan:

    […] Trump himself looks like the biggest winner in his tax plan, which includes a number of changes that would slash taxes for himself, his company, and the children who stand to inherit his fortune. […]

    Trump’s plan looks like a windfall for the wealthiest of the wealthy and for big corporations. […] Trump would eliminate a 3.8% surcharge on capital gains taxes for wealthy investors created to finance the Affordable Care Act, which provides subsidies to lower and middle income Americans to buy insurance.

    Well, that’s a damned sneaky way to partially defund the Affordable Care Act.

    “The much lower top marginal rate of 25 percent will mean a large cut for the top, even with the limitation on itemized deductions,” Kyle E. Pomerleau, an economist as the conservative Tax Foundation, which is scoring all the GOP plans, told msnbc in an email. “It will also be a cut for those on the bottom, but the cut will be small or minimal. Trump is claiming a tax increase on wealthy individuals, but I do not believe this will be the case.”

    There is one semi-progressive proposal:

    He’s proposed a one-time tax of 10% on corporate money stored abroad and ending companies’ ability to defer paying taxes on future overseas earnings, an idea with some support in progressive circles.

    Back to the bluster, back to a proposal meant to provide a distraction and a talking point:

    He’s also made a big show of ending the carried interest loophole, which benefits hedge fund investors. But the carried interest loophole is mostly symbolic: the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would save just $17 billion over a decade. By comparison, ending the estate tax alone will cost $246 billion.

    Another big loophole for rich people is hidden in the plan. It will create some jobs, however, for tax lawyer and accountants.

    Economists also see the potential for a new and far more lucrative loophole in Trump’s plan. Under his proposal, business owners who pay individual income taxes on their company’s earnings – a type of taxation known as pass-through – would see their top rates reduced to Trump’s 15% corporate tax rate rather than the already-reduced 25% income tax rate. As a result, high earners could try and rearrange their finances in order to exploit the change. […]

    Trump’s tax plan is so similar to Jeb Bush’s tax plan that Bush chided Trump on Twitter for copying his plan.

    Citizens for Tax Justice found that the Trump and the Bush plan would give the top 1% an average increase in net income of 11.6%. The bottom 80% of taxpayers would enjoy increases of about 1% to 3%. In other words, both plans are guaranteed to increase income disparity.

    More importantly, both Bush and Trump really have no way to pay for the goodies they intend to give the rich. Both claim that tax cuts to the top1% will spur economic growth that will shower us all with riches.

    Trump is pushing his tax plan as “tax relief for the middle class.” A lot of people believe him.

    Trump blustered:

    Overall, it’s going to be a tremendous incentive to grow the economy and we’re going to take in the same or more money. And I think we’re going to have something that’s going to be spectacular. We’re going to grow the economy so much.

  287. says

    In the most recent Public Policy Polling results, 72% of Republicans in North Carolina said that a Muslim should never be president of the USA. An equal number agreed with Donald Trump that President Obama is waging a war on christianity. 40% said the practice of Islam should be illegal

  288. says

    Mike Huckabee shows us how Republicans can start anywhere and still end up at Benghazi:

    #PlannedParenthood isn’t a “healthcare provider” any more than #Benghazi was a “spontaneous protest”. </blockquote.

  289. says

    Here’s some good news.

    A judge on Tuesday blocked an order issued by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to cut off federal money going to Planned Parenthood in the state after the release of secretly recorded videos by a California anti-abortion group.

    U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups issued the temporary restraining order during a hearing, allowing the money to keep flowing while the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah seeks a longer-term injunction. […]

    Herbert acted on his personal and political agenda when he cut off funding to the organization […]

    Utah’s move to cut off funding followed similar moves in other states against Planned Parenthood chapters. The organization has also filed lawsuits in Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana to block those states from stripping Planned Parenthood of contracts and federal money distributed by the states.

    […] Herbert was concerned that the national Planned Parenthood organization may be “coloring outside the lines,” Green said. […]

    Salt Lake Tribune link

  290. blf says

    Cheney ][, I mean Bush ]I[, proposes to make things worse, Jeb Bush lays out energy plan with call to relax environmental rules:

    Republican candidate blames onerous regulations for holding back US from alternate drilling industries amid plummeting poll numbers

    The embattled Jeb Bush campaign turned to an industry his family knows best on Tuesday with a stop at a shale gas producer in Pennsylvania and the launch of an energy policy focused heavily on deregulation.

    Promising to create one million manufacturing jobs and energy security for North America if elected president, Bush blamed onerous environmental rules for holding back the growth of alternative drilling industries.

    He also pledged to repeal the ban on oil and liquid natural gas exports from the US and immediately approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

    “We do not have a supply problem in our energy sector, we have a demand problem because of lack of infrastructure,” Bush told a crowd of employees at Rice Energy, a fast-growing drilling company based in Pennsylvania.

    The position you are running for, Mr Cheney ][, is President, not CEO of VW.

    “As president I would also approve the XL pipeline — for crying out loud that is the lowest-hanging fruit.”

    Indeed, it is very low-hanging fruit: There is NO reason to approve it.

    Bush briefly mentioned the environmental benefits of natural gas, which he said was a less carbon intensive fuel source, but insisted protection of land and waterways disrupted by fracking techniques had to go hand in hand with promoting economic growth.

    “I am not suggesting unregulating the world, I am suggesting common sense 21st century regulation,” he said.

    “Common sense” as defined by Faux & Kochroach Bros., Unlimited, and not even correct in the 21st century BCE.

    “When I am elected president, the political hacks and the academics are going to take the back seat. The people taking decisions will be ones with real world experience,” he added.

    Despite a sharp decline in his poll numbers, Bush remains the favourite of much of mainstream Republican business community.

    “I hope your stock price goes up,” he told Rice employees […] “That is the American way. Praise Jesus.”

    YOU FECKING EEJIT: The people with “real world experience” have fecking polluted this planet to near-death (examples: VW. Exxon, BP, …), and started numerous pointless wars simply to increase their profits (WWI, both Iraq / “Gulf” Wars, Vietnam, Bay of Pigs, …).

    “Where’s the marching band for crying out loud,” he said. “That’s the American way.”

    The former Florida left without taking questions from journalists, who were forced inside a metal pen and prevented from leaving to speak to him after his speech, which only saw brief questions from the company founders.

    After the former governor left, the press tent was overcome with fumes from one of the several generators that had been set up in the parking lot.

    Typical thug. Don’t allow questions and literally attempt to kill the reporters.

  291. says

    Here are a few more telling details related to the hearings that Congress held today concerning Planned Parenthood.

    “The outrageous accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood, based on heavily doctored videos, are offensive and categorically untrue,” Richards said. The group has repeatedly said it only accepts small sums to cover necessary costs. Less than 1% of Planned Parenthood affiliates currently offer patients the choice of participating in fetal tissue donation […]

    Several Republican members of the committee repeatedly asked Richards why the organization doesn’t provide mammograms. Richards replied that like other women’s health service providers, their medical practitioners refer to specialists for mammograms if a breast exam shows a need for it.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat and the ranking member of the committee, repeatedly complained that Republicans hadn’t called David Daleiden, who spent three years posing as a tissue procurement company in an effort to catch Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in breaking the law. Cummings requested the opportunity to question Daleiden in a letter sent Sept. 21. “They don’t want to subject him to the difficult and uncomfortable questions that relate to the actual facts,” Cummings said.

    Planned Parenthood receives about $528.4 million in federal funding, about 75% of which was reimbursements for direct services to Medicaid patients. Under the Hyde Amendment, none of that funding goes to abortion services, but covers services relating to contraception and sexually-transmitted infections, as well as screening for cervical and breast cancer. In 2013, Planned Parenthood saw 2.7 million women and men.

    It is currently illegal for states to discriminate against qualified healthcare providers, presenting a legal hurdle for states that want to defund Planned Parenthood, but a bill has been introduced in the House to change that. It would allow states to deny Medicaid funding to any “individual or entity based on the individual’s or entity’s involvement in abortions.”


  292. says

    The guy most likely to become the new Speaker of the House after Boehner’s resignation, Kevin McCarthy, has trouble speaking. He is known for fumbling and bumbling around in what we can only assume he thinks is the English language.

    We live on the greatest nation that’s ever been on the face of the Earth.
    We have isolated Israel while bolding places like Iran.
    [President Obama] “putting us in tough decisions for the future”
    We need an effective politically strategy to match the military strategy.

    In related news, another guy, Representative Steve Scalise, current majority whip, is throwing his hat into the ring. He too wants to be Speaker of the House. Scalise is the guy who once claimed that he is “David Duke without the baggage.”

  293. says

    Cecile Richards needs some good news after being grilled (and constantly interrupted) by Republican members of Congress today. Here’s one bit of news that’s good, Missouri now joins a long and expanding list of states that have investigated Planned Parenthood and found no wrongdoing.

  294. says

    Yes, far rightwing Republicans in the House of Congress are still looking for ways to repeal Obamacare. The grand total is now 60 of these quixotic votes by Republicans, according to Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee. Most of the media has stopped counting. Journalists just go with “more than fifty” and call it good.

    House Republicans advanced legislation Tuesday to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health law that could actually reach the president’s desk.

    The House GOP has voted more than 50 times to repeal all or parts of the health law. Almost all the bills died in the Senate. But this time, Republicans are using a special process that prevents Senate Democrats from blocking the legislation.

    Associated Press link.

    […] The process is called the “budget reconciliation process” — or just “reconciliation,” for short — that allows budget-related bills to be considered in both chambers while prohibiting Senate filibusters.

    In other words, GOP lawmakers have already voted several dozen times to gut the U.S. health care system, but this will likely be the first time they’ll force a presidential veto on the matter. […]

    […] the reconciliation process is only intended for bills that reduce the deficit, which is a problem for Republicans since ACA repeal would do the opposite. […]

    […] the Affordable Care Act is working very well; it’s increasingly popular […] There’s simply no credible reason to pursue a repeal crusade […]

    Postscript: House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said yesterday that by going down this course, Congress can “start working toward a more affordable, higher-quality, patient-centered system.”

    Ryan and his far-right colleagues have assured Americans for nearly six years that Republicans will unveil a plan for “a more affordable, higher-quality, patient-centered system.” He and his party have broken that promise nearly as many times as they’ve voted to repeal Obamacare.

    Maddow Blog link

  295. blf says

    Manufacturer demands return of drug to be used in Virginia execution:

    ● State purchased drug from wholesaler, says maker Mylan
    ● Alfredo Pieto’s execution is third of six planned for nine-day period

    A drug manufacturer has demanded that Virginia return one of the drugs to be used in this week’s execution of a death row inmate.

    Documents obtained by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request show that Virginia plans to use rocuronium bromide manufactured by Mylan to execute Alfredo Prieto on Thursday. It is one of three drugs the state plans to use in the 49-year-old’s execution.

    A Mylan spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Virginia purchased the drugs from a wholesaler. She said the company sent several letters to Virginia officials when it learned about the drug’s possible use in the execution and then demanded that the state return the product when it received no response.

    Another drug in the state’s execution cocktail, pentobarbital, was donated to Virginia by the Texas department of criminal justice last week […]

    Texas allows prison officials to shield where they get execution drugs and Prieto’s attorneys say Virginia officials have not provided that information.

    European drug manufacturers have been refusing to supply any of the drugs used in USAssassinate to murder people, causing a severe shortage. As a result, some planned murders have been delayed or carried out in a improvised fashion, and/or the drugs used obtained from dubious sources, or, in a few places, other methods of murder have been proposed.

  296. says

    More on the bloviating aspect of Donald Trump’s tax plan, and the economic plans of other Republicans:

    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump revealed a tax plan on Monday that, like many of the proposals put forth by his GOP rivals, contains a dubious assumption: that tax cuts will generate rapid economic growth. […]While Bush assumes 4 percent growth under his plan, Trump said his plan could boost it as high as 6 percent.

    Leonard Burman, the director of Tax Policy Center in Washington, said a projection of 6 percent growth is “completely implausible.” “It’s faith-based revenue scoring,” Burman said in an interview.

    How many U.S. presidents since WWII have seen 4% or higher GDP growth? None. Nada.

    In an even more ridiculous statement, Jeb Bush said, “I think the left wants slow growth because that means people are more dependent upon government.” Dafuq?

    Bloviation by candidate:
    Chris Christie, 4%
    Scott Walker, 4.5% (he’s no longer a candidate)
    Mike Huckabee, 6%
    Donald Trump, 4% to 6%
    Jeb Bush, 4%

  297. says

    Carly Fiorina’s latest lie, (maybe it is not her latest. I don’t know, I can’t keep up):

    She claimed that not signing the pipeline agreement would cost the U.S. 1.2 million jobs.

  298. blf says

    Liar falls flat and goes Ka-BOOM! Kudos to Senator Warren, Elizabeth Warren lobbying query leads Brookings Institution fellow to quit:

    The Massachusetts senator accused Robert Litan of failing to fully disclose industry funding for a study criticizing a government plan to regulate brokerages

    The Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has prompted the resignation of a high-profile Brookings Institution fellow after accusing him of failing to fully disclose industry funding tied to a study that criticized the US Labor Department’s plan to regulate brokerages.

    Tuesday’s resignation of Robert Litan came just one day after Warren, a Democrat, sent Brookings’ president a letter demanding to know more about the thinktank’s policies on financial conflicts and details about the communications between Litan and Capital Group, an investment firm that funded his research paper.

    “He has acknowledged that he made a mistake in not following Brookings regulations designed to uphold the independence of the institution,” Brookings’ president, Strobe Talbott, said in a statement provided to Reuters.

    Warren’s concerns center on a study that Litan and researcher Hal Singer jointly conducted which examined a controversial plan by the Labor Department to try to rein in conflicts posed by brokers who offer retirement advice.

    The proposal has garnered fierce opposition from Wall Street, and Litan’s study concluded that the plan could harm consumers.


    Although his testimony and his study did disclose that Capital Group provided funding, Warren said that she later learned this was not the full story.

    In a series of follow-up questions Warren sent to Litan after the hearing, she said he disclosed that Capital Group also provided feedback and editorial comments on a draft [and paid Litan a substantial fee].

    This, she said, ran counter to his claim at the hearing that he and Singer were “solely responsible” for the study’s conclusions.


    In her letter to Brookings, Warren said the lack of disclosure raises “significant questions about the impartiality of the study and its conclusions”.

  299. says

    Kevin McCarthy, a Congress critter who is likely to be the next Speaker of the House, accidentally told the truth today. Basically, he admitted that the Benghazi Committee is all about bringing down Hillary Clinton. Dude, you weren’t supposed to say that out loud. But, thank you.

    “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy said. “Why? Cause she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”

    McCarthy is very proud of himself.

  300. blf says

    Follow-up to @328, Virginia’s planned murder using dubious drugs has been halted, albeit possibly only temporarily, Federal judge temporarily halts Virginia execution over drug concerns: “Provenance of pentobarbital acquired from Texas called into question […] Prieto’s attorneys are seeking more information about the pentobarbital [obtained from the Texas state murders] the state intends to use — including the name of the supplier, tests confirming its sterility and potency, and documents showing that the drugs were properly handled, transported and stored.”

  301. says

    Jeb Bush is obsessed with “animal spirits.”

    During a speech about his new energy platform on Tuesday, Jeb Bush said he wanted to “unleash the animal spirit” of America. It was not the first time he has done this.

    In the run-up to the 2012 presidential election, Bush told Piers Morgan on CNN that he wanted the next president to “kind of get our animal spirits up and going again.” Later, while campaigning for Mitt Romney, Bush said a Romney administration would “unleash the animal spirits of the country.”

    During his own campaign for president, Bush has used the phrase multiple times. While speaking in Las Vegas this past May, he said that we as a country “have lost the animal spirits, although I think they’ll come back.” At an event last week, Bush said he thinks that “the animal spirits still exist inside of Americans.” […]

  302. says

    The owner of the Washington Redskins football team gave Jeb Bush $100,000. And now Jeb says that he does not think the team name is offensive. To be more precise, Daniel Snyder gave $100,00 to the Right to Rise Super PAC.

  303. blf says

    Apartheid supporters are at it again, Pro-Israel groups targeting Palestinian organizations in US, report finds:

    Report finds incidents of attempted suppression happen overwhelmingly at college campuses — the focus of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign

    Pro-Israel organizations are increasingly targeting pro-Palestinian groups in the US, according to a report released by two legal advocacy groups on Wednesday.

    In a report co-authored with the Center for Constitutional Rights, legal group Palestine Legal said it was called in to respond to nearly 300 incidents of attempted suppression of pro-Palestine activism and rhetoric in the past 18 months.

    “These numbers aren’t telling the full story,” said Dima Khalidi, director of Palestine Legal. “They are really the tip of the iceberg with incidents that go unreported.”

    The report found that, overwhelmingly, these incidents took place on university campuses, which have become the focus of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in recent years.


    [BDS] has been branded antisemitic by several pro-Israel groups and the Israeli government. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson held a closed-door meeting of fellow pro-Israel billionaires and activists in June in an attempt to combat efforts to divest from Israel.

    The report’s authors say that conflating pro-Palestine activism with antisemitism is one of the key ways pro-Israel groups attempt to constrain their activities.

    (My added boldfacing.) Yep. That seems to be standard operating procedure, possibly even the “argument” of first resort, whenever an Israeli proposal, action, or policy is criticized or even questioned. As an example, there is an agreement that ambulances from occupied Palestine will not be hindered when crossing the border on a emergency call. The Israeli border goons stop, search, and delay ambulances carrying patients to hospitals in Israel. I’ve been called an “antisemitic” for pointing that Israeli forces are ignoring the agreement, and Israel seems to do nothing about it.

    Incidents documented in the report include criminal investigations, lawsuits, and the suspension of pro-Palestine student groups.

    In one such example, more than 175 faculty members from 16 New York City colleges wrote an open letter to the City University of New York system in September 2014, alleging that pro-Palestinian student groups were treated unfairly, compared to other student groups.

    The report also mentioned an incident in May, when an unknown group launched a website which profiled people associated with pro-Palestinian student groups, to dissuade potential employers from hiring them.

    “It is your duty to ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees,” the Canary Mission website warned.


    The report claims that dozens of pro-Israel groups are connected to attempts to suppress free speech, including the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the AMCHA Initiative and StandWithUs.

    Roz Rothstein, CEO of pro-Israel group StandWithUs, was critical of the report. She said that pro-Palestinian activists in the US were simply upset because they wanted to continue participating in work that was both anti-semitic and anti-Israel.

    “The perpetrators are crying victim,” Rothstein said. “They are harassing the pro-Israel community on campus and they are crying victim.”

    Eh? How does “[profiling] people associated with pro-Palestinian student groups, to dissuade potential employers from hiring them” help accomplish anything but reinforce the claimed antisemitism? What is such an individual going to do, think “right, I can’t get a job because something thinks I’m antisemitic, so therefore I will…”, ah, what, exactly? Is there some way of being taken off that hate list?

    She said she considers the work of these groups anti-semitic because it meets the “3D test of antisemitism”, defined as demonization, double standards and delegitimization.

    Which is what you are doing to them! Geesh…

  304. says

    Some people, including military leaders, have begged Congress to pass spending bills that keep the government funded for more than a few months at a time. Lawmakers did not hear those pleas, or did not take them seriously. Congress has, again, passed a stop-gap spending bill that funds the government just until early December.

    The good news is that we won’t have another government shutdown … at least not until December.

    The bad news is that the military leaders, people building the few infrastructure projects we have funded, public land managers, etc. etc. will have a difficult time planning. The future of their funding is too uncertain.

  305. says

    Rachel Maddow hosted a segment in which she introduced us to Kevin McCarthy, John Boehner’s likely successor as Speaker of the House. This Republican doofus has a lot of trouble speaking the English language: “[…] the place of the band on America.”

    McCarthy apparently has trouble writing in the English language as well. Many of his “the place of the band on America” comments are delivered from written text. You can see him reading his notes.

    McCarthy will be third in line to the presidency. About veteran’s affairs, McCarthy says, “[…] that can’t keep the simple promise to all of our heroes to the need when they need it most.” That quote is part of the foreign policy speech McCarthy gave on Monday.

    Other memorable bits from the foreign policy speech:

    “We must engage this war of radical Islam if our life depended on it.”

    “This safe zone would create a stem a flow of refugees.”

    “Unlike the surge in Iraq when Petraeus and Crocker had an effective politically strategy to match the military strategy.”

    “We have isolated Israel, while bolding places like Iran.”

    “The absence of leadership over the past six years has had a horrific consequences all across the globe.”

    “In the past few years alone I have visited Poland, Hungria, Estonia, Russia, and Georgia.”

    “It had to be hundreds of thousands of grandchildren to make that decision.”

    “We don’t have the same as difficult decision, but this White House is managing the decline in putting us in tough decisions for the future.”

  306. says

    In yesterday’s last minute effort to keep the lights on for the federal government of the USA, about 1/3 of the House Republicans voted for the bipartisan bill to prevent a shutdown. The remaining 2/3 of the House Republicans voted against the bill. Two thirds of them wanted to shut down the government.

    Democrats voted for the bill, and that’s why it passed. This was not the first time that soon-to-be-gone Speaker John Boehner relied on Democratic Party votes to get something done.
    – same for raising the debt ceiling last year
    – reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
    – a bill providing relief funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy

    I do not see how prospective Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, could possibly handle such situations. Boehner was bad enough, but McCarthy will be worse.

    I also think the bill to keep the lights on was acted on, in part, because Republicans just wanted to skip town. They wanted to quit work again for an extended vacation.

  307. Saad says

    Content note for possible irony meter explosions

    Ben Carson: a Hitler-like figure could be possible in the U.S.

    Ben Carson suggested on Wednesday that a Nazi-like force could come to power in the United States.

    At a campaign event in New Hampshire, Carson noted that many people believe a situation like what took place in Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s could never happen in America.

    “I beg to differ,” Carson said. “If you go back and look at the history of the world, tyranny and despotism and how it starts, it has a lot to do with control of thought and control of speech.”

    At a press conference after the speech, reporters asked Carson who he thinks is like Adolf Hitler in the U.S.

    “I’m not going to go into that that. I think that example is pretty clear,” he responded, without elaborating.

    This from a guy who has been treating Muslims like some evil outsiders who should not be trusted…

  308. says

    Saad, @340, I keep a spare irony meter nearby at all times. I think we’ll need a good supply between now and November 2016.

    Ben Carson drives me up a wall. He may be worse than Trump when it comes to saying blatantly stupid and blatantly racist stuff. All of those Hitler references hark right back to Carson’s veneration of Cleon Skousen. See comment 314.

    I’m sure that’s not Carson’s only anti-factual source for Hitler references, but I am struck by the similarity to Skousen’s moments of madness.

    blf@336, many thanks for those extended comments. I don’t have anything to add, but I did learn something from your presentation.

  309. says

    Alabama state legislators passed voter I.D. laws … then they closed the driver’s license offices in every county where African-Americans make up more than 75% of the registered voters. The driver’s license offices are the official dispensers of the kind of I.D. that voters in Alabama will need to vote in any election.

    What happens when a state with a tough voter ID law suddenly makes it much harder for minorities to get driver’s licenses? We are about to find out in Alabama.

    Facing a budget crisis, Alabama has shuttered 31 driver’s license offices, many of them in counties with a high proportion of black residents. Coming after the state recently put into effect a tougher voter ID law, the closures will cut off access — particularly for minorities — to one of the few types of IDs accepted.

    According to a tally by columnist John Archibald, eight of the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters saw their driver’s license offices closed.

    “Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one,” Archibald wrote. […]

    Talking Points Memo link
    Alabama,, link

  310. says

    Regarding Saad’s post @340, don’t let Ben Carson’s reluctance to directly equate Barack Obama to Hitler this time fool you.

    Carson has been less cautious in the past.

    […] Last year, in an interview with the conservative site Newsmax, Carson said voters should simply read Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” if they want to understand the president. Later, Carson warned that Obama might declare martial law and cancel the 2016 election. […]

    During a commencement speech at Lafayette College [in 2009], Carson — who was given an honorary degree alongside Holocaust survivor Nechama Tec — warned graduates to “speak up,” or a similar tragedy would happen in the United States. […]

    As Carson’s political career grew, his comparisons of Nazi Germany to the Obama administration became more explicit. He began to draw parallels between the Obama era and Hitler’s Third Reich.

    “We live in a Gestapo age,” the retired neurosurgeon said during a 2014 speech. After that speech, in an interview with Breitbart TV, Carson said the government under Obama is “very much like Nazi Germany,” because “We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”

    […] His lack of subtlety has been rewarded, with the latest national presidential poll showing Carson just one point behind Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

  311. says

    The supposedly non-partisan Benghazi Committee actually interviewed witnesses without even notifying Democratic members of the committee. This blatant lack of professionalism, and lack of ethical behavior, was followed by selective, deceptive leaking of witness testimony to the press.

    Scroll down at the link for video from Chris Hayes’s interview of Representative Adam Schiff.
    Partial transcript below:

    SCHIFF: …if you look at the way the committee has operated, notwithstanding these promises that were made by the speaker and by our chairman in the very beginning, they have not worked with Democrats at all, they’ve called witnesses without telling us, they’ve subpoenaed people with armed marshals who were wiling to cooperate, and they have interviewed witnesses without even notifying the minority party, and when those witness interviews didn’t corroborate their conspiracy theories, they didn’t even tell us. We had to learn about those interviews ourselves.

    HAYES: Wait, wait, wait – let me make sure I understand that. The committee has interviewed witnesses without notifying Democrats on the committee that those interviews were going to happen?

    SCHIFF: Absolutely. They’ve interviewed several witnesses, they didn’t tell us they were going to interview them. They didn’t invite us to participate and listen to the interviews. And when we later found out those interviews took place, and we talked to those witnesses, we learned of course that they didn’t corroborate any of the conspiracy theories that the Republicans were trying to advance. So no wonder they didn’t tell us about the interviews.

    HAYES: How can that be? Maybe I’m wrong here, but that’s not the way committees work. There’s an agenda that’s circulated to the entire committee. There’s a list of witnesses. There’s a procedure that the committee is all read in on.

    SCHIFF: Well, they just ignored it. And in fact, to give you yet another example, when they subpoenaed a witness, and this is a true (inaudible – break in audio)…that he won’t leak transcripts, won’t leak interviews. After almost all the interviews there have been profound leaks from the committee, and when Democrats said, “if you’re going to leak the statements of the witness, why don’t you release the entire transcript? If you’re going to leak emails from this witness, release the entire transcript of their private interviews so the public can evaluate the entire context.” And we have the right under their own rules to have a vote on this, and they’ve denied us even a vote on it.

  312. says

    Donald Trump says some more stupid stuff. Now we know what decade he loves: the 1950s.

    “You know, Dwight Einsenhower was a wonderful general, and a respected President – and he moved a million people out of the country, nobody said anything about it. When Trump does it, it’s like ‘whoa.’ When Eisenhower does it, ‘well that was Eisenhower, he’s allowed to do it, we can’t do it.’
    That was also in the 50s, remember that. Different time, remember that.

    That’s when we had a country. That’s when we had borders; you know, without borders you don’t have a country, essentially. We don’t have a country. Without borders, you just don’t have it.

    But Dwight Einsenhower, this big report, they used to take them out and put them on the other side of the border and say, ‘you have to stay here.’ And they’d come right back, and they’d do it again and again, so they said ‘Wait a minute, this doesn’t work.’ And they took them out and moved them all the way South; all the way. And they never came back again; it’s too far. Amazing.

    And I’m not saying this in a joking way — I’m saying this happened. It wasn’t working, they were coming back, and then they literally – literally – moved them all the way. A lot of the politicians – they never came back, it was too far. They’d put them on boats and move them all the way down South, and that was it.”


  313. says

    Remember the awful phrase “legitimate rape” that Republican Congressman Todd Akin came up with? Now Rob Portman, a Republican congressman from Ohio has come up with a turn of phrase that is almost as offensive:

    I think it’s worth continuing to fight to defund. Taxpayer dollars should not be going to Planned Parenthood. I think our legislation makes a lot of sense. It says, not only do you not send taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, but those tax dollars instead go to community health centers—there are a lot more of them than Planned Parenthood clinics; eight times more in the state of Ohio for instance—and they can provide the women’s health needs that are legitimate, that are needed.


    Those clinics you are talking about Mr. Portman, do not offer the same services as Planned Parenthood. The rightwing talking point that centers around shunting women to other, existing clinics has been debunked multiple times, but Republicans are sticking with it anyway. See comment 315.

    Also, yet another white rightwing male congress critter is telling women what is “legitimate” health care. [head-desk, head-desk]

  314. says

    Get ready for yet another self-imposed crisis fostered by Republican lawmakers in Congress. We have the shutdown fight coming up in December, since lawmakers kicked the budget fight down the road, but didn’t kick it far.

    Even more alarming, the Treasury Department says the U.S. will reach its debt limit soon. Some Republicans really want to fight over raising the debt limit, which they are doing by threatening catastrophe. Here’s why we’ve crept up on the debt limit sooner than expected:

    Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress in a new letter that thanks in part to lower-than-expected quarterly tax receipts, the extraordinary measures to forestall breaching the debt limit, combined with the new revenues, will run their course just a week after the resignation of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, takes effect. That makes it all the more likely the debt limit will need to be addressed before his departure.

    Roll Call link

    From the Democratic Party side we have the usual arguments for reasonable action. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement:

    Failure to protect the full faith and credit of the United States would have a devastating impact on hard-working families across the country — including tumbling retirement savings and rising interest rates for student loans, mortgages, credit cards and car payments.

    The Republican Congress must take the prospect of a catastrophic default off of the table. The credit rating of the United States is not a hostage to serve Republicans’ toxic special interest ideology. Yet time and again, the crisis-addicted Republican majority has threatened to shatter the foundation of our economy to advance their destructive partisan agenda.

    The one chance we have to avoid this debt-ceiling crisis rests with John Boehner. It is possible that he will not let the more rabid of his rightwing colleagues hold the government hostage over, say, Planned Parenthood. Boehner may end his career on a reasonable note. He may hold a vote to raise the debt ceiling, with support from Democrats and about 1/3 of the Republicans.

  315. says

    Ben Carson said some more stupid stuff on Wednesday:

    “Is there climate change? Of course there’s climate change,” Carson replied. “Any point in time, temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down. Of course that’s happening. When that stops happening, that’s when we’re in big trouble.” […]

    Though he had been asked about climate change, he continued, “As far as evolution is concerned, you know, I do believe in micro-evolution, or natural selection, but I believe that God gave the creatures he made the ability to adapt to their environment. Because he’s very smart and he didn’t want to start over every 50 years.”

    New Republic link

    Wait … it got worse. Ben Carson went on to say, “Just the way the Earth rotates on its axis, how far away it is from the sun. These are all very complex things. Gravity, where did it come from?”

  316. blf says

    First Dog on the Moon is an occasional(?) cartoon taking a somewhat snarky look at current news. It runs in The Grauniad, about once-a-week as of late, and (in my opinion) is worth reading. The most recent one, Mars water: will it be contaminated by Earth cooties?, starts with the recent NASA announcement about very recent liquid water on the surface of Mars, and makes a good point: “Humans are amazing. We can fly a spaceship to Mars but we can’t clean the Mars Rover — or Earth, for that matter”.

  317. says

    This is a followup to comment 342.

    Now that Alabama officials are catching some heat for closing driver’s license offices in communities with majority African-American populations, (a way to keep those voters from obtaining the required voter I.D.), the officials have come up with some explanations/excuses/lies.

    The Alabama Secretary of State, John Merrill, said:

    All 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. If for some reason those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we’ll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county. By October 31 our office will have brought the mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama at least once. One of the most fundamental rights we as Americans are afforded is our right to vote. As Alabama’s Secretary of State and Chief Elections Official, I will do everything within my power to ensure every Alabamian is able to exercise their right to vote.

    The mobile van looks like a bandaid to me. How does one appearance of a mobile van make up for closing a driver’s license office that was open five days a week every week? What if you can’t get off work, or can’t find childcare, or are elderly and can’t arrange transportation on the mobile-van-day?

    Also, the Board of Registars offices that officials left open are centered in mostly white, mostly Republican communities.

    How many people in Alabama will be negatively affected by this voter-restriction law?

    Approximately 250,000 registered voters in Alabama don’t have a driver’s license or acceptable form of voter ID. In the last election, a 93-year-old World War II veteran was turned away from the polls because of the new [voter ID] law. Only 41 percent of Alabamans voted in the 2014 election, the lowest turnout in the state in 28 years.

    The Nation link

    Multiply the voter-restriction problem by other states that have passed similar laws, and you can see that we have a real problem going into the 2016 election.

  318. says

    Regarding the meeting Kim Davis had with the Pope, she and her lawyers made a lot more out of that than it actually was.

    In a statement, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis met with “several dozen” people at the Vatican’s embassy in Washington just before leaving for New York.

    Lombardi said such meetings are par for the course of any Vatican trip and are due to the pope’s “kindness and availability.” He said the pope only really had one “audience” in Washington: with former students and his family members.

    “The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” Lombardi said.

    Associated Press link

  319. says

    More on the sneaky ways in which Republicans at the state level are actively engaging in voter-suppression of non-white or likely-Democratic-voter communities:

    North Carolina Republicans have been actively moving the goalposts—they’ve been moving polling places around like a crazed monkey on crack. They have been cutting numbers of polling places in some counties, increasing numbers in other counties. There has been no systematic analysis of the effect of this. All I’ve been able to find in any news outlet is, you know: a little local newspaper, say Winston-Salem’s, will say: “the number of early voting sites is twelve this year…by the way, it was fifteen last year.” That’s it. Nobody has taken an overall view. […]

    The headline outcome from our analysis is that in 2014 white voters—71% of the electorate in North Carolina—had to travel an additional 119,000 miles from their homes to their nearest Early Voting locations…which is approximately equivalent to halfway from the Earth to the Moon.

    I hear you ask, “how did it affect black voters?” Well, black voters—22% of the electorate—had to travel to the moon and halfway home again, 370,000 miles, in 2014, to get to their nearest Early Voting place. […]

    […] the right and wrong of it is that the well-to-do […] have a much higher degree of mobility and a lot more freedom to say “I’m not coming into work…I’ll be a half an hour late, because I’m going to stop off and vote first.” Wage slaves in a low-wage job, which a lot of people of color are stuck in today, don’t have that opportunity, to tell the manager of McDonald’s “I’m going to be a half hour late today because I’m going to vote.” So, I really insist that excessive distance-to-poll is a poll tax. It costs you money to go vote, and the more money it costs, the fewer poor people vote.


    Other ways in which North Carolina makes it hard for people to vote:
    – voter I.D. laws
    – elimination of same-day registration for voting
    – reduction of early voting days
    – eliminating voting on Sundays, the “souls to the polls” day on which many black churches offer free bus rides to polling places
    – moving polling places (as discussed in the quoted text above

  320. blf says

    The child rapists have gone into full-lie mode, Vatican: pope did not show support for Kim Davis:

    Rome seeks to end confusion over meeting with Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences

    The Vatican has distanced Pope Francis from Kim Davis, the controversial Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licences to same sex couples for religious reasons, saying the recent meeting between the two ought not to be seen as a “form of support of her position”.

    In a short statement that the church said would provide an “objective understanding of what transpired”, the Vatican also downplayed the significance of the encounter, saying Davis was one of “several dozen persons” who had been invited by the Vatican’s ambassador to the US in Washington. […]

    It was a stunning decision by the Vatican to break its silence on the meeting with Davis, days after it said it would not discuss the matter. It is likely to reflect a view that — for various reasons — Davis is not necessarily a model of the “conscientious objector” that Francis has generally endorsed and a concern on the part of the Vatican that the controversial meeting threatened to overshadow the pope’s otherwise hugely successful trip to the US.

    [… In a discussion with a reporter on the flight home, Francis] reinforced the idea that he believed it was a human right of government officials to object to a duty if they believed it was against their faith.


    In a piece published on Thursday and widely discussed among Vatican experts, [author Michael Sean] Winters argued in an article for National Catholic Reporter that Davis was not, in fact, a conscientious objector, because she not only refused to grant marriage licenses in her office in Kentucky (even though same sex couples have the constitutional right to marry), but she also forbade clerks working under her to do so.

    “Davis was not jailed for practicing her religion. She was jailed for forcing others to practise her religion,” Winters wrote.

    Mr Winters seems to get it almost correct. Even if Ms Davis did allow her clerks to grant the licenses, she was still “forcing others to practise her religion”, besides disobeying her oath of office and the law, and — a thing completely rules out any of this “conscientious objector” twaddle — a bigot.

    The comments are contemptuous of the transparent hypocrisy of the child raping cult, perhaps summed out by “Her just having an invite speaks volumes.”

  321. says

    Thanks, blf @355, for the additional details.

    In other news, Donald Trump has weighed in on the Oregon massacre:

    […]“People are going to slip through the cracks,” Trump said in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “What are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?”

    Trump suggested that stronger gun control legislation, which President Obama advocated for in a heartfelt speech on Thursday night, would be ineffective at catching every potential school shooter before he or she acted.

    “You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold, horrible,” Trump said. “It’s not politically correct to say, but you’re going to have difficulty and that will be for the next million years, there’s going to be difficulty, and people are going to slip through the cracks.”

    Trump’s responses managed to avoid MSNBC host Willie Geist’s question of what he would do as President to prevent similar attacks. Though he acknowledged that school shootings are “sort of unique to this country,” he said we already “have very strong laws on the books” and seemed resigned to the prospect of future incidents.

    “What are you going to do?” Trump said. “That’s the way the world works, and that’s the way the world always has worked.” […]


  322. says

    In addition to saying a bunch of stupid stuff, Ben Carson is doing some stupid stuff. He has rounded up a bunch of like-minded doofuses, including anti-vaxxers and John Birch Society leaders, to advise him on health care policy.

    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson announced on Friday that he has assembled a team of 32 doctors, authors, and policy experts — mostly vocal Obamacare opponents and anti-vaccine proponents — to advise him on health care policy.

    Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, has repeatedly spoken out about his opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He has called it the worst thing since slavery, worse than the terrorist attacks of September 11, and said the U.S. Supreme Court overstepped its authority when it upheld the landmark health care law.

    […] The announcement comes at a time when the number of people who are uninsured in the United States has declined by almost 16 million thanks to the health care law’s coverage expansion.

    […] Dr. Kris Held, Texas ophthalmologist, is a founder and co-director of AmericanDoctors4Truth, a group working to repeal the ACA (fellow co-director and founder of the group, Jane Hughes, will also serve on Carson’s coalition). The group claims the health care law is a “politically driven government takeover of our healthcare, passed by overt bribery and coercion.” […]

    Dr. Jane Orient: Jane Orient is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons — a conservative group formed to “fight socialized medicine” — that has extolled a number of scientifically discredited theories like the belief that HIV does not cause AIDS, the belief that there’s a link between abortion and breast cancer, and the belief that there’s a link between autism and vaccines. […] She is also the president of Doctors for Disease Preparedness, which has been called a “truly bizarre lobby group” that focuses on promoting the belief that climate change is not real. […]

    Pharmacist Robert Henderson is the chairman of the board of Nutramax Laboratories and serves on the national council of the John Birch Society […]

    North Carolina psychologist John Rosemond is known for being an outspoken political conservative who holds a number of controversial views on parenting. […] Rosemond has received disciplinary sanctions from the North Carolina Licensing Board and has been entangled in a legal battle with Kentucky officials for misrepresenting his professional credentials. […]

  323. says

    Presidential candidate and rightwing religious doofus, Mike Huckabee, weighed in on the murders in Oregon:

    Obama can shamelessly try and exploit any tragedy he wants, but it’s clear that gun free zones are sitting duck zones.

  324. blf says

    About @357, If teh neuroh!goofus is using john birch-ers (do they still actually exist?) to “advise him on health care policy”, does that mean we’ll see the return of General Jack D Ripper and his concern about “precious bodily fluids” — commonly considered to be a satire on the john brich-ers anti-fluoridation bugfeck nuttery?

  325. says

    This is a followup to comment 313.

    Well, they did it. Republicans killed what has been called one of the most successful conservation program in the USA. The Land and Water Conservation Fund was shot and then buried by Republican extremists today.

    Despite broad bipartisan support […] Congress failed to take action to reauthorize it. That means that offshore oil and gas producers will no longer be paying into the chest that funds the program—and now that the funding connection has been broken, reinstating it will be very difficult […] lawmakers will be dickering over how to divvy up former LWCF appropriations, which will now be going into the general treasury.

    […] dozens of representatives on both sides of the aisle had signed a letter in support of the perpetually underfunded program, which has conserved more than seven million acres so far. LWCF purchases wildlife habitat, buys private inholdings within wildernesses and national parks, preserves cultural heritage sites, provides public access for fishing and hunting, and pays for urban parks, playgrounds and ballfields. […] if put to a straight-up vote, reauthorization would pass both the House and Senate with bipartisan majorities.

    But action on LWCF was derailed by far-right opposition, led by Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, House Natural Resources chairman, reflecting the anti-public-land and anti-federal sentiments afoot in some quarters of the West. […]

    High Country News link

    Without spending taxpayer money, the LWCF put about $17 billion into federal, state and local parks (since 1964, when it was created).

    The fund is payed for by revenues paid by oil and gas companies drilling offshore in waters owned by the American people.

    The Columbia River Gorge is one example of the land protected through use of LWCF funds. About 2/3 of the Appalachian Trail is another example.

    Republican extremists view the LWCF as a sneaky way to expand the amount of land controlled by the federal government. The Koch brothers have consistently lobbied against the LWCF.

    Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell said,

    After 50 years of resounding success in enriching America’s great outdoors, the Land and Water Conservation Fund needlessly faces an uncertain future. I am extremely disappointed that, despite overwhelming bipartisan support, Congress has allowed this innovative and effective program to expire. As a result, America’s national parks are now at a higher risk of private development within their borders, we will have fewer tools to protect access to hunting and fishing spots, and local parks and open space projects in all 50 states may face delays or cancellation in the year ahead.

  326. says

    A Republican rightwing extremist from Kansas is fomenting revolution against the federal government.

    State Senator Forrest Knox said of lot of stupid stuff before, but urging revolution against President Obama is new. Here are some of his past forays into the land of Stupid:
    – in 2013 he supported a bill to put guns in all schools (this was after Newtown)
    – he proposed legislation to pay foster parents more money if they could prove that they were in a faith-based relationship, and were not having extra-marital affairs
    – he says he is for small government, but he wants to expand government massively if it will force people to behave according to his rules

    “[…] [snipped reference to the American Revolution] Industries will not take the chance of opposing the federal government. Sooner or later a state legislature will if it keeps moving this way,” Knox said.

    His fiery talk about revolution was triggered by his opposition to the EPA, to clean power, and to other environmental protection mandates.

    The Wichita Eagle link

  327. emergence says

    About that mass murderer who was an atheist; I agree that the atheist community has some serious problems, and the idea that atheists are inherently morally superior to theists is a big one, but whenever I hear about an atheist committing a serious crime, I still feel the need to defend myself.

    We all know that conservative religious zealots are going to use these cases as proof that all atheists are evil, and I don’t like it when my ideological opponents have the moral high ground. This means that I’m usually going to point out that similar crimes have been committed by christians in order to level the playing field. For example, I point to countries in Africa where christians and muslims are massacring each other, or point out that fundamentalist religious cults in the US are suffering from rampant cases of rape and child molestation. I actually feel guilty for focusing on proving that my opponents aren’t spotless either, but I still feel like it’s necessary to avoid them lording over me.

    I will say that the fact that this guy was one of those conservative atheists who presumably hated social justice and humanist values at least distances us from him a bit, but I have a feeling that’s the wrong attitude to take.

  328. blf says

    Presidential hopeful Rand Paul wants next Kentucky governor to stand up to presidents (quoted in full):

    ● Republican candidate campaigns with gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin
    ● Says too much power has been consolidated in presidency he covets

    The Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said on Saturday his home state of Kentucky needed a governor who would stand up to the federal government he wants to lead.

    The libertarian-leaning US senator said that too much power had been consolidated in the presidency, and that the states should play a role in curbing that power.

    Paul made a pitch for the state’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, Matt Bevin, at a campaign event in Frankfort. Bevin is running against the Democrat Jack Conway.

    The joint appearance came days after Bevin snubbed Paul by saying during a debate he would vote for the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for president. Bevin quickly backed away from the remark, and on Saturday he said Paul would make an “extraordinary” president.

    Democrats in the state say it was the latest example of flip-flopping by Bevin.

  329. blf says

    Not exactly political madness, and not specifically USAlien, but some related-to-both sensible proactive news, Leading same-sex marriage activist heads to Europe after US triumph:

    Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson to meet with officials, business leaders and activists in Austria, Switzerland and Germany

    US embassies in Europe have invited an instrumental figure in the movement to legalize same-sex marriage to visit three countries where it is not yet legal.

    Evan Wolfson, founder of marriage equality campaign group Freedom to Marry, will meet with embassy officials, local business leaders and activists this month in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

    “What makes me really proud is that after years of fighting with our government to get to the right place, our government is now able to be a clear, strong voice around the world in favor of human rights,” Wolfson told the Guardian.


    Wolfson said he received a congratulations call from Vice-President Joe Biden after the supreme court ruling was announced. Wolfson said Biden remarked how important the decision was for US foreign policy.


    Energy for the global movement to make same-sex marriage legal grew in May, when Ireland voted by a huge majority to legalize same-sex marriage. It continued through June with the US decision.

    Wolfson said that the point of the discussions and speeches abroad is not for the Americans to come in and make same-sex marriage legal in other countries, but to provide information that local activists can adapt to make it legal on their own.

  330. says


    Well of course we need to defend ourselves. It simply isn’t true that we are all like that, otherwise there would be a constant stream of atheists going on shooting sprees. Instead we find such people have all assorted religious beliefs.

  331. says

    One idea: treat every young man who wants to buy a fun like every woman who wants to bet an abortion.

    How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion — mandatory 48-hr waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence, an ultrasound wand up the ass (just because).

    Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.

    It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?

  332. says

    Republican obstructionism is destroying the Justice Department.

    […] For many district and circuit court judges, going to work means doing their job — plus the jobs of other judges who are supposed to be there, but aren’t. That’s because federal courts are full of vacancies that aren’t being filled by the Senate, and Congress hasn’t created new judgeships in many states for decades, despite skyrocketing caseloads.

    Litigants are waiting years for their civil cases to be heard because criminal cases take precedence. […]

    [Judge Morrison England Jr., the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California] runs one of the most strained court systems in the country. The Eastern District is massive, encompassing more than half of California’s 58 counties. There’s a seat in the Fresno division that’s been vacant for more than 1,000 days […]

    On average, a federal judge takes between 500 and 600 cases each year. Judges on England’s court have more than 1,000. It would take six new judgeships on the Eastern District court to bring down the workload to an average level […]

    The last time Congress passed a major judgeship bill was in 1990. Since then, there’s been a 39 percent increase in filings at district and circuit courts but only a 4 percent increase in judgeships. The Judicial Conference recommended in March that Congress create 77 more judgeships for district courts and five more for circuit courts to keep up with current workloads. Lawmakers haven’t passed anything.

    […] Since Republicans took control of the Senate in January, they’ve only let six of President Barack Obama’s judicial picks get confirmation votes. […]

    They filibustered noncontroversial nominees, used procedural tactics to delay votes and even blocked their own nominees to prevent Obama from chalking up confirmations. […]

    The problem is, when court seats go unfilled, cases get seriously delayed and regular people suffer. In a civil case, that means someone suing an employer for discrimination will wait years to go before a judge. In a criminal case, that means defendants can finish their jail terms before their case is even resolved.[…]

    There are judicial nominees pending in the Senate for about two dozen court vacancies. […]

    On a whim, a single senator can block a nominee by refusing to turn in a so-called blue slip to the Judiciary Committee, a Senate tradition that gives senators the final say in advancing a nominee from his or her home state. Senate leaders can also hold up a nominee indefinitely by refusing to schedule a confirmation vote. […]

  333. says

    The New Yorker published a thoughtful article on Donald Trump. I particularly liked their takedown of Trump’s anti-immigration stance, and his lack of foreign policy expertise.

    […] Donald Trump declared, on Wednesday night, at a high school in New Hampshire, “If I win, they’re going back.” [A reference to sending Syrian refugees back to Syria.]

    He meant, of course, if he wins the Presidency next year. The crowd whistled and cheered—the loudest applause of the night, according to the Washington Post. “Did you ever see a migration like that?” Trump mused. “They’re all men, and they’re all strong-looking guys … And I’m saying to myself, why aren’t they fighting to save Syria? Why are they migrating all over Europe? Seriously.”

    (Slightly more than half of the Syrian refugees in the United States are male; slightly more than half of all Syrian refugees are female, according to the United Nations; many are also children.) Declining to cite a source, he said, “I hear we want to take in two hundred thousand Syrians.” These refugees would have “no identification.” They could be anyone. “They could be ISIS, I don’t know”—Islamic State terrorists.

    The extremely stringent vetting of asylum-seekers by the United States, which includes background checks and interviews, seemed to be something Trump hadn’t heard about. “Military tactics are very interesting,” he said. “This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A two-hundred-thousand-man army, maybe. Or if they sent fifty thousand, or eighty thousand, or a hundred thousand, we got problems, and that could be possible. I don’t know that it is, but it could be possible, so they’re going back. They’re going back.”

    Where “back” might be is not clear. Details are not Trump’s thing. In fact, Trump has been going out of his way to denigrate the very idea of foreign-policy expertise. Last week, he told CNN that he knows more about Syria than does Senator Marco Rubio, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. […]

    Trump is morally bankrupt. He is ethically bankrupt.

  334. says

    This is a followup to comment 370. Link for quoted text is also in #370.

    Trump also talked about President Eisenhower having deported undocumented immigrants. As usual, Trump used bogus “facts” to back up his claims.

    […] “Did you like Eisenhower? Did you like Dwight Eisenhower as a President at all?” […] “He did this,” Trump said. “He did this in the nineteen-fifties with over a million people, and a lot of people don’t know that, and it worked.”

    Trump was referring to a 1954 mass deportation called, unbelievably, Operation Wetback. The government’s claims to have deported a million undocumented Mexican immigrants have been debunked by historians. A real reduction in the numbers of the undocumented was accomplished, according to Kelly Lytle Hernández, a history professor at U.C.L.A., by “the operation’s parallel but lesser-known campaign to legalize authorized farm workers.”

    Operation Wetback was no more humane than its name. People were dumped in deserts and cities far from their homes, often without water. Crowded, filthy ships carried people from Port Isabel, Texas, to the Mexican port of Veracruz until five desperate deportees jumped overboard and drowned. Trump’s plan is actually unprecedented only in scale. […]

    A nontrivial number of Americans are looking for someone, preferably someone foreign, to kick. The undocumented, without whom our economy would downtick into serious disarray, make attractive kickees, but helpless Syrian refugees will also do. They’re probably Muslim, after all.

  335. says

    People in rural North Carolina know that they need local hospitals. And they know that Republican policy is likely to shutter rural hospitals in the name of fighting the supposed evil of Obamacare, and more specifically, in the name fighting the Medicaid expansion offered to states by Obamacare.

    As a result, a rare coalition of North Carolinian Democrats and Republicans are fighting for the right to reasonably good health care.

    The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death,” […]

    […] politicians in Congress continue to wage war against Obamacare, and state legislatures block Medicaid expansion, denying health care to hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens.

    […] in North Carolina, […] Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-dominated General Assembly have blocked Medicaid expansion.

    Rural hospitals are at risk, affecting health care for citizens who are white, black, latino, Asian and Native American, many of whom live below the poverty line, and are the “working poor.” […]


    Yes, it is the working poor who will suffer if the campaign for good health care fails in North Carolina.

    In North Carolina, the Republican mayor of the town of Belhaven, Adam O’Neal, has been fighting alongside the Moral Mondays movement to save their local hospital, […]


    […] Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal held a Thursday rally on the front lawn of the North Carolina General Assembly building after walking [130 miles] from the Beaufort County town. […]

    “This is a bipartisan effort,” Pierce [State Rep. Garland Pierce] said. “Republicans get sick and Democrats get sick. I am from a rural area and I do understand the importance of having a hospital.”


    The National Rural Health Association says that 283 rural hospitals across the USA are at risk. Their financial status is similar to hospitals that have already closed.

  336. says

    On “Meet the Press,” Donald Trump claimed that the community college in Oregon where the most recent mass shooting took place was a “gun-free zone.” Trump claimed that no guns at all were allowed in the area. This is plainly false, and easily debunked, but Chuck Todd let Trump get away with the lie.

  337. says

    Hillary Clinton appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” She did well, or at least not bad for a person who is not a comedian. Link

    Scroll down for several videos.

  338. says

    This is cross-posted from the “Another day, another shooting” thread.

    Earlier today the FBI, in collaboration with ATF, sent an advisory warning to Philadelphia area colleges regarding a social media threat of gun violence posted on Friday, Oct. 2nd.

    The threat stated that on Monday, October 5th at 1:00 CST (2:00pm EST), armed violence will begin “against a university near Philadelphia”. There are references to a Men’s Rights Activists (MRA) movement known as “The Beta Rebellion”; a diary posted a few days ago went in-depth on this issue – check it out here. Please post a link in the comments if you have this bookmarked, I want to include it in the diary.

    The social media thread, posted on the website 4chan, referenced the shooting in Oregon earlier this week and spoke of continuing this streak of violence.

  339. says

    Hillary Clinton just picked up an endorsement from the National Education Association. The NEA is the nation’s largest labor union.

    “As a lifelong fighter for children and families, I am deeply honored to have earned the endorsement of the National Education Association and their nearly 3 million members,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement. “I’ve stood with educators throughout my career — from my early days working at the Children’s Defense Fund to my success creating a new teacher recruitment program in the Senate. As President, I will fight to defend workers’ right to organize and unions’ right to bargain collectively, and I will ensure that teachers always have a voice and a seat at the table in making decisions that impact their work.”

  340. says

    Carly Fiorina seems to fail at making friends wherever she goes. 302,000 employees worked for her when she was CEO at Hewlett-Packard, but not one of them has donated to her presidential campaign.

    When Fiorina ran for Senate in 2010, she hired staff, of course. Problem is, she didn’t pay them what they were owed. Her Senate campaign manager said, “People are just upset and angry and throwing her under the bus. If we didn’t win, why do you deserve to get paid?”

  341. says

    Republican politicians have been happy to emphasize the importance of mental health care in response to the shooting in Oregon. Across the board they have called for better mental health care care. It’s one way of blaming people as opposed to backing better gun regulation.

    Here’s an issue they fail to emphasize: many Republican governors have rejected the Medicaid expansion that is part of the Affordable Care Act.

    Medicaid expansion was always the public health cornerstone of ACA. It remains the single most important measure to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment, serving severely vulnerable populations such as the homeless, addressing the complicated medical and psychiatric difficulties of many young men cycling through our jails and prisons.

  342. says

    Hillary Clinton announced some major gun regulation proposals as part of her campaign for president. She said that she would use executive authority to change the definition of who is “in the business” of selling guns.

    The federal definition doesn’t cover all gun sellers equally. “This would ensure that high-volume gun sellers are covered by the same common-sense rules that apply to guns stores — including requiring background checks on gun sales,” said one of Clinton’s aides.

    […] Clinton will urge Congress to close the “Charleston loophole,” which allowed Dylann Roof to obtain a gun despite a felony drug conviction because his background check wasn’t completed within three days. She also wants Congress to overturn the 2005 law that prevents firearm manufacturers and dealers from being sued by the victims of gun violence. While serving in the Senate in 2005, Clinton voted against the law, but Sanders, who was in the House at the time, supported it. […]


  343. says

    Apparently, Carly Fiorina can lie her ass off and be nasty to all of her employees and campaign staffers while still winning the hearts of the Koch brothers. Reuters link.

    […] She has now moved to the short list of candidates the Kochs may support with their reported $1 billion war chest, the sources said. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is among those on the coveted list, the sources said. […]

    Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens hosted a packed luncheon at a posh Dallas venue for Fiorina in late September, while venture capitalist Tom Perkins is planning a fundraising gala in California in the next few months. […] Fiorina had already garnered about $2 million in support from the likes of reclusive hedge fund baron Robert Mercer and former Univision CEO Jerrold Perenchio. […]

  344. says

    People who claimed that the Umpqua Community College campus was a gun free zone:

    Donald Trump
    Mike Huckabee
    Carly Fiorina
    Professor William A. Jacobson writing for USA Today
    David French writing for National Review
    Newt Gingrich
    Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America

  345. says

    This is a followup to comment 381.

    Add Ben Carson to the list of right-wingers who have falsely claimed that the Oregon community college was a gun free zone.

    Ben Carson reacted to the shooting of ten people at an Oregon community college last week by warning that it would be used as “an excuse to grab people’s guns.” […]

    Carson also falsely claimed that the shooter targeted the college because it was “a gun-free zone.” The school was in fact not a gun-free zone and several students on campus were concealed carrying at the time of the shooting. […]

    The people who want to get rid of our gun rights, I want them to tell me how exactly that stops these kinds of incidents from happening. Because the people who are going to commit these crimes, they don’t care about your silly rules, they’re not going to pay attention to them. So all you’re going to do is create more vulnerability, as Thomas Jefferson said. He said the people who are going to be disadvantaged are the ones who are law-abiding.


    Carson was wrong about Thomas Jefferson too. The quote to which Carson referred came from Cesare Beccaria, an Italian philosopher. Jefferson copied the quote into his “Legal Commonplace Book,” and added the note “False idee di utilità.” There is some scholarly discussion of what Jefferson meant by this, but it definitely was not Jefferson who said:

    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.

    Republicans generally take a fast and loose approach to truth, to accuracy, to facts. The fact-checking function becomes overwhelming.

  346. says

    This is a followup to comment 249, in which we saw Donald Trump announcing that he was going to boycott Fox News because the broadcasting company was not nice enough to him.

    After that announcement, Trump did dot disappear from Fox News. In terms of on-air interview time, Trump still leads all other contenders for the presidency. In other words, it was all sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Trump’s on-air interview time over the past week added up 2 hours and 42 minutes, which is 30 minutes more than his closest rival. In other words, Faux News is really pushing the Trump-for-president idea hard.

    Maybe he should boycott Fox more often. The end result is more air-time on Fox.

  347. says

    On Fox News, Lou Dobbs analyzed the shooting in Oregon and came up with the explanation that school shootings are happening because the USA forbids prayer in schools. There’s so much wrong with this, that I don’t know where to begin.

    I don’t understand why Christians are not reacting. […] Christians have to understand it’s a time to stand up. And Americans have to understand that the first acts of our government, and in our Constitution all pertain to god and the religiosity of our culture, our society, and yes our government. There is nothing that says that there is freedom to kill religion in our culture, our society and in our government. Public schools, public school boards should demand a return to the Judeo-Christian ethic, to the practice of religion in our schools, prayer in schools, in my opinion. And, there is almost a straight line between what happened in 1963 and the denial of the right to pray in our public schools, and violence in our schools and our society, that has risen exponentially over that time.

  348. says

    More voter restriction moves from right-wingers, this time from Republicans in Maryland. (For an earlier discussion of ways in which voting rights are being restricted in Alabama, see comments 342 and 352.)

    The Republican majority on the Montgomery County, Maryland board of elections is using the same playbook as North Carolin Republicans, apparently. They’ve decided to close two early voting sites in the county where there are more blacks and Democrats, moving them to lower population, white, Republican communities. […]


    When the decision to close those two sites was made, Democratic members of the elections board were not included in the discussion. They were blindsided.

  349. says

    This is a followup to comment 378.

    John Oliver discussed the tendency of Republicans to skip around gun control issues by focusing on Mental Health. Mental Health is not something that Republicans support with policy or funds.

    We send mentally ill people to jail. Sometimes we put them in nursing homes. Sometimes we release them from care early and give them a Greyhound bus ticket to get them out of town. Republican state governors refuse Medicaid expansion that could cover programs that treat mental illness.

    There’s a lot more detail in John Oliver’s presentation.

  350. says

    Mike Huckabee said and did some stupid stuff:

    At 3% in national polls, Mike Huckabee faces an uphill fight against more than dozen Republican candidates for the presidential nomination. But that hasn’t stopped him from adding another opponent in recent weeks: a bag of rainbow-colored chips.

    They’re not just any chips. They’re a limited edition Doritos product called “Rainbow Doritos,” presented as a partnership between Doritos’ parent company Frito-Lay and the It Gets Better project. Donate $10 or more to the It Gets Better Project, an organization dedicated to fighting anti-LGBT bullying, and you get mailed a bag of Rainbow Doritos. The campaign was so popular that Frito-Lay is already out of Rainbow Doritos.

    Time link

    This is the same Mike Huckabee who called it “economic terrorism” when LGBT groups supported a boycott of Chick-fil-a.

  351. says

    Oh, FFS. Not content with grilling Cecile Richards in a disrespectful manner, and not content with displaying bogus charts, Congress critters have decided to set up a Benghazi-like committee to further investigate Planned Parenthood.

    Not letting the ongoing Benghazi committee fiasco stop them, House Republicans are preparing to set up yet another special committee to conduct a completely unnecessary and highly politicized investigation. This time it’s Planned Parenthood, and the legislation creating it could be considered as soon as Wednesday. […]


  352. says

    The State of South Carolina is just drowning in flood waters. It is an epic disaster. 14 people died. 18 dams have broken so far, and more dams are threatened.

    Lindsey Graham, the Senator for South Carolina, wants some help from the federal government, and he wants it fast. That’s understandable. But this is the same Lindsey Graham who voted against federal aid to help states pummeled by Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane came in late 2012. The vote for the largest federal aid package was held in 2013. When asked about this blatant hypocrisy, Graham replied:

    I’m all for helping the people in New Jersey. I don’t really remember me voting that way.

    Anyway, I don’t really recall that, but I’d be glad to look and tell you why I did vote no, if I did.

    Yeah, I’ll bet a whole bunch of Republican senators can’t explain why they voted against Sandy Relief for northeastern states. Maybe none of them remember how they epitomized a lack of empathy and a shameless partisanship when it comes to helping their fellow citizens.

    Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the east coast prior to the 2012 election, was supposed to be “Obama’s Katrina.” Republicans did not want recovery and cleanup to go well. They wanted people to blame Obama for failure to properly respond to a natural disaster.

  353. blf says

    Public Service Annoucement.
    Please check your tinfoil hat and supply of freeze-dried jello. The world will burn up tomorrow. Do not worry. Roast some marshmallows.

    Christian group predicts the world will be ‘annihilated’ on Wednesday:

    Over a week after blood moon doomsday forecasts were proven wrong, eBible Fellowship leader Chris McCann says ‘the world will pass away’ on 7 October

    While our planet may have survived September’s “blood moon”, it will be permanently destroyed on Wednesday, 7 October, a Christian organization has warned.

    The eBible Fellowship, an online affiliation headquartered near Philadelphia, has based its prediction of an October obliteration on a previous claim that the world would end on 21 May 2011. While that claim proved to be false, the organization is confident it has the correct date this time.

    “According to what the Bible is presenting it does appear that 7 October will be the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away,” said Chris McCann, the leader and founder of the fellowship, an online gathering of Christians headquartered in Philadelphia.

    “It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated.”

    McCann said that, according to his interpretation of the Bible, the world will be obliterated “with fire”.


    The expectation of the world ending this fall stems from [the 2011] prediction by Harold Camping […] When [Camping’s original date of 21 May] turned out to be incorrect, Camping revised his prediction to October 2011. That also turned out to be incorrect […]

    McCann believes that Camping’s 21 May 2011 prediction did have some truth, however. That day was declared to be “judgment day” because it was actually the day God stopped the process of selecting which churchgoers will survive Wednesday’s massacre, McCann said. [Since then the great sky faeries have been deciding which heathens will survive.]


    Scientists have several theories about when Earth will be destroyed, although none of the data points to this Wednesday. […]

    Camping’s original 21 May 2011 predication was for a miracle at 6pm(local tiem, around the world). And there was one at 6pm in Wales: That was the start of the second half of the Heineken Cup Rugby final, and Leinster, who were badly trailing at that point, mounted one of the most astonishing and surprising come-backs and won.

    This year is the Rugby World Cup. Tomorrow’s matches are South Africa vs USA, and Namibia vs Georgia. (The final isn’t for a few more weeks.) South Africa is expected to win in their match against the USA, so in keeping with Rugby miracles, does this mean these loonies are predicting a USA win? Or, in another miracle, perhaps they mean Namibia will win their first-ever Rugby World Cup game (this is Namibia’s 5th(?) tournament).

  354. says

    I am so disappointed, per blf’s 391, that the world never ends as predicted by Biblical doofuses. I get all prepared, and nothing happens. Sheesh.

    In other news, Ben Carson said some more stupid stuff:

    The first question tonight comes from Dan. He wants to know if the tragedy has altered my position as a supporter of the Second Amendment.

    Dan, I grew up in the slums of Detroit. I saw plenty of gun violence as a child. Both of my cousins were killed on the streets. As a Doctor, I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies. There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking – but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.

    Serious people seek serious solutions. The Left would prefer to use these tragedies to advance a political agenda. To me, that is also devastatingly sad. The Left would have you believe that a man that asked Christians to stand up (and then executed them one by one) would obey “new gun laws”. That kind of logic explains many of the problems we find ourselves in today.


  355. says

    This is a follow up to comment 377. Carly Fiorina’s operations director for her 2010 failed Senate campaign explained not paying some vendors and staffers this way: “If we didn’t win, why do you deserve to get paid? If you don’t succeed in business, you shouldn’t be the first one to step up and complain about getting paid.”

    Okay. I hadn’t noticed that “If you don’t succeed in business … ” part earlier. By that criteria, Carly Fiorina should not have left Hewlett-Packard with $21 million in severance pay, plus another $21 million in stocks, options, and pension. She was also given three months of free tech support.

    Fiorina pushed Hewlett-Packard into a merger that sent the company’s stock into the basement, and that resulted in 30,000 people losing their jobs.

    That’s $42 million she received in exchange for utter failure, but still Fiorina refused for five years to pay the $30,000 she owed to the widow of her pollster who collapsed of a heart attack in the middle of her campaign, surrounded by reams of Fiorina’s data. If this widow and all her other vendors didn’t deserve to get paid, though, then why did Fiorina?


  356. says

    Bobby Jindal wrote some stupid stuff in relation to the shooting in Oregon:

    This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns. Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here.

    He brags that he has never held a gun in his life and that he had no idea that his son had any guns. Why didn’t he know? Because he failed to raise his son. He should be ashamed of himself, and he owes us all an apology. When he was asked what his relationship was with his son, he said he hadn’t seen him in a while because he lived with his mother. Case Closed.

    The quoted text is from an essay that Jindal wrote for his presidential campaign website. The essay also excoriates “shallow and simple minded liberals” for blaming “pieces of hardware for the problem.”

    Jindal closed with:

    If anyone is at all serious about changing any of this, they must address the root problems, and those are cultural decay, the glorification of evil, the devaluation of human life, the breakdown of the family, and specifically the complete abdication of fathers.”

  357. says

    Fun fact, supporters of Democratic Party candidates make about half as many grammatical errors as supporters of Republican candidates when posting comments online.

    […] To get their results, Grammarly went to each candidate’s Facebook page, taking comments that were at least 15 words long and expressed either positive or neutral feelings about the candidate. Then, researchers randomly selected at least 180 of those comments to analyze for each candidate.

    The analysis — intended by Grammarly to be “a lighthearted look at how well the 2016 presidential candidates’ supporters write when they’re debating online” — found that, for every 100 words written, an average Democratic candidate supporter made 4.2 mistakes, while an average Republican candidate backer made 8.7 errors. It also asserted that Democratic supporters have larger vocabularies, using 300 unique words for every 1,000 words they use, compared to Republicans who only use only 245 unique words for every 1,000. […]

    Democrats also did better at spelling. Those who support Donald Trump made the most mistakes.

  358. says

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of the many Republican candidates for president, said some stupid stuff about the shooting in Oregon:

    I don’t think gun control would solve this problem. The deeper issue is alienation. The deeper issue is loneliness. The deeper issue is we’re paying no attention to an individual who is really struggling.

    One point in Kasich’s favor: he did expand Medicaid in his state, an act which does provide more options for mental health services to people living in Ohio.

  359. says

    Eric Bolling, a Fox News host, said some stupid stuff about background checks for gun buyers:

    Here’s what happens with universal background checks, Geraldo, poor people, minorities in high crime urban areas, will have to make the choice between buying this gun to protect my family or feeding my family. Because sometimes it can be upwards of — in New York it’s $80, in Maryland it’s $200 just for the background check. People can’t afford to protect their own families; instead they decide not to buy the gun.

    I think Bolling may be confusing permits and/or licenses required by some states with a supposed fee for the actual background check. At any rate, I don’t get the guns-or-food dilemma he is proposing for poor, urban people.

  360. says

    Some of the residents of Roseburg, Oregon are not pleased about President Obama’s planned visit to their town.

    […] David Jaques, publisher of the conservative newspaper the Roseburg Beacon, [made] a stink about a potential Obama visit. Jacques called President Obama’s remarks “inappropriate” and “disrespectful” before arguing that any visit by th