Yet another episode of “What was he thinking?”

US congressman Joe Barton of Texas is a member of the Republican Freedom Caucus which means that he has notoriously reactionary views on pretty much everything, all wrapped up in smug religious piety. He is a strong advocate for the oil and coal industries and a vehement climate change denier, using the Bible to argue against the science and even suggesting that wind energy is not a renewable resource.
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What the Republican tax plan will do

The Tax Policy Center has analyzed the tax proposal and who pays less and who pays more. Spoiler alert! The rich pay less and the rest pay more. While everyone would pay less in the first year (enabling the Republicans to claim that everyone gets a tax cut), the rich will pay a lot less and there is a time delay in the bill that results in tax increases for lower income people down the road.
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Behold, the world’s greatest democracy …

… where people can be denied the right to vote if they happen to be too poor to pay court costs and fines.

Randi Lynn Williams assumes she will never be able to afford to vote again.

The 38-year-old Dothan resident lost her right to vote in 2008, when she was convicted of fraudulent use of a credit card.

She was on probation for over two years, then served a few months behind bars ending in early 2011, at which point she would have been eligible to vote in most states. In Maine and Vermont, she would have never lost that right in the first place.
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‘Presuppositonalism’ seems like just a fancy name for shutting your ears

As we have seen, many evangelical Christians have closed ranks behind Roy Moore’s candidacy for the US senate despite the many credible reports that he repeatedly hit on teenage girls when he was an assistant county district attorney in his thirties and his creepy behavior was so well known that some girls at the local mall set up an informal alert system to warn others when he was on the prowl and his presence was monitored by security. There was even a security watch to see that he did not harass high school cheerleaders.
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After the exposure, what comes next?

The pattern has become familiar. Day after day we get new names of well-known people accused of the behavior ranging from the gross to the illegal, almost always by men of power and influence and aimed at young women and men whose careers they could influence positively or negatively. Their targets felt intimidated from speaking out against them directly or complain to their superiors. What has become clear is that these men behaved with impunity because they felt that their position gave them immunity. Clearly, if things are to change, people must realize that whoever they are, if they abuse their power over people they will be exposed and suffer the consequences.
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I just don’t understand some people

Ohio political news has been abuzz with salacious reports following the resignation of a state legislator named Wes Goodman, after he was reportedly found having sex with another man in his office. Goodman had been described as an up and coming star in Republican politics, which means of course that he campaigned on the ‘family values’, evangelical Christian platform which means espousing the anti-poor, anti-women anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-contraception agenda, because that is what ‘family values’ has come to mean.
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Did Robert Mugabe watch A Very British Coup?

Zimbabwe has been going through a rather strange political transition. Robert Mugabe has ruled that country since 1980 when his guerrilla force ZANU overthrew the white minority government of what was then called Rhodesia. Since then, his rule has become increasingly autocratic, corrupt, undemocratic, and brutal and it seemed like he, now 93 years old, was grooming his wife Grace to take over from him, and sacking his deputy head of state seemed to be a step in that direction
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