Monday, November 30, 2015

Tweet Of The Day


We can't think of a more taxonomically accurate comeback to smarmy Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (Weasel-TX) than this:


(No disrespect to weasels intended.)

UPDATE:  As Little Green Footballs reports, officials in El Paso County say that the identification of nut bag shooter Dear as "female" was the result of a clerical error on their part.

Photo Of The Day


(click on image to enlarge)

(Photo: P. Wojazer, Reuters)

President Obama and French President Hollande place flowers at the makeshift memorial for Paris terrorist attack victims at the Bataclan.

Quote Of The Day - Opening The COP21 Climate Change Conference


We offer our condolences to the people of France for the barbaric attacks on this beautiful city. We stand united in solidarity not only to deliver justice to the terrorist network responsible for those attacks but to protect our people and uphold the enduring values that keep us strong and keep us free. And we salute the people of Paris for insisting this crucial conference go on -- an act of defiance that proves nothing will deter us from building the future we want for our children. What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it?  -- President Obama at the opening of the Paris climate change conference (COP21) today in Le Bourget, France.  (In that last sentence, was he referring to ISIS or/and the American taliban, the nihilist Republican Party?)

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon: Post-Truth Republicans


(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Crooks and Liars).

See post below.

Monday Morning Read - Telling Ghost Stories


In this morning's read, Charles P. Pierce tells us that the lying "ghost stories" told by Republicans to their credulous base is nothing new:
As with so many things, this all began with Ronald Reagan. Those people who claim that Donald Trump is sui generis in this regard are very much the same as those people who find him a unique political phenomenon, instead of the logical end product of almost 40 years of conservative politics. Reagan was as full of crap as the Christmas goose, and in the same way that Trump and Carson are. Trump has dancing Muslims. Reagan had the fictitious welfare queen in Chicago. Carson had his attempt to stab a classmate. Reagan had his march into Auschwitz to liberate the death camp there. The difference is that Reagan slung his hooey with a smile and a wink. Trump has weaponized Reagan's fabulism and that seems to make a difference to some people. But nothing that has happened in this campaign, up to and including the latest spasm of outright bigotry and fear-mongering, is new in the recent history of Republican politics. It always is the person who tells the best ghost stories who wins.  [snip]
It is Trump, abetted by the initial cowardice of his fellow Republicans and by the pure bumfuzzlement of the elite political press, who has made this a campaign of competing ghost stories. American politics has been slouching toward the supernatural for three decades now, since Ronald Reagan marched into Auschwitz in his mind. The whole system is clogged now with corporate money and ectoplasm. Nothing moves. All ghosts are essentially spirits who find themselves trapped.   (our emphasis)
This is why truth and facts are of no concern to these people.  In reality, the bigger the lies, the more successful you are as a right- wing Republican politician.  That's because the Republicans' angry, frothing base likely has been living in an impenetrable right- wing post- truth bubble their entire lives.  They're been predictably susceptible to fearing any number of boogie men over the years:  unions, blacks, Hispanics, gays and lesbians, secular progressives, etc., etc. Therefore, nothing is "true" to them except their deepest gut fears and prejudices, which have been carefully nurtured by decades of right- wing misdirection and fabulism.  

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tweet Of The Day - Republicans Still Demagoguing On Planned Parenthood



When they finally do come out of their holes to say anything, it's just to repeat vicious lies.

UPDATEAnd make up a few more hateful, despicable ones.

Anti-Planned Parenthood Smears Leading to Violence (UPDATED)


As we noted in an update to our post yesterday, the killer at yesterday's Colorado Springs' Planned Parenthood site, Robert Dear, is reported to have said "no more baby parts" in a rambling interview with police while in custody, a clear indication that he was targeting the facility over the false fetal tissue stories produced by anti-choice zealots . Over the past year, the right wing has mounted an intensive and deceitful attack on Planned Parenthood, posting highly edited and misleading videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials "selling" the body parts of aborted fetuses. These attacks on Planned Parenthood are also believed to have prompted cases of arson at several clinics recently.

Rethuglican politicians and candidates have been bashing Planned Parenthood in the most inflammatory way, perhaps none more than failed businesswoman and cynical opportunist Carly "Snarly" Fiorina.  In the second Rethug debate, Snarly repeatedly lied about seeing a nonexistent video  showing an abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility for the purpose of fetal tissue donation. Her graphic (and knowingly false) version was the low-light of the debate, but allowed the media to gush initially about her "knowledge" and "passion," before a factual examination (you know, actual journalism) unraveled Snarly's fictional account days later.

Radical rhetoric by the anti-choice movement in this country encourages violent actions by unbalanced domestic terrorists. Rethuglican politicians won't call for a halt to it because it would be a betrayal of their most rabid, motivated base, for whom life begins at conception, but ends at the impact of a bullet.

UPDATE:  A portrait is emerging:  he's a "conservative, religious, anti-abortion" nut, according to his ex-wife, who also was fond of handing out anti- Obama leaflets.  Knock us over with a feather.

Sunday Sermon



We note that wingnut Ben "Mental Ben" Carson is trying to get some foreign policy cred by visiting a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.  Will Mental Ben have a change of heart about admitting some to the U.S., after comparing Syrian refugees to "rabid dogs"?  Uh, no:
"I did not detect any great desire for them to come to the United States. You've got these refugee camps that aren't completely full. And all you need is the resources to be able to run them. Why do you need to create something else?"
This was a lame photo-op for a slipping Mental Ben, showing him with some refugees, patting some kids' heads, smiling that vacant smile of his, and hoping that he can made a swift exit before word gets around in the camps about statements he's made about them.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Today's Cartoon - Not Hard To Connect The Dots


(click on image to enlarge)


(Clay Jones, www.claytoonz.com)

See post below.

The Terrorists Are Already Here (UPDATED)


Not Syrian refugees.  Not Muslims.  No, it's the usual mass- murdering terrorist of recent years in America:  a white male:
Robert Lewis Dear was identified as the gunman who allegedly killed three people and wounded nine others Friday during a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to the AP.

Dear, who the AP reported is from North Carolina, was arrested Friday after an hours-long standoff with police.
Right- wing lies and demagoguery about Planned Parenthood don't have consequences?  We'll see how this shooting investigation plays out.  But there's no doubt the Republican Party, which has gone increasingly from dog-whistles to bullhorn hate speech during the term of our first African American President, has been waging war on the well- being of the American people and the institutions of civil society on a front ranging from affordable health care to immigration reform to minority rights to labor unions to climate science to women's reproductive health.  Should anyone doubt that the Republicans' inflammatory hate speech about Planned Parenthood could possibly connect with these evil consequences, remember this, and this, and this, and this, for starters from these loathsome cretins.

UPDATE:  Meanwhile, how did "The Most Trusted Name In News" handle the unfolding events? Joan Walsh captures our feelings:

UPDATE II:   When confronted with real consequences, the right- wing lies and demagoguery just ramp up.

UPDATE III:   The shooter reportedly talked about "no more baby parts," clearly referencing the language used in connection with the bogus video about Planned Parenthood operations, and thereafter adopted by Republican candidates demagogues.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Weekend Song


"Perfect Circle" is a song from influential Athens, Georgia- based R.E.M.'s first studio album, "Murmur," released in 1983.  We well remember first hearing their distinctive music on "progressive rock" FM stations as a substantive, welcome relief from the metal and "hair" bands then dominating the airwaves.  Thanks to Silver Spring Bureau Chief Brian for the musical suggestion!


Well Said



Rump's denial that he knew of the New York Times reporter's disability -- the reporter who was on a first name basis with him-- is just the most recent of his lies, and one which will do him no harm whatsoever with his rabid followers.

Your Morning Trump Reads



For those who are still digesting their Thanksgiving meals, we offer these collected thoughts on Republican front-runner and Mussolini of Manhattan Donald "Rump" Trump as potential cathartics:

Timothy Egan, New York Times:
[O]ver the last three months, in listening to plans of the Republican presidential front-runner and the views of his increasingly thuggish followers, I’m starting to have some dark fears should Donald Trump become president.

Take him at his word — albeit, a worthless thing given his propensity for telling outright lies and not backing down when called on them — Donald Trump’s reign would be a police state. He has now outlined a series of measures that would make the United States an authoritarian nightmare. Trump is no longer entertaining, or diversionary. He’s a billionaire brute, his bluster getting more ominous by the day
(our emphasis)
 Scott Eric Kaufman, Salon:
If Donald Trump wins the White House now, it will be impossible to forget that he did so, in part, because he persistently lied about American Muslims cheering 9/11 and used as evidence the reporting of former Washington Post reporter Serge Kovaleski — a man whose work Trump so vastly respects that he openly mocked the reporter’s disability before a crowd of cheering Republicans in South Carolina[snip]

In his speech Tuesday, Trump hooked his arms in front of his body and flailed around while saying, “now, the poor guy — you’ve got to see this guy, ‘I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!'” The manner in which he curled and tucked his arms was a clear reference to the fact that Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital disorder that limits the flexibility of his arms. 
(our emphasis)
 Judd Legum, Think Progress:
For the past several days, Donald Trump has claimed that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey were celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

The claim has been thoroughly debunked by multiple fact checkers. The New Jersey Attorney General investigated rumors of such celebrations immediately after the attack and found them to be “bogus.” Simply put, it did not happen. 
[snip]
Trump links to Infowars.com, a conspiracy website that pushes the idea that 9/11 was an insidejob.

According to Infowars, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was a hoax, FEMA is setting up concentration camps and Andrew Breitbart was assassinated to prevent the release of damaging information about Barack Obama. 
(our emphasis)
As FOB Gene put it so well, "When Fascism comes to America it'll be wearing a day-glo orange toupee and be yuuuge and classy."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Quote Of The Day


"It would be sad, and dare I say even catastrophic, were special interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and interests."  -- Pope Francis today in Nairobi, Kenya, decrying the possibility that the Paris global climate change summit starting next week might be derailed by "special interests."  Gee, what short-sighted, corrupt, awful people would do such a thing?

The Hypocrites Of Thanksgiving


Harold Meyerson tells us why on Thanksgiving, our "holiday of refugee commemoration," a certain party began to lose the spirit of the day long ago:
In Trump, the Republicans’ Southern Strategy — pioneered by Barry Goldwater and perfected by Ronald Reagan — has hit bottom. Just as the Southern economic elites found they could count on the electoral support of the region’s largely impoverished white working class by steering those workers’ resentment at their lot toward even more impoverished African Americans, so today’s Republicans look at their own (no longer just Southern) white working-class supporters — whose jobs have been offshored and whose paychecks have been shrunk by indifferent financiers and corporate executives — and steer their resentment toward immigrants and minorities.
Trump’s distinctive contribution to this decades-long process has been the rawness of his racism, the thuggish tone of his speech and the huge growth of anti-minority police powers that he has championed. In proposing to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and their U.S. citizen children, in suggesting that the government monitor mosques , he has positioned the Republican Party much closer to fascism than to the libertarianism toward which some mistakenly believed the GOP was headed [snip]
It’s all a far cry from the spirit of the holiday we celebrate today. For today’s Republicans — including Trump’s rival candidates afraid to call him out for what he is — celebrating Thanksgiving is an act of high hypocrisy.  (our emphasis)
Meyerson is right about the historical antecedents, but we don't think there's much hope for the post- truth Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Crazy Party to steer in a different direction.  This is a party, ubiquitous right-wing media, and "conservative movement" that has for decades trafficked in lies, racism, sexism, nativism, homophobia, etc. ad nauseam -- in all, presenting a perverted vision of what America means and what it means to be an American.  This is part of their DNA, it's been their ticket to power, and it's not going to go away because a candidate or Republican graybeard calls it out today, tomorrow, or the next day.

Even cancelling out "Rump" Trump, you might have in his place a more clever and dangerous demagogue =cough= "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz =cough= or a slick cipher whose views don't stray all that far from Trump's =cough= Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio =cough=.  No, steering in a different direction isn't going to happen this election cycle, at the very least.

Elsewhere on the once great Washington Post's Bezos Bugle's editorial page today, the editorial board references the novel "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis - a fantasy about how fascism came to America during the depths of the Great Depression - as a cautionary tale for our times.  Of course, it didn't happen in the 1930's because, thanks to the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Americans' faith in democratic institutions was strengthened.  However,
That faith in government has eroded in recent times, and the United States’ commitment to toleration is being tested by would-be leaders who seem to find it an impediment to their ambitions. But the truth is that our society relies on the kind of gratitude we express today — specifically on a “grateful acknowledgment” of the respect we owe to one another and to the principles of fairness, decent governance and free expression that underlie our good fortune in living here.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving 2015



Gathering with family and friends, enjoying the traditional Thanksgiving meal, and remembering family that has passed before, we're thankful for what we have and hopeful for what lies ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mid-Week Song

Celtic folk rock band The Corrs consists of three sisters -- Andrea, Sharon and Caroline -- and their brother James, who have been turning out great music since they formed as a band in 1990 in Dundalk, Ireland.  They've been nominated for two Grammys and have won the BRIT Award for their fusion of traditional Celtic folk sounds with modern rock. To their great credit, they are very active in philanthropic work, including promoting HIV/AIDS awareness in Africa, and various disaster relief fundraisers.  Their new album, "White Heat", is being released this week, and we're featuring a single off of that album, "Bring on the Night," recorded at Church Studios in London. Enjoy.

White Supremacist Right- Wingers Arrested In Minneapolis Shootings


Three genetically mutated white supremacists believed responsible for the shooting of 5 "Black Lives Matter" demonstrators in Minneapolis on Monday have been arrested:
Police arrested three suspects in connection with the Monday night shootings that wounded five protesters, and social media posts reveal a fascination with guns, video games, the Confederacy and right-wing militia groups.
Authorities arrested 23-year-old Allen “Lance” Scarsella following a brief SWAT standoff Tuesday afternoon in Bloomington, and two other suspects, 21-year-old Nathan Gustavsson and 26-year-old Daniel Macey, later turned themselves in.
It doesn't take long to go from getting beaten up at a Trump rally to this, does it?

Before the shootings, white supremacists went online to talk about harassing the BLM crowd, including BLM's white supporters, who they referred to this way:
“Best to act as much like a beta white cuck as much as you can.”
Some time in lockup will test how "alpha" these manly specimens are when they're not holding onto their "cuck" cock compensators. (h/t to Anonymous commenter)

(Image:  The Minneapolis white supremacist shooters (unconfirmed).)

Today's Cartoons - It's Not Just Trump!


(click on images to enlarge)

 (Jim Morin, Miami Herald)


(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

It bears repeating:  it's not just Trump; it's the racist, nativist, low information, neo- fascist right wing Republican base that's fueling this un- American ugliness.  And every Republican candidate will cater to this, to one degree or another, out of conviction, cynicism, desperation, or all of the above.

Colbert Mocks "NostraDonald"


On his show last night, Stephen Colbert took down narcissistic neo-fascist Donald "Rump" Trump for, among other things, thinking that he was one of the first to alert people to Osama bin Laden in 2000, several years after anyone who was paying attention knew bin Laden's name well as an international terrorist. It's hard to beat the surgical precision that Colbert uses in this clip to point out what a complete buffoon and liar Rump is (e.g., the nonsense about "thousands" of American Muslims cheering 9-11 in New Jersey).



BONUS:  Seth Meyers on "Late Night" also skewers the Mussolini of Manhattan.  In our current political culture, it seems it takes comedians to do journalists' jobs for them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Tous Fran├žais" Quote of the Day


From the joint press conference today of French President Francois Hollande and President Barack Obama, an excerpt of President Obama's heartfelt comments on France:
"We love France for your spirit and your culture and your joie de vivre. Since the attacks, Americans have recalled their own visits to Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower or walking along the Seine. We know these places. They're part of our memories, woven into the fabric of our lives and our culture...When tragedy struck that evening, our hearts broke, too. In that stadium and the concert hall, in those restaurants and cafes, we see our own. In the face of the French people, we see ourselves. Nous sommes tous Fran├žais [we are all French]."

More Inversion Perversion


Here's a turkey just in time for Thanksgiving.  The huge American pharmaceutical company Pfizer is up to it's tricks again:
Pfizer Inc on Monday said it would buy Botox maker Allergan Plc in a deal worth $160 billion to slash its U.S. tax bill, rekindling a fierce political debate over the financial maneuver.
The acquisition, which would create the world's largest drugmaker and shift Pfizer's headquarters to Ireland, would also be the biggest-ever instance of a U.S. company re-incorporating overseas to lower its taxes. U.S. President Barack Obama has called such inversion deals unpatriotic and has tried to crack down on the practice.  (our emphasis)
You may recall a series of these corporate tax- dodging "inversion" deals from last year (one of which involved... Pfizer).  Alan Sloan provides some perspective:
Assuming this deal goes through, Pfizer PLC will pay lower income taxes while continuing to enjoy all the benefits that it and its employees derive from being in the United States. The U.S. corporate tax rate is 35 percent, compared with 15 percent for Ireland. But Pfizer, like many U.S. multinational companies, uses a variety of strategies to lower its tax rate considerably.
This is a very scary transaction. Not only is Pfizer big and prominent — it would become the first foreign member of the Dow Jones industrial average, the quintessential U.S. market indicator — but it takes tax avoidance to a whole new level. Once people examine the technicalities underlying this deal, other companies may well be inspired to structure their desertions the same way Pfizer has.
Because of the deal’s structure, as I will explain in a bit, Pfizer PLC will be able to play amazing tax games. Among other things, it will be able to get its hands on about $70 billion of profit it has held offshore to avoid paying U.S. income tax on it. Now, it will be able to access the cash without paying the tax. And it will probably be able to add to its reported profit some or all of the $20 billion it has set aside on its earnings statement for U.S. taxes on those foreign earnings — taxes that will now never have to be paid(our emphasis)
Doing a little checking here =taptapclickclick= 35% (current U.S. corporate tax rate) of $90 billion profit equals $31.5 billion maximum tax liability avoided.  Now that's a real "taker!" Check out the rest of Sloan's article (but take your blood pressure medication first).

Thinking that Congress will do anything to stop this type of corporate tax weaseling would be to grossly misjudge our compromised legislative branch.  Speaker Paul "Lyin'" Ryan (R- Galt's Gulch) is probably handing out Pfizer checks on the House floor right now.

If The Media Think Just Trump's The Problem, They're Part Of The Problem


Let's see what frequent blind squirrel Dana Milbank dug up this morning:
For months — years, really — Republicans have averted their gaze from Trump’s attacks on women, Hispanics and immigrants. Now the racism becomes more overt — and still, he goes unchallenged.  [snip]
[T]he front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination talks about the forced registration of Muslims. Republican leaders look away. And Trump surges in the polls, regaining the lead he had lost before the Paris attacks. For Republican leaders and rival candidates, these are the wages of cowardice.
Two months ago, after the second GOP debate, I saw signs that Republican hopefuls had begun to think it safe to take on Trump “consistently and jointly.” But that didn’t continue, and Republicans are now stuck with a collective-action problem. There’s no incentive for an individual Republican candidate to take on Trump only to get mowed down by his counterassault. Instead, some rivals are imitating Trump’s positions.
No shit, Sherlock!  Well, there's a reason they're the party of fear and loathing!  Milbank might wait until the final primary ballot is cast before he comes to the realization that the main difference between Rump and his rivals is that Rump is the ugly, nativist Republican id with the volume turned up and no filter, and the rest of the field simply prefers the volume lower with some weasel words to cover up the crazy.  Likewise, Milbank's editorial board at the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle is vainly looking for someone in the Republican ranks to "stand up" to the bully Rump, as though the party's problem is Rump and not the party's ignorant, nativist base that's been nurtured for 40 years to fear and hate. That's who the other moral flyweights in the party fear and to whom they knuckle under.

We'll see if The New York Times can do any better:
Mr. Trump relies on social media to spread his views. This is convenient because there’s no need to respond to questions about his fabrications. That makes it imperative that other forms of media challenge him.
Instead, as Mr. Trump stays at the top of the Republican field, it’s become a full-time job just running down falsehoods like the phony crime statistics he tweeted, which came from a white supremacist group.
Yet Mr. Trump is regularly rewarded with free TV time, where he talks right over anyone challenging him, and doubles down when called out on his lies.
This isn’t about shutting off Mr. Trump’s bullhorn. His right to spew nonsense is protected by the Constitution, but the public doesn’t need to swallow it. History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It’s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it’s an important one(our emphasis)
Why stop with Rump?  Why not interrupt every one of the craven, crackpot Republican candidates running for President and hold them accountable for their dangerous lies?  Is smarmy Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz any less a demagogue?  Or Dr. "Mental Ben" Carson?  How about the un-American views on religious tests for refugees spouted by "moderate" "J.E.B.!" Bush?  Or "Snarly" Carly Fiorina hallucinating about "100,000 Syrian refugees?"  And the imaginary "war" being waged on Christians, as seen by American Taliban demagogue Mike "Huckster" Huckabee? And on and on down into the sewer of American politics.

We would like to ask the frightened, "both sides do it" media to think about what it's costing our nation by failing to hold to account every one of these far- right candidates' disgusting, Islamophobic, homophobic, anti- black, anti- Hispanic, neo- fascist rantings.  Because, to this point, they've been getting away with it, and it's long past time for the media to be committing the most basic acts of journalism.

Russian Military Jet Downed by Turkey


Earlier today, a Turkish F-16 fighter shot down a Russian SU-24 jet near the Turkey - Syria border, as  Turkish military officials claim that the Russian jet violated Turkey's airspace and was repeatedly warned about it. The Russian pilots were able to eject from the plane before it crashed, but there are reports that the pilots had been shot and killed by rebels on the ground. Turkey has called for an urgent meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels today to discuss the incident. Russia has condemned the downing as a "stab in the back" given its role in attacking ISIS targets recently. It remains to be seen how Russia will respond, but have warned of "serious consequences."

What is surprising is that incidents of this kind haven't happened earlier, with several nations flying sorties over both Iraq and Syria, and the close proximity of bordering countries.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon - Home Of The Brave


(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

The party of fear and loathing.

Tweet of the Day

BONUS:  Michael Tomasky makes it clear that Rump's politics are neo-fascist. Good read.

Where Does Trump Get His Phony Crime Stats? From Neo-Nazis, Of Course


Republican front- runner and bloated demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump (a.k.a., America's Il Douche) blew this retweet out of his twitter hole, following an assault on a "Black Lives Matter" activist at a Trump rally Saturday in (where else?) Alabama:



Wow, lots of black on white crime, huh!  Looks pretty awful.  Well, it is awful if you know how twisted this "data" is.  First of all, there's no such thing as the "Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco."  Here's the real information, from the real FBI:
Whites killed by blacks:  15%
Whites killed by whites:  82%
Blacks killed by blacks:  91%
So, what's the source of this agitprop?  Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs did some sleuthing and found the earliest tweet was from someone with the definitely- not anti- Semitic twitter handle "Non Dildo'd Goyim," which featured the symbol of the neo- Nazi German Faith Movement.  Good to know where the Republican front- runner is getting his "information."

BONUSSteve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has more on the tie- in between the far right- wing disinformation machine and Trump's alienated, proto- fascist (our characterization) supporters.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Trump Doesn't Rule Out Third Party Run, Database Of American Muslims


Hahaha:
Republican Donald Trump on Sunday refused to rule out an independent bid for president in 2016... [snip]
Asked on ABC's "This Week" whether he would consider a third-party run if GOP opponents try "to take you out," Trump said, "I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly. If I'm treated fairly, I'm fine."
Why do we get the feeling that, to "Rump" Trump, being "treated fairly" means being given the nomination?  He's already playing the "I'll sue you!" card on his rivals if their ads aren't "honest."  (Who's ever seen an honest Republican ad?)

Republican National Committee Chairlump  Reince "Prepuce" Priebus, who thought he had "Rump's" pledge this past September to not run, must be in full crap- pants mode.

Then there's this:
On ABC Sunday, Trump was asked if he rules out a database on all Muslims in the U.S.
"No, not at all," Trump said. "I definitely want a database and other checks and balances. We want to go with watch lists. We want to go with databases."
=cough= un-Constitutional =cough= un-American =cough= Fascist =cough=

(Photo:  Il Douche)  

Sunday Cartoon

(click to enlarge)


The sadly predictable and offensive demonization of American Muslims by Rethuglican politicians may have reached its apex (but probably not) with narcissist thug Donald "Rump" Trump's suggestion that U.S. citizens who are Muslim should be required to register with the government, and loony Ben "Mental Ben" Carson's comment that likened Syrian refugees to "rabid dogs." Both slurs give ISIS a significant propaganda tool to try to convince worried Muslims that everyone of their faith is under attack by "Crusaders."  And we have a year to go before the 2016 elections.

UPDATE:  Rump's bigotry isn't limited to Muslims, as we know.  After his followers beat up a lone Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Alabama, Rump said, "maybe he should have been roughed up." Not only doesn't he know the Constitution, he doesn't know what assault and battery is.

(cartoon, Steve Benson, via Gocomics.com)

Disposable Diapers


Yesterday, Louisiana voters rejected Rethuglican Sen. David "Diapers" Vitter's bid to be their next Governor and elected Dem John Bel Edwards with some 56% of the vote.  Edwards, a social conservative, is a State Representative who has deep roots in rural Louisiana and who served for eight years in the U.S. Army after graduating from West Point.  Diapers was notorious for his involvement in 2007's D.C. Madam prostitution scandal, reportedly fond of wearing diapers during his sexual encounters. There were also allegations that a prostitute had borne him a child a few years ago, despite his insistence that she get an abortion. Diapers made a scurrilous last ditch effort to turn the tide against him by lashing out at Syrian refugees (Edwards didn't distinguish himself either by declaring his opposition to receiving them). In his concession speech last night, Diapers also announced that he wouldn't be running for reelection to the Senate in 2016.

The Rethug brand on a state level in Louisiana has been severely damaged by years of gross mismanagement and the wingnut policies of failed Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, who dropped out of the Presidential race last week after languishing around 1% or lower in the Rethug clown bus polls. It won't mean that red Louisiana is turning blue or even purple, but it means that even some Rethuglican voters have limits to their hypocrisy.

The best news out of this, though, is that Governor- elect Edwards promised that his first act as Governor would be to expand Medicaid to nearly a quarter million Louisianans under the Affordable Care Act.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tweet of the Week


That's the best comeback to "Rump's" neo-Facist proposal to register Muslim Americans.  Thank you, Sgt. Rashid.

Biden "Sets The Record Straight" On Refugees, ISIS And American Values


With President Obama wrapping up his overseas trip, it was left to Vice President Biden to do the Weekly Address, and we must say "way to go, Joe!"


Trump, Carson, Cruz And A Media In Denial


David Atkins at Washington Monthly says, contrary to pundits who've been looking for the Republican crackpots charlatans "outsiders" like "Rump" Trump, Dr. "Mental Ben" Carson (a.k.a., Bennie the Blade), and Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz to succumb to the "establishment" candidate (current contender Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio), it's looking less and less likely that it's going to turn out that way:
Journalists need to acknowledge this reality. Trumpism is not a passing fad in an otherwise responsible GOP electorate. It’s all that’s left of a Republican Party that long since gave up any pretense at serious governance and instead became the unapologetic, Koch-owned plutocratic political arm of the resentment-fueled outrage machine created by talk radio, Fox News, and Breitbart.  [snip]
Good journalism shouldn’t continue to pretend that both partisan sides of American politics are equally extreme, and that the best public policy lies in middle-of-the-road compromise between the two. Good journalism should analyze and expose the fact that we now have a unilateral problem centered in the Republican Party, and try to figure out how to keep Americans adequately informed of that so that we can right the ship before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, in our humble opinion, "good journalism" in America hasn't existed for years, nor will it reappear.  It's been superseded by a scramble for the sensational, for eyeballs on screens and page hits, and a necessity not to be seen as "favoring" one side of a political argument over another.  If journalism "is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information," what passes for a news media in this country has long since largely abandoned the "assessing... information" element in favor of regurgitating "he said, she said" talking points.  

There will always be charlatans and demagogues in political life;  it's just a sad, and potentially tragic, commentary that the one institution that can help "right the ship"  has been helping to steer the ship into the rocks.

BONUSHere's a sample of the treacherous filth these demagogues are putting out, with no pushback.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Let's Pause To Laugh At Republican Charlatans (Then Let's Defeat Them)


The nightly shows are hitting the bed- wetting Republicans on their craven, politically opportunistic approach to Syrian refugees.  Let's see Seth Meyers and Steven Colbert do their things.



A little fact checking on the claims that billions/ millions/ hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are headed here (per pathological liars "Snarly" Carly Fiorina, "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz and Rump Trump):  the number proposed is actually 10,000).



Satire exposes the charlatans and crackpots for what they are.  But we must not forget that there will be real victims should this Republican onslaught (abetted by some spineless, awful "Democrats") continue.  Too many -- what's the nicest way to put it -- low-information Americans are all too susceptible to Republican appeals to fear and hatred.  The response to this from us must be strong and relentless if there's any hope of salvaging our sense of "what we're about" as a Nation.

In case there's any question whether the Syrian refugee issue is one of principle or a political hatchet for Republicans, there's this:
Republicans say they'll use the vote on the House bill in political ads during next year's presidential election.

"We'll crucify them," said a senior House GOP aide.
That's the vicious nihilism that needs to be defeated.

Weekend Song

Oregon (now transplanted to LA) indie rock quartet flor has been quietly building a following in clubs and on social media since forming a couple of years ago. Their haunting melodies combine with a pop rock sound that hooks the listener.  Look for bigger things in the future from this band. Here's their "Unsaid" for our weekend song.

Morning Reading - The Party Of Fear And Loathing


As we note in the post below, the rhetoric on the right has surpassed ugly and has entered darkly dangerous territory.  Here are a few worthwhile takes on this phenomenon (more here).

Paul Krugman on Republicans fleeing into their panic rooms:
What explains the modern right’s propensity for panic? Part of it, no doubt, is the familiar point that many bullies are also cowards. But I think it’s also linked to the apocalyptic mind-set that has developed among Republicans during the Obama years.

Think about it. From the day Mr. Obama took office, his political foes have warned about imminent catastrophe. Fiscal crisis! Hyperinflation! Economic collapse, brought on by the scourge of health insurance! And nobody on the right dares point out the failure of the promised disasters to materialize, or suggest a more nuanced approach.  [snip]
The context also explains why Beltway insiders were so foolish when they imagined that the Paris attacks would deflate Donald Trump’s candidacy, that Republican voters would turn to establishment candidates who are serious about national security.
Who, exactly, are these serious candidates? And why would the establishment, which has spent years encouraging the base to indulge its fears and reject nuance, now expect that base to understand the difference between tough talk and actual effectiveness?  (our emphasis)
Since they're indulged in their fears and don't understand the difference between political posturing and effectiveness,  the Republican base's fear and loathing pleasure points will continue to be deep- massaged by the despicable charlatans running for president on their side.  Meanwhile, the Richmond Times-Dispatch tells those who would react in such a way to "get a grip:"
Americans like to think of themselves as brave and strong. But a good portion of them are acting very weak and frightened.
In response to the Paris attacks, many want to bar entry by Syrian refugees — all of them, including even (as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put it) orphans under 5. This despite the fact that refugees undergo exhaustive scrutiny before being permitted on U.S. soil.  [snip]
Never to be outdone in the lunacy Olympics, Donald Trump is leaving open the possibility of forcing Muslims — including not just refugees but U.S. citizens — to register with the government as such, and perhaps even carry special ID. (No word on whether that might be a yellow star or crescent.)
Instead of taking those suggestions, perhaps America should — oh, maybe stop the bed-wetting, for example. Then pull up its big-boy pants — and get a grip.  (our emphasis)
It's gotten so bad even a Christian right leader is shocked:
Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that he was shocked by the “overheated” rhetoric being employed by high-profile politicians in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
“Donald Trump is saber-rattling about shutting down mosques in this country, which, as somebody who works every day on religious liberty, I’m astounded that we could have a presidential candidate of either party speaking in such a way,” Moore said
“Evangelicals should recognize that any president who would call for shutting down houses of worship … is the sort of political power that can ultimately shut down evangelical churches."
Moore was also critical of candidates like Ted Cruz who are now arguing that the U.S. should only accept Christian refugees from Syria, not Muslims.

“I don’t think we ought to have a religious test for our refugee policy,” Moore said...
With the cooperation of attention- seeking, puerile media at all levels, Republicans are likely to continue to play to the fears of the public (it's guaranteed that, if you are watching even your local news, it's been featuring those "how safe are we?" pieces).  Irresponsible behavior is expected on the right;  for them, it's all about changing the narrative, driving down poll numbers for Democrats and fatuously adopting the mantle of the national security party (with dumbasses like Trump and Carson? "Tailgunner Ted?"  J.E.B.!?  please).  It's clear that indulging this fear mongering and intolerance is both factually and morally wrong.  Will they get away with it?  We'll see who has the courage to stand up and face them down.

Rump's Nazi-Inspired Database


In Nazi Germany and in countries that they occupied, Jews were infamously made to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing so that they could be easily identified. Yesterday, the vulgarian that's driving the Rethuglican Presidential clown bus, Donald "Rump" Trump, proposed a Government data base to "register" and track all Muslims here in the U.S.  He went on to say that we need "lots of systems" to keep tabs on Muslim Americans, and that their participation would be mandatory. When asked by a reporter how his proposal was different from the treatment of Jews in Germany, Rump kept repeating "you tell me." Rump had previously suggested that mosques may have to be closed in reaction to last week's attacks in Paris. So much for freedom of religion, and several other guarantees under the Bill of Rights.

Rump's poll numbers among the rabid right have been climbing, and these bigoted, neo-Fascist remarks certainly won't hurt him there;  indeed, they're likely to force his competitors to one-up the extremist rhetoric. (Note that while sinking candidate and House of Bush prince John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush criticized Rump, he only wants to accept refugees who could "prove" they're Christian). Among many sane critics of Rump, Rabbi Jack Moline of the Interfaith Alliance is having none of it:
"My father was in World War II, and he fought to preserve America against what the Nazis were doing. This is exactly why there is an America, to not be like that."
That's a concept that is completely lost on Rump and his followers. Remember that just recently, 43% of Rethugs said they could support a military coup against the Government.  It's gotten that bad in the fever swamps of the right.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Craven Democrats Join Despicable Republicans, Pass House Bill Discouraging (Muslim) Refugees


(click on image to enlarge)


(Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

You can amend that logo on Rob Rogers' lifeguard chair above, because there are despicable, craven Democrats playing into ISIS' hands, too:
Forty-seven House Democrats broke with the White House on Thursday to vote for a bill aimed at pausing admittance of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by adding requirements to an already lengthy screening process, and putting pressure on intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security officials to act with caution.  [snip]
The bill passed 289-137 --  with enough support to override a veto, should there be one.
Makes you proud.  Another reason we don't contribute to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - you might actually help one of these unprincipled cowards get re-elected.

(In case you missed the connection, here's the tragic picture the cartoon was based on.)

UPDATEHere are the 47 (in italics).

"Offensive And Bizarre Are In First And Second Place"


Steven Colbert bids Gov. Bobby "Piyush" Jindal farewell in his "Hungry for Power Games."  Best line comes when he takes off on Piyush's 2013 speech imploring Republicans to not be "the stupid party" (starting at about 2:33).  Home run.



BONUS: Speaking of bizarre, here's a ghost written column purportedly by foreign affairs expert Ben "Mental Ben" Carson suggesting that the refugees be rounded up in Syria / Iraq in "sanctuary" zones in "contested" areas, which would make it easier for either Assad's forces or ISIS to attack them. Brilliant! (h/t to faithful reader P.E.C.)

Yet Another Reason Why Chuck Schumer Should Never Lead Senate Democrats


Following his backstabbing of President Obama on the Iran nuclear agreement, Wall Street protector Sen. Charles "Up Chuck" Schumer (Likud-NY) is now backstabbing President Obama on the resettlement of Syrian refugees:
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, on Tuesday said it may be necessary to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States.

Republicans immediately seized on Schumer’s comment, which breaks with other Democrats who have argued against halting the program.
How much of this are Senate Democrats going to take from the man who is in line to be Senate Minority Leader once Harry Reid retires?  Will it all be about how much money Schumer put in their campaign war chests, or will it be about principle? 

Dick Durbin may not be perfect, but he's a whole lot better than this schmuck.

(Photo:  Please stick that digit where the sun doesn't shine, Sen. Schumer.)

Today's Face Asking To Be Punched


Smarmy demagogue Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (R-Calgary), a man whose face was made for radio and whose voice was made for silent movies, is imagining that the President somehow noticed his grubby little campaign:



Of course, the President mentioned none of the knuckle dragging Republicans by name in his remarks.  Being a desperate, lying demagogue, Cruz needed to pull himself up several dozen notches to a level where he, fierce orphan- and widow- battler "Tailgunner Ted," could go mano a mano with President Obama.  As David A. Hopkins put it:
Obama was clearly referring to multiple Republicans; if his remarks responded to any particular candidate, it was Chris Christie, who had earlier explicitly ruled out accepting "orphans under the age of five" for resettlement in America. Today, however, it was Ted Cruz who acted as if Obama had attacked him personally. [snip]

It seems clear from his statement that Cruz was ready to jump on any opportunity to start a fight with Obama, even if Obama had failed to do him the favor of mentioning him specifically. I have previously suggested that the popularity of Donald Trump and Ben Carson in the current Republican nomination race is a reflection of the formidable power of anti-Obamaism in the contemporary GOP. Cruz's potential path to the nomination almost certainly requires attracting a significant fraction of the Republican vote that is currently parked behind Trump and Carson, so it is in his particular interest to distinguish himself as an Obama antagonist in order to appeal to those voters if and when the Trump and Carson candidacies fade.
That's Today's Face Asking To Be Punched (figuratively speaking, of course).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"States That Have Surrendered To ISIS"


(click on image to enlarge)

Attributon: Tucker Fitzgerald/Twitter

Ashamed to say our home state, blue Maryland, has a bedwetting Republican governor who's surrendered to ISIS.

Delegates From Catalonia Arrive At G20 Summit




(h/t Silver Spring Bureau Chief)

A Terrorist Success Story


News item:  A report by the Government Accountability Office reveals that over 2,000 individuals on the terrorist watch list have legally purchased guns -- handguns and assault-style rifles -- in the U.S. over the last 10 years.

While Federal law bans gun sales to felons, fugitives, drug addicts and domestic abusers, it doesn't prevent those on the watch list from buying weapons.  Over the years, Congress has tried to close that gap, but have been blocked by ferocious opposition on the part of the National Rifle Rampage Association and their coin-operated help in Congress.  Which demonstrates that this isn't about "rights" or hunters / sportsmen / collectors;  it's about keeping gun sales rising, no matter who the buyer or what the consequences. It's a terrorist success story, courtesy of the gun manufacturers lobby.

BONUS:  Americans are far more likely to be killed by someone like this than a 3- year- old Syrian orphan.  Republicans aren't afraid of these killers, it seems.

President Obama Comments On Cowardly Republicans Feeding The Terrorist Narrative


More, please:
“When you start seeing individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting that Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative,” the president continued. “It’s counterproductive, and it needs to stop.”

“When candidates [Chris "Krispykreme" Christie] say, we wouldn’t admit three-year-old orphans — that’s political posturing. When individuals [J.E.B.!, Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch, and "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz] say that we should have a religious test and that only Christians — proven Christians — should be admitted — that’s offensive and contrary to American values. 
“These are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there,” he said.

But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me.”  (our emphasis)
If there's anything more revealing of the sham "Christian," racist, xenophobic, small bore Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Crazy Party, trying to score political points off of wretched refugees (the vast, vast majority of whom aren't even coming to America) has to be the clincher.  This, from the group of chickenhawk neo- cons who bungled us into Iraq, paving the way for ISIS.

Giving credit where due, some right- wing Republican scribes aren't happy with their party's ugly stance:  see here, here, here and here.

UPDATE:  Waaaaah!  The wittle wepublican babies are cwying!

"Red State Update" Looks At The Recent Republican "Debate"


We haven't checked in with the good ol' boys at Red State Update lately.  Let's see their take on the recent Republican recitation of talking points "debate," with some Starbucks "war on Christmas" and ramen noodles thrown in (spoiler alert:  it's hilarious):



(h/t Crooks and Liars)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Republican Clown Bus Loses A Rider


Buh-bye, Piyush:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday said he was ending his presidential bid, saying “this is not my time.”

Jindal had struggled to gain traction in the race, often failing to poll at even 1 percent in some surveys. He also underwhelmed in the money race, and had just $261,000 in the bank heading into October.
Realistically, his "time" probably ended with this.

UPDATE:  Some hilarious tweets on Piyush's twitter page.  This is a favorite:


Early Mid-Week Music


We're jumping the gun one day on our mid- week musical selection (h/t brother Hackwhacker) in order to note that this would have been the great singer/songwriter Gene Clark's 71st birthday (he died at the age of 46 in 1991).  Clark was one of the founding members of the iconic folk rock group The Byrds and was their primary in- group songwriter.  Among his beautiful creations (where he's singing lead):  "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better," "Set You Free This Time," and "She Don't Care About Time" (if you can listen to them, you'll be doing yourself a favor).

Here are two compositions of his that we're featuring today.  The melancholy "Here Without You" is one of the earliest of Clark's songs recorded by The Byrds, with only Clark and David Crosby doing the vocal harmonies. The second song is the better known "Eight Miles High," though the version we're featuring is from a live acoustic set that Clark did at The Rongo in upstate New York in 1990;  it's what the original, slower, folk version of the song sounded like before Clark took it to the band and it got rocked up.  Beautiful voice and guitar.  Enjoy.




Today's Dispatches From The Stupid Party - On The Road From Damascus Edition


The caucus of crazy, racist demagogues calling themselves the Republican Party are responding as expected to the terrorist attacks in Paris.  You can get a summary of their ugliness here, so we're just going to focus on a few representative comments from one of their never- going- to- be- President candidates, the Albert Schweitzer of the Ozarks and "Christian" minister (!) former Gov. Mike "Huckster" Huckabee (American Taliban- AR):

"It's time to wake up and smell the falafel...What we saw in Paris was the result of open borders in Europe."  -- to Fox "News'" Bret Baier.  No, Jethro, it was not the result of open borders; they were largely homegrown terrorists.  Nice dig with the "falafel," though.  We're surprised you even know about that.

Wait, there's more:

“Can you imagine bringing in a bunch of Syrian refugees who’ve lived in the desert their whole lives that are suddenly thrown into an English speaking community? Where it’s maybe in Minnesota where it is 20 degrees below zero? I mean just I don’t understand what we possibly can be thinking.” -- on the John Gibson show.   They're called coats, Jethro.  You put coats on, and boots.  Also, if you lived in an urban area like Damascus or Aleppo, you were hardly living in the desert.  Finally, you might want to consult with the Hmong people who were transplanted from subtropical Southeast Asia nearly 40 years ago to Minnesota;  they appear to have survived the ordeal, you bulbous cornpone jackass.

Make it stop - our brains hurt.

Keyboard Commandos To Battle Stations


(click to enlarge)

Yesterday's press conference in Ankara where President Obama was peppered with hostile questions by a few armchair generals in our corporate media was telling. Whenever we have members of the media urging immediate military action after a terrorist attack, we should recall their role in promoting Dumbya's misadventure in Iraq which set the current jihadist extremism in motion.  Some of the 101st Chairborne journalists could barely conceal their anger at Obama's refusal to go all "shock and awe" on ISIS…now, dammit, NOW!!

Michael Tomasky has observed the same syndrome:
"That press conference was a disaster. Not for Barack Obama. He did fine. It was a disaster for the press, for America, for the world. The media are going to help push us back into war. That was a disgraceful question from CNN’s Jim Acosta about why can’t we take out 'these bastards.' Who is he, William Randolph Hearst? And then the next questioner, Ron Allen of NBC, asked Obama if he “understand(s) this enemy well enough to protect the homeland.” It was about the third or fourth question along those lines."
Obama properly chafed at the faux-belligerence of people that see wartime coverage as a boost in ratings and their careers. Certainly, some of them must realize that ISIS is counting on -- even begging -- the U.S. and the West to make this a major war that would ultimately devolve into a war of religions. (Their ideology includes the precise spot where the "infidels" will be drawn to and slaughtered - Dabiq, in Syria.  Can't telegraph your strategy better than that.)  We expect the right-wing to go off the edge -- as we've already noted -- but the corporate media might want to consider their own sorry record in war boosting, and its lasting consequences.

BONUS:  Digby has more on the media's vicarious blood lust.  Good read.

(cartoon: Tom Toles, via Gocomics.com)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Washington Post Reporters Observe Clinton "Gaffes" As Provided By Republican Spinmeisters


The once great Washington Post's Bezos Bugle's Clinton hit squad is back on her trail, parsing her comments at the recent Democratic debates and declaring some to be "gaffes."  What did they detect?
First, she and other Democrats on the stage refused to say the words “radical Islam,” another moment immediately seized upon by Republicans.
Horrors!  She failed to use the well- advised Republican incantation words that have worked so well for us since 9/11 and the bungle into Iraq (which the neo- con Bezos Bugle cheered on, of course)!  What other campaign- ending "gaffe" did their news hounding uncover?
Finally, as the debate came to a close, Clinton delivered the made-for-TV sound bite about the ’60s, pegging herself as the opposite of the fresh face that many voters are looking for.
Oh, so she revealed she was alive in the 60's!  We wouldn't have known that otherwise.  Thanks for the tip!  Then, they ask Republican and Koch brothers re-branding stooge Frank "Dunce" Luntz (born 1962) his valuable opinion:
By Sunday morning, conservative Web sites had assembled multiple competing videos of the 1960s remark, their only disagreement coming over whether to add a clip from “Back to the Future” or a lava lamp. “I can guarantee that this will appear in some ad at some point,” said pollster Frank Luntz. “Nobody, Republican or Democrat, wants to vote for a candidate from the 1960s when we’re well into the 21st century."
We wonder if Luntz delivered his talking points to the reporters verbally or in crayon.

Well, if all a voter is looking for is a "fresh face," the Republicans have lots of those:  Dr. "Mental Ben" Carson, business visionary "Snarly" Carly Fiorina, Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (R-AWOL).  Indeed, those are "fresh faces" with not much behind the faces.  Hey, why vote for a candidate from the 1960's when you can vote for a candidate from the 1860's like any of the Republicans in the clown car bus?

ISIS?  Boots on the ground!

Economic progressSee post below.

Livable wage?  Job killer!

Climate change?  Doesn't exist.

Women's rights?  It's a man's world!

Evolution?  Satan's work.

Immigration reform?  Deport 15 million people and build a wall.

LGBT rights?  Pray away the gay!

Yes, this is clearly a party looking bravely at the 21st century...  and running away from it as fast as possible.  Thanks for pointing that out, Bezos Bugle Clinton hit squad!  (Oh, wait, you didn't.)

"Liberal media" my ass.

Do Do That Voodoo That You Do So Well*


With the corporate press busy touting polls and soundbites in the Rethuglican clown derby, it would be helpful if the public saw the damage that would be done under several tax and budget plans put forth by several Rethug candidates for President, and it's not pretty.  Courtesy of the Tax Foundation (h/t to Daily Kos), you only have to look at the last two lines of the chart below to see the hole that would be excavated with their tax giveaways (click on chart to enlarge):


After 10 years under the static revenue projection, the deficits range from Sen. "Ayn" Rand Paul's $1.7 trillion, to narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump's whopping $11.9 trillion, with the others falling somewhere in between (failed Louisiana Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal comes close to Rump at $11.3 trillion).

Rethugs are offering new and expanded wars abroad, coupled with ruinous tax plans and budgets for the domestic economy.  What's not to like?
________
*apologies to Cole Porter

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Right-Wingers Playing Into ISIS' Hands


As we hear the hysterical, reactionary drumbeat from the usual, arrant fools on the right both here and abroad, let's see what intelligent people have to say about ISIS' strategy and how to defeat it.

Here's Fareed Zakaria (h/t Crooks and Liars):
It's worth asking, what does ISIS want? By most accounts, it wants all of this, a world divided between Muslims and non-Muslims. Its propaganda stresses that the West is intractably anti-Muslim. It has always openly tried to draw Western forces into Iraq and Syria hoping to make itself the great army of believers fighting the crusaders. (our emphasis)
 Here's Shadi Hamid:
“Anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment really play into ISIS' hands," Shadi Hamid, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and an author on Islamist politics, told The WorldPost. “The more that happens, the more French Muslims feel alienated and are susceptible to extremist recruitment.”
“France has long had a problem with integrating its Muslim population, and France does have a disproportionately high contribution of foreign fighters to ISIS,” Hamid said. “So there’s a deeper issue here and it hasn’t gotten better, it’s only gotten worse.”  [snip]
"You hear Republicans saying clash of civilizations and civilizational war, and they don’t realize that’s exactly what ISIS wants us to be saying," Hamid said. "It’s remarkable to me, and just shows a very basic lack of understanding of the threat that we face." (our emphasis)
In the aftermath of the horrific attacks in Paris (and, if confirmed, the downing of the Russian airliner by a bomb over the Sinai, killing 224 people), the response must of course target the vicious, soulless perpetrators.  We must not let this crime be used by right- wingers to set citizen against citizen in order to fulfill their xenophobic, authoritarian agenda.  That would make us allies with ISIS, a role currently being played by right- wing extremists.

UPDATE:  See also this piece by Harleen Gambhir on the same subject.