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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Wyoming Legislature Votes To Allow Science-Based Climate Education In State Schools

Science standards that treat climate change as fact are no longer banned in Wyoming, now that a bill reversing the state’s ban has been passed by the House and Senate.
Last March, Wyoming became the first state to reject the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which were developed by 26 states and multiple science and education organizations and serve as guidelines for teaching science — including climate change and evolution — from state to state. The ban came in the form of a footnote in Wyoming’s budget, which stated that “neither the state board of education nor the department shall expend any amount appropriated under this section for any review or adoption of the next generation science standards.”
Now, pending Gov. Matt Mead’s signature, Wyoming’s Board of Education is free to adopt NGSS if it so decides. House Bill 23, introduced late last year by Wyoming Rep. John Patton (R), has cleared the House and Senate, despite some conflict over its wording. As originally introduced, the bill repealed the footnote about NGSS from the state’s budget entirely, but the version passed by the state’s Senate included an amendment stating that “the state board of education may consider, discuss or modify the next generation science standards, in addition to any other standards, content or benchmarks as it may determine necessary, to develop quality science standards that are unique to Wyoming.”
That amendment was concerning to NGSS supporters, who worried that the amendment would make it possible for Wyoming to remove or alter key parts of the standards. West Virginia’s Board of Education did just that last year — passing the NGSS but with key changes to sections that addressed climate change — before, facing public outcry, it backtracked and agreed to change the standards back to their original version and re-issue them for public comment.
“The Senate muddied the waters with its amendment to require new standards to be ‘unique to Wyoming,'” John Friedrich, Senior Campaigner for science education advocacy group Climate Parents said in a statement. “After all, the laws of physics, chemistry and biology are the same in Wyoming as everywhere else.”
Thankfully for NGSS advocates, the House and Senate reached a compromise on the bill, removing the offending amendment but adding a different stipulation, which stated: “the state board of education shall independently examine and scrutinize any science standards proposed or reviewed as a template in order to ensure that final standards adopted for Wyoming schools promote excellence.”
Climate Parents issued a statement of support of the compromise.
“We’re glad the legislature has voted to allow the State Board to do the job assigned it by state law, to thoroughly consider quality standards from all sources, including Next Generation Science Standards, for Wyoming students,” Marguerite Herman, a Climate Parents member in Cheyenne, said in a statement. “Our students deserve the very best standards, selected by Wyoming educators and scientists, so our students are prepared to compete with the best and the brightest.”
Objections to the way the NGSS treated climate change were a major reason for the original footnote to the state’s budget: Wyoming Rep. Matt Teeters (R), who co-authored the footnote, said in March that the standards’ treatment of climate change as “settled science” carried “all kind of social implications” and wasn’t what he wanted for Wyoming.
Rep. Patton, who introduced H.B. 23, told the National Journal last year that while he wasn’t an outspoken advocate of climate action, he wanted Wyoming students to get the best education possible.
“What I believe about global warming doesn’t matter. We want students to have access to the most up-to-date science,” Patton said in December. “Kids should have a chance to learn the science.”
The NGSS have been adopted by 13 states and the District of Columbia so far. They include a science-based treatment of climate change, a subject that is sometimes relegated to specialized, non-mandatory classes like Earth Science. The standards recommend that the topic of climate change be incorporated into the general curriculum, starting in middle school.

A Short List Of Obama’s ‘Failures’ That Ben Carson Said Were ‘Too Depressing’ To List At The CPAC

In an attempt to win over potential voters, silly retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson said that Obama was such a failure that it would be “too depressing” to list all of the ways the president has failed during his CPAC speech yesterday. So we here at If You Only News are going to help Benny out.
Presenting President Obama’s biggest failures:
  • Passed Healthcare Reform: In 2010, Obama did what no president before him has been able to do and signed the Affordable Care Act into law. In its first year 8 million people signed up; in its second, roughly 11.4 million people became insured. THAT FAILURE!
  • Passed Wall Street Reform: Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 in an attempt to regulate the financial institutions that brought this country to its knees in 2008. Republicans are now attempting to weaken these reforms in order to please their financial overlords. If it failed, why are they working so hard to stop it?
  • Killed Bin Laden: Obama authorized a Navy SEAL team to take Bin Laden out in 2011. Something Bush tried and failed to do for his entire presidency.
  • Ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: No more wars? How will Republicans survive?!!
  • Saved the auto industry: Thanks to Obama’s smart thinking and $62 million stimulus in 2009, the auto industry is now experiencing record profits.
  • Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”After 17 years of discrimination, members of the gay military were allowed to begin openly serving their country in 2011.
  • Reduced the federal deficit by more than halfReduced the federal budget deficit from 9.8% of GDP in Fiscal Year 2009 under Bush, to 2.9% of GDP in 2014.
  • Stock Market soared: The Dow Jones is fully recovered from the recession in spite of Republicans and their dire warnings the Obama is going to kill the market with regulations.
  • Unemployment rate plummetedThe unemployment rate is now 5.6% the lowest it has been in a decade.
  • Job growthThe private sector has experienced 59 straight month of positive job growth. Republicans claim Obama’s policies will kill the private sector but just the opposite is proving true as he outperforms Reagan.
Oh yeah! Obama is a failure!! Wait a second……

Why Does the US Spend More on Defense Than 8 Next Countries Combined?

by Leo O’Hagan
The United States spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined. Defense spending accounts for about 20 percent of all federal spending — nearly as much as Social Security, or as much as the combined spending for Medicare and Medicaid.
You really have to wonder at the stupendous amount of money that the US spends on defense, and more importantly, into whose pockets these funds are being channelled. The map below demonstrates clearly how lopsided the situation is from a global perspective. The US taxpayers’ dollar is largely expended on wars in foreign lands rather than on actual “defense” and it is argued that attack “is” the best form of defense.
world defense
The very fact that a sense of national paranoia accounts for the main reasoning behind this is something that every American should be questioning. Of course, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have raised the ante and the “poking a stick in the hornet’s nest” analogy rings very true, especially amongst the conservative Christian soldiers of the American right. But is this the right attitude? Jesus did say, “turn the other cheek,” yet somehow the Bible Belt is fully behind the invasion and subjugation of other nations who “appear” to be “agin” you.
Those that flew the planes into the hornet’s nest on September the 11th, 2001 have succeeded in dragging the United States into an endless very expensive war.
“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes…known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few…No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
— James Madison, Political Observations, 1795

Democrats call Republican Homeland Security strategy a political blunder

In this Feb. 27, 2015, photo, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., accompanied by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., voice their objections to the Republican majority during a delay in voting for a short-term spending bill for the Homeland Security Department during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats didn’t get all they wanted in Congress’ struggle over Homeland Security, but many feel they are winning a broader political war that will haunt Republicans in 2016 and beyond. "It’s a staggering failure of leadership that will prolong this manufactured crisis of theirs and endanger the security of the American people," said Pelosi.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Democrats are losing some skirmishes over the Department of Homeland Security, but many feel they are winning a political war that will haunt Republicans in 2016 and beyond.
Democrats lacked the votes Friday to force Republicans to fund the department for a year with no strings. Still, even some Republicans say party leaders are on a perilous path with a very public ideological struggle only highlighting the GOP's inability to pass contested legislation and possibly worsening its weak relationship with Hispanic voters.
Worst of all, numerous lawmakers said, Republican leaders have offered no plausible scenario for a successful ending, so they simply are delaying an almost certain and embarrassing defeat.
Conservatives defend their doggedness. They say they courageously are keeping promises to oppose President Barack Obama's liberalization of deportation policies, which they consider unconstitutional. Several said their constituents support their stand, while others said the issue transcends politics.
As a deadline fast approached Friday night, the House agreed to extend the department's funding for a week. But some in both parties said the Republicans were losing political ground.
"It's bad policy and bad politics," said Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who once oversaw his party's House campaigns. The short-term fix, he said, "doesn't help the country, and it just shows that they're incapable of governing" despite holding House and Senate majorities.
As for an important voting group in presidential elections, Van Hollen said: "Any effort to earn the support of Hispanic voters has been torpedoed by these antics."
Some Republicans are nearly as pessimistic.
"Bad tactics yield bad outcomes," GOP Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania told reporters. Republican leaders, he said, have engaged "in tactical malpractice, and at some point we're going to vote on the negotiated Homeland Security appropriations bill," a bipartisan plan that most Republicans oppose but cannot kill.
Weeks ago, Republicans embarked on a strategy that targeted Obama's executive order protecting millions of immigrants from deportation. They voted to cut off the department's money flow after Feb. 27 unless the order was rescinded.
But they never figured how to overcome Democratic delaying tactics in the Senate that, as many predicted, blocked the GOP plan. Stymied, Senate Republican leaders agreed to fund the department for the rest of the budget year, through September, and to deal separately with immigration.
House Republicans rejected that approach. Shortly before Friday's midnight deadline, the House extended funding for a week without resolving the larger dispute.
"We all know how this is going to turn out," said an exasperated Republican, Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho. "Politically, it's devastating."
Democrats turned up the heat, saying short-term extensions will damage morale at the agency.
"It's a staggering failure of leadership that will prolong this manufactured crisis of theirs and endanger the security of the American people," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.
But Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said he and his fellow conservatives are taking a principled stand against Obama's "unconstitutional" action. The president, he said, has forced lawmakers to choose between "potential short-term national security threats and almost inevitable long-term damage to the constitutional foundation of the nation."
He and his allies will "do the right thing, even if it doesn't make us look good," Franks said.
Lawmakers from strongly Republican districts tend to closely track the fiercely conservative voters who can dominate GOP primary elections. Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas said he tried to persuade some of his Dallas-area constituents that a federal judge's order to freeze Obama's move lessened the urgency to use Homeland Security funding as political leverage.
"But they don't have the confidence back home that some of us do" about the likely longevity of the judge's order, Marchant said.
He said his supporters see reversing Obama's order as more important than preventing a partial and temporary funding lapse at Homeland Security. He noted that most agency employees are considered "essential" and would stay on the job.
After Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, a Republican National Committee-commissioned report said the party must embrace "comprehensive immigration reform" to win future elections, including the 2016 presidential contest.
Democrats say Republicans are heading in the wrong direction.
Pelosi hinted at possible Democratic campaign themes next year when she said of the funding fight: "This crisis exists only because Republicans prioritize anti-immigrant extremism over the safety of the American people."
Republican Rep. Peter King of New York said his party's wounds are self-inflicted.
"Politically it's going to kill us," he said of conservatives' demands to link Homeland Security funding with Obama's immigration policy. "Morally, you're equating an immigration order with the lives of American citizens."
"I've had it with this self-righteous delusional wing of the party that leads us over the cliff," King said.

Homeland Security funding drama darkens U.S. fiscal outlook

by Richard Cowan and David Lawder
Congress narrowly averted a partial shutdown of the U.S. domestic security agency late on Friday night, but the forces behind the chaotic episode remain - fractious Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner's lack of control over them.
That may portend more serious trouble ahead as Washington confronts fiscal challenges on a grander scale. In five to seven months, the federal debt ceiling will again be reached, and by October Congress must pass spending bills to keep the government running in the new fiscal year.
Failing to deal effectively with these issues could have much more damaging repercussions - such as a broad government shutdown or a debt default - than a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
What happens between now and then, including the handling of a one-week extension of Homeland Security funding, will be crucial. Some conservatives speak of ousting Boehner, but it is unlikely they can muster enough votes, while others made clear on Friday that they were willing to take big risks to score ideological points.
    Brinkmanship like this, reminiscent of 2013's 16-day federal government shutdown, was supposed to be over. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said there would be no more shutdowns after his party won control of the upper chamber and strengthened its grip on the House last November.
    Proclamations about Republicans showing they could govern soothed financial markets, which were rattled by the 2013 shutdown and badly shaken by 2011 budget fights that nearly resulted in an historic government default on its debt.
But Friday's confused late-night scramble renewed old concerns about dysfunctional government. The House rejected a three-week funding extension for the agency when conservatives rebelled because the bill did not block Obama's executive orders on immigration. On a second try late in the evening, House Democrats provided the votes to pass a one-week extension.
The angry conservatives' embarrassing rebuke to Boehner showed they are more fiercely determined than ever to rein in federal spending, shrink the government and challenge Democratic President Barack Obama on multiple fronts.
    "It’s very possible that come September, you could face this again," said conservative Republican Representative Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, when asked about debt and budget fights ahead.
For small-government teabagger agitators looking to flex their muscles after November's election victory, any attempt to borrow beyond the $18 trillion national debt will be a red flag. Congress also faces a Sept. 30 deadline for passing spending bills that are certain to add to the $18 trillion debt.
Unlike the upcoming debt limit and budget issues, the DHS battle was not about government spending, but about Obama's recent executive actions to suspend the threat of deportation for 4.7 million illegal immigrants.
Still, Trent Lott, a former Senate Republican leader, said some congressional Republicans will not be able to resist further confrontations, especially over spending bills.
    "I must say, there are going to be battles for the next two years trying to rein in Obama’s excesses with executive power and regulations," Lott said.
More executive actions are expected from Obama in environmental and other controversial areas. That could mean that clashes will intensify, with many conservatives still seeing spending power as their strongest leverage.
    Some of them say pressing the immigration fight is part of a non-negotiable duty for Congress to defend the Constitution. They say Obama took steps to change immigration policy that only Congress has the authority to carry out.
"This is not about immigration. This is about whether or not the president has the ability to unilaterally run this country, Representative Austin Scott of Georgia said in House floor debate on Friday.
The Obama administration counters that its unilateral action on immigration, after years of watching House Republicans block legislation, and has many presidential precedents.
Many Republicans are concerned that such fights are an election liability and undermine the party's ability to demonstrate it can govern responsibly. However, similar concerns have been aired with each successive battle.
    Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who could face a tough re-election in 2016, told Reuters that his party needs to change.
Referring to the DHS fight, the Illinois senator said: "I would say that this battle should be the end of the strategy of attaching whatever you’re upset at the president about to a vital piece of government."

A Message to Republicans: Millions of Americans Won't Forget How You Treated Their Mom and Dad

Congressman Luis Gutierrez dropped a simple fact during the House Judiciary Committee a couple of days ago.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez dropped a simple fact during the House Judiciary Committee a couple of days ago. While republicans denounced the President's executive action on immigration reform and tried to pretend that they are not holding the Department of Homeland Security hostage, Mr. Gutierrez had this to say:
This is a very perilous place for my friends in the majority. Because you have 5 million American citizen children who are never going to forget for a generation how it was you treated their mom and their dad. How it was you treated their mom and their dad; and if you treated them in a cruel manner.

A Legacy Of Disgrace

John Boehner Destroyed By Forbes In Scathing Smack Down
by Samuel Warde
Boehner-LegacyThe noted conservative website Forbes.com  published a scathing indictment of Speaker John Boehner in the wake of the growing scandal surrounding his invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak before Congress.
The article, entitled Bibi Netanyahu — aka ‘The Republican Senator From Israel’ — May Have Made A Fatal Political Mistake offers an in-depth analysis of fallout in Israel over the controversy, predicting the Netanyahu may very well lose his long-standing control of Israel as a result of the fallout from his diplomatic FUBAR.
The article begins by accusing Speaker Boehner of attempting “to create two conflicting foreign policies for the United States—one pursued by the President and the other pursued by the Congress.”
After explaining concerns for Netanyahu at home and the possibility that “Netanyahu’s desire to interfere with American policy while seeking to bolster his re-election campaign, may turn out to be the very political screw-up that will allow the joint ticket forged by the Labor-Hatnuah political parties to bring an end to Netanyahu’s long reign atop the Israeli government,” the article goes on to consider Boehner’s actions.
In a rare attack of this magnitude on the controversial Speaker of the House, Forbes author Rick Ungar offers the following analysis:
I get that the Speaker doesn’t like the President or his policies. I get that many readers of this piece will have snarky responses about how this President already embarrasses himself and our nation, etc., etc., etc.

But what neither the Speaker, nor those who cannot manage to think beyond their distaste for this president, understand is the truly unprecedented step Boehner has taken by joining with the leader of a foreign nation against his own president.

Presidents come and go. However, respect for the office of the presidency, particularly on the part of the man who is second in the line of succession to the presidency, should not.

Through his actions, Boehner may have scored some points for his party and for his preferred policy option vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear negotiations. But in the process, the Speaker of the American House of Representatives has succeeded in embarrassing the Office of the President.

Considering that Speaker Boehner has failed to accomplish anything of note during his Speakership, I can only wonder how it must feel to have his legacy be his effort to disgrace the American President in the effort to bolster the political chances of a foreign leader.
Ungar concludes, noting:
While I have often disagreed with Speaker Boehner, I have always kind of liked him in the belief that, while our solutions might be at odds, he wanted to do what he believes is best for America.

It would be a struggle for me to harbor such positive feelings going forward.

Seeking to damage any American President by helping a foreign leader embarrass our own leader can never be considered something that is best for the nation. And that is simply the truth no matter what your political persuasion or your feelings about the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Republican Congressman Peter King Slams Self-Righteous Delusional Wing Of His Party

Peter King
Appearing on Luke Russert’s online MSNBC TV program, Shift, New York Congressman Peter King (R) slammed fellow House Republicans for not simply banding together to pass a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. King made it clear that he was fed up with Tea Party Republicans playing politics with Homeland Security funding. The New York Congressman declared: ”This madness has to end soon…I’ve had it with this self-righteous, delusional wing of the party.”
King lamented that may GOP members of Congress come from very conservative districts where they “live in an echo chamber”. He argued that those Republicans are so blinded by being anti-Obama, that they would rather put American lives at risk, than yield an inch to the President on immigration reform. While King announced that he, like his GOP colleagues, was not in favor of President Obama’s Executive Order on immigration, he noted that funding Homeland Security was more important than picking a fight with Obama over immigration policy.
King was adamant that funding Homeland Security was a matter of life and death, and that Republican actions endangered the country, by threatening to “take away our front lines against Islamic terrorism”. The New York Congressman chastised his fellow Republican lawmakers repeatedly, for putting American lives at risk.
In addition to arguing that the Tea Party wing of the GOP was foolishly playing with American lives, the Congressman also argued that their strategy made no sense politically, either. He likened Republican strategy, to the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, and to Custer’s Last Stand. By comparing the Tea Party strategy to two exceedingly foolhardy military attacks, King was accusing his GOP colleagues of not only being morally wrong, but also of being flat out stupid.
In fairness to the Tea Party wing, Congressmen Peter King is prone to hawkishness on foreign policy, and his fear of Islamic terrorism at home, is often out of proportion to the actual threat. Nevertheless, King is on target with his criticism of his House GOP colleagues. Many of them dwell so much on anti-immigration sentiment, and anti-Obama fervor, that they have lost any sense of perspective for how to govern.
Fed by votes from xenophobic Obama-bashing zealots in deep red congressional districts, these Tea Party representatives have little incentive to govern. They simply can count on stoking the flames of right-wing rage, to propel their political careers, while they let the nation suffer from their collective inaction.
The Tea Party wing of the GOP puts Congressman Peter King in a quandary, because the Long Island swing district he represents, twice voted for Barack Obama for President, albeit narrowly. King has an incentive to govern, because he is in a district that could theoretically turn on him, and replace him with a Democrat in 2016. This is a concern that many of his fellow Republicans in Congress do not share.
Tea Party members who represent places like East Texas, the Ozarks, and the Kansas plains, are not only far removed from the sites of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks, they are also far removed from any threat of being bounced out of office by a Democrat. Many of them are looking over their right shoulders at the threat of being ousted by a more extreme conservative in a GOP primary, but they don’t even have to glance to their left, ensconced as they are in completely safe red districts.
However, the bottom line should be, that on issues of national security, the primary concern on how to vote should not be dictated by political considerations. Instead, lawmakers should focus on what will best provide security for the American people. While we don’t have to agree with Peter King’s assessment of the terrorist threat, nor do we have to accept the notion that Homeland Security is the “be all and end all” for combating terrorism. However, King’s criticism of his fellow GOP lawmakers is a legitimate one. If they care about the security of our nation, they should stop playing politics with Homeland Security funding, and the self-righteous delusional wing of the Republican Party should step aside and let the Congress vote on a clean funding bill. Anything less, as Congressmen King said, is “madness” that must come to an end.

Keeping It Real

42 Statements Made By Ted Cruz Were Fact-Checked – The Only One That Was True Was About Toilets

by Allen Clifton
In case you haven’t heard, the annual CPAC conference is currently taking place. That means the Internet is sure to be inundated with some of the most ridiculous nonsense you’ve ever heard spewing from the mouths of those who are speaking at this event. Nothing brings out true idiocy quite like a bunch of Republicans getting together at a right-wing conference to give speeches aimed at pandering to some of the most ultra-conservative Americans in this country.
When some of the featured speakers at an event are Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Donald Trump – you can rest assured that stupidity will be flowing in abundance.
Well, one of my favorite fact-checking sites, Politifact, decided to promote the files they’ve put together for every speaker featured at this CPAC event, including the aforementioned Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
As most people are well aware, Cruz is possibly the most absurd member of our Congress. It has been clear since the very beginning that Cruz has had no intention of actually governing while serving as a U.S. Senator. He has essentially used his time as a senator to set up his glaringly obvious intention to run for president in 2016. Nearly everything that comes out of his mouth is nothing more than some sort of drivel he believes that ultra right-wing conservative voters want to hear, because he’s well aware that those are the most consistent voters during primary season.
Though let me be perfectly clear here, I don’t believe Cruz stands any chance at ever becoming president. He’s not even going to come close to winning the GOP nomination.
But when Politifact decided to highlight the profiles of these various speakers, it reminded me of just how dishonest Cruz really is. He has been a U.S. Senator for just over two years and in that time Politifact has only deemed one of his 42 statements they’ve investigated to be “True.”
And what was this one statement concerning? It was about toilet seats and the government regulations pertaining to businesses having to provide access to restrooms for workers and height requirements for public restrooms to accommodate people with disabilities. So, yes, Cruz was correct when he said that the government does regulate toilet seats.
So, his lone “True” statement was actually just him complaining about sensible regulations pertaining to disability access to public restrooms, and businesses being required to provide access to toilets for their workers.
As they say, the stupid – it burns.
Aside from his one “True” statement pertaining to toilets, 65 percent of his statements they’ve investigated have been deemed “Mostly False,” “False,” or “Pants on Fire.”
That means the vast majority of the statements that come out of his mouth are either misleading or flat-out lies.
There’s no two ways about it, Cruz has an absolutely horrendous record when it comes to being honest. Though I’m sure that this information comes as a surprise to absolutely no one who’s followed the Texas senator since he was elected back in 2012. Cruz, more so than the average politician (which is saying something), has built an entire political career based on tea party talking points and blatant lies.

John Boehner Bails On Reality: Blames Obama For All Republican Failures

Boehner delivered an absurdly delusional appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation where he blamed President Obama for all of his own failures as a leader.
john boehner face the nationBoehner was immediately asked about his broken promise that there would be no more manufactured crisis if Republicans won control of Congress. He answered by blaming President Obama for everything.
Boehner said, “Well, because the president took actions with regard to immigration that were far beyond what the law allows him to do. You have to remember, John that the president said twenty-two times, twenty-two that he couldn’t do what he eventually did. I made it clear that we were going to do everything we could to block the president’s executive overreach, and that’s the basis of the problem that we’re trying to deal with, and uh, Senate refused, uh, to pass their own bill. Senator McConnell tried for almost a month to get the Senate to act, but four times the Senate Democrats blocked the ability to even debate the bill.”
Later, Boehner was asked if he could lead the House. He answered, “I think so. I think so Remember what caused this. We have a President Of The United States overreaching, and that’s not just on immigration. You know, thirty-eight times he made unilateral changes to Obamacare. Many of these, I believe far beyond his constitutional authority to do so. So the frustration in the country, represented through the frustration of our members has people scared to death that the president is running the country right off the cliff.”
Speaker Boehner’s position is to completely ignore reality by blaming President Obama for everything. It was John Boehner who came up with the plan to trying to use Homeland Security funding to force the president to overturn his own executive orders. It was Boehner who caved to the radicals in the House Republican caucus by moving forward with the plan even after he was told by Senate Republicans that it was a bad idea.
The best way to understand the depth of John Boehner’s troubles is to realize that he played the blame Obama card. Boehner didn’t try to confront the president. He didn’t announce any plan to win the Homeland Security funding dispute. The Speaker of the House put his tail between his legs and blamed the President Of The United States for the mess that he has gotten himself into.
Boehner’s best hope for survival is that House Republicans stop focusing on him by shifting their attention to the president. John Boehner has completely abandoned reality, and his hoping to save his own skin by blaming President Obama.
The Speaker’s performance on Face The Nation looked the last gasp of a man whose grip on the gavel is loosening by the day.

Scott Walker Bombs On Fox News By Dodging Question About Combating ISIL

Scott Walker demonstrated that he can’t even handle an interview on Fox News Sunday by dodging a question about whether or not he would send U.S. ground troops to combat ISIL.
Scott Walker Fox News SundayTranscript:
WALLACE: All right. Let’s talk about leadership. You’re president of the United States right now.

Would you commit U.S. ground forces to combat ISIL in any way, shape or form?

WALKER: I believe we should not take any action off the table. I don’t want to run into the war. I’ve got a bunch of bracelets on my wrist, these Gold Star families, people who’ve given them to me at the funerals of their sons. And certainly I’m not eager to go do another one of those — those funerals in the future.

But by the same token, I don’t want any of these men or any other men and women like them to have died in vain. I think when we look at that and say there’s radical Islamic terrorism, it’s like a virus, we needed to be prepared to do what it takes to make sure it doesn’t spread.

WALLACE: You say you wouldn’t take anything off the table. That doesn’t quite answer my question.

WALLACE: You’re president today. You talk about leadership.
Would you commit U.S. ground forces, whether it’s a full-scale invasion, whether it’s Special Forces? Would you commit U.S. ground forces to a combat role?
WALKER: For me to do something like that would require a number of things.
Listening to the chain of command, particularly the Joint Chiefs, your national security advisers and others, as to what’s necessary and listening to the people who are actually out in the field is the best way to do that.
But then also bring together a coalition. Certainly, reaffirming our major asset, our major ally in the region, that being Israel, but also our other allies around the world.

We were just with David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, a few weeks ago. I think increasingly, the Saudis and the Turks. There is a way we could put together a global coalition to take this on.
Fox News tried to make Scott Walker look good, but it is a nearly impossible task when he constantly dodged their questions. Instead of looking presidential, each of Walker’s national television interviews reveals how unpresidential he is. Walker is looking more and more like Mitt Romney. He has no clear vision for why he wants to president. His campaign is consisting of some tired platitudes that were worn out by the time Ronald Reagan left office.
Walker’s tactic of not answering questions should sound familiar to those who followed his gubernatorial campaigns in Wisconsin. Scott Walker is trying to win the Republican nomination by using a lot of buzzwords like leadership, but not answering questions with specifics about what he would do if elected. Walker is trying to hide his agenda, but there are clues in his non-answers. For example, Walker’s use of the line about listening to the chain of command is straight George W. Bush speak.
Scott Walker is beloved by conservatives because he knows how to appeal to them. What remains to be seen is how Walker’s bumbling and dodging will be viewed by the nation as a whole as the 2016 presidential campaign swings into gear. Gov. Walker is more reminiscent of the unholy love child of Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney than a candidate who has a real chance of ever being elected president.

Republican Lunacy In Criticizing Obama’s ISIL Strategy At CPAC

Now they are lining up at the annual Aryan-sponsored conservative conclave to accuse the President of all manner of malfeasance .…
It never ceases to amaze how Republicans and conservatives who create obviously epic disasters have all the answers, and mountains of criticism, for President Obama in his effort to clean up their messes. They are still assailing Obama for a deficit Republicans piled up with two unfunded wars and tax cuts for the rich regardless the President’s herculean efforts to save the economy and successfully reduced the deficit they created. Now they are lining up at the annual Aryan-sponsored conservative conclave to accuse the President of all manner of malfeasance in cleaning up and dealing with George W. Bush’s religious crusade in Iraq that engendered the rise of Islamic extremists known as the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL).
Of course, media whore Sarah Palin added her half-a-pence blaming the President for ISIS because he adhered to George W. Bush’s ‘status of forces‘ agreement and did not violate America’s agreement and leave a residual force of American troops to wage war on Islamic State extremists. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker said he could do a better job waging war on ISIS because he successfully waged war and defeated peaceful protestors in Wisconsin. Those battle-hardened protestors who teach citizens’ children, put out fires at burning homes and businesses, and serve as law enforcement officers keeping Wisconsin resident’s safe. Now, it is Marco Rubio who is accusing the President of allowing ISIS to wreak death and destruction on Syria and Iraq because he is inept and afraid of hurting Iran’s feelings.
While speaking to Sean Hannity, Rubio said the President “lacks a military strategy to confront ISIS for fear of upsetting Iran.” He said, “if we wanted to defeat them militarily, we could do it. But Obama doesn’t want to upset Iran.” That may play well for the racist and theocrat crowd at CPAC, but it is contrary to reality on two fronts. First, the President has confronted ISIS with a strategy Republicans cannot accept; and second, Iran is just as concerned about and invested in defeating ISIS as any nation in the region. This is not a revelation for any conscious human being, but for Rubio and Republicans in general, it is another false talking point to criticize the President, pander to Benjamin Netanyahu, and demonstrate typical conservative incredible ignorance about events in the Middle East; likely it is all of the above.
Rubio said, “In Obama’s mind, this deal with Iran is going to be the Obamacare of the second term, and he doesn’t want them sending military to the region.” However, if Rubio was not an idiot, he would know that Iran has called for assistance from America, and vice versa, to combat ISIS extremists in Syria and Iraq. Iranian leaders have publicly, that’s right, publicly urged America to take a bigger role in fighting ISIS, and President Obama has taken the unprecedented step of communicating with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggesting cooperation between America and Iran to combat ISIS extremists. Early in the conflict, Iran and America made sure to keep out of each other’s way during air missions to bomb advancing ISIS extremists.
President Obama and America’s global partners’ have made over 2,500 air strikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and are in the process of training moderate Syrian and Iraqi forces to take the battle directly to ISIS. It is not the military strategy of putting tens-of-thousands of American boots on the ground, but it is a potent strategy all the same. It is a strategy that Iran has adopted, and expanded on, and it is curious why Rubio thinks the President is sitting on his hands so as not to hurt Iran’s feelings or disrupt nuclear negotiations. Rubio’s remarks not only make no sense whatsoever, they are contrary to the facts.
Iran has been, if not a part of ‘America’s global partners,’ a willing party in combatting ISIS; this is in spite of their accurate appraisal that “The United States is the cause of the unrest and problems in Iraq and is the reason for the terrorist operations.” It is a sentiment echoed by Syrian President Assad who warned early in the Iraq War that the unrest and problems now plaguing the region would be the result of America’s invasion and occupation. Still, Iran is assisting America’s effort to clean up the extremist mess America created when it invaded Iraq and sent disaffected Sunnis fleeing extermination into Syria. Not only has Iran launched military strikes against ISIS, it has assisted in propping up the American-created Iraqi government, sent the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to coordinate and assist in the defense of Baghdad, and helped the country’s Shiite militias stop the ISIS militants’ advances on the Iraqi capital. Iran’s assistance in stopping ISIS belies Rubio’s claim that “Obama doesn’t want Iran sending military to the region.”
Besides already sending over 2,000 Iranian troops to Iraq to help combat the extremists, Iran has urged the entire world to assist in combatting the ISIS extremists. Early in the rise of ISIS, Iran’s secretary of the Supreme National Security Council said, “The expansion of terrorist elements of ISIS and their violent acts in Iraq was a warning for the region. There is a need for attention and action from governments and the international community.” President Obama has answered the call; partly out of a responsibility to clean up the ISIS disaster America (BUSH) created, and to stop the spread of the “terrorist element” in the region. Rubio, Republicans, and the cretins at CPAC know this is true.
For Rubio, or any incompetent Republican to claim the President has no military strategy against ISIS because he is wary of upsetting Iran is beyond belief, but it is par for the course among Republican no-nothings. It is no secret that the President called on Iranians to help combat ISIS, or that Iran reciprocated in urging America to help combat ISIS; it is after all a George W. Bush creation. Most Americans understand Republicans want American ground forces to battle ISIS in Iraq and Syria nearly as desperately as they want an American invasion force to battle Iran on Benjamin Netanyahu’s behalf. All-out war using American troops is the only Middle East policy Republicans can countenance and support and it is precisely why they have no business having a voice in any Middle East policy.

Rudy Giuliani, The Crazy Uncle Face Of The New Republican Party

Seems like every time you turn around these days there's another crazy Republican uncle doing and saying the kind of things crazy Republican uncles do.…
giulianiIt would be nice if Rudy Giuliani were an anomaly within the Republican Party, kind of like the crazy uncle the family keeps chained in the basement, feeding him scraps every so often. Patting him on the head when he cleans up his mess in the corner.
But no. Rudy is just another one. Seems like every time you turn around these days there’s another crazy Republican uncle doing and saying the kind of things crazy Republican uncles do. I mean, how do you rationally explain the kind of sewer filth Giuliani spewed last week when he accused President Obama of not loving America, etc., whatever, and then trying to defend himself against charges of racism by saying, essentially, that Obama wasn’t black enough to be the victim of racism…?
Yeah, well. Ahem.
Rudy’s racism and twisted patriotism (Obama isn’t the same kind of American as we white folk) has been standard fare with the Republicans ever since the President took office in 2008.  It’s what let us all know that we are about as close to a post-racial America as Giuliani is to sainthood. I mean, there are so many examples to choose from, such as that now famous outburst from South Carolina’s Republican Rep. Joe Wilson who shouted out at Obama as he addressed Congress, “You lie!” He didn’t have to add the ‘n’ word after that outburst, because anyone with ears to hear could hear the rest of the sentence without it ever being said out loud. I think Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts perhaps said it best in a piece where he challenged conservative commentator George Will’s ridiculous assertion that racism had nothing to do with the attacks being leveled against the President:
“You say race has played no role in the treatment of President Obama? Fine. What would it look like if it did?
“I mean, we’re talking about a president who was called “uppity” by one GOP lawmaker, “boy” by another and “subhuman” by a GOP activist; who was depicted as a bone-through-the-nose witch doctor by opponents of his health-care reform bill; as a pair of cartoon spook eyes against a black backdrop by an aide to a GOP lawmaker, and as an ape by various opponents; who has been dogged by a “tea party” movement whose earliest and most enthusiastic supporters included the Council of Conservative Citizens, infamous for declaring the children of interracial unions “a slimy brown glop”; who was called a liar by an obscure GOP lawmaker during a speech before a joint session of Congress; who has had to contend with a years-long campaign of people pretending there is some mystery about where he was born.”
And that’s not even including the likes of Ted Nugent, who has virtually come out and threatened to kill the President if only he had the chance (he told Obama to “suck my machine gun”), and that’s one of the nicer things he has said.
So the only thing that makes Giuliani’s verbal pollution somewhat curious is that it doesn’t seem to be in response to anything in particular except that he doesn’t like Obama. It’s not attached to any Obama policy that he’s fighting against, nor is it an early shot across the bow to try and cripple the President before he runs again in 2016 because, well, he can’t. No, this was said at a  private fundraiser in Manhattan for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who some assume may be running for President in 2016. So then why wasn’t Giuliani taking aim at Hillary Clinton? Doesn’t she pose more of a threat to Walker than Obama? Well of course she does, but Hillary Clinton is a white woman and that’s just not as much fun as racism. Just doesn’t have that same sizzle.
This is just hate for the sheer, thrilling fun of it.


Extreme Conservatism Linked to Racism, Low I.Q.

Science proves it ...
Multiple Scientific Studies Confirm
An article published at Psychology Today by Goal Auzeen Saedi, Ph.D. of Millennial Media writes about the correlation between far right-wing conservatism, low intelligence and racism.

Exposing Libertarianism: The Belief That We Should Give More Power to Those Who Are Corrupting Government

by Allen Clifton
Anyone who follows me knows I am not the biggest fan of libertarians. In fact, I loathe the whole ideology. I’m not saying that all libertarians are bad people (I know a few who are great people), I just happen to believe their ideology is ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense. These people believe in an ideology that’s never thrived anywhere on this planet at anytime in human history.
The United States has never been run under libertarian ideologies. In fact, our government was at its smallest back when slavery existed, women couldn’t vote, and segregation was legal. We had to enact laws, fight a war and pass Constitutional Amendments (you know, grow government) to protect people from those who exploited a “smaller government” that allowed for such barbaric behavior.
The truth is, when you look around the world at countries with:
Few regulations Low taxes Guns Small governments They’re typically dirt poor, violent, and controlled by the select few who are extremely rich – because there was no government put in place to prevent the rich and powerful from essentially rigging the entire system.
Hell, even in a country like the United States, with regulations, the rich and powerful often do whatever they can to try to rig our system and corrupt our government. Could you imagine what these people would do if there weren’t laws stopping them from doing whatever the hell they wanted? Or do these millions of people really believe that the rich, powerful and these giant corporations would act more ethically with fewer regulations? Do they really think that regulations are what led to our 2008 crash; the BP oil spill; the chemical spill in West Virginia; the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas; and the downfall of Enron?
While libertarians like to whine and complain about how corrupt and inefficient our government is, the truth is their ideology is based upon giving more power (via deregulations and a smaller government) to the very people who are responsible for making our government inefficient and corrupt.
Their “plan” is to massively shrink our government, handing over an unregulated and unchecked amount of power to the very people who are constantly trying to buy our government so they can get rules that would help them bypass the regulations that they don’t like.
Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
Oh, but it’s okay. Libertarians believe that consumer power and “the market” would correct all of this. Tell me, how would the “market” have prevented any of the disasters I listed above? Hell, without regulations they would likely have been much worse.
But even libertarians themselves prove that the entire ideology is absurd. I’ve often joked that if you got 10 libertarians together to define what it means to be a libertarian, you’d get 10 different answers. I’ve literally have debates with libertarians where by the end of the discussion they were bickering about who was or wasn’t a “real libertarian” because even they couldn’t agree on the “true meaning” of libertarianism.
To say nothing about their overly simplified and often dangerous beliefs on foreign policy and national security.
In a perfect libertarian utopia where things like human nature, greed, reality and facts didn’t exist, libertarianism might work. But, unfortunately for libertarians, all of those things do exist. That’s why when I ask them to name a successful society, either now or in the past, that’s been built on their ideologies – they can’t name one.
The truth remains that libertarianism is built on fantasy and driven by the avoidance of reality.

Virginia Republican Says A Pregnant Woman Is Just A 'Host,' Though 'Some Refer To Them As Mothers'

by Laura Bassett
A pregnant woman is just a "host" that should not have the right to end her pregnancy, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote in a Facebook rant defending his anti-abortion views.
Martin, the former chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, wrote a lengthy post about his opinions on women's bodies on his Facebook wall last week in response to a critical Valentine's Day card he received from reproductive rights advocates.
"I don't expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive," Martin wrote. "However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it." Martin then changed his post on Monday afternoon to refer to the woman as the "bearer of the child" instead of the "host."
Scroll down to see a screenshot of Martin's original post.
Martin voted for Virginia's mandatory ultrasound bill and supported a fetal personhood bill, which would ban all abortions and could affect the legality of some forms of contraception. The Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition had sent him a Valentine's Day card asking him to protect women's reproductive health options, "including preventing unwanted pregnancies, raising healthy children and choosing safe, legal abortion."
Martin reacted strongly to their letter.
"If it's your expectation that I should support such nonsense, I will be breaking your heart," he wrote. "You can count on me to never get in the way of you 'preventing an unintentional pregnancy.' I'm not actually sure what that means, because if it's 'unintentional' you must have been trying to prevent it."
Martin said Monday that he edited the original wording calling women hosts because people took it the wrong way, even though he felt it was clear he was being sarcastic. "I don't see how anyone could have taken it the wrong way," he said. "It was me playing their argument back to them. Obviously I consider pregnant women to be mothers."
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told The Huffington Post in an email that Martin's rant reveals the "contempt" that anti-abortion lawmakers have for women.
"Sen. Steve Martin obviously has zero understanding of the reality of reproductive choice and what it means for women to have control over their bodies, families, and lives," Keene said. "His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about 'personhood' - that pregnant women are no more than vessels. Even more outrageous, he also fails to understand how he as a lawmaker can help empower women to reduce unintended pregnancies -- something that should be a common goal for all."

Texas Bill Would Punish Businesses That Allow Trans People in Bathrooms

by John Paul Brammer
TransRightsThe cesspool of ignorance known as the Texas state government has produced another foul piece of legislation in the form of State Rep. Debbie Riddle’s bills that would criminalize transgender people in bathrooms.
Not only that, but the bills would punish any “operator, manager, superintendent, or other person with authority over a building” that allowed a trans person to enter a bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Such an act would be a jail felony in the state of Texas, which carries the punishment of a minimum of 180 days in prison up to two years and a fine of $10,000.
Isn’t this what conservatives are always flipping out about when it comes to LGBT acceptance? Jail time for refusing to cooperate? How many horror stories have we heard warning us that we were going to start locking people up for speaking out against the “gay agenda?”
The bills, H.B. 1747 and H.B. 1748, were no doubt copied from Florida’s and Kentucky’s bills which would allow people to sue just for seeing trans people in the bathroom.
transgender symbolTexas, by the way, is home to the headquarters of many large companies because of the low cost. These companies often have flexible policies in order to attract the best talent possible, but now Texas wants to restrict them.
I don’t get it, conservatives. I thought corporations were people, but here you are telling them what to do?
I guess their hatred for the LGBT community ultimately outweighs their love of money, which is, in a morbid way, impressive.