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Saturday, March 7, 2015

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21 Truths That Prove Republicans Have Been Wrong About Everything

It's no secret that politicians tend to use exaggerated political rhetoric to get people to vote for them.
In recent decades, Republicans in particular have repeatedly made very ominous predictions about the horrors that will result from Democratic policies while painting a very rosy picture of what will result from Republican policies.
We now have the luxury of looking back over the years to examine those predictions and compare them to the actual results of each party's policies.
Below I've listed 21 specific examples of these predictions and I've included links after most of them where you can verify this information. I encourage you to do your own research about each of these examples.
1. In the 1960s, Republicans claimed that passage of Medicare would be the end of capitalism.
California Governor Ronald Reagan even proclaimed Medicare would lead to the death of freedom in America.
Of course they were wrong. Since the passage of Medicare, capitalism has thrived in America and millions of elderly Americans have had longer, healthier lives and greater personal freedom. Medicare remains the most popular form of health insurance in the United States.
2. In 1993, when Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.5%, Republicans predicted a recession, increased unemployment and a growing budget deficit.
They weren't just wrong; the results were exactly the opposite of everything they predicted. After that tax increase went into effect, the country experienced the seven best years of economic growth in history.
  • Twenty-two million new jobs were created
  • Unemployment dropped below 4%
  • The poverty rate went down for 7 straight years
  • The budget deficit was eliminated
  • America enjoyed a growing budget surplus which economists projected would pay off our national debt in 20 years.
3. In 2001, when George W. Bush cut taxes for the wealthy, Republicans predicted record job growth, increased budget surplus and nationwide prosperity.
Once again, the prosperity they promised never quite happened. In fact we saw the exact opposite occur.
After the Bush tax cuts were enacted:
  • The budget surplus immediately disappeared
  • Less than 3 million net jobs were added during Bush’s 8 years
  • The poverty rate began climbing again
  • We experienced two recessions along with the greatest collapse of our financial system since the Great Depression
  • The budget deficit eventually grew to $1.4 trillion by the time Bush left office
In 1993, President Clinton signed the Brady Law mandating nationwide background checks and a waiting period to buy a gun.
In 1993, President Clinton signed the Brady Law mandating nationwide background checks and a waiting period to buy a gun.
4. In 1993, when the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban were passed, Republicans predicted increasing rates of crime and murder.
Thankfully just the opposite happened. From the 1970s, through the early 1990s violent crime had been increasing steadily. After 1993, however, the violent crime and overall murder rates suddenly began to drop. This decline continued for more than ten years.
What could have happened in 1993 to precipitate such a sudden and prolonged drop in the crime rate? That’s the year Congress passed the Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Law, which mandated background checks and a waiting period to buy a gun.
Despite Republican predictions to the contrary, the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban preceded the most dramatic reduction in violent crime since the FBI started keeping statistics.
The image below has two graphs which show the rates of murder and violent crime in the US over a span of 35 years. These graphs are based on the actual numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports web site. Notice how the crime rate drops suddenly after the Brady Law and Assault Weapons Ban were passed in 1993 .
These charts show the rate of murder and violent crime over 35 years based on numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime reports.
These charts show the rate of murder and violent crime over 35 years based on numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime reports.
5. Republicans predicted that we would find Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction even though UN weapons inspectors said that those weapons didn't exist.
The Bush administration continued to insist the WMDs would be found even when the CIA said some of the evidence was questionable.
As we all know, the WMDs predicted by the Bush administration did not exist and Saddam had not resumed his nuclear weapons program as they claimed. Both President Bush and Vice President Cheney ultimately had to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
6. Prior to going to war in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld optimistically predicted the Iraq war might last “six days, six weeks, I doubt six months”.
What's more, Vice-President Dick Cheney said we would be greeted as liberators by the Iraqi people after we overthrow Saddam.
They were both horribly wrong. Instead of six weeks or six months, the Iraq war lasted 8 long and bloody years costing thousands of American lives. Many Iraqi militia groups were formed which fought against the U.S. forces that overthrew Saddam. It led to an Iraqi civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites which took hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. What’s more, Al Qaeda, which did not exist in Iraq before the war, used the turmoil in Iraq to establish a new foothold in that country.
The Iraq war was arguably the most tragic foreign policy blunder in US history.
7. Republicans said waterboarding and other forms of “enhanced interrogation” are not torture and are necessary in fighting Islamic extremism.
In reality, waterboarding and other forms of enhanced interrogation which inflict pain, suffering or fear of death are outlawed by US law, the US Constitution and international treaties. Japanese soldiers after World War II were prosecuted by the United States for war crimes because of their use of waterboarding on American POWs.
Professional interrogators have known for decades that torture is the most ineffective and unreliable method of getting accurate information. People being tortured say anything to get the torture to end but will not likely tell the truth.
An FBI interrogator named Ali Soufan, was able to get al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah to reveal crucial information without the use of torture. But when CIA interrogators started using waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods, Zubaydah stopped cooperating and gave his interrogators false information.
Far from being necessary in the fight against terrorism, torture is completely unreliable and counter-productive in obtaining useful information.
8. In 2008, Republicans said that if we elect a Democratic president, we would be hit by Al Qaeda again, perhaps worse than the attack on 9/11.
Former Vice-President Dick Cheney stated that electing a Democrat as president would all but guarantee that there would be another major attack on America by Al Qaeda.
Cheney and other Republicans were, thankfully, completely wrong. Since Obama became president, we have had zero deaths on U.S. soil from Al Qaeda attacks and we succeeded in killing Bin Laden along with dozens of other high ranking Al Qaeda leaders.
Looking at the rate of job loss and job creation, its easy to see that the stimulus of 2009 was highly successful in stopping the job losses and turning the economy around.
Looking at the rate of job loss and job creation, its easy to see that the stimulus of 2009 was highly successful in stopping the job losses and turning the economy around.
9. In 2009, Republicans predicted that the economic stimulus package would only make the recession worse and cause more unemployment.
The results show they were very wrong. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ended the recession after only a few months. Although 750,000 people were losing their jobs each month when Obama took office, after the Recovery Act was passed the rate of job loss immediately decreased each month and within a year the economy showed positive job growth.
Considering the severity of the 2008 economic collapse and the total opposition by Republicans to do anything at all to stimulate the economy, it is remarkable that the US economy recovered as quickly as it did.
10. Most Republicans said that President Obama should be impeached because of the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Their own studies, however, have proved them wrong. Every Congressional investigation, including those by the Republican led House Intelligence Committee, have concluded the Obama administration did nothing wrong regarding Benghazi, that there was no “stand down” order given and that neither the President nor anyone in his administration lied about it.
Each and every Republican investigation has reached this same conclusion but Republicans continue to exploit this tragedy for political gain.
11. Republicans said we must deregulate businesses so they can be more profitable and we will all enjoy the wealth created by deregulation.
This theory failed back in the 1980s when the Reagan administration deregulated the Savings and Loan industry. All the S&Ls collapsed and it cost taxpayers billions of dollars to bail them out.
They were proven wrong again in 2008 when years of deregulation of the financial industry resulted in the worst financial collapse and recession since the Great Depression. Taxpayers had to spend nearly a trillion dollars to bail out these large corporations.
Far from spreading the wealth around, these attempts at deregulation cost millions of jobs and created economic turmoil that took the country years to recover from.
Senator Mitch McConnell claimed Obamacare would cost the economy 2 million jobs.
Senator Mitch McConnell claimed Obamacare would cost the economy 2 million jobs.
12. Republicans predicted that Obamacare would hurt the economy and kill jobs.
As you may have guessed, they were wrong. The year 2014 was the first full year that Obamacare was in effect. During this year the United States saw the fastest rate of job creation in 14 years and the best rate of economic growth in over ten years. More jobs were created in 2014 than in any year of the Bush presidency.
Not only did Obamacare not harm the economy, it coincided with the best economic expansion in a dozen years.
Gas prices have dropped dramatically during 2013 and 2014.
Gas prices have dropped dramatically during 2013 and 2014.
13. Republicans said if President Obama is reelected, the price of gasoline would rise to $5.45 a gallon by January 2015.
In fact, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, said if Obama were reelected, the price of gas would reach $6.60 a gallon. Newt Gingrich, who was running for president in 2012, said Obama’s energy policies, EPA regulations, and failure to approve the XL pipeline would result in $10.00 a gallon gasoline.
Of course these predictions were laughably wrong. Instead of $5.45 per gallon or $10.00 per gallon, the price of gas in January, 2015, was $1.89, less than half of the all-time high of $4.15 a gallon under President Bush.
14. Republicans said President Obama would be terrible for the economy.
Although he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, President Obama has presided over the longest continuous period of uninterrupted job growth in American history. More jobs have been created under President Obama than under both Bush Presidents combined. The stock market has set new records almost daily during Obama's presidency.
Despite Republican attempts to stop all progress, President Obama has overseen the greatest economic turnaround in over 75 years without any help from Republicans.
This chart shows the unemployment rate through 2013 and 2014 based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This chart shows the unemployment rate through 2013 and 2014 based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
15. Republicans predicted that President Obama’s tax increase on the top 1% in 2013 would kill jobs, increase the deficit and cause another recession.
You guessed it. Just the opposite happened. In the two years from January 1, 2013 when that tax increase went into effect, through January, 2015, unemployment dropped from 7.9% to 5.6%, an average of more than 200,000 new jobs were created per month, Wall Street set new record highs and the budget deficit was cut in half.
16. Republicans said President Obama would raise taxes sky high.
It never happened. For over 95% of Americans, income taxes are the same or lower than they were before Obama was elected. The only people whose income taxes have increased are those who make more than $400,000 per year, and their taxes increased only 3%.
For most Americans, taxes are still lower now than they were under Reagan.
17. Republicans have long promised that “trickle-down economics”, is the best way to stimulate the economy.
Trickle-down economics is the practice of giving more money to the very wealthy so they can reinvest it. It is supposed to cause a trickle-down effect that creates jobs and benefits everyone. According to this theory, any tax increase on the wealthy will hurt the economy and cause another recession.
As mentioned previously, this theory has been disproven repeatedly. The huge tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans enacted by George W. Bush did not result in great job creation or a robust economy. In fact, our economy took the worst nosedive since the Great Depression.
Conversely, the tax increases on the wealthiest 1% passed by Presidents Clinton and Obama were followed by strong job growth, shrinking budget deficits and lower unemployment rates. During the 8 years after President Clinton raised taxes on the top 1%, the poverty rate went down. After Bush enacted Trickle-down economic policies, the poverty rate began rising again.
18. In 2012, Republicans predicted that if we don’t approve the Keystone Pipeline the price of gasoline would go sky high and large numbers of jobs would be lost
Even though the Keystone Pipeline was not approved, the price of gasoline continued to drop below $1.90 per gallon, millions of new jobs were created and unemployment dropped from 8% to 5.6% by January, 2015.
The most optimistic predictions say that the Keystone Pipeline would only create a few dozen long term jobs and would do nothing to lower the price of gasoline.
19. Republicans insist that their policies create more jobs than Democrats and claim Democratic policies are “job killers”.
History, however, has proven them wrong. According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the last 3 Republican presidents there were a total of 21 million new jobs created during their combined 20 years in office (Reagan - 16 million, George H. W. Bush - 2 million, George W. Bush – 3 million).
However, under the last 3 Democratic presidents there were a total of 38 million new jobs created during their combined 18 years in office (Carter – 10 million, Clinton – 22 million, Obama – 6 million).
So the last three Democratic presidents have seen the creation of nearly twice as many jobs in 18 years as the last three Republican presidents did in 20.
20. Republicans claim that raising the minimum wage would kill jobs and hurt the economy.
There is far more evidence to the contrary. Cities and states that have higher minimum wages tend to have better rates of job creation and economic growth.
Detailed analyses show that job losses due to increases in the minimum wage are almost negligible compared to the economic benefits of higher wages.
Previous increases in the minimum wage have never resulted in the dire consequences that Republicans have predicted.
Republicans have accused President Obama of "cutting defense spending to the bone". This chart of 2014 discretionary spending firmly disproves that argument.
Republicans have accused President Obama of "cutting defense spending to the bone". This chart of 2014 discretionary spending firmly disproves that argument.
21. Republicans routinely accuse Democrats of wanting to cut defense spending to the bone and leave us defenseless against our enemies.
History has repeatedly proven them wrong. Under Democratic presidents and Congresses the United States still spends more on defense than the next ten countries combined.
Republicans frequently insist on spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn't even want in order to benefit the multi-billion dollar defense contractors. Democrats who criticize this unnecessary spending, are accused of trying to cut defense spending to the bone.
These links below give more information about our military spending on weapons systems that the Pentagon doesn't want or need.
Just for fun, here's a lightning round of more things Republicans have been wrong about.
  • Republicans said that Obamacare would have “Death Panels” to decide who would live and who would die. Wrong. No such death panels were ever proposed and nothing of the kind ever happened.
  • They said the 2009 laws to improve automobile fuel efficiency standards would kill the US auto industry. Wrong. The new standards were followed by a resurgence of the US auto industry enabling them to hire back tens of thousands of workers.
  • They said environmental protection laws requiring companies to clean up their pollution would create undue burden and kill businesses. Nope, it never happened.
  • They said Ebola would spread across the country because President Obama allowed American Ebola patients to be treated in the US. The outbreak never happened. Only 3 people contracted Ebola in the US and all 3 survived the disease.
  • They said President Obama would open our borders to illegal immigrants. Wow, were they wrong. Under Obama we set new records for most illegal immigrants stopped at the border and sent home.
  • They said Obama would drive up the Federal budget deficit. Didn't happen. Obama cut the $1.4 trillion deficit he inherited by two-thirds.
Please don’t take my word for any of this. I encourage you to fact-check everything in this article.
While someone could no doubt find instances where Democrats engage in over-the-top rhetoric, nothing compares to the consistently false and erroneous claims made by the GOP in recent years.
When a political party has been so dismally wrong about nearly everything over the past 30 years, that party should lose all credibility.
My hope is that in the future, when Americans hear Republicans make predictions about Democratic policies that are doomed to failure, we will remember the fact that they have been utterly wrong about virtually everything they've predicted in recent years.

At least they're not Republicans ...

Senate Democrats Force McConnell To Cancel Vote On Iran Bill

Mitch McConnellSenate Democrats forced Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to back off of a plan to turn a bill related to Iran into a partisan attack on President Obama.
After McConnell tried to use Netanyahu’s speech to doublecross Democrats who supported a bill that would call for the Senate to review any agreement made by President Obama with Iran regarding their nuclear program, nine Senate Democrats withdrew their support for the legislation.
The Democrats told McConnell:
On a day defined by serious discourse about Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, at a moment when legislators are contemplating the most serious national security issue of our time, we are disappointed that you have proceeded outside of regular order which suggests that the goal of this maneuver is to score partisan political points, rather than pursue a substantive strategy to counter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The deadline for a political framework agreement with Iran is March 24, and a final agreement is not expected to be reached until the end of June. There is no immediate or urgent need to circumvent the Committee process and we are disappointed that you’ve pursued this partisan course of action.

We remain committed to working on this bill in a bipartisan manner. As such, and as a result of your actions, we will only vote for this bill after it has gone through the regular mark-up process in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and after the March 24th deadline for the political framework agreement.
McConnell’s office announced that they were canceling their planned vote “It is clear that Senate Democrats will filibuster their own bill — a bill they rushed to introduce before the White House cut a deal with Iran. So, instead, the Senate will turn next to the anti-human-trafficking legislation while Democrats decide whether or not they believe they and Congress as a whole should be able to review and vote on any deal the President cuts with the leaders of Iran.”
Senate Democrats put a quick end to McConnell’s scheme to divide the president and his party. This is the second time less than two weeks that McConnell has been forced to cave on his plans. McConnell promised an aggressive agenda that would bend the president to his will, but what has happened is that Democrats has asserted firm control over the Senate’s agenda.
McConnell tried to pull a fast one on the Democrats who supported the bill, so the bipartisan support quickly vanished for the legislation. McConnell can do nothing without Democratic support. The Majority Leader is learning fast that there is a heavy price to be paid for his years of obstruction.

Wisconsin and Minnesota: A One-Sided Political Competition

by Steve Benen
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks at the American Action Forum Jan. 30, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty)Wisconsin and Minnesota have long made fascinating bookends. As longtime readers may recall, the two neighboring states have similar sizes, similar populations, similar demographics, and even similar climates. But they don’t necessarily have similar politics, at least not lately.
In the 2010 elections, the Badger State elected Scott Walker (R) governor and gave control of the legislature to Republicans, while the Gopher State made Mark Dayton (D) governor and elected a Democratic legislature. The former got to work targeting collective bargaining and approving tax cuts, while the latter raised taxes on the wealthy and boosted in-state investments.
Nearly five years later, one of these two states is doing quite well. Policy.mic had an interesting report this week.
Since 2011, Minnesota has been doing quite well for itself. The state has created more than 170,000 jobs, according to the Huffington Post. Its unemployment rate stands at 3.6% – the fifth-lowest in the country, and far below the nationwide rate of 5.7% – and the state government boasts a budget surplus of $1 billion. Forbes considers Minnesota one of the top 10 in the country for business.
As Patrick Caldwell recently explained very well, Minnesota’s gains come on the heels of tax increases on Minnesota’s top 2% and higher corporate taxes, both of which state Republicans said would crush Minnesota’s economy. As for their neighbors to the east:
By a number of measures, Wisconsin hasn’t fared as well as Minnesota. As the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports, Wisconsin’s job growth has been among the worst in the region, and income growth is one of the worst in the country. It has a higher unemployment rate than Minnesota. And the budget is in bad shape.
Back in January, the editorial board of LaCrosse Tribune wrote, “The governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota each presented their versions of new year’s resolutions in various media interviews last week….Which approach is better? As we enter the new year, Minnesota is clearly winning by a long shot.”
Political scientist Lawrence Jacobs published a related comparison a while back, which drew a similar conclusion: “The lesson from the upper Midwest is that rigid anti-tax dogma fails to deliver a convincing optimistic vision that widens economic opportunity and security. The excesses of liberalism may lurk, but Minnesota is building a modern progressivism that plows a hopeful path.”
Comparisons between states can be inherently tricky, but that’s what makes the Minnesota/Wisconsin test so interesting – two similar, neighboring states, trying very different approaches at the exact same time, facing identical national conditions.
I’d imagine most Republicans might find the results hard to explain.

A Petition Has Been Launched To Prosecute and Expel John Boehner From Congress

This week a MoveOn.org petition began circulating for the purpose of prosecuting John A. Boehner for willfully breaking a federal law …
John Boehner
Over the course of the past six years many Americans have felt frustrated that Republicans have deliberately worked against the best interests of the American people with impunity. What makes the frustration all the more unbearable is that most people feel there is nothing they can possibly do for redress to hold Republicans accountable for what, in many cases, are blatant violations of federal laws. In a great deal of the cases, a major share of the blame falls on the impotent Department of Justice that is either terrified of investigating what is often seditious and blatant Republican malfeasance, or looks the other way to avoid the appearance of partisan political retribution. Whatever the reason for failing to do its due diligence, it often falls on the people to take matters into their own hands and start a petition.
This week, a MoveOn.org petition began circulating for the purpose of prosecuting Speaker of the House John A. Boehner for willfully breaking a federal law when he knowingly violated the 216 year-old Logan Act. The petition demands that Boehner, “by law must now be tried by Congress, and forced to resign.” However, according to 18 U.S.C. § 953 (Logan Act), by violating the “Logan Act” (Private correspondence with foreign governments) Boehner can be punished “under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years. Any act of prosecuting and convicting the Speaker must be initiated by a Justice Department United States Attorney; at best Congress can conduct its own investigation for ethics violations and expel Boehner, or he can resign. The Koch brothers or Benjamin Netanyahu will never allow that to happen, but by all means please sign the petition and relieve that crushing feeling of frustration.
The petition accurately claims that by “directly commencing and carrying on correspondence with an officer of a foreign government (Netanyahu) with intent to influence or defeat the measures of the United States,” Boehner broke a federal law. It also is correct that Boehner attempted to deal in foreign policy to usurp the powers of the presidency of the United States thus violating the “separation of powers” in the U.S. Constitution. But the only prosecutable crime is “corresponding with an agent of a foreign government with the intent to influence or defeat the measures of the United States” according to the Logan Act. The petition is to be “to be delivered to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama.”
Now, one certainly understands why the petition is not “to be delivered” to the Department of Justice or a United States Attorney; it would be tantamount to flushing it away in a toilet. The Department of Justice just does not investigate or prosecute willful violations of federal laws when Republicans or any of their variant malcontents are involved. As the President has already stated, his administration would rather focus on looking ahead to a hopeful future than backwards; or war criminals George W. Bush and Dick Cheney et al and admitted torturers would already be in federal prisons.
The Congress, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Elections Commission, and Department of Justice have had several opportunities to prosecute John Boehner, but he is above the law. He was viewed, and admitted to, handing out tobacco industry bribes on the floor of the House for favorable votes in 1996, and was given a pass because he claimed he was just complying with a tobacco corporation’s orders. Apparently, as long as Boehner was just following a tobacco corporation’s orders to hand out bribes, Congress or the Justice Department took a ‘hands off’ approach to clearly unethical conduct.
In 2010 according to his financial disclosure,  Boehner purchased stock in seven Canadian tar sand companies prior to becoming Speaker of the House, and promptly began lying about the ‘hundreds-of-thousands” of American jobs with the KeystoneXL pipeline construction. His lies were in spite of TransCanada’s own prospectus touting no more than 2,400 temporary jobs and 35 permanent positions before he began his push to increase his portfolio worth by inflating share prices. A petition was started, and two outside environmental groups sent damning documents to the Security Exchange Commission that began mulling an investigation into Boehner’s apparent share price manipulation. However, because a foreign corporation (TransCanada), the Koch brothers, and a foreign nation’s leader (Canadian Prime Minister Harper) wanted the pipeline pushed, Boehner complied and was given another pass.
Now, Boehner committed another clear violation; this time of a federal law, and another petition is making the rounds in hopes that the Koch Congress will take action? They have no authority in matters of prosecuting federal laws and if any American thinks for a second that the Department of Justice will take action they are just glaringly ignorant; hopeful, but ignorant. Republicans will not allow it and dog-only-knows Netanyahu will bring his considerable clout to bear on the Justice Department. A Justice Department, by the way, that cannot even prosecute a white racist cop for gunning down an unarmed African American teen because apparently murder is not a prosecutable civil rights violation.
In fact, this particular Department of Justice cannot prosecute any white conservatives regardless of the seditious intent or stated attempt to start a “second revolution” against the United States government. It is coming up on a year since a white racist rancher summoned equally white racist and heavily armed militias to aim loaded firearms at agents of the federal government executing two federal court orders with impunity and immunity from prosecution. Likely because conservative media and several high-ranking Republican politicians proclaimed the sedition was patriotic; like a sitting president’s administration authorizing the torture of captive prisoners.
In another case of injustice, in a federal court agreement last year, the Internal Revenue Service was ordered to begin investigating and prosecuting evangelical churches for violating their 501(c) tax exempt status. Nothing has happened in spite of over 5,000 evangelical preachers sending videotaped evidence of their illegal campaigning for Republicans from the pulpit daring the IRS to enforce the law. Being a religious right lawbreaker is just as profitable as being a seditious rancher or Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives.
By all means; sign the MoveOn.org petition demanding that Speaker of the House John A. Boehner face prosecution in federal court and expulsion from Congress. Like his other unethical congressional acts and corrupt violations of federal laws, there is no doubt he violated the 216 year-old Logan Act by inviting a foreigner to “influence and defeat a measure of the United States.”
However, know first that the only satisfaction any signer will ever get is while they are filling in those little boxes typical of any online petition. Because no matter how many signatures the petition garners, Speaker of the House John A Boehner is going to face the same justice and consequences as the racist white cop who gunned down an unarmed African American teen; none whatsoever. After all, this is America and there is no equity in the justice system; particularly for a criminal who is a repeat offender named is John Boehner.

A Nonpartisan Ethics Organization Just Named the Worst Governor in America

The Contest Wasn’t Even Close

The nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has declared Wisconsin's Scott Walker the “Worst Governor in America.”
Even though he had fierce competition from fellow Republicans Tom Corbett and Susana Martinez, this is a choice CREW had no trouble making:
In the past he’s employed illegal tactics and abused his power to round up votes, but Scott Walker (R-WI) didn’t have to break a sweat to win this contest. For racking up a record that has veered from unethical conduct to staggering incompetence, CREW’s voters awarded Gov. Walker the title of Worst Governor in America.
Gov. Walker had made his name in 2011 by ramming through unprecedented restrictions on the collective bargaining of public workers, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Gov. Walker also presided over illegal activity and wasteful spending at a public-private partnership that he and the state legislature created to promote economic development.  Additionally, a long-running investigation into Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County executive and his 2010 gubernatorial campaign resulted in criminal charges against several of his aides.  CREW cited these scandals and others in naming Walker to the second edition of its Worst Governors in America report.
“Scandal and embarrassment seem to follow Gov. Walker wherever he goes,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Given his inability to competently handle the most basic responsibilities of his office and willingness to overstep his authority to help his donors, it’s no wonder CREW’s voters recognized him as a singularly terrible American governor.”
Currently, Scott Walker is under fire on multiple fronts. In June, Wisconsin was ranked 49th out of 50 in job creation by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Over the past few weeks, dozens have been arrested in the Wisconsin state capitol for the simple act of singing, under new protest restrictions Walker’s administration put in place. Just yesterday, Walker shocked many of his former political allies by suggesting expanding his union-busting Act 10 to include police officers and firefighters as well.
All this, and Scott Walker is not-so-secretly laying the groundwork for a presidential run.
Read the full report.

Bad News Republicans, Voters Aren’t Going To Care About Hillary Clinton’s Emails

Experts and scholars are giving Republicans some very bad news. Voters are unlikely to give a damn about Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016.
The problem that Republicans have is that the “scandal” that they are trying to gin up can’t be easily explained. The Clinton emails are following the same path as Benghazi and the IRS scandal. Most people aren’t paying attention, and the “scandal” can’t be easily explained in a 30 second ad.
As Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth, wrote:
hillary clinton emailsThe actual public response to the controversy is likely to be a combination of apathy and partisanship. Few Americans are paying attention to any aspect of the campaign at this point. Those who do notice will most likely divide largely along partisan lines, with Democrats interpreting her actions more charitably, especially once they see Republicans attacking Mrs. Clinton on the issue.
Any significant political costs are also likely to be fleeting because the revelations came so early in the campaign cycle. It is hard to believe that a lack of transparency in Mrs. Clinton’s use of email will have a significant effect on a general election that will be held some 20 months from now. As the political scientist John Sides wrote on Twitter, “In October 2016, no persuadable voter will be thinking about Hillary Clinton’s email account.” It’s equally implausible that this revelation will draw a second top-tier candidate into the race for the Democratic nomination given the advantages Mrs. Clinton retains over possible rivals like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
The Clinton email “scandal” is a byproduct of a bored mainstream press who need something to cover on the Democratic side of the 2016 election. There is no real story here. Every political figure uses private email. Scott Walker has his own email scandal in Wisconsin. Jeb Bush received 3 million emails as governor of Florida, 500,000 of them on a private account. Of the 3 million emails that he received, he has only released 250,000. Chris Christie has numerous scandals unfolding in New Jersey and private emails play a role in all of them.
The reason the Republican candidates have been so quiet about the Clinton emails is that they all have their own skeletons in their inbox closets.
Former Sec. Clinton took the steam out of any potential Republican congressional investigation by calling for all of her emails to be released:
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. 
They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.
When voters go into the voting booth on Election Day in 2016, history tells us that they aren’t going to care about Hillary Clinton’s email accounts.
The media jumped on this story because the Democrats have no primary contest to speak of, and the Republican candidates combined have about as much charisma as a cold bowl of oatmeal. The press is looking to drum up a little business, and desperate Republicans are trying to latch on to anything to stop Clinton. It all adds up to a story that the Beltway chattering class will natter on about, but it will mean nothing to voters in 2016.

The NRA Mocks Gabby Giffords Getting Shot

The NRA Mocks Gabby Giffords Getting Shot. Really.Really?!
Not cool.

The corruption runs long and deep ...

POLITICO accidentally points out how insanely conservative the GOP is

Ronald Reagan, via Creative CommonsOn Tuesday, the House passed a clean Department of Homeland Security funding bill, avoiding a looming departmental shutdown while leaving President Obama’s executive actions ...

Faced with a crisis, Brownback reconsiders ‘Obamacare’

by Steve Benen
Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback speaks to supporters in Topeka, Kansas, on Nov. 4, 2014. (Photo by Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters)Plenty of Republican governors, including a few White House hopefuls, are facing alarming budget shortfalls right now, but no one’s in worse shape than Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R). The far-right former senator imposed an “experiment” on his state, and it’s failed spectacularly.
Massive tax breaks Kansas couldn’t afford have led to debt downgrades, weak growth, and state finances in shambles. Making matters worse, confronted with weak statewide job growth and a deepening budget shortfall, a judicial panel recently ruled that Kansas has been “inadequately funding K-12 education.” Brownback, not surprisingly, can’t afford the fix.
How dire have things gotten for the beleaguered Republican governor? The Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas reports that Brownback is starting to reconsider his contempt for the Affordable Care Act (via Daniel Strauss).
Gov. Sam Brownback suggested Wednesday that he might consider proposals to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, provided the Legislature can identify a way to pay for it.
“I’ve been pushing that anything we do on Medicaid expansion has to be 100-percent paid for,” Brownback said during impromptu remarks to the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents, who met at the Statehouse on Wednesday…. Brownback’s comments, which came in response to a question from one of the insurance agents, stood in stark contrast to his remarks on the campaign trail last year when he said he strongly opposed the federal health care law, also known as Obamacare, and criticized his Democratic opponent Paul Davis for supporting it.
To be sure, the governor isn’t officially on board, at least not yet. But Brownback was willing to say yesterday, “I haven’t said we’ll take it. I haven’t said we wouldn’t.” In this case, “it” is Medicaid expansion through the ACA.
And as you’d probably guess, the Kansas Republican has never said anything close to this before.
In a way, this is an important test of Brownback’s fealty to his own ineffective ideology. He’s committed to his failed economic plan and he’s equally committed to opposing the Affordable Care Act. In this case, however, caving to reality on one front (the ACA) would directly help alleviate his principal problem (the massive budget shortfall the governor caused).
So, what’s it going to be, gov? “Obamacare” can help you out of a jam, help thousands of Kansas families, boost state hospitals, and close your budget gap. Do you really hate the president that much that you’d spite yourself on principle?
Postscript: A far-right group in neighboring Missouri welcomed Brownback for an event yesterday. The organization, called Grow Missouri, tweeted before the event, “Honored to have (Brownback) in Jefferson City today talking to (lawmakers) about his tax policies and how we can adopt them.”
Why anyone would want to duplicate Brownback’s failures on purpose remains something of a mystery.

Alabama Republican Bill Allows Discrimination Against Any Couple Who Isn’t White, Christian, And Heterosexual

Image via Buzzfeed“This affects all married individuals, not just those that are LGBT.”

Antonin Scalia’s unintentional humor

by Steve Benen
During oral arguments this morning in the King v. Burwell case, Justice Antonin Scalia heard Solicitor General Don Verrilli warn of dire consequences if the Supreme Court strips millions of families of their health care insurance subsides. The Republican jurist just didn’t believe the consequences would be ignored by the people’s representatives.
It led to an unintentionally amusing exchange:
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia And Hillary Clinton Speak At Law Conference (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty)SCALIA: What about Congress? You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the ­­ you know, the bankruptcy court decision? Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?
VERRILLI: Well, this Congress?
The room, not surprisingly, erupted in laughter. Congratulations, Congress, you’ve literally sunk to the level of a punch line.
But more to the point, Scalia wasn’t kidding. “I don’t care what Congress you’re talking about,” he added. “If the consequences are as disastrous as you say, so many million people ­­ without insurance and whatnot – yes, I think this Congress would act.”
On a purely theoretical level, this is not ridiculous. Major new laws have routinely needed minor technical fixes for generations, and many of these corrections are intended to bring clarity to ambiguous phrases. Under normal circumstances, the King v. Burwell case wouldn’t even exist because Congress would have clarified the ACA structure years ago.
And, again in theory, if the Supreme Court were to decide in this case that the statute needs clarification, a sane, mature, responsible legislative branch would simply add a few words to the ACA law and ensure that consumers receive the same insurance subsidies they’re receiving now.
But that’s all the more reason to understand exactly why Scalia is wrong.
Obviously, this Congress is many things, but no one can characterize the institution as sane, mature, and responsible with a straight face. Lawmakers can just barely keep the government’s lights on, and a year and a half ago, they failed to even do that.
But even putting this aside, Scalia isn’t paying close enough attention to current events. Congress’ Republican majority has said in no uncertain terms that it will, to use Scalia’s phrase, “sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue” and ignore Democratic pleas for a simple fix. Leading GOP lawmakers have committed to this course over and over and over again.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but Scalia believes House Republicans would “act” to rescue the Affordable Care Act despite the fact that GOP lawmakers have voted at least 56 times to repeal all or part of the reform law. To ignore these details is to stick one’s head in the sand.
The problem isn’t just that Congress is a dysfunctional mess on a historic scale, though it is; the problem is that Congress’ majority wants to watch the American health care system burn. They’re just waiting for the Supreme Court to light the match.

Republican Logic ....

OK, so, it does not exist*
*You would have better luck finding Bigfoot and The Loch Ness Monster dancing with Unicorns under a rainbow in a field of gold-dust surrounding a Leprechaun's pot-o-gold than finding Republican logic.

This Republican Gave a Child to a Child Rapist who Raped Her

In Arkansas you can just give your adopted child to another family whenever you want, no questions asked. 
But, ohhh are we asking questions.
Justin Harris
One year after Arkansas state Rep. Justin Harris adopted two girls from an abusive family, he “rehomed” them to a teacher at the Harris-owned preschool called, “Growing dog’s Kingdom Preschool.”  I guess he was sick of the girls or something, he did decide to keep his three biological sons, however. This is the same guy who was sad when the House Education Committee voted down a bill he’d introduced to ban schools from punishing children for religious expression–like to protect the children from atheist teachers who put them in detention for saying “bless you” after a sneeze.
33777008_BN-FRANCIS-CASE-4-9_t300In September 2013 Harris and his wife didn’t take to the little girls they had adopted from foster care, because they “rehomed” the girls to Eric Cameron Francis and his wife before Francis became a teacher at the preschool. In April 2014 the six-year-old girl was raped by her preschool teacher, Francis. Something Rep. Harris said he was “devastated and sickened” by. But Harris failed to mention that he gave this rapist his adopted daughter to look after.
And because in the adoptive world “rehoming” is legal in Arkansas, the Harrises face no responsibility for the girl’s abuse. Morally…politically…that’s another story and hopefully there can be enough of an uprising around this to impact the Harris family.
Thankfully, the two little girls were given to yet another family who appear to actually be humane and they’re planning on adopting the girls and keep them.
A search of the Arkansas Crime Information Center didn’t turn up any previous offenses.
Would that this were the only criticism of Harris. Uh-uh.
Harris fashions himself one of those small government Republicans. The pre-school he and his wife run? Yeah, according to Max Brantley of The Arkansas Times (via The Blue Hog Report), the school has about 150 kids and a budget of $900,000 and all but 6 percent of that budget is covered by state and federal dollars directed towards needy children. The money covers the Harrises’ salary and benefits as well as the mortgage payments.
The kids who attend the Harrises’ school aren’t required to provide proof of citizenship, according to Brantley. Yet, Harris once proposed a bill that would require people to provide proof of citizenship to receive state services, including education at public universities.
In addition to the other things you may want to call Harris, you can also call him a hypocrite of the highest order.

The Republican Who Helped Uganda Create ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Will Be Tried For Crimes Against Humanity

by Jameson Parker 
Most of us go our entire lives without ever standing trial for crimes against humanity. Then again, most of us aren’t notorious bigot Scott Lively, whose life work seems to be to ask the question: “How can I make gay people miserable across the world?”
In the United States Lively’s homophobic messages are largely ignored, and in recent years he has had to endure various setbacks at the state and federal level as equality makes historic gains. Undeterred, Lively has sought out foreign lands where his particular brand of ruthless anti-gay ideas are more accepted. In Uganda, he found a home away from home. During a Christian “workshop” in the African nation he managed to become one of the principal architects behind some of the most retrograde anti-gay legislation on the planet.
Officially titled the “Anti-Homosexuality Act” and more commonly known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, Lively’s vision was nothing less than a roadmap for the total persecution and eradication of homosexuals from Uganda. In Lively’s original design, anyone caught engaging in homosexuality would be executed. A newer bill softened that stance slightly after worldwide condemnation – in the latest version, homosexuals would only be sentenced to life in prison.
Unfortunately for Lively, orchestrating genocide in another country is kind of frowned upon, and in 2012 a lawsuit was filed against Lively in federal court in Massachusetts for crimes against humanity. This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lively’s final request to have it dismissed because, well, the whole genocide thing.
During his lengthy appeals process, one would think that Lively would lay low and avoid saying anything that suggests he isn’t at all sorry for helping Uganda try to kill its gay population. Instead, Lively has continued to double down on his efforts to spread as much homophobia as possible. It’s gotten so bad that the watchdog group Human Rights Campaign dedicated September to chronicle the various ways Lively and his anti-gay ministry were “exporters of hate.
Scott Lively is the head of Abiding Truths Ministry in Springfield, Massachusetts and is known around the world for his notorious work successfully advocating for anti-LGBT laws in Uganda that could send LGBT people to prison for life. In fact, Lively has traveled the world over presenting himself as an expert on LGBT issues, urging lawmakers to crack down on LGBT rights and the right of free expression.
In 2007, Lively wrote in “Letter to the Russian People,” “Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive anti-social impulses.”
And this week, while he awaited his fate at his crimes against humanity trial, Lively told Trunews that homosexuality should be considered “more offensive” than mass killings, because gay people caused the Great Flood that wiped out the human race (technically, God did, and technically there is no evidence of that actually occurring, but who’s counting?).
“Homosexuality is not just another sin,” he said according to Right Wing Watch, “it is the sin that defines rebellion against God, the outer edge of rebellion against God and it is the harbinger of God’s wrath, that’s why the Scripture gives the warning, ‘as in the days of Noah.’”
In a way it makes sense that Lively would be adamant that homosexuality was worse than mass murder, considering that the mass murder of gay people is what he stands accused of trying to achieve.
Lively currently lives in Springfield, Massachusetts, and hopefully soon will have a permanent residency behind bars.

Republican Suggests Wolves Could Help Get Rid Of Homeless People

Don YoungDon Young (R-Alaska) suggested Thursday that the solution to homelessness is wolves.
Young made the comment during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing during an exchange with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. He was arguing that gray wolves should be taken off the endangered species list, criticizing the National Park Service and his congressional colleagues who seek to protect the animals.
“How many of you have got wolves in your district? None. None. Not one," Young said, calling the gray wolf "a predator." 

McConnell Is Now Telling States To Ignore Obama’s Carbon Emission Rules

The majority leader is continuing his crusade against the Obama administration's regulatory plan to fight climate change.

Cities Are Quietly Reviving A Jim Crow-Era Trick To Suppress Latino Votes

A tactic used to suppress African American votes is now being turned on the growing Latino population.