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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah we're talking to you ...!  
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New York Doorman Fired For Being Too Nice

New York Doorman Fired For Being Too Nice
In this world of Comcast, Time Warner and other customer service nightmares, being nice is no longer part of companies’ business models.

Lynch Has The Votes To Be Attorney General



North Carolina Republicans using junk science to keep students from learning about Plan B

Woman with birth control pills (Shutterstock)
Six Republicans introduced House Bill 596 last week. The measure updates existing legislation requiring that birth control methods be covered alongside “the positive benefits of abstinence until marriage and the risks of premarital sexual activity.”

Climate Denier Cabal Doesn’t Want To Be Known As A ‘Climate Denier’ Cabal Anymore

Wisconsin Republicans, Not Satisfied With Right-To-Work, Prepare Another Attack On Workers

Florida's Rick Scott Flip-Flops On Medicaid Expansion Again, Now Opposes It

rick scott sad
For the second time since he became Governor of Florida, Rick Scott has flip-flopped on his position regarding Medicaid expansion in the state. Rick Scott campaigned as an anti-Obamacare crusader in 2010.
However, in February 2013, facing re-election in 2014, Scott reversed course and came out in favor of accepting Medicaid expansion for Florida. On Monday, Scott reversed course yet again, and now he once again opposes Medicaid expansion.
Not surprisingly, Scott blames Obama for his change of heart. Florida is engaged in an ongoing dispute with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) over Low-Income Pool (LIP) funding program that helps states pay for uncompensated care.
Last week, those negotiations took a bizarre turn when the Scott administration accused CMS negotiator Elliot Fishman of suspending the talks, although Fishman was apparently simply taking vacation days for Passover.
In the midst of the dispute over LIP funding, Governor Scott has seized upon the controversy, to reverse his position on Medicaid expansion. While skeptics will note that Scott’s commitment to the program was shaky to begin with, Scott is attempting to spin the narrative to argue that he is cancelling his support for Medicaid expansion, and “its all Obama’s fault”. Well, at least that appears to be his position today. What he will think tomorrow is anybody’s guess.
Scott’s decision to oppose Medicaid expansion in Florida puts at least 800,000 Floridians at risk of being unable to pay for their health care. Voters who re-elected him in 2014 under the assumption that he would approve Medicaid expansion took him at his word.
However, Scott has proven time and again that his word has no value since he will alter his positions at his own convenience, with little regard for his constituents. Scott’s about face on Medicaid expansion will have damaging and far-reaching consequences for the residents of Florida, who put their trust in him. Given his track record for dishonesty, they should have known better.

Obama Sets Netanyahu Straight While Debunking The Myth Of Regime Change

President Obama isn’t playing games. The President debunked the myth of regime change while letting Netanyahu know that his condition for a good deal is never going to happen during an interview with NPR.
The President answered a question that went to the heart of Netanyahu and the Republican argument for “regime change” in Iran, “The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment. I want to return to this point: We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself to Germany or Sweden or France then there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.”
President Obama’s underlying point was related to the fundamental flaw in the neocon regime change argument. Republicans and Netanyahu have argued for years that regime change is the way to deal with Iran, but as Obama made clear, there is no guarantee that the next regime in Iran will be any better than the current one.
The goal of these negotiations is not to change Iran. It is to prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons. Netanyahu is trying to set up an impossible goal in order to wreck the negotiations.
Netanyahu has wasted any influence that he might have had, and has been reduced to offering criticism from the peanut gallery. President Obama is clearly in the driver’s seat. Netanyahu has become a bit player in this story. The Israeli Prime Minister won reelection at the cost of diminishing his power on the world stage.

The Iran Nuclear Deal Is A Major Win For American Diplomacy

The Truth Be Told

Link Dump

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Jeb Bush Committed A Felony By Lying On His Florida Voter Registration Form

The fact that Jeb Bush lied on his 2009 voter registration form is no laughing matter. In fact, it is a 3rd degree felony in Florida to submit false information on a voter registration form.
The New York Times reported that Jeb Bush listed his ethnicity as Hispanic on his 2009 voter registration form:
Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate, was born in Texas and hails from one of America’s most prominent political dynasties. But on at least one occasion, it appears he got carried away with his appeal to Spanish-speaking voters and claimed he actually was Hispanic.
In a 2009 voter-registration application, obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Mr. Bush marked Hispanic in the field labeled “race/ethnicity.”
A Bush spokeswoman could offer no explanation for the characterization.
While the media is giving Bush a free pass on lying about his ethnicity, there is a clause on the form that Bush signed that states, “CRIMINAL OFFENSE: It is a 3rd degree felony to submit false information. Maximum penalties are $5,000 and/or 5 years in prison.”
Jeb Bush is not Hispanic. The all but announced 2016 Republican presidential candidate committed a crime when he lied on his voter registration form.
Republicans criticized Elizabeth Warren for claiming that she was part Native American on a job application, so the hypocrisy should be entertaining to watch as they scramble to defend one of their own who lied under oath.
None of this disqualified Jeb Bush from running for president, but his voter registration form does shed light on the combination of hubris and entitlement that is palpable around Bush as he prepares to launch his 2016 campaign.
Jeb Bush committed a crime in Florida. His representatives can’t explain it, but voters should be asking questions.

Florida Democrats Tell Jeb To Lawyer Up After Bush Lied On Voter Registration Form

Jeb Bush is treating his claim that he is Hispanic like a big joke, but Florida Democrats are suggesting that Bush might want to call his lawyer after he submitted false information on his voter registration form.
The Florida Democratic Party tweeted:
The Bush campaign (in waiting) is treating the story like a big joke. Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said, “It’s unclear where the paperwork error was made. The Governor’s family certainly got a good laugh out of it. He is not Hispanic.”
A paperwork error? Jeb Bush signed the voter registration form. The Bush people are trying sell that somebody else screwed up the voter registration form that Bush filled out and signed.
The same Republicans who are trying to make voting more difficult for Hispanics and other minorities are happy to look the other way when a Bush is involved. If a person who wasn’t a Bush made the same mistake, one can be fairly certain that Republicans would use the inconsistent information to deny a Hispanic voter their vote.
Bush’s felonious false information also indirectly highlights the thorny issue of his support for immigration reform. The (future) Bush campaign is trying to downplay their candidate’s gung-ho support for comprehensive immigration reform.
Republican insiders are already worried that Jeb Bush is going to crash and burn. The lukewarm reception that he has received from Republican voters has created a wide open 2016 field for the Republican nomination. The double standard that Republicans are applying to Bush is a slap in the face to the millions of minority voters who have had their votes suppressed by Republicans in the last twp presidential elections.

Distrust Of Jeb Will Only Grow After Latest Bush Blunder Exposed

The revelation that Jeb Bush marked his race/ethnicity on a voter registration form as Hispanic is likely to further the rift between Bush and hardcore wingnuts who already have difficulty trusting the former Florida Governor.
After the Monday morning edition of The New York Times reported that Jeb Bush marked down “Hispanic” for his race/ethnicity on a 2009 voter registration form, the fallout started to materialize on blogs and social media almost immediately. Submitting false information on a voter registration form is also a felony.
While it seems unlikely that Bush will actually be prosecuted for falsifying his registration form, his actions could still have serious political consequences, even if they do not result in legal consequences. Not just from liberals who might seize on this opportunity, with good reason, to portray Jeb Bush as dishonest, but also from voices of dissent within his own cabal.
Even in the best case scenario for Bush, if his error was simply a careless, but unintentional mistake, it is still the type of inaccuracy that could prove politically costly for the former Florida Governor. Bush is already distrusted by the wingnut Republican base. Wingnuts, in particular, are concerned that he is too soft on immigration.
Lunatic fringe xenophobes have long charged Jeb Bush with pandering to the Hispanic community, instead of standing firm on wingnut lack of principles. The Nativist wing of the Republican Cabal is likely to see Bush’s blunder, as further evidence that he is bending over backwards to ingratiate himself to Hispanic immigrants, at the expense of white voters.
Bush’s “error” feeds into an existing narrative on the lunatic fringe that Bush doesn’t stand up for white people enough. For example, in February 2015, a wingnut blogger accused Bush of firing Chief Technology Officer Ethan Czahor for “tweeting while White”. The absurd implication was that Czahor was fired not for tweeting racist comments but simply because he was white.
The wingnut hate-site Breitbart.com posted a Monday headline titled “Jeb Bush Registered As A Hispanic Voter In 2009″. The piece itself was fairly measured. At one point the author, Charlie Spiering, argued:
Ethnic identity “confusion” can be crippling to a political campaign, especially if it can be demonstrated that it was done for political or societal gain.
However, wingnuts remarking in the comment section, sounded a much harsher tone. A person who went by the name “The realpatriot013jrd” commented:
Trying to buy favor with hispanics, Jeb??? ha. You don’t look hispanic…ha. You (sic) pedigree is NOT hispanic, Jeb….how funny and a ”not so subtle” attempt to change your heritage…..
A comment from “BG” simply read:
Well, we all know were Jub (sic) Bush’s loyalties lies and it does not lie with the country of his birth.
IronicFist wrote:
Well that’s awkward. A 50 – something year old guy with major identity issues. If he’s white on the outside but brown on the inside, would that make him a “hot pocket?
In wingnut circles, Bush’s apparent attempt to claim himself to be Hispanic is not being well-received. The lunatic fringe would much rather support a Hispanic candidate trying to pass as an anti-immigrant white guy, like Ted Cruz, than back a white guy trying to pass as Hispanic. Jeb Bush is deeply distrusted by the lunatic fringe wingnut wing of his cabal. With Bush’s registration blunder exposed, conservative voters will be more convinced than ever that their suspicions surrounding Jeb Bush are justified.

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Why The christian religio-wingnuts Will Never Recover From Indiana

Here are 6 modern-day christian terrorist groups you never hear about

by Alex Henderson
Just because they don't get as much coverage as ISIL or Boko Haram doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
Fire on water (Shutterstock)The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently released an in-depth report on terrorism in the United States. Covering April 2009 to February 2015, the report (titled “The Age of the Wolf”) found that during that period, “more people have been killed in America by non-islamic domestic terrorists than jihadists.” The SPLC asserted that “the jihadist threat is a tremendous one,” pointing out that al-Qaeda’s attacks of September 11, 2001 remain the deadliest in U.S. history. But the study also noted that the second deadliest was carried out not by islamists, but by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995—and law enforcement, the SPLC stressed, are doing the public a huge disservice if they view terrorism as an exclusively islamist phenomenon.
The report, in a sense, echoed the assertions that President Barack Obama made when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in February and stressed that Muslims don’t have the market cornered on religious extremism. In the minds of lunatic fringe wingnut Republicans, Obama committed the ultimate sin by daring to mention that christianity has a dark side and citing the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition as two examples from the distant past. Obama wasn’t attacking christianity on the whole but rather, was making the point that just as not all christians can be held responsible for the horrors of the Inquisition, not all Muslims can be blamed for the violent extremism of ISIL (the Islamic State, Iraq and Syria), the Taliban, al-Qaeda or Boko Haram. But Obama certainly didn’t need to look 800 or 900 years in the past to find examples of extreme christianists committing atrocities. Violent christianists are a reality in different parts of the world—including the United States—and the fact that the mainstream media don’t give them as much coverage as ISIS or Boko Haram doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
Below are six extreme christianist groups that have shown their capacity for violence and fanaticism.
1. The Army of Dog
A network of violent christianists that has been active since the early 1980s, the Army of Dog openly promotes killing abortion providers—and the long list of terrorists who have been active in that organization has included Paul Jennings Hill (who was executed by lethal injection in 2003 for the 1994 killings of abortion doctor John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett), John C. Salvi (who killed two receptionists when he attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1994) and Eric Rudolph, who is serving life in prison for his role in the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996 and other terrorist acts. Rudolph, in fact, has often been exalted as a christian hero on the Army of Dog’s website, as have fellow Army of Dog members such as Scott Roeder (who is serving life without parole for murdering Wichita, Kansas-based abortion doctor George Tiller in 2009), Shelley Shannon (who attempted to kill Tiller in 2003) and Michael Frederick Griffin (who is serving a life sentence for the 1993 killing of Dr. David Gunn, an OB-GYN, in Pensacola, Florida).
Although primarily an anti-abortion organization, the Army of Dog also has a history of promoting violence against gays. And one of the terrorist acts that Rudolph confessed to was bombing a lesbian bar in Atlanta in 1997.
2. Eastern Lightning, a.k.a. the Cult of the AlmightyDog
Founded in Henan Province, China in 1990, Eastern Lightning (also known as the Cult of the Almighty Dog or the Cult of the Gospel’s Kingdom) is a christianist cult with an end-time/apocalypse focus: Eastern Lightning believes that the world is coming to an end, and in the meantime, its duty is to slay as many demons as possible. While most christianists have an extremely patriarchal viewpoint (much like their islamist counterparts) and consider women inferior to men, Eastern Lightning believe that jesus christ will return to Earth in the form of a Chinese woman. But they are quite capable of violence against women: in May 2014, for example, members of the cult beat a 37-year-old woman named Wu Shuoyan to death in a McDonalds in Zhaoyuan, China when she refused to give them her phone number. Eastern Lightning members Zhang Lidong and his daughter, Zhang Fan, were convicted of murder for the crime and executed in February. In a 2014 interview in prison, Lidong expressed no remorse when he said of Shuoyan, “I beat her with all my might and stamped on her too. She was a demon. We had to destroy her.”
Eastern Lightning’s other acts of violence have ranged from the killing of a grammar school student in 2010 (in retaliation, police believe, for one of the child’s relatives wanting to leave the cult) to cult member Min Yongjun using a knife to attack an elderly woman and a group of schoolchildren in Chenpeng in 2012. christian covens are not exempt from Eastern Lightning’s fanaticism: in 2002, cult members kidnapped 34 members of a christian coven called the China Gospel Fellowship and held them captive for two months in the hope of forcing them to join their cult. Although mainly active in the communist People’s Republic of China, Eastern Lighting has been trying to expand its membership in Hong Kong.
3. The lord’s resistance army (LRA)
The mainstream media have had much to say about the islamist brutality of Boko Haram, but one terrorist group they haven’t paid nearly as much attention to is the Lord’s Resistance Army—which was founded by Joseph Kony (a radical christianist) in Uganda in 1987 and has called for the establishment of a severe christian fundamentalist government in that country. The LRA, according to Human Rights Watch, has committed thousands of killings and kidnappings—and along the way, its terrorism spread from Uganda to parts of the Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. The word “jihadist” is seldom used in connection with the LRA, but in fact, the LRA’s tactics are not unlike those of ISIS or Boko Haram. And the governments Kony hopes to establish in Sub-Saharan Africa would implement a christianist equivalent of islamic sharia law.
4. The National Liberation Front of Tripura
India is not only a country of hindus and sikhs, but also, of muslims, buddhists, catholics and protestants. Most of India’s christians are peaceful, but a major exception is the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT). Active in the state of Tripura in Northeastern India since 1989, NLFT is a paramilitary christianist movement that hopes to secede from India and establish a christian fundamentalist government in Tripura. NLFT has zero tolerance for any delusion other than christianity, and the group has repeatedly shown a willingness to kill, kidnap or torture hindus who refuse to be converted to its extreme brand of protestant fundamentalism.
In 2000, NLFT vowed to kill anyone who participated in Durga Puja (an annual hindu festival) And in May 2003, at least 30 hindus were murdered during one of NLFT’s killing sprees.
5. The Phineas Priesthood
White supremacist groups don’t necessarily have a religious orientation: some of them welcome atheists as long as they believe in white superiority. But the christian identity movement specifically combines white supremacist ideology with christianist terrorism, arguing that violence against non-WASPs is ordained by Dog and that white Anglo Saxon protestants are Dog’s chosen people. The modern christian identity movement in the U.S. has been greatly influenced by the Ku Klux Klan—an organization that has committed numerous acts of terrorism over the years—and in the 1970s, new christian identity groups like the Aryan Nations and the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the lord (CSA) emerged. Another christian identity group of recent decades has been the Phineas Priesthood, whose members have been involved in violent activities ranging from abortion clinic bombings to bank robberies (mainly in the Pacific Northwest). On November 28, 2014, Phineas Priesthood member Larry Steven McQuilliams went on a violent rampage in Austin, Texas—where he fired over 100 rounds at various targets (including a federal courthouse, the local Mexican Consulate building and a police station) before being shot and killed by police.
6. The concerned 'christians'
One of the ironic things about some christianists is the fact that although they believe that jews must be converted to christianity, they consider themselves staunch supporters of Israel. And some of them believe in violently forcing all muslims out of Israel. The concerned 'christians', a christianist doomsday cult that was founded by pastor Monte “Kim” Miller in Denver in the 1980s, alarmed Colorado residents when, in 1998, at least 60 of its members suddenly quit their jobs, abandoned their homes and went missing—and it turned out there was reason for concern. In 1999, Israeli officials arrested 14 members of the concerned 'christians' in Jerusalem and deported them from Israel because they suspected them of plotting terrorist attacks against muslims. One likely target, according to Israeli police, was Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque—the same mosque that was targeted in 1969 (when a christianist from Australia named Denis Michael Rohan unsuccessfully tried to destroy it by arson) and, Israeli police suspect, was a likely target in 2014 (when Adam Everett Livix, a christianist from Texas, was arrested by Israeli police on suspicion of plotting to blow up muslim holy sites in Jerusalem).
In 2008, Denver’s KUSA-TV (an NBC affiliate) reported that members of the concerned 'christians' had gone into hiding and that Miller hadn’t been seen in ten years.