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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Obama Makes History By Becoming The First President Since 1958 To Formally Meet With Cuba

President Obama’s meeting with Raul Castro made history because it was the first time that a U.S. president formally met with the leader of Cuba since 1958.
According to pool reports, the president said in part:
“This is obviously an historic meeting. The history between the United States and Cuba is complicated, he said. After 50 years of policy that had not worked it was time for us to try something new. ‎We are now in a position to move on a path toward the future.”

President Obama stressed that there will be disagreements between the two countries, but that it was time to turn the page and develop a new relationship between the two countries.
The Obama/Castro meeting was historic because it marked the first time since 1958 that a U.S. president formally met with the leader of Cuba.
Sen. Marco Rubio related to the advancement in international diplomacy by calling it ridiculous. Rubio said, “It’s ridiculous. I don’t see how they can rationalize taking them off the list, other than the president’s desire to achieve a legacy issue that he’s the one that opened up Cuba and changed fifty years of policy.”
The Cold War is over, and communism is dead. The only thing ridiculous about President Obama moving the U.S./Cuba relationship into the 21st Century is the Republican opposition.
President Obama was well on the way towards building a legacy of note long before the thawing of relations with Cuba and the Iran nuclear deal. Obama’s presidency has been historic on many levels, but changing the relationship with Cuba is the sort of bold presidential step that is remembered for generations.

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Launch Contains The Message That Republicans Fear Most

Hillary Clinton’s video launch of her 2016 presidential campaign contained the message that Republicans fear the most. The government is supposed to work for all Americans.
The Clinton video placed a heavy emphasis on ordinary Americans of all ages, races, and both genders. Hispanic voters were prominently featured. There was a nod to gay marriage at 52 second mark. The most interesting aspect of the video was that Hillary Clinton doesn’t make an appearance in the video until 1:31 of the 2:18 video when she said, “I’m getting ready to do something too. I’m running for president. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Every day Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”
The message that regular people deserve a champion in government runs contrary to the Republican mantra that government should only work for those who have the most money.
In the post-Citizens United political landscape, the message that people can beat unlimited campaign contributions from anonymous wealthy donors is a powerful one. Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign has a clearly populist theme. There is none of the “in it to win it” messaging that hindered her run for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
The Clinton campaign seems to understand and has embraced the leftward movement of the Democratic Party. Republicans are terrified of the message that the government is supposed to work for everyone. President Obama won re-election by campaigning on middle-class economics.
Hillary Clinton looks to be following in his footsteps, as she has come out the gate with a message that attacks the GOP’s Achilles heel.

Hillary’s First Message out of the Gate is a Strong One


Hillary Clinton’s first message to her many supporters as an official presidential candidate is a strong one. The first 90 seconds of the 138-second video feature a broad…

Tucker Carlson Compares Democratic Primary To A Soviet Grocery Store, 'You Get One Choice'

Tucker Carlson Compares Democratic Primary To A Soviet Grocery Store, 'You Get One Choice'Fox News, Fox & Friends, April 11, 2015. Tucker Carlson and guests with the latest round of Hillary Clinton bashing just ahead of her formerly announcing her candidacy this weekend.

Obama Obliterates McCain, McConnell And The Republican Cabal For Undermining America

President Obama summit of the Americas
President Obama called out Mitch McConnell, John McCain, and all of the Senate Republicans who are actively trying to sabotage his foreign policy on the world stage.
The President said:
Last comment I’m going to make on this. When I hear some, like Senator McCain recently, suggest that our Secretary of State, John Kerry, who served in the United States Senate, a Vietnam veteran, who’s provided exemplary service to this nation, is somehow less trustworthy in the interpretation of what’s in a political agreement than the Supreme Leader of Iran — that’s an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries. And we’re seeing this again and again. We saw it with the letter by the 47 senators who communicated directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran — the person that they say can’t be trusted at all — warning him not to trust the United States government.

We have Mitch McConnell trying to tell the world, oh, don’t have confidence in the U.S. government’s abilities to fulfill any climate change pledge that we might make. And now we have a senator suggesting that our Secretary of State is purposely misinterpreting the deal and giving the Supreme Leader of Iran the benefit of the doubt in the interpretations.

That’s not how we’re supposed to run foreign policy, regardless of who’s President or Secretary of State. We can have arguments, and there are legitimate arguments to be had. I understand why people might be mistrustful of Iran. I understand why people might oppose the deal — although the reason is not because this is a bad deal per se, but they just don’t trust any deal with Iran, and may prefer to take a military approach to it.
But when you start getting to the point where you are actively communicating that the United States government and our Secretary of State is somehow spinning presentations in a negotiation with a foreign power, particularly one that you say is your enemy, that’s a problem. It needs to stop.
The President directly called out the Majority Leader of the Senate and the 47 Republican senators who signed the letter to Iran for actively trying to undermine his foreign policy.
President Obama was correct. This does need to stop, but it won’t because in part the Republican tactics are trying to ruin American foreign policy ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Republicans have shattered the rule that partisan politics stop at the U.S. border.
Republicans think that their path to the White House in 2016 is to sabotage American foreign policy. President Obama is standing up and exposing what the opposition is trying to do. Obama isn’t sitting back and taking it. The message to McConnell, McCain, and others is that this president is going to finish out his time in office swinging.

Lindsey Graham Slams Republican Policies Slowing The Economy

Lindsey Graham Slams Republican Policies Slowing The Economy
Lindsey Graham explains why wingnut policies are just wrong.
Republican Policies Slowing The Economy

Jeb Bush Takes a Swing at Obama Administration, Forgets His Brother Was Pretender

From the "Public Enemies" Department:

On the eve of Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated announcement, it seems every announced and speculative Republican cabal candidate for pretender is fighting for a ray of sunlight. Former Florida governor…

The Truth Be Told


‘You have to be ready to eliminate the threat’: Fearmongering and Republican Cabal groveling at NRA convention

Convention goers check out handguns equipped with Crimson Trace laser sights at the 143rd NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 25, 2014 [AFP]
At NRA convention, potential Republican cabal hopefuls held forth on ISIL, the bible, terrorism and Hillary Clinton.

Koch Brothers Astroturf Director Fails Again With “Millions Of Montanans” Tweet

Montanans may not be fans of President Obama, but they also are suspicious of organizations funded by out of state billionaires.…

Yeah, Right


Rand Paul Tells 95% White Republican Crowd That Democrats Have Failed Minorities

Rand Paul told minorities that the Democratic Party has failed them while speaking to a crowd that was 95% white in Nevada.
The dean of Nevada political coverage Jon Ralston tweeted:
Jon Ralston @RalstonReports 
.@randpaul says Dems have failed minorities, points out income gaps, states run by Dems. By coincidence, this crowd is 95 percent white.
Ralston also tweeted a picture of the crowd as Paul made his entrance:
View image on Twitter
Jon Ralston @RalstonReports
It's Liberty Time! Baba O'Reilly playing!
The problem is obvious. Rand Paul is telling a crowd that is almost all white that the Democratic Party has failed minorities. Now is a good time to point out that Rand is selling himself as the candidate that can attract minorities and young voters. What was missing from the crowd in his speech today? Minorities and young voters.
Rand PaulThe mainstream media are doing their best to sell Rand Paul as a legitimate candidate, just like they tried to sell Ted Cruz as a legitimate candidate after he jumped into the 2016 presidential race. This is part of the flavor of the week coverage that all of the Republican presidential candidates have been getting since the 2012 election cycle.
Rand Paul is telling white Republicans what they want to hear about Democrats and minorities. If this is Paul’s version of attracting minority voters, it isn’t going to end well.
The Republican solution for minorities is the same as it is for the rest of the country that isn’t rich. You’re on your own. Paul disguises his corporatist agenda with talk of liberty and freedom. A white candidate was talking to white voters about how the opposition party has failed minority voters is the perfect encapsulation of everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.

Even Republican and Independent Women Have a Serious Problem with Rand Paul

rand-paul-fns-2Rand Paul’s problems with women aren’t imaginary and contrary to the conservative narrative after his disastrous announcement rollout, these problems with women were not manufactured by the Democratic Party.
Just 11% of Republican and Independent women said they would seriously consider supporting Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in a new Bloomberg Politics national poll.
Just 11 percent of Republican and independent women in the poll said they’d seriously consider supporting Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky who announced his presidential bid last week, compared to 22 percent of men. No other Republican contender has a worse spread.
In the age of legitimate rape and binders full of women, it’s quite an achievement to have a worse spread with women than any other Republican, but the Republican Senator built that the old-fashioned way, with hard work and diligence. It didn’t help when Paul referred to women’s rights “details” in an attempt to dodge a question asking if he would support exceptions for his abortion position for women who were raped or if the life of the mother was at risk.
However, “The news is not all bad for Paul, and in fact, when Republicans and independents were asked whom they would potentially consider supporting, Paul topped the field with 58 percent.”
So the candidate who doesn’t have a chance of winning a general election tops the field with Republicans and Independents. That sounds about right for the modern day Republican Party.
The King of the GOP Rush Limbaugh, the man who calls their platform and humiliates those who dare to disagree, blamed Savannah Guthrie for Rand Paul’s condescending and petulant behavior toward female journalists, saying she is a “radical” “partisan firebrand that anybody else on the left is.”
Rush also informed his listeners that the War on Women is not real and the blowback against Paul is all part of the Democrats and the media switching from race wars to gender wars:
This is the beginning of the process whereby the Democrats and the Drive-By Media switch from the race wars that have been going on to the gender wars. It’s an attempt, in a mild way — maybe not so mild — to keep alive (or maybe “revive” would be the word) the so-called Republican War on Women. Now, the fact is, there is no gender war. There never was a War on Women. It doesn’t exist. The Republican Party does not hate women. It’s absolutely asinine.
So says Rush, but survey (aka, closer to reality) disagrees.
According to Rush, the Democrats manufactured the fact that women didn’t like seeing Rand Paul tell Savannah Guthrie how to do her job:
But that’s what they are now trying to set up, and that is for the benefit of Hillary Clinton. They want to have husbands fighting wives by the end of all of this. Somewhere in the upper levels of the Democrat Regime, the Democrat Party, the message has gone out: “Race is out and gender is in because Hillary is a white woman,” and that’s what this really is all about. F. Chuck Todd, the first thing he did was come to her defense. “Oh, a poor defenseless woman!”
The folks at Glenn Beck’s the Blaze were quick to refuse to hold the Senator responsible for his own behavior, whining immediately, “Dems’ Battle Plan Against Rand Paul: Say That He Has a Problem With Women”.
And it wasn’t just the fringe. The Huffington Post covered Fox News laughing about the idea that Rand Paul has a problem with women:
Fox News had a good laugh Thursday night at the accusation that Kentucky senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul is short-tempered with female interviewers.
Host Megyn Kelly defended Paul, saying that critics are trying to turn Paul’s general problem with media interviews into a “gender issue.”
Yes, it’s always the “critics” and the “liberal media” and the “Dems” who are out to get Republicans by reporting or using facts against them.
It is a fact that Senator Rand Paul is “testy” (aka, petulant) with the media. But he definitely looked like a petulant teenager when he blamed Savannah Guthrie for reading his own positions out loud and asking him to account for the shifts. He looked even worse when he instructed her about how to do her job, a job he has never done – while live, on the air. He used his presumed superiority over her to talk down to her as if she were the idiot in the room. (Hint: She was not.)
Republicans can pretend they don’t have issues with women all they want. Women do not enjoy watching Savannah Guthrie get mansplained, they don’t enjoy sexism in the work place, and they aren’t claiming to be victims. Holding Rand Paul accountable for his behavior is just what grown ups do. His behavior was offensive to many women. Women are not impressed. The polls show it.
Even Republican and Independent women are not impressed. So Republicans can rail against reality all they want. Railing ain’t winning.

Poll Finds Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Religious Based Anti-Gay Bigotry

A solid majority of Americans oppose discrimination against gays and lesbians, even if it is based on religious beliefs.…

Iowa man who sent ‘ignorant childish bullshit’ letter containing fake ‘anthrax’ to Des Moines gay bar arrested

Eric Reece Wiethorn - Des Moines Police Department
“I opened it up, white powder popped out, and it was an inflammatory letter. ‘Hate fags, gonna blow this up, gonna blow that up, gonna roast you all after pride’,” Eikleberry explained. “Just ignorant childish bullshit.”

Dana Bash Grills Rand Paul For Libertarian Hypocrisy: Freedom Ends 'When It Comes To Marriage'

Dana Bash Grills Rand Paul For Libertarian Hypocrisy: Freedom Ends 'When It Comes To Marriage' Republican pretender candidate Rand Paul tried in a recent interview to square his libertarian ideology with his desire to appeal to conservative voters who do not approve of same-sex marriage.

S.C. Says Constitution Allows Discrimination Against Women So Gay Discrimination Is Okay

The crux of South Carolina's argument in support of discriminating against gays is that if it constitutionally permissible to discriminate against women, then it is perfectly legal to…
Shame is a human emotion manifest by a painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous done by oneself. There are human beings who lack that feeling and are typically blatant racists or, really, any kind of blatant bigot. Americans have seen a preponderance of shameless bigots since the people elected an African American man as President, and besides openly championing discrimination against people of color, the LGBT community, and non-Christians, women have been singled out as pariahs the religious patriarchs have openly targeted for second class status.
Since it has become a badge of honor among Republicans to blatantly discriminate against women in the workplace, reproductive rights, access to healthcare, and equal rights, it was little surprise that South Carolina Republicans used an anti-women agenda as reason to discriminate against gays. As the Supreme Court is beginning to hear arguments for and against gays and lesbians marrying the person they love, different groups on each side of the argument have filed ‘amicus briefs’ with the Court advocating for a ruling in their favor.
South Carolina Republicans joined the fray and filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending their right to openly discriminate against the gay community based on the long history of Republicans discriminating against women. The crux of South Carolina’s argument in support of discriminating against gays is that if it constitutionally permissible to discriminate against women, then it is perfectly legal to discriminate against gays. Where most people would never admit they target women for discrimination, and get away with it, South Carolina Republicans shamelessly used it as legal precedent to express their religion-based bigotry toward the gay community.
In the amicus brief filed by South Carolina’s attorney general against gays having the right to marry the person they love, the bigot argued that the High Court should follow the “original sexist intent” of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. He claims the authors of the 14th Amendment intended to maintain discriminatory laws against women being equal with men under the law, so it is all the legal precedent religious bigots need to discriminate against gays. Yes, it is as despicable an argument as any evangelical bigot has come up with thus far, but it is also relatively accurate; if it was still 1868.
The problem is that when the 14th Amendment became part of the Constitution, it did not include equality for women any more than it provided true equality under the law for people of color. In a sense, if the so-called ‘constitutional originalists‘ on the High Court rule according to what religious patriarchs intended in the 14th Amendment, then yes, gays have no more claim to equal rights under the law in 2015 than women did in 1868. According to congressional records, the dirty patriarchs drafting the amendment were fiercely adamant that according to the 10th Amendment, states could “not be forced to recognize married women as independent human beings with rights of their own.” They were the subservient property of their husbands and simple birth machines relegated to cleaning chamber pots and preparing meals.
The primary author of the amendment, a patriarchal douchebag named John Bingham gave his unwavering assurance to other patriarchal congressmen that they “need not be alarmed that the amendment would alter the ‘condition’ of married women.” In fact, another anti-woman cretin, Samuel Shellagarger, promised that under the amendment’s ‘equal protection‘ clause, the 10th Amendment still guaranteed that “states could deprive women of the right to sue, enter into contracts, or testify in a court of law;” women were already denied the right to vote because of their “condition.”
Since the 14th Amendment has been in effect, the High Court has often held that states laws putting women at a clear disadvantage receive “heightened scrutiny” under the equal protection clause; including the current conservative court that one hopes would strike down laws forbidding married women from owning property, voting, or entering into legal contracts. However, one seriously wonders how much the current conservative patriarchs on the Court are willing to allow women, much less gays, their equal rights according to recent rulings that disallowed women from filing lawsuits as a class, or use contraceptives without their evangelical and Catholic employers’ permission.
The frightening aspect of how the conservatives on the court interpret South Carolina’s amicus brief is that they may adopt and restore the sexist and patriarchal “originalist” interpretation of the 14th Amendment and not only disallow gays from enjoying equal protections under the law, but open the door for a rash of Republican state-sponsored sexism the likes American women have never witnessed.
It is worth noting that most Republicans do not support women choosing their own reproductive rights, receiving equal pay for equal work or even entering the workforce, and in many cases believe women should be sequestered at home in constant birthing mode and in servitude to the man of the house. These beliefs did not originate with the authors of the 14th Amendment, they are longstanding biblical principles Republicans still adhere to in 21st Century America.
That South Carolina would have the temerity to use an originalist interpretation of the 14th Amendment, and its clearly anti-women tenets, as precedent to discriminate against the gay community is not only shameless, it informs just how bigoted Republicans are toward gays. One hopes the conservatives on the Supreme Court reject South Carolina’s blatantly anti-women argument to justify discriminating against LGBT people, but with the so-called “constitutional originalists” on the Court, it is entirely possible they will reject the “broader constitutional principles” of the 14th Amendment and adopt the 1868 concept that, Hell no, all Americans are not equal under the law; particularly if they are women or gay.

Idaho Republicans kill bill to track child support deadbeats over fears of Sharia law

Rep. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood via sherylnuxoll.com
Republicans agreed, including Rep. Kathy Sims (R) who said, “We don’t need to invite foreign law in Idaho,” leading the House Judiciary and Rules Committee to shoot the bill down.

'Christians', Walmart and Murder

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