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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah we're talking to you ...!  
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The Eight Different Types Of Republicans, And How To Recognize Them

Liberal radio host Thom Hartmann says that the Republican party is made up of three types of people: the rich, shills for the rich, and suckers. That’s an accurate description, but not detailed enough. Each of those categories can be broken down further, to give a more precise picture of the makeup of the modern Republican party.
With that in mind, here are the eight types of people who currently call themselves Republicans.
1. The Oligarchs
Example: Sheldon Adelson
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson is one of the oligarchs financing the Republican party.
The oligarchs are the financial backers of the party. They rarely seek the limelight, but sometimes find themselves thrust into it. They are the “kingmakers,” thanks in large part to the Citizens United decision. Witness the Koch brothers’ recent vetting of announced and likely Republican presidential candidates, trying to settle on the one who will receive a massive infusion of their cash. Ditto Sheldon Adelson, who spent $93 million on the 2012 election, according to the Washington Post. Those are the biggest examples, but there are many more.
2. The Billionaire Industrialists
Example: Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney is one of the billionaires who want to be president
This group of Republicans could also fit into the category of oligarchs, but, unlike the oligarchs, they don’t want to be kingmakers, they want to be king. They see America as belonging to people like them: wealthy, and powerful. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, these guys will tell you that it’s just because you didn’t work hard enough, or weren’t creative enough. Never mind that most of these guys — Romney, Donald Trump, etc. — inherited wealth, positions of power, or both. If you’re poor, or middle class, and struggling, well, just work harder, and more. Sleep is overrated, anyway.
3. The Corporate Shills
Example: The Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is just one of many right wing think tanks
There are so many individuals shilling for the oligarchs, and financed by them, that it is easier to talk about the organizations they work for, than to identify each person. The Cato Institute, which describes itself as “a public policy research organization — a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace,” is just one of dozens of these groups.
According to Forbes, Charles and David Koch (see “Oligarchs” above) have contributed millions to the Cato Institute. It’s almost laughable to read Cato’s description of how the group is funded, which says:
In order to maintain its independence, the Cato Institute accepts no government funding. Cato receives approximately 80 percent of its funding through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, with the remainder of its support coming from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications.
Other groups, that put out pseudo-research designed to promote the interests of the oligarchs who fund them include: Americans For Prosperity (another Koch brothers funded group), the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and many, many more.
4. The Religious Hucksters
Example: Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham is an example of a Republican religious huckster.
This faction of Republicans has an important job: To convince people to vote against their economic self-interest, by using “wedge issues” such as same-sex marriage, abortion, fear of Muslims (or “MOOs-lims” as Graham would say), etc. This group is extensive, and counts as members those with well known names such as Graham, as well as unknown preachers who step into the pulpits of numerous churches every Sunday. But they’re all selling the same message: vote Republican, or God will want nothing to do with you.
5. The “Noise Machine”
Example: Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh is part of the Republican noise machine. 
The noise machine is extensive, and it permeates the airwaves. Limbaugh has, for years, been the CEO of the Republican noise machine, but, after a series of gaffes cost him many sponsors, his star seems to be fading. There are plenty more out there, whose names may not be as big, but who are just as good as stirring up the uninformed, including: Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and so on. Of course, this section can’t leave out the entire cast of characters at Fox NewsFrom the curvy couch crew of Fox and Friends, to the evening rants of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, Fox News is one 24 hour noise cycle.
Of course, the job of this segment of the party is to tell half truths, and flat out lies, to those who aren’t paying attention, in order to, again, get them to vote against their own self-interests (see “Religious Hucksters”).
6. The War Hawks
Example: Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney is an example of a Repubican War Hawk 
These Republicans have never seen a war they didn’t like. Some of this group served in the military, such as John McCain. But many of them, like former vice president Cheney, have never worn a uniform. They see the world as a dangerous place that can only be tamed by American intervention. Intervention that might require your child to go fight and die. But not their children. They have more important things to do, like grow up to be leaders, who will then send other people’s children off to fight and die. This group sees any dissent from a Republican president’s war plans as “unpatriotic.” But, they will travel the world to criticize a Democratic president for his handling of American conflicts he inherited from a Republican.
When talking about this group, we can’t leave out their connections to the defense industry. Isn’t it interesting that most of the biggest hawks in the country have the deepest ties to the military-industrial complex?
7. The Country Clubbers
Example: Hundreds of upper middle class voters
Upper middle class families often support Republicans 
This group includes a lot of educated people, who should be able to see through the claims made by the shills and hucksters. But hey, they live in gated communities. They’re doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women. Republicans keep their taxes low. And those wars Republicans like to start? No worries. The children of this group are in some sort of professional school, or preparing to take over the family business. They’re too busy to do anything like sign up for military service. Even though they don’t make anything close to the money made by the oligarchs and other billionaires, they’re comfortable. They don’t need things like food stamps, so they don’t really see the purpose of them. They take advantage of all sorts of tax deductions, but don’t like the idea of others getting government assistance. Their motto could be “Government program that helps me — GOOD. Government program that helps you — BAD!”
8. The Dumb Asses
Example: The Teabaggers
Michelle Bachmann attends a Tea Party rally 
This is an example of one place where something called “trickle down” actually works. Everything done by the members of the first six groups in this summary winds up here — with people who listen to what the shills have to say, and who vote the way the oligarchs want them to. Were it not for this group of terminally uniformed voters, mostly old, mostly white, mostly uneducated, there would be no Republican party, or at the very least, it wouldn’t resemble what it is today.
These people hate the government, but love the largest government agency — the military. They’re quite happy to send their kids off to die in Republican wars, to protect their “freedom.” They opposed the so-called “government takeover of healthcare,” aka the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), but don’t you dare touch their Medicare. They think that President Obama is a Muslim, Kenyan, socialist, who is destroying America, but don’t you dare call them racists.
You have to give the chiefs of the Republican party credit. They have all of the pieces in place, and the thing runs like the proverbial “well oiled machine.” This is why liberals can never rest. And why we must always, ALWAYS, get out and vote.

Waahmbulance Alert!

Waahmbulance Alert! Righties' Panties In A Bunch Over 'Mean Obama' At WHCD
Oh, the angst! Obama was mean!

President Obama Calls on Anger Translator to Skewer Climate Change Deniers

The millions of people who demand action on climate change get frustrated from time by time–ok, quite often, actually–with elected officials who continue to deny the existence of climate change. Imagine how President Obama must feel dealing with the likes of James Inhofe and Ted Cruz. It must get frustrating. Really frustrating.
Well in recent weeks, the president has been getting some of that frustration out, given that he doesn’t have to worry about elections any more. So during his speech at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, President Obama saved some of his best invective for climate change truthers. He got help from “Luther, the Anger Translator,” a recurring character played by Keegan-Michael Key from Comedy Central’s Key and Peele.
Well played, sirs.

Koch brothers to Jeb Bush: Dance, monkey, dance

The Koch brothers kept their billions out of the Republican pretender primary in 2012, then regretted Mitt Romney. So they're thinking about endorsing a 2016 candidate and using not just their money but their massive political organization to boost him. The question: Who'll be their guy? Being the answer to that question will be worth a lot to any candidate, which means the Koch brothers can demand a lot of ring kissing and campaign promises. That seems to be exactly what they're gearing up to do:
Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz debated at the Koch network's winter seminar in January, and Scott Walker made a separate appearance. Those were the candidates who appeared to have a chance at the Koch blessing, and attendees said Rubio seemed to win that round.
But those four - plus Jeb - will be invited to the Kochs' summer conference, the aide said. Bush is getting a second look because so many Koch supporters think he looks like a winner. Other candidates, perhaps Rick Perry or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, may also get invitations.
On Monday, David Koch seemed to indicate support for Scott Walker, but then released a statement insisting he wasn't endorsing anyone. Yet. Instead, the plan, according to Politico's Mike Allen, is to wait until the primary heats up, candidates have a chance to have their "oops" moments in the debates, and polling starts to show which candidates might have a real chance-especially with a couple more billionaires behind them, billionaires planning to direct hundreds of millions of dollars into the 2016 election cycle.
The invitation to Jeb Bush could be another indication that, while the far-right faithful of Iowa aren't (yet) excited about him, his behind-the-scenes strategy of appealing to influential conservatives may be working to line up the kind of high-level support that will ultimately help him win over their followers. But he's definitely not getting a Koch endorsement without dancing for it.

Walkergate Prosecutors To Walker: Put Up Or Shut Up

Walkergate Prosecutors To Walker: Put Up Or Shut Up
Top John Doe prosecutors dare Scott Walker to go big, go bold or go home

CBS Host To Tony Perkins: You Are A Known 'Hate Group' Leader Who Doesn't 'Speak For christians'

CBS Host To Tony Perkins: You Are A Known 'Hate Group' Leader Who Doesn't 'Speak For Christians'As the nation prepares for the Supreme Court to possibly decide whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, it was clear on Sunday that even anti-gay crusader Tony Perkins was having difficulty being taken seriously by the mainstream media.
The shocked look on his face when confronted with the truth was truly a wonderful thing to witness!

Minnesota Republicans Pass Bill Banning Cities From Raising The Minimum Wage

by Jameson Parker 
Minnesota Republicans Pass Bill Banning Cities From Raising The Minimum Wage. Seriously.
Can Republicans even pretend to not have a “screw the poor” mentality any more?
Republicans in Minnesota’s House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that focuses on ensuring workers making at or around minimum wage have absolutely no chance to see their wages increase without federal intervention. And in case that didn’t get their “screw the poor” message across loud and clear, they tacked on an extra measure that would slash the state’s minimum wage for tip employees – because if there is one group of people making too much money in this country, it’s restaurant wait staff.
In an all-too-common turn of events, support for the minimum-wage measure was “divided down party lines” – with Republicans taking on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge:
The bill would create a two-tiered minimum wage, with a lower rate for employees who receive tips of at least $4 per hour, while also prohibiting cities or the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport from enacting a higher minimum wage than the state minimum.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, chairman of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee and the bill’s chief author, said that without a change in the minimum-wage law, restaurants and taverns could be forced out of business by higher labor costs as the state’s minimum wage rises to $9.50 per hour by 2016 and then increases with inflation after that. [source]
Republicans have spent years artfully blocking attempts at the state or federal level to raise the minimum wage, despite the fact that the current one – at just $7.25 an hour – is widely known to be egregiously below the necessary income for a person to live on.
Minnesota lawmakers sought to rectify this problem in 2013 when Democrats in the Legislature voted to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.15 to $9.50 by 2016. Sadly, having passed that measure, Republicans swept into office in 2014 and have been seeking to dismantle that legislation ever since.
First they went after waitresses. Citing (long debunked) concerns about restaurants being forced out of business after having to pay their employees a livable salary, Republicans are trying to roll back wage increases they are expected to receive in the next few years (see aforementioned Democratic minimum wage increase). The evidence that these modest increases in pay will spell certain doom for “restaurants and taverns” is complete fantasy. Despite several breathless reports by conservative websites that Seattle killed its restaurants by raising its wage to $15 an hour, even right-leaning Forbes took one look at the evidence and declared it a “lie.
Never mind that not so much as one of the restaurant closings discussed in the original piece referenced the coming rise in minimum wage as a reason for their decision to shutter their business. And never mind that the owner of one of the four eateries discussed is currently opening two new restaurants in Seattle. It was a headline that opponents of the citywide minimum wage increase could not resist—and the facts could not be allowed to stand in the way.
On the flip side, this conservative fantasy will lead to an already bad situation getting worse. Far from ruling like decadent kings, employees in food service are some of the worst paid people in the country. This is the group Republicans are choosing to target.
source: New Geography
But that’s not all.
Having watched cities across the country subvert the GOP’s self-professed authority to keep the poor poor by passing their own minimum wage increases, Republicans in Minnesota (and other states) have begun drafting legislation that will ban cities from doing so. Even worse, Republicans seem to be doing in strictly to spite Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Mark Dayton for expressing interest in raising the wage floor.
The other minimum-wage provision, which would prevent cities or other governing entities from outpacing the state minimum wage, is an oblique shot at Gov. Mark Dayton, who has said he favors a $10 minimum wage for airport workers.
The measure also would serve to stop the labor-backed wage movement at the state border. Labor activists have pushed for higher wages across the country, including a $15-per-hour minimum wage in Seattle, for instance. The House measure would put a ceiling on the minimum wage statewide, preventing a similar wage action in Minneapolis or other cities. [source]
Thankfully, Minnesota still has a sane Governor and a State Senate that is controlled by Democrats, so it is unclear whether Republicans can successfully maneuver the bill into law. If they fail, and let’s hope they do, then all they will have accomplished is to shamelessly demonstrate the sickening “screw the poor” mentality that has infected the Republican Party. I guess we should be grateful that they aren’t even trying to hide it any more.

Jeanine Pirro Puts Her Clinton Derangement Syndrome On Full Display

Fox's Jeanine Pirro Puts Her Clinton Derangement Syndrome On Full DisplayIf anyone was wondering if Fox's Jeanine Pirro was going to be able to seamlessly shift from her Obama Derangement Syndrome to full blown Clinton Derangement Syndrome, this Saturday, she left no doubt.

Clinton Cash Crushed By Facts As Author Admits He Has No Evidence Of Clinton Crimes

When pressed by This Week’s George Stephanopoulos, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer admitted that he has no hard evidence to support his allegations.
Transcript via ABC’s This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any evidence that a crime may have been committed?

SCHWEIZER: Well, I think it’s — if you look at a couple of recent examples. For example, Governor McConnell down in Virginia, or you look at Senator Menendez, in these cases, you didn’t have evidence of a quid pro quo. What you had was funds flowing to elected officials, some of them gifts, some of them campaign contributions and actions that were being taken by those public officials that seemed to benefit the contributors.

Certainly, I think it warrants investigation. What that investigation will reveal, we’ll see.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But a criminal investigation?
SCHWEIZER: Well, we’ll see. I mean that’s what the Governor McConnell has faced and that’s what Menendez has faced.
SCHWEIZER: And I think the evidence here is far more widespread in terms of repeated action than there were in those two instances.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, the Clinton campaign says you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there was any official action as secretary that — that supported the interests of donors.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action. And an independent government ethics expert, Bill Allison, of the Sunline Foundation (ph), wrote this. He said, “There’s no smoking gun, no evidence that she changed the policy based on donations to the foundation.”
No smoking gun.
Is there a smoking gun?
SCHWEIZER: Yes. The smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior. And here’s the analogy I would give you. It’s a little bit like insider trading. I wrote a book on Congressional insider trading a couple of years ago and talked with prosecutors.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have any evidence that she actually intervened in this issue?
SCHWEIZER: No, we don’t have direct evidence. But it warrants further investigation because, again, George, this is part of the broader pattern. You either have to come to the conclusion that these are all coincidences or something else is afoot.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that — that is that — the Clintons do say it’s a coincidence. As they say, you have produced no evidence. And I still haven’t heard any direct evidence and you just said you had no evidence that she intervened here.
Stephanopoulos asked Schweizer for hard evidence, and the author immediately tried to change the subject. The This Week host kept asking the author for a smoking gun, and all he could provide was a “pattern of behavior.”
It became very clear during this interview that there is no evidence that would merit a criminal investigation. Schweizer could not produce the smoking gun because there is no smoking gun.
Schweizer’s attempts to connect the Clinton Cash allegations and the McDonnell and Menendez cases were flimsy and did not hold up to the gentlest of inspections. In Gov. McDonnell’s case, there was evidence the governor promoted the donor’s company as a result of illegal gifts and loans. Sen. Menendez was charged because federal prosecutors believe that a case can be made that the senator used his position to intervene in Medicaid billing disputes in exchange for campaign contributions.
Schweizer’s argument that the three cases are equal is simply not true. There is no evidence that any donors to The Clinton Foundation received special treatment from former Sec. of State Clinton, which is why the mainstream press is not pushing the Clinton Cash scandal.
One of the main allegations in Schweizer’s congressional insider trading book had to be retracted after his claim that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) committed insider trading was found to be factually incorrect and wrong.
The Washington Post and New York Times harmed their own credibility by attaching themselves to partisan conspiracy theory book that doesn’t measure up to the basic standards of journalism.
The Clinton Cash scandal will live on the ozone of right-wing conspiracy theories and conservative media, but there is no evidence to support these claims. ABC News can’t find it. The New York Times can’t find it. The Washington Post can’t find it.
By the end of the interview, Schweizer sounded like a conspiracy theorist, and it was clear that Clinton Cash is the latest in a long line of empty and time wasting right-wing conspiracies.
Clinton Cash has been crushed by the facts.

As Clinton Cash Collapses A Defeated Fox News Gets Seriously Desperate

Fox News is desperately trying to create a new Congressional investigation of Hillary Clinton even as Clinton Cash crumbles before their eyes.
Fox News Sunday’s interview of Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer, revealed their true agenda.
fox news sunday clinton cashTranscript via Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: There’s no indication that Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton took direct action. I mean, it’s a coincidence or some could say it’s more than that, but you don’t have the direct action.

SCHWEIZER: Well, I think they discovered the direct action in those cases once law enforcement began the investigation. And that’s my point. My point, as I think you pointed out and I state clearly in the book — I don’t have subpoena power. I’m an author. I’m looking at pattern of behavior, and patterns of conduct of funds, and I’m saying this warrants further investigation.

WALLACE: For more on this, you can see the full documentary, “Fox News reporting: The Tangled Clinton Web” tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on the Fox News Channel. But up next, reaction from Clinton insider, special counsel Lanny Davis, on whether Bill or Hillary Clinton did anything wrong.
It is obvious that the calls for investigation are part of a scheme to try to turn The Clinton Foundation into the issue that takes down Hillary Clinton. The New York Times and Washington Post foolishly gave the Clinton Cash book mainstream credibility, and now Fox News is calling on Republicans in Congress to investigate The Clinton Foundation.
Wallace’s interview of Schweizer exposed the political agenda behind Fox News. There was no pretense or facade of journalism. The Wallace interview was a shameless hype vehicle designed to press for another Congressional investigation of Hillary Clinton.
The wheels have come off of Clinton Cash, but that isn’t stopping Fox News from trying to do their part to get a Republican elected to be the next president.
Clinton Cash should look familiar because Republicans used the same tactics to try to get America interested in the Benghazi emails, but just like Benghazi, Clinton Cash is a scam.
Republicans can’t win on the issues, so they are trying to invent a scandal to destroy the woman who is the best candidate in either party. Clinton Cash is the same tired Republican tactics hidden behind a new fact free book.
The fact that Fox News is pushing so hard indicated that Republicans have already lost the war to create a new Hillary Clinton scandal.

Fox News Has A Meltdown When Dog The Bounty Hunter Hints He’s Ready For Hillary Clinton

Duane “Dog” Chapman threw the four Fox News co-hosts of Outnumbered for a loop when he defended Hillary Clinton on their show Friday. As the show’s four panelists discussed the latest poll showing Florida Senator Marco Rubio vaulting to the front of the GOP pack, one of the hosts solicited Chapman’s opinion of Rubio. Chapman said some nice things about Senator Rubio but then he pivoted by declaring, ”I don’t think he could beat the dynamic duo”.
Andrea Tantaros asked him ”who’s the dynamic duo?”. When Chapman responded, matter of factly, by saying, ”the Clintons”, the incredulous four co-hosts let out a collective gasp of dismay. When pressed a little bit, Dog the Bounty Hunter stood firm arguing ”I want someone in there with experience. We’re at war.”
The panel had a mini-meltdown once they discovered that their guest wasn’t going to join them in bashing Hillary Clinton. Co-host Lisa Montgomery, better known as Kennedy, was nearly in tears as she complained:
That makes me so sad right now. Like, I love everything about you. I think you’re powerful and heroic but the fact that you endorse Hillary Clinton—it makes me sadder than ‘The Notebook’.
Although Chapman later stated that he wasn’t necessarily endorsing Hillary Clinton, his defense of her candidacy seemed to catch the Fox panel completely by surprise. Apparently they were expecting that Chapman would follow in the footsteps of other Fox News network pop culture warriors like Duck Commander Phil Robertson, and washed-up rock musician Ted Nugent, in trashing Hillary Clinton as an unworthy candidate. Instead they discovered to their astonishment, that Dog The Bounty Hunter is ready for Hillary.
Dog the Bounty Hunter’s political opinions on Hillary Clinton probably shouldn’t be regarded as anything more than one man’s take on the 2016 political race. However, the fact that he caught his co-hosts so badly off guard, at least reveals just how out of touch the Fox personalities are with the range of opinions that are held outside the hallowed halls of the Fox News building.

No, Being Told You Can’t Persecute People is Not Persecution

Richard Land calls opposing persecution of others "ugly...thuggish...brutish. It's the totalitarian left in all of its ugly face."…
The cult of cristianity spent the better part of two thousand years persecuting and destroying all alternatives to itself. It never really willingly gave up its imagined right to do so.
In lamenting the failure of Indiana Republicans to pull off their legalized persecution of the LGBT community, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told OneNewsNow that,
richard_landThis is where the analogy to the lunch counter and to segregation is completely and utterly disanalogous and disingenuous, because there is no community in America where a gay couple is not going to be able to find somebody who will be more than happy to provide that service for the fee. So why pick on a religio-wingnut christian proprietor and under penalty of law weaponize the government and say, ‘You’ve got to do this, or we’re going to fine you, or we’re going to put you in jail, or we’re going to run you out of business’?
“And that, according to Land,” says OneNewsNow, “is the real discrimination that is taking place.”
“It’s ugly; it’s thuggish; it’s brutish. It’s the totalitarian left in all of its ugly face.”
Right. It’s the prevention of persecution that’s the real persecution.
When you hear things like this, you always wonder, did he say this out loud to himself before he said it to everybody else? Just to see if it makes sense?
Because it doesn’t.
This is an old story with christianity, feeling persecuted just by having to co-exist with non-christians. It was ridiculous two thousand years ago and it’s no less ridiculous today.
People saying, “No, I don’t feel like I’m going to accept your persecution of me today,” is not persecution. It never has been.
The United States Constitution says that all religions are equal before the law. christians and others can feel they are special, but the law of the land is the Constitution, not the bible (or the qur’an or any other text) and the Constitution says “NO” to establishment of any religion.
Which means Land and his fascist cronies are not allowed to legalize religious-based persecution.
It’s really very simple. It should not be all that difficult for Land to grasp. He is an educated man, apparently. He should be able to understand that as well as I do. Even if, as Tom DeLay has insisted, dog wrote the Constitution, he wrote a Constitution that guarantees religious freedom for ALL Americans – not just for any of his real or imagined Chosen People.
If you want ugly, thuggish, and brutish, you have only to look back through christian history – at the genocide of Pagans in Europe and elsewhere, at the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Witch Burnings. Or Hobby Lobby refusing to sell Hanukah merchandise, or attacks on women’s reproductive rights all across the nation, or the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s failure to launch which Land is lamenting.
Persecution is not only telling other people they have fewer rights as you, aren’t as good as you, all because you say your religion says so, but then, in violation of the Constitution, legislating your beliefs into law.
That is persecution.
Gays and lesbians, women and muslims, atheists and secularists – even children – those are the victims of persecution in this country.
Not christians.
The persecutors are, as they have been through most of Western history, religio-wingnut christians (and call them fake christians if you will) doing what they has always done: embracing lies and hypocrisy while persecuting everyone they don’t approve of.
Richard Land is not a victim. He is one of those persecutors.

Cruz Channels Goldberg, Says 'Liberal Fascism' Targets christians

Cruz Channels Goldberg, Says 'Liberal Fascism' Targets Christians
He's playing for a really small segment of primary voters.

7 Reasons Why Kansas Is One Of The Worst Wingnut Shitholes

This isn’t Kansas anymore, Toto.
Sam Brownback is making Kansas an unrecognizable Libertarian mess.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is taking GOP ideals to the extreme, and with a GOP heavy state legislature, there is no one there to reason with him and tell him just how bad his ideals are for the big picture. After severely bankrupting his state by running a trickle down “experiment” with taxes, he’s now gone crazy slashing education, investment in infrastructure, arts, social programs and making laws that affect women, the poor and the population in general negatively.
Gov. Brownback himself refers to his policies as experimental, but as the data keeps rolling in, he’s going to have to face the music that perhaps he’s proven his own hypothesis wrong and that Libertarian leadership just doesn’t work in the grand scheme of things.
7 reasons why Kansas is a wingnut-controlled hellscape:
Michigan Review
7. Doing away with concealed carry permits: As if gun crime in the U.S. wasn’t bad enough, Gov. Brownback just did away with concealed gun permits and training requirements. I’m sure the police force in the state is just absolutely appreciative of this new law.
In 2007, before Gov. Brownback took office, Kansas quietly overturned a ban on guns in bars, letting businesses decide for themselves if they will allow guns. Now, regardless of bar policy, gun owners can bring their guns with them wherever they go. Go home Kansas, you’re drunk!
The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence Kansas chapter spokesperson, Loren Stanton said:
There is no way that taking away training can make guns safer.
6. Welfare shaming: Recently, new language was added to Kansas’ Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to add further limitations to where cash assistance can be used. Kansas residents receive up to $497 for a family of four per month— we’re not talking big spending bucks here. Among places where TANF is now banned were cruise ships, bail bond companies, casinos, lingerie stores, tattoo parlors, for the purchase of tobacco and liquor, and swimming pools, movie theaters, theme parks or arcades. ATM withdraws are now limited to $25 per day.
Kansas Watchdog found that less than three percent of TANF funds are spent on activities outside of the purview for assistance, which you can see why this was so incredibly necessary to shame all assistance recipients over (sarcasm). Many recipients feel like the Kansas government changed the law to shame all people on TANF, because it gives the impression that it was such a problem in this state that the law had to be changed, when it was a really, insignificant issue. The poor are often subject to unfair stereotypes and this was no exception.
But as Chris Hayes pointed out on MSNBC, it’s also ironic that farmers who receive millions of dollars in subsidies from the government don’t have these equal limitations. When state Senator Michael O’Donnell was asked in an interview with Hayes why farmers don’t have the same kind of restrictions where their government dollars are spent, O’Donnell responded that they are more responsible with their money. Yet, 97 percent of TANF recipients are responsible spenders too. Isn’t that strange?
5. Drug testing TANF recipients: While many believe this is a good practice to keep those on drugs off assistance, drug testing poor people is known to yield incredibly poor results. It ends up costing the state thousands to sometimes sums of millions of dollars to catch such a small minority of people because as it turns out, poor people can’t actually afford drugs. It also punishes children of drug users because once a person produces a positive test, they aren’t eligible for assistance for at least five years.
The only positive outcome of this law signed by Gov. Brownback in 2013 is that if a person does test positive for drugs, Kansas state is willing to send them to a drug treatment program for a year — but that treatment also comes with a price.
Think Progress
4. Cuts to education: After running his state into the ground by cutting income taxes for rich people (facing a $600 million deficit), Gov. Brownback assured Kansans that he wouldn’t cut from education. And then he turned around and cut $54 million from public school funding and is projected to cut more. Some schools in small towns even had to close their doors, and with every education cut comes the laying off of teachers and faculty. Kansas is already on the middle-low end of student spending, but recent data isn’t available to see exactly how these cuts have affected student spending. Brownback is also making ambitious changes to school funding, with SB7, which opponents say favors block grants that give schools more flexibility on student spending but will deeply cut operational funding.
And with these cuts, the GOP gets exactly what they really need — a generation of people too stupid to know how terrible conservative ideals are.
3. Unemployment: After the 2009 recession, unemployment was high nationwide. In order to jump start the economy, Brownback had two options: invest in education or cut taxes for the rich — of which he chose the latter. Trickle-down theory suggests that if you cut taxes for those at the top who are responsible for job creation, more jobs will be created because it allows company owners to expand. The idea is also that it will attract business in from out-of-state. In 2011, Brownback cut income taxes for top earners and businesses in the state, yet job recovery has moved at a snails pace. If trickle-down theory worked, job recovery should have been almost immediate, instead until 2014, Kansas’ unemployment rate lagged behind the national average for 21 consecutive months. Currently, Kansas has a 4.2 percent unemployment rate, but in the larger cities like Wichita and Kansas City, they are still sitting at well over 6 percent, which is well above the national average.
2. Abolishing second trimester abortions: Kansas is under fire after passing a law which bans a specific kind of procedure that is often performed in the second trimester of pregnancy. The procedure that was banned was a method of dismantling the fetus to make it easier to remove and vacuum it out of the uterus once the woman’s cervix is dilated with medication. Very few abortions take place in this time frame, but it’s also important to women to have this option available in cases of severe disabilities in the child, which aren’t discovered until later in the second trimester. There also were no rape or incest exceptions added to the bill. Another important detail is that some women don’t even know they’re pregnant for a few months, and can now easily miss their time frame to have a legal abortion in this state, which may lead to more coat hanger abortions.
It’s also important to note, that Brownback has been defunding Planned Parenthood statewide, so while Conservatives may want less abortions, by making low cost birth control harder to obtain, they’re making matters worse.
Week 16 of pregnancy/ PixShark
1. Tax reform: Economists call Brownback’s tax reform an economic nightmare. I’ve mentioned several times that Gov. Brownback cut income taxes that led to the dire state of affairs in his state. More specifically, in 2011 Brownback made good on a campaign promise to almost eliminate income taxes in his state. His solution for the lost revenue would be to increase the sales tax, but increasing the sales tax shifts the tax burden from the rich onto the poor. His tax plan also didn’t account for the major loss in revenue and he didn’t have a plan to cover the spending the state is accountable for. Today Brownback is facing a projected $600 million deficit.
And as far as libertarian ideals go, it really was the perfect plan — bankrupting the state so he can cut back on social programs without taking a ton of flack for doing so, and that’s exactly how it played out. Important to note, the Democrats favorite boogeymen, the Koch brothers, are based in Wichita and were huge supporters of Brownback’s campaign, so you can imagine how big their role is in this “experiment.” Now Brownback is trying to figure out a way to save face and save his state, but his hands are tied by the promises he has made. He tells Kansans that reform takes time but it will pay off, and that he wants to stay the course and needs their patience, but his constituents were becoming disgruntled before his last re-election.
The good news is, is that whenever liberals need a perfect example of just how big of a failure supply-side economics is in practice, they only have to point to Kansas.
Here’s to you, Kansas!
While much of the data from the new policies in Kansas haven’t been developed and analyzed, it’s still fairly accurate to say Kansas is on a path to utter failure.
The rich continue to get the breaks in this state and their large subsidies remain unrestricted. The poor Kansans are subject to humiliation, their children under-educated, and their income taxed in unfair proportions compared to the wealthy. They are demonized and mocked while the state does little to invest in education, infrastructure and healthcare that supplies good jobs to families and invests in the communities.
And to the libertarian/conservative dream, more women will be saddled with children and will become slaves to the economy — working for less wages at demanding jobs so their employer can save a buck just so they can put food on the table. And god forbid they need TANF, because they will be put through the rigmarole that is government assistance. All so they can endure the rich exclaiming, “How dare you take your child to the movie theater on my dime!”
But eventually it will negatively affect the wealthy, because as the poor and middle class families pinch their pennies the “job creators” will start to feel the strain as each year yields less and less revenue for their businesses.
All the while, Kansans will watch their state fall apart and have to endure Brownback’s mackerel gaze while he brays, “Stay the path! Be patient! Success is around the corner,” but there is no success around the corner, at least not success any sane society wants. Pregnant teenagers, an influx of unwanted, neglected children in the system, gun homicides, a generation of children who can’t compete with others outside of their state, and an increasing prison population due to the lack of opportunities.
The Koch’s paid good money for this experiment. And the Koch’s want what they paid for — an Ayn Rand Libertarian state forcing social conservatism on the population, while the rich get richer and the poor are left to fend for themselves.

The Koch Brothers Try To Fool The American People With An Evil PR Campaign

What is missing from the long list of Koch demands to abolish virtually the entire government is exactly how it will help Americans. …

The IRS Is Investigating The Koch Brothers’ Illegal Tax-Deductions Denying Climate Change

The Kochs will have an even greater reason to hate the Internal Revenue Service because due to a devious, and illegal, Koch plot to affect legislation neutering…
Willie-Soon-fundersThere are myriad reasons why someone has intense hostility towards, and aversion to, a person or thing that typically derives from fear, anger, or a sense of personal injury. The particular “thing” that conservatives, particularly the Republican-libertarian conservatives, loathe more than America’s most dangerous enemies is the government and its various agencies; especially those tasked with enforcing laws and regulations. The two men who wield ultimate control over the conservative movement and own the Republican Congress, Charles and David Koch, certainly hate the government, but they have particular antipathy for two agencies they believe are “despotic” and illegal simply because they exist and are not under Koch brother control.
The Koch brothers have made no secret that they want the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency eliminated from existence and have spared no expense to thwart the activities of the EPA. Now they will have an even greater reason to hate the Internal Revenue Service because due to a devious, and illegal, Koch plot to affect legislation neutering enforcement power of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service is beginning an investigation into an illegal Koch tax deduction. The illegal tax write-off is for payment to a scientist for phony reports “absolving the fossil fuel industry of any responsibility for anthropogenic climate change.”
The IRS has received several complaints from the environmental group Greenpeace demanding it investigate the secret relationship between the Koch brothers and a well-known climate denying scientist with questionable scientific credentials, The so-called “scientist,” Dr. Willie Soon, received over $1,6 million to create phony reports claiming climate change is not only non-existent, but that if it does exist there is no relationship to carbon emissions related to fossil fuels.
The particular issue of interest to the IRS is that the Koch brothers illegally wrote off as a tax deduction the payment to Soon for reports created specifically to affect legislation in Congress and state legislatures; a clear violation of the law. Earlier this year, the New York Times exposed the “special secret relationship” between Soon and the Kochs, ExxonMobil, and a large Southern coal-fired utility that included deliberately false scientific data Republicans regularly use to deny the existence and effects of global climate change claims made by 98% of the world’s real climate scientists.
Apparently there is nothing illegal about Soon’s well-known false ‘studies,’ or that as a so-called ‘expert’ he is renowned for “obscuring” empirical data about climate change he promised were “deliverables” to the Koch brothers. In fact, it has also been no secret that Soon has been on the payroll of “major polluters” for a long time. However, the damning revelation discovered by Greenpeace that attracted the attention of the IRS is that the Charles G. Koch Foundation, a “tax exempt charity,” was paying for Soon’s phony studies as part of the Koch’s lobbying efforts against renewable energy and climate change solutions. What that means is that the Kochs were able to write off payments to Soon on their taxes that violates Internal Revenue Service rules prohibiting “tax-exempt charities” like the Charles G. Koch Foundation from influencing legislation; any legislation.
Last week, the IRS responded to a letter from Greenpeace that pointed out this illegal lobbying by the Koch brothers. The IRS letter encouraged Greenpeace to submit additional information to the IRS Dallas office and confirmed they were reviewing Greenpeace’s complaint. The complaint contained details of Soon’s interactions and correspondence with the Koch brothers including seriously damning evidence that Soon was paid handsomely by the Charles G. Koch Foundation to specifically create papers denying the existence of climate change.
In fact, in his proposals to the Kochs, Soon promised specifically to create work that conceals the cause and existence of climate change for the stated purpose of “informing public policy;” a commonly used euphemism for lobbying legislation. Following through on his pledge, Dr. Soon used the Koch-funded ‘studies‘ while testifying in Kansas against renewable energy legislation to convince state legislators to vote against clean energy standards. The same dubious research was used in Congress to deny “that greenhouse gases are the dominant cause of climate change.” Soon even sent a letter to the Kochs boasting about the usefulness of his  phony research in congressional testimony that he said contributed “very useful progress” toward Charles G. Koch’s “special project.” Soon’s letter also  requested a funding extension to ensure greater progress toward the “Koch project.” Obviously the Koch “special project” is affecting legislation at the state and federal level defeating renewable energy standards and preventing legislation addressing climate change solutions; something that is illegal for a ‘tax exempt charity‘ like Koch’s Foundation.
As Greenpeace pointed out to the Internal Revenue Service,  the Charles G Koch Foundation knew damn well that funding Dr. Soon’s work was as legally a risky move as taking a tax deduction for influencing legislation. In unrelated letters to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Koch Foundation was extremely careful in attempting to stress that the Koch money funding Soon’s phony reports “will not be used to influence legislation.” However, the facts are clear that Soon used the Koch-funded reports in testimony before both the Kansas legislature and the United States Congress specifically to advance the Koch’s fossil fuel interests in affecting legislation on renewable energy standards and putting a halt to climate change solutions; both instances are clear violations of Internal Revenue Service rules prohibiting “non-profit charitable organizations” from using their tax-exempt funds to influence legislation.
The Koch brothers have given substantial amounts of money, over $79 million, to “climate change science denial organizations” since 1979, and it is unclear how many of those substantial millions came from the Koch’s network of so-called “tax-exempt charitable organizations.” The Koch’s are notorious for funneling “dark money” through various organizations, many of them tax-exempt charities, and it is likely the fact that they have been successful in not getting caught that drove their hubris and informed them to use a ‘charity’ with Charles G Koch’s name attached. They obviously did not take into account that an international organization like Greenpeace would ever take the initiative to investigate their internal correspondence and interactions with their highly-paid climate denier Soon.
Now that their illegal malfeasance has been exposed in documentation, the Internal Revenue Service can go forward and give the Koch’s a real reason to hate them even more; stripping them of their tax-exempt status. For its part, Greenpeace deserves the highest praise possible for not only fighting to protect Earth’s environment, but for having the courage to go after America and the environment’s greatest enemy; Charles and David Koch.

Americans believe their health system is the world's best, but they're measuring it wrong

Americans like to think their health-care system is number one. But a 2014 report from the Commonwealth Fund compared it to 10 other developed nations and found it's...number 11.
America spends vastly more than any other nation but, uniquely, leaves tens of millions uninsured. Patient satisfaction is low and the rate of medical errors is high. Infant mortality is worse in the United States than in its competitors, and so is life expectancy. America's reputation for efficiency is also shattered: both American patients and American doctors report spending unusually large amounts of time on paperwork.

Cops break woman’s face because ‘she flunked the attitude test’ during drunken arrest

Bad Cops
Megan Sheehan suffered broken facial bones and teeth during arrest (KGO)
“I should have never gotten that drunk, but also there are ways to detain someone and not break their face,” Megan Sheehan said.

Video Catches Cops Laughing, Fist Bumping After Beating And Choking Black Man

More Bad Cops
Secret Video Catches Cops Laughing, Fist Bumping After Beating And Choking Black Man (VIDEO)
Bleeding and in need of medical attention, this man was forced to watch cops celebrate his beating.