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Friday, May 22, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Wingnut Asks Newspaper About Their ‘Liberal Agenda’ And The Answer Is Amazing!

Conservative Asks Newspaper About Their ‘Liberal Agenda’ And The Answer Is Amazing!“We believe that everyone is created equal…If that earns us the label ‘liberal’ in your eyes, Mr. Fry, so be it.”

Another Huge Obama Win: 12 Million Have Chosen Private Policies Through Obamacare Exchanges

The ACA numbers guy (and all around genius) Charles Gaba has some new numbers and Republicans aren’t going to like them.
Yeah, see, it turns out (brace yourselves for the shock) that Republicans were wrong about Obamacare. I know, right? Almost 12 million people have chosen private policies through Obamacare exchanges, which is close to none…
But 12 million more.
However, combined with the other off-season/tax SEP numbers reported from (most) of the state exchanges, this (including today’s Minnesota update of 64K QHPs) does bring the grand total number of confirmed 2015 QHP selections up to exactly: 11,995,315.
Technically speaking, they’re still about 5,000 QHPs shy of the 12 million mark, but give me a break; this number doesn’t include normal Off-Season Enrollments (via life changes) in nearly every state since 2/22 or the tax season SEP enrollments from a half-dozen state-based exchanges.
Therefore, it’s quite safe to call it:
• 2015 ACA Exchange-based QHP Selections have officially broken the 12.0 million mark, with over 9.0 million coming from HealthCare.Gov.
Of course, when you throw in the missing tax season SEP / off-season enrollments, the actual total should be closer to 12.4 million or higher, and should finally reach my personal Open Enrollment Period target of 12.5 million by the end of May.
Here’s something that should concern Republicans, because you see, it turns out that even Republicans want their family to live (I predicted this years ago based on the fact that life over politics is pretty obvious and then there is the amusing note that many red staters don’t seem to know that they have signed up for Obamacare) and thus have signed up for plans through the exchanges. Oh, yes, the red states are flying into Obamacare.
It was pointed out in January of this year:
Republicans who thought that they were stopping the law by refusing to set up their own state exchanges have created a trap for themselves. Florida, Maine, Georgia, Michigan and North Carolina have all covered at least 40% of their eligible residents under the federal exchange. Arkansas also depends on subsidies to fund their “private option” plan. All of these states will face an immediate backlash if the Supreme Court rules that only states that have set up exchanges are eligible for subsidies.
I have already discussed the debunking of every single Republican Obamacare prediction here, but let’s just recall that Republicans like to claim that all of the Obamacare numbers represent Medicaid expansion.
And yet we have 12 million in private plans from Obamacare exchanges.
The exchanges based on competition.
Like a free market.
Which Republicans claim they are the sole advocates of.
President Obama has once again taken the Republican claims about Democrats and flipped them upside down. It was Obama who created record breaking private sector job growth, not a Republican. The last president to do so was another Democrat, former President Bill Clinton. So goes private sector job growth to the Democrat.
It was Obama who got Osama, even though Republicans claim only they, who no longer thought much about the man they told you was going to kill your family, can keep you safe. So goes national security to the Democrat.
And now, it was a Democrat who addressed our nation’s healthcare crisis by using a free market solution that opened the door to affordable coverage for everyone. President Obama did this while Republicans advocated for continued taxpayer subsidizing of too-big-to-fail Wall Street businesses. So falls real free market competition to the Democrat.
Thus we conclude today’s lesson in how Republicans no longer stand for the things they still say they stand for and once again, Obamacare is working. Obamacare is a success. It’s not perfect, but no one ever claimed it was. But you know why Republicans get to criticize Obamacare? Because they are choosing to do nothing, and when you do nothing, there isn’t anything to criticize except the failure to do something.
Another day, another Republican fail. Suddenly Republicans aren’t calling it Obamacare so much. But it was Obamacare when they slammed it and it is Obamacare now that they have been thoroughly proven wrong as they trolled the free market solution to our healthcare crisis.
Obamacare it is, and Obamacare is working.

A Special Kind of Stupid

Democrats Proven Right As Big Banks Fined Billions For Currency Manipulation Scheme

elizabeth warren bernie sanders hell no liberal caucus
The Department of Justice announced the guilty pleas of five big banks:
Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and UBS AG – have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges. Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange (FX) spot market and the banks have agreed to pay criminal fines totaling more than $2.5 billion. A fifth bank, UBS AG, has agreed to plead guilty to manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other benchmark interest rates and pay a $203 million criminal penalty, after breaching its December 2012 non-prosecution agreement resolving the LIBOR investigation.


According to plea agreements to be filed in the District of Connecticut, between December 2007 and January 2013, euro-dollar traders at Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays and RBS – self-described members of “The Cartel” – used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate benchmark exchange rates. Those rates are set through, among other ways, two major daily “fixes,” the 1:15 p.m. European Central Bank fix and the 4:00 p.m. World Markets/Reuters fix. Third parties collect trading data at these times to calculate and publish a daily “fix rate,” which in turn is used to price orders for many large customers. “The Cartel” traders coordinated their trading of U.S. dollars and euros to manipulate the benchmark rates set at the 1:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. fixes in an effort to increase their profits.
In other words, two of the same banks (Citicorp and JPMorgan Chase) that received billions of dollars in taxpayer bailout money during the financial crisis promptly went back to cheating investors and rigging markets. Even worse, Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed out in March 2015, that these banks received trillions of dollars in backdoor lending from The Fed.
At a hearing on Fed Accountability and Reform, Sen. Warren said, “During the financial crisis, Congress bailed out the big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, and that’s a lot of money. But the biggest money for the biggest banks was never voted on by Congress. Instead, between 2007 and 2009, the Fed provided over $13 trillion in emergency lending to just a handful of large financial institutions. That’s nearly 20 times the amount authorized in the TARP bailout. Now, let’s be clear, those Fed loans were a bailout too. Nearly all the money went to too-big-to-fail institutions. For example, in one emergency lending program, the Fed put out $9 trillion and over two-thirds of the money went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.”
Two weeks ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) proposed a bill to break up the big banks. The Sanders bill would specifically break up JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley.
As long as the big banks exist, they will continue to find ways to cheat investors while taking taxpayer money when things go wrong. The fines are a small cost of doing business for these giants. Fines won’t stop the big banks. Prison terms for the criminals and the break up of these gigantic institutions are the only ways to clean up a corrupt financial system that is robbing ordinary Americans.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Busts Republicans for a Dangerous Sneak Attack on Dodd-Frank

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is keeping her eye on the big banks and she knows what they and their Republican friends are up to in Congress.
So the Democratic Senator has an amendment (along with Senators Jeff Merkley, Richard Blumenthal, and Tammy Baldwin) to Trade Promotion Authority bill that would ensure that future Presidents don’t use Fast Track authority to undermine Dodd-Frank protections.
On the Senate floor Wednesday, while making the case for her amendment, she busted Republicans for their sneak attacks on Dodd-Frank, saying, “But now if this Fast-Track bill passes, Democrats will be handing Republicans a powerful tool they can use to weaken our financial rules… Fast-track prevents anyone in Congress from offering any amendments to a trade bill and in the Senate with fast-track a trade bill can pass with just 51 votes, not the sixty typically required for major bills.”
“Sen. Warren delivered a floor speech on May 20, 2015 about her amendment to the Trade Promotion Authority (“Fast Track”) bill. The amendment would block the use of Fast Track to pass trade deals that would weaken financial regulation.”
On the Senate floor Wednesday, Senator Warren said:
In 2008 we suffered through the worst financial crisis, in generations millions of families lost their homes, millions people lost their jobs millions lost their retirement savings, and they watched as the government spent hundreds of billions of their tax dollars to bail out the giant banks.

In response Congress passed some common-sense financial reforms the, Dodd-Frank Act. These new rules crackdown on cheating and lying in the financial market place. They require the big banks to raise more capital so they wouldn’t need a bailout if they started to stumble and they gave our regulators new tools to oversee the biggest banks to make sure that the rules were followed.

Now it’s no surprise that the giant banks don’t like the new rules, so for five years now they’ve been on the attack they sent their armies of lobbyists and lawyers and their Republican friends in Congress to try to roll back the rules to let the Giants
of Wall Street run free again.
Democrats have stood strong to fight of these attacks because we knew that thoughtful rules can help stop the next financial crisis and protect our working families from another Great Recession. But now if this Fast-Track bill passes, Democrats will be handing Republicans a powerful tool they can use to weaken our financial rules. Here’s how it works this fast-track bill, it applies to any trade deal presented to Congress in the next 6 years, through the end of the Obama presidency through the entire leave the next presidency and into the presidency after that.
Fast-track prevents anyone in Congress from offering any amendments to a trade bill and in the Senate with fast-track a trade bill can pass with just 51 votes, not the sixty typically required for major bills.
So what if we have a Republican president in 2016 or 2020?

What I hope that’s not the case but this is a democracy and it’s not up to me most Republicans including ones currently running for president are committed to rolling back financial reforms with fast-track they can weaken our financial rules in a trade deal and then ram it through Congress with just 16 a 51 votes. In the Senate that is a lot easier than the 60 votes needed for a head-on attack on the financial rules through the normal legislative process.
Sen. Warren raised some great points. Fast-Track trade authority will extend into the next president’s time in office. It would be the height of irresponsibility to the future if Democrats were to be so short-sighted as to give a blank check to a future Republican administration. Republicans have tried everything else, so it is a near certainty that they would attempt to use Fast-Track trade authority to get rid of Dodd-Frank.
Putting checks on potential future Republican abuses that are inherent in their party platform is just plain smart. Elizabeth Warren continues to look out for the working people of this country, which is why her amendment deserves to be passed.

Bernie Sanders Drops A Truth Bomb On Wall St: Criminal Fraud Is The Big Banks’ Business Model

Bernie Sanders reacted to the news that the big banks pled guilty to manipulating currency markets by blunting saying that fraud is the business model on Wall Street.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders pulled no punched while calling for the breakup of the big banks:
Despite weak financial regulatory systems around the world, it seems that every week we hear about another multi-billion scandal involving a major financial institution. Today, we learn that JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and other huge banks were fined $5.6 billion for rigging interest rates and manipulating currency exchanges. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Since 2009, huge financial institutions have paid $176 billion in fines and settlement payments for fraudulent and unscrupulous activities. The reality is that seven years after too-big-to-fail banks crashed the economy, fraud still appears to be the business model on Wall Street.

Today, the six largest financial institutions have nearly $10 trillion in assets, equal to nearly 60 percent of our gross domestic product. They control more than two-thirds of the credit card market and one-third of the mortgages. These huge institutions are not only involved in fraudulent activities, they have grown even larger and more powerful since the Wall Street crash of 2008. They are not only an ongoing threat to taxpayers, but a burden on our entire economy.

In my view, the only effective way of dealing with these enormous financial institutions is to break them up. Today’s news is just another example of why these too- big-to-fail banks are too big to exist.
Sen. Sanders was correct. The big banks are an enterprise that is built on criminal fraud. Their greed is out of control, and the current punishments are severely lacking. The incentive to cheat and rig markets must be taken away.
Sanders has introduced two pieces of legislation in the Senate. The first is a bill to break up the big banks. The second piece of legislation would pay for free tuition at public colleges and universities with a tax on Wall Street.
Wall Street learned the wrong lesson from the Great Recession. The big banks learned only that their crimes won’t be punished. Until the American people demand that the big banks are broken up, the rigging and illegal criminal fraud will continue.

Surprise! New Study Finds Wall Street Is As Greedy And Immoral As Ever

Surprise! New Study Finds Wall Street Is As Greedy And Immoral As EverSeven years have passed since Wall Street crashed the world’s economy, and guess what? They’re as greedy and immoral as ever.

Spot the things wrong in this picture

Other than the McDonald's

Rand Paul’s Senate Patriot Act “Filibuster” Is A Fake And A Fraud

rand paul fake patriot act filibusterSen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is trying to pull a fast one on the American people by claiming that he is filibustering the Patriot Act when he isn’t actually filibustering.
Harry Reid’s Communications Director Adam Jentleson tweeted:
Adam Jentleson @AJentleson
By definition a filibuster has to block or delay something: http://www.senate.gov/reference/glossary_term/filibuster.htm 
Paul isn’t filibustering because he isn’t delaying anything.
The Senate is in the midst of 30 hours of debate on the Patriot Act. The Senate vote is not scheduled until one hour after the Senate convenes tomorrow. Rand Paul can stand on the Senate floor and talk until midnight, and it won’t make a bit of difference. Paul would have to speak today and into tomorrow. Sen. Paul will have to keep speaking through the scheduled time of the vote tomorrow for his speech to be considered a filibuster.
What Paul is doing is trying to fool people into believing that he is filibustering. Sen. Paul is using the Senate floor as presidential campaign infomercial. The senator from Kentucky is trying to revive his flatlining presidential campaign with a publicity stunt.
The only reason that Paul would start this speech on Wednesday afternoon is to get some free publicity for his presidential candidacy. Some may be tricked by Paul’s fake stand, but the odds are that Paul isn’t serious about stopping the Patriot Act, and his fake filibuster will end well before Thursday’s scheduled vote.
Rand Paul’s presidential campaign is claiming that their candidate is filibustering:
What Paul is doing on the Senate floor currently is not a filibuster. To call his speech a filibuster is a disingenuous​ act of fraud.

Largest Paper in New Jersey Calls Chris Christie Out for Losing Touch with Reality

Christie (1)In the wake of Governor Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) delusional answer to Fox News asking him why 65% of New Jersey voters think he would be a bad president, the editorial board at the Star-Ledger thinks they have finally figured it out.
“The man has lost touch with reality,” they opine.
This can be the only explanation for how Christie still thinks he can win the presidency “when New Jersey is in such rotten shape after his six years in office.” They came to this conclusion after listening to Christie’s answer on Fox.
Christie told Megyn Kelly that New Jersey voters think he would be a terrible president because they love him so much they want him to stay their governor. Christie knows this because some people have said it to him at his town halls.
But the editorial board is not buying this excuse, especially because, as they write, “First, the governor needs to hold more town hall meetings in Democratic districts, and at night when working people can attend. He preaches to elderly and overwhelmingly white audiences, over and over.”
Citing several other polls the Governor might take a glance at if it is reality that he seeks, the editorial board took a few guesses as to why they don’t love Christie in his state:
It could be the rotten job market. Or the high property taxes. Or the crumbling transit system. Or the broken promise on pensions. Or the private jets. Or the Bridgegate indictments. And so on.
Ouch. Lest anyone think this is the opinion of some far left outlet or an obscure paper, Wikipedia says “the Star-Ledger is the largest circulated newspaper in the U.S. state of New Jersey.” In fact, “The Star-Ledger‍ ’​s daily circulation is larger than the next two largest New Jersey newspapers combined and its Sunday circulation is larger than the next three papers combined.”*
This is also the same paper that endorsed him in 2013.
From that same Quinnipiac poll that Megan Kelly referenced on Fox, 56% disapprove of the job Governor Christie is doing, which is the lowest approval rating for any governor in the nine states they surveyed.
Firing a very loud warning shot, the Star-Ledger ended on this note, “God forbid he gets a chance to make an even bigger mess on a larger stage.”
Familiarity has bred contempt when it comes to Chris Christie. Yet he believes he’s going to the White House.
This stunning disconnect with reality, so strong that the largest paper in the state has called it out — though they hope he doesn’t actually believe the things he says, exemplifies the Republican Party’s Fox problem of epistemic closure. They are breeding an entire party of delusional people who have no concept how extreme they sound to the rest of the country, how their belief in Glenn Beckian conspiracies isolates them because they sound crazy and dangerous, and most of all, they have no idea what people are really saying about them or about the issues.
It is very tough to win elections outside of gerrymandered safe zones when your party is not even close to reality.
*Wikipedia cites data from the New Jersey Press Association.

Ted Cruz Confuses The Right To Marry With Being Obsessed With Sex

While delivering a stump speech in Beaumont, Texas, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attacked the media and the left for being obsessed with sex, because reporters had the temerity to ask him questions about his position on gay marriage. After fielding several questions about LGBT rights, Ted Cruz lost it, and he lashed out, saying:
Is there something about the left — and I am going to put the media in this category — that is obsessed with sex? ISIS is executing homosexuals — you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals — that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic.
In his response, Senator Cruz revealed two things. First, he revealed that his standards are quite low, by arguing that America treats gays better than ISIS does. That isn’t exactly setting the bar very high, but I guess if one holds LGBT Americans in as much contempt as Ted Cruz does, he probably thinks they should be grateful that they aren’t being executed for their sexual orientation.
A true believer in American exceptionalism might compare the U.S. to other Western democracies, but Senator Cruz is apparently content with America having a better record on human rights than ISIS. Congratulations are in order I guess. The United States does not systematically murder gay people. Hooray.
The other thing Senator Cruz revealed in his remarks is that he thinks marriage is about sex, not love. He confuses reporters who ask questions about gay marriage with nymphomaniacs obsessed with sex. Legalizing same-sex marriage is about civil rights, not about sex.
Senator Cruz is either hopelessly confused or incredibly obtuse. He also argued in his speech that the expansion of “mandatory same-sex marriage” was an assault on religious liberty. Senator Cruz probably thinks he is being clever by using the phrase “mandatory same-sex marriage”, but unfortunately most voters realize that nobody is being forced to enter a same-sex marriage and that opposite sex marriages are still legal everywhere in the country.
Ted Cruz’s opposition to the right for same-sex couples to marry is indefensible. Recognizing that he is arguing a lost position, he has tried to deflect the argument to one accusing the “liberal media” of being obsessed with sex. However, he is merely projecting. He is the one who is obsessed with identifying gays and lesbians by their acts of sex, rather than recognizing them simply as equal human beings, who are entitled to the same rights as straight Americans.

Gohmert Blames Obama For the shrub's Decision To Invade Iraq

Gohmert Blames Obama For Bush's Decision To Invade Iraq
Goober wishes the shrub had realized that his successor would undo all of his 'good' works.


A laptop typist is shocked (Shutterstock)

Arizona Will Boot Thousands From Welfare To Address $1 Billion Budget Hole

More than 1,600 families, including 2,700 children, will lose their benefits.

Notre Dame Can’t Cut Off Birth Control For Its Students

Notre Dame is quite literally seeking to impose its religious beliefs on other parties who do not share them.

Bill O'Reilly Abused His Wife In Front Of His Daughter

Court Transcripts: Bill O'Reilly Abused His Wife In Front Of His Daughter
There's some real family values for you there.

Things Get Worse For Rush Limbaugh As Stations In Indianapolis and Boston Drop His Show

WRKO in Boston became the latest major market radio station to drop Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh’s show will also be leaving 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis on July 3.
According to radioINSIGHT:
Premiere released the following statement today regarding the inability to come to terms, “We were unable to reach agreeable terms for The Rush Limbaugh Show to continue on WRKO. A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future. Rush Limbaugh airs daily in every measured media market in America, and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.”
WRKO is the second major Conservative Talker to announce plans to drop Limbaugh. Emmis’ 93.1 WIBC Indianapolis announced in April it will stop airing the program as of July 3.
Limbaugh has never recovered from the Sandra Fluke scandal. His national advertisers left, and the vast majority have never come back. Limbaugh is expensive and toxic. The cost of airing Limbaugh’s show combined with the inability of radio stations to recover these costs through advertising revenue has made it more lucrative for stations to drop Limbaugh than to keep him on the air.
As I wrote last month, Limbaugh’s ratings drop has gotten so bad that radio stations no longer want his show.
Daryl Parks explained how radio stations get stuck with Limbaugh, “Premiere Networks and its owner Clear Channel Media + Entertainment iHeart Media has crammed down Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck on its talk stations, not allowing local stations to make needed changes to their programming, changes that could provide some hope of staying relevant. It was a great business model…in the 20th century! In business speak it’s called “vertical integration.” The company produces the product and then uses its distribution arm, its radio stations, to broadcast the shows. Guaranteed clearance, plus in Limbaugh’s case and some of Hannity’s stations, the local stations have to pay a “rights fee” in addition to the barter commercial inventory they broadcast from the network. There was no negotiation whether to broadcast the show or what fee was to be paid. Here’s the number you pay was the only conversation during the budget process. This, as you can imagine, affected cash flow and coupled with the increasing demands for talk stations to generate more profit, it forced local stations to lay-off other talk hosts, producers and gut news departments. Talented people left the radio business and the death spiral for talk radio began. It began years ago.”
Wingnut Hate speech radio, just like Fox News and the Republican Party, is dying off. Limbaugh was the leader in the genre, and the advertiser boycott of his show helped to accelerate a decline that was already under way. The average age of Rush Limbaugh’s audience is 67 years old and rising. For context, the average age of Fox News viewers is 68 and rising.
Political talk radio is being replaced by the younger-skewing, and more profitable sports talk radio in markets across the country. Rush Limbaugh is a symptom of a much larger disease.
Wingnut hate speech radio, just like its audience, is slowly fading away.

Thwarted By House Committee, Jindal Imposes Religion on Louisiana by Executive Order

In one stroke of his pen, perversely pretending to be a defender of the First Amendment,Jindal turned Louisiana into a theocracy.…
JindalStupidParty I don’t know what’s more pathetic: Piyush Jindal thinking that changing his name to “Bobby” makes him a white evangelical 'christian', or Jeb Bush registering as a Hispanic. While Jeb pretty clearly can’t decide up from down, Jindal seems certain. He’s a believer, or so he’d have us believe.
I do know that while Bush has only talked about imposing theocracy on Americans, Piyush Jindal has already done it.
On Tuesday, The House Civil Law and Procedure Committee had just voted 10-2 to not advance his state’s “Religious Freedom” bill, The Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act (HB 707).
Piyush was having none of this democracy nonsense on his watch. In fact, though Republicans have been up in arms since Obama took office over Executive Orders, Piyush says his executive order will “accomplish the intent” of the legislation his legislature voted not to advance.
So Jindal, one of those calling Obama lawless, intends to govern by fiat, against the will of the people Republicans are always pretending to care about. You see, Republicans only like majorities when majorities go their way.
In a statement, Jindal expressed his disapproval:
We are disappointed by the committee’s action to return the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act to the calendar. We will be issuing an Executive Order shortly that will accomplish the intent of HB 707 to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.
This Executive Order will prohibit the state from denying or revoking a tax exemption, tax deduction, contract, cooperative agreement, loan, professional license, certification, accreditation, or employment on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Co-opting the legislature’s powers took Jindal a whole two hours.
The Times-Picayune explains the executive order’s effects:
The executive order means the 20 agencies that fall under the executive branch, including the Department of Revenue, Department of Insurance, Department of Transportation and Development and Department of Health and Hospitals, must abide by the order. Jindal spokeswoman Shannon Bates Dirmann said the executive order does not have the power to force local municipal or parish governments to enforce the rules set forth in the order.
In one stroke of his pen, perversely pretending to be a defender of the First Amendment, which forbids theocracies, Jindal turned Louisiana into a theocracy.
None of this comes as any surprise. We’ve had plenty of warning from Duck Dynasty’s BFF.
As Jindal wrote in a New York Times op-ed in April, “As the fight for religious liberty moves to Louisiana, I have a clear message for any corporation that contemplates bullying our state: Save your breath.”
If you’re looking for democracy, save your breath. It’s not wanted. Jindal likes to accuse liberals of being intolerant bullies, that “The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with,” but that is exactly the attitude he just expressed in his Executive Order.
What is funny is that he said to Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway just last week:
In America, there used to be a time with the left, and the media even, celebrated diversity and tolerated free speech and religious liberty. Simon, the sad truth is that’s no longer true. They tolerate anybody that agrees with them and nobody else.
A week later he is writing that you can’t do this and you can’t do that “on the basis the person acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.”
My viewpoint will be the only viewpoint that matters in Louisiana, he has effectively stated, which makes all his previous claims to be a champion of religious freedom, a lie.
White Evangelical tyranny is Jindal’s idea of religious freedom.
Back in February, in a speech at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library (a good setting from which to wage war on religious freedom), Piyush said,
The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war. It threatens the fabric of our communities, the health of our public square and the endurance of our constitutional governance.
This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power. It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.
You have to wonder if Piyush knows what “privatized” means. His, after all, is the party of enforced privatization, including our public schools, social security, and probably, ultimately, national defense. How do you privatize faith, anyway? I suspect he thought it gave more force to his words, so he used it.
Piyush went on to tell Simon that, “The only group, it seems like, that the left is willing to discriminate against today is evangelical Christians and others with traditional values and beliefs,” but that was right before he legalized discriminating against gays and lesbians based on those “traditional values and beliefs.”
At any rate, faith is not being silenced, though according to Jesus, the guy Piyush claims to follow, it should never have been publicized. Pray in private Jesus said. Only hypocrites pray in public.
Like Piyush Jindal.

While Shell Plans For Climate Catastrophe The Kochs Kill Renewable Energy

Although it has taken some time to convince many Americans that the effects of anthropogenic climate change cannot be denied, it seems a majority of people finally understand the government has to intervene. However, despite the will of the people, and President Obama’s efforts, the industry getting rich off of destroying Earth’s climate and wreaking havoc on Americans’ lives are ramping up their war to perpetuate the effects of climate change. There are two fronts in the dirty energy industry’s war on the climate with funding and legislative support from the Koch brothers on renewable energy and regulations to reduce carbon emissions.
Apparently the Koch brothers, the Heartland Institute, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and their dirty energy cohorts have reached the end of their patience with the movement toward green and renewable energy sources in this country.  Recognizing the economic growth benefits of renewable energy such as wind and solar technologies, not to mention the health benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are driving anthropogenic climate change, state after state passed renewable energy standards with broad bipartisan support over the past 20 years. Now those renewable standards are falling at a record pace killing jobs, the environment, and contributing to climate change.
The Koch brothers could not allow those efforts to proceed any farther and over the past five years they have spent no small amount of money tasking Americans for Prosperity and ALEC with repealing renewable energy standards in states with Republican-dominated legislatures. To complement their attack on renewable energy, the Kochs, Heartland Institute, Americans for Prosperity, ALEC, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have declared war on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan proposal to reduce carbon emissions in coal-fired power plants.
It was exactly two months ago that Mitch McConnell sent a letter to the National Governor’s Association warning the nation’s governors that President Obama had no legal right to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to set new rules on power plant emissions to combat climate change because it is exactly what the Kochs told him to do. McConnell told the governors that they had damn sure better “Think twice before submitting a state implementation plan (to reduce carbon emissions) because the administration is standing on shaky legal ground and without your support, it (EPA) won’t be able to carry out such political extremism. Refusing to go along at this time with such an extreme proposed regulation would give Congress more time to fight back. We’re devising strategies now to do just that.”
In guidelines to the EPA, the President gave individual states the right to tailor their own implementation plans based on their particular circumstances such as energy needs, the age of the state’s power plants in question, and the cost considerations and impact on their state’s economies. Without a state’s individualized plan, the EPA designs a plan based on the best available information according to individual state’s circumstances. Neither scenario satisfies the Kochs’ vision of unrestricted carbon emissions regardless the damage to the climate, environment, economy, or health of Americans and they took immediate action against the President and the EPA.
The Koch-Republican plan included state’s suing the EPA for interfering with state’s rights under “federalism,” and within two months of the President’s announcement of “proposed rules” Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming filed a joint motion to expedite their lawsuit challenging the EPA’s right to establish emissions rules; rules not yet in place because they have yet to be finalized according to individual states’ needs. In the interim, the American Legislative Exchange Council quickly wrote a template for Republican legislatures demanding that any state’s environmental agency that dared defy the Kochs had to seek Republican approval before submitting an implementation plan to the EPA.
The Heartland Institute has been instrumental in assisting the Kochs by, among other things, using typical fear-mongering and propaganda against the EPA such as publishing comments from a North Dakota Republican claiming that “the proposed EPA regulations will inevitably prove disastrous, and the federal government should be responsible for the devastation they will cause to the economy, especially to the poor who will suffer from higher prices or a lack of power.” These are some of the same states the Kochs, Americans for Prosperity, and ALEC are busy repealing renewable energy standards that have relieved many states of the necessity for carbon-intensive power plants driving climate change that another oil industry giant revealed is nearing catastrophic proportions.
This week it was revealed that oil industry giant Shell admitted, and is planning on, a 4-degree C short term rise in the Earth’s temperature it acknowledges eclipses the climate-killing 2C threshold and will lead to a planet-wide catastrophe of massive flooding, global famines, and desertification. Earth wide famines and “desertification” are self-explanatory, but the “massive flooding” is of sea water as sea levels will rise between 2.5 and 3.5 feet leading to widespread coastal flooding, animal and plant extinctions, and near-decimation of global agriculture.
The internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4C is twice the level considered safe for the planet’s ability to sustain human life and will rapidly increase to a 6C rise in the medium to long term. The Arctic, and western and southern Africa would experience warming up to 10C that Shell’s  planning document accepts as a condition of continued governmental resistance to curb carbon emissions; this according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) that Shell’s internal document drew conclusions from and used for its long term business plan. Shell also used data provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to guide the multinational oil giant’s “future business planning to account for planet-wide flooding, famine and desertification.”
At least Shell admitted that “We do not see governments taking steps now that are consistent with 2 degrees C threshold scenario,” but like the Koch brothers they intend to do nothing but add to the coming climate catastrophe. Even though Shell is not taking the extraordinary steps of waging war on the climate on two fronts of funding anti-regulatory legislation in the states and funding efforts to repeal renewable energy standards, they are no better than the Kochs because they are not making any efforts to combat what they acknowledge is a coming climate catastrophe. Where they are exactly like the Kochs is they reliably contribute to Republicans who are in the trenches doing their dirty work of killing off Americans and what is left of the Earth’s climate.