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Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Daily Drift

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America Is A Liberal Nation

obama and congressional liberals kill corporate tax cutsFor the first time since polling began in 1999, Gallup found that there are more social liberals in the United States than social conservatives.
Gallup reported that the number of respondents who called themselves social liberals has increased to 31%, while the number of self-identified social conservatives has fallen to 30%. The number of Democrats who refer to themselves as social liberals jumped from 47% in 2014 to 53% in 2015. The number of Republicans who call themselves socially conservative has declined from 60% in 2014 to 53% in 2015.
Democrats who used to call themselves social moderates are moving to the left while Republicans are experiencing a decline in social conservatives. The polling matches the overall trend in the country. America has moved left on same-sex marriage, equal pay for women, immigration, and climate change. Issues like the minimum wage and taxes have become both social and economic causes.
The United States is moving to the left. It has been inching leftward on social issues for decades, and the leftward trend is accelerating.
Republicans are nationally unpopular because they are out of step with the rest of the country. One of the main issues within the Republican Party is that candidates continue to pander to an increasing out of touch and shrinking base of social conservatives. The Democratic shift to the left on social issues is politically reflected in Hillary Clinton’s early moves to stake out liberal social positions after announcing her 2016 presidential candidacy.
The nation’s movement left is real and growing. The United States is becoming a socially liberal country, and Republican opponents of these changes are facing consistent defeat as our national leftward social evolution moves forward.

The next American revolution has already begun

Arab Spring protest, via Wikimedia Commons Americans are overwhelmingly dissatisfied our country’s political system, and it’s starting to show
The next American revolution has already begun

The Blue Wall exists for a reason ...

Electoral College 2012, via Wikimedia CommonsThe Electoral College is a lagging indicator of problems with the Republican’s platform.
The Republicans built it

Republicans Assume Voters Are Way More 'Conservative' Than They Are

Study: Lawmakers Assume Voters Are Way More Conservative Than They Are
That's why it's important to let them know otherwise.

Behind the Scenes at CNN’s 2nd-Tier Presidential Debate

“The CNN Republican primary debate on Sept. 16 will be divided into two parts featuring two different sets of candidates: those who rank in the top 10 according to public polling, and the remaining candidates who meet a minimum threshold of 1 percent in public polling, the On Media blog has learned.” -Politico, May 20.
A screen shows the top-tier candidates on a stage during a presidential debate. The word “MUTED” appears across the bottom of the screen. the camera pulls back to reveal RICK SANTORUM, CARLY FIORINA, BOBBY JINDAL, and GEORGE PATAKI spread across the room on chairs and couches. All of them look forlorn, heads down. LINDSAY GRAHAM is asleep in a chair, snoring softly.
I can’t believe Trump made it in. Trump!
I can’t believe I didn’t.
Not with this again, Carly.
We’re not going to beat Hillary Clinton with 10 men on the stage!
I just want to talk about the issues, dammit. Doesn’t anyone care about the issues?
JINDAL (in a whisper, to SANTORUM)
Who is that guy?
No one knows.
Hey did you guys read my op-ed in the New York Times?
SANTORUM, FIORINA, PATAKI (simultaneously)
Yes, Bobby.
OK because I have some copies if anyone needs it.
No one needs it.
SANTORUM (staring at the TV)
Look at that Mike Huckabee. Smug bastard. Why does he get to be up there and not me? I won Iowa more recently than he did.
Ben Carson thinks he’s so great, just because he operated on some kids’ brains. I have a biology degree, you know!
I don’t see what’s so great about any of them. I was governor of New York! I worked with Democrats! I was an effective leader!
Wait, you’re Rudy Giuliani?
HE WAS THE MAY–you know what, who cares?
Isn’t that your campaign slogan?
SANTORUM, FIORINA, PATAKI (simultaneously)
Shut it, Bobby.
A door opens, and a PRODUCTION ASSISTANT enters, carrying a clipboard and wearing a headset.
We’re wrapping up the real debate, um, I mean the first part of the debate now. We’ll need all of you on stage in two minutes.
Do you think I could get some water?
I’m sorry, who are you? You know this is a restricted area right?
Never mind.
FIORINA (patting PATAKI‘S shoulder)
Someone should fire her.
GRAHAM (awaking with a start)
Bomb them! Bomb them back into the middle ages!
Christ, there he goes again.
Let’s get out of here.
SANTORUM, JINDAL, FIORINA, and PATAKI file out of the room as GRAHAM nods back off to sleep.

Republicans Sink To New Low By Using Fox News Special As Fact In Committee Hearing

Featured image by United States Department of Agriculture. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program.jpg#/media/File:Supplemental_Nutrition_Assistance_Program.jpgHow are we supposed to take Congressional Republicans seriously if they think Fox News reports the truth?

Hillary Clinton Calls Out Republicans For Killing Jobs And Not Standing Up To Teabaggers

At a craft brewery in Hampton, New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton called out her Republican pretender opponents for sacrificing American jobs to appease the billionaire Koch Brothers and talk radio Tea Party extremists. In particular, Clinton criticized Republicans who want to dismantle the Export-Import Bank, which supplies loans and provides insurance to facilitate the sale of U.S. exports to international buyers.
A number of Republican pretender contenders have gone on record in favor of killing the Export-Import Bank, a move that could potentially eliminate a significant number of American jobs in the process. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have pledged to shut down the Export-Import Bank. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush also have publicly expressed opposition to the Export-Import Bank.
Clinton argued at the Smuttynose Brewery that the Republican hopefuls were pursuing a job killing policy simply to placate extremists in their party, from the wealthy Koch Brothers to the loud voices on right-wing AM talk radio.
She contended that the Republican candidates were afraid to stand up to the teabaggers and hate speech radio. She added:
It is wrong that candidates for president, who really should know better, are jumping on this bandwagon. It’s embarrassing.
Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling dismissed Clinton’s comments by arguing that if she cared about small businesses and jobs she would be a supporter of “trade promotion authority, pro-growth tax reform, the Keystone pipeline and real regulatory relief”.
Whatever one thinks of the Import-Export Bank, Hillary Clinton hit upon a theme that will probably become a defining motif during her campaign. Republican presidential candidates are so busy pandering to wealthy donors or vocal Tea Party activists, that they refuse to enact common sense policies that benefit ordinary American workers.
Republican candidates are so fearful of losing support on their right flanks that they cower in submission to the dictates of their billionaire backers, or to the angry voices on talk radio. Presidential candidates who are afraid to do the right thing, because it might offend the “wrong people”, probably should seek another line of work. America needs a President who can lead, not one who only knows how to follow.

Republicans Push the Benghazi Video Lie to Discredit Hillary Clinton

The wingnut Washington Free Beacon crowed on Tuesday, “Documents obtained by Judicial Watch from their May 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed against the State Department and the Department of Defense revealed that the Obama administration knew about the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi at least 10 days before the attack.”
Judicial Watch self-identifies as “a wingnut, non-partisan educational foundation” Unfortunately, “wingnut” and “nonpartisan” cannot co-exist in the same sentence, and Judicial Watch’s appeal to its own “high standards of ethics” is questionable at best.
To back up their assertions, they trot out people like wingnut blogger Jennifer Rubin, who likes to talk about Democrats’ “ethical contortions,” (without mentioning that she’s a wingnut) and Brett Bair of Fox News, the folks who invented ethical contortions.
Maybe “nonpartisan” is synonymous with “fair and balanced.”
To take just one example, Judicial Watch – and you almost require a drum roll here – warns readers that, “Other documents show that State Department officials initially described the incident as an “attack.”
Oh no! Foul deeds afoot! Terrorists attack the Benghazi Mission and it is somehow NOT an attack? THAT would be news!
Whatever will be next? President Obama taking to the Rose Garden to refer to “an act of terror” when it was actually a terrorist attack?
Wait…was it an attack or not an attack? If you say it was a terrorist attack, why can’t the State Department call it an “attack” or does “attack” mean something different if the administration uses it, and oh by the way, how is an attack not an act of some kind?
Let’s face it: GOP problems don’t revolve so much as what was said as who said it.
Jerome Corsi writes at Wing Nut Daily that it is “the Hillary terror lie.” Supposedly, Hillary knew from the moment it happened that terrorists were attacking the Benghazi Mission on September 11, 2012, not a bunch of protesters upset by what the National Review refers to dismissively as a “supposedly offensive video,” or as one wingnut media source called it, “a video no one had ever seen.”
As though the motivation of the attackers matters all that much. President Obama identified the attack as a terrorist attack from the very beginning. Republicans want to make that distinction, but there is no distinction to be made. An act of terror is an act of terror, whatever the motivating factors.
You would think the video itself had never existed, but had been invented by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Greta Van Susteren tweeted last night, suggesting sinister plot lines:
Greta Van Susteren @greta
.@KarlRove: We’re getting a sense that the #Benghazi video lie might have come from @HillaryClinton’s office. @FoxNews #greta

But it really was an offensive video – “The Innocence Of muslims” – not supposedly but actually, and it did actually offend muslims, and it did actually play a role in the attack that left four Americans dead.
As David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times, who actually talked to people and examined actual evidence rather than just inventing stuff from his desk, wrote in 2013 in his analysis of the events that night,
Anger at the video motivated the initial attack. Dozens of people joined in, some of them provoked by the video and others responding to fast-spreading false rumors that guards inside the American compound had shot Libyan protesters.
Kirkpatrick went on to write that,
There is no doubt that anger over the video motivated many attackers. A Libyan journalist working for The New York Times was blocked from entering by the sentries outside, and he learned of the film from the fighters who stopped him. Other Libyan witnesses, too, said they received lectures from the attackers about the evil of the film and the virtue of defending the prophet.
Republicans have decided that the Obama administration should have seen the attack coming – and in fact did see the attack coming – and that Obama and Hillary decided to blame it all on a video.
The National Review speaks of “a well-orchestrated disinformation campaign by the Obama administration” which “managed to put the press off the story and mislead the American people,” and claims that, “The brazenness and scope of the disinformation would make any KGB colonel sigh with admiration.”
Red State says, “Now that we know that the White House was actively involved in pushing a blatant lie about the genesis of the Benghazi attack in order to deflect blame it is only fair to ask who came up with the story to begin with.”
Who indeed? Just ask yourself. Who do Republicans fear more than any living human being? Who do they really, really, not want to see running against them in 2016? (and with all due respect, it’s not Bernie Sanders).
It isn’t enough to start a movement to retroactively impeach her as Secretary of State, apparently. It is a shame Republicans were never this interested in how it came to pass that al Qaeda was able to slip past President George W. Bush’s watch to kill not four, but three thousand Americans on a previous September 11.
Or how the Bush administration was able to orchestrate a completely unnecessary and illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq on the pretext that Saddam Hussein, who was an enemy of al Qaeda, had something to do with the attack on 9/11, or that he had mysterious “weapons of mass destruction,” or simply because, when all else failed, we just wanted to export freedom at the point of a bayonet.
Sidney Blumenthal warned in the released Clinton emails that Republicans would use Benghazi to attack her. As Wonkette deadpanned with more basis in fact that any right wing source we’ve looked at here, “so gross Sidney Blumenthal is looking like a goddamned prophet at this point.”
Apparently, there is some law somewhere or another that Blumenthal is not allowed to give Hillary Clinton his opinions on what’s happening. But listening to the right wing media, you would think these are all impeachable offenses. But then again, this is coming from people who think they can impeach President Obama for not doing what they want.
Republicans are no more going to let go of Benghazi than they are going to pay more than lip-service to the idea that the Iraq War was a mistake. And this latest example of Hillary Derangement Syndrome won’t be the last.
I suppose the next one will revolve around how Obama himself planned the Benghazi attack, just so he could make himself and Hillary look bad. Can’t wait for it! Who needs Game of Thrones when you have Fox News and people like Greta Van Susteren for fictional intrigue?

Paul Krugman Is Right The Iraq War Was A Bush Crime

Having a discussion will not change the disastrous consequences of Bush and company's crimes, bring back the three-quarters of a million dead Iraqi civilians or thousands of…
krugman-calls-out-lies-this-weekAlthough it seems counterintuitive from a psychological perspective, but believe it or not there is some value in being reminded periodically, or repeatedly for that matter, of a disastrous occurrence if for no other reason than to avoid it in the future. Republicans consistently either forget or ignore their past disasters and in the preponderance of cases are intent on repeating them for reasons that defy all sense of logic and reason; it is just the Republican way of doing everything and adverse consequences be damned. Even though many Americans would like to either forget the national disgrace that was one of the Bush junta’s greatest disasters and affronts to humanity, or ignore it all together, the Iraq war is a nightmare that is a recurring reminder of the Bush junta’s crimes against humanity and the American people.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman spent his allotment of words in the New York Times Monday on an opinion piece titled “Errors and Lies.” In the op-ed Mr. Krugman noted that with the “maybe” candidacy for president of Jeb Bush, “We may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.” Although having a discussion will not change the disastrous consequences of Bush and company’s crimes, bring back the three-quarters of a million dead Iraqi civilians or thousands of American soldiers, it may inform Americans of the intent of Republicans defending the invasion and occupation.
Krugman implies that the current narrative is that “invading Iraq was a terrible mistake that everyone admits, so let’s move on.” However, and here is where Krugman gets it partially right; that narrative may be true of some in the media, but not everyone admits the war was a mistake and no Republicans are admitting that the Bush junta lied to frighten Americans into supporting a disastrous enterprise they are panting to continue unabated.
As Krugman duly noted, Jeb Bush claims his brother’s disastrous war was just an innocent and honest mistake based on obviously faulty intelligence. Many Republicans claim it was exactly what the then-stable region needed and what the American people demanded to protect the homeland from nuclear annihilation launched from Bagdad. The truth that even Republicans are well-aware of is that America invaded Iraq because the Bush-Cheney junta desperately wanted a war with Iraq from the moment they stepped foot in the White House in January 2001.
The neo-con Iraqi invasion justifications in public  were not, as Krugman kindly says “falsified pretexts;” they were well-conceived machinations founded on blatant lies. Lies the Bush warmongers employed as propaganda to frighten Americans into supporting a war they will be paying additional trillions of dollars for over a couple of generations. That it is not only acceptable, but defensible, to most Republicans still claiming invading Iraq was necessary is an abomination of epic proportions and part of their devious preparations for another Israeli-provoked war; this time with another Islamic nation, Iran.
There is no dearth of information revealing the Bush administration’s intent to invade Iraq, or more specifically, get rid of Sadam Hussein and procure Iraqi oil began early in the administration; they just needed a reason that would convince the American people a war was good for America.  The terror attack on 9/11 gave them exactly what they lusted after for nearly nine months. In fact, according to  notes taken by one of Donald Rumsfeld’s aides on the day of 9/11,  Rumsfeld said the White House should “Judge whether good enough to hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] …sweep it all up things related and not.” Rumsfeld knew Bush and Cheney could successfully use the attacks in their plot for an Iraq war. From that point forward, an Iraq invasion was inevitable and it was down to Bush junta lies and a willing media to spread fear among the population for what is always a ratings-bonanza; America at war.
For Americans with a brain, the rush to war based on  935 lies and fearmongering was apparent if for no other reason than the ever-changing reasons invading Iraq was crucial to “protect America.” Whether it was the scary W.M.D that Saddam  destroyed after the first Gulf War, the nuclear arsenal that Saddam never had, Saddam’s close relationship and support for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, or Bush lies that Iraq committed the attacks on 9/11, the only consistent reason for invasion was to prevent America’s annihilation.
In a radio address in 2002, Bush succeeded in frightening Americans into supporting an invasion and war by lying that  “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year. We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
The Bush junta wanted a substantial war with Iraq, and Jeb Bush’s assertion that the supposed mistakes “were made” by someone unnamed were borne of the neo-cons’ only desire to lie profusely no matter the intelligence contradicting their claims. Krugman wonders; “Did the intelligence agencies wrongly conclude that Iraq had chemical weapons and a nuclear program?” No, not according to Michael Morell, a career CIA official who became the agency’s deputy director and acting director and served as Bush’s intelligence briefer during the pre-invasion period. Morell told Chris Matthews on Tuesday that “the Bush-Cheney junta publicly misrepresented the intelligence related to Iraq’s supposed WMD program and Saddam’s alleged links to Al Qaeda.” That is not an honest intelligence “mistake” by Bush officials, that is deceit and in lying to take America to war, as Krugman states the obvious, it is indeed a crime.
Mr. Krugman also rhetorically asks if the Bush junta’s prewar assessments were honest understatements of the difficulty and cost of a full-scale invasion and occupation. No they did not; because Bush fired the Army’s chief of staff for publicly questioning the juntas assertions that the occupation phase would be cheap and easy. It was all part of the warmongers’ deceit to prevent the public from learning the truth that could possibly raise any doubts about the rush to invade. No matter how one assesses the Bush administration’s plot to invade Iraq, it was criminal.
Republicans just cannot, and will never, admit that Bush and company deliberately lied to frighten Americans into supporting a disastrous war of aggression in Iraq. It is not just that they are ill-inclined to admit their heroic war president’s lied and caused countless American and civilian deaths and created an economic black hole the effects the nation will feel for two generations; they are repeating the same lies in preparation for another war of aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is noteworthy, and tragic, that too many Americans are completely unaware that Netanyahu was a driving force in antagonizing Bush to invade Iraq for regime change. It was a crime in 2003 and one Republicans pant to repeat with Iran.
As Krugman says, the Iraq War and the Bush junta’s machinations to start it were not mistakes in intelligence, they were a crime. And yet the dirty, blood-guilty criminals are walking around free, advising another Bush, as well as other Republican neo-cons on foreign policy and blaming Barack Obama for Bush’s crime that destabilized the region in and around Iraq and created the dreaded ISIL. It is good that the Iraq invasion is being discussed in terms of whether it was a mistake, but as every parent tells their child, deliberately lying to achieve a goal is not a mistake and in the case of lying profusely to take a nation into a disastrous war, it is a crime that is still going unpunished.

Reporter Stumbles Across ALEC Meeting, Gets Kicked Out Of Hotel

Reporter Stumbles Across ALEC Meeting, Gets Kicked Out Of HotelA reporter is a paying guest at the same hotel where the ALEC spring meeting is being held, and their reaction is predictably hamhanded.
Reporter Stumbles Across ALEC Meeting, Gets Kicked Out Of Hotel

Did Notorious RBG drop a hint on marriage equality last weekend?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, via Creative CommonsDid Notorious RBG drop a hint on marriage equality last weekend?
A little extra emphasis on the word “Constitution” could be going a long way.

Scott Walker and the return of the physiocrats

Scott Walker, viaScott Walker’s policy agenda is based on junk philosophy from the 18th Century.
The return of the physiocrats

Minimum Wage

Here's What Minimum Wage Looks Like Around The World
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a policy group involving 34 countries, recently created a chart to show you how their minimum wages stack up.
Here's What Minimum Wage Looks Like Around The World

Iowa Republican opposing LGBTQ youth conference admits he has no idea what ‘LGBTQ’ means

Iowa Republican State Representative Greg Heartsill (Facebook)
What an IDIOT!  

Red States Are Literally Robbing The Poor To Give To The Rich

New Study: Red States Are Literally Robbing The Poor To Give To The Rich
Red states, particularly in the south, are undermining the federal tax code that addresses wealth inequality to give more to wealthy donors.

So Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey Was Trying To Delay The Amtrak Safety System

So PA Sen. Pat Toomey Was Trying To Delay The Amtrak Safety SystemAnd in the week since the crash, he's dropped his sponsorship of the legislation. Radioactive, Pat?  

Scott Walker Fired From His Own Job Creation Agency

Scott Walker Fired From His Own Job Creation Agency
Even Wisconsin Republicans are tired of Walker's long history of corruption and ineptitude.
Scott Walker Fired From His Own Job Creation Agency

Maddow Blasts Law Requiring Aurora Shooting Victim's Parents To Pay Gun Manufacturers

Rachel Maddow
Insanity Defined - Shooting Victims Parents Have to PAY gun manufacturers!

Here are 7 things people who say they’re ‘fiscally conservative but socially liberal’ don’t understand

A handsome big moustached hipster man smoking cigarette in the city (Shutterstock)
Social and economic issues are deeply intertwined.