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Friday, July 31, 2015

The Daily Drift

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In This 1 Minute Statement, John Kerry Gets Painfully Real With Israel

In This 1 Minute Statement, John Kerry Gets Painfully Real With Israel (VIDEO)
Kerry is done playing with Israel over Iran. The gloves are off.

Koch Struggles

Koch Brothers' political cabal struggles in Alaska

Cruz and the politics of delusion and fear

How the Republican cabal mastered the art of exploiting scared 'christians'

Koch-backed Scott Walker is an American dictator in waiting

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Pick fights. Smear and scapegoat opponents. Punish the defeated. Escalate.

This One Endorsement Just Ended the Race for the White House

I know what you’re thinking — with 16 (or 17 if you count Jim Gilmore, but who does) Republicans running for the Republican cabal nomination, and five Democrats running for theirs, we have a long, long road ahead of us before we find out who the 45th president of the United States will be.
Nope, the election ended the other day, with one endorsement that will sew up both the nomination and the general election.
Dennis Rodman @dennisrodman
@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016
That’s it. Dennis Rodman has spoken, so 2016 is in the bag. There’s really no reason for any of us to vote. Congratulations Pretender Trump, may your reign be long and glorious.

Hillary Clinton’s Energy Plan Puts Republican Rivals in Hot Seat

Hillary Mayors Conf

Australian Actress Rebel Wilson Schools America On Gun Control And Gun Nuts Are Furious

Australian Actress Rebel Wilson Schools America On Gun Control And Gun Nuts Are Furious For a problem as seemingly intractable as the plague of gun deaths in America, there is good reason to turn to other countries and see how they avoid the...
Gun Nuts Are Furious ( So What Else Is New?)

Buchanan Appears On ‘Meet The Press’, Twitter Shreds Him

Pat’s Back: Buchanan Appears On ‘Meet The Press’, Twitter Shreds Him (VIDEO, IMAGES) In 2012, Pat Buchanan was banned from MSNBC because of his virulently xenophobic views, gathered by Buchanan in his book, “Suicide of a Superpower.”...

Spike Lee Imposter Puts Police Brutality Into Perspective With A Single Brilliant Tweet

Spike Lee Imposter Puts Police Brutality Into Perspective With A Single Brilliant Tweet There are two sides to the issue of how police in America treat black people. There’s the truth, which is that a black man is 22 times more likely...

Not All Police Are Evil

Not All Police Are Evil: Viral Pictures Of A Cop And A Homeless Man Will Make Your Day (IMAGES)
Viral Pictures Of A Cop And A Homeless Man Will Make Your Day 
How this officer treats a homeless man proves that while there is a definite issue with tough-guy syndrome in our police forces, sometimes a good person just wants to serve.

Bad Cops

Cop Caught On Video Pepper Spraying Attendees Of Black Lives Matter Conference

James Hansen Spells Out Climate Danger Of The ‘Hyper-Anthropocene’ Age

The world needs to understand the plausible worst-case scenario for climate change this century and beyond -- something that the media and the IPCC have utterly failed to deliver.

Lawsuit Claims That People Who Want LGBT Americans Treated Equally Are The Real Bigots

If you can't convince the rest of the nation that discrimination is acceptable, then why not try to convince them that you are the real victim?

McConnell Crushed As Senate Democrats Block Amendment To Repeal Obamacare

mcconnell whines about obama 60 minutes
Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment to repeal Obamacare that Mitch McConnell attached to the transportation bill.
The final vote was 49-43, which was 11 votes short of 60 needed for passage.
The McConnell amendment was overshadowed by the looming procedural move that was going to be pulled by Cruz and Lee to try to use the nuclear option to repeal Obamacare with 51 votes. Senate Republicans like Hatch argued against the move that Cruz and Lee tried to pull by claiming that if they were successful, Senate leaders would lose control of the calendar and agenda. In other words, if Cruz and Lee were successful, the Senate would become the House.
The McConnell amendment was a show vote that was designed to appease those Senate Republicans who outraged over the vote to save the Ex-Im Bank. The procedural move by Cruz and Lee to try to repeal Obamacare with 51 votes is unlikely to be successful.
The only thing that McConnell has accomplished today is to bring the raging civil war within the Senate Majority out into the open.
The Republican pretender candidates in the Senate all voted for the repeal of the ACA, but McConnell’s amendment to repeal the ACA was dead before the first vote was cast. Democrats are never going to support anything that repeals Obamacare.
The point is that Republicans are determined to take away affordable healthcare from millions of Americans. They don’t care how well the law works, or how many people that it helps. Republicans are going to take away access to health insurance to millions.
McConnell has been defeated again and is taking steps by the day to become as bad of a leader as Boehner.

Trump Humiliates Himself With Claim He Is Going Make The Bad Immigrants Leave

donald trump republican party
Donald Trump humiliated himself on CNN by claiming that if he is appointed pretender, he is going to make the “bad” immigrants leave the US.
Transcript via CNN:
TAPPER: I do want to talk about immigration and illegal immigration, an issue that you have talked about a lot. You were at the border the other day. Assuming a Pretender Trump is able to stop the flow of illegal immigration through building a wall or some parts of a wall, what do you think should be done with the estimated 11 million undocumented workers and their families already here?

Would you be open-minded about a path to citizenship? Is that a nonstarter with you? Where are you on that issue?
TRUMP: OK, fine.
First of all — and you said it — you have to stop it. You have to stop it fast. And we can do that. We can do that with combinations of walls and Border Patrol, who are phenomenal people. I met many of them when I was in Laredo, when — when I was at the border. And we can stop that — and fencing.
But we can stop it with both construction and with physical. I mean, we can do a great job of that. OK? I’m totally convinced. And it won’t cost the kind of money — in fact, we will save money, because people that are coming in here that shouldn’t be coming in here illegally, it will actually save money by doing it, and doing it properly.
Once that’s done, we have a situation that is going to be done immediately, before that’s done. We’re going to get the bad ones out. We have some really bad dudes right here in this country, and we’re getting them out, and we’re sending them back to where they came from. And I don’t mean Mexico. I mean, it’s — they come from all over. They’re not coming just from — they’re coming from all over.
TAPPER: Right.
TRUMP: At to get rid of the — the bad ones are going to get out. Then, from that point on, we’re going to look very, very strongly at what we do. And I’m going to formulate a plan that I think people are going to be happy with. But we’re going to look very, very strongly at what we do.
TAPPER: OK, but you’re not — but you’re not going to rule in or rule out…
TRUMP: I’m going to get rid of the bad ones fast.
TRUMP: And I’m going to send them back. And we’re not going to be putting them in prisons here, and pay for them for the next 40 years.
TAPPER: Right. But there are obviously…
TRUMP: We’re going to send them back where they could from.

TAPPER: There obviously will be — will remain, after you get rid of the bad ones, millions and millions of undocumented workers who are not bad ones.
Trump’s whole plan is to make the “bad” immigrants leave. What he didn’t make clear was how he is going to tell the “good” immigrants from the “bad” ones.
Given Trump’s previous comments, he believes that all immigrants are bad, so that means that everyone is going to have to leave. By the end of the interview, Trump had CNN’s Jake Tapper speaking like six-year-old, with talk of good and bad immigrants.
Trump is popular with Republican voters because he speaks their simple language of good and bad. Trump’s rise is proof that the Republican cabal is devolving and getting dumber with each pretender election cycle.
Trump has no real policies. He is full of racism, bigotry, and empty tough talk. The crazier he gets, the popular he becomes.
Trump keeps falling on his face, but Republican voters love him even more.

Michigan Citizens Strike Back At Rick Snyder’s Corporate Wealth Transfer

Of course the mainstream media has not reported on events in Michigan because the last thing corporate media wants is to give Americans across the country the truth that they have the power to stop the Republicans…
It is hardly a secret that Republicans exist solely for the benefit of the rich, corporations, and the religious. It is particularly evident in Republican-misled states where Republican governors and legislatures are stealing everything from the people, and state governments, and giving the booty to corporations and the rich. Now, it appears that finally one state’s population has had enough of Republicans’ ‘reverse Robin Hood‘ economic policies and are sidestepping the Republican governor and legislature by appealing directly to the people for redress, and much-needed funding for infrastructure repairs. Of course the mainstream media has not reported on events in Michigan because the last thing corporate media wants is to give Americans across the country the idea that they have power to put a stop to Republicans transferring wealth to corporations and the rich at the expense of the poor, elderly, students, middle class, and infrastructure.
Anyone keeping track of corporate-puppet Rick Snyder’s wealth transfer in Michigan understands that the state is being ravaged to increase wealth for corporations. A group of Michigan residents is not only aware that their state is in the grips of corporations, they have watched their roads, bridges, and highways crumble around them while the Governor complains there is no money for transportation repairs due to revenue shortfalls resulting from tax cuts for corporations. Since the idiot Snyder or the Republican legislature refuse to take any actions to address the decrepit state of Michigan’s roads, a group of Michigan citizens is circumventing the governor and state legislature and going straight to the people. The “citizen-initiated ballot initiative” is a referendum to raise corporate taxes from 6-percent to 11-percent to raise close to $1 billion to repair the fourth worst roads in the entire nation. The citizens are acutely aware that even if the Republican legislature miraculously pass legislation rescinding even a part of the “massive tax giveaways” to Snyder’s corporate friends, the governor would never sign the legislation; he may even appoint an ’emergency manager’ to disband the legislature if they even thought of taking away the gifts to corporations.
The crux of the problem, typical of Republican-misled states across the nation, was best explained by Tom Lutz of “Citizens For Fair Taxes.” Lutz said, “They (Snyder and Republicans) promised us that giving away billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations and CEOs would lead to more and better work for Michiganders, but the only thing they did was make life harder on Michigan’s middle class and working people. They raised taxes on seniors and retirees. They raised property taxes on working families and the middle class, and they even raised taxes on poor families with children. But none of that money went to capital or key funding for infrastructure. It was simply given to corporations who took it as profit. This ballot proposal will bring fairness back to families who have paid more than their fair share.”
According to Citizens for Fair Taxes, what is happening in Michigan is exactly what is happening in every other red state and would be the case nationally if Republicans controlled all three branches of government. Snyder and Republicans handed corporations over $2 billion in tax cuts being paid for with tax hikes worth $1.6 billion on poor and middle class families and senior citizens. Fair Tax Fix reports that the Snyder-Republican corporate tax giveaway is the “single biggest shift in money from poor, middle class, and senior individuals to corporations in Michigan history.” Of course, the trickle down pledge that handing over billions to corporations would create a job bonanza never came to fruition because it was never intended to do anything but transfer wealth.
In its 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the state revealed that while corporations “barely contributed $400 million to state coffers,” poor and middle class families and seniors watched their taxes “skyrocket 25% that sent $8 billion” to the state treasury to fund corporate tax cuts. The result of the wealth transfer through “monstrous corporate tax cuts” has not created jobs or helped Michigan workers; but they were never meant to. In fact, according to study and report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Michigan median income dropped an astounding 21.6% to only $48,273 last year compared to $61,551 before Snyder and Republicans began transferring income from regular households to wealthy corporations. It is noteworthy that there is a nearly identical correlation between the 25% tax hike on regular Michigan residents and the nearly 22% decline in their income.
As the ballot initiative’s organizers noted, this direct approach circumventing the Republican legislature and corporate governor “may well be the only way to fight back against failed and harmful Republican policies and laws.” The group intends on expanding ballot initiative scope to create an independent commission to “fairly redraw” gerrymandered Republican districts and reinstate a fair graduated income tax. It is a clever means of combatting an aggressive Republican legislature and governor that continues stealthily inserting nasty appropriations “into every law they pass to prevent citizens from taking action” or having a voice in democracy.
Remember, Snyder has already instituted an “emergency manager” law that abolishes city council, mayoral, and school district” authority and given one Snyder appointee dictatorial power, but the Republicans have not completely wiped out democratic representation through abolishing the referendum process; the last semblance of democracy and likely the people’s last, and only, opportunity to rein in Snyder’s fascist takeover of Michigan. This populist move is about so much more than improving Michigan’s pathetic roads, or the transfer of wealth from the people directly to corporations and it should be a model for other sad, poor, and beleaguered Americans living in Republican-controlled states suffering the gross wealth transfer to the rich and corporations.

The Trump Paradox

He Can Win A Crowded Primary, But He’s Doomed In A Two-Way Race 
Despite his early success in a multi-candidate race, Trump lacks the breadth of support needed to win a general election.…
donald trump
Trump continues to dominate the Republican pretender field, with polling numbers putting him well ahead of any other Republican cabal pretender candidate. Yet, despite his apparent strength in the polls, he remains the least liked candidate in either major party who is currently running for president.
That Trump is a polarizing figure should come as no surprise. However, the juxtaposition of him widening his lead in the Republican cabal primary, at the same time that most American voters have an unfavorable opinion of him, may seem paradoxical.
A recent YouGuv poll finds that Trump has surged to a double digit lead in the Republican field with 28 percent support, to 14 percent support for his nearest competitor, Jeb. Trump enjoys this commanding lead in the Republican primaries, even though along with blowhard Chris Christie, he is one of the most disliked candidates with Republican voters. A full 42 percent of Republican voters have a negative opinion of Trump, compared to 53 percent who view him positively.
While those numbers aren’t terrible, they are quite a bit less favorable than Wisconsin's moron Walker’s 57-18 favorable spread or that idiot, Rubio’s 63-17 favorable rating. Trump isn’t as well-liked by Republican cabal voters as those men, but he is still beating them soundly in the Republican field.
Trump may be benefiting from deep support even though he lacks depth of support. Not many voters like him, but the voters that do like him seem to like him better than anybody else in the race. That sort of deep support is powerful in a multi-candidate field where a candidate who can secure as little as 20-30 percent of the vote can win. However, it creates problems in a two-way race, where victory requires amassing support from half the electorate.
Trump’s current success in the crowded Republican race masks his weakness in a two-way contest. His commanding lead is largely a function of the size of the Republican cabal field, rather than a testament to his political strength.
A Gallup Poll released Friday July 24, 2015, found that 56 percent of American adults had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, compared to just 32 percent who viewed him favorably. Those kind of numbers are politically fatal in a two-way general election match-up. As long as Trump continues to hold a lead in the Republican cabal field, he will create the illusion of being a formidable political candidate. However, despite his early success in a multi-candidate race, he lacks the breadth of support to win a general election.
Trump’s “fifteen minutes of fame” may go into overtime, if they haven’t already, but ultimately he doesn’t have the numbers needed to win a presidential election. The question isn’t “if” his campaign will eventually flame out, but rather “when” it will.

U.S. Marshals Raid Lawless Racist Wingnut Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Office

joe-arpaioU.S. Marshals raided racist wingnut Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, in search of evidence that the department was unlawfully withholding from a U.S. District Judge. Judge G. Murray Snow ordered the raid, after it became apparent that the Sheriff’s Department was not cooperating with a February order, that had asked Arpaio to turn over identification cards, hard drives and other documents.
A court-appointed monitor alleged that Arpaio’s Department had withheld hundreds of documents and dozens of hard drives in clear violation of the judge’s orders, prompting the judge’s decision to order the raid.
Arpaio’s defense attorney, John Masterson, attempted to argue that the undisclosed evidence was irrelevant but an irritated Judge Snow retorted:
I’ll tell you this. They may not be relevant, but they may also be very relevant.
Defending his decision to order the raid, the judge added:
Somebody has to be held responsible sometime. … And it’s going to be now.
The raid is the latest twist in a seven year old lawsuit against Arpaio’s Department for racial profiling against Latino motorists. Arpaio has stonewalled repeatedly by withholding evidence and by directing his staff not to cooperate with investigators or with court orders.
The case took an especially bizarre turn in May 2014 when a former Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff committed suicide after a series of standoffs with law enforcement officials. In the ex- deputy’s home, authorities found illegal drugs as well as hundreds of drivers’ licenses, ID cards, passports, and wallets that were apparently confiscated illegally.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio is supposed to uphold the law, but he has consistently shown contempt for the law when he asked to obey it himself. His unwillingness to obey legal orders from a judge prompted U.S. Marshals to raid the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department on Friday. Sheriff Joe’s days of flouting the law are at an end.

Supposedly dog’s own cabal, the 2016 Republican cabal Still Doesn’t Care What jesus Said

White Nationalist Jesus
By the time children step foot in school again this fall, it will have been two years since Pope Francis cautioned that the Cult had become “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception.
“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
Indeed, it is not. jesus never mentioned any of them. Not once.
He did, however, talk about the poor, and about the evils of the rich, and how the rich will not enter the kingdom of dog. He told his followers to turn the other cheek, to love and to forgive.
Pope Francis went on to say that, “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the cult are not all equivalent. The cult’s pastoral brainwashing cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”
We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the gospel.
Two years later, here we are with the Republican cabal and religio-wingnuts focused as much on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception, as ever before. We are forced to continually re-fight the same battles as children starve, as people go homeless, and as corporations brutalize not only workers, but the environment.
Cruz’s campaign site features a “Life, Marriage, and Family” page, proclaiming,
Without life, there is no liberty. And ensuring every child is born into a home with a loving family provides the best chance for that child to achieve anything. That is why Cruz has been on the front lines defending life and standing up for marriage when it has come under assault from activist judges.
There is nothing about ensuring those children are fed. In fact, nowhere on his campaign site will you find anything about jesus’ condemnation of the rich and exaltation of the poor. Just a bunch of stuff jesus didn’t find particularly important.
Wisconsin's moron Walker, another pretender hopeful, just signed 20-week abortion band into law, which bans abortions after 20 weeks except for when the mother’s life is in danger. There are no exceptions for “severe fetal anomalies or for victims of rape and incest.”
jesus never talked about these things. Not once. jesus never called for strange men to probe women’s vaginas. Walker and his Republican legislature could have come up with a law protecting the poor from the rich. jesus talked about that. The Pope talks about that.
But Wisconsin Republicans would rather focus on their pet bigotries than on following jesus.
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says on “Secure our Values” page of his 2016 campaign site that he wants to “ensure that America remains a shining city on a hill.” This means, apparently, that “America was built upon the fundamental notions that life and liberty are sacred and inalienable rights.”
Unless you are a woman, of course. Or gay. Or want to be safe from people exercising their Second Amendment rights at your expense. And really, it’s kind of funny when you consider the fact that living in a Red State is harmful to your health. Maybe there ought to be signs at the border, like on packs of cigarettes.
Graham insists that,
There is no part of society more vulnerable and in need of our protection than the unborn. The inalienable right to life of every innocent human being is an essential element of a civil society.
Nothing about the children after they are born of course. After that, children don’t need protection, apparently. And no mention of the poor, or their inability to take care of their children. Nothing about the rich people who oppress them.
You know, stuff jesus talked about.
There are now sixteen Republican candidates. You will find pretty much the same pablum* (that’s an intellectual term for, as vocabulary.com helpfully puts it, “a big load of hooey”) coming out of all their mouths. Even Trump, who is not particularly religious, supports a 20-week abortion ban, apparently, because everybody else does.
Not one single one of them is talking about anything jesus talked about. None of them is talking about forgiveness, or loving their enemies, or turning the other cheek, or caring for the poor or condemning the rich.
In other words, the cabal of shoving jesus down all our throats doesn’t really care much at all about jesus, let alone sanctifying life, but rather about sanctifying their own bigotries with the veil of religion. jesus may not have liked gentiles much (he called them “dogs” and “swine”) but he liked women. He liked children. He liked the poor.
And despised the rich, who were going to be last under his father’s new regime.
With the Republican cabal being the cabal of the rich, it’s no wonder that message gets lost. There is less excuse for the rest.
Pope Francis says, because it is true (“So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions”), however uncomfortable the thought makes you, that you must give up all your wealth to follow him, not just give to charity and take your tax deductions.
In Pope Francis’ words:
'christian' poverty is that I give to the poor what is mine, not just what is left over, but even that which I need for myself, because I know that he enriches me.
This is not communism, says the Pope. It’s jesus.
And he is right.
This doesn’t get talked about. It’s awkward, after all. How many 'christians' are willing to give up everything? And how will they follow him? jesus isn’t wandering around the Midwest as he wandered around Galilee. He’s dead. Been dead for 2,000 years.
But that’s what he said. He didn’t say “stop abortion,” or “stop gays from getting married,” or “don’t use contraception,” if you want to follow me. He never said any of that.
It is not that the Pope wants to ignore those three things, though nobody is likely to forget his explosive and controversial, “Who am I to judge?” remark. He is not a Free Thinker. Some have even questioned how much of a moderate he really is, despite the wingnuts' cries of “Marxist!”
Regardless of where he really stands, the Pope has said that abortion, gay marriage, and contraception have to be seen in a larger context:
I see the cult as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars. You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.
Wouldn’t that be something? To talk about something else…