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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Bill Maher on running for office: Americans would ‘probably elect a pedophile before an atheist’

'Real Time' host Bill Maher delivers special commentary for 'Real Sports' on Feb. 26, 2015. [YouTube]

President Obama Tears Boehner And McConnell A New One At Highway Bill Signing

While he signed the three-month transportation funding bill, President Obama delivered a stern lecture to Congress in general and John Boehner and Mitch McConnell specifically about their total inability to govern.
The President said:
obama signs highway billWell, I am about to sign a three-month extension of our highway funding, and that’s a good thing because if this wasn’t in front of me and ready for signature we would end up having projects all across the country be frozen after midnight.
On the other hand, we have now made it a habit where instead of five-year funding plans for transportation instead of long-term approaches, instead we operate as if we’re hand to mouth three months at a time, which freezes a lot of construction, which makes people uncertain, which leads to businesses not being willing to hire because they don’t have any long-term certainty. It’s a bad way for the U.S. government to do business.
We can’t have bridges collapsing and potholes not being filled because Congress can’t come up with an adequate plan to fund our infrastructure budget for more than three or five or six months at a time.
So I want to make sure that before I sign this Congress gets a clear message, and that is we should not be leaving all the business of the U.S. government until the last minute.
That little lecture was directed at two people whose names the President did not mention. Obama was talking about the dysfunction between Boehner and McConnell. The Senate did their job. They negotiated a bipartisan multi-year agreement on transportation funding that House Republicans immediately refused to pass.
Republicans promised the American people that the governing from crisis to crisis behavior would stop if they were given control of both the House and Senate. Well, Republicans control Congress, and the dysfunction and chaos have grown worse.
President Obama has been forced into the role of the national parent who has to scold and reprimand Republicans who refuse to carry out their basic duties. The spoiled Republican children are taking millions of dollars in salary and benefits from the taxpayers while providing little in return.
The drama over the highway bill is nothing compared to the potential government shutdown that is looming after Congress returns from its August break. As the stakes get higher, it is expected that President Obama’s language will get even tougher as Boehner and McConnell appear to have no idea how to make this Congress work.

President Obama Calls Out The Republican Lies On Medicare

Obama medicare
President Obama is pushing back against the Republican lies about Medicare while celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid.
The President said:
This week, there was a big birthday you might have missed. Medicare and Medicaid turned 50 years old. And that’s something worth celebrating.

If one of the best measures of a country is how it treats its more vulnerable citizens – seniors, the poor, the sick – then America has a lot to be proud of. Think about it. Before Social Security, too many seniors lived in poverty. Before Medicare, only half had some form of health insurance. Before Medicaid, parents often had no help covering the cost of care for a child with a disability.

But as Americans, we declared that our citizens deserve a basic measure of security and dignity. And today, the poverty rate for seniors is less than half of what it was fifty years ago. Every American over 65 has access to affordable health care. And today, we’re finally finishing the job – since I signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the uninsured rate for all Americans has fallen by about one-third.
These promises we made as a nation have saved millions of our own people from poverty and hardship, allowing us new freedom, new independence, and the chance to live longer, better lives. That’s something to be proud of. It’s heroic. These endeavors – these American endeavors – they didn’t just make us a better country. They reaffirmed that we are a great country.
And a great country keeps the promises it makes. Today, we’re often told that Medicare and Medicaid are in crisis. But that’s usually a political excuse to cut their funding, privatize them, or phase them out entirely – all of which would undermine their core guarantee. The truth is, these programs aren’t in crisis. Nor have they kept us from cutting our deficits by two-thirds since I took office. What is true is that every month, another 250,000 Americans turn 65 years old, and become eligible for Medicare. And we all deserve a health care system that delivers efficient, high-quality care. So to keep these programs strong, we’ll have to make smart changes over time, just like we always have.
Today, we’re actually proving that’s possible. The Affordable Care Act has already helped secure Medicare’s funding for another 13 years. The Affordable Care Act has saved more than nine million folks on Medicare 15 billion dollars on their prescription medicine. It has expanded Medicaid to help cover 12.8 million more Americans, and to help more seniors live independently. And we’re moving our health care system toward models that reward the quality of the care you receive, not the quantity of care you receive. That means healthier Americans and a healthier federal budget.
Today, these programs are so fundamental to our way of life that it’s easy to forget how hard people fought against them at the time. When FDR created Social Security, critics called it socialism. When JFK and LBJ worked to create Medicare, the cynics said it would take away our freedom. But ultimately, we came to see these programs for what they truly are – a promise that if we work hard, and play by the rules, we’ll be rewarded with a basic measure of dignity, security, and the freedom to live our lives as we want.

It’s a promise that previous generations made to us, and a promise that our generation has to keep.
As usual, the President didn’t mention anyone by name but it was clear who he was talking about. Jeb Bush has made phasing out the beloved program that help the poor, seniors, and the disabled a key piece of his campaign. Republicans routinely misinform in an attempt to provide justification for their ideological goal of destroying Medicare/Medicaid.
Republicans are still claiming that Obamacare is destroying Medicare when the reality is that the ACA has added to Medicare funding. As we move into campaign season, the Republican lies about the stability and future of Medicare will return to the surface. The truth is that the Republican goal has been, is, and will continue to be to get rid of Medicare.
Obama nailed it. Republicans are wrong about the ACA, Medicare, and Social Security. The President is standing tall and not letting the right’s ideological fallacies go unchallenged.

White House Promises Obama Will Veto Republican Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood

obama veto 40 hour work week
President Obama is standing by Planned Parenthood as the White House confirmed that he will veto the Republican bill to defund the organization.
The White House on Friday threatened a veto on any bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.

A budget measure that strips funding from the organization “is certainly something that would draw a presidential veto,” press secretary Josh Earnest said.

“We have routinely opposed the inclusion of ideologically driven riders” in budget bills, Earnest added.
This veto threat is larger than most because Ted Cruz and House Republicans are threatening to shut down the government if Planned Parenthood is not defunded. Cruz is set to deploy the same tactics that he used in 2013 to shut down the government when he attempted to defund Obamacare.
The 2013 shutdown was a complete disaster, and House and Senate Republicans will be under the same kind of pressure to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood. The Obama veto threat is the first shot in what could be an ugly showdown in September. This White House is opposed to ideological add-ons in budget bills. That means that when Cruz and his House wingnut allies pressure Boehner and McConnell into adding a provision that defunds Planned Parenthood to the budget bills, Republicans will be putting the wheels in motion for a government shutdown.
Republicans in Congress have been trying this same failed stunt for years. Republicans always convince themselves that they have found the golden ticket to make Obama blink, but the President has stood his ground and not batted an eye. In the end, Republicans always cave under the pressure of the crisis that they created bring down the President.
Nothing has changed. Republicans are going to fail again because the White House has made it clear that President Obama is not going to be intimidated.

Obama Draws Bright Red Line In The Sand Over Planned Parenthood, Dares Republicans To Cross It

Obama Draws Bright Red Line In The Sand Over Planned Parenthood, Dares Republicans To Cross It
This is what a president who stands up for women’s rights looks like.
Read more

Hillary Clinton Just Obliterated Jeb In Front Of Jeb

Hillary Clinton Just Obliterated Jeb Bush In Front Of Jeb Bush
This. Was. Epic.
Read more

Republicans Tell Their Own Media: You’re Destroying Our Chance To 'Govern' With Your Idiocy

Republicans Tell Their Own Media: You’re Destroying Our Chance To Govern With Your IdiocyRepublicans are concerned with what Liberals have been saying for years: the wingnut media’s push to extremism is harming the Republican cabal’s ability to 'govern'.

Fox News Says Don’t Worry if Times’ Clinton Email Story Wrong, Keep Talking About it

Judith Miller says don't worry about facts, we need more coverage. This is Fox-speak for "We've got nothing, so let's keep talking about it"…
A classic Fox News response to the botched, re-botched and botched again New York Times Hillary Clinton email story:
On Fox News’ Happening Now, Judith Miller said we need more coverage of the Clinton emails “Whether or not The Times got certain facts about the story wrong.” This is Fox-speak for “We’ve got nothing, so let’s keep talking about it.”
They don’t have to prove a thing. They just have to keep doubt alive, just as they’ve tried to do with global warming, and before that, smoking. Throw enough dirt, and some will stick. And after all, where they’ve invented one lie, they can invent another, and keep inventing them.
Watch courtesy of Media Matters for America:
Sure, some of what the Times said was wrong, claims Miller, but, she says,
What we’re missing here is the bigger picture, and that is that Hillary Clinton, whether or not the Times got certain facts about the story wrong, has huge potential legal and certainly political problems because of her handling of the email, and if I were Hillary Clinton’s press secretary, I would want to divert attention too to what The New York Times did or didn’t do and how fast it did it. Look, we already know she had 60,000 emails, only 30,000 of which were turned over to the State Department. The other 30,000 she destroyed. We know there was at least five emails which contained classified information. We don’t know how many more did. We don’t know when that information was classified. We also know there was that mysterious disappearance of two months of emails just around the Benghazi attack. I mean, there are so many issues here and problems.
Miller says the question is why the media did not “get on this story sooner. Why did it take until The New York Times’ original story about the existence of a private server in her private home to prompt others to begin to look at this issue.”
Hillary Clinton is lining up Republican pretender candidates and knocking them down like dominoes. At this rate, she will have all 16 down even before the first debates. Fox News, like the Republican cabal, is frantically looking for ways to stop her. Expect more Benghazi, expect more emails and more emails + Benghazi and anything else they can invent to throw at her.
What is funny is that The New York Times can call out the campaign being engineered against Planned Parenthood without noticing their own deceptive campaign against Hillary Clinton. As The Atlantic‘s Norm Ornstein so succinctly put it, The New York Times‘ handling of Clinton email story is “a direct challenge to its fundamental credibility.”
We could say a lot more about Fox News, but they never had any credibility to begin with.

House Republican Says President Obama’s Iran Deal ‘Makes Hitler Look Like A Minor Player’

Image of Pittenger via Screenshot
A House Republican said that the Iran deal makes President Obama more evil than Hitler and weaker than Neville Chamberlain.

Not To Be Outdone ...


Trump Exposes Koch Republicans As Glaring Fascists

Republicans have tapped into the religious and wingnut negative reaction to 21st Century modernity, or social progress as it is called…
It is a sad situation that, for the most part, Americans are completely ignorant of two terms used pejoratively to describe the opposing sides of the American political spectrum. It is true that most Americans understand that Republicans are wingnuts and inherently terrified of, and violently resistant to change to maintain the power structure favoring the privileged few, and that Democrats are liberals and promote progress to advance the general welfare of all Americans.
Political pundits often go a bit farther and use “big confusing” words like “fascists” and “socialists” to describe each political extreme, but very few Americans comprehend those words’ meanings. In their most basic sense, socialism is when government owns and operates all businesses, financial institutions and property with no input of private individuals, and fascism is when corporations own, operate, and control all facets of a nation’s government without any input from the people.
Wingnuts are infatuated with criticizing everything unrelated to corporatism and extremism as “socialism” because it resonates with their base’s inherent stupidity and horror due to having no idea what socialism entails. If wingnuts understood what socialism is, they would understand that the United States military is the only socialistic entity in America. Conversely, the left often criticizes wingnuts and the policies championed by Republicans as being fascist. Unlike the ‘socialist’ label, fascist is an apt description of Republican tactics and policies and an ideology that their clueless base ardently supports and falls victim to.
Regardless of what any American thinks of Trump, he has performed a valuable service to America if for no other reason than highlighting, in grand fashion, his own fascist inclination that drives the Republican cabal’s policies, practices, and allegiance to the rich and corporations. More than just his policies, Trump is unafraid to publicly practice fascist tactics and is having a great measure of success due to the past six years of Republicans’ conditioning their base.
It is no coincidence that the fascist zeal of today’s Republican cabal and its racist, religious extremist base, is precisely the same as the fervent fascism of the early and mid-20th century; and Trump has exposed the Republican cabal as a fascist movement. In a recent article worth reading, Jeffrey Tucker argued brilliantly that Trump is as much a fascist as Mussolini and Hitler for inciting wingnuts “with race baiting, traditionalism, and ‘ugly American’ strongman tough talk; typically Republican.
It is true that Trump is not saying anything Republicans and their base do not ardently believe and support; he is just unafraid to say it loudly and it informs his growing popularity among conservative. As Tucker explains, Trump’s success is founded on saying exactly what wingnuts believe and desperately want a wingnut 'hero' to say. Tucker argues that “Trump has tapped into it, absorbing unto his own political ambitions every conceivable wingnut resentment; race, class, sex, religion, and economics. And he promises a new order of things under his mighty hand.” It is what every Republican candidate for pretender promises, except Trump is unafraid to say it in any venue.
Everything about Trump’s style, the blatant race baiting, xenophobia, and confrontational nationalism is not unique to Trump by any means; he is simply the most blatant and vocal about it. Republicans, on the other hand, reserve their fascist tactics for private fundraisers, town hall speeches, and special interests’ conference meetings. The only reason Trump is leading in some Republican cabal polls is because he says what the base believes. For example, the wingnut base is furious that immigrants are in “their country,” are violently angry that homosexuals are destroying 'christian’s tradition' of marriage, and that America not at war is a sign of weakness. In fact, in the same way that fascism reacted to modernity in the early 20th century, wingnuts are reacting angrily to social progress of the new century.
Today’s Republican cabal, like its base of support, is twisted sick with dangerously unwavering and dogmatic traditionalism, religious extremism, and blatant intolerance of anything they define as “other.” In fact, except for the people twice electing an African American man as President, Republicans and their wingnut base are reacting violently to the “social progress” the nation has experienced over the past twenty years. Like the early 20th Century fascists’ violently reacted to modernity and people’s flirtation with democratic values, Republicans have tapped into the religious and wingnut negative reaction to America’s 21st Century modernity, or as it is called “social progress” and tolerance.
As any American who has been conscious over the past six years can attest, Republicans preach, promote, and practice intolerance, xenophobia, passion over reason, racial and religious purity, and nationalism, and they openly crusade against democratic values. An example is Republicans’ dangerous and successful denial of climate change and science that originates with “the corrupt alliance of anti-intellectual traditionalism, religious fundamentalism, and corporate influence; the ultimate expression of fascism pushed and paid for by the Koch brothers.
For a prescient comparison between today’s Republican cabal and 20th Century fascism, it is worth considering Benito Mussolini’s ghostwriter and “philosopher of fascism,” Giovanni Gentile’s definition of fascism. Gentile writes that, “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” If that one statement does not accurately describe the Republican cabal, and all its iterations, then the Sun rises in the West. It is nearing the point that although large corporations do not yet have ultimate control and power over government, Republicans have brought the nation precariously close to government by corporation and achieved their fascist goals by closely following 20th Century fascist tactics of spewing hateful and religious intolerant ideology based on “traditional values;” values they claim the left have destroyed.
Those traditional values of guns, dog, and racial purity predominate the official Republican cabal platform that corporate interests fund to 'elect' wingnuts to serve those corporate interests; not the people. There is a reason the Republican establishment, or the Koch brothers, have not yet brought their considerable power to bear on Trump to end to his campaign; he is conditioning the base for a “kinder gentler” Republican fascist to appeal to more mainstream voters. It is why fascists like Walker, Paul, and Jeb are being labeled “moderate” when they are just as vicious, just as fascist, and just as much a Koch-Republican as Trump.
 Trump is a predatory businessman who, like Koch Republicans, wants to run America like his personal corporation. He, like Koch Republicans, fully understands that the voters, including the Republican base, would not be amenable to living under a government run by a corporation, so he appeals to the base’s intolerance, xenophobia, passion over reason, racial and religious purity, nationalism and the idea that America’s 236 year-old liberal democracy is why wingnuts are losing their precious traditions. Most Americans likely have no real idea what fascism is, but if they listen to Trump and peruse wingnuts’ agenda, they will realize that officially, Koch Republicans are fascists.

Iowa State Fair Gives Trump The Finger Over A Proposal To Flaunt His Wealth

Featured image by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/5440993294/This is Trump trying to show off his wealth for the good people of Iowa, and look like he cares about children while doing so. Good luck with that, sir.

Ann Coulter: Trump Should Pick Me To Head Homeland Security

Image via Flickr As Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican pretender field, it’s becoming clear that his junta would be full of airheads and extremists...

A Staggering Number Of People Were Killed By Police In July

Fox News Loses It After Comic Shows Superman Defending Protesters From Violent Cops

Fox News Loses It After Comic Shows Superman Defending Protesters From Violent CopsFox News now gets offended even when fictional characters stand up for victims of police brutality.

As Pretender, Mike Huckabee Wouldn’t Rule Out Using Federal Troops To Stop Abortion

As President, Mike Huckabee Wouldn’t Rule Out Using Federal Troops To Stop AbortionPretender Huckabee would be absolutely terrifying for women’s rights.

HIV+ Pastor Sentenced 15 Years For Sexually Abusing Young Boy For A Decade

(Image courtesy of WNEP video screen capture)
“Pastor” Ted also reportedly hooked the boy on drugs as a means of manipulation. Could there be other victims, as well?

What’s Wrong With Politics: The Ted Cruz Edition

Texas's Cruz is an idiot

A $15 minimum wage for fast food workers would raise the price of a Big Mac by 17 cents

Burger and fries via ShutterstockA $15 minimum wage for fast food workers would raise the price of a Big Mac by 17 cents
A common argument against raising the minimum wage, debunked.