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Friday, September 4, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to the Friday Edition of The Truth be Told.
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Boy, no mercy on the wingnuts here!
~ Martin Black
Hey, wingnuts, yeah we're talking to you ...!  
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The West Is Burning And Due To Climate Change That May Be The New Normal

wildfire bitteroots
As of September 2nd, 2015, over 8.2 million acres in the United States had burned from this year’s wildfires. That puts the nation on pace to set a record for number of acres burned. This year’s total could exceed the record setting year of 2006, when over 9.8 million acres were charred by wildfires. In the 55 years that records have been kept, all six years that exceeded 8 million acres burned, have been in the 21st century.
On September 2nd, there were 56 active large wildfires burning in the United States. All 56 were in the American West, with the three states of Idaho, Montana and Washington accounting for 45 of the fires. The 8.2 million acres already burned is more than fifty percent higher than the decade annual average. With more fire season still ahead, climate change may be making major fires more frequent and more devastating than ever before. A rough fire season may become the “new normal”.
The fact that the six worst fire years have all occurred in the 21st century suggests that climate change is a significant factor. The Union of Concerned Scientists outline the problem as follows:
Higher spring and summer temperatures and earlier spring snow-melt typically cause soils to be drier for longer, increasing the likelihood of drought and a longer wildfire season, particularly in the Western United States.
These hot, dry conditions also increase the likelihood that, once wildfires are started by lightning strikes or human error, they will be more intense and long-burning.
The increased size, intensity and duration of wildfires has put a major budget strain on the U.S. Forest Service. In 2015, they have spent over 50 percent of their budget on preparing for and fighting wildfires. Twenty years ago, in 1995, just 16 percent of the Forest Service budget was spent on firefighting. The Forest Service projects that by 2025, a full 2/3rds of their budget will be consumed by fire fighting efforts.
People in coastal areas like Florida and Louisiana should be concerned about climate change because warming oceans and rising sea levels can increase the dangers of severe hurricanes and of coastal flooding. However, the risks posed by human-caused climate change are not limited to people living at sea level.
The threat of more and larger wildfires is something that poses a greater danger to people in the interior West than in any other part of the country. If nothing is done to address the environmental consequences of man-made climate change, large sections of the American West will ignite every summer. Fires burning out of control will just become part of the new normal.

The Lifelong Effects Of The Gender Wage Gap

In Case You Hadn’t Noticed Yet, The Koch Brothers Are Losing The Republican Primary

The five Koch-favored candidates combined still trail Trump in the Republican cabal race, with Walker performing the worst of the bunch.…

Bernie Sanders Blasts The Republican Cabal With Reality: It Wasn’t Immigrants Who Caused The Great Recession

bernie sanders des moines register editorial board
While being interviewed by the Des Moines Register editorial board, Senator Bernie Sanders slapped Republicans the reality of their failed policies while calling out their racist attacks on immigrants.
While speaking to the Des Moines Register editorial board, Senator Sanders said:
In the year 2015, candidates for President Of The United States should not be making racist remarks about people who come from Latin America or from Mexico. I would have hoped that we have gone beyond that. I would also hope that we would not be engaging in demagoguery against undocumented people in this country.

If tomorrow, every person who in this country who is undocumented left this country, your agricultural system would likely collapse as well as many other aspects of our economy.

So for a start, it was not undocumented people in this country whose greed and recklessness on Wall Street drove us into the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
It wasn’t undocumented people in this country who got us into a war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.
It wasn’t undocumented people in this country who gave huge tax breaks to billionaires and are fighting to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And I think they’re being used as a punching bag, and I resent that.

We can have differences of opinion on how we proceed in terms of immigration and treating undocumented people, but let’s not demagogue the issue. Let’s have the courage to stand up to the people who really have power in this country. The Wall Street people and the corporate America people, and not just beat on people who are without legal status.
Bernie Sanders dropped a serious dose of reality on the Republican cabal by speaking the truth. Republicans are using immigrants to cover up for their legacy of failure.
The Republican pretender candidates don’t want to talk about the Great Recession that their party’s economic ideology caused, and they definitely don’t want to discuss their disastrous foreign policy.
Most of the Republican field is trying to win the primary by fearmongering about immigrants. As Senator Sanders pointed out, their bigoted delusions are hiding the facts about what a disaster Republican governance has been for the United States.

A Plan Working Its Way Through Congress Could Change Things For ‘Invisible’ Homeless Students

Prescription Drug Prices Are Out Of Control

H&R Block And Republicans Just Teamed Up To Make Taxes Harder For The Poor

by Colin Taylor
It's no secret that America’s tax system is tremendously convoluted and overly complicated- and the reason for that just became very clear. H&R Block and Intuit, the company behind TurboTax, lobby heavily in our Republican-controlled Congress to keep our tax forms so complicated that one must go to one of their companies in order to pay our money to the government. It’s a clear example of the way that private businesses have hijacked and turned a public transaction between citizen and state into a for-profit enterprise.
What makes matters worse is that H&R Block and their mercenary Republican Senators in the Appropriations Committee have just extended the length of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) form. The EITC is one of America’s foremost anti-poverty tools, reimbursing taxed money to poor working families. With the Child Tax Credit, it helps keep some 9.4 million people out of poverty each year
Two-thirds of EITC recipients pay to have their taxes done every year due to over-complicated forms, meaning that hundreds of thousands of dollars allotted to ease the plight of the working poor is instead going to exploitative and predatory tax preparation agencies.
The additions to the EITC form increases it by several pages, ostensibly to reduce the number of improper payments- which are made by the tax preparers themselves. Vox.com reported that “A recent IRS study found EITC-claiming returns from paid preparers were more likely to result in overpayments than self-filed returns….People who fill out taxes for a living are, on average, worse at it than taxpayers who do it themselves.”
The Senate Appropriations bill also calls for added language to Child Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (for colleges), and the Premium Tax Credit (for healthcare)- all aimed at lower-income families. Schemes like H&R Block’s lobbying efforts represent the ugliest side of American capitalism, that preys on the weak and the poor, keeping them downtrodden, perpetually stacking the deck against them and pulling footholds out from under their feet. It is absolutely despicable, and a clear sign that our tax system is in major need of a healthy, progressive reform.

Colorado TV station reports on cop’s sexist ‘giant boobs’ remark by airing photo of victim’s breasts

Surprised woman facepalms (Shutterstock)
Durango Herald reporter Chase Olivarius-McAllister told Jezebel earlier this week that several minutes of a sexist conversation between deputies were accidentally left on her voicemail when Deputy Sergeant Zach Farnam returned her call about crime statistics.

How one mountain proved claims of “principled conservatism” are just racism

How one mountain proved claims of “principled conservatism” are just racism

Angry Bristol Palin wants Obama to get off her damn Alaska lawn, stop renaming her mountains

Aw, bless her heart ... 
teary bristol abc screen captureAngry Bristol Palin wants Obama to get off her damn Alaska lawn, stop renaming her mountains

The US should mandate gun insurance so the two monoliths fight to the death

Man with a gun (Shutterstock)
The US should mandate gun insurance so the two monoliths fight to the death

Republicans Say You Should Be Able To Carry Guns Everywhere

This Proves They Don’t Mean It
by Scott Keyes
“Get rid of gun free zones,” Republican pretender frontrunner Trump tweeted after a gunman massacred five in Chattanooga last month. “Gun-free zones an easy target for killers” an opinion headline on Fox News read after a white supremacist shot up a black South Carolina cult and killed nine. Wingnut sites also blamed gun-free zones after massacres at multiple movie theaters and other shootings.
If wingnuts are so convinced that gun-free zones attract killers, then why do so many wingnut places and events ban guns?
Across the country, from wingnut confabs to Republican pretender libraries and even to gun shows, loaded weapons are frequently prohibited. When an explanation is given, the reason is invariably for the safety of visitors.
Here is a list of some of those wingut places that ban loaded guns:
  • Gun Shows- Perhaps the most surprising wingnut venue that bans loaded weapons are gun shows. Crossroads Gun Show, which tours across the country, explained why even concealed carry permit holders can’t bring loaded weapons into the event: “Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show.” This past weekend, gun shows from Florida to California to Ohio prohibited visitors to carry loaded firearms.
  • Political Conferences- Wingnut conferences frequently prohibit guests from bringing firearms. One recent example was the Morning in Nevada PAC’s Inaugural Basque Fry, a sold-out event featuring Republican cabal pretender candidates Carson, Fiorina, Pataki, Cruz, and Walker. The event’s FAQ page answered the question “Can I bring licensed firearms?” with a simple “No.”
  • The shrub pretender library- Though the shrub was a strong proponent of gun rights, his pretender library in Dallas demands that all visitors leave their firearms at home. According to a sign posted outside, guns are prohibited “For the security of our visitors, staff and facility.”
  • Republican Conventions- Firearms were banned at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, even as delegates inside passed language into the party platform affirming that Republicans “acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizen’s dog-given right of self-defense.” State Republican conventions also regularly forbid guns. Indiana Republicans recently enacted legislation allowing guns in school parking lots, but held their 2014 convention in a facility that forbid firearms.
  • Trump Hotels And Golf Courses- Despite Trump’s vociferous opposition to gun-free zones, numerous Trump hotels and golf courses, from Chicago to Los Angeles to Honolulu, do not allow firearms on the premises, even for concealed-carry permit-holders.
  • NRA Events- Though the National Rifle Association said gun-free zones “encourage criminals and psychopaths,” the group held some of its annual meeting events in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, which bans weapons. The year prior, the NRA held events in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, another gun-free zone.
  • Town Halls- Guns are frequently prohibited at Republican cabal congressional town hall meetings, especially after the shooting of former Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in 2011. Even stupid wingnuts like Ryan (r-WI) and West (r-FL) opted to ban firearms at their town halls.
  • Presidential Campaign Stops- Wisconsin idiot Walker (r), a prominent gun advocate who has signed legislation expanding gun rights, prohibited “guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, selfie-sticks, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size” from his presidential campaign kick-off event. Other Republicans, like Gingrich (r-GA) in 2012, have also banned concealed firearms at their events.
  • Republican cabal Debates- Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, which hosted the first Republican pretender debate earlier this month, declared that “firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden.” Guns will also be forbidden in the upcoming Republican cabal debate held in Colorado.
  • Congress- Republicans have a stolen majority in both wings of Congress and could change the rules to permit firearms on Capitol grounds if they wished. It would not be without precedent; until 1967, there was no rule prohibiting guns in or around Congress. However, strict security was implemented in the early 1980s after a series of high-profile shootings and bombings.
Of course, there’s a good reason why many wingnuts don’t actually want to have guns in their own areas or events. Contrary the NRA’s claims, the vast majority of mass shootings don’t happen in gun-free zones. There’s also no evidence that a mass shooter ever chose his target because it prohibited firearms.
Instead, study after study has shown that more guns leads to more killings. In addition, even armed civilian bystanders with good intentions of stopping a shooter can wind up exacerbating already violent situations, as nearly happened in the Giffords shooting.

Race-Baiting Walker Blames President Obama For Murders Of Police Officers

Scott Walker
Republican cabal pretender candidate Walker thinks that President Obama is responsible for recent murders of police officers.

Cruz Spreads Lies About Obama, Will Do Anything To Blame Him For ‘War On Cops

Ted Cruz Spreads Lies About Obama, Will Do Anything To Blame Him For ‘War On Cops’ (VIDEO)Wingnuts are desperate to blame black people for the deaths of white cops.

Huckabee Goes Full Nutjob: Will Outlaw Abortion, Consequences Be Damned

The face of a wanna-be King
Emperor Mike Huckabee would completely outlaw abortion and grant zygotes full citizenship. How is he going to get those teeny rifles up in there?

Stephen Colbert Schools Poor Jeb!

Jeb Bush
It has not been as good month for Jeb.
Actually it hasn't been a good few months …

Fiorina Says English Should Be The Official Language

Santorum Mocks Liberals For Believing That Diversity Benefits America

Santorum is an idiot ...
Santorum Mocks Liberals For Believing That Diversity Benefits America

New Obamacare Regulations Ensure Transgender People’s Access To Health Care

Texas religio-wingnut tent revival uses loud speakers to flood city park with anti-gay hate speech

Sermon at a tent revival in Lubbock, Texas (KCBD)‘A fag is still a fag': Texas religio-wingnut tent revival uses loud speakers to flood city park with anti-gay hate speech

Scalia-loving Tennessee judge: Straight couples can’t divorce if same-sex couples can marry

Judge giving a verdict (Shutterstock)A local judge in Tennessee has refused to grant a divorce to a straight married couple, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage as one reason he cannot let the man and woman untie the knot.

‘Funny Or Die’ Just Hilariously Destroyed Kim Davis With ‘Clerks And Recreation’

‘Funny Or Die’ Just Hilariously Destroyed Kim Davis With ‘Clerks And Recreation’ (VIDEO)
This is brilliant.
Read more 

Breaking News To Evangelicals: Dog’s Law Does Not Supersede the U.S. Constitution

It may come as a shock to Kim Davis that in America there is no higher authority than the Constitution, no matter that she believes…
There is a relatively well-known quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt that says, “No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.” Of course, despite the fact that nearly every American has a specific law they disagree with, they generally obey the laws as required unless they are very bigoted and very religious. There is a seriously twisted belief among many evangelical fanatics that although they live in a nation of laws spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, they contend that their dog’s laws trump the law of the land and now Supreme Court decisions.
Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the same 14th Amendment right to marry as opposite-sex couples, there are still plenty of evangelicals that refuse to follow the law. In Kentucky, the county clerk who continues to defy several court rulings ordering her to do her appointed job and issue marriage licenses to gay couples, is now apparently appealing the U.S. Supreme Court’s order on Monday that she has to obey the law to her dog almighty; what she contends is the law of the land. Kim Davis, the woman who lusts to be a true 'christian' martyr for bigotry, once again refused to do her job and told a bevy of reporters that indeed, she has the right to refuse to follow the law of the land “under dog’s authority.” Of course, if Davis actually read her christian bible she would be aware that dog’s authority (the bible) tells her to obey the government authority, but this is America and evangelicals follow a bastardized version of christianity; one that disavows the entire new testament. What may come as a shock to Davis is that here in America there is no higher authority than the Constitution, or the Supreme Court, no matter that she believes otherwise.
This issue is a result of, mainly, Republicans preaching that an evangelical has very unique religious freedom rights to disobey any law that they claim infringes on their 1st Amendment right to worship, pray, and attend church without government interference. In Davis’ case, performing her duty of collecting money for a license to marry does not, in any possible way, infringe on her right to pray, read the bible, sing Psalms, or attend the local mega-cult. Generally, a sane person would say that if Davis does not want to obey the law and perform her duty as a county clerk, she should just find a different job. At least that is the opinion of an ultra-wingnut, ultra-constitutional originalist and ultra-delusional Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia.
Scalia wrote for the majority in Employment Division of Oregon v. Smith that the idea of any American believing they have “a private right to ignore generally applicable laws is unconstitutional” and if allowed would lead to “anarchy resulting from a system in which each conscience is a law unto itself.” In another High Court ruling, Scalia opined that a public employee with objections to laws on religious ground should either just do their job and shut up or find different employment. He said, “They have, after all, taken an oath to apply the laws and have been given no power to supplant them with rules of their own;” or supplant them with dog rules that are not the law of the land any more than the christian bible is the Constitution. However, there are Republicans who believe that the Constitution, common sense, and the Supreme Court are dead wrong and support Davis’ defiance and now contempt of court.
Republican pretender candidate Paul came out in defense of Davis who is finally facing contempt of court charges for violating the court order that she has to do the job she is getting paid for and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Paul’s defense of Davis is consistent with his cosponsoring legislation, the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) that prevents the government from acting against businesses or non-profits that blatantly discriminate against same-sex married couples. In fact, Republicans as a group have adopted, and endorsed FADA by attempting to justify all forms of discrimination against same-sex couples the rnc claims should be legally permissible despite the Constitution’s 14th Amendment; another reason Republicans want the Amendment abolished.
It is nearly certain that Kim Davis is convinced that because Republicans have become the official legislative arm of the extremist religio-wingnuts, and have spent an inordinate amount of time and taxpayer money legislating according to religion, that she is on “a holy crusade mandated by god almighty.” It is, in great part, due to the recent seriously distorted interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA); a direct result of the above Supreme Court decisions that ruled no, religious freedom is not freedom to, as Justice Scalia wrote, “have a private right to ignore generally applicable laws.” In fact, in the alleged “direct utterances of dog almighty” in romans 13, god commands that christians “must be subject to the governing authorities, for no authority exists except by dog’s permission. The existing authorities have been established by dog, so that whoever resists the authorities opposes what dog has established, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
Obviously Kim Davis is going to bring judgment on herself according to biblical mythos, but her present concern should be the contempt of court charges she is due to face in the very near future. To demonstrate how perverted her interpretation of her religious freedom really is, she faces being either fined, imprisoned, or terminated from an $80,000 a year job because she is a typical evangelical bigot. Instead of resigning, she is intent on being a 'christian' martyr because she cannot get it through her delusional mind that the U.S. Constitution, and not the Hebrew scriptures is the law of the land; a mindset that is more prevalent than most Americans want to believe and a very dangerous portent that this country is being primed to become a theocracy

Huckabee Goes to Bat for Kim Davis, Swings and Misses

The Kim Davis saga has wingnuts tying themselves in knots trying to come up with logic to support …

Only 2 Republican Candidates Think Kim Davis Needs To Quit Or Follow The Law

Kim Davis’ son refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses in Kentucky after mother is jailed

Five of the six deputy clerks in Rowan County, Kentucky, agreed Thursday to abide court orders and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis belongs in jail

Image: Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis (Rowan County Govt photo)
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis belongs in jail
And she is there now.

Kim Davis Has Been A 'Christian' For A Whopping Four Years

Kim Davis Has Been A Christian For A Whopping Four Years (VIDEO)
What will her next fad be?
Read more 

Kim Davis Reveals Republican Cabal Support For Sharia Law

Kim Davis Reveals GOP Support For Sharia Law
Republicans rip the First Amendment to shreds in order to oppose gay marriage.
Read more