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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Daily Drift

Welcome to Today's Edition of The Truth Be Told.
Hey, wingnuts, yeah we're talking to you ...!  
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Republicans - Childish and Full of It  ... !
Today is - World Toilet Day
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Sierra Club Warns Vulnerable Senators Against Opposing President Obama On Clean Power

Sierra Club Clean Power Plan 1
Ahead of the Paris environmental conference, the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization, Sierra Club, is urging vulnerable senators to support President Obama’s climate rule for power plants, warning that the rule is popular among voters who are heading to the polls next year.
The group polled voters in half a dozen states about the Clean Power Plan, a rule designed to cut carbon pollution from power plants, and found generally positive reviews among registered voters.
The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found majority support for the plan in Maine, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa. It said voters in those states generally prefer the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to write environmental rules rather than members of Congress.
Four Republicans from those states are seeking reelection in 2016: Blunt (Mo.),  Kirk (Ill.), Portman (Ohio) and Grassley (Iowa), with Kirk and Portman seen as vulnerable.
Senator Kirk has voiced support for the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that was introduced last month by McConnell (R-Ky.) and  Capito (R-W.Va) that would overturn the Clean Power Plan. The CRA resolution of disapproval is a controversial legislative tactic that would allow Congress to nullify a final administrative ruling.
The CRA challenge would threaten clean air and climate action in Kirk’s state of Illinois by blocking the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and its steps to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. The CPP would also encourage job growth, such as through the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill, which would allow the state to comply with the CPP while creating an average of 32,000 jobs per year and save consumers $1.6 billion.
Handicappers consider Kirk to be especially vulnerable next year, and environmentalists have looked to challenge him on environmental issues. Portman is also considered a potential Democratic target in 2016. Iowa is an early-voting state in the presidential contest.
Earlier in the year Sierra Club launched a statewide TV ad campaign in Iowa calling out Portman for his votes against public health and clean air in Congress, including by leading the charge in attacks against the Clean Power Plan.
“ Portman voted repeatedly against the health of Ohio families by attacking the Clean Power Plan, the first ever steps to limit carbon pollution from dirty, coal-fired power plants” said Samantha Allen, an Ohio-based organizer with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “The Clean Power Plan’s efforts to curb carbon pollution will help prevent up to 6,600 deaths and up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children every year. Portman needs to stand with his Ohio constituents, not with the polluters that are hurting their health.”
The Senate is set to vote soon on the Congressional Review Act resolutions blocking the Clean Power Plan and other EPA power plant rules. The regulations are unpopular among Republicans, though at least one senator facing a tough reelection — Ayotte (R-N.H.) — has come out in favor of the plan, making her the first Republican Senator to support the landmark policy, which is promoted as a way to curb carbon pollution from power plants, protect vulnerable communities, and galvanize America’s transition to a clean energy economy.
In response, Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club Legislative Director, released the following statement:
“Ayotte’s decision to support the Clean Power Plan should inspire her fellow Republicans in the Senate to stop ignoring the climate crisis and proactively work with the Obama Administration to protect their constituents from the very real dangers of carbon pollution.”
“The Clean Power Plan will help our country move toward a new era of clean, affordable energy that protects the health of our communities, grows our economy, and signals to the rest of the world that the U.S. is serious about combating the climate crisis ahead of the Paris Conference.
“Doctors, scientists, faith leaders, and the majority of the American people have all called for strong, bipartisan action to tackle the challenge of climate disruption. Now it’s time for Senate Republicans to follow Ayotte’s lead and answer that call.”
In a statement, the Sierra Club urged other lawmakers to do so, too.
“Voters from these states have made it crystal clear that they want their senators to support the Clean Power Plan, not coal interests on Capitol Hill,” said Mary Anne Hitt, the director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.
“Senators in these states have a choice: listen to their constituents back home and support the Clean Power Plan, along with all the public health and clean energy benefits it provides, or side with deep-pocketed polluters in Washington who are attacking it,” the statement continued.
A broad coalition of environmental groups say the Clean Power Plan is critical for reducing carbon emissions and confronting climate change, a major goal of the Obama administration. Its opponents have warned it could raise electricity prices and lead to job losses in the energy industry.
The President’s Clean Power Plan is the centerpiece of the United States carbon reduction proposal to be presented at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) which convenes the end of this month.
Sierra Club is wielding its considerable grassroots clout to prevent Republican senators from sidetracking President Obama’s climate leadership position as he heads for Paris in three weeks.

Doesn’t Get Better Than Colbert And Bill Maher ROASTING Republicans TOGETHER

Doesn’t Get Better Than Colbert And Bill Maher ROASTING Republicans TOGETHER (VIDEO)
This is why television was invented…
Read more 

Fiscal responsibility is definitely NOT among the claims the Republican cabal can make ...

Transportation traditionally has been funded by the federal gas excise tax, on the sound reasoning that people who drive on highways should help build and maintain them. Yet this tax, stuck at 18.4 ­cents per gallon since 1993, no longer raises sufficient revenue. And for political reasons the House leadership ruled out an increase — blocking Democrats from even bringing the issue to a vote on the new, more open House floor.Instead, the six-year bill cobbles together financing from expedients: one-time strategic petroleum sales; ostensibly improved tax compliance; and, most dubiously, a raid on the Federal Reserve’s capital. The Fed returns the vast majority of earnings on its portfolio (swollen by recession-fighting expansive monetary policy) to the treasury. But it retains some each year, matched by payments from banks, as a buffer against losses. The practice strengthens the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and thus increases public confidence in its ability to weather a crisis, albeit marginally. It is part of what makes the Fed a credible, independent central bank.
Yet the House bill would undermine this long-standing  practice, a version of which other major central banks around the world also follow, by taking $29.3 billion that the Fed has socked away — and forbidding the bank from replenishing it.

The Greatest Threat To American Democracy?

American democracy is under siege. A confluence of factors has created a “perfect storm” that seriously challenges our form of government as never before.
So what is the greatest threat to our system of government? Is it income inequality, social injustice, voter suppression, religious fundamentalism, terrorist threats, gun violence or could it be Citizens United?
No. While the above forces are all tugging at the fabric of our democracy, the greatest threat is something more basic: cynicism.
I’m talking about the kind of cynicism that leads many Americans to believe participating in our representative form of government is meaningless. It’s the often heard, “What does my vote matter anyway; all politicians are corrupt.” The sad fact is that many otherwise intelligent individuals are simply turning off and tuning out.
Wingnuts from the time of Reagan have hammered the message that government is bad; that government is the problem, not the solution. Through their obstructionism, which has prevented government from performing its role in promoting the public good, wingnuts have turned Reagan’s mantra into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our government is bad. It does not work.
It is actually understandable why many Americans feel hopeless given our current political climate. But voting and being engaged in the governance of our country are the bedrocks of a participatory democracy. When people stop caring, they quit paying attention. Not paying attention is the moral equivalent of turning your back on America, on democracy.
Wingnuts are shrewd. They’ve had a game plan for years and are executing it to a tee. By getting voters to be disgusted with their government and to believe all politicians are the same, they get the result they want: control of our nation by their rich and powerful overlords.
Wake up people. Enough with the cynicism and pessimism. Become an informed citizen … and vote!

The New Republican War On Religious Freedom

ISIL Killed His Wife And The Mother Of His Son In Paris, And He Has A Message For All Of Us

ISIS Killed His Wife And The Mother Of His Son In Paris, And He Has A Message For All Of Us (IMAGE)
This man lost almost everything in the attacks on Paris.
He deserves a moment of our attention.
Read more 

Why Won’t Obama Blame Islam For Terrorism?

Why Won’t Obama Blame Islam For Terrorism? Chris Matthews Drops The Mic On Conservative Propaganda (VIDEO)Chris Matthews Drops The Mic On Wingnut Propaganda
For the next time you hear a wingnut ask: ‘Why won’t Obama call blame Islam for terrorism?’

Where Is The Grief For Republican Terrorism Imposed On Americans?

Only a beheading or a suicide bombing can possibly be as barbaric and cruel as denying medical care to millions of poor Americans…
The world is reeling with grief over the horrific terror events in Paris, and a few Americans are mourning as well. It is probable that many Americans grieving for France are the same people who, just twelve years ago, hated the French, renamed fried potatoes “freedom fries and accused them of aligning with Saddam Hussein. Americans showing emotion for any people’s suffering is a sign there are still some compassionate Americans, but in the same sense that most Americans ignored the recent grief suffered by victims of terrorism in Russia, Palestine and Beirut, they have even less regard for millions of American victims of Republican terrorism. Congressional Republicans are once again in the midst of demonstrating the depth of their contempt for Americans on a national level, and it is just a continuation of the disregard red state Republicans exhibit toward their poor and devoutly ignorant supporters and innocent constituents alike.
There have been two recent stories that prove Republicans have as much intent to wreak havoc on American citizens as terrorists unleashing Hell in a theater, near a stadium, and in street cafes and restaurants; only degree and numbers separate ISIL’s and Republicans actions. What is missing is an outpouring of support for the victims of Republicans’ ideologically and religious inspired terrorism, or the call to action to stop another attack Republicans are planning in plain sight for all Americans to see.
In fact, McConnell claimed that Republicans are working on their dastardly plan in public to “make sure the American people know we’re still on their side, and that’s the reason we intend to repeal Obamacare.” That remark is either McConnell lying, or a damn stark commentary on the inherent cruelty among Americans for wanting millions and millions of Americans and women to lose medical care; frankly it is a little of both. All Americans are not cruel, but there is a significant number who want millions of their fellow citizens to lose medical care; they are Republicans.
It is telling that poor McConnell is having trouble getting 51 Republicans to vote for the House reconciliation bill repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and defunding Planned Parenthood. Forget for a minute that some of McConnell’s woes are that the bill does not “eradicate the law root and branch” for all time, or that some like Cruz (R-TX) and Lee (R-UT) will not accept incrementally taking away healthcare from millions and millions of Americans and reproductive care and cancer screening from millions of poor women. Like any respectable terror attack, it has to be surprisingly swift, it has to be deadly and painful, and it has to produce as many American casualties in one fell swoop as possible. It is trying to imagine how any American can regard a small group of highly-paid politicians, with their imbecile supporters’ approval, anything other than terrorists for drooling to inflict as much harm on as many Americans as possible; and are angry it is not happening fast enough. In Republican misled states it has already happened and in the epitome of evil, Republicans are using taxpayer dollars to impose their brand of cruelty on other Americans.
According to a report from 2015 by the Kaiser Foundation, compared to states that took advantage of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, the rate of growth in enrollment by those Republican states that refused to expand Medicaid grew by 6.9 percent and cost state taxpayers $2 billion by mid-year 2015; states that expanded Medicaid enrollment was historically low at 3.4 percent. What that means is that as it was intended, the ACA’s Medicaid expansion actually reduced the rate of growth and saved participating states in the billions of dollars annually. This is more than Republican states “cutting off their noses to spite the faces” just to show they hate President Obama or his health insurance reform law, this is the ultimate demonstration of cruelty toward their own citizens because they are willing to spend $2 billion of taxpayer money to demonstrate their hatred of their own constituents.
Let’s face it, only a beheading or a suicide bombing can possibly be as barbaric and cruel as denying medical care to millions of poor Americans; and paying $2 billion for the obvious adrenaline rush of inflicting pain and death on other innocent civilians. Decent human beings can hardly comprehend the kind of people who would do this; particularly to their own citizens and especially when they claim to be followers of 'christ'. As bad as terrorists are, at least they inflict death and suffering on their perceived enemies and it leads one to wonder just how many Republicans secretly regard Americans, particularly poor Americans and women as their enemy.
It is no stretch to make a connection between ISIL and Republican barbarism, it is just a matter of degree as well as the intended number of casualties. It is true that ISIL has committed atrocities against all manner of people, but it is always people they regard as their enemies or an existential threat to Islam. Republicans, however, are committing atrocities against millions of their fellow citizens; including the stupid people who religiously vote them into office. The truly pathetic narrative is that even going into a national election it appears there is no boundary Republicans are unwilling to cross to assault American citizens who are paying their bloated salaries, exorbitantly lengthy paid vacations, and premium healthcare coverage. Whether it be the elderly poor, Social Security retirees, minorities, women, poor Americans or the middle class, Republicans have demonstrated that the only group they will not attack is the rich, and in that sense they are exactly like ISIL not attacking their own members.

Thanks to the NRA Over 2000 Suspected Terrorists Were Able to Buy Guns in the U.S.

Ferguson Guns
Here’s an issue that President Obama has been begging Congress to fix, along with pretty much all sane law enforcement: Known terrorists can buy guns legally here in the United States of “freedom”. Yes, we can’t have nice things like refusing to sell handguns or assault weapons to suspected terrorists, because the NRA is too worried about the profits of the gun manufacturers they represent.
Christopher Ingraham writing in the Washington Post reported, “Between 2004 and 2014, suspected terrorists attempted to purchase guns from American dealers at least 2,233 times. And in 2,043 of those cases — 91 percent of the time — they succeeded.”
There you go, the NRA arming terrorists. In a rational political discussion about the alleged risks posed by refugees, we would be pretty focused on keeping assault weapons out of the hands of any terrorists who we are told will come in with the refugees. But notice, Republicans don’t address this, even as Christie tells us that he would deny even a 3-year-old orphaned refugee. Demonstrating his failure to understand how we vet incoming refugees.
Yes, we can’t be too careful. Unless of course, it comes to guns. When it comes to guns, we should give them to EVERYONE, no questions asked. To ask a question is to infringe on second amendment rights, which are sacred, unlike your first amendment rights, according to Republicans.
“But people on the FBI’s consolidated terrorist watchlist — typically placed there when there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are a known or suspected terrorist — can freely purchase handguns or assault-style rifles,” the Post explained.
A majority of gun owners agree on these basic background checks. The Post pointed out that even  King (R-NY) worked with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to bring forth the “Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015”, which would have kept us from legally selling guns to terrorists.
But the NRA was not pleased with this notion of not selling guns to terrorists, after all, a terrorists’ money is as good as anyone’s. Or, as the NRA put it, the bill was taking aim at law-abiding citizens and terrorists will buy guns anyway (just not from gun manufacturers if in fact it were illegal, so yeah, it’s all about the profit). Per the Washington Post again:
“But these bills have rarely made it out of committee, in part due to vehement opposition from the National Rifle Association and its allies in Congress. The NRA objected to earlier versions of the bill, saying they were “aimed primarily at law-abiding American gun owners,” that “prohibiting the possession of firearms doesn’t stop criminals from illegally acquiring them,” and that the bills were “sponsored by gun control extremists.”
The NRA will do and say anything to keep even the most reasonable gun law from being enacted. They have in fact accused President Obama of planning to confiscate law-abiding citizens’ guns. In the wake of another mass murder, when the American public is really fed up with the gun laws, the NRA doubles down on the crazy, like this: “What Obama is really proposing, despite some platitudes to the contrary, is the end of private firearm ownership for self-defense…”
In fact, President Obama has been more than reasonable, calling for closing a loophole to keep the most dangerous guns off of the streets and keeping military weapons off of the streets. Huh. That’s almost like coming for private guns but not. Not at all. Sadly, Obama can’t make laws from the Executive Branch, he can only get behind policy or change things for federal contractors or change the implementation of a law (e.g., immigration). Congress makes actual laws.
And Congress is run by Republicans right now, and they aren’t alone in their NRA servitude.
So when Congressional Republicans are talking tough on terror, someone ought to ask them just when they’re going to address the terror they’ve allowed the NRA to inflict on this country.
Making sure terrorists can get guns legally is kind of an incentive to make sure they come here. Why not? We have everything they need and they don’t even have to hide. Thanks, NRA.

The 3 Reasons Wingnuts Will Bear Responsibility If A Paris-Style Attack Hits The US

The 3 Reasons Conservatives Will Bear Responsibility If A Paris-Style Attack Hits The US
Wingnuts are literally asking for the opportunity to “shoot back.”
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Cowardly Republicans Choose Fear Over Leadership In Aftermath Of Paris Attacks

jindal cruz huckabee
U.S. Republican leaders are terribly, terribly frightened and they want the rest of America to be just as scared as they are. Nowhere is Republican fear more evident, than in the cabal’s unwillingness to offer support for Syrian refugees escaping the sectarian violence that has forced them from their homes. While Barack Obama, and all three of the Democratic presidential candidates have asserted that we can fight terrorism and provide safety for Syrian refugees, the Republicans are too afraid to help.
In an international crisis that demands complex decision making and mature leadership, all the Republican candidates offer are incredibly vague chest thumping cries for bloodthirsty revenge and a fearful “Not in my back yard (NIMBY)” approach to refugee immigration.
Presidential candidates Huckabee and Rubio are demanding that we seal our borders and deny all Syrian refugees. Carson and Trump feel the same way. Jeb and Cruz are open to letting a few refugees trickle in, just so long as they prove they are good 'christians'.
At least eleven Republican Governors have jumped onto the fear bandwagon and want to block Syrian immigrants from settling in their states. Unfortunately, that number will probably continue to grow.
The republican cabal candidates’ immature responses to the Paris attacks stretch to foreign policy as well. Huckabee wants to revoke our nuclear agreement with Iran, begging the question of whether he even understands that the Iranian regime is a bitter enemy to ISIL.
Cruz demands that we increase our tolerance for inflicting civilian casualties, because nothing says murdering innocent people is wrong, more clearly than killing yet more innocent people. Trump’s policy is no more sophisticated than we should “bomb the shit out of them”, while  Huckabee apparently supports the slightly less profane alternative of bombing “the absolute stink out of them”.
The problem for the Republicans is that difficult times call for real leadership, not just a toxic, but impotent mix of fear and bluster. If all the Republican cabal can offer is caving to fear, and promising to be mighty, mighty tough without providing specifics on what tough actually means, then voters should look elsewhere. It takes more than pushing panicked proposals and screaming fevered pitches for dropping more bombs, to lead a nation.

Huckabee Can’t Think Of Anyone Except Muslims Targeting Innocent Civilians

Oh, Really?!

Cruz Claims That 'Christians' Do Not Commit Acts Of Terrorism

Image via FlickrIn what has to be the biggest lie told by a Republican pretender wannabe thus far, Cruz told the press that 'christians' don’t commit acts of terrorism.

The Media Is Promoting War Again, Just Like They Did In 2003

The Media Is Promoting War Again, Just Like They Did In 2003
Hasn't the American press learned lessons from their coverage on the lead up to the Iraq war?

Wingnuts blame Ryan for not blocking Syrian refugees, because that’s how this works now

Paul Ryan, via Mel Brown / Shutterstock.comWingnuts blame Ryan for not blocking Syrian refugees, because that’s how this works now
The House 'Freedom' Caucus seems willing to shut down the government over their Islamophobia.

Spain Issues Arrest Warrant For Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Image via Press TV.
Will Bibi finally be held accountable for his crimes?
Read more 

Rush Limbaugh Says President Obama Has Been Tougher On Republicans Than On ISIL

Image via Wikimedia
You know, because President Obama has been bombing the hell out of the wingnut base and taking out its leaders. No, wait. That’s what he is doing to ISIL.

Paul Says You Don’t Have a Right to Pants

If that's true, what Paul is saying is that I DO have the right to pursue happiness without my pants. …
And then “poof!” officer, my pants were gone!
And then "poof!" officer, my pants were gone!Speaking to the “Students for Rand” group Monday at the University of Minnesota, Rand Paul told them they “don’t have a right to pants.” I would venture to say that if Paul is trying to increase his viability as a candidate, he is going about it the wrong way.
“Government was instituted among men to protect your rights, not to create rights. So you don’t have a right to a chair, you don’t have a right to shoes, you don’t have a right to pants, you don’t have a right to health care, you don’t have a right to water — you have a right to be free.”
“And then you have a right to pursue happiness, but nobody guarantees you happiness,” Paul added.
Oh, yeah, we hadn’t figured that out yet. Thanks, Paul.
Ah, but I do have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”! That’s in our nation’s other founding document, the Declaration of Independence. It calls these inalienable rights. It does not say they are the only inalienable rights but it gives us these three examples.
If that’s true, what Paul is saying is that I do have the right to pursue happiness without my pants.
Now, I don’t mean to be crass, but I can really only think of one happiness I can pursue without my pants.
Is Paul saying you do have the right to sex? (Or at the very least the joys of exhibitionism?)
And come on, let’s face it, if certain other people are running around pursuing their happiness without pants, that might reduce my own happiness. There are people I don’t want to see without pants, let alone pursuing their happiness without pants.
And if I don’t have a right to pants, why do I get kicked out of stores and restaurants if I don’t wear them? Paul says I have no right to shoes but damned if I can get into a restaurant without shoes. “No shoes, no shirt, no service,” unless you’re Kenny Chesney.
Seriously, if I don’t have the right to pants, doesn’t that imply at the very least a right to no pants?
A bigger problem is this whole “no right to water” deal because the human animal needs water to survive. You don’t last more than three days without it. So how is it I have a right to pursue happiness if I don’t have the right to the one thing I need more than any other to stay alive?
I’d say without some of these other rights – including pants in a Wisconsin winter (you come try it, Rand), I don’t get to live and it turns out I have no rights after all. Which is, I’m pretty sure, not what the Founding Fathers were telling us.
I mean, they all had pants, right? I’m pretty sure they felt the rest of us ought to have pants as well. Let’s remember that in France, where another revolution took hold, the sans-culottes (without-culottes) were lower class people who didn’t have the fancy knee-length breeches the nobility wore under the Ancien Regime.
But even they had pants. They just didn’t have much else. The French nobility didn’t think they had any right to food, for example. And you know what happened to them.
Yet Rand Paul stood up there and said again that he was going to link Bernie Sanders to mass murderers like Pol Pot:
“People say: ‘Oh, you’re saying that Bernie Sanders is Pol Pot.’ No, I’m saying that he’s embracing the same philosophy of socialism that lead ultimately to the extermination of people.”
Which prompted Ann Merlan to joke at Jezebel’s The Slot, “It’s a slippery slope: one second you’re calling for single-payer healthcare, the next you’re rearranging the skulls on your killing field.”
Sounds to me, though, all joking aside, that in denying we have a right to food and water, nihilist Rand Paul is the one embracing the philosophy that leads to the extermination of people.
Paul claimed to his Minnesota fanboys and fangirls that “There are certain rights that are yours, that come to you from your creator, and no majority should take them away.”
Which is pretty funny, when you think about it, because by this logic, we don’t need any laws at all, when obviously we do, as the Founding Fathers recognized. Otherwise, the Constitution would just say, “Do your own thing,” or quote Bill & Ted: “Be excellent!”
Because I’m not a welder, I’m going to lay some philosophy on you now: As Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan, 1651) recognized in a century before the Founding Fathers, life in the state of nature, without laws and government (“the war of all against all”), is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
And without a right to food, water, pants and shoes, with winter coming, I’d say that about covers it. Of course, we can always pursue happiness without our pants until the snow covers our twigs and branches with frost.
One of his Minnesota student supports said “I like the little tinges of libertarian that he has in his beliefs,” but without pants, I think what she is really saying is that she likes the “little tinges of libertarian” that he has in his briefs.
I’m not sayin’. Just sayin’.