Posts tagged "GOP"

The GOP wants to install a theocracy in our nation. So vote Democratic to save the soul of our nation’s democracy. 

h/t: Paige Lavender at HuffPost Politics

Reasonable people who don’t follow politics closely can be forgiven for dismissing Democrats’ focus on the Koch brothers as just a political tactic– not unlike the Republicans’ attacks on George Soros. They’re all rich and politically active. So what? 

Senator Bernie Sanders begs to differ–and so should we. Sanders points out that the brothers are worth 80 billion dollars (including an increase of 12 billion in the last year alone), and he points to the extent of their involvement in the political process–and the degree to which they have used their enormous resources to misinform and confuse, most recently funding political spots that flat-out lie about the Affordable Care Act, which–along with Medicare and Medicaid– they are intent upon repealing. (I guess when poor people get health care, it offends their peculiar version of justice.) 

David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980. And Sanders suggests we take a look at the platform on which he ran: 

  • “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.” 
  • “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.” 
  • “We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.” 
  • “We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.” 
  • “We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.” 
  • “We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.” 
  • “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.” 
  • “We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.” 
  • “As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.” 
  • “We support repeal of all laws which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.” 
  • “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.” 
  • “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.” 
  • “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.” 
  • “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.” 
  • “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.” 
  • “We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.” 
  • “We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.” 
  • “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.” 
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.” 
  • “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.” 
  • “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.” 
  • “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.” 
  • “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.” 
  • “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.” 
  • “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.” 
  • “We support the repeal of all state usury laws.” 


The Koch brothers want to repeal every major piece of legislation that levels the playing field or protects the middle class, the elderly, children, the sick, and the most vulnerable in this country, and thanks to Citizens United and McCutcheon, they can spend unlimited amounts of money to buy the American government they want. 

They’ve realized that the Libertarian party can’t deliver their particular version of “liberty”–but properly funded, they hope the GOP can. 

They may be right.

H/Y: Sheila Kennedy at Peacock Panache

h/t: Caitlin Dickson at The Daily Beast

crooksandliars:

(Credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

They can’t win elections on their ideas, so they’re going to rig them in their favor every way they can.
[…]
With an enormous number of individuals drifting from outrageous, narrow-minded, classist, racist, and sexist Teabagger concepts, Teapublicans are doing everything in their power to get their numbers up – even if that means asserting outlandish voter ID laws into place, despite their massive defects.
These new Voter ID Laws, with ironically a slew of Republicans fumbling behind them, complicate voter locations, dates, voter times and confuses the general election system,deliberately to befuddle the voting structure.

Since 2013, 9 states have approved procedures directly affecting when and how people vote, oddly making voting more problematic for statistically demonstrated voters who don’t vote Republican. Embarrassingly, the same Republicans who claim Democrats are “not upholding the American way of life” and ruining the American dream are simultaneously attempting to sabotage the voting system. Wouldn’t you want to make it easier for individuals to vote properly if you cared about democracy? Not in Teapublamerica.

Some of these severe voter ID laws include obligatory proof of citizenship other than a normal ID card, such as a birth certificate, or passport. Some individuals would find recovering or verifying a birth certificate to be exceptionally difficult, because once it’s lost either due to circumstances such as a natural disaster or simply misplacing the document – it can be a complicated, costly and prolonged process to reclaim another. Particular individuals, mostly elderly voters of color, have even reported never receiving one. Whereas statistically it is the lower-class whom is more likely to either not have either document, or not have the financial means to obtain another.

Laws like these were recently upheld in Kansas and Arizona, and will unquestionably make the voting process more difficult for individuals who could have otherwise flashed a normal ID. Republicans claim this will level out and unify the voting system ( you mean, intentionally lean it more towards your end of the field? ) and the same ID you obtained through your state department, and have used to drive, acquire alcohol and vote so many times before will no longer be sufficient.
Meanwhile in North Carolina, Democrats are fighting feverishly to reverse the nation’s most restrictive voter laws. These laws in specific established rules to make it not just more complicated to prove citizenship, but more complicated for people to register to vote ( usually younger individuals ), cast provisional ballots, vote absentee and reduces the number of early voting days. So, if you have a dreadfully busy schedule, or two jobs and a family like many low income families, good luck getting that vote in early, voting at all or even registering yourself.

In Ohio and Wisconsin, weekend voting, which has statistically been preferred by the working class, black voters and low-income voters was cut drastically by Republicans who demanded the measures were essential, limiting the time that polls are open; how voter friendly.

Wisconsin State Senator Dale Schultz was a rarity of the Republican Party when he disagreed with the measure and claimed that they were “fiddling with mechanics rather than ideas.” He also stated that he felt the legislation was wearisome, “Making it more difficult for people to vote is not a good sign for a party that wants to attract more people.”. Schultz surprisingly voted against the bill.

Jon A. Husted, Ohio Republican Secretary of State however defended the unjust slew of legislations claiming that,“Every voter should have an equal opportunity to vote under the same set of rules.” What an ironic statement, since in February Ohio reduced early voting by one week, placed new restrictions on absentee ballot applications, and also same day registration and voting abilities. However, amidst all of the moves to limit voting ease of access for new and current voters, Husted believes that the laws will somehow aid in the “equal opportunity” to vote.

Overcomplicated registration, voting hours, absentee forms, irregular voting dates, and problematic voter ID systems will undoubtedly prevent some individuals from voting, obstruct the already congested registration and absentee voter process and result in longer lines at already time consuming poll sites.

“They know when they are taking away early voting exactly who it’s affecting,” said Ed FitzGerald, the executive of Cuyahoga County and a Democratic candidate for governor.

Although many of these ridiculous measures will not take place until 2016, Democrats and voting experts alike are concerned about the voting system being convoluted for no reason other than the Republican need to hinder Democratic leaning voters out of the system. While Dems battle over the Affordable Care Act, bogus commercials, advertisements claims and dramatic propaganda funded by Republican donors such as the Koch Brothers over healthcare laws, Republicans are also coming from behind and attacking voter systems themselves.

North Carolina Students Protest Harsh Voter ID Bill. Courtesy of colorlines.com

North Carolina Students Protest Harsh Voter ID Bill. Courtesy of colorlines.com

“What we see here is a total disrespect and disregard for constitutional protections,” stated the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina N.A.A.C.P. and leader of the Moral Mondays movement, which disagrees with voter law changes.

Just last year, central provisions to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the voting system, were luckily denied by the Supreme Court.What sort of democracy loving individual would want to alter a piece of legislation that prohibits voter discrimination?

The slapped down provisions consisted of Southern Republicans attempting to pass legislation that would allow the “alteration of election laws prior to approval.” Who, other than a sore loser who doesn’t want the American people to be heard, would want to alter election laws without any oversight?

While Republicans claim the harsh voter ID laws are needed to help voter ID fraud, to ” bring greater uniformity to a patchwork election system” and attempt to gain back immense numbers of supporters lost by botching the voting system Democrats have continuously been fighting to make it easier for people to sign up to vote, and cast their votes while even implementing a secure online voting system. These systems have already been effective in California, Colorado and Maryland, while States like Arizona and Kansas attempt to limit voting as much as possible to targeted Republican supporters – very democratic.

As uncompromising conservative candidates belittle people of color, immigrants, women and lower-class individuals, it’s no surprise that in the midst of self-mutilation, Republicans are obviously trying to alter the game with their selfish needs in mind – as always.

The GOP doing the usual voter-suppressing routines. 

h/t: Adam Parfrey at AlterNet

h/t: Matt-Lee Ashley at Climate Progress

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Abortion opponents are confident that they’ve found a winning strategy in 20-week bans. In January, at the Republican National Committee’s annual meeting, the group approved a new “pro-life resolution” encouraging GOP candidates to speak out against abortion rights. That resolution cited 20-week bans as one restriction that’s politically advantageous for Republicans, since it tends to poll better with the American public.

By some measures, they’re right. This policy — often construed as a “fetal pain ban,” since it’s based on the scientifically inaccurate claim that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy — is picking up steam on a legislative level. Ten states already have 20-week bans on the books, and several lawmakers introduced new fetal pain bills at the beginning of this year. This past weekend, West Virginia became the first Democratic-controlled state to pass a 20-week ban, and it’s not yet clear whether the state’s Democratic governor is going to block it. Abortion opponents are now able to claim that this is an issue with bipartisan support.

The push to cut off access to later abortion services has always relied on framing 20-week bans as moderate and popular. This has been working really well for the anti-choice community, which is able to capitalize on emotional outrage about “fetal pain” and come across as entirely willing to compromise. Lila Rose, the president of the right-wing group Live Action, often points out that 20 is exactly half of a full-term 40 week pregnancy, so it’s a perfect middle ground.

But don’t be fooled. The political momentum for 20-week bans isn’t actually about compromising, or about adhering to a specific deadline that will prevent fetuses from feeling pain. It’s really about finding an initial foothold to chip away at Roe v. Wade, and then continuing to move the goal posts. It’s the first step in a larger strategy to cut off legal abortion access altogether, cloaked under the guise of a “moderate” policy.

For evidence, look no further than what’s currently going on in Mississippi. Lawmakers there are trying to pass a 20-week ban — but this week, they made a last-minute change that actually transforms the bill into an 18-week ban.

Lawmakers moved up the cut-off point by using a new way to define pregnancy. Abortion restrictions typically calculate gestational age beginning when a fertilized egg implants on the uterine wall, which is the medical and scientific definition of pregnancy. Mississippi’s new bill chooses to start counting from the end of the woman’s last menstrual period. There’s nothing wrong with that in theory. But in the context of an abortion ban, that ends up shaving off about two weeks from the legally acceptable window to terminate a pregnancy.

“It goes far beyond similar legislation in neighboring states,” Felicia Brown-Williams, the director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, said in a statement regarding Mississippi’s proposed ban. “Legislators should stop wasting taxpayer time and money by pushing bills that could easily end in litigation.”

Mississippi is modeling the new legislation after a similar law in Arizona, which is the only state so far that’s passed a fetal pain ban outlawing abortion two weeks earlier than usual. Last May, Arizona’s restrictive ban was permanently struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for overstepping the legal protections in Roe v. Wade. And at the beginning of this year, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that decision by refusing to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling. The lawmakers in Mississippi are likely counting on the fact that their state is under the jurisdiction of a much more conservative circuit court, which recently upheld an extremely restrictive abortion law in Texas that’s forcing dozens of clinics to close.

So why does all of this matter, and what does it say about the larger strategy behind later abortion bans? It proves that the states enacting 20-week bans aren’t really interested in a good faith effort to accomplish what they claim they care about, which is preventing women from exercising their abortion rights after a specific point that “causes pain” to their fetus. In fact, there’s no good policy justification for this type of restriction at all.

First of all, the arbitrary cut-off clearly doesn’t matter to abortion opponents — since there’sno real scientific evidence to support the notion of fetal pain at 20 weeks, sneaking in an 18-week ban under the same specious logic is even better. On top of that, it’s important to remember that cutting off later abortion access doesn’t even have a real impact on abortion opponents’ stated goal of lowering the abortion rate. Abortions after 20 weeks are already extremely rare, representing just 1.5 percent of all abortions nationwide. This is especially stark in Mississippi, since the state’s sole abortion clinic doesn’t even perform abortions after 16 weeks in the first place — this is essentially a meaningless ban.

But addressing a real issue or having a real impact isn’t the point. Instead, this policy simply allows Republicans to have a convenient talking point to make the case that Americans support limiting abortion rights. Unfortunately, that often comes at the expense of targeting women who are making heartbreaking decisions about a pregnancy that’s gone terribly wrong. A “fetal pain ban” or a “late-term abortion ban” is a politically popular way of defining a policy that can force women to carry doomed pregnancies to term.

Amanda Allen, the state legislative counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights — one of the groups that successfully litigated against Arizona’s ban — told ThinkProgress that all fetal pain bans are “as cruel as they are unconstitutional.” That’s because they typically have very narrow medical exceptions that prevent women from terminating a pregnancy even after they’ve discovered serious health issues.

“When states try to ban abortion earlier in pregnancy, they’re really banning it before the time that women can receive critical prenatal care,” Allen pointed out. “Now that it looks like Mississippi is following in Arizona’s footsteps with this bill, lawmakers have added all these bogus findings about why this legislation is necessary for women’s health. But of course, it’s actually directly the opposite — it could force women to continue their pregnancies until a potential health issue becomes life-threatening.”

But lawmakers typically aren’t persuaded by that point. Indeed, when Arizona was arguing in favor of its restrictive ban, lawyers tried to make the case that fatal fetal birth defects are simply the “woman’s problem.”

The American people, on the other hand, actually are sympathetic to the emotional context about later abortion care. When voters realize why women may need a later abortion, they oppose cutting off access to that type of reproductive health care. This has been put to the test. Last year, when abortion opponents put a proposed 20-week ban up for a popular vote in Albuquerque, voters resoundingly rejected it for exactly this reason.

Nonetheless, this incremental strategy to undermine Roe continues to be extremely successful in state legislatures across the country. Anti-choice politicians aren’t showing any signs of stopping the onslaught of 20-week abortion bills.

“We’re continuing to see these relentless attacks from politicians. Right now, I’m tracking 12 different 20-week bans that have either been introduced this year or carried over from last session, and three of those are moving,” Allen noted. “I think we need to ask why lawmakers are so insistent on spending their time passing unconstitutional bills when states like Mississippi have some of the highest rates of child poverty and women living in poverty.”

Source: Tara Culp-Ressler for ThinkProgress

thepoliticalfreakshow:

There are few events in the modern era that evoke revulsion as much as the attempted annihilation of an entire people based on their religion. No, this particular event is not the neo-conservative movement’s drive to wipe out Muslims; that is another story. The Holocaust was a human atrocity on such a grand scale that it still evokes abject disgust among any decent human being regardless their religious or national background, and just mentioning Nazi elicits outrage amongst all but the worst representatives of humanity. Over the past few days, Republicans rallied around one of the America’s worst representatives of humanity and aligned themselves with pedophile, draft dodger, racist, and now Nazi sympathizer Ted Nugent. There is a saying that a person is known by the company they keep, and the Republicans praising, excusing and defending Ted Nugent should be regarded as Nazi sympathizers.

Last month when Nugent launched a barrage of derogatory comments about President Barack Obama at a gun expo in Las Vegas, he described the President as “a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel.” Nugent calling the President a communist is typical for the archetypical white-trash racist assailing Barack Obama for leading the Executive branch while being African American. However, Nugent’s use of “subhuman mongrel” marked a new low that Republicans embraced through their defense, and implied approval, of Nugent’s Nazi remarks. They could hardly condemn Nugent because they support whipping racists and gun-zealots into frenzy against this President since it worked so effectively for Nazis in their drive to exterminate Jews.

It is unclear why only Wolf Blitzer criticized Nugent for channeling Nazis, and why main stream media is not reporting that Republicans are praising and defending the Nazi sympathizer Nugent. Blitzer said last week “That’s what the Nazis called Jews to justify the genocide of the Jewish community. They called them ‘untermenschen,’ subhuman mongrels. If you read some of the literature that the Nazis put out there, there is a long history of that specific phrase he used involving the president of the United States.” According to a historian at the University of California at Los Angeles, David Myers, Adolph Hitler used the word “untermensch,” or subhuman, in his book Mein Kampf in 1925 and “from that point forward, it was part of the Nazi lexicon. That and ‘mischling’ or mongrel, were intoned with daily regularity by the Nazi propaganda machine.” The world knows how that propaganda succeeded, and yet there has been little to no harsh condemnation of Nugent’s Nazi propaganda against President Obama in national media.

There can be little doubt that Nugent deliberately chose the Nazi phrase as propaganda, but Republicans have barely chastised Nugent for using what they call “inappropriate” language. The same day Blitzer reported that Nugent used Nazi propaganda to criticize the President, Politifact rated Blitzer’s assertions as absolutely true. Still, Texas gubernatorial hopeful Gregg Abbot welcomed Nugent’s campaign assistance and Ted Cruz defended and praised Nugent claiming “there are reasons people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights. And this administration has demonstrated an incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.” Cruz or Nugent cannot cite one instance of this President’s “incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” but truth is of no consequence to Republicans or Nugent in their demonization of President Obama.

Cruz’s is as bad as Nugent for praising the Nazi sympathizer, and in what CNN and the Washington Post falsely labeled an apology, Nugent reciprocated and praised Texan gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, representative Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, and governor Rick Perry that Wolf Blitzer could not shame into condemning Nugent’s Nazi propaganda. The most Blitzer could get out of Perry was that Nugent’s remarks were “inappropriate,” and it is likely all any media will get from Republicans, at least from Texas Republicans. It is important to remember that Nugent’s Nazi comments were not for politicians, they were for racist gun-fanatics who embrace Nugent as their prototypical warrior against President Obama.

According to the president and CEO of the Outdoor Channel, Jim Liberatore, who could hardly contain his glowing praise for Nugent while parroting Ted Cruz, “Ted Nugent symbolizes everything that is right in our industry and represents our viewers as an outspoken patriot, a skilled outdoorsman, and a devoted family man. His programs have a powerful, zealous fan base with unmatched engagement levels.” It is no coincidence that Nugent used Nazi propaganda at a gun expo he knew his racist supporters would hear to whip them into intense anti-Obama frenzy. It is also no coincidence that Texas Republicans are tripping over themselves to praise Nugent instead of condemning his embrace of terminology that incited decent German people into Holocaust facilitators. Sadly, there are millions of racists in America who would participate in an attempt to wipe people of color off the face of America, and instead of immediately condemning and distancing themselves from Ted Nugent, Texas Republicans could only praise him for his opposition to the President and follow Willard Romney’s example and welcome his support for their candidacy.

There is a tendency to criticize anyone for comparing Republican propaganda tactics to Nazis, but in this case comparing Republican support of Nugent’s Nazi propaganda is warranted. For over five years Republicans have given tacit approval to, and participated in advancing, propaganda criticizing President Obama as an interloper, not being American, and an illegal President.  Nugent exceeded their efforts by resorting to Nazi propaganda that led to the worst human atrocity in history. Americans should make no mistake that Nugent’s Nazi remarks were not meant to ramp up hate towards Barack Obama or Americans who support him.

Americans should be aware that racist pedophile, draft dodger, and National Rifle Association director Nugent regards any American who does not comport with his vision of America is a hated enemy and unwelcome in his perverse America. Besides failing to condemn Nugent and his Republican cheer-leaders’ defense for using Nazi terminology, there was little reporting that during his Nazi propaganda rant he spared no Democrats from his vile remarks. He said, “I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin, Michael Bloomberg and all the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.” Nugent’s inclusion of “all the liberal Democrats in jail” is tantamount to Nazi propagandists lumping all Jews together and it leads one to wonder if “in jail” was code for in concentration camps or worse. Main stream media, Texas Republicans, and anyone defending, excusing, or praising Nugent are as guilty as the racist pedophile because their reluctance to condemn or distance themselves from him is implied approval to use dangerous Nazi propaganda against the President.

The GOP = the anti-women (who aren’t Christian fundies) party. 

h/t: Joanne Bamberger at The Daily Beast

liberalsarecool:

The crucial point about this outcome,… is that it will be the direct result of the decision by Dems — in the last two debt limit fights — to refuse to negotiate with Republicans.

Greg Sargent

The end of days for the Tea Party influence:

“The era of economic hostage taking and ransom demands should finally be behind us,” Senator Patty Murray told me today. “House GOP leaders have finally bowed to the reality that they need to put uncertainty and drama behind them and put the economy ahead of their party’s political tactics.” Also, as Jonathan Bernstein notes, this reflects a GOP recognition that the Tea Party must be marginalized, not placated.

Michele Bachmann: Immigrants don’t like the GOP because we love the Constitution (via Raw Story )

In an interview on KTTH, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann discussed the future of the conservative movement with Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro. She began by attacking what Shapiro called “the intelligence threats via Obamacare,”…

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW 

youngprogressivevoices:

Congressman Threatens Reporter: “I Will Break You In Half” (VIDEO)

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) confronted a reporter and threatened him on camera after refusing to…

View Post