Thursday, January 29, 2015

John McCain STILL pretends to support the idea of a Sarah Palin presidential campaign. Unbelievable! Update!

Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

How would Sarah Palin do if she decides to run for president? According to her former top-of-the-ticket running mate, quite well. 

"She's very interesting. And I'm sure she'd do great," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told The Washington Post Wednesday in a brief interview. 

After the 2008 presidential election, McCain has consistently praised Palin, despite her clash with his campaign team. Palin has also defended McCain. The former Alaska governor campaigned for the senator in his 2010 reelection bid.

"She's very interesting." WTF does that mean? Is that just another word for batshit crazy?

Personally I don't know how John McCain can show his face in public considering what he inflicted on this country.

And having him continue to publicly support Palin after the Iowa debacle lends credence to the idea that she has some serious dirt on him.

Either that or, much like Palin herself, he is simply incapable of admitting a mistake.

Which brings us to what happened just today.

Courtesy of AOL:  

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain has kicked protesters out of a budget hearing, calling them "low-life scum." 

The upheaval came Thursday on Capitol Hill after members of an anti-war group calling itself Code Pink approached a witness table where former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright and George P. Shultz were testifying. The protesters carried signs calling the 91-year-old Kissinger a war criminal. 

McCain blurted out, "Get out of here, you low-life scum."

Oh yeah, he's a peach.

Update: Well it looks like McCain may have his allegiances tested as his OTHER girlfriend is also teasing about a potential run:

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday formed a political organization to explore a potential run for his party's presidential nomination, the latest high-profile politician to test the 2016 waters.

McCain has already gone on record in urging Graham to run, so if there were a contest between endorsing Palin or Lindsey-Lou I am pretty sure I know who really owns the key to his heart..

Rabid homophobic spokesman for the American Family Association has been fired ahead of RNC trip to Israel that the AFA paid for. Things that make you go "Hmmm." Update!

Courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement:

 Tonight Rachel Maddow broke a huge story: Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis, for the American Family Association has been fired. 

The reasons are unclear, as is his future with the organization. Tim Wildmon, American Family Association president, told MSNBC that Fischer is "just a talk show host." 

Fischer has been the main spokesperson for the certified anti-gay hate group for years, daily spinning lies about the LGBT community, including his infamous claims that the Nazis were gay, the Nazi Party was “formed in a gay bar” by “homosexual thugs,” and that "Hitler himself was a homosexual." 

So why today? 

Because on Saturday dozens – close to 100 – members of the Republican National Committee will fly to Israel on a trip sponsored by and paid for by the American Family Association. The same American Family Association that had as its public face and top spokesperson a man who says that the Jewish religion is counterfeit and Jews don't have First Amendment rights.

So the AFA was perfectly fine with Fischer making incredibly outlandish and insane remarks tying homosexuality and Nazis together, and calling the Jewish religion "counterfeit," right up until the press, actually Rachel Maddow mostly, started publicizing the fact that they were paying for an RNC trip to Israel.

Gee I wonder who put pressure on them to fire Fischer? Wait, don't tell me.

By the way if you want to get an idea of just how incredibly insane with his Bryan Fischer truly is, then just take a stroll over to Right Wing Watch. But be warned a few minutes of that crap will make your head explode.

Oh and if you have not seen Rachel's brilliant report last night, do yourself a favor and watch it here.


Courtesy of The New Civil Rights Movement:

And that appears to be true – Bryan Fischer may have lost his meaningless title of director of issue analysis, and his more prominent but still useless title of spokesperson – but he has retained the most important and, more importantly, his most dangerous ability: radio host spewing lies and garbage daily on the American Family Radio network that broadcasts from over 160 radio stations across 40 states, plus online and is archived on Vimeo. 

In other words, Bryan Fischer still has a platform to broadcast hate speech, and is still being paid by the American Family Association to do so. 

So to be clear instead of recognizing that they have a serious public relations problem with Fischer on staff, the AFA just decides to make a few cosmetic changes while continuing to maintain their association with him.

Well that should solve everything don't you think?

Bill O'Reilly responds to Sarah Palin's irritation at his tease about reality show politicians.

"Ms. Palin an Donald Trump are very high profile folks. And both have starred in reality TV shows. Thus my tease was perfectly in context and harmless. So here's the tip of the day. If no offense is intended, don't take offense. Your life will be happier."

I have to admit that I was hoping that O'Reilly would really cut lose on her, but it seems he was really made an effort to deal with the matter without completely alienating Palin.

Which signals to me that Fox is not yet entirely done using Palin to drum up controversy and attract ratings from the paint chip eaters.

The Mormon church offers the LGBT community a compromise. If they will support the rights of their lunatic cult, then the Mormons will support their human rights.

Courtesy of CNN:

In at least one big and bruising culture-war battle, the Mormon church wants to call a partial truce. 

Convening a rare press conference on Tuesday at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Mormon leaders pledged to support anti-discrimination laws for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, as long the laws also protect the rights of religious groups. 

In exchange, the Mormon church wants gay rights advocates -- and the government -- to back off. 

"When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from employment or made to suffer personal loss because they have raised their voice in the public square, donated to a cause or participated in an election, our democracy is the loser," said Elder Dallin Oaks, a member of the church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles. 

"Such tactics are every bit as wrong as denying access to employment, housing or public services because of race or gender."

So in other words the church will not spend millions of dollars to fight laws allowing marriage equality so long as they retain the right to discriminate against them, and preach that their lifestyle is deviant and an affront to God.

Oh yeah, seems so fair. 

And remember there are NO gay Mormons. Only Mormons who want to have sex with members of the same gender but repress the hell out of it for the sake of their church. 

A graphic from one of our faithful readers.

Notice how completely sensible it sounds before Sarah Palin steals it and poops all over it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

After the debacle in Iowa Sarah Palin loses one of her staunchest supporters.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast, from an article entitled You Betcha I Was Wrong About Sarah Palin:

Demosthenes, she is not, but there’s nothing new about Palin’s penchant for populism or lowbrow rhetoric. What does feel new is that she has finally gotten around to roundly losing conservative opinion leaders. (OK, this has been a long time coming. In 2011, Conor Friedersdorf noted that the hard right was skewering Palin, and that Kathleen Parker had been vindicated. And as recently as this past April, I wondered whether it was finally safe for conservatives to criticize her publicly. But it does feel like we have finally reached a tipping point where criticizing Palin isn’t only acceptable for conservative opinion leaders, it’s now almost expected.) 

Before we go any further, I should confess that I might be one of the most unusual Palin critics you’ll ever encounter. Before most Americans had ever heard of her, I was among the few suggesting she’d make a fine veep pick. My intern at the time even started the Draft Sarah Palin movement. A few years later, I edited a book of Palin quotes, titled The Quotable Rogue. 

I defended her when some on the left said she was to blame for Gabby Giffords’ shooting, and recently defended her daughter Bristol when the press laughed at her for being a victim of what certainly sounded like a physical assault. (For what it’s worth, I’ve also criticized Palin when I thought she was wrong.) This is all to say that I’m not reflexively anti-Palin; I don’t suffer from Palin Derangement Syndrome. 

In fairness, Palin was once a reform-minded governor who enjoyed an 88 percent approval rating. But something happened on the way to Des Moines. I suspect the most vicious attacks (especially the “Trig Truther” stuff) radicalized her and embittered her, but I also suspect she also took the easy way out. Instead of going back to Alaska after the 2008 defeat, boning up on the issues, continuing her work as governor, and forging a national political comeback, she cashed in with reality-TV shows and paid speaking gigs.

There have been a number of conservatives who have recently washed their hands of Sarah Palin, but Matt Lewis is certainly noteworthy in that he was once one of her staunchest supporters and somewhat instrumental in inflicting her on America in the first place.

So for him to break ranks is no small thing.

However I have to admit that what made me decide to write this post was this one line from the article: 

I suspect the most vicious attacks (especially the “Trig Truther” stuff) radicalized her and embittered her.

Lewis views these as "vicious attacks."  But the truth is that if there were no validity to the charges then they would have been the easiest for Palin to have laughed off. In fact she could have used them as proof positive that liberals will say anything to besmirch her character.

However the reason why the trig truther allegations drew blood is because they are grounded in facts. And as more time has passed the stronger the case that she faked her pregnancy and Trig's birth has become.

We now have photos which prove she was not pregnant,  e-mails that indicate access to information that she could not have had before the birth, and even a Providence Hospital schedule that seems to prove that CBJ could not have been the attending physician.

Yes I agree that all of this could have "radicalized" and "embittered" her. I just disagree that it was vicious.

If anything it was necessary. Even, if I dare say, patriotic.

So if there is ANY validity to the charge that the questions about Trig's birth had the effect of making Sarah Palin babble like a demon possessed lunatic in Iowa, which resulted in her losing the last vestiges of support from the conservative Right, then I call that a job well done.

At the end of the article Matt Lewis offers this mea culpa:

It’s probably time to concede that the early critics of Sarah Palin had a point, and that they shouldn’t have been tarred and feathered and (in some cases) nearly purged from the conservative movement. I’m not excusing the vilest attacks, of course, but for a long time, there was close to zero tolerance of anything remotely critical of Palin (or, at least, even mild criticism would evoke stern rebukes), and that was wrong. And, as evidenced by the spate of articles coming from conservative venues this week, it’s also over. 

It is not exactly how I pictured babygate taking her down, but a victory is a victory.

In the "not news to anybody" category Fox News is not only lying more than any other cable news outlet, they are lying more than ever.

Courtesy of Politifact:  

MSNBC and CNN have improved ever so slightly on our TV network scorecards, while Fox News has moved a touch in the opposite direction. 

At Fox and Fox News, 10 percent of the claims we’ve rated have been True, 11 percent Mostly True, 18 percent Half True, 21 percent Mostly False, 31 percent False and nine percent Pants on Fire. 

That means about 60 percent of the claims we’ve checked have been rated Mostly False or worse. Here’s how it breaks down (as of Jan. 27, 2015):

Politifact goes on to suggest that about 44% of MSNBC Reports are rated false or mostly false as well, however I have a problem with that as they have been called out before, by no less than Rachel Maddow herself, for labeling MSNBC stories false when actually they were well researched and factual.

And besides there is scientific evidence to back up Fox's penchant for misinformation as well as the reasons they do so.

Actually I think we all realize that Fox News is forced to lie becasue their audience simply cannot handle the truth, and if they heard it they would turn off their cable boxes and go back to talk radio where they will only hear what they want to hear.

A very sad day for blogging as Andrew Sullivan calls it quits.

So Andrew Sullivan announced just today his intention to give up blogging for good at some unspecified date in the near future.

Admittedly his reasons are quite sound and indeed reflect many of my own thoughts about this job.

Among other things he says: 

I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. 

Much of that is indeed a challenge. And in fact there are stretches of time where the majority of my interactions during the day happen online. That can indeed make you feel disconnected from the world. 

Fortunately my real job demands that I be present and engaged so I am constantly being called away from the computer to do real world problem solving and communication.

Still it is easy to spend up to 16 hours a day in front of the computer screen. And I often do.

However do not panic, I am not yet considering life after blogging. Not yet.

Andrew's news does come at a rather inopportune time for me though, as I was hoping to include him in on what I have been working on and if it produces results I wanted him to help spread the news.

We have exchanged a few e-mails in the past and he has always been supportive and interested in the things that I have uncovered.

I will still e-mail him when I have more to work with, just in case he is not adverse to a little controversy during his final days.

Finally I would like to wish Andrew a wonderful life without blogging, as he has always been a personal hero of mine, even when we did not see eye to eye on every issue.

Sarah Palin' interview on Hannity last night. Is there a more WTF term than WTF?

So Hannity starts off the interview by showing an especially crazy portion of Palin's Iowa speech. (Yeah try to find a non-crazy part.)

I don't know how he THOUGHT she might react to seeing it again, but it clearly pissed her off.

He then brings up the fact that Palin was asked about running for President in 2016, and asks for her response to that question.

"I was asked by a pesky reporter while I was promoting my Sportsman Channel show 'Amazing America with Sarah Palin.'  I was if I were to be interested in at all in running for office, maybe presidency, and it's certainly not newsworthy for me to have answered 'Oh yeah I'm interested, yeah. Next question?' I think that anyone who has been blessed with an opportunity to serve the American public in different capacities, and within their own state, to not be interested would be..not..uh...standing up to what's right, and doing what's right."

Now if you think I simply made all of that up to make it appear that the woman was either drunk or batshit crazy, I assure that it is word salad for word salad.

For reasons that I can't quite fathom Hannity actually continues the interview and asks her more pointedly if she is thinking about running for the presidency. Such a slow learner.

"I along with others on a deep bench are no doubt thinking about it but it’s much too early to say whether I, and others I’m sure would answer the same way, they, would be throwing their hat in the ring.” 

In other words, "I am fucking warning you Sean to drop it!"

But Hannity refuses to listen and rephrases the question again. (Just watch Palin's face during this. Can you see the smoke coming out of her ears?)

In response to the question Palin launches into what can only be described as a diatribe that includes using her family and God as an excuse for her reticence to answer the question, and a stream of consciousnesses attack on government, and even a shot at Republicans.

At this point I don't know it Hannity is just too thick to recognize that Palin is losing her shit, or if he is passively aggressively driving her over the brink. But he follows up with a question about the criticism she received about the Iowa speech, including from the Right, and asks her if the reason was a failed teleprompter. (Hang on going to need more popcorn for this answer.)

"You know I don't read the praise, and I don't read the criticism (Bullshit!) because I know how you guys, or how the media in general works. (At this point Hannity tries to interject that he is not part of that group, but Palin isn't listening.) I'm used to teleprompters not working, remember at the GOP acceptance speech back in '08 the teleprompter broke there too, it didn't work and I kept on going so, no, I don't know I received a standing ovation throughout and at the end of the speech."


"So I don't know I think a lot of this is a herd mentality of some reporters would..uh..uh..that kind of exacerbates some of the criticism. But I don't know what anybody really would, when you talk about the meat, the content, of the speech, would criticize when I talk about courage, and integrity, and a track record of any candidate that is needed in order to, be able to, sincerely serve the people of America who deserve real hope and real change and not more of same, not more of status quo, of the old energy if you will. But we need new energy, new ideas, and as I say very, very important that we have a track record proving what works. (At this point Hannity is trying to get control of the interview back, but to no avail.) But what I also made a point of in that speech Sean, and this is important, is knowing what the media id going to do throughout 2016. And, my prediction, Hillary will be running and she will know...the knighted candidate on the Left, and with the media. Knowing what the media is going to do, it's going to take more than a village to beat Hillary. There needs to be unity, understanding that we have that..conservatives have that strike against us right off the bat, that being the media. Even there on Fox, you know kind of a quasi or assumed conservative outlet, and we have all day listen to the tease of Bill O'Reilly, he's talking about the guests on his show tonight, or the commentary on his show, and that would be oh all these...uh...GOP contenders thinking about running for president, like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and he names them off, he says 'Oh what a reality show that would be. Yuck yuck.' Well the Left doesn't do that okay they..they..they take this serious. Because this is war, and hopefully the media, even the quasi Right side of the media, won't be looking at us as some kind of reality show. A joke. Because maybe they have theirs (Hannity tries again to gain control, and fails.)so they're taken care of, they're fine. No the people of America deserve the best, and competition through a GOP primary, whether a Bill O'Reilly or somebody else assumes it's a reality show or not, they deserve that competition to surface the competitor who can take on Hillary, or whomever it may be, and win for this country."

Sooooo, DID the teleprompter go out?

Wait, did she just attack Bill O'Reilly, the biggest star on Fox News? Damn, she is way off her meds!

Essentially this interview simply sounds like a part deux of her crazy speech in Iowa. It's like she woke up, felt she had more batshit that needed to be let out, and called up Fox News to provide a forum.

Incredibly Hannity continues to try and get Palin to say if she is running, and asks her if she were what would be the things she would run on and offers her a list of choices.

Her response is to say "Check, check, check, those absolutely."  And then follows up with a string of conservative talking points spewed out in a hyperactive rat-a-tat-tat of verbal shrapnel.

Hannity takes one last stab at getting Palin to give odds on whether she is running but she refuses to take the bait, and Hannity finally has to admit defeat.

The take away from all of this, besides a massive migraine, is that Palin was bullshitting about a run in 2016, which of course everybody with a handful of brains cells to rub together already knew, and that she is essentially coming apart at the seams.

I predict that her next SarahPAC filings will be the lowest ones yet.

She is finished. Anything that happens to her from this point on is almost beside the point.

Is Hillary Clinton a closet Fundamentalist?

So yesterday one of you intrepid people sent me a 2007 Mother Jones story that I had never seen before. 

It ties Clinton to a secretive religious organization that has strong connections with, and influence over, numerous political leaders.

This from the Mother Jones article:

In fact, Clinton's God talk is more complicated—and more deeply rooted—than either fans or foes would have it, a revelation not just of her determination to out-Jesus the GOP, but of the powerful religious strand in her own politics. Over the past year, we've interviewed dozens of Clinton's friends, mentors, and pastors about her faith, her politics, and how each shapes the other. And while media reports tend to characterize Clinton's subtle recalibration of tone and style as part of the Democrats' broader move to recapture the terrain of "moral values," those who know her say there's far more to it than that. 

Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection. "A lot of evangelicals would see that as just cynical exploitation," says the Reverend Rob Schenck, a former leader of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who now ministers to decision makers in Washington. "I don't....there is a real good that is infected in people when they are around Jesus talk, and open Bibles, and prayer."

The article goes into incredible detail concerning the organization, much of which sounds like a description of a slightly watered down version of Jerry Falwell's ministry,  and Hillary's involvement. 

It ends with this sobering assessment:

Then, as now, Clinton confounded secularists who recognize public faith only when it comes wrapped in a cornpone accent. Clinton speaks instead the language of nondenominationalism—a sober, eloquent appreciation of "values," the importance of prayer, and "heart" convictions—which liberals, unfamiliar with the history of evangelical coalition building, mistake for a tidy, apolitical accommodation, a personal separation of church and state. Nor do skeptical voters looking for political opportunism recognize that, when Clinton seeks guidance among prayer partners such as Coe and Brownback, she is not so much triangulating—much as that may have become second nature—as honoring her convictions. In her own way, she is a true believer.

For an Atheist who is desperate to get religion out of politics this makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up.

It should also be noted that among those who have been confirmed as belonging to the Fellowship are Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Sen Ken Salazar, Rep. Jeff Session, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and several Watergate conspirators.

They are also, it appears, behind the infamous National Prayer Breakfast, which every President seems honor bound to attend.

Author Jeff Sharlet wrote a very revealing book about this group in 2008. 

This is from an Alternet article about that book: 

The roster of current and former Family members includes senators, congressmen, Fortune 500 CEOs, generals and at least one Supreme Court justice. The Family does not publish membership lists, and its members are sworn to secrecy, so a full accounting is impossible. 

Sen. Hillary Clinton has been involved with the Family since 1993 when, as first lady, she joined a White House prayer circle for political wives. Clinton has also sought spiritual counseling from the current head of the Family, Doug Coe. Sharlet argues that Clinton's longtime association with the Family has helped her forge working relationships with powerful religious conservatives such as Family member and anti-abortion crusader Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. 

The Family nurtures the next generation of prayer warriors in suburban dormitories. Sharlet spent nearly a month living at Ivanwald, a dormitory in Virginia where sons of the Family are sent to immerse themselves in Jesus and clean the toilets of congressmen and senators. 

The Family also runs a house on C Street in Washington, D.C. The C Street Center has housed a number of federal legislators, including Sen. John Ensign of Nevada. Residents allege that the center is just a cheap place to live, but as an Ivanwald brother, Sharlet saw firsthand that the center is a religious community. As far as the IRS is concerned, the C Street Center is a church. 

Members will tell you that the Family is just a group of friends. As Sharlet discovered, 600 boxes of documents at the Billy Graham Center Archives tell a different story.

There is quite a bit more in the article that will bring you pause, such as the fact that several members have demonstrated admiration of Adolph Hitler.

I have to be honest and tell you that I find this incredibly disturbing, and just the idea of Hillary Clinton and "prayer warriors" being mentioned in the same article makes me nauseous.

Believe me I want to support Hillary in 2016, and indeed I doubt seriously that we have anybody that could challenge her for the nomination.

But I may have to sit down and take stock of my reasons for supporting her, and do a little soul searching.

Fuck! Why isn't this ever easy?

CBO predicts deficit will shrink to lowest level since President Obama took office.

Courtesy of AP: 

Solid economic growth will help the federal budget deficit shrink this year to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, according to congressional estimates released Monday. 

The Congressional Budget Office also projects a 14 percent drop in the number of U.S. residents without health insurance, largely because of Obama's health law. 

In a report released Monday, CBO says the deficit will be $468 billion for the budget year that ends in September. That's slightly less than last year's $483 billion deficit. 

The official scorekeeper of Congress projects solid economic growth for the next few years, with unemployment dropping slightly. 

"In CBO's estimation, increases in consumer spending, business investment and residential investment will drive the economic expansion this year and over the next few years," the report said. 

CBO also cited wage increases, rising wealth and the recent decline in oil prices.

Gee thanks Obama.

No seriously, thanks Mr. President. 

"Science" test from private Christian school.

If you want to know why we are so ignorant in America, look no further.