Watch: Elizabeth Warren Shreds Republicans During Senate Floor Speech (VIDEO)

ADDICTING INFO

On Monday, the U.S. Senate blocked a bill introduced by right-wing extremists in the House, which would have eliminated federal funding to Planned Parenthood. Taking to the Senate floor, Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren lambasted right-wing attacks on women’s health for a full seven minutes, citing instance after instance of GOP extremism over the past several years.

As she took to the podium, Warren began by saying:

“I come to the Senate floor today to ask my Republican colleagues a question: Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s? Or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s healthcare centers.”

She echoed the frustrations of the overwhelming majority of U.S. voters, who repeatedly state, in poll after poll, that denying women access to healthcare, birth control or abortion is not a primary issue. Only about one-third of voters say that the GOP represents their opinion on the issue of abortion, while an overwhelming two-thirds majority of voters say they stand with women and democrats on this issue. But that doesn’t stop the right wing nuts in Washington from wasting time and huge amounts of taxpayer dollars trying to force their extremism on everyone else, as Senator Warren pointed out during her speech on Monday.

“You know, on second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women’s rights to make choices over our own bodies.”

She then rattled off an abbreviated list of GOP attacks on women’s health, noting that:

In 2013, Republicans threatened to shut down the government unless they could change the law to let employers deny women access to birth control.

In March of this year, Republicans held up a non-controversial bipartisan bill to stop human trafficking. Why? Because they demanded new anti-abortion restrictions to cover private funding meant to help the victims of human trafficking.

In June, House Republicans passed a budget eliminating funding for the Title X family planning program — the only federal grant program that provides birth control, HIV tests, STD screening, and other preventive services for poor and uninsured people.

Over the past few years, Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times, including the portions that require insurers to cover contraception.

And let’s be clear: It’s not just Congress. Over the past five years, Republican state legislators have passed nearly 300 new restrictions on abortion access. This year alone, Republican state legislators have passed more than 50 new restrictions on women’s access to legal healthcare.

Republicans seem to think that voters actually believe the latest attempt to defund Planned Parenthood is just an unplanned response to deceptively edited videos released by the front-group Center For Medical Progress.

In spite of the fact that a republican-led investigation found Planned Parenthood innocent of any wrong doing in connection to those videos, republicans continue to push through their outraged “response” to the fake videos, as if they don’t know they’re fake.

Senator Warren went after them for it, calling out the right wing’s not so hidden agenda, saying:

“So Madam President, let’s be really clear about something. The Republican scheme to defund Planned Parenthood is not some sort of surprised response to a highly edited video. Nope! The Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood is just one more piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated, rightwing attack on women’s rights. And I’m sick and tired of it. Women everywhere are sick and tired of it. The American people are sick and tired of it.

Scheduling this vote during the week of a big Fox News presidential primary debate, days before candidates take trips to Iowa or New Hampshire, isn’t just some clever gimmick. This is an all-out effort to build support to take away a woman’s right to control her own body and access to medical care she may need.”

Watch Senator Warren’s ass-kicking speech, courtesy of TheWorldisYourNews on YouTube.

10 things you need to know today: August 4, 2015

(AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

THE WEEK

1. Democrats block Senate GOP effort to defund Planned Parenthood
Senate Democrats on Monday blocked Republican legislation to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood. GOP lawmakers launched the effort to strip the family planning organization of its more than $500 million in federal funding after an anti-abortion group released hidden-camera videos it said showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood said it did nothing wrong, and never illegally profits from tissue from abortions that is used in medical research.

Source: Reuters

2. Trump extends polling lead
Donald Trump has widened his lead over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a poll released Monday by Monmouth University. The real-estate magnate and reality TV personality now has more than twice as much support as his nearest rival. He had the backing of 26 percent of the Republicans polled, followed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush with 12 percent. Fifty-two percent now have a favorable opinion of Trump, up from 20 percent when he launched his campaign.

Source: The Hill

3. Bank confirms Puerto Rico missed bond payment
Puerto Rico’s Public Finance Corp. confirmed Monday that the U.S. territory’s government had defaulted on a bond payment for the first time. “Due to the lack of appropriated funds for this fiscal year the entirety of the PFC payment was not made today,” bank president Melba Acosta Febo said in a statement. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has declared the island’s debts “unpayable.” The government is pushing for creditors to restructure $73 billion in loans.

Source: The Washington Post

4. GOP candidates participate in first major forum of presidential campaign
Fourteen Republicans participated in the Voters First Presidential Forum in New Hampshire on Monday, touting their plans for reforming immigration, combating terrorism, and uniting the country. The event gave voters their first chance to hear from most of the 2016 GOP presidential candidates on one stage. All of the candidates for the GOP nomination participated in person or via satellite, except Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, who chose not to show, and Jim Gilmore, who joined the race too late to participate.

Source: CSPAN

5. Suspect surrenders two days after fatal shooting of Memphis officer 
Tremaine Wilbourn, the suspect in the fatal shooting of Memphis police officer Sean Bolton, surrendered to federal Marshals on Monday, accompanied by family members and a lawyer. Wilbourn, 29, turned himself in after investigators conducted a massive two-day manhunt following the shooting, which occurred when a routine traffic stop apparently interrupted a small-time drug deal. “I think he felt the walls closing in and felt it was in his best interests to turn himself in,” Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.

Source: The Commercial Appeal

6. State Department reportedly went easy on key countries in trafficking report
The State Department watered down an annual report on human trafficking in a way that spared several strategically important countries from public shaming, Reuters reported Monday. Human rights experts at the State Department concluded that conditions had not improved in Malaysia and Cuba, and had deteriorated in China. High-ranking political staff at the department, however, prevailed, and got the countries removed from the list of worst offenders.

Source: Reuters

7. Texas attorney general indicted on securities fraud charges
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was arrested on felony securities fraud charges on Monday. A grand jury indicted the 52-year-old Republican on two counts of securities fraud and one count of acting as an investment adviser representative without registration. The case stems from allegations that Paxton misled investors before becoming attorney general. GOP supporters stood by him, emphasizing that he had been convicted of nothing, while Democrats called for his resignation.

Source: The New York Times

8. Jury keeps death penalty as option in movie theater massacre case
A jury voted Monday to keep the death penalty on the table as it moved toward sentencing James Holmes for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater in 2012. Holmes’ lawyers had argued that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, and his father said mental illness had changed a once “excellent kid.” The jury must now decide whether Holmes, who opened fire during a midnightscreening of The Dark Knight Rises, should be executed or serve life in prison.

Source: NBC News

9. High-ranking Taliban official quits after Mullah Omar’s successor named
The head of the Taliban’s Qatar political office announced his resignation on Monday. The high-profile resignation of Tayeb Agha was a rare public display of internal divisions in the wake of the confirmation of the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, who led the Islamist militant movement for 20 years. The Afghan Taliban announced Friday that Mullah Akhtar Mansoor would be the new Taliban leader, triggering a tense split between Mansoor’s supporters and rivals.

Source: The Guardian

10. Major airlines refuse to transport big-game trophies
Delta, American, and United airlines have decided to stop transporting big-game trophies as outrage continues to simmer over an American hunter’s killing of a protected lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe. Delta Air Lines — the U.S. airline with the most flights to Africa — announcedMonday that it would no longer ship lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies. The airline had said as recently as May that it would accept the shipments as long as they were legal.

Source: The Associated Press, BBC News

Memo To Media: Obama’s Clean Power Plan Is Not Primarily About Politics

Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

THINK PROGRESS

The most important benefits of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan do not involve either President Obama or his “legacy” — seriously, New York Times?

The Clean Power Plan is primarily about public health and preserving a livable climate by reducing carbon pollution from the dirtiest coal plants. It is directly aimed at improving the health of tens of thousands of Americans — and enabling a global treaty that might ultimately save most of the country from turning into a near-permanent Dust Bowl.

At one time, the New York Times was considered the pinnacle of “serious” journalism, the “paper of record.” But consider their Politico-style analysis of Obama’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants — a plan that he was legally obligated to put forward, a plan that is objectively the bare minimum the United States can do in the global fight to prevent catastrophic climate change from ruining the lives of billions of people for decades and centuries to come.

The Times’ front-page headline in its big Sunday story with leaked details of the plan is “Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind.” That is the print headline, the web headline, and the URL — so apparently the editors were in complete agreement from the start that this dreadful headline captures the most important news about why the President unveiled this plan.

Significantly, the Times provides exactly ZERO named sources to justify this “view from nowhere” headline and story:

As the president came to see the fight against climate change as central to his legacy, as important as the Affordable Care Act, he moved to strengthen the energy proposals, advisers said. The health law became the dominant political issue of the 2010 congressional elections and faced dozens of legislative assaults before surviving two Supreme Court challenges largely intact.

It’s all about politics and legacy, according to the Times panjandrums … and those famous unnamed “advisers.” The Times further asserts (baselessly): “But over all, the final rule is even stronger than earlier drafts and can be seen as an effort by Mr. Obama to stake out an uncompromising position on the issue during his final months in office.”

“Uncompromising?” Really? The Times is aware that Team Obama tried the legislative route in its first term: “Mr. Obama tried but failed to push through a cap-and-trade bill in his first term….” I guess Obama failed to “push through” that bill — if that phrase means “making concession after concession to get any Republicans to actually vote for it.”

The Times never mentions the fact the president is legally obligated to put forward a plan. As I’veexplained, after Senate conservatives rejected any compromise over legislation that would have reduced carbon pollution from power plants, something from the EPA very much like the Clean Power Plan became legally inevitable.

At no time does the Times even entertain the notion that the president cares about the health and well-being of Americans — or the moral responsibility the country bears as the biggest cumulative polluter. This despite Obama holding a major “White House Public Health and Climate Change Summit” on June 23!

You have to read more than 900 words to even get to the scientific necessity of the matter:

Climate scientists warn that rising greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly moving the planet toward a global atmospheric temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the point past which the world will be locked into a future of rising sea levels, more devastating storms and droughts, and shortages of food and water. Mr. Obama’s new rules alone will not be enough to stave off that future. But experts say that if the rules are combined with similar action from the world’s other major economies, as well as additional action by the next American president, emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

That would have been great as a third or fourth paragraph, but as an 18th paragraph, it’s unlikely many people who see the headline will ever get that far.

Also, the statement in boldface is not scientifically accurate because of the phrase “emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.” Emissions leveling off will NOT cause carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere to level off. In fact, they would continue rising and rising, which would guarantee the worst effects of climate change.

What the New York Times should have written was “global emissions could eventually drop fast enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.” We need a 50 percent drop in global emissions by mid-century. The public and policymakers and the media remain very confused on this point — and with stories like this it’s no wonder.

NOTE: I was originally going to criticize the AP for its Clean Power Plan story, “Who wins and loses under Obama’s stricter power plant limits” (viewable here). It had many of the same Politico-style flaws as the Times piece — especially an “inside the DC beltway” focus whereby the “winners” included environmentalists, but not actually public health or a livable climate.

But the AP appears to have replaced that with a vastly superior piece, “Obama heralds impact of power plant greenhouse gas limits,” which makes the key moral point that the most newsworthy beneficiaries are humanity: “Calling it a moral obligation, President Barack Obama unveiled the final version of his plan to dramatically cut emissions from U.S. power plants, as he warned anew that climate change will threaten future generations if left unchecked.”

Kudos to the AP for this fix.

JOE ROMM

The Planned Parenthood controversy, explained in 4 minutes

VOX

A series of undercover videos from an anti-abortion group claims that Planned Parenthood is selling the body parts of aborted fetuses for profit. The videos have Fox News invoking the Third Reich and Congressional Republicans voting to strip Planned Parenthood of public funding, again. Here’s what you need to know.

Sarah Kliff and Joss Fong

Further reading:

Planned Parenthood gets over $500 million in public funding. Here’s where it goes.

The Planned Parenthood controversy over aborted fetal body parts, explained

How Planned Parenthood became Republicans’ public enemy no. 1

D.L. Hughley: ‘Racist Stuff’ Helping Trump, If He Said N-Word ‘He’d Be Elected Tomorrow’

MEDIAITE

dl hughleyComedian D.L. Hughley told TMZ on Sunday thatDonald Trump is doing well in the polls because of all the “racist stuff” he says.

Hughley then added, “So if he says n*gger, he’ll be elected tomorrow.”

He laughed at the prospect of a Trump presidency (“like Flavor Flav winning a spelling bee”) and wondered what it must say about the other candidates and the American electorate that Trump is the number one pick for Republicans right now.

Watch the video below, via TMZ:

[h/t Raw Story]

Lindsey Graham Brings Up Bill Clinton’s Affair to Question Hillary’s Trustworthiness

POLICY.MIC

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham first came on the national scene during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings in 1998, when he served on the House Judiciary Committee. On Monday night, Graham called on Clinton’s infidelity to suggest Hillary Clinton could not be trusted in the White House.

“I’m fluent in Clintonspeak,” Graham said during an early round of questions at the Voters First forum in New Hampshire. “When Bill says, ‘I didn’t have sex with that woman,’ he did! When she says, ‘I’ll tell you about building the pipeline when I get to be president,’ she won’t!”

gRAHAM 1

Source: Mic/C-SPAN

gRAHAM 2

Source: Mic/C-SPAN

GRAHAM 3

Source: Mic/C-SPAN

During a town hall event in New Hampshire last week, Clinton refused to take a position on whether the Obama administration should allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Climate activists strongly oppose it.

“This is President Obama’s decision, and I am not going to second-guess him, because I was in a position to set this in motion and I do not think that would be the right thing to do,” Clinton said, referring to her involvement in negotiations during her time as secretary of state. “So I want to wait and see what he and Secretary Kerry decide. If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

Graham then alluded to the continuing fallout over Clinton’s use of a private email account and server during her time as secretary of state:

Graham is a longshot to make the Republican presidential debate stage, so he was out to make waves at this rapid-fire event in Manchester, New Hampshire. Currently polling near the bottom of this 17-candidate deep GOP field, he will likely take part in the mini-debate scheduled for 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, four hours before the top 10 polling contenders ascend for their primetime showdown.

You can watch Graham’s segment here. His riff on the Clintons is toward the end:

Gregory Krieg

Ted Cruz Releases Video Of Himself Cooking Bacon With A Machine Gun

ted cruz

attribution: NONE

Just a reminder TFC readers:  When reading the stories on this blog, remember our motto: “Sorting out the crazies!”

POLITICUS USA

In his ongoing quest to stay relevant in a GOP race where Donald Trump has sucked up most of the political oxygen on the far right, Ted Cruz has released a video of himself cooking bacon with a machine gun. The short video, which appears onIJReview’s web site shows Cruz wrapping bacon around the barrel of a machine gun, covering it with aluminum foil, and then firing several rounds off, until the bacon is cooked to a crisp.

Cruz kicks off the video by proudly proclaiming:

Of course, in Texas, we cook bacon a little differently than most folks.

After emptying four magazines full of bullets he peels the cooked bacon off the barrel of his gun and then bites into it, giggling as he says “mmm…machine gun bacon” and grins at the camera.

Now, obviously from a public policy standpoint, how Ted Cruz chooses to cook his bacon isn’t particularly important. However, the stunt nevertheless demonstrates a cavalier attitude towards guns that seems both sophomoric and dangerous.

Most Americans, and most Texans, cook bacon in a frying pan, presumably to minimize the risk of a stray bullet hitting somebody else in the household. Senator Cruz may fancy himself some kind of 21st century second amendment MacGyver who can turn a machine gun into a makeshift frying pan in a breakfast emergency. However, to most sane people, cooking bacon with a machine gun is needlessly risky. In addition to being unsafe it seems profoundly juvenile.

Sure, at some level we understand Ted Cruz just likes to fire a deadly weapon because it enhances his sense of manhood, but he should realize he is running to be President of the United States, not to be the head of a Junior High School boys clique. Maybe on the far right, nothing says “responsible gun owner” or “leader of the free world” like cooking your breakfast by firing off a machine gun.

However, for the Americans who are on the left, in the center, and on the moderate right, Cruz’s video only confirms that the GOP hopeful is not a serious candidate for President. He can cook his bacon any way he likes, but we don’t need him serving breakfast anywhere near the White House.

Keith Brekhus

‘No Racial Slurs’ Rule Went Right Out The Window At Confederate Flag Rally

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AP PHOTO | JOHN AMIS

After reading the third paragraph and beyond…I’m done.  Too much comedy!  Was this staged for the reporters’ benefit?  I wonder…

TPM NEWS

Conservative writer Jim Goad described the gathering as a “cultural porno” on Monday as part of a narrative about his experience at the Stone Mountain, Georgia rally for the website Taki’s Magazine.

Goad described a moment in which an argument broke out over racial slurs:

And then, finally, came what theparty-crashers were looking for. A genetically challenged-looking ginger male in a pink baseball cap called a black girl a “greasy monkey nigger bitch.” The black girl in question, who was wearing a shirt celebrating her “blackness,” began howling and screaming and clawing and swinging like a Jerry Springer guest before cops were able to restore order. Her friend, a portly black woman with a giant black leather earring in the shape of Mother Africa, shouted at someone in the crowd, “What if I called you a greasy inbred stringy-haired cracker?”“I’d be offended,” they replied.

“But ‘cracker’ isn’t offensive!” she insisted.

“Shouldn’t that be for the crackers to decide?” I asked her. She either didn’t hear me or she didn’t want to answer the question. Maybe she simply assumed it was for her to decide what was offensive and what wasn’t.

The rally organizers posted rules beforehand and their first was: “NO racial slurs or offensive remarks.”

Stone Mountain has come under fire this summer for its overt Confederate memorials. The state park, about 30 minutes from Atlanta, features a 90- by 190-foot carving of three Confederate leaders, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported an estimate from 600 to 800 attendees armed with Confederate flags.

Allan Croft, of Dalton, Georgia, told a group of young black men that segregation was wanted by all, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Yeah, we didn’t want our daughters to marry you and we didn’t want our children to go to school with you,” he said, according to the newspaper. Croft said the civil rights movement was the fault of the “communist Jews.”

Then, there was the white man carrying a Confederate flag on a pole who was wearing FUBU tennis shoes, a hiphop brand created by Daymond John, a black man.

“But does that make you stop wearing them shoes because the white man designed them? I don’t care if a black man designed my shoes,” he said before adding, “I don’t like what your people are doing to this country.”

Another flag supporter, who refused to give his last name to the Atlanta Journal Constitution,said the South was under attack.

“This is about erasing us,” said Jimmy, a representative of the League of the South who refused to give his last name. “This is about our First Amendment rights, our Second Amendment rights — every amendment you’ve got.”

One woman went to the rally in protest after racial slurs were yelled at her while she was at the park, according to the Journal Constitution.

“It is, in fact, hate not heritage, the same as the KKK or the Nazis,” she said.

Back in July, Richard Rose, president of the Atlanta branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the relief should be “sand-blasted off” the mountain. An Atlanta City Council member received death threats for a much milder suggestion: Add other prominent Georgians, such as former President Jimmy Carter, to the relief.

CAITLIN CRUZ

Veteran Campaign Reporters Criticize Fox News’ Control Over Republican Debate: “This Whole Thing Is A Sham”

Fox News’ Roger Ailes also GOP Presidential Candidates for 2016

MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA

Veteran presidential campaign correspondents and media experts are criticizing Fox News’ unprecedented role as a gatekeeper in the Republican primary.

This week, Fox News will host the first primary debate of the cycle. The event is something of a coup for the network, which has been exerting increasing control over the Republican electoral process over the past decade. The debate will be limited to 10 candidates, based on their standing in a series of national polls that Fox itself is selecting. Fox News’ debate rules have been criticized by several candidates and Republican activists for a variety of reasons, including that the network is overriding the importance of early voting primary states by essentially narrowing the field several months early.

People inside the network have also expressed frustration with the debate process with an anonymous Fox personality reportedly telling New York magazine that it’s “crazy stuff” to have Fox News head Roger Ailes essentially “deciding who is in – and out – of a debate.”

In comments to Media Matters, veteran campaign reporters, media reporters, and ethicists criticized Fox’s influence.

“Should Fox be playing this role?” asked Eric Engberg, a former CBS News correspondent who covered presidential campaigns from 1976 to 2000. “I think given Fox’s ideological bent and that Roger Ailes has spent most of his career working on political campaigns, this whole thing is a sham.”

As Media Matters has documented, candidates have been flocking to the network to get face time with its influential hosts and reach its conservative audience, which in turn boosts interest in Fox. In some cases, candidates and groups supporting them have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Fox ads to help bolster their image and hopefully increase their national polling ahead of the debate.

In a segment laying out how super PACs supporting former Texas Gov. Rick Perry had made a large ad buy on Fox News and other cable networks ahead of the debate, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained, “So, Fox News set that rule for the Republican Party, and now, Fox News gets to cash in on that rule by getting all of the Rick Perry super PAC money in the form of his national ads. It’s a nice racket, right?

“That sounds to me like either extortion or bribery, I don’t know which,” Engberg said. “You don’t know whether Fox has indicated to these people that they would be wise to buy more advertising. It has a smell of corruption about it because it mixes money with open political campaigning.”

The New York Times reported on June 4 that Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire “fear candidates are too focused on getting on television to enhance their poll standing, when they should be out meeting voters in town halls and greasy spoons.” Former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa Matt Strawn lamented that “now we have put network executives, quite frankly, in charge of winnowing the field instead of actual voters.” Newspapers in early primary states have also “mounted an insurrection against Fox News” by co-sponsoring a candidate forum before the Fox debate.

“It’s obvious that the early primary states and the Iowa caucuses have suffered a blow from the way Fox is managing things,” Engberg added. “There is less focus on Iowa and New Hampshire because all of the candidates’ staffs felt the most important thing is going to be this televised debate on Fox, especially if it is going to be the first … We can call it the Roger Ailes primary. One television executive has taken control of the process of deciding. It has a smell of one-man rule about it.”

David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun TV critic, called the Fox control of the debate “a game changer.”

“Instead of going to the states where the primaries and caucuses are held, they are spending money on TV to reach a mass audience,” he said. “Worse, and this is the part that’s really kind of mind-boggling, is that Fox is going to pick the 10 people based on the polls and there’s a line in there that says they judge the polls and they’re picking them. And now you have people like Rick Perry and [Marco] Rubio saying that the way to reach the line it takes to be picked by Fox is spend millions of dollars to advertise on Fox … This is not an appearance of conflict it is a straight conflict.”

Adam Clymer, a former New York Times political correspondent between 1972 and 2000, called the approach “inevitably messy,” later stating, “Fox is both an advertising and news media for them, with the fact that some of them have been paid commentators before. In theory you would like to have somebody making the decision about who participates who is not involved in covering the news.”

Walter Mears, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former Associated Press campaign reporter who covered every general election presidential debate from 1976 to 2000, was also a panelist for the 1976 vice presidential debate. He urged an “impartial organization” running the debate.

“Some of them have been Fox commentators, and now they’re players,” he said of the candidates. “In the worst case you would have conservative sweetheart questions directed to these guys. I would suspect that they will go to some lengths to try to appear impartial and appear even-handed so that it won’t look to be contrived and controlled. The shift to the right compelled by Fox News has changed the definition of what’s an impartial producer for a debate.”

Marvin Kalb, former host of Meet the Press, said Republican candidates have drifted ideologically to Fox, and Fox to them: “Buying time to win acceptance to a debate is only the latest twist in a long-standing drama. Up until now, buying time provided face time; now, in addition, it may win a place in a debate whose ground rules the network sets.”

For Walter Shapiro, who covered nine presidential campaigns dating back to 1980 for The Washington Post, Newsweek, Salon and others, the Republican Party is also to blame for “the total abject surrender to the TV networks.”

“By going first, Fox has made a mockery of the debates and it is because [Republican National Committee Chair] Reince Priebus punted and the RNC punted and said to Fox, ‘you figure it out,’ that much is clear,” Shapiro said. “This is a Republican forum.”

He later added, “Fox played a major role in making Donald Trump the central story on the Republican side. This is the moment where Republicans should begin to realize that Fox is a business entity concerned with ratings, with the elevation of Trump to the detriment of the rest of the Republican party.”

JOE STRUPP

The GOP crack-up continues: The raging civil war over the disgusting “cuckservative” slur

The GOP crack-up continues: The raging civil war over the disgusting “cuckservative” slur

Donald Trump (Credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall)

SALON – 

Combining racism and misogyny, the insult lets Donald Trump backers claim other Republicans aren’t real men

I had a hard time taking this seriously, but the disgusting term “cuckservative” really is taking hold on the right. I’ll be honest: I learned about it a couple of weeks agofrom the mild-mannered, clean-cut conservative writer Matt Lewis, but I thought he was making too much of it. It seemed like trying to shame one’s critics based on the behavior of the worst asshole in a comments thread. I didn’t bite.

Then “cuckservative” started showing up in my Twitter mentions last week, after I suggested Donald Trump supporters might not be the brightest bulbs. As I clicked around, I came to a shocking conclusion: I’ve been uncharacteristically downplaying the amount of racism and misogyny powering the right today. The spread of the epithet “cuckservative” is a sign that the crudest psycho-sexual insecurity animates the far right.

“Cuckservative,” you see, is short for a cuckolded conservative. It’s not about a Republican whose wife is cheating on him, but one whose country is being taken away from him, and who’s too cowardly to do anything about it.

OK, that’s gross and sexist enough already, but there’s more. It apparently comes from a kind of pornography known as “cuck,” in which a white husband, either in shame or lust, watches his wife be taken by a black man. Lewis explains it this way: “A cuckservative is, therefore, a race traitor.”

This is not merely a new way to shout “RINO.” It’s a call to make the GOP an explicitly racist party, devoted to the defense of whites. It’s no accident it’s taken off in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign launch/performance art, where he attacked illegal Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals.”

White nationalist Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute explained Trump’s appeal to Dave Weigel: “a) he is a tougher, superior man than ‘conservatives’ (which isn’t saying much), and b) he seems to grasp the demographic displacement of European-Americans on a visceral level. We see some hope there.”

Rush Limbaugh helped spread the term to the mainstream when he praised Trump like this: “If Trump were your average, ordinary, cuckolded Republican, he would have apologized by now, and he would have begged for forgiveness, and he would have gone away.”

The folks behind the term are also wildly anti-Semitic. Huckabee became a popular target after he claimed President Obama’s Iran deal was “marching Israelis to the ovens.” The guys who bray “cuckservative” hate Obama, of course, but they may hate Israel more.

In the New Republic Jeer Heet shared this porny snippet from Gregory Hood’s anti-cuckservative manifesto in the white nationalist site American Renaissance:

They are like a man who tries to appeal to a woman through acts of submission; they inspire not desire but disgust. Each new conservative surrender inspires only further contempt in the hearts of leftists, which of course encourages conservatives to capitulate even more eagerly the next time.

There’s also the variety of cuckold who gets a thrill from watching another man mount his wife. Such a creature possesses the illusion of control. He can tell himself that he is directing this obscenity and thus remain, in some way, the dominant figure.

American conservatism is perhaps best summarized as maintaining a posture of command even as the reality of control is lost. Thus conservatives cheering on the demographic transformation of the country tell themselves they remain leaders in the new America. The cuck in the corner begging to be degraded is still technically the ‘man of the house,’ for all the good it does him.

Disgraced former Breitbot Chuck C. Johnson embraced the term last week in Takimag:

[Cuckservative is] about the fake, phony conservatives who enjoy watching the real fighters on the right get sodomized while they gleefully gawk. They crave respectability over power and the limelight over influence. Seldom paid for their performances on Fox News or MSNBC, they repeat conventional wisdom after getting gussied up—but you can’t polish a soul.

That’s some prose right there.

Jared Taylor, the white nationalist behind American Renaissance, is thrilled at all the attention.

They are squirming because a single word–cuckservative–lays bare the rot at the heart of your movement: American conservatism can conserve nothing if it cannot conserve the nation’s founding stock. I’ll put it bluntly: Nothing you love will survive without white people.

By last week, alarm about the use of the blatantly racist slur was beginning to spread on the right. The blogger Ace of Spades is a little concerned about what all of it means for the conservative movement, writing:

I am right now thinking that there are more white supremacists than I previously acknowledged, and am currently up in the air as to whether to dismiss this solely as a fringe-of-the-fringe phenomenon.

Other righties are refusing to dismiss it as “a fringe of the fringe.” At “Trial of the Century” blog Monday morning, Daniel Payne told the boys who bray “cuck” to “Go Cuck Yourself:”

Conservativism certainly needs a lot of work if it’s going to survive as a viable political philosophy in the twenty-first century and if it’s going to effect the kind of change conservatives themselves wish to see. But if we want these things to come about, we don’t need to be listening to the Chuck Johnsons or the cuckservative slingers or the people who actually use the term “real fighters” to describe themselves. They will not help. They’ll only make us look ridiculous and unintelligent, as they’ve already done quite handily for themselves.

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