GOP

GOP Delays Benghazi Report Until 2016 Proving It’s All About Politics, Not Those Who Died

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If only the GOP was this adamant about getting to the bottom of the tragedy on 9/11/01, but wait… that was under Republican leadership, and Bush was instead made a hero. It’s always about politicizing tragedies to their favor. Always.

Republicans have no shame. None whatsoever. When the September 11 attacks happened, on American soil mind you, we were told that we were attacked… because we just were, and Republicans didn’t blame President Bush and his administration – even though they did ignore intelligence that said attacks were imminent.

However, when the attacks on an American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, occurred on 9/11/12, well that was obviously the fault of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. And godammit! Republicans are going to make sure they drag out and politicize the deaths of four Americans as long as they can in an effort to derail Clinton’s attempt at becoming the next President of the United States.

They don’t give a rat’s ass that the father of United States ambassador Christopher Stephens, who perished in the attack in Benghazi, asked that his son’s death not be politicized. Or the fact that 20 committee events and hearings have been held regarding the events on that fateful day, even committees run by House Republicans, debunking theories that there was any wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration. They will not let the matter rest until they can use it to keep Clinton out of the Oval Office. At least that’s their hope.

Now, the new House Benghazi committee is delaying their supposed “new” report until 2016 — months before the presidential election where Clinton will undoubtedly be the Democratic nominee. And who are they blaming for this delay?? The White House, of course.

The committee spokesman, Jamal Ware, told Bloomberg News in a statement:

“Factors beyond the committee’s control, including witness availability, compliance with documents requests, the granting of security clearances and accreditations—all of which are controlled by the Executive branch—could continue to impact the timing of the inquiry’s conclusion.”

Mmmhmm, yeah. That’s it. Never mind the countless other hearings and investigations that have already happened. This dead horse hasn’t only been kicked, but it’s been sent to the glue factory and is now being used to hold together the last semblance of an argument the Republicans have. It’s pathetic… and it’s continuing to prevent the families of the dead to grieve properly.

Of course, chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on Benghazi, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), denies that this delay has anything to do with the upcoming election, saying:

“Secretary Clinton’s decision to seek the presidency of the United States does not and will not impact the work of the committee.”

Hahahahaha (hold on, need to breathe) hahahahaha! Did he say that with a straight face?

I’m sure it’s just happenstance that the release of the report will magically coincide with the presidential election. Totally.

What will likely happen, because it’s happened with every other Benghazi report, is that the Obama administration will be cleared of any wrongdoing, and this entire charade of an investigation to bury the former Secretary of State will be able to be used to her advantage.

These Republicans are pathetic and morally bankrupt when it comes to politicizing tragedy. It’s clear they don’t care about getting to the bottom of what happened, because that’s already occurred. And if they did, they’d be more focused on going after the people who attacked us, just like with 9/11/01. They only care about hurting Clinton’s chance at the presidency, and that is the God’s honest truth.

AUTHOR:

Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness has a deep influence on the mindset of the right

A postage stamp showing an image of Ayn Rand, circa 1999 (catwalker / Shutterstock.com)

A postage stamp showing an image of Ayn Rand, circa 1999 (catwalker / Shutterstock.com)

The Raw Story

Ayn Rand (1904-82) has arisen from the dead. Over the last decade the pop philosopher and propaganda fictionist extraordinaire has moved steadily from the cultish margins to the mainstream of US conservatism.

Her ghost may even haunt the current presidential race with the candidacy of Republican Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian darling who received a set of Ayn Rand books for his 17th birthday.

In her bestselling books and essays, Rand frankly celebrated selfishness and greed – and the underside of this celebration is a scorn toward and demonization of any simple caring about other human beings. Such a stance has become a hidden, yet driving force behind such loaded catchphrases as “spending cuts” and, more grandiosely, “limited government.”

In a larger sense, though, Rand had never died. Sales of her books remained steadily in the six figures in the years following her demise, their underground influence an unacknowledged-if-discomforting fact of American life. A couple of reader surveys carried out in the 1990s by Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, and by the Modern Library imprint, showed Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead near the top of the polling results, according to author Brian Doherty. And, in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, sales of her works tripled.

Randianism, what she called Objectivism, now exists as a mass phenomenon, a grass-roots presence, a kind of folklore. “Who Is John Galt?”, her recurring slogan from Atlas Shrugged, can be seen on placards at Tea Party rallies, on leaflets casually affixed to telephone poles or on the shopping bags of Lululemon Athletics, the Canadian sports apparel company. The firm’s CEO, Chip Wilson, is an avowed Rand fan. So are the current corporate chiefs at Exxon, Sears, the BB & T Bank in North Carolina and the funky Whole Foods chain.

And of course, there’s Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, who started out in the 1950s as Rand’s star disciple and never in the course of his career was to abjure the special relationship.

Rand and the mindset of the right

Randthought, which I discuss in my book, On Nabokov, Ayn Rand and the Libertarian Mind, serves as a major doctrinal component within the mindset of the libertarian, the latter being the most significant American ideological development of the last 35 years.

The title of a 1971 book by Jerome Tuccille (a libertarian journalist and Libertarian Party candidate for governor of New York State in 1974) says all: It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand. Rand’s fan base has since grown to include Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice-presidential nominee, who in 2005 openly credited Rand with his having entered government service and who reportedly has had his staffers read the market guru’s books.

Rand did not invent libertarianism. The thinking, sans the name, had been around since at least the 1920s. And her contemporaries, economists such as Milton Friedman and the so-called Austrian School, gave the set of ideas academic standing and respectability. In Rand’s truculent fiction, however, an abstract theory effectively took on flesh via dashing heroes and unabashed hero worship, vivid myths and technological magic, page-turning suspense and torrid, violent sex. For every studious reader of economist Friedrich von Hayek, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of eager devourers of Rand.

Curiously, an aging Rand loathed libertarians, attacked them as “scum,” “hippies of the right” and “a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people.” She hated them in great measure because, in her view, they had adopted her economic principles yet ignored her total “philosophy.” (Rand also disliked any situation over which she couldn’t exercise personal control.)

Her heirs and successors in the so-called Objectivist camp have since waged a kind of sectarian cold war with libertarians. One thinks of the split between Stalinists and Trotskyists or between Social Democrats and Communists.

Meanwhile the libertarians themselves have gone their merry way with their political party (the nation’s third largest) and Tea Parties, and with their myriad think tanks and media organs.

The GOP’s fraught affair with Rand

In the interim, starting with Ronald Reagan, the GOP has absorbed selected aspects of the rhetoric and larger aims of the libertarian purists (much as the New Deal did once pick and choose rhetoric and programs from the socialist left). At the same time, official party conservatism took to cultivating the evangelical Christian sectors, marshaling issues such as abortion and evolution in an aggressive bid to gain favor with fundamentalist voters.

In addition, picking up from the “Southern Strategy” of Republicans in the 1970s who wooed Southern Democrats by catering to racial tensions, candidates and publicists now play on continuing resentment over the Civil War defeat and the Civil Rights struggles. They deflect blame onto “Big Government” for any and all ills, much as libertarians and Randians are wont to do. The result is a marriage of convenience, an uneasy alliance between a pro-market, secular Right and the older, faith-based forces who make common cause against a perceived common enemy.

Rand, ironically, was an outspoken atheist, a fact that eventually led VP candidate Paul Ryan to publicly repudiate her “atheist philosophy,” claiming disingenuously that his once-touted Randianism was merely an “urban legend,” and that, as a Catholic, his thought came rather from St Thomas Aquinas.

Still, whatever these doctrinal differences, Rand’s vision will continue to provide inspiration and intellectual ammunition for the foot soldiers of US conservatism, libertarian or otherwise.

In many respects, America is becoming — in echo of the title of a book by journalist Gary Weiss — an “Ayn Rand Nation.”

The ConversationBy Gene H. Bell-Villada, Williams College

Bill Maher: GOP will nominate Scott Walker as worst of ‘are you f*cking kidding me?’ candidates

Bill Maher on 'Real Time' on Sept. 28, 2014.

Vintage Bill Maher on ‘Real Time’ on Sept. 28, 2014 | Screenshot HBO

Raw Story

In an interview that concentrated heavily on 2016′s presidential race, comedian Bill Maher said he was placing his bet on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to get the GOP nod, calling him the worst of a weak field made up of  “are you f*cking kidding me?” candidates.

Speaking with Buzzfeed, the host of HBO’s Real Time, admitted that he would in all likelihood support Hillary Clinton, while dismissing Republicans out of hand.

Maher said that Walker is ideal for Republicans because, “he’s the worst and the Republicans, you know, they are pretty good at nominating the ‘are you f*cking kidding me?’ candidate. And to me, Mr. Walker is the ‘are you f*cking kidding me?’ candidate.”

Maher was less kind to former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, mocking his status as the “moderate” among potential nominees.

“When he was the governor of Florida, he threw an election for his brother, he threw black people off the voter rolls, he crushed the unions, he signed the Stand Your Ground law, he put the feeding tube back into Terri Schiavo,” he said. “This is what passes for a moderate in this party? Yeah, I guess so.”

Maher was more reserved when speaking of libertarian candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky with whom he shares some beliefs, but criticized him for pandering to the GOP base.

“His father made a calculation, ‘Better to be true to yourself, better to be real, better to be honest and say what you really believe and not win then to sell out like these other dopes,’” Maher said. “And Rand Paul looks like he’s not making that calculation, he looks like he’s making the opposite calculation.”

Maher added that in a recent interview with the Kentucky senator, Paul better articulated his positions, but as the campaign has ramped up his rhetoric has dumbed down.

“It’s not like the boy can’t learn. But unfortunately, again, it looks like the lesson he learned from his father is, ‘Say stupid shit to get the nomination because if you don’t, you’ll lose.’”

Colin Powell Still Sees ‘The Dark Vein Of Racism’ In The GOP

ABC ScreenCap (Mediaite)

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General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under the Bush Administration (and a registered Republican), says he “still sees” the “dark vein of racism” in the GOP and the rest of America. This comes after Republican leadership in the Congress decided to skipthe 50th anniversary of Selma’s “Bloody Sunday” and other events marking the historic civil rights catalyst. Of the 90 members of Congress who attended the services, only 24 were from the GOP, including Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Colin Powell, however, has decided to call the GOP out for their lack of outreach to the black community. Since he is a black man who is a member of the GOP, perhaps they should take what he has to say into serious consideration.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Powell reiterated his claims of that the GOP is still plagued by a dark vein of intolerance when asked if it still exists:

“I still see it [racism]. I still see in the Republican Party, and I still see it in other parts of our country. You don’t have to be a Republican to be touched by this dark vein. America is still going through this transformation from where we were just fifty, sixty years ago. You have to remember it was just sixty, seventy years ago that we still had poll taxes, that we still had literacy tests in order to vote, that the voting places were open for two days a month for African-Americans. So we’ve come a long way, but there’s a long way to go. And we have to change the hearts and minds of Americans. And I see progress, especially in the younger generation.”

“We’ve made enormous progress. If we hadn’t made progress, [President Obama] wouldn’t have been standing there, Eric Holder wouldn’t have been with him and I wouldn’t be here right now.”

In 2013, Powell first talked about the “dark vein” when calling out Sarah Palin for her use of “shuckin’ and jivin’” to describe President Obama:

“What do I mean by that [dark vein]? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin’ — that’s a racial-era slave term. You’ve got to think first about what’s the party actually going to represent. If it’s just going to represent the far right wing of the political spectrum, I think the party is in difficulty. I’m a moderate, but I’m still a Republican.”

It’s time that the Republicans really have the minority outreach they say they want. They begin by ditching Republican Whip Steve Scalise, and starting to attend events like the Selma anniversary and the March on Washington. They can also ditch their racially motivated suppression of voting. Those would be some great starts. But I for one think the GOP has already shot themselves in the feet and have missed their opportunities.

Thanks, Colin Powell, for reminding us that the dark vein of racism in alive and well in the GOP.

Morning Plum: Republicans won’t have any contingency plan if Court guts subsidies for millions

The Washington Post – Plum Line

With the Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments this week in the lawsuit that could do severe damage to the Affordable Care Act, some Republican lawmakers are working hard to convey the impression that they have a contingency plan for the millions who will likely lose subsidies — and coverage — if the Court rules with the challengers. Senators Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, and John Barrasso have published a Washington Post op ed with an oh-so-reassuring title: “We have a plan for fixing health care.”

The good Senators, amusingly, cast their “plan” as something that will protect people from “the administration’s” actions and from Obamacare itself, not from the consequences of the legal challenge or a Court decision siding with it. The plan vows to “provide financial assistance” for a “transitional period” to those who lose subsidies, while Republicans create a “bridge away from Obamacare.” Of course, anyone who watched last week’s chaos in the House knows Congressional Republicans are unlikely to coalesce around any “transitional” relief for those who lose subsidies (that would require spending federal money to cover people) or any permanent long-term alternative. This chatter appears transparently designed to make it easier for conservative Justices to side with the challengers.

Yet even if this game works on the Justices in the short term, any eventual failure to come through with any  contingency plan could saddle Republicans with a political problem, perhaps even among GOP voters.

A poll taken by Independent Women’s Voice — a group that favors repealing Obamacare in the name of individual liberty — found that in the nearly three dozen states on the federal exchange, 75 percent of respondents think it’s very (54) or somewhat (21) important to restore subsidies to those who lose them. In the dozen main presidential swing states, 75 percent of respondents say the same.

And guess what: Large majorities of Republican voters agree. A spokesperson for the group tells me that in both those groups of states taken together, 62 percent of Republican respondents say its very (31) or somewhat (31) important to restore the subsidies. Only 31 percent of Republicans in those states think doing this is unimportant.

This raises the possibility that a lot of Republican voters would be harmed by an anti-ACA decision, too. As Politico puts it today: “The people who would be affected by a Supreme Court decision against the Obama administration live disproportionately in GOP-governed states, and an Urban Institute study found that many people fall into a demographic crucial to the GOP base — white, Southern and employed.”

Now, none of this means Republicans will be more likely to step forward with a solution. As Avik Roy (who hopes the Court rules against the ACA) acknowledges, Republicans are so divided that uniting on any response is unlikely:

Republicans are being pulled in two directions. On the one hand, you have dozens of House members from highly ideological districts, for whom a primary challenge is a far bigger political risk than a general election. Many members of this group think that continuing Obamacare’s subsidies, in any form, is problematic.

On the other hand, there is a large group of Republican senators in blue and purple states up for reelection in 2016. These include Mark Kirk (Ill.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Pat Toomey (Penn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Rob Portman (Ohio). These senators are much more aligned with Hatch, Alexander, and Barrasso.

Meanwhile, Republican state lawmakers, who could keep the subsidies flowing to their constituents by setting up state exchanges, are all over the place on what might come next, with some already ruling out such a fix. Indeed, in the end, it probably won’t matter that large majorities of Americans — or even large majorities of Republicans — support restoring the subsidies. On this, as on so many other things, GOP lawmakers will probably take their cues from the more conservative minority of Republicans, whatever the political or policy consequences.

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* WHY JUSTICES SHOULD WEIGH CONSEQUENCES OF ANTI-ACA RULING: Law professor Nicholas Bagley has a terrific piece explaining why the Supreme Court Justices should factor in the fact that siding with the challengers would take health care from millions: This eventuality shows the challengers are misreading the law.

It’s not irrelevant that a ruling in their favor would inflict such damage. To the contrary, that fact helps us correctly interpret the statute’s text. Indeed, it shows that the plaintiffs’ understanding of that text is wrong. As the Supreme Court has said time and again, no provision of a statute should be read in isolation. Laws must be read as a whole, with an eye to harmonizing their interdependent parts. That means the court is reluctant to read a stray passage here or there in a way that would destabilize an entire statutory scheme.

It’s also possible that the real-world implications of an anti-ACA ruling might have legal relevance because they bolster the states’ argument that siding with the challengers would impose unfair retroactive consequences on them without clear warning. Read the whole thing.

* LEGAL CHALLENGE TO THE ACA IS ‘PROVABLE FICTION’:Steven Brill has a must-read in which he documents his close reporting on the creation of the Affordable Care Act, and why that led him to the conclusion that the idea that Congress intended to deny subsidies to those on the federal exchange is nothing but “fiction” and a “fairytale”:

Congressional intent is a fact-based inquiry, not a matter of opinion. Given the unambiguous mountain of facts arrayed for the defense (and well-presented in the briefs submitted by the defense side), it is hard enough to see how the lawyers on the plaintiffs’ side could actually believe in their case…if a majority of supposedly objective justices decide to ignore the facts and buy their argument, they will have engaged in a breathtaking act of political activism.

The Justices, however, could simply conclude that the disputed phrase is not ambiguous enough to warrant Chevron deference to the IRS’ interpretation of the law, despite all the evidence of Congressional intent, not to mention the law’s overall structure and purpose.

* DEMOCRATS ANGRY ABOUT NETANYAHU SPEECH: Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address Congress tomorrow, and the New York Times reports that anger and unease are widespread among Congressional Democrats. The latest tally on who will skip the speech:

So far, 30 Democrats — four senators and 26 representatives — have said they will not attend the speech. Nearly half are African-Americans, who say they feel deeply that Mr. Netanyahu is disrespecting the president by challenging his foreign policy. But a half-dozen of those Democrats planning to stay away are Jewish, and represent 21 percent of Congress’s Jewish members.

Given the historic skittishness among Democrats about appearing even slightly out of sync with what Israel wants, that actually represents something new.

* PARTISAN DIVIDE ON VIEWS OF NETANYAHU: A new NBC News poll finds that  66 percent of Democrats say GOP leaders shouldn’t have invited Netanyahu to speak without notifying the president first, while only 28 percent of Republicans say the same. And only 12 percent of Democrats view Netanyahu favorably, versus 49 percent of Republicans. It bears repeating that when it comes to Israel and diplomacy with Iran, Congressional Democrats are well to the right of their base.

* SCOTT WALKER FLIP-FLOPS ON IMMIGRATION: After previously supporting legalization for the 11 million, Scott Walker tried to get right with conservatives on Fox News Sunday:

“I don’t believe in amnesty…my view has changed. I’m flat out saying it…we need to secure the border. We ultimately need to put in place a system that works. A legal immigration system that works.”

However, Walker also said that “there’s a way” to legalize the 11 million if border security is accomplished first. This puts Walker pretty much where Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have come down on the issue.

* TOP CONSERVATIVE: BOEHNER’S JOB IS SAFE: GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, flatly tells CNN that there won’t be any conservative coup to oust Speaker John Boehner: “That’s not gonna happen.”

Duly noted. So what is stopping Boehner from passing long term funding of the Department of Homeland Security with the help of a lot of Democrats? We were repeatedly told during past showdowns that Boehner couldn’t avert crises with Dem help, because he’d lose his Speakership, and each of those ended in the same way.

GOP Summit—The Good, The Bad And The Absolutely Crazy

Half-Term Governor of Alaska: Sarah Palin | Jim Young/Reuters

 The Daily Beast

GOP presidential contenders flocked to Iowa on Saturday to try out their pitches on the unofficial beginning of the Iowa Caucus. Hint: Sarah Palin has lost her mind.
You’re going to read a lot of analysis of this weekend’s Freedom Summit as the unofficial beginning of the Iowa caucus.Whether that’s true depends entirely on how many of those who attended are still standing one long year from now—and how many of those who didn’t attend (Jeb Bush, Rand Paul) have campaigns that are still alive and well.The event does serve as a gauge for a candidate’s willingness to pander, and it is the beginning of serious media scrutiny for all the candidates as 2016 candidates,not as quaint spectacles (Donald Trump, Ted Cruz) or interesting anomalies (Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina)…. or familiar former presidential candidates, who made up a non-shocking majority of the featured speakers (Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin).

What did we learn?

Palin is past her sell-by date.

It’s the unofficial policy of many serious political reporters (myself included) to not cover Palin speeches.  So it’s entirely possible I missed a key stretch of her decline that would help make sense of, or have prepared me for, the word-salad-with-a-cup-of-moose-stew that she presented.

Sample passage: “Things must change for our government! It isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to succeed! It’s too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads or nothing will change, with the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo! Another Latin word, status quo, and it stands for, ‘Man, the middle class and everyday Americans are really gettin’ taken for a ride.’”

The speech (perhaps a generous description) went on 15 minutes past the 20 minutes allotted other speakers. And even as she ended it, one sensed less a crescendo than the specter of a gong, a hook to pull her off, or—a sincere thought I had—an ambulance to take her… somewhere.

No one else embarrassed themselves out of the race.

The event was organized by immigration hawk Rep. Steve “Cantaloupes” King (with the help of Citizens United) and many pundits fretted (or eagerly anticipated) 47-percent-style gaffes in the service of speakers trying to out-xenophobe each other. I may have missed something, but the anti-immigration rhetoric stayed on the “self-deport” side of offensive. Santorum did some under-the-breath dog whistling in reference to legal immigration, positing that the U.S. is home to more non-native citizens than ever before. He contrasted those non-native-born workers to, ahem, “American workers.” As far as I know, if you work in America, you are an “American worker.” Unless Santorum is thinking of something else.

The soft bigotry of low expectation works!

Scott Walker continues to clear the “not Tim Pawlenty” bar, but no one seems to realize how weak of a standard that is. National journalists cooed over Walker’s relatively energetic speech, apparently forgetting they were comparing it to other Walker speeches. In a similar vein, Chris Christie did not intentionally piss anyone off or bully the audience. Christie gave what seemed a lot like a national-audience speech—probably the only speaker that played it so safe.

Sen. Mike Lee gave some sensible, serious suggestions.

I may be engaging in more expectation management, but I was pleasantly surprised by Lee’s earnest and non-applause-line-ridden speech. He beseeched the audience to look for a candidate that was “positive, principled, and proven”—all while explicitly taking himself out of the running. In what could have been a direct jab at his fellow guests, he quipped, “The principled candidate is not necessarily the guy who yells ‘Freedom!’ the loudest.” He could have been quoting Elizabeth Warren when he softened typical GOP bootstrap rhetoric: “Freedom doesn’t mean ‘You’re all on your own,’” he said, “It means, ‘We’re all in it together.’” Elizabeth Warren would approve.

The GOP is going to need to figure out how to run against someone who is not Obama.

Even Lee, who gave what might be the most forward-looking speech, hung many of his arguments on the framework of undoing what Obama has done. Every other speaker followed suit, and some of the night’s biggest applause lines had to do with the same “fake scandals” that already proved insufficiently interesting to the American people: Benghazi, with a dash of IRS. They speak of repealing Obamacare with the zest of people who think of the House’s own fifty-plus attempts as mere warm-ups. Even their foreign policy script has Obama and the specter of American decline as its primary villains—foes that have defeated them twice before.

Today’s GOP: Still Cool With Racist Pandering?

Photo: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Daily Beast

The refusal of any major Republican to call for Steve Scalise’s resignation is both completely deplorable and totally unsurprising.

What Steve Scalise did in appearing before David Duke’s group—and in twice voting against a Martin Luther King holiday, and in reportedly referring to himself in a chat with a journalist as “David Duke without the baggage”—tells us a lot about Steve Scalise. But what the Republican Party is now doing—or not doing—with regard to Scalise tells us a lot about the Republican Party, and that’s a little more important.

I haven’t seen that one Republican of any note, from Reince Priebus on down, has uttered a word of criticism of the man. Plenty of conservative commentators have said he should step down from his leadership position. Even Sarah Palin sees the sense in this. But among elected Republicans and Priebus, it’s been defense, or silence.

It’s pretty clear what this tells us. Most of the time, institutions of all kinds—political, corporate, nonprofit, what have you—try to duck from scandals and hope they’ll blow over. But occasionally they don’t. Every once in a while, they act swiftly and acknowledge the problem. They do that when they know their bottom line is threatened—when the higher-ups are getting freaked out phone calls from key constituents or stakeholders who are making it clear that this one is serious, that it flies in the face of some basic principle they all thought they were working for, and won’t just blow over.

So the fact that Scalise still has his leadership gig tells us that the key stakeholders and constituencies within the GOP aren’t particularly bothered by the fact that he spoke to white supremacists and indeed might be one himself. They’re certainly embarrassed, I should think. Surely they see the problem here. But they see it as a public-relations problem, a matter to be damage-controlled, which is quite different from seeing it as being plainly and substantively wrong.

This is especially striking, though hardly surprising, in the case of Priebus, Mr. Outreach. As Joan Walsh noted, Priebus has been fond of saying that his GOP would “work like dogs” to improve its standing among the black citizenry, and the brown and the young and the gay and so on. He didn’t specify what breed of dog, but obviously it’s less Retriever and more Bassett Hound.

Here is the RNC’s idea of inclusion. Go to gop.comright now (I mean after you finish reading me!). If the homepage is unchanged from yesterday, when I was writing these words, here’s what you’ll see. Most of it is taken up by a graphic inviting the visitor to participate in the 2016 online presidential straw poll. There are four photos there of representative presidential candidates. Chris Christie and Scott Walker are two. Okay, fine, they’re probably running and are legit candidates.

Let’s see, who else? Jeb Bush? No. Rand Paul? Nyet. Mike Huckabee? Nope. Try Tim Scott and Nikki Haley. Now, Scott and Haley (the black senator and Sikh governor, respectively, from South Carolina) are likely presidential contenders in about the same sense that I’m on the short list for the Nobel Prize in Literature. But, as the Wizard said to the Scarecrow, they’ve got one thing I—and Bush and Paul and Huckabee—haven’t got: melanin. So, says Reince, throw their names in the poll so we can slap ’em up there on the homepage!

That’s just so very RNC, isn’t it? The people who bring you all the gospel choirs and so on at their conventions, which looking solely at the entertainment you’d think were Stax-Volt reunions. You’d never guess that only 2 percent of the delegates (36 out of 2,000, in 2012) were black.

As for elected Republicans, if any prominent one has called on Scalise to step down, it has escaped my notice and the notice of a lot of people I read; the farthest any have gone is to offer up some quotes on background about how Scalise is damaged goods, like this quote, which “a GOP lawmaker” gave to Politico: “As far as him going up to the Northeast, or going out to Los Angeles or San Francisco or Chicago, he’s damaged. This thing is still smoking. Nobody is really fanning the flames yet. … The thing that concerns me is that there are people who are still out there digging on this right now.”

Note: The thing that concerns this “lawmaker” is not that his or her party is being partially led by a sympathizer to white supremacists. It’s that the rest of us are still making a fuss about it, which in turn will damage Scalise’s ability to go prostitute himself before the party’s millionaires. If that’s not a near-perfect summation of contemporary conservative politics in America, then such doesn’t exist.

The media tend to frame situations like this as aberrations, but in this case, quite the opposite is the truth. This person who once said that David Duke’s biggest problem was not his racial views but the fact that he couldn’t get elected is who Scalise is. And this is what the Republican Party is—an organization that isn’t bothered in any meaningful way by the fact one of its top national leaders should hold these kinds of ideas in his head. And finally, this is who most of our political press is—gullible enough to be surprised by either of the first two.

GOP State Rep Who Performed Exorcism on Obama Wants to Replace Obamacare With Jesuscare (VIDEO)

This is an example of the type of people Right-Wingers elected because the majority of Dems stayed home.  My polling place in suburban Atlanta was virtually empty with the exception of a sprinkling of people of color and a majority of senior citizens.  My county is strictly GOP based…

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Newly-elected Colorado GOP State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt has a revolutionary idea for health care — just replace the Affordable Care Act with faith in Jesus!

Klingenschmitt, who once tried to exorcise demons from President Barack Obama’s dark, filthy soul and was discharged from the Navy after he disobeyed orders and politicked in uniform, said on his Pray in Jesus’ Name show that people should rely on God for their health care:

We ought to look to the Lord for our health care. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’

“Isn’t that inspiring? I personally prefer to look to almighty God as my healer and not to the government as a substitute god or substitute healer,” Klingenschmitt said, before praying for those who support the Affordable Care Act.

“Will you pray with me? Let’s pray. Father in Heaven, we turn away from the idolatry that so many have in their hearts, that they think government is a better healer than Jesus. But, Jesus, we know you are the healer.

Klingenschmitt lated added in his prayer:

Lord, we repent of worshiping President Obama as if he is a god, and he is not, or depending entirely upon the government as if it is our provider, and it is not.

Klingenschmitt believes President Obama is filled with a number of demons, including “death,” “murder,” “child-murder,” “sexual abuse,” “genocide,” “paganism,” “witchcraft,” “homosexual lust,” and “anti-Christian oppression.”

According to Klingenschmitt, Obama is using his health care agenda to give Americans cancer. A rabid anti-LGBT warrior, Klingenschmitt claims that President Obama wants to force Christians to engage in anal sex. Recently, he also pushed an entirely unfounded bit of dumbf*ckery that gay soldiers are a liability because their horrible sodomy has forced them to wear diapers, which they must take breaks to change on the battlefield.

Obviously, Klingenschmitt is qualified to make suggestions on our health care system. Watch the clip below:

House Republicans Sue To Raise Health Care Costs For Poor Americans

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) | CREDIT: AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

I’m concerned about the Bulls**t  factor that politicians have served to it’s constituents since the beginning of this Republic.

House Speaker Boehner seems especially adept at this factor even better than most.  When will Americans wake up and see they’re being duped over and over again.  I favor no one party in this assessment.  They are all the same when it comes to the Bulls**t factor.

Think Progress

House Republicans filed a long-awaited lawsuit against the Obama administration on Friday, arguing that the president has inappropriately acted without congressional authority to implement parts of the health care reform law. If it’s successful, the lawsuit could increase out-of-pocket costs for millions of vulnerable Americans who already struggle to afford health services — even though the GOP has repeatedly accused the law of making coverage too expensive.

According to the legal challenge, the White House shouldn’t have acted unilaterally to delay the employer mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. But it also takes issue with a different provision of the law: subsidies known as cost-sharing reductions, which cap the amount that insurers are allowed to charge people for co-pays, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Over the next ten years, the ACA will give an estimated $175 billion in subsidies to insurance companies to keep health costs lower for Americans earning between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty line. House Republicans are arguing that money was illegally appropriated without getting approval from Congress.

If insurers no longer receive subsidies from the government to offset the cost of capping out-of-pocket costs, however, the New York Times reports that “the companies might be forced to raise costs elsewhere.” That could directly affect out-of-pocket expenses among a population that already worries about being able to afford insurance.

GOP lawmakers are setting their sets on repealing this particular consumer protection despite the fact that they’ve have previously had a lot of complaints about the health lawraising out-of-pocket costs, arguing Obamacare threatens to make coverage too unaffordable for average Americans.

In advance of the law’s first enrollment period, Republicans were quick to criticize the other expenses accompanying new Obamacare plans aside from the monthly premiums, saying the deductibles were much too high. At the time, the Senate Republican Communications Center circulated a roundup of consumers complaining about their deductibles.

In April, House Speaker John Boeher (R-OH) complained that Obamacare has caused his co-pays and deductibles to triple, and said he’s been getting letters from his constituents having similar issues. In the lead up to the recent midterm elections, Republicans in close races relied on the messaging that the health law was driving up co-pays and deductibles. Candidates like incoming Sen. Jodi Ernst (IA) argued that the Obama administration was hiding the “true cost” of out-of-pocket expenses from enrollees.

“The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action,” Boehner said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed. But if he gets his way, the House GOP might also end up fueling its own complaints about the law.

Republican Senator Calls Progressive Americans ‘Straight Old Dumb-Ass Liberals’

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) | (Photo by Gage Skidmore; courtesy Creative Commons)

The audacity…the absurdity…the irony. Pot meet Kettle…

Addicting Info

Many conservatives are “outraged” over Jonathan Gruber’s “stupidity of the American voter” comment regarding the Affordable Care Act. However, I bet not one conservative even winced when Republican Senator Orin Hatch called progressive Americans “Just straight old dumb-ass liberals.” But why should they care? He’s one of them, so they’re immune to wrongdoing:

“I get a big kick out of them using the word ‘progressive,’” Hatch said, as quoted by Huffington Post. “My gosh, they’re just straight old dumb-ass liberals anyway.”

There it is again! That “kinder, gentler tone” the GOP promised they would use now that they’ve won. Apparently professionalism runs through the GOP. It’s comment like these being one of the reasons why the GOP cannot expand its base beyond old, white, rich, Christian men.

The Utah Republican made these comments in front of many attendees at the Federalist Society’s annual conference, and also said that he looks forward to giving the Democrats “a taste of their own medicine” when the GOP takes back the White House in 2016. The Senator also said that he wants the new Senate to keep the filibuster rules that were changed by by the Democrats in 2013 in order to “teach those blunderheads that they made a big mistake.”

Wait, I thought the Republicans were the proud party of ‘no.’ It’s confusing who is who?

“Frankly, I intend to win with our candidate for the presidency in 2016, and we will give them a taste of their own medicine. And we’re going to win. We’re going to win. These next two years are extremely important. Maybe the most important two years in our history,” Hatch said.

You hear that, Democrats? This gut is amped up and ready to fight and win. Are you going to put in the same effort for 2016 to make sure fools like this don’t see victory? If one says it, you know they’re all probably thinking it.

Regarding immigration, Hatch has taken the same tone as every single Republican that has been before a camera: Obama just won’t work for us, and if he uses executive action, by-golly he’s going to be in a world of hurt:

“Frankly, I’d like to see immigration done the right way,” Hatch added. “This president is prone to doing through executive order that which he cannot do by working with the Congress, because he won’t work with us. If he worked with us, I think we could get an immigration bill through … He has a Republican Congress that’s willing to work with him. That’s the thing that’s pretty interesting to me.”