Bill Maher hammers Donald Trump and Ben Carson: ‘Experience? Republicans avoid that like a gay son!’

Bill Maher hammers Donald Trump and Ben Carson: 'Experience? Republicans avoid that like a gay son!'

Screenshot | You Tube


How else do you explain “Captain Carnival Barker” (Donald Trump) and “Sleepy McCrazy-Pants” (Ben Carson)?

Comedian Bill Maher nailed it on Friday night’s “Real Time” in his monologue about Ben Carson. Following jokes about Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, Maher had the ultimate burn when he said, “If neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson really believes that somebody with zero governing experience is qualified to be president, he must first let someone with zero medical training operate on his brain.”

Carson has long reiterated he’s not a politician, which should set him apart from many other candidates running for the 2016 nomination. In a January 2015 interviewwith Fox News, Carson said, “I do make it clear that I’m not a politician and that I never intend to become a politician.” Don’t worry, no one would mistake you for it.

Maher said that if there’s one thing this election has shown us it is that amateur is the new black. “If there’s one thing republicans can agree on, it’s that the less the head of our government knows about government the better,” Maher said. Perhaps this comes from their secret hatred of government and the desire to reduce the government as much as possible. How else to get someone on the side of smaller government than to make the public agree that a leader they just elected is a moron. Oh, if only they were that smart. “Experience? Republicans avoid that stuff like a gay son!” Maher declared.

This perfectly explains the GOP’s two leading candidates who Maher calls “Captain Carnival Barker” aka Donald Trump and “Sleepy McCrazy-Pants” aka Ben Carson. Yes,that Ben Carson, “who says that the Ayatollah Khamenei and Vladimir Putin went to college together? Which no one can even find a source for, except, perhaps, Ambien.”

This is the GOP frontrunner now? Maher isn’t surprised. “Because 85% of Iowa Republicans say they find the total lack of government experience to be his biggest selling point. But if their kid needed brain surgery, would they say ‘forget Ben Carson. He’s a brain surgery insider.’” Maybe that’s why the Iowa Caucus doesn’t matteranymore—just ask Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee who never became the party’s nominee.

Maher wondered where else in life does anyone apply the thinking that people who don’t understand government should be the ones that run it? A plumber? No… “The shit’s about to back up in here, what we need is an outsider,” he joked.

This has prompted Maher to completely change his thinking on how long elections should be. He once thought our elections should be like the British who take only five weeks. “No, Americans are dumb. They need extra time.”

Check out the video here:

Let’s call them all lunatics: Fearful “balanced” “journalists” let wingnuts run wild

Let's call them all lunatics: Fearful "balanced" "journalists" let wingnuts run wild

(Credit: Reuters/Chris Keane/CNN/AP/Carolyn Kaster/MSNBC/Salon)


In their 2012 book, “It’s Even Worse Than it Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein argued that America’s political dysfunction had two causes: First, the mismatch between our constitutional system, requiring compromise, and our increasingly polarized, parliamentary-style politics. Second, the fact that polarization has been asymmetric, turning the GOP into an insurrectionary anti-government party, even when in power. They wrote:

The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Despite overwhelming historical data showing asymmetrical polarization in Congress (more recent additions here), their argument did not convince the anecdote-obsessed Beltway pundit class, with its deep belief that “both sides do it,” no matter what “it” may be. It’s true there are “extremists on both sides,” but as this Wonk Blog post showed, the percentage of non-centrist Republicans skyrocketed from under 10 percent in the Ford years (less than Democrats) to almost 90 percent today, while the Democratic percentage has stayed basically flat [chart]. What’s more, in the last session (2013-2014), the data shows that 147 House Republicans — more than half the caucus — were more ideologically extreme than the most extreme Democrat in the House. There is simply no comparison between the two parties. Asymmetric polarization is not only real, it’s one of the most dominant facts of American politics today.

But it’s a fact that “balanced” journalism has to ignore. To admit that the political world isn’t balanced would shake their whole belief system to its core. And yet, the shaking seems to have begun. As dysfunction in the GOP has reached new heights, not just threatening America and the global economy, but the party itself (both in Congress and the presidential race), the power of that denial may have begun breaking down, as Republican politicians are now criticizing their own party for what it has become, with conservative pundits like David Brooks castigating the GOP for its “right-wing radicalism.”

So it was only natural for Bloomberg View to engage in an email Q&A with Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein, “Republicans Gone Wild,” bringing their perspective to bear on where things stand today.

Ornstein first pointed out that the current state of crisis — both in Congress and in the presidential primary — had predictable roots in past strategic moves, heedlessly initiated by party leaders who were now reaping the whirlwind. This basically reverses the order of causation proposed by critics, like Chris Cillizza, who argued that GOP congressmembers were simply following the spontaneous rightward movement of the folks back home:

The fact is that the “Young Guns” — Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, as we wrote early on in the book — actively incited anger and raised expectations among populist Tea Party adherents when they went out in 2009-2010 and recruited candidates to run in the midterms. They told them to use the debt ceiling as an issue and to promise to bludgeon Obama with it to force him to his knees, to repeal Obamacare and cut government dramatically. They promised that if they took the majority they would immediately cut spending by $100 billion.

Of course, the American political system doesn’t work like that. Parliamentary systems do. But not presidential ones. For folks calling themselves “constitutional conservatives” this was a pretty fundamental moment of “Oops!” Continuing:

That led to the debt limit debacle in 2011, when they finally backed down at the brink — after Jason Chaffetz, whom we quote in the book, led the charge to take the country over. And the promise of $100 billion in spending cuts went unfulfilled. The combination of empty threats and unfulfilled promise, amplified by tribal media and social media, has created both a broad public anger at Republican establishment leaders among more radical Tea Party voters, and a seething anger among the 40 to 50 most radical House members at their own leaders for their fecklessness.

The wild promises that the “Young Guns” made played a key role (along with outside groups and money) in winning GOP House control in 2010, but they were alwaysutterly unrealistic — a minor detail that no one inside GOP leadership seemed to notice or care about at the time. One could argue that after 30 years of supply-side, trickle-down mumbo-jumbo they’d become completely adapted to living in fantasyland. How were they to know that this time they’d be getting their fair share of the resulting pain? (An early 2014 report concluded that “lurching from government breakdown to breakdown” had already significantly damaged the U.S. economy, resulting in an additional 750,000 unemployed.)

After that, Mann added:

Norm’s response underscores the reality of asymmetric polarization, which the mainstream media and most good government groups have avoided discussing — at great costs to the country. [Emphasis added.] As we wrote, Republicans have become more an insurgency than a major political party capable of governing. Their actions in Congress in recent weeks and on the presidential campaign trail underscore this reality.

But I would go even farther than Mann regarding the media. Their stubborn adherence to a false balance narrative has, ironically, become an integral part of the GOP’s relentless rightward push. By talking about “government dysfunction” instead of “Republican obstruction,” the media actively helps the most extreme anti-government Republicans thwart any efforts at competent governance and it helps promote their “government is horrible” worldview. It normalizes the abnormal, even the bizarre.

There was once a penalty for becoming too politically extreme: one’s actions would be characterized as unrealistic, destructive, heedless of past experience, etc. Sometimes this was justified, sometimes not (as with the Civil Rights movement). But right or wrong, this media practice inhibited radical movements in either direction. For quite some time now, however, conservative Republicans have realized that by moving right and attacking the media for any criticism, they can turn the media into a tacit ally, forcing them to treat preposterous claims as serious ideas, or even proven facts. Thus, when they were planning to force a government shutdown, a key part of their strategy was spinning the media with a preposterous argument that it was the Democrats who were shutting down the government, even though, as the New York Times reported, the shutdown plan traced back to a meeting early in President Obama’s second term, led by former Attorney General Edwin R. Meese.

In fact, at the time of the shutdown, in October 2013, I wrote a piece, “‘Balanced’ coverage ignores nine reasons why the shutdown is a GOP Idea” in which I argued:

[P]erhaps the single greatest asset the GOP has on its side is the so-called “liberal media,” with its ideological bias toward “balance” that prevents it from honestly reporting that the shutdown is a entirely Republican creation — which would dramatically intensify the pressure on Republicans to fold.

Far from producing accurate, objective reporting, the media’s adherence to “balanced” reporting blotted out almost all relevant history. The nine reasons I cited were:

1. The longstanding GOP fixation on shutting down the government.

2. The GOP’s creation of the shutdown crisis by blocking the budget reconciliation process.

3. The emergence and evolution of the incoherent Ted Cruz/Tea Party plan to force a shutdown over “Obamacare.”

4. The record of prominent Republican politicians and others who repeatedly warned against forcing a government shutdown — including many who are now trying to blame the Democrats.

5. The contrary historical record of some Republicans downplaying the severity of the shutdown.

6. The record of drastic Democratic budget concessions embodied in the “clean CR” [which Republicans rejected].

7. The polling evidence that only GOP base voters are opposed to political compromise — and are indifferent to crisis.

8. Evidence that GOP base intransigence drives policy.

9. The framework of American legislative history.

This was just one example, but the point is true in general: “Balance” does not ensure a clearer, more honest, more complete, more objective picture of the relevant facts — especially in current circumstances.

The GOP’s strategic logic is simple and straightforward: If the media is going to split the difference between what Democrats and Republicans say, then if Republicans simply double their demands, suddenly the media, embracing the “sensible center,” will now articulate the old GOP position as the “sensible center,” the “common sense” place to be. It will also adjust its reporting of “facts” accordingly, screening out all the facts that would once have made the Democratic position seem reasonable or plausible, and bringing in new “facts” — such as the GOP canard that it was really the Democrats who wanted to shut the government down. What’s more, once the media plays along, it’s a trick that can be used over and over again. One can keep moving farther and farther right indefinitely, pulling the “objective” media along for the ride, every step of the way. (Conservatives even developed an operational model to describe the process, known as the “Overton Window,” explained by a conservative activist here.)

The basis for all this is a cultural illusion that the “nonpartisan” media is somehow objective, philosophically in tune with science. But historically, this is far from true. Up until the late 19th century, American journalism was quite partisan, serving substantial “niche” audiences, sustained by subscriptions. When advertising exploded as a revenue source in the early 20th century, a new journalistic model emerged, trying to appeal across parties, while taking care not to anger large advertisers. The broader story is well told by Paul Starr in “The Creation of the Media,” while Jeremy Iggers incorporates this history into his account of how journalism ethics confuses the purposes of journalism in “Good News, Bad News: Journalism Ethics and the Public Interest.”

One of the most persistent critics of the “balanced journalism” that results is James Fallows of the Atlantic magazine, in his ongoing “false equivalence” blog posts, begun in 2012. One such post, quoting from correspondent Shreeharsh Kelkar at MIT, references Starr’s work, along with the concept of “boundary work,” which Kelkar describes as “a kind of rhetorical work that is performed in public argument: something is asserted to be science by stressing what it is not.” He goes on to say:

I think this kind of boundary work exists in journalism too… it’s what you call false equivalence (and Yglesias calls bipartisan think). Here the newspaper is seen as above politics, which is what grubby politicians do.

Such is the basis for the media’s claims of “objectivity.” Starr’s history explains the forces leading to why this happened. And Kelkar goes on to note that these forces are changing once again, corresponding with another change in outlook:

Interestingly enough, we’re now back in more partisan times, thanks to the Web. And it’s interesting to me that you, Matt and others who call the editorials on their false equivalence operate in a completely different new media ecosystem.

The one thing missing from this account is that partisan, ideological and other niche journalism (black newspapers, for example) never went away, although they were pushed toward the margins. But they continued to play important cultural and political roles, especially for movements locked out of power, struggling to find their way in. In this very real historical sense, the blogosphere’s origins were not just Usenet, email lists and the like, they were also the underground press tracing back toIF Stone’s Weekly and George Seldes’ In Fact; the black press, both commercial and movement-based; political journals of the left and right; and so on. These underappreciated traditions provide largely untapped examples of how to do quality political journalism outside of the artificial construct in which false balance is rooted. They point the way forward for us, beyond our current state of asymmetrical dysfunction.

H/t: DB

Wall Street Journal Warns Republicans Are Greatest Threat To America’s Economy

Shut er down


It is fairly well known that since Republican demigod Ronald Reagan was president, the GOP have concentrated on the one and only economic agenda that has proven to fail since its inception. Oh it is true that there are several other failed economic policies Republicans embrace besides just giving outrageously generous and unfunded tax cuts to the richest one percent, but oil subsidies, spending cuts, financial deregulation, poverty wages and allowing corporations to hide their trillions of dollars in profits are secondary in the extent of harm to the economy and Americans to the absurd trickle down scam. However, over the past six years Republicans have employed a novel means of wreaking economic havoc on the nation that typically has had nothing whatsoever to do with spending, debt and deficit, or growing the economy, and this year they are using religion to slow down job creation and thwart economic growth.

The world’s economists, like all Americans, have sat back and marveled at how Republicans in Congress have deliberately and repeatedly taken the country into fiscal deadline after fiscal deadline to force Democrats to bend to their will. Now, as another deadlines looms, a majority of economists responding to a Wall Street Journal survey predicted Republicans would once again damage the economy and world financial markets because evangelicals hate Roe v. Wade, contraception, and the incomprehensible idea of women making their own reproductive health choices that are contrary to evangelical and Catholic clergy.

According to a recent survey of 62 real economists by the Wall Street Journal, it is not the instability of China’s stock market, or its move to devalue its currency, or the Greek Eurozone crisis, or the possibility of the Federal Reserve finally raising interest rates. What frightens a great majority of the nation’s leading economic experts most of all is that the Republican-controlled Congress willprecipitate another fiscal crisis this fall” when Republicans plan to either shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood is destroyed, or hold the debt ceiling hostage until Planned Parenthood is destroyed. It is important to note that the push to put an end to Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with the economy, debt and deficit, national security, jobs, or economic growth; it is about legislating and enforcing an extremist religious policy.

Continue reading here>>>

Donald Trump feuds with Rick Perry, calls him dumb

Donald Trump gestures at a press briefing where he introduced people whose families were victims of illegal immigrants on July 10, 2015 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where some shared their stories of the loss of a loved one. The US business magnate Trump, who is running for President in the 2016 presidential elections, angered members of the Latino community with recent comments but says he will win the Latino vote. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN

(Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Pot…meet Kettle.


Donald Trump has jumped back into the ring — this time for an all-out brawl with fellow Republican presidential contender Rick Perry.

Trump started the feud with multiple comments in recent weeks bashing Perry’s work securing the border while serving as governor of Texas.

After several measured defenses of his border policies, on Thursday Perry finally fired back with a more aggressive statement, saying, “What Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism — a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”

“Donald Trump continues to demonstrate his fundamental misunderstanding of border security,” said Perry.

Trump tweeted back: “.@GovernorPerry just gave a pollster quote on me. He doesn’t understand what the word demagoguery means.”

”.@GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate,” Trump added, reiterating a trope about the Texas Republican that surfaced after numerous fumbles during the primary 2012 campaign.

The Republican-on-Republican smackdown was Trump’s second of the day.

On Thursday morning, the New Yorker published an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said that Trump had “fired up the crazies” in the Republican party.

Trump responded by tweeting that McCain “should be defeated in the primaries.”

“Graduated last in his class at Annapolis — dummy!” Trump added.


GOP's baffling Trump cowardice: A party too timid to denounce a bigoted gasbag

Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz (Credit: AP/Scott Bauer/Richard Drew/J. Scott Applewhite/Photo montage by Salon)


Condemning Donald Trump’s obvious racism would be the easiest thing a Republican could do, but no one’s doing it

Just about every second of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, such as it is, has been a disaster. He kicked off his campaign two weeks ago with a speech calling Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists,” and he’s been dealing with the blowback ever since. Those comments prompted NBC – which had tolerated his bigoted nonsense for years while airing his reality show – to finally cut ties with Trump, who responded by calling NBC “weak” and “foolish.” Univision announced that it would not carry Trump’s Miss USA pageant, prompting Trump to threaten to sue the network. Mexico announced that it would not send a representative to Trump’s Miss Universe pageant because of his “racist” remarks. If there’s a positive to be found in any of this, it’s that Trump’s vanity run for president is backfiring and has helped tear down some of the other garish and pathetically self-congratulatory monuments he’s erected to himself.

But what I find curious about the reaction to Trump’s blatant racism and anti-immigrant posturing is that not one Republican has stood up and done literally the easiest, least controversial, most politically buzzy thing one could do in this situation: denounce Donald Trump.

Seriously, it’s utterly baffling. Let’s think about this for a moment. The Republican Party is painfully aware that it has a major problem appealing to voter demographics outside its core coalition of old white people and religious white people. This problem is especially acute in presidential election cycles — like the one we’re in now. Recognizing how toxic this alienation of minority groups was in the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee put out a big report explicitly recommending that the party’s candidates and committees do more to reach out to and engage with Latino voters and make them feel less like the GOP actively despises them. “If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation),” the report counseled, “they will not pay attention to our next sentence.”

In this light, Trump’s comments should have been a big, fat, hanging curve for an enterprising Republican 2016 candidate to swing hard at. What he said was bigoted; there’s no disagreement on that. As far as adversaries go, you could do worse than Trump – he is a semi-sentient pile of hair and sadness, he has no feelings to hurt, and by being on the opposite side of him you win the argument by default. And what he said has nothing to do with immigration policy. By weighing in on it you wouldn’t be taking any dangerous positions you’d later have to defend. And the media would eat that mess up.

All you’d have to do is just stand up and say Trump is wrong and a racist, and that undocumented immigrants are not all rapists. It would be a small step toward demonstrating that Republicans recognize the basic humanity of the people at the center of a controversial policy fight and don’t view them merely as criminals or some sort of invasive species.

But no one did that.

The most outrage the RNC could muster came from its communications director, who said on CNN that “painting Mexican Americans with that kind of a brush, I think that’s probably something that is not helpful to the cause.” And as far as I can tell, the only candidate who has responded with any sort of criticism to Trump is Jeb Bush, who offered a mild Spanish-language rebuke of The Donald:

But on Saturday, Mr. Bush did address comments Mr. Trump made in his campaign launch speech about the Mexican border, in which he said people coming to the U.S. from Mexico are “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

At a Saturday event in Nevada, Mr. Bush said in Spanish, “I do not agree with his words. They do not represent the values of the Republican Party and they do not represent my values,” according to a campaign aide.

As for the rest, they’ve either kept their mouths shut or, remarkably, agreed with Trump’s assessment of the immigrant community. “I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash, I think he speaks the truth,” Ted Cruz said on Fox Newsyesterday. I’m sure Republicans would much rather that Cruz and Trump be viewed as pariahs and extremists on this issue. By clamming up, though, they’re letting those two speak for the party. And this whole business with Trump being a flaming bigot won’t just go away. He’s Donald Trump – he doesn’t stop talking. The longer he’s out there saying racist garbage while running for the Republican nomination, the more awkward it becomes that no one is challenging him on it.

Again, I’m not saying that denouncing Trump would accomplish much of anything or solve any problems. The GOP has issues with Latino voters that go well beyond the bigotry of one rich white guy. But that’s why the silence on Trump is so strange to me. The party clearly has little intention of implementing policy changes to help broaden its appeal (border security now, border security forever!) so it would at least make some sense to go for the superficial outreach efforts. “Sure, we’re still going to deport you and your families and otherwise treat you like criminals, but hey – we don’t assume you’re rapists!” But apparently even that is too much to ask.

Republicans Voice Opposition To Subsidizing Broadband For The Poor

Jonathan Little of Thomasville, Ala., only has dial-up internet at home, and frequently uses the library to connect | Credit Meggan Haller for The New York Times

Of course they oppose it.  They are anti-poor and if they had their way, poor people would not be allowed to be educated.


Tom Wheeler, the chairperson of the Federal Communications Commission released a plan last week that would create a program that subsidizes broadband internet service for poor people. The plan calls for an expansion of the Lifeline phone subsidy program created by Ronald Reagan in 1985. In addition to expanding the program to cover internet subsidies, the plan also will work to crack down on fraudulent claims that have plagued the welfare program.

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee met to discuss the plan. The New York Times reports:

“Republicans pushed back on Tuesday against a plan from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to subsidize broadband Internet for poor Americans.

At a Senate subcommittee hearing, no one disputed that broadband can be critical to filing job applications and completing schoolwork. But many lawmakers questioned just how costly the undertaking might be.

The plan from Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the F.C.C., would extend the reach of Lifeline, the program now used to provide low-income Americans with mobile and landline phone service. But Republicans at the hearing said that the program had been mismanaged and that it made little sense to expand it before eradicating what they called excessive fraud.”

Democrats have already drafted legislation that supports the plan.

Certain Republicans have expressed criticism of the idea. Last February, Republican FCC Commissioner, Michael O’Reilly wrote in a blog post:

“There is a legitimate debate whether the Lifeline program should be abolished or significantly scaled back rather than expanding its mission. I would be open to having a thoughtful debate on the best way to address a perceived need in this communications area rather than bootstrapping the old program with new responsibilities.”

He then outlines a list of principles that he proposes should be introduced in order to remove fraud from the program. However, the principles O’Reilly proposes appear to be interested in reducing the program overall, rather than merely than weed out abuse of the program.

Wheeler and other proponents of expanding the Lifeline program cite recent safeguards against people abusing the program. A national database was created in 2012 that helps to prevent people from registering services multiple times to the same residence. Since then, the number of people who use the program has dropped by a third.

Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) expressed (legitimate) concerns that the program would not address the needs of poor rural communities that currently lack broadband infrastructure.

Fred Upton (R-MI) the Republican chairperson of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told Bloomberg in an e-mail:

“Simply expanding the program without ensuring its effectiveness or longevity is the wrong approach,” The size of the program should be capped.”

Capping the program is one of main goals of Republicans. Currently, the Lifeline program does not have any limits on spending for the program.

There is not currently any organized opposition to the plan from the Republican Party. I suspect this is largely in part due to major telecommunications companies general favoring the expansion (more money for them). The telecommunications industry has the Republican Party in their pockets, and despite Republicans general opposition towards aiding the poor, they are not going to make a move against their corporate masters. Remember they are the party that managed to convince conservative voters that reclassifying the internet as a Title II public utility equated to a full-blown government takeover of the internet.

Republicans Flip Out After Rand Paul Treats Them The Same Way They’ve Treated Obama


Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images


Getting a taste of their own medicine is not sitting well with Republicans.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has made some powerful enemies in the Republican Party and conservatives are taking note. It was bad enough when Paul accused Republicans of emboldening ISIS and called them “lap dogs for Obama.”

The last straw came as the Republican trolled national security, leaving the nation vulnerable so that he could fundraise for his 2016 presidential campaign by pontificating from on high Smug Mountain.

Jim Geraghty writing in the conservative National Review today took Paul to task for accusing other Republicans of wanting a terrorist attack on the US so they can blame Paul:

Say the 2016 Republican presidential primary comes down to Rand Paul and… well, just about anybody else in the GOP field.

Don’t you think that a lot of Republicans will line up behind “Anybody Else”, compared to the senator who said: “People here in town think I’m making a huge mistake. Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.”

Sigh. Rand Paul seems to believe that Republicans hate this country so much they’d love to see it blown to bits just to prove him wrong. So yeah. Republicans are a lot of things, including reckless and irresponsible and out of touch and at times ridiculous — but I don’t believe for one second that they would like the country to be blown up due to their failure to govern just so they could blame their teenage son.

That’s just crazy. Paul’s narcissism flag was in full flight.

Rand’s antics have long wearied the sanes, but now even Republicans are annoyed. How dare Paul accuse them of things they accuse Obama of every day?

Just recently Republican Lindsey Graham accused Obama of hating Christians and loving Muslims (apparently it’s bad to love Muslims). They falsely accused Obama of lying and being guilty of worse than Watergate based on flimsy, faux evidence that was later revealed to be Republican-manufactured, with the help of a willing press. Of course all of this was to be expected by the party that let their Vice Presidential candidate accuse the then Senator of “Pallin’ around with terrorists” and not loving America “like we do.”

Mind you, the above quotes come from the party that likes to accuse Obama of the “politics of division”.

Poser Senator Rand Paul is catnip for the frothing Kenya, fake birth certificate, conspiracy-obsessed conservatives, in addition to appealing to bored, sheltered, suburban types who like to imagine themselves to be highly unique and edgy-interesting. Yes, it’s so unique to see naïve people falling for a shyster who sells them a load of rhetorical crap about “independence” that somehow always involves donating to him. SO NEW. Only Rand Paul cares about liberty. (*Snicker*) Everyone else is out to get you.

Rand Paul is the Republicans’ perpetual teenager-in-rebellion. The brawl between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the junior Senator from Kentucky continued on the Senate floor Monday with McConnell desperately blocking amendments from Paul and Paul finding petulant ways to get back at McConnell by blocking the Senate from speeding up the vote.

But somehow, teeny bits of reality penetrated the Galtian smog surrounding Paul so that he must have realized that everyone from his own party hated him. This would not do, for all of his talk about liberty, the teenager needs his parents. So he sort of walked back his latest accusation, attributing it to “hyperbole”. Because yes, hyperbole and hysteria and not watching your words and launching rhetorical grenades at people just because you disagree with them is totally leadership material. Or it is exactly how a teenager behaves when a parent explains that the garbage must be taken out or else it accumulates.

From the Hill:

“Sometimes, in the heat of battle, hyperbole can get the better of anyone, and that may be the problem there,” the Kentucky Republican said Monday on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

“The point I was trying to make is, I think people do use fear to try to get us to give up our liberty.”

LOL. Rand Paul would never use fear to get a political outcome. I mean, he did, but it’s different when he does it. Because it’s for “LIBERTY”. Anyone who disagrees with him wants to kill everyone just to get even with him! Rand Paul hates haters.

Republicans opened the door to this kind of crazy “governance” with six years of conspiracy theories gone wrong. Now that they invited the vampire in, they can’t get him out. And like everyone else, they don’t like being on the receiving end of crazy.

Sarah Jones

Rand Paul Has No Billionaire, Must Scrape For Cash

Crooks & Liars

Rand Paul’s role in the 2016 Republican primary is to peel off prospective young voters and disenfranchised liberals. So today’s spate of stories about how Rand Paul is being left out in the cold by his billionaires, leaving him short on cash should be viewed for the cynical manipulations they are.

We begin with Republico Politico :

In a presidential campaign defined by billionaire sugar daddy donors, Rand Paul has a problem: He doesn’t seem to have one.

While his rivals cultivate wealthy backers who will pump millions of dollars into their candidacies, Paul has struggled to find a similar lifeline. It’s led to considerable frustration in his campaign, which, amid rising concerns that it will not be able to compete financially, finds itself leaning heavily on the network of small donors who powered his father’s insurgent White House bids.

It hasn’t been for lack of trying. In recent months, Paul has sought to woo a string of powerful Republican megadonors — from Silicon Valley executives to a Kentucky coal mogul to the billionaire Koch brothers — who, it was believed, would be philosophically aligned with his free-market views. In each case, he met disappointment.

The author goes on to name Peter Thiel, Sean Parker and Larry Ellison as three billionaires Rand was counting on for financial help. Alas, Larry Ellison fell in love with Marco Rubio, Thiel is staying out of things for unknown reasons, and Parker is leaning toward Hillary Clinton.

I don’t buy the schtick. Mainstream Republicans wouldn’t let Rand Paul close to the nomination ever, because he doesn’t support the war machine. Given that, they really just want to use him to peel off those younger voters and liberal libertarians. This is why they’re tolerating his “the GOP sucks” nonsense and pretending it’s perfectly all right for him to play Democrat running in the Republican primaries.

Moving on to CNN, whose headline is “Rand Paul: The GOP’s Punching Bag.” This story is also framed for its intended purpose — to appeal to the less-mainstream types in the Republican party and independent category.

Rand Paul has a “kick me” sign on his back — and he put it there himself.

The Kentucky senator and Republican presidential candidate is thrilling his libertarian-leaning base with a campaign against the NSA and stinging criticism of his party’s history of Middle East meddling. But the moves are enraging other Republicans eyeing the White House with his opponents zeroing in on Paul’s comments this week that “ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party.”

Are we feeling sorry for that poor sad-sack politician yet? Piling on that way, shame on them.

And of course, the Patriot Act reauthorization plays into things here too.

The Paul-hating could come to a head this weekend when the Senate convenes for a rare Sunday session in a last-ditch attempt to prevent key NSA surveillance tactics from lapsing at midnight — something both President Barack Obama and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have sought to avoid.

Paul hasn’t hesitated to deploy every procedural tool available to thwart Senate action, leaving him with no friends on the issue among GOP presidential contenders.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is emerging as Paul’s top antagonist on the NSA and said such a strategy could result in “dangerous and severe consequences.”

On Twitter, the governor slammed “misguided ideologues who have no real world experience in fighting terrorism.”

This is what happens when you’re a hardcore Republican and you pretend you’re not. Yes, the libertarian piece is real, and it’s possible to applaud Rand Paul’s stance on that without actually supporting a guy who has no problem with big government sticking their probes in women’s vaginas.

Finally, we come to Fox News, who actually cut Paul out of their poll graphic even though he ranked higher than the bottom five shown.

HYPOCRISY ALERT: Republicans Want The Pope To Stop Inserting Religion Into Politics

File:Pope Francis at Varginha (2).jpg | Wikimedia Commons


Republicans love to pretend that they are the party of Jesus. They work tirelessly at pandering to the Christian-right vote. They believe we should be a nation of laws based upon Christian principles. However, there’s just one thing missing — the Christian principles.

If we, as a nation, were to abide by the teachings of Jesus from the Christian Bible, we would have health care for all, no death penalty, the wealthy would help pay for the poor, and everyone would love their neighbor as themselves. Pretty much everything Republicans adamantly stand against.

So when a Republican like Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina comes out and says:

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do.”

This is of course in reference to Pope Francis recently coming out in favor of Palestine becoming its own state. And heaven forbid, anyone, especially the Pope come out in favor of something that may actually work, let alone something that isn’t just pro-Israel all the time. Republicans pretty much consider Israel the 51st state of the Union. The Vatican’s statement wasn’t even anti-Israel, it was pro-peace — you know, another Christian principle, so of course Republicans are against it.

The biggest foes to the teachings of Jesus in the United States are Republicans. They boast his name, but know nothing of his teachings. For them, it’s pretty much just a means to get votes and try to make excuses as to why they are discriminatory bigots.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said of the Pope’s views:

“He’s a religious figure and he has every right to have his political viewpoint, but someone of that profile should have strong scriptural foundation for whatever positions he takes that are extensively representing the head of the Catholic Church. I think this is probably one he should not have expressed.”

So wait, someone with strong religious principles should keep their opinions to themselves regarding politics? Let me make sure to write that one down for later the next time a Republican tries to say that the United States is a Christian nation. Maybe they should just keep those opinions to themselves — which, might I add, actually is the correct thing to do.

The Pope however, is more than just someone with strong religious principles, he is, in fact, a world leader. One who can promote change where change can seem impossible. So was it correct for the Pontiff to insert himself into this matter? Perhaps so. He could have a direct impact on the region and potentially help broker long-awaited change.

However, Republicans are not wrong in asserting that religious opinions should stay out of politics.

Now, if only they could realize this about themselves.