Congratulations, Republicans, You Got Played

INDIANOLA, IA - SEPTEMBER 03:  Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin speaks during the Tea Party of America's "Restoring America" event at the Indianola Balloon Festival Grounds on September 3, 2011 in Indianola, Iowa.  Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin headlined the Tea Party of America's "Restoring America" event.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

ADDICTING INFO

Well, here we are. The last day of eight years that is the Obama presidency. For eight years, we all saw a swarm of friends and acquaintances regurgitate the most asinine conspiracy theories about President Obama imaginable. Whether they came from Sarah Palin or Alex Jones, right-wing looney tunes were always a far cry from the truth. Today we have a new term for it: fake news. But we must always remember what it truly is: conspiracy theories.

Now that the great and honorable President Obama leaves office tomorrow, let’s remind the “economically anxious” red America:

  • You still have your guns
  • Sharia Law is not the law of the land
  • Communism hasn’t taken over
  • You’re not in a FEMA camp
  • You can still worship your god and read your bibles
  • The government still doesn’t have death panels
  • Obama has not declared martial law
  • Jade Helm has not been dispatched
  • President Obama was still born in the United States of America

Congratulations on letting yourself be played for the last 8 years! It was quite a sight to behold, both sad and funny that teetered on the brink of near insanity. Hopefully, this will be a learning experience to turn off the TV, quit with the fake news, and apply some common sense, no?

Considering they just elected the biggest conspiracy theorist around, one shouldn’t get their hopes up.

Now that Trump has already broken a slew of promises, watch as red state citizens still bitterly cling to their guns and bibles while finding a way to somehow blame Obama.

It is nearly impossible to record how much money, time and brain cells Republicans lost being perpetually lied to by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Alex Jones, Dinesh D’Souza, Bill O’Reilly, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the right-wing brigade.

The fact that Republicans allowed their minds to be poisoned for nine years (counting the campaign in 2008) will have long lasting effects for generations to come and will continue to throughout the Trump presidency.

President Obama got one thing wrong: there is a blue state America and a red state America. But it goes so much deeper than that. There’s an alert America and an easily duped America. There’s a truthful America and an untruthful America. Luckily, Democrats were the former, and sadly Republicans allowed themselves to be the latter.

But it wasn’t always like this. In January 2009, as President Obama prepared to take office, 71 percent of America came together to support the new incumbent. Then the power of talk radio prevailed, and America was to be utterly transformed, never to be the same again.

President Obama will leave office with a 60 percent approval rating. Perhaps a chunk of the GOP electorate realizes they have been manipulated.

Going forward, Democrats and progressives alike need to be cautious of what they share and believe. Allowing our disdain for Trump to border on conspiracy is a dangerous route to take.

Be vigilant, but be smart.

Ryan Denson

Here’s what Republicans voted for Wednesday night— $7 million for each of the 400 richest tax-payers

HOLLYWOOD, FL - APRIL 15:  Felue Chang who is newly insured under an insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act receives a checkup from Dr. Peria Del Pino-White at the South Broward Community Health Services clinic on April 15, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. A report released by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that the Affordable Care Act will cost $5 billion less than originally projected for 2014.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

attribution: Getty Images

And so it begins… (ks)

DAILY KOS

Sure, repealing Obamacare is about bringing “choice” back to Americans when it comes to their health insurance. That’s what Republicans say, right? That it’ll cost consumers less and be better and that’s all they want for the nation. How do you know that’s bullshit? Because of what repeal will really mean: massive tax cuts for the wealthiest tax-payers.

Urged on by Trump, the Senate overnight adopted a budget resolution that clears a path for eliminating the tax-and-spending provisions of the Affordable Care Act by simple majority vote — no Democratic cooperation required. That means repeal of two provisions targeted at high-income households: a 0.9 percent hospital insurance tax on earnings above $250,000 for couples and a 3.8 percent tax on capital gains, dividends and other nonlabor income above that same threshold.That would provide a tax cut averaging $7 million for each of the 400 highest-earning taxpayers, according to new calculations by the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities using Internal Revenue Service data. That cut, the center estimated, would amount to $2.8 billion annually overall — or approximately the value of Obamacare subsidies for those with modest incomes in the 20 smallest states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, eliminating those two levies would represent a tax cut of roughly $346 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Households with million-dollar-plus incomes — a much larger group than the top 400 — would receive an average tax cut of $49,000 a year, the center says.

The only people Republicans are looking out for are the ones in Trump’s swamp.

Joan McCarter

Republican leader explains why the GOP has a big problem with racism

 

Image result for evan mcmullin

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin (Screen cap).

RAW STORY

Republican upstart Evan McMullin — the mainstream GOP alternative to President-elect Donald Trump — is cautioning his party that it has a deeply rooted vein of racism that needs to be addressed and that the party’s leadership is ignoring it.

In a series of tweets that used Trump advocate Carl Paladino’s offensive comments about First Lady Michelle Obama as a jumping off point, McMullin said talk like Paladino’s wont go away on its own.

Paladino proved to be an embarrassment to both the Trump campaign and his family after saying Michelle Obama would be resuming her life as “a man” and that she should be “let loose” in Africa so she could live with apes.

According to McMullin, Paladino is not the exception in the party, writing: “Racism like @CarlPaladino’s and that of others in the GOP won’t just go away on its own. It’s a problem that requires better leadership.”

Then came a series of warnings for Republicans.

See below:

A number of Republicans see the problem (racism). They try to lead the party in a new direction, but too many disagree & thus the problem. https://twitter.com/jason_w_simmons/status/813814027931422720 …  | This post was deleted…could not embed post

GOP rep: Trump may exceed Obama on ‘violating our rights’

 

GOP rep: Trump may exceed Obama on ‘violating our rights’

© Greg Nash

THE HILL

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) says he has concerns about President-elect Donald Trump’s respect for the Constitution.

“President Trump has made clear that he supports a very strong surveillance state,” he said Thursday in Grand Rapids, Mich., according to MLIve.com. “And he may even go beyond what President Obama did in terms of violating our rights.”

“I’ll be supportive when I think he’s right and I’ll be critical when I think he’s wrong,” Amash added of Trump. “I’ve been a critic of the Obama administration. There were many times when the Obama administration didn’t follow the Constitution, and I took them to task. I will do the same with the Trump administration.”

Amash also said he wouldn’t shy away from breaking with fellow Republicans over Trump’s policies, citing government spending as one potential division.

“I will take positions that sometimes the political establishment – my own party – won’t like,” he said. “I will take positions that sometimes the Trump administration won’t like. And sometimes I will take positions that the Democrats won’t like. My job is to be fair.”

“We need to make sure we are keeping our debt under control,” Amash added. “Whenever you have one party controlling all of government, you tend to have less of a check on spending.”

Trump will enter the White House next month with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate behind him.

Many rank-and-file Republicans have rallied around the president-elect after their party’s often bruising presidential primary.

Amash initially endorsed GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and then Ted Cruz(Texas) before Trump earned the Republican presidential nomination.

The Michigan lawmaker has been a vocal critic of Trump, and refused to back either him or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before Election Day.

BY MARK HENSCH –

Trump calls Democrats ‘party of slavery’ in pitch for African American votes

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

RAW STORY

Republican Donald Trump on Tuesday night called Democrats the “party of slavery” and praised what he called the millions of African Americans with career success, as he tries to revamp his outreach to minority voters.

Trump has made much-maligned efforts to appeal to black and Hispanic voters, groups that generally support Democrats and are expected to vote heavily for Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.

“The Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said at a rally in Everett, Washington.

“It is the Democratic Party that is the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow and the party of opposition,” he said, referring to racial segregation laws that once existed in the American South.

The Republican nominee has said Democrats failed minority voters with economic policies that have not improved their job prospects, but his attempts have been criticized for painting a bleak view of the lives of all black and Hispanic Americans.

Clinton last week released an ad mocking Trump’s attempts to reach those groups and showing headlines about a racial discrimination lawsuit the New York real estate mogul faced in the 1970s.

A prominent supporter of Trump’s apologized on Tuesday for sending out a tweet that showed a cartoon image of Clinton in blackface.

Trump sought to correct course in Washington state on Tuesday, saying millions of black Americans “have succeeded greatly” in art, science, sports and other endeavors.

“But we must also talk about those who have been left behind, the millions suffering in disastrous conditions in so many of our inner cities,” he said.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Obama Shifts Cash To Fight Zika; Vacationing Republicans Take Credit

Brendan Smialowski via Getty Images

THE HUFFINGTON POST

WASHINGTON ― President Barack Obama’s administration announced Thursday the transfer of some $80 million in additional funds to combat the growing Zika threat after Congress refused to pass a $1.9 billion package before going on a seven-week break.

Nevertheless, congressional Republicans took credit for convincing the White House to act when Congress would not.

“For over six months we have been calling on the administration to use every existing resource at their disposal to address this crisis,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. “Our calls have been met with little action, while the White House continues to cast aspersions and blame at others for lack of funding.”

The White House asked for $1.9 billion in February, and Rogers and other Republicans responded by questioning the administration’s plans to use the money. The administration then transferred $589 million from other programs ― primarily the effort to combat Ebola ― to begin dealing with Zika.

The Senate passed a compromise Zika package worth $1.1 billion on a bipartisan vote. But when that broadly supported bill came back from negotiations with the House, Republicans added riders to it restricting contraception services, protecting the Confederate flag, cutting Obamacare and weakening the Clean Water Act.

Democrats promptly labeled the riders poison pills and refused to pass the altered bill. Republicans then blamed Democrats for the impasse, as Rogers did again Thursday.

“The House has twice passed responsible, immediate funding legislation for vaccine development, mosquito control, and public health efforts,” Rogers said, referring to the rider-laden measure and an earlier bill that would have provided just one-third of the requested money. “These much-needed funds have been blocked at every turn by Democrats in the Senate, with the backing of the Obama White House.”

Even one of the few Republicans who supported Obama’s initial request, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), blamed Democrats and crowed over the funding transfer.

“Last month I urged President Obama to use all the funds that were already available to fight Zika,” Rubio said in a statement. “Today’s action is long overdue, and the Obama administration should do even more to find unspent funds that can be redirected toward fighting Zika in Florida.”

In a letter to lawmakers Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell explained that the transfer comes at a cost. It means that $34 million being shifted at the National Institutes of Health will be used to continue development of one promising vaccine, but that three other vaccine candidates will have to be shelved. It also means that NIH’s work on Zika diagnostics will stall, Burwell said.

Similarly, $47 million being transferred to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will allow the agency to sign contracts with private companies that work on vaccines, but it does not provide enough money to come close to finishing that work.

“With the actions described above, we have exhausted our ability to even provide short-term financing to help fight Zika,” Burwell wrote. She said that if Congress fails to act by the end of the fiscal year next month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NIH will have to start cutting back Zika efforts.

Burwell opened her letter by noting that, as of Thursday, there were more than 7,300 cases of Zika infection in the United States, including 972 pregnant women with evidence of infection and 15 babies born with Zika-linked birth defects.

And in Florida, where the first local outbreak of Zika has been recorded, there are at least 22 related cases.

Democrats blamed their GOP colleagues for the current state of affairs, and said Congress should come back to work before its scheduled Sept. 6 return to pass the bipartisan Zika bill.

“Without having successfully enacted any funding to fight Zika, Republicans shut down Congress for the longest summer recess in at least 60 years,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “What better use of time do Republicans have right now than to come back here and get the job done for the American people?”

“In its continued failure to enact emergency Zika appropriations, the Republican majority is playing Russian roulette with the health of the American people,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Rogers’ counterpart on the Appropriations Committee. “This failure has forced the administration to divert funding from other critical priorities, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, mental health, viral hepatitis, and home energy assistance for low-income Americans. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is damaging and immoral, and it must stop.”

Michael McAuliff

Missouri Republican Appallingly Says That ‘God’ Can Provide a ‘Silver Lining’ to Rape

From the desk of Donviejo

FORWARD PROGRESSIVES

You would think, in 2016, that the topic of rape and the horrors that accompany it would be fairly well understood. If there’s a group of people who deserve, without question, to be able to do whatever they want without input or judgement from anyone – it’s someone who’s been the victim of a violent sexual assault.

However, for some bizarre reason, some Republicans seem to believe that rape victims who were impregnated by their assailant somehow should either lose control of their bodies, thus being forced by the government to give birth to the child or that they should look on the “bright side” with the “gift that God” bestowed upon them.

Yes, because nothing says “God loves you” quite like being brutally and violently sexually assaulted, resulting in that woman becoming pregnant by the very man who raped her.

Such as Missouri State Rep. Tila Hubrecht, who recently said that if a woman becomes pregnant following a sexual assault that she should look at that as a “silver lining” to the tragedy.

“It is not up to us to say ‘no just because there was a rape, they cannot exist,’” Hubrecht said. “Sometimes bad things happen, horrible things, but sometimes God can give us a silver lining through the birth of a child.”

These comments were made concerning legislation that could give Missouri voters the right to determine whether or not fetuses should be given constitutional rights.

First, the fact that someone would consider fetuses as “people” is absurd. When a baby is born, we don’t consider it 9 months old, do we? Not only that, but what about the Constitutional rights of the actual living and breathing woman? If this somehow became “law,” there’s absolutely no chance it is held up as Constitutional. It would basically ban abortion – which is an issue we settled over 40 years ago with Roe v. Wade.

That’s neither here nor there.

What I want to focus on is how ridiculous it is for anyone to try to tell a rape victim that it’s some sort of “blessing from God” if they happen to become pregnant from the assault and that they should view it as a “silver lining” from the horrific event.

These comments really wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except this sort of attitude isn’t exactly uncommon among the Republican party. In the past we’ve seen Todd Akin try to claim that a woman can’t become pregnant if it’s a “legitimate rape” and I’ve even wrote a story just over a year ago about another Republican who said it can be “beautiful” if a child is the result of a sexual assault. To say nothing about the fairly sizable chunk of the Republican party who don’t believe rape victims should be allowed to have abortions.

The bottom line is, there’s nothing beautiful about any kind of sexual assault – nothing. If a woman who is the unfortunate victim of such a violent and heinous encounter does happen to become pregnant because of it, the only person who should have any say so over whether or not she has that baby is that woman.

End of story.

It is inexcusable and actually very disgusting that this sort of attitude still exists, and somewhat flourishes, within one of our country’s two largest political parties.

By Allen Clifton

Trump campaign in disarray

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Donald Trump’s singular star power appears to be no longer enough—and his campaign’s months-long lack of attention to other fundamentals is emerging as a hindrance to his ability to clinch the nomination outright. | Getty

POLITICO

Donald Trump’s campaign is increasingly falling into disarray as the Manhattan billionaire braces for a loss in Wisconsin that could set him on course for an uncertain convention floor fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

Since March, the campaign has been laying off field staff en masse around the country and has dismantled much of what existed of its organizations in general-election battlegrounds, including Florida and Ohio.

Last month, the campaign laid off the leader of its data team, Matt Braynard, who did not train a successor. It elevated his No. 2, a data engineer with little prior high-level political strategy experience, and also shifted some of his team’s duties to a 2015 college graduate whose last job was an internship with the consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive. Some of the campaign’s data remains inaccessible.

As the final stretch of this hard fought GOP primary bogs down into a delegate fight among party insiders and operatives that likely won’t be decided until the July convention in Cleveland, Trump’s singular star power appears to be no longer enough—and his campaign’s months-long lack of attention to other fundamentals is emerging as a hindrance to his ability to clinch the nomination outright.

“Presidential campaigns are a team sport, and he doesn’t have that mentality,” one high-level GOP operative said. “That’s why they’re missing a lot of these opportunities that are passing them by. [Trump] might be a great quarterback, but every quarterback still needs a strong offensive line.”

Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski flatly rejected the idea that the campaign is in disarray or suffering from low morale.

“Unequivocally not,” he said. “We have the most cohesive, loyal staff, the most loving staff I have ever had the privilege of working with on a campaign.” Lewandowski said the members of Trump’s small senior staff “have such an amazing relationship that the morale is the greatest ever.”

While he acknowledged that the campaign has let go of staff in states that already voted, he chalked that up to “the nature of a campaign.” He asserted that his team has retained its best talent, often by offering jobs in upcoming states, noting that it currently has 45 staffers in Wisconsin.

MORE>>>

Here Are All the Times Republicans Praised Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee

Here Are All the Times Republicans Praised Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court Nominee

Image Credit: AP

POLICY.MIC

Steadfast in their determination to block any Supreme Court nominee put forth by President Barack Obama, Senate Republicans are virtually certain to block the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the nation’s highest court.

But long before the Senate GOP moved to thwart Garland’s promotion, leading conservative Republicans championed his appointment to the court.

Read more: Who Is Merrick Garland? Everything You Need to Know About New Supreme Court Nominee

The background: Garland’s name has been floated for Supreme Court nomination twice before in recent years, following the retirements of Justices David Souter in 2009 and John Paul Stevens in 2010.

At the time, many Republicans viewed the centrist circuit judge as a consensus nominee who could attract bipartisan support.

Here’s what they had to say back then.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)

Hatch, a Judiciary Committee Republican, told Reuters in May 2010 that he wouldn’t hesitate to marshal support for Garland.

“I have no doubts that Garland would get a lot of votes. And I will do my best to help him get them,” the senator said. “I know Merrick Garland very well. He would be very well supported by all sides and the president knows that.”

Here Are All the Times Republicans Praised Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court Nominee

Source: Mic/Associated Press

Ed Whelan, leading conservative legal thinker

A former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia and official in the George W. Bush-era Department of Justice, Whelan told the Washington Post in April 2010 that Garland was about as good a pick as conservatives could hope for under Obama.

“He’s earned the respect of a range of folks, including conservatives, and I think he is the most likely to exercise judicial restraint,” Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said at the time.

Carrie Severino, conservative legal activist

The chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network and a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, Severino told the Washington Post that Garland was the right’s “best scenario.”

“Of those the president could nominate, we could do a lot worse than Merrick Garland,” she said. “He’s the best scenario we could hope for to bring the tension and the politics in the city down a notch for the summer.”

Curt Levey, conservative legal activist

In 2010, New York magazine quoted Levey as saying, “You’ll have, if not a love fest, something close to it if [the choice is] a Garland.”

That was then: Such praise came in a very different political context — with Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and Obama still early in his first term.

With an election looming, it’s unlikely that even a consensus nominee like Garland will break the wall of GOP resistance. It was one thing to support a centrist over a more liberal nominee six years ago; it’s quite another when conservatives see the chance to elect a Republican president and install a right-wing justice for the next three decades or more.

But given the heated rhetoric and sharp polarization that’s sure to follow Garland’s nomination, it’s worth remembering when conservatives sounded a very different tune.

Luke Brinker

Report: Terrorism Is Working…On Republicans

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daylight.ma

ADDICTING INFO

If you’re a terrorist, your objective is simple: Incite fear among people by using horrific tactics that shed lots of blood and take innocent lives. Make people afraid to live their lives; give them a reason to hate and fear each other and you’ve done your job.

Never has the success of terrorism been more apparent than it is with the common American conservative. Americans in general have been wary of radicalized Islamic juhadists for decades, but since the attacks of September 11, 2001, conservatives have found a common bond in fear.

Fear sells. Let’s face it — after the 2000 election and the subsequent appointment of Dubyah by the Supreme Court, the man spent the next nine months being as useless as he could be. Some reports had him on vacation more than 60 percent of the time. His administration was but a glimpse of the laughing stock it would become. After the September 11th attacks, Republicans learned a valuable lesson. They learned that fear and fear alone can win elections, and in 2002 successfully gained control of both the executive and legislative branches of government.

Who can forget that debate in 2004 when Dubyah stepped away from the podium with his arm outstrectched like a schoolyard bully shouting, “tell that to Tony Blair!” when John Kerry made the remark that America was alone in Iraq. That year, as Democrats argued logic and tried to point out the direction of the economy, Republicans again ran their campaigns based on fear.

They became the “we’ll keep you safe” party. Safe from what? We’re still trying to figure that out, as Bush’s policies led to an increased global Al Qaeda presence as well as the rise of ISIS. At last check, the creation of more terrorists is the opposite of “safe.”

Still, that tactic is still going strong. While they’ve added a few new tricks to attract the worst America has to offer to replenish their dying base, fear is still tantamount to any Republican campaign. A recent Reuters poll show that while Americans overall aren’t buying it, a vast majority of Republicans are.

The poll actually has some good news. It shows that less than 15 percent of Americans are “generally fearful.” It also shows the party line divide when it comes to the Muslim community. while 60 percent of Democrats view Muslims like every other community, only 30 percent of Republicans can say the same. Seven out of ten GOPers are living in fear, meaning they will vote for whomever pledges the most military action against ISIS.

The spin machine knows it, and they will be going out of their way to exploit it. While Republican candidates tweeted out prayers fo9r San Bernardino they were silently hoping for word that the deaths were at the hands of radical Muslims. If it was another “lone wolf” white guy, they could brush it off and call for more money for mental health that they could later vote down, but if it were Muslims? Boy oh boy, someone in Texas was just re-elected on general principle.

It’s sickening, really, knowing that the American people, the strongest and most resilient society on Earth, can be so easily played. Hagel is smiling down on the chaos as imbeciles struggle with whether to vote for the safety of Donald Trump’s yooooge wall or the security of Ted Cruz’s plans to carpet bomb anywhere God is referred to as “Allah.”

It’s very sad. Tell some big bad “patriots” that they’re nothing but pansies living in fear and giving in to terrorism and watch in amazement as they declare themselves exempt because of all the guns they have. It almost seems too surreal to be true that in the year 2015, people can actually be this stupid.