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Nothing new here: Republicans in Congress plan to return to same old obstructionism, pushing votes that lead nowhere, wasting time and money

How, you may have wondered, did Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan get their conferences of crazy people to go along with funding the government without all the drama of shutdown threats over ideological issues? Why of course, by promising to return to symbolic, ideological, pointless votes in the new year. That includes, of course, Obamacare repeal, Planned Parenthood defunding, and banning refugees.

Of course, this time there's going to be an Obamacare replacement plan. Just like all the other times it was promised.
“When we return in January, the House will put an ObamaCare repeal bill on the floor and pass it and put it on the president’s desk,” Ryan told reporters Thursday. “We are going to keep working to give families relief from this law while we work to dismantle and replace it altogether." […] 
The bill is the product of months of work by GOP chairmen in both chambers to repeal as much of ObamaCare as possible through an obscure budget process known as reconciliation.
They're going to time this try to force President Obama's veto of it just before he gives his State of the Union address. Because that's what they do. This bill also defunds Planned Parenthood, because they can. Vote on it, that is. They can't actually take the funding away as long as there's a Democrat in the White House to veto it. It seems that Ryan will also promise a vote on what they're calling the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), to try to get abortion coverage out of health insurance plans. It's basically Hobby Lobby extended.

Meanwhile, McConnell has promised both Senate and House Republicans that they can beat up on refugees once the holiday celebrating the world's most famous refugee is over and the optics aren't so bad.
House Republicans had suggested that McConnell had made a commitment to move refugee legislation, with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) telling reporters that the Kentucky Republican "has given us assurances that he would move the bill separately in the Senate when we return in January.”
So after a brief interlude in December to function like a governing body and do stuff, the Republican Congress will return to its normal dysfunction and obstruction for the remainder of President Obama's term in office.

Domestic terrorist in blue uniform strikes in Chicago . . . two dead

In a city already troubled by allegations of police misuse of force, a Chicago police officer shot and killed a male college student and a mother of five, both black, on Saturday morning following a report of a domestic disturbance.

The police department of the nation’s third-largest city is under a federal civil rights investigation for its use of deadly force and officer discipline.

A recently released video of the shooting death of a black teenager by a white officer in 2014 has led to multiple protests, with activists calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation.

The latest shooting happened early on Saturday on the city’s west side.

“Upon arrival, officers were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer’s weapon, fatally wounding two individuals,” police said in a statement.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the dead as Bettie Jones, 55, and Quintonio Legrier, 19. The Chicago Tribune rendered the name as ‘LeGrier’ but officials could not immediately confirm that spelling.

Family members of Jones said that Legrier, a sophomore at Northern Illinois University, was home for Christmas and visiting his father, landlord of the two-story wooden frame building where the shooting occurred.

Family members said police were called after Legrier threatened his father with a metal baseball bat. Jones, who lived in the first-floor apartment, was shot through the door, according to her cousin, Evelyn Glover.

There was a single bullet hole in the wooden door. Blood stained the walls and carpet of the tidy apartment, which was decorated for Christmas. Relatives, including children of Bettie Jones, who was a grandmother of 10, were at the building crying and embracing each other.

“This is a wrongful death. How are you just going to fire through the door?,” asked Glover, who added that Jones was recovering from ovarian cancer.

Melvin Jones, Jones’ older brother, said his sister was a hard-working single mother who had recently started a new job.

Janet Cooksey, Legrier’s mother, told local news channel CLTV her son had recently been suffering from mental illness.

“You call for help and you lose someone,” she said. “That has to stop.”

The Independent Police Review Authority, which reviews police conduct, is investigating the shooting. Emanuel recently replaced the authority’s chief official in response to complaints about the agency’s effectiveness.

Use of force by police has sparked national debate after high-profile killings of black men by mainly white officers in several U.S. cities.

A prayer vigil for the shootings is planned for Sunday afternoon.

COMMENT:  " The Independent Police Review Authority, which reviews police conduct, is investigating the shooting. "  Let me guess:  They will find the shooting was justified and the cop will be returned to duty.

Sarah Palin: Going bankrupt with no way out

Sarah Palin's estate in Arizona is for sale.  She's trying to make a tidy $1.5 million profit because she's broke; her PAC is broke; no one in her family is working; they can't pay for the airplane, the trips to Vegas and Hawaii, special care for the Down Syndrome child, Louboutin shoes, Louie Vuitton bags, new cars, snowmobiles, and all the other crap they have accumulated.

Courtesy of 

This pristine gated estate is sure to impress as you enter from a wraparound drive to access the private gated entrance. Masterfully designed & built this 7971 sqft home showcases 6 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, a 6 car garage & breathtaking mountain views from virtually every room! Quality & care echoes throughout, with beautiful finishes, fixtures, fireplaces, chandeliers, soaring ceilings, media theater, wine cellar & more. Craftsmanship extends to the resort themed backyard with fireplaces off the covered patio, veranda & rooftop deck off of the master suite. Luxury abounds with a built-in grill station, fire-pit, sparkling blue pool, spa, synthetic grass & a lighted sports court. This 4.9 acre equestrian estate offers opulence at it's finest. Contact us to schedule your private showing. 

Here's some video of the property.

So I guess we can assume that Palin's book sales were just not enough to keep her in the style to which she had grown accustom.

Not to mention that her Fox News contract is over. 

And of course we already know that the SarahPAC funds are drying up so fast the PAC will be bankrupt in 6 months or so.

So I guess she is starting to sell off her property and belongings in an attempt to keep her creditors at bay.

This is actually really big news because sources have said for years that Palin absolutely does NOT want to live in Alaska.

Not only is this an indication of just how little money is flowing into the Palin household right now, it also indicates that she does not expect that situation to change any time soon.

Let's see what her future looks like:

  1. Sarah Palin stuck in a state where she is no longer welcome, in the house that she cannot stand to live in, and in a marriage that is only held together by fear and loathing.  
  2. Her slutty daughter has gone through between 4 and 6 "trial marriages" in which she shacked up with a string of losers, all of whom dumped her and now she's pregnant with her second fatherless child.  The daughter -- Bristol -- has no job, no job skills, two children, no marital prospects, and her BFF is a prostitute.
  3. Her oldest son is an unemployed, unemployable dopehead who can't even get back into the Army.
  4. Her middle daughter managed to finish high school and cosmetology school and is working in a no-name beauty salon for near minimum wage and tips.
  5. Her youngest daughter has just entered high school and is as empty-headed as the rest of the family.
  6. Her youngest child is a 6-7 yr old with Down Syndrome who has no verbal skills, eats only soft food, and who hates his mother so deeply she must restrain him to have a picture made with him.
Things really came apart a little over a year ago when husband Todd, Sarah, son Track, daughter Bristol, and Bristol's 6-yr-old son showed up around midnight, shit-faced, knee-walking drunk; crashed a party; got into a huge drunken brawl; and the cops released photos and audio of the Palin family being themselves -- trailer trash.

Well I guess she has finally hit bottom.

I might have to drink my New Year's Eve bottle of champagne a little early.

 And to think -- Tea Partiers still worship this half-wit.


Let's review the finances of Sarah's Political Action Committee -- SarahPAC.

In July 2015, her PAC -- SarahPAC -- released its six-month financial statement.  The finances were a disaster.

Between 12/2012 and 12/2014, donations were off by -44%; from 12/2014 to 7/2015, donations dropped a whopping -82%.  Thus, in 30 months, donations all but dried up -- from over $5 million, to less than $500,000.

Cash on hand between 12/2012 and 7/2015 dropped by 95%, from $1.1 million to just over $500,000.

During mid-summer 2015 it was clear the PAC would be broke in 6 - 10 months.

The chart at this link illustrates the basics of the coming SarahPAC bankruptcy.

You see, SarahPAC is an unlimited PAC -- which means Sarah can spend the money donated to SarahPAC on ANYTHING -- clothes, groceries, plastic surgery, $900-a-pair Louboutin shoes -- ANYTHING.  For example, here's a photo Sarah's daughter posted to her Instagram page in February 2015:

 Note Bristol's comment -- bsmp2 Such a fun trip to #vegas with my mama

And who paid for this fun trip to Vegas?  The suckers who donated to SarahPAC did -- the proof from the SarahPAC July 2015 filing.

So, you suckers who donated to Sarah paid $16,061.54 for Sarah, her daughter, and who knows who else to fly to Vegas for partying -- and for Bristol to get pregnant.


On Christmas Day 2015, Sarah's Facebook page featured a photo that, according to the header data, was posted from NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.

Why would Sarah and Todd Palin be in New Orleans around Christmas?

There can be only one reason for her to go there and that is to visit Jason Recher, the Registered Agent and Manager of Sarah's shell company NorthStar Strategies, LLC -- the other shell company is Grey Stategies, Inc. run by Doug McMarlin. 

Because Sarah is selling her Arizona house, she must be in a panic about money and is meeting with her financial managers trying to figure out how to avoid bankruptcy.

What a contrast: Chelsea Clinton and Bristol Palin

Both Chelsea Clinton and Bristol Palin are pregnant with their second child.  There are some differences that need to be noted.

1.  Chelsea is married and has been married since long before she became pregnant with her first child.  Bristol is not married, never been married, and doesn't even know the identity of the father of her second child.

2.  Chelsea's mother immediately and publicly recognized her daughter's pregnancy and was elated with the prospect of a second grandchild.  Bristol announced her second pregnancy and her mother ignored the pregnancy until she was, grudgingly, forced by an interviewer to acknowledge the pregnancy.

3.  Chelsea's child will join a tightly-knit, normal family.  Bristol's child will join a dysfunctional family in which no one is employed; the family lives off scammed donations; the family goes out at midnight, shit-faced drunk, and gets into a drunken brawl.

4.   Chelsea's child's grandmother -- the next President of the United States -- is a respected leader.  Bristol's child's grandmother is material for jokes by late-night comics.

Why does it take foreigners to point out the obvious?

3 Foreign Women Visited The U.S. To Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.
The Huffington Post, by Laura Bassett

The most telling moment of the trip, the women told reporters on Friday, was when they visited an abortion clinic in Alabama and experienced the hostile political climate around women's reproductive rights.

"We were harassed. There were two vigilante men waiting to insult us," said Frances Raday, the delegate from the U.K. The men repeatedly shouted, "You're murdering children!" at them as soon as they neared the clinic, even though Raday said they are clearly past childbearing age.

"It's a kind of terrorism," added Eleonora Zielinska, the delegate from Poland. "To us, it was shocking."

In most European countries, she explained, abortions are performed at general doctors' offices and hospitals that offer all kinds of other health services, so there aren't protesters waiting to heckle the women who enter.


"The lack of accommodation in the workplace to women's pregnancy, birth and post-natal needs is shocking," Raday said. "Unthinkable in any society, and certainly one of the richest societies in the world."

Another main area of concern for the delegation is violence against women -- particularly gun violence. Women are 11 times more likely to be killed by a gun in the United States than in other high-income countries, and most of those murders are perpetrated by an intimate partner. While the Obama administration has talked a lot about combatting violence against women, its efforts have been frustrated by Congress' inability to pass new federal gun restrictions.

Read the rest at:

Flint, Michigan, ignored warnings about lead in water to save money. Now, lead in water is killing their children.

The water in Flint, Michigan, poisoned the town's children with lead for months. Now the mayor of Flint has declared a state of emergency, saying that the elevated lead levels will have long-lasting effects in its children.
Four percent of the town's children have elevated levels of lead in their bloodstream — double the share affected a few years ago, according to tests from Flint's Hurley Medical Center and confirmed by the state.

This all came about because a struggling Rust Belt city, trying to save money, ended up failing at one of its most basic tasks, providing safe drinking water. And the city compounded the problem by ignoring months of warnings from activists who felt its water was not safe to drink.

Probably just a bunch of bleeding heart liberals who were warning them about lead in the water.

God help this country!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015; Republican Party Presidential candidates "debate:"  Carpet bomb towns, cities, villages -- kill women and children -- and the crowd goes wild.

A major portion of the American public has gone insane.

Extremism ends in civil war: The radical rightinwgnutcases the GOP can no longer control

Only one time in our history have we seen a political party tearing itself apart - - - and that ended in the Civil War.  The year was 1860 and it was the Democratic Party that was torn apart in a civil war between radical conservatives and reasonable people.  Today's GOP is in the midst of a civil war:  the reasonable establishment versus two dictators-in-waiting -- Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

Extremism ends in civil war: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and a right-wing insurgency the GOP can no longer control

The rise of dictators-in-waiting Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz has left political observers bewildered. How did the establishment wing of a dominant American political party end up with a radical extremist carrying the party’s banner? Will the Republican Party split and die? More important, how will this crisis play out for the nation?

There is a precedent for the emergence of an extremist leader from the collapse of a dominant political party in America.

The leader was John C. Breckinridge. The party was the Democratic Party. The year was 1860.
In that year, the southern slave owners who had dominated the American government since the beginning felt their control over the nation slipping. While large planters  made up only about 1 percent of the population, they were the wealthiest people in America. But their very success endangered them. They had promised poor white men that they, too, could rise to prosperity, then they had monopolized the  land and the resources that made rising possible. Only rich families lived in fine houses, only rich sons got educations. When poor men called for the government to provide free Western land for farming, or for the government to dredge rivers to make it easier to transport goods to market, or even for schools, slave owners recoiled. Such projects would  cost tax dollars, they complained, and thus would prevent them from accumulating the vast amounts of money that  enabled them to direct society efficiently. Worse, if the government started doing anything to mess with the economy,  it would only be a question of time until it started interfering with slavery. Any interference would destroy the system  that made them dominant. It was unthinkable.

But as economic doors closed, a growing number of white Southerners resented the planters who dominated their region. By the 1850s, slave owners kept them at bay by harping on the sanctity of the slave system. They defended it as a positive good, sanctioned by God, providing the world’s most perfect society, economy, and government. All their elevated language, though, could not disguise that the slave system concentrated power in a small group of white slave owners, and that such a system did not work in the best interest of the majority of Americans. Slave owners  knew that, and it scared them.

In the 1850s, pressure on the slave system got worse. Good cotton land became harder and harder to come by.  Slave owners began to insist that they should have the right to move their slave economy into Western lands that  the national government had reserved for freedom. But Northerners objected to the spread of slavery. If slave owners  took over the new lands with their vast gangs of slaves and seemingly unlimited wealth, small farmers would not be able to compete. Slave owners would dominate the new state governments, where they would pass laws that enabled them to consolidate their power, just as they had been  doing all along in the Southern states. Those new Western slave states would join with the Southern slave states to  outweigh free states in the national government. They would make the slave system that privileged the wealthy 1 percent national.

Northerners opposed what they saw as an attack on the American principle of equality of opportunity. They organized a new political party, the Republican Party, to stand firm against the expansion of slavery into the West. Instantly, slave owners insisted that it was Republicans, not them, who were changing the rules of the nation. The Constitution protected property, they pointed out, and slaves were certainly property. Democrats, they argued, not Republicans, were the ones who stood for  equality. Equal rights in America meant that Southerners must be allowed to carry their property into the new territories,  no matter what other laws had been passed or expectations nurtured in the past. Democrats rallied voters against the upstart Republicans by insisting that only local folks, far from Washington, should determine the fate of local government. The people were sovereign, they insisted. Voters eager to move into the new territories liked the idea of determining their own fate… but they missed the loophole: once a slave owner moved his chattel into a territory, the Constitution required that the new state constitution must protect slave property. Popular control sounded good in theory; in practice it meant the 1 percent would solidify its control of the nation.

As pro-slavery and anti-slavery advocates struggled for control of the West, Democrats harped on the idea that the Republicans were attacking the culture of traditional America. Republicans were trying to force racial equality on the superior race. America, they insisted, was a white man’s country, and African-Americans had “no rights which a white man was bound to respect,” as Democratic Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney put it in the Dred Scott decision. Republicans wanted to rip the government out of the hands of the  Democrats. They would marginalize Southern whites in the country they had ruled with such success for generations. Soon, the argument went, Southern whites would be forced to bow down to Northern rule, humiliated in their own region. The Republicans had set out to destroy America. The only way to stop them was to join together and fight back. This inflammatory Democratic rhetoric worked. It unified Southern whites behind the party in the 1850s.

But in 1860, Democratic leaders discovered that they had created a monster.

In that year, the party establishment backed Illinois Sen. Stephen A. Douglas on a platform that continued to call for local control to decide the fate of slavery in the West. But Southern insurgents wanted no part of a government that might compromise with the Republicans they had come to believe wanted to destroy them. Slave owners bolted the Democratic convention. They nominated  their own candidate, Vice President John C. Breckinridge, and demanded nothing less than that the federal government protect slavery across  the West. When horrified establishment Democrats accused them of trying to destroy the nation, insurgents retorted that they were the only ones truly trying to protect it. The split in the Democratic Party permitted the election of the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln. Breckinridge came in second.

When it was clear Lincoln had won, Breckinridge’s men railroaded their states out of the Union. Their supporters had listened to years of rhetoric about fighting and dying for democratic principles. Riled up to believe their very lives were at stake when Lincoln was elected, they picked up guns to save what they had come to  believe was an America under attack.

But those men had never experienced a war and had no idea what they were signing up for. They launched a war that looked nothing like the one Breckinridge’s men had promised. Rather than being a romp that reinforced white southern dominance, the American Civil War took 620,000 American lives and left the South shattered.

Today the parties have swapped sides, but the pattern is the same. Once again, political leaders have for years used  inflammatory rhetoric to bolster a system that  favors the very wealthy. Once again, their rhetoric has created an insurgency that they cannot control. Once again, that insurgency appeals  to Americans who have never actually had to grapple with what it might mean to fight for an ideology.

Let’s hope we don’t find out.

Why conservatives lie and believe their lies

Many on the left (and middle) are puzzled when some on the right (see Carly Fiorina, et. al.) seem to be unimpressed by truth, accuracy, and logic.

 A little thought clears this up. Many on the Right are faith-based. This may not seen relevant, but bear with me. Faith is defined as “belief in things not seen”. John 20:29 says "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (KJV).

Rightwingers -- conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers -- equate belief with reality.  That is, their approach is "If I believe it, it is real and true." 

Therefore when someone says "Obama is (choose one: not American, Muslim, the Antichrist, many others) they believe it, therefore it is true. When Trump says that (choose one: Mexicans are rapists, Muslims should not be allowed entry into the U.S., others), his followers believe  him because they want to. 

Fox News appeals to them not because Fox tells the truth, but because Fox tells these folks what they want to believe, therefore (in their minds) legitimizing it. (They love to use the phrase "(they) tell it like it is", confusing emphasis with accuracy).

The link between faith-based thinking and modern conservatism should not be ignored. Neocons of the George W Bush era believed they could alter reality. In the minds of their followers, they have.
Some say there is no objective reality, there is only what you believe. 

My response: if you go up to the roof and jump off, no amount of belief will enable you to fly. You may believe you are flying right up until you become a stain on the sidewalk, but it ain't necessarily so. I am not saying all who have religious beliefs are delusional; however it is a slippery slope . 

When you choose to believe in things that have no evidence, it's a small step to equate belief with truth.  And when you reach the point that you accept something as true simply because you believe it, then, you are ready for the Tea Party.

WARNING: TAKE COVER!!! Rightiwng heads exploding!!!! You may be hit by flying shit!!!

Presdient Obama is about to issue ane executive order expanding background checks for weapon purchases!! 
President Barack Obama's advisers are finalizing a proposal that would expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval. 

White House adviser Valerie Jarrett says the president has asked his team to complete a proposal and submit it for his review "in short order." She says the recommendations will include measures to expand background checks. 

Jarrett spoke Wednesday night at a vigil for the victims of the Newtown shooting, according to a summary provided by the White House. 

After the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, Obama said his team was looking for ways to tighten gun laws without a vote in Congress. White House officials have said they're exploring closing the so-called "gun show loophole" that allows people to buy weapons at gun shows and online without a background check. 

Holy shit!!  This is going to drive rightwingers around the bend!!!  Heads exploding!!!

But, hey,  it's not like Obama did not give Congress plenty of time to pull their heads out of their asses and do this themselves.

Meanwhile . . .

Junk. Absolute junk.


Do not buy a Toshiba L15W b1208 laptop.  JUNK.  Total junk.  When I was looking for a new laptop, my son and daughter both told me to avoid the Toshiba, instead, go with an Acer or HP.  But did I listen?  Oh, no. 

Tonight, after screwing around with this Toshiba L15W B1208 for four weeks -- and this is the truth -- I took it out into my backyard with my .45-caliber semi-auto pistol and pumped four rounds through the goddam thing.

I'm going over to Amazon and order an HP or Acer.

NY police foil terrorist bomb plot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A terrorist plot to bomb various locations in NY was foiled when the terrorist blew his own foot off.

Michael O’Neill, a former Niagara County, New York corrections officer, apparently tried to use a hot glue gun to seal the fuse on one of several bombs he was building in his stepfather’s garage, when something went terribly awry.
Police believe that the fuse on the improvised explosive device (IED) “may have caught fire,” and that O’Neill “may have tried to stomp-out” the burning fuse, when the bomb exploded, blowing his foot off. He was transported by life flight to a local hospital, where his leg was later amputated as a result of his injuries.

Along with seven homemade bombs, police found an array of white supremacist propaganda, including materials distributed by the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis.

One of O’Neill’s homemade bombs was labeled “Powder w/Nails.” An x-ray of the IED showed that the bomb was packed with nails.
You did notice he is NOT a Muslim?  He's just another domestic terrorist, Republican voter, Trump supporter.

There are no vermin in the world as low, as evil, as obscene, as filthy as the American rightwing -- Republicans, Tea Party, biblethumpers -- vermin all.

Let's see what the rightwing vermin have been up to today.

Donald Trump threatens to kill families.

One week after GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said one way to defeat terrorists is to kill their families, he gave a speech in Iowa accusing family members of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook of knowing of his plans. Trump cited no evidence for this claim other than having a feeling about it.

The speech was given before an enthusiastic crowd in Davenport, with Trump speaking in a voice hoarse from laryngitis. He accused immediate relatives of Syed Farook, who was killed with his wife by police after gunning down 14 people and wounding 21 this week at a work holiday party, of knowing what Farook was going to do. None of Farook’s family members have been named as suspects by authorities.

“The way the mother was in the apartment — they’ve got all sorts of bombs, pipe bombs, all sorts of crap all over the apartment, the mother didn’t know,” Trump said sarcastically, before suggesting that the attackers weren’t stopped beforehand because they weren’t racially profiled by Democrats.
“I watched the sister of the guy last night on television,” Trump continued. “And I’m pretty good at this stuff. I watched her, she had the veil, the whole thing. And she’s talking about the brother… I thought she was lying so much. I’m good at this. I thought she was a total liar. She lied about him… She knew. A lot of other people knew too.”

Trump recently said one way to fight terrorists is to “take out their families.”

"Sandy Hook Truthers" force family of dead 6-yr-old from their home in fear

Conspiracy theorists who believe the Sandy Hook massacre of 2012 was a hoax are threatening the sister of one of the victims to the point the woman and her husband are afraid to go home on Saturday.

Truthers accusing Carlee Soto, the sister of slain teacher Vicki Soto, of being a “crisis actor” have been posting her name, birth date and address on Instagram. “Crisis actor” is a term used by conspiracy theorists who believe the massacre at the elementary school was staged by the government as pretense for taking away guns. Twenty small children and six school staffers were killed in the attack. Vicki Soto died heroically, shielding her students.

Family members of Vicki Soto have been harassed since the massacre, but told Raw Story it’s never gone to the extent of having addresses posted online.

Instagram users are sharing a post that reveals contact and family information, including names of Soto’s mother, siblings and husband, and their social media user names.
“The Dox Of All Doxes!” the post reads. “The whole world is wondering about this girl who pops up on every major attack around the world. She has been on every media around the world crying her eyes. She have raised too many question amongst everyone. It was time to finally put an end to it and reveal everything about her. I want her to remember my name… for the rest of her life. She have been Exposed. Make this Viral.”

It then shows Carlee Soto’s home address, and says “Enjoy family.”

Florida man who vandalized church vows to murder people

A Florida man taken into custody for vandalizing a Palm Beach Islamic center, has a Facebook page containing posts attacking Muslims, with other photos showing him admiring guns, saying: “That AR-15 will put down any radical Islamic!! I wish they would!!!”

Acting on a tip, North Palm Beach Police arrested 27-year-old Joshua Warren Killets who confessed to detectives after being taken into custody, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Members of the Islamic Center of Palm Beach discovered the damage early Friday morning, with over a dozen windows smashed out and blood on the scene. Security cameras caught footage of the vandal carrying a tire iron, as well as video of an SUV leaving the scene.

While police did not release any details of his confession or motive, a perusal of his Facebook page shows a deeply-held belief in Christianity combined with hatred for Muslims and refugees.

In one photo, Killets can be seen holding a AR15 assault rifle next to a comment saying it would “take down any radical Islamic.”
 Former NY governor -- and GOP Presidential candidate -- urges people to murder their neighbors

Hoping to spark interest in his run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, the former governor of New York called for a “war on radical Islam” on Twitter Friday.

Ex-Governor George Pataki –whose run for the presidency has hardly registered in the polls, currently standing at less than 1 percent among Republican voters — joined the chorus of other GOP presidential candidates weighing in after authorities began linking the San Bernardino shooting to terrorism.

Posting to Twitter, Pataki wrote: “We must declare war on radical Islam. I’m not edging toward violent speech, I’m declaring we kill them. Go ahead, arrest me.”

Pataki’s reference to Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in reference to her comments given at a recent dinner.

 Could it be that instead of exterminating Muslims, we should exterminate the rightwing Republican, Tea Party, biblethumping, "conservative" vermin who are spewing hate and violence?

SCOTUS slaps down the gang of thugs who made the phony Planned Parenthood videos

The Supreme Court on Friday denied an emergency appeal from the California-based antiabortion group behind the secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue recovery.
The group, known as the Center for Medical Progress, had filed an emergency appeal asking the high court to allow it to keep its list of key donors and supporters confidential.

But Justice Anthony Kennedy, who oversees appeals from California, turned down the request.

... The antiabortion group also argued that its lead investigator, David Daleiden, was a citizen journalist and is entitled to protect the confidentiality of his work and his sources of information. But the judge rejected that claim as well.

Read more:

This gang of sleazebags is about to get what they deserve:  public exposure.

Alabama cops planted drugs and guns on innocent blacks since at least 1996. Why am I not surprised?

Members of a narcotics investigation squad for the police department in Dothan, Alabama planted drugs and weapons on young black men since the mid-1990s with the approval of their superiors — one of whom is currently the state’s Assistant Director of Homeland Security.

According to the Henry County Report, Andy Hughes was a sergeant in the department while overseeing the unit. But he was also a leader in a neo-Confederate group comprised by squad members, along fellow supervisor Steve Parrish. Parrish, at the time a lieutenant, is currently the city’s police chief.

Documents obtained by the Alabama Justice Project indicate that Parrish and Hughes are frequently mentioned in an internal affairs investigation. However, then-Police Chief John White and District Attorney Doug Valeska did not notify federal or state officials regarding the probe, as is required by department policy.

While multiple black defendants were reportedly accusing local police of widespread evidence planting as far back as 1996, the department allegedly ignored complaints from white officers when they began to surface two years later. A group of more than a dozen officers were told about the internal affairs probe into allegations of false arrests and evidence-planting, as seen in the document below. Most of them failed a subsequent polygraph test.

 Despite this, however, Valeska continued to prosecute cases involving the illicit activity without notifying the defendants’ attorneys regarding the allegation.


Here is the link to the SPLC and AJP report -- but the server keeps timing out on me.

I got the story from Occupy Democrats:

In case there was any doubts left about the rampant racism that infects our police forces, a shocking new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Alabama Justice Project has found that law officers in Dothan, Alabama, have been planting drugs and weapons on black suspects for years – and hundreds are still in prison on false charges. The explosive evidence has been brought forward by other police officers, who believe that “the public has a right to know that the Dothan Police Department, and District Attorney Doug Valeska, targeted young black men by planting drugs and weapons on them over a decade. Most of the young men were prosecuted, many sentenced to prison, and some are still in prison. Many of the officers involved were subsequently promoted and are in leadership positions in law enforcement. They hope the mood of the country is one that demands action and that the US Department of Justice will intervene.”

The whistle-blowing officers have even said they are willing to testify against their corrupt comrades, who were apparently members of a neo-Confederate organization that called “for blacks to return to Africa, published that the civil rights movement is really a Jewish conspiracy, and that blacks have lower IQ’s.” The leaked files also reveal that an Internal Affairs investigation into the matter was silenced by the Attorney General’s office: “all were aware of the investigation and its outcome. All have been rewarded with careers in law enforcement by those for whom they covered, while those who spoke out were forced out of the department. Disturbingly, Ott and Parrish have both attended the FBI academy. Both were highly recommended by the district attorney and former Police Chief, John White.”

Responsible Coloradans name names of rightwing politicians who are responsible for terrorists

Saying it’s “time to name names,” local pro-choice activists spotlighted inflammatory anti-choice rhetoric by specific Colorado politicians. (Mike Coffman for Congress / YouTube)

At a gathering of reporters at the Colorado State Capitol Tuesday, Amy Runyon-Harms, director of ProgressNow Colorado, said: “It’s time to name names. It’s time to call out and stop this dangerous campaign of lies from right-wing politicians before more lives are lost.”

Runyon-Harms asked three Colorado politicians to apologize for their “extreme” anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric, which, she said, played a role in inciting a man to kill three people Friday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

“It must stop, and stop now,” Runyon-Harms said. “We call on right-wing politicians across the state and nation to stop their false attacks on Planned Parenthood, and apologize for lies that are directly contributing to politically motivated violence in America today.”

The three elected officials, all Republicans, spotlighted at Tuesday’s news conference were U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt (R-Colorado Springs), and state Sen. Tim Neville, who represents a West Denver suburb and is running for U.S. Senate.

Read more:

Bernie Sanders gets up from hernia surgery, goes to the Senate floor, slaps the shit out of Republicans, Tea Party

Sen. Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor and shattered the Mitch McConnell’s Obamacare repeal delusion by dropping a fact bomb on the GOP.

On the Senate floor, Sen. Sanders said:

I think everybody here in the Senate understands this, the bill we are debating today is a complete waste of time. This is just another reason why the American people have so little respect for the Congress.

There are major crises facing our country and the Republican leadership once again is attempting to repeal Obamacare. I kind of lost track about how many times this effort has been made. I think in the House it was over fifty. I don’t know how many it is here in the Senate.

So let me break the news to my Republican colleagues, although I am sure that they already got the news. And that is Obama is not going to sign a bill repealing Obamacare. I think that is not likely to happen, and what we are doing today is just a waste of time.


Turns out the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood murderous terroirst thug is NOT "transgendered."

Within a few minutes after the terrorist thug murdered three people in Colorado Springs, Ted Cruz claimed the guy was a "transgendered liberal activist."  Cruz's claim was based on a rightwing propaganda machine claim that the terrorist shooter was registered to vote as a female.

Turns out it was a clerical error.  In fact, I'm beginning to suspect Ted Cruz is one big clerical error.

The Planned Parenthood shooter wasn’t a transgender leftist activist as Republicans claimed. It turns out that a clerical error on his voter registration card is responsible for the shooter being labeled a female.

According to The Gazette:

Ryan Parsell, El Paso County’s chief deputy clerk and recorder, said his office incorrectly recorded Dear’s gender in October 2014, leading to the issuance of both a driver’s license and voter’s registration card erroneously identifying him as a woman.

Read more:

Courts slap the shit out of Alabama over state's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood

Not only have Alabama's attempts to defund Planned Parenthood Southeast been blocked by the courts, Alabama taxpayers will also have to foot the bill in the more than $51,000 in legal fees for the reproductive health organization, the Montgomery Advertiser reported, under a settlement filed in federal court Monday morning. The agreement still must be approved by a U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
Republican Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (pictured above) was one of a number of elected officials who sought to defund Planned Parenthood by cutting off Medicaid funding to clinics after a series of "sting" videos asserted the organization was illegally profiting off the of the sale of aborted fetal tissue. (Planned Parenthood has denied the claim that it is profiting from donation programs, and says reimbursement fees clinics receive for storage and staffing costs are legal.)

However, Thompson issued a preliminary junction last month that halted the state's move to cancel its Planned Parenthood Medicaid contract after the Planned Parenthood Southeast sued the state over the defund attempt.

Why don't we know much about rightwing terrorists? Because the Republicans fired the man who was studying them.

Why Don’t We Know Much About Right-Wing Terrorists? Conservatives Fired The Guy Studying Them

AddictingInfo, JUNE 18, 2015 4:41 PM

After a mass shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, left nine people dead and a right-wing white supremacist arrested, the country once again faces the uneasy question of just how many so-called “home-grown” terrorists are out there – heavily armed, ideologically driven, and violent.

It’s a good question, but it may be tough to answer because for reasons that are astoundingly dimwitted, the Department of Homeland Security pushed out the guy who was in charge of watching them, and dismantled his team all the way back in 2009.

The beleaguered hero of this story is Daryl Johnson, a top government counterterrorism analyst working at Homeland Security who spent six years with the agency amassing a wealth of data on far-right extremist groups that posed various degrees of threat to citizens in the United States. In 2009, in the months after President Obama assumed office, he watched as these groups veered even further right, and began to fear that America’s first African-American president could be the catalyst of a major uptick in hate crimes and anti-government attacks.

In a landmark report released just months into Obama’s term, and now looks downright clairvoyant, Johnson made the case that radical Islam is only a small piece of the terrorism pie:

“Do not overlook other types of terrorist groups,” the report warned, noting that five purely domestic groups had considered using weapons of mass destruction in that period. Similar warnings have been issued by the two principal non-government groups that track domestic terrorism: the New York-based Anti-Defamation League and the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

An annual tally by the latter group of what it calls “Terror From the Right” listed 13 major incidents and arrests last year, nearly double the annual number in previous years; the group also reported the number of hate groups had topped 1,000 in 2010, for the first time in at least two decades.

In response to that report, Johnson was destroyed. It wasn’t his integrity or claims that got him in trouble, his facts were solid. Instead, it was the inconvenient truth that much of the threat comes from right-wing conservatives, and even more awkwardly, radical right-wing conservatives who say and think a lot of the same things mainstream right-wing conservatives say and think.

CONTINUED w/links...

The GOP decades-long strategy to destroy the USA is working. Proof? Look at their candidates.

The GOP is hell-bent on tearing us apart: 

A decades-long strategy to win by divisiveness now leads to President Donald Trump

Republican candidates for the presidential nomination claim that Democrats kill babies and harvest their organs to sell them, insist the U.S. is at war with an “evil state of consciousness,” compare Muslims to rabid dogs, and call for closing mosques and registering Muslims. These are not fringe candidates. They are the front-runners.

American politics has descended from principle into tribalism.

The descent began in 1968. That year’s presidential election looked to be a principled fight, with Democrats Hubert Humphrey and Robert F. Kennedy articulating a vision of an inclusive America in which the government expanded efforts to guarantee equality. For their part, Republican managers understood that they had a problem. The two sides of the Republican Party were too far apart to be cinched together by any national vision.

On the one hand, moderate Eisenhower voters believed in using the federal government to promote equality of opportunity, although they were nervous the Johnson administration’s War on Poverty had gone too far. On the other hand, Movement Conservatives who had backed Barry Goldwater in 1964 rejected the principles of the New Deal. They wanted the government to stop meddling with the social welfare legislation that they insisted was a redistribution of tax dollars from hardworking white people to lazy African-Americans.

To win the 1968 election, Richard Nixon’s team adopted the Southern Strategy, sacrificing black rights to cement Movement Conservative white voters to the Republican Party.

The racial dimension of this decision is well known. Less well known is that it also marked a seismic shift in the mechanics of American politics. The chaos of 1968 cemented the Republicans’ new electoral strategy. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Democratic presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey got sent into obscurity, and former Vice President Richard M. Nixon won the White House without a popular majority.

The year after the election, an architect of the Southern Strategy named Kevin Phillips wrote a groundbreaking book. In “The Emerging Republican Majority,” he argued that voters aligned according to their ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. By playing to those different constituencies, he argued, the Republican Party could cobble together a coalition that would dominate American politics for at least a generation. Republican leaders began to slice and dice the American electorate rather than advancing a coherent vision of the nation’s future.

This electoral strategy played perfectly to the growing power of Movement Conservatives in the party. The majority of Americans strongly believed in government regulation of business and in social welfare legislation. In contrast, Movement Conservatives embraced a vision of an American government that backed Christianity and unfettered capitalism. Knowing that they could never attract supporters based on their principles, Movement Conservatives turned instead to an age-old technique: They whipped up fear of an enemy. To take the nation back from secular New Dealers, Movement Conservatives insisted they were the true Americans, standing alone against a dangerous cabal. The enemy was a group they dubbed “Liberals” with a capital L to suggest they were a party that mirrored the Communists. Liberals were attacking America by destroying religion and individualism.

 Movement Conservatives insisted that business regulation and social welfare legislation were not, as most Americans thought, a way to level the American playing field. Such laws were a redistribution of wealth, since government programs and bureaucrats and programs cost tax dollars.

Movement Conservatives’ first boogeymen were African-Americans. Since Reconstruction, reactionaries had insisted that government protection of black rights meant a redistribution of wealth. The federal muscle required to enforce the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision enabled Movement Conservatives to rehash this old argument. Linking black rights to taxation enlisted racism on the side of Movement Conservatism, a linkage illustrated when Barry Goldwater picked up the Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in 1964.

In 1968, the Southern Strategy brought the Movement Conservative narrative into the heart of the Republican Party. Nixon’s strategists deliberately pushed the idea of good Americans under siege by constructing a simple narrative designed to play on people’s emotions. “Voters are basically lazy,” one of Nixon’s advisors wrote. “Reason requires a high degree of discipline, of concentration; impression is easier. Reason pushes the viewer back, it assaults him, it demands that he agree or disagree; impression can envelop him, invite him in, without making an intellectual demand…. When we argue with him, we… seek to engage his intellect… The emotions are more easily roused, closer to the surface, more malleable.” Nixon cemented a constituency by dividing the world into the “Silent Majority,” and “they.” The Silent Majority was made up of hardworking men and women. “They” were minorities, women, and anti-war agitators who wanted government handouts even as they attacked the nation.

Ronald Reagan was more explicit about who the bad guys were in his division of the world into good and evil. In 1983, in a speech to the national Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, he told the audience that good Americans were in a titanic struggle with an “evil empire.” The struggle was between “right and wrong and good and evil” with God and individualism standing against secularism and communism. He explicitly identified those Americans who were on the side of the enemy. They were those godless people who promoted communism by redistributing the tax dollars of hardworking white individuals to feed the gaping maws of lazy minorities and women. He tied these themes together with his iconic invocation of the “Welfare Queen,” a black woman who lived like royalty by cheating the welfare system. And he used the power of this image to deregulate the economy and slash taxes.

By 1988, when George H. W. Bush was running for president, the personification of the enemy was clear. But strategist Lee Atwater extended that image to include the element of direct violence. The Willie Horton ads gave the faltering Bush campaign a winning injection of adrenaline by presenting voters with a large black criminal set free by the “liberal” Democratic nominee to rape white women and murder white men. Now the enemy was not just an ideological threat; its members were a very real physical threat. Ironically, Bush himself fell to the Movement Conservative division of the world in 1992, when Movement Conservatives read him out of the good side and into the evil after he raised taxes. His redefinition as a “RINO” killed his reelection campaign.

George W. Bush gave the Movement Conservative definition of an enemy a new international dimension. Voters backed the younger Bush on the promise that he would be a “uniter, not a divider” and would quiet the extremism of the Gingrich years. But his own Movement Conservative extremism quickly became clear as he gave federal funding to religious charities and welcomed even more business deregulation and further tax cuts. By summer 2001, people were souring on what had begun as a precarious presidency. The events of Sept. 11 enabled the president to redefine his actions. “In our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment,” Bush announced. Americans rallied behind the president after the attacks, and he used his sudden popularity as a mandate to change America and the world along ideological lines. Members of his administration, one complained, “consistently acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives of policy proposals as far right as possible.” Bush announced: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” He used that stark split to push the Movement Conservative program both at home and abroad: He continued to deregulate the economy and launched the Iraq War.

The election of Democratic President Barack Obama in 2008 sent Movement Conservatives into full-blown ideological war. A biracial man who believed that the government should play a role in the economy and in social welfare had taken over the government. They howled that he was a socialist and a communist; that he was a Muslim; that he wasn’t even an American. They dehumanized him, circulating images and jokes that represented the president as a monkey. The realities of the economy, society, foreign affairs, legislation—all fell by the wayside. In a world where a black-and-white narrative has replaced a national vision based on principles, one tribe is good and one is evil.

Today’s Republican contenders for the presidential nomination are taking this Manichean narrative to the next level. Their worldview is utterly divorced from reality, but it offers a clear vision: Embattled Christian Americans stand against a horde that is attacking God and free enterprise. There is no room here for nuance or facts. Democrats kill babies and support terrorists as they strive to destroy America. Movement Conservatives are on the side of the angels, determined to defend America.

They must no longer accept the legitimacy of their subhuman enemies; they must work to purge them from the nation.

Yet, within this very extremism is the seed for its own destruction. The popular realization that the leading Republican candidate for president is calling for a Muslim policy that looks much like the one practiced by the Nazis against the Jews has, at last, forced opponents to stop worrying about winning voting blocs and instead to articulate true national principles. Americans are not just constituencies to be sliced and diced to guarantee the triumph of Movement Conservatism. We stand for something.

It is high time we remember that.
Heather Cox Richardson is the author of "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party," amongst several other books, and a professor of history at Boston College.

Funny, he doesn't look like a Syrian refugee terrorist.

"If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive," neighbor says of Robert Lewis Dear 
as motive remains unclear in attack on clinic.

Robert Dear photo released by Colorado Springs police department

Officials were not immediately able to establish a motive for the deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday. But on Saturday, a picture of the suspected gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, began to emerge.

Dear is the top suspect in a shooting that left three people dead, including police officer Garrett Swasey, and injured nine others. Police said the gunman used a “long gun," according to witnesses and AK-47.

The city of Colorado Springs confirmed his identity on Saturday morning and released a booking photo of the bearded 57-year-old from North Carolina. He is suspected of opening fire at the women’s health clinic just before noon on Friday, the beginning of an hours-long standoff with police.

Colorado Springs police lieutenant Catherine Buckley said on Friday it was too early to determine the suspect’s motive.

James Russell, who lives down the mountain from Dear’s cabin in North Carolina, told the Associated Press that when Lewis spoke with him he would ramble, avoid eye contact and not make sense. Russell said he had not spoken to Lewis about issues such as abortion or religion.

Dear’s North Carolina cabin is outside Asheville, though he is also said to have lived in a house in nearby Swannanoa . His neighbor said the cabin had no running water or electricity.

“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive – topics all over place,” said Russell.
Colorado’s Park County sheriff’s office said the shooting suspect also had a residence in Hartsel, Colorado. It was closed to public access on Saturday morning.

According to public records, Dear has lived in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and has a record of brushes with the law . In South Carolina in January 2003, he was arrested on two counts of animal cruelty. He was found not guilty by Colleton County court.

In the same county in 2002, Dear faced a misdemeanor charge for “peeping tom, eavesdropping or peeping”. The charges were dismissed at a preliminary hearing.

So -- when you talk to this wackjob, he doesn't make eye contact, doesn't make any sense.  BUT THE MUTHAHFUKAH WAS ABLE TO BUY AN AK-47 AND AMMO.


Neighbor says this wackadoodle handed out anti-Obama literature.  Why am I not surprised?

Details about Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the suspect in yesterday’s shootings at the Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs, are beginning to emerge, and it’s already pretty clear where this is headed.

Buzzfeed News spoke to one of Dear’s neighbors and learned that Dear gave the neighbor anti-Obama pamphlets and said Obama was “ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”
Zigmond Post, who told BuzzFeed News he was a neighbor of Dear’s in Hartsel, said the man once gave him anti-Obama pamphlets.
Post said he once went to Dear’s home to retrieve two dogs that had gotten loose. “We were there for a minute and the guy was already handing us anti-Obama pamphlets,” he said. According to Post, Dear said “Obama was ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away . . .

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away there was a nation that at one time had a proud and brave people…

“I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”
​FDR-1st Inaugural Adress 1932

​To this:

“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule,” Trump said. “And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.”
​Donald Trump-GOP Front Runner 2015


"The fact is that we need appropriate vetting and I don't think orphans under five are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point. But you know, they have no family here. How are we going to care for these folks?"
Chris Christie-GOP also ran 2015

​From a party that claims the current administration is “weak” ( or schwach in the original German)​ and not projecting “strength” (​Kraft) or “leadership” (F├╝hrung)  but ​​regardless of what word you want to use the GOP (and unfortunately a sizeable portion of the population) has turned into a bunch of pant wetting cowards.

For the life of me I cannot understand how the nation that defeated the Nazi’s, Imperial Japan and out lasted the Soviet Union has managed to quake in horror about some propaganda internet posts from a nihilistic death cult like ISIS.​  The level of fear and paranoia that has swept the GOP and large swathes of America about Muslims (Syrian refugees in particular), is breath taking.

I remember taking a history class about the origins of WWII and one of the most common questions in the class was how could the German people follow the Nazi’s?  As recent events have shown it doesn't take much to fan the flames of paranoia and fear!  People are prone to a herd mentality, if the herd goes in a certain direction your first instinct is to follow it, its almost an unconscious natural reaction to do so.  The irony is there is no such reaction to the daily slaughter caused by firearms in this country, how many mass shootings (that by any definition is terroristic in nature) have we endured over the last 20 years?  Yet collectively the nation just shrugged because freedom.

 I guess it depends on who does the killing...if your named Mike or Joe...”Freedom” but if its Mohammed or Achmed...”OMG we are all going to die! Do something!” simply astonishing!

Scientists predict the end of salt water fish by 2048 -- rightwing ignores warning, after all, that's not what the Bible says, so, what do a bunch of scientists know?

The apocalypse has a new date: 2048.

That's when the world's oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.

The study by Boris Worm, PhD, of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, -- with colleagues in the U.K., U.S., Sweden, and Panama -- was an effort to understand what this loss of ocean species might mean to the world.

The researchers analyzed several different kinds of data. Even to these ecology-minded scientists, the results were an unpleasant surprise.

"I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are -- beyond anything we suspected," Worm says in a news release.

"This isn't predicted to happen. This is happening now," study researcher Nicola Beaumont, PhD, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.K., says in a news release.

"If biodiversity continues to decline, the marine environment will not be able to sustain our way of life. Indeed, it may not be able to sustain our lives at all," Beaumont adds.

Already, 29% of edible fish and seafood species have declined by 90% -- a drop that means the collapse of these fisheries.

But the issue isn't just having seafood on our plates. Ocean species filter toxins from the water. They protect shorelines. And they reduce the risks of algae blooms such as the red tide.

"A large and increasing proportion of our population lives close to the coast; thus the loss of services such as flood control and waste detoxification can have disastrous consequences," Worm and colleagues say.

The researchers analyzed data from 32 experiments on different marine environments.

They then analyzed the 1,000-year history of 12 coastal regions around the world, including San Francisco and Chesapeake bays in the U.S., and the Adriatic, Baltic, and North seas in Europe.

Next, they analyzed fishery data from 64 large marine ecosystems.

And finally, they looked at the recovery of 48 protected ocean areas.

Their bottom line: Everything that lives in the ocean is important. The diversity of ocean life is the key to its survival. The areas of the ocean with the most different kinds of life are the healthiest.

But the loss of species isn't gradual. It's happening fast -- and getting faster, the researchers say.

Worm and colleagues call for sustainable fisheries management, pollution control, habitat maintenance, and the creation of more ocean reserves.

This, they say, isn't a cost; it's an investment that will pay off in lower insurance costs, a sustainable fish industry, fewer natural disasters, human health, and more.

"It's not too late. We can turn this around," Worm says. "But less than 1% of the global ocean is effectively protected right now."

Worm and colleagues report their findings in the Nov. 3 issue of Science.

Less than two weeks ago, the FBI broke up a terrorist plot in Virginia

Two men in Virginia, Robert C. Doyle and Ronald Beasley Chaney have both been charged with conspiracy to possess firearms in an attempt to incite a race war by bombing black churches and synagogues, as reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. 

Whoa… how did this slip under the radar? Well, maybe it had something to do with recent history and media reaction for warning about right-wing terror threats. As you may recall, in February of this year, the Department of Homeland Security released an intelligence assessment warning that extreme right-wing groups and lone actors with extreme right-wing ideological leanings may be as great if not a greater threat to commit acts of terrorism in the U.S. than Islamic extremists. While that report focused more on the “Sovereign Citizen” movement, other similar intelligence reports over the past decade have warned of the dangers of these right-wing groups, or acts of violence perpetrated by lone-wolf actors with similar views. The proof of these dangers is well-documented by various sources. 

Most famously, back in 2009 DHS secretary Janet Napolitano warned of the growing threat of right-wing extremism in the wake of the election of Barack Obama. The backlash from right-wing punditry was swift and severe, as they interpreted this report as being baseless, and a mere political ploy to denigrate the burgeoning Tea Party movement. It was effective enough that Napolitano actually semi-apologized for such a “slight.”

Now I always found it fascinating that it was characters like Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Laura Ingraham who made the leap to associate right-wing terrorists like the would-be church bombers pictured above with seemingly “mainstream” right-wing agitators such as themselves or groups like the Tea Party movement. I didn’t do that. Janet Napolitano didn’t. They did. Chew on that, if you will.

The point being, in the current world of hyperventilating over the dangers of “political correctness” ..ahem.. paging Dr. Carson... it is seemingly quite PC, even for the “mainstream media” to see the inherent dangers of Islamic terrorism in anyone and everyone who merely speaks Arabic, be they women, children, or even anyone who has already passed through the rigorous refugee vetting process. Meanwhile, as we learned in 2009, and evidently by the radio silence of what the FBI thankfully thwarted in Virginia, calling right-wing terrorism what it is, is not at all “PC” today.

GOP, Tea Party won't like this: Job market in US is "on fire" - - - near full employment

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its monthly estimates of unemployment rates in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, and things are looking pretty good.

The bureau noted that unemployment rates fell in 32 states and Washington, DC, went up in just three states, and stayed the same as September in 15 states. Unemployment in every state and DC was below 7%, indicating increasingly healthy labor markets across the nation.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi's chief financial economist, Chris Rupkey, circulated an email after the report with the title "Jobs market is literally on fire in most states in the union." The email maintains that optimistic tone and suggests that the geographically broad strength of the labor market could spur the Fed to tighten monetary policy at its December meeting:

This regional breakdown is just the latest evidence that the economy has reached full employment. Coast to coast from sea to shining sea, the labor market has fully healed. At full employment the Fed can be confident that inflation will eventually move up to their 2% target ... Once again, another day, another report from Washington showing us the economy is better than many think. The state-by-state employment trend is just the evidence the Fed needs to assure them that it is time to lift rates.

Here's the map showing the unemployment rates in each state and DC:

Read more:

Senate Republicans fight terrorism by blocking anti-terror-related Presidential appointments

Senate Republicans are all about national security these days—when it comes to the families fleeing Syria and Iraq, refugees who might come to the United States. When it comes to actually fighting ISIS with tools at our disposal—like blocking international funding to them—they'd rather play partisan politics at home. Case in point, this nomination:
Adam Szubin, who has bipartisan support, has been waiting more than 200 days to be confirmed as the Treasury Department's under secretary for terrorism and financial crimes. The job involves tracking terrorists to prevent them from raising money on the black market and elsewhere. 
Szubin's nomination got a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Sept. 17, and Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) praised his past work in countering terrorist financing during his time with both Republican and Democratic administrations.
"He is eminently qualified for this," Shelby said at the time.
But Szubin's nomination hasn't moved since. There's no clear reason why, beyond trying to make it difficult for President Barack Obama to fill administration posts.
How do you stop terrorists? One way is to bankrupt them. How do you do that? By finding out where the money is coming from and stopping it. Which is what Szubin would be doing, if he had the job permanently. He's not the only national security nominee being blocked. There's also Eric Fanning's nomination to be Army secretary.

Meanwhile, Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has let his hold go on a number of nominees to the State Department. But he continues to obstruct some higher-level ones, including a block on David Malcolm Robinson, nominated to be assistant secretary for conflict and stabilization operations and coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization. This hold is a result of Grassley's prolonged temper tantrum over Hillary Clinton's emails, which clearly are more critical to him than a functioning State Department.

Just as scoring political points against President Obama and fomenting fear and bigotry for a possible electoral advantage is a higher priority than effectively fighting terrorism.

Paranoia in American politics . . . here they come again (Hint: They never left.)

Originally published on the blog Wickersham's Conscience.

Back in 1964, Dr. Richard Hofstadter, then a professor of American History at Columbia University, wrote a seminal essay titled, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” In that essay, which is a pretty amazing read more than half a century later, he traced the recurring tendency of American voters to see enemies and conspiracies everywhere. He traced examples back to the 1830s, and forward to the the early 1960s, ranging from the anti-Masons and the Know Nothing Party to the John Birch Society and Senator Barry Goldwater’s capture of the Republican Party nomination in 1964.

Richard Hofstadter died in 1970, but his ideas, and particularly his idea of a consensus approach to understanding history, remains powerful and influential today. And WC can only wonder what Prof. Hofstadter would make of the ongoing manifestations of the paranoid style in American political culture today. The Tea Party nonsense, the right wing’s loathing of President Obama and, most recently, the xenophobia regarding the Syrian exodus are all largely consistent with the framework Hofstadter described back in 1964.

Hofstadter was careful to explain that by “paranoid style” he didn’t mean clinical paranoia, the mental illness. He chose the term for his connotative meaning, popular meaning, definitely including the perjorative aspects. After areview of the long history of the paranoid style in our political culture, he drew two distinctions between that history and then current events. First, the focus of the paranoia had shifted:

If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.

Think of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his list of “140 known communists in the State Department,” of the fulminations of Joseph Welch, founder of the John Birch Society. Or perhaps Donald Trump, and his claim of a conspiracy to conceal President Obama’s true place of birth. Actually, listen to the Republican presidential debates and you’ll hear the constant claims of a conspiracy “to tear down our great nation.” So that difference is still with us, even in our nightly news.

The second difference identified by Hofstadter between the old and new paranoid styles was the mass media:

Important changes may also be traced to the effects of the mass media. The villains of the modern right are much more vivid than those of their paranoid predecessors, much better known to the public; the literature of the paranoid style is by the same token richer and more circumstantial in personal description and personal invective. For the vaguely delineated villains of the anti-Masons, for the obscure and disguised Jesuit agents, the little-known papal delegates of the anti-Catholics, for the shadowy international bankers of the monetary conspiracies, we may now substitute eminent public figures like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, secretaries of State like Marshall, Acheson, and Dulles, Justices of the Supreme Court like Frankfurter and Warren, and the whole battery of lesser but still famous and vivid alleged conspirators headed by Alger Hiss.

Of course, the mass media effect Hofstadter noted has been multiplied by the arrival of the internet and social media. Now the true believers huddle together in their digital bunkers to reinforce and mutually support their paranoia. When the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, WC noted at least three theories appeared as to how the Obama Administration had “gotten” to Chief Justice John Roberts.

Which takes us to the paranoid style of the hour, the political paranoia de jour, the wave of Syrian xenophobia. Apparently, one of the terrorists in the Parisian attacks claimed to be a Syrian refugee. It may or may not be true. That alleged claim has spawned a classic paranoid reaction, with some 30 state governors seeking to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States. Those governors apparently worry that there will be sleeper agents who will commit the same heinous crimes here that they did in Paris.

Anyone capable of rationally assessing risks might recognize that Syrian refugees who are permitted to emigrate to the united States are thoroughly, systematically checked by zealous Homeland Security before being permitted to re-settle here. Compare those persons with a Syrian refugee settled in, say, Germany, who can board a jet and be in the United States with absolutely no screening at all. Which might present the greater risk? Of the population of Syrian refugees seeking admission to the United States, only two percent are of combat age; the majority are children.

By count of instances of terrorism, it’s our homegrown folks who have committed the most terrorism. Think of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who committed the Oklahoma City bombing, killing 168 people – more than were killed in Paris. Think of Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski the “Unabomber,” who between 1978 and 1995, engaged in a nationwide bombing campaign against people involved with modern technology, planting or mailing numerous homemade bombs, ultimately killing a total of three people and injuring 23 others. The left wing anarchists of the late 1960s – the S.D.S., the Black Panthers, the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army – were all home-grown American terrorists. The disaffected lunatic fringe may present a far greater threat to American safety than sleeper agents of ISIS.

But, as Hofstadter would say, facts don’t matter. It’s paranoia. In this case, classic xenophobia. It’s irrational fear of folks who are different. It’s the utter inaability to perform a sensible risk assessment. And it is all magnified by unscrupulous politicians in an election year. It’s not new; it’s nearly as old as our country. But it is utterly disheartening behavior in a nation of immigrants.