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If Paul Ryan wants to change the way the House does business, he can start by disbanding the phony Benghazi Committee and Planned Parenthood Committee

Hopefully Paul Ryan enjoyed basking in the glow of his speakership swearing in, cuz it's over. Democrats promptly submitted their first request Thursday in the form of a letter from Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, reports Jennifer Bendery:
"While your predecessor assumed the speakership with promises of restoring the House 'as a place where the people’s will is done,' he leaves Congress saddled with two partisan committees that waste the taxpayer’s money and distract from the true business of running the country," Slaughter wrote. "You now have the chance for a fresh start." 
The Benghazi committee has spent nearly $5 million investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, despite seven previous congressional investigations into the incident finding no wrongdoing by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. [...]
"Dismantling this committee should be the easiest decision of your speakership, and would send a clear signal that the House is setting aside political distractions and getting back to work on behalf of the American people," Slaughter said.
She also skewered the Planned Parenthood committee as a partisan boondoggle designed to vilify the organization, which enjoys broad Democratic support.

Let's just say we're not convinced that Ryan's speakership will be much different from Boehner's, since he has already capitulated to the House crazies on immigration. Boehner did exactly the same at the outset of the year, which led to that crazy Homeland Security showdown.

Oh, and Senate Republicans plan to usher in glad tidings during the Holiday season with votes on repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Because the more things change in the GOP-led Congress, the more they stay the same.

Whine, whine, whine

On Wednesday night, 28 October 2015, the 2016 Republican Presidential wannabees held their thrid freak show -- oooopppssss!!!  meant to say "held their third debate."  Following the debate, a HUGE uproar swelled up from the candidates, the Republican National Committee, Fox, and many other rightwing nutjob sources.

And what was the uproar about?  Why, it was about the questioning of candidates during the debate.  The candidates and the RNC denounced "the liberal media" for the pointed questions asked of the candidates.

Meanwhile, a few days before the GOP freak show, Hillary Clinton sat in front of a Congressional committee FOR ELEVEN HOURS and answered every stupid, uninformed, silly question asked of her by Republican committee members.

What a contrast!!! 
  • Eleven GOP candidates stand on a stage for an hour, batting softballs after which they WHINE, WHINE, WHINE.
  • Hillary Clinton sits there, unruffled, unperturbed, calm for ELEVEN HOURS after which she thanks her supporters and staff, and leaves without a single whine or complaint.
No wonder the rightwingnutjobs are afraid of Hillary.


Former White House Chief of Staff identifies the point where the GOP turned irreversibly insane: Sarah Palin as VP nominee




William M. Daley makes some very salient points in this Washington Post article.


Here are a few of them:You can choose from a litany of insurrections, government shutdowns and other self-inflicted wounds. But this year’s carnival-like GOP presidential primary makes one event, in retrospect, stand out as a crucial turning point on the road to upheaval: the 2008 embrace of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat from the presidency. 

Palin’s blatant lack of competence and preparedness needs no belaboring. What’s critical is that substantive, serious Republican leaders either wouldn’t or couldn’t declare, before or after the election: “This is not what our party stands for. We can and must do better.”

Daley goes on to point out that by the end of the 2008 campaign many in the Republican party were relegated to defending  one of the dumbest people on the planet from criticism or from further media scrutiny.

After the election Palin actually ramped up the damage she had been doing to the Republican party:


Palin became a Fox News fixture, reinforcing the newly formed tea party’s “never compromise” demands. Bombast, not reason, reigned. Now the “settle for flash” aura of Palin’s candidacy looks like a warning that the party was prizing glib, red-meat rhetoric over reasoned solutions.

Palin, who back in those days still had great influence, helped to elect morons like Ted Cruz, and pave the way for disastrously unqualified folks such Christine O'Donnell and Todd Aikin.

Now those folks did not get elected but others such as Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Louie Gohmert did.


Now that tiger is devouring the GOP establishment. Party elders had hoped new presidential debate rules would give them greater control. But they are watching helplessly as Trump leads the pack and House Republicans engage in fratricide.

This is how Daley wraps up the article:   

This isn’t to heap new scorn on Palin. But let’s not diminish the recklessness of those who championed her vice presidential candidacy. It was well known that McCain, 72 at the time of his nomination, had undergone surgery for skin cancer. It wasn’t preposterous to think Palin could become president. 

Now Republicans ask Americans to give them full control of the government, adding the presidency to their House and Senate majorities. This comes as Trump and Carson consistently top the GOP polls. Republican leaders brought this on themselves. Trump calls Palin “a special person” he’d like in his Cabinet. That seems only fair, because he’s thriving in the same cynical value system that puts opportunistic soundbites above seriousness, preparedness and intellectual heft.

Amen to that.

 In 2009 one of the first books ever written about Palin was entitled  "Trailblazer." And as it turns out that title was prescient.  However, the trail that Palin blazed was toward the destruction of the very party that rescued her from anonymity in Alaska and made her a household name.

And as we see that name is now not only synonymous with ignorance and stupidity, it is also linked forever to the dumbing down and disintegration of the Grand Old Party.

In typcial rightwing, Tea Party fashion, Trey Gowdy whines and whines about how Hillary kicked his ass

Interesting whine from Rep. Trey Gowdy, still smarting over getting owned by Hillary Clinton during his Benghazi Committee inquisition last week.

CHUCK TODD: [...] It sounds like you may regret how you went about questioning Secretary Clinton, that maybe you should've done some of it off camera and only some of it on camera. What do over do you want?
TREY GOWDY:
Well, Chuck it was a voluntary interview. I didn't send the subpoena to Secretary Clinton. It was a voluntary interview, and she wanted it to be in public. I wrote a letter several months ago giving her an option. And she chose public. And that's well within her right.
I can just tell you that of the 50-some odd interviews we have done thus far, the vast majority of them have been private. And you don't see the bickering among the members of Congress and private interviews. You don't see any of that. So the venue that is most constructive--

So -- Gowdy says Hillary chose to testify in public thereby giving her a platform to kick GOP ass.  Trey Gowdy is a fool.  And a whiner.

Face it, Gowdy:  YOU GOT YOUR ASS KICKED BY A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just exactly how goddam stupid are the "Benghazi committee" Republicans??

It's clear from their questions that the Republicans on the "Benghazi committee" have no idea how the State Department -- or any other executive department -- works.

200 or so ambassadors around the world DO NOT SPEND THEIR TIME SENDING EMAILS TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE.  State Dept business is handled by official message traffic through official message channels, not via email.

The ignorance displayed by these GOP half-wits is stunning . . . and they think they are capable of governing??   This is what the goddam Tea Party has given us -- a Congress filled with imbeciles.


Fox cuts away from the "Benghazi hearings" while conservative pundits pronounce it a bust for the GOP . . . Hillary takes a victory lap!!

Today Rep. Trey Gowdy's ongoing Benghazi investigation finally, at long last, reached a much-planned for day of questioning Hillary Clinton. Some highlights and lowlights from the long, long day.
  • Chairman Trey Gowdy kicked things off with a speech denying that his investigation was political, which was necessary because his Republican colleagues of late keep bragging that his investigation has been political. Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings disagreed, and let Rep. Gowdy know that.
  • Much of the questioning, indeed, revolved around who was emailing Hillary Clinton and how often. Gowdy himself focused primarily on the emails Clinton friend Sid Blumenthal sent Hillary Clinton, emails that were frequently "unsolicited," and what the definition of "unsolicited" might be. This led to the unquestioned highlight of the hearing, a shouting match between Cummings and Gowdy when Cummings demanded a vote releasing the transcripts of Blumenthal's own testimony to the committee so that the public could see what, if anything, the committee obsession with Blumenthal was supposed to be based on. After a hastily called break, the committee returned to vote against releasing those transcripts on a party line vote, after which Gowdy continued questioning Clinton over those same Blumenthal emails.
  • A great deal of Republican committee questioning revolved around why Sid Blumenthal sent many emails to Hillary Clinton over the years and Ambassador Stevens sent relatively few. This was because, Clinton explained to multiple committee members, as a sitting ambassador Stevens had and used channels other than personal emails for State Department communication, as was policy. She testified that while Stevens was in regular contact with her staff, Stevens did not raise security concerns with them but instead directed security issues to the department's security officials.
  • And the Sid Blumenthal questions just wouldn't stop. Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo wanted to know why Sid Blumenthal had Hillary Clinton's personal cell phone number and had been to Hillary Clinton's house before and Ambassador Stevens did not and had not. A very, very patient Clinton again explained that as a sitting ambassador, Stevens not only had a 24-hour hotline with which to reach Clinton herself or other key members of the State Department if needed but confirmed that no, Ambassador Stevens had never visited her house.
  • After that, I have to say things on the Republican side broke down a bit, with Reps. Pompeo, Roskam and Jordan all getting shouty in the seventh and eighth hour (!) of testimony as they offered up theories on whether Clinton inflated the damage done by an anti-Muslim video that had caused regional protests and a particularly loathsome theory by Roskam that perhaps Clinton didn't want more security for Benghazi because it would ruin her pro-Libya "victory lap." The rest of the committee, frankly, seemed to charitably ignore each of them.
By 6pm-ish, Fox News had bailed from its live coverage of the hearings, which should summarize how the network thought things were going. REmember:  Is Hillary was floundering, Fox would have stayed with the hearing -- the fact that they cut away tells you she was kicking ass and taking names. The hearing however, would continue long after that, finally ending at 9pm after eleven marathon hours of testimony. Amazing.

The summary? There were a few speeches, there were a few shouty bits here and there offered up by Republican backbenchers perhaps looking for a bit more screen time, and there was indeed absolutely not one new fact or previously unknown revelation, or even the hint of one. Long before it even ended, even conservative pundits were declaring the hearing a bust.

Overheard in the hallway leading from the GOP cloakroom:  "That was a fucking embarassment!!  What the fuck did Gowdy think he was doing??  We just ensured she'll be elected President!!"

Texas is now North Korea


The unbelievable harassment of the largest healthcare provider for American women has been taken to a new low in Texas:

Texas sent agents to Planned Parenthood facilities on Thursday seeking documents, the group said, calling it a "politically motivated" move that comes on the heels of the state's Republican leaders barring it from receiving Medicaid money. 
Members of the Texas Office of the Inspector General made unannounced visits at Planned Parenthood health centers in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, staying in some cases for several hours and giving Planned Parenthood 24 hours to deliver thousands of pages of documents stored at its facilities across the state, the organization said.
Some of the information they were seeking is both bizarre and possibly dangerous for Planned Parenthood employees. From Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region Chief Executive Officer Ken Lambrecht:
Lambrecht said Texas had requested what Planned Parenthood sees as unnecessary information such as the home addresses of all its employees as well as their salaries and bonuses.
Earlier in the week, Texas cut off funds for Planned Parenthood, despite no evidence of wrongdoing:
"It is completely outrageous that Texas officials are using these thoroughly discredited, fraudulent videos to cut women off from preventive health care, including cancer screenings, HIV testing, and birth control," Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. 
"We will fight back against this outrageous, malicious, political attack in Texas with everything we've got, and we will protect women's access to the health care they need and deserve."
Hats off, Texas! You've taken this whole war on women to a whole new level.

UPDATE:  Houston sources are reporting the Texas Gestapo are asking for patient records.

Republicans on the "Benghazi Committee" are being made fools of and they don't even know it

The most gripping part of the first three-and-a-half hours of Hillary Clinton's testimony to the Benghazi committee came when the ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, challenged GOP committee chairman Trey Gowdy to do a very simple thing: release the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal's Benghazi testimony to the public.

Cummings: "I move that we put into the record the entire transcript of Sidney Blumenthal—(if) we're going to release the emails, let's do the transcript. That way, the world can see it!"

Gowdy: "Well, we're not going to take that up at a hearing, we'll take up... (cross talk) Why is it that you only want Mr. Blumenthal's released?"

Cummings: "I want all of them released." (There's 54 in total.)

It goes on... dramatically. We still don't know exactly why the Republicans are so obsessed with Sidney Blumenthal and the fact that he sent some emails to Sec. Clinton related to Libya. But we can expect more Blumenthal in the second half of testimony today (because the first three-and-a-half hours weren't enough).

Here's what Elijah Cummings said on the Blumenthal fixation shortly after the committee broke for lunch: "I don't even understand it... this is a friend who would send her emails... I don't even understand what that's all about."

And MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on the first half of today's testimony: "The simple headline at the end of the three hours is, 'If this is all they have, they have nothing.'"

So -- GOP continues down the Blumenthal-Benghazi rabbit hole. Gowdy has already promised to return to it. And Cummings has now put him on the defensive by challenging him to release Blumethal's entire testimony. No word yet on why Gowdy hasn't already done that but he sure doesn't seem eager to do it.

Today's testimony by Hillary Clinton is the greatest advertisement for her election that could ever be devised.  She should thank the GOP for giving her a full day of free campaign ads!!!!

JESUSCHRISTONACRUTCH!!! Can the "Benghazi Republicans" get any more stupid??

Actual line of questions asked by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS).
  • Ambassador Stevens did not have your personal email address, we've established that. Did he have your cell phone number?
  • Did he have your fax number?
  • Did he have your home address?
  • Did he ever stop by your house?
  • Mr. Blumenthal had each of those and did each of those things.
Clinton's responses: Stevens had a 24-hour State Department hotline and could have reached her through that at any time if needed. He had the State Department fax number. No, he didn't have her home address and, that being the case, had not stopped by.

Pompeo clearly thinks the fact that Blumenthal had these pieces of information is some kind of ace in the hole. But Stevens was an employee of the massive government department Clinton headed. Blumenthal was a family friend of decades. Pompeo did not win this exchange, let's say.

But this is what Republicans have. Hillary Clinton's friend could communicate with her in ways that people who worked for her could not. So they're going to keep beating that dead horse.

Hillary Clinton did not have to destroy the Republicans on the "Benghazi Committee" -- they did that to themselves.

This full day of testimony by Hillary Clinton is a HUGE advertisement for her to be elected President -- she should thank the GOP for the free political advertising.


Here it is: The DEFINITIVE expose' of the GOP's "Benghazi" bullshit and how they are destroying our political system with it

Newsweek investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald has written a lengthy piece that exposes the pure bullshit, the evil, the obscenity that is the "Benghazi hearing" being held by House Republicans.

Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages


The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment—has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president. Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army. But the modern McCarthys of the Benghazi committee cannot perform this political theater on their own—they depend on reporters to aid in the attempts to use government for the purpose of destroying others with bogus “scoops” ladled out by members of Congress and their staffs. These journalists will almost certainly join the legions of shamed reporters of the McCarthy era as it becomes increasingly clear they are enablers of an obscene attempt to undermine the electoral process.

The consequences, however, are worse than the manipulation of the electoral process. By using Benghazi for political advantage, the Republicans have communicated to global militants that, through even limited attacks involving relatively few casualties, they can potentially influence the direction of American elections. The Republicans sent that same message after the Boston Marathon bombing, where they condemned Obama for failing to—illegally—send the American perpetrators to Guantánamo, among other things. They slammed the president because federal law enforcement agents read the failed underwear bomber his rights after they arrested him in 2009. Never mind that federal agents did the exact same thing under President George W. Bush when they arrested the failed shoe bomber years earlier. Republicans even lambasted Obama when he spoke about ISIS decapitating journalists, saying the president did not sound angry enough.

 Read the full article then DEMAND that your Congressperson call a halt to this lynching.


Here are a few exceprts.


But to fully understand how political this latest Benghazi investigation has become, look at the records. Since March, the committee has issued almost 30 press releases related to Clinton; only five have been put out on every other topic combined. Then there is the committee’s interim report from this past May. The word Obama—who cannot run for commander-in-chief again—is not mentioned. Neither is the word president. Or Ansar al-Sharia, the group suspected of engineering the attack. White House makes only 13 appearances. Imagine an investigation on 9/11 that did not mention Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or President Bush; that is what has been done with the Benghazi committee’s first public report.

It gets worse. The name Ahmed Abu Khatalla, the man arrested as the mastermind of the attack, shows up once. The word terrorist appears only 10 times. As for references to Clinton, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination? Those show up 36 times in just 13 pages, an astonishing number given that the word Benghazi appears only 38 times. But the winner for the most mentions is the 39 references to emails from Clinton and the State Department. Clinton and her emails are referenced 49 percent more than the location where the attack took place and 197 percent more than the word terrorist.

 ------------------------------------------------------

Worse still, Congress convened 22 hearings about the 9/11 attack that killed almost 3,000 citizens working in the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan; this week, Congress will be holding its 21st hearing about an attack that killed four people working in Libya, with many more sessions left to come. Do Republicans actually think that terrorists killing four agents of the government who willingly assumed the risks of residing in one of the most dangerous places in the world is more important than terrorists murdering 3,000 unsuspecting civilians who were working at their offices in New York City?

In fact, no previous assault on a diplomatic outpost has received this kind of relentless expression of congressional outrage. There weren’t investigations that were anything on this scale about the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 (63 killed), on the U.S. Embassy annex northeast of Beirut in 1984 (24 killed) or on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, in 2008 (18 killed). Republicans didn’t believe these exact same scenarios that took place under Republican presidents merited similar zeal to dig down to some unexposed, imaginary “truth.”

Memo to Congressional Republicans: Get yourselves a Speaker of the House; until then, fuck off.

Republicans are demanding changes to entitlement programs, a request that’s already been rejected by Democrats. Democrats want boosts in domestic spending without painful cuts, a nonstarter for the GOP. Meanwhile, there’s no House speaker scheduled to serve past October. [...] 
Congressional Republicans are trying to project confidence, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose “no shutdown, no debt default” vows are paramount to his party’s hopes of maintaining Senate control in 2016. But the Senate GOP has a major uphill battle: McConnell lacks a stable negotiating partner in the House and conservative forces in both chambers already are agitated about making sacrifices in any bipartisan compromise. But Democrats have flatly refused to entertain changes to Social Security or Medicare — a key demand for many congressional Republicans. [...]
Yep, a total nonstarter. And if that's where the "negotiations" begin and there's no course correction on the side of the GOP—which has its proverbial back against the wall—then that's where the negotiations should end.

Republicans are in the throes of an attack of The Crazy right now and they have no business starting off with a demand that's tantamount to blowing up the negotiations before they begin.

Hey GOP, go find a House speaker and get back to us.  Until then, go fuck yourselves.

Curt Gowdy lied -- he fabricated redactions in documents to make it appear Hillary Clinton revealed secret info. CIA told Gowdy he was lying but he kept it up.


Oct 18, 2015
Press Release
Cummings Calls on Gowdy to Apologize to Clinton

WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, sent a letter to Chairman Trey Gowdy to correct the public record after the CIA debunked Chairman Gowdy’s accusation that Secretary Clinton sent an email containing "some of the most protected information in our intelligence community, the release of which could jeopardize not only national security but human lives.”

The full letter is online here and as follows:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

On October 7, 2015, you sent me a 13-page letter making a grave new accusation against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Specifically, you accused her of compromising national security and endangering lives.

The problem with your accusation—as with so many others during this investigation—is that you failed to check your facts before you made it, and the CIA has now informed the Select Committee that you were wrong. I believe your accusations were irresponsible, and I believe you owe the Secretary an immediate apology.

It appears that your letter was rushed out to the press to counter the public firestorm caused by Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s stark admission that Republicans are using millions of taxpayer dollars to damage Secretary Clinton’s bid for president. However, your letter only provided further evidence of this fact.

In your letter on October 7, 2015, you stated that Secretary Clinton received an email from Sidney Blumenthal on March 18, 2011, that included the name of someone who purportedly provided information to the CIA. You asserted that this information was classified, arguing that Secretary Clinton “received classified information from Blumenthal—information she should have known was classified at the time she received it.” You then alleged:

Armed with that information, Secretary Clinton forwarded that email to a colleague—debunking her claim that she never sent any classified information from her private email address.

In your letter, you went to great lengths to highlight the gravity of your accusation, stating:

This information, the name of a human source, is some of the most protected information in our intelligence community, the release of which could jeopardize not only national security but human lives.

To further inflate your claim, you placed your own redactions over the name of the individual with the words, “redacted due to sources and methods.” To be clear, these redactions were not made, and these words were not added, by any agency of the federal government responsible for enforcing classification guidelines.

Predictably, commentators began repeating your accusations in even more extreme terms, suggesting in headlines for example that “Clinton Burns CIA Libya Contact.”

Contrary to your claims, the CIA yesterday informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified. Specifically, the CIA confirmed that “the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”

Unfortunately, you sent your letter on October 7 without checking first with the CIA. Now that we have done so, we have learned that your accusations were incorrect.

As a result of your actions, the State Department yesterday asked the Select Committee not to reveal the individual’s name publicly, not for classification reasons, but to protect the individual’s privacy and avoid bringing additional undue attention to this person.

Unfortunately, the standard operating procedure of this Select Committee has become to put out information publicly that is inaccurate and out of context in order to attack Secretary Clinton for political reasons. These repeated actions bring discredit on this investigation and undermine the integrity of the Select Committee and the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Elijah E. Cummings
Ranking Member

It's almost impossible to describe just how crazed, treasonous, and hate-filled the Republican Party is


We have hit a certain point with respect to the radicalism, stupidity, and destructiveness of the modern Republican party - combined with the seeming inability of close to 50% of the voting population to understand it - that we have created a sort of journalistic genre: the struggle to succinctly summarize the state of Republican craziness.

The most celebrated example from Mann and Ornstein:
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
Brian Beutler:
There’s nothing partisan or biased about saying that one of the two major political parties in the country is broken, unable to work within its main governing institution, liable to inflict severe economic damage on the country.
Andrew Sullivan:
When you see a political party that openly flaunts these attacks on the American constitutional balance and the country's credit for purely partisan reasons, you begin to see how deep the rot has gone. This is not a party worthy of any role in government. It's a destructive, self-interested faction, threatening the stability of this country's constitution and economy. . . . This anti-conservative radicalism is anti-American, uncivil and unpatriotic.  It must not be appeased. It has to be ended.
David Brooks:
Really, have we ever seen bumbling on this scale, people at once so cynical and so naïve, so willfully ignorant in using levers of power to produce some tangible if incremental good? These insurgents can’t even acknowledge democracy’s legitimacy — if you can’t persuade a majority of your colleagues, maybe you should accept their position. You might be wrong!
An up and coming writer:
"We are talking about a sustained, purposeful break with reality by one of two major political parties."
Paul Krugman:
It has long been obvious that the conventions of political reporting and political commentary make it almost impossible to say the obvious — namely, that one of our two major parties has gone off the deep end. Or as the political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it in their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” the G.O.P. has become an “insurgent outlier … unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science.” It’s a party that has no room for rational positions on many major issues. 
Or to put it another way, modern Republican politicians can’t be serious — not if they want to win primaries and have any future within the party. Crank economics, crank science, crank foreign policy are all necessary parts of a candidate’s resume.
Bruce Bartlett:
Frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is. They have descended from the realm of reasonableness that was the mark of conservatism. They dream of anarchy, of ending government.
David Frum:
The conservative shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology has ominous real-world consequences for American society. The American system of government can’t work if the two sides wage all-out war upon each other . . . . Yet in the interests of avoiding false evenhandedness, it must be admitted: The party with a stronger charge on its zapper right now, the party struggling with more self-­imposed obstacles to responsible governance, the party most in need of a course correction, is the Republican Party. Changing that party will be the fight of a political lifetime.
Steve Benen:
Under Republican leadership – or what passes for “leadership” in 2015 – the legislative branch has careened between hostage standoffs and self-imposed crises, over and over again, to the point that some have begun to see these ridiculous circumstances, never before seen in the American tradition, as the new normal.
Matt Taibbi:
In the elaborate con that is American electoral politics, the Republican voter has long been the easiest mark in the game, the biggest dope in the room. Everyone inside the Beltway knows this. The Republican voters themselves are the only ones who never saw it.
Thomas Friedman:
[T]he G.O.P. cut itself off from reality. It became a radical party, not a conservative one. And for the candidates to wrap themselves in a cartoon version of Ronald Reagan — a real conservative who raised taxes, including the gasoline tax, when he discovered his own cuts had gone too far — is fraudulent. . . . Would somebody please restore our second party? The country is starved for a grown-up debate.
Ta-Nehisi Coates:
The GOP is, effectively, the party of willfully unlettered Utopians. It is the party of choice for those who believe global warming is a hoax, that humans roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and that homosexuals should work harder at not being gay. . . . . 
This is who they are--the proud and ignorant. If you believe that if we still had segregation we wouldn't "have had all these problems," this is the movement for you. If you believe that your president is a Muslim sleeper agent, this is the movement for you. If you honor a flag raised explicitly to destroy this country then this is the movement for you. If you flirt with secession, even now, then this movement is for you. If you are a "Real American" with no demonstrable interest in "Real America" then, by God, this movement of alchemists and creationists, of anti-science and hair tonic, is for you.
It is going to be awfully hard to say that we weren't warned. . . .

Where is the outrage from you pro-life assholes?

Courtesy of Deadstate: 

Dale and Shannon Hickman don’t believe in doctors. Because of this religious conviction, set forth by the cult the couple belongs to, Oregon City’s Followers of Christ Church, the Hickman's let their premature infant die after being being born at home rather than seek medical help. As a result of this decision, the couple was convicted of manslaughter in 2011. 

The child, named David Hickman, weighed just 3 lbs, 7 ounces at birth. His tragically short life was only 9 hours long. According to reports, the Hickman's went to Shannon’s mother for help when she began having contractions more than two months prior to her due date. The couple says they didn’t notice anything was wrong with the baby until just minutes prior to his death — a claim which an expert on this subject has called a lie. Instead of calling a hospital like most rational people, they prayed over the dying baby and “anointed” his head with oil. 

Both halves of the Hickman couple will spend a minimum of 6 years and 3 months in prison for their actions, which is light, considering the fact that their child lost his life over their idiotic beliefs. The judge in the case, Robert Herndon, called one of the cult’s midwives “one of the most dangerous people in Oregon.”

Okay so here's my question.

Where is the outrage from the "pro-life" community over this?

After all this is not a fetus, this is an actual child, born into the world, and denied a life due to the superstitious beliefs and ignorance of his parents.

You would think this would anger them and yet not a peep.  Of course, we shouldn't expect any reaction from the "pro-life" people -- they aren't pro-life, they are "pro-birth" -- they don't give a damn about the infant after she/he is born.



US budget deficit at lowest point in eight years -- would be even lower if GOP had not opposed every single Obama initiative

WASHINGTON—The U.S. budget deficit in 2015 fell to its lowest level in eight years, spurred by gains in tax revenue that outpaced greater government spending.  ( Hmmm.  "Lowest level in eight years."  And who has been President for the past eight years???)
The Treasury Department said Thursday that the deficit in the just-completed 2015 budget year fell to $439 billion from $483 billion in 2014. It is equal to 2.5 percent of the economy, the smallest proportion since 2007, and below the average of the past 40 years.
The latest figures coincide with intensifying budget battles in Washington. Congress and the White House face an early November deadline to raise the nation’s borrowing limit. Lawmakers are seeking a separate agreement with the Obama administration on a budget to keep the government open past a Dec. 11 deadline.

The past few years’ dwindling budget gaps are a sharp contrast to the ballooning deficits that emerged during the Great Recession. Government spending surged and tax revenue sank as 9 million Americans lost jobs, the number of people relying on unemployment benefits and other social programs soared and banks and automakers needed bailouts.

Those trends raised annual deficits above $1 trillion for the first four years of Obama’s presidency. In 2009, the deficit equaled nearly 10 percent of the economy, the largest proportion since World War II.
Since then, a slowly improving economy and annual spending caps agreed to in a 2011 budget deal have steadily reduced the deficit. It has declined for six straight years when measured as a percentage of the economy.

Roughly 2.8 million jobs were added in the 12 months that ended in September. Corporate profits also rose, boosting the government’s tax receipts.

Revenue rose 8 percent in 2015 to $3.25 trillion and spending 5 percent to $3.69 trillion.

Americans paid 6 percent more in income and Social Security taxes in 2015 compared with a year earlier. Corporate tax receipts rose 7.2 percent.

Health care programs drove some of the largest increases in spending. Medicaid, which pays for health services for the poor, reported expenses of $350 billion, 16 percent higher than in 2014. Much of that increase was attributable to greater enrollments under the Obama administration’s health care reforms.

Education spending jumped $30 billion, or 51 percent, driven by an increase in the financing of student loans.

Earlier Thursday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Congress that the government would bump up against its $18.1 trillion borrowing limit by Nov. 3, two days before an earlier estimate.
Lew’s warning comes as closely held talks on the budget have yielded little evidence of progress. Some Republicans hope to win concessions in exchange for an increase in the debt limit, a prospect that is considered unlikely.

This is what happens when you put Republicans in charge. And -- the rest of the nation is headed in the same direction as SC -- COLLAPSE!!

This is what happens when Republicans run the joint.

South Carolina depends almost entirely on its gas tax to fund highway maintenance, and it hasn't raised its gas tax since 1987. Even before the floods, 20 percent of the state's 8,300 bridges were rated structurally deficient or structurally obsolete, and a road advocacy group made up of business leaders estimated it would take $500 million extra a year just to patch the pothole-dotted roads that shake vehicles as they drive over them.
So what happens when you neglect your basic infrastructure?
South Carolina Department of Transportation worker Radames Zambrana was at a bridge Wednesday where flood waters washed out the support underneath. He was getting ready to request big barricades be put up instead of the small traffic cones to make sure no one drove on the intact pavement, supported by almost nothing. 
"I'm seeing this everywhere," Zambrana said, pointing at the gaping hole under the bridge where soil was washed away.
About 260 roads and 150 bridges remained closed Wednesday, many of them washed out, according to the Transportation Department.
Pshaw. Who needs roads or bridges anyway? But at least they're taking care of core necessities like drinking water, right? Nah, not that either, as you can see below the fold.
Drinking water supplies, too, have gone wanting. Some customers have sued the state's capital and largest city, Columbia, for diverting water system profits to pay for economic development projects even though the Environmental Protection Agency had ordered $700 million in fixes to the aging system. 
Now the city is using giant sandbags dropped by National Guard helicopters to try to plug a canal breach that threatens its entire water supply. It's also scrambling to repair a slew of water main breaks that left tens of thousands of customers with empty taps.
Of course, South Carolina's congressional delegation is now begging the rest of the country to bail it out. Funny, considering that both its senators and five out of six of its congresspeople voted against Hurricane Sandy aid. (One guess as to what parties those members belonged to.) But asshole Republicans don't have a problem with such hypocrisy, and they certainly don't have any problem running a state into the ground.




Fact Sheet and video: Gowdy's "Benghazi Committee" has nothing to do with Benghazi



How the Benghazi Committee Targeted Hillary Clinton
Gowdy Cancelled All Planned Hearings Other Than Hillary Clinton’s After NYT Email Story
  • Before the New York Times broke its story on March 2 about Hillary’s Clinton’s emails, Gowdy had sent to Committee Members an investigative plan that set out monthly hearings  with all the different agencies involved in preparing for and responding to the attacks in Benghazi, including the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Intelligence Community.
  • After the New York Times’ email story broke on March 2, however, Gowdy completely abandoned this plan and began focusing almost exclusively on Hillary Clinton.  
  • Since then, Gowdy has not held any of the hearings on his schedule, and his upcoming hearing with Hillary Clinton is the only hearing now scheduled.
  • For example, Gowdy abandoned the hearing he had planned for April with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary Leon Panetta.
  • The Committee has never held even one public hearing with anyone from the Department of Defense.  The Committee has held only one hearing with an intelligence official, but it was with the CIA’s head of Legislative Affairs regarding the status of document production.
Gowdy Dropped Key Interviews with Top Defense and Intelligence Leaders
  • Gowdy also abandoned plans he had made in February to start conducting interviews of the following top defense and intelligence leaders in April:  former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former CIA Director David Petraeus, General Martin Dempsey, and former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matt Olsen.
  • He never invited any of these defense or intelligence leaders for interviews.  
  • Gowdy then announced that he planned to start conducting the following interviews in June:  former Defense Secretary Panetta, General Martin Dempsey, and General Carter Ham.
  • Those interviews were also abandoned.
Gowdy Scheduled New Interviews and Depositions of Hillary Clinton’s Associates 
Gowdy Stepped Up Aggressive Press Campaign Against Hillary Clinton
  • Since March, Gowdy’s press releases have focused almost entirely on Secretary Clinton.
  • Over the past nine months, he has issued 22 press releases related to Secretary Clinton (including one on Sidney Blumenthal’s emails with Clinton), but only 5 press releases on any other topic during that period.
  • Of the 5 non-Clinton press releases, three (1, 2, 3) are about the State Department’s compliance with document production, one marks the anniversary of 9/11, and one is Gowdy’s interim progress report.
  • The only documents Gowdy has publicly released over the past 17 months were Clinton’s emails with Sidney Blumenthal, and Gowdy did this unilaterally with no debate or vote by the Select Committee.
  • At the same time, he has blocked the public release of Blumenthal’s deposition transcript, which would reveal all the questions Republicans asked about Hillary Clinton and other issues that have nothing to do with Benghazi.
  • Almost immediately after the interview with Cheryl Mills, Republicans began leaking inaccurate information to damage Clinton with unsubstantiated or previously debunked allegations, while refusing to release the complete transcript.
  • Gowdy refused to investigate or condemn a leak that made more unsubstantiated allegations against Clinton despite the fact that Politico was forced to correct a front-page story that relied on apparently doctored information about an email produced to the Select Committee
Gowdy’s Taxpayer-Funded Political Campaign Against Clinton

The video is even more damning.



I'm going to the grocery store . . . need more popcorn.




The REAL reason McCarthy dropped out? Because he was screwing another House Republican and he didn't want the affair to become public.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, CA) tossed a stink bomb into the House Republican caucus today when he dropped out of the race for Speaker.  While there was all sort of speculation about why he dropped out when he was the favorite, the reason is simple:  McCarthy has been screwing another Republican -- NC Rep. (R) Renee Ellmers -- since shortly after the two arrived in Congress and he didn't want the affair to be revealed.




McCarthy is married with two children.

Elmers is married with one child.

Typical Republicans -- preach "family values" for everyone else.


UPDATE, 9 October


Well, well -- whadda ya' know -- looks as though it was common knowledge on Capitol Hill that McCarthy was banging the lady from NC.

From Salom.com: 


Minutes after the Kevin McCarthy left a hurried press conference announcing his unexpected departure from the race to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House on Thursday, Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson asked his Republican colleagues about an ominous note sent to the GOP House caucus, urging candidates to drop out if “there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself.”

North Carolina Republican and 20-year veteran of the House Walter Jones wrote a letter on Tuesday calling on any candidate for leadership to “withdraw” if such unspecified “misdeeds” could cause further distrust of Republicans among the American electorate.

“With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I am asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones wrote in a letter to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the Republican conference.

Jones was of course referring to the tumult that engulfed House Republicans nearly 20 years ago when then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich was forced to resign after revealing an affair with a Congressional aide only to be followed up with the sudden resignation of the unanimously elected Bob Livingston just as his own extramarital affair had been revealed by Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine fame.

Considering that House Republicans were simultaneously attempting to impeach President Bill Clinton, the entire Republican conference came under immense public scrutiny before finally settling on Dennis Hastert as speaker. Hastert has since been indicted on illegal payments to cover up sexual misconduct.

Scribbled in Jones’ handwriting at the bottom of the letter read, “I believe this question is important to the integrity of the House.”

That same day, the Texas delegation of House Republicans met with McCarthy about the letter.
“They said, ‘Do not let me support you and find out later once we elect you, you did” commit a misdeed, said one senior Texas lawmaker who was in the meeting.  “I was satisfied with Kevin’s answer,” one source told The Hill.

Then on Thursday morning, a Chicago-based GOP donor and known gadfly, Steve Baer, sent an email to at least eight GOP lawmakers, including the personal account of Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, another female Western lawmaker, the wife of one GOP Rep. and Kevin McCarthy, threatening to expose an alleged affair.

“Kevin, why not resign like Bob Livingston?” the email’s subject line read. From the Huffington Post:

In the email, Baer linked to a Washington Examiner story published earlier Thursday with the headline: “Specter of sex scandal injected into GOP leadership race.” The article referenced Jones’ letter in the context of Speaker-elect Bob Livingston abruptly resigning in 1998 following a sex scandal.

Baer urged McCarthy to spare his family and congressional colleagues the ordeal of the allegations being raised, and suggested that concealing an affair would be a national security risk because of the possibility of extortion.

Few news organizations have touched the affair allegations, beyond the Drudge Report and conservative media. Charles Johnson, the conservative provocateur behind GotNews.com,reported them back in January. (Johnson, who is currently banned from Twitter, took a victory lap Thursday on Facebook.)

The rumors gained more traction in the last week in conservative circles, perhaps partly due to Baer’s multiple emails over that time, sent to a string of high-powered Republicans.

RedState editor-in-chief and radio host Erick Erickson wrote Thursday that someone sent links to blog posts about the alleged affair a few days ago to 91 people, including members of Congress and “highly influential conservatives outside Congress.” Erickson added that “there’s no evidence of the rumor being true.”

McCarthy broke the news of his withdrawal to his Republican colleagues hours later, citing his inability to reach the 218 votes necessary to secure the speakership.


Speaking of a well-regulated militia




More guns, fewer children

While gunnuts like to tell us that more guns mean less crime (there is not one scintilla of evidence that this claim is true), the fact is MORE GUNS, FEWER CHILDREN.

---------------------------------------

An Ohio boy accidentally killed his brother after finding a loaded gun lying on a table during a target shooting outing.

The Carroll County sheriff said an 11-year-old boy picked up the gun from a picnic table about 5 p.m. Friday and accidentally fired the loaded weapon, reported the Canton Repository.

The shot struck 12-year-old Joseph Baily in the head, killing the boy.

------------------------------------------

An 11-year-old Tennessee boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an 8-year-old neighbor girl.

The Jefferson County sheriff said the boy, whose name has not been released, used his father’s 12-gauge single-shot shotgun to kill his next-door neighbor, McKayla Dyer.

The girl had been outside playing about 7:30 p.m. Saturday when the older boy asked to see her puppy, but she told him no, said Latasha Dyer, the girl’s mother.

She said the boy, who had bullied her daughter since moving to the mobile home park in White Pine, went home to get the shotgun and then shot her daughter in the chest.

“He was making fun of her, calling her names — just being mean to her,” Dyer said. “I had to go the principal about him, and he quit for a while, and then all of a sudden yesterday he shot her.”

The girl was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

We have two political parties and one of them is totally insane.

Esquire political blogger Charlie Pierce appeared on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss the shooting massacre at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Earlier President Obama was visibly exasperated as he discussed America's collective failure to effect better gun control.

"We collectively are answerable to those families who lose their loved ones because of our inaction," President Obama said. "When Americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make communities safer. When roads are unsafe, we fix them to reduce auto fatalities. We have seat belt laws because we know it saves lives. The notion that gun violence is somehow different, that our freedom, our Constitution prohibits any modest regulation of how we use a deadly weapon, when there are law-abiding gun owners all across the country who could hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations. Doesn't make sense."

It was evident that Obama was being nostalgic in talking about regulations that have been enacted in the past. None of them would stand a chance of being passed under the current intransigent congressional regime.

Charlie Pierce made that reality abundantly clear.

"I've been doing the politics blog only since the fall of 2011," Charlie Pierce said. "This I think is the fourth one of these I had to write about. I was struck by the last bit by the president, where he talked about other things where you react to. The fact remains we only allow ourselves two political parties in this country. And one of our political parties is completely insane. [emphasis added] It's the party that when we have mine disasters, blocks mine regulations. It's the party that says when we want to fix our roads, you can't have an infrastructure bill. You can't raise the gas tax. It's the party that when some people have floods, like New Jersey, marks Chris Christie lousy because he accepted help from the federal government. And we have the same party who has somewhere between three and 600 people running for president, none of whom will do anything about the problem of mass shootings in America."

In an irony of ironies, the sheriff of the county where the massacre occurred, Douglas County, wrote a defiant letter to Vice President Biden after the Sandy Hook school massacre stating he would obey no gun control laws he deemed unconstitutional. When will Americans snap?

Virginia's economy until the Civil War was based on BREEDING AND SELLING SLAVES.

How much do modern Americans really know about slavery in colonial America? In the genocide of Native Americans? In the War of Independence or the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights? Or afterward for decades until the Civil War? Chances are, not very much. Not that slaves, for example, were money in the antebellum South—currency and credit—which led to the enforced, systematic break-up of black families in generation after generation. There was no national currency, and little silver or gold, but there was paper tied to slaves bought on credit whose offspring were seen as a dividend that grew over time.

That’s just one of the riveting and revolting details from a new book, The American Slave Coast: A History of The Slave Breeding Industry, by Ned and Constance Sublette. They trace other telling details that are not found in traditional American history books, where slavery is usually described as an amoral but cheap labor system. For example, have you read about the rivalry between Virginia and South Carolina, which had competing slave economies?

Virginia was the epicenter of a slave breeding industry, in which enslaved women were expected to be constantly pregnant, were sold off if they didn’t produce children, and sometimes were force-mated to achieve that end. The offspring were sold to newer settlers and those migrating west. Charleston, South Carolina, in contrast, was colonial America’s slave importing and exporting port. In the late seventeenth century, Carolina exported captured native Americans as slaves to Caribbean plantation islands, gradually replacing them with imported laborers. As the South was emptied of native Americans and American plantations grew, South Carolina became the major slave importer in the colonies and in the early republic. Virginia eventually won out when Congress, at President Thomas Jefferson’s urging, banned slave importation as of January 1, 1808—protectionism, say the Sublettes, for Virginia’s slave-breeding industry, and sold to the public as protection against the alleged terrorism of “French negroes” from Haiti. After that, a new interstate slave trade grew, propelled by territories and new states that wanted slavery, and by the breeders who wanted new markets. Thus, the slave-breeding economy spread south and west, driving the expansion of the U.S. into new territories.

Slavery, as the Sublettes describe it, wasn’t a sidebar to early American history and a new nation’s growth. It was front and center—protected by law and prejudice, custom and greed. The enslaved were unloaded, sold, and taken (women’s necks tied with rope, men’s necks put in chains) via major roads, steamboats, and passing through cities and villages to their destination. Newspapers, owned by Benjamin Franklin, sold advertising for buying and selling slaves. All of this unfolded in full sight, with prosperous settlers assuming that slaves were a necessity for daily living and accumulating wealth. For generations, the property value of slaves was the largest asset in America.

The authors, Ned and Constance Sublette, are not traditional scholars, but gifted cultural historians. Ned Sublette, who was born in Lubbock, Texas, and lived in Natchitoches, Louisiana as a boy, was trained as a musician and created the record company Qbadisc  in the 1990s—featuring top Cuban artists long before Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club. His book Cuba and Its Music is considered by many to be the most authoritative on the island’s unique mix of African and European traditions and musical heritage. He realized that the conditions of different forms of slavery—French, Spanish, American—accounted for key differences between Afro-Latin and African-American culture. His second book, The World That Made New Orleans, deconstructs how successive waves of slave importation, under Spanish, French and then American rule, created that city’s music. But throughout his research, working with his wife, Constance, the Sublettes realized that the history of slavery—especially its most vicious form that took hold in North America—was largely untold, unknown, and explained much about the violence, racism and exploitation that is at the core of U.S. history. The American Slave Coast is the result of 15 years of inquiry.

It’s an epic volume—668 pages before footnotes and citations—and a lot to digest. But if Americans are ever to come to terms with the anti-black violence that endures today, it is necessary to understand the roots of an economy and culture that has needed and feared Africans. For example, take Jefferson and America’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Most Americans know that slaves had no rights. Or they know that the slave-owning Jefferson cynically wrote, “All men are created equal” in the Declaration, and owned slaves and had several slave children. But they probably don’t realize how the Constitution and Bill of Rights enshrined into law an economic system where the major form of property was slaves, and created a government to protect the wealth of that system’s upper class.

Today’s right-wing fetish about the Constitution’s perfection ignores input by prominent Virginians and Carolinians, including many signers of the Declaration of Independence, to protect slave property. As their book points out, the gun-toting militias sanctioned by the Second Amendment were a guarantee that slave owners could hunt and kill escaped slaves and Native Americans. The Sublettes stunningly trace how fear (of slave revolts) and self-interest (protecting slave-tied wealth) played a major role in framing America’s founding documents. But they go further and demonstrate why Jefferson is the founding theorist of white supremacy in America.

It’s not just that Jefferson owned slaves, including his own children who were 7/8ths white. Nor was it his letters with the leading men of his day—like George Washington—explaining how owning slaves was better than other investments. Nor was it his ugly and racist description of blacks in Notes From The State of Virginia, where in the 1780s he wrote, “Their griefs are transient. Those numberless afflictions… are less felt, and sooner forgotten with them. In general, their existence appears to participate more of sensation than reflection.” Mostly, it was Jefferson’s lifelong belief that slaves could not be freed but had to be deported en masse, because sizeable numbers of ex-slaves would take up arms and annihilate slave-owning whites. These prejudices, fears and draconian remedies reverberate today—such as Donald Trump’s bid to deport 11 million migrants.

The American Slave Coast starts with the horrible truth that America—unlike the French and Spanish colonies in the Caribbean—was a slave-breeding society from colonial times through emancipation. There was no path to freedom for slaves, because, say the Sublettes, “no escape from the asset column could be permitted.” Black families were intentionally broken up as part of creating an economic system for a new nation. As Ned Sublette said, “Writing this book revolutionized our understanding of our history.” Constance Sublette adds, “No matter how bad you thought slavery was, it was worse than that.”

As House Republican Civil War reaches boiling point, Kevin McCarthy finds himself stammering, stuttering -- typical rightwinger -- has his head up his ass

Between Kevin McCarthy's disastrous loose lips and the numerous looming crises facing him in the House, his would-be speakership is off to a really bad start. Now the less crazy Republicans are piling on to the fun, threatening to create what could be a major Republican-on-Republican fight.

Supporters of the Export-Import Bank have secured enough Republican support to bring an extension of the agency's charter to the House floor later this month, according to sources involved in the whipping. 
More than 30 Republicans have signed on to a discharge petition, which would force a vote on reauthorizing the government-backed credit agency. Republicans expect at least a dozen more supporters. The vast majority of Democrats are expected to sign the discharge petition, a rarely invoked procedural maneuver that sidesteps the committee process.
If the numbers hold, there is nothing the GOP leadership could do to stop a vote on an extension.
Discharge petitions are almost always just attempted by the minority. If enough members sign it—218, the number needed to pass any legislation—then a bill that's being held up or ignored by the committee it's been referred to can be yanked out of committee and sent directly to the floor. Current Speaker John Boehner has supported the renewal of Ex-Im, but he's also allowed the extremists in the conference to have the upper hand and to hold most committees. So that's where stuff that normal people think should maybe a policy thing to consider goes to die.

For her part, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is happy to work with disgruntled Republicans to stoke what would be a big ol' GOP fight. "We’ll have an overwhelming vote if they bring the bill to the floor," she said, "but we want to see what number they have. I'm excited about it. If the Republicans have enough people on their discharge position then we will join in and go from there."

It's just one issue, a big ol' corporate one at that, but if the less-crazy Republicans decide they want to wrest some control of their destiny from the extremist and do it with the help of Democrats, well, fun times ahead for Mr. McCarthy.

Today might have been different if Oregon allowed guns on campus.

OH, wait a minute -- OREGON DOES NOT BAN GUNS ON CAMPUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the REAL Planned Parenthood numbers

As we all know, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (LYING DOG, UT), displayed a phony chart during the attempted lynching of Planned Parenthood Director Cecile Richards.  The chart alleged that abortions performed by PP skyrocketed while other services dropped dramatically.

Chaffetz's chart was bullshit and I won't show it here.

IN FACT, this chart shows PP services for the period 2006 through 2013.  I'll post 2014 and 2015 numbers as they come available.


Chaffetz is a Republican and a Tea Party favorite.  Who do these people feel compelled to lie about EVERYTHING??

Planned Parenthood wins another one. In fact, they have never lost.

Courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune:  

A judge on Tuesday blocked an order issued by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to cut off federal money going to Planned Parenthood in the state after the release of secretly recorded videos by a California anti-abortion group. 

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups issued the temporary restraining order during a hearing, allowing the money to keep flowing while the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah seeks a longer-term injunction. 

Planned Parenthood sought the emergency order a day after suing Herbert. It said some programs would have expired Wednesday if the money was blocked. 

Herbert acted on his personal and political agenda when he cut off funding to the organization following the release of the videos, said Peggy Tomsic, a lawyer for the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

State by state, lawsuit by lawsuit, Republicans are getting their asses handed to them over their overreaction to those doctored videos.

It is just sad that Planned Parenthood has to waste time and money defending themselves against what is clearly a partisan attack inspired by phony videos that were proven false almost the moment they first appeared.