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Republicans have a real choice: Between a loud-mouthed bully and two wingnuts

The thing is, one of the two men who may still have a good chance of becoming the Republican nominee is a scary character. His notions on foreign policy seem to boil down to the belief that America can bully everyone into doing its bidding, and that engaging in diplomacy is a sign of weakness. His ideas on domestic policy are deeply ignorant and irresponsible, and would be disastrous if put into effect.
However, the real topic is the fact that the clear Republican establishment choice, Marco Rubio, is just as much of a crank as Cruz and Trump, and not just for his dangerous ideas on foreign policy and civil liberties, but in the area that affects us all: economics.
You probably know that Mr. Rubio is proposing big tax cuts, and may know that among other things he proposes completely eliminating taxes on investment income — which would mean, for example, that Mitt Romney would end up owing precisely zero in federal taxes.
What you may not know is that Mr. Rubio’s tax cuts would be almost twice as big as George W. Bush’s as a percentage of gross domestic product — despite the fact that federal debt is much higher than it was 15 years ago, and Republicans have spent the Obama years warning incessantly that budget deficits will destroy America, any day now.
But not to worry: Mr. Rubio insists that his tax cuts would pay for themselves, by unleashing incredible economic growth. Never mind the complete absence of any evidence for this claim — in fact, the last two Democratic presidents, both of whom raised taxes on the rich, both presided over better private-sector job growth than Mr. Bush did (and that’s even if you leave out the catastrophe of Mr. Bush’s last year in office).
Rubio is also completely and stubbornly wrong about calling for a balanced-budget amendment, and on the topic of monetary policy. All in all, Rubio is peddling crank economics. And these are the economics of today's Republican establishment, which continues to pander to the big donors, and supply-side numbskulls that make up the party's elite. Rubio’s consolidation of establishment support isn’t a testament to his good sense.  In fact, it’s almost the opposite -- it's a reward for his willingness to echo party orthodoxy even when it’s nonsense.

Why Ted Cruz is the most dangerous Presidential candidate ever.

It has amazed me over recent months to see the media, and even many actual liberals treat Ted Cruz dismissively.  I have asked myself how that was possible?  Did people not realize that he was, by far, the most dangerous candidate for the future of the republic within which we live?

Several weeks ago, I realized that no, they didn’t — and I realized why.  The vast majority of people have little experience with Christian theology, even if they are church goers.  If a person has never been involved in evangelical Christianity they almost certainly do not understand the arcane divisions within the “Born Again” movement.  Why would a secular person, or a mainstream Protestant or Roman Catholic know what pre and post tribulational  theologies are?  Or what pre and post-millenialism are?  Why would they know what the even more esoteric sub-sub divisions (like the Seven Mountains Movement) are?  They wouldn’t.  Therein is a major problem.

There is a real possibility that if Donald Trump implodes, Ted Cruz could become the Republican nominee for president.  People know he represents the Religious Right, but most view that as a monolith. It is NOT a monolith at all however.  People know that he has some extreme views, but most people do not, in my opinion understand how extreme those views probably are.  Searching out enough facts to make a compelling case takes time, time that most people are not willing to spend on it, even if they are in the media.  Understanding the connections, making all the dotted lines make sense, that takes even more work, and it takes an understanding of evangelical Christian theology, and that is in particularly short supply in the media, where it is always easier to lump somewhat similar things in together, rather than try to understand the different parts.

This therefore is my effort to provide people with an understanding of what we have every reason to believe Ted Cruz’s theology is, and what that means.  I have divided what follows up into sections.  It is not short, but it is as short as I can make it and still reasonably treat a complex and very important subject.  So, initially I identify Ted Cruz’s religious identity as closely as is possible given what we know in a section on his faith; then I explain the theology of his likely faith subgroup in a section on Dominionist theology; then I point out the ramifications that we can logically draw from his involvement in that faith group and his statements regarding things like his faith in a section on ramifications.  Finally I include a reference set for those who want to delve more deeply into that particular subdivision of evangelical Christianity.  At the very end I provide a brief biographical note on myself, so that people understand something of my background and why I have a clear understanding of the theologies and faith groups involved in this.

Ted Cruz’s Faith

While Ted Cruz has avoided being too explicit about his faith, it is very reasonable to assume that he is a Dominionist.  His father is a major Dominionist minister.  His father has said that Ted was anointed by other Dominionist ministers from something called the “Seven Mountains Movement” with holy oil as one of the sacred kings.  Ted has not denied this anointing.  Ted has spoken at meetings held by Kevin Swanson, an extremist Dominionist leader who advocates openly for gay people to be executed for the good of America and touts  in writing the endorsement of Philip “Flip” Benham, another apparent Dominionist who considers all Unitarians, Homosexuals and Muslims to be “of” the devil, as well as the endorsement of the Reverend Mike Bickle.  Ted has also used the exact wording of the Seven Mountains Movement’s statement on the seven spheres that Christians must take control of — without ever referencing them directly by name.

Perhaps most importantly, Ted has publicly said that he is Christian first, American second, Republican third.  (…  ).  This is the opposite of JFK’s famous speech explaining that he would not take orders from the Pope or Church hierarchy in his faith.  This is Cruz rushing to affirm that he WILL govern in exactly accord with his theology, not with the Constitution and Bill of Rights, if elected.

Dominionist Theology

So, assuming that all the evidence is correct and Cruz is a Dominionist Christian, what is that theology by which he will govern?

Dominionism, also called Christian Reconstructionism is, simply put,  the belief that Christians must take over the planet, and only then can/will Christ return.  It is the duty of the Church to take power, and use that power to establish “biblical law” across the globe over time. 

RJ Rushdoony founded the movement, in its original form, founding the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965, publishing the Journal of Christian Reconstruction and later publishing  the book “Institutes of Biblical Law” (1973)  which greatly influenced the movement.  His son-in-law, Dr. Gary North became one of its leading proponents.

Over the years many Dominionists have asserted that in order to purify America, which they assert was meant to be a Christian nation, unbelievers must be suppressed, or in some cases, put to death. Influential Dominionists have called for all homosexuals, adulterers, blasphemers (those who use God’s name in vain) and various other groups to be put to death.  Further Dominionists are deeply involved in home-schooling and private Christian schools, believing that those will forward their agenda.

As Gary North (previously mentioned) said  "So let us be blunt about it, we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God." 

Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton went further yet.   "The Christian goal for the world," he explained " is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics."  

Ramifications of Cruz’s Faith if He Were President

Biblical Theocratic Republics — with the first one intended to be the United States.  I see no reason at all to believe that Ted Cruz is other than he appears to be, a Dominionist, or if you prefer a Reconstructionist.  His intentions, often masked, can easily be discerned by reading the writings and statements of people like those cited and are laid bare by his assertion that he is a Christian “first” and an American “second.”  He has, by his own tacit admission, no respect for American laws and Constitutional provisions that disagree with his particular group’s interpretation of the Faith.

A Cruz presidency would certainly reflect these beliefs.  He accepted anointing by a group of ministers from one of the most extreme wings of the movement, as a sacred king.  The king of politics.  A king, sacred or not in a democratic republic is an anomaly to start with, but it is, in my opinion, nothing compared to what you will see if he is elected president.  I do not believe that he intends to accept Constitutional limits on his powers (he has already implied that by saying that he will simply reverse gay marriage by his word after he is president) and I do not believe that he thinks he can be stopped if he wins office.

It will be a tumultuous and possibly disastrous time if he is allowed in the office, and it is up to us to make sure that no matter who the Democrat is, Ted Cruz never sees the inside of the White-house except as a guest.  It is not hyperbole at all to say that electing him to office is simply putting a Christian version of ISIS in charge of the most powerful military in the world.


House & Ice; Dominion Theology: Blessing or Curse? An Analysis of Christian Reconstructionism (1988)

Jeff Sharlet; The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2008)

Let's talk about President's and Supreme Court Justices' funerals

President Obama will not attend Justice Scalia's funeral and already the rightwing jackasses are braying about "disrespect."

Here are the facts -- I know, facts make rightwingers uncomfortable but they need to GTFOI:

Four out of the past seven funerals for a Supreme Court justice have either had the president or vice president in attendance. 

Former President George W. Bush attended the funeral for Chief Justice William Rehnquist. 

Former President Bill Clinton attended the funerals for former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and Justice William Brennan but did not attend the funerals for Justices Harry Blackmun or Lewis F. Powell Jr. 

Former Vice President Al Gore attended the funeral for Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Will wonders never cease?? Houston, TEXAS, livestock show and rodeo bans concealed and open-carry weapons.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has decided to ban open carry and concealed handguns from their events. Is it because they hate America?
"The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, in an effort to provide a safe environment and promote a family-friendly atmosphere at the city's iconic entertainment event, will prohibit concealed and open carry of handguns by private citizens at the 2016 Show," the organization said in a release Tuesday afternoon.
So far, open carry laws have been a bit of a hassle for everybody in the Lone Star State—whether it’s people with permits being asked for their permits in Walmart, or open carry advocates trying to terrorize people into seeing how safe being threatened with guns everywhere can be, open carry laws suck. This isn’t the first major Texas business to say get out of here with your guns.
A number of businesses – most notably the Houston Zoo – have stepped forward to say they will not allow the open carry of weapons on their grounds, however RodeoHouston's decision may be the biggest made so far involving a public event (especially an event that so vividly recalls  the gun-loving mystique and lore of the cowboy and American West).
People don’t feel safe knowing that a ton of people are getting drunk, watching rodeo and carrying guns because you know there are fights whenever big groups of people get together. It’s also guns. Just having guns anywhere en masse is a big issue. Like, let’s say, the doctor’s office. 

What do you bet this decision was made because of the cost of their liability insurance if they allowed guns all over the place?

President Obama does NOT have the right to appoint a replacement for Justice Scalia

Since the death of Justice Scalia, there's been a lot of noise coming from Democrats about how President Obama has "the right" to appoint a replacement.

No, he does not have that right.


DUTY.  OBLIGATION.  Not a right, but a DUTY.  And the Senate has a Constitutional duty to give his nominee a hearing.

Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution states:

(The President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
Got that?  The President SHALL appoint judges of the Supreme Court.  Not "will," not "may," not "unless he's a black man with 11 months left in office."  The President SHALL APPOINT.

Of course, the framers of the Constitution didn't anticipate divine intervention, nor did they anticipate a political party that has degenerated into a shrieking, evil, traitorous mob.

Someone call Senator Snowball.

Someone needs to call Senator Snowball and tell him about the The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe of southern Louisiana -- they have just been awarded $48 million to move from their homeland that is disappearing because of global warmed sea-level rise.
The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw just received $48 million to move off of their disappearing south Louisiana island. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in January that it had awarded the tribe $48 million to pay for a move, most likely farther north and inland, making them the first community of official climate refugees in the continental (lower 48) United States. The tribe wants to move as a group as they are rightfully concerned that a dispersal of their people would be the end of their tribe. 

The money awarded is part of $92 million provided to Louisiana as part of a National Disaster Resilience Competition the state had won. Note that the American taxpayer will foot the bill for the relocation. For some strange reason, the fossil fuel industry, who shares the bulk of the blame for climate induced catastrophes such as sea level rise, are never asked to contribute a dime.
The Isle de Jean Charles has been reduced from 11 miles long and five miles wide in the 1950s, to around a quarter-mile wide and two miles long today. The tribe’s disintegrating homelands have already displaced and scattered many families, and some of the funding will pay for homes to reestablish community.
“Now we’re getting a chance to reunite the family,” Naquin said. “They’re excited as well. Our culture is going to stay intact, [but] we’ve got to get the interest back in our youth.”
Chief Naquin expressed dismay that other communities are caught up in situations similar to theirs.
“Maybe we can be the model community to teach others,” he said.
The Chitimacha Indians (Sitimaxa-"people of the many waters") were the original inhabitants of Southern Louisiana. Circa 500 A.D, the Chitimacha began settling the bayous, where they lived in permanent villages in homes constructed of cane, wood and palmetto leaves.

The Chitimacha in this area lived along the Bayou Teche (a Chitimacha word meaning "snake"). Their legend has it that the bayou was formed when Chitimacha warriors battled a huge venomous serpent that terrorized the region. The snake was miles in length and as it twisted and writhed in death, it deepened the mud where it lay, forming the sinuous course of the bayou.

Like most Indian tribes, contact with Europeans put the tribe on the verge of extinction. In the mid-1800’s the Chitimacha obtained a governmental decree establishing title to 1,062 acres of land, but by the early 1900s there were only 260 acres remaining in tribal hands. If not for the help of Sarah McIlhenny (of the Tabasco family) in the early 1900’s, all of their land would have been stolen. The reservation today stands at 283 acres with a tribal population of 360 souls.
Beset by rising sea levels, communities on the Louisiana coast and offshore islands are constantly flooding, leaving the United Houma Nation and the Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha Choctaw struggling for dry land. These communities in southern Louisiana’s bayou region “are fighting a daily battle against the rising seawaters and disappearing land—a natural process which has been expedited over the last century by the dredging of tens of thousands of miles of wetlands for pipelines and navigation canals by oil and gas companies dating back to the 1930s,” the newswire Climate Progress reported in a January 22 story.
“Honestly, I think there’s maybe one or two generations more,” said Regee Dupree, executive director of the Terrebonne Parish Levee District, to Climate Progress. “It’s heartbreaking with the culture aspects but sooner or later, as a government official, you have to be realistic about how much you can spend per capita. All you can do is rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic right now.”

Another rightwing, Tea Party lie bites the dust: Fewer illegals are entering the country from Mexico, not more

Republican Presidential candidates continue to lie to us (nothing new there) about "illegal immigrants flooding over the border and President Obama is not doing a thing about it."

Turns out, they are lying to you.

Analysts See U.S. Border With Mexico As More Secure Than It's Been In 40 Years

While Donald Trump's recent position paper on immigration dominates headlines, a new study of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. digs into the latest numbers.

The Washington, D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute released "An Analysis of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States by Country and Region of Birth." It's based on U.S. Census Bureau data.

Some of the findings may not surprise you. Mexicans represent 6 million of the estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country, making up 56 percent of the total. An additional 1.6 million, or 15 percent, come from Central America. Asia (China, India, Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam and Pakistan) accounts for 1.5 million, or 14 percent, of the unauthorized population.

The report finds that this population doubled in the 1990s from 3.5 million to 7 million and it kept growing through the 2000s, peaking at about 12.2 million people in 2007. But illegal immigration has been declining since then. Researchers say there are about 1 million fewer unauthorized residents today than eight years ago, mostly among Mexicans.

"The outflow of unauthorized Mexicans since 2007 appears to be a function of the U.S. economic downturn, tougher U.S. immigration enforcement, especially at the border, a relatively strong Mexican economy during most of this period, and demographic changes resulting in fewer Mexicans entering the labor market," says Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the institute's U.S. Immigration Policy Program.

At the same time, there's been "a broader trend toward greater diversity in the overall U.S. foreign-born population," according to the report. The number of Central Americans and Asians tripled between 2000 and 2013, while the number of Africans doubled. Another unauthorized population growing at the fastest proportional rate of any national-origin group since 2000 is Indians.

The report also looks at the Obama administration's controversial program for children who were brought to the U.S. illegally. It's called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. About 1.2 million minors are immediately eligible for the program that grants them a work permit and relief from deportation. About 750,000 minors already have applied. The vast majority are from Mexico and Central America.

Finally, Rosenblum offers two more conclusions based on the data that are probably relevant to today's debate on illegal immigration. Southwestern border apprehensions have fallen 80 percent since 2000. In Rosenblum's view, "the U.S.-Mexico border is more secure than it's been in 40 years."
And what about the concern that a potential terrorist could enter the U.S. by illegally crossing the border? Rosenblum says there are a significant number of unauthorized Asian immigrants apprehended at the border.

But most security experts doubt that illegally crossing the border is a good way for a terrorist to enter the country. After all, "there's a high probability of being apprehended at the border," says Rosenblum. "About half of all border crossers are apprehended at least once."

Let's kill this Republican lie right now

Justice Scalia dies in his sleep at a Texas ranch.

A few questions:
1.  How long before the rightwing propaganda machine blames Obama?
2.  Did Cheney shoot him?

Here are a few scenarios.

Obama now gets to appoint a new Supreme Court justice.  Because the Senate must confirm the nominee, and because the Senate is controlled by Republicans, there will be a HUGE fight over Obama's appointee.

What happens if Obama doesn't appoint a new justice?  Obama leaves office, Hillary wins, Democrats take over the Senate, and Hillary appoints either Obama or Bill????  REPUBLICANS LOSE THEIR SHIT AND COMMIT MASS SUICIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or, think about this:  Obama resigns.  Biden becomes President.  Biden appoints Obama!!!!  REPUBLICANS LOSE THEIR SHIT AND COMMIT MASS SUICIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regardless of the outcome, THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR THE NATION!!!!!!

Ted Cruz's Senate buddies stick it to him while he's out campaigning

Source: The Hill

In Cruz's absence, Senate approves Obama nominees that Cruz had blocked.

The Senate approved the nominations of Azita Raji to be ambassador to Sweden, Samuel Heins to be an ambassador to Norway and John Estrada to be an ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Brian Egan to be a legal adviser to the State Department and Thomas Shannon to be an under secretary of State for political affairs by a voice vote.


Read more:

Clive Bundy -- crook, deadbeat, criminal -- is now in federal custody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cliven Bundy, the controversial Nevada rancher at the center of an armed standoff with federal officials in 2014, was arrested in Portland Wednesday, according to jail records and news reports.

He was reportedly on his way to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in isolated southeastern Oregon, where an armed occupation in its 41st day seemed to be coming to an end. The occupation had been organized by Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan, who are now in jail facing a felony charge of conspiracy to impede a federal officer.

You know, if you have a truckload of federal warrants outstanding for your arrest, and you step off an airplane into the waiting arms of a bevy of feds . . . .


And the goddam cops wonder why they are not universally loved and respected?

Cleveland officials take Tamir Rice’s family to court over $500 ‘last dying expense’

The city of Cleveland not only billed Tamir Rice’s family for medical service fees, it went so far as to file a creditor’s claim against them, Cleveland Scene reported on Wednesday.

City officials are charging the family $500 for “emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense under Ohio Revised Code,” according to a document filed in Cuyahoga County court on Wednesday.
Read more:

Tamir Rice was the 12-yr-old kid who was murdered by two Cleveland cops because he had a toy gun in his waistband.  They rendered no medical aid.  He was dead when the paramedics arrived.  And the cop who murdered him got off completely free.

And the cops wonder why we no longer look up to them.

Ted Cruz's latest fund-raising attempt demonstrates just how sleazy he is

In this article, Huffington Post describes a sleazy fund-raising tactic being used by the equally-sleazy Ted Cruz.  So this is what our politics has become.

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is out with a deceptive new mailer that masquerades as official government business and promises people there's a "check enclosed" when it's actually asking for money instead.

A New Jersey resident sent The Huffington Post the latest piece of mail he received from Cruz's campaign. The envelope appears to have come from Cruz's Senate office and has his name printed the same way it often is for Senate business. In small type the mailer clarifies that it is for "personal" matters and was not sent at taxpayers' expense. It also promises a check.
But the check inside -- which is made out to the Cruz campaign, not to the voter -- is fake. The accompanying letter promises that a "group of generous supporters" have promised to match donations received in response to the mailer.
The New Jersey voter who received the mailer and asked not to be named said the letter would be enough to "fool my mother-in-law."
Readers from about a dozen other states wrote in after this story was published to say they'd received the same mailer. It appears to have been sent out widely, to registered Democrats, Republicans and Independents. One man in Pennsylvania said his nine-year-old child received a copy of the letter addressed to him.
Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for the Cruz campaign, said the mailer "clearly indicates that the contribution is going to the Cruz for President campaign" and noted that "match-type fundraising mailers are common to both campaign and non-profit solicitations."
She pointed to other GOP mailers that are very similar. 
Cruz campaign
As the Iowa caucuses were underway, the Cruz campaign told voters that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race -- hoping his backers might instead support Cruz, who ultimately ended up winning. Carson did not drop out, and he and his supporters are still angry about the incident.
UPDATE: 2/8 -- The liberal group Progress Texas has filed a complaint with the Texas attorney general's office, arguing that Cruz's mailer violates a 2015 state law that says solicitations involving a fake check must have "clearly and conspicuously printed in at least 18-point type: 'SPECIMEN-NON-NEGOTIABLE.'" The Cruz campaign is headquartered in Texas.
"This is the kind of mail my legislation was trying to prevent," said state Rep. Gene Wu (D). "It certainly breaks the spirit of the law, and I agree that the Texas' Consumer Protection Division should look into whether or not it breaks the letter of the law, as well. Texas consumers should not be tricked into sending anyone their money, especially to elected officials."

It's about classified email on unclassified systems . . . no, not those classified emails . . .

State Department officials have determined that classified information was sent to the personal email accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the senior staff of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, NBC News has learned.

In an interview with NBC News, Powell challenged the conclusion, saying nothing that went to his personal account was secret. Rice did not initially respond to an interview request.


None of the messages were marked classified when originally sent, and none were determined to include information from the intelligence community, Linick said in the document.


Powell, who served as secretary from 2001 to 2005, said he used a personal email account because State's email system was slow and cumbersome. Powell is credited with modernizing State's computer infrastructure, which did not at the time allow each employee to have the internet at their desks.

Read more:

Quick!! Call the Wah-h-h-h-h-mbulance!! "Militia" terrorists don't want to be arrested!!!

Cry of the Militia: WAAAHHHH…But We Don’t Wanna Get Arrested!!

by Mike Ferner

As the macho, gun-toting, testosterone-addled cowboys who took over the wildlife refuge in Oregon call it quits, their pitiful whine can be heard all the way to Florida: “Waaahhh…but we don’t wanna get arrested…”

So much for the rugged-individualists and badass proponents of personal responsibility. Let’s see what happens as their armed insurrection winds down. How will the system treat the militant bullyboys?

Will they get pepper-sprayed in the face as did the college students peacefully sitting in a driveway at UC Davis during Occupy protests, or shot in the head with a police projectile as did Veterans For Peace member Scott Olson in Oakland?

Will they get two months in jail like Ed Kinane for stepping across a line at the School of the Americas; or six months in jail like grandmother Mary Anne Grady, for taking pictures of demonstrators outside the Reaper drone base in upstate NY; or a $20,000 fine like Kathy Kelly’s peace group, for taking medicine to people in Iraq before we invaded their country in 2003; or 10 years in prison for speaking out against the madness of World War One, like Eugene Debs;