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It appears that Donald Trump's base -- the hate-filled Nazi white supremacists -- are firmly on board

Tt appears that Donald Trump's base, the white supremacists, are still firmly on board.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast: 

A Donald Trump rally in Harrisburg, Pa. last week brought out a large and varied crowd: teens in business suits, Republican members of Congress, and racist skinheads. 

Almost a dozen white men decked out in the regalia of a white supremacist group hung out toward the back of the Trump-loving crowd, cheering heartily at the mogul’s calls for stricter immigration enforcement and eyeing police as they dispatched protesters. 

The group is called Keystone United -- also known as the Keystone State Skinheads -- and it’s one of the better-organized state-level white supremacist franchises in the country. 

Its members sport tattoos of Norse symbols and shiny black jackets with patches displaying their logo, a white pit bull, and the letters KSS. They have a lot of trouble with the law. 

And they love Trump.

And why wouldn't they love Trump?

He is everything they could hope for in a leader, except for the little mustache, of course.

Remember folks, if you are not going to turn out and vote for Hillary Clinton in November, these are the people whose leader you will help elect. 

This is why Republicans are worse than bubonic plague

How bad are things for House Speaker Paul Ryan? This Politico (Politico!!!!) headline says it all: "Paul Ryan's House of woes: Almost six months into the job, the new speaker is struggling to advance an agenda." The story's pretty good, too.
Almost six months into the job, Ryan and his top lieutenants face questions about whether the Wisconsin Republican's tenure atop the House is any more effective than that of his predecessor, former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Ryan has flattered the House Freedom Caucus and pursued promises to empower rank-and-file Republicans with reforms to how the House operates — yet it's yielded little in the way of actual results.
Democrats are openly mocking their GOP counterparts, and Republicans grumble—in private so far—that nothing is getting done under Ryan. Like Boehner, Ryan is finding out that becoming speaker is easier than being speaker, at least in the still badly divided House GOP Conference.
What those Republicans are grumbling about is Ryan's continued courting of the maniacs in the Freedom Caucus. Says one of them, "I think Boehner would have listened to it for a little bit, given everybody a chance to chew on it and swallow it and spit it out, and then he would have just taken it to the damn floor." Which Boehner did time and time again, sometimes with disastrous results (government shutdown, anyone?). But he took those bills to the damn floor and did what had to happen to keep the trains running—work with Democrats.

This week, as Politico details, is a case in point of how badly Ryan is doing. The budget is dead. Puerto Rico could default on a nearly half-billion-dollar debt payment on May 1 without some help from Congress. The assistance bill hasn't even made it out of committee yet as a vote last week on it was cancelled because leadership can't marshall support. The water crisis in Flint drags on. But what is Paul Ryan's House doing this week? "GOP leaders set up a series of votes to bash the [IRS], including a bill to prevent the IRS from hiring new employees until it could certify no one working there owed back taxes."

Never mind all that stuff that has to happen this year, though!
"Since Speaker Ryan took the gavel six months ago, the House of Representatives has been very productive and members are excited to roll out our 'confident America' policy agenda for 2017," AshLee Strong, Ryan's spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Yup 2017, Baby, and the launch of the Paul Ryan 2020 campaign!

What's the problem? Let the dumbasses secede!!

Honestly, Texas Republicans should be proud if only 22 of their local conventions end up advocating for Texas secession.
A handful of Texas Republican district or county conventions in March passed resolutions calling for a vote on secession, paving the way for a potentially awkward debate at the state GOP conference in May.
A Nederland-based pro-independence activist group, the Texas Nationalist Movement, said at least 22 of the hundreds of conventions passed secession items.
This is the state party that's given us at least half of the most insane members of Congress this past decade, blessing America with everyone from Louie Gohmert to Steve Stockman and any number of other nutcases. The state recently graced America with the Worst President Ever, and ambitiously seeks to top that with a little number called Eduardo Rafael Cruz, a man whose claim to fame is the theory that we don't need a functioning federal gubbermint at all.

This is the state party that brought us the JADE HELM conspiracy theory, the notion that Barack Obama was sending American military troops to "take over" Texas and put it under ... American rule.

State Republicans should be breathing a sigh of relief that two dozen-ish of their state conventions didn’t pass resolutions declaring that Texas was already an independent nation.

Goldmann-Sachs finally admits what the rest of us knew: They defrauded us and caused the 2008 financial crash

Goldman Sachs Finally Admits it Defrauded Investors During the Financial Crisis

by Lucinda Shen - APRIL 11, 2016, 2:04 PM EDT

Goldman Sachs effectively admitted that it had knowingly misled investors to buy shoddy products.

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has agreed to a list of “facts” in addition to paying $5.1 billion to settle a lawsuit related to its handling of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the 2007 financial crisis, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

It’s a definite improvement on the DoJ settlements of a few years ago when Wall Street firms were able to get away with saying they “neither admit or deny the charges.” But it’s unlikely to quell critics that say the government hasn’t done enough to punish bankers in the wake of the financial crisis. Just like in past settlements, no individual bankers have been charged with wrong doing.

From 2005 to 2007, Goldman issued and underwrote many mortgages and securities that had been backed by residential loans borrowed by consumers with shoddy credit ratings. That helped tip the economy into recession after the housing bubble burst in 2007, leading to a tsunami of foreclosures and delinquencies. That caused billions of dollars in losses for investors. The settlement mentioned mortgage loans that had been originated by Countrywide, Fremont, and others. Countrywide was bought by Bank of America is early 2008. Fremont is no longer in business.

Goldman agreed to pay $2.39 billion in civil penalties, and another $1.8 billion in relief in the form of loan forgiveness and financing for affordable housing. An additional $875 million will be paid in cash to resolve claims from other federal and state entities.

“This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery in a statement....

Read more:

In Virginia, let's not forget that former Congressman Eric Cantor's wife as a VP at Goldmann-Sachs before she became chairman of the Virginia State Retirement System.  Which may explain why VRS investments are not performing well at all.

The demands for government "austerity" and "budget cuts" are all bullshit.

For decades now the rightwing in this country as well as in Europe has made a fetish of austerity, budget cuts, lower taxes.  It's all a load of bullshit.   The problem is not that taxes are too high, the problem is that the people with most of the money are screwing the rest of us.

The Sham of Austerity and the Storms to Come

. . .
It was recently revealed by way of a massive document leak that the wealthiest of the global wealthy have taken trillions of dollars and, through the services of a secretive Panamanian law firm, squirrelled that money away inside virtual coffee cans in tax havens all over the world. The "Panama Papers" scandal, as it has come to be called, has ensnared a large number of world leaders, and cost Iceland's prime minister his job.

Those 11 million pages contain the names of hundreds of Americans who also used the services of that Panamanian firm to hide their money. They are the focus of my rage, because they did what they did to avoid paying taxes. Taxes, which pay for the school my daughter will attend, the textbooks she will read, the teachers who will guide her, the roads that will carry her there, the police and fire departments that protect her, the public servants who will help her register to vote someday and who clear the roads when the storms turn white.

Meanwhile, the paid lackeys of these thieves run up and down the halls of Congress, and all over the media, shouting about how broke we are as a nation. Austerity, they cry, budget cuts, no food for poor children or assistance for poor families. Social Security and Medicare must be cut because that's the responsible thing to do. No support for wounded and traumatized veterans, but of course we can afford more war. We need education budget cuts, no infrastructure repair, no health care reform, because look, see, we're broke.

No, we aren't. We were robbed, and we can get that money back if we choose to act. This is a fiction we live in, cunningly crafted to cover the tracks of those who care only for themselves. Between the bloated "defense" budget and all that untaxed money lying offshore, we have the revenue required to address these pressing issues and chase the "austerity" argument off like a diseased cur.
. . . 

Thanks to President Obama . . .

Sudden influx of American tourists causes shortage of beer in Cuba.  

Thanks, President Obama.

So . . . American tourists flooding into Cuba, drinking all the beer.  

Just wait -- beer in Cuba is now around 50 US cents a bottle.  Soon it'll go to $1, then $3, then $5 . . . that's how the revolution ends and how Communism collapses.   We should have done this 50 years ago . . . bomb 'em with tourists, not bombs.

Senator Orrin Hatch: HIs expiration date is l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g past

So the debasement of the Party of Lincoln has come to this. While short-fingered Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump sought to reassure Americans by declaring "I guarantee there's no problem" with his schlong, his nearest GOP rival Ted Cruz (R-TX) nevertheless told all who would listen that "I have no desire to copulate with him."

But it shouldn't have taken these two newcomers to make Republicans feel embarrassed by their party and its 2016 nominating process. After all, many of the party's longest-serving legislators in Washington and shooting stars in the states have been at the forefront of the GOP's perpetual campaign of disinformation, denialism and unprecedented obstructionism. And in recent years, Utah's senior Senator Orrin Hatch has been pathetically prominent.

As a quick glance at his record shows, the 39-year Senate veteran is a fervent practitioner of the cartoonish nihilism that now passes as Republican orthodoxy. A supposed deficit hawk who has been advocating a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution since 1979, Hatch defended President Bush's unfunded $400 billion Medicare prescription drug plan because "it was standard practice not to pay for things." In 2010, Hatch promised a "holy war" to defeat the Obamacare bill he called unconstitutional despite having co-sponsored almost identical legislation in 1993 as an alternative to Bill Clinton's health care proposal. A supporter of stem cell research who voted to legalize the use of fetal tissue for that very purpose, Senator Hatch led the bogus Republican witch hunt into Planned Parenthood in 2015. A year ago, Hatch was one of 47 GOP Senators who signed a letter to the regime in Tehran warning Congress would block a nuclear deal despite his Iran-Contra defense of Ronald Reagan in which he proclaimed the President is the "the sole person to whom our Constitution gives the responsibility for conducting foreign relations."

Oh, and one other thing. Just days after asking President Obama to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court with a moderate like Merrick Garland, Orrin Hatch vowed to prevent any Senate confirmation hearings for him.

Now, it came as no surprise that Senator Hatch offered such kind words for Judge Garland. In 2010, Hatch called the DC Circuit jurist "a consensus nominee" and said there was "no question" he would earn bipartisan support if President Obama selected him to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
"I have no doubts that Garland would get a lot of (Senate) votes. And I will do my best to help him get them."
During Garland's 1997 confirmation process, Hatch was effusive in his praise. Noting that Merrick Garland was selected by President Clinton to replace Laurence Silberman on the DC Circuit (the same Laurence Silberman who voted to overturn the Iran-Contra conviction of Oliver North), Senator Hatch announced:
"I believe Mr. Garland is a fine nominee. I know him personally, I know of his integrity, I know of his legal ability, I know of his honesty, I know of his acumen, and he belongs on the court. I believe he is not only a fine nominee, but is as good as Republicans can expect from this administration. In fact, I would place him at the top of the list."
As Joan McCarter documented, Hatch had a stern warning for his Senate colleagues as well. "Playing politics with judges is unfair," he complained on March 1997, "and I am sick of it."
"I would like to see one person come to this floor and say one reason why Merrick Garland does not deserve this position."
Nineteen years later, Hatch himself offered a reason. Antonin Scalia was dead, and with Democrat Barack Obama in the White House, the current conservative Supreme Court majority would be dead, too. Despite the fact that no SCOTUS nominee had been denied a hearing since 1875 and the complete absence of any Senate norm dictating that Supreme Court nominees are not to be confirmed in an election year, Orrin Hatch took to the op-ed pages of the New York Times this week to pretend that a presidential term is only three years long.
Throughout his time in office, President Obama has demonstrated contempt for the constitutional principles that Justice Scalia sought to protect. Mr. Obama has proudly suggested that "empathy" for particular people and groups should motivate a judge's decisions -- a belief squarely at odds with the judicial oath to "administer justice without respect to persons." The president has appointed two Supreme Court justices and many lower court judges who have embraced the sort of judicial activism Justice Scalia spent his career seeking to curtail.
Of course, when Republican George W. Bush occupied the Oval Office, Orrin Hatch had a different view. As he put it on October 2007:
"Under the Constitution, the President has the primary appointment authority. We check that authority, but we may not hijack it. We may not use our role of advise and consent to undermine the President's authority to appoint judges. That is why, as I have argued on this floor many times, it is wrong to use the filibuster to defeat judicial nominees who have majority support, who would be confirmed if only we could vote up or down."
As ii turns out, Orrin Hatch's view of executive power to conduct the foreign policy of the United States is apparently also contingent on the President's party affiliation.
Take, for example, the recently concluded P5+1 Iranian nuclear deal. In March 2015, Hatch was among the 47 Republican Senators who took the unprecedented step of sending a letter to Tehran warning that it should view "any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei." As the Utah Senator explained in May after the Senate passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act of 2015:
"As the Obama administration continues to pursue a potential deal with this rogue regime, the American people remain justifiably skeptical. This legislation ensures Congress's right to oversee and--if necessary--reject any such agreement. With this new authority, I will continue to fight for enforceable and verifiable means of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon."
When Speaker John Boehner took the previously unimaginable step of inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, Senator Hatch was a full-throated supporter of the effort to sabotage the foreign policy of the sitting President of the United States. "Now more than ever," Hatch proclaimed on March 2, 2015, "Congress and the American people must stand with our Israeli allies to ensure the safety and security not only of our two nations, but the Middle East as a whole." It's no wonder, the Salt Lake Tribune crowed the next day, "Utah's Hatch earns prime seat for Netanyahu speech to Congress."

Of course, Mr. Hatch felt differently when President Ronald Reagan was negotiating with the terrorists in Tehran and sent them a cake, a Bible and American weapons.

The Iran-Contra scandal, as you'll recall, almost laid waste to the Reagan presidency. Desperate to free U.S. hostages held by Iranian proxies in Lebanon, President Reagan provided weapons Tehran badly needed in its long war with Saddam Hussein (who, of course, was backed by the United States). In a clumsy and illegal attempt to skirt U.S. law, the proceeds of those sales were then funneled to the contras fighting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. And as the New York Times recalled, Reagan's fiasco started with an emissary bearing gifts from the Gipper himself:
A retired Central Intelligence Agency official has confirmed to the Senate Intelligence Committee that on the secret mission to Teheran last May, Robert C. McFarlane and his party carried a Bible with a handwritten verse from President Reagan for Iranian leaders. According to a person who has read the committee's draft report, the retired C.I.A. official, George W. Cave, an Iran expert who was part of the mission, said the group had 10 falsified passports, believed to be Irish, and a key-shaped cake to symbolize the anticipated ''opening'' to Iran.
As revelations about the scandal began to emerge in the fall of 1986, President Reagan lied to the American people about his deal gone bad. In his nationally-televised address on November 13, 1986, The Gipper claimed that "We did not -- repeat -- did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we." But less than six months later on March 4, 1987, Reagan had to go on TV again to admit the obvious:
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages."
Nevertheless, Senator Orrin Hatch was among the Republican dead-enders arguing that Congress had no power to interfere with President Reagan's conduct of American policy towards the Iranians--or anyone else. As the New York Times reported on May 16, 1987, some of Reagan's allies argued that the President had sweeping power to disregard the Boland Amendment passed by Congress which prohibited all Government aid--"direct or indirect"--to the Nicaraguan Contras.
While reserving judgment on whether the President was guilty of any illegality, these experts dismissed as fallacious the argument by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, and others that the President is ''the sole person to whom our Constitution gives the responsibility for conducting foreign relations.''
In his November 18, 1987 press conference unveiling the minority response to the Congressional Iran-Contra report, Orrin Hatch joined then-Representative Dick Cheney (R-WY) in rejecting any notion of wrong-doing by the Reagan administration. "The bottom line, however, is that the mistakes...were just that," Rep. Cheney announced to the nation, "mistakes in judgment, and nothing more."
There was no constitutional crisis, no systematic disrespect for ''the rule of law,'' no grand conspiracy, and no Administration-wide dishonesty or coverup. In fact, the evidence will not support any of the more hysterical conclusions the committees' report tries to reach.
When Democrat Barack Obama won the presidency, it was Orrin Hatch regurgitating the GOP's hysterical conclusions about his judicial nomination, his Iran policy and his health care plan. And Hatch's continued opposition to the what became the Affordable Care Act is more than a little ironic. After all, he offered an Obamacare look-alike as an alternative to Hillarycare back in 1993.

Two years ago, Mr. Hatch along with his fellow GOP Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) unveiled a new Republican plan "replace" Obamacare. Due to its lack of a health insurance mandate, less generous tax credits to purchase coverage and stricter eligibility for Medicaid, the Hatch plan yet to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office would doubtless cost less than the deficit-reducing Affordable Care Act. But the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act would also result in millions more American without coverage, gut existing consumer protections and leave those uninsured with pre-existing conditions once again vulnerable to the whims of private carriers, all while shifting costs from employers to workers and their families.

All of which is why the American people would be better served by Obamacare or something very much like it. As it turns out, back in 1993 Orrin Hatch proposed a different health care reform bill that did just that. Call it Hatchcare 1.0.

Back in 1993, he and 20 co-sponsors proposed almost identical provisions as part of the "Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993." (For more background, Kaiser Health News has a convenient summary of that bill, as well as a handy chart comparing its features to the Obamacare law it resembles.) As NPR described Hatchcare v1.0 in February 2010:
Hatch's opposition is ironic, or some would say, politically motivated. The last time Congress debated a health overhaul, when Bill Clinton was president, Hatch and several other senators who now oppose the so-called individual mandate actually supported a bill that would have required it... [T]he summary of the Republican bill from the Clinton era and the Democratic bills that passed the House and Senate over the past few months are startlingly alike. Beyond the requirement that everyone have insurance, both call for purchasing pools and standardized insurance plans. Both call for a ban on insurers denying coverage or raising premiums because a person has been sick in the past. Both even call for increased federal research into the effectiveness of medical treatments -- something else that used to have strong bipartisan support, but that Republicans have been backing away from recently.
Alas, that was then and this is now. And now that Democrats have succeeded in passing health care reform along the lines he once advocated, Orrin Hatch has had a born-again experience as to its efficacy and its constitutionality. His turnabout, he feebly explained to NBC's Andrea Mitchell just days after President Obama signed the ACA into law in March 2010, was all about politics:
MITCHELL: Now, it was first proposed or one of the earlier proposals along these lines was in 1993 when you and other Republicans came up with counteroffers to the Clinton White House and the individual mandate was perfectly acceptable to Republicans back then. HATCH: Well, it really wasn't. We were fighting Hillarycare at that time. And I don't think anyone centered on it, I certainly didn't. That was 17 years ago. But since then, and with the advent of this particular bill, really seeing how much they're depending on an unconstitutional approach to it, yea, naturally I got into it, got into it on this issue.
When Hatch pledged a "holy war" to stop the Affordable Care Act, he also candidly exposed the real reason for the GOP's all-out war on Obamacare. As he explained in a November 2009 interview with CBN, Orrin Hatch didn't fear that Democratic health care reform would fail, but that it would succeed:
HATCH: That's their goal. Move people into government that way. Do it in increments. They've actually said it. They've said it out loud. Q: This is a step-by-step approach --
HATCH: A step-by-step approach to socialized medicine. And if they get there, of course, you're going to have a very rough time having a two-party system in this country, because almost everybody's going to say, "All we ever were, all we ever are, all we ever hope to be depends on the Democratic Party."
Q: They'll have reduced the American people to dependency on the federal government.
HATCH: Yeah, you got that right. That's their goal. That's what keeps Democrats in power.
To put it another way, if over time American voters rewarded the Democratic Party for helping fix the broken health care system, the prognosis for the GOP would not be good. Which is why Hatchcare 1.0 twenty-three years ago and Hatchcare 2.0 now were always just placebos designed to prevent Republicans from coming down with a serious case of minority party.

As it turns out, the Republicans are doing a pretty good job on their own in laying the groundwork for their status as a minority party. Their all-out war against Planned Parenthood in the wake of doctored videos manufactured by a now-indicted conservative sting merchants provides a case in point. Support for the essential women's health care resource remained strong even after Republicans like Orrin Hatch jumped to their hysterical conclusions last July:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Wednesday called for a comprehensive congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood, one day after the second video was released. "I am horrified by the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of unborn baby parts as casually as a mechanic might seek to sell car parts," he wrote in a statement.
"Congress must investigate whether Planned Parenthood, which receives hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year, is complying with applicable laws and regulations," he wrote.
Hatch should know. After all, he voted for the 1993 bill which legalized the use of fetal tissue for medical research.
As Huffington Post reported:
In 1988, the Reagan administration began a moratorium on fetal tissue from elective abortions being used in scientific research. But Congress lifted that ban in 1993 when it passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which allowed research on human fetal tissue regardless of whether the tissue came from a voluntary abortion. McConnell voted for that bill, as did Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), all of whom have condemned Planned Parenthood in the past two weeks for its involvement in the practice.
That bill, which passed the House by 283 to 131 and the Senate by a whopping 93 to 4, also included the backing of Orrin Hatch. But Hatch, among the first in the Senate to call for an investigation of Planned Parenthood in the wake of the doctored videos released by anti-abortion foes, has a good reason for supporting research using fetal tissue. That rare commodity among Congressional Republicans, Senator Orrin Hatch supports stem cell research.

That's right. As Hatch explained to Rachel Gotbaum in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2007, the issue of stem cell research was a very personal one:
RACHEL GOTBAUM: You're a pro-life Republican. ORRIN HATCH: That's right.
RG: Did something happen? Did a case come up? What was the turning point?
OH: Well, there was a case. I can't say that it was the only reason why my mind was changed, but there was a little Utah boy - he was 4 years of age - who was brought to me. His name was Cody Anderson. He was 4 years of age, and you can imagine the horror his family had when they found out that he had exactly the same virulent diabetic condition that his grandfather had, who died at the premature age of 47 due to complications of diabetes after a series of something like 27 painful and debilitating and ultimately unsuccessful operations. I can still remember that little exhausted boy falling peacefully asleep in his father's arms in my office as his family visited me in support of more funding for diabetes research. It dawned on me that we owe the best we can to these kids.
The next month, Hatch described the possible life-saving cures that could be made possible by stem cell research from the availability of by the donation of fetal tissue he helped legalize:
"When I think about embryonic stem cell research, I imagine diabetics without insulin pumps. I imagine patients with Parkinson's disease who sprint rather than shuffle. I conceive of patients with spinal cord disease or injuries who stand up and walk again."
Of course, that was then and this is now. And now, right-wing activists enraged by the legal and routine practice by Planned Parenthood and others of preserving and providing fetal tissue as requested by their patients. If the anti-abortion forces succeed in blocking the Title X and Medicaid funds that constitute 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget, millions of women will lose access to contraception, cancer screening and STD tests. As a result, both Uncle Sam's overall spending and the body count of American women will go up.

Of course, the only body count Orrin Hatch is worried about is that of defeated GOP candidates. That's why he refers to those Republicans like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump threatening a government shutdown if Planned Parenthood is not defunded as "downright stupid." As Hatch fretted in September:
"Just to shut down the government without any real assurance that it's going to make any difference other than it's going to kill Republicans seems stupid to me, and it's going to kill conservatives."
Judging by Orrin Hatch's horrible history, that welcome day of reckoning is about four decades overdue.

Why do Republicans and Tea Baggers lie all the time? Here's the latest example.

Republicans tell us one of their top priorities is to reduce poverty.  Yet, their proposed budget will cut every single federal program aimed at alleviating poverty.  Oh, well . . . Republicans lie about everything.

House GOP Budget Gets 62 Percent of Budget Cuts From Low- and Moderate-Income Programs

The House Republican budget plan, which could come to the House floor in April, would prove especially harmful to low- and moderate-income families and individuals, cutting programs for such people by an unprecedented amount while taking a strikingly unbalanced approach to deficit reduction.  It also would be inconsistent with statements of Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan that reducing poverty is a top priority.

The GOP budget is inconsistent with statements of Republican leaders that reducing poverty is a top priority. 

Specifically, the plan, which the House Budget Committee approved on March 16, would cut programs for low- and moderate-income people by about $3.7 trillion over the next decade.  In 2026, it would cut such programs overall by 42 percent — causing tens of millions of people to lose health coverage and millions to lose basic food or other support.

In addition, the plan would secure 62 percent of its budget cuts from low-income programs even though they account for just 28 percent of total non-defense program spending (and just 24 percent of total program spending, including defense).

Republican, Tea Party, biblethumper "family values" in action

Republican, Tea Party, biblethumper "family values" in action

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe does the right thing, vetoes book-burning bill

Rightwing loons in Virginia's General ASSembly passed a law that would allow parents to ban books from public schools.  Governor McAuliffe vetoed it and the rightwingnuts do not have the votes to overturn his veto. 

Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday vetoed a bill that would have made Virginia the first state to allow parents to block their children from reading books in school that contain sexually explicit material.

The measure became known in the General Assembly as the “Beloved” bill because supporters have cited that seminal work of fiction by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison as an example of a book too graphic for some students.

The legislation would have required K-12 teachers to identify classroom materials with “sexually explicit content” and notify parents, who would have been able to “opt out” their children and request that the teacher give them an alternative assignment.

McAuliffe (D) said a state law is “unnecessary” because the Virginia Board of Education is considering changing state policy to accommodate parents’ concerns.

“School boards are best positioned to ensure that our students are exposed to those appropriate literary and artistic works that will expand students’ horizons and enrich their learning experiences,” he said in the veto message.

. . . 

The National Council of Teachers of English and the National Coalition Against Censorship opposed the bill; the conservative Family Foundation of Virginia favored it.

About half of Virginia school districts require teachers to give parents warning of “potentially sensitive or controversial materials in the classroom,” according to a 2013 survey by the state Department of Education.
. . . 

Supreme Court, 8-0, UNANIMOUS, slaps down Tea Party, Republican, rightwing attack on Constitution

“There can be no truer principle than this—that every individual of the community at large has an equal right to the protection of government.”  --Alexander Hamilton, 1 Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, p. 473 (M. Farrand ed. 1911)
“Numbers, not voters; numbers, not property; this is the theory of the Constitution.”  --Sen. Jacob Howard (R-MI), Cong. Globe, 39th Cong., 1st Sess., 2766–2767 (1866)
A few years ago, the same wealthy conservative activist who ginned up a challenge to the University of Texas’s steps to ensure diversity in its college admissions also launched a salvo against one of the Constitution’s most bedrock principles, that of “one person, one vote.” The complaint was that since Texas apportioned its state legislative map based on all people, and not based on which people were eligible to vote, voters in districts with fewer non-citizens and minors resident therein had the power of their votes diluted. (Background here.) Citing the Equal Protection Clause, they insisted that the only way to ensure equality was to not count every person equally. Why?  As Prof. Rick Hasen explained:
It is hard to see it as anything but a Republican power grab. As I explained at Slate, a ruling that states may not draw legislative district lines taking total population into account will benefit rural voters over urban voters, and that by extension will benefit Republicans over Democrats. Urban areas are much more likely to be filled with people who cannot vote: non-citizens (especially Latinos), released felons whose voting rights have not been restored, and children. With districts redrawn using only voters as the denominator, there will be more Republican districts. 
Monday, a unanimous Supreme Court rejected this evil Republican attack on the Constitution. Writing for six of the justices (including the chief justice and Justice Kennedy), Justice Ginsburg reviewed the debates from the drafting of the Constitution as well as the Fourteenth Amendment, concluding that States are perfectly within their rights to consider all people in doing the math to draw districts:
As the Framers of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment comprehended, representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote. Nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates—children, their parents, even their grandparents, for example, have a stake in a strong public-education system—and in receiving constituent services, such as help navigating public benefits bureaucracies. By ensuring that each representative is subject to requests and suggestions from the same number of constituents, total population apportionment promotes equitable and effective representation. 
The court leaves for another day the question of whether states can choose to deviate from One Person, One Vote in state legislative apportionment, and Justices Alito and Thomas concurred separately to suggest that they’d be open to it, should that case arise someday.
(This case did not concern federal reapportionment, which is governed by the clear language of the Fourteenth Amendment: “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.”)

Also, Justice Thomas—proving yet again he’s his own brand of jurisprudential crazy—concurred separately to explain that he’s still not sure why One Person, One Vote should be required, and that states should be free to do whatever they want. For real.

Tonight -- 3 April 2016 -- the "Country Music Association" awards show was held in Vegas or LA or somewhere . . . it's all bullshit

In the first place, would someone please tell me WTF DOES VEGAS OR L.A. HAVE TO DO WITH COUNTRY MUSIC???

If you are to have a "country music awards " show, then, it should be in Bristol or Nashville or at Carter Fold.

However, the fundamental problem is this:  There is no more country music in the country.  None.  Zero.

 THIS is country music:

And this

This, too


THIS is country music.  
No more.

There is no music like this today

And this . .

There is not another Patsy

 Nor another Loretta


If men could get pregnant . . .

If men could get pregnant, clinics offering abortions would be like Starbucks:  Two in every block and four in every airport.  The morning after pill would come in flavors and would be on sale in the checkout line next to the Altoids.

This is what happens when someone cares

A two-year-old Nigerian boy who was found emaciated and riddled with worms after his family left him for dead has made an incredible recovery.

A picture of the starving toddler being given a sip of water by an aid worker broke hearts around the world when it was published in January.

The boy, now called Hope, was abandoned by his family because they thought he was a witch and was found in the streets by Anja Ringgren Loven, a Danish woman living in Africa, on January 31.

And now Ms Loven has shared a series of photographs showing Hope's miraculous recovery in just eight short weeks, and says he 'is really enjoying life now'.