Pandering Paul and the GOP under attack

Rand Paul Panders

 

Evidently Rand’s campaign staff are even more delusional than the Kentucky hopeful — because I just read “Dr.” Senator Paul “is the single biggest threat to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.” That’s Rand’s communications director reacting to the “news” that the Democratic National Committee “has unleashed relentless attacks on a handful of GOP candidates.” <facepalm> No, no, no … getting mentioned by the DNC for saying something stupid is not a metric for viability as a national candidate. It’s a metric for how often they stick their foot in their mouth. Continue reading

25 Rules of Disinformation

truth

 

I was going to do a quick repost the 25 rules of disinformation today — but decided it might be more useful with a fresh perspective. Why should House Select Committee on BENGHAZI! Chairman Gowdy have all the fun (trashing reputations with unfounded accusations and innuendo?).

Hey — ask yourself this: if the BILLIONS B.P. was just fined for polluting the Gulf was supposed to be a penalty — why did their stock just tick up five points? They’re celebrating, y’all.

The more you understand HOW these rules of disinformation are employed on a daily basis — the less likely you are to REACT when your idiot brother-in-law starts spouting off discredited or false information. RECOGNIZE that good people are often given bad information. Ignorance isn’t fatal (although often contagious). There’s a cure, too — it’s called education. Continue reading

Socialism is not Fascism is not Communism

Socialism is not Fascism is not Communism

 

Namaste, Piyush. Like your presidential aspirations, Governor Jindal, this should be short and sweet. At least the portion of you actually being POTUS.

I know you’re keenly aware of why Republicans bandy about the word “socialist” to confuse voters — but it’s an intellectually dishonest parlor trick. Considering the number of times you said “socialist” or “socialism” during the Hugh Hewitt radio interview yesterday — clearly your only hope lies in keeping every conservative voter ignorant of a few facts. Let’s give them a primer, shall we?

When you say “socialist,” “Bobby,” you’re quick to tie it directly to other words, like “government dependence” or “social welfare.” When other folks around the world use the word socialism, we’re quick to tie it to things which improve people’s lives — like infrastructure, energy, healthcare and education. See the difference? Of course you don’t — when you say “socialist,” it’s just code for “Stalin.” Continue reading

Donald Trump Raped My Brain

donaldThe GOP has a problem at the moment that has no easy solution. Actually, for my money, it’s the same problem they’ve had all along. “We’re now trying to grow the numbers of votes in the Hispanic, African-American communities and work on growing the amount of female voters.” What GOP strategist Ron Bonjean can’t say, is how Donald Trump could really make things worse for the GOP. According to David Payne, “He’s not hurting other candidates. He is risking the Republican brand.” Whoa — hold your giddy-up — full stop.

It’s difficult to “grow the numbers of votes” in the Latino community, when your party steadfastly refuses to sit down at the table and discuss comprehensive immigration reform. The GOP can’t do that, you see, because then they lose one of the boogeymen they use to scare up votes. If they didn’t have the border issue — how could former Governor Perry suggest that ISIS fighters are sneaking across the border to poison the well water — or steal goats — or whatever it was he thought those imaginary ISIS terrorists were going to do. Continue reading

Christie Campaign Platform: you’re gonna hate what I’m going to say.

Gov. Christie

 

I know I’ll catch some flack for this, Governor Christie, but if you’re serious about running for (or, since we’re “telling it like it is,” walking briskly in the general direction of) the Oval Office, you need to focus some of that “brutal honesty” a bit closer to home. 55% of Republican primary voters say there is “no way” they’d ever support your waddle to the White House. The only person they like less? Donald Trump.

You’re gonna need a surge larger than the one Sandy deposited on the Jersey shores. You can camp out all next week in New Hampshire, holding one town hall meeting after another, but there are two things you can’t run from, Chris: your record and your judgment. Here’s the truth, governor — you’re not the least popular guy in the race because you’re “too blunt and too direct.” You could cause massive traffic jams and yell at teachers and be a belligerent jerk if any of that noise actually helped your state. But the swagger is just a pose.

You’ve got the same problem Scott Walker does — you’re so busy running for president, you’re not running your state. Walker’s favorability in Wisconsin is as low as it’s ever been — but he’s STILL more popular than you are in New Jersey. This obnoxious notion that America needs you to share some uncomfortable truths with is the very worst campaign platform I’ve ever heard. And it presupposes you have even a passing acquaintance with the truth — which we all know you don’t.

Ask any employee of the state of New Jersey who believed you when you told them their pensions were “sacred”to you — you’re a liar. Nowadays, as you boast to audiences about your record of “pension reforms,” claiming a recent court decision which found your actions unconstitutional was a “victory” — it just proves you’re a liar. It wasn’t enough to snarl traffic for a week at the George Washington bridge in some sophomoric, penny-ante political payback — no, then you had to lie about that, too. Blind-sided?

You were Johnny-on-the-spot when the Commander in Chief came calling in Marine One to survey the storm damage. We already have “strength and decision-making and authority … in the Oval Office,” Chris. What we don’t need is some puffed-up liar, who thinks we need his version of the “truth,” even if “it makes you cringe every once in a while.” Seriously — this is the single worst campaign strategy in the history of forever.

Roads and bridges are falling further into disrepair — the state’s Transportation Trust Fund is in dire straits (and will soon only be able to service it’s debt) — “pay-as-you-go” went bust — and you’re basically overseeing a “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” fiscal mess, Governor Wimpy. Shifting around Port Authority money and stealing quarters from the Turnpike tolls isn’t any kind of solution. And yet all of that pales in comparison to the decades of transportation ills you caused the entire region when you pulled New Jersey out of the ARC project.

Let’s tick off your “accomplishments” to tout on the campaign trail: New Jersey’s 6.5 percent unemployment rate is worse than the national average — check. Long term unemployment worse than 48 other states? Check. Moody’s just dinged New Jersey’s credit rating again (for the NINTH time). Check. Withholding $2.4 billion in pension payments? Check. Vetoed reform of the Port Authority? Check. Wasted billions in tax giveaways — and now faced with a billion dollar budget shortfall? Double-check. Property taxes through the roof — an increased tax burden on New Jersey’s working poor — and a VETO on a minimum wage bill (which would have increased the state’s rate to a measly $8.50). Check, check, check.

The ONLY good thing about this campaign is the Twitter hashtag “telling it like it is.” That backfired in spectacular fashion (although I’m sure Piyush is relieved. Fewer people will #AskBobby why he’s named after a kid from The Brady Bunch. True story!)

#TellingItLikeItIs isn’t something Christie does. | Christie admin funneled taxpayer cash to the firms of Christie’s wife & brother is #TellingItLikeItIs. | Trending now: Governor Christie, who isn’t usually #TellingItLikeItIs. | Only in America can you be elected president of America. Good point, Chris Christie — that’s #TellingItLikeItIs. | Chris Christie lies with conviction — his hands don’t shake, and his eyes don’t wander. #TellingItLikeItIs

Seriously — a campaign is built on policies — not threats: “You’re gonna get what I think, whether you like it or not.” Kudos on using a public school as a backdrop for the rally/announcement — after slashing funding for public education and derailing teacher pensions — any more salt for the thousand paper cuts they’ve already had to endure? My favorite bit was when you coughed up that clichéd nonsense about how “the truth will set us free, everybody.” That was the exact moment I fully expected your trousers to spontaneously combust. Hey — I’m just #TellingItLikeItIs, Chris.

You’re welcome.

 

God Hates Bryan J. Fischer

Okay — maybe not, but She’s GOT to be disappointed in his life choices.

Bryan J. Fischer is an asshole

Hello, Bryan — happy Sunday. I hope you’ve found a way to set aside hate and embrace love, but I know better. Small-minded bigots like yourself, who grow fat and rich tending a gullible flock of conservative “Christians,” are nothing if not predictable.

You’re always going to make the most wildly offensive, highly volatile and totally incomprehensible statements, just to get a reaction (and sell more copies of your truly godawful book). You’re more dangerous than other far-right loons, like Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin, because your audience actually BELIEVES you’re speaking for God Almighty. Jesus wept.

I honestly thought once you’d been unceremoniously dumped by your former employer — the American Family Association — you’d just fade away into obscurity. But batshit crazy always seems to find a way to get itself noticed in America these days. For the record, the AFA has officially repudiated your views on Muslims, Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, the Holocaust, homosexuality and Hillary Clinton (she’s not gay).

I think if your claim to fame is bullying Hallmark stores in Idaho to stop selling same-sex wedding cards — you can pretty much call it a day. Look, I don’t profess to be a theologian, but I’m pretty sure prayer wasn’t the cause of the plane crash which killed a doctor and his family (even if he did work at a family planning clinic). And no — 9/11 was not a result of Roe v. Wade. God didn’t send those torrential rains or hurricanes, either. A warmer atmosphere = melting glaciers = rising oceans = greater storm surges (just ask Chris Christie). Science, biyach.

All of this is just background for those unfamiliar with your repellent views — and full-throated condemnation of all things being “equal” for all of us living in America. You’ve really outdone yourself this time, though, Bryan — the execrable depiction of our Supreme Court justices as “black-robed oligarchs who use gavels like the slaveholders of old used to use the whip” sets the bar down to a new low.

I’m wondering if Ted Cruz appreciated the shout-out for his proposed Constitutional amendments — or if, like the AFA, he’ll try to distance himself from your brand of lunacy and hateful screed. Considering the unconstitutional nature of his proposed legislation — it’ll never see the light of day outside of a Senate committee anyway. It’ll merely die an ignominious death, much like similar bills proposed by Representatives Huelskamp, Cantor and Boehner in years past.

I get the distinct impression that you Constitutional amendment junkies are completely unaware of Article V. First you need two-thirds of BOTH the House and Senate to agree on language. Have you perused the Congressional Record lately? THEN — it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states. I’ve always known most of you folks were delusional — but this really takes the cake.

None of the justices who joined the majority opinion want to “flagellate their helpless subjects into abject submission” — but considering the shrill and caustic nature of your writing, I’d strongly recommend looking into the theory of psychological projection.

People who harangue the loudest about someone else’s behavior — are often deflecting or attempting to deny similar feelings they secretly harbor [George Rekers, Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Roy Asburn, etc., etc., etc.). It’s a defense mechanism. It simply proves that — despite your claim to speak for the Creator of the Universe — you’re only human after all.

Here’s what I want to leave you with: while there’s much to celebrate in this recent Supreme Court ruling, I fully recognize it won’t change conservative “Christian” hearts or minds. You sanctimonious bigots are a pox on our republic. Naturally, I wasn’t surprised when you wrote “The battle is not over. We have yet begun to fight.” Terrific.

While I personally celebrate this legal victory for equality, I’m fully cognizant there are many flag-waving, gun-toting, American Christo-fascists who believe you have a point (other than the one underneath that perfectly coifed head of hair). Fanatical zealots willing to walk into the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita and put a bullet into the head of anyone you claim is violating “God’s law.” Just like they did to Dr. George Tiller.

Fun fact: since the hate-fueled killing of nine souls at Mother Emanuel in Charleston — Glover Grover Baptist Church in Warrenville, Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church in Tallahassee, College Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Fruitland Presbyterian Church in Gibson County, Tennessee, God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon and the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte (all predominately black congregations) have suffered arson attacks — some of the sanctuaries burned to the ground. Yep — there’s evil in the world — just not where you’re looking.

“Many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people,” Bryan. Here’s hoping the damage you inflict on your feeble-minded, hate-filled followers — those “destructive heresies” you proclaim as Gospel, “will bring sudden destruction on [your]self.” In Jebus name we pray. rAmen.

Ted’s Dead — in the polls, anyway.

Raphael Cruz: Senator Smarmy

 

Stick a fork in it, Senator Raphael Edward “Ted” Cruz, your presidential campaign is officially over. It’s been apparent from the get-go that yours was just a vanity tour — one more chance to hear yourself talk about nothing in particular. The downside to making a spectacle of yourself during primary season, Raphael, is people have a tendency to notice how often you vacillate on those “core beliefs” you hold so dear — that “principled stand” you’re taking looks mighty shaky. The “grassroots wave” your new campaign video touts — is more like a leaky faucet — and you’re the drip.

It takes a lot of chutzpah to bad-mouth GOP leadership on an issue that — only last week — you were talking up to anyone who’d listen. Trust me — I’m not with the president on this one — Fast Track is a bad idea. If the United States is going to enter into a treaty with another nation [or nations], it needs to be ratified by you guys — by a two-thirds majority, no less. Calling it something else [“free trade”] and pretending this is not a treaty is just disingenuous twaddle.

But here’s the deal, Ed — people still read the Wall Street Journal. They remember that you called Trade Promotion Authority a “fair deal.” You voted for it. Changing your mind about it because über-conservatives hate the president — and then poo-pooing the deal now that you’re out there rubbing elbows and shaking the calloused hands of American workers — is pretty lame. Quite the about-face. Besides — let’s remember who’s writing the big checks that pay for those fancy presidential campaigns — it’s the fat-cat corporate donors [who all LOVE TPA]. Rock, meet hard place.

If you’ve got it in you to keep criss-crossing Iowa, holding prayer meetings or tent revivals, or whatever you call it — God bless. Just know that you’d have a better chance sprouting wings and flying back to Texas — than you do of getting the nomination. We all remember the government shutdown — and I, for one, want my $24 billion back, Eddie. You don’t get to furlough 800,000 workers — and then cry crocodile tears over at the veteran’s memorial with part-time Governor Palin.

I’d like the next president to have at least a passing acquaintance with foreign policy, too. All I know for certain is you excel at the ‘let’s pick the opposite policy’ game. That doesn’t make you look like a staunch defender of freedom — willing to go toe-to-toe with the president on difficult international issues — it just makes you look like a crazy person. Yes — helping countries affected by the terrorist organization known as ISIS [or ISIL] is a good thing. No — we can’t do that without providing those nations with material — and the personnel who can train them — from the United States military.

Pack it up, Edward — the longer you stay at this, the worse it’s going to get. Jesus, man, this isn’t brain surgery — you’ve losing to Dr. Ben Carson. Mike Huckabee’s already got the God squad thing going — and John Ellis (Jeb!) and Marco are duking it to see who the voters think is more Latino (not that you particularly embrace the “Raphael” portion of being a “Cruz” anyway). Everyone knows this is John Ellis (Jeb!)’s to lose. Walker is trying to make a showing — but he got smoked by Donald Trump in the New Hampshire polls. Walker’s seen as the “Washington outsider” in the race (because people tend to forget about Piyush “Bobby” Jindal), but he’s got a Koch habit that’s going to be tough to shake.

You’re never, ever going to get your poll numbers out of the single digits — so stop gazing longingly at your own reflection long enough to take stock of your position. It’s Bush, Walker, Rubio, Carson, Huckabee, Paul — with Trump getting a bump from his ad-libbed infomercial. Save us from listening to more incoherent and inconsistent foreign policy positions. Spare us the proposals of more “for the Bible tells me so” legislation. Jesus loves you, Ted — but most of the country believes you’re nothing but a pompous blowhard. According to recent polling — approximately 94.2% of likely Republican voters do, too.

You’re welcome.

Cage Match: MN vs. WI

MN is No. 1

I gotta say, Governor Walker, I already knew those “trends and statistics” you advise voters to ignore were looking pretty good for my home state — but I had no idea CNBC would rank us No. 1 for business this year.

Evidently, absolutely everything Republicans warned us about years ago — the “dire effects” Democratic legislative policies would have (‘businesses will be “fleeing the state” if they win!’) were wrong. Spectacularly — gloriously wrong. And yes, Scott — I agree — it’s all “about leadership.” Thanks again, Governor Dayton. Continue reading

Your Boss is a Crook.

Probably — at least, the odds are good that he’s not playing it straight with you.

wage_slave

We live in extraordinary times — when compensation for the ‘captains of industry’ has ballooned 997% over the past three and a half decades. That’s double what your investments on Wall Street earned. And it dwarfs the anemic 11% growth of a worker’s paycheck during the same timeframe. HOW do they do it, you ask? [In my best John Houseman impersonation] they do it the ‘old-fashioned way’ — they steal it.

Wage theft can take many forms, but at the core it’s usually pretty basic: many employers in these tough economic times are picking the pockets of their workers, rather than raising prices or reducing their own profit margins. They do this by failing to satisfy wage and hour laws (not meeting minimum wage requirements, for example), or expecting employees to work ‘off the clock’ (while ignoring overtime pay statutes).

According the Department of Labor, 78% of all employers reviewed in 2014 violated wage laws “in a material way.” Read that again — and then remind yourself of that statistic when you hear a Republican tell you that government regulations are bad for business. No — they’re just bad for the boss who is stealing money from his employees — or wants to pollute our air and water — or perpetrate consumer fraud.

The U.S. economy boasted another 280,000 new jobs in May — which means at least 200,000 Americans are now providing a fair day’s work for someone who is most likely cheating them out of their fair day’s pay. We’re told “greed is good” — we genuflect at the altar of profit, and our first religion is money.

The apologists will likely want to place the burden of responsibility on the little guy — ‘hey, if you agreed to take the job at $_.__ — then just be thankful you have a job. Except, of course, it’s likely that $_.__ job is the little guy’s second job — or third — just to make ends meet. And it’s also likely (if you run the numbers on average CEO compensation), that wage earner would have to work 38 days to take home what his boss will in just one hour.

row row row

The men and women who run America’s largest firms — and buy and sell our politicians — are earning THREE TIMES more today than they were 20 years ago. To put it in perspective for those of you reading this in your cubicle — back in the 60s, the CEO of most companies earned about 20 times more than you or I would. Today that number is well over 300% and the thanks we get — typically — is that same employer looking for ways to rummage through our pockets for a few extra coins.

If you’re reading this while taking a break from answering some work emails from home — your overtime pay is currently getting lost in the cushions of your couch. If you’re one of hundreds of thousands of American workers currently under “contract” by various firms — understand that “contract” is merely a reclassification of some previously held full-time job with the company — it’s legalese designed to skirt state and federal labor laws.

“The overwhelming majority of this nation has little patience with that small minority which vociferates today that prosperity has returned, that wages are good, that crop prices are high, and that government should take a holiday.” Sound familiar? President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that in 1937.

FDR also said, “Our nation so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrious population should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied working men and women A FAIR DAY’S PAY FOR A FAIR DAY’S WORK. A self-supporting and self-respecting democracy can plead no justification for the existence of child labor, no economic reason for chiseling workers’ wages or stretching workers’ hours.”

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was created in 1938 to “establish a minimum wage and a limit on the number of hours which may be worked in a standard workweek. It also provides standards for equal pay, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor.”

Businesses — and the conservatives in Congress they buy — have been hammering and chipping away its protections each and every day since then. REMEMBER this as you listen to the GOP presidential primary candidates yammer on-and-on about “excessive regulation” — and which federal agencies they’d like to see shuttered “when I’m in the White House.”

Join the Fight for 15. Never cross a picket line. Demand equal pay. Educate yourself and others — and organize, organize, organize!

You’re welcome.