December 31, 2014

2014 Politician Crook Of The Year

2014 Politician Crook Of The Year

"Christie is at the heart of a scandal to redirect billions of dollars in pension money to his Wall Street pals at the expense of public workers, sparking resignations and accusations.

Christie is also mismanaging federal Hurricane Sandy funds when he's not bullying selfless Ebola aid nurses.

Christie isn't just a crook. He's also a bully, and that quality seems to protect him from any consequences for whatever he decides to do."

Here Are Some of the Craziest Right-Wing News Stories From 2014

http://aattp.org/here-are-some-of-the-craziest-right-wing-news-stories-from-2014/
"Fear of Ebola. Fear of Obamacare. Fear of ISIS. Fear of immigration. Fear of gays and lesbians. Fear of the government. Fear, fear, fear. Be afraid, be very afraid."

The Year In Paranoia: The Five Craziest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories Of 2014 | Right Wing Watch

The Year In Paranoia: The Five Craziest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories Of 2014 | Right Wing Watch

"2014 was a great year for conspiracy theorists running for office, but these extreme politicians couldn’t do it without the help of a conservative media bent on pushing outlandish conspiracy theories from the fringe into the mainstream."

Fox News' End Of Year 'Worst In Media' List Is Unintentionally Hysterical

Fox News' End Of Year 'Worst In Media' List Is Unintentionally Hysterical

"Elisabeth Hasselbeck and former Cosmo Centerfold /monotone host at Faux, Scott Brown, asked a reporter from the Daily Signal who she thought was the worst of the worst in 2014.

In case you're unsure of what the Daily Signal actually is, it's the multimedia news organization of the Heritage Foundation, who is incredibly close to their friends at the good ol' John Birch Society. These are the "Agenda 21, FEMA Camps," tin-foil hat-wearing contingent of the racist organization. Of course their opinion is sought on Fox News!"

There's a Big Anniversary This January That the Christian Right Doesn't Want You to Know About

http://www.alternet.org/belief/theres-big-anniversary-january-christian-right-doesnt-want-you-know-about
"The day commemorates the enactment of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.
Why is this seemingly obscure piece of Revolutionary-era legislation so vital? And why doesn’t the Christian Right want you to know anything about it?
The bill, authored by Thomas Jefferson and later pushed through the state legislature by then member of the House of Delegates, James Madison, is regarded as the root of how the framers of the Constitution approached matters of religion and government, and it was as revolutionary as the era in which it was written.
It not only disestablished the Anglican Church as the official state church, but it provided that no one can be compelled to attend any religious institution or to underwrite it with taxes; that individuals are free to believe as they will and that this “shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
As a practical matter, this meant that what we believe or don’t believe is not the concern of government and that we are all equal as citizens."

20 states to raise minimum wage

Steve Scalise’s White Supremacy Scandal Is a Crucial Test For Rand Paul For 2016

Steve Scalise’s White Supremacy Scandal Is a Crucial Test For Rand Paul For 2016

"Luckily for Paul, he wasn’t running for president then, or when he said he didn’t really believe in the Civil Rights Act, because he could just throw a hissy fit when pressed on the issue."

Steve Scalise’s Problem Is the Republican Party’s Problem | The Nation

Steve Scalise’s Problem Is the Republican Party’s Problem | The Nation

"It will be hard for Republicans to suggest that they are on the side of the future when, at this point in American history, they have someone in a top leadership position in the House facing questions about his appearance at a white-supremacist event and who opposed the King holiday."

Ex-KKK Leader Threatens To Name Other Republicans He’s Friends With If Media Doesn’t Back Off Scalise

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/30/ex-kkk-leader-threatens-to-name-other-republicans-hes-friends-with-if-media-doesnt-back-off-scalise/
"But the real anger didn’t start until he turned on the Republicans who are now disavowing Duke to distance themselves from Scalise. In a turn that can only backfire spectacularly, Duke threatened conservatives with revealing the names of politicians he has secret ties with if they don’t start standing up for Scalise."

Chris Christie Poised To Sign Bill Paving The Way For Corporations To Control Water In New Jersey

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/29/chris-christie-poised-to-sign-bill-paving-the-way-for-corporations-to-control-water-in-new-jersey/
"With a stroke of a pen, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could pave the way for corporations to control the state’s water supply without the consent of the voting public."

Poll: Americans show confidence in economic recovery

Three ways the GOP will sabotage the government and the economy in 2015

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/28/1354015/-Three-ways-the-GOP-will-sabotage-the-government-and-the-economy-in-2015#
"After simple math showed that his tax-cut windfall for the wealthy would add trillions to the national debt, Ryan among other conservatives decided to change the way the CBO does math."

Republicans Plan Another Bush Trickle Down Assault In 2015

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/29/republicans-plan-bush-trickle-assault-2015.html
"It is noteworthy that Paul Ryan intends on reinstituting an exclusively Republican CBO to approve the Republican trickle-down tax scheme as an economic boon to fool Americans into thinking that after thirty years, trickle down will work…this time."

Round Goes the Revolving Door: Black Water Lobbyist to Run House Intel Committee

http://www.alternet.org/world/scary-revolving-door-black-water-lobbyist-run-house-intel-committee
"After lobbyist-run SuperPACs and big money efforts dominated the last election, legislators are now appointing lobbyists to literally manage the day-to-day affairs of Congress."

The True Welfare Queen Finally Exposed!

Bronx Inspector Caught On Tape Telling NYPD Cop To Racially Profile

Bronx Inspector Caught On Tape Telling NYPD Cop To Racially Profile

"Serrano’s tape and testimony were introduced as evidence in a class-action lawsuit against the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic brought by four black New Yorkers"

Fed Up: Florida Crowd Forms Human Shield to Protect Man Police Try to Arrest for Smoking Marijuana

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/fed-florida-crowd-forms-human-shield-protect-man-police-try-arrest-smoking
"In addition to the mass protests nationwide against police brutality, incidents where ordinary citizens speak up, start recording and attempt to intervene when they see excessive and abusive cop behavior are being reported more frequently."

Mayor DeBlasio: Fire The Commissioner And Discipline Insubordinate Police Officers

Mayor DeBlasio: Fire The Commissioner And Discipline Insubordinate Police Officers

"Are we supposed to buy into their self-justifying narratives that no cop, anywhere, is ever at fault for anything? Do they not understand the very concept of civilian oversight?"

Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/emails-and-racist-chats-show-how-cops-and-gop-are-teaming-undermine-de-blasio
"A cursory glance at message boards on a semi-private police chat forum suggests that opposition to de Blasio within NYPD ranks has descended into raw racial paranoia."

Chuck Todd accidentally tells the truth…

Robert Reich: GOP's Economic Plan Has No Basis In Reality

http://www.alternet.org/economy/robert-reich-gops-economic-plan-has-no-basis-reality
"one of the first acts of the Republican congress will be to fire Doug Elmendorf, current director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, because he won’t use “dynamic scoring” for his economic projections.
Dynamic scoring is the magical-mystery math Republicans have been pushing since they came up with supply-side “trickle-down” economics."

The True Costs of Corporate Welfare

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28293-the-true-costs-of-corporate-welfare
"the nation's biggest welfare recipients - rich people and big corporations - are making out like bandits, because the welfare they take isn't for food or housing - it's to increase their profits and wealth.
As Paul Bucheit points out over at Common Dreams, the average US family pays a staggering $6,000 each year in subsidies to big business.
Think about that for a second.
Each year, you're forking over around $6,000 of your hard-earned money to big banks, fossil fuel giants and massive transnational corporations that already rake in billions and billions of dollars in profits.
But you don't see conservatives arguing against that.
So, where is all of that money going?
Of that $6,000, $870 goes to direct subsidies for corporations, including the likes of Exxon, Shell, BP and other fossil fuel giants that are taking our money and destroying our environment at the same time.
Meanwhile, hundreds more go to corporations as indirect subsidies.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and University of California-Berkeley found that US taxpayers pay a staggering $243 billion each year in indirect subsidies to the fast food industry alone."

How American Corporations and the Super Rich Steal From the Rest of Us

http://www.alternet.org/how-american-corporations-and-super-rich-steal-rest-us
"Exxon has almost 80% of its productive oil and gas wells in the U.S. but declared only 17% of its income here. The company used a theoretical tax to account for 83% of last year's income tax bill, and paid less than 2% of its total income in current U.S. taxes."

George Carlin Had The GOP Figured Out 35 Years Ago

George Carlin Had The GOP Figured Out 35 Years Ago

"He noted the corruption and criminality rampant in the Reagan administration way back in 1988 and Reagan is considered by today's Tea Party adherents to have been "too liberal."

"I really haven't seen this many people in one place," he observed in the opening of a monologue, "since they took the group photograph of all the criminals and lawbreakers in the Ronald Reagan administration."

By the end of Reagan's term in office 138 officials in his administration had been either indicted or investigated for wrong-doing and we are not talking about low-level players here, we are talking about members of his cabinet.

"These are the ‘law and order' people," Carlin noted, referring to conservative of his day. "These are the people who are against street crime. They want to put street criminals in jail to make life safer for the business criminals. They're against street crime providing that street isn't Wall Street"."

Big Things Obama Did In 2014 Despite Republican Stonewalling

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/fivepoints/five-things-obama-achieved-in-2014
"While Obama failed to secure congressional approval for raising the federal minimum wage and establishing new workplace protections for LGBT individuals, he issued executive orders in 2014 enacting those protections for the portion of the economy under his control: federal contractors. That means all 2 million Americans connected to federal contracts will earn at least $10.10 per hour, and enjoy equal protections if they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Obama's push has been followed by numerous states and cities raising their minimum wage."

The year in Obamacare

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/29/1353444/-The-year-in-nbsp-Obamacare
"The end of the year finds the uninsured rate 30 percent lower this year than in 2013. And healthcare spending grew slower in 2013 than it had in the past 53 years. Oh, and the law helped save 50,000 lives because it's made hospitals safer. Enrollments have outpaced expectations, and it looks like the uninsured rate could reach historic lows by the end of this enrollment period.
Twelve months of Obamacare show that, despite all the politics, the policy continues to work and work very, very well. But you won't hear that from the traditional media, because the political story is the only one they seem capable of reporting any more."

Obama economy soars in 2014

Elizabeth Warren's brainchild continues to show good government in action

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/29/1352244/-Elizabeth-Warren-s-brainchild-continues-to-show-good-government-in-action
"As of the agency's third birthday back in July, it had recovered more than $4.6 billion—yes billion for consumers harmed by illegal practices by financial institutions.
That's an agency that is really working, that's demonstrating that government is good. No wonder Republicans want to kill it. That, and the fact that it's $4.6 billion less that Wall Street has to spend on them in the next election. Which means it will be another prime target for repeal by the Republican Congress, because there is absolutely no question who Republicans are working for."

Americans feeling effects of improved economy

The Incomprehensibly Stupid Things Said by Republicans in 2014

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/29/incomprehensibly-stupid-republicans-2014.html
"Which says far more about Fox News and its audience than the people about whom those lies are told."

Tea Party Texan Calls Obama A 'Tyrant On The Throne' For Using Veto Pen

Tea Party Texan Calls Obama A 'Tyrant On The Throne' For Using Veto Pen

"President Obama has rarely used his veto pen during his almost six years in office, has proclaimed that will likely change when the new Congress is seated. Predicting that he will be faced with bills that outlaw a woman's right to choose, bills to bring more Christianity to secular public schools and bills that will demolish regulations that protect Americans from irresponsible corporations; President Obama knows damned well he had better be prepared to veto all sorts of insanity."

10 Reasons A Vote For Republicans Is A Vote For Racism

http://samuel-warde.com/2014/12/10-reasons-republicans/
"if you vote Republican, you are basically turning a blind eye to the racism put forth by many in the party, and in effect, allowing a racist political agenda to be played out. So, logic dictates that if you vote Republican, you are voting for an overall racist philosophy. Sure, you can try to rationalize it away, you can become angry and defensive and/or you can call me names – hey, it wouldn’t be the first time – but none of that will negate the fact that when you vote for GOP, you are perpetuating the idea that white people are the superior race."

The Creepy Misogynist Movement That's Making Conservatives Even More Sexist

http://www.alternet.org/gender/creepy-misogynist-movement-thats-making-conservatives-even-more-sexist
"conservatives on Fox News and other right-wing outlets seem to want to take it a step further, arguing that, in 21st-century America, women are actually oppressing men."

Michael Grimm’s sick, final con: Using Staten Island voters on his way out the door

Michael Grimm’s sick, final con: Using Staten Island voters on his way out the door

"It will take some time, specifically until the announcement of his criminal sentence, to fully appreciate the snow job Michael Grimm just pulled on Staten Island voters. But we already know plenty enough to call it a criminal’s virtuoso parting heist."

Rep Michael Grimm Resigns After Criminally Embarrassing His Party

David Duke hearts Scalise ... and Scalise compares the League of Women Voters to white supremacists

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/30/1354722/-David-Duke-hearts-Steve-Scalise-and-Scalise-compares-the-League-of-Women-Voters-to-the-KKK
"Things are getting a bit more awkward for Rep. Steve Scalise, the number three Republican in the House of Representatives, following Monday's revelation that he spoke at a white supremacist rally sponsored by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan."

Scalise in 1999 Interview: I Share Many of the Same ‘Conservative’ Views as David Duke

http://aattp.org/scalise-in-1999-interview-i-share-many-of-the-same-conservative-views-as-david-duke/
"Further complicating things for Scalise, Duke made a public statement yesterday coming to the defense of the GOP House Minority Whip, calling him a “fine family man” and emphasizing their close relationship.
“Scalise would communicate a lot with my campaign manager, Kenny Knight,” Duke told the Huffington Post in an interview. “That is why he was invited and why he would come [to the EURO convention]. Kenny knew Scalise, Scalise knew Kenny. They were friendly.”
It’s interesting to note that the other GOPers in the Roll Call article outright condemned David Duke. Scalise was the only one who seemed congenial about him."

House Republican Leader Spoke at White Supremacist Event Organized by a Neo-Nazi

House Republican Leader Spoke at White Supremacist Event Organized by a Neo-Nazi

"if you want to stop being known as the “party of racists” you really need to stop having members of your party busted for being racists."

Hate Group Scandal Engulfs Top Republican Congressman

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Spoke At White Supremacist Gathering

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Spoke At White Supremacist Gathering

"Bottom line: This wasn't any accidental booking with people Scalise didn't know to be white supremacists. He knew exactly who and what they were, and fed them exactly what they expected.

This guy is the House Majority Whip. He was (and likely still is) the Congressional go-to for Ginni Thomas' Groundswell group. Republicans have installed white supremacist sympathizers, at the very least, in the highest levels of their leadership."

Worst 2014 Smears From Right-Wing Websites

http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/12/28/worst-2014-smears-from-right-wing-websites/201958
"Right-wing media websites continued to undermine their credibility in 2014 by peddling a number of false, ridiculous, and bigoted smears."

December 30, 2014

Steve Scalise claims ignorance

Conservatives Simply Cannot Accept Their Own Insanity

Conservatives Simply Cannot Accept Their Own Insanity

"Both sides do not do what those crazy Republicans on that list do. They simply don't. There is a material difference between having ideological differences of opinion and self-indulgent, beyond-all-norms insanity. Democrats don't shut down the government, but Ted Cruz did. No Democrats exorcise demons on YouTube, but Klingenschmitt does. I could go on, but you get the idea.

There is simply no equivalent from the Democrats. None. Anyone who tells you there are similar Dems has fallen prey to the terrible BSDI disease -- Both Sides Do It.

Both Sides do not do it. One side does, and they do it intentionally to create political space to maneuver us farther and farther right."

The horrible year in cable news (pt. 1): How we all lost our minds

The horrible year in cable news (pt. 1): How we all lost our minds

"Here are 2014′s most irresponsible, outrageous, unforgivable moments of sensationalism and fear mongering."

SPLC Releases Map Of Neo-Nazi, Skinhead, Confederate, Patriot Groups

SPLC Releases Map Of Neo-Nazi, Skinhead, Confederate, Patriot Groups

"As you might have gathered, it kind of seems as though Nazis and bigots the nation over are really only happy when there's a Republican in office."

The worst of conservative media in 2014

Holiday Bright Spots For Progressives

Holiday Bright Spots For Progressives

"Voters Agree With Progressives

The fact is that voters agree with Democrats on most issues. When you word the questions fairly, people want government to fight for them, raise wages, provide a good retirement, protect the environment, make workplaces safe and other items on the progressive policy agenda. They want Social Security expanded. They want help for the less fortunate. They want fair trade agreements instead of job-killing, corporate-favoring trade deals. When you take the word "Obama" out of Obamacare, people even like the components of the new health plan."

2014: The Year In Conservative Media Ethics

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/12/26/2014-the-year-in-conservative-media-ethics/201951
"The ethical mess that was Fox News in 2014 is perhaps best embodied by Scott Brown, the former senator turned Fox News contributor turned Senate candidate (again) turned Fox News contributor (again)."

A few things you may not know about Christmas

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/25/1352042/-A-few-things-you-may-not-know-about-Christmas
"Original Holiday: Winter Solstice
You probably already knew that. The winter solstice has no doubt been celebrated for as long as man has been able to tell time from watching the heavens. And that has been a very long time indeed."

Plunging oil prices fuel American influence

December 29, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) To Resign After Felony Plea Deal

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) To Resign After Felony Plea Deal

"Rep. Michael Grimm who plead guilty to one felony count of tax evasion last week, will give up his seat in the House after talking to Speaker Boehner."

December 27, 2014

Think About It: The U.S. is Both the Richest Country and the Most Unequal: 8 Consequences of American Greed

http://www.alternet.org/economy/consequences-american-greed
"America is the richest country in all of history. We have the largest economy and the largest number of millionaires and billionaires. At the same time, we lead the developed world in economic inequality. In 1965, CEOs received $20 for every dollar earned by the average worker. Today the gap is $354 to $1.
These are more than cold statistics. They also tell the story of a nation in serious trouble. Runaway inequality is lacerating the fabric of our society. Here are a few of the festering wounds."

December 26, 2014

The FCC Just Mysteriously Lost Almost 800,000 Net Neutrality Comments

The FCC Just Mysteriously Lost Almost 800,000 Net Neutrality Comments

"These missing comments threaten to drown out the voices of the pro-net neutrality groups yet again, rendering them silent."

First Order Of Business For New GOP-Led Congress: Cook The Books

First Order Of Business For New GOP-Led Congress: Cook The Books

"Republicans are readying their plans for their new majority, but first they have some tweaks to make in order to cook the books a bit with the CBO. They call it "dynamic scoring", but it's really a way to make tax cuts look awesome while jacking the cost for health care."

It’s A Wonderful Life, Comrade

It’s A Wonderful Life, Comrade

"It turns out Ayn Rand helped the FBI analyze films for "Communist" content, and one of their targets was "It's A Wonderful Life"."

December 24, 2014

Poor, Misunderstood Mr. Potter? Watch Jimmy Kimmel’s Satire Of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ (VIDEO)

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/22/poor-misunderstood-mr-potter-watch-jimmy-kimmels-satire-of-its-a-wonderful-life-video/
"Kimmel and his writers present Mr. Potter as a mistreated, wrongly disliked rich man. A man who has a plan to make Bedford Falls into a “modern entertainment and business mecca” that would create hundreds of new jobs. But one man stands in his way; “Draft-dodger George Bailey.” George, you see, is a [cue scary music] … socialist!"

Ayn Rand helped the FBI investigate whether ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was commie propaganda

Ayn Rand helped the FBI investigate whether ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was commie propaganda

"Since then, the movie has been more than redeemed as it slowly became a sentimental and beloved holiday perennial. And if anything, its portrayal of a villainous banker has been vindicated a thousand fold as in the last seven years we’ve seen fraudulent mortgages and subsequent foreclosures, bankers unrepentant after an unprecedented taxpayer bailout and unpunished after a mindboggling spree of bad calls, profligacy and corkscrew investments that raked in billions while others suffered the consequences."

Happy Selfish Christmas! 21 Ayn Rand Holiday Cards

http://www.alternet.org/culture/happy-selfish-christmas-21-ayn-rand-holiday-cards
"Some warm and festive cheer from the right-wing author."

The Perpetual Conservative Hissyfit: “If Liberals Are For It, I’m Against It!”

The Perpetual Conservative Hissyfit: “If Liberals Are For It, I’m Against It!”

"the blatant hypocrisy and “whatever Obama says, I’m against it” behavior from the right is both staggering, and sadly effective when you realize how many people continue to vote against their self-interests."

U.S. economy grew 5% in third quarter — fastest rate in 11 years

U.S. economy grew 5% in third quarter — fastest rate in 11 years

"The 5 percent third quarter growth rate came after GDP grew 4.6 percent in the second quarter. The economy has now had its strongest consecutive quarters of growth since 2003."

Thanks, Obama! Economy Surges Forward As GDP Growth Fastest In More Than A Decade

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/23/thanks-obama-economy-surges-gdp-growth-fastest-decade.html
"This is just the latest in a string of good economic news for this current administration. Currently, the unemployment rate is at 5.8%, and job growth is at its strongest level since the Clinton Administration. Low gas prices are allowing consumers to spend more money elsewhere. While wages aren’t rising as fast as they should, they are finally moving up. Overall, Obama’s economy is humming along and is actually an improvement over the campaign promises from Mitt Romney in 2012."

Kansas academic petitions judge to keep Koch brothers correspondence sealed

Kansas academic petitions judge to keep Koch brothers correspondence sealed

"An academic at the University of Kansas has petitioned a judge to prevent his correspondence with his benefactors, foundations set up by the billionaire Koch brothers, from being made public under freedom of information laws.

Dr Arthur Hall, founder and director of the Center for Applied Economics at the university’s business school in Lawrence, Kansas is locked in a bitter fight with students who want to extract the documents as part of their exploration of potential conflicts of interest involving the Kochs."

New Jersey Poised to Pass Legislation That Would Speed Water Privatization

New Jersey Poised to Pass Legislation That Would Speed Water Privatization

"The Herald reports that sales of municipal water systems to private entities would be fast-tracked because the bill would eliminate "a mandatory public vote on such deals and reduc[e] oversight of the sale price by the state Board of Public Utilities"."

What Can You Get When You Buy A Politician?

As Income Inequality Rises, America’s Middle Class Shrinks

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2014/12/18/101790/as-income-inequality-rises-americas-middle-class-shrinks/
"America needs a vibrant and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth. Unfortunately, with the increasing economic inequality of the past several decades, the United States has become less of a middle-class nation, and those in the middle have found themselves increasingly financially squeezed and struggling to get by."

The Wealth Gap Between Rich And Poor Is The Widest Ever Recorded

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/12/18/3605137/us-wealth-gap-at-its-widest-in-decades/
"The wealth disparity between upper and middle income Americans has hit a record high, according to a new Pew Research Center Report. On average, today’s upper-income families are almost seven times wealthier than middle-income ones, compared to 3.4 times wealthier in 1984. When compared to lower income family wealth, upper income family wealth is 70 times larger.
It has come to the point where only the top 10 percent of Americans are seeing their wealth grow while the bottom 90 get less and less of the pie each year. The driving force of this wealth chasm are the top 0.1 percent, who have seen their share of the nation’s wealth grow the most over the past decades, from 7 percent in 1979 to 22 percent today. In fact, the top 0.1 percent are now worth more than the entire bottom 90 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which adjusts for the shrinking size of the American family so as to enable comparisons across time periods."

Republicans still deny climate change

This Is the Stupidest Anti-Science Bull**** of 2014

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/12/worst-science-denial-2014
"2014 had its fair share of landmark scientific accomplishments: dramatic cuts to the cost of sequencing a genome; sweeping investigations of climate change impacts in the US; advances in private-sector space travel, and plenty more. But there was also no shortage of high-profile figures eager to publicly and shamelessly denounce well-established science—sometimes with serious consequences for public policy."

The Republicans' greatest hoax?

David Barton Disciple Joining U.S. House Next Year Vows Holy War on Nonbelievers

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/24/david-barton-disciple-joining-u-s-house-year-vows-holy-war.html
"during this time of year, fake Christians like Loudermilk want to force everybody else to be Christian too. No exceptions. You know, like the good old days when Jesus and his disciples sat around the Christmas tree and exchanged presents, and cavemen cavorted with their pet velociraptors in a game of polo, and when the Founding Fathers were digging frantically through the Bible for clues as to how to write the U.S. Constitution.
Yes. Those good old days. Those non-existent, never-happened good old days."

Religious extremist event draws objections from university community

Remember When Republicans Filibustered The Cybersecurity Bill?

Remember When Republicans Filibustered The Cybersecurity Bill?

"They watered it down hoping to get Republican votes, made the rules optional, etc -- and it was filibustered anyway."

9 Signs the Kochs Have Created Their Own National Political Party

http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/9-signs-kochs-have-created-their-own-national-political-party
"If you want to see how super-wealthy citizens and private corporations are using private money and secretive tactics to gain and consolidate their power and influence, pushing agendas that often prey on middle- and working-class Americans—look no further. Here are nine hallmarks of the Koch Party."

Koch Brothers More Powerful Than You Think

GOP Quietly Admits There's No IRS Scandal Involving The White House

GOP Quietly Admits There's No IRS Scandal Involving The White House

"In a pre-Christmas document dump, Darrell Issa's committee admitted there was no wrongdoing by the White House with regard to the IRS non-scandal."

Darrell Issa’s Report Blows Up In His Face and Destroys The IRS Scandal

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/23/darrell-issas-report-blows-face-destroys-irs-scandal.html
"In over 200 pages, the Republicans could not find one piece of concrete evidence that the White House had anything to do with IRS’s behavior. Issa rejected all evidence that progressive groups were also targeted, and he continues to ignore the reason that the IRS targeted the 501(c) groups. The conservative groups were breaking the law by asking to tax-exempt status despite the fact that they were engaging in partisan political activity.
The IRS should have been targeting the groups because they were trying to get out of paying taxes. Issa’s own report confirms that there was no White House conspiracy. Obama wasn’t using the IRS to hold down conservatives. Issa was lying. He refuses to release the full transcripts of the interviews. The full evidence reveals that there is nothing to the IRS conspiracy theory. That is why Darrell Issa refuses to make all of the interview transcripts public.
Darrell Issa spent two years as chairman of the Oversight Committee trying to get Obama. In the end, Issa fell flat on his face, and his years of conspiracy theory went up in flames."

Darrell Issa Report on the IRS Reveals Surprising Results

Chuck Todd Gives Breitbart News A Big Wet Kiss

Chuck Todd Gives Breitbart News A Big Wet Kiss

"The day Breitbart "News" is considered a legit news organization will be the same day the right-wing takeover of broadcast and online news is complete, and not one day sooner."

GOP State Rep Who Performed Exorcism on Obama Wants to Replace Obamacare With Jesuscare (VIDEO)

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/20/gop-state-rep-who-performed-exorcism-on-obama-wants-to-replace-obamacare-with-jesuscare-video/
"Klingenschmitt, who once tried to exorcise demons from President Barack Obama’s dark, filthy soul and was discharged from the Navy after he disobeyed orders and politicked in uniform, said on his Pray in Jesus’ Name show that people should rely on God for their health care"

Jindal Rally Organizers Remove Controversial Prayer Guide, Still Think Gays Are Responsible For Natural Disasters | Right Wing Watch

Jindal Rally Organizers Remove Controversial Prayer Guide, Still Think Gays Are Responsible For Natural Disasters | Right Wing Watch

"Last week, we reported that the anti-gay, Christian nationalist organizers of a supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting next month had reused some materials from a similar rally hosted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry back in 2011, including a prayer guide blaming LGBT rights and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina."

Dick Cheney and Evangelical Christians Epitomize Dark Age Barbarism

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/22/dick-cheney-evangelical-christians-epitomize-dark-age-barbarism.html
"America’s Christians were more likely than the general public to support acts of torture."

My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon

My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon

"the subtext to the GOP assault on us in 2016 will be religious extremism — again. And now it has a racist twist. Look at the right’s reaction to the events in Ferguson. Look at the continuing anti-Obama ugliness far past mere political difference. For the Republicans the next election won’t be about politics. it will be a holy war — again."

SPLC Releases Map Of Neo-Nazi, Skinhead, Confederate, Patriot Groups

SPLC Releases Map Of Neo-Nazi, Skinhead, Confederate, Patriot Groups

"As you might have gathered, it kind of seems as though Nazis and bigots the nation over are really only happy when there's a Republican in office."

Decency not enough to force Grimm from office

Republican congressman Michael Grimm pleads guilty to tax evasion but won't resign from office

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/23/1353798/-Republican-congressman-Michael-Grim-pleads-guilty-to-tax-evasion-but-won-t-resign-from-office
"Grimm quickly declared that he would not resign from the House, despite previously promising to leave if convicted."

Michael Grimm Convicted But Still In Congress

Rep. Grimm To Plead Guilty To One Felony Count

Rep. Grimm To Plead Guilty To One Felony Count

"the guy's a former FBI agent, they should throw the book at him with the maximum sentence. But I'll be very surprised if this guy serves even a day. Hell, they'll probably give him his own Fox show!"

NY Republican Lawmaker Accused Of Molesting Boy Scouts Refuses To Resign

NY Republican Lawmaker Accused Of Molesting Boy Scouts Refuses To Resign

"Michael Kelsey, a Republican lawmaker in Dutchess County, New York is refusing to step down as he awaits his next court date for charges of inappropriately touching two 15-year-old boys during a Boy Scout trip last August."

Fox Affiliate Caught Altering Protester Chant Video

America's Authoritarian Moment: Horrific Torture and Police Abuse -- How Much Will We Take?

http://www.alternet.org/americas-authoritarian-moment-horrific-torture-and-police-abuse-how-much-will-we-take?page=0%2C0
"The right-wing backlash that defends torture and police abuse also agitates to restore a culture that blames rape victims for what happened to them, and excuses all but the most violent sexual assault as boys just being boys. Human progress is marked by the rejection of all such abuses of power; it feels like we’re living in a time when such progress is stalled, temporarily."

D.A. McCulloch Knowingly Put a Liar on the Stand

Who Do You Work For?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/who-do-you-work-for
"As a political reality, no Mayor can ignore that kind of public sentiment. But as a more substantive and integral one, these are the people who employ the NYPD, the people the NYPD is sworn to serve and protect. The idea that police demand reflexive support from the city's Mayor against large segments of or even the majority of the people they're sworn to serve and protect simply makes no sense."

December 23, 2014

Q: What Is It When Cops Reject Civilian Control? A: What Do You Call A Police State?

Q: What Is It When Cops Reject Civilian Control? A: What Do You Call A Police State?

"These working class men and women, given extraordinary powers by the state, who actively loathe anyone who doesn't meet their standards of what they think a civilian should be, decided over the past several decades (egged on by conservatives of both parties) that they really shouldn't have to answer to anyone. They went from seeing their mandate as "To protect and serve" to "To control and punish." Period."

The Conservative Media Displays Blatant Hypocrisy Over The Murder Of NYPD Officers

The Conservative Media Displays Blatant Hypocrisy Over The Murder Of NYPD Officers

"So we’ve learned that when a white, conservative rancher’s family and supporters in Nevada resist arrest and threaten government agents over land they haven’t paid grazing fees for in decades, it’s the government allegedly overstepping their boundaries. When right-wing, anti-government types kill innocent police officers, they’re completely ignored by conservative media"

Video: Entertainer Sings 'Bad, Bad Michael Brown' At Ex-Police Charity Dinner

Video: Entertainer Sings 'Bad, Bad Michael Brown' At Ex-Police Charity Dinner

"I was raised in Glendale and this doesn't surprise me in the least. A stronghold of John Birch conservatism in the 60s and 70s, now it's even more conservative and possibly more racist. Glendale didn't allow blacks to rent or buy homes in the community until they were forced to under the Equal Housing Act, which was sometime after I had graduated and moved away."

A scary culture change: What new law enforcement rhetoric reveals about America

A scary culture change: What new law enforcement rhetoric reveals about America

"these two examples of rabid authoritarianism are striking but far from unique. If you were so inclined, you could spend nearly all day, every day, reading stories in the local and national news of law enforcement agents behaving as if they were exempt from the social contract and the law. And although the reasons why are too various and complicated to untangle in this column, the philosophy of “broken windows” policing — developed initially by followers of neoconservatism, an ideology comfortable with authoritarianism, to say the least — is undoubtedly at least partially to blame. When the emphasis of law enforcement shifts from upholding law to upholding order, it’s inevitable that officers will begin to envision themselves as the only thing standing between “the nation” and the abyss. With the stakes raised to such existential levels, it’s hardly surprising that officers from Baltimore to Cleveland to Ferguson to New York see themselves as beyond the control of a mere politician, not to mention the citizenry itself."

WATCH: Protester Confronts Fox Station That Deceptively Edited 'Kill A Cop' Chant

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fox-affiliate-apologizes-protester-chant
"A Baltimore Fox affiliate apologized Monday night for a report it ran over the weekend that deceptively edited protesters to look like they were chanting "kill a cop"."

Black Cops Fear Other Cops

http://www.alternet.org/black-nypd-cops-say-theyre-profiled-and-threatened-white-cops
"The black police officers said their experiences included being pulled over by police for no reason (multiple times for most), being stopped and frisked, thrown into prison vans, and being physically assaulted and threatened. Black cops say that they’ve had their heads slammed against vehicles and guns brandished in their faces."

Fox News Deceitfully Edits Video To Falsely Place Al Sharpton At Scene Of An Anti-Cop Protest

http://aattp.org/fox-news-deceitfully-edits-video-to-falsely-place-al-sharpton-at-scene-of-an-anti-cop-protest/
"Carlson’s alleged interest in a conversation about police brutality is completely disingenuous. Prior to this becoming a national news story he never sought to initiate such a conversation. And while he may want to dismiss the racial component of the crisis, the facts show that African-American men are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white men. Ignoring these statistics makes it impossible to have an honest debate on the subject."

Pro-Slavery Cop Resigns After Calling Blacks 'Jungle Monkeys' In YouTube Video

Pro-Slavery Cop Resigns After Calling Blacks 'Jungle Monkeys' In YouTube Video

"That's okay; McNamara has a bright future with Fox News as a legal consultant."

Fox News' Double Standard For Right-Wing Cop Killers

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/12/22/fox-news-double-standard-for-right-wing-cop-kil/201978
"As bullets flew, one of the shooters reportedly shouted that the "revolution" had begun. The killers then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, and covered them with cloth that featured the "Don't tread on me" Gadsden flag, which has recently been adopted as a symbol of the tea party movement."

December 22, 2014

Walkergate Was About To Go Nationwide

Walkergate Was About To Go Nationwide

"The scary part about all this is that these cases are headed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear at least some of them. Four out of the seven justices are beholden to the dark money special interests that are behind these lawsuits and don't seem likely to recuse themselves like ethical judges would do."

Papantonio: How To Buy A Legal System

Milwaukee Police Officer Won't Face Charges for Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

Milwaukee Police Officer Won't Face Charges for Shooting of Unarmed Black Man

"Former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney will not be charged in the shooting death of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton that took place earlier this year, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Monday."

A Startling Admission By The Ferguson Prosecutor Could Restart The Case Against Darren Wilson

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/12/21/3606084/how-a-startling-admission-from-the-ferguson-prosector-could-restart-the-case-against-darren-wilson/
"Ferguson prosecutor Bob McCulloch admitted that he presented evidence he knew to be false to the grand jury considering charges against Darren Wilson. In an interview with radio station KTRS on Friday, McCulloch said that he decided to present witnesses that were “clearly not telling the truth” to the grand jury. Specifically, McCulloch acknowledged he permitted a woman who “clearly wasn’t present when this occurred” to testify as an eyewitness to the grand jury for several hours. The woman, Sandra McElroy, testified that Michael Brown charged at Wilson “like a football player, head down,” supporting Wilson’s claim that he killed Brown in self-defense."

Video: NYPD Officers Caught Arresting, Repeatedly Punching Boy

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/12/19/3605623/nypd-officers-beat-arrest-12-year-old-on-video/
"A graphic new video shows NYPD officers beating a young boy against a vehicle. After three cops hold the boy against the car, a non-uniformed officer is seen running up and punching the child repeatedly."

Innocent Elderly Man Tazed, Traffic Stop Goes Wrong

Former Federal Prosecutor: McCulloch Violated Rules Of Professional Conduct In Brown Case

Former Federal Prosecutor: McCulloch Violated Rules Of Professional Conduct In Brown Case

"Former Federal Prosecutor Jonathan Shapiro discussed the possible sanctions St. Louis Country Prosecutor Bob McCulloch could be facing for putting witness 40 on the stand in the Ferguson case."


Ohio Officer Wishes For Slavery And The 'Extermination' Of All Blacks -- Then Blames 'Immaturity'

Ohio Officer Wishes For Slavery And The 'Extermination' Of All Blacks -- Then Blames 'Immaturity'

"An auxiliary officer with the Fairview Park Police Department, who had written that black people should be "exterminated," resigned from the force last week."

New Federal Law Requires Police Shootings To Be Reported

New Federal Law Requires Police Shootings To Be Reported

"Police departments keep their own data, meaning there's no official measure of how often this happens."

New information calls Ferguson grand jury decision into question

December 20, 2014

Time for some Made in America holiday shopping

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/20/1348913/-Time-for-some-Made-in-America-holiday-shopping
"Buying American-made products is a great way to support the American economy and jobs."

A farewell to 'The Colbert Report'

Who's Afraid of Shareholder Democracy?

http://truth-out.org/news/item/28126-who-s-afraid-of-shareholder-democracy
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of biggest corporate trade associations, and ALEC, one of biggest corporate lobbying groups are both startlingly hostile to shareholders. At two recent meetings in Washington DC, these two powerful groups -- who frequently hold themselves out as speaking for the business community -- grumbled about shareholders being too pushy.
In particular ALEC and the Chamber don't like that one of the top topics of shareholder resolutions over the past few years has been transparency of political spending both in elections and in lobbying expenditures."

Wall Street Thinks Elizabeth Warren Is The Devil

Republicans welcome a flood of lobbyists to Capitol Hill

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/19/1352914/-Republicans-welcome-a-flood-of-lobbyists-to-Capitol-Hill
"if you were outraged that Citigroup basically wrote the Wall Street bailout provision in the spending bill that passed last week, prepare for a lot more like that."

Bush 3.0

Jeb Bush: The Worst Republican Traits In One Package

Someone Just Bet $1 Million You’re Still Ready For Romney

Someone Just Bet $1 Million You’re Still Ready For Romney

"a Ready For Romney super PAC with an accompanying web site launched this week. It’s headed by someone named Jeffrey Goff, who a quick FEC disclosure search reveals matches the name of several former low-level Romney donors. People linked to the Romney campaign seem not to know who this is, but The Weekly Standard does report the website was designed by a teenager for $300.

By all looks, the website is not worth that $300. (Sorry, kid.) But it does look about the way you’d expect Mitt Romney’s website to look"

Jeb Bush’s damning secret history

Jeb Bush’s damning secret history

"If Bush runs, extremism and corruption in the Sunshine State during his tenure will provide ample fodder for investigative reporters and primary opponents, as will many episodes in his long business career."

One Is A Devil, The Other An Angel According To Wall Street

Sanders Slams GOP For Maneuvering to Slash Social Security and Medicare

Sanders Slams GOP For Maneuvering to Slash Social Security and Medicare

"U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday slammed the GOP for jockeying to slash Social Security and Medicare in the next Congress, denouncing the plan as a "moral outrage"."

Ari Melber: Our policy towards Cuba was ‘a failed experiment’

US opens communications with Cuba

Rand Paul Battles Marco Rubio In Their Own Cuban Missile Crisis

A new era of diplomacy for US and Cuba

New Cuba policy's impact on Cuban-Americans

Why ‘size really matters’ to Marco Rubio

Major Shift In US-Cuba Relations - Trade, Diplomacy To Flow

Jeb Bush caught in conflict over Cuba embargo

U.S. Contractor Freed, Formal Diplomatic Relations With Cuba To Resume

U.S. Contractor Freed, Formal Diplomatic Relations With Cuba To Resume

"The deal was negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican"

Embargo's years-long failure yields new Cuba policy

What Obama’s “new approach” to Cuba means for the American South

What Obama’s “new approach” to Cuba means for the American South

"Ending the embargo could create new economic growth opportunities for some of the country's poorest states"

Changing attitudes, politics enable new Cuba policy

Reports: Vatican, Pope Francis Instrumental In Cuba Talks

Reports: Vatican, Pope Francis Instrumental In Cuba Talks

"Vatican officials—and Pope Francis in particular—were instrumental in establishing talks between the U.S. and Cuba which led to President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he would “chart a new course” in U.S.-Cuba relations, according to media reports."

Historic thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations

December 19, 2014

You Can’t Handle The Truthiness: Saying Goodbye To ‘Stephen Colbert’

http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/12/19/3605642/the-truthiness-hurts-saying-goodbye-to-stephen-colbert/
"What started as a pointed satire of Bill O’Reilly’s show quickly evolved into a weird, wonderful entity unto itself."

Stephen Colbert Goes Out With A Bang in Amazing Final Segment of ‘The Colbert Report’ (Video)

Stephen Colbert Goes Out With A Bang in Amazing Final Segment of ‘The Colbert Report’ (Video)

"For nearly a decade, his show featured a man pretending to be another man who was essentially mocking another man – Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly."

5 Worst Republican Lies About Income Inequality

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/5-worst-republican-lies-about-income-inequality
"Since 1980, the income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans has increased a meager $303 or 1 percent. The top 1 percent’s income has more than doubled, increasing by about $500,000. And the really, really rich, the top 10th of 1 percent, made out, dare I say, like bandits, quadrupling their income to $22 million.
Meanwhile a full-time worker’s wage was 11 percent lower in 2004 than in 1973, adjusting for inflation even though their productivity increased by 78 percent. Productivity gains swelled corporate profits, which reached an all time high in 2010. And that in turn fueled an unprecedented inequality within the workplace itself. In 2010, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, the average CEO in large companies earned 325 times more than the average worker."

GOP Rep Who Owns 'Blow-Me.org' Being Sued For Sexual Harassment; Said He Had 'Wet Dreams' About Staffer

GOP Rep Who Owns 'Blow-Me.org' Being Sued For Sexual Harassment; Said He Had 'Wet Dreams' About Staffer

"It seems wingnut Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold has got more problems than just whether he owns some colorful domain names. He's also being sued for sexually harassing one of his employees."

GOPer Sued Over Wet Dreams, Drunk Threesomes & A Dirty Website

The 6-Step Process to Dispose of the Poor Half of America

http://www.alternet.org/economy/6-step-process-dispose-poor-half-america
"Based on inflation, the minimum wage should be nearly three times its current level. An investor report from J.P. Morgan noted a direct correlation between record profits and cutbacks in wages."

Priorities for the new Republican Congress? Rolling back consumer protection for air travelers

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/16/1352178/-Priorities-for-the-new-Republican-Congress-Rolling-back-consumer-protection-for-air-travelers
"From the "things that make absolutely no sense unless there is serious corruption" files, Congress is looking to roll back regulations meant to protect air travelers in the U.S.
What are these suffocating restrictions airlines simply can't operate under? A ban on deceptive advertising that has only been in effect since 2012. With Republicans set to take over the legislative agenda in the new year, there are indications that one of the first orders of business will be passing the deceptively named Transparent Airlines Act"

Bernie Sanders: Destroy the big banks before the big banks destroy you

Bernie Sanders: Destroy the big banks before the big banks destroy you

"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) plans a legislative push for the breakup of Wall Street’s largest banks and lifting the cap on contributions to Social Security.

“If Congress cannot regulate Wall Street, there is just one alternative,” said Sanders in a speech Saturday. “It is time to break these too-big-to-fail banks up so that they can never again destroy the jobs, homes, and life savings of the American people"."

A devastating blow to retirees

December 18, 2014

Absurd Fox News Host Tries to Attack Elizabeth Warren, Defend Wall Street (Video)

Absurd Fox News Host Tries to Attack Elizabeth Warren, Defend Wall Street (Video)

"Of course people in the financial industry and Wall Street think Warren is “the devil” – she’s leading the charge to put an end to b.s. they’ve been getting away with far too long. I’m sure big tobacco thought the same thing about politicians who went after big tobacco decades ago for lying to the American public. Anyone, or group, is always going to think those trying to expose their lies are “the devil” because the last thing they want to do is be exposed or have action taken against them. Though it’s clear Francis is nothing but a shill for Wall Street. But excuse me if I’m not overly concerned, nor do I care, about the opinions of individuals who work for one of the most corrupt and unethical sectors in all of our economy. Wall Street is essentially nothing more than an elaborate version of Las Vegas where the powerful, rich and big banks treat the American people, and our economy, like high stakes poker.

Except when they lose, they don’t actually lose – we do."

Fox Shows The Extent Of Conservative Fear Of Elizabeth Warren (VIDEO)

http://samuel-warde.com/2014/12/fox-shows-extent-conservative-fear-elizabeth-warren-video/
"Of course O’Reilly is trying his best to defame Warren and as you’ll see he throws several outright lies into his diatribe. But if this shows us anything, it shows that Conservatives must really be afraid of her. And what that really means is that Elizabeth Warren is surely doing something right!"

Sanders Has a Couple More Good Ideas: Break Up Big Banks, Expand Social Security

Sanders Has a Couple More Good Ideas: Break Up Big Banks, Expand Social Security

"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has announced his intention to push for new pieces of legislation in the next session, one of which would break up the nation's largest Wall Street banks and another that would expand the Social Security program for all Americans."

Elizabeth Warren Just Gave One of the Best Speeches That I’ve Ever Seen (Video)

Elizabeth Warren Just Gave One of the Best Speeches That I’ve Ever Seen (Video)

"I just don’t see how any rational person could be against what she said. We’re not talking about partisan politics, this is just common sense stuff. I’m not sure why anyone would honestly believe that it’s a good idea to have one of the most corrupt institutions in this country, the financial sector, directly influencing (or damn near writing it themselves) legislation that makes it easier for them to pull the same kind of bullsh*t they pulled prior to our 2008 economic collapse. That’s like giving a burglar the password to the alarm and keys to your house. It makes absolutely no sense."

Elizabeth Warren Offers 9 Damned Good Reasons to Split Citibank into Pieces

http://www.alternet.org/economy/elizabeth-warren-offers-9-damned-good-reasons-split-citibank-pieces
"Citigroup spends millions to get billions from taxpayers"

One on One with Sen. Al Franken

Senator Tom Coburn’s Departing ‘F**k You’ To Veterans (VIDEO)

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/16/senator-tom-coburns-departing-fk-you-to-veterans-video/
"The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for Veterans bill passed the House last week with an actual bi-partisan vote. Then it went to the Senate, where it was thought that the same thing would happen, leaving only the need for a Presidential signature. That’s what it was expected to do….
Enter Tom Coburn, idiot Senator from Oklahoma. He put a block on the bill. Why? It’s too expensive, he says. Expensive? Where was his cry of “it’s too expensive” when the vote was cast to send these men and women to war? And how much is “too expensive,” anyway? How does $22 million sound? I don’t know about you but it sounds like a bargain to me. Considering that the military budget is in the billions of dollars, the cost of this bill is small change.
Coburn, who takes pride in his nickname, “Dr. No,” is one of the most conservative members of Congress. Not surprising in that Koch Industries is one of his major donors. That’s when he’s there. According to GovTrack, Coburn missed 238 of 3,133 votes, or 7.6% during his tenure. The median is 2.1% for lifetime records of sitting senators. Just this last few weeks, he missed 60 of 88 votes, putting him in the 99th percentile. Too bad he didn’t just miss this latest vote."

2014's Final Act Of Republican Obstruction, And How The D.C. Press (Again) Looked Away

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/12/17/2014s-final-act-of-republican-obstruction-and-h/201918
"Veterans' advocates were stunned by the Republican's stalling maneuver. "It's a shame that after two decades of service in Washington, Sen. Coburn will always be remembered for this final, misguided attack on veterans nationwide," said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America."

Coburn obstinate in blocking veterans suicide prevention bill

Right-wing radicals plot takeover of rural Arizona county to test nutty political theories

Right-wing radicals plot takeover of rural Arizona county to test nutty political theories

"The former Graham County, Arizona, sheriff and failed congressional candidate made news earlier this year when he proposed using women as human shields in the Bundy ranch standoff.

Mack, a board member of the Oath Keepers organization, is also known for promoting birther and other conspiracy theories on conservative and white nationalist radio programs."

John Kasich: Schools must partner with religious groups to receive mentoring funds

John Kasich: Schools must partner with religious groups to receive mentoring funds

"Under the program, schools don’t have the option to partner with a business and a secular nonprofit; a religious group must be part of the mix."

See you later, least productive Congress

Wingnuts’ tax reckoning: Why Sam Brownback’s job is about to get really miserable

Wingnuts’ tax reckoning: Why Sam Brownback’s job is about to get really miserable

"Given that Kansas has already implemented some of the country’s largest cuts in education funding, slashed mental health services (after which suicides spiked by 30 percent), and kicked more than 1,400 disabled people off its Medicaid rolls, it’s unclear what other savage cuts Merrick and Co. would have Brownback pursue. The governor himself has already given Kansans an idea of what the next four years have in store, announcing last week that he will cut highway funding and reduce contributions to the state’s pension fund, which is already one of the worst-funded in the nation."

How Brownback Is Relying On O-Care To Close Kansas' Huge Budget Hole

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/kansas-budget-hole-brownback-obamacare
"Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) is calling all hands on deck to fix his state's huge self-imposed budget crisis, which nearly cost him re-election this year, and the staunch conservative is now receiving an assist from an unlikely source: Obamacare."

Sam Brownback, Obamacare’s newest patient: Why Kansas is undergoing a revolution

Sam Brownback, Obamacare’s newest patient: Why Kansas is undergoing a revolution

"But for now it’s full steam ahead for his radically conservative tax policy, which endures only because successful government programs like the Affordable Care Act are there to help subsidize Brownback’s economic fantasy."

The right is coming for your birth control — they just don’t want you to know it yet

The right is coming for your birth control — they just don’t want you to know it yet

"Rand Paul wants you to believe that Republicans don’t want to “ban birth control,” just as Joni Ernst wants you to believe that her support of personhood is a private matter that will have no policy ramifications. These are lies. Whether or not the right will own up to its dishonesty, and, as Dreweke points out, reveal the “full breadth of their anti–reproductive health and rights agenda” depends on if the public will keep letting them get away with it."

Report: Witness 40 may not have seen Brown die

The Largest City To Implement Policy Body Cam Policy In America

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/12/17/3604493/los-angeles-body-cams/
"The Los Angeles Police Department will give body cameras to 7,000 officers by Summer 2015. In doing so, a department with a legacy of racial profiling will become the first major city police department to implement a body cam policy."

15 Reasons America's Police Are So Brutal

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/15-reasons-americas-police-are-so-brutal
"Handcuffed teenagers beaten bloody with guns. Unarmed people shot and killed in their cars. Cops firing guns carelessly into busy streets. Mentally ill people tasered in ambulances. Supervisors refusing to challenge a brutal status quo.
These examples didn’t come from the New York City Police Department or Ferguson, Missouri, where the killing of unarmed black men by white cops has created a national outcry over institutional racism and excessive force. They were from Ohio, where the U.S. Department of Justice just finished an investigation and report on abusive and often unconstitutional policing by Cleveland Division of Police between 2010 and 2013. They were compiled before November 22, when a rookie officer shot and killed a 12-year-old African-American boy, Tamir Rice, for waving a toy gun around on a playground."

CNN's #AskACop Hashtag Backfires, Triggers Anti-Police Backlash

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/cnns-askacop-hashtag-backfires-triggers-anti-police-backlash
"In a move that seems to suggest it has no idea how Twitter works, CNN asked viewers to submit questions to police officers using the hashtag #AskACop. It went exactly the way you and anyone who has ever used social media would expect."

December 17, 2014

We Thought We Were Free

How Sandy McElroy and Prosecutor Bob McCulloch colluded to destroy the case against Darren Wilson

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/16/1352210/-How-Sandy-McElroy-and-Prosecutor-Bob-McCulloch-colluded-to-destroy-the-case-against-Darren-Wilson
"Sandy McElroy was never near Canfield Drive on August 9. She completely fabricated her entire story weeks after Darren Wilson killed Mike Brown. During their interrogation of her, Sandy McElroy was completely shredded by the FBI as a racist, a liar, unstable, and more. They proved in their own interview, with evidence, that McElroy lied about ever being there, about how she left the scene, about key details of the case that she claimed she witnessed, and more.
Furthermore, Sandy McElroy, beyond being a convicted felon, had a record in St. Louis of interfering with investigations and making preposterous claims about connections she had to cold cases. All of this was known to St. Louis officials. Her extreme racism was not private, but public, and was discussed at great length with the FBI before she was ever allowed to testify before the grand jury."

Ferguson Fraud: Witness '40' Invented Her Testimony

Ferguson Fraud: Witness '40' Invented Her Testimony

"She was permitted to give testimony before the Ferguson Grand Jury, she was cited by prosecutor Robert McCulloch as a corroborative witness, and she appears to have made the whole thing up."

Witness at Darren Wilson Hearing Feted by Sean Hannity Was a Liar and Convicted Felon, Report Says

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/witness-darren-wilson-trial-feted-sean-hannity-was-liar-and-convicted-felon-report
"Grand jury “Witness 40,” whose testimony helped Officer Darren Wilson escape criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, has been revealed as a virulently racist St. Louis woman with serious credibility issues."

Meathead Cop Whines That Cops Are The Victims In Tamir Rice Shooting

December 14, 2014

Obamacare rolls surging ahead of Dec. 15 deadline

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/11/1351104/-Obamacare-rolls-surging-ahead-of-Dec-15-deadline
"New enrollees must sign up by Dec. 15, while existing customers have until Feb. 15, 2015, to reenroll."

Bob McDonnell Looking At 10 Years In The Big House

Bob McDonnell Looking At 10 Years In The Big House

"The federal agency that will play a pivotal role in guiding the sentence of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell has recommended that the onetime Republican rising star spend at least 10 years and a month in prison, according to several people familiar with the matter."

Lindsey Graham: Elizabeth Warren Is ‘The Problem’ With Our Government

Lindsey Graham: Elizabeth Warren Is ‘The Problem’ With Our Government

"of course she is – she’s “the problem” for senators like Graham who are nothing but shills for these corrupt financial institutions. These are the people who are directly responsible for our economic crash, yet jackasses like Graham are desperately doing anything and everything they can to help ensure that they’re allowed to do it again."

How Ayn Rand Helped Turn the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation

http://www.alternet.org/culture/how-ayn-rand-helped-turn-us-selfish-greedy-nation
"Rand’s impact has been widespread and deep. At the iceberg’s visible tip is the influence she’s had over major political figures who have shaped American society. In the 1950s, Ayn Rand read aloud drafts of what was later to become Atlas Shrugged to her “Collective,” Rand’s ironic nickname for her inner circle of young individualists, which included Alan Greenspan, who would serve as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006.
In 1966, Ronald Reagan wrote in a personal letter, “Am an admirer of Ayn Rand.” Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) credits Rand for inspiring him to go into politics, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) calls Atlas Shrugged his “foundation book.” Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says Ayn Rand had a major influence on him, and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is an even bigger fan. A short list of other Rand fans includes Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Christopher Cox, chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission in George W. Bush’s second administration; and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.
But Rand’s impact on U.S. society and culture goes even deeper."

Watch: Michele Bachmann Whines About Obama Being ‘Condescending’ Toward Her During Christmas Party

Watch: Michele Bachmann Whines About Obama Being ‘Condescending’ Toward Her During Christmas Party

"Typically when someone who’s very intelligent is approached by someone who isn’t with some kind of asinine comment, it’s really difficult not to be at least a tad bit condescending. Especially when it’s someone like Michele Bachmann who’s structured a large part of her political career around lying about the president."

6 Insanely Stupid Right-Wing Moments this Week: Michele Bachmann Drops a Bombshell

http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/6-insanely-stupid-right-wing-moments-week-michele-bachmann-drops-bombshell
"Michele Bachmann has just one big wish for Christmas this year: Mr. President, please bomb Iran. That’s what the outgoing Minnesota Rep. told President Obama at the White House holiday party on Monday.
Festive, no?
Bachmann described her exchange with the President to the ultra-Conservative site the Washington Free Beacon.
"I turned to the President and I said, something to the effect of, ‘Mr. President, you need to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities, because if you don’t, Iran will have a nuclear weapon on your watch and the course of world history will change. . . . And he got his condescending smile on his face and laughed at me and said, ‘Well, Michele, it’s just not that easy.’"
Imagine that. The President did not take this insane woman's foreign policy suggestion seriously."

US Probation Office Recommends Ten Years In Prison For GOP Ex-Governor Bob McDonnell

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/12/13/probation-office-recommends-ten-years-prison-gop-ex-governor-bob-mcdonnell.html
"The U.S. probation office recommends that former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell spend at least ten years in prison for the eleven counts of corruption he was found guilty of committing. The probation office calculated a recommended sentence of between ten and thirteen years in prison for the disgraced public official."

At least 10 years in prison recommended for ex-Virginia governor

Bachmann Complains That Obama Was 'Fairly Condescending' To Her When She Asked Him To Bomb Iran At W.H. Christmas Party

Bachmann Complains That Obama Was 'Fairly Condescending' To Her When She Asked Him To Bomb Iran At W.H. Christmas Party

"Poor Michele. She's a victim, don't you know. And of course it has to be sexism and not the fact that she's bats**t crazy that President Obama was condescending to her."

The sick motivation behind the religious right’s Obamacare sabotage

The sick motivation behind the religious right’s Obamacare sabotage

"What they want is to build a theocracy from the ground up, where the poor and the needy are abjectly dependent on a church that can yank away the necessities of life if it judges them insufficiently compliant, and so the masses will have no choice but to be corralled and steered. Even today, we can see this conservative vision put into practice, and witness the terrible consequences that result when it blocks the government from helping the needy. Consider Mississippi, which is both the most religious and has the most churches per capita of any U.S. state. If rosy visions like Ernst’s were true, Mississippi would be the best place in the country to live. But in reality, it’s the poorest and (by life expectancy) sickest state."

Louisiana Gov. Jindal’s prayer rally handouts blame gays and abortion for Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana Gov. Jindal’s prayer rally handouts blame gays and abortion for Hurricane Katrina

"materials being distributed ahead of the rally blame LGBT acceptance and legal abortion for natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the devastating tornado system that leveled the town of Joplin, Missouri."

Blatant Racism on Full Display During Tea Party Rally in Front of White House (Video)

Blatant Racism on Full Display During Tea Party Rally in Front of White House (Video)

"shouldn’t the people who said these things then be arrested for threatening the life of the president? I mean, who brings rope to a protest? Not only that, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who hears these comments and can’t help but envision a lynching during a KKK rally. But, again, according to most conservatives, race has nothing to do with this blind and irrational hatred of President Obama - absolutely nothing."

Arizona Pastor Boasts About Tricking Rabbis Into Participating In Anti-Semitic Film

Arizona Pastor Boasts About Tricking Rabbis Into Participating In Anti-Semitic Film

"Anderson, whose Tempe-based Faith Temple Baptist Church is among the most hardcore anti-LGBT hate groups in the country, has attracted attention for his rants wishing death upon President Obama and gays and lesbians"

Ferguson: Was ‘Witness 40’ even there?

Hannity's favorite witness for Darren Wilson is a self-admitted racist with severe memory loss

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/12/1351303/-Hannity-s-favorite-witness-for-Darren-Wilson-is-a-self-admitted-racist-with-severe-memory-loss
"Why does Sean Hannity quote this witness so frequently?
Was Hannity aware of her racist statements and her complete lack of credibility?"

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

Medical Students Across U.S. Stage 'Die-Ins'

Medical Students Across U.S. Stage 'Die-Ins'

"Medical students at some of the country's most prestigious institutions staged 'die-in' protests in support of those standing for black lives."

Torture Is Not an American Value

Iraq vet’s parents: GOP Sen. ‘Dr. No’ is blocking bill to help prevent military suicides

Iraq vet’s parents: GOP Sen. ‘Dr. No’ is blocking bill to help prevent military suicides

"The bill, which passed in the House by a voice vote on Tuesday, is named after a 28-year-old Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who committed suicide three years ago, after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

But Coburn, who has earned the nickname “Dr. No” for his willingness to block legislation, has imposed a parliamentary hold on the Hunt bill."

Tom Coburn blocking veteran suicide prevention bill

Chris Hayes Rants At Torture Apologists And Moral Idiots

Chris Hayes Rants At Torture Apologists And Moral Idiots

"Their distraction technique is the "whatabout-ism", or what I called "both sides"."

Who's responsible for the CIA's torture policy?

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/12/15221/whos-responsible-cias-torture-policy
"a gallery displaying those who played key roles in setting and supporting the CIA's policies and actions, along with highlights from the Senate report's disclosures about their involvement."

The Torture-Free TRUE Story of The Best USMC Interrogator in WWII

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/10/1350709/-Here-s-A-Wrecking-Ball-for-Cheney-and-The-Torture-Apologists-To-Suck-On
"You can argue whether or not the Cheney Clan are a bunch of lying, cowardly, hypocrites who betray their nation when it's convenient.
You can argue whether or not the Bush Clan are a bunch of lying, cowardly, conniving weasels who betray their nation when it's profitable.
You can debate whether enablers like Richard Cohen and Peggy Noonan substituted sophistry for sound judgment and pretend it's journalism.
But there are three things you can't do:
1) You can't ignore facts just because they are inconvenient.
2) You can't deny that USMC Major Sherwood F. Moran was a hero in WWII.
3) You can't continue to leave him out of any debate on torture."

PERRspectives: LDS Members Played Key Roles for Bush Torture Team

PERRspectives: LDS Members Played Key Roles for Bush Torture Team

"As the Salt Lake Tribune first fretted in April 2009, "LDS lawyers, psychologists had a hand in torture policies." At the top of that list of Mormon Torquemadas are John "Bruce" Jessen and James Mitchell, the two psychologists who designed and also later helped administer the vicious, violent and virtually worthless torture tactics. Many in the CIA itself worried about their regimen reverse-engineered from the American military's own SERE ("Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape") program."