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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Daily Drift

That's Politics  ...
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Today in History

1789 The U.S. House of Representatives holds its first meeting.
1832 Some 300 American troops of the 6th Infantry leave Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, to confront the Sauk Indians in what would become known as the Black Hawk War.
1864 In the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana, Federals are routed by Confederate Gen. Richard Taylor.
1865 General Robert E. Lee's retreat is cut off near Appomattox Court House.
1898 British General Horatio Kitchner defeats the Khalifa, leader of the dervishes in Sudan, at the Battle of Atbara.
1913 The 17th Amendment is ratified, requiring direct election of senators.
1935 The Works Progress Administration (WPA) is approved by Congress.
1939 Italy invades Albania.
1942 The Soviets open a rail link to the besieged city of Leningrad.
1952 President Truman orders the seizure of U.S. steel mills to prevent a strike.
1962 Bay of Pigs invaders get thirty years imprisonment in Cuba.
1974 Hank Aaron hits his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's record.
1975 Frank Robinson of the Cleveland Indians becomes first black manager of a major league baseball team.

Non Sequitur


Did you know ...

About the 8 ways privatization has failed America
That a KKK leader says : we're not hateful, we're christian
That corporations don't create jobs, they destroy them
That celebrities should stop playing doctor
About these 8 amazing facts that will alter your sense of time altogether
That the attack on protesting Iraq war vet by police results in million dollar settlement
That 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in their retirement accounts
Just when Americans woke up and realized they got screwed
The police seize a shipment of cocaine addressed to the Vatican
That smoking pot may actually help lung function
That more Americans are being killed by police than by terrorists
That S.C. repugican gov. Nikki Haley violated civil rights when she arrested occupy protestors
About the ageism in silicon valley
That the top 20% of Americans get 33 times more federal subsidies for their retirement than the bottom 20%
About these 10 myths about poverty
About the cities where it takes three full-time jobs to afford an apartment
That blue states are healthier states
About the rape of appalachia
About why some shootings get national attention...and some don't
That budding liberal protest movements begin to take root in the south
... even as the south recedes into the 13th century
About the religio-wingnut's war on the "religion" of secular humanism
Here's more proof corporate tax cuts have done more harm than good
About why the men's rights movement is garbage
About this sad map of where lions used to live vs. where they live now

The Lie Must Die

It is an election year, which means that repugicans and the emo-prog left have returned to attempt to depress Democratic voter turnout by claiming that Democrats and repugicans are the same. Today, we put a stake through the heart of a lie that must die.
The false equivalency is widespread. It is a favorite tactic of wingnuts that was most recently put on display by the wingnut agitators who are trying to get Stephen Colbert fired. It has also been employed by favorite entertainers of the left Jon Stewart and Bill Maher.
The reality is that both sides don’t act the same way. The people who trot out this excuse are looking for a reason to justify their lack of participation in the process. Some want to say that both Democrats and repugicans are owned by corporations, or business. Seventy one percent of political donations come from businesses, and 58% of those donations go to repugicans. Labor only makes up 5.4% donations, and 88% of them go to Democrats. Overall, Business donations outnumber labor by a margin of 15 to 1.
Corporate interests may want to control both parties, but it is clear that there is only one party that they own right now. All of these numbers are argument in favor of campaign finance reform and the public funding of elections.
This argument is always used every election year to discourage Democrats from showing up to vote. Both sides don’t do it, and it is time to destroy the myth that it isn’t worth participating in our electoral process.

The Supreme Court Took Political Power Away from All and Gave It to 644 Wealthy Americans

The Koch-Adelson Wingnuts on the Supreme Court made an important ruling that was yet another step toward taking political power away from the "whole body of all citizens"…
Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens participate equally either directly or indirectly through elected representatives in government. Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by one person, as in a monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in America’s burgeoning oligarchy. Several variants of democracy exist, but of the two basic forms which concern how the whole body of all citizens executes its will, America’s form is representative democracy where the whole body of all eligible citizens remains the sovereign power, but political power is exercised indirectly through elected representatives. The Koch-Adelson wingnuts on the Supreme Court made an important ruling that was yet another step toward taking political power away from the “whole body of all citizens” and giving a great advantage to a very, very tiny percentage of the population to exercise direct political power by granting them a greater degree of free speech than nearly the entirety of the population.
America’s democracy has been bludgeoned over the past four years whether it was the Supreme Court striking down the Voting Rights Act, repugicans enacting voter suppression laws in states they control, or the Supreme Court giving corporations a “voice” to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns in the Koch brothers’ Citizens United ruling. Yesterday the conservative Court issued another “free speech ruling” striking down limits on individual campaign donations as a gift to the extremely wealthy and repugican cabal that was part of the McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission case. The Koch-Adelson wingnuts felt the overall federal limit on individuals’ contributions of $123,200 was a violation of the wealthy’s free speech and unconstitutional, and concluded that to be fair and constitutional, the wealthy should be limited to spending $3.6 million on individual donations. For perspective, the old limit of $123,200 is about two-and-a-half times the $49,900 median family income and although millions of Americans donate to individual political campaigns in America, it is incomprehensible that the Court ruling benefited any American that is not filthy rich. In fact, only 644 wealthy elite donors contributed the maximum amount to candidates in the last election cycle, so the Court’s decision benefited an infinitesimal percentage of the American population; the very, very, very richest percentage of over 316 million Americans.
It was a ruling that benefits 0.000002% of the population and no man, woman, child, repugican, or wild beast can say this particular group of wingnut SCOTUS Justices is not ruling solely for the extremely wealthy. John Roberts certainly was looking out for the people in the richest micro-percentage of the population because he wrote that “The overall limits intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise ‘the most fundamental First Amendment activities.” Roberts may as well have been speaking about “a citizen,” and if he was referring to freedom of speech of the very rich, the High Court already granted corporations owned by the richest Americans “free speech” in elections in Citizens United four years ago; freedom of speech was not an issue in McCutcheon. Allowing the rich to speak with a louder voice was the issue and the wingnut Court gave the top two-one-millionths of one percent of the population a much, much louder voice than the bottom 99.99998% of the population to sway elections with typical conservative lies, misinformation, and propaganda.
Justice Stephen Breyer, in writing for the dissenting opinion, said that the court’s wingnuts “eviscerated our nation’s campaign finance laws” with yesterday’s ruling and that “If the court in Citizens United opened a door, today’s decision we fear will open a floodgate. It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institution and creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.” Breyer is right, the court’s wingnuts are eviscerating campaign finance laws and with the Citizens United ruling, this decision sets a very dangerous precedent repugicans are certain to take to heart and completely eliminate campaign finance laws, the Federal Elections Commission, and voting laws that do not favor repugican candidates for political office. It is important to note that in Citizens United v FEC, McCutcheon v FEC, and Shelby County v. Holder (Voting Rights Act), repugicans simply went to the Supreme Court and asked the wingnuts to strike down longstanding voting rights or campaign finance laws and the wingnuts granted their request per their orders from the Koch brothers.
In McCutcheon v. FEC, a wealthy repugican did not like the FECs limitation on individual campaign donations and filed suit complaining that being limited to spending $123,200 on individual candidates just was not fair and violated his 1st Amendment right of free speech. The wingnuts on the High Court agreed wholeheartedly and gave McCutcheon more free speech than over 99% of the population to financially support repugican candidates.  How long before the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson convince another uber-wealthy donor to file suit against the federal government because they think the Federal Elections Commission is an unconstitutional violation of their free speech or that all campaign finance laws are unconstitutional? The repugicans have already slashed FEC funding below levels from before 2010 that the elections commission complains restricts them from doing their jobs of policing violators.
It is true that one wealthy individual spending $3.6 million dollars on repugican candidates is not going to buy one American’s vote, but that proposition is likely in the offing. But it does unfairly give the 644 wealthy donors a greater voice in buying television ads, billboards, campaign flyers, and radio spots to spread lies and misinformation about Democrats while extolling the virtues of repugicans and teabaggers. The High Court’s ruling for McCutcheon is not the end of America’s democracy yet, but as Senator Charles Schumer said, “This in itself is a small step, but another step on the road to ruination. It could lead to interpretations of the law that would result in the end of any fairness in the political system as we know it.” Schumer is right and it is but a short matter of time before tax-exempt evangelical cults go crying to the wingnuts on the Supreme Court that their obligation to not campaign from the pulpit at the expense of the American taxpayer is a violation of their 1st Amendment right of free speech and unconstitutional; everyone with a brain knows exactly how the Court will rule on that abomination.

John Boehner’s Shafting Of the Unemployed Has Cost The Economy Nearly $5 Billion

House repugicans have caused the economy to lose nearly $5 billion
gop waste money 
Chalk another “success” up for House repugicans in their jihad against the economic recovery. They’ve caused the economy to lose nearly $5 billion since they refused to renew extended unemployment compensation for more than 2.2 million Americans. Mind you, this $5 billion isn’t all that House repugicans have irresponsibly and for partisan political purposes cost the US taxpayer, as their IRS witch hunts, Benghazi hearings, and ObamaCare repeal votes and hearings haven’t exactly been cheap.
The U.S. economy has lost $4.7 billion ($4,698,892,545 to be exact – see the breakdown below) in the first three months of the year due to the Dec. 28 expiration of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation, according to an analysis released today Monday by Ways and Means Committee Democrats.
Sandy Levin (D-MI) is not impressed. He knows, like most people with at least a modicum of intelligence, that unemployment is not just for the unemployed, but it also helps to boost the economy. He wearily explained this fact again in case any repugicans were listening, “Unemployment insurance has played a vital role in our economic recovery and the program’s expiration has drained billions of dollars from state economies during the last three months.”
The Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member tried to shame the House repugicans into helping America as the Senate is, “Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake, as are the livelihoods of millions of Americans laid off through no fault of their own. The Senate is taking another bipartisan step on the long-road to extending this critical lifeline today and the House needs to also act to stand with job-seeking Americans.”
Senate repugicans shamed House Speaker John Boehner (r-OH) over his refusal to help the economy and the jobless to no avail. So it’s sort of the Sane Senators Versus the House repugicans in a battle to the death.
But, you know, this House. They don’t want to help America, so this argument might be the wrong tact to take. It’s tough to know with modern day repugicans, between their lusting after Putin and their frat boy tweets to world leaders, just what kind of tone should be set when attempting to have policy discussions.
Anyway. The world carries on without them so here are some facts provided by the Ways and Means Committee Democrats, and yes, they are partisan but the source information is not and let us not forget, neither is the issue or the agenda. Their source is the U.S. Department of Labor, “EUC Program Activity.” Oh, wait, repugicans don’t trust the Department of Labor anymore either- something about a birth certificate or a conspiracy with Obama to fool them all or DOL boogeymen under their beds. So maybe this is just for the sane folks. Which makes it perfect. After all, before Obama, extending long term unemployment was just something Congress did because it was helpful for the economy. Now it’s suddenly a partisan thing for House repugicans.
The state-by-state projections for the three-month period are based on the total federal unemployment insurance that Americans received in each state during the last three months of 2013. Nationwide, nearly 72,000 people are losing unemployment insurance, on average, every week – adding to the 2.2 million Americans who have already lost their benefits.
Yes, the 5 billion dollar fail is all due to their partisan poutfest over unemployment benefits. You see, the Senate has put forth a bipartisan agreement to pay for the renewal, but that’s not good enough for House repugicans, who claim some kind of bizarre moral superiority regarding fiscal responsibility, when in actuality they are tossing money into the trash just to be spiteful.
The repugicans against the economy — to the death!

A whining Koch

Charles Koch speaks during an interview in his office at Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, May 22, 2012.
Charles Koch whines his 'defense' against ‘collectivists’
By Steve Benen
Democrats haven’t exactly been subtle in their criticism of Charles and David Koch and the wingnut political treason they’ve helped create. For Democrats, the Koch brothers have come to symbolize much of what ails the political system: elite billionaires manufacturing movements and buying elections for lunatic fringe repugicans, who in turn use the levers of government to help the rich get richer.
Not surprisingly, Charles Koch, the chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, isn’t pleased with the criticism. He has a new op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, making the case that he’s simply “fighting to restore a free society,” and finds himself outraged by “collectivists” engaging in “character assassination.”
Much of the piece is fairly predictable – Koch doesn’t seem to care for government or those who “stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives” – and it features a spirited defense of Koch Industries’ environmental record. The piece isn’t behind the WSJ paywall, and it’s well worth your time.
But this was the paragraph that stood out.
Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society – and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.
Someone should probably let wingnuts know that any argument with a Saul Alinsky reference is hard to take seriously.
Of course, that’s not the real problem with the argument.
Rather, the underlying issue is one of a failure of self-awareness. The Koch brothers, as has been well documented, aren’t exactly struggling to communicate their ideas with the public. They’ve invested tens of millions of dollars in a massive political agitation, including brutal attack ads targeting policymakers who’ve dared to pursue a progressive policy vision.
Indeed, reading Koch’s op-ed and its complaints about “character assassination” immediately made me wonder if the wingnut billionaire has actually seen any of the anti-Democratic commercials he’s subsidized.
It’s true that the Koch brothers, up until fairly recently, were not commonly recognized as major political players. Their names rarely passed through Democrats’ lips. But as they’ve become more deeply involved in policy and campaign debates, effectively creating a well-financed operation that would rival that of a modestly sized national party, the Koch brothers have been subjected to scrutiny and denunciations.
Not to put too fine a point on this, but that’s what happens in a political system with, to borrow a phrase, “free and open debate.” Those who try to influence the direction of the nation sometimes receive pushback from those who disapprove and prefer a different direction.
It’s what makes Charles Koch’s complaints unpersuasive. It would appear from his op-ed that he’s comfortable financing attack ads targeting Democrats, but he’s outraged by Democrats who respond in kind with attack ads of their own. When he makes the case for a regressive vision, Koch sees himself as merely celebrating the restoration of a free society, but when his foes make the case for a progressive vision, they’re radicals trying to stifle debate.
As Jon Chait put it, “[T]he trouble is that his critics attempt to ‘discredit’ and ‘intimidate’ him and employ ‘character assassination.’ All these terms appear to be Koch synonyms for ‘saying things about Charles Koch that Charles Koch does not agree with.’ In the kind of ‘free and open’ debate he imagines, Koch would continue to use his fortune to wield massive political influence, and nobody would ever say anything about him that makes him unhappy.”

Nevada repugican Wants to End Senate Elections Because Harry Reid Won

Sue Lowden wants to eliminate direct election of U.S. Senators because Harry Reid keeps getting elected.…
Harry Reid
The repugicans dislike democracy because it gives Democrats a chance to win. Many wingnuts now support repealing the 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which calls for the direct election of U.S. Senators. They have a problem with democratically electing Senators, because voters might choose a Democrat to represent them. The idea of repealing the 17th Amendment was popularized by wingnut hate-speech radio host Mark Levine, in his book The Liberty Amendments. The repugicans like Ted Cruz (TX), Mike Lee (UT), and Jeff Flake (AZ), have all voiced support for ending direct election of Senators. In addition, Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Georgia Senate candidate Paul Broun have all backed Levine’s anti-democratic plan.
A long list of repugicans are in favor of ending direct election of U.S. Senators because voter suppression just simply is not doing enough to keep Democrats from getting elected. For this reason, in the eyes of some repugicans, elections must be done away with altogether. America should just become an aristocracy where state politicians, and not the voters, determine who should represent the people. Nevada Lt. Governor candidate and failed former U.S. Senate candidate, Sue Lowden (r) explains why democracy should be done away with. Democracy should be eliminated in her view, because voters in her state vote for Harry Reid.
In an interview transcript posted on the Douglas County (NV) repugican central coven’s page on March 27th, Lowden explains that if we repealed the 17th Amendment we could get rid of Harry Reid. In the interview, conducted last November, Lowden is asked whether she would support abolishing the 17th Amendment and she responds by saying:
I would absolutely support it…I don’t know why the senators wouldn’t want it shown in good faith to the American public that this would be a good idea for our country. Instead we have Harry Reid, the Harry Reid’s of our country who are there over and over again and have a tremendous amount of money to be re-elected. Yes, I think people are really fed up with bad people in government. If that’s a way to change things up in Washington, I would be all for it and do whatever we [need] to do it.
In other words, her opinion is that democratic elections for U.S. Senator are a bad idea because the people do not choose the candidate she wants to win, they vote for Harry Reid instead. Perhaps one reason Lowden is so hostile to voters choosing their Senators is because when she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, hoping to defeat Harry Reid, even three quarters of repugican voters rejected her. In that race, she was trounced by “Second amendment solutions” Sharron Angle  40 to 26 percent, with other candidates accounting for the remaining votes. Apparently, Lowden’s loopy plan of bartering chickens for health care was not well received even by her own cabal.
Sue Lowden simply exemplifies the level of contempt the modern repugican cabal holds for the average American voter. However, rather than settling for implementing various subtle forms of voter suppression, Lowden brazenly wants to end Senate elections altogether, so that people like her have a chance to become U.S. Senator instead of leaving that choice up to voters who after all, might re-elect Harry Reid again. Fortunately, the Lt. Governor’s race in Nevada is a direct election, and voters can once again reject Lowden’s arrogance and choose a more capable public servant to represent them.

Even repugicans don't want repugicans

Big Deal

We now have one of the first systematic analyses not of the number of sign-ups under Obamacare but of the number of people who were previously uninsured but are now insured because of the law. And the number is big: at least 9.5 million people.
The American people win again and the repugicans are wrong again!

Bill Maher Tells Democrats To Stand Their Ground and Stop Apologizing For Obamacare

Bill Maher had strong words for Democrats as he urged the party to stand their ground, and stop apologizing for Obamacare.
Maher said:
Now, last week in this space I congratulated Democrats for finally learning how to use the right words to sell their ideas. This week I am going to ask for something in return, that they actually own those ideas. Stand your ground.
When a tea partier says Obamacare is a government takeover, say I wish because that would mean Medicare for all. You know, Medicare is hugely popular in America. So let’s see, getting behind something that’s hugely popular for all? No, too hard a sale.
A year ago, Kaiser polled Americans on what they thought of Obamacare’s individual provisions. Eight percent liked the idea of exchanges, 76% liked the idea of kids staying on their plan, 71% liked Medicaid expansion, two thirds liked the ban on preexisting conditions. Half the people in the survey were like, why don’t we get Congress to do these things? Oh you mean the things the Democrats have already done, but are keeping it a big secret.
No wonder the repugicans have such an easy time selling their argument about Obamacare, which is basically, hey we tried it, it was a big failure. How about volleying that one back with, what? We’re still signing people up for Christ sakes, how can we know if it is a failure. What we do know is that Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum said it would kill their children. No, you guys are thinking of assault rifles.
We also know that in 2010, repugican Sen. Tom Colburn said there will be no insurance industry left in three years. Always the drama queens. The repugicans run ad after ad of Obamacare horror stories, but where are the success stories from the Democrats? You just need someone whose seen a gynecologist, not Bigfoot.
Shoot a college kid on your phone. Hi, I’m Tony. I got the clap while on spring break. Good thing I was on my parents’ plan because now it doesn’t hurt when I pee. Thanks, Obamacare. It’s not like you are trying to sell a Vince Vaughn movie. This is a good thing.
Maher used the example of the treatment of Jimmy Carter to highlight how Democrats meekly go along when repugicans create a false theme, like Carter’s failed presidency.
Bill Maher was right. Democrats need to stop being conned by repugicans into running away from their accomplishments that voters like. It is unbelievable to think that Democratic candidates around the country don’t understand that by apologizing for Obamacare, they are buying into what repugicans are selling, and giving the repugican cabal a favorable electoral environment.
The repugicans only want to discuss their version of the ACA. They don’t want to discuss the fact that the actual components of the law are popular with people, or what it would mean if the ACA were repealed.
By not standing their ground, and defending the law that they voted for, Democrats are setting up the perfect conditions for defeat. When repugicans call Obamacare a disaster, the first word out any Democrat’s mouth should be no, and then a discussion of how repugicans are hiding behind Obamacare to avoid talking about jobs, the economy, equal pay, the minimum wage, immigration, or any of the other dozens of issues that repugicans refuse to discuss.
Democrats need to start being the party of yes we can, and stop apologizing for yes we did.

Obama Gets The Ultimate Win As repugicans Are Trapped By Their Own ACA Hate

The mainstream media and the repugican cabal can’t answer one simple question. If the ACA is so unpopular, why enrollment surging in nearly every state?
According to the AP:
Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul  signed up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day.
The 7 million target, thought to be out of reach by most experts, was in sight on a day that saw surging consumer interest as well as vexing computer glitches that slowed sign-ups on the HealthCare.gov website.
Two government officials confirmed the milestone, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of an official announcement.
Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under Obama’s signature legislation.
The repugicans are banking everything on campaigning against the ACA, but their problem is that the support for the ACA has been growing for months.
The repugican cabal waged war against Obamacare with a series of lies. As people find out that the lies were never true, the law gains support. As the law gains support, repugicans keep repeating their lies.
In other words, the repugican cabal has trapped itself in a cycle of Obamacare hate that isn’t evolving with what is happening in the country.
There has always been a basic contradiction in the public polling on the ACA. Those polled have always said that they disapprove of Obamacare, but those same people support the provisions in the ACA.
The repugicans could get away with lying about healthcare law for years, because the law had not taken effect yet, now that people are signing up and getting affordable health insurance, it is obvious that the repugican cabal was never telling the truth.
The people who vote repugican in elections still expect their party to repeal the ACA. Even if the rest of the country benefits from it, repugicans are going to be under immense pressure to destroy Obamacare.
Instead of being a political liability, Obamacare may end up being another issue that makes the repugican cabal look out of step with the rest of the country.
The repugicans are now trapped by their own Obamacare hate.
This dynamic could lead to defining victory for President Obama and the Democrats that have stood by him.

The repugicans Lose Their Minds As The ACA Is a Raging Success

The repugicans have responded to the great success of the ACA by completely going out of their minds. Conservatives are trying to discourage people from signing up, and they are even inventing their own data so that they can argue that more people signing up for the ACA is a bad thing.
As repugicans began to realize that people really are signing up for the ACA, they went into complete denial. John Barrasso (r-WY) accused President Obama of cooking the books during an appearance on Faux News Sunday. Barrasso said, “I don’t think it means anything, Chris. I think they’re cooking the books on this. People want to know the answers to that. They also want to know is, once all of this is said and done, what kind of insurance will those people actually have? Are they going to be able to keep the doctor that they want? How much more is it going to cost them, and we know that some of the best cancer hospitals in the country want very little to do with people who buy this insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.”
See how this works? When the numbers show that the ACA is popular, they are obviously rigged. It is as if repugicans can’t comprehend that the American people want access to affordable healthcare.
Lush Dimbulb claimed that only a million people signed up for Obamacare, “So they say, “It’s beyond repeal now. Yay!” It is such a tiny number. I’m telling you, the number of people who’ve actually signed up, and who are actually signing up for Obamacare with an actual Obamacare policy and actually making the payments and not being subsidized? I’ll bet you that number is less than a million.”
Meanwhile, Faux News is inventing their own data to make it look like 6 million people signing up for the ACA is a bad thing:
The repugicans and their media have come unhinged. There hasn’t been this kind of collective mental breakdown on the right since President Obama won reelection. Lord only knows what will happen if anybody tells them that more people now favor the ACA than disapprove of it.
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be President Obama’s Waterloo, but it’s the repugican cabal’s Obamacare lies that are being sent into exile

Bachmann blathers over her latest Obamacare outrage

Michele Bachmann says the latest delay in the implementation of Obamacare is just another example of "lawlessness" on the part of President Barack Obama.
"Unfortunately, it is the continuation of lawlessness from the administration," Bachmann told Faux News's Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. "The administration gets to have it any way they want to have it. All their promises about Obamacare, completely hypocritical. They didn't come through, and now this? More of the same."
That's about the delay that isn't really a delay, just a grace period for pending applications to be completed. And once again, we've got a repugican with reading comprehension problems.
For those wondering-in §1311 of the health law, the HHS Secretary is given the power to set dates for enrollment-so there is your legal underpinning for any date change.
Of course, that's assuming Bachmann ever bothered to read the law.

Death Panels Come To Life as Thousands Will Die In Obamacare Obstructing Red States

According to a recently published report, repugican governors and legislatures will be responsible for sentencing thousands of their constituents to death every year due to lack of medical…

If you don't know what is wrong with this picture you are part of the problem

John Roberts Offers wingnuts A Way Out Of Birth Control Dilemma

Skeptics of the legal challenge to Obamacare's birth control mandate warn that a ruling against it could declare open season on virtually any law that a person or business can mount a religious-based objection to.

If Hobby Lobby can be exempt because of its owners' christian delusions, Justice Elena Kagan wondered, what legal principle would stop other corporations from seeking religious-based exemptions from minimum wage or sex discrimination laws?

Chief Justice John Roberts, expressing deep skepticism toward the contraceptive mandate during Supreme Court arguments on Tuesday, offered wingnuts a way out of that dilemma. He contended that "closely held" businesses, like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, who brought the case, could be given that option without opening the same door for publicly owned companies. 

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The repugican cabal Tries to Woo Women Voters by Mansplaining That They Shouldn’t Care About Equal Pay

The latest wingnut strategy regarding how to win women voters is to inform women that they don't care about equal pay because... Obamacare website glitch.
How do you fool the ladies after your party rebranding failed? You get a bunch of women folk to parrot the lines of the Koch Brothers, ‘cuz nothing fools the ladies like another lady.
The latest wingnut strategy regarding how to win women voters is to inform women that they shouldn’t care about equal pay because… Obamacare roll out glitches.
Greg Sargent was not impressed with the “winning message” (and thanks to Mr. Sargent for calling attention to this gem) :
.... pollster says Dem focus on equal pay is nothing but distraction from Ocare: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/03/31/gop-women-in-midterm-races-say-obamacare-trumps-equal-pay/ 
Nia-Malika Henderson and Jackie Kucinich must have had a tough time controlling their reaction as the repugican cabal’s 2014 plan was explained to them for their Washington Post article. They reported, “The troubled roll out of the Affordable Care Act is an issue that repugican cabal candidates believe they can use to return fire on the criticism that the party is hostile to women.”
So, roll out with some glitches = repugican cabal no longer hates women! Cool trick. Women especially love being told by the Koch Brothers what matters to them.
What about that repugican policy war on women?
Oh, no worries! Remember that incredibly inaccurate, misleading “Obamacare victim” ad the Kochs were running in Michigan to help repugican Terri Lynn Land? The ad so misleading that even wingnuts wouldn’t back its Obamacare claims? That’s the basic idea behind their strategy.
Sure, the Kochs had to dump that ad after being pummeled by factcheckers, but hey! The ladies don’t need to know pesky details. They’re too busy to care about equal pay anyway, according to Texas repugicans. Too busy to care.
So the Kochs are going to keep using that essential strategy of pasting a woman onto their Obamacare horror stories in order to mansplain what you ladies should be thinking. The WaPo article continued:
In Michigan, repugican Terri Lynn Land, running in a close race for another open Senate seat, marked the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and stressed her opposition by highlighting the voices and stories of women who said they were negatively impacted by the law. That strategy also is being used by (un)Americans For (non)Prosperity, a wingnut 'nonprofit' backed by the Koch brothers, that has also used women as the face of their ads attacking the health care law.
Jennifer Stefano, regional director for (un)Americans for (non)Prosperity, said they have run ads designed to appeal to women because “women carry the burden of failed economic policies.”
Apparently in this repugican cabal fantasy, women do not bear the brunt of no health insurance for themselves and their family. Oh, no. Their biggest concern is how the roll out was bad or the policy in general is a “failure”. It’s a failure that you can take your kid to the doctor even though he has a pre-existing heart condition. Yep. That’s what the moms of America are thinking. Rather than thinking gosh, I’m so glad my kid can get help, they’re thinking about policies that help the Koch Brothers make a bigger profit.
BUT LADIES. We saved the best for last.
You don’t care about equal pay anymore because… OBAMACARE!
The repugican pollster myth purveyor Kellyanne Conway said reminding both genders of the problems with the Affordable Care Act would trump Democratic attacks on the equal pay issue.
What can I say? I think the repugican cabal/Koch Brothers have finally sorted us ladies out. We are more concerned about the Koch Brothers than our own kids, and equal pay. Meh. All we can think about are the Obamacare glitches. Plus, bonus points for totally ignoring any specific policies that would help women, and instead focusing on being negative and sans solutions for another policy that is helping women. This reads a bit dismissive to me, but heck. It’s not like they have a lot to offer women.
We don’t need equal pay when we can vote repugican and lose the healthcare protections afforded to us under Obamacare, like free mammograms. Plus, repugicans want to take our birth control away because they’ve recently become obsessed with our unfertilized eggs and how mean ladies are picking on corporations like Hobby Lobby, so TOTALLY.
This is totally working.
This is what happens to a party when it is dictated to by the top of the 1% of the 2%. It should surprise no one that the Koch brothers have no idea just how insulting their mansplaining strategy is, or that women will see through it.

Karma will get you ...

Glenn Beck Sued for Defamation with Malice by Saudi Arabian Student

20-year-old Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who was injured when the bombs went off at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, is suing Glenn Beck…
glenn beck freak 
You read the headline and you’re wondering which of tea party mouthpiece Glenn Beck’s many victims decided to sue. According to court documents and multiple outlets, it’s 20-year-old Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who was injured when the bombs went off at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Alharbi became a suspect for a brief time — along with many others — and his apartment was searched, his lawyer Peter J. Haley notes “with his permission”. However, even after investigators cleared him and focused on the Tsarnaev brothers, Glenn Beck and his website The Blaze kept hammering on him, saying that he was a known terrorist.
In court documents filed by Alharbi’s lawyer on March 28 in U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, the lawyer charged, “The defendant Glenn Beck, with active participation of distributor defendants, repeatedly and falsely identified Mr. Alharbi as an active participant in the crimes that were committed on April 15, 2013, repeatedly questioned the motives of officials in failing to pursue or detain Mr. Alharbi and falsely accused Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon. Those statements were made widely and publicly. The statements were false and caused grave injury to the plaintiff.”
“The statements made by Beck were false… The statements made by Beck were published widely to others throughout the United States and the world.” Thus, the defendant, who says he has been harassed and called a murderer, a child killer, and a terrorist based upon Beck’s false statements, has been substantially and severely damaged.
And of course, because our media can’t sort out yet that they shouldn’t just run with any story on the Breitbarts and Blazes of the webs, Beck’s statements were repeated, spreading the damage outside of the crazy bubble that is the wingnut end of the web.
The statements were false, and presumably since he had been cleared, the lawyer charges that these statements were made with “actual malice.” Mr. Alharbi asks for the court to determine the amount of damages in addition to court costs, attorney fees and interest.
Actual malice is needed because Glenn Beck is a public figure. Within the context of defamation, actual malice is “knowing that it is false; or acting with reckless disregard for the statement’s truth or falsity.”
Certainly in this case, the rest of the media moved on once federal authorities cleared Mr. Alharbi, and yet Glenn Beck continued to gin up a witch hunt against him. Actual malice is very difficult to prove, and this explains why Glenn Beck is still allowed to speak publicly, given his past littered with stochastic terrorism.
The Digital Media Law Project explains:
… the plaintiff must produce clear and convincing evidence that the defendant actually knew the information was false or entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication. In making this determination, a court will look for evidence of the defendant’s state of mind at the time of publication and will likely examine the steps he took in researching, editing, and fact checking his work. It is generally not sufficient, however, for a plaintiff to merely show that the defendant didn’t like her, failed to contact her for comment, knew she had denied the information, relied on a single biased source, or failed to correct the statement after publication.
Boston Magazine gave background courtesy of an interview Mr. Alharbi did a month after he was first suspected, where he explained that the media got his full address and publicized it:
According to The Islamic Monthly, who interviewed Alharbi one month after he was first implicated as a possible suspect, “the media discovered his full address and publicized it while filming the FBI search of his apartment. By early Tuesday, reports of his full name and photos from his Facebook account were circulated.”
He was later exonerated by The Washington Post, and authorities said he was merely a “witness,” but Alharbi told The Islamic Monthly he feared for his life after being pegged as a possible terrorist. “The responsible officials quickly concluded that Mr. Alharbi, other then being injured in the attacks, had no involvement in the attacks,” his lawyer said.
It’s tough to imagine how terrorized Mr. Alharbi has felt since being continually targeted as a “murderer” when he has been cleared, and was in fact himself injured at the scene. Americans of late love to rush to judgment, appoint themselves investigators, juries and judge before the evidence is even in. We have become at times digital lynch mobs. And while it probably feels justified when one thinks they are on the “right” side, everyone thinks they are on the right side. It’s one thing if authorities are really ignoring evidence as they were in Steubenville, but they also need time to gather and process evidence. Glenn Beck had no evidence to suggest the authorities were not doing their job, so he invented a reason.
Glenn Beck has been a scourge on this country for years now. He is irresponsible and reckless as a course of business. He makes a lot of money stirring up fake conspiracies for the paranoid and the foolish — but the frightening thing is that for the mentally unbalanced, Beck’s circus land mind is a salve. Mr. Alharbi’s lawyers might bring into evidence victims who were killed by “lone wolf” Beck listeners. There are a few too many of them for comfort.
No one deserves this suit more than Glenn Beck. He built that karma.



The wingnuts Are Trying to Get Stephen Colbert Thrown Off Of Comedy Central

A group of wingnuts have dreamed up some allegations of racism against Stephen Colbert, and are demanding that his Comedy Central show be canceled.
Colbert was using humor to show how Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is trying to buy off Native Americans who are trying to get the team to change their name by creating a foundation. Colbert used his character Ching-Chong Ding-Dong to lampoon the racism and behavior that the wingnuts use so often.
Of course, the wingnuts responded by doing what they does best. They took everything out of context, and demanded that The Colbert Report be canceled.
The forces of evil which are trying to destroy an outstanding real American like Stephen Colbert are being led by outrage troll Michele Malkin.

Malkin tweeted:
Michelle Malkin        
Co-sign! RT  I'm sick of liberals hiding behind assumed "progressiveness" #CancelColbert

The wingnuts are trying their standard outrage technique (remove all context, get outraged, and demand action) that they have used to smear President Obama for years, but this time they are suffering ridiculously disastrous results.
Colbert and Comedy Central are handling this perfectly. By taking their faux outrage seriously, one gives credibility to Malkin and the wingnuts' position. Those of us who don't reside in wingnutistan understand that you are still upset that your beloved homophobes on Duck Dynasty had their ratings crash and burn. We know that you are still mad about Lush Dimbulb losing millions to highly successful boycott and that your support Chick-Fil-A campaign sputtered out after a couple of days.
The reason why repugicans keep losing elections is the same reason why they can't run a successful boycott of anything. The majority of America doesn't support them, when the lunatic fringe goes off on one of their nutter jihads, the rest of the country points and laughs.
Stephen Colbert was mocking the wingnuts for the very thing that they are currently accusing him of. The cancel Colbert movement is yet another deranged attempt by the wingnuts to paint liberals and Democrats as racists.

Darth Vader Running for President of Ukraine

The transitional government of Ukraine has scheduled national elections for May 25, and so far there are 14 candidates running for the office of president. The latest to throw his hat into the ring is Darth Vader.
Mr. Vader was nominated by the Internet Party of Ukraine, notes Voice of Russia via Interfax. The Central Election Commission of Ukraine confirmed Darth Vader’s entry into the race. A complete application along with the required 2.5 million hryvni as a monetary deposit were submitted Saturday.
The fee of 2.5 million hryvni is over $200,000 US, so someone is serious about this candidacy. Of course, with Ukraine under threat from Russia, they could really use a president with experience in imperialism and rebellion.

This Ain’t No Ellis Island

The Top 5 Immigration Myths

Brandon Weber by  Brandon Weber
Some of these surprised the heck out of me. You?
Myth 1: "It's easy to gain legal status in the U.S." The reality is that it can take 20 years (largely due to backlogs!).
Myth 2: "Undocumented immigrants don't pay taxes." In 2010, they paid $10.6 billion in state and local taxes.
Myth 3: "Most new immigrants come from Latin America." Yeah, ummm ... no. And, no. And once again, no.
Myth 4: "DREAMers affect the U.S. economy negatively." More like they'd add $329 billion and 1.4 million jobs to the economy by 2030. (FYI, here's who DREAMers are.)
Myth 5: "Most immigrants are undocumented." In fact, two-thirds are documented.

Daily Comic Relief


The newest front in the war on teachers: public schools to mimic worst habits of charter schools

by Steve Singiser 

Like so many school districts across the nation which are scrambling to figure out how to divide a pie that isn't growing nearly fast enough to meet everyone's needs, the Philadelphia School District is in the middle of a protracted and often acrimonious contract dispute.
What distinguishes this situation in a novel, to say nothing of perilous, way is how the district's superintendent may choose to handle the crisis ... and why he might take that action:
Budget season is closing in, the struggling Philadelphia School District has a $14 million hole to fill this school year, and it needs $440 million in new funds for next year.
But most significantly, the district has signaled it is willing to use its "nuclear option" - invoking special powers bestowed by the state law that created the School Reform Commission - to get what it wants from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has publicly said he must have work-rule changes in order to compete with charter schools. [Emphasis added]
On one level, you want to slap your forehead when you read that last sentence. But on another level, you just knew it was heading this way, didn't you?
So, what the heck does that sentence really mean? Follow me beyond the fold for the explanation.
First, let's look at the nitty gritty of what "work-rule" changes Hite was referencing. They are, to say the least, predictable:
The sources said the PFT [Philadelphia Federation of Teachers] had offered some work-rule changes at the bargaining table, but nothing near what the district says it must have: giving principals absolute authority over hiring and firing staff; weakening seniority; and halting the practice of higher pay for advanced education, among other shifts.

Pentagon Says the repugican cabal's Benghazi Probes Have Cost Millions

The Pentagon says Congress' multiple investigations of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, have cost the department millions of dollars and thousands of hours of personnel time.
In a March 11 letter, the Pentagon described repetitive requests for information from about 50 congressional hearings, briefings and interviews. The department was responding to a Feb. 4 letter from Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Another repugican cabal hack Defends Russia: 'Not One Person Was Killed' In Crimea

Dana Rohrabacher (r-CA) on Tuesday defended Russia's annexation of Crimea, arguing that the people of the region had a right to secede from Ukraine, Buzzfeed reported.
"From what I understand, what happened in Crimea, not one person was killed. Maybe one - maybe there was one," he said during a markup of the Ukraine Support Act in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Coming Tomorrow

Coming Tomorrow
  • Bags of fresh mountain air delivered to a smog-choked Chinese city
  • Lava Lamp Physics and Earth's Crust
  • Magical houses from around the world
  • What is an Ocean Gyre?
And more ...
This bird is our Animal Picture, for today.