Archive for future of the republican party

The GOP crap chimichanga

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crap chimichanga tee shirt

The GOP is imploding. Again. They continue to eat their own, self-destruct, squabble amongst themselves, offend enormous groups of people, and present themselves as the "crap chimichanga" of Congress. I can't take credit for that Very Special term. It belongs to Rep. Steve Stockman, who can keep it after this post is finished:

 

tweet Rep. Steve Stockman crap chimichanga immigration reform

I'm not alone in calling out the GOP. Doyle McManus has an entire op-ed in the Sunday Los Angeles Times devoted to them titled, "See the Republicans flail." That first L in "flail" must have been a typo. Butanyway. Among other things, his piece examines the House GOP's humungous infighting disaster as they struggled to pass an immigration bill that they knew would go precisely nowhere. The Senate wouldn't go for it, and the president would certainly veto it. It was purely symbolic, a big ol' crap chimichanga hat tip to right wing extremists who have House Speaker John Boehner on one of these:

toddler leash via allparenting dot com Image via allparenting.com

Let's let McManus do the talking:

The disaster was a public humiliation for both Boehner and his newly elevated majority leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) — on McCarthy's first week in his new job.

But it was only the most recent of many such battles in the House Republicans' unresolved civil war. Their challenges to Boehner's leadership on major issues have become an annual affair. In 2011, the issue was the federal debt ceiling (conservatives wanted a crisis; Boehner didn't). In 2012, it was the “fiscal cliff” (Boehner wanted to make a deal on tax rates; the tea party rejected it). In 2013, it was a 16-day government shutdown forced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other conservatives over Boehner's warnings. [...]

[T]he deep division among Republicans has added another dimension to the gridlock... [T]ea party members made reversing the [DACA] program a conservative litmus test; any bill that didn't include such a mandate, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) tweeted, would be a “crap chimichanga.”

He aptly ends his op-ed this way: "Under these circumstances, perhaps it's a good thing that Congress is heading off for its five-week summer vacation — excuse me, 'district work period.'”

How's that reinvention thing workin' for ya, GOP?

And this concludes another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own... while devouring democracy.

eating their own

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Gov. "Ultrasound" McDonnell probed, media mounts soap opera defense for him

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bob mcdonnell trans vag ultrasound probe

Media coverage of the Gov. Bob "Ultrasound" McDonnell corruption case could take a cue from the following excerpt from USA Today, and an even bigger one from The Rachel Maddow Show below:

RICHMOND, Va. — The key prosecution witness in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, took the stand Wednesday, saying there was no personal relationship between he and the couple.

Jonnie Williams, the wealthy businessman and former chief executive of Star Scientific, said he did not give the two initial checks to the McDonnell family because he thought he and the McDonnells were friends.

"This was a business relationship," he said about why he helped the McDonnell family. "I needed his help."

That's news. Unfortunately, however, that has not been the focus of the so-called "news" media when it comes to this story. Rachel Maddow zeroed right in on the How Do You Solve a Problem Like Media Coverage? issue in the following segment. We owe her our gratitude:

Maddow on "the salaciousness of the headlines":

The headlines are all like this... "Trial reveals governor's wife had 'crush' on CEO"...

The indictment-- the allegations from prosecutors-- those have been out there for months now. But now that we're having the trial... what has stolen the show about the defense is this designed-for-headlines assertion from the defense, that the McDonnell's marriage was broken, Maureen McDonnell had a "childlike crush" on this businessman who the McDonnells are accused of helping in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts...

But the defense strategy in the corruption trial of Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife is apparently going to be [about their marriage]... This is how they're going to try to keep the governor and his wife out of jail.

Bob McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell stand accused of accepting over $160,000 in gifts and cash from this wealthy CEO [Johnnie Williams] in exchange for providing official help from the state for the CEO's company. That's called corruption, right? "Give me something of personal value to me, and in exchange, I'll give you a little something from the government, the government in which I am an official." ...

So that strategy, the "she took everything" defense... is undercut by the fact that Bob McDonnell himself did things himself like ask this guy for a $70,000 loan for his real estate business... But that is their main defense strategy, the claim is basically that "she did it all, she's not a public official, so there's no public corruption. And, there couldn't be a... corrupt conspiracy between the two of them, because there was no "two of them."... It was just her "lovesick stupidity. He's actually kind of the victim here."... That's their legal strategy...

What does not make sense is the media helping them with it... It is being covered purely in a tabloid way... Purely through catty, sexist gossip [her shopping, her "crush"]... That framing is not only sexist and gross, it ignores the fact that Bob McDonnell himself was doing things like setting up meetings for this wealthy donor with top state health officials... They claim they have the evidence to prove it.

But if the Bob McDonnell defense is gonna be to blame it all on the "lovesick, emotionally erratic, Louis Vuitton-loving wife, they are so far doing a masterful job of injecting that storyline into the press and getting the press to mount their defense for them.

The press is bending over backwards to help the McDonnell legal defense... Attention news media! This is an overt strategy and you are helping one side of this legal case by advancing the strategic storyline for them, because you can't resist a tabloid soap opera tale.

You're being played! You're being played... by covering this as a tabloid story about a marriage, and not a crime blotter story about a corrupt governor.

bob mcdonnell probe johnnie williams

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SCOTUS rules for Freedom of Tyranny

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women's rights vote 2014 scotus decision freedom of religion

Freedom, freedom, freedom schmeedom. The concept is losing its meaning, especially in light of the Supreme Court's warped perception of the word. My reaction to their ruling on contraception and "freedom" of religion is still hampered by my inability to respond with anything but sputtering noises and involuntary twitches, bursts of banging my head against the wall, and convulsing into tears of outrage. Freedom my ass. What about our freedom to not have your damned religion shoved up our atheist and/or non-Christian hineys?  Bam! And that was just a hiccup. I'm shutting up now.

By the way, conservatives, how's that outreach thing going for ya these days?

Anyway, instead of ranting, which would be nothing more than stream-of-consciousness outbursts at this point, I'll leave it to the Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because, despite evidence to the contrary, our voices still matter. The Times headline for this batch of letters is, notably, "Don't want more Hobby Lobby decisions? Then don't elect conservative presidents":

The U.S. Supreme Court's distressingly improvident 5-4 decisions in this year's religious rights cases should surprise no one. They are the price we have paid for suffering disproportionate conservative appointments to the high court from 1980 to 2008, when Republicans occupied the White House for 20 of those 28 years. ("Supreme Court, citing religious liberty, limits contraceptive coverage in Obamacare," June 30)

All who despair over the Supreme Court's unseemly bowing to religious zealots — especially when certain faiths' tenets are allowed to trump enlightened medical care — should remember this in 2016: If a Republican is elected our next president, look for the court's conservative judicial activism to endure far beyond his or her term of office.

Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades

***

I am losing confidence in our system of three branches of government. Two of them seem no longer to be working for us.

The Supreme Court increasingly seems to be operating as a political body, rendering decisions that make questionable judicial sense unless one happens to be a corporation that has taken on "person" status or a religious group that wishes to impose its specific beliefs on its employees. These decisions are becoming more questionable as our do-nothing Congress functions less like an elected body responsible to the people and more like a robot body created and manipulated by wealthy donors.

As long as our lethargic electorate keeps reelecting these legislators, our president is left to act alone and the court decides in an increasingly predictable way, we will see the continued eroding of our beloved constitutional form of government.

Bette Mason, Corona del Mar

***

If there's a silver lining to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, it's that the decision will energize progressive voters to flood the polls for the foreseeable future as well as fuel boycotts against businesses that use religion as an excuse to discriminate.

Jerry Weil, Seal Beach

***

Will someone please explain to me how forcing your religious beliefs on others, who may or may not agree, is freedom of religion? Sounds more like tyranny to me.

Barbara Buckner, Laguna Niguel

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GOP candidate wants immigration moratorium because they "support the Democrat party"

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immigration moratorium

A Montana Republican who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representative is calling for a "moratorium on all immigration." Why? Because, according to Drew Turiano, if we let those lefty liberal commie pinko Marxist Kenyan gay French Mexican immigrants cross the borders, they'll all vote for Democrats. And if that happens, you know what comes next, right?

*Ominous music, deep echoing voice* The End of the Republican Party!

So clearly, the best remedy is to full on stop anyone from entering our territory. Gotta keep this country white and conservative, dammit!

Via the Montana Standard:

I believe in a moratorium on all immigration to America,” he said. “The reason I believe in that, it will be the end of conservatism in this country. The majority of immigrants who come to America are big government people. They’re going to mostly support the party of big government, the Democrat Party. They will not support the party of small government, the Republican Party.

“Because this is a fact of life, it will mean that the Republican Party will never win another national election again in about 10-15 years time. … I’m hoping that we can do something to immigration and put a stop to it, so the Republican Party doesn’t go the way of the Whigs.”

Drew Turiano's pitch to voters? "I will do only what’s in the best interests of the people of Montana and the people of my country.”

Best interests? He must have forgotten about all those pesky little benefits of immigration like being good for the economy, driving innovation and retaining the best global talent, keeping us less isolated, enhancing multilingualism, spurring job growth, reducing the deficit, stuff like that.

Instead, he believes that by preventing diversity, we can suppress Democratic votes and postpone the demise of the GOP. Drew must have also forgotten that they've already written their own autopsy.

It must have slipped what's left of his mind that the Party of No has managed to further exacerbate its outreach problem (scroll) and alienate voters all on its own without resorting to a complete immigration ban. Wake up, Drew, your party is already well on its way to a self-imposed obsolescence.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

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Not news: Republicans could slide even further with women, Latinos

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gop disaster zone republicans

Women and Latinos do not trust Republicans. Oops, sorry, Captain Obvious got hold of my keyboard again. But he's right, which is also obvious:

obvious

And those are only two of the most recent headlines. The GOP's history of misogyny and racism is appalling, and their efforts to deny their fellow human beings equal rights is disgusting.

Republicans have sworntogod that they want to broaden their appeal. Oh really? Well, if their relentless assault on women's reproductive rights, gay rights, voting rights, and their treatment of undocumented (and documented!) immigrants (or anyone else, for that matter) who don't look or sound like them is the barometer, then they're in deep trouble.

They're still saying exactly the same old thing about the same old things. Reed Galen, a GOP strategist in Orange County who also worked for Bush said, "If we want that number to grow, we have to find ways to talk to Latinos about the issues we all care about." How many Republicans have made identical comments? And how many have actually followed through, or even done the opposite? Exactly.

Remember their post-2012 election "autopsy"? That reinvention they keep promising... not so much. How's that reachy-outy, makeovery thing workin' for ya, GOP?

The Los Angeles Times takes it from here:

Donnelly, the GOP front-runner according to public opinion polls, has stood by his 2006 speech, delivered when he was leader in the volunteer Minuteman border-patrol organization. In it, he said illegal immigration would lead to a fight comparable to the Civil War. [...]

"I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war," Donnelly told reporters in Sacramento on Tuesday, after reports of the speech caused an outcry. He said he did not believe the remarks would hurt his prospects among Latino voters.

See how they've changed?

The Pelosi flap on the new Breitbart CA website prompted House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield to ask that his column be taken off the site.

Republican strategists said that while the imagery was "problematic," they viewed it as less significant than the immigration issue.

So the problems with their antiquated policies, views, and (mis)treatment of women are "less significant." Not right up there on their To Do list. Got it.

Keep up the good work, guys. If it weren't for dirty tricks and gerrymandering, they wouldn't stand a chance in 2014. And don't even get me started on the Supreme Court ruling that favors billionaires...

UPDATE: New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line. 'Nuff said.

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Fla. Gov. Rick Scott campaign staff made racist jokes (allegedly)

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rick scott 2

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

Psst! Rick Scott! Outreach means exactly that: reaching out. Outreach is also what the Republican Autopsy called for. Yes, they referred to their own post-2012 election report as an autopsy, because... suicide. They admitted that they needed "to do things differently."

The GOP not only needs a reinvention, they need an intervention.

Via Think Progress:

On late Thursday, billionaire Mike Fernandez abruptly resigned his post as the finance co-chair of Governor Rick Scott’s (R-FL) reelection campaign. The prominent Cuban-American health care mogul’s departure has fueled rumors of racism among Scott’s campaign staff.

Tensions between Scott’s campaign staff and Fernandez had been building for weeks. And the last straw, according to people within the campaign who spoke with the Miami Herald this weekend, was an incident in which several of Scott’s campaign staffers allegedly began joking around in a cartoonish, over-the-top Mexican accent while on the way to a Mexican restaurant.

They just can't help themselves.

Think Progress has more.

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Women again asking partners to beat them, "much like pre-Roe." Laws don't prevent abortions.

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texas abortion laws women's reproductive rights choice

Unless you've been hibernating for the past few years, you are well aware of how the GOP has been successfully denying women their reproductive rights by retrofitting this country with pre-Roe v. Wade legislation. How's that power trip outreach thing workin' for ya?

Check out the image below from The Rachel Maddow Show that lists some of the restrictions set by mostly white, male Republicans, the same Republicans who insist that Big Government is a very bad, intrusive, commie pinko thing... unless it forces women to do whatever mostly white, male Republicans want them to do with their bodies. Powerful legislators are making choices for women, choices that women should and can make for themselves:

abortion laws women's reproductive rights choice

Access to health care services has been severed with increasing and alarming frequency. Now women must seek help from those unqualified to provide safe, legal medical procedures. Even more disturbing: women are so desperate that they are trying to perform abortions themselves, without doctors, resulting in trauma, injury, and even death.

None of this is necessary. None of these new laws prevent women from terminating their pregnancies. Instead, it causes patients to resort to dangerous, even fatal methods. So to all you "pro-lifers" out there, lives aren't being saved, they're being lost, because you are forcing scores of clinics to close. Here's Maddow's exclusive reporting from Texas:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Amy Hagstrom Miller, Whole Women's Health founder in McAllen, Texas:

"We're also seeing more and more women take matters into their own hands... People go over the border, they get medication to try to self-induce abortion, and so sometimes they'll come to us afterward for an ultrasound, to see if they're still pregnant. Sometimes they'll be actively bleeding... So we saw an increase in self-induction... With flea markets, with crossing the border...

The sad thing is, with the misuse of the medication, something that is actually pretty safe, women could really do harm to themselves not knowing what they're doing...

We have seen women putting things into their vagina trying to dilate their cervix, we've seen people ask their partner to beat them, just the same stories we heard pre-Roe. We've seen people doing douching with Coke or douching with Lysol... It's very much like pre-Roe...

This law didn't do anything to prevent the need for abortion... We just blocked their access to getting it safely... It's obvious we're gonna have a public health problem on our hands."

Lucy Carreon, patient advocate:

"It's unthinkable that a complete stranger, whether it's an individual or a group such as the Supreme Court, you know, they can make such a personal decision for someone that they don't even know. That's crazy."

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

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