Archive for red states

Does Speaker Boehner Really Hate The Pope?

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Pope Francis

C'mon, you must be thinking, John Boehner's a Catholic. How could he hate Pope Francis? Even agnostic Bill Maher applauds the Pontiff from time to time. If you want to make of list of popular popes, you'd have to put Francis up there near or at the top.

So why then is Christian Republican Speaker John Boehner taking a stand against the pope? Why is he persecuting the Holy See?

There's a piece of legislation stuck in the House, bi-partisan in its origin, that simply congratulates Pope Francis on his March 2013 election and recognizes “his inspirational statements and actions.” There shouldn't really be any hesitation in passing this, should there? According to The Hill, all that's holding it up for the past 15 months is the "white smoke" of agreement by Speaker Boehner. He's not giving it.

Hmm. Something wrong with the leader of the Catholic church, Mr. Boehner?

The answer to that should be read as "yes." But to the Speaker's defense, he's not alone. It seems the entire Republican party, yes the GOP has a cross up their collective white asses when it comes to Pope Francis. You see, the Pope's teachings and the GOP's are diametrically opposed. In short, the Republicans are heathens.

Only 19 of the 221 co-sponsors are Republicans. The dearth of GOP members on the measure could be attributable to assertions that the pope is “too liberal,” according to a Republican backer of the legislation.

On the issue of the Pope being too liberal, the Vatican leader speaking from the teaching of the New and Old Testament, has come out in favor of redistribution of wealth, he's against "trickle down economics," for compassionate handling of the child refugees at our borders, aid to the poor, health care for all, and he's indicated an openness to civil unions.

Sorry GOP. Those stands aren't being liberal. They're being "Christian." And take that from a Jew. Oh, not me or Francis, I'm talking Christ.

Keep in mind, the GOP is the party of no Jews in the House -- with Cantor being voted out. Is that a coincidence, or has the party shown it's tendencies to be exclusive -- or should I say, anti-Semitic.

God will forgive Boehner, I'm sure. But He'll also expect some changes in order to allow Johnny-Boy through the Pearly White Gates. The first of those is contrition, followed closely by some bi-partisan legislating. There's still a chance for the Ohio congressman. I'm not so sure though for the Republican Party. Their destruction of the  ticking time bomb of the Tea Party may be too late to reverse.

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Three lessons and some hope for Democrats

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hope for Dems in red states map

obamacare is winning

Yesterday a few polls came out that gave Democrats some hope, because they showed that red state Democratic Senate candidates are still alive and kicking. Stick that in your musket and smoke it, conservatives. And just to rub salt in some very red wounds, it seems that Obamacare is aiding and abetting these numbers.

Last night, Chris Hayes did a segment on this very topic:

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

In today's Los Angeles Times, there is an article that is titled, "Senate polls offer three lessons and some hope for Democrats." The piece picks up where Chris Hayes and the polls left off.

Here are the three lessons that suggest that there is, indeed, real hope for Democrats, hope for victories in some very red states:

-- First, just as Democrats have been saying, their endangered incumbent in Arkansas, Sen. Mark Pryor, is doing better than analysts in Washington had believed.

-- This second one is my favorite: Despite all the attention they have received, the money poured into early campaign ads by the Koch brothers and conservative groups has made relatively little difference.

-- Third lesson: Although Obama’s standing in Southern states remains very low, Democratic governors in two battlegrounds — Arkansas and Kentucky — are far more popular. They are also more popular than Republican governors in North Carolina and Louisiana. [...] By contrast, Republican Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Pat McCrory of North Carolina got relatively low marks. Jindal won approval from 40% of his state's voters, with 54% disapproving. McCrory stands at 43% to 44%.

There is real potential here, so let's not waste it, Dems.

Details at the link.

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Poll-itics: Red state Democratic Senate candidates are still alive and kicking

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red state horror film

It's poll-itics time! And from the looks of the latest poll-itics numbers, we shouldn't count out red state Dems yet. According to four new non-partisan polls, Democrats vying for U.S. Senate seats are still in the running.

The Hill has the story:

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a top GOP target, leads Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) by 46 percent-36 percent in a live-caller poll conducted for The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Pryor's approval rating is at 47 percent with 38 percent disapproving, good numbers for any Democrat in a state as conservative as Arkansas.

You'd never know that by listening to the talking heads on the Tee Vee Machine. It's early yet, but still, the doomsdayers are out there doomsdaying. Meantime, Progressives should continue to get out there and help voters register. Then, come election day, we should all do what we can to get out the vote and help people to the polls.

Speaking of doomsday, I wonder how old Mitch McConnell's doing these days...

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also in a dogfight, according to the poll. McConnell leads Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) by 44 percent-43 percent in the heavily Republican state. McConnell's approval rating is at 40 percent with 52 percent disapproving.

The GOP has spent millions to defeat Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), but she leads her opponents by two points. And Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is ahead of Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) 42% to 18%.

While it would be a vast improvement to elect Progressives to replace the Blue Dog Democrats who are currently running, that's not in the cards.

So until that day comes-- say it with me now:

gotv 3

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Opportunity knocks: Democrats name 14 "Red to Blue" House candidates

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democrats donkey kicks gop elephant

Democrats think they have a chance to win some House elections in tough districts, and are adding even more targets as we speak. The DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) looks at candidates' fundraising, organization and infrastructure goals and then offers support to those who fit the bill.

However, winning back the House of Representatives wont be easy.

Via The Hill:

The committee named 16 candidates to the program, and three more districts with multiple Democratic contenders that the party has high hopes of winning. Two of those districts are open seat contests but are currently held by a Democrat.

The priority races are short of the 17 Democrats need to win in order to regain control of the House, an uphill battle especially in a midterm year where turnout is typically more favorable to Republicans.

Uphill battle, sure, but here's the part of The Hill's reporting that is key, because it drives home the obvious distinctions between Democrats and Republicans. It's the diversity, stupid:

Of the 16 candidates in the first round of Red-to-Blue districts, 10 are women, an historically high portion of the list that the committee argues is evidence of the Democratic Party’s diversity in contrast to the GOP.

No wonder the GOP continues to do everything they can to suppress the vote. Generally speaking, the more diverse the pool of voters, the more ballots cast for Democrats.

Full lists of Red-to-Blue candidates, districts, and races can be found at the link.

While we're at it, here's an idea: Elect more Progressives. While nearly any Democrat is preferable to a Republican, Dems who don't act, speak, and cast votes as Dems can pretty much blunt any victories, even if we were to achieve our dream of a Democratically-controlled House.

When those on the right bellow about how the left controlled both Houses during President Obama's first term, they leave out the part where Dems voted with Republicans or failed to support progressive issues (women's reproductive rights, for example).

All that said, one enormous priority remains: Get Out the Vote in 2014. As they say, when turnout is high, Democrats tend to win.

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When's An Apology Not An Apology? When It Comes From Ted Nugent

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Ted Nugent

HUFFPO:

Rocker Ted Nugent has reportedly apologized for calling President Barack Obama a "subhuman mongrel," according to the Ben Ferguson Show and CNN.

During an interview on the Ben Ferguson Show Friday, Nugent apologized for the comments, which he made in January 2014.

In case you missed Nugent's assessment of the President, here it is, verbatim, via The Wire:

I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the acorn community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America.

Here's the Facebook announcement about the apology today. From this you'd think Nugent woke up this morning with a whole new attitude. Think again as you read on:

BREAKING NEWS: TED NUGENT JUST SAID HE IS SORRY TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THE SHOW!
In fact, Nugent did not apologize to to the President, but did apologize for using the term, "subhuman mongrel." What the Right wingnut did apologize was for anyone linking that comment to Texas attorney general Greg Abbott -- who is campaigning for governor. Nugent called Abbott his "blood brother."

He just didn't want Abbott to take any blame -- but Nugent still evidently stick by his vile name calling. Again from HUFFPO:

"I do apologize -- not necessarily to the President -- but on behalf of much better men than myself," Nugent said, calling the comments "street fighter terminology."

Just who are those better men he refers to:  Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.). And quite surprisingly, both criticized the rocker for his outrageous statement, but then quickly added their support for the Attorney General and his campaign for Governor. What do you think they told their candidate? Why "Rock on," of course.

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Southern Christian Ministers Betray Christ by Ignoring Health Insurance for the Poor

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what would jesus do

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

...Red States adopting the total GOP assault on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) refused to accept federal funds for expanding Medicaid eligibility, leaving many of their citizens without coverage that they could receive under the act.  But the Republican politics of damning anything associated with the ACA as the work of the devil has left many white and minority Americans in healthcare Hell.

Ironically, CNN notes that "most of the people who fall into the coverage gap live in the Bible Belt, a 14-state region in the South stretching from North Carolina to Texas and Florida." Yet, and this is why this GOP political act of condemning individuals, families and children to death or bankruptcy becomes relevant to religion. [...]

CNN did find a pastor or two who would go on record:

The Rev. Phil Wages, senior pastor Winterville First Baptist Church in Georgia and a blogger, was one of the few Bible Belt ministers willing to speak on the subject. [...]

“I have an issue with the government coming in to get money through me - through taxes - to take care of people, when my argument is that I should be free to give to charities or to my church in order to take care of the sick and destitute,” he says.

The most fundamental rebuttal to the argument of Rev. Wages is then why are so many millions of Americans without healthcare insurance if the churches are taking care of them?

After all, a lot of these people are low-paid working people who don't receive health insurance as part of their jobs [...]

Indeed, CNN includes a counter-argument to Rev. Wages:

Wages’ position is impractical and unbiblical, says Ronald Sider, a longtime advocate for the poor and author of “The Scandal of Evangelical Politics."

Churches and charities don’t have enough resources to take care of an estimated 48 million Americans who don’t have health care. The Bible is filled with examples of God's fury over economic oppression of the poor, which Christians should regard as scandalous, he says.

“If you are not sharing God’s concern for the poor, it raises huge questions about whether you are a Christian at all,” he says about pastors who say nothing about the uninsured poor.

Anyone can deem themselves a good person by claiming to be "saved" by Jesus, but Jesus preached saving others from injustice, poverty and hunger.

You can't be "saved," until you understand that Jesus rebelled against those who sought financial gain at the expense of others.  Jesus was an advocate of God's compassion toward all, particularly those scorned and left behind.

Meanwhile, millions in the Evangelical and Baptist South will continue to be the victims of a trumped up theology, rigged for those who find comfort in the words of pastors who sell the snake oil of "salvation."

Please read the entire post here.

practice what you preach

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Tar Heels To Tar Babies

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repulsiveThere's little attempt by the Republican party to hide their bigotry in North Carolina. At one time they were considered inspired. Now they're heading to become expired. They've quickly gone from impulsive to repulsive. If this ever was more evident than this video, I haven't seen it -- yet. But I am talking about the GOP/Tea Party.

HuffPo:

Aasif Mandvi sat down with Don Yelton, a North Carolinian precinct captain who apparently missed the "don't be racist" memo. In the interview, he copped to loving portrayals of President Obama as a witch doctor, claimed that one of his best friends is black, and even used both the phrase "lazy blacks" and the N-word while defending the state's voter ID laws.

UPDATE: Don Yelton, the man who made racially insensitive comments on Wednesday's "Daily Show," has resigned his position as a GOP precinct captain upon the request of the North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope. Mr. Pope denounced his statements as "completely inappropriate and highly offensive." Pope also clarified that contrary to "The Daily Show's" identification, Yelton is not in fact a member of the NCGOP Executive Committee.

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