Archive for Republicans can’t help themselves

Conference caller: "Black people harvested cotton," Cochran “harvesting black votes”

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thad cochran farm animals

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran's resurrection, er, re-election campaign has further devolved into something nearly unrecognizable. As Rachel Maddow reminds us, the Cochran v. Chris McDaniel primary spectacle has been one of the most bizarre in recent memory. And it just got weirder. Call it Conference Caller Unplugged Unhinged.

But first, your Moment of Maddow:

Recently, there was a conference call held for the national media to address a lawsuit challenging the primary runoff results for the GOP nomination. It was a pretty big call, with nearly 80 participants hopping on the line. On that call was Austin Barbour, a Cochran campaign adviser. He was trying to fend off charges of double-voting-- "people who voted in the Democratic primary and then voted for Cochran in the Republican primary runoff"-- and said this, per Roll Call:

"The time has certainly come in our minds for the McDaniel campaign and their allies to either put up or shut up.”

And then an unidentified conference caller, who was not a reporter, crashed the party and spit up this little morsel:

That person repeatedly said that “black people harvested cotton” and accused the Cochran campaign of “harvesting black votes.” Barbour asked him to stop multiple times, saying he would answer questions from anyone at the end of his statement. [...]

Finally, Barbour apologized and announced he was ending the call, telling national press that they had the contact information for the campaign if they had any questions.

At that point, someone who was possibly a reporter, interrupted to try to keep Barbour on the line. Barbour cut the line.

Then things got even more out of control...

With the Cochran campaign people gone, callers on the line broke into an argument...

... and even more outrageous:

Thirty minutes after the call ended, the call line was still open. Someone was using a soundboard of President Barack Obama’s voice saying “Hey! What’s up?” Someone else was playing the audio from the movie “Animal House.”

Republicans just can't help themselves.

Stay tuned for Mystery Conference Caller, the Sequel, coming to a blog near you!

eating their own

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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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NE mayor: "Take me to fucking court because I don't care. Minorities are not going to run my city."

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Nebraska Mayor take me to fucking court Kindig

Nebraska Mayor "Take Me to Fucking Court" must be taking his cues from Ben Sasse. I recently posted about how Ben Sasse (R) will "promote almost anarchistic vision" as Senator: Religion trumps law. I wrote the following:

So, according to Mr. Freedom, if someone's religion promotes discrimination against another person's religion or sexual orientation or race or gender or belief, that's cool by him. Really? What about the discriminatee's rights?

Sasse is Nebraska's GOP nominee for the United States Senate.

Today I ran across this piece from the Daily Beast reporting on yet another Nebraskan who said something equally disturbing:

For Robert Fuller, a La Vista citizen and board member of Omaha Atheists, the blurred line between a very specific religion and the local government was frequent enough to merit a face-to-face with Mayor Kindig. According to a press release from Omaha Atheists, Fuller approached Kindig after the “Faith and Freedom Day” Memorial Day service with the intent of leaving his business card with the mayor in hopes of discussing his concerns about church-state separation issues. It was his taxpayer dollars, after all, that had gone to funding these explicitly religious events. That’s when Kindig dropped the other F-bomb: “Take me to fucking court because I don’t care,” according to Fuller. “Minorities are not going to run my city.”

How outreachy of him.

The Daily Beast has  more.

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Ben Sasse (R) will "promote almost anarchistic vision" as Senator: Religion trumps law

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ben sasse Nebraska senate nominee

Ben Sasse is now Nebraska's GOP nominee for the United States Senate. As Think Progress notes, Nebraska is a solid red state that backed Romney over Obama by "a massive 21 point margin in 2012." In other words, he's a shoo-in to win in November.

And as a U.S. Senator, conservative candidate Ben Sasse is promising to fight for the proposition that “[g]overnment cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances.”

Here’s a screenshot from Ben Sasse’s own website stating as much:

Sasse screenshot

And you thought the Supreme Court's decisions were a threat to democracy as we once knew it? Most of us (hopefully) still believe that so-called "religious liberty" nomatterwhatanyonesayssotherepfft! does not trump law.

His proposed rule — that government cannot require someone to act counter to their religious beliefs “under any circumstances” — would mean that literally any law could be ignored by someone who held a religious belief counter to that law.

This guy won the primary. Think about that. This. Guy. Won. The. Primary. That should make America's skin crawl.

So, according to Mr. Freedom, if someone's religion promotes discrimination against another person's religion or sexual orientation or race or gender or belief, that's cool by him. Really? What about the discriminatee's rights?

By his standards, if a person of the I Hate People Different Than Me religious affiliation didn't like gay individuals, because they were, you know, icky and gay, they could refuse service, kick them out of their establishment, or even kill them. And they would be justified. In the name of religion.

If an I Hate People Different Than Me-ist didn't approve of inter-racial marriage, they could try to imprison or execute couples and be immune from prosecution. In the name of religion.

Under Sasse’s formulation of religious liberty, a person who killed his own sister because he believed he was under a religious obligation to do so would be immune from prosecution for murder.

Legalized bigotry and racism, Ben Sasse? This is how you'd "act in accordance with your conscience"? What conscience?

Is this part of that new and improved outreach the GOP has been touting?

Someone's faith, their beliefs (keyword: beliefs) should not supersede our legal system, or common sense, or mutual respect, or equal rights, or our ethical standards. Period.

ThinkProgress contacted the Sasse campaign to offer them an opportunity to clarify whether the candidate truly believes that any practice, including “stoning adulterers or putting to death those who work on the Sabbath” should be allowed if it is justified by a religious belief. As of this writing, we have not received a response.

separation of church and state Jefferson

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"GOP politicians still care." Sure they do... about themselves.

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gop politicians Dear America I don't care

How much more proof do we need that GOP politicians care very little about us, but care very deeply about money, power, domination, and prestige? While Democrats fight for equal pay, equal rights, voting rights, women's rights, gay rights, civil rights, free public education, health care for all, and a safe, clean environment, GOP politicians do whatever it takes to benefit their donors. And the donors do whatever it takes to buy elections and destroy their competitors while clawing for status, increasing their own assets, and boosting their own clout.

It is not about caring. It is all about control.

This is not to say that Dems don't indulge in that kind of thing, too. Of course they do. But anyone can see by the restrictive, extremist laws attempted by and/or passed by GOP state and national legislators (racial, gender, sexual discrimination, trans-vaginal probes, personhood for blastocysts, and repeal Obamacare 50 times, anyone?) that the health and welfare of the American people are not exactly first and foremost on what's left of narrow GOP minds.

What makes it even worse is their blatant hypocrisy. We see them all over the media indulging in their self-righteous "pro-life" posturing. This as they support polluting (killing) our planet, using capital punishment to kill the (all too often wrongly) convicted, and Second Amendmenting anyone who looks at them cross-eyed. And their base eats it up.

GOP politicians boast about their "family values." Yet they play the base card while cheating on their wives in Argentina or concealing their own sexual orientation while pushing anti-gay initiatives.

All this because they care.

Think about it:

Which party is it that came up with the slogan "drill, baby, drill" despite the dire consequences and debilitating illnesses we're already seeing as a result of their deadly reverence of fossil fuels?

Which party is it that resorts to cheating (gerrymandering, Voter I.D. laws, cutting back early voting, caging) in order to win elections?

Which party is it that refuses to pay women the same salaries as men?

Which party is it that rallied around their "Patriot" O' the Day, racist scofflaw Cliven Bundy?

Which party is it that sworetogod they would turn over a new leaf and reach out to a more diverse spectrum of voters... and then did just the opposite?

Hint: Not Democrats.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Obama's Keystone trap,” Opinion, April 22

Goldberg writes: “GOP politicians still care about the environment, but they take their cues from public opinion, not the green lobby.”

Who does Goldberg consider to be the green lobby? The vast majority of climate scientists whose opinion is disregarded? If the GOP cares as much about the environment as he suggests, where are the party's environmental leaders?

Climate change is not simply another problem among the others (habitat loss, ocean acidification and more) that Goldberg lists; it underlies these problems.

Mary Clumeck

Santa Ana

***

We can all sleep a bit better knowing that “GOP politicians still care about the environment.”

And I assume that we can look forward to the GOP leadership on increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women, contraceptive coverage in medical plans, increasing the marginal tax rate on the very wealthy, providing routes to citizenship for illegal immigrants, legalization of marijuana and recognition for gay marriages.

After all, Goldberg assures us that GOP politicians “take their cues from public opinion.”

Ed Grubbs

Spring Valley, Calif.

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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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