Archive for U.S. Congress

America's Militant Right Gets a Candidate Up to Bat - Georgia Pastor Jody Hice

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False
This is one of those stories that make you want to say about the entire country, "I know we are smarter than that!"

The camo military vehicle being used for Tea Party stumping is just the tip of the iceberg for this Hice cat, he's one of the crowd that sees President Obama as some evil super-villain to the Rabid Right  who is either completely incapable, wholly Sanz Feck and yet perplexingly clever enough to redistribute wealth and get a socialist agenda underway.

Typical Fvx Nation logic.

Which brings us back to Pastor Hice. Hice ain't nice, as one political friend commented on the southern fried nonsense that's erupting over in the Lipton Brigadiers wing of the GOP side of the 10th congressional district in the state of Georgia. Even for Georgia, it's distasteful.

The Koch Broz. are, of course, at the other end of the buck on this one. From a superb long form investigative report over at Vice:

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee endorsed Jody Hice because he is a true champion for conservative issues that are important to women and their families," wrote Penny Nance, the CEO of CWA. The most recently available disclosures show that the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee received $8.1 million from Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the oil baron Koch brothers' "secret bank," which is reportedly used to disperse funds from their fundraisers with other billionaire conservative donors. During roughly the same period as the Freedom Partners' check, the CWA LAC raised only $8.7 million, meaning the Koch donor network pays most of the group’s bills.

As jaw-dropping as the GOP Disconnect Lady Quote was, Vice had even more dirt on Pastor Hice's views on those who don't oppose abortion with every fiber of their fervently religious souls. He predictably went there on Hitler.

Hice calls America's record on abortion "much worse than Hitler's six million Jews," says Muslims do not "deserve First Amendment rights," has said that women should consider running for office only if their husbands approve, and has claimed that the Sandy Hook child massacre was God's response to ending school prayer.

you-think-im-ywwqli

For true quirkiness, he embraced the Jews and went postal on the Mormon Church, which ties in nicely to the Right's cloying love affair with Israel this summer but is relatively rarely seen in The Open. In other words, they usually try to keep this level of wingnuttery under wraps for surprisingly sensible reasons.

These are not views society ought to be comfortable with.

In a 2011 interview, during a chat that at one point revolved around Hice's contention that the Obama administration is "destroying, purposefully" America's "Judeo-Christian heritage," Hice was asked by an evangelical talk radio host if it would be worth "replacing Obama with Mormon [and failed 2012 GOP Presidential nominee] Mitt Romney?" Without missing a beat, Hice told the interviewer, Rick Wiles, that there was little difference between the two. Hice said one of the reasons he couldn't trust Romney was because of "his understanding of our Christian values." He added, Romney is "a wolf in sheep's clothing." (You can listen to the interview here.)

Romney was dogged by evangelicals who questioned his religion during both of his runs for the presidency. But those attacks were generally at the margins, made by inconsequential preachers or low-level politicians.

O-kay, now. We have ourselves a winner as far as extreme wackadoo militia types with a Judeo-Christian flavor go.

But we are also looking at Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul in office, so don't-don't-do not even entertain the thought of slacking off in 98 days and let the vote get away from us.

notsure

Seriously. If that's chump change for the Koch Brothers, it's come down to the voting booth for power moves.

 

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Radioactive waste a toxic byproduct of fracking, drilling in N. Dakota

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headdesk radioactive waste fracking

Back in May I wrote, Hey Big Oil "pro-lifers": Fossil fuels may be killing babies! Today's Los Angeles Times has an extensive report about how, in North Dakota, fracking may very well be producing radioactive waste. Again, "pro-lifers," the question is: What do you value more, life or profits?

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

So you know how Republicans despise oversight? Because, freedom! Don'tcha wonder if they ever consider their fellow Americans' freedom to keep breathing? Especially those self-proclaimed right-to-lifers. It's hard to fathom that they are actually this okay with exposure to deadly toxins as long as their corporate gods make a buck.

Did I mention that oil drilling and fracking are producing radioactive waste?

Am I repeating myself? I tend to do that when I'm livid. And appalled. And sickened. But I'm not sickened in a way that will potentially kill me. No, that's reserved for the victims of Fracking, Inc. in North Dakota, the second-largest oil-producing state, right after Texas.

Did I mention that North Dakota doesn't have an environmental protection agency?

Did I mention that New Mexico GOP Gov. Susana Martinez weakened her state's rules on hazardous waste last year?

Did I mention that the EPA is not providing adequate oversight? That would be the Environmental PROTECTION Agency.

Did I mention that my head is throbbing from banging it on my desk?

Via the L.A. Times must-read story:

Nearly 1,000 radioactive filters were found last year at the landfill, part of a growing tide of often toxic waste produced by the state's oil and gas rush. Oil field waste includes drill cuttings — rock and earth that come up a well bore — along with drilling fluids and wastewater laced with chemicals used in fracking.

To many local and tribal officials, environmentalists and some industry managers in North Dakota, the dumping of the socks [filters clotted with radioactive dirt] and the proliferation of other waste shows the government falling short in safeguarding the environment against oil field pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency decided during the Reagan era to classify oil field waste as not hazardous, exempting it from tight controls and leaving it to be managed by widely varied state laws. Nationally, no one tracks how many millions of tons of waste the fossil fuel boom generates, or where it ends up.

There's that "leaving it to the states" beast raising its ugly head again. Republican-run states have done so well with the Affordable Care Act and voting rights. What could possibly go wrong? Well, for one thing, North Dakota situating "slop pits" of poison over "known aquifers" could be a teeny tiny problem.

Some of the people quoted in the article requested anonymity because they were afraid of repercussions-- like, you know, getting fired-- for trying to point out things like waste management failures, fear of carcinogens in groundwater, exemptions for radioactive elements being classified as hazardous waste, and for putting frackin' lives in danger. Things like that.

And then there's-- ta-daa!-- Congress:

The EPA says it cannot reclassify oil field waste as hazardous without legislative action, which, with the current Congress, is unlikely.

bangheadSee: "Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

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"Absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for GOP"

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democracy setback

A report just came out from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. It confirmed what many of us already knew: that Americans are "staying away from the polls in droves." Not good, not good at all. The prediction is that the midterm primary elections will set record lows in voter turnout. "Who cares?" many of you may be asking. Well, per the Los Angeles Times, that would be a real setback for democracy:

Why does that matter? “It presents a danger to our society insofar as democracy does thrive on the consent and involvement of the governed,” said Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan election research center and a decades-long student of voter behavior. “Leadership needs some form of mandate.”

The study says a major factor in the low turnout is a sense of futility: congressional districts consciously drawn to favor one party or the other, which leave many voters wondering why they should bother participating when the outcome is preordained.

Got that? Gerrymandering is a major culprit. Scroll through our many posts on that subject.

gerrymander definition

To repeat, low voter turnout is bad for democracy... and usually bad for Democrats, specifically.

Adjacent to that article was another one about a different kind of setback. It has a somewhat encouraging title (key word: somewhat), No partisan wave building for fall elections, but GOP gains likely:

[F]or now, the absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for Republicans, who had hoped earlier this year that the unpopularity of President Obama's healthcare law would guarantee big gains for them.  [...]

The public's dismal view of Congress probably accounts for some of that lack of enthusiasm about voting.

That last sentence is an understatement, IMHO. Our own Sherry Hardy wrote a great post about that here, and I followed up here.

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

And from the Timing Is Everything Dep't., Steve Kornacki subbed for Chris Matthews on Hardball and treated us to his own "Let Me Finish" segment in which he opined on the long game for Democrats:

Kornacki:

Right now, at least, it doesn't look like a big Republican wave is building, and it does look like Democrats can at least hold their own this fall. And if they can do that, then it sets up the real battle in 2016...

In 2016, Republicans won't just get to take shots at the White House, they'll have to put up a candidate of their own. They'll have to write a platform of their own, run on an agenda that might not sit that well with most Americans. There could be a huge opportunity for Democrats...

2014 is important to [the Democrats], but 2016? That's the ball game.

You know what to do:

vote  turnout  gotv

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"Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

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Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

Our own Sherry Hardy covered Rachel Maddow's edible take-down of the Worst Congress Ever in her post, 'Get Out and Push', Says Maddow of the Useless, U.S. Congress. Maddow went ballistic, and rightfully so. Wowee, do GOP obstructionists suck, and yes, I'm using the official elitist left vernacular. Before going any further, I have to share a couple of the best parts from the segment Sher put up. And by "best" I mean most relatable, because Rachel's Moment of Gaa! was surely felt by many of us. Here are four very short clips (under a minute each) that represent some of her best outbursts. Here she is, blasting Congress to smithereens, and by Congress she meant Republican members thereof:

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

Maddow:

"Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

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

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

Maddow:

"This is truly historic failure."

ding ding ding

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

All of this brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor in which readers responded to former Rep. David Dreier op-ed that was meant "to assure readers that it's not as bad as it seems in Congress. The nearly unanimous response from the nearly two dozen readers who sent us letters: Are you serious?"

Here you go, because our voices matter:

It's been tried many times before, the guilty claiming innocence by accusing the victim.

Dreier does just that. He blames the people for being divided, implying that the members of Congress themselves are not at fault. This is why only 13% of Americans approve of Congress, according to a January Gallup poll. Eighty seven percent of the people being of one mind in their disapproval doesn't sound like division.

Fewer laws have been passed by this Congress than by any other in the last 65 years, and Dreier says it's not really that bad. I think it is time for a reality check.

Frances Pin, Marina del Rey

..

Dreier deludes himself and, even more sadly, us.

We have a do-nothing Congress not because Americans are deeply divided. Important legislative efforts on immigration, the minimum wage and gun control did not die because of deep division, as a large majority of Americans favored these measures.

Is Dreier saying that shutting down the government and threatening its solvency came because of voter division? The failures came because the GOP was listening to the radical tea party members of Congress, who represent a very small minority of the population.

It is self-serving for Dreier to blame the division of the people — actually, insulting.

Jim Hoover, Huntington Beach

..

Dreier states that he is continually asked, "Is Congress completely controlled by big money and special interests?" and "Is it more partisan and dysfunctional than ever before?"

He never answers. Instead he tells us how there are always two opinions to every issue and groups of constituents on both sides.

I have to assume that he avoided answering because the answers are both "yes."

Ted Bacino, Palm Springs

..

Dreier blames the diversity of Americans for Congress' obstructionism.

Of course we are diverse, and we are better off for it. However, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated in 2010 that his main goal was for Barack Obama to be a one-term president, he revealed quite clearly what the Republican Party was all about: not diversity, but settling scores.

Robert S. Ellison, Arcadia

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'Get Out and Push', Says Maddow of the Useless, U.S. Congress

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World's End

Maddow finally did it! Put her head on the desk in despair and choked out a couple of frustrated, choked "Gaah!!!"s in the opening block of her Friday evening show … on the gobstoppingly absurd absenteeism of 25% of the American diplomatic forces.

Key positions are vacant because the actual Do Nothing Congress is Out of Order. They won't even appoint or confirm - it's the mind-blowing equivalent of laying off 1 out of every four American diplomats and foreign service personnel around the world.

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For sheer spite. Obstructionism and putting some degrading 'asterisk' next to Obama's presidency is more important than our national security - to the GOP, neo-hawks.

The capper: Congress is currently less popular than Putin with the American people. As they are about to go on vacation themselves, it's going to be a race to do as little as possible.

you-think-im-ywwqli

We currently have no ambassadors to Russia, Guatemala and more than a few other hotspots in foreign affairs this summer.

Bernie Sanders was slightly optimistic about the hopes of VA Reform early this afternoon. Despite both houses having passed the actual bill - Bernie Sanders and John McCain were the bloody co-sponsors, they had it down. Congress looked ready to pass a bill, #wtfbbqlaw??

Partisan bickering and final budget wrangling have ground even the Veterans Administration reform efforts to an astonishing new level of Gonzo Gridlock.

Funny-Office-Signs-02-Microwave-Toaster

Bernie joined Rachel at quarter past the hour to offer his perspective. He was no longer just optimistic. He seemed to be working his way up to projecting the announcing of an imminent deal. "Yesterday was a very rough day … but we will look abysmal if we cannot produce legislation to help the Veterans. … We plan on working tomorrow and Sunday, and despite the huge ideological differences … we can come together." {paraphrasey} Have a look.

Earlier in the day a veteran called Sanders 'intractable' and a bit of a problem in the gridlock, which raised my hackles but nonetheless deserves a look. Sanders is indeed determined to include mental health and traumatic brain injury as high priorities, and perhaps he is holding out for ideals. But he is fighting hard for progress within this dysfunctional congress.

don'talwayswatch

By contrast, the sub for Hannity had Paul The Younger on to bloviate about the Middle East, then let little Randy suggest an Iron Dome for the U.S.. Isolationist much?! Then he had a spin around the entire feeble Feck question on Ukraine, and did the obligatory 'lack of leadership' schtick.

"Staring down Putin" … he has been reading his Ayn.

Sorry for the early bird Fvx, but these side by side comparisons between the two cable networks, one delivering actual news with a stated liberal slant and a fan of facts, one that sells hysteria and propaganda like it's a new investment op; are critically important in the two views of this Dysfunctional Congress and the state of breaking bad they have sunk to.

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These compare and contrasts are so critical - the harsh disinfectant of light shining on the murk and hate at Fox Noise and diagnosing the brainwashing for what it is, a propaganda and cult network bent on guarding the wealth of the upper tier.

Oh, and that Rand Paul baldly boasted of calling the president to advise him was just that last bitter note that Fvx Nation is addicted to.

It's going to take the mother of all Twelve Step Programs to sort out those zombies and zombettes when they stumble away from the mother ship … a wrecked and listing Tea Party clipper.

crazy to work here

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Fvx's Megyn Kelly Accuses Nancy Pelosi of Sexism Re Hobby Lobby

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Image 66
Are you kidding me? Megyn Kelly has less credibility to talk about sexism than Sean Hannity has, although she used to have slightly more than Ann Coulter.

Not after this banner month over at Fvx Nation.

Hobby Lobby Affected us all in different ways. For those of us who arrived on the planet standard with a uterus, we were for the most part displeased with a SCROTUS who decided to insert one more public bit of scrutiny way too close to our imperiled lady parts.

TJWomenVotingRepublican

Then there were the kooks who celebrated the decision as a herald to the return to an America they had feared they lost, one where women have such an absurd rigaramarole set in front of them to obtain birth control that it becomes an impediment to health and family planning.

They are currently doing a Holly Hobby Hobby Lobby Regressive Porn flick to celebrate … Rick Santorum made it happen. Gag. Not kidding. Here's a blurb from Raw Story to catch the Ick from firsthand.

… the documentary — called One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty — on Sept. 1.

A trailer for the movie points to the Hobby Lobby case that the Supreme Court decided on Monday as proof that the government is trying to destroy religious freedom. Filmmakers compare the situation to Nazi Germany, when Christians in Germany did not “wake up.”

Image, Big Fish Ink

Image, Big Fish Ink

Megyn Kelly must be one of the producers. She set herself up at Fvx Noise as the arbiter of all things female after 9 p.m. (before Hannity comes on to bring the testosterone back to Fox standards), and wasted no time in blaming the woman clearly at the heart of the controversy.

Nancy Pelosi? All right, Megyn, have your absurd 'say'.

Yes, the First Female Speaker of the House in these United States, normally considered a fierce proponent for fellow dames, is secretly sexist and bent on destroying womanhood as you know it, Megyn Kelly.

Who can even begin to address the Wrong therein?

gop disaster zone gop candidate

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Yawn: Weekly jobless claims slip... again. #BlameObama

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jobless benefits unemployment down

Fox Biz keeps bugging me with upbeat email alerts like the one below. And we all know that they are the single most reliable source of information in the entire world, so I pay attention to every word. Since I can't keep all the good news bottled up inside, especially on a day filled with very bad news (AP Reporting that Malaysian Air 777 Was "Shot Down" over Ukraine), I had to share. Again. Yawn. Yes, one more time, weekly jobless claims fell and nobody on cable news [sic] seems to have noticed. And if they did notice, they failed to report it to the rest of us.

Then again, since when as the news [sic] media performed up to expectations? And by expectations I mean standards that meet or surpass that of playing Telephone.

Here's the latest:

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell to 302,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 305,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 310,000 from an initially-reported 304,000.

Seriously, if this keeps up, Republican impeachment and lawsuit efforts will start to look even more ludicrous than they already do.

Nonetheless, with jobless claims sliding, there's only one thing left to do. Say it with me now, everyone:

blame obama

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