Category Archives: Republican Party

What’s The Word For This Again?

Welcome, Crooks & Liars!

Y’all think maybe these two stories are related? Story one:

Tennessee’s attorney general again says federal gun laws must stand

The latest attempt by state lawmakers to nullify federal gun laws probably violates the U.S. Constitution, Tennessee’s attorney general said in an opinion released Friday.

Senate Bill 1756, a measure that attempts to block federal laws within Tennessee, would violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, state lawyers said in a terse, two-page opinion signed by Attorney General Robert Cooper. State lawyers note they reached the same conclusion on a similar bill a year ago.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, sought the opinion. Kelsey and the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, have clashed previously over the issue.

Story two:

Attorney general bill advances in Tennessee state Senate; on state House calendar this week

The state House version of a bill that would give Tennessee’s governor and the General Assembly power over the state attorney general is on a subcommittee calendar for debate Wednesday.

The state Senate version of the bill passed out of committee last week on a 5-3 vote and is set to be scheduled for a full Senate vote.

Supporters say the bill would make the state attorney general’s office more accountable to Tennessee citizens. The attorney general now is appointed by Tennessee Supreme Court justices, who themselves are appointed by the governor.

Bill opponents, who include Gov. Bill Haslam, say the legislation is a power grab that could violate the state constitution and politicize the independent office.

You know what? I’d like to see our representatives in the legislature be more accountable to Tennessee citizens first, ‘m’kay? We keep hearing about jobs and the economy being peoples’ number one concern, but when you elect Tennessee Republicans like Mae Beavers what you end up getting is a lot of culture war crazy and attempts to roll back the clock and re-litigate battles that were settled long ago.

And, yes. A special kudo to that crack legal mind Mae Beavers — and when I say “crack,” I DO mean influenced by illegal substances, as she’s so far off the rails, even her fellow Republicans can’t take her seriously any more. I simply cannot believe that there isn’t a person out there who can send this idiot packing. I mean, Tennessee Republicans, have you not thought about finding another candidate for this seat? Mae Beavers is kinda tarnishing your brand. She does not belong in public office of any kind, let alone in the state legislature.

But isn’t this just typical? The state Attorney General keeps telling certain legislators that their ideas are unconstitutional, illegal, even crazy. They won’t stand up in court. Instead of behaving like grown-ups and realizing maybe they might be, y’know, wrong, they just want to use their power to politicize the office and hire some Monica Goodling-type with a “degree” from the University of Phoenix to do their bidding. Power grab? Umm, gee, ya think? But this is what happens when you elect a bunch of people who are more interested in getting their way than doing what’s right.

Now, tell me: what’s the word for this, again? Corrupt? Evil? Stupid? Childish?

By the way, the AG’s opinion can be read here. It’s hilarious.

Constitutionality of Legislation Amending the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act”

QUESTION

Is Senate Bill 1607/House Bill 2145 (hereinafter “SB1607”) of the 108th Tennessee General Assembly, which would amend the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act,” constitutional?

OPINION

No.

Well, alrighty then. Now run along and play, children, and leave the actual governing to the grown-ups.

And let me remind Tennessee Republicans supporting this ridiculous Attorney General’s bill about one thing: pendulums swing. You won’t be in power forever. The day will come when Democrats are back in charge and get to have all the power you are grabbing for your Republican majority now. And you will not like that. And you will scream and squawk and whine and complain but you will have made this bed and you will have to lie down in it.

And nobody will feel sorry for you.

12 Comments

Filed under gun control, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP

Your Government Under Republicans

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

Ash Spill Shows How Watchdog Was Defanged

RALEIGH, N.C. — Last June, state employees in charge of stopping water pollution were given updated marching orders on behalf of North Carolina’s new Republican governor and conservative lawmakers.

“The General Assembly doesn’t like you,” an official in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told supervisors called to a drab meeting room here. “They cut your budget, but you didn’t get the message. And they cut your budget again, and you still didn’t get the message.”

From now on, regulators were told, they must focus on customer service, meaning issuing environmental permits for businesses as quickly as possible. Big changes are coming, the official said, according to three people in the meeting, two of whom took notes. “If you don’t like change, you’ll be gone.”

But when the nation’s largest utility, Duke Energy, spilled 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River in early February, those big changes were suddenly playing out in a different light. Federal prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation into the spill and the relations between Duke and regulators at the environmental agency.

This is how Republicans “govern.” We see it here in Tennessee and everywhere Republicans are put in charge. This is what they do. Defang the regulators and those charged with oversight under the guise of “creating jobs,” then when the inevitable happens and and families are forced to truck in their drinking at personal expense, Republican throw up their hands and say, “See! We told you so! We told you government can’t do anything right!”

It’s hard to feel sorry for the very people who keep voting for this nonsense in the first place because they buy into those ridiculous free market fairy tales. Except the sad thing is, we all end up paying.

Privatize gains, socialize losses. It’s the Republican way.

8 Comments

Filed under ash spill, environment, Republican Party

Grand Ole Ratfuckers

Welcome Crooks & Liars! Thanks, Mike!

The Republican Party is so unpopular with the rank and file, they’ve actually resorted to fraud and deception to solicit donations for their sucky candidates:

Republicans are defending a series of websites they established that appear to support Democratic candidates for Congress, but instead direct contributions to the GOP.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said its websites were not confusing, and accused Democrats of crying foul because their candidates were struggling.

The sites, like this one for Arizona Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, feature a “Kyrsten Sinema for Congress” banner, and a picture of the first-term congresswoman from a competitive Maricopa County district.

The sites also display a clear, but smaller secondary banner, urging contributions to “help defeat” (in this case) Sinema. At the bottom of the page, it features an NRCC disclaimer.

Let’s take a look at this donation page, shall we?

imagesizer

This is pathetic. So if you’re in a hurry, and just briefly glance over the page, you see a picture of the Democratic candidate and what appears to be her donation options. You may see the word “defeat” but more likely it doesn’t register. You’re in a rush and skim over that stuff as you search for your credit card and focus on the actual donation options. Only after you complete the transaction do you realize you’ve been pwned, sucka!

Trying to figure out who this works for. Surely the people who got ripped off have an even lower estimation of the Republican Party, right? Certainly if I were a candidate who was being used to defraud voters, I’d speak up about it.

Even the URLs appear to be links to Democratic candidates. Check out the sad tale of a Floridian who tried to donate to Democrat Alex Sink’s campaign:

Ray Bellamy said he wanted to make a political contribution to Alex Sink a Google search landed him at “http://contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com.”

“It looked legitimate and had a smiling face of Sink and all the trappings of a legitimate site,” Bellamy, a doctor from Tallahassee who follows Florida politics, wrote in an email to the Buzz. (Here’s Sink’s actual site, which uses a similar color scheme.)

What Bellamy overlooked was that the site is designed to raise money against Sink. “I failed to notice the smaller print: Under “Alex Sink Congress” was the sentence ‘Make a contribution today to help defeat Alex Sink and candidates like her,’ ” he said.

As with the Kyrsten Sinema campaign, the Republicans are using confusion and deception to try to steal donations which don’t belong to them. They’re counting on the fact that donors are busy, and will trust a quickie Google search to land them in the right place (also: hello, Google? Why is a fake Alex Sink campaign site ranked higher than the real one? UPDATE: Google has since put a phising warning on the website.) Even worse, in the case of Ray Bellamy’s errant donation, the NRCC wouldn’t refund his donation — until he went to the news media.

How is this not a violation of campaign finance rules? Or have we effectively done away with those?

Republicans are horrible people. Trying to steal elections, using fraud to steal donations — can’t you guys do anything honestly for once in your lives?

(h/t, Juanita Jean)

4 Comments

Filed under campaign finance, fraud, Republican National Committee, Republican Party

Proving Jesus’ Point

No wonder Jesus said we will always have the poor with us:

Billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone has a warning for Pope Francis.

A major Republican donor, Langone told CNBC in a story published online Monday that wealthy people such as himself might stop giving to charity if the Pope continues to make statements criticizing capitalism and income inequality.

Pity the poor billionaires.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: when Republican religion clashes with Republican political ideology, it’s always the religion which is wrong.

No, Mr. Langone. Pope Francis is not alienating the rich. You’re alienating yourselves.

Mark 12:41-44
New International Version (NIV)
The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

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Filed under Christianity, Pope Francis, Republican Party

Welcome Rep. Kingston To GOP’s Starving Children’s Club

It appears the Republican Starving Children’s Club has spread beyond Tennessee and traveled to Georgia, where it threatens to derail Rep. Jack Kingston’s bid for Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat:

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), who from 2011 to 2012 chaired the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for school nutrition programs, told party activists that kids receiving free breakfast and lunch should either be asked to pay for part of their meals or earn them by sweeping the floor. The 11-term Congressman, who is seeking his party’s nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat next year, said Saturday that he had suggested the idea to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

What horrible people.

The Republican war on the poor continues apace, despite the beseeching of people like Ohio Gov. John Kasich to stop being such assholes. He didn’t state it that way, of course, but that’s what it is. Rep. Stephen Fincher, Rep. Jack Kingston, Rep. Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Grinches are really about just one thing: making sure some undeserving slob isn’t getting “rewarded” for being lazy and fleecing the people who have had every advantage in life. Indeed, some of these same people trying to shred the social safety net had no problem taking assistance when they needed it.

Republicans are not looking like shining examples of humanity here. No, they’re kinda looking like giant dicks.

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Filed under poverty, Republican Party

There Is No Santa Claus, Idiots

Jesus effin’ Christmas Tree. This explains what’s wrong with your modern conservative, in a nutshell. Arguments over whether Santa Claus was white, black, orange or green are completely ridiculous when you dial back a bit and remember one crucial thing: Santa isn’t real!

You know, I’d love to use this nonsense to point out all of the other fictitious things conservatives believe in: the free hand of the market, trickle down economics, tax cuts create jobs, Obamacare death panels, Conservative Jesus, etc. Seems like I’ve had to remind conservatives about the difference between fiction and reality before, back when they were pretending Jack Bauer was a real person and torture was the best defense against terrorism. But that’s not what’s going on here.

That conservatives are divorced from reality when it serves them is not news; that they will go to the mat in defense of Santa’s “whiteness” speaks to something deeper. This is about race and identity and the pathetic need to hang onto the idea of white superiority. It wouldn’t matter what race a mythic figure like Santa Claus is if conservatives like Bill O’Reilly didn’t feel so insecure about their cultural position in the first place. It’s another manifestation of the conservative inferiority complex, broadcast on Fox News for all the world to see.

There is nothing more ridiculous than a privileged old white guy arguing that no, black people cannot have Santa Claus. He’s ours. Do you people even hear yourselves?

And they wonder why the rest of the world laughs at them.

21 Comments

Filed under Bill O'Reilly, racism, rants, Republican Party, War On Christmas

Packing The Courts

God, I simply cannot believe the balls of these people:

With Republicans set on Monday to block Robert Wilkins’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, both parties’ positions appear hopelessly intractable.

The only thing that may be able to preserve the GOP’s ability to filibuster judicial nominees is another extended battle over the Senate rules that forces a truce between the caucuses of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Here’s a statistic I’ve read: 86.8 percent of President Bush’s judicial nominees were confirmed. Some of his nominees — Harriet Miers is a notable example — were blocked by his own party, not just Democrats. That didn’t stop political partisans — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, for one, and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, for another — from stoking the perpetual butthurt and persecution complex of gullible Evangelical Christians in framing a battle over judicial nominees as a “Filibuster Against People Of Faith.”

Remember that? Remember:

Frist is trying to win support for a ban on the use of the filibuster, a technique to delay Senate business, to block votes on judicial nominees. He has agreed to give a videotaped speech Sunday for Justice Sunday: Stop the Filibuster Against People of Faith.

[...]

The program, which also features prominent religious leaders such as James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is sponsored by the socially conservative Family Research Council. Churches, groups and individuals can sign up at http://www.frc.org to watch by satellite or on the Internet.

[...]

A brochure for the program, originating at a church in Louisville, says the filibuster “was once abused to protect racial bias, and now it is being used against people of faith.” Perkins says “activist courts” are conspiring “to rob us of our Christian heritage” and urges “values voters” to support Frist.

That was April 2005. Two other Justice Sundays followed: one in August 2005 at Nashville’s Two Rivers Baptist Church, called “God Save the United States and this Honorable Court,” which was timed to coincide with John Roberts’ confirmation hearings. The third event was held at a Baptist church in Philadelphia on the eve of Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. This one was labeled “Proclaim Liberty Throughtout The Land.”

As with all things right-wing, these events (especially the first one) were the newest shiny-sparkly thing to grab the media’s attention, and there were front page stories and endless hours of cable news programs devoted to them. The rallying cry, as you will recall, was “the president’s nominees deserve an up or down vote.” We heard that one ad nauseum.

Fast forward to the next administration, in which the president happens to be a Democrat, and suddenly the shoe is on the other foot. Suddenly Obama is “packing the courts.” Fewer than half of President Obama’s judicial nominees have been confirmed. And yet, there have been no rallies about the president’s nominees deserving an up or down vote, no church-based (or union hall-based) events about filibustering the working class, minorities and women. There has been no “Occupy The Courts” movement or marches on Washington or bully tactics to force the Senate opposition into giving us our way.

Republican presidents have it so easy. Once they’re in office there’s an entire network of apparatchiks across every facet of American society ready to support that president’s agenda. Democratic presidents have no such support network. Liberal apparatchiks are too busy whining about getting thrown under the bus on x, y, or z issue to bother having the presidential back on things like judicial nominees. We know, intuitively, how important the courts are to our cause, yet we’ve done precious little when President Obama’s highly-qualified picks have been blocked by Republican obstruction.

When I look back and reflect on how much time and energy was devoted to discussing the Justice Sunday events eight years ago, I am simply amazed at the strategic skills of the Republican right. Think about it: the very same people claiming it was evil and un-American and an assault on judicial independence to filibuster a judicial nominee turned round and lobbied for that very thing when Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court. Amazing. And yet, no one, least of all the “liberal media,” laughed them out of the room.

No one has pointed out that the right’s event-based activism really lacks any philosophical integrity. It’s really just all about making sure their side wins. I don’t know why the media plays along with this whole charade. And I don’t know why the left doesn’t do a better job of coming together on these things.

7 Comments

Filed under filibuster, Republican Party

Controlling The Beast

Interesting:

In a warning shot to outside conservative groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week informed a prominent Republican advertising firm that it would not receive any contracts with the campaign committee because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans.

Even more striking, a senior official at the committee called individual Republican Senate campaigns and other party organizations this week and urged them not to hire the firm, Jamestown Associates, in an effort to punish them for working for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Jim DeMint, then a South Carolina senator, that is trying to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and some other incumbents up for re-election next year whom it finds insufficiently conservative.

Thus the civil war inside the Republican Party has spread into the politico-industrial complex. I’m trying to think how blacklisting contractors who work for Tea Party candidates will do anything constructive. Aside from inflaming the base, isn’t that kinda going after low-hanging fruit?

What about the sugar daddies financing these folks? It’s fine to go after an ad agency, but what about the people paying the bills? What about the Koch Brothers or people like Nashville’s own Lee Beaman, a generous contributor to affiliated groups like the Club For Growth (a major backer of Ted Cruz) and Americans For Prosperity. Wonder if any of these people will get their hands slapped? It doesn’t sound like it.

The problem with the Republican Party, as I’ve written a gazillion times, is that the moderates are already extinct from a functional perspective. Even the most reasonable Republican imaginable, once elected, ends up playing on the same team as the knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who remain stubbornly committed to failed policies and ignorant ideas like “defaulting on our debt is just a pin-prick.” Time and time again we see the so-called “moderates” kow-tow to the mouthbreathers; this is how we ended up with a shuttered government for two weeks, folks. Even our spineless governor, Bill Haslam, is too weak-kneed to take on the fringe.

I’m reminded of a quote from a book I read years and years ago — I think it was Asne Seierstad’s The Bookseller Of Kabul — where a Pakistani man says he doesn’t support the brutal tactics of the Taliban in nearby Afghanistan, but he thinks Pakistan could benefit from “just a little bit of the Taliban.”

But there is no “little bit.” It’s all or nothing. And it’s the same with today’s Republicans. There’s no “little bit of the Tea Party,” it’s the whole thing. They just shut down the entire government because the moderates are extinct as a party force. That should tell you something right there.

The fact that party leadership still thinks they can control this beast they created without going after the Hydra’s head — the Koch billions — is just pathetic.

14 Comments

Filed under politics, Republican Party, Tea Party

Bubble Boys

[UPDATE]:

Ed at Gin & Tacos nails it:

To refuse to buy On Principle is silly, in my opinion, but one’s choice. To form those principles based on fourth-hand information that was incorrect when it was first-hand is a symptom of two things. First, it shows how willingly the Teabagging rubes allow themselves to be screwed by their masters. Second, it emphasizes that for all their talk of freedom and demands to know The Truth, what these people really appear to want is to be force-fed information by their chosen mouthpieces like geese being fattened up for foie gras.

We’re treated to that worldview with annoying regularity over here thanks to my resident Memphis troll. It is amazing to me that some folks continue to regularly visit liberal sites with the equivalent of a “Kick Me” sign taped to their backs. I don’t get the point. Life inside the GOP cult isn’t pretty. If nothing else it shows how much Kool-Aid they’ve swallowed.

While Ted Cruz continues to deny he’s led the GOP off a cliff, new polls show the American people increasingly repelled not only by Republicans themselves, but Republican policies and the Republican worldview:

• Dems lead in the generic ballot matchup by 49-38. Among independents — a key midterm constituency — those numbers are 46-35.

* Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the way the Congressional GOP is handling the federal budget, versus 77 percent who disapprove. Among independents: 20-78. Among moderates: 14-85. Among seniors: 18-79. Fewer than one in three regard the GOP favorably.

* Only 20 percent think Republicans are “interested in doing what’s best for the country,” while 77 percent think they’re “interested in what’s best for themselves politically.” Among independents: 14-83. Among moderates: 18-81. Among seniors: 24-74.

* Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown by 53-29; moderates by 60-24; indys by 49-29; and seniors by 46-35.

Crucially, large majorities think the shutdown damaged the country. Eighty six percent say it has damaged the U.S.’s image in the world, and 80 percent say it damaged the U.S. economy. Those who predicted a shutdown/default crisis would underscore perceptions of the GOP as ideologically incapable of constructive governing have fresh evidence for that view.

* POLL SHOWS BROAD DISAGREEMENT WITH GOP: Additionally, the poll finds that in the aftermath of the shutdown, only small minorities share the GOP’s priorities when it comes to spending, taxes, and indeed basic governing norms:

* 54 percent agree with Obama that increasing the debt ceiling should not be used as a tool in budget negotiations; 40 percent agree with the GOP view that reducing the deficit should be part of debt ceiling agreements.

* Americans by 47-36 trust Obama over Congressional Republicans to get the balance right between cutting spending that is unnecessary and continuing needed spending.

* 59 percent agree that deficit reduction should include a combination of tax increases and spending cuts (the Dem position) versus only 37 percent who say only spending cuts (the GOP position).

The colossal trainwreck that is the Republican Party continues to chug through American politics. Ted Cruz is the gift that keeps on giving.

6 Comments

Filed under Republican Party

You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Ha ha ha:

GOP looking at six-week debt limit extension; won’t end shutdown

House Republicans are discussing a six-week extension of the nation’s debt limit as a way to buy time for more negotiations with President Obama.

It is not clear if the hike Republicans are considering to the $16.7 trillion debt limit would be completely “clean,” meaning it would not demand concessions from Democrats. A clean hike would mark a significant concession to the White House.

But the legislation would not end the government shutdown, which could give Republicans continued leverage in the fight.

Let’s see, a deal that doesn’t end the government shutdown and promises a repeat of this drama in six weeks — right at peak holiday shopping time, when America’s retailers want people to feel like the global economy is swirling the drain. Sounds like a brilliant plan!

Surely nobody anticipated that electing people who don’t believe in government to government office would make a complete mess of government. It’s a mystery, I tellz ya!

C’mon, Republicans. Stop farting around here and get serious. This isn’t a deal, it’s your WTF moment. Republicans are getting pounded from all sides and they know it. Going through this whole crisis again in six weeks isn’t going to help you.

Here’s some schadenfreude from Booman to brighten your day.

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Filed under Republican Party