Category Archives: Republican Party

Culling The Herd

A lot of us suffered severe post-election anxiety, myself included. More than a few sleepless nights were spent worrying fitfully about what will happen to our most vulnerable citizens. And on a few occasions I even had the thought — fleeting — that in this new America, only the strong will survive. I have a bum knee, I need to lose 20 pounds, I’m middle-aged. Is there a place for me in Trump’s America? No, I decided.

If a gang of Trump thugs attacked me in a parking lot, could I fight back? Nope. My kickboxing days are more than a decade in the past. I haven’t run a marathon in years. I need to go to the gym, work out, diet. I need to give up beer. Trump’s America — Paul Ryan’s America — is for the young and strong. The denizens of Crossfit and SoulCycle.

And then I thought … nah! I mean, look at Steve Bannon: more Baron Vladimir Harkonnen than Master Race, right? If this schlub can get away with an extra 30 pounds, so can I.

But not so fast. Turns out I was onto something:

This budget will make America a lean, mean fighting machine with bulging, rippling muscles and not an ounce of fat. America has been weak and soft for too long. BUT HOW WILL I SURVIVE ON THIS BUDGET? you may be wondering. I AM A HUMAN CHILD, NOT A COSTLY FIGHTER JET. You may not survive, but that is because you are SOFT and WEAK, something this budget is designed to eliminate.

This excellent piece of satire had me ROFLMAO and is definitely worth spending one of your Washington Post freebies reading (or just go ahead and get a subscription, you cheapskate. Support the goddamn journalism, already.) But after the laughs died down I remembered my November panic attacks about being old and fat and weak and I realized,

Oh my god. Alexandra Petri is right. They are culling the herd.

And it’s not just Trump, it’s the entire Republican Party. It’s the entire ethos of conservatism: if you’re poor or weak or sick, get outta the way. You’re dragging the country down. You are dead weight on American greatness.

Some examples:

Trump Budget Cuts Put Struggling Americans on Edge

[…]

“I have lung cancer and it’s the dead of winter,” she remembers thinking. “What am I going to do?”

Help came in the form of a heating subsidy: money from the federal government, delivered by the Highland County Community Action Organization, a small nonprofit in rural southern Ohio, where Ms. Feltner lives.

Now, that program is on the chopping block. It is one of many cuts in President Trump’s new budget proposal that would inflict the deepest pain on the most vulnerable Americans — a great number of whom voted for him.

Duh, lady. “What am I gonna do?” Die, of course. Don’t you know that? Get with the program, honey. Stop holding the rest of the country back with your lung cancer and your poverty and your lack of winter heat. That’s not American greatness! That’s weak. So either stop being weak and sick and cold, or get the fuck out of the way.

Here’s another one:

Rural Areas Brace for a Shortage of Doctors Due to Visa Policy

[…]

While the Trump administration is fighting, in the courts of justice and public opinion, for its temporary travel ban affecting six countries, the slowdown in the rural doctor pipeline shows how even a small, relatively uncontroversial change can ripple throughout the country.

In Montana, for example, where nine counties do not have a single physician, it means Benefis Health does not know when a Romanian doctor trained in kidney transplants will arrive. The health care company spent months recruiting the doctor and had been expecting her in July.

“Our health system already has nine months invested in her, and now we have no idea when she can start,” said Erica Martin, who recruits doctors for the company.

Sorry, Montana. Kidney transplants are for pussies. Do we have to make it more clear? People who need kidney transplants aren’t great, they are reminders of weakness and failure and THAT CANNOT BE ALLOWED so die already and stop reminding us of what losers you are.

This one is my absolute favorite: a “veterans rights gun bill” that would remove 174,000 mental health records from the background check system. It basically reverses a Bush-era law passed after the Virginia Tech massacre. Keeping PTSD-afflicted veterans from committing suicide sounds like the kind of namby-pamby thing liberals and losers would do. In the Republican Party’s “only the strong deserve Murrica” approach to public policy, Veterans considering suicide need to get on with it already – -and here’s the gun to do it with. Y’all are dragging us down, man! Soldiers traumatized by war are weak! Didn’t you get the memo? America doesn’t do weak anymore! So go and do what you need to do and get the fuck out of the way because we’ve got Greatness to accomplish, you candy-assed wimp.

(I love that the bill was sponsored by Tennessee’s own Rep. Phil Roe, by the way. An alleged “doctor.”)

And of course there’s this one:

Trump’s NIH Budget Cuts Threaten a Serious Setback in Medical Research

This makes no sense until you realize that the point is to cull the herd and cures for cancer and other diseases are simply impeding that process. If you are sick, disabled, mentally ill, poor, unemployed, etc., then you should be about one thing: getting the fuck out of the way. By dying. If you aren’t in the business of dying then you are dragging the country down.

Come on, America. Get busy living, or get busy dying. That’s the fucking point.

41 Comments

Filed under Donald Trump, Republican Party

Brute Strength

We all know conservatives have Daddy Issues, but fer crying out loud, they’ve actually started worshipping dictators and authoritarians? First Hugh Hewitt praises Vladimir Putin for being a “strong leader” compared to our “weak” POTUS, and then this from Republican pollster and political spinmeister Frank Luntz:

luntz

Whaaat???

He knows that people who don’t profess support for North Korea’s dear leader find themselves before a firing squad, right? Was this supposed to be a joke?

Is this some kind of projection resulting from their own cultural impotence?

9 Comments

Filed under conservatives, Republican Party

Problems With Symbols

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that a party which has turned dog-whistle politics into an art form has run into trouble with its use of a controversial symbol. But c’mon, guys. Just ‘fess up, apologize, say you screwed up, and get on with your lives.

I mean, really: a “Sheriff’s star”? That’s as hilarious as when Sarah Palin claimed those crosshairs on her ad targeting Democrats were “surveyor’s marks” after Gabby Giffords was shot.

Or that time the Republican Party claimed the Confederate Flag wasn’t racist, just “misunderstood.”

I think it’s pretty funny when the Republican Party uses these images and symbols and then tries to tell everyone that you didn’t really see what you know damn well they wanted you to see.

2 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Republican Party

Rep. Martin Daniel: Worst Person In The World

[UPDATE]:

Martin Daniel tried to delete his racist Twitter rant. Sorry, buddy. The internet never forgets. Ha ha ha ha:

 

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Tennessee Republican State Rep. Martin Daniel of Knoxville took to Twitter last night to spout a string of racist Tweets about Muhammad Ali, whom he insisted on referring to by his given name, Cassius Clay. Some examples:

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Martin Daniel 1

Interestingly, Daniel is a big supporter of Donald Trump, who received a whopping five deferments, and then lied about it until he got busted by ABC News. Daniel also does not appear to have served. But hey, nothing says “support the troops” like using them as shields for your racism.

The response on Twitter was swift and severe, prompting Daniel to dig even deeper:

daniel 3

Yes, some anonymous person saying something mean on Twitter is totally the same as a member of the state legislature being racist and offensive about an American icon.

If this social media shit storm plays out in the usual manner, I predict Rep. Daniel will claim he received death threats, because of course he’s the real victim, right? Republicans always are.

By the way, Rep. Daniel was recently in the news for expressing his outrage over a Civil Rights reading exercise his fourth-grader brought home.

21 Comments

Filed under racism, Republican Party, Tennessee

There’s Facebook Newsfeed Bias?

Perpetually-aggrieved conservatives are claiming that Facebook has somehow tilted trending topics on your newsfeed to the left, according to a recent Gizmodo report. The fact that perpetually-aggrieved conservatives are always claiming the world is really unfair to them isn’t worth mentioning here, is it? Remember, the IRS totally did the same thing, you guys! (Pro-tip: they didn’t.)

Whatever, I really could give a shit about perpetually-aggrieved conservatives and their martyr complex. They will never be happy, they’re always convinced that the world is out to get them, and maybe it is. Maybe it should be. They’re always wrong about everything, they lost the culture war and have disintegrated into being the South’s bathroom monitor. I mean how pathetic is that? How fucking stupid is that?

So now it’s Facebook being mean to them. Is it? Are there some Ivy League-educated apparatchiks clogging your Facebook newsfeed with liberal propaganda? Hell if I know. But here’s my Facebook newsfeed today:

FacebookTrending

Forget the liberal or conservative bias part here. Does anyone see any actual news in this thing? Good lord, it’s like People magazine: celebrity news and human interest BS. It’s always been this way. Every time I bother to notice my newsfeed, which is rarely, it’s some Kardashian bullshit or something about a waterskiing squirrel. Not even joking here. It’s not news, people!

I just think it’s super precious that right-wingers are playing the “we’re so oppressed!” card over something as non-relevant as your Facebook newsfeed. Like it’s important, or something.

Nothing says your political movement is dead like trying to make an issue out of something like this.

12 Comments

Filed under conservatives, media, Republican Party, Social Media

I Don’t Always Fail, But When I Do….

…. I do so spectacularly.

I’m on record about a dozen times saying Donald Trump would never, ever win the Republican Party’s presidential primary. I just had more faith in Republican voters than that.

Looks like I misjudged how crazy Republicans truly are.

Sorry, folks.

15 Comments

Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Republican Party, Republicans

State of TN To Businesses: Republicans Only, Please

This doesn’t surprise me one bit:

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – More than half of the money a state agency has spent on Facebook ads targets supporters of Tennessee’s top Republican politicians, with none spent on Democrats.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is to attract businesses to the Volunteer State, as well as to let the community know what’s going on.

One of several marketing strategies involves paying for ads on Facebook.

What pops up in a user’s newsfeed may seem random, but Facebook can target users based on interests.

And if you “like” certain officeholders, there’s a good chance you’ll see updates from the TDECD Facebook page.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is a nonpartisan state agency, except they’ve paid more than $18,000 to target people who “like” Gov. Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker or Sen. Lamar Alexander. Not a dime was spent on targeting fans of Democrats.

Well, sure. What have we been saying over here for the past month or so? Tennessee Republicans don’t want any more stinking liberals in this state. They don’t want to recruit those gay-loving, transgender-accepting, abortion-approving liberal businesses. They don’t want to be embarrassed by a scolding from lefty corporations when they try to pass gay-bashing, immigrant-hating, nativist legislation.

They sure don’t want lefty businesses meddling in their right-wing politics. That was obvious when Tennessee Republicans threatened to punish businesses that opposed their idiotic bathroom bill, yanking incentives for those who don’t agree with their paleolithic world view.

Jobs, schmobs!

The Tennessee Republican Party has become ideologically distilled, “becoming the stereotype more fully and grotesquely” as its only means of empowerment. This is simply another manifestation of that. This is what I’ve been saying for years: Tennessee is where the Republican Party has gone to die. And die they will, because they are out of step with the rest of the culture.

It’s okay, I get it. I really do. I’ve said all along that if liberals really want to change our state, we need to recruit more blue people to move here. Don’t boycott Tennessee, immigrate! I’m only half-joking; it’s not a new idea, and has only been marginally successful when employed elsewhere. But just count me as not surprised that someone in state government cooked up this idea. It makes a lot of sense. It’s obvious the legislature is tired of political meddling by our state’s employers. If only they could recruit ideologically like-minded employers, that would solve everything! I’m sure new Tennessee employer Beretta USA will support a smorgasbord of gun-friendly legislation, right? And then when those candy-assed liberals suggest things like McKayla’s Law or mandatory liability insurance for CCW holders or universal background checks, they can point to opposition from a major employer and slap it with a “job killer” label. Nice.

So yes, I get it. I just didn’t think they’d be so obvious about it:

So why would an agency that’s interested in developing businesses and creating jobs not cast a wide net to garner fans of all political parties?

The I-Team sat down with TDECD Commissioner Randy Boyd.

“Should politics be involved in a department that’s supposed to be apolitical?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.

“Politics is a pretty broad word,” Boyd said. “We have to work with the legislature and the legislature is always creating new legislation affecting things we do, and they are political. So in that sense, the politics of new laws and legislation do affect what our development and any department does.”

See, they’re not even denying it. They’re flat-out admitting it.

I’m dying to know which of our state legislators tasked Boyd with recruiting more conservative-friendly companies to Tennessee, though. You know he didn’t think this up all by himself.

Okay, I-Team. Get to work. I want to know who told Boyd to do this.

5 Comments

Filed under Republican Party, Tennessee, TNGOP

What The Hell Is Wrong With Rep. Courtney Rogers?

I’m asking because Tennessee State Rep. Courtney Rogers of the “faith, family, freedom” caucus gave a seriously unhinged rant on the House floor Monday night and I’m starting to wonder what’s wrong with her. It came long after the House decided to defund UT’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion and redirect the money toward “In God We Trust” stickers for police cruisers. I know, that’s pretty crazy in and of itself, it’s the kind of hippie-punching nonsense the idiots in our legislature waste time on every day. But near as I can tell, Rogers had nothing to say when debate over that actual legislation was going on. But long toward the end of the day when business was concluding, she offered this ridiculous rant on the topic.

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I know I’ve been visibly agitated on the House floor tonight, and for that I apologize, but I have an announcement from the Hawaiian caucus tonight.

You know, it’s not easy being a minority, I get it. But try being an endangered species. A Hawaiian in Tennessee. You know, my grandmother in Hawaii would go offer her lava rock offerings to the family god, the Aumakua. And then she would go to missionary school and pray to good lord Jesus because she didn’t want to offend all the gods, so she kinda missed the point. But that being said, missionary school taught servitude to minorities, and the Hawaiians had to fight for education, for English, for math, for science, and we got it.

And as I can see, here are minorities. They have it. If you want to help minorities then what I wanted to say here was yes, continue to shut down those specific diversity offers that waste dollars to teach us ways to somehow sexually abuse our bodies or tell us what not to believe. I would fight any office that would tell me I cannot pray to my family Aumakua, even though I don’t, or to the good lord Jesus. You know as much I would say no Christmas, no Buddha, No Allah, I don’t pray to any of those, but we have a thing called ideological freedom here in America.

If you want to help minorities then quit pushing this intellectual rubbish and start supporting those diversity offices that are recruiting the best, from light meat to dark meat, across the entire spectrum, and start pushing hard work and mental accuity. Those things bring about progress and success and equality. Mahalo.

What the hell is she smoking? Light meat to dark meat? Hawaiians in Tennessee are endangered? Minorities in Tennessee have everything they need so just shut up?

You can see her rant somewhere around the 2 hour and 58 minute mark here, during the announcements. What’s even more alarming is that she appears to be holding a piece of papers as she’s talking, so I wonder if she wrote this drivel down in advance.

Anyway, this is a whole new level of wackadoodle that I can’t even explain.

And yes, this is the same Courtney Rogers who wants to arm college students because of Kent State.

11 Comments

Filed under culture wars, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, TNGOP

This Is Not About Us Ladies

[UPDATE]:

Welcome, Crooks & Liars! Please see my update to this post here.

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I’m sorry, I thought this whole bathroom nonsense was really about punishing transgendered people for having the nerve to not be like everyone else. Much to my surprise, I learn the Sir Galahads in the legislature are really just trying to protect the ladies. Awwww:

The bathroom — more specifically, the women’s restroom — is the one publicly sanctioned refuge for women, a sanctuary from harassment and abuse, a safe space, to employ that overused phrase. In all my conversations and in all the articles I’ve read on this issue, I haven’t heard anyone express the fear that a person who was born a woman and now identifies as a man will cause harm if he enters a men’s room.

But the fear that a person who was born a man and now presents as a woman will lurk behind the stalls to attack unsuspecting daughters is threaded throughout objections to the bathroom mandate.

“We’re in denial about most of the violence against women in our society, and this brings it to the surface,” Ladin observed. “If I am in a women’s room and see someone who looks like a guy, I’m taken aback. It doesn’t make sense, except for the fact that women everywhere are exposed to violence.”

Indeed, in Tennessee as elsewhere, it appears this really is just about protecting us ladies. Again: awwwwwww.

Yes, if I had a dollar for every time a man dressed up as a woman so he could gain access to the women’s bathroom to harass me! You know, as opposed to just harassing me out in the open, which is where women are actually harassed on a daily basis. Seriously, guys? This is your argument? The “Tootsie” defense? Bullshit.

Why don’t we ask Republican House Rep. Jeremy Durham how often he dressed as a woman to harass his victims in bathrooms, instead of doing it the old-fashioned way? I’m going to guess the answer would be a big, fat never.

No, no. Your transphobia is your problem. You will not hide behind me on this one. This is not about me. It’s about you.

In my fifty-something years on this planet I’ve been to public restrooms all around the world. Oh yes, I’ve peed in big cities and small towns. I’ve used locker rooms at gyms and swimming pools in major metropolises and small rural burghs. I’ve peed in arenas and stadiums, libraries and museums, restaurants and bars, train stations, airports and shopping malls. I’ve showered at the Centennial SportsPlex in downtown Nashville and the fitness center at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, Kentucky. I’ve used pools and locker rooms in Los Angeles and Copenhagen and London and New York City. Good grief, y’all. In all my many experiences with public facilities in five decades on this planet, two things have never ever ever ever EVER happened:

1- I have never been harassed by a man dressed up as a woman;

2- I have never examined or in any other way even noticed another person’s genitalia, nor have I flashed my own. We go about our business with a certain amount of decorum in the facilities. We do not inspect other peoples’ business.

Have I shared a locker room or bathroom with a trans person? Maybe! Probably! I have no way of knowing. I’m not checking what’s under the towel.

I’m increasingly hearing this “we’re just thinking about you ladies” excuse and I find it incredibly offensive and condescending. If you guys really gave a shit about women and women’s safety you wouldn’t have blocked a paltry $2 million needed to address a backlog of thousands of untested rape kits two years ago.

No, no. This isn’t about us. It’s about you. Own it.

16 Comments

Filed under LGBT, Republican Party, Tennessee

How An AR-15 Ended Up At The TN State Legislature This Morning

Shockingly easily, I’m afraid. Last night Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, was able to purchase this knock-off AR-15-type semiautomatic weapon — and clips of ammo — for $750 cash, no background check, no ID, no questions asked. From Armslist.com search to actual sale, the entire transaction took less than an hour and a half.

Today Rep. Stewart brought his new purchase into the legislature where the Civil Justice Subcommittee was going to take up his bill that would require a background check for all gun sales.

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The funniest part of the whole affair, which I watched on-line, was when Subcommittee Vice Chair Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, nearly wet his pants as Rep. Stewart showed his new purchase to those in the room. He then tried to get all, “you silly Democrats don’t no nuthin’ ’bout no weaponry” on Stewart, who happens to have served in the military:

Carter: Mr. Chairman, excuse me I don’t want to interrupt, but this gun could be loaded …

Stewart: No, it could not because —

Carter: Yes sir! You obviously don’t own one, you do not have it properly safe. Do not point that gun at me! If you can’t assure me that gun cannot shoot.

Stewart: Let me give you that assurance and I did it at the beginning of the debate so that you would not have that concern. Actually, as I said, I had a state trooper inspect this weapon to make sure it was not loaded before it came in here and then, I had him secure it.

As Rep. Stewart told the subcommittee, an hour and a half after visiting Armslist.com, he was equipped as well as he had been when he was a U.S. soldier patroling the DMZ in Korea. So yes, I think he probably knows how to load and unload these things. Funny.

By the way, this is the kind of gun that was used in the July 2015 Chattanooga shootings. Support the troops, y’all.

Committee Chair Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, said he was “disappointed in the show,” despite him having a career in Public Relations, so you’d think he’d have an appreciation for such things. Stewart explained that the point of his “show” was to dispel the oft-repeated NRA zombie lie that every gun sale in America is preceded by a background check. As I wrote back in January, this simply isn’t true. All you need is an internet connection and enough cash and you’re good to go. Or, show up at one of our infamous gun shows and hang out in the parking lot for five minutes. Don’t even need the internet for that, and it’s all perfectly legal.

So that’s the loophole Stewart was attempting to close, and you’d think with everyone on high alert over terrorist attacks, a simple background check to buy military grade weaponry would be a no-brainer. Aaaand you would be wrong. Fresh off yesterday’s cowardly display of fealty to the gun lobby, Tennessee House Republicans today killed this simple, common-sense measure in committee, too. Someone had a sad over grandpa being forced to undergo a background check to buy a hunting rifle for his 14-year-old to go squirrel hunting with. Awwww he’s so oppressed!

Also, too, respect the culture.

And also, there are no consequences for kowtowing to the NRA in this state. At least, not yet. I applaud Tennessee’s Democrats for keeping up the fight. Supermajorities don’t last forever and the more Republicans ignore public safety in the interest of their NRA ratings, the sooner their supermajority will end. The day will come when they will no longer be able to claim that all we need to do to protect ourselves from terror attacks and gun violence is to arm every civilian. That patently stupid and lame excuse to disregard public safety is not going to fly much longer.

29 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics