January 3, 2013
Huelskamp ‘Not Convinced’ Sandy Relief Bill Is Necessary; Claims Obama’s Policies are Akin to Communism




Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) appeared on the radio show of American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer today where the far-right congressman said he found no reason for a Sandy relief bill, arguing that FEMA “can’t spend all the [money] quick enough.” Of course, FEMA just today said that the flood insurance program is about to run out of funds and officials from Sandy-affected states roundly criticized the House Republican leadership for refusing to put the urgent care package up to a vote. But the congressman maintained the bill is “loaded up with pork” and that he is “not convinced yet” that a Sandy relief package is needed, seemingly dumbfounded that “for some reason” people want the aid.

While discussing the fiscal cliff deal, Huelskamp told Fischer that Obama has the view that “government should run everything” which he got straight from “the communist centers of the world.” “Far too many of my Republican colleagues don’t understand that about the President, what his ultimate goals are,” Huelskamp said, “that’s frustrating given that we know where the President is at.”


More pearls of wisdom, humanitarianism and evangelical tinged smuckery from Bryan Fischer and company. the American Family Association and the people on it couldn’t get more far Right if it tried. 

I dare him to go to New Jersey and say that to the Governor’s face.

When these elected officials say stupid things like this, I want to go to their districts and slap every single person that voted for these doofuses. A really good, hard slap.

October 29, 2012
The War on Objectivity: How the right’s smearing of Nate Silver is just a piece of a larger movement towards removing facts from objective reality if they don’t fit a narrative.


By Paul Krugman

Brad DeLong points me to this National Review attack on Nate Silver, which I think of as illustrating an important aspect of what’s really happening in America.

For those new to this, Nate is a sports statistician turned political statistician, who has been maintaining a model that takes lots and lots of polling data — most of it at the state level, which is where the presidency gets decided — and converts it into election odds. Like others doing similar exercises — Drew LinzerSam Wang, and Pollster — Nate’s model continued to show an Obama edge even after Denver, and has shown that edge widening over the past couple of weeks.

This could be wrong, obviously. And we’ll find out on Election Day. But the methodology has been very clear, and all the election modelers have been faithful to their models, letting the numbers fall where they may.

Yet the right — and we’re not talking about the fringe here, we’re talking about mainstream commentators and publications — has been screaming “bias”! They know, just know, that Nate must be cooking the books. How do they know this? Well, his results look good for Obama, so it must be a cheat. Never mind the fact that Nate tells us all exactly how he does it, and that he hasn’t changed the formula at all.

This is, of course, reminiscent of the attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics — not to mention the attacks on climate science and much more. On the right, apparently, there is no such thing as an objective calculation. Everything must have a political motive.

This is really scary. It means that if these people triumph, science — or any kind of scholarship — will become impossible. Everything must pass a political test; if it isn’t what the right wants to hear, the messenger is subjected to a smear campaign.

read more

I would argue that the last paragraph has already happened. 

(via sp-a-m)

October 22, 2012
Pennsylvania Newspaper Falsely Claims ID Is Required To Vote


The Mount Pleasant Journal is one of several newspapers run by Trib Total Media, a media conglomerate owned by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife’s foundation donated hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative organizations ranging from the American Enterprise Institution to the Federalist Society, and he currently serves as vice-chairman of the right-wing Heritage Foundation’s board of trustees.

Last Thursday, at least one of Scaife’s newspapers printed an inaccurate story headlined “Photo ID required for November election,” when, in reality, a court order suspended the requirementthat Pennsylvania voters show an ID or lose their right to vote. The following piece appeared in Scaife’s Mount Pleasant Journal:

Again, the claim that voters will need to show ID in order to vote, as well as the claim that voters who do not show ID will be forced to cast a provisional ballot and then show ID later, are entirely false. The state of Pennsylvania is currently bound by a court order which permits voters without ID to cast normal ballots, not provisional ballots, and to have those ballots counted just like any other. Voters will still be asked to show ID at the polls, but may not be turned away or given a provisional ballot because they do not show it.


(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

February 21, 2012
Rant - Suburban megachurches



This is something that really, really pisses me off.

The church in my previous post about Santorum is a perfect example of what makes me so damn livid. I lived probably one minute’s drive from it for years, so I got to watch it over a period of time, and was dragged inside it more than I’d like to admit.

These churches are HUGE. Charles Stanley’s church in Atlanta? I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have its own zip code. That’s all they do - eat funds and people and grow, like some bizarre weed. It displaces businesses, land that could be used to house people… and it just gets bigger and grander and fancier all the time.

First Redeemer (the church that was just visited by Santorum) is permeated by a sickening sameness. I can describe 99% of the families who go to it, and you can too, because it’s every picture of a “happy family” you’ve ever seen on TV. A middle-aged, trim white man in a nice suit, with a perfect, straight, white smile. His (usually blonde) white wife, who’s a perfect size, in her pretty Sunday best, with their kids, who are miniatures of their parents. You don’t generally see diversity of any kind… because I’ve seen what happens to people who don’t fit the “type”. Either they’re a person of color, or they’re not perfectly straight, or they’re not of the right class, or they don’t make much money - whatever their perceived “fault”, they’re shut out. Nobody would do it openly. Nobody tells them to leave. They’re just given the silent treatment until they decide that they don’t fit in, and they leave, at which point all the “perfect families” sigh in relief. That’s no hyperbole - I have seen it happen, and I have heard the talks that happen behind the scenes. 

These people flood in to the church every Sunday, where they listen to some preacher give a sermon that’s tailored so that people don’t have to think. It’s all very gentle, and designed to be as inoffensive as possible, so that when they need to they can slip things in that go along with the church’s politics. For example, how gay is wrong. And how wives should be the “little woman”. And how sluts are ruining the country, and how abortion is the road to hell, and every other system of thought and religion and, heck, country on earth is EVIL. And a blank-faced mass of people just drinks it in. And then, when they’re told to, they give. And BOY, do they give. I will give (ha) them that - the people that attend megachurches are generous.

They never seem to ask where it GOES, though. 

It goes to people like Santorum. It goes to all the far-right-wing political guests that come over. It goes to funding its own growth, and making the church prettier. It goes to programs that send their youth out to other countries to try and save the souls of those “poor people” that don’t know who Jesus is and who will therefore go to Hell when they die.

Where that money DOESN’T go? One exit down on the highway is a town that’s full of people who are struggling with real-world stuff, like feeding their families. There’s a school not ten minutes from that church where the teachers fund supplies from their own pockets, because the school is falling apart and it’s doing the best it can to pay its staff (who, by the way, are so underpaid it’s ridiculous). There is SO much that money could be doing; SO MUCH good - and it’s going into the pockets of GOP “guest speakers”. 

Does this piss you off? It should. It’s a picture of a community that values how it looks over the people in it. This church rakes in the dough, and they choose to give it to politics over their own schools, over the hungry in their own neighborhood. They would rather pay someone to come in and talk about the evils of contraception and abortion than to fund programs to make adoption easier, or to help ease the burden of women who may find themselves in need of an abortion.

They wear those “What Would Jesus Do?” bracelets, but they never seem to ask themselves that very question. They forget about the dude who said “love thy neighbor”, and who flipped out over the bankers in front of the temple. But dammit, they can recite selected parts of Leviticus at you in a second!

I don’t hate Christianity. I don’t hate Jesus. The guy had some good things to say. I just don’t think that if he looked at these kinds of churches, he’d be too happy. And given that he’s not exactly talking at the moment, I’m going to keep giving my money to awesome groups like Planned Parenthood, who ARE addressing the parts of the community that First Redeemer is going to continue to pretend isn’t there. 

And fiftysevenacademics NAILS IT.

Churches should have to pay taxes, plain and simple. I know that they’re politicizing from the pulpit - a clear violation of the First Amendment - so they have to pay up. Could you imagine the windfall if the Catholic Church alone paid property taxes? 

(Source: marionjravenwood, via ipomoeaj)

November 22, 2010
"In recent months, Sarah Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, has paid thousands of dollars to a mysterious company that’s gone to significant lengths to mask its ownership. Addresses linked to the firm lead to mail drops. It has no website. No phone number. Not even the California lawyer who incorporated the company knew who was behind it. But a Mother Jones investigation has found that this firm is run by an unlikely foreign political operative."

— via Sarah Palin’s Mystery Research Firm, Mother Jones

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