Chickenhawk Republican Climate Deniers Just Killed Critical Military Funding

The Republican Party has distinguished itself for its shameless, knee-jerk opposition to anything with even a faint fragrance of liberalism. Their robotic rejection of any policy proposed by President Obama, or any other Democrat, is evidence of their acute aversion to critical thinking – or thinking period. And now they may have demonstrated that their assholiness even extends to weakening America’s national security.

Chickenhawk GOP

The Pentagon has long regarded Climate Change as a credible risk factor for international affairs. It is predicted that it will cause more severe natural disasters like hurricanes and drought, and multiplying refugee crises. All of this will profoundly increase the sort global tensions and conflict for which the United States must be prepared.

In response to these risks the Pentagon implemented a strategy (Department of Defense Directive 4715.21) for dealing with the consequences of a warming world. It was a fairly innocuous plan that mainly called for assigning specific people the responsibility of insuring that necessary measures were being taken to address potential problems. But even that plan was too much for the anti-science GOP, as reported by Politico:

“Last week, however, House Republicans voted to block it. By a 216-205 vote Thursday, the House passed an amendment prohibiting the department from spending money to put its new plan into effect. Not a single Democrat voted for the amendment, which was attached to the defense spending bill.”

The amendment was authored by Colorado Republican Ken Buck, who has no experience in either science or the military. His ignorance on the subject led to a defense of his amendment that makes little sense:

“The military, the intelligence community [and] the domestic national security agencies should be focused on ISIS and not on climate change. The fact that the president wants to push a radical green energy agenda should not diminish our ability to counter terrorism. […] The president has talked about an increase in the climate temperature on the planet. It is a fraction of a degree every year. How that is a current threat to us is beyond me.”

Indeed, this entire subject is beyond Rep. Buck. Apparently he thinks that the Defense Department, with 3.1 million employees and a budget of more $600 billion is incapable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. Buck also believes that being prepared to respond to future military threats is part of a “radical green agenda.” His absurd position suggests that the U.S. should also drop any projects related to Russia, North Korea, NATO, cyber-warfare, or anything else not directly concerning ISIS.

Republican fear mongers, and their PR division at Fox News, are heavily invested in fighting a narrowly defined war on “radical Islamic terrorism” that mainly consists of reciting those three magic words and watching the bad guys dissolve into the ether. They have no affirmative suggestions for achieving victory, but they are overflowing with pointless criticisms. They mock those, including President Obama, who correctly assert that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than Climate Change.”

Conservatives who dispute the looming danger of a world with declining resources like water and arable land dismiss the warnings of 97 percent of the scientists who study the matter. They believe the whole crisis is a hoax that was invented to enrich greedy professors or, as Donald Trump laughably claimed, by the Chinese. However, the issue was laid out in stark detail by a Republican administration with an icon of modern conservative national security taking the lead:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

And Rumsfeld is not alone among security professionals in warning about Climate Change. The Politico article quotes several, with decades of military experience, who regard Buck’s amendment as foolish and more costly in the long run. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans. Those are the people Ken Buck and his fellow Republicans are overruling with this ill-considered budget cut.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So why would the GOP advance this nonsense that is contrary to the non-partisan opinions of most experts? Because conservatives don’t really care about national security. What they want is to terrify people by focusing on the immediacy and bloodshed of incidents like the recent massacre in Orlando. Which is, ironically, the same thing the terrorists want. And that purely political, self-serving objective overrides any genuine interest in the welfare of the American people or the world.

MUZZLED: House Republicans Kill Live Camera Feed Of Democratic Gun Reform Sit-In

Democratic congress members of the House of Representatives launched an unprecedented protest in the chamber by staging a sit-in. The purpose of the protest is to force Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican leadership into scheduling a vote on gun safety reforms (video here).

CSPAN Blackout

Shortly after the protest began, the Republicans who control the House called a recess saying that the House is not in order, and then shut off the chamber’s cameras to prevent the American people from seeing their representatives actually doing something worthwhile and in agreement with the majority of the people. It is a brazen act of censorship intended to make the courageous demonstration disappear and to help the GOP in their efforts to kill reform at the behest of their NRA masters.

By taking the unprecedented step of shutting off the cameras, CSPAN went dark. They later had to resort to broadcasting video from mobile phones in the chamber, which continues as of the writing of this article. And as if that weren’t bad enough, Rep. John Yarmouth just tweeted that “The Sgt at Arms is asking us to stop taking photos and video from House floor. Republicans should turn the cameras back on.”

These GOP authoritarian tactics are nothing less than government suppression of free speech. This is the people’s house, not the private broadcast facility of the Republican Party. And despite the GOP’s tyrannical usurpation of power, Democrats are united in persisting with this protest. Participants include party leaders like John Lewis and Nancy Pelosi, and they have promised that everyone who wants to speak will be able to.

Republicans will have to shut down the building and evacuate everyone if they hope to end this. Which I wouldn’t put past them. Two years ago the GOP held a hearing on the alleged IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the committee, delivered a five minute opening statement, asked a few leading questions, then gaveled the hearing adjourned without allowing anyone else to speak. The ranking Democratic member, Elijah Cummings, objected to the adjournment, but Issa cut off his microphone and stomped out of the room. Cummings continued without the mic calling Issa’s conduct “absolutely un-American.”

This is pretty much what we can expect from the Republican Party if it is allowed to remain in control of Congress, or worse gain the White House with a victory by Donald Trump (who has revoked the press credentials of several media organizations and whose camp has advocated revoking the broadcast license of CNN). Democrats have to be united in voting out Republicans in every jurisdiction if the nation hopes to preserve its constitutional freedoms.

WARNING: Donald Trump #Scampaign is Using Your Money To Line His Own Pockets

Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president he has bragged about his alleged self-financing of his campaign. That was never actually true since he has been soliciting donations from the start and the funds from his own accounts were loans for which he could repay himself from his campaign treasury. But now ABC News is reporting that Trump’s deceit is much worse than merely misleading donors about the source of his funding.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been using his campaign as a marketing scheme to enrich himself and his eponymous business enterprises. By using Trump properties and products for campaign goods and services Trump has funneled more than six million dollars back into his own pocket. The services include transportation provided by his famous Trump jet ($3.7 million), office space at his Trump Tower in Manhattan ($915,000), rent and catering at his Mar-a-Lago Club in South Florida ($423,000), dining at Trump restaurants ($135,000), end even purchases of Trump branded water and wine.

If anyone is thinking that this is just good business and a normal practice in politics, you could not be further from the truth. Other wealthy candidates with far-flung business interests made certain that their personal finances were not intermingled with their campaigns. Examples provided by ABC include these fellow billionaires:

“Trump isn’t the first high-profile politician to run a campaign while managing large corporate assets. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and presidential contender Steve Forbes both ran companies bearing their name.”

Both took great care to carefully separate their businesses and their campaigns, their former aides said, citing the complex maze of campaign finance regulations about using corporate resources.”

What this means for Trump’s prospective donors is that they will effectively be paying the tab for Trump to buy his own products and rent his own office space. His campaign is acting as a sort of shell company through which Trump can funnel money to his other businesses. Small donors would have to wonder whether that is a worthy investment of their limited funds. Large donors ought to be even more skeptical of giving thousands of dollars to Trump’s for-profit businesses.

This is particularly troublesome for donors when they consider Trump isn’t spending his campaign funds in a manner that would advance his candidacy. Recent campaign filings show that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has spent about $20 million on advertising in key swing states compared to Trump’s total spending of zero dollars. Additionally, Clinton currently has about $42 million of cash on hand, while Trump is comparatively broke with only $1.3 million. He says that all he needs to do is write a check, but while we’re waiting for that to happen he is still hitting up the usual suspects in the GOP millionaires club.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Given Trump’s peculiar approach to campaign spending, and his predilection for feathering his own gold-encrusted nest, donors will likely think twice before throwing cash at The Donald. And his rapidly deteriorating relationship with the Republican National Committee (RNC) only exacerbates the problem. Why should RNC donors dig into their wallets when Trump keeps insulting them and threatening to go it alone? The only parties who are helped by any of this are the #NeverTrump activists who still hope to keep him from becoming the Party’s nominee.

Twidiots: Donald Trump And Sarah Palin Vie For Stupidest Tweet Of The Day

In the midst of a campaign season that has seen some startlingly ignorant remarks by the most fact-challenged assembly of Republican candidates and pundits, two of the party’s most laughable dolts are challenging each other for pinhead primacy. The face-off between Donald Trump and Sarah Palin may prove to be an epic contest by the legends of loony.

Trump/Palin Tweets

In one corner we have Donald Trump. The recognized leader in marathon lying, his versatility also makes him a contender for Stupidest Tweet.

In his relentless efforts to congratulate himself Trump posted a tweet giving thanks for the results of a poll that actually showed him losing to Hillary Clinton 49-51. As if that weren’t bad enough, what makes this particularly notable as epically dimwitted is that the poll is from the ultra-rightist TV network One America News (OAN) and was conducted by a blatantly biased pollster, Gravis Marketing. So even when his polls are conservatively skewed he’s losing, but in his ego-driven obliviousness he still finds it worthy of celebration.

Trump is drawn to polls that have no credible reputation and whose results are obviously bogus. In the past he has linked to polls that showed him leading with Latinos, with African-Americans, and with a higher favorability than Clinton in New York. But in this latest non-credible tweet he isn’t even leading. Polls that conduct accurate surveys of public opinion are giving Trump his worst numbers to date, including one that shows him with an unfavorable rating of 70 percent, the worst ever recorded by that poll.

In the other corner we have Sarah Palin, the word salad queen who thinks Africa is a country and whose “death panel” fantasy was PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2009.

Palin’s entry in the Stupidest Tweet contest has a high degree of difficulty considering she is tackling head on the alleged stupidity of President Obama. Her tweet says that “OBAMA IS A SPECIAL KIND OF STUPID.” And right off the bat, she demonstrated her own lack of mental acuity by posting a broken link that led to a missing Facebook page. Undaunted, I navigated to her commentary on Facebook and found a screed lambasting the President for “Exploiting a sick, evil, ideological-driven attack on Americans to further your twisted anti-Second Amendment mission.”

Palin was outraged that Obama had the audacity to address the dangers of terrorists having easy access to assault weapons shortly after a terrorist killed 49 people and wounded 53 more with an assault weapon. She accused him of insinuating that the Orlando shooter represented all gun owners, which he never did. Then she demanded of him to “Forget your asinine gun control, do your job and engage in Islamic terrorist control.” Apparently she is unaware the Obama has been fully engaged in the fight against terrorism and has achieved significant progress while she and her ilk have done nothing but complain that he doesn’t say the three magic words, “radical Islamic terrorism” (as if that would change anything).

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This Battle of the Lame-Brained promises to be an exciting spectacle as the election proceeds toward its November conclusion. And these demonstrations of Olympian idiocy will surely not be the last contenders. We have two worthy combatants who are determined to set new records for dumbf*ckery. So stay tuned for much more to come.

Return Of The Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine: Say ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’ Three Times

Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism. Radical Islamic Terrorism.

There, I said it three times. Is it gone yet?

In the childish imagination of American conservatives the only reason that terrorism still exists is that President Obama and other Democrats have failed to utter the magical incantation “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” The Wingnut Republican Tabernacle and the Pharisees of Fox News have devoutly concluded that this mantra is the key to defeating groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS. They believe that it is rhetorical kryptonite to terrorists. And then they wonder why we think they’re stupid.

Beetlejuice

What we have here is the widespread adoption of the fabled “Reverse Beetlejuice Doctrine” wherein you shout “Radical Islamic Terrorism” three times and ISIS disappears. It’s clearly an obsession with these strategery geniuses. What’s more, they are convinced that babbling a few words of sorcery is a more effective weapon in the fight against terrorists than actually fighting terrorists. So even though as Commander-in-Chief President Obama disposed of Osama Bin Laden and eliminated thousands of terrorist operatives, including many of their leaders, he can’t possibly be serious about the mission until he chants that sacred three-word spell. Never mind the reports from the real world about actual military progress:

The Pentagon says it has killed about 26,000 ISIS fighters altogether, cut into the group’s cash flow, and driven the terrorists out of 40 percent of the land the organization once controlled. The population living under ISIS’s brutal reign has dropped from 9 million to 6 million people. U.S. strikes have killed several top ISIS strategists, and there are reports that ISIS fighters are retreating wherever they’re attacked, rather than fighting as fiercely as they once did.

And yet, draft dodgers like Donald Trump, who have no experience whatsoever in national security or counter-terrorism, continue to insist on adherence to a vapid slogan they’ve elevated to scripture. In a tweet shortly after the Orlando massacre was reported Trump asked:

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

Those are the sort of deep thoughts that populate the mind of a man who when asked who he speaks to for advice on foreign policy responded that “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” It’s the same man who immediately after hearing the news of the gruesome shootings rushed to Twitter to congratulate himself – twice (here and here) for being right about his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country. Apparently his “very good brain” missed the fact that the shooter was an American citizen born in New York.

And set aside the fact that Trump is a confirmed birther who believes that Obama should resign in disgrace for being a Kenyan who faked his American citizenship. Now his first response to the worst mass shooting in american history is to taunt the President for not saying “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” I can’t help but wonder what Trump and his ilk think would change if the President humored them and said the three little words (which used to be “I love you”). Would there be even one more life restored or one more terrorist removed from the battlefield? Of course not. Yet Trump spent the majority of his first post-Orlando speech preaching the “Radical Islamic Terrorism” gospel as if it had some relevance to solving the problem.

On the other hand, there are concrete reasons for declining to say “Radical Islamic Terrorism” or to otherwise refuse to associate the entire Muslim faith with the acts of violent extremists. We have legitimate concerns regarding our ability to form coalitions with the Muslim nations in the Middle-East whose cooperation is required to prevail against ISIS. That objective is not helped by demeaning their faith. But it’s more than that. By accepting the terms and definitions of the terrorists, Republicans, Fox News, et al, are acting as the PR department for the terrorists who desperately aspire to be regarded as the legitimate voice of Islam. Why are people like Trump insisting on granting the terrorists that victory?

When you look at who is for or against directly tying the terrorists to Islam you’ll discover a set of alliances that is enlightening. Those is favor of connecting those dots are the terrorists themselves, Fox News, and the Donald Trump faction of the Republican right. On the other side is President Obama, religion and terrorism experts, and the vast majority of the world’s Muslims who, we must not forget, are also the vast majority of the victims. So the real question here is why is Donald Trump, the GOP, and Fox News on the same side as the terrorists in an effort to brand their heinous activities?

Conceding that terrorism is the way of Islam amounts to an acceptance of the terrorists demands. It is a form of appeasement that rewards them with precisely what they seek: religious legitimacy. And the Trump Crusaders are playing into their hands. They are, in effect, supporting the goals of the terrorists.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

One of the arguments frequently proffered to assert that Islam and terrorism are inseparable is that the terrorists call themselves Muslims. By that logic they would also have to argue that Christianity and terrorism are inseparable because right-wing militias, the KKK, and abortion clinic bombers call themselves Christian. But don’t expect to hear that from tunnel-blind right-wingers. Their only interest is in spreading irrational hatred and employing fear to gain power. Sounds something like terrorism, doesn’t it?

Not Satisfied With Destroying The GOP, Donald Trump Is Also Destroying Fox News

There is a rapidly escalating sense of desperation on the part of the Republican Party. More and more GOP politicians and pundits are publicly expressing their dismay, if not outright disgust, for Donald Trump as their nominee for president. Conservative radio talker Hugh Hewitt is even advocating that the party dump Trump at their convention next month or “get killed” in the November election.

Fox News Donald Trump

Now there is evidence that it isn’t just the GOP that Trump’s hateful rhetoric and childish demeanor are bringing down. TVNewser is reporting that the Nielsen ratings for last Tuesday’s primary night show Fox News getting knocked off of their top tier status among cable news networks:

“CNN was No. 1 in the key A25-54 demo […] And in a rare occurrence, MSNBC topped Fox News in the demo in both prime time (8 p.m. – 11 p.m.) and extended coverage (7 p.m. – 2 a.m.) MSNBC finished No. 2 in total viewers from 10 – 1 a.m. ET.”

It’s one thing for CNN to rank first in the ratings, which they have done several times in the past year. But for Fox News to be losing to perennial third-placer MSNBC is a monumental failure that indicates much deeper problems for both the network and the Republican Party for which it shills. This upset on primary night is significant because it reveals that the television audience in general is keenly interested in Hillary Clinton’s victory and historic achievement as the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party. At the same time it shows that Fox’s viewers were too depressed to even tune in, except for the brief remarks made by Donald Trump and his new friend, the TelePrompter.

It should come as no surprise that Trump’s affect on Fox News has produced negative results. He has been perhaps the harshest critic of the network, despite the fact that they have coddled him and devoted more of their airtime to him than to any other candidate. For that generosity Trump unleashed a non-stop tirade against numerous Fox News personnel. As News Corpse reported in April:

Ordinarily, any Republican candidate would be conscious of the sway that Fox holds over the party and the fate of anyone hoping to rise up in it. But Trump, with an apparently reckless lack of concern, has spent much of the last nine months mercilessly battering the network and its staff. He said of Megyn Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network. He even went after one of the major shareholders of Fox’s parent corporation.

Now that Trump is the GOP’s nominee, his legions of glassy-eyed disciples are all too happy to obediently shun Fox News. And the rest of Fox’s audience is cowering under the covers, too afraid to turn on the television and be faced with the reality of an imploding Republican campaign and a Hillary Clinton presidency.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s contribution to the decline of both the Republican Party and its media mouthpiece, Fox News, is certain to exacerbate the anxiety of the nation’s right-wingers. This may not be what Sarah Palin meant when she called Trump “a golden wrecking ball.” But in an oddly ironic twist of fate, America’s Democrats and liberals might want to send The Donald a thank you note.

The GOP Website Seems To Be Missing Any Reference To A Certain HUGE Name

Gwen Ifill of PBS recently asked President Obama “Why don’t you mention Donald Trump by name?” The President playfully answered that “You know he seems to do a good job mentioning his own name.” And while that’s a reasonable position for the leader of the Democratic Party to take, it is a wholly different matter when the Republican’s official Internet site is so ashamed of their candidate that his name can’t be found on its home page or any linked pages.

GOP.com

A visit to GOP.com reveals that Donald Trump’s name is nowhere to found. Nor can he be found by clicking on the available links. Trump may not yet be the official nominee of his party, but given the fact that all of the other candidates have dropped out, and the party refers to him as their candidate, it is somewhat curious that he’s not mentioned on the party’s website. What are they ashamed of? And for those who wonder where Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are on the Democrats’ website, be aware that the Democratic primary is not yet over and the party cannot take sides between candidates who are still vying for the nomination.

The GOP’s aversion to Trump isn’t limited to the GOP website. The highest ranking Republican in the U.S. government, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, has said only that he will vote for Donald Trump, but has not given him an explicit endorsement. The most recent Republican presidents and nominees for president (George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney) have not endorsed Trump and will not even be attending the Republican National Convention. And at several state conventions the leaders of the party gave speeches on party unity that conspicuously left out any mention of Donald Trump. They include Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Sen. Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

The Republican Party website is not shy about promoting prominent members of their party when they want to. The website’s online store is offering for sale hot properties like Dick Cheney cowboy hats, Reagan/Bush ’84 coffee mugs, and my personal favorite, George H.W. Bush socks. But you can’t buy a Trump baseball cap or bumper sticker.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

If you try really hard you can find some references to Trump by using the site’s search tool. Those references mostly come in the form of news stories or press releases. There is nothing overtly promoting his candidacy or seeking support for his election. They aren’t even using him for fundraising. That speaks volumes about how the party feels about the choice made by their primary voters. In all likelihood, this should change as the campaign progresses, but the fact that the party is treating Trump like a ghost candidate now cannot be seen as anything but a rebuke.

h/t Republican Family Values

Prophets Of Rage Will Rock Against The Machine At The Republican National Convention

Cleveland, Ohio is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It will also be the site of the Republican National Convention next month where the GOP will nominate Donald Trump as their candidate for President of the United States. And those two worlds are about to collide as the supergroup, Prophets of Rage, prepares to invade the city just in time for the GOP’s festivities.

Prophets of Rage

Prophets of Rage is a musical collaboration that includes Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Chuck D of Public Enemy, and B-Real of Cypress Hill. Their mission is to “Make America Rage Again.” While all of these musicians, and the bands they represent, are epic rockers, they are also committed progressive activists who fight on behalf of the poor, the homeless, victims of discrimination and abuse, and all the rest of the 99 percent who are too often forgotten by conventional politicians. As Morello told interviewers John Heilemann and Mark Halperin of Bloomberg News, “The times demand a band like Prophets of Rage to rise.” And in the spirit of that, the Prophets just announced that they will be making the pilgrimage to Cleveland to “cause a ruckus” at the GOP convention:

“Well there’s a thing called the Republican National Convention in July, and that will be a perfect place for a band like Prophets of Rage to cause a ruckus, and we will be there on the streets, in the field,” Morello said. “We have a venue and there may be venues that will be spontaneous venues, it’s hard to say. This is the kind of thing you don’t broadcast to the local authorities prior to arrival.”

The prospect of these radicals popping up unexpectedly in the streets of Cleveland might be cause for the Republican Party establishment, and the local police department, to worry. But the GOP convention has already been threatened with riots by none other than their presumptive nominee. In March Trump told CNN that if he didn’t get the nomination at the convention “I think you’d have riots…I think bad things would happen.”

Morello spoke about the group’s view that politics as usual is insufficient to meet the crises that the nation and the world faces today. He found blame enough to go around for both parties saying that staking all of your hopes on hope isn’t going to work, but that “xenophobic, fear-based racism” isn’t going to work either. He complained that the narrative in the media that portrays the electorate as angry misconstrues the message:

“It’s my contention that we can no longer stand on the sidelines of history. Dangerous times demand dangerous songs,” Morello said. “Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are both constantly referred to in the media as raging against the machine. We’ve come back to remind everyone what raging against the machine really means.”

The Republican convention promises to be an entertaining affair, and not just because their pending leader is a bombastic, controversy-baiting, former reality TV star who thrives on the adoration of his glassy-eyed followers. Donald Trump has incited his supporters to violence while casting venomous insults at his perceived enemies, usually women and minorities. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren noted, there is “more enthusiasm” for him “among leaders of the KKK” than leaders of the GOP.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So expect the convention to reflect those values, the values of their standard bearer. While Prophets of Rage will be stirring up emotions and inspiring grassroots activism outside the convention hall, the delegates inside will be fighting among themselves for an agenda of division and hate. At least we’ll get some awesome music out of it.

John Kerry Rips Donald Trump’s ‘Unbelievable Contemptuous Ignorance’ On Climate Change

The Republican Party long ago committed itself to a position on climate change that is at odds with reality. The question is settled with 97 percent of the scientists who study the subject agreeing that climate change is occurring and that it is caused by human activities. But that hasn’t stopped faith-based GOP politicians, with help from the Fox News propaganda machine, from rejecting the voluminous data validating the unprecedented scientific consensus.

John Kerry

Leading the brigade of science deniers is the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. In a widely ridiculed comment he called climate change a hoax that “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He advocates anti-environment policies such as eliminating regulations on energy exploration and production, opening up federal lands to oil drilling, and building the KeystoneXL pipeline. He promises to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he thought was called the Department of Environmental (DEP?). And most recently he said that he would rip up the United Nations’ historic Paris climate agreement that currently has 177 signatories.

Responding to Trump’s attack on the Paris accords, Secretary of State John Kerry was interviewed on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes (video below). He did not mince words when asked about Trump’s hostility toward the international effort to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change:

“Ripping up the climate agreement that was reached in Paris would be reckless, counterproductive, self-destructive. It would be an act of extraordinary danger to our country because of the path it would put us on both in terms of our global leadership on the issue as well as the actual policies we need to implement and it would in the end be an act of ignorance, of utter unbelievable contemptuous ignorance to get rid of something that the world has worked for since 1992 in Rio.”

Kerry didn’t stop there. He addressed the fact that each of the past years and decades marked record highs in global warming and were each hotter than those that preceded them, poignantly noting that “Somewhere people ought to be catching on to what is happening.” Along with the obvious and harmful impact of rising temperatures and sea levels, there is an alarming threat to national security. Kerry summarized this threat saying:

“Refugees that are being created in various parts of the world as a result of lack of water, or fights over food, or the fact that they have to move from where they live today. To talk about casually, without even understanding the work that has gone into it or the rationale for it, ripping it up would be one of the most reckless irresponsible, historically wrong acts I can think of.”

Conservative opponents of environmental reforms frequently try to belittle proponents as prioritizing climate change over terrorism. Of course, there is no reason why both issues cannot be tackled simultaneously. More to the point though, climate change actually is a more ominous threat that has the potential to instigate bloody wars and wipe out billions of people. Terrorism is unquestionably a tragic reality that requires a determined effort to defeat, but it does not approach the scale of climate change for global disaster. This was realized by no less a figure of right-wing stature than former George W. Bush defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. The Rolling Stone published a comprehensive examination of “The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk,” that cited Rumsfeld:

“In 2003, under Donald Rumsfeld, former President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, the Pentagon published a report titled ‘An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.’ Commissioned by Andrew Marshall, who is sometimes jokingly referred to within the Pentagon as Yoda — and who was a favorite of Rumsfeld’s — the report warned that threats to global stability posed by rapid warming vastly eclipse that of terrorism.”

OK? So now the climate-hoaxers cannot simply blame Obama and his socialist cabal of Sharia lawyers for inventing the crisis. Sources as deeply ingrained in the rightist dregs of warhawk free-marketism as Rumsfeld and Bush warned of the very same threat. In fact, four of the past Secretaries of Defense (Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that Climate Change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And three of the four are Republicans.

That leaves Donald Trump and his ilk to be the standard bearers of an utterly delusional rejection of the dangers that face a planet that is rapidly heating up, both in terms of temperature and hostility. Kerry characterized Trump’s denialism perfectly by labeling it reckless and ignorant. Unfortunately the Republican Party is now Trump’s plaything and they can be expected to wholly embrace his ignorance with enthusiasm and obedient blindness.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

As Donald Trump Clinches Nomination The GOP Schemes To Prevent Future Trumps

Political parties are hard-wired to reflexively defend their candidates no matter what controversy arises. They have war room strategists and surrogates at the ready to “clarify” what the candidate really meant when he said that he wants to date his daughter. But you know you have a problem candidate with Donald Trump when the party is revamping its rules, before he’s even officially nominated, in order to short-circuit any possibility of another similar candidate being chosen in the future.

Donald Trump GOP

That’s what is happening today in the inner sanctums of the Republican Party. Insiders have been mulling over procedural changes designed specifically to avert another primary season like the one currently winding down. If they were confident of their prospects in November they would be carving the current rules into stone, but the mayhem and acrimony that characterized the past year for the GOP contestants, and the catastrophic ascendancy of Donald Trump, has party regulars in a tizzy. As reported by the New York Times:

“Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over what would be fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party.”

It says something about a party when they are so horrified by the choice of their voters that they begin to plot to prevent such an awful choice in the future before their nominating convention commences. Donald Trump represents the very worst of right-wing America: the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, demagoguery pandering to ignorant celebrity worshipers who don’t care about his frequent lies, hypocrisy, or the absence of any coherent policies. But that’s who the Republican voters chose as their champion to lead the nation and the free world.

The party’s blueprint for a Trump-free future includes rearranging the primary calendar to put less emphasis on the traditional early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Their proposal would keep these states at the front of the line, but pair each with another state to inject some diversity and to prevent any single candidate from gaining unstoppable momentum. They also want to narrow the field of primary voters to just their most loyal constituents. As the Times reports:

“[P]arty activists are also pushing to close Republican contests to independent voters, arguing that open primaries in some states allowed Donald J. Trump, whose conservative convictions they deeply mistrust, to become the presumptive nominee.”

Both of these ideas are actually pretty sound and have been floating around both party camps for years. The artificial exaltation of Iowa and New Hampshire has done nothing but advance candidates who appeal to largely rural, mostly white electorates. Those candidates are not likely to be as popular in states with more diverse and urban voters who make up the majority of the country. And it was never a good idea to permit independents and other non-party members to have a say in selecting candidates for parties to which they don’t belong and may seek to harm.

Ironically, the rules that these party activists are now attempting to alter were put in place after a similarly tumultuous primary season in 2012 that saw Mitt Romney eventually rise from a field of crackpots like Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain. The GOP chairman, Reince Priebus, was instrumental in changing the rules to limit the number of debates and shorten the primary calendar. He must have noticed that the more people saw of his candidates, the less they liked them. The intention was to reduce the embarrassment caused by their frequent televised brawls.

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Unfortunately for them, the emergence of Donald Trump and his whiny, hostile, substanceless debate performances insured that the embarrassment would continue for yet another election cycle. And unlike 2012, when the process yielded a credible and arguably sane candidate, 2016 produced a narcissistic, ignoramus with designs on a dictatorship. And now they’re stuck with trying to defend him while simultaneously working behind the scenes to avoid a similarly distasteful fate in 2020.