Ben Carson Running For Sarah Palin’s ‘Dumbest Tea-Publican’ Title

Who would ever have thought that a potential candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States would ever seriously challenge Sarah Palin’s epic idiocy? After all, the woman who couldn’t name a magazine that she reads and thinks that Africa is a country ought to have a lock on the contest for dumbfuckery.

Ben Carson

Enter former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Apparently the medical degree and years of laudatory practice have not proved to be obstacles to asinine blathering. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Carson demonstrated his aptitude for derangement by referring to President Obama as a psychopath because he looks great “like most psychopaths. That’s why they’re successful. That’s the way they look. They all look great.” You have to wonder if that’s his medical diagnosis or if he’s just riffing ala Glenn Beck.

However, as stupid as that was, it was not what earned him the honor of toppling Sarah Palin from her pinhead perch. No, Carson had to exceed his previous efforts that included saying that America is “very much like Nazi Germany” and advocating dumping the Geneva Conventions. So he dug deep and came up with this response to an Israeli tour guide’s impromptu lesson on Israeli politics:

“And what is the role of the Knesset?” he interjected. This prompted a tutorial on Israel’s legislature. Carson is a tall, dignified-looking man with a placid, almost sleepy face. As he tried to concentrate on his Hebrew Schoolhouse Rock primer, he seemed even more fatigued. “It sounds complex,” he finally said. “Why don’t they just adopt the system we have?”

Brilliant! Why indeed? In fact, why hasn’t every nation abandoned their government processes and implemented the only ones that Dr. Carson can at least pretend to understand? After all, Israel’s parliamentary system is very much like other democracies around the world that have existed far longer than ours. So obviously it is too complex to be comprehended by a mere brain surgeon. As opposed to America’s simplistic bicameral republic that even the Supreme Court has wrestled with for a couple of centuries.

Carson’s painfully naive request that Israel scrap their government and replace it with another shows just how pitifully unqualified he is to hold any public office that might require him to make diplomatic decisions. If he thinks that parliamentary democracy is complex, imagine how much communism would confuse him. Would his foreign policy initiatives for Russia and China be that they just adopt the system we have?

While it is disturbing that an adult seeking to be elected to the highest office in the land has such an ignorant grasp of the world, it is downright depressing that there are so many Americans who regard him as qualified to hold that office. What has happened to the Republican Party that was once the home of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower?

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The World Is On Fire: Ted Cruz Ignites The GOP Presidential Primary Season

Today marks the official start of the Republican Presidential primaries. First out of the Clown Car is freshman Texas senator Ted Cruz. As the first candidate to announce, Cruz is bucking the odds where electoral history records that no candidate who announced first has prevailed since 1952.

Ted Cruz

Cruz has bigger problems than a statistical curse. His popularity in a large field of contenders is decidedly weak. Coming in at eighth in the RealClear polling average, he is trailing outliers like Ben Carson and Chris Christie. And he is also near the bottom of the pack in a match-up against Hillary Clinton, losing to the prospective Democratic nominee by double digits.

The only constituency where Cruz is viewed favorably is the Glenn Beck/Tea Party crowd of dimwitted right-wing extremists. There aren’t enough of them to get Cruz to the White House. Hell, there aren’t enough of them to get Cruz to the House of Pies.

He’s a candidate without a portfolio. After all the harping by conservatives about whether President Obama was lacking experience when he ran for president, they are now being asked to support someone with even less experience. Although both were senators for only two years when they ran, Obama spent seven years in the Illinois state legislature prior to becoming a senator. What’s more, the same crackpots who insisted that Obama was not qualified to be president due to their delusional claims about his birthplace and communist upbringing, don’t seem to have any problem with Cruz, who was born in Canada to a Cuban father who fought alongside Fidel Castro.

The irascible Cruz’s tenure in the senate is fraught with controversy. Even his Republican colleagues were embarrassed by his attempt to shut down the government with a filibuster that featured a reading of “Green Eggs and Ham.” Likewise, Cruz angered his peers when his greenhorn maneuvering permitted Democratic Leader Harry Reid to get confirmations for two dozen Obama appointees that would have otherwise been bypassed.

On policy Cruz is as far to the right as one can get. He has never seen a war or military escalation he didn’t love. He is a science denier who rejects both Climate Change and evolution. He opposes immigration reform, marriage equality, raising the minimum wage, and abortion even in cases of rape or incest. He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. He would demolish the wall of separation between church and state. He has made repealing “every word” of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) a centerpiece of his platform, despite the fact that it would explode the deficit and cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance.

In his public statements, Cruz has been less than credible. Aside from having an overtly hostile personality that disrespects his opponents and their offices, his track record for honesty is dismal. PolitiFact has rated two-thirds of his statements as “Mostly False” or worse. That’s a lower percentage than all of the other main GOP candidates.

The good news (or bad news depending on your appreciation of political comedy and/or absurdist performance art) is that Cruz has almost no chance of winning the Republican nomination. He may rise to the top of the heap briefly as almost all GOP contenders do (see Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump). But he cannot prevail over the more establishment oriented Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. He is the poster boy for wingnut conservatism. And he is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers, although he is not the lone Republican with that distinction. Walker, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul all appeared with Cruz at a recent Koch-fest to plead for their anointing. But it was Cruz who went the extra distance by praising his hosts becuase they “stood up for free-market principles and endured vilification.”

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In his announcement speech, Cruz hit on all of the cliche right-wing drool enhancers: America uber-alles, God-centered government, and Ayn Randian self-interest in all matters. He spun his personal biography as a child of immigrants, whom he hopes to prevent from achieving the same American dream that his family enjoyed.

He basked in the warm reception he received from the captive audience at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University where the announcement took place. [Update: The students were required to attend or be fined] It was an appropriate venue for the sanctimonious son of a fire-and-brimstone evangelical preacher who truly believes that the world is on fire already. Which may explain his campaign logo: An upside flag that is aflame. And his announcement PR continues tonight on (where else) Fox News as he canoodles with Sean Hannity for the full hour.

Get Ready To RUMBLE: Glenn Beck And Karl Rove Throwdown Over The GOP

The upcoming Republican presidential primaries promise to be an entertainment extravaganza for America in general and for Democrats in particular. The warring factions are preparing for a bloody conflagration as the radical Tea Party aims to hammer the hapless establishment for being ineffective cowards, and the establishment plots to cast the Tea Partiers as unrealistic losers. However, the fracturing coalition of wingnuts that comprise the GOP (Greedy One Percent) is already beginning to fray around the edges even before the campaign season has officially commenced.

This week’s preliminaries were initiated by self-described rodeo clown and crazy person, Glenn Beck, who came out swinging with a rant about how awful the Republican Party is. For most Americans Beck was just stating the obvious. And his declaration that he was “done with it” was not even new for him. Nevertheless, he reiterated that…

“I have made my decision. I am out. I am not a Republican. I will not give a dime to the Republican party. I am out. I highly recommend run from the Republican party. They are not good.”

Well, that might not go down well with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, and all the other Republicans currently mulling a run for the Republican nomination, rather than running from it. And Mike Lee, Tom Cotton, Louie Gohmert, Steve King, and other GOP members of Congress may likewise not appreciate it. These all happen to be people for whom Beck has deep affection, but from whom he is now recommending running.

However, the main event will be the reaction from veteran GOP hack, and Bush’s brain, Karl Rove. Turdblosson appeared on Fox News (where else) to counter Beck’s uppercut, and he brought his whiteboard with him. Rove deflected Beck’s broadside as being “old news” and noted that he had never donated to the GOP in the first place. Rove continued by denigrating Cruz, a Beck favorite, as a hypocrite. In the end, Rove surmised that Beck’s renouncement might hurt a bit, but would not have a lasting impact.

But this aint over. Beck responded to Rove’s defense of the establishment with a long, rambling Facebook post that filled in all of the gaps Beck left in his earlier tirade. He explicitly cited what he regarded as the failures of a hopelessly ineffectual GOP. He specifically mentioned the deficit, ObamaCare, immigration, and the insane conspiracy theory about Grover Norquist. Also on his list of particulars are Network Neutrality, Common Core, the IRS, Cass Sunstein, and of course, Benghazi. In other words, the usual bullshit that wingnuts have been rattling their cages over for years. But the knockout punch has to be this stinger:

“You guys have the spine of a worm, the ethics of whores, and the integrity of pirates. (My apologies to worms, whores and pirates).”

Glenn Beck

Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark. Although I can’t say that I disagree with him. But how will Rove ever recover from that? It’s hard to predict the outcome of this first round battle when both parties are such pitiful has beens. Nobody really cares what either of them have to say, except for their own glassy-eyed disciples. But it is a fun opener that portends even greater amusement as the real candidates bounce into the ring. So settle back and be sure to have plenty of refreshments handy. This may be a good time to buy stock in Orville Redenbacher.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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Donald Trump Is Running For President – Of Dumbfuckistan

This is a MEDICAL ALERT. If you believe that Donald Trump is running for president, stick an ice pick in your eye to see if you can get your brain started again. Don’t worry about damaging any important grey matter because if you bought Trump’s scam there is little left in your skull to damage.

Donald Trump

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For those paying attention, Trump has been pretending to run for president for decades. He blathers about his “intentions” for a few weeks, insists that he is the only one who can save America from ruin, gets a bunch of idiot pundits to join the speculation, then retreats to his Manhattan penthouse to restock his bar and fluff his weasel-hair toupee. In his latest fake campaign, Trump announced that…

“Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians — who are all talk and no action.”

Didn’t he just describe himself for the past thirty years? And why Trump would think that Americans would vote for him when 74%, according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, view him negatively (the lowest by far of all candidates), and his track record in business includes four bankruptcies, is a question that only Trump’s ego can answer.

Trump’s platform consists mainly of anti-Obama mythologies such as his Kenyan birth, his Muslim faith, his ghost-written books, and his fake academic credentials. Trump has bought in to every hysterical conspiracy theory that has ever been floated about Obama. But who can deny Trump’s own resume that prepares him to lead the free world? After all, he has appeared on a reality TV show alongside Gary Busey and Meatloaf. What more could you want?

The best evidence that Trump is not running for anything other than the attention of dimwitted Fox News pundits and Tea Party basket cases is the response by NBC to his announcement that he will not be returning to Celebrity Apprentice. A spokesman for the network told Politico that “NBC Entertainment is planning to go ahead with production,” and that they would not be making any further comments. Notice that nothing in their statement confirmed that Trump had quit. Generally when that occurs the network would express its gratitude for the many years working together and extend their best wishes for the future. If NBC had the slightest inkling that Trump was serious they would not be committing production budgets and personnel to business as usual.

So to those who still think that a broadly unpopular loser, whose TV bosses don’t even believe him, is actually throwing his wig in the ring, please report to the nearest mental hospital. Trump would have a better chance of winning his Miss USA beauty pageant than a ticket to the White House. Although he would need a new hairpiece and some sort of act for the talent portion of the show.

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Addendum: In the highly unlikely event that Trump goes through with this charade (delighting Democrats everywhere), NBC could still proceed with Apprentice by getting Mitt Romney to take over the show. He is another hollow multimillionaire who likes to fire people. In fact, the GOP has a deep bench in that category.

About The GOP’s #47Traitors Letter To Iran…It Was All A Joke

While much of the media is obsessing over emails sent by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while she was serving the country, another letter has stirred up some controversy over whether Republicans in Congress have engaged in treason.

Clinton Email / Iran GOP Letter

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Freshman senator and Tea Party crush Tom Cotton of Arkansas managed to get forty-seven of his senate colleagues and a couple of GOP presidential hopefuls to sign a letter warning Iran not to take President Obama seriously with regard to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The letter took a decidedly condescending tone that presumed its recipients were unfamiliar with international diplomacy. Cotton offered to school them saying that…

“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. […] We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

Unfortunately for Cotton and his co-signers, Iran’s foreign minister was better prepared on these subjects than they were. Their misguided attempt to wedge their way into the negotiations was inappropriate, foolish, and possibly illegal. And worse, it probably had the opposite effect of what they were aiming for. Rather than undercutting Obama’s credibility, the letter served to more broadly discredit Congress and the nation. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif scolded Cotton & Co. saying “In truth, it told us that we cannot trust the United States.” He went on to say that the letter’s signatories…

“…not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy. […] I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfill the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.”

Zarif also pointed out that any attempt by a future Congress or President to renege on an agreement of this sort would be a violation of international law. However, compliance with the law may not be uppermost in the minds of this letter’s authors. By writing and sending the letter they may have violated a domestic law known as the Logan Act that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.

Subsequent to the letter’s publication, the Republicans associated with it have been pilloried for their both their ignorance of international diplomacy and their Constitutional role in negotiating inter-state agreements. Some in the GOP are already distancing themselves from the embarrassing letter, including Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But the most peculiar response came from some unnamed GOP aides who are now trying to characterize the whole affair as a joke. Daily Beast reports that…

“Republican aides were taken aback by the response to what what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a ‘cheeky’ reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.

‘The administration has no sense of humor when it comes to how weakly they have been handling these negotiations,’ said a top GOP Senate aide.”

Lighthearted? Cheeky? Someone is going to have to explain the punch line in this to me because writing to Iran’s leaders to inform that they cannot trust the President of the United States hardly seems like comedy or even playful banter. What’s more, the suggestion that the President has no sense of humor is puzzling. Do they think that the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is something that Obama should be joking about? Is their assertion that he is handling these negotiations weakly a laughing matter?

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The truth is that if Obama were to have injected humor into this situation in even the smallest way, the GOP would be renewing their calls for impeachment. [Actually, Laura Ingraham has already done so on Fox News Tuesday night with Greta Van Sustern] This shift to portraying the letter as a joke is just a lame attempt to get out from under the bad publicity it has created for the imbeciles who signed it. But it also reveals that Republicans are not averse to endangering sensitive negotiations, and the security of the nation and the world, in order to satisfy their psychotic hatred of our President. And that is what they regard as patriotism.

Sarah Palin And Other Netanyahu Groupies May Soon Find Themselves Leaderless

The much anticipated speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a joint session of Congress has come and gone leaving a notable aroma of anti-climax. After being hailed by many in politics and the press as an historic occasion, there was nothing of substance revealed in the address. It turned out to be a tale of a dystopian future that mimicked the doomsday rantings of Glenn Beck, complete with caliphates and the collapsing of civilization.

John Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu violated decades of protocol and was a blatantly political slap at President Obama. Republicans heralded the speech as a vital moment to embrace an important ally. In fact, they implied that any opposition to the controversial appearance was tantamount to being anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic (as Andrea Tantaros of Fox News opined twice). The American right is shamelessly infatuated with Netanyahu and regard him as a superior model of leadership to our own president who was popularly elected twice.

Netanyahu enjoys the admiration of conservatives who favor posturing for war over diplomacy. They have elevated him to hero status and fantasize about having him replace Obama in the White House. Sarah Palin has gone even further by seeking to profit from her crush by selling t-shirts emblazoned with his picture and the oath “I Stand With Bibi.”

Sarah Palin Netanyahu

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However, these conservative Bibi disciples may come to regret their insistence that loyalty to the current Israeli Prime Minister (a war-mongering conservative) is equivalent to loyalty to Israel. That’s because in a couple of weeks there may very well be a new Prime Minister with a very different worldview. The Guardian reports that…

“Binyamin Netanyahu’s campaign for re-election for a fourth term as Israel’s prime minister appears to be stumbling, with recent polls suggesting he is marginally behind his biggest challenger, Isaac Herzog.”

Herzog is the leader of Israel’s Labor Party and has a more liberal, inclusive political philosophy. He represents a coalition that seeks peace through cooperation. He is a lawyer, a member of the Knesset (Israel’s legislature), a former IDF intelligence officer, and is every bit as determined to insure Israel’s security as Netanyahu. But he believes that a two-state solution negotiated and enforced with neighbors in the region is the way to end the decades-long hostilities.

If Herzog prevails in the March 17 election, it will be interesting to see if the right-wingers in the U.S. continue to regard the Prime Minister as the official proxy for all things Israel. Will they invite him to speak before a joint session of Congress? Will they hang on his every word. Will they repudiate as disloyal anyone who dares to disagree with him? Will they hawk t-shirts with his smiling face and promises to stand with him?

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It doesn’t take much courage to slide out on a limb and predict that the wingnut contingent would not give Herzog the same measure of respect that they give to Netanyahu. And you might wait a long time to be able to buy a Herzog t-shirt from Sarah Palin’s PAC. So while Israel would benefit enormously from the election of a Labor Party majority, There’s another reason why Americans should root for that outcome. Because it would just be so much fun watching Republican pols and pundits squirming to validate their disdain for an Israeli PM after demanding allegiance to their hero Netanyahu.

Despite Their Own Conceit, Fox News Is About As Scary As Honey Boo Boo

As America’s number one network for extreme, right-wing political bias and propaganda, Fox News relishes every opportunity to disparage their ideological foes and to sanctimoniously exalt themselves as protectors of their twisted versions of the truth. One of the favorite tactics of Fox News is to taunt public figures who make the completely rational decision to avoid the abuse that they would endure were they to submit to being interviewed by the network’s bullies and ignorant partisans. This week there was another example of that attempted intimidation by Fox’s media reporter, Howard Kurtz.

Fox News

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Kurtz appeared on The Kelly File with fill-in host and terrorist profiler Shannon Bream, a former beauty pageant contestant and graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University with no journalism training. The topic of the segment was departing Attorney General Eric Holder’s scheduled interviews with some news networks that did not, as of yet, include Fox. Bream queued Kurtz up by asking “Does he help himself at all by walking out the door and slamming it in our faces.” That totally unbiased question got this response from Kurtz:

“I think that it’s a sign of confidence when any politician, political figure, cabinet officer, congressman, is willing to sit down and take tougher questions from those you might perceive to be your harshest critics. […] Is the nation’s top law enforcement officer really afraid of [Fox News anchor] Bret Baier?”

Any suggestion that Holder, or anyone else who chooses to keep their distance from Fox News, is afraid of them is utter nonsense. That’s like saying you’re afraid of being interviewed by Honey Boo Boo, when the truth is you’re just smart enough to not waste your time. Notorious liar Bill O’Reilly has used the accusation of fear repeatedly, but frankly I’d be more afraid of Honey Boo boo.

Furthermore, if Kurtz even bothers to take his own analysis seriously, then why doesn’t he apply it to Republicans? He seems so disturbed that a single administration official is waving off Fox News, but he doesn’t seem bothered at all that the entire Republican Party is boycotting MSNBC. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee has stated publicly that there will be no GOP presidential primary debates on that network. There will be four on Fox. Therefore, according to his own logic, Kurtz is implying that that every single one of the GOP candidates for president are afraid of Rachel Maddow?

What’s even more interesting about this is that the GOP candidates are even afraid of the friendly venues they have chosen for themselves. The RNC has drastically reduced the number of debates and assumed control of who will moderate them and ask questions. That was done to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing displays put on by Republicans during the 2012 election cycle. On one hand that may be a wise decision on their part considering the proclivity for Republicans to say stupid things. On the other hand it shelters them from the real world of political brawling that might toughen them up for the general election. And it exposes them as fearful of letting their candidates express themselves by taking positions for which they would later be held accountable.

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After being left off of a preliminary list of networks that would be interviewing Holder, Fox News VP Michael Clemente whined that Holder’s reluctance to subject himself to the petty carping of Fox’s confirmed haters does a disservice to “the interests of a free press.” Apparently he doesn’t understand the phrase “free press.” You have to wonder where he gets the notion that a free press requires every public figure to submit to every media outlet, no matter how disreputable and hostile. It would be more correct to applaud Holder for showing respect for a free press by declining to validate Fox’s deceitful brand of pseudo-journalism.

Whether or not Holder grants Fox News an opportunity to malign him in person, it is clear that neither he, nor anyone else, is afraid of Fox. They just show it the measure of respect it deserves. But Republicans are demonstrating that they terrified of MSNBC and every other media outlet, including Fox, by implementing a policy that prohibits them from engaging in any public debates that aren’t sanctioned by the party apparatchiks. That’s a story that Kurtz will never report.

Now THIS is Comedy: The Conservative Political A-Hole Conference (CPAC)

The annual parade of wingnuttery known as the Conservative Political Action Conference has been steaming along for a couple of days now. Most of the star attractions have had their say and the general message that we can take away from the affair is that President Obama is an Islamic terrorist, Hillary Clinton is an old liberal, and ObamaCare, Common Core, the IRS, and immigrants must all be abolished.

How’s that for an electoral platform for 2016? It’s pretty much the same agenda that has been broadcast on Fox News for the past six years. And the clapping conservo-bots in the CPAC conference hall responded precisely the way they were trained to respond. Not a single speaker said anything new or insightful. It was hour after hour of regurgitated right-wing dogma, and it absolutely thrilled the glassy-eyed audience who couldn’t have been more predictable if they were hooked up to a machine.

GOP Dream Team

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However, just for the sake of entertainment, there were a couple of moments that deserve some special attention. And it wasn’t Ted Cruz whining about ObamaCare, or Sarah Palin pretending to support the troops, or Scott Walker comparing American working people to terrorists, or Ben Carson calling for unity after saying that, because of liberals, America is very much like Nazi Germany. None of those easily foreseeable sentiments earn much more than a yawn. But there was some unintentional comedy displayed at the conference.

First of all, we have Duck Dynasty’s patriarch Phil Robertson. This long-haired, bearded, headbanded, camo-clad freak took a swipe at hippies. Has he ever seen one (or looked in the mirror)? Somehow that clean living, nature loving subculture that faded into obscurity forty years ago is to blame for every sexually transmitted disease in America today. Now that’s a powerful message for a 21st century Republican Party.

Robertson was invited to the conference to receive the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award, which is not even worth the time or energy to make fun of. In his remarks Robertson divided the nation into the pious patriots for whom the Constitution was written and “any other” treasonous sinners who are not entitled to its liberties:

“You know what’s happened GOP? We’ve got too many “any others” in the White House. It [the Constitution] wasn’t written for them. […] Stand on the Bible, stand on the Constitution, don’t budge. Hold on to your weapons. That’s what brought us here. We had to have all three to run the Brits back to where they came from.”

Let’s just set aside the divisive elitism that Robertson evokes in order to elevate himself above those he regards as his inferiors. Robertson’s assertion that we needed the Bible, weapons and the Constitution to beat back the British has a glaring flaw. There was no Constitution until four years after the Revolutionary War was won and over. And the British also had weapons and the same Bible, but it didn’t lead them to victory.

The other moment of hilarity was the speech by Donald Trump, the reality TV show host who is so bad at real estate that he couldn’t profitably run a casino (a casino!), and has declared bankruptcy four times. Trump, as usual, spent his time bragging and promoting himself as the bestest, toughest, smartest, conservativest person in the room. He said that he is 80% sure that he is running for president. You could still make a bundle betting against it. He will pull out as soon as he is asked to release his financial statements.

Trump ventured back into the birtherism that he has long espoused. He claimed that Obama “wrote a book when he was a young man and it said born in Kenya.” That’s a flat-out lie. Trump also bragged that he was responsible for Obama releasing his birth certificate. That’s a flat-out lie. Then he bleated “Now we have to find out whether or not it was real.” So Trump is still a full-bore birther. Funny, he has never told us what happened to his team of investigators that he claimed he sent to Hawaii. Does he ever get tired of making a fool of himself? What’s worse is that there was a room full of people who applauded his raving madness.

If you thought that 2012 was fun, with its circus of right-wing loonies, you aint seen nothing yet. 2016 is already shaping up to be even wingnuttier. I really can’t wait for the campaign season to get started.

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Fox News Surrenders: Domestic Recovery Forces Narrative Shift To Foreign Policy For 2016 Election

The Republican News Network (aka Fox News) is taking a hard turn away from domestic issues in advance of the 2016 election cycle. For the past several years Fox and the rest of the Right-Wing Media Circus has focused heavily on matters that hit close to home like the economy, unemployment, immigration, marriage equality, education, and relentlessly, healthcare – or more accurately, opposition to it.

Unfortunately for the GOP, every one of those issues has been trending favorably for the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. The economy has grown by historic rates. The stock market has hit record highs. The deficit has declined by two-thirds. Unemployment dropped from 10.1 to 5.7 percent and wages are beginning to rise. The majority of the public support the President’s positions on immigration. Marriage equality is being affirmed by courts across the country. Both academic and financial education reforms proposed by Obama are hugely popular. And ObamaCare reached new plateaus of success signing up more than 11 million new people this year.

Fox News

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Also influencing the right is a Gallup poll released this week showing that terrorism has jumped in importance to the electorate. Fox News immediately began promoting this poll as evidence that Americans are convulsed with worry about being blown up in a cafe on Main Street. What they don’t mention is that terrorism in the poll shot up to a mere 8% and is still in fifth place behind four domestic issues. Also not mentioned is that another Gallup poll released the same day shows the President’s standing is on the rise. The poll shows him making significant gains with independents and even Republicans. And those gains are seen both personally and for his stance on issues.

So what is an obsessively hostile cable TV “news” network with a mission to promote conservative policies and Republican candidates to do? Of course, they have to pivot to foreign policy in a desperate bid to find a narrative that will advance their political goals. That is what’s happening now as this exchange from Fox News yesterday demonstrates:

Charles Krauthammer: This is going to be be one of those rare presidential runs in which foreign affairs is one of the dominant issues […] That is a very ripe field for the Republicans.
Ron Fournier: Charles is right. This is going to be a foreign policy election. I think that’s going to be really tough for Hillary given her last job.

Huh? Fournier didn’t elaborate on why Hillary Clinton’s last job as Secretary of State would make things harder for her if foreign policy were to take precedence. Running the State Department for four years would ordinarily be seen as a prime resume enhancement in an environment that prized international experience. Presumably the right is hankering for an opportunity to beat the Benghazi drum some more, but since they have failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing after three years and dozens of investigations (including findings that exonerate Clinton and Obama by the GOP led House Intelligence Committee), it seems rather far-fetched that they can make an issue of it now. And when the election heats up Clinton will have a strong record of achievement about which to brag.

More to the point, the effort by Fox to divert attention away from the positive domestic news is bound to fail for three reasons. First, whatever plausible case they have to make against Obama and/or Clinton on foreign policy, they aren’t making it. Instead, they are wasting breath on such ludicrous trivialities as whether or not the word “Islamic” is appended to every mention of terrorism. Their mantra on this is that you have to “call it what it is” in order to win. They seem to believe that just changing the rhetoric all by itself would cause the bad guys to throw in the towel. That, of course, is absurd. The truth is that tarring all Muslims with an association to terrorism would only alienate the Islamic allies we need to prevail. The only parties who insist on this language are GOP/Fox News conservatives and the terrorists themselves. So why is Fox taking their side? That’s a question that Fox News will answer by shouting as loudly as possible, “Benghazi!”

The second reason that latching unto a foreign affairs campaign theme would fail is that, in addition to not making a negative case against Clinton, Republicans are also not making an affirmative case for themselves. Their fierce condemnations of Obama as being weak and incompetent (besides being somewhat unpatriotic by their own definition) imply that their alternative would be to recklessly leap back into a war footing around the world with fronts ranging from Iraq to Iran to Syria to Afghanistan to Ukraine, and even to Russia and North Korea. That would be a hard sell to the American people. What’s more, Republicans are already leaning on the same people that so profoundly wrecked the nation’s international relations as the would-be architects of the next GOP administration’s foreign policy.

Finally, after failing to make a foreign policy case against Clinton or for themselves, Fox and the GOP are forgetting the universal truth about presidential campaigns. As immortalized by James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” No matter how much the right wants to avoid the domestic progress the nation has made in the years since George W. Bush and his cronies cratered the economy, that will always be the primary driver in voting for a national leader. And on that subject Republicans have nothing but failure to point to, while Democrats under Obama have an increasingly prosperous country and an agenda advocating on behalf of the middle-class. In addition, Clinton happens to be married to the last president to balance the budget while producing strong economic growth and job creation.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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It’s no wonder that Republicans don’t want to run on domestic issues. And as their PR division, Fox News is valiantly striving to help them to change the subject. But no matter how hard they pray their wishes will not be realized. 2016 will be decided by an economic debate, just like every other presidential election. That fact, however, won’t deter the right from trying to elevate foreign policy because it’s all they have. And in a presidential election year, when turnout is higher, demographics favor Democrats, and the GOP has more at-risk seats than their foes, the outlook for Republicans is filled with the gloom that they have been trying to project on Democrats ever since the black guy moved into the White House.

RepubliCare: The GOP Alternative To ObamaCare Is A Corporatist Sham

Republicans in Congress just held their 56th vote to repeal or cripple the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It is a pointless waste of time and taxpayer dollars that will never become law, but the wingnut obsession with this boondoggle never seems to let up.

Throughout the debate over ObamaCare, conservatives have tried to pretend that they are concerned about the welfare of the American people and that they intend to replace ObamaCare with their own version of reform. But more than four years have elapsed since ObamaCare was rolled out and there has not been a single bill introduced as an alternative.

ObamaCare Ruling

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Now the Republicans with a newly fortified majority in Congress are promoting a plan that they say can replace ObamaCare. There are, however, two major problems with their initiative. 1) It isn’t actually a draft of legislation at all and will not be voted on. And 2) it illustrates their bias toward corporations and their animosity to the American people they profess to support. Here is a summary of their “plan:”

The GOP’s Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment – or CARE – Act

  • Calls for the outright repeal of President Obama’s signature health care law, and with that, the individual mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine.
  • Provides for targeted tax credits to individuals and families up to 300 percent above the poverty line to encourage people to buy plans in the market place.
  • Allows insurers to sell plans across state lines.
  • Caps the amount of monetary damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice litigation.
  • Calls for a specific ‘continuous coverage’ protection where individuals moving from one plan to another cannot be denied.

What this amounts to is just another ObamaCare repeal bill decorated with gifts to the insurance industry. There is no realistic way to make insurance coverage affordable without broadening the customer base via mandates. The GOP plan would shrink the base and result in premiums that would be out of reach for most people due to the dominance of high-risk patients in the system. The provision to cap damages in lawsuits has been on the corporate wish list for decades and does nothing to help patients. To the contrary, it would result in people who suffered actual harm not being compensated fairly.

Most disturbing is the hoax that the GOP is proposing as their version of a coverage guarantee to people with preexisting conditions. In the RepubliCare model you would already have to have insurance and then you could not be denied a continuance. Of course they never explain how you got the insurance to begin with. And if you were attempting to get insured for the first time, the companies could reject you without consequence. In other words, it is no protection at all.

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The GOP likes to complain that ObamaCare is a government-run healthcare program, despite the fact that the government has no role whatsoever in providing healthcare. It merely sets standards for insurance companies to make certain that everyone has access to coverage that is effective and affordable. Meanwhile Republicans claim to favor a more “patient-centered” approach, but then offer this fraud that was very likely written by insurance company lobbyists.

If these Republicans are successful, millions of Americans will lose their current insurance and suffer both medically and financially as a result. In its place will be a windfall for corporations that expands their profits at the expense of the American people, particularly those who are already sick. Nice work, RepubliCare.