Freakout At Fox News: DHS Report Cites Threat Of Right-Wing Extremists

There is nothing that stirs up the rancid juices of a conservative sociopath like being fingered as a conservative sociopath. It’s very much the same furious reaction that racists have when you point out that they’re being racist. And this week the American Taliban got their feathers ruffled again by the Department of Homeland Security’s “intelligence assessment” that reportedly “focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.”

Fox News

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The release of this report predictably ignited a temper tantrum by the hypersensitive rage-meisters at Fox News. They immediately slammed the report as being offensive to the totally rational, peace-loving, icons of harmony that populate the Tea Party and other rightist models of national unity. Why ever would they be regarded as potentially dangerous just because they brag about their arsenals while holding signs that say “We came unarmed – this time.”

Never mind that the report documents a couple of dozen instances of criminal violence by wingnuts in the mold of Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. And set aside the fact that state and local law enforcement officers, when surveyed last year, cited “sovereign citizen terrorists” as the top domestic terror threat ahead of foreign Islamic jihadis. That’s an understandable and thoroughly logical conclusion coming from the first responders who are often the targets of the anti-government right-wingers. Just ask the families of the two Las Vegas police officers who were murdered by followers of Cliven Bundy, the deadbeat rancher who assembled a brigade of armed protesters to do battle with agents from the Bureau of Land Management.

The zealousness with which Fox News defends violent American jihadis who hate the government (particularly since that black guy was elected) is evidence of their support for extremists, so long as they are extreme in the proper fashion. This response to a perfectly reasonable law enforcement analysis only validates the politicization of national security that Fox engages in. At Fox News they don’t care if a heavily armed NRA “patriot” is parading around the Wal-Mart with assault weapons. But if a black kid with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles is gunned down by a self-appointed vigilante while walking home, then Fox portrays him as a thug who must have been up to no good.

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What makes this outburst of outrage even more ludicrous is that the DHS is only doing its job of protecting the American people. They are not playing favorites by drawing attention to extremists on the right. The proof of that is that the feds previously published a report that warned of the potential dangers of left-wing extremists. News Corpse wrote about this six years ago, the last time that Fox News and other wingnut media mouthpieces went bonkers over a DHS report. That article contained a link to a security analysis that said…

“Left-wing extremism is ‘alive and well’ both in the US and internationally. … There are individuals and organizations within the U.S. who maintain the same ideology that resulted in the growth of left-wing terrorism in this country in the 1970s and 1980s … and new leaders and groups are emerging.”

Good luck trying to find any reporting on Fox News about that study. While there are a few mentions of left-wing extremism on Fox, they are conspicuously thin and refer primarily to animal rights activists and environmentalists – a scary bunch of bloodthirsty hooligans if there ever were any.

The Queen Of Astroturf Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of Astroturf

When Sharyl Attkisson left CBS over her flagrant insertion of conservative political bias into the stories she covered, she might have tried to rehabilitate her decaying reputation by affiliating herself with a credible news organization. Instead, she immediately signed up with Fox News (not exactly the place to prove your aren’t shilling for the right) and took a position with the The Daily Signal, the pseudo-news Internet outlet run by the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation.

Media Circus

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Her post-CBS work has mainly been limited to three areas of shameless whining: 1) Bashing those in her past that she felt had discriminated against her freedom to propagandize; 2) Promoting her anti-Obama diatribe “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington;” and 3) Telling paranoid (and ultimately debunked) tales of being spied on by shadowy, unnamed enemies in the government determined to destroy her professionally and personally.

Continuing her transparently prejudiced crusade against a select group of imagined adversaries, Attkisson has published her list of “The Top 10 Astroturfers.” In the process she has demonstrated that she is viscerally determined to persist in slandering her perceived foes. What’s more, she is proving that she doesn’t have any idea what Astroturfing is. For the record, here is the generally recognized definition of this neologism:

Astroturf: An apparently grassroots-based citizen group or coalition that is primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relations firms. It seeks to disguise a powerful special interest as a popular movement.

On that basis, here is Attkisson’s list:

  1. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown
  2. Media Matters for America
  3. University of California Hastings Professor Dorit Rubenstein Reiss and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit
  4. “Science” Blogs such as: Skeptic.com, Skepchick.org, Scienceblogs.com (Respectful Insolence), Popsci.com and SkepticalRaptors.com
  5. Mother Jones
  6. Salon.com and Vox.com
  7. White House press briefings and press secretary Josh Earnest
  8. Daily Kos and The Huffington Post
  9. CNN, NBC, New York Times, Politico and Talking Points Memo (TPM)
  10. MSNBC, Slate.com, Los Angeles Times and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and Jon Stewart.

There is not a single group on the list that meets the definition of an Astroturf enterprise. The one that comes closest is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense due to its relationship with another group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, MDA was started by an actual mom in Indiana and has a membership of more than 150,000. The rest of the list is patently absurd.

Media Matters is a watchdog group that documents conservative bias in the media. It does not lobby any government entity, organize citizens to demonstrate, or otherwise engage in social activism. However, it is one of Attkisson’s most effective critics and thus won the number two slot on the list.

The U.C. professor and Children’s Hospital have worked on educating the public about the importance of vaccinations. Apparently that has stirred Attkisson’s ire. Also in this category are a few science-related blogs. However, Attkisson doesn’t explain why they should be on the list other than because they have a point of view. She never even bothers to try to connect them to some well-heeled benefactor. In any case, universities, hospitals, and independent blogs are not Astroturfers by any stretch of the imagination.

The most well-represented group on the list are media enterprises. They range from mainstream outlets like CNN, NBC, and the New York Times, to established magazines and Internet sites like Mother Jones, Salon, and Politico, to more alternative sources like Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post. The only conceivable reason for Attkisson citing these media players on her list is that they are all regarded by conservatives like herself as left-leaning, and therefore deserving of her wrath. But they are certainly not Astroturf.

Attkisson really goes off the rails by including the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart on the list. How can anyone define either of them as faux grassroots-based citizen groups backed by wealthy special interests? More than any other people or groups on the list, these two show that Attkisson cannot be taken seriously.

Attkisson describes her list as “an informal, non-scientific survey.” Her footnote reveals that “the results represent 169 Twitter respondents who answered a public query either directly or through direct message.” What could possibly be more ludicrous as a sampling of opinion than a tiny group of respondents to her own Tweet? Is Atkisson purposely sabotaging her reputation in a public spectacle of professional suicide? The remainder of her commentary accompanying the list essentially redefines Astroturfing to fit her personal enemies list. It’s like dieters defining cupcakes as vegetables so they can eat more of them.

If she wants some examples of bona fide Astroturfers, she need look no further than her employer the Heritage Foundation, which began as a right-wing think tank, but with new leadership provided by former Republican senator Jim DeMint, it has become a full-fledged factory for fake activism. Under DeMint’s tenure it launched the Daily Signal which publishes highly biased articles including those by its new correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson.

Other Astroturfers include the Tea Party Express, which was founded by a Republican public relations firm and is notorious for funneling nearly all of the donations it receives back into its own pockets. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Numerous Koch brothers funded entities like Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, The LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and many more. Even Sarah Palin has joined the con game with her Super PAC and the subscription Internet site she launched that often has no content for days on end. In all of these cases there is little evidence of public support, but massive bankrolling by wealthy conservative rainmakers.

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A recent study by a conservative news organization highlighted the rampant corruption in many of the right-wing Astroturf enterprises and political action committees. The Washington Post reported that…

“Right Wing News released a report on a group of conservative PACs that took in millions of dollars in contributions in 2014, ostensibly for the purpose of electing Republicans, but spent almost none of it on actual political activity. Instead, the money went into the pockets of the people who run the PACs and their associates.”

This appears to be the rule, and not the exception. And part of why it becomes so easy to rip-off the ignorant wingnut community is that fakers like Attkisson permit the scams to proceed without consequence. By shining her spotlight on an array of organizations that in no way qualify as Astroturf, Attkisson allows the grifters to operate freely while their victims are lost in a maze of false accusations.

What Does North Korea, Fox News, And The Tea Party Have In Common?

The still unfolding saga of the hacking into Sony’s network has produced a war of words between American intelligence agencies that accuse North Korea of the intrusion, and the North Koreans who applaud the act but insist they had nothing to do with it. After declining to release the film “The Interview” that was ostensibly what incited the hacking, Sony reversed themselves and put the movie out in theaters and online. This further inflamed North Korea who lashed out with an openly racist attack on President Obama saying…

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.”

Comparing the first African-American president of the United States to a monkey was surely not an accidental slip of the tongue. It was a deliberate, if juvenile, attempt to demean and ridicule Obama. However, the repugnant and racist monkey reference is nothing new to Obama haters in America. The juvenile Tea Party has been rife with offensive images and signs at their rallies that made the very same association.

Tea Party Korea Monkey

As if to emphasize the contemptuous disdain for Obama, the folks at Fox News posted an item on their community website, Fox Nation, about North Korea’s slur. This set off a sadly predictable flurry of hate speech by their readers that brings into focus the ideological camaraderie between America’s enemies and its own extremist right-wingers.

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Fox Nation Comments

When Vladimir Putin was criticizing Obama over the Ukraine situation, many Fox News pundits and contributors (including Sarah Palin, Tucker Carlson and Ben Carson) responding by virtually nominating him as the Republican presidential candidate. All it takes to win the hearts and minds of Teabaggers is to insult America’s president. So I guess it won’t be long now until they add Kim Jong-Un to the ticket.

Bachmann’s Last Stand: Tea Party Queen Laments Imaginary Snub By Obama

In many ways I’m going to miss Michele Bachmann. She has provided an unending stream of hilarity during her brief tenure in Congress, and especially her epic run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Michele Bachmann Tea Party

As a parting gift to comedians everywhere, Bachmann visited her pal Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (video below) to regale him with an account of her adventures at the White House Christmas party (which O’Reilly belittled as a “holiday” party). While bragging that attendance at the event was a high honor, she also complained about the less than respectful treatment she received from President Obama. The sad tale went something like this:

“I knew that this would be the last time that I would speak to the President as a member of Congress and I thought, I want to say something substant (sic) to him about what I think is the most consequential issue of the day. […]

“‘Mr. President, with all due respect, I’m concerned about the Iranian nuclear program and I think it would be wise to bomb the program before they obtain a nuclear weapon because once they obtain a nuclear weapon the world changes.’

“The president smiled, and he was fairly condescending and patronizing and said, ‘Well, it’s not quite that easy, Michele. But that’s okay,’ like I’m just, you know, an idiot and I don’t know anything.”

Had Obama intended to imply that Bachmann is an idiot it would have been entirely appropriate. She has proven it herself innumerable times. However, the President’s response was in no way disrespectful. It was pretty much all he could say under the circumstances. Bachmann confronted him with her comment in a photo line where many guests were waiting to greet the First Family. What did she expect him to do? Was he supposed to interrupt this photo-op to engage her in a protracted debate on a complex matter of national security standing there in the foyer? Perhaps she thought his eyes would light up with surprise and he would thank her for contributing such a brilliant idea that had never occurred to him. All things considered, Obama was rather polite after having been lobbied at a Christmas party to bomb another country.

It is that sort of laughably arrogant nonsense that we will miss in the coming years. Unless of course Bachmann signs up with Fox News and joins her comrade Sarah Palin in delivering comic relief (in the form of pseudo-political analysis) whenever she can score some airtime. But we will always have her past record of lunacy to cheer us up. Here’s a short summary of some of her classic moments:

  • Bachmann believed that the government had been infiltrated by enemy Muslims and she joined a group of congressional colleagues to insist on an investigation to uncover them.
  • Bachmann proclaimed her intention to be subservient to her husband were she to be elected president: “…the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
  • Bachmann signed a pledge circulated by a radical evangelical asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery.
  • Bachmann gushed her admiration for a serial killer: “Just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Actually, it was serial murderer and clown painter John Wayne Gacy who was from Waterloo.

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So How Nuts Are The Anti-Immigration Tea Party Republicans?

One month ago a distinct minority of the nation’s voters trudged to the polls to elect just enough Tea Party Republicans to gain control of the Senate and join their GOP colleagues in the House in a ritual of Obama bashing and avoiding doing any actual work. Since then the party of “NO” has already demonstrated their determination to hogtie this president and throw a monkey wrench into the administration of government.

GOP Disciplines Obama

To illustrate just how absurd the right-wing has become, take a look at these actual proposals, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, for responding to Obama’s executive action to reform immigration policy:

    Shut down the government. A tactic that failed miserably last year and made a laughing stock of Ted Cruz and other Republicans.
    Block ambassador nominations. Because degrading international diplomacy would secure America’s borders.
    Block executive branch nominees — just about all of them. Another attempt by the party that hates government to prove that it doesn’t work by sabotaging it.
    Ground the president. Seriously? They want to cut funding for Air Force One to keep Obama stuck in Washington.
    Start the immigration fight earlier. As opposed to starting to resolve the immigration problem.
    File a lawsuit. Which they have already done and will solve nothing. It probably won’t even get to trial before becoming moot.
    Cancel the State of the Union. This idiotic and bigoted idea was covered previously by News Corpse here: Hate of the Union.

These inane, retaliatory responses to a serious problem facing the nation reveal the deliberately injurious motives of the GOP. They obviously couldn’t care less about advancing the interests of the American people. The only thing on their agenda is beating on the current resident of the White House whom they never believed was legitimate.

And it makes it all the more ludicrous considering they have a quick and simple way to do away with the executive order they profess to oppose. As reported here before, all they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead these cretins maneuver to lock Obama out of the Capital and take away his keys to Air Force One. Next thing you know they will be passing legislation to make him sit in the corner for the remainder of his term. And they want people to take them seriously?

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Laura Ingraham’s Tea Party Dementia: “We Don’t Really Protest”

Laura Ingraham is a Fox News contributor and frequent guest host for Bill O’Reilly. Her deep-seated, ultra-conservative views are embraced by right-wingers in media and politics. So it is not surprising that her commentaries are riddled with falsehoods and rife with animosity. For example, in response to the the Eric Garner tragedy, she recently made an asinine suggestion that President Obama be fitted with a body camera. Apparently she believes that the activities of all African-Americans should be monitored at all times.

However, Ingraham may have just exceeded her previous threshold for lunatic declarations when she told a listener to her radio program not to expect conservatives to hit the streets in protest of Obama’s reign of tyranny:

Ingraham: I don’t think our people go in the streets. You know why? Because our people are working and they have to support families. We don’t do that. We don’t protest. That’s just not in the DNA of conservatives. We don’t really protest.

First of all, let’s not ignore that Ingraham just insulted every American who ever participated in democracy by attending a protest. She regards everyone who marched with Martin Luther King as unemployed vagrants who abandoned their families. She believes that anyone who stood up to oppose unlawful wars, or the poisoning of our planet, or gross miscarriages of justice, or any number of other social ills, as lacking responsibility and values. She doesn’t understand that protests are an expression of American ideals and an exercise of freedom.

What’s worse is that Ingraham seems to have lost all touch with reality? Her assertion that conservatives don’t protest makes one wonder who it was hollering at all those town halls a few years ago. Who was it that showed up for the Fox News sponsored, anti-tax Tea Party rallies dressed in Revolutionary War era costumes and carrying confederate flags? Who was it hoisting those signs that demanded that government keep its hands off of Medicare during the ObamaCare protests? Oh yeah … it was conservatives. And not just random right-wingers either. It was Laura Ingraham herself.

Laura Ingraham

Yes, that is Ms. Ingraham at a rally to oppose ObamaCare in Washington, D.C. Apparently she is giving a speech to a crowd of unemployed family-haters. Ironically, Ingraham and her audience are actually attempting to harm families by preventing them from getting affordable health insurance. They are demonstrating against a reform that allows parents to keep their children on their policies longer. They are pushing to permit insurance companies to decline coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition. That is not exactly an agenda that speaks to supporting families.

Ingraham needs to apologize to everyone who has made personal sacrifices in order to petition their government for redress of grievances (look it up Laura. It’s in the Constitution). She especially needs to address those on her own side who must be wondering what the hell she’s talking about. And she may want to see a medical professional herself to inquire as to her apparent amnesia. Lucky for her, it’s covered by ObamaCare.

On Immigration: Republicans Have No Clue What The American People Want

Last week President Obama defied the wild-eyed yammering of Republicans who claimed that any executive action addressing immigration reform would be be unconstitutional and mark him as a lawless tyrant who is thwarting the will of the American people. The President ignored their rancorous grumbling and announced a reasonable plan of prosecutorial discretion that has been invoked by every president for the past fifty years, and which 135 experts agree is legal. Not to mention, it is in keeping with our nation’s longstanding values of inclusion and opportunity.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

Notwithstanding these facts, the GOP is so fixated on opposing anything that this president does, they took their positions to the media and brazenly lied. With characteristic lock-step unity, they insisted that they knew what Americans want and that Obama was flouting their clearly expressed wishes. Here is a sampling of their interpretation of the public mood:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz: This last election was a referendum on amnesty. And the American people overwhelmingly rose up and said, no, we don’t want lawless amnesty.
  • John Boehner: By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left.
  • Mitch McConnell: If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act.
  • Sarah Palin: [Obama is] betraying our trust [by going] against the wishes of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: The American people rebelled against the President’s executive amnesty.
  • Rick Santorum: This unilateral action sends a message that the President believes his opinion should supersede the will of the American people and democratic process.

These statements could not be more definitive in their estimation of what the American people think about Obama’s executive action on immigration. They could also not be more wrong. Where these wingnuts got these ideas is a complete mystery. It certainly doesn’t reflect either the exit polling following the election earlier this month. Nor does it reflect the more recent polling that spelled out the precise conditions of the policy. Hart Research found that…

“…voters overwhelmingly backed President Obama’s move: 67 percent viewed it favorably, while just 28 percent viewed it unfavorably. The support was fairly bipartisan, with 91 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 41 percent of Republicans viewing the executive action favorably. Among Tea Party Republicans, however, 64 percent opposed the policy while just 30 percent viewed it favorably.”

Setting aside the Tea Party (always a good idea), it is clear that Obama’s views are more aligned to those of the American people than with the bombastic and presumptive Republicans. And not only do people support the President’s action, they agree that he is acting within law by 51% to 41%.

What is most curious about this whole debate is that the GOP has such hatred for the executive action Obama took, but they refuse to do the simplest, quickest thing to nullify it. All they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead the GOP talk of blocking every bill and presidential nominee that comes before them. They threaten to file lawsuits that would take years to wind their way through the courts and would be moot by the time they were heard. And they even raise the specter of impeachment, another ultra-drastic response that would take months and accomplish nothing but making Joe Biden the next president.

In conclusion, Obama is not acting like a tyrant and Americans don’t buy the criticism of him as one. However, Americans do favor his approach to immigration reform by wide margins despite the protestations from the GOP. The only thing that Republicans have to gain from their current strategy is a generous pension after they are retired from public service in 2016. We wish them luck.

The Racists In The Tea Party Are No Longer “Proud To Be A Teabagger” (w/Classic Video)

A couple of days ago President Obama spoke at a town hall in Los Angeles to a group of young, tech entrepreneurs. His prepared remarks enumerated some of the economic and social successes of his administration. But he also took questions from the audience, including some that led into a bit of politics.

In one particularly notable exchange, the President observed a serious flaw in the devolution of the Republican Party.The question addressed ways “to encourage more immigrants with technical skills to be able to work legally in the United States?” Obama responded at length about the numerous contributions of immigrants to America. Then he wondered aloud about the Republican Party’s hostility to people and policies that the nation needs to progress.

“it’s anybody’s guess how Republicans are thinking about this. If they were thinking long term politically, it is suicide for them not to do this. Because the demographics of the country are such where you are going to lose an entire generation of immigrants who are looking around and saying, you know what, that party does not seem to care much about me and my life. And I think the smarter Republicans understand this. Short term, though, they’ve got a problem, and the Tea Party and others who oftentimes express virulently anti-immigrant sentiment.”

Obama on Immigration/Tea Party

By facing head-on the inherent racism of the Tea Party (which is really just another faction within the GOP). Obama has embraced an observation that has been all too apparent to anyone paying attention, but often was left unsaid. Earlier this year News Corpse documented the overt racism infecting the right-wing after Fox News asked for some evidence of it.

Fox News - Tea Party Racism

But that wasn’t the only hit the Tea Party took that day. During a gubernatorial debate in Connecticut, the GOP candidate alluded to an article that criticized Democratic incumbent Dannel Malloy. This prompted Malloy to provide more information about the publisher of the article saying

“The publication you’re talking about is a right-wing tea bag organization. You know it. I let you repeat the same story twice. Why don’t you tell the whole story when you tell stories?”

That accurate characterization set off yelps of hurt feeling by right-wingers, including those at the rag in question, the National Review. Contributing editor Jim Geraghty complained in a tweet…

“Remember when ‘Tea Bag’ was considered an obnoxious thing to say? Can I call the governor of Connecticut a ‘Left-tard’ now?”

Of course, the right has been using derogatory language against the left freely for years. This may be the first time they asked for permission. The NR’s publisher, Jack Fowler, joined in the whine-fest with a column condemning Malloy’s use of the Tea Bag label. However, what all of these crybabies forget is that Teabagging was a term that was originally adopted and promoted by the Tea Party. Even an article in the National Review, dating back to December of 2009, affirmed the term’s derivation saying…

“The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was ‘Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.’ A protester was spotted with a sign saying, ‘Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.’ So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.”

And that’s not all. The dean of rightist commentators on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer, referred to “tea bag demonstrations” during a segment of the network’s signature news hour, Special Report, back in October of 2009. Fox’s Tea Party correspondent, Griff Jenkins, who actually rode around on the Tea Party Express bus for the summer, was also known to use the term. But the most blatant embrace of the terminology came in the form of a slickly produced video that proudly declared “I’m proud to be a Teabagger.” It consisted of a variety of allegedly average Americans taking the pledge of pride in the term.

Consequently, it’s somewhat disingenuous of them to feign outrage when somebody utters the words to which they previously swore allegiance. The Tea Party owns Teabagging, but what’s worse is that they own the racism and ugliness that has been a hallmark of their movement. And as the President said, it is political suicide given the demographic changes that are taking place in the country. Without significant reforms, it is only a matter of time before those changes engulf the GOP and make it an irrelevant footnote in future elections.

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Tea-Bola Infects The GOP: Symptoms Include Secession Obsession And California-itis

Today’s Republican Party is very, very sick. They are exhibiting symptoms of acute cognitive failure and an inability to distinguish fantasy from reality. This severe case of Tea-Bola is what accounts for their insistence that the federal government keep its hands off of Medicare; and their denial of Climate Change despite 97% of scientists affirming it; and their perception of a collapsing economy that has actually grown significantly.

The GOP, driven by its Tea Party caucus, is obsessed with repealing a health insurance reform plan that has resulted in lower costs and a substantial decrease in the number of uninsured Americans. They incessantly shout “Benghazi” as if they were suffering from a perverse form of Tourette’s Syndrome. And they want so badly to impeach President Obama that they have forgotten to establish any rationale for such a blatantly deranged legal overreach. Indeed, they are slipping away into wingnut delirium and there doesn’t seem to be any cure.

Tea-Bola

The latest manifestation of the right’s raving lunacy is illustrated in a poll conducted by Fox News (who is both suffering from, and spreading Tea-Bola). The Fox poll asked a question that reveals just how on target Jon Stewart was when he yelled at right-wing hypocrites, with exasperation, “Fuck you and your false patriotism.” The questions hinges on the notion of secession by one or more states. There have been several episodes of pseudo-patriotic Republicans articulating a desire for the United States to break apart, or for their state to secede. And now we have a survey that puts the matter into partisan perspective.

The poll asked: If your state were to hold an election on whether or not to split off from the United States, how would you vote? Democrats, at 4%, weren’t too keen on the idea, but three times as many Republicans (12%) favored it. However, it was the Tea Party that really lapped it up with 23% opting for secession. So much for American exceptionalism.

In another question, the divide was even more stark. The question asked was: Are there any states that you would vote out of the United States if you could? This wording is somewhat more hostile. It no longer wonders whether you would want to leave America yourself, but whether you would like kick out some other state. The party breakdown was: Democrats: 13%; Republicans: 21%; and a full third of the Tea Party contingent (34%) were firmly committed to banishing some other state from the land of the free.

The Tea Party’s favorite state to excommunicate is one that they frequently attack as a bastion of socialism and/or wacky secular heathens. To no one’s surprise it is California that was chosen by 83% of the Tea Party martinets of virtue. That’s six points higher than Republicans as a whole.

The incomparable idiocy of their blind hatred ignores the fact that California, by itself, accounts for about 13% of the nation’s GDP. If booted from the union it would become the sixth richest country in the world. It has all of the assets required to guarantee its ongoing prosperity, such as abundant natural resources; a diverse economy that includes agriculture, manufacturing, energy, technology, entertainment, and tourism; 800 miles of coastline and ports for access to the world’s trade routes; numerous defense plants and military installations; and an affluent population for its tax base. Let’s face, the U.S. needs California more than California needs the U.S.

If the GOP/Tea Party had its way they would end up with a much poorer America. California is a net positive contributor to the federal budget, getting back only 87 cents for every dollar paid in. Compare that to the Tea Party utopia of Mississippi where they mooch $2.47 for each dollar paid. And if the Teabaggers crusade extended to their second choice for banishment, New York, they would lose even more. New York is another prosperous (and Democratic) state that gets only 72 cents back on each dollar paid to the feds. The two-state combination of California and New York account for nearly a quarter (22%) of the entire nation’s GDP.

This display of stupidity extends to other questions in the Fox poll. For instance, when asked: How concerned are you that the Islamic extremist group known as ISIS will try to launch an attack on U.S. soil in the near future? Democrats had a reasonably healthy concern of 39%. Republicans were a bit more nervous with 59%. But the Tea Party are shivering in their bunkers with 76% consumed by the fear they’ve been fed by Fox News.

This may partially explain the serious diversion from reality that exists in the American electorate. The same poll shows that Obama’s approval rating is currently at 40%. That’s surprisingly low for a president who presided over the nation’s recovery from the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression; who disposed of Osama Bin Laden; and who signed the first major health insurance reform bill.

And yet Obama’s low rating is a drag on Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm election. Polls show that many of the battleground states are perilously tight, with Republicans leading in some. But while Obama is riding around in the low forties, Republicans in Congress are floundering at 23%, almost half of Obama’s placing.

So why are voters considering casting their votes for Republicans whom they like much less than Obama and the Democrats? The answer is that the polling is counting “likely” voters. When a broader group of registered voters, or all eligible voters, are surveyed, the Democrats come out ahead. So the problem here is that Democrats are not considered likely to vote. That makes turnout for this year’s election the most critical objective. If Democrats vote in ratios comparable to Republicans, Democrats will win.

Of course, Republicans are doing everything they can to suppress voter turnout, and particularly to suppress Democratic turnout. They have been implementing voter ID laws that do nothing to prevent fraud, but are deliberately aimed at preventing Democrats from exercising their right to vote. Republicans are spending unprecedented sums on negative and dishonest advertising, largely bankrolled by the Koch brothers and other baldly partisan operatives.

The GOP/Tea Party wants very badly to block your ability to cast a vote. If you allow them to do that you are, in effect, aiding their cause. You are succumbing to their tactics. You are their bitch.

Shameless self-promotion…
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It’s time to stand up for something positive, as opposed to the relentlessly negative harping of the right. A Republican senate is not a symbolic victory for the other side. It means that every chairman of every committee will be a Republican. It means a senate filled with Darrell Issas and Louis Gohmerts and Michelle Bachmanns deciding what legislation will be considered and what phony investigations will be pursued. It will put more power in the hands of Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. It will almost certainly result in an attempt to impeach the President.

But it doesn’t have to end that way. There are more of us than there are of them. All we have to do is vote. It isn’t that hard. You can register online in many states, and you can vote through the mail. Just fucking do it. Otherwise some toothless, tea-swilling, racist, moron will vote in your stead. The polls are all consistent. If we vote, we win. We can overwhelm their “likely” voter paradigm by simply showing up. And if we do, we beat back the Koch brothers, the GOP elitists, the Tea Party dimwits, and the cynical media that thinks YOU are too stupid to act in your own best interests.

As it turns out, voting is the cure for Tea-Bola.

Ben Carson Reveals Himself To Be A Delusional Conspiracy Theorist On Fox News Sunday

This weekend Fox News Sunday interviewed the Tea Party flavor of the week, Dr. Ben Carson. The interview (video below) was notable for some of the uncharacteristically clear-headed questions from host Chris Wallace that exposed Carson as the extremist nut case that he is.

Ben Carson

Wallace introduced the segment by noting that Carson has made some controversial remarks for which he will be held to account. That is an understatement, to say the least. Comparing ObamaCare to slavery, and America to Nazi Germany are not your conventional campaign slogans. Wallace even told Carson point blank that “I think you would agree that, at best, your a distinct long shot.” But the statement that Wallace singled out was when Carson warned that, somehow, the 2016 election would be canceled. It was a profoundly stupid notion without any rational foundation, which Wallace seemed to recognize when he asked his question.

Wallace: You said recently that you thought that there might not actually be elections in 2016 because of wide spread anarchy. Do really believe that?

Carson: Well, I hope that that’s not going to be the case, but certainly there is the potential because you have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt, a very unstable financial foundation, and you have all these things going on like the ISIS crisis, that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way, and in a logical way, there is no telling what could happen in just the matter of a couple of years.

Huh? There is a potential that democracy will be dispensed with because of the national debt and ISIS? What in holy hell is he talking about? The United States and its democratic system has endured for over 200 years, through economic catastrophes, civil and world wars, Nixonian corruption, and assassinations. Yet Carson thinks that it may all soon be over because of our present economy (with it’s soaring stock market, record profits, and low unemployment), and a band of desert rats 8,000 miles away?

It is stunning that anyone would take this man seriously as a candidate for president. But the party that has previously placed at the top of their presidential wish list people like Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin, is just the party to hoist Carson’s flag. He recently placed a close second (after fellow Tea-publican Ted Cruz) in a straw poll by attendees of the right-wing, evangelical Values Voters conference.

For a party that vehemently castigated President Obama as lacking the necessary experience to be president when he launched his campaign, the Republicans have an intense infatuation for candidates with even less experience. Wallace also addressed this hypocrisy in the interview with a cleverly worded question.

Wallace: After looking at Barack Obama and what’s happened with his lack of political experience in the last six years, wouldn’t putting Ben Carson in the Oval Office be akin to putting a politician in an operating room and having him perform one of your brain surgeries?

Carson: I don’t think so. What is required for leadership is wisdom.

Indeed. And the wisdom demonstrated by a political neophyte who thinks that there may not be an election in 2016, but if there is it will be dominated by voters who “have been beaten into submission,” is exactly what the “doctor” ordered, if that doctor is Dr. Strangelove.

Even the Wall Street Journal noticed that the bizarre rantings of Carson were trouble for the GOP. Columnist Peter Wehner, who served in the past three Republican administrations, wrote that “This is the kind of rhetorical recklessness that convinces many Americans that Republican leaders are extreme, irresponsible, and fundamentally unserious.” […and that…] “Dr. Carson’s comments are evidence of a political mind that is not simply undisciplined but also fanatical.” […and that…] “Any political party or movement that is associated with such utterances will pay a price.”

Carson recently declared that the “likelihood is strong” that he will run for president, despite his having none of the requisite knowledge or skills for the job. His putative candidacy rests entirely on his support from Tea Party zealots and Fox News who, in breach of every code of journalistic ethics, continues to employ him as a commentator despite his admitted status as a candidate.

For more fully documented examples of unethical dishonesty…
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