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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
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NYT: The Benefits of Intransigence

This scares the shit out of me ....


In fact, this minority faction — the “suicide caucus,” as the conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has called it — may be less shortsighted and self-defeating than it appears. At a time when so many officials in both parties still invoke the virtues of compromise and perpetuate the ideal of common ground on which “conservative pragmatists” can meet “moderate Democrats,” these more combative Republicans may be in the vanguard of a new post-consensus politics.


But Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who helped set the stage for the conflict, has offered a different interpretation. Those prophesying ruin “need to go back and read their history books a little more closely” regarding 1995, he said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show in July. “In the next election, 1996, Republicans held on to the majority in the House, the first time Republicans had done that since 1930, in 66 years,” Mr. Cruz pointed out. “We lost a total of nine seats in the House. In the Senate, we gained two seats.”


The most striking example of Republican opposition is the revival of the doctrine of states’ rights, historically associated with slavery and Jim Crow. There are unmistakable overtones of this past in the anti-Obamacare movement in some of the 26 states, especially in the Deep South, that have rejected the Medicaid expansion.


This is the perspective of a self-conscious minority that seeks not to build consensus but to rally the likeminded. We see it as well in the anti-tax pledges promoted by conservative groups and in the fielding of right-wing challengers to ideologically suspect Republicans. “ ‘It does not take a majority to prevail,’ ” Mr. Paul said at the conference’s climactic event, quoting Samuel Adams, “ ‘but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men.’ ”

Mr. Tanenhaus writes of "the alienated and disenchanted" being drawn in to the Republican fold by this tactic. Too bad the Democrats don't offer something to the 50% of eligible voters who don't bother. You know, something like ...

... Medicare for All, including dental, optical and hearing aids

... Strengthening and expanding Social Security

... Living wage

... Legalized pot

... Big cuts to defense/homeland/spy agency spending

... Increasing taxes on the wealthy

Not only would traditional Democratic voters show up, but so would tens of millions of the currently disaffected. We have to stand for something besides "not the Republican".

NYT: Governing by Blackmail


SUPPOSE President Obama announced: Unless Republicans agree to my proposal for gun control, I will use my authority as commander in chief to scuttle one aircraft carrier a week in the bottom of the ocean.


Today, we have a similar situation, except that it’s a band of extremist House Republicans who are deliberately sabotaging America’s economy and damaging our national security — all in hopes of gaining leverage on unrelated issues.


The stakes rise as we approach the debt limit and the risk of default — which the Treasury Department notes could have an impact like that of the 2008 financial crisis and “has the potential to be catastrophic.” Astonishingly, Republican hard-liners see that potential catastrophe as a source of bargaining power in a game of extortion: We don’t want anything to happen to this fine American economy as we approach the debt limit, so you’d better meet our demands.


In this situation, it strikes a false note for us as journalists to cover the crisis simply by quoting each side as blaming the other. That’s a false equivalency.

Who says the quality of newspaper reporting has gone downhill? Huh, who?

Behold The New GOP, Defender Of Social Programs


WASHINGTON -- Witness the new Republican Party, champion of feeding programs for the poor and federally funded medical research.

Conservatives are cheering the House Republicans’ new strategy of passing “mini” bills to reopen popular programs, while White House officials and their allies dismiss the tactic as a doomed GOP effort to escape blame for the ongoing government shutdown.

The GOP’s aim is to get House Democrats on record in votes “opposing” the restoration of spending for federal initiatives such as national parks, cancer research, veterans and National Guard programs, FEMA and the National Weather Service, the Food and Drug Administration, nutrition and feeding programs for pregnant mothers and infants, and Head Start. The strategy blithely ignores the party’s own recent history, which is one of antagonism to many such programs. Indeed, the GOP has been crowing about spending rules -- the result of the sequestration deal two years ago -- that squeeze funds for the very items the GOP now claims it wants to champion.


“This is just what Republicans need to be doing now,” said Grover Norquist, a key conservative strategist and head of Americans for Tax Reform. “You want to pile up these votes and put Democrats on record as opposing both the specific programs and the idea of compromise."

And the low-information Republican voters will believe their claptrap. Sad, huh?

So with the Federal Government shutdown, everything stops, right?

Um, no.


I am Obamacare

Wisconsin: Money out, voters in petition to add a "Citizens United" referendum to the 2014 election

Four paragraph rule exceeded with permission. Please distribute widely.


Money Out, Voters In Wisconsin Coalition asks legislators to let the people decide

The 2012 elections were the most expensive in our nation’s history, but citizens through grassroots action are rising up to say no to the big money special interests drowning out the voices of regular people. Already, 16 states and more than 500 communities around the country, including 14 counties and municipalities in Wisconsin, have gone on record calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and allow limits on election spending by billionaires and corporations.

The Money Out, Voters In Wisconsin coalition is focused on getting big money out of our elections and making sure all citizens can express their views in our democracy on a level playing field. We are coming together to call on the Wisconsin Legislature to place an advisory referendum about Citizens United on the ballot for the next statewide election. To support this, we are launching a petition drive to demonstrate the public’s support for this action.

On an issue this big, the people of Wisconsin deserve a chance to weigh in.


Dear Legislator,

It’s time to get big money out of our elections. Regular people’s voices are being drowned out thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling which opened the floodgates of unlimited political spending by wealthy individuals and corporations.

Across the state and the country, people have overwhelmingly rejected the court’s ruling by supporting referenda calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and related decisions.

It’s time to let the people of Wisconsin decide.

Please support a statewide advisory referendum asking the people of Wisconsin to instruct Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to propose and support – and the Wisconsin state legislature ratify – an amendment to the United States Constitution that clarifies three issues: 1) that money is not speech; 2) that corporations are not entitled to the same rights as natural persons; and 3) that Congress and the states can limit election-related spending to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, can express their views to one another and their government on a level playing field.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

Please consider signing this petition.

Five Cool Things Fundies Should Know About Christianity.

This is a good read, impossible to capture in just four paragraphs. Enjoy.


5. GOD IS NOT A MALE. Despite how much we may want to see God as a dude, he just isn’t. (And for all you lovely atheists reading along, of course I mean “the God of Christian Tradition” is not nor should have ever been thought to be a dude, in theory). God is described throughout the scriptures and church history to be a spirit, to be wholly (holy) other than us (i.e., God doesn’t have a body). Both Thomas Aquinas (part 1, question 3, article 1) and Saint Augustine (Confessions, book 7) will back me up on that one. The use of masculine verbiage is often allegorical. Feminine, or motherly traits are also attributed to God in Scripture. Psalms 123 uses the term mistress, Luke 15 describes God like a housewife, Hosea like a mother, and so on.

Jesus spelled backwards sounds like sausage.

4. THE BIBLE IS NOT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. If you think to yourself, “Either believe all of the Bible or none of it at all,” then you are “literally” insane if you mean “believe all of the Bible literally.” But honestly, most fundies don’t actually think the Bible is to be taken in such a way; they only see the parts they want to see as literal. For example, they may be fine thinking God created the Earth in six literal days, but they interpret “Gog and Magog” in the Book of Revelations metaphorically as “China and Russia.” They may say homosexuals should literally be put to death (or at least be banned from their Applebees after church), but Song of Solomon is just a metaphor for Christ’s love for his church (and not about how awesome premarital oral sex can be).


3. THE BIBLE ISN’T ANTI-GAY. For number 3, I’d love to expound on my own thoughts, but Matthew Vines from reformationproject.org has a video that verbalized this position perfectly. PERFECTLY. “Literally”. Watch it if you want to become a better human being. If you watch it and you have any doubts remaining, only God (or violent re-education camps) could change your mind.


1. BEING “SAVED” ISN’T JUST FOR CHRISTIANS. When backed into a corner on this issue, fundies seem to pull out a bunch of exceptions. Babies get a free pass because they are innocent, even though in the next breath they resort to language of original sin and how we are all enemies of God until we accept Jesus. Those people who never heard of Jesus? They might (keyword: might) get into Heaven because they are ignorant of the truth, therefore they are only judged by what they know. This creates the awkward issue where it’s actually beneficial to shut up and not tell them anything at all about Jesus. It might send them to Hell if they reject him. Even more awkward is that If you take away this exception then you admit Jesus’ very existence is an excuse for God to fry most of the world. Either that or God made the greatest logistical error of all time.

Is the greatest tab not working or is it just me?

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