Report: Dennis Hastert Paid to Conceal Sexual Misconduct

Republican family values
Politics • Views: 6,985

Wow. I mean, wowie. Former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert has reportedly been paying off a man for many years to conceal “sexual abuse” that dates back to his days as a high school wrestling coach.

Indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was paying an individual from his past to conceal sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials said Friday.

One of the officials, who would not speak publicly about the federal charges in Chicago, said “Individual A,” as the person is described in Thursday’s federal indictment, was a man and that the alleged misconduct was unrelated to Hastert’s tenure in Congress. The actions date to Hastert’s time as a Yorkville, Ill., high school wrestling coach and teacher, the official said.

“It goes back a long way, back to then,” the source said. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.” Thursday’s indictment described the misconduct “against Individual A” as having “occurred years earlier.”

Scott Walker Tells Dana Loesch Mandatory Ultrasounds Are ‘Just a Cool Thing’

All the chicks dig them. They’re groovy.
Politics • Views: 20,456


Displaying an amazingly horrible tin ear and that casual misogyny for which the Republican Party has become well-known, Gov. Scott Walker, a probable presidential candidate, says that government-mandated ultrasound examinations for women seeking abortions are “just a cool thing.”

“I’ll give you an example. I’m pro-life, I’ve passed pro-life legislation. We defunded Planned Parenthood, we signed a law that requires an ultrasound. Which, the thing about that, the media tried to make that sound like that was a crazy idea. Most people I talk to, whether they’re pro-life or not, I find people all the time who’ll get out their iPhone and show me a picture of their grandkids’ ultrasound and how excited they are, so that’s a lovely thing. I think about my sons are 19 and 20, you know we still have their first ultrasound picture. It’s just a cool thing out there.

“We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.”

This is a beautiful illustration of why it’s vitally important that Republicans be voted out of office in every part of American life. They’re completely lost in a fantasy world in which rolling back all the progress this country has made in women’s rights is “just a cool thing.”

It’s not. It’s not cool. It’s dangerously reactionary and stupid.

And Now, Santorum Enters the Clown Car

It’s going to be an all-creationist race on the GOP side
Politics • Views: 21,768

The GOP presidential race is looking a lot like that old circus routine in which dozens of clowns keep climbing out of a tiny car — but in reverse, because the Republicans in this case just keep climbing into the Clown Car. The latest buffoon to elbow his way in: Rick “Man On Dog” Santorum.

CABOT, Pa. — Rick Santorum, who was the runner-up in the Republican primary race four years ago but has never been considered his party’s heir apparent, is announcing his second presidential bid on Wednesday.

A former senator from Pennsylvania, who with his wife home-schooled several of their seven children, Mr. Santorum appeals primarily to social conservatives. He is facing heavy competition for those voters this year from rivals like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and the retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Santorum, of course, is yet another creationist; so far I don’t think there’s a single GOP candidate who isn’t.

Also see

GOP Hypocrisy Watch: TX Gov. Abbott Signs Bill Overruling Voters in Denton

Just some more GOP hypocrisy
Politics • Views: 20,622

You know how Republicans are always touting the wonders of local government, and demonizing big government — especially the federal government — for imposing laws on local communities against their wishes?

Well, in Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott has just signed a law overruling the ban on fracking voted into law in the city of Denton: Gov. Abbott Signs Bill Limiting Local Control of Oil, Gas.

And Abbott’s statement is a glorious example of monumental hypocrisy:

“HB 40 does a profound job of helping to protect private property rights here in the State of Texas, ensuring those who own their own property will not have the heavy hand of local regulation deprive them of their rights,” the governor said in a news release.

The HEAVY HAND OF LOCAL REGULATION, ladies and gentlemen.

GOP Clown Car Watch: The Jeb Bush Backflip: ‘I Would Not Have Gone Into Iraq’

Knowing what he knows now, would Jeb know what he knows now?
Politics • Views: 28,243

Is he triangulating because his aides let him know how disastrous it would be to still support the Iraq War at this point, or is he actually expressing an honest opinion now? Who knows! In the 2015 GOP Clown Car, not even the clowns know what they really believe: Jeb Bush Fully Walks It Back on Iraq: ‘I Would Not Have Gone Into Iraq.’

After nearly a week of confusion over his position on Iraq, the Middle East, and the role of his brother as an adviser, Jeb Bush fully walked back his position that he would have gone to war in Iraq — even knowing what we know now.

“So here’s the deal,” Bush told an audience in Arizona, “if we’re all supposed to answer hypothetical questions, knowing what we know now, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq. That’s not to say that the world is safer because Saddam Hussein is gone. It is significantly safer.”

The remarks come after Bush was asked on Fox, “Knowing what we know now,” would he have authorized the war. “I would have,” he answered, then pivoted to try and say that Hillary Clinton would have, too. Clinton voted to authorize the war as a senator, but has since called that vote a “mistake.”

Josh Marshall thinks this could be the end of the line for the few remaining Iraq War dead-enders: How Jeb Bush Triggered an Iraq War Watershed.

Mike Huckabee Defends “Renting” His Email List to Quacks

This is a VERY bad man.
Politics • Views: 21,755

GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has said some remarkably idiotic things over the past several years, but this is mind bending.

Yesterday, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Huckabee about the propriety of “renting” his email list to an advertiser peddling a “cancer cure” hidden in the bible (as reported in The New York Times earlier this year). He responded:

My gosh, that’s like saying, ‘You run some ads on CNN. Do you personally agree with all the ads that run on CNN?’

I doubt you do. I’m sure there are some for maybe, I don’t know, catheters or adult diapers. They’re not products that you use or that you necessarily believe in. I don’t hold you responsible for that, and in that same way I don’t think that people that understand how advertising works would hold me responsible for something that I didn’t personally sign up for or endorse.

Let’s take a look at the MAJOR problems here, shall we?

A) There is an ENORMOUS difference between selling products that are medical supplies and allowing an advertiser access to your supporters for the purposes of claiming passages in the bible can cure cancer.

B) Jake Tapper is not CNN. However, Mike Huckabee is Mike Huckabee. When you are a public figure who has had a career as a Southern Baptist minister, it is not unreasonable for a supporter to assume a product with a biblical tie-in is being implicitly endorsed when the pitch comes directly from Mike Huckabee.

C) Huckabee has, in fact, personally endorsed similar quackery…a “weird spice, kitchen-cabinet cure” for diabetes. Here is a still shot from his internet infomercial, also passed along to his email list.

The word “renting” is in quotes in the title of this page, because what he really did was SELL charlatans a chance to reach a large number of gullible idiots…namely his own political supporters.

This type of disgusting behavior would disqualify this man from seeking public office ever again as a member of a respectable political party. Fortunately for him, he is a Republican.

Mike Huckabee defends spamming supporters - CNN

Mike Huckabee defends Bible cancer cure scam: It’s like selling ‘catheters or adult diapers’ - Raw Story

Ted Cruz Latest Republican To Fall for Loony Conspiracy Theory

Politics • Views: 32,819

Rand Paul, Abbot of Texas, now Ted Cruz. If they aren’t directly and blatantly pandering to the nutjob Base of their party, then they are all complete Idiots. With a capital I.

I bet Harvard wishes they could just erase this particular alumnus from their ranks. What a fucking embarrassment.

Speaking at the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention Saturday, the Texas senator told Bloomberg’s David Weigel that his office had contacted the Pentagon about the exercise, which officially consists of a series of training drills throughout the Southwest for about 1,200 special operations personnel, including Green Berets and Navy SEALs. Conspiracy theorists operating on the fringes of the conservative blogosphere, however, have other ideas about what the exercise, known as Jade Helm 15, is intended to do - such as implement martial law, seize Americans’ guns, and imprison political dissidents.

Rather than squash those theories outright, Cruz apparently decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise,” he said. “We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

Jeb Bush Is a Fan of “Scientific Racist” Charles Murray

Jeb Bush and “scientific racism”
Politics • Views: 25,956


Jeb Bush, who’s currently being positioned as the “moderate” among the GOP’s 2016 Clown Car Full of Loons, said today he’s a big fan of white nationalist Charles Murray’s books.

Lowry asked Bush, “… is there any policy or anything public officials can do to help turn back what has been a rising tide of family breakdown crossing decades now?”

“Absolutely, there is,” Bush, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said. “It’s not exactly the core. My views on this were shaped a lot on this by Charles Murray’s book, except I was reading the book and I was waiting for the last chapter with the really cool solutions — didn’t quite get there.”

Later in the interview, Lowry asked Bush what he likes to read. Again, he cited Murray.

“I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I’m a total nerd I guess,” Bush said.

In case you don’t know the name, Murray was responsible for “The Bell Curve,” an academically suspect book that argues blacks are less intelligent than whites for genetic reasons; a book that gave rise to the “scientific racism” movement increasingly popular on the right wing.

Murray is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.


Jeb Bush Reiterates His Pandering to the Latino Community

Nothing will change
Politics • Views: 24,169

The right wing base will be apoplectic over this statement by Jeb Bush, of course: Jeb Bush: Give 11 Million Immigrants Chance to Stay.

HOUSTON (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush declared Wednesday that 11 million immigrants in the country illegally should have an opportunity to stay, wading yet again into his party’s contentious immigrant debate.

In tone and substance, Bush stands out among the many Republicans lining up for the GOP’s next presidential primary, where conservatives who oppose an immigration overhaul often hold outsized influence. As he moves toward a presidential campaign, the brother and son of former presidents has not backed away from his defense of immigrants in the country illegally and a policy that would allow them to attain legal status under certain conditions.

“We’re a nation of immigrants,” Bush said at the National Christian Hispanic Leadership Conference that brought several hundred Hispanic evangelical leaders to Houston this week. “This is not the time to abandon something that makes us special and unique.”

The thing is, it costs Jeb nothing to make statements like this, and may win him some votes from the Latino community, who are overwhelmingly opposed to most Republicans. (At least, from those Latinos naïve enough to believe Jeb is being sincere.) But Bush is pandering, pure and simple, and if he were to become president nothing would change in the GOP’s stance toward immigration reform.

Video: Elizabeth Warren Says TPP Deal Is “Rigged”

Concerns about secrecy
Politics • Views: 17,266


After President Obama said Elizabeth Warren was wrong about her objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, she appeared last night on the Rachel Maddow show to explain her objection to the process. In the interest of promoting a reasoned discussion on this deal (instead of what I see as a blizzard of propaganda) I’m presenting this video to you, dear readers.

I have to say, though, that it doesn’t strike me as unusual or unreasonable to keep draft negotiations of a sensitive multi-national trade agreement secret. One reason for doing so is illustrated by the reaction we’re seeing now — to prevent the deal from being undermined or even completely sabotaged by uninformed public pressure before there’s even a final agreement.

Meanwhile, there’s a detailed summary of the deal now online at the Office of the US Trade Representative; I recommend reading it for yourself: Trans-Pacific Partnership: Summary of U.S. Objectives.

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