Jon Stewart explains why Rick Perry wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to Texas, and why Texan conservatives are freaking out about Operation Jade Helm. Hint: Obama.
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.”
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.
Have you ever suspected that a lot of the Republicans protesting so loudly about same sex marriage and voting for anti-gay laws might be secretly gay themselves?
Well, here’s one who definitely is: Anti-Gay GOP Lawmaker Outed After Sending Explicit Photo to Another Man.
The Forum, a North Dakota-based newspaper, reported that the man who received the photos from the lawmaker, Randy Boehning, was upset that Boehning had voted against a sexual orientation nondiscrimination bill.
According to a voter guide [PDF] issued by the North Dakota Family Alliance, the state affiliate of the Family Research Council, Boehning said he supports North Dakota’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and opposes laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. He also said he opposes “adding ‘sexual orientation’ to the list of criteria used to determine anti-bullying policies in our public schools.’”
This is one of those stories in which everybody involved sucks.
California Republican Rep. Stephen Knight was recently confronted by anti-immigrant protesters from the group “We The People Rising” at his office in Simi Valley, and the conversation got so heated that Knight threatened to fight one of the protesters.
“You told me you didn’t vote for amnesty and you did. I looked it up on the Internet. You lied to me,” a protester named Mike told Knight, before patting the congressman on the shoulder and walking away.
Knight, an Army veteran and longtime Los Angeles police officer, went over to the protester and confronted him.
“Mike, Mike,” Knight says. “Hey, if you touch me again, I’ll drop your ass. All right? Don’t, don’t touch me. Don’t, don’t touch me. Don’t touch me.”
“One more time, Mike,” he added.
Note that “We The People Rising” is not just an ordinary group; they have extensive connections to white supremacist organizations, and were involved in the ugly demonstrations in the California town of Murrieta last year, in which protesters screamed hateful insults at buses full of immigrant families. These people are so extreme they consider Rep. Knight, who is a far right conservative in every way, to be a “RINO.”
Here are some of Knight’s right wing bona fides: Steve Knight (Politician).
He supported Proposition 8, which was ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS on June 26, 2013. Knight opposed bilingual education, and voted against the images of the Confederate flag being removed from state property. Knight has consistently voted against increasing the minimum wage, gun control, and water regulations for the city.
This is where the Republican Party has ended up in 2015; the agenda is increasingly being set by overt white supremacists and xenophobic extremists.
I was amazed yesterday to read this article at Bloomberg by Dave Weigel about Rand Paul’s difficulties with the media, because Sen. Paul actually tries to pretend he barely knows who conspiracy lunatic Alex Jones is:
Paul’s careful presentation at rallies has contrasted with his media interviews, and with the attack ads from a hawkish 501(c)(4) that dig into interviews Paul gave years ago to the conspiracy-curious radio host Alex Jones. It was to Jones that Paul had said Iran posed “no threat” to America, for example. In an interview with Bloomberg News, asked whether he regretted talking to Jones, Paul demurred.
“I’ve been pretty open to doing a lot of interviews with a lot of different people,” he said. “And people want to characterize one or two of them, whether they’re on the right or left, you know, they’re welcome to do it. But I’ve been pretty open to doing interviews and it’s one way to get the information out.”
Asked if he listened to Jones’s show, Paul said that he simply didn’t listen to much news. “When I’m brushing my teeth in the morning I turn on the news channel,” he said, “but I’m busy all day.”
The dishonesty here is really quite stunning, because in fact Rand Paul didn’t just give “one or two” interviews to Alex Jones — he appeared on Jones’s insane radio show for very lengthy interviews over and over for years, and even tweeted links to Jones’s website, Infowars. For example, this tweet circulating an Infowars story about a bogus right wing conspiracy theory:
Mad a/b the weather or bad forecasts? I wouldn't complain, Nat'l Weather Svc just ordered 46k hollow-point bullets http://t.co/rKWCCPVC
Media Matters put together a video, showing Jones and Rand Paul praising each other unreservedly; in one clip, Rand Paul even says to Alex Jones about his election to the Senate, “We can’t do it without you.”
Here’s a video clip from Right Wing Watch showing Alex Jones bragging that he’s known Rand Paul for at least 18 years:
Here’s an interview Rand Paul did with Alex Jones pushing a whole raft of wingnut conspiracy theories, even suggesting President Obama should be impeached.
Seriously, folks, there’s so much of this stuff on YouTube it’s frankly ludicrous that Rand Paul would try to distance himself from Alex Jones at this point. He shouldn’t be allowed to do this, when he actually launched his career on Jones’s show by promoting crazed conspiracy theories.
The latest attack on Hillary Clinton comes from Mitt Romney, who says “Hillary Clinton is just not trustworthy.”
“You’ve seen in polls and in discussions across the country a feeling that Hillary Clinton is just not trustworthy,” Romney said April 12, 2015. “This whole story about her having erased all of her emails even though they were subject to recall and review by Congress, I think that’s made people remember that with the Clintons, it’s always something.”
This would be hilarious if there were anything remotely funny about such overwhelming hypocrisy, because Mitt Romney is the guy who lied relentlessly in his campaign against Barack Obama; at one point the lying got so blatant that one of his advisers actually stated outright, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”
Oh, and speaking of lying — if you follow the link above to Politifact, you’ll see that they rated Romney’s statement that Clinton “erased all her emails” as “Mostly False.”
Of course. The fact is that blatant outright lying is pretty much standard practice for the conservative movement these days, from the top on down to the commenters at Breitbart “News.”
If this weren’t Chuck Todd, I might be surprised that he doesn’t even bring up some of the really problematic things about Rand Paul — for example, his close friendship with the craziest conspiracy theorist in America, Alex Jones, or his statement that he wouldn’t have voted for the Civil Rights Act. But it’s fascinating to watch the pseudo-libertarian spinning and revising his earlier positions to move toward the far right.
Perhaps my favorite moment is when he says Hillary Clinton should be “calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia,” then dodges the question of whether he would do that himself.
Rand Paul’s presidential campaign is off to a smashing start! After snapping at reporters in two separate interviews this week, today he walked out on a video interview with the Guardian newspaper.
This story apparently spurred our stalker pal Chuck C. Johnson to come out with one of his smoking hot takes.
Just some more award winning high-IQ right wing journalism. pic.twitter.com/2qa1FYbeCQ
Yesterday, as Rand Paul was desperately avoiding answering questions about his stance on abortion, he tried to deflect the issue by calling out DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
Later in the day, when asked after a campaign stop in Milford about the interview, which the Democratic National Committee had sent reporters, Paul said, “Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus?”
“You go back and go ask (DNC head) Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby that’s just not born yet,” Paul said. “Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she’s willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.”
Not one to pass up an opportunity like this, Wasserman Schultz responded in a statement to CNN:
“Here’s an answer. I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story. Now your turn, Senator Paul. We know you want to allow government officials like yourself to make this decision for women — but do you stand by your opposition to any exceptions, even when it comes to rape, incest, or life of the mother? Or do we just have different definitions of ‘personal liberty’? And I’d appreciate it if you could respond without ‘shushing’ me.”
Rand Paul promptly proceeded to utterly distort Wasserman Schultz’s reply, because that’s how the right wing rolls.
“It sounds like her answer is yes, that she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby,” Paul said.
“Debbie’s position, which I guess is the Democratic Party’s position, that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine, I really think most pro-choice people would be uncomfortable with that,” he continued.
Of course, that’s not what Wasserman Schultz said; not even close. She stated a very sensible position, that women and their doctors should be the ones to make this decision, not government. But in the twisted world of the Republican Party, demonizing your opponents by making them out to support murdering infants is just standard practice these days.