Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Eye Recommend --- Yet Another Obamacare Repeal Vote?

what eye thynk:  I really thought we had put this behind us.  In 2014, Republican candidates were admitting that trying to explain to their constituents why losing their newly acquired health care was a good thing wasn't going to win them any votes.  Maybe, they seemed to be saying, it was time to give up the multiple attempts to repeal the President's signature law. 
Well, I was wrong.  Now that the GOP has the majority in both chambers, they're back at it again--and constituents be damned. 
Yesterday, since there is nothing pressing on the Congressional calendar, (cough) Republican lawmakers decided to give it another shot...this time with a twist.
It's hard to say with confidence exactly how many times congressional Republicans have voted to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act... We know that in each instance the vote served no practical purpose...

...The Associated Press reported yesterday:  House Republicans advanced legislation Tuesday to dismantle President Barack Obama's health law that could actually reach the president's desk.

The House GOP has voted more than 50 times to repeal all or parts of the health law.  Almost all the bills died in the Senate.  But this time, Republicans are using a special process that prevents Senate Democrats from blocking the legislation.

The process is called the 'budget reconciliation process'...that allows budget-related bills to be considered in both chambers while prohibiting Senate filibusters.

In other words, GOP lawmakers have already voted several dozen times to gut the U.S. health care system but this will likely be the first time they'll force a presidential veto on the matter...

...On the surface, the endeavor is just raw partisanship--GOP lawmakers want to be able to boast to their rabid base that they tried, repeatedly, to repeal "Obamacare."  But just below the surface, congressional Republicans see this as a dry run of sorts.  They believe that there's a real chance that in 2017, Americans will have elected a Republican which point GOP officials will need a plan to tear down the health system currently in place.

It makes this year's gambit a proof-of-concept test.  If they can use reconciliation to repeal all or part of the ACA now, they can simply repeat the process two years from now...

...The reconciliation process is only intended for bills that reduce the deficit, which is a problem for the Republicans since ACA repeal would do the opposite.  But they intend to move forward with the plan anyway.
Because rules don't apply to them, you know.
It should go without saying, but it's probably worth emphasizing that the Affordable Care Act is working very well; it's increasingly popular; and it's withstood Supreme Court challenges.  There's simply no credible reason to pursue a repeal crusade...

And yet, here we are.

Postcript:  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said yesterday that by going down this course, Congress can "start working toward a more affordable, higher-quality, patient-centered system.
Gee, where have we heard that before?

Just ask anyone at Hewlitt-Packard.

The Truth Behind Fiorina's (Not from Planned Parenthood) Video

Lexi Oliver Fretz gave birth to a son two years ago.  He was born prematurely at 19 weeks and only lived a few minutes.  She and her husband named him Walter; and made a video record of his short life which has been used without permission by anti-abortion activists.

MSNBC compared the video Walter's family made to the one Carly Fiorina's Super PAC, CARLY for America, is distributing as proof of Ms. Fiorina's claim that a Planned Parenthood clinic kept an aborted fetus alive in order to harvest the brain. The videos are identical--minus the callously added audio, of course.

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts spoke to Ms. Fretz by phone yesterday as reported by the conservative site

The interview made it very clear that the Fretz family video was used without permission.  

Roberts: "Lexi, let me ask you again.  Did anyone reach out for permission to use Walter's picture in an anti-abortion video?"

Ms. Fretz:  "Not directly no. (They) pulled it from another article, interview I had done previously last year for the Daily Mail."

Roberts:  "And so no one from their organization reached out and said we'll be using this image in an anti-abortion video aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood or putting Planned Parenthood in a false light?"

Ms. Fretz: "Not before it was released, no... (but) we are trusting that He is going to take care of use and use Walter for His good."

Later in the interview...

"Roberts:  "Lexi, do you hope that the organization that put together this video reaches out and apologizes to you or offers any sort of explanation?"

Ms. Fretz: "No, I have talked to them directly and we've cleared the air and my husband and I are fine that it's been used."

Now that the truth about the (not from Planned Parenthood) video is in the open, MSNBC asked the Fiorina campaign to comment on the obvious proof that neither Ms. Fiorina nor her Super PAC were truthful when they attributed the footage to PP.  Their response:  "We have no comment."

eye'm thynkin':  Carly Fiorina and her political organization are liars.  Nothing new there.

As for Lexi Oliver Fretz and her husband, I appreciate that they are anti-abortion.  I sympathize with their loss of Walter.   

I could respect if the video had been used in an attempt to persuade a woman to reconsider a second trimester abortion. "This is what a fetus looks like at 19 weeks."  But I cannot understand how the Fretzes are seemingly A-OK with their precious son's image being used to perpetuate a lie. 

Justifying the lie by saying you trust God will use it " for His good" may sound like a pious Christian attitude; but it is, in fact, breaking the third Commandment: "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."  Under the Law of Moses, a person is guilty of profaning the name of God when they lie by His name.  The perceived loftiness of the your goal does not give you a freebie in the don't-lie-in-my-name game.

The short version:  God does not like liars...period.

September 30 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Kentucky Republican: I Have a 1st Amendment Right to Accept Bribes from Lobbyists
m'eye thoughts:  2015 Republican lawmaker thinks 1992 ethics laws are an outdated relic of the last century.  
2 - Found - The Source of Carly Fiorina's Fetus Claim
It's a private record of a premature birth where the infant lived only a few minutes. The baby's mother, Lexi Oliver Fretz, who is pro-life and has no intention of asking the Fiorina campaign to stop using the private images, says no one talked of harvesting anything. 
3 - GOP Leader Accidentally Tells the Truth About Benghazi Committee 
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R), who is likely to be the next Speaker, literally told Fox this morning that the Select Committee on Benghazi has nothing to do with investigating the death of four Americans and everything to do with beating Hillary.
Go to Political Pollution 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September 29 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Cruz Sternly Rebuked by GOP
m'eye thoughts:  Senate Republicans close down Ted's attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. No tears were shed at my house.
2 - Limbaugh Sees Liberal Plot in Mars' Water
If there were a liberal plot to make conservatives look ridiculous, Limbaugh would be the first person I'd suspect of being in the left's employ.
Go to Political Pollution 

Fiorina Bending Super PAC Rules to Breaking Point?

In June the Fiorina Super PAC "Carly for America" was re-registered as "CARLY for America."  The reason was fairly simple.  As reported by the Washington Post, "FEC rules state committees can only use a federal candidate’s name if they’re authorized by that candidate, something super PACS, by rule, cannot be since they’re supposed to be independent."

So how is Ms. Fiorina getting away with using her name as part of her Super PAC's title?  By claiming that CARLY is an acronym for "Conservative Authentic Responsive Leadership for You."

what eye thynk:  The rest of the Grand Old Party presidential field should be jumping on this bandwagon any day now. 

Donald Trump:
     Dummies Only Now Always Like Donald, The Republican Ugly Master Pin-up

     Just an Everyday Bush

Ted Cruz:
     Texas' Egotistical Devoted Canadian for Religious Ugly Zealotry

Marco Rubio:  
     Really an Underdog But I'm Oblivious

Ben Carson:  
     Brains aren't Essential Now Cuz All Republicans Say Only No

Mike Huckabee:  
     Has-been Un-electable Christian Kantankerous Bible Evil Elf

John Kasich: 
     Just Obviously Have Need to Keep Asking Suckers If they Could Help

Rand Paul:  
     Really Another Non-viable Dilettante

Chris Christie:
       Conservative Hypocritical Republican Ignorant Stupid Talk It's Everywhere

Lindsey Graham:
      Lo! I've Never Done Something Enviable Yet Good Republicans All Have Admired Me

My work here is done; but, please, carry on without me.

House Planned Parenthood Hearing's "Gotcha" Moment Didn't Go Exactly As Planned

"Planned Parenthood President Cecile doubt expected a contentious hearing today when she appeared before the House Oversight Committee.  But (what) she probably didn't expect is what Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) had in store for their exchange...

...The Utah Republican put a chart on display, purporting to show that over the last decade, the number of prevention services provided by the health care group has steadily declined, while the number of abortions has steadily increased...

...When Richards said she'd never seen it before, Chaffetz replied: 'It comes straight from your annual reports.'

Moments later, Richards shot back: 'My lawyers just informed me that the source of this information is Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group.  I would check your source.'


...It apparently didn't occur to Chaffetz to actually look at the darned thing--it literally says, 'Source: Americans United for Life,' in all capital letters, on the chart he was so excited about."

eye'm thynkin':  I've copied Chaffetz' chart and an honest rendering of the same numbers below.  If you look at them carefully, you will see that Mr. Chaffetz' chart conveniently neglects to include a Y axis, so the creators could plot the numbers anywhere on the graph they chose, which allowed them to make it appear that the number of abortions performed (327,000) was much larger than the number of health screenings provided (935,573)."

Note: The chart on the left has no Y axis, numbers can be put wherever the chart creator wants in order to enforce the point he wishes to make.  The chart on the right, with a Y axis added uses the same figures, but tells an entirely different story.

As for why cancer screenings have gone down, Ms. Richards pointed out that "some of the services...dropped in frequency because of changing medical standards about who should be screened and how often."

A third chart, which includes all the health care services provided by Planned Parenthood compared to the abortions it performs gives an even clearer picture:

Thank you to Mother Jones for the charts.

Read more at MSNBC

Ted Cruz & Carly Fiorina...Republican $ Bedfellows?

"On June 18, a donation of $500,000 was made to (CARLY for America Super PAC) by Keep The Promise I.  Not only is Keep The Promise I a generous contributor who believes in Fiorina's presidential aspirations enough to fork over half a million dollars--it also happens to be a SuperPAC set up to fund a political rival of Fiorina's and fellow presidential candidate, Senator Ted Cruz.

Why would anyone seeking the presidential nomination for the Republican party donate such a large sum to a competitor?  No one currently knows the answer, but it is a question to which the FEC is actively seeking an answer.

In a letter sent to Keep The Promise I on September 21, the FEC requested an explanation be given for the disbursement of funds to CARLY for America, and that 'Failure to adequately respond by (October 21) could result in an audit or enforcement action.'"

eye'm thynkin':  Money donated to a Ted Cruz Super PAC gets funneled to the Carly Fiorina campaign; but I'm sure it's totally legit--you know, an unfortunate accounting error.  Any day now we should read that the Cruz Super Pac is claiming the FEC request for information is just another liberal plot to make Republican candidates look bad. (As if they need any help.)

Read more at Anti-Media

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Shell Oil Abandons the Arctic
m'eye thoughts:  Good news!  Everyone is saying Shell or some other company will be back eventually; but I'm happy to take SOMEday over TOday.
Go to Political Pollution 

Opus, on to the White House...

...not really so far off from what we have now.

Monday Quote for September 28

If you've been an even semi-conscious human being in the U.S. over the past few weeks, you are aware of Carly Fiorina's blatant lie about a video she says she saw--a video that everyone else agrees does not exist--that was taken at a Planned Parenthood clinic.  (If the video existed, I can't imagine that one of the anti-abortion groups would have missed the opportunity to spread it all over the media weeks ago.)

She has been offered numerous chances, including one tendered by Fox's Chris Wallace, to admit she exaggerated what she saw, but has stubbornly stuck to her lie.  

Now she is supporting a government shutdown over the defunding of Planned Parenthood. For someone who wants to be CEO of the United States, she remains blithely unaware of the costs of such an action.

Speaker to reporters at The Carolina Pregnancy Center on Thursday, she referenced the 2013 shutdown which Republicans supported in their efforts to defund the President's health care law.

monday quote:
"I did not think it was realistic when Republicans did not have a majority in the Senate.  But when the government shut down, what happened?  Government employees got their full pay--in essence they got a two-week paid vacation.  I'm not aware of any hardship to anyone, other than the veterans trying to get to the World War II memorial."
(Carly Fiorina, fired Hewlitt-Packard CEO and Republican presidential candidate, 1954 -   ) 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 27 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Fox Host Corners Bush for Giving Tax Cuts to the 1 Percent: 'Does Jeb Bush Need a $3 Million Tax Cut?
m'eye thoughts:  Chris Wallace brings up Reagan, Bush the First's "voodoo economics."  Jeb gets testy.  Middle class gets 2.9 tax cut, people like Jeb get 11.6 because "That's just the way it is."
How about reversing that, Jeb?  Or don't you and yours have enough $$$ yet? 
Go to Political Pollution 

Think about it... whom is God really speaking?

Pick a Subject -- Carly Fiorina Is For It Until She's Against It...Sort of

"Obamacare" --

"CNN gave some conservatives a start on Thursday after it reported that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina...supported a health insurance mandate as recently as 2013...

...Even more awkward for Fiorina, however, is her involvement with a California-based nonprofit organization that promoted enrollment in Obamacare's health exchanges."

The Foundation for Health Coverage Education, (official website name, boasts of Carly Fiorina as a member of their Advisory Board.

"While Fiorina opposes Obamacare, and would even go so far as to unilaterally change the rules in the Senate in order to repeal it, the nonprofit she advises would like more people to sign up for its health exchanges.

In multiple Facebook posts ahead of the first Obamacare enrollment deadline...FHCE informed its followers on how best to sign up for coverage through  Later that year, as the second deadline for enrollment neared, the nonprofit again told people to 'check in with for changes, dates and advice for enrollment'"

eye'm thynkin':  Just another convenient change of heart reached after much soul-searching, or a flip flop seen as necessary in the race to prove her conservative bona fides?  You decide; but also consider this is not the only example of a Fiorina double standard. 

Read more at Huffington Politics

Abortion --

"Oh, Carly.  For a woman who was so passionate in the last debate about Planned Parenthood, it seems she's much more agnostic about other organizations that she chairs.

Fiorina, the Republican presidential candidate, has served as the chair of Good360 since 2012."

(On Good360's "About Us" page, Ms. Fiorina is clearly pictured and identified as Board Chair.)

"The organization facilitates donations from companies to nonprofits by allowing the companies to donate products, and the nonprofits to select the products they need on an online marketplace.  Good360 then delivers the products to the nonprofits.

In 2013, the organization donated $18,022 in goods to the Abortion Access Network of Arizona, a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds...According to the groups website, the Abortion Access Network of Arizona 'provides financial assistance to people seeking abortions in the state of Arizona,' while the National Network of Abortion Funds calls abortion 'a fundamental human right.'"

eye'm thynkin':  To answer my own question, I'd say: Call it a flip-flop or call it a change of heart, keeping a foot in both camps while waving your conservative Republican flag to the red meat crowd is a convenient deception at best.  

A leader has to decide from which side of the line she is going to lead.  Carly Fiorina appears to want to wait and leave proof of her support--whichever side wins the argument. 

Read more at Crooks and Liars

Carly Fiorina is Not the GOP Pathway to Women Voters

eye'm thynkin': This excellent letter was published in the New York Times last Tuesday in response to a NYTimes article on Carly Fiorina and women voters. I am reprinting it in its entirety, because, well, I wish I'd written it myself.

"To the Editor:

Just because Carly Fiorina can string together several hundred words that sound coherent does not mean she may be a 'credible antidote' to (justifiable) claims of a Republican war on women. ( Carly Fiorina Offers Republicans a Pathway to Reach Women front page, Sept. 18)

Women are not merely looking for a woman to sit in the Oval Office.  We are looking for a candidate who will stand up for our rights, who will fight to ensure that we do not continue to be relegated to second-class citizenship, who will demand that women themselves get to control what happens within our bodies, who will reject economic mumbo-jumbo that will make it harder to provide for our families and ourselves, and who will provide steady, reasonable and intelligent leadership instead of this country's disgraceful 'shock and awe' militaristic mentality.

I'm glad she had a well-planned comeback to Donald Trump's hideous remarks on her appearance.  But defending oneself is very different from defending the rights of 160 million women and girls.

Rebecca Vargas
San Diego

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 26 - More StoriesYou'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - D.C. Area Bars Honor John Boehner's Tenure by Lowering Cocktail Napkins to Half Staff
m'eye thoughts:  It's Saturday...enjoy!
2 -  Photo of Durham County Black Republican Booth
I see a problem.
Go to Political Pollution

Jeb Bush's Gaff de Jour: No "Free Stuff" for You!

Jeb Bush (R) in Mount Pleasant, S.C. on Thursday
On Thursday evening, Jeb Bush (R) was in South Carolina where he took a question from a white supporter who asked the presidential candidate how he intended to attract black voters. "Look around this room.  How many black faces do you see?  How are you going to include them and get them to vote for you?"

Jeb's reply is another in a long list of Gaffs-by-Jeb:

"Our message is one of hope and aspiration.  It isn't one of division and get in line and we'll take care of you with free stuff.  Our message is one that is uplifting--that says you can achieve earned success."

what eye thynk:  I'm beginning to wonder if Jeb's heart is really in this presidential campaign at all.  He is demonstrably incapable of thinking on his feet, and now he seems to be channeling his inner Mitt Romney in an effort to make it clear that his ultimate goal is to lose the nomination.

Remember Mitt's 2012 campaign speech to the N.A.A.C.P.? "Your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of this: If they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy--more free stuff.  But don't forget nothing is really free."

Or how about Mr. Romney's excuse for his eventual election shellacking by Barack Obama? Via an audio recording obtained by ABC News days after President Obama won his second term:  "What the president, president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote."

Jeb seems to have missed, or has purposefully decided to ignore, the memo where Republican Party leaders denounced Mitt's comments, adding that they needed to do a better job of communicating with minority voters. (Or maybe there were just too many big words for Jeb to comprehend?)

On Friday, Bush spokesperson Kristy Campbell was sent out to clean up after Jeb's latest gaff, but dodged the question about "free stuff" when replying to the New York Times.  "We will never be successful in elections without communicating that conservative principles and conservative policies are the only path to restoring the right to rise for every single American."

I interpret that to mean that "free stuff," at least for minorities, is officially off the conservative table.

At least Mr. Bush is consistent.  During his campaign for governor of Florida in the 1990s, Jeb was asked what he would do for black citizens there.  He responded, "It's time to strive for a society where there's equality of opportunity, not equality of results.  So I'm going to answer (that) question by saying: probably nothing."

So here we are, twenty-five years later and Jeb Bush, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, son and brother to past U.S. presidents, thinks government assistance is "free stuff" that should be eliminated in order to force everyone to make it on their own--like he did.  

How "uplifting."

Fox' Shepard Smith: Pope's Agenda Isn't "Political," It's What's Right

"As many conservatives fret over Pope Francis' views on climate change and income inequality...Fox News host Shepard Smith chided those individuals who have criticized the pope for talking about 'political' issues....

...Smith (said), 'We are in a weird place in the world when the following things are considered political... Caring for the marginalized and the poor--that's now political.  Advancing economic opportunity for all.  Political?  Service as good stewards of the environment,' he said.  'Protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom globally.  Welcoming and...integrating immigrants and refugees globally.  And that's political?'...

...'I don't know what we expect to hear from an organization's leader like the pope of the Catholic Church, other than protect those who need help, bring in refugees who have no place because of war and violence and terrorism.  These seem like universal truths that we should be good to others who have less than we do, that we should give shelter to those who don't have it,' he said.  'They're the words of the pope, they're the feelings of the president.  And people who find themselves on the other side of that message should consult a mirror, it seems like.  Because I think that's what we're supposed to do as a people, whatever your religion.'...

...Rep. Steve King (R-IA) urged the pope to steer clear of the 'politics' surrounding climate change and capitalism, and instead focus on abortion and marriage. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)(boycotted) the pope's speech to Congress, noting that when Pope Francis 'chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.'"

eye'm thynkin':  A welcome surprise, coming from a Fox host.  

As for Steve King, if the pope changed his position on abortion or marriage, I'm sure Mr. King would re-label those issues as political too.  He only wants to hear the pope say things with which his fellow conservatives agree.

And what can you say about Mr. Gosar?  Refusing to listen to or consider an opposing view is so much a part of modern Republicanism that the childishness of it is wholly unremarkable.

Read more at Talking Points Memo

Every American woman should start her day...

...with a phone call to Washington.

I'm starting with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) 202-224-3353.  

Your Senator should be easy to identify.  If you're not sure of your Representative, here's a link:  

Enter your address or zip code and your Representative will pop-up.  It will also show you an outline of your Congressional District so you can see how how gerrymandered your district may be. Mine is a shape that does not exist in nature...the Republican attempt to keep minority voters in Marcia Fudge's (Ohio-D) District 11 all cozy in one place.

Get those dialing fingers warmed up, ladies!

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25 - More StoriesYou'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Ted Cruz Vows to Introduce Ayatollah to "72 Virgins" If He is Elected President
m'eye thoughts: And the conservative "Christian" audience cheers as he promises to bring more violence and war to the Middle East.  How Christ-like.
Go to Political Pollution 

Worth a smile...

...and a face palm.  

Jeb Joins "The Pope Isn't a Scientist" Parade

"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said he disagrees with Pope Francis' call to fight climate change and thinks the pope should not delve into the issue because he 'is not a scientist.'...

...During his three-day U.S. trip, the pontiff has made climate change a key part of his message.  In his address to Congress on Thursday, he called on leaders to take 'courageous actions and strategies' to address and combat climate change.

'I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States--and this Congress--have an important role to play,' he said.

His words echoed those of his encyclical, released in June, that extensively made the case for treating the fight against climate change as a moral issue."

eye'm thynkin':  Following Jeb's logic, I have to ask:

  1. Why is Jeb talking about climate change?  He isn't a scientist either.
  2. If only scientists should be permitted to talk about science, will Republican politicians shut up and listen to them?  Or is this where the GOP double standard takes over? For example:
  3. Why are politicians talking about women's reproductive rights?  They aren't gynecologists.
Jeb, just another right-wing politician cooking up more GOP party-speak hypocrisy with a side of Republican hubris.  Ingredients provided and paid for by the Koch brothers.

Read more at Huffington Post Politics (video)

Boehner Quits, Will Leave Congress at the End of October

"Speaker John A. Boehner, under intense pressure from conservatives in his party, will resign one of the most powerful positions in government and give up his House seat at the end of October, throwing Congress into chaos as it tries to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Boehner, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, made the announcement in an emothional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning.  

The Ohio representative struggled from almost the moment he took the speaker's gavel in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government and to hold together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

Most recently, Mr. Boehner, 65, was trying to craft a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from a growing base of conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that did not defund Planned Parenthood.  Several of those members were on a path to remove Mr. Boehner as speaker, though their ability to do so was far from certain...

...On  Friday, even as Republican members of Congress reeled from the news, the architects of the right-leaning movement cheered.

'Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none,'  said Michael A. Needham the chief executive of Heritage Action, a policy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

'Too often, Speaker Boehner has stood in the way.  Today's announcement is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington.  Now is the time for a principled, conservative leader to emerge...'"

eye'm thynkin':  Regarding Mr. Boehner -- When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  The weak quit.

Regarding Mr. Needham -- Spoken like a true Koch flunky.

Read more at The New York Times

Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 24 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Pope Francis Enters the House Chamber and Gives the Only Handshake to John Kerry
m'eye thoughts:  Pope Francis singles out John Kerry, leader of our Iran negotiating team and who was once denied communion over his stand on a woman's right to choose.  

2 - Kim Davis Says What Hurts Most is When People Say God Doesn't Love Her
So now you know how it feels; but you still continue.  What does that say about you as a "Christian?"
Go to Political Pollution

Mike Huckabee, Hate-Filled Pastor of the God of Love

what eye thynk:  Republican presidential wanna-be Mike Huckabee is nearly foaming at the mouth recently over President Obama and issues of sexual identity.  Mr. Huckabee's "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad (Week)" began when President Obama nominated Eric Fanning, an openly gay man, to fill the position of Secretary of the Army.  In typical Pastor Huckabee fashion, he focused his attention, not on Mr. Fanning's many qualifications, but solely and entirely on his sexual orientation.  (Because that's what a good Southern Baptist "Christian" would do, I guess.)

Of Mr. Fanning's nomination, Mr. Huckabee said, "It's clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America's homosexuals than honoring America's heroes... Obama is so obsessed with pandering to liberal interest groups he's nominated an openly gay civilian to run the Army.  Homosexuality is not a job qualification.  The U.S. military is designed to keep Americans safe and complete combat missions, not conduct social experiments."

Well, Mike is right on one point: "Homosexuality is not a job qualification."  So it would be good to note that Mr. Fanning comes with the type of experience that make his qualifications for the job unquestionable. 

For the record, he has served on the staff of the House Armed Services Committee, as special assistant in the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense, deputy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer for the Department of the Navy and deputy director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.  In 2013, the Senate confirmed him as Under Secretary of the Air Force, he assumed the position of Acting Secretary of the Air Force in June of that year. He is currently serving as Acting Secretary to the Army.  In short, he has served in leadership positions in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

In the words of Derke Chollet, former assistant defense secretary "I can't think of any civilian with more experience with the services, having served in senior positions in all three.  He understands all their unique cultures and processes."

Pastor Huckabee's week didn't improve when he got a look at the White House guest list for Pope Francis' visit.  It seems he could hardly contain himself.

Among the 15,000 people invited are Sister Simone Campbell, a Catholic nun who led protests against Republican plans to cut social services and urged other Catholics to support passage of the Affordable Care Act, and former Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, his church's first openly gay Bishop.  

In a Daily Caller op-ed piece he ranted: "President Obama's classless decision to transform Pope Francis' visit to the White House into a politicized cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists is an insult to millions of Catholics.  Why is it that Obama goes to extremes to accommodate Muslim terrorists but shows nothing but disdain for Christians?  This is a new low for an administration that will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history... President Obama should be ashamed of himself."

I have no idea what Mr. Huckabee was talking about when he said the President accommodates Muslim terrorists.  I doubt Mr. Huckabee knows himself; but it sure sounds good to the red meat crowd.  As for showing "disdain for Christians," if Mr. Huckabee means southern, evangelical, conservative, bigoted Christians, yes, the President has probably done that--and I think Jesus would approve.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest responded that the invitations reflected "the diversity of people in this country... There is no theological test that was administered prior to giving out tickets to stand on the South Lawn Wednesday morning."

On Tuesday, Mr. Huckabee found another news outlet willing to make air time available for him to spew his venom.  He told Newsmax' Ed Berliner that the President's faith lacks "authenticity," and that he only "pretends" to be a Christian.

"I'm...concerned about a guy who believes he's a Christian and pretends to be and says he is, but then does things that make it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith.  I'm disappointed if a person says, 'I'm a Christian,' but you invite the Pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy.  I think there's something very unseemly about that."

As Addicting Info's Shannon Barber wrote, "Mike Huckabee has clearly lost it.  He's so busy marinating in his hate that he can't see sense or reason in anything.  To that end, he is grossly unfit to hold the highest office of this land (or any public office, for that matter).  Just go away, Mike Huckabee.  Let the adults handle this.  Your tantrums are a national embarrassment."

If Mr. Huckabee hasn't yet choked on his own bile, he might want to take the time to look at Mr. Fanning's obvious job qualifications.  Afterwards he should peruse some of the Pope's pronouncements since he became the head of the Catholic church.  Pope Francis has made it clear that all people are welcome, all are worthy of respect in the church, and everyone is deserving of God's love.

From what I've seen of our conservative "Christians" and heard from "pastors" like Mike Huckabee, Protestant evangelicals aren't nearly as in tune with the teachings of Jesus as is Pope Francis.

Dear Republican Presidential Candidates...

...I'm sure at least one of you must have heard of this publication. (I'm talking to you, Ben.)

Fiorina Can't Produce "the Video," So Super PAC Creates One For Her

During last week's Republican presidential debate, Carly Fiorina went on a rant about Planned Parenthood and a video she said she saw showing "a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking," while someone says, "We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain." 

The video she talked about does not exist. 

what eye thynk:   No one has been able to produce a copy of it; and let's be honest here, if any anti-abortion group was in possession of a video even remotely like this, it would have been splashed all over the air waves days ago.  Even Fox News concedes, and attempted to get Fiorina to admit, that there is no such video.  On Fox News Sunday:
Mike Wallace: "First of all, do you acknowledge what every fact checker has found, that as horrific as that scene is, it was only described on the video by someone who claimed to have seen it?  There is no actual footage of the incident that you...mentioned? 
Carly Fiorina:  "No, I don't accept that at all.  I've seen the footage. And I find it amazing, actually, that all these supposed fact-checkers in the mainstream media claim this doesn't exist.  They're trying to attack the authenticity of the videotape."
I wondered why someone didn't simply call her bluff and ask her to prove her veracity by producing the video she claims to have viewed.  Seems I wasn't the only one with that idea.  However, constructing a video to match Carly Fiorina's "truth" is not exactly what I had in mind.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that Ms. Fiorina's Super PAC, CARLY for America, has created a video of spliced together footage taken from a variety of sources in an attempt to prove their candidate is not an out and out liar.

The one-minute video, which was emailed to her supporters, contains clips of Ms. Fiorina at the debate along with images from two anti-abortion groups who are notorious for creating graphics that have been proven false, and paired with audio taken from one of the original doctored videos (the ones that have been investigated and found false by at least five states). The Super PAC video includes--and this disgusts me beyond words--an image of a stillborn baby used without the permission of the parents.  What it does not include is any video taken at Planned Parenthood; nor does it include any footage like what Ms. Fiorina continues to claim she has witnessed.

Remember when your mom told you not to lie because keeping lies straight is more difficult than simply telling the truth? That's a lesson that Ms. Fiorina apparently failed to heed.   Candidate Carly Fiorina's one lie has just become two lies.  It ain't gonna get any easier from here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Texas Diners Call Their Waiter 'F*ggot,' Restaurant the Diners
m'eye thoughts:And this is why the LGBT fight isn't over.  Marriage equality is huge, but so is respect and common decency.
2 - Ben Carson Argued Evolution Was 'Encouraged' by Satan
How did this man ever pass a basic biology class let alone become a brain surgeon?  The only explanation can be that he doesn't believe this c**p, but is pandering to the lowest common denominator in the Republican Party.
Go to Political Pollution 

Canada Artist Copyrights His Land to Stop Oil Companies

"Artist Peter von Tiesenhausen puts his imagination to work overtime when oil companies try to enter his northwestern Albert sanctuary...

...Von Tiesenhausen has kept wells, compressors and pipelines off the three square kilometres of fields and trees--a notable feat for his location that has attracted quiet visits from pillars of corporate Alberta...

...The spread von Tiesenhausen inherited from his parents, a former family farm 80 kilometres west of Grande Prairie, sits atop a natural gas hot spot known as the 'deep basin.'  Industry has been in aggressive growth mode in the area since Calgarian Jim Gray...discovered rich geological formations in the early 1970s...

...The artist's peaceful method of fending off gas production is a basic right as well established in his field--copyright--as the legal underpinnings of Alberta's energy industry.

He accepts that he only owns the surface of his land.  The buried treasure belongs to the provincial government.  It has rights to sell the resources and make him let companies onto his property to extract them, so long as hie is compensated for the disturbance...

...Around his home and studio, his property is studded with artwork such as a-metre-long ship sculpted with willow stalks, winter ice forms, nest-like structures in trees, statuesque towers and a 'lifeline' or visual autobiography composed as a white picket fence built in annual sections left to weather naturally.

His legal move vastly increased the amount of compensation he is potentially entitled to demand from any oil or pipeline company wanting access to his place, because changing his property would be copyright infringement.

'Now instead of maybe $200 a year for crop losses, we'd have to be paid for maybe $600,000 or more in artistic property disturbance.'

Lawsuits have been threatened several times.  But no oil and gas companies have risked a winner-take-all court case that would attract public attention and start other landowners thinking...

...Von Tiesenhausen emphasizes his message in the language of corporations--money.  Taking a page from the books of business consultants, he demands $500 an hour from companies that want to take up his time talking to him about his land.  'I demand $500 an hour.  They pay.  It keeps the meetings really short and they don't do it nearly as often as they used to,' the artist said."

eye'm thynkin':  I really hope he continues to prevail.  It's a brilliant and beautiful idea.


Finding humor in the truth...

...even when it hurts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

September 22 - More Stories You'll Find at Political Pollution

1 - Marco Rubio, Women Being 'Pushed' Into Abortions for Fetal Tissue Profits
m'eye thoughts:  Another Republican refusing to accept that THERE IS NO PLANNED PARENTHOOD SCANDAL, adds his own personal variation. 

2 - And Even Republicans Are Acting Surprised
Jeb's youngest son arrested in Florida, while another Jeb son is ignoring the law in Texas.

Go to Political Pollution 

Clueless Trump Gives National Security Address--to Phony Veterans' Group

"IRS Busts Trump's Phony Charity for Scamming Veterans -- Most of us are appalled by the things Donald Trump has to say... So it makes sense that he may have helped a shady veterans' group raise funds that does not actually work for veterans' advocacy.  (Last) Tuesday, he appeared on the USS Iowa in Los Angeles to accept an endorsement from a 'nonprofit' veterans group, Veterans for a Strong America, headed by huckster Joel Arends... According to, the group presently has $30 on hand and $318 in debts...

...Trump said, "You know, Joel and the group called and they said, 'Would you come over and speak?... I got here and they asked a couple of days ago would it be possible to come over and say a few words.  An endorsement from your group, with so many veterans, hundreds of thousands of veterans, I really appreciate that, Joel.  I did not expect it..."

eye'm thynkin':  1 - According to the Associated Press, Arends' group lost its tax-exempt status early last month. 2 - Trump's "your group, with so many veterans, hundreds of thousands of veterans" seems a bit off.  Arends group, Veterans for a Strong America, actually has only one member--Arends.

Read more at Occupy Democrats

After the event which was billed as a Trump rally and fundraiser for Arends' group, Trump tweeted: "Just finished the wonderful event on the U.S.S. Iowa.  VETERANS FOR A STRONG AMERICA endorsed me.  Such a great honor, thank you!"

"Funds raised at Trump's event appear to be going to the 501(c)4 'social welfare' group Veterans for a Strong America, not (a Trump) Super Pac.  The website selling tickets for the event states:

'Veterans for a Strong America is a non-profit organization that educates Americans about the importance of a strong military that is second to none.  All proceeds from this event go towards helping Veterans for a Strong America supporting our warriors on and off the battlefied (sic) and not to any candidate or candidate's committee."

Read more at Heavy

The 850 people who attended the "event" and who raised $11,000 were duped by Arends' and a clueless(?) Donald Trump. 

When the Facts Won't Conform to Your Reality...

...simply ignore the facts.  Or even better, hide them.  (Introduction to How to Be a Republican, Rule #1)

Pope Francis: Fashionable, Reactionary, Shrill and a Threat to American Patriotism?

American conservatives continue to attack Pope Francis even as America prepares to honor him this week.

On Friday, notorious climate denier George Will wrote, "(Pope Francis embraces) ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary... His social diagnoses are shrill. He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies... Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation's premises." 

Politicus USA writer RMuse distilled that statement to: "More simply put and typical of Republicans; Americans who honor the Pope and reject Republicans' devotion to the fossil fuel industry really hate America."  

The last sentence of the Pope's Encyclical on the Environment and Climate Change could be interpreted as a direct message to the Republican Party.  Pope Francis asks God to please "Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live."

what eye thynk: A few days ago I commented on an article about Gene Koprowski, marketing director at the Koch-backed Heartland Institute, who suggested that Pope Francis was bringing "nature worship" and paganism into the church.  George Will is just another Koch-money, big-oil sycophant who can be held up as an example of how low the right will go to keep oil money flowing in their direction...all in the cause of patriotism, of course.

What is truly fascinating, is the way in which conservative Christians are tying themselves in knots over the Church-Bible-Earth trinity.  Looking at the results, you cannot help but be impressed by the way Catholic conservatives and Protestant conservatives have reached a common point based on completely opposite methodology. 

Protestant evangelical Christians, proud of their devotion to their faith, insist that every syllable of the Bible is the exact word of God and must be followed to the letter.  They see anyone who strays from the dictates of their church leaders as an apostate.  

At the same time, American conservative Catholics, equally proud of their devoutness, have somehow reached a point in their history where calling the Pope a liar is not only acceptable but a sign of religious fortitude.   Far from exercising stringent devotion to church word, they see picking and choosing which words to follow, which to believe and which to disregard as their right.

And yet both groups see their anti-science stance as, not only religiously righteous, but the height of patriotism.  Anyone who dares to disagree with them is immediately suspect, a person of questionable American loyalties, a person not right with God.

But look deeper into every-word-of-the-Bible-is-true Protestantism and buffet-style Catholicism and their joint reaction to the science of climate change and you find the same thing: conservative politicians and oil money.  Conservative politicians who believe patriotism can only be measured by wealth, and oil money so unimaginably big that the money holders can invoke the name of God in their crusade to rape the earth and still call themselves holy. 

American conservatives seem to view pride of country as a Christian commodity over which they alone have jurisdiction.  How did we get to this point?