Republican public policy in a nutshell


You can’t buy this level of irony. From Senator Rand Paul (R-KY):

…Sen. Rand Paul claimed Sunday there was a “written policy” floating around the agency that said IRS officials were “targeting people who were opposed to the president.

When CNN pressed Senator Paul on details, his response was:

“Well, we keep hearing the reports and we have several specifically worded items saying who was being targeted. In fact, one of the bullet points says those who are critical of the president. So I don’t know if that comes from a policy, but that’s what’s being reported in the press and reported orally. I haven’t seen a policy statement, but I think we need to see that.”

It is said that the most chilling three-word phrase used at Faux News isn’t “fair and balanced”, it’s Some people say…

As in, “Some people say the administration knew about the Benghazi attacks before they happened, and did nothing“. Or “Some people say that Obamacare will wipe out health care for the poor“. Or “Some people say that human-instigated climate change is a complete hoax.

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Repeat anything often enough, and it seems to become truth

monopolyAnyone curious as to the small print on that story about the IRS targeting applications by political organizations transparently disguised as tax-exempt 501(c)4 organizations that mostly turned out to be started by conservative causes?

Remember the recent Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court? the decision that removed any sane financial cap on donations for political campaigns? the decision that has pushed our country far along the spectrum to a plutocratic oligarchy?

Yeah, that decision.

It seems that as a result of Citizens United, there was a doubling of the usual rate of applications to create tax-exempt organizations between 2010 and 2012. Such a change in the number of requests naturally sparked suspicion within the IRS, and some IRS offices began using keywords to single out certain requests.

The IRS has apologized for the issue. No organization was denied a request as a result of this profiling. No damage was done, the hoorah raised by dozens of conservative pundits and self-righteous politicians notwithstanding. However, those nabobs of negativism are demanding rolling heads and a presidential apology from That Skeery Black Man in the White House.

“Marco Rubio es un pañuelo rosa!”

Let Montgomery Burns explain it all to you:


Great Internet Truth #7

If anything preserves true representative government anywhere in this world during the 21st century, it will be transparency in the media and in government enforced by use of the internet.

From the Sunlight Foundation:


We know that at the heart of the open, transparent government we seek is ‘open’ government data that is available online and in real-time.

Government information should be as accessible to us as information about the weather, sports scores or knowing what’s going on in the stock market — and we need it to be this way so we can both hold government accountable and create new enterprise with what is made available to us.

Read the essay. It’s well worth your time.

It’s four years from 2016, and he’s already stepped in it

One of the young bucks in the wingnut bullpen, Senator Marco Rubio, gets an early start on his 2016 debacle with a GQ interview:

How old do you think the Earth is?

I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all…

(Emphasis mine.)

So, in less than one question’s answer, Rubio has

  • sidestepped the question in order to talk about what he wants to talk about
  • ignored mountains of verifiable scientific facts
  • paid homage to his billionaire conservative controllers donors
  • backed the notion of teaching creationism in science classes
  • shuffled off any responsibility for the non-answer he gave

Oh, aside from his wife, Rubio’s best friend is  Jim DeMint.

Did Rubio and Rmoney change bodies sometime over the weekend? And would you want someone who’s not qualified to read a high-school geology text running your country?

Wanna know where your Catholic tithes go?

Look no further.

Per NOM Exposed, the Roman Catholic Church and its minions in the Knights of Columbus spent $2 million to discriminate against your gay friends and neighbors. NOM itself, who gets great big checks from the Church, spent another $5 million.

That’s 7 million of your donated dollars,  American Catholics. This money should have been spent on the charities and worthy causes for which it was intended. Instead it was spent by a gang of homophobic haters who are supposedly looking after your spiritual well-being. As if.

American Catholics, why are you putting up with this? Are you afraid of the Church and what it might do…

…like this? (Here’s a hint, Lennon. It’s not just the priest — it’s the whole goddam Church.)

UPDATE 16 November: And then there’s legal defense of repeat pedophiles in Australia:

…at least two Catholic orders have continued to fund the legal defences of some of their religious members as they went to trial for the second, third and even fourth time for the sexual abuse of children.
This includes the funding of multiple appeals, hiring top barristers who charge thousands of dollars a day, and hiring private investigators.

Well-sung, and well struck!

From playwright Doug Wright:

I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights.
Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, “My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.”
It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you ‘disagree’ with your candidate on these issues.

(tip o’ th’ hat to Joe)

“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”


  • One of Romney’s top advisers, Bay Buchanan, told Buzzfeed:

“Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.”

Like any family, the Romneys have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.

And as the New Civil Rights Movement states:

So, while Mitt and Ann recognize how important it is to face health crises together, he would actually allow states to prohibit same-sex couples from having the same hospital visitation rights that he and Ann have. We’re not allowed to exercise “unwavering care and devotion” like the Romneys.

“You people”. “Those people”.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

– Mitt Romney, in a closed-door fundraiser

“…we’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life.”

–Ann Romney, in an interview with Robin Roberts

(Emphasis mine.)

Since Willard has seems to have given up winning the 2012 Presidential election, I think that just about raps it all up.

Cheaters never prosper, Willard.

Whatever you happen to think about Ron Paul and Willard Romney as presidential candidates, Ron Paul won the moral battle last night at the Republican National Convention.

Delegates from Nevada tried to nominate Mr. Paul from the floor, submitting petitions from their own state as well as Minnesota, Maine, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands. That should have done the trick: Rules require signatures from just five states. But the party changed the rules on the spot. Henceforth, delegates must gather petitions from eight states.

That’s what the hubbub on the floor early yesterday evening was about. The Paulbots discovered that the governing committee changed the rules on them, and changed them at such a time when it was impossible to make the deadline to obtain one more state’s petitions.

So, it wasn’t enough that Romney had a lock on the Rethuglican nomination; he and his cronies had to take a five-pound sledgehammer to the hand that was fumbling for keys to that lock.

As much as it pains me to say so, Ron Paul won the moral battle yesterday.

Political suicide made easy

The Republican Party starts its quadrennial political convention next week. Such conventions have two purposes:

  • nominate the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates
  • publish its party’s political platform

We all know about the candidates’ work — it has dominated political news in America for the last year. However, the far more important aspect of the convention is the platform adoption.

And here’s where it gets interesting. The draft of the 2012 GOP platform, to be submitted to the convention next week, contains the following notions:

Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.


A serious threat to our country’s constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.


That is why congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. An activist judiciary usurps the powers reserved to other branches of government and endangers the foundation of our country.

What would this mean if these and the other platform propositions were enacted into laws?

  • No civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay citizens
  • No birth control that involves expulsion of a fertilized ovum (almost all pills, IUDs, and “morning after” medications)
  • No IVF, frozen embryos, or other artificial means of conception
  • No stem cell research from embryonic sources
  • Arizona-style immigration laws
  • Reintroduction of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  into the military
  • No judicial protection for cases of discrimination based upon sexual orientation

I’m not really sure how anyone going to the Republican national convention could look at themselves in the mirror.

And I don’t understand why any Republican could think they could win an election while standing on such a morally bankrupt platform.

I hope he chokes on that answer

Wanna see how Paul Ryan answers a direct question about abortion in the event of rape?

QUESTION: Should abortions to be available to women who are raped?

RYAN: Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.

I hope he’s proud of that answer. I hope he chokes on it.