The Watering Hole; Friday July 24 2015; Tidbits of Political ‘Pottage’

“[Man] was born and equipped as an excellent animal,
but he sold his birthright for a mess of pottage called culture
and took on fear and a whimper as a part of the bargain.”
~John C. Van Dyke

Below is one of the most bizarre things I ever recall reading (and I’ve read LOTS of bizarre stuff over the years). This one has to do with Frank Gaffney’s National Security Action Summit in New Hampshire this coming weekend (at which some Republican Clown Car candidates will be in attendance, namely Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and George Pataki). One of the scheduled speakers is a guy I’ve never heard of before; his name is John Guandolo, himself a former FBI agent who got canned because of a bit of an over-anxious libido with a Virginia businesswoman, an FBI “confidential source.” Among others.

I’ve run across some weird and perverse accusatory theses before, but not sure I’ve ever read or heard anything quite as wild as Guandolo spits out. This an excerpt from a RWW blog entitled GOP Presidential Candidates Will Appear Alongside Disgraced Conspiracy Theorist John Guandolo — baseless garbage all, but undoubtedly part and parcel to this country’s ascendent Ignoramus Ignoranus political pottage.

According to Guandolo, [former CIA Director John] Brennan decided to “convert to Islam” in Saudi Arabia as “the culmination of a counterintelligence operation against him to recruit him.” He alleged that Brennan is now aligned with Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that the Saudi government is one of the region’s chief opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood and bankrolled the Egyptian government’s suppression of the group.

While speaking with conspiracy theorist radio host Rick Wiles, Guandolo said U.S. government officials like Brennan want to “aid and abet the enemy, and that is a criminal act,” adding that Obama is similarly “an individual who is significantly sympathetic to the cause of our enemies.”

Guandolo has repeatedly called for Obama and Brennan to be removed from their offices for their “treasonous” ties to Saudi Arabia, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, Guandolo even believes that Obama is actively aiding Al Qaeda.

Guandolo wants the police to arrest members of Muslim-American affinity groups, claiming that anyone associated with such groups are “terrorists,” and believes Muslims “do not have a First Amendment right to do anything.”

As the myth-busting outlet Snopes said, “Guandolo markets the idea of an imminent, pervasive threat to security in the United States [that] has resulted from a conspiracy by Muslims to infiltrate the government at its highest levels, and [Guandolo] is paid for his ‘expertise’ through his being hired to provide lectures and training classes on the subject.”

All I can say is those Muslims must be really cool to have found the means to pull all that off! Either that or Guandolo is one more stupid and ignorant American who is willing to effectively offer “aid and comfort to our enemies” via his preposterous theories.

Speaking of bizarre, I decided the other day to get a better look at Donald Trump’s hair (I have no idea as to why, actually), so I googled Donald Trump Photos. Came up with a site that had a bunch of them, and wow, was I surprised with what I found there! Both of these are identified on that site as “Donald Trump,” but with no info as to date or circumstance, etc. Still, talk about bizarre!Trump3Hard to believe those are two pics of the same dude. Still, the eyes, mouth, and ears all seem to fit. I do have to wonder how much he spends on hair each month, and how many servants it takes to keep it looking exactly the same every time he goes out somewhere. Oh, and I wonder how often must they do the bleach job on his topknot and his eyebrows?

Maybe we’ll find out all about the hair thingee once he’s our POTUS. I, of course, will never learn the answer, whatever it might be. I’ll be too involved in learning how to get along in whichever country I happen to wind up in if “Hair Trump” should happen to prevail in 2016.

Enough of the bizarre — I’m about up to my tear ducts in political horse hockey. Thank all gods for “out there” — pictured here in a couple of brief “episodes” from the last week.

Sunflower and buds

Sunflower and buds

Reflections

Reflections

There. I feel better already.

OPEN THREAD

59 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday July 24 2015; Tidbits of Political ‘Pottage’

  1. Answer #2

    Guandolo is one more stupid and ignorant American.

    John Brennan converting to Islam has been debunked multiple times and it’s getting a bit tiresome to hear that the sky is falling when only idiots listen to talking chickens.

    The more important question should be: How many cans of Aquanet hairspray does Donald use to keep that roadkill in place?

  2. Far-Right Shooter Kills 2 Inside Theater

    Police have identified the shooter in Thursday night’s attack inside a Louisiana movie theater as 58-year-old John Russell Houser. Authorities say the man is from Alabama and had been staying at a local hotel recently. They described him as a “drifter” who had disguises in his car. They say he appears to have been armed only with a .40-caliber handgun, and that his car was parked outside an emergency exit door—indicating that he planned to get away.

    Officials say they know little about the shooter, and are requesting that people with information on him contact local authorities. A Google search for the name reveals a Tea Party Nation page registered to a person with that name. Authorities have not confirmed whether the page, registered in June 2013, belonged to the shooter. The owner of the Tea Party Nation page identifies his hometown as Phenix, Alabama. He seems to have called himself Rusty Houser on another forum in which he describes himself as “very conservative” and asks how to find white power groups.

    This is the link to the Tea Party Nation page that may be the shooter’s.
    http://www.teapartynation.com/profile/JohnRussellHouser?xg_source=activity

    • Tonight on FAUX”News”:

      Silly “libruls”. You can’t do anything about isolated incidents. He’s just a lone nut. White people need more guns and the freedom to carry them everywhere. ISIS is who we have to be afraid of. Etc…

      • Looks like Tea Party Nation is in clean up mode.
        The page has been scrubbed of data.

      • Always remember — the only thing worse than a white guy with a gun is a brown guy with a gun. Or a Muslim with a gun. Or a Jap with a gun. Or a Chink with a gun. Or a Jew with a gun. Or a Gook with a gun. Or a Spic with a gun. Or a Chewy with a gun. Etc.

        If only white guys had guns, the world would be safe. Right? Yeah, OK.😯

  3. As soon as I read the name Frank Gaffney I knew it would be weird. Gaffney has become so over-the-top that he’s no longer allowed to attend CPAC, let alone speak there.

    My favorite Trump joke to date is still Letterman’s:
    “It was so cold today the thing on Donald Trump’s head had a thing on its head.”

    • What troubles me most these days is that the words “over the top” seem to currently describe close to 50% of our population. How’d that happen, I wonder?

  4. Hmmm, you preface John Guandolo’s name with the rubbery moniker, ‘disgraced.” I’ve not yet seen any Democrat be so consistent as to also preface our ex-pres this way, specially not at the 2012 Democratic Convention. It would look like this: “Disgraced ex-president Bill Clinton.” Has a novel, truthful ring to it, doesn’t it?

    • OK. Ex Presidents disgraced: How about R. Nixon, R. Reagan, and W. Bush? As for Clinton? Nah. He was far from the perfect progressive and we’re currently regretting NAFTA, the repeal of Glass-Steagal, and undoubtedly a few other less obvious screw-ups. But disgraced? No way. That’s a label owned by Republicans since 1968 when Nixon worked to keep the Vietnam War alive — behind everyone’s back — during the run-up to the ’68 elections. That, plus the rest of his backwaters (Watergate?) describe the word “disgraced.” Also see Reagan in re Iran-Contra; W.Bush in re the false premises he used to justify Iraq.

      In fact, I’ll go you one better and state flat-out that since Nixon, the GOP has been on a downhill slide through this day, and have now essentially become little more than a neo-Nasty fascist movement, devotees of a political thesis that is about as far removed from the Constitution’s premise as one can get. Borders on treason, in fact. Is that “disgrace”? Or maybe you have another word?

      As for Guandolo, the word “disgraced” is from the title of the original post, as cited by me. He was an FBI agent who got sexually involved with several women, including an FBI ‘confidential source,’ and then he got canned because of it. Disgraced? Good word, esp. considering the absolute nonsense he’s spouting these days. This country would come out way ahead, seems to me, if we could somehow arrange to swap Guandolo for, say, Snowden. Bring the good guy home, send the seditionist turd over to Russia and let them deal with him.

      • I have a minor quibble, frugal. Just semantics.

        I would say it’s more accurate to say that Dubbya is a war criminal and our country exists in a state of disgrace because we have not prosecuted him and most of the rest of his Administration for their crimes against humanity.

        • Yeah, that works. Actually, we could swap Dubya for Snowden and come out WAY ahead — and maybe once he’s offshore ‘they’ might catch him and try him as the war criminal he truly is.

          • Dubbya just might be stupid and arrogant enough to take a trip some day; if he escapes his handlers. I hope so. Seeing a former President arrested, tried, and convicted for crimes against humanity just might convince more Americans that empires are still bad ideas even if we do have planes and nukes. There is one thing that every empire has in common. They all come to a end that is bad for everyone involved.

      • So what if Guandolo is right? How do you explain Chattanooga, St. Cloud, New York City, Washington DC, a field in PA, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Garland, TX, plus the UK, France, Italy, et al, the Middle East, Thailand, Philippines, north and central Africa, etc. Eventually, you’ll stop slamming the messenger and connect the dots. By then it’ll be too late.

        • Same way I explain the other 30,000 deaths by gunfire. Nutcases with deadly weapons, all because of a stupid second amendment that was written solely to mollify slave owners and gather Virginia’s support to ratify the 1787 Constitution. Some of the killers are retards, some are racists, some are Muslims, some are Christians, all are nuts. Oh, and had it not been for Poppy Bush’s Kuwait adventure and the stationing of thousands of troops in Saudi Arabia — a perceived insult to Mecca and Medina — the al Qaeda that grew in Afghanistan during the Russian occupation thereof would probably not have taken their anger out on the US, and in all likelihood there would have been no 9-11; and if the retarded W. Bush had stayed the hell out of Iraq, there would likely be no ISIL today, and no ISIL-inspired “terrorists” arming themselves in this country and making their brash statements.

          If the Muslim world does indeed hate us, we have no one to blame but a pair of idiots named Bush (oh, and whichever American Black Ops outfit installed the Shah in Iran after taking out the democratically elected Mossadegh in 1953).

          America has become, since the end of WWII, a nation desolate of the principles which she always brags about. It’s no wonder the country is falling apart and on the verge of total failure even as we speak. Blame the right wing’s power-hungry illogic and corruption and you have the answer to most of your questions.

          BTW, it very likely is “too late” for this country to salvage itself. Not that it matters, Anthropogenic Climate Disruption will get us in any case.

            • US Gun Deaths Since Newtown

              Using the most recent CDC estimates for yearly deaths by guns in the United States, it is likely that as of today, 7/24/2015, roughly 92,025 people have died from guns in the U.S. since the Newtown shootings.

              Newtown was on 12/14/2012. 92000 dead since than, a bit over 2.5 years. Do the math.

          • The Marine Corps barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon happened in 1983, Mogadishu war lords’ attack on U.S. special forces in 1993, the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassy bombings in 1998, etc. This is a very partial list. and all happened before George W. Bush’s watch.

            One of my college editing prof’s favorite saying was, ‘read books if you want to know history.’ CDC stats are one thing, the framework you peg them into makes up one’s personal sense of history. Your history sounds like: Everyone is good, except traditional Christian Republicans. My English prof would have said, ‘that’s a flat worldview. No depth.’

            Our society took a nose dive when the Supreme Court took the Bible out of public schools in 1963. That was akin to the Indian schools efforts to assimilate Indian children into white society. Prevalent on the Northern Plains in the late 19th & early 20th centuries, Indian boarding schools did this by forbidding Indian children to use their native language, creation myths, rituals, the works. Not surprisingly, those cultures collapsed. So has ours.

            • Could you answer a couple questions, Carol?

              1. How many predominantly Muslim countries have used military force against the U.S. Military outside their own borders?

              2. How many predominantly Muslim countries have had active U.S. combat troops stationed within their borders?

              Thanks!

            • I believe the Beirut truck bombs were presumed orchestrated by Iran, probably also Syria. Iran, who had overthrown and deposed their Shah in 1979 became a major American adversary almost immediately, having resented the American and British surreptitious overthrow, in 1953, of Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh (duly appointed by the Iranian parliament) and reinstall Shah Pahlevi who had fled when Mossadegh became P.M. The Shah returned to power upon Mossadegh’s overthrow, and for the next 25 years was a staunch US ally and, as far as Iranians were concerned, as much an enemy of the Iranian people as the US. The Shah-less Iran reacted as one might expect; remember the US hostages.

              The bottom line remains that the bulk of unrest in the Middle East is a result of American (and to a lesser degree, European) meddling, principally driven by oil, also by support of Israel at any cost. American meddling in M.E. affairs included the 1963 overthrow of the Iraqi government and the elevation of the Ba’athists, including Saddam Hussein who came to full power in 1979.

              The reality is that the US has earned all the M.E. hatred and is now paying the price. And we never learn; Poppy Bush in Kuwait – 911 – W. Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan – now ISIL — all intertwined. We reap what we have sown.

              Aboriginal Americans have been stomped upon since the first Europeans landed on the east coast, and the stomping continues thru this day. Attempts to “assimilate Indian children into white society” were, from day one of the boarding school nonsense, faux programs doomed from the start, and largely driven by advocates of the white Christian “culture” that presumes it has the right to rule, to impose its views on everyone everywhere. That attitude is flat out nonsensical. Pulling the Bible and prayer out of public schools should have been done the day the 1787 Constitution was ratified. Attempts to force any particular form of mythology on everyone is a ridiculous concept, and accomplishes nothing but causing unrest. Christianity has exactly as much validity as Islam or as any one of the many aboriginal mythologies. In fact, the Hopi view of human origins is a hell of a lot more interesting than is the Christian/Jewish/Muslim version. So is the Polynesian view, for that matter.

              Religion is one of many embedded human flaws, one that has caused the death of untold millions and the demise of culture after culture. Our species would be far better off without the hate and fear most religions demand and inspire.

        • Funny. You don’t mention Northern Ireland, Sandy Hook, Oklahoma City, Charleston, Aurora, Tuscon, Dr. George Tiller, abortion clinic bombings and shootings, a few-hundred “isolated incidents”, or the rape of Iraq and Afghanistan. The really sad part is that sane and uniform gun laws might well have prevented many of the cases of domestic terrorism we have seen but one political party has made it impossible to even broach the subject in the halls of power.

            • The Founders couldn’t have purged the Bible or Christianity our government because it was based on God’s plan given to Moses in the wilderness, Exodus 18: 21. This is the blueprint for our Constitutional government and separation of powers.

              Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, that he dispatched to the most powerful man in the West at that time, King George III:
              “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

              For the first time in history, someone stood up and told a ruler our rights come from God, not man, not a king, or despot or thug. Do you have any idea how radical that was?

              Our Founders were brilliant, and like people everywhere, flawed human beings. It should never be denied that they gave something bold to the world, the idea that our rights come from God, not man. Yes, our new government allowed slavery, just like every other government in history, but built into our governing structure were the mechanisms to do away with slavery. England and the U.S. were the first countries in the world to do this. Not Arabia (which outlawed slavery in 1961), not France, not Japan, Russia or China, but Anglo Saxons.

              From 1787 to the start of the Civil War, our country created more wealth for the common man than any before it in history. The most formidable opposition to slavery came from Christian churches, the Abolitionist movement. In Britain, William Wilberforce, after his conversion to Christianity in 1786, worked tirelessly to make the slave trade illegal. His most comprehensive bill finally passed in Parliment in 1807. Wilberforce died three days later. This radical legal transformation gave a mighty jump start to the American Abolitionist movement.

              If you only know of your country’s mistakes, you only know half the story.

            • Most of the founders were deists, not Christians. Ben Franklin was probably an agnostic at least. And, as Thomas Jefferson put it, “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

              The Declaration is NOT this country’s governing document. In the Constitution, the word root “religio . . .” is used only twice. The words God, Christ, Creator, Jesus, and Christian do not appear anywhere. The clear intent of the first amendment was to guarantee that anyone could hold whichever religious belief they wish, including atheism, all with NO interference by government to either establish a religion or to prohibit ‘the free exercise thereof.’

              There is, in short, NO Constitutional authority that allows imposition of ANY religious mythology on ANYONE, school children included. And please don’t ignore Article VI., which says “. . . no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States.”

              Religious authority of any kind has no legitimate place in the US, a thesis I support entirely. Everyone should be free to believe whatever they wish — and then shut up about it, don’t impose it on anyone else. Pray in your closet, I think is how JC allegedly put it.

              As for slavery, it was OK when the Constitution was written in 1787. In fact, James Madison’s second amendment was written specifically to mollify slave states, allowing them to use armed militias to put down slave uprisings. It was inserted to counter the main body militia clauses that placed them under federal control. The second amendment probably enabled Virginia to support ratification, thus making the Constitution the law of the land. It wasn’t until the thirteenth amendment, however, that slavery was disallowed, that black people were no longer defined as ‘three-fifths’ of a person.

              America has a sordid past in many respects, and also a sordid present in many respects. I don’t see much of a chance that she will ever find the means to act appropriately either here at home, or ‘over there,’ or ‘out there’ in the biospheric environment. As for “Christian love,” I’d say it’s a good idea, but I doubt I’ll live long enough to see it in more than a spot here and there, every now and then. Reminds me of the vitriol directed against Pope Francis when he spoke of the reality of anthropogenic climate change and of the dark side of capitalism. I’m not a Catholic (or anything else), but he spoke more truth on those two issues just this year than the entire of the right wing movement in the US has spoken truth on anything at all in the last fifty years.

            • You’ll find the answer to why the Second Amendment is in the Constitution IN the Declaration of Independence. I encourage you to reread it. Without the Declaration, the Revolutionary War would never have happened. They are inexorably linked.

              “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson. Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

              “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides…” — Thomas Jefferson`s Commonplace Book

              “The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — James Madison, the author of the Constitution, in The Federalist, No. 46

              The following is the prayer Ben Franklin gave at the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. If this is what an agnostic sounds like, maybe your definition is different than mine:
              “I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

              I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.”

            • You sound as though you are more than a wee bit susceptible to the 2A propaganda machine. I’ll try to help with some [timely — 1788] quotes by Virginians Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison (Mason and Madison, btw, were slave owners as was Thomas Jefferson). I suggest also, for background purposes, that you read Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16 which are the words that concerned many Virginians (and very likely were used years later by Lincoln).

              Patrick Henry at the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, said:

              “Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .

              “By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.”

              George Mason expressed a similar fear:

              “The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . . “

              Patrick Henry again:

              “If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.”

              “In this state there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.”

              Slaveholder James Madison, to his credit, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid:

              “I was struck with surprise when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not.”

              Henry then said to Madison:

              “In this situation, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.”

              Madison’s first draft of the Second Amendment read:

              “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

              But Henry, Mason and others wanted wording that would ensure that the STATES would maintain control of the militias to put down slave insurrections, so Madison rewrote his original draft. In it, he changed the word “country” to “state” and then condensed the wording into what we know today.

              As for Ben Franklin, in a letter to Thomas Paine he pretty much summed up his feeling on religion. He wrote,

              “There is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it.”

              He also once said, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason” which doesn’t seem to indicate that he was a man much driven by “faith.”

  5. I am familiar with the bizarre theories of John Guandolo, Our county sheriff invited him to conduct terrorism training for local law enforcement. A kerfuffle ensued.

  6. Your photos are always calmingly beautiful!
    (and, of course, your posts are thought-provoking with humor thrown in to remind us that life does have meaning, beyond the CrowdedClowCar)

      • I contend everyone in the 13 Colonies agreed the slavery was morally wrong. However, the South’s economy’s would collapse without it. Therefore, the Constitution, in 1787, starts the process of phasing it out. Article I, Section 9 states;
        “[1] The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding then dollars for each Person.”

        In the meantime, the rapid industrialization of cotton mills sweeping northern England was as powerful as the newly invented steam engine to their economy. The Industrialization greatly expanded the South’s market for one of the their premier exports, cotton. Ergo, the motivation to slow down the demise of slavery.

        Back to 1787: the Framers would not include a fundamental right to bear arms as motivator to slave holding states, if their goal was to phase out the need for such a right. Again, I urge you to read the Declaration of Independence, as Jefferson succinctly spells out all citizens right to defend themselves against tyrannical government.

        Lastly, Article 1, Section 3’s 3/5’s rule was the northern colonies compromise to the South so they would join the Union. Instead of pegging Congressional representation on the actual population, slaves and indentured servants were counted as 3/5s of a person, Indians not at all, so the South’s House of Representatives numbers wouldn’t reach a majority over the anti-slavery states.

        • “the Framers would not include a fundamental right to bear arms as motivator to slave holding states, if their goal was to phase out the need for such a right.”

          The “right to keep and bear arms” was not in the main body of the Constitution, true enough. It was added as an amendment in order to coax Virginia and the rest of the slave states to vote for ratification by assuring them that militias could, in essence, be used to put down slave insurrections.

          Sadly, it wasn’t repealed the day the of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    • Wingnuts should probably be happy and overjoyed the SCOTUS didn’t mandate that everyone convert to homosexual and that each person can only marry someone of the same gender. If that were the case, complaints might mean something other than to simply point out the dumbass intolerant hate- and fear-mongering idiots among us.

  7. Pew Research Center Poll: Republican Party’s Favorability Rating Nosedives

    The Republican Party’s image has grown more negative over the first half of this year. Currently, 32% have a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 60% have an unfavorable view. Favorable views of the GOP have fallen nine percentage points since January. The Democratic Party continues to have mixed ratings (48% favorable, 47% unfavorable).

    Gee. What’s up with that?

    • I would like to think that an honest and effective media, much less a “librul media”, would be the death knell of the GOP but I am more and more convinced that people believe what they want to believe. Facts be damned. We can’t argue with them so all we can do is outnumber them at the polls by a large enough margin that they can’t fudge the numbers, cook the books, and retain power.

      Case in point: My neighbor, Right-Wing Guy, is calling the Louisiana shooter an “Obama supporter”. I tried to explain that the one quote where he said that he supported President Obama’s reelection was followed by his belief that Obama would hasten the death of a nation that is FUBAR and deserves to die. All I got back was a dirty look that tells me Right-Wing Guy will go to his grave convinced that the shooter was, indeed, an Obama supporter.

      • It takes a mind to discern the difference between fact and fable. That explains the right wing politic as well as anything. Add in their hate and fear propensity, and bingo — definition complete. Mental midgets all.

    • Simple. Boehner’s kissed off his conservative base. We’d hoped if the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, it would slow down the runaway government train. Instead it’s heading up to mach speed.

      Democratic republics work best when the electorate understands the distinctions between factions. That’s all gone. In its place: Democrats AND Republicans now comprise the largest, most destructive crony corporate welfare gang in history. Teddy Roosevelt would roll over in his grave.

      • Nah, it’s the far right wing fascist movement — the merger of State and Corporate power (see Citizens United for further info) — that will prove to be our final undoing. As for Boner, he’s is too stupid to understand much beyond tanning creams.

        • Imagine a line extending from left to right. On the far left, write: Nazi Party, Germany. Next to that, write Communist party, USSR, and Communist party, China. Now go to the right side of that line, almost to the end, and write USA, circa 1800. And at the very far right edge of the line, write: Anarchy. Absolute societal control is left wing; and absolutely no government control is right wing. Ergo, you cannot accurately label the right as fascists.

          • No. Benito Mussolini’s (assisted by Giovanni Gentile) entry in Encyclopedia Italiana:

            “The Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with the State. It is opposed to classical liberalism [which denies] the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual.

            “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

            Hitler’s Germany was fascist, the far right wing system of government. If you doubt that, I suggest a quick google of the words ‘Nazi Fascism’ for purposes of confirmation. Fascism is the opposite of Marxism (the purer form of “communism”).

            The American right wing, esp. the Tea Party faction thereof, essentially fits the definition(s) of fascism with the exception that they do not have full power of the state. Yet. Thankfully.

            • You use the term ‘right wing’ to define what? Absolute power, I presume. To describe communism, which exerts ABSOLUTE power over society as left wing, but fascism, which uses a variation of absolute power, as right wing, has no logical connection. The word Nazi stands for ‘National Socialists Workers Party.’ That doesn’t sound like a name to define the fat cat country club set.

              After WWII the absolute worst thing you could call anyone was a fascist. That’s because most people didn’t know, and still don’t know, how diabolical the Soviets were, and how like the fascists they were. If you were trying to discredit say John Birch, or John Wayne, just call them fascists. Even though J. Birch, and J. Wayne prescribed MINIMUM government control.

              The tea party movement began in early 2009, because of Obama’s massive stimulus bill (added to the national debt that all American taxpayers are on the hook for.) It’s money to be spent decided by GOVERNMENT, distributed by GOVERNMENT, and which benefited GOVERNMENT. “I guess there were no shovel ready jobs, haha.” That was a fascist thing for our government to do. At least FDR created the Hoover dam, state park buildings all over the country, and real shovel ready jobs. What do we have to show for the $800,000+ billion stimulus?

            • Fascism is a right wing political philosophy based on Mussolini’s concept of State/Corporatism merged, individualism minimized, the official recognition of the Money = Power equation. German National Socialism had nothing to do with socialism; it was, rather, fascism with an additional layer of intense racial hatred — more than a little similar to today’s American far right political movement that has as one of its roots the concept of white superiority.

              https://frugalchariot.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/850/

            • I agree with the first full paragraph of your response…when was this edition of the Encyclopedia Italiana published?

              I don’t agree with your conclusions in the last graf, tho, because you’re making erroneous conclusions that aren’t mentioned in the E.I.

            • The quote is from ‘an article on Fascism which Mussolini wrote (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) for the Enciclopedia Italiana in 1932.’

              As for the concept of fascism in this country, the goal, well underway, of the far right movement is not to empower “the individual” but to merge wealth/money with the full power of the state. Elections are currently ‘for sale’ to billionaires (as enabled by the Conservatives on the SCOTUS in Citizens United decision). Once government is owned by billionaires, there will be no more attention paid to individuals, only to big money/power interests. Anyone who imagines that, say, the Koch bros have even a vestigial interest in the well-being of the common man will cringe when they find themselves under the boot heel of those in charge because, as Mussolini pointed out, in the far right politic of state/corporate merger, the governing policy “reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual” whereas “classical liberalism [denies] the State in the name of the individual.” Some here see liberalism as evil, as ‘communism’, as ‘big government ‘ — but if ‘big government’ helps the common man, the middle class, and denies power to the moneyed class I say go for it. Single-payer health care (Medicare for all), Medicaid (assistance for the poor), a liveable minimum wage, public education (through college, afaic), etc. all the while financed by taxing those who can afford it — fine. Remember that during WWII and until the JFK presidency the max tax rate was 90+ percent, and the rich still got richer. Turn government over to the wealthy and powerful, however, and the rich will get richer, the middle class will shrink and poverty will grow — classic symptoms of far right “conservatism,” fascism. Makes even war more popular — there’s money in it.

              One last comment in re your complaint concerning budget deficits — remember that when Clinton left office there was an annual budgetary surplus. When W. Bush took over he cut taxes, raised military spending even while financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan via deficits. When the economy essentially fell apart at the end of W’s second term, of course it took deficit spending to pull us out of it. Chances are very good that we’d have been far more successful than we were had it not been for far right “conservative” resistance with everything that stood to help anyone but the already wealthy — big banks, Wall Street, etc. etc. The right wing’s near total disdain for FDR-liberal theses is and has long been the nation’s problem, never its solution. Couple that with their racial hatred of everyone who doesn’t qualify as white (“Aryan”?) and/or evangelical/fundamentalist Christian and the mimicking of Hitler’s fascistic Germany is not very far off.

            • Actually I’ve not heard the term Corporatism. I noticed in the bibliography of “As We Go Marching,” written in 1944, about the origins of fascism, lists a book called, “The Corporate State in Action,” by Carl Schmidt, Oxford University Press, 1939.
              It must be one of the seminal books on fascism ‘for it’s accessible in toto, online:
              https://archive.org/stream/corporatestatein010773mbp#page/n5/mode/2up

              Scroll to concluding ideas, pages 174-175, very interesting. Also the first chapter, “Italy before the Fascists.” It was like a feudal society, with serfs.

          • That is the opposite of the truth. Fascism is the absolute limit of right-wing ideology in the last thousand years and no amount of harping about “National Socialists” is going to change that simple fact. In fact. It is utterly impossible to sway an argument with someone who denies that simple fact. It’s as pointless as trying argue about the benefits of a molten sand diet with someone who claims we are really silicon-based lifeforms. It’s as pointless as trying to argue about aerodynamics with someone who claims that airplanes fly because they are supported by angels who don’t have anything better to do than haul around a bunch of idiots who really think they can defy gravity through engineering. It’s as pointless as…. well? I think I’ve made my point.

            Cheers!

            • I know Mussolini and Hitler were fascists. Fascism and communism both exert total government control of their populations. The current American government is moving rapidly in that direction. Healthcare, banking, public education, the mainstream media, a little dabbling in auto making, etc. The list expands weekly.

              Here’s the best definition I ever read defining fascism:
              “Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the “problem” and therefore defined as the enemy.”
              Andrew McCarthy, “Liberal Fascism”

              During WWII, the largest businesses in Germany–Volkswagen, BMW, Bayer, IG Farben, Siemens, etc., etc., made lots of money that benefited individuals and private stockholders. But imagine for a minute, what would have happened if those businesses had refused to accept the government arranged slave labor, or make Zyclon B gas, or huge crematoria ovens. The fascist government controlled all of life – and death. They facilitated the development of big business with massive government contracts, but those businesses had NO right to refuse those contracts, or they too, would have enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

              My point about the ‘line’ was not so much what you call groups, i.e. fascist, communist, right wing nut job, but where those groups fell on an imaginary line representing the power of government. Left on the line: communism, fascism; right on the line, early USA, or anarchy.

              You can call a conservative Constitutionalist a fascist, but you will have missed my point entirely.

            • You have been deliberately lied to by people who count on you not knowing the difference between “fascism” and totalitarianism. Fascism is, was, and will always be a far-right ideology. Period. Full stop.

              You might understand this better if you read “The Authoritarians” but I won’t be holding my breath.

              http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

              BTW. If a so-called “constitutional Conservative” is using the Constitution to deny someone basic human rights? They have failed to understand the Constitution and are not what they claim to be. How else would one explain The Huckster announcing that he would consider using the U.S. military against American citizens to impose his personal religious beliefs on the entire country?

            • Pete, I think you’re confusing modern government action with the original intent of the Constitution. When I call myself a Constitutional conservative, I mean as prescribed by the Founders, NOT as it’s been practiced for the past 100 years.

            • Right-wing. Reactionary. Lassaiz-faire. Status quo. I got mine so go pound sand. also displaying a extreme, if not rabid, tribalism and nationalism. Bigots and absolutists. I.e. right-wing authoritarians.

              I understand exactly what you are saying and I’m saying it’s wrong. Fascism is a very specific ideology and it was, is, and will always be an extreme right-wing ideology. You could call George III a fascist and it would be wrong. You could call Hirohito a liberal and it would be wrong. I try to be patient but there are only three groups who would ever assert that there’s anything “left-wing” about fascism. Those groups are: idiots, bigots, and the gullible folk who believe idiots and bigots.

              You see, Carol, the right-wing authoritarians who control just about everything have, among other things, discovered that they don’t need to use words as they are defined. They can attach any scary word, like “fascism”, to any group they don’t like, like a POTUS who is a Democrat and not entirely Caucasian or anyone who dared to vote for him, and their poor followers will simply believe it as long as it reinforces their preconceptions. An hour later they will use “communism” in exactly the same context even though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum and their poor followers will blindly agree again.

              If you are worried about totalitarianism I will disagree but I won’t necessarily call you wrong. Your definition of “fascism” however is wrong, has always been wrong, and will always be so very wrong that it’s pointless to even discuss whatever it is you fear.

            • Pete, so fascism is made up of: “Right-wing. Reactionary. Lassaiz-faire. Status quo. I got mine so go pound sand..rabid, tribalism and nationalism. Bigots and absolutists. I.e. right-wing authoritarians.” This still doesn’t explain why the Nazis called themselves socialists, which is the opposite of reactionary or right wing. Why did the Nazis attacked Christian churches in Germany, mercilessly, imprisoning and killing “conservative” ministers like Dieter Bonhoeffer? If we agree that you regard Christianity and religion as right wing, how is persecuting churches a fascist, right wing thing to do?

              Can you cite sources for your definition of fascism? Older than say 1960?

              One of the best books I’ve read on this subject is, “As We Go Marching,” by John T. Flynn.
              I encourage you to read it:

              http://www.amazon.com/As-We-Go-Marching-LvMI-ebook/dp/B004S7EZJ8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438531090&sr=8-1&keywords=as+we+go+marching $4.99 + 3.99 postage

              “As We Go Marching” was published in 1944, and is now out of print. It’s an excellent comparison between Mussolini, Hitler and American Fascism. This book has a 4 1/2 page bibliography, in 5 point type, which is divided into Italy, Germany, and the United States. Most of the Italian books cited range from 1909 to the early 1940s publication dates. There are about 1 1/2 pages of references to books written about the origins of Italian fascism alone, by Italian authors. This is a great resource because it’s not been filtered by history, which I contend is the failing of your definition of fascism. When this book was written, American forces were invading Italy.

    • And who is “we”? Why should I assume either you or the rest of the “we” to whom you refer “know” anything other than your hat size (if that, even)? Just curious.

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