The Watering Hole; Thursday August 27 2015; “Anchor Babies”

“We are here to support American values.
America was built with immigrants.”
Juan Gomez
(Vice president of United Voices for Immigrants,
Teacher of English to immigrant adults,
Peruvian immigrant
April 9, 2006)

Anchor Babies. I find the demeaning attitude implicit in those two words to be infuriating. And ridiculous. And STUPID! No wonder Republicans use them on a daily basis.

Donald Trump initiated the latest round of nonsensical anti-birthright bias when he suggested that if he were to become President, he would deport each and every “illegal” or undocumented immigrant, and that he would then find the means to override the opening words of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the line that grants birthright citizenship WITHOUT EXCEPTION via the words:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Since Trump first mentioned his racist and white supremacist ego-maniacal fascistic proposition, most if not all “candidate” occupants of the Republican Clown Car have voiced agreement with his ‘unconstitutional’ thesis. Their responses have ranged from the ridiculous to the bizarre (especially Jeb Bush who aimed his hateful rhetoric at Chinese and Asians rather than the more “popular” Hispanic brand). But the bottom line remains: the GOP has morphed from an all-inclusive and reasonable politic to become little more than a white supremacist, hate and fear motivated classical Fascist movement, one whose intent seems to be the redefinition of this country.

I could rant for days on the absolute asininity of the GOP’s “positions” on this and on most other matters of national and humanitarian import, but in deference to sanity I’ll hold back. A little, at least. But I will answer Jeb Bush’s idiotic response to the journalist who asked him about his use of the words ‘anchor babies.’ “You give me a better term and I’ll use it,”  Bush replied. Seems to me that’s an easy one. How about, “children”? I should think that would be clear and obvious, esp. to the politic that sees the fertilized egg as a ‘person’ worthy of full constitutional protection. I guess that concept must only apply to white zygotes, though, and surely not to brownies and Chinks and Japs and . . . well, you know.

Funny too how “anchor babies” weren’t an issue when white Christians first came to North America back in the seventeenth century. I mean, it seems crystal clear that each and all of those immigrants were effectively illegal, undocumented, etc. I admit I find it curious that today’s Republicans, when they’re bitching about “anchor babies,” never mention the atrocities those Pilgrim “anchor babies” were at least partially responsible for over ensuing generations. Why is that I wonder?

A recent article in the Washington Post by discusses what he refers to as “Donald Trump’s nativist bandwagon.” In it he notes that

Trump would abolish birthright citizenship: the principle, embedded in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, that anyone born in the United States is an American, no matter the legal status of his or her parents. Sen. Ted Cruz promptly claimed he’d always opposed birthright citizenship, too, a claim the Houston Chronicle quickly disproved. Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson joined in, as did Scott Walker, though he didn’t seem entirely sure. Jeb Bush stayed admirably aloof from the mob.

(Hiatt apparently wrote the piece before Bush jumped on board and criticized Asian/Chinese “anchor babies” rather than Hispanic “anchor babies”). He goes on to quote Doris Meissner, who ran the U.S. immigration agency under President Clinton and is now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

“What’s the belief system, the social cohesion that binds us? . . . A commitment to democracy, participation, equal rights, opportunity, due process, government by the people — people have to be full members of the society for that to be real and flourish.”

Hiatt further notes that the anchor baby “problem” will fix itself eventually. The children of the undocumented will be citizens, and they will grow up — as children of immigrants, legal and illegal, generally have — to better their lot, sometimes to prosper, almost always to contribute.

If, on the other hand, American-born children were denied citizenship, the number of people illegally here would swell. By 2050, according to a study a few years ago by the Migration Policy Institute, nearly 5 million people who had been born here would have no legal claim to remain — or, if having even one undocumented parent was deemed disqualifying, as many as 13 million.

“With all the problems illegal immigration presents, at least it’s a one-generation phenomenon. It self-corrects with the next generation born here,” Meissner told me. “A permanent underclass where disadvantage is transferred generationally is a terrible counter-force.”

Hiatt is, in my very humble opinion, precisely correct in his thesis. The “problem” that has so gripped the imaginations along with the irrational hatreds and fears of the American political far right (aka the GOP) is nothing other than an expression of their own inborn insufficiencies, coupled with their white supremacist and ego-maniacal attitudes. “Anchor babies,” meanwhile, are children who will become — courtesy of the Fourteenth Amendment —  the next generation born here, each and all of whom will be citizens, and they will grow up — as children of immigrants, legal and illegal, generally have — to better their lot, sometimes to prosper, almost always to contribute. 

Meanwhile, it seems the time to put an end to the political insanity as preached, practiced, and imposed by today’s version of the Republican Party has definitely arrived. The insanity of never-ending fear and hatred theses that drive their current politic makes life miserable for far too many real and genuine people even as it appeals to far too many — mainly those with shriveled souls (aka Republicans).

Therefore the obvious question: what sort of future might the 2016 electoral process portend? Current polls that show the ego-maniac Donald Trump leading all other clown car occupants. To Ann Coulter, the notion of a “President Trump” serves as Proof That ‘God Hasn’t Given Up On America Yet’. George Will, on the other hand, has suggested that Trump’s immigration plan could spell doom for the GOP. With any luck at all, Will’s thesis will be proven to be absolutely accurate, given that if this country is to have any semblance at all of a sustainable future for its people, GOP “doom” is mandated. If Trump can pull that off, fine. If another candidate should be chosen from the current crowd, with luck the ego-maniacal ghost of the Trump candidacy will continue to do his candidacy’s dirty work and pave the way to a progressive nation, a true Democracy that addresses the well-being of ALL its people rather than just its (white) oligarchs and power mongers.

And once civility replaces their fascistic hatred, let there be NO MORE TALK OF ANCHOR BABIES!

“Marches will only get you so far. There has to be
an electoral component to get the Republicans out of the majority.”
Armando Navarro
(Coordinator of the National Alliance for Human Rights,
a network of Hispanic activist groups in Southern California
April 9, 2006)


The Watering Hole; Thursday June 25 2015; Saul Alinsky

Recently — very recently — I happened across yet one more wingnut mean-spirited reference to Saul Alinsky (I forgot to mark the place, which I have since also forgotten — one of the “benefits” of aging). In any case, the remark was (predictably) both vitriolic and deleterious, with all dirt spouted in the direction/context of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and today’s “Democrat” Party.

Saul Alinsky. I remembered the name, but the reason for the recollection was foggy at best. So I dug a bit, hoping to find a memory refurbishment along with explanation of  maybe some of the current vitriol. Conclusion: Google is cool. With a few quick mouse clicks, I found myself reminded of days long past, of days back in the ’60s when I was but an innocent college kid. Back then, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was a community organizer in Chicago (sound familiar?), one who had spent much of the 1950’s organizing various Afro-American community efforts on civil rights issues. In the 1960’s he set up organizer institutes to train others, and his reputation began to spread.

In 1969, in fact, a Wellesley College student chose Alinsky’s work as a subject for her pre-grad thesis entitled “There is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” The student, Hillary Rodham (yes, THAT Hillary), interviewed Alinsky a pair of times for the paper in which she included this, her summary of Alinsky’s philosophy:

“Much of what Alinsky professes does not sound ‘radical.’ . . . His are the words used in our schools and churches, by our parents and their friends, by our peers. The difference is Alinsky really believes in them and recognizes the necessity of changing the present structures of our lives in order to realize them.”

Not long thereafter — 1971 — Alinsky published his third book, Rules for Radicals, A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. In it, he included the following list of thirteen “power tactics” which, in his context, were methods for organizers to use that were based on principles of direct action via nonviolent conflict and with purpose being to empower the oppressed, the poor, in the ‘modern’ American society. His thirteen rules read as follows:

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat…. [and] the collapse of communication.

3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time….”

8. “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”

11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside… every positive has its negative.”

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’

Diabolical and evil, right? Maybe also subversive? In the same book, Alinsky also noted that . . .

As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. That we accept the world as it is does not in any sense weaken our desire to change it into what we believe it should be – it is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be. That means working in the system.

Alinsky. Diabolical. Anti-American. Obviously.

Shortly before his death in 1972, Alinsky, in an interview in Playboy Magazine, pretty well summarized his worldly views and goals in a mere 65 words:

I’ve never joined any organization — not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism . . . The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.

In spite of Alinsky’s soft-spoken attitudes and philosophies, in recent years the words ‘Saul Alinsky’ have become the approximate equivalent, in GOP vitriol, of words such as Soros, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, etc., ad infinitum. The various right wing noise machines have, in fact, spread the anti-Alinsky vitriol via each and every available medium, always in the process linking the “Marxist” Alinsky with prominent Democrats, in particular the former Chicago Community Organizer Barack Obama, and Hillary (Rodham) Clinton, 1969 Wellesley College graduate.

In January 2008 — during the run-up to that year’s November elections — Richard Poe published an article entitled Hillary, Obama And The Cult Of Alinsky in which he notes that “Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.” Not sure I’ve ever seen a better example of the right wing’s penchant for subtle wordsmithing and meaning alteration than that one, but given that Poe’s co-author on their book which lambasted “George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals” was David Horowitz, the surprise is minimal at best.

Meanwhile, the seeds of right wing baloney in re Saul Alinsky and his philosophies continue to sprout and grow. A good example is in this, the text of a January 2014 viral email that made the rounds and undoubtedly raised a bunch of wingnut eyebrows in the process. It is, in effect, a complete and total rewrite of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” noted above, primarily designed to lambast President Obama by linking him to the falsely vilified Saul Alinsky.

Obama was influenced by the writings and philosophies Saul Alinsky, author of the book, “Rules for Radicals,” and later by Frank Marshall Davis, with similar philosophies.

Barak [sic] Obama followed the philosophies of these ‘role models’ throughout his days as a Community Organizer for ACORN, using tactics that appeared to some as ‘shaking down’ businesses in exchange for not branding them ‘hate groups.’

And apparently Obama is still following those radical rules today.

How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state.

The first is the most important.

1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Now, think …

Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States?

Notice the “author” of the above attributed his diatribe to Saul Alinsky, author of the book, “Rules for Radicals,” but included nothing written by Saul Alinsky. The entire of the text (attributed to Alinsky by inference only) is bogus, clearly intended as anti-Obama and anti-Democrat-in-general verbal drivel that is typical of propaganda everywhere.

Herr Dr. Goebbels would surely be proud of today’s American right wing propaganda machine, given that it so closely obeys a great many of Goebbels’ precepts. As he himself summed it,

“Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. . . . We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.”

There’s probably no better definition of the GOP’s current noise machine anywhere. Not that we should be surprised, of course. There does remain, however, a diametric difference between the views of Herr Goebbels (read also: America’s right wing, aka GOP) and Saul Alinsky. As Alinsky put it,

“My only fixed truth is a belief in people, a conviction that if people have the opportunity to act freely and the power to control their own destinies, they’ll generally reach the right decisions.”

Amen. Ideal America defined. Thank you, Saul Alinsky.


The Watering Hole; Friday May 29 2015; Constitutional IQ’s

It seems obvious to me that what I choose to call Constitutional IQ is a yardstick of sorts, one which measures a candidate’s (or elected official’s) appreciation of constitutional details when putting forth a proposition for action. For my purposes here, I assume that those who comprehend and appreciate constitutional premises fall into the positive range where the pinnacle is, say, +100. Similarly, those who willingly (or unknowingly) disavow constitutional guarantees fall into the negative range where -100 is as low as anyone can ever attain.

With that in mind, we can begin by citing the basic premises of the American Constitution’s intent, premises which are briefly noted in its Preamble as follows:

We the people of the United States, in order to

form a more perfect union,
establish justice,
insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Notice that the general term “people” is not broken down into categories; there is no mention of origin, or whether immigrant or native born. Nor is there any mention of gender, race, ethnicity, or even of sexual preference. There is no mention of religion and certainly no mandate, nor is there recognition of any preference of belief, and no penalty for non-belief. My best guess is that each and all ‘non-mentioned’ concepts and realities were deemed by the founders to fall under the blessings of liberty umbrella.

There is also no mandate anywhere in the entire document (as amended) that ‘hate and fear’ be deemed drivers of American constitutionalism, although today if one listens to the current crop of Republican 2016 presidential candidates, one might assume that their collective vision of the Constitution requires that each and all of its premises are most assuredly driven by same.

For example: Republican candidate Rick Santorum invariably finds fault in so many of the nondescript blessings of liberty that it becomes difficult to fairly judge his constitutional IQ. Here, for example are ten of his most bizarre theses which, when coupled with his 5 Worst Smears — Attacking Gay Rights, Working Women & Church-State Separation amply demonstrate his constitutional illiteracy. And since all of the above amount to just a surface scratch on his political agenda, it’s a mark of utmost courtesy on my part to assign him a constitutional IQ somewhere in the range of -50.

And then there’s presidential candidate Rand Paul whose recent remark that the issue of abortion rights would be best handled “by the states” rather than “under the 14th Amendment” and his ambiguous answer to the question of “when does life begin” were, as commentators on the left and the right have pointed out, somewhat confounding since Paul has sponsored a Senate bill that aims to undermine Roe v. Wade by defining life as beginning “at conception.” Tossing aside the fourteenth amendment in favor of a panoply of religious arguments doesn’t sound like something a genuine constitutional advocate would ever even contemplate. On the other hand, he does recognize the privacy premises of the fourth amendment, so I’m guessing Rand Paul’s constitutional IQ to fall somewhere in the vicinity of -10.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s contribution to the 2016 Republican clown car is engaged in his current task of doing whatever he deems necessary to convince the religious right that he’s one of them. In one of his recent gigs, he attempted to convince anti-choice leader that he really Didn’t Mean What He Said About Abortion Being Between ‘A Woman And Her Doctor’. And according to the head of the Susan B. Anthony list, Walker said that “using the language of the other side to support our own position is a good thing, but you can only do it if people aren’t trying to call you out and quoting you out of context.” Right. Use any excuse possible to convince the far right religious movers and shakers that the blessings of liberty do not apply to those who violate a religious opinion while undergoing procedures that are constitutionally acceptable and protected. Clever, Scott, very clever. For that I assess your constitutional IQ at -104!

OK, that’s about all I can handle today. And gee, I haven’t touched on Ted Cruz, or Lindsey Graham, or Carly Fiorina, or any of the rest of the current and projected stars in 2016’s Theater of the Absurd. I do suspect, however, that the three listed above have viably demonstrated their sub-basement constitutional IQ’s. I also assume the rest of the field to be extremely competent at doing the same. I cannot, in fact, recall a single instance where any one of the 2016 clown car candidates has ever spoken in support of a more perfect union, or unencumbered justice, or domestic tranquility, or an unencumbered common defense, and definitely not any level whatsoever of general welfare. They are all, however, definitely supporters of the blessings of liberty — for corporate entities and for the ultra-wealthy 1% who enthusiastically fund their bogus loyalties and will apparently stand any unconstitutional ground imaginable — for the right payoff.


PS: This just in. Marco Rubio  points out that Gay Rights are ‘A Real And Present Danger’ To Freedom, thereby earning himself at least a -35 in the constitutional IQ department.

The Watering Hole; May 1 2015; “Can the Dumb — Define the Divine?”

Premise number one: the world of humans is insane. See links below.
Premise number two: the place to find sanity is in the world ‘out there.’ See pix below.


Pat Robertson: God Will Punish America For Persecuting Anti-Gay Activists

Yah sure ya betcha.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGOP Rep. Bill Flores Links Baltimore Riots To Gay Marriage

OK. Right. Makes perfect sense.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASteve King: ‘What Happens To The Demographics Of America’ If Birthright Citizenship Continues?

Prolly will turn the whole world upside down, right? Right.

Hollydot reflections 276Obama Is ‘Pulling The Strings’ In Baltimore So He Can Seize Control Of The Nation’s Police Forces

Oh no, not again. Another one?

Bugs on Buffalo Gourd Blossom 331Anti-Gay Activists Urge ‘Resistance’ Before Marriage Equality Destroys ‘Just About Everything’

Nothing new there. Some stuff makes it, some doesn’t.

0320-572Capitol Prayer Service: God Will Punish America For Legalizing Gay Marriage

Oh . . . BITE ME!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASheriff Mack: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is ‘A Very Senile And Evil Person’ Who Will ‘Destroy Marriage’

In the words of Emily Dickinson, “when the Wind is within —
Can the Dumb — define the Divine?”

Pasture Bull 258

Gay Marriage Is The Work Of ‘The Devil Himself

Scary scary. That does it, I’m gittin’ outta here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABernie Sanders: People Didn’t Die To Create A Democratic System Of War Between Billionaires

And Pax vobiscum.

Cottontail in snow 958OPEN THREAD

Dedicated to the modern GOP vision for America, which is:

Wupatki main[All photos by frugal]

The Watering Hole; Thursday April 9 2015; “We Have Come To Take Our Country Back”

In Rand Paul’s recent presidential candidacy announcement speech, his first big applause line was “We have come to take our country back.” The first question that popped into a lot of heads, my own included, was ‘back to where?’ What did he mean? Back to the Bush depression? To Iraq? The Persian Gulf? Iran Contra? Watergate? Vietnam? Jim Crow? The stock market crash of ’29? Or maybe to those golden years of pre-Civil War slavery? The following video (h/t C&L) offers a look at the other obvious question: Take America back FROM WHOM?

The video’s embedded thesis makes a lot of sense even in today’s context, given all the mean-spirited tirades we’ve been forced to endure these last years concerning such disparate topics as President Obama’s birthplace (racism, of course), immigration reform, Islamic “terrorism” (ethnic and religious intolerance), and more recently the outrageous (and potentially seditious) din in re ongoing negotiations with Iran and our attempt to resolve international concerns over its nuclear program. Politics. The word becomes more vicious and more tainted on a daily an hourly basis.

Enter newly announced candidate Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky who says his primary goal as President would be to severely cut back on federal spending — especially on things like food stamps, medical care, Social Security, public education — on anything, in short, that might benefit We the People rather than the billionaires, banks, and corporate entities that have come to define the GOP’s fund raising capacity. Paul did, however, note that he wants vast increases in the Pentagon ‘defense’ budget (“defense” being the Republican word for eternal warmongering — taxpayer money well-spent because corporate profits, etc.). Conclusion: Rand Paul is a Republican — a factoid which for whatever reason brought to mind my January 4 2013 Watering Hole post in which I included this 1998 essay quote by historian Robert Paxton:

From . . . the Rapture-ready religious right to the white nationalism promoted by the GOP through various gradients of racist groups, it’s easy to trace how American proto-fascism offered redemption from the upheavals of the 1960s by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America. This vision has been so thoroughly embraced that the entire Republican party now openly defines itself along these lines. At this late stage, it’s blatantly racist, sexist, repressed, exclusionary, and permanently addicted to the politics of fear and rage. Worse: it doesn’t have a moment’s shame about any of it. No apologies, to anyone. These same narrative threads have woven their way through every fascist movement in history.

There. It’s so simple, so odious: the word Republican has become clearly and expressly synonymous with its more historically burdened equivalent, i.e. Fascist. Too bad no one has pointed out that it defines, this day, the politic of such egregious and well known celebrities as Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and . . . oh yes, how could I forget: RAND PAUL and his campaign to “Bring America back — ‘by promising to restore the innocence of a traditional, white, Christian, male-dominated America.'”

Amen. Fascism. Q.E.D.


The Watering Hole, Monday, November 10th, 2014: Mitch Makes Plans

Today I’m just going to throw a few topics out here, good, bad, or meh

A few excerpts from yesterday’s Washington Post article by Lori Montgomery and Robert Costa, headlined (rather lengthily) “GOP crafts narrow agenda for new Congress, seeking unity, Democratic votes”:

“Within hours of solidifying their control of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John A. Boehner were quietly laying plans for a series of quick votes in January aimed at erasing their obstructionist image ahead of the 2016 elections.

Considering the previous unfortunate efforts of the Republican Party to slap a different varnish on their tarnished image, I can only cringe wondering what kind of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser(tm) “quick votes” these two have in mind. What would they deregulate first? IOW, what will be the Rs’ first BS “repeal this job killer” meme in 2015? And are Boehner and McConnell, while “seeking unity”, keeping an eye on their own far-right-flank tea-nut gallery? Megalomaniac Senator Ted Cruz (R-PlanetTexas) is not one to allow the limelight to stray far from him, and is already making obstructionist noises. Boehner and McConnell are fools – yes, I could stop right there, but – if they think that Cruz is going to bow to their so-called “leadership.”

“First up: Action on long-stalled bills with bipartisan support, including measures to repeal an unpopular tax on medical devices and approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Whoa, tortoise, whoa! [gets out baseball bat, “I said WHOA!”] Why you sly bastards! First, Boehner and McConnell know damn well that repealing the medical devices tax, however unpopular it may or may not be, will undermine one of the sources for funding the PPACA, aka Obamacare. Boehner has been shown by to have been lying about the negative effect that the Medical Device Tax would have on jobs. Repealing the Medical Device Tax is just one way that the Republicans would start to unravel the PPACA without actually repealing the act itself.

Now let’s get to “approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.” It seems that everyone, except the few people/companies who stand to gain from the construction of the pipeline, is against that. This is definitely an example of the incredibly ballsy, obviously and provably false claims that the project would be a “job creator.” Temporary American jobs, yes; a few (50 or so) permanent American jobs, yes; but nowhere near the thousands that the pipeline’s proponents would have us believe. There are so many good arguments against the Keystone XL, it’s truly amazing that any politician is still promoting it; unless, of course, well-funded interests are funding them.

There’s loads more from the WaPo article, but there’s also more information in the New Republic’s article called “This is How the New GOP Senate will try to Dismantle Obamacare”, by Jonathan Cohn.

So far everything points to the Rs major obsession for the past several years – if they can’t repeal the ACA, they’ll just kill it with a thousand cuts.

This is our daily open thread – talk about whatever you want.

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 7th, 2013: All the Crazy That Fits

It’s been a while since I put on my hip waders and stepped into Newsmax, so here’s a few gems:

From “Rev. Billy Graham Prepares ‘Perhaps … My Last Message’” by David A. Patton:

“In an exclusive interview, the Rev. Billy Graham tells Newsmax that President Obama’s “hope and change” mantra is nothing more than a cliché and warns that the nation faces increasing threats to civil and religious liberties from its government.

Graham, who is preparing for possibly his last crusade, this time via video, said America is drenched in a “sea of immorality” and suggested that the second coming of Christ is “near.”

“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles,” Graham wrote in response. “‘Hope and change’ has become a cliché in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed,” he stated, an obvious reference to President Obama’s campaign motto.

“Our country is turning away from what has made it so great,” he continued, “but far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought; he knows our hearts need transformation.” ~~~

Many believing Christians believe in a coming Armageddon, a final battle between good and evil prophesied in the book of Revelation.

Graham tells Newsmax it is not wise to “speculate” about the dates of such a battle, but he adds that the Bible says that there “will be signs pointing toward the return of the Lord.”

“I believe all of these signs are evident today,” Graham wrote, adding that “the return of Christ is near.

“Regardless of what society says, we cannot go on much longer in the sea of immorality without judgment coming,” he says.”

Next, from “Rove: Obama Wants to ‘Break the Republicans'” by Amy Woods:

“Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday described President Barack Obama’s behavior throughout the budget showdown as “stubborn obstructionism” whose goal is to “get more money and break the Republicans.”

“The stubborn obstructionism of the president … has a purpose, which is to try and get the Congress to agree to the Senate Democrats’ spending number, which is $91 billion bigger than the House, and bust the sequester, and end the 2011 spending agreements,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He is attempting to put the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling and, in fact, naming the amount of the debt ceiling on the Congress and not on himself.”

Third, from “Rand Paul: Democrats’ Stubbornness Keeping Government Closed” by Sandy Fitzgerald:

“Paul denied that House Republicans led to the shutdown by refusing to fund the government.

“The House Republicans said they would fund all of government, and they did,” Paul said. “They funded all of government short of one program. So they really were never wanting to shut down government over this, they were wanting to fund government, and then have a debate.”

He further blamed Obama for his refusal to negotiate for the shutdown.

“When you say the president wants 100 percent of Obamacare or he will shut down the government, that’s exactly what happened,” said Paul. “If he [Obama] doesn’t get 100 percent of his way – his way or the highway – then they won’t do any spending bills that don’t include everything that he wants. That’s him unwilling to negotiate, that’s him being unwilling to compromise.”

Had enough? How about one more? From “Rep. Graves: Obama To Blame if Country Defaults” by Amy Woods:

“Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves said Sunday the party is “united” in its belief the government should re-open and negotiations with Democrats should continue to avoid a possible economic default over the debt ceiling.

“We have had a tremendous fight over keeping the government open and protecting Americans from Obamacare,” Graves said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s no reason to default. The president’s the only one demanding default right now.”

Sorry, but I have to throw this last link in, just for laughs: Another one by Bill Hoffman, “From Senate to Center Stage: Fred Thompson Makes Broadway Debut”. The author of the piece completely omits any mention of Thompson’s disastrous run for the Presidency, or the fact that Thompson’s most recent “acting” gig has been on ‘Reverse-Mortgage’ commercials.

This is our Open Thread. Have at it!