Friday, September 25, 2015

Rush Limbaugh Doesn't Know Where In The Constitution It Says There's No Religious Test To Become President

So top tier Republican candidate, Ben Carson, got a wee bit of trouble the other day when he said he wouldn't support the idea of a Muslim becoming the president of the United States (insert "too late" joke here). As you would expect, a lot of people disagreed with that position, including,other Republican candidates such as Carly Fiorina. Here's what she said on Jimmy Fallon's show the other day:

FIORINA:  I think that's wrong.  You know, it says in our Constitution that religion cannot be a test for office.  I actually believe that people of faith make better leaders, whether they're Christians, whether it's a person of Christian faith or Jewish faith or Muslim faith or other faiths.  I think faith gives us humility and empathy and optimism and I think those are important things.

FALLON:  So you would be fine with that.

FIORINA:  Yes, I would be fine with that.

But as usual, there would be one person who would always be more than happy to support any extremist position a Republican can suggest. Enter prominent constitutional scholar, Rush Limbaugh:

RUSH:  Yeah, I don't know where it says in the Constitution that religion cannot be a test.  I don't know, I've not seen that.  I know she's talking about separation of church and state, but it seems to me that Ben Carson's right on this.  Hey, look, if you have a religious belief that makes the Constitution secondary or even third-rate status to your religious beliefs, sorry, bud, you're not wanted.  The oath of office is to defend and protect the Constitution, not to subordinate it.

So Rush cannot find where in the constitution it mentions this whole "no religious test" business. Allow me to offer my assistance. It's in this little area called Article VI, paragraph 3:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Looks pretty clear to me. But I can see how such a minor detail escaped Rush. This is the same guy who got the constitution confused with the Declaration of Independence, after all.

Constitutional conservatives!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Stupidest And Most Offensive Line From The Second Repulican Debate

So the second official Republican presidential debate/chicken head biting contest happened this week. As you would expect from one of these events, there was a deluge of idiocy, but for me, one moment in particular really stood head and shoulders above the others. That was when Jeb Bush, in a pitiful attempt to defend his brother's disastrous reign as president, made this stunning comment:

"As it relates to my brother, there's one thing I know for sure: He kept us safe."

Like many people who are sophisticated enough to know how to read a calendar, I was left speechless by this remark. After all, there was at least once instance during Dubya's presidency where I can recall certain bad apples escaping our heroic leader's all seeing eyes:

 
This, more than any other inane sound bite at the debate, really irked me. not least of which being that it was such a comically offensive and easily disprovable lie. Not one single candidate on stage, including Trump, bothered to offer a rebuttal (which I guess isn't really surprising, honestly).  Nor did any of the amazingly useless moderators. In fact, Bush was met with thunderous applause, proving yet again how Republicans voters (and their politicians) reside in their own alternate plane of existence. 
 
Jeb not only didn't back away from that comment the next day, he was so proud of himself that he in fact, decided to double down, and posted this tweet on his twitter page:
 

 
This deserves some award for lack of self awareness. Good gravy... 

Look, I'm not even trying to rag on ole' W much when it comes to 9/11. Sure, we all know by now that he repeated multiple warnings about the attack, but even if he did treat the threat seriously, he (or any other president for that matter) might still not have been able to prevent it. So honestly, I can cut him a tiny bit of slack here.

HOWEVER, what I can't tolerate is how, despite the horrific failure on 9/11, Bush 43, his seemingly equally idiotic brother, and their cretinous conservative comrades, consistently brag about how great the Republican Party is at protecting the country. In fact, bizarrely enough, terrorists successfully attacking us on a Republican president's watch somehow proves that terrorists wouldn't dare attack us on a Republican president's watch! It's absolutely maddening.
 
So far there hasn't been much of a backlash besides the usual lefty blogs and such. As far as I know, no major mainstream news outlet offered much criticism or grilled Jeb about it. In fact, as I was flipping through the channels the day after the debates, some program on CNN that doesn't have Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon as the host played that clip of Jeb, and commented on how the crowd seemed to like that answer and just moved on. 

Once again, ladies and gentlemen. Your liberal media.

Friday, September 11, 2015

National Review Writer Accidentally Gives The Game Away On Voter Suppression

Great news, people. Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski just came out in favor of restoring the Voting Rights Act. That brings the total number of congressional Republicans who support restoring the VRA to...one.

But hey, progress is progress right? And it's better than nothing, right? Wrong.

At least according to Roger Clegg of the National Review. Seems Clegg thinks that even one Republican expressing support for fixing the civil rights legislation that was gutted by the Supreme Court two years ago, is a bridge too far (I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, that the National Review would be opposed to such a thing!).

But there was line in particular that stood out to me from Clegg's piece:

What’s more, the bills that have been drafted are bad legislation. For example, they contain much that has nothing to do with the Supreme Court’s decision, and they themselves violate the Constitution by prohibiting practices that are not actually racially discriminatory but only have racially disproportionate effects.
Oh, so these practices aren't racially discriminatory, they just happen to have the effect of being racially disproportionate. Good to know.

Seems conservatives are getting sloppier nowadays. The correct response would be to not acknowledge any racial discrepancies occur to begin with, and if they do (which they don't), then Black people should suck it up and stop being lazy and just do all the things conservatives are requiring them to do.

It's clearly what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

John McCain Sees Nothing Wrong With Highly Edited Planned Parenthood Videos

Senator John McCain participated in a town hall meeting in Arizona recently, and a reporter asked him about the doctored Planned Parenthood videos released by the right-wing  Center For Medical Progress. His response was....interesting:

During Monday's meeting, McCain was asked specifically about a report produced by an independent forensic video team concluding that even the full-length, supposedly unedited videos were, in fact, edited and that given the doctoring of the film, a judge might be reluctant to accept the tapes as legitimate evidence should the matter go to court.

The 10-page report, sent to Senate and House leadership last week, highlighted that of the five videos analyzed, there are “at least 42 splices where content is cut and edited together to create the appearance of seamless conversations . . . In some cases, these splices completely change the meaning of statements.”

“Listen, I don't know who did this report, but I saw the video with my own two eyes,” he said, cracking a little smile. “No matter how they're edited, they're still disgusting in my view.”
He dismissed the reporter who had asked the question with a wink.

This is quite an answer. You would think that grossly manipulating video footage to have Planned Parenthood employees say things that they clearly weren't saying, things that led to this inane "controversy" to begin with, would be an important and relevant detail. But not if you're John McCain, apparently.

Also, if the videos were "disgusting"" regardless of how they were edited, why did the CMP edit them to begin with then?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Jobs Still Ain't Trickling Down After Tax Cuts In Kansas

It's been a while since I wrote about the state of Kansas' economy under the illustrious leadership of Governor Sam Brownback. So I decided to browse the pages of the Kansas City Star, and got an answer:

This has been a bad week for Gov. Sam Brownback and others who believe his massive income tax cuts are going to dramatically boost employment in the state.

▪ A new report Friday showed that Kansas had lost a whopping 4,300 jobs in July from a month earlier.

The unemployment rate climbed for the fourth straight month, up to 4.6 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And look at this disastrous note: The Sunflower State now has 1,700 fewer jobs than it did at the start of 2015.

One more fact from the latest report shows that Kansas has added a puny 5,600 total jobs in the last year — from July 2014 to July 2015.

Ouch. Those numbers are brutal. Who would have thought providing the job creators with massive tax cuts meant that they wouldn't necessarily use that extra money to hire people that they didn't really need to begin with?

Also, one thing I really love about this particular failed experiment in supply-side economics is that unlike in say, Texas, Kansas doesn't have the fortuitousness of being located right above massive petroleum deposits (or at least, deposits that aren't as big as Texas'), to fall back on. Conservatives love to pont to the Lone Star State as the quintessential example of SSE supposedly working in real life. But any economic success Texas has, is more than likely due to to the plethora of oil beneath them rather than any inane tax cut. Without any artificial factors like that propping up Kansas, we see the true effects of conservative economic theory.

But hey, I'm sure all that wealth will eventually trickle down. Some day.

more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/yael-t-abouhalkah/article31716450.html#storylink=cpy

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