8 Republican Scapegoats

 Posted by at 12:18 pm  Politics
Sep 242017
 

There are few things that Republicans do well, but at those things, they excel.  They keep their sheeple thoroughly fleeced and begging for more.  They are pros at stealing wealth from the poor and middle classes and giving it to billionaires.  And they are expert at projection, placing blame for their own crimes on opponents.  Here are some of the scapegoats Republicans target.

0924Scaprgoats

Republicans have a way of relying on scapegoats when their plans don’t work out as expected. There are so many go-to GOP scapegoats, it would be impossible to name them all here. I’m sure many of you have your favorites: Black Lives Matter, the EPA, feminists, climatologists, Islam, income taxes, Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, and anybody who ever says the words “gun control." If you can name it, they can blame it.

In no particular order, here are eight of the GOP’s favorite scapegoats.

1. Transgender people

It’s no secret that the GOP is the antithesis of queer-friendly, and the latest arm of this prejudice is aimed at the transgender community. Widespread attention to the issue came in 2016, when North Carolina Republican governor Pat McCrory signed a statewide policy that bans people from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex. Similar bathroom bills are being proposed in Texas and elsewhere across the country. Most recently, Trump signed an executive order effectively banning transgender service people from serving in the nation’s armed forces, in an ostensible effort to minimize unnecessary medical costs and interpersonal confusion and disruption. You know, it’s for “safety.” And Making America Great Again.

2. Planned Parenthood

Millions of low-income women depend on Planned Parenthood’s medical services, from pap smears and birth control to cancer screenings and abortion services. The organization has been demonized by the GOP in recent years for facilitating the transfer of fetal tissue for medical research. While Trump has effectively defunded Planned Parenthood for a year, what’s most concerning now is that a bill making it easier for individual states to defund PP is also a priority of the Trump administration. Naturally, this work reverses President Barack Obama’s effort to shield Planned Parenthood’s funding from state legislatures before his last term ended…

Inserted from <Salon.com>

I shared two of eight of Republicans’ favorite scapegoats.  Click through for the other six.

RESIST THE REPUVLICAN REICH!!

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Sep 222017
 

I’m enjoying a lazy day, because yesterday’s outing tired me, and because I have to go out tomorrow for an appointment.  Therefore, please expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:50 (average 4:21).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Note:

The Ravens and the Jaguars are playing in London on Sunday.  The game is at 6:30 AM PDT (9:30 AM EDT).  Players, make any lineup changes involving those teams before then.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Theodore Shoebat Hopes More Cops ‘Are Given The Opportunity’ To Kill LGBTQ People

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Behold the love of Republican Supply Side Jesus (see Cartoon), the polar opposite of the real Jesus. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: Graham and Cassidy are pulling out all the stops in their attempt to sway votes ahead of this deadline. They’ve even gone so far as to promise key swing vote Sen. Lisa Murkowski that Alaska can keep Obamacare! You cannot make that up.

So why are Republicans so laser-focused on gutting health care and tackling “tax reform,” which is nothing more than cutting taxes for the wealthy? Because back in June, The Swamp ordered them to do it and Republicans are beholden to their swamp masters above all others. At the June retreat, the Koch brothers and their allies ordered them to gut health care and cut taxes—or else:

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Now we know why. Republicans are greedy Koch suckers and are desperate to satisfy the billionaires that buy them! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: Ed Gillespie, who for years pressed fellow Republicans to make their party more welcoming to minorities, has unveiled a hard-hitting TV ad that blames his Democratic rival for Virginia governor for the resurgence of the MS-13 street gang.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Do I hear Willie Horton? Gillespie is projecting and playing the hate card. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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Sep 182017
 

Here is the ninety-sixth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Republican Federal Judge Paul Maloney. He is so honored for ignoring the Constitution to rule based in Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hate and homophobia.

0918MaloneyIn what can charitably be described as an idiosyncratic reading of the First Amendment, a George W. Bush-appointed federal judge in western Michigan held that businesses can discriminate against LGBTQ customers so long as they explain why they did so on Facebook.

Prior to Judge Paul Maloney’s Friday opinion in Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing, it was well understood that the First Amendment does not protect business owners who post signs announcing “blacks need not apply” or “we don’t serve women here.” As the Supreme Court once explained in a related case, “discrimination in employment is not only commercial activity, it is illegal commercial activity,” and “we have no doubt that a newspaper constitutionally could be forbidden to publish a want ad proposing a sale of narcotics or soliciting prostitutes.”

Yet Judge Maloney’s opinion does not simply disregard this longstanding rule, it suggests that a business that is actively engaged in discrimination can immunize itself from the law simply by writing about its discrimination on Facebook… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

The notion that, if Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, the exact opposite of real Christians, should spew the evidence of their crimes on Sphincterbook, let alone that doing so makes it legal, is so absurd that only a Republican could do such a thing.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Sep 092017
 

It’s a relatively lazy Saturday for a pooped Puddy.  Thoughts and prayers for all in the path of Irma [R-FL].

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:19 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (RWW Channel): Carl Gallups Says The ‘Deeply Demonic’ Deep State Is Working To Destroy Trump

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

The extent to which Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians goose-step behind Trump is proof that they are NOT Christians. RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: An estimated 8,000 people are battling a series of 24 raging fires in Oregon, most notably Chetco Bar Fire, which has engulfed nearly 180,000 acres, and the Eagle Creek wildfire which is threatening the eastern edge of Portland. The Eagle Creek fire has burned 33,000 acres and while Oregon firefighters are starting to make some headway, containing about 5 percent of the fire through burnouts conducted on Wednesday, more resources are needed throughout the state. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Governor Kate Brown previously asked the Trump administration for help and they flatly refused any assistance:

But if there is wildfire management to second-guess, Oregon’s Democratic governor would direct it at the Trump Administration and its response to a request she made last month.

“I talked with the federal authorities two weeks ago, asking for additional federal assistance, I was told point-blank ‘no’,” said Brown. 

The U.S. Forest Service has been helping, and Oregon is expecting the arrival of 200 active duty military from Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Washington.

But Gov. Brown argued federal officials should be directing more resources to Oregon, because of the disproportionate degree of fire danger in the state. Brown’s numbers and those from the National Interagency Fire Center tell a similar story: that Oregon accounts for nearly one-third of the scorched acres in the country. Of 1.5 million acres or more burning across the country about a half million acres are in Oregon.

I can personally attest to how severe it is. Coming back from the motel on Tuesday, the sky was brown, and the smoke in downtown Portland was like fog. I have been unable to keep my window open, because the air burns my eyes. It has also been setting off my COPD. I wonder if the Republican Reich is withholding aid, because Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, is openly bisexual. RESIST!!

From Think Progress:

Rush Limbaugh will be evacuating South Florida, just days after the popular conservative radio host claimed that Hurricane Irma would not hit the United States and that scientists and the liberal media were hyping up the hurricane as proof of their global warming “lie.”

“So there is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere,” Limbaugh said on his show Tuesday. “All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.”

But on the show Thursday, Limbaugh said he would be off the air for the next few days.

“May as well… announce this. I’m not going to get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow,” Limbaugh said Thursday. “We’ll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown.”

Scheesch! How do you spell hypocrite? R-e-p-u-b-l-i-c-a-n. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

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Their more popular alternative is sheets and hoods.

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Sep 022017
 

Here comes another scorcher.  98° and muggy forecast today.  I’m writing early, because our fantasy football draft is less than two hours away.  I’m missing my morning nap, so I’ll have a longer one this afternoon.  Tomorrow is a Wendy day.  I’m sure the neighbors are more than ready for me to be de-skunked.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (MoveOn Channel): Reverend Barber on White Supremacy

 

I agree with everything he says, and I have been exposing Republican racism for what it is and standing against it so long, that when I started, the racist Republicans were Democrats!  RESIST!!

From The Last Word: Mueller may have new evidence of Trump obstruction

The New York Times reports that Robert Mueller has an early draft of a letter Trump and one of his aides composed when preparing to fire James Comey and is examining that letter in his investigation. David Frum, law professor Jed Shugerman, and Neera Tanden join.

 

Tick… tick… tick… RESIST!!

From Think Progress:

Evangelical Christians are up to something new.

At least that’s the position of many criticizing the “Nashville Statement,” a controversial document championing “biblical” sexual ethics that was penned this past week and signed by roughly 150 prominent evangelical leaders. The document [Republican pseudo-Christians delinked], divided into 14 articles and released by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), mostly parrots denunciations of LGBTQ identities and relationships common among right-wing evangelicals. But it drew added attention for doing something unusual: extending their condemnation to Christians who affirm queer people.

“We affirm that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness,” Article 10 of the statement reads. “We deny that the approval of homosexual immortality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christian should agree to disagree.”

The statement triggered outrage almost immediately, especially among LGBTQ and LGBTQ-affirming Christians who saw it as a direct attack on their understanding of the faith. Within hours, several progressive Christian groups issued their own counter-statements refuting the evangelical document point-by-point, with some deriding it as “anti-LGBTQ bigotry.” Faithful America, an online advocacy organization for progressive Christians, already has thousands of signatures for a petition rejecting the statement.

Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are trying to violate the rights of LGBT Americans to their sexual identity and of authentic Christians to practice our faith through accepting and loving them, as is. Click through to sign the Faithful America petition. RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0902Cartoon

A perennial favorite!

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Everyday Erinyes #89

 Posted by at 5:17 am  Politics
Aug 262017
 

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can’t include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”

On Wednesday, a vigil to honor of the life of a transgender woman of color who died there was held on the streets of The Grove in St. Louis.  About 100 people attended the candlelight event, and several staged a protest march down one street.  During the vigil, a car drove through those marching.  Fortunately, only minor injuries were reported.  The driver was as of Friday in custody, charged with felony fleeing (I believe that’s the technical term there for “hit and run.”)

The deceased was Kenny “Kiwi” Herring, 30, who leaves behind a wife and son.  The cause of death was a police officer’s bullet.  There is (hardly surprisingly) disagreement between the official police account and the stories of Herring’s neighbors.

I don’t know anything about Unicorn Booty’s reliability; its address line merely indicates that it is a news source (all kinds of news) which addresses the LGBT community.  However, the account is straightforward, free from loaded vocabulary, and appears to represent each party (victim, neighbors, police) fairly.  The author links to the Twitter account of David Carson, a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where there is a discussion about the justifiability of running a car through a crowd of people.

I’m not sure what world a person lives tham who thinks that their personal annoyance (or avoiding it) is of more value than the lives of people in the street.  The answer to the question, “Is (whatever it is that you are saying is wrong) a capital crime?” for many people appears to be “Yes.”  Perhaps these are the same people who think White Christians are the most discriminated against group in the country.  It has proven to be pretty well impossible for humans to get through to these people on a level of logic and reason.  Megaera, maybe you have a chance.

 

In a way, it’s almost a relief to turn to a story where the actors are motivated by money.  I can kind of understand that.  We all need it to provide shelter, food, and other necessities of life.  And many of us want a little more because we want to be able to have nice things.  But – OK, forget I said all of that.  Because I can’t understand wanting so much of it so badly that you need to make other people to suffer to get it.

We all know about the Governor of Florida, Rick Voldemort Scott, pushing for drug testing of anyone who is desperate enough to want benefits in Florida, and pushing it long after it had been proved to be horribly expensive for the State, saving something on the order of $1 in benefit payments for every $1000 spent (that’s from very skimpy memory, so I’m sure the figures won’t check.  But it was on that order of magnitude.)  Pushing drug testing – while his wife was the owner of all the drug testing facilities used by the state.  This story from Iowa is similar.

Judge Linda R. Reade was the chief judge of the Northern District of Iowa in 2008.  Appointed by George W. Bush in 2003, she was married to Michael Figenshaw, who owned stock in both the Corrections Corporation of America (now CoreCivic) and Wackenhut Correctional Corporation (now GEO Group), the USA’s two largest prison companies) as part of his retirement account.  Between Reaade’s appontment in 2003 and 2011, when Figenshaw sold these stocks, CA’s stock price rose 434%, and GEO’s rose 642%.

In 2008, in Postville, Iowa, the then-largest workplace immigration raid ever was sprung on the Agriprocessors plant there, which was, at the time, the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the country.  Nearly 400 workers were arrested, of whom about 270 were sentenced to five months in federal prison.  That was not usual in 2008.  It was then customary to charge workers with civil violations and then deport them.  So many people were charged that several federal judges, of whom the most senior was Reade, took nine business days to handle their cases.  This was not done in courtrooms, but at the National Cattle Congress, a fairground in Waterloo.  Five days BEFORE this raid, Figenshaw bought a lot more CCA and GEO stock – somewhere between $30K and $100K.

Not every federal prison is run by CCA or GEO – but a lot of them are.  And in my opinion it’s not important to determine which defendants from this circus were specifically sent to CCA/GEO prisons.  If they weren’t, they made it possible for others to be.

Judge Reade received a lot of flak for the circus-like atmosphere in which the proceedings were conducted, and for the fact that she had met repeatedly with ICE before the raid.  Those meetings were put forward as a reason she should have recused herself.  There were a couple of other resons put forward why she should recuse, yet she persisted (it isn’t always a good thing.)  Had the stock ownership been publicly known, I’m thinking her failure to recuse might have led to her learning even more about those prisons – from the inside.

Today, dozens of people who were sentenced by Reade while her husband owned prison stock remain behind bars….  In January, Reade was honored for her decade of service as the top federal judge in Iowa’s Northern District at a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids. She remains on the bench and has a lifetime tenure.

Tisiphone, do you think this is right?

 

Meanwhile, Alabama is proving that ignorance and difficulty understanding how government works are not confined to racists.  Also, I suppose, that no matter how badly the group you are in has been treated, you can always find another group to misunderstand.

I probably hardly need to point out that none of this story would have happened had our entire country not gone nuts about public education and decided that the only way to assess how the schools are doing is through standardized test scores.

This leads to the spectacle of a State Board of Education member saying at a school board meeting,

“Is it against the law for us to establish perhaps an academy on special education or something on that order,” asked Bell, “so that our scores that already are not that good would not be further cut down by special-ed’s test scores involved?”

This led to a vicious Op-Ed at AL dot com, including

Bell doesn’t seem to have a clue about Alabama’s public education system for special needs students, but she is pretty concerned that those students “bring down” the rest.

Alabama has a process for building out IEPs consistent with LRE requirements. The underlying idea is that our students are better off in the classroom together. The idea that a SBOE member would even seriously ask the question about returning to a practice of institutionalization demonstrates a tragic lack of knowledge and thoughtfulness.

Now, I do think that the author of the Op-Ed may well be overreacting – both because I for one don’t even see “academy” and “institution” in the same ball park – and also because the Op-Ed author doesn’t seem to me to have established his own bona fides of thoughtfulness (he seems to think that Sessions hung the moon, for one thing.)  And I don’t think it’s entirely Ms. Bell’s actual qualifications he has in mind, either.

No, I think the true villain of this piece is our national obsession with standardized testing – which has repeatedly been demonstrated to interfere with learning far more than it assists.  And I don’t mean the testing interferes so much  – it’s the obsession that gets in the way.

Weren’t we already fighting this battle when I was in junior high and high school?  I don’t suppose it will ever be permanently settled, but maybe you, Alecto,  can help calm things down a little.

 

I do have one piece of good news I want to share.  In Colombia, the indigenous U’wa people, whose ancestral territory includes over a million and a half mountainous acreage in tundra and cloud forests, have long been displaced to a single reservation about a third of that size.  They have been working, through legal means and community action, to reclaim some of that.

Last month, ten families packed up and returned to a location from which they had been removed in favor of salt mining.  If all goes well, over the next six months, fifty more families will join them, and hopefully, they all can be incorporated into a new reservation.

This is important for us as well as for them, since their presence is the best insurance we have against further climate-destroying development.  If you ladies have time to put on your Eumenides hats and drop by, maybe with supplies, it would be greatly appreciated.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 here.

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