Oct 8 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #898

ON THE RECORD ….

“I want to continue to be a Republican because it annoys them.” — Colin Powell 9/30/15

“African Americans fought for the right to vote in the face of unthinkable hatred. They stood up and were beaten down, marched and were turned back. Some were even killed. But in the end, the forces of justice overcame. Alabama should do the right thing. It should reverse this decision. And it should start protecting the franchise for every single voter, no matter the color of their skin.” — Hillary Clinton on the closure of 31 driver’s license offices in Alabama’s mostly in majority-black counties. 10/02/15

“The only people in the lead in primary are the people who’ve never been in government, because they’ve spent 35 years telling people to hate government. I felt bad for them. In the first debate, it felt like they were taking a theology test in hatred of government, and Trump blew past them.” — Bill Clinton, 10/02/15

“According to multiple sources, it was Biden himself who talked to her [renowned Hillary Clinton-critic Maureen Dowd], painting a tragic portrait of a dying son, Beau’s face partially paralyzed, sitting his father down and trying to make him promise to run for president because “the White House should not revert to the Clintons and that the country would be better off with Biden values.” — Edward-Isaac Dovere in Politico10/06/15

On the Republican Party’s Benghazi investigation:

“To put it simply, the game is over, and they’ve lost. This was supposed to be the big moment for Gowdy and his committee and instead what we have is the person who’s likely the next speaker validating everything critics have been saying. . . . Now everyone can see the fact that this has been a partisan charade all along.” — David Brock about Rep. McCarthy’s Benghazi Committee comment 10/01/15

“You’re now a Benghazi Watchdog. Let’s go after Obama and Hillary Clinton. Help us fight them now.” —  Republican Party’s House campaign fundraising solicitation.

“What he (Rep. McCarthy) said was, it’s very much to the effort to reduce Hillary Clinton’s numbers, her favorability numbers, her trustworthy numbers in the mind of the American people before the election. I don’t think there’s any question that’s what this has been about. She’s testified seven times and they haven’t found anything and they’ve got her coming again in late October to testify.”– Juan Williams

On the mass killings at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College-.

“Stuff happens.” — Jeb Bush. 10/02/15

“I will tell you, I am going to fight for new, effective gun control measures. I gotta tell you it is just heartbreaking, it is sickening to me to see another massacre.” — Hillary Clinton. 10/02/15

The Obama administration … tries to use these tragedies as an excuse to come after the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. It’s unconstitutional, it’s cynical, and it’s wrong.” — Sen.Ted Cruz 10/02/15
“Meanwhile, the shallow and simple minded liberals will continue to blame pieces of hardware for the problem, and they will long for the days before firearms were invented.” — Bobby Jindal 10/06/15

“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'” — Ben Carson, on what he would have done had a gunman walked up to him and asked him to state his religion. 10/06/15

““But no matter what you do you will have problems and that’s the way the world goes.” — Donald Trump 10/04/15

“If you have crazy people who want to kill a lot of individuals, they’ll find a way to do it.” — Mike Huckabee 10/02/15

“How on Earth could he compile 13 guns? How can that happen? They talk about gun laws, they talk about gun control. Every time something like this happens, they talk about it, and nothing is done. I’m not trying to say that that’s what to blame for what happened, but if Chris had not been able to get a hold of 13 guns, it wouldn’t have happened.” — Ian Mercer, the father of Chris Harper Mercer 10/04/15

“Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.” — Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) on Facebook, saying that “fellow Christians who are serious about their faith” should “think about getting a handgun permit.” 10/02/15

 

 

1. Democrats Release New Video and Fact Sheet: “Couldn’t Be More Plain”

Democrats on the Select Committee on Benghazi released a new video and fact sheet rebutting claims made by Chairman Trey Gowdy that the Committee is not focused on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  The new video and fact sheet come after Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admitted on national television that the purpose of the Select Committee has always been to damage Hillary Clinton’s bid for President.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/8vgcWS92xCg

The fact sheet is at http://democrats.benghazi.house.gov/news/press-releases/democrats-release-new-video-and-fact-sheet-couldn-t-be-more-plain

2. Hillary Clinton Does ‘Saturday Night Live’

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/hillary-clinton-bar-talk/2916002

3. The Borowitz Report: Americans Opposed to Being Shot Seek Representation in Washington

Carol Foyler, founder of the lobbying group Americans Opposed to Being Shot, believes that the right to not be shot, much like women’s right to vote, the right to same-sex marriage, and other rights that were deemed controversial in their day, may be an idea whose time has finally come.

“For years, we’ve been talking about the right to not be shot and people have been looking at us like we’re out of our minds,” she said. “But recent polls show that a vast majority of Americans, in fact, do not want to be shot.”

While Foyler and other anti-being-shot activists believe that Washington may finally be receptive to their radical ideas, Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, is doubtful. “People who don’t want to be shot are a very narrow interest group,” he said. Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

4. The DAILY GRILL

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable [sic]. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’ (R-CA) (Check out Correct The Record’s newest video on Kevin McCarthy at http://correctrecord.org/video-reactions-to-kevin-mccarthys-gaffe/)

VERSUS

“We are writing to ask you to disband the House Select Committee on Benghazi after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments admitting that the Select Committee was put together to serve the political purpose of defeating Secretary Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential elections by hurting her in the polls, rather than conducting a serious investigation into a terrorist attack that killed four Americans. We should not disrespect their sacrifice by further politicizing this tragedy.” — Letter to Speaker Boehner from Sens. Reid, Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 10/01/15

“Let’s just get through this thing, and whatever it costs, it costs.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asking for federal aid for his home state of South Carolina as it battles raging floods. 10/06/15

VERSUS

“Graham was among the Republican senators who opposed a federal aid package in January 2013 to assist states hit by Hurricane Sandy, but now he doesn’t remember why.” —Eric Bradner on CNN 10/06/15

5. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

Limbaugh Suggests Parents Are “Trying To Transgender” Their Children In A “Quest For Fame,” And It’s Caitlyn Jenner’s Fault http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/01/limbaugh-suggests-parents-are-trying-to-transge/205914

Rush Limbaugh: “The People That Are Shooting Up Schools More Than Likely Vote Democrat” http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/02/rush-limbaugh-the-people-that-are-shooting-up-s/205942

Fox Anchor Blames Obama For GOP’s Unwillingness To Pass New Gun Laws http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/02/fox-anchor-blames-obama-for-gops-unwillingness/205937

Fox’s Hannity Claims Obama’s Response To Oregon Mass Shooting Is “A New Low” For The Administration http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/02/foxs-hannity-claims-obamas-response-to-oregon-m/205954

Fox Correspondent Criticizes Obama For “Politicizing” Gun Violence In The Wake Of Oregon Mass Shooting http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/02/fox-correspondent-criticizes-obama-for-politici/205952

Meet Judicial Watch, A Driving Force Behind The Clinton Email Story That Keeps Duping The Press http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/10/02/meet-judicial-watch-a-driving-force-behind-the/205941

The New York Times published in print a story about the International Association of Firefighters backing away from an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but only published in a blog online that the National Education Association (NEA), the biggest union in the country, announced its support for Clinton on Saturday. http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/10/04/why-did-the-new-york-times-downplay-neas-endors/205958

PunditFact Rates As “False” Conservative Media’s Claim That Cecile Richards Said 86% Of Planned Parenthood’s Revenue Comes From Abortion Services http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/10/07/punditfact-rates-as-false-conservative-medias-c/206008

Bill O’Reilly Denies The Existence Of Child Hunger: “It’s A Total Lie” http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/06/bill-oreilly-denies-the-existance-of-child-hung/205998

Megyn Kelly Defends Police Shown Punching Unarmed Woman In The Head: “You Can’t Resist Arrest”http://mediamatters.org/video/2015/10/06/megyn-kelly-defends-police-shown-punching-unarm/206004

6. Late Night Jokes for Dems

“The story says that Donald Trump gets so little sleep, he actually suffers from sleep deprivation. Then again, so do most people who think about Donald Trump becoming president.” –Jimmy Fallon

“NSA leaker Edward Snowden joined Twitter yesterday, and immediately got more followers than the NSA. Which raises an interesting question: Who’s following the NSA on Twitter?” –Jimmy Fallon

“While visiting America, Pope Francis secretly met with Kim Davis, the county clerk who denied marriage licenses to gay couples. At first she refused to meet with the Pope because she was told, ‘There’s a guy in a dress named Francis here to see you.'” –Conan O’Brien

“Donald Trump’s wife, an immigrant from Slovenia, says she lets Trump be himself. She said, in return, he lets me be in America.” –Conan O’Brien

“Governor Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign is angrily insisting that the “Duck Dynasty” cast supports him and not Donald Trump. And that is the current report on the state of the Bobby Jindal campaign.” –Conan O’Brien

“After their meeting got off to a tense start, Obama and Putin wound up talking for 90 minutes, and Putin described the talks as ‘surprisingly open.’ Putin said it was the most productive conversation he’d ever had with someone who wasn’t tied to a chair.” –Jimmy Fallon

“While in New York City, President Obama and Vladimir Putin met and the meeting was described as awkward. Apparently Obama was upset that he looks nothing like his Tinder photo.” –Conan O’Brien

“In a speech Marco Rubio talked about the danger of electing a president who does not understand technology. Unfortunately, Rubio’s speech was interrupted when his beeper went off. He had to get to a pay phone.” –Conan O’Brien

“Donald Trump came out with this proposal for a new tax plan yesterday. Just like a real presidential candidate would do! It’s kind of adorable.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Trump plans to raise taxes on the very rich — which doesn’t include him because he’s very, VERY rich.” –Jimmy Kimmel

“Under Trump you won’t have to pay any income taxes if you make less than $25,000 a year, if you and your spouse make under $50,000 a year, and if you capture an illegal Mexican you won’t pay any taxes at all.” –Jimmy Kimmel

7. Majority of House Republicans vote to shut down government over women’s health, and lose

Five out of eight Republican House members voted to shut down government over women’s health care on Wednesday. Just 91 of them voted with Democrats and, in the words of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “[o]ne-hundred and fifty one Republicans decided their obsession with women’s health was more important than the thousands of disabled veterans, disadvantaged children and working families who would pay the price of another government shutdown.” That vote, and how candidates for leadership voted, doesn’t bode well for the future of the Republican conference and a functioning Congress. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/01/1426680/-Majority-of-House-Republicans-vote-to-shut-down-government-over-women-s-health-and-lose

8. Late Night with Seth Meyers: A Closer Look: Planned Parenthood

https://youtu.be/K7pNkqVmNKM

9. Gun violence

America’s unique problem with gun violence: Homicides by firearm per 1 million people:

Australia (the lowest): 1.4
Canada 5.1
Switzerland (the next highest): 7.7
US (the highest): 29.7

According to the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Center the reason is simple: The US is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations.For the full chart see http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/10/2/9439435/americas-gun-violence-statistics

American deaths in terrorism vs. gun violence: From 2004 to 2013, 316,545 people died by firearms on U.S. soil. (2013 is the most recent year CDC data for deaths by firearms is available.) This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.

Meanwhile during that same period, there were 36 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism. 10/02/15 Read more at  http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/02/us/oregon-shooting-terrorism-gun-violence/

10. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Thoughts On Pretending And Honesty

https://youtu.be/Brg5ChOTaZM

11. Daily Show w/Trevor Noah: Donald Trump: America’s African President

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/qf2zhn/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-donald-trump–america-s-african-president

12. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health

https://youtu.be/NGY6DqB1HX8

13. Poll: Clinton leads Sanders, Biden, and the entire Democratic fantasy team

There has been seemingly endless discussion over the last few months about potential big name Democratic primary challengers entering the race to take out Hillary Clinton. So Public Policy Polling newest national poll tested Clinton not just against Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, but also against Al Gore and Elizabeth Warren and John Kerry and to make sure we were covering all our bases even Michael Dukakis.

Clinton leads the Democratic race with 42% to 24% for Sanders, 20% for Biden, 2% for Jim Webb, and 1% each for Lincoln Chafee and Martin O’Malley. Among Biden voters, 44% say Clinton would be their second choice to only 21% who say Sanders would be. If Biden doesn’t get in and you reallocate his backers to their second choice, Clinton leads Sanders 51 to 28. 10/06/15 Read more at  http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2015/10/clinton-leads-every-democrat-under-the-sun.html

14. Alabama Demands Voter ID–Then Closes Driver’s License Offices In Black Counties

Because the same Alabama Legislature that could not raise enough money to properly run the state in three sessions this year decided in 2011 that all voters must have a photo ID. It was such a great idea that Gov. Robert Bentley signed that bill into law despite complaints that such a move would disproportionately disenfranchise black voters.

It went into effect last year. And now this.

So Alabama closes 31 driver license offices. And while the cuts come across Alabama, they are deepest in the Black Belt. The harm is inflicted disproportionately on voters who happen to be black, and poor, in sparsely populated areas.

That Alabama refuses to pay for its own government, and used it as an excuse to keep black people from the polls. That Alabama hasn’t changed a bit. 10/01/15 Read more at http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/09/alabama_sends_message_we_are_t.html

OPINION

1. Josh Marshall: LOL

Perhaps Kevin McCarthy is clumsy enough to be a Speaker Democrats can really get behind.

After McCarthy’s candid admission that the House Benghazi committee only exists to beat up Hillary Clinton, House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is rebuking McCarthy for saying something so totally outrageous as what everybody knows to be obviously true. But let’s go a little further in stating the painfully obvious. The “Benghazi” story, issue, whatever you want to call it, has always been about and solely about exploiting the death of four Americans for partisan political gain.

Always.

From day one.

The exploitation and conspiracy derp predated having any idea what happened because that was what it was about: working a political angle. What actually happened, good or bad, was a secondary detail – facts of whatever sort which could be used or arranged in such a way to advance the core goal: exploiting the deaths for political gain.

We know this. Thanks you, Kevin McCarthy for stating the obvious.

McCarthy for Speaker. 10/01/15 Read more at  http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/lol–4

2. Leonard Pitts Jr.: The adult has left the building. Now what?

Republican Rep. Peter King probably put it best when he said of Boehner’s resignation: “I think it signals that crazies have taken over the party.”

Ya think? Heck, some of us — including some Republicans — have been saying that for years. Moreover, the unruliness of the tea party seems part and parcel of a more general lawlessness that has afflicted the once-upon-a-time party of law and order. Consider how GOP presidential candidates rushed to lionize Kentucky bureaucrat Kim Davis, who, in declining to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, did only what George Wallace and Orval Faubus did once upon a time: refused to abide by a Supreme Court ruling. Unable to vindicate their ideals within the rules, conservatives seem increasingly unwilling to be constrained by rules or, indeed, by much of anything.

These are the forces that felled Boehner, and you might describe it as a case of just deserts given that the speaker once supported, and saw political benefit from, the unleashing of those selfsame forces. But what happened here is not good for any of us. Governance in a democracy requires give and take between at least two political parties. More and more, we seem to find ourselves one party short, the GOP choosing instead to function as a cult or belief system.

Boehner’s departure does not help. It only removes one more adult from the equation in a party that doesn’t have any to spare. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article36982884.html

3. LA Times Editorial: Demand an end to gun violence, now

Gun violence is a singular issue in this country, grotesquely defended by the cult of the gun and enshrouded in a romanticized interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that the Supreme Court wrongfully endorsed in its 2008 District of Columbia versus Heller decision recognizing an individual right to bear arms. It’s sobering to note the Washington Post’s analysis that not a calendar week has gone by in President Obama’s second term that has not included at least one mass shooting (identified as four or more victims killed or injured).

ShootingTracker.com counts 375 people (including gunmen) killed and 1,089 wounded this year as of Thursday in 294 incidents in which four or more people were shot though not necessarily killed. And the carnage continues: Associated Press reports that on Thursday night in Florida, three more people were killed, including the gunman, and a fourth wounded.

Yet elected officials in state legislatures and Congress largely do nothing, clinging to a near-religious embrace of the right to bear arms in a political theater owned by gun manufacturers and their gun-worshipping acolytes. Not only is that a dereliction of the elected officials’ duty to keep the American people safe, it is a horrific disregard for human life. And the shame is shared by an electorate that doesn’t demand more. 10/02/15 Read more at  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-oregon-guns-20151003-story.html

4. Kathleen Parker: The New McCarthyism is dead on arrival

The consequences of McCarthy’s sleight of tongue can’t be overstated. It wasn’t just a Washington gaffe — when someone accidentally tells the truth. It was a self-inflicted, potentially fatal wound, not just to McCarthy but to Republicans more broadly, including those running for president.

One minute McCarthy was the near-certain next speaker of the House; the next he was persona non grata as GOP colleagues, their own minds hurtling through various apocalyptic scenarios, hammered him.

McCarthy has since tried to cram the bad genie back into the bottle, but the damage has been done and can’t be undone.

Essentially, he had handed Clinton the keys to her prison cell. Held hostage these past three years by a series of Republican interrogators about the September 2012 attack in Libya that killed our ambassador and three others, she has been liberated.

The Benghazi hearings that led to the private server, that led to the missing 30,000 e-mails, that led to the FBI investigation that thus far has led only to the conclusion that she was hackable — have been reduced in the public mind to a political hit job organized to damage her chances of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.

This isn’t necessarily the whole of it — House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and others certainly believe there’s more to know — but the cement has set on what McCarthy implied. At the very least, any previous suspicions that Republicans were just out to get Clinton have cleared the bar of reasonable doubt.

One can imagine, meanwhile, that Clinton is performing mental pirouettes and grand jetes, dancing circles around the vast right-wing conspiracy, even as she conveys almost sorrowfully how “deeply distressing” McCarthy’s admission is. 10/02/15 Read more at  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-new-mccarthyism-is-dead-on-arrival/2015/10/02/a7615972-6949-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html

5. Paul Waldman: Why Kevin McCarthy’s ‘gaffe’ enraged reporters

There was not a single reporter in America who heard McCarthy’s comments and said, “Wait a minute — the Benghazi committee is political? My god!” So why would McCarthy’s remark get so much press attention when it’s merely stating the obvious? The answer lies in reporters’ frustration.

Nobody likes to be lied to, even if the lie is exactly what they expect, and even if the lie can be dismissed as mere spin. Politicians are constantly spinning to reporters, so in response, the reporters look for any opportunity to uncover, refute, or discredit those lies, whether they were trivial or momentous. That’s one reason that so much political coverage is about strategy, coverage that essentially says, “This is what politicians are saying, but the more important truth can be found in their motives.” It characterizes all politics as theater, a great big fiction meant to mislead and manipulate. By talking about politics that way, reporters not only assert their own agency but assure themselves and their audience that they haven’t been taken in, that they’re no suckers.

But every once in a while, a politician gets caught in a lie but refuses to act properly contrite. So it is with Carly Fiorina, who for the last couple of weeks has kept repeating falsehoods about what was on those Planned Parenthood “sting” videos, no matter how many times she gets corrected. Fiorina’s calculation, which may well be accurate, is that it’s working, so why stop? Her poll numbers are rising and anti-abortion Republicans are treating her like their new hero, so who cares what a bunch of fact-checkers say? Read more at http://theweek.com/articles/580404/why-kevin-mccarthys-gaffe-enraged-reporters

6. E.J. Dionne Jr.: The conservative evasion on guns

Conservatives might usefully listen to former Australian prime minister John Howard, who has noted that he led “a center-right coalition” whose parties represented “virtually every nonurban electoral district in the country.” In other words, his party is a lot like our Republicans.

After a psychologically disturbed man killed 35 people in Tasmania, Howard championed state bans on the ownership, possession and sale of all automatic and semiautomatic weapons by Australia’s states, along with a federal ban on their importation. He also sponsored a gun buyback scheme that got almost 700,000 guns — the statistical equivalent of 40 million in the United States — off the streets and destroyed. “Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control,” Howard wrote in the New York Times shortly after the Newtown killings.

Politicizing this struggle means being unrelentingly candid in calling out an American conservative movement that proudly champions law and order but allows itself to be dominated by gun extremists who deride every gun measure that might make our country a little bit safer — no matter how many mass killings we have.

Conservatives all over the world are aghast at our nation’s permissive attitude toward guns. Is a dangerous and harebrained absolutism about weaponry really the issue on which American conservatives want to practice exceptionalism? 10/04/15 Read more at  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obama-forces-us-to-face-reality-on-mass-shootings/2015/10/02/5e1449b6-693d-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html

7. Norm Ornstein: How GOP Radicals Made the Speakership Unappealing

The huge election victory in 2014, which included recapturing the Senate, emboldened the radicals—the government shutdown they had pushed in 2013 did not cost them at the polls. But it left party leaders in both houses realizing that now, with Republicans controlling all of Congress, the need to show responsibility, no longer playing games with shutdowns or debt limits, was even greater. The growing strength of populist radicals resulted in the ironic primary defeat of the head Young Gun, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, by Tea Partyite Dave Brat.

It was inevitable that these two forces—radicals flexing their muscles, demanding war against Obama from their congressional foxholes, and leaders realizing that a hard line was a fool’s errand—would collide violently.  The party outside Congress, including at the grass roots, has itself become more radical, and angrier at the party establishment for breaking promises and betraying its ideals. When polls consistently show that two-thirds of Republicans favor outsiders for their presidential nomination, it is not surprising that Ted Cruz would call his own Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, a liar on the Senate floor. Even insiders like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie have been eager to treat McConnell and Boehner like pinatas.

By any reasonable standard, John Boehner is a bedrock conservative—opposed to big government, pro-life, and in favor of big tax cuts. Boehner would have been placed at the right end of his party a couple of decades ago. But as a realist operating in the real world of divided government and separation of powers, he became a target within his own ranks. Now he is almost at the left end of a party that has gone from center-right to right-center to a place that is more radical than it is conservative—what Tom Mann and I called “an insurgent outlier.” On the verge of losing complete control, Boehner bailed. Boehner, with a month to go, may try to avert a shutdown and make the job of his likely successor, Young Gun Kevin McCarthy, easier. That won’t last long. In the new tribal world of radical politics, the first constitutional office has lost its luster. 9/25/15 Read more at http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/how-gop-radicals-made-the-speakership-unappealing/407563/

8. Paul Krugman: Voodoo Never Dies

So Donald Trump has unveiled his tax plan. It would, it turns out, lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit.

This is in contrast to Jeb Bush’s plan, which would lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit, and Marco Rubio’s plan, which would lavish huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit.

For what it’s worth, it looks as if Trump’s plan would make an even bigger hole in the budget than Jeb’s. Jeb justifies his plan by claiming that it would double America’s rate of growth; The Donald, ahem, trumps this by claiming that he would triple the rate of growth. But really, why sweat the details? It’s all voodoo. The interesting question is why every Republican candidate feels compelled to go down this path.

You might think that there was a defensible economic case for the obsession with cutting taxes on the rich. That is, you might think that if you’d spent the past 20 years in a cave (or a conservative think tank). Otherwise, you’d be aware that tax-cut enthusiasts have a remarkable track record: They’ve been wrong about everything, year after year.

Never forget that what it’s really about is top-down class warfare. That may sound simplistic, but it’s the way the world works. Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/opinion/voodoo-never-dies.html

9. Paul Waldman: Ben Carson is ready for the coming American apocalypse

As someone who has never run for office before and who seems to neither know nor care much about the substance of what a president does, Ben Carson’s appeal among Republican voters can be a little hard to discern. He’s outwardly devout, appealing to evangelical voters — but so are many of the other presidential hopefuls (Mike Huckabee is even an actual Baptist minister). He has an inspiring life story, which is great, but that doesn’t necessarily make you choose him over other candidates. He’s an “outsider,” but so are lots of other contenders (even some who currently serve in Congress claim that mantle).

But there’s one thing that distinguishes him from other candidates that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, and may have something to do with the fact that Carson is firmly in second place in the GOP race: only he fully embraces an apocalyptic vision of the American nightmare that is upon us. More than anyone else, he represents a particular fringe faction of the conservative movement, one that saw its prominence increase during the early years of the Obama administration, but as of late has been fading somewhat.

If you listen to Carson, you won’t have to wait long before he references some bizarre conspiracy theory or says something indicating that he thinks everything is about to turn to hell. This a marked contrast with Donald Trump, for instance, who insists that America is already a dump, where our leaders are idiots, China stole all our jobs, and we never win anything. Carson, on the other hand, says that the real cataclysm isn’t here yet, but it’s on its way. Read more at http://theweek.com/articles/580740/ben-carson-ready-coming-american-apocalypse

11. Eric Boehlert: Benghazi, Emails, Planned Parenthood: How D.C. Press Keeps Enabling The GOP’s Orchestrated Distractions

Within the span of just 12 hours this week, multiple Republican-sponsored political pursuits partially unraveled in plain sight.

The long-running investigations were the Benghazi select committee and the related probe into Hillary Clinton’s private emails, and Republicans’ crusade targeting Planned Parenthood. Journalists would be wise to take note of the pattern of plain deception and ask themselves if they want to keep sponsoring these planned distractions.

One reason these Groundhog Day scenes keeping play out, again and again and again, is the fact that too many journalists are absolutely wed to the very simple definition of what constitutes news: What are conservatives angry about?

As Media Matters can attest, virtually none of the often-hysterical allegations attached to those distractions were ever proven to be true. Instead, the pursuits imploded under their own weight. Yet too often, these supposed scandals broke out of the Fox News bubble and became mainstream “news.”

So when’s the press going to get the message and stop enabling these charades? 10/03/15 Read more at http://www.nationalmemo.com/benghazi-emails-planned-parenthood-how-d-c-press-keeps-enabling-the-gops-orchestrated-distractions/

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