If We Can Keep It

This July 4th is important for several reasons.

One, as a (relatively) young nation, it still astounds that we persist. In comparison to the older countries on the planet, we are barely in our teens, and sometimes act accordingly. Second, we are a democracy; imperfect, and created by imperfect people, as ALL people are. In the jingoism that envelops us through our narrative, it is easy to lose sight of that; imagine the naked audacity of a declaration that all men are created equal being disseminated by a landed gentry that owned other human beings and not only didn’t consider them equal, but didn’t consider them human. A 3/5th compromise indeed. Third, and most importantly at this point in time, the republic is at greater peril than at any time since the Civil War, and that peril is being cheered on by those who would gladly re-impose the ’50s (that’s 1850s for those who are paying attention) so long as the fallacy of white supremacy is maintained.

So, on this 4th of July weekend, let us remember those who would deny freedom for ALL citizens so long as they maintain power:

On July 4, 2018, a delegation of seven Republican U.S. Senators and one Republican member of the House of Representatives spent the Independence Day holiday in Moscow.

Of the eight, six are up for re-election in 2022. They’re all pretty well entrenched in GOP strongholds, of course, but wouldn’t it be a pretty thing to dislodge even one or two of these treasonous scum? Anyone on the ground who knows whether that’s even thinkable? They celebrated America’s birthday in Russia. Voters shouldn’t be allowed to forget that.

The Moscow Eight (a refresher):Richard Shelby (AL) — 87 yrs old. In Senate since 1987 (finishing his sixth term). Will not seek re-election in 2022.

Steve Daines (MT) — 58 yrs old. In Senate since 2015 (in his second term). Not up for re-election until 2026.

John Kennedy (LA) — 69 yrs old. In senate since 2017 (completing his first term). Up for re-election in 2022.

John Hoeven (ND) — 64 yrs old. In Senate since 2011 (completing his second term). Up for re-election in 2022.

Ron Johnson (WI) — 66 yrs old. In Senate since 2011 (completing his second term). Up for re-election in 2022.

Jerry Moran (KS) — 67 yrs old. In Senate since 2011 (completing his second term). Up for re-election in 2022.

John Thune (SD) — 60 yrs old. In Senate since 2005 (completing his third term). Up for re-election in 2022.

Kay Granger (TX-12) — the only woman and only House member in the Moscow CoDel. 78 yrs old. Member of Congress since 1997 (currently in her 13th term). Up for re-election in 2022.

Here’s what they, and the Orange Menance wrought:

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Soap Is For Socialists

Just when you think the depths of stupidity can go no lower, here comes Thom Tillis:

In a week packed with news over concerns for public health, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) described his own history of opposing certain health and hygiene regulations, including those that require employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom.
During a Q&A at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Monday, Tillis related a story from his time in the state legislature in 2010, complaining that the U.S. is “one of the most regulated nations in the history of the planet,” video via C-SPAN shows.

“I was having a discussion with someone, and we were at a Starbucks in my district, and we were talking about certain regulations where I felt like ‘maybe you should allow businesses to opt out,'” the senator said.

Tillis said his interlocutor was in disbelief, and asked whether he thought businesses should be allowed to “opt out” of requiring employees to wash their hands after using the restroom.

The senator said he’d be fine with it, so long as businesses made this clear in “advertising” and “employment literature.”

“I said: ‘I don’t have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says “We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom,” Tillis said.

“The market will take care of that,” he added, to laughter from the audience.

Wrapping up the Q&A, the moderator joked to Tillis, “I’m not sure I’m gonna shake your hand.”

Good call, moderator.

This approaches Jim Hoft levels of stupid.

Also, go check out #TillisSigns.  You’re welcome.

Today In Republican Derptitude

Actually, this happened yesterday:

Arizona state congressman (and national congressional candidate) Adam Kwasman intercepted a bus full of migrant children in Phoenix Tuesday, tweeting, “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.”

Or so he thought. Kwasman was caught short when Arizona Central reporter Brahm Resnik informed him the bus he lamented was actually full of YMCA campers, who another reporter said were “laughing and taking pictures of the media.”

“I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces…. This is not compassion,” Kwasman was telling the reporter when Resnik broke the news to him.

“You know that was a bus with YMCA kids?” Resnik asked.

“Well, they were sad too,” Kwasman said. A moment later, he conceded, “That was a mistake,” and deleted the tweet.

His opponent should run this clip from now till Election Day:

Putting The Right On Report

Nothing I could say on the matter of SGT Bergdahl’s return (and the lunacy of the howls of outrage from a right wing that just weeks earlier was praying for his return) would be better than what Chief Wright had to say, so I’ll point you to him:

“Nevertheless, Bergdahl has been condemned by the popular media, by social networks, by pundits and politicians, not because they know more about the situation than you or I do, but solely because they hate the president. If Obama was behind Bergdahl’s release, then Bergdahl is a traitor, Q.E.D. because the president must never, ever, be allowed even the slightest acknowledgement of patriotism. 

This condemnation isn’t about Bergdahl, it’s about Obama.

Please go read the whole thing – it’s as complete a dissection of the dishonest right wing as you’ll ever see.

Whatchu Talking ‘Bout, Tillis?

Specifically, he’s paying homage to an old classic, “Let’s You and Them Fight!”:

There is so much fail packed into this vid it’s hard to pick a starting point.  Let’s start with the point that this is the so-called “Establishment” GOP candidate – probably because he declined to actually wear a hood during this appearance.  Make no mistake about it, he’s every bit the raging lunatic the GOPTea Party loves – just tones it down enough for public consumption (perfect for those who think that Cliven and Sterling are beyond the pale only because of their coarseness, and also totebaggers searching for that ever elusive “moderate” Republican).

Next, let’s look at this bit of foolishness (emphasis mine):

What we have to do is find a way to divide and conquer the people who are on assistance … We have to show respect for that woman who has cerebral palsy and had no choice, in her condition, that needs help and that we should help. And we need to get those folks to look down at these people who choose to get into a condition that makes them dependent on the government and say at some point, “You’re on your own. We may end up taking care of those babies, but we’re not going to take care of you.” And we’ve got to start having that serious discussion.

OK, so he wants to show respect to someone who is “obviously” disabled – neatly forgetting that a great many Americans suffer from disabilities that aren’t visible to the naked eye – are people who use benefits in public to be interrogated to see if they’re “worthy?”  Second, encouraging certain of the citizenry to look down on others is a GOP staple, and in the long run benefits neither those looking down nor those being looked down upon – it’s all crabs all the way down at that point.  Of course, when you’re the one holding the pot, you can even brag to the crabs that you’re doing the boiling – and the GOP voters will likely chip in for the butter.

There’s only one way Tillis and others like him are going to be beat – and that’s by a candidate that will run on the ACA instead of running away from it.  Kay Hagan, speaking at the Burwell confirmation hearing:

While Republican senators mostly went through the motions with their anti-Obamacare talking points or outright endorsed Burwell as Kathleen Sebelius’s replacement, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) used her time to trumpet the benefits of Medicaid expansion — and emphasize the downside of not expanding.

Left unsaid, but strongly implied, was that her opponent, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, who locked up the GOP nomination earlier this week, had been instrumental in stopping the state from expanding Medicaid under the law.

“Last year in North Carolina, our state legislature and governor decided against expanding the state’s Medicaid program,” Hagan said as she started her questioning, “and as a result, about 500,000 people who would have qualified for coverage through Medicaid are not now able to do so.”

“These are some of the most vulnerable in our society,” she said, “who will continue to seek care in emergency rooms and then will leave chronic conditions unmanaged, which we know is detrimental to their health and the economy.”

There are many in the state that have been shocked and appalled at what McCrory, Pope, and company have done to the state since the 2012 election; if enough of these voters get behind Hagan, she stands a good chance of winning reelection.  But she can only win if she stays on her current course – should she start playing Blue Dog, she will lose.  She can win without the bigots, but she won’t win without the rest of us.