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Make up your own mind: Fifty of Ron Paul’s ‘fringy’ newsletters posted online
05:14 pm

Stupid or Evil?


In case you’d like to peruse the uh… far-out newsletters that Republican Presidential Ron Paul published in the 80s and 90s, there are 50 of them posted online at the Et tu, Mr. Destructo? blog.

The newsletters, which were described by TPM’s Benjy Sarlin as “compar[ing] African Americans to zoo animals, warned of a coming race war, and generally promoted racist, anti-semitic, and fringe militia views” will still probably not convince Ron Paul fanatics of a damned thing!

Mr Destructo writes:

“[...] there’s no way Paul could have been ignorant of the content [of] 8-12 page newsletters published under his name for over ten years. Paul supporters face three losing propositions:

• He lacks the competency to control content published under his own name for over a decade, and is thus unfit to lead a country.

• He doesn’t believe these things but considers them a useful political tool to motivate racist whites, which makes him fit to be a GOP candidate, but too obvious about it to win.

• He’s actually a racist, which makes him unfit to be a human being.

Further, you can’t dismiss this in the name of higher political or socioeconomic aspirations. Since Paul has no chance of winning — seriously, no chance at all — his only value is as a voice, a conduit for principles. And if your only hope is to change the discourse by amplifying ideas, you can do that via many voices and avenues. As I said in my Vice follow-up, acknowledging some of Paul’s good ideas, when you opt to support anti-imperialist and civil liberties ideals by supporting Paul the Candidate, you end up supporting everything else about him. That includes those newsletters and the unambiguous message to those who enjoy them: You can write these things and succeed; this works. The other good ideas to which he’s signatory can’t erase the fact that he put his name to those words printed above. The moral weight of those newsletters drags down even the most high-minded aspirations he has about civil liberties, and everything crashes down on all of us.

Back to Benjy Sarlin at TPM:

But his explanation is still relatively incomplete. As USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich noted on Thursday, when Paul responded to a similar controversy over the newsletters in a 1996 interview with the Dallas Morning News, he said that he was indeed aware of some of the offending passages and even offered explanations as to the thinking behind them. For example, he said a passage suggesting that “[g]iven the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” was based on outside research.

Video researcher Andrew Kaczynski unearthed a clip in 1995, before the newsletters had become an election issue in his district, in which Paul discussed the publication as one of his passion projects in his years out of Congress. He described it as a “political type of business, investment newsletter.”

Ron Paul’s base is by far the most devoted of any candidate and it’s unlikely the story, which came up in the 2008 election as well, will have much impact on his core supporters. But with Paul surging in Iowa and increasingly broadening his reach within the party, it might put a ceiling on his momentum.

In addition to the objectionable content of the newsletters, his odd explanation contrasts heavily with his hard-earned brand as an unconventional anti-politician who always tells the truth as he sees it and never waters down his views to pander to voters. It’s hard to square this with a candidate who claims that he somehow never bothered to read a newsletter published under his own name that generated as much as $1 million in revenues in just one single year. Even accepting that premise, how many politicians looking to start a publication would just happen to pick a half dozen writers with blatant white supremacist and milita leanings to run the effort?

Paultards, don’t shoot the messenger here. If you’re going to comment, comment on THIS STUFF, okay? Keep it ON THE TOPIC.

In the clip below, Paul discuses the newsletter at approx 1:40 in:

Thank you Ned Raggett!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
House Republicans stage ‘bipartisan flash mob’

Above, Rep. Steny Hoyer’s press conference today.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for unanimous consent that we bring up the bill to extend the tax cut to 160 million Americans, as you walk off the floor Mr. Speaker, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class tax payers, the unemployed, and very frankly as well from those who will be seeking medical assistance from their doctors — 48 million senior citizens.”

This CSPAN footage of House Republicans having a right little snit fit is something you’ll be seeing over and over again in DNC political ads in the coming year. THIS is what the GOP version of bipartisanship looks like, their way or the highway, quite literally. Everyone knows what who the roadblocks are in Washington anyway, but this was a graphic reminder!

What was the House Republican leadership thinking (nothing) to just hand over an image like this to the opposition? It’s like they’re suicidal lemmings. Via TPM:

While Republican leaders gathered in Speaker John Boehner’s Capitol office Wednesday morning for a photo op with reporters — hectoring Democrats and making the case that they’re on the right side of the payroll tax fight — an unusual scene played out on the House floor.

In an attempt to illustrate just who’s at fault for the payroll tax stalemate Minority Whip Steny Hoyer showed up to ask for a vote on the Senate’s compromise bill. Republicans could have simply objected and given Hoyer his talking point. Instead they gave him so much more.

Republicans just ignored Hoyer and refused to hear his unanimous consent request. The fill-in Speaker simply walked away.

The GOP is imploding even faster than I thought they would. This week’s antics have been particularly breathtaking... Keep it up lads and finish the job! I know you can do it!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Newt Gingrich heckled/chased by Occupy Des Moines

Occupy Des Moines protesters razzed Newt Gingrich at the Iowa capitol this morning, disrupting the endorsement he was about to get from from Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, before heckling and chasing Gingrich and his wife Callista out of the building.

At first a fellow named David Goodner, of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, yelled “mic check” but security escorted him out almost immediately. A few minutes later several people began chanting, “Put people first,” but the press conference continued and Paulsen’s endorsement was conferred.

Soon after several protesters tried to corner him Gingrich to ask questions about his position on taxes and other things, but Gingrich’s staff held then back or he’d give them curt, dismissive answers.

The group – along with several dozen media employees – followed Gingrich and his wife Callista down the stairs of the Capitol and to a vehicle that was waiting to escort them.

They yelled at Gingrich as he walked away:

“You gave me 10 seconds, sir.  What if I had a million dollars. Would I get 10 minutes? How about an hour?”

“Speaker Gingrich, you can run but you can’t hide. We’re going to come for you everywhere you go.  You can’t show your face in public without seeing us.”

“You say you don’t like super PACs. How much money are super PACs spending on your campaign right now?”

Adam Mason of CCI explained his group’s actions today by saying they have been forced to result to disruptions since politicians won’t listen to their concerns.

“Speaker Gingrich and politicians like him have had deaf ears towards the concerns of everyday folks for too long,” Mason said. “That’s why the tea party stood up and that’s why Occupy has stood up and that’s why we continue to have to raise our voices to get them to listen.”

Keep it up folks, these bastards need to understand where you’re comin’ from… Hopefully more footage will surface of this incident as the day goes on.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Fox News FAIL: Everything You Know About The Payroll Tax Is Wrong

Looks like TPM cribbed a title from the Firesign Theatre (not that I’ve ever done such a thing!) with this ridiculous clip from the mixed-up, muddled-up, zany Bizarro World of Fox and Friends, where up is down, black is white, the sky is whatever color Roger Ailes tells them it is and where Republicans want to help the little guys…

Watch in stunned bemusement as these three tax experts shockingly ignorant people (plus wicked radio witch Laura Ingraham) tie themselves into Klein bottles as they crawl up their own assholes trying to explain why it’s really the Democrats’ fault that the Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class—but not on billionaires, no way—to an audience comprised of people even dumber than they are!

And they still can’t do it.

Gretchen Carlson really outdoes herself here. And Laura Ingraham falsely claims that we live “in a country where 50% of Americans pay no tax at all.” This is a bold-faced lie and she knows it. Ingraham is slimy and she’s mean, but she’s not dumb (Politifact, where are you???).

There are classic Fox News moments and then there are classic Fox News moments... This pathetic example of amusingly amateur Orwellian doublespeak is a new low even for the three stooges on that couch. People who get their news from Fox fill their heads with shit and this is a good illustration of that in action, as plain as day.

For shits and giggles, share this one in advance with that Tea party-supporting uncle of yours who you’ll be seeing later this week. If the Democrats were smart—and they aren’t—they’d let this one play itself out over the holidays so Tea baggers can twist in the wind bragging about what the Republican congressmen and women they got into office in the last election cycle have achieved for the country. Nice fuckin’ work, gramps!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kim Jong-un: Like father like son?
05:07 am

Current Events
Stupid or Evil?


Little Kim is reputedly a tightly wound arrogant alcoholic with a fetish for military gear, fast cars, platform shoes and Daffy Duck videos just like his dead daddy. This pudgy mouth-breather is Kim Jong-il’s Mini-Me without the Dr. Evil allure.

He has the yeasty puffiness of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the slightly dazed look of an overweight baby that’s just wet its bed. With a bit of leather trim and a touch of brocade, he might be mistaken for one of Hitler’s ottomans, a comfortable foot rest where a pair of shiny black jackboots might find a perfect nesting place.

Let’s hope the lil’ dick-tator doesn’t do something real stupid to prove he’s a tough guy. Things get ugly when one of of these elevator-shoe-wearin’ autocrats try to over-compensate for their size and start gettin’ all nuclear and shit. Plus, the dude’s only 28-years-old. Has he even been laid? If you’re unfucked, you have no business being anywhere near a nuclear device. Sex, along with a good meal and rock and roll, makes life worth living. A virgin Pillsbury Dough Boy with his finger on the button is the stuff of nightmares.

We don’t need no fascist groove thang.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Wait a minute: What percentage of Iowa’s GOP voters are STILL ‘birthers’?
03:37 pm

Class War
Stupid or Evil?


Lost in all the reporting of Newt Gingrich’s humiliating implosion in the polls leading up to the Iowa Caucus, is the fact that Public Policy Polling asked nearly 600 Iowa Republican voters if they thought that President Barack Obama was born in the United States and found that over half of them are “birthers” or “not sure” about his country of birth.

Only 47%  of the GOP voters polled in Iowa said that Obama was born in the United States.

For god’s sake… half?? Still? People this “reality challenged” and ignorant shouldn’t have such an out-sized influence on who gets to be leader of the free world. An electorate as uninformed and as unintelligent as this is a danger to all of us.

That’s why we should cut funding for education…it’s KENYAN SOCIALISM!



Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jesus heals a gay man

“I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message.”

Via I Heart Chaos

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Reichwing Sheriff Joe Arpaio charged with long list of civil rights violations by Justice Dept.

Hero of anti-immigrant, racist Republicans everywhere, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio was charged by the Justice Department with a rather long and utterly appalling list of civil rights violations.

Arpaio’s comically egotistical thirst for self-promotion (he briefly starred in a reality TV series) and flagrant disregard for civil rights have been well-known for a long time—it’s why the likes of Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain and Rick Perry all wanted to fellate this crotchety old bastard for his endorsement—but now the media notoriety he’s sought after might prove to be Arpaio’s undoing. Associated Press writes:

The civil rights report said Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped in traffic stops in Maricopa County than non-Latinos and that the agency’s immigration policies treat Latinos as if they are all in the country illegally. Deputies on the immigrant-smuggling squad stop and arrest Latino drivers without good cause, the investigation found.

A review done as part of the investigation found that 20 percent of traffic reports handled by Arpaio’s immigrant-smuggling squad from March 2006 to March 2009 were stops - almost all involving Latino drivers - that were done without reasonable suspicion. The squad’s stops rarely led to smuggling arrests.

Deputies are encouraged to make high-volume traffic stops in targeted locations. There were Latinos who were in the U.S. legally who were arrested or detained without cause during the sweeps, according to the report.

During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city - in some cases, heavily Latino areas - over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Illegal immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted by his office since January 2008, according to figures provided by Arpaio’s office.

Police supervisors, including at least one smuggling-squad supervisor, often used county accounts to send emails that demeaned Latinos to fellow sheriff’s managers, deputies and volunteers in the sheriff’s posse. One such email had a photo of a mock driver’s license for a fictional state called “Mexifornia.”

The report said that the sheriff’s office launched an immigration operation two weeks after the sheriff received a letter in August 2009 letter about a person’s dismay over employees of a McDonald’s in the Phoenix suburb of Sun City who didn’t speak English. The tip laid out no criminal allegations. The sheriff wrote back to thank the writer “for the info,” said he would look into it and forwarded it to a top aide with a note of “for our operation.”
Federal investigators focused heavily on the language barriers in Arpaio’s jails. Latino inmates with limited English skills were punished for failing to understand commands in English by being put in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day or keeping prisoners locked down in their jail pods for as long as 72 hours without a trip to the canteen area or making nonlegal phone calls.

The report said some jail officers used racial slurs for Latinos when talking among themselves and speaking to inmates.

Detention officers refused to accept forms requesting basic daily services and reporting mistreatment when the documents were completed in Spanish and pressured Latinos with limited English skills to sign forms that implicate their legal rights without language assistance.

The agency pressures Latinos with limited English skills to sign forms by yelling at them and keeping them in uncomfortably cold cells for long periods of time.

As Miranda Blue, writing on the People for the American Way blog, adds:

These allegations are disturbing enough in themselves. But what’s even more troubling is that the person behind them has been not only held up as a hero by the Right, but has served as an inspiration for immigration legislation around the country. In a report last year, we examined the ways the anti-immigrant Right has worked to dehumanize immigrants in order “to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment and build political opposition to comprehensive immigration reform.” It should come as no surprise that Sheriff Joe is the movement’s figurehead.

Nope, none at all!

At the Justice Department press conference today, Arpaio was accused of violating the Constitution and Federal laws.

Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department’s civil rights division said the Arpaio investigation represents the most egregious case of racial profiling in the nation’s history, worse than anything he’s seen himself or reviewed in professional literature. Investigators interviewed more than 400 people, reviewed thousands of pages of documentation and toured Maricopa County jails as part of the probe.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Republicans don’t want this 84-year-old woman to vote!

If embattled WI Governor Scott Walker can’t win fair and square at the ballot box in the now all but inevitable recall election he faces—WI Dems are making a big announcement on Thursday about the recall campaign’s progress—then why not try something immoral and shysty?

I’ll tell you why NOT, Scott: It makes people hate your fucking guts even more and it makes them all the more determined to kick your ass to the curb. 

For every story of voter suppression and menacing of Recall Walker volunteers by brain-addled reichwingers, there are more people making up their minds by the minute to boot this toxic motherfucker out of office.

It’s odd that it didn’t occur to to Walker and his weasely Republicans cronies that this kind of story might prove to be a bit of a public relations NIGHTMARE and that there would be push-back—and plenty of it—with this sort of extremely ill-advised move. From People’s World:

For more than 60 years Ruthelle Frank has not missed an election in her town, her state and her country. She first voted in 1948 and has voted in every single election since then.

She is herself an elected official in her hometown of Brokaw, Wisconsin. She is a member of the Brokaw Village Board.

Now, however, because of the new Republican voter ID law in Wisconsin, 2012 will be the first year Frank can’t vote.

Under the new law people must carry a new state issued photo ID in order to vote. The ID itself is free but one must have a birth certificate in order to get the free ID. Birth certificates, for those in Wisconsin who don’t have them, cost $20. Opponents of the Republican voter ID law argue that this, by itself, amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

Frank’s first problem is that she does not have a birth certificate. People born at home in the 1920s in Wisconsin did not receive official birth certificates. Like many others in 1927, Frank was born in her own house.

The ACLU have stepped in on Ruthelle Frank’s behalf to challenge this vileness in court.

WHO would think something like this is smart politically??? Well… Republicans apparently. If you can’t beat ‘em, CHEAT ‘em.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Evil troll: Newt Gingrich wants to speed up America’s race to the bottom

Taking current GOP front-runner, Newt Gingrich—and his plan to put inner city children to work as janitors—to task, Crooks and Liars managing editor Tina Dupuy writes of her own experiences working as a child janitor for the princely wage of $4.25 an hour (she made $75 a week before tax!). As Dupuy writes, it’s not that America’s poor children need jobs to discipline them and to make them better workers, it’s that the jobs need to be better for America’s adults!

Full disclosure: I, too, worked as a janitor at a municipal park in West Virginia at the age of 14 and made this exact same wage. I don’t really think it harmed me in any way. In fact, I wanted to do it so I was able to buy punk rock records, marijuana and LSD, but that’s not the point here: It’s that apparently Newt Gingrich thinks that America’s adult workforce should be competing with their own children for jobs that pay a third world wage.

Why isn’t it being framed like that in the media? It seems so obvious, doesn’t it?

You’d have to be a fucking Republican to believe such nonsense…

Now 49 million Americans live in poverty – with 2.6 million falling into the category last year. That’s 16 percent of Americans. There are more Americans living in poverty than there are Canadians on the planet.

Gingrich is trying to equate poverty with a moral shortcoming. It’s a warped offshoot of the prosperity gospel – riches are a sign of god’s love – poverty is a sign of his indifference.

But also in this richer-and-therefore-holier-than-thou diatribe of Gingrich’s is an attempt to bust unions. He suggested firing union janitors to hire children to clean their own schools. Yes, a janitor with a job that pays him enough to live on is, in Gingrich’s eyes, a problem. In the call for hiring children and ending child labor laws is the call to end working for a living.

All the anchors of a middle-class living (pensions, benefits, decent salaries) are being dubbed “luxuries” by Republicans, to be sacrificed so magical “job creators” can be cajoled into saving us all.

Because, really, the greatest threat to America is that janitors are paid too much. Please. Wealthy janitors are, to borrow Gingrich’s phrase, “an invented people.”

Gingrich has a dark vision for a Shining City Upon a Hill: where poor children work in place of union labor. It’s basically the 20th century played in reverse.

Working (even scrubbing toilets) should mean making a living. If someone who works is still eligible for food stamps and government assistance – it’s really the employer who is federally subsidized. These “job creators” are taking advantage of government programs so they won’t have to cut into their profit margins to pay living wages.

The best example of this is also the biggest private employer in the country: Walmart.

If Newt and his Republican same-thinks want to go after Welfare Queens and those who don’t value work – go after the Walmart heirs. According to economist Sylvia Allegretto in 2007 the six Walmart heirs own more than the bottom 30 percent of Americans. And that was four years ago when their wealth was estimated at $69.7 billion, now it’s thought to be around $93 billion.

KA-POW. ‘Nuff said.

And this evil piece of shit is the Republican front runner!

On point, it’s hardly because GOP primary voters are rejecting Mitt Romney for a more conservative candidate: They just want someone MEANER!

Confessions of a Child Janitor (Crooks and Liars)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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