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Who’s (still) Afraid of the Big, Bad Republicans?


 
My wife recently asked me: “So why aren’t you writing any more of your political screeds for the blog lately?”

Some readers have written in and asked the same thing: When did I stop hating on Republicans, anyways?

I promise you I haven’t, but generally speaking, I get pretty burnt out on politics after an election year. This time, though, I think it goes deeper than that. The main reason I think I care less about politics today than I did only five months ago is that for years I’ve long expected to see a steep decline in the size of the GOP’s voter base and the party’s influence and I think that’s now pretty much a fait accompli. We’ve seen it happen. 2012 was the very last year that the Republicans still had a decent shot at getting in on a national level and cementing the rules of, ahem, “democracy” to favor themselves—but as we all know, that didn’t happen.

I certainly think there were very valid reasons for fearing the rise of the far right—the brief Tea party moment was admittedly not something that I saw coming—but I’m not feeling that so much anymore.

The Tea party foolishness, Glenn Beck, the birthers and the rapid rise and fall of Sarah Palin can already be seen in the rear-view mirror as the frenzied flailing of a dying elephant. By 2016, a pretty good chunk of the Grand Old Party’s aging baby boomer base will have at least one foot in the grave and by 2020 and 2024, well, forget about it.
 

 
In the very near future, America will be truly unrecognizable to itself, and this will be especially hard on the folks who don’t even live in the present to begin with. Progress cannot be stopped. Entropy is simply not possible in a country this big and with such a radically changing demographic makeup, no matter how certain personality types—low IQ authoritarians, xenophobes, racists, religious busybodies, I’m talking about the GOP base, here, of course—try to force it on everyone else.

I’m just so over it. Aren’t you?

The dam has burst on a lot of issues: immigration reform, LGBT civil rights, cannabis laws, healthcare, and the water is rushing past the reichwingers and they just got drenched.

This is not to say that I’m not still amused by soaking wet Republicans, it’s just that the 2012 election showed, I think definitively, the hard and fast limits to their influence and that the national brand is truly a spent force, one perhaps best left behind as a relic of another era (like plaid golf pants, Brylcreem, Lawrence Welk… or Jim Crow laws).

To my mind, it all looks pretty downhill from here on out for the Republican Party. Any argument that posits a resurgent national GOP moving forward is an argument made by someone who apparently still thinks that the most recent US Census was just a big ole fat gubmint LIE and who probably voted for Michele Bachmann in the Iowa Caucus.
 

 
There simply aren’t enough of them anymore. That’s a demographic fact, Jack. Don’t believe me? Go argue with reality, I don’t care what you think. Get real: The so-called “two party system” is not some immutable law of American political physics that needs to carry on without end, especially not when one of the parties has opted to radically remake itself, taking on the classic features of an extremist fringe group.

Some Republicans kinda got the “voter revulsion” message, but not really. When Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus presented the 97-page report of the RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity Project,” a post-mortem on the GOP’s 2012 losses at the National Press Club on Monday, he said:

“When Republicans lost in November, it was a wake-up call. And in response I initiated the most public and most comprehensive post-election review in the history of any national party. As it makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement.”

In short, a sizable majority of the American electorate thinks the Republicans suck eggs and their own internal polling backs that up to the extent that they don’t even try to spin it anymore! (Something remarkable in and of itself).

The report is actually pretty brutal, acknowledging that women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and the mainstream media basically hate Republicans. These, er, “special interest groups” are, for all intents and purposes, immune to the GOP’s charms. They’re not going to just suddenly jump on the Republican train for any reason, this much seems assured.

Not to mention:

“Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents…”

Yeah, the young people. They simply aren’t that into inheriting a country with insane wealth inequality, the 1% elite owning half of everything and keeping the productive capital within their own families, tainted meat, bad air and undrinkable water. Try rounding up an electoral majority when women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and young people of all races think you’re shit!.

‘Nuff said, eh GOP?
 

 

“We sound increasingly out of touch.”

That’s putting it mildly. The GOP talk about minority outreach, and then they introduce voter ID bills in their statehouses! It’s even a matter of Republicans appearing not to be able to differentiate fiction from reality anymore, let alone shit from shinola.

I mean, they’re exactly what Bobby Jindal said they—and by extension he, himself—are: “the stupid party.” Many Americans simply perceive the GOP as being closely synonymous with idiocy and they have no trouble articulating this to the GOP’s own pollsters. And like, this somehow appears to be NEWS to them! The stench of stupid is so thick on the modern Republican party brand that it’s going to be a really difficult odor to wash off.

Hands up, who wants to be a member of the stupid party? How about you?
 

 

“At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 years ago—meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President.”

OUCH, OUCH AND DOUBLE OUCH! A knife thrust deep into the Republican heart! Why it’s conservative treason… even if it’s true!

They’ve had no new ideas since the Reagan era, either. Since before most people owned a personal computer. Since there were just three TV networks and PBS for most of America! Why would the smartest, most capable young conservatives of the up and coming generation want to make a career investment in the GOP instead of someplace… you know, not so dumb? How will the party attract talent?
 

 
And furthermore, how will the party raise money when they’ve proven to be such a shitty investment for their deep-pockets donors. Even the Koch brothers seem to be turning their back on the GOP. Who could blame them, they’re ruthless businessmen? They know the score. The ROI the GOP offer blows. Expect them to act accordingly. If Rand Paul would bolt the party for the Libertarians (as his father once did) the Kochs would be right there behind him.

“If Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”

Hahahaha. No shit. Well, then someone had better essplain that to the loudmouthed lamebrain from Texas, Rep. Louie “anchor babies” Gohmert, who insists that the GOP must never give into immigration reform because “they” will never vote for Republicans if offered a pathway to citizenship. It’s a “trap” Democrats have laid for the GOP, in Gohmert’s eyes.

Look, Louie Gohmert’s a fucking idiot, that’s glaringly obvious to everyone but him and his fellow idiots, but if you think about it, he’s actually quite right in this instance. It’s a real damned if they do, damned if they don’t sort of situation these Republicans have put themselves in regarding immigration reform, isn’t it? But they’ve insisted upon it, the Democrats didn’t trap them with anything. This is a giving them an awful lot of credit for what amounts to a Catch 22 that’s been hatching under their noses and in their own districts, literally for DECADES, don’tcha think?
 

 
As New York’s Jonathan Chait wrote about the RNC’s seemingly intractable woes:

The report determinedly avoids confronting the party’s most fundamental problem: Its attachment to an economic agenda that most voters correctly identify as serving the needs of a wealthy minority. Rather than confront the problem, the report is a detailed and generally shrewd plan for working around.

Yup. Tuesday on MSNBC, RNC chair Reince Priebus told Luke Russert that the party’s platform on gay marriage has not changed despite efforts to make the party appear more inclusive:

“I know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman.”

That’s some “effort,” Reince (if that is, in fact, your real name).
 

Paul Ryan, the GOP’s pathetic idea of an intellectual…

Obviously there’s a gigantic problem with this entire RNC re-branding enterprise: It’s dead on arrival and anyone with a brain capable of critical thought on the level of, say, a peanut, can see the fatal flaw that’s got a flashing neon sign and a bunch of old coots in Revolutionary War uniforms pointing their replica muskets right at it. Republican voters, especially the ones who never went to college, the cranky old farts who are to varying degrees racist, close-minded Christianists, anti-immigrant homophobes and just angry, disapproving people, en générale, will have none of this shit!

And these troglodytes make up about half the party’s registration rolls and everyone knows it. Good luck with the fucking rebranding, boys.
 

 
Writing about the RNC autopsy at the NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall had this to say:

The highly visible presence of the candidates these voters prefer – recall the party’s Senate nominees in Missouri and Indiana, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, and their bizarre views on rape and abortion — suggests that the Republican Party has a severe, if not toxic, problem: a septic electorate that, in the words of the Mayo Clinic, “can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.”

But let’s leave these trifling inconveniences aside for now, shall we? Suffice to say, there’s a major split occurring in the GOP that’s going to seriously impact their ability to ever get back to a place of national influence. This was already obvious at the start of the primary season. As a national party, they’re no-hopers within a decade, splintering into factions (Tea party and social conservatives, RNC establishment and the wealthy elites, “Ron/Rand Paul Libertarians,” etc) and facing an increasingly insurmountable demographic irrelevancy that will grow by leaps and bounds every four years.
 

 
I don’t think the Republicans can do that much—or at least as much—damage to the country moving forward. It’s clear that there are (at least) two factions of the party who are locked in a civil war. The endgame of everyone taking their toys and going home seems like a forgone conclusion. They’re just not going to be able to work together anymore. You’ve got the wealthy elites who would like the game to stay rigged vs. the Rick Santorum “stupid” folks. They desperately need one another to add up to a nationally viable party. Divided they don’t really amount to much anymore.

They’ve been humbled, their electoral impotency was on full display for the entire country to see on election night.

Furthermore. there are boundaries now that they know they can’t cross. Those boundaries weren’t there before, but they are now. Public opinion can be employed much easier as a prophylactic against the worst Republican power grabs (like this talk of changing Electoral College rules, something that everyone is already wise to). Of course, I’m not suggesting completely ignoring what the GOP gets up to—I’m not usually someone to underestimate the power of stupid people in a group—but their best days are behind them, and I think that’s a pretty uncontroversial thing to say at this point, without any caveats coming readily to mind.
 

 
I’m noticing that this attitude is increasingly, and I think correctly, becoming the default position of the mainstream media, that the uh… I guess threat of low IQ authoritarian Republicanism has diminished considerably. Bill Maher touched on this topic on his Real Time program on HBO last week when he mocked Christian bluenose group One Million Moms (the churchladies who protest the Skittles and Geico commercials for promoting bestiality) who have not one million Twitter followers, but fewer than 3000.

When Bill Maher is brushing off silly reichwingers as a source of comedy, like a canary flying out of a coalmine, hey, he’s probably onto something: They’re a joke.

It’s a pretty steep fall from Andrew Breitbart to Ben Shapiro to put it a different way.

The 2012 election was a real “man behind the curtain” moment for the Grand OLD Party and its increasingly tenuous relationship to modern America and the up and coming generation. The slow, agonizing death of the Republican Party seems all but certain, done in by hubris, idiocy, greed, hypocrisy, terrible ideas, loathsome shit-for-brains politicians, moronic uninformed voters, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the list can go on and on and on. They suck, but fuck ‘em, they’re not really worth nearly as much energy being expended in their direction.

Maybe it’s simply time to push past them and leave these nitwits behind to play in their sandbox of stupidity. The zeitgeist is not with the Republican Party and I think the big story of American politics in 2013 is that most people are starting to realize this.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The nightmare (free market) scenario the GOP faces: THEY’RE A VERY BAD INVESTMENT

The Republicans are way, way, more screwed than they thought!

Republican explains to other Republicans why the GOP is so totally fucked

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Union thug’ who punched out pathetic Fox News dickhead will not be charged with anything!


Who wouldn’t want to punch this stupid face?

Hahahahahaha. I guess getting punched in the face by a “union thug” wasn’t quite the career break that Fox News dickweed and self-styled “comedian” Steven Crowder thought it would be. A Michigan prosecutor has declined to pursue assault charges against the man who punched him. On video.

Via Raw Story:

The Lansing State Journal reported on Tuesday that Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III decided not to pursue a case after watching unedited video of Crowder’s appearance at a protest against right-to-work legislation, which culminated in Crowder getting punched in the face.

Crowder filed a police report and claimed he was assaulted, saying in interviews that he was “beat down” and that protesters “literally would have killed me where I stood if I defended myself.” He also published an edited version of the confrontation online.

But after watching both that video and a longer, unedited account of the incident as aired on Current TV, Dunnings said, “It’s pretty clear the person that they wanted to charge was acting in self-defense.” In the longer video, the man who punched Crowder was pushed by an unseen person before striking him, giving the encounter a different context.

“I’m not holding that against him, but why would they provide the edited video?” Dunnings said. “The longer video clearly shows the guy got pushed down and came up swinging.”

Why would Steven Crowder have provided an edited video, I wonder?

Anyone care to hazard a guess?

Another fun fact about Crowder: He’s an abstinence advocate…

Roger Ailes really knows how to pick credible people for Fox News, doesn’t he?

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Fox News dickhead punched at labor protests in Michigan

Fox News chucklehead under scrutiny for creative editing of ‘union thug’ video

Fox News bastard who got cold-clocked at labor protest tells his own idiotic side of the story

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Obama is coming for the guns of anti-gay fundies’ claims anti-gay fundie


 

“What if the Attorney General, and listen the reason I say this might happen is because if you remember the first report put out by the Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, when the President became President of the United States, she put out a paper talking about the people who are the categories of people who might be homegrown terrorists.

In that list she put people who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here, they put a lot of good, decent categories of people in that paper.

Well here’s what number four says, the Attorney General can put who he wants to on the list of people who are too dangerous to get guns. What if he decides radio talk show hosts who don’t believe in gay marriage, they’re dangerous, so they shouldn’t get guns? What about pastors who preach against abortion and homosexuality? They’re too dangerous to get guns? That could happen.”

—“American Family Association” radio host Buster Wilson.

Wilson is the same fucking idiot who tried to get conservative Christians to boycott Google over their “Legalize Love Campaign” and who announced this boycott on Google-owned YouTube. The phrase “Dumber than a bag of wet hair” probably wasn’t coined to describe Buster Wilson, but it could have been.

Back in August, chucklehead Buster blamed Hurricane Issac on a New Orleans LGBT festival!

As one YouTube user commented on the clip below:

Tell me then, genius, why did the power of the most high manifest itself by destroying tiny Joplin in a state that’s 77% Christian? Why does he flood massive areas of Mississippi—the most Christian state—every year? Why is it that he makes NYC the centre of the global economy & LA the centre of global culture, yet does nothing to stop their decadence? A hurricane flattened Joplin, it didn’t even dent Manhattan. Sounds like your god is incompetent.

This guy is out of his mind. More at Right Wing Watch.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rachel Maddow: Conservative movement is ‘a complete mess’


Count the clowns in this picture. Hint: They’re all wearing suits and ties.

During last night’s epic Rachel Maddow piece about the Republican party’s mind-boggling real-time implosion, she described the GOP as a dog being wagged by the tail of the conservative movement and pondered why some of the movement’s most powerful pols, like Jim Demint, are picking up their toys and leaving Congress:

“[A] huge internal fight including screaming matches in their own caucus… they’re just turning off the light and abandoning what they’re doing and nobody really knows why.”

Obama has all the leverage now. If he can’t manage to negotiate a modest tax increase for the wealthy without limiting future cost of living increases for poor and middle class Social Security recipients, he’ll have proven himself to be one of the worst—if not THE worst—presidential negotiators of all time. He’s already offered up more than he had to (WHY?) and also demonstrated that his promises made during the campaign were nothing but bullshit.

Frankly, I never thought Obama was offering lefties all that much to begin with—he just wasn’t named Mitt Romney—but these guys are pathetic, why bargain with them at all? Now’s the time to shove it up their asses, if for no other reason, just on principle.
 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Are your there, God? It’s me, a foaming at the mouth, raving rightwing lunatic’


 
Larry Klayman, Esq., a former Justice Department prosecutor, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and the author of WHORES: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment, went off on one of the most hilariously tweaked post-election rants that I’ve yet found. It’s a mini-masterpiece of spittle-flecked reichwing Christian conspiracy theories and just total bughouse, nutjob batshit craziness.

This is mind rot at its absolute finest. Savor it:

Many times in the history of the world, God has destroyed His people and started anew when they strayed from His word. Just ask Noah what the flood was all about! This time, even with the floods of Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of the President Barack Hussein Obama, God has spared us for the moment. Instead God has sent a dire warning and encouraged We the People to rise up, in His name, to restore His kingdom.

Had Mitt Romney been elected president, many among the flock would have been lulled asleep and deluded into thinking that a Moses had appeared to deliver us out of the Egyptian-like bondage we find ourselves in – thanks to our “Mullah in Chief” and his growing voter hoards of socialists, communists, anti-Semites, anti-Christians, atheists, radical gays and lesbians, feminists, illegal immigrants, Muslims, anti-Anglo whites and others who last Tuesday cemented his destructive hold on the White House and our country.

It is now clear that there is no Republican Moses [Ya think?]. Indeed, if Mitt Romney could go back in time, he should have first advocated putting the Grand Ol’ Party into bankruptcy, along with Chrysler and GM. Now, with this latest stunning political defeat, the party has finally had its last hurrah and is dead once and for all. Good riddance! One party down and one more to go. The Democrats, who are even more corrupt than the Republican establishment (and that is hard to fathom, I know), are, despite their election victory, not far behind – that is, if We the People rise up and exercise our God-given rights and fight for our freedom.

The bottom line is this: Americans of faith and those who believe in capitalism and hard work as the means to achieve, not “Atlas Shrugged”-portrayed government handouts, have now seen their country taken over largely by uneducated and lazy morons, goons and thugs who want to dismantle all our Founding Fathers conceived of and fought for. And, their hateful Marxist desire to destroy Western civilization is not limited to the “Great Satan,” the United States, but to its biblical Judeo-Christian roots, embodied in the nation of Israel. With no racial slur intended, but only to employ the same lingo used sarcastically by many of Obama’s supporters to describe their past plight, if we do nothing and simply look to future elections to restore the nation, we will soon become the “new niggers,” relegated to the back of the bus – as the bus speeds away to quickly fall over the fiscal, social and moral cliff. African-Americans were right when they said this years ago, and we’re now right to feel the same way today.

I’m sure you get the point. It goes on (and on and on) from there.

Larry Klayman, you are one crazy motherfucker, that’s all I have to say… because commentary in this case is quite unnecessary!

Read more of “God Has A Bigger Plan,” if you can stand to, at WorldNutDaily.

HT TPM

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Tea party dingbats file fraudulent polling place observer appointments, barred in Ohio county


True the Vote‘s Catherine Engelbrecht actually sees herself as a defender of democracy!

The Tea party-affiliated group True the Vote has been barred from monitoring polling places in Franklin County, the second largest county in Ohio — which includes the state capital, Columbus—after allegedly submitting fraudulent forms.

True the Vote claims that its campaign is non-partisan, yet its website touts “vote fraud is nearly an exclusive crime of the left” and claims that the left—I think they mean Democrats here—wants “to be able to steal elections at will.”

But forging signatures on official forms? Can’t you see they had to bend the rules to save democracy from… people like themselves???

It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than these assholes! I don’t know what the hell these dipshit doodlebugs think they’re up to and I don’t think they do either.  That’s why they’re Tea baggers, I suppose. If their IQs were any higher this sort of lowbrow activity would have no appeal…

Via Raw Story:

“The Franklin County Board of Elections did not allow Election Day polling location observer appointments filed by the True the Vote group,” board spokesman Ben Pisctelli told The Columbus Dispatch in a statement. “The appointments were not properly filed and our voting location managers were instructed not to honor any appointment on behalf of the True the Vote group.”

Plunderbund reported that True the Vote had likely falsified or forged election observer forms submitted to the Franklin County Board of Elections. Board member Zachary Manifold told Plunderbund he was “amazed that a group that goes to such extreme lengths to claim voting fraud in Ohio would knowingly forge or misuse signatures to try to gain access to Franklin County polling locations.”

You’d think!

True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht denied the allegations, insisting that no one trained by True the Vote had done anything illegal or unethical. Engelbrecht said the incident was the Ohio Democratic Party’s “final, desperate attempt to deny citizens their right to observe elections” and vowed to take legal action.

Isn’t that what any completely insane, reality-denying  person would say when confronted with the fact that members of her organization had been caught red-handed forging signatures on official government papers? Committing felonies!

I think it is.

The group had hoped to place poll watchers in predominately African American areas. True the Vote had asked to send poll watchers to 28 precincts in Franklin County — which includes the capital, Columbus. African Americans comprise more than half the population in 20 of the 28 targeted precincts, though they make up only about 12 percent of the state’s total population.

Left-leaning groups have accused True the Vote of seeking to intimidate Democratic voters.

I wonder why that would be? These True the Vote-types seem like such honest, patriotic Americans!

If you can’t trust people who wrap themselves up in the American flag, who can ya trust?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Conservative PAC says women should vote for Mittens because HE can’t overturn Roe v. Wade!
10.17.2012
10:47 am

Topics:
Feminism
Idiocracy
They hate us for our freedom

Tags:


Pregnant Mitt by Tom Tomorrow

The conservative “Concerned Women for America” PAC is floating a ridiculous new bid to bring more ladies into the Romney fold(er): Denying that the Republican presidential wannabe can do much of anything to eliminate a woman’s right to choose in a new television ad. The spot is an “answer” of sorts to an ad featuring Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington that was produced by MoveOn.

Of course, Mitt Romney has repeatedly stated that he would choose Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade throughout the 2012 election cycle. He might even be able to appoint THREE Supreme Court justices should he best Obama in November. The thought of this turns my blood cold and it should scare you, too.  You can’t really get rid of a Supreme Court Justice, they’re appointed for life. Imagine three more Republican-appointed numbnuts joining Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the bench, and then hanging out there for a few decades (perhaps for the rest of your life on this planet). Not a pretty picture.

Lately, ignoring his own previously held positions (and the various flip-flopping he’s done on the matter during his political life, all of it a matter of public record), Romney himself has attempted this tactic, claiming that there is nothing he would do to restrict abortion rights. Today a New York Times editorialand Romney’s own website, whoops-a-daisy—blew a hole in that lie. The Romney campaign is even airing a new TV ad that portrays the “severely conservative” politician as a moderate on abortion... because… WHY NOT? At least a few dumb-dumbs might believe him!

The inanity of this ad is awe-inspiring, especially the tag line:

Don’t Let Hollywood manipulate your vote!

Nope, let some lying liars manipulate your vote, instead!

Creepy, creepy stuff. How fucking dumb would you have to be to buy into any of this, or be swayed by this specious argument? Having said that, it’s not like Republicans don’t win elections all the time by appealing for the votes of America’s ignorant masses…
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
America gets its own Pussy Riot: What books on your shelf would the FBI call ‘terrorist literature’?


 
Police state in Portlandia?

Between 60 to 80 FBI officers, working in conjunction with agents of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, armed to the teeth and wearing paramilitary uniforms, stormed the homes of several suspected “anarchists” in Portland in late July.

The house where Dennison Williams and Leah-Lynn Plante live was one of them. When Williams heard loud noises and saw a flash grenade go off, he began yelling that he was upstairs and unarmed. He told Sarah Mirk from The Portland Mercury:

“I was scared,” he said. “The police in this town have a history of shooting people, I was worried they would accidentally shoot me.”

According to Williams, FBI officers entered his room with assault rifles and kept them aimed at him while they handcuffed him. They put him in a chair for about 30 minutes while they searched his house. Williams says there were about 15 FBI officers in the house, plus one Portland police officer on the street outside. According to the property receipt Williams received from the officers, the feds seized several items, including his computer, phone, hard-drive, two thumb drives, and various clothes (including black jeans, black t-shirt, and a black bandana). They then served him a subpoena to appear at a grand jury in Seattle next Thursday, August 2nd.

Williams is not sure exactly what the grand jury is meeting about, but that likely they want to ask him about other people. The FBI has said only that the raids are part of an ongoing “violent crime” investigation.

“It’s related to political opposition, it’s related to political dissent,” says Williams. “They’re trying to create a wedge within people who are resistors… They’re specifically pursuing anarchists.”

The FBI search warrant states that they are looking to seize items which may be evidence regarding the crimes of conspiracy to destroy government property, interstate travel with intent to riot, and conspiracy to travel interstate with intent to riot. Those items include: Clothing and related items work during commission of offenses; paint; sticks and flags similar to those used or carried during the commission of the offenses, and material for making flags; anti-government or anarchist literature, documentation or communications related to the offenses, flares, computers or electronic storage media of any kind.

On July 10th, Seattle police officers staged a similar raid on the house of some Occupy Mayday protesters in Seattle. On the day Williams’ house and two other houses in Portland were searched, the FBI served grand jury subpoenas to people in Olympia and Seattle, as well. Williams was not sure how many people were served subpoenas, but thinks it is somewhere around seven people, and says he “will not cooperate” with the grand jury. Anyone who refuses to testify when subpoenaed can potentially face jail time. (Emphasis added)

Read that last sentence again. Grand jury subpoenas have also been served to activists in Olympia and Seattle. Apparently, these subpoenas involve the investigation of May Day vandalism, according to the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, who urged in a statement that the U.S. Attorney’s Office drop the subpoenas because they feared they were being used “as a pretext for harassing political activists.”

The Seattle lawyers guild spokesman Neil Fox said it was the seizure of political literature from those subpoenaed that most concerned his organization:

“It concerns us any time there are law-enforcement raids that target political literature, first amendment-protected materials,” Fox said. “There’s a chilling effect these things have on people.”

With these coordinated raids and grand jury subpoenas, the Feds are announcing that they’re going to tighten the screws on leftist activists by threatening them with prison time if they won’t rat people out. Rat them out for what is still unknown as the subpoenas are sealed and expected to stay that way, according to the FBI. 

It smells like a “fishing expedition” to me, but maybe they aren’t expecting to get any information. Perhaps all they really want to do is to send the earsplitting LOUD AND CLEAR message to would-be far-left activists: “This could happen to you, too!”

Matt Duran, one of the individuals caught up in the Feds’ snare, was thrown into prison on the 16th for civil contempt for his refusal to testify before the Grand Jury Committee against his community. Leah-Lynn Plante also refused to testify, and was released after being re-subpoenaed.

From Leah-Lynn Plante’s statement:

No, I will not answer their questions. I believe that these hearings are politically motivated. The government wants to use them to collect information that it can use in a campaign of repression. I refuse to have any part of it, I will never answer their questions, I will never speak.

It is likely that the government will put me in jail for that refusal.

While I hate the very idea of prison, I am ready to face it in order to stay true to my personal beliefs. I know that they want to kidnap me and isolate me from my friends and my loved ones in an effort to coerce me to speak. It will not work. I know that if I am taken away, I will not be alone. We have friends and comrades all around the world standing behind us, and even though this has been one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life, I have never felt so supported or loved. I can only speak for myself, but I have every faith that the others subpoenaed to these hearings will likewise refuse. And I know that hundreds of people have called the US Attorney demanding that they end this tribunal. Hundreds of organizations, representing thousands of people, signed onto a statement expressing solidarity with those of us under attack and demanding an end to this sort of repression.

From Matt Duran:

My name is Matt Duran and I will do everything I can to resist this Grand Jury. I’m releasing this as it’s come to my attention that the strategy my lawyer and I have been working under will more than likely not work; the prosecution wants to grant me immunity before I even have a chance to testify. I want to make it clear that I am in no way ever cooperating with the state now or ever. Anyone who knows me well enough to be a close friend knows that I will fight with my political allies and for them with every fiber of my being. If I ever did cooperate, it would bring an immeasurable amount of shame upon myself, my community, and my family as they have risked more in resistance than I have in my life so far.

The Committee Against Political Repression has set up a website to post information about the case as it unfolds and take donations for the defendants’ legal defense fund. They declared in a statement of solidarity with those who have been subpoenaed:

…Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state’s agenda. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person’s needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich…

Thank you, Juan Monasterio!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Derp, derp, derp: 100-second cavalcade of Republican idiots at Value Voters Summit


Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia. I hate this fucking guy

In this 100-second “trash compactor” prepared by TPM editor Michael Lester, you can get a pretty good idea of what went down at the Value Voters Summit last Friday.

The thing that usually strikes me about any grouping of Republicans is not how blindingly white they all are, but rather how pinch-faced, nasally and shrew-like most of them seem to be. They’re a very specific type of Caucasian, I suppose. “Cowardly” isn’t the exact word I’m looking for, but Republican men have always struck me as the opposite of what I picture a “hero” to look like.

Anyways, no wonder “the smart, elite people” want nothing to do with them…

Yesterday on Dangerous Minds
Rick Santorum calls Conservatives stupid*
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rick Santorum calls conservatives stupid*


(*No, that’s not what he said at all, but hey, Matt Drudge can do it, so why can’t I?)

I was as much amused by Rick Santorum’s comment yesterday—“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side”—during his speech at the ultra conservative Values Voter Summit as I was by this paragraph—or some variation thereof—that invariably followed without any need for further comment or elaboration:

“Rep. Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Kirk Cameron, Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Steve King are among other scheduled speakers.”

On nearly every blog, the ingredients of the report were the video of Santorum (see below) and a mention of some of his fellow far-right fuit loops who would be speaking at the conservative Christian political confab. Perhaps they were trying to be droll—I decided to take it that way—or maybe they were just dryly reporting the facts. Either way, a list of those particular Republican names speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Former GOP presidential candidate Santorum’s full quote was:

“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country. We will never have the elite, smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do.”

Well, Rick, that’s one way to look at it, but there’s an obvious—or what should be obvious—flip-side to that equation that you might want to take into consideration: WHY do you reckon that it’s difficult for these “elite, smart people” to acquiesce to the will of a bunch of folks who they perceive as a bunch of ignorant hicks who have decided that they’re going to “take back our country” and so forth?

Take it back from…? And where will these science-denying dumbshit Tea party Taliban types take it back to? Before African Americans had the vote or before they were allowed to play Major League Baseball? Just how far back are we talking, here?

His delightfully candid remark calls into question how Mr. Santorum and other Christian conservatives define “freedom,” a word and concept that was thrown around—and shit on—by at least half of the Values Voters Summit’s speakers: Should “the elite, smart people” stand silently by and do nothing and simply allow, without protest or objection, a group of people they consider to be rank ignoramuses and dangerous buffoons to run roughshod over what they see as THEIR OWN RIGHTS (or the rights of others)?

If you take only the example of marriage equality, one groups wants to get married for a variety of benefits that will have virtually ZERO effect—none—on the lives of conservative religious straight people, so why A.) do the people who attend the VVS even care and B.) why do they think that THEY should have final say over what gay people do, simply because they “don’t agree with it”?

Because… Jebus?

That’s not a reason!

What I don’t get, and what is making me laugh, is how it doesn’t seem to phase Rick Santorum even one tiny little bit that he’s is, in essence, defining himself as being a member of the STUPID TEAM that the evil smart elite people want to subjugate with stuff like gay marriage and insurance being required to cover birth control. His argument isn’t “We’re smarter than they are so they should listen to us,” it’s more like… well, to be honest, I don’t even know, really, how the fuck to parse what Santorum believes. Once someone admits that they’re hositle to intelligence itself, I don’t really feel it’s incumbent upon me to search out the nuance of their blinkered, unsophisticated worldview.

Mr. Santorum doesn’t seem to have noticed the causality between his own position of being against birth control and the fact that he lost—and lost miserably—to a man who now seems set to lose handily himself in the general election. But he has made an important observation: “Smart people” and Republicans don’t have a whole lot in common anymore.

In any case, why aren’t the right wing bloggers and peanut gallery commenters at Breitbart, The National Review and WorldNetDaily absolutely up in arms about Santorum calling them stupid?

Tee-hee! Personally, I think Rick Santorum has inadvertently hit on THE defining reason for the GOP’s problems with “the elite, smart people”: Intelligent, NON-GULLIBLE voters will, never, ever cede the control of their lives to the likes of Michele Bachmann, Steve King or Todd Akin. Any Republican politician who could carry Mississippi, Alabama or Arkansas in a national election IS GOING TO LOSE in the more populous, better-educated coastal states. You can stuff your face with Chick-fil-A until you puke, but nothing is going to change that fact, bunky. The GOP has backed itself into a demographic corner, a demographic that’s literally dying off.

So what advice will those multi-million dollar consulting and marketing firms come up with to help the GOP keep winning elections after they get absolutely trounced this November? Forget about them, I say to you, Republican overlords: It was those top dollar marketing smarty-pantses that gave you guys Mitt fuckin’ Romney in the first place

Nope, Rick Santorum has already got it all figured it out for ya, you shadowy reptilian Republican druids who pull the levers of power behind the curtain: It’s all coming down a simple matter of smart vs DUMB and Santorum defined the battle yesterday in a single sentence of crystal clear truth:

“We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”

That’s right, NEVER.

Gutting the educational system is the far right’s very last chance of even holding the ground they have now. The Republican establishment pretty much knows that they can’t win national elections strictly along racial demographic lines anymore. Richard Nixon’s so-called “Southern Strategy” is kaput after this current election cycle. But since blockheads tend to vote as a bloc, in the long game, taking advantage of “The Great American IQ Stratification” (which is inevitably how history will see it, unless history is written by future David Bartons) and trying to encourage deeper ignorance and more widespread stupidity is the GOP’s only hope.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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