Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Scandal, But Only If It Were True

Jed Lewison on Sat Nov 30, 2013

The claim: According to House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, in order to meet the October 1 deadline for launching, the Obama administration ignored security issues with the website, risking the disclosure of personally identifiable information from people applying for insurance—and even worse, they concealed a memo about this information from key technical staff.

The reality: The memo had nothing to do with the October 1 launch of It concerned a component of the website that is not planned to launch until April 2014 and would only be used by insurance companies to supply information about their plans to the health care exchanges. The reason key technical staff did not see the memo was that it was not relevant to them, had no bearing on the October 1 launch, and had nothing to do with personally identifiable information.

Stuff like this keeps on happening with Darrell Issa. He makes a sweeping allegation of malfeasance, and the claim proves to be incorrect. It happens often enough that the default position should be to assume that he's lying. Yet all too often, media outlets regurgitate his garbage.

It's easy to see why Issa would lie: It's great politics for him. But reporters shouldn't enable him, no matter how many clicks it buys them.

  Originally published to Jed Lewison for Daily Kos

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pope Francis Blasts ‘Unfettered Capitalism’ As ‘The New Tyranny ‘

  Not that I care for the Pope all that much, But, he is spot-on!

Author: Egberto Willies November 26, 2013

The church has been in an incestuous and rather evil relationship with the worship of wealth for a long time. Unfettered capitalism has become a religion in its own right. Preachers promoting the health and wealth doctrine and evangelical “Christian” leaders attracted to Ayn Rand — like Paul Ryan — have given up their duty to serve humanity over wealth.

But Pope Francis may yet turn out to be the loudest and most effective critic of unfettered capitalism. This week, Huffpo reports that he published a stinging rebuke in his 84-page apostolic exhortation. One must wonder why it is taking so long for people from the Christian faith, as a whole, to speak out.

Too many “Christian” leaders value capitalism more than the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Instead, many evangelical pastors are trying to validate capitalism and the pursuit of wealth as some God-given decree. Texas Pastor David Hope from the Word of Life Church is one of those. He wrote an essay in the Kingwood Observer that would give Pope Francis heartburn. The piece titled “Jesus is not a socialist” attempted to justify the severe inequities of unfettered capitalism as well as to promote it.

David Hope justifies a very unequal pie with the following:

Capitalism is like the kingdom of God. Everyone has an opportunity to make it to the top, but there won’t be equal outcomes. When government tries to manufacture equal outcomes, it brings everyone down. As people concentrate on the sizes of the pieces of the pie, the pie just keeps getting smaller. All the pieces get smaller and equal outcomes are still not achieved.

Hope’s over-simplified statement does not take into account that those with inherited or ill-gained capital have a built in advantage over those who don’t. Barring redistribution through taxes or some other method, it cannot be sustainable.

The pastor then makes a baldly false statement that goes against reality, as lived by most people in the world today:

Capitalism is the most compassionate system. Capitalism is the best way to reduce poverty. It gives every man a chance to succeed, and it promotes wealth into the hands of those who serve others and have a heart to give to those less fortunate.

It increases individual wealth, thus allowing individuals to give out of their increase. God has designed the needs of the poor to be met by Christians, not by the government. Government’s bureaucratic shuffling of wealth accomplishes nothing.

This type of thinking can be found throughout the evangelical realm in the U.S. It has taken too much long for other Christians to speak out against the destruction unfettered capitalism has wrought on the poor, the environment, and the world as a whole. The beloved pope has blasted the door wide open with his justifiable attack.

Pope Francis on capitalism: God demands that the wealthy share their wealth.

Pope Francis released his 84 page apostolic exhortation in which he states that unfettered capitalism is “a new tyranny.” He implies that God demands that the wealthy share their wealth. He makes an important connection for those who profess to abide by the commandments. He uses the ‘Thou shalt not kill’ commandment in an ingeniously practical manner. If you promote an economy that is causing people to die, you are killing. This means you violate that commandment.

The pope illustrated how unfettered capitalism has become more important than caring for humanity. He says, “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

The pope is calling for a overhaul of the world’s economic and global finance systems. He acknowledges that the unequal distribution of wealth will lead to violence. He also makes a clear statement about how pure capitalism is causing many of the world’s problems, or making them worse.

“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.

Denying this was simple populism, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” and added: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

The words of Pope Francis on the current economic system should not be taken for granted. There is a buzz in the air.  Americans are realizing that the instability around the world is not too far away. Its genesis has always had an economic component. It is now right at our front door banging. It won’t be long till it kicks the door wide open.

Originally posted to AddictingInfo on

Tuesday, November 26,2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Asshat Limbaugh Falls For "White Males Should Kill Themselves" Satire Piece

  By ProgLegs on Tue Nov 26, 2013

Conservative blogs have been abuzz the past few days over the latest round of bigotry against the oft-oppressed white male.  

The "news" outlets are reporting that Noel Ignatiev, a real professor at Massachusetts College of Art, suggested in his final lecture that white males needed to kill themselves:

"If you are a white male, you don’t deserve to live. You are a cancer, you’re a disease, white males have never contributed anything positive to the world! They only murder, exploit and oppress non-whites! At least a white woman can have sex with a black man and make a brown baby but what can a white male do? He’s good for nothing. Slavery, genocides against aboriginal peoples and massive land confiscation, the inquisition, the holocaust, white males are all to blame! You maintain your white male privilege only by oppressing, discriminating against and enslaving others!


Obviously, all whites need to be destroyed, but why not start with white males? They are behind most of history’s greatest atrocities. Besides, some of the brothers like to bang white women. Eventually white women can breed out, but my feeling is that if you are a white male, you should kill yourself now. If you are a thoughtful person, with a social consciousness who considers himself white, you will consider suicide. It’s the right thing to do."

Today Rush Limbaugh picked up the story and ran with it--it fits perfectly with his ongoing narrative that white male Christians are subjected to nonstop persecution.

The only problem?  The lecture is completely fictional--as one of Limbaugh's office flunkies pointed out as soon as El Rushbo's Gucci ostrich loafer-clad foot was firmly in his mouth.

I shit you not, Limbaugh actually led into his aborted segment with the following statement:

"I look at how easily people are made to follow and made to believe things and lied to and act like sheep..."

Rush then attempted to lead his sheep into believing a false story about a professor whose white man's guilt leads him to suggest mass suicide for his white male students:

Listen for yourself:


Just when the vein was bulging dangerously on his sweaty crimson forehead, one of Rush Limbaugh's staff told him off mike that the story was not real. 

Egg dripping from his wattles, Limbaugh tried--and failed--to save a little face:

"Now they tell me that this professor's story has been debunked.  Well, it just showed up in a major blog last night.  Ok, so the story is a satire.  It's a major blog.  Where did it show up?  (Rattles papers to cover sounds of nervous flatus) Ahhhhhh, I'll have to click on the link to find out, cause the print...Washington Times reported it.  Why does something like that work?  There are professors who teach that the problem with the planet is human beings.  There are environmentalist wackos who teach that the world would be much better if there were no human beings.  And the left is filled with these kinds of extremists."

The story that suckered Limbaugh comes from a satirical website called Diversity Chronicle which includes such pieces as "Breaking News:  George Zimmerman Eats 3 Egg Omelet".

Had Limbaugh actually done some research instead of getting all his information from headlines gleaned from easily outraged dimwit websites he would have found that the Ignatiev "lecture" included the following lines:

"Perhaps we are finally coming to an awareness in this country that the cancer known as the white race must be obliterated. Especially in the form of white males. Obama is president, and I think there is an excellent chance that we will never have a white male president again. I think we are witnessing the breaking of the back of the white male power structure. We will still have residual white males that must be dealt with, but I am confident that we’ve won. Eventually, I would like to put white males in concentration camps and work them to death just like they’ve done to everyone else. When they are all dead we can throw a party and dance around their corpses!"

But of course "facts" and "research" are not Rush Limbaugh's strong suit.

Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Rush Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio.  StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more.  Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable.  It is our collective voice that makes us strong. 

Want to do something hold Limbaugh accountable?  
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Next House Republicans Obamacare target: Medicaid expansion

Joan McCarter  

Remember how House Speaker John Boehner has reassured his conference that while full-on Obamacare repeal might not be on the agenda, House Republicans are just going to keep chipping away at it? He said they would use "targeted legislative strikes aimed at shattering the legislative coalition the president has used to force his law on the nation."

Consider this one of the possible strikes, aimed at the part of Obamacare that is going gangbusters right now, signing up hundreds of thousands across the nation: Medicaid.

A small group of stalwart House conservatives aren’t abandoning their efforts to gut Obamacare through government funding bills.

Should another continuing resolution be needed in January, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said some conservative lawmakers want to include a provision to eliminate the Medicaid expansion funding that was added in the Affordable Care Act.

The funds would then be used to cover the $20 billion in cuts to defense spending that are set to go into effect in January as part of the sequester, he said. The Medicaid expansion costs about $21 billion for the rest of the fiscal year, said Huelskamp, who supports keeping the sequester cuts in place.

“We would like to take something out of Obamacare, and we looked at the Medicaid numbers and thought, ‘Geez, we can take some of that and put it to some of the sequester cuts,’” he said. “It helps us achieve two goals at once—one to pull something out of Obamacare… Two, it pushes back at some Republicans worried about the sequester.”

What they'd like to take out of Obamacare, clearly, is health coverage for poor people. Politico calls this effort a longshot, suggesting that there won't be the stomach in the Republican caucus in the House for another budget fight over Obamacare. That's underestimating Republican hatred for the law. It's also ignoring the fact that nothing that the hardcore tea bagger right wants to get out of Boehner is ever a longshot: they rule his world.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Nov 20, 2013