The GOP…home of ‘Fake News’

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So I am ‘lucky’ enough to be on the mailing list for the Republican Party who, for some reason, consider all the people on their list to be conservative.

Normally these emails come in and I skim them, ignore them or just delete them but for some reason not today.

I saw that the GOP wanted me, to participate in their survey because they’ve “had almost 68,000 conservatives in your area share their thoughts on what should be the #1 priority for Congress” and of course they “still need your answer in order to get an accurate representation.”

Firstly as a heads up, I suspect my answers may not give them an accurate representation of what their conservative supporters may want…just sayin…but also the survey is so full of ‘fake news’ that I wanted to show you how.

I’m not going to take it apart piece by piece, which I could and would be easy to show how the leading questions or binary options in a world of levels of answers would be appropriate, but as an example I will just focus on one particular question…it’s the question I have as a screen shot above about Planned Parenthood.

The question reads

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So the question is asking if funding should stop to non-profit organisations like Planned Parenthood…that part of the question is fair…moronic, but fair. However the next part, which is not a questions but a statement is in the ‘pants on fire’ category of so called ‘fake news’.

The GOP, the party in the US that controls all three branches of government, is tellings it’s supporters that Planned Parenthood’s ‘primary function’ is performing abortions. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Planned Parenthood provides almost 9.5 million services each year to 2.4 million patients. A ‘service’ can be many things including, but not limited to, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing, contraception, mammograms and abortions.

Last year Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions. That number is 3% of the total number of services which, I think you’ll agree, is nowhere near an organisation’s ‘primary function’. It would be fairer to say that abortions at Planned Parenthood are a miniscule part of the overall work they do but what the GOP does is misinform their supporters into believing these lies, which then get propogated on conservative news websites and that then leads to an ill informed public…the most ill informed…and the cycle of misinformation continues. There’s an old saying…”lies make it round the world three times before truth gets its pants on”.

Add all of this to the Hyde Amendment which states that federal funds can’t be used to perform abortions excepting if the life of the woman is in danger and you’ll see the GOP Fake News in full effect.

It’s been confirmed, the lunatics are running the asylum

Gender_Neutral_AP_c0-66-700-474_s885x516I’ve had many people I’m connected with ask me if I am going to make any comment on laws like HB2 in North Carolina that, among other discriminatory actions, bans transgender individuals from using the bathroom they identify with.

When I was working as a talkback host, one of the most important questions I would ask my callers who had strong opinions was “then what?” The classic example I remember is about a house in Porirua that was frequented by gang members, that was occupied by a solo mum and several kids. There were calls a plenty to get them out of the state house etc…so I would ask “ok, then what?” Often people would be a bit stumped by that question so I would go on, “let’s say we get that solo mum, her kids and other associates out of that house…then what? Then where does the solo mum and her kids go now that they are on the street, or are they in another state house that might be next to you, or are they in a caravan that gets parked at the end of your driveway…then what?”

What the question did was cut through all the bullshit and rhetoric and make people look at the issue from a real world perspective. As you will probably understand some talkback callers didn’t like to be challenged to go a but deeper in their overly-simplistic ideologies.

So as soon as I saw the goings on in America, under the guise of ‘religious freedom’ laws like North Carolina’s HB2, my first reaction is “okay, then what?” What happens if a transgender woman, who was born male, uses bathroom facilities that now by law they are not allowed to use, then what? Is someone going to be standing at the door looking for evidence? Are the police going to be called if someone needs to wee? If the police are called and it’s confirmed that this woman was born male and she is sitting in the cubicle next to my wife peeing..then what?

Well one of the ‘then whats’ is that people start calling the police when they think a transgender woman is in their bathroom, the police turn up and remove that person from the bathroom even though they are female and were born female as shown in the video below.

 

She is a lesbian and dresses in what could be described as a ‘butch’ way, but she is legally entitled to be in that bathroom but as someone didn’t think she looked ‘female enough’ she was kicked out of the bathroom by the police. Madness! As an aside if she was born male the “show me some ID” cop needs to learn that you can re-apply for your driver’s license and even birth certificate and change you name and gender marker from ‘m’ to ‘f’ (as revealed in a recent ‘I am Cait’ episode) so it wouldn’t have been evidence one way or the other anyway.

A lot of this xenophobia is coming from the religious right who are using phrases like “Men should not be using the bathroom with little girls” as a way to increase the level of fear among the ignorant which then leads to situations like the video above, when a woman doesn’t look ‘womanly’ enough to someone, gets accused of being a man at birth. So it appears the law is to protect women from having to use the bathroom with men…or even people who are suspected of once being men…ok, so then what?

What about when this guy walks into the women’s bathroom

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Surely if the woman in the video above cause so much panic that the police turned up, what happens when he uses the women’s bathroom?

Well this is Michael Hughes and he is transgender, yes that means he was born a she and now laws like HB2 are forcing Michael to use women’s bathrooms…because that’s what religious freedom is all about, kicking our lesbians from the bathroom they have to use, and forcing men like Michael to use one they obviously should never be in.

Madness!

 

In a similar vein let me introduce you to Ella Giselle, she is 19 and was born male, she now, by law use the mens’ bathroom. I think that if one side of this conversation is allowed to use the “men with little girls’ scare tactic then I think it’s perfectly valid for me to ask “why you are forcing young, vulnerable women to use that bathroom with dirty, redneck truckers…are we not concerned for their safety?”

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The other more sinister side to this conversation is that what laws like HB2 allow is for a vulnerable sector of society, a sector of society that research shows over 40% attempt suicide compared to under 5% from society as a whole, to be put in a situation where they could be at their most vulnerable.

When using public restrooms the transgender individual is statistically the only one at risk of being attacked as research shows zero…that’s zero…reports of cis-gender people being harassed by transgender people using bathrooms for which they identify and, on top of that, “roughly 70% of trans people have reported being denied entrance, assaulted or harassed while trying to use a restroom,” according to a 2013 Williams Institute report.

So who is at risk with these so called bathroom laws? It’s not the ‘little girls’…it’s the transgender community.

I have a lot more to say about those who would like to bring in what I call “Yahria Law” (Christian Sharia Law) to the West, as you can imagine, when they look for ways to discriminate against minority groups within their society, but for today I wanted to highlight for you the ridiculous nature of laws like HB2 and how, to me at least, it’s now evidence that the lunatics are now running the asylum.

The GOP is not going to win the 2016 election and they know it. 

I admit it, I’m a political tragic. I watch, I read, I talk politics 24/7 often to the frustration of my friends and family. I love (that’s L-O-V-E) the American political system and its tendency to maneuver effortlessly between political animal, theatrical event and circus performance. I don’t admire the American political system…but it’s like a drug that I can’t get enough of.

I picked Barrack Obama to win in 2008 over a year out, and again in 2012 in fact I’ve been pretty good at predicting US results, and terrible with our own, maybe this is testament to how much I love watching the insanity that Jon Stewart calls ‘Democalypse 2012/2016″ etc…

I am in the middle of watching the two GOP debates on FoxNews and I wanted to state publicly that all the posturing that the candidates are doing is not going to make one jot of difference. Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States and the Republicans know it.

Since 2007 the Republican Party has lost the votes of women, minorities and the youth. There has been nothing done to redress this issue, in fact since the 2008 election they have lost even more support from that segment of society. If all things were equal, and a political party was actively trying to attracted a demographic and doing a great job at it, it would take longer that one election cycle to achieve this. The current GOP front runners are not only not doing a good job at attracting back those votes, in many cases they are harming their chances of getting them even more putting at risk the ability to win in 2020 and 2024 as well.

The Republican Party know this as in evident in their attacks on Hilary Clinton already, 16 months out from the election they are already painting here as evil incarnate and blaming her for every negative position they are also throwing at President Obama linking the two as one.

Here is an example from the official GOP twitter account from yesterday.

ScaredofhilaryI think we all accept that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, but as she isn’t officially selected yet, it’s fascinating that the Republicans are attacking her and are scaring their base into action for 2016. Just watch how many of those kinds of tweets become talking points for ‘Joe the plumber‘ types in news interviews next year.

As ironic as it sounds, and maybe you’ll think me a little naive, but I believe that the only way that the GOP has any chance of taking down the Democrats and getting into the Whitehouse is if the nominee ends up being Donald Trump. The rationale behind this is a little unusual, as a wee bit disrespectful to Mr. Trump, but here goes.

The absolute ridiculous nature or having Donald Trump as POTUS will be so enticing to a sector of the American voting public that he might get the bump he needs. Think the ‘Bill and Ben Party‘ or ‘McGillicuddy Serious Party there is a protest vote that goes with that parody of a party that attracts disenfranchised and young voters. The problem is, Mr. Trump is not a parody, he is very much a real and active part of the American political landscape. I still don’t think that will be enough to get the GOP over the line…but my goodness that would be the best television political tragics like me, would have ever seen.

If the political gods are listening right now please, oh please, oh please let Donald Trump get the Republican nomination

 

US Shutdown

Many people here in New Zealand are confused about what’s currently happening in America and the whole ‘shutdown’ thing especially when we hear differing reports blaming one side or the other. Most in the media are saying there is blame on both sides, which on some minor way is probably true, but the truth is that the blame for this shut down lies 99% not even with the GOP, but with a subset of the GOP called the Tea Party. Think ACT on steroids, in it’s heyday with massive power, and the belief that they have the mandate from God to return America to ‘the traditions of it’s founding fathers’. On top of all of that you’d have to also imagine that National are fearful of losing votes so they began to accept and imitate the style and rhetoric of ACT…that’s what the Tea Party is.

Here’s the reason the blame is not spread evenly over the two parties.

The Democrats have attempted since the last budget 17 times to negotiate with the GOP to no avail, yet now that the Government has shut down the Republicans are screaming ‘Why won’t they negotiate?’ but the biggest reason the shutdown and all it’s negative impacts lies with the Republicans is that The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is a law that has already passed, by both houses in 2009…It’s already law…sorry you may not have heard that…ahem…IT’S ALREADY LAW!!!

What you have is a small faction now saying they was to re-negotiate the law…which you cannot do…it’s already been agreed to and a small group has said ‘We don’t like it’ so they are holding the country to ransom and trying to act like they are the moderate party being reasonable.

There hasn’t been one time ever, when the US Government has shut down, that it was over a law that had already passed, so there are no apples to even compare this situation to.

I know I have used Jon Stewart recently but I have to say, with the use of comedy, the team at The Daily Show often nail the facts. Enjoy

March of the Dumbs

March of the Dumbs – Government Shutdown

And if you only have time to watch one clip this is the one for you

Obamacare Begins

 

 

An important few days for 59 million Americans

I was listening to American talk radio yesterday, which typically is conservative talk, and the issue of Health Care, aka Obamacare, has come up again.

In the Supreme Court at the moment we have the final hurdle for the Presidents Health Care package to go through.

The nuts and bolts of this are that the Republicans don’t want Obamacare to be law, and the Democrats do. The scary thing is that of the 350,000,000 people in America, the decision on Obamacare will come down to one man…an unelected man…Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The man often known as the Supreme Court’s swing justice posed tough questions about the scope of the controversial health care overhaul Tuesday, suggesting he might have doubts about its validity.

Justice Anthony Kennedy did not tip his hand as to how he might ultimately vote in the case — a ruling is not expected until summer.

But on the most important day of hearings for the landmark case, the bench was thoroughly engaged for a two-hour debate over the constitutional merits of President Obama’s health care law. Based on the tenor of Tuesday’s arguments, the justices appear to be closely divided and the case may ultimately come down to the views of Kennedy.

The general take of those opposing the legislation is this. You cannot force someone to purchase a ‘product’ and it’s illegal to force someone to buy a product in their own state as you won’t be allowed to cross state lines to get health insurance.

For those opposed, the argument never seems to talk about the 59 million Americans who are currently uninsured and what would be best for them.

This may be stopped in the Supreme Court, however if it is it will be a ‘technical’ victory celebrated only by the ill-informed, the private insurance industry and those receiving support from that industry aka The Republicans.

We are hearing people still talk about ‘socialised’ medicine. talk to any American who lives in NZ now, under a socialised medicine regime, and they will tell you it’s better here…you can pay for your private insurance, or if you cannot afford it you can have all of us look after your costs, in a caring society that would seem to be what one would do…isn’t it?

Another Romney flip-flop over gas prices

Mitt Romney, the king of ‘flip floppers’, has done it again and this time it’s around gas prices.

Yesterday he spoke out about why prices were so high.

“When he campaigned he said he wanted to raise the price of gasoline,” Mr. Romney said of Mr. Obama at a pancake breakfast here Sunday. “He said that under him energy costs would skyrocket.”

So yesterday it was Obama’s fault that gas prices were so high less than a month ago…

“I think the American people know that to a certain degree gas prices are driven by what’s happening around the world, supply and demand.”

Mitt must not have gotten the memo sent out by the Republican Party to make sure places like FOX News were not talking up small improvements in the economy but focusing on gas prices and unemployment.

So what’s all the hub-bub about with gas prices? Sure the prices has gone up in America…but to what?

Prices in the weekend averaged $US3.81 a gallon.

$US3.81 id $NZ4.61 and a US gallon is 3.79 litres

That means in America they are paying the equivalent here in NZ of $NZ1.22 per litre, close to half what we are paying here…I think it’s time to get over it America and count your blessings

Is it too late for Sarah Palin to be the saviour of the GOP?

The ‘War’ for South Carolina is happening as I write this post. The winner of the South Carolina Primary will be the GOP nomination to go up against President Obama in November’s election, how can I say this so confidently? Every single nominee for the GOP to run for President in the past, 100% of them, has won South Carolina.

In an earlier post I wrote why Obama will be reelected, I still believe that in fact the events of the last few days have done nothing but confirm my thoughts that America could never elect one of the two front-runners for the Republicans.

Sadly for supports of the Conservative right, your choice will either be Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney. Both who have demonstrated hypocrisy to an unbeliveable degree over the past week or so.

Mitt Romney is the GOP favourite at the moment, but more and more is being revealed about his financial past and how he has amassed his vast wealth and it doesn’t fit with the GOP narrative. Before we get into this let me state that I have no problems with a person becoming wealthy, I am not an ‘occupier’, I am not someone who thinks that ‘rich people are bad or evil’, but when your wealth becomes a problem to the message, then we need to figure out the disparity.

Mitt Romney is reportedly worth about a quarter of a billion dollars, which he amassed by forming a private equity firm called Bain Capital. What a private equity firm does is come into failing businesses, or purchase businesses with good potential for leverage and ‘streamlines’ them i.e. they make cuts, then borrow against them. The companies then tend to strip the companies, sell them on in parts and make a big fat profit. The issue that Romney has with all this is that GOP catch cry is “Save jobs and stop borrowing”, but his whole business credentials which he is using to say why he should be President, is one of laying people off and borrowing to make quick cash. That on top of the revelation this week that Romney pay’s ‘in the vicinity of 15%’ tax on the money he makes from investments makes this an embarrassing week for him.

P.A.Y.E in America starts at 10% and the most you pay is 35% depending on your income, but Romney’s income is made from his investments which classifies it as ‘capital gains’, hence Capital Gains Tax is applied which in America is around 15%. So Romney earns millions a year and pays the same percentage in tax as the guy driving his campaign bus. Romney said in the last debate the ‘top tax rate should be down around 25%’, yet he only pays 15%. Another catch cry of the GOP is we are taxed too much, well it would appear Romney is not.

Mitt Romney needs to stop trying to sell the idea that his is ‘working class’ and own that he is the richest politician in the run for President, and one of the richest politicians in America.

Now we move onto Speaker Gingrich.

With Rick Perry pulling out this week, and endorsing Gingrich as his candidate you might think Newt would have a jump in the poles, but the Romney camp is using the issue of ‘ethics’ to derail and momentum that Gingrich may be getting…and rightfully so. As I have already pointed out, Newt Gingrich seems to have a penchant to sleeping with women that are not his wife and you have to ask the obvious question that is we know about these ones…how many others are there?

Again you could argue that if it doesn’t impact his ability to govern then it shouldn’t matter…but it doesn’t fit with the GOP Christian, conservative, ‘family values’ narrative.

This week we find out that according to Gingrich’s second wife (of three) that he wanted an ‘open marriage’ where he could have a mistress AND keep his wife as well. All this while the Speaker is still standing up for the ideals of marriage “as the union of one man and one woman.”

For Gingrich, ‘the Gays’ are not to be married as it would be ‘an abomination’…but cheating, lying, and multiple hetero marriages is to be defended as ‘God ordained’ and ‘natural.’

All of this happening with many GOP supporters acknowledging that these two the ‘best of a bad bunch’ just confuses me when you have Rick Santorum with a great CV and actually world political experience on the sidelines along with Ron Paul who is really the only ‘real’ small government, less tax candidate. Ron Paul is what Republicans should be…if they weren’t hypocrites.

Finally, I have to admit to being a little intrigued about a very…very…VERY unlikely scenario. Even though she has said she would not run for President and it is contrary to my opening paragraph, I just wonder if we might hear from Sarah Palin as a late entry. The field is so weak, if she came out of the blue with her rock star persona, the ground swell might be there for a Sarah Palin nominee.

Now would it be a bad decision? Well it couldn’t be any worse than a choice between Romney and Gingrich.

Gingrich will be nervous about a Perry endorsement

Today we hear the sad news that the last remaining hope for comedians the world over has left the race to be President of the USA. In the early hours of this morning NZ time Rick Perry announced he was pulling out from the race.

Comedians the world over have shed a tear, first Donald Trump, then Hermain Cain now the last of the ‘genuine’ jokes has fallen, Rick Perry says goodbye.

I guess they can still make jokes about Santorim’s name, or Romney’s uncomfortable natures…but the last of their bread and butter has gone.

About the last point of interest is who Perry will now endorse. Politicians in America do this hoping that their followers will then support that candidate…however in this case I am sure the candidate who if being touted by the media as the one likely to receive that endorsement is more than a little uneasy about it.

As a part of his withdraw from the race, Rick Perry also endorsed Newt Gingrich.

“There is no viable path forward for me in this 2012 campaign,” he said in a news conference in North Charleston, S.C. “Today, I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich for president of the United States.

He called Gingrich a “conservative visionary.”

Newt Gingrich found himself in a little hot water speaking to the N.A.A.C.P. saying “If the N.A.A.C.P. invites me, I’ll go to their convention, talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” The N.A.A.C.P. was not impressed.

Gingrich was then challenged at the latest South Carolina debate asking if he acknowledged that some Blacks could have found that offensive, Newt’s response was a simple, “No!” and then went on another diatribe about teaching the unemployed how to get a job, keep it and own it.

So why would the Perry endorsement be of concern to the Gingrich camp. Well apart from the obvious ‘idiot’ factor, when the dumbest guy say’s your his guy and you think, “If the idiot is endorsing Gingrich…does that mean I am an idiot to support him as well”…apart from that, there is this…caution, contains offensive words

I was going to make some point about the hypocrisy within politics in America, or how these rich white men seem to have lost touch with the “99%” but I think I’ll just say that Perry and Gingrich are GOP nominees…what else would you expect?

Jim DeMint (R) on The Daily Show

One of the things I love about Jon Stewart interviews is he actually reads the books of his interviews. Most do not. Here he interviews Tea Party darling and Senator from South Carolina Jim DeMint on, amongst other things, the Bush tax cuts, his opposition to regulation of the private sector, being bipartisan…oh, and his book.

Part One
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-11-2012/exclusive—jim-demint-extended-interview-pt–1?xrs=share_copy

Part Two
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-11-2012/exclusive—jim-demint-extended-interview-pt–2?xrs=share_copy

Part Three
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-11-2012/exclusive—jim-demint-extended-interview-pt–3?xrs=share_copy

New Hampshire Primary Results

If one of the GOP candidates wins NH with a commanding magin, there is a good chance they will also be the nominee to go up against Obama in November, that’s what history would tell us.

At the time of writing this post only 1% of the votes have been tallied, and in those results Mit Romney has about a 10 point lead over Ron Paul.

There is a live tracker here if you want to keep an eye on it over the next couple of hours.

You can also watch results as they start to come out here