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Blaming victims is a Republican specialty

Syrian Refugees And Paris Attacks

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

Republican White House Hopefuls Call for Curbs on Syrian Refugee Inflow

(Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal) Republican candidates for president called on the Obama administration to tighten border controls amid reports that one of the suicide bombers who carried out Friday’s attacks in Paris may have entered Europe as a Syrian migrant.

Syrian Refugee Puts Paris Attacks Into Perspective In One Simple Sentence

(ThinkProgress) Ghaled, 22, who was a dentistry student in Syria before he was forced to flee the conflict there, visited the French embassy in Berlin to pay his respects to those killed in coordinated bomb and gun attacks across Paris.

“What’s happening to them is happening every day in Syria, 100 times per day for five years, so we know what that means,” he said.

Such attacks have become all too common in his native country. While his math might be a bit off, Ghaled has a point about the scale of destruction.

America Will Continue Taking In Syrian Refugees, Top Obama Adviser Says

(ThinkProgress) In an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said that America has “expansive screening procedures” for accepting refugees who are fleeing from ISIS-related violence. He noted that refugees are “people who’ve suffered the horrors of war, women and children, orphans — We can’t just shut our doors to those people.”

Democratic Candidates Reject War Talk and Islamophobia in the Wake of the Paris Attacks

(Juan Cole) At the CBS Democratic Party debate on Saturday night, the Paris attacks dominated as a concern.

Unlike the Republican field, which is somewhat divided on the necessary response, the Democrats agree that all-out war is undesirable as a response.  (In the GOP, Rand Paul is cautious about overseas war, Donald Trump wants to hand Syria to Russia, and Ben Carson wants to commit genocide).

Fear and Friends

(Paul Krugman) As far as I can tell, nobody in the GOP field wants to say anything positive about the strength of Western democracy, or make a remark about the nature of a cause that has nothing going for it except the ability to kill innocent civilians. Instead, we have Jeb! insisting that we’re looking at a plan to destroy Western civilization, and Ted Cruz declaring that what we need to do is abandon our own scruples about killing innocent bystanders. Seize the moral high ground!

Meanwhile, the Democrats had a bizarrely rational and well-informed debate. By today’s standards, that’s positively un-American.

My gal did well last night

Transcript here.

CBS Democratic Debate For 2016

Thanks to CBS News

Clinton Fends Off Attacks in Second Debate

(Political Wire) Hillary Clinton, “after coasting through the first Democratic debate, was thrown on the defensive throughout the second showdown Saturday night, facing sharp questions and attacks on her foreign policy record, her ties to Wall Street, and shifting positions on gun control,” Politico reports.

New York Times: “Sen. Bernie Sanders, after a month in which he has lost some ground in the polls, quickly went on offense, criticizing Hillary Clinton’s 2002 vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq, which he blamed for the rise of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.”

Said Sanders: “I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely.”

BuzzFeed News: “The second Democratic debate was a largely staid affair, especially compared to the often tense GOP debates over the last several months.”

Hillary Struggled with Wall Street and 9/11, But She Still Won the Debate

(Charlie Pierce) HRC did what she had to do, which essentially was not make any obvious gaffes and to counterpunch effectively which, after a rough start, she did well. If the game has changed in any way, it is devoutly to be hoped that it changed in that people in the country will assess the new threat posed by the Paris attacks and decide whether they want to govern themselves through politicians willing to engage in serious arguments about policies, or through politicians willing to make fear dance on a string to old and noxious tunes. I make that even money either way.​

Poll Finds Clinton Big Winner of Debate

(Political Wire) “Immediately after Saturday night’s Democratic debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of debate watchers assembled by GfK’s Knowledge Panel who identified themselves as Democrats or independents. By a 23 point margin, these debate watchers say Hillary Clinton won the debate. Fifty-one percent say Clinton won, compared to 28% who favor Bernie Sanders. Just 7% picked Martin O’Malley as the winner.”

Ex-CIA Chief: Bush & Cheney Deliberately Ignored Warnings Of 9/11, Hid Paper Trail

Ex-CIA Chief: Bush & Cheney Deliberately Ignored Warnings Of 9/11, Hid Paper Trail

Bush Administration Created ISIS

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

(Occupy Democrats) It’s long been suspected that the George W. Bush administration had advance warning of the 9/11 attacks and did nothing to respond to it. Those suspicions have now been confirmed by former CIA Director George Tenet and counter-terrorism chief Cofer Black in an astonishing new interview with POLITICO, in which they reveal that they informed the Bush administration in May 2001 of an imminent terrorist attack, and those warnings were deliberately ignored with all the hubris that has come to characterize Bush’s disastrous presidency.

Tenet recounts how the CIA presented a plan (the “Blue Sky” paper) to deal with the growing threat from al-Qaeda in early 2001 – and were not only told to shelve the plan, they were told to hide the paper trail that showed that the Administration had been warned. The Bush Administration refused to recognize the severity of the threat posed by al-Qaeda: “I think they were mentally stuck back eight years [before]. They were used to terrorists being Euro-lefties—they drink champagne by night, blow things up during the day, how bad can this be? And it was a very difficult sell to communicate the urgency to this” said Tenet.

Your brother did NOT keep us safe, Jeb! –  Caro

For a better economy, vote Democrat

Report: The economy has performed far better under recent Democratic Presidents

(Simon Rosenberg, NDN) NDN has updated our April report comparing the economic record of the last two Democratic and Republican Presidents. The report shows that the contrast between the performances of the two parties when occupying the White House is stark: Republican Presidencies have led to recessions and larger deficits; Democratic Presidencies have led to growth, job gains and lower annual deficits. In short, the Democratic approach to the economy over the past generation has worked. The Republican approach hasn’t. And this dramatic difference becomes even more pronounced when one considers the how shockingly wrong the GOP’s bet the house predictions of the failure of both the 1993 Clinton budget and the “job-killing” ACA have been.

The full report can be found [here:] Presidential Comparisons October 2015.pdf

By President Jobs Growth

By President Unemployment Rate

By President Budget Deficits

Mind-Body Practice Results in 43% Reduction in Use of Healthcare Services

New posts at Many Years Young 11/15/15

Mind-Body Practice Results in 43% Reduction in Use of Healthcare Services

Americans who practice Yoga report better wellness, health behaviors

Simple Steps to Improving Your Well-Being

6 Ways to Be Happier

Plus lots more.

Anti-aging effects seen in experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug

New posts at Many Years Young 11/14/15

Anti-aging effects seen in experimental Alzheimer’s disease drug

Eye Drops Could Clear Up Cataracts Using Newly Identified Chemical

Study: Leading cause of blindness could be prevented or delayed

Protein Movement of Hair Bundles in the Inner Ear May Preserve Hearing for Life

Plus lots more.

Devastation in France

Peace Symbol-Eiffel Tower

Thanks to Brendon Lydon

France Declares State of Emergency After Attacks in Paris Leave More than 120 Dead

(Truthdig) More than 120 people were killed in gun and bomb attacks in Paris, with at least 100 reported to have died at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, according to the BBC. Police overpowered the gunmen who had taken dozens of hostages at the concert hall.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Attack on France

(Political Wire)  “The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for the catastrophic attacks in the French capital, calling them ‘the first of the storm’ and mocking France as a ‘capital of prostitution and obscenity,’ according to statements released in multiple languages on one of the terror group’s encrypted messaging accounts,” the New York Times reports.

Time: “If the claim is confirmed, it would be more evidence of a shift in the militant group’s tactics, toward attacks that inflict massive civilian casualties outside its territorial base in Iraq and Syria.”

French intelligence under scrutiny in wake of Paris attacks

(The Guardian) France’s intelligence services are facing intense scrutiny over whether they could have prevented the Paris attacks, but their defenders argue the scale and complexity of the jihadist threat has simply overwhelmed the country’s defences.

While finally, our media are starting to talk about how OUR most devastating attack was allowed to happen

‘The Attacks Will Be Spectacular’

(Chris Whipple) “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The CIA’s famous Presidential Daily Brief, presented to George W. Bush on August 6, 2001, has always been Exhibit A in the case that his administration shrugged off warnings of an Al Qaeda attack. But months earlier, starting in the spring of 2001, the CIA repeatedly and urgently began to warn the White House that an attack was coming.

By May of 2001, says Cofer Black, then chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, “it was very evident that we were going to be struck, we were gonna be struck hard and lots of Americans were going to die.” “There were real plots being manifested,” Cofer’s former boss, George Tenet, told me in his first interview in eight years. “The world felt like it was on the edge of eruption. In this time period of June and July, the threat continues to rise. Terrorists were disappearing [as if in hiding, in preparation for an attack]. Camps were closing. Threat reportings on the rise.” The crisis came to a head on July 10. The critical meeting that took place that day was first reported by Bob Woodward in 2006. ..

But neither he nor Black has spoken about it publicly in such detail until now—or been so emphatic about how specific and pressing their warnings really were. Over the past eight months, in more than a hundred hours of interviews, my partners Jules and Gedeon Naudet and I talked with Tenet and the 11 other living former CIA directors for The Spymasters, a documentary set to air this month on Showtime.

I collected a lot of stories right after 9/11 showing how many warnings the Bush administration received prior to the attacks, warnings they ignored, for whatever reason. – Caro

Exercise, Counseling, and Omega-3 May Slow Cognitive Lapse

New posts at Many Years Young 11/13/15

Exercise, Counseling, and Omega-3 May Slow Cognitive Lapse

Strength of brain connectivity varies with fitness level in older adults

Hearing aids may slow mental decline in hard-of-hearing elderly

Old drug may help keep Alzheimer’s patients out of nursing homes

Plus lots more.

Chrondroitin Outperforms Celecoxib in Knee Osteoarthritis Study

New posts at Many Years Young 11/8/15

Chrondroitin Outperforms Celecoxib in Knee Osteoarthritis Study

Exercise eases knee osteoarthritis, temporarily

Tai Chi Found to Be as Effective as Physical Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis

Yoga Poses for Arthritis Pain Relief

Plus lots more.

Truth, the movie

Columbia Journalism Review: Starring Robert Redford as Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as his producer, Mary Mapes, the movie recreates the piece from a 60 Minutes spinoff about George W. Bush that blew up in the face of CBS News during the 2004 presidential campaign. After a lengthy outside investigation headed by ex-Republican Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, Rather left the network, Mapes was fired, and three of the news executives they worked with resigned.

The piece, which claimed that Bush had used political connections to enter the Texas Air National Guard and then barely bothered to show up after he had been trained as a pilot, was supposed to have been based on new documents written by one of Bush’s commanding officers and obtained by Mapes. The trouble was that after airing the documents, CBS discovered 1) that Mapes didn’t really know where they came from and 2) that it was impossible to prove they were real…

Ever since the story exploded for Mapes and Rather, their main line of defense has been that it doesn’t matter whether the documents were real because the story about Bush’s service record is true.

Ironically, we know the main allegations in the piece are true because most of them were first reported in 2000 in The Boston Globe by Walter Robinson—the same Globe journalist who later supervised the Catholic Church investigation.

My letter to the editor – Caro:

The real story about journalism when it comes to George W.’s lackadaisical attitude toward his Texas Air National Guard military obligation is that Walter Robinson’s 2000 Boston Globe article got ABSOLUTELY NO TRACTION IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AT THE TIME.

The media were so enthralled with the fortunate son and hated Al Gore so much that they are primarily responsible (see How He Got There, by Bob Somerby) for George W.’s awful eight years, which even his father is now criticizing. They can thank themselves for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, including more than 4,000 Americans (more than were killed by Osama bin Laden), and for the rise of the ISIS killing machine.

They are also responsible for the Bush administration’s terrible fiscal and economic policies that all but destroyed the world economy.

The amount of suffering caused by these so-called journalists is astounding. It’s long past time for a reckoning.

Noninvasive brain stimulation limits calories consumed in adults with obesity

New posts at Many Years Young 11/5/15

Noninvasive brain stimulation limits calories consumed in adults with obesity

Inherent Mindfulness Linked to Lower Obesity Risk, Belly Fat

7 Common Weight Loss Mistakes – and How to Fix Them

Neither low-fat nor low-carb diets better for success in the long term

Plus lots more.

The Rush Limbaugh/Fox News demographic is killing itself

Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans, Study Finds

(New York Times) Something startling is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.

That finding was reported Monday by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton, who last month won the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, and Anne Case. Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources, they concluded that rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.

The analysis … may offer the most rigorous evidence to date of both the causes and implications of a development that has been puzzling demographers in recent years: the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites. In middle age, they are dying at such a high rate that they are increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans, Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case found.

The Rush Limbaugh/Fox News demographic is killing itself. Which jibes with other research I’ve gleaned that link conservative politics to suicide. – Caro:

There are more suicides and homicides in the U.S. when a Republican is president.

Conservative governments in Australia and Britain have the same effect.

Conservative Truths is no longer an active website, but it retained an archive of the misery-causing conditions in conservative U.S. states, including more suicides (click here and search the page for the word “suicide,” there are several applicable sections) than in liberal states. And here’s more recent evidence: “Suicide Risk Linked to Rates of Gun Ownership, Political Conservatism.”

Why do “26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year”? Tbat’s one in four, folks. Think about it.

Millions of years of evolution living in hunter-gatherer tribes molded us into creatures whose feelings of security and well being depend on being members of a cooperative group. But today’s right wingers want us to believe that we’re all on our own, and any cooperative effort to increase the common good is a catastrophic mistake. We’re just not built that way, and trying to pretend we are or should be is apparently very detrimental to our mental health.

I’d write a book about it if I could ever find a publisher.

Better Diets Prevented 1.1 Million Premature Deaths In The US, Study Finds

New posts at Many Years Young 11/3/15

Better Diets Prevented 1.1 Million Premature Deaths In The US, Study Finds

Cutting processed sugar for just 9 days has a ‘striking’ effect on health

Soy Protein May Protect Against Osteoporosis

Processed meat can cause cancer, red meat probably can: WHO

Plus lots more.

Who had the better day?

Who Had The Better Day

Thanks to Karen Murphy

How Gowdy Made Clinton Look Presidential

(Political Wire) Matt Taibbi: “These morons in Gowdy’s committee were so bent on proving that Hillary is an unfeeling, ambition-crazed schemer bent on riding gleefully to the White House on the corpses of Benghazi victims that they ended up making her look like the one thing she really isn’t, at least not very often: a regular person.”

“Most of us who watched the fiasco imagined what we would do in her position, facing that same ludicrous barrage of circular questions. Most normal people would have done all of the same things she did: sighing, choking back angry retorts, shaking a head in disbelief at times, even laughing at the absurdity of it all.”

“Actually many people would have lost it early on and grabbed Gowdy by his goofy silver fro-hawk somewhere in hour six or seven, a fact that made Hillary by contrast look patient and presidential, in ways her campaign had been unable to achieve all year.”

My comment – Caro:

Not often a regular person? Why is it necessary among so-called progressives to always find something negative to say about Hillary, even in her moments of triumph?

On Melissa Harris-Perry, Eric Boehlert Calls Out The Benghazi Hoax: “We Have Been Debunking This For Three Years”

(Media Matters) BOEHLERT: She testified 33 months ago. She answered a lot of these questions 33 months ago. Media Matters has a list of, not only every question she was asked, all of them have been answered. We have been debunking this for three years.

Benghazi Hearing Dominated By Debunked Myths

(Media Matters) 316 questions — and we already knew the answers.

Hillary Clinton Herself Debunked Fox News’ “Smoking Gun” In An Interview With Fox News Last Year

(Media Matters) Fox News is obsessively promoting as a “smoking gun” the debunked allegations that Hillary Clinton intentionally misled the public about the Benghazi attacks, knowingly telling the public that an inflammatory video spontaneously inspired the violence while privately acknowledging it was pre-planned. However, Clinton has explained that the State Department’s understanding of and explanation for the attacks changed as “piecemeal” and “conflicting” early intelligence reports were replaced by more reliable information.

GOP Haunted House

Thanks to Matt Davies

BENGHAZI FLASHBACK: When Fox News Reported That The Benghazi Attack Was Triggered By Anti-Islam Video

(Media Matters) Fox News has repeatedly attacked Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration for linking the 2012 Benghazi attacks to protests over an inflammatory anti-Islam YouTube video in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but on the night of the terror attack Fox News reported the alleged connection on several shows. Several investigations into the aftermath of the attacks also show that the intelligence was fluid and the motivations for the attacks “continued to change throughout the week.”

Fox’s Roginsky: Blaming Clinton For Ambassador’s Death In Benghazi “Goes Way Too Far”

(Media Matters) JULIE ROGINKSY: … I had dinner with a former ambassador yesterday, I asked him about protocol over this and when this kind of stuff happens you don’t call the secretary of state, you call somebody called the regional security officer, you call diplomatic security and that’s who you call. So for anybody to sit here and say Hillary Clinton purposely let this man die, I think, is a horrible thing to say to her and goes way too far and I think when you have responses like, that’s when people say, okay, this is no longer something that’s a legitimate investigation. In fact, this is just going after her for partisan reasons. If she weren’t running for president, you and I both know she would not have spent 11 hours testifying yesterday.

Fox’s Ed Henry: Focusing On Benghazi During Presidential Campaign “May Backfire On Republicans”

(Media Matters) ED HENRY: You know what, I think it probably – first of all, I’ll say I don’t give Republican presidential candidates advice, but broadly speaking as a reporter, the Benghazi situation is a clear,important part of Hillary Clinton’s record. She can’t erase it, it should be brought up. But if it becomes a dominant part of the 2016 campaign? It’s hard to see how that’s a winning strategy for Republicans… And I suspect if you’re suggesting that it should be a dominant issue, it might backfire on Republicans. It backfired somewhat yesterday.

Panicking Fox ‘News’: Benghazi Hearings Showed Hillary’s ‘Chilling Soul’

(Reverb Press) Republicans may as well have orchestrated a taxpayer-funded day-long infomercial for the Hillary 2016 campaign. Many conservative commentators admitted the obvious — that the GOP had completely blown it, and their Committee looked more like a sinking pirate ship than a serious fact-finding mission. But Fox ‘News’ was not among those that acknowledged the obvious.

In an op-ed that was trending as the most popular article on Fox‘s website as of Friday afternoon, Fox News “National Security Analyst” K. T. McFarland slammed former Secretary Clinton performance in the Benghazi hearings. Since the Committee had not found anything specific to smear Clinton with, McFarland attacked Hillary as vaguely as possible.

McFarland wrote that since Clinton had a perfect performance, she’s inhuman. McFarland also wants the world to know that she SAW HILLARY’S SOUL!

So much for Trey Gowdy and the 8th Benghazi committee

Trey Gowdy Been Gauzy

Thanks to Adam Zyglis

(rackjite) Gee I hope Trey Whathisname will be okay after being beat up by a girl, I especially enjoyed Trey Whathisname’s post committee stammering inability to answer “What new things did his committee find today?”

What was cool about the hearing was that all Hillary had to do was just sit there and not tell any of those nastyass Republicans to kiss her ass. They just imploded on their own.

But all is not lost for the GOP or it’s brand. Alabama Representative Mo Brooks says if Hillary Clinton wins the White House Republicans she impeach her on the first day of her Presidency.

Not for Benghazi but for her emails as Secretary of State that put us all in so much peril that… Hmm… Um… That… Well…

Bill O’Reilly Laments That Benghazi Committee Failed To Hurt Clinton Because They Did Not Listen To Him

(Media Matters) CHRISTIE: But you got to get somebody who can effectively question her and hold her to account. We didn’t have anyone on that congressional committee … who could do that.

O’REILLY: Why do you think that is? Because I told them what to do.

CHRISTIE: They didn’t listen.

Republican Failures Never Investigated

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

Dowd Strikes Again: Spins Benghazi Column Into Sexist Slam on Hillary

(Peter Daou and Tom Watson, HillaryMen.com) The reaction to the sadistic Benghazi hearings was near-unanimous: it was seen as a gross overreach by the Republicans and a dignified and presidential showing by Hillary Clinton.

We say “near-unanimous” because there is one notable dissenter: Maureen Dowd.

Dowd has conducted a long-standing personal vendetta against Hillary Clinton from her perch at the New York Times, a publication that has squandered generations of credibility with shoddy coverage of the first woman with a viable path to the presidency…

There is no place in our public discourse for this kind of stereotyping, this rank sexism. No place when Donald Trump does it. No place when rightwing trolls do it. No place when Morning Joe does it.

Democratic primary news

Elect Democrats To Congress

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

Iowa Democratic Dinner Will Feel Like a Convention

(Political Wire) “Iowa’s annual Democratic fund-raising dinner is just another night on the rubber pork chop circuit, but it has a place in political legend as a pivot point for presidential races,” the New York Times reports.

“The dinner this weekend will unfold amid the hoopla of a mini-nominating convention. There will be bands, parades and orchestrated cheering sections for Mrs. Clinton and her main rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Bill Clinton, on his first visit to Iowa this year, will appear at a pre-dinner rally for Mrs. Clinton outside the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines that will include a performance by Katy Perry.”

Hillary Clinton calls Republican’s impeachment vow ‘pathetic’

(Reuters) Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Friday denounced as “pathetic” and “totally ridiculous” a Republican congressman’s call to impeach her on her first day in office if she is elected to the White House next year.

Clinton holds out hope for GOP cooperation

(MSNBC) Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, talks with Rachel Maddow about how she would deal with the Republican recalcitrance that has frustrated President Obama through both of his terms in office. (Video: 8:26)

Clinton sees value in (some) investigations

(MSNBC) Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton talks with Rachel Maddow about the importance of investigations into attacks on U.S. installations abroad, both to honor those lost in the attacks and to learn how to avoid future attacks, but laments that the current House Select Committee on Benghazi is not serving that goal. (Video: 2:17)

Exclusive: Clinton urges U.S. regulators to examine Daraprim price hike

(Reuters) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday urged U.S. regulators to determine how to bring lower-cost generic drugs to market more swiftly and combat anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry.

Clinton’s requests to the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission were prompted by what she called the “egregious actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals,” according to letters reviewed by Reuters.

The company drew fire from Clinton last month after news reports that it had raised the price of Daraprim, a 62-year-old treatment for a dangerous parasitic infection, to $750 a tablet from $13.50 after acquiring it.

Clinton’s criticism sent drug industry stock prices tumbling. Turing Chief Executive Officer Martin Shkreli promised to lower Daraprim’s cost to an unspecified price, and Turing is in the midst of a rebranding effort after being mocked on “Saturday Night Live.”

Shkreli’s about to go broke. A compounding pharmacy will start making a Daraprim equivalent, and will charge only $1 per pill. – Caro

Clinton Moves to Win Over Biden Supporters

(Political Wire) Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign “is moving swiftly but delicately to try to win over Democrats who wanted Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. to challenge her for the party’s nomination, assuring them that she shares his devotion to hard-working Americans and that the darkest days of her campaign are now behind her,” the New York Times reports.

Right-Wing Pundits: Bernie Sanders’ Popularity Is A Sign of The End Times

(Right Wing Watch) Rick Wiles invited climate change denier and End Times predictor Cliff Harris on his “TruNews” program last week to talk about the climate change debate, which they agreed was a “hoax” being used to grow the size of government.

Wiles warned that leaders like Pope Francis, Al Gore and Bernie Sanders are part of a plan to “use global warming to impose global socialism” during which they will “take control of property, eliminate private property rights take control of natural resources.” Wiles said the pupose of this plan is to impose “a centralized global government controlling the activities of every human being on the planet. That’s what Al Gore and all those socialists are after, and they’re using the climate as the justification.”

The war on women’s right to choose, cont’d

Life Begins At Moment Of Deception

Thanks to Jimmy Margulies

The real story behind those Planned Parenthood videos

(CNN) The photo was not an aborted fetus at a Planned Parenthood clinic. It was the stillborn child of Alexis Fretz, whose son was stillborn in 2013. Fretz took the photo and posted it on the Internet to memorialize the son she named Walter.

Texas Goes After Planned Parenthood in ‘Unprecedented’ Investigation

(RH Reality Check) Investigators from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on Thursday served subpoenas for records at Planned Parenthood offices in San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, reported the Austin American-Statesman.

Officials from the state also visited Planned Parenthood’s Brownsville clinic, now closed, which did not provide abortion services.

State officials were seeking a wide range of information from the organization including patient records, billing information, and employee information. Sarah Wheat, vice president for community affairs at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told the American-Statesman that the scope of the investigation was like nothing they had seen before.

Will jack-booted thugs go after individual PATIENTS???!!! – Caro

Planned Parenthood cut is about politics

(Houston Chronicle) This whole fight takes aim at an invented fear. And even if the Texas Health and Human Services Commission successfully cut Planned Parenthood from its distribution of federal Medicaid dollars, abortion services will remain at the same funding level of essentially zero. The federal family planning program, Title X, provides no money for abortions. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, prohibits Medicaid from spending money on abortions except in the rare cases of rape, incest and the health of the mother.

What Medicaid does fund is family planning services that help make abortions unnecessary.

But in the war against abortion, fighting Planned Parenthood is easier than actually reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.

Texas Justifies Crackdown On Planned Parenthood By Citing Right-Wing Media’s Favorite Discredited Anti-Choice Videos

(Media Matters) Texas has become the latest of several states to use deceptively-edited videos produced by the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress and promoted in right-wing media as a reason to attack Planned Parenthood. After informing the health care provider that it will no longer be reimbursed for treating low-income patients with funds from the state’s Medicaid program – a maneuver that has been ruled illegal elsewhere in the country — Texas officials issued sweeping subpoenas snd requests to Planned Parenthood clinics across the state for thousands of documents going back five years, including patient records and medical information, and employee’s salaries and home addresses.

Planned Parenthood Fighting Back (Video)

(CBS11) The battle over Planned Parenthood’s future in Texas taking a new turn—and some say Medicaid patients are getting caught in the crossfire of the political opposition to abortion.

The Right’s Answer to Gutting Planned Parenthood? Elementary Schools, Homeless Shelters, Jails

(RH Reality Check) [M]ost people would consider it unusual to pick a corrections facility if they were in the market for a breast exam. But that’s exactly what is suggested by a new website launched last month by some of the nation’s most prominent anti-choice groups.

The site, GetYourCare.org, is registered to the Alliance Defense Fund, a deep-pocketed fundamentalist Christian group based in Phoenix, Arizona, now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom. Other sponsors of the site include Concerned Women for America, the Susan B. Anthony List and the Family Research Council. Together, these groups have played leading roles in either promoting or bankrolling some of the most significant anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ campaigns and lawsuits of the last few years…

But in an investigation into the facilities, RH Reality Check has found that these “real choices” include hundreds of elementary, middle, and high schools; clinics that provide care for homeless people; nursing homes; pediatrics centers; and even the D.C. jail. RH Reality Check called and emailed hundreds of the facilities listed on the map, and discovered that many of their spokespeople were bewildered by the notion that women would be directed to their facilities for reproductive health services.

Remember when the IRS was supposedly targeting right-wing groups? Another faux scandal.

Dept. Of Justice: IRS Never Targeted Conservatives, Republicans Are Liars

(Occupy Democrats) Conspiracy theories and paranoid delusions abound – at least in the minds of the GOP. The most recent examples of course are the thoroughly bungled Benghazi and the Planned Parenthood debacles.  However, you might recall that about two years ago we had the start of the IRS “scandal”, in which Lois Lerner, then-IRS Chief at that time, was accused of unfairly scrutinizing and targeting Koch-funded Tea Party groups gunning for tax exemption.

[Friday], the Department of Justice said, in a letter to Congress: “substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime,” provoking yet another round of crocodile tears and wailing about the partisan lack of objectivity in the Department of Justice.

Not unexpectedly, Darrel Issa (R-CA), former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose committee was initially charged with investigating the conspiracy said: “The Justice Department’s decision to close the IRS targeting investigation without a single charge or prosecution is a low point of accountability” – accusing the Department of Justice of “ignoring volumes of evidence in the public record and efforts to obstruct legitimate inquires.”

Issa, however, must have a memory problem since his Committee spent 18 months and millions of US taxpayer dollars trying to make a scandal where there was none.

Paul Ryan demands treatment that he denies to others

Paul Ryan Family Time Hypocrisy

Thanks to Adam Zyglis

Paul Ryan as advocate for work-life balance? Yeah, for himself.

(Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune) “I cannot and will not give up my family time.”

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan spoke those admirable words recently. While considering whether to run for House speaker, the father of three school-age children made clear he would only take the job if his demand for work-life balance was met…

I wish more working people had the luxury of making that demand. And therein lies the problem with Ryan’s seemingly inspiring statement.

The onetime vice presidential candidate considers family time a priority for himself. But he and the Republican Party he represents have shown little interest in the familial needs of workers.

Ryan has voted against legislation to give federal employees paid parental leave. He and his party have blocked legislation that would mandate paid maternity leave and paid sick leave for all workers. When President Barack Obama brought up the issues in his State of the Union speech in January, saying paid leave is “not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have,” Republicans wouldn’t even applaud.

The budget Ryan presented in 2014 would do away with the Social Services Block Grant, cutting $16 billion in federal funding that, among other things, provides child care subsidies for low-income families.

Paul Ryan Worked 97 Days

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

Clown Car (cont’d)

Ben Carson Leads in Poll of Likely Iowa GOP Caucus-Goers

(Washington Wire, Wall Street Journal) Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is leading Donald Trump in Iowa among likely Republican caucus-goers, a reversal from last month helped by a surge in support from women, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Mr. Carson received 28% of the vote, compared to Mr. Trump’s 20%. Mr. Trump led the September poll at 27% to Mr. Carson’s 21%.

Ben Carson: ‘The Power Of God’ Is Behind My Presidential Campaign

(Right Wing Watch) Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson lashed out at critics who said that he would never have a chance to win the presidency.

He said that instead of retiring, God opened the door for him to enter the presidential race “much to the consternation of all the professional class and all the pundits” who said it was “impossible” for a “political neophyte” like him to build a national campaign.

Carson Proposes to End Medicare

(Political Wire) Ben Carson told CNBC that he would “replace more than just Obamacare with his plan for health savings accounts. He also wants his plan to replace all health insurance except for catastrophic coverage. He even wants it to replace Medicare—the extraordinarily popular health program for the elderly.”

Ben Carson hates political correctness so much he wants the government to police campus speech

(Laura Clawson, Daily Kos) Ben Carson is a vocal opponent of the scourge of political correctness on college campuses. Damn liberals, using their power on campuses to silence and oppress brave conservative voices! Carson’s view is that, “It’s time for people to stand up and proclaim for what they believe and stop being bullied.” Oh, and it’s also time for the federal government to institute Ben Carson-style political correctness on campuses.

Ben Carson Assures Conservatives That His Campus Speech Monitoring Would Only Target Liberals

(Right Wing Watch) In an interview with conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch…, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson repeated his plan to have the federal government monitor college campuses for “extreme bias,” explaining that he would have “very strict guidelines” that would ensure that his plan wouldn’t hurt conservatives.

Ben Carson's Thought Police

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

Trump Says He’d Consider Carson As VP: ‘We Get Along Very Well’

(Right Wing Watch) Donald Trump joined conservative Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman … to talk about his presidential candidacy, where he said he would be open to forming a joint ticket with his Republican rival Ben Carson, boasting of his “amazing” relationship with women and Latinos, and wondering why Syrian refugees aren’t “back fighting for their country.”

Pat Robertson: How Dare Muslims Try To Impose Religious Law On America! That’s My Job

(Right Wing Watch) Irony died a little bit [Wednesday] on “The 700 Club” when televangelist Pat Robertson defended Ben Carson’s statement he would never vote for a Muslim candidate for president unless that candidate renounced their religion, warning that a Muslim president would be dangerous because any “committed Muslim” would try to impose religious law on America.

Hailing Carson for “telling the truth” about Islam, Robertson said that “a committed Muslim would do exactly what ISIS is doing” and “put in Sharia law.”

Of course, this is the same preacher who believes the U.S. must align its laws with his reading of the Bible and abandon the separation of church and state or face God’s wrath.

Bryan Fischer Enthusiastically Backs Trump On Mosque Closures

(Right Wing Watch) Donald Trump told Fox Business Channel that he would “ absolutely” support shutting down mosques in America in order to fight ISIS, so naturally American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer came to the Republican presidential candidate’s defense today, repeating his frequent assertion that the First Amendment applies only to Christians.

Trump Attacks Carson’s Religion

(Political Wire) Donald Trump took an indirect shot at Ben Carson for his religion, The Hill reports. Said Trump: “I’m Presbyterian. That’s down the middle of road. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist I don’t know about.” Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist, a denomination that believes in a literal reading of the Bible.

New Ties Emerge Between Trump and Super PAC

(Political Wire) “A super PAC backing Donald Trump solicited a Trump business acquaintance for a political contribution using contact information obtained from a top aide to the real estate tycoon,” according to an e-mail obtained by the Washington Post.

“The donor outreach was among several new details that emerged this week linking Trump to Make America Great Again, a super PAC backing his presidential bid. Trump has made his independence from wealthy donors a hallmark of his campaign and has said he does not know anything about the super PACs claiming to back him.”

Trump Super PAC Will Shut Down

(Political Wire) “A super PAC with ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is shutting down in an effort to put an end to building questions about the closeness of the two operations,” the Washington Post reports.

Fact-Checkers: Trump Is A Liar, U.S. Doesn’t Have Highest Tax Rate In The World

(Occupy Democrats) A list compiled by the international tax advising firm KPMG found that the United States’ top income tax rate – 39.6% – ranks 33rd out of 112 countries surveyed. A different analysis ranked the U.S. 38th out of 155 countries. As for the bottom income tax level, the United States’ minimum of 10% ranked 42nd out of 152 countries surveyed by Ernst & Young, an international accounting firm.

Debunking of tax and other myths here. – Caro

Trump Hints at an Exit Strategy

(Political Wire) “In unmistakable ways over the last two weeks, whether he has intended to or not, Donald J. Trump has started to articulate a way out of the presidential race: a verbal parachute that makes clear he has contemplated the factors that would cause him to end his bid,” the New York Times reports.

Rubio: Trump Lacks Basic “Understanding” Of 9/11, Clinton Not Bush Deserves Blame

(BuzzFeed) “The truth is that President George W. Bush inherited all sorts of things from the Clinton administration, including intelligence agencies and others who weren’t doing a very good job that were not sharing information across agencies. Including a government that under President Clinton had not taken seriously al-Qaeda and the threat that they posed.”

Rand Paul Warns Donald Trump Would ‘Probably Be The Largest Loser’ In ‘The History Of The Country’

(Right Wing Watch) In a Newsmax interview…, Sen. Rand Paul said he was confident that Republican primary voters will eventually turn against frontrunner Donald Trump once they realize he is a “disaster” who, if nominated, would “get swamped in a landslide.”

“Donald Trump would be probably the largest loser of any candidate ever in the history of the country if he were our nominee,” the Kentucky Republican told host Ed Berliner. “He’s the worst nominee we could possibly think of.”

Rand Paul: Bernie Sanders’ Socialism Will ‘Eliminate’ Critics

(Right Wing Watch) Rand Paul repeated his mantra that Bernie Sanders could turn into a murderous dictator if elected president, this time in an interview yesterday on the conservative network Newsmax…

The Kentucky senator said that “socialism is anti-choice” and deadly. “If you choose to challenge the state,” he said, “they have to get rid of you, they have to arrest you or they have to eliminate you.”

Bush Says He Has Cooler Things to Do

(Political Wire) Jeb Bush sounds like he’s getting frustrated with running for president, CBS News reports. Said Bush: … “I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, be miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that.”

Ted Cruz Says He Won’t Attack Any Republican Rival, Proceeds To Attack All Other Republicans In The Race

(Right Wing Watch) Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody … posted clips from a recent interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, in which the typically sycophantic Brody thanked the Republican presidential candidate for refusing to criticize his GOP rivals, a frequent Cruz talking point.

Of course, in the very next clip, Cruz proceeded to criticize his opponents for refusing to bravely fight against Planned Parenthood, unlike Ted Cruz.

All of Chris Christie’s Major Political Moves Are Strangely Transportation-Oriented

(Charlie Pierce) In Christie’s latest effort to defibrillate a flagging campaign, the noted Dallas Cowboys and Italian hoagie enthusiast is hoping to bolster his tough-on-crime bonafides, urging the state’s Port Authority to stifle future flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and Cuba until a woman convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper is extradited to the United States.

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