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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, 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,, 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.

The Daily Outrage

Thanks To Conservatives, “Texas” Is Now Norwegian Slang For “Crazy”

(Occupy Democrats) Texas Monthly noted earlier this week that Norwegians have taken to using the phrase “helt Texas” to mean “totally crazy.” A Reddit post dug up by the Austin American-Statesman explained, “It’s basically an idiom at this point. When I think of the word I picture a cowboy crashing a party and shooting two revolvers in the air. ‘It’s completely texas!’”…

Next time Texas Republicans suggest the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration, declare that ping pong is more dangerous than guns, or claim Obama is plotting with the UN to invade Texas, we should take a page out of the Norwegians’ book and tell it like it is: “der is helt texas!

Hannity Furious Over Black Lives Matter Town Hall, Asks If DNC Will Host The KKK (VIDEO)

(Reverb Press) Fox News host Sean Hannity was furious … over the Democratic National Committee’s decision to host a Presidential town hall for the Black Lives Matter movement in order to discuss issues important to the black community.

Rush Limbaugh Applauds Himself For Coining The Term “Feminazi”

(Media Matters) LIMBAUGH: One of the first things I went to today was the Drudge page, and I see a headline that Gloria Steinem is blaming me — what does it say? Yeah, “Steinem Blames Limbaugh For Ruining The Word Feminism”… That word, feminazi, they have never gotten over, because that word actually better explained what they were all about. It rang so true.

Kevin Swanson Angry That Gays Are Using Accountants

(Right Wing Watch) Religious Right broadcaster Kevin Swanson … told host Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association, that persecution in America is “happening all over the place,” lamenting that now “accountants who refuse to submit forms for homosexual couples” are facing persecution.

“We’re looking at a massive increase in persecution,” he said, warning that religious radio stations will soon be taken off the air if they “refuse to give equal time to homosexuals on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Fox’s Charles Payne Calls Work-Life Balance “A Bunch Of Crock” And Calls For Children To Work More

(Media Matters) CHARLES PAYNE: The left has jumped all over this because now they got the perfect poster boy for this whole work-life balance thing, which I think is a bunch of crock… Our dominance in the world is not what it used to be. Think about how we got here, though. Listen, kids, the reason we have summer vacation kids get out of school and help harvest the crops. Are you kidding me? Work-life balance, how about we just eat balance?

This Week In Crazy: How To Zap God Out Of Your Head

(Sam Reisman, The National Memo) [An] investigators found that “both belief in God and prejudice towards immigrants can be reduced by directing magnetic energy into the brain.”… [Joe Miller, the Tea Party darling,] Miller saw [an] imminent threat posed by these findings: Transgender advocates could one day use magnets to zap the faith in God right out of Christians’ brains!

Barton: Teach Riflery In Public Schools To Eliminate Gun Violence And Accidents

(Right Wing Watch) [Evangelical Christian conservative political activist and author David] Barton said that the only sort of change needed in America is to return to the days when public schools taught riflery in P.E. class because, he insisted, back then there were no gun accidents or violent crime.

Sometimes sanity threatens to prevail

Iceland sends 26th banker to prison

(Undernews) US Uncut – Iceland just sentenced their 26th banker to prison for their part in the 2008 financial collapse. In two separate Icelandic Supreme Court and Reykjavik District Court rulings, five top bankers from Landsbankinn and Kaupping — the two largest banks in the country — were found guilty of market manipulation, embezzlement, and breach of fiduciary duties.

Feingold Up Big in Wisconsin

(Political Wire) A new Wisconsin Public Radio poll finds Russ Feingold (D) leads Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 51% to 40%.

The War Between Science and Religion Is (Slowly) Coming to an End

(Charlie Pierce) [W]hen you ask individuals whether they feel, in their own inner lives and in their beliefs, a strong sense of conflict between religious and scientific understandings of the world, they feel it less and less…

While the sense that religion and science are at odds in society keeps growing, the tension in people’s lives is diminishing.

Four States Gave Up Mass Incarceration And Saw A Dramatic Drop In Crime

(Occupy Democrats) A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s School of Law examined changes in incarceration and crime rates in four states – New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, and California – that have been at the forefront of the movement to end mass incarceration, and found a universal correlation between a reduced prison population and lower crime rates.

US Police Leaders Demand an End to Mass Incarceration

(TIME) More than 130 leading U.S. law enforcement officials are campaigning to reduce the national incarceration rate, one of the highest in the world…

In a dramatic shift from tough-on-crime programs of the last four decades, the law enforcement officials now say reducing incarceration will help improve public safety.

Are we all slaves?

Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year

Goodbye Middle Class

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

(Michael Snyder, Washington’s Blog) We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying.  According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.  Let that number sink in for a moment.  You can’t support a middle class family in America today on just $2,500 a month – especially after taxes are taken out.  And yet more than half of all workers in this country make less than that each month.  In order to have a thriving middle class, you have got to have an economy that produces lots of middle class jobs, and that simply is not happening in America today.

You can find the report that the Social Security Administration just released right here.  The following are some of the numbers that really stood out for me…

-38 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-51 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-62 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-71 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That first number is truly staggering.  The federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410, and yet almost 40 percent of all American workers do not even bring in $20,000 a year.

Middle Class Numbers Greatly Reduced

Thanks to Nick Hanauer

Wrong way to deal with the poor

ACLU Accuses Biloxi of Running Debtors’ Prison in Lawsuit Seeking to ‘Dismantle Two-Tiered System of Justice’

(Common Dreams) The American Civil Liberties Union has accused Biloxi, Miss. of operating “a modern day debtors’ prison,” filing a lawsuit on Wednesday charging that the city, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, jails impoverished people for unpaid fines and fees they are unable to pay.

“It’s essentially a jailhouse shakedown,” stated Nusrat Choudhury, an attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in Gulfport, names as defendants the city of Biloxi, Biloxi Police Chief John Miller, Judge James Steele, and for-profit Judicial Correction Services, Inc. It states:

The City routinely arrests and jails impoverished people in a scheme to generate municipal revenue through the collection of unpaid fines, fees, and court costs imposed in traffic and other misdemeanor cases. As a result, each year hundreds of poor residents of the City and surrounding areas, including individuals with disabilities and homeless people, are deprived of their liberty in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center for days to weeks at a time for no reason other than their poverty and in violation of their most basic constitutional rights.

It has to be more expensive to keep these people in jail, doesn’t it? Not very smart, Biloxi, unless your objective is to simply punish poor people for being poor. – Caro

Right way to deal with the poor

New outreach set for panhandlers in Albuquerque

(Albuquerque Journal) Panhandlers across the city may soon find a van pulling up next to them, and instead of being offered a quick buck they will be offered employment for the day.

As part of a pilot program with the city of Albuquerque and St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, panhandlers who are willing may be able to earn $9 an hour for working on such things as city beautification projects and weed and litter control, Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry announced during a Monday news conference.

Albuquerque Homeless Program

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

Climate change is here

2015 Likely to Be Hottest Year Ever Recorded

(New York Times) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that 2015 is on track to be the hottest year on record by a large margin.

9 Times Scientific Researchers Stood Up To Right-Wing Media For Distorting Their Climate Studies

(Media Matters) Right-wing media frequently distort climate science in order to dispute the overwhelming consensus that human activities are responsible for climate change. But sometimes scientists fight back and stand up for their work. Here are nine times scientific researchers stood up to deniers who misrepresented their climate studies.

How Offshore Wind Can Beat Natural Gas In The U.S.

(ThinkProgress) New England is set to lose eight gigawatts of generating capacity from fossil fuels as aging power plants built in the 1950s and ‘60s retire and go offline. This will create a vacuum that could be filled by Canadian hydropower, natural gas, or offshore wind. Assuming that American utilities would rather build new sources of power in the United States than send their money to Canada.

Court Decision Opens Path To Solar Power For Sunshine State Residents

(ThinkProgress) Solar power could soon be flourishing the Sunshine State. Thursday morning the Florida Supreme Court approved an initiative for the 2016 ballot that would allow Floridians to vote to reduce the state’s restrictions on rooftop solar power.

Although solar is growing exponentially nationwide, it has not thrived in Florida. Florida is one of a handful of states that prohibit residents from purchasing electricity from a source other than an electric utility. This has locked out third-party solar rooftop companies, such as SolarCity and SunRun, which install rooftop solar panels on a customer’s property at no cost and sell solar-generated power to that customer at a reduced electric rate.

As ThinkProgress previously reported, a coalition of solar advocates called Floridians for Solar Choice has been leading the effort to change this policy by pursuing a ballot initiative to permit third-party financing for rooftop solar by private companies. To get the initiative on the ballot, Florida required the coalition to first collect 68,314 voter signatures and then have the initiative language approved by the state Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the ballot initiative cleared this major hurdle when the Florida Supreme Court approved the “Solar Choice Amendment” for the November 2016 ballot. Advocates now have to collect the requisite 683,149 signatures to ensure the initiative goes on the ballot. It will then have to pass with 60 percent of the vote in 2016.

Iran Says It Can Quadruple Carbon Cuts If Sanctions Lifted

( Bloomberg) Iran could as much as quadruple its efforts to curb fossil fuel emissions if economic sanctions imposed by the U.S., United Nations and European Union are ended, the country’s lead envoy at UN climate negotiations said.

Happy Head, Happy Heart: Positive Emotions May Promote Heart-Healthy Behaviors

New posts at Many Years Young 10/25/15

Happy Head, Happy Heart: Positive Emotions May Promote Heart-Healthy Behaviors

Low Physical Activity Responsible for 17 Percent of Cardiovascular Deaths in Argentina

High Strain Job Increases Stroke Risk

Loud noise exposure linked to heart disease risk

Plus lots more.

Hillary speaks, Republicans implode

Hillary Fends Off Benghazi Committee

Thanks to Clay Bennett

Hillary Clinton Testifies At Benghazi Committee For 11 Hours

(BuzzFeed) Hillary Clinton spent 11 hours on Thursday answering questions from a politically fractious House panel that used the opportunity to grill the presidential candidate on the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi and her use of private email during her time as secretary of state…

“Madame Secretary, I understand some people — frankly in both parties — have suggested this investigation is about you,” [Trey Gowdy, the committee chairman,] began. “Let me assure you it is not.”

[Democratic member Elijah E.] Cummings, however, directly contradicted Gowdy’s defense of the committee, calling it “an abusive effort” by the GOP to derail Clinton’s campaign.

“Everyone on this panel knows the accusations are baseless, from our own investigations and all investigations before it, yet everyone on the committee remains silent,” Cummings said.

What Hillary’s Benghazi hearing revealed about life inside the Republican bubble

(Paul Waldman, The Week Magazine) The ridiculously lengthy discussion about Blumenthal illustrates the problem Republicans have had with this entire investigation: They’re stuck in their own bubble, unable to see what things might look like from outside it.

In case you don’t know, Sid Blumenthal is a former journalist and longtime friend (and sometime employee) of the Clintons. For a variety of reasons, some more legitimate than others, Republicans regard him as a singularly sinister character. When it emerged that he had sent Hillary Clinton lots of emails about Libya (and other matters), they could barely contain their glee, going so far as to subpoena him to testify privately. He apparently failed to give them what they wanted, because up until now committee Chair Trey Gowdy has refused to release his testimony to the public…

This is what happens when you start an investigation that you’re sure will uncover evidence of nefarious goings-on. When you can’t find any malfeasance, you convince yourself that even mundane things are nefarious, like the fact that Hillary Clinton has a friend you don’t like.

Why the Clinton Benghazi testimony isn’t accomplishing what Republicans hoped

(Paul Waldman, The Plum Line, Washington Post) It’s too early to say exactly how we’ll remember this hearing. Perhaps because it has (so far) lacked any fiery moments that make for good sound bites, it will get discussed only for a day or two and then fade from memory. If this hearing does provide a coda to this controversy, it will surely become a symbol for conservatives of how feckless and ineffectual their congressional leaders are, and a symbol for liberals of Republicans’ obsession with faux scandals.

Hillary Rocks Republicans and Rolls the Benghazi Committee

(Brent Budowsky) It is very possible that historians will someday view the last two weeks as the time that Hillary Clinton, who should now become the second Clinton to be called the comeback kid, won the Democratic nomination and potentially the presidency…

The highlight, or low point, of the inquisition against Ms. Clinton that Republicans had planned for more than a year was an attack against Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal that had nothing to do with what caused the Benghazi tragedy or how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

If Republicans think they will win a presidential campaign by attacking Sidney Blumenthal they are dreaming. As I said in a television interview on NewsMax TV on Thursday evening, voters are more likely think Sidney Blumenthal sells automobiles in New Jersey than to think he should matter in a presidential election!

What will matter in a presidential election is that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee and debates a Republican, she will ask why so many Republicans supported cutting the budget of the embassy security program from pre-Benghazi levels by $200 million to $300 million, as proposed in a GOP budget offered by Rep. Paul Ryan.

Ms. Clinton will politically obliterate any GOP nominee who argues that the way to prevent future tragedies like Banghazi is to impose these Draconian budget cuts that would eviscerate America’s ability to protect embassies in trouble spots around the world.

Shedding Light On Benghazi

Thanks to Kevin Siers

Benghazi Hearing: While Republicans Barked And Snarled, Hillary Smiled

(Joe Conason) To watch Hillary Clinton’s Republican antagonists during Thursday’s public hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi was to wonder how they could possibly behave the way they did. As representatives of the American people, they not only failed miserably to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them, but exposed their own blithering ignorance of basic aspects of government.

Determined as they were to encourage doubt about Clinton’s presidential candidacy, they instead elevated her and raised hard questions about their own knowledge, character, temperament, and intellectual capacity to serve in Congress…

Gowdy appeared to believe – or perhaps pretended to believe – that if only the Secretary of State had ignored [her personal friend Sidney] Blumenthal’s emails, the Benghazi attack might somehow have been prevented…

[H]er communications with Blumenthal were, and are, entirely irrelevant to the matters that Gowdy purports to be investigating. Should Gowdy ever really wish to know why it is difficult to protect our embassies, consulates, and foreign service officers abroad, he might investigate himself and all the other Republicans who – as Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) acknowledged on Thursday – voted repeatedly to slash hundreds of millions of dollars from the State Department’s security budget.

Benghazi Chair Can’t Name Anything New Learned From Clinton Hearing

(BuzzFeed) “I’d have to go back and look at the transcript,” said Trey Gowdy, the committee chairman, after Hillary Clinton answered questions for eight hours in an 11-hour hearing…

Throughout the hearing, the Democratic members on the committee attempted to frame the endeavor as a political exercise, producing nothing of value that could help strengthen security protocols or prevent future attacks. After a final two-and-a-half-hour round of questions, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, questioned the point of the hearing in an exasperated closing statement.

“I don’t know what we want from you!” he said to Clinton. “We are better than that!”

Earlier in the hearing, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff flatly told his colleagues, “The reality is that after 17 months, we have nothing new to tell the families.”

Tre yGowdy's Lipstick

Thanks to Jeff Danziger

Republicans Revive Debunked ‘Gun-Running’ Conspiracy Theory At Clinton Benghazi Hearing

(Right Wing Watch) There were two types of questions that House Republicans posed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at yesterday’s hearing of the Benghazi Special Committee: 1) questions that had nothing to do with Benghazi (see Blumenthal, Sidney), and 2) questions that were already thoroughly assessed and answered in the seven previous investigations into the 2012 attack.

As an example of one question of the latter sort, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., asked Clinton whether the targeted U.S. facilities were being used to send weapons to armed Syrian groups…

The Benghazi gun-running conspiracy theory has already been evaluated and debunked — much like the mythical “stand down order” — by a Republican-led congressional investigation.

Hillary Clinton’s Email to Chelsea Stars in Benghazi Hearing

(Wall Street Journal) The private email to Chelsea Clinton, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) said, was at odds with the message in the official statement put out by the State Department that same night under Mrs. Clinton’s name.

Clinton Christmas Card Investigation

Thanks to Pete McGowan

Clinton’s Greatest Moments — And More — From The Benghazi Hearing

(Eric Kleefeld, The National Memo) By going through a gauntlet of partisan attacks face to face, and maintaining her composure throughout, Clinton will likely win over a whole new group of sincere supporters who hadn’t been on board with her before.

A Comprehensive Guide To Hillary Clinton, Benghazi, And Those Emails

(Media Matters) In their relentless drive to find a scandal that doesn’t exist, media have spent the last three years pushing numerous myths surrounding Clinton’s alleged role in the attacks and her legal use of her personal email account.

The Biggest Losers

(Paul Krugman) [T]he real losers here are the reporters and centrist pundits who let themselves be played, month after month, by Trey Gowdy and company. I mean, anyone who took these chumps seriously has proved himself an ever bigger chump than they are.

From the right-wing media, per Media Matters – Caro:

Fox News Reporter Praises Clinton: “She Did Look Presidential, She Did Look In Command”

Shep Smith: Gowdy’s Obsessive Questioning Not Related To What Happened At Benghazi

Fox’s Erick Erickson Says The Benghazi Hearings Are “A Waste Of Time”

Erick Erickson Gives Up On The Benghazi Hearings, Says Clinton “Far Too Bright To Be Trapped”

Fox’s Shep Smith: Gowdy’s Obsessive Questioning About Blumenthal Is Not “Very Helpful When Finding Out What Happened At … Benghazi”

Fox Hypes Debunked Allegation That Clinton Intentionally Misled About Attacks

Matt Drudge Pushes Hillary Clinton Health Conspiracy After Benghazi Hearing Coughing

Fox Is Obsessed With Pushing The Debunked “Smoking Gun” Claim That Clinton Intentionally Misled The Public About Benghazi Attackers’ Motivations

“Bombshell”: Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle Hypes Debunked Allegation That Clinton Intentionally Misled About Cause Of Benghazi Attacks

Fox’s Kilmeade Claims Unanswered Questions About Benghazi Remain Even After Clinton’s Testimony

And, of course:

Fox News Was The First Cable News Network To Cut Away From The Benghazi Hearings

(Media Matters) After years of Benghazi hype, sensationalist lies, and attacks on Hillary Clinton and other officials, Fox News gave up on the Hillary Clinton’s testimony to the Benghazi committee before the hearings were even over.

But, other than among right-wing crazies, is sanity starting to prevail? (Also from Media Matters) – Caro:

Media Condemn “Sham” Benghazi Committee Hearing

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin Calls Out Benghazi Committee’s “Bizarre Obsession” With Sidney Blumenthal

MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle: Had The Benghazi Committee “Been In Charge Of The Watergate Hearing, Richard Nixon Would Have Finished His Term”

Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah Blasts Benghazi Committee’s “Never-Ending Scandal”

Predictable Republican reactions to the testimony, from BuzzFeed – Caro:

Huckabee: McCarthy Made Benghazi “Political Football,” Handed Democrats Talking Points

Ben Carson: Hillary Clinton Won’t Be Nominee Because She “Can Well Be In Jail” Soon

Speak To Mr Ben Ghazi

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

The Secret Weapon Behind Hillary’s Dramatic Resurgence

( Through the ups and downs, eventually, it all comes down to the candidate. No campaign structure, no amount of money, no slick ads, no digital wizardry – and certainly, no strategists – can substitute for authentic grit, tenacity and talent when the chips are tossed on the stage and the klieg light glare hits one person and one person alone. This is especially true in presidential races at the top of the field…

When the history books are written, October 2015 will be remembered as a major inflection point in the 2016 presidential campaign.

That inflection point came because Hillary Clinton used her secret weapon: Hillary Clinton.

What You Can Learn From Hunter-Gatherers’ Sleeping Patterns

New posts at Many Years Young 10/23/15

What You Can Learn From Hunter-Gatherers’ Sleeping Patterns

Lack of sleep linked to risk factors for diabetes and heart disease

Sleep Apnea Is Tied to Gout

Erectile Dysfunction in Men With Sleep Apnea: New Clues

Plus lots more.

Biden’s sham campaign ends, but he won’t stop scolding Hillary

Biden Won't Run

Biden won’t run in 2016

(Reuters) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he would not seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, ending months of suspense and removing a huge political obstacle for front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent,” Biden told reporters in the White House Rose Garden with President Barack Obama and Biden’s wife Jill at his side.

In deciding not to run, Biden, 72, appeared to succumb to his own doubts about whether he and his family were ready for a grueling campaign while still mourning his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in May. His son had urged him to run.

My comment – Caro:

Nonsense. He never meant to run. This whole pitiful episode was Obama’s way of getting back at Hillary for disagreeing with him on several big issues recently.

Biden Says He ‘Will Not Be Silent’

(The National Memo) While he said he would not be a candidate, he vowed that he would “not be silent,” would remain active in the Democratic party, and would continue to build upon the successful work he had done as a member of President Obama’s administration, bringing the country “from crisis to recovery” and to the “cusp of resurgence.”

My comment – Caro:

Biden will continue to be Charlie McCarthy for Obama, criticizing Hillary when she disagrees with Obama’s policies. Or would that be Clem Kadiddlehopper?

How Clinton Boxed Out Biden

(Political Wire) Politico: “The directive to do nothing publicly to challenge Biden, multiple sources said, came directly from the top — Hillary Clinton herself was described as ‘aggressive’ and ‘demanding’ that donors and outside surrogates refrain from launching attacks against Biden, or even commenting publicly about his support or his chances.”

“The campaign was so sensitive about the appearance of going after Biden that even talking points for surrogates on how to discuss Biden, usually delivered by email, were only delivered by private phone calls… Part of that stance was out of respect, sources close to the campaign said, and part was an effort not to give Biden any reason to feel he should get in the race.”

Biden Lost the Invisible Primary

(Political Wire) Perry Bacon: “Vice President Joe Biden officially decided not to run for president. But in many ways, it wasn’t his choice: the power brokers in the Democratic Party unified around former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not the sitting vice president, leaving Biden the options of either not running or facing a campaign with long odds of victory.”

Harry Enten: “Few presidential primary candidates have entered the race as late as Biden would have. It’s possible that Biden, as vice president, might have been able to overcome the pitfalls of past late entries. On the other hand, everything we do know suggests Biden would have had a short, hard road. Biden made the right move.”

Democratic Establishment Urges Biden to Stand Down

(Political Wire) Wall Street Journal: “As Mr. Biden nears a final decision, Democratic establishment figures are coming forward with a distinct message: Don’t run.”

“They are citing Mrs. Clinton’s lead in the polls, fundraising and organizational advantages in an effort to discourage Mr. Biden’s late entry into the race.”

Clinton Has Strong Support Among Democrats

(Political Wire) A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows Democrats “appear to be rallying around Hillary Clinton after her command performance in the party’s first presidential debate, with strong majorities viewing her favorably and more saying she can win the White House than any of her rivals.”

The survey finds that Clinton “has regained traction in the 2016 primary contest following a summer slump, with nearly 8 in 10 Democrats saying they have a positive opinion of her.”

“To the extent that there is a desire for an alternative to Clinton in the Democratic field, the poll finds that Vice President Joe Biden appears more able to provide it than the insurgent campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Nearly 7 in 10 Democrats said they had a favorable view of Biden, who has spent months weighing whether to jump into the race. Only about half of Democrats say that about Sanders.”

Emailghazigate continues

Media Matters Sends Select Committee Members Copies Of The Benghazi Hoax

The Benghazi Hoax

(Media Matters) Media Matters for America [delivered] printed copies of The Benghazi Hoax, our book comprehensively debunking the worst right-wing lies surrounding the 2012 attacks, to members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi in advance of their October 22 hearing with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In a letter to the members, Media Matters president Bradley Beychok notes that the committee has been exposed by the Republican Party as “a partisan stunt intended to damage” Clinton, and calls on them to “help squelch the untruths and put an end to the lies and perpetual misinformation that Fox News and other right-wing media have disseminated about the attacks for several years.”

Trump Accidentally Demolishes The Fox News Benghazi Narrative

(Media Matters) By raising questions about President Bush and 9/11, Trump has effectively demolished Fox News’ long-running Benghazi storyline…

[M]any of the same, far-right forces chasing Clinton today were much less interested in holding Jeb Bush’s brother accountable for the security failings of 9/11. (In fact, they tried to blame Bill Clinton.)…

And then there was Reagan and Beirut.

My comment – Caro:

A recap:

Embassy Attacks And Investigations

Three Years Of The Benghazi Hoax In Five Minutes

(Media Matters) For more than three years, Media Matters has meticulously chronicled the right-wing lies behind the politicization of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Ignoring the facts, right-wing media have continued to push this hoax.

Benghazi panel on trial

(Brent Budowsky) The House Ethics Committee should investigate the House Benghazi Committee to determine whether the rules of the House are violated by the misuse of public funds to pursue a partisan vendetta against one person: former Secretary of State and candidate for president Hillary Clinton…

For congressional ethics to have any meaning, the House Ethics Committee should make a clear and powerful statement that this violates the rules of the House, compromises the integrity of Congress and constitutes an abuse of taxpayer trust for public money to finance legislative committees to wage partisan vendettas against one political opponent in a presidential election.

It would be scandalous for the Ethics Committee not to investigate the Benghazi Committee after the House majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), publicly bragged that it was a major success of the GOP Congress that the Benghazi Committee lowered Clinton’s poll ratings, followed by a second Republican member and then a GOP committee investigator joining Democrats in raising ethics questions about the committee.

Fox Contributor Falsely Claims Benghazi Whistleblower Is A Clinton Supporter

(Media Matters) Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce falsely claimed that the Benghazi whistleblower, Bradley Podliska, is a Clinton supporter. Contrary to Bruce’s claim, Podliska is a “self-described lifelong Republican” who has publicly stated he will not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Fox Pushes Debunked Myth That Clinton Sent “Classified Information” About CIA Source In Email

(Media Matters) Fox News repeatedly hyped the debunked claim made by Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi that Hillary Clinton sent “classified information” endangering national security by including the name of a CIA source in an email sent from her private server. The claim was debunked by the CIA — who said the email did not contain classified information - but then Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who chairs the select committee, accidentally revealed the source’s name himself in material he released publicly.

Fox Timeline On Benghazi Committee Falsely Suggests Administration Didn’t Acknowledge It Was A Terrorist Attack

(Media Matters) CATHERINE HERRIDGE: With demonstrations spreading across the Middle East in September 2012, then-CIA Director David Petraeus and his military intelligence counterpart, DIA Director Mike Flynn, concluded Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Though the administration went in a different direction on five Sunday talk shows.

Fox Host Blames Hillary Clinton For Time And Expense Of Benghazi Committee

(Media Matters) BRIAN KILMEADE: My question would even be more broad than that. Why has it been so difficult to get all the communications for — to lead us up to this day? Don’t you feel personally responsible for the fact that this committee has been forced to stay together and cause — spend a lot of money for 17 months? Why are we still getting emails from the ambassador who lost his life three years ago?

Fox’s Tantaros Pushes Debunked Benghazi Myths To Claim That Clinton Created Security Breach “For Political Reasons”

(Media Matters) ANDREA TANTAROS: The largest national security breach in recent memory, where four Americans died, is no laughing matter. One that she created, by the way, for political reasons.

Rush Limbaugh Laments That “You’re Never Gonna Be Able To, Figuratively, Hit The Girl”

(Media Matters) RUSH LIMBAUGH: So the Republicans will praise [Hillary Clinton] for her cervix– Democrats will praise her for her cervix, and Republicans will ask innocuous questions in order to not be blamed for beating up on her. See, that’s the main reason Republicans don’t do anything. It’s because they don’t want the Democrats and the media accusing them of hitting the girl.

Fox’s Bill O’Reilly Instructs The Benghazi Committee On How To Question Hillary Clinton

(Media Matters) BILL O’REILLY: You see now, I — do I have to get elected to Congress to ask these questions? Look, I know most of the committee members are watching us right now. Write that down. That’s the crux of the matter, that’s it, don’t ask anything else.

David Brock Calls Out The “Discredited And Illegitimate” Benghazi Committee For Their “Abuse Of Power”

(Media Matters) DAVID BROCK: This is a discredited and illegitimate investigation. We know that seven congressional committees and an independent review by the State Department all concluded — all answered those questions. They answered many more. And they all concluded that Secretary Clinton had no wrongdoing in this matter. So she’s being brought up here, and the questions that are going to be asked have asked have already been answered except for the ones that are political cheap shots, and that’s what we’re probably going to see, unfortunately.

‘That is factually not correct:’ Media starts noticing Republican Benghazi lies

(Laura Clawson, Daily Kos) Isn’t it funny how when the House majority leader admits that the Benghazi Committee is all about attacking Hillary Clinton, the media suddenly starts noticing the other evidence that the Benghazi Committee is all about attacking Hillary Clinton? And calling them out on at least some of their inaccuracies and falsehoods?

…  over at Meet the Press, NBC’s longtime top diplomatic correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, was bashing another panel Republican, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, for charging that Clinton had “relied on Mr. Blumenthal for most of her intelligence” on Libya.

“That is factually not correct,” Mitchell told Pompeo.

Journalists Who Covered The Iran-Contra Scandal Tell Us What They Really Think About The Benghazi Committee

(Media Matters) Journalists who covered the 1987 Iran-Contra hearings say the congressional investigations into Benghazi are much more partisan and more focused on damaging Hillary Clinton than finding the truth.

NY Times Columnist Blasts Benghazi Committee As “A Textbook For Bad Intentions”

(Media Matters) In an October 21 column for The New York Times Collins joined the chorus of those blasting the partisan nature of the committee, denouncing the Benghazi panel as being “the wrong way” to investigate what went wrong in a terror attack. Citing McCarthy’s remarks as well as Benghazi committee Chairman Trey Gowdy “criticiz[ing] Clinton for forwarding an email containing the name of a C.I.A. source to her aide, and in the process accidentally ma[king] the name public himself,” Collins questioned the committee’s initial “promise to be fair”

How Media Kept Benghazi Alive Since The Last Time Clinton Testified

(Media Matters) [A]s the GOP’s Benghazi production winds down, having had its reputation severely damaged in recent days, it’s important to understand the central role the press has played over the last three years in keeping the partisan pursuit afloat.

The truth is there were obvious points over the last three years when the press could have, and should have, gotten on the Benghazi exit ramp.

BUSTED: Trey Gowdy Caught Being Bankrolled By Anti-Hillary PAC

(Occupy Democrats) The Benghazi Select Committee, headed up by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, has been shown repeatedly to be nothing more than an effort to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming the next President of the United States…

On Monday morning, it was revealed that Republicans, many of them members of the Benghazi Select Committee, actually changed the content of some of  Hillary Clinton’s emails in an effort to further use that particular non-scandal to harm the public’s trust in her. Now, Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat who is a Ranking Member of the Benghazi Select Committee, has released proof that committee chairman Trey Gowdy has some very interesting ties to a super PAC whose sole purpose is to stop Hillary Clinton from taking the White House– the aptly named Stop Hillary PAC. The PAC says that its organization was “created for one reason only—to ensure Hillary Clinton never becomes President of the United States.”

Meet Citizens United, Another Right-Wing Group Driving The Clinton Email Narrative

(Oliver Willis, Media Matters) Citizens United is a conservative activist group with a long history of promoting discredited smears and attacks. Along with fellow right-wing group Judicial Watch, they have been one of the driving forces behind the mainstream media narrative about Hillary Clinton’s emails…

Just last week, The Wall Street Journal based an October 15 story on emails parceled out to the newspaper by Citizens United, in a continuation of a pattern utilized by the organization and its leader David Bossie of selectively leaking partial information to news outlets in order to attack Democrats. The story later made the leap to Fox News.

The emails, which show Clinton aides experienced occasional IT problems when working with Clinton’s private server (similar to many agencies, organizations, and businesses), are described by Bossie in the Journal story as “another troubling revelation.” Bossie has also been calling for a “special counsel” to investigate the emails.

This is the type of scandal-mongering that Citizens United has done for years in order to further conservative crusades against prominent progressives. Bossie himself has been targeting the Clintons for more than two decades. In 1998, he was fired from a job with the House Oversight Committee for his role in releasing selectively-edited transcripts that smeared Hillary Clinton.

Can we have a reasonable discussion on guns?

Clinton Says Stand Up To NRA

Thanks to Jim Fawcette

Republicans & NRA Panic As Obama Set To Use Executive Powers To Pass Gun Safety Reforms

(Occupy Democrats) The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama may circumvent Congress and use an executive action to implement a universal background check for high-volume gun dealers. The new rule would require dealers who exceed a certain number of sales to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and perform background checks on potential buyers.

Ted Nugent: Unarmed Victims Of Gun Violence Are ‘Losers’ Who Had It Coming

(Occupy Democrats) The NRA’s constant efforts to blame the victims of mass shootings are as vile and reprehensible as anything else the lobby of arms dealers and delusional paranoiacs puts their energies towards, but recent comments by board member and proud racist Ted Nugent go beyond the pale. Nugent published an op-ed at titled “The Answer: Get A Damn Handgun,” in which he insulted the victims of gun massacres as “losers:”

How Do You Cover The Gun “Debate” When One Side Spouts Nonsense?

(Eric Boehlert, Media Matters) [H]ow does the press cover the unfolding Republican gun spectacle? And when do reporters and pundits step forward and point out that one side of the gun ‘debate’ has not only lost touch with reality, but at times has lost touch with common decency? That query goes to the heart of informative political reporting…

[M]any journalists haven’t come to grips with the idea that Republicans, as a matter of policy, are unwilling to reduce the number of guns in America. And that the shoulder shrug response to the Oregon tragedy indicates they’re not going to try.

Journalists should stop shying away from relaying that troubling truth.

How about the gun VICTIMS rights? – Caro:

Gun Victims Rights

Thanks to Jen Sorensen

Rand Paul: Put Stickers On School Windows Warning ‘You Will Be Shot’

(Right Wing Watch) Falsely suggesting that the recent mass shooting at an Oregon community college took place in a gun-free zone, Sen. Rand Paul said … that as president he would encourage every school in America to place stickers on its windows warning potential criminals that teachers are armed and “you will be shot.”

An Oregon teacher’s letter to lawmakers: We don’t need your prayers, we need your courage

(Melissa Duclos) My son will start kindergarten next year. At 5 years old he and his classmates, in addition to learning reading and math, will be walked through lockdown drills by a teacher who will likely be hiding an immense terror as she has students practice finding a cozy place to hide and times how long they can remain quiet. It will probably seem like a game to him at first, but eventually my son and the rest of America’s schoolchildren who are learning the same lessons will ask why. Why have we allowed our schools to become a place where children must hide, and teachers must fight to survive?

If Guns Make Us Safer

Thanks to Helen Christopherson

Gun Industry Must Not Be Shielded From Liability

(Mary Sanchez, The National Memo) The NRA has filled people’s heads with the nonsense that it is unfair to expect a seller to know whether a gun he sells will be used later in a crime. Really?

Sensible Gun Owners Should Abhor The NRA

(Cynthia Tucker Haynes, The National Memo) What has happened to responsible gun owners? Where did the sane hunters go? Why aren’t they standing up to protest the outrageous politics of the NRA?

Most gun owners don’t belong to the NRA — and they don’t agree with it either

(Washington Post) Fewer than one in ten gun owners are NRA members.

Even Tucker Carlson Acknowledges Republicans “Could Lose This Debate” On The Gun Issue In 2016

Carlson: “Politically, It’s Probably Not A Dumb Play For Democrats. America Has Changed Dramatically In Its Demographic Composition”

Gun Waiting Period

Thanks to Occupy Democrats

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