Quote of the Day

“Certainly, many of the Snowden-fueled disclosures following the original NSA revelation have been gratuitous and harmful; those, and his sheltering in Russia rather than arguing his case in a U.S. court, raise doubts about his motives. But the original NSA leaks were justified because U.S. intelligence officials had misled the public and members of Congress about the program. There’s no value of ‘oversight’ if the overseers are being fed lies.”

Dana Milbank, WaPo

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Why Are Conservatives Making a Crazy Criminal a Hero?

“Pretty soon, there was an armed standoff as men with guns assembled around the ranch. The BLM people wisely backed off, and there was a great cock-a-doodle-do’ing all over the right, because Cliven Bundy’s inalienable right to get something for nothing from the rest of us had been upheld with Second Amendment enthusiasm. Bear in mind that Bundy’s entire position is that he can not pay his bills, and that he can ignore a federal judge, because he feels the federal government is illegitimate. … This is conservatism — and, therefore, Republicanism — playing footsie with sedition. This is not the first time, either.

“Republican politicians, especially in the west, have slow-danced with the militia movement for quite some time. A Republican congresswoman named Helen Chenoweth was so close to the movement that, after Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, she pronounced herself upset that the government had failed truly to understand the militia movement.

“In the states, the Republican party has embraced the traditional historical basis for this movement, having actively discussed — and, in some cases, tried to implement — the doctrine of nullification. This, of course, was the fundamental theoretical basis for the greatest act of sedition of all time, and one for which too many people seem overly nostalgic these days. The difference between the present moment, and the days when Helen Chenoweth was riding the range, of course, is the fact that there is a powerful and loud right-wing media infrastructure at the disposal of the people peddling this constitutional poison. Americans For Prosperity jumped right on the Bundy case. Of course, AFP — and the Koch brothers who fund it — isn’t in this for airy philosophical debates on the role of government. They’re in it to break the control of the federal government over the lands that they want to exploit for their own profit, and they are willing to help engage the single most destructive political theory in the country’s history to help them do it. It is reckless and dangerous, and anybody who gets used by these people is a sap. And useful idiots, like Sean Hannity and all the someones like him, are going to get somebody killed behind this stuff.”

“Range War in Nevada,” Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

I get party differences over abortion, gay marriage, taxing and spending, etc.  But why shouldn’t D’s and R’s agree that a man who refuses to pay his grazing fees is a criminal and should be punished, not celebrated?  I thought the GOP was supposed to be the “law and order” party.  Why are they all freaked out about food stamp fraud, but don’t want this guy to pay the million bucks he owes?

1062 and All That

GOP Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have make it okay for businesses to discriminate against gays based on the “religious beliefs” of their owners and employees.  No soup (or wedding cake) for you!

As with Medicaid expansion, I hope other GOP governors will follow Brewer and do the right thing for their citizens.

Also today, a federal court in Texas found that state’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

Back when I was growing up, right-wingers who saw Communists everywhere in this country wanted those on the left to move to Russia.  I think those on the right who are unhappy here should move to Putin’s Russia.

Christie Employees Loving Them Some Fifth Amendment Rights

Christie’s former Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, has refused to respond to the New Jersey Legislature’s subpoena about Bridgegate, instead asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  She was the one who sent the “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email to David Wildstein, who replied, “Got it,” and has himself taken the Fifth in a live appearance before the New Jersey Assembly.

Bill Stepien, who ran both of Christie’s gubernatorial campaigns and served as a deputy Chief of Staff in between, has also pleaded the Fifth.  Stepien had been on track to become head of the New Jersey GOP and probably Christie’s 2016 campaign manager, because, you know, he did such a bang up job on President Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign.  His rising star has now been sucked into the black hole that is Team Christie.

These folks are happy to tell what they know, they just want immunity from prosecution before they do it.  And when the fat lady sings, it will be all over for the fat boy.

The Threat is from Christians, Not Muslims

The right wing keeps warning about the non-existent threat of Sharia law taking over this country.  The real theocratic threat is not from Islam, but from Christianity, specifically the doctrine of Dominionism/Reconstructionism, which calls for all of us to be ruled by biblical law.  These nutjobs are pursuing an alliance with the Libertarians to take over the GOP and the country.

From “Why the GOP’s civil war is only going to get uglier,” C. J. Werleman, Salon:

“The battle for the heart and soul of the GOP is more than social conservatives parrying with establishment Republicans.  It is a pantomime that has many actors performing on a number of stages, but with only one clown: libertarians.

“Libertarians are a funny bunch.  By funny I mean ignorant not only of basic economics but also the ride they’ve been taken on by the Christian Right and the neo-Confederates within the Republican Party.

“Nullification is the common cause that drives this anti-establishment triumvirate.  Nullification of the federal government is the weapon of choice for theocrats, libertarians and white supremacists.  Since 2010, state legislatures have put forward nearly 200 bills challenging federal laws its sponsors deem unconstitutional.

“Libertarianism and the nullification movement merge seamlessly with the Christian Right, because the ‘sacralized lost cause of the South is often undergirded by Christian Reconstructionism,’….  Reconstructionism, or Dominionism, is an ideology that calls on Christians to take over the federal government and then make the laws of the nation ‘biblical.’

“Reconstructionism merges Christianity with laissez-faire capitalism to arrive at a vision of government that endorses biblical law at the local level, alongside a limited federal government.  Essentially that makes it the perfect philosophy for wedding theocrats in an unholy marriage with libertarians and Old Dixie.

“Ultimately, the Republican Party’s civil war will be long and protracted, especially given the vast sums of money involved in determining a winner.  The Chamber of Commerce’s war chest and Karl Rove’s epic fundraising will only go so far in overcoming a triumvirate that not only has boots on the ground in the form of enthusiastic ballot box lever pullers, but also the financial backing of America’s most prominent libertarians:  Charles and David Koch.”