Tuesday, April 22, 2014

20 Jesus Quotes That Will Make Conservatives’ Heads Explode


We have another list today, this time in a piece by Elisabeth Parker at Americans Against The Tea Party (Aatp.org), "20 Jesus Quotes That Will Make Conservatives’ Heads Explode," with some lovely ammunition to take with you on the next trolling safari:


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"Here are 20 quotes from Jesus Christ for our conservative Christian friends to ponder.


"(1) 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.' [John 13:16 KJV]

"Jesus clearly favors an egalitarian society, yet conservatives have done everything they can to promote public policies that steal from the poor, give to the rich, and screw the middle class. The GOP’s stubborn votes against food stamps and rejection of state Medicare expansions proves they don’t even care about the people who voted them into office."

"(2) 'Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.' Matthew 7:1-2 KJV]

"Jesus Christ commands his followers not to be judgmental towards their neighbors, yet these right wingers can’t stop themselves from making arbitrary judgments about LGBTs, single mothers, people of color, immigrants, non-Christians, poor people, and just about everyone who isn’t white, rich, male, and 'Christian.'

"(3) 'And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?' [Luke 6:41 KJV]


"Jesus Christ’s famous quote about hypocrisy back in Ye Olde New Testament times explains why conservative Christians say one thing and mean another. They talk about the 'sanctity of marriage' between 'one man and one woman' while their leaders cheat on their spouses, seek gay sex on the down low, talk obsessively about rape, cheat on taxes, abuse drugs (prescription or not), and engage in illegal acts. Yet, they’re the first to throw a non-violent, first-time drug offender in prison or claim a rape victim was 'asking for it.'

"(4) “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” [Matthew 5:9 KJV]

"Jesus Christ preached peace, love, and kindness to his followers, yet conservative Christians are always the first to blast the trumpets of war. If they had their way, we’d still be in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus we’d be sending U.S. armed forces into Palestine, the Ukraine, and our local homeless encampments.

"(5) 'Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?' [Matthew 6:26]

"If the previous quotes make Jesus Christ sound mildly liberal, this one makes Our Savior sound like a Goddamned hippie Communist. Right-wing Christians love heaping scorn on people who get help from the U.S. government, with no thought to whether their troubles are temporary or they’ve paid into the system. Even a lot of left-leaning Democrats demand that people on welfare be held 'accountable.' Yet here’s Jesus saying that we should all be fed and cared for – regardless of our morals or how hard we work – just because we exist and God loves us. And as for those lazy, do-nothing 'fowls of the air,' Jesus doesn’t even think we worker bees are any better than them.

"(6) 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.' [John 8:7 KJV]


"Unlike today’s conservative Christians, who eagerly serve in the vanguard of the GOP’s war on women, Jesus Christ has no regard for double standards that hold men and women to different rules. At least four women — his mother, Mary Madgelene, and the sisters Mary and Martha — were beloved members of his inner circle. When a crowd gathered to stone a woman to death for the 'crime' of adultery, Jesus stopped them dead in their tracks by demanding that the person without sin cast the first stone.

"(7) 'But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?' [1 John 3:17 KJV]

"How can a conservative so-called 'Christian' read this passage and keep voting for people who give tax cuts to the rich, while slashing programs that feed families, care for the elderly and disabled, house the homeless, provide healthcare, protect consumers, and keep our air and water clean?

"(8) “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” [Matthew 9:35]

"Jesus Christ famously roamed the Holy Land giving free healthcare to everyone in need. Even many non-Bible readers are familiar with Our Savior’s healing exploits. Yet, His conservative 'Christian' followers in Congress are adamantly opposed to giving Americans access to healthcare. Instead, they waste U.S. taxpayers’ time and money over and over again trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even though their GOP lawmakers helped design the program, and their 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, had great success with a similar program during his tenure as Mass. state governor. Go figure.

"(9) “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” [Matthew 23:28 KJV]


"This biblical passage comes straight from the Savior’s mouth, and describes our country’s conservative Christians to a tee(minus some of the other things they’re 'full of').

"(10) “And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”[John 2:14-16 KJV]

Unlike our Mammon-worshipping conservative Christians, Jesus Christ clearly loathes capitalism. Pretty much the only time we ever see Jesus totally lose his cool and go into an Incredible Hulk-like rage is when he returns to Jerusalem with his disciples, and finds the Temple clogged with bankers and vendors. He doesn’t just yell at them, He totally goes apesh*t, wrecks their booths, and drives them out with whips He somehow manages to improvise and fashion on the spur of the moment. One can only imagine how Jesus would feel about Wall Street, the Koch brothers, and ALEC.

"(11) 'And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.' [Matthew 19:24 KJV]

"If you’ve got any doubt about how Jesus Christ would feel about income inequality, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, or rich CEOs raking in huge profits while crusading against a long-overdue minimum wage hike, this passage makes it pretty clear that making profits at other people’s expense gives you bad karma in the Great Beyond.

"(12) 'Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' [Matthew 22:37-40 KJV]


"When Jesus Christ’s adoring crowds asked which of the 10 Commandments are the most important ones for them to follow, Jesus turned around and changed the rules. He said that if we first love God, and then love our neighbor, the rest would follow naturally. It’s hard to see how denying gays the right to marry and cutting anti-poverty programs follows Jesus’ teachings. Yet, our conservative 'Christian' lawmakers insist this is what we should do.

"(13) 'And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.' [Matthew 6:5 KJV]

"Conservative Christians claim to love Jesus, and seem to adore shouting their faith from atop their soap boxes any chance they get. But the real Jesus Christ scorned these showy – and often phony – displays of piety, and went out of his way to preach against them.

"(14) 'But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.' [Matthew 12:7 KJV]

"Jesus Christ always preached mercy for women, children, sinners, criminals, the poor, and even his own enemies. Yet, today’s conservative Christians demand retroactive abortions (the death penalty) and insist that children who commit crimes should be charged as adults.

"(15) 'But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.' [Matthew 14:16 KJV]

"Jesus Christ always wanted to feed people and extend hospitality to strangers, no matter what their circumstances. Yet, conservative, so-called 'Christians' seek to cut back on food stamps and deport immigrants — or bar them from entry.

"(16) 'And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.' [Luke 11:46 KJV]


"Thank you, GOP lawmakers, for passing laws and promoting policies that make things harder for most of your fellow Americans.

"(17) 'For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.' [Luke 12:48 KJV]

"Or, as President John F. Kennedy more succinctly states, 'To those whom much is given, much is expected.' Alas, conservative Christians have gotten this all mixed up. They think that to those whom much is given, much can be expected. Oops.

"(18) 'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' [Matthew: 11:28 KJV]

"Unlike today’s right-wing so-called 'Christians,' Jesus Christ sympathized with those who work day-to-day to scrape by, and preached that they would get their reward. Meanwhile, Republicans refuse to even consider raising the minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living.

"(19) 'For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' [Matthew 25:34-40 KJV]


"The Christian Right keeps ranting about how raising taxes to pay for programs that help the poor and folks who find themselves in a jam is somehow like forcing us into slavery. But Jesus Christ’s views on feeding, clothing, and helping people in need is unequivocal: He sees it as directly serving Him.

"(20) 'Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.' [Matthew 25:41-43 KJV]

"In case the previous half of this passage doesn’t make Jesus Christ’s views abundantly clear, Our Saviour gets more specific. He says that on Judgment Day, He will look askance at people who refused to help those less fortunate than themselves. Not only that, Jesus Christ will curse them and cast them away 'into everlasting fire.' It’s shocking that conservative 'Christians' keep ignoring this. Maybe someday, they’ll find religion.


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We're probably not playing fair using the Bible against the Bible thumpers, but it's worth it to expose a significant fact about Conservative "Christians" (Isn't it fun to put quotes around the word "Christians?") -- they don't know their Bible, whether because they can't read it or they can't understand it.  Or both.

As we've often said, Conservative leaders and propagandists use the Christians for their base.  As it was made so undoubtedly clear in David Kuo's book, Tempting Faith,  Kuo told us how Karl Rove "hijacked and manipulated faith organizations to ensure their support of Republican candidates."


"'National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as "ridiculous," "out of control," and just plain "goofy,"' Kuo wrote.

"Crazies" was another epithet Kuo heard hurled at the gullible Christians.

If anyone should be in favor of criminalizing Conservatism, it should be these people - the Christians that Conservatives played as suckers.



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"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.'"

Ann Coulter.


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Monday, April 21, 2014

6 Dastardly Right-Wing Declarations This Week: The Phyllis 'Expand the Gender Pay Gap' Schlafly Edition


It's Monday, and the weekly post by Janet Allon of Alternet.org is a doozy: "6 Dastardly Right-Wing Declarations This Week: The Phyllis 'Expand the Gender Pay Gap' Schlafly EditionAnd: The poor should kiss the ground beneath the rich.


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"1. Phyllis Schlafly: Women need to be paid less so they can find husbands.


"It’s one of the more perplexing mysteries of our time: Why is Phyllis Schlafly still flapping her lips? Has she not gotten the message that history has entirely passed her by? Several fold. Apparently not. Not content merely with her party’s rejection of pay equality for women, Schlafly took to her pen this week to argue that women would be better off if the gender pay gap were widened.

"Whaaaat? You understandably ask.

"Lower pay makes it more likely that women will find 'suitable' husbands, the Eagle Forum founder wrote in the Christian Post. 'Suitable' turns out to be the key word here, because Phyllis and her fellow retrograde conservatives have a peculiar definition of that. Women, says Phyllis, prefer mates who earn more than they do. Whereas men prefer to be the high earners.

"We have a feeling that Phyllis doesn’t have the kinds of friends we have. Another feeling we have is that Phyllis is not living in the same century we are. But just because she advocates paying women less does not mean that Phyllis does not care about women. Why would you think that?

"'The best way to improve economic prospects for women is to improve job prospects for the men in their lives, even if that means increasing the so-called pay gap,' she wrote.

"Yeupp, the best way to save 'traditional' marriage is to increase poverty and desperation for women (you can throw children in the pot as well). Wonderful idea, Phyllis. Wonder why anyone apart from everyone throughout history hasn’t thought of that before?

"2. Pastor Kevin Swanson compares being gay to being a cannibal or an axe murderer.


"You may have heard about the outbreak of conservative apoplexy brought on by Nabisco's Honey Maid commercial depicting a same-sex couple.

"The competition for craziest reaction to an ad about graham crackers got tougher this week when Pastor Kevin Swanson of Colorado compared homosexuality to axe murder and cannibalism on his radio program. Nabisco, he said, was making a big mistake here.

"'When you come down to things like axe murder or homosexuality and you say, "We’re really going to promote it and we’re going to encourage everybody in America to engage in this or at least support this thing," there will be people on the other side who will take an adamantly opposed position to your support of axe murdering or homosexuality,' he said. 'They will be intolerant—they will be very intolerant of that which is evil, like axe murdering.'

"Having upped the ante that far, he couldn’t top himself, so resorted to an old standby, comparing homosexuality to bestiality. 'Maybe they had another family where a dog is the wife with a human husband,' he said, before adding, 'Homosexuals love their friends and cannibals love their victims—they taste good.'

"Love. He said love. Isn’t that just what Swanson’s brand of Christianity is all about?

"Listen to Swanson's remarks, courtesy of Right Wing Watch, here.

"3. Bryan Fischer: The poor should kiss the ground on which rich people walk, just as Jesus said.


"The head of the American Family Association proved that he can be deeply offensive on a wide array of topics this week. Usually, Bryan Fischer spouts off about his hatred of gays, but he changed it up recently, and instead spouted off about his hatred of the poor.

"In honor of tax day, Fischer discussed how the richest 1 percent pay 30 percent of federal taxes. We’re not sure where he got his figures, but never mind that the 1% often pay lower tax rates than the poor and middle class, or that the richest 1 percent control 40 percent of the wealth in the country (conservatively estimated).

"So, highly questionable numbers aside, here is the posture Bryan Fischer recommends poor and middle-class people take toward rich people: Prostration. Yeupp. Fischer told listeners that the poor ought to kiss the ground the rich walk on.

"The poor and middle-class families in this country 'ought to be kissing the ground on which [the rich] walk' because it is the top 1 percent who are paying for EBT cards and food stamps and federal housing," Fischer fumed.

"Yes, that is absolutely Jesus’ message. Sermon on the Mount, right?

"The rich, Fischer went on to say, 'ought to be given ticker tape parades once a week in all of our major cities to thank them for funding welfare for everybody.;

"Yes, a ticker tape parade for the oligarchs like those wonderful Koch brothers, who so generously fund social programs, and make sure to help elect progressive, enlightened politicians who ensure livable wages for workers, a secure social safety net, fair regulation of industry, just deserts for crooked bankers, investment in infrastructure and education, universal health insurance....

"Yeupp, that’s the planet we live on, all right.

"4. Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen: The best way to stop bullying is to beat children.


"Hard to imagine a so-called lawmaker not wanting to take measures to prevent children from being bullied, but they exist. And they say some crazy things. Meet Minnesota state Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, who argued against an anti-bullying bill and instead advocated beating of children who bully others, calling it a 'cheap, inexpensive, and effective' solution that 'cures' bullying.

"Then he told his colleagues a little story from his past about a bus driver who beat him when he was a child for bullying a girl on the bus. That was the last time he bullied that girl, although it is not known if he continued to bully other people. Gruenhagen also regaled colleagues with a tale about a football coach who had a paddle, 'and if you didn’t behave yourself, you got up in front of the class, and guess what, you got one on the hind end.'

"Good times...

"Gruenhagen really got into this 'fight bullying with bullying' philosophy, claiming that schools wouldn’t have to hire armed police officers if schools were just allowed to punish children by beating them. So, not only was he against the anti-bullying measure, he wanted to repeal laws preventing corporal punshiment.

"The good news is that the beat a kid, prevent a bully argument did not carry the day in Minnesota, and the anti-bullying bill passed.

"5. Brit Hume says Obama and Holder use race as 'a shield and a sword,' then is hurt that people are mean to him on Twitter.


"Poor Brit Hume. Fox News' ostensibly 'serious' guy was talking with fellow whiter-than-white conservatives George Will and Chris Wallace about race last Sunday, and they all agreed that black people are wrong about it. For President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder 'race has been a shield and a sword,' the panel decided. Hume was very happy that he and his white friends got that whole race thing sorted out.

"But no, apparently black people and other people were mean to Hume on Twitter after that, so Hume got sad. Why can’t they just agree with him, and why would they complain about the lack of diversity on a panel discussing race? Can't a few white guys just tell black people how to feel about race without being called racist? Wah. Wah. Wah.

"So Hume did what any reasonable oppressed white guy would do: He commiserated with his friend Bill O’Reilly, who is an expert on how white guys on Fox get oppressed by black guys and liberals (like that mean old Stephen Colbert).

"6. Michigan mayor: Freedom of religion does not include freedom from religion.


"Warren, Michigan Mayor Jim Fouts is all for freedom of religion and all; that’s why he let a Christian group set up a 'Prayer Station' inside of City Hall. But when an atheist group suggested setting up a 'Reason Station' nearby to promote another little American idea called separation of church and state, as well as secular thought, reason and logic, Fouts decided that was taking this whole freedom thing too far.

"Turns out that the guy who suggested the 'Reason Station,' Douglas Marshall, was affiliated with a group called Freedom From Religion Foundation, and just the name of that group offends Fouts’ sensibilities. In a letter to Marshall, Fouts explained that the Freedom From Religion Foundation was not protected under the First Amendment’s Establishment clause because atheism is not a religion.

"'To my way of thinking, your group is strictly an anti-religion group intending to deprive all organized religions of their constitutional freedoms or at least discourage the practice of religion,' Fouts wrote. 'The city of Warren cannot allow this.'

"'I emphasize one thing,' he added. “The government cannot restrict an individual’s freedom of speech, but an individual cannot restrict the government’s freedom of speech.”

"Yeah, take that!

"Wait, huh? Who's restricting the government's speech?"


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For anyone who doubted our premise that the rich are yearning for a New American Age of Feudalism, the quote from the head of the Conservative American Family Association proves the intentions of the Conservatives: "The poor and middle-class families in this country 'ought to be kissing the ground on which [the rich] walk' because it is the top 1 percent who are paying for EBT cards and food stamps and federal housing."


So pucker up and bend down, kowtow to the rich guy and his pampered family who are strolling by the house...or criminalize Conservatism.



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"Wind is a finite resource and harnessing it would slow the winds down which
would cause the temperature to go up."

Rep. Joe Barton, Chairman House-Senate Energy Conference Committee. (R-TX)


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Plot To Overthrow FDR: How The New Deal Sent Conservatives Into A Rage


For those who think that today's GOP is different than your grandparents', Joshua Holland's article at Salon.com, courtesy of Billmoyers.com, "The Plot To Overthrow FDR: How The New Deal Sent Conservatives Into A Rage, tells us how in a short history lesson how "The right's temper tantrums over Obamacare are nothing compared to what Roosevelt had to deal with."


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"Every baby step toward guaranteeing American working people a minimum of economic security with new social insurance programs has been greeted with howls of horror and outrage — and predictions that the end of the Republic is near. Every new addition to the safety net has been met with a concerted campaign by conservatives and the business establishment to undermine it. Eighty years after it was signed into law, the Social Security Act, arguably Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signature piece of legislation, still is under attack from the right.

"Last week, historian Harvey J. Kaye told Bill Moyers how FDR created a progressive generation that helped change American society in dramatic ways. Investigative journalist Sally Denton details a darker reality of that period in her 2011 book, FDR, a Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right. It was a time, she writes, in which radicals of various stripes questioned the viability of American democracy and a group of bankers went so far as to plot to overthrow the president.

"On Saturday, the 79th anniversary of Roosevelt’s death, BillMoyers.com spoke with Denton about this poorly remembered history. Below is a lightly edited transcript of our discussion.


"Joshua Holland: Today, we think of FDR as a heroic figure. He remains one of the most popular presidents in the public’s imagination. How did business interests react to his presidency at the time – and to the significant changes he was bringing about with the New Deal?

"Sally Denton: My book focuses on the year 1933, his first year in office, and there was great alarm throughout the country. It was the height of the Great Depression, and there was a sense that he was moving the country in a dangerous direction, especially among the moneyed interests. They saw him as a traitor to his class. There was concern that he had taken the dollar off the gold standard and there were elements on Wall Street and in major American corporations that were very worried about where he was heading.

"There are parallels to today, when we see the same kind of hue and cry, and fear that America is turning socialist. But remember that Franklin Roosevelt was an ├╝ber capitalist, so in retrospect, it all seems a little bit disingenuous, if not silly.


"Holland: There are some startling similarities in the rhetoric that was used back then. John Taber was a Republican representative from New York, and he said of Social Security, 'Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers.' Daniel Reed, another Republican from New York warned, 'The lash of the dictator will be felt, and 25 million free American citizens will for the first time submit themselves to a fingerprint test.' A Republican Congressional committee put out a statement claiming that Social Security would 'impose a crushing burden on industry and labor,' and 'establish a bureaucracy in the field of insurance' that 'would destroy private pensions.'

"It’s the kind of rhetoric that one might hear today about the Affordable Care Act — another rather modest social insurance program that’s supposedly depriving us of liberty.



"Denton: That’s true. I write a great deal about the various organizations that got their start around that time in response to the New Deal, many of which later morphed into modern conservative institutions.

"But I also explore the populism of Huey Long, who was approaching FDR from the left, and who thought he was not doing enough to redistribute the wealth. And then there was the right-wing populism of Father Coughlin. They led two very popular populist movements of the time, both of which were focused on this deep dissatisfaction with the role that government was playing — the role that Franklin Roosevelt wanted government to play — and they were equally vitriolic and angry from opposite sides. I found that fascinating.

"I called that section of the book, 'a rainbow of colored shirts.' There were silver shirts and black shirts and brown shirts. Some were Christian fundamentalists, some were extremely anti-Semitic, some were very anti-interventionist/isolationist. There was an anti-European impulse that ran very deep. There was a great collection of these kind of nascent organizations that were really just coming together to respond to what seemed to the right wing a very dangerous new administration.

"Holland: In the period before World War II, fascism and communism were — not mainstream, but they were considered to be legitimate ideologies to a far greater degree than after the war.

"Denton: That’s right. And Huey Long on the left and Father Coughlin on the right kind of symbolized that. Father Coughlin was rabidly anti-communist, and so even though they had some of the same complaints about the concentration of power in government, Coughlin thought that Huey Long had communist tendencies, which he saw as the most dangerous thing in the world. And Huey Long thought that Coughlin had fascist tendencies, which was really the extreme form of corporate capitalism with unfettered regulation.


"There was a great intellectual pursuit on all sides about what the best form of government intervention was at this point. In 1933, there were thousands and thousands of unemployed and impoverished and hungry people roaming the streets of America. There was a great fear that there actually could be a revolution — that there could be violence.

"In fact, there had been violence the year before, when the Bonus Army was dispersed by federal troops. So all of this was very real. It wasn’t like today’s armchair conversations about various forms of government. Everything was in play. Hitler was in play, Mussolini was in play. It was all happening.

"Holland: What was the Bankers Putsch?



"Denton: The Bankers Putsch was an ill-fated plot, sometimes called the Business Plot or the Wall Street Putsch. There was a famous, heroic marine general named Smedley Butler, who was kind of the soldier’s soldier, the veteran’s veteran. He had great influence with the veterans, and this was at a moment when there were a half million veterans who were trying to get their bonuses from World War I. The bonuses weren’t supposed to be released until 1945, but because so many of the veterans were starving, there was a great movement afoot in 1932 to get those bonuses released early.

"And Smedley Butler claimed that he was approached by a couple of veterans who had connections to Wall Street financiers who were planning a nonviolent coup, a takeover of the Roosevelt Administration. They claimed to have $3 million that they were willing to spend toward this end, and they said that they had some armaments ready. And their theory was that Roosevelt was in over his head — again, we see a lot of the same rhetoric that we hear with Obama. And they thought FDR would welcome somebody coming in and taking charge because he didn’t know what to do. That was the theory, that they would go in and, because these men who were supplying the money were of Roosevelt’s class, Roosevelt would agree to their demands and become kind of a ceremonial figurehead. He would let these stronger, more military types control the White House.


"Butler blew the whistle on it, so it never got very far at all. There were congressional investigations and there was an FBI investigation, and the media reported various aspects of it. But both the plot and the investigation were stopped before they got very far. So it’s unclear how much of it was a form of insanity on the part of the plotters and how much they really had any legitimate financial and military support. But it’s a fascinating story of that year.

"Holland: Smedley Butler wrote a book called, War is a Racket, which is a damning criticism of what would later be called the 'military industrial complex.' It’s strange that they would’ve seen him as a potential ally. He was also a Roosevelt supporter, no?

"Denton: Well, he was a Republican and had run for Congress as a Republican. But he was not a huge FDR fan. Although I think he became one down the road.

"But, yes, he’s the one who said that the marines were just racketeers for the capitalists. And he probably aligned himself more with Roosevelt after Roosevelt made clear that he thought that the US military should not be acting as enforcers for United Fruit throughout the world.

"I think the impetus for selecting him was that there was no other military figure whom this half million-strong potential army of veterans would follow, and there must’ve been an assumption that Butler was malleable enough to stand up for the veterans above all else. And it backfired. He became the whistleblower and told the government what was going on.


"Holland: There was also an assassination attempt against FDR in 1933.

"Denton: Yes. Five people were wounded and the mayor of Chicago was killed in an attempted assassination of FDR. An Italian immigrant named Guiseppe Zangara was responsible. Roosevelt was coming into Miami, and he had not yet taken office. In fact, that was one of the reasons that the inauguration was changed from March to January, because there was this long interregnum between when Roosevelt was elected in November of 1932 and when he took office in March of 1933. And at the time, the country’s falling apart and nobody’s in charge — Herbert Hoover’s thrown his hands up and is appalled that he’s lost the election, and the country’s really teetering.

"Roosevelt was cruising around the Caribbean with some of the people that had become part of his brain trust and his advisers, and they came into Miami. There was a motorcade taking them downtown, and when they got to this ballpark where FDR started to speak, this Italian laborer opened fire. Anton Cermak, who was the mayor of Chicago, had just reached out his hand to shake hands with Roosevelt and he got hit. And Roosevelt insisted that the Secret Service put Cermak in the back of the car with him and they sped off, and he lived for a short time and then died of infection. There were four other spectators who were also hit in the fire.

"Zangara was quickly subdued and taken to the jail in Miami and interrogated, and he said he wanted to kill all capitalists. That was his motivation. So he was coming from the opposite side of the bankers. He was found guilty and executed in Florida’s electric chair.


"Holland: It’s interesting how these stories have become somewhat lost in our popular history.

"Denton: The coup attempt was dismissed and marginalized — and even ridiculed. Zangara was railing against capitalists, and saw Roosevelt as — he just assumed that he was also a raging capitalist fascist, and he was a very anti-Mussolini, anti-fascist labor activist.

"And both of these events, the Wall Street Putsch and the assassination attempt, have been so marginalized in the Roosevelt history that I became fascinated by how deep this impulse against Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran, and how far people were willing to go to see him destroyed."

(MORE JOSHUA HOLLAND.)

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As we pointed out in the beginning of this site, Conservatism is a historical criminal organization, as we can readily see by the statement, "we see a lot of the same rhetoric (80 years ago) that we hear with Obama."

And "...how far people were willing to go to see him destroyed?"  Today's Conservatives are no less criminal than Conservatives 80-plus years ago.

They're the same old gangsters in politicians skin, the same criminals in three piece suits, trying to usher in a new Age of American Feudalism.

The ends justify the means with gangsters, and the Conservative gangsters will always have the protection of the law -- until Conservatism is criminalized.



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"Just because the Supreme Court rules on something doesn't necessarily mean
that that's constitutional."

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK-R), on the legal status of Obamacare.


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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Inside The GOP's Fact-Free Nation, Part 3


Our three-part series concludes with part three from Rick Perlstein, "Inside The GOP's Fact-Free Nation," where we are brought up from yesterday's Conservative liars to today's Conservative liars -- from Reagan to Agnew to George Will to Breitbart to O'Keefe.


********************



"The speech was an excoriation of those very networks and their Stern White Men—'this little group of men who not only enjoy a right of instant rebuttal to every presidential address, but more importantly, wield a free hand in selecting, presenting, and interpreting the great issues of our nation.... The American people would rightly not tolerate this kind of concentration of power in government. Is it not fair and relevant to question its concentration in the hands of a tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one, and enjoying a monopoly sanctioned and licensed by government?' Those in the habit of exposing the sins of the powerful were no longer independent arbiters—they were liberals. Such was the bias, Agnew argued, of 'commentators and producers [who] live and work in the geographical and intellectual confines of Washington, DC, or New York City,' who 'bask in their own provincialism, their own parochialism.'
"Foreshadowing Reagan's framing of truth-telling as elitist meddling, Agnew singled out for opprobrium the kind of reporting that 'made 'hunger' and 'black lung disease' national issues overnight."
"Foreshadowing Reagan's framing of reform-minded truth-telling as a brand of elitist meddling, Agnew singled out for opprobrium the kind of reporting that "made 'hunger' and 'black lung' disease national issues overnight" (quotation marks his). TV reporting from Vietnam had done "what no other medium could have done in terms of dramatizing the horrors of war"—and that, too, was evidence of liberal bias.


"Agnew's remarks reinforced a mood that had been building since at least the 1968 Democratic National Convention, when many viewers complained about the media images of police beating protesters. By the 1980s the trend was fully apparent: News became fluffier, hosts became airier—less assured of their own moral authority. (Around this same time, TV news lost its exceptional status within the networks—once accepted as a 'loss leader' intended to burnish their prestige, it was increasingly subject to bottom-line pressures.)

"There evolved a new media definition of civility that privileged 'balance' over truth-telling—even when one side was lying. It's a real and profound change—one stunningly obvious when you review a 1973 PBS news panel hosted by Bill Moyers and featuring National Review editor George Will, both excoriating the administration's 'Watergate morality.' Such a panel today on, say, global warming would not be complete without a complement of conservatives, one of them probably George Will, lambasting the 'liberal' contention that scientific facts are facts—and anyone daring to call them out for lying would be instantly censured. It's happened to me more than once—on public radio, no less.


"In the same vein, when the Obama administration accused Fox News of not being a legitimate news source, the DC journalism elite rushed to admonish the White House. Granted, they were partly defending Major Garrett, the network's since-departed White House correspondent and a solid journalist—but in the process, few acknowledged that under Roger Ailes, another Nixon veteran, management has enforced an ideological line top to bottom.

"The protective bubble of the 'civility' mandate also seems to extend to the propagandists whose absurdly doctored stories and videos continue to fool the mainstream media. From blogger Pamela Geller, originator of the 'Ground Zero mosque' falsehood, to Andrew Breitbart's video attack on Shirley Sherrod—who lost her job after her anti-discrimination speech was deceptively edited to make her sound like a racist—to James O'Keefe's fraudulent sting against National Public Radio, right-wing ideologues 'lie without consequence,' as a desperate Vincent Foster put it in his suicide note nearly two decades ago. But they only succeed because they are amplified by 'balanced' outlets that frame each smear as just another he-said-she-said 'controversy.'


"And here, in the end, is the difference between the untruths told by William Randolph Hearst and Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the ones inundating us now: Today, it's not just the most powerful men who can lie and get away with it. It's just about anyone—a congressional back-bencher, an ideology-driven hack, a guy with a video camera—who can inject deception into the news cycle and the political discourse on a grand scale.

"Sure, there will always be liars in positions of influence—that's stipulated, as the lawyers say. And the media, God knows, have never been ideal watchdogs—the battleships that crossed the seas to avenge the sinking of the Maine attest to that. What's new is the way the liars and their enablers now work hand in glove. That I call a mendocracy, and it is the regime that governs us now.

********************


When Conservatism is criminalized, mendocracy will be no more and a reenactment of the Fairness Doctrine won't be necessary either.

As we noted on our Page on the main website, "Objections Rebutted," "Free speech does not permit us to threaten another or to lie for profit with impunity, nor does it permit us the proverbial yell of 'fire' in a theater. Mafia figures cannot invade our schoolyards to recruit our children nor to dull their minds by selling them marijuana, and confidence men are routinely sent to prison for robbing their victims without laying a hand on them.

"These are all viable analogies of the crimes committed against our country as a whole and to our citizens individually by Conservatives, and have nothing to do with honest political debates where opinions are examined for the benefits to the welfare of the People. Conservative rhetoric is aimed solely to acquire total power, maximize income, and retain assets for the benefit of the rich by any means. Speech supporting such goals cannot be tolerated in our democracy."


We noted under the Comments section on the same Page, "'Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.' --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824."

It's time Mr. Jefferson's insight into Conservatism was brought to the uninformed voters' attention.



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"Yeah, I would."

(Nevada GOP Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, when asked if he would vote to

reinstate slavery if his constituents wanted it.)

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Inside the GOP's Fact-Free Nation, Part 2


For those who think Conservative liars are something new, we continue with Rick Perlstein's article, "Inside the GOP's Fact-Free Nation," subtitled, "Remember, you're doing the right thing. That's what I used to think when I killed some innocent children in Hanoi."

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"THE '80S
"DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY


"IN RESEARCHING this period, I've been surprised to discover the extent to which Ronald Reagan explicitly built his appeal around the notion that it was time to stop challenging the powerful. A new sort of lie took over: that the villains were not those deceiving the nation, but those exposing the deceit—those, as Reagan put it in his 1980 acceptance speech, who 'say that the United States has had its day in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith.' They were just so, so negative. According to the argument Reagan consistently made, Watergate revealed nothing essential about American politicians and institutions—the conspirators 'were not criminals at heart.' In 1975, upon the humiliating fall of Saigon, he paraphrased Pope Pius XII to make the point that Vietnam had in fact been a noble cause: 'America has a genius for great and unselfish deeds. Into the hands of America, God has placed the destiny of an afflicted mankind.'

"The Gipper's inauguration ushered in the 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' era of political lying. But it took a deeper trend to accelerate the cultural shift away from truth-telling-as-patriotism to a full-scale epistemological implosion.

"Reagan rode into office accompanied by a generation of conservative professional janissaries convinced they were defending civilization against the forces of barbarism. And like many revolutionaries, they possessed an instrumental relationship to the truth: Lies could be necessary and proper, so long as they served the right side of history.

"This virulent strain of political utilitarianism was already well apparent by the time the Plumbers were breaking into the Democratic National Committee: "Although I was aware they were illegal," White House staffer Jeb Stuart Magruder told the Watergate investigating committee, "we had become somewhat inured to using some activities that would help us in accomplishing what we thought was a legitimate cause."

"Even conservatives who were not allied with the White House had learned to think like Watergate conspirators. To them, the takeaway from the scandal was that Nixon had been willing to bend the rules for the cause. The New Right pioneer M. Stanton Evans once told me, "I didn't like Nixon until Watergate."
"We ought to see clearly that the end does justify the means," wrote evangelist C. Peter Wagner in 1981. "If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method."
"Though many in the New Right proclaimed their contempt for Richard Nixon, a number of its key operatives and spokesmen in fact came directly from the Watergate milieu. Two minor Watergate figures, bagman Kenneth Rietz (who ran Fred Thompson's 2008 presidential campaign) and saboteur Roger Stone (last seen promoting a gubernatorial bid by the woman who claimed to have been Eliot Spitzer's madam) were rehabilitated into politics through staff positions in Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign. G. Gordon Liddy became a right-wing radio superstar.


"'We ought to see clearly that the end does justify the means,' wrote evangelist C. Peter Wagner in 1981. 'If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at, it is for that reason a good method.' Jerry Falwell once said his goal was to destroy the public schools. In 1998, confronted with the quote, he denied making it by claiming he'd had nothing to do with the book in which it appeared. The author of the book was Jerry Falwell.

"Direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie made a fortune bombarding grassroots activists with letters shrieking things like 'Babies are being harvested and sold on the black market by Planned Parenthood.' As Richard Nixon told his chief of staff on Easter Sunday, 1973, 'Remember, you're doing the right thing. That's what I used to think when I killed some innocent children in Hanoi.'



"1990-PRESENT
"FALSE EQUIVALENCIES


"CONSERVATIVES hardly have a monopoly on dissembling, of course—consider 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.' Progressives' response has always been that right-wing mendacity—cover-ups of constitutional violations like Iran-Contra; institutionalized truth-corroding tactics like when the Republican National Committee circulates fliers claiming that Democrats seek to outlaw the Bible—is more systematic. But the deeper problem is a fundamental redefinition of the morality involved: Rather than being celebrated, calling out a lie is now classified as 'uncivil.' How did that happen?

"Back in the days when network news was the only game in town, grave-faced, gravelly voiced commentators like David Brinkley and Eric Sevareid—and on extraordinary occasions anchors like Walter Cronkite—told people what to think about the passing events of the day. Much of the time, these privileged men unquestioningly passed on the government's distortions. At their best, however, they used their moral authority to call out lies with a kind of Old Testament authority—think Cronkite reporting from Saigon. It drove Johnson out of office, and it drove the right berserk.

"On November 3, 1969, Richard Nixon gave a speech claiming he had a plan to wind down the war. The commentators went on the air immediately afterward and told the truth as they saw it: that he had said nothing new. Ten days later, the White House announced that Vice President Spiro Agnew was about to give a speech that it expected all three networks to cover—live.

Tomorrow: It's not just the most powerful men who can lie and get away with it.

********************


For those that picked up on the horrow of the Nixon quote, "Remember, you're doing the right thing. That's what I used to think when I killed some innocent children in Hanoi," it's a typical example of Conservative lies and sociopathy  Clinton was parsing, as we found out when a poll run shortly after he spoke showed that the country was split down the middle as to what "sex" meant.

The second quote to catch the eye is, "I didn't like Nixon until Watergate."  Admiration for criminal means to accomplish Conservative goals is a key ingredient of the Conservative "value" system.

Conservative lies are a different breed, and 99 percent of the time they lie to cover up their mission statement: to bring back the Age of Feudalism, to grab as much of our money to give to their rich benefactors, and to spread confusion and legitimize their existence.

But Conservatives are liars, the kind of liars that cover up their crimes with lies, and lie because they can't tell the truth.



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"It’s been the same story ever since I can remember, ever since Wilson – the
Republicans don’t do a thing for the little man."

John Updike. (American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary
critic. 1932 – 2009.)

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