Wednesday, June 15, 2016

More bigoted lies from Donald Trump

Donald Trump just gets crazier and crazier, doesn't he? He's like the past few decades of the Republican Party on fast-forward.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

President Obama stands up to Trump bigotry

Refreshing, isn't it? When did sanity become so refreshing?

But it's the age of Donald Trump. It's the age of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and many other Republican lunatics, who are encouraged by Republicans willing to use that insanity in order to advance their own political ambition, no matter what it does to our country.

Note my last post, where I pointed out Christian pastors who were praising the Orlando shooting. Well, the Bible does tell Christians to kill gay people. Like Muslim extremists, those Christian extremists take such primitive superstition seriously. Does Trump want to discriminate against Christians, too, then?

No, it's just bigotry. It's the unholy combination of bigotry and politics, that's all. Barack Obama has faced that for almost eight years now. He's got to be getting pretty sick of it, don't you think?

Trevor Noah addresses the Orlando shooting

These events are so sickening that I hate to talk about them at all, or even think about them. But what's especially sickening is that we never do anything about it.

Well, if a grade school could be shot up without America actually trying to do something about it, what would get us to take action?

Here's another perspective:

And re. that last video, check out what these Christian pastors say about the Orlando attack:
After 49 people were gunned down in an Orlando gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, pastors in California and Arizona praised the gunman for massacring “perverted predators” and “pedophiles.”

In Sacramento, Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church said the killer succeeded in making Orlando safer.

“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?” Jimenez said in a sermon originally posted on YouTube. “Um no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”

In the sermon, delivered just hours after the rampage on Sunday morning, Jimenez also said, “I wish the government would round them all up, put them up against a wall, put a firing squad in front of them and blow their brains out.”

Tempe, Arizona preacher Steven Anderson also rushed to praise the “good news” that “there are 50 less pedophiles in this world.” ...

"The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they're going to continue to molest children and recruit children into their filthy homosexual lifestyle," he said, adding the attack would be used to attack Christians and push gun control.

Maybe Republicans would like to ban all Christians from entering America?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Elizabeth Warren, my favorite politician

This is Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the 2016 American Constitution Society convention.

She's great, isn't she? The whole speech is great, but the part about Donald Trump - which seems to be getting the most attention - starts at 13:44 (if you don't have time to watch the whole thing).

You know, Bernie Sanders should be more like Elizabeth Warren. Warren knows what's important. Sanders seems to be letting his personal ambition, and his unhappiness at losing the Democratic nomination, get in the way of doing what's right for America.

Look at Sen. Warren. She doesn't just point out how despicable Donald Trump has been, she ties that into the rest of the Republican Party.

And yes, despite their frequent unhappiness at Trump's blatant racism and crude language, this is exactly what Republican Party leaders have been doing for years. They just don't like it being expressed so bluntly.

Well, Elizabeth Warren isn't going to let them get away with that. This is why she's my favorite politician, and although it would be a step down for her, I'd love to see Hillary Clinton choose her as our next vice-president.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Trump University and the get-rich-quick seminar

I'm only posting this teaser, but it's a fascinating article:
In 2005, both of us became fixated on a late-night infomercial that promised access to "hundreds of billions of dollars" in "free government money." As journalism grad students at the time, our evenings often ended with a couple beers as we decompressed by watching whatever was on our tiny 13" TV. And what was on at the time—repeatedly—was a half-hour advertisement for an outfit called "National Grants Conferences" (NGC).

Why did the NGC infomercial captivate us? It wasn’t the charisma of the commercial’s star, ex-football player and former Congressman J.C. Watts (R-Okla.), who was busy making a mockery of whatever credibility he once had. And it wasn’t the enthusiastic couple who founded NGC, Mike and Irene Milin, proclaiming that numerous government grants were there for the taking.

No, we couldn't stop watching because NGC just felt so sleazy. Even in comparison with other get-rich-quick schemes competing for time in the twilight TV hours—the obnoxious guy with the question marks all over his suit, the insufferable smile factories bragging about their real estate conquests from tropical locales—this one seemed suspect. ...

Intrigued, we spent the better part of a year researching NGC, its claims, and its founders’ pasts. We ultimately found that NGC—with several seminar teams circling the country and clearing tens of millions of dollars each year in sales—and its memberships produced no money for any of the customers we interviewed.

Arriving at that conclusion was no great surprise. Nor was it surprising that the NGC money train would continue running well after we wrote a piece about it, which was published on the front page of The Sacramento Bee on July 5, 2006. What was remarkable—and what still feels surreal more than a decade later—is what happened near the end of our reporting.

Donald Trump waltzed into our story.

Yup, this was the start of Trump University. But I'll let you read the rest of the story here.

It's no surprise. Indeed, Donald Trump has always seemed like one of those sleazy pitchmen milking the gullible for their own profit (and no more than since he's been running for president).

This is interesting, too. For one reason or another, Texas politicians let Donald Trump off easy, in an investigation into Trump University:
“Once they got our first subpoena, the first thing the lawyers said was, ‘Okay, we’ll stop doing business in Texas.’ That's common. We didn’t do anything,” Owens said. “In no other case of this magnitude did we leave consumers with $2.6 million out-of-pocket, some of them their life savings, high and dry like this.”

Monday, May 30, 2016

Donald Trump exposes the GOP's little secret

From Salon, this is exactly what I've been saying for awhile now:
Paul Ryan is angry with Donald Trump, not so much for failing to espouse conservative values, as for exposing America’s dirty little secret — white rage: that deep-seated determination to block black progress in this country. For years, conservative politicians have relied upon the cover of high-minded principles and slogans – “protecting the integrity of the ballot box,” or waging a “war on drugs” — in order to cloak their determination to restrict African Americans’ citizenship rights. The racism fueling Trump’s campaign and his followers, however, is so overt, that it is undoing decades of hard covert work by the GOP.

When Trump didn’t immediately disavow an endorsement from Klansman David Duke; when the GOP front-runner condoned the beatings African Americans endured at his campaign rallies; and when 20 percent of his followers insisted that the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery, was bad policy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan’s carefully stitched plan of “racism with plausible deniability” began to unravel.

Shortly before he died, Reagan’s strategist Lee Atwater explained the game plan of the Southern Strategy in a matter-of-fact clinical policy. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n***r’ — that hurts you, backfires,” Atwater emphasized. “So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff. And you’re getting so abstract now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.” But Donald Trump doesn’t do abstract and that is what has sent the GOP into a tizzy.

Nixon and Reagan mastered this by adapting to the new racial terrain carved out by the Civil Rights Movement. As Nixon aide John Ehrlichman explained to Harper’s Dan Baum in 1994, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be against black[s], but by getting the public to associate . . . blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing” the drug “we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” ...

The trick to pulling this off was subtlety; to mask overt racism with sincere concern for community safety. Nixon did it with “law and order,” Reagan with “the war on drugs.” But Trump’s jugular racism has no subtlety. ...

Trump’s take-no-prisoner style exposes in ways that no legitimate Republican front-running presidential candidate has in decades the racial lies behind the policies. That’s the problem the GOP really has with him.

The Republicans’ current crusade to “protect the ballot box” is a case in point...

The column goes on to talk about Republican efforts at voter suppression, which I've talked about before. There's also more about the "war on drugs" being racially motivated, which I haven't addressed much in the past. (Whether the point was racism or the point politics, using racism, might be a distinction that isn't hugely important.)

In their notorious "Southern strategy," Republican politicians discovered that racism works - and not just in the South. As Lee Atwater pointed out, though, they couldn't be too blatant about it. Blatant might well have worked in the South - certainly with some of the people that they were attracting - but it would have lost them some voters, too.

But subtle racism works very well, even on people who don't think that they're racist - or don't like to be considered racist, at least. It doesn't have to be very subtle. But even in the Reagan years, as Lee Atwater candidly pointed out, "nigger, nigger, nigger" didn't work as well as it used to. And as time went on, as America progressed, racism still worked, but you needed even more subtlety.

Or that was the thinking before Donald Trump came along, at least.

Of course, even Donald Trump is subtle compared to "nigger, nigger, nigger" or "wetback." And "protect the ballot box" isn't overtly racist. That's the effect, and every Republican politician knows that's the effect. That's why they push a solution to a nonexistent problem. But they rarely admit it.

The Republican Party is long past just wooing racists, too. They wooed Christian fundamentalists for the same reason - for political power. (Of course, the religious right got its start because of racism. That was the whole point, at the beginning.) And racists tend to be xenophobes and religious bigots, as well. The GOP's anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria is just part of the package.

This has been working for them for decades, but Republican politicians - who never worried about the effect this political tactic would have on America - are starting to worry that it won't work as well going forward. And they're worried that Donald Trump, win or lose, is going to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Donald Trump doesn't do subtle very well. Plus, he's incredibly, blatantly sexist. Now, sexism has been a part of today's Republican Party, too, of course. Racists have many bad qualities, and bigots don't usually restrict their bigotry much.

But their sexism has usually been aimed at single women - sluts, as Rush Limbaugh calls them - allowing the GOP to maintain the support of married women (who can be racists and xenophobes, themselves, of course).

But Donald Trump has been so blatantly sexist that he's losing women in general. Apparently, 70% of women have an unfavorable view of him, and that includes people Republicans need to win. (In other polls mentioned at that link, 70% of married women have an unfavorable view of Trump, and 66% of white women.)

True, he's still beating Hillary Clinton slightly (by 3%) among married women (while losing by 52% among unmarried women), but then Clinton has high unfavorability numbers, too. And that's not much for a demographic Republicans need.

How much longer can the Republican Party survive, no matter how successful they are at voter suppression and gerrymandering, as the party of white men - actually, as the party of old, straight, Christian white men. Keep in mind that they won't get all of them, either. (Except for the "Christian" part, that describes me pretty well. And these days, I wouldn't vote Republican if my life depended on it.)

Of course, Donald Trump can still win, especially if progressives are idiotic enough not to turn out for Hillary Clinton. Besides, there's a lot of misogyny in America, and that might work on men who wouldn't go for the racism. Who knows? (There's a lot of misogyny in the atheist community, I'm sorry to say. Trump might well appeal to those people because of his sexism.)

And if the Republicans win, they'll pack the Supreme Court with more Antonin Scalias. They'll push voter suppression like there's no tomorrow (and there won't be, for the Republican Party, if they don't). They'll start wars to ramp up fear and hatred. Donald Trump proposes turning America into an isolationist police state. By doing that, he's likely to make more Republicans, just because of the severe problems that will cause us.

But other Republican politicians worry about him for good reason. They had a good thing going with their racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia, as long as they didn't overdo it. Pushing anger and fear works, at least in the short-term. But Donald Trump is the result of all that. (Ted Cruz, too.)

Where does it end? If it doesn't end this year, I fear for my country.

PS. My thanks to Jim Harris for the link.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Are cell phones the key to eternal life?

As I've noted about the current political situation, media companies are in business to make money. Sensational articles attract readers. Sensational videos attract viewers. And controversy always sells.

"Nothing to see here" doesn't attract people. Nuance is boring. Agreement is boring. And the people writing these articles and announcing these discoveries aren't scientists and likely don't fully understand what they're reporting, themselves.

But whether they understand the science or not, they definitely understand what will make money for them and what won't. After all, that's their job. It's not informing the public. It's making money for their employer. That's why they were hired.

 And yes, it's the exact same thing when it comes to politics. Sure, everyone is biased. That's unavoidable. But the overall bias of media companies (with obvious exceptions like Fox 'News') isn't about politics. It's about making money.

That's why our media are the way they are. They're shallow and sensationalist. They're terrified of losing access by being too good at journalism. And above all else, they want two sides fighting over the truth. It doesn't make any difference if one side is batshit crazy, because it's the fight itself that's actually important to the media, not the issue.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Donald Trump's latest conspiracy theory

This just gets crazier and crazier, doesn't it?

Remember, birthers used to be an embarrassment to the Republican Party. Oh, sure, they encouraged it, but those Republicans who still kept in distant touch with reality were a bit embarrassed by it. Now, their candidate for President of the United States is a birther!

And not just that, either. Donald Trump is a conspiracy enthusiast to top all conspiracy enthusiasts. He's the National Enquirer of politicians. Reality has long since ceased to have any meaning for him. Yet this is the guy they want running the most powerful nation on Earth?

Of course, his fans, too, have long since parted ways with reality. And the rest of the Republicans would support Darth Vader if it would advance their political interests. They're Republicans, and they just don't care how crazy their party gets.

But this has stopped being funny, don't you think?

More problems with caucuses

Earlier this week, I mentioned how Bernie Sanders won Nebraska's Democratic caucus - and received most of our delegates - but Hillary Clinton's supporters actually bothered to vote in the primary.

So I was interested to hear another example of how caucuses are suppressing the vote and, this year, clearly in Sanders' favor:
What I am quite sure about is that primary process has not been 'rigged' as the Sanders forces claim. As I've argued, to the extent they're rigged, they're rigged in Sanders favor!. Last night's Washington state primary tells the story. Back in March Sanders got a huge morale boost and a minor delegate boost when he absolutely crushed Clinton in the state's caucus. Last night, when the state held a primary Clinton scored a solid win. The difference is that a bit over 200,000 people participated in the caucus and well over 600,000 voted in the primary. Unfortunately for Clinton, the delegates were all awarded on the basis of the low turnout caucus. Caucuses should be abolished in every state. They're just the best voter suppression method in politics today.

This is similar to what happened in Nebraska, where two and a half times as many Democrats voted in the primary as participated in the caucus. And those Democrats who actually voted chose Hillary Clinton, while Sanders was awarded two-thirds of our delegates because of the caucus win. [Note: My original figures were wrong, so check my revised post here.]

Votes matter. If you're not going to bother voting in a primary, why should we expect you to vote in the general election? Note that, there are other important political races, too, besides the presidential contest. Other issues, as well, in primary elections.

And what does it tell you when Sanders wins caucuses which have, in nearly every case, a very low turnout compared to elections?

I saw nothing about this in the media when Nebraska announced our primary results, absolutely nothing. I hope the same thing happening in Washington will get some notice, at least. I agree with Josh Marshall. Caucuses should be abolished.

I'm fine with getting rid of superdelegates, too, but caucuses are the bigger problem. Caucuses suppress the vote. That's not anything Democrats should be doing.

A big nothingburger

The State Department released a report on Hillary Clinton's email server yesterday. Here's the article in the New York Times.

But to my mind, this comment by Josh Marshall at TPM sums it up pretty well:
Let's focus on the essential point: Despite the fact that there are some real questions about the impartiality of the IG, the report says the issues with the management of the Secretary of State's emails are of longstanding and go back with the last five Secretaries of State. The report also singles out Colin Powell, who had a similar set up. The criticism is there. It definitely wasn't a good arrangement. But to see this as a damaging report after the hyperbolic and frequently insane coverage of this issue is crazy. This was never more than some poor judgment overlayed by a big bureaucratic pissing match all slathered over by a thick layer of partisan game playing and media derp.

Like most Clinton scandals, if there there hadn't been months, maybe more than a year of weird conspiracy theories, expected perp walks and general nonsense, one might read this and say, wow, that's disappointing. But after all that, it's just a big nothingburger. Like it almost always is.

Yup, that about sums it up. But Republicans want political ammunition, so they'll manufacture it from whatever they can. And the media want viewers. The media want sensationalism. A story on "nothing to see here" is useless to them.

There's another thing that strikes me about this ridiculous 'controversy.' There were no negative results from it. Not even Republicans claim that anything actually happened as a result of her using her personal email account (as other Secretaries of State did, as well).

At least the Benghazi circus had four dead Americans to drag through the political muck. What does this have? Conspiracy theories?

Keep in mind that government officials still send personal emails. They're expected to keep official business separate, though that's entirely a matter of their own judgment. The fact that Clinton sent personal emails, too, is a complete non-issue, no matter how much her political enemies try to imply something nefarious.

Republicans have attacked Hillary Clinton nonstop for two decades now, and the media have gone along with it, because 'controversy' sells. Those attacks have had a real effect on Clinton's popularity (which Republicans have even admitted was the whole point), but they haven't found anything that's even slightly noteworthy.

Just a big nothingburger.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Trevor Noah: the NRA endorses Trump

Yesterday, I showed you the video clip of Seth Meyers covering this same issue. Today, it's Trevor Noah. I thought the similarities and the differences were interesting.

And both are quite funny, of course. Donald Trump is the gift that just keeps on giving, for comedians.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Let's put some soothing ointment on that Bern

I'm getting increasingly fed up with Bernie Sanders - well, with his supporters, mostly. But he's feeding this.

I liked the way he was running his campaign at first. But apparently, he doesn't play well with others. What is more important, his own political ambition or the possibility of a Trump presidency?

He's losing. It's almost over, in fact. But he's not losing because of any conspiracy against him. He's losing because more people voted for Clinton. That's how it works.

I mean, it's bad enough that voter suppression has been giving Bernie Sanders a boost. But those were the rules going in. They damn well should be changed for the next election (but probably won't be), but if he had won with those caucuses, he would still have won. But he didn't.

Throwing a tantrum because you're losing - or because your beloved candidate is losing - is not going to do anyone any good. Except the Republican Party, maybe.

Samantha Bee: the religious right, part 2

The above video clip is just the introduction, but I thought it was worth including here.

I posted the first part of Samantha Bee's The Religious Right last week (here). Now for Part Two:

It bears repeating. Abortion was just a convenient political issue for the religious right. Their real concern was keeping the tax breaks on their segregated, white-only schools.

Seth Meyers: the NRA endorses Trump

How could anyone support Donald Trump? How could anyone believe a word he says?

Republicans aren't just crazy; they're crazy even by their own standards of crazy, let alone mine. Of course, the NRA always takes crazy to a whole new level, but... sometimes they still surprise me.

Yes, I know that they're faith-based, not evidence-based. But is there no limit to what they'll swallow? Apparently not, huh?

Of course, this is Donald Trump we're talking about. Clearly, you must place no value in reality whatsoever in order to think that Donald Trump is presidential material in the first place.

Monday, May 23, 2016

John Oliver: primaries and caucuses

What a way to pick a president, huh?

I've blogged about this previously, how caucuses are voter suppression on steroids (not my phrase). In that post, I said:
And here in Nebraska, where the Democratic Party has had a caucus since 2008, party leaders are struggling to get voters to show up at the primary, where other offices are at stake, but not the presidential election. That can't be good.

So, how did that turnout? Just as bad as I expected.

Bernie Sanders won the caucus in Nebraska, and was awarded two-thirds of our delegates. But nearly half of his supporters couldn't be bothered to actually vote when the primary election came around.

Edit: My original numbers here were wrong. I'm not sure why. But I slandered Sanders supporters in that last sentence. My overall point remains valid, though. So let me continue with more accurate figures.

Bernie Sanders won the caucus in Nebraska, and was awarded two-thirds of our delegates. He received 57% of the vote, compared with Hillary Clinton's 43%. A solid win. But the turnout of 33,460 people is only 9.3% of registered Democrats in our state.

(Note that the graph here indicates a 2.5% "voter turnout" in Nebraska's caucus. But I don't know what numbers they're using. According to the Nebraska Secretary of State, there are 359,821 registered Democrats in Nebraska, so... check my math, if you like.)

A few weeks later, though, we had our primary election, and the presidential candidates were still on the ballot. Among Democrats, the turnout was 84,009 voters (again, from this document from the Secretary of State).

That's two and a half times the number of Nebraskans who participated in the caucus, and they gave the 'win' to Hillary Clinton. Of course, she didn't get any delegates from that. But in the primary, where two and a half times as many Democrats participated, 51% of Nebraska voters chose Clinton, versus 45% for Sanders. These were people who actually voted.

Note that there are 3500 votes missing (84,009 Democratic voters vs 80,436 who voted for Clinton or Sanders), with no explanation. Maybe some Democrats didn't bother voting for president, because our delegates had already been apportioned? Well, that's not enough to change the results, even if all of them were Sanders supporters.

Caucuses suppress the vote. That's bad in itself. But that voter suppression changed the outcome of the election in Nebraska (and in Washington state, as well). I don't know how common that is, but it's a serious problem.

And note that, in Nebraska, Democrats caucus, but Republicans don't. That's another problem, because it's hard to get people to the polls when the presidential race isn't going to matter. Republicans have a big advantage in registered voters here, anyway - 564,718 vs 359,821, which is a 22% difference.

But nearly two and a half times as many Republicans as Democrats actually voted in the primary. That's just an incredible difference.

I have to think that the caucus was a big part of the difference. On the Democratic ballot, the presidential contest was meaningless, since that had already been decided. (Not so on the Republican ballot.) There were other important - if not so exciting - political offices decided on that primary ballot, and issues, too. Why give Republicans an even bigger electoral advantage than they already have?

My original post continued:

And keep in mind that the caucus turnout was pathetic in itself - just 2.5% of eligible voters, apparently. [Again, I don't know what numbers they were using in that graph, since I make it 9.3%. But presumably they used the same calculation for each state, so the comparisons should still be valid.] Even that was more than they expected. Believe it or not, the headlines here in Nebraska were about the "big caucus turnout."

There are two problems with this. The first is that caucuses suppress the vote. Yeah, 2.5% turnout was considered huge (with a fierce presidential contest still undecided, too). Well, I don't want my presidential candidate determined by 2% or less of the Democrats here.

But the other problem is that there are other races and other issues, all of which need voter consideration, as well. However, when you take away the presidential decision from a primary election, how do you get people to show up for it?

As I say, here in Nebraska, nearly half of the people who gave Bernie Sanders that caucus win didn't even bother to vote a few weeks later.

And it's worse than that, because here in Nebraska, the Democratic Party caucuses, but the Republicans don't. Thus, Republicans do have the presidential contest to get them out to the polls. (As it turned out, Donald Trump was the only candidate left by the time Nebraska held its primary, so there wasn't much of an incentive for them, either. But that was pure luck.)

I've heard a lot about those notorious "superdelegates" this year, and I don't want our presidential candidate determined by them, either. But I think I'd rather have superdelegates - most of whom were elected, at least - making that decision than caucuses. Of course, I'd much prefer to have a primary election.

At least it's relatively easy to participate in a primary. At least you have to work at it to suppress the vote in a primary. And if you vote in a primary, maybe we can have some confidence that you'll actually show up to vote in the general election, too.

Friday, May 20, 2016

We've been here before

Do women walk around naked in women's restrooms? Are there no doors on the stalls? Do you just sit side by side, chatting with your neighbor?

Indecent exposure is still a crime. Nothing about transgender policy would change that. So what's the problem?

Now, in a men's room, there are urinals. But for some reason, we don't hear about the problem of women standing beside a man at one of those. (Admittedly, I probably wouldn't notice, because I don't look at the people peeing beside me, let alone at their genitals!)

As Trevor Noah points out, we've been here before. We've been here when racists were outraged about the idea of sharing a restroom with a black person. We've been here when homophobes were outraged at the idea of sharing a restroom - or a shower - with a gay person. It's the same thing.

Well, not quite, because transgender people are a tiny fraction of the population. If you're not one of them, chances are good that you will never have a problem or even anything that you could imagine as a problem. Indeed, they've always existed, and we've never had a problem before now. Do you routinely inspect the genitals of every person you share a restroom with?

For transgender people, this is a problem. It's a problem they face every day. But for the rest of us, it's not. For the rest of us, it's just bigotry or acceptance.

PS. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend this video. Transgender rights haven't been on the radar for most of us for very long. Ignorance is understandable, but can - and should - be corrected.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Samantha Bee: the victims of super-PACs

Two video clips from the same show on the same day? Sorry, I couldn't resist. Samantha Bee is doing such a good job! Besides, it's not as though I've been posting all that much lately, huh?

I just thought this was funny. Mel Immergut seems like a good sport, at least, even if I can't stand his politics and hate the whole 'money is speech' idea that lets the wealthy buy our politicians. On the other hand, it cheers me up that they don't always get what they pay for.

Samantha Bee: the religious right

I knew all this, but I wonder how many people realize that it was racism that got the religious right active in politics. Abortion was just a happy (for them) accident, an issue that turned out to be popular (and better for their image than segregation).

Edit: Here's Part Two from Samantha Bee.