Hillary Clinton is one of the most ethical and most lied about political leaders in America

Hillary Clinton is one of the most ethical (and most lied about) political leaders in America

Democrats are sick and tired of the endless lies about Hillary Clinton, the character attacks, the distortions of her record, the contorted caricature portrayed in the media. They want an unfiltered connection to her without the prism of GOP-style talking points and false frames.
If the headline of this piece blows some minds, you can thank three decades of relentless lies and smears by the conservative attack machine and its corporate media enablers, who have labored to create an aura of corruption around Hillary Clinton. Her detractors on the right, left and center reel off a laundry list of unsupported accusations with an air of absolute authority, as though it is simply a given that she is a terrible, horrible, no-good human being.
And that is precisely the intention: Taint her through innuendo and guilt-by-association, throw enough dirt at her that voters develop an instant negative association with her name. Accuse, accuse, accuse until the accusation becomes the reality, and may the truth be damned.
Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and billionaire conservative moneymen like Paul Singer have spent inordinate sums to paint a malignant picture of Hillary, using sophisticated propaganda techniques to render her toxic to the American electorate.
Sadly, too many on the left imbibe and regurgitate these fabricated narratives. They are joined by corporate media operatives with personal vendettas, whose venomous words reveal more about their own failings than about Hillary.
But the fact is this: no one has ever produced an iota of evidence that Hillary has behaved improperly because of a campaign contribution. No one has produced a scintilla of proof that there is a quid pro quo when it comes to her speaking fees. From Whitewater to Benghazi to her emails, nobody can point to a single instance of corruption or wrongdoing on Hillary Clinton’s part.
None. Zero. Ever.
The most they have are votes and positions they disagree with or mistakes for which she has expressed regret. And even there, the false frames are tossed around with no regard for facts. During the Democratic primaries, Hillary’s critics portrayed Bernie Sanders as pure good and Hillary as pure evil. That’s hogwash. They are both politicians who make judgments and adopt positions, some of which we agree with, others we don’t.
Hillary’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump, has spent a year hurling insults at people who disagree with him. He has embraced intolerance as a platform. He has a shameful history of demeaning and degrading women. He lashes out at reporters in the most personal terms whenever he is questioned. He lacks even the most rudimentary preparedness for the office he seeks. He has a self-admittedly vindictive temperament which is profoundly ill-suited for the presidency. He has called our sitting president a terrorist and threatened Hillary’s life. Yet astonishingly, he receives less (yes, less) negative coverage than she does, according to two independent studies.
No matter how shocking this may sound to Hillary’s professional critics – those who spend their time condescendingly mocking anyone who says a good word about her – Hillary is an upstanding, principled and dignified leader who has survived the most intrusive, invasive, aggressive and unending vetting process in political history.
Time and again, she has emerged with her integrity intact. In the words of the Des Moines Register, which endorsed her in January, “Clinton has demonstrated that she is a thoughtful, hardworking public servant who has earned the respect of leaders at home and abroad. She stands ready to take on the most demanding job in the world.”

Continued at link…

There is No Hillary Clinton Email Scandal

Republicans are hypocrites and liars switch into hypocritical liar mode when discussing Hillary emails.
Republicans are hypocrites and liars switch into hypocritical liar mode when discussing Hillary emails.

The non-scandal of Hillary Clinton’s email has been placed in a prominent place in the radical Right’s outrage machine, and yes it is an actual organized smear campaign. Hillary may have made an error in judgement, but  that is  a matter of pure opinion, not fact. There a very simple test to determine if the radical Right is truly concerned about an individual’s actions or if they are just engaged in their never ending witch hunts. How many people on the list above have Conservatives millions of tax dollars investigating and then created an echo chamber of smears? Did anyone guess one? Four? How about zero. Because as always Republican bull can be a mile high and wide, and stink like raw sewerage, and to Conservatives it smells like roses. On the other hand, a small error in judgment, a small mistake by a Democrat and the anger and outrage is the grand comic opera of politics, the never ending melodrama they have the gull to wrap in patriotism and platitudes.Propagandist attack poodle Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) Says FBI Gave Top Clinton Aide Immunity in Email Investigation. The headline was taken and blown up like the Goodyear blimp by every radical right sycophant and of course leaving out the last bit,

Clinton aide Heather Samuelson, who worked with Mills to sort Clinton’s emails, also received a similar immunity deal.

Beth Wilkinson, the attorney for Mills and Samuelson, said in a statement to ABC News: “As the government indicated in these letters, the DOJ and FBI considered my clients to be witnesses and nothing more. Indeed, the Justice Department assured us that they believed my clients did nothing wrong. At all points my clients cooperated with the government’s investigation, including voluntarily participating in interviews with the FBI and DOJ.”

According to The New York Times, two additional staffers were granted immunity for cooperating with authorities.

The Associated Press first reported the new details of the immunity agreements.

The Clinton campaign criticized Chaffetz’s comments about the immunity deal and investigation, which the FBI closed without recommending charges against Clinton for using a private email server as the nation’s top diplomat.

If you have the money for a good lawyer, anytime the FBI wants an official on the record interview, your lawyer will get you immunity in case you inadvertently say something stupid – which we all know is what people tend to do under stress. After the FBI cleared Hillary of any illegal activity – literally millions of dollars and hundreds of hours of investigation, the State Department also closed its investigation, CNN Reporter Admits Email Hearings Led By Trump Allies In Congress. 

A lot of Donald Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill are trying to paint her as the one who is reckless by the way she handled her emails. And that’s going to be a big focus on Capitol Hill going forward.

 

Bless their evil little hearts: I’ve read a dozen or so of the major right-wing hate sites such as Breitbart and its ilk (Fox News), they’re lying like their lives depend on it. Myths And Facts On Hillary Clinton’s Email And Reports Of “Top Secret” Materials

Media are exploiting news that two emails Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton turned over to the State Department from her time as secretary of state may be retroactively classified as “top secret” to push myths about Clinton’s handling of government information and scandalize her email use. Here are the facts.
FACT: None Of The Emails Sent To Clinton Were Labeled As “Classified” Or “Top Secret”

FACT: Emails Originated In State Dept. System, And Questions About Retroactive Classification Would Have Occurred Regardless Of Clinton’s Server Use

FACT: Experts Have Debunked Any Comparison Between Clinton’s Email Use And David Petraeus’ Crimes

FACT: IG Referral To Justice Department Was Not Criminal, And FBI Isn’t Targeting Clinton Herself

Not much has really changed about the Conservative movement and the lies they told about Iraq. Republicans are the radical party of the Big Lie. They repeat Big Lies until they have saturated every part of the delusional echo chamber. Throughout history those political movements that have depended on a foundation of lies – not the white lies and exaggerations all politicians make, have caused incredible to their countries and the world. Worth a read, Clinton’s Fibs vs. Trump’s Huge Lies. The media has been attacking the Clintons since the 90s and Whitewater. Together they might be the most investigated couple in history, yet Hillary has committed not one criminal and the Big Dog made his famous sex lie before a grand jury – which he was impeached. Bush and Cheney with millions of enablers got 4000 American killed in Iraq for multiple lies, yet no criminal charges. Talk about some incredibly lopsided double standards. When it comes down to issues of integrity and leadership, there really is no contest, Trump is utterly without integrity, No Honor Donald: 101 Of Trump’s Greatest Lies 

Will Conservatives show the tiniest bit of integrity and investigate this real email scandal, Leaked emails show how the Republican governor of Wisconsin flouted campaign finance law to court secret donors.

 

 

Trump Didn’t Have To Be Sleazy, Like His Supporters, He Enjoys It

FBI’s Comey says ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would bring a case against Clinton for emails. Yet the vast internet sewer of conservative vicious gossip are sure they know something that the FBI doesn’t.

Trump’s Criminal History Should Be Front and Center

-He is being charged with fraud in connection with Trump University. Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, who is prosecuting Trump, told CNN, “If you look at the facts of this case, this shows someone who was absolutely shameless in his willingness to lie to people, to say whatever it took to induce them into his phony seminars. Telling people who are in hard economic times — we’re talking about 2008, 2009 — people desperate to hold onto their homes, to make some money, convincing them that he will teach them his entrepreneurial secrets.

– Trump Tower was built using undocumented Polish laborers to demolish the building that previously stood on the site. At trial, the workers testified they worked without basic safety equipment like hardhats and gloves and they were supposed to earn $5 an hour from Trump’s low-bid contractor.

Trump came into the world of business with the measly sum of $200 million to get started in business. The poor guy then proceeded to screw up dozens of times and have the banks rescue him. The Donald has the kind of safety the vast majority of Americans can only dream of and it’s not because he’s smart, its because he’s a conman and addict of corporate welfare. Today he could be very wealthy and not have such a sleazy corrupt history, one guesses he wouldn’t had as much  fun be a decent moral human being.

Obamacare and Political Realignment

It is still fairly common for conservatives to claim to be the party of Lincoln. That might even have a teaspoon of truth in regards to north-eastern Republicans. Though when racists like Rush Limbaugh say that it is Democrats are are the racists party, such claims are either shameless lies or display a stunning lack of knowledge about the history of political and racial alignments in the U.S. Conservatives, which is what they should call themselves, not Republicans ( the Republican Party has almost nothing to do with small r republicanism) cannot even claim to be the party of Teddy Roosevelt (R, 1901-1909), our 26th president. Teddy went after monopolies and enacted government regulation controlling food quality and inspections. Today’s Repub lican Party, i.e. the Conservative Movement went ballistic at liberal pundits and economists suggesting that we bust up the too big to fail banks after the Great recession started, and they watered down new financial regulation (Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), said he believes Washington’s role is to “serve the banks.”). And of course conservatives are still fighting basic health and safety protections of the American public. Supposedly tossing out every sensible regulation on the books would create millions of jobs. Those jobs, in the conservative fantasy, would not even pay a minimum wage, much less a living wage. So there is evidence to support the observation that conservatives have become captives of the economic and cultural fantasies of the plantation economy. Sure it is easy to find a conservative on the internet arguing that they need low wage workers. That is because they think when they start a business it is their right to get wealthy on the back of wage slaves. How did conservatives to get this point. How did the Republican party, which used to be the progressive party, become the regressive movement. In case you missed it, this is a pretty good post about the history of political alignments between parties, How Racism Caused The Shutdown

This isn’t an article about how Republicans shut down the government because they hate that the President is black. This is an article about how racism caused the government to shut down and the U.S. to teeter on the brink of an unprecedented and catastrophic default.
I understand if you’re confused. A lot of people think the only way that racism “causes” anything is when one person intentionally discriminates against another because of their color of their skin. But that’s wrong. And understanding the history of the forces that produced the current crisis will lay plain the more subtle, but fundamental, ways in which race and racism formed the scaffolding that structures American politics — even as explicit battles over race receded from our daily politics.
The roots of the current crisis began with the New Deal — but not in the way you might think. They grew gradually, with two big bursts in the 1960s and the 1980s reflecting decades of more graduated change. And the tree that grew out of them, the Tea Party and a radically polarized Republican Party, bore the shutdown as its fruits.

[  ]…Hence the famous Dixiecrat revolt of 1948, when Strom Thurmond and likeminded Southerners temporarily seceded from the Democratic Party over Harry Truman and the Democratic platform’s support for civil rights. The tacit bargain that Katznelson documents during the Roosevelt Administration, in which the Northern Democrats would get their New Deal if the Southern Democrats got their white supremacy, became untenable.

[  ]…

The Legacy Of The Democratic South’s Rebellion: The Tea Party
We all know what happens next. The Southern conservative takeover of the Republican Party pushes out moderates, cementing the party’s conservative spiral. This trend produces the Tea Party, whose leading contemporary avatar — Ted Cruz — engineers the 2013 shutdown and risk of catastrophic default.
So we can draw a tentatively straight line between the last 80 years of racial politics and this week’s political crisis. Aside from being an interesting point of history, what does that tell us?
First, that the shutdown crisis isn’t the product of passing Republican insanity or, as President Obama put it, a “fever” that needs to be broken. Rather, the sharp conservative turn of the Republican Party is the product of deep, long-running structural forces in American history. The Republican Party is the way that it is because of the base that it has evolved, and it would take a tectonic political shift — on the level of the Democrats becoming the party of civil rights — to change the party’s internal coalition. Radicalized conservatism will outlive the shutdown/debt ceiling fight.
Second, and more importantly, the battle over civil rights produced a rigidly homogenous and disproportionately Southern Republican party, fertile grounds for the sort of purity contest you see consuming the South today. There’s no zealot like a new convert, the saying goes, and the South’s new faith in across-the-board conservatism — kicked off by the alignment of economic libertarianism with segregationism — is one of the most significant causes of the ideological inflexibility that’s caused the shutdown.

While many of my conservative friends, co-workers and family support Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Workman’s Compensation, i.e. the social safety net, sabotaging the safety net has become core to the conservative cause. This is also where racism and ye old far-Right nativism meets the ACA or Obamacare. Even the Tea Baggers support the safety net, they certainly depend on it to survive. Conservatives think it is morally just that they receive these entitlements, but not those people over there – the people of color. They see Obamacare as something, as another program that will – in their blurred vision – be taken advantage of by those other people. Even as like food assistance, white southerners and mid-westerners are actually the largest number of participants.

The Government Shutdown Is As Certain As The 2014 Downfall of Conservatives

Oak Meadow wallpaper

Oak Meadow wallpaper

NMMNB is not optimistic about the government shutdown crisis, Why Republicans are not going to get the blame they deserve.

The reason is that the mainstream political world is heavily invested in the notion that the GOP is a sane, rational, responsible party. We know this because every time the GOP has utterly failed as a party in the past few decades, it’s gotten a do-over almost immediately. Everyone in the political mainstream agrees that the GOP should get a mulligan every time it fails.

[  ]…George W. Bush disgraced himself in office; his party lost Congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. Again, not to worry: almost instantly, the GOP was rebranded, first as the party of “pizza summit” moderation (led by the digraced ex-president’s brother), then as the home of the tea party, which swept congressional, state, and local elections in 2010.

There is some unfortunate truths there. If our culture and political system worked the way it should, conservatives should constitute a tiny marginalized minority of the kind of true believers that no amount of reason can penetrate the tin foil. The Iraq debacle alone is cause for that. The financial collapse of 2007 was the culmination of 25 years of conservative supply side deregulation mania. The reason these calamities do not stick, at least one reason, is the powers of denial of the radical Right base. Iraq? Well Bush meant well and hey, he did kill a lot of Muslim even if the reasons were based on lies about WMD and conspiracy theories about a Muslim takeover of the world. Conservatives blamed the Great Recession on  one individual congressman and Fannie May. Nothing is ever their fault in the conservative river of denial, For a political movement that claims to be all about individual responsibility, they are amazingly adept at denying or talking responsibility for any wrong doing, for any disasters caused by their philosophy. Though as far as the impending and almost certain government shutdown, there is a bright spot. As Steve notes conservatives took a terrible beating in 2008. While they picked up the House in 2010 – largely through gerrymandering, they took a beating then as well. The independent voters and some  – lets call them Clinton conservatives – tend to have a throw the bums out attitude after a big screw-up like Iraq and the financial collapse, so while I would rather win another way, conservatives are setting up Democrats to win the House back in 2014. There is going to be a lot of economic pain between now and then – and it very much looks like those voters who swing elections, are going to punish conservatives, POLL: Voters Are ‘Unmoved’ By Government Shutdown Drama, Still Don’t Want To Delay Obamacare ( note the voice of Clinton conservatives)

Morning Consult’s results track with earlier research that has found that most Americans want to give the health reform law an opportunity to work. A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today found that even when Americans don’t support Obamacare, they still want lawmakers to try to make it work rather than try to undermine it. And Morning Consult’s last tracking poll found that even Republicans don’t favor defunding the health law.

And if the government does end up being forced to shut down because of Republican brinkmanship over Obamacare, the majority of voters say they’ll put “a lot” of the blame on GOP lawmakers in Congress. According to the new poll, nearly eight in 10 independent voters say they’ll blame congressional Republicans for a shutdown.

This is the point at which I’m supposed to say bring it on House conservatives. I’m not because the American people, regardless of politics have seen too much hard times. I do not have to hope conservatives will be punished at the polls because they certainly will be punished, even if it only by those thin margins created by the middle and the short term memory of the few remaining moderate Republicans. Ted Cruz and his tea smoking fans can gloat all they want the next few weeks, hey enjoy it while you can, because the party is over and you only have yourselves to blame.

Conservativism Is Like An Amusement Ride Without The Fun

Country Highway wallpaper

Country Highway wallpaper

This report is from June of this year, Charles Koch launching Wichita campaign about economic freedom, government overreach. A clueless elitist billionaire sounding off about how rough life is for him and  other crony capitalists who count the money they make off the backs of people who do real work and have real ideas. They call themselves libertarians because they’re not honest or honorable enough to call themselves what they really are, proto-fascists. This is another concrete reason why the Kochs and their acolytes are against regulation, manipulation plus greed pays very well,  How Goldman Made $5 Billion By Manipulating Aluminum Inventories (and Copper is Up Next).

Since there does not seem to be any kind of recording thus far ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has some wriggle room to back-track his reported assertion, Report: Scalia Approaches Godwin’s Law on Judicial Activism

Scalia opened his talk with a reference to the Holocaust, which happened to occur in a society that was, at the time, “the most advanced country in the world.” One of the many mistakes that Germany made in the 1930s was that judges began to interpret the law in ways that reflected “the spirit of the age.” When judges accept this sort of moral authority, as Scalia claims they’re doing now in the U.S., they get themselves and society into trouble.

Scalia calls himself an “originalist,” which he defined this weekend as believing that “texts should be read to mean what they were understood to mean when they were adopted.” His pretty well-known frozen-in-amber take on constitutional interpretation pits him against anyone, including his fellow Supreme Court justices, who would read the Constitution in the context of changing times and societies.

Scalia ruled that Congress does not have the right to regulate campaign financing in Citizens United, based on the concept that corporations and corporate-like entities such as Karl Rove’s American Crossroads have the same rights as human citizens. That bit of judicial activism cannot be found anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Just a couple good points here,

One, you profess a belief in originalism and for what is contained within the Constitution.  Judicial review is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution and the concept was alien to the common law concept of parliamentary supremacy.  It was only with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Marbury v. Madison, more than a decade after the ratification of the Constitution that judicial review was established as a power of the courts.  Therefore, on what basis do assert your power of judicial review?
Two, you state that every right that you hold to exist as a matter of law can be found within the words of the Constitution and that judges engage in ‘judicial activism’ when they find rights other than those specifically listed.  How do you reconcile this view with the plain words of the Ninth Amendment, which states:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

And of course there is the general conservative tendency to bend or rewrite history. The rise of Nazism in Germany has been well documented, its roots in the consequences and reaction to the Treaty of Versailles, a nationalism and nativism making antisemitism a large part of the appeal of Nazism.  Once Hitler became chancellor (prime minister) he and the Nazi party tried to destroy any possible rivals to his position, rearmed Germany, and launched a campaign of violence against the Jews. He became the dictator by burning the Reichstag building and blaming the communists. The general public, or enough of them anyway were worked up into a state of fear and hysteria allowing Hitler to suspend civil rights. No court rulings required. With a Nazi majority in the Reichstag, Hitler was then able to pass The Enabling Act, which gave him complete legislative and executive power for four years. Any regular court rulings Hitler did not like were ignored, not that at the time, there were any. Hitler established his own court so that he could carry out his agenda with the gaze of what appeared to be legal proceedings, The People’s Court,

The People’s Court (German: Volksgerichtshof) was a Sondergericht, a special court, established in 1934 by German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who had been dissatisfied with the outcome of the Reichstag Fire Trial (all but one of the accused were acquitted). The “People’s Court” was set up outside the operations of the constitutional frame of law. The court had jurisdiction over a rather broad array of “political offenses,” which included crimes like black marketeering, work slowdowns, defeatism and treason against the Third Reich. These crimes were viewed by the court as Wehrkraftzersetzung (“disintegration of defensive capability”) and were accordingly punished severely. The death penalty was meted out in numerous cases in this court.

The Court handed down an enormous number of death sentences under Judge-President Roland Freisler, including those that followed the July 20 Plot to kill Hitler. Many of those found guilty by the Court died in the Plötzensee prison. The proceedings of the court were often even less than show trials in that some cases, such as that of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans Scholl and fellow White Rose activists concluded in less than an hour, without evidence being presented or arguments made by either side.

Just my take, I would resist the temptation to call Scalia crazy. Since we do not have actual clinical evidence for that. Though we can assume, with what he has reportedly said on this and other occasions, that he is a malevolent zealot who has dishonored the nation’s highest court.

Quite a few years back a formerly Republican judge noted that conservatives had too often decided to take political and constitutional positions and than scurried around trying to find rationale for them. That continues to this day and seems to be getting worse.

In Conservative World Corporate Corruption Is Patriotic, Buying A Soda, The Depth of Moral Depravity

Gold Pocketwatch wallpaper

Gold Pocket Watch wallpaper

Black and White Pocket Watch wallpaper

Black and White Pocket Watch wallpaper

The other day I wrote that no one reads the WaPo’s Charles Lane. I wonder if he read that post. Today he panders to the long held conservative notion that the poor are live the high life off food stamps and tax payers are giving away millions. You know, like this is just one conservative example of govmint handouts, that if stopped, would solve all our budget issues. I know the answer to Chuck’s question, Why should food stamps pay for junk food? Apparently Chuck does not. If one of my co-workers or neighbors don’t know the answer, that would not be good either, but none of them are “journalist” who get paid for their opinion. On the contray, they look to sources like the WaPo for well researched information. Charles seems to have gottten all his talking points from some far Right newsletter,

What really caught my attention, though, were the photographs that showed what some SNAP recipients bought with their government-funded debit cards: Cheetos Puffs, a one-ounce handful of which contains 10 grams of fat; a box containing two dozen 12-ounce cans of Fanta Orange soda, each of which contains 44 grams of sugar; a carton of six-ounceCapri Sun drink pouches, each of which contains 16 grams of sugar.

In short, this immense nutrition program pays for a lot of stuff that is the opposite of nutritious.

[  ]…I blame Congress for not updating SNAP to reflect nutritional common sense — and the terrible epidemics of obesity, hypertension and diabetes, which disproportionately affect low-income Americans but increase the entire country’s health-care bill. ( This is actually pretty clever just blaming the entire House since that is an easy whipping post)

Brent Baker at the perennially sleazy conservative web site Newsbuster picks up the framing – well everyone is one food stamps because Obama tanked the economy ( sorry Brent the historical revisionism only works for kool-aid drinkers – Economic Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Continue to Drive Large Deficits). Brent is practically a font of moderation compared to the poor are always evil and to blame pundits at the conservative Weasel Zippers, “WaPo Shocked To Find Food Stamp Recipients Using Their Welfare Benefits To Buy Junk Food, Soda…” Charles does explain that the SNAP program ( what everyone calls food stamps) does allow people to buy Cheetos and soft drinks. Congress is partly to blame, but the real culprit is the lobbying and money from the food industry – or processed food industry and banks, Food Stamps, Follow the Money: Are Corporations Profiting from Hungry Americans?

Our research found that at least three powerful industry sectors benefit from SNAP:

1) major food manufacturers such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Mars; 2) leading food retailers such as Walmart and Kroger; and 3) large banks, such as J.P. Morgan Chase, which contract with states to help administer SNAP benefits.

Each of these sectors has a critical stake in debates over SNAP, as evidenced by lobbying reports, along with important data being kept secret.

Key findings about corporate lobbying on SNAP:

• Powerful food industry lobbying groups
teamed up to oppose health-oriented
improvements to SNAP

• The food industry also joined forces with
anti-hunger groups to lobby against SNAP
improvements

• Companies such as Cargill, PepsiCo, and
Kroger lobbied Congress on SNAP, while
also donating money to America’s top anti-
hunger organizations

• At least nine states have proposed bills
to make health-oriented improvements to
SNAP, but none have passed, in part due to
opposition from the food industry

• Coca-Cola, the Corn Refiners of America,
and Kraft Foods all lobbied against a Florida
bill that aimed to disallow SNAP purchases
for soda and junk food

• In one year, nine Walmart Supercenters in
Massachusetts together received more than
$33 million in SNAP dollars—over four times
the SNAP money spent at farmers markets
nationwide

• In two years, Walmart received about
half of the one billion dollars in SNAP
expenditures in Oklahoma

• One Walmart Supercenter in Tulsa,
Oklahoma received $15.2 million while
another (also in Tulsa) took in close to $9
million in SNAP spending.

In other words Congress  – Democrats and some Republican cross over votes, would easily pass a bill restricting the kinds of foods people collected SNAP benefits could buy, but money talks. The Supreme Court made that clear when they gave corporations person-hood and the Citizens United decision. Charles, Newsbusters and the Weasel guy are not going to blame corporate America, certainly not the Walton family for making huge profits from government programs. These ever so concerned conservatives are not going to admit tacitly or otherwise that America’s largest corporations are corrupt to the core and that conservative Constitutional ideology has made it safe and legal for this material and moral corruption to continue. Nope, let’s blame poor people. The working poor frequently end up relying on some kind of assistance because Wal-Mart, Target and other large retailers do not pay their employees a living wage. And of course Michele Bachmann is wrong about the administrative costs of SNAP. I can’t remember the last time she was right about anything or if she and her husband have stopped collecting govmint subsides. In ConWorld it is fine for wealthy individuals and corporations to collect government paychecks, for government to protect crony corporatism, for corporations to cheat their employees out of billions of dollars, to not offer health insurance or a retirement plan, but it is of the gravest concern that someone buy a can of soda with their food stamps – that is just the deep end of moral depravity. Conservative framing remains the same. Here are some wonky facts and figures about SNAP, it is a very efficient program for getting food to the poor.

Obama’s Gun Reform Package Loses One Major Provision, Another In Danger

“I have said time and time again that I want people to have the ability to vote on assault weapons, mental health, safety in schools, federal trafficking, clips, everything. But I cannot do that until I get a bill on the floor,” Reid said. “My job is to find one of those that I can bring to the floor, or two of them, [that] at least have been through the committee, and that I can get 60 votes to proceed to that. We cannot have votes on everything unless I get something on the floor. It’s a legislative impossibility.”

He argued that he felt for Feinstein, who became a staunch gun-control advocate when she discovered the bodies of gay rights activist Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone after they were gunned down at City Hall in 1978.

“Dianne has worked so hard on this,” Reid said. “[I] understand, going back to the day she found the mayor dead in his office having been killed, how strongly she feels about that. I know that. But right now, her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60. I have to get something on the floor.”

“I’m not going to try to put something on the floor that won’t succeed,” Reid added. “I think the worst of all worlds would be to bring something to the floor and it dies there.”

I’ve already seen misguided liberals blame Reid and Obama. They make strange bedfellows with that rag the New York Daily News. Reid either has the votes or he doesn’t. Why go through the time wasting theater of bringing a vote – with a certain Republicans filibuster it anyway – when the votes just aren’t there. I’m not bashing liberals, it just seems that it another one of those occasions where some people are not getting the basics on how legislation works and then lashing out.

Paul Waldman’s eloquent take on the anniversary of the Iraq debacle, Conceived in Delusion, Sold in Deception

On March 19, two weeks from now, it will be ten years since the United States military commenced the invasion of Iraq. Even though some details are fading from memory, one bit that sticks in my mind—those final days before the war and its dramatic countdown, the 48 hours George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein and his sons to get themselves out of the country. It was a fitting end to the pre-war campaign, some theatricality to lend an extra bit of drama to a conflict conceived in delusion and sold in deception. This anniversary is a good time to remind ourselves of what happened then and how so many of the people who continue to shape our public debate behaved.

The campaign to sell America on an invasion of Iraq was probably the most comprehensive and dishonest propaganda effort our country has seen in the last century. As we discuss it over the next few weeks, those who continue to hold that it was a good idea—akin to saying to this day that the Titanic was unsinkable—will claim that though there was certainly bad intelligence, the Bush administration did not actually lie about Iraq, that their intentions were good and they forthrightly made their case to protect America.

Don’t let them get away with it, not for a second. The truth is that they planned and executed a campaign designed to muddle heads and bring terror to hearts, one so shameless we may never see its like again (if only the plan for war itself had been constructed with such care).

Paul is usually worth the read so click over for the rest. A classic back grounder on the Bush administration’s propaganda leading up to the invasion, Despite the Whitewash, We Now Know that the Bush Administration was Warned Before the War That Its Iraq Claims were Weak.