Isn’t Denali About “States’ Rights”?

Republicans would have you believe that President Obama woke up the other morning and, wondering what he could do to piss them off that day, decided to rename Mt. McKinley. Now, their useful idiots all across America will be railing against yet another thing they know nothing about.

Denali_Mt_McKinleyFor those who don’t know its history, the Mountain was given the name Denali, or “the high one” by Alaska’s Athabaskan natives, who refer to themselves as “Dena,” meaning “the people”.

It was officially renamed Mt. McKinley after President William McKinley by a National Parks Act in 1917 . Alaska petitioned for the name to be changed back to Denali in 1975, and as the New York Times reports:

lisa_murkowskiSenator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, introduced legislation in January to rename the peak, but Ohio lawmakers sought to block the move.

In a video released on Sunday, Ms. Murkowski cheered Mr. Obama’s decision.

“For generations, Alaskans have known this majestic mountain as ‘the great one,’” she said in the video, appearing in front of the snow-topped mountain, its peak reaching above the clouds. “I’d like to thank the president for working with us to achieve this significant change to show honor, respect and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.”

Now you might think that this being an issue of Alaska’s right to restore their mountain’s original name, Conservatives would champion the decision. Not so much… cue the faux outrage:

TPM: Boehner ‘Deeply Disappointed’ That Obama Just Renamed Mt. McKinley

I feel tears coming on.

American (ahem) “Thinker”: Obama panders on Mt. McKinley, disses great Republican president

As if there were such a thing.

Right Wing “News”: Obama Now Thinks He Can Rename Mountains Just Because He Feels Like It, Mt. McKinley Wiped Off Map by Order

He didn’t have it blown up, asshat.

Of course Breitbart, that sewage drain that calls itself a news site, posted its typically vile slant on things (They still do Andrew proud):

TPM: Brietbart Editor: At Least Obama Didn’t Rename Mt. McKinley For Trayvon Martin

Republicans seem to think that the state government of Ohio should have more say about this issue than Alaska, simply because McKinley was from Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch wrote in July:

It’s time to end the perennial defensive action against Alaskans who want to allow one of their state’s grandest natural features to be known officially by its real name.

It’s a rather unseemly effort on behalf of a politician who never set foot near the mountain and had no known interest in it.

Unfortunately, unseemly is what Conservatives do best.

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Video Clips of the Week

Martin O’Malley

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Friday Feminism – Abortion & Reproductive Rights, Good Cop/Bad Cop and LGBTQ

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Stand Up Against The Oppressive American Plutocracy

standup up against oppression

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Hillary Speaks On Gun Violence

Deaths from gun violence in America are “needless and senseless” she says. Hear the rest of her comments in this video.

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Today’s Shooting and the Desperate Redirection by RWNJs

reportershootingIf you missed it today, there was another horrific shooting in America. This time, the murder of a Virginia news reporter and her cameraman, as well as the wounding of a woman being interviewed, apparently the work of a disgruntled and deranged employee who later killed himself. This shooting was so unusual in that the shooter recorded himself doing the deed as if he was in a first-person-shooter video game and then, reportedly, posted the video on Facebook and Twitter. Later, ABC News reported that they received a manifesto from the shooter this morning saying that God spoke to him and told him to carry out the shooting in reaction to the Charleston church shooting in June. So the guy was insane and easily purchased a gun just 2 days after the Charleston shooting.

RWNJs, obviously sensing how this particular shooting would result in an unprecedented amount of negative coverage for the anti-gun-control lobby, used the opportunity to mock the Black Lives Matter movement. More of that minority outreach the GOP loves to include in their propaganda.

If this isn’t another moment to re-evaluate our gun laws, I don’t know what it will take. Its not about taking guns away – that horse has left the barn. Its about changing purchases going forward. I’m a typical Wisconsin (relocated) Democrat. I own guns and I hunt. “Gun control” doesn’t challenge my manhood. I support meaningful gun control including deep, invasive background checks to weed-out as many nuts as possible, substantial waiting periods (up to 90 days), a ban on high-capacity clips and the same ban on assault rifles (or whichever lame semantic argument RWNJs use to avoid that term) that we had during the Clinton years. Making gun purchases as difficult as applying for a job working with children won’t stop every shooting but it will make a difference.

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Could Trump Bring Down Fox?

Its on! The Trump versus Fox News feud reached incredible new levels today as Fox “circled the wagons” in defense of Megyn Kelly. Trump refused to back down, which Frank Luntz learned (to his shock and dismay) is the main appeal of Trump to his supporters. The DNC could not have scripted a better fight. Its “divide and conquer”, but RWNJs are doing it to themselves.

Extended excerpt from Media Matters with all the juicy details:

The first round of the Fox-Trump dispute came after the candidate criticized Kelly for what he characterized as hostile questions during the Fox Republican presidential debate, going so far as to accuse her of having “blood coming out of her wherever” during the event.

After that controversy, Fox head Roger Ailes issued a release stating that he and Trump “had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared.”

Trump continued to make disparaging marks about Kelly, however, claiming that Kelly was off-air during her vacation due to his initial clash with her. Fox denied the charge and called it a conspiracy theory.

On August 24, Trump once again returned to attacking Kelly, writing, “I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!” He added that Kelly “must have had a terrible vacation, she is really off her game,” noting that she had “no clue on immigration” and criticizing her interview with Dr. Cornel West.

Trump also posted several tweets from fans attacking Kelly, including one that called Kelly’s show “a waste of an hour on Fox,” and another that referred to her as “the bimbo.”

In response, many Fox personalities took Trump to task.

Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade called Trump’s attacks “unwarranted-unacceptable;” America’s Newsroom host Bill Hemmer tweeted, “Easy, Mr. Trump;” Fox senior meteorologist Janice Dean wrote that it was “unpresidential,” and The Five co-host Dana Perino praised “the intelligence, class & grace” of Kelly.

Special Report host Bret Baier told Trump “this needs to stop,” while Sean Hannity added, “Focus on Hillary, Putin, border, jobs, Iran China & leave @megynkelly alone.” The network’s senior political analyst Brit Hume asked if Trump was a “seven-year-old” for the tone of his comments.

Even more Fox figures chimed in, including contributors like Katie Pavlich, Julie Roginsy, Jedediah Bila and Kirsten Powers.

These tweets were followed by an August 25 press release from Ailes:

“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise,” Ailes statement reads. “I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer,” Ailes said. “Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

On the Fox daytime program Happening Now, anchor Jon Scott read the entire statement on-air. The statement was also posted on Fox Nation and at the top of Fox’s online election page. Trump quickly replied:

“I totally disagree with the FOX statement. I do not think Megyn Kelly is a quality journalist. I think her questioning of me, despite all of the polls saying I won the debate, was very unfair. Hopefully in the future I will be proven wrong and she will be able to elevate her standards to a level of professionalism that a network such as FOX deserves. “

With such strong support for Trump among RWNJs, could Fox’s push-back lead to a large-scale defection of Fox viewers? Fox could be following in the footsteps of MSNBC, which alienated its viewer base over the years (does anyone still watch it? I don’t). I can see Limbaugh being the main beneficiary as the other “say whatever the hell I want and cry PC when I’m criticized” guy on the right, possibly replacing his lost sponsors with some kind of subscription model, like Beck. The whole “tea party uprising” could be replaced by millions of radical right wingers who spew their racist, sexist, homophobic slurs as a display of defiance against “political correctness” and a civilized society. Fun times ahead, folks!

Note to Democratic candidates: Resist the urge to get the spotlight back on yourselves. When your opponents are saying stupid shit that hurts them, you need to shut up and let it happen!

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Another Hole in Rafael Cruz’s Bio

rafaelcruzHere at ATD we’ve documented the absurdity of “Pastor” Rafael Cruz’s embellished bio. Now a new fact has come to light that contradicts his slaving away as a dishwasher to put himself through college narrative.

In his defense, Mr. Cruz probably didn’t realize that many newspapers have preserved their early editions on microfilm; but we’ve stumbled across one such page just recently.

It seems Rafael Cruz took part in a pro-Castro demonstration (totaling all of 6 people) in 1959, and was interviewed by a reporter for the Daily Texan. This is the microfilm capture:

Daily Texan, 1959

There are a few things in this article that contradict parts of Cruz’s bio, but the last paragraph is perhaps the most pertinent; it reads, my emphasis:

“Cruz will return to Cuba in May to visit his family. He will resume his studies here in September. He is on a Good Neighbor Scholarship*, and supplements this by working for the chemistry department.”

There are several other discrepancies between this article and the story he tells now, but I’m not going to nit pick. I wonder how much conservative groups are paying this con artist to blow smoke up their asses.

* According to the International Office of the University of Texas at Austin: “The Good Neighbor Scholarship provides an exemption of one year of tuition (fall, spring, and summer) to students who were born in and are residents of a nation in the Western Hemisphere… The scholarship is administered through ISSS [International Student and Scholar Services] on behalf of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.”
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Please, Not Another Billionaire!

As if one childish, obnoxious billionaire isn’t enough, Rupert Murdoch thinks Michael Bloomberg should run for President:

murdoch tweets bloombergAlthough it might be amusing to finally shut Trump up about his wealth (Bloomberg is worth over $36 billion), I can’t see Americans getting behind a campaign platform of limited soda sizes and lower headphone decibels.

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The President’s Weekly Address: Its Time for Congress to Pass a Responsible Budget

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Trump’s Campaign, Grounded in the Whitepower Movement?

trump on time

george wallace on time magazineIronic, Donald Trump held a rally Friday night in the belly of  American racism, yet fortuitous. Alabama, one of the multi-state wombs the Southern Strategy  gestated for several decades after the passage of 1960s federal civil rights legislation. Nevertheless, peremptorily Trump follows another ambitious liberal who flipped to champion the racist dogma in pursuit of elected office, the late Governor George Wallace (R) – ALA.

Like Trump, Wallace a relative liberal, assumed the voice of ethnic, racial hatred by exploiting white working class rage. Over the last half century, bigoted animus spread to immigrants journeying from central and south America, washing them with the same disgusting message to wall people out of the mainstream. In a more simplistic time, Wallace adopted more personal involvement in blocking equality, by standing in the entrance to University Alabama along with vigorously promoting the enforcement of Jim Crow laws. Today, Trump stomps for erecting a wall between the US / Mexico border. Obstructing pedestrian traffic, fencing  approximates $400,000 to $15 million per mile  on average of $3.9 million a mile. On the legal facet, the NYC developer advances repealing the born or naturalized citizenship segment of the 14th Amendment and 2016 Presidential candidates along with 25% of Republicans aren’t opposed to revising the Constitution.

Conservative voters embrace Trump’s ‘supremacy’ platform and reciprocally, the candidate unabashedly supports them. Several days ago, white perpetrators beat a homeless Hispanic man in Boston, stating they were inspired by Donald Trump’s words. The 2016 candidate defended their actions as passionate, minus any condemnation of violence or the brutality fueled by his racist campaign. At this past Friday’s Alabama rally, the stench of  Wallace’s legacy “segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever,” resurrected its voice literally from an attendee shouting “white power” at Trump’s gathering. YouTube Preview Image

And Trump’s endorsement from the national white power movement includes Storm Front affirming his candidacy “is the beginning”. Given the GOP candidates unanimously congregate to this racial extremism, scorn the #BlackLiveMatter movement and disdain for undocumented immigrants, their actions and omissions cast a scrutinizing light upon their hidden benefactors, the billionaires. The public acknowledges the plutocrats zealous protectionist policies for economic inequality, are these mysterious financial ‘sugar daddies & mommas’ propagators of blatant racism like Trump? The enslavement of politicians, especially Republicans, discord on issue is nonexistent between the Citizen’s United crowd manipulating the rhetoric their political pets.

If not for Trump’s campaign, the Republican’s agenda and their billionaires, their faces bear another aspect of inequity feeding American dissension. To the nation’s peril, conservatives’ devotion to safeguarding greed and fortunes through the lens of ‘white power’ movement remains shameful, that old mechanisms proliferating ugly racism works efficiently in 2015.

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Rational Thought on the Clinton Email “Scandal”

Not that it matters to RWNJs because they’re in perpetual pounce mode (exceptions: Trump, Walker, Bush), but I ran across this comment at a Game of Thrones forum (of all places) that does a good job of explaining where rational people are on Hillary’s so-called “email scandal”.

Yeah, it’s really hard for me to see “scandal” here, although I think that it’s fair for people to see “smoke” even though I don’t think there’s any fire.

The reality is that our government (like most governments I would imagine) is pretty terrible at data security and data organization. My wife works for the State government, and they are so many steps behind where we are in the legal field, which is already many steps behind where a lot of other industries are on these fronts that it’s scary. I have clients who work for financial institutions and pharmacy companies with comprehensive security and data retention policies who are shocked at where the legal profession is generally on these issues, and just can’t believe how much the worse state government is on these issues.

It seems clear that at the time Clinton was Secretary of State, the law was not clear or unified, and amorphous ‘best practices’ were not always followed. Okay, so what? I don’t buy Clinton’s “ease of use” story – I think it’s clear she wanted to maintain as much control over her data as possible, and while a part of me thinks “WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE?!” the other part of me thinks “THAT’S A PERFECTLY NORMAL THING TO WANT!!” I don’t see a scandal in her responding to a best practices policy with “thanks, but I’d rather not, since I’m not obligated to.”

As for the issue of her possibly being sent or sending classified information or information which was subsequently classified and maybe she should have known that it would eventually be classified because she had training as an agency head in classification methodology – meh. It’s not that I don’t think classification is important. I’m sure it is. But I do think that we have to acknowledge the simple reality that classification issues are, for the most part, systemic issues. There are limits to how much you can reasonably expect that any one person, even an “agency head” (or perhaps, especially an agency head, since there are obviously so many other, far more important things for the Secretary of State to concern themselves with other than making sure every document they’ve glanced over has been properly classified by someone else) to do. So I just wouldn’t fault anybody for passing along a document that someone else failed to properly classify, or which was subsequently classified. I think it would be insane to think that’s an individual judgment we can reasonably expect people to make, especially considering the volume of information any particular individual might be tasked with evaluating.

So while I get some of the arguments being made here – some of which I think ARE being made in good faith – I just don’t see it.

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