The GOP Blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act Because . . .

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) asserts that the Paycheck Fairness Act “was going to be helpful to trial lawyers.” I developed a small headache as I tried to unravel the web of contradiction while she spoke about how pro-women’s equality the Republicans were while at the same time lamenting that she has dealt with said inequality repeatedly.

Monday afternoon I received an email from Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in response to me asking him to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Here is what it said:

Dear Ms. Sheppard,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199).  I understand this is an important issue, and I appreciate hearing your thoughts.  This legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on April 1, 2014 and is intended to amend a portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 known as the Equal Pay Act.

Under the Equal Pay Act, once employees have provided evidence of discrimination in compensation based on sex, the employer must prove that the difference in wages is a result of “any other factor than sex.”  The Paycheck Fairness Act seeks to eliminate the “any other factor than sex” defense and replace it with “bona fide factor other than sex.”  The Paycheck Fairness Act would also remove the Equal Pay Act’s limits on punitive and compensatory damages in cases of sex discrimination in compensation, in addition to facilitating class-action lawsuits in such cases.

Under the Paycheck Fairness Act, government and the courts would essentially dictate business practices to employers in areas which the courts have no business expertise.  The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide millions of dollars for trial lawyers who initiate class-action suits, while bankrupting businesses throughout our country.  This legislation would mean fewer jobs for Americans as a result of heightened legal risks for small business owners and a reduction in business competitiveness, and for this reason, I do not support the Paycheck Fairness Act.  I voted against the motion to proceed to the Paycheck Fairness Act in the 113thCongress on April 9, 2014.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this issue.  I look forward to any thoughts or input you wish to share in the future.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
United States Senator

Senate Republicans Address The Press After Weekly Policy Luncheon

Mitch McConnell

Senate Whiney Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said prior to the vote, “At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers. In other words, it’s just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.”

And this is nothing. As I was researching this article, I found myself getting more and more pissed.

Lynn-Jenkins-Pictures3

Lynn Jenkins

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) claimed the measure was “condescending” because women have gotten to where they are in the workforce on “merit, not because the government mandated it.”

Ok, Lynn – can I call you Lynn? So you think it is okay for women to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar a man makes (according to U.S. Census Bureau data) doing the same job because we fought our way to that point and we don’t want any of your pussy handouts? And, by God, if we can’t fight our way to equality then we don’t deserve it? ‘Cause that kinda sounds like what you’re saying.

Meanwhile charming-as-jock-itch Eric Cantor (R-VA) pointed fingers at the White House saying that there are reports of women who work in the White House earning 88 cents for every dollar a man makes. Sigh, I know math is hard for Republicans, but that happens to be more than the average. But, the school yard taunt is pitiful at best. So (pointing a finger) you’re not doing anything about it, why should we? I weep for this country.

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

Oh, what was Cantor’s solution, you ask? So glad you did! He suggested repealing part of Obamacare and passing a GOP sponsored bill that would raise the definition of full-time to 40 hours instead of 30.  How is this supposed to help? Oh, right, math impaired.

The only sanity came from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) when he said, “I’m at a loss as to why anyone would decline to debate this important issue.”

Thank you, Harry!

Thank you, Harry!

Posted in Equal Pay, Politics, Republican War on Women, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
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It’s April 15th, Time For Conservatives to Start Bashing Their Base

indexIt’s tax time folks, the most festive season next to Christmas for Conservatives; a time for them to revel in smearing those less fortunate, while ignoring the obscene tax breaks given to Corporate America, and failed presidential candidates.

This year, before Conservatives call out the dogs to perpetuate their “47% of Americans don’t pay taxes” rallying cry, and get the lemmings hatin’ on Grandma, our disabled veterans, and the poor, let’s put some  facts out there. A 2012 Business Insider report shed some light on tax dodgers for us:

  • 7,000 people made more than $1 million but paid no income tax.
  • 22,000 people made between $500,000 and $1 million but paid no income tax.
  • 81,000 people made between $200,000 and $500,000 but paid no income tax.
  • 381,000 people made between $100,000 and $200,000 but paid no income tax.

wpid-facebook_-1598318897Then there are the corporations that Conservatives love to call “job creators”, who hold their hands out for more tax breaks while shipping jobs overseas and hiding profits in the Cayman Islands. According to the report “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-10”:

“…corporate tax loopholes are so out of control that most Americans can rightfully complain, “I pay more federal income taxes than General Electric, Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, etc., etc., all put together…

Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan was horrified by a similar epidemic of corporate tax dodging. “I just didn’t realize that things had gotten that far out of line” … Reagan solved the problem, by sweeping away corporate tax loopholes with the Tax Reform Act of 1986. But over time, Reagan’s 1986 decision to get rid of corporate tax subsidies and make our big corporations pay their fair share has been reversed. Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, Corporate Greed, Corporations, Economic Justice, Income Inequality, Politics, Poverty, Republicans, Tax Cuts, Taxes, Tea Party, The Economy, The Middle-Class, The Poor, The Wealthy, Working Class | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Mike Huckabee Successfully Trolls For Publicity

Searching the Google for items related to Mike Huckabee today yields thousands of results related to his speech at a summit of conservatives in New Hampshire. Many of those links are to reputable news and opinion sites with massive audiences. While the bulk of reaction to Huckabee’s speech is negative for one reason in particular, which we shall examine directly, let us recognize the astounding success of the tactic he used to get the publicity.

Here is what Huckabee said:

My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States,” he said in his remarks. “When I go to the airport, I have to get in the surrender position, people put hands all over me, and I have to provide photo ID and a couple of different forms and prove that I really am not going to terrorize the airplane – but if I want to go vote I don’t need a thing.”

Before we examine the tactic Huckabee employed to get all this attention, let us deconstruct what he said. I find it the height of irony that Huckabee seems to complain about the ease of voting in America at the same time he wonders if North Korea has more freedom than we do.

North Korea just held a national vote that had precisely one candidate on the ballot for supreme poo-bah. Believe it or not, Kim Jung-un won that election with 100% of the vote. Not only did he win, but in his home district there was 100% turnout. Amazing!

Isn’t it just too bad that America does not mirror North Korea’s example of freedom by allowing one choice on the ballot and forcing everyone who can vote to vote… or face the consequences? Which consequences in the case of North Korea are severe. Not voting or abstaining is treated as an act of treason. Checking the voting rolls is one way the government finds out about defectors. Some defectors actually return to North Korea for elections just to cast a ballot so their family will not be persecuted in retaliation for the defection.

By the way, Huckabee and his conservative followers would be thrilled to add restrictions and tests for Americans to vote, so why is he questioning the freedom of America compared to North Korea? He wants to take freedoms away when it comes to the ballot box.

As for the comparison of the rigmarole experienced while boarding an airplane compared to voting, the last time I checked no one has ever flown voting booths into buildings causing the deaths of about 3000 Americans. The first time that happens I will guarantee a much more stringent test for entering the voting booth than is currently the case. I mean, why is there airport security but not polling place security? Freaking duh.

We should recognize the success of Huckabee in throwing a rhetorical bomb that brought him all sorts of attention when it exploded. Clearly Huckabee is a believer in the maxim that any publicity is good publicity. Especially while he is considering tossing his hat into the ring in the upcoming Republican presidential nomination process.

The Republican nomination will be decided by folks who literally cheer putting people to death by the hundreds, boo American soldiers who do not lust after women, boo contraception, which is used by 99% of women in their lifetimes and are largely informed by Fox News. Yes, being primarily informed by Fox News is pejorative, as study after study proves that their audience is the least informed, to the point that those who watch no news at all are more informed about current events than the Fox News audience.

The throwbacks that make up the pool of Republican primary voters love the kind of red meat rhetoric Huckabee used.  While the overall tone of opinion over the speech is against Huckabee, he still benefits from the publicity generated by all the opinions.  Here I am bashing out a post on Huckabee, and I have no doubt that any right wing loon who stumbles over this post will be more inclined to support him after reading it, just based on the principle of the matter.

Oh well, if Huckabee is successful in winning the nomination by veering to the right and sounding crazy in order to be more popular with Republicans, he’ll lose the general election to Hillary in a landslide.

Posted in Fox News, Human Rights, Politics, Primaries | Tagged , , ,
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Over/Under: Years Before Republicans Start to Claim Credit For Obamacare

The Heritage Plan: 1989.

All citizens should be guaranteed universal access to affordable health care.

Many states now require passengers in automobiles to wear seatbelts for their own protection. Many others require anybody driving a car to have liability insurance. But neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement.

Romneycare and Obamacare architect Jonathon Gruber.

[W]hat about when Romney says his law is different from Obamacare? “The problem is there is no way to say that, because they’re the same f***ing bill. He just can’t have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it’s the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he’s just lying. The only big difference is he didn’t have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes.”

Ezra Klein’s new website Vox was the subject of much ridicule from the right following publication of an article titled Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won.

The Obamacare victory declaration by Vox was not intended as a statement on the success of the law for perpetuity, or even to say that the law was a political winner for Democrats going into the midterm elections. The victory of Obamacare as described by the article is in it’s very survival.

From the initial debate over health care reform right up until this moment the law has been fought tooth and nail by Republicans. The Vox article declares, correctly, that Obamacare has won simply by not being strangled to death in the crib. With 7.5 million Americans now enrolled in the program there is no viable path allowing Republicans to repeal the law.

The Vox article was not so bold as to predict that the law would prove to be a political benefit for its supporters going forward, but I don’t mind going there. There is a reason Republican strategists are counseling their party to not put all their eggs in the Obamacare opposition basket for the 2014 midterms. Rabid opposition to Obamacare may have been a great tactic to rile up the base in 2010, but it did not have the same effect in 2012. As the law gains in popularity, running against it will return less rewards and eventually prove to be a liability.

Understanding the fundamentally dishonest approach of Republicans to the political process, I predict they will try to claim credit for the passage of Obamacare, and we will see the opening moves on the switch sooner than later. I would put the over/under line on the number of years until Republicans start trying to claim credit for Obamacare at 3 years. On that line, they won’t try it during the 2016 general election, but the 2018 midterms could show the 1st signs of an amazing attempt at Republican/Obamacare jujitsu.

I expect this would be shown as Republicans maintaining opposition to the law in general terms, but claiming credit for the laws effects on covering local constituencies and other positive outcomes in the local markets due to Obamacare. Eventually any opposition to the law from the right will be extremely vague in nature while maintaining steadfast support for the fundamental components that will become more and more popular as time passes. Over time any semblance of opposition to the law will be long forgotten.

Further, Republicans will have a kernel of truth to their claims. President Obama and Democrats did base Obamacare on conservative ideas which were championed by Republicans for decades prior to Obama’s election and first enacted into law by a Republican governor. The individual mandate is the conservative answer to the liberal proposal of a single payer system.  With a kernal of truth to the claim, massive amounts of cash on hand to spread the word, and being past masters at message manipulation to their under informed audience, the Republicans flip on Obamacare could actually prove very effective. 

It may seem laughable to imagine Republicans claiming to be the champions of Obamacare as of the writing of this post. Before laughing too hard just consider that one does not need a very long memory to recall that Republicans universally claimed to be vehemently opposed to passage of a recent initiative, while taking credit for the implementation of said policy.

Remember the heat and fury over the stimulus program in 2009? Even as Republicans yammered and howled about the supposed failure of the program, they went to their districts and had photo ops holding the symbolic checks, and cut the ribbons on the construction projects funded by the stimulus. They loudly protest, claiming that not one job could be created by the federal government, even as behind the scenes they send letters to the administration pleading for federal funds to be sent to their districts with the express intent of creating jobs for their constituents.

I believe the likelihood that Republicans maintain their current position is inversely related to the popularity of the law. Considering the manipulation of facts and history to comport to the conservative point of view, do not be surprised if decades from now they fondly recall the good old days when Obamacare was passed despite the fierce opposition of the Democratic congress and a president who was dead set against the health care reforms that past generations of conservatives struggled to implement for the good of the nation.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Congress, Healthcare, Mitt Romney, Obamacare, Politics, Republican Propaganda Machine | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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Friday Feminism – Important Stories This Week

Charlene Dill

Charlene Dill

Florida made the news once again and as usual not in a good way.  Thirty-two year old, single mother, Charlene Dill, collapsed and died on a stranger’s floor late last month. She had a documented heart condition – the cause of her death – but was unable to get medical coverage due to Rick Scott’s refusal to take the federal Medicaid expansion funds. Head on over to Think Progress to read the full story.

Teenage interns or “pages” who work in the Florida Legislature are kicked out of the chamber while the discussion is about “ladyparts” but are allowed back in when the topic changes to guns.

Chuck Gatschenberger

Chuck Gatschenberger

Missouri Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R) made a boat load of enemies during a public hearing regarding a bill requiring a three day waiting period for abortions. At the hearing he compared the making of a decision to have an abortion to that of buying a new car or installing carpeting. No, I am not kidding. Thanks to Think Progress again for the story.

Hobby Lobby, who claims allowing their employees to have access to emergency contraception pills, IUDs and other drugs used in abortions violates their religious beliefs, well they also invest in the companies that make these products. Yup, to the tone of about $73 million. Susie over at Surburban Guerrilla has the full scoop.

Arizona took another swipe at abortion facilities when the state Senate passed a bill 17-13, that would allow authorities to perform surprise inspections without a warrant. The bill is now on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk.

My Whack-a-Doodle of the Week Award goes to Bob Marshall.  He is running for an open Congressional seat in Virginia and in his rabid anti-abortion stance has even come out against allowing the procedure in cases of rape and incest. Go ahead, ask why, I dare you! Because and I quote: “What if incest is voluntary? Sometimes it is.” Any chance you can grab me a bucket? Because I don’t know about you, but I feel sick.

Republican (and moron) Michigan Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land said in a 2010 interview that women don’t even want equal pay. And since mothers are the ones who have to run the kids around, it’s okay not to pay them as much. Love the snark from Laura Clawson’s story on Daily Kos. Meanwhile Limbaugh spews more lies and contempt, calling equal pay “old hat and not even applicable anymore”. Head over to Media Matters for America for the video. Think Progress exposed the groups who consider the issue a “myth”, and strongly and loudly come out against equal pay legislation. These are the groups who have “received significant funding” from the Koch brothers. Over at Fox News, host Melissa Francis came up with this doozy – low pay is good for women because then they are less likely to be laid off. And to top it all off, on Wednesday, good ol’ Senate Republicans unanimously blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Charles Murray, an advisor to GOP candidate for Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has said – and on tape! –  that he could find no “evidence” that any woman had been a “significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.” And this is who Abbott has cited in his education plan. Yikes. Raw Story has the full scoop.

Rep. Jackie Speier, called out members of Congress saying, “this is not a frat house” and that they should be required to complete a sexual harassment training program.

Holy crap on a cracker – what a week! And since you read all these terrible news items I am going to reward you with something awesome. Honey Maid made a commercial that received a lot of comments. This is what they did with them:

Posted in Equal Pay, Friday Feminism, Health, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Republican War on Women, Sexism, Women in Politics, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Election Reports – Eastern States – 4/11/14

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Ted Kennedy Jr. will be tk21running for the State Senator in Connecticut. The current Democrat, Ed Meyer, is retiring this year and has encouraged Kennedy to go for the seat. Meyer sang his praises this week saying

I have been courting him a bit to run for about a year… He has terrific business experience. He’s run a large health-service organization… He gained a lot of administrative experience doing that as well as expertise in health issues, which is very important to Connecticut.

As of yet, no Republican has declared for the race, though there is already vocal opposition to Kennedy’s candidacy. More information on Kennedy and his election bid can be found here.

Anthony Brown, gubernatorial candidate for Maryland, has released a new campaign video stressing the importance of adoption and foster care. The video comes shortly after the announcement that President Clinton endorses Brown for Governor, saying that Brown “is uniquely qualified to lead Maryland, and I am proud to support him for Governor.”

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Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced that nine towns in his state will receive grants for affordable housing development. Speaking of the developments, the Governor said

This funding is vitally necessary and an important tool for those municipal leaders that are taking on the issue of housing and affordability within their communities… These grants help communities better understand their needs, plan and analyze developments, and establish the structure and framework that can help them move projects quickly from the planning stage to the permit and construction phase.

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, currently representing the 13th district of Pennsylvania and running in the gubernatorial election, has  released her first campaign ad. The ad is about her work to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program during her time in Congress. More information can be found on her campaign website.

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Electing Progressive, Democratic Women for Florida

Jeanne and crew preparing the buffet.

Jeanne and crew preparing the buffet.

On Saturday morning I was warmly welcomed into the home of Nancy and Jeanne (who put together a marvelous buffet. Jeanne actually got up early to cook! Thank you, Jeanne!). The purpose of my visit was to attend a brunch and meeting of Ruth’s List – the Florida affiliate of EMILY’s List.  And like EMILY, Ruth’s List holds the mission of helping train and support Democratic women to campaign, win and hold government office. In fact, the title, “Electing progressive, Democratic women for Florida” is their motto.

Samantha Fenger

Samantha Fenger

In one week, on the 16th, Ruth’s List will be 6 years old! In that time they have been able to support 500 candidates, play a major role in electing 25 Democratic women to office and be a leader in promoting (or fighting) two Constitutional Amendments.

Katie Tully

Katie Tully

Katie Tully addressed the small gathering and began with a little visualization. She had us imagine the roads leading out of Tallahassee. All along the route were huge white signs with large red elephants. Below the elephants was the phrase “Evacuation Route”. And this is what is needed and no one could argue with that logic. She went on to talk about the concept of the “uncommon woman” which she had been introduced to at a Mount Holyoke graduation ceremony. The idea that uncommon women can and do make amazing changes in the world, and if we can turn the tide where uncommon women are the norm, then great things will happen.

Pat Gerard

Pat Gerard

While there, I was able to meet not only some employees of Ruth’s List (Ellis Robinson discussed partisan gerrymandering) but also some of the women currently running for office – Pat Gerard running for Pinellas County Commission, Samantha Fenger running for Largo City Council, Judithanne McLauchlan running for Florida State Senate seat 22, and Shawna Vercher (not yet endorsed by Ruth’s List) running for Florida House District 67. Also in attendance was Amy Foster who was elected last year to St. Petersburg City Council.

Councilwoman Amy Foster

Councilwoman Amy Foster

Each candidate (and new incumbent, Amy) were invited to speak. Amy Foster went first and saying that support via donations and volunteers is key and “ground game is super important.”  Not only is the training Ruth’s List provided still helping but so are all the connections she made during her campaign. After only 90 days in office she has already spearheaded juvenile justice reform and helping homeless women and children find accommodation other than in motels. Judithanne spoke about being a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida and how important education is in her life, her campaign and her goals. Pat, who has been the mayor of Largo for the past six years (and our first female mayor!), mentioned how valuable the moral support of the community and Ruth’s List has been. Shawna, who just announced her decision to run a few short weeks ago, was a ball of energy. She also spoke about the importance of support via donations and volunteers. Samantha gave thanks for all the support she has received so far. She has been very busy with all the activities her campaign has required.

Judithanne McLauchlan

Judithanne McLauchlan

Judithanne’s race is the only competitive Senate race in Florida this year. She is running against current incumbent Jeff Brandes, who happens to be the only state senator to vote against accepting the federal funds for Medicaid expansion. If you check out Judithanne’s about page on her website, she has a striking list of accomplishments. I know I was very taken with her and I was impressed because she made an effort to introduce herself and speak with everyone there.

Shawna Vercher

Shawna Vercher

I wish I could share with you the amount of energy, high morale and dedication that was present. These were women (and a couple of men) who are passionate about politics and the impact that these strong, vibrant women can have on our daily lives. It was overwhelming. I am now a full supporter of Ruth’s List and I look forward to participating in other events they hold. And I offer my deepest thanks for allowing me to attend with full knowledge that I would be writing about it. If you would like to support Ruth’s List and the fine work they do, head on over to their “contribute page“. And I’ll leave you with the same message Katie closed the meeting with, “Now, go forth and infect others!”

Posted in Campaigns, Democrats, Politics, Women, Women in Politics, Women in Politics, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , ,
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Election Reports – Central States – 4/9/14

connie johnsonDemocratic State Senator Connie Johnson announced Tuesday that she is planning to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn. She said,

In the coming weeks and months we will be having the tough conversations on the campaign trail, and we will talk about the issues that a majority of Oklahomans want actions on, but that policymakers continue to ignore.

Johnson mentioned government surveillance of American citizens, education funding, and gender equality in the workplace as issues she will address. Another Democratic contender for this seat is Charles Jenkins Jr., a retired employee of the federal government.

Also in Oklahoma, State Rep. Joe Dorman, the Democratic candidate for Governor, spoke about Governor Mary Fallin’s poor record on education at a state union convention Friday. He criticized her and the Republican-controlled Legislature for inadequate school funding, overcrowded classrooms, and “dismantling a lot of the programs that actually allow teachers to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.” This Friday, Dorman will visit Muskogee to speak about his plan to “be a bipartisan leader and a governor for all Oklahomans” and to institute “policies that will move the state ahead.”

Tuesday was National Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into 2014 a woman would have to work to match the wages a man made in 2013. Democrat Ann Callis, a candidate for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, spoke on WCIA’s Morning Show on Tuesday about the importance of fair pay for women. She urged legislators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is coming up for a vote. She also advocated raising the minimum wage, pointing out that in her state 6 in 10 minimum wage earners are women, and many of them are heads of households.

Democrat Margie Wakefield, who is running for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, released an ad criticizing her opponent Rep. Lynn Jenkins for failing to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. The ad says: “Closing the wage gap between men and women would cut the poverty rate in half for working women and their families. Lynn Jenkins has voted against this time after time.”
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Research by K Neuhaus

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The Fictitious Life of Rafael Cruz, Part 3: The Pastor Without a Flock

ted-and-rafeal-cruz1On top of being a self proclaimed “revolutionary” with a bogus immigration tale, Rafael Cruz has deemed himself a Pastor and Professor. Cruz refers to himself as a Southern Baptist, which happens to be one of the least policy ridden of the Christian faiths. Pastors don’t have to be ordained, they can be divorced, some allow speaking in tongues; in fact, if you read the Southern Baptist Convention’s FAQs page, you’ll find they take an official stance on almost nothing. While choosing a Pastor is left to each individual congregation, Southern Baptists do claim to have a “common practice” for ordination in their churches:

“…to have a council (usually of pastors) review his testimony of salvation, his pastoral calling from the Lord, and his qualifications (including theological preparation and scriptural qualifications according to 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:7-9) for pastoral ministry…”

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (emphasis mine):

“This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher…”

Titus 1:7-9 states that an overseer not be “arrogant”, a “bully”, or “greedy for money” among other things. The site Baptist Distinctives, in addition to referencing the same passages, states (emphasis mine):

“…qualifications fall generally into two categories: character and gifts for ministry. The office of pastor should be used to serve others, not in selfish or self-promoting ways”.

Rafael Cruz doesn’t quite seem to fit the church’s requirements. As Theocracy Watch has reported, Pat Robertson declared in 1992 that his goal was to “take working control of the Republican Party.” In fact, the extreme religious right, which includes “Dominionists” (or American Taliban, as they’re often referred to) have taken over the party, hence the flood of ridiculous Republican bills in recent decades. Rafael Cruz is a Dominionist much more so than a Southern Baptist. Political Research Associates define Dominionism as:

ted-cruz91“The theocratic idea that regardless of theological view or eschatological timetable, heterosexual Christian men are called by God to exercise dominion over secular society by taking control of political and cultural institutions.”

Mr. Cruz believes he and his son are two of those men; in fact their fellow unhinged Christian extremists have anointed Ted as their “Messiah”. As Hrafnkell Haraldsson at Politicus USA explains:

“…Jesus, who is every other Christian’s messiah, can’t be their messiah because Jesus reviled the wrong people: the rich, not the poor…”

Rafael Cruz believes his son to be above all others in “Godliness”, as Ben Sherman at Burnt Orange Report wrote:

“In a sermon at an Irving megachurch last year, Ted Cruz’s father spelled out a very interesting theory about who his son really is. He described Ted as one of the “kings” meant to control society, and then “bring the spoils of war to the priests,” which will result in a “great transfer of wealth”. Of course, this transfer is from the “wicked” to evangelical Christians.”

Funny, after the Right’s constant use of the term “Imperial President” for President Obama, it is their own party talking about electing a “King”.

Since Ted Cruz arrived on the Tea Party scene, his father has been described as a pastor in Carrollton, a pastor in Dallas, the Director of North Texas-based Purifying Fire Ministries which, when it was found there was no such entity in Texas, changed to a “one-man religious shop known as Purifying Ministries”. Truth is, Rafael Cruz is not a Pastor anywhere but in his traveling road show.

He’s also claimed to be President of Kingdom Translation Services (another one-man gig that he started a year ago), and a “professor of Bible and Theology”, first at Advance Institute, then Advanced Bible Institute, neither of which can be found… anywhere. Considering his current star power on the right, it’s odd that no religious institution claims any affiliation with him. Maybe it’s that silly lack of a degree thing. Even Liberty University didn’t call Rafael Cruz a “professor” when he gave the convocation speech there in November of last year, referring to him as a “Pastor and political activist” instead. That might be because, according to requirements in one of their own employment ads for a Part Time/Adjunct Professor, Liberty U. required that applicants:

“… possess one of the following degrees from an accredited school: PhD, ThM, MDiv, and/or MA with thesis including a minimum of 18 hours in the discipline and 2-3 years teaching experience.

It would seem Rafael Cruz is to Professor as David Barton is to historian.

In Summary of This Series

The Right has latched onto and exalted one of the biggest phonies this country has ever seen; literally paying for the privilege of hearing him lie to them. Rafael Cruz, just barely tethered to reality, exists mostly in delusions of grandeur:

He doesn’t just claim to have taken part in Cuba’s revolution, he made himself “a leading figure” in it. He wasn’t content with his phony washing dishes while in college story, so he goes on to make himself waiter, then “Chef”. He goes from Pastor, to “Director” of the non-existent Purifying Fire Ministry. He goes from there to “Professor of Bible and Theology” without any apparent degree, and now, “His Son’s a King“!

And the Right thinks we’re scared of this guy because “He speaks the truth.” What a bunch of dupes. Every time this guy opens his mouth, I’m reminded of John (before he was an ass) Lovitz’ “Pathological Liar” character:

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

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Posted in Conservatives, Politics, Religion, Religious Right, Republicans, Tea Party, Ted Cruz | Tagged , , , ,
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IT’S ABOUT TIME!

pay.qxdAPRIL 8, 2014-EQUAL PAY DAY

 April 8, 2014 is Equal Pay Day.  It is the symbolic day when women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings from the previous year. Thanks to the gender pay gap, it takes women an extra three months of wages to make up that 23-percent difference.

The National Committee on Pay Equity supports two bills in Congress aimed at curbing wage discrimination. The bills work on different aspects of wage discrimination, and both are needed to fully close the wage gap.

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The Fair Pay Act (S.168, H.R.438) is sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). It seeks to end wage discrimination against those who work in female-dominated or minority-dominated jobs by establishing equal pay for equivalent work. For example, within individual companies, employers could not pay jobs that are held predominately by women less than jobs held predominately by men if those jobs are equivalent in value to the employer. The bill also protects workers on the basis of race or national origin. The Fair Pay Act makes exceptions for different wage rates based on seniority, merit, or quantity or quality of work. It also contains a small business exemption. and The Paycheck Fairness Act (S.84, H.R.377)

The Paycheck Fairness Act (S.84, H.R.377), sponsored by Senator Barbara Milkuski (D-MD) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), strengthens and updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill expands damages under the Equal Pay Act and amends its very broad fourth affirmative defense. In addition, the Paycheck Fairness Act calls for a study of data collected by the EEOC and proposes voluntary guidelines to show employers how to evaluate jobs with the goal of eliminating unfair disparities. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on January 9, 2009. It was defeated in the Senate on a 58-41 procedural vote on Nov. 17, 2010 and again on June 5, 2012 on another 52-47 procedural vote that was strictly along party lines.

 Why Congress MUST ACT to close the wage gap for WOMEN.

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The-Simple-Truth About the Gender Pay Group.

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Posted in ACLU, Activists, Equal Pay, Feminism, Human Rights, Liberals, Politics, Poverty | Tagged
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Donate to Defeat Darrell Issa!

We’re off to a fantastic start with our fundraising to help defeat Congressman Darrell Issa in November. Eight of our fellow lefties have donated $320! We’re hoping to raise $10,000 to help the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee defeat Issa.

Have you had enough of Issa’s House Overreach Committee? Are you sick of Issa’s all-male hearings on women’s reproductive health? Are you sick of the IRS non-scandal hearings? Are you sick of Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi?!

Help us get rid of that crook! Please donate $10 to defeat Darrell Issa.

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If Republicans Were Upset Over Passing The Doc Fix By Voice Vote…

The entire title for this post is: If Republicans Were Upset Over Passing The Doc Fix By Voice Vote… just wait ’til they hear about the Obamacare compromise that was included.

House leadership passed this year’s controversial “Doc fix” by calling for a voice vote when the house chamber was nearly deserted. A few Republicans were not pleased by the maneuver as reported by The Hill:

“Outrageous,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told The Hill after complaining about the maneuver to a colleague. “I think it’s outrageous.”

“Bullshit,” said a visibly annoyed Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) as he emerged from the floor following the Ukraine vote. When Mulvaney was asked to comment about the upcoming GOP budget, he replied: “I can’t talk about the budget because I’m so pissed about the [doc fix].”

While Democrats generally did not support the Doc Fix as passed, they mainly seemed bemused by the house leadership antics:

Asked if the maneuver was sneaky, [Gerry] Connolly [D. Va.] quoted the fictional Frank Underwood, a master of Washington subterfuge from Netflix’s “House of Cards” series.

“To quote the ‘House of Cards,’ you might say that, you might very well say that. But I cannot comment,” he quipped.

“I’ve been dying to do that,” he added.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the retiring dean of the House, mused to reporters, “I’ve seen a lot of dumb things, but I’ve never seen anything as comical as this.”

Maybe one of the reasons Democrats were not in high dudgeon after the event is because they are so used to being railroaded that calling for a voice vote when no one is paying attention was a novel path to the inevitable conclusion. Or maybe Democrats were not quite as animated as Republicans because they knew about an Obamacare compromise tucked into the language of the Doc Fix bill.

Not only did Republican house leadership slip the Doc Fix through while no one was looking, they included a fix to Obamacare that dealt with the plans that could be offered by small business owners for their employees.

The reason the small business plan update is a compromise is because it represents one of the only times that Republicans have allowed an actual fix to address a problem with Obamacare, rather than trying to kill the entire law or without including poison pill measures that if passed would make the law unsustainable. As proof of how objectionable most house Republicans would find the compromise, consider that the Doc fix, including the Obamacare update was passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

According to Wonkwire:

It is unclear how many members of the House rank and file knew of it because the legislation was passed by a highly unusual voice vote without debate.”

Which tells me that If Republicans Were Upset Over Passing The Doc Fix By Voice Vote… just wait ’til they hear about the Obamacare compromise that was included.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Congress, Healthcare, Obamacare, Politics | Tagged , , , , ,
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