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    • The Torture Culture
      Ok, here’s the deal.  Torture does not work to get information.  Period.  You do not torture people to get information, you torture people to send information, or rather, to send a message. What is that message? (Originally from Dec 16, 2010, but it seems worth re-upping for a new generation of readers – Ian.) We […]
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Well, that certainly didn’t help.

Donald Trump promises to

to ‘totally destroy North Korea’ and calls Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man’

No, I’m not really worried. If it looks like he’s going to do something completely insane, I trust that there will be Republicans who will invoke the 25th Amendment or a Jaime Lannister on the Secret Service will give him a fake nuclear football and a joystick to a video game written especially for him that makes it look like he turned North Korea into a glass parking lot and unlocks another level.

Wait, better not unlock the next level. Baron might unintentionally clue him in.

Anyway, the stupid Graham-Cassidy Bill to repeal Obamacare needs immediate attention. Susan Collins says this version is worse than the last one, if that’s even possible.

The repeal thing is like the Walking Dead. What it really needs is an ice pick.

Call your Senators.

Aha! The reason this stupid healthcare bill is coming back to eat our brainz is because the big GOP donors have closed their checkbooks until it and draconian tax reform is taken care of. Yep, they’ll just find the primaries of even crazier people than the ones we currently have in office.

I guess they can get crazier. I just can’t imagine how. Call it my failure to imaginate. My delicate east coast elite sensibilities can’t go there.

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

Trump makes Kim Jong Un cool.

Yeah, imagine this guy as 420 friendly:

It could happen.

Donald will never be cool.

This one’s for BiFF (who may or may not have moments of coolness. I’m not saying.)

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$400,000,000 and Hungary

Hillary recently was recently interviewed by Anderson Cooper about her book. When they turned their attention to 2018, Clinton sounded the alarm. The Koch brothers are planning to dump $400,000,000 into the 2018 elections.

That’s a lot of money for guys who keep screaming that their taxes are too high. They’re using their already considerable tax breaks to fund elections.

And at this point, we should all be asking why if tax cuts are not that important to them.

She mentioned why they’re so intent on winning next year. They want a Constitutional Convention. Don’t laugh. They only need to control 34 state legislatures in order to do it. That’s what all the money is for.

And what is it they want? They want to limit the size of government. Do you know what they mean by that? Next time you hear a Republican have verbal diarrhea about limiting government or reducing the size of government, be sure to get them on record about EXACTLY what they mean. Do they want to roll back Social Security and Medicare? What part of labor protections do they find offensive to their eyes? How much DO they want business to be in charge of our lives? What about net neutrality? Pin them down.

A lot of conservatives want to eliminate the separation between church and state. That may be ok with you now but what if you’re a Catholic and suddenly only Calvinists get the seal of approval? Or what if you’re a baptist and you find that your tax dollars are now supporting Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility Catholic school? What if your celebration of the winter solstice is denied by your local municipality but there’s now a cross with Jesus on its lawn during Easter? What about gay people and women? Will there be laws restricting their ability to work, get credit or control their bodies?
What about Habeus Corpus, Rights against illegal search and seizure, Rights of Attainder, freedom of speech and all the other bulwarks against the bad aspects of 17th century English monarchical reign?

We’d better think long and hard about that. Because other countries, like Hungary, didn’t see it coming. This is what happened when the ruling party achieved their critical mass:

What are the main provisions contained in the amendments?

One provision limits the power of the Constitutional Court and removes its right to strike out any laws that have already been enshrined in the constitution. Another lowers the retirement age for judges – a measure that critics say is designed to weed out non-pliable magistrates.

In the field of the media, there is an article restricting election campaigning to state media alone. Critics say that this will curb freedom of expression.

Several other provisions have been criticised as curtailing civil liberties. These include a requirement for students who have received state grants to stay and work in Hungary for a certain period of time after graduating, or pay back the cost of their tuition to the state.

Another article says that preference should be given to traditional (ie heterosexual) family relationships, and says that marriage and the parent-child relationship form the basis of the traditional family.

Why was the government able to introduce such sweeping changes?

In the 2010 election, a conservative coalition consisting of Mr Orban’s Fidesz party and the Christian Democratic People’s Party won two-thirds of the seats in parliament, and this powerful majority has made it possible for the governing parties to push through several pieces of controversial legislation.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about this right wing extremist wet dream. It sounds laughable until you realize just how close they’ve already come to accomplishing this goal. Check out this map of where the ideological right already has control of both houses on the state.

They’re very goal oriented and they have lots of money. They’re almost there. Oh, sure, they’d have the power to do it but would they actually do it?

Hey, this is the party that effectively stole a Supreme Court nominee. Of course they would do it. It’s what they live for. They can’t wait to turn a couple more state legislatures red.

I have no idea why they can’t achieve their goals through the amendment process but apparently amendments are not what they want. They want to tinker with the constitution itself.

You’ve got to wonder what it is they want to accomplish? What is it about America as it is and their abilities to accumulate vast tracts of wealth that they find so offensive?

Why do the Koch brothers and their allies hate freedom so much? After all, they have the power to leave any time they like. Why don’t they go but Macedonia or something and move there – permanently?

Ask questions. Because you can be sure they’re going to feed the less attentive voters a bunch of lies and whip them up to an emotional frenzy about corrupt judges and sanctuary cities and the romanticization of the fetus and motherhood.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Get involved in your local politics and make sure you know what’s going on.