Sunday, November 8, 2015

Last Call For Conversion Formula

American Jewish voters side with Democrats for the most part, while there are definitely some hard-liners who side with the GOP and claim they have both common cause with evangelical Christians and the mandate of Israeli Jews.  Kinda weird then when Republicans come to Israel and announce that they want to convert as many Jews to Christianity as possible.

Former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called for an intensified effort to convert Jews to Christianity.
Bachmann, a former congresswoman from Minnesota who ran for the Republican presidential nod in 2012, was in Israel last week on a tour organized by the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group.
Toward the end of the week, she spoke on FRC President Tony Perkins’ radio program, Washington Watch, and discussed the meaning of the recent intensification of violence in Israel and the West Bank. She cast the violence as a signal of the return of Jesus, which would necessitate mass conversions.
“We recognize the shortness of the hour,” Bachmann said, “and that’s why we as a remnant want to be faithful in these days and do what it is that the Holy Spirit is speaking to each one of us, to be faithful in the Kingdom and to help bring in as many as we can — even among the Jews — share Jesus Christ with everyone that we possibly can because, again, He’s coming soon.”

I mean I knew Bachmann was a zealot, but I didn't think she was "Go to Israel to bring Christ to Israeli Jews" bonkers.

But there you are.  Your Republican allies certainly seem to respect you, Likud Israel.

In Which I Disagree With BooMan

Martin Longman takes a look at white, working class America and what Democrats need to do in order to win them back.

Now, it's been frustrating to watch white and black progressives argue about priorities in this election, and both sides need to learn. White progressives need to better understand that these class issues are so ingrained in our minority communities that they simply don't seem all that pressing. It's like complaining that there are too many alien invaders on Level 12 of your video game. It's like complaining about potholes or bad schools or things that never change. Those things are always a concern, but they're different in type from being denied the right to vote or getting gunned down by the police. Basic civil rights are what's on the minds of minority voters, and white progressives need to respect that.

Black progressives, however, need to understand that something is changing. Where once they had few natural allies on class issues and structural biases in the system, they now have a cohort of working class whites who should be welcomed into the tent.

That's not easy when a lot of those working class whites are still kicking and screaming and acting out their frustration with racist acts and statements. But, with your eyes open, you can see that whites are having their own crack epidemic with heroin and oxycontins. They're beginning to support sentencing and prison reform. They're as fed up with the post-Citizen's United campaign finance system as anyone. They're pissed off at Wall Street.

I don't don't know if Hillary can bring these whites into the fold and I don't know if Bernie can bring blacks into his fold, but between them they have the basic idea right.

Perhaps what's needed here is for blacks and whites to give permission to their politicians to go after each other's votes. And this is just a suggestion, but I'm guessing that the folks who've been playing the game of life on the harder difficulty setting will need to be the folks who offer the first olive branch.

It should surprise no one if the minority community figures this out first.


I categorically reject the notion that once again, black America has to make the first move when we're the ones being goddamn murdered in the streets by police for the crime of being goddamn black.

And secondly, when Democrats reached out in Kentucky to help working class white voters in a 92% white state get insurance for 400,000, those same voters told Democrats to go to hell.

The only thing the minority community has figured out is that racism still runs the show.  And changing that is not on us.

A New Level Of Terror

Egyptian investigators of the crash of a Russian flight out of Sharm al-Sheikh are very confident that it was a bomb on board that brought the plane down, and for that to happen in this day and age signifies just how compromised Egypt is, whether the culprit is ISIS or some other group looking to cause chaos.

The Airbus A321 crashed 23 minutes after taking off from the Sharm al-Sheikh tourist resort eight days ago, killing all 224 passengers and crew. Islamic State militants fighting Egyptian security forces in Sinai said they brought it down.

"The indications and analysis so far of the sound on the black box indicate it was a bomb," said the Egyptian investigation team member, who asked not to be named due to sensitivities. "We are 90 percent sure it was a bomb."

His comments reflect a higher degree of certainty about the cause of the crash than the investigation committee has so far declared in public.

Lead investigator Ayman al-Muqaddam announced on Saturday that the plane appeared to have broken up in mid-air while it was being flown on auto-pilot, and that a noise had been heard in the last second of the cockpit recording. But he said it was too soon to draw conclusions about why the plane crashed.

Confirmation that militants brought down the airliner could have a devastating impact on Egypt's lucrative tourist industry, which has suffered from years of political turmoil and was hit last week when Russia, Turkey and several European countries suspended flights to Sharm al-Sheikh and other destinations.

It could also mark a new strategy by the hardline Islamic State group which holds large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Asked to explain the remaining 10 percent margin of doubt, the investigator declined to elaborate, but Muqaddam cited other possibilities on Saturday including a fuel explosion, metal fatigue in the plane or lithium batteries overheating.

He said debris was scattered over a 13-km (8-mile) area "which is consistent with an in-flight break-up".

The Russians got involved in Syria and now a Russian plane has been destroyed.  Odds are pretty good now that Putin will step up military action in the region and may even expand into Egypt. Vlad's not the kind of guy to let 224 dead go.

All I'm sure of is more blood will be spilled.

Sunday Long Read: Rushing To Iowa

Rush Limbaugh isn't as powerful as he once was, but all that means is that a new, hungrier generation of talk radio ringmasters are ready to adapt to the new, younger Pretty Hate Machine in the age of social media and lightning fast responses, and given the outsized power of the Hawkeye State in presidential primary politics, nobody's better positioned at running the "outsider outrage" game right now than Iowa's Steve Deace.

Such is the mood on the far right these days, where a two- or three-hour radio show can leave Democrats virtually unscathed in favor of attacking Republicans — the damned party ‘‘establishment,’’ in particular. The relationship between the party and much of conservative media has been flipped since the ’90s, when House Republican leaders, including the future speaker, John Boehner, made Rush Limbaugh an honorary member of their caucus. Over time, conservatism has veered rightward, and Deace — capitalizing on his place in Iowa, with its first-in-the-nation presidential nominating contest — has emerged as one of the top voices of the political moment. Deace and others like him boast of being more conservative than Limbaugh or Fox News; like much of their audience, they consider themselves conservatives first and Republicans second (if only because being a Democrat is unthinkable). This strain of conservative media, and its take-no-prisoners ideology, have proliferated on websites, podcasts and video outlets, greatly complicating the Republican Party’s ability to govern and to pick presidential candidates with broad appeal.

Like his peers, Deace has nudged himself continuously to the right just to keep up with his audience. He once supported George W. Bush’s plans for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, before being persuaded otherwise by his listeners; ‘‘Steve has grown,’’ says Maxwell, his producer. Bob Vander Plaats, a regular on Deace’s show and one of Iowa’s most politically influential conservatives as head of the evangelical group the Family Leader, says Deace has told him more than once, ‘‘You know, we’re at a point today where my listeners are more upset than I am.’’ Maxwell echoes that: ‘‘It’s like nobody’s conservative enough!’’ Deace and his audience have lately been gripped by a single issue: demanding that the Republican-controlled Congress shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest network of abortion providers. Boehner’s refusal to lead that fight, knowing Republicans would lose to President Obama’s veto and in the general public’s opinion, was the proximate cause of his surprise announcement in September that he would resign as speaker, the third-highest office in the nation. Rather than be fired by militant Republicans, Boehner quit.

Presidential candidates are trying to manage this anger and rebelliousness, in part by courting the messengers. By Deace’s own accounting, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul and Bobby Jindal have been on his show ‘‘a ton’’ in the past year. Ben Carson, another repeat guest, sent a photo in which he is reading Deace’s 2014 book, ‘‘Rules for Patriots,’’ on a flight. ‘‘I know Donald Trump on a first-name basis, which is crazy for a kid from Iowa,’’ Deace says. He and Cruz also were ‘‘on a first-name basis’’ long before Deace endorsed Cruz this summer.

For many longtime Republicans, this bottom-up tumult from the party base in both the presidential and the legislative arenas is deeply unnerving. How can it be, they ask, that Republicans, traditionally so hierarchical and relatively disciplined — relative, that is, to Democrats — have become so divided and dysfunctional that serious people speculate about the collapse of a 161-year-old political party? Yet whether evolution or revolution, the rise of anti-establishment conservatives is in fact easy to understand when listening to the ‘‘Steve Deace Show.’’

Deace is surfing the same wave that is propelling Trump and Carson, and to a lesser extent, Ted Cruz, to influence in the GOP.  Remember, it's not just Republican politicians that have failed to "stop" President Obama, but FOX News and Rush Limbaugh too.

The GOP establishment includes the Right Wing Noise Machine, and it's falling out of favor.  The GOP has lost control of the monster it has unleashed, and Steve Deace is riding this bronco from hell over everyone in his path. Virulently racist, nationalist, and theocratic, Deace is downright dangerous, a Father Coughlin for the Twitter and Snapchat age.

He's the perfect representative of the GOP of Trump, Carson and hate.
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