Thursday, July 11, 2013

Last Call For Southern Culture On The Skids, Part 2

And Sen. Rand Paul's response to critics that point out "Hey, your social media director is a neo-Confederate douchebag" is pretty much worse than the original problem.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is standing by a close aide who for years made pro-secession and neo-Confederate arguments.

"People are calling him a white supremacist," Paul said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different that others, I’d fire him immediately."

Hey Rand?  There's a reason why people are calling him that.

Paul's comments follow a report from the conservative Washington Free Beacon about Jack Hunter, who joined Paul's office as social media director in 2012. In his 20s, Hunter was the chairman of the League of the South, a group that "advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern State from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic," according to the Free Beacon report.

Anti-Defamation League Investigative Research Director Mark Pitcavage called the group "implicitly racist."

During his radio career Hunter also discussed "racial pride" and expressed his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, according to the Free Beacon. In 2004 Hunter wrote that the heart of Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was "in the right place."

But no, Rand Paul defends the guy.

There has been no evidence of discriminatory behavior by Hunter, Paul said.

"All I can say is, we have a zero tolerance policy for anybody who displays discriminatory behavior or belief in discriminating against people based on the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, anything like that," Paul said. "We won't tolerate any of that, and I've seen no evidence of that."

During his time as a radio host Hunter would also make public appearances wearing a mask with the Confederate flag printed on it. Paul brushed off the masked when asked about it.

"It was a shock radio job. He was doing wet t-shirt contests. But can a guy not have a youth and stuff? People try to say I smoked pot one time, and I wasn't fit for office," Paul said.

Right.  Totally equivalent. Smoking pot doesn't mean you're unfit for office.  Defending and employing secessionist, white pride assholes makes you unfit for office.

The Children Lash Out

How to be a House Republican, Lesson #174:  Constantly accuse President Obama of retaliating against people on his imaginary "enemies list", then when you get busted for making up the IRS scandal, actually retaliate by cutting the agency's budget by 24 percent to "send a message".

The House Appropriations subcommittee with IRS jurisdiction cleared a spending measure gutting the tax-collecting agency’s budget next year by 24 percent in fiscal 2014. That $9 billion allocation is 30 percent less than President Barack Obama requested for the agency charged with rolling out his signature health care law.

Rep. Peter Roskam, the chief deputy whip in the House, called the appropriation a “reckoning for the IRS.”

“The IRS has abused power, abused the taxpayer, abused discretion and been unwise and foolish in how they’ve carried out the authority that was delegated to them … and they will be held to account in the appropriations process,” the Illinois Republican said.

The spending bill now heads to the full Appropriations Committee before passage on the House floor. It faces more significant hurdles in the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.), who sits on the Appropriations subcommittee with IRS jurisdiction, said the budget cuts combined with Cantor’s proposals are attempts to “clean house,” “send a message” and “try to begin the process to fix the challenges” at the IRS.

The congressional purse strings are “one tool that Congress can use to ensure that agencies do not continue a pattern of mismanagement,” he said.

Not to mention a tool for retaliation against a President whom you hate to the point of irrational rancor.  Remember, when House Republicans accuse the President of anything, it's because they're busy doing it themselves.

Inside The Criminal Mind(lessness)

Indiana Republicans, apparently sick of all this "same-sex marriage" and "equality" nonsense, have decided to turn even applying for a same-sex marriage (often done as a protest in states where it's banned) into a felonious act punishable by prison time.

An update to the state’s criminal code classifies that it’s a Level 6 felony if someone submits false information or lies on a marriage license application. This is actually a downgrade from a Class D felony that was established by a 1997 law, but the adjustment has made news as a reminder that the law exists in the first place. Because the marriage form specifies one “male applicant” and “female applicant,” a same-sex couple could not actually use the form as its written. If a couple were thus to attempt submitting an application in protest of the state ban, they could face a maximum of 18 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $10,000.

And it gets worse:  if you, as a member of a religious clergy, choose to recognize a union, well that's a misdemeanor.

The law actually has some particularly troubling language for clergy as well. Even if state law doesn’t legally recognize same-sex marriages, religious organizations have always been free to at least recognize them within their faith. That may not be so true in Indiana, where the new criminal code says that anyone “who knowingly solemnizes” a same-sex marriage is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. It remains unclear if a solemnization has legally occurred in the absence of an issued license. Thus, if an Episcopal church, for example, decided to celebrate the union of two of its gay congregants, the priest might be in violation of the law.

So yeah, the same guys screaming about personal liberty over data monitoring, free speech issues and "the chilling effect" of the Obama administration's war on leaks, and how Obamacare's birth control rules are an attack on religious freedom have zero problem actually putting you in jail for a year an a half and will take your right to vote over your protest for equality.

That's what real, actual totalitarian, police state thugs do to people, make up laws simply to throw people in jail because they disagree with you over something so petty and inhumane in the first place that inequality becomes legal grounds for persecution of a class of citizens.

That's what real religious persecution looks like, tossing clergy in jail for acknowledging two people of the same sex can have love before whatever higher power they believe in.  Providing low-cost birth control is not religious persecution, morons.  Throwing people in jail because they say "I believe you two love each other and I recognize that" is.

Do we understand the frigging difference, people?


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