Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last Call For Tyranny Of The Minority, Or Something

Conservatives have a real problem with really bad reductio ad absurdum nonsense, especially when they are losing. Take this 24-karat gold pated turd of a loser here:

No more rainbow flags, America!” declares anti-LGBT activist Linda Harvey, who offers up an unhinged rant in BarbWire today about why Americans should take down the LGBT rainbow flag along with the Confederate battle flag.

Harvey, the head of the far-right group Mission America, writes that homosexuality is just as “evil” as slavery, adding that “‘LGBT’ lifestyles will ultimately be revealed to be a destructive blight on our nation.” Similarly, according to Harvey, the LGBT rainbow flag is just as offensive as the Confederate flag since the Pride flag’s “hateful colors” push “depravity” and “bigotry.”

“If only we had that kind of leadership now in Washington as we had in Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, who delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863,” Harvey continues. “We need an Emancipation Proclamation now to free America from the tyranny of sodomy.”

Radio host Bryan Fischer also demanded that the LGBT Pride flag come down with the stars-and-bars.

This is literally the "Isn't the NAACP racist and shouldn't it be outlawed?" argument applied to the LGBTQ community, with a helpful dollop of not even being close to reasonable.

But this is how bad they are losing the argument on the Confederacy right now.

Red In The Middle And Round At Both Ends

Ohio may be something of a purple state when it comes to presidential contests, but as far as Gov. John Kasich's GOP government is concerned, the state might as well be another Midwestern tea party haven for bad tax ideas and the War on Women.

Both are featured prominently in the GOP budget heading towards Kasich's desk for a June 30 deadline to avoid a state government shutdown.

A 6.3 percent across-the-board income-tax cut that passed both the House and Senate remained in place, while a Senate-passed 40-cent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes was being reduced to 35 cents, bringing the state rate to $1.60. 
House Republicans wanted to settle on 35 cents because that ensures Ohio’s rate does not exceed the $1.60 tax in Pennsylvania. The final agreement also strips out Senate-proposed increases on other tobacco products. 
A Senate proposal to increase Ohio’s current 50 percent income-tax deduction to 100 percent on the first $250,000 of business income will instead be phased in over two years, going to 75 percent this year and 100 percent in 2017 and beyond. The plan also includes a lower 3 percent rate for business income over $250,000. 
“This continues us down the road of lowering people’s taxes, especially small businesses, allowing them to keep more money in their pockets and make the investments they think is right instead of us politicians allocating it,” said Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, chairman of the House Finance Committee.

Hmm, income and business tax cuts for the rich at the expense of vice taxes for the poor.  Why does that sound familiar?  Oh yes, it's the Brownback Punishment Plan in Kansas, and that's working out well, isn't it?

Ahh, but there's more that's sliding in under the radar into the budget:

Republicans also voted to limit the legal distance from an abortion clinic to a transfer hospital to 30 miles. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio argues that a Toledo judge has said such a restriction is unconstitutional. 
The Senate last week had added the provision, but then removed it at the request of Sen. Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland. She agreed to be the lone Senate Democrat to vote for the budget after she got the provision removed and a few other changes made to the budget. 
Abortion providers currently are required to have a patient-transfer agreement with a private hospital. The budget bill also would require that a variance to that transfer agreement, such as one that has been pending for a Dayton clinic for about two years, must be approved by the Ohio Department of Health within 60 days, or it is denied.

The 30 mile "local hospital" provision would end up closing even more abortion clinics in Ohio, including the last clinic in Toledo.  These provisions are mostly tied up in court right now, but if they are confirmed by the judicial, Ohio could lose most of its abortion clinics.  They could close anyway because of not being able to fight to stay open.

And of course, Kasich is going to sign this all into law right before announcing his run for the White House.

Good luck with that, John.

SCOTUSpalooza Update

Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy sided with the four liberals on the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare subsidies in a 6-3 decision this morning.

In a major win for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal exchanges. 
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for himself, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal justices. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent, joined by Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. 
"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. "If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter." 
In a dissent, Scalia said "we should start calling this law SCOTUScare," referring to the two times the Court has saved the law. 
The ruling staved off a major political showdown and what would have been a mad scramble in some states to set up their own healthcare exchanges to keep millions from losing healthcare coverage.

The court also upheld the Fair Housing Act, Justice Kennedy the swing vote there in a 5-4 split.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday embraced a broad interpretation of the type of civil rights allegations that can be made under the landmark Fair Housing Act by ruling that the law allows for discrimination claims based on seemingly neutral practices that may have a discriminatory effect. 
On a 5-4 vote in a major civil rights case, the court handed a victory to civil rights groups and the administration of President Barack Obama, which had backed a Texas nonprofit that claimed the state violated the law by disproportionately awarding low-income housing tax credits to developers who own properties in poor, minority-dominated neighborhoods. 
Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, joined the court's four liberals in the majority. 
The court was considering whether the 1968 law allows for so-called disparate impact claims in which plaintiffs only need to show the discriminatory effect of a particular practice and not evidence of discriminatory intent. There is no dispute over the law's prohibition on openly discriminatory acts in the sale and rental of housing.

The case was closely watched by lenders and insurance companies, which say they are unfairly targeted. Industry groups say that companies use neutral criteria when assessing risk. The existing law allows challenges to legitimate business practices, they argue.

As I've argued, if the FHA's disparate impact claims were removed, the law would be as empty as the Voting Rights Act is now.  I'm glad to see that it has survived.

More SCOTUS decisions tomorrow.

What Right-Wing Terrorist Problem?

Why, what do you mean that more people have been killed by domestic terrorists in America than by Islamic extremists, and that the vast majority of these domestic killers are white? Oh I know, "False flag! Bill Ayers! Contrails! Obama's brownshirts!" Right?  Has to be.

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States, according to a study by the New America Foundation. The Washington-based research organization did a review of “terror” attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists. 
Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country's lawless border regions
Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people. 
Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting — both in 2012 — weren't included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim studentsin North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list. 
The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina last week was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. The shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can't really use Special Forces or Predator drones on US soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.

"But black on black crime! Latino gangs in our prisons! They're all liberals really!"


And if you keep shouting, maybe all these unfortunate facts will just decide to leave, right?


Related Posts with Thumbnails