Friday, July 15, 2016

Last Call For Parks And Wreck Creation

So, you remember America's bountiful national park system?  That whole amazing series of parks and monuments ranging from the Great Smoky Mountains to Yellowstone to Denali to the Grand Canyon, where tens of millions of us visit each year and enjoy our beautiful country while working to preserve nature for generations to come? Yeah, well, apparently we're going to just chuck that out the window and go frack it all if the GOP gets their way.

The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party’s official principles and policies. Along with provisions on pornography and LGBT “conversion therapy” is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of national public lands. 
The inclusion of this provision in the Republican Party’s platform reflects the growing influence of and ideological alliance between several anti-park members of the GOP and anti-government extremists, led by Cliven Bundy, who dispute the federal government’s authority over national public lands. 
“Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to the states,” reads the adopted language. “We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands identified.” 
The provision calls for an immediate full-scale disposal of “certain” public lands, without defining which lands it would apply to, leaving national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership.

If this sounds delightfully stupid, that's because it is. Apparently there's an entire GOP caucus dedicated to ending America's national park system, because we have to ruthlessly exploit all the land we have to create jobs opportunities communities money for rich people.

Republicans are now officially the party of getting rid of America's parks.

They hate the environment that much.

Trump Cards, Con't

With all the screaming this week about police reform, terror trucks, and Pokemon, we've overlooked the issue with the upcoming Republican convention in Cleveland: Donald Trump is effecively broke and is begging for money just to keep the lights on.

Millions of dollars short and running out of time, organizers of the Republican National Convention have written an urgent request for $6 million to Las Vegas billionaire couple Sheldon and Miriam Adelson to cover the bills for next week’s festivities. 
In a letter to the Adelsons, obtained by POLITICO, the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee revealed the names of more than two dozen prominent corporations and individuals who have reneged on a collective $8.1 million in pledged donations.

The letter represents the most public acknowledgment to date that Donald Trump has directly cost convention organizers millions of fundraising dollars. 
“Over the past couple months, negative publicity around our potential nominee resulted in a considerable number of pledges backing out from their commitments,” the letter says. 
It goes on to list the companies and wealthy individuals who have withdrawn their financial commitments. Among those who have canceled their donations, according to the letter, are David Koch ($1 million), FedEx ($500,000), Visa ($100,000), Pepsi ($500,000) and Coca-Cola ($1 million).

None of these global brands want to be associated with the Party of Trump so directly right now, and who can blame them?  The thing is, if "billionaire" Trump truly has the money he says he does, then he should have no issue writing a check himself to cover the difference.

He's not doing that.  It's almost like his entire campaign is a hollow shell company bilking his "investors" while he cons his way to the top.


Newt Makes His Awful Case

With the news that Trump has selected Indiana GOP Gov. Mike Pence as his veep (although Trump said last night he hasn't made a "final, final decision" yet) Newt Gingrich made his play on FOX last night to secure the job by going after America's Muslim population as enemies of the state.

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I don't want to really tie this into politics, but every issue America is now dealing with, every issue that we have discussed in recent months and years about the Islamization of Europe, about refugees, about immigration, about open borders -- it seems to come together, and also political correctness and not recognizing radical Islamic terrorism as the enemy and evil in our time. From your perspective, what does this tragedy, this evil attack tonight, mean for that conflict and debate?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Sean, as you know, I was in Paris just last weekend talking with people who are deeply involved in trying to deal with the Iranian government and other sources of terrorism. And let me also say Daniel Silva has a remarkable new novel called Black Widow, and the entire opening section is on the systematic Islamic attack on Jews in France, which is the worst it's been since the Nazis. So let me start with where I'm coming from, and let me be as blunt and as direct as I can be.

Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door. But we need to be fairly relentless about defining who our enemies are. Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS, or Al Qaeda, or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail. Any organization which hosts such a website should be engaged in a felony. It should be closed down immediately.

Our forces should be used to systematically destroy every internet-based source. And frankly if we can't destroy them through the internet, we should destroy them with kinetic power, using various weapons starting with Predators, and frankly just killing them
. I am sick and tired of being told that the wealthiest, most powerful civilization in history, all of Western civilization, is helpless in the face of a group of medieval barbarians who, for example, recently burned 20 young women to death -- burned them to death because they wouldn't have sex with them. A group which beheaded recently in the Philippines two Canadian businessmen.

And we're told to be reasonable, to be passive, to not judge. Well I just want to tell you tonight, everybody who watches this video, this is the fault of Western elites who lack the guts to do what is right, to do what is necessary, and to tell us the truth, and that starts with Barack Obama.

And in the 15 years since 9/11, this is the way we continue to treat Muslims in America: a potential vice-presidential pick openly calling for loyalty tests, mass deportations, and endless war up to and including genocide.

I know I've criticized Barack Obama's foreign policy, hell I did it just last night.  I've gone after Clinton's foreign policy as well.  But the Republican alternative is insanity. We cannot allow these monsters to rule our country with fear and hatred any longer. Our international allies must think we're lunatics, a standing danger to the entire planet with rhetoric like this.

We've got to start fixing this in November, and that means doing everything possible to get Republicans out of office.  That means President Hillary Clinton, and Democrats on down the ticket in 50 states. I endorse that without hesitation at this point.  I'm done wishing for a sane Republican party, I'm done trying to appeal to their supporters' humanity. They're adults, they can make their choices.

My choice is the Democratic party, period.


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