Michael Tomasky on The Audacity of GOP Dopes on Health Care – The Daily Beast

In three weeks or so, the Supreme Court will rule on health care. Republicans have been discussing what they might do in the event that poor, beleaguered John Roberts manages to withstand that vicious assault of the liberals and to lead a majority that strikes down the individual mandate. This one is a classic, folks. After spending three years lying their eyes out about the bill and tearing this country apart over it, it now turns out that they may well want to keep several of its provisions. And of course they want to keep the easy and fun stuff and get rid of all that bad-bad-bad stuff, but what they don’t understand—or more likely do understand but refuse to acknowledge—is that the good doesn’t work without the “bad.” It’s breathtaking and ignorant—whether breathtakingly ignorant or ignorantly breathtaking I’m not quite sure. Call it the audacity of dopes.

via Michael Tomasky on The Audacity of GOP Dopes on Health Care – The Daily Beast.

Kansas pastor calls on U.S. government to kill LGBT people | The Raw Story

The pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas says President Barack Obama has gone too far in supporting same sex marriage and it’s time for the U.S. government to begin killing gay men and lesbians.

“Terrorists are dangerous, the economy is a real and present danger,” Pastor Curtis Knapp told his congregation on Sunday. “But there is simply nothing other than the holocaust of the unborn which imperils the safety of our country or places our people in jeopardy as does the leader of the Western world publicly raising his fist at the heavens and declaring that the bedrock institution of society, ordained of God and meant to be protected by the state, is little more than a convention of convenience with the children of Sodom to transform the meaning of something, which is precious to Jesus Christ, and a living picture of his love for the church into a legally protected justification for perversion and a vehicle of hatred aimed directly at that love.”

Knapp went on to read from Leviticus 20: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.”

“They should be put to death,” Knapp declared. “‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no?’ — I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.”

“You say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you, you’re horrible. You’re a backwards neanderthal of a person.’ Is that what you’re calling scripture? Is God a neanderthal, backwards in his morality? Is it His word or not? If it’s His word, he commanded it. It’s His idea, not mine. And I’m not ashamed of it.”

“He said put them to death,” he continued. “Shall the church drag them in? No, I’m not say that. The church has not been given the power of the sort; the government has. But the government ought to [kill them]. You got a better idea? A better idea than God?”

via Kansas pastor calls on U.S. government to kill LGBT people | The Raw Story.

Debunking Fox & Friends ‘ Dishonest Anti-Obama Attack Ad | Media Matters for America

Fox & Friends aired a video attacking President Obama by resurrecting dishonest and misleading attacks on his economic record. The video, which was produced in the style of a campaign ad against Obama, furthers Fox News’ role as the communications and campaign arm of the GOP.

via Debunking Fox & Friends ' Dishonest Anti-Obama Attack Ad | Media Matters for America.

The Maddow Blog – Drowning in a sea of GOP campaign cash

Campaign fundraising in the 2008 presidential election was thought to have reached dizzying heights. Republican nominee John McCain raised $370 million for his presidential bid, while Democrat Barack Obama shattered records en route to a $750 million haul. The totals, at the time, seemed staggering.

Four years and a Supreme Court ruling later, the 2008 fundraising figures will very likely appear puny by the time the 2012 dust settles.

Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives — including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.

That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections — twice what they had been expected to commit.

Karl Rove’s Crossroads operation alone is expected to collect $300 million — nearly as much as McCain’s entire campaign total in the last election.

Indeed, it’s important to realize that the playing field has changed in fundamental ways. In the traditional model, we’d see two major-party candidates, each backed by their respective national party. In 2012, President Obama’s campaign team will effectively have two extremely well-financed opponents: Mitt Romney and the RNC, which are projected to raise at least $800 million, as well as a $1 billion outside attack operation.

Obama, in other words, is going to face a far-right wall of at least $1.8 billion between now and Election Day. To say this is without precedent in a major democracy is a dramatic understatement.

via The Maddow Blog – Drowning in a sea of GOP campaign cash.

Drug Decriminalization Policy Pays Off | Glenn Greenwald | Cato Institute: Commentary

Next month, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, a measure to legalize marijuana. Because no state has ever taken such a step, voters are being subjected to a stream of fear-mongering assertions, unaccompanied by evidence, about what is likely to happen if drug prohibition is repealed.

But it need not — and should not — be that way.

Ten years ago, Portugal became the first Western nation to pass full-scale, nationwide decriminalization. That law, passed Oct. 1, 2000, abolished criminal sanctions for all narcotics — not just marijuana but also “hard drugs” like heroin and cocaine.

This applies only to drugs for personal use; drug trafficking remains a criminal offense. There is now a decade’s worth of empirical data on what actually happens — and does not happen — when criminal sanctions against drug possession are lifted.

Individuals caught with drugs in Portugal are no longer arrested or treated as criminals. Instead, they are sent to a tribunal of health professionals, where they are offered the opportunity, but are not compelled, to seek government-provided treatment.

For those found to be addicts, tribunals have the power to impose noncriminal sanctions. But in practice, the overriding goal is to direct people to treatment.

By any metric, Portugal’s drug-decriminalization scheme has been a resounding success. Drug usage in many categories has decreased in absolute terms, including for key demographic groups, like 15-to-19-year-olds. Where usage rates have increased, the increases have been modest — far less than in most other European Union nations, which continue to use a criminalization approach.

via Drug Decriminalization Policy Pays Off | Glenn Greenwald | Cato Institute: Commentary.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Transfers $160,000 In Campaign Contributions To Mysterious Legal Defense Fund | ThinkProgress

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is diverting campaign donations to bankroll his legal defense fund. For what charges does he need a legal defense? He won’t say.

Walker’s latest campaign finance report reveals that he recently made two transfers totaling $100,000 toward a fund meant to protect him from a “John Doe” corruption investigation.

The three-year long investigation is targeting Walker employees who may have committed a host of corrupt activities — accusations include embezzlement, coercion, and use of taxpayer funds for campaign work. According to the Huffington Post, “Mike Tate, the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, says state law permits Walker to set up such a fund only if he is charged or under investigation for election or campaign violations.”

No one knows exactly if any allegations have been leveled against Walker, or what those might be. However, at the beginning of this year, a Walker appointee and staffer were both arrested and charged with felony embezzlement. Another Walker supporter — one of his funders — was convicted with exceeding campaign spending limits. Whatever Walker’s legal exposure, he is concerned enough to divert substantial campaign funds to his legal defense just days before the election.

Walker previously made another huge transfer of cash into the fund to pay his legal defense.

via Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Transfers $160,000 In Campaign Contributions To Mysterious Legal Defense Fund | ThinkProgress.