If support for torture is now a solid plank in the Republican party platform then I want nothing to do with it. I’ve put up with the anti-science shit. They’ll get over it, I tell myself. It’s a stupid phase. I’ve looked the other way when Republicans have engaged in the worst kind of assaults on the poor and minorities. They aren’t real Republicans—hell, they’re not even real Americans. But I expect more of my party.

Comparing himself to innovative companies is laughable.

“It is understandable that the publicity-famished junior Texas senator is on defense. He is being widely ridiculed for another procedural stunt. His soulmates in the tea party (those backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund for whom he helped raise money for a time) lost across the board in Senate primaries.* He was largely unwelcome on the midterm campaign trail outside deep-red locales. His poll numbers languish in single digits in pre-2016 presidential polling. And about to hit the Senate are a group of smart, constructive conservative stars (e.g. Joni Ernst of Iowa, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and others) who really are something new — genial Republicans with wide appeal and real expertise who are serious about governance.”


A bill proposed by a Republican state lawmaker in Missouri would require a woman seeking an abortion to obtain notarized consent from the baby’s father, even if he is physically abusive toward her.

The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Rick Brattin, told Mother Jones that while the bill has exceptions for rape victims and to protect the life of the mother, women in domestic violence situations are not exempt from having to ask the father’s permission. “What does that have to do with the child’s life?” Brattin said. “Just because it was an abusive relationship, does that mean the child should die?”

In explaining the bill to Mother Jones, Brattin channeled Todd Akin, the former Republican congressman from Missouri who, during a failed 2012 Senate bid, said that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” have mechanisms in their bodies that prevent them from getting pregnant. Brattin said his bill would require a woman to be able to prove that a “legitimate rape” happened in order to avoid having to ask for a man’s consent for the abortion.

"Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it," said Brattin. "So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped,’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape."

Brattin said he was inspired to introduce the bill on December 3 for the next legislative session, but it has not moved yet in the Missouri House. He said he was inspired to change the laws around abortion consent because he was required to obtain his wife’s consent before having a vasectomy.


Read proposed Bill here


Republican House staffer Elizabeth Lauten takes to Facebook to harangue 13-year-old Sasha Obama and 16-year-old Malia Obama for being “disrespectful” and while saying they dressed for “a spot at the bar” because this is what passes for civil discourse in the GOP these days.  She would later “apologize” but only after “many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online.” I guess we’re supposed to take that seriously.  Like that butt-ugly pajama top.  (via)

A Change.org petition asking TLC to cancel its popular reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting” gained traction this week after E! Online and The New Civil Rights Movement published stories that were soon picked up by the mainstream media and LGBT blogs. That petition, which focuses on a fear-mongering anti-trans robocall recorded by ”19 Kids” matriarch Michelle Duggar, exploded. Early in the week it had just 7000 signatures. Now, over 150,000.

So the religious right jumped on the bandwagon. The American Family Association posted their own viciously anti-gay petition, as did other swindlers and exploiters on the right. 

The religious right website Lifesite News also posted a petition, which quickly got over 140,000 signatures. Lifesite also began a #DefendtheDuggars social media campaign on Twitter, hoping to draw attention to the story. LifeSiteNews.com’s managing editor John Jalsevac also created a #DefendtheDuggars Tweetfest! on Facebook, complete with “sample tweets,” like:

- I stand with the Duggars against liberal bullies! #DefendtheDuggars http://bit.ly/1yZW6Xz

- I support traditional marriage, and I support the Duggars! #DefendtheDuggars http://bit.ly/1yZW6Xz

Meanwhile, their hashtag, #DefendTheDuggars, was quickly co-opted by some of Twitter’s best LGBT activists.

At the core of the issue is not whether or not the Duggars should have their TV show, which reportedly has netted them millions of dollars. At the core of the issue is that TLC and the show’s producers aren’t being honest with the Duggar family’s practices and beliefs. Also at issue is the outrageous hypocrisy that conservatives are claiming liberals have no right to boycott or petition a company about their beliefs, but conservatives claim they do.

So Twitter made sure that those lapses in transparency are being corrected.

Take a look, and feel free to join in at #DefendTheDuggars.

The Ku Klux Klan played an active and enduring role in steering southern white voters away from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, according to a new study.

The white supremacist group resurged to prominence in the 1960s as a reaction to the civil rights movement, and its violent extremism inflamed racial division and polarized communities for generations, according to the study published by the American Sociological Review.

“It encouraged white voters to prioritize the defense of white supremacy when making voting decisions, upending long-standing Democratic Party allegiances,” wrote the study’s authors.

By the early 1970s, the researchers argued, “it had become increasingly clear that the national Republican Party was more in line with the interest of those opposed to civil rights than was the Democratic Party.”

When all other variables were factored out, the researchers said the average increase in Republican voting between Nixon’s unsuccessful 1960 campaign and Ronald Reagan’s 1980 win was 3.7 percent higher in Klan counties compared to non-Klan counties. […]

The failings of the torture regimen were, in fact, every conservative nightmare of a failed, out-of-control government program come to life. Through banal bureaucratic dysfunction, the torturers stumbled into a practice that lacked any sound empirical basis. (The CIA—which simply reverse-engineered the resistance training its own elite soldiers underwent, which tought them to withstand torture from communist regimes attempting to solicit propagandist false confessions—never considered that a practice designed to elicit false confessions is poorly suited to drawing out true ones.) Officials covered up their own mistakes; soldiers carried out practices haphazardly—some subjects were tortured for weeks before being interrogated. These are all acts of cruelty that Republicans would surely find terrifying—evil, even—if enacted by foreign governments, or Democratic administrations. And yet a fixation on evil abroad rendered invisible the most egregious abuses of government powers at home.