Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy in dramatic contradiction to the intent of the Founders they claim to worship (liars)

The relentless effort of Republicans to relieve the rich of any and all taxation has caused the dramatic shift in disparity between the OBSCENELY Rich and the rest of us. The grotesquely rich already buy anything they want from government. Eliminating estate taxes assures that every subsequent generation of rich will have even more power because the Supreme Court Council of Cardinals equates money with speech.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

This is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement, which began as a populist revolt in 2009 but has since been hijacked by wealthy and corporate interests. The estate tax has been part of American law in some form since 1797, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, a shield against the sort of permanent aristocracy our founders fought to rid themselves of.

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies.

The estate tax was a meaningful check on a permanent aristocracy as recently as 2001, when there were taxes on the portion of estates above $675,000; even then there were plenty of ways for the rich to shelter money for their heirs. …

“It sounds to me like there’s a lot of wealth envy in this country,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) complained while serving as chairwoman of the Rules Committee debate Tuesday. The bill abolishing the estate tax, she said, “will draw a line in the sand.”

Yes, it will: between the wealthiest two-tenths of 1 percent — and everybody else.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post

Fear sells guns

Gun nuts note: You won. You’re wacky interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is the law. Just try to control your weapons, OK?

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast by Dean Obeidallah

In 2008, the NRA honcho said Obama was going to confiscate guns. Now, Hillary wants to. The lies will never end.

“They are coming to take your guns away!” That was the message from this past weekend’s annual NRA Convention. In fact, it’s the same message we have heard for years from the NRA. And just as it has been in the past, as it was this weekend, that message is a lie.

Will the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Ever Stop Lying? – The Daily Beast

NRA opposes facts. Surprised? Not me.

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them. Amber Hall, The Takeaway

Back in the early 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control provided funding for studies on gun violence. The NRA was not pleased.

“[Our research] underwent peer review and was thought to be very solid and worthwhile research,” says Dr. Fred Rivara, who was part of the team that researched gun violence. “The CDC stood by our research — they had funded it and they stood by it. Unfortunately, it raised the attention of the National Rifle Association, who then worked with pro-gun members of Congress to essentially stop funding firearm research.” …

And that wasn’t all. “More importantly, however, was that they put a clause for the appropriations of the CDC that essentially blocked all gun research for the next two decades,” Rivara says.

The CDC budget cuts all but ended federal gun research.

Gun owners face much higher murder risks, researchers said. Then the NRA silenced them.

Heroes of the Right Wing kiss the NRA’s collective ass

I know decent people own guns – some of them are my friends. But the NRA is an industry organization and the Gun Industry, like all of AmeriCo, puts profits ahead of EVERYTHING. The Gun Industry grows rich and fat on blood and death and hides behind the flag and the 2nd Amendment.

You want to hunt? Hunt. You need a gun to feel safe? You have my sympathy but go ahead and hope it isn’t used to kill you or someone you love. You need armor-piercing ammo, an elephant gun, one hundred guns, laser-sighting, ad nauseum, you’re sick and a patsy of the Gun Industry which will feed your emptiness until you die. You sell guns and ammo: you sell death and destruction. Nothing noble about it.

NRA members size up Republican hopefuls

More than 3,000 NRA members on Friday heard from a slate of the Republican Party’s most likely candidates at the NRA’s annual meeting at Music City Center in Nashville. …

At 10-minutes a speech, attendees heard abbreviated stump speeches from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and billionaire businessman Donald Trump, among others. …

“They were very good at saying what we wanted to hear, but really not strong on details,” said Morrow, a registered dietitian. “They’re talking about what’s wrong with government, but not talking about what they were doing to fix it.” [mjh: Which is nothing at all.]

NRA members size up Republican hopefuls

The Very First Thing Gov. Scott Walker Did Before Delivering Big Speech at NRA’s Annual Meeting | Video |

Walker, a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, then touted his A+ NRA rating, calling it a “badge of honor” even if the left considers it a “Scarlet Letter.”

The Very First Thing Gov. Scott Walker Did Before Delivering Big Speech at NRA’s Annual Meeting | Video |

Ted Cruz to NRA: I’ve fought the conservative battles

Cruz, a first-term senator and a Tea Party favorite, boasted about the Senate’s defeat of several gun restrictions in recent years.

Ted Cruz to NRA: I’ve fought the conservative battles

“take our country back” is bullshit

My blood boils when I hear someone talk about “taking our country back.” From what? Take it back from democracy? When the Idiot King DUHbya was appointed by a conservative Supreme Court stacked by his cronies, I didn’t say we have to “take our country back.” I swallowed bile daily for 8 years and voted for change.

This dumb mantra is all the worse coming from the mouth of an elected official. PUH-lease. It is the rhetoric of scoundrels that have driven the public away from the polls (that is, when those scoundrels aren’t actively suppressing the vote).

If you want to “take our country back,” take control of campaign financing, which that same conservative court has equated to free speech. The rich have more free speech than you or I. We’re free to listen to bullshit.

Paul announces White House bid | Albuquerque Journal News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sen. Rand Paul launched his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday with a combative challenge both to Washington and his fellow Republicans, cataloguing a lengthy list of what ails America and pledging to “take our country back.”

Paul’s fiery message, delivered in his home state of Kentucky before he flew to four early-nominating states, was designed to broaden his appeal outside of the typical GOP coalition as well as motivate supporters of his father’s two unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a 26-minute speech that eviscerated “the Washington machine,” he spared neither Republican nor Democrat as he attempted to tap into Americans’ deep frustrations with their government.

“I worry that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters,” the tea party favorite said. “As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, ‘What kind of America will our grandchildren see?’”

He added: “It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.”

Paul announces White House bid | Albuquerque Journal News

This asshat makes $174,000 (public money)

If this braying ass can’t afford filet mignon, there are 1000 lobbyists ready to send him a case. What a tool!

The rush to humiliate the poor – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer April 7 at 6:12 PM

Rick Brattin, a young Republican state representative in Missouri, has come up with an innovative new way to humiliate the poor in his state. Call it the surf-and-turf law.

Brattin has introduced House Bill 813, making it illegal for food-stamp recipients to use their benefits “to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”

“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs” with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, the legislator explained, according to The Post’s Roberto A. Ferdman. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.

Never mind that few can afford filet mignon on a less-than-$7/day food-stamp allotment; they’re more likely to be buying chuck steak or canned tuna. This is less about public policy than about demeaning public-benefit recipients.

The rush to humiliate the poor – The Washington Post

Christian extremists demand the freedom to discriminate

Republicans have a gun to their head and are saying “do what we say or we’ll shoot.” Let ‘em. The not-so-GOP is torn between two masters: the business people who shop for candidates and the base, which votes for loons. Not a strong position going into 2016. However, never underestimate money or lunacy.

Indiana debate exposes Republican divisions | Albuquerque Journal News By Steve Peoples / Associated Press

It is a debate many Republicans hoped to avoid.

But as the backlash intensifies over a so-called religious freedom law in Indiana, the GOP’s leading White House contenders have been drawn into a messy clash that highlights the party’s strong opposition to same-sex marriage and threatens to inject social issues into the early stages of the 2016 presidential primary season.

The debate has also energized Democrats nationwide while exposing sharp divisions between Republicans and local business leaders who oppose a law that critics say allows business owners to deny services to same-sex couples on religious grounds. …

Polling suggests a majority of the American electorate supports gay marriage, but the most conservative Republicans do not.

“It’s a total head-scratcher,” former Illinois Republican chairman Pat Brady said of the GOP presidential hopefuls who defended the law. “We’re trying to attract voters and win elections. We can’t scare people away.”

Yet the Republican 2016 presidential class overwhelmingly defended the new law, breaking with local business leaders in favor of conservatives across the country who cheered such laws as a necessary response to overreach by the Obama administration.

“I think Gov. Pence has done the right thing,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a Monday radio interview. He said the law was “simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday tweeted: “I stand with” Pence, and “Religious freedom is worth protecting.”

“We must stand with those who stand up for religious freedoms,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who announced his GOP presidential campaign last week, said the Indiana governor was “holding the line to protect religious liberty” in his state.

Some economic-minded Republicans saw it another way. …

Democrats were united in their opposition to the law.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, expected to launch her Democratic presidential campaign in the coming weeks, tweeted last week, “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today.”

Indiana debate exposes Republican divisions | Albuquerque Journal News

Q&A: The debate over the religious freedom law | Albuquerque Journal News By Michael Doyle / Mcclatchy Washington Bureau

Q: Where did the Religious Freedom Restoration Act come from?

A: Peyote, in part. In the 1980s, two Oregon men were fired from their jobs with a private drug organization because they ingested peyote as part of their sacred obligations as members of the Native American Church. The state denied them unemployment benefits on the grounds they had been fired for misconduct.

The Supreme Court, in a 1990 decision authored by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, declared that the First Amendment’s religious protections don’t override “the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability.” As long as a law doesn’t explicitly favor or target religion, Scalia reasoned, it can be enforced even if it burdens someone’s religious practice.

Congress responded in 1993 by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. States began passing their own versions after the high court clarified in 1997 that the federal law did not apply to them.

Q&A: The debate over the religious freedom law | Albuquerque Journal News