What Are We All Supposed To Be Afraid Of This Week?

I guess this should be a series… Last month’s What Are We All Supposed To Be Afraid Of This Week? asked “Is it still ISIS? It’s not Syria anymore … right … it’s the other side now.”

So it’s not still ISIS, it’s ebola this week. Remember Senator Lindsay Graham, saying America has to do something about ISIS “before we all get killed back here at home.” …

But now this week ebola is going to kill us all. What is going to kill us all next week?

And again, for perspective (before we start bombing someone) on things to be afraid of, tobacco kills more than 480,000 Americans each year. And you don’t have to be the one smoking to be hurt or killed by the smoke.

Oh, let’s place bets: will Fox News even mention ebola after the election?

Senate Republicans Filibuster Equal Pay For Women (Again)

Republicans in the Senate on Monday unanimously filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act. Did you see this on the news? Did you hear about it on the radio? Did you read about it in your local paper? There is an election coming and accurate, objective information is essential for democracy to function.

The Paycheck Fairness Act “amends the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) known as the Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.” It “revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.”

To sum up, it would put in place measures to ensure that women will be paid the same as men if they do the same work.

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What Are We All Supposed To Be Afraid Of This Week?

Is it still ISIS? It’s not Syria anymore … right … it’s the other side now.

Previous weeks’ scare stories: Children coming from Central America? Ebola? Black mobs playing “knockout game”? Remember the smallpox scare? Remember the fear during the “runup” to the Iraq war?

Remember that fear causes people to be more conservative.

For some perspective (before we start bombing someone) on things to be afraid of, tobacco kills more than 480,000 Americans each year. And you don’t have to be the one smoking to be hurt or killed by the smoke.

Immigrants And Disease

Immigrants and disease? Really? Isn’t this KKK / Nazi stuff?

This is what the right is pushing. It’s old, racist, KKK/Nazi/Bircher stuff. Pushing it out to the public through supposedly “credible” outlets is called “mainstreaming” where they make white supremacist / KKK / Nazi stuff seem more normal and acceptable for people who are not radicalized into the racist right yet. But this is just the same old “mongrel races” and “mud people” stuff they’ve been pushing for a long time.

The following are just headlines, think of all the stuff that doesn’t have it as a headline. And most of this has been pushed out through Drudge, etc…

Beitbart June 2
REPORT: LICE, SCABIES, DISEASE AT CHILDREN’S IMMIGRATION SHELTER ON TEXAS AIRBASE

American Thinker June 8
Illegal immigrant flood bringing disease outbreaks

WND June 17
Deadly diseases crossing border with illegals

Daily Caller June 23
Doctor Says Illegal Immigration’s Causing ‘Public Health Crisis’ [VIDEO]

Breitbart June 23
DOCTORS WARN OF LOOMING HEALTH CRISIS DUE TO FLOOD OF YOUNG ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

National Review June 24
Texas Immigration Center a Magnet for Disease

The Blaze June 24
‘Potential for a Public Health Disaster’: Illegal Immigrant Surge Leaves Officials With ‘No Idea’ Which Diseases Are Coming Across

Newsmax June 24
Infectious Disease Outbreaks a ‘High Risk’ for Border Immigrants

American Thinker June 26
Diseases are Crossing the Border, Too

Liberty News June 29
OBAMA’S UNLOADING DISEASE-CARRYING ILLEGAL ALIENS INTO LARGE U.S. CITIES IS A ‘PERFECT STORM’ FOR PANDEMIC DISEASE OUTBREAK IN THE USA

Fox News June 30
Immigration crisis: US experiencing major public health crisis, too

WND June 30
TERRORIST ATTACK VIA INFECTIOUS DISEASE?
“…these illegal disease carriers.”

WND June 30
TB, swine flu assaulting border agents: Who’s next?

WND July 3
Savage: Media ‘hiding’ illegal-alien disease threat

American Thinker July 6
It’s happening: Border Patrol personnel infected by illegal immigrant flood

National Review July 6
Scabies Spreads Among Border Detainees

Fox July 7
Border Patrol union claims scabies ‘outbreak’ threatens agents, public

Fox July 7
Immigration crisis: Tuberculosis spreading at camps

Fox July 7
Dr. Manny: Is America on the verge of a major health crisis?

Fox July 7
Immigrant illness: What you need to know about scabies and tuberculosis

Daily Caller July 7
Scabies Outbreak At US Border

Townhall July 8
Illness on the Rise: Cases of Scabies, Tuberculosis and Swine Flu All Reported at US Southern Border

Breitbart July 8
BORDER DOCTOR: PREVIOUSLY-DEPORTED ILLEGAL ALIEN WITH TUBERCULOSIS IGNORED BY FEDS

Benghazi WTF?

Republicans aren’t for things. Instead they run from one hysterical anti-something scream to the next. They have shifted from the “noun-verb-911″ of the Bush years to “Obama said you didn’t build this” road and bridge, then to “Obamacare failed” and after Obamacare succeeded it was “Bundy” then it was “Oops” and now it’s “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi” all the time. So what is Benghazi about?

First, you have to sift through all the wild conspiracy theories. Many Republicans say that Obama ordered the military to “stand down” and allow the attack to take place. Some Republicans say the attack was a “hit job” ordered by Obama to kill our ambassador. Others say Obama is having Benghazi witnesses and even investigators killed.

Now Speaker Boehner is setting up a Spanish inquisition special committee to “investigate” and deliver anti-Obama conclusions just in time for the election. Boehner said the committee will look into why the administration is “obstructing the truth about Benghazi.”

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How The “Magic Asterisk” Caused The Shutdown

It finally came time for Republicans to put up or shut up. Instead they’re shutting down.

Never mind Obamacare; that’s just a mask for a huge Republican failure to govern. If you want to understand how we got to the point of a government shutdown, ask any Republican exactly what they would cut from the budget, and ask them to give actual dollar amounts of how much money that would “save.”

The current shutdown fight is over passing a “continuing resolution” (CR). Do you know what a continuing resolution is? It is what Congress uses when they haven’t passed an actual budget. It is a resolution to continue operating the government at existing spending levels, under existing policies.

And why hasn’t the Congress passed a budget? I’m glad you asked me that question.

Republican Budget Lies

Under President Reagan, Republicans cut taxes on the rich, and when huge deficits resulted (as intended), they said, “We have a spending problem, and we have to cut government.”

Ever since then, the propaganda has been flowing, 24/7/365: government spends too much, is too big, waste-fraud-and-abuse, is bankrupting us, etc. But they never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever will tell you what they would cut and by how much. Ever.

If pressed, they’ll say “cut foreign aid.”

Again, Republicans will always, always, always tell people that government spending needs to be cut. And Republicans will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever tell people exactly what they would cut, and by how much.

Because they understand that if people knew what they are really talking about cutting, no one would ever vote for another Republican again.

The Magic Asterisk

THIS year, however, it finally, finally came to be “put up or shut up” time. The Republicans in the House had to actually pass a budget that said what and how much they would cut. Instead, however, they didn’t put up and are shutting down.

You might remember that Republicans passed something called the “Ryan budget.” This was a budget outline that dramatically cut the federal budget, but without specifics. Economist Paul Krugman wrote repeatedly about the Ryan plan, explaining how it relied on a “magic asterisk.” This is an asterisk they insert, and below they write that specific cuts will be named later.

For example, Krugman, in “Big Fiscal Phonies,” writes:

…once you strip out Mr. Ryan’s “magic asterisks” — claims that he will somehow increase revenues and cut spending in ways that he refuses to specify — what you’re left with are plans that would increase, not reduce, federal debt.

Later, Krugman wrote in “What’s In The Ryan Plan?“:

Yet Ryan claims a big deficit reduction, via two big “magic asterisks”. First, he insists that the tax cuts won’t reduce revenue, because they’ll be offset with unspecified “base-broadening”. [. . .] Second, there are large assumed cuts in discretionary spending relative to current policy. [. . .] all of the alleged deficit reduction comes from revenue and spending numbers that are simply asserted, not the result of any policies actually described in the “plan”. [. . .] All the claims of major deficit reduction therefore rest on the magic asterisks. In that sense, this isn’t even a plan, it’s just a set of assertions.

Put Up Or Shut Up Time

This Republican budget outline was then sent to the various House committees and they were charged with coming up with specific cuts. It was finally put up or shut up time.

So what happened?

In “Republicans Choose (More) Vacation Over Governing,” I wrote about what happened in one instance of a committee having to specify what to cut and by how much.

This week was put up or shut up time for Republicans. After decades demanding unspecified budget cuts they finally had to put their vote where their budget outline was. So what did they do? They are taking a 40th vote on repealing Obamacare and then heading home for five weeks vacation. This is who they are.

The House Republican leadership withdrew its own THUD bill – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development – because the cuts in the bill were just too much for members to stomach. They had to vote to put actual numbers on their eternal promises to cut, cut, cut, and they couldn’t even stomach it themselves.

What about Tuesday’s shutdown? I wrote at the time, “When they return in the fall it looks like they will try to divert attention from their failure to come up with specific cuts by passing something that Democrats cannot accept and the President will veto, then shut the government down and try to blame Democrats.”

And here we are.

It was put up or shut up time, and they instead decided to shut down. Obamacare is just a mask for what is happening here.

Government Spending

In a democracy, isn’t the definition of “government spending” the things that We the People decide to do that make our lives better?

Conservatives say government makes us “dependent” and not “self-reliant.” Does bringing water to our houses make us “dependent” and less self-reliant on going down to the stream with a couple of buckets, or does it just make our lives better? Does a police force and courts make us “dependent” on not carrying a sword and a big club around with us, or does it just make our lives better?

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This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary

TV Show Shoots Elephant For Fun. Seriously.

NBC has a show called “Under Wild Skies” sponsored by the NRA. On the show they hunt and shoot “big game.”

On a recent episode an NRA lobbyist hunted and then shot an elephant in the face twice, injuring the elephant, for fun. The elphant screams. After a while he shoots the elephant and kills it. Then celebrates with champagne.

This is real. Buzzfeed has video of the segment. I watched the first few seconds and then decided I couldn’t watch it.

In the episode, which aired Sunday night, NRA strategist Tony Makris and a hunting guide track an elephant in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Makris spots an elephant and shoots it in the face twice, causing the injured elephant to trumpet and run away. “Somebody got a little cheeky there,” Makris chuckles as the animal attempts to escape. He and his guide eventually catch up to the elephant and Makris delivers the fatal blow. After posing next to the elephant’s body with his his “lethal” Tyrannosaur rifle and .577 ammunition, Makris and his guide return to their lodge to celebrate with champagne.

Huffington Post also has a story about this, also with video.

The LA Times has covered the story as well.

NBC has said they will not rebroadcast “this particular episode” of the show about hunting and killing “big game” for fun.