The Joy of Groups

As part of my on-going treatment for my previous addiction to opiates, I do an hour a month of counseling, either in a one on one format with my actual counselor, or in a small group setting.  Normally I always try to fill my time with a one on one, since I have some serious issues with group treatment (which I will lay out below, after the main point of the post), but with the Thanksgiving holiday this month, I was forced instead to attend a group.  The group was billed as a “Men’s Issues” group and was being run by my counselor, so I figured it would be fairly painless.  Rather than “Men’s Issues” (whatever they may happen to be) the group quickly turned into a discussion of current events when the counselor asked the groups opinion on Syrian refugees.  While some things were completely unsurprising (I was alone out of the 11 in the room who supported admitting Syrian refugees to the United States), the rate of participation in the discussion was shocking (everyone participated, which could be a first in any group treatment setting), and some of the misinformation was simply depressing.

Why do I bring this up?  Because something I forget many times, in fact, something I think a lot of people forget from time to time, is that those of us who are well informed politically are not in the majority.  Sure, it is every citizen’s responsibility to be well informed in a democracy, but let’s be completely honest.  People have lives.  They have a thousand things competing for their limited time, and somethings, especially things that don’t immediately affect their day to day lives, are going to get shorted.  I spend a lot of time making sure I am well informed on issues.  I know how the media can mislead people, so I try to always read stories from various sites, including at least one from a comparatively unbiased news source.  I want to know what arguments I will be hearing, so I typically try to see what Fox News is saying about an issue as well.  Sure, it would be easier if I would just get my news from MSNBC or the Raw Story, but then I would be a picture perfect hypocrite since one of my main complaints about the right is the media bubble so many of them seem to live within.  Others who try to stay as informed can probably back me up on this, but some things have to be sacrificed.    For me it is largely television.  I normally have a documentary on in the background while I read or write, but my entertainment based television watching over the past five years is as follows:

  • Game of Thrones (because I am a huge fan of the book series.  Thankfully the showrunners have the show and their heads so far up their ass that since the sixth episode of the fifth season, I now have an extra hour free in the spring on Sundays.  To think, I actually subscribed to HBO for that show.)
  • One episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. (Though I’ve seen every musical number online.)
  • Cosmos
  • Random sporting events that my mother is watching.
  • Random episodes of Arrow and The Flash that my best friend put on while we were hanging out.
  • Random episodes of Blue Blood and Criminal Minds that my mother watches.
  • True Detective

And Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  That’s it.  Seriously.  I’ve seen one episode of The Walking Dead.  Never seen Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Good Wife, Hannibal, or The Americans, even though I hear they are all great/at least worth watching shows.  It’s not because I don’t like television either.  Hell, I even like bad television.  I’ve seen every single episode of Perry Mason and Matlock thanks to my father’s love of those shows.  I think I’ve seen every Walker, Texas Ranger.  Most of Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza.  If I have the flu or something, I will watch 30 straight hours of Law and Order or Law and Order:SVU.  I used to adore Adult Swim.  Now?

We switched to Direct TV last year about this time and my room got a box installed.  I took the HDMI cable off the Direct TV box and used it to hook my television up to my new video card.  I have yet to watch television in my room on my new DTV box.  Why?  Because it is the entertainment I sacrifice to stay as well informed as possible.  And as much as I’d like to say that I do that because of a sense of civic responsibility, the fact is that I love politics.  Yeah, I care about the issue and everything, but I also am fascinated by it all; the inner workings of the system, the polling numbers, the psychological tactics employed to win voters, the debates, the lies, the amount of bullshit people will forgive as long as it comes from politicians in their own party, the idiocy, the insanity, every now and then the brilliance.  I love politics, and I have a very hard time thinking I would be anywhere near as well informed as I try to be if I didn’t enjoy it.  Politics is my thing.  And for many of those who are reading Think Progress, Right Wing Watch, Salon, Mock Paper Scissors, and Brad’s Blog to name a few sites, politics is their thing as well.  And sometimes, just like the right wing media bubble that some conservatives live in, listening to only rightwing talk, watching only Fox and Newsmax, reading only WND and Brietbart, we live in a bubble consisting only of people who care about politics.  Then we get frustrated when people don’t see our points or fail to understand what we think is a simple concept, forgetting that we are not only drawing on our built up over time knowledge of the middle east situation, but also the hours we’ve put into the latest crisis while the person we’re arguing with knows the following:

  • there was a bad terrorist attack in Paris
  • there is a Syrian refugee crisis
  • a lot of people are very adamantly saying that it would be dangerous to allow those refugees into the United States.

Now honestly, other than frustration, what are the possible outcomes of such a debate?  Especially if we don’t realize that both parties are coming at the debate from different places.

Look, I’m not saying these people are stupid.  Not at all.  By definition they are politically ignorant, but how much blame do they deserve for that?  Our brains did not evolve for the information driven life we now live, and for the vast amount of people, being politically well informed isn’t give that much priority when compared to the countless other things that demand our time and effort.  Sure, Trump may be leading in the polls right now, but remember, he has name recognition and the vast majority of the nation isn’t paying serious attention to the race yet.  If everyone was as passionate about politics as I am and he was still leading the polls, then that would be horrifying.  Sure, there’s a chance he’ll win the GOP nomination, and sure, even if he doesn’t, every damn one of their candidates cause me to shiver uncontrollably, but for me at least the real race won’t start until the voting starts and people start to pay attention.

Honestly, I don’t really know what point I am trying to make here.  It should be obvious to those of use who live politics that not everyone shares our passion, but then it should be obvious to the far right that they are a fringe group in the United States, yet they seem to believe the majority of citizens support the 40 member strong House Freedom Caucus.  We all project ourselves onto other people, because the only experience we have is inside our own head.  How can we have a debate about the Syrian refugees when the following issues, which all came up today in my group, are still around?  (11 people in the group. 2 proclaimed Democrats, 3 proclaimed Republicans, 6 apparent independents.  All men, since it was a “Men’s Issues” group.)

  • Obama is a Muslim.
  • Europe is on the verge of becoming majority Muslim.
  • In order to appear “tolerant,” European countries have installed Sharia courts for their Muslim population.
  • No-go Zones.
  • Muslims are having huge families in order to breed their way to political dominance in Europe and the United States.  (Amusingly the exact thing Quiverfull families are doing, for the exact same reasoning.)
  • The US is overflowing with Muslims already.
  • Europe will be dominated by Islam within a generation.  The US within 50 years.  (Unless we stop them, of course.)
  • Islam is the 2nd largest faith in America, only losing out to Christianity.

Good luck with your “admitting Syrian refugees” debate when you are already facing this grab bag of misconceptions.  Somethings did surprise me though.  Just about the whole room understood that the refugees were running from ISIS.  They knew that even Al Qaeda thinks ISIS is insane.  They all know that ISIS mainly kills other Muslims, or if they didn’t know, quickly accepted that as fact.  A majority realize that most refugees are women and children, no matter how much propaganda the right puts out that they are all “fighting age warriors.”  A super majority knows ISIS is attempting to draw the west into an apocalyptic war.  Every person in the room knows that ISIS wants the United States to put “boots on the ground.”  Just about everyone spoke up about how any backlash against Muslims gives ISIS just what they want.  They know that the reality is Everyone vs ISIS while ISIS wants it to be the West vs Islam.

And yet I was still the only voice in the room for admitting Syrian refugees.  Some used the obvious “what if we let in a terrorist” argument, but others ranged from confusing to jaw-dropping.  One of the people who claimed Europe would be dominated by Muslims within a generation stated that Europe should take in all the refugees.  Two took the stance that they should all go to China, because…..it’s closer I guess?  A popular option was relocating the refugees only to other Islamic countries, ignoring the Syrian Christian refugees I guess.  By far, however, the response that pissed me off the most, a position that was accepted by the majority in the room, was as follows”

“How are we going to admit refugees into the United States when we have homeless and hungry people living here already?  I feel bad for them, but we have our own citizens to worry about before we can start helping people from other nations.”

I’d like to say that I destroyed that argument as soon as it was stated.  I didn’t.  I’d like to say that the reason I didn’t was because the group ended as soon as he made that statement.  That would be a lie.  After he dropped that bomb, the group continued for five more minutes, mostly of people agreeing with that statement.  I’ll be honest.  I just sat there, slack-jawed, in total disbelief, with no real idea of how to combat that statement without turning the rest of the group into a literal shouting match.  The statement is so nonsensical that it isn’t even wrong.

You do not get to use the existence of America’s poor, hungry, and homeless, who we routinely ignore, sweep under the rug, and hide away out of sight while providing them the bare minimum (if even that) of aid to satisfy our sense of ethics, often demonizing them while complaining about what they spend their limited funds on, (Omg, that person on food stamps has a tv!!!! Burn them!) as an excuse to avoid helping other people in need.  If the money to help the 10k refugees coming to America was coming directly out of programs that help the homeless and hungry, then okay, make the argument.  But as of now, here is that argument explained:

  • We’d like to help the Syrian refugees, but we have our own hungry and homeless people to help first.
  • We do not help Syrian refugees.
  • We continue giving our homeless and hungry the ethical bare minimum (if that) of aid.  The same amount they would get if there was no Syrian refugee crisis.

We live in a wealthy western nation.  Americans do not like to hear this much, but we have hungry and homeless people in the United States because we choose to have them.  You can not make the argument that the United States is not rich enough to build a few less fighter jets and eliminate homelessness and hunger in the nation.  You can argue against us doing that, some people argue against any social safety net.  The voting public and their elected officials have made the decision that homelessness and poverty are acceptable consequences of our societies system.  Perhaps they are correct.  I don’t know.  I know that in the future, as machines take over more and more jobs, something like every citizen receiving a minimum income from the government is going to be a requirement, but that is still a future concern.  I know that if it really was as obvious as I think it is that food, housing, and health care should be fundamental rights in a wealthy nation, then that would be reality.

But what is obvious is this.  You do not get to use the homeless people we are already not helping as an excuse not to help other people.

 


Why do I normally attempt to avoid group counseling in favor of one on ones?  For those of you who have never done any drug and alcohol treatment, I’ll throw in a quick run down:

  • Groups where no one wants to participate are depressingly common.  Watching 10 people sit in a room silently is not one of the most entertaining usages of time that I can think of, so I normally talk the whole group once I realize no one else is going to.  Which makes it a one on one with an audience.
  • Even groups that are actual group discussions normally break down into 3 or 4 people discussing the topic and 6 or 7 people watching the clock.
  • Know what’s really fun at a methadone clinic?  A group where one of the participants is either obviously on way too high of a dosage or a handful of Xanax as well.  Sure, if they are really obvious they may get in trouble.  They may even get removed from group.  But as any ex-opiate addict will tell you, we can instantly tell if someone is high.  It doesn’t bother me now, but early on in your recovery high people can be instant triggers.
  • How much does the counselor leading the group want to be there?  Every counselor has to run a certain number of groups each month.  Half the time the group therefore consists of watching an episode of Drugs; INC.  In which case I have to leave the group, because ya know what is a trigger to me still, and probably will be my whole life?  Watching someone shoot up.  The sight of an insulin syringe causes my heart rate to increase.  I have years of clean drug tests now, but overconfidence can take down the best of us.  I know my triggers and limit my contact with them.
  • Going off the attitude of the group leader, do they want to run a good group or just get the hour over with?  If it’s the latter expect people to be allowed to cross talk endlessly or just fuck around on their smartphones.    So much fun, especially when you can hear the cross talk and the discussion is about the Xanax they are buying when group is over.
  • Speaking of phone usage, I have seen some people bring up some really heavy shit in group treatment.  People breaking down, crying, admitting things that take the whole room by surprise.  I’ve never seen or heard of this being done, but if someone is fucking around on their phone, how does anyone know they aren’t taping the break down to laugh about with their friends later?  I’d be more comfortable if no phones were even allowed in the group room, and I’ve already dealt with my embarrassing shit years ago.

Group treatment is very effective when done right.  I’ve done multiple groups in the past that I believe really helped me.  That being said, too often in drug treatment, especially when the group is a time requirement and not filled with just people who want group treatment, the problems trump any possible positives.  Why bother?  I’ll just take the one on one.  (Even though I know my next one on one is going to be an hour of me looking at my counselor with my mouth open stammering “Why the fuck do you think Obama is a Muslim again?”)

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We’re Not a Swing State

Ohio is a swing state.  Florida is a swing state.  There may have once been a time that Pennsylvania was a swing state as well, but those days are over.  No matter how much the voters residing in the state’s thinly populated rural counties believe otherwise, Pennsylvania is blue, a fact highlighted by the Democratic sweep yesterday of state-wide elections.

If you live in Pennsylvania, you could be forgiven for believing the opposite.  Any study of the problems of our system of representative democracy and single-member districts would have to dedicate at least a chapter to Pennsylvania.  While Pennsylvania hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, we have a US Senator from each party, the GOP holds a 13 to 5 advantage in US Representatives, and the PA General Assembly is Republican controlled as well, with the Senate split 30-19 (with one vacancy) and the House 119-84.  While some of this discrepancy (such as the GOP Senator) can be explained by Democratic voters baffling inability to find the polling locations in non-presidential election years, much of it can only be explained by problems inherent in our system of choice (cause of course North Dakota should get two Senators, for a non-Pennsylvanian example….),  and that enemy of democracy no matter who wields the power, gerrymandering.

Pennsylvania was typical of those states where Republicans benefited in 2012 from the decennial redrawing of congressional district lines. Democratic candidates drew more than half of the total votes cast statewide for the U.S. House last fall, but Republicans won nearly three–quarters (13 of 18) of Pennsylvania’s congressional seats. The GOP–controlled state government approved a map that packed Democratic votes into the five districts that they carried, where the party’s candidates posted winning percentages ranging from 60% to 89% of the total vote. Meanwhile, the Republican vote was spread more broadly, with nine of the GOP winners drawing less than 60% of the vote in their districts.

Source: Rhodes–Cook Letter, Feb. 2013

How anyone can look at those numbers and believe something even close to “political justice” carried the day is beyond me.  Sure, the GOP gained seats, but they didn’t gain them through the will of the people, rather they gained them through slight of hand trickery.  Republicans may be fine with this at the moment, especially since it gives them much more power than state-wide or nation-wide polling would predict for their party, but it is yet another short sighted vision.  Gerrymandering is an evil that both parties engage in, yet the Republican gerrymandering effort after the 2010 census went much further than previous district drawings.  When taken along side the push for Voter ID, especially here in PA where the GOP publicly admitted Voter ID was a political strategy to elect Republicans, it reeks of desperation.  With the current GOP presidential candidates veering so far off to the right in a nation that is rapidly becoming center left, actions such as the blatant gerrymandering and the push for Voter ID risk painting the GOP as a party that upon losing the culture wars, is willing to do anything to hold on to power.  But removing image issues from the discussion, the GOP has to be aware that eventually the other party will get to draw the districts, and by tossing any idea of subtlety out the window, they have given the Democratic party no reason not to respond in kind when they have the power.  The damage to our system of government, the destruction of the GOP’s image, and the future threat of retribution; is a few years of unearned power really worth it all?

It is the Wednesday after election day, 2015.  The only state-wide races on the ballot were judicial.  The stage was set once again for the GOP to gain largely undeserved power in Pennsylvania, as control of the state Supreme Court was up for grabs.  And yet….

And yet that isn’t what happened.  Michael Wojcik carried close to 53% in his race for Judge of the Commonwealth Court.   For Judge of the Superior Court, Alice Dubow did indeed break the 53% mark.  And the State Supreme Court race resulted in a sweep, with the win for the three Democrats, David Wecht (18.37%), Kevin Dougherty (18.52%) and Christine Donohue (18.17%), making it clear who PA residents want in control of the State’s highest court.

Across the nation, their are certainly some results that the GOP can point to and celebrate.  But this defeat in PA in an off year election has to make them a bit uneasy.  Is the damage the extreme conservative wing keeps inflicting on the party hurting the brand to the point where even off year elections favor the Democrats?  That is a question that will take much more time and evidence to answer.  But yesterday’s election did make one thing abundantly clear, no matter how much the major media will try to convince you otherwise next year:

Pennsylvania is not a swing state.

 

Really Rachel? Really?

I have to admit, I was so caught up shopping for a gay wedding present for the totes-legal-now-that-the-Supremes-said-that-everyone-needed-to-stop-kung-fu-fighting-long-enough-to-get-gay-married-everybody-even-puppies-goats-llamas-cable-news-shows-websites-and-straight-men-except-not-Jared-from-Subway-cause-seriously-fuck-that-guy impending nuptials joining The Wonkette and The Rachel Maddow Show in the bonds of holy matrimony, wondering what happens on the honeymoon for a website/cable news show marriage, who would get pregnant, and if they would give birth to little podcasts and oh my god this sentence ran on so long I got lost.

Okay, so I was busy doing that thing mentioned in the above sentence so I almost missed this little comment from Rachel Maddow on her show last night, and that would have been a shame because I so disagree with her for once.

There`s no reason to think that Jeb Bush is a terrible person.

I understand, Rachel.  You are always trying to get Republicans to come on your show, and those that do are always treated fairly.  Perhaps in the not too distant future (na na na), when elected Republicans can once again govern like adults without fear of being primaried for the sin of compromise, more members of the GOP will realize appearing on your show is not like a progressive on The O’Reilly Factor.  Of course, for that possibility to, well, be possible, you can’t exactly go around calling Republican candidates for President “terrible people,” now can you?

But I can.  Especially when the Republican in question actually is a terrible person.  In fact, one of the most pressing questions I hope to answer in my 17 part on-going series, Getting to Know the Trip, is if there is a non-terrible person in the field.  (Preliminary answer?  No.  They’re all pretty terrible.)  Things need to change if we have any hope of reclaiming our democracy and building it back up to something other than a world wide joke.  One thing that really needs to change is that the press needs to live up to the responsibility the Founding Fathers gave it by enshrining Freedom of the Press in the Bill of Rights.  The only bias a news anchor/reporter should have is an overwhelming bias towards reality. Stop covering politics like sports and stop being afraid of offending people if a political party takes a stance in opposition to objective fact.

While I am going to save most points for when I get to Jeb in my Goat Countdown, hearing Rachel last night compelled me to let you all know a few reasons why yes, Jeb Bush is a terrible person.  And we’ll start off with the two words that should immediately disqualify him from the Presidency:

Terry Schiavo

Raise your hand if you remember this ghoul trying to score political points by reinserting the feeding tube into a women in a persistent vegetative state, forcing her to “live,” against the wishes of her husband (and guardian) and, if you believe her husbands word, and I have no reason not to, against her own wishes as well.  Die with dignity? Not with Jeb on duty:

She had left no will. No written instructions. She was 26. To try to determine what she would have wanted, there was a trial, in the Pinellas County courtroom of circuit judge George Greer, in which Michael Schiavo relayed what she had told him in passing about what her wishes would be in this sort of scenario. Others did, too. She also had next to no chance of recovery, according to doctors’ testimony. Greer cited “overwhelming credible evidence” that Terri Schiavo was “totally unresponsive” with “severe structural brain damage” and that “to a large extent her brain has been replaced by spinal fluid.” His judgment was that she would not have wanted to live in her “persistent vegetative state” and that Michael Schiavo, her husband and her legal guardian, was allowed to remove her feeding tube.

But that was before the Jeb signal went up!

So on October 15, 2003, Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube came out. Judge’s orders. She would die within two weeks. This stage of the case looks in retrospect like the start of a test. Just how much power did Jeb Bush have?

HB 35E was filed after 8 at night on October 20. Many lawmakers already were gone for the day. Gelber, the state representative from Miami, put his suit back on at his apartment in Tallahassee and hustled back to the Capitol. Fellow Democrats gathered around as the attorney and former prosecutor began to read the bill one of Bush’s staff attorneys had helped to write.“Authority for the Governor to Issue a One-time Stay …”

Gelber looked up.

“I don’t have to read anymore,” he said. “It’s clearly unconstitutional.”

“The governor can’t just change an order of the court,” Gelber explained this month. “It’s one of the most elemental concepts of democracy: The governor is not a king.”

But the governor is Jeb!  He’s better than a king.  Letters poured into his office, each attempting to suck his dick a little bit better than the previous one.  Oh, it must have been good to be Jeb in those heady days.  Unfortunately, those pesky courts, you know, the ones who had earlier ruled in favor of Terri’s right to die with dignity?  Yeah, those ones.  Well, they were about to meddle around and ruin poor Jeb’s good day.

Back in Florida, though, the courts were focused not so much on what was “morally obligatory” but more on what was legally mandatory.

A circuit judge ruled Bush’s “Terri’s Law” unconstitutional.

Well, that’s only a circuit court.  Wait til it gets to the Florida Supreme Court.  They’ll see it Jeb’s way, I just know it.

The seven state supreme court judges took less than a month to dismiss unanimously “Terri’s Law.”

Oh.  Well, that was embarrassing.  Unanimous?  Damn.  The only thing worse would be if the Chief Justice released a written smackdown that Foster could mark up with bolding and italics on his blog, in this article.

“If the Legislature with the assent of the Governor can do what was attempted here,” chief justice Barbara Pariente wrote in her ruling, “the judicial branch would be subordinated to the final directive of the other branches. Also subordinated would be the rights of individuals, including the well-established privacy right to self-determination. No court judgment could ever be considered truly final and no constitutional right truly secure, because the precedent of this case would hold to the contrary. Vested rights could be stripped away based on popular clamor. The essential core of what the Founding Fathers sought to change from their experience with English rule would be lost …

But that was like, forever ago.  Surely Jeb has learned from his attempt to destroy the system of checks and balances to score cheap pro-life points.  No matter how many letters from supporters he received over the matter, he had to hear the overwhelming outcry in opposition to his privacy and self-determination shredding power grab.  Right?

No, not really.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday he had no regrets about fighting to keep Terri Schiavo alive, addressing the mid-2000s controversy on his second trip to New Hampshire this year.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he told New Hampshire business leaders at St. Anselm College’s Politics and Eggs breakfast in response to a question about whether he would have handled things differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Speaking of the past, it turns out that Jeb longs for the good old days, back when adulterous women were forced to wear large letter “A’s.”

Public shaming would be an effective way to regulate the “irresponsible behavior” of unwed mothers, misbehaving teenagers and welfare recipients, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) argued in his 1995 book Profiles in Character.

In a chapter called “The Restoration of Shame,” the likely 2016 presidential candidate made the case that restoring the art of public humiliation could help prevent pregnancies “out of wedlock.”

One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.

Bush points to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, in which the main character is forced to wear a large red “A” for “adulterer” on her clothes to punish her for having an extramarital affair that produced a child, as an early model for his worldview. “Infamous shotgun weddings and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter are reminders that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots,” Bush wrote.

Who’s a cute little misogynist?  Come on, Jeb, make that “grrr” noise.  It will go great with this quote from Alternet:

After all, we’re talking about a man who once put the life of a disabled woman who’d been raped at risk by intervening legally to force her to carry her child to term — a move a Florida court later found illegal.

We’re talking about a man who, as governor, signed a controversial abortion ban into law — and praised a similar measure passed by the House on Wednesday as “humane and compassionate.”

We’re talking about a man who likes to defend his anti-choice record by saying “the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected” — even though he’s shown he’s not above playing politics with a child’s body, once going so far as governor as appealing the decision of a court that ruled a 13-year-old girl could have an abortion when her pregnancy posed an extreme risk to her health.

We’re talking about someone who likes to talk a big game about how taxpayer dollars should never be used to fund abortions — even though he slipped millions in taxpayer dollars to Florida “crisis pregnancy centers” notorious for lying to and misleading women about their reproductive health choices. (This, in a state where 73 percent of counties have no abortion providers and crisis centers may be the only places women have to turn for the medical care they desperately need.)

And let’s not forget that Jeb once held $1 million in family planning grants hostage until the programs receiving the money agreed not to discuss birth control at all.

And since I want to save most of the ammo for my 6k or so word introduction of Jeb that is still probably a couple months away, I will leave you with this recent little gaffe.  Wasn’t Jeb supposedly the establishment candidate who wouldn’t make stupid gaffes?  From Correct the Record, though you can find it just about anywhere:

 Jeb Bush: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

I know you were trying to be nice, Ms. Maddow, but he is a terrible person.

Now I’m going to do a knife hit to get the taste of yet another bush out of my mouth.  Have a good weekend, I’ll try to get a few posts up during the weekend.

For those interested, here is the order for the next few parts of Getting to Know the Trip

  1. Bobby Jindal
  2. Lindsey Graham
  3. Rick Perry
  4. Jim Gilmore
  5. George Pataki

I will try to have Gov. Jindal up on Monday, although his is going to be so much fun that it may take til Wednesday.  I mean, this is a Governor who has pissed off just about every single voter in his state in his hopeless attempt to win the presidential nomination.  A legitimate answer to the question “What is wrong with the United State’s method of electing a President?” would be simply pointing at Jindal.  He is a guy who got himself elected Governor of a state solely as a stepping stone to higher office, and every single decision he makes as Governor is informed by his higher goal.  Yes, it will be fun.

After I finish out the under 2% gang I’ll make a schedule for the other candidates.  I’m thinking of going by national poll numbers, which is meaningless, but hell, Fox News thinks they mean something, so why not?  We’ll see.

If you have a few minutes, I urge you to read the whole piece on Jeb and the Terri Schiavo over at Politico, titled “Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’.”  It’s worth checking out, if only to remind you of the situation.

 

 

 

 

Wait. What’s That I Hear? No, It Can’t Be… It’s the GOP War on Women, 2015 Edition!!!!

Dear GOP.  Please hire Erick Erickson as your head of campaign strategy for 2016.  Please?

With that out of the way, let’s get to business.

As the videos continue to flow from the Center for Medical Progress (ahem, cough, great name), edited in a way that makes the editing of the film Expelled look totally honest and above board by comparison, anti-abortion extremists continue to use them as evidence in their witch hunt against Planned Parenthood.  Surprised?  Of course not, since this is a well-coordinated, multi-front attack on women’s access to reproductive health care.

“Well known” political hack and editor of the site where logic goes to die, Erick “Triple K” Erickson has laid out a challenge to the GOP on Red State, declaring the issue of funding for Planned Parenthood the hill the Republicans should win or die on. (Super big hat tip to Mock, Paper, Scissors for this one.  “Hi guys!”)

Republicans in the Congress are beginning to use the word “try.” They will try to defund Planned Parenthood. But the President has a veto and they do not have the votes to override the veto.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 47% has moved from try to “can’t.” He says Republicans cannot defund Planned Parenthood because of the President’s veto.

This is really, really simple.

If Republicans do not defund Planned Parenthood, they will see a great portion of their base vanish overnight. That is not an exaggeration.

Ummm.  Yeah, actually that is an exaggeration.  In fact, it is a textbook example of an exaggeration.  When the 2016 version of the dictionary gets released, it would not shock me to see Mr. Erickson’s statement there beside the word “exaggeration” as the given example.  Republicans are not going to defund Planned Parenthood, and a great portion of the lunatic fringe “base” is going to do what they do best: “rabble, rabble, rabble,” then move on.  Why?  Because Erick’s claim,

Planned Parenthood, we now know, is killing living children who have already been born, cutting them up, and harvesting their organs.

is bullshit ripped from a context-free, heavily edited hit video that even the far right anti-abortion activists, at least those with working brains, know is, well, bullshit.  The terrifying reality, however, is that this claim will be believed, not by anti-abortion organizers and politicians who are just cynically reaping the propaganda benefit of the videos, but rather by some of those “on the front line” protesters who really believe they are fighting a war, who are already of questionable mental stability with, unfortunately, unquestioned access to firearms.  Yeah, I hate to say this, but the above claim about Planned Parenthood will more than likely cost someone their life.  (But remember, right wing terrorism isn’t a problem)

But fear not, ye Republicans who realize that defunding Planned Parenthood is an outright impossibility under the current administration, good ole E-Squared (once again, hi Mock, Paper, Scissors!) has the tactic you need to succeed! (Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please listen to him!)

If Abraham Lincoln’s Party cannot go to war against that where war is not bullets, just a government shut down until the President relents, then Abraham Lincoln’s Party needs to be put on the ash heap of history. It really is that simple.

Okay, ignore the fact that if Lincoln was alive today the current Republican party would have him labeled a communist liberal social justice warrior and Erick Erickson would be writing hit pieces about him at Red State as we speak.  Did you catch it?  Here, let me help:

just a government shut down until the President relents

You got it now, didn’t ya?

a government shut down

Here, let me give it the bolding it deserves.

a government shut down

Maybe some italics even?

a government shut down

I know it’s too much information, but I think I need to change my shorts.

OMG, can you please shut down the government over this?  Pretty please?!?  How about right before the 2016 election?  Well, not “right before,” we need it to be long enough before that our senior citizens miss a Social Security check or two.

Republicans, I totally agree with Erick here.  Shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood.  Wait, hold on…..  I mean:

OMG, Republicans, whatever you do, please DO NOT shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood!  It would be such a political home run for your party, it would crush us progressives and hand the election to the GOP nominee on a silver platter.  Please, oh please, DO NOT shut down the government over this.

Did I sound believable?  Too eager?  Not seemingly frightened enough?  I’ll work on it.

Erick!  Do not let this ball drop!  The country depends on you sir.

Yeah! Those Sex Gods Aren’t Getting My Childre….Wait, What?!?

Proving once again that “WingNutDaily” should be its legitimate name rather than just a nickname used by us evil liberals, Patrice Lewis’ latest column at WorldNetDaily is a bit…..  Oh hell, I’d call it a bit delusional, but the thing is practically grounds for a involuntary psych commitment.  I refuse to link to WND since I have no idea what I would catch, but that’s what RightWingWatch is for, right?

The indoctrination taking place in school is nothing short of disgusting. Rather than concentrating on reading and writing, math and science, history and geography, students are instructed from kindergarten on the variations in human sexuality, encouraged to choose their gender du jour, and otherwise spoon-fed stimuli far beyond their capacities to comprehend.

1. Citation needed.
2. Seriously, if that is what you think is going on in public schools then you really need to pay attention to sources other than WingNutDaily.
3. Of course, if you want to know who really wants to limit concentrating on, say, science and history, I suggest you either find a mirror or look to where you get your information from.  Considering the actions of those in Texas to manipulate public school history standards to teach a politically biased version of the subject, the outright denial of climate science by practically the entire Republican party, and the far right’s drive to remove the linchpin of biology from class and replace it with a religious myth, those on the right really shouldn’t be lecturing people on education.
4. Citation fucking needed.

In contrast to the “empowerment” bleat put out by feminists trying to justify their slutty behavior, sexualization teaches girls they’re not worth much more than the sum of their body parts. Forget what’s between their ears – the only thing that’s important is what’s between their legs. Anything it takes to attract a sex partner – makeup, clothing, behavior, language – becomes the focus of sexualization. Rather than learning to express themselves with their unique talents, gifts, interests or skills, girls are encouraged to flaunt their bodies.

Oh this is fucking rich.  Want to talk about teaching “girls they’re not worth much more than the sum of their body parts”?  How about purity pledges, purity balls, and just about every Christian teaching on the importance of a woman’s virginity on her wedding night?  “Girls are encouraged to flaunt their bodies”?  How about girls are encouraged to shut the fuck up, make her husband a sammich, and lay down and take it whenever he desires?

Perhaps the worst thing, tying into my earlier post, is that right now there are some people reading her column amazed and outraged that they have removed all the real subjects from public schools in favor of bell to bell sexual indoctrination, and they will talk to other people and vote as if that was actual fact, worrying that they have to:

Protect your children. Don’t sacrifice them to the sex gods.

Someday I may understand the cognitive dissonance required for followers of a religion that teaches that lying is a sin to outright lie more than Bristol Palin with a check from Candie’s in her hand.

Gov. Tom Corbett Risks 4th Degree Burns by Refusing to Remove His Pants, Which Happen to be on Fire.

Any other cycle, the current race for Governor in my home state of Pennsylvania would be, for all intents and purposes, over.  The esteemed Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, has been laughably bad during his term in office.  He has drastically cut education.  He imitated several other GOP governors by refusing to allowing PA to take part in the Medicaid expansion, but made the issue his own by essentially calling children, pregnant women, and breast cancer patients who receive Medicaid moochers.  He’s a Republican, so of course he attacked abortion access.  He resisted the crowd on a different issue, resisting charging natural gas companies any extraction taxes, instead going with an “impact fee” that makes PA the most industry friendly state when it comes to fracking.  (Corbett’s stated reasoning, that a fee means that all wells have to pay something, while an extraction tax only collects from wells that are actually producing, may make sense at times.  When it doesn’t make sense is when the region is experiencing a fracking driven boom, with companies extracting huge amounts of natural gas while making huge profits and doing unknown amounts of harm to the environment.)  While standing strong against raising taxes on the rich and corporations, he signed a transportation bill that is sending the gas tax skyward, which of course affects the middle and lower classes far more than the rich.  (Note: I know the Democratic candidate for Lt. Gov also supported this transportation bill.  I am not saying that gas taxes are an unacceptable way of generating tax revenue.  My issue and point is Corbett’s support of the bill in context with his other actions. It makes a difference.)  Now while the preceding points can all be argued as partisan critiques, the rest of what makes Tom Corbett possibly the worst Governor in America not names Brownbeck are not.  They are matters of fact.  Of failure filled fact.  Of horrible, horrible failure.  He failed at privatizing the state run liquor stores.  (For those of you not from PA who are now thinking “WTF?,” Pennsylvania owns and operates all liquor stores in the state.  Yep, a state run monopoly for drug dealing.)  He failed at fixing the state pension crisis.  And perhaps most embarrassingly, his signature policy, an attempt to privatize the state lottery by outsourcing it to a foreign company, went down in a flaming ball of failure.  Actually, the only good thing I can say about Tom Corbett is that he is not Sam Brownbeck.

So why isn’t it over?  Why do I have a nagging worry about this one?

Because it is a midterm election with a sitting Democratic President.  Midterms are always a bit iffy for the left, as Democratic turn out is notoriously horrible in non-Presidential election years.  Historically, midterms also favor the opposition party, which is another plus in the GOP’s column.  While nothing is certain til the votes are counted, especially with voter suppression tactics in full force, it is increasingly appearing that the GOP will take control of the Senate by a small margin.  (The House is a lost cause for Dems until the next census and redistricting.  Yeah, the GOP gerrymandered itself one chamber of Congress for a decade.)  While there are quite a few races that are nail-bitingly close this close to E-day, the political climate and fear-mongering over ISIS and Ebola could keep some GOP incumbents is offices they no longer deserve.  Hell, look at Kansas.  The Governor’s race there is effectively tied, and chances are decent that Sam Brownbeck will be rewarded for turning his state into a science fair project examining the damage unrestricted “Voodoo economics” can do to all sections of a state with another term in office for him to insist you just need to give it more time.

So yeah, even though Democratic challenger Tom Wolf is maintaining a significant lead in the polls, breaking the 50% barrier in several, you must forgive me if I worry until the final nail is driven in the coffin of Corbett’s term as Governor.

Still, even as a constantly concerned pessimist, I have to admit the ads coming out of Corbett’s campaign are starting to smell of desperation.  Shall we pay a visit to factcheck.org?

We’ve noticed that the most deceitful attack ads often come from candidates who are most desperate. For example, consider the claim by Pennsylvania’s unpopular Republican Gov. Tom Corbett that his opponent “is promising to raise middle-class taxes,” when in fact Democratic nominee Tom Wolf promises to cut them.

FactCheck then airs the amusingly (if not intended to deceive Pennsylvanian voters) factually challenged ads.  I’ll pass, but feel free to visit them and watch away.  I’ll wait.

….

it is Corbett who’s being dishonest here. He knows exactly what Wolf is proposing, because he was standing only a few feet away from him during an Oct. 8 debate in which Wolf sketched out his plan.

Wolf said (starting at about 23 minutes into the recording): “If you are in the seventy to ninety thousand dollar range as an individual — and you can double that if you are married — you should not pay any more in taxes. And people making below that will get a break. That’s my goal.”

And that is consistent with what Wolf has been saying as far back as February, when he released a “Fresh Start” campaign white paper that included a promise of a “progressive income tax” that “will result in every middle-class family receiving a tax cut.” But the initial plan didn’t define “middle class” or give an income level.

In later interviews, including a July 25 session with Associated Press reporters and editors, Wolf specified that the “middle-class” cutoff would come somewhere between $70,000 and $90,000 in annual income. Later, his campaign said that would be just for single taxpayers, and the income level would be double that for married couples filing jointly. In the Oct. 8 debate, Wolf confirmed the $140,000-$180,000 range as the likely cutoff for couples.

By way of background, Pennsylvania currently imposes a flat 3.07 percent income tax on all taxable income, allowing for a hodgepodge of deductions but with no standard exemption or exclusion. Wolf says he would institute a universal exclusion, exempting all income below a certain level from any income tax. And he would increase the percentage tax rate on income above that level.

So sure, Wolf is going to raise taxes on the middle class.  As long as those members of the middle class are earning more than 90k or so as an individual, or 180k or so as a couple.  Now I understand that you can never have enough money, and I get it that those income figures don’t make someone wealthy, but you know, I know, and my dog knows what Corbett is implying when he says “middle class tax increase.”

Even if Wolf provides a tax break only to those at the lower end of the income ranges he has mentioned, many more people would see an income tax cut than would see an increase. We know this because the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that two-thirds of all households in Pennsylvania reported income of less than $75,000 last year, and all of those would see income taxes reduced or eliminated if Wolf sets his cut-off at that level, which is on the low side of the $70,000-$90,000 range for individuals.

Even fewer taxpayers would see an increase if Wolf eventually were to set the cut-off at closer to $90,000.

Looking only at married-couple families in Pennsylvania, Census reports that 16.5 percent had income of $150,000 or more, which is also at the lower end of Wolf’s $140,000 to $180,000 range for couples filing jointly. And yet, Corbett’s ads keep calling the Wolf proposal a tax increase on middle-class taxpayers, rather than the tax cut he promises for most.

We freely concede that some Pennsylvanians who think of themselves as “middle class” have incomes higher than the levels described by Wolf, and they would see their taxes go up. A USA Today/Gallup Poll found in 2012 that only 2 percent of Americans considered themselves to be “upper class” and only 10 percent identified themselves as “lower class.” The rest described themselves as “middle class” (42 percent), “upper middle class” (13 percent) or “working class” (31 percent).

Both candidates are exploiting the tendency of egalitarian Americans to think of themselves as in the “middle” no matter how high or low their actual incomes. So Wolf’s promise of an income tax cut for “every” middle-class family is true only for those who accept his particular income definition of “middle class.” But Corbett’s ads strive to give the impression that Wolf is proposing an income tax increase for everybody who considers himself “middle class.” And that’s not the case.

Keep fucking that chicken, Tom.  I’ll be calling ya on every thrust til E-Day.

Thanks for the Great Idea, Hasselbeck!

Taking my cue from Elisabeth Hasselbeck (although to be fair, she does seem to share this ability with just about every other Fox “News” personality) and her seemingly amazing ability to turn practically any topic into a discussion about the manufactured scandal Benghazi, I have decided to join the extremely loud scandal mongers by changing the focus of Foster Disbelief itself.  Before we get to that though, let us first watch the master in action, as she attempts to capitalize on the NFL’s unsurprising domestic violence debacle and turn the focus where it belongs, back on that place she insists we should be outraged over (outraged!!!), Benghazi:

“Fox & Friends” host Elisabeth Hasselbeck took to Twitter on Tuesday to compare the controversy over the NFL’s handling of domestic abuse cases and the White House’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

“Imagine if everyone that asked for transparency in the #nfl @nfl Demanded that same #transparency in our #government #Benghazi,” Hasselbeck wrote on Twitter.

….

Fox News has been criticized for what some call an obsession with placing the blame for Benghazi on the Obama administration. According to a study conducted by liberal watchdog group Media Matters, Fox News’ primetime lineup ran 1,098 segments on Benghazi in the first 20 months following the attacks, including 281 segments alleging a “coverup” by the Obama administration.

Fox “News”?  Obsessed with pinning blame for something on Obama?  Perish the thought!  Inconceivable, even.  We all know that Fox “News” is just another arm of the liberal media, after all.  (By the way, that is an actual statement I heard while listening in to an argument at a local Tea Party event.  Yes, I know that it is not a common belief, even for the true lunatic fringe, but I still get a kick out of knowing someone out there actually believes that it is true.  Someone who votes.)  That being said, one can kind of understand why members of Fox & Friends would want to draw attention elsewhere, after the masterful way their male hosts handled the issue the day TMZ released The Video:

 Hasselbeck is not the only “Fox & Friends” host to stir controversy while weighing in on the NFL’s domestic abuse problem.

Last week, her co-hosts, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy, joked about a lesson to be learned from the video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee unconscious in an elevator.

“I think the message is, take the stairs,” Kilmeade said during a discussion of the video.

“The message is, when you’re in an elevator, there are cameras,” co-host Steve Doocy added.

I have to admit that if I was unlucky enough to find myself on camera with them while they made those comments, I may have yelled “Benghazi!!!” as well.  Anything so those words wouldn’t stick in people’s memory.  Of course, this being Fox & Friends, those comments, no matter how offensive most of us may find them, more than likely drew laughs, guffaws, chuckles, high fives, and cries of “right on, ain’t no camera in the stairs.”

Now that I have seen the light, thanks to Elisabeth Hasselbeck, you may be noticing some changes around here.  While the URL will remain the same for convenience, the name of the blog will be changing to Foster Benghazi.  Rather than spending time writing about religious fundamentalists, science denial, and meaningless issues such as a woman’s right to control of her own body, marriage equality, and an end to racism, sexism, misogyny, rape culture, homophobia, and forced observance of other people’s religious beliefs, I will now be dedicating the space to nothing but stories about Benghazi.  Do not think that means you won’t find variety, however, here at Foster Benghazi.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  You’ll see stories trying to convince you that Benghazi is a scandal, that it is a scandal worth paying attention to, that the blame for the scandal is completely Obama’s, that the Obama administration conspired with rock creatures from the center of the Earth, and the known terrorist sympathizer race of Rodent Hominids from the Moon to hide the truth about Benghazi from the American public, that Obama himself ordered the killing of the four Americans at Benghazi, that Hillary Clinton pulled the trigger that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens at Benghazi, and that Fox “News” and the conservative media have desperately tried to create a scandal out of Benghazi so that the GOP can reap political good fortune and turn four dead American citizens into votes on election day, thereby allowing them to sweep into power, stock the Supreme Court with Constitution raping judges, outlaw abortion and birth control, and pass huge tax cuts for the richest Americans, creating enough kick backs that every member of the GOP establishment (not the voters though.  They get fleeced with the rest of them) can retire and move to a tropical island nation where brown skinned natives wear white gloves and full suits while serving them on the sun soaked beaches.  Whoa, got a little out of control there.  Did I mention Benghazi?

For a taste of whats to come, here it the first new story at Foster Benghazi by your blogger, Foster Benghazi.

6.7 million viewers tuned in for the 2015 Miss America competition Sunday night.  Imagine the results if 6.7 million Americans demanded that the Obama administration explain why they killed Americans in Benghazi?(Get the idea yet?)  The LA Times reports that there were 303,900 tweets about the pageant.  Imagine the response if 303,900 tweets were posted demanding that Vice President Biden explain exactly why he personally beheaded 2 of the 4 Americans sacrificed to Allah during the false flag operation at Benghazi.  (Okay, I am getting the hang of this.)  For that matter, what is The LA Times doing reporting about something as insignificant as the Miss America competition when they could be devoting 110% of their resources to getting to the bottom of the real reason Hillary Clinton ordered the assassination of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, a move that ended the lives of three other Americans at Benghazi, and finally reveal that it was indeed “that time of the month” for Hillary, proving once again that a woman in the White House would result in nuclear war every 30 days.  And Benghazi!  (Almost forgot it that time.)

In less depressing news, while 6.7 million Americans did tune into the Miss America competition, a competition rumored to have been organized by the Obama administration as an attempt to distract the American public from Obama’s criminal actions in Benghazi, 16.5 million viewers tuned in to watch Sunday Night Football.  While those 16.5 million should have been writing angry blog posts about the murderer in the White House and his plans to declare himself “Allah’s Chosen Ruler and Official Hitler for Life” the month before the 2016 election, a plan exposed to the public only after a careful examination of the Benghazi incident, there is a possible silver lining to those numbers.  An anonymous source, who I quite possibly just made up in my head while typing this sentence, has informed me that 16 million Americans, outraged over the Stalin like actions of Hillary Clinton in Benghazi where she helped the Obama administration slaughter a rumored 3 million American citizens, with 4 confirmed deaths, only decided to watch Sunday Night Football because they figured their best chance of seeing a woman, standing in for Hillary in their minds, get punched in the face was by watching the NFL.  Rather than watching football on the off chance a domestic battery breaks out, those 16 million should march on Washington and demand their God given right to punch Hillary in the face for her treasonous actions in (say it with me now) Benghazi.

I hope you enjoyed that taste of the new Foster Benghazi.  I will return tomorrow with more hard hitting coverage of the biggest scandal our galaxy has ever experienced, the story some people are saying “makes Watergate look like lying about a blow job, the story sure to bring down not only the Obama administration, but the entire communist-Nazi-Muslim soaked Demon-cratic Party, Benghazi.  Until then, this is Foster Benghazi signing off.

 

To turn off the satire for a second here, the worst thing (or one of the worst things) about this obsession over Benghazi on the right is the cover it provides Obama on real issues that actually should be scandalous.  As surprising as it may sound to you, especially since I covered both the 2008 and the 2012 elections while endorsing and promoting Obama, and volunteering for both campaigns, I have one thing in common with many members of the GOP’s congressional membership;  I want Obama to be impeached.

After that though, the differences are legion.  While the Republicans want him impeached just so they can say they impeached him, and if they had the votes would push through an impeachment for something akin to lying about oral sex and debating the meaning of the word “is,” I want him impeached for the way he and his administration have routinely wiped their ass with the Constitution when it comes to secrecy, executive power, and the ability to detain indefinitely if not just outright execute American citizens.  Mr. President, you lied to me and the rest of the American people when you said you would be different than Mr. Bush on these issues.  You fooled me the first time, I am ashamed to admit.  The second time you got my vote because the thought of the current GOP in power scares me into a panic attack.  You got my votes because the system is broken.  Obama is a center right politician who leans into wingnut territory when it comes to executive power and a few other issues, who can take practically any stance on any issue he feels like taking, and make any campaign promise that benefits him without any need to honor said promise, because the other party, in our brilliant 2 party system, has legitimate national candidates suggesting things such as letting the uninsured die outside the emergency room if they don’t have the money to pay, poking bears, poking Iran, poking both bears and Iran, starting more wars by fiat, banning contraception, declaring the USA a Christian Nation, and increasing the rate of capital punishment just as we start to learn how easy it is for an innocent man to end up on death row.  Obama could sacrifice a baby on national tv during a special telecast that he forces HBO to air during the season 5 premier of Game of Thrones and I would shrug and say, “Well, he’s still better than Santorum.”  How broken is the system?  That last sentence is my response to that question.

Of course, no one will ever hold Obama accountable for using the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as his own personal cum towel.  The GOP would love to impeach him, but they can’t go after him for actual legitimate impeachable offenses, because then they would have to admit George W. Bush committed the same crimes against the people as Obama.  The Democrats have no reason to impeach him because they are creatures of the system like our President. As much as the Constitution is rallied around these days, it is such a depressing minority that have a problem with the executive branch deciding that whole “checks and balances” thing the founders came up with is a bit too outdated for the War on Terrorism age.  And you Obama apologists out there may tsk at me, and say things like “Now Foster, Obama realizes the amount of power he has been given to deal with terrorism, but he has pledged, pledged!, not to use that power unjustly.”  And even if I believed a thing he said after two campaigns worth of ignored promises (and I am not talking about promises he made that the GOP has blocked him on either, just promises that he has broken himself), even if I trusted him with, say, the power to indefinitely detain American citizens, I sure as hell wouldn’t trust a President Santorum, President Romney, President Ryan, President McCain, President Christie, President Perry, President Jindal, or hell, a President H.R. Clinton to honor that promise either.

*sigh*

Have ya heard about Benghazi?

(Edited to deal with a Wall of Text)