Politics Progressive by Kevin_Foley
Home of the brave?
September 23, 2014 02:30 PM | 94803 views | 0 0 comments | 2432 2432 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Trust us!
by Kevin_Foley
March 03, 2014 11:30 AM | 957 views | 7 7 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Why is it important to shield private contractors and subcontractors doing government business from Georgia’s Sunshine Laws as House Bill 976 sought to do?

Why did its sponsors, Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) and Rep. John Carson (R-northeast Cobb), not want us to see what those contractors and subs are doing with our money?

It's moot - for now. The legislation was tabled. But it’s instructive to study what was going on here because Cobb County and state elected officials will be working closely with contractors over the next several years.

“My understanding is people are beginning to use open records requests for the sole purpose of gaining records of … private businesses' payroll records,” Ehrhart told the MDJ’s Nikki Wiley.

Ehrhart declined to provide Ms. Wiley with any examples of people poking their noses into private records but he did say, “I can’t imagine that this is even controversial…I think (those questioning the bill) need to readjust their tin foil hat.”

So Ehrhart thinks Cobb taxpayers like me who worry about a giant pile of tax dollars attended by an invisible and unaccountable few are wild eyed conspiracy theorists lacking faith in our fellow man?

No, Rep. Ehrhart, we have a healthy skepticism that politicians can always be trusted to do the right thing.

Many of us are also concerned about the $300 million the Cobb County Commission gave the $16 BILLION Liberty Media Corporation to build the new Braves stadium so a bunch of their millionaire employees can play baseball here.

Recall that at the behest of Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee the stadium deal was rammed through with speed, stealth and no real public comment two days before the Thanksgiving holiday last year.

Why was this haste necessary? Why did Cobb County Commission Lee cloak the stadium proceedings with secrecy? Why did the Commission ignore the many loud Cobb County voices raised in protest?

And why House Bill 976, the timing of which stinks to high heaven?

I know this sounds crazy, but very often when the financial records of contractors working on public projects are closed to third party scrutiny, criminality can and often does occur.

 

That’s especially true when we’re talking about hundreds of millions of tax dollars and the prevailing wisdom among the feloniously inclined that nobody will miss a slice from a cut loaf.

Hypothetically, let’s say some influential politician’s brother-in-law has a "consulting firm" whose sole client is the general contractor on a big ticket public project, a new baseball stadium, for instance.

The brother-in-law sends the general contractor a bill for “consulting services” that are never performed and, by pre-arranged agreement with the contractor, the bother-in-law receives a fat payment.

Then that fat payment miraculously ends up in some influential politician’s pocket, minus a small commission for said brother-in-law.

Such a scam constitutes conspiracy and either wire or mail fraud, all serious felonies that can result in a lengthy stay as a guest of the federal or state government.

That hypothetical scenario and others like it happen all the time when public dollars, politicians, and private contractors get together, so it’s not my tin foil hat talking.

As reported by Ms. Wiley, here’s what I and others find so curious about Ehrhart’s and Carson’s sudden interest in confidential government contracting:

“(I)t was Ehrhart who first connected Cobb Chairman Tim Lee with Atlanta Braves executives before the $672 million stadium deal was hatched using $300 million in public dollars.”

As my sister likes to say, “Things that make you go hmmmmm.”

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Lib in Cobb
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March 07, 2014
@Kevin: The description of Cobb Guy was dead on zero.

Billionaire fears Holocaust
by Kevin_Foley
February 24, 2014 02:05 PM | 1271 views | 10 10 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

The Holocaust should remain forever seared into the collective conscience of mankind. The systematic slaughter of six million men, women and children must also never be trivialized.

So it was repulsive that a Harvard-educated billionaire would compare the national conversation about income inequality to Hitler’s persecution of the Jews.

“Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich,’” Perkins wrote to the Wall Street Journal.

“This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?” Perkins asked.

Income inequality is an undeniable economic trend that can be traced back 30 years to the Reagan tax cuts. So asking what can be done to correct the disparity is the same as Kristallnacht?

Oh, you’re not familiar with Kristallnacht?

On the night of November 9-10, 1938, Hitler unleashed his jack booted storm troopers on Jews throughout Germany and Austria. As police looked on, they murdered 91 innocent people, destroyed thousands of Jewish homes and businesses, and burned more than 1,000 synagogues before sending 30,000 Jews to concentration camps.

Kristallnacht – crystal night – is named for the broken glass littering German and Austrian streets in the aftermath of the atrocity. It was the horrific, inhuman first act of the Holocaust that was soon to follow.

Perkin’s comparison of progressives to Nazis is by now threadbare. Almost from the moment he took office, right wingers portrayed President Obama as Hitler, revealing their ignorance over who Hitler was and the monstrosity he fathered.

That’s what you do when you can’t debate rationally; call your opponent Hitler and the argument is over.

Tom Perkins is in no danger of progressives confiscating his personal submarine (yes, personal submarine). His many homes aren’t going to be burned to the ground.

He and his family won’t be gassed because progressives ask why the manifold economic benefits Perkins enjoys have never trickled down to the middle class and working poor as promised by conservatives.

Perkins specious letter is not only an obscene affront to the memory of those millions murdered in the Holocaust, it’s a slap in the face to Americans who work hard, follow the rules, and yet see almost no economic progress.

While 82-year-old Tom Perkins agonizes over which Swiss bank he’ll use to stash his excess cash (somebody should tell this guy there are no luggage racks on hearses), you might be worried about making your next car payment.

Perkins has his defenders among the highly-paid right wing media shills who dependably lay down a steady barrage of lies, misinformation and distortions to make sure middle class Americans stay confused, scared and angry at the wrong people.

“Perkins barely scratched the surface of the War on Wealth that has spread under the Obama regime,” screeched MDJ columnist Michelle Malkin, amplifying Perkins’ shameful Nazi canard.

Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, who presumably has only one job, chirped that working “two and three jobs to make ends meet” is “uniquely American.”

So pity the sad plight of billionaire Tom Perkins.

But save your tears for the 50-something Marietta executive who’s been out of work for two years and just lost his unemployment check thanks to the GOP; or the single Kennesaw mother who’s trying to raise two children on a fulltime minimum wage of $15,080 per year; or the disabled veteran in Powder Springs whose food stamp benefits were cut off by Republicans.

The problem with those folks, says Perkins' fellow billionaire Sam Zell, is that they're just plain lazy. "The 1 percent work harder," Zell declared recently, "the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society."

Not all billionaires share Perkins’ paranoid delusions.

Warren Buffet agrees class warfare is being waged, “…but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning,” said the Oracle of Omaha.

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CobbCoGuy
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March 06, 2014
[crickets]

Bigots target gays in Kansas
by Kevin_Foley
February 17, 2014 06:00 PM | 1372 views | 4 4 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
How far are religious zealots prepared to go in expressing their hate for the LGBT community?

How about all the way back to the segregated South of 60 years ago?

Last week, the Republican-dominated Kansas House of Representatives passed legislation that would effectively impose segregation on the state’s public accommodations.

Instead of African-Americans, however, the new law targets gay and lesbian couples.

It will be recalled that Adolph Hitler did something very similar in the early 1930s when he codified discrimination against Jews in Germany.

As reported by Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, “(T)he new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if ‘it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.’

“Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations…can turn away gay couples at the door.”

Reading that last sentence, I couldn’t help but think of former Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox chasing black people away from his Pickrick restaurant with axe handles and guns in 1964 under the guise of “freedom.”

Speaking of governors, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a proud conservative Christian who, unlike Jesus Christ, hates gay people, thinks the proposed law is just swell.

"Americans have constitutional rights, among them the right to exercise their religious beliefs and the right for every human life to be treated with respect and dignity," Brownback told the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Evidently, in Brownback’s book, gays and lesbians aren't worthy of respect and dignity.

“And if a gay couple sues for discrimination,” adds Slate’s Stern, “they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees.”

The Kansas law also allows any government employee such as a motor vehicle clerk or police officer to refuse service or assistance to gay people if they feel interacting with a gay person violates their religious beliefs.

“(The law) is a blatant attempt to maintain second-class citizen status for taxpaying gay and lesbian Kansans." said Sandra Meade of Equality Kansas.

No doubt Republican legislators in other states who despise the LGBT community are eagerly watching how the Kansas legislation unfolds.

Thankfully, this bigoted, misbegotten bill may be D.O.A. when it reaches the Kansas Senate.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle said late last week, “My members also don’t condone discrimination. If we cannot find ample common ground to ease legitimate concerns, I believe a majority of my caucus will not support the bill.”
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Kevin Foley
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February 21, 2014
Chuck, Christian zealots are trying to frame this as a religious freedom issue as part of their over arching desire to push their beliefs on everyone else, which they believe is what Jesus instructed them to do.

But Jesus also instructed his followers to love their brethren, and that includes all of them, rich, poor, gay, straight, sick, healthy, black, white, whatever.

Brownback and the Kansas state legislature have thus twisted His teachings to fit their own perverse, hateful prejudices. They need to stop calling themselves Christians.

Debt ceiling chicken
by Kevin_Foley
February 10, 2014 04:30 PM | 1007 views | 6 6 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

There is a great scene in the classic movie "Rebel Without a Cause" in which Jim Stark, played by hyper cool James Dean, and his not so cool nemesis Buzz play a game of chicken. You can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7hZ9jKrwvo  

The idea is to race their cars side by side to a cliff edge and the guy who jumps out first is a chicken.

This teenage test of manhood doesn't work out very well for the uncool Buzz who gets his jacket sleeve tangled up with the car door and plummets off the cliff to his fiery death.

Jim, not a hair out of place, survives.

Cut to modern day Washington, D.C., where the hyper cool Barack Obama has been challenged once again to a game of chicken by the not so cool John Boehner.

The metaphorical cliff edge is the debt ceiling, which needs to be raised by the end of the month or the nation's full faith and credit will plummet off the cliff.

Boehner demands something in return from Obama for paying the bills Congress has already racked up.

Wearing a bemused smile, Barry says no way. Let's race.

Boehner, comb in his teeth, revs up the Tea Party caucus and puts the pedal to the Fox News metal, demanding concessions for not letting the American economy crash and burn.

As the deadline for the ceiling vote approaches, Boehner frantically tries to jump before it's too late. But he gets tangled up in his hysterically uncool rhetoric.

The president slides out, does a nifty shoulder roll, and watches in disbelief as Boehner and his GOP minions in the House go off the cliff.

Again.

The debt ceiling is raised and the GOP gets nothing.

I've seen this movie before.

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Lib in Cobb
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February 14, 2014
The bigger question for Guido would be. Does he have the capacity to understand any answer from Mr. Foley?

Coke unites, extremists divide
by Kevin_Foley
February 04, 2014 12:30 PM | 973 views | 3 3 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
The Coca-Cola Company presented an extraordinary commercial on Super Bowl Sunday. Against stunning shots of our diverse American landscape, "America the Beautiful" was sung in seven different languages.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8iM73E6JP8 

"It gives way to a series of snapshots of people who represent the nation's incredible diversity," said the company. "Together they make up the fabric of American life: brothers enjoying a movie; friends dancing; families dining out and roller-skating; siblings camping and many others. Each moment is about people enjoying themselves and their friends and families -- and an ice-cold Coca-Cola."

This vibrant commercial reminds us we're a nation of immigrants, most all of whom came hear speaking another language and  assimilating into America seeking to become productive citizens while remembering their heritage.

"From many, one" as our national motto proudly declares.

Regardless of your race, creed or color, the commercial tells us, here in America you are accepted for who and what you are - or you should be. You are understood and appreciated - or you should be.

Predictably, right wing media types went apoplectic.

Glen Beck, who infamously and baselessly called President Obama a "racist" said, “It’s an in your face — and if you don’t like it, if you’re offended by it, then you’re a racist. If you do like it, well then you’re for immigration. That’s what it is. You’re for progress. That’s all this is — is to divide people.”

Fox's Eric Bolling, whose network carried the Super Bowl and profited from the commercial, said the spot, "...ticked off a lot of Americans."

One-term tea party congressman Allen West declared, "If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing 'American the Beautiful' in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come -- doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me..."

Fox News' resident homophobe Todd Starnes: "Coca Cola is the official soft drink of illegals crossing the border."

The conservative web site Breitbart added, "Executives at Coca Cola thought it was a good idea to run a 60-second Super Bowl ad featuring children singing 'America the Beautiful' - a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity - in several foreign languages. The ad also prominently features a gay couple."

After listening to some of the talk coming out of their retreat last weekend, Republican leaders in Washington are beginning to understand that mindless and hateful rhetoric like this coupled with tea party intransigence is rapidly destroying the GOP brand.

They are coming to realize that, for the last five or six years, they've allowed the worst right wing fringe elements to lead the Republican Party into a dark, intolerant, ugly place.

Unless and until conservatives break away from the haters on the extremist fringe and embrace the values expressed in the Coca-Cola "America the Beautiful" commercial, they are destined to stay there.
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Lib in Cobb
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February 10, 2014
@Kevin: Very funny! I loved the line, "while using a bald eagle shaped strap on". Thank you.

Deal dodges, blames Mother Nature
by Kevin_Foley
January 31, 2014 11:10 AM | 843 views | 2 2 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Georgia officials had at least 20 hour's notice a nasty winter storm would hit Tuesday sometime around mid-day. Sure enough, as I drove to my office in Smyrna from Kennesaw at 10:00 AM, snow was flying.

I left my office at noon. Ten miles and five hours later I arrived home.

I was lucky. My office manager arrived at her home in Powder Springs after midnight. Some Cobb County residents never made it.

When I drove to the grocery store at 11 AM on Wednesday, I-75 South at Wade Green Road was still a parking lot - 24 hours after the snow began to fall. The rest of metro Atlanta was gridlocked most of the day.

There were ominous warnings from the National Weather Service Monday. So, questions:

  • Why did Gov. Nathan Deal ignore them?
  • Why did he fail to act in the interests of Georgians?
  • Why were his people asleep?
  • What would happen if Georgia faced a more serious crisis?

Answer: Deal is the perfect example of what low taxes buy you.

Our indolent, unaccomplished, ethically-challenged chief executive regards you lowly Georgia tax payers as his subjects.

He knows his real allegiance is owed only to his big money courtiers, the wealthy real estate speculators, corporate high rollers, and wise guy Buckhead lawyers.

If you poor Cobb County peons had to sit on Route 41, your bladder bursting, your cell phone dead, your child waiting at school, your husband or wife parked somewhere on I-85, that's not the governor's problem! Why should Nathan Deal be bothered by such insignificant details?

Conservative readers, please, put your politics aside. Forget I'm a progressive.

Where was the warning from the State of Georgia recommending businesses close offices and stores Tuesday? I didn't get the call.

When questioned Wednesday at a news conference, Deal, clad in the de rigueur sweater vest to make it appear as though he had actually been out there with the stranded motorists on Johnson Ferry Road, told reporters Mother Nature, not he, was to blame for his government's lousy planning.

"There's not anybody in this room who could have predicted to the degree and magnitude the problem that developed," said Deal. "We will act sooner next time. But we don't want to be in here crying wolf.

He added, "We have been confronted with an unexpected winter storm that has hit the metropolitan Atlanta area."

Bull feathers, Governor Deal.

I've always thought former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Crimmins' motto "failure to prepare is preparing to fail" are words to live by.

Evidently Gov. Deal doesn't.

He's up for re-election in November, folks. Remember well January 28, 2014 when you cast your vote.

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Lib in Cob
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February 03, 2014
We have learned that Governor Deal has appointed a "Severe Weather Advisory Panel". Last week Deal and anyone in metro county government received multiple severe weather advisories and they didn't listen. We should all feel more secure now, that we have a "Severe Weather Advisory Panel", right? Every meteorologist in metro ATL was spot on with the forecast and these dopes didn't listen, including the dopes in Cobb.

Uncle Sugar
by Kevin_Foley
January 27, 2014 01:15 PM | 1309 views | 12 12 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, is among the many Republicans who gleaned no lessons from the shellacking the GOP took in 2012.

One of the many reasons Mitt Romney was kicked to the curb was because President Obama attracted 55 percent of women voters. It’s not difficult to understand why they flocked to the Obama camp.

Women were scared off by what GOP-dominated, mostly male Republican legislatures were doing in Red States, restricting access to safe and legal abortion, trying to enact laws forcing women to undergo vaginal ultrasound probes if they want an abortion, banning contraception, and defunding Planned Parenthood.

Women heard conservative male Senate candidates talking about “legitimate rape,” and rape as God’s will, and they ran to Democrats.

So Huckabee recently set up a straw man in a lame attempt to show it’s really Democrats women should fear:

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take that discussion all across America.”

It’s Huckabee who’s insulting the intelligence of women. They know Democrats have fought tooth and nail with conservative Republicans like Huckabee to protect access to safe abortion, contraception, and reproductive healthcare if they’re poor.

“Uncle Sugar” is Huckabee’s condescending way of telling women he and many of his male Republican cohorts are vehemently opposed to abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. Republican men also don’t want women obtaining contraception, and they want to shut down Planned Parenthood which, for many poor women, is the only reproductive healthcare they have.

Like a lot of Republican men, Huckabee doesn’t understand that birth control pills are used to treat various female ailments as well as preventing unwanted pregnancy. I’m not surprised by his ignorance. I am surprised he would talk about out-of-control female libidos.

Huckabee made his remarks at the Republican National Committee meeting where party leaders are trying to figure out how to win back the women they lost to Democrats. The governor isn’t helping them.

But I encourage Huckabee and all other conservative males to keep talking about female reproduction the same way I encourage bigots who trash African-Americans, nativists who bash undocumented immigrants, and homophobes who demonize the LGBT community.

Keep it up boys. You’re the best thing to happen to Democrats in years.
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Kevin Foley
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January 31, 2014
Related to this, read Charles Krauthammer's column in the 1/31 MDJ.

Kraut says the way to win over women is to focus - ready - on late term abortion, this after condemning Huckabee's "libido" crack.

Middle aged conservative men talking about women's' reproductive rights has worked WONDERS for the GOP so far! As I say, keep it up boys!!!

Barr should condemn Nugent
by Kevin_Foley
January 22, 2014 04:00 PM | 1123 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I had occasion to meet in 2013 and debate Bob Barr on the issue of gun safety. I found him to be an honorable man who passionately believes the Second Amendment guarantees Americans unfettered access to firearms. Just as passionately, I disagree with his position, but we politely exchanged views on this important issue without resorting to name calling or inflammatory rhetoric.

As a member of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors, I hope Bob Barr is as appalled as I am by the recent public remarks made by his fellow NRA board member, Ted Nugent. Here they are, word for word and in context:

"I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist raised communist educated communist nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America. I am heartbroken but I am not giving up. I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, (Attorney General) Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, (Sen.) Dick Durbin, (former New York City Mayor) Michael Bloomberg and all of the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.

"So a lot of people would call that inflammatory speech. Well I would call it inflammatory speech when it's your job to protect Americans and you look into the television camera and say what difference does it make that I failed in my job to provide security and we have four dead Americans. What difference does that make? Not to a chimpanzee or Hillary Clinton, I guess it doesn't matter"

I believe Nugent thinks he has the NRA's support and won't be sanctioned for his outrageously abhorrent and disgusting views.

While he is entitled to them, Nugent's opinions reflect directly on the National Rifle Association and its entire Board of Directors, including Barr, its executive staff, its members, and the entire firearms industry.

As an NRA board member and a candidate running for the United States Congress, I call on Bob Barr to publically condemn Mr. Nugent's comments and demand his resignation or expulsion from the NRA Board of Directors.

 
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Lib in Cobb
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January 23, 2014
Kevin: Pigs will fly before Bob Barr gives away an endorsement, even if it's from a psycho.

Everything old is new again
by Kevin_Foley
January 16, 2014 10:35 AM | 797 views | 4 4 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I watched a fascinating documentary on the PBS program “American Experience” chronicling the momentous events of 1964.

I turned 11 years old that year but I remember much of what happened like it was yesterday.

As 1964 began, the accidental president, Lyndon Johnson, consoled a nation still grieving over the assassination of the beloved Jack Kennedy; the Beatles arrived in America and made us smile; Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston and then he became Mohammed Ali.

In 1964, white college students from the North descended on Mississippi to register blacks to vote during Freedom Summer and the Ku Klux Klan murdered three of them. The nation was appalled and demanded action.

In 1964, race riots broke out in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood after a policeman shot and killed a black teen. Rejecting Martin Luther King’s call for non-violence, Malcom X began speaking about achieving freedom “by any means necessary,” giving rise to the Black Power movement.

In 1964, LBJ lobbied hard for the Civil Rights Act and won its passage; students in Berkley challenged the University of California administration’s attack on their free speech rights and won, setting the stage for the Cultural Revolution that would follow; LBJ used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to escalate the conflict in Vietnam.

In 1964, the Republican presidential candidate was Barry Goldwater. The Arizona senator was an unapologetic right wing extremist who promised small government and opposed the Civil Rights Act. He also seemed a little too eager to launch a nuke at the Soviet Union.

Listening to Goldwater’s speeches, I closed my eyes and heard 2014 tea partiers.

Goldwater cast every New Deal reform including Social Security as failures (remember, this is only about 30 years after FDR took office) and demanded states be left alone by Washington to conduct their affairs as they saw fit.

Then, as now, Social Security saved millions of elderly Americans from poverty and states like Mississippi couldn’t be trusted to guarantee and protect the rights of all their citizens. It was up to the federal government to step in and do it.

In 1964, Americans rejected Goldwater’s brand of radical conservatism the same way they told Mitt Romney to hit the road 48 years later. LBJ crushed Goldwater in a in a landslide.

It was a remarkable year.
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Kevin Foley
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January 22, 2014
@ Lib - Yes. As easy as invading Iraq and telling Americans we'll be greeted as liberators and the oil will pay for the war.

BTW, they do have a solution for everything: Tax cuts for the wealthiest.

Shooting down double standards
by Kevin_Foley
January 07, 2014 10:35 AM | 989 views | 1 1 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Question the right of gay people to be left alone to live their lives and you're a celebrated hero.

Question the lack of sensible gun safety laws and you get fired from your job and even receive death threats.

Duck Dynasty's Phil Roberston candidly explained to GQ magazine why the LGBT community are sinners. A&E Network suspended him and then reinstated the duck call tycoon after right wing religious zealots started screaming about Robertson's free speech rights.

Dick Metcalf, a respected, long time columnist for Guns & Ammo magazine and a diehard gun rights advocate penned an opinion suggesting that, just maybe, some regulation of firearms would be a good idea.

Not only was Metcalf summarily fired, he began receiving death threats from readers. I wouldn't be surprised to learn Roberston, a spokesman for Mossberg guns, or one of his oddball offspring were among those who threatened Metcalf's life.

No conservative had any concern for Metcalf's First Amendment rights. Nobody on the right questioned why one of the most influential voices in the gun world was silenced. That's because double standards abound among conservatives.

For example, President Obama was most definitely born in the United States to an American mother but many on the right still insist he's not a citizen and thus shouldn't be president.

Sen. Ted Cruz was most definitely born in Canada to an American mother but the very same conservatives say Cruz is American through-and-through.

See what I mean?

So what awful things did Metcalf write that got him banished from Planet Firearms?

"The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, 'A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.' Note carefully: Those last four words say, 'shall not be infringed.' They do not say 'shall not be regulated.' 'Well regulated,' is, in fact, the initial criterion of the amendment itself."

Exactly. But, as I like to point out, facts frequently elude conservatives and very often enrage them, especially if they're armed.

Some 90 percent of Americans including gun owners say universal background checks on all gun sales make perfect sense. But the National Rifle Association said no to that and threatened lawmakers for even entertaining the idea. It should be noted that, in the wake of the Columbine massacre, even the NRA was in favor of background checks.

Alas, the obvious finally dawned on Dead Eye Dick Metcalf who clearly believed that given the stature he enjoyed, his ideas on the subject would be given polite consideration by G&A readers.
 
I could have told him not to bother, to self-censor because the gun industry, for which the NRA tirelessly works, would not be pleased.

Sure enough, after the parent company of Guns & Ammo received calls from two gun makers threatening to drop all advertising in the magazine unless Metcalf was disappeared from its pages, the columnist's free speech rights were extinguished without so much as a fare thee well from the right wing.

That's because many conservatives only care about their rights and not the rights of those with whom they disagree.

They'll tell you the Constitution is etched in stone. In reality, conservatives regard it as a flexible document intended only to support their rights and to be used against those who want guns regulated, or those who don't believe corporations are people, or those who believe a woman has the right to choose, or think gay people deserve the same rights as all Americans.
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LibinCobb
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January 07, 2014
Kevin: The religious right, especially the religious right gun whackos are as you have so eloquently stated are TWO FACED. They condemn the behavior of the LGBT community but then will say, "God will decide". Which is it? It seems the religious wingers would be a lot better off if they kept their opinions to themselves then people like me would not be calling them TWO FACED whackos. If God is all knowing, let him decide and just shut up.

Your fellow blogger, Chris Sanchez could very well be at the head of the class for two faced religious whack jobs. He derives permission from the bible for he and Phil Roberstson to be un-christian like. I called him out on this recently on his blog and he rather quickly deleted his posts. That's the old cut and run when anyone points out a glaring weakness in their argument.

Kevin, thanks again for being nearly the lone voice of reason in this political wilderness known as Cobb County.

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