Tag Archives | Republicans

Disgraced New York City Councilman’s Pagan Rituals Exposed

Queens Republican Dan Halloran is at the center of a scandal involving an attempt to influence the New York City mayoral race with bribes.

Bizarrely, he may also be the most influential pagan politician in city history, with the press now carping on the odder beliefs and activities of his faith, Theodism, including a time when he was stripped, tied to a tree, and whipped as punishment for improper actions toward a female slave. The New York Post attempts to wrap its head around it all:

Halloran – arrested Tuesday as the suspected bag man in state Sen. Malcolm Smith’s alleged plot to buy his way onto the mayoral ticket — has been publicly flogged as part of his Theodish punishments.

Halloran converted in the 1980s from Catholicism to the pre-Christian Germanic religion, whose believers drink mead or whiskey from horns and dress like characters in a Renaissance fair. He learned about their tough disciplinary code when he committed an undisclosed act against a female “thrall” — or probationary servant.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

State Government Of Texas Moves To Hoard Its Gold

Does a Texas legislative session resemble a Yosemite Sam Looney Toons clip? Because that’s what I’m picturing. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Call it the Rick Perry gold rush: The governor wants to bring the state’s gold reserves back from a New York vault to Texas. A bill from Rep. Giovanni Capriglione would establish the Texas Bullion Depository, a secure state-based bank to house $1 billion worth of gold bars owned by the University of Texas Investment Management Co. and stored by the Federal Reserve.

The idea isn’t entirely new. Gold-standard-backing Ron Paul has raised repeated concerns about the safety of states’ gold supplies. “If you think gold is a hedge, or a protection, you always want it as close to the individual and the entity as possible,” Paul told The Texas Tribune on Thursday.

“If we own it,” Perry said, “It’s not someone else’s determination whether we can take possession of it back or not.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

New York Republican Who Voted Against Medical Marijuana Busted For Pot

The Wall Street Journal reports a pretty good example of political hypocrisy, with lawmaker Steve Katz, fresh off of helping defeat the legalization of medical marijuana in New York state for people who desperately need it:

A Putnam County assemblyman received a ticket for marijuana possession Thursday after he was stopped for speeding on the New York State Thruway.

Assemblyman Steve Katz, a 59-year-old Republican who voted no last year on a bill to legalize medical marijuana, had been traveling 80 mph on I-87 through Coeymans, N.Y., where the speed limit is 65 mph, state police said. During the speeding stop, police said a trooper noted the odor of marijuana and found Mr. Katz in possession of a small bag.

State police released Mr. Katz with a ticket and ordered him to appear in court on March 28. He didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How ‘The Workshop’ Has Corrupted Rational Political Discussion

Hipster med ölThe original version of this article was a response to Rachel Haywire’s post on her own website entitled “What is the Workshop? where she attacks the pressure to conform to a “facade-liberal” cultural norm and the cause of the week political culture that all of us involved in the hipster creative-professional subculture have to publicly subscribe to if people aren’t going to back away from us.

She called the memetic creation machine that produces these norms “The Workshop”. This structure is intended to create artisanal memes and mass-produce them into the various political subcultures.

Her post described what it does, I describe here what it’s for, as in its political objectives. While this post is intended to stand by itself, it’s best understood after reading hers linked to above.

After posting the comment, it occurred to me that the ideas expressed deserved wider circulation.

Political movements are supposed to be about creating good public policy.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Montana Republican Proposes Bill Giving Corporations The Right To Vote

Well, since they are people after all, fair is fair. ThinkProgress reveals:

A bill introduced by Montana state Rep. Steve Lavin would give corporations the right to vote in municipal elections:

Provision for vote by corporate property owner. If a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote in a municipal election.

The bill does contain some limits on these new corporate voting rights. Corporations would not be entitled to vote in “school elections,” and the bill only applies to municipal elections. So state and federal elections would remain beyond the reach of the new corporate voters. In fairness to Lavin’s fellow lawmakers, this bill was tabled shortly after it came before a legislative committee, so it is unlikely to become law.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Arizona Republicans Propose Bill Requiring Belief In God To Graduate High School

Patheos reports on the effort to make high school a little more cult-y:

A group of Arizona politicians — all Republicans, of course — have proposed a law (House Bill 2467) requiring public high school students to recite the following oath in order to graduate:

I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.

It’s bad enough the Republicans are demanding loyalty of the kind normally reserved for members of Congress and beyond. If this were to become a law, atheists would either not be allowed to graduate…or they would be forced to lie so they could graduate.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tea Party Organization FreedomWorks’ Internal Documents Leaked

Mother Jones has a revealing look inside the leading tea party group’s internal memos. Included is the revelation that the supposed “grassroots” organization is funded almost entirely by a small number of ultra-rich donors, as well as their mission to make austerity and corporate tax breaks “cool” and youth-friendly:

In 2013, FreedomWorks plans to spend between $25 million and $30 million, according to the board book. Favored causes projects include the annual Blog-Con convention, the right’s answer to Netroots Nation; fly-ins for activists to lobby members of Congress; briefings with lawmakers; and the recently launched FreedomWorks University. FreedomWorks also plans to continue its financial support for Glenn Beck’s media enterprise.

The board book is chock full of strategy talk by the FreedomWorks’ brass. CEO Kibbe acknowledged that his group’s plan to help flip control of the US Senate to the GOP failed miserably (“We take our lumps with humility”), and he insisted that it’s time to replace the aging image of the conservative movement with “younger, more diverse, more substantive voices for freedom in America.” Kibbe asked: “Can liberty, personal responsibility, and doing things for yourself be the new ‘cool’?”

Such a makeover, Kibbe wrote, can begin if FreedomWorks courts so-called “Ron Paul Millennials,” the loud, loyal twentysomethings who in 2008 and 2012 followed the GOP libertarian presidential candidate from one stump speech to the next.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

On Fox News, Mike Huckabee Says The Sandy Hook Massacre Was Caused By Lack Of School Prayer

For U.S. conservatives, it’s time for lawmakers to stop beating around the bush and finally put a halt to the epidemic of mass shootings — by mandating the Bible in public school. Via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential candidate who is now a pundit and host on Fox News did not mention guns, gun culture, or assault rifles in talking about the country’s latest mass killing, but said, “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be surprised that schools would become places of carnage?”

Huckabee seemed to see church-state separation as responsible for the horrors Friday at an elementary school, where 20 pupils died: “We’ve made it (school) a place where we don’t talk about eternity, life — that one day we stand before, you know holy God in judgment,” said Huckabee.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Congress Holds An Anti-Vaccination Hearing

The anti-vaccine movement has friends in powerful places in the form of congressional Republicans, Steven Salzberg reveals via Forbes:

I was in my car yesterday listening to C-SPAN, when to my stunned surprise I heard Congressman Dan Burton launch into a diatribe on how mercury in vaccines causes autism. The hearing was held just a few days ago by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Congressman Burton used this hearing to rehash a series of some of the most thoroughly discredited anti-vaccine positions of the past decade.

To make matters worse, the House committee invited Mark Blaxill to testify. Blaxill is a well-known anti-vaccine activist whose organization, SafeMinds, seems to revolve around the bogus claim that mercury in vaccines causes autism. His organization urges parents not to vaccinate their children, and giving him such a prominent platform only serves to spread misinformation among parents of young children.

The committee called on scientists Alan Guttmacher from the NIH and Colleen Boyle from the CDC to testify, but in fact the committee just wanted to bully the scientists.

Read the rest
Continue Reading