Two years ago, with a little nudging by the NRA, Indiana Republicans passed a bill, which Republican Governer at the time Mitch Daniels signed into law, that allows it's citizenry to shoot cops.
The bill authorizes the citizenry to use lethal force against unlawful entry. So that means you walk up stairs from your militia basement and find a cop in your living room, you are, by law, allowed to use lethal force.
Police argue that Indiana hasn't been suffering from a rash of unlawful entries by the police and feel that this law now puts a target on their head for any half-drunk yahoo to shoot at.
Right wing libertarians like those over at the "Free Thought Project", however, see it differently:
Finally some rational legislation is passed concerning ‘public servants’ unlawfully entering another person’s property.
All too often, we see examples of cops breaking into the wrong house and shooting the family dog, or worse, killing a member of the family.
Well, Indiana has taken action to “recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant.”
This special amendment is no revolutionary new thought, only common sense.
Self-defense is a natural right; when laws are in place that protect incompetent police by removing one’s ability to protect one’s self, simply because the aggressor has a badge and a uniform, this is a human rights violation.
If that sounds batshit crazy, it's because it is.
We now live in a world in which having conservative values means: 1. hero-worshipping Russian leaders2. arguing that some American soldiers should be left behind on the battlefield 3. it is patriotic to rally armed militia around you to prevent you from paying the same fees everyone else has to pay 4. killing cops is a "natural right"
Back in 2013, professional golfer and Enbrel spokesperson Phil Mickelson said, in response to California's tax hikes on the rich, that he might be forced to make "drastic changes." Rather than pay his fair share, Mickelson suggested he might just quit golf or leave the state of California.
Mickelson claimed, "If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."
Right. Because why kill yourself playing a game for a living when you could just do nothing.
But then several tax experts went on record saying it is highly unlikely Mickelson was "paying a rate above 60 percent. With even the most basic tax planning, they said, his real rate is most likely closer to 50 percent." But hey, what's a 13% discrepency between what Mickelson claims and what the reality most likely is?
Furthermore, since his investment earnings are taxed as capital gains, he's only paying a rate of 20% - 23.8% on those.
Regardless, this amount was too large for Mickelson who acted like a big baby. And when he was called on being a cheap, rich ass, his response was a typical non-apology apology, "Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."
What Mickelson seems to have allowed to happen this time was him getting caught up in a federal insider trading investigation.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating possible insider trading involving billionaire investor Carl Icahn, golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters, a source familiar with the matter said.
Federal investigators are looking into whether Mickelson and Walters may have traded illegally on private information provided by Icahn about his investments in public corporations, the source told Reuters, confirming a report by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.
If you haven't already heard of him, meet newly-minted conservative icon Cliven Bundy. He's recently been the darling of conservative media and a hero to conservative politicians because he denies the existence of the federal goverment. He refused to pay grazing fees for years for his cattle to feed on public lands. So when federal agents showed up to confiscate his cattle for the over a million dollars he owed, he and local militiamen presented an armed insurrection against the American government. And instead of responding with outright slaughter, the government stood down.
So you can see the easy appeal to conservatives. Rich white guy who doesn't believe in paying his share? Check. Hates the federal govermnent? Check. Loves him some guns? Check.
Here's what Bundy said over the weekend: “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Let us not forget, that this man has been made a hero by the Conservative Media and Republican elected officials.
Also, why is it we always seem to get this batshit crazy militia bullshit when we have 2-term Democratic Presidents?
For twenty years, from 1993-2013, the district was represented by Republican Roscoe Bartlett. In 2012, Bartlett was handily unseated by Democrat Jack Delaney, mostly as a result of Bartlett saying a lot of crazy shit.
For example, he said this about rape and abortion (two subjects Republicans should never comment on publicly if they want to win elections):
“Oh, life of the mother – exception of life of the mother, rape and incest. Yeah, I’ve always — that’s a mantra, you know, I’ve said it so often it just spills out. If you really – there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest — compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage. …. [I]n terms of the percentage of pregnancies, percentage of abortions for rape as compared to overall abortions, it’s a tiny, tiny percentage. ... Most abortions, most abortions are for what purpose? They just don’t want to have a baby! The second reason for abortion is you’d like a boy and it’s a girl, or vice versa. And I know a lot of people are opposed to abortion who are pro-choice.”
"If you can ignore the Constitution to do something good today, tomorrow you will be ignoring the Constitution to do something bad. There are more people in our, in America today of German ancestry than any other [inaudible]. The Holocaust that occurred in Germany - how in the heck could that happen? And when you start down the wrong road, it can be a very slippery slope."
So this year, Rep. Delaney faces a new challenger, Republican Tea Party Libertarian Dan Bongino. So that begs the question, "Is Maryland's 6th District ready to go back to the crazy?"
Last week, candidate Bongino was on WYPR's Midday with Dan Rodricks. During the hour-long conversation, Bongino revealed himself to be little more than a Tea Party Libertarian caricature. Each sentence he uttered was more astounding than the previous. I found myself simultaneously pitying and being impressed with host Rodricks.
But my favorite line, when Rodricks was pressing him on his unrealistic view of Climate Change, was when Bongino claimed, "Climate changes all the time." Um, no. Not by definition, it doesn't.
Bongino, who has a fundraiser with Rand Paul coming up, also said that he doesn't agree with all of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's policies either. This I found curious.
So, via Bmore Local, I took to Twitter to try to press Bongino to find out where he and Ryan disagree. This relatively simple task proved much more difficult to achieve than I'd have thought. At one point, I had an appointment and had to give up the questioning, which is when my friend Cullen Enn took over. And finally, at the end, some of Bongino's supporters came into it, illustrating his base of insanity.
Is this a serious candidate?
Hey, MD's 6th - is this who you want representing you? Imagine you have a question you need him to answer. Then read the following.
BMORE LOCAL: Heard you on @MiddayWYPR. Just curious, which of Paul Ryan's policies do you find deplorable?
DAN BONGINO (@dbongino): Which policies would you like to address? Let's not make it personal.
BMORE LOCAL: It's not personal. You made the statement on WYPR, I'm just curious which of his policies you dislike.
DAN BONGINO: I will gladly speak to policies I support,but I cannot speak to what's in another's mind.
BMORE LOCAL: On @MiddayWYPR today you said you disagree with some of Paul Ryan's policies. Can you name 3 you oppose?
DAN BONGINO: which policies do you want to discuss? Policies don't belong to anyone.
BMORE LOCAL: Whichever ones you were referring to on the radio.
DAN BONGINO: I am for and against a lot of policy prescriptions. We are limited with 140 characters. What are your concerns?
BMORE LOCAL: Can you name 3 of Ryan's policies you disagree with? I'm curious where you disagree.
DAN BONGINO: what policies would you like to discuss?
CULLEN ENN: Yr quite skilled at dodging "@dbongino: @bmoreloc I will gladly speak to policies I support,but I cannot speak to what's in another's mind."
DAN BONGINO: again, which policies do you have a question about? More than happy to discuss.
CULLEN ENN: you said a thing. Explain that thing
DAN BONGINO: do you have a policy question? Taxes, Obamacare, education?
CULLEN ENN: you said there were points of disagreement with Paul Ryan. They are..?
DAN BONGINO: are you interested in Mr. Ryan or me? I can only answer for myself.
CULLEN ENN: I am interested in how you distinguish yourself from society-denying wingnuts
DAN BONGINO: there we go. I knew it was only a matter of time before the hate language emerged. Have a good night.
CULLEN ENN: "hate language"? You are running for... national office?
DAN BONGINO: The sad result of an attempted dialogue “@cullenenn:@dbongino I am interested in how you distinguish yourself from society-denying wingnuts"
PAT FOSTER (@patfo49): Dan, this is proof that even when you go out of your way to answer a question some people just will not let you!
SCOTT BURDETT (@_ScottyFoundOut): prog libs claim to help society by stealing from society.
KATHERINE RUSS (@writerRuss): Not sad- means you r doing something right!!!
So there you have it.
What policies does Paul Ryan support that Bongino disavows? Who knows?!
All we know is that in the end, Bongino thinks he's a martyr for having to reply to tweets asking him about the things he claims while his partisan supporters cheer him on.
When talking about the current Republican shutdown of our government, it's helpful to take a look at the last time we had a government shutdown (again, by Republicans).
Back in 1995, then Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich cited being snubbed on a plane by President Clinton as a main reason for the shutdown.
"This is petty. You've been on the plane for 25 hours and nobody has talked to you and they ask you to get off the plane by the back ramp. ... You just wonder, where is their sense of manners? Where is their sense of courtesy?"
"I think that's part of why you ended up with us sending down a tougher ... resolution. This is petty, but I think it's human."
Republicans got their feelings hurt and so the government was shut down.
This time around, Marlin Stutzman, the Republican congressman from Indiana, explains this new Republican shutdown of government:
"We're not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."
So once again, Republicans have their feelings hurt and they shut down the government.
Republicans claim they want to negotiate with Democrats over the Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government.
See, Republicans want to destroy the Affordable Health Care Act - a law passed by congress, signed by the President (who ran on it and was re-elected) and was found constitutional by a conservative Supreme Court. They're afraid that it will be as successful and popular as Social Security, and they'll never be able to kill it.
So they want to hold the funding of the government hostage until they can damage (if not destroy) affordable health care for Americans.
But here's the thing, the CR, which is budget funding, is already operating under the draconian Sequester. Which means the budget is much closer to the proposed Paul Ryan (Republican) budget than it is to the proposed President Obama budget.
So, if Republicans really want to negotiate, Democrats should come to the table with a demand for Republicans to end the Sequester and fully fund the government in accord with the proposed Obama budget instead of negotiating from a position where Republicans have already won.
One must also keep in mind that should Democrats actually negotiate on the CR (which would be a huge mistake), they are setting a precedent that this sort of hostage taking is now an acceptable tactic. And Republicans will do well to remember that if they are actually ever able to reclaim the Executive Branch of government.
But the real problem we are now facing is that the Republican Party has become a radical, extremist party bent on ideology instead of pragmatism. And these radicals like the Sequester. They like shutting down the government. This is actually the end goal for many of them, and it's what they ran on to get elected in their districts.
They quote Ronald Reagan, saying over and over, "Government is not the solution to our problems. Government is our problem."
When you elect representatives to government who don't believe in government, government will fail.
Republicans are OUTRAGED that no Republicans participated in the 50th Anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington this week.
And it is a very interesting thing to point out - the lack of any Republican Party official participating in the commemorating of a landmark moment in America's Civil Rights movement.
So why weren't any Republicans involved?
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner was invited and declined to attend.
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was invited and delcined to attend.
Possible 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush was invited and declined to attend.
Former Republican Presidential Candidate Sen. John McCain as invited and declined to attend.
Every Republican member of congress was invited and declined to attend.
Former Republican Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were invited and declined to attend.
In the Republiverse (the slightly off-kilter "reality" that Republicans live in), conservatives are outraged at organizers of the celebration because every major Republican politician invited to participate in the celebration declined to attend.
Perhaps these Republicans were too busy meeting to figure out new voter laws to help disenfranchise minority voters.
Well, except for Eric Cantor. He said he was too busy meeting with oil lobbyists.
He believes that male fetuses masturbate in the womb.
During a discussion over the recently passed House ban on abortions, Burgess said:
"Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?"
This should raise certain profound questions in religious circles - is it a sin for a fetus to masturbate?
Oh yeah, and also, the Republican Party made him the Vice-Chair on the Subcommittee on Health.