How Much Does Obama Hate Israel? 1.9 Billion Times
Bunker busters

Bunker busters

One of the many persistent right-wing lies about Pres. Obama is that he hates Israel. It may be true that he’s not fond of the country’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, a despicable figure who is closely aligned with Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a cabal that makes no secret of its contempt for the president. But there’s no evidence that Obama loves or hates Israel any more than he likes or dislikes any of America’s allies.

Writing in the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf summed up this particular right-wing myth about the president last summer:

Bush’s CIA Briefer: Cheney and Bush Lied about Iraq Nukes
Republicans insist that the Bush-Cheney administration relied on faulty intel instead - because incompetence may be excusable but starting a war based on lies is a war crime
Mike Morell, the CIA officer who briefed George W. Bush on  intelligence, during his appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball"

Mike Morell, the CIA officer who briefed George W. Bush on intelligence, during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball”

Why did George Bush and Dick Cheney invade Iraq? Their foundational rationale for the invasion was to prevent Saddam Hussein from using nuclear weapons they claimed he had. Based on what we know now, of course, those claims were either lies or they were based on faulty intelligence. Republicans are desperate to assert it was the latter — that Bush and Cheney were merely incompetent and relied on bad data — because if the former were true, if Bush and Cheney knowing lied about their rationale for taking the country to war, they were guilty of a massive war crime and, by all rights, should be sitting the Hague today.

Earlier this week, Mike Morell, the CIA officer who served as George Bush’s chief intelligence briefer, confirmed that the claims by Bush, Cheney and others that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons were lies.

Video and transcript follow…

Rubio & Braman — By the Numbers

Marco & Norman

Marco & Norman

Tampa Bay Times has some interesting insights into the relationship between presidential candidate Marco Rubio and his Miami billionaire patron Norman Braman. Recently, Braman announced he was giving Rubio $10 million to help finance his campaign.

It appears Rubio is accustomed to feeding at the Braman trough. Here are some numbers that illuminate their relationship:

Republicans, a Rock, a Hard Place and Obamacare

screenshot-obamacare-free-birth-control

The Republican gambit of demonizing Obamacare is starting to backfire — as well it should. The strategy is based on a lie.

In 2009, Pres. Obama opted to use the individual mandate model as the basis of health-insurance reform — rather than the single-payer, Medicare-for-all approach his supporters preferred — in part because he hoped to strike a deal with Republicans. His quest for bipartisanship seems ridiculous now (as it did then to many people), but it was, in fact, grounded in reality.

Video: ‘Open Carry’ Is Apparently Only Legal When White People Do It
Officer forces African-American legally carrying an assault rifle to lie on the ground

Officer forces African-American legally carrying an assault rifle to lie on the ground

Two men — one white, one black — in jurisdictions where it’s legal to walk around with assault weapons, go out in public with rifles. A policeman questions the white guy and sends him on his way. With the black guy, it’s a different story.

Watch:

The Ten Senate Races Democrats Are Most Likely to Win in 2016

Feingold

Feingold

We’re not yet halfway through 2015 but the 2016 race for control of the U.S. Senate is starting to take shape. This week The Hill ranked the 10 most competitive races — and since then there has been a development in the race The Hill listed as likely to be the easiest pickup for Democrats.

Yesterday former Sen. Russ Feingold, the Democratic incumbent who was unseated by current Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010, announced he was entering the race. Johnson, a tea partyist, won by 5 percentage points in the tea party’s anti-Obamacare wave election after spending millions of his own money. The Hill quotes him as saying he won’t self-fund this year — which only means he’ll rely on his wealthy cronies to spend unlimited money anonymously to fund his campaign. The Hill cited a poll by PPP taken before Feingold’s announcement that found Feingold with 50 percent support against Johnson’s 41 percent. Wisconsin has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential cycle since 1984.

Within hours after Feingold’s announcement, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts endorsed him, according to an email sent by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

The Hill’s other nine most-competitive races are:

Even the Tea Party Disagrees with Jeb That Invading Iraq Was Worth It

chart-support-for-iraq-invasion

Fox Calls ‘Clinton Cash’ Lie About Foundation’s Spending ‘Incredibly Misleading’

Eric Shawn

Eric Shawn

One of the more startling assertions about the Clinton Foundation made in “Clinton Cash,” the controversial book by former Sarah Palin adviser Peter Schweizer, is that just 10 percent of the billions donated to the foundation goes to charitable activities. The rest, Schweizer has suggested, is pocketed by the Clintons.

Not surprisingly, Schweizer’s assertion has been proved to false. In fact, the 10 percent figure is such a flagrant lie that it couldn’t even pass muster on Fox. On May 6, Fox viewers were exposed to a rare glimpse of the truth, when Eric Shawn, one of the fake news channel’s “real” reporters, appeared on the network’s flagship broadcast, “The O’Reilly Factor”:

‘Clinton Cash': The Same Old GOP Smoke and Mirrors

For a free download from The National Memo, click the image.

 To download a free ebook from The National Memo, click the image

By now you’ve probably heard that a right-wing partisan hack named Peter Schweizer has written a book about the Clinton Foundation titled “Clinton Cash” in which he suggests that Bill and Hillary have been operating their foundation as a giant slush fund, and that Bill has been whoring himself out to moneyed interests who pay him “speaking fees” in exchange for favors delivered by Hillary when she was secretary of state.

You’ve probably also heard about Schweizer’s deep ties to the extreme right. He is a former Bush speechwriter, foreign-affairs adviser to Sarah Palin and blogger for Breitbart.com, the legacy website of the late serial liar and notorious racist, Andrew Breitbart. His work is riddled with mistakes and falsehoods. Fact-checkers and legit reporters have used words like these to describe his work in the past: “incorrect,” “inaccurate,” “bogus,” “a fatal shortcoming in Journalism 101,” “the facts didn’t stand up,” “unfair and inaccurate,” “specious argument,” “there was nothing there,” “suspicious,” “the facts don’t fit,” facts “do not check out,” sources “do not exist or cannot be tracked down,” “confusion and contradiction,” “discrepancies,” “admitted a mistake,” “neither journalism nor history,” “a polemic so unchecked … that we can’t tell the fact from the fiction,” sources “have clearly used him,” and “tacitly conced[ed] he was wrong.”

Despite Schweizer’s shady background, however, “Clinton Cash” has been taken seriously by “liberal media” outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post and others, who have lent it legitimacy by using it as a source for their reporting.

So — where there’s smoke there’s fire. Right?

Expel Texas: Gov. Abbott Musters State Guard in Apparent Move to Confront U.S. Troops, Provoke War with United States
A more perfect union: No Texas

A more perfect union: No Texas

Last week, Texas’ new governor, Greg Abbott, announced what was arguably the most militaristic anti-government action taken by a U.S. governor since the Civil War. Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard to muster in Bastrop County this summer to protect local residents while United States troops, including Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs, conduct training exercises there. The governor’s orders instructed the Guard to ensure that Bastrop County residents’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

Enumerati

  • 50%

    Of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life,” according to Gallup. “This is the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice position has had a statistically significant lead in Americans’ abortion views.”

  • 10%

    Percentage of the vote that Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker share, according to a new Quinnipiac poll that highlights how there is no frontrunner in the GOP presidential race. Said pollster Tim Malloy: “Safe to say, the 2016 Republican presidential primary is anyone’s race. With no frontrunner and identical numbers for the top five contenders, it’s a horserace which can only be described as a scrambled field – at least so far.”

  • $10,000

    Monthly salary Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Politico reports. “Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.”

  • 31%

    For the first time since Gallup began tracking it in 1999, there are now as many Americans who describe their views on social issues as “liberal” as there are who describe them as “conservative,” the Washington Post reports. “It’s been a long and slow crawl, but Americans have steadily become more liberal on social issues without much interruption — except for a brief dip when President Obama first took office in 2009. Today, it’s tied at 31 percent. Back in 1999, it was about two-to-one conservative over liberal.”

  • 41%

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) approval rating — an all-time low — with 59% who do not approve of his performance, according to a new Siena Research Institute survey.

Poetic Justice

So FIFA execs are said to have succumbed to temptation,
A scandal that has set off an international conflagration.
But you know we’ve passed irony
And are on the way to hilarity,
When Vladimir Putin accuses the U.S. of meddling in the affairs of other nations.

Verbatim

  • No one is entitled to the presidency, and no candidate has the right to skip the process of laying out a vision simply because he or she has the deepest connections in Washington or the most money in big-dollar donations.

    — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), writing on his website, taking a shot at Hillary Clinton and probably Jeb Bush as well.

  • We just knew if we signed that law, if we provided the information, that more people if they saw that unborn child would, would make a decision to protect and keep the life of that unborn child.

    — Gov. Scott Walker (R), defending his decision to sign a law in Wisconsin mandating ultrasounds for women before they get abortions, calling ultrasounds “just a cool thing out there,” Politico reports.

  • We are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech, because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage, you are labeled a homophobe and a hater. … So what’s the next step after that? After they’re done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech.

    — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), telling the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christianity faces a “real and present danger” from same-sex marriage supporters who cast opponents as intolerant.

  • If the 2016 GOP nominee gets no better than Romney’s 17 percent of the nonwhite vote, he or she would need 65 percent of the white vote to win, a level achieved in modern times only by Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide. Bush’s 2004 winning formula — 26 percent of the nonwhite vote and 58 percent of the white vote — would be a losing formula in 2016, given population changes. … The 2016 electorate, demographically speaking, will be worse for Republicans than 2012. And unless Republicans can begin winning more of the nonwhite vote, the 2020 election will be worse for the party than the 2016 election. And 2024 will be worse than, well, you get the idea.

    The Fix

  • Catholic Republicans are developing a pope problem. Earlier this month, Francis recognized Palestinian statehood. This summer, he’s going to issue an encyclical condemning environmental degradation. And in September, just as the GOP primary race heats up, Francis will travel to Washington to address Congress on climate change. … Francis may be popular with the general public, but key Republican primary constituencies — hawks, climate-change skeptics and religious conservatives, including some Catholics, are wary of the pope’s progressivism.

    Politico

PensitoWire

Infografix

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Libertarianism: The misguided belief that trading the yoke of big government for the yoke of big business will make the whip sting less.

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