Chomsky: ‘The Republican Party Is the Most Dangerous Organization in Human History’

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To help make sense of where we stand as an economy, as a country, and as human beings, Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Laureate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona, shares his thoughts with Lynn Stuart Parramore on the Age of Trump, foreign policy, dissent in the internet age, public education, corporate predation, who’s really messing with American elections, climate change, and more.

— Read on www.alternet.org/visions/chomsky-republican-party-most-dangerous-organization-human-history

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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Ted Cruz warns of “Watergate-style blowout” in 2018

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Wealthy conservative donors and influential Republican lawmakers say they increasingly fear a historic backlash at the ballot box next year if the GOP effort to pass a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws falls short in the coming months.

Image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Lincoln Center

At a two-day midtown Manhattan summit of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers’ powerful donor network, GOP patrons, senators and strategists spoke in cataclysmic terms about the price they expect to pay in the midterm elections if their tax reform effort does not win passage.

They voiced concerns a demoralized Republican base would stay home, financiers would stop writing campaign donation checks to incumbents and the congressional majorities the party has built in the House and Senate could evaporate overnight.

To head that off, the same Republicans said they are waging an intense, multi-front effort in and outside of Congress and the White House to shepherd the endeavor to the finish line.

Koch network officials said they have invested more than $10 million this year in advocating for the GOP tax plan.

Art Pope, a major conservative donor from North Carolina, put it this way: “When you have lack of success, that may depress voter turnout for Republicans, that may depress donations for Republicans and conservatives.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) warned that Republicans could face a “Watergate-level blowout” in the midterm elections if they don’t make major legislative strides on taxes and health care, invoking the political scandal that brought down Richard Nixon’s presidency and set back the GOP considerably in subsequent elections.

“If tax reform crashes and burns, if [on] Obamacare, nothing happens, we could face a bloodbath,” said Cruz, who spoke in a moderated discussion.

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The new reality on health care: Some Republicans don’t want Obamacare repealed

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WHERE THINGS STAND, HEALTH CARE EDITION — Republican efforts on health care can be summed up pretty simply: two steps forward, one step back. After reviving what seemed like a dead health care package, President Donald Trump’s White House and House Republicans’ efforts to try to pass a compromise package are once again on life support. Speaker Paul Ryan and House leaders decided to postpone a vote on the package to next week at the earliest, but it is unclear if they’ll be able to find enough votes. Republicans can lose roughly 22 votes. There are 15 House Republicans who solidly oppose the measure and another 20 that are leaning against voting for it. See Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan http://politi.co/2oS0pFY

IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER — Whatever the House does with Obamacare is only an opening salvo. Senate Republicans haven’t been engaged in the effort and they would make major changes to whatever the House passes.

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Don’t be fooled: The GOP’s rejection of Trump is about political expediency, not morality

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Over this past weekend, a spate of Republican party leaders denounced Donald Trump following the release of his now infamous Access Hollywood recording. The public exodus has left plenty of Trump opponents wondering: “Why now?” What made these comments the last straw for the GOP establishment? After all, the Republican presidential candidate has had plenty of other scandals, from Trump’s racist comments about federal district court judge Gonzalo Curiel and theKhan family to his sexist smearing of Alicia Machado to the revelations about his federal income taxes, the fraud allegations against Trump University and his public suggestion that Russia ought to spy on his political enemy. Republican senator John McCain even endorsed Trump after the candidate said he wasn’t a real war hero, but it was Access Hollywood that convinced him to unendorse?

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Trump’s Call for ‘Law and Order’ and Options Facing Black Community in Its Resistance to Police Violence

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Donald Trump; Too late to turn off; Primaries

Image: Rolling Stone

In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement and a national debate over badly needed reforms to the policing of communities of color, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has reintroduced the term “law and order” to the public discussion on the criminal justice system.  Meanwhile, as Trump calls on more police, the Black community is in a dilemma, and is left to ask what it must do to escape police brutality, when everything to date has not worked.

After rolling out his concept at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Trump gave a speech on law and order that was purportedly designed to appeal to African-American voters, with whom he is polling between 0 and 1 percent, according to recent polls. Yet, he made his remarks in West Bend, Wisconsin, 40 miles northwest of Milwaukee, as ABC News reported.  As the most recent Census data show, West Bend is 92 percent white, and has an African-American population of 1.2 percent, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Trump thanked law enforcement for their service, and condemned the recent violence in Milwaukee — impacted by police violence and economic deprivation — as “an assault on the right of all citizens to live in security and peace.”  His answer for the Black community, as he told the nearly all-white crowd, is more police:

Law and order must be restored. It must be restored for the sake of all, but most especially the sake of those living in the affected communities. The main victims of these riots are law-abiding African-American citizens living in these neighborhoods.

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Palin’s re-emergence underscores GOP split

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Image: AP Photo/Brandi Simons

If the Republican Party is on the verge of an implosion, Sarah Palin may have been the one who lit the fuse.

Palin’s complicated relationship with GOP leaders over the past eight years is a microcosm of the party’s broader struggles with its most restive members. What started with an embrace by party leaders evolved into wary tolerance, followed by a potentially irreparable split.

 So it’s perhaps little surprise that Palin is re-emerging on the national political scene at this moment of reckoning for Republicans.

Palin’s endorsement of Trump is seen as a knock against Cruz, who has been on the rise in Iowa for several weeks. She campaigned for Cruz when he ran for the Senate in 2012, and he’s said her support was instrumental in his victory.

 

Posted by Libergirl

Rand Paul Risks Wrath of Conservatives by Exposing the Truth About Their God, Ronald Reagan

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Image: Wikipedia

 The path to the Republican Party presidential nomination travels through Ronald Reagan’s ghost. From Iowa to South Carolina, GOP primaries are often reduced to a competition for the number of times a candidate can invoke his name. If Jesus hadn’t died at such a youthful age, Reagan’s image would have been what right-wing Americans imagined when they thought of an elderly Messiah. For a conservative to offer anything less than pious servitude to his memory is to violate the fourth of the Ten Commandments: thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, which is exactly the sin committed by one of the 2016 GOP packleaders, Sen. Rand Paul.

In a speech given to student Republicans at Western Kentucky University, Paul said you can trace the Republican Party’s hypocrisy on spending and deficits back to Reagan:

Some say, well that’s fine, but there were good old days. We did at one time … When we had Reagan, we were fiscal conservatives. Well, unfortunately, even that wasn’t true. When Reagan was elected in 1980, the first bill they passed was called the Gramm-Latta bill of 1981, and Republicans pegged it as this great step forward. Well, Jimmy Carter’s last budget was about $34 or $36 billion in debt. Well, it turns out, Reagan’s first budget turned out to be $110 billion dollars in debt. And each successive year, the deficit rose throughout Reagan’s two terms.

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