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So, in case you haven't heard, Republicans have their "proof" of voter fraud being a problem.

According to Jonathan Kaminsky of Huffington Post:

Alabama Republicans, who offered a $1,000 reward for substantiated reports of voter fraud in this month's primary elections, said on Thursday they plan to forward credible evidence of wrongdoing to state prosecutors.
And what is this "wrongdoing?"
The allegations collected by Alabama Republicans include a candidate improperly offering to assist voters in filling out their ballots, a woman who was wrongly told she had signed up to vote absentee and could only cast a provisional ballot in person and cases in which voters were told they could only vote for Democratic candidates, Armistead said.
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David Brat is the new love of the Tea Party, and he's quickly launched into the kind of rhetoric that you can always expect from them, claiming:

Capitalism is here to stay, and we need a church model that corresponds to that reality. Read Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s diagnosis of the weak modern Christian democratic man was spot on. Jesus was a great man. Jesus said he was the Son of God. Jesus made things happen. Jesus had faith. Jesus actually made people better. Then came the Christians. What happened? What went wrong? We appear to be a bit passive. Hitler came along, and he did not meet with unified resistance. I have the sinking feeling that it could all happen again, quite easily. The church should rise up higher than Nietzsche could see and prove him wrong. We should love our neighbor so much that we actually believe in right and wrong, and do something about it. If we all did the right thing and had the guts to spread the word, we would not need the government to backstop every action we take.
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Mon May 26, 2014 at 05:04 PM PDT

Are Facts Liberal?

by backell

Anyone who has tried having a rational, civil discussion with a TeaPublican has had the odd encounter where they are informed the "Fact Check Sites are liberal."

Then they give you the "facts" that they're all owned and/or operated by George Orwell.

The "conversation" quickly devolves into quagmire of myth vs. reality with both sides being treated equally.

The conservatives even established their "own" fact-check site, Conservative Fact Check.

(As an ironic aside, I wanted to give it a good look, just to see if it was credible. It wasn't. It was a lot of opinion stated as facts. But the one article I did find a fact on was reversing their previous ruling that Obama'a birth certificate was fake.

Part of their reasoning was, "We recently had to part ways with a contributor named "Techdude."  It began with serious questions over whether his stated credentials are accurate. "

You get the irony: They had to recant their fact check because they didn't fact check their fact checker.

Inevitably it gets to this statement, which drives me insane to the point that I want to metaphorically rip my hair out, eat it, digest it, crap it out and then throw the hair-crap at the person who said it.

"You have your facts, I have mine."

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Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:10 AM PDT

They Didn't All Die for Our Freedom

by backell

To those brave men and women who died to protect our freedoms, we owe our gratitude. To those who gave up their lives under the pretense of defending our freedoms, we owe an apology.

We're sorry to Pat Tillman and all the rest who bravely went off to fight. We don't fault them in the least. Who we do fault are those who were reckless, careless, ambivalent and cavalier about the responsibility they held in their hands.

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Recently, George Will and the folks at Fox News thought it would be a clever rebuttal to Michele Obama to mock the effectiveness of a hashtag. In typical Fox fashion, they're faux pas could have been avoided with a cursory interest in history.

Will argued,

“It’s an exercise in self-esteem. I don’t know how adults stand there, facing a camera, and say, ‘Bring back our girls.’ Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say ‘Uh-oh, Michelle Obama is very cross with us, we better change our behavior.’”
Typically, this was either a case of the right-wing media either missing the point or trying to create a red herring. The point of #bringbackourgirls wasn't to reach the "barbarians in the wild of Nigeria." It was to reach the world. And the very fact that they were ridiculing on Fox proves it worked.
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It didn't take long, but the media has done the seemingly impossible. They have taken a story about a racist billionaire slumlord who made his coin off of denying the rights of minorities and turned it into a story about an unemployed black woman using her body to take away his freedom of speech, right to privacy and hard-earned business.

Reality be dammed. We don't need no stinkin' reality. Slut-shaming is so much easier than balance.


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I remember the first—and only—time I used, the “N” word. I was five, living in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Miss Posey was our nanny.

She was a large black woman who always smelled like menthol cigarettes. The only other thing I remember about her was that she was my favorite person in the world.

“Ain’t Miss Posey a N___r?” I asked in a deep southern drawl.

My parents looked at me shocked. My dad cracked me in the mouth almost before my sentence was complete.

“Where did you learn that word?” my mother asked.

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With the suspension of Donald Sterling has come a trickle of defenders. They’re not so much defending what Sterling said as his right to say it in his own home and not have that leveraged against him to force away his business.

Inherent in this argument are two fundamental rights: the freedom of speech, assured in our First Amendment and the right to privacy, implied in the Fourth Amendment. In order to adequately evaluate whether his rights were violated, it’s necessary to look at these as two separate issues.

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For years I've been trying to find some unifying principle which would tie together the varying and seemingly disparate beliefs of the Republican Party. Some of them are so self-contradictory, it's hard to fathom why.

Pro-Life and pro-death penalty? In favor of smaller government as long it it means that government isn't to small to mandate what you do in your personal life or what women do with their bodies?

All about the Bible except for those troublesome parts about remembering the poor and free healthy care?

Then it occurred to me, they're Darwinists, they just don't admit it.

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The Tea Party has an unintentional genius to it. They have stumbled across a new debate tool that is incredibly effective, and its time to give credit where credit is due. They have discovered "Teaphistry."

Teaphistry, is sophistry of such great magnitude, that the brain, in responding to the argument, simultaneously comes up with so many refutations that it actually causes a neurological overload, forcing it to shut down, leaving the arguer momentarily speechless.

Their logic is the equivalent of "If smoking kills, why are so many smokers still alive."

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Brian Banks, released from prison for a crime he did not commit last year, has been signed by the Atlanta Falcons. This is, of course, great news. If you look at the end of the book only, this is a feel-good story. If you look at the pages that came before it, it’s not so happy.

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Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:27 PM PDT

The Incentive of Being in the Middle

by backell

The problem with any discussion of “left” or “right” in American politics is that everything is relative. Many tend to think of themselves as in the middle, ergo “left” and “right” are defined in relation to where we individually stand, not in absolute terms.

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