Montana’s Gianforte Will Fit Right In With The Washington GOP.

So what if he’s an out-of-control billionaire who assaulted a reporter for merely asking a question? What does it matter that, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, he has supported white supremacists and other hate groups? He is a member of a political party represented by those who have done much worse.

For example, the party leader is now a thrice-married president who has admitted to serial sexual assault; who has mob ties both in the US and Europe; who demeaned Gold Star parents; who praises murderous dictators while alienating our closest allies; and who is currently using the White House as an ATM to enrich himself and his family.

The Attorney General is, and long has been, an avowed rapist by both his words and his deeds. The head of the EPA has prioritized the fossil fuel and mining industries over clean air and water. The White House budget director has stated that he will measure the success of his budget by the number of people who are no longer able to obtain food stamps and other financial support.

The Republican caucus in Washington and statehouses across the country includes delegates who have committed sexual assault and incest. The religious “family values” candidates who have been caught in extramarital affairs are too numerous to count. Many of those who vehemently claim to be anti-gay have themselves engaged in homosexual acts – some with children.

Some of the Republican congressional leaders have accepted hundreds of thousands in campaign donations from foreigners. Some raked in huge profits from investments as a result of voting to take health care away from millions of Americans. Republicans have undermined the Constitution by passing strict voter ID laws denying hundreds of thousands of citizens their right to vote. They have gerrymandered congressional and legislative districts to perpetuate their re-election. And many have turned over their legislative responsibilities to lobbyists and corporations through groups such as ALEC and the NRA.

Republicans have repeatedly campaigned on platforms of fear – encouraging people to blame their problems on the media, immigrants, people of color and the LGBT community. By fear-mongering, they are also able to channel a large percentage of our GDP to defense contractors and an already bloated defense department – a department so lax with accounting, it’s unable to account for trillions in spending, including the billions of US cash it “lost” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are committed to a ideology of supply-side (aka trickle-down, Reaganomics, voodoo, and horse and sparrow) economics that has repeatedly failed. Indeed, it has been a disaster for our nation’s finances, resulting in massive deficits and a ballooning national debt. Its only proven success is its ability to redistribute money from ordinary people to the already very wealthy.

As part of their pandering to the rich, Republicans have fought to privatize education and prisons, even Social Security. If there’s a pool of taxpayer money, they are determined to allow corporate interests to sink their claws into it. They repeatedly privatize profits while socializing the costs to citizens and the environment.

So welcome to Washington, Congressman Gianforte. You’ll fit right in.

GOP Government Setting New Standards For Corruption.

While most of the nation’s attention is focused on the immigration ban, the level of this administration’s corruption has been largely overlooked. It began even before Donald Trump took office when he became the first presidential candidate since Gerald Ford who refused to release his tax returns. As you no doubt recall, the reason given was that his returns were being audited by the IRS. But, after his election, Trump now claims that only the media are interested.

Why is he the first president in 40 years to break with tradition? Likely because his returns will show that he is not as successful as he claims and that, as many have reported, he owes a fortune to Russian oligarchs with ties to Putin.

But that is only one example of Trump’s new standard for lack of transparency.

It is now know that Trump used his campaign to funnel $14 million into his company coffers. Following his election, he refused to place his business interests into a blind trust to prevent conflicts of interest. This is important because Trump has business dealings around the globe – any one of which could violate the Constitution’s emoluments clause (Article 2, Section 1) which is cause for impeachment. Despite such concerns, immediately following the election, Trump used a phone call with the Japanese prime minister to request special handling of a hotel permit.

More worrying is the fact that Trump’s transition team tried to eliminate all Inspectors General which are responsible for investigating misconduct, waste, fraud and abuse of government procedures. The moment Trump was sworn into office (actually, it was the majority of Americans who were doing the swearing), Trump was in violation of the terms of his DC hotel lease. Eric Trump’s recent trip to Uruguay for Trump’s business interests cost taxpayers $97,830 in hotel bills (at a Trump Hotel, of course) for his accompanying security. And not to be left out, Melania’s attorneys argued as part of her libel suit against the Daily Mail that a story cost her a once in a lifetime chance to make millions in her business pursuits based on her new status as First Lady.

And the Trumps are not alone with their disregard for ethical standards.

The very first act of the new GOP-controlled Congress was to try to eliminate the independent Congressional ethics office with an early morning vote. They were stopped only when Democrats called attention to the vote and when Trump tweeted his displeasure (likely not with the action itself, but with the appearance of his complicity).

Despite reports from US intelligence agencies that Vladimir Putin interfered with our elections by ordering the hacks of the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee, the DCCC, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and by paying young adults to serve as pro-Trump social media trolls, Congress has refused to authorize a special prosecutor to investigate. In fact, they have given the reports far less attention than the multiple investigations of Benghazi. And though, Republicans were horrified by Clinton’s use of a private email server, they seem totally unconcerned that Trump’s White House advisers are using private email accounts.

Moreover, many of Trump’s cabinet nominees and White House advisers have long-time ties to Putin. Trump himself has spoken in glowing terms about Putin and has drawn parallels between Putin’s strong arm tactics and the US. There are credible reports that Trump is being blackmailed by Putin as a result of a dossier on Trump’s actions while visiting Russia. In addition, there are allegations that Igor Sechin, CEO of Russia’s state oil company, offered Trump ally Carter Page a 19 percent stake in the company in exchange for Trump’s lifting of US sanctions on Russia. Though the economic sanctions have not yet been lifted, disregarding Trump’s executive order removing sanctions on the sale of cyber-technology to the Russian intelligence agency, there are reports that 19.5 percent of the Russian oil company was sold to anonymous buyers through a labyrinth of shell companies – a fact that should give us pause since it equals the exact amount promised to Trump plus the requisite brokerage fees!

In addition, White House insiders have reported that the Oval Office recorder was turned off during Trump’s phone conversation with Putin (shades of Tricky Dick Nixon). Yet Congress still refuses to have a serious investigation into Trump-Putin ties.

Domestically, Congress and Trump plan to gut Dodd-Frank, the law designed to prevent another financial meltdown such as the banking collapse of 2008. Trump overturned the fiduciary rule put in place by former President Obama to require financial planners to work in the best interests of their clients. The Senate confirmed Trump’s unqualified nominee for Secretary of Education likely due to the millions donated by DeVos and her family to help elect Republican candidates. And the Senate has voted to repeal the Dodd-Frank anti-corruption rule – a decision that benefits only too-big-to-fail banks and other large, multinational corporations.

Of course, there is much more.

Congress has promised to repeal the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act. There are bills to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency and The Department of Education. And, given Trump’s cabinet nominees, it would seem that many other government agencies and departments, including the Labor Department, Energy Department and Health and Human Services are earmarked for destruction.

It cannot be said loud enough or repeated often enough: THIS IS NOT NORMAL!

The GOP Clown Car Has Turned Into A Clown Caravan.

With John Kasich’s recent announcement, there are now officially 16 – count ’em – 16 Teapublicans running for president. That’s certainly an impressive number. Now let’s talk about how many are actually qualified to be president.

Zero. None. Nada.

Certainly, some have led their respective states as governors. Others have been elected to Congress. Still others have been successful in business. Those credentials would certainly make them appear to be qualified. Yet their actual accomplishments – or lack of them – tell another story. For example, the leading clown is Donald Trump who inherited his wealth. After nearly gambling away his inheritance, he managed to rebuild his fortune through a combination of bullying tactics and his irrepressible loud mouth – neither of which are traits that would qualify him for public office. In fact, since declaring his intentions to run for office, he has already managed to offend US veterans, most of Mexico, and the majority of those not already eligible for mental health counseling.

Next in the polls is Scott Walker, the Koch-financed governor of Wisconsin who has led the gerrymandering of legislative districts, cut taxes for the wealthy, destroyed collective bargaining in Wisconsin and overseen the most sluggish economic recovery in the Midwest. A US economy based on Walker’s Wisconsin model would be disastrous.

Close behind, his clown shoe toes tripping on the heels of Walker’s, is Jeb Bush the man, who as governor of Florida, disenfranchised more than 10,000 eligible voters in order to hand the 2000 election to his brother. Do you really want to see yet another Bush in the White House? More to the point, do you really want to reward Jeb for subverting the democratic process?

Farther back in the clown caravan are Mike “Uncle Sugar” Huckabee who believes that we should let God run the country. Of course, that presumes that he has a direct connection to the supreme being. If that’s what you believe, why not just skip Huckabee and initiate a write-in campaign for Pope Francis or the Dali Lama? Certainly, they have more verifiable connections to higher beings.

Next, we have Marco Rubio who has long claimed to be a refugee of Castro’s Cuba, only the records show that his family left more than two years before the Cuban Revolution. In the polls, he’s followed by Tea Party favorite Dr. Ben Carson who has equated gay marriage to bestiality, Rand Paul, Ted “The Filibusterer” Cruz, Rick “Oops” Perry, Chris “Bridgegate” Christie, the aforementioned Kasich, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina and Lindsey “I’ve never seen a war I didn’t like” Graham who, despite pedaling as fast as they can, are going in circles.

Nothing could better illustrate the dismal state of the Republican Party than its presidential candidates. If this is the best the Party can offer, then the Party is on life-support. And if – gasp – one of them is actually elected, our nation will likely soon be in a similar state of despair.

Rick Perry Reveals The Right Wing Agenda.

It would seem that 2012’s “Ooops” candidate has had another “Ooops” moment. In launching his 2016 presidential bid, he finally remembered the 3 federal departments he would eliminate: the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and the Department of Energy. And that’s not all. He would also eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, the IRS, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and, of course, Obamacare.

He’s also not very keen on the Department of the Interior and the legal system, saying “It’s [America] in jeopardy because of taxes; it’s in jeopardy because of regulation; it’s in jeopardy because of a legal system that’s run amok. And I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God and say, “God, You’re going to have to fix this.”

That’s the ticket.

Perry believes that we don’t have to worry about the state of our crumbling infrastructure, our militarized police departments, our over-stressed environment, our large corporate polluters, global warming, growing inequality, rampant racism, debilitating poverty, political polarization, and our for-hire Congress.

All we have to do is let God run the country. Oh, wait. How, exactly, can he do that? Since He doesn’t talk to all (many) of us, who will be his interpreter? Who will carry out His orders? Why Teapublicans, of course! According to the right, only they are the true patriots; only they have a close relationship with God; only they know what God wants.

Is that what you believe? That Teapublicans are the only moral, God-fearing politicians? If so, then how do you explain the pedophilia of Dennis Hastert? How do you explain the adultery of Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston and so many other Teapublicans? How do you explain the war-mongering of John McCain and Lindsey Graham? How do you explain the GOP’s uncaring attitude toward the poor? How do you explain the GOP’s embrace of the rich and powerful? How do you explain the GOP’s lack of interest in preserving the environment and all of God’s creatures?

You can’t…because it simply defies explanation.

The real problem for the GOP is that Perry was, in a manner of speaking, speaking out of school. You see, his beliefs are the same as those of most – if not all – of the declared GOP candidates. And the GOP would rather not have you know about them. They don’t want seniors to know that they want to eliminate Social Security and Medicare as “socialism.” They don’t want you to know that they consider public education “socialism.” They don’t want you to know that they are against worker’s rights and any form of collective bargaining. They don’t want you to know that they are deep in the pockets of the oil companies and are paid to do their bidding. They don’t want you to know that they simply don’t care about the poor.

Don’t believe it?

Then take a close look at what’s happening in Teapublican-controlled states like Arizona, Kansas and Wisconsin. In those and other red states, the GOP has cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy and balanced the budgets on the backs of the poor, as well as the teachers and students. The results have been disastrous, yet they don’t seem to care.

Instead of admitting their mistake and addressing the problems, the GOP is doubling down. They want to expand the misery to the entire country.

GOP’s Age Warfare.

Teapublicans always whine about what they refer to as “class warfare” whenever anyone wants to level the playing field between the wealthy and the middle class. But now they are waging a war on those 50 and older by trying to privatize Social Security and Medicare. To push their agenda of destroying “entitlements,” the Tea Party says these safety net programs are unfair to millennials who have to contribute to the programs.

Would the millennials rather contribute to their parents when the safety nets fail?

Would they rather take in their elderly parents and grandparents? Would they prefer to offer them transportation, feed them, clothe them, provide elder care, track their meds, and bathe them? Would they like to cover their health care costs?

There’s a reason that most civilized nations have safety nets, such as Social Security and Medicare. It’s because most compassionate people would rather not see the elderly broke, hungry, sick and homeless. The large corporate masters of the Republican Party and its Tea Party parasites, on the other hand, only care about their bottom lines. If increasing profits hurts some people, so what? Their overpaid and overstuffed executives won’t have to worry about retirement, and neither will their parents. In most cases, they can simply send a check to help out poor ol’ Mom and Dad.

Has it really come to this? Is the new GOP strategy to pit one generation against another? Has the GOP tired of taking money from the working poor and food stamps from children? Are the elderly the last people standing between them and the tax-free government they desire?

These words may seem cynical. But that’s far better than the cynical actions of today’s GOP.

Egypt’s Morsi = America’s GOP

When asked to explain the removal of President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian leaders said that Morsi had offered no plan; no vision to solve the nation’s problems. Instead, he focused on consolidating the power of the Muslim Brotherhood and instituting Sharia law.

In many ways, his actions paralleled those of the GOP in the US.

Like Egypt, we have millions of unemployed. We have tens of thousands of recent college graduates with no jobs; not even any prospects of jobs. We have millions who, despite working full-time jobs, live in poverty. Our infrastructure is crumbling around us.

So how are Congressional Republicans dealing with these problems?

Like the Muslim Brotherhood, they are focused on consolidating power. In Republican-controlled states, they are gerrymandering Congressional districts to ensure their re-election. They are pushing through laws to limit the voting rights of minorities. And they are instituting their own form of repressive, antiquated laws to control women’s bodies; to control who may marry; to pick economic winners and losers.

The GOP has offered no legislation to address our growing number of problems. No jobs bills. No plan to rebuild infrastructure. No plan to help workers earn a living wage. No plan to break up our growing number of monopolies. No plan to deal with climate change. No plan to control healthcare costs. No plan to take the corruption out of politics.

The GOP’s only vision is to obstruct the plans of President Obama. If anything, that makes them worse than Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

“RNC Needs To Be Closed For Repairs.”

That’s what former Senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole said about today’s Republican National Committee. Asked if he would fit into the GOP today, he said, “I doubt it…Ronald Reagan wouldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon wouldn’t have made it, because he had ideas.”

Now Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) has reiterated Dole’s comments. “The Republican Party is undergoing some, you know, significant and serious changes, and they are going to have to rethink their approach as a political party and how they are going to regroup and become a governing majority party that appeals to a broader group of Americans than they do today,” she said.

Dole and Snowe are the latest in a long line of moderate Republicans to decry their own party…or, more accurately, what’s left of their party.

But don’t expect Dole’s and Snowe’s comments to make much of an impact on the party. Today’s Republicans, especially their Tea Party parasites, simply don’t listen to reason. They live in an imaginary world where faith prevails over science; ideology over mathematics; anger over compromise; fantasy over history.

According to today’s Republicans, Ronald Reagan never raised taxes, Reagan and Bush never presided over deficits, and neither contributed to the national debt. They believe Watergate was merely a second-rate burglary, Reagan never sold weapons to Iran, and Bush never lied about WMD in Iraq.

In Republican World, only liberals and socialists rely on government while Republicans rely on their investments and hard work. On their own Red Planet, Republicans believe that government is unnecessary because free markets are self-correcting and self-policing; if corporations cheat or lie, they simply won’t survive…never mind the impact on consumers.

In Republican World, all scientists are wrong about climate change; all economists are wrong about the negative effects of austerity; and evolution is just a theory.

Most important, in the new Republican Party, all real Republicans toe the party line; independent thought is heresy; and former Republican officials who criticize the party are just that…former Republicans .