GOP event hails ‘superhero’ Ted Cruz as right-wing Jesus

From Raw Story:

By Travis Gettys
Monday, October 28, 2013

Conservative activists compared Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to Jesus Christ during an event Friday, earning a chorus of amens from the audience of Iowa Republicans.

Steve Scheffler, a conservative Christian activist, thanked God for the freshman Texas senator who helped engineer the 16-day government shutdown in his effort to derail the Affordable Care Act.

He also prayed for more conservative leaders like Cruz who were willing to “be crucified for their belief system,” reported BuzzFeed.

The Republican establishment, including Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Orrin Hatch, have criticized Cruz for his legislative efforts to defund or delay Obamacare, but tea party activists applaud his stance.

“Every time one of these guys attacks him, it’s good for him,” said one Iowa Republican operative. “He’s like a superhero. The more bullets that get shot at him, the bigger and stronger he gets.”

Cruz and other conservatives at the annual Reagan fundraising dinner cast themselves as victims and compared themselves to David fighting an army of Goliaths that included the mainstream media and the Obama administration.

The Republican senator said “this is not a typical moment in the political process” because Obama was “intent on violating every constitutional protection.”

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Sam Harris on the ‘banality of evil’ in relation to religion

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FRC Literally Prays To God To Kill ENDA And Keep LGBT People From ‘Inappropriate Occupations’

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by David Badash
October 31, 2013

No doubt you are always amused when anti-gay hate groups bemoan their all-too-well-earned label of anti-gay hate group. They always claim it’s unfair, that they aren’t haters, that they’re merely following God’s will, or God’s word, or that it’s the fault of the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which calls anyone who disagrees with “God’s view of marriage” a hate group.

Of course, that’s all false.

The Southern Poverty Law Center takes great pains and spends years studying groups before they label them hate groups.

And those hate groups always keep working to earn that label.

Take the Family Research Council, who yesterday offered this disgusting statement attacking ENDA:

“This law would mandate the employment of homosexual, bisexual and ‘transgendered’ individuals in inappropriate occupations, disregarding the fact that sexual conduct may be relevant to employment.”

That’s just all kinds of wrong — and, quite possibly already illegal if put into practice.

What is an “inappropriate occupation” for an LGBT person, anyway?

Knowing that the Senate will likely vote on ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, next week, and seeing the huge momentum the bill is gathering, what does Tony Perkins‘ Family Research Council do?

Pray to God ENDA is defeated.

Yes, literally pray to God:

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How Religion Helps Men Evade Personal Responsibility

From Pandagon @ Raw Story:

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I posted at XX Factor about this website where women set out to shame “homewreckers”, i.e. women who slept with or even “stole” boyfriends or husbands who presumably had a monogamous commitment to another woman. It’s a brief post that doesn’t mention the blog of the woman—titled I’m In Love With A Serial Cheater—who started this shaming site, but I ended up reading many blog posts from it because, to be frank, the experience of being a woman who has completely absconded any personal dignity and is so devoted to even the most grotesque sexism is really alien to me. I began to almost feel sorry for the blogger, whose shitbag of a husband is clearly enjoying the hell out of having his wife and his mistress fight relentlessly over him. The only thing he has to do for the pleasure is occasionally pretend to be mildly sorry, but honestly not even that, because the blogger is 100% clear that she believes that he has no choice but to fuck a woman who offers. It’s mind-boggling and distressing to realize how many women have completely bought into the notion that a man’s only as good as his options.

But what I didn’t really touch on in the Slate post is the role religion plays in all this. The blogger printed a letter from a reader that really shows how religious beliefs that men are leaders and women are submissive helpmeets do not, in fact, encourage male responsibility. In fact, they do they opposite. Here’s an excerpt from the letter, titled “Open Letter To The Homewrecker”.

You don’t know my husband. I know him inside and out 14 years’ worth of mostly ups and a few downs that made us. 47 years that made him. His family, his needs, his desires, his weaknesses and his strengths. You don’t know him. You know what he tells you of himself. What he pretends to be in a dirty little secret world. It’s in his heart to serve the Lord and lead his family as a Kingdom Man, but his flesh is weak. Satan preys on him to distract and destroy and you are but one of many of the enemy’s tricks. Yes, TRICKS. My husband is caught in a spiritual battle and he is losing as you continue providing satanic ammunition. Manipulative texts, dirty pictures and Satan laughs at both of you and the destruction you seek to deliver. No, you don’t know my husband. If you did, you would know that he will not leave me. Not for the kids’ sake or child support but because he LOVES me in a way you will never know. In a deep and eternal way that doesn’t stop even if our relationship did. He desires me in a way he never has anyone else. I provide a sense of safety, stability, warmth, passion and freedom that no one else will. Unconditional love and acceptance in the safety of his covenant of a family. If you knew my husband you would know the juvenile infatuation that prompts him to reach for you will prompt him to reach for another if he was without you. That the chemical reaction in his brain is nothing more than a horny-teenage impulse and is unstable at best. The deep, abiding and familiar love he seeks he has at home. That when he is truly alone, it’s his family, not his harem that he misses. If you knew my husband you would know that romantic texts and sweet nothings are his player’s lines. Not his love language. He speaks his love in his actions – love is an action word for him. He shows it in making sure his family is taken care of in every way. All his empty words might get you to send one more dirty video or maybe get him laid, but he will tire of you soon. If you knew my husband you would want the best for him. You would want him to listen to the Spirit and God and move in the direction he moves him, which is not anywhere near you, my dear. You don’t know him.

Despite the fact that this woman believes that her husband is the “leader” of her family, the responsibility to hold the family together doesn’t belong to him, but to some random woman that he apparently has to fuck because men supposedly have no self-control. This always amazes me, the way that people with sexist beliefs both think that men can’t handle even the basic responsibility of keeping a promise but nonetheless are supposed to be the leaders while women are supposed to be followers. The bad logic of that should be screamingly obvious, and yet people don’t see it.

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Christo-Fascist Liar David Barton: It’s Not Global Warming, It’s The Judgment Of God

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A War on the Poor

From The New York Times:

Published: October 31, 2013

John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, has done some surprising things lately. First, he did an end run around his state’s Legislature — controlled by his own party — to proceed with the federally funded expansion of Medicaid that is an important piece of Obamacare. Then, defending his action, he let loose on his political allies, declaring, “I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor. That, if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy.”

Obviously Mr. Kasich isn’t the first to make this observation. But the fact that it’s coming from a Republican in good standing (although maybe not anymore), indeed someone who used to be known as a conservative firebrand, is telling. Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else — and only willfully blind observers can fail to see that reality.

The big question is why. But, first, let’s talk a bit more about what’s eating the right.

I still sometimes see pundits claiming that the Tea Party movement is basically driven by concerns about budget deficits. That’s delusional. Read the founding rant by Rick Santelli of CNBC: There’s nary a mention of deficits. Instead, it’s a tirade against the possibility that the government might help “losers” avoid foreclosure. Or read transcripts from Rush Limbaugh or other right-wing talk radio hosts. There’s not much about fiscal responsibility, but there’s a lot about how the government is rewarding the lazy and undeserving.

Republicans in leadership positions try to modulate their language a bit, but it’s a matter more of tone than substance. They’re still clearly passionate about making sure that the poor and unlucky get as little help as possible, that — as Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, put it — the safety net is becoming “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.” And Mr. Ryan’s budget proposals involve savage cuts in safety-net programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

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Climate Impacts Poised to Decimate Human and Earth Systems, says Leaked IPCC Draft

From Common Dreams:

Leaked draft of UN panel’s global review of future impacts from global warming predicts system break-downs across the board

Jon Queally

A draft of a global scientific review on how human and natural systems are expected to respond to the growing threat of climate change has been leaked and its contents—though not wholly unexpected to those who have followed climate science news in recent years—are nonetheless both alarming and devastating.

Titled, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, the leaked document is the draft version of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest review of the global scientific consensus on the global warming and climate change.

The IPCC’s first installment, released in September, focused on assessing the global scientific community’s combined research on the causes, pace, and evidence of planetary climate change. As the title of the leaked draft suggests, the next installment takes a more focused looked at the way the projected climate impacts will play on a variety of the Earth’s systems both in the natural world, including the oceans and natural habitats, and those, like agricultural and economic systems, built by human society.

Focusing on what the draft report says about the future of world agriculture and food security, the New York Times reports:

On the food supply, the new report finds […] that over all, global warming could reduce agricultural production by as much as 2 percent each decade for the rest of this century.

During that period, demand is expected to rise as much as 14 percent each decade, the report found, as the world population is projected to grow to 9.6 billion in 2050, from 7.2 billion today, according to the United Nations, and as many of those people in developing countries acquire the money to eat richer diets.

Any shortfall would lead to rising food prices that would hit the world’s poor hardest, as has already occurred from price increases of recent years. Research has found that climate change, particularly severe heat waves, was a factor in those price spikes.

The agricultural risks “are greatest for tropical countries, given projected impacts that exceed adaptive capacity and higher poverty rates compared with temperate regions,” the draft report finds.

Asked by the New York Times, IPCC spokesperson Jonathan Lynn did not dispute the authenticity of the document, but emphasized that it was a “draft” still under review and said, “It’s likely to change.”

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