Thursday, October 27, 2016

Republican Mike Gallagher says he has courage, but doctors video to score political points

Gallagher’s moral courage is lacking, especially after crafting a deceptive campaign ad

Republican candidate for Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional district Mike Gallagher is running a political advertisement calling out his opponent, Democratic candidate Tom Nelson, for saying he lacks courage.

Gallagher has a U.S. military background. “Joining the Marines the day he graduated college, two combat tours, yet Nelson questions Gallagher’s courage?” the ad asks.

Certainly Mike Gallagher has shown tremendous courage in serving his nation dutifully overseas. No one should question that service.

Yet Nelson hasn’t questioned that service. The quote that the Gallagher campaign used in its ad deriding Nelson’s words is taken wildly out of context in an attempt to distort what Nelson was really talking about during a television interview.

Tom Nelson did not question whether Gallagher served valiantly or not; rather, Nelson asked whether Gallagher demonstrated moral courage in continuing his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for president, even after video of Trump surfaced that exposed him bragging about being a sexual predator.

Gallagher has yet to denounce his candidate, continuing to endorse Trump for president. And that, Nelson contends, is how Gallagher lacks moral courage.

Here’s Nelson’s full quote, in context:
My opponent has stood shoulder to shoulder with Donald Trump after everything he has said, all of the vile comments. That question is about moral courage. Whether or not the candidate for this office has the moral courage or not to oppose Donald Trump, and I will oppose him.
Gallagher would have been right to criticize Nelson if he had questioned his service to this country. But that’s not what Nelson did -- instead, he questioned why Gallagher continued to support a candidate that is obviously unfit to serve as president.

Gallagher lacks moral courage for continuing to back Trump. And that characterization by is further justified in his latest misleading campaign ad. Taking your opponent’s words out of context doesn’t show courage in the slightest bit. If anything, it shows cowardice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ron Johnson channels Dale Gribble in climate change comments -- people like it “a little bit warmer”

His failure to take the issue seriously makes him unfit for a second term in office

To hear Sen. Ron Johnson put it, global climate change isn’t a problem at all. Humans will actually thrive under the warming temperatures, he says.

“Climate has already changed, always will. I’m just not an alarmist. We will adapt,” Johnson told a Wisconsin radio station recently.

He was certain that the warmer temps would be welcomed. “How many people are moving up toward the Antarctica, or the Arctic?” he asked rhetorically. “Most people move down to Texas or Florida, where it’s a little bit warmer.”

Johnson doesn’t want to do anything about climate change either, calling those who bring it up “alarmists,” adding that their actions and proposals will do “a great deal of harm on our economy.”

He acts as though climate change is a propaganda tool for some hidden agenda. Ron Johnson, in short, has become Dale Gribble.

But that sort of thinking is just plain idiotic. Yes, people love the beaches and coastlines that Florida and Texas have to offer, and so they flock to them for vacations even in the heat. But climate change will affect those areas too, in negative ways.

It goes beyond the temperatures -- should they continue to rise globally we’ll see water levels rise on coastlines worldwide, which will be devastating to states like Texas and Florida. In fact, according to estimates from actual scientists, a complete melting of the polar ice caps would result in the entire sinking of the state of Florida, and much of the Texas coastline would also disappear.

Weather patterns across the globe will be altered as a result of climate change, too. The severity of storms will increase, droughts will destroy the farming industry, and massive hurricanes will become commonplace.

But hey -- the temperatures will be warmer! And that’s what matters, according to Johnson. People love going to the beach, they love vacationing in warmer why the big fuss about global warming?

There’s plenty to fuss about, even if our sole focus is on temperatures alone. We’re already seeing the negative effects of climate change with regards to rising temps -- over the past ten years, heat-related deaths have become the number one killer of Americans when it comes to weather-related fatalities. And it’s only going to get worse: excessive heat events across the country are expected to rise by 475 percent by the middle of this century (PDF).

Sen. Ron Johnson likes to joke about and scoff off climate change as an “alarmist” piece of propaganda. But for many Americans, climate change is real, and is a matter of life and death. That Johnson refuses to take it seriously demonstrates in part why he’s unfit for the office he currently holds.

He doesn’t care about you, the voter, or other Americans threatened by this crisis. He just cares about monied interests that want to ignore the problem exists in the first place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Activist who advocated for placing instigators at Trump rallies is rightly fired. Now what about Scott Walker?

Conservatives are inconsistent with their outrage, forgetting about governor's similar comments on instigators

UPDATE: Scott Foval just released this statement:
"This scheme to cast legitimate organizing activities as a sinister plot is nothing but a ruse. When O'Keefe's team of grifters attempted to find illegal activities going on , they were disappointed to discover, in fact, that I and my associates were only involved in above-board, legal, legitimate organizing work to counter Trump's campaign of division, misogyny, hatred, and xenophobia. Despite our attempts to redirect the conversation and actions towards positive, results-oriented, legal and ethical political organizing, O'Keefe's crew of imposters continued to walk down a path of deception and manipulation. Our team took the high road, deciding to not indulge the imposters in their dubious scheme, rather attempting to put our energies and intentions towards positive activities that garner electorally relevant results. All who view these recordings should remember that they were speculative conversations where we attempted to correct a misguided idea put forth by O'Keefe and his cronies, and we did not take the bait."
More updates will be coming as they develop. Stay tuned...original post below...

Conservatives are outraged because new footage from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas shows a high-level member of a liberal organization suggesting ways to agitate supporters of Donald Trump at his rallies.

[Scott Foval of Americans United for Change] made false comments that are wrong about inciting violence at the rallies. Foval has since been fired from Americans United for Change, which had a contracting relationship with Democracy Partners.

"I mean, honestly, it's not hard to get some of these a------- to pop off," Foval purportedly says at one point in the video. "It's a matter of showing up, to want to get into their rally, in a Planned Parenthood T-shirt. Or 'Trump is a Nazi,' you know. You can message to draw them out, and draw them out to punch you."
The outrage over Foval’s comments are understandable. His words demonstrate part of what is wrong with politics today, that it has become a win-at-all-costs affair. Just because they come from the left doesn’t mean we should dismiss them, and I wholeheartedly condemn his suggestions as wrong.

But I do have to wonder: where was this outrage from the right when Gov. Scott Walker also considered putting agitators in the crowds? In 2011, during the mass protests that engulfed the Capitol Square in Madison, Walker took a phone call from a man he thought was billionaire conservative donor David Koch.

And when the fake Koch asked Walker about placing “troublemakers” into the large crowds protesting the anti-collective bargaining bill that he was trying to pass at the time, Walker told the caller that “We thought about that.”

Ultimately Walker also told the fake conservative donor that he and his advisors decided not to instigate the protesters, but it wasn’t out of compassion or ethical consideration; it was because doing so might help the protesters’ cause more than his own. In fact, that was his only concern:
My only fear [about planting troublemakers in the crowds] would be is, if there was a ruckus caused, is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has gotta settle to avoid all these problems.
Scott Foval was rightly fired from a liberal organization for suggesting he could work outside the law on a variety of issues, among them purposely instigating Trump supporters to engage in violence. His tactics should be shunned by all, especially those on the left.

O’Keefe’s Project Veritas organization has a history of selectively editing its undercover sting operations, but Foval’s words seem pretty clear to me. And they should be rejected.

At the same time, the outrage from those who view this as unsavory should be consistent. Many on the left have already condemned Foval, and he has been terminated from his employment for his words. Many on the right, however, are inconsistent with their outrage. They are flabbergasted with Foval’s recent actions, but in 2011 they dismissed Walker’s disturbing considerations as not worth acknowledging, in many instances.

In politics today it is hard to find consistency across the political aisles. What may harm your opponent today you may ignore about your own side tomorrow. If Americans are truly in favor of reshaping the political landscape, that sort of thinking ought to be rejected at once.