Tag Archives: NRA

Thom Hartmann Names Names of Senate Republican Gun-Lobby Whores

While Congressional Democrats conduct a righteous gun control “sit-in,” and 92% of the American people long for common sense gun reform, you may wonder who exactly are the people blocking an assault weapons ban and voting to arm terrorists? Well, wonder no more. Thanks to a crusading liberal author and talk-show host, we now have the names of the Republican man-servants of the NRA.

Thom Hartmann, in an article he wrote for Op-ed News, exposes the diabolical corruption:

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the NRA contributed a total of more than $36 million to 50 Republican senators over the course of their careers, according to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. And there are 10 Republican senators, representing 10 percent of the votes in the Senate, who have gotten an average of $3 million apiece over the course of their careers. These include veteran lawmakers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has brought in at least $1.3 million over his 30-year career; Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who have each received $1.4 million over their careers; and Pat Roberts from Kansas who has gotten nearly $1.6 million over the last 20 years. Sen. John McCain tops the list, though, by raking in nearly $8 million from the NRA over his 30-year career in the Senate.

“Then there are the junior lawmakers, like Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who has only been serving in the Senate since last year and has already received $1.9 million in money from the NRA and its buddies. And in just the first two years of serving in office, Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy has brought in $2.9 million for his votes against gun regulation, while Iowa’s Joni Ernst brought in $3.1 million, Cory Gardner from Colorado has brought in $3.9 million and Thom Tillis has gotten $4.4 million.

“Considering the fact that the NRA has spent over $16 million on five freshmen senators alone, and considering the fact that half of the members of the Senate have gotten donations of some size from the gun lobby, it really shouldn’t come as any surprise that our lawmakers won’t pass popular gun control legislation.

“If we ever do want to see common-sense gun control legislation passed, we need to get money out of politics, we need to overturn Citizens United and we need to get the corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists out of our political system. Because as former President Jimmy Carter has pointed out, we’re no longer living in a democracy where US politicians listen to the will of the American people.”

 

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Senate Republicans Vote To Arm ISIL, Ravage The Middle Class, Make The Rich Richer, And Deprive Millions Of Access To Health Care

The U.S. Senate, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers and the National Rifle Association, made a stand for violence, poverty and sickness in America the other day.  That’s right, in the wake of another gun-violence bloodbath, Republicans searched their souls, hearts, and collective conscience…and, realizing, they had none of those things, voted to make all Americans (except the very wealthy) more susceptible to death and financial ruin.

 

The timing of the Senate vote is, well, cruel to say the least.  At a moment when the blood of San Bernardino victims is not yet dry, Republicans refused to restrict gun access for those on the national terror watch list.  Think about this for a moment.  Right-wing politicians are okay with arming known radical Muslims, even though these same politicians regularly complain that Obama is doing nothing to stop known radical Muslims.  Does it not occur to right-wingers that disarming terrorists might be a good first step to stopping home-grown terrorist attacks?  As Hillary Clinton so eloquently stated, “If suspected terrorists are too dangerous to allow on planes, they should not be able to own guns.”

 

But when did Republicans ever let logic, sensibility, and compassion creep into their world view?  Their brand is stupidity.  Their priority is ignorance.  Their values are warped.  They are more concerned with pleasing their NRA overlords than they are with keeping guns out of the hands of ISIL.

 

San Bernardino will bring new howls about mental illness being the source of violence, but this claim has no basis.  According to Joshua Holland, a writer for The Nation magazine, “We don’t yet know what set off this latest bloodbath, but we know a lot about gun violence in America.

We know that our mental-health care system is indeed broken. But the gun lobby’s ubiquitous claims that fixing it will address the scourge of gun violence are merely a distraction from the real issue. Epidemiological studies show that the vast majority of the mentally ill aren’t violent. They tend to kill themselves at a disproportionate rate. Duke University psychiatrist Jeffrey Swanson told Health Day that people suffering from those kinds of mental-health problems are responsible for only 4 percent of the gun violence in America. Ultimately, talking about mental illness obscures the real problem: We’re awash in firearms and refuse to take the steps needed to keep them out of the wrong hands.  Perhaps the most frightening thing we know about gun violence comes from a study conducted by researchers at Duke, Harvard, and Columbia that was published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law. It found that almost one in 10 Americans who have access to guns are also prone to impulsive outbursts of rage. Among this group are almost 4 million people who carry their guns around in public and say they ‘have tantrums or angry outbursts,’ ‘get so angry [that they] break or smash things’ and lose their temper and ‘get into physical fights.’ The researchers also found that those who own many firearms are significantly more likely to exhibit signs of uncontrollable anger than people who own just one. The authors of the study noted that very few among that group had been diagnosed with the kinds of mental illness that would be unearthed in a standard background check. They say that we need to start restricting gun ownership based on whether people have a history of violence, not on diagnosed mental illness.”

 

God save us from angry, impulsive, gun-toting Americans…because the Republicans never will.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

I’m Boycotting The Evening News; I’m Sick Of Its Conservative Bias

The other night as Scott Pelley tried to lull me to sleep with yet another “kitten rescued from a tree story,” it suddenly occurred to me that watching the nightly news on the major networks is a huge waste of time. With all the destruction and deceit created by right-wing extremists in this country, it is obscene that CBS, NBC, and ABC focus such large blocks of time to celebrity gossip, cute puppy stories, heartwarming human interest (e.g., the blind person who succeeds in college), and other “news stories” meant to assuage my fears, curry my favor, or make me overlook systematic dismantling of democracy. I’ve come to the conclusion that nightly news broadcasts are nothing more than light entertainment, used by corporate sponsors and owners to sell me financial services, cars, and computer widgets. Real journalism is dead. The days of Walter Cronkite editorializing about the futility of the Vietnam War, Harry Reasoner denouncing segregation, and Howard K. Smith exposing Nixon as a criminal are long gone. And the insidiously deceptive part is that the things they will not tell you are the very things which are tearing democracy to shreds. Here are just a few of the things which go unreported by ABC, CBS and NBC.

1)The Proliferation of Guns and Gun Deaths in U.S.
In 2014, approximately 35, 000 people died by gunfire in the United States. It is estimated that 2015 deaths will exceed that number. The Center For Disease Control reports that gun violence costs American Taxpayers over $500 million annually in direct hospital costs. Yet you will not hear these stats on the nightly news, because these cowardly “journalists” are fearful of NRA and right-wing backlash.

2)Scandal-Free Obama Administration
Over 130 members of Ronald Reagan’s administration were either accused, indicted, or convicted of crimes. The two Bush administrations squandered our national treasure and destroyed countless lives with needless wars; billions of taxpayer dollars which funded those wars are still unaccounted for. War criminals like Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Don Rumsfeld have been given a free pass. On the contrary, the Obama administration has been absolutely scandal-free. Yet the contrast between his administration and others goes unnoticed in print and broadcast media.

3)Illegitimacy of Extremist Right-Wing Views
If Scott Pelley were broadcasting the nightly news in Berlin in 1933, he would hide behind the veneer of fairness and present the Nazi party viewpoint alongside the democratic stance. This analogy applies today, as right-wing extremism is presented as a legitimate opposing view on all issues. Even when right-wing politicians take ridiculously hateful positions, these positions are given equal time. A dumbed-down American public construes these positions as legitimate.

4)Right-Wing Presidential Candidates’ Lies and Scandals Go Unchallenged, but Hillary Clinton Gets Incessantly Hounded About Non-Issues Like Benghazi and E-Mails.
Carly Fiorina lied about seeing a video of an aborted fetus with a beating heart lying on a clinic table somewhere. No video exists. Planned Parenthood does not harvest human brains and limbs and organs for profit. Yet these lies, and a thousand others, are not exposed by the mainstream media. Viewers who believe everything they see on TV get a warped sense of reality.

5)Where the jobs went
Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness. Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20% of the labor force.  When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

6)Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality
In 2014, 10% of the people held approximately 88% of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1% alone held 40% of all net worth. The ultra-rich are hoarding all the wealth. Soon nothing will be left but scraps for the poor. These statistics are nonpartisan and available to all reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the mainstream media?

7)How ALEC is destroying democracy
ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. Sounds innocuous enough, but don’t be fooled. This organization, perhaps more than any other, is killing the democratic system. It is funded by the richest right-wing corporations and individuals in the country, who have bought and paid for most, if not all, right-wing politicians. ALEC drafts its own legislation and then demands that its whore-bought Republicans pass it. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:
• Stand Your Ground laws
• Voter ID laws
• Right to Work laws (union busting)
• Privatizing schools
• Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by ALEC. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor. They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters. But don’t hold your breath.

8) The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress
The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster. This is more obstruction than occurred in the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II administrations combined. In 2013, during the first 6 months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. The GOP has also succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.  Where’s the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

Where does one go for hard news and good, old-fashioned muckraking journalism in America today? You got me. Adlai Stevenson once said, “The free press is the mother of all our liberties and of our progress under liberty”; and Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”

Without a watchdog media exposing corruption, hypocrisy and the dismantling of democracy, we will devolve into a totalitarian state, run by and for the powerful few. Maybe this is what it was like in 1933 Berlin; we’re closer than ever to fascism.  Thanks, Scott Pelley, and you other talking heads masquerading as journalists.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Republicans Would Be Shocked And Petrified If They Met Real Jesus

Republican politicians, especially those running for President, like to pander to their hard-core religious base by blathering about Jesus. But what do they really know about Jesus? Would they recognize him if he enrolled in ACA, snuck across the border with the Hispanic poor, or collected a meager welfare check like other poor people? Because that’s how Jesus lived his first life over 2000 years ago–among the poor, the disenfranchised, and the victims of tyrannical right-wing authority. I can’t see modern-day Jesus as a rich capitalist intent on ending aid to the poor, the old, the sick, and the helpless. I don’t imagine Him as a fanatical, open-carry gun nut giving rousing sermons misinterpreting the Second Amendment and singing the praises of the NRA. I can’t picture him as a FOX News contributor supporting white racist cops who gun down unarmed black people. I doubt that he would extol the benefits of corporate greed and the need to eliminate the estate tax so that the wealthy can be wealthier. I seem to remember real Jesus saying something about how difficult it would be for a rich man to enter His Father’s Kingdom.

So how and why can so many people be fooled by the GOP’s phony sanctimony and its religious hypocrisy? Don’t they read their Bible? I have, and nowhere in there does Jesus passionately defend trickle-down economics and AK-47s. Perhaps we do need The Second Coming to wake up GOP voters. Political comedian John Fugelsang proposed this very idea. He mused aloud about the consequences should the real Jesus return to earth to run for President. Here’s what he said:

“I’ve come to view Jesus the same way I view Elvis…I love the guy, [but] the fan clubs scare me…like GOP candidates. We hear them all talking about Jesus all the time. They invoke his name incessantly. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get the actual Jesus of Nazareth to come back and run for President on the GOP ticket? They can’t pick a frontrunner anyway, so wouldn’t the GOP love to get behind a peaceful, radical, nonviolent revolutionary who hung around with lepers, criminals and hookers? Who never spoke English? Who was not an American citizen? A man who was anti-capitalism, anti-wealth, anti-public prayer (yes, He was…see Matthew 6:5), anti-death penalty, but never once remotely said anything anti-gay, didn’t mention abortion, didn’t mention premarital sex? A man who never justified torture? A man who never called the poor lazy? Who never asked a leper for a co-pay? A man who never fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest Nazarenes? And who was a long-haired, brown-skinned (that’s in Revelations), homeless middle Eastern Jew? Of course, that’s only if you believe what’s actually in the Bible.”

Can you imagine how the return of real Jesus would shake up conservatives? The point is, Republican candidates for the Presidency have no idea who Jesus really is. Or maybe they do, and like smarmy, snake-oil salesmen they are simply pandering to their Evangelical base. Either way, the real Jesus has already chastised them in unequivocal words:

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
–Matthew 6:1 ESV

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
–1 John 4:20 ESV

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

NRA Suggests Assassination of Obama; Promotes Hate and Violence On Its Website

It is important to monitor the right-wing crazies in this country who want to foment sedition, incite treachery, and return America to the Wild West.  At the forefront of the fringe movement is the National Rifle Association.  I perused one of its websites today, and there is enough hate, treason, and threat of violence to scare the life out of anyone with sense.

To be precise, it was the NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action), the NRA’s legislative lobbying arm, which got my attention.  The lead article is headlined, “Obama’s Power Grab To Ban Ammo In Full Swing.  Only You Can Stop Him!”  What it’s really trying to say its members is, “Hey, White People, The Black Man Is Trying To Take Away Your Weapons And The Only Way To Stop Him Is To Shoot Him.”  Next to the headline is a picture of a rifle bullet aimed directly at the President.

Scroll down the page and the level of crazy gets ramped up.  For instance, there’s this, “Wisconsin: Scott Walker signals support for eliminating 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.”  What can be more nutty and dangerous than eliminating two-day wait for a handgun?  Walker, an anti-union, anti-teacher, racist, homophobe (i.e., typical Republican) wants to allow a drunken Bubba, made at Gomer for stealing his cousin away, to walk into a gun store, buy a weapon immediately and shoot Gomer on the spot.  The current law allows Bubba to sober up and maybe rethink his options.  Walker apparently thinks we are restricting Bubba’s right to blast Gomer to kingdom come.  LET FREEDOM RING.  Red-state Americans, fearful of everything and everyone that is smarter, more progressive, more compassionate and more sophisticated than they, don’t want anyone to get in the way of the only thing they have to compensate for their inferiorities: the gun.  Many live in small towns in the Heartland where their neighbors have been all-white for centuries.  They’ve never met an African-American; imagine how appalled they are that one is in the White House.

Another headline reads, “Iowa Lawmakers Want Right-To-Carry Privacy.  Two state lawmakers are working behind the scenes at the Iowa Capitol in a bid to block the public from obtaining the names of people who hold permits to carry weapons and purchase handguns.”  God forbid if the rest of us should know whom we have to fear.  I thought concealed-carry gun owners were proud of their whackiness; I thought they wanted to instill fear in the rest of us.  Turns out they’re just cowards.

Perhaps the most frightening headline is this: “Arkansas Bill To Allow Guns At Bars, Polling Places, And Capitol.”  Makes perfect sense.  Now Bubba doesn’t have to even bother with walking down the street to the local gun shop to buy his weapon.  He can just bring it with him to the bar, get drunk, and kill Gomer without even leaving his stool.  He can also intimidate blacks into staying away from polling places, so that America will never be stuck with an negro president again.  Best of all, he can blast away at any legislator who dares to vote for reasonable gun control measures.  Because there’s nothing more important than Bubba’s freedom to compensate for his lack of education, intelligence, and tolerance by threatening others, committing treason, and violating the freedom of others to live in a safe, compassionate, reasonable country.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Stats Show That Concealed Carry Is More Than A Dismal Failure; It Could Be Hazardous To Your Health

 A recent editorial in The New York Times unmasks the NRA’s fanatical anti-gun control position for what it really is: a dangerous, even murderous stance that is all about profit and not protection. There can no longer be any doubt that more guns means more deaths, not fewer deaths. And that includes avoidable, criminal, even deranged shootings. The NRA has always claimed that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, and that more guns means a safer America. These claims, it turns out, are bald-faced lies. The Times editorial cites a new report issued by the Violence Policy Center which compiles data on gun-related deaths. The study found that “…in research involving 722 deaths in 544 concealed-carry shootings in 36 states and the District of Columbia, only 16 cases were eventually ruled lawful self-defense — even though this has been a major gun rights selling point for the new laws. More gravely, the study found that the fatalities included 17 law enforcement officers shot by people with legal permits along with 705 slain civilians. There were 28 mass shootings (involving three or more victims) in which 136 people were killed — even though concealed carry has also been sold as a defense against massacres like the one in Newtown, Conn. In studying the 544 shootings, the center found 177 cases where people with gun licenses were ultimately convicted of crimes, including homicides, and 218 cases where the permit holder used the gun to commit suicide. There were 44 total lives taken by licensed individuals who first murdered others, then committed suicide.”

The Times editorial adds that, “The full death toll attributable to concealed carry is undoubtedly larger because the center’s study did not cover all 50 states. Lawmakers dare not allow a national tally, so badly needed, to be kept by the government. No one is sure how many citizens now legally carry guns, but estimates run beyond 11 million nationally with many statehouse agendas pursuing even more permits.”

This is just more proof of what sane people already know: an NRA-loving, right-wing, white Christian male with a gun is a dangerous animal, and it is best to avoid the species at all costs.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

Parents Let 9-Year-Old Fire Submachine Gun; What Could Go Wrong?

Just when I thought gun nuts had exhausted every stupid and dangerous thing they could do with their guns, there comes news of this: a nine-year-old girl, firing an Uzi, shot and killed a gun instructor on an Arizona firing range. Here’s the article that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch–

PHOENIX • A 9-year-old girl accidentally killed an instructor with an Uzi at an Arizona shooting range as her parents watched. Immediately after the shooting the girl said that she felt the gun was too much for her and had hurt her shoulder, according to police reports released Tuesday.

Her family members were focused on the girl because they thought she was injured by the gun’s recoil and didn’t immediately realize instructor Charles Vacca had been shot until one of his colleagues ran over to him.

The family, whose hometown hasn’t been revealed by investigators, had taken a shuttle on Aug. 25 from Las Vegas about 60 miles south to the Last Stop range in White Hills, Ariz.
The report did not say why the family had gone to the range or why they let the girl handle the Uzi.

After arriving, the girl, her parents, sister and brother took a monster truck ride before heading out to the shooting range.

The girl’s father was the first one in the party to handle a weapon. After he fired shots, Vacca instructed the girl on how to shoot the gun, showed her a shooting stance, and helped her fire a few rounds.

Then, he stepped back and let her hold the Uzi by herself. She fired the gun, and its recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, killing Vacca with a shot to the head, according to the report.

The girl dropped the Uzi, and Vacca fell to the ground. The girl ran toward her family, who huddled around her as she held her shoulder. Another instructor rushed over to help Vacca. The other children were then taken away from the range, according to the report.

The report describes the family as shaken by the accident.

Prosecutors are not filing charges in the case. Arizona’s workplace safety agency is investigating the shooting-range death.

County prosecutors say the instructor was probably the most criminally negligent person involved in the accident for having allowed the child to hold the gun without enough training. They also said the parents and child weren’t criminally culpable.

The girl’s mother had video-recorded the accident on her phone.

“All right, go ahead and give me one shot,” Vacca tells the girl in the video. He then cheers when she fires one round at the target.

“All right full auto,” Vacca says. The video, which does not show the actual incident, ends with a series of shots being heard.

The shooting set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns, with many people wondering what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun.

It is hard to grasp what it is more shocking: the fact that idiotic parents would let a child handle a weapon of any kind, much less a submachine gun…or that the Arizona authorities are not filing charges. It is incomprehensible to me that this is not considered, at the very least, a case of negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter. The gun-nut parents should be locked up and never have the opportunity to wield firearms again…or let their children anywhere near firearms.

It is not shocking to me that this sort of accidental shooting happens every day in a country that not only condones but encourages widespread, indiscriminate gun possession and usage nearly everywhere people gather. It is the single sickest aspect of the right-wing bully culture that has reared its ugly head in 21st century America. And we on the left who do nothing about it are simply cowards. Meanwhile, more gun deaths occur in this country than in all other countries of the world combined.

I can already hear the NRA response to this incident. “This obviates the necessity for all children to have proper gun training in this country. If every nine-year-old knew how to handle a machine gun, this tragedy could have bee avoided.” Yes, that’s the logical solution–more guns in more children’s hands. It certainly would gun makers profits soar. And, by the way, for those of you who are oblivious to gun makers’ greed and callousness, that’s the whole point of the more-guns-for-America propaganda: it’s not about Second Amendment rights, or opposing government tyranny, or preparing for a civil war with the Kenyan President. It’s about more money in the pockets of gun makers and their public relations firm–the National Rifle Association.

http://neverlandpublishing.com/tpm.html