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Name: Don
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Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Illinois Republican who blamed LGBTs for autism and tornadoes still wants their votes

By David Ferguson
Friday, January 31, 2014 13:59 EST

The Illinois Republican candidate who blamed LGBT people for autism and extreme weather events is reaching out to the community and soliciting their votes. Susanne Atanus, congressional candidate for Illinois’ District 9 told LGBT newspaper the Windy City Times that the LGBT community needs her and that she needs them.

However, when the Times asked about statements Atanus made in an editorial endorsement meeting with the Chicago Daily Herald, the candidate stuck by her statements that God has sent autism, dementia, and extreme weather as punishments for increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage in this country.

“God is super angry,” she said.

She contended that same-sex marriage offends the Lord on many levels, saying, “Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn’t look right, and it breeds AIDS.”

Same-sex marriage and abortion, she said, are to blame for the recent successive blasts of super-cold air that recently froze Chicago and other parts of the country.

“Everybody knows that God controls the weather,” she said.

Nonetheless, Atanus doesn’t see why that should keep LGBT people from voting for her. She backs certain benefits for same-sex couples and believes that a booming economy will benefit everyone, regardless of their orientation. In a press release to the Times, she promised to “fix the economy with Common Sense Economics for Prosperity for All with daily positive returns on stocks so the l% will not get richer and richer. With more income, we will purchase more goods and services and this will create more jobs-the Greatest Economic Stimulus!”

She also hopes to remove the Constitutional separation of church and state.

“I believe that maybe there should be an amendment to get that out of the Constitution because God will never go away,” she told the Times.

“You can tell the community that I called to reach out to them, that I need them, and they need me,” she said.

LGBT activist Rick Garcia told ChicagoPride.com that his community isn’t likely to flock to the voting booths to support Atanus. And after state Republican Party chairperson Jack Dorgan said, “Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately,” Garcia doubts that many other people will, either.

“A bright spot is that the Republican party has disowned her,” he said.

In her editorial meeting last week with the Daily Herald, Atanus and her fellow GOP primary hopeful David Earl Williams III explained their positions on various issues of the day.

“God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she said. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”



Florida Ku Klux Klan leader boasts of ‘invisible empire’ of sympathetic public officials

By Scott Kaufman
Friday, January 31, 2014 12:46 EST

Residents in central Florida have become increasingly aware that the Ku Klux Klan is in their midst.

WFTV 9 reports that recruitment flyers for the Florida chapter of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) have appeared in neighborhoods throughout the central part of the state.

One flyer of the flyers implores readers to join the KKK “because the KKK has twice saved this nation from destruction as history clearly records.”

According to the organization’s perspective on American history, the KKK “saved” the United States from “n*gger terrorists” who threatened to destroy the country after the Civil War. Between 1865 and the early 1870s, former Confederate soldiers resorted to extrajudicial measures in order to restore the social hierarchy shattered by the war.

The Klan targeted free blacks, northern “carpetbaggers” and even Union soldiers before President Ulysses S. Grant signed the 1871 Civil Rights Act, which allowed local authorities to suspend habeas corpus if the Klan did not dissolve, which most chapters did.

The second time the Klan believes it “saved” America happened in the early 1920s. D. W. Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation had romanticized the Klan’s first flowering, and many Protestants — largely concerned with Catholic immigration and increased urbanization and unionization — felt the social order the first Klan had sought to restore was, again, in need of defense.

According to the flyers being plastered and passed around central Florida, it is once again time to defend their version of American society. According to the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s website, “it is the duty of all white Christian men and women to fight against the Communist who have stolen our Nation.”

The site and the flyers invite prospective KKK members to “Change your life; Achieve your goals; Expand your opportunities; Experience success; Gain self-confidence; Meet new people; (and) Make a difference in the world.”

In an interview with WFTV 9, the “grand dragon” of the Florida chapter — who remained hooded throughout the interview “because I care about my job” — said that the flyers are “just the tip of the iceberg right now,” and that he belongs to an “invisible empire.”

“We have police officers, paramedics, judges,” said the grand dragon. “They’re everywhere.”

Watch the WFTV 9 report on the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan below.


Full article posted with permission

Senate Dems raise $53M, have $12M banked


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ committee to elect senators raised $52.6 million last year and has more than $12 million in the bank to defend their majority.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Friday also announced it raised $4 million in December alone, but has almost that amount in debt.

Thirty-five Senate seats are up this year and Democrats will be defending 21 of them. The current balance of power in the Senate is 45 Republicans, 53 Democrats and two independents who generally vote with the Democrats. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to wrest the Senate from Democrats’ control.

The Republican committee focused on the Senate is expected to release its numbers later on Friday and is expected to trail the Democrats’ fundraising.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/01/31/senate_dems_raise_53m_have_12m_banked/

GOP committee has $21M banked to defend House


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican committee charged with keeping the party’s majority in the House raised almost $61 million last year.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Friday it raised $4.2 million in December and has $21 million banked for this year’s elections.

The Democrats’ committee to elect members to the House raised almost $76 million last year to fund its effort to retake the majority. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has $29.3 million in the bank.

The GOP enjoys a 32-seat advantage in the House, 232 Republicans to 200 Democrats. There are three open seats.



Christie's Office Declines To Comment On Letter Saying He Knew About Closures

ERIC LACH – JANUARY 31, 2014, 4:35 PM EST

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) office Friday afternoon declined to comment to TPM about a letter asserting that the governor knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures at the time they were happening.

The letter, sent by an attorney for former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein, described the decision to close the lanes as "the Christie administration’s order," and also said that “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.”

The letter was sent Friday to the general counsel of the Port Authority, and it was first obtained and published by The New York Times.



Feds Will Seek the Death Penalty For Dzhokhar. Here's Why It Probably Won't Get That Far.

By Josh Voorhees

Attorney General Eric Holder announced this afternoon that the U.S. government will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is currently awaiting trial for last year's Boston bombings. "The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision," Holder said in a statement.

The decision comes more than nine months after the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon, and the ensuing manhunt that ultimately ended with Tsarnaev in custody and his older brother, Tamerlan, dead. It sets in motion the highest-profile federal death penalty case since Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Still, there's a long way to go between today's announcement and Tsarnaev's potential execution. As the New York Times notes, only three people have been put to death by the U.S. government since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988. Meanwhile, in nearly half of such cases, prosecutors eventually withdraw the threat of capital punishment before trial, more often than not as part of a plea deal, according to the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel. Put simply: It typically doesn't make a lot of sense for the prosecution to give up its biggest bargaining chip now without getting something in return (read: a confession).

Also working in Tsarnaev's favor is his legal team, which includes Judy Clarke, a defense lawyer with an unmatched record of keeping high-profile public enemies off of death row. Her legal resume includes the defenses of Susan Smith, who drowned her two children in 1994; the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski; Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph; and most recently Jared Loughner. All received life sentences but were spared the death penalty. As the Daily Beast noted in a profile of Clarke last year, Clarke has previously quoted a fellow defense lawyer as once advising her, "The first step to losing a capital case is picking a jury." Chances are that's advice she'll look to follow this time, too.



Giuliani Says 'Fifty-Fifty' Chance Christie Knew About Bridge Lane Closures


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday there is a "fifty-fifty" chance New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) knew about an order to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September.

The assessment marked a big change for Giuliani, who has been a vocal defender of the governor in the wake of the bridge scandal and hosted a fundraiser for him last year before the scandal broke.

Emails that surfaced earlier this month showed one of the governor's top aides, Bridget Ann Kelly, was involved in discussions about the closures, which led to days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J.

"It's fifty-fifty, it leaves you with no possible way of knowing did she discuss it with him or didn't she discuss it with him," Giuliani said, in a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera that was reported by Capital New York.


Justice Dept. to seek death penalty for Boston bomber suspect

Source: Washington Post

The Justice Department will seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 20-year-old man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than two hundred others in April, according to a former U.S official briefed on the decision.

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s decision ends months of speculation in the case. If Holder had instead sought life in prison instead, it might have fueled Republicans attacks that the administration and the attorney general were soft on terrorism.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-to-seek-death-penalty-in-boston-bombing-case/2014/01/30/c15465d8-8785-11e3-833c-33098f9e5267_story.html

Chris Christie is falling apart: His hilarious 2016 hubris finally takes its toll

As a new report finds him looking at '16 general election, he loses a top supporter and polls show him fading fast


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is sinking fast. Yet another national poll finds that his 2016 hopes are fading, as he falls from first to third place among likely GOP presidential contenders in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, and 20 points behind Hillary Clinton. Like earlier polls, this one finds that Christie is losing his best attribute for 2016: his wide appeal with Democrats and independents.

Now comes another blow: he’s lost the Ron Fournier primary. A year-ago the centrist National Journal reporter, long a Christie promoter, wrote that “the smartest man in politics may be Chris Christie.” Today he writes: “I take it back,” in a piece headlined “Why I Was Wrong About Chris Christie.” While taking no stand on Christie’s direct culpability in the scandals erupting around him, Fournier says they show that “Christie ran a hyper-political governor’s office that focused relentlessly on a big re-election win to position him for a 2016 presidential race.”

Fournier comes a little late to that news, but he’s got a lot of company: If you didn’t believe Christie was trying to run up the score in his 2013 re-election campaign you weren’t paying attention. Why else would he spend millions of taxpayer dollars to hold a special election for senator, won by Democrat Cory Booker, in October, rather than Election Day in November, except to ensure himself a lop-sided if low-turnout victory?

But the extent to which Christie and his team went to run up his re-election numbers, especially among Democrats, is pretty amazing, as detailed by a gripping New York Times piece, “For Christie, politics team kept the focus on two races” – his 2013 re-election, and the 2016 presidential race. Fascinatingly, in this telling at least, Christie’s group was hugely focused on the 2016 general election, with a statewide strategy that focused on towns it termed “mini-Ohios” and “mini-Floridas,” swing districts often led by Democrats. The piece also details the effort the team made to woo Democratic mayors, brazenly coordinating state aid and development decisions with pitches for Christie endorsements.


A defamation lawsuit may kill National Review

Conservatism's flagship publication is losing a legal battle that could end in disaster


National Review, the leading right-wing magazine founded by William F. Buckley, is in a world of trouble — and they have one of their most popular columnists, Mark Steyn, to thank.

Steyn, as well as the magazine he writes for, are being sued by influential climate scientist Michael Mann for defamation. Mann took issue with a piece by Steyn in which the columnist accused Mann of fraud and approvingly quoted another right-wing writer, who wrote that Mann was “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.”

Usually, defamation is a charge that’s notoriously hard to make stick in the American legal system. So National Review’s initial response to Mann’s suit was to shrug it off and decline to apologize. But now that Mann’s suit has gone to court, things are looking considerably different. Two separate judges have disagreed with National Review’s argument that Mann’s suit should be dismissed — and now the discovery phase is set to begin.

Most remarkable, however, has been the behavior of Steyn — the one who got National Review into this mess in the first place. Rather than keep quiet and keep his head down, Steyn at one point wrote a caustic blog post which described one of the judges reviewing the case as stupid and incompetent. The predictable result of this brazen act of self-destruction was Steyn’s being dumped by the law firm tasked with defending him. And it looks like the firm is soon to show National Review the door, too.

No matter who’s representing them, however, the outlook for the folks running National Review is grim. Like many political magazines, National Review has a relatively small (but influential) circulation, and frequently loses money. Breaking even is a good year. So a large settlement with Mann, or a penalty handed down by a judge, could prove catastrophic.



Major Insurer: More Obamacare Sign-Ups Than We Expected

DYLAN SCOTT – JANUARY 30, 2014, 11:58 AM EST

A major health insurance company reported Wednesday that its Obamacare sign-ups were higher than its projections, some of the first concrete evidence that the health care reform law is working from the industry's perspective.

Joseph Swedish, CEO of WellPoint, told investors that the company had received 500,000 applications through HealthCare.gov and its state-operated counterparts. He said the number was "ahead of our most recent projections." He added that applications had spiked in December and the company expects another surge before the March 31 deadline to enroll in coverage for 2014.

“We do feel good about what we’ve seen thus far on the exchanges,” Swedish said on the call. “While it is early, we are encouraged by the level of applications we’ve received."

The majority of those applicants were not previously enrolled with WellPoint, Swedish said, though it wasn't clear whether they were previously uninsured or insured by another company.

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