Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why Bernie Sanders Won’t Attack Hillary Clinton

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talked to The Nation: “Now, I’ve known Hillary Clinton for many years. Let me confess: I like Hillary. I disagree with Hillary Clinton on many issues. My job is to differentiate myself from her on the issues—not by personal attacks. I’ve never run a negative ad in my life. Why not? First of all, in Vermont, they don’t work—and, frankly, I think increasingly around this country they don’t work. I really do believe that people want a candidate to come up with solutions to America’s problems rather than just attacking his or her opponent.”

He added: “If you look at politics as a baseball game or a football game, then I’m supposed to be telling the people that my opponents are the worst people in the world and I’m great. That’s crap; I don’t believe that for a second…. I don’t need to spend my life attacking Hillary Clinton or anybody else. I want to talk about my ideas on the issues.”

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bill O’Reilly's Stupidest Statement Ever

By Janet Allon

1. Bill O’Reilly and colossal jackass colleague humiliate homeless people to score political points. 

Bill O’Reilly does not like “ultra-liberal” New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and this week he demonstrated that there is no low to which he will not go to make up bad shit about the mayor.

In a despicable segment, O’Reilly sent smarmy young reporter Jesse Watters to stroll around Penn Station, shove microphones into homeless people's faces and ask them where they slept and whether they had drinking problems. This was not about humanizing a population that needs help and kindness; it was about exposing them as the supposed con artists O’Reilly and Fox demand the public see them as.

After about five minutes of barraging various down-on-their-luck people with rude questions, Watters got some mostly white commuters to say how scary the homeless people are. He had to ask one little girl repeatedly, because at first she expressed some compassion for the homeless.

Watters returned to the studio to discuss his findings and how this is all de Blasio’s fault. Homeless people knew their place under Giuliani and Bloomberg, O'Reilly and Watters agreed.

“In Penn Station, you’re not allowed to loiter, sleep on the floor, or panhandle,” Watters said. “These violations should get you either kicked out, fined, or thrown in jail.”

O’Reilly agreed that criminalizing homeless people was an excellent use of cops’ time. People should not sleep in Penn Station, he reasoned, “because there are homeless shelters where people can go in New York City.”

Eager young disciple Watters agreed. “Why can’t they get these guys in really plush homeless shelters?” he asked.

He really said that. Plush. Homeless. Shelters.

Where do you find people who put words like that together in one sentence?

2. Geraldo Rivera finds yet another creative way to blame black people for racism.

Everyone on the Fox News program, "The Five," totally agreed that Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the BET Awards was not their cup of tea. Kimberly Guilfoyle was “not feeling it,” a criticism sure to make Lamar wail and rend his hair. “Personally, it doesn’t excite me, it doesn’t turn me on,” Guilfoyle continued, as if anyone in the entire world gives a crap about her views on hip hop.

Lamar had conjured up the unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, by dancing atop a police cruiser and rapping, “We hate the po-po, wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho.”

Tsk tsk, Geraldo Rivera said, “not helpful, to say the least.” Then he seized the opportunity to advance his familiar and absurd theory that black people’s clothing styles and art forms are to blame for racism and police violence against unarmed African Americans. “This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years,” Rivera said. “This is exactly the wrong message.”

That’s a hell of a statement. Exactly how many unarmed African Americans have been killed by hip-hop, Geraldo? Got some stats on that?

Remember, kids, hoodies kill and so do sagging pants.

3. Megyn Kelly, “the sane, smart one at Fox,” cites Ann Coulter in support of Trump’s anti-immigrant racism.

So Donald Trump said a totally crazy, deeply offensive thing that is even hurting his own business success, and he immediately apologized and realized the error of his ways.

Oh. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Equally haha. Fox News repudiated the vulgar billlionaire’s racism. At least that reasonable, pretty, smart one, Megyn Kelly, did. Right?

Oh, you poor poor naive thing.

No, Trump continues to dig in, maniacally defending the indefensible. And Fox and various GOP candidates like Ted Cruz keep willfully misunderstanding Trump’s actual comments. Some of them even defend him.

Enter Megyn Kelly, who had the following dialogue with Howard Kurtz and Geraldo Rivera:
KURTZ: What a lot of people hear — even when Trump goes over the top— they like the fact that he doesn't apologize. They like the fact that he doesn't parse his words like most politicians. The average politician would have backed off and clarified many times by now. But Trump gets away with it because he strikes a chord.
KELLY: Well, I mean, Ann Coulter has got a whole book out right now that makes this point. Now granted, she's not running for president. But she —
RIVERA: Nor would she ever be elected with that point of view—
KELLY:  But she cites data that does support the fact that some, obvious, immigrants who come across the borders do turn out to be criminals, and that's —
RIVERA: I researched it tonight —
KELLY: None? No immigrants turn out to be criminals?
RIVERA: I never said that. Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than the citizen population of the United States.
You know you are in uncharted a-hole territory when Geraldo Rivera sounds way more reasonable than you do. (See above item.)

4. Fox Newsian argues — with a straight face— that overtime pay actually hurts workers. 

Despite the obvious fairness and decency of the Obama administration's proposal to extend overtime protections to five million workers this week, not everyone was celebrating.

As it stands now, only workers who make less than $23,660 are eligible for overtime pay. The new rules would extend those protections to workers making as much as $50,440 a year.

About time.

But Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt said this is a bad idea, because, personally she loved being exploited and not paid overtime. Or she did when she was younger.

“I was making 20-some-odd-thousand dollars with my first job as a reporter, and I always said yes to everything that they asked me to do,” she recalled on a trip down memory lane that no one invited her to take. She especially loved working until 2 A.M.. It’s what enabled her to climb the ladder of success!

Co-host Sandra Smith chimed in that former McDonald CEO Ed Rensi had told Fox News that “these jobs are not careers.”

And why would the McDonalds CEO have any interest in distorting the reality of his workforce, and the fact that many of them support families on their meager wages? Giving people raises will “encourage them to stay as an hourly employee flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s.” No one wants that. High turnover is what everyone wants.

Fox Business Network stocks editor Elisabeth MacDonald worried that paying overtime would create a “permanent minimum wage club” in America.

Bet you did not know it is a club. With really fun, really cheap outings and everything.

5. GOP rep. has quite possibly the most bizarre objection to SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision ever.

As we all know, a huge number of completely insane things have been said about the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the land. But one very creative GOP-er came up with another spin on that hysteria this week, that managed to stand out from the crowd.

Wisconsin Representative Glenn Grothman told a local radio host that the decision was an offense to those killed in the Civil War. How did he manage to connect those two things, you ask? One word: Christianity.

Turns out that contrary to what any historian has ever said, and contrary to history itself, the Civil War in this hose-bag’s mind was a religious war. “A strong religious war to further a Christian lifestyle by getting rid of slavery.”


So, by that token, the Court’s reasoning, based as it was on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, was an affront to the war dead.

We can’t, we just can’t.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

How Andrew Jackson Made A Killing In Real Estate

We all know the warrior president kicked Indians off their land. What's less known is why.

Then there’s the debate over Andrew Jackson, whose portrait decorates the $20 bill. This spring a campaign calling to replace Jackson with a woman gained national attention, and social media erupted with outrage when the Treasury Department chose instead to nudge aside Alexander Hamilton on the $10.

Those two symbols—Jackson’s face and the Confederate flag—have much to do with one another.

It’s not merely that both were products of the South. It’s that Jackson built the heart of the South, literally clearing the way for the settlement of part or all of seven Southern states: Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida. Although he was no Confederate (to the contrary, he was a pre-Civil War leader who used all his power to hold the Union together), Jackson was a central figure in shaping the region that finally rebelled in 1861, and that has remained vital to American culture and politics ever since.

Most Americans don’t think of Jackson that way. In popular culture, he’s remembered as the warrior president with the wild hair; the victor of the Battle of New Orleans, where his army repelled British invaders in the War of 1812; and the first common man (not born into wealth and status) to rise to the presidency, which he did in in 1828.

It’s also well known that Jackson was involved in expelling American Indians from their homelands, which is how he made room to create so much of the modern South. But it’s not well understood why Jackson made Indian removal a central theme of his career. Jackson was making space for the spread of white settlers, including those who practiced slavery. And he was enabling real estate development, in which he participated and profited.

One titanic land grab shows how Jackson operated. It was the seizure of the Tennessee River Valley, where the great river bends in what is present-day Alabama. While serving as a U.S. Army general, Jackson wrested control of the valley from Cherokees, and turned it into an explosive real estate opportunity. Jackson and several friends made off with a breathtaking 45,000 acres, colonized the area and even founded a new city. They then established multiple cotton plantations run by enslaved laborers just as cotton prices were reaching record highs. All told, Jackson both created and scored in the greatest real estate bubble in the history of the United States up to that time.

The story of that land grab helps us to see Jackson clearly. He’s sometimes portrayed as an Indian hater, a description that misses his complexity. He could treat Indians and white men equally. During the War of 1812 his army included a regiment of Cherokees, and Jackson promised them pay and benefits equal to white soldiers, “in every respect on the same footing,” as he wrote. After the war, Jackson discovered that the widows of his Cherokee soldiers had never received proper death benefits. He wrote his superiors in Washington insisting that Cherokees “must be placed in the same situation of the wives & children of our soldiers who have fell in battle.”

What motivated him to treat natives unfairly at times was less racism than real estate. He would stop at nothing when he saw an opportunity to advance his financial interest or that of his friends. Land was the way to wealth on the frontier, and that drove Jackson’s elaborate scheme to capture immense Indian lands south and north of the Tennessee River.

He’d started life in modest circumstances, the son of Scots-Irish immigrants to the Carolinas. His father died shortly before he was born in 1767. After the American Revolution young Jackson moved to west to seek his fortune on the frontier, which in those days was barely west of the Appalachians.

Once settled in Nashville, he became a politician, a land speculator, a land owner, a slave owner and eventually a state militia general. But he fell in disrepute after killing a man in a duel; and like many in the frontier elite he was land-rich but cash-poor. A letter from 1814, when he was 47 years old, shows he was uncertain if he had even $300 in the bank.

The War of 1812 changed everything. Early in the conflict he was promoted to command federal troops. His 1815 victory at the Battle of New Orleans made him a national hero, propelling him into a government position that gave him the chance to transform the South.

During the war, in 1814, Jackson had crushed a rebellion in the Creek Nation, compelling Creeks to surrender 23 million acres. It was a land area the size of Scotland, seized from an independent Indian nation and added to the public land of the United States. By taking it, Jackson cleared the way for the creation of a new federal territory called Alabama. The modern cities of Montgomery and Birmingham sprawl across the land Jackson seized.

Vast as it was, this conquest didn’t include the real estate Jackson really wanted. He had his eye on land just a bit farther north, on the banks of the Tennessee. Speculators had been trying for years to obtain the fertile land around Muscle Shoals, with its easy river connections to New Orleans.

Jackson, a longtime speculator himself, knew its potential. But it was in possession of Cherokees, and claimed by Chickasaws and Creeks as well. In 1816, Jackson moved to change this.

Having been placed in charge of postwar military affairs throughout the region, General Jackson proceeded as if the Tennessee Valley were part of the land he’d won from the Creeks during the war and had his best friend, John Coffee, appointed to survey the “captured” land. Jackson assured the Coffee in an 1816 letter, “your own Judg[men]t is your guide” as to where to lay down the stakes in identifying the territory’s borders. But the same letter also very clearly suggested which parts of the land Coffee should tag as U.S. property—and that included the parcels Jackson personally had his eye on.

Coffee took the hint. Exceeding his instructions from Washington, the surveyor went to work expanding the land cession. When local Indians protested, Jackson threatened “immediate punishment,” authorized the surveyor to hire bodyguards and promised that the gunmen would be paid, “even though I am not Legally authorized to call for such a force.” Jackson also turned a blind eye to white settlers who were illegally moving into the Indian land. They were swiftly altering the facts on the ground. Jackson was taking two million acres—more than 3,000 square miles—a land area somewhat greater than one-third of the size of New Jersey.

To Jackson’s outrage, he was stopped. A delegation from the Cherokee Nation happened to be in Washington at the time of the attempted land grab. John Ross, a young English-speaking Cherokee who was a veteran of Andrew Jackson’s own army, complained to Jackson’s civilian superiors at the War Department. He argued that Cherokees had proven their “attachment” to the United States in war, so their rights must be respected. Jackson’s superiors agreed, and ordered Coffee to stop his illegal activity.

Jackson raged against the decision, writing to President James Madison that the government had “wantonly surrendered” territory of “incalculable Value to the U. States.” He then set about undermining his civilian superiors. As the commanding general in the area, it was his duty to evict the white settlers squatting on the Indian land. Jackson dragged his feet, arguing the settlers were poor families without the means to relocate. And the national hero could not long be denied. Having been thwarted in his effort to steal the land, he was given permission by Madison’s administration to try to buy it. He conducted tough, coercive negotiations with Cherokees in late 1816, telling them that they had a choice: sell him the land he wanted, or run the risk that their nation would be destroyed by encroaching white settlers anyway.

Cherokee negotiators kept some of their real estate, but agreed to sell the areas Jackson wanted most. The federal government paid the Cherokees $65,000 for the south bank of the Tennessee, a tiny fraction of the amount for which it would soon be subdivided and sold. In a different treaty that he negotiated on behalf of the U.S. government, Jackson obtained a strategic chunk of the north bank.

What followed was the colonization of the Tennessee River Valley. The federal government put land up for auction in 1818, and crowds of prospective settlers mobbed the auction site in the tiny settlement of Huntsville, Alabama. Land prices soared from $2 per acre to as high as $78. Millions of dollars changed hands. Jackson took part: An 1818 document shows he went into business with other speculators from as far away as Philadelphia to buy key plots. Jackson’s purchases included several town lots and a full square mile of farmland. Many of his plots were ideally situated, since they would be alongside a newly built road leading toward New Orleans. It should come as no surprise that the road’s route was chosen by men who happened to be working under Jackson’s direction.

Jackson’s friends even founded a city: Florence, Alabama. They paid $85,000 for the land in 1818, subdivided it and resold it for nearly triple the price—with some strategic plots going to Jackson and his friends. Today Florence remains a vibrant city, and the area is still graced with the Romanesque ruins of the Forks of Cypress, a plantation house built by one of the general’s business associates.

Not only did the Tennessee Valley acquisition help Jackson’s finances; it helped his politics. His real estate coup sharply increased white settlement in Alabama, which soon became a state. His friends who had colonized the Tennessee Valley were among the new state’s leading citizens. A few years later, as Jackson began seeking the presidency, there could be no question who would receive Alabama’s electoral votes.

Was Jackson’s land acquisition corrupt? This depends on how you weigh his motives. He had more than one. In his letters, he insisted that putting the region under formal United States control was vital to national security. And he believed that filling the region with new settlers would also populate it with men who could be summoned into an army for its defense in an emergency. But in thinking about national security problems, Jackson also arrived at solutions that perfectly matched his business interests.

His solutions also matched the needs of the slave-based economy. Each of the seven states that owed its growth to Jackson was a slave state. The chained offspring of East Coast slaves were shipped westward to hack new plantations out of former Indian land. Jackson himself owned slaves throughout his adult life, and put many to work in northern Alabama.

Land deals like Jackson’s are what made the Confederacy and its flag. White men grew addicted to a constantly expanding market for land and slaves. Northern manufacturers and financiers benefited along with Southern slave owners. Progressive Southerners had once spoken of slavery as an unfortunate passing phase, but as the slave economy grew, some of the same Southerners defended the institution ever more stridently, constantly refining an ideology of white supremacy.

His land deals also made Andrew Jackson. Up until 1819, Jackson and his wife Rachel were living in a two-story log cabin outside Nashville. Soon after the Alabama land bubble, the Jacksons were wealthy enough to move to new house on the same property. It was the mansion that, with changes and additions, still stands today as a tourist attraction—the Hermitage. Their old log cabin became slave quarters.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The True Charleston Killer Remains At Large

Racism, poverty and violence are the real killers in America.

By Rev. Dr. William Barber

In Luke 23:34, Jesus says, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

A deeper meaning of forgiveness in the Christian nonviolent tradition reveals a critique that knows: The Charleston perpetrator has been caught, but the killer is still at large.

There is a scripture that says we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and rulers of the darkness. Within the nonviolent faith tradition it has always been clear that hate cannot drive out hate and evil cannot drive out evil. And so the Christians who were able to forgive the murder 48 hours after losing their loved ones are consistent with their faith in Jesus, who said, as he was being murdered by the state, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

But this forgiveness should not be misinterpreted as a dismissing of the greater evil.

Their forgiveness is also an act of resistance to the attempts to lay the blame for this horror at the feet of one man. If America is serious about this moment, we cannot just cry ceremonial tears while at the same time refusing to support the martyred Reverend and his parishioners' stalwart fight against the racism that gave birth to the crime.

The perpetrator has been caught, but the killers are still at large: the deep wells of American racism and white supremacy from which Dylann Roof drank.

These families of the murdered are challenging the schizophrenia of American morality that allows political leaders to condemn the crime yet embrace the policies that are its genesis. Many of the South Carolina politicians and others in the nation are examples of a common theme — decrying the killings but steadfastly refusing to support efforts to quell their divisive race-implying rhetoric and cease their push for policies that promote race based voter suppression, adversity toward fixing the Voting Rights Act, cutting public education in ways that foster resegregation, denying workers living wages, refusing Medicaid expansion, the proliferation of guns and supporting the Confederate flag flying at the state capitol — a symbol of slavery, racism and terrorism against African Americans.

They are even using racial code words to criticize the president, all in the name of taking their country back and preventing its destruction. And they refuse to own that there is a history of racialized political rhetoric and policies spawning the pathology of terroristic murder and violent resistance.

When they were murdered, Reverend Pinckney and his parishioners were advocating for a better life for people of all races. They were standing with fast food workers demanding a living wage. They were calling for the Confederate flag to come down. They were fighting against voter suppression and for funding public education, expanding Medicaid to allow the poor and near poor — of all races — to have health care. They were mobilizing for police accountability and marching for justice in the police killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed African American shot in the back by a police officer.

These brave family members are telling America that you cannot focus only on this one man and absolve America of its historic sickness. In a profound way, they are saying that giving the killer the death penalty is not going to fix what ails us. Arresting one disturbed young man, and dumping on him the sins of slavery, Jim Crow, and the new racialized extremism that has captured almost every southern legislature and county courthouse, will not bring "closure" or "healing" to a society that is still sick with the sin of racism and inequality. A society where too many perpetuate in word and deed the slow violence of undermining the promise of equal protection under the law that preachers from Denmark Vesey to Martin Luther King Jr. to Rev. Pinckney fought for.

They are asking us to forgive the sinner but hate the sin. They are issuing a clarion call borne of their pain and loss to create a society that truly embraces justice and equality, that ends the policies of racism and poverty that only guarantee there will be more Dylann Roofs and more acts of terror. Because only then will we apprehend the real killers.

I believe, in light of this, that real healing would be writing an omnibus bill in the name of the nine Emanuel martyrs. This bill would implement Medicaid expansion, raise public education funding, pass a living wage requirement, pass new gun control laws, and remove the Confederate flag from the state house. And this omnibus bill would be supported and passed by Republicans and Democrats.

Further, the very seat Rev. Pinckney held is in jeopardy as long as Section 5 of the Voting Right Act has been gutted. The current bill in the U.S. House, even if passed, would leave out Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee from coverage. If we want closure, let us name a Voting Rights Act restoration bill after the Emanuel Nine.

We have no choice. We must see transformative action not temporary ceremonial displays. Until we deal with the issues of race, poverty and violence that threaten to tear our nation asunder, it is not just America's soul that is at stake, but America itself.
The Rev. Dr. William Barber II is president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and pastor of Greenleaf Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church of Goldsboro, N.C. He is the architect of the Moral Monday-Forward Together Movement.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

After 14 years of watching Christie, a warning: He lies

By Tom Moran

Most Americans don't know Chris Christie like I do, so it's only natural to wonder what testimony I might offer after covering his every move for the last 14 years.

Is it his raw political talent? No, they can see that.

Is it his measurable failure to fix the economy, solve the budget crisis or even repair the crumbling bridges? No, his opponents will cover that if he ever gets traction.

My testimony amounts to a warning: Don't believe a word the man says.

If you have the stomach for it, this column offers some greatest hits in Christie's catalog of lies.

Don't misunderstand me. They all lie, and I get that. But Christie does it with such audacity, and such frequency, that he stands out.

He's been lying on steroids lately, on core issues like Bridgegate, guns and that cozy personal friendship with his buddy, the King of Jordan. I'll get to all that.

But let's start with my personal favorite. It dates back to the 2009 campaign, when the public workers unions asked him if he intended to cut their benefits.

He told them their pensions were "sacred" to him.

"The notion that I would eliminate, change, or alter your pension is not only a lie, but cannot be further from the truth," he wrote them. "Your pension and benefits will be protected when I am elected governor."

He then proceeded to make cutting those benefits the centerpiece of his first year in office.

This, we know now, was vintage Christie. Other lying politicians tend to waffle, to leave themselves some escape hatch. You can almost smell it.

But Christie lies with conviction. His hands don't shake, and his eyes don't wander. I can hardly blame the union leaders who met with him for believing him.

"He seemed very sincere," says Bill Lavin, head of the firefighters union. "Why doubt someone who tells you this is sacred to them?"

Here are some more recent examples:

• In May, Christie told Megyn Kelly of Fox News that the Bridgegate scandal was basically over:
"The U.S. Attorney said in his press conference a few weeks ago there will be no further charges in the bridge matter. He said it affirmatively three or four times."

Not even close. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said the investigation continues, and that the two indicted Christie aides could wind up pleading guilty, which would yield a new trove of evidence.

"It's like the end of Downton Abbey," Fishman said. "You have to wait for a whole 'nother season."

• In March, Christie told a conservative gathering in Washington that he cut money to Planned Parenthood because he was "unapologetically" pro-life.

That was probably true. The lies came earlier, when he fended off criticism in pro-choice New Jersey by repeatedly saying the state's financial pinch forced him to cut "worthy" programs like this one.

• In June in South Carolina, Christie danced for the gun rights crowd by saying this:

"I know there's a lot of perception about my view on gun rights because I'm from New Jersey and because the laws are the way they are. But these laws were being made long before I was governor and no new ones have been made since I've been governor."

Again, not close. Christie signed one law increasing penalties for unlawful possession of guns, another to ban those on the terrorism watch list from buying guns, and a third that required the state to cooperate with the federal criminal background check system.

• In February, Christie claimed that he was a personal friend of the King of Jordan, which would allow him to accept gifts without limit, like a sumptuous weekend with his extended family in a desert resort enjoyed at the king's expense.

The friendship exemption to the gift ban was meant to allow real friends to offer things like birthday presents without getting into a legal tangle.

Christie and his clan ran up a hotel bill of $30,000. He had met the king once, at a political dinner.

It's enough to make his "friendship" with Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, seem almost intimate.

• Two weeks ago, Christie bragged to a national TV audience about his success with pension reform.

"We just won a major court decision supporting the pension reforms that we put into place in 2011," he told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.

Supporting the pension reform? The court found those reforms to be unconstitutional. Christie had to know that, because it was an argument put forward by his own lawyers so that he could escape the law's provision requiring big payments into the pension fund.

These are painful moments for New Jersey reporters who cover Christie. Stephanopoulos and Kelly are facing a crowded Republican field with more than a dozen contenders. They can't be expected to know this stuff. Which is why Christie prefers to sit down with the national press. It's easier to get away with these lies. For now.

Is it fair to use the word "lies" to describe these moments? After all, an honest mistake is not a lie. And sometimes politicians make promises they intend to keep, but circumstances prevent them. So what qualifies as an actual lie?

Here is one that doesn't make the cut: Christie broke his promise to make pension payments, which some consider a lie. But I don't. The economy slowed down and he didn't have the expected revenue. Democrats were surprised as well.

But the examples in the list above, which is only a sampling, are deliberate and serve Christie's political purposes. None are course corrections based on fresh information.

Webster's defines lie this way: "To make an untrue statement with intent to deceive." That fits neatly.

And that's my warning to America. When Christie picks up the microphone, he speaks so clearly and forcefully that you assume genuine conviction is behind it.

Be careful, though. It's a kind of spell.

He is a remarkable talent with a silver tongue. But if you look closely, you can see that it is forked like a serpent's.

Rand Paul meets with Cliven Bundy

GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul pals around with outlaw rancher Cliven Bundy during a campaign stop in Nevada. Ed Schultz and Michael Eric Dyson discuss the implications.

Christie kicks off presidential campaign

Governor Chris Christie jumps into the GOP presidential race as his approval rating in New Jersey falls to an all-time low. Ed Schultz, Jonathan Alter and Jim Keady rate his chances.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Could You Pass A Citizenship Test?

In order to become a citizen of the United States, an applicant must prove to US Citizenship and Immigration Services that he or she knows enough about the country’s government, history and geography. There are 100 questions listed on the study guide. Applicants are typically asked to orally answer a handful from memory.

We picked 30 questions from the test and provided multiple-choice answers. If you had to earn your citizenship by proving how much you know about the USA, would you pass the test?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Alex Jones Shirtless Rant Against The Young Turks

Pundit Alex Jones decided to make a shirtless rant in which he compared his show to The Young Turks. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian show the actual numbers and give you the facts. Turns out Alex should have spent a moment putting a shirt on and checking his numbers.

Check out Alex's YouTube numbers: http://vidstatsx.com/TheAlexJonesChannel/youtube-channel

Check out Alex's Alexa numbers: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/infowar...