Ted Nugent Falls off His Rocker

The Republican nominee in the Texas gubernatorial race should know better than to embrace someone spouting racist and sexist views.

— by 

Jim Hightower

Ted Nugent, the old rocker from the Seventies, is now just plain old. And off his rocker.

A political novelty act for the far right and a front man for the National Rifle Association, Nugent regularly spews venomous, vulgar, race-laced, abusive hate speech about liberals, Democrats, gun laws, and creeping communism.

In January, for example, he tongue-lashed President Barack Obama. Nugent called our commander in chief a “communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.”

ted nugent backs governor candidate abbott

Naturally, Greg Abbott — the Republican candidate for governor of Texas — promptly invited this scurrilous lout to come for a visit.

Abbott is currently the state attorney general. As a dyed-in-the-wool tea party extremist, he apparently thought it would juice up his far-out GOP flock to have the rabidly nutty Nugent come campaign with him.

Ted came. He embraced the gubernatorial wannabe as his “blood brother.” But the brotherhood gambit backfired.

Even Republican leaders wondered aloud why Abbott would, as one put it, “keep company with a noted misogynist and bigot.” In addition to Nugent’s disgusting “subhuman mongrel” slur, the old rocker has also admitted to being “addicted” to underage girls. But if that’s not out there enough, it’s well known to Vietnam Veterans across this country that Mr. Nugent managed to dodge the draft by physically and publicly crapping in his pants.

The issue, however, isn’t Nugent’s sordid character, but Abbott’s.

Hugging an infamous predator and hate-monger for political gain is both morally repugnant and politically stupid. Yet, Abbott continues to cling to Nugent’s embrace, tersely (and cluelessly) saying: “It’s time to move beyond this.”

A campaign aide even tried to paint Nugent’s endorsement as a positive: “We appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our constitution.”

Everyone, including sexual predators and overt racists? How about mass murderers?

Shouldn’t a candidate for governor — even in Texas — draw a sharper moral line?


OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. OtherWords.org.  Photo Credit (Ted Nugent):  chascar/Flickr

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Can We Please Have Filibuster Reform Now?

FillibusterReform_180It was a shameful day when Republican senators, joined by four Democrats, blocked an up-or-down vote on a gun reform supported by 90 percent of Americans and 87 percent of gun owners. It was our best chance to pass any real common sense gun reform in the wake of Newtown. And it was killed by a filibuster.

But it was also a painful reminder that the fate of even modest reform on guns, like expanding background checks, was largely sealed in late January when a rare opportunity to fix the filibuster was killed by Majority Leader Harry Reid and a handful of Democratic senators.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a passionate advocate for gun reform — including a ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines — was one of those senators. So was Senator Joe Manchin, author of the compromise amendment that would have led to the historic Senate passage of expanded background checks for gun owners, had it been allowed an up-or-down vote on the floor.

Tell Majority Leader Reid and Sens. Feinstein and Manchin: You bear responsibility for the Senate’s shame in the wake of Newtown. Reconsider your position against reforming the filibuster and fixing our broken Senate.

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In late January, we faced our only chance until 2015 to fix the filibuster, but Senate Majority Leader Reid didn’t act boldly, as he did when he voted — despite his NRA rating — for gun reforms, including a ban on assault weapons. Neither did Sen. Feinstein, who represents the state of California where voters strongly support bills like immigration reform and gun violence legislation — that will live or die based on filibusters. Nor did Sen Manchin, who may not have imagined back in January that he would bravely lead a mini-revolt by a few moderate and conservative senators against corrupting influence of the NRA. Instead, these three senators helped consign the Senate to two more years of gridlock and ultimately to the demise of even the most modest of gun reforms in the wake of Newtown.

In the end of the fight to reform the filibuster, Sen. Reid agreed to a compromised bait-and-switch deal that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell cynically called “filibuster reform,” but which we know did next to nothing to actually fix the filibuster.

It was an epic failure and was the second time in a row Sen. Reid has sold out the American electorate by striking a bad deal with Sen. McConnell instead of pushing for strong filibuster reform when he had the chance.

Had Sen. Reid showed leadership or had hold-out senators like Feinstein and Manchin joined the effort, we could have secured the votes to pass real filibuster reform.

Tell Majority Leader Reid and Sens. Feinstein and Manchin: You can prevent special interests like the NRA from overriding the will of 87 percent of the American people in the future by reconsidering your decision to kill filibuster reform.

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CREDO members helped lead the way in pushing the Senate to fix the filibuster with 212,000 signing petitions and over 14,600 reporting calls to the Senate. In addition to that pressure, dozens of CREDO members met with Senate staffers in 10 constituent meetings we organized on this issue.

When we reported back to our members after Senator Reid killed real reform we wrote:

It was George W. Bush who said, “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

It looks like Sen. Reid got fooled again. But sadly it is the American people who are going to pay the price, so we must recommit ourselves to continuing this fight.

With the failure of the background checks bill it’s clear that it is the American people who are going to pay the price — and they will pay it with their lives.

Sen. Feinstein urged her fellow senators to “show some guts” when her ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines failed in the Senate.

But what will truly fix the senate is if senators like Feinstein and Manchin, and Majority Leader Reid, show bold leadership and finally pass the reforms needed to end the 60-vote supermajority required to pass any bill and get the Senate working again.

PFAW Report: The Radical Right and the Challenge of Gun Violence Prevention

— by Layne Amerikaner | Miranda Blue, 202-467-4999 / media@pfaw.org

People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch released a report today chronicling the history and strategies of the radical groups and individuals who are working to prevent meaningful gun violence reform. While most Americans, including most gun owners, support common-sense gun violence prevention efforts, a small but vocal group of extremists has so far succeeded in blocking any attempt at meaningful reform.

The report, The Lobby Against Common Sense: The Right’s Campaign Against Gun Violence Reform and How We Can Defeat It, is available at www.pfaw.org.

“We cannot address the plague of gun violence in our country until we are able to have a reasonable debate about reforming our gun laws,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “Unfortunately, for too many years this debate has been dominated by an extreme and vocal fringe. These extremists equate gun violence prevention with ‘tyranny’;  blame mass shootings on everything and everybody but lax gun safety laws; and push conspiracy theories about government confiscations of firearms.

“Stunningly, these extremists say that the real ‘radicals’ are Americans who support reforms to rein in the horror and devastation of gun violence. While these groups claim to represent American gun owners, they are in fact far out of step with most Americans, gun owners included. We hope that this report will help elected officials and voters understand the truth behind the forces that are trying to drag down meaningful gun violence reform.”


People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch monitors and exposes the activities of right-wing movements in the United States.

NRA Begrudgingly Turns to McCarthyism

 

NRA Publishes Enemies List With 506 Names

— By Ian Millhiser on Feb 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Late last year, the National Rifle Association’s lobbying arm published a Nixonian enemies listnaming organizations and individuals that “lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations” or have otherwise backed efforts to promote gun safety. The list totals 506 names, including major medical associations, law enforcement organizations, former presidents and a long list of celebrities. Here are five examples of the kinds of groups the NRA views as its enemies:

Doctors & Nurses

As it turns out, the sort of people tasked with saving the lives of victims of gun violence would rather that America’s trauma centers were not quite so busy. A short list of medical and nursing organizations on the NRA’s enemies list includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the American Nurses Association, in addition to Ronald Reagan’s Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

Educators

It turns out that sort of people who devote their lives to preparing our children for adulthood don’t much like to learn that a young life has been cut short by gun violence either. The NRA’s enemies list includes the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Education Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Law Enforcement

It also turns out that people who put risk their lives to keep our streets and schools safe don’t much like being in the line of fire. The National Association of Police Organizations, the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officers, and the Police Foundation are all on the NRA’s enemies list.

People of Faith

The NRA may not want Americans to “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks,” but many people of faith take the Bible’s command seriously enough to earn a place on the gun lobby’s list of enemies. They include the American Jewish Committee, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Congress of National Black Churches, the Episcopal Church’s Washington Office, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, the United States Catholic Conference, the United Methodist Church General Board & Church Society, and the United Church of Christ Office for Church in Society.

Boy Bands, Dweezil Zappa and MacGyver

Above anything, the NRA’s enemies list reveals its capacity to hold a grudge. It includes a long, long list of celebrities, many of which are far from Hollywood’s elite circles. It is not clear why the nation’s top gun organization feels so threatened by Art Garfunkel, for example. Or why Washington’s most heavily armed lobbyists fear a ragtag list of former talk show hosts, washed up actors and what appears to be the entirety of Frank Zappa’s progeny. Gun owners beware! Both Boys II Men and N Sync are coming for your guns, and the NRA is very, very afraid.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

It’s Well Past Time to Get Vocal!

Have you ever wondered why Congress takes (or don’t take) the actions they do?  Are they taking the OPPOSITE action of what you want them to take?  Well, one has to ask, “did you contact your Congressman (or woman)?  Probably not!  As you can see in PopVox’s graphic below, they’re hearing an earful from the vocally negative, yet those of us who should be advocating for change are deafeningly silent.  Well hello … if you really want change, make your voice heard!

Top Bills being commented on during the Week: Jan. 18 – 24, 2013

Here’s a few links where you can find more information about these bills: