fresh voices from the front lines of change







South Carolina governor Nikki Haley easily gave the most successful GOP State of the Union response in years. So, why do so many  in her own party seem to hate her for it?

There’s no denying it. The GOP responses to the State of the Union address during Barack Obama’s presidency have been abysmal. Granted, he’s is a pretty tough act to follow, even on one of his off nights. When he’s at his best, few contemporary orators can hold a candle to Barack Obama. There’s a reason why the SOTU rebuttal has been dubbed “the worst job in Washington.”

At best, the GOP’s SOTU responses over the past seven years have been forgettable. Does anyone still talk about Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ moment in the spotlight? Does anyone remember what she said? At worst, the most memorable — Bobby Jindal’s fumbling, Marco Rubio’s cottonmouth, or Michele Bachmann’s camera confusion — are noteworthy for being abysmally bad.

So when House Speaker Paul Ryan tapped Haley for the spot, expectations were already pretty low. Haley’s speech would be counted as a success if she just got through it without falling on her face. But the stakes were high, even a halfway decent speech could help boost Haley into national politics.

As far as delivery is concerned, Haley pulled it off. She crisply rattled off the GOP’s official talking points, and smilingly delivered the expected swipes at the president, and the Black Lives Matter movement. But Haley saved her sharpest barbs for her own party and the frontrunner in the Republican presidential primaries, when she tool Republicans to task for their part in breaking our politics, and warned against falling for the “siren song” of the “angriest voices.


If there was any doubt who she was talking about, Haley confirmed that she was talking about Donald Trump, the bombastic billionaire with fascist leanings, who’s the darling of white nationalists, and leader of the GOP presidential pack.

Then, for good measure, she topped it off with a defense of immigrants; legal immigrants, that is.

That’s why conservatives hated the best State of the Union response in years.

Conservative Twitter was ablaze.

Right-wing Pundit Ann Coulter tweeted:

Never mind that Haley is an American citizen, born in Bamberg, South Carolina, and thus can’t be deported. To conservatives like Coulter, Haley can’t really be an American. Because, just look at her! Right?

Haley’s speech did unite people on both the left and the right around the utter vileness of Ann Coulter.

*Dcks In a Box**

The wannabe cowboys holed up in the Oregon’s Masher National Wildlife Refuge got a surprise this week. When they realized that they’d brought more guns that food, the issued a desperate plea for snacks.

This band of bozos was hoping that people would be inspired by their quest and send them care packages. They got packages alright, but not the kind they were expecting.


Give’s a whole new meaning to that old SNL skit.


These guys just don’t get it. Nobody likes them. According to a HuffPost/YouGov poll, only 17 percent of Americans believe these guys are justified in their actions. Even out west, according to a bipartisan Conservation in the West poll by Colorado College, 57 percent of people in seven western states oppose giving state governments control over federal lands, and 60 percent oppose selling off “significant holdings” of federal lands.

The locals sure don’t want them. Having a bunch of armed yahoos roaming around makes it hard for anyone to feel safe going about their business. So, local and federal government facilities are closed, and public employees can’t do their jobs. School have closed, so nobody’s learning. Extra police have been called in to protect citizens from gun-slinging nutcase who have threatened law enforcement and local government officials.

Meanwhile, these guys are having a winter vacation at just about everyone else’s expense. All of this is costing Harney County up to $70,000 per day. Federal taxpayers are paying up $23,400 per day to pay employees who can’t work due to the standoff. Local businesses are losing about $40,000 per day in lost tourism income. It’s adds up to a cost of $133,400 per day.

And then there’s antics of the self-styled “militiamen.”

The “Nightly Show’s” Larry Wilmore nailed it, when he explained to the Oregon “militia” why they got a box of dildos in the mail.

Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:


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