The Real Reason there are So Many Republican Candidates (Hint: $$$)

A few weeks ago, I speculated as to why there were so many declared candidates for the Republican nomination. Seriously, there have never been this many in the history of our country. Never. What is different about this year?

The answer is, of course, money.DC-Misc-Cartoon-Simpsons-Quimby-w-Money-Bag

Previously, there were laws limiting how much money an individual could contribute to a campaign. In order to run a legitimate campaign, you’d need lots of money from lots of different people. If you couldn’t raise that, you just couldn’t compete.

Now, thanks to the Supreme Court handing our democracy over the super rich (in the Citizen’s United case), there is no limit.

And now we’re seeing the result of that terrible decision. You no longer need to appeal to a broad base of supporters to be a legitimate candidate. One billionaire with enough money can keep your campaign going.

They’re buying the election. A very small percentage of Americans are choosing their candidates, betting on their favorite to win. Those who are trying to appeal to a larger segment have to work twice as hard.

And so what happens? You got it — the candidates say whatever the billionaires buying them want them to say. No need to try to get the support of the majority of Republican voters. All you need is Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers to like you and you’re in.

So you can suck it up and just admit we are now living in an oligarchy instead of a democracy…

Or you could fight to elect a Democrat who will hopefully be able to change one vote on the Supreme Court to reverse that awful decision, or even convince enough states to pass an amendment saying “money is not speech.”

Editorial cartoon: Advice conservatives never give themselves

Jen Sorensen

Which Republican candidate would be the best?

And by “best” I don’t mean “best President” or “best to allow Democrats to win”. clown car I mean seriously, which of this huge list of losers candidates do you think would have the best chance to actually win the election?

“None of the above” is not an accepted answer!

By the way, every one of these people on the list below has declared themselves as a candidate, and they’re not the only ones. There’s like a dozen more, mostly businessmen and Christian religious leaders.

I chose Scott Walker. While I can’t stand his politics, he doesn’t seem as crazy as the others, and he also is not a Bush. Of course, it is way too early to make any sort of prediction, but it’s still fun to speculate.

Editorial cartoon: The Bernie Train

Matt Wuerker

Republican Mad Science! Mad, I Tell You!

“I’m not a scientist” is what Republicans use as an excuse to be stupid about science they don’t like for political reasons only, and this ad ridiculing them is absolutely perfect. You must watch.

Of course, the only time they use that excuse is to deny climate change or evolution. When it comes to abortion and the question of when life begins, not one of them ever refuses to take a position there, claiming they are “not a scientist.”

Cudos to the Clinton campaign for this ad.

Editorial cartoon: God has called me to run

Phil Hands

Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) are not the problem

80% of the food you ate today was genetically modified.

This scares people who don’t understand what that means — they go screaming about “Frankenfoods,” much like Ogg the caveman in his widely-shared blog piece “Fire bad.” A70-10667

This doesn’t mean that all genetically modified products are good, though. When people talk about the dangers of Monsanto’s “Round-Up”, they’re correct. But what makes Round-Up bad isn’t the fact that it uses GMO technology — it’s the fact that the stuff is dangerous and possibly cancerous. The process by which it is made isn’t the bad thing.

So when people want to ban GMOs, I ask if they similarly want to ban chemical laboratories. After all, chemistry produces deadly poisons, too.

GMOs have produced great benefits to our society. Millions of lives have been saved by the development of plants that can grow better and feed more people. Norman Bourlag won a Nobel Peace Prize for his research into this, and said that GMO technology is merely a new way of doing what he had done traditionally — that if the technology was available when he did his research, he would have reached the same result quicker and cheaper. And his comments have come true — more discoveries are being made every day that help feed people.

The fact is that GMOs are safe. The vast majority of scientists say so. I’m not talking “four out of five dentist” numbers, I mean in the 90% range. Like the kind of numbers we see for scientists who say climate change is real.

And that’s what bugs me — many of the strongest advocates for banning GMOs are my fellow liberals. You know, the ones who complain when conservatives deny science and won’t accept evolution or global warming despite the overwhelming consensus of scientists. Then these same liberals ignore the scientists when they overwhelmingly say something that challenges their own biases. (Ironically, some of these same liberals also ignore science concerning vaccines, too.)

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have a different standard for yourself than the one you demand on others.

“OK, wise guy,” people say to me, usually accompanied by a sneer, “So why would you object to labeling GMO foods to let people make up their own minds about what is in it?”  The answer is because people don’t know. Seriously, I blogged a while ago about a study wherein 80% of the population wanted to label food containing DNA.  DNA!  DNA, that is in every damned thing we eat every day (except salt)!

Labeling GMOs says to people “This is dangerous. Clearly, or we wouldn’t be labeling it as such.” That is the exact wrong message to send. It’s not true.

And whether something has GMO technology is completely irrelevant to the product. We don’t label food that has been modified in other ways, because it doesn’t matter how it was modified. The process isn’t the problem.

Stopping dangerous foods and chemicals that can harm us is definitely something we should be doing. Labeling the process by which those things are made shows a great misunderstanding of science.