Category Archives: elections

Just sayin’

ivoted

 

Did you?

Nothing says seventh grade like . . .

From friend Ed this morning. Khpbmezsb0zfi4ks4bhw
How about these?

Jackie Battley’s ex-husband, and Marianne Ginther’s former lover and ex-husband, Callista Bisek’s former lover and current husband for President! Go Newt!

Regina Peruggi’s ex-husband, and Donna Hanover’s former lover and ex-husband, Judith Nathan’s former lover and current husband for President! Go 9/11 Rudy!

Wheee, this is fun!

Every July 4 . . .

. . .  we celebrate our independence. Because 238 years ago a brave group of revolutionaries threw off a colonial power. That’s something that has happened around the world many times – both before and since. But . . .

. . . I think our greater achievement is this: for 225 years we have maintained a continuity of government (even in war), peacefully transferring power (that one’s just since Washington to Adams, so 214 years) over and over . That’s a testament to the brilliance of our constitution and our continuing respect for it. Good for us!

Here’s the best news out of that Virginia primary

Okay, we all know now that a very powerful entrenched leader of the national Republican Party and the US House was tossed out by a previously unknown opponent. That’s the politics.

But for the rest of us, it’s more than politics. It’s hope. Eric Cantor outspent his challenger by 26 to 1 and lost. Cantor campaign spent OVER $5,000,000;  Brat spent $200,000.

Money got a big fat slap upside the face last night. Sleep better tonight – everything looks more possible today.

Dragon slayer

What!!?? What??!!!

What!!?? What??!!!

Eric Cantor lost his primary? Pigs are flying. The deed was done by a first time candidate, an economics professor who pretty much ran on immigration (he’s not for it). He had lottsa support from . . . wait for it . . . the Tea Party. (Actually, he may not be ‘of’ them, but was popular with them for what it’s worth.)

An amateur took down the (presumed) next Speaker of the House. Holy hobbyhorselobby!

I remember everything. Every piercing painful moment.

This should qualify as a perfect trifecta for Moe. It all comes together right here in a single number – an oldie, politics, and an anniversary. Plus Frank Sinatra. So why am I so sad?

Texas doesn’t care who you are. Dammit, the law is the law!

Texas’ new voter ID laws are working just fine because they are very good laws and proof is here. They’ve snagged yet another suspicious ‘voter’:

https://maureenholland.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/eaab5-georgehwbushinauguration.jpg

Former House Speaker Jim Wright was denied a voter ID card Saturday at a Texas Department of Public Safety office.

For Speaker Wright, matters were cleared up in a few days. I wonder how it would go without his level of civic savvy. (There he is at some big DC event or other, standing behind the guy with his hand up in the air.)

If you’ve nothing else to do at the moment, how about some geography?

For those who think about issues like our odd quirk of a weirdly unrepresentative Senate – or those who enjoy thinking about historical what-if’s – this is a short, fun (albeit whimsical) read. The author asks should we redraw the State lines and he says it’s not a new question.

How about States based on geography? Or population? Or cultural similarities? Or watersheds? Perhaps invite Canada to the party?

Here’s a possible 50-state map based on population. (Would someone please explain to Sarah Palin where most Americans live? Thank you.)

Here’s one that contemplates State borders based on shared history and culture.

The author of this ‘cultural’ map notes that:

Ohio is the quintessential swing state because, Woodard says, it’s partitioned. The state’s northeast was once part of Connecticut, so it’s populated by Yankee settlers who did things like found Oberlin College. Moving south, there’s a strip of peaceable Midwesterners living in what Woodward calls The Midlands, and then farther south you get to Appalachia, the political opposite of Yankeedom. “Those two things do not work together at all, and yet they both ended up in the same state,” he said

Has anyone seen my old friend Paul?

paul ryan 2There was this guy, a Congressman – from Wisconsin I think – who ran for Vice President last year. Am I remembering that right? He was part of the House Leadership, a great young hope, brainy budget guy, all that. Plus cute.

Has anyone seen him in the last nine months? Ah! Paul Ryan, that’s his name! He still around?

I guess he’s running for President

WDH 0703 Walker 01And now, in news from Wisconsin:

Gov. Scott Walker distanced himself from House Republicans debating a new immigration bill Tuesday by endorsing a path to citizenship for immigrant workers. . . .  He also was sharply critical of how difficult the federal government makes it for those workers to come to this country.

“If people want to come here and work hard and benefit, I don’t care whether they come from Mexico or Ireland or Germany or Canada or South Africa or anywhere else,” he said. “I want them here.”

Yup. Running for the big one. The Reverend Perry better watch out!

Finally! A genuine case of voter fraud

In December of 2011 Newt Gingrich needed 10,000 signatures to get his name on the Virginia presidential primary ballot. Adam Ward, 28, collected more than 11,000 signatures according to prosecutors. More than 4,000 signatures could not be verified by investigators.

Tuesday night, Ward pleaded guilty to 36 counts of voter fraud and perjury in Augusta Circuit Court.

Sentencing is scheduled for December.

I didn’t know young people, college kids and blacks in Georgia were so enthused about Newt.

I like this picture

presidents

It’s an illustration of one thing that we’re still doing right – this picture reminds me that for two and a quarter centuries we’ve managed a peaceful transfer of power every few years. That counts for something.

Now it’s even more urgent that Trump get back into politics

This is a disaster for we vapid, shallow news junkies and consumers of utter nonsense. Aiken lost. Palin is gone (mostly, give it a few more months). Is it going to have to be all Louis Gomert all the time? Come back Donald, come back. Please.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced early Wednesday that she would not seek a fifth term in Congress in 2014 but would keep fighting for the conservative principles that made her a favorite of the tea party movement and, she said, are vital to protecting the United States from moral and economic decline.

Because it’s so much easier to throw stones than waste time on all that problem solving stuff.

Some scandals be a-comin’ her way, so time is of the essence – there are riches out there, waiting to be scooped up before fame fades.

Give me a break. It’s not all about you moron.

Today, Americans celebrate the inauguration of our 45th president and 224 years of continuity of government – 224 year of bloodless constitutional transitions.

But not all Americans are happy.

According to Forbes, golfer Phil Mickelson may give up his career because he may have to pay higher taxes.

For starters, courtesy of President Obama’s re-election and the subsequent fiscal cliff negotiations, Mickelson will experience an increase in his top tax rate on ordinary income from 35% to 39.6%, and an increase in his top rate on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends from 15% to 20%. Clearly, when faced with tax hikes of that magnitude, it stops making economic sense for Mickelson to continue to swing a metal stick up to 70 times a day in exchange for the $48 million he earns on an annual basis.

Let’s repeat that last sentence:

Clearly, when faced with tax hikes of that magnitude, it stops making economic sense for Mickelson to continue to swing a metal stick up to 70 times a day in exchange for the $48 million he earns on an annual basis.

Either that is tongue-in-cheek or this is the most spoiled brat in sports.

Stand up and take it suckers. Florida doesn’t give a damn.

A nephew recently opened a branch of his insurance agency here in town, so when my policies came up for renewal I planned to transfer them to his office. But oh no . . . thanks to our consumer-hating Governor Scott and the now-infamous 2012 Florida legislature (the one that put 11 amendments to the state constitution on the ballot that contributed to voting going on until midnight, all of which were soundly defeated) that ain’t gonna happen (see below).

scottOur odd-looking Gov (nice teeth though) began his attack on all insurance that isn’t  private (as a crooked indicted former insurance exec himself, he continues allegiance to his former cohort) on Day One.  His special target has been the state-run, wildly popular and very well capitalized Citizens Insurance, which provides wind and flood coverage. In Florida, that is our hurricane policy.  (Citizens, by the way, was established after the big national companies fled Florida following Hurricane Andrew which devastated the State.)

Scott formed a committee tasked with developing strategies to literally get rid of Citizens. He wants to provide actual cash payments to private companies who take over their policies and is also offering to share Citizens’ disaster funds with them which they need since none of them have reserves as healthy as the gay-socialist-anti’merican Citizens.  Some of this is already in place; in 2013 for the first time, wind insurance will no longer covers ‘external’ structures of the sort most subject to wind damage  – that would be pool cages, screened-in porches, sheds and carports (stuff our leaders assume the common folk could easily cover out of their movie money). Adding to the pain, there’s not another reputable company offering alternatives – not at any price. Isn’t that nice? 

So, back to my nephew and his shining new local business. Here’s the text of an email I just got from his office. Both the agent and I have now agreed that I’d put  myself at risk of being denied insurance altogether were I to attempt to support Mike’s new business by transferring my policies to him. She said:

I am running into a problem with Citizens. As you know, they are increasingly difficult to work with for us. In order for us to change the agent on the policy, they now require the policyholder to re-qualify and will not transfer documents from one file to the other. Because of the age of your home, they are going to require a new 4 point inspection which would verify the condition of the roof, electrical, plumbing and AC systems. All items must show that they are free of defects and have at least 5 years remaining useful life. This is different from the Wind Mitigation inspection that we discussed when you were in the office, which is only required in the event that you wish to have credits applied to the policy and only verifies structural elements and not condition. Unfortunately for us, if you simply renew your existing policies, you are not subject to this condition . . . .

And now, the same situation has popped up with my homeowners policy. I guess they’ve figured if Citizens can get away with this, so can they. Both policies will now remain with my current agent. Sorry Mike.

Way to support new businesses Gov! But hey, F-R-E-E-D-O-M.

When Florida votes this clown out of office in 2014 we may be able to repair some of what he’s done; till then, it’s going to hurt – a lot.

Time for Rush and Grover to head for . . . well, there are a few societies out there where government isn’t intrusive. Freedom, you know. (Somalia comes to mind.)

Even I was taken aback by these numbers. Encouraged yes, and surprised as well. I’ll reserve comment right now, but want to toss this stuff out. It’s fascinating and obviously very important.

These are outtakes from the final post in Thomas Edsall’s NYT blog Campaign Stops, in which he reports on what’s being called the ‘Rising American Electorate”. It’s quite remarkable. The youth vote is pretty important in these numbers which, to me, means our future will be very different than our present.

Not only does a plurality (49-43) of young people hold a favorable view of socialism — and, by a tiny margin (47-46), a negative view of capitalism — so do liberal Democrats, who view socialism positively by a solid 59-33; and African Americans, 55-36. Hispanics are modestly opposed, 49-44, to socialism, but they hold decisively negative attitudes toward capitalism, 55-32. . . .  When voters were asked whether cutting taxes or investing in education and infrastructure is the better policy to promote economic growth, the constituencies of the new liberal electorate consistently chose education and infrastructure by margins ranging from 2-1 to 3-2 — African Americans by 62-33, Hispanics by 61-37, never-married men by 56-38, never-married women by 64-30, voters under 30 by 63-34, and those with post-graduate education by 60-33.

Keep voting kids.

My Romney peeps will pull the Romney lever anyway, but . . .

I’m not listening, I’m not listening . . .

. . . do note that Romney’s constant campaign rhetoric has been “Obama promised to cut the debt/deficit in half but instead he’s doubled it (debt/deficit)!”

He uses the terms carelessly and interchangeably. The debt is not the deficit. The deficit is not the debt.

Obama promised to cut the deficit in half. He did. Actually, he said his ‘proposed budget’ would cut the deficit. I can’t even remember if that budget ever passed the House.

But this is just political trivia – there’s not a conscious Romney voter to whom that fact will make a difference.

 

Dem days: I wanted to be fair, but . . .

Harry Reid, is not the second worst. speaker.ever.

Dear CNN: bite me


Now this is going to be useful! YouTube has launched an Elections Hub channel for 2012 and I think I’m going to like it. It’s here. From their own announcement, it will be:

. . . .a one-stop channel for key  political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle . . .  videos from politicians and parties, plus a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage . . . from the conventions to the debates to election night.

They’ll offer live and on-demand stuff from ABC, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Univsion . . .

Hell-o-o-o . . .

The Republican presidential ticket is planning to save Medicare from the mean Democrats who are trying to take it away.

If this works, we’re toast.

A thought. A scam. A crime.

VOTER ID: I have absolutely no problem with voter ID. My problem is with 1) making it difficult, and 2) rushing it. Voter ID? Not a bad idea. The way they’re doing it? That’s suppression.

NEW STUPID GOP MEME: “In 1962, six percent of Americans got federal entitlements. Now, it’s 35 percent.” Clever. Of course 1962 was before there was Medicare.

CYNICAL MUCH?: Our Congress Critters have made clear once again that they are incapable of acting, even to save  the nation from the bullet they themselves aimed directly at 320 million Americans – the one that requires automatic spending cuts of $900 billion in January 2013.  So, diversion is called for. Time for a shiny new thing. What to do? Why, pass a new bill, The Sequestration Transparency Act. A Nebraska newspaper describes it thusly: “having proven incapable . . . they now indignantly demand to know how the President plans to cut spending.” Not them, the President. Neat.

This is about right. Yup.

I was just reading my way around Under The Mountain Bunker (‘Come for the apocolypse – stay for the coffee’) and came upon this Tom Tomorrow panel. 

New Republican candidate with some chops. I’ll keep an eye on him and I think I’ll donate to the Democrat

Meet Ted Cruz. The new Marco Rubio, but smarter. He’s a Harvard educated Tea Partier and once clerked for William Rehnquist. Slightly contradictory but hardly insubstantial credentials.

The story is at Politico;  here’s some commentary from Think Progress, which is not enthusiastic:

. . .  his considerable intellect is rivaled by his very poor judgment. Here are just five of the most revealing windows into Cruz’ Tea Party worldview:

1) Believes George Soros Leads A UN conspiracy To Eliminate Golf: . . . Cruz lays the blame for this global anti-golf conspiracy at the feet of a well-known Tea Party boogieman — “The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros.”

2) Wants To Gut Social Security: In an interview with the Texas Tribune Cruz labeled Social Security a “ponzi scheme” and outlined a three-step plan to gut this essential program. (And, surprise!, he wants to privatize it.)

3) Wants To Party Like It’s 1829: The Constitution provides that Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land,” and thus cannot be nullified by rogue state lawmakers. Cruz, however, co-authored an unconstitutional proposal claiming two or more states could simply ignore the Constitution’s command and nullify the Affordable Care Act so long as they work together. . . Cruz falsely claimed that states do not need to meet these Constitutional requirements to undermine laws they don’t like.

4)  Is An Islamophobe:  . . .  claimed that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in this country.

5) Campaigned On How He Helped Texas Kill A Mexican: “Cruz fought all the way to the Supreme Court” after “the UN and World Court overruled a Texas jury’s verdict to execute an illegal alien.”. . . the case Cruz won had nothing to do with whether Texas had the authority . . . it concerned whether Texas could defy a treaty requiring it to inform foreign nationals who are arrested of their right “to request assistance from the consul of his own state.” Even North Korea honored this treaty that Cruz fought to undermine.

So, more good fun ahead.

 

They want to rig it, not fix it

Isn’t it a comfort to know that Gov. Voldemort and his paranoid cynical minions in the Florida Republican Patty are moving aggressively, along with other Republican legislatures, to fix a non-problem that they invented out of thin air ? Just like with that earlier threat to the nation, ‘Welfare Queens’, attention must be paid!

Voter registration fraud must be stopped! And dammit, here in Florida, we’re making that happen. Just in my own tri-county area, where we’ve finished running the State lists against our own rolls, of our 100K+ registered voters, two have been proved to be cases of actual voting fraud. Two whole people.

Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars plus thousands of man hours from public employees have been expended. Two cases.

Today, The NY Times (sorry, no linkee) reports that in 2005, the election reform bipartisan ‘commision of  that day, led by former Sect’y of State James Baker and former Prez Jimmy Carter, found  that 140,000 Florida voters were registered for absentee ballots in four other states – 46,000 in New York City alone. Another 60,000 were also registered  simultaneously in North or South Carolina. When a few thousand of those registered for absentee ballots in Florida, their second state, there was no investigation. Repeat, there was no investigation.

In a comment thread over at MashedPotatoBulletin about the voter ID push, I said:

I don’t think many people would object if the process were announced and then implemented over a period of years allowing sufficient time for everyone to get the ID. Once we’ve all got one, it’ll be easy to put a process in place to plug in new voters as they qualify. In fact, I think every citizen should be issued a voter ID card whether they register or not. Just get it done and cut out that silly middle step.. It could be Federal and make it acceptable for all States.

If it were done that way, I’d be fine with it. But of course that’s not how it’s being done because ID itself is not the point. Suppression is the point.

Onward Christian soldiers. March as to war; it’s the Republican way.

Rush cries ‘voter suppression’ – creative little shit, isn’t he

The real Dark Knight

In what may be the most breathtaking turn-it-on-its -head moment in political rhetoric, Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday claimed that the Obama campaign and all Democrats and all the pollsters and all the media are conspiring to suppress the Republican vote.

Here’s how it works. Diabolical pollsters ask questions in a dishonest fashion designed to show Obama leading. The media publish and pushes that narrative. The campaign seizes upon this (of course they’re actually behind it but that’s hidden behind an impenetrable veil of secrecy financed by George Soros and Warren Buffet) and it gloats. All of this combines to discourage Romney voters who are made to think there’s just no point in voting since Obama is sure to win.

Presto! Voter suppression.

He’s a marvel he is.

I am so tired of Republicans getting away with this shit . . .

Since he was only a “chief economic policy adviser” to Reagan, what Bruce Bartlett says probably doesn’t count. In fact, these days that credential makes him suspect; he might be a Muslim-Kenyan liberal. Just like David Stockman. And David Frum*. You know, yesterday’s conservatives.

Republicans assert that Barack Obama assumed sole responsibility for the budget on Jan. 20, 2009. From that date, all increases in the debt or deficit are his responsibility and no one else’s, they say. This is, of course, nonsense – and the American people know it.

. . . Contrary to Republican assertions, there were no additional revenues from legislated tax increases.

. . . On the spending side, legislated increases during the Bush administration added $2.4 trillion to deficits and the debt through 2008.

The projected surplus when George Bush took over from The Big Dog:

was primarily the result of two factors. . . first, a big tax increase in 1993 that every Republican in Congress voted against, saying that it would tank the economy. This belief was wrong. The economy boomed in 1994, growing 4.1 percent that year and strongly throughout the Clinton administration . . .

During the 2000 campaign, Mr. Bush warned that budget surpluses were dangerous because Congress might spend them, even though Paygo rules prevented this from happening. . . .[he] reiterated this point and [said] . . .  future surpluses were likely to be even larger than projected due principally to anticipated strong revenue growth.

The 2001 tax cut did nothing to stimulate the economy, yet Republicans pushed for additional tax cuts in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. The economy continued to languish even as the Treasury hemorrhaged revenue, which fell to 17.5 percent of the gross domestic product in 2008 from 20.6 percent in 2000. Republicans abolished Paygo in 2002, and spending rose to 20.7 percent of G.D.P. in 2008 from 18.2 percent in 2001.

. . . Putting all the numbers in the C.B.O. report together, we see that continuation of tax and budget policies and economic conditions in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000.

. . . Republicans would have us believe that somehow we could have avoided the recession and balanced the budget in 2009 if only they had been in charge. This would be a neat trick considering that the recession began in December 2007.

. . .  they continually imply that one of the least popular spending increases of recent years, the Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP], was an Obama administration program, when in fact it was a Bush administration initiative proposed by the Treasury Department that was signed into law by Mr. Bush on Oct. 3, 2008.

Lastly, Republicans continue to insist that tax cuts are highly stimulative, often saying that they add nothing to the debt, when this is obviously ridiculous.

Like I said though, Bartlett’s probably a commie by now, so no one should pay attention to him.

David Frum in 2012: Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Wall Street Journal editorial page between 2000 and 2011, and someone in the same period who read only the collected columns of Paul Krugman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of the current economic crisis? The answer, I think, should give us pause.

Everyone in Florida loves guns except the cops

News from Tallahassee this morning – the NRA wants those cops to get out of the way dammit.

The National Rifle Association . . .  is surveying state sheriff candidates on whether they’re willing to take a stand against the very association that will represent them in the Capitol if they win.

Their survey sent to candidates takes aim at the Florida Sheriff’s Association and other law enforcement groups, sheriffs and deputies that have opposed bills the two groups support.

Some kid tasted dog in 1967 and now America is doomed

So let us set the stage:

  • Mitt Romney puts a canine on the roof of the car for a family trip
  • a lot of people make fun of him for it
  • which pisses off conservatives who now have to find an equivalent sin hidden in Obama’s murky past
  • so they look and they look until finally someone thinks to read one of the president’s biographical books, and lo
  • there they find the weapon. And they toss it back. And it is good.

Here it is:

In his book Dreams of My Father, Obama tells of being a six-year-old learning about a new and unfamiliar culture after his family’s move to Indonesia:

The children of farmers, servants and low-level bureaucrats had become my best friends, and together we ran the streets morning and night, hustling odd jobs, catching crickets, battling swift kites with razor-sharp lines — the loser watched his kite soar off with the wind, and knew that somewhere other children had formed a long, wobbly train, their heads toward the sky, waiting for their prize to land. With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share. That’s how things were, one long adventure, the bounty of a young boy’s life. …

Did you catch it? It’s in there all right. Obama ate your dog.

Holy hairpiece! Someone let Karl Rove out

The Wall Street Journal gave Karl Rove a bunch of pricey op-ed real estate today so he could say:

As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander-in-chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.

Here’s what Clinton actually said: “He [Obama] took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’”

Little words mean a lot. But the king of spin knows that. That’s why he leaves them out.

 

Is an era passing and is it doing so right before our eyes?

Close the door on your way out

CLUE NUMBER ONE:  The Republican party faces an existential threat – and not just from this election year pageantry. They face a very real threat from demographic reality. They are losing their traditional base by attrition and simultaneously repelling the younger more diverse voters they will need just to survive.  But the GOP can’t seem to get past what they’ve become, a party of angry white men shouting at everybody else to get off their lawns., or blaming women for the Original Sin of tempting Adam. Might they take the neo-Cons and the Tea Party and the Christianists down with them? I guess that would just be returning a favor, wouldn’t it.

CLUE NUMBER TWO: While we’ve been gleefully counting the growing list of advertisers pulling out of Limbaugh’s show, a few reporters are beginning to look at the claim that Limbaugh has  “twenty-million listeners”. (We’ve all been long certain of that number. I’ve referred to it many times.) And guess what?

A story from David Frum today suggests it may be closer to ‘under two million’. Which is, I think, somewhat fewer than twenty million.

That Limbaugh is losing advertisers right now may be part of a continuum we just haven’t been paying attention to. Frum quotes from an ’09 story:

Conservative talk radio has never been more angry and extreme than today. You might think that’s a response to the Obama presidency. But even more, conservative talkers are responding to a collapse in advertising revenues.

According to Scott Fybush, the proprietor of North East Radio Watch, talk radio has lost 30-40% of its ad revenues over the past two years.

It’s said that good things come in threes, so keep your eyes open!