2014: Omens, Prophecies, and Other Divinations

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    And So It Begins

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) got a challenger today for the 2014 election in Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. The announcement of her candidacy brought the first Tea Party endorsement of the contest.

    Sort of.

    Mollie Reilly explains, for Huffington Post:

    A tea party-affiliated group is urging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bow out of his reelection bid next year against Democratic rival Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, citing concerns with the longtime senator's electability.

    Matt Hoskins, the Senate Conservatives Fund's executive director, told the Washington Post Tuesday that McConnell isn't a strong enough candidate to face off against Grimes and that it may be time for him to "pass the torch."

    “Mitch McConnell is now the least electable Republican senator running for reelection in 2014,” Hoskins said. "He could lose this race and cost Republicans the majority. He needs to consider whether it might be time to hang it up.”

    The Senate Conservatives Fund is a political action committee launched by former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) prior to the 2010 elections.

    Well, then. McConnell's re-election contest starts off with a bang. All eyes to the Battle for the Bluegrass.


    Reilly, Mollie. "Mitch McConnell Urged By Tea Party To Step Aside In 2014". The Huffington Post. July 2, 2013. HuffingtonPost.com. July 2, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/mitch-mcconnell-tea-party_n_3536897.html
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    A Spectacle for the Ages?

    Be There a God in Heaven ...

    ... hear my prayer.

    Please, please, please don't interfere in Ted Nugent's musings about running for president.

    Hi, I'm Ted Nugent. I have nine children from seven women, and I'm running for president."

    Nugent takes a sip of water, having delivered his potential slogan.

    "Yeah, I'm thinking about it."

    We were in a conference room at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio, where Nugent was an hour away from giving a speech to an association of entrepreneurs. It was a political gig; Nugent was to hail (without script) the power of capitalism, self-sufficiency and grit.

    He would talk about guns, of course. (He always talks about guns. Indeed, the meeting room he had requested before his speech was not for a meeting, but for a gunsmith to come repair one of Nugent's many machine guns. The weapon then lay in pieces amid the neatly arranged hotel notepads, pens and full water glasses.) But the venue called for the all-purpose conservative Ted Nugent, the one increasingly in demand on a range of issues.

    And the one who says he is increasingly interested in running for office.

    "He's talked about it before," Shemane said. "But this time he seems more serious. People are constantly asking him to run."

    He ruminated on a run for governor of Michigan in the 1980s and again in the mid-2000s. His brother Jeff Nugent, 66, who had a long corporate career that included stints as chief executive officer of Revlon and Neutrogena, helped him do polling for both efforts. (Former Michigan governor John Engler was a backer, Jeff said. Engler's office said he wasn't available to be interviewed for this story.) Republicans in New Mexico mounted a draft for him to seek that state's top job, Nugent said. In all cases, he decided he couldn't abide the disruption of his hunting schedule.

    "I said, ‘Ted, I can help get you elected governor of Michigan,' " said Jeff. " ‘You wouldn't have to wear Brooks Brothers, but you would have to be f---ing governor.' "

    Now, the constant beseeching from fans and followers has Nugent eyeing a run for the Republican nomination, the party he aligns with as the lesser of two feebles. (He is one of the few Republicans who will disparage Ronald Reagan, mainly for signing a bill restricting machine-gun sales.)

    "Things are just so wrong in the country now," Nugent said. "And I know that my answers would make things wonderful, unless you just refuse to produce, and then I'd recommend that you move to Canada. Or Illinois."

    He doesn't predict a landslide. Or even a win. The country is probably too far gone for that, he said.

    "The Republicans can't possibly promise more s--t than the Democrats do," he said. "We can't possibly offer more door prizes to the voters."

    But a campaign would only boost the brand. And it would give Nugent his biggest microphone ever to do what he does best: sound off. About everything.


    Even if it turns out to be a one-week, or even one-day crash and burn campaign, this is something I really want to see.

    When it's Pearl Jam on children preferring crayons to guns, or the Dixie Chicks denouncing a warmongering president, or pretty much any entertainment celebrity with a political opinion that happens to be liberal, the conservative prescription is to shut up and entertain.

    Right-wing celebrities, though? They put them into office. Reagan. Schwarzeneggar. Bono. Eastwood.

    But really, it isn't about that. I can pick on Jack Kemp, sure, but why would I? He's the kind of Republican we don't see much of anymore. And Republicans can always pick on Bill Bradley. So, really, it's not the whole celebrity elite thing.

    Rather, it's The Nuge.

    In truth, I doubt he'd get past the exploratory committee phase, because none of the professional handlers who work the presidential circuit will be able to handle him.

    But Nuge for President? This I gotta see.


    Hendrix, Steve. "Ted, white and blue: How Ted Nugent has rocked politics". The Washington Post Magazine. July 2, 2013. WashingtonPost.com. July 3, 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...b236dc-d203-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Return of the Rape Advocate?

    Return of the Rape Advocate?

    Oh, this is just too much:

    Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is weighing another run for U.S. Senate, this time challenging Democrat Mark Udall in 2014.

    Buck for months has been mentioned as a likely candidate for state attorney general, but in recent days several high-profile Republicans have announced their candidacy for the office and the talk has switched to a Senate bid.

    "We have been talking about it, and I'll leave it there," his wife, state Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor, confirmed Tuesday ....

    .... Buck lost to Democrat Michael Bennet in 2010 in a U.S. Senate race many Republicans thought they had locked up. Bennet had been appointed to the seat in 2009 and the mood across the country favored the GOP. But some last-minute missteps by Buck — particularly an appearance on "Meet the Press" during which he compared homosexuality to alcoholism — helped Bennet, who won by less than 2 percentage points.

    Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio said if Buck takes on Udall, he expects Buck to come up short again. Palacio was surprised about a potential Senate run, saying he heard Buck was considering the attorney general's race.


    The Denver Post article does not mention Buck's rape controversy, and Abby Livingston of Roll Call only mentions, vaguely, "Buck made a handful of gaffes in 2010, and many Republicans blame him for blowing a contested race against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet."

    And now Ken Buck is considering a senate run against Mark Udall?

    In a cycle when women are mobilizing against continued GOP misogyny?

    Okay. Sounds good to me.

    That is, part of me wants to see this. But one really would hope Colorado Republicans smart enough to say no to a rape advocacy redux.


    Bartels, Lynn. "Weld Republican Ken Buck weighs bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Udall". The Denver Post. July 2, 2013. DenverPost.com. July 4, 2013. http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23586127/weld-republican-ken-buck-weighs-bid-unseat-u

    Baumann, Nick. "The Ken Buck Rape Case". Mother Jones. October 26, 2013. MotherJones.com. July 4, 2013. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/10/ken-buck-rape-case

    Livingston, Abby. "Ken Buck, Local Lawmakers Consider Senate Race #COSEN". At the Races. July 3, 2013. ATR.RollCall.com. July 4, 2013. http://atr.rollcall.com/colorado-republicans-continue-senate-candidate-search-cosen/
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Tennessee Tumult

    Tennessee Tumult

    Amid the swirling detritus of rumors about the 2014 election that count, these days, as news, why do I keep hearing in my mind the phrase, "Detective Scrote!"

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    Five points for the joke: Think he's got a listening problem?

    Still, though, while it's a bit early to be placing bets on House races, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN04) suffered the sort of lede today at Roll Call that one never wants to encounter:

    Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais, the anti-abortion Republican physician accused of encouraging his wife and mistress to have multiple abortions, raised just $39,000 in the second quarter, according to his most recent report to the Federal Election Commission.



    The situation is so bad that people are already invoking 2008:

    Congressional primary losses are rare in Tennessee. The last time an incumbent was defeated in a primary election there was in 2008, when Republican Phil Roe defeated then-Rep. David Davis in the 1st District. Before that, a Tennessee congressional incumbent hadn’t lost in a primary in 42 years.

    But Republican operatives in the Volunteer State have speculated that DesJarlais would be in serious trouble in 2014 since damning allegations from his decade-old divorce proceedings surfaced late in the 2012 cycle.

    The divorce proceedings revealed allegations that DesJarlais carried on multiple affairs with patients and coworkers, and prescribed prescription drugs to at least one. He acknowledged encouraging a mistress and his wife to have multiple abortions, despite billing himself as an anti-abortion advocate.

    Despite the late-breaking revelations, DesJarlais stayed in the race and was re-elected to this deeply conservative district with 56 percent of the vote last year.

    In May, DesJarlais was fined by the state’s top medical disciplinary panel for two affairs he carried on with patients while he was actively practicing medicine.

    And, yet, despite all that, the primary is the main question; state Sen. Jim Tracy outraised DesJarlais over 7:1 in the second quarter. No Democrats have announced a campaign against DesJarlais, and Roll Call considers TN04 "Safe Republican", an intersting demographic result in recent years. DesJarlais got the job in 2010; Rep. Van Hilleary served from '95-'03. Otherwise, you're looking back to Rep. Wynne F. Clouse, who served 1921-23, for the last Republican before Hilleary. TN04 sent Albert Gore, Sr., to Congress from 1945-53, and former Vice President Al Gore held the seat for six years from 1977-83, when Gore was redistricted to TN06.

    Still, though, despite having the Speaker of the House and Majority Whip in his corner, the early suggestion is that TN04 will be, at the very least, an entertaining primary fight. And who knows? Maybe if DesJarlais loses, he'll be dumb enough to run as an independent.


    Cahn, Emily. "DesJarlais’ Paltry Fundraising Raises Doubts About Re-Election #TN04". At the Races. July 16, 2013. ATR.RollCall.com. July 16, 2013. http://atr.rollcall.com/desjarlais-poor-fundraising-casts-doubt-on-re-election-tn04/
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Doug "Tar Baby" Lamborn to Defend Against Irv Halter

    Colorado Fifth Congressional District

    Ordinarily, I would expect a contest for the House seat in CO-05 to be a Rocky Mountain thrashing with the Democrat on the unfortunate end.

    However ....

    In the blue corner, his long and prayerful consideration has brought him to the ring. Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Ret.)

    Aaaannnd in the red corner, making his fourth title defense, the Republican Rascal and reigning, defending champion of CO-Five, Representative Doug "Tar Baby" Lamborn!​

    This might actually get interesting.

    Halter, a Democrat, told supporters at a Wednesday campaign announcement in Colorado Springs that he is running because he feels there is a “crisis of confidence in political leaders and especially the United States Congress.”

    “After long and prayerful consideration, I have concluded that I can no longer stand on the sidelines and ignore this crisis — because we can do better,” Halter said at the event. “In fact, for the sake of future generations, we must do better. And that’s why today I’m proud to announce my candidacy for the Congress of the United States of America.”


    CO-05 is rated Safe Republican by Roll Call, and R+15 by CPVI. Since its creation in 1972, the seat has never been represented by a Democrat.


    Cahn, Emily. "Doug Lamborn Draws Democratic Challenger #CO05". At the Races. July 25, 2013. ATR.RollCall.com. July 26, 2013. http://atr.rollcall.com/doug-lamborn-draws-democratic-challenger/

    Wikipedia. "Colorado's 5th congressional district". July 16, 2013. En.Wikipedia.org. July 26, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado's_5th_congressional_district
  9. Gage Registered Senior Member

    Funny stuff
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Called Up to the Show

    Baseball as a Political Metaphor

    Baseball has long served as an apt, reliable metaphor in American politics.

    Actually, that's about the only reason to note that GOPAC is preparing to announce its new candidate recruitment and advancement initiative for 2014:

    Called Up is a program that will direct a larger portion of GOPAC’s resources to federal elections, both with independent expenditures and strategic advice for the candidates running.

    “Much like in Major League Baseball, we have diligently worked to foster the talents of young leaders and build a deep bench of battle-tested candidates,” GOPAC Chairman Frank Donatelli said in a news release. ”These rising conservative stars have proven themselves on the state and local levels, and it is now time to call them up to higher office.”

    Thinking back to The Day After (the election) baseball was in the air then, too:

    And, as Montgomery reports:

    Others looked forward to the next political fight. Pollster Conway predicted that 2014 would bring, like 2010’s Tea Party wave, a conservative resurgence and called for candidate recruitment to begin now. Perkins agreed that conservatives have never had a stronger “farm team” and touted potential conservative candidates for 2016, including Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, and Mike Pence.

    This period of fracture and recrimination will pass; it always does, regardless of which party is having fits after an electoral trauma. Evangelical conservatives don't really have anyplace to go, so they will likely fight for greater influence over the Republican Party. But this will be a tough year for the rightmost wing of the GOP as conservatives figure out just how they intend to approach the 2014 midterms, and 2016 presidential cycle.

    Meanwhile, Karl Rove will likely hold onto his Wall Street Journal column and FOX News position, and given the Republican Party's foolhardy decision to keep working with vote fraudster Nathan Sproul, the man once known as "Bush's Brain" can probably expect a profitable future as a political strategist. After all, in the context of Perkins' "farm team" metaphor, it is one thing to have faith in the players, but who will the club pick to manage next season? Even the Red Sox knew it was time to fire Bobby Valentine, and at .426, he didn't have as bad a season as Karl Rove or John Cornyn. For now, House Speaker Boehner has the reins, but he's going to need a reliable organization around him if the GOP intends to bring their farm leaguers up to the Show.

    Anyway, yeah. Baseball. And they're ready to call up their rising talent.

    Let's see what they bring to the show.


    Cahn, Emily. "GOPAC Branches Into Federal Races for 2014". At the Races. July 24, 2013. ATR.RollCall.com. July 27, 2013. http://atr.rollcall.com/gopac-branches-into-federal-races-for-2014/
  11. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Another Republican Freak Show in the offing.
    Great. They are always fun.
    Who will be the "mad, but not totally mad" candidate they choose this time?
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Governor "Oops" Strikes Again

    Oops: Redux

    The suggestion that Texas Governor Rick Perry is an extraordinary idiot is hardly extraordinary in itself. In other words, no news, or what killed the dog.

    Wayne Slater brings the punch line, for The Dallas Morning News:

    Rick Perry didn’t look like the same politician of two years ago at the RedState conservative blogger conference on Saturday. For one thing, when the Texas governor showed up in New Orleans, he was wearing black horn rimmed glasses that are new to his appearance. For another, he was wearing dress shoes. Two years ago, when he launched his presidential bid with an announcement at a summer RedState gathering, he wore his trademark cowboy boots. But back surgery has made him cut back on the boots.

    If Perry looked a little different, some things don’t change – like recalling numbers or geography. Touting Texas, Perry declared, “There are many other states that embrace those conservative values, the approach we’ve taken over the years. I’m in one today – Florida.”

    “We’re in Louisiana,” someone shouted.

    And this while Governor "Oops" is considering another presidential bid.

    In other words, move along, nothing to see here.

    Slater, Wayne. "Rick Perry shows up in new glasses at RedState gathering". Trail Blazers. August 3, 2013. TrailBlazersBlog.DallasNews.com. August 6, 2013. http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews....up-in-new-glasses-at-redstate-gathering.html/
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    It's On: Republican Rape Advocacy Redux

    Republican Rape Advocacy Redux?

    "That is, part of me wants to see this. But one really would hope Colorado Republicans smart enough to say no to a rape advocacy redux."


    Good news, everybody! It's on!

    Oh, wait. Really? That's good news?

    Ken Buck, the current Weld County District Attorney, will run for U.S. Senate next year in an effort to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

    Buck, a Tea Party Republican, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Wednesday and will officially launch his campaign with an announcement tour around the state in early September, according to a campaign official. He joins state Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Owen Hill, who have both announced they will seek the GOP nomination to unseat Udall.


    One might note that in considering Buck's failed bid against Sen. Michael Bennett, one of several races that cost the GOP a chance at a Senate majority, Kurtis Lee of The Denver Post left out the rape controversy.

    Of course, Democrats should probably approve of the omission. We must see if Colorado Republicans are ready to endorse a second time the former prosecutor who once declined to prosecute a rape, when he had a confession in hand, because he thought the woman deserved it.

    And if they are—if Buck wins the primary—we can expect Democrats to tear down the sky and pile it up on top of him.

    Indeed, in looking toward the 2014 election, Buck's Republican opponents would be well advised to beat the hell out of him with a Stupid Stick in order to make the point, crush him in the primary, and exorcise this particular rape-advocacy demon from the Democratic arsenal. To the other, Lee did note the occasion when Buck suggested the fact of being a woman disqualifies a candidate from being a U.S. Senator.

    As far as morbid spectacles go, this one ought to actually be fun.


    Lee, Kurtis. "Republican Ken Buck files paperwork to run for U.S. Senate in 2014, four years after loss". The Spot. August 7, 2013. Blogs.DenverPost.com. August 8, 2013. http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot...aperwork-to-run-for-u-s-senate-in-2014/99119/
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Poor Mitch?

    It's Almost Enough to Make You Feel Sorry for Mitch McConnell

    Well, almost.

    It might be that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally played himself into a corner. And, yes, you get to say, Ouch!

    Or maybe, Damn!

    Or, perhaps, Oh, holy farging schnitzel! Really?

    It is sort of a developing story, and an odd point aside in a crazy potential scandal that involves allegations Ron Paul's staff buying off one of Michele Bachmann's campaign officials.

    Economic Policy Journal has an audio recording of a January 2013 phone call purportedly between Dennis Fusaro of the Reformed Theological Seminary and Jesse Benton, the former spokesman for Ron Paul's presidential campaigns and currently campaign manager for McConnell. Benton, who is also married to Paul's granddaughter, apparently tells Fusaro that he is working for McConnell's campaign to help the other Kentucky senator, Rand Paul, in his 2016 presidential bid.

    "Between you and me I'm sort of holding my nose for two years because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit for Rand in 2016," the voice alleged to be Benton's says. "That's my long vision."

    Fusaro seems to have initiated the call, recorded on January 9, to ask Benton about allegations that Ron Paul's deputy campaign manager had paid an Iowa state legislator to support the Paul presidential campaign. On the recording, Benton denies being involved in paying the legislator.

    (Warren; boldface accent added)

    I mean, really.

    Setting aside the potential payoff scandal that has nothing to do with McConnell, what does the Minority Leader have to do to catch a break?

    Recent stories about high-profile Republicans refusing to take a stand in the McConnell-Bevin primary contest seemed like just a bit of noise in the political atmosphere. But to have the campaign manager explain that he's holding his nose while running your show?



    Holy farging schnitzel!

    Don't take me wrongly, here. I'm not a fan of Mitch McConnell; I think he's a detriment to the nation. But, still, come on. That really, really sucks.


    Warren, Michael. "McConnell Campaign Manager: I'm 'Holding My Nose' Until Rand Paul Campaign". The Blog. August 8, 2013. WeeklyStandard.com. August 8, 2013. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs...-my-nose-until-rand-paul-campaign_745785.html
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    A Little Early for This One, Don't You Think?

    Brushback: Magic Numbers?

    So ... Byron York hurls the high cheese:

    Republicans haven't worried about losing the House because, first, having won by a landslide in 2010, they got to control the redistricting process, and they have used that power to draw districts that give them an advantage. Second, Barack Obama, having won re-election, is not particularly popular, and his ratings could slip further by November 2014. And third, history teaches that the presidential party just doesn't gain seats in the mid-terms of a president's second term. So, the thinking goes, Obama's Democrats can't win. The House will stay Republican.

    Unless it doesn't. Behind the scenes -- in whispered asides, not for public consumption -- some Republicans are now worried that keeping the House is not such a done deal after all. They look back to two elections, 1998 and 2006, in which Republicans seriously underperformed expectations, and they wonder if 2014 might be a little like those two unhappy years.

    "The majority is at risk," says one well-connected Republican strategist. "It should be a good year, but you need to run like you're trying to win, and you need a good, solid strategy."

    (Accents added)

    Full stop.

    I mean ... er—what?


    There are so many things wrong with that. I mean, you know ... right?

    Yes, it's early for ... er ... now, wait a minute, why are we even talking about this? I mean, it's not quite as dumb as picking the presidential field, but, you know, speculation, too early, and, let's face it, there can't be any rationale behind that kind of teaser.


    Well, it's one of those Obi Wan Kenobi things. You know, a certain point of view.

    As far as history is concerned, the GOP is bucking the longer trend in sixth-year elections. Except they're not. 1998 was such a disaster that Newt lost his gavel. And, well, 2006? That was a Republican White House.

    But here's the problem:

    In both years, '98 and '06, Republicans concentrated more on going after Democrats than on laying out a solid plan for governance. They were the opposition party more than the alternative party. And they suffered for it.

    What is the GOP plan for 2014? It's not clear. But there are indications some Republicans believe that, with a weakening president, a strategy based mostly on opposing Democrats will be enough to keep control of the House. But voters are sending some warning signals.

    And what do they have? With unemployment at 7.4%, what do Republicans have to exploit what should be a serious Democratic weakness?

    What the strategist means is that, while the cycle should favor Republicans, their habit of squandering sixth-year elections on petty politics ... er ... really?

    And there we run into the flip side. Eighteen seats? Yeah, I get it. With the gerrymandered districts, Democrats still picked up eight seats; how the hell are they going to get eighteen?

    The tacit factor to work into the equation is that this all depends on the presupposition that the GOP really is going to show up next summer without an actual, useful, subtantive plan.

    And if that actually happens? Well, Byron York becomes the prophet of the cycle.


    York, Byron. "House at risk in 2014 unless GOP offers agenda". Washington Examiner. August 12, 2013. WashingtonExaminer.com. August 14, 2013. http://washingtonexaminer.com/house-at-risk-in-2014-unless-gop-offers-agenda/article/2534178
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Carr Sputters at Start

    One to Watch: Carr Race Against Alexander Stalls at Start Line

    Tennessee state Rep. Joe Carr (R-Murfreesboro) is looking to mount a right-flank primary challenge to the Volunteer State's Repulican U.S. Senator, Lamar Alexander.

    His campaign launched yesterday.

    It did not go well.

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    Richard Locker tries to explain:

    A state representative from Murfreesboro, Joe Carr, emerged Tuesday as the first Republican primary challenger for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's re-election bid next year.

    Carr announced on conservative Nashville radio talk show host Ralph Bristol's program that he is abandoning his challenge against embattled Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee's 4th Congressional District and switching to a U.S. Senate race against Alexander, R-Tenn.

    Immediately after that announcement, former Tennessee Republican Party chairman Chip Saltsman resigned as Carr's campaign manager, saying he supports Alexander and citing Alexander's work on behalf of the GOP. “I signed up to help you run for Congress, not the Senate,” Saltsman told Carr in a sternly worded letter that Saltsman publicly released.

    “It is because of Lamar Alexander that people like you have the honor of serving in the majority of the state legislature,” Saltsman wrote.

    When your campaign launch leaves you wishing that being unable to spell the word "Senate" could be the worst headache you have, maybe you're doing it wrong. Still, though as Steve Benen noted:

    Lamar Alexander, in other words, is a conservative Republican. To say he's too moderate to represent the right's interest is like saying Dick Lugar should be defeated in a primary. Oh wait.

    This whole thing is far too bizarre. Indeed, there's even a bonus multiplier that might be exponential: "Unfortunately, our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous." A collection of Tea Party groups actually tried to threaten Sen. Alexander with the retire or face a primary line.

    And state Rep. Joe Carr? Apparently, the guy who can't spell "Senate" is what they came up with.

    Can you really knock Chip Saltsman for getting the hell out while the getting is good?


    Rojas, Warren. "Alexander Opponent Stumbles Right Out of the Gate". Heard on the Hill. August 20, 2013. HOH.RollCall.com. August 21, 2013. http://hoh.rollcall.com/alexander-opponent-stumbles-right-out-of-the-gate/

    Locker, Richard. "State Rep. Joe Carr enters GOP primary against Tennessee Sen. Alexander". The Commercial Appeal. August 20, 2013. CommercialAppeal.com. August 21, 2013. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/aug/20/tennessee-legislator-challenge-us-sen-alexander/

    Benen, Steve. "Tea Partiers: U.S. 'can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship'". The Maddow Blog. August 15, 2013. MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com. Augtust 21, 2013. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2...o-longer-afford-compromise-and-bipartisanship
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Rasmussen Rasmussenless

    Rasmussen Reports Scott-Free for 2014

    Via Rasmussen Reports:

    The Rasmussen Reports, LLC Board of Directors today confirmed that founder Scott Rasmussen left the company last month. In part, the move reflects disagreements over company business strategies.

    Mike Boniello, the company's chief operating officer, will assume a broader leadership role until a replacement for Mr. Rasmussen is named.

    The Company emphasized that Mr. Rasmussen's legacy remains intact. His polling methodologies and protocols, widely acknowledged as among the most accurate and reliable in the industry, continue to guide and inform the company’s public opinion survey techniques. In addition, the editorial culture of excellence that he built is still very much in place.

    Noson Lawen Partners, the Company’s majority investor, sees tremendous prospects for Rasmussen Reports in an evolving media landscape hungry for original, branded content, and it is committed to supporting the company with the capital, leadership and strategic partnerships necessary to improve and expand the business beyond the fields of politics and public affairs.

    The Company will continue to build the company’s polling technologies to address the dynamics of a mobile marketplace. In addition, it will focus on helping further expand RR products via digital business initiatives.

    Meanwhile, both Abby Livingston of Roll Call and Steve Benen of TRMS are making the point that the press release doesn't really explain the reason for Rasmussen's ouster; it is probably useful at this point to remind that the expressed reason—

    In part, the move reflects disagreements over company business strategies.

    —isn't really a reason.

    Rasmussen left last month; the company played close to the vest on the transition as long as it could; the press release turns the occasion into a discussion of the firm's majority shareholder and changes in branding.

    Noson Lawen is an equity firm under the guidance of Ted Carroll and Earl Macomber, specializing in media growth and buyout investment.

    2013 is an interesting year, with high-profile gubernatorial elections in two states. But 2014 kicks off a Year Six Midterm; the 1998 debacle ostensibly cost Newt Gingrich his job as Speaker of the House, and the conventional wisdom about the performance of the president's party in Year Six Midterms is spotty enough as it is. That is to say, while the president's party is expected to bleed some seats in a YSM, the last big deviation was Republican, and there are enough questions swirling in the air about House entrenchment versus the internecine strife pitting institutional Republicans against doctrinal hardliners and resulting extremist spatter.

    What will Rasmussen Reports do? In recent elections, the firm has taken a beating among its polling fellowship, with questions about survey terminology, interpretive methodology, and general unreliability. And this is a year with a lot on the line. Will a confluence of interests—i.e., media ownership, media discussion, and political discourse—emerge as the new Rasmussen Reports business model? Or will the firm seek to re-establish its reputation by abandoning apparently manipulative attempts to shape the public discourse? And how would either course affect 2014? Fascinating speculation, to be certain, but we'll have our answer ... well, in about fifteen months. And we will get to watch much of that play out in real time, amid the flurries of polls as Republicans test their entrenchment in the House while Democrats defend and even hope to expand their majority in the Class 2 Senate election; thirty-six states have the governor's office in play. There are plenty of media stories out there in need of a polling firm. These are interesting times at Rasmussen Reports.


    Rasmussen Reports. "Rasmussen Reports Announces a Change in Management". August 22, 2013. RasmussenReports.com. August 26, 2013. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/pub...ssen_reports_announces_a_change_in_management

    Livingston, "Scott Rasmussen Leaves Rasmussen Reports Polling". At the Races. August 22, 2013. ATR.RollCall.com. August 26, 2013. http://atr.rollcall.com/scott-rasmussen-leaves-rasmussen-reports-polling-firm/

    Benen, Steve. "Monday's campaign round-up". The Maddow Blog. August 26, 2013. MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com. August 26, 2013. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/08/26/20198332-mondays-campaign-round-up
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    With Friends Like These ....

    This Doesn't Help

    Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA01) wants a promotion to the U.S. Senate. With Sen. Saxby Chambliss retiring, Republicans are looking to retain a Senate seat, except that Michelle Nunn—daughter of Georgia stalwart Democrat Sen. Sam Nunn—is leading her most prominent Republican opponents in polling matchups; a PPP poll of 640 Georgia voters, covering January 24-26, shows Nunn with a two-point lead over Kingston. The First District congressman has bought up nearly $1.3 million in television advert time between January and May.

    The fight is on for Jack Kingston and his fellow Republicans, as Democrats try to flip a Senate seat.

    This is a Class II election for the Senate; Michelle Nunn is running for her father's former seat, which went to Max Cleland in the 105th Congress. If that name sounds familiar, it is because Saxby Chambliss won his seat in a controversial election, when Republicans were accusing their opponents of supporting terrorism. If Cleland's name sounds familiar, it is because the hit against him in the 2002 campaign is emblematic of that year's sleaze; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who would go on to represent hhis party's presidential ambition in 2008, condemned the spot as "reprehensible" and "worse than disgraceful".

    As much as we like to think of Georgia as a conservative bastion, the Senate seats of the twentieth century by and large went to Democrats. Saxby Chambliss was the first Republican to hold the seat ... ever. (Georgia's other seat, a Class III election, has seen four Republicans since the Civil War, and depending on how we count Sen. Zell Miller's (D) term, one could say consevatives have held the seat for twenty-four of the last thirty years; from 1871-1983, however, the seat remained with Democrats.)

    With history and poll numbers against him, the GOP in general disarray, and significant advertising outlays ahead of him, Rep. Jack Kingston has thrown his hat into one hell of a fight.

    So it probably doesn't help much, in the wake of a crisis that counts thirteen deaths, the co-chairman of your campaign goes out of his way to insult the electorate:

    Phil Wilheit, Jr., the co-chairman of Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-Ga.) Senate campaign, is fed up with all the complaining. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Wilheit went on Facebook—the post is not public—and told residents of Atlanta to "quit whining":

    Hey Atlanta! Quit whining about how inconvenient the last few days have been. It's called earth and weather and it does what it wants. On the west coast it make the ground shake and makes buildings and bridges fall on you. On the gulf coast the oceans swallows miles of land and blows trees homes to smithereens. In the Midwest funnels pick up cars, houses and people and rip them to pieces. In the north the snow is measured in meters and the temperatures make things like ears fall off. So stop complaining about your long commute home....at least it was still there when you finally arrived.​

    He then said that if they weren't all such wusses, they'd be fine:

    Sick of the whining. The “men” in Atlanta need to drink less cosmotinis and forget about ever getting another pedicure. Be a man like the guy who hiked 6 miles through the snow and ice to be with his daughter. Spend more time in nature and less time bitching about it. If more people had not panicked and bolted out of the office at noon we would not have gridlocked the highways and the DOT could have treated them. I left my office in Gainesville at 7:15pm. Checked traffic reports. Found a good route home and traveled 50 miles in 1.5 hours.​

    Kingston's office did not return a request for comment.


    There's even a little bit of misogyny or homophobia in there for Democrats to have fun with. (That would be the bit about cosmotinis and pedicures, for those who actually need it pointed out to them; lesson—feminizing or queering as an insult just isn't a good idea, as it suggests that being female or homosexual is an inherently denigrated state of existence, and regardless of what sincere beliefs one might have about women's inferiority or a homosexual's perversity, or whatever else, this is an election. As a basic principle, sales jobs don't work as well when you insult the customer.)

    Of course Kingston's office did not return a request for comment; indeed, were I the candidate, I would probably still be wrapped up in an intense discussion with my campaign co-chair about what the holy living whatever he thought he was accomplishing with that rant.

    And while I am no fan of Republicans, ouch, this one gets my sympathy. Indeed, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and Mayor Kaseem Reed (D) struck the appropriate tone by trying to apologize. Subsequent deflections and complaints about the press are par for the course, but at least they didn't go out of their way to insult their constituents.

    For Rep. Jack Kingston, though, well, this sort of thing just isn't helpful. And, you know, it's not like Wilheit Jr. is some green hand; he's part of a political operative famly—his father chaired Gov. Deal's run for governor.


    Public Policy Polling. "Georgia Survey Results". January, 2014. AmericansUnitedForChange.org. January 31, 2014. http://www.americansunitedforchange.org/page/-/GeorgiaResults.pdf

    Malloy, Daniel. "Jack Kingston throws down $1.2 million for crunch time TV". Political Insider. January 27, 2014. Politics.Blogs.AJC.com. January 31, 2014. http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/01/27/jack-kingston-throws-down-1-2-million-for-crunch-time-tv/

    Barr, Andy. "Cleland ad causes trouble for Chambliss". Politico. November 12, 2008. Politico.com. January 31, 2014. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15561.html

    Terkel, Amanda. "Jack Kingston's Campaign Co-Chair Tells 'Whining' Atlantans Affected By Storm To 'Be A Man'". The Huffington Post. January 31, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. January 31, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/jack-kingston-atlanta-storm_n_4702528.html
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    America Deserves Better

    A Spectre of Failure

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    For America: Right-wing media mogul Bozell's latest targets.

    It is certainly a notable slogan: America Deserves Better.

    It is also a very old sentiment, and much the idea of the media calling a lie by its name, it seems to be re-emerging in an exasperated context having something to do with Republicans.

    America deserves better than ... what?

    Bigotry and cowardice, the hallmarks of the Boehner Houses? Sennett slapstick? How about backbench, cross-chamber juntas? Games of chicken with the national and worldwide economies? Desperate rejection of conservative policies forced into being by having won enough support to require Democrats to compromise and accept them?

    Well, sure. Sort of. Not exactly.

    It's all of those things and more. And what America deserves, according to right-wing media mogul L. Brent Bozell III, is more of the same. Much more. Bigger. Louder. Better.

    Apparently America deserves better stonewalling and chicanery than the half-assed stonewalling and chicanery brought to us by the current GOP leadership in the House and Senate.

    A conservative group is launching a new campaign which calls on "the GOP leadership in both the House and the Senate to step aside."

    ForAmerica told CNN that it's putting six figures behind its "Dump the Leadership" campaign between now and November's leadership elections.

    The group says that its digital ads will target House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn, and the group adds that the first paid spots are now up online.


    To the one, Democratic sympathizers and surrogates are probably salivating at the thought of a 2014 grudge match inside the GOP.

    To the other, Bozell has a point:

    "Time and again, year after year, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate has come to grassroots conservatives, and Tea Party supporters pleading for our money, our volunteers, our time, our energy and our votes .... In return they have repeatedly promised not just to stop the liberal assault on our freedoms and our national treasury, but to advance our conservative agenda. It's been years. There is not a single conservative accomplishment this so-called 'leadership' can point to."

    While some Democratic voices would beg to differ—the facts of general governmental dysfunction and the sequestration itself are victories for Republicans, by this view—the counter-thesis about the striking failure of the GOP under McConnell and Boehner to actually get anything done has merit. After all, this is Senate leadership that will filibuster its own bills. And this is House leadership that can't even fend off a backbench insurgency from the Senate. They can claw tooth and nail to win certain compromises from Democrats, only to be submarined by the hardliners in their own party.

    It's a joke on the Democratic side that the Republican leadership in Congress simply isn't; the lunatics are running the asylum.

    Instructions for toothpicks.

    Pictorial instructions for condoms.

    And then there is the Republican Party under McConnell and Boehner.

    The faction that brought us Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, and the Anybody-But-Mitt 2012 GOP Presidential Primary is ready to stand off again in 2014. The talk that their candidates cost the Party a chance to win the Senate in 2010, and helped build anti-Romney sentiment among swing voters in 2012 by associating Republicans with extremism, might well be seeking their trilogy in 2014. With the conservatives in the conservative party trying to back their colleagues into a corner ... well, in truth it really is hard to formulate a punch line.

    I get that they're tired of compromising with GOP moderates and the institutionalized powers. What I don't get is how defeating that compromise entirely is going to help. The pattern is clear, here. Christine O'Donnell took down Mike Castle, and a Democratic freshman went to the U.S. Senate instead of a Republican veteran Representative. Sharron Angle knocked off Sue Lowden, and a skilled, veteran Republican politician widely thought to be the only one capable of defeating a reeling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and proceeded to lose by just under five points. Richard Mourdock convinced Republicans that the faithful service of Richard Lugar was insufficiently conservative, and then handed Lugar's seat to Democrat Joe Donnelly. And then there was Todd Akin, and while nothing about the GOP field in Missouri was especially noteworthy—in a positive light, that is—his fifteen and a half point loss to incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) had the effect of spreading the misogyny question all over Republicans from sea to shining sea.

    So, yes, Democrats and their surrogates and sympathizers are actually looking forward to an election season spent watching Republicans accuse one another of being unfit for office.

    This could get interesting. I mean, sure, Bozell is nuts, but he's not without influence. We'll have to see how this campaign works its way into the headlines.


    Steinhauser, Paul. "First on CNN: Conservative group pushes to topple GOP leaders in Congress". Political Ticker. February 4, 2014. PoliticalTicker.Blogs.CNN.com. February 6, 2014. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.co...oup-pushes-to-topple-gop-leaders-in-congress/
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    The Grim

    It's a Good Thing Tea Leaves are a Superstition

    Let us simply start with, Wow.

    For political junkies, there are some things that catch our attention when others might be moving onto the next headline in the news cycle. It's no different than the sports junkie or literary critic. For instance:

    In a radio interview posted to YouTube on Saturday, the conservative freshman was asked by an incredulous Glenn Beck why he's endorsing the Senate Republican leader.

    After an awkward pause, Paul tried to change the subject.

    "Um ... I'm here in Texas today to endorse Don Huffines," he said.

    Beck burst into laughter. Paul laughed with him, and then took a stab at answering the question. But he couldn't muster up a single nice thing to say about his fellow Kentuckian and leader of his party.

    "Uhh, because he asked me," Paul said. "He asked me when there was nobody else in the race. And I said yes."

    "Well, Al Gore has asked me to change my opinion on global warming and I don't do that," Beck quipped.

    The two subsequently moved on to other topics.


    Backhanded endorsements seem to be a thing among Republicans these days. Anyone remember the limp support prominent Republicans gave Mitt Romney?

    It's almost enough to feel sorry for Mitch McConnell. But he did this to himself, too. There's always that.


    Kapur, Sahil. "Rand Paul Struggles To Explain Why He's Supporting McConnell". TPM Livewire. February 10, 2014. TalkingPointsMemo.com. February 10, 2014. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-mitch-mcconnell-reelection-glenn-beck-interview
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

  22. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Here's an analysis of how likely the Democrats are to hold the Senate using a "Monte Carlo simulation":

    The Republicans need to net 6 seats to gain control of the Senate. Obama's current approval rating is about 44%. This model would predict a Republican gain of between 9 and 13 seats if the president's approval is the same in November as it is now. If that's how things turn out, Republicans will not only gain control of the senate, but win it with a big enough cushion to hold it in 2016 as well according to the same model.

    Republicans could certainly fuck it up again, but the playing field is really in their favor this time around. Here's hoping they don't nominate any candidates who feel the need to explain that they are not witches or express their opinions about legitimate rape.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    Not getting off to a great start.

    Later this morning, gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott will stumping at a Tex-Mex joint in Denton. At his side: rocker/conservative troll Ted Nugent.

    For a candidate aiming to be taken seriously, Nugent, who has called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun," seems an odd choice of campaign surrogate.

    Doubly so when you consider that Abbott is very consciously trying to beat back the narrative that the Texas GOP is waging a war on women, and that Nugent has called various female political figures a "brain-dead soulless idiot," "varmints," "fat pigs," "dirty whores" and a "worthless bitch."

    Abbott's camp is taking the line that, Yeah, but guns.

    "Ted Nugent is a forceful advocate for individual liberty and constitutional rights - especially the 2nd Amendment rights cherished by Texans," Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch told The Dallas Morning News.

    "While he may sometimes say things or use language that Greg Abbott would not endorse or agree with, we appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our Constitution."

    Still, one wonders if the Abbott camp would have been so keen to pal around with Nugent had they watched VH1's 1998 "Behind the Music" documentary on the Motor City Madman.

    "I was addicted to girls," he says in the documentary, admitting to multiple affairs with underage girls. "It was hopeless. It was beautiful."

    But don't worry. Their parents were on board with it.

    "I got the stamp of approval of their parents," Nugent said on the video. "I guess they figured better Ted Nugent than some drug-infested punk in high school."

    Contrast that with Abbott's boasts about taking the fight to child predators. The left-leaning Lone Star Project did just that in a pretty effective video montage they released yesterday:


    I wonder where having sex with underage girls is protecting the Constitution...?

    Ted Nugent charmed the parents of teenage underage girls and would convince them to appoint him as their legal guardian. This allowed him to take them on the road with him and make the teenage girls his lovers.

    After one Republican invited Nugent as his guest to SOTU, Nugent's history of racism and misogyny is well known and documented. Not only did he rape underage girls (yes, raping underage girls is a crime, even if you get their parent's permission first), but he is famously known for having once referred to Hilary Clinton as a "toxic cunt" and a "two-bit whore for Fidel Castro". Not to mention referring to several female Democrats as "worthless whores".

    So it stands to reason that many question Republican Greg Abbott's decision to invite Nugent on his campaign appearances. After all, Abbott boasts about going after paedophiles.. So why the invitation? Certainly, Nugent has a strong following in the pro-guns crowd and heaven knows, there are many in Texas and his comments about Obama certainly stirred the racist base. However Republicans should be mindful of aligning themselves with someone who boasted about convincing parents to allow him to rape their underage daughters..

    It’s Nugent’s pro-gun activism, Abbott says, that makes the hunter-guitarist such a swell campaign-trail pal. Guns do matter in Texas, and Davis has taken some heat from progressives for her recent statement of support for open-carry gun laws. Apparently Abbott is betting that gun rights trump sexual morality, even among the Christian evangelicals he counts among his core constituency. Here are Abbott’s comments, as reported by Wayne Slater in the Dallas Morning News:

    Sen. Davis knows she is suffering with voters because of her flipping and flopping on 2nd Amendment gun laws. And she knows that Ted Nugent calls her out on her disregard for 2nd Amendment rights. We are going to expose Sen. Davis’ weaknesses on the 2nd Amendment and show that in this area and in so many other areas, she represents the liberalism of Barack Obama that is so bad for Texas.

    So pay no attention to those gross anatomical references to the former first lady of the United States, or to the campaign-trail buddy’s assertion of how “beautiful” were his sexual assignations with teenage girls.

    Because only guns matter to the family values crowd.. While Abbott claims ignorance of Nugent and his repulsive views and other Republicans are only now attempting to distance themselves from their recent darling and connection to the far right, the damage to their denial of their war on women has already begun. Sadly, "I'm not a witch" would probably be a godsend compared to inviting someone like Nugent along for the ride.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014

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