2014: Omens, Prophecies, and Other Divinations

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

  1. TheHun Registered Member

    Isn’t it funny that the pro-constitution Nugent doesn’t actually understand what the “right to bear arms” part actually refers to? First, there is nothing in the constitution that allows INDIVIDUALS to bear arms, it is about the right of PEOPLE to do so.

    Here is the 2nd Amendment as passed by the Congress: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    As ratified by the States: A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. - See more at: http://constitution.laws.com/2nd-amendment#sthash.RQF4Zo51.dpuf

    Now for those not familiar with US history, this specifically referred to the Minute Men. In the good old days, all weapons were kept in the town armory and men when called to defend their community against the colonizers, were expected to arm themselves and defend themselves. In order to allow the Minute Men to actually be Minute and not Hour men, the amendment was passed that they could keep their arms nearby so that thy were immediately available for defensive purposes.

    Nugent, the little bird brain, apparently is not familiar with his history and or the wording of the constitution he so strongly defends. Today of course, it is a matter of interpretation and that interpretation sadly does benefit those who think that this means that every individual has a constitutional right to bear arms.
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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  5. Bells Staff Member

    And we're off..

    A U.S. Senate candidate is facing fierce criticism after saying ranchers should be free to shoot "wetbacks" on sight, using a derogatory term that the candidate describes as "normal" in his home state.

    Texas Republican Chris Mapp, who is challenging Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in the upcoming GOP primary, made the remarks during an interview with the Dallas Morning News' editorial board. The board noted Mapp's remarks in its February 16 endorsement of Cornyn.

    "South Texas businessman Chris Mapp, 53, told this editorial board that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land, referred to such people as 'wetbacks,' and called the president a 'socialist son of a bitch,' the editorial reads.

    Mapp later defended his remarks to the San Antonio Express-News, claiming use of the racial epithet is as "normal as breathing air in South Texas."

    In defending his offensive and racist remark, he somehow alludes that South Texas is simply full of racist rednecks.

    The offensive comments don't end there for the right. Virginia Republican referred to pregnant women as "hosts" in an anti-abortion rant on Facebook. While he later amended the remarks to "bearer of the child", he clearly shows the view that pro-choice have been arguing against all along. That personhood of the foetus removes the mother's personhood as she is simply the host.

    A pregnant woman is just a "host" that should not have the right to end her pregnancy, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote in a Facebook rant defending his anti-abortion views.

    Martin, the former chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, wrote a lengthy post about his opinions on women's bodies on his Facebook wall last week in response to a critical Valentine's Day card he received from reproductive rights advocates.

    "I don't expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive," Martin wrote. "However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it." Martin then changed his post on Monday afternoon to refer to the woman as the "bearer of the child" instead of the "host."
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  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    How about the Democrat candidates for the Senate in Texas?

    http://www.politicususa.com/2014/02...aign=Feed: politicususa/fJAl (Politicus USA )
  8. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    Hillery gets potus nod .
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
  9. Bells Staff Member


    Fruitcakes abound.

    Subsequently the Texas Democratic Party's state executive passed a resolution cutting ties with Rogers. Members were not required to support her, nor was she to be recognized at party meetings or mentioned on the party website's list of candidates. The resolution cited the "illegal activities, discriminatory proclamations and thuggish behavior" of the LaRouche movement.[6] Rogers called the decision "arrogant"
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Buck Drops Senate Bid for CO-04

    Rape Advocacy for CO-04?

    So Ken Buck, the Weld County, Colorado District Attorney who doesn't like to prosecute rapists who confess to the crime, has decided to give up his run for the United States Senate. Buck was infamously one of a handful of candidates, including Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, and Sharron Angle in Nevada, whose 2010 election losses cost Republicans their chance to control the Senate.

    Naturally, he wanted another shot at it.

    But things took an odd turn today when Buck switched places with Rep. Cory Gardner (R/CO-04). The Fourth District congressman will make the Senate run; Ken Buck will run for Gardner's seat in the House of Representatives.

    With Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner vacating his 4th District seat to run for Senate, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is dropping his Senate bid to vie for Gardner's open seat.

    The maneuver partially clears the primary field for Gardner, while giving Buck a better shot at coming to Congress. Buck won the GOP Senate nomination in 2010 before losing to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

    "Ken has decided to step aside because Cory is in a potentially stronger position to pick up the seat," Buck consultant Walt Klein told CQ Roll Call.

    But, he added, "there's no deal" between the two men to swap places on the ballot.


    Colorado Republicans seem to really want Ken Buck in Congress. It's hard to imagine why.


    Livingston, Abby. "Ken Buck Drops Senate Bid to Run for Cory Gardner's Seat". At the Races. February 26, 2014. ATR.RollCall.com. February 27, 2014. http://atr.rollcall.com/ken-buck-senate-cory-gardner-seat/
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Broun Note

    Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA10) Leads GOP Senate Polling

    Question: Who remembers Rep. Paul Broun

    The Republican congressman from Georgia's Tenth has earned a name for himself saying strange things that led some to question his place on the House Science Committee, including the idea that evolution is a Satanic conspiracy—"lies straight from the pit of Hell". Apparently, accepting the science underlying evolution is a devilish attempt to convince good, God-fearing folks that they do not need salvation through Jesus.

    No, really.

    And now Broun wants a promotion.

    And Georgia Republicans seem to want to give it to him:

    Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein, we hear of a PPP survey conducted for Better Georgia, a liberal group, that shows Paul Broun, Jr., opening up a big lead in the previously wide-open GOP Senate primary in the Empire State of the South. Broun has 27%, compared to Phil Gingrey at 14%, Jack Kingston at 13%, David Perdue at 12% and Karen Handel at 9%. I don't know which result is more surprising, the sudden Broun lead or the poor performance of Handel, who has recently run statewide and has a pretty good electability argument.

    The same poll shows Broun running even with Democrat Michelle Nunn, who in turn runs slightly ahead of the other GOP candidates. But given Nunn's strategy of picking off ideologically moderate voters who often pull the GOP lever, it's wild man Broun who is likely to be the most galvanizing nominee. But even before you get to that possibility, any low-turnout runoff campaign (which will last for two long months) with Broun in it is likely to be an ideological slugfest that leaves wounds and a general impression that Georgia Republicans have become unhinged or deeply divided.


    This is the sort of problem that faces the Republican Party. In the first place, can Rep. Broun hold off Michelle Nunn? The Democrat currently shows a consistent edge in polling matchups. But even so, assuming a Republican who left reality behind several lunches out ago can win a statewide election, even in a place like Georgia, presents a host of questions going forward.

    We might call it the Akin effect, though Mourdock Madness sounds more appropriate for the Republican capitalist outlook. The problem is that whack-job candidates in local and state elections can drag down the vote in other places. Certes, Todd Akin was Missouri's problem, and Richard Mourdock Indiana's. But they both asked for a chance to be everybody's problem, and that, in addition to everything else that went wrong for Team Romney in 2012, helped give Democrats an edge nationwide. What should have been, according to history, a Republican election to lose became, well, a case study in how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    In 2010, the Republican implosion was muted by wins in the House of Representatives. Aspiring toward an achievable goal of winning control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans faltered, sending candidates like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle to the ballot. Even still, the situation was so out of hand that Sue Lowden, the Republican widely viewed before the midterm election as having real potential to knock off a gravely wounded Senate Majority Leader, eventually embarrassed herself by suggesting Obamacare be replaced with bartering. You know, how many live chickens in exchange for chemotherapy?

    Meanwhile, Rep. Jack Kingston, caught up in his own mess of middling rhetoric, trails in the primary polling behind Broun at 27% and Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA11) at 14%. Kingston, paying the price for his attempt to find a reasonable, rational stance on the ACA, nets only 13% in the PPP poll. Of course, Kingston might have blown some crossover votes when his campaign co-chair went all sexist on Facebook after snow paralyzed Atlanta.

    Greg Bluestein, indeed, has the overview of PPP's poll, but the potential for a Broun-Nunn contest ought to be intriguing at the very least. To the other, I don't envy Georgia. Well, okay, in truth, I rarely do. Though I hear the peaches are good.


    Kilgore, Ed. "Broun Surge?" Political Animal. March 10, 2014. WashingtonMonthly.com. March 10, 2014. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2014_03/broun_surge049423.php

    Bluestein, Greg. "Poll shows Paul Broun with double-digit lead in GOP Senate race". Political Insider. March 10, 2014. Politics.Blog.AJC.com. March 10, 2014. http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/0...oun-with-double-digit-lead-in-us-senate-race/
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Top o'the Ticket

    The Challenge

    Nicholas Riccardi of Associated Press reports today on the RNC "pouring new resources into Colorado" to hire more Party staff and open twelve field offices. The thinking here is that Rep. Cory Gardner's (R-CO4) Senate campaign, along with a gubernatorial run by former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-CO7), might break an unfortunate losing streak in the Centennial State:

    Republicans have not won a top-of-the-ticket race in Colorado in a decade. The state has become an example of how the party has alienated swing voters, young people and Hispanics. The party hopes to change that in 2014.


    Riccardi, Nicholas. "Republican Party Ups Investment In Colorado". Associated Press. March 11, 2014. HuffingtonPost.com. March 11, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/republican-party-colorado_n_4944656.html
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Broun Skidmarks All That Remain After Press Questions

    One of Those Things

    Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA10) is a curious sort of politician whose reputation is built almost entirely on the appearance of being insane. Like the time he opposed Rep. Boehner's speakership by nominating a hardline conservative who wasn't even a member of Congress. Or his belief that science is a Satanic conspiracy, which naturally earned him a seat on the House Science Committee. He seems more interested in shoehorning the Bible into public law than attending to the functional needs of the country.

    Naturally, he wants a promotion, and hopes to retain Saxby Chambliss' seat in the U.S. Senate for the GOP after the incumbent retires.

    It is hard, though, to figure whether the latest question of Rep. Broun's conduct is a genuine scandal or a non-scandal inflated to scandalous proportions by simple irony. Jim Galloway and the Political Insider team at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offer up the basics:

    U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has spent $33,000 of his congressional office budget over the last two years on a specialist in rhetorical skills, according to the above clip from Justin Gray of Channel 2 Action News.

    The video focuses on the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. We'll focus on where the money went – to Brett O'Donnell, the former Liberty University debate coach was Michele Bachmann's top aide when she ran for president in 2012. O'Donnell has also served as a debate coach for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.

    Broun's office identifies O'Donnell as a vetted staffer:

    "In compliance with all House rules, Brett O'Donnell has been a contract member of Congressman Broun's official communications team since early 2012. He provides training, as he does with several other Members of Congress, with public speaking, on-camera interviews, and media appearances so that Dr. Broun can best communicate his legislative priorities, issues, and message with his constituents. As stated by the House Administration Committee, O'Donnell's communications training is in compliance with all House rules."

    David Ferguson at The Raw Story rolls the point of interest into a scandal:

    Broun shut his office door in Channel 2 Action News reporter Justin Gray's face rather than face questions about his decision to pay a campaign employee with taxpayer funds.

    Activist Bryan Long of Better Georgia called Broun's actions "inexcusable."

    "It's going to be interesting to see what he says about how he used that money and what he used it for," said Long by phone from Better Georgia's new offices in Athens, GA, the heart of Broun's district.

    "It's no wonder he hired a debate coach, though," said Long. "He can't open his mouth without saying something dumb and unpopular."

    Gray's audit of Broun's 2012 to 2014 spending found that Broun paid the $33,000 to Brett O'Donnell, a former debate coach from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University who worked on Michele Bachmann's 2012 presidential campaign, as well as stints with former President George W. Bush and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

    Broun's office released a statement on Monday saying that O'Donnell "provides training with public speaking, on-camera interviews, and media appearances so that Dr. Broun can best communicate his legislative priorities, issues, and message with his constituents."

    Broun is known to many for his 2012 statement to a group of Baptist Republicans that — in spite of his medical degree — he does not believe in the science of evolution or the Big Bang theory, but rather views them as "lies straight from the pit of Hell."

    He is now the leading Republican in the running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Among his competitors in the primary are Reps. Phil Gingrey (R) and Jack Kingston (R).

    Long speculated that Broun's primary competitors are going to attack him for the spending in the potentially bruising primary race in Georgia this spring.

    "I would be surprised if they don't line up to attack him on this," he said. "It's a hypocritical position that he's taken. He says he's mindful of taxpayer money, but then he spends it for his own self-enrichment."

    "Not that his debate coach seems to have been very useful to him," Long said, indicating Broun's record of gaffes in addition to the "pit of Hell" remarks. Earlier this year, he said that the only way Democrats can win in Georgia is to recruit "illegal aliens" to vote.

    And the press analysis more overtly sympathetic to Democrats is just piling on; Elias Isquith at Salon teases:

    Broun's team hasn't been totally silent on the issue, however, announcing on Monday that the congressman has indeed used taxpayer money to pay a speech coach. Yet Broun's people insist the payment wasn't in service of improving his chances of winning the Senate primary but rather so "Broun can best communicate his legislative priorities, issues, and message with his constituents."

    Something tells us Broun's fellow Senate candidates — as well as more than a few conservative Georgians — will be less than entirely satisfied with that explanation.

    Steve Benen of MSNBC cracked, "Perhaps the coach never got around to prepping the congressman on how to deal with a journalist asking an awkward question?" and suggested, "Maybe the congressman needs more than one coach to give hin a hand in this area."

    There is a whiff of scandal here. Ed Kilgore° considered the underlying ethical question:

    I worked for the Senate, not the House, but in my Senate days anybody who had anything to do with campaign work had to draw at least a portion of his or her compensation from campaign funds, not Senate funds. If, as seems reasonable to assume for a Member who is campaigning for higher office like a rat in heat, Broun was polishing his rhetoric for use somewhere other than on the House floor (no one really thinks Broun, or probably even a consultant, has anything to do with routine constituent correspondence), it could raise eyebrows, though supposedly House bean-counters signed off on it.

    Given Broun's notorious weakness in raising campaign funds, however, you do wonder if he cut a corner here or there, and let the taxpayers help him out in communicating The Stone Constitutional Conservative Truth to Georgians weary of RINO socialism. I could see him or his staff rationalizing it on grounds that if enough people like Broun get elected, taxes will go way down as they get rid of all the godless redistribution going on.

    In the end, though, here's the thing about that: this kind of cronyism is hardly extraordinary. That is, we can say what we want about it, but recall the Obama administration's recent contribution to cronyism in the Foreign Service. It's one thing to point out that the White House and DNC were just playing out the latest chapter in a long tradition, but recent diplomatic appointments have been something of a farce.

    Comparatively, hiring a staffer as a form of political patronage for the cost of tens of thousands of dollars in otherwise legitimate payouts is virtually everyday corruption. Americans have long known it, and voters always have an excuse to send their favorites back to the offices.

    And in this case, it's easy enough to construe a professional campaign hand as part of an official staff. Really, Americans don't have a particularly stingy bar on this practice.

    To the other, though, the "scandalous" spending of $33,000 in public funds obscures another "scandalous" question: What, exactly, is he buying with that money?

    The question underlying the jabs and jokes is actually worth considering. As Benen suggested:

    It's hard not to wonder whether Broun is a good student when it comes to accepting guidance from his rhetoric coach. After all, if O'Donnell joined the congressman's team in 2012, we might expect to see an improvement in Broun's public remarks since then, but we haven't. He seems every bit as unhinged now as he did in 2011.

    And he has a point. Just last month, Scott Keyes of ThinkProgress brought us the lede that, "Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) added another tile to the increasingly colorful mosaic of his political record yesterday, explaining that he will only consider voting for a bill if it fits 'Judeo-Christian Biblical principles.'" So also does Keyes have a point in noting, "While such a statement would likely become a defining moment in another politician's career, it may not even crack the top five highlights of Broun's."

    The congressman has a penchant for saying ludicrous things.

    But think of the joke among Democratic sympathizers about why Dick Cheney gets any credibility for his foreign policy critique—when you're that wrong, yeah, you ought to be disqualified.

    And recall a more conservative demand for results.

    The highlights of Brett O'Donnell's résumé as a communications trainer are George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann.

    To the one, O'Donnell is a good hand for cronyism. To the other, we should give Rep. Broun the benefit of the doubt; this isn't really cronyism of any particular breed, scandalous or otherwise; rather, it is indicative of what the congressman will bring to the U.S. Senate, including his standard for successful results. You know, because two idiots who can't speak properly and a guy who could speak properly but somehow, upon running for president, forgot he possessed that faculty.

    More than any scandal, we see what Broun will bring to the Senate.


    ° Ed Kilgore — It should be noted that after Benen went to MSNBC and The Rachel Maddow Show, Ed Kilgore succeeded him at Political Animal (Washington Monthly).

    Works Cited:

    Galloway, Jim, Greg Bluestein and, Daniel Malloy. "Paul Broun spends $33k in office cash on rhetoric coach". Political Insider. March 18, 2014. Politics.Blog.AJC.com. March 19, 2014. http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2014/03/18/paul-broun-spends-33k-in-office-cash-on-rhetoric-coach/

    Ferguson, David. "GA Tea Party congressman flees the press to escape questions about $33K campaign coach". The Raw Story. March 18, 2014. RawStory.com. March 19, 2014. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/...to-escape-questions-about-33k-campaign-coach/

    Isquith, Elias. "Tea Party Senate candidate won't answer questions on spending public money for debate coach". Salon. March 18, 2014. Salon.com. March 19, 2014. http://www.salon.com/2014/03/18/tea...ns_on_spending_public_money_for_debate_coach/

    Benen, Steve. "Paul Broun's taxpayer-financed coach". MSNBC. March 19, 2014. MSNBC.com. March 19, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/paul-brouns-taxpayer-financed-coach

    Kilgore, Ed. "Your Tax Dollars At Work On Paul Broun's Rhetoric". Political Animal. March 18, 2014. WashingtonMonthly.com. March 19, 2014. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2014_03/your_tax_dollars_at_work_on_pa049530.php

    Keyes, Scott. "Senate Candidate Says He'll Only Consider A Bill If It Fits 'Judeo-Christian Biblical Principles'". ThinkProgress. February 11, 2014. ThinkProgress.org. March 19, 2014. http://thinkprogress.org/election/2014/02/11/3278881/paul-broun-biblical-principles/
  14. Bells Staff Member

    Wow.. someone who's worse than the woman who was the witch..

    No, really, there are no words to describe Susanne Atanus.. Absolute none. Well, there are, but none that can be said without being permanently banned from the internet.

    Back in January of this year, Susanne Atanus made her opinions known about certain things.. Gays in particular. At the time, she was vying for the GOP nomination to oust the incumbent democrat in the Chicago-area 9th Congressional District. And here is some of what she had to say:

    "I am not in favor of abortions, I am not in favor of gay rights," Atanus, who has staged two previous unsuccessful runs for Congress, said during a videotaped portion of the interview, before going into more detail with the paper.

    "God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she added, blaming natural disasters like tornadoes and diseases including autism and dementia on recent advances in the LGBT movement. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

    She also advised that she did not believe the stock market crash that resulted in the Great Depression never happened.

    Her fellow Republican opponent, David Earl Williams III, could be seen "smirking" in the interview, probably thinking he had this in the bag. He commented that he found her comments offensive and Republican leaders also reacted strongly, urging her to withdraw..

    Illinois Republican Chairman Jack Dorgan called on the candidate to end her congressional campaign, saying in a statement: "The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican. Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”

    Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, emphasized in another statement that Atanus "is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP, nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time."

    Now, everyone thought that was that back in January.

    Not so.

    Susanne Atanus did not withdraw from the ballot. In fact, she won.

    Susanne Atanus, of Niles, Ill., garnered 54 percent of the vote in her Tuesday win over David Earl Williams III.

    Words fail me.

    That's not even the most disgusting part. Yes, that's right, Susanne actually gets worse.

    For all her talk of Gays causing tornadoes, autism and dementia, she dutifully recognised that she wanted the votes from the LGBT community. Heaven forbid her homophobia got in the way of votes. Oh no. Susanne sought out the leading LGBT news publication in the state and gave them an interview. She contacted the Windy City Times, and decided to explain her views in the hope that they would vote for her. The report from the Windy City Times about the.. ermm.. interview was.. well.. yeah.. Needs to be seen to be believed:

    A 9th District Republican Congressional hopeful is vying for LGBT support this election, but her platform is unlikely to win her many votes in the gay community.

    Susanne Atanus, who is challenging gay-friendly Rep. Jan Shakowsky, told Windy City Times that she believes gay marriage and abortion are to blame for Chicago's streak of cold weather.

    "Everybody knows that God controls weather," Atanus said.

    Atanus said that the snap of cold weather to the Chicago area as well as the string of tornadoes and other adverse weather is God's response to the passage of same-sex marriage in Illinois. She also adds that she believes autism and illness are a response to abortion and same-sex marriage.

    "God is super angry," she said.

    "Gay marriage is not appropriate, and it doesn't look right, and it breeds AIDS," Atanus added later.

    Atanus, who reached out to Windy City Times, said that she wants LGBT support. She backs medical partner benefits for same-sex couples, she said. But her major platform is one that focuses on economic prosperity for all people, she added.

    In a statement to Windy City Times, Atanus said she "will fix the economy with Common Sense Economics for Prosperity for All with daily positive returns on stocks so the l% will not get richer and richer. With more income, we will purchase more goods and services and this will create more jobs-the Greatest Economic Stimulus!"

    Atanus also said she does not believe in the separation of church and state.

    "I believe that maybe there should be an amendment to get that out of the Constitution because God will never go away," Atanus said.

    Apparently she thought she would get their support by giving this interview...

    I shouldn't laugh, but really?

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


    I am reminded, without a hint of envy, of our neighbor Madanthonywayne:

    "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."

    This really is the challenge; it is also one of the defining complications of a larger Republican strategy.

    To put it bluntly, yes, the stupid in our society deserve a voice. And here I'm not referring to the undereducated among the "most vulnerable in our society", but, rather, otherwise functional people who also happen to be tremendous idiots.

    We've called approach by many names, perhaps most commonly the "Southern strategy", originally implemented by a strategist named Harry Dent, along with Richard Nixon and Strom Thurmond. Its most prominent aspects in the twenty-first century are found in the GOP's reliance on states rights and law and order rhetoric, something no observer of late twentieth and early twenty-first century American politics could fail to witness front and center over the last five decades.

    The passing years have made it harder to argue that the Southern strategy was about anything other than racism; as Lee Atwater, the GOP's leading strategist during the Reagan years, explained in 1981:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

    (qtd. by Wikipedia)

    This is the dirty secret some Republicans have tried to conceal from everyone else, including fellow conservatives. Even stripping away the racism, we see in the rise of desperate, unqualified extremist Republican candidates one of the payments con the Southern strategy coming due. It is usually enough to recall Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle as emblematic of the 2010 GOP failure to win the Senate, but it is also worth remembering Sue Lowden, the allegedly "respectable" or "qualified" Republican who lost her primary bid to Angle. In trying to keep up with the demands of the Tea Party movement, she ended up embarrassing herself with what has become known as the "Chickens for Checkups" proposal to replace health insurance with bartering. Steve Benen recently had occasion to recall Lowden, while considering the appearance of rising GOP star Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) at the Conservative Political Action Conference:

    About four years ago in Nevada, Sue Lowden appeared to be well on her way to becoming a U.S. senator. The wealthy Republican ran into a little trouble, though, about a month after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

    Lowden argued that health care reform wasn't altogether necessary because she remembered, as a young person, when families would “barter” and “haggle” with medical professionals. In one especially problematic comment, the Senate hopeful said, “You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor.”

    Her candidacy collapsed soon after.

    I thought of Lowden yesterday after seeing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) at CPAC.

    In a mid-day address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal fondly recalled how his own birth was paid for in a pre-Obamacare era.

    "My dad shook hands with the doctor," said Jindal. “And he said to that doctor, 'I'm going to pay you in full. I'm going to pay you every month as much as I can' … And that's exactly what they did.” Jindal added, “No contracts. No paperwork. No government program. Just two guys in a hospital in Baton Rouge, shaking hands.”

    Jindal presumably knows a little something about health care systems – he was a prominent official in the Bush/Cheney Department of Health and Human Services – which makes it all the more curious that he sees “healthcare for handshakes” as a viable model.

    Start with that last; the governor probably knows healthcare for handshakes is not viable, but still finds value in playing that card, given the number of voters who will respond affirmatively.

    While there is some recognizable value in pitching for votes—once upon a misty memory, candidates described policies that transcended the office they pursued as a measure of vision and underlying character, not a superficial policy argument—the other side of that coin is the question of how long one can keep those voters happy with a lie.

    The larger effect, of course, is that policy discussions don't focus on reality. To wit, there is a perfectly acceptable leftist argument that says, "Fine, whatever, let them do their damn medical bartering." And, yes, there is merit in letting people do whatever they do to destroy themselves. But, at the same time, these are the United States of America, and public officials simply cannot let that sort of anarchy in the guise of government persist; it creates too many observable inequalities, as well as challenges the Constitution and very idea of the United States as a nation. This, to borrow an overused cliché, is a feature of our Constitution, not a bug.

    In the end, the result is a classic dualism; these people want the benefits of being Americans, but none of the responsibilities. And while exploiting this sentimental conflict has certain short-term benefits, we have been witnessing now for at least a quarter-century, the rise of the long-term spectre. What we see in the processes leading to these extremist candidates has been going on since the Poppy Bush administration, at least. It has become more and more apparent with each election.

    A few years back, perhaps we might have reluctantly praised the GOP strategy that secured so many state houses, redistricted even deeper entrenchment, and established what might be a semi-permanent majority in the House of Representatives. Despite our disgust for racist voting laws, sexist medical and law enforcement policies, and Christian supremacist nationalism, we must also acknowledge that they managed to pull off this feat of no small difficulty.

    But now a payment is due on this free market exchange that might metaphorically be described as selling one's soul to the Devil.

    And while it is true that some of these state-office districts easily explain the popularity of extremist candidates like Susanne Atanus. The real question in that context is whether or not such rhetoric can make the transition. In Louisiana, for instance, the answer appears affirmative; not only is Bobby Jindal governor, but for some reason his name continues to circulate as if he has presidential potential. And this is a state where family-values voters sent Diaper Dave Vitter to the U.S. Senate, because a respectable Christian man who hires prostitutes to change his diapers is a better choice for the Pelican State than a Democrat. Or something like that.

    Over in Colorado, Republicans are preparing the transition of Cory Gardner, a popular Congressman from Colordo Fourth, into the U.S. Senate. And, yes, it is possible he will lose to incumbent Sen. Mark Udall. But here's the thing: Gardner is taking on the Senate race in lieu of Ken Buck, who will now run for Gardner's opening House seat.

    What does it say to the rest of the voting nation when we see Republicans in Colorado so determined to get a proper rape advocate into Congress? In cold, tactical considerations, it would seem the Colorado GOP knows Buck can't win the statewide election, but they're determined to send him to Congress one way or another. The big danger here for Republicans is that Udall will fend off Gardner. The Fourth District will likely vote for Ken Buck, even if the former Weld County prosecutor who used his office to advocate for the rights of rapists to rape, actually gets caught committing a rape.

    And therein lies the question. To the one, it is very important to the GOP to not have any prominent, crazy candidates. To the other, they seem unable to help themselves on that count.

    Dick Black is another interesting case; a Virginia carpetbagger, he wants to graduate from state politics to the Beltway Brotherhood. And it's fair to say "Brotherhood" despite the fact of women in Congress, because Dick Black really doesn't like women. Or maybe he really loves women. At any rate, they're nothing more than sex toys and baby factories to him.

    It is hard to convince skeptical voters that this sort of behavior is significant of outliers, because these ideas and candidates are emerging across the map and at every valence of our politics. Sometimes the only reason certain issues have a place at the table is the sheer force of numbers in a democracy. Under any cold, statistical calculation of reality, the "women's issues" should be settled as matters of policy already. But they're not, and this is almost exclusively because of those who want what they want regardless of the Constitution or even basic logic.

    To consider Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN6) as an example:

    Bachmann expressed regret over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a bill that would have protected the rights of business owners to refuse service to gay couples (if their refusal is based on religious objections).

    "I believe tolerance is a two-way street," said Bachmann, who seldom spoke of the need for tolerance during her long battle against gay rights. "People with religious beliefs have to be respected. Right now there's a terrible intolerance afoot in the United States and it's against people who hold sincere religious beliefs."


    Consider the underlying logic, here: Bachmann believes tolerance is a two-way street, therefore we must ensure that by enshrining intolerance in state law.

    This is worrisome to voters who are not dedicated conservatives. Especially after the 2010 result derided by Democratic sympathizers as "jabortion" ("jobs, jobs, jobs, abortion ... jabortion"), Republican operatives who want people to view the conservative candidates according to jobs and economy are finding that task much more difficult. Voters have every reason to look behind the curtain in order to see what will really happen if these candidates win elections.

    Unfortunately, things will have to get worse for the GOP—and everyone else, as a result—before they start to get better. We already see hints of this kind of extremism in presidential politics, and we're likely going to be asked, either this year or in 2016, to consider extreme platforms as if there is nothing unusual about them.

    Indeed, the Atanus victory is itself a curious example. Running against Schakowsky? Right, that's going to go well. But the GOP might well have every reason to concede Schakowsky's seat (IL9) as safe Dem. So instead, Republican primary voters have elevated an extremist in order to ... well, it really is hard to determine why°.

    And that really is an important question. Why are Republicans doing this to themselves and everyone else? This is a difficult time for the GOP; I don't envy them the task of putting the pieces back together.


    ° it really is hard to determine why — Yes, Chicks on the Right is a real thing, although it is either (A) suggestive of an underlying problem about how conservatives view women, or, (B) a provocateur project of nearly antisocial dedication.

    Works Cited:

    Wikipedia. "Southern strategy". February 6, 2014. En.Wikipedia.org. March 20, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

    Siegel, Elyse. "Sue Lowden Defends 'Chickens For Checkups' Proposal". The Huffington Post. June 27, 2010. HuffingtonPost.com. March 20, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/sue-lowden-backs-down-fro_n_554105.html

    Benen, Steve. "Jindal's 'healthcare for handshakes' model". MSNBC. March 7, 2014. MSNBC.com. March 20, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/jindals-healthcare-handshakes-model

    Black, Eric. "Michele Bachmann endorses tolerance". MinnPost. March 5, 2014. MinnPost.com. March 20, 2014. http://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink/2014/03/michele-bachmann-endorses-tolerance

    Mockarena. "We Might As Well Congratulate Jan Schakowsky For Winning Re-Election Right Now". Chicks on the Right. March 20, 2014. ChicksOnTheRight.com. March 20, 2014. http://chicksontheright.com/posts/i...-schakowsky-for-winning-re-election-right-now
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Colorado: Gardner Rolls on Personhood

    Colorado: Gardner Applies Logic to Personhood, But Only Because He Must

    What happens when a fetal (zygotal) personhood advocate is forced by circumstance to finally consider his political argument in a logical, rational manner?

    Remember that while there was no formal deal between Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO4) and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck—the rape advocate who lost his Senate bid in 2010 and wants another shot at Congress—to switch places on the ballot, the informal trade was exactly what Colorado Republicans needed. Buck has already shown himself unable to win a statewide ballot; his misogyny is a step too far for Colorado voters, but the state's Republican Party is hoping it's a strong enough sentiment to win the hearts of voters in the Colorado Fourth, a glaring red swatch running from Larimer to Sedgwick along the north, and all the way down to Baca County in the south, the whole of the Eastern Plains as well as some mountainous territory; the whole of the state's eastern border.

    Given the GOP's serious gender gap in recent election returns, and the fact that their unpopularity among female voters is the reason why Ken Buck is not already a United States Senator, one wonders if simply moving the rape advocate to a more local ballot is enough to start bridging the chasm.

    Rep. Gardner has decided to go a step farther; Lynn Bartels reports for The Denver Post:

    Congressman Cory Gardner, who has been hammered for his position on social issues ever since he jumped into the U.S. Senate race, dropped a political bombshell Friday with his revelation that he was wrong to have supported previous personhood efforts.

    He said that after learning more about the measures, which would have had the impact of outlawing abortion, he realized the proposals also could ban certain forms of contraception, a prohibition he does not support.

    "This was a bad idea driven by good intentions," he told The Denver Post. "I was not right. I can't support personhood now. I can't support personhood going forward. To do it again would be a mistake."

    Gardner, a Yuma Republican who has represented the conservative 4th Congressional District since 2011, late last month jumped in the U.S. Senate race to try to unseat Democrat Mark Udall.

    He did not say when he changed his mind on personhood, but said he began examining it more closely after voters rejected it by a 3-to-1 margin in 2010.

    "The fact that it restricts contraception, it was not the right position," Gardner said. "I've learned to listen. I don't get everything right the first time. There are far too many politicians out there who take the wrong position and stick with it and never admit that they should do something different."

    Udall's campaign spokesman, Chris Harris, pointed out that Gardner the last two years co-sponsored the Life Begins at Conception Act, which defines a human being as "a member of the species homo sapiens" at the moment of fertilization. He said it was basically a federal version of the personhood amendment, a position with which Gardner's campaign disagrees.

    Once upon a time, an associate who happens to be conservative got very irritated with my constant consideration of LACP (life at conception personhood) and PIU (personhood in utero), and in a moment of heated thoughtlessness, demanded to know who the hell actually believes in LACP. Normally, I take the moment to marvel at the irony of someone opining so passionately on a subject they are apparently so ignorant of, but today we actually have before us a better, more functional answer.

    Who actually believes in LACP? Nobody who considers the issue rationally according to its American context and application.

    The congressman calls his former support for LACP a "bad idea driven by good intentions", and this is hardly an extraordinary assertion. Indeed, the personhood legislation making its way through conservative legislative circles is usually model legislation offered by one of a small bloc of influential advocacy organizations; it is quite easy to sign onto the legislation of the day without having thought through the consequences. If Gardner is proposing to bring this nuggest of wisdom to Senate, that will be to everybody's benefit.

    The basic problem is this: If we use force of law to declare a zygote a person, then that person is also covered by the Equal Protection Clause of Amendment XIV. This outcome creates a raft of constitutional questions that no LACP advocate is prepared to answer, a direct clash of diverse contexts of personhood.

    And while Gardner will not come out and invoke the Fourteenth specifically unless he absolutely feels he must, it's there in his explanation: "The fact that it restricts contraception, it was not the right position".

    Politically, Gardner is handling the question of flip-flopping well enough—

    "The fact that it restricts contraception, it was not the right position," Gardner said. "I've learned to listen. I don't get everything right the first time. There are far too many politicians out there who take the wrong position and stick with it and never admit that they should do something different" ....

    .... But he pointed to Udall, who in a 2012 opinion piece in Politico explained how his views had changed to the point where he supported marriage for same-sex couples.

    "It was perhaps best said by Mark Udall, who said a good-faith re-examination of a position you've held in the past should be seen as a virtue, not a vice," Gardner said.

    —that the only question here is what he does with the rhetoric in the future. The thing about the "talking cure" is that if you let someone speak long enough, they will eventually tell you the truth. Progressive groups will likely keep the heat on the congressman, which will give him plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that this change is genuine. For instance, if Gardner holds his new position consistently but follows Ken Buck in reaching out to female voters by saying stupid things, people might reasonably wonder if the shifting outlook is merely cosmetic.


    Bartels, Lynn. "Senate bombshell: Cory Gardner says 'I can't support personhood now'". The Denver Post. March 21, 2014. DenverPost.com. March 22, 2014. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_2...ell-cory-gardner-says-cant-support-personhood
  17. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    Wow... I'm sure I'll take heat for this, and that's OK... But, this isn't really a thread, it's a blog... Why do I feel that if I we're to begin a blog thread, I'd be shut down immediately? I like this site, but, it's changed ... Not for the better... I have really never lashed out in my posts here... But, fuck me, what's going on around here? It's become mods against posters, as of late... Seriously, wtf is going on here? James, please do something. This was one of the better forums on the web... It's going to hell... I don't want to see this place crumble... I frequent a few other forums, and even moderate. But, I always come back here... But, if things don't change here, not sure how much longer I'd want to stay... Yeah, I know, later Gremmie, never liked you anyway... Blah blah. Seriously though, I like it here... Can't we just be civil, and act like adults? Geez...
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Familiarity Breeds Contempt

    Familiarity Breeds Contempt

    The Evergreen State sometimes seems a misnomer; we tend to think of the western half of Washington state as lush and green while the east half is recalled as a wasteland of Miocene basalts, yellowed grass, and on its best days, rolling, stinking farms and ranches. In truth, there is plenty of green in the east half, and the western portion is marked by a few cities up and down the Interstate corridor, but is very much rural. The sharp divide is apparent in our politics, and there is something regional about how that plays out; even in small towns on the west side, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA5) plays poorly; the number four Republican in the House of Representatives—the Republican Conference chair—will likely see the House as the height of her electoral career, as much of what makes her attractive to the Fifth Congressional District (Spokane & environs, eastern border of the state) voters is exactly the sort of thing that reduces the number of GOP victories in statewide elections.

    While seniority is not the biggest issue for House elections in eastern Washington—the Fifth booted a Speaker of the House for the sake of a Throw the Bums Out election year, and wisely replaced Tom Foley with a man of principles, George Nethercutt, who has since retired from the House and become a professional lobbyist.

    McMorris Rodgers succeeded Nethercutt, and has been something of a source of embarrassment such that her rank in the House really wouldn't help outside the Fifth. A Birther who recently found herself in a new controversy when she responded to the State of the Union Address on behalf of Congressional Republicans by lying to the nation.

    And now there is this:

    The House Ethics Committee declined to broaden its probe of Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., but said it will continue reviewing allegations that she improperly co-mingled campaign and official funds, the panel announced Monday.

    The committee's announcement means it can empanel an investigative subcommittee at a later date if it sees fit, but faces no deadline by which to do so. At the same time, the committee for the first time released a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics detailing in full the allegations against the GOP leader, along with a rebuttal from her lawyer.

    "There is substantial reason to believe that Representative McMorris Rodgers used congressional funds, staff, and office space for campaign activities," "used a campaign media consultant to perform official duties" and "improperly combined congressional resources and campaign resources to produce a mailing and video for her leadership race," the OCE report states.

    The report also recommends subpoenaing two former McMorris Rodgers employees: Patrick Bell, a former Hill new media director whom the OCE report states declined to participate in the investigation, and outside consultant Brett O'Donnell, who the OCE states declined to certify that the information he handed over to them is complete and accurate.


    Normally, it is enough to skip over certain headlines when they break, because the story will continue to unfold; it is more useful, we might assert, to know what it is we're reacting and responding to.

    And, really, this sort of ethics complaint is ... well, it's hardly, at this point, a career ending injury.

    Then again, there is Steve Benen, who makes a point at least worth noting:

    And what kind of allegations are we talking about? As Roll Call noted, the questions surround charges that the Republican leader improperly co-mingled campaign and official funds.

    "There is substantial reason to believe that Representative McMorris Rodgers used congressional funds, staff, and office space for campaign activities," "used a campaign media consultant to perform official duties" and "improperly combined congressional resources and campaign resources to produce a mailing and video for her leadership race," the committee report said.

    With the allegations in mind, the Ethics Committee went on to recommend subpoenas for two former members of McMorris Rodgers' team: new media director Patrick Bell and consultant Brett O'Donnell.

    Wait, Brett O'Donnell? Why does that name sound familiar?

    Oh, right. His name came up just last week: he's the former debate coach from Jerry Falwell's college whom Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) hired as a rhetoric coach. Broun used public funds to pay O'Donnell and when asked about the arrangement, the congressman decided he didn't want to talk about it.

    Among other things, there were ethical considerations at play – did Broun, now a U.S. Senate candidate, use our money to hire a rhetoric coach for partisan political ends?

    And now it seems McMorris Rodgers is feeling some heat from the ethics panel, at least in part because she hired the exact same coach, whom she also paid with public funds.

    Given all of this, it's hard not to wonder just how many clients Brett O'Donnell had among congressional Republicans – and how many paid him with taxpayer money.

    And he goes on to note USA Today; in July, 2013, Paul Singer offered a glimpse of the Brett O'Donnell question:

    Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann and other high-profile House Republicans have paid thousands of dollars of government funds to a top GOP campaign consultant for help writing speeches, shaping their message and improving their TV and public speaking skills.

    The lawmakers don't appear to have broken any rules, but the relationship highlights the thin line that divides the political and the official activities of Congress members, despite a general prohibition against mixing political and official funds.

    Since early last year, several Republican congressional offices — including the House Republican Conference, the office representing all House Republicans — have paid political consultant Brett O'Donnell more than $52,000 from their taxpayer-funded accounts.

    And herein we find what might be the (ahem!) "scandal". It would seem that someone has formulated a way of hiring certain consultants for certain purposes; this method, perhaps for an appearance of getting around a given ethical rule, may well have become popular among Congressional Republicans. As the method receives greater scrutiny, inevitable questions arise.

    One almost wonders at the scandal itself; attorney Elliott Berke explained that his client, Rep. McMorris Rodgers, is "confident that, in time, the Committee will dismiss the complaint which was based on frivolous allegations from a single source – a former employee who then discredited himself by admitting to his own improper conduct". And yet, such as it is, the Ethics Committee is part of the Republican-led House. Distilling the essential question from a report exceeding four hundred forty pages will be difficult, but that element might well answer the question of why the committee found "substantial reason to believe" that Rep. McMorris Rodgers violated several standards.

    Meanwhile, it might be that the real question of substance is why Republicans are hiring Brett O'Donnell. After all, it seems like just a week ago we paused to consider why Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA10) would hire a rhetoric coach best known for working with "two idiots who can't speak properly and a guy who could speak properly but somehow, upon running for president, forgot he possessed that faculty".

    Ethics scandals come and go. The seemingly little ones often blow up, the apparently huge ones frequently deflate. This question might trouble McMorris Rodgers if she ran for Senate, but it won't be an issue in her House campaigns.

    What will be an issue, though, and a compelling one—at least for the editorial junkies and armchair pundits—is the question of what Brett O'Donnell can do for Republicans. Watch his candidates through the upcoming cycle.


    Benen, Steve. "'Bette in Spokane'". MSNBC. January 31,2014. MSNBC.com. March 26, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/bette-spokane

    —————. "House GOP leader faces ethics questions". MSNBC. March 26, 2014. MSNBC.com. March 26, 2014. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/house-gop-leader-faces-ethics-questions

    Newhauser, Daniel. "McMorris Rodgers Won't Immediately Face Full Ethics Probe". 218. March 24, 2014. Blogs.RollCall.com. March 26, 2014. http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/mcmorris-rodgers-wont-immediately-face-full-ethics-probe/
  19. Bells Staff Member


    Keeping them stupid..

    Aaron Miller, a Republican congressional candidate in Minnesota, said a big reason he's running is to end classroom instruction on evolution, according to the Mankato Free Press.

    Miller, a hospital account manager and Iraq War veteran, said during the congressional district's Republican Party convention in Albert Lea on Saturday that Minnesota needs more religious freedom. He cited an incident in which his daughter was forced to learn evolution in school.

    According to the Mankato Free Press:

    He also called for more religious freedoms. He repeated his story about his daughter returning home from school because evolution was being taught in her class. He said the teacher admitted to not believing in the scientific theory to his daughter but told her that the government forced him to teach the lesson.​

    He believes that the parents should direct what is taught in schools, not Washington.. Of course, education in State schools is determined by the State's Department of Education, but yeah, have to maintain the party faithful.

    You would assume the GOP would laugh and say 'err no, just no, I don't think so' to Mr Miller. But no.

    Former state Rep. Allen Quist (R), who said he believes dinosaurs coexisted with man, has endorsed Miller’s campaign against four-term state Rep. Tim Walz (D).


    Ah, only in 'Murica.
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

    Please spare us this kind of anti-American rhetoric. Thank you.
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    It's Ruppert'S doing. Please take him back.

  22. Balerion Banned Banned

    Good point! It's an Aussie who's the main culprit in this war on our intelligence.
  23. Bells Staff Member

    Do you have any idea of just how silly you sound?

    You must have had a conniption fit during Borat.

    Here, have some Freedom Fries.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    Hell no!

    You gave us McDonalds.

    It's a fair trade.

    Good grief! He won the GOP endorsement..

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