Since the Obama Administration is taking heat over a bunch of (some legit, some not) scandals, is the Republican Party capitalizing on this moment of weakness to reach out to Latino groups? Maybe not. Here's the beginning of an e-mail from Pablo Pantoja the former State Director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee:
Friend, Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party.
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.
Crooks and Liars has more about that. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, this fear-mongering ad is targeting Republican voters, and trying to make the case against Republican Senator Lindsey Graham because he supports immigration reform:
ProEnglish, unsurprisingly, has ties to white nationalist organizations.
The book – “A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign: An Insider’s Account” – is written by Gabriel Schoenfeld, who says he was a senior adviser to Romney from December 2010 through November 2012.
“The book illuminates the chain of errors that ultimately contributed to Romney’s defeat,” reads a summary of the 66-page book, which is being published next Tuesday as a $2.99 e-book by the Penguin Group.
By my count, this is the second book to perform an autopsy on the 2012 election. The first, Politico's The End of the Line, was published disgustingly quickly after the election and included a few notable bits of trivia. The account that everyone's waiting for, Mark Halperin's Double Down: Game Change 2012, is still scheduled for fall of this year. I hope there's some juicy stuff in there, but I honestly think the 47% tape will probably be the most scandalous thing to come out of the 2012 election; on a personal level, both Romney and Obama are pretty un-dramatic people who tend to accumulate boring people for their teams.
But still, I'll definitely be reading this one. I can't wait to see what Schoenfeld says is the reason for Romney's failure. I'm betting the most obvious fact—that Mitt Romney is totally unlikable—won't be in the book.
On his personal twitter feed, [online conservative aggregator Matt] Drudge predicted that 2013 would be the "year of Alex Jones," praising his show as "one hell of a broadcast in such homogenized media!"
But the conservative thirst for conspiracy theories has gotten so bad that the Official Mouthpiece of the Republican Party is actively trying to quash Beck and Jones's theories. I don't think they'll be successful, though; in the last few years, Fox News has enabled a conspiracy-friendly mindset to permeate all their coverage of the news, which peaked during the whole Benghazi affair late last year. They've created an audience hungry for liberal conspiracies, and if Fox News isn't going to supply the Boston Bombing conspiracies this time around, there's plenty of other conservative media that's willing to do that.
I don't think this is going away. I think the former Tea Party is going to get more and more swept up in conspiracy theories in the coming years. And you know which Republican presidential candidate in 2016 will be most appealing to a small-but-very-vocal crowd of people who think President Obama has been declaring secret Muslim War against America since 2008? Rand Paul. Ron Paul has been the preferred Truther candidate for years—I first heard Paul's name from Truthers, years ago—and while Rand struggles to display a more mainstream-friendly image, he's got that conspiracy-kook vibe to him. I seriously think this could be a major factor in the 2016 Republican presidential race.
So, I was alerted to the fact that some Chicago Bears memorabilia—a signed Brian Urlacher jersey and a signed Walter Payton photo—will be featured in a raffle being held at one of the NOM offshoot bigotry franchises.
I wrote the following to the Bears. Waiting to hear their answer; also writing to various sports columnists in the Chicago media to see if I can stir something up.
Dear Bears Management:
I am writing regarding the news I recently received that some Chicago Bears memorabilia has been donated to an organization that promotes bigotry and intolerance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Can you tell me if the Chicago Bears donated this memorabilia for their raffle? If so, can you possibly explain the justification? I understand that anyone can donate an autographed jersey, and it's not clear if the Bears are directly involved, but the conference organizers are claiming that you are.
Given the recent brouhaha over homophobic comments made by a Seattle Seahawks player, I would appreciate having this issue clarified.
Did Bears management donate this material? Does Bears management support the bigoted message of this organization?
Eighteen months ago, the Minnesota House member was considered an unlikely but undeniable Republican rising star, winning the Iowa straw poll that unofficially begins the primary season. Today, she is embroiled in a litany of legal proceedings related to her rolling disaster of a presidential campaign—including a Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into campaign improprieties that has not previously been reported.
The Daily Beast has learned that federal investigators are now interviewing former Bachmann campaign staffers nationwide about alleged intentional campaign-finance violations. The investigators are working on behalf of the Office of Congressional Ethics, which probes reported improprieties by House members and their staffs and then can refer cases to the House Ethics Committee.
I was just thinking over the weekend about Bachmann's presidential campaign, which hilariously kicked off in Waterloo. Her life has been a disaster ever since.
Of course! Now it all makes sense. The forged birth certificate, the socialist past, the stolen identity, the faked college degrees, the memoirs ghost-written by Bill Ayers: All of Obama's lies have paved the way for his shape-shifting master race of bodyguards! Thank God one of them blew his cover in front of dozens of video cameras in a highly public setting, or else President Obama—whoever he is—might've gotten away with his dastardly plan.
In case you're coming in late: As recently as 2012, Republicans wanted this woman to run for president. Now she's basically an animated all-caps forwarded e-mail from your racist uncle. In case you were wondering, the moment where she pulls out the Super Big Gulp is at 16:30. The crowd fucking loves it.
This passage from Fox News Sunday that was published on Slate this morning is really quite remarkable. After an election in which the American people very clearly turned down a Republican presidential candidate in favor of President Obama, Paul Ryan knows that the American people really want Obamacare to be repealed.
REP. RYAN: These are increases that have not come yet. So, by repealing "Obamacare", and the Medicaid expansions which haven't occurred yet, we are basically preventing an explosion of a program that is already failing. So, we're saying don't grow this program through "Obamacare" because it doesn't work...
MR. WALLACE: I'm going to pick up on this because I must say I didn't understand it. Are you saying that as part of your budget, you would repeal, you assume the repeal of "Obamacare"?
REP. RYAN: Yes.
MR. WALLACE: Well, that's not going to happen.
REP. RYAN: Well, we believe it should. That's the point. That's what's — but this is what budgeting is all about, Chris. It's about making tough choices to fix our country's problems.
So Ryan is going to continue to build his little fantasy budgets for the America that voted three-to-one for a Romney/Ryan ticket, even though reality looks nothing like that America. This makes his budget into nothing more than Atlas Shrugged fanfic.
A state assemblyman from Brooklyn, N.Y., wore blackface paint and an Afro wig to a costume party over the weekend, and says he "can't imagine anyone getting offended."
The party was for the Jewish holiday Purim, a festive celebration often commemorated by dressing up.
According to Politicker, Assemblyman Dov Hikind hosted a Purim party at his home over the weekend...Hikind told Politicker that he was "trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players."
Up until now, I've always thought of For Your Consideration when I hear about Purim. But old Assemblyman Hikind maybe burned another indelible image into my mind.
So. Here you have Ron Paul, a guy who has constructed a huge, devoted fanbase of grassroots activists. Those activists would do anything for Ron Paul. They create websites promoting him. They also hate the idea of government, especially the United Nations. Politix explains the clusterfuck that happened when these facts collided in a battle
Former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, wants fans who created web sites using his name to hand them over to him at no charge. The sites, RonPaul.org and RonPaul.com, were set up to organize supporters and spread the word about the three-time presidential candidate.
In a blog post Friday, the site's operators said they were going to give him RonPaul.org for free and charge him $250,000 for RonPaul.com because it came with a 170,000-person mailing list.
But they claim he did not accept that offer and has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, an agency of the United Nations, asking for control of the domain names.
Naturally, you'd think that Ron Paul fans would be outraged at this. But you've forgetten that Ron Paul fans don't really care about libertarianism. They only care about Ron Paul. If Ron Paul called for socialism tomorrow, the majority of Ron Paul fans would immediately swear they supported socialism all along. Over the weekend, the RonPaul.com post announcing all this business became loaded down with comments like this one:
You guys should be paying Ron Paul, not the other way around. You have used his name to generate millions. I would be curious to see how much of the money generated on this site actually went to the cause and how much of it went into your pockets. You were never true supporters. You were planning all along to try to make a mint off Mr. Paul either through merchandise or trying to sell him his own name. And now you try to act like you’re the wronged party. Take the money you’ve made and give him the websites. And try not to embarrass yourselves any further.
What a brave band of thinkers they are. So eager to think for themselves!
I was a little bit surprised to see "BS" plastered all over this e-mail. The subject line was, "Conservatives, Unite: End the BS in Washington," and the initials are all over McAllister's e-mail. Are conservatives suddenly okay with the phrase "bullshit" entering the common parlance? That doesn't seem very conservative to me. I thought Republicans were concerned about the children! What happens when little Elijah looks over Daddy's shoulder and he sees on the laptop screen the big letters "BS?" When Elijah—who just learned how to read, bless his heart, the li'l angel—says to his dad, "Daddy, what's a 'biss'?" Elijah's dad will then have to do the thing that every conservative dreads: He'll have to put away his laptop, look his son straight in the eyes and—choke!—talk to his child. This cannot be! When we live in a world where the One Million Moms protest the title of the television show Don't Trust the B—in Apartment 23, surely a conservative candidate can't be plastering an abbreviation for the word "bullshit" all over his fundraising materials?
So I sent an e-mail to the McAllister campaign that read:
Hello there Mr. McAllister, What does the "BS" in this e-mail stand for? I'm curious. Thanks, Paul Constant
About an hour later, I got a response from McAllister's communication director:
Hi Paul, Thanks for reaching out to us. Lenny would likely say it's for "Big Spending" or "Bureaucratic Spending". Lenny is a smart, efficient government Republican. Thanks again for reaching out. Have a great day! Ameerah Palacios, MBA
Now, come on. That has to be disingenuous, doesn't it? I wrote back:
Thank you for responding! I have a couple other questions. Is Mr. McAllister aware that there is another, more vulgar definition of "BS" that is more commonly known? Where does Mr. McAllister stand on family values? Or is he socially liberal and fiscally conservative? Thanks again, Paul
Massachusetts Republicans are desperately scrambling to find a strong Senate candidate to replace Scott Brown, with some even trying to persuade Mitt Romney’s wife or son to jump into the race to avert another electoral disaster. [...] “I’ve had several people call me and ask about Ann Romney,” Ron Kaufman, a longtime friend and aide to the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate nominee, told the Herald.
This would make me so happy. I would travel to Boston with my own money and follow Ann Romney's senatorial campaign around. It would be the most entertaining three months of my life. Unfortunately, it's just not going to happen, because Ann Romney doesn't give a shit. Tagg Romney is a much more likely prospect, but I have a feeling he wants to wait for some of the loser stench to wash off the Romney name before he runs for office. I think we're still maybe four years away from Peak Tagg.
Yes, so Glenn Beck says he's "Going Galt" and setting up a self-sustaining libertarian commune somewhere. (For the moment, let's ignore the fact that in Atlas Shrugged, nobody ever announced that they were going Galt; they just disappeared so the helpless takers wouldn't try to ruin everything for them.) But Slog tipper Marc points out that Beck doesn't seem to understand what libertarianism means:
The community will be known as Independence, USA. If and when it is completed, Independence will produce its own food and TV and film content. There will be homes, baseball fields and a theme park. Think: Small Town, USA, but with a Beckish vibe...."There's not going to be a Gap here. There's no Ann Taylor. You want an Ann Taylor, go someplace else," Beck said in a video announcement. The marketplace, Beck says, will be a place for people to create their own businesses and learn from others.
This is a serious problem for Glenn's Gulch. The whole definition of libertarianism suggests that people and businesses should be able to spend money unimpeded, without rules or regulations getting in the way. But if Beck gets to determine who spends their money and where, that's not libertarianism—it's despotism. Strangely, I think Beck's fans won't have a problem with that.
Right-wing talk radio host Michael Weiner (who is apparently trying to hitch his wagon to Dan's star by taking the stage name "Michael Savage") thinks that Teabaggers need to separate from the Republicans and become a third, nationalist political party, BuzzFeed says.
"The Tea Party is the rudiment of the new nationalist party," he said. "Somebody has to bring them all together, unite them like King David did the ancient tribes of Israel. And there is no King David out there. Who’s the King David? Tell me who is going to do it?...There is no Republican party. It’s an appendage of the Democrat machine as we’ve all just seen. It’s two card Monte, as we all know. It’s a game being played against the American people. You’ve got the drunk Boehner on the one side, and the quasi-pseudo-crypto Marxist on the other, who is really just enjoying the ride in Hawaii right now, representing his factions," he said.
I'm all for Weiner's Party. How can Democrats make this happen?
Seriously. A reason to patronize this grease-and-gristle chain? In downstate Illinois, a manager asked some gun-bearing men to leave, after another customer complained that there was a table full of guys with guns.
So, the local police chief has told all of his Barney Fifes to avoid Denny's. Maybe they'll lose some weight, and meanwhile, to make up for the sure-to-follow NRA inspired national boycott of Denny's by gun-nuts, let's all us libruls go there and get something. Maybe to go, give it to the nearest homeless guy.
Beyond Goldy's wise suggestion below, another aspect of the request by the NRA's Wayne LaPierre for the Government to put armed cops in every school in the country: it's the logical dead-end/culmination of so many gun-nut fantasies. The hard-core Second Amendment types who claim they need to be armed to save themselves from potential government tyranny? You'd think they'd be the last people to ask the Gummint to put armed agents of oppression . . . er, cops . . . in every school across this great and free land.
Would these cops arrive to work in black helicopters? Hope so.
And of course, it's not just schools that are gun-free zones or the sites of gun violence. The "logic" here—that only an armed good guy can stop an armed bad guy—requires armed guards in any sort of place there has been mass murder by firearm. Which, God Bless America, is EVERYFUCKINGPLACE: highways, trains, malls, work-places, movie theaters: you cannot name a sort of public or semi-public place that hasn't been the site of a gun massacre. Not to mention domestic violence in private homes: a chicken in every pot, an armed guard in every home! Armed guards everywhere, please. These morons would turn America into the very oppressive police state they claim they want to protect themselves against.
But this is what they really fantasize: a Hobbesian War of All against All, where they win because they have superior firepower.
The organization wants an armed cop at every school in the whole of America. This is not a joke. This is the best they could come up with a week after the murders. The NRA:
‘‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun...’’
The organization has underestimated the magnitude of Newtown. Saying that Adam Lanza is some movie villain like the Joker is not what the public wants to hear. The public wants real solutions for a real world. Boehner and now the NRA—the night just keeps getting darker for the GOP.
While I'm generally pretty pessimistic about attempts to control guns in our insane culture, it occurs to me that not so many years ago, decriminalizing pot or legalizing same sex marriage seemed impossible. Too politically risky. No politician could go there, for fear of being labelled soft on crime or a fringe lunatic of some kind.
Political organization, money spent, arguments made in public, campaigns mounted: and lo and behold, decriminalized pot and legal gay marriage happened in some places. Only if liberals (and sane conservatives) stay angry and organize, spend money, make arguments in public fora, can we expect any progress on this issue. But maybe we can accomplish the politically impossible again.
If American mass-shooting incidents ramp up from roughly one a week to three or four a week or once a day, then can we talk about gun control again, or would we still be politicizing tragedy? I'd argue that once something is routine, it's not tragic anymore. But maybe that's just a literary perspective.
Victory could prove the undoing of the Democratic Party. If Obama has his way and runs America into the ground through spending, borrowing and taxing, the resulting economic disaster will convert all those demographic Democrats into new Republicans. They will see, firsthand and vividly, the results of Obama’s economic policies and they will recoil in horror.
...in October, Obama lost the Southern swing states of Florida (29) and Virginia (13). He also lost Colorado (10), bringing his total to 255 votes.
And now, he faces the erosion of the northern swing states: Ohio (18), New Hampshire (4) and Iowa (6). Only in the union-anchored state of Nevada (9) does Obama still cling to a lead.
In the next few days, the battle will move to Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Wisconsin (10) and Minnesota (16). Ahead in Pennsylvania, tied in Michigan and Wisconsin, and slightly behind in Minnesota, these new swing states look to be the battleground.
Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?
The Republicans know they have the debt ceiling, that is coming up around the corner, and, the leverage is going to shift, as soon as we get beyond this issue. The leverage is going to shift, to our side where hopefully we’ll do the same thing we did last time and that is if the president wants to raise the debt limit by $2 trillion we get $2 trillion in spending reduction and, hopefully, this time, it is mostly oriented towards entitlement and with no process.
I'm not sure the American people want to see another hostage situation—especially if it results in Medicare cuts. But, you know, if Republicans want to test that theory, they're more than welcome to.
Remember Dick Armey, the guy who inspired an army of dicks to parade around in tricorn hats and call themselves a tea party? It seems he just left his own teabaggy think-tank, FreedomWorks, in a huff, and other members of the organization are following suit:
Several top FreedomWorks staffers are leaving the conservative advocacy group in the wake of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s resignation, the organization confirmed Tuesday...Armey, who served as FreedomWorks’ co-chairman since 2003, cut ties with the group in a tersely-worded email dated Nov. 30. But The Associated Press reported Tuesday morning that the terms of his resignation were set in September under a confidential contract that would compensate him with $8 million in consulting fees, paid in annual $400,000 installments.
Mother Jones published Armey's resignation letter yesterday. FreedomWorks, under Armey, has been the prime mover of the teabagger phenomenon and they did a decent job of making it appear to be a "grassroots" movement, rather than a pre-planned mainstream conservative attempt to kill Obamacare in the crib. The fact that Armey has taken his toys and gone home is HUGE news, and it doesn't bode well for Grover Norquist's threats of a Tea Party Part Deux. But don't feel bad for old Dick—that eight million dollar payout will probably ease his pain and heartbreak a little.
Before State Senator Ro_ney Tom considers an offer to lead a Republican coup that would leave them in control of the Senate and him installed as Majority Leader, he should consider the will of the people who elected him.
Tom was elected as a Democrat. He will be unelected as a Republican.
Can you imagine if that entitled asshole became leader of the free world? George W. Bush didn't care about poor people, but I think you have to go back to Nixon to find another president who actively hated at least 50% of the American population.