Friday, October 25, 2013

NC Voter ID aimed at "Lazy Blacks"

In a brilliant Daily Show clip from two night ago, North Carolina precinct chairman and GOP Executive Committee member Don Yeltin reminds us all that of course these voting restrictions are racist.  That's the entire point!

Today, Mr. Yeltin has resigned his posts.

This will make you laugh and want to cry.  When you realize that it is the Daily Show and not journalist telling this story should make every American cry.  

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Don Yeltin. His views are deplorable but he has the courage to actually speak the truth so we can all see what is actually going on with voter restrictions in North Carolina.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Remember when VA Gov Bob McDonnell was on GOP Short List for Pres?

Well, not any more.

Now he's on the GOP not so short list of those most likely to be indicted. I'm always surprised when people in such positions turn out to be so commonly old school corrupt.  How arrogant do you have to be to think you can be such a public figure with an eye on the White House and also be so completely corrupt?

Today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports more details on the loans McDonnell has repeatedly lied about,

Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. has told federal investigators that he met with Gov. Bob McDonnell before making a $50,000 loan to the governor’s wife, Maureen, in 2011, according to a source close to the ongoing gift scandal investigation.

Williams told investigators he insisted on the meeting in the governor’s office to ensure that McDonnell knew about the loan, the source said.
As the story of these loans first broke some months ago, the classy Governor of Virginia immediately threw his wife under the bus where he continues to hold her sticking to his story that he knew nothing of the loans to his wife until the money was spent.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Battle is Joined; The Chamber has had enough of the Tea Party

I've long wondered why groups like the U.S Chamber of Commerce has suffered the fools in the Tea Party movement for so long.

According to Bloomberg, they've had enough,
“We are going to get engaged,” said Scott Reed, senior political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The need is now more than ever to elect people who understand the free market and not silliness.”
As the article points out, the Chamber spent $35.7 million on Federal Elections in 2012. But the Chamber might be in a position to exercise influence beyond their own spending by pressing their members to stop funding those groups that fund the tea party, such as FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Senate Conservative Fund, Heritage Action, etc.   

In fact, this might already be happening.  According to BuzzFeed, FreedomWorks is cash strapped and seeking emergency funding.

The next several election cycles are going to be interesting.  And better them than us. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

At War with Modernity

Michael Ashmore of Hooks, Tex. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
It occurred to me a while ago that the reality of the Tea Party movement is that they are at war with modernity. A war, by the way, that is impossible to win. I've thought about how to express this view in some sort of coherent and succinct way, to no avail.

I think Andrew Sullivan captures this perfectly,
I believe that you cannot understand the current GOP without also grasping how bewildered so many people are by the dizzying onset of modernity. The 21st Century has brought Islamist war to America, the worst recession since the 1930s, a debt-ridden federal government, a majority-minority future, gay marriage, universal healthcare and legal weed. If you were still seething from the eruption of the 1960s, and thought that Reagan had ended all that, then the resilience of a pluralistic, multi-racial, fast-miscegenating, post-gay America, whose president looks like the future, not the past, you would indeed, at this point, be in a world-class meshugganah, cultural panic.

When you add in the fact that the American dream stopped working for most working-class folks at some point in the mid 1970s, and when you see the national debt soaring from the Reagan years onward, made much worse by the Bush-Cheney years, and then exploded by the recession Bush bequeathed, you have a combustible mixture. It’s very easy to lump all this together into a paranoid fantasy of an American apocalypse that must somehow be stopped at all cost. In trying to understand the far-right mindset – which accounts for around a quarter of the country – I think you have to zoom out and see all of this in context.
Andrew has many more insights and I commend you to read the entire post.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

After Cards shut down the Dodgers, LA press lights them up

It's often said that the St Louis press is always too easy on the Cards while the big market teams back East and out West get much more scrutiny by their local reporters.

If you doubt this is true, just read the local papers on-line after big loses.  I make a habit of going to local papers after the Cards roll a contending team in a series. 

Here is some very nice prose from Bill Plaschke in the LA Times this morning,

The most expensive team in baseball has been rolled on the riverfront, mugged in a Busch, kicked by a Clydesdale and sent staggering back to Los Angeles with pockets empty, eyes wide and winter coming.
"This," Hanley Ramirez said, "is really hard."


By Saturday night, as red-faced fans were howling deep into the cool Midwest morning, everything had changed. The Dodgers aces had been crumpled, their batting order was in tatters and their manager is again drowning.
If LA hasn't figured it out yet, the answer is obvious to us in St Louis: God is a Cardinals fan.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Shutdown Blame Game aka "Don't fart and point at the dog!"

Several months ago, John Boehner went to Harry Reid offering a clean CR if the Senate agreed to their post sequestration spending levels which are $70B less than the Senate wanted. Reid agreed to Boehner's number and Boehner reneged. It's that simple.

So why does it take Jon Stewart to report the story?

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Budget Crisis Republicans spent months planning

Michael Stravato for The New York Times
The NY Times has the story with on-the-record quotes.
Last week the country witnessed the fallout from that strategy: a standoff that has shuttered much of the federal bureaucracy and unsettled the nation.

To many Americans, the shutdown came out of nowhere. But interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known.
The defund plot included this handy tool kit.

In 1996, when Pres Clinton was re-elected, the GOP plot to overthrow the election was impeachment.  In 2013, you hear occasional talk of impeachment from  rank and file House members and some party leaders, but this time they've decided to overthrow the election by holding the economy hostage and destroying the Nation's credit.   This, of course, is tyranny coming, ironically, from those who claim to most support democracy.  

When this fails, we'll be back to impeachment, I promise. 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Boehner has said privately that he will not allow a default

(Credit AP/J.Scott Applewhite)
Salon's nasty, snarky headlines kind of wear me out. Fox News for the Left.

But their political reporter and TPM alum Brian Beutler is very good and decently sourced within the Democratic caucus, and should be a part of your daily read.

Yesterday afternoon Brian reported that following their White House meeting, the GOP has finally realized they've trapped themselves. Obama isn't going to budge,
If [GOP leaders] got the same explanation from the president that I and several other writers got from senior officials at a White House briefing today, they know that for Obama this is more than just about preventing his own personal embarrassment (at having caved) and more than about his individual legacy (which will be harmed even if Republicans bear the brunt of the blame for a default). He sees “right sizing” the executive branch, and leaving it in better shape than when he inherited it, as a core responsibility of his presidency. Reducing the scope of executive powers in the foreign policy realm is one piece of it. But it would be a complete abdication, in his mind, to leave the next president vulnerable to the nullification of his or her election.
The good news, to the extent that there is any, comes from Boehner,
House Speaker John Boehner has told at least one House Republican privately what he and McConnell have hinted at publicly for months, which is that they won’t execute their debt limit hostage. Boehner specifically said, according to a New York Times report, and obliquely confirmed by a House GOP aide, that he would increase the debt limit before defaulting even if he lost more than half his conference on a vote.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Tea Pary forced us!

Has the establishment GOP had enough? They’re now leaking to the MSM.

From the Daily Beast:
Why, they asked, did the GOP seem so in the thrall of its most extremist wing? The donors, banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street’s towers, couldn’t understand why the Republican Party—their party—seemed close to threatening the nation with a government shutdown, never mind a default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised later this month.

“Listen,” Walden said, according to several people present. “We have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don’t, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary.”
This ends when true GOP heavyweights inside and outside of Government (the non-tea party money men, top Reps / Senators – those who leaked this story to the DB) get Boehner into a room and essentially force him ‘in the strongest possible terms’ to bring this to an end. Make him an offer he can’t refuse, to figuratively hold a gun to his head. And maybe not figuratively.

The U.S. is going to default on its Debt

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) said yesterday: "We're not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."

Anarchists are running the House of Representatives and all Boehner cares about is being Speaker.  

In all my life, I’ve never seen anything like this.  Even in 95/96 there was a well thought out agenda and more importantly, someone was in charge.  

When you read Costa and York  (and they appear to be the only ones with knowledge inside the House GOP), you get the sick feeling that anarchy reins in the House and that is exactly as the shutdown supporters want it.

We’re going to default on our debt.