Election

May 092015
 

But don’t assume they can’t win despite that. Money rules. The obscenely rich can buy anything.

Populism could divide the Grand Old Party – The Washington Post

The New York Times/CBS News poll, released a day later, showed what the GOP is up against: Only 29 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Republican Party, while 43 percent had a positive view of the Democrats.

The survey also documented a steady but little-noticed trend: Americans are becoming less conservative. In the fall of 2010, the Times/CBS poll found, there were twice as many self-described conservatives as liberals: 19 percent of Americans called themselves liberal, 38 percent called themselves conservative. In the latest poll, liberals stood at 25 percent, conservatives at 33 percent. In less than five years, a 19-point margin has shrunk to eight points.

Republicans and conservatives have a brand problem. Their presidential campaign will only aggravate it as candidates are forced to double-down on an ideology that is in danger of decline. Moreover, the next year is likely to intensify deep stresses inside their coalition.

Populism could divide the Grand Old Party – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:10 am on Sat 05/09/15
Apr 142015
 

The relentless effort of Republicans to relieve the rich of any and all taxation has caused the dramatic shift in disparity between the OBSCENELY Rich and the rest of us. The grotesquely rich already buy anything they want from government. Eliminating estate taxes assures that every subsequent generation of rich will have even more power because the Supreme Court Council of Cardinals equates money with speech.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

This is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement, which began as a populist revolt in 2009 but has since been hijacked by wealthy and corporate interests. The estate tax has been part of American law in some form since 1797, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, a shield against the sort of permanent aristocracy our founders fought to rid themselves of.

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies.

The estate tax was a meaningful check on a permanent aristocracy as recently as 2001, when there were taxes on the portion of estates above $675,000; even then there were plenty of ways for the rich to shelter money for their heirs. …

“It sounds to me like there’s a lot of wealth envy in this country,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) complained while serving as chairwoman of the Rules Committee debate Tuesday. The bill abolishing the estate tax, she said, “will draw a line in the sand.”

Yes, it will: between the wealthiest two-tenths of 1 percent — and everybody else.

Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 7:59 pm on Tue 04/14/15
Apr 082015
 

My blood boils when I hear someone talk about “taking our country back.” From what? Take it back from democracy? When the Idiot King DUHbya was appointed by a conservative Supreme Court stacked by his cronies, I didn’t say we have to “take our country back.” I swallowed bile daily for 8 years and voted for change.

This dumb mantra is all the worse coming from the mouth of an elected official. PUH-lease. It is the rhetoric of scoundrels that have driven the public away from the polls (that is, when those scoundrels aren’t actively suppressing the vote).

If you want to “take our country back,” take control of campaign financing, which that same conservative court has equated to free speech. The rich have more free speech than you or I. We’re free to listen to bullshit.

Paul announces White House bid | Albuquerque Journal News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sen. Rand Paul launched his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday with a combative challenge both to Washington and his fellow Republicans, cataloguing a lengthy list of what ails America and pledging to “take our country back.”

Paul’s fiery message, delivered in his home state of Kentucky before he flew to four early-nominating states, was designed to broaden his appeal outside of the typical GOP coalition as well as motivate supporters of his father’s two unsuccessful bids for the Republican presidential nomination.

In a 26-minute speech that eviscerated “the Washington machine,” he spared neither Republican nor Democrat as he attempted to tap into Americans’ deep frustrations with their government.

“I worry that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters,” the tea party favorite said. “As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, ‘What kind of America will our grandchildren see?’”

He added: “It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.”

Paul announces White House bid | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 11:55 am on Wed 04/08/15
Apr 082015
 

If this braying ass can’t afford filet mignon, there are 1000 lobbyists ready to send him a case. What a tool!

The rush to humiliate the poor – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer April 7 at 6:12 PM

Rick Brattin, a young Republican state representative in Missouri, has come up with an innovative new way to humiliate the poor in his state. Call it the surf-and-turf law.

Brattin has introduced House Bill 813, making it illegal for food-stamp recipients to use their benefits “to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.”

“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs” with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, the legislator explained, according to The Post’s Roberto A. Ferdman. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.

Never mind that few can afford filet mignon on a less-than-$7/day food-stamp allotment; they’re more likely to be buying chuck steak or canned tuna. This is less about public policy than about demeaning public-benefit recipients.

The rush to humiliate the poor – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 7:38 am on Wed 04/08/15
Apr 012015
 

Republicans have a gun to their head and are saying “do what we say or we’ll shoot.” Let ‘em. The not-so-GOP is torn between two masters: the business people who shop for candidates and the base, which votes for loons. Not a strong position going into 2016. However, never underestimate money or lunacy.

Indiana debate exposes Republican divisions | Albuquerque Journal News By Steve Peoples / Associated Press

It is a debate many Republicans hoped to avoid.

But as the backlash intensifies over a so-called religious freedom law in Indiana, the GOP’s leading White House contenders have been drawn into a messy clash that highlights the party’s strong opposition to same-sex marriage and threatens to inject social issues into the early stages of the 2016 presidential primary season.

The debate has also energized Democrats nationwide while exposing sharp divisions between Republicans and local business leaders who oppose a law that critics say allows business owners to deny services to same-sex couples on religious grounds. …

Polling suggests a majority of the American electorate supports gay marriage, but the most conservative Republicans do not.

“It’s a total head-scratcher,” former Illinois Republican chairman Pat Brady said of the GOP presidential hopefuls who defended the law. “We’re trying to attract voters and win elections. We can’t scare people away.”

Yet the Republican 2016 presidential class overwhelmingly defended the new law, breaking with local business leaders in favor of conservatives across the country who cheered such laws as a necessary response to overreach by the Obama administration.

“I think Gov. Pence has done the right thing,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said in a Monday radio interview. He said the law was “simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday tweeted: “I stand with” Pence, and “Religious freedom is worth protecting.”

“We must stand with those who stand up for religious freedoms,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who announced his GOP presidential campaign last week, said the Indiana governor was “holding the line to protect religious liberty” in his state.

Some economic-minded Republicans saw it another way. …

Democrats were united in their opposition to the law.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, expected to launch her Democratic presidential campaign in the coming weeks, tweeted last week, “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today.”

Indiana debate exposes Republican divisions | Albuquerque Journal News

Q&A: The debate over the religious freedom law | Albuquerque Journal News By Michael Doyle / Mcclatchy Washington Bureau

Q: Where did the Religious Freedom Restoration Act come from?

A: Peyote, in part. In the 1980s, two Oregon men were fired from their jobs with a private drug organization because they ingested peyote as part of their sacred obligations as members of the Native American Church. The state denied them unemployment benefits on the grounds they had been fired for misconduct.

The Supreme Court, in a 1990 decision authored by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, declared that the First Amendment’s religious protections don’t override “the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability.” As long as a law doesn’t explicitly favor or target religion, Scalia reasoned, it can be enforced even if it burdens someone’s religious practice.

Congress responded in 1993 by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. States began passing their own versions after the high court clarified in 1997 that the federal law did not apply to them.

Q&A: The debate over the religious freedom law | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 2:33 pm on Wed 04/01/15
Mar 292015
 

The Conservative Scold is as common as the Angry White Male. Holier than thou. The stern, disapproving look is all that’s left of the self-declared Deep Thinkers and Vulcans.

Cepeda: Written all over Ted Cruz’s face by Esther J. Cepeda

The Cruz who has most often graced the real estate of our newspapers and Web pages has appeared angry, disgusted, tired of your pathetic silliness, done with your sophomoric suggestions, knowing (more than you, duh), barely tolerant (of your ridiculous ideas), superior in every way, extremely self-satisfied and, most often, brimming with contempt. …

Cruz seems simply tired of those of us who aren’t as committed to Christianity or as disgusted with the government as he is.

We’re to be pitied, really, since anyone who might not find him palatable as an elected representative of the entire country is just, well, daft. Cruz’s conservatism is not so much a political ideology as it is, to him, simply the right and only way to be.

Watching him on “CBS This Morning” the day after his announcement, you saw that Cruz is undaunted. His tilted head, frowning lips, shrugged shoulders and hands upturned in gestures of incredulousness lead you to view his politics as anything other than “speaking the truth” and “defending common sense.”

Cepeda: Written all over Ted Cruz’s face

 Posted by at 8:31 pm on Sun 03/29/15
Mar 232015
 

Born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. Of course, he’s natural born and eligible to run (as am I, though born in a US territory). But not even in a US state or territory. Worse than John McCain being born in Panama. I hope the Birthers have a stroke, but you won’t hear a peep out of the hypocrites.

It says a lot that he picked a conservative southern Christian (3 redundancies in a row) “university” to make his announcement, stressing his opposition to abortion and to same-sex marriage. Aren’t both of those issues settled? Just like the separation of church and state so many choose to defy.

First Take: Can a ‘wacko bird’ take flight in the GOP? by Susan Page, USA TODAY 11:47 a.m. EDT March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz isn’t shy. He’s combative. He rejects compromise as “the mushy middle.” He’s not inclined to wait his turn. And he doesn’t seem to mind annoying his Republican elders with tactics that critics see as destructive and short-sighted. …

In the Senate, he has been more of an agitator than a legislator. Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2012 nominee, once called him a “wacko bird.”

First Take: Can a ‘wacko bird’ take flight in the GOP?

 Posted by at 2:15 pm on Mon 03/23/15