Friday, August 1, 2014

Last Call For Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

We've finally reached the point where Israeli hard-liners have made American hard-liners look like complete wimps, as Times of Israel contributor Yochanan Gordon ponders whether or not Israel has the justification to exterminate every Palestinian in Gaza. (Hint: his answer is "yes.")

The Times of Israel scrubbed an inflammatory blog post on Friday after the writer was widely ridiculed and condemned for making a case for genocide.

In the post titled "When Genocide is Permissible," Yochanan Gordon framed his premise as "a question for all the humanitarians out there."

It's the most lunatic thing I've read in some time.  It makes our crazy warmongers look like Mother Teresa. And it gets a whole lot worse:

I wasn't aware of this, but it seems that the nature of warfare has undergone a major shift over the years. Where wars were usually waged to defeat the opposing side, today it seems - and judging by the number of foul calls it would indicate - that today's wars are fought to a draw. I mean, whoever heard of a timeout in war? An NBA Basketball game allows six timeouts for each team during the course of a game, but last I checked this is a war! We are at war with an enemy whose charter calls for the annihilation of our people. Nothing, then, can be considered disproportionate when we are fighting for our very right to live
The sad reality is that Israel gets it, but its hands are being tied by world leaders who over the past six years have insisted they are such good friends with the Jewish state, that they know more regarding its interests than even they do. But there's going to have to come a time where Israel feels threatened enough where it has no other choice but to defy international warnings - because this is life or death.

It's amazing.  His reasoning is exceedingly simple:  we have to exterminate all Palestinians in order to save Israel.  The irony of this is enough to power entire separate realities.

Hamas has stated forthrightly that it idealizes death as much as Israel celebrates life. What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?

So at this point, I fully expect tens of thousands of Palestinian casualties in the coming days and weeks.   The news of a captured Israeli soldier just hours into what was the start of a 3-day cease fire has all but assured that thousands of Palestinians will now have to die as a result of Hamas and Israel.

The war will continue unabated now.  Regardless of what you think about Yochanan Gordon's idiocy, a lot of people are going to be slaughtered and very, very soon.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

Steve M. observes the chaos in the House GOP and its laughable border vote fiasco, the bill pulled by Boehner rather than he have it be defeated, and asks an excellent question:

I know I'm supposed to regard this as a tremendous black eye for Republicans, and for John Boehner in particular -- and obviously it is in the eyes of political insiders and mavens. But are any Republicans actually going to be punished for this in a way that's going to sting?

Not by Republican voters, that's for sure.

But here's my question: Which Republican is going to lose an election in November because of this? I assume the answer is "None of them." This makes House Republicans look like terrible public servants who accomplish nothing on behalf of the American people. But Americaalready regarded House Republicans that way before today, and they were poised to hold pretty much every seat they hold now, largely because of gerrymandering, while their party was -- and still is -- certain to gain seats in the Senate, quite possibly enough to gain control.

Does anyone seriously think any of that has changed?
In fact, these clowns have probably increased their appeal to the Fox-addled voting base of their party. And even if a handful of swing voters now have a blinding flash of insight and realize that Republican legislators are outright frauds, in what district is the race close enough to matter? Name me one.

I can't.  And that's a gigantic problem.  The irony is however if we don't vote and try to change it, it will never ever get any better, so I choose to go down swinging and hope that maybe I can get the word out to enough people for them to try to go down swinging too.  I can vote while I still can, and try to get others to vote too.

Eventually either enough of us will give a damn and we'll scrub the stables clean of filth, or we'll drown in the flood of crap.

Of Course They're Going After Birth Control

The forced birth loonies will never stop only outlawing abortion as a health care procedure.  Their true goal is to turn birth control into a luxury for the few, and the rest of those people need to close their legs, the sluts.

An anti-Abortion group in Minnesota has been campaigning against a new Planned Parenthood in Richfield, Minn., even though the clinic doesn't actually perform abortions, Cosmopolitan reported.
The clinic opened at the end of June, and since then Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM) has been vigorously objecting to it. The group has started a petition, held meetings and are now distributing flyers around town. 
They protested the grand opening and have kept a constant presence outside of the clinic to offer "sidewalk counseling," according to Cosmo. PLAM activists blasted the city's Chamber of Commerce for "advocating for abortion" by putting together a ribbon cutting for the building in which no abortions are performed.

Brian Gibson, executive director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, told Cosmo that the group only take issue with the clinic's role in providing abortions. The group argues that certain forms of birth control "can cause early abortions" and that emergency contraception drugs "function most often as abortion-inducing drugs."

The new Planned Parenthood opened up after the Centro de Salud clinic in South Minneapolis closed, potentially leaving a gap in services for the Hispanic community.

The group claims they have gotten a largely positive response to their efforts to protest the clinic and refer individuals to a Catholic crisis pregnancy center.

Believe me when I say the wealthy will always be able to afford abortions.  But this idiocy involving birth control equating to abortion is both stupid and very, very savvy.  The last couple of years especially, the push to make birth control as "bad" as abortion has worked, and a population of woman with unaffordable birth control will be less independent, less healthy, and less well-off.

That of course is the goal and has been for some time.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Call For Rescue 9/11

Meanwhile, my local member of Congress (and Junior Rand Paul Fan Club President) GOP Rep. Thomas Massie has been using his powers of "I'm a Congressman, dammit!" to look over classified documents pertaining to the 9/11 attacks, and apparently he really wants to share.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. on the Glenn Beck Program Tuesday said there will be "anger, frustration and embarrassment" if a classified 28-pages of an intelligence report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks are released to the public.

Massie, however, thinks the American public should be allowed to read the redacted 28-pages of the "Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001." 
Massie has co-sponsored a bill authored by Reps. Walter Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., that would declassify the redacted pages. 
Massie has read the documents but can't reveal what's in them, he said in a press conference earlier this month. He said he was shepherded in a soundproof room to read the material and couldn't take notes. 
"It is sort of shocking when you read it," Massie said in the press conference. "As I read it, we all had our own experience, I had to stop every couple of pages and absorb and try to re-arrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to re-think everything."

Well, or you could have paid attention to America's foreign policy before 9/11, and to the ridiculous failures of the Bush administration that preceded the attack.  It sounds like those 28 pages would deal primarily with the latter.

Amazingly enough, this is the least damaging thing Massie has done so far in representing myself and my fellow northern Kentuckians in Congress, and I'd like to see this legislation pass.  Challenging Americans to re-think everything since 9/11 seems like a very good plan.

Having said that, I'm supporting Massie's Democratic opponent in November, Peter Newberry.  Even though Newberry is pretty much a Tea Party Democrat, he's still a D, especially if he's willing to term limit himself out of a job so a real Democrat can run.

Border Line Sociopaths

Republicans have managed to get themselves trapped in their own "clever trap" for President Obama. America overwhelmingly wants the flood of kids from Central America coming over the border with Mexico to be treated as refugees and not as criminals, and as Greg Sargent points out, the GOP can't help but look like a pack of cartoon villains with their proposed House border fix bill, which would drastically cut the President's $3.7 billion request to help these kids into a mere $700 million.

Yet it’s unclear whether even this bill can pass the House, because conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Steve King, and Jeff Sessions are demanding that the measure include language blocking Obama’s program to defer deportation of the DREAMers. The Heritage Foundation has come out against the GOP proposal for the same reason, further dimming chances of passage. 
GOP leaders are resisting the inclusion of such language. But it needs to be stated once again that Cruz, King, and Sessions are not outliers in this debate. Broadly speaking, their position on this crisis — and on immigration in general – is the GOP position writ large

So there's a very good chance that the GOP will once again wreck their own bill, and sure enough Boehner wasn't able to pass it.

Republican leaders don’t want to include any measure against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the current border plan because the politics are terrible. That would entail responding to a crisis involving migrating minors not just by expediting deportations (which the current GOP bill would do), but also by calling for still more deportations from the interior. But the GOP leadership’s position is only that they don’t want any anti-DACA language in their current response to the crisis. The GOP position writ large is still that we should deport all the DREAMers, block Obama from any further executive action to ease deportations, and not act in any way to legalize the 11 million. 
Remember: The House GOP already voted last year to end DACA. Meanwhile, Republicans are preparing to cast any future Obama action to ease deportations, no matter what it is, as out-of-control lawlessness and executive overreach, which is functionally equivalent to calling for maximum deportations from the interior. And they are heaping outright derision on the mere suggestion by Democrats that perhaps this crisis should be an occasion to revisit broader reform — yet another reminder that they won’t act to legalize the 11 million under any circumstances. So how, exactly, is this collection of positions, broadly speaking, any different from those of Cruz, King, Sessions, et. al.?

It's not.  If they pass the bill, they look like total scumbags.  If they don't pass the bill, they look like ineffective buffoons.  (Hint: they're both.)  We'll see how they get stuck in their own rhetoric this time, but no matter what the GOP does at this point, they've already lost the fight.

The GOP Has Already Lost The Lawsuit Battle

Wednesday, House Republicans voted along party lines to allow House Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama.  Now they have to explain why they took this unprecedented step to stop a "runaway" President, while maintaining that impeachment is somehow a step too far.

The lawsuit gives Republicans the chance to go on offense and gin up their base by highlighting what they see as executive overreach. But that strategy is becoming more complicated as Democrats and White House officials argue the lawsuit is merely the first step in a broader battle against Obama that could result in impeachment proceedings.

“Republicans have a history of doing this. They shut down the government under [former Speaker Newt] Gingrich and then impeached the president. Now they’ve already done half of that,” Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the minority whip, said this week. “The speaker has said things weren’t going to happen, and then days later they did happen and he changed his position.”

Republicans dismiss the impeachment talk, but the party is now in the awkward position of arguing that Obama is improperly exerting executive authority — but not in such a dramatic way that would warrant his removal from office.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Wednesday that Obama’s executive orders do “not rise to the high crimes and misdemeanor level” to warrant impeachment proceedings. Boehner (R-Ohio) has dismissed the impeachment talk as a “scam” by Democrats to gin up their base ahead of the midterm elections.

So President Obama is somehow overstepping his Constitutional authority (which of course never happened during Bush's term, and would be the definition of a high crime in the Constitution as the President's oath of office is to swear to uphold it) but the Constitutional remedy that already exists for the legislative branch, impeachment, is not applicable.

This means the House has to in fact make up a brand new check/balance system by leaving the President open to a lawsuit, one authorized solely by one half of Congress, without giving the Senate any say in the matter.

Sure.  That sounds totally legit.

At what point does the Supreme Court realize that if this is allowed to continue, Presidents will be sued over every bill that passes that the opposition party dislikes?

Who knows.  But the GOP has seriously lost this entire battle.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Last Call For Alison On Foreign Policy

Kicking off her bus tour of the state yesterday, ending in the annual Fancy Farm campaign picnic this weekend, Alison Lundergan Grimes had plenty to say about the situation in Israel and Gaza.

Maybe a bit too much to say, actually.

As foreign policy inches its way into a debate that has largely focused on the economy, Grimes was asked about congressional efforts to aid Israel's missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome. 
"Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself," Grimes said. "But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in
"My hope is that a cease-fire can be structured. Ultimately, I think the long-term solution though is not one we can impose. It has to come from within. It's a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine."

Yeah, about that Iron Dome missile system and those tunnels, Alison...

Never mind.  At least she's for a two-state solution.  On to immigration!

On immigration, with the U.S. House of Representatives preparing a significantly scaled-down version of the emergency supplemental funding request to deal with the influx of migrant children at the southern U.S. border, Grimes was asked whether she thought it was worth it for Senate Democrats to attach comprehensive immigration reform even if that meant the proposal might fail. 
"We're a year too late for comprehensive immigration reform, but it's needed and necessary," she said.

Read more here:

Well, I actually agree with that.

Damn, I really hope she knocks it out of the park at Fancy Farm, because she's been having a rough time of it this month.  She really needs a strong speech like her primary victory lap to really move the needle and get ahead of Mitch.

Read more here:

The Turtle's Race Tightens

The latest Bluegrass Poll from Kentucky's major newspapers and TV stations finds Mitch McConnell's lead over Alison Lundergan Grimes down to just 2 points, 47-45%.

The real story, as usual, is in the crosstabs. 17% of self-identified conservatives are voting for Grimes, but 18% of liberals are voting for Mitch.  Grimes is also winning voters making less than $40k by 4 points, and those making over 80k by the same margin, but McConnell is winning the middle there by 9 points, 52-43%.

When you throw Libertarian David Patterson into the mix, things get complicated.  It turns into a 41-39% race with McConnell keeping his 2 point lead, but Patterson gets 7% and the undecideds jump from 8% in a two-person race to 13%.  In other words, Patterson is pulling equally from both candidates, and not hurting one or the other.

McConnell's favorable rating is down to 36% in this poll, with 43% unfavorable. The problem is Grimes has the exact same 36% rating, although her unfavorable rating is 33%.  31% are neutral or have no opinion of her, even at this point in the race.  By comparison, President Obama's favorable rating here is 28%, with 55% unfavorable.  Welcome to Kentucky, folks.

In Mitch's favor, 48% say Republicans would do a better job controlling the Senate, to 40% for the Democrats remaining in control.  In Grimes's favor, she only trails McConnell by 4 point, 43-39%, over which candidate would "strike the right balance" between coal jobs and the environment, so her stance on coal isn't hurting her.

The state is split on Medicare: 42-42% on who would keep Medicare affordable.  Grimes has a 4 point edge on creating jobs, 41-37%

Finally, the state agrees 46-40% on the Hobby Lobby decision (men agree 55-34%, women disagree 45-39%) but voters back a candidate who would keep the state's current abortion laws in place, 43-39%.

We'll see how all this shakes out, but Kentucky is still pretty conservative, and Grimes playing the conservative Democrat card is definitely keeping her in this race.  We'll see what happens with this year's Fancy Farm campaign event on Friday.

Impeachment And You: The Long Game On The Border

Associated Press reporter Erica Werner has a pretty sharp analysis on President Obama's anticipated immigration move, and its effects both short and long term.

Even as they grapple with an immigration crisis at the border, White House officials are making plans to act before November's mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration.

Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed.

That's the first two paragraphs, and so far that's the smartest, most accurate response I've seen on this subject.  The scope of this immigration order is large, and the urge by the bonkers right to push "the big I button" will be, I think, too much for them to resist.

Advocates and lawmakers who were in separate meetings Friday said that administration officials are weighing a range of options including reforms to the deportation system and ways to grant relief from deportation to targeted populations in the country, likely by expanding Obama's two-year-old directive that granted work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as youths. That program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been extended to more than 500,000 immigrants so far. 
Advocates would like to see deferred action made available to anyone who would have been eligible for eventual citizenship under a comprehensive immigration bill the Senate passed last year, which would be around 9 million people. But Obama told them in a meeting a month ago to "right-size" expectations, even as he pledged to be aggressive in steps he does take. 
That's led advocates to focus on other populations Obama might address, including parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizen children (around 3.8 million people as of 2009, according to an analysis by Pew Research's Hispanic Trends Project) and parents or legal guardians of DACA recipients (perhaps 500,000 to 1 million people, according to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement).

Expanding the reach of DACA to even one additional undocumented immigrant would be enough for impeachment for some, let alone another 500k or million, let alone 9 million.  On top of all that, Americans really, really want to treat the tens of thousands of kids coming over the border as refugees, and not as instantly deportable time bombs.

The Republican party might favor rushing to deport the tens of thousands of migrant children that have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border since the fall of last year, but the American populace does not. In fact, the vast majority—nearly three quarters—of people in the U.S. feel quite the opposite, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute. 
When asked what the U.S. government should do about all the children arriving alone at the U.S. border, some 70 percent of Americans said they favor offering the minors shelter and support while determining whether they were eligible to stay in the country. The results varied widely by age—82 percent of 18 to 29 year olds felt that way, but only 50 percent of those 65 years and older did. "The generational differences on these questions were enormous," Dan Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute said in an interview. "No differences of opinion were more divergent than those along generational lines."

The GOP still has this tiny perception problem with Latino voters, and video of angry white people yelling at 8-year old brown kids trying to come to America and calling them "terrorists" and "disease carriers" isn't exactly helping to fix the problem.  Republicans have to get rid of this border problem and fast, and the best way for them to do it might be to turn the OUTRAAAAAAAAAGE into impeachment. 

So what's the long game here?  Is President Obama setting an impeachment trap?  Even Johnny Volcano says that the votes to impeach aren't there, so that would mean impeachment would come across as a petty, petulant move by the GOP and would ultimately go nowhere. Having said that, 25 months after Clinton's impeachment in December 1998, the GOP controlled both Congress and the White House by January 2001.  It's not like Republicans paid a price for going after Clinton.  Sure, Clinton's popularity recovered nicely, but voters didn't punish the GOP at all.

That brings us to Orange Julius, who says impeachment talk is a fundraising "scam" by Democrats, mind you, and that it's "off the table."

It's all a scam started by Democrats at the White House,” Boehner said at the weekly House GOP leadership press conference.

“This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president's own staff and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they're trying to rally their own people to give money and show up in this year's elections,” Boehner said.

Boehner said the GOP does not intend to begin impeachment proceedings against Obama.

We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Boehner said.

Karl "Ham" Rove says President Obama should be ashamed for "starting" impeachment talk, because he's suffering from amnesia or something, and I'm worried about the guy.  Meanwhile, the "off the table" thing has got to be news to Boehner's far right flank, who are laughing their heads off remembering that he said a government shutdown was off the table too, right up until the point Boehner was bypassed and the shutdown happened in January.

Our Village betters say impeachment is just talk.  They consider it a "both sides are doing it" issue and they are quick to dismiss it as a threat.

All this impeachment bluster also may be laying down the terms of engagement for another battle, should Obama soon — as many expect — take executive action to protect millions of illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation. 
Republicans are saying that such a move would far exceed the president’s constitutional authority. But whether they will go so far as to begin impeachment proceedings remains to be seen.

But again, that implies Boehner has control over his caucus, and that the Tea Party nutjobs are savvy enough not to impeach.  Just like they were savvy enough not to fall for the shutdown trap, right? Brian Beutler gives three reasons why impeachment could happen:

1). Republicans are more reactionary than Democrats 
In the 1990s, the Republican establishment was skeptical about shutting down the government and impeaching President Clinton, but went ahead and did both of those things. Upon Obama’s election, we were assured that Republicans had learned their lessons and wouldn’t be repeating either mistake. But last year Republicans shut down the government once again in spite of themselves. And though House Speaker John Boehner hasn’t allowed conservative hardliners to walk him into a political cul de sac in the nine months since the shutdown, Obama will be president for two and a half more years. 
2). Obama will be president for two and a half more years 
For all their agonizing about Obama’s putative lawlessness, nothing he’s done so far has been tyrannical enough to invite impeachment, or so it seems. And if Obama never does anything again, it stands to reason he won’t be impeached. But Obama’s not planning on doing nothing. Most importantly, he intends to take more executive action to curtail deportations of low-priority unauthorized immigrants. When he announces his plan, the Republican appetite for impeachment will grow in proportion to the scope of the policy. If it’s a very broad action, more conservatives and Republicans will call for impeachment, testing Boehner’s control over his conference. 
3). Boehner doesn’t have a great deal of control over his conference 
There is no comparing Boehner’s influence over House Republicans to Nancy Pelosi’s influence over House Democrats. This has been evident for quite some time. It is evident, too, in their disparate responses to questions they’ve both faced about impeachment. On Tuesday, whether he intended to or not, Boehner left the door wide open, when he told reporters, "We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans…. It's all a scam started by Democrats at the White House." That is…not entirely true. And it's remarkably less Shermanesque than Speaker-in-wait Pelosi’s statement after Dems won the House in 2006: “I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table.”
Reason #3 there I've addressed, and #1 is a given.  Reason #2 makes a lot of sense too.  Because of Reasons 1 and 3, time is not exactly on the GOP's side.  They'll want to strike on this in order to generate as much outrage as possible. 

Given all that, I think impeachment is definitely coming.  The only question is timing:  before or after the 2014 midterms?  Before would be too messy.  Given the August recess and then campaign season in the House, I don't think the House would have time, plus doing so right before the election would be risky.  Sure, it would fire up the base but it could very well turn away moderate voters.  They might be forced to go through with it due to inchoate Tea Party rage, however. 

Impeachment is much more likely to see a December timeframe as with 1998, unless the GOP wins control of the Senate in 2014.  That would mean that the GOP would wait until early 2015, with the new House and Senate in place, to pull the trigger.

But let's look ahead a few moves on the chessboard.  How does the White House respond to this?  They know President Obama won't be removed from office, but they can certainly make the case that Republicans are so crazy that they'll impeach any Democrat that wins re-election as President.  It'll be good for President Obama, but will it help Hillary?  Clinton's popularity certainly didn't pass over to Al Gore.

We'll see.  This is just one way this could all shake out.  But I'm betting impeachment is coming.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Last Call For Tennant's Lights Out Play

The aggregate of the polls for the WV Senate race to fill retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller's seat has Republican Rep. Shelly Moore Capito up by about ten points over Democrat and current WV Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.  That's been fairly constant, so the Tennant camp is taking a page from Sen. Joe Manchin's playbook:  attack President Obama as hard as you can.

Natalie Tennant is making it clear: she opposes President Barack Obama's policies on coal. 
"Where do they think their electricity comes from?" asks West Virginia's secretary of state and Democratic Senate nominee, as her new campaign commercial shows a picture of the White House.

"You and I know it's our hard-working West Virginia coal miners that power America. I've fought to protect our coal jobs right alongside Joe Manchin, and I'll stand up to leaders of both parties who threaten our way of life, I'll make sure President Obama gets the message," adds Tennant, as she pulls a power switch which turns the lights off at the White House.
Tennant's campaign says they'll spend six-figures to run the spot for two weeks in four markets that cover three-quarters of West Virginia. The ad is the first by Tennant or her Republican opponent, seven-term Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is considered the favorite in the race. The winner in November's midterm elections will succeed longtime Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring after three decades in the Senate.

Hey, worked for Joe Manchin, right?  And we know how awesome of a senator he turned out to be.

Technically, Tennant's got to be a better lawmaker than Capito, but not by much.  West Virginia Democrats are basically indistinguishable from Kentucky Democrats in that respect.  But there's no mistaking that Tennant's campaign is now centered around attacking Obama, and she's spending six figures at least in order to do it.

If slagging the President gets her into office?  Hooray, I guess.  Maybe she'll warm up to Hillary.  Capito will be 100% of a problem compared to Tennant's 90%.  There's not much else we can hope for from West Virginia, folks.

The GOP Thinks You're Stupid, Con't.

Today's first contestant on The GOP Thinks You're Stupid(tm) is Mississippi GOP Gov. Phil Bryant, who after blocking Medicaid expansion for tens of thousands of uninsured in the Magnolia State, is now complaining that Obamacare hasn't lowered the state's uninsured as much as it could have, and of course it's all President Obama's fault.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) blamed President Barack Obama for a reported increase in uninsured Mississipians. The problem is, Bryant didn't acknowledge that he's been a staunch opponent of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and refused to encourage enrolling in private coverage through

Bryant directed his blame at Obama in response to a question about a WalletHub study that showed an increase in the percentage of uninsured Mississippians. The study found that the uninsured rate increased by 3.34 percentage points to 21.46 percent of Mississippi's population, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
"If statistics show that the ill-conceived and so-called Affordable Care Act is resulting in higher rates of uninsured people in Mississippi, I'd say that's yet another example of a broken promise from Barack Obama," Bryant said. 
An estimated 137,800 people in Mississippi were left uncovered by health insurance because the state did not expand Medicaid.

You see, He Thinks You're Stupid(tm).  He believes that he won't pay any price for refusing federal dollars in order to help insure tens of thousands of people in Mississippi, and that'll you'll just blame Obama.

And hey, it might even work this election cycle.  But eventually voters are going to figure this out, and when they do, it's not going to be pretty for the GOP.

That brings us to our second contestant, GOP Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who it turns out Thinks You're Stupid(tm) because of nullification nonsense.

Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, appears to believe states can nullify federal laws. In a video obtained by The Daily Beast, Ernst said on September 13, 2013 at a form held by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition that Congress should not pass any laws “that the states would consider nullifying.”

You know we have talked about this at the state legislature before, nullification. But, bottom line is, as U.S. Senator why should we be passing laws that the states are considering nullifying? Bottom line: our legislators at the federal level should not be passing those laws. We’re right…we’ve gone 200-plus years of federal legislators going against the Tenth Amendment’s states’ rights. We are way overstepping bounds as federal legislators. So, bottom line, no we should not be passing laws as federal legislators—as senators or congressman—that the states would even consider nullifying. Bottom line.” 

That statement alone should disqualify her from office.  The last time states decided they no longer wanted to be under federal jurisdiction was about, oh, 150 years ago, turned into the Civil War, and ended with the assassination of a president.

We settled this long ago, but apparently She Thinks You're Stupid(tm), Iowa voters.

These clowns will never learn.

Nunn, Your Business

So it seems somebody got a hold of Democrat Michelle Nunn's strategy documents for her Georgia Senate run from back in December, and have waited until now to feed them to National Review.

Advisers for Democratic Senate Candidate Michelle Nunn (GA) warned that she might come off as "too liberal" and "not a real Georgian" and also laid out exactly how Nunn needed to approach key demographic groups to win the Senate race.

The documents, which seemed to be posted in December for a brief period of time, were reported by National Review on Monday. 
One of the memos said that there is a "tremendous financial opportunity" to draw from in the Jewish community among fundraisers. But, the memo warned, "Michelle's position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here." 
The documents also said that Asian Americans would need to be key fundraisers. The Asian American community was described as "very tight" and that people in that community strive "become citizens quickly."

It's very blunt and calculated advice for Nunn, you know, the kind of frank, high-level analysis you'd expect for a political consultant.  National Review is of course screaming bloody murder.  And if you want to know why this waited until now to drop, the answer is pretty simple:

The section on research into Nunn's background shows some initial concerns that her tenure as head of the Points of Light, a nonprofit that encourages volunteerism, could be used against her. Nunn has touted her background there as a positive attribute in the campaign, as also recommended in the document.

The document identifies several areas of concern related to Points of Light including: "grants to problematic entities," "layoffs," and "service awards to inmates, terrorists."

The National Review story reports that according to an IRS document, Points of Light awarded a more than $33,000 grant to Islamic Relief USA, a charity with ties to Islamic Relief Worldwide, which has ties to Hamas.

The Nunn campaign noted to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Points of Light did not give money but rather validated Islamic Relief USA as a legitimate charity.

The "service awards to inmates, terrorists" reference is apparently, according to National Review, to Nunn and an entity under the Points of Light umbrella praising Shareef Cousin, a former death-row inmate whose murder conviction was overturned but who later pleaded guilty to other crimes.

So boom, Michelle Nunn is now a "terrorist sympathizer".  It's complete nonsense, of course, but apparently somebody thinks Nunn is enough of a threat that this turd had to land square in the punchbowl.  You'd better believe the super-PAC ads attacking Nunn over this are on the way.  This all stinks to high heaven, but that's how the GOP rolls.  The story was apparently broken by NRO's Eliana Johnson, daughter of Power Line clown Scott Johnson, so that's everything you need to know about that.

The GOP knows that they need to run to table in order to get control of the Senate, and they'll do whatever they need to do in order to go after Democrats.
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