Monday, May 17, 2010

Last Call

Ahead of tomorrow's primary, Rand Paul's already trash talking.
Even before Republican voters in Kentucky cast their ballots on Tuesday, the favorite in the Republican U.S. Senate primary has already declared "there's a tea party tidal wave coming."

"It's already gotten to Utah, and tomorrow it comes to Kentucky," Rand Paul told a crowd of supporters in this town, where he has long worked as an eye doctor.

In his final rally before the election, Paul sounded confident not just of victory over Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, but of being part of a tea party movement that he thinks will change politics.

Polls show Paul comfortably ahead in the GOP race to replace retiring Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.). He argues that a win here will help solidify the tea party's place both within the Republican Party and in the broader national political landscape.

"Tomorrow's election will be big, it's going to be big for us in Kentucky, it's going to be big nationally," he said. "It will be the first victory for a tea party candidate in a statewide election, and this will have huge ramifications."

"We the tea party, we the people of Kentucky will help decide what that message is, where the Republican Party goes, what the Republican Party becomes," he added. "This is an important election. You will be part of helping define the direction of our country the next few years." 
He's right about one thing:  Rand Paul and tea party candidates certainly will be deciding where the Republican party goes over the next several years.   I just happen to believe that destination is the political wilderness.

Paul talks the talk, but he's going to find actually implementing the "solutions" he has will be much harder.  And I think as impatient as some manic progressives are about Obama, they're going to be even less tolerant of tea party heroes like Paul when they can't deliver the goods.  Getting elected is easy.  Governing, making laws and passing them, well, that's not so simple.

Unless the Tea partiers plan on magically getting a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to override Obama vetoes, they're not going to get a damn thing done between now and 2012.  And unless a Republican magically steps up to challenge Obama then, well they'll have to deal with the Big O until 2016 to boot.

Somehow I doubt the force behind that tidal wave is going to be that patient.  Besides, Paul has to win in November first, and should Jack Conway pull it off tomorrow, he's going to have a real interesting time.

Oh, and check Nate Silver's article on exactly how going Teapublican could really hurt the GOP this fall.

Virginia Is For Gun Lovers

This will all turn out great, I can feel it.
Last year, the state legislature in Tennessee overrode Gov. Phil Bredesen’s veto of a bill that would have allowed gun owners to carry their weapons into any restaurant except those whose predominant business was to serve alcohol. After the law “was later declared unconstitutionally vague,” Bredesen is currently deciding whether to veto a new bill state legislators passed this year that has “no exclusions for where guns can be carried, as long as permit holders don’t consume alcohol.”

But other state measures have the potential to go a bit further. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) recently signed a bill into law that allows “concealed carry permit holders to bring loaded guns” into bars. But the local gun lobby is trying to get it changed so they will also be allowed to consume alcohol. And in Georgia, the state house recently passed a bill would make it “legal to enter a bar or restaurant with a licensed concealed weapon and get drunk,” as long as the individual doesn’t fire the weapon.
Yeah, because noooooobody who's drunk has ever tried to fire a weapon.  Note to self, must nominate Georgia state house for Darwin Award...

The Republican Mask Slips Once Again

As Republicans accidentally tell the truth.  This time it's former Bush White House shill (now DC PR shill) Tony Fratto letting us know what's coming as soon as the serious centrists get their way:  the VAT tax.(empahsis mine)
The VAT has been attacked by both the Left and the Right, and I’m sure I’ll hear howls of protest from both sides, but the time for a VAT in the U.S. is coming.

Liberals see the VAT as regressive, arguing that it would disproportionately impact lower income groups who spend a relatively larger portion of their disposable income on consumption. Conservatives argue a VAT on top of the current tax system would merely raise more revenue to fund an ever-expanding federal government. They also argue that the tax is so efficient that nominally tiny increases in the rate of the VAT would result in huge revenue increases for federal coffers. 

There’s something to each of criticisms, but all fail to persuade me that a VAT isn’t desirable. And if we’re serious about reforming what is clearly a broken tax system, we need a VAT sooner rather than later.
The United States has the most impressive voluntary tax collection system in the world, but it’s also the most inefficient – and for a large, mature economy that inefficiency is a drag on productivity growth, limiting increases in our standard of living. 

The economic argument for a VAT is unassailable. It is an extremely efficient tax collection tool, that virtually eliminates tax evasion, and – if coupled with an elimination of corporate taxes – would make U.S. firms more competitive globally. 
And right there Fratto gives the game away.  Get rid of corporate tax loopholes by getting rid of corporate taxes...and then turn around and hit all the folks who don't make enough income to pay income taxes with a national sales tax on everything they buy: milk, bread, pop tarts, you name it, you pay the VAT.

Eliminate taxes on the guys making billions a year in profits.  Drag that revenue out of everyone in America who buys anything.  Cut taxes on the rich, raise them substantially on the poor.  No wonder a former Bushie is all for raising taxes.

Watch out for the VAT.  You'd better believe a Republican Congress and President will pass this on you faster than you can say "regressive taxation"...and don't put it past certain members of the Democrats, either.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

So I ask myself, "Zandar, what does 330 pounds of crazy in a five pound bag look like?"  And I find the answer.

To recap you're looking at one of the craziest women on the planet  here, one who believes that President Obama is an existential threat to all life in America and will basically stop at nothing to depose him before her own deepest persecution fantasies kick in and she's dragged screaming off to his re-education camps.

And the other woman is Orly Taitz.

There She Is, Miss Indignation

The Miss USA pageant crowned a winner last night and made history as Michigan's Rima Fakih became the first Arab-American to win the tiara.  The 24 year-old Muslim beat out 50 other contestants.  Needless to say, the wingers are going absolutely berserk.  Cue Malkinvania and friends in 3...  But it gets worse.  The woman Fakih beat?  She was plugging Arizona's immigration law.
Miss Oklahoma USA Morgan Elizabeth Woolard was named first runner-up after handling a question about Arizona’s new immigration law. Woolard said she supports the law, which requires police enforcing another law to verify a person’s immigration status if there’s “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country illegally.
She said she’s against illegal immigration but is also against racial profiling.
“I’m a huge believer in states’ rights. I think that’s what’s so wonderful about America. So I think it’s perfectly fine for Arizona to create that law.
A Muslim beats out a white girl from Oklahoma over Arizona's papers, please law.  You can't buy this level of outrage as Roy Edroso explains:
Debbie Schlussel, who informed us that Miss Michigan Rima Fakih was funded by supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah (I guess that means they bought gowns for her), now suggests that her elevation to Miss USA may have been "rigged," and declares that "Barack Obama will exploit this as propaganda for Islam." Why does pageant owner Donald Trump hate America?

Michelle Malkin, seeing she'd been beaten to the Muslim-bashing punch, is reduced to muttering, "She nearly tripped over her gown."

These people are just mad they're not old enough to have protested Jackie Robinson signing with the Dodgers.
No doubt.  It was rigged by the massive Muslim conspiracy that has controlled America since 900 AD as wingnut wanker Daniel Pipes opines.
On his blog yesterday, Pipes pointed out five other Muslim women who've won beauty contests in the U.S., Britain and France over the last five years.

"They are all attractive, but this surprising frequency of Muslims winning beauty pageants makes me suspect an odd form of affirmative action," he wrote.

That "suspicion is borne out," he wrote, because of one pageant winner at North Carolina A&T University who wore a hijab under her crown.

Pipes does not explain why Miss A&T's hijab proves his suspicion that a handful of Muslim beauty pageant winners are the result of some "odd form of affirmative action." 
They're not even trying to hide the racism anymore, folks.

Cut Out From Under You

Looks like embattled and outgoing NY Gov. David Paterson has a parting shot for Noo Yawkers on the way out the door.  He's not going to be the only state employee out of a job.
Gov. Paterson has put massive state employee layoffs "on the radar screen" after being told the no-layoff pledge he signed with public employee unions last year is not legally binding, The Post has learned.

The administration has estimated that up to 10,000 job cuts would be needed to reach the governor's target, an official said.

Paterson's new tack follows a federal court ruling last week that temporarily blocked his $30 million-a-week plan to put 100,000 workers on furlough.

Now, he's weighing pink slips if the furlough offensive fails in subsequent court hearings.

"Layoffs are on the radar screen," said a source.

A legislative source told The Post that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is "warming to layoffs" because the unions appear "inflexible toward any other workforce savings." 
Cutting jobs in a recession, gosh, that'll help the state save money.  They can just pay people unemployment money instead.  You know.  From the state.  If you've gotta go, take out people with you, I guess.

A Textbook Case Of Denial

What, you thought the wingers were done with turning Texas textbooks into a joke?
With the long-running Texas history textbooks standards fight scheduled to end with a final vote by the State Board of Education Friday, arch-conservative board member Don McLeroy is proposing a new set of changes that read like a tea party manifesto.

The new amendment (.pdf), which is expected to get a vote on Thursday, would require high school history students to "discuss alternatives regarding long term entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, given the decreasing worker to retiree ratio" and also "evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U. S. sovereignty."

McLeroy, who will leave the board at the end of the year after a primary election loss, says the first provision "is a critical thinking skills item, and it is also relevant to assessing the policies of the various ideologies that have shaped where we are as Americans."

As justification for that second item, McLeroy writes: "Threats of global government to individual freedom and liberty include the votes of the U. N. General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, the U. N. Gun Ban proposal, forced redistribution of American wealth to third world countries, and global environmental initiatives."
Yeah, one world order stuff and tinfoil theories going into textbooks for tens of millions.  If you can beat them with facts, change the facts.  And just think, if these guys get back in control, this is in store for everyone in the country too.

We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control...

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Glennsanity giving the commencement address at Liberty University.

We're screwed.

Run Mitchy Run

With tomorrow's primary in Kentucky almost certainly to go Rand Paul's way on the Republican side, Mitch McConnell's hand-picked successor Trey Grayson suddenly can't get anyone in the RNC to return his phone calls...especially Mitch.
For almost a year, Mitch McConnell's protege Trey Grayson has been the standard bearer of the state GOP establishment in the Kentucky senate primary. But today on Meet The Press, his benefactor seemed to suggest that that the outcome of Grayson's battle with Tea Party favorite Rand Paul might not matter much one way or another.

"We don't have incumbency on the line in Kentucky," he said. "We have two non-incumbents running for an open seat."
That's a big change from the man who's been cutting ads for Grayson all year.  And Rand Paul supporters want to see Mitch gone for good...and so does Rand Paul.
GOP front-runner Rand Paul says he may not support Kentucky's other senator, Mitch McConnell, for minority floor leader if he's elected to the U.S. Senate.

In a sometimes testy televised debate Monday night, Paul's chief Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, said he "proudly" would vote for McConnell. McConnell has endorsed Grayson in the May 18 primary.

The debate is the final face-off in what has become an increasingly acrimonious race to replace Sen. Jim Bunning. 
We'll see how it goes tomorrow.  The GOP will back Paul over any Democrat, that's for sure.  They need to keep the seat to maintain their filibuster margin and while November will certainly mean some gains for the party out of power, every seat counts. 

Bang Bang Blame

Early Sunday morning a seven-year old Detroit girl was killed.  That kind of thing happens, but this time it's different, the seven-year old in this case, Aiyana Jones, was killed by Detroit police.
The warrant was executed about 12:40 a.m. ET Sunday at a home on the city's east side, Godbee said. Authorities believed the suspect in the Friday shooting death of 17-year-old high school student Jarean Blake was hiding out at the home. Blake was gunned down in front of a store as his girlfriend watched, Godbee said.

Preliminary information indicates that members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team approached the house and announced themselves as police, Godbee said, citing the officers and at least one independent witness.

"As is common in these types of situations, the officers deployed a distractionary device commonly known as a flash bang," he said in the statement. "The purpose of the device is to temporarily disorient occupants of the house to make it easier for officers to safely gain control of anyone inside and secure the premise."

Upon entering the home, the officer encountered a 46-year-old female inside the front room, Godbee said. "Exactly what happened next is a matter still under investigation, but it appears the officer and the woman had some level of physical contact.

"At about this time, the officer's weapon discharged one round which, tragically, struck 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones in the neck/head area."

The girl was immediately transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Godbee said he and other officers went to the hospital while others stayed at the home to execute the warrant.

Aiyana's father, Charles Jones, told CNN affiliate WDIV, "She was sleeping and they came in the door shooting and throwing flash grenades ... burned my baby up and shot her, killed her."

Jones claimed the officers had the wrong house, but Godbee said in the statement the 34-year-old suspect in Blake's death was found and arrested at the home. In addition, a vehicle and a moped matching the descriptions of those involved in Blake's shooting were also found, he said.

The suspect's name was not released.
The cops say they had a suspect's location and went in with flashbang grenades and guns.  Into a home.  Now...what happened when Aiyana Jones was killed may never be fully known, but when the common response of a city police department is to use flashbang grenades, there's something wrong.  Clearly the grenade didn't "disorient" everyone in there.  And they used this weapon and still discharged deadly force on a seven-year old girl.

A suspect in a shooting in 2010 now rates flashbangs and a full SWAT team like something out of a Tom Clancy movie?  On our own citizens?  Nice.


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