Thursday, April 7, 2011

Last Call

Turns out Donald Trump's birther nonsense path to the Presidency had but one weakness:

Bill Cosby!

Shove THAT Jell-O under your hairpiece, Trump.

To The Shores Of Tripoli, Part 9

Oh gosh, I am totally shocked and was not expecting this to come from the Pentagon, no sireee Bob.

The United States may consider sending troops into Libya with a possible international ground force that could aid the rebels, according to the general who led the military mission until NATO took over.

Army Gen. Carter Ham also told lawmakers Thursday that added American participation would not be ideal, and ground troops could erode the international coalition and make it more difficult to get Arab support for operations in Libya.

Ham said the operation was largely stalemated now and was more likely to remain that way since America has transferred control to NATO.

But...they said no ground force!


The use of an international ground force is a possible plan to bolster rebels fighting forces loyal to the Libyan leader, Ham said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Asked if the U.S. would provide troops, Ham said, "I suspect there might be some consideration of that. My personal view at this point would be that that's probably not the ideal circumstance, again for the regional reaction that having American boots on the ground would entail."

Jesus wept.  But you can bet we'll do it anyway.

Winning The Race To The Bottom On Race

Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling covers Magnolia State Republicans and makes some curious finds.

We asked voters on this poll whether they think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal- 46% of Mississippi Republicans said it should be illegal to just 40% who think it should be legal. For the most part there aren't any huge divides in how voters view the candidates or who they support for the nomination based on their attitudes about interracial marriage but there are a few exceptions.

Palin's net favorability with folks who think interracial marriage should be illegal (+55 at 74/19) is 17 points higher than it is with folks who think interracial marriage should be legal (+38 at 64/26.) Meanwhile Romney's favorability numbers see the opposite trend. He's at +23 (53/30) with voters who think interracial marriage should be legal but 19 points worse at +4 (44/40) with those who think it should be illegal. Tells you something about the kinds of folks who like each of those candidates.

Yeah, this is more shark jumping into Rasmussen territory for Jensen and company, but...really?  46% of Mississippi Republicans think interracial marriage should be illegal in 2011?  Nearly half?  And those are the ones that are admitting it, meaning the real number is going to be higher.

Oh, and speaking of race...

That's enough dog whistle there from Lucianne Goldberg (mother of Jonah the Whale Goldberg) to pretty much shatter sheets of pure diamond.

You play Peoria to Peoria. You play Hazzard County to Hazzard County.

Shutdown Countdown, Part 15

Time's almost up on a government shutdown, and the Village is starting to move to "this in inevitable" mode.  I've given my reasons earlier today as to why I think a shutdown is not going to happen, but that is of course dependent on the Tea Party, not Orange Julius.  It's out of his hands now.

And it's looking like the Tea Party really does want to shut the government down over Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the EPA...hard-right social issues, not budgetary issues.  If that's the case, then Boehner has lost control completely, and the Tea Party is about 48 hours from completely wrecking the GOP.

Last night, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) appeared on Fox News to explain his uncompromising position over funding the federal government. At one point, Pence appeared to let the truth slip out about the true aims of Republican negotiators, telling host Greta Van Susteren that what Republicans are trying to do is score a victory for “the Republican people.” Soon after realizing that he said that out loud, he backtracked, saying that he wants to score a victory for “the American people,” not the Republican Party:
PENCE: Well, I don’t know if we’re checkmating. But we’re trying — we’re trying to score a victory for the Republican people, for — for the American — for the Republican people — trying to score a victory for the American people, not for the Republican Party. That victory is going to come in stages here.

A slip, maybe.  But one that reveals the truth:

It's a slip that you'll see played again and again if the government shutdown really does happen.  If the Tea Party is willing to shut the government down over women's health care, Car Talk, and air pollution quality, then they lose.  There's no way they can play the "well we don't belong to any one party" card anymore.  The Republicans also lose the "Bad cop, insane cop" game instantly, and Boehner and the GOP have been winning it handily since December.

A last minute deal here and Boehner escapes and moves on to the next battlefield of the debt ceiling fight with a massive advantage, where he can squeeze the Democrats for more and more.  But if it goes to a shutdown, his advantage disintegrates overnight.  And it's looking like Orange Julius has lost control of his party.

We'll see what happens.  I'm still counting on a last minute deal, and believe it or not all the Tea Party posturing that they want to shut the place down is making a deal even more likely in some respects.

But looking several moves down the chessboard, one has to ask what, if anything, the Dems will do other than cave.

Birthing Pains For The Next Generation

WASHINGTON – A new, ultra-fast wireless Internet network is threatening to overpower GPS signals across the U.S. and interfere with everything from airplanes to police cars to consumer navigation devices.

The problem stems from a recent government decision to let a Virginia company called LightSquared build a nationwide broadband network using airwaves next to those used for GPS. Manufacturers of GPS equipment warn that strong signals from the planned network could jam existing navigation systems.

A technical fix could be expensive — billions of dollars by one estimate — and there's no agreement on who should pay. Government officials pledge to block LightSquared from turning on its network as scheduled this year unless they receive assurances that GPS systems will still work.

It's time to make a choice.  What we choose now will affect the technology we build on for decades to come.  Ideally, compatibility will be on the minds of developers instead of competition.  If we are going to tear down walls and rebuild them, the time is now before we invest any more.  The problem is, there are a lot of questions about jurisdiction and precedence, and no obvious answers on the table.  Who gets to make these decisions, and who should oversee and be responsible for our data infrastructure?  The two interests that are fighting it out both have a fair interest in our future.  Instead of battling, cooperation will go a long way in making this work for everyone.

Excuse Me, There's Something In My Eye

While I sniffled all night after watching it, I had to share it.  Humanity at its best, from someone who fought enormous obstacles to save his family. If anything is going to redeem us as a species, this is the stuff from which salvation springs.

Two More Reasons Why There Won't Be A Shutdown

I've already given three reasons why I believe there won't be a shutdown back on Tuesday:  Wall Street, the fact that the Dems keep caving, and the fact that Boehner won't let the Tea Party take over.

Add two more to the list this morning, courtesy the latest Gallup poll:

Preferred Approach to Federal Budget Negotiations, April 2011

So here we go:

4)  Americans are overwhelmingly against a shutdown, by some 25 points.  That's not even close.  The "will of the people" isn't to shut the government down.  Independents hate the idea by more than 2 to 1.  The Village would have you believe a shutdown would turn independents off to both parties.  A CNN poll taken last month finds similar numbers.  That brings us to...

5)  Only Tea Party Republicans want a shutdown, so they will be blamed.  And this is the big reason.  Boehner knows this.  When you have Michele Bachmann and friends saying "The Dems want to blame the Tea Party!" at a Tea Party rally where the people are chanting "Cut it or shut it!" then yes, Orange Julius knows exactly what's going to happen to him if the shutdown occurs.  1995 all over again.  Look back at that poll up there.  A majority of Republicans want to shut the government down, 51-44%.  Independents and Democrats do not by 30 plus points.  It will be blamed on the GOP.

So yes folks, once again I'm expecting a deal to be passed last minute and a shutdown avoided.  The Republicans are winning, and the only way they lose is if the Tea Party revolts and forces a shutdown.  That still could happen, but I doubt it.

Preparation H Is Back

H for "Hillary 2012" that is.  The only time Andrew Malcolm's Obama Derangement Syndrome factory at the LA Times is more Firebagtastic than when Malcolm is screaming at the President is when he has a guest conservative do it.

Hillary voters weren't swooned by Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries and many are abandoning him in public opinion surveys today. But are they mad enough to ride the elephant in 2012? 

Get out the saddle, because that's exactly what they did in 2010.

In the midterm elections, while it's true the Democrats were routed everywhere, they got especially creamed in states where Hillary did well. In House races, the Democrats lost four seats in Florida, six in New York, five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania and three in Texas –- all states Hillary carried in the 2008 Democratic primaries. 

Meanwhile, the Democrats strengthened their hand in places that went heavily for Obama in 2008 –- with pickups in Hawaii, Delaware and the MSNBC prime-time lineup.

The lesson: Hillary voters aren't only willing to pull the plug on their fellow Democrats -– they're willing to yank it like they're starting a lawn mower.

While it's true the Clintons are ambitious people, they've never been known to go on suicide missions -– those are for terrorists and hotel chains willing to rent rooms to Charlie Sheen. 

Despite her contemporary denials, Hillary would only throw her hat in the ring if she thought she had a better than even chance at moving back into the White House. Obama is looking weak, but not weak enough to justify a primary challenge...yet.

If Libya turns into a full blown disaster...resulting in billions of dollars wasted, boots on the ground and abysmal public opinion numbers, my money is on Hillary resigning her post as secretary of State and jumping in the 2012 primary.

She can even rerun the "3 AM Phone Call" ad...with the tagline 'See, I told you so.'

This from radio knucklehead John Phillips, who wants to see Hillary run, because he believes the election is Obama's to lose, so you might as well nominate Sarah Palin and hope the country self-destructs badly enough that President Palin becomes a reality.

Not sure if he wants to see Hillary or Moose Lady in the White House more.  All he knows is, Obama is the worst everything ever and he needs to go, and that's all that matters when your job is ODS.

Birthers Get A Trump Card, Part 5

Donald Trump's plan to legitimize birtherism (and de-legitimize the President) continues unabated this week on the Today Show:

Do you think given all the issues that this country is facing that this is something that resonates with the public? That they care about this?
The Constitution of the United States…great document. And you agree with it?
Yeah, sure.
It says you have to be born in this country. Essential. Have to be born in this country, okay? If he wasn’t born in this country, he has conned the whole world.
But you’re saying it’s a con. That’s what you’re saying.
I’m not saying anything. I’m saying--
Sure you are.
I am saying I want to see the birth certificate. It’s very simple. I want to see the birth certificate. How come his own family doesn’t know which hospital he was born in? How come-- forget about birth certificates. Let’s say there’s no birth certificate. How come in the hospital itself, okay? This is one of the…in the hospital itself, there’s no records of his birth. In other words, it doesn’t say how much they paid, where is the doctor, here’s your room bill. You know, all the
You’ve been privy to all of this to know this?
Well, I have people that actually have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re talking.
You have people now out there searching-- I mean, in Hawaii?
Absolutely. And they cannot believe what they’re finding. And I’m serious--

Yet, Donald Trump has basically bet his career on becoming a professional Birther.  But instead of being shunned by our "liberal media" who is "in the tank for Obama" Trump gets regular chances to say that Obama is conning the American people and keeps getting invited on TV again and again to peddle his own snake oil games.

Trump's not going away anytime soon, because our "liberal media" is more than happy to feed him on a regular basis.  He has yet to be challenged, nor will he be.

Remember, a vast majority of Republicans have doubts about Obama being a US citizen.  It makes it much easier to de-legitimize and demonize the man if he's portrayed as an evil con artist who tricked the good Real Americans out there.  Trump is playing this like a maestro, and he's doing so without his insanity being contested one iota.

And that's fine with the Republicans.  Look at New Hampshire.

The poll also found that among "birthers" and tea party Republicans, Trump fared even better, even surpassing the hands-down front-runner Mitt Romney with the group that believes Obama wasn't born in the U.S.

The poll also found that 42 percent of likely primary voters in New Hampshire do not believe Obama is a citizen, and among them Trump tops Romney 22-21 percent. In the wider cross-section of Republicans, Romney leads with 27 percent to Trump's 21 percent. 

Don't think Trump is a serious threat yet?  I do.  He's running on Obama Derangement Syndrome, and entire campaign built on a single massive lie.  And yet he's gaining on the GOP front-runners simply by giving into the far right-wing hatred of Obama.

Do not underestimate this hatred.  Nothing good will come of it.


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