Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Last Call

I haven't really weighed in on President Obama's decision to take support and money from the Priorities USA Action PAC, but Kevin Drum is 100% correct about it.

Is this hypocritical of Obama? For the thousandth time, no, no, no. The playing field is the playing field, and once a public policy has been legally put in place you'd be a sap not to play by the same rules as everyone else. If you oppose the mortgage interest deduction as a matter of policy, you still have every right to take the deduction as long as the rest of the country keeps it in place. If you're a Republican governor who objects to the stimulus bill, you'd be actively irresponsible not to take your share of the money once it's there. If you oppose earmarks, you still have an obligation to your district to take them as long as they exist.

In order for the President to be in any position to do anything about Citizens United through legislation, he still has to be President.  That means playing the campaign finance game that SCOTUS has set up so he can get re-elected.  The alternative is a Republican in the White House who would certainly veto any campaign finance limitation, not to mention have the ability to appoint SCOTUS justices...and three of them are currently in their 80's or will be in 2013.

David Axelrod signals the White House stance:

We have to live in a world as it is, not how we want it to be.

You can hate the game, but you still have to play it.  And you play it to win.  Period.

Gapastrophic Failure

Steve Benen flags down the real story so far in the GOP primary:  it's not Mitt's finishing problem, or clods of Santorum gumming up the works, or even Newt's ego self-immolating like a phosphorus elemental in a gasoline refinery, but the significant turnout deficit compared to just four years ago.

So, what were the totals last night? In Minnesota, with nearly all of the precincts reporting, 47,826 Republicans participated in the caucuses, down about 23% from four years ago.
In Colorado, with all of the precincts reporting, 65,479 GOP voters showed up, a drop of nearly 7% from the 2008 totals.
And in Missouri's non-binding primary, with all of the precincts reporting, turnout stood at 251,868. That's quite a few for a primary dismissed as a "beauty pageant," though as Cohen noted, the comparison is admittedly flawed.
Nevertheless, we can start to take some larger lessons away from the larger trajectory. For one thing, none of this makes Mitt Romney look especially impressive -- he's losing states he won four years ago; he's struggling to get his supporters to participate; and he's failing badly to match his 2008 vote totals at this stage in the process. It's starting to look like Romney only wins when he spends several million dollars on attack ads to destroy his main challenger.
For another, this is part of a pattern. As was reported on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Monday night, if we look just at self-identifying Republicans in the exit polls, turnout dropped 11% in Iowa, 15% in New Hampshire, and 16% in Florida. Though turnout in South Carolina was strong, it's proving to be the exception, as evidenced by additional weak numbers in Nevada and in yesterday's contests.

The GOP bet everything on the "Tea Party as the new majority" after 2010, and that assumption is rapidly turning into one of the biggest political meltdowns in a long time.  Awesome.  The further to the right they go, the more they lose from everyone else.  Even their primaries are self destructing.

If you were a woman, a minority, a non-Christian, LGBT, a government or union employee or you make less than six figures a year, why would you care to vote in the GOP primaries since the party already classifies you as the enemy?  I mean what what, literally leaves the 27% if that much?  More like 2.7% at the rate they're going.  The only state where turnout was up?  South Carolina.  That speaks volumes.

We've still got loads of work ahead of us, but damn it feels good to see the sun again.

Nuked Gingrich Served In Cincy

So if you want to know what LEROOOOOOY NNNNNEWTON! was doing while he was drowning in flop sweat and Santorum last night, he was too busy playing for Ohio by attacking the President (and Mitt Romney) here in heavily Catholic Cincinnati yesterday.

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich today brought his talk of family, jobs and God straight to where he hoped it would resonate - Cincinnati's West Side.
And it did. The popular Price Hill Chili was packed with 200 people who cheered and clapped as Gingrich promised he'd put people on unemployment into job training and cut corporate taxes. "Large-scale" change is needed, he said, and he's the man to bring it.
"It is fundamentally wrong to give people 99 weeks of money for doing nothing," he said, prompting the crowd to yell, "Newt! Newt!"

He must hate anyone who's on Social Security for more than two years then.  Oh wait, he pretty much does.

He drew his biggest cheers when he talked about oil and said, "No American president will ever again bow to a Saudi king."
He said he doesn't want to run just a Republican campaign, but one that unleashes "the American people so they can go out and rebuild the America we love." A woman shouted, "Yes! Yes!"
When someone in the crowd yelled, "Lead us back to the Bible, Newt!" he didn't miss a beat: "What I want is to lead you back to the Declaration of Independence... The fact is, in America, we believe that power comes from God to each of you personally" and you loan it back to the government."

Newt went on to attack Obama's War On People Who Were Never Going To Vote For Him In The First Place, and the crowd ate it up.

Jim Ferneding of Montgomery wanted the chance to shake Gingrich's hand, and he got it. He told him: "You're the one with the strength. Just concentrate on condemning Obama and you will win."

Because in the end, that's all that matters to a hell of a lot of folks around here.  They don't want someone to beat Obama, they want him so thoroughly and utterly destroyed that nobody "like him" dares to run for President again in their lifetimes.  He must be broken.

Don't forget that little goal even for a second.

Bookstore Cats

This is why Amazon will never quite win me over.  There is an appeal to going inside a real bookstore.  The smell of the paper, mingling with fellow book-lovers, impromptu recommendations and reviews.  There is a fellowship that you just don't get anywhere else, except perhaps a library.  Some bookstores have a little extra character, and those are the ones highlighted below.  They have a certain something extra, and the customers keep coming back for more books.

And the cats.  Oh Lord yes, the cats.

Click here to read the Mental Floss article that highlights different bookstore cats around the country.  Me, I'll be heading towards St. Louis soon and plan to visit Spike.  Don't tell my little fuzzers, but I may even pack a treat for the little monster.

Sorry, after all the hate and stupidity lately, I had to share something light.  I'm worn out from the roller coaster of politics and crime.  Enjoy!

Bieber Fever Turns Dangerous

Attention all teenage girls: the Bieb is okay.  TMZ verifies the celebrity wasn't hurt in the scuffle that was mostly caught on camera.

It appears a photographer tried to get physical with a bodyguard (seriously, who ever thinks that is a good idea?).  I enjoy me a nice haymaker, so I wanted to share with all of you.  Enjoy!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Overreact: Can You Use It In A Sentence?

How about this one?  "Wow, that school really overreacted after they dropped the ball on child safety."

After two teachers were accused of horrific acts against their students, the school decided to replace the entire staff.  The superintendent feels it's in the best interest of the students.  You know, maybe they should just monitor the classrooms and have an orientation talk with kids about what is and is not normal.  In other words, perhaps the superintendent should do the damn job they were hired for.

Let's just replace the people who were in charge of making sure the kids were safe, and put some guidelines in place to make sure nothing like this happens again.  Teachers all over the country are taking advantage of their students, it was bound to happen that two cases from the same school came up.  Especially after the first case brought so much media scrutiny.

So far, there has been no official link between the two teachers and their methods.  Are we about to find out otherwise?  Even so, that's a poor reason to punish innocent teachers because the superintendent didn't know one of his employees was feeding children bodily fluids.  The upper management should take full responsibility for this, and let the innocent go on the best they can.

Rick's Slick: Return Of The Drooler

By taking all three contests last night, Rick Santorum has not only stopped Mitt Romney cold, but he's severely damaged Newt Gingrich to boot.  In the back rooms of the halls of GOP power, there are a lot of depressed Republican party officials who now know without a doubt that this mess will go all the way to August's GOP convention in Tampa.

Considering Romney finished a distant third in Minnesota and in Missouri, with Gingrich not even on the ballot, Romney managed only 25% of the vote, the message couldn't be louder:  the GOP base is now in open revolt against Mitt Romney's front-runner status.

And if it's possible, Gingrich had an even worse night.  He ignored all three states and it showed.  He wasn't even on the ballot in Missouri and came in dead last in Minnesota and only a percentage point ahead of Ron Paul in Colorado.

The larger problem is that for Romney, not doing any better than 35% in the Midwest contests means that not only that Romney isn't the front-runner, but in many respects he never was.

It's wide open now.  And I couldn't be happier.  Next stop:  Maine's caucus on Saturday, and then Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28.  Because the real losers last night?  The entire GOP party.  Turnout for these caucuses and Missouri's primary was in every single case less than 10% of voters, and in the case of Minnesota, less than 50,000 people turned out.  63,000 in Colorado.  Both were far fewer than 2008 numbers.  Missouri's roughly 200,000 primary turnout was just one third of 2008's number.

Republicans are staying home.  They are despondent, depressed and don't give a damn about their candidates, because they're losers.  They know they can't beat Obama.

Music to my ears.


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