Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Last Call

So the Iowa Republican Party officially joins the ranks of the birthers, and that's actually not the craziest thing in the state party platform.

We insist that a candidate prove that he or she meets all requirements for that office prior to being placed in nomination, including proof of United States citizenship.

Sure we do.  Just the black Presidents, of course.  Like I said, that's not the crazy stuff.  This is.

 We call for a full investigation of the organization formerly known as ACORN and its allied organizations, call for full prosecution of those involved in any illegalities discovered, and call for elimination of government funding of such organizations.

ACORN's been gone for over a year.   No worries, this will be a plank in every GOP state platform from now until the end of time.

We demand that the term “sustainable development” be defined, vetted, and controlled by county and state agricultural agencies whose private property it impacts rather than the UN, other international or Agenda 21 agencies, or any federal organization.

Yes, the Iowa GOP believes the UN is coming for your guns and virgin daughters.   And as insane as that is, here's the real red flag:

We support constitutional state sovereignty including nullification of federal oversteps.
We disagree with Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton as “settled law.” Under the Tenth amendment, these Supreme Court decisions have no authority over the states.

This is a state challenging the authority of the Supreme Court itself and saying that Iowa has the right to ignore any SCOTUS decision that the state GOP disagrees with.  This is a major party putting that in their platform at the state level.  This is not fringe, folks.  This is real.

It's also pretty damn disturbing.  Think about that for a while.  Republicans?  These guys are insane.

Listen All Y'all It's Self-Sabotage

The Associated Press finally gets around to asking the question if the GOP is tanking the economy on purpose in order to win in November with Orange Julius vowing another debt ceiling fight he plans to "win", and that the uncertainty that Republicans are not barking mad enough to scuttle the whole deal in a scorched earth campaign is actually starting to hurt job growth.  The perennial "Republicans, Stupid, Evil or Both?" argument aside in this case, the real comedy value comes from Power Line's response that the Democrats are the ones sabotaging the economy.  To whit:
In order to either help or hurt the economy, Republicans would have to 1) enact policies that would do one or the other, or 2) block the Democrats from enacting policies that would do one or the other. The Republicans haven’t enacted anything since the Democrats took control of Congress in January 2007, so the theory has to be that the GOP has blocked something that otherwise would have helped. In fact, however, the Democrats have been able to enact the major components of their economic plan, including the stimulus–perhaps the most dismal failure of any legislative initiative in American history–and Obamacare. Democrats have caused discretionary spending to skyrocket and have run up $5 trillion in new debt since President Obama took office. So they have pretty much had their way.
Yes, the inestimable Assrocket figures the not fully implemented Affordable Care Act and the stimulus are proof enough that not only the GOP gets a full a complete pass on obstruction of the President's jobs bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and a bunch of other things, but that the Democrats are really guilty of the following:
It would be much more sensible for the AP to suggest that the Democrats are deliberately injuring the economy by increasing spending and running up more debt (not to mention deliberately driving the cost of energy higher).
Yes, so the Democrats' secret plan is as follows:
1) Sabotage the economy.
2) ?????
3) Lose in November!
That of course has to be the only possible explanation, self-sabotage in order to put the country in the hands of the GOP.  Assrocket's a deep thinker, indeed.  In fact, the entire Republican message this weekend is all about how President Obama is sabotaging himself with failed Republican attacks from 2007 in order to...lose in November...or something, I don't know.  Republicans are like infinite monkeys with typewriters, only they end up typing "POOP" 37 million times no matter what configuration you put them in.

Of course, when they say "Democrats are trying to wreck the country on purpose" they mean "the MSM won't cover the race war they're trying to start", so that makes perfect sense, actually.

Doesn't it?

Lobby Lobby Lobby Get Your Access Here

In news to precisely nobody, the Obama administration gets lots of visits from lobbyists.  The lobbyists want things from the White House.  In other breaking stories, ursine animals show an overwhelming behavioral tendency towards defecating in arboreal environments.

The visitor logs for Jan. 17 — one of the most recent days available — show that the lobbying industry Obama has vowed to constrain is a regular presence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The records also suggest that lobbyists with personal connections to the White House enjoy the easiest access.

More than any president before him, Obama pledged to change the political culture that has fueled the influence of lobbyists. He barred recent lobbyists from joining his administration and banned them from advisory boards throughout the executive branch. The president went so far as to forbid what had been staples of political interaction — federal employees could no longer accept free admission to receptions and conferences sponsored by lobbying groups.

“A lot of folks,” Obama said last month, “see the amounts of money that are being spent and the special interests that dominate and the lobbyists that always have access, and they say to themselves, maybe I don’t count.”

The White House visitor records make it clear that Obama’s senior officials are granting that access to some of K Street’s most influential representatives. In many cases, those lobbyists have long-standing connections to the president or his aides. Republican lobbyists coming to visit are rare, while Democratic lobbyists are common, whether they are representing corporate clients or liberal causes. 

Don't hate the player, hate the game, I guess.  This particular president has definitely fufilled some promises on transparency with lobbyist activity, but it only goes to show you just how depressingly common lobbyists buying access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is, and will continue to be long past the time Barack Obama is out of the office.

Bye-Bye, Stupidity

A 12-year-old girl took a picture of herself holding an unopened bottle of vodka and posted it online.  Her mother had warned her about losing her privileges if she abused social media.  The mother was surprised to see the photo, and shortly replaced it.

“I thought she knew better, but in her mind, she thought, ‘I’m not drinking, what’s the problem?’” Billingsley said. What the girl didn’t realize, she said, was that the photo might still send the wrong message to a future employer or prove attractive to a predator, who “can see it and think this is a little girl who likes to drink.”
“Because she had been warned,” she added, “I felt I needed to hit her where it hurt most.”
And hurt it did. After she explained the punishment to her daughter, the girl was “devastated” for a day, Billingsley said.
But by day two, Billingsley said, her daughter had brushed off the incident. “If she is ever allowed back on social media, she’ll definitely think twice about anything she posts,” she said.
Devastated for a day is about right.  This wasn't public humiliation, nothing was done to this child.  It may have been unusual, but it's miles from abusive.  Her mother was confident that her daughter could handle the punishment and it turns out she could.  I think the suggestion that it could harm her daughter through college age is ridiculous, but I doubt everyone will agree with that.

One thing we can all agree on, that little girl will never forget this, and one can hope the lesson sticks as well.

Kid Stupidity: Too Stupid To Breed

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) - The mother of an 8-year-old western Pennsylvania boy has been charged with endangering him for allegedly letting him play in a vehicle that slipped out of park and crashed.
The New Castle News (http://bit.ly/LlqyB7 ) reports 34-year-old Mary Cole, of New Castle, was charged late last week in the May 14 incident. Police say Cole told them she knew there was an extra ignition key in the Cadillac Escalade and says her son often climbs into the vehicle to listen to music.
Police say they found a key in the ignition after the car rolled down the hill and struck another vehicle. The boy rolled out the driver's side door, but suffered no broken bones. He was released from a Pittsburgh hospital on Wednesday.
Her son often climbs into the car, turns the key and listens to music?  Are you kidding me?  I kid you not guys, this sent me into a tizzy.  I actually had a sort of stomping fit while I read this to my husband.

The miracle is that this poor kid hasn't been killed or hurt anyone else.  I really wish there was hope for "too stupid to breed" but it seems there is little hope for that.

You've Stepped In Some Papal Bull, Ladies

And if you're wondering why I'm a lapsed Catholic these days, it's because the Church teaches us lessons of tolerance and compromise with our fellow humans and then practices stuff like this.

A total of 43 Catholic educational, charitable and other entities filed a dozen lawsuits in federal court around the nation Monday, charging that the Obama Administration's rule requiring coverage of birth control in most health insurance plans violates their religious freedom.

Among the plaintiffs in the suits are the University of Notre Dame and the Catholic University of America, as well as the Archdioceses of New York, Washington, Dallas, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

They join several other, mostly smaller entities that have sued over the requirements for no-cost coverage of regular birth control, sterilization and so-called morning after emergency contraceptives. Because one of the ways those drugs may work is by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg into a woman's uterus, Catholics believe they can cause a very early abortion, even though they are classified by the Food and Drug Administration as contraceptives.

There's pretty clearly established Supreme Court precedent on the issue of the limits of freedom of religion.  At least there were before the Roberts Court.  Now, hey, anyone's ballgame.  I've got your stare decicis right here, pally.

It's pretty clear that this one's going to end up before SCOTUS at some point too.  That might motivate you to go vote in November, just saying.

The Return Of Feeling Randy

Kentucky's primaries are today and the big story is here in my home district of KY-4, where GOP Rep. Geoff Davis is retiring.  Sen. Rand Paul has stepped into the race, backing the Tea Party nutjob du jour around here, Thomas Massie, in the last several weeks.  The entrance of Paul's influence into the race all but assures Massie will win in a landslide out of the pack of seven Republicans running.  Joe Sonka:

Either Thomas Massie now wins the race easily, or he loses and shows that support for the rEVOLution among the Kentucky GOP is starting to vanish. We’re betting on the former.

Here’s the question I’m more intrigued by: Did Master McConnell give Paul permission to make this ad (granting an exemption due to Old Man Bunning calling out Rand Paul as a failure), or is he going rogue? And if he’s going rogue, will McConnell retaliate, and how? And will there be woodchippers involved?

I don't know about woodchippers, but I do know that Rand's dad getting out of the race sure spared his son from having to make too many awkward answers to the "Romney vs Paul" question with Old Age Mutant Nimrod Turtle Mitch McConnell looking on.  Meanwhile, this is yet another race where Citizens United SuperPACs have dropped seven figures to assure a win.

Bill Adkins, the Democratic favorite in his head-to-head primary versus Greg Frank, has raised...about $14,000.  It's a shame too, because Bill Adkins is that rarest of breeds:  A Kentucky Democrat who isn't running screaming from President Obama.

Bill Adkins, one of two Democrats running in the 4th Congressional District, said he believes government-payer health care system can best tackle the inefficiencies and problems and that’s the way to preserve Medicare.

“Single payer is my preference. I think that the compromise that is the buy-the-insurance mandate is an incremental move,” Adkins said (7:00).

He also said he would consider one of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s proposals — to decrease the level of benefits for seniors with the highest incomes, known as means testing.

Adkins, a Williamstown lawyer and the Grant County Democratic Party Chairman, said he decided to get into the 4th District race because he said he wanted to make sure there was a full discussion of the issues.

“We needed a Democratic presence in this race,” he said.

Yeah, that's right, a Kentucky Democrat who acts like a real gorram Democrat.  Single payer.  I love this guy.  The problem is after redistricting, KY-4 has gone from fairly conservative to blood red.  Adkins is going to need a miracle against Massie if the scene plays out today as I suspect.

Not giving up entirely on Adkins either.  He's one of the folks we need in Congress.


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