Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last Call

He's not going anywhere, folks!

Appearing on Gov. Mike Huckabee's radio show on Tuesday, Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said he was indeed staying in the race.

"I want to make things absolutely clear," Akin told Huckabee. "We are going to continue with this race for the United States Senate.

Akin added that his campaign is seeing a "tremendous outpouring of support" from grassroots organizations.

The deadline has passed, and the GOP is stuck with him as dozens of GOP members of Congress called on him to drop out of the race, including both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. 

And so...it begins.


Hey kids, guess what the Romney/Ryan camp says our foreign policy will be in 2013?

In any event, the debate over a joint resolution will clarify who stands where. At the moment, no one is persuaded that the United States will use force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. That situation worries Israelis and emboldens Iranians, not the outcome we want. A clear statement now that is backed by the nominees of both parties and elicits widespread support in Congress would demonstrate that, whatever the election results, American policy is set. That is the best (and may be the only) way to avoid an Israeli strike in the near future and the best (and may be the only) way to persuade Iran to negotiate seriously. And if we are unwilling as a nation to state that we will act to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, that conclusion should solidify support for what would then become the inevitable Israeli strike. A refusal by the White House to seek such a joint resolution would itself suggest that, while “all options are on the table,” the likelihood is that that is precisely where they will remain.

So, unless Obama and the Democrats join with the GOP to immediately declare war on Iran, they cannot be considered serious about America's security.  Sure.  And just like that, Republicans are the only choice on foreign policy again, right?

The Village will make sure of that.  After all, "avoiding making Israelis nervous" has been our stated foreign policy goal for decades.  It's probably in the Constitution by now.  You know, the same one the Republicans seem to reference all the time about American being founded as a Christian country or something.  SHUT UP WHY DO YOU HATE THE JEWISH STATE!

PS, wars pay for themselves.  Ask Halliburton.

When Life Gives You Lemons...

...Republicans want you to make that lemonade, baby.  By law.  Or else.  You don't get a choice in their world, so just deal with your lemon.  And by lemon, I mean "rape pregnancy".

An official from Missouri’s Republican Party on Monday defended Senate candidate Todd Akin after he suggested abortions should not be allowed in any case because victims of “legitimate” rape victims could not get pregnant.

GOP 4th Senate District Committeewoman Sharon Barnes told The New York Times “that abortion is never an option.”

In an interview with KTVI-TV over the weekend, Akin had said that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” referring to pregnancy after so-called “legitimate rape.”

Barnes “echoed Mr. Akin’s statement that very few rapes resulted in pregnancy,” according to the Times, and she added that “at that point, if God has chosen to bless this person with a life, you don’t kill it.”

“That’s more what I believe he was trying to state,” she insisted. “He just phrased it badly.”

Yes, because "Our political party's stated position is that we will mandate by threat of felony murder conviction that you give birth to your awesome rapey blessing or else face prison or worse" is so much better.

Republicans are nuts.  Their votes also count as much as yours, and they sure as hell plan to use that right.  You might want to vote too.

Moms Hit Hardest By Employment Trends

 Though the media has focused on the plight of unemployed dads, it’s moms who are suffering the most in the current recession, a new study shows. 
The study, which looked at the outcomes for laid-off workers across the United States, found that married women with kids spent more time in-between jobs than married dads.
Making matters worse for the moms was the big pay cut they took once they finally found a job: On average moms lost $175 per week more than dads, according to the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.
Again, it doesn't help to just "create jobs" if you're going to perpetuate the inequalities that prevent success.

If married women are discriminated against for having kids, you can bet the bias against single mothers is dramatically worse.  Being a woman is a reason to be passed over for hiring, a reason to be charged more for insurance, a reason to be paid less because... well, I can't even make up a passable excuse for that.

Still think it's not important to let families plan pregnancies and avoid further discrimination?  Still think it's a good idea to vote unanimously to prevent fair pay for women workers?  It doesn't take a genius to figure the math on this word problem: if you slash assistance out of the budget and then take steps to cause more people to need assistance, and a train is going west at 60 mph, how long does it take to create a labor class that is desperate and dependent?

WTH? Judge Blows Call On Teacher Abuse

A Florida judge sided with a special needs teacher who allegedly used hot sauce to stop an autistic student from eating art supplies and recommended the school district reinstate the woman's job.
Lillian Gomez was fired from her job at Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla., in February after school officials found out that Gomez had allegedly put jumbo-sized Crayons in a cup and soaked them for days in hot sauce before moving them to a bag that was labeled with the student's name.
The judge says she may not have used the right approach, but she was attempting to do the right thing for the student.


Using any sort of controversial or non-standard discipline on a child in public school by someone who is supposed to be a professional without the parent's knowledge or consent must be overseen.  Carefully.  Frankly, my dear, I don't care if she was trying to help this poor kid. She failed on a criminal level to do so.  Doing this to any child is wrong, doing it to a child who may not be able to control the behavior or speak about what happened is so wrong that anyone who does so should never work unsupervised around children.  Ever.

The Encyclopedia Of Brown

Steve M, as usual, has a damn good point here as he notes that in the latest PPP Massachusetts poll, Scott Brown is pulling ahead, but Bay State voters want the Dems to keep the Senate by a 17 point margin:

"Very interesting tension" is one way of putting it. Another way is: Liberals and moderates are too freaking stupid to recognize that the only way to stop the wingnut madness is to vote against all Republicans forever -- even "nice" ones like Scott Brown -- until the party abandons insane, frothing-at-the-mouth radicalism as a governing philosophy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: In all likelihood, Elizabeth Warren cannot beat Scott Brown. Massachusetts voters like him too much. Warren can -- perhaps -- beat the Republican Party, however. Her best chance of victory is to stop running against Brown and start running against, well, Todd Akin and all his ideological soul mates. On the right, Missouri voters know how this works. On the left and in the center, blue-state voters still don't have a clue

And it's a valid point.  Dems judge races on the candidates at hand.  Republicans judge races by "Screw Nobama."  I think Elizabeth Warren can beat Scott Brown, but she'd win by 15 points if her opponent was Paul Ryan or Todd Akin.    The fact that Brown continues to remain close shows me that Warren should at least consider making the race about Republicans other than Scott Brown, and should do so sooner rather than later.

Akin And Pains

So the bottom line is that Rep. Todd Akin has until 5 PM central this afternoon to drop out of the Missouri Senate race under the state law.  After that, things get much more complex.  Republicans are desperately trying to get Akin to drop out of the race, but not because they think what he said was wrong, but because they'll cost the GOP a Senate seat they'll basically have to have in order to take control of the upper chamber in January.   Many in the GOP are calling for Akin to leave the race.  Nobody in the GOP is calling for him to leave the House as well, which is why I call hypocrisy on basically the entire party.  If what he said was as "indefensible" as the lip service suggests, then he shouldn't be in Congress, period, right?

Anthony Weiner was driven out for less.

But it seems there are plenty of Missourians who really don't care if Akin is an awful human being.  Republicans will vote for him anyway.  Only winning matters to them, as the latest PPP poll shows:

Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Todd Akin made about abortion over the weekend, but it hasn't moved the numbers a whole lot in the Senate race. Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point, 44-43. That's basically identical to our last poll of the contest in late May, which found Akin ahead by a 45-44 spread.

It's not that Missouri voters are ok with or supportive of Akin's comments. 75% of voters, including even 64% of Republicans, say they were inappropriate to only 9% who consider them to have been appropriate. 79% of voters say they disagree with what Akin said, including 65% who express 'strong' disagreement with him. 51% of GOP voters say they strongly disagree with him.

All of that is taking a toll on Akin's image. Only 24% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 58% with a negative one. He's pretty universally disliked by Democrats (3/85) and independents (21/61) and even with Republicans (43/34) he's on only narrowly positive ground.

But for all of that the overall numbers in the race have moved very little. When we polled in May McCaskill was getting only 8% of the Republican vote, and even with the controversy around Akin she's only pushed up to 10% of it. GOP voters dislike McCaskill so much they're not going to vote for her no matter what their nominee does. Independent voters haven't moved at all either. In May they supported Akin 45-41, and even though they don't like him on tonight's poll we still found him leading 45-41 with them.

There's your Republican Party, folks.  Even with such awful favorability numbers, even with these massively ignorant comments, even with his long record of being a far-right lunatic...there's a good chance that Missourians are going to vote the asshole into the Senate anyhow, effectively giving him a promotion.

What could Todd Akin do to lose support of Republicans in the state?  Act like a human being with a functioning soul, I guess.  Treat women, gays, and racial minorities with respect, that would lose him plenty of support among the troglodytes.

We'll see how the day unfolds.  My guess is Akin stays, and McCaskill remains in the toughest election battle of her career.  All that motivates Republicans in 2012 is hatred of Democrats.  Akin could eat a kitten on live TV and he'd still be within the margin of polling error because he doesn't have (D) after his name.

He'd get 27% of the vote if he clubbed a baby seal.  Minimum.


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