Thursday, December 6, 2012

Last Call

South Carolina GOP Senator Jim DeMint is DeParting for a cushy gig running the Heritage Foundation "think tank".  Dana Liebelson at MoJo reminds us just what Heritage is getting:

1. DeMint says gay people and unmarried women having sex shouldn't teach your children 
According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, DeMint said this at a South Carolina rally: "If someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn’t be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who’s sleeping with her boyfriend—she shouldn’t be in the classroom."
2. DeMint says God doesn't like big government
On a radio show in 2011, DeMint said: "I’ve said it often and I believe it – the bigger government gets, the smaller God gets. As people become more dependent on government, less dependent on God."
3. Jim DeMint doesn't want women talking about abortion on the Internet
In 2011, DeMint put an amendment into a totally non-related spending bill that attempted to ban discussion of abortion via satellite, video-conferencing, and the Internet (in other words, fully preventing women from speaking with their doctors remotely.)
4. DeMint says America turning into Iran after President Obama's election (or maybe Germany?)

"Probably the most heart-wrenching experiences I’ve had over the last several days is when naturalized American citizens who have immigrated here from Germany, Iran and other countries, they come up to me and they say why are we doing what so many have fled from?" DeMint told a conservative radio host in 2009 "Why don’t Americans see what we’re doing?"
5. DeMint puts hold on National Women's History Museum
In 2010, a proposed bill would have allowed a private group to buy property on Independence Avenue to build a women's history museum (without costing taxpayers any money). DeMint was one of the bill's chief opponents, and put a hold on it.
6. DeMint confuses Chicago teacher strike with violence in the Middle East
“On my way over, I was reading another story about a distant place where thugs had put 400,000 children out in the streets. And then I realized that was a story about the Chicago teachers strike," DeMint said at the 2012 Values Voters summit in September. "But we’ve got to think of good things.”
7. DeMint falsely accuses President Obama of taxing Christmas
On Fox News in 2011, DeMint said the government was "going to charge taxes on Christmas trees so they can start another government agency to promote Christmas trees. We don't need to do that at the federal level. We can't even afford to do what we're already doing. And to add another tax to something and say we're going to create a promotion agency, it just makes you want to pull your hair out." 
This statement was in response to a division of the Department of Agriculture proposing that tree importers and producers pay 15 cents per tree, to fund a promotional campaign for Christmas [the tax was tabled.] 

As far as his replacement, DeMint has apparently asked Gov. Nikki Haley to appoint Rep. Tim Scott to the seat.  As the lone black Republican in Congress, Scott would be a very high profile addition to the Senate (especially considering the most recent sole black Democratic senator was a fellow by the name of Barack Obama.)  The GOP, I'm sure, will say this proves they love black people and that we should vote for them.

We'll see how this goes.  But the larger issue is if the Tea party is so powerful, why is their most powerful Senator leaving the Senate?

Early In The Iowa Morning

If you want to know why Republicans did everything they could to end early voting in Ohio and Florida, take a look at the results from Iowa, where President Obama lost the vote on Election Day, but won the state due to early voting.

Overall, more than two in five Iowa voters (43%) cast early ballots. The figure was up sharply from the 31% who cast early votes in the state in 2008.

Michael McDonald, a George Mason University political scientist who studies early voting, said in an interview that when all the 2012 votes are finally counted, the share of votes cast early will rise to a record 35%, from about 30% in 2008.

The larger jump in Iowa is due primarily to the ferocity of early-vote competition between the campaigns there.

But there’s another potential factor:  Iowans have been spared a recent trend in American politics: a concerted effort by Republicans at the state level to restrict voting.

Unlike some other key states, government is divided in Iowa; Democrats control the state Senate; the GOP holds the House and the governorship. That split makes it impossible for Republicans to enact legislation that might undermine early voting, assuming they wanted to.

In Florida, they did. The Republican Legislature and governor succeeded in shrinking the early-vote window, and the number of early in-person votes fell this year from 2008 (even though the total number of votes cast increased). In Ohio, courts blocked a similar GOP effort to limit early voting.

In the end President Obama built up too much of a lead for Romney to catch up.

This time, the Republican “win” in ballots cast on election day (51% for Romney to 46% for Obama) wasn’t enough.  Obama took the early vote by 20 points (59% to 39%). And thanks to the size of the early vote, a state that many thought could go either way went for the president by a comfortable margin of nearly 6 percentage points.

That's the difference early voting makes for Democrats.  That's why Republicans will now work as hard as they can to end the practice in every state possible.  Republicans can't win on ideas, they have to win by limiting who can and cannot get to vote.

Always keep that in mind when you hear a GOP politician talk.

Methinks The Rand Doth Protest Too Much

Throw a bucket of cold water on a kennel and one dog will always bark.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday reacted to a possible Senate run by Ashley Judd by saying that the actress was so “damn liberal” that she did not even belong in the United States.

Earlier this week, Politico reported that Judd “is seriously exploring” a bid against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in 2014 or possibly waiting until 2016 to take on Paul.

Conservative WMAL radio hosts Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor asked Paul to react to the news on Wednesday.

“I heard she lives in Scotland, I thought she was running for Parliament,” Paul quipped to the radio hosts delight. “I think she’d fit right in, in the English Parliament.”

“She’s way damn too liberal for our country, for our state,” he added. “She hates our biggest industry, which is coal. So, I say, good luck bringing the ‘I hate coal’ message to Kentucky.”

Boy, Rand here is almost taking this news personally, I'd have to say.   He's got a valid point about anyone even remotely environmental getting murdered at the polls here in Friends Of Coal license plate country, but I sure as hell would love to see her take on either Mitch or Rand.

But Rand here, well, he sure is making a lot of noise, isn't he.  What does it matter to him if Judd is planning on running in 2014 versus McConnell and Rand is supposedly leaving the Senate headed for the White House in 2016?

One has to wonder.


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