Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Last Call, Republican Pendejos

Meet Pablo Pantoja.  He's the State Director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the RNC.  If you're thinking "Wow, that's got to be an awful job" you've got something in common with Pablo Pantoja, because he just quit his job trying to convince Latinos to vote Republican in Florida and became a Democrat.

In his own words:

Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party.

It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.

Ahh yes, last week's now-infamous Heritage Foundation immigration study suggesting those of Hispanic heritage weren't as bright as other folks.   That apparently was the last straw for Pantoja, but there's more:

The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable. We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research. Others subscribe to motivating people to action by stating, “In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.” The discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality. Another quick example beyond the immigration debate happened during CPAC this year when a supporter shouted ““For giving him shelter and food for all those years?” while a moderator explained how Frederick Douglass had written a letter to his slave master saying that he forgave him for “all the things you did to me.” I think you get the idea.

When the political discourse resorts to intolerance and hate, we all lose in what makes America great and the progress made in society.

That's a hell of an admission from the guy hired by the Republicans for outreach to Latino voters.  He's basically saying that his job is not only impossible, but immoral as well.

Although I was born an American citizen, I feel that my experience, and that of many from Puerto Rico, is intertwined with those who are referred to as illegal. My grandfather served in an all-Puerto Rican segregated Army unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment. He then helped, along my grandmother, shatter glass ceilings for Puerto Rican women raising my aunt to become the first Puerto Rican woman astronomer with a PhD in astrophysics (an IQ of a genius as far as I’m concerned). Puerto Ricans, as many other Americans still today have to face issues of discrimination in voting and civil rights.

Regardless of what political affiliation people choose, my respect for some remains. I don’t expect all Hispanics to do the same (although I would hope so) but I’m taking a stand against this culture of intolerance. 

And yes, if I were Pablo Pantoja, I would have quit too.   I applaud his honesty and courage.  if only the rest of the Republican leadership would do the same...

We've Lost Another One, Guys

It grieves me to say this, but the forces of reason have lost Esquire's Charles Pierce to the Great Firebagging, as the mighty Wurlitzer of right-wing nonsense has driven my favorite blogger into calling for Eric Holder's resignation over yesterday's Associated Press phone record subpoenas.

This isn't hard. This is what made Egil (Bud) Krogh famous. This is what got people sent to jail in the mid-1970s. This is the Plumbers, all over again, except slightly more formal this time, and laundered, disgracefully, even more directly through the Department Of Justice. And of course, this is not nearly good enough. And even if you point out, as you should, that the AP is hyping this story a little — The government "secretly" obtained the records? Doesn't that imply that nobody knew the records had been seized? Wasn't there a subpoena? The phone companies knew. — the ignoble clumsiness of this more than obviates those particular quibbles.

Oh Charles.  Subpoenas aren't a quibble here, they're the heart of the case...and the law that could have protected the AP in this leak investigation by requiring a warrant before being able to subpoena phone records or media organizations over leaks was...wait for it...proposed by Senate Democrats and filibustered to death by Senate Republicans.  You're better than this.

That is all my arse. At the least, this was a counter-terrorism operation. (Why else would Brennan have been questioned already?). Which puts the whole business inside the White House. And you'd have to be a toddler or a fool to believe that Eric Holder could go off on his own and take as politically volatile a step as this. But, let us take the White House at its word. Eric Holder did this by himself. He should be gone. This moment. Not only is this constitutionally abhorrent, it is politically moronic. Nobody likes the press, I will grant you that, but the administration is soft if it thinks the public distrusts the press that much. And to have this genuinely chilling revelation emerge simultaneously with the Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! mummery and the IRS dumbassery is pretty much a full broadside below the water line of this administration's credibility. Good god, this is going to be one long-ass summer.

You're right about that, Charles.  And for the first time I can recall, you're part of the problem and not the solution.  Feel free to bemoan the administration, but you might want to check your own credibility, man.  You're taking on a lot of water yourself here.  You've been through this time and again.  You were there for the Clinton Rules.  You know what it means when the media turns on the Democrat and gets us 8 years of someone infinitely worse.
But Holder is not the problem and you damn well know it.

Sadly, Pierce is far from alone in calling for Holder's resignation from the left.

North Carolina GOP Unplugs Tesla Motors

Apparently, electric cars are totally unfair to auto dealers somehow.  So much so that North Carolina Republicans are pulling the plug on Silicon Valley darling Tesla Motors ever being able to sell a car there.  Slate's Will Oremus:

The proposal, which the Raleigh News & Observer reports was unanimously approved by the state’s Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, would apply to all car manufacturers, but the intended target is clear. It’s aimed at Tesla, the only U.S. automaker whose business model relies on selling cars directly to consumers, rather than through a network of third-party dealerships.

The bill is being pushed by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, a trade group representing the state’s franchised dealerships. Its sponsor is state Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican from Henderson, who has said the goal is to prevent unfair competition between manufacturers and dealers. What makes it “unfair competition” as opposed to plain-old “competition”—something Republicans are typically inclined to favor—is not entirely clear. After all, North Carolina doesn’t seem to have a problem with Apple selling its computers online or via its own Apple Stores.

Still, it’s easy to understand why some car dealers might feel a little threatened: Tesla’s Model S outsold the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8 last quarter without any help from them. If its business model were to catch on, consumers might find that they don’t need the middle-men as much as they thought.

Incidentally—not that he would be in any way swayed by this—I couldn’t help but notice that Apodaca received $8,000 in campaign contributions from the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association last year, the maximum amount allowed by state law. I’ve reached out to the senator for further comment and will update this post if he replies.

Tesla's turning some heads in the RTP area, where they expect to have a showroom soon.  They're probably doing well in liberal Asheville, home of my alma mater.  The real issue of course is by taking dealers out of the picture, Tesla's business model is a direct threat to the dealership empires in the state, and they want Tesla gone.

Besides, NC Republicans hate electric cars or anything remotely environmentally friendly, so it's a double win for them.  I fully expect this bill to pass and Gov. Pat McCrory to sign it.

Free markets are for suckers, after all.  So much nicer to rig the game.


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