Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Last Call For Clowning Around: The Follow-Up

When this story broke, and the flow immediately turned to the clown I wondered why nobody seemed to pay any attention to the guy talking throughout the video.  The Laverne to his Shirley, as it were.  Turned out nobody said anything because they were trying to figure out how to handle the fact that it was local superintendent, Mark Ficken.

First, a story broke in which Ficken said he feared for his job.  Then an update was released saying he had been fired and an investigation had been launched regarding his behavior.  Ficken says he was unfairly blamed, and his lawyer says it was merely a matter of words of caution.

Of course, you can watch the video here.  As a whole, the incident is disgusting.  It's in poor taste, and it was completely unnecessary.  It was just plain dumb.  But another hidden lesson here is don't just play along, or you may pay the consequences.  Ficken didn't do much besides keep it going, so I don't see why he is crying about how unfair his experience has been.

Just another drop in the bucket, but a shame nonetheless.

[Zandar here.  Seems our Missouri rodeo act has a standing invitation to perform in Texas thanks to professional birther nutjob racist asshole Rep. Steve Stockman. Keep up the minority outreach, fellas!]

Doing O-Kay For Herself, Thanks

North Carolina's GOP led Visigoth sacking of state abortion and voting rights laws have produced some minor silver lining-type material in the fact that NC Dem Sen. Kay Hagan is looking significantly stronger heading into her 2014 reelection campaign.

The biggest winner coming out of the North Carolina legislative session might be Kay Hagan. She leads her two most likely Republican opponents, Thom Tillis and Phil Berger, by 8 points each at 47/39.

Beyond that though it's clear that the actions of the General Assembly this year make voters hesitant to give either of their legislative leaders a promotion. 49% of voters say they're less likely to support the Speaker of the House for the Senate because of what happened during this session to only 19% who are more likely to. And 41% are less likely to support the President Pro Tem of the State Senate for the US Senate, to 18% who are more likely to.

Tillis and Berger still have low name recognition- 44% and 38% respectively- but voters know they're unhappy with what the people in their offices did regardless of whether they know their names at this point, and that will give Hagan a lot to work with in her campaign. Overall the General Assembly has a 24% approval rating with 54% of voters disapproving of it.

Hagan has leads of 7-11 points against her other potential opponents as well. Jim Cain comes closest with a 7 point deficit at 46/39, followed by Greg Brannon (47/38), Virginia Foxx (48/39), and Mark Harris (46/37) with 9 point deficits, Heather Grant with a 10 point gap at 47/37, and Lynn Wheeler with an 11 point one at 47/36.

Virginia Foxx remains the top choice of North Carolina Republicans to be their candidate next year amidst renewed speculation that she might be interested in a bid. 

So Thom Tillis has an anvil around his neck as NC House Speaker, and Phil Berger has an equally heavy burden around his as leader of the State Senate.  And the Tea Party loonies want Virginia Foxx as a candidate?  Oh please let that happen: Hagan'll win by, well, close to double digits.  It'll be more the moment Foxx opens her mouth.  And there's this:

One thing that's quite clear is that GOP voters will be doing what they can to pull their candidates far to the right- 57% support shutting down the government unless Obamacare is defunded to only 25% who oppose that concept.

That's not going to help Foxx in the general, and it means Tillis and Berger are going to have to stake out an extremist opinion from the get-go.

Let's start this Carolina Clown Car up, shall we?

Orange (Julius) Is The New Black (Ops)

It seems House Speaker John Boehner doesn't have enough BENGHAZI!11! in his Benghazi, so he's getting a not-so-subtle reminder up in his district from some real nutjobs who he really works for.

The advocacy group Special Operations Speaks (SOS) recently announced that it is circulating a petition and would be placing billboards in Boehner’s congressional district calling out the Speaker for turning his back on the cause. “ONE MAN stands between the American people and the Watergate-style Select Committee needed to get to the truth and deliver justice. It’s not Barack Obama. It’s not Eric Holder. It’s not John Kerry either,” the email announces, “House Speaker John Boehner is the ONE MAN blocking a real investigation of Benghazi.”

“Boehner’s stonewalling is helping Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and the rest of Obama’s corrupt administration get away with the deadliest scandal in American history,” the email goes on to read, referencing the various debunked theories about the supposed cover-up. According to SOS, by not taking action on forming a special committee, Boehner “continues to help hide the truth by denying a vote to form a Select Committee.”

Orange Julius is about to get his smoothie drank, yo.  And there's more trouble in Washington waiting for him when he gets back from his summer tanning.

Boehner is also receiving push back from rank-and-file members on his unwillingness to treat Benghazi as a Watergate-level scandal. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), the leading advocate for the creation of a special committee, filed a bill to do just that, signing up 163 co-sponsors onto H.Res. 36. Boehner has refused to allow that bill to hit the floor, however, leaving it for now in the House Rules Committee. In response, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) in late July filed what’s known as a discharge petition to help get the bill out of committee and up for a vote, which SOS’s billboard urges Boehner’s constituents to call him in support of.
Stockton, Wolf, and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) all took part in an unveiling of a 60-foot long petition — at a press conference sponsored by SOS — calling on Boehner to act swiftly on the discharge petition, an event that Fox News heavily promoted. Fox News contributor and former Congressman Allen West (R-FL) has also weighed in on the matter, accusing Boehner and other Republicans of complicity in the alleged “cover-up” for not supporting the special committee. The Speaker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the discharge petition and the billboards going up in Ohio.

The most comically inept "House leader" in decades continues his tangerine-tinged tumble from the heights of power.  If his own party is openly coming after him at this point over not being rabid enough on Benghazi, things are going to get real interesting later on.


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