Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last Call For The War Of Nawthun Aggression

As I noted Sunday, Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran is now being targeted for political obliteration by the Tea Party for not sending the government into default.  It turns out his Tea Party primary challenger Chris McDaniel really is as awful as the things that the phrase "Mississippi Tea Party primary challenger" bring to mind.

Chris McDaniel is taking the "GOP Civil War" to a new level. Two months ago, the tea party-backed Mississippi Senate candidate addressed a neo-Confederate conference and costume ball hosted by a group that promotes the work of present-day secessionists and contends the wrong side won the "war of southern independence." Other speakers at the event included a historian who believes Lincoln was a Marxist and Ryan Walters, a PhD candidate who worked on McDaniel's first political campaign and wrote recently that the "controversy" over President Barack Obama's birth certificate "hasn't really been solved."

And that's just for starters.  MoJo's Tim Murphy is all over this slimebag's long and rich history of being a neo-Cofederate assclown:

With their endorsements of McDaniel, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth have shown just how far they are willing to go in terms of embracing the far right to prosecute their war for the soul of the party. In August, McDaniel addressed a neo-Confederate conference in Laurel, Miss., near his hometown of Ellisville. A local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), the Jones County Rosin Heels, hosted the two-day event, which the group described in invitations as a "Southern Heritage Conference" for "politically incorrect folks." Attendees were advised to dress in "Confederate uniforms and antebellum ball gowns or wee kilties." McDaniel's appearance at the Rosin Heels heritage conference was not a one-off occurrence; weeks earlier he was the keynote speaker at a separate event in Jackson.

The Rosin Heels does more than regret the outcome of the Civil War. Its monthly newsletter routinely features articles and essays advocating for present-day secession. Its August newsletter highlighted the seven-year-old "Burlington Declaration" from the First North American Secession Convention, which stated that the right of secession was a "[truth] of natural law and the human experience." (While it did not advcoate for specific secession movement, the proclamation affirmed the right of the conference'svarious attendees to do so.) In September, the newsletter included an essay on secession from the League of the South, lamenting the loss of southern independence at the hands of the "plutocracy and proletariat of the world." A note from the editor stated that "we are living in the times that Jefferson Davis predicted would one day come," in which the conflicts that presaged the Civil War would flare up again. The June issue compared Obama's policies to the ravages of Reconstruction: "Our people have had to put up with for the last FIFTEEN DECADES!!!"

McDaniel is "just proud of his heritage and grateful for it, and that's the reason we wanted him to come in and speak a couple of times," says George Jaynes, a member of the Rosin Heels and the newsletter's editor, who confirmed that McDaniel had attended the events. "We're mainly here to remember the Confederate soldier, our Confederates beliefs, our culture, our civilization. We're here to remember their good names upheld them to tell the truth and to give the facts of the war whether it falls on our side or the other. We're here to tell the truth—that's what the SCV's about and that's the kind of speaker we bring in."

 And this outstanding example of a festering, pus-filled boil on the ass of humanity is most likely going to end up Mississippi's next junior senator.  So please, tell me again how the GOP doesn't have a race problem, and I'll tell you why 98% of African-American voters don't vote for Republicans.

Keep up that big tent effort, guys!

The Coming Left Turn At Albuquerque

With same-sex marriage now the law of the land in New Jersey, the battle to bring America kicking and screaming into equality one state at a time moves to New Mexico's Supreme Court.

The highest court in New Mexico is set to take up a case on Wednesday that gay rights activists hope will soon make New Mexico the 15th state to recognize same-sex marriages.
At issue is the same basic question arising in a growing number of courts across the country: Do gay men and lesbians enjoy a constitutional right to marry?

Such litigation has taken on increased momentum following the US Supreme Court’s decision in June invalidating a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Although the DOMA decision did not address the more fundamental constitutional issue, gay rights advocates are seizing on language from the decision to lay the ground work for a series of constitutional showdowns in both federal and state courts across the country.

On Wednesday, that campaign arrives at the New Mexico Supreme Court, where the court’s five justices will be asked to determine whether the state constitution requires recognition of same-sex marriages statewide.

“The plaintiffs have asked us to apply fundamental principles of constitutional law,” Albuquerque lawyer Peter Kierst, working with the ACLU of New Mexico, told reporters in a briefing.

“When the state creates a benefit it must make the benefit available to all equally,” he said. “Similar people must be treated similarly.”

New Mexico is the only state that hasn't weighed in one way or the other with any laws, referendums, or constitutional amendments either banning or allowing same-sex marriage, so this is a rather big case.  The plaintiffs are arguing that the SCOTUS decision on DOMA in June means that New Mexico has to weigh in on the affirmative here, given that the state hasn't taken a position yet.  We'll see what the court has to say, but I'm betting the state's nickname as Land of Enchantment will take on a very special meaning and soon.

Great Expectations

Steve M. notes that Rasmussen's latest Virginia gubernatorial poll finds Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a huge 17-point lead (double the lead seen in other recent polls) over GOP Tea Party favorite Ken "Your Cooch" Cuccinelli, and wonders if Rasmussen isn't inflating the numbers on purpose.

Maybe this race really is turning into a blowout -- but I have to wonder whether Rasmussen, seeing that McAuliffe is solidly but not overwhelmingly ahead, is exaggerating the Democrat's lead in the hope that a single-digit McAuliffe victory will now be interpreted as McAuliffe falling short of expectations. 
I don't have to remind you that Republicans sneeringly discounted the 2012 polls that showed President Obama leading, claimed that these polls were skewed, then cooked up a lot of excuses for the Obama victory -- Dick Morris said it was because of Sandy, Karl Rove said it was an act of voter suppression for Obama to say negative things about his opponent.In any case, Republicans didn't accept that Obama really won.

The creative interpretation of electoral results by Republicans continues -- Cory Booker, we're told, kinda-sorta lost his Senate race in New Jersey because his victory margin over Steve Lonegan was in the low double digits, and now Lonegan says the government shutdown, which he supported, cost him the election.

The fact that this makes sense to me, and that I wouldn't put it past Rasmussen to do this, sums up everything you need to know about the organization's accuracy and partisanship.  After all, this is the joint that has decided that the only thing that matters with Obama's approval ratings is not the totals (latest numbers have him up 50-49%) but the percentage of people with strong opinions about him:

The latest figures include 25% of all likely voters who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 38% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13.

So yes, Rasmussen goes out of their way to make Democrats look as bad as possible as they've been pulling this "Presidential Approval Index" crap for years now.  Should McAuliffe not win by 17, as with Booker, Republicans will then say that the failure of a blowout is proof that the shutdown really isn't hurting them, and that they are performing far better than expected.  The real story, by the way, is the fact that Obama's approval numbers have been hanging around the 45-50% mark since the 2010 election.

There's a reason I call Rasmussen's entirely invented number the "Obama Derangement Index".


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