Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Last Call For More Cantor Buried Tales

After becoming the first House majority leader to lose a primary, newly minted Republican non-entity Eric Cantor agreed to surrender his House GOP leadership post by the end of next month, with elections to replace him next week on the 19th.

Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor (R-Va.) will step down from his leadership post at the end of July, ending a swift rise through the ranks of national politics and upending a leadership team that has run the House since Republicans took control after the 2010 tea party wave election.

Less than 24 hours after losing a primary contest to a tea party-backed economist, Cantor announced Wednesday afternoon that he will resign as leader July 31, but keep his seat until his term ends in January. He said that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) would make an “outstanding” successor.

“While I may have suffered a personal setback last night, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country,” Cantor told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “I’m honored that I’ve had the privilege of serving the people of Virginia’s 7th District.”

House Republicans plan to hold new leadership elections next Thursday, according to senior aides. In addition to McCarthy, several senior Republicans are mulling bids for top posts, so it wasn’t immediately clear which positions will be open next week.

With rumors that Orange Julius will be giving up his Speaker's gavel at some point and now Cantor toast, the long knives are going to be out this week as the House turns into House of Cards.

Meanwhile, Cantor's replacement, Dave Brat, today showed he's a college professor who knows pretty much nothing about economics in an interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

TODD: Where are you on the minimum wage? Do you believe in it, and would you raise it?

BRAT: Minimum wage, no, I'm a free market guy. Our labor markets right now are already distorted from too many regulations. I think CATO estimates there's $2 trillion of regulatory problems and then throw Obamacare on top of that, the work hours is 30 hours a week. You can only hire 50 people. There's just distortion after distortion after distortion and we wonder why our labor markets are broken.

TODD: So should there be a minimum wage in your opinion?

BRAT: Say it again.

TODD: Should there be a minimum wage in your opinion?

BRAT: I don't have a well-crafted response on that one. All I know is if you take the long-run graph over 200 years of the wage rate, it cannot differ from your nation's productivity. Right? So you can't make up wage rates. Right? I would love for everyone in sub-Saharan Africa, for example -- children of God -- to make $100 an hour. I would love to just assert that that would be the case. But you can't assert that unless you raise their productivity, and then the wage follows.

TODD: Sounds like you're making a case against a federally mandated minimum wage.

BRAT: I'm just making the case I just made that you can't artificially make up wage rates, they have to be related to productivity.

So if there's a positive relationship between productivity and wages, we should easily be able to see it.  Let's take a look at America, for example.

Huh.  Go figure.the productivity of American workers has more than doubled since 1970, but real wages have remained flat.  And that's a 40+ year trend.

It's almost like Dave Brat has no idea what he's talking about.  If wage rates are related to productivity, I sure as hell can't find the evidence.


Klash Of The Klans

Repeat after me:  We don't have a right-wing domestic terrorism problem in the US, and racism is over because it simply doesn't exist anymore.  We sure as hell don't have a right-wing domestic terrorism problem involving white supremacists, either.

The Ku Klux Klan plans to begin military-style combat training under the direction of military troops returning home from overseas deployments, according to a Barcroft Media report.

The notorious hate group has been attempting to recruit new members – children, in particular – in recent months, and the Loyal White Knights faction has begun preparations for a long-awaited race war.

We’re going to do something a little different for probably the next couple of years to try to get our men and women ready for the upcoming battle that we’re about to take upon us, and this is something that no Klan has ever done and we’re going to start it,” said one Klan leader during a rally in Parkersburg, West Virginia. “All our boys are finally coming back home from the military, which is good, and we’re getting a lot more military members to join.”

How nice for you.

Klan members have dropped leaflets and candy in neighborhoods across the United States, and the group has also used social media in hopes of attracting teenage recruits.

Other young people are recruited by their own parents to join the group.

“I enjoy days like today, because I like being around people, not disgusting people, not drug addicts,” said one hooded boy whose parents brought him and his brother to the Parkersburg rally – which drew about 40 people.

Just exercising their Second Amendment rights, folks.  Nothing to be alarmed about, please go about your business.  There are no racists, there are no right-wing militias, there are no problems.

Also, Benghazi.

Yet Another School Shooting

A suspected gunman and a student are dead, one teacher injured at this week's school shooting in the Portland suburb of Troutdale.

According to multiple law enforcement officials, the shooter was a student at the school. The gunman appears to have died from a self-inflicted wound, the sources told CNN.

Authorities are working to notify the relatives of both the shooter and the student, neither of whom has been identified.

Officials believe they know who the gunman was, but they are "not confident enough" to reveal details yet, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson told reporters midday Tuesday.

"Today is a very tragic day for the city of Troutdale and Reynolds School District," he said. "I'm very, very sorry for the family, and for all the students, and everybody who will be impacted by this tragic incident."

Steve M. reminds us that where the shooting took place, the Multnomah County, Oregon GOP has regularly raffled off AR-15 rifles to protest gun safety measures.

This year, the party planned to give away an AR-15 at a dinner honoring Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King -- two men who were shot to death. Portland's KATU reported that this was "the third time in less than a year that the group [had] raffled off an AR-15." Bad publicity led Portland's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral to rescind its offer to host the dinner, which was subsequently held at a Portland hotel; the featured speaker was Ted Cruz's father, the Reverend Rafael Cruz, who's said he wants to send President Obama "back to Kenya" and compared him to Fidel Castro.

And now two are dead in another neighborhood.  This would be school shooting number 74 since the massacre at Newtown Elementary in Sandy Hook, New Jersey., and Republicans will make sure that nothing happens to prevent the deaths coming at number 75.


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