Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Last Call For The Great Beturbaned Horde

I think of all the Republican politicians I dislike the most, Bobby Jindal has to be at the top of the list simply because he's smarter than a great percentage of them and chooses to spout ignorance like this anyway.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) expressed fears of an extremist Muslim “invasion” of America in an interview on Monday, outlining a strict vision for how Muslims should assimilate into the United States and doubling down on his recent controversial comments about Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe. 
According to Buzzfeed, Jindal spoke at length about Muslim immigration during an interview on the Washington Watch radio show, hosted by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. Jindal began the segment by defending remarks he made earlier this month about so-called “no-go zones,” or areas in England and France that some American conservatives have erroneously claimed are so dominated by extremist Muslims that police forces simply do not enter.

If we’re not careful the same no-go zones you’re seeing now in Europe will come to America,” Jindal said. “What is not acceptable and what you’ve seen in Europe and this is a very serious particular threat, you’ve got those that do want to try to impose a form of sharia law. And sharia law is antithetical, mutually exclusive of freedom, in treating women as first-class citizens, it is antithetical to the values we hold dear. And you see, third, fourth generation immigrants in the U.K., France, in other places in Europe that don’t consider themselves part of those societies and that’s very dangerous.”

No-go zones are a complete lie, but Jindal understands that being an Islamophobic Republican as well as a man of Indian descent allows him to make a contrast as "one of the good immigrants" in this country.  He's lowering the discourse on purpose to further his own political ambitions. It's a form of self-hatred and loathing that's been practiced here for centuries, but it's just as tiring now as it was in the days of blaming the Irish, Italian, Greeks and Catholics coming into the country to join America.

Jindal should frankly know better about a lot of things.  But he's lying to his base for a reason.

Cut And Bleeding Red

Reuters reporter Andy Sullivan has a piece today that all but accuses the Obama administration of cutting discretionary federal grants to red states more than blue ones for political reasons.

For the analysis, Reuters divided the U.S. into three categories: Republican-leaning "red" states where Obama got less than 45 percent of the vote in the 2012 election; competitive "purple" states where he won between 45 percent and 55 percent of the vote; and Democratic-leaning "blue" states where he won more than 55 percent of the vote.

Red, purple and blue states have all shouldered steep spending cuts after a 2011 budget deal, the analysis found. But those cuts have not been doled out evenly.

Discretionary grant funding to red states like Mississippi fell by 40 percent to $15 billion between fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2013, the most recent year for which reliable figures are available. Purple states like Ohio and North Carolina saw a smaller drop of 27 percent, to $19.8 billion, and blue states saw a yet-smaller drop of 22.5 percent, to $27.6 billion. (The tally does not include disaster aid handed out after Hurricane Sandy, which went largely to blue states like New Jersey.)

The disparity doesn't show up in payments like Medicaid that are distributed through pre-set formulas. It also does not appear in Obama's 2009 recession-fighting Recovery Act. It only shows up in federal aid that is most directly controlled by the administration: "project grants," which are doled out on a competitive basis by career civil servants and political appointees.

Of course, many factors other than politics come into play. Some states aren't good at writing grant proposals - researchers at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, for example, found that poor planning has hurt that state's ability to compete for federal dollars. A governor from an oil-producing state may be less inclined to pursue green-energy grants.

But the disparity can't be fully explained by these factors. At Reuters' request, Hudak ran a statistical analysis of spending over this period, controlling for differences in population, economy, percentage of elderly residents, miles of federal highway and the number of research universities and hospitals.

Red states still came up short. After 2011, the average red state got 15 percent fewer grants and 1.3 percent fewer grant dollars than the average swing state. That comes out to roughly 500 grants and $15 million for an average-sized red state like Tennessee - enough to pay for 115 additional police officers or upgrade a rural airport to handle larger planes.

All of this seems pretty odd until you remember that the Senate gave up earmarks in 2011 under this same budget deal, and oh yes, Sullivan does admit that previous presidents played the same game.

This approach isn't unique to Obama. Under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Hudak found that purple states got about 7.3 percent more grants and 5.7 percent more grant dollars than states that were firmly in one camp.

So federal grant money goes towards presidential swing states?  Whoever would have guessed that?

Super Zandar Funtime Land

And who should come along just under the deadline for filing for running for Kentucky governor than our old cockfighting friend Matt Bevin...

Months removed from a Republican Senate primary loss to Mitch McConnell, the fiery tea-party candidate launched another statewide race Tuesday, this time for Kentucky governor. 
Bevin's unexpected and late entry—he officially joined the race less than two hours before the state's 4 p.m. deadline—is a boon for the party's most conservative elements, as it will boost their voice in a crowded campaign. But for the party as a whole, it complicates an already difficult task: preventing the competitive primary from crippling its candidate before the general election begins. 
With Bevin, Republicans now have a four-way race. State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is the perceived front-runner, but he was already competing against wealthy Louisville businessman Hal Heiner and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will Scott. And with Bevin, the GOP adds a candidate with a combative history—particularly in his nasty race against McConnell last year. 
And if the party is unable to prevent its primary season from becoming an all-out brawl, it risks losing the governor's mansion yet again: Republicans have long sought the Kentucky governorship—and thought they had opportunities to take it in recent races—but the state hasn't had a Republican governor since Ernie Fletcher was ousted after one term in 2007. And over the past 50 years, Republicans have held the state's top spot for only eight.

"They'll beat each other up. Even if they're all good candidates, we'll have four months having a family feud, or at least a family discussion, and that's going to put [Democrats] in a good position," said Trey Grayson, Rand Paul's 2010 Senate primary opponent.

You can read more about Bevin's brutally ugly primary fight against Mitch the Turtle, his "cock-up" of a fall over cockfighting in the Bluegrass State, and a not-so-gentle reminder that Bevin didn't exactly hurt Mitch too much.

Having said that, cone of the other Republicans running for governor here are anywhere near as politically savvy as Mitch, so Bevin might turn out to be real trouble for them.

Which is good for Jack Conway and the Democrats.  We'll see.


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