Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last Call For Getting Your Priorities Straight

The latest monthly Gallup poll on Americans and the issues important to them finds Ebola now outranks racism, crime, and poverty as top concerns among We The People:

Recent Trend for Most Important U.S. Problem

These results come from an Oct. 12-15 Gallup poll, conducted while dozens of people in the U.S. were still being quarantined after coming in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who died earlier this month from the virus. Two of the nurses who cared for Duncan have now been diagnosed with the virus. Most others who had contact with Duncan were quarantined for three weeks, which ended Monday. 
Separate Gallup polling about Ebola specifically finds more than one in five Americans saying they worry about getting the Ebola virus.

We're so very, very screwed.

House Republicans Versus Los Innecesarios

Over at his new NY Times Upshot digs, Nate Cohn breaks down the electoral picture for Latino voters and comes away with some hard numbers and harder truths: as far as hyper-gerrymandered House districts go and even Senate races, Latino voters are Los Innecesarios: The Unnecessary Ones.

Political analysts keep urging the Republican Party to do more to appeal to Hispanic voters. Yet the party’s congressional leaders show little sign of doing so, blocking an immigration overhaul and harshly criticizing President Obama for his plan to defer deportation for undocumented migrants. 
There’s a simple reason that congressional Republicans are willing to risk alienating Hispanics: They don’t need their votes, at least not this year. 
Republicans would probably hold the House — and still have a real chance to retake the Senate — if they lost every single Hispanic voter in the country, according to an analysis by The Upshot. 
Such a thing would never happen, of course, but the fact that the Republicans may not need a single Hispanic vote in 2014 says a good deal about American politics today.

So what does that mean when Latino grassroots immigration groups are sitting this election out in order to punish President Obama?

Not a whole lot.  On the other hand, if Democrats won 100% of the Latino vote, Democrats would pick up 8-10 House seats, especially in Florida and California.  But the truth is Latino voters make up less than 4% of the electorate in competitive House races.

I'm thinking Latino leaders might want to reconsider sitting this election out.

The Totally Moderate Rand Paul

Remember, Rand Paul's big selling point is that he's a moderate, a Republican who supports criminal justice reform and legalization of marijuana.  The fact he's a standard right wing nut job on most other things doesn't seem to matter, and the fact that he's a screaming tinfoil-hatted douchebag on everything else certainly doesn't seem to get enough play.

As this government-bashing tea partier moves toward a White House bid, journalists scrutinize his every wiggle and whisper. But one core component of his political personality has largely escaped exploration: The senator is close to being a full-blown conspiracy theorist. 
In 2010, before winning his Senate seat, Paul sat for an interview with Luke Rudkowski, a libertarian YouTube personality who specializes in quizzing political leaders about the plot to establish a "one-world socialist government." Rudkowski asked what Paul knew of the Bilderberg Group, a collection of government and business leaders whose annual conference is a favorite target of conspiracy-mongers. Paul replied, "Only what I've learned from Alex Jones." That's right: Alex Jones, the radio host who claims that Bilderberg is a key part of a global plot to create a "scientific dictatorship" that will exterminate the "useless eaters," a.k.a. 80 percent of the human population.

Rand Paul is nuts.

Paul had his own conspiracy theory about 9/11. In speeches in 2008 and 2009, he warned about the influence of military contractors and zeroed in on Halliburton, the corporation that Dick Cheney headed before becoming vice president. Cheney, he noted, opposed the advance of American troops into Baghdad when he was defense secretary during the first Gulf War. Yet as veep he changed his mind because, Paul explained, the war would benefit Halliburton with a "billion-dollar no-bid contract."

Rand Paul is bug nuts.

Paul also has embraced one of the conspiracy theories promoted by his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul: that leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico are seeking to merge their countries into a socialist megastate that would issue the "Amero" currency to replace US and Canadian dollars and the Mexican peso. (Anti-feminist campaigner Phyllis Schlafly and Jerome Corsi, who led the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign, are among the key proponents of this idea.
At an appearance for his father's 2008 presidential campaign in Bozeman, Montana, Rand Paul was asked what steps his dad would take to thwart the scheme to impose a North American superstate. The first thing to do, he said, was "publicizing that it's going on" and pushing Congress to "stop it." He insisted the Amero push was "a real thing" but cautioned, "If you talk about it like it's a conspiracy, they'll paint you as a nut. It's not a conspiracy, they're out in the open about it. I guarantee it's one of their long-term goals—to have one sort of borderless mass continent." He did not specify who "they" were.

Hey guys?

Rand Paul is completely effing nuts.

But he's still a contender?


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