Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Last Call For Turtle, Shelled?

First Orange Julius got squeezed, now will Mitch the Turtle get shell shocked?  Probably not, but it should be fun to watch him squirm.

Now that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has announced that he will step down, some conservatives in the Republican party are turning their attention to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Roger Villere, the chairman of the Louisiana GOP, urged McConnell to resign in a Saturday Facebook post.

In an interview with the Washington Times published on Sunday, Villere said that McConnell is hurting the Republican party.

"Mitch is a good and honorable guy, but the base is leaving our party," Villere said. "I’m out in the field all the time and we have all our elections this year for state offices, and it’s hurting us tremendously with our elections."

He said that the majority leader should have pushed harder against President Obama's agenda while leading the Senate.

"Mr. McConnell could have suspended consideration of confirmations for all presidential appointees, except for those who are essential to national security, until the president rescinded his unconstitutional executive action on amnesty," he said.

Villere suggested that McConnell did not fight hard enough to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. He said that McConnell's support for a temporary funding bill that provides funding for Planned Parenthood will hurt the Republican party.

"If we lose the battle, we will never win the presidency again in my lifetime," he said. "I've worked for 12 years as chairman to build this party, and I just don’t want to see it all go down the drain because they aren’t willing to fight for what we believe in. Our base is demanding we do something or they’re going to leave us."

Well, here's hoping you're right, Roger.  I certainly don't want to see another Republican president in my lifetime. Amusing then that the Senate easily passed a funding bill on Monday to avoid a government shutdown Wednesday night, and the presumed new Speaker following Boehner also wants to surrender (and is sadly trying to pretend that the Democrats are the ones shutting the government down when the Republicans control both chambers of Congress.)

Nope.  Tea Party Republicans are about to lose again.  You got Boehner's head for your wall, but once again you've accomplished nothing.

Bevin Blowing It?

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson sees the 2015 Kentucky Governor's race as very close if not favoring Republican Matt Bevin.

It’s rather amazing, really, since over the past 44 years only one Republican, Ernie Fletcher, has held the governor’s office in Kentucky; and Fletcher, whose administration was plagued with scandal, was knocked off by the incumbent Democrat Steve Beshear, who is term-limited out this year.

And Bevin, who ran for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination against Sen. Mitch McConnell and was squashed like a bug, barely squeaked out of this year’s four-candidate GOP gubernatorial primary with an 83-vote win over James Comer, out of about 214,000 votes cast.

But, in fact, it’s the only really competitive gubernatorial race in the country, in a year when most of the political junkies around the country are deeply fixated on the 2016 presidential election.

There really hasn’t been much polling in the race lately. At the end of July, the Bluegrass Poll, conducted for Kentucky’s two largest newspapers and two prominent TV stations, showed Conway up by a slim three percentage points. On June 23, Public Policy Polling, a North Carolina firm, had Bevin up by two percentage points.

But some time ago, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a weekly politics newsletter published by Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, moved the Kentucky governor’s race from the “toss-up” category to “leans Republican.”

“Both national party committees see Kentucky as a winnable race,’’ said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst who is managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Bevin, Kondik said, “is not really a great candidate; and it may be a question of how much of his own money he is willing to spend on this.

“But President Obama is extremely unpopular in Kentucky; and you have the Trump phenomenon going on in the Republican presidential race,’’ Kondik said “It’s a sign of how nationalized politics has gotten even in state races.

So this move by the Republican Governor's Association makes no sense whatsoever.

The Republican Governor's Association has stopped running TV ads for Matt Bevin with a little more than a month to go in Kentucky's competitive governor's race.

The association has spent $3 million on six ads for Bevin, mostly attacking his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway, for supporting the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama. But with two other governor's races this fall RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said the group is "re-evaluating what is best for us to do."

"We continually re-evaluate what role the RGA plays of how helpful we can be," Thompson said, adding the decision does not mean the group has lost faith in Bevin's chances of winning. He said the group could go back on the air before November.

The move is a big blow for Bevin, who has aired just one TV ad of his own after spending more than $1 million of his personal fortune to win a four-way Republican primary in May. And it comes one week after Conway began airing a series of TV ads titled "In his own words" that splice together clips of Bevin contradicting himself on issues including education, agriculture, taxes and health care.

Whenever Conway aired a new ad over the summer, the RGA would usually respond. But not this time. Thompson said the move is normal given "multiple governor's races" the group has to plan for. But the only other races on the calendar this year are in Mississippi and Louisiana. The association has not spent money in those states yet, although Thompson said the group is likely to begin airing ads in the Louisiana governor's race.

If Bevin's winning, or this race is close, why not put Conway away?  There's only 2 other governor's races on the ballot this year, Mississippi and Louisiana.  Bobby Jindal is term limited and the real race for Louisiana won't be until late November as there's a runoff expected, and Phil Bryant isn't in any danger of losing in Mississippi.  The RGA hasn't spent a dime in those states, and after the GOP picked up governor's seats in states like Maryland (Larry Hogan) and Illinois (Bruce Rauner) in 2014, the RGA is pretty powerful. Plus, getting a win in Kentucky would be a massive boost, all but assuring that the GOP could shut down the most successful state insurance exchange and Medicaid expansion in the country.

So it makes no sense to stop now unless Bevin is leading massively, or he's losing.  If he's winning, why not release your numbers showing him winning handily?

No, something's badly wrong in Bevintown.  Maybe Conway can pull this out after all.

So why leave Bevin high and dry now, six weeks before the election?

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/09/28/4061032_rga-stops-running-tv-ads-in-kentucky.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Snap Judgment In North Carolina

Since GOP Gov. Pat McCrory took over North Carolina in January 2013 and Republicans gained complete control of the government, the NC GOP has cut jobless benefits back so far that the state no longer qualifies for federal unemployment dollars, they have eliminated the state's earned income tax credit for the poor, they have purged the state's regulatory commissions and filled them with McCrory cronies, they have ended medical school programs that taught abortion procedures, they have wrecked the state's public education budget, and implemented a regressive tax on repair and maintenance services.

At every turn, NC Republicans are continuing their crusade to smash the state's poor population and give as much money as possible to the wealthiest. And now, their hatred of the poor in the state is so all-consuming, that they are kicking people off SNAP benefits after three months even though the program is 100% funded by federal dollars and the state won't save a dime by doing it.

North Carolina Republican state Senator Norman Sanderson argued last week that reducing food assistance would force people to get a job or pursue higher education. 
A bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities offered by state House Republicans last week also aimed to cap food stamp benefits at three months for most unemployed adults without children. Even though the Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP) is paid for with federal dollars, state Republicans argued that people in counties with double-digit unemployment should no longer be eligible to receive assistance after the initial three month period. 
Democratic state Sen. Angela Bryant offered an amendment on Thursday to overturn the food stamp cuts, saying that there are not enough jobs to go around in rural counties.
“Over several sessions here were have reduced funding for job training and education,” Bryant pointed out during floor debate. “So we are basically relegating them, I guess, to steal for food.” 
Bryant asserted that there were better ways to police the abuse of SNAP benefits, but her amendment was dead in the GOP-controlled Senate. 
“I think that everybody in this chamber would agree that one of the best things we can do for anyone who has found themselves caught up in the — whether it’s the SNAP program or unemployment or any other of the program that we offer to people who are in emergency situations — one of the best things that we can do is to help them find a job,” Sanderson said. 
The senator added: “And I think that we will be amazed that when this goes into effect, and I don’t know the exact number of people that this can ultimately effect, but I think you are going to see a lot of them either go and get that 20-hour a week job or they’re going to enroll in some kind of higher education to improve their job skills. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to get here.”

Quick math here: 20 hours a week times 50 weeks times $7.25 an hour is $7,250, for one person that's well below the 2015 poverty level of $11,770.  For a family of four, the poverty level is $24,250.  Even a full time job at $10 an hour is well under this level.  People at this point in their lives would easily qualify for SNAP benefits federally, but NC Republicans are literally turning down federal tax dollars just to hurt the poor.

And they're going to go to college?  With what money, exactly?  They're still going to be poor, and these clowns know it.

No, this is just outright punishment of the poor,  It's what Republicans do.


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