Friday, September 16, 2016

Last Call For Red State Blues

It's tough being a red state Democratic senator in 2016 because you basically have to publicly hate Obama and Clinton to keep your job.  This week's example: North Dakota Dem Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on the Basket of Deplorables.

Heitkamp was asked on WZFG AM 1100 if she renounced the comments. 
“Yes, I do,” said the Democratic senator on Thursday. “I think it was a wrong thing to say. I think that it ignores the very true concerns that we have about needing change in this country. I think that it was ill-advised. 
“I think [Secretary Clinton] said it was ill-advised,” he continued. “I think she walked it back, and I think that it was unfortunate that she said it. I’m glad that she’s denounced that statement, and I do not agree with her.”

Like it or not, the alternative to Heidi Heitkamp is having another lunatic cowboy Republican from the Dick Cheney school of public "service" like Wyoming's John Enzi or Montana climate change "skeptic" Steve Daines in the Senate. You may not like Democrats like Heitkamp (or yes, even Joe F'ckin Manchin and Evan F'ckin Bayh) but they are lawmakers who will at least vote with the Dems most of the time, and not fall in line with Team GOP on things that count.

As a Kentucky liberal commie pinko agnostic type, you take your victories in the states where you can get them, because we need as many wins as you can get.  Remember, in the end, lawmakers and presidents are elected by the people they represent, so if you can get a Heitkamp or Manchin as opposed to, I dunno, Ted Cruz or Jeff Sessions, you go with the Blue Dogs every time.

Sometimes the useful idiots do serve a purpose.

Cruz Controlled, Con't

Don't look now, but the federal government shuts down without a funding bill in two weeks, and while the last things Republicans running for re-election this year want is a shutdown fight six weeks before a presidential election, our old friend Sen. Ted Cruz isn't one of those on the ballot this time around.  As such, he may be up to his old tricks, this time latching onto control of the internet as his hill to die on.

The Texas Republican senator’s latest crusade is to block an Obama administration plan to give up U.S. oversight of domain names to international supervision, warning in a Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday that could be a threat to freedom. He warned against giving power to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a private non-profit group based in Los Angeles. 
“Imagine an internet run like China or Russia, that punish and incarcerate those who engage in political dissent,” Cruz said. Earlier on the Senate floor, Cruz said he didn’t want “to tell our children and our children’s children what it was once like when the internet wasn’t censored, wasn’t in the control of the foreign governments."

Cruz and some senior Republicans want to block the transfer as part of the stopgap spending bill required to avoid a government shutdown Oct. 1, although neither party has explicitly threatened to block the measure over the fight. 
The issue drew notice elsewhere in Washington. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday that Cruz’s position “is, frankly, not really supported by anybody” and called for a spending measure without extra language. In the House, Representative Bill Flores of Texas, head of the influential Republican Study Committee, recommended his chamber move first with a spending measure that should include language blocking the internet transition. 
Republican leaders are hoping to wrap up a deal with Democrats and the White House quickly, but the internet issue is among about a half dozen yet to be resolved, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune told reporters Tuesday. 
Thune predicted the funding bill would block the internet transition. 
“They’re trying to work out what that would look like, what would be effective in terms of putting the brakes on this,” he told reporters.

If the GOP is willing to shut down the government in a presidential election year over ICANN, then things just might get really interesting in November.  Please proceed, senator.

Trump Cards, Con't

Donald Trump is feeling pretty good these days as his message of "normalized" racism and bigotry continues to resonate with Republican voters, in Ohio yesterday he refused to walk back his long-held birther beliefs.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in an interview here that he remains unwilling to say that President Obama was born in the United States, that he is more bullish than ever on his chances to win and that he is not exploring the launch of a new media company in case he loses the race.

Trump also made a far-from-subtle push — in the interview and in a letter from his doctor released Thursday — to be seen as vigorous and healthy, as his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, returned to the campaign trail after being treated for mild pneumonia.

In the interview, conducted late Wednesday aboard his private plane as it idled on the tarmac here, Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.

“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

And why would Trump ever answer?  The Basket of Deplorables overwhelmingly believe Barack Obama is secretly Kenyan and never was eligible for the office of President, and there's no public penalty for such outright, overt racism among the voting public.  There are plenty of folks that think being a birther is better than voting for Hillary and they'll gladly vote in November.

Meanwhile, Trump's latest policy nugget is that he'll rid the nation of those awful food safety regulations that keep your kids from munching on broken glass.

In a fact sheet posted online Thursday, the campaign highlighted a number of "specific regulations to be eliminated" under the GOP nominee's economic plan, including what they called the "FDA Food Police." 
“The FDA Food Police, which dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food,” it read.

“The rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when,” the statement continued. "It also greatly increased inspections of food 'facilities,' and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill."

Sure is gonna be fun in a Trump administration.  Just don't plan to eat anything for the next four years.


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