This is a game-changer, y'all. Herman Cain won't rule out becoming the vice-presidential nominee:
"I would say: 'Let's talk,'" he told Fox and Friends, when asked how he would react to a request. "It's not a slam-dunk."Cain feels that Mitt Romney can't choose another northeastern governor like New Jersey's Chris Christie, and that the country is not ready for another Bush, in the form of former Florida governor Jeb, and that Newt Gingrich just wouldn't bring the needed level of excitement to the ticket.
What Romney needs, according to Cain, is someone who will bring the excitement and appeal to conservatives by bringing in ideas from the campaigns of Romney's conservative former competitors for the nomination. He's thinking Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or Rep. Allen West. Except, well, Rubio has said he doesn't want the job, so that pretty much leaves Allen West.
So, in conclusion: Herman Cain thinks Mitt Romney needs a vice presidential nominee who is conservative specifically in the manner of a former presidential candidate, who is exciting, and who shares traits?not saying what those are?with Allen West or Marco Rubio. And if you ask him really nicely, Herman Cain will consider taking the job.
(Click for venti.)
A non-political cartoon this week, as I've been busy traveling and trying not to think about politics. All of these offenses except the cigar-smoker were observed recently. Personally, I cannot imagine extending my personal Sphere of Entertainment (or Sphere of Commerce) to those sitting around me in a public space, but hey, that's just me. Skype makes loud cellphone talkers seem almost quaint, doesn't it?
Coffee shop proprietors: feel free to print this one out and hang it on the wall. Use the larger click-through version. I'll be grateful.
Get a signed print of this cartoon from the artist.
George W. Bush spoke today at the George W. Bush Presidential Center at a conference called "Tax Policies For 4% Growth," put together by such luminaries as James Glassman, the guy who wrote "Dow 36,000." He tried to run away from his legacy.[...]
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The Obama campaign congratulates the Republican Party's severely conservative presumptive nominee with a video serenade of the hard-right statements Mitt Romney made throughout the GOP primary:
?Romney has to build bridges to evangelical voters, who he will need to turn out in large numbers in November,? said Ralph Reed, who leads the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed added: ?I think Romney understands this and will take whatever steps are necessary to energize social conservative voters. Evangelicals will turn out to vote against Obama. Now it?s important that they are enthusiastic about voting for the Republican nominee.?Yet despite being put in between a rock and a hard place by unlikely alliance between the Obama campaign and the Republican base, Romneyland is suggesting their boss plans to whip out his favorite toy.
Tony Perkins, who heads the Family Research Council and who backed Santorum?s candidacy, issued a statement challenging Romney to demonstrate his commitment to the issues most important to religious conservatives. ?If the Republican establishment hopes to generate this same voter intensity in the fall elections,? he said, ?Santorum voters must see it demonstrate a genuine and solid commitment to the core values issues.?
On Tuesday, a Romney adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid, put it this way: ?Voters will now look at Mitt differently and through a different prism. We can use this new beginning as an opportunity to reintroduce the campaign and the candidate.?Nothing's shocking there: everybody knew the moment would come that Mitt Romney would try to reinvent himself. The challenge for Romneyland, however, is that they aren't going to be able to reintroduce him in a vacuum?the Obama campaign will be defining Romney at the same time, and Romney's base will be watching closely. Even if Romneyland had demonstrated an exceptional ability to sell a positive message about their candidate, they'd have trouble reinventing Mitt in that kind of environment. But as we all know, the only thing Mitt Romney's campaign has demonstrated it is good at is raising money and destroying Republicans like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. I'll give them some credit on the money, but given how easy it should have been to nuke Newt and sink Santorum, there's no reason to believe they've got what it takes to successfully reinvent Mitt Romney.
Dayen's news roundup from April 10, 2012, with stories on lawless banking, Trayvon Martin, gun control, JP Morgan, Shaun Donovan, Harold Koh, ALEC, marriage equality, extradition, Ozzie Guillen, Sheldon Adelson, David Cameron and much more.[...]
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Yesterday we saw how sleazy DC Democratic Party operatives and careerists like Steve Israel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Joe Crowley are trying to use the Republican War Against Women to raise money while they recruit anti-Choice zealots like Hayden Rogers (NC), Terry Bellamy (NC), Clark Hall (AR) and, of course, Steve Pestka (MI)-- who worked so hard to defund Planned Parenthood-- to run against pro-Choice progressives. And the DCCC continues to throw full backing behind anti-Choice fanatics who vote with Boehner and Cantor in the "Republican" War Against Women like Tim Holden, Jim Matheson, John Barrow, Mike McIntyre, Leonard Boswell, and Ben Chandler.
Well, guess what! They do the same thing when it comes to the LBGT Community. Slimy characters like Israel and Wasserman Schultz use scare tactics when they talk to (wealthy) gay people: "We'll save you from the hateful Republicans. Send us money." But at the same time, they're purposely going out and recruiting homophobic sociopaths to run against pro-equality candidates from coast to coast. It shocks me that there are still thoughtful gay men and women willing to give the Republican Party and the DCCC a nickel. It's like underwriting your own misery!
Look at that video up top-- the Democratic former Mayor of Charlotte and the Republican former Mayor of Charlotte coming out against the dangerous, hateful, drastically homophobic Amendment One. And Vinroot is no squishy Romney type Republican. He's a real fire-breathing conservative. But Steve Israel has managed to dig up some homophobic hate-mongers and persuade them to run-- as Democrats-- against progressives in North Carolina. As we explained before, Israel's shill in NC-10, Terry Bellamy has a clear and ugly public record as an anti-gay religious nut. She belongs in the GOP-- and probably would be there except that she's African-American. Even worse is Heath Shuler's chief-of-staff, Hayden Rogers, who's been urging his supporters to vote FOR Amendment One, while "offially" remaining "neutral," even as the North Carolina Democratic Party valiantly battles against this crap amendment. Another vicious gay hater being pushed by the DCCC. Remember, on April 29, 2009, when 18 Republicans joined 231 Democrats to include the LBGT community in Hate Crimes legislation, there were 17 Democrats who crossed the aisle to support the Republican War On Gays. The DCCC didn't admonish or discipline any of them. Quite the contrary; they spent more money supporting them than they spent on many decent progressives. Most of them have been driven from Congress by Democrats and Independents that have refused to support this kind of garbage. But the ones who are still in Congress and still being supported by the DC Democrats-- Joe Donnelly (IN-now running for the US Senate), Mike McIntyre (NC), and Collin Peterson (MN)-- never face any accountability for this perfidy. That would be up to us-- because craven "leaders" like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Steve Israel will never do anything to ruffle the feathers of these despicable allies of theirs.
Hayden's primary opponent is certainly not remaining "neutral." As Bothwell has reminded voters at dozens of campaign stops, "I am the only congressional candidate in either party in this race who has taken a strong stand against Amendment One. It is bad law on multiple counts: it is anti-civil liberty, unnecessary, sloppily written, and certain to lead to years of expensive litigation. The only intent on the part of the Republicans who advanced the amendment was to stir homophobic fears and provide a wedge issue they hoped would garner them votes. We're going to prove them wrong."
Perhaps a good time to remind everyone what many have long suspected and which has been verified by research in the U.K., homophobes are more likely to be secretly attracted to members of their own sex than non-homophobes. (Big surprise! Not!)
Researchers from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex and the University of California in Santa Barbara have discovered that homophobes are actually attracted to the same sex but they do not admit it because they grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires. They found this when they conducted a series of psychology studies.
The researchers assert that people who define themselves as straight and who hate homosexuality are often attracted to the same sex. They believe that homosexual people remind them of similar tendencies within themselves.
...Researchers found that homophobic people are actually attracted to the same sex. They claim that these individuals risk losing the love and approval of their parents if they admit to same sex attractions, so many people deny or repress that part of them.
"In a predominately heterosexual society, 'know thyself' can be a challenge for many gay individuals. But in controlling and homophobic homes, embracing a minority sexual orientation can be terrifying," said Weinstein.
The research also sheds light on high profile cases in which anti-gay public figures are caught engaging in same-sex sexual acts. The authors write that this dynamic of inner conflict may be reflected in such examples as Ted Haggard, the evangelical preacher who opposed gay marriage but was exposed in a gay sex scandal in 2006, and Glenn Murphy, Jr, former chairman of the Young Republican National Federation and vocal opponent of gay marriage, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old man in 2007.
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The Trayvon Martin shooting just took a bizarre twist today. From TPM -- George Zimmerman Is Apparently Talking To Sean Hannity But Not His Own Attorneys:
George Zimmerman has gone rogue.
The man accused of killing unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has been dodging his defense team, trying to talk directly to the people debating whether to prosecute him and apparently having off-the-record conversations with conservative talk jock Sean Hannity.
In an unusual news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Zimmerman?s attorneys said they were withdrawing from his case because of their client?s bizarre behavior in recent days.
?I can?t ethically go forward and say that I?m representing George Zimmerman when I haven?t talked to him in a couple of days and he?s giving interviews, apparently,? said defense attorney Craig Sonner. ?I mean, that?s just the rumors I?m getting?There are a lot of things going on that I don?t know about.?
One of the most intriguing claims the attorneys made was that at some point recently, Zimmerman put in a call to Hannity, the Fox News host who aired an exclusive interview with the man?s father last month. Attorney Hal Uhrig sounded particularly unnerved about the lack of information he and his colleague were getting about the call.
?We learned that he had called Sean Hannity of Fox News directly, and not through us,? Uhrig said. ?And we believe ? I can?t confirm this ? we believe that he spoke directly with Sean, off the record.?
Presumably speaking about Hannity, he added: ?He?s not even willing to tell us what our client told him.?
Neither Hannity nor a representative of Fox News returned TPM?s requests for comment.
The picture that the attorneys painted of their now former client was of a person out of control. The attorneys said they were not abandoning him completely, but they could no longer speak on his behalf if they were not talking to him directly.
Uhrig said ?the final straw? in their decision came Tuesday when they found out that Zimmerman had contacted the special prosecutor who is investigating the case. Zimmerman apparently wanted to talk to the prosecutor without his attorneys. The prosecutor, according to the attorneys, declined to speak to him unless he was represented by counsel.
More of the press conference below the fold.
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UPDATE: Sean Hannity addressed the comments made about him by Zimmerman's former attorneys on his show on Fox:
HANNITY: I want to set the record straight about a couple of things. Now for a few weeks we have been pursuing an interview with Mr. Zimmerman to give him a chance to tell his side of the story. Now yesterday I was contacted by an individual that we in fact believe was George Zimmerman. He reached out to me, we spoke on the phone about his case, and I agreed not to report on the contents of that conversation. That's it. I know nothing about his relationship with his now former attorneys.
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Lawmakers in Mississippi have resurrected the so-called “heartbeat” bill, a measure which “equates abortion of a fetus with a detectable heartbeat to child homicide.” A physician who performs an abortion where a fetal heartbeat is present “could face the maximum 30 years” and some women would be required to undergo “a transvaginal ultrasound to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is present.”
Under the measure, pregnancies that result from “rape or incest or that would endanger the life of the mother” are exempt from the requirement, but those that would pose health risks are not:
Rep. Ed Blackmon, D-Canton, presented several scenarios where he said the language of the bill would be too restrictive. For example, he said, no exception is made for a situation in which a woman is pregnant with twins and a doctor determines both fetuses will not survive, and one must be aborted for the other to live.
“It makes reference to the life of the mother, but it has no exception for the health of the mother – both physical and mental health,” Blackmon said.
Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, presented a scenario where doctors have determined a fetus will not survive long enough to come to term, but if the woman does not abort the child, she will become infertile. “You think that’s what God wants?” Brown asked.
The bill passed the Mississippi House on Tuesday, but faces an uphill climb in the Senate, where it died in committee last week. The heartbeat can often be detected as early as ?six to seven weeks,? before a women even knows she is pregnant and is likely unconstitutional, flouting the Supreme Court?s Roe v. Wade ruling that forbids states from banning abortions until the fetus is viable, which is generally around 22 to 24 weeks.
Last week, lawmakers approved a bill requiring doctors performing abortions ?to be a board-certified OB-GYN with admitting privileges at a local hospital,? a measure that could significantly hamper or even shut down the state?s sole abortion provider.