Republican Senate candidates in Colorado try to outdo one another on how big of a threat Obama is to the Union. Colorado - United States Senate - United States - President - Barack Obama[...]
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Tea partiers in Iowa have covered over the billboard featuring Hitler, Obama and Lenin. Vladimir Lenin - Barack Obama - Adolf Hitler - Tea - Iowa[...]
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In New Hampshire, voters have an interesting choice. Ryan J. Murdough is campaigning not on change so much as similarity. His message: Keep New Hampshire white.
"I would like to preserve what we have before it gets totally out of control," Murdough, a 30-year-old father of two young boys, said last week. "The more it becomes non-white, the more it's going to become a much different place to live, for white people especially."
Well, yes. It will be far more interesting, peppered with culture and stories and music and people who come from a different place but are still people. Only, Ryan just doesn't see it that way.
Whatever you do, don't call Ryan a racist. He's not a racist, he claims, because racists have to hate others. He doesn't hate them; he just doesn't want them in his town.
So please, don't call him a racist. He says that's not true.
"I would ask you about your version of racist," Murdough said. "The word does not have a specific definition. If someone says, 'You seem to hate people who aren't white,'
I say no, so I can't really be a racist, because I don't hate them. I just don't want to live around areas that are heavily, predominantly non-white."
Ahem. He's dead wrong on this one. Here's the Merriam-Webster definition of racism:
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
So he's not a white supremacist (though that is certainly questionable). He's clearly a racist, simply by arguing for discrimination against people who are 'non-white'.
Ryan Murdough, in his own written words:
For far too long white Americans have been told that diversity is something beneficial to their existence. Statistics prove that the opposite is true. New Hampshire residents must seek to preserve their racial identity if we want future generations to have to possibility to live in such a great state. Affirmative action, illegal and legal non-white immigration, anti-white public school systems, and an anti-white media have done much damage to the United States of America and especially New Hampshire. It is time for white people in New Hampshire and across the country to take a stand. We are only 8 percent of the world's population and we need our own homeland, just like any other non-white group of people deserve their own homeland.
What will happen to New Hampshire once it is only 60, 50 or 40 percent white? Statistics show that areas with high non-white populations have higher rates of violent crime. New Hampshire has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the country, but that will change as the white population percentage declines and the non-white population percentage increases.
There are no words, no arguments, no gushing-forth of facts and statistics that I could possibly bring forth to change his mind. But as a white person living in a diverse area with all of the richness different backgrounds, colors and nationalities bring, I could not disagree with his premise more.
At least New Hampshire Republicans aren't afraid to embrace what Tea Partiers deny, but clearly represent: A small contingent of scared white folks.
By the way, is the name Murdough a colloquial form of Murdoch? It would explain a lot.
Yesterday, I wrote a post about Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu who is one of the biggest cheerleaders for the oil industry. That's no small feat. She wants more drilling now. That oil spill destroying the Gulf of Mexico doesn't seem to faze her.
Landrieu and other elected officials have protected the oil industry. And, the oil industry hasn't had to be responsible. We know that now. But, our leaders have clearly failed us. This could have been prevented or mitigated. Because, what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico has a precedent: The Exxon Valdez disaster. What lessons were learned? None:
But the full story of the Exxon Valdez wreck is far more complex, and it offers striking parallels to today's events in the Gulf of Mexico -- including a central role played by a consortium led by British Petroleum, now known as BP.With leaders like Landrieu protecting the oil industry, it's probably true that nothing will change. They just want more drilling without regard for the consequences.
A commission that investigated the Alaska spill found that oil companies cut corners to maximize profits. Systems intended to prevent disaster failed, and no backups were in place. Regulators were too close to the oil industry and approved woefully inadequate accident response and cleanup plans.
History is repeating, say officials who investigated the Valdez, because the lessons of two decades ago remain unheeded.
"It's disappointing," said 84-year-old Walt Parker, chairman of the Alaska Oil Spill Commission, which made dozens of recommendations for preventing a recurrence. "It's almost as though we had never written the report."
Marine experts predict that the many panels investigating the Deepwater Horizon blowout -- including a presidential commission that began work this week in New Orleans -- will produce reports with numerous findings that could have been cut and pasted from the 20-year-old report written by Parker's commission or another body that examined the Valdez accident. They also fear those findings may have no more impact than the Valdez conclusions have.
I like the title of John Amato and Dave Neiwert's new book, Over the Cliff: How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane; there's a great deal of folksy truth in it. But it's deadly serious and John and Dave have been tracking the extremist elements of the American right for many years. A more slapstick version would have been Over the Cliff: How Alan Grayson's Election Drove the Florida Republican Party Insane.
These days Florida Republicans see Grayson behind every palm tree and, more important, every scandal that has turned the party into a national laughing stock. Marco Rubio and David Rivera don't pay their mortgage for six months, get foreclosed on and... they see the hand on Alan Grayson. Factions of teabaggers run against each other, brawl and call the police to arrest each other... and it must be Grayson manipulating the whole drama. Gov. Charlie Crist, Attorney General Bill McCollum, far right sociopath Rick Scott, new party chair John Thrasher, and Senate President-Designate Mike Haridopolos get into a knockdown, drag-out brawl over who forced crooked Republican Party chief Jim Greer to resign and somehow Grayson is behind the fireworks. Marco Rubio charges his back-waxing to a magic Republican Party credit card and the back-waxer who snitched must have been paid by Grayson. Anti-Cuba hard-liner David Rivera is exposed for lying about his close relationship with Ariel Pereda (who works facilitating trade with Castro's Cuba), who, it turns out is the former chairman of a political fundraising committee Rivera was part of... the hand of Alan Grayson. Florida right-wing blogs the Shark Tank and the Babalú Blog abandon GOP Establishment candidate David Rivera for extremist Paul Crespo and Republicans are certain Grayson has persuaded the two blogs to get behind the unelectable and somewhat deranged Crespo. And now it comes out that the same Rivera has a court record as a serial domestic abuser, someone who beats up women, and... guess who they're trying to blame?
I called the one sane person in the increasingly bloody Republican Party primary for the chance to take on front-runner Joe Garcia in the race for the south Florida congressional seat abandoned by Mario Diaz-Balart, Marili Cancio. Is Alan Grayson behind the court records about Rivera's domestic violence episodes leaking out, I ask her. She laughed. "David is the worst possible candidate-- a dream come true for Joe Garcia with no appeal to independent voters," the respected Miami attorney told me. Marili is the one Republican in the primary whose mainstream values actually could appeal to independent voters. Unlike the others, she isn't consumed with hatred, bigotry and extremism. And, unlike Rivera, she abhors the kind of corporate/political corruption that are the hallmark of his career. She doesn't think Grayson has anything at all to do with the allegations against Rivera. "David has more enemies than anyone I've ever met in my life. People don't come forward publicly because they're afraid of retribution... There wasn't much scrutiny when he ran in 2002 and these allegations [Marili refers to them on her Facebook page] first got aired. He said it was a case of 'mistaken identity'... Men who beat up women are the ultimate cowards. If the allegations are true, he's not fit for any office." Although I couldn't speak with him directly, I spoke with Rivera's campaign this morning and they deny everything. They say it's a different David M. Rivera and that he never dated the woman in question. Sources in Miami laugh when they're told his official reaction. Friends of the woman, Jenia Dorticós, say Rivera's reputation as an inveterate liar speaks for itself.
Marili herself is more concerned with Rivera's financial shenanigans and she feels that voters in FL-25 need to look at how he managed to gobble up a million dollars in corporate "contributions" during the legislative session, especially from Big Oil and the sugar interests. Rivera was also recently criticized when his campaign sent all of Florida International University's faculty and staff a fundraising solicitation. The letter cited funding that Rivera, as chairman of the Florida legislature's budget committee, appropriated to the school, prompting university Provost Douglas Wartzok to condemn the effort as inappropriate and Garcia's campaign to label it as "a shakedown." Rivera's campaign dismissed the controversy as "an internal FIU matter" to the Miami Herald, although observers have called it a clear case of extortion. She's convinced that if the DC Establishment manages to deliver the Republican nomination to Rivera, Garcia will walk away with the seat. I was stunned when she told me, "David does not hold a candle to Joe Garcia for the general election. If Rivera wins the primary we'll be giving the seat away." I asked her if she was sure she wanted me to quote her saying that. "Absolutely," she said.
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For the past year, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has clashed with his party’s leadership by endorsing and funding tea party Senate candidates over those favored by the GOP establishment. He’s also publicly accused the leadership of mismanaging the conservative agenda, saying, “The problem in the Republican Party is that the leadership has gone to the left.” This open hostility has led many to speculate that he would challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for the party’s top job in the upper house — something DeMint has repeatedly denied he is interested in doing. But yesterday, DeMint told the Greenville News that while he still has no “plan” to challenge McConnell, he would be open to running for a different leadership position once his tea party conservatives take over the Senate:
Asked by The Greenville News about the likelihood of a run for Senate minority leader, DeMint said it’s “not my plan,” but that he’s open to some kind of elected leadership once 10 to 15 new conservatives – many of them supported by DeMint – join the ranks as he expects.
DeMint, whose endorsements and fundraising have helped boost a cadre of conservatives to primary wins across the country, predicted that he’d be at the fore of top conservative issues in Washington.
“People in South Carolina will see me lead at home and up here, whether or not I seek any elected leadership,” DeMint told The News, adding, “I’ve found that I can be much more effective stopping these bills working independently and with a few other conservatives, but you’ll see after this election. There will probably be 10 or 15 new conservatives in the Senate, and then what happens after that we’ll just have to wait and see.”
As ThinkProgress noted earlier this week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — another tea party darling who prides herself on bucking the GOP establishment — recently hinted at a plan to overthrow the House Republican leadership and replace them with true “constitutional conservatives.”
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This is insane.
"That's been the majority Republican view for some time," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told TPMDC this afternoon after the weekly GOP press conference. "That there's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy."
I was going to look this stuff up, but Ezra already did:
There's an ontological question here about what, exactly, McConnell considers to be "evidence." But how about the Congressional Budget Office's estimations? "The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for almost half — 48 percent — of this $539 billion in increased costs." How about the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget? Their budget calculator shows that the tax cuts will cost $3.28 trillion between 2011 and 2018. How about George W. Bush's CEA chair, Greg Mankiw, who used the term "charlatans and cranks" for people who believed that "broad-based income tax cuts would have such large supply-side effects that the tax cuts would raise tax revenue." He continued: "I did not find such a claim credible, based on the available evidence. I never have, and I still don't."
There's always this:
There's also the freakin' fact that Bush inherited big surpluses from Clinton, and left the nation's finances in shambles by the time he left. How come Bush's tax cuts didn't pay for themselves?
And finally, there was the Obama tax cuts in the stimulus package -- the largest in the nation's history. Somehow, given all the screaming about the deficit, it's pretty obvious those tax cuts didn't pay for themselves.
Seriously, how can one have a real debate in this country when one of the political parties so divorced from reality and common sense?
Chris Paulse sends along this news article on a recent Bloomberg poll:
Just like the experts, Americans are torn about whether the federal government should focus on curbing spending or creating jobs, the poll conducted July 9-12 shows. Seven of 10 Americans say reducing unemployment is the priority. At the same time, the public is skeptical of the Obama administration?s stimulus program and wary of more spending, with more than half saying the deficit is ?dangerously out of control.? . . . The only deficit-reduction measure that gets strong support in the poll is higher taxes on upper-income Americans. . . . Asked about a range of options to cut the budget deficit, the public is willing to consider removing the cap on earnings covered by the Social Security tax, currently set at just under $107,000, and eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy enacted under Bush. . . .
The public gives the Obama administration little credit for its tax cuts, which according to the Washington-based Tax Policy Center lowered federal income taxes for 93 percent of filers. Asked to compare their federal income taxes to what they paid during George W. Bush?s presidency, only 7 percent say they are lower; 20 percent say their taxes are higher and 65 percent say they are about the same.
Americans? anxieties over the economy are reflected in the top issues they see facing the country: Unemployment and jobs, cited by 41 percent, and the federal deficit, cited by 26 percent, dwarfed other concerns. . . . The two big priorities are reversed among respondents who say they will definitely vote in November and say the election is exceptionally important. A 41 percent plurality name the deficit as the top issue, compared with 33 percent who pick jobs among those who say they are intensely interested in the November congressional elections.
Senate forecast, July 14th: 52.31 Democratic seats (rounds to 52, up from 51.94)The latest Senate[...]
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