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Note: the following questions, for the most part, are taken directly from the spouse DADT survey run by the Defense Department. Most of the time, the wording (PDF) of the questions has not even been changed. However, the author of the[...]
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All week, we have been offering birthday wishes to various folks. Today, a tangent on that--happy 51st birthday to...Hawaii! The beautiful archipelago became our fiftieth state on August 21st of 1959, when President Eisenhower signed a proclamation that came on the heels of the passage of a statehood bill in Congress and the overwhelming support of Hawaiians in a statewide referendum.
So a hearty mahalo to the state of Hawaii for being a critical part of the American fabric. With that, onward to the (very full) weekend edition of the Wrap...
AK-Sen: Hotline On Call focuses on the forgotten primary
With just three days until the next time Americans head to the polls, most of the attention has been focused on Florida and Arizona. Lost in the shuffle, meanwhile, is a race that got a lot of early hype and then faded into the ether: the Senate primary in Alaska between incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski and Mama Grizzly's preferred candidate, attorney Joe Miller. Hotline on Call looks at the race, and comes up with a pretty decent reason why it fell of the radar screens: it might not be all that competitive. Despite the support of the Palin and Tea Party express crowds, Miller does not appear to have made any headway in his battle against Murkowski.
FL-Sen: Greene's biz dirty laundry hits Florida newspaper
When you are running for office, in part, of imparting your business acumen on the swamp in Washington, stories like this on Election Eve are bound to be a little bit unhelpful:
"We thought it was super. Somebody was going to invest money into the stores, get supplies, get us everything we need to run a business," she said, referring to Greene, whose Sunshine Energy LLC acquired the lease to her gas station and others in September 2009. "In the beginning, it seemed like that was going to happen. Then suddenly, nothing."
By February, Rose was having problems with vendors, who refused to deliver beer or soda unless they were paid cash. Her store and others occasionally ran out of gas because of supply problems. Payroll hours were cut. She put buckets around the store whenever it rained because a leak in the roof was not fixed.
"It started spiraling down, getting worse and worse," Rose said.
The convenience stores in question were eventually seized by the local landlord, who claimed that Greene's company breached contract by not providing proper maintenance of the properties. Greene, not surprisingly, is vehemently protesting the seizures, in a matter that has now gone to the courts.
GA-Sen: Second poll confirms Isakson is no lock in the Peach State
Less than a week after Rasmussen, of all people, showed that Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson could be potentially vulnerable, their finding was echoed by Insider Advantage. The southern-based pollster has Isakson under 50%, with the Republican at 47% and Democratic nominee Michael Thurmond at 35%. In what could provide an intriguing twist, I-A has Libertarian candidate Chuck Donovan at 7% of the vote. This means, of course, that 2010 could mimic 2008, when GOP Senator was forced into a post-November runoff election before he finished off Democrat Jim Martin.
IL-Sen: GOP pollster first in some time to claim a Kirk lead
It has been a good long while since a pollster has put Republican Congressman Mark Kirk out front in his battle with Democrat Alexi Giannoulias (early June, to be exact). But a GOP-leaning pollster, We Ask America, is claiming just that, releasing a survey showing Kirk with a 39-33 lead over Giannoulias. The difference is a large lead for Kirk with Independents (other pollsters have shown this metric far closer), and the fact that W.A.A. claims that Kirk is claiming 12% of the Democratic vote.
LA-Sen: Vitter dominating GOP primary, still wigging out about it
Here are two pieces of news out of the Pelican State that seem to lack a bit of congruency. Item #1: incumbent Republican David Vitter is not reacting particularly well to the hard-hitting new ad from GOP challenger Chet Traylor. Indeed, his campaign is throwing out lawsuit threats against any state radio stations that agree to run the ad. Item #2: Traylor is apparently not a dire threat to Vitter. A new poll out from Clarus Research gives Vitter a little sixty-nine point advantage (74-5) over Traylor, with perennial candidate Nick Accardo at 3%.
The pollster also hit on the Democratic primaries and general election. Congressman Charlie Melancon has a clear lead in the Democratic Senate primary, with 43% of the vote (both of his challengers combined log in at 5%). In the general, Vitter maintains a solid-but-not-dominant lead over Melancon, leading the Democrat by a 48-36 margin.
NH-Sen: Hodes latest Democrat to call for Warren nomination
Another day, another prominent Democratic challenger calling on President Obama to nominate Elizabeth Warren as the head of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This time around, it is New Hampshire's Paul Hodes, who wrote the following on Friday: "Middle class Americans need a tough fighter like Dr. Warren to hold the Wall Street banks and credit card companies accountable. She saw what an out-of-control Wall Street was doing to our economy, and has fought hard every step of the way to tip the scales away from special interests and back towards average hard-working Americans."
WA-Sen: SUSA poll claims modest post-primary lead for GOP's Rossi
This is a rather eye-popping result: the first post-primary poll for SurveyUSA shows Republican Dino Rossi having no trouble consolidating the GOP vote...and then some. Rossi, according to SUSA, holds a seven-point edge (52-45) over incumbent Democratic Senator Patty Murray. It does seem somewhat peculiar that Murray will not be able to even hold down the 46+% that she earned just this past Tuesday. Evidently, SUSA is forecasting a surge of GOP voters to the polls in November that simply won't be matched by the Democrats.
WV-Sen: Manchin has huge lead in Senate special election
Local pollster RL Repass looks ahead to November in the Mountain State, and finds that Democratic Governor Joe Manchin is going to ride his high popularity (65% job approval) into a new gig in Washington DC. The local pollster gives Manchin a twenty-two point lead over self-funding GOP businessman John Raese (54-32). Repass also looks ahead to 2012, and finds Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant as the frontrunners to replace Manchin in the governor's mansion.
AZ-08: Kelly's final pre-primary gambit--dissing Mama Grizzly?
Wow...this is pretty damned interesting. Jesse Kelly, the twenty-something veteran who is running as the GOP teabagger alternative in the hot primary to challenge Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, took a pretty interesting swipe at Sarah Palin. Kelly knocked Palin (who he still says has his 2012 support, given the current field) for making politically safe endorsements (Carly Fiorina and Terry Branstad come immediately to mind), saying that voters want "political courage" right now. Kelly's establishment challenger, former state legislator Jonathan Paton, immediately wedded himself to Palin, lambasting Kelly for saying not-nice things about the self-appointed GOP kingmaker. In the strangest footnote to this quite-strange story, this may well be the only competitive race in the Union in which Palin has not offered an endorsement.
FL-22: Allen West's near-Macaca moment?
Memo to all Republican officeholders and office-seekers: those guys with video cameras at your events are called trackers. It is an accepted action in American politics. You do yourself absolutely no good wigging out about it. Just ask this dude. Allen West is the latest to step in. While his gaffe might not rise to George Allen level, it is pretty bad nonetheless. Noting the presence of a tracker for the Democrats, West jumped on the young man, saying the following:
"I know here today we have a representative from the Florida Democratic party and he is here to film me and his whole purpose of filming me is to take what I say and allow other people to distort it so they can misrepresent me. You know if we allow those Gestapo-type intimidation tactics to prevail in the United States of America what happens to our liberties, what happens to our freedoms?"
If saying that a tracker represents Gestapo tactics is a bit over-the-top, consider it even a bit more so when you consider that: (A) West's opponent, incumbent Democrat Ron Klein, is Jewish and (B) the tracker himself, who worked for the Florida Democratic Party, was the grandson of Holocaust survivors.
West might have other problems, however, like finding his district. An article in the Broward New Times two weeks ago noted that not only does West live in the adjoining 20th district, he recently held a town hall in the 19th district, and opened a campaign office in the...23rd district. He has, to his credit, opened some offices in the 22nd district in which he is running, as well.
IL-10/IL-11/IL-14: GOP takes two of three seats in GOP poll
In three potentially competitive seats, it looks like a net gain of one seat for the GOP, according to new polls out Friday from the GOP-friendly pollsters at We Ask America. The pollsters give the GOP two seats held by Democratic incumbents, claiming that Adam Kinzinger has an eye-popping twenty point edge in IL-11 (52-32) over Democratic freshman Debbie Halvorson, while GOP state legislator Randy Hultgren has a more modest seven point advantage over Bill Foster (44-37). The lone bright spot for the Dems: W.A.A. also looks at the open 10th district (vacated by GOP Senate nominee Mark Kirk), and finds that Democrat Dan Seals has a lead (43-40) over Republican Bob Dold.
NY-13: GOP field may splinter in McMahon seat
Democrat Michael McMahon is running for re-election in a potentially hostile district, but his GOP competitors are doing their best to pave his path to a second term. The latest move came from GOP challenger Michael Allegretti, who filed 5000 signatures to form a new party line for November. Dubbed the Taxpayer's Party, Allegretti seeks the ballot line because of a schism in the local Conservative Party, which endorsed Allegretti's GOP foe, Michael Grimm. What this means, if it goes through, is that both Grimm and Allegretti will be on the November ballot, no matter which of the two gentlemen survives next month's GOP primary. All hail intrasquad discord!
CA-Gov: Whitman has issues with her right flank as GOP confab opens
Apparently, $100+ million has not bought peace between GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman and her right-wing base. As a semi-annual Republican convention looms this weekend, several delegates who represent the more conservative members of the caucus are quite vocal in their discontent with the nominee. Echoing a charge made by many progressives, the rightward base is nothing with contempt that the Meg Whitman of the general election sounds dramatically different than the Meg Whitman of the primary election. One noted derisively: "There's almost nothing left of primary Meg...As long as that's the case, she's not going to get Republican voters to turnout." At issue, in particular, are the issues of immigration and taxes.
FL-Gov (R): Frontrunners bludgeon each other all the way to the finish
It will be a miracle if either business magnate Rick Scott or state Attorney General Bill McCollum have favorabilities over 30% when their long and brutal primary finally lurches to a conclusion this week. New campaign finance documents report that Scott dumped eight figures into his flagging campaign in the last twelve days ($12 million in total). Meanwhile, Scott was waylaid by the revelation (conveniently dropped on Election Eve by Team McCollum) that he invoked his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination an eye-popping 75 times during a 2000 deposition. The deposition came in the midst of a massive Medicare fraud investigation that the government was undertaking against Scott's company, Columbia/HCA.
FL-Gov (D): Get me Buddy Chiles...stat!
Best political proclamation of the year comes from minor Democratic candidate Brian Moore, who is pretty likely to be on the unpleasant end of a landslide in the Democratic Primary, courtesy of state CFO Alex Sink. Moore assailed Sink's selection of former state legislator Rod Smith as her choice for LG, and issued a press release today saying that after his victory on Tuesday, he plans on calling up "Buddy Chiles" and offering the LG gig to him. Bud Chiles (who, as far as we know, has never been known as Buddy) is currently waging an Independent bid for Governor. The son of former Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles, his campaign made clear today that despite the overwhelming temptation, they'll stick with their own Indie bid for the office.
GA-Gov: Runoff highly possible in competitive guv's race
The new Insider Advantage poll out of Georgia referenced earlier vis-a-vis the Senate race has even more intriguing numbers for Governor. The poll gives Republican Nathan Deal a narrow lead of just four points over Democrat Roy Barnes (45-41). What's more, the poll gives Libertarian challenger John Monds 5% of the vote. If the undecideds break anywhere near evenly, it becomes very possible that this election will be forced into a post-November runoff. Another wildcard, of course, is the potentially ongoing investigations about ethical issues which helped to hasten Deal's resignation from the Congress. While Deal maintained that he resigned to focus on his gubernatorial campaign, he was under an ethics committee investigation, one that was rendered moot when he left office. There have been persistent rumors that a federal investigation into the affair is still rolling along.
MN-Gov: Indie candidate carves center (center-right?) path in 1st ad
Anyone wondering which of the major nominees was going to be impacted most heavily by Independence Party gubernatorial nominee Tom Horner is probably still wondering in the wake of the third party challenger's first ad. Horner carves a pretty post-partisan path, assailing both parties for looking too far to the ideological edges (using the fairly disturbing graphic of a man whose eyes...one red and one blue...look in polar opposite directions). However, Horner's radio advertising features his former boss, moderate GOP Senator Dave Durenberger. That might be a nod to moderate GOPers nonplussed by the ideological rigidity of their party's nominee, Tom Emmer.
OR-Gov: Kitzhaber catches break as leftish third party stands down
Democratic gubernatorial nominee (and former two-term Governor) John Kitzhaber has one less electoral headache to deal with, as the presumptive candidacy of left-leaning third-party challenger Jerry Wilson was denied by the party itself Thursday evening. Wilson, who drew 7% of the vote in a recent SUSA poll, lost his ballot line when the party elected not to fill their spot on the ballot for Governor (they did, however, choose to do so in several downballot races). There are a couple of competing theories as to why this happened: some question Wilson's plan to wage an internet-only campaign, while Wilson himself says he was told that the party was concerned that he might fail to reach the 1% of the vote standard, which would cost the party their guaranteed line on the ballot. Kitzhaber has had great luck with left-of-center Indie candidacies. Three weeks ago, the Pacific Green Party also declined to field a gubernatorial candidate.
Given that the Ras-sies have "some dude" (much love to Swing State Project for that term) within sixteen points of Barbara Mikulski in Maryland, I think it is safe to say that the House of Ras hasn't lost their touch yet, despite having some numbers that have been mimicked by other pollsters in recent days. I'd also place bets that the Alabama Governor's race is closer than the betting line Rasmussen puts up to close out the week.
AL-Gov: Robert Bentley (R) 58%, Ron Sparks (D) 34%
AR-Gov: Gov. Mike Beebe (D) 53%, Jim Keet (R) 33%
AR-Sen: John Boozman (R) 65%, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) 27%
MD-Sen: Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) 55%, Eric Wargotz (R) 39%
WY-Gov: Matt Mead (R) 58%, Leslie Peterson (D) 24%
Title: Saturday SunArtist: Nick Drake
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Happy Saturday! And don't forget our sister site Newstalgia has for its Backstage Weekend concert, Muddy Waters Live in Paris, 1964.
File this hilarious photograph in the "Don't believe everything you see" folder.
With the United States becoming a loony been of under-medicated color-aroused insanity, it's nice to see that someone still has a sense of humor.
Of course, this photograph is doubly ironic because Palin reportedly told one of the Duke Ellington Band players that she doesn't mix with Black men.
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The Manhattan Mosque of Murderous Musselmen nonsensical bigotry has been so deeply stupidly bigotedly annoying in a bigoted stupid nonsensical way that it seems like it’s been going on for months now, which, in fact, it has. And NRO’s Andy[...]
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SCOTUS Quiz Time, Courtesy Of The New York Times: Answer six questions to see how your views align with those of the Roberts court and all Americans… Yes, I’ll admit: I needed to take an easy week and I apologize for not giving more updates in the last few days. There has been so much...
This is only a comment summary. Visit http://guntotingliberal.com to view the lastest content complete with some of the most outrageous original photoshops in the political blogosphere!
Republican Allen West is the Tea Party candidate for House in Florida’s 22nd district ... said:
[A]s I was driving up here today, I saw that bumper sticker that absolutely incenses me. It’s not the Obama bumper sticker. But it’s the bumper sticker that says, ‘Co-exist.’ And it has all the little religious symbols on it. And the reason why I get upset, and every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are. The liberties that we want to enjoy.”
West went on to call Islam a “very vile and very vicious enemy that we have allowed to come in this country because we ride around with bumper stickers that say co-exist.”
Muckraking Swedish journalist who is a thorn in the side of the powerful, who in turn wish to see him destroyed, is accused of a crime designed to call into question both his journalism and his reputation.[...]
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(Boris Yeltsin in Moscow August 21, 1991 - things got a bit tense)
It was almost 1964 all over again, when Nikita Khruschev suddenly left office. Citing reasons of "health", Khruschev had been the oject of a coup of hardliners who felt Niki was going soft. The same thing happened during the early hours of August 19th and continued into the following several days. Mikhail Gorbachev had been the object of an attempted takeover by a hardline military coup. The pretense was supposedly the same; "health reasons". But this time the genie had been out of the bottle via Glasnost and Perestroika and the shift the Soviet Union was taking wasn't about to go back. Federation leader Boris Yeltsin, defying the military crackdown rallied popular support and the coup was resisted, eventually collapsing.
Since today was the nail-biting day (August 21st), I thought I would post excerpts of the first 24 hours, staring from the morning of 20th and going till President Bush's press conference during the afternoon of the 21st.
Nineteen years ago today it was coming thick and fast.