I just now have been informed that yesterday my vice presidential unit participated in a televised interview, during which he specified his opinion that as the leader of our ticket, I, Mitt Romney, will be the one deciding what our campaign stance will be with regards to the permissibility of abortion for rape victims.
That damn bastard.
Since the 8th of August, nothing having to do with the Arctic Challenger project has broken in favor of speeding things up.At the time, I was probably the only person to publicly claim that Shell might not get it together in time to even drill a single[...]
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So, a judge in Texas says that there might be civil war if Obama is re-elected. I have never heard such craziness. Why wasn't there civil war when he was elected the first time? Why would there be civil war now? Could it be that Fox News is over stoking conservatives with craziness? More from
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Judging from both the volume and the tenor of the comments in the Tuesday edition of the Wrap, the polls that got the most attention were the pair of polls by Michigan-based McCollum Foster White, in conjunction with Baydoun Consulting. With new polls giving Mitt Romney a marginal lead in Michigan, and a gigantic one in Florida, the old maxim seemed most apt: if it looks too bad (or too good) to be true, it usually is.
Our community immediately leapt on some demographic numbers within those polls that absolutely deserve scrutiny, and can fairly call into question the veracity of the poll.
Now, that is often the last province of the losers in the poll analysis game. When a poll is released, those on the short end of the numerical stick often dive under the hood, looking for any seemingly aberrant stat in the sample, in hopes of hanging an "outlier" tag on the entire poll.
Well, there are times where that is semi-foolish wishful thinking, and there are times where it might be more legit. That's what we'll explore after we check out the (rather varied) data buffet for this Wednesday.
And, with that, on with the numbers...
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (AP/GfK): Obama d. Romney (47-46)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Romney d. Obama (47-45)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Romney d. Obama (46-44)
NATIONAL (YouGov): Obama tied with Romney (45-45)
FLORIDA (Gravis Marketing): Romney d. Obama (48-45)
GEORGIA (20/20 Insight for A Better Georgia?D): Romney d. Obama (49-46)
MASSACHUSETTS (PPP): Obama d. Romney (55-39)
MONTANA (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (55-38)
NEVADA (SurveyUSA for Las Vegas Review-Journal): Obama d. Romney (47-45)
NEW MEXICO (Rasmussen): Obama d. Romney (52-38)
VERMONT (Castleton State College): Obama d. Romney (62-25)
WISCONSIN (Marquette Law School): Obama d. Romney (49-46)
AZ-02 (OnMessage for the McSally campaign): Rep. Ron Barber (D) 50, Martha McSally (R) 45A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
CT-SEN (Rasmussen): Linda McMahon (R) 49, Chris Murphy (D) 46
FL-SEN (Gravis Marketing): Sen. Bill Nelson (D) 46, Connie Mack IV (R) 39
VT-GOV (Castleton State College): Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) 60, Randy Brock (R) 26
WI-SEN (Marquette Law School): Tommy Thompson (R) 50, Tammy Baldwin (D) 41
WI-SEN (PPP): Tommy Thompson (R) 49, Tammy Baldwin (D) 44
Since the Dems are getting 3 days of coverage (since they only have 3 days), the GOP is also:
Ann Romney may not make prime time during next week's Republican National Convention.
The three major television networks — NBC, ABC and CBS — are not airing prime-time coverage of the RNC on Monday, the opening night of the convention and the night that Ann Romney has been scheduled to deliver the keynote address. So in order to get Mitt's wife onto television, the campaign may have to scramble and reschedule her speech.
Of course, the broadcast networks have been cutting back coverage for years now, and 3 nights of 1 hour coverage (maybe 2 on Thursday) has been the norm for a while.
Update: The networks did have 4 hours of each convention in 2008, driven by Obama/Clinton interest, and the need to match on the GOP side. But they did 3 hours each in 04.
Also, due to the NBC season-opening football game, NBC will not broadcast on Wednesday, but will broadcast an extra hour on Thursday.
Wednesday was among the busiest polling days of the year; we added 14 new surveys to our database. But it was not a knockout day for either of the candidates.
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Frank Szabo wants the people of Hillsborough County, N.H., to know that if they elect him as sheriff this year, he will do whatever it takes to stop doctors from performing abortions — even if that means using deadly force.
In an interview on Wednesday with local television station WMUR, Szabo said he believed sheriffs were granted special powers under the Constitution. That means, he said, he would be empowered to arrest or even use deadly force against doctors for providing legal abortions for women.
"I would hope that it wouldn't come to that, as with any situation where someone was in danger," Szabo said. "But again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped."
He clarified it did not apply to cases in which the mother's life was in danger. "That's a medical decision. That's out of the area I'm talking about," he said.
It's not clear what kind of chance Szabo has at winning the race. He claims endorsements from Jack Kimball, the former chairman of the state Republican Party, as well as multiple tea party groups. But WMUR reported that the state's House speaker was already calling for Szabo to drop out of the race after his comments surfaced.
Szabo said he believed sheriffs are given enormous authority under his interpretation of the Constitution. When pressed about what he would do if a prosecutor declined to charge a doctor he arrested, he said the answer was simple.
"If they choose not to do their duty and uphold the Constitution," Szabo said, "they can be brought up on charges before what's called a citizen's grand jury, which is something that's not that common in the United States. But again, it is something based in common law that's within the purview of the county sheriff."
See his whole interview with WMUR here.
Two members of a Georgia militia arrested in a disrupted plot to kill government officials last year were each sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to conspiring to obtain an unregistered explosive device and silencer.
Frederick Thomas, a 73-year-old from Cleveland, Ga., and 68-year-old Dan Roberts of Toccoa, Ga., were each sentenced to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Both were members of fringe militia organization they referred to as a "covert group." Federal authorities arrested them in November 2011 for allegedly plotting to attack U.S. citizens and federal employees using the biological toxin ricin. Their alleged targets included Attorney General Eric Holder and former Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney.
One reason the feds might have chosen not to pursue further charges: Joe Sims, the FBI's confidential informant in the case wasn't exactly an upstanding citizen. Sims was accused of molesting his step children and failed a polygraph test after claiming to know about a plot to blow up buildings in Atlanta, according to a story in Esquire earlier this year.
Thomas was allegedly the leader of the group and had a "bucket list" of government officials he wanted to kill. He allegedly told his fellow co-defendants that when it "comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die." Roberts claimed to be in communication with a "loose cannon" Army soldier who could provide him with ricin and said he "could shoot ATF and IRS all day long." TPM obtained both of their mugshots via FOIA request.
"These defendants didn't just talk about killing government officials and law enforcement officers, they purchased equipment, including a silencer and what they thought were explosive devices, to carry out their plans," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. "Now they will spend five years in prison."
The feds alleged that the plot was inspired by the online novel "Absolved," which was written by Mike Vanderboegh, the blogger who wrote some of the first posts about the ATF's Fast and Furious scandal.
The two other defendants in the case -- Ray H. Adams and Samuel J. Crump -- are going to trial.
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The fundamental problem for the Republican party isn't Todd Akin's crazy rape statement on Sunday, or the fact that he refused to drop out of the Senate race, or even that other Republican extremists like Steve King are keeping the story alive by supporting and encouraging him (more on that below). The fundamental problem is the Republican party base, which Akin, King, and yes, Paul Ryan sit snugly and comfortably in the middle of.
So, yes, the last few days have been rough for Todd Akin and the Republican Party. First came the local news interview, that little "legitimate rape" thingy. Then came the rightfully angry responses from women and the faux outrage from fellow Republicans (who mostly had agreed with Akin on his abortion policy and his attempts to narrow the definition of rape), then the "sorry but not sorry" apology from Akin, then came Romney and Ryan assuring voters that their administration would not deny abortions to victims of rape and incest - even though their platform and Ryan's voting record contradict that statement.
Right about now, the Republican Party is trying to paint Todd Akin as an extreme outlier, an embarrassing anomaly with views far from anything that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would believe. But they can't put this story to bed so easily. Ryan's voting record, and the record of the House Republicans on these issues, won't let them. And neither will the candidates they will have to run with in key swing states like Iowa Congressman Steve King. If King is any indication, and I believe he is, Akin isn't as far out of line as the GOP would like voters to think. King, who is in of the most highly targeted races in the country against a great Democratic candidate Christie Vilsack, defended Akin yesterday, saying he didn't know anyone who had been raped and gotten pregnant either.
Meanwhile, the same day, at the Iowa State Fair to a crowd of excited fans, Iowa Congressman Steve King announced that he would do everything he could to help his good friend, Paul Ryan, and his running mate Mitt Romney get to the White House. He told the crowd that "Paul listens to me," and that he would play a huge role in the Romney/Ryan administration. Yeah, huge.
Some background on Ryan's close friend Steve King is in order for those who may not know of him. While Romney and Ryan have been trying to balance a conservative credibility with their moderate public image, King has made no such attempts. This past May at a town hall meeting in Pocahontas, Iowa, King answered a question regarding immigration. He said that the United States historically has had the "pick of the litter" when it came to immigrants. He compared immigrants to dogs, saying:
"We've always had bird dogs around our place in our family. There's a black lab and a white lab, a yellow lab, and my brother has a chocolate lab. Well you go in and you look at the litter of pups, and you watch them. You want a good bird dog, and you want the one that's gonna be aggressive? Pick the one that's the friskiest, the one that's in the games the most - not the one that's over there sleeping in the corner. You want a pet to sit on the couch, pick the one that's sleeping in the corner."
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Given how much respect King has for dogs, this was a pretty incendiary comment.
What King and Akin represent is a growing Tea Party influence on the once-moderate Republican Party. More candidates are rising through the ranks, backed with Tea Party intensity, Koch brothers and other special interest money, and far right Christian ideas, to remake the "American Dream" and bring "values" back to a godless and secular United States. What would have seemed ridiculous to propose 10 years ago is being passed through state legislatures across the country and in the Republican controlled US House. These days, states blatantly ignore Roe v. Wade, while other states pass laws like Arizona SB 1070 to aggressively question and detain anyone who looks as though they may be an illegal immigrant.
King and Akin also represent a view of government that Romney and Ryan try to downplay in the press. But both Romney and Ryan are clearly pro-life. Romney said that he would "absolutely" support a personhood bill to protect unborn fetuses and criminalize abortion, Ryan has throughout his career supported outlawing abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and as mentioned before the Republican platform on the issue is at the far edge of extremism. And don't forget that Paul Ryan - along with Akin, King, and 213 other Republican members of Congress, the vast majority of their caucus - cosponsored HR-3. The bill, as amended and passed in the House of Representatives, was designed to keep taxpayer money from funding abortions, and in the first draft, also legally redefined rape to "forcible" rape, and banned abortion in cases of rape and incest as well.
Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the GOP are trying desperately to turn the subject back to the economy, because the hard times of the last 4 years has made voters open to kicking the incumbent out. They say that Todd Akin and Steve King misspoke, and that their views do not represent the whole of the Republican Party. But while candidates from the Republican base like Akin and King aren't as slick as Romney and Ryan and the way they express themselves isn't as carefully poll-tested, the fact is that both on social issues and economic issues, Romney and Ryan's policy positions are every bit as extreme as the Republican base. The fact that Romney picked Paul Ryan, whose stands on abortion re identical to Akin and King and whose budget could have been written by the Koch brothers, is the ultimate sign that the far right tea party Republican base is thoroughly in charge.
Steve King was right was right. Paul Ryan does listen to him. He would be a huge player in a Romney-Ryan administration. No matter how off-message King and Akin are, they and the Republican base run the Republican party's policy platform.
This afternoon we received a press release from the site that bills itself as the "world's largest sugar daddy dating website" announcing a poll of its membership's presidential preferences. And the results came back with a smashing win for Mitt Romney.[...]
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