The Wrap is being written, for what it is worth, by a guy wearing a parka at the moment. Because...seriously...when you have languished in 108-degree heat for five days, 75 degrees feels downright frosty.
Here is hoping that everyone has made it home from Netroots Nation 2010 in Vegas safely and happily. And for those who haven't had their political fill in the wake of that wondrous event, there is quite a bit to peruse in the Monday edition of the Wrap....
IN-Sen: Indiana Dems tweak Coats for lobbyist past
While the Wrap will not cover every new ad that gets launched this cycle, I am enough of a sucker for parody ads that this one made the cut. The Indiana Democratic Party gives a good-natured smack to Republican nominee Dan Coats (a former Senator and lobbyist) by going through his lobbying greatest hits by riffing off of the famous "priceless" MasterCard commercials. Worth a watch, to be sure.
KS-Sen: Moran's former campaign head kisses Tiahrt, tells on Moran
Paul Moore used to be the campaign manager for Senate candidate Jerry Moran. He has now endorsed Moran's opponent, Congressman Todd Tiahrt. That, in itself, is interesting. But it gets more interesting when you see what Moore is saying about Moran. Moore complains in an AP article that Moran "winced" at being referred to as a conservative, fearful of alienating pro-choice moderates in a state whose rivalry between mods and cons is the stuff of legend. That is probably not the story Moran wants to see with eight days remaining in his primary.
LA-Sen: Vitter internal claims enormous primary edge
The Vitter/NRSC internal poll giving him a big lead over Charlie Melancon was posted on the Wrap this weekend, but SSP's Crisitunity caught another data point of note in that internal. The poll gives Vitter a dominant edge in the Republican primary: Vitter polls at 76%, with former judge Chet Traylor at 5% and former Indie House candidate Nick Accardo at 2%.
NH-Sen: Palin becoming Paul Hodes' best asset, according to PPP
Tom Jensen from PPP is a master poll-tease. Today, he hinted at the results his crew will release tomorrow in the New Hampshire Senate race. From the looks of things, the Sarah Palin endorsement of Attorney General Kelly Ayotte had divergent impacts on the landscape in the Granite State. Jensen teases that the tip of the cap from Mama Grizzly has made Ayotte more popular than ever among GOP primary voters, but less popular than ever among the general electorate. Expect Ayotte's edge over Hodes to be smaller than ever when the poll is released tomorrow.
SC-Sen: Alvin Greene...Superstar
This is a pretty unbelievable statistic: according to Yahoo's Michael Calderone, the candidate who received more media coverage than any other 2010 candidate is...Alvin Greene, the accidental Senate nominee from South Carolina. Greene tops the chart, followed by Nikki Haley, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. In fairness to the American press, however, this study by Pew only included media coverage from June 8th (the primary day for South Carolina) through July 18th.
WI-Sen: Ron Johnson hates the President, loves BP
Two separate news items from the weekend paint a pretty ugly picture of likely GOP Senate nominee Ron Johnson. The first one came during the weekend, when Johnson sat mute while a campaign town hall guest ripped President Obama as a "criminal" and an "American-hater." When asked if he agreed with that sentiment, Johnson stammered a bit, saying "I am not going to argue with...arm wrestle you about it." On Monday, Johnson revealed something he can stand for--profitting from BP. After saying two weeks ago he was going to dump his BP stock, Johnson is now saying that he has not made a final decision. Either way, he is a pretty bad guy. Either he sells the stock and pays for his campaign with BP's blood on his hands, or he keeps the stocks and advocates on their behalf, because he personally stands to gain from their success.
MN-06: Clark claims major endorsement for general election
Law enforcement will apparently have the back of Democratic House contender (and NN10 attendee) Tarryl Clark. The MPPOA, the largest police union in the state, has endorsed Clark over incumbent Republican Michele Bachmann. The union has endorsed Republicans in the past (including Norm Coleman in 2008), but has never endorsed Bachmann in her three bids for the House.
NE-02: Terry told to keep partying ways to a minimum
This is delicious, especially for a candidate in the Heartland. Both Roll Call and the New York Post ran stories today highlighting the renewed efforts of Minority Leader John Boehner to keep his caucus out of trouble amid a wave of frat-like behavior, particularly with female lobbyists. The best nugget from the stories, however, is the actions of one Lee Terry, who is locked into a potentially competitive battle with Democrat Tom White. Check out this little excerpt from one of the Post's reporters:
GOP Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska -- who's in a tough race against Democratic opponent Tom White -- was witnessed by Page Six in close conversation with a comely lobbyist at the Capitol Hill Club in DC recently.
"Why did you get me so drunk?" Terry asked the giggling woman, among other personal remarks.
When Terry realized he was sitting near a reporter, he quickly changed the topic of conversation to his three children and the struggle to pay their college tuition.
Terry was given a 100 percent rating by the Christian Coalition for his pro-family voting record.
NM-01: Dueling polls paint very different pictures of race
Depending on who you believe, either Democrat Martin Heinrich has a double-digit lead in his re-election bid with Jon Barela, or he is trailing him. Those are the split verdicts from a pair of polls that came to light today. KOB's poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, had Barela out in front of Henrich by a 51-45 margin. This shows a bit of consistency for SUSA, who has been bearish on Democratic prospects virtually across the board. Heinrich's campaign immediately countered with a poll from GQR (a Democratic pollster, but one that has been pretty even-handed in the past). They polled about two weeks ago, and had Heinrich leading Barela by a dozen points (53-41).
PA-03: Kelly internal poll claims double digit lead over Dem freshman
This is an internal poll with a fairly small sample size, so use more salt than what would normally be prescribed for an internal. That said, a new Tarrance poll conducted for Republican challenger Mike Kelly has the Republican staked to an eleven-point edge over Democratic incumbent Kathy Dahlkemper (48-37). The poll claims a surprisingly high level of name recognition (67%) for Kelly.
RI-01: Progressive upstart nabs major endorsement
He might not be the leading fundraiser in the Democratic field, but progressive candidate (and NN10 attendee) David Segal claimed a big endorsement in his bid to topple better-funded candidates like Providence Mayor Kevin Cicilline and former state party chair William Lynch. Segal, a state legislator, earned the endorsement of the state teachers union. The union is on an endorsement kick, having given Lincoln Chafee their nod late last week.
GA-Gov: Deal internal poll claims a toss-up in runoff
It is still a couple of weeks until the gubernatorial runoff for the GOP in the Peach State, and last week's primary runner-up has a new poll out claiming that it is a coin flip (PDF file). The poll, taken for former Congressman Nathan Deal by McLaughlin, claims a one-point lead for Deal over primary frontrunner Karen Handel (39-38). The winner of the Handel-Deal runoff will battle with former Democratic Governor Roy Barnes in November.
KY-Gov (2011): Former Rand Paul manager teasing '11 ticket reveal
By the end of the week, we will know why former Rand Paul campaign manager David Adams parachuted out of the Paul campaign. A tweet from local political site Bluegrass Politics claims that Adams will unveil a candidate for the 2011 gubernatorial race. The GOP will be challenging incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, and Adams claims that the candidate he will be working with will have Tea Party support.
OK-Gov: General more competitive than primaries, according to new poll
There was some seriously interesting polling data emerging from the Sooner State over the weekend. Apparently, tomorrow's primaries are not going to be terribly competitive. As expected, Congresswoman Mary Fallin is cleaning house on the GOP side, with a 56-18 lead over state legislator Randy Brogdon. However, the Democratic side was expected to be a bit more competitive than it apparently will be: Attorney General Drew Edmondson has a 49-33 lead over Lt. Governor Jari Askins. Even more interesting, however, is that the general election is considerably closer than most folks would have wagered. Fallin leads Askins by just six points (46-40) and Edmondson by just eight points (47-39). Despite the deep-red profile of Oklahoma, this would be a pickup for the GOP, as Fallin would replace term-limited Democrat Brad Henry.
TN-Gov: Haslam has sizeable primary and general elex leads, says M-D
With about a week to go until their primary elections, Mason Dixon has waded into Tennessee, and they see good news for the uber-wealthy mayor of Knoxville, Republican Bill Haslam. The Mason Dixon poll has Haslam leading Congressman Zach Wamp by eleven points (36-25), with Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey trailing with 20% of the vote. Haslam also has a sizeable lead (49-31) over the sole Democrat in the running, Mike McWherter. All three Republicans hold leads over McWherter, although both Wamp (45-38) and Ramsey (43-38) are considerably weaker than Haslam.
The House of Ras goes from the desert to the prairies to the sea with their trio of polling results. None of them would qualify as a surprise, though, as the continued rule of incumbents and quasi-incumbents carries the day. This is good news for two Republicans (Senator John McCain and Governor-turned-Senate candidate John Hoeven) and one Democrat (Governor Deval Patrick).
AZ-Sen (R): Sen. John McCain 54%, J.D. Hayworth 34%
MA-Gov: Gov. Deval Patrick (D) 38%, Charlie Baker (R) 34%, Tim Cahill (I) 17%
ND-Sen: John Hoeven (R) 69%, Tracy Potter (D) 22%
h/t Mike Finnigan: Showing Rainer Wehinger's 1970's visual listening score to accompany Gyorgy Ligeti's Artikulation.
Open Thread below...
Hey, Fix Noise, check out this new Breitbart video (more here)...
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...and I must sing this song about 20 times a day (inside joke).
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-Israel?s public diplomacy minister, Yuli Edelstein is nauseating and racist, but like all bigots, Edelstein likes to hurl charges of which he and his criminal state are guilty; this time aiming his repulsive fire at modern cinema's greatest director -
Oliver Stone told the bare truth about Vietnam and war in Platoon.
Oliver Stone told the bare truth about money and greed in Wall Street.
One can go on, Midnight Express, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, JFK, and South of the Border and on and on.
Now, Stone tells the truth in an interview with a British newspaper about the militaristic, Zionist propaganda machine.
And sleazy hit pieces abound, though they are particuallygalling in light of Stone's peace-and-justice work that speaks truth to power with an eloquence and courage one finds lacking today.
This is not the first time Oliver Stone has been the victim of a hit piece, but the intellectual dishonesty employed against Stone for daring to tell the hard truth about facets of the rogue state of Israel reveals much about the American political culture though slime like Edelstein would have you believe that the half-Jewish Stone is anti-Semitic, even comparing Stone's comments to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Stone's comments published in the The Sunday Times of London (paid subscription) include a criticism of Hitler's American and British supporters: "Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support. Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people.?
Any student of history knows well the rise of Hitler and other fascists like Francisco Franco came with American and British support during the 1930s; and Russia did lose 25-million souls during WWII. They count as human, right?
Of the Israeli Lobby and propaganda machine, Stone said, ?They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f?? up United States foreign policy for years.?
That's news? That's axiomatic.
Stone issued a statement Monday saying, "In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity - and it was an atrocity."
Fine, but history should teach us that human beings like Russians, Palestinians, Jews, Christians and agnostics are as significant as any other human being.
There is no master race, no chosen people; there are human beings from whom we receive gifts when we defend and honor their humanity.
That bond is something Stone understands and is an ideal that his detractors, the militarists and those who live by the lie, reject and will never appreciate.
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less ... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind," wrote John Donne, an artist and poet of Stone's caliber.
Keep telling the truth, Oliver; the world needs your commitment to humanity more than ever.
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Foolish consistencies are the hobgoblins of Senator Tom Coburn.[...]
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Title: 60 RevolutionsArtist: Gogol Bordello
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A friend posted this video on Facebook, and although I'm not ready to say that I'm a big fan, it has sure piqued my curiosity about this band. I remember sharing stages at festivals with Gogol Bordello but didn't pay much attention to what was going on during their set. Apparently, I missed some excitement. Their Wiki page calls the New York City natives' music 'Gypsy Punk' and say they were named after Russian/Ukrainian author Nikolai Gogol. I can dig it.
Last night I did a post from an African American perspective about white privilege here in A-merry-ca. Tonight, I want to give you another point of view. Jim Webb is the dumbocratic senator from Virgina, and he has some interesting things to say about affirmative action and the perception of white privilege here in A-merry-ca.
This was Jim writing in the Wall Street Journal:
"Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future.
I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white."
The "supposed monolith"? Hmmm. OK, let me read on:
"In an odd historical twist that all Americans see but few can understand, many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations. These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived.
Jim, do you really care about African Americans? (Who we all agree that many of these programs should be benefiting, and not newly arriving immigrants.) Or is it the "similarly situated" white families you are worried about?
"The injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed. But the extrapolation of this logic to all "people of color"?especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.?moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites. It has also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup.
Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have frequently been the beneficiaries of special government programs. The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans, including those whose roots in America go back more than 200 years.
Contrary to assumptions in the law, white America is hardly a monolith. And the journey of white American cultures is so diverse (yes) that one strains to find the logic that could lump them together for the purpose of public policy. " [Article]
Well, actually Jim, there is one thing that makes "white America a monolith"; the color of their skin. But I see where you are going with this: A-mery-cans should reap the benefit of their own government's programs, first.
Since you have discovered that white folks need affirmative action, I wonder how many of your white brethren who despise affirmative action are now ready to change their position? And Jim, what about the role of gender in affirmative action? Have you ever considered how many women benefited from it? Look Jim, I am glad that you decided to wade into the racial minefield which is strewn across A-merry-ca, but you can just jump in without your mine detectors.
Oh, and Jim, before I forget, I have a question for you: Did you vote for the black farmers to be compensated for all the pain and suffering they went through? It's a sad day, Jim. The senate voted to strip the legal settlement for black farmers from the war bill. A billion plus dollars to poor black farmers and their families. I guess this Shirley Sherrod thing pissed off conservatives more than we thought.
"The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future."
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As TPMdc has revealed, Steele is organizing a party fundraising event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles featuring Andrew Breitbart and others.
What does one do when its hard to outdo reality with things we'd otherwise make up?
-- Steve Clemons
Momentum is building to reform Senate rules that allow silent filibusters and force a 60-vote requirement for virtually any action, interviews with Democratic candidates and sitting senators indicate. Democratic candidates said that they hear regularly from voters about abuse of the parliamentary tactic, which is likely to come up as the first vote new senators face in 2011. The supermajority requirement in the Senate has become such an obstacle to reform that it infiltrates policy discussions at every step. Last week at the Netroots Nation political conference, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) gathered environmental writers to discuss energy legislation; the first few questions were related to energy, the rest of the conversation was dominated by the filibuster.
"The use of the filibuster and the way it's led to backroom deals has created the impression in the heartland that the Senate is dysfunctional," said Jack Conway, a Democratic candidate facing Republican Rand Paul in Kentucky. "They don't understand why Washington can't address the issues people care about. People in Kentucky wanted people focused on jobs -- 14 months [of the health care debate] laid bare how broken the system was."
Conway was joined in his backing of filibuster reform by the three other Senate candidates who HuffPost interviewed for this story: Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, Elaine Marshall of North Carolina and Roxanne Conlin of Iowa. Sitting Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also said they supported reform. ...
On December 28th of last year, I took a 22 kilometer bike ride along a long and dark but heavily traveled road, at night. Some parts of the road are pitch black. I was thinking about how much I wanted to be dead, and so I road my bike into the oncoming traffic in such a manner as to compel fast-moving cars, trucks and buses to steer away from me to avoid hitting me.
When I had mostly finished this bike ride, I was still riding recklessly. At one point, since I was riding the wrong way on a one-way street, I rode along the sidewalk, between pedestrians on the right hand side and a five yard fall to a rocky and dry, low-tide river bed on the left.
I was riding about two feet from the edge of a boardwalk/peer/promenade., which has no railing, when I lost my balance and fell five yards head first onto the rocks below. Had I not been wearing my bike helmet (which was mostly broken in two by the impact) then I probably would not be alive today.
I think it's probably time for me to admit that this five-yard fall head first into the rocky river bed was really was part of an accidental failure to commit suicide. The most compelling reason to come to this conclusion is that I had spent the previous two hours trying to get killed before I fell off the boardwalk/peer/promenade.
Hey, if Bill Styron could write a long (and very interesting) book about his summer of depression, and Mike Wallace and Art Buckwald could acknowledge their depression on national television, then surely I can write a couple of blog posts about it, without feeling bad and wrong for troubling people.
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