As we, the Democrats, look forward to our convention, let's take a break to compare and contrast what we're doing vs. what they are doing. While a quick peruse through recent posts will show that we have great speakers, the GOP is looking to keep their most visible folks OFF the podium (think Spunky Palin, Newt Gingrich, The Donald and Orly Taitz). We showcase, they hide. Our platform is constructed with a lot of public scrutiny (and y'all know how I feel about the platform!) while the GOP version will likely be a more locked down version of their last production, which was dedicated to the rich and powerful. And then there is what is euphemistically called the adult entertainment industry:
“Hands down, the Republicans have always been our best customers,” says Angelina Spencer, the Executive Director of the Association of Club Executives. It is the national trade organization for adult nightclubs.
“And they tend to be business-focused,” she says. “That’s really all I can say. We get clients from all walks of life, but for whatever reason… I have heard club owners say, ‘Boy, those Republicans really are great customers.’”
Family values. Go figure.
And then there are the attendees. They have all sorts of restrictions on who can and cannot attend. We're open. If you want to attend, you can sign up here. Want to skip most of the convention but see Obama accept our nomination? Click here.
Next, we will have no mystery. We stand for what our large tent has always stood for: The American People. All of us. Its our core value and it will be on glorious display. They'll be dealing with a veep nomination. The final short list is rumoured to be Pawlenty, Portman and Ryan. While we'll know which middle aged white guy gets chosen prior to the event, the choice will feed into the platform determination and the tone of the convention. If the choice is Ryan, as the GOP "intellectuals" want (mostly for reasons of "purity") the platform, and the convention, and then the campaign, will center on the dismantling of Medicare and Social Security. (HELLO! Florida!)The big mystery though, will be which Mittens shows up to accept the nomination. Here's a set of choices:
And finally, a fun push poll to end the morning post. When I put up the #DNC2012 logo, I thought I'd compare and contrast by showing the RNC Convention logo (you remember, originally there was the one with the minarets, but now it's changed, but I digress.) I went over to the RNC site, and was greeted by a pop-up from John Boehner advertising a survey, with the note:
Your survey answers will help shape, guide and/or confirm our new House Majority’s approach to dismantling the liberal, job-destroying programs that President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats put in place in recent years.
So I took the push poll. It's here, and if you want to have 5 minutes of fun, you too can contribute to their platform ideas. I thought I did my bit as an American by answering things like "Do you favor repealing the Democrats’ jobs-killing health care law?" with a resounding no, NO, HELL NO. Just trying to be helpful!
If you're in the Philadelphia 'burbs, we're running voter registration drives all weekend (and every weekend) - if you'd like to stop by, drop me a note for directions. Would love to see you. I'm the one in the "register here, register now" tee shirt.
The Republican march towards voter suppression continues, with the Texas case currently in court, and the Pennsylvania case slated for 25 July. Yesterday, after "packing" the NAACP audience with a dozen black Republicans who do not belong to the NAACP, Mittens was still booed for his disrespect to our president and his disdain for the ACA. Not to mention the GOP House voted for the 33rd time to repeal ACA...heaven forbid they should do some actual work, but I digress.
If you have any questions about how Mitt and his minions are looking at a completely different America than the rest of us, here you go...
By the way, look forward to Nebraska on Saturday. If the Paulites prevail at the state convention, Tampa will be incredibly rough for the RNC. Unless, of course, they suppress the Nebraska vote like they did the Massachusetts vote where they found a way to exclude the Paul delegates from the state delegation.
Please remember to politic someone today. And EVERY day. This is an important election for those of us who will be allowed to vote this year.
The nice thing about Morning Joe is that I no longer need to change the channel for oppo research: Joe's always there with it Monday through Friday...and yesterday was no exception. It was one of those "friendly" conversations that Joe has with whomever is around the table as they're filling in a little time before going to commercial. The table which always has large drink cups with something in them, and sometimes has pastries in the middle.
Joe was ranting about what a good idea Mike Bloomberg has in wanting to restrict the size of some beverages sold in NYC, talking about how bad it is to be fat. Joe was also a previous fan of Bloomberg's work to restrict smoking in public parks, and to take transfats out of restaurant food, and to post calorie counts before it was popular elsewhere. Yesterday, he was upping the ante to say that Bloomberg (and others) should also make sure that school lunches were healthy, and that there should be a special code on the cards people use to buy food with SNAP cards prohibiting the purchase of unhealthy food, and just before the commercial..."and bring back rigorous physical activity at schools."
A small chunk of my brain virtually exploded.
Here's a guy who rails day after day about how government needs to spend less money, and how government needs to get out of the way of business so business will create more jobs and how we need to tax less. And yet....
Let's forget about the questionable logic of whether a thirsty person would buy two sodas at the ball park getting his 32 ounces instead of just stopping at 16 ounces and staying thirsty. Let's just look at the business impact of the 16 ounce sizes. Whoever manufacturers the larger cups will now either need to retool, or shut several of the cup lines. In those fast food joints where they give the customer a cup and he fills his own cup, the likelihood is that he'll refill his cup instead of buying another, costing revenue to the restaurant. And above all: here is government telling manufacturers what they can and cannot make. HHMMNN.
Then there's the issue of the Republican battle cry of "free choice" - one can still buy a giant milkshake (not covered by Mayor Mike's plan) which will have all the sugar PLUS the fat that is non-existent in soda. Or a large chemical-tainted soda which still has the bone-density decreasing, osteoporosis-causing phosphorous in carbonated beverages, all the cancer-causing caramel colour, AND now the ill effects of aspartame. Not a great trade off.
And those school lunches? Hey Joe - that's tax money that pays for many of those lunches, not to mention the people who prepare and serve them. Hard to do when money to schools keeps getting cuts.
Joe is a poster child for the cognitive dissonance of the moderate wing of the GOP. On the one hand that branch wants government to leave business alone, as if "business" is some sort of sequestered thing, instead of the "people" we know corporations to be courtesy of Mitt Romney. Sorry, I digress. Seriously, they want business to be left alone to do anything its masters want, UNLESS it involves taking away rights from individual human beings. Are transfats bad? Absolutely, I wouldn't eat them. But that's a personal choice I made years ago. I don't care if restaurants want to serve them. It's my choice to not eat there. A 32 ounce soda? I personally have never consumed that amount of soda, but it's a personal choice, and shouldn't be dictated.
It was the physical fitness line, though, that honestly hurt. I expect the rest. But as idiots look for more and more ways to cut taxes, the schools keep suffering massive losses, and gym has been one of the big losers as there is nothing in gym class that fits directly into the teach-to-the-test mentality that's about all that's left of "education" in a lot of school districts. A shout-out to the 78% of voters in yesterday's North Dakota ballot initiative who chose NOT to eliminate all property taxes in yesterday's election. Finally, a group that realized that taxes are necessary. Unlike the Scarborough contingent who obviously believe teachers, firemen, police, the military, and the lunch ladies are all free....
There are primaries in Texas today. On the Democratic side, they are only advisory in nature at the Presidential level, the state convention will be held on June 8th and 9th. On the Republican side, the primary held today is binding for delegates, and the state conventions will also be on June 8th and 9th. There will also be primaries for all Congressmen/women as well as for the Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
The primary is open, although one's party affiliation will be switched if a voter selects a different party. That is, if one is a registered Democrat and votes in the Republican primary, he/she will then be a Republican, although it is possible to switch back later.
There is a high probability that today, Mittens will reach the delegate threshold needed for nomination. This will not preclude all sorts of shenanigans by the Paulites in Tampa, but numerically, he'll likely make it today. Unless, of course, Texas gives a resounding "no" to his candidacy. If so, there are still California and New York upcoming (amoung others) to put him over the top.
If you're voting in Texas today, and want lists of all the Congressional and Senate candidates, you can click here.
For a round up of what to watch for tonight as the results come in, click here. Things like this:
What about the Democrats? Is there life on the other side of the political ledger? Texas Democrats have compiled a dismal record that renders them easy to ignore in most state races. Once upon a time, that was the story of Texas Republicans, and they eventually came out of it. The primaries won’t necessarily tell the story of whether the Democrats can do the same, but they might reveal a decent candidate here and there, and maybe even someone who can take a Republican in November, if circumstances are right.
Tomorrow, the Washington state conventions begin, and will last for 4 days. That may well be interesting depending on what the Paul people can accomplish, but today belongs to Texas.
Sure, the Republicans are doing everything they can to suppress Democratic turnout, especially if those Democrats are poor, black and/or elderly. But they aren't stopping there: they're also working to throw out the votes of any Republicans who don't immediately fall in line behind Mittens.
In Nevada, the state party, in going through its process from caucuses to county conventions to the state convention to the end of selecting their delegates has virtually imploded. Paul won 22 of Nevada's 25 delegates. Not enough to change the Tampa outcome directly, but the Romney campaign and the RNC really didn't like it. So what did they do? They decided to just ignore the Nevada GOP (especially in Clark County, which includes Vegas and about 75% of the state's population) especially after this:
The Republican National Committee's strategy to work around the troubled state party and starve it of cash was revealed Wednesday, a day after Paul backers led a successful effort at a Clark County GOP meeting to rebuke RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. They passed a resolution calling on Priebus to resign for helping Romney's campaign before he has officially won the GOP nomination.
The plan would be to transfer money directly to Team Nevada and/or funnel some through the Washoe Republican Party, run by the respected Dave Buell, who is well-liked by the RNC and Romney folks.
To distill, the GOP insider said, “Essentially we’re setting up a shadow state party.”
That's right: when the GOP hoi polloi don't like their voters or the outcome, they just ignore it. They'll be setting up "Team Nevada" offices and using them as effectual GOP offices. Now, the Nevada Republicans are correct, it's against their rules for Priebus or the RNC to play favourites before the convention, but the insiders don't seem to care about that, either. Who needs voters when you're a plutocrat?
Think it was Mittens? Guess again. BARACK OBAMA! Our president won in three ways yesterday.
First, President Obama earned more votes yesterday than Mitt Romney. While that may not matter now, it will in November. Here are the numbers:
Obama DC votes: 51,394 (98.1%)
Romney DC votes: 3,122 (70.2%)
Obama MD votes: 275,281 (88.4%)
Romney MD votes: 116,922 (49.1%)
Obama WI votes: 284,866 (98.2%)
Romney WI votes: 305,740 (42.5%)
Obama total votes: 611,541
Romney total votes: 425,784
Wow! In a year with no actual competitors, and guaranteed the nomination, 50% MORE voters turned out for President Obama. That's right, all those Democrats could have stayed home and Obama would still be assured the nomination, and yet, out they came.
The second way in which President Obama won yesterday is that he didn't break the law. As opposed to Mittens and his traveling companion, Paul Ryan, who in violation of Wisconsin law, handed out sandwiches. In Wisconsin, you can't give a voter anything worth more than a dollar to get him to vote. Details about the incident and the filed complaint here. Ryan should have known better: he's from Wisconsin, he's run for election multiple times, and before being elected, he worked on other candidate's campaigns. It's a pretty simple thing: don't buy votes. Now granted, this is allowed, even encouraged in some places. Take the Iowa straw poll, where you can't get votes without buying them for the most part. Or Philadelphia, where walking-around-money is a long-honoured tradition. But this is Wisconsin, and they like their elections clean. As an aside, while the smart money is on Marco Rubio for veep, Ryan is certainly in the mix. And what a dream that would be: running against someone who very clearly wants to do away with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all programs for the poor. Talk about drawing a line in the sand.
And finally, yesterday was President Obama's day because of the speech he made to the AP gathering. In it, he called out Mitt Romney, as well as Paul Ryan specifically for his budget. It is the first true speech of the re-election campaign. Some quotes are below, and you can read the full transcript here.
Whoever he may be, the next president will inherit an economy that is recovering, but not yet recovered from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression.
Too many Americans will still be looking for a job that pays enough to cover their bills or their mortgage. Too many citizens will still lack the sort of financial security that started slipping away years before this recession hit. [...]
As much as we might associate the G.I. Bill with Franklin Roosevelt or Medicare with Lyndon Johnson it was a Republican, Lincoln, who launched the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences, land grant colleges.
It was Eisenhower who launched the Interstate Highway System and new investment in scientific research. It was Richard Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency, Ronald Reagan who worked with Democrats to save Social Security.
It was George W. Bush who added prescription drug coverage to Medicare. What leaders in both parties have traditionally understood is that these investments aren’t part of some scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another.
They are expressions of the fact that we are one nation. These investments benefit us all. They contribute to genuine durable economic growth. Show me a business leader who wouldn’t profit if more Americans could afford to get the skills and education that today’s jobs require. Ask any company where they’d rather locate and hire workers, a country with crumbling roads and bridges or one that’s committed to high-speed Internet and high-speed development.
It doesn’t make us weaker when we guarantee basic security for the elderly or the sick or those who are actively looking for work. What makes us weaker is when fewer and fewer people can afford to buy the goods and services our businesses sell. [...]
One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. He said that he’s very supportive of this new budget. And he even called it “marvelous,” which is a word you don’t often hear when it comes to describing a budget. It’s a word you don’t often hear generally. [...]
This new House Republican budget, however, breaks our bipartisan agreement and proposes massive new cuts in annual domestic spending. Exactly the area where we’ve already cut the most. And I want to actually go through what it would mean for our country if these cuts were to be spread out evenly. So bear with me. I want to go through this because I don’t think people fully appreciate the nature of this budget.
The year after next, nearly 10 million college students would see their financial aid cut by an average of more than $1,000 each. There would be 1,600 fewer medical grants. Research grants for things likes Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS. There would be 4,000 fewer scientific research grants, eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students and teachers. (Obama goes on to detail additional cuts and to point out that if the Ryan budget becomes law, by the middle of the century there will be NO money for anything other than the pittance left to entitlements, defense and the debt.)
One would think that things look good for Spawn of Satan in Pennsylvania, at least according to the latest poll, which shows him in a great position to win the April primary here. Sadly for Spawn, the primary is only a beauty contest, with no delegates actually coming directly from the popular vote. But:
Rule 8.4 of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania's Rules states that all delegates elected by Congressional District "...shall run at large within the Districts and shall not be officially committed to any particular candidate on the ballot." Source
The state committee will choose at-large delegates in June, who will also be unpledged. And then there are the 3 super delegates, who actually get to choose. Only one has announced so far, and he's for Romney.
Thus, it's very possible that Spawn wins the popular vote and walks away with no delegates for the floor vote in August.
Rick can win the primary popular vote because the people voting in that election are not the people who voted him out 6 years ago with the largest margin since the Civil War. The voters will be those people who DID vote for him. Remember he lost by 17.4%, not 80% -- which means he's actually got some supporters left in Pennsyltuckey, and they'll be out in force. It's a closed primary.
Further, Mittens won't be able to count on negative advertising: we all already know him.
It's HERE! As Oreo reported, the MSM is getting the number of delegates per state wrong, again. No wonder they so often get the counts wrong. Yesterday in their First Look email, MSNBC even got the number of contests wrong. I saw it and kept wondering if there was an eleventh I didn't know about. No matter. Luckily, we all have Matt and Oreo, who have gotten it right, and will have an accurate count after today's contests are over, both real and projected. Remember as you watch that Virginia is all but done as only Mittens and Paul are on the ballot, with no write-ins. In addition, Spawn was unable to file a full delegate slate in Ohio, so even if he wins the votes, he cannot get the delegates.
The delegate count actually matters less then some other things today. There are 416 at stake, and if you assume a projected 194 for Romney and add the 416, you get 610. by my abacus, that's less than the 1144 needed to win. If this were a fair primary process, you would contend that with the big states of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas and California, and their combined delegate count of 563, left to vote that there was all sorts of time left...but the GOP hoi polloi wants a decisive enough win by Mittens today so they can move on to their other problems. This whole "who's gonna be the candidate" issue pales in comparison to the much bigger problems they have.
Kudos to John Boy McCain, a true Republican who yesterday said that the US should bomb Syria AND that Rush Limbaugh was unacceptable. (Batting 50% - wrong on the first, right on the second.) He spoke out about two of the four big issues. Before we can all slog to election day, there is Syria and there is Iran, and they are going to have to be dealt with. Thankfully, we have a commander in chief who is not any of the Republican nominees. The two more immediate Republican problems are Rush Limbaugh and the Federal budget. Those two thing promise to be a disaster for whichever guy becomes their nominee.
First, Rush. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that he spent 3 days libeling Sandra Fluke and the women of Georgetown University. His advertisers are fleeing, two stations dropped him, and it turns out he's been lying for years about the size of his audience. It's finally becoming obvious even to Republicans that he is in charge of the propaganda wing of the GOP, and it's a crap shoot as to whether he does more damage to their brand on the air or off it.
Second, the budget. The House has to come up with a budget within the confines of pandering to the 87 freshmen teabaggers, meeting the spending cap in the debt ceiling cap, and working around the triggered cuts. The 87 want something lower then the $1.047 debt ceiling cap, which they felt was too high, and a lot of other Republicans want to avoid more defense cuts, if not add back funds. (Especially in light of Syria and Iran.) The likely architect of the budget will again be Paul Ryan, and if Boehner allows his budget to go forward, it will fail, potentially facing a government shutdown in October, a month before the election. No doubt that will cost them in November. Therefore, it will be necessary to consider a budget that Democrats can sign on to, which will protect Medicare and Social Security, at least temporarily, be bipartisan as it will get some "moderate" GOP votes, but will anger the far right. The budget promises to harm not only their presidential candidate, but a lot of House members.
In addition, the GOP has to contend with the fact that in one South Carolina county, to get on the Republican ballot, you have to sign a paper saying you never had sex before you got married. Really. This is a problem for a party that wants to be a party and not a laughing stock. These are serious times, and this is ridiculous.
Remember, we, the readers, are not out of the woods yet. There are Senate seats to be concerned with, and there really is the budget which affects us all. We're all distracted by the jello wrestling that the Republican nomination process has become: hopefully, Mittens will get enough done today so we can move on to the real issues of the day. Serious problems require serious people to solve them, and the sooner they name him "candidate" the sooner we can move on, vote out the teabaggers and move forward. I leave you with this:
The polls are tight, and in a last ditch effort, Spawn of Satan has been robocalling Democrats. And yes, if you're a Michigan Democrat, you CAN vote today and in May in the Democratic process. Arizona is a done deal for Mittens, as there was a lot of early voting, but Michigan is still up for grabs. I was going to put up a tree picture, but the one I wanted to use is a photoshopped Mittens ad, so here's the link.
What I will be looking at tonight are the exit polls. Not so much for party affiliation, but for educational level. Spawn of Satan has made a big deal out of being the anti-education candidate. Which actually fits well with his overall belief system. I started thinking about it when I read two things. This was the first:
It’s become conventional wisdom to suggest that Rick Santorum, with his blue-collar background in Pennsylvania, will run strongly among these voters. “He has a big appeal to people we used to call Reagan Democrats,” said former Ohio Senator Mike DeWine. A recent Gallup poll showed Santorum leading Mitt Romney by double digits among Republicans without a college degree and making less than $90,000. Romney’s unfavorable rating among voters making less than $50,000 jumped twenty points in January, which Greg Sargent termed “Romney’s White Working Class Problem.”
The second is an article in the March issue of Philadelphia Magazine, called The Incredible Shrinking Man, and it's not online yet. The article is about how men in their 20's lag behind their female counterparts in all sorts of objective measures like education, employment and income (although not video games and porn) and how many still live at home or accept financial support from their parents. 59% of men aged 18 to 24 live at home, 19% of those 25 to 34 do. 60% of parents give financial support to their grown sons, an average of $38,340 annually. If it were just the recession, it would affect both genders equally, or close to equally, but that's not it. According to the article in 1950, men made up 70% of the labour force, now it's 53%. From the article: (page 64)
From 1960 to 2009, the number of working-age men with full-time jobs fell from 83 percent to 66 percent. In Philadelphia, half of all young adults are unemployed, but three in 10 young men ages 25 to 34 had stopped looking for work before the recession hit.
We know that college populations are becoming more and more female. The stats:
Overall, women have surpassed men in terms of completing secondary and post-secondary education with the gender gap almost completely reversed. In 2006, 10.3% of males and 8.3% of females dropped out of high school. In 2005/2006, women earned 62% of Associate's degrees, 58% of Bachelor's degrees, 60.0% of Master's degrees, and 48.9% of Doctorates. In 2016/2017, women are projected to earn 64.2% of Associate's degrees, 59.9% of Bachelor's degrees, 62.9% of Master's degrees, and 55.5% of Doctorates.
Let's put this together. There is certainly a lot of causality for this situation: start with the idea that most elementary and secondary schools are more geared to girls than boys. Second, you need more education for more jobs nowadays than was necessary a generation ago when strength beat brains for most jobs. (Think farming, manufacturing, construction.) Third, there's the internet. The Philly Mag article points out that before Facebook, when men got out of school, they needed women to fill a social calendar. Not just dating, but parties and events. Now, they can keep in touch with friends from college and "the old neighborhood". Add to that video games, the ultimate time suckers, and finally porn. This affects men in terms of fertility rates and an inability to want to connect with real women, plus it's easily accessible and another time sucker. Some academics wanted to do a study of the affects of porn on men under 30 but they couldn't find a control group.
So today is the Michigan primary: an industrial state where a lot of the male voters will be older, whiter and pining for the world they inhabited when they were young. (Apologies to the Paul voters, who will certainly skew younger and are the exception, rather than the rule.) Will they send the primary to Rick Santorum who certainly is the embodiment of what they see is the world that was left behind? If this demographic abandons Mittens, what does that mean for his chances in November? And most importantly, what becomes of the men? Do they become so distant from politics, in addition to work and education, that we become a female-led society? If so, where are the women candidates at all levels? I'll be watching Michigan not just because it's Mitten's home state (okay, one of them) but because it's a microcosm of what is happening across the country.
I've lost count, but the umpteenth debate is tonight. It's Ash Wednesday, and I'm wondering if Spawn of Satan will have ashes on his forehead. Rick's made a big deal out of religion, and has been a driving force in the fake "religious wars" - so I'm wondering HOW Catholic he'll be tonight.
I'm not saying this to be snarky. (Yeah, maybe a little, but it's really not the point.) Religion is a big deal to Rick Santorum. It wasn't always, but it is now. He actually used to be pro-choice, which is a rational position, but not a Catholic-Catholic position. I'm looking forward to watching him tonight: if he can maintain some semblance of apparent sanity, it will bolster his position in both Arizona and Michigan. He kinda sorta has to go after Mittens because doing so might throw Mitt off what's left of his game, and that would be bad for Mitt and good for everyone else, and religion and taking money from the Federal government BECAUSE of religion might be a place he can jab.
Here's the thing. I agree with Michael Moore, who spoke at length on Rachel's show the other night of how much he, and many other Michiganders, had liked George and Lenore Romney for their work, their contributions, and their decency. (He left unsaid how they're probably turning in their graves over how Mitt turned out.) But there's no doubt that the reason George was born in Mexico was because his father Gaskell and his mother, and Gaskell's two other plural wives, had fled across the border when polygamy was outlawed with a bunch of other Mormons. Gaskell took the equivalent of several million dollars in aid from both the American and Mexican governments to fund the family's lifestyle. So it's a stretch, but if Rick can find a way to bring up that sort of information it would go a long way to driving home the narrative to the far right that Mormons are "not like them". Not that all the Mormons are completely thrilled with Mittens. A number of Hispanic Mormons are actively working against him because of his current stance on immigration.
It's doubtful that Newt will wear ashes tonight. He's a Catholic, but in the same way that he's had three wives, he's also had three religions, Catholicism coming after being a Lutheran and prior to that a Southern Baptist. Likely, he doesn't want to talk religion.
In case anyone asks, Ron Paul is either a Lutheran, Episcopalian or Baptist. Sorta. Ron's actual religion is "libertarianism" - and he's all over the place on organized religion, although he considers himself a man of faith.
Call me crazy, but I believe religion has no place in politics. It's a distraction, and often those who are "severely religious" end up being pedophile priests, evangelicals caught with hookers (male or female) or embroiled in affairs. The Republicans should be talking about their actual proposals for things like jobs, employment, climate change, taxes, etc., etc., etc., but instead they make war on women, the elderly, the poor and minorities.
And yes, it's fun for us liberals to watch.
I've been saying all along that Spawn can't get the nomination, and I still stand by that. If he really racks up delegates, I wouldn't put it past Karl Rove to get Dick Cheney to take Rick duck hunting. They're that opposed to him getting the nomination. Difference between Karl and me is that I would love for Rick to get the nomination: running against someone who wants to outlaw public education funds and contraception and aid programs AND used to sit on the board of UHC....a DREAM candidate from a Democratic perspective. Plus, the longer he stays in, the more damaged Mittens becomes.
Sadly, if they all flame out, we're looking at Jeb Bush. He keeps saying no, no, hell no, but I could see him making a speech which includes "...for my country, I respectfully accede to the will of the people...." Four more years of a bush???? My skin crawls. We're also going to hear the names Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels and John Thune. I'm pretty sure that Chris Christie really would say no: he's mean and he's ugly to the core, but he's smart and 2016 is a better year for him.
Still, the process rolls on. And I'm personally not taking the delegate numbers seriously. There are still county conventions and state conventions, and I think everyone is underestimating the placement of Paul people at those gatherings. I don't believe he'll be the nominee, but he'll come to Tampa with a lot of influence on the eventual nominee. Remember that the GOP can't just pick a name out of a hat, they've got to have human bodies to stand on the floor and vote support.
For now, it's just the Ash Wednesday debate. Kettle corn at my house....
What have I ever done to you to make you hate me so much?
I was born female and somehow you want to deny me, and all the other women and girls, things you consider sacrosanct for men. Oh wait, not all men, just those that are straight, white and Christian. But I digress. I look at the abominations of legislation you are trying to pass in state after state, and ask myself what would have become of me had you passed those things when I was a girl.
Luckily for me, I was born into a family that valued education for both sons and daughters. My dad paid for his college education with help from the GI bill. As adults, with children, both my parents earned graduate degrees: a Masters for my mom, and Masters and a PhD for my dad. From the day I started school, it wasn't a question of whether I'd go to college, but where. Same for my brother. And in our generation we too have a slew of degrees.
One of the reasons I was able to get an education, and make great use of said education was because I had access to birth control. If you, as a party, had your way, I wouldn't have educational opportunities: I'd be home raising kid after kid, home-schooling them (how, I don't know since I wouldn't know anything).
I admit, I have trouble sticking with a specific career path, but I've succeeded in a number of avocations. Things I learned in one area have led to accomplishments in another. I used my education to build large-scale transportation projects for the FAA, the FWHA, and in Europe, I built pollution models for the EPA, I've done defense work, and designed, developed and delivered training programs in the fields of medicine, logistics and manufacturing. Above all, I became a doctor and I've saved lives. On the side there has been a slew of volunteer work with functional illiterates, and I was even a Mensa officer. Accomplished, for a blonde girl. And yet, you want me barefoot and pregnant. Why would you condemn me to have either spent my life unaccomplished, or completely devoid of love and sex. I don't get it.
To add insult to injury, now your presidential candidate front runner, Spawn of Satan himself, has decreed that ALL public funding for ALL education should cease. Really. Watch:
So I guess what you're saying is that not only should I have been denied birth control, but my mother should have had to give up HER career to stay home and school my brother and me. And what of my mother's mother, who is currently rolling in her grave after having been a suffragette and having worked with Margaret Sanger on the whole birth control thing back in the teens and twenties.
So let's move this a few decades into the future under the Republican doctrine. Here I would be, an uneducated mother having poorly schooled my children while my husband worked two jobs because in this economy that's pretty necessary. Likely, he would die young from overwork. I wouldn't have a bunch of friends (many of those friendships forged in elementary school and still vibrant today), I'd have no skills, I'd be 75 years old, with no Medicare, no Social Security, having never made a decent contribution to society and I'd be toothlessly pushing a shopping cart around downtown Philly looking for something to eat, an indoor bathroom, and a safe place to sleep at night.
And that IS the logical outcome of a Republican idea set that evokes more the 1850's then anything else. I can only conclude that you hate me, or you'd never want to put me, and all the other women, in that position. Your position shows a lack of foresight, and a lack of character. Character matters.
I stand with Andrew Shepherd. I stand with Barack Obama. I stand with every other American who wants to continue our rise from the economic mess you Republicans put us in, who believes in education, birth control, climate change caused by humans, science, evolution and all that this country stands for. You want to lead this country into darkness. I stand with the light.
You've certainly heard Mittens talking about how his dog Seamus "LIKED" being strapped to the roof of the family car for 12 hours. I never believed that because I'm a dog lover, and I know dogs like to be IN the car. Some are good car-riders and will sit in the back seat enjoying the scenery and some air. (As an aside, if you're going to go on long trips, and your dog likes to stick his/her face out the window, consider eye protection to prevent eye damage from flying bits of debris and road dirt.)
H/T Dan for letting me know that there is now proof that not only did Seamus not like riding on the top of the car, shown by having diarrhea which went down the back window of the car, but once the Romneys arrived in Canada, the dog ran away. Source.
Now I'll admit that Fiona is well cared for. That's a picture of her in a soft-material mini-cart at the pet store. Before you yell "spoiled" please be aware that her paw had been injured at camp and she's got a phobia about walking on shiny floors. We were at the store to buy a shoe for her foot because it was going to snow overnight, they were going to salt, and salt is bad on open wounds. We're actively working on the fear thing, and her paw is all healed. (Fiona wants to be a rough and tumble puppy, but she's actually a tumble and OWWW! puppy. Her first birthday was last Saturday.)
It takes a certain type of person to strap a dog to the top of the car for TWELVE hours. The Seamus stories indicate that the dog wasn't let out of his cage for the entire trip. It's not just that I wouldn't leave a dog strapped to a roof for twelve hours, I wouldn't leave a dog alone in a house for 12 hours. When my friend Libby and I went out to Illinois to pick up Fiona at 10 weeks, we stopped every two hours to let her out, give her some water, not to mention that one of us was with her at all times in the back seat of the car because she was so young. It caused the trip (which was about the same travel distance as Mitten's vacation trip) to take two days to allow for enough time to give her appropriate rest breaks out of the car. Olivia traveled up and down the east coast with me, and there were always rest breaks.
How someone treats those who are weaker says a lot about the person that can easily be extrapolated. Mistreat a dog? A being dedicated to loving you unconditionally? There is something terribly wrong with someone who shows such disregard. Kind of like people who mistreat their children. Or other people's children. The most common kind of financial theft against the elderly comes from their children. Again, the stronger preying on the weaker.
So here we have this guy running for president, and he's a bully. He mistreats his dog. Quite unlike someone else running for president, who knows how to treat a dog while in the car. Mittens is also a serial liar: I don't even need specific examples here. Pick a topic and he's been on at least three sides of it. It is not surprising that he is against women's rights, education and the safety net. Like kids who swing cats by their tails, they just don't grow up right in the head. Rumour has it that when Mittens is done stealing the nomination with a lot of help from the GOP establishment (Exhibit A) he'll pick Bob McDonnell as his running mate. Yup, the governor of Virginia, which is about to become the only state that sanctions the forcible rape of women. (Exhibit B)
I consider myself an informed voter. I keep lots of files on political players. Have a lot of stuff on Romney which was relatively mundane (for a Republican) prior to his self-immolation this year. I had thought he'd be the toughest possible opponent that President Obama could have this year. But once he's someone whose dog followed the lead of Vietnam draft dodgers and escaped to Canada just to get away from a terrible situation you have to say that while a lot of the Republican field (real and potential) is nuts (Bachmann, Spunky, Santorum) morally degenerate (Cain, Gingrich), stupid (Perry), outright dangerous (Paul, Perry, Gingrich), theocratic (Santorum, Bachmann, Spunky, Cain, Perry), Mittens takes the cake.
Remember: elections are decided by those who vote - get involved and make sure that this animal abuser never gets anywhere near the White House except on the public tour.
Yesterday, my brother (Hi Aaron - love you) sent me the following:
A liberal, a moderate, and a conservative all walked into a bar. The bartender called out "Hi Mitt!"
It cracked me up...thought I'd share.
I watch the goings on everyday and I'm pleased that the House GOP is going to cave on unemployment, the DocFix and the payroll tax cut. Also nice to see our President taking them on in speeches with humour and daggers. It will be interesting to see how he handles Scott Walker in Wisconsin on the tarmac.
Oreo pointed out that they're unhappy with the counts in Maine. It appears likely that not only did Mittens NOT win Maine, but they counted selectively in the counties whose tallies were submitted. Coast to coast, these folks are the gang that just couldn't shoot straight. Maine would be the second caucus state where the party elite ordained Mittens the winner, only to have to admit they were just plain wrong.
So we're off to Michigan, which Mittens won in 2008. And he's in real trouble there. First, he was against the auto bailouts, and wrote about it in the Times, and is still sticking with the "managed bankruptcy." That's just not going to play with the people who now have jobs, after losing them in the auto downturn. They certainly know they'd be bankrupt, too, had the Big Three been "managed" Mitten's way.
So, Mitt and his minions are putting up negative ads about Spawn of Satan, who is currently ahead in both the Michigan and national polls. Note to Mittens and company - read this, it will help you. Scott had an interesting comment where he talks about the effects of the delegate count and what Ron Paul is doing under the radar. He opens, though, with a question about whether Mitt and crew can go negative on two candidates and get away with it....well, Scott, they're certainly trying. See the first ad here.
I cannot get my head around the idea that Rick will be the Republican candidate. Don't get me wrong, it would be an easy win for Obama, and would give him longer coattails than running against either Mittens or Paul. After the jump are some of my pick fave Spawn of Satan quotes. Read them and tell me if you think someone who actually believes as he does could get elected President of these United States. I have, of course, annotated them.
So get out the popcorn kids, more debates are coming: 22 February in Arizona (CNN), 1 March in Georgia (CNN), and then 19 March from Portland, OR, brought to you by PBS and NPR.
The short answer is yes, I think he will. And in the end, I think that will bode well for Obama's reelection.
Here's the long answer. Remember the Iowa Straw Poll? I mentioned then that it might be likely that the winner would lose the nomination because of the poll's bad track record, and implied that winning had something to do with buying tickets. The winner of the CPAC straw poll also lacks a decent track record, and winning there also has to do with buying votes. Mittens bought the CPAC straw poll on Saturday. But we know that Mitt bought the Iowa caucuses, and the Florida primary, and these are things that normally don't get bought outright with actual dollars. There is a question about whether he also bought Maine, but since it's proportional, there is still a caucus left to vote and it's a small number of delegates...it doesn't really matter. (Not to mention when all is said and done, it will likely be a Romney-Paul tie in terms of the number of delegates.)
Romney's certainly got enough money of his own, plus contributions and Superpacs to buy a lot of primary contests. It's penny wise and pound foolish for him to do so, but there probably is no other way for him to win the nomination.
So let's flip forwards a bit. It's late August in Tampa. The weather is muggy, people are inconvenienced, the 99% are outside protesting, and getting arrested with lots of press. The GOP hoi polloi doesn't really want a brokered convention leading to selecting as their nominee anyone new. They don't want that because it will truly infuriate the teabaggers. Even if it's their darling Fat Boy Slim, they want to have a say in who the nominee is: they detest the establishment more than the far left ever could. So the "brokering" involves giving Ron Paul some things he wants in the platform, and a favourable speech position. (And yes, he'll have enough delegates that they may well have to deal with him.) Either Rick or Newt will be gone by August, and the remaining one will reap the loser's delegates (unless they both drop out and all delegates go to Paul.) Either of them is much easier to deal with as they're not ideologues to the extent Paul is one.
Remember two things:
Elections are won in the middle.
Politics is a game of horse trading for what people want, and everyone wants something.
How will independents feel about voting for a Republican candidate who is worth THAT KIND of money? Will they believe that he'll do anything other than find ways to make the rich richer? That, by the way, was one of McCain's problems in 2008: not everyone who elected Obama voted FOR Obama, some honestly voted against McCain. A lot of people in the general will look at where they were in 2008, where they are now, where they could have been had Obama NOT been elected, and will think "A Republican pandering to the rich? Not again. This guy bought the primaries, he won't buy my vote int he general."
Then there is the issue of who wants what. They don't call Mittens "multiple-choice Mitt" for nothing: he's come out on 3 sides of most issues. At the convention, when the platform is drafted, he'll have to fall in line with the Republican framework or risk alienating a lot of core GOP voters. This will be hard in the general since he'll be standing against things he previously stood for, and standing for things he previously stood against. The Republican platform will be to the right of actual Mitt, but will synch with 2012 Mitt. And unlike the Democratic platform, which is fluid, the GOP MEANS their platform.
Think "debates" between Mitt and our President. Obama and his team have had (and will have) tons of time to study what gets Mittens off his game, and where the inconsistencies are. Whoever is moderating will certainly ask "Governor, in 2010, you said "A", and now you're saying "Not A". Which is how you really feel?" It won't be pretty.
Finally, the meme will eventually come around to what we've been saying here at DCW all along: the GOP tried to be more "open" and "transparent" by copying the Democratic system. It doesn't work for them.
You may think that the biggest winner last night was Rick "Spawn of Satan" Santorum, and the biggest loser was Mittens Romney, but no. Spawn won NOTHING except a beauty contest (bring on the glitter bombs) and while Mitt was injured, his loss pales in comparison to the loss suffered by the Republican Party. The Democratic Party, by the way, was the biggest winner last night.
Let's review. We, the Democrats, believe in suffrage, voting, caucuses, internal dissension with a group outcome. We had a primary season in 2008 that could have been messy handled by some other group, but instead led to enthusiasm and involvement. We're the big tent, we say welcome, and even "welcome back". What the Republican Party has done is mismanage a whole primary season they ostensibly designed to show they were as good as we are. Ha! They miscounted in Iowa, abused the tally count in Nevada, faced decreased turnout, cut delegates, kept people off the ballots, denied suffrage by holding contests that didn't produce any delegates and made themselves look inept in terms of process. In 2008, we had two states with primary "problems", Florida and Michigan. A special meeting was held in DC to figure things out, and Democrats across America vied for seats. We had to hold a lottery, and the place was jammed. In this season, not only can't the GOP rally its troops, when it does plan something, no one shows up, and then they fink out on the bill. Newt is challenging the winner-take-all outcome in Florida: it won't be open process as our 2008 DNC RBC meeting.
There is something to be said here about karma, or maybe what-goes-around-comes-around. The GOP has always had a system where the next in line (in this case Mittens) was the nominee, and the GOP faithful fell in line. In Mittens, they have a candidate the majority of their party can't stand for a variety of reasons. So many reasons that it will be impossible for them to run him as a viable candidate. So unless they upend everything in Tampa, they'll go with what they've got. Mittens most likely, but perhaps Newt, who scares the GOP hoi polloi in a way that does not affect the rest of us. We would never vote for him (nor would the Independents) but with us, it's not visceral. Spawn? Not a chance, he won't be the candidate. He's been using retail politics to his advantage, and those who don't know him find him affable and likable, but should he ever be subjected to actual scrutiny, he'd end up looking worse than Newt. Honest. I live in Pennsylvania and we KNOW Spawn.
So onto Wyoming - another non-binding straw poll. And then to Virginia, which starts with, yup, another straw poll. Then Georgia...you know...meanwhile the Minnesota and Maine processes continue...and the elected Congressional Republicans continue their march to ignore the defense cuts they promised, and endeavor to cut even more from the safety net.