Arizona's Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, a Republican border-security hawk and a leading candidate for Congress has been accused, along with his attorney, of threatening to deport a Mexican former lover when the man refused to agree to not disclose the relationship. [more inside]
Historian Michael Kazin says that we are witnessing the end of the Religious Right's influence in American politics. Peter Montgomery of Alternet says not to declare the Christian Right dead quite yet.
Republican state rep. Maureen Walsh (WA, 16th District) gives a heartbreakingly earnest speech on behalf of marriage equality.
The rise and fall (...and rise and fall) of Newt Gingrich. With just two days to go before the all-important South Carolina Republican primary, Newt Gingrich seems to have shaken off the spectre of past failures, is leading Mitt Romney in the most recent polls, and is on the verge of an amazing political comeback... assuming you overlook his ex-wife's new claims, set to air today, of Gingrich wanting -- and potentially having -- an open marriage.
A Million Wisconsinites Petition to Recall Scott Walker: "Petitions with the names of 1 million Wisconsinites were submitted to state elections officials today, in a move that will jump-start the process of removing the nation’s most notorious antilabor governor from office... In all, close to 2 million signatures were submitted Tuesday, building the historic in-the-streets popular uprising that rocked Wisconsin in 2012 into a electoral uprising that has the potential to rock the politics not just of the state but of the nation in 2012. The movement to oust Walker will have secured the support of a higher percentage of eligible voters than has ever before sought to recall an American governor." [more inside]
After interminable months of campaigning, debates, and roller-coaster polling, the first official vote of the 2012 presidential race is in -- and boy, is it a doozy. Ames straw poll winner Michele Bachmann placed second-to-last, while former juggernaut Rick Perry performed so badly he's canceled upcoming events and is said to be on the verge of dropping out. Meanwhile, perennial laughingstock Rick Santorum, consolidating the support hemorrhaging from Perry, Bachmann, and an ad-blitzed Newt Gingrich, rocketed past the youth- and independent-backed Ron Paul and, with 99% of the vote counted, is separated from Mitt Romney by four votes out of ~120,000 -- by far the closest result in caucus history. As the shaken field contemplates the path ahead through Romney firewall New Hampshire, conservative South Carolina, Florida, Super Tuesday, and beyond, President Obama staged a quiet redux of his own dramatic caucus win four years ago, a dry run for the looming general election. And as for powerhouse Buddy Roemer? Don't worry -- his team is ready to do battle with evil.
Santorum surges from behind in Iowa. With the countdown to the Iowa Caucuses entering its final hours the GOP race remains in a dead heat. Polls show the unlikely campaigns of social conservative Senator Rick Santorum and libertarian leaning Representative Ron Paul in surprisingly strong positions to challenge Governor Mitt Romney for the opening victory in the Republican primary season. Both Paul and Santorum have focused heavily on traditional retail politics in the Hawkeye State.
Shockingly, Newt Gingrich does not own newtgingrich.com. Instead, a group of pranksters called American Bridge 21st Century have used the domain to redirect visitors to various sites and stories that cast him in a negative light. For maximum entertainment, copy and paste the URL into your address bar. Lather, rinse, repeat. [more inside]
Senator Amy Koch, who campaigned this year to put a constitutional amendment on next year's ballot to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman. has admitted that she had "a relationship with a Senate staffer" who is not her husband. She has stepped down as Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate, announced she will not seek re-election, and issued an apology. In response, the gay and lesbian community of Minnesota has issued their own apology, for "ruining the institution of marriage and causing her to stray from her husband" [more inside]
With the recent news that unemployment applications are at their lowest levels since 2008, Congressional Republicans are attempting to curtail unemployment benefits. Democrats want to extend benefits for another year. This has led to an impasse. [more inside]
Is Newt really going to be the nominee? As Romney collapses and Newt surges in the polls, the party establishment is worried. Libertarians are panicking. Can the establishment stop him? What about Ron Paul? Can Huntsman save the party from catastrophe?
Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
Effect of Herman Cain's proposed "9-9-9" tax reform plan on average household tax liability. Cain is leading the field of GOP Presidential candidates in polls of Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. Previously 1 2
Cruel America: It appears that no one is so unfortunate that he or she is exempt from spending cuts, while at the same time no one is so fortunate as to be ineligible for a tax cut.
In a widely discussed tweet last week, Jon Huntsman broke with the stated opinion of every other major Republican presidential candidate†:
@JonHuntsman "To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy."Is Huntsman's announcement a shrewd move to establish his campaign as "the only moderate" candidacy in the crowded G.O.P. field, or is it evidence of a man sticking by his principles and "having a little fun" in a primary he knows he cannot win? [more inside]
Social Issues are Not Going to Win the Whitehouse by Gary Johnson.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann has won the Ames Straw Poll. Rep. Ron Paul came in a close second. This poll, though undemocratic, has a fairly good predictive track record. Since 1979, the winner or runner up has gone on to win the Iowa caucuses each time. [more inside]
Lt. Gen. Russell Honore has a solution to the increasing splintering and radicalization of Congress: send all the members of Congress to boot camp and keep them there until they recognize their duty to America.
Obama proposes Social Security cuts. Amid ongoing debt talks wherein the Democrats are seeking to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the default of Federal debt, "entitlement reform" has been a hot topic. This morning, Obama has taken the unusual step of proposing even larger spending cuts than Republicans have asked for, mystifying many. Has the Grand Bargain arrived?
Gawker's John Cook yesterday published an exclusive report on a trove of documents from the Nixon Presidential Library tracing the development of Fox News to a 1970 internal memo annotated by then-consultant Roger Ailes. Part of a 318-page cache of similar documents, the memo -- "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" -- called for the creation of a strongly pro-Nixon news outlet operated from the White House which would disseminate partisan news packages free of charge to local affiliates across the country. By coordinating release of these targeted reports with allied politicians and duping opponents into hostile interviews, Ailes hoped to bypass the "prejudices of network news" -- a desire which led him to advocate for some unexpected political policies at the time, from campaign finance reform to anti-poverty efforts. The report comes as Fox is waging an aggressive two-front PR war with perceived ideological enemies -- calling on viewers to file IRS complaints against Media Matters' tax-exempt status for their dogged fact-checking of the network, while on-air hosts launched a campaign to label Jon Stewart "racist" after he called out their record of falsehoods following a critical interview with Chris Wallace (previously).
"Bachmann's entire political career has followed this exact same pattern of God-speaks-directly-to-me fundamentalism mixed with pathological, relentless, conscienceless lying. She's not a liar in the traditional way of politicians, who tend to lie dully, usefully and (they hope) believably, often with the aim of courting competing demographics at the same time. That's not what Bachmann's thing is."- Michele Bachmann's Holy War - Matt Tabbi - Rolling Stone
Republican Leadership Conference hires an Obama impersonator. Hilarity does not ensue. [more inside]
In CA-36, Democrat Calls For Blanket Condemnation Of Stunning New Web Ad. Initially, businessman Craig Huey, a tea party Republican, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did the Los Angeles County GOP. Eventually, Huey's campaign manager stated, "If I could wave a magic wand and take it down, I would. The video was created by Turn Right USA PAC.
Media outlets are declaring a winner in NY-26 as Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul has a 6% lead (with 91% reporting) over Republican Jane Corwin (previously) in Tuesday's special election. [more inside]
The Texas A&M Student Senate has voted to support and advocate for student-funded traditional family values education on Texas public school campuses. [more inside]
"House Republicans...fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc." This vote also defies the intention of the Obama administration to extend portions of the USA PATRIOT Act to the year 2013. (Previously) [more inside]
The incoming Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is right now reading the text of the Constitution on the House floor. Representatives chose to omit superceed portions of the text including The Three-Fifth Compromise and Prohibition
"Isarithmic maps are essentially topographic or contour maps, wherein a third variable is represented in two dimensions by color, or by contour lines, indicating gradations. I had never seen such a map depicting political data — certainly not election returns, and thus sought to create them".
Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of The Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope and Focus of its National Factions is a new study that released today, just two weeks before the US midterm elections, by The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR). Sponsored by the NAACP, it reports that the Tea Party movement is “permeated with concerns about race” and has “given platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots.” [more inside]
Jack Conway, a candidate for United States Senate, is catching flak from Democrats and Tea-Partiers alike, for airing an attack ad against his opponent, Rand Paul that brings up some bizarre dirt published in GQ a few months back. At a debate between the two candidates Sunday, Paul refused to shake Conway's hand at the end. Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee released a response to the Aqua Buddha ad. [more inside]
Former president Jimmy Carter speaks about the similarities and differences between the political climate in the mid 1970's and the present rise of the Tea Party.
We make this pledge bearing true faith and allegiance to the people we represent, and we invite fellow citizens and patriots to join us in forming a new governing agenda for America. [more inside]
After winning six congressional elections since 1992, Representative Bob Inglis (R - SC) is now a politician without a party, a policy maven without a movement. And in a few months, he will be without his present job. The reason? "It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...[Obama] is no socialist."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined several other key Republican leaders and conservative commentators who are calling for Congress to review the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Consitution. The Citizenship Clause has been interpreted, since the Supreme Court decision United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, to give "birthright citizenship" to children born on U.S. soil to non-citizens (whom some GOP politicans call "anchor babies"). McConnell's comments are not the first time (see section "A Sensible Immigration Policy") the GOP has tried to question the clause. Some see the move as another attempt to capitalize on anti-immigration sentiment in the build-up to the mid-term elections.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) has set up YouCut, a website where users can suggest and vote on potential cuts in federal spending, which will be put up to be voted on by the House. Cuts selected by the website include a freeze on federal non-military employees raises (pending a vote), and a cut in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, a welfare service of the stimulus fund. The cut failed in a vote). The House Democrats have proposed that America Speaking Out (previously) be offered as an option to cut for the next round.
Lately, the organizations that make up the American Republican Party/GOP have been experimenting with going online. The House Republicans have created America Speaking Out, a website for the people to give their ideas to "an arrogant congress." There, visitors can upload ideas they would like the government to carry out.
"Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder acknowledged an affair with a staffer Tuesday and unexpectedly announced his resignation, giving Democrats a chance at capturing what many had thought was a safe Republican seat." He had previously recorded a pro-abstinence video, with the woman he had the affair with.
How Karl Rove, a few corporate millionaires, and the Citizens United Supreme Court case will overwhelm American elections and rule the Republican party from the shadows: Rove Rides Again
Cocaine, The CIA, And The Unification Church: A History of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and The Washington's Times influence on Washington and South America by Robert Parry
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) has proclaimed April to be Confederate History Month in his state, without referencing slavery or civil rights. The move has angered civil rights leaders and revived a controversy that has lain dormant for eight years. FireDogLake is reporting that the neo-confederate group which lobbied Governor McDonnell to make the proclamation has ties to white supremacists. [more inside]
After being caught drunk driving on his way back from a gay night club, consistently anti-gay California State Senator Roy Ashburn has publicly come out as being gay.
What Republicans believe - a poll of 2000 self-identified republicans by DailyKos/Research2000. With a little elucidation of some of the polling numbers by Nate of FiveThirtyEight. And also picked up by O'Reilly.
Depending on how permanent Sharpie markers really are, I may have managed to confuse anthropologists years from now, who will surely wonder how it is that hermit crabs on Jabonwod are numbered. — US Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) spends a week alone on an uninhabited island in the Kwajalein atoll.
Conservative Republican California State Assemblyman Michael Duvall (Orange County) didn't realize his mic was live, moments before the start of a legislative hearing this past July. So when the 54-year-old married father of two began describing his ongoing affairs with two different women in very graphic detail for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, he had no idea that he was being recorded. The story was picked up by KCAL, who cited unnamed sources that said Duvall was describing affairs with two married lobbyists. [more inside]
"Bring An End To This False Prophet Obama"
Jon Voight speaks at Annual GOP Fund-Raiser [more inside]
Jon Voight speaks at Annual GOP Fund-Raiser [more inside]
This weekend, at a pizza restaurant in the liberal suburb of Arlington, Virginia, more than 50 people attended the first event held by the National Council for a New America - which is intended to "be a dynamic, forward-looking organization that will amplify the common-sense and wisdom of our fellow citizens through a grassroots dialogue with Republican leaders." The speakers included former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who said, "This is not about messaging, this is not about branding. This is about trying to foster some discussion, because what's going on in Washington right now is not reflective of the mainstream of this country." [more inside]