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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Palin “Reintroduction” Tour

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The Bitch is trying to get worked up over Sarah Palin’s new house, national tour and movie, but she just can’t.  It’s not that she thinks Palin won’t run.  It doesn’t matter how prepared — or unprepared — a Palin Presidential is — it’s still Palin, and she is a rotten candidate: wacky conservatism aside, she doesn’t bone up on issues, she isn’t disciplined, she wastes time obsessing over slights real or imagined.  You can put lipstick on the pig, and all that.

Chris Cillizza reports:

“There has been zero outreach, zero effort,” said one senior South Carolina strategist of Palin. “Even when she was here for the [Gov. Nikki] Haley endorsement and the book signing, she swooped in [and] swooped out.”

An Iowa operative closely monitoring the 2012 race in the state although unaligned with any candidate echoed that sentiment. “If [Palin] is doing any outreach at all, it would have to be totally under the radar and not with the traditional activist crowd.”

Cillizza also tells us she hasn’t been in New Hampshire since 2008.

The Bitch suspects Palin, if she’s running at all and not just drumming up publicity for her movie, may be counting on the strength of her reinvigorated grassroots, using the movie as her facilitator and the ‘Net as her organizer.  Kinda breakin’ the mold there, breakin’ new ground.  Kinda rogue-ey.  Kinda not. Iowa and New Hampshire voters, especially, view themselves as entitled to kick the candidates’ tires.  They can’t do that if the candidate doesn’t show up.

“They Are More Afraid of Their Base Than of Their Voters”

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Bingo.

More Ezra:

The general electorate might not like Ryan’s budget, but Republican primary voters — or at least the organizations that are assumed to represent Republican primary voters — love it.

The Ultras control the GOP nominating base.  That’s it.  That’s all you need to know about the modern GOP.  Unlike the Democrats during their ’90s DLC-led makeover, the GOP isn’t going to start recruiting more moderate candidates who can win general elections.  They have decided to recruit the most conservative they can find, because ideological purity is a winner for them.  Ideological purity drives moderate Rs and conservative Indies away…and the GOP is betting it won’t drive them into the arms of the Ds, unloved as they are by many mod Rs/Cons Indies.  No, they’re betting their party disaffecteds will either hold their nose and pull the lever for the Ultra; or stay home.    That’s their winning strategy.

More, alarming, Ezra:

Grover Norquist is trying to train 150,000 activists to make the pitch for the plan. “The challenge will be to teach each of our activists to deliver the Ryan speech,” he said. American for Prosperity, the group most associated with the Tea Party successes in the 2010 cycle, whipped yesterday’s Senate vote.  [Emphasis added]

That’s 150,000 people talking up the budget at their neighborhood block parties, at their kids’ birthday parties, at their family reunions, at their church picnics, at the grocery store, to their fellow employees out back on a smoking break…

People, be very afraid.  But more importantly, be involved.  Contact Media Matters/PoliticalCorrection and tell them you want to help push back against the GOP disaster that is the Ryan Plan.  Phone number is: (202) 756-4100.  Do your bit to save your country!

Unbelievable II

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Here is what House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Heartless, Tactless & Stupid-VA) said about potential federal aid to stricken Joplin, MO:

“If there is support for a supplemental [spending bill; extra FEMA $$], it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.

In other words, no extra money for Joplin (estimated tornado damage upwards of $3 billion) without program cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.  ‘Cause the deficit is the Most Important Thing in The World, as the traumatized and grieving residents of Joplin ought to recognize.

Contrast this to what (then) House Majority Leader (and former “Dancing with the Stars” loser) Tom DeLay said in 2005, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

It is right to borrow to pay for it,” he [DeLay] said, adding that cuts could “attack the very economy” that Republicans were trying to bolster. [Emphasis added.]

The Washington Times, one of the two conservative dailies in Washington, DC, from which these quotes were taken, notes approvingly that Eric Cantor “learned” from DeLay’s “lesson.”  Conservatives spanked DeLay for daring to admit the obvious, not to mention the humane, and the appropriate, role of government in a national crisis.

Just for grins, Ryan Witt at Examiner.com proposed five ways Cantor could pay for the Joplin aid (but of course, ideology prevents the good Majority Leader from even thinking such apostasy):

  1. Nix oil company subsidies – $2.5 billion
  2. Allow the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest 2% of Americans to expire – $700 billion (over 10 years)
  3. Accept the Defense Dept.-recommended spending cuts of $78 billion
  4. Allow Americans to purchase the dreaded “public option” which would save $110 billion (over 10 years)
  5. End ethanol subsidies – $5 billion, and could cost the GOP Iowa in the 2012 Presidential….
Note that defunding NPR and Planned Parenthood, repeat targets for social conservatives, are not on this list….

Dem takes NY-26

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The AP calls NY-26 for Kathy Hochul 48% – 43% with 83% vote counted.

(H/T tmpdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)

Unbelievable…

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“Hear yourself, Madam, hear yourself.  “You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, ‘When do I decide I’m going to take care of me?’”

                                                                                                                                          - Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA-07)

See it at Patch.com:

The Bitch was taught to believe in a different America, a better, more generous place firmly lodged in the 21st century.  She bets you were, too.  Rep. Woodall apparently thinks he’s channelling Nietzche’s Übermensch, but his idiosyncratic phrasing and his patronizing sermon makes him sound far more like Mr. Bumble from Oliver Twist.  The Bitch thinks he’d look cute in the hat, too.

In Honor of the NY-26 Special Election

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A Poll!

Walkin’ My Baby Back Home

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Earlier today the Bitch posted another comment on John Boehner’s dependence on the Ultra conservative wing of his party, and at various other times wondered why, in the name of God, the Grand Old Party kept doubling down on economic nuttiness.  Now of course, by definition progressives think Republicans are nutty, so nothing new there.  However, some stories circulating today imply that cracks are appearing in the GOP unity.  (YAY!)

First up, we have the Ryan Plan, which is possibly the defining issue of the NY-26 special election.  As Nate Silver points out, it’s hard (and dumb) to pin too much on a special election with a 3rd party candidate variable, but the Bitch argues that all Silver’s evidence just points toward Medicare  as a deal-breaker.  Specifically, the D messaging of the GOP vision for Medicare.

However,

“The tea party itch has definitely not been scratched, so the voices who were saying, ‘Let’s do this in a way that’s politically survivable,’ got drowned out by a kind of panic,” a top GOP consultant involved in the debate said, on condition of anonymity.

“The feeling among leadership was, we have to be true to the people who put us here. We don’t know what to do, but it has to be bold.”

Another GOP insider involved to the process was more morbid: “Jumping off a bridge is bold, too.”

We’ll know how this turns out tomorrow, won’t we?  (Hint: one goes “splat” when one jumps off a bridge…)

Next, we have this radio interview with Alvin Brown, the first African-American mayor of Jacksonville, FL; and the first Democratic mayor in 20 years.  Michele Martin talks with Mayor-Elect Brown, who said he’d take a pay cut, among other things to move Jax to “the next level.”   Check out minute 2:45, when Martin asks the Mayor-Elect to discuss his tri-partisan coalition.  Clearly he had local, “Main Street” GOP support, given his focus on jobs and putting Jax back to work.  Key takeaway: “You can’t cut your way out of the situation.”  So true; but more to the point, Republicans chose to support him.  The Bitch asks why, and suspects it’s because of his “jobs” focus, which includes accepting (The Evil) federal support.  Proving that some “Main Street” Republicans are smarter about stupid purity tests than the national party….

Then we have the GOP Human Bellwether himself, the Junior Senator from Massachusetts, The Honorable Scott Brown.  First, he beat out Martha Coakley for the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, presaging the 2010 GOP sweep.  Then in a first-blush-o’-love, Senator Brown embraced the Ryan Plan… until he encountered pushback from the Good Folks at Home (the Bitch must assume) and changed his mind.  Ooopsies!

In point of fact, the GOP had been warned that the Ryan Budget (which depends upon Ryan’s proposed cuts to Medicare) was a non-starter, but they went along because, as quoted above, they “didn’t know what to do, but it [had] to be bold.

And now they’re stuck.  [Cue canned applause.]

While one should never discount the Dem ability to turn a lead into a loss, the Bitch must ask, what ABOUT that GOP House majority?

None of Our Damn Business

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Whatever it was that Cheri Daniels ought to say got said this weekend, by the sound of it.  Whatever else Mitch’s backers wanted to hear, her answer to the rumors swirling around the Daniels’ relationship in the ’90s was “None of your damn business.”  And Mitch Daniels proved, again, that he’s one of the few adults in the room.

America Wants to Know…

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Over at Slate, Jacob Weisberg asks the question, “Are the Republicans Losing their Grip on Reality?”

Reality-denial is not limited to the Republican inability to utter words like evolution and revenue. The long-range forecasts in the Paul Ryan plan, which show spending falling to 3 percent of GDP to allow for additional tax cuts, express an impossible libertarian fantasy. So too does the current Republican effort to bring this utopia about by refusing to raise the federal government’s credit card limit. It is not a matter of conjecture, but something closer to a universal understanding among economists, that failing to raise the debt ceiling could cause another global economic crash. The plutocratic populist Donald Trump recently answered this objection on behalf of the party. “What do economists know? Most of them aren’t very smart.”

Ri-i-i-ight.

Additionally,

Even after the release of Obama’s birth certificate, however, nearly one-quarter of Republicans still refuse to believe that the president was born in the United States. Conspiracy thinking is flourishing on the right like no time since the McCarthy era. The GOP rank and file is in desperate need of a cold shower, a slap in the face, a wake-up call. But instead of telling the base to get a grip on reality, the party’s leaders are chasing after the delusional mob. To get to the front of the line in 2012, Republican candidates must pretend to believe a lot of nonsense than isn’t so. Or do they actually believe it?

Scary times, scary times.

Well, This Explains Boehner….

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But what about the rest of the bunch?  Never mind.

Jon Chait at TNR has it right, the Bitch thinks.

Having already taken what he knew to be a huge risk with minimal payoff by supporting the Ryan budget, what can we expect of Boehner during the debt ceiling debate? The market seems to be expecting that cooler heads will prevail. Why would he risk financial chaos? Isn’t he listening to business leaders? But within Boehner’s world, the riskiest move is to be seen as compromising the movement’s principles. When the negotiations tick down to the end, probably in August, Boehner may be thinking not of the guns pointed at the financial system but at the ones pointed at his back. [Emphasis added.]

Boehner has grasped what the Wall Street wing keeps shaking their heads over — the GOP has been subsumed by the ultra conservative wing allied with the Tea Party, and they despise the Wall Streeters.   If John Boehner wants to keep 1) his seat and 2) his job as Speaker, he knows he has to follow the ultras’ tune.  The question for the moment is, how far will the ultras push in order to wring concessions out of the Obama Administration?

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