Tag Archives: Congress

A Note from the Past: My 2010 Election Post

This is a revised post from 2010.  So much of it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since then.  And not for the better.  I’ll repost it more or less as is and use it as a starting point for my current political thoughts as we get closer to the election….


I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days as we head to the 2010 election. For Progressive’s like me, it’s forecast to be a rough one who’s results may lead us backward as opposed to foreward.

And, once again, the South will lead us there. We’ve always been good at looking fondly backward in the South–whether the facts support it or not.  That makes for fertile ground for the Republicans.  I’ve always said:  “Republicans look backwards with Fear while Democrats look forward with Hope.

That got me thinking. Why is it the South is such a stronghold for the Republicans? Here are my thoughts:

  1. The South is heavy with fundamentalists and evangelical religions. These people have been played by the Republican Party like a cheap violin. Here is what I would say to them: Open your eyes. Under Bush, the Republicans controlled the government and did not ban abortion or execute any of the other points of your agenda. If they didn’t do it then, they won’t do it now. They are using you. Wise up.  
  2. There is a history of Patriarchy in the South that is not dead. Many people, especially in smaller towns and rural areas, still follow the leadership of local political leaders with little thought. They are used to being led without questions or taking time to check the facts because they think they “know” the person and he/she is “one of us.”  
  3. Education is not really valued by a large portion of Southerners. They are suspicious of the overly educated and think they don’t understand them. The Republicans are very good at playing dumb and coming off as one of the “good ole boys” while they use the votes of the poor whites in the South to channel money and benefits to their rich friends on Wall Street.
  4. Southerners resists looking at anything too deeply. Introspection is not valued in the South. Action is….The Republican’s play on this very well.
  5. Facts don’t mean much in the South. Truth has always been conceptual rather than a reality. Any region that can convince itself for over 150 years that the Civil War was about “states rights” rather than slavery is capable of any kind of self-delusion.
  6. The South tends to hate the idea of Big Government, even if they enjoy the benefits. They can over look little things like Social Security, Medicare, new bridges and highways, and insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and college kids. They somehow don’t make the connection that the federal government provides these things…
  7. Southerners value personal freedom above all else, as long as you are a straight white man.
  8. The President is Black and he’s a Democrat. To a large group of folks in the South, this alone is enough reason to vote Republican. Although you may never get them to admit it…

What can Democrats do to change all this and win the South?

  1. Learn to fight. The South and most of the Country values people who stand up for their principles. The GOP has Balls and the Democrats have Brains. You have to have both to win in the South.
  2. Push for independent, bipartisan redistricting commissions.
  3. Get out your message. We’ve got to publicize the benefits of the legislation we do pass and how it helps the poor and middle class as opposed to the Rich. The Democrats and The President have failed miserably at this for the few years. We have real achievements, but no one knows it.
  4. Take on the bullies at Fox News. We have got to make people realize this is not a news organization, but a propaganda machine that provides entertainment to the ignorant. We should be pushing companies not to advertise on Fox News. We should be telling the Management to turn it off in Public places like restaraunts and gyms.
  5. Call a liar a liar. This relates to number 1, but I can’t stress this enough. The Republicans look right in the camera and lie. And no one calls them on it. We have to start making people aware that there are things called “Facts” and stand up for them.
  6. Make this about Class Warfare. A class war is going on for years and most of the country just started to realize this. And the Republicans started it. Call’em on it. 
  7. Make it clear: Unless you have an individual income of greater than $200,000 or a combined Family income of over $300,000, there is absolutely no financial reason to vote for the Republicans. If you want to vote for what is best for your pocketbook, vote for the Democrats. The Republicans really only answer to the Corporations and the wealthy.
  8. Make Obama white. That’s about the only way you can get about 35% of white Southerners to support the Democrats. We have to focus on the remaining 65% of the South with open minds.
  9. Wait it out….The older, closed minded, prejudiced Southerners are dying off. The younger ones are more open minded,  better educated and have seen more of the world. These are the Southern Democrats of tomorrow.
  10. Make your Democratic friends vote. Even if you have to go to their house or job and throw them in the car and take them to the polls. There are more Democrats than Republicans in many parts of the South. The problem is Republicans always vote and Democrats don’t. If more Democrats would actually just show up at the polls, we would win a lot more races.

Those are my thoughts for now.

All I have left to say is:

If you are a Democrat, get off your butt and vote. There are no excuses.

If you are a Republican-why don’t you just book a spa day for Tuesday and let the election go? That would really be best for all of us….

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Filed under Elections, North Carolina, Politics, Scott's Commentary, The South

Let’s Face the Music and Dance

Government shut down…impending debt defaults that could drive us into a recession, if not depression…. idiots in Congress with no grasp of reality or social conscience…..

Sounds like we need Fred and Ginger, to me!

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Shutdown 2013: The Deal That Will End It

There is a lot of press about the Government shutdown brought upon us by the out of control Tea Party Loonies in Congress.  However, this is the best single write up I have seen….

This excellent article, by Noam Scheiber in the “New Republic”, summarizes where we are and how we got there with the Government shutdown- and just how desperate the GOP is becoming to find a way to end it.

It also very well points out the fractures in the GOP between the few pragmatic Republicans left in Congress and the Tea Party that, protected by heavily gerrymandered districts, is running rampantly crazy in Washington.

The best thing to come out of this is that the GOP Establishment has seen that they have created a monster with the Tea Party and that they are going to have to deal with it- or let it destroy the GOP.

I’m fine, either way….

Here is an excerpt from and a link to the full article.  It’s fascinating reading….

The problem for the GOP is that, as insulated as the House jihadis are from national trends, Senate Republicans and House pragmatists emphatically are not. When the approval rating for Republicans drops nationally, these people are badly exposed. They begin to fear for their jobs. They become desperate to cut a deal—any deal—that will end their political pain. And once they do—once there is a deal that a large chunk of Republicans either explicitly sign onto or tacitly endorse—then it is game over for the House. There is simply no House Republican leader who can resist a bill that many if not most Republicans want to see pass, a bill that has passed the Senate, and to which the only alternative is the complete annihilation of both the Republican Party and the global economy.

As we enter the home stretch, the dynamic is only reinforcing itself. The Tea Partiers have become steadily more delusional, reminding the pragmatists how insane it was to lock arms with them in the first place. “When I was home, I talked with people in our office that called in, I don’t get the sense that 70 percent [of people blame us],” House conservative Jim Jordan told Politico last week. (Good point!) On Sunday, the loonies in the House seized on a report that a mob of patriots overran the World War II Memorial and reclaimed it for … well, for whom isn’t entirely clear. But the loons in the House promptly labeled it a “game changer,” according to National Review’s Robert Costa. To them, it was the latest sign that the country sees things their way.

The pragmatists are, in turn, only becoming more anxious. Costa reports that aides to Mitch McConnell now worry they’ll have to make concessions on the sequester just to end the current crisis, whereas they’d previously assumed they could leave the sequester in place and trade it for entitlement cuts in a future grand bargain.

What Costa doesn’t discuss is the Republican leadership’s incentives, which is the final, poetic wrinkle in all of this. McConnell and Boehner, in addition to understanding how badly the Tea Partiers have hurt their party, have yet another reason to sue for peace. McConnell is facing a Tea Party primary challenge in his re-election campaign. Boehner has been repeatedly embarrassed by the Tea Partiers in his caucus, who have actively sabotaged his leadership (egged on/manipulated by Texas Senator Ted Cruz). Both men know their side has lost. Both men also know their party’s fanatics are to blame. Do you think they don’t want to see the Tea Party humiliated before all is said and done? Do you think they might want to see the Tea Partiers stuck with all the blame?

At the very least, it’s hard to believe they’ll fight too hard against any deal that accomplishes those goals. As I say, those intra-party rifts are a bummer.

via Shutdown 2013: The Deal that will end it | New Republic.

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State by State Impacts of Sequestration: Or How Bad GOP Policy Will Hurt You and Your Friends

There is a great page at the Washington Post showing the real, state by state, impacts of the Sequester that kicked in yesterday.

The Sequester  which no one seems to be paying much attention to yet.

This is another one of those unnecessary crises that Washington Republicans specialize in creating.

And, of course, they don’t care in the least about the impacts on people or government services that help and protect us all.  All they care about is choking off as many of these government services as possible to align with their doctrinaire, Conservative ideologue, Washington-bubble induced vision that all government is bad….

Maybe it will take the people feeling the impacts of these arbitrary cuts to realize how important government programs are for all of us….

It’s a shame when people only realize the importance of what they have when they lose it…

But that may just be human nature…..

Maybe it has to be personal…

The impacts to the Economy from the resulting job and income loses don’t mean much to most people unless it hits them directly….

Maybe this is what it will take for  people to put some pressure on the GOP to stop acting like selfish, spoiled children and vote them out of office in the House and Senate in 2014.

Here is a link to the information at the Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/sequestration-state-impact/

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Beer Merger Challenged By Justice Department

I’m so relieved to know our Justice Department has it’s priorities in order…

I’m sure they don’t have anything more pressing than this to consider…

Of course, this does impact a large portion of the population that has to drink to deal with the fact that we have a bunch of incompetents (AKA:  The GOP) in Washington focusing on irrelevant issues instead of addressing the most pressing needs of the country.

Forget the Tea Party, let’s start the Beer Party!


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Thursday filed a lawsuit to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev’s proposed $20.1 billion purchase of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which would unite the ownership of popular beers like Budweiser and Corona.

The government said the deal could lead to higher beer prices in this country because it would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. beer market, particularly in 26 metropolitan areas. It said the merged firm would control nearly half the beer sales in the U.S.

In response, Anheuser-Busch InBev promised a court fight to preserve its deal.

Americans spent at least $80 billion on beer last year. ABI’s Bud Light is the best-selling beer in the nation and Modelo’s Corona Extra is the best-selling import.

via Anheuser-Busch-Grupo Modelo Merger Challenged By Justice Department.

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Bye Bye to the Crazy Grand Dames of the GOP

How sweet it would be to be rid of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin in the same year!  God knows, they have both had more than  their allocated 15  minutes of fame….

People are sick of Sarah and it looks like Fox News isn’t even going to renew her contract.  The GOP certainly didn’t want her around their convention…

And now, it looks like Michelle Bachmann has a very good chance at losing her Congressional seat….

Maybe people really are finally getting tired of mean, crazy people in Politics.

We can hope….

From Salon via Politicususa.com:

A new poll suggests that tea party darling Michele Bachmann is in serious danger of losing her House seat to Democrat Jim Graves.The poll, which was first shared with Salon, found that Bachmann now leads Graves, 48%-46%. Bachmann has gone from a 45%-41% lead with Independents to now trailing 52%-37%. The biggest indicator of how much voters have soured on Bachmann is that 57% of those surveyed gave a fair/poor job approval rating. Almost as many responded rated her as poor 35% as did excellent/good. Respondents also had cool feelings towards Rep. Bachmann as a person. Forty one percent said they had warm feelings towards Bachmann while 46% expressed cool feelings towards the incumbent Republican.After winning her 2010 bid for reelection by twelve points, her 2012 campaign is looking like a return to the norm. Bachmann first won election to the House in 2006 in a three person race by a 50%-42%-8% margin. Bachmann won another three way contest in 2008, 46%-43%-10%. Bachmann’s margin of victory in both 2006 and 2008 combined was less than her margin in the Republican wave year of 2010.Even though her popularity is on the wane in her district, Rep. Bachmann will be difficult to beat because of the massive war chest $15 million she has accumulated. Bachmann also has been heavily supported and funded by the national Republican Party. Michele Bachmann is a right wing media darling who is welcome to go on Fox News, Glenn Beck, or any other conservative media outlet and beg for dollars at any time.

via Bye Bye Crazy Eyes: Poll Finds Democrat in Position to Defeat Michele Bachmann.


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Republicans Do Remember That Women Vote, Right?

I’m not so sure they do remember that women vote….or they are planning to try to roll back that basic right next….

One of the reasons I’m blogging so seldom right now is that between the GOP Presidential Primary Campaign and the GOP War on Women, I am speechless at the stupidity of the GOP and really don’t see the point in commenting on a bunch of crazy old white men who think it is still 1952 and would obviously prefer to be having cocktails with Joe McCarthy and J Edgar Hoover…..

Then along comes a true rarity:  A good column from Dana Milbank in the Washington Post….

It really has become obvious the GOP is starting to lose its War on Women- and its collective mind- when even DC insiders like Milbank recognize it and feel free to state it publicly….

The Republicans have really alienated women over the last few weeks with their drive back to the 1950’s.  It’s becoming more and more obvious they are a bunch of rich, old, white men who want to keep their patriarchy alive- and feel threatened by uppity Gays, Blacks, Latinos, Asians and most especially Uppity, Slatternly Women- which to them seems to mean all women who aren’t their wives or, in some, but not all cases, their daughters…

They obviously seem to think women are all either sluts, who should have no rights, or Ladies, who should mindlessly support their husbands and do their bidding without question.

This is the 1950’s mindset they have and just assume everyone else has also….

Rush Limbaugh is justifiably catching hell right now for actually having the nerve- and stupidity- to concisely articulate the Republican position on women.  It’s so obvious, he must be surprised at the blow back directed at him instead of Congress….

My favorite quote is from the female Oklahoma Lawmaker who said:  “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d f*#k a Senator.”

The Republicans are driving women over to the Democratic Party in droves with   their intrusive anti-abortion legislation in Virginia-  among other states- their anti contraception amendments in the Senate and the assault on Planned Parenthood and Women’s healthcare.

Can anything be more indicative of how out of touch the Republican Party is than the fact that we are actually discussing anti-contraception legislation in the 21st Century????

I’m starting to think there must be a lot more retro-closet cases than Ken Mehlman in the GOP if they are this afraid of “lady parts”…..

From Dana Milbank in the Washington Post:

When will Republicans stop their vagina monologue?

March is federally recognized as Women’s History Month, and Republicans have been celebrating the occasion in a most unusual style: with a burst of interest in women’s private parts.

On Thursday, the Senate took up an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would allow employers to deny women birth-control coverage if the employer found contraception morally objectionable.

About 100 miles south of Washington on that same day, Virginia legislators passed a measure requiring a woman to be offered an ultrasound image of her fetus before aborting it. The legislation, which opponents say could also require some women who have miscarriages to be offered ultrasonic images of their dead fetuses, is the successor of a bill that would have required women to undergo an invasive “transvaginal ultrasound.”

Still on Thursday, the industrious Virginia House of Delegates also approved legislation bestowing rights on people, including a father, to bring a lawsuit over the death of the fetus.

On Wednesday, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, a powerful influence among Republican lawmakers, described as a “slut” the law-school student invited by House Democrats to testify in support of birth control. “It makes her a prostitute,” Limbaugh said of the woman, blocked last month by House Republicans from testifying on what became an all-male panel. “She wants to be paid to have sex.”

On Tuesday, Oklahomans held a protest at the state capitol to oppose a bill, passed by the state Senate and now being taken up by the House, that would bestow “personhood” on fetuses — one of many such efforts across the nation. Democrat Judy McIntyre, one of just four women in the 48-member state Senate, was so upset that, according to the Oklahoman newspaper, she held a protest sign proclaiming: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d [expletive] a senator.”

via Republicans do remember that women vote, right? – The Washington Post.

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The Latest Republican Hypocrite: Arizona Sheriff Rocked By Accusations Of Alleged Immigrant Ex-Boyfriend

And the latest Republican Hypocrite is:  Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu

Not only Gay, but publicly anti-immigrant and dating a male Mexican Immigrant….

They are just going to love this in Arizona!

I somehow think his Congressional campaign just ended…

From TalkingPointsMemo, click the link at the bottom for full story and pictures:

Rising Republican star and well-known border hawk Sheriff Paul Babeu, who’s now running for Congress in Arizona, was hit Friday night with bombshell accusations from a Mexican immigrant who said he dated the sheriff for years and was threatened with deportation if he ever told anyone about their romance.

The Phoenix New Times newspaper broke the story on its website in a piece written by veteran journalist Monica Alonzo. The accusations came complete with text messages said to be between the two men as well as compromising photos purportedly of Babeu that are reminiscent of recent sex scandals that ended the careers of Congressmen Anthony Weiner and Chris Lee.

In one photo, Babeu is seen posing in front of a mirror in nothing but his underwear. In another, he has his hand inside the man’s partially unbuttoned shirt.

The newspaper identified the accuser only by his first name, Jose, citing his fear that the sheriff would try to challenge his immigration status.

Jose said he met Babeu through the dating website gay.com in 2006, before he became sheriff, according to the newspaper. Babeu was a police officer in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler at the time and was elected as sheriff of Pinal County in late 2008.

Beyond the romance, the newspaper also said Jose volunteered for Babeu’s campaign, maintaining his websites and social media accounts.

They were apparently together during Babeu’s fast rise to becoming a national figure in the fight against illegal immigration. The sheriff first burst onto the national stage in 2010 when he appeared alongside Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) in a now-famous television ad, calling on the federal government to complete “the danged fence” along the US-Mexican border.

More recently, Babeu has been a frequent guest for Fox News for immigration-related topics, including the ongoing Fast and Furious scandal. He has endorsed Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential primary, and touted as a co-chair of the candidate’s presidential campaign in Arizona. He even recorded robocalls for Romney that went out to voters in Iowa last year.

via Arizona Sheriff Rocked By Accusations Of Alleged Immigrant Ex-Boyfriend | TPMMuckraker.

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STOCK Act Opponent NC Senator Richard Burr Stands To Gain From Natural Gas Investments

It’s a real shame we couldn’t get rid of Burr when he was up for re-election a couple of years ago, but I’m afraid Elaine Marshall just wasn’t the right candidate with the right resources to run against him.

And the Democratic Senatorial Committee and Democratic National Committee weren’t much help either…

He is such a corporatist non-entity, he should have been easy pickings if we had had the right candidate with sufficient resources at the right time.

But that was also the height of the Tea Party insanity….

Burr taking positions like this and having this obvious conflicts of interest should make it much easier to retire him next time.  It truly takes guts- and stupidity- to vote AGAINST insider trading laws for Senators!

From the Huffington Post:

Sen. Richard Burr’s vocal opposition to the STOCK Act raised some eyebrows in Washington this week, and with good reason.

Burr, a North Carolina Republican who was one of just three senators to vote against the ban on congressional insider trading Thursday, owns investments in the natural gas industry that would benefit from legislation he co-sponsored offering tax credits for natural gas-fueled vehicles.

Burr has investments in the gas industry valued from $133,298 to $219,337, according to his 2010 filings. His portfolio includes $36,000 worth of stock in Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas. He also holds more than $25,000 in shares of Loews Corp., a holding company with subsidiaries engaged in the exploration, production, marketing and transmission of natural gas.

He was on the losing side of Thursday’s 96-3 passage of the STOCK Act, that would tighten rules for lawmakers and their aides using inside information for personal investments. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he’ll bring the STOCK Act to the House floor next week.

Burr’s investments pose “a very clear conflict of interest,” said Craig Holman of the advocacy group Public Citizen. He said the STOCK Act “will make members of Congress much more cautious in any particular sector, including natural gas.” While the STOCK Act wouldn’t prohibit such investments, “members of Congress will have to think twice about any kind of trading activity they do,” Holman said.

via STOCK Act Opponent Richard Burr Stands To Gain From Natural Gas Investments.

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Barney Frank’s Nipples Steal The Show During House Address

This is one headline- and picture and video- that I really hoped never to see….

It also serves as evidence that the guy who wrote the book in my previous post is so deadly wrong….

Here is the article, if you must, you can click the link and see the pictures and video at the Huffington Post….

Outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) appeared to have the congressional equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction Monday, when he delivered an address from the House floor and ended up being upstaged by his own chest.

Dressed in a snug, light blue crew neck shirt with a jacket draped over his shoulders — perhaps because he’s now wearing a large cast on his left hand — Frank stood at the podium to deliver a speech on bank failures, and instead raised questions about how cold it was in the House chamber.

Frank has announced that he will retire when his current term is up. No longer beholden to electoral politics, it’s possible that we’ll see some more unusual sartorial decisions before he departs the halls of Congress.

Before he decides to go with this outfit again, which doesn’t appear to fit under traditional House floor dress code, perhaps he should consider tracking down a “manzier,” the undergarment invented by Cosmo Kramer in the 1990s sitcom “Seinfeld.”

via Barney Frank’s Nipples Steal The Show During House Address (VIDEO).

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