Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Still Not Getting It…
Three middle-aged-to-elderly white conservative men recently discussed ways to broaden the GOP’s appeal. Here’s a key insight from their confab:
I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans.
Oh. Ma. Ga. I don’t think they can hear themselves, friends. Bless their hearts.
[H/T: TPM; X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 12/04/12 at 04:41 PM
Monday, December 03, 2012
Wingnuttistan in Total Freakout Over White House 54 TREES!!11!!11
“First Lady Michelle Obama seemed excited over the abundant greenery, saying in her holiday address, ‘We have 54 trees in the White House—54. That’s a lot of trees.’ “
Prompting the usual suspects to enter melt down mode. Not only, does the White House have 54 trees, notes Winebox Annie Althouse but the first lady “decorously” refrained from CALLING THEM CHRISTMAS TREES! Double play! Dig at the big spending, lobster eating Michelle Obama and a gratuitous “war on Christmas” jab for good measure.
Yes, the Obama’s are going to let the country slide over the fiscal cliff. They’ll be riding all those Christmas trees while the rest of us just try to grab a branch or two. It’s always fauxrage day over something in Wingnut Land.
Posted by marindenver on 12/03/12 at 07:00 PM
Use Your Words, Please, GOP
Well. We’re not quite a month beyond Republican Obamageddon: The Sequel and it would appear that the GOP’s lip-quivering, angst-y period of brutal self-assessment has been completed, in record time, and—guess what? no changes are necessary, there’s nothing wrong with Republicans, it’s the rest of the world that’s fked up.
That’s right. They’re going full gonzo doubledown and as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo predicts: “There Will Be Hilarity . . .”
Roger that. There already is . . .
For example, we’ve had the week-long Willard “Mitt” Romney National Pity Party including a tear-stained piece in the Washington Post describing a haggard Mitt riding his bike aimlessly through the quiet streets of La Jolla, while Ann stays inside weeping in private. Evidently, she won’t even budge to hop on her dancing horse (Rafalca, likewise, is said to be sulking in her stall, seriously off her feed).
We have photos of Mitt pumping his own gas, for Pete’s sake, without any Secret Service to take a bullet for him and, then, there’s the sad, sad Cratchitt-y tale of the Romney’s Boston Market Thanksgiving dinner. (Actually, I would have taken the Romney’s for Chick-Fil-A folks . . .)
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 12/03/12 at 12:19 PM
Friday, November 30, 2012
Romney’s Reliance on Internal Polling Led to Massive Miscalculation, Fear, Loathing, Not to Mention
A HUGE WASTE OF FIREWORKS!!
Noam Scheiber at TNR relates the sad but true story of how Mitt and his advisers relied on the results of flawed internal polling almost exclusively in the waning days of the campaign to confidently predict that Romney would win by a comfortable margin.
Scheiber charts out the predicted outcomes in swing states from the internal polls, which were composed of 2 day averages taken over the weekend before the election, compared to the actual results in those states. The contrast is head shaking. The polls underestimated Obama’s vote totals from 2 points to as many as 7 points in these states, all of which were won by Obama and not, as the campaign expected, by Romney.
It really begs the question of whether they ever even wondered why their poll results were so out of line compared to other polls being taken over the same periods by independent sources. The differences appear to be misguided assumptions about the demographic make-up of voters who would turn out combined with a belief that Romney was experiencing a surge of momentum in several of the states (helped on, no doubt, by all the people clapping hard for it to be true).
But before you schedule the fireworks display and invite all your big donors to fly their private jets in and help celebrate (to the extent that the airport was apparently in danger of running out of plutocrat jet parking spots) and decide to forego the concession speech, wouldn’t you want to, you know, nail down your figures a little more? Take a hard look at the assumptions and reconcile them to the assumptions being made by the pollsters who weren’t projecting a Romney landslide? Question things just a leeetle bit more? So poor Tagg didn’t have to melt down and Egg didn’t need to cry? No stiff upper lips for the gob smacked after all.
Not if you do things Mitt Romney Style I guess. Which brings me to the central point. What a bullet we dodged! Someone who is so ready to believe in the complete veracity of their polls when all the other polls are saying “no, no” (well, not all, exactly; Faux News was still out there, but still) wouldn’t even have to try and fake the WMD stuff to take us to war with Iran. He’d just send the troops in with that smirk on his face.
And we never did see his tax returns, did we?
Posted by marindenver on 11/30/12 at 05:40 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
That’s Mighty White of You, Mr Speaker
Well, a Speaker’s work is never done. While less important members of Congress get to lamely splash around in the shallow end of the Lame Duck session, sober serious men of import have things to do. So it is that Speaker John Boehner has spent the last few days consulting his personnel binders, astrological charts and donor lists to determine who’s been naughty/who’s been nice and who wins the Chairs of the Various House Committees. And, at last, the list of winners for the 113th Congress’ House Lobbyist Windfall Sweepstakes have been announced. And guess what? everyone on the list just happened to turn out to be Caucasian with a prominent Y-chromosome!
Yep, Speaker Boehner consulted his collection of White Dude Binders and found the perfect match for every House Chairmanship. What’re the odds they’d all be WHITE MALES?? Way to go, GOP! That ought to be a base broadener.
Boehner’s picks are pretty unremarkable except for a few boners (erm, pardon the pun) like appointing climate change skeptic, Lamar Smith (R-TX) to head up the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. (Maybe he got confused because Smith is a Christian Scientist?)
Another “notable” on Boehner’s short list is Paul Ryan to do an encore as Budget Committee Chair despite the fact that Ryan needed a special waiver because his term-limit was up. Guess it’s just unimaginable to have budget committee without Boy Blunder at the helm? Maybe a Special Extraconstitutional Proclamation naming Ryan Committee Chair for Life?
So Roasters, hoist yourselves another hearty holiday draught of Schadenfreude 2012 and drink deeply! mid-term elections will be here before we know it.
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/28/12 at 09:07 AM
Friday, November 23, 2012
Pat Robertson’s Ministery of Disinformation
There, now. That’s over—the annual American Festival of Family Dysfunction that we like to call “Thanksgiving.” The day when American families of all sizes and backgrounds come together, whether they like it or not, to reaffirm their understanding that democracy, even at the lowest common denominator—the Family Unit—is a colorfully messy and overwrought business that leads to gorging and pathological excesses.
Our national holiday for giving thanks has necessarily turned into a four day Jamboree of Capitalism and Retail Mania signifying just how damned exceptional Americans truly are. Here’s hoping that all of you Thankful drank hearty, ate huge American over-sized portions of traditional-food-that-is-bad-for-you-unless-you’re-a-cowboy-or-farm-hand-or Michael Phelps-who-burns-12K-calories/day and are now prepared for the traditional Black Friday hangover cure of standing in long lines in the fresh air outside Big Box stores, for the opportunity to scarf up retailer-rigged bargains on junk from China (just don’t cross that Walmart picket line).
One of the less talked about benefits of Thanksgiving reunions is, of course, the chance to catch-up with that notorious experiment-in-genetics-gone-horribly-wrong that every family harbors (come on, admit it) and usually welcomes back to its bosom ONCE per year. This is the relative who shows up with a battery-operated dancing roast turkey on his/her head, an already opened litre of vodka in a brown bag and who arrives demented and/or drunk or gets there remarkably quickly. This is also the guest who is not too lily-livered to broach the subjects of politics, religion, race, queers or family history hot buttons to get the conversational ball rolling.
Trust me, this is all going somewhere relevant, because the very first thing that I read this morning, Black Friday 2012, was a bit about Crazy Uncle Pat Robertson admitting he got a few things wrong about this years predictions after his January Summit Meeting with The Lord. My first reaction to reading that item was “how long will this monstrous chucklehead receive national media attention for his racist, bigoted, xenophobic chats with God and his Magic 8 Ball?
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/23/12 at 09:07 AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Who Let the “Democrat Dogma” Out? WoofWoof
Well, I guess Republicans just plain have a hard time curbing those GOP talking points, bless their hearts . . . even when opening their pieholes means still more embarrassment for the GOP. Evidently, Sen Rob Portman (R-OH) is not buying into the “better branding for tired out ideology” school of Republican Resuscitation.
You’ll probably remember Portman in his most recent role as the Obama Stand-In for the Rmoney Master-Debater Club. You may have forgotten by now, however, that Portman served several useful purposes during the George W. Bush administration, including Budget Director (2006-2007) for the administration which presided over turning a surplus into a record-breaking deficit. Let’s not forget that Dubya was the only President in US history profligate enough to pass an unfunded Medicare Advantage bill, two tax cuts and start two wars at the same time, yelling “deficits don’t matter” all the while.
One might expect that a “serious” person with world-class fiscal silliness like that on his resume might take a seat and be quiet for a while when the subject turns to the economy. But one would be underestimating the arrogance and puffery of the GOP which refuses to retire the nonsense about tax cuts for the wealthy creating jobs . . . or the foolishness about generating revenue through tax reform.
But noooooo . . . Portman campaigned for Romney and was considered for the Vice Presidency of an administration that promised to continue and reinforce those voodoo economic policies without bothering to share with the electorate how they expected to make it work after 30 years of documented failure. Portman probably considers himself a serious contender for 2016 and he’s still a standard-bearer for that failed Romney message:
I saw Nancy Pelosi’s comments … saying you can’t get enough revenues through the itemized deductions and closing loopholes. That’s just not accurate. I mean, it’s just not accurate. You can.
You can get more revenue if you wanted to. So I don’t know where her math is coming from. It sounds to me like it’s more just a matter of Democrat dogma that they want to be sure that people’s tax rates go up.
The problem with that is, it’s going to result in more lost jobs at a time when we’ve already lost too many.
Portman is probably referring to the idea that Romney floated, late in the campaign, to cap deductions. But from Obama’s perspective, the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts is one thing and the subsequent negotiations over reducing the deficit are another. Obama comes off the election with a strong hand to play on raising tax rates on the top 2%—NOW.
Howard Gleckman, of The Tax Policy Center, explains how capping deductions might work and why it might not work for Obama:
The politics of this would still be very tough. For instance, a deduction cap would hammer charities and they are already gearing up to fight it. TPC estimates that revenues would be cut by one-third if charitable gifts are excluded from a $50,000 deduction cap.
I’m not even sure these changes would get lawmakers all the way there. But they show a compromise is possible. There are ways, crude as they are, to hike taxes on the wealthy without raising their rates as much as Obama would like.
Still, there is another important issue to keep in mind. A cap would only fill the hole left by preserving the low rates now enjoyed by the wealthy. Thus, revenues from such deduction limits would no longer be available to help reduce the long-term deficit—a job that would then be more heavily weighted to spending cuts. And that may be the real reason why Obama is reluctant to use this tool in the short run.
Meanwhile, smart people who are sincere about job creation know that the thing that drives job creation is demand for goods and services. Smart people who are interested in long-term fiscal policy and “lessons learned from history” know that concentration of wealth always results in economic contraction.
Time to move toward the light, Republicans.
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/21/12 at 11:03 AM
Saturday, November 17, 2012
It’s starting to really shape up that the criticism of the Obama Administration regarding the attack on the consulate at Benghazi is a lot of outrage about….the Obama Administration even existing. I was astonished that then-Republican candidate for the presidency, Mitt Romney, chose to opportunistically seize on the deaths of four Americans because it was the sort of flail a losing campaign with a candidate who neither seemed to know or care to understand much about foreign policy might launch. Astonished that no one called it off—not astonished that it occured. The point being—I could remember exactly that sort of fail-flail occuring with a candidate who attempted to grandstand on an issue—the economy, which was not his known strong point, in exactly the same point in his campaign;
The candidate was Senator John McCain, and the event was the nonsensical suspension of his campaign and the further subsequent flail of calling together a group of his peers to try and hash out a plan. From then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s version of the events:
It was brilliant political theater that was about to degenerate into farce. Skipping protocol, the president turned to McCain to offer him a chance to respond: “I think it’s fair that I give you the chance to speak next.”
But McCain demurred. “I’ll wait my turn,” he said. It was an incredible moment, in every sense. This was supposed to be McCain’s meeting—he’d called it, not the president, who had simply accommodated the Republican candidate’s wishes. Now it looked as if McCain had no plan at all—his idea had been to suspend his campaign and summon us all to this meeting. It was not a strategy, it was a political gambit, and the Democrats had matched it with one of their own.
Finally, raising his voice over the din, Obama said loudly, “I’d like to hear what Senator McCain has to say, since we haven’t heard from him yet.”
The room went silent and all eyes shifted to McCain, who sat quietly in his chair, holding a single note card. He glanced at it quickly and proceeded to make a few general points. He said that many members had legitimate concerns and that I had begun to head in the right direction on executive pay and oversight. He mentioned that Boehner was trying to move his caucus the best he could and that we ought to give him the space to do that. He added he had confidence the consensus could be reached quickly.
As he spoke, I could see Obama chuckling.
McCain had nothing, then, and got called on it, just like Mitt Romney had nothing when, during the second debate, he stepped into the trap (“Please proceed, Governor”) that invited the moderator to actually perform an act of journalism and check the factual record, acknowledging that Obama from day one did consider the Benghazi assault an act of terror.
How is it then, that right after Mitt Romney’s notable shellacking in the election, that Senator John McCain decides to jump on the Benghazi bandwagon with both feet, so eager to publically smear Obama that he calls a potential nominee for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State “none too bright” whilst he is literally blowing off a briefing to potentially get the kind of answers that he was seeking?
How does one shriveled human actually contain so much bitterness? I don’t even know. In his wake, the wingnuts who were in mid-flock are caught spouting gibberish by journalists who smell a rat.
This leaves me with the happy thought, espoused by Booman, that just like this was a non-story, maybe this means John McCain is finally persona non grata. I, too, have longed for the time when McCain inserted his platinum card to draw from the old Bank of American Trust, and finds it declined (hell, he should get a bill with penalties for being well and truly overdrawn). But I treat this non-story as a bloggable event in much the way a doctor is interested in symptoms—“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.” I’d like to see the symptoms abate—and yet, I am watchful in the event that the screamers on the right will try to actually get their “Watergate-style” hearings—facts be damned! They see the ghosts.
They need them. Or they would have to face the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Obama Administration’s greatest success is in not really being fuck-ups.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/17/12 at 12:10 AM
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Eric Cantor, Magnificent Backstabber
My brilliant co-bloggers have covered the Petraeus affair with their characteristic brilliance. The one thing I have to add to the commentary concerns the role of the Republican party’s resident Iago/Starscream...
Consider, if you will, the strange case of General David Penetraeus. When he was heading up the counterinsurgency in Iraq, Petraeus was the fair-haired boy who stood up to quisling Democrats regarding war policy, any criticism of him was considered treasonous by right wingers. To the Republican true believers, General Petraeus was seen as the great hope for Republican party since Bush was a failure (for a hilarious sample of butthurt, check out this fawning video). The hero-worship for Petraeus wasn’t limited to his biographer/comare.
The most bizarre feature of the current Petraeus adultery scandal is the source of the leak. A teabagging FBI agent got wind of Petraeus’ affair and concocted a theory that the press was conspiring to hide the affair to, get this, protect President Obama. The teabagger contacted fellow teabagger Eric Cantor, who informed the director of the FBI. The conspiracy theory is now that Petraeus was forced to resign before he could testify about the attack on the consular office Benghazi. Yeah, this is an Obama Administration scandal, even though all of the principals are Republicans. Now, the conspiracy mavens on the right just might impeach the president for another man’s infidelity (the specter of Clinton’s penis yet again looms over the office of the presidency).
If Eric Cantor stabbed David Petraeus in the back in an attempt to embarrass President Obama, it would not be the first time that he stuck it to a fellow Republican. During last year’s debt ceiling negotiations, Cantor bucked Boehner’s authority as Speaker of the House. Eric Cantor is a false-friend worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy or a mafia movie. Part of me thinks that he might be engaged in a deep-cover Alinskyite plot to undermine the GOP from within (and then I come to my senses). It would be fun to spread this rumor in order to undermine Cantor, the man who single handedly prevented David Petraeus from rebuilding the Republican Party and taking it to victory (bonus hilarity at the link- d00d thinks Scott Brown should run in a 2013 special election if John Kerry becomes Secretary of State).
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/15/12 at 11:55 AM
Krauthammer on Critical List: Obama Derangement Syndrome Suspected
Let me open this by saying that I have nothing in particular against Charles Krauthammer. Indeed, I have a lot of respect for his career achievements—the man has racked up most of the “serious journalist” credentials that any writer can. But, Mr. K is human and, as such, subject to emotion and occasional error and, apparently, the results of the 2012 Presidential Election were shocking enough to derail even a “serious man” like Charles Krauthammer.
Krauthammer’s first foray into the post-election “light” was to reassure Republicans that they had gotten nothing wrong outside of subtlety, perhaps, and that their candidate, Mr Willard Romney was a generally swell fellow who would have made a generally swell Chief Executive. Seriously? Mr. K has also hastened to reassure the GOP that President Obama’s win means nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Obama has no mandate, he has no plan and he’ll be over before they know it. SNAP!
Close on the heels of that nugget of political “good advice,” came Mr Krauthammer’s rather patronizing opinion that Hispanics are just a big happy crowd of wanna-be-Republicans in brown-face who will follow you anywhere if you shout “Amnesty” at them. The basis for Mr. Krauthammer’s estimation that Hispanics are “natural Republicans” is that they are hardworking, family oriented people with “traditional” values, unlike the rest of us. His conceit is that the Republican Party holds the moral high ground in the country and therefore should be the tent that “all the best people” flock to.
One might expect that Krauthammer could have worked out most of his Obama-animus with those screeds and exited with a portion of dignity still intact, but he wasn’t finished with Obama by a long shot, because his nose for a “BIG story” led him right to the Petraeus Affair—and his absurd little conspiracy theory about how the Obama administration blackmailed and then sacrificed the god-like Petraeus to cover up Obama’s “incompetent” handling of the Benghazi attack.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/15/12 at 07:55 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
What Am I Missing?
Semi-related to Bernard’s post on Petraeus below, I’m wondering if y’all can explain to me how this Obama conspiracy to blackmail Petraeus to give false testimony to Congress on Benghazi is supposed to work. The theory was put forth by Charles Krauthammer yesterday and eagerly taken up by the usual suspects today. Here are the underlying suppositions:
1. The Benghazi affair is more politically consequential than Watergate, Whitewater, Iran-Contra, Chappaquiddick, the Keating Five and the Teapot Dome scandals all rolled into one, and Romney totally would have won the election if it had been covered properly.
2. President Obama must’ve ignored warnings infinitely clearer than the 8/6/01 Presidential Daily Briefing entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US,” which was obviously not worth investigating after 3K civilians were killed on Bush the Lesser’s watch.
3. The only way Obama could cover his ass in the Benghazi affair was to orchestrate a scandal to compromise the country’s most prominent general, and he fiendishly used a wingnut FBI agent’s obsession with a seemingly flaky Tampa socialite to kick off an investigation that would lead down paths those two pawns could not foresee.
4. Obama further used Jedi mind-tricks to silence noted political opportunist Eric Cantor after Cantor was briefed on the scandal before the election, thanks to the aforementioned wingnut FBI agent.
5. Petraeus is either, A) such a dummy that he was willing to lie to Congress on 9/13 to buy a short reprieve from the announcement of the scandal, which he knows will then engulf him and destroy his career, or B) such a dupe that he will keep lying about Benghazi even after Obama has betrayed him and destroyed his career.
I don’t believe wingnut conspiracy theories since I’m not deranged, but I can usually at least follow their logic down whichever rabbit holes it leads. Not this time. Am I missing something? In what universe does any of this shit make sense? I don’t get it.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 11/14/12 at 12:29 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Republican Comeback Strategy: Hug a Latino
¿Qué hay de nuevo, GOP?
Evidently “elections have consequences” because a brief two months ago the Republican Party nailed up one of the most hardline immigration planks in GOP history to its 2012 Platform. That policy, drafted by America’s #1 Nativist, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, called for such controversial policies as the completion of a border fence, the end of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and an end to sanctuary cities. You might remember Kris Kobach as the person who prepared the original legislation that became the inspiration for Arizona’s SB1070, as well as hardline immigration laws in Alabama, Georgia, and other states.
The platform also pledged support for national E-Verify, an Internet database to be run by the federal government that makes it harder for undocumented workers to get jobs. (Big Gubmint isn’t all bad, I guess)
Simultaneously, the Romney campaign was soft-pedaling anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric and, indeed, aired some Spanish-language campaign ads in Florida, included some campaign stops with high-profile Hispanics, flirted with the idea of Marco Rubio for their Veep, spray-tanned their candidate, and even trotted out a Spanish-speaking Romney son to appeal to swing state Latinos.
Nevertheless, the base must have its way and the Republican Platform Committee was easily swayed by Kobach’s pitch:
We recognize that if you really want to create a job tomorrow, you can remove an illegal alien today. That is the way to open up jobs very quickly for U.S. citizen workers and lawfully admitted alien workers.
and they voted overwhelmingly in favor of Kobach’s immigration plank, effectively wiping out the inroads that had been forged by George W. Bush into the Latino electorate which enabled him to score an enviable 40% of the Latino vote.
The GOP, faced with an embarrassing defeat, is now showing every sign of being as short-sighted and ham-handed as ever in addressing its systemic problems. It’s not surprising that Republicans are floundering after this defeat which puts to rest the notion that the 2010 mid-term elections presaged some sort of Republican renaissance, rather than a peculiar political blip—an all-in last gasp of “angry, white” American misanthropes orchestrated by Old Guard die-hards like Dick Armey and Karl Rove.
The same old Republican fatal flaws are glaringly evident. The party is looking for a quick fix that will allow them to win elections without going through the pain of a serious ideological self-examination, or the shocking revelations of listening to people and taking them seriously.
If it wasn’t so very pathetic, it would almost be funny that Republicans, like Charles Krauthammer, seem to have, very quickly, come to the conclusion that Latinos are “Republican by nature” and that all the GOP has to do is package their pitch carefully to strike Hispanics’ internal chords of Republicanism. Put that in your pipe, Bill O’Reilly . . .
All of a sudden, hispanic immigrants have gone from being opportunistic job suckers, uneducated, unskilled parasites, criminal predators, and drug and gun runners to the “salt of the Earth,” a perfect fit with the GOP’s God and family traditional values. Or, as Peter Beinart of The Daily Beast put it, the GOP is beginning to see “Hispanics as Tea Partiers with visa problems.”
It will be a shock to these geniuses to learn that Cubans, Caribbean Hispanics, South and Central Americans, Spaniards and Mexicans are not all alike—until that dawns on them, they will waste a few election cycles herding cats, when they could have just paid attention to the world they live in:
According to the Pew Research Center, half of Hispanics now favor gay marriage compared with one third who oppose it. Hispanic Catholics are about as pro-gay marriage as white, non-Hispanic Catholics, and Hispanic evangelicals are less opposed than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts. And while some past polling has shown Hispanics to be more anti-abortion than other Americans, the distinction is diminishing as second- and third-generation Hispanics prove far more pro-choice than their immigrant parents and grandparents. In fact, according to ABC News, 2012 exit polls actually showed Hispanics to be more supportive of keeping abortion legal than other Americans.
If Hispanics aren’t all that culturally conservative, they’re not obsessed with immigration either. According to Pew, 60 percent of Hispanics rated the economy as their top issue (almost exactly the same as the public at large). After that came health care, the deficit, and foreign policy. A USA Today/Gallup poll this summer found that Hispanic registered voters prioritized health care, unemployment, economic growth, and the gap between rich and poor over immigration.
Here’s another fact about your “natural Republicans,” Mr. Krauthammer:
According to Pew, while only 41 percent of Americans as a whole say they want a bigger government that provides more services, a whopping 75 percent of Hispanics do.
I predict that the GOP’s strategy to woo Latinos will be to consult their Big Golden Book of Ethnic Stereotypes and launch some entertaining attempts at becoming “latinized.” They may drop some of their more aggressive English-Only programs. They may decide to let smart kids and soldiers stay without too much hassle. They might offer a retirement plan to America’s Toughest Sheriff.” They’ll probably find a few more photogenic Cuban-American Republicans to poster-ize in the mistaken belief that immigrants vote ethnicity over policy.
Maybe the GOP is still in a state of denial but how does it really help to delude themselves into thinking that Latinos are natural Republicans as long as women, gays, blacks, secular whites, Asians and the young are not? Doesn’t that suggest that perhaps “natural Republicanism” is fatally flawed and might not be worth pushing to anyone? Or is that too hard to sort out? The problem with courting the 1% is that they are only 1% and one of the lessons of 2012 is that money still doesn’t buy American elections.
Meanwhile that “angry old white men” base is simmering, stewing and threatening to blow sky high if you threaten to give any more of “their America” away.
Tough spot, GOP but, you know what?—You built it!
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/13/12 at 12:50 PM
Monday, November 12, 2012
Since the Kenyan Usurper's re-election, a bunch of wealthy "Jerb Creaters" has decided to "Go Galt" in order to punish the American people for their temerity to buck the wishes of their rightful overlords. In perhaps the silliest of these threatened layoffs is the promise from Applebees' franchise-owner Zane Tankel
to freeze hiring at his forty Applebees locations. Mr. Tankel's main beef with Obama is that the Sinister Kenyan would force Mr. Tankel to **GASP** insure his employees. Why should Mr. Tankel be forced to spend money on his food-handling employees to keep them healthy? Chronically diseased food service workers
have been part of the American experience for centuries- insisting on a healthy workforce is positively un-American.
Mr Tankel is vowing to freeze hiring and to cut back his current employees' hours, thus ensuring that they won't be able to afford to eat at casual dining establishments such as Applebees. Mr Tankel's decision not to expand his operations in the New York Metropolitan Area
is a major blow to the region, because there are very inexpensive restaurants in New York City
. Also, if Applebees restaurants in New York City are understaffed, who will restock the salad bars
that so many hard-working office drones depend on for their mid-day repasts? BOBO WEEPS!
Finally, Applebee's is America's Neighborhood Grill and Bar
. If these American grill-and-bars close, New York's neighborhood bars will be taken over by sinister foreigners
with strange, almost unpronounceable names like Declan and Patrick. We can't let that happen, just because another sinister foreigner is trying to force healthcare costs onto a hapless millionaire! Remember, folks, tyranny starts with something small, like a pre-broken healthcare system designed by right-wing think tank staffers. If that is unopposed, then the government will implement even greater affronts... why, they may even insist that minimum wage standards
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/12/12 at 09:17 PM
Tax Cut Kabuki for Dummies
President Obama’s re-election has released a veritable tsunami of conservative animus directed both outside and inside the GOP. Every post-election day that goes by spawns ever more colorful responses to the “shock and awe” dealt to unsuspecting Republicans of every stripe. Today, for instance, we have the highly amusing spectacle of the circular firing squad setting their sights on the “conservative media” for leading us all down the garden path about Romney’s real prospects.
I can’t figure out which “conservative media” they’re going on about, though, because David Frum, Jonathan Martin of Politico and, now, Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” evidently believe that they are not members of that particular club. Frum pouted that, “Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex.” Politico’s lead story today exposes the GOP’s “media cocoon,” which prevented it from seeing a true picture of the election. And Scarborough commiserated with the donors who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into conservative Super PACs, saying they should be mad that they were “lied to” by conservative media, and yet he attacked Nate Silver, calling him an “ideologue” for predicting anything but a tossup in the election? I wonder how he would have reacted if some conservative pollster had said “You know this isn’t looking too good for Mitt”?
Hilarious. I’ll bet Rush Limbaugh is simply quivering in his Gucci loafers at the prospect of his excommunication from the “new” conservative movement all infused with truthiness. Wasn’t it just a few short weeks ago that Paul Ryan earned the title of Prevaricator-in-Chief and was carried around the Republican Convention on the shoulders of adoring fans for setting a new land speed record for zero to sixty lies in 20 minutes?
Whatever. That’s all pretty funny in a typically over-the-top Republican way . . . what I’m finding even more entertaining is the posturing of John Boehner who, apparently. believes he actually has a hand to play on the Bush Tax Cuts expiration. Perversely enough, there even seem to be a few Democrats who are playing along. Now I understand that this election has been particularly discombobulating and we’ll just have to put up, for a while, with silliness like Grover Norquist’s revelation that Obama won the election by calling Mitt Romney a “poopy head.”
Nevertheless, get serious people! those Bush Tax Cuts are not even in play. Furthermore, Republicans, that’s your fault. Back when you wanted to ramrod those babies through, you structured the deal so that they would expire in ten years. You had to do that because that was the only way that you could make them appear to cost less than they did. Had they been less “ambitious” (i.e., showboat-y) you might have gotten them passed as smaller, permanent tax cuts and you’d still have Obama where you want him. Obama would now be in a position, even having won the election, that required him to come hat-in-hand to beg the House to raise taxes on the wealthy. Alas, that wasn’t how you played it, so now it’s time to suck it up because you’re about to learn a valuable lesson about being “hoist by your own petard.”
Back in 2010, fresh off a Republican takeover of the House majority, President Obama agreed to extend the Bush Tax Cuts for two years until after the 2012 election. Coming off the spanking of the 2010 mid-term elections, a lot of Democrats were angry and dispirited over that capitulation but it was smart and, actually the best thing for the economy that was, otherwise, about to be tamped down whenever possible by an obstructive House bent on making Obama a one-term wonder. Even then, though, anyone who could think two moves ahead could see where Obama was going with that extension to preserve the status quo until the 2012 election, all that remained was to be re-elected and cash in his tax-cut-expiration chips. Boehner and company don’t have enough leverage to prevent the Bush Tax Cuts from expiring.
As the President pointed out, post-election, the Senate has already passed a measure to extend the tax cuts for the middle class only. Republicans are in a “pay me now, or pay me later” situation insofar as they can pass that plan now, or after the tax cuts expire in January. Despite the fact that word has come down from Mount Norquist that any vote for a tax plan that extends only the middle class tax cuts and allows the upper rates to expire is tantamount to “raising taxes,” that’s the very sort of silliness that doesn’t appear to work any longer. Not to mention that the GOP doesn’t have a whole lot of political capital to squander, right now.
All that the administration needs to do is allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire (without panicking), then immediately revive the Senate bill and—win/win. Republicans get to say that they passed a big tax cut package and the President gets his revenue-from-the-rich.
The only way that Republicans could conceivably screw this up is to stand on principle, turn their platform on its head and vote against a massive middle class tax cut to preserve low tax rates for the wealthy who frankly, aren’t all that incensed about the notion of their tax rate rising—especially the ones who aren’t Republicans to begin with (and, believe it or not, there actually are a good many of those.)
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/12/12 at 12:19 PM
Foxes Guarding Henhouses & Open Thread
Florida Governor Rick Scott, whose attempts to disenfranchise Democrats backfired when he inspired them instead to endure waits as long as eight hours to vote, now says it’s time to review and reform the voting system:
“We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process,” Scott said in a statement. “I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”
Maybe it’s time to federalize voting processes. A democracy can’t function if eligible voters are prevented from casting ballots, and Scott and other GOP clowns were openly subverting the process. They shouldn’t be in a position to do so.
Please feel free to discuss whatever.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 11/12/12 at 06:49 AM