Archive for July, 2013

Alf weighs in on the Kentucky Senate race

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

So, one note.  Republican Primary Challenges are… maybe over-rated?  Maybe not?
In practice, the task doesn’t seem so hard. Only six House Republicans lost their re-election primaries last year. Half of them fell to fellow incumbents in redrawn districts that forced two colleagues to oppose each other. The other three lost to challengers with strong tea party support.
Still, that’s six in districts that don’t have enough Democrats to matter.  Still, the exceptions are interesting here:
Rep. Jean Schmidt’s loss was instructive. A conservative by almost any measure, the three-term Ohioan was attacked nonetheless for voting to raise the federal debt ceiling and for giving President Barack Obama a peck on the cheek as he entered the House for his 2012 State of the Union address.
If that sounds ridiculous, consider:  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has attracted a ton of Democratic support with similar affectionate gestures.  Jean Schmidt should try another time around, and this time make sure to be seen flashing Obama the middle finger — that’s sure to win her the nomniation.

So, we plunge into the matter of the Senate Primaries of the moment.  Dateline Kentucky.

After rumors surfaced of Bevin’s plans to run, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in the statement Friday that “Matthew Griswold Bevin is not a Kentucky conservative, he is merely an East Coast con man.”

And so, yes, Mitch McConnell is taking Matthew GRISWOLD Bevin (always a sign of things when you throw out the middle name) seriously.

What say Rand Paul?
“I’m not giving him encouragement or discouragement, I mean, its a free country and anyone who wants to run can,” said Paul, who said he believes McConnell will win reelection.
And from the ranks and files:
Some tea party activists have criticized Bevin because he accepted taxpayer money to help rebuild a bell manufacturing business he owns in Connecticut after it was destroyed by fire. The company had no insurance.
And from random Internet Commenter with an Alf Avatar

alfavatarGary Wayne Mize ·  Top Commenter   I have no idea who this guy is. I have never heard of this guy. BUT, I wish him the best. He has got to be better than Naiz Mitch. Mitch for the past several years has had one goal. That is to help Obama destroy American. Between the two of them, along with two or three others, they have almost succeeded. 

I need you to understand:  that is not Alf making the comment.  It is someone who has hi-jacked Alf’s image, and is using it in spouting his political opinions.
Actually what I wonder is… who are these two or three others, besides Obama and McConnell, who have almost destroyed America… but not quite?  And “two or three others” suggests… there’s two and another one in a gray area between “destroying” and “not destroying” America, designation to be determined by a coin flip.

And… Dateline Wyoming.  Something worth mentioning…

Of course, the more immediate conversation that Cheney is starting has to do with her choice of Senate seats, and the way Wyoming and its teensy population is incredibly over-represented in the Senate. In fact, when it comes to the way representation in the Senate in terms of population has gotten hellaciously out of whack, Wyoming is basically the test case. A March 2013 article in The New York Times puts the state of Wyoming alongside the city of Fresno, Calif., and, as is their wont, a “portrait emerges”:
Fresno, Calif., is a city of a half-million people with a long list of problems, including 14 percent unemployment, the aftermath of a foreclosure crisis, homeless encampments that dot the sun-blasted landscape and worries about the safety of the surrounding county’s drinking water.A thousand miles away, a roughly comparable number of people inhabit the entire state of Wyoming. Like Fresno and its environs, Wyoming is rural, with an economy largely based on agriculture. It is also in much better shape than Fresno, with an unemployment rate around 5 percent.

Even so, Wyoming receives far more assistance from the federal government than Fresno does. The half-million residents of Wyoming also have much more sway over federal policy than the half-million residents of Fresno.

Why this relevant:  Basically your anti-urban bias that will come from your Wyoming politician and voting electorate, and further… anti-federal government bromides.
 Mike Enzi has a thirty point lead right now.

Doc Hastings having nightmares about sea lions now

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Hm.  Gotta kill the Sea lions in order to save the salmon.  Familiar enough story.

Rep. Doc Hastings argued in a heated House subcommittee hearing Thursday that stepping up lethal means against predatory California sea lions could protect the Northwest salmon populations.

I guess it’s like the Birds versus Cats fight.  The winner is whichever lobby is stronger.   (The comment winner for this article are the birds.)

Opponents of the bill argued that the Marine Mammal Protection Act already grants local authorities appropriate action to safeguard the local fish species, saying that there was no demonstrative threat that numbers of the salmon population were falling below what was acceptable by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Okay.  And as always, I love the comments.

The never-ending assault by Doc Hastings to destroy every species competing for the same prey as the humans with the same 19th Century mentality endemic to every CONservative traitor occupying seats in government.  Wolves, sea lions, coyotes, mountain lions, prairie dogs, ad nauseam preyed upon by the human predators who are responsible for the demise of the very species these stupid dolts claim to protect. […]

Hastings is one of the worst remaining CONservative Republican traitors joined with his fellow Republicans and DINOs led by Obama literally destroying our governing system through the phony “sequestration”.  He should resign or be recalled to end his traitorous acts against our Constitutional Republic and all human rights and democracy contained therein.

“One of the worst”?
This is at least amusing, because it is… yes, what I always see when I look up what the Doc Hastings is fighting for what now.

Hastings then went on to argue that wolves should be shot to protect deer and elk populations, and polar bears eradicated to protect seals. He further stated that bans on the international sale of tiger parts and the pelts of other large cats should be lifted to protect numerous species of wildlife from these beasts, and shark finning should be resumed to protect tuna and other economically important fish.

Three… two… one.  Bring in other issues.

Left unmentioned was Republican efforts to lift restrictions on eliminating the top predator that is the true cause of the decline of these species, Homo Sapiens. This would be accomplished not only through direct means such as easing gun restrictions and “stand your ground” laws, but also through the far more effective methods of allowing unrestricted resource extraction and unlimited pollution.

And no, I don’t much like this either:

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and other GOP lawmakers are pushing legislation to block looming Interior Department regulations that govern the oil-and-gas “fracking” on public lands.
The bill is highly unlikely to become law but it signals ongoing GOP political pushback against the rules, which critics say are not needed and will create costly red tape.
The measure introduced Thursday by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Hastings and three others will be the subject of a July 25 House Natural Resources Committee hearing. It’s called the “Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act.”
It would prevent Interior from enforcing regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in states that that already have their own rules or permit requirements.
The bill explicitly says Interior must defer to state rules even if they are less restrictive than federal mandates.

But this comment is a bit much, isn’t it?

The kkk-republiCANT-gop’pers are just sucking big-oils-pipe for political donations at the detriment of the American People, they are heartless with no morals when it comes to their greed and political lust…perry saves a few lives amongst so many unregulated factory workers deaths and the gop kills millions by letting fracking run wild…So Sad, So Very Sad…

“kkkrepublicantgop’pers”?  Don’t really want to be taken seriously.  Sure.  “State’s Rights”.

Even if you just roll your eyes.

GOP lawmakers and oil-and-gas industry groups say that state-level oversight of fracking – the method enabling the U.S. oil-and-gas production boom – protects the environment and public health.
But Interior officials, noting that some states have tougher oversight than others, say baseline federal standards are needed to oversee fracking in order to protect groundwater and other resources.

Because… really.   Environmental regulation should just be left to … the governor of Texas.

a single tear for mike enzi

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Every once in a while a news item comes out about the Paul — now the younger but formerly the latter — a controversy erupts that I find myself saying, “Yeah.  I knew that already”.

Jack Hunter, theSouthern Avenger”, is a neo-confederate extremist, and…

Rand Paul, evidently running for President, is never going to be President.  (His neo-McCarthyite partner, Texas Senator Ted Cruz — another figure supposedly running for president — and never going to be president.  (With him, I wonder if the long anticipated “waiting for Godot” demographic changes will sweep him out after his term is up.  “Ground shift under him”.  We’ll see…)

So, now we have an interesting dynamic coming into place.  A proxy fight between Cheney and Paul in a state with only two elevators, or so understood, with Elizabeth Cheney running against the incumbent Mike Enzi —

and with this because

Cheney’s supporters argue that she will be a true believer in the mold of Sen. Ted Cruz, who is proving day by day in fights with Sens. Dianne Feinstein and John McCain that he doesn’t want to just get along. In the ongoing battle against progressives, Enzi “is not putting points on the board for conservatives*,” says Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState. He says he backs Cheney because she will score those points. “We need GOP Senators to be willing to ‘beat up on their colleagues,’ ” argues Kurt Schlichter atTownhall. “It’s not about collegiality in the cloakroom. We want you hated, despised, and targeted because that will mean you are getting something conservative done.”

(* like the Republican House is doing right now.)

What we need is a throwback to Alan Simpson, who brought points on the board for Conservatives — two or three? — with “Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog“.  Mike Enzi needs to talk to Alan Simpson about how to mangle names of different performers (mockingly or not quite mockingly), which will — put points on the board for all the 60 plus year old Fox News conservatives.

I don’t see Elizabeth Cheney putting those points on the board.

And we come to the curious fixture of this “narrative”:
On the other side of the GOP caucus is a new guard of younger members impatient with Senate niceties. Cheney seeks to join that gang, though that will be complicated. The first problem is that new guard member Sen. Rand Paul isn’t a fan of Cheney (or her father, the former vice president) and supports Enzi. In particular, Cheney and Paul are on the opposite ends of the foreign-policy spectrum. She’s a hawk. He’s not.

She’d thus slide back and forth between the two guards, or be in the situation spotter?

Hm.  Better to look at  Michigan… and possible Republican candidates…

 Video has surfaced of GOP strategist Karl Rove calling U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, the “most liberal Republican.” […]
“The most liberal Republican is Justin Amash of Michigan. Far more liberal than any other Republican,” said Rove, who was senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush.
“And why? Because he is a 100 percent, purist libertarian,” Rove said, “and if it’s not entirely perfect, ‘I’m voting with (Democratic House minority leader) Nancy Pelosi.”

Yes, but Justin Amash is putting points on the board — if not for natural disaster relief than… For Pot.

Concerns arise that Elizabeth Cheney won’t put points on the board for — er — Heterosexuality … but I imagine he has his point maker in the Republican Iowa Senate Candidate who suggested he’d attempt to convert Chuck Schumer to Christianity — now that’s some putting points on the board!

No. Not Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson!!!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Three… two… one… and… does anyone really care?

 The controversial Westboro Baptist Church is vowing to picket the impending funeral of ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith.

And a nation gets to… yawn?  But at least makes some sort of sense.  (It’s always interesting to note that Westboro has a better grip of pop culture than I myself was never paying attention to Cory Monteith’s romantic relations with Lea Michele).  A bit more puzzling is this, which is a “Westboro Baptist” news item that will get a lot less attention.:

Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson can now be added to the ever-growing list of musical acts receiving pre-show protests from the Westboro Baptist Church.
Prior to Anderson’s show at Kansas City, Missouri’s Kauffman Theatre on Saturday night, a group from the Topeka, Kansas based extremist church protested outside the concert, citing Anderson as a “representative of a world of perverse adulterers who have enabled & justified fags.”

It’s just because he happens to be in town.  If Pat Boone were making an appearance, they’d protest him too.  Also it may also be because … you know… Westboro Baptist doesn’t like Heavy Metal music.

gone is Brian Schweitzer… waiting for Christine O’Donnell

Monday, July 15th, 2013

The New Republic looks at the Republican’s path to Senate control with the 2014 elections, and rats it as… possible, very possible, but more likely not than yes.  Nate Silver takes it right over to “Toss Up” — apparently laying more thoughts on the next tier of possible pick ups than considred by the Nate Cohn.

The ponderings comes off of Brian Schweitzer, the governor of Montana, who would have been the odds on favor to an open Senate seat, but whose absence makes the seat likely to go the Republicans.  Brian Schweitzer is a figure, a liberal hero who probably in Washington would disappoint and disillusion his liberal fans…

… and whose decisions do beggar the question:  Why the Hell would you want to take a spot in the Senate, which seems to be a soul crushing experience?  Brian Schweitzer, whose political compromises (my guess is both to the right and to the left) might be way too much for him to handle in Washington and remain sane, will not make that leap.

Basically right now the Republicans are almost certainly going to win currently Democratically held West Virginia and South Dakota, and more than likely than not going to win Montana.  (The Democrats would now be hoping for a repeat of North Dakota’s race in 2012 — where the Democrat had as good a campaign as worldly possible, the Republican had as bad of one as can be, and it was won by less than a percentage point.)  After that… they’d need to win probably Louisiana and Arkansas — the national dynamics seem to suggest they’d need to win both… and then win either North Carolina or Alaska — well heeled incumbents, both, in states with purple under-currents.

We’re looking into an abyss of a Tom Cotton Senate seat in Arkansas.
Alaska is looking at a surreal tap dance by Sarah Palin, and a declared candidacy by Joe Miller as the nutty Tea Party figure up against a Republican Establishment figure the party hopes to get over Miller, and — well… it will be entertaining to beat up on either of those two candidates, yes.

Beyond that, the Republicans would have to not lose Kentucky and Georgia, the only two semi-plausible currently held Republican seats that the Democratic might win.  (Though, Nate Silver tosses Maine into the mix… because… you know.  Christine O’Donnell might poke her head in and screw things up for Susan Collins.)
An interesting nugget, in the off chance that the Georgia Senate race becomes competitive and a Libertarian candidate slices a few percentage points.
There’s another wrinkle here as well. Georgia is the only state in the nation which requires runoffs in the event no candidate receives 50 percent in the general election. Traditionally, these have been held in December. (We saw one for GA-Sen in 2008.) But under the judge’s new schedule, these runoffs would have to be held in January of 2015, because of course the normal November election date can’t be moved.
Entertaining, if nothing else.  (In 2008, I remember chuckling as Sarah Palin, John McCain, and Zell Miller rushed in to get Saxby Chambliss, while Jim Martin for the Democrats brought in… er… Jay Z?  And Obama keeping as far out of the way as possible from a looming electoral crushing.)

Beyond this jumble of races… we get to some interesting primary fights.  Tea Party Republican versus Establishment Republican pick.  Such as that is the case.  Or… probably more likely just amusing figures nipping on some Incumbents heels in and acting as nuisances in the case of Lindsey Graham and … is Christine O’donnell going to take on Susan Collins?
I note that dispute a curious comment from their former Senator, Wyoming is not considered a serious possibility for the Democrats to win.