Via Rachel Maddow
Frank Schaeffer author of "Crazy For God" to discuss the dangerous rhetoric that healthcare reform opponents are employing in sowing outrage among their followers particularly references to Adolf Hitler and Nazis.
Via Rachel Maddow
Frank Schaeffer author of "Crazy For God" to discuss the dangerous rhetoric that healthcare reform opponents are employing in sowing outrage among their followers particularly references to Adolf Hitler and Nazis.
It is understandable, of course, that right now everyone’s most immediate concern is protecting Trig Palin from Obama’s Human Productivity Freikorps. There is just no time to worry about specifics like reality. Enter Meg Stapleton, whose job it is as official spokesperson to an unemployed private citizen to concern herself with such horrid, gruesome detail, like how Obama will personally expel Trig to the alabaster, horizonless Alaska of the Sky. See “HR3200 p. 425 see ‘Advance Care Planning Consultation,’” clarifies Stapleton. Hats off everybody, please—show some respect.
According to Jake “Tapper” Tapper, HR3200 p. 425 includes:
“a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning,” and an explanation “of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title,” as well as “an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders.”
How cynical, Herr Öbama. At least when you say “consumers and their families” have the decency to say what you actually mean—what we all know you’re alluding to—which is “specifically Trig Palin and Sarah Palin’s parents, who are very old, too old for my taste, frankly.”
Via John Cole
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Birther Theme Song:
Via CQ Politics
A small group of people who question Pres. Obama's citizenship, so-called Birthers, have been getting a lot of attention lately. The president has decided to address the controversy straight on, debunking the Birthers and various other claims in his latest Web video.
Via Rude Pundit
Alright, alright, you caught us and, boy, our faces are as red as the blood on our hands. No, no, it's okay for us to come clean. Stop shouting at the Rude Pundit to shut up. We need to admit to the right that, ultimately, one of our greatest goals with health care reform is to kill old people. Goddamn, that felt good to say. The Rude Pundit thinks he's gonna put on his Angel o' Death suit right now and head to the local state-run nursing home to "consult" about end-of-life issues with the patients. By the end of the day, betcha tens of thousands of dollars in Medicare bucks will be saved. Oh, yeah, the Rude Pundit wants to watch as millions of senior citizens are forced to lay in warehouse dorms, moaning in pain until they shit themselves to death. Fuck, oh, god, the thought of the sounds and the smell gets liberals hard and wet. We'll watch through one-way glass and have orgies, climaxing when a buzzer sounds to indicate one more government burden has agreed to die or be killed. Then an Obama-approved nurse will bring us the corpse so that we can throw it on the floor and continue our fucking on top of the bodies. It is our way.
So, yep, when Pat Buchanan queries in his latest column, titled, no, really, "Time to Go, Grampa" (a title that makes it seem like Gramps is an incontinent pet on his way to the vet), "[I]s not the logical purpose of paying doctors for house calls to the terminally ill, whose medical costs are killing Medicare, to suggest a pleasant and early exit from a pain-filled and costly life?" what can we answer but "Pills or shotgun?" Of course, Buchanan takes all this to its inevitable outcome: "Hitler’s Third Reich, marrying Social Darwinism to Aryan racial supremacy, carried the concepts to their logical if horrible conclusion." But who are we to argue when it's so patently clear that a discussion about a living will is just cover for our nefarious, pseudo-Logan's Run dystopianism.
And, yep, Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council (motto: "If babies weren't aborted, Tony Perkins wouldn't have a salary") is right when he exposes, "The bottom line is that health care rationing isn't coming--it's here. And until euthanasia is specifically prohibited in the legislation, the only thing that should be humanely killed is the plan to encourage it." The legislation doesn't prohibit prescriptions for blow jobs and fingerfucks by dedicated professionals, either, and that's legal in Nevada. So it must include it. Fuck, we thought of everything.
Fred "God, I Got Old Fast" Thompson tries to cover for his right-wing allies, accusing "Democratic strategists" of creating the whole euthanasia controversy: "It does seem that the words attributed to unnamed conservative culprits are fairly mild compared to the hysteria coming out of left-wing Web sites and blogs." (Note to Thompson: The Rude Pundit just named a couple of them. And one of 'em compares health care legislation to the Holocaust.) Putting on his rational hat, Thompson says, "So is this a conspiracy to kill off granny? No. Will seniors be forced to make decisions they don't want to make? No. But will 'practitioners' be encouraged to have end-of-life discussions that include when it might be best for patients to allow their life to end earlier than it has to? Of course. And seniors have a right to be satisfied that there is not, at the heart of this process, undo consideration given to cost-cutting."
But, sweet, bejowled character actor, you're wrong. This is a conspiracy to kill off granny. Indeed, let the word go out to townhalls everywhere: if you bring granny or gramps to the doctor once this bill becomes law, they will be given Obama's "care." In fact, the Rude Pundit encourages the grandkids of Buchanan and Thompson to make sure their grandparents get the best "care" government-run insurance can provide.
Over the past 30 years the Republicans have been working to promote their agenda and none of it seems to be for the betterment of America. They have worked hard to push the cutting of funding for infrastructure repairs to promoting their crusades in the oil lands. Now we are discussing heath care reform and the Republicans are pulling every dirty trick out of their playbook to stop it, from the classic propaganda of high taxes and the destruction of the middle class to trying to claim senior citizens will be encouraged to commit suicide.
But why are they fighting so hard? I have three answers and none of them will be very popular with the conservative element.
Reason number one, money. Lets be perfectly honest, Republicans claim they are for the common man and main street businesses but ever action only benefits mega corporations. Consider this, Cleve Killingsworth, CEO of Blue Cross received a pay increase of 26% pushing his salary, including a million dollar year end bonus to $4.3 million dollars. How many people had to be denied coverage or life saving treatments in order to boost profits high enough to pay that kind of salary? And you know the lobbyists on K street make sure a chunk of those profits are funneled to their favorite memebers of Congress.
Reason number two, power. Corporate America has become the new feudal system. They control their employees with the threat of unemployment and the loss of benefits. As long as the unemployment rate remains high and insurance costs are out of control people will remain at a job, even a bad one, for financial reasons. High insurance rates are just another control mechanism and again, corporate America makes sure members of Congress are well compensated for maintaining the status quo.
And reason number three, the "gotcha" factor. Since 2005 the Republicans have been on a downhill slide. From Katrina to the Cheney shooting and the endless scandals of the "do nothing" Congress the Republicans haven't had a win in years. They suffered a humiliating defeat in both 2006 and 2008. They now have such a void in leadership that Sarah Palin, the clown princess of the Republican party, is actually at the top of the 2012 nominee list. They have no real plans or programs so the best they can do is try to tear down those of the Democrats in order to claim victory. The Republicans are desperate for some kind of win and they couldn't care less how the rising cost of health care affects the average American or to paraphrase South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, they want the issue to be President Obama's Waterloo.
The Republicans are desperate to regain power in America. They have proven they will do anything to re-seize control of the government. Well anything but actually help Americans, after all that would be socialism!
From Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films:
UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen Hemsley owns $744,232,068 in unexercised stock options. CIGNA’s Edward Hanway spends his holidays in a $13 million beach house in New Jersey. Meanwhile, regular Americans are routinely denied coverage for the care they need when they need it most.
Ah, Sturgis … it’s like the “Gathering of the Juggalos” for middle-aged people who saved up enough for a Gold Wing! And the $100-million McCain family just adores acting like they love this dumb populist cretin crap, because, after all, the McCains have those riches only because Cindy’s dad actually worked for a living, selling Budweiser to guys with choppers, in Arizona. It’s circular!
You’ll recall that last year, during the presidential campaign, John McCain offered up Cindy to the drunken, leering crowd of filthy bikers. And Cindy just, well, she just looked uncomfortable as all hell, because, really, should a real-life heiress be thrown to the dogs like that, by her supposed husband? To this day, Cindy still doesn’t really think anything is funny.
Anyway …. Our favorite “oh dear god is she still around?” twitterer, First Daughter, First GangBang by Bikers at Sturgis romance novelist Meg “McCain” McCabe, has apparently left her elderly parents’ estate in Sedona and is now offering herself up to the dirtiest of the dirty Sturgis dudes. She is hoping to become some special person’s “Old Lady,” and by “run away with you” she might mean anything, such as “run after you crying hysterically while you noisily ride away on your motorized cycle,” or “weep in the woods, surrounded by Bud cans and cigarette butts and Taco Bell wrappers, in the night.”
Honestly, some people let this guy shape their political thinking.
No, really. I swear.
I've seen them say he makes perfect sense.
Yes, it's famous stand-up comedian and sit-down demagogue Glenn Beck, of Glenn Beck's Kavalkade of Komedy, Krying, and Kommunism, performing all of his world-famous funny voices. Like a 21st century Jackie Gleason, a generation has grown up on Glenn's beloved characters.
And the gang's all here! Annoying wife speaking gibberish, Snagglepuss, Kermit the Economist Frog, Casey Kasem, sarcastic Hippie guy pretending to cure cancer (??), Rush Limbaugh (??), Hans and Franz (??), yodeling Hawaiian superhero, Fish Yoda (a personal favorite of ours), opera singer in old Warner Brothers cartoon, drunk guy in old movie, Gollum, whiny teenager, Scooby Doo, dolphin caught in plastic, and, of course, angry dude shouting about something.
The TV ad for health care reform that CNN rejected.
Now why would CNN refuse to air and ad like this?
Who benefits? You...?
Via Rachel Maddow
Exposing the big money backers who pose as average Americans behind the anti-healthcare reform event "Recess Rally"
Birthers, when you're on the wrong side of Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter... I mean c'mon.
After Bill O'Reilly stressed in his "talking points memo" that the GOP needs to regroup and not focus on nonsense like the "birther" issue, Christopher Ruddy from Newsmax.com tells Bill O'Reilly that it's necessary for President Obama to release his birth certificate.
"I don't care," O'Reilly tells Ruddy. "Nobody cares... The only people who cares is Obama haters."
Radio talk show host Mike Gallagher also thinks Ruddy should let it go.
Via Plum Line
So yesterday Greg Sargent asked whether President Obama’s formidable political operation, Organizing for America, was going to get outworked on the ground by the Tea Party activists and others who are crashing town hall rallies around the country.
Maybe Greg spoke too soon: OFA is now directly taking on the Tea Party brigade, calling on supporters to respond with an even greater show of force and support.
With Joe Biden set to tout the stimulus in Michigan today, OFA blasted an email to its Michigan list last night calling on supporters to turn out en masse:
Tomorrow, Vice President Joe Biden is coming to speak in Detroit. I’d like to extend a special invitation to Michiganders to join us in showing our support for the President and Vice President.
This event comes at a crucial time. Special interests trying to sink health insurance reform. Organized mobs across the country are intimidating lawmakers, disrupting events, and silencing discussions about the change our country needs. The challenges our country faces are simply too great to let these debates be overrun by those angrily shouting down change…
Join us tomorrow and show that you’re standing up for the President and Vice President as they fight for the change this country needs.
Meanwhile, the DNC, which houses OFA, is out with a very tough new Web vid directly taking on the “mob” and linking it to “desperate” and obstructionist GOP leaders:
The question now is whether Dem can get the GOP to “own” these mobs, as a top operative put it to me. This would be a twofer: It would define the GOP as desperate, angry and irrationally obstructionist, but it would also define whatever public opposition there is to Obama’s agenda as merely an illusion manufactured by the GOP and special interests.
Conservatives for Patients' Rights, the operation that's running a national campaign against a public health care option, is now publicly taking credit for helping gin up the sometimes-rowdy outbursts targeting House Dems at town hall meetings around the country, raising questions about their spontaneity.
CPR is the group headed by controversial former hospitals exec Rick Scott that's spending millions on ads attacking reform in all sorts of lurid ways, a campaign that's being handled by the same P.R. mavens behind the Swift Boat Vets.
In response to my questions, a spokesman for the group confirmed that it has undertaken a concerted effort to get people out to the town hall meetings to protest reform.
We learned yesterday that the group sent an email to a right-wing listserv called the Tea Party Patriots Health Care Reform Committee, hoping to coordinate efforts on more than 100 town-hall events throughout the rest of the summer.
Brian Beutler added today, "The disclosure makes official what much of the reporting about the disruptions seemed to indicate: that industry funded groups--who stand to benefit if health reform legislation fails -- are playing a significant role in organizing, and perhaps ginning up, the outbursts we're seeing at health care public forums around the country."
It's also worth remembering that Conservatives for Patients' Rights is run by Rick Scott, who is perhaps best known for having been ousted as the head of Columbia/HCA healthcare after a massive fraud investigation. Columbia/HCA ultimately pleaded guilty to a variety of fraud-related charges, paid $1.7 billion in fines, and got rid of their scandal-plagued chief.
HCAN's Richard Kirsch said a couple of months ago, "Those attacking reform are really looking to protect their own profits, and [Rick Scott is] a perfect messenger for that. His history of making a fortune by destroying quality in the health-care system and ripping off the government is a great example of what's really going on.... We cannot have a better first person to attack health care reform than someone who ran a company that ripped off the government of hundreds of millions of dollars."
Right-wing activists teaming up with a right-wing scam artist to ensure the public can't have an honest discussion about health care. It's sad, in a predictable kind of way.
Via Larisa Alexandrovna
Blackwater (Xe): Killing Their Critics
The latest bombshell from Jeremy Scahill about Christan, racist, right-wing extremist Erik Prince (owner of Blackwater) is astounding. You can read it here, but I suggest you watch Jeremy explain it on KO this evening. I also suggest that you have a stiff drink in hand.
Here’s some footage of birfer types (via) at a Lloyd Doggett townhall, chanting “Just say no” and waving pictures of Doggett with devil’s horns on them:
A few points here:
I’ll have to see a bit more of this, but at this point, I think the Republican strategy of sending birfer brigades to shout at the devil is a dangerous one. Even in a conservative-friendly media environment, it’s going to be hard for the tea-ruptions to portrayed as anything other than fringe lunacy.
I’ll also say this: I’ve witnessed a lot of anti-Iraq war rallies in the general Rochester area, including a pretty large-scale one specifically protesting a Dick Cheney fundraiser, and none had the feeling of anger and general craziness of what I’ve seen from the birfer townhall footage. There is a difference between right-wing protests and left-wing ones in this country, at this point. (I can’t speak for what it was like in the past or in other parts of the world.)
Via Lee Stranahan
If you're one of those people yelling at town hall meetings, I hate to break it to you...but you're a patsy...
You may think you're trying to save America from the government...
But you're being used by the health insurance industry who is using the government to keep their very profitable monopoly.
The health insurance industry doesn't care about competition or freedom or patient's rights...
Or you, for that matter.
Via Rude Pundit
Is this really the way you guys wanna play this? Is this the way it's gonna go down? You're sending to townhall meetings of members of Congress a bunch of frightened people with misdirected rage, no real understanding of the issues surrounding even their own health care, and little articulation of their point of view other than "Government bad" to shout down officials, the discursive equivalent of howler monkey yawps across the rainforest. And you're doing it with the imprimatur of the Minority Leader. And with the applause of the right-wing media, who, rather than appear at a townhall to lead the charge like in honorable days of old, are like modern generals, staring at their computer screens and smiling at action they foment.
(By the way, a note to Michelle Malkin: the action of loudmouths trying to shut up everyone else ain't a counterinsurgency. You're using that word to make it seem like you're defending the mainstream. Obama and the Democrats were legally elected in part to implement universal health care coverage. Attempting to stop a lawful government from enacting the will of the majority through intimidation, threats, and fear is, at best, an insurgency, and, at worst, terrorism.)
Can you imagine the cries of "quel horreur" and the fainting gestures of the Fox "news" hosts with dainty constitutions if liberals had coordinated the disruption of meetings of members of Congress in order to oppose a policy of the Bush administration? Oh, wait, we don't really have to stretch that far since any effort, large or meager, to halt the march to war in Iraq was not treated like the free speech acts of citizens to question their government. Nope, we were portrayed as traitors. And we didn't get the support of the Democratic leadership. Is this jealousy that the right gets away with shit we can't? Fucking A, it is.
So the Rude Pundit's of two minds about this strain of reactionary civil disobedience. There's that free speech advocate part of him that's thinking, "Hey, cool, at least people are participating and voicing themselves, and, in general, that's a good thing." But then there's the other hand.
That's the part that says it's time to stop acting like pussies in all of this. Sweet fucking Jesus, we sit by and act like the motherfuckers who protest family planning clinics are just innocuous diversions until some doctor gets killed. We didn't fucking shut down the assholes that barged into the recount in Florida. We take it and take it and take it and then simply sigh that our protests amount to so little, and the whole storyline is stolen from us and run by the compromisers, shills, and punks.
So there's the part of the Rude Pundit's mind that says it's time to show these motherfuckers how it's done, to join the fucking fight. Maybe get some stone-cold WTO protesters to fuck up a few Republican townhalls. When Lloyd Doggett was being shouted down in his district, where were the good Austin hippies to counterprotest? Where, in general, are all of us that fucking fought for Obama to be elected? Step the fuck up.
Tell you what: the Rude Pundit's gonna put up or shut up. He'll go to a few townhalls up here in the wicked Northeast. He'll bring his recorder. And if any assholes try to manipulate the proceedings by thinking they can shout loudest, well, the Rude Pundit's feeling confrontational. No violence. That's for idiots. Just a promise to make sure that liars are called out and motherfuckers are accused of fucking their mothers.
Let's open this up. Who's got ideas - real ones, not fantasy ones - about how to be an actual counterinsurgency?
Update: Apparently, organization, politeness, and a heavy police presence can also work.
Via Raw Story
In what was perhaps an admission that his core supporters are less than entirely sane, Fox News’ Glenn Beck implored his viewers Monday night not to resort to violence.
Beck told viewers to “let Congress know that you are watching them like a hawk… you let them feel your burning gaze on them. But … your interaction with them needs to be respectful, polite, forceful and peaceful.”
Beck suggested that one act of (presumably right-wing extremist) violence could upend the conservative opposition to President Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress.
“If anyone thinks it would be a good idea to turn violent, think again. It would destroy the republic,” Beck said.
That got the blogosphere wondering what brought on Beck’s sudden Gandhi-like exhortation for peaceful resistance.
At Gawker, Cajun Boy opines:
One can’t help but wonder, “What the hell provoked this?” Was it a demand from the higher-ups at Fox News, and do they know something that we don’t about how close certain segments of the right-wing are to acting out violently? Remember when Shep Smith talked about the crazy-ass emails the staff at Fox get from unhinged right-wingers? Could this be tied to that?
Beck may have been responding to the arrest of an armed Long Island fan outside of Long Island Air Force Base, who was evidently looking for evidence that FEMA is building concentration camps — a favorite conspiracy theory among fans of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and other right-wing commentators.
The woman in question, Nancy Genovese, has professed admiration for Beck on her MySpace page.
This video is from Fox News’ Glenn Beck, broadcast Aug. 3, 2009.
Via Thomas Edsall
With Republican party leaders so constrained by ideological blinders that none of their positions is likely to produce gains among non-white minorities, especially Hispanics, the GOP is finding it has no real alternative but to revert to a "white voter" strategy.
To some extent, it's working. The party's opposition to President Obama's agenda -- particularly his cap-and-trade energy proposal and health care reform plan -- is resonating strongly with disaffected white Democratic voters. Republican grievances about Obama, combined with race-baiting commentary from the far-right ideologues who have become some of the most dominant voices of the modern GOP, have led to a precipitous drop in the president's approval ratings among whites.
It's all very reminiscent of the party's notorious Southern Strategy, which carried the GOP for decades. But that strategy backfired spectacularly in the 2006 and 2008 elections, and there's no reason to think it will work any better in 2010 -- especially given the ever-growing importance of the minority electorate.
In this respect, even if the GOP picks up a few House and Senate seats in 2010, many of the party's top analysts believe that it will remain mired in minority status through 2012 and beyond. Other analysts say it may even decline to the level of a minor regional party, with its only real strength in the South.
The Appeal to White Voters
The appeal of the anti-Obama agenda has proven to be particularly strong among whites of low and moderate incomes. The Pew Center, tracking evaluations of Obama's job performance, found in a July 30 report that there "has been essentially no shift in opinion among affluent whites [but] among whites with annual family incomes of less than $75,000, Obama's approval ratings have declined substantially (from 57% in June to 47% today). Assessments of Obama's performance remain high among African Americans (85%)."
ABC News polling similarly found in late June that the possible costs to consumers of cap-and-trade legislation "are particularly important to less well-off Americans. Among those making less than $50,000 a year, support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions drops by 17 points (from 75 percent to a still-majority 58 percent) if it raises prices; support if it costs $10 a month is 49 percent; and at $25, just 35 percent."
The trend lines reported by Gallup are perhaps the most striking: At the start of this year, during late January, Gallup found that Obama's job approval ratings stood at 63 percent among whites, 86 percent among African Americans, and 74 percent among Hispanics. In the Gallup survey taken in late July, Obama had gained 9 points among blacks, reaching 95 percent job approval, and was holding his own among Hispanics, dropping a statistically insignificant 2 points to 72 percent.
Among white respondents, however, he had dropped 16 points to 47 percent. These findings are reinforced by recent trend lines emerging in the Wall Street Journal/NBC polling series. In that series, the decline has been sharpest among white men, whose approval-disapproval ratio fell by 27 points, from 50-36 to 40-53.
The Demographic Trends
Republican pollster Bill McInturff notes that his party must make substantial gains among Hispanic voters or be relegated to minority status. But that just isn't likely.
With a solid majority of Republican senators opposed to the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina nominee to the Supreme Court, and a solid phalanx of adamant Republican opposition to any immigration reform which provides a path to permanent residency of illegal immigrants, the GOP has no real chance of increasing its share of the Hispanic vote.
In the short term, McInturff and others point out that virtually all the Democrats' vulnerabilities are among Anglo voters, especially white men. These trends are likely to produce some victories for Republican candidates in 2010, but the party continues to have long-term problems in building a sustainable election-day majority.
President George W. Bush and his top advisers were acutely aware of the long-range limitations of a "white" Republican Party. Bush, in his appointments and some of his policies, sought to reach out to the crucially important Hispanic electorate, most significantly pushing for immigration reform that would have provided a path to permanent legal residency and possibly citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the country.
The effort paid off for Bush in 2004, when he received 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, a Republican record.
In 2005, however, Bush's use of the immigration issue as a vehicle to win over Hispanics imploded. Republican members of Congress overwhelmingly rejected the proposal, often using language suggesting Hispanics did not share American values and other comments that angered and offended the Hispanic electorate. In the 2006 elections, only 30 percent of Latinos voted Republican, and in the 2008 presidential election, the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain, got just 31 percent.
The Republican Party thrived between 1968 and 2000 primarily because of the gains it made among white voters, especially among formerly Democratic working-class whites, a disproportionate share of whom were men. By 2000, however, the GOP's white strategy began to run out of gas, as the white percentage of the electorate dropped to 80 percent and below.
The trend is striking. In 1976, 89 percent of the electorate was white. That number fell every four years, to 88 percent in 1980, 86 percent in 1984, 85 percent in 1988, 83 percent in 1996, 81 percent in 2000, 77 percent in 2004, and 74 percent last year. The only exception was 1992, when the presence of independent candidate Ross Perot drove the white percentage of the electorate up to 87 percent.
Nate Silver, a sports statistician and political analyst, looks at this from a different vantage point:
Consider this remarkable statistic. In 1980, 32 percent of the electorate consisted of white Democrats (or at least white Carter voters) -- likewise, in 2008, 32 percent of the electorate consisted of white Obama voters. But whereas, in 1980, just 9 percent of the electorate were nonwhite Carter voters, 21 percent of the electorate were nonwhite Obama voters last year. Thus, Carter went down to a landslide defeat, whereas Obama defeated John McCain by a healthy margin.
Silver points out that Republicans are getting slightly less dependent on white voters, but Democrats
are becoming less white at a much faster rate than the Republicans. Whereas 85 percent of their votes were from white voters in 1976, the number was just 60 percent last November. This is, of course, a helpful characteristic, since the nonwhite share of the electorate, just 11 percent in 1976 and 1980, represented more than a quarter of the turnout in November.
Silver produced this chart:
Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz has, in turn, tracked the growth of minority votes cast in presidential elections since 1992 and finds:
For the Republican Party, these trends not only illustrate the danger of attempting to win without improving margins among minority voters, but also the danger that a modest collection of Congressional wins next year - say 10-15 House seats --will only reinforce the dominant forces in the House and Senate wings of the GOP that adamantly support a conservative agenda that precludes concessions to minority groups. That, in turn, would increase the likelihood that the Democratic Party will be able to maintain majority status in 2012 and beyond.
Via Rachel Maddow
Apparently the new agenda for people with no ideas of their own... and no interest in legitimate health care debate... have their marching orders. This is NOT accidentally occurring randomly.
PRINCETON, NJ -- An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from the first six months of 2009 finds Massachusetts to be the most Democratic state in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states, as they were in 2008. Only four states show a sizeable Republican advantage in party identification, the same number as in 2008. That compares to 29 states plus the District of Columbia with sizeable Democratic advantages, also unchanged from last year.
These results are based on interviews with over 160,000 U.S. adults conducted between January and June 2009, including a minimum of 400 interviews for each state (305 in the District of Columbia). Each state's data is weighted to demographic characteristics for that state to ensure it is representative of the state's adult population.
Because the proportion of independents in each state varies considerably (from a low of 25% in Pennsylvania to a high of 50% in Rhode Island and New Hampshire), it is easiest to compare relative party strength using "leaned" party identification. Thus, the Democratic total represents the percentage of state residents who identify as Democratic, or who identify as independent but when asked a follow-up question say they lean to the Democratic Party. Likewise, the Republican total is the percentage of Republican identifiers and Republican-leaning independents in a state.
The accompanying map shows each state's relative party strength (the full data for each state appears at the end of the article) in the first half of 2009, which primarily covers the time since Barack Obama took office as president. States in which one of the parties enjoys a 10 or more percentage point advantage in leaned identification are considered solid supporters of that party. States with between a five- and nine-point advantage are considered leaning toward that party, and states with less than a five-point advantage for one of the parties are considered competitive.
Via Alex Koppelman
Full disclosure: I was supposted to be on MSNBC this afternoon talking about the Birthers and their release of what they claim is a copy President Obama's Kenyan birth certificate. (It's actually an obvious forgery.) But shortly after I agreed to go on, the booker called and said they had to cancel. The reason why, it turns out, is that they'd booked de facto Birther movement leader Orly Taitz instead.
I'm actually not here to criticize MSNBC, though. Sure, they may have lost out on facts and reasoned discussion, but even I'm more than willing to admit that on my best day I can never be as, um, entertaining as Taitz was.
The segment was, from the very beginning, a trainwreck. It started with Taitz asking how much time she'd be given to respond -- not exactly the kind of question anchors like to get, as it means you're actually eating in to the time scheduled for your segment -- and spiraled swiftly downward from there, with Taitz calling host David Shuster a "brownshirt" and Shuster asking Taitz if it was true that NBC had offered her a car to bring her to the studio, but "you refused because it was sounding a Muslim sounding name with the driver." (Taitz said it was not true.)
There's a good argument to be made, one I'm normally sympathetic to, that people like Taitz shouldn't be getting airtime, same as anyone else advocating a completely debunked but disturbingly popular conspiracy theory. (When's the last time you heard someone on MSNBC saying we didn't land on the moon?)
But in this case, I think this interview actually served a purpose, as Taitz did a fair amount of damage to her cause all by herself. Anyone who was on the fence and watched the interview could not possibly come away from it thinking she's credible.
Via Jeanette DeMain
For those of you who haven't seen the Orly Taitz segment from Tuesday night's Colbert Report, it can be viewed below. (WARNING: All kinds of crazy contained within!)
The fact that she even went on Colbert's show tells me that she lacks a basic understanding of how the world works.
WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. John McCain says he'll oppose Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor when the Senate votes on her confirmation this week.
The Arizona senator calls Sotomayor a judicial activist who tried to walk back from that record during her confirmation hearings. He says President Barack Obama's nominee has used her position as a judge to try to change the law.
McCain is one of several Republicans from states with heavily Hispanic populations to come out against Sotomayor, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents raised in a New York City housing project and educated in the Ivy League.
McCain says Sotomayor's life story is inspiring and compelling, but he says that's not enough to qualify her for a position on the high court.