Archive for Republicans

Nov
24

Not From Around Here, Are Ya?

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Downtown Raleigh from Western Boulevard Overpass
Photo credit: Mark Turner, Wikimedia Commons

When Heath Shuler was Asheville’s congressman, I used to joke that I’d been living within 100 miles of Asheville longer than our congressman had been alive. Yet he was a native son and I remain “not from around here.”

Rob Christensen observes how the rapid influx of newcomers to North Carolina is a reflection of what North Carolina is doing right, contrary to the “broken” narrative that Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-led legislature repeat ad nauseam to denigrate the last 100 years of Democratic dominance in Raleigh.

A net 2 million people have immigrated to the state since 1990. Where once North Carolina had one of the largest native-born populations in the country, now 42 percent of the state’s residents were born elsewhere, including many of the state’s current crop of GOP political leaders. Read More→

Nov
22

No ID Required To Buy An Election, Just To Vote In One

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The GOP insists you prove your identity to vote. But if you want to spend millions to sway U.S. elections, they’ll protect your anonymity, even if you are a non-citizen. Harold Meyerson writes:

Voter suppression has become the linchpin of Republican strategy. After Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012, the GOP was briefly abuzz with talk of expanding the party’s appeal to young and Latino voters. Instead, the party doubled down on its opposition to immigration reform and its support for cultural conservatism — positions tantamount to electoral suicide unless the youth and minority vote can be suppressed.

Meyerson discusses the “interstate shell games” wealthy right-wing donors play to prevent the public from knowing the their identities as the sources of so much negative campaign “speech.”

But you may need a court order to get the documentation they insist you must produce before you can exercise your right to vote. This passes for common sense in some sectors.

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Congressional opponents of Obamacare are taking their medicine show on the road this week — tomorrow. Titled “Obamacare Implementation: Sticker Shock of Increased Premiums for Health Care Coverage,” hearings are scheduled to begin in the congressional district that covers most of Asheville.

Charlotte Observer — U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a critic of the Obama administration, will bring the full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to the Gaston County Courthouse, 325 North Marietta St., for the hearing starting at 10 a.m.

Likely: We’ll hear from small businessmen with a handful of employees how the Affordable Care Act is killing their businesses (even as it exempts businesses with fewer than 50 employees).

Less likely: Darrel Issa asks Americans how many want to go back to the good old days of lifetime caps, preexisting condition denials, non-portable coverage, being dumped by your insurer when you get sick, and rampant medical bankruptcy.

Hot ticket. People from Asheville will be going to support not replacing health care coverage for families who lack it with nothing.

Nov
16

ACA Hearing in Gastonia

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Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is headed to Gastonia, NC to create some ObamaCare sturm and drang for the 24-hour news people to report on. From the Charlotte Observer:

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a field hearing on the Affordable Healthcare Act next Friday in Gastonia.

The hearing, “ObamaCare Implementation: Sticker Shock of Increased Premiums for Healthcare Coverage” will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 22 at Gaston County Courthouse, 325 N. Marietta St., Gastonia, according to the committee’s website.

NC-11 Congressman Mark Meadows is also on Issa’s House Oversight Committee.

WCNC-Charlotte:

“Nobody in the country believes that Republicans want to fix the Web site. For the past three years, the number one priority of the Congressional Repbulicans has been to bring down the law,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D- Maryland) said.

Road trip, anyone?

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Over at dKos late last night, teacherken announced the final margin in the VA attorney general’s race after counting provisional votes: a 163-vote lead for state Sen. Mark Herring (D) over Republican state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain.

The Washington Post elaborates:

The Fairfax County Electoral Board finished reviewing provisional ballots – mostly cast by people who did not have ID or went to the wrong polling place – and added 160 votes to Herring’s (Loudoun) total and 103 votes to the Republican’s. Herring already led on the State Board of Elections Web site by 106 votes.

The additional 57-vote margin from Fairfax was expected to give Herring a statewide lead of 163 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast – barring any last-minute changes from other localities, which had until 11:59 pm Tuesday to submit their numbers to the state election board.

State Board of Elections will certify the election results on Nov. 25.

Brad Friedman observes:

If Herring can maintain his extraordinarily slim lead throughout the almost-certain “recount”, he will become Virginia’s first Democratic Attorney General in twenty years, and his party will have swept all three top-ticket races in the state this year — Governor, Lt. Governor and AG.

From the Miami Herald:

“Voters in Virginia have spoken, their voices have been heard and I am honored to have won their votes and their trust to become Virginia’s next attorney general,” Herring said in a statement. While the vote was close, he said, “Virginians have chosen me to serve as the next attorney general.”

But in such a close race, Obenshain is unlikely to concede.

According to tea party lore, if the Republican loses, somebody must have cheated. On to the recount.

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When they say it’s not about sex, it’s about sex. So what is it when they say it’s not about race?

Minnesota Republicans in Chisago County had to answer that yesterday.

The slavery image was posted Wednesday morning and by the early afternoon it had been taken down and the entire Chisago GOP Facebook page was down for a while.

The page reappeared later in the day and the Chair of the Chisago GOP issued an apology saying, “It should not have been posted, and the party is saddened by it.” The caption on the post says “Slavery, against it? Don’t buy one.”

While Minnesota Republicans were apologizing, the New York Times’ John Harwood cited a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that the partisan divide is about race.
Read More→

Categories : National, Race, Republicans
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Oct
30

Can I Be Frank With You?

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Saw this yesterday, but Susie beat me to it. NJ Democrat, Rep. Bill Pascrell :

Susie says, “I have a favorite T-shirt that says, “I’m not angry, I’m from Philly.” I bought it because people always seem to think I’m being hostile when I’m just a little more, um, direct than most people. (If I ever do go ballistic, you’ll know.)”

Pascrell’s target in this “direct” exchange is former interim U.S. attorney and T-party candidate, Rep. Tim Griffin (R – Arkansas), who resigned his earlier job “a day after the BBC broadcast linking him to illegal ‘voter caging.’” Griffin has just announced he will not seek another term so he can spend more time with the family, as they say in Washington.

But perhaps Griffin will be remembered as he didn’t want to be—for the 2004 “voter caging” story. In 2004 the Bush-Cheney campaign and RNC sent mail to voters’ addresses to check whether those addresses were current. If the mail bounced back, the names were “caged,” and the party had reason to challenge the ballots of these voters if they showed up. In 2004, while at the RNC, Griffin received spreadsheets of “caged voters”—a fact that came up during his confirmation process when he was seeking to become a U.S. attorney. Greg Palast, the muckraking journalist who had originally reported the story, also argued that the voters being targeted were disproportinately nonwhite. That sort of discrimination would have been illegal.

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Oct
15

Cooper Comes Out Swinging

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NC Attorney General Roy Cooper goes national against the destructiveness of Republican rule in the state. This morning in the Huffington Post, Cooper writes,

For the first time since Reconstruction, North Carolina has a General Assembly and governorship controlled by the extreme factions of the Republican Party, and their legislative super majority means their power is unchecked. In ten short months, they have set out to deliberately and systematically undo fifty years of progress. It’s as if the Tea Party created its own playground of extremist fantasies.

Among the nonsensical economic policies in a state still struggling to recover, Gov. Pat McCrory’s rejecting Obamacare-related Medicaid funding “which North Carolina is paying for regardless,” and the jobs and billions it would add to the state.

It’s been a rough ten months and the wrecking crew is not done yet.

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Oct
10

Treasury Truthers

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StewartFoxNewsDenialism is the go-to strategy for Republicans these days. If you confront a problem where facts are not on your side, simply deny the facts. Examples abound but one of my favorites was UnSkewedPolls.com. Polls showing President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney had to be wrong, or skewed. So Dean Chambers did some “analysis” and came up with a different set of “facts”. On Election night, the shock and awe on Republican faces including the candidate himself told the story of just how many people believed the “un”skewed polls.

Recent events have the Republicans butting up against a fact they just can’t live with. If we don’t fund the government and let it borrow more money we will be unable to pay our obligations which will trigger a default. This will have a chilling effect in world capital markets and would probably plunge us into a recession worse than the one we just went through. But none of this is a problem if you just don’t believe it’s true. Until it is true. President Romney can tell you how it works.

Now we have the Treasury Truthers.

Representative Justin Amash, R-Michigan:

“There’s always revenue coming into the Treasury, certainly enough revenue to pay interest,” said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. “Democrats have a different definition of ‘default’ than what we understand it to be. What I hear from them is, ‘If you’re not paying everything on time that’s a default.’ And that’s not the traditionally understood definition.”

Representative Mick Mulvaney, R-South Carolina:

“We’re not going to default; there is no default,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C. “There’s an [Office of Management and Budget] directive from the 1980s, the last time we got fairly close to not raising the debt ceiling, that clearly lays out the process by which the Treasury secretary prioritizes interest payments. Tim Geithner understood that, because the last weekend in July of 2011 he was in New York City telling the primary dealers that we were not going to default on our debt.”

Representative Joe Barton, R-Texas

“I’m not going to vote for the so-called clean debt ceiling where we just give the president a blank check. I will not vote for that.”

“So, we are not going to default on the public debt. But that doesn’t mean that we have to pay every bill the day it comes in.”

Representative David Schweikert, R-Arizona

“I will hear language like, ‘Well, we are heading toward the debt ceiling and you are going to default.’ Anyone that says that is looking you in the eyes and lying to you, either that or they don’t own a calculator,” Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., said in a House debate Friday.

Representative Steve King, R-Arkansas

“I don’t think the credit of the United States is going to be collapsed. I think that all this talk about a default has been a lot of… false demagoguery. We have plenty of money coming in to service the debt.”

Representative Ted Yoho, R-Florida:

“I think, personally, [not raising the debt ceiling] would bring stability to the world markets.”

The Barton quote is unsurprisingly a double whammy. Raising the debt limit doesn’t give the President a blank check. Instead it allows the government to operate at the level authorized by Congress. Of course, this is from the guy who apologized to BP after the Gulf spill.

Matt Yglesias makes a good point.

Stepping back a little, I’d also note that House Republicans can’t have it both ways here. Either the debt ceiling is a major leverage point to extract concessions from the president, or else it’s no big deal. If it’s no big deal, there’s no leverage. If there’s leverage, then it’s because failing to raise the debt ceiling would be very damaging.

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