This is what has been accomplished. I dare you to watch the entire video.
Despite Republican obstruction. Despite the fake-tea party holding 99% of Americans hostage solely to give even more tax breaks to the super-rich 1% and the super-profitabable corporations. Despite the tea party acting to increase the debt. Despite the unprecedented use of the filibuster to block even the most simple bills. Despite the decision by the Republican party before Obama was even in office to vote against everything that would help the country dig its way out of the massive hole the last administration left us in – even to the point of voting against the ideas that Republicans themselves offered and supported.
The achievements of the Obama administration have been extraordinary given where we started from and the Republican decision to throw away economic recovery for partisan expediency.
Anyway, Mitt Romney is likely to win the Florida primary by a significant margin today, with Gingrich a distant second and Rick Santorum and Ron Paul barely registering. And with the next few primaries/caucuses favoring Romney while Gingrich is short on cash (other than the bankroll one donor has given to his Super PAC), Gingrich is not in a particularly good position.
But wait. Florida lost half its delegates by breaking the rules and moving its primary up, so even though it technically is winner-take-all there is a move afoot to have the delegate count split at the convention (needless to say, that move is afooted by Gingrich supporters). Don’t forget the Iowa delegates are not bound by the vote and going into Florida Gingrich actually has 2 more delegates than Romney. And after April 1 all the states will be winner-take-all, so if Gingrich can get a head of steam he would theoretically have a chance to overtake Romney.
And of course Romney could implode like all the candidates before him.
So Gingrich has enough to convince himself to stay in for the long haul, assuming he can talk Santorum into dropping out and he can convince the conservative wing that he can lay a mitt on Mitt if given the finances to compete with ad buys.
Stay tuned. This could get interesting.
President Obama ends his State of the Union Address by reminding Congress that the soldiers who got bin Laden worked together to accomplish their mission.
Will Congress do their jobs? Or will they sacrifice America to play politics?
“This nation is great because we work together as a team.”
As long as we do this, the state of our union will always be strong.
President Obama’s SOTU speech tonight. He ends it with a reaffirmation of America. And a challenge to Congress to remember that they work for us. Not themselves.
The section below is the last few paragraphs of the speech, and the part to which I allude above:
“Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.
One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates — a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.
All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job — the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other — because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.
So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those 50 stars and those 13 stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.
Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”
Why the Tea Party Hates Romney – And Why They Will Continue to Hate Romney After Iowa Hands Him the GOP Nomination
Mitt Romney, after dissing Iowa for nearly a year, floods the state with money in the last week and wins the Iowa caucuses. And the tea party hates it. Because they hate Romney.
Of course, the votes haven’t been counted yet and Rick Santorum or Ron Paul or a player to be named later could actually have more caucus votes than Romney, but all that is just the gooey technical stuff that really doesn’t mean anything. Whether Romney comes in “first” or “second” or even “third” is unimportant. What is important is that he will beat previous expectations, which will ensure his win in New Hampshire and propel him through the remaining two or three states that would have mattered in selecting the Republican nominee. [One must wonder why the other 45+ states even bother with the expense given that the nominee is pretty much “the next old white guy in line” for the Republicans every single time.]
In any case, it has been instructive to watch determined Iowans scurry about hoping to have a real live candidate give them some previously rehearsed boilerplate already given dozens of times to other Iowans who thought it was original for them too. One thing is clear – the tea party hates Mitt Romney. They have actively tried to destroy him and have been desperately trying to find the “Anyone But Romney” (ABR) candidate…to the point of leaping from Bachmann to Trump (yeah, that Trump) to Perry to Cain to Gingrich to Paul and now to Santorum. Seriously, those people. In an actual election year.
So the last laugh will be on the tea party.
After desperately dissing Romney, now they will have to decide if they want to vote for him…knowing that Romney would dump the tea party the second the votes were counted because, well, because Romney knows that tea party hypocrites have damaged this country and that he, i.e., Romney, would actually have to govern it.
And Romney isn’t so stupid as to actually screw up our country just to please some birthers and bigots in the tea party. Not when he would be caught holding the bag.
And that is why the tea party will show they are not only anti-middle class extortionists for the rich, they are also hypocrites.
The interesting thing will be to see how Romney tries to kiss up to the tea party during the actual election process while not scaring the bejeesus berries out of the Independent vote. I’m picturing some high wire balancing reminiscent of the Flying Wallendas. Of course, many of them fell to their deaths.
Happy New Year! 2012 promises to be a very good year.
As the tea party has lurched from one incomprehensible candidate to another and found itself settling (most recently) on Newt Gingrich in the final days before the January 3rd Iowa voting, one question remains unanswered.
Can Ron Paul finally be taken seriously enough to win the Iowa caucuses?
Notwithstanding the claims by some of the pundits that Paul’s position on Iran* could cause him to lose in Iowa, Paul has actually been gaining ground in the polls. And Paul would seem to be the natural fit for the tea party crowd (He was “tea party” before the tea party was cool, or even invented by the billionaire Koch brothers). Okay, maybe not “this” tea party, the whole being against unilateral attacks on countries we don’t like thing is anathema to the tea party, but close enough. After all, the tea party simply adapts reality to whatever it wants to rationalize that day (call it “The Matrix, Part IV”).
But I digress.
The bottom line is that Ron Paul is actually making a concerted effort to do well in Iowa. And why not, at 76 it’s really his last shot at the Presidency and his branding is good for this particular year. Stranger things have happened. For example, after the tea party cycled through Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain they jumped from these unconventional candidates to the dyed-in-the-wool Washington insider Newt Gingrich. And could be in a position to vote for “the next guy in line” Mitt Romney, who has been running for President full time for over five years. So much for unconventional.
But there is still hope. No, I don’t mean Rick Santorum, whose severe anti-gay attitudes are too extreme even for the tea party (who prefer to wrap their bigotry in anti-Muslim garb these days). I mean Ron Paul. After all, he is the only one left in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) rankings. And his anti-government views fit in with the tea party desire to remove all impediments to rampant robber baronism, fair opportunity for the lowly 99% of us, and those protections for human health and the environment that just cut into corporate profits and the ability to fund pork projects.
So Ron Paul has decided to go after frontrunner of the week Newt Gingrich. Besides being more than a little testy at the recent debates, Paul has issued a scathing reminder that Newt Gingrich tends to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Check out Paul’s new campaign ad:
The word “serial,” by the way, isn’t a coincidence. The political marketing guru’s know that it will instantly trigger visions of Gingrich’s serial affairs, marriages, un-marriages, and his hypocrisy of trying to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair while Newt himself was carrying on his latest affair.
But that is just icing to the cake of the main message – Gingrich is a Washington player who puts his own financial well-being ahead of all else.
So with the Iowa caucuses coming up in just over two weeks, with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays squeezed in between, and with Gingrich’s sudden surge starting to un-surge, Paul is looking to do well and maybe even win in Iowa.
And that would be really really interesting. If nothing else, a vote for Ron Paul in Iowa is a vote for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. Which is why Romney is snickering a bit these days.
*P.S. BTW, this is Paul’s explanation of his position on Iran and what the US should, or should not, do regarding the potential for Iran to get nuclear weapons.
Okay, I don’t do odes, so that part was rhetorical. As for the “last man on Earth,” that pretty much was what you would hear from political pundits when asked about former Speaker and serial philanderer Newt Gingrich’s chances of becoming President. As in, “Newt won’t ever be President even if he was the last man on Earth.”
And that was from the Republicans.
These last few days the airwaves have been filled with media pondering the magnificent “back from the dead” resurgence of Newt Gingrich into the lead of many polls. Which proves that the media all have that disease that won’t remember yesterday (I forget what the disease is called). Think about it. The reason that Newt Gingrich is suddenly in the lead for the Republican nomination is pretty obvious. And it ain’t rocket science folks.
So here is an ancient proverb I just made up: “When all the other boats are sinking, they raise the only boat remaining that doesn’t have a gaping hole in its hull.” Call it a political version of Archimedes principle. Or something.
In any case, the rise of Gingrich is directly related to the sinking of the other tea party saviors of the week. It most certainly isn’t due to anything that he has done. Let’s recap.
In the beginning there was Sarah Palin. Remember her? Yep, Palin was the first choice of the tea party and they begged her to run. Eventually they begged her not to run, but early on she was the “The One.”
While waiting for Sarah Godot Palin the tea party decided to play a Trump card. Why? Because Trump played the birther card and immediately grabbed the attention of the bigots in the tea party. And so Trump actually moved to the front, or near the front, of polls. Donald Trump. Reality TV “star” and user of other people’s money to enhance the millions that his daddy handed him. The guy who conveniently went bankrupt just before each of his last two divorces. The guy who has Chapter 11’d so many casinos that you wonder just how the tea party could look to Donald Trump, self-promoter in chief, to fix the economy. Yeah, that Donald Trump.
Then there was Michele Bachmann, or Palin-Lite (or Palin-Heavy depending on your viewpoint). She was the next tea party savior. They saw her as the best conservative Presidential option. No, seriously. The tea party actually thought Bachmann was Oval Office material. Just as long as no one asked her what the shape of the Oval Office was or the color of the White House. Bachmann surged to the front of the pack on the strength of her Iowa birtherism and lack of command of pretty much every issue. She won the Iowa straw poll and her star rose to the lofty heights of the tea party for all of several hours before Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day. Bye bye Michele.
So in comes Perry. And he surges to the top. And at the top he stayed until the first debate in which he participated. That didn’t knock him out completely (I mean, he couldn’t be that bad, could he), but the next couple pretty much showed where Perry’s skills were. And that is hypocrisy (“Secede from the Union” but “send me federal funds for education and disaster relief”). Oh, and when you have thought through your central policy position so deeply that you have no clue what the third Department you would eliminate could possibly be, well, friends, you’re screwed. [Note on that – anyone can forget a name, especially during a high pressure situation like a debate. The fact that he couldn’t describe his rationale for getting rid of that forgotten named Department (or the other two) means that he was given this sound bite by his handlers and he simply memorized it without even thinking about it. That’s not a president, that’s a mynah bird.]
Okay, so Perry sinks to the bottom. But wait, there’s more!! Don’t forget Herman Cain. The Koch-supported guy who was a corporate CEO who made the corporation profitable by closing half of its 900 stores and laying off thousands of people. Yep, therein lies a great job creator. Then he was head of the regional Fed, and we know how much the tea party likes the Fed. Oh, and he was the head of a huge lobbying organization. Perfect. Just what the tea party was looking for. Too bad all those women showed up reminding us of the harassment charges they filed against him all those years ago, and that one with the 13-year affair that he denies as he quickly rushes to the exit. Sorry, Cain is not Able.
You do see a pattern here, right. There is a whole lot of surging going on by a succession of tea party “saviors.” One person floats to the top because the tea party thinks he or she is the best thing since sliced bread. A savior is declared and that person suddenly is rushing up the polls. Then he or she speaks, and sinks like a stone. But have no fear, because that person sinking just raises up the next person. And then the next. And then the next.
And now there is Gingrich. Perhaps appropriately for a man named after an amphibian, Newt has floated to the top. He’s basically the only one left. He tread water while the others drowned themselves (mostly because the debate questions tend to go more to the “frontrunners” so Gingrich didn’t have much chance to shoot himself in the foot yet). And with all the previous saviors gone, the tea party has turned to the only man standing.
Gingrich has the twin advantages of having no one else the tea party can turn to, and having not much time left before the Iowa caucuses. Not that it matters much.
Michele Bachmann today made a desperate plea for attention. After surging to the top for several hours one day last summer, Bachmann has since been written off as a political has-been despite constant unserious claims to being a serious candidate. And today she went for her Hail Mary pass.
Yes, she named her fake short list for possible VP running mates. They include:
Rick Santorum: The only serious person in the bunch. Though the whole “hate gays” thing is probably not going to win over too many Independent voters.
Donald Trump: I’m not kidding. No, seriously, I’m not kidding. She actually mentioned Donald Trump as a possible VP. If nothing in the world had convinced voters that Bachmann is a joke, then this pushed them over the edge.
Jim DeMint (South Carolina) and Marco Rubio (Florida): Wow, can you say “pandering” to the tea party? The same tea party that fell in love with her (see above “several hours one day”) before dumping her on the way to the day that they would set the date for the rehearsal dinner. The tea party has since jumped to Trump, to Cain, to Perry, to Gingrich, and to new levels of insanity. So yep, the once tea party darling thinks that picking other once tea party darlings as a running mate is going to get her the nomination?
You may now return to your regularly scheduled ignoring of Michele Bachmann, the serious person with 5 natural born children and 23 foster children (for at least hours at a time).
P.S. Yes, the photo is on purpose. You figure it out.
I wrote a while back that Herman Cain could “Stick a Pizza Slice in it” because he was done. That was based on his supreme lack of knowledge on the issues on which he was
opining…er…trying to keep straight the talking points his handlers had inserted into his head. And long before the string of 3 (or is it 4) women claimed Cain had “been inappropriate” with them when he was head of the restaurant lobbying group (and at least 1, or maybe 2, had settlements, which certainly suggests these women weren’t simply making this stuff up).
Oh, and now there is the woman claiming to have had a 13-year affair.
No, Cain was toast long before any of that stuff. Since the initial revelations (but not including even this last one), Cain’s poll numbers have plummeted. With the last one, i.e., the 13-year affair, I suspect his poll numbers would evaporate…given the whole holier-than-thou attitude of the tea party that elevated him to this ridiculous idea that he could actually be president.
So now it seems that now Herman Cain is “reassessing” his candidacy. Huh? “Reassessing?” No one admits to “reassessing” their candidacy publicly. They might do it in private, but to admit it in public is like putting on a big sign that says “I’m toast.”
Which, of course, he is. Even the conservative tea party fanatics that invented the fantasy of his candidacy are abandoning him.
Which could also be bad news for Mitt Romney. And good news for Newt Gingrich.
First there was the 9-9-9 fiasco at the Republican debate where we all realized that Citizen Cain had no clue what his 9-9-9 plan really was all about. For him it was a cute bumper sticker phrase and nothing else. I mean, no one really cares about these meaningless campaign popperies, do they? It’s not like anyone actually believed 9-9-9 was a real plan that could even be proposed to Congress for passage. It’s just a joke, right. Surely you can’t hold that against Herman Cain. Sure, it raises taxes on the poor and virtually eliminates taxes on the super-rich, but hey, we’ll just change the plan on the fly…yeah, that’s it, we’ll call it the 9-0-9 plan just for poor people…yeah, and marry Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Then there was the revelation that Herman Cain did what the tea party so enjoys – he laid off thousands of Godfather Pizza workers and closed hundreds of stores, just so he could make more profit. Yep, that’s the tea party ideal.
And how about electrifying the border fence between the US and Mexico so that those illegal aliens will fry themselves and save us the trouble of having to not actually secretly be hiring illegal aliens. Oh, that’s just a joke folks. You all have to get a sense of humor, I mean, if a potential future President of the United States can’t make a simple joke about murdering people, what else is there?
Oh, but then he decided that he would pull a Palin and say one thing while contradicting himself in the same breath. Then blame everyone else for being confused. Yep. Only this time instead of screwing the poor he says he is Pro-Choice on abortion. Or Pro-Life. Or both. Who knows what he said. But the tea party sure didn’t like it. Now they know that he isn’t on their side in the fight to ensure the rights of the individual to tell all women that they cannot do what they legally can choose to do, i.e., make a choice. Hey, they’re women. They need to listen to the men-folk, right? Can’t have them getting all educated and making their own decisions and such.
Next up is Cain saying he would trade al Qaeda detainees from Gitmo for US soldiers, a la the recent release of hundreds of Palestinians for one Israeli soldier held for the last 5 years. But then no, he wouldn’t ever do such a thing. Or maybe. What was the question again? It seems things get moving a tad too quickly for Cain to keep up. I mean, it’s difficult when you’re making stuff up as you go along, you know.
Then today Cain “The Self-Hermenator” shows that he has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of basic civics. Yep, old Herman will sure sign that Constitutional Amendment banning abortions. Huh? Did he really say that? Let’s go to the video tape – “”I feel that strongly about it. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I’ll sign it. That’s all I can do. I will sign it.” Yep, he said it. He actually said that as President he would “sign a Constitutional amendment.” He “will sign it.” It’s all he can do. WRONG. This isn’t just a man who wants to run for President, this is a man that the tea party is head over heels in love with and thinks would be a fantastic President. A man that has no clue that Constitutional Amendments don’t get signed by the President.
This is tea party America. Sarah “Grizzly Momma” Palin. Christine “I Am Not a Witch” O’Donnell.” Sharron “Second Amendment Solutions” Angle. Donald “It’s Not a Wig” Trump. Michele “I Raised 23 Kids” (oh, plus 5 of my own) Bachmann. “Secession Rick” (but give me federal drought aid) Perry. And now Herman “I’d Sign a Constitutional Amendment and am Pro/Anti-Choice and Raising Taxes on the Poor While Getting Rid of Taxes on the Rich” Cain.
Oh, and don’t forget Herman Cain is an anti-Muslim bigot whose only experience is to close businesses and lay off workers.
Thank you tea party. Can I have my country back now?
Not long ago Michele Bachmann was riding high on her win in the Iowa straw polls. The straw poll, which actually hasn’t been a very good predictor of who wins the Iowa caucuses or the nomination, was for some reason seen as a watershed moment. Bachmann wins! Bachmann rises to the top of the field! Bachmann got less votes than she had paid for in tickets! Oh. Since then Bachmann’s fortunes have run down like an unsuspecting sucker at a curbside craps game. In fact, “since then” was immediate, as in when Rick Perry declared his candidacy the very same day as the Iowa straw poll. And since then her campaign manager has dumped her (and trashed her), her campaign is racking up debt, and now her New Hampshire campaign team has resigned en masse (or not, depending on who you ask). Other campaign staffers haven’t been paid in at least a month. So the tea party backing of Bachmann is back to back-stabbing and backward glances as Bachmann struggles desperately to keep her head above water.
Then there is Rick Perry himself. He flashed onto the scene and immediately was elevated by the tea party crowd as their newest savior (claiming that he was their first choice all along, well, after all the others who said no). Then Perry did something he regretted. He showed up at a Republican debate. Big mistake. Perry’s performance was at best uneven. And it was all downhill from there. Half the time he seemed to barely there in ensuing debates. And when he did say something it usually made him sound like he didn’t have the foggiest what he was saying. Not the kind of performances that inspire the passion of the zealots on whom his candidacy must rely. And so he sank from the top to somewhere in that middle where former top people go before they disappear into the ooze with the rest of the bottom feeders. His most recent performance woke up the zealots, but showed that he could counter his lack of knowledge and debating adroitness with arrogance and pettiness. Good one.
The latest to implode is Herman Cain. What’s surprising is not that he is imploding but that the tea party had chosen him to inflate beyond all proportion in the first place. Cain made a name for himself early in the debates by declaring that he is an anti-Muslim bigot. Since then he has stolen a ridiculous catch-phrase (9-9-9) from a video game and even more ridiculously suggested that it was a serious attempt to fix the tax system. Which he would do by raising taxes on the working poor and the middle class while virtually eliminating taxes on the very wealthiest. That is exactly in line with what the tea party has pushed with nearly all of its hostage-taking tactics, so there is no surprise they love it. [It’s also in line with how he made Pizza Hut profitable – by closing half of its stores and laying off thousands of workers.] Clearly a serious contender for the Presidency can’t have such a complete lack of awareness of his own silliness, but there it is every day. And now he’s devolved into Palinesque incoherency where, as one conservative commentator and former Republican congressman put it, Cain is just making stuff up as he goes along. Cain isn’t very able.
Which leaves who? Mitt Romney, of course, who other than this last debate came off as being one of the few adults in the room (not counting the journalist moderators). In the “adult” category you can add Jon Huntsman, but he seems way too reasonable for the tea party (not to mention his comedic timing is really really bad). There is Newt Gingrich, who sort of sounds like an adult because he uses bigger words than the others, but also has a tendency to sound petulant. There is Rick Santorum…oh, never mind. There’s those two or three guys who are running that no one knows because they can’t garner enough support to even qualify for the debates (which is pretty sad given that Herman Cain is there and so is Jon Huntsman, who can’t seem to get much more than his immediate family to notice him). And let’s not forget Ron Paul, who has a loyal following amongst the more libertarian folks who think the American government is some communist plot to steal all of our freedoms.
So we have the tea party running the Republican show these days and latching onto every incompetent nutjob they can find to be – in succession, – “The One.” And each and every “The One” sprints to the front of the pack only to be run over by the pack as they flame out and drop into the mud of their own creation. Then there are the also-rans that run also, but nowhere fast. And then there are the serious candidates. Right now the closest thing to a serious candidate the Republican party can muster is “the next guy in line,” Mitt Romney. And the tea party (rightly) hates him. Romney epitomizes everything the tea party says they hate about government – the slick establishment politician, the “say anything to get elected” candidate, the “compromiser,” and OMG, he’s not the “right kind” of Christian.
So will the tea party prove themselves to be hypocrites and vote for Romney knowing that Romney would actually not do any of the things the tea party wants him to do? Or would they “stick to their principles” and make sure Romney doesn’t get the Republican nomination. After all, Romney is “one of them establishment” politicians and “not one of us.”