teabags

But They’re Not Bigots!

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November 3, 2011
By Terri

Watch as U.S. Senate candidate and all-around class-act Elizabeth Warren gets put in her rightful place by a down-on-his-luck teabagger. Not very creative, his slur, but at least she’s not one of those women who goes around giving it away for free.

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A Pre-Emptive Rebuttal to the Pre-Emptive Rebuttal to Obama’s Jobs Speech

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September 7, 2011
By Ronnie Cottonpants

I’m one of the few liberals who was happy that Obama moved his jobs speech to Thursday.  It gives us more time to focus on the GOP rebuttal tonight.

I know rebuttals are supposed to come after a speech, but that implies Republicans are operating on some kind of prevailing logic, and as Michelle Bachman and the biology books in Kansas would say, “logic is just a theory, not a fact.”  Whatever your political allegiances are, you have to admit that Republicans have become a little predictable. At tonight’s GOP debate, how many candidates are going to say, “Let’s at least hear what the president has to say before we attack him”?  If you said “One or more” then go look in the mirror and tell your reflection that you hate it, because you are wrong.  If, however, you think they’ll call Obama’s plan some version of “socialism”, “anti-Americanism”, “Kenyacare”, or “homo-nomics” then you show the sort of intuitive thinking and clear reasoning to implies you are not the desired demographic of the GOP Debate.

Does that mean that they won’t put forth a plan of their own?  Of course they will.  It’s not like they’re reckless hucksters trying to aggrandize their own short term political futures and divide the country at the expense of the nation’s economy.  They’re ideologues.

So taxes are evil and they support the cutting of evil.  Closing tax loopholes? That’s also evil.  Making multi-billionaires pay a slightly higher rate? Get outta here, comrade.  We’ve heard this song before.  It was bullshit before, and it’s more mendacious bullshit this time.  This isn’t worth complaining about.  Do you get upset when Don McClean closes his concert with “American Pie”?  One hit wonders play their one hit.  Except there’s a twist.  We’re running out of rich-person taxes to cut, and there are still no jobs.

So if it’s not the evil taxman preventing us from infinite jobs, what is it?  The GOP says it’s regulations, and if we get rid of the regulators then we’ll create jobs.  (For those of you keeping score at home, yes, they think laying people off will create jobs, giving the rich tax breaks will create money for the middle class, condoms lead to unwanted pregnancy, war leads to peace, and the best way to cure homosexuals is to suck the gay off them.  They are adorable.)  But their argument is seductive enough.  After all, no one likes regulations.  It’s the reason we hate going to the DMV.  If we cut away the red tape then isn’t it conceivable that people will want to create businesses, and we can finally get back to work?

Friends, don’t drink that Kool-Aid.  Also, don’t say, “Don’t drink that Kool Aid” because it’s a fucking annoying cliché.  What’s Kool Aid ever done to people aside from give their children diabetes?  (As we’re a Kentucky blog, can’t we at least change the phrase to “Don’t drink the Ale-8-One”?)  I know, I know, people who use that phrase are talking about Jonestown.  But that was a bunch of ultra-religious weirdos who claimed they were unique visionaries and convinced their followers that they too can see the truth if they just take a sip of a seemingly benign drink.  I don’t see why the Tea Party would be obsessed with them.

But I was talking about regulations.  They’ve saved your life, of course. (Well, that’s technically only true if you’ve taken medicine, been on a public road, consumed water, food, or nutrients, or been inside of a building).  But the GOP makes them seem like the busywork the teacher used to give you in first grade.

It’s easy to make this feel abstract, but it recently became very real to me.  I spend the bulk of the year in Baltimore, Maryland where I work.  As you may have heard, the East Coast has recently undergone quite a bit of God’s wrath, including both an earthquake and a hurricane.  While the disasters were happening, I was living the highlife in our beloved Kentucky Commonwealth.  It didn’t sound like a missed much.  My friends told stories about getting panicked, holding onto doorways, and then evacuating work.  It’s not exactly the stuff of Bruce Willis movies.  Within an hour, the earthquake became a joke.  And why not?  No one died, and the most pain we had to endure was hearing smug Californians tell us how they were better prepared than we were.

Then last week, I returned to Baltimore and found that the ceiling in my apartment had collapsed.  Had I been home at the time, I very well might have been the first and only casualty of the earthquake.  Technically, I don’t know if the ceiling collapsed from the quake, the hurricane, or just from being a shoddily made apartment that is rented by those of us without a ton of money.  It doesn’t really make a difference; the building was substandard.  And I know that because buildings in America have standards, and that’s why they didn’t collapse

This earthquake was 5.8 on the Richter scale.  The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a 7.0.  Granted, there’s a substantial difference between a 5.8 and a 7.0, but that doesn’t explain everything.  Why is the American earthquake a joke and the Haitian earthquake a worldwide tragedy?  Regulations.

Haiti is a tea party paradise (except for all the rum and French speaking).  There are no regulations there to get in the way of the free market.  Businesses can do what they please.  Naturally, companies save themselves money by cutting costs and making unsafe buildings.  Sure, they’ll call the death toll from the earthquake tragic, but it’s the hand of God.  What they don’t admit is that most of these deaths were completely preventable.  If your reaction to that is “If safety from disasters is a priority for people, then surely the housing market will reflect that,” then I have nothing to say to you except, “Thank you for reading my post, Senator Paul. I respect the office you hold.”

The only reason the east coast is not in rubble right now is because of strong, patriotic American regulations.   So when you watch the GOP Debate tonight, and you’re doing a shot every time they say 9/11, and they’re squabbling about who loved this country more, Reagan or Jesus, stop to ask yourself: If they honestly love America, why are they trying to turn it into Haiti?

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The Tea Party lazily attacks Hal Rogers

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July 22, 2011
By David M. F. Schankula

A couple of Tea Party leaders — who of course aren’t really leaders because the Tea Party is a beautiful uprising of purely individual initiative by the millions — wrote a looooong sprawling manifesto to The Hill that, in terms of clarity at least, put the Unabomber to shame.

The GOP said all the right words leading up to the 2010 midterm elections, but once the new leadership was sworn in this year, their promised spending cuts dropped from $100 billion to $31 billion and eventually to nothing.

Now it is time to back up those words with backbone.

We believe in Ronald Reagan’s adage, “Trust but verify” — but with a new twist: “You go first.”

If the president wants the debt ceiling raised and the GOP wants spending cuts, you must say: “You go first. Spending cuts first, then we’ll talk.”

The same goes for the GOP leadership. Show the millions of Tea Party Patriots you are serious about putting an end to overspending, then We the People will consider trusting you.

Great. Now our national discourse is turning into a ‘you show me yours, I’ll show you mine’ debate worthy of six-year-olds.

Anyway, they then crapped on Hal Rogers (KY-03):

What did our leaders find time to do these past six months?

The American people know there’s waste in the government. They see it every day from their local post office to the observance of Nancy Pelosi’s taxpayer funded jet. Just recently, we found out the National Institutes of Health is spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on studies of toenails.

The Washington Post reported in February that Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) , the one in charge of the funds, has a community college student commons center, a fire training center, a water park, a boulevard, a drive and a parkway named after him in his district in gratitude for $40 million he had brought to the area.  Were those all legitimate government spending or a way to keep his 30-year career in Congress secured?

No one’s going to accuse the Tea Party of just spewing empty rhetoric (right?), but what, exactly, have any of them done to weaken or remove Hal Rogers? Is this an opening salvo to indicate the Dick Armeys of the world are finally ready to take on one of their most powerful own? Or is it all just an ahistorical charade?

Meanwhile, as the AP is reporting, John Boner is battling the Tea Party tide up in wasteful-toenail-spending Washington as he struggles to steer the House Majority toward a debt ceiling compromise. He’ll need 217 votes and at the very least 40 (“and perhaps dozens more”) House Republicans won’t vote for any compromise.

Apparently there’s a generational divide between the Republican Party Leadership and the rank-and-file Freshies and their wacky conservative benefactors:

That was illustrated Thursday when the Republican Study Committee — an organization of House conservatives — released a letter signed by 86 Republicans.

It called on Boehner to refuse to even allow a vote on a fallback proposal by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would make it easier for Obama to extend the debt limit. The letter was signed by more than half of the 87 GOP freshmen and by one committee chairman — Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who heads the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

The letter’s chief author, freshman Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., said he considers its signers the minimum number of opponents to McConnell’s plan. Even so, it highlighted the number of potential votes Boehner may be able to find among Republicans, since more than 150 of them did not sign it — a group top-heavy with veterans and chairmen.

“Probably experience,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., in Congress for 16 terms, said when asked why so many seasoned lawmakers are remaining open to a deal. “It is wise at this stage of the game to have every option on the table.”

The Tea Party would do well to target Rogers. Not like they targeted the Governor’s mansion, either. If the national powers-that-be are serious, they’d find a true conservative to take down Hal. But then… their words would have to mean something.

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Things with Comer may not be as they seem…

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July 11, 2011
By Joe Sonka

When I wrote about James Comer’s hilarious hire on Friday afternoon, I wrote it off as either one of two things:

#1: Comer thinks that he’s already won, and it doesn’t matter who he hires to do field.

#2: Comer has gone a bit mad in the head.

But additional quotes in the update to the story, plus quotes in Ronnie Ellis’ story lead me to believe that there might be a third interpretation that is equally plausible:

#3: Comer made this hire with David Williams’ and RPK’s direct blessing (if it wasn’t their idea to begin with) in order to buy out and shut up Mica and tea party criticism of Williams so that they don’t hurt Williams’ already not-great chances of winning this November.

It’s easy to look at quotes like these and think it is spin, but there may be a larger truth here:

Comer said he talked to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams and state GOP Chairman Steve Robertson about hiring Sims.


“None advised me not to get her,” he said. “They told me it was my decision.”

Robertson said the decision was Comer’s. “I know Mica has much enthusiasm for Jamie to win this race,” he said.

And:

Comer said he’d advised Williams, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and RPK Chairman Steve Robertson in advance he planned to hire Sims.

“Everyone is excited,” Comer said. “They are all supporting my campaign and they trust my political judgment.”

Scott Jennings, a spokesman for Williams’ campaign, confirmed Comer and Williams spoke earlier in the week and said Williams supports Comer’s campaign and thinks “he’ll make a great Agricultural Commissioner.”

Holly Harris VonLuehrte, an in-house counsel for RPK, also confirmed Robertson and Comer spoke about Sims’ hiring in advance. She said the two men are “close and meet and speak constantly. Steve is supportive of all (of Comer’s) campaign hires.

And here’s the kicker:

Sims said she won’t be involved in any other campaign, including the governor’s race, because her goal is to help Comer attract voters from both major political parties and the Tea Party. She said she doesn’t want to alienate any of them by speaking out about another race. She said she will coordinate grassroots and volunteer efforts across the state for Comer.

Bingo.

If I was a betting man, I’d say this was the grand bargain. Williams shuts up the criticism of him from the Moffett/tea party crowd that trounced him in the Golden Triangle this May, and Mica Sims gets a paycheck. Meanwhile, Comer will have another competent or at least remotely qualified staffer who will actually run his field, or it will be run out of the RPK. Everybody wins (except Williams most likely, just not as bad).

Regardless of whether interpretation #3 is correct, I would say that James Comer, much like Andy Barr last year, has some rather important questions to answer.

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Mitch McConnell’s Magical Red Pants, and other July 4th sights

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July 5, 2011
By Joe Sonka

Mitch McConnell did some July 4th activities in Campbellsville, Kentucky yesterday. And he did them in these bright red pants:

We had plenty of fun people visit Lexington for the parade, including Steve Beshear and Richie Farmer (Beshear walked, Richie sat in the car).

Here was the very, very honest campaign sign on John Kemper’s vehicle:

And Some Dude Named Bill Johnson getting his Gadsden on:

And the cigarette van lady, with the (I believe) new edition of the giant silver eagle on the roof:

And from the racists at the teabagging “Yup, I’m a racist” booth, here are two new spectacular editions:

Lexington had a good parade this year, but we were seriously missing out on Mitch’s red pants.

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Mitch McConnell’s Dog Day Afternoon with the Tea Party

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July 2, 2011
By Joe Sonka

The GOP, tea party and Mitch McConnell have had a pretty good ride over the last month or two when it comes to unity and message discipline, focusing all of their spite onto our Muslin Overlord and not each other. That’s why they’ve managed to cynically take the American economy hostage over that time, yet not face an overwhelming public backlash from this vicious strategy.

But you know what happens to hostage takers in the movies, don’t you? The heat starts to come down on them, and they begin to question each other. Should they change tactics? Raise/lower demands? Kill the girl? Let her go? Tempers begin to flare, and they begin to attack each other. They question each others’ motives. And sometimes one of them will burst outside and start screaming “Attica! Attica!”.

And as this big story in The Hill by Alexander Bolton this morning shows, the hostage takers are fighting among themselves, pointing fingers and questioning motives. Mitch McConnell realizes that the “balanced budget amendment” demand of the Tea Party delegation for a debt ceiling deal is completely unrealistic. And the TP’s think Mitch McConnell is, once again, part of the problem.

The demands by Tea Party senators for passage of the amendment before raising the debt limit is “not helpful” to McConnell’s effort to lead his party, one GOP senator said.

Lawmakers who vow to oppose the debt-limit increase in the absence of a balanced budget amendment passing are bluntly telling McConnell that he’ll have fewer votes to count on for any deal he negotiates with the president, the source said. The senator added the chances of garnering the requisite two-thirds vote in the upper chamber for the amendment are very slim.

Insistence on passage of a balanced budget amendment makes it virtually impossible for McConnell to satisfy conservatives, the lawmaker said.

And it’s not just the American economy at risk by this ridiculous demand. It’s the “Re-elect Mitch McConnell 2014 campaign”:

DeMint has stopped short of saying he will campaign against vulnerable GOP incumbents who decline to sign the pledge but on Sunday told CNN: “Any member of the House or the Senate who doesn’t understand we need to balance our budget probably shouldn’t be there.”

DeMint on Thursday says there’s a difference between lawmakers who sign the pledge and those who don’t.

“The people who signed the pledge are the ones that are committed to fight until we get the right solution,” he said.

When asked about Republican leaders declining to sign the pledge, DeMint said: “They’ll have to explain that.”

OK, so there’s a lot going on here.

Mitch McConnell was playing his hostage-taking game of chicken on the debt ceiling with Obama, and everything was going according to plan. Then Mitch McConnell turns around and sees that the TP’s have outflanked him, essentially playing chicken with both McConnell and Obama. And unlike Obama, the DeMint/Paul crowd is perfectly willing to crush the American economy (default schmifault!), so they’re not going to swerve off the road.

Or maybe that’s what Mitch wants us to think? I have a couple takes on what McConnell has up his sleeves here.

Version #1: Mitch McConnell is simply using the Tea Party as leverage against Barack Obama to get everything that he wants: essentially, the dismantling or severe cutting of Medicare, so that the Democrats can’t use the Paul Ryan budget as a means to kick GOP butt in the 2012 elections. He’ll say, “man, we totally could have worked something out, but those Tea People are crazy!”, and say that the only way to avoid a collapse is to partner with the moderate Republicans in a deal to dismantle Medicare and raise the debt ceiling. In short, the TP is used by McConnell as a bargaining chip.

Version #2: The Tea Party is truly going rogue, and McConnell realizes that this group of nuts is seriously intent on making the American government default. So looking ahead at the incoming disaster and realizing that somebody is going to get the blame, McConnell is preemptively distancing himself from the guilty parties in the TP. He’ll say “I was perfectly willing to work out a deal with Obama, but those Tea Partiers demanded a 2/3 vote for a Constitutional amendment. There was nothing I could do!”. He comes out looking like the moderate man in the middle, which is kind of hilarious.

I tend to think that Version #1 is what is happening, but they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive. McConnell may be using #1, assuming that the TP isn’t really going to take a “balanced budget amendment or nothing” approach. Though when it comes to D-Day, he might find out that they were not bluffing and have to find a scapegoat, fast. He can point back to stories like this and say “I told you so!”.

And then there’s always version #3: Mitch McConnell intentionally wants an economic collapse for America, no matter what the costs, because it will improve his chances of beating Barack Obama next year. After all, he said that’s his #1 goal, right? If so, the hostage is already as good as dead, and it doesn’t matter what happens over the next month. So… let’s hope this isn’t true? Yeah.

But I certainly believe that Mitch McConnell might be on the brink of having a Dog Day Afternoon. McConnell as Al Pacino, DeMint/TP as John Cazale, Obama as the negotiating detective. The hostages as the American people, some of whom identify with the people pointing guns at their heads, others scared to death of them.

It’s a fascinating analogy. But Mitch McConnell is so Sonny Wortzik, whether he starts screaming “Attica!” or not.

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David Adams not eyeing Beshear, but RPK

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June 27, 2011
By Joe Sonka

From David Adams’s new Kentucky Knows Best PAC:

Tea party supporters in Kentucky will strongly resist any efforts to delay Republican Party of Kentucky reorganization elections by a year, Kentucky Knows Best PAC executive director David Adams said.

“The Republican Party is the vehicle for the tea party to restore sovereignty to the individual in America,” Adams said. “Reorganizing the Republican Party and writing the 2012 platform is a key step in this process so any effort to delay those things won’t be viewed favorably. I was able to make a brief video presentation on tax reform to the 2008 RNC platform committee, mostly because I knew when and where to show up. Lots of Kentuckians would love to have their voices heard on the issues of the day and we are going to work very hard to see that in 2012 the process is opened up to many more of them.”

Popcorn.

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Liberty All Up in Your Birth Canal

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June 21, 2011
By Terri

Blah blah states’ rights blah blah Constitution blah blah same old bullshit from St. Paul I:

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Adam Edelen on the road

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June 9, 2011
By Joe Sonka

Despite the fact that Adam Edelen is an overwhelming favorite this Fall in the KY State Auditor race against Republican John Kemper III, he’s still traveling Kentucky like a mad man. Here’s a video his campaign released today, where he visits the folks tucked away in the Kentucky Bend:

Good stuff. Something odd about that voice, though…

But that doesn’t mean Kemper isn’t working hard either. Here he was last week at the Bluegrass Freedom Festival, a giant $15 ticket event at LCA with all the important Republican activists in the state, even the rockstar Ken Blackwell from Ohio.

Kemper is the guy in the very top right sitting next to Candy Barr. I know, there were soooo many people there that it would have taken years to find him on your own.

I leave you with pictures of David Williams silently cursing the fact that he wasted his time on a teabagger event with 40 people for 3 hours:

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David Adams starting tea party PAC

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May 25, 2011
By Joe Sonka

David Adams (Phil Moffett’s campaign manager) may have lost last Tuesday, but he has plans on sticking around. cn|2 reports that he is going to start up a new PAC that will raise money for tea party candidates in local/statewide Kentucky races:

Fresh off a loss in the Republican gubernatorial primary, conservative political consultant David Adams is switching from managing campaigns to starting a conservative political action committee.

Adams confirmed to Pure Politics that he will serve as executive director of the Kentucky Knows Best Leadership PAC. Paperwork for the PAC has not yet been filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, but Adams said he was in the process of submitting it.

The PAC will focus on state elections, and Adams said he has no plans for the PAC to get involved in federal elections. Adams said the group will get involved in races for state House, state Senate and statewide constitutional offices and would advocate for tea party principles. He said the group has not decided whether to get involved in local mayor or city council races.

This seems like a great idea, because if there’s anything this year’s election showed, it’s that David Adams can raise loads of money for candidates. Hrm. What does David say about that?

“We don’t want to overextend immediately,” Adams said. “We need to be very, very careful in our selection. Funds are limited, so we have to demonstrate value in order to attract funds.”

David, may I suggest a moneybomb? Those never fail.

Best of luck to David Adams in his pursuits, and I mean that. May they have great success in challenging mainstream Republicans in many bloody primaries to come.

In Liberty,

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