Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New York Governor Race

A race that was once mildly interesting just got more so, with the announcement that Rick Lazio would not continue his run. However, Lazio will not put his endorsement behind Carl Paladino, who won the Republican's nomination. With Lazio ending his run on the Conservative ticket before Tuesday, the Conservatives need to choose someone quickly. And because Lazio is dropping, the only way that's legal is if he is nominated to be a judge. With the edge in registered voters that New York has, there is no way Andrew Cuomo can lose. None.

Crazy Quotes

You know what, I have started finding all sorts of strange quotes online, through If you find any that i haven't covered, please leave a comment. In the mean time, I leave you with:

''I don't like the idea of telling private business owners -- I abhor racism. I think it's a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant -- but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.''

—Kentucky GOP Senate nominee and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul, arguing that government shouldn't require private businesses to serve customers of all races, interview with Louisville Courier-Journal, April 25, 2010

Rand Paul

Has anyone in Kentucky subscribed to Details magazine. If so, are they talking about Rand Paul's interview in August? It involved this:

"That means repealing President Obama's health-care plan and establishing high-deductible insurance plans that would force medical providers to compete on price, since patients would be paying much of the bill out-of-pocket. ("It sounds funny, but you need to be paying more for your health care," he says.) "  While deploring racism, he took umbrage at the provision that forced private businesses, like the infamous Woolworth's lunch counter, to desegregate. He illustrated his argument this way: "If you decide that restaurants are publicly owned and not privately owned, then do you say that you should have the right to bring your gun into a restaurant, even though the owner of the restaurant says, 'Well, no, we don't want to have guns in here...because people might drink and start fighting and shoot each other'? Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant?" Replace guns with black people and his point becomes clear.

So, is this the first time in a long time that Democrats win in Kentucky?

Read More

Christine O'Donnell

Ok, Deleware voters, this little snippet of work is from a conservative news group called "The Weekly Standard." On September 2, Christine O'Donnell gave an interview. This is a taste of how paranoid she is:

"They’re following me. They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that—they follow me.

That’s what’s disgusting, as you can see from the YouTube videos. They knock on the door at all hours of the night. They’re hiding in the bushes when I’m at candidate forums. In 2008 they broke into my home. They vandalized my home. They wrote nasty notes on my front door, on my front porch. They jeopardized my safety. They did the same thing to our campaign office. They broke into our campaign office. They vandalized our campaign office. They stole files. My campaign signs that had my picture—they put a spear in my mouth poked out my eyes, and cut out the part of my heart, and wrote nasty names all over those campaign signs.

I would be a fool to be pressured into disclosing where I live, when I know that the stakes are even higher this time. What makes me think they wont do the same distasteful things they did in 2008 when the stakes are even higher, when we’re even more viable. I mean come on, John, you’re a class act. You don’t want to—you know that this is a security issue. You know what they’re capable of."

This was her talking about her opponents. Serious?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tax Cuts

People are very divided on whether or not to extend the Bush Tax cuts for everyone. And in another example of how true this is, economists are saying it would be good to extend the cuts. At least, 18 out of the 31 who were interviewed are saying this. And then you have some who are saying that no one's taxes should stay cut, because the U.S. just can't afford it. Of the economists surveyed, this is a terrible idea, because it would cause what's known as a double dip recession, in which one rescession, or downturn of economic activity, follows another recession. Other ideas included were helping small businesses, drilling in the gulf again, and stopping foreclosures, as well as letting the Reserve extend credit without going through banks. I say it again: raise taxes on the rich, who don't normally spend their savings, and let the rest be, for now.

Michael Steele Road Trip

On the road again, he just can't wait to get on the road again...Sorry. Anyway, Michael Steele has started a road trip, from Washington state, all the way to Maryland. And almost half the stops along the way are in districts considered non-competitive. The tour has drwan accusations that Mr. Steele is trying to better himself and not to win districts for the party. Further questions are issued when the RNC has reported only five million dollers to campaign with, as compared to 13 million for Democrats. The RNC didn't let that one slide by; they issued a statement saying that since '09, the chairman has made it a habit to focus on those ignored by the national party. State party officials are also saying this was far too much at the last minute, and in some cases, an interference in campaign scheduling. This guy, in my mind, has no business leading the RNC, and this is just one more reason. He's misspoke, he's spent a lot of money where it shouldn't go. The Republicans need to pick someone else, or Democrats might have an easier time winning their seats.

Republicans Pledge

On Thursday, the Republicans announced the Official "Pledge To America." The claim is that it will create jobs, cut the spending, and put the people back in charge. It also serves to end the rumors that they are the Party Of No. So, it's a failure on one count. And the jury is still out on how these would be implemented, or if they would even work. Forty Five pages. That's it. Forty five pages, less if you count the pictures on the American ideal, some quotes. Some of the most specific things in this "brand new plan" sound awfully familiar, such as permanent tax cuts. Because wealthy people have to have money. There are other ideas, however, such as repealing ObamaCare (because people need to be screwed), canceling TARP, AKA the bank bailouts (which actually worked), and canceling unspent stimulus cash (we have some money left?). The problem is, some of the ideas just don't go far enough to bringing down the defecit. In the cases of the tax cuts, the defecit might even be added to. Same with repealing the health care reform law, according to the Congressional Budget Office, which is a nonpartisan group that studies if and how much bills add to the defecit. Health Care reform is expected to take off 140 billion over ten years. And by sticking with national security, you just know the defense budget won't be trimmed (because war makes money). Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security reforms are also very vague. But not every Republican says it goes far enough. Boehner, for the most part, has said that missing specifics are nothing to worry about, that it was not a "party platform." So, why was it released at all? Isn't the point of something like this to tell what you would do? The Tea party has not been too keen to jump on board with the plan. For one, it lacks specifics. But also, partiers doubt whether Republicans will actually follow through on it. Some say it doesn't go far enough and is just PR to get them elected. It may be enough to hand power over to the Republicans, but it doesn't do enough to show why that should be. And in 2012, everything goes back to the Democrats.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ethics Spending in Deleware

The group known as the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has said it plans to have an investigation started into Christine O'Donnell's campaign spending. They are claiming that in the years of 2009 and 2010, $20,000 was spent that was, in fact, illegal. The executive direcrtor, Melanie Sloan, has claimed that Ms. O'Donnell has used campaign funds for rent, gas, meals, and a bowling outing. The plan is to get the FEC and the State of Deleware's Attourney General to investigate. In case you're curious, this is the same group that called for Charles Rangel to step down, so it isn't nessecerily partisinship. There should be an investigation, for sure. If she is found guilty, what happens next? I would imagine Mike Castle taking her place. All because she's possibly an embezzler.

GOP sniping

The GOP's euphoria is starting to fade. Christine O'Donnell has backed out of scheduled appearences and the GOP is going to civil war over just what a conservative REALLY is. Lisa Murkowski has issued claims of smears by the Tea Party and Jim DeMint's undermining of the Republicans. DeMint struck back, saying that he has helped the Republicans gain control of the Senate. There are fears that these people that he has supported are so conservative and so unprepared for scrutiny that they have no chance of winning. And there are people who fit this bill: Sharron Angle for one, and Christine O'Donnell for another. While some are sniping though, Karl Rove is dampening his earlier thoughts, that O'Donnell could not be elected. However, he is also joining the shooting against Lisa Murkowski. At the same time, he is calling the idea of a GOP civil war "false." Really? False? I don't know what to say, other than there may yet be a chance for the Dems to hold the Senate.

Christine O'Donnell

Politicians always say things that are a little goofy. Who could forget the Howard Dean scream, or John Kerry's voting snafu? But we need to remember that Republicans are just as guilty of these mistakes. Christine O'Donnell is getting noticed for comments that she made a decade ago. She has said that when she was in high school, she dabbled in witchcraft. You cannot make this up. She made the comments on an episode of Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect. There are some who believe that this is just a cynical ploy to stop Ms. O'Donnell's campaign in its tracks, but let's be real here: she never had a real chance anyway. I believe her confidence is misplaced, but we shall see.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lisa Murkowski

It seems she isn't done just yet. On Friday, she announced giving up her Senate leadership post. This was just a leadup to the next big thing: her launching a write in campaign to get her seat. A person, if unhappy with the other two nominees, may substitute a person's name. Spelling doesn't count, as long as what the person meant is clear. Republicans are making it clear that they support Mr. Joe Miller, who unexpectedly nailed the nomination. Republicans may hold the voting edge, but Mrs. Murkowski has made it clear that she will try to get voters from both parties, by featuring Democrats who asked her to stay in. Writein campaigns are notoriously difficult: only one person has ever had success in doing so. That one is South Carolina's Strom Thurmond, who would later become a Republican. Republicans obviously fear that her staying in will give Democrats the edge to win. It's possible, but not probable. I think it far more likely that she will win in the write in slot.

Ethical Trials For Dems On Hold

Democrats obviously have problems with Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters. They are both facing charges on their ethical conduct, which wasn't expected, as Nancy Pelosi was promising to drain out the House swamp. But with both winning their primaries, and with no trial date set by the House, it may now be assumed, in fact, expected, that there will be no trial until next year. The Republicans have certainly lost no time on the issue, saying that any money given to campaigns by the two should be returned, and sending notices in 35 other races. And while polling says jobs is number one at the minute, there are still problems. At this point, with two heavily Democratic districts, they will probably be reelected. However, what happens if they are convicted? Hopefully, an impeachment, and special election. But only time will tell.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

End Date

Due to lack of viewership and commentary, this blog will be shut down on January 1, 2011. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

GOP looking better and better

We all knew it would be tough for the Democrats to hold the majorities. History and lack of enthusium made that a certainty. But now it may be getting worse. According to the Associated Press, the number of people saying the country is going the wrong way is higher now than when the primaries had started. Also add in the fact that even more people disapprove of the president and want to see the Republicans in charge. We are now seven weeks away from the election. And for those seven weeks, it appears that Nancy Pelosi is predicting that Democrats will hold the House majority, which, ironically is the one most at risk. Still, Newt Gingrich is telling House Republicans not too confident. Several Republicans have been putting pressure on member to donate, in order to catch up with the amount Democrats have.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Time

Starting in October, this blog will recieve new posts once a week. I want to tahnk you for your continued reading, and if you wish to leave a comment, you may.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brand New Arms Deals

It's the largest arms deal that the United States has ever done. And if the Congress oks it, 60 billion dollers worth of aircraft will be sent to the Saudis. You know, it's not enough we buy oil off them, now they get our planes? It is also being said that the Obama administration is also discussing updating their navel and missle defenses. The idea is to protect our Arab allies (ha-ha, what Arab allies?) against the wrath of the big, bad, Iranians. The 60 bilion is the most that the Saudis are willing to pay for fighter jets and helicopters. So what can you get for 60 billion? Well, how about 84 F-15s, upgrades for 70 more F-15s, as well as purchuseing 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hwaks, and 36 Little Birds? The deal is not expected to be blocked, for whatever reason. However, there may be changes and or conditions. What don't we sell them some drones, at a higher price? I'm sorry, but for what we paid for gas? I think that makes sense.

Deleware Upset?

If the election were today, probably. As of today, a poll is out showing Christine O'Donnell ahead of the establishment backed Mike Castle. She is leading 47 to 44, and while that is just outside the margin of error, it is enough to give many a pause. In one month, Mike Castle went from 60 percent favorability to 43. Why? Because in one month, he was constantly attacked as being too liberal, and he has not fought back. There is still four days for things to change, however, I do not think that this will be the case. Even if Mr. Castle, who is seen as a moderate, were to go on offense, it might not be enough to save him. His only hope is if Ms. O'Donnell loses support among conservatives. And really, how likely is it?

Linda McMahon Bomb Scare

Yesterday afternoon, Linda McMahon was one of sixty people inside the home of Tom Banisch, the head of the town's GOP commetiee, when, at 4:30 pm, a bomb threat was called in. State police did an hour long inspection, but have determined that the threat was a false one. No one was injured in the evacuation. All right, this person should face charges for filing a false report, among other things.I would like to ask that we all keep our rationality, think before we act. And whatever we do, if we don't support someone, do not threaten them. Just show up at a town hall, and ask questions, and debate them. There is never a need for violence.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New War On Terror Weapons

How long have we been in Afghanistan? Has it really been nine years? It took us nine years to come up with new technology, which may help us in the long run. The number of drone strikes, or strikes made by unmanned planes, have gone up, but the number of civilians killed has started to decrease. How was this done? Well, five defense sources say that it is due to better intelligence (So where's Bin Laden?), being more careful about the strikes, and better weapons. As it turns out, the drones may now carry smaller, better made weapons. This new weapon, according to sources, is called the Griffin, a thirteen pound warhead, which is just the front of the missle, which contains the explosieve meterials. It is so small that for every one of the traditional, twenty pound Hellfires, which have a wider range, you can get three Griffins. Also, the Griffins have less range, which means less destruction, and only things immidately nearby are killed. It will get the terrorists, and leave the rest, which is good news for all. I think, anyway.

Ad Wars

Here's just one more issue for nobody to agree on. On Thursday, the National Republican Congressional Committee wrote a letter to stations all across the country, saying that they, the stations, have the right to block ads by Democrats if the station believes that the contents are false. Democrats were quick to strike back, accusing the Republicans of urging people to break the law. According to Democratic counsel, there is a law that prevents censorship over the airwaves. The other thing is that, according to the FCC, stations do not have the right to block ads, even if they have "libelious remarks," or pictures/ads that are false. Meantime, NRCC counsel claims to have added a part, saying to only reject in accordance with FCC law, which appears to mean none. Democrats have a money advantage, but Republicans attack the ads as false. Will it help? It might help a little, but probably not enough to give the GOP more gains then they were already going to make.

Sharron Angle ...Again

You know, she almost wasn't the nominee, but then Sue Lowden just had to say that if we bartered with our doctors, using chickens, that would keep healthcare costs down. Boom, one giant eyebrow lifted, and Sharron Angle ended up taking Harry Reid. But her erracticness may end up saving what was once one of the most politically vunerable Democrats imaginable. Comments that she made on a radio show appear to support the idea of an armed revolution. And those aren't the only things that she's done that has people going, "Huh?" It seems that she makes it a point to avoid reporters except for the more conservative ones, imaginably out of fear of being questioned on why Social Security, The Environmental Protection Agency, and IRS, among other things, should be phased out. She's not done yet though; she has also said that she would counsel a hypothetical thirteen year old girl, raped by her father, that the girl should keep the baby, and make "lemons out of lemonade." Um, what? She's also critized a football team who wanted to wear black jerseys, saying black is satanic. Yes, because everyone knows that football teams worship the devil. And now she's been noticed for something else, it seems, canceling a debate. Sharron Angle recently agreed to a debate on Jon Ralston's TV show. He also has his own newspaper column. As it would happen to turn out, after Harry Reid agreed to the debate, she backed out. This has led to a lambasting of Ms. Angle, as well as it should. This lady is far too extremist, and frankly, just too strange for the job. Vote Harry Reid in 2010.

Homegrown Terrorism

Well, this is just great. According to a panel of experts of Friday, the United States not only has a harder to predict, more homegrown threat today than nine years ago, but we are not even prepped enough to deal with it. What we are likely to see is more small scale attacks. Not that any terrorist attcak is small. Lee Hamilton, of the 9-11 Commission, and a Democrat, has said that there are "other things that still need to be done to make the country safer." Perhaps the most troubling thing was the Time Square Bombing. While it was a failure, it has also proven that the old sterotype of the terrorist being a loner, being poor, being uneducated, these beliefs no longer hold up. All we can hope is that, with time, our defense gets ramped up, starting with extra training and funding for police, an expansion of how many are in the service.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Republican cockiness

Republicans seem very sure of themselves: so sure, in fact, that today, even Karl Rove has said the Republicans will take the House, as well as eight or nine seats in the Senate. This is quite amazing, considering that only a few months ago, so few Republicans wanted to make a prediction. Rove said in a half hour speech to target the undecideds, and to have a vision. Odlly enough though, Rove spent so much time attacking, he didn't lay out any outlines, and he knew it. At this point, I would say it'll be a split: GOP takes the House, with a majority of less than ten, and stays in the Senate minority, by only a couple of seats.

Cornyn's warning

That would be Texas Senator, John Cornyn, who has said that if Lisa Murkowski launches a third party bid, she will have to resign as the vice chairman of Republican Senatorial committee, saying that "it's hard to see part of Republican leadership if you're not a Republican." Murkowski has been signaling a consideration of running as a third party member, the concern being that if she does, the seat may go Democratic. I think the only way that seat is going Democrat is if Joe Miller pulls a Ted Stevens, rest his soul, and if Lisa Murkowsi screws up. Neither of those two things are likely, with Miller being new to the game and Murkowski as being an expierienced professional.

Recovery the Republicans hostage?

Yes, if you believe Barack Obama. Among the accusations that have been made by him, the Republicans are holding the middle class hostage, while at the same time playing defense on his policies. I think we are at the point where no matter what the president does, there will not be a pickup in the economy until next year, at the earliest. Now, anyone who has read this blog before will tell you that I have supported the first stimulus pack. I believe, however that we did not spend enough, but with the little progress that we've seen, it might be better to switch tacks, and start paying our defecit. And the first way that I can think of doing that is cutting NASA out of the budget, coverting it into an Rand D department, and cutting their budget to 10 million for one year.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Don't Ask, Don't Tell has taken a significant hit yesterday: It was declared unconstitutional in a federal court in California. Judge Virginia Phillips said in her ruling that that the plaintiff has "demonstrated that it is entitled to the relief sought by it's members," as well as a "decleration that it violates the fifth and first amendment rights," and a "permanent injunction," or permanent ban, in this case, on its enforcement. "The reach in the act is far broader than needed to protect government interests." After hearing witness testimony, she also concluded that it also lowers military readiness, as well as the bonds of the group. Having been given a great victory, protesters have started pushing even harder for the end of the ban. Democrats want to, but without Republican support, they don't wish to deal with it. The House approved it's removal in a vote over a general bill, but John McCain has blocked in the Senate, pending a complete review in the Pentagon, due in December.  I don't think we'll see an end to this before the Supreme Court, personally. I would support a repeal of don't ask, don't tell, in the thought that it may actually bring up the effiency of our troops.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heatlh Care Spending

It is always a tad aggravating when new reports on health care spending comes out. It always seems like the people can not make up their minds for anything. Well, here's one more report to confuse you. Before the overhaul, it was expected to spending was to go up 6.1 percent a year over the next ten years, now it's expected to go up 6.3 percent a year. And that oh so slight spending increase will mean that it will cost about 71 billion to implement everything by 2019, compared to 143 billion in savings. Which means, less defecit is paid for then was originally planned. However, that's not to say there aren't some savings: spending in Medicare will go down by about 1.4 percent each year, due to cutting in areas where overpayment was found. Enrollment in Medicaid, which covers medical costs and hospital costs, as well as Children Health Insurence enrollments will go up. While there are things i would like to change about this bill, this isn't one of them.

2010 is no 1994? No kidding, man.

At, least, that's if you listen to some of Bill Clinton's former aides. Harold Ickes and Dee Dee Myers are claiming that 2010 will not be as good for the Republicans, even though there is an obvious lack of enthusiasm among the democrats. Ms. Myers said that this was because Republicans haven't been out of power for very long, so everyone remembers what they did and what they will do. However, she said the President should stay out of the governors races, which isn't likely. Paul Begala said that Democrats still have a shot because voter anger isn't just toward them, but both parties. He also believes that Democrats have a chance of winning in Florida and California senate seats, as well as the Texas governership. They'll probably win in California, they might in Florida, but I don't think the democrats have a prayer in Texas. Voters may be winnable, but this time, they won't be won to Democrats.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sharron Angle's DC Trip

Anyone who knows me knows that one of the things that I can't stand is hypocrisy. And so I pass this information on, in the hopes that it bothers you as much as it does me. K Street is very well known in Washington. It is a place where many of the offices belong to the lobbyists, you know, those guys who influence how laws work. Sharron Angle has often roasted Harry for taking lobbyist money, but she'll be headed out to D.C. to get some for herself. Hey Sharron, how does it feel to sell your soul? Or are you just untrustworthy? It's especially galling after you find that she's been bashing the bailouts. What's the problem with that, you ask? Shouldn't someone have their own opinions? That's fine, unless some of the people who voted for it are at your fundraising. Namely, Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell.  What does that tell you, Nevada?

Obama Out of The Picture?

The ad picture, to be specific. Time is funny. If you'd been here two years ago, you would see many ads of Democrats running for office, with Obama front and center. Not anymore. With so much of the public against him, Democrats are using what may be considered a tactic that, in my mind, is unlikely to work. They are trying to distance themselves from the president, after two years of sticking with them. There are so many ways that this will hurt them instead of helping them. They will be seen as a flipflopper, a liar, an opprotunist, or all three. And being painted as even one is enough to get you screwed over. The exception seeming to be Charlie Crist.

Democrats Spilt On The Taxes

It's always interesting to hear the president say that the tax cuts for middle class people is being held up by the Republicans to get the tax cuts for the rich extended, especially since its other Democrats who are also involved. And who are the naysayers? Only the usual suspects: Joey Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Even Bayh, and Kent Conrad. They are all saying that the cuts should be extended temporarily. You, conservatives said the tax cuts would help spur grwth. Here we are, eight years lateer. Where's the growth? It is nonexisitant, and thank god there are still some Democrats who have the spine to take the stand to end them. We are trillions in debt, and this will help to pay some of it down.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Round Of Tax Cuts

You know, for being a guy above partisan politics, supposedly, you got to admit that this is a pretty smooth move. The president is calling for tax breaks, for the ability to allow businesses to write off, or deduct any expenses on new plants or equipments, from their returns. Republicans are such tax cutters that you'd think they'd be on board, at the risk of being hammered for hypocrisy. You'd be wrong, of course. Unfortunately, there has been no specifics on how such cuts would be paid for, but there are several things under consideration. Among them are: targeted tax hikes on businesses, as well as closing loopholes. The idea is that this will cause investing, expanding, and, hopefully, an increase in jobs. Now, given the environment, they are not likely to pass until end of the midterms, and it will proably take Republicans brining them up in order for them to go anywhere.

Lisa Murkowski...A Libertarian?

Yes, you heard it right, folks. But perhaps I should explain Libertarianism. It is the basic belief that all people should have the right to do what they will. Now, the nominee for the Libertarians, David Haase, obviously doesn't have a hope in hell: for the most part, independants have one only a few points in their area. But if he leaves the ticket, and the Libertarians do pick her, which is unlikely, according to the heard of the party, she will see a massive pickup in votes. However, this is importent. If she were picked, her name recognition and popularity could drain votes from Joe Miller, letting the Democrat, win. The race is close enough, with Miller leading 50 to 44. But if she doesn't run, then Miller will proably with, by 10 points or less, I'd say.

Outsourcing of Ethics

And I'm sure you all thought, "This is news? We knew about this for a long time." Well, all I can say is, there's a story to it. Back in 2006, Nancy Pelosi and Democrats made a claim. That claim was that if handed the reins of power, they would drain the swamp of corruption in the House. All very eloquent, or well spoken, and very effective. They were elected, and they created a committee designed to weed out the corruption. They were obviously very busy people. A report has just come out that shows that the Office of Congressional Ethics has sent out half a million dollers worth of work. The company is called Navigant Consulting, and it was not involved ith the more sensitive features that come with investigating the congress. In fact, the reason it happened was due to a large amount of work, not enough people, and a lack of time. But what caused this to happen? Well, as it turns out, there were limits put on the office, such as only three months to carry out the investigations. Also, it cannot force someone to testify. And now it appears to be in danager. Represenitives, unhappy with certain investigations, has started calling for its dismissal, or a weakening of what it can do. This is a disappointment. Progress has been made towards removing corruption, but we should realise that the moment the OCE dies, we will start to see corruption climb. We need to give the Committee more time, more people, and more money to get its work done. Please call your congressperson, and prevent the gutting of this importent group. Every voice counts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Outside Groups' Campaign Expenditures Have Doubled

This story has come from Do you know whose buying your election?

Outside organizations have shelled out twice as much on ads and other electioneering activities to affect Congressional races so far during the 2010 election cycle as they did two years ago.
Unions, political parties and advocacy groups have spent more than $34.2 million on independent expenditures so far during this election, compared with less than $16.2 million at this time in the 2008 election, according to a CQ MoneyLine study of Federal Election Commission reports.
"It's staggering amounts of money," said David Vance, spokesman for the Campaign Legal Center. "People have made big promises to spend, but so far they are keeping pace with those big promises."
Through the third week of August, these organizations doled out more than $18 million on independent expenditures for and against Senate candidates, which is 10 times more than the amount spent on Senate races during the same period two years ago.
The race that attracted the most money was the May 18 Democratic Senate primary in Arkansas, in which incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln defeated Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. More than 82 percent of the nearly $9.5 million spent on independent expenditures favored Halter. But he only received 48 percent of the vote, giving Lincoln the victory.
Independent expenditure spending does not always determine the winner of a Congressional race, but this spending can supplement a campaign enough to tip the scales in some races.
Outside funding helped tea party favorite Joe Miller unseat Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Even though Miller was outspent 7-to-1 by Murkowski's campaign, outside groups spent 94 percent of their $565,000 to help him pull out a narrow victory for the Republican Senate nomination.
"When we get involved, we could make a difference between winning and loosing," said Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, which was the source of nearly all of Miller's outside money.
This election cycle, the Tea Party Express, through its Our Country Deserves Better political action committee, has come out of nowhere to become the fourth-largest source of independent expenditures with $2.7 million.
"Whether it is Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller or getting Bart Stupak to quit in Michigan," Russo said, "I think those are all places where we have made the difference."
Other Senate contests leading in independent expenditures so far during the 2010 election cycle include:
- Massachusetts, where more than two-thirds of the $2.7 million spent favored Democrat Martha Coakley, but she lost to Republican Scott P. Brown in January;
- Nevada, where virtually all of the $1.7 million spent has supported Republican candidate Sharron Angle or gone against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid;
- Missouri, where 90 percent of the $1 million spent favored Democrat Robin Carnahan, who is running against Rep. Roy Blunt during the fall.
A contentious primary season and recent special elections have also bolstered spending to affect the elections for House candidates. So far, outside groups spent $16.2 million on these contests -- an increase of 11 percent over a similar period during the 2008 election.
The House races that have attracted the most money since January 2009 include:
- New York's 23rd district, where nearly $3.5 million was spent by outside groups to influence who would replace Republican John M. McHugh, who resigned to become secretary of the Army. Ultimately, Democrat Bill Owens defeated Conservative Doug Hoffman in November 2009.
- New York's 20th district, where 72 percent of nearly $2.5 million in independent expenditures were spent to try to elect Republican James Tedisco to a seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. But Democrat Scott Murphy won the seat in April 2009.
- Pennsylvania's 12th district, where outside groups spent more than $2.2 million to help determine who would succeed Democrat John P. Murtha after his death. The outside spending narrowly favored Democrat Mark Critz, who defeated Republican Tim Burns in May.
It is still early in the election season for independent expenditures, and such spending is expected to increase dramatically in upcoming weeks. At this point during the 2008 election cycle, groups had shelled out just one-tenth of the $152 million ultimately spent to affect Congressional races.
One of the key factors that could increase spending over the 2008 cycle is the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in a case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court ruled that corporations, nonprofits and labor unions can use their own treasuries to fund political ads and influence federal elections.
"With the number of races in play and the amount of money that has been unleashed on the system by Citizens United," Vance said, "it's not going to slow down."
Such spending does have to be reported to the FEC, but the means for disclosure remain murky until the agency issues final rules on the subject after the election.
Some of the organizations spending the most on independent expenditures so far during the 2010 election cycle are the Service Employees International Union, with more than $6.4 million, and the AFL-CIO, with nearly $3.7 million.
As expected, party committees also have played a large role in these elections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent more than $2.8 million, while the National Republican Congressional Committee has doled out nearly $2.7 million so far. Those numbers are fractions of what they will ultimately spend.

Sharron Angle

One often wonders just how Sharon Angle managed to win her primary. In any other year, she would be gone out of our site, and Harry Reid would be getting his but kicked. But not this time.  I find myself in the extrodinary position of wanting Mr. Reid to win. I'll admit that I would've preferred to see Mr. Reid removed for incompetancy, but this lady makes me nervous. First things first: Repeal and Replace ObamaCare. Hm,I support our reform, up to a point. For example, she and I agree on dumping the individual mandates. She also advocates for tort reform, which is basically just a limit on how much money you can sue for. She believes that it would not be a good idea to stop offshore drilling, and to just enforce the laws already passed. If you read between the lines, this means no new regulations, which we obviously need, in order to stop companies from cutting corners when they build refineries, and platforms, so on. She has constantly voted against tax increases. I hate to be the one to tell you all this, but I support tax increases. And some spending cuts might not be a bad idea, such as cutting out NASA altogether. Write me and tell me what you think should be done. Anyway, she supports, among other things, sanctions. The problem with the sanctions idea is that it just isn't working. We need to go a step further. We're already in one hopeless quagmire, we might as well start another. Or, after a civilian evacuation, we bomb the entire offending country. Again, write me. She has called for making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. For my thoughts, please see that post. In the end, I just believe she is not right for our country, and I'm not the only one. The Mayor of Reno, a Republican from Angle's hometown, has said she is just too far right, and he won't support her. I urge all voting residents in Nevada to vote for Harry Reid.

West Virgina GOP ad

Let me ask you a hypothetical question. Lets say that a family member or friend, someone you knew and loved had died. Now, lets also say that  their funeral is used for an ad.. An ad attacking another person or their product. Pretty tacky, right? For the family of the late Robert Byrd, this is not just a hypothetical. This is real, and they immidately fought it. The candidate for the GOP, John Raese, used an ad to attack Joe Manchin as an Obama tool. He used footage of them at the Capitol funeral for Robert Byrd. A spokesman said that they had no idea it was from the funeral, that it was a stock photo. A stock photo is a picture that can be liscensed for use, but not by any one group. Instead, it may be used by any one who can think of a use.  The Byrd family has called for the ad to be pulled, and who could blame them? I don't know, wouldn't it be standard practice to include captions, even if they are for review, or espiecially if they are for viewing? I would suggest a comprimise: namely, keep the ad, but find a different photo to put in its place.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bush Tax Cuts

How many of you support the Bush Tax Cuts? Okay, put your hand down. I'm just kidding. But in all seriousness, the cuts will soon be up for a revote. And, unfortuantely, but not surprisingly, Democrats don't have the spine or the balls to end them. The thought is that by letting them end, the economy will be harmed, and they'll lose their job. If the Republicans get their way, the cuts will be permanent, meaning a loss for the government of about 4 trillion. Obama's plan isn't much better: he would let the ones for the rich expire and keep the ones for lower and middle classes. This would still mean a loss, but only about three trillion. Was our economy any better when the cuts for the rich went through? No, it wasn't. And people have so little now, we need to keep the lower tax breaks. What do you think? Leave me a note, or e-mail at

Joe Arpaio

Normally, I would not dedicate a post to just one person, but this is a very interesting exception. The U.S. Department of Justice is suing a shariff from Arizona, named Joe Arpaio, on the grounds of failure to cooperate in an investigation. And what was being investigated? His department was accused of violating Hispanic people's rights. And on the heels of that, he is being called out for possible abuseing of his power. Namely, pushing bogus charges/investigations and and intimidation of county workers. Someone even went so far as to compare him to a character in the movie "Machete." This character kills a Hispanic woman to prevent her from giving birth in the U.S. Joe is very well known it seems. Among his other actions, he has brought back the chain gang. The chain gang is a group of prisoners shackled together to do menial labor. Sexually explicit meterials were banned after complaints from female guards, who claimed harrassment by the prisoners. Apparently, they would compare the guards to the models and make comments. There is an in house radio station, which is, in all honesty, something that I have never even heard of. But perhaps the biggest thing is his "Tent City." People have criticized it because a majority of the people in the tents, outside, next to the building, are not yet convicts. Critics say that his comment that the people there should shut up because it's "hotter in Iraq, have to wear armor, and didn't commit any crimes." All righty, let's see. How should I put this? First, he should be declared innocent until proven guilty. All people have this right. He did well to can the jailhouse pornography, although the idea of inmates having Playboys to begin with is kind of odd. Let's wait and see how this ends, now.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Can the Tea Party take Delaware?

One can understand why this would be a fair question. After all, we just saw a popular Republican, Lisa Murkowski, get taken down by the Tea Party. It was all vey unexpected, until you realize that it seems like the Republicans are purging all their moderates. Now the Party wants to do it again, by securing the nomination of a lady by the name of Christine O'Donnell. This is not Ms. O'Donnell's first rodeo: in 2008, she won the nomination to take on Joe Biden. A newbie taking on a popular senator? Do you need those particular results? She was defeated, and constantly plagued by money troubles while campaigning. She was cited eight times for her seeming lack of ability to send in reports on her contributions., and she still owes people money from 2008. The Tea Party, when asked about these debts, said that when they endorsed her, they had no idea. Why wouldn't you? You'd think they'd look before they start namining names, right? Now, the fact that she wasn't doing her job, those forms, makes me nervous about if she will do her job if elected. Also, if she's in debt herself, she shouldn't be complaining about the federal deficit. As Confusius would've said, don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof if you have snow on your step. The Tea Party might have a difficult time with her nomination, because independants will be unable to vote, and registration to vote has ended in Deleware. You want my opinion? If Ms. O'Donnell picks up the nomination, the seat will go Democrat. With the current wave of anger, I will say she'll lose somewhere between 5and 7 points.


Hello Again! No, I have not stopped, I just went a a three month sabbatical, or vacation, before my schooling starts. I will write if I have time, and I welcome any comments that are not deemed offensive or insulting. This is meant to be a site of polite discussion and debate. To new friends, welcome! To old ones, welcome back! Enjoy!