This post first appeared on Daily Kos. Christine O'Donnell has released her first ad, and with it she can safely say that she is the first candidate in political history to introduce herself to the voters with the opening line:
I'm not a witch.
And while Wiccans everywhere breathe a sigh of relief, the rest of us aren't so lucky because her tag line is:
I'm you.
Unless you masturbate. Or you don't think being gay is an identity disorder. Or you don't think telling teenagers to practice safe sex reduces them to the level of a dog. Or you believe in evolution, even if you can't see monkeys turning into humans before your very eyes.  Or you don't believe there are mice with fully functioning human brains. Or you've never used campaign contributions to pay your rent and go bowling. Or you haven't lied about your education over and over and over and over again. Or the college you attended didn't sue you. Or you don't have top secret information about a Chinese takeover of America. Or, or, or ... Otherwise, she's you.
This post first appeared on Daily Kos. Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman says that she was "stunned" when she learned that her longtime housekeeper, Nicandra Diaz, was an undocumented worker:
Speaking to reporters after a campaign event at Cisco in San Jose, Whitman said she and her husband were "stunned" when they discovered their housekeeper was in the country illegally. She denied receiving letters from the IRS or Social Security Administration saying that Nicandra Diaz's name did not match her Social Security number. Whitman said she and her husband relied on an employment agency and inspected Diaz's documentation personally. "All the documentation that we had said she was legal. ...We absolutely did what we needed to do as an employer."
Did she? According to a spokeswoman at the Social Security Administration, all employers are required to verify Social Security numbers before hiring someone, and that it "has been the case for ten years or longer." Further, the Internal Revenue Service requires employers to use Social Security numbers to report wages. Didn't either of these agencies inform Whitman when she "absolutely" did what she needed to do as an employer?
This post first appeared on Daily Kos. Finally:
A bill to restore unemployment benefits to millions who have been out of work for more than six months has cleared a Senate hurdle. The 60-40 vote came moments after Carte Goodwin, a successor to West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd, was sworn in. Goodwin was the crucial 60th senator to defeat a Republican filibuster that has led to a lapse in benefits for 2.5 million people. After a final Senate vote, the House will take up the bill Wednesday. President Barack Obama is likely to sign it into law by week's end.
And now that Senate Republicans have lost this battle to screw over millions of working class Americans they can get back to trying to make sure the wealthy keep their tax cuts.
This post originally appeared on Daily Kos. Comedy:
Speaking at the Kentucky Freedom Festival on Saturday, Republican Senate hopeful Rand Paul informed Tea Party activists that “we have to get our policy out there, we’re not going to get a lot of help from the newspapers.” He urged grassroots groups to raise money and purchase air time, arguing, “Until we buy advertising, the message is controlled by the other side.”
Translation: After voicing his extremist ideas beyond the confines of the local tea party rallies, Paul has avoided the media like the plague lest the rank and file voters of Kentucky realize what a right-wing nutcase he is. Of course Paul doesn't really have to rely on the liberal-media-victimization claim to raise money to get out his whitewashed message of the rogue candidate fighting against big money, Washington insiders ... that's what he has big money, Washington insiders for.
This post first appeared on Daily Kos. It was barely a month ago that House Republicans announced the launch of a new website, America Speaking Out, that was designed to "craft a new agenda" based on input from real Americans. Said a spokesman:
“There’s going to be a months-long period of engaging with the American people, asking for their ideas and [gauging] what their priorities are, and that’s going to take time,” Buck said. “Most people come up with an agenda in a back room in Washington, put it forward and say here’s what it is, take it."
And today House Republicans are opting to be most people:
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) have invited senior Republican lobbyists and top officials from several large trade groups to the Capitol next week to provide their suggestions for a new GOP agenda. The meeting is part of the House leaders’ initiative called America Speaking Out, which is intended to draw broad input to create a new policy agenda for the party to launch in the fall. An e-mail invitation sent to more than 20 trade representatives and obtained by Roll Call summoned guests to Boehner’s second-floor office on July 16 “to discuss House Republican efforts to produce a new policy agenda with a small group of trade association leaders.”
So, to craft the new GOP agenda, regular folks got to drop a comment on a website and big money gets a behind-closed-door meeting. Guess which ones are the House Republican's idea of "real" Americans?
This post first appeared on Daily Kos. Do you want to see tea party principles in action? Candidate Rand Paul "pledged not to accept contributions from any senator who voted for a federal bailout of the banking industry." So of course, shortly after winning the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, Paul jetted off to Washington to attend a $1000 a-plate fundraiser hosted by Sen. Mitch McConnell and other Senators who ... you guessed it ... all voted for the bank bailout. The tea party nation is outraged, right?
David Roos, a retired minister in Murray who has been active in the Tea Party movement, said it didn't escape notice in his circle that Paul had, as he put it, "capitulated to the establishment ... But Roos said the incident isn't enough to drive conservative voters away from Paul ... Others ... argued that Paul has not turned his back on his principles, but rather is doing what is necessary to win so he can put those principles to work in office ... "That doesn't mean that once you get into the game, you can't try to change the system for the better," Witten said. "He's just playing the very few parts of the game that he has to to get in ..." If Paul thought he could win without McConnell's fund-raising, he probably would, but he will need that help against Conway, who is wealthy enough to give his campaign a big financial boost, Witten said ...
In other words, inside Washington, politics as usual doesn't bother the tea party nation ... and why should it? After all, they're just Republicans masquerading as tea bags.
This post first appeared on Daily Kos. The GOP is finally asking for Americans to step up to the plate and do their part to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least some Americans:
Ensuring there’s enough money to pay for the war will require reforming the country’s entitlement system, [House Minority Leader John] Boehner said. He said he’d favor increasing the Social Security retirement age to 70 for people who have at least 20 years until retirement, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation and limiting payments to those who need them.
Not only could our seniors prove their patriotism by working for several more years, it would mean our brothers in banking won't have to continue to pay the price for their meltdown. It's a win, win solution ... assuming you're a Republican or a banker.
This post first appeared on Daily Kos. Greg Sargent at The Plum Line flags an overlooked tidbit from a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll:
The poll asked people how they'd respond if a Congressional candidate had various hypothetical attributes. Asked how they'd feel if a candidate were "endorsed by Sarah Palin," the response was....
palin
Says Sargent:
Obviously those pointing to Palin's influence are only concerned with her impact among GOP primary voters. But the above finding is another mark of just how toxic Palin has become to the rest of the world -- and how out of sync with public opinion the media obsession with Palin's alleged influence really is.
And that's the tiny detail the media somehow manages to overlook while playing stenographer for Palin or waxing poetic about the tea party as a whole ... their toxicity to the majority of the voters. Just a few months ago Harry Reid was "dead man walking," Charlie Crist was the next Republican Senator from Florida, the Republican nominee in Kentucky was a shoo-in, Rob Simmons had a good shot at getting Chris Dodd's seat, NY-23 was going to be back in Republican hands ...
This post originally appeared on Daily Kos. Dick Armey has some advice for tea party candidates:
Republican candidates popular with tea party activists should refrain from self-identifying as tea party candidates – and also should stay off MSNBC, Dick Armey said Wednesday.
They should hide who they are and mask their real agenda? Maybe they should call themselves the Citizens United Party. And who should they talk to?
“Fox News for many of us, we believe is more accurate and reliable than most news most of the time, and we are quite comfortable enjoy when we’ve given interviews there,” he said.
Indeed. There isn't another outfit out there that delivers tea party GOP talking points so accurately and reliably.
This post originally appeared on Daily Kos. From Section I of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
Not a problem says Arizona Republicans:
The author of Arizona’s controversial immigration law is considering a new proposal that would block the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens if they are born in the United States.  [...] Pearce contended that the bill would not violate the 14th Amendment, saying only that “we would write it right.” ... Arizona Republicans — including Gov. Jan Brewer — have indicated support for the bill.
It truly is amazing how the Party that loves to wave the Constitution around is always the one that is so anxious to spit on it. And just speculation on my part, but can writing the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, 13th and 15th Amendments "right" be far behind?