New Mexico Republican official ousted for throwing a party with a Trump piñata

A pinata depicting U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hangs outside a workshop in Reynosa, Mexico, June 23, 2015. Days after billionaire Trump accused Mexico of sending criminals to live in the United States, a Mexican artisan has given a

Think you can break me open, loser?

National Republican candidates and staffers may be publicly scolding Donald Trump for his egregious, racist comments about undocumented workers, but one New Mexico Republican staffer is in hot water after using a Trump piñata:

Former Santa Fe County GOP treasurer Ignacio Padilla says he wasn’t acting as a party official when he organized the event last week to allow residents to hit a piñata that bore Trump’s likeness.
Padilla says he was exercising his right to free speech and believes Trump’s previous comments about Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans belittles Latinos.

He was apparently given prior warning:

Chairwoman Jo Ann Eastham says elected party officials are required to maintain neutrality in primaries. She says Padilla was warned not to host the event.

Well, Ignacio Padilla, perhaps it is time to consider joining a party who doesn’t view hardworking undocumented workers as criminals and

Donald Trump trashcan gif

Continue reading “New Mexico Republican official ousted for throwing a party with a Trump piñata”

Why the GOP loves the ‘Secondhand Economy’

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican nominee John McCain traveled to Ynez, Kentucky, to announce his economic vision in the place where LBJ launched the War on Poverty back in 1965. His solution for Americans struggling to make ends meet?  Ebay:

“Today, for example, 1.3 million people in the world make a living off eBay, most of those are in the United State of America.”

McCain’s ringing endorsement of the online auction giant came as no surprise. After all, among his top economic advisers was eBay CEO Meg Whitman. (Whitman had touted her company as an engine of growth in almost identical terms, telling Leslie Stahl of CBS News, “We have about – around the world, about 1.3 million people make most, if not all, of their living selling on eBay.”)  And for McCain, who previously admitted that “the issue of economics is not

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Republican position on Iran nuclear deal explained in just 30 words

Mushroom cloud from a nuclear bomb

To save you all a lot of research, here is the Republican Party’s position on the nuclear deal with Iran:

Republicans fall into two camps when it comes to President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Some are against it, while others want to read it before announcing their opposition.

And that about covers it. But at least they’re willing to be open-minded about it …

Donald Trump weighs in on historic nuclear deal with Iran

Shortly after the historic nuclear deal with Iran was announced this morning, Donald Trump, a leading contender for the Republican Party’s 2016 nomination, weighed in with his deep thoughts.

File this one under shit-you-can’t-make-up.

Donald Trump weighs in on historic nuclear deal with Iran

Shortly after the historic nuclear deal with Iran was announced this morning, Donald Trump, a leading contender for the Republican Party’s 2016 nomination, weighed in with his deep thoughts.

File this one under shit-you-can’t-make-up.

Introducing Targeted Regulation of Urologists and Male Patients (TRUMP) laws

In April, the Tennessee legislature offered a unique moment of clarity regarding women’s access to abortion services. As the Senate debated GOP proposals to institute 48-hour waiting periods and regulate abortion providers like hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), Democrat Sara Kyle asked:

“Here you’re putting all this burden on a woman. Why don’t we put these same standards on a man who wants to have a vasectomy?”

That seems like a reasonable enough question. After all, each year an estimated 350,000 American men undergo the legal sterilization procedure the Catholic Church considers a mortal sin. Yet 90 percent of the nation’s 10,000 urologists perform vasectomies, accounting for 75 percent of all “snippings” each year. Nevertheless, Volunteer State GOP Sen. Todd Gardenhire explained to Kyle why the law is, well, vastly deferential to men:

“Having personal experience in that field and also having one reversed I want to promise

Continue reading “Introducing Targeted Regulation of Urologists and Male Patients (TRUMP) laws”

Introducing Targeted Regulation of Urologists and Male Patients (TRUMP) laws

In April, the Tennessee legislature offered a unique moment of clarity regarding women’s access to abortion services. As the Senate debated GOP proposals to institute 48-hour waiting periods and regulate abortion providers like hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), Democrat Sara Kyle asked:

“Here you’re putting all this burden on a woman. Why don’t we put these same standards on a man who wants to have a vasectomy?”

That seems like a reasonable enough question. After all, each year an estimated 350,000 American men undergo the legal sterilization procedure the Catholic Church considers a mortal sin. Yet 90 percent of the nation’s 10,000 urologists perform vasectomies, accounting for 75 percent of all “snippings” each year. Nevertheless, Volunteer State GOP Sen. Todd Gardenhire explained to Kyle why the law is, well, vastly deferential to men:

“Having personal experience in that field and also having one reversed I want to promise

Continue reading “Introducing Targeted Regulation of Urologists and Male Patients (TRUMP) laws”

New school voucher laws put public education in peril

Over the past several days, two stories have highlighted the critical condition state of American public education. As the New York Times detailed, K12 school budgets in over 30 states have yet to return to their pre-recession, 2008 levels. Of the seven with the deepest reductions, six—Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin—made matters worse by cutting income tax rates during the same time frame. But as the Washington Post reported, Nevada is breaking new ground in breaking up its public schools. In the broadest school voucher law to date, the families of all 450,000 Silver State students can pocket their $5,700 share of per-pupil funding and spend it instead at the private, parochial or homeschool of their choice.
Previous voucher laws passed in 27 states since 2006 allowed small numbers of low-income or disabled children to redirect public school dollars to private or religious institutions. But in

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Scott Walker wouldn’t rule out another war in Iraq

Republican presidential hopeful, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addresses an economic summit hosted by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Orlando, Florida, June 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Steve Nesius  - RTR4YIWC

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, currently the biggest bozo in the 2016 Republican clown car, is totally down with a do-over of the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he wouldn’t rule out a full-blown re-invasion of Iraq if he were to become the next commander-in-chief. […]
“It would not be limited to anything out there,” Walker told ABC’s Jonathan Karl in an exclusive interview with for “This Week.”

But not to worry, because Scott wouldn’t do it until he thought it was necessary to protect America. You know, like last time.

For pundits, 2016 may well be the ‘choose your own adventure’ election

Hillary Clinton speaks on her legal career and on the importance of voting rights at ABA meeting in San Francisco, August 12, 2013

Based on conventional wisdom, Hillary Clinton cannot lose. Or cannot win. It depends on who is talking.

I had a friend for many years who was an avid sports bettor. He researched the ponies, the NBA, and the MLB the way a doctoral candidate researches a scholarly topic. As it happens (and, in my experience, as is often the case), he broke fairly close to even in his prognostications. All that research, however, paid off in one key way: he could always give you a great reason why the No. 8 horse (or the Bucks, or the Dodgers, or … you get the point) should have been a winner.
In a similar vein, the 2016 election cycle (at least at the presidential level) is shaping up to be every pundit’s dream … or every pundit’s nightmare. When the dust settles and the confetti is swept in November 2016, political voices will immediately

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The supreme irony of King v. Burwell

From the very beginning of the debate over what would become the Affordable Care Act, the conservative crusade to kill healthcare reform has been defined by an inescapable irony. For years, health care has been worst in those reddest of states where Republicans poll best. Study after study has shown that red state healthcare systems are plagued by the highest uninsured rates, the least access to care, and the unhealthiest residents.
But with the U.S. Supreme Court soon to rule on the fate of Obamacare’s subsidies in the 34 states that chose to have the federal government run their insurance exchanges, another irony of all-out GOP obstructionism could be revealed as well. If the Roberts Court sides with the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, it’s not just that red states will be hardest hit as some 6.4 million Americans lose their ACA subsidies. As it turns out,

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Woman says her brother was a victim of ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert talks to reporters about Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in the Capitol in Washington October 2, 2006. The FBI is assessing whether Foley broke any laws when he sent sexually explicit e-mails to a male teen-age congressional pag

From ABC News:

In Steve Reinboldt’s 1970 high school yearbook, wrestling coach Dennis Hastert wrote that Steve was his “great, right hand man” as the student equipment manager of the Yorkville, Illinois wrestling team.
But Steve was also a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Hastert, Steve’s sister said today in an interview with ABC News. It is the first time an alleged Hastert victim has been identified by name since his indictment for lying to the FBI and violating federal banking laws to cover-up past misconduct. Hastert, due in court next week, has not responded to the allegations.

Reinhold died in 1995, and his sister Jolene described being enraged when Hastert showed up at the funeral:

“I was just there just trying to bite my tongue thinking that blood was coming out because I was just… So after he had gone through the line I followed

Continue reading “Woman says her brother was a victim of ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert”

Woman says her brother was a victim of ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert talks to reporters about Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) in the Capitol in Washington October 2, 2006. The FBI is assessing whether Foley broke any laws when he sent sexually explicit e-mails to a male teen-age congressional pag

From ABC News:

In Steve Reinboldt’s 1970 high school yearbook, wrestling coach Dennis Hastert wrote that Steve was his “great, right hand man” as the student equipment manager of the Yorkville, Illinois wrestling team.
But Steve was also a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Hastert, Steve’s sister said today in an interview with ABC News. It is the first time an alleged Hastert victim has been identified by name since his indictment for lying to the FBI and violating federal banking laws to cover-up past misconduct. Hastert, due in court next week, has not responded to the allegations.

Reinhold died in 1995, and his sister Jolene described being enraged when Hastert showed up at the funeral:

“I was just there just trying to bite my tongue thinking that blood was coming out because I was just… So after he had gone through the line I followed

Continue reading “Woman says her brother was a victim of ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert”

Republican dilemma: Is the Pope infallible or just a nice guy with an opinion

Pope Francis waves as he leaves after his weekly audience in St.Peter's square, at the Vatican City, May 13, 2015.   REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito  - RTX1CQXW

For many years, when it came to abortion and birth control, Republicans’ cheerfully trotted out the Pope and Catholic teachings to justify draconian anti-choice laws against women. But there’s a new sheriff Pope in town, and with his embrace of climate change, evolution, relations with Cuba, not to mention voicing concern about the poor, Pope Francis is making it a wee bit awkward for Catholic Republicans, and they seem to be rethinking that whole “infallible” bit:

Francis may be popular with the general public, but key Republican primary constituencies — hawks, climate-change skeptics and religious conservatives, including some Catholics, are wary of the pope’s progressivism. Some, pronouncing themselves “Republicans first and Catholics second …”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, have worked to draw a distinction between the pope’s authoritative declarations of Catholic belief, which they would feel compelled to follow, and his mere opinions,

Continue reading “Republican dilemma: Is the Pope infallible or just a nice guy with an opinion”

Jeb Bush declares ‘ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president,’ gets mugged by reality

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country. Picture taken June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3VIB1

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul.

Just one week after a 19 year-old college student rightly informed Jeb Bush that “your brother created ISIS,” the 2016 GOP White House hopeful apparently decided one historical beat down wasn’t enough. At a gathering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, Dubya’s brother doubled down and declared:

“ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president.  Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was President.”

As Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek would say, “Oh, no. I’m so sorry.”

Head below the fold for all the reasons why.

Charles Murray returns to help the GOP demolish modern America

As the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination heats up, one name keeps popping up as the GOP’s go-to guy on poverty, economic inequality and social policy. “My views on this were shaped a lot on this by Charles Murray’s book,” Jeb Bush recently proclaimed, adding. “I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I’m a total nerd I guess.”
Being an acolyte of the Harvard social scientist and libertarian crusader may not make you a nerd, but it does make you a fellow traveler in support of some of the more extreme views in American public policy. After all, in his 1984 book Losing Ground, Murray argued the unintended consequences of liberal social engineering were making the lives of poor worse. In 1994’s The Bell Curve co-authored with Richard Hernstein, Charles Murray further suggested that due to the inferior IQs of racial

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Hillary’s GOP rivals line up for Adelson’s cash

Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson

“If this was any person but Hillary Clinton,” Newt Gingrich said Sunday of foreign donations to the Clintons’ global charity, “they’d be under indictment right now for a clearly straightforward problem.” Coming from the former speaker of the House, that statement was doubly ironic. After all, Gingrich was never indicted for the transparent scams at GOPAC, the political action committee over which Newt was forced to pay $300,000 in fines to the House Ethics Committee. More damning still, Gingrich’s own 2012 presidential campaign was essentially underwritten by a single man—Sheldon Adelson—determined to buy both the U.S. and Israeli governments.
In Las Vegas this weekend, many of the GOP White House hopefuls spoke to the spring conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition. But Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and company weren’t just there to pledge their fealty to Eretz Israel, but instead to audition for a cash

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How anti-abortion intensity wins in pro-choice America

For four decades, American public opinion on the issue of abortion has been largely unchanged. As the numbers from Gallup, the Pew Research Center, and other polls show, roughly half of Americans have identified themselves as “pro-choice” even as consistent majorities support keeping abortion legal in all or many circumstances.
But now, a new survey conducted for Vox by the communications and strategy firm, PerryUndem, revealed that for Americans abortion is “not so black and white.” Where past polls found a public bitterly divided over the legality of abortion, the Vox survey found nuanced views and surprising common ground. When questions moved “beyond legality and into [the] reality” of the abortion experience for American women, a much different picture emerged.

Nearly four in 10 respondents said they were “neither” (21 percent) or “both” pro-choice and pro-life. Just changing the wording from “abortion should be

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If the 2016 GOP presidential field is so deep, why is Donald Trump beating so many of their ‘stars’?

Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he arrives onstage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Theiler  

Donald Trump: in the top half of the GOP field, both nationally and in pivotal New Hampshire.

Much has been made of the field of prospects expected to vie for the Republican presidential nomination. Words like “deep” and “strong” are getting bandied about with a fair amount of regularity.

One of the earliest hymns of praise about the GOP field of contenders came over a year ago, courtesy of a March 2014 CPAC post-game column in the Daily Beast by former Bush ad-man Mark McKinnon:

Contrary to conventional media wisdom, this week’s CPAC proved Republicans are likely going to put a formidable team on the presidential field in 2016—and they’ll have at least one advantage going into the election: Their primaries are going to be much more interesting, dramatic and entertaining than the Democratic primaries.

McKinnon’s second point may well be true—it is undeniable that, unless something dramatically changes, the GOP primary fight will get infinitely more attention than the Democratic one, and could give the eventual nominee a great deal more attention.
(Of course, Mitt Romney proved in 2012 that being at front and center in the public whirlwind of a competitive primary fight is not always an asset).

Jump below the fold for more.

When Carly loved Hillary

Carly Fiorina, the disgraced HP CEO and failed California Senate candidate, says her odds of entering the 2016 Republican presidential contest are “higher than 90 percent.” Of course, that’s not because she believes she can win the nomination, but because the odds she wants to be the GOP’s vice presidential nominee are 100 percent. And to secure that slot, Fiorina has made clear to all that she will run as the Anti-Hillary, a conservative attack dog who is willing and able to do the dirty work the GOP’s ultimately male nominee will not. That’s why Fiorina was among the first to take to the airwaves after Hillary Clinton’s campaign announcement to declare that the former secretary of state and twice-elected senator from New York “lacks accomplishment.”

But back in the summer of 2008, Carly Fiorina had only praise for the woman who almost won the Democratic nomination for president. Of course, seven years ago, Fiorina’s mission was to bring supposedly disgruntled Hillary voters over to John McCain. As with her loss to Barbara Boxer two years later, at that task, too, Fiorina failed miserably.

In the days after Barack Obama clinched the delegate count to assure his nomination, John McCain’s economic adviser was dispatched to win over unhappy Hillary backers that June. As Newsweek (“Carly Fiorina: Praising Hillary, Pushing McCain”) reported at the time:

For the past 15 months, Carly Fiorina has given her life to John McCain. A brand-name businesswoman owing to her tumultuous tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina serves as “victory chairwoman” of the Republican National Committee and is the McCain campaign’s most outspoken and energetic female surrogate. But as she strolled around a dining room in the battleground state of Ohio last week, praising “a focused, determined, intelligent, empathetic, powerful leader,” she wasn’t talking about the GOP nominee. She was talking about Hillary Clinton–a woman, she told the 50 women gathered to see her in a Columbus suburb, who’d been wronged. “Women in positions of authority, particularly bold women who are trying to change things, are … caricatured differently, commented upon differently and held to different standards,” she said. “I watched all of this happen to Hillary Clinton.”[Emphasis mine]

But Fiorina’s “female-focused speaking tour in Ohio and Pennsylvania” quickly went off the rails. For starters, she assured Americans that John McCain “has never signed on to efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade.” But McCain abandoned that stand from his 2000 campaign in favor of the GOP’s draconian 2008 platform which called for reversing Roe and instead passing a “human life amendment” to the Constitution. Fiorina sparked another controversy when she raised the topic of health insurance coverage of contraception.

Head below the fold for a whole lot more on Carly.