The Senate’s biggest carpetbagger was a Democrat

When you think “carpetbagger”, you think Hillary Clinton in a Yankees hat.

But the original carpetbagger was Democrat Senator James A. Shields, who served as Senator from not one…not two…but three different states.

Shields originally was elected as a war hero, although it doesn’t seem he was much of a hero:

Shields had successfully turned a wound suffered several years earlier in the Mexican War to political advantage, defeating incumbent Senator Sidney Breese, a fellow Democrat. One political wag joked about Shields’ lucky “Mexican bullet.” “What a wonderful shot that was! The bullet went clean through Shields without hurting him, or even leaving a scar, and killed Breese a thousand miles away.”

Shields started in Illinois, serving as a state politician and later was elected Senator from 1849 to 1855.

Then, when he couldn’t get re-elected, he high-tailed it to Minnesota to serve from 1858 to 1859, because you really get a feel for the people of a state after less than two years.

He moved to California and became a Union commander in the Civil War, gaining a promotion to major general which was immediately withdrawn because he was a terrible military commander. Eventually he resigned altogether, a move that was “not resisted” by the War Department.

After the Civil War, he moved to Missouri, and was elected in 1879, dying in office.

Shields’ other contribution to history?

Challenging Abraham Lincoln to a duel because of some funny articles written about him in the Illinois papers, only to have Lincoln demonstrate to Shields that with his longer arms in a swordfight, Shields would stand no chance.

“with my arms TIED” –Abraham Lincoln

Overblown and poor military service?  Moving from state to state to get elected?

Shields was the 19th-century version of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton rolled into one.

Anyone remember this George W. Bush quote?

Over the past few months, as [the weapons inspectors] have come closer and closer to rooting out Iraq’s remaining nuclear capacity, Saddam has undertaken yet another gambit to thwart their ambitions by imposing debilitating conditions on the inspectors and declaring key sites which have still not been inspected off limits….

It is obvious that there is an attempt here, based on the whole history of this operation since 1991, to protect whatever remains of his capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, the missiles to deliver them, and the feed stocks necessary to produce them. The UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions, a small force of Scud-type missiles, and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons….

Now, let’s imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made?

Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction.

And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal.

So, anyone remember this famous George W. Bush quote?

Of course not.

It was said in a February 17, 1998 address by President Bill Clinton.

The phrase “weapons of mass destruction” was used 10 more times in that address.

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Which party spends less days in Congress?

It’s no surprise that Congress takes more breaks per year than the average American, Spanish, or even Greek family.

Congress is in session for less than 1/3 of the calendar year.

But is it true that one party stays in session longer than another?  Do Democrats really work harder than Republicans?

According to this meme from Occupy Democrats, the House Republicans are lazy.

Democrats controlled Congress from 2007 to 2011.

Let’s see how the calendars stack up.

2007: 164 days

2008: 119 days

2009: 159 days

2010: 127 days

Then, Republicans took control of the House in the 2010 election.

2011: 175 days

2012: 153 days

2013: 159 days

2014: 104 days (thus far, through the August recess)

In fact, since Republicans have held Congress, they’ve been in session more days than the Democrats every single year (and the same 2009/2013).

“But it’s an election year!” you say.

Ok, let’s take 2010–the last year the Democrats were in control of Congress and a midterm election year, just like 2014.

Democrats were in Congress exactly 12 days from August 1 to the 2010 election.

According to the Republican calendar above, they will be in Congress exactly 12 days from August 1 to the 2010 election.

By the way–the Democrats had both the House AND the Senate the entire time, and the Presidency for half the time–which means they had plenty of opportunity to pass bills on jobs, infrastructure, the minimum wage, the climate crisis, immgration reform, extending unemployment, and equal pay for women.

The Republicans have not held the Senate or the Presidency since they took control of the House in 2010.

So why are Democrats so lazy?

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You won’t believe which party receives the most donations from Wall Street

A meme imploring us to “DO THE MATH!!” is circulating about hedge fund managers paying less in taxes than the little people. According to the infographic, the amount saved in one tax loophole for 10 people is the same as the total income tax for over 260,000 middle-class workers.

apparently the monopoly man has cornered the market on poorly paint-drawn money

However, 5 out of 5 top hedge fund earners agree: donating to Democrats is where it’s at.

While hedge fund managers might be presumed to be eager to help the GOP beat back Wall Street reform, the reality is that the biggest of the big-time spenders funneled their donations primarily to Democrats, the party that holds Congress and the White House. According to an analysis done by the Center for Responsive Politics for ABC News, the five biggest hedge fund donors all gave almost all their donations to Democrats.

Not just any Democrats either. Democrats who are re-writing financial laws:

With $94,100 in contributions over the past year, Jim Simons is the single largest political donor among hedge fund managers. The founder of quantitative hedge fund powerhouse Renaissance Technologies gave almost all of that total to Democrats, including Senators Harry Reid of Nevada, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and New York’s Charles Schumer. Dodd is in charge of the committee working on a financial reform bill.

In fact, in 2012, Obama received far more money from Wall Street than Romney did.  Individually, he received more money from Wall Street than the entire Republican Party:

Obama’s key advantage over the GOP field is the ability to collect bigger checks because he raises money for both his own campaign committee and for the Democratic National Committee, which will aid in his reelection effort. As a result, Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data. The numbers show that Obama retains a persistent reservoir of support among Democratic financiers who have backed him since he was an underdog presidential candidate four years ago.

Obama even raised more money than Romney…from the company Romney founded:

Obama’s fundraising advantage is clear in the case of Bain Capital, the Boston-based private-equity firm that was co-founded by Romney, and where the Republican made his fortune. Not surprisingly, Romney has strong support at the firm, raking in $34,000 from 18 Bain employees, according to the analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. But Obama has outdone Romney on his own turf, collecting $76,600 from Bain Capital employees through September — and he needed only three donors to do it.

The fact remains that Wall Street is an important interest group that donates to Democratic candidates—growing in importance each election:

But rather than abandoning Mr. Obama, the securities and investment sector still holds the third spot among the top 10 interest groups in the most recent rankings of individual donations to the Obama campaign and the DNC, according to the center. In the 2008 campaign, the financial-services sector ranked fourth among all interest groups giving to Mr. Obama and the DNC.

Interesting how the same people who encourage us to “tax the rich” sure do love taking the rich’s money and raising taxes on everyone else.

How Silicon Valley is trying to take out Tea Party candidates

As the controversy around the Mississippi Senate runoff race to unseat Sen. Thad Cochran unfolds, and more allegations pile up of voter fraud and funny money, an interesting tidbit came out in a Politico piece about how the tech industry is supporting political candidates.

Sean Parker, Facebook billionaire who also founded Napster, has a history of supporting Democrats—like most in Silicon Valley, he supported and donated to Obama, as well as Sen. Cory Booker and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, in some of the highest profile Democrat campaigns in the past year.

However, Parker has begun to “crossover” and donate to Republicans that he claims are “moderate conservative voices on economic policy”.

Sen. Lindsay Graham has been one of the beneficiaries of this largesse (who faced a notable Tea Party challenge this year), but the largest beneficiary?

Sen. Thad Cochran.

So far, Parker’s largest GOP contributions have been directed at races where mainstream Republican lawmakers have faced competition from more hard-edged ideological candidates. In the House, Simpson and Walden faced tea party opponents, though both ultimately dispatched them easily.

Cochran very nearly lost his seat in a June 3 Republican primary before bouncing back to defeat his challenger in a June 24 runoff election.
Parker donated $250,000 to the Mississippi Conservatives super PAC, led by Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour, before the primary. He re-upped with another $100,000 for the runoff election.

Remember, individuals can donate, max, less than $3000 to a candidate per cycle.

But if you donate to a PAC that supports a candidate, you can get around that requirement.

Parker is also a member of FWD.us, a Mark Zuckerberg-sponsored lobbying group designed to “promote tech-friendly causes”, which has been a huge supporter of amnesty.

the look of satisfaction that facebook writes your checks

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Megyn Kelly debunks “misleading hysteria” on the Hobby Lobby decision

Nancy Pelosi is using the Democratic playbook of using Fear to gin up support for left wing ideology, going as far as to demonize the Supreme Court in factually meritless extreme ways:

“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.Pelosi said last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama’s healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.

“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”

Megyn Kelly tears this fearmongering apart, fact by fact:

Further exposition of Nancy Pelosi’s comments, including Mrs Pelosi’s imaginary “illegalization of diaphrams” which would only affect 21 women in the entire Hobby Lobby workforce contained in this extended deconstruction from The Kelly File:

Jon Stewart helped spread the Hobby Lies as well, dutifully debunked by Kelly once again:

On the O’Reilly Factor:

Does the Hobby Lobby case discriminate against women?

Today, the Supreme Court struck down the contraception mandate portion of Obamacare. Known as the “Hobby Lobby” case, named after a Christian craft chain store where the Obamacare stipulation that employers must cover birth control was legally challenged on a religious freedom basis, the 5-4 decision has deep effects for future legislation.

First and foremost—it’s a stunning blow to Obamacare. Finally, the Supreme Court realizes that Obamacare has too many mandates that the government simply can’t make of people.

Second—it’s a stunning victory for the First Amendment.

By insisting that employers cover birth control despite their personal or religious beliefs, Congress (with a party-line Democrat vote on Obamacare) was violating the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

By the way, it was Congress’s law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that the Supreme Court based their decision off of.  Sounds like something passed by a bunch of crazy right-wing Republicans, right?

What this law basically says is that the government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion.

That was said by the president who signed the bill into law: Bill Clinton, in 1993, where the law was introduced by Democrat Chuck Schumer of NY (who is outraged by the Hobby Lobby decision) and unanimously by a Democrat House and 97-3 in a Democrat Senate.

Same situation as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell—Democrats passed a law under Clinton, were totally fine with it, the Supreme Court rules on it later, Democrats pretend like that never happened.

Third—it’s a victory for small businesses.

Employers are simply not required to provide health insurance to begin with, so requiring them to cover health insurance AND then requiring what kind of health insurance they have to cover down to individual medications, is many, many steps too far.

Everyone from Seth Rogen to Barbara Boxer is pushing the meme that “WELL, they still cover VIAGRA, don’t they?  VASECTOMIES too?  Clearly, Hobby Lobby hates women!” which goes to show that few people have any idea how the body actually works (also, I just caused you to imagine an unlikely and uncomfortable coupling):

First and foremost, Viagra (and other erectile-dysfunction drugs and treatments) aren’t widely covered by insurance. That’s one reason why a large online market for inexpensive purchases of the drugs exist. Second, as anyone who gives a moment’s thought about the subject would realize, such drugs would be appropriate to help empower natural procreation, which isn’t against anyone’s religion.

So why does the government require that companies cover birth control and not erectile dysfunction drugs?

Birth control is not dialysis.  It’s $9 a month at Target.  It’s intrusive to require employers to cover such a personal product.

In fact, the ruling in regards to Hobby Lobby and not paying for birth control doesn’t even affect the birth control you normally think of:

It doesn’t affect:

• Most birth control pills

• Condoms

• Sponges

• Sterilization

It does affect:

• Plan B “morning-after pill”

• Ella “morning-after pill”

• Hormonal and copper intrauterine devices (IUDs)

By the way—morning-after pills are available over the counter, so Obamacare’s requirement that insurance covers those is like requiring that they cover Claritin or Vicks.

The objection that Hobby Lobby wants to “go into an employee’s bedroom” or “come between her an her doctor” is exactly what Hobby Lobby is NOT doing.

The lawyer for Hobby Lobby raises an important point:

Hobby Lobby would love to stay out of this, and leave this decision to a woman and her doctor. It’s the federal government that told them that they had to be involved and cover these things, even though they violated the Green family’s faith.

The major problem is this: as soon as everyone heard “Hobby Lobby”, “Christian”, and “birth control” the meme became “Hobby Lobby is anti-sex”.  That’s how something as stupid as “well, they cover Viagra right?  And not birth control?  Hobby Lobby hates women!” came to pass.

It says a lot about the Supreme Court that this decision was a slim 5-4 vote.  It’s a good thing they judged on the right side of that razor.

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How Thad Cochran stole an election

A Mississippi Republican primary runoff wouldn’t often get national attention.

But what is getting attention is how a sitting US Senator in a tough primary race won the runoff after essentially losing the primary.

Sen. Thad Cochran is known for his love of earmarks–$490 million of them in 2010 alone, higher than any other senator—as well as a spotty record on amnesty.

His opponent, Chris McDaniel, “made his opposition to amnesty the centerpiece of his campaign”, causing him to outpace Cochran in the Republican primary, 49.5% to 49.0%. Cochran has never faced a serious challenger since being elected in 1978.

In case you’re wondering why that doesn’t add up, it’s because 67-year-old Thomas Carey, a realtor who “has never run for office before, didn’t run a single television ad, and didn’t raise any money” took an extra 1.5% of the votes claiming “I believe the Lord called me to do this. Not literally, but he woke me up a lot of times in the middle of the night.” At age 67, I’m more inclined to believe that was just the call of nature.

But that’s the least strange aspect of this race.

Because no candidate received over 50% of the vote, it triggered a 3-week campaign and runoff election.

Mississippi also happens to have special rules when it comes to party affiliation:

In Mississippi, which does not register by party affiliation, any registered voter can vote in the Republican runoff election as long they did not vote in the Democratic primary during the first round of balloting on June 3.

So Cochran’s campaign chose a new tactic: encourage Democrats, specifically, African-American registered Democrats to vote for him by calling his opponent a racist:

In the automated message appearing to target black Democrat voters in Mississippi, the female voice on the line claims that tea party challenger Chris McDaniel would lead to more obstruction in Washington and create more “disrespectful treatment” to the nation’s first African-American president.

“The time has come to take a stand and say NO to the tea party,” the message says. “NO to their obstruction. NO to their disrespectful treatment of the first African-American president.”

“If we do nothing, tea party candidate Chris McDaniel wins and causes even more problems for President Obama,” the message continues. “With your help we can stop this. Please commit to voting against tea party candidate Chris McDaniel next Tuesday and say NO to the tea party!”

Charles C. Johnson, who discovered the voicemails above, also found that Cochran supporters distributed the following wildly offensive flyers:

This openly-racist tactic didn’t just stop there.

The Adams County North Side precinct had zero Republican voters in the 2012 GOP primary election, according to documents posted on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website. In the 2014 GOP primary, however, 68 people voted for Cochran, six for McDaniel, and one for Thomas Carey.

Coahoma County Lyon District saw 95 votes in the 2012 GOP primary, the documents show, but in 2014 Cochran got 202 votes while McDaniel got 63 there. That’s a more than 200 percent increase in GOP turnout there, while the state as a whole only saw about an 8 percent increase in turnout since 2012’s GOP primary.

And then to triple down, Cochran straight-up pandered:

In black neighborhoods, Cochran’s campaign literature touts his support for historically black colleges, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps), and local medical facilities. In white neighborhoods, he emphasizes his opposition to Obamacare and support for gun rights.

The results are in, and Cochran narrowly edged out a victory.

Screenshot 2014-06-24 21.26.47

In other words, a sitting Republican senator encouraged Democrats to vote for him using race-baiting tactics, a biased get-out-the-vote effort, and pandered till the end—all because he faced a primary challenge.

Good to see men like this are still getting sent to Washington.

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Did CNN coach people to clap during Hillary’s phony town hall?

There’s nothing more uncomfortable in politics than the “town hall” meeting.

In theory, it’s supposed to be a comfortable, open environment where people can freely share their concerns with their representatives while debating and discussing the issues.

At the Presidential level, it’s a wooden show of fake support where everyone is waiting for a “gotcha!” question, “plants” in the audience only bring up “approved” topics, and politicians sweat constantly while sputtering soundbites.

On Hillary Clinton’s seemingly-neverending book tour, CNN organized a “Town Hall” event for her to promote her book and be interviewed in the round by Christiane Amanpour.

high-five!

But what happened behind the scenes is the real surprise:

To add “energy” to its show (attended by the Erik Wemple Blog), CNN deployed an enthusiastic stage director who coached the audience to applaud at various points throughout the broadcast — not in a partisan manner for Clinton, but for the sake of the town hall’s television optics.

Approximately 15 minutes before the show, the producer ran the audience through a practice round of applause and noise-making. The results of the audience-prodding turn up in the show’s video.”

This is common practice during many talk shows, but not common for town hall debates. This is CNN, after all, not Dr. Phil.

But as IJReview points out:

One can definitely see CNN hyping up the crowd in a “non-partisan way” for Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Right? Because coaching the audience to give applause after various statements is a “non-partisan” thing to do.

Also, note the fact how the Washington Post (who wrote the original article) stressed, stressed that the applause was “non-partisan”.

If applause was necessary, why didn’t CNN just use a backing track?

Why does a serious interview need applause anyway?

If Hillary is that desperate for support and cheering, perhaps next time she should try Maury.

is Bill the baby’s father?

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You won’t believe how few people want to read Hillary Clinton’s book

As a former first lady, 2008 presidential candidate, Secretary of State, and perhaps the most famous woman in politics of the past three decades, you’d think that Hillary Clinton would be able to sell more books than just about anyone.

You’d be wrong.

In its first week, “Hard Choices”, the much-anticipated million-book-published memoir of Hillary Clinton’s four year career in the Obama administration, sold just 85,721 copies.

To compare:

Hillary’s last book, “Living History”, released over a decade ago, sold 40,000 copies in just 24 hours…at Barnes and Noble alone.

Hillary’s book was outsold this week by a sci-fi romance novel:

Diana Gabaldon’s Written in My Own Heart’s Blood — the latest installment in the author’s long-running historical sci-fi romance “Outlander” series — sold 3,030 more hardcover copies than Clinton’s book. (The Gabaldon novel was released on June 10, the same day Simon & Schuster published Clinton’s title.)

Sarah Palin’s first book, “Going Rogue”, sold 700,000 copies its first week.

Bill Clinton’s first book, “My Life”, sold 900,000 copies its first week.

This is why Hillary Clinton has desperately been signing as many books as she can at Costco and Barnes & Noble this week. Each appearance has sold between 1,000-1,300 books.

And despite interviews on every major media network, including Fox News, an unprecedented PR blitz, and a book that has essentially “dominated the political conversation”, first week sales remain at just 8.5% of the total books published.

Clinton’s advance for Living History was $8 million. Simon & Schuster is rumored to have paid significantly more for her second book.

Let’s hope she already cashed that check.

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