Archive for July 2013

Cotton To Run For AR Senate Seat, Ellmers Bows Out of NC Senate Race   1 comment

Real Clear Politics: Arkansas’ Cotton To Run For U.S. Senate

Washington Post: Renee Ellmers Won’t Run For Senate

The 2014 Senate election season got a little bit clearer as two Republicans each made decisions concerning their electoral futures; in Arkansas, first-term Rep. Tom Cotton made it official this week that he will challenge Sen. Mark Pryor next year for the U.S. Senate while in North Carolina, 2-term incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers bowed out of any potential Senate bid against NC Sen. Kay Hagan in 2014.

As I read it, this is a wash either way: while both Pryor and Hagan are considered (depending on the source) vulnerable Democrats’ in 2014, Ellmers’ decision is a blessing-in-disguise for Hagan as it removes a potential opponent against her. Cotton’s decision only hurts Pryor; conservatives believe Cotton could become 2014’s version of John Boozman, knocking off another Arkansas Democrat and all-but-completing the GOP’s dominance of Arkansas politics.

For what its’ worth, I consider Arkansas to be a likely GOP pickup at present, while N.C. remains a straight tossup race. 

Posted July 31, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Senate Confirms First ATF Director In Seven Years   Leave a comment

You read that correctly….quoting HuffPost:

The Senate voted in dramatic fashion Wednesday to approve one of President Barack Obama’s nominees. For Democrats to prevail, all it took was a last-ditch vote switch by one senator, a flight back from North Dakota by another and an afternoon roll call that stretched into the evening.

Five hours after the balloting started, the Senate voted to end Republican delaying tactics against B. Todd Jones, Obama’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It then voted in a comparatively instantaneous 29 minutes for his final confirmation, 53-42.

A defeat would have been a setback for Obama, who is trying to plug gaps in his second-term administration’s lineup, and dealt a blow to the recent cooperation between the two parties over allowing votes on the president’s nominees.

The lengthy roll call and the theatrics accompanying it nearly obscured that Jones’ approval marked a rare congressional victory for gun-control forces. His confirmation came three months after the Senate rejected Obama’s drive to expand background checks for firearms buyers.

In a written statement, Obama applauded senators of both parties for confirming ATF’s first director in seven years – gridlock, he said, caused by Senate Republicans who “put politics ahead of the agency’s law enforcement mission.”(Huffington Post)

Considering how hard it is to get any kind of gun-related vote through Congress nowadays, this is worthy of celebration.

Posted July 31, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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CMB Music: The Clash – “This Is Radio Clash”   Leave a comment

…an all-too appropriate song given the political climate in the U.S. at present…

Posted July 31, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Happy 35th anniversary with NBC News, Andrea!   Leave a comment

Say whatever you want about her, but 35 years as a journalist is definitely something to be appreciated in this world. Congratulations!

Posted July 31, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

N.C. Governor Greets Protester…With Cookies?   Leave a comment

Seriously, folks, you cannot make this shit up…quoting from the Charlotte Observer(via Crooks & Liars): 

Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t been willing to meet with the women (and a few men) protesting an abortion bill that opponents say restricts access to safe abortions. But he did stop by this afternoon with a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

McCrory was flanked by four security guards as he came out of the mansion gates. Before stepping onto common ground with the protesters – he went as far as the middle of the street between his mansion and the vigil – McCrory pointed directly at Jamie Sohn, a Chapel Hill resident.

“I was like, ‘Me?’ and he nodded,” she said during an interview shortly after.

The security guards stopped incoming traffic. Sohn walked out into the street to meet McCrory.

Sohn said McCrory told her: “ ‘These are for you. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you.’ ” He handed her the plate of cookies, and waved as he walked away. She said she was too stunned to say anything back.

Yes, you read that right…the governor of North Carolina actually came out of the Governor’s Mansion and gave a plate of cookies to a woman who was protesting the Republican-led legislature’s actions over the course of this year’s legislative session. It was as if McCrory was saying to her, “Go back to the kitchen, woman, and stay there.” or as Slate’s Amanda Marcotte put it

If McCrory thought the gesture would make him look like a generous sort who reaches out to people who disagree, then it backfired, and not just because he avoided actually meeting with opponents about the law before he signed it. Next to sandwiches, cookies are probably the most potent edible symbol of the belief that women’s role is to shut up, give up their ambitions, and return to the kitchen. While it’s unlikely that McCrory was deliberately trying to tell the protesters to know their place, that’s how the gesture reads. After Rick Perry’s mansplaining tour of Texas, it’s hard to tell anymore if Republican governors have given up even trying to pretend they respect the female members of the opposition. At this rate, the next Republican governor to sign an anti-choice bill is going to greet protestors with a basketful of aprons emblazoned with anti-choice slogans.

I’ll go one step further than Ms. Marcotte; one of the reasons I’m no longer either a conservative or a Republican is because I came to the belief that there are elements within both groups who won’t be satisfied until American women are in the same position that women in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale are in.

By the way, if you’re wondering what the response of the protesters was to Gov. McCrory’s offering of cookies….here’s what happened:

No one knew if the cookies were homemade – the protesters didn’t sample any before returning them. They slipped them under the mansion’s gate, along with a note that read: “We want women’s health care, not cookies.”(Charlotte Observer)

Posted July 31, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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CMB Music: Stevie Ray Vaughan – “Texas Flood”   Leave a comment

…this man was to blues rock what Laura Branigan was to vocals; simply a timeless legend. Enough said. 🙂

Posted July 30, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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Court strikes down super-size soda ban, again   Leave a comment

The more I read this, the more I wonder: when is Nanny Bloomberg going to stop his incessant efforts to implement the nanny state in the Big Apple?

Posted July 30, 2013 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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