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Trump: I Love the Tea Party, They Love Me


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has nothing but praise for the tea party.

“I am a Republican, but I believe strongly in the tea party — and I love the people of the tea party,” Trump told WPTV-News Channel 5 on Thursday during the Palm Beach County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. “I love many of the things they represent — and you know what? They love me.”

Hundreds of national and local GOP officials and supporters attended the dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The annual event comes as the Republican Party grapples with remaking itself and broadening its base after the drubbing it took in the 2012 presidential election.

And Trump had plenty of advice on how the GOP should move forward.

On immigration reform, for instance, Trump told WPTV-Channel 5: “Something has to happen, but the Republicans are going to have to be very careful. Look, we can’t give away our great country.”

Several plans for comprehensive immigration reform have been put forth in recent weeks, including one by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and another by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators, which also includes Rubio. The proposals have been attacked as de facto amnesty programs.

Turning to the nation’s economy and its $16.4 trillion debt, Trump said: “We will soon have over $17 trillion in debt, a number no one ever dreamed possible. We are losing our economic power.

“China will soon be the biggest economic engine in the world,” the real-estate mogul told WPTV. “We won’t be.”

Trump ruled out the idea of running for president via a third party. “No, I wouldn’t head it up, but the Republicans are going to have to get very smart or there is going to be a third party.”

And, on the longstanding birther issue with President Barack Obama, Trump was the most vocal to WPTV.

During the campaign, he offered $5 million to the charity of the president’s choice if he released his college transcripts. Obama dismissed the challenge.

As such, would Trump ever drop the matter?

“No, I’m not. I don’t do that at all. I offered millions and millions of dollars to show some record,” he told WPTV. “He didn’t show the records.

“I would certainly not put that to bed — and neither would about 50 percent of our people.”

A tea Party spokesperson stated it is nice to be loved but we just hope Donald is not the kiss of death for us.

via Trump: I Love the Tea Party, They Love Me.

via Trump: I Love the Tea Party, They Love Me.

Hillary Clinton will finish off Republicans in 2016 says Maureen Dowd


New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd says “Conquistadora” Hillary Clinton will “finish off” Republicans in 2016.

The top rated columnist says that Republicans are getting weaker every presidential election cycle because of their refusal to change.

n the piece entitled “A Lost Civilization,” she compares the end of the world prediction in 2012 by a Mayan prophecy to the self-destruction of the Republican Party.

She says, “The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world: the G.O.P. universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys.

“Just another vanishing tribe that fought the cultural and demographic tides of history.”

She goes on to say the decline of the Republican party “will be traced to a stubborn refusal to adapt to a world where poor people and sick people and black people and brown people and female people and gay people count.”

Dowd says President Obama’s victory over Romney didn’t stop on election night. She says Obama is still beating him.

“The G.O.P. put up a candidate that no one liked or understood and ran a campaign that no one liked or understood — a campaign animated by the idea that indolent, grasping serfs must be kept down, even if it meant creating barriers to letting them vote,” she says.

Continuing her analogy, she ends saying, “But history will no doubt record that withering Republicans were finally wiped from the earth in 2016 when the relentless (and rested) Conquistadora Hillary marched in, General Bill on a horse behind her, and finished them off.”

via Hillary Clinton will finish off Republicans in 2016 says Maureen Dowd | Irish News | IrishCentral.

via Hillary Clinton will finish off Republicans in 2016 says Maureen Dowd | Irish News | IrishCentral.

GOP Senators Ensure Spots in Hell by Voting Down Rights of People with Disabilities


Earlier today, a clear majority of Senate GOP voted to block a treaty to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. They did so in front of Bob Dole, the former Senate Majority Leader from Kansas, who arrived in his wheelchair on the Senate floor to support the treaty. BTW, the alternate headline for this piece was: In Ironic Move, Liberals Convinced of Creationism, as Darwinism Certainly Can’t be Responsible For Republican Morons.

The human rights treaty was negotiated by the George H.W. Bush administration and has already been ratified by 126 nations. It would have absolutely zero impact on our law, other than to hopefully bring other countries up to our standards. On the list of countries that ratified the treaty? China, Iran, and Syria.

But nevertheless, Republicans like Rick Santorum said the treaty would threaten American sovereignty. Threaten. American. Sovereignty. There are 19-year-olds coming back with no legs, and yet these pieces of shit can’t say wheelchair ramps are a good idea.

Opponents said that American approval might give the impression that the United States accepts how those nations treat their disabled citizens.

“The hard reality is that there are nation-states, like China, who do like to sign up to these organizations and gain the reputation for doing good things while, in fact, not doing good things,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)

That’s paranoia, says supporters.

The thing is, the treaty wouldn’t change anything in U.S. law without further approval from Congress. “With these provisions, the United States can join the convention as an expression – an expression – of our leadership on disability rights without ceding any of our ability to decide for ourselves how best to address those issue in our law,” said Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.).

To break it down: The GOP is unwilling to ratify a treaty that simply asks other nations to create better treatment for disabled persons in their countries. The way the GOP profits off of its image as the party of the military, and yet are unwilling to ratify something so blatantly good for the people who give life and limb to serve us. Profiting off their service, unwilling to stand up for them.

What I don’t get is, why is this a controversy? Our government is broken. I’ve suggested before that dolphins take over, but now I’m thinking gorillas. Naturally peaceful, stewards of the Earth, babies look like stuffed animals. Done and done.

Senate rejects treaty to protect disabled around the world [Washington Post]

Senate GOP kills disabilities treaty [Maddow]

via GOP Senators Ensure Spots in Hell by Voting Down Rights of People with Disabilities.

via GOP Senators Ensure Spots in Hell by Voting Down Rights of People with Disabilities.

Republicans Control Best-Run States in America, 24/7 Wall St. Survey Shows


The annual Best and Worst Run States in America survey by 24/7 Wall St. came out today, revealing that the top 5 states are led by Republicans while the bottom five are dominated by Democrats.

The list is based on a review of data for financial health, standard of living and government services. While noting that current situations may stem from decisions made years ago and that external factors like weather can be as much to blame as poor governance, 24/7 Wall St. also points out that all of the high-ranking states have “well-managed budgets” and the worst states have “high debt relative to both income and expenditure.”

Here’s how it breaks down at the top and bottom of the list cross-referenced with details on party control based on this map from Americans for Tax Reform:

HE TOP 5 STATES:

1.  North Dakota

Governor: Jack Dalrymple, Republican

State Senate: Republican control

State House of Representatives: Republican control

> Debt per capita: $3,282 (22nd lowest)

> Budget deficit: None

> Unemployment: 3.5% (the lowest)

> Median household income: $51,704 (20th highest)

> Pct. below poverty line: 12.2% (13th lowest)

2. Wyoming

 Governor: Matt Mead, Republican

State Senate: Republican control

State House of Representatives: Republican control

> Debt per capita: $2,694 (18th lowest)

> Budget deficit: 10.3% (32nd largest)

> Unemployment: 6.0% (7th lowest)

> Median household income: $56,322 (13th highest)

3. Nebraska

Governor: Dave Heineman, Republican

State Legislature: Republican control

> Debt per capita: $1,279 (2nd lowest)

> Budget deficit: 9.7% (34th largest)

> Unemployment: 4.4% (2nd lowest)

> Median household income: $50,296 (22nd highest)

> Pct. below poverty line: 13.1% (tied-15th lowest)

4. Utah

Governor: Gary Herbert, Republican

State Senate: Republican control

State House of Representatives: Republican control

> Debt per capita: $2,356 (15th lowest)

> Budget deficit: 14.7% (25th largest)

> Unemployment: 6.7% (tied-11th lowest)

> Median household income: $55,869 (14th highest)

> Pct. below poverty line: 13.5% (tied-17th lowest)

5. Iowa

Governor: Terry Branstad, Republican

State Senate: Republican control

State House of Representatives: Republican control

> Debt per capita: $1,690 (7th lowest)

> Budget deficit: 20.3% (18th largest)

> Unemployment: 5.9% (6th lowest)

> Median household income: $49,427 (24th highest)

> Pct. below poverty line: 12.8% (14th lowest)

via Republicans Control Best-Run States in America, 24/7 Wall St. Survey Shows | TheBlaze.com.

via Republicans Control Best-Run States in America, 24/7 Wall St. Survey Shows | TheBlaze.com.

 

With Stickers, a Petition and Even a Middle Name, Secession Fever Hits Texas


HOUSTON — In the weeks since President Obama’s re-election, Republicans around the country have been wondering how to proceed. Some conservatives in Texas have been asking a far more pointed question: how to secede.

Secession fever has struck parts of Texas, which Mitt Romney won by nearly 1.3 million votes.

Sales of bumper stickers reading “Secede” — one for $2, or three for $5 — have increased at TexasSecede.com. In East Texas, a Republican official sent out an e-mail newsletter saying it was time for Texas and Vermont to each “go her own way in peace” and sign a free-trade agreement among the states.

A petition calling for secession that was filed by a Texas man on a White House Web site has received tens of thousands of signatures, and the Obama administration must now issue a response. And Larry Scott Kilgore, a perennial Republican candidate from Arlington, a Dallas suburb, announced that he was running for governor in 2014 and would legally change his name to Larry Secede Kilgore, with Secede in capital letters. As his Web page, secedekilgore.com, puts it: “Secession! All other issues can be dealt with later.”

In Texas, talk of secession in recent years has steadily shifted to the center from the fringe right. It has emerged as an echo of the state Republican leadership’s anti-Washington, pro-Texas-sovereignty mantra on a variety of issues, including health care and environmental regulations. For some Texans, the renewed interest in the subject serves simply as comic relief after a crushing election defeat.

But for other proponents of secession and its sister ideology, Texas nationalism — a focus of the Texas Nationalist Movement and other groups that want the state to become an independent nation, as it was in the 1830s and 1840s — it is a far more serious matter.

The official in East Texas, Peter Morrison, the treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, said in a statement that he had received overwhelming support from conservative Texans and overwhelming opposition from liberals outside the state in response to his comments in his newsletter. He said that it may take time for “people to appreciate that the fundamental cultural differences between Texas and other parts of the United States may be best addressed by an amicable divorce, a peaceful separation.”

The online petitions — created on the We the People platform at petitions.whitehouse.gov — are required to receive 25,000 signatures in 30 days for the White House to respond. The Texas petition, created Nov. 9 by a man identified as Micah H. of Arlington, had received more than 116,000 signatures by Friday. It asks the Obama administration to “peacefully grant” the withdrawal of Texas, and describes doing so as “practically feasible,” given the state’s large economy.

Residents in other states, including Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Louisiana and Oklahoma, have submitted similar petitions, though none have received as many signatures as the one from Texas.

A White House official said every petition that crossed the signature threshold would be reviewed and would receive a response, though it was unclear precisely when Micah H. would receive his answer.

Gov. Rick Perry, who twice made public remarks in 2009 suggesting that he was sympathetic to the secessionist cause, will not be signing the petition. “Governor Perry believes in the greatness of our union, and nothing should be done to change it,” a spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said in a statement. “But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government.”

The secession movement in Texas is divergent, with differences in goals and tactics. One group, the Republic of Texas, says that secession is unnecessary because, it claims, Texas is an independent nation that was illegally annexed by the United States in 1845. (The group’s leader and other followers waged a weeklong standoff with the Texas Rangers in 1997 that left one of its members dead.) Mr. Kilgore, the candidate who is changing his middle name, said he had not signed the White House petition because he did not believe that Texans needed to ask Washington for permission to leave.

“Our economy is about 30 percent larger than that of Australia,” said Mr. Kilgore, 48, a telecommunications contractor. “Australia can survive on their own, and I don’t think we’ll have any problem at all surviving on our own in Texas.”

Few of the public calls for secession have addressed the messy details, like what would happen to the state’s many federal courthouses, prisons, military bases and parklands. No one has said what would become of Kevin Patteson, the director of the state’s Office of State-Federal Relations, and no one has asked the Texas residents who received tens of millions of dollars in federal aid after destructive wildfires last year for their thoughts on the subject.

But all the secession talk has intrigued liberals as well. Caleb M. of Austin started his own petition on the White House Web site. He asked the federal government to allow Austin to withdraw from Texas and remain part of the United States, “in the event that Texas is successful in the current bid to secede.” It had more than 8,000 signatures as of Friday.

A version of this article appeared in print on November 24, 2011

via With Stickers, a Petition and Even a Middle Name, Secession Fever Hits Texas – NYTimes.com.

via With Stickers, a Petition and Even a Middle Name, Secession Fever Hits Texas – NYTimes.com.

Mark Levin: Tea Party Only Thing That Stands ‘Between Liberty And Tyranny’


Conservative scholar, talk radio host, and former Reagan administration official Mark Levin said conservatives need to first overthrow the Republican establishment to more successfully take on President Barack Obama and the institutional left.

“We cannot get through Obama and the left until we get through the Republican Establishment,” Levin said, railing against establishment consultants who attack the base and politicians who know nothing of “Burkean reform” because they have spent their whole careers “clawing their way to the top.”

In a talk at the Heritage Foundation on Wednesday with his mentor, former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, for whom Levin served as Chief of Staff, Levin said the Republican Party is, “devouring the conservative movement,” and the old bulls need to step aside in favor of a new generation of conservatives who are fluent in conservatism.

“It’s time for the old bulls to get out of the way and for the fresh faces who believe in conservatism and liberty and originalist principles to step up,” Levin said, criticizing those like House Speaker John Boehner for “yielding territory” to the left in negotiations.

Levin said the Tea Party consists of constitutionalists, libertarians, Evangelicals, and those who are against the rigged establishment, beltway culture that for too long has not embraced conservatism and, as a consequence, lost national elections (George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney).

The Tea Party is the only thing that stands between liberty and tyranny,” Levin said. “We have to defeat the Republican establishment mush in Washington, D.C.”

Levin also named the establishment media organizations and institutions on the right that he said were not helping advance the conservative cause.

He said, “in a lot of our media outlets,” there are “a lot of old, dreary people who are just around all the time” who “reject” Reaganism.

Levin named Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard, who recently called for more tax increases; and the National Review, the Washington establishment publication that vigorously supported Mitt Romney in the primaries, Levin said, in many ways, has “become a mouthpiece for the Republican party.”

Levin said the Republican Party will go the way of the Whig Party if they do not put out more “cutting-edge intellectuals and artistic” spokespeople for the conservative cause that transcends race or class.

Shortly after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Levin wrote Liberty and Tyranny, which sold over a million copies despite not being reviewed and being completely ignored by mainstream media outlets and programs.

The prescient book not only clearly articulated what would eventually turn out to be the Tea Party’s opposition to Obama’s statism (Levin knew what Obama was going to do before even Obama) but was also symbolic of how, in the new media age, books and ideas could commercially succeed without the legacy media institutions of yesterday that no longer act as gatekeepers.

To appeal to young people and minorities with conservatism, Levin said Republicans needed to call on parents and grandparents to have an impact on young people and appeal to their sense of liberty and anti-authoritarianism.

He said this “bottom up federalism” can appeal not only to young people but to minorities.

Levin noted that capitalism is the plan and the strategy is the constitution, and that was the foundation of Reaganism.

He said after Reagan, George H.W. Bush lurched to the left rather than “build up Reaganism” and the party and the conservative movement has not been the same since.

Levin also said ethnic front groups who want more balkanization instead of assimilation are also threats and need to be called out.

In talking about Republican institutions, Levin said the Republican National Committee needs to be managed better because, simply put, “when you lose, you gotta bring some other people here.”

“Backbenchers need to go to the front,” Levin said, noting that the frontbencher establishment class has been trying to “clean out” conservatives who do not toe the moderate, establishment line.

Levin said Obama would inevitably overreach on many fronts during his second term. For instance, Levin predicted Obama would try to break down America’s sovereignty by working with the United Nations on a global tax and committing America to more international military arrangements.

“The people are going to rise up,” Levin said.

When discussing the future of conservatism, Levin highlighted in particular Texas Senator-elect Ted Cruz and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, among others.

“I love Sarah Palin,” Levin said.

“You see how intelligent she is?,” Levin asked, noting that Palin is nothing like the caricature of her on the left and in the mainstream media.

Levin said Palin should be given credit for effectively and enthusiastically articulating the conservative cause, even though she has been attacked by the mainstream media and the Republican establishment.

“Yet, she still rallies the base a hundred times more than these people telling us what we are supposed to do,” Levin said.

via Mark Levin: Tea Party Only Thing That Stands ‘Between Liberty And Tyranny’.

via Mark Levin: Tea Party Only Thing That Stands ‘Between Liberty And Tyranny’.

Paul Ryan, loser


Paul Ryan in profile

Yeah, we’re pointing and laughing at you.

This happened on Wednesday:

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers defeats Rep. Tom Price for House GOP conference chair, no. 4 GOP post
— @russellberman via Twitter for iPhone

What makes it notable is the backstory, which pitted House Speaker John Boehner against newly defeated vice presidential candidate and would-be new party leader Paul Ryan.

Speaker John Boehner is officially neutral but privately supporting McMorris Rodgers. Paul Ryan, the returning chairman of the Budget Committee whose profile rose enormously during his vice presidential run, is asking colleagues to back Price.

Maybe Ryan is not so much the presumed leader of the GOP and the great 2016 hope for the party. Or maybe he still just has the stench of 2012 on him. Either way, Ryan loses again, and Boehner still has a split in his caucus to deal with. All in all, a pretty good day.

Comment

And he’ll always be the guy who sought (and failed) to take Medicare apart. Four years from now people in their early 50’s who would have been most affected will be in their late 50’s and quite grateful about Romney/Ryan’s defeat.

And he’ll always be the guy who said that rape was a just an alternative means of conception.

Congressman is as far as this loser gets, and hopefully we’ll be able to get his seat next time around.

“We the People of the United States….” –U.S. Constitution

by elwior on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:33:23 PM PST

Daily Kos: Paul Ryan, loser.

via Daily Kos: Paul Ryan, loser.

Conservatives weigh in on immigration reform — Sean Hannity, John Boehner & Charles Krauthammer express their views


Conservative voice Sean Hannity

According to Frank Sharry, the Founder and Executive Director of America’s Voice, the “tectonic plates are shifting on immigration.”

“The fact that leading movement conservative voices are joining Republican leaders in calling for immigration reform that includes relief for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America is a major development that will open up space for the GOP to do the right thing and help pass sensible reform legislation,” Sharry wrote in an American Voice blog.

Over the weekend, Sen. Chuck Schumer said he would be making a renewed appeal to pass nation’s immigration laws along with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

America’s Voice points to the latest comments regarding the topic from various influential Republicans and conservatives as a sure sign that reform will happen sooner, rather than later.

Sean Hannity, the influential Fox News television and radio host said on his show last Thursday that he has “evolved” on the issue. He said the US needs to “get rid of the immigration issue altogether” and that he supports a “pathway to citizenship.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner told ABC News that the issue has been around far too long.

“A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself and others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all,” he said.

Conservative columnist and pundit Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post, that amnesty may be likely.

“In securing the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney made the strategic error of (unnecessarily) going to the right of Rick Perry. Romney could never successfully tack back. For the party in general, however, the problem is hardly structural. It requires but a single policy change: Border fence plus amnesty. Yes, amnesty.”

Krauthammer added: “promise amnesty right up front. Secure the border with guaranteed legalization to follow on the day the four border-state governors affirm that illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle.”

via Conservatives weigh in on immigration reform — Sean Hannity, John Boehner & Charles Krauthammer express their views | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

via Conservatives weigh in on immigration reform — Sean Hannity, John Boehner & Charles Krauthammer express their views | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

A US ELECTION 2012 -A View from France 24


Is ‘Mr Business’ Romney losing his grip?

Is 'Mr Business' Romney losing his grip?With the US election just days away, both Republican candidate Mitt Romney and incumbent Barack Obama are hustling for an edge in the race. Yet in recent weeks, the president has been boosted by those traditionally considered Romney allies.

In what has turned into a razor-close race, US President Barack Obama has relied heavily on endorsements from all the usual suspects – liberal-minded movie stars, musicians and writers, as well as the who’s who of the Democratic party. In the past couple of weeks, however, it looks as though the president has also enjoyed a slight boost in support from a less-likely milieu – figures from the political right and finance.

London-based newspaper The Economist stepped forward in support of Obama in its November 3 issue, albeit in a rather reluctant tone. Although the publication, which also endorsed Obama during his 2008 bid, called the president’s first term “patchy”, it justified its decision by comparing the two candidates’ track records. While an endorsement from an international newspaper may not seem like a big deal at first, the fact that it is a highly-respected business publication matters.

Since campaigning began, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has striven to portray Obama’s handling of the country’s struggling economy as ineffectual and horribly mismanaged. The Economist pleads a different case, applauding the president’s wherewithal for having “helped avert a Depression”, and thereby undermining a pillar of Romney’s campaign. What’s more, the newspaper gashes the Republican candidate’s own approach to the economy, calling him “the great flipflopper” and saying his macroeconomics are off the mark. Regardless, a reported 60 percent of the $1.8 billion in business-related contributions thus far in the election have gone to Republicans.

Just two days before The Economist’s tepid endorsement, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stepped into the presidential campaign after publishing a soberly worded statement endorsing Obama’s re-election bid on Thursday. A registered Independent, Bloomberg cited climate change as his principle reason for throwing his weight behind Obama.

While Bloomberg’s position on issues like gay marriage, abortion and gun control make it unlikely that he will sway voters in more conservative states, his status as a shrewd businessman and multi-billionaire may come as a check to Romney, who has attempted to tout his own business experience as a strength when it comes to tackling the country’s economy. Bloomberg’s endorsement carries all the more weight considering that the mayor, who Forbes rated as the 17th most powerful person in the world in 2011, declined to take sides during the last presidential election in 2008.

Most surprisingly, however, is New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie. Known for his free-flying opinions and fierce criticism of the president, the governor has had only good things to say about Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Christie, who has already endorsed Romney and was a speaker at the Republican National Convention, rattled other members of his party after stating that he “doesn’t give a damn about Election Day” and gushing that Obama deserved “great credit” for his deft response to the “superstorm”.

Christie’s compliments came a little more than a week after another prominent Republican and George W. Bush’s former secretary of state, Colin Powell, also endorsed the president’s re-election bid in an interview with CBS television. While Powell’s support came as no real surprise (he backed the Obama/Biden ticket in 2008), he did offer some searing commentary of Romney, saying that although he respected the Republican candidate, he had concerns over his stance on foreign policy.

“The governor… was saying things that were quite different from what he said earlier. I’m not quite sure which Governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy,” Powell said in the October 25 interview.

With polls putting the race at neck and neck just days before the vote on November 6, both candidates are scrambling to fine tune their messages and rustle up support in swing states. As Obama and Romney kick their campaigns into overdrive, anything from The Economist’s unenthusiastic endorsement to Christie’s recent adulation could give the president a slight edge in his re-election bid – an advantage neither candidate can afford to ignore at this late stage in the game.

via Is ‘Mr Business’ Romney losing his grip? – US ELECTION 2012 – FRANCE 24.

via Is ‘Mr Business’ Romney losing his grip? – US ELECTION 2012 – FRANCE 24.

More Catholic bishops urge parishioners to vote for Mitt Romney


 A number of Catholic bishops are making blunt appeals to mass-goers to vote for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party on Election Day over President Obama.

In a move that has caused a firestorm of controversy in both the press and the pews, a number of Catholic bishops are making blunt appeals to mass-goers to vote for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party on Election Day over President Obama.

Illinois Bishop Daniel Jenky has ordered all the priests in his diocese to read a strongly worded letter he wrote accusing the Obama administration of an unprecedented ‘assault upon our religious freedom’ and implying that Catholics who support Democrats who support abortion rights are like those who condemned Jesus to death.

‘Since the foundation of the American Republic and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I do not think there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present,’ Jenky wrote in the five alarm letter, which he has ordered priests in his Peoria diocese to read at all Masses this Sunday, November 4.

On Thursday, the bishops of Pennsylvania — a key battleground state where most Catholics are currently supporting Obama — released an unmistakably partisan letter to local voters declaring that the White House’s policies on contraception, abortion and gay rights meant the nation was ‘losing its soul by little steps.’

Legal equality for gays, the letter implied, would defy God, and contraception and abortion should not be contemplated under any circumstances.

In Wisconsin, Bishop David Ricken wrote a letter to parishioners saying that the Democratic platform was evil. The party’s support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage and other ‘intrinsic evils’ made it impossible for Catholics to support the party without putting their souls at risk. Vote for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party or burn in hell, Bishop Ricken suggested.

In Alaska, Bishop Edward J. Burns wrote a column in the local newspaper on October 27 comparing Vice President Joe Biden’s support for abortion rights to supporting slave owners in the antebellum South, and he reportedly questioned both Biden’s character and his Catholic faith.

Meanwhile bishops from Newark, New Jersy to Springfield, Illinois to Colorado Springs have made similar party political appeals. Although they stress they are not endorsing any particular party or candidate they usually start with their opposition to abortion and marriage equality and other policies that Republicans support and Democrats generally oppose.

The flocks standing as Catholics and their eternal salvation are always in peril if they make the wrong choice, the bishops declare.

Although the Catholic hierarchy’s growing support for Republicans has been plainly obvious to church-watchers for years now, their blunt statements in the 2012 campaign still stand out.

‘Yes, the bishops, some of them anyway, are more active this year. The tone — again, of some — is more stark,’ Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the Washington Post.

There is a fear, Shaw said, that American society is ready to embrace greater rights for gays and lesbians and maintain or expand on current abortion policies.

But James Salt, executive director of the progressive group Catholics United, said Jenky was ‘using the pulpits of his diocese for partisan proclamations’ and he said that was not only wrong but was driving young people away from the church.

‘By brazenly violating IRS and church guidelines against partisan activity, Bishop Jenky has shown that he is more interested in following the paths of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson than the Gospel of Jesus Christ,’ said Salt.

‘As more and more younger Catholics abandon the faith on account of the bishops’ far-right politics, Bishop Jenky should ponder how his antics will affect the relevance of the Catholic bishops for generations to come.’

via More Catholic bishops urge parishioners to vote for Mitt Romney | Irish News and Politics spanning the US, Ireland and the World | IrishCentral.

John Koster, GOP House Candidate: ‘The Rape Thing’ Does Not Excuse Abortions


John Koster

John Koster, a Republican congressional candidate in Washington state, said Sunday that “the rape thing” is not a good enough reason for a woman to have an abortion, the Associated Press reported.

Asked at a campaign fundraiser whether he supports abortion rights in some situations, Koster replied that he only supports abortion in cases where a woman’s life is in danger.

“Incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare,” he said. “But the rape thing– you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption, and she doesn’t regret it.”

He added, “On the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime — how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”

In response to the controversy over his comments, Koster campaign manager Larry Stickney told the AP that Koster clearly takes rape seriously because he has strongly advocated cracking down on sex offenders.

Republican lawmakers and congressional candidates have made headlines several times over the past few months for their comments about rape and abortion. Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that pregnancy from rape is “something God intended,” Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said victims of “legitimate rape” almost never become pregnant, and Rep. Tom Smith (R-Pa.) compared pregnancy as a result of rape to “having a baby out of wedlock.”

via John Koster, GOP House Candidate: ‘The Rape Thing’ Does Not Excuse Abortions.

via John Koster, GOP House Candidate: ‘The Rape Thing’ Does Not Excuse Abortions.

U.S. election: Romney held in disdain in his home state –


BOSTON—Abandoned. Used and abused. Thrown under the bus. Stomped upon for political convenience, then left behind like worthless electoral baggage.

That’s what you hear when you ask Massachusetts about former governor Mitt Romney.

And the contempt isn’t just palpable in the state that knows him best; it’s more like an alternate-universe episode of Cheers — where everybody knows his name. And they’re never glad he came.

U.S. Election coverage

Yet Romney, should he win the White House on Nov. 6, won’t just get the last laugh in the land of the Kennedys. The triumph inside his election-night headquarters at the Boston Convention Centre will be ringed by a doughnut of disdain for the first president in more than 50 years to claim victory while losing at home. Badly.

It will be an even rarer double-whammy if Romney wins the presidency while also losing lose his birth state, Michigan, as projected — a feat unmatched since 1844, when Democrat James Polk took the White House despite losing his native North Carolina and his resident state of Tennessee.

Indeed, Massachusetts appears to be saving a special place in hell for Romney, with polls suggesting he will lose here to Obama by about 20 percentage points.

No other state bears the Republican standard-bearer such ill will. Which leaves many of America’s political observers wondering whether the Democrats are leaving something profound on the table in all but ignoring Romney’s home state blues.

“It’s remarkable that Democrats have not made more of this,” said Robert McElvaine, a Millsaps College history professor who first documented the Massachusetts gap in a Politico article titled “Un-favourite Son.”

 one in a line of GOP governors, including former Paul Cellucci, who went on to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Canada. And the very specific anti-Romney sentiment is evident in how he has fallen off the Massachusetts radar even as the state’s best-known Republican senator, Scott Brown, is still in a very competitive race against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

Everyday Bostonians and the state’s close political watchers alike say the depth of the enmity is cumulative. It began long ago, and only worsened because Romney didn’t just run for president so much as run from Massachusetts.

“It’s reminiscent of what Sarah Palin did in Alaska. Midway through his term as governor he lost all interest in Massachusetts and set his sights on the presidency,” said longtime Democratic activist Richard Hall, a community development consultant steeped in Massachusetts politics.

“And so, for the last two years, he was a governor in absentia, flying around the country to attend conservative junkets, shifting his positions. He had his ‘epiphany,’ switching from pro-choice to pro-life on abortion. And, worst of all, that’s when he began insulting Massachusetts — ridiculing us to expand his national appeal.”

That perception sets him apart from the likes of Sen. Scott Brown, who even if he proves not to be Boston’s cup of tea, is still very much regarded as a New England patriot, a born-and-bred politician who truly loves his state.

Ruth Balser, a seven-term Democratic state representative from Newton, Mass., said the home-state resentment metastasized into something far more bitter in 2012 when Romney began trashing his signature accomplishment — the Massachusetts health-care overhaul many regard as the forerunner to Obamacare.

Balser herself wasn’t surprised. What loyal Democrats elsewhere call Romney’s political flip-flops, she considers triple-axel political pirouettes worthy of Olympic gold.

“Long before Romney had his ‘epiphany’ on abortion, even before he ran in Massachusetts, there was talk he might run for governor in Utah — on a pro-life platform,” remembers Balser.

“In the end, he decided his chances were better in Massachusetts, where he had to be pro-choice to win,” she said.

“It’s the same with health care. He helped create a model for the nation in truly bipartisan fashion and then proceeded to trash it. And now he’s turning a third time, trying to sound in these final weeks like the moderate Republican.

“We admire and respect plenty of Republicans. But if you make fun of Massachusetts, if you wear whatever political clothes are in season, it’s just the sheer opportunism that rankles. It’s the way you used our state — nobody likes to feel used.”

Boston author Sally McGinty, an educational consultant and former Harvard faculty member, suggests the numbers driving Romney down in Massachusetts are symptomatic of a larger malaise affecting that shrinking constituency known as moderate Republicans.

McGinty used to consider herself one, pointing proudly to her past support of Ronald Reagan. But as “Tea Party forces” take greater hold on the party’s centre, she feels increasingly isolated.

“Romney was a very successful business person and that’s a positive way to begin as Massachusetts governor. I’m an in-town Bostonian, but I’m originally from the New York area, where being Republican wasn’t a despicable thing — it represented a reasonable-minded position,” said McGinty.

“But today, in order to have a Republican affiliation, people are required to talk seriously about insane candidates like Michelle Bachmann. And to me Romney is a part of that shiftiness, to the point where I don’t have a sense of who we’ll really get as president if we elect him.”

McGinty doesn’t wear rose-coloured glasses when it comes to Romney’s Massachusetts health-care overhaul. “It seems to work, but it might be too expensive for the state to sustain.

“But for me, I just can’t bear the thought that Romney will be spending the next four years trying to take it apart rather than spending his efforts to make health care work. It might be the electable answer, but it’s very troubling.”

Balser and others describe the vetoes — nearly 800 in all — that Romney wielded during his governorship as evidence that puts the lie to his campaign’s bipartisan claims.

“The one I was most closely involved in was Romney’s rejection of funding for kosher meals in nursing homes. It applied to only a few hundred people; there wasn’t a huge amount of money involved,” Balser said.

“We saw it as a question of religious freedom and appealed to Romney on that basis, thinking he would surely come around. But his veto stood — and we eventually were able to use the Massachusetts supermajority to overturn his decision.”

With Romney now polling strongly against Obama, many in Massachusetts now are bracing for the New England equivalent of political vertigo — that nine nights from now, Romney will stroll up to the microphone in Boston as president-elect. And it will be Massachusetts that launched him on America.

“I recognize it intellectually. But I’m not braced for it, emotionally. I feel that now it’s all in the hands of low-information voters — political ignoramuses. I want to say shame on them — and shame that our politics feels it has to cater to them,” said Hall.

“I truly can’t stand Romney. I still feel he’s unsalable. And I remain an optimist, despite my jaded cynicism, that the American people are better than this. We’re not going to elect him.”

And if Massachusetts is wrong? What sort of Romney does he expect America will get?

“I’ve been thinking about that more and more,” said Hall. “He seems to have no core beliefs, but you can’t be alive for 65 years and not stand for anything, right?

“I do think Romney is basically a centrist at heart. If he’s forced to confront the question on his deathbed, that’s probably how he would call it.

“So we would be looking at a more conservative president than Barack Obama, but one who will adapt to his surroundings. Look at the way he turned chameleon in the presidential debates — that gives you a clue.”

But even Hall is able to swallow the bitterness and get his head around the notion that Massachusetts will survive a Romney presidency, should it materialize.

“I think this country, as screwed up as it may appear to someone from Canada, is still too strong and stable to be upended by any one individual,” said Hall.

“Our system is designed to weed out the clowns. And now all the clowns — and there were many — have fallen by the wayside. Whatever Romney is, he’s not a clown.

“He’s not morally despicable — he’s intellectually despicable, in my opinion. But the country would survive Mitt Romney, even if it’s a long and unpleasant four years.”

Massachusetts, Hall reminds us, does not take these matters lightly. This is a state where “only two things matter — politics and sport. And politics as played like a blood sport. We export political operatives around the country. It’s ingrained in our DNA like nowhere else.”

When Romney first ran for governor in 2002, said Hall, a rare opening was apparent. The Democratic state house was in disarray, with the public mood swinging against a party that had enjoyed too free a reign for too long.

Romney “adroitly” seized the moment, said Hall, with a campaign that labelled his opponent, then State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien, as part of the worst of the Democratic old guard — the so-called “Beacon Hill triumvirate.”

“Every speech, every debate, he just hammered and hammered and hammered. It was a boring, soul-crushing campaign — and the whole time the press was trying to find ways of describing this strange animal called Romney,” said Hall.

“He didn’t follow any mould seen before. You had the wonky guys like Michael Dukakis. You had the old Irish-Italians with their own brand, reaching out to the blue-collar union guys.

“But Romney wasn’t any of these things. And the press ended up with the words that hold to this day. ‘Wooden, stiff, awkward.’ Finally someone seized on ‘robotic’ and that became the word — a robotic candidate citing the same things over and over again. People didn’t take him seriously. But we were wrong and he was right — he won.”

via U.S. election: Romney held in disdain in his home state – thestar.com.

via U.S. election: Romney held in disdain in his home state – thestar.com.

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