Tagged: Republican

‘I REMEMBER…’

Rove Rides Again

Karl Rove Assistant to the President, Deputy C...

Bush’s former strategist is secretly seizing control of the GOP: ‘One afternoon in late April, Karl Rove welcomed an elite group of conservative political operatives and moneymen into his home in Washington, D.C. Along with his protégé Ed Gillespie, who succeeded him as George W. Bush’s top political adviser, Rove had gathered together the heavyweights of the GOP’s fundraising network. In attendance were the political director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as the leaders of two new megadollar campaign groups loyal to Rove: American Crossroads and the American Action Network. Rove’s plan was straightforward: to seize control of the party from Michael Steele, whose leadership of the Republican National Committee was imploding in the wake of a fundraiser at a lesbian bondage club. By building a war chest of unregulated campaign cash – an unprecedented $135 million to be raised by these three groups alone – Rove would be able to wage the midterm elections on his own terms: electing candidates loyal to the GOP’s wealthiest donors and corporate patrons. With the media’s attention diverted by the noisy revolt being waged by the Tea Party, the man known as “Bush’s brain” was staging a stealthier but no less significant coup of the Republican Party.’ (Rolling Stone)

Republicans red-faced over fundraising on fear

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

‘US Republicans drew fire this week after the disclosure of an internal fundraising memo that portrays President Barack Obama as the Batman films’ crazed killer “The Joker.”

The Republican National Committee document, first revealed by the online politics publication Politico, also describes fanning fears that Obama is a socialist as a good way to get donors to open their wallets.

“What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House or the Senate…? Save the country from trending toward Socialism!” it declares, urging fundraisers to harness givers’ “fear” and “reactionary” sentiments.

The document, a 72-page PowerPoint presentation, says wealthy donors can also be motivated by “ego-driven” appeals, peer pressure, and “tchochkes!!!!!!!!!” — inexpensive knick-knacks often given as rewards.

On page, headlined “The Evil Empire” — a former moniker for the Soviet Union — shows an Obama poster altered to make him look like The Joker from the 2008 Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight” with the caption “socialism.”

It also likens Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the “Cruella” villain from Disney’s “101 Dalmatians,” who hopes to turn the films’ titular animals into a fur coat, and compares Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the bumbling animated dog “Scooby-Doo.” ‘ (AFP).

Now this is the high-minded incisive political debate I have been looking for on the American scene!

Cheney in ’12? Some in GOP are seriously considering…

Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay, Virginia Foxx
‘At first, it seemed like a joke. Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto opined on Monday that — if the 2012 election were to turn to national security — “it’s hard to think of a better candidate… than Richard B. Cheney.”

But while his headline — “Cheney for President” — provoked guffaws in some quarters, several of the party’s most well-regarded strategists and pollsters are actually taking the idea deadly seriously.

“The Republican Party needs to move forward and build on its past, not return to it,” Alex Castellanos, a frequent CNN analyst and GOP messaging guru, told the Huffington Post via email. “But if the agenda turns to security, Obama is mired in a no-win mess in Afghanistan, and the Obama administration hasn’t created a single job in four years after indebting the nation for generations, maybe Dick Cheney could run on a theme of ‘Change’.” ‘ (Huffington Post)

If this gains enough traction, it would be time to start making emigration plans. And you are laughably mistaken if you assume that the American people would never find the idea appealing enough to make his chances realistic.

Rove To Meet With Prosecutor On Attorney Firings

President George W. Bush stands with Mrs. Laur...

Prosecutors are scheduled to interview former presidential adviser Karl Rove Friday about the firing of U.S. attorneys as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the dismissals.

The Justice Department’s inspector general published a report about the firings that was more than 350 pages long. But the report was inconclusive. Some officials refused to be interviewed.

So, on the inspector general’s recommendation, then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a prosecutor to continue the investigation. Prosecutor Nora Dannehy has been interviewing people ever since. Friday is Karl Rove‘s turn, a development first reported by The Washington Post.” (NPR ).

Is Rove Wriggling Away Again?

WASHINGTON - MARCH 20:  White House Deputy Chi...

“Yesterday’s announcement that former Bush White House aides Karl Rove and Harriet E. Miers will answer questions from congressional investigators about the U.S. attorney scandal puts an end to the absurd proposition advanced by the previous administration that senior advisers to the president have blanket immunity from any congressional oversight whatsoever, and if subpoenaed don’t even need to show up.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the interviews will be held behind closed doors — and the transcripts will only be released on a delayed basis. That’s bad in part because the public now won’t see Rove and Miers sweating under the hot lights. But the more significant problem is that journalists, bloggers and the greater public won’t be able to immediately pore over their responses in detail.” — Dan Froomkin via White House Watch.

Rebecca Traister on Bristol Palin’s televised interview

Location of Willow, Alaska

‘All over the news on Tuesday were clips of 18-year-old new mother Bristol Palin stuttering awkwardly in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren and saying what many Americans already know all too well: that the idea of teenage abstinence is unrealistic.

But more than just sound bites, Van Susteren’s interview with Bristol (and her “surprise-guest” mom) was a vivid reminder of how, sadly, this unremarkable high schooler got dragged into the spotlight by a Republican ticket anxious to paper over its party’s family-values inconsistencies with the addition of a just-folks clan led by an Alaskan governor determined to use her family as an illustration of her policies. It was also an embodiment of all that was frustrating and tone-deaf about those policies, and about the governor’s candidacy for the vice-presidency.’ via Salon Life.

Related:

The leaderless GOP

Radio talk show host and co...

‘Sorry, Michael Steele, but it’s going to be a while before you’re anything more than the figurehead frontman of a shipwrecked Republican National Committee. Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh remain the leaders of your party, and most Republicans are happy that way. A Rasmussen poll out today found that fully 55 percent of Republicans polled think their party should be “more like” Palin.’ — Joan Walsh via Salon.

Related:

Michael Connell Was Warned About Sabotage Before Crash

Plane crash

45-year-old Republican operative and experienced pilot had been warned not to fly his plane in the days before the crash.

“Connell…was apparently told by a close friend not to fly his plane because his plane might be sabotaged… And twice in the last two months Connell, who is an experienced pilot, cancelled two flights because of suspicious problems with his plane.”

via The Rag Blog.

‘Karl Rove’s IT guru’ dies in plane crash

Paid for by Ohio Republican Party

I had seen the headline and initially found it only moderately interesting. Poor guy ran out of gas and crashed short of his landing in Ohio. However, it turns out to be a connect-the-dots story for you conspiracy theorists.

Michael Connell, a Republican IT operative who had created websites for Bush and McCain, was associated with a firm hired by the Ohio secretary of state to set up the state’s official election results website in the 2004 election. It happened to be hosted on the servers of a Chattanooga-based company which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican domains and was arguably the matrix for the GOP cabal.

When the scandal about the Justice Dept’s politically-motivated firings of US Attorneys erupted several months later, other researchers found that the email domains used by White House staffers to evade FOIA law by communicating outside official White House channels was provided by the same company. And… they were set up for the White House by Mike Connell. This roused suspicions about the GOP’s use of this same infrastructure to tabulate the votes which gave Bush the final electoral college margin he needed to secure his reelection in 2004.

The Raw Story investigator working on these connections (atlargely.com) says that Connell was frightened and that he was being threatened (ePluribus Media). The alleged threats appear to be the result of the re-opening, through the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim, of the stalled investigation into the 2004 Ohio Elections. Connell was reportedly getting ready to talk.

[As an IT pro, did he make backups of his data, especially if he was frightened that people might kill him for what he knew?]

The Raw Story.

George Tenet’s Drunken Tirade

George Tenet, former director of United States...
George Tenet

‘A servant appeared with a bottle. Tenet knocked back some of the scotch. Then some more. They watched with concern. He drained half the bottle in a few minutes. “They’re setting me up. The bastards are setting me up,” Tenet said, but “I am not going to take the hit.” …According to one witness, he mocked the neoconservatives in the Bush administration and their alignment with the rlght wing of Israel’s political establishment, referring to them with exaxperation as, “the Jews.” ‘

Pretty damning, if true. Tenet, of course, has denied it all.

via Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic.

Colin Powell on the Failure of GOP ‘Polarization’

“I think the party has to stop shouting at the world and at the country,”Powell said. “I think that the party has to take a hard look at itself, and I've talked to a number of leaders in recent weeks and they understand that.” Powell, who says he still considers himself a Republican, said his party should also stop listening to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

“Can we continue to listen to Rush Limbaugh?” Powell asked. “Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?”

via CNN Political Ticker.

Meet the GOP’s wrecking crew

“This week Southern Republicans had a chance to go to bat for foreign automakers while simultaneously busting a union… The fiercest opposition to the loan proposal — and nearly a third of the 35 votes against ending debate on the deal — came from Southern Republicans, and the ringleaders of the opposition all come from states with a major foreign auto presence. Not coincidentally, nearly all of those states — except Kentucky — are also “right-to-work” states, which means no union contracts for most of the employees at the foreign plants. The Detroit bailout fell victim to a nasty confluence of home-state economic interests and anti-union sentiment among Republicans.”

via Salon News.

Candace Gingrich: A Letter to My Brother Newt Gingrich

Former Republican Spea...

“Dear Newt,

I recently had the displeasure of watching you bash the protestors of the Prop 8 marriage ban to Bill O’Reilly on FOX News. I must say, after years of watching you build your career by stirring up the fears and prejudices of the far right, I feel compelled to use the words of your idol, Ronald Reagan, “There you go, again.”

However, I realize that you may have been a little preoccupied lately with planning your resurrection as the savior of your party, so I thought I would fill you in on a few important developments you might have overlooked…”

via Huffington Post

Smile, You’re Under Arrest

America's Meanest Sheriff

“The latest TV show planned for US cable network FOX has the working title of Smile, You’re Under Arrest, and involves wanted criminals being tricked into elaborate fantasy scenarios, at the end of which they are arrested.

One of three set-ups just shot in Arizona features the cops luring a criminal to a movie set with the promise of making him an extra and paying him a couple hundred dollars. An elaborate film set is staged and filming begins on a faux movie. The set-up continues as the director then gets mad at the lead actor, fires him and replaces him with the law-breaking extra.

The scene escalates with the fake director introducing the mark to a supposed studio mogul and continuing to create this dream-comes-true sequence. Finally, all the participants are revealed as officers of the law, and the criminal is apprehended (before signing waivers to let the footage be used in the show).

“If it were a regular person you’d feel bad for them, but they are all wanted by the law,” Darnell says. “It’s Cops as comedy and no one’s ever tried it before.”

How did FOX manage to get a police department to divert resources to such a programme? Well, the department involved is the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office, run by Sherriff Joe Arpaio, whose spectacularly harsh treatment of offenders has made him the darling of America’s more brutally-minded. And now FOX, who are no strangers to brutality, are going to make him more of a star. Perhaps watching Jack Bauer torture Arabs doesn’t do it any more or something.

I half-wonder whether this is part of a strategy leading up to Arpaio getting on the Republican Presidential ticket for 2012. There were rumours that FOX was going to buff Sarah Palin’s image by giving her a national TV talk show, though if she looks too much like damaged goods, they could want another conservative firebrand who appeals to the culture-war conservatives.”

via The Null Device

‘We Blew It': PJ O’Rourke

A Garden hose.

A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered… [W]e’re doing good work on our final task–attaching the garden hose to our car’s exhaust pipe and running it in through a vent window. Barack and Michelle will be by in a moment with some subsidized ethanol to top up our gas tank. And then we can turn the key.” (Weekly Standard)

Darkness at Dusk

Republican presidenti...

“It’s only been a week since the defeat, but the battle lines have already been drawn in the fight over the future of conservatism.

In one camp, there are the Traditionalists, the people who believe that conservatives have lost elections because they have strayed from the true creed. George W. Bush was a big-government type who betrayed conservatism. John McCain was a Republican moderate, and his defeat discredits the moderate wing.

To regain power, the Traditionalists argue, the G.O.P. should return to its core ideas: Cut government, cut taxes, restrict immigration. Rally behind Sarah Palin.

…The other camp, the Reformers, argue that the old G.O.P. priorities were fine for the 1970s but need to be modernized for new conditions. The reformers tend to believe that American voters will not support a party whose main idea is slashing government. The Reformers propose new policies to address inequality and middle-class economic anxiety. They tend to take global warming seriously. They tend to be intrigued by the way David Cameron has modernized the British Conservative Party…” — David Brooks (New York Times op-ed)

Conservative Ideologues Begin to Throw McCain Under the Bus

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Campaign rally: likely one of the last things over which John McCain will preside.

Sorry, Senator. Let’s Salvage What We Can: “There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.” — David Frum (Washingto Post op-ed)

Palin going rogue?

Republican vice-pres...

Palin allies report rising campaign tension: “Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.”
(Politico)

Palin going rogue?

Republican vice-pres...

Palin allies report rising campaign tension: “Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.”
(Politico)

What Makes People Vote Republican?

Book cover of

Jonathan Haidt: “What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany’s best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. But now that we can map the brains, genes, and unconscious attitudes of conservatives, we have refined our diagnosis: conservatism is a partially heritable personality trait that predisposes some people to be cognitively inflexible, fond of hierarchy, and inordinately afraid of uncertainty, change, and death. People vote Republican because Republicans offer “moral clarity”—a simple vision of good and evil that activates deep seated fears in much of the electorate. Democrats, in contrast, appeal to reason with their long-winded explorations of policy options for a complex world.”

[Jonathan Haidt is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion and how they vary across cultures. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.] (The Edge)

Grand Old Book Party

Does This Look Lik...

What to read about John McCain and the future of the GOP: “By the time party conventions roll around, we’re told, many Americans are just tuning in to the presidential race. If you’re just gearing up for the GOP Convention, here’s a rundown of the best literature on John McCain and the future of the Republican Party.” (Slate)