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)
‘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!
‘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.
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
‘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.
“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.
“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.
‘When Richard B. Cheney exits his undisclosed location next month, he will probably be the last major figure in American life to answer to the name “Dick.” ‘
via The Daily Beast.
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)
: “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)