Tuesday, April 23, 2013

American Political Elites Are Really Bad-- Roundup


Painting by Attila Richard Lukacs

Ken's back in action and he'll be taking back this slot starting tomorrow. If you think you're happy, imagine how I feel!

Heidi Heitkamp-- Cowardly And Disappointing

You probably heard about the tremendous disappointment that 4 Democratic senators-- Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Mark Pryor (AR), Max Baucus (MT) and Mark Begich (AK)-- made common cause with the Republicans against the bipartisan background check amendment offered by Second Amendment fanatics Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Former Obama Chief of Staff, Bill Daley wrote a blistering OpEd this past weekend for the Washington Post about how Heitkamp betrayed him. She didn't only betray a wealthy and powerful contributor like Daley; she betrayed the Democratic values and principles that have propelled her into the Senate.
She voted to block legislation to make gun background checks more comprehensive. Her vote-- along with those of 41 Republicans and three other Democrats-- was a key reason the measure fell short of the 60 votes needed for passage.

Polling has shown that nine in 10 Americans and eight in 10 gun owners support a law to require every buyer to go through a background check on every gun sale. In North Dakota, the support was even higher: 94 percent. Yet in explaining her vote, Heitkamp had the gall to say that she “heard overwhelmingly from the people of North Dakota” and had to listen to them and vote no. It seems more likely that she heard from the gun lobby and chose to listen to it instead.

...The other two Democrats who voted against background checks are Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana [who announced today that he's throwing in the towel; more on that tomorrow]. Like Begich, they will be running for reelection next year. And no doubt they’ll come to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other cities looking for money to fuel their campaigns. These cities, of course, are also too often the destination for illegal guns flowing in from out of state.

So I’ll have some advice for my friends in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles: Just say no to the Democrats who said no on background checks.
Far more progressive elements in the Democratic Party released this video about Heitkamp's betrayal yesterday:

GOP Fears Another Todd Akin Catastrophe In Georgia

Right-wing crackpots cheered when conservative Senator Saxby Chambliss announced he was retiring. After all, his lifetime ProgressivePunch crucial vote score is 1.95-- tied for the 17th most right-wing Member of the Senate with neo-fascist crackpot Jim Inhofe (R-OK)-- and his score for this session is zero. But that wasn't good enough for the extremists... so now they're liable to get stuck with one of two congressmen who make Todd Akin seem almost mainstream, Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey.
In a recent fundraising letter, [Broun] boasted that he was the first member of Congress to call Obama "a socialist who embraces Marxist-Leninist policies."

That makes Broun a tea party and evangelical favorite. To other Republicans, however, such comments stir memories of 2012 losses in Senate races in Missouri and Indiana where the GOP nominees, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, made controversial comments about women, rape and abortion.

"There's no question that the Republican Party in Georgia and the nation are concerned that we could have another Todd Akin-type scenario here," said Heath Garrett, a Republican campaign consultant and former top aide to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson.
Not Sure If Fred Malek Is Still A Jew Hater, But If He Is, He's Now A Pro-Gay Jew Hater

Malek is a rich GOP fundraiser for extreme right-wing candidates and causes now but he's best known as Nixon's "Jew counter," who worked to make sure there weren't "too many" Jews working for the government. He told Think Progress yesterday that he's in favor of marriage equality. "I feel it’s overdue and I support gay marriage... It’s a free country. They ought to be able to get married and they ought to have legalization of that." The candidates he finances through the shady PAC he operates, the American Action Network, do not favor marriage equality. In the 2012 cycle Malek spent $11,689,399 on independent expenditures trying to elect vehemently anti-gay candidates like Daniel "Taliban Dan" Webster (R-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Richard Mourdock (R-IN), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and Jesse Kelly (R-AZ). But he supports gay marriage. And he likes the Jews too.

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