Politics of the United States

Photo Of The Day

AP Photo/JK When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a segregated pool at the Monson Motor Lodge, manager James Brock, left, poured acid into it, shouting "I'm cleaning pool," on June 18, 1964, in St. Augustine, Fla.

AP Photo/JK
When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a segregated pool at the Monson Motor Lodge, manager James Brock, left, poured acid into it, shouting “I’m cleaning pool,” on June 18, 1964, in St. Augustine, Fla.

1964: Civil Rights Battles

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Face of the day


Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio


Senator for Florida,Marco Rubio, is my face of the day. I want to vote for this guy and I don’t even live in America. If only we had an MP like him here in New Zealand prepared to address the elephant in the room.

I watched his eloquent and heart felt speech yesterday on this blog and was so impressed with him  that I wanted to bring both him and his speech to the attention of those of you who have not yet had the privilege of watching it.

Never mess with the NRA

Politicians keep on trying to unreasonably control guns in breach of the Second Amendment and the NRA keep on hammering them. The NRA are strong and successful advocates for their members, they never back down.

You’d think the politicians would learn. Turns out they are slow learners…perhaps even retarded.

A populist backlash against Colorado’s new gun-control laws claimed its third political casualty on Wednesday as a Democratic state senator resigned her seat rather than face a recall vote that could have cost her party control of the chamber.

For Democrats in this swing state, the resignation of the senator, Evie Hudak, was a sign of the growing political cost of their votes last winterto expand background checks and limit the size of ammunition magazines — measures once hailed as breakthrough victories in the effort to respond to mass shootings.

Polls show that voters embrace aspects of the new laws. But the measures have infuriated gun advocates and Republicans, and have become political liabilities in a state where the gun debate is shaped by traditions of hunting and sport-shooting, as well as by the shadows of mass shootings at Columbine High School and the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora.   Read more »

Learning the lessons of the NRA

Smart operators watch the NRA in action and see that politicians fear them. I blogged about this yesterday. Other lobby groups are now picking up on the robust tactics of the NRA.

One organisation now moving to create fear and loathing is the Heritage Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation has decided it is better to be feared than loved.

The conservative think tank conducted private market research on Capitol Hill between 2008 and 2009, asking respondents whether they were ever worried about being on the wrong side of Heritage’s position.

“Overwhelmingly, nobody cared,” said Tim Chapman, now the chief operating officer of Heritage Action, the organization’s three-year-old advocacy arm.

To combat this, the think tank created Heritage Action to knock some skulls around. But by doing so, Heritage upset the traditionally cozy relationship the Heritage Foundation had with congressional Republicans.  Read more »

Dodgy democratic ratbag busted for sexual harrassment, and it isnt Bill Clinton

Politics is an aphrodisiac, it gets off the politicians, it also gets off the groupies.

Ultimately though the power play creates an uneven “play ground” for participants. Eventually though the truth will out…and the cover-ups and pressure plays always gets them in the end.

While we can all laugh at Anthony Weiner there are others out there like this dodgy democrat.


In 2011, at least three women warned the head of the San Diego County Democratic Party of stories in the community about then-Rep. Bob Filner making inappropriate advances toward professional women with whom he’d come in contact through his political position.

Former California State Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, San Diego County Democratic Central Committee member Martha Sullivan, and Escondido City Council member Olga Diaz all brought uncomfortable incidents to the attention of Jess Durfee, who was until the end of 2012 Democratic Party chairman for San Diego, the eighth-largest city in America.  Read more »

Maybe Moira could get Labour to do this instead of taxing them more

One thing about American politics that I admire, apart from the robust sledging that goes on, is their ability to raise squillions via various fundraising methods.

Labour could certainly do with learning some of these techniques…especially now Moira and Tim are off on an overseas junket.

Twenty-six senators raced in and out of the Ronald Reagan Republican Center last week with varying enthusiasm for a most-often-dreaded, but necessary, activity: fundraising.

Inside the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s marathon call day, even the GOP’s weakest fundraisers were on hand to dial for dollars to help the party gain the net six seats necessary to win the majority.

“I’m not real good at it, asking people to give money,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who had one of the lowest fundraising hauls in the second quarter. “But I do, because it’s just part of it. People are nice when you talk to them. They understand the process.”

South Dakota Sen. John Thune made it look easy. He strolled in just after a vote, took a seat toward the back and placed a plastic cup of lemonade and bag of Nutter Butter cookies on the table. With the phone to his ear, he leaned back in his chair and said, “Hey, Al, how’s it going?” Al did much of the talking.

More than half of the caucus stopped in July 18 to fundraise for the NRSC, and CQ Roll Call was given exclusive access to the marathon call session.

The effort to get more senators personally involved was intended, in part, to help reverse a trend. Recently, Democrats have been far more generous in committee donations out of their personal campaign accounts.

How do they get the cash?

Lined with black-framed state maps featuring the president’s disapproval ratings, the room is normally reserved for large meetings, reporter briefings and fundraisers. But on this day, eight rectangular tables draped in yellow were topped with a phone and stack of tip sheets and talking points. A couple of young aides sat at a table to the side updating the leader board — and switched screens as a reporter scribbled down names and dollar figures.

A few Senate candidates took part in the process as well. Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, phoned a donor, thanked him for giving to his campaign this year and asked for another donation — this time for the NRSC.

“As generous as you’ve been with us,” he said, “they’re wondering if you’re willing to re-up your Majority Maker status. That’s going to cost you $32,400.”

According to a tip sheet that lay on a table, a “Majority Makers” membership offers donors two tickets to monthly dinners and the NRSC’s fall political victory conference. A “Senatorial Trust” membership sets donors back $15,000 per year.

Obama is the best gun salesman in the world

Barack Obama has done more than any other person in the world to rescue US arms manufacturers. Good on ya Barack, NRA membership is surging.

Leaders of the National Rifle Association announced that its membership has surged to a record five million, a figure they aim to double in the “long war” to preserve gun ownership in America.

The organisation’s executive vice president and public face Wayne LaPierre told its annual convention that proposed legislation to introduce expanded background checks had “got the defeat it deserved” last month.

Mr LaPierre told members the fight over background checks had been “but one skirmish in what can only be defined as one long war against our Constitutional rights,” and that the NRA was in a “once in a generation fight for everything we care about.”  Read more »

The end of the Tea Party?

There is something hugely ironic that it is Rasmussen that delivers the bad news about the demise of the Tea party. The very polling company that Tea Party fanatics were saying were the most accurate, the only one true indicator of actual voting in the election has some very vert bad news for them..and it must be right…it is Rasmussen:

Views of the Tea Party movement are at their lowest point ever, with voters for the first time evenly divided when asked to match the views of the average Tea Party member against those of the average member of Congress.  Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law.   Read more »

Obama Stitches up Republicans

Having given the GOP a good hiding in the last election, Obama is using his organisation to promote his solutions to the Fiscal Cliff. Unfortunately this has put the Republicans noses out of joint.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker John A. Boehner  ripped into President Barack Obama on Tuesday for planning to take his fiscal cliff message on the road.

The White House announced early Tuesday a schedule of events for Obama this week aimed at bolstering his position on averting an income tax hike on the middle class. He’ll meet with small-business owners Tuesday and middle-class Americans and business leaders Wednesday. On Friday, Obama will head to Pennsylvania to for an event at a manufacturing facility that could be affected by the cliff.

The showmanship didn’t go over well with GOP leaders.

“Rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement, he’s back on the campaign trail, presumably with the same old talking points that we’re all quite familiar with,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said on the Senate floor, a day after declaring the fiscal cliff talks at an “impasse.”

The GOP may have failed to notice but blocking anything and everything Obama tried to do means he probably cant see much point in talking to them. Political negotiations require concessions on both sides, not just saying No new taxes and refusing to negotiate.

Robotic squirrels

Hard to argue with Rand Paul on this:

The Kentucky senator also said he’d be one of the few conservatives willing to compromise on military cuts but remained firm against raising taxes. To make his case, Paul cited examples of what he considers wasteful spending and argued an increase in tax rates would be futile while the government spends “$300,000 a year on robotic squirrels” and $2 million “on how we can convince Chinese prostitutes not to drink so much on the job.”