Tag Archives: Rand Paul

There it is…

It came in a little late for me to add to my normal Monday post about the happenings in the right wing whack-o-verse.  This morning Steve King, one of the leading dispensers of hate speech and ignorance in Congress who also happens to be from Iowa, endorsed Ted Cruz.

King made his endorsement by saying:

I believe Ted Cruz is the candidate that’s the answer to my prayers. A candidate whom God will use to restore the soul of America.

Never mind Steve King believing that God herself has answered his personal prayers for a political candidate to come forward in order to “restore the soul of America.”  If someone switched the word “God” with “Aqua Buddha” there would be a line of orderlies waiting to take that person to crazy town.

Apparently, this is important because Steve King fancies himself a kingmaker in Iowa.  Now he has endorsed a candidate with poll numbers lower than three other candidates.

Oh well, crazy deserves some crazy company.

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The Joni Ernst Watch 1/19/2014

Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst is rarely without something to say.

Well, keeping quiet is just not Joni’s style and the Republican leadership has deemed her star power of sufficient wattage to deliver the rebuttal or response to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

Raise your hand if you think this is odd, but wonderful. Thought so. Generally, the response is given by a rising star in the party who has designs on national office. It’s not an easy speech to give because it is done in front of television cameras, as opposed to an audience, and you are following up a national office holder bringing the gravitas of the President. Best of luck to you Joni.

Recently, Des Moines’ Water Works Board voted to file a federal lawsuit against three rural counties in the northwestern part of Iowa for failing to control nitrate pollution. Naturally, the junior senator from Iowa favored a voluntary system:

It is an issue that I believe needs to be done on a voluntary basis, and we do see a lot of great programs that are being implemented.

Really? What incentive to rural counties have to reduce nitrate pollution on a voluntary basis right now? None. That is why the water is polluted. Whenever it comes to a regulation that makes sense the Republican talking point flowchart says to label it something that should be done on a voluntary basis. Because, as we all know, businesses will just reduce profitability because a voluntary program exists. I call shenanigans.

Here’s another potential Republican nominee in 2016 saying stupid things. This time it is Rand Paul spouting off on disability:

The thing is that all of these programs, there’s always somebody who’s deserving, everybody in this room knows somebody who’s gaming the system. I tell people that if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting a disability check. Over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club. Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts? Everyone over 40 has a back pain.

Never mind the truth when you can get in a good sound bite in front of a favorable crowd.

Besides Joni Ernst delivering the Republican response to the State of the Union this week also brings us the so-called “Iowa Freedom Summit” from everyone’s favorite member of Congress Steve King.  Just look at the list of Republican luminaries lining up to genuflect before the new kingmaker of the Iowa caucuses Representative Steve King:

  1. Sarah Palin
  2. Ted Cruz
  3. Chris Christie
  4. Mike Huckabee
  5. Rick Santorum
  6. Donald Trump
  7. Rick Perry
  8. Scott Walker
  9. Newt!
  10. Ben Carson
  11. Joni Ernst
  12. Terry Branstad

The sad thing is that Rand Paul or Marco Rubio could not make the event.  The headlines are going to write themselves on the 25th.

Post-Election Day Wrap Up

The post-mortem analysis of the 2014 mid-term election will continue for weeks and months, especially if expected recounts drag into December. The back of the envelope calculation is this: Republican candidates stomped to victory and now control the Senate and a number of critical governorships.

In Iowa we watched as Joni Ernst walked to an easy victory. Granted, Bruce Braley was about as dry white toast of a candidate that has ever walked the Earth. However, this is the person who made the signature slogan of her campaign “Make ‘em squeal Joni” in reference to an advertisement that alluded to hog castration.

Never mind that we re-elected imperial governor for life Terry Branstad to a record sixth term and he is making references to running again in 2018. The guy might actually be an animatronic dummy with an epic mustache instead of an actual human, but voters in Iowa might actually choose him over the baby Jesus.

Somehow Rick Scott, Scott Walker, and Sam Brownback won re-election. Brownback surprises me because he is literally running the state of Kansas into the ground. Maybe after another four years of his “leadership” the citizens of Kansas will finally puke all over themselves and elect someone who is not just holding water for the Koch Brothers.

Rick Scott is a clown, but Florida deserves him. Scott Walker is now the face of Wisconsin, for better or for worse, and the citizens of that state need to recognize the reality.

The guy who was in the most interesting position all night was Mitch McConnell. In some respects he was in a losing position no matter the outcome. He could have lost the actual election, but that appeared to be false hope for Democrats in the end. He could have ended up as minority leader again, but that outcome was pretty much dead in the water by 8 PM central standard time. Instead, he is going to be the majority leader in the Senate and he still may end up as a loser. This is a man who lacks any real charisma trying to lead a chamber full of upstarts positioning themselves for the presidential election forthcoming in 2016. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are going to be all over the place trying to make themselves look like the torch bearers for the Republicans. It’s going to be great.

What I think will be fascinating over the course of the next two years is what the Republican controlled Congress will try to achieve. For the past six years the party has acted as an opposition party out of power, disregarding the reality that it controlled the House, but now it is in the position to govern albeit with a Democratic president. My prediction is that if you thought the Newt Gingrich led Republicans overreached following the 1994 “Republican revolution” you have not seen crazy yet.

For the Democrats this election will probably come down to a discussion about money, but I think that is a false conclusion. Sure, there was a shit ton of money spent on ads but the problem for Democrats was uninspiring candidates. As 2016 comes into view and the field of presidential candidates coalesces, Democratic party leadership needs to find candidates who will be primed to take over a bucketful of vulnerable seats in an election that is almost guaranteed to be a big turnout for voters sympathetic to Democrats.

No one is asking me, but I am here to offer my opinions for free.