As for the annual CPAC straw poll, it has become less of a test of the depth of voter support and the organizational skill of each potential candidate to motivate backers, and more a test of their ability to buy up blocks of tickets (hundreds at a time) to pack the room with warm bodies. The poll, in my eyes, has lost its value, in much the same way that the Iowa Republican presidential straw poll has (I’ve sworn never to attend either again). Journalists who cover and treat such events as if they were accurate cross-sections of Republicans and conservatives become enablers and even coconspirators, carrying on the charade that these events are representative samplings of anything more than a specific subspecies of (mostly young) conservatives.
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto; to all of the above.
I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve seen it unfold live. It’s one of those moments where you ask yourself “Seriously?” especially since 2009 as it became an all-out turf war between the Ron / Rand Paul people and Mitt Romney folks — especially in 2010.
That was a farce and a half to see from the Bloggers’ Lounge.
To quote Erick Erickson — known egomaniac — from a past “Coffee and Markets” podcast, “Tea Party candidate vetting sucks.”
(Ya think Erick? Yet you still push these clowns for three cycles straight, don’t ya?)
Somehow this got missed during the questioning process after he answered “I will do whatever Jim DeMint tells me to…”
U.S. Senate candidate Milton Wolf posted a collection of gruesome X-ray images of gunshot fatalities and medical injuries to his Facebook page and participated in online commentary layered with macabre jokes and descriptions of carnage.
Wolf, a Johnson County radiologist anchoring a campaign for the Republican nomination with calls for federal heath care reform, said in an interview the medical images were legally uploaded to public social media sites and other online venues for educational purposes. They also served, he said, to demonstrate evil lurking in the world.
However, Wolf and others viewing these Facebook postings relentlessly poked fun at the dead or wounded. The gunshot victim, Wolf joked online, wasn’t going to complain about the awkward positioning of his head for an X-ray. In a separate Facebook comment, Wolf wrote that an X-ray of a man decapitated by gunfire resembled a wounded alien in a “Terminator” film and that the image offered evidence people “find beauty in different things.”
Wolf declined in an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal to clearly answer questions about whether he continued to place images of deceased people on the Internet. He asked to keep copies of the Facebook posts shown to him, but when denied, he walked away.
“I’m not going to play these kinds of gotcha games,” he said.
An array of professionals involved in medical ethics who viewed the images or were provided a description of the materials made public by Wolf condemned his airing of the information outside confines of a doctor-to-doctor consultation or for the purpose of formal medical research or textbook instruction.
“The dignity and privacy of the individual should be protected,” said John Carney, president of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. “It doesn’t sound like they’re being protected if they’re, obviously, on Facebook.”
So let me get this right, the Tea Party groups (many of which are nothing more than multimillion dollar front groups when you really break them down) thinks someone like this would be a better option than Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).
Roberts, by the way, is just shy of 80. If these groups had a brain, they’d just wait for Roberts to either retire in six years or die in office (Last Democrat to win statewide in Kansas was Kathleen Sebelius, who’s a political legacy there…) than embarrass themselves, their groups, or the GOP in general.
Something tells me Dr. Wolf was a personal project of the Ryun Brothers, since it’s right in their backyard. He’s not Matt Bevins in Kentucky, but he’s listed second on the Madison Project’s list of endorsements.
I realize I’m not making many friends in state Tea Party groups by going after Erickson, Senate Conservative Fund, and the Madison Project for the actions of the idiots they find to run for high office. Frankly, I don’t care and if they want to have that debate with me in private, they have my email address.
But if someone doesn’t speak up and call them out for this crap, they’re going to continue to find these people and continue to cost the GOP chances at U.S. Senate seats. What many of these guys are doing doesn’t help conservatism, doesn’t help get ObamaCare repealed any faster, and sure as hell doesn’t end big government in Washington.
Let me preface this post by saying: “I’m not for amnesty, just sanity.”
While largely dead for the rest of the 2013–14 congressional calendar, there were some things I personally would have liked to have seen touched in an immigration package or separate bill. (You know, that piecemeal approach talked about, but apparently not going to be tried.)
At the top of that list is “H-1B Visa Reform.”
“H-1B” is, like most visas issued by the State Department, one of a variety of work visas granted to immigrants who are temporary workers inside the United States. H-1B’s are a specialty type of visa which only are available to the following qualifications:
- You must be a foreign national.
- You must have already earned a college degree.
- Said degree must be in a career related to what are called “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields.
The visas last for three years and can be renewed for another three for a total of six years; and with their employers sponsorship, they can gain citize That stay can be up to ten years, only if you are working for a defense contractor. They are highly-coveted by technology firms in Silicon Valley such as Google, IBM, Facebook and Oracle.
Annually, 65,000 new H-1Bs are issued, with an additional 20,000 to eligible immigrants already in the country who getting their college degrees. Estimations are that since the program began around 2,000, over 850,000 H-1Bs have been issued.
So why reform them and what to do? The common answer — accepted on both sides — has been to lift the annual quota. Why? Because the world is a competitive workplace, and despite constant interest in computer sciences and IT, America isn’t generating enough of them fast enough. Also, other nations also have substantial technology sectors themselves and will grab up these wouldbe employees.
In the most recent podcast episode for the center-right website Ricochet, renowned political analyst Michael Barone told a story of how a Canadian diplomat prayed that America didn’t change its immigration policy towards high-skilled workers (the ones sought through the H-1B program) because then all these folks could come to Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. British Columbia is well-known to be the high-tech hub matching its neighbors south of the border in Washington State and Silicon Valley.
It is this exact thing which makes the immigration debate as a whole so frustrating. While we’re fighting over what is clearly a horrific Senate bill, both sides need to take a moment, figure out where there is actual consensus on immigration — like visa reform, which has nothing to do with amnesty much if at all — and craft a bill.
Anyone who still demands a full, “comprehensive approach” (Chuck Schumer, I’m looking at you.) should be barred from the room. Hammer out something that works, not just for those getting the H-1Bs’, but for the U.S. economy as well.
While there weren’t as many responses as Joe Heller mocks in this cartoon, I completely agree the take. Why does “The Tea Party” need its own response? It’s redundant and sends a mixed message and only gives the media ammo of a “GOP Civil War” on the way.
And anyone thinking Rand Paul’s personal response wasn’t self-serving and only intended as a possible launching pad for 2016 clearly hasn’t been paying attention.
Look, I’m not asking us to all be reading in sync, but can we at least be on the same page?
Huge win for RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on this consolidation of the schedule. This ends the all-out scramble that had been going on is past presidential years by some states (Like Florida…) to make sure “they mattered” when it came to picking a party’s nominee.
The next step, and this will take a rare moment of political sanity between both the DNC and RNC, is a series of rotating regional primaries. We’re almost there already, but the idea of having all New England states voting on one day makes a lot more sense than the piecemeal shuffle of one state in the Midwest and another in the Pacific Northwest on the same day.
Also, it would allow for more bus tours in multiple states, which voters typically like (and campaigns like because they’re cheaper on budgets).
The Republican National Committee on Friday voted to significantly compress its presidential nominating calendar and to move its nominating convention earlier in the summer of 2016.
The full committee voted at its annual winter meeting to approve a new rules package that would allow the four regular early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to hold their nominating contests in February 2016 and penalize other states that might try to move their contests earlier than March 1.
In both the 2008 and 2012 nominating contests, states anxious to be one of the first contests have pushed the nominating calendar into early January. The result in 2012 was a long, sometimes nasty primary process that Republicans think hurt their chances of winning the presidency.
While the old calendar stretched six months from early January to late June — and was competitive for about half that span — the new one is intended to be as much as three months shorter — from early February to April or May.
Perhaps even more telling are the penalties the RNC will hand down to state parties and their delegations which try to jump in line.
* States that hold nominating contests between March 1 and March 14 must allocate their delegates proportionally rather than on a winner-take-all basis. States generally prefer the winner-take-all method (in order to have more influence and draw more interest from candidates), so the rule is designed to discourage the other 46 states from holding all their contests in early March.
(Wisconsin is a “winner-take-all” state during GOP primaries, the Dems used to have a proportional distribution based on congressional district. That might have changed after the 2008 race.)
* States must select their delegates at least 45 days prior to the convention, rather than the previous 35. This, combined with the earlier convention, should significantly tighten the primary schedule on the back end. In 2012, primaries were held as late as June.
(The current 2016 RNC Convention is scheduled for sometime around
August June. No city has been announced yet as the site.)
* Penalties for states moving in February or January will be more serious than in the past. While the committee previously stripped them of half their delegates, they will now lose more than that, in most cases. States with at least 30 delegates would be left with just 12 representatives at the convention, while states with less than 30 delegates would have nine.
(Florida, you’ve been warned…)
This is a costly move, but in today’s modern world of political cyber-squatting, a necessary evil. If the Republican National Committee or sister committee doesn’t lock it down, chances are in today’s “Take-No-Prisoners’” online political war, your enemies will.
But this not cheap. A friend I know tells me that locking down a domain runs about a cool half-million; which is why it is rarely done. However, since your organization now has oversight over a domain, you can make up that money over time by charging around $25 to $50 a URL to candidates, committees and other loyal entities.
The Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that focuses on electing Republicans to state-level offices, won custody of the domain in the spring after an Internet governing body invited groups to vie for hundreds of new domains.
Now, in a plan first shared with POLITICO, the committee is soliciting information from Republicans interested in having .gop sites. It is operating on an internal timeline that would allow those sites to get up and running by the first quarter of 2014.
“At the RSLC, we do pride ourselves on trying to look a little further down the road and take a longer view of things,” Chairman Ed Gillespie said in an interview, citing work the committee already does to recruit local candidates who may rise into the ranks of the national party one day. “I think we’re well positioned for that.”
The domain project fits into that vision, Gillespie said, because it can potentially “foster a broader sense of community” for Republicans on the Internet and boost GOP branding through sites such as news.gop or polling.gop.
Most people and groups seeking sites with .gop domains will be able to register them in “real time,” said President Chris Jankowski in a statement. “But certain names that are especially relevant to our community are subject to a different process for registration which is standard industry practice.”
The committee is also working on a selection process to ensure that no mischief-makers will be able to get their hands on “.gop” domains. A move that not only makes sense, but would be crucial.
Last thing you want to have happen is a porn site floating out there with a “.gop” domain.
Now the question remains is which campaigns for 2014 will be the first to spend $50 for what is essentially a vanity URL.