Today in people who have a tea party primary challenger

Mitch McConnell, making word noises that he hopes will please the loons who show up to cast primary votes in KY.

Despite agreeing to a budget this month, it seems Congressional Republicans are not yet done holding the economic fate of the country hostage in order to pass aspects of its agenda. In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told host Chris Wallace that it would be “irresponsible” for Republicans not to try to add amendments to a bill raising the debt ceiling, which they may need to pass as early late February. Failure

My prediction: (1) everyone sees through stuff like this. Ted Cruz has a niche and Mitch McConnell has his, and we all know that Mitch will not do anything to wreck the credit of the United States. Also, (2) McConnell will get re-elected. Aside from that being a safe bet any year, my prediction hinges on Mitch gaining a perverse benefit from Kentucky’s remarkably smooth implementation of Obamacare. A significant number of the poor white voters who McConnell needs loathe Obama but care enough about their family’s well being to sign up for Medicaid or Kynect KY anyway. Mitch can hate the ACA as much as he wants but, referring back to (1), everyone knows that he will not tear down heaven and Earth to make it go away. On the other hand everyone understands that all bets are off with a tea party insurgent. McConnell’s compromise position can look awfully appealing for people who have no interest in voting for a Democrat but also prefer not to see the world torn down so they can lose their diabetes medication.

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75 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I agree on the debt limit stuff. The GOP is a toothless tiger on that now.

    Politics is so crazy now that I don’t want to make any predictions about McConnell, either in the primary or the general.

  2. 2
    Cervantes says:

    my prediction hinges on Mitch gaining a perverse benefit from Kentucky’s remarkably smooth implementation of Obamacare

    Where’s Justice when you need her?

  3. 3
    jharp says:

    I think the Tea Party challenger will hurt McConnell significantly. And if enough money is spent it will be hard for him to defend his trying to deny voters of Kentucky affordable health insurance.

    McConnell has a long way to go before he is re elected.

  4. 4
    Elizabelle says:

    I don’t know that McConnell will be re-elected. Race is his to lose, but lose it he could.

    Go Allison Grimes Lundergan!

    Maybe Governor Steve Beshear can set Kentuckians straight on who precisely went to bat for their health exchange. And who did not.

    It’s appalling to see McConnell benefit from healthcare extension. He’s got his, paid for by taxpayers. He never wanted that expanded to his constituents. He fought it, at every juncture, for political reasons.

  5. 5
    KG says:

    @jharp: wasn’t there a story during the expansion that people were excited partly because kentucky’s system was better than obamacare?

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    I like how Cruz is apparently on the Sunday gabfests claiming that it was the evil Democrats who shut down the government and how he had nothing to do with that.

    He’s apparently relying, and not unreasonably, on the fact that Sunday show hosts have the memory of a mayfly.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @KG:

    There was a quote from a guy, IIRC. But KY’s governor has done a good job selling Obamacare, so (I hope) most Kentuckians will know what’s what.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @dmsilev:

    It’ll become part of conservative lore, passed down from father to son, long after the rest of us have moved on to the next thing.

  9. 9
    jharp says:

    @KG:

    Yep.

    A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by Obamacare.

    The man is impressed. “This beats Obamacare I hope,” he mutters to one of the workers.

    “Do I burst his bubble?” wonders Reina Diaz-Dempsey, overseeing the operation. She doesn’t. If he signs up, it’s a win-win, whether he knows he’s been ensnared by Obamacare or not.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kev.....t-kentucky

  10. 10
    Haydnseek says:

    @jharp: I wish I could be there to see the look on his face when someone tells him the truth. Once he climbs back into the wing nut bubble that has comforted him for so long, I have no doubt that he will deny that Obama had anything to do with it until his (affordably delayed) dying day.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    Where’s Zandar? Wasn’t he a (reluctant) McConnell constituent?

    And where’s Dengre? We need them back!

  12. 12
    smedley the uncertain says:

    Government by extortion continues.

    Nice little government you have. It’d be a shame if something happened to it….

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    Even more fun than seeing Mitch lose would be the bloodbath for minority leader in the Senate afterwards.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    @BGinCHI: I’d envision it going something along the lines described here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yI1hjITn8Q

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    @dmsilev: But with more old white dudes.

  16. 16
    smith says:

    @jharp: Wish people would tell them at some point. This reminds me of a diary at GOS a couple weeks back in which the diarist tells of maneuvering a wingnut friend into signing up with a private plan directly via the provider, bypassing any hint of the dread Obamacare. The friend is thrilled that he can now get an affordable plan despite what before would have been disqualifying preexisting conditions. His faith in the “private market” is strengthened and no one tells him it’s all down to the evil gubmint. It’s a weird kind of paternalism, to lead these idjits into Obamacare without asking them to face up to what it really is.

  17. 17
    WereBear says:

    @smith: to lead these idjits into Obamacare without asking them to face up to what it really is.

    For now. Not forever.

  18. 18
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @jharp: I disagree with some of the other commenters. I mean, why not roll with it? “You’re right–we have a state exchange, which is better than falling in the federal exchange, because we have forward thinking leaders in this state. Although technically all of the exchanges are provided for in Obamacare. The news comes out of New York City and they tend to oversimplify things. Heck, I don’t think they’ve even mentioned Kynect on the cable news channels lately–have they?”

  19. 19
    Haydnseek says:

    @WereBear: Eggs Ackley. Beat me to it, and said it more succinctly than I might have….

  20. 20
    NCSteve says:

    Kentuckians love to hate the people they elected last time. Always have. They haven’t had a statewide office holder they didn’t hate since Happy Chandler. Every Kentucky politician runs for reelection under the handicap of a high baseline of hatred among the general electorate that will spike upward before returning to the baseline. Paul’s primary victory was, as much as anything, a function of hatred of McConnell and it has only gotten worse.

    Don’t count Grimes out. All a matter of of whether the hatred for McConnell spikes just a few points up from the baseline by election day.

  21. 21
    jharp says:

    Anyone out there having as dreadful of a winter as Central Indiana?

    It has been awful. Snow, blowing, well below zero.

    And now Monday night it is supposed to get to minus 15. (not with wind chill)

    Tuesday high of 4.

    Gotta tell you it is getting me down. It really sucks.

  22. 22
    jharp says:

    Oh, and I am looking forward to Ashley Judd challenging Rand Paul in 2016 with Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket. That should be very interesting 2 years into ObamaCare.

  23. 23
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @smith: one more happy customer is one less voice to burn the whole system down

    it’s a win, unless you’re an anarchist

    I can’t remember who said this lately (could it have been ABL?) that anarchists are the sort of privileged people who just assume they will maintain their privilege after they burn the system down anyway. (Yes, there were poor immigrant anarchists in the early 20th century, back in the era when the police could arrest you for: bad language on the street, wearing the socks of the opposite sex, same sex dancing, etc. And the countries they came from had a fusion of church and state power so it was even worse.)

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @dmsilev:

    He’s apparently relying, and not unreasonably, on the fact that Sunday show hosts have the memory of a mayfly.

    It’s a selectively bad memory that applies exclusively to Democratic accomplishments and Republican mistakes. For Republican accomplishments and Democratic mistakes-or at least anything that can be spun to be a Republican accomplishment or Democratic mistake- they have the memory of an elephant.

  25. 25
    jharp says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I am thinking of the Louisville/New Albany area. Louisville on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and New Albany on the Indiana (non expand Medicaid) side.

    How long till the glaring difference that if you live in Kentucky free Medicaid insurance but in Indiana no insurance for you?

    It is gonna happen and I think Indiana republicans are going to have some explaining to do.

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    @jharp:

    We are having a sucky winter here, too. Today is gorgeously sunny so I thought I would take my youngest sledding. Ha! The temp is 14 which is warm for this winter but the wind chill is – cryogenic. We both came right back inside and went grocery shopping instead.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @jharp:

    Anyone out there having as dreadful of a winter as Central Indiana?

    Well, here in California we’re having a terrible winter in the sense that winter never arrived and that’s when we get our precipitation. The same quirks of the jetstream that are giving you guys unexpected cold are giving us a very nasty drought that will continue to be a problem long after you’ve finished defrosting.

  28. 28
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    look awfully appealing for people who have no interest in voting for a Democrat but also prefer not to see the world torn down so they can lose their diabetes medication.

    Let us consider the irony in this; “Gawd damn those filthy hippy bastards in the Democratic party for keeping me alive “

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I can’t remember who said this lately (could it have been ABL?) that anarchists are the sort of privileged people who just assume they will maintain their privilege after they burn the system down anyway.

    I think there’s a different class of anarchist: people who figure that things are so bad for them now that blowing up the system won’t make things any worse. The second type don’t figure much in today’s politics, but they’ll start showing up unless we can make things better.

  30. 30
    Tommy says:

    @jharp:

    How long till the glaring difference that if you live in Kentucky free Medicaid insurance but in Indiana no insurance for you?

    I don’t know but been asking myself that. I can’t believe ever, for a single second, anybody in the Obama administration thought the states would turn away the money.

    I mean you have it in my state, but a few miles away in MO folks don’t. The ads run against the ACA didn’t help, but let them be a mother saying her child died cause they didn’t have health care the state could have gotten them if they took Medicaid dollars. I don’t want to see those ads, but I sure would not want to the be politician on the other end of them.

  31. 31
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @jharp:

    It is gonna happen and I think Indiana republicans are going to have some explaining to do.

    Oh, for sure. Though IN seems to have this implacable so-con/white hate voting block even though it has some lovely areas. I mean, look at their repeated fails where public transit or Amtrak is involved. They spend all this money on a shmancy airport but almost lost their rail connection to Chicago because DERP.

    I have friends who live in Bloomie and they are pisssssssed about mucho state bucks being spent to add unnecessary lanes to their state highway while all other kinds of things in state gov’t burn.

    The deliberate disinvestment in the northern, populated rim of the state is just sad.

    Fuck it, you can’t even get a regular fucking bus btwn Chicago and Bloomington or between Bloomington and Bloomington or Champaigne and Bloomington OMGWTFBBQ. (There is a weekend bus for college students and that’s it! We’re done.)

    WTF kinda shithole state makes you rent a car if you’re touristing–?!?!? Stay klassy, asshats.

    And the rest of the story: so on my epic rail vacation trip last year my friends from Indiana said, “Fuck it, we’ll meet you in Chicago and do the museums!” And we did! Cry in your beer, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Whole fucking day in the Field Museum. Booya.

  32. 32
    smith says:

    @WereBear: OK, but when? After the Repugs have taken both houses in 2014? I understand the motivation to get as many satisfied customers as possible as soon as possible to ensure the long-term endurance of the program, but at some point Dems will have to start taking the credit for this great new benefit. Otherwise we may face a spectacle like we had in 2012 in which the Repugs painted themselves as the saviors of Medicare, a program they’d been trying to dismantle for more than 40 years.

    @Another Holocene Human:

    it’s a win, unless you’re an anarchist

    Anarchist? Hiuh? I just want the Dems to reap the political rewards for the rearguard action they’ve had to fight for the last 6 years to get this program off the ground. It’s those political rewards that have the Repugs in a rising state of panic with each new Obamacare enrollee.

  33. 33
    Another Holocene Human says:

    OT: So there’s no open thread yet but I do want to thank everyone who wished me well yesterday, including violet and Elizabelle. I am feeling a lot better, thank you. I think it was a vaccine-mediated case of influenza. Folks at my job have been dropping like flies since the college kids came back with their diseasles the second week of Jan. The cold, dry air did the rest.

    Thank Salk and Jenner for vaccines. Seriously.

  34. 34
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I live right on the IL/MO border. My parents right on the IL/IN border. The have and have nots are all around me. We passed same sex marriage. Going to cycle in medical marijuana. We took Medicaid dollars. Heck you mentioned rail, we are working on a high speed line from St. Louis to Chicago.

    I’ve ranted on this for the last couple days. We want nice things. We want people to want to live here. We want them to move here. Start a business. Pay taxes.

    About half the people I know live in southern IL but work in MO. I have to think if pondering where to live or start a business many would think, “hey maybe it is better to be on the IL side.”

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @smith:

    at some point Dems will have to start taking the credit for this great new benefit

    It’s a top-to-bottom with Democrats. We always want to talk about how we fall short, but don’t take pride in what we’ve done or what we stand for until we’re attacked. By then, it’s usually too late.

  36. 36
    jharp says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    At some point in the very near future the lack of good public transportation is going to start really hurting cities that don’t make the investment.

    Right now my daughter is deciding on a graduate school and wants to live a large city. So far two visits. One with a rail that has a stop right in front of her school. The other. Nada. Car or live in the ghetto and walk.

    Youngsters these days just don’t want to drive like we did. And they are smart. And I too am tired of driving. I want to walk to the store and take the rail around the city. And no chance of that in Central Indiana. We will likely leave when both kids are done with college.

  37. 37
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @smith: Whoa, dial it back a few notches. All I’m saying is that someone WITHOUT insurance is going to be highly motivated to attack the existing system, which is, now, PPACA, aka Obamacare. The more jagoff republican’ts who get gulled into SIGNING UP FOR INSURANCE THAT WORKS the less of a base there is to blow the system up and take it away. We can work on fixing the system to reach those who never had insurance and still don’t if we’re not focused on fighting to keep the progress we’ve already made.

    So yes, getting TP RWNJs to sign up direct from insurers for compliant plans is a WIN for our side.

    Without Obamacare to whine about, what will it be? Legitimate rape? Bring it on, clowns.

  38. 38
    Tommy says:

    @jharp: You are so right. I grew up in a rural area with no public transportation (moved back 20+ years later and we have it in spades now). I will never forget moving to DC after school. It took a little to get used to, cause I was used to driving everywhere, but having a robust transit system came to be about the most amazing thing ever. It pains me others don’t.

  39. 39
    BGinCHI says:

    @jharp: It’s been terrible here as well, but technically it’s worse for you because even when it gets nicer out you still live in Central Indiana.

  40. 40
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Baud: I think the next DNC will pleasantly surprise you on that score.

    I think the future is bright for the Democratic coalition, as long as we can continue to take back the party on the local level from the entrenched losers clubs and we keep talking to each other instead of pointing fingers of blame at various groups every time there’s a setback (as in 2008). I think Obama’s been very, very good for the party in that sense.

    It amuses the hell out of me the way the GOP is on a purity purge train. This latest crap renouncing their own PATRIOT Act and PAA domestic spying provisions is so fucking Stalinist it’s killing me. It’s amazing how authoritarians can turn a majority into a minority in a few short decades. The only thing still uniting these freaks is reactionary race hate, and the demographic writing is on the wall about that. Please proceed, GOP primary voters.

  41. 41
    gene108 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Republicans never get hurt for their economic policies. People vote for Republicans because they will outlaw abortion, keep blacks from taking money from hard working white people and be strong tough against our enemies.

    Economic policy, no matter how terrible, so far down on the list of reasons people vote for Republicans, they could probably introduce some limited repeal of the 13th amendment to allow corporations to use bonded labor / indentured servitude to cut labor costs and people would still vote Republican, because of social issues.

  42. 42
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: I loved Urbana but I’ve been gone 29 years and I ain’t goin back.

  43. 43
    Baud says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I didn’t mean to sound pessimistic. I’m relatively optimistic. The Virginia elections in particular were a good sign, especially since McAuliffe wasn’t the most appealing candidate. My prior comment was simply documenting a historical failing, one I think we’re gradually overcoming.

  44. 44
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    The more jagoff republican’ts who get gulled into SIGNING UP FOR INSURANCE THAT WORKS the less of a base there is to blow the system up and take it away.

    Except that people can only vote based on their knowledge and belief. You can’t simultaneously hide from people that the program they’re enrolled in is part of Obamacare and expect them to change the way they vote to protect Obamacare from cuts. If they don’t know that they depend on Obamacare, they don’t know they need to vote to protect it.

  45. 45
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Btw, I was wrong about the obstruction in Congress. It isn’t all Fear of a Black President. To those who keep calling Obama a Republican, let’s be real: he is pro-choice. Stridently, firmly so. So he could only be a Republican before 1980. GHWB was the last one who even believed in “family planning”. These days it’s fundy gender essentialist slut-shamers all the way down.

    The ODS, the disrespect, the “budget” concern trolling, the gov’t shutdown–yeah, that’s all about race.

    The judicial holdups, NLRB, etc–that’s because he’s a pro-choice liberal who is going to appoint judges who will block so-con judicial forced birther strategies. (That’s why those freaks wanted the presidency so badly. It’s about SCOTUS & the district courts.) And he’s not a labor movement eliminationist, which you have to be to be a Republican these days. How Dare He try to keep the legal framework for workplace justice running.

    Again, the stimulus/budget shit is all about the Black Man in the Oval Office, the need to make him fail, troll troll troll. But the judicial stuff was all about the socon war-on-women agenda. Obama is NOT a conservative on that issue and that is why they hate him so intensely.

    So please, let’s stop calling Big O a closet Republican. When Lincoln Chafee has switched parties it’s time to give that mythical liberal Republican a proper, respectful burial. Calling him a Republican is as dipshitted as those RWNJs on Twitter who try to equate early 1960s Dixiecrats with the post-1968 Democratic party.

  46. 46
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: The point is that they’re not going to spend 6 months in tricorner hates screaming OBAMA LIED MY HEALTHPLAN DIED because they have health insurance. They’re going to spend 6 months zooming around in the Hoverround screaming about sluts and their slut pills and Obama forcing nuns to take slut pills.

    To which I say again: please proceed.

    eta: well, I meant tricorner hats but hates kind of defines them, don’t it?

  47. 47
    jharp says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I was in Duluth MN this week. Amazing weather. 20 below. No wind chill. Minus 23 forecast for next week.

    We have it easy.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Holocene Human:
    I don’t think you can divide things so neatly. Certainly some of the visceral hatred of Obama comes from reaction to his identity, but there is rational political basis for opposing all of his policies, not just his appointments. The Republicans were surprisingly candid in admitting that they thought damaging the economy would help them politically, and I see no reason to doubt their honesty in saying so.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    @jharp: I have no idea how people up there can do it.

    I’m so bloody tired of winter.

  50. 50
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    The point is that they’re not going to spend 6 months in tricorner hates screaming OBAMA LIED MY HEALTHPLAN DIED because they have health insurance.

    You have more faith in their tethering to truth and reality than I do. Most of the people cruising around in hoverounds wearing tricorns depend on Medicare, but that doesn’t stop them from whining about how Obamacare is causing insurance companies to cancel coverage. Even if the ones who are eligible for Obamacare sign up for a new policy, they’ll still bitch about their old one being canceled. They are looking for an excuse to complain about Obama, and little details like the real world aren’t going to stand in their way.

  51. 51
    Anne Laurie says:

    @jharp:

    Anyone out there having as dreadful of a winter as Central Indiana?

    Well, there’s your mistake — you’re living in Indiana. (/former Michigander).

    Srsly, I have great compassion for all of you Midwesterners right now. I just am not tough enough to cope with the winds that blow unobstructed from the Great Lakes to the Rockies!

  52. 52
    WaterGirl says:

    @jharp: Is there reason to think she will be running? Or are you just hoping?

  53. 53
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Did you try the vinegar bath?

  54. 54
    jharp says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Yes. There are plenty of reasons to suggest Hillary will be running.

    And I am hoping she does. It will be no contest.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @jharp: Sorry, I was unclear. I meant Ashley Judd. I would be excited if she ran.

    Personally, I am hoping to hell that Hillary does not run. I want someone new.

  56. 56
    jharp says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Former Michigander and former Ohioan.

    I like the Great Lakes states but gotta get to a blue state. The bigotry and racism is really bad here.

  57. 57
    jharp says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I do not see any reasons suggesting a Judd run but I thought when she backed out last time I kind of read it that it was just a wait to ’16.

    Pure speculation by me though.

  58. 58
    Cain says:

    @Baud:

    It should be quite easy to take credit for it. It is called Obamacare, right? Wait they start calling it the ACA so that they can deny Obama his comeuppance. That should be a hoot!

  59. 59
    jharp says:

    @BGinCHI:

    “I’m so bloody tired of winter.”

    Hate to break it to you but it’s supposed to suck for the next 10 days. Below freezing and more snow. Snow showers daily.

    Really is getting tiresome.

  60. 60
    Cain says:

    @jharp:

    I grew up in West Lafayette, IN, and man, that place has really good public transport. Plus, recycling, gas powered buses, it’s pretty awesome. It’s a really progressive place. Frankly, I loved growing up there. It was an island of awesomeness.

    Same with Ft Wayne. It’s probably no wonder that nobody likes the northern parts of Indiana, it’s all liberalized.

  61. 61
    Cain says:

    @Tommy:
    My exposure was when I left Indiana nd lived in Ireland for 3 months. Then I really understood how awesome public transport can be. You don’t need a car in Europe or the UK.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @jharp: Apparently you’re not alone. A quick google found me this on ABC:

    Could non-Senate candidate Ashley Judd be biding her time for a better race opportunity? One Kentucky Democratic source who is close to Judd says yes.

    “I do think there have been a number of people who have said to Ashley this was not the race and the Rand Paul race [would be] the right race,” this source says.

    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is up for re-election in 2016 and per Kentucky law (unlike other states) a candidate cannot run for both Senate and president of the United States simultaneously. Paul is widely believed to be considering a 2016 presidential bid, but even if he does not, this same source says Judd has been counseled by both Washington, D.C., and Kentucky advisers that this is the better race for her to enter “in order to give her time to establish residency, secure the grassroots, and that is impossible with the current timetable.”

  63. 63
    Cain says:

    @jharp:

    It’s all sunny and kinda warm here in the northwest. It’s a disaster. We need the damn rain. Not only for the awesome skiiing and snowboarding, but we got aquaducts to fill, and mountains to be full of snow so that we don’t get a drought in the summer.

    Bring on that damn rain!

  64. 64
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Certainly some of the visceral hatred of Obama comes from reaction to his identity, but there is rational political basis for opposing all of his policies, not just his appointments. The Republicans were surprisingly candid in admitting that they thought damaging the economy would help them politically, and I see no reason to doubt their honesty in saying so.

    Rational? RATIONAL?! Their ratings went into the fucking TOILET during the shutdown. There was so much congratulatory Democratic activist jizz all over GOS during the shutdown that it turned white!

    The shutdown was PURE FUCKING ODS and it’s because he’s blahhhh. They hate it so much they can’t even say Black (cf Santorum, disambiguation: American joke presidential candidates).

  65. 65
    jharp says:

    @WaterGirl:

    And Hillary being on the top of the ticket would help Judd immensely.

    Still sure you don’t want Hillary to run?

    I for one would relish the thought of Judd beating Paul.

  66. 66
    jharp says:

    @Cain:

    We’ve had plenty of drought in Indiana the past 2 or 3 summers. All of the sudden it seems like it never rains in Indianapolis in late summer.

    And you are right. It does suck.

  67. 67
    Gene108 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Total obstruction paid off handsomely in 2010. So many non-RWNJ’s were depressed because the economy still felt like it sucked balls, while the obstruction fired up the base.

    Can total obstruction win back the White House for Republicans? I hope not, but it has already paid big in 2010.

    Also, too total obstruction to the Clinton attempt at healthcare reform also paid off well for Republicans. Getting voters angry that government is not working has been a winning strategy for Republicans, since 1980. Thinking 2014 will finally be the year their strategy backfires is wishful thinking for Dems.

    The only time it hurt Repunlicans was 2008, because after 9/15 everyone’s attention was focused squarely on the economy and nothing else much mattered in the face of a global economic crash.

  68. 68
    StringOnAStick says:

    I just got back from a visit to my BIL and elderly FIL in MI; grim weather and more snow than in most recent years (plus salt; lots and lots of salt). Here in the Denver area it was a gorgeous 60 degrees yesterday and today is a bit cooler, but the polar vortex will back in here starting tonight and the 20’s are coming. Still, the average for this time of year is 44, with a lot of variation (and a lot of sun; snow melts off roads fast here). We go from polar vortex to sunny and warm with amazing speed here. After a week in MI with subzero windchills, all you Midwesterners have my sympathy and respect.

  69. 69
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I have no idea how people up there can do it.

    We stay indoors and watch a lot of hockey.

    @Anne Laurie:

    I just am not tough enough to cope with the winds that blow unobstructed from the Great Lakes to the Rockies!

    When the wind blows from the Rockies it’s fine. It’s when it turns about 45 degrees that you cringe. There’s nothing between Yellowknife and here to slow it down except a few trees around Alexandria.

  70. 70
    jharp says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    “We stay indoors and watch a lot of hockey.”

    And use a lot of road salt. The streets were like a gravel road and I don’t think I would have gotten up the hill to my destination without it.

  71. 71
    Glocksman says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Hooo boy, where to start?

    I have friends who live in Bloomie and they are pisssssssed about mucho state bucks being spent to add unnecessary lanes to their state highway while all other kinds of things in state gov’t burn.

    The only project on that scale I’m aware of is the I-69 project.
    Those of us here in Evansville beg to differ about the ‘unnecessary lanes’.

    You will forgive us down here if we’d like a nice Interstate connection to Indy and IU instead of having to drive US-41 to I-70 to get to Indy and drive on nice twisting 2 lane roads to get to IU.

    KARR and all of the other assholes who oppose the highway from Evansville to Indy can kiss my ass.

    The deliberate disinvestment in the northern, populated rim of the state is just sad.

    It’s the same way on the southern side as well.
    Not only Evansville in the southwest, but Jeffersonville/New Albany in the southeast get the shaft frequently.

    That’s not surprising when you consider the power the central part of the state has when one out of every six residents lives in the Indianapolis area.

    It’s why the state spends billions keeping the fucking Colts happy while letting more important things slide.

    Fuck it, you can’t even get a regular fucking bus btwn Chicago and Bloomington or between Bloomington and Bloomington or Champaigne and Bloomington OMGWTFBBQ. (There is a weekend bus for college students and that’s it! We’re done.)

    The state has precisely what to do with bus lines?
    You aren’t seriously suggesting that the state subsidize buses between Bloomington and Chicago/Champaign/Urbana, are you?

    WTF kinda shithole state makes you rent a car if you’re touristing–?!?!? Stay klassy, asshats.

    A state without a lot of Amtrak routes, perhaps?
    Your beef is with Congress and Amtrak, not the state.

    And the rest of the story: so on my epic rail vacation trip last year my friends from Indiana said, “Fuck it, we’ll meet you in Chicago and do the museums!” And we did! Cry in your beer, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Whole fucking day in the Field Museum. Booya.

    Don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.

  72. 72
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Glocksman: Glocksman, all the cool states subsidize intercity bus service. Where have you been?

    .

    .

    Oh.

  73. 73
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Glocksman: You are super ignorant about transportation policy, but not surprising since you started with all that superhighway love. Btw, the highway to/from IU is just fine and not “twisty” but whatevs.

    CONGRESS which includes the asshat-sporting dweebs y’all love to send there required that STATES subsidize routes under 750mi, which means that your daily slowmobile from Chicago nearly got the axe-a-roony. Fortunately, your feckless state gubmint managed to throw together the bare minimum to keep it running for a year. With any decent, minor investment like a normal state they could have a schedule at a better time of day and maybe get the route switched to a fast one, but to be honest they kind of ignored the entire thing until crunch time. NORTH CAROLINA has been investing in state-supported intercity rail for YEARS now–where have you been?

    Other states don’t “just have” Amtrak intercity service and “Amtrak” is not “responsible” for this situation–your budget hawks in Congress and forward-thinking state governments with BALANCED transportation policies are. Geez, maybe you could get out of your bubble (it’s amazing how far in the world you can travel if you don’t limit yourself to automobile day trips, just sayin’) and find out how the rest of the world other than Indiana does it.

  74. 74
    JustRuss says:

    @Cain: Yeah, we need rain, but I was working outside shirtless in the middle of January, how awesome is that! Of course, I was shoveling Willamette Valley clay, so not all that awesome.

  75. 75
    Glocksman says:

    Glocksman: You are super ignorant about transportation policy, but not surprising since you started with all that superhighway love. Btw, the highway to/from IU is just fine and not “twisty” but whatevs.

    Umm.. I fucking live in Evansville and have driven the damn things.
    The route certainly is nice and twisty, not to mention all of the 2 bit burgs with speed traps.

    Now the route from Bloomington to Indy isn’t that way, but I was talking about Evansville to Bloomington.

    As for the rest of it, I knew about the airport kerfluffle up north, but I didn’t know about the bus from Bloomington to Chicago being subsidized by the state.

    I guess that’s one thing I’ll have to write my legislators about to get axed.
    There are certainly higher budget priorities here in Indiana (all day kindergarten being one) than bus service between Bloomington and Chicago.

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