Sunday Evening Open Thread: Rooting for Injuries

gop rhetorical question sheneman

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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Lest we forget, at least us Dems aren’t faced with a choice between #1 candidate Gross Evil, #2 candidate Smarmy Evil & #3 candidate Bland Evil. From the Washington Post, “In chaotic GOP race, an intense battle for delegates plays out under the radar”:

FARGO, N.D. — For months, Bette Grande has tapped into her network of fellow conservative activists, pushing them to join her in supporting Ted Cruz for president. She has also laid the groundwork for a campaign of her own — to win a coveted spot as a delegate representing Cruz at this summer’s national party convention.

Grande’s work is coming to a head this weekend at a Ramada hotel and sports center, plastered with campaign merchandise, as North Dakota Republicans meet to choose the 25 delegates they will send to Cleveland in July. The priority for Grande, whether or not she wins a delegate ticket, is to make sure that those who do are committed backers of the senator from Texas.

“Until the slate of delegates is set, we’re calling or emailing everyone,” said Grande, who has juggled her work for Cruz with her duties picking up her grandson at day care.

In any ordinary year, this would be an obscure and suspense-free process, in which local party regulars are rewarded with tickets to the convention in order to focus on partying and casting a pro-forma vote for the presumptive GOP nominee.

But this is no ordinary year. The growing likelihood that front-runner Donald Trump will not secure the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination has forced the candidates to prepare for a once-unimaginable prospect: The nomination could be settled at a contested convention…

Most delegates who arrive in Cleveland will be pledged to certain candidates for the first round of voting, based primarily on the results of primaries and caucuses. But on a second ballot, many of the convention’s 2,472 delegates would be freed up to cast another vote.

The prospect of multiple ballots was an issue Saturday in Tennessee, where tensions flared as the state Republican Party finalized its list of delegates. Trump adviser Barry Bennett said he was “disappointed” that the state party did not follow through on what he thought was an agreement to pick Trump delegates that the campaign recommended. State GOP executive director Brent Leatherwood denied that there was any deal or that the party tried to harm Trump…

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Apart from sweet schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the weekend?



Wednesday Evening Open Thread: Lest We Forget

The Repubs have been just this bad for a loooong time. But in Dubya’s day, they could get away with being less public about their non-stop venality.

Apart from adjusting the signal-to-noise ratio, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



Bloc by Bloc Fighting

As I’ve argued in this space before, crazy-ass Florida is in many ways an apt microcosm of crazy-ass America, with coastal liberal and moderate population centers serving as a bulwark to contain the bubbling reactionary bile from the interior so it doesn’t overflow and wash everything sane and good into the sea.

Just as it matters very much who is elected president, it matters who is governor of Florida or any other state. But the composition of the legislature matters a great deal too. Florida is currently demonstrating what happens when the levee breaks.

Comically obvious supervillain Rick Scott is the current governor, and he has a Legion of Doom to carry out his evil schemes in the wingnut supermajority Florida statehouse, which, as befits an assemblage of dickheads, convenes in a laughably phallic facility:

fl capitol

Like most conservative small government champions, Scott is in favor of policing the hoohah of every female constituent and compelling groups of citizens to piss in a cup. Last Friday, Scott signed legislation to end preventive health funding to Planned Parenthood and regulate abortion clinics out of existence. Read more



NC GOP “Bathroom Bill” Is A Steaming Load Of Crap

So North Carolina state Republican lawmakers called a special session of the General Assembly yesterday to stop Charlotte’s LGBTQ anti-discrimination law from going into effect on April 1, and it turns out it’s not just Charlotte’s ordinance they want to outlaw, but any real progressive change sought by cities and counties in the Tarheel State.

WBTV obtained a copy of the proposed bill, entitled “An Act to Provide for Single Sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies and to Create Statewide Consistency in Regulation of Employment and Public Accommodations,” Tuesday night.

The legislation requires that multi-occupancy bathrooms be limited to just one gender, using anatomy and birth certificates as a guide and applies to executive branch agencies controlled by the Governor as well as Council of State members and the UNC System.

A provision in the five-page bill allows school districts to use single occupancy bathrooms to make accommodations for students in special circumstances.

DOCUMENT: Click here to read the full bill

In addition to the provisions of the bill seeking to repeal the bathroom-related portions of Charlotte’s non discrimination ordinance, the bill also addresses several workplace issues.

The second part of the bill is referred to as the Wage and Hour Act. Under the act, local governments would be prohibited from setting their own local minimum wage.

The next section of the bill seeks to declare that the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment is an issue of statewide concern and, as such, must be left to the General Assembly.

Finally, the last section of the bill is referred to as the Equal Access to Public Accommodations Act, which places issues of public accommodation in the jurisdiction of the General Assembly.

So in addition to killing Charlotte’s anti-discrimination law, with this stupid bigoted bathroom bill, the NC GOP is looking to undo all local anti-discrimination, minimum wage, labor protection and equal physical access laws. because smaller, more responsive government, right?

Which just proves again that Republicans don’t care about government that works, they care about government that punishes those people whenever possible so that they become somebody else’s problem.  The best part?  It’s a combination of “bathroom bill”, home rule elimination, and “workplace protection” bill all rolled into one steaming pile of toxic GOP diarrhea.

By the way, the bill passed the NC General Assembly overwhelmingly, 83-24, the NC Senate 32-0 (as all NC Senate Democrats walked out) and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory signed this travesty into law last night.  Total time on this legislation from start to finish: about 10 hours.

They had this ready to go, in order to steamroll any opposition to it and to prevent the kind of boycott backlash from building that Georgia is facing now over similar legislation.  Blindside the opposition and dare them to react.

It’ll be up to the courts now to get the ball rolling on this.

One big hurdle, which reportedly killed South Dakota’s bathroom bill: Banning trans students from using the school bathroom that comports to their gender identity could violate federal law, particularly Title IX. The Justice Department and Department of Education interpret the law not just to ban sex discrimination in federally funded schools, but also ban anti-trans discrimination. So by passing an anti-trans bathroom law, North Carolina could risk big federal funds for public schools.

And my home state is well on its way to a complete disaster.



Long Read: “Ted Cruz’s Howitzer”

cruz slogan may need work pett

(Joel Pett via GoComics.com)
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Ted Cruz is a smarmy, hypocritical thug. And if the stories in Andy Kroll’s TNR report are any sample, Jeff Roe is his perfect campaign manager:

… Roe wasn’t an obvious choice to join Cruz’s team. He had no personal connection to the candidate. He’d worked only on the periphery of a couple of presidential campaigns—Mike Huckabee in 2008, Rick Perry in 2012. He’d never even managed a winning statewide race.

Roe knew Cruz was his guy. He had studied practically everything Cruz had ever done and said. Both men believed that politicians too often waffled in the face of opposition, and failed to deliver on what they promised to their strongest supporters. “It pisses me off,” Roe told me recently. Politicians, he said, leave voters “behind, they take them for granted. Because of that, less and less people participate in the system because their values continue to get trampled and they don’t feel like there is an outlet for them to do anything about it.”

Roe also pitched himself as singularly qualified to run Cruz’s presidential bid, touting a pedigree few, if any other, operatives had—how he’d built his own full-scale political operation from scratch, with multimillion-dollar budgets, dozens of employees, running everything from TV to direct mail, fund-raising, polling, research, strategy. And he was ready to put the whole thing on pause and move to Houston for Cruz—to go all in…

What we’ve yet to see in this campaign is Roe’s other trademark attribute: the brass-knuckled approach to winning that’s made him many enemies. From his earliest days running state and local campaigns, he’s taken a scorched-earth approach to politics. Roe and his tactics have been blamed for damaging opponents’ lives and reputations, and even for contributing to a gubernatorial candidate’s suicide. (Roe doesn’t exactly hide from this reputation: His web site features headlines describing him as “ruthless” and a “leading practitioner of hard-ball politics.”)…
Read more



Late Night Open Thread: Encouraging the Two-Bit Racists

One can only hope Bill Bratton is correct about Ted Cruz. And that Donald Trump similarly fails.