Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday Mashup (2/22/11)

  • Gee, I wonder how many people in our government are feeling stupid right about now for “normalizing” relations with Libya given some of the apocalyptic rhetoric from that country’s leader-for-life Moammar Gadhafi, saying that he intends to “die a martyr” here?

    Yes, I know the process of normalizing diplomatic relations with him began under Clinton and full relations were restored under Dubya, but I still think we’ve cut this guy way too much slack for reasons noted here.

    The bottom line is that we and other countries have cozied up to this guy because his country sits on the largest oil reserves in northern Africa (if he were sitting on the world’s largest reserve of thumb tacks, we probably wouldn’t give him the time of day).

  • And oh noes! It looks like voters are abandoning the Democratic Party, as Fix Noise tells us here…

    ABC News' Amy Walter reports: A Gallup analysis of interviews of more than 350,000 Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia finds that fewer people defined themselves as Democrats in 2010 than did in 2008.

    In fact, notes Gallup "every state and the District of Columbia had fewer residents identifying as Democrats, or identifying as independents but leaning Democratic, in 2010 than in 2008." States carried by Barack Obama in 2008, including New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, and Nevada, saw some of the most significant shifts away from Democratic identification. Back in 2008, for example, Democrats had an 18-point lead in party affiliation in Wisconsin. By the end of 2010, however, that lead had shrunk to 2.6 percent.
    Cautionary stuff to be sure – however, when you read the linked ABC story, you find out the following…

    …as Gallup notes, “the Democratic losses have not led to major gains in Republican affiliation.” In other words, even as they are no longer identifying themselves as Democrats, Americans aren’t flocking in droves toward Republicans either. Still, party identification doesn’t always translate into votes. For example, in West Virginia, self-identified Democrats outnumber self-identified Republicans by 47.6 to 37.9 percent. A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won West Virginia since 1996.

    Ultimately, it means that the Electoral College map looks much more dynamic today than it did at the end of 2008 or even 2009.
    Yep, looks like more congressional seats will be in play in 2012, to say nothing of the presidential contest. And this time around, the House Repugs will have to play defense. And with their wretched performance so far, that should make things really interesting.

  • Finally, it looks like freshman (woman?) Repug U.S. House Rep Anne Marie Buerkle is all in a snit over the Senate Dems supposedly not “follow(ing) the House’s lead on cutting spending, even if it meant giving up their scheduled week back home,” as noted here.

    And this is precious…

    “I have only been here 40 days and may be new to the process, but I must wonder why the Senate is taking this week off if they are so concerned about a shutdown on March 4th,” Buerkle said in a statement.
    The U.S. House under The Orange One and that sleazy weasel Cantor work, quite literally, two weeks on and one week off (name for me any other occupation that allows that), as noted here. And Buerkle has the gall to lecture Senate Democrats about work habits?

    Besides, as noted here, Buerkle should really speak to the House Majority Leader on the matter of averting a shutdown…

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Tuesday that he was taking two actions he said are aimed at averting a government shutdown after March 4.

    He said he is introducing a bill temporarily extending federal funding for 30 days, to give time for spending talks with the Republican House, and that he has appointed an emissary to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to lead the talks over funding for the rest of the year.

    Reid has tapped his chief of staff, David Krone, to begin negotiations with Boehner’s chief of staff Barry Jackson.
    And in response…

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday blasted a proposal from Democrats to keep the government running for another 30 days at current spending levels.
    So basically, Cantor wants the Dems to cave before negotiations even begin (kind of like what Hosni Mubarak Walker wants the public sector unions to do in Wisconsin).

    I will admit, though, that Buerkle is probably the perfect spokesperson for the U.S. House Repugs and their “down the rabbit hole” approach to “governance” based on this (at least Mikey had enough of a brain to oppose the Patriot Act, which is more than I can say for this cornflake).
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