The biggest post-election losers… Or, six old white men that need to be set adrift on ice floes

    Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana, when asked a few days ago to reflect on the election, said, “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.” Sure, he’s probably lying, but I still think it’s safe to say that this comment, coming as it does, after last week’s election, reflects a tectonic shift that’s beginning to take place within conservative politics. Rocked to their very core by what took place last Tuesday, those Republicans who have somehow managed to remain in power, are desperately looking for something to cling to. Last Tuesday, they were shown, in epic fashion, not only that, due to the rapidly shifting demographics of America, they could no longer count on angry, old, white males to deliver election victories, but that the bulwarks that they’d put in place to hold off this eventuality, weren’t going to stand up to the pressure. Neither their aggressive voter suppression efforts, nor their well-funded and deceitful ad campaigns made possible by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, were going to keep back the surging tides of change. And, now, they’re scrambling to redefine themselves in such a way that doesn’t make a majority of Americans, who apparently aren’t so receptive to a platform built on race-baiting, rape and the end of social security, want to vomit.

    Deep down inside, I think the Republicans know what needs to be done if they want to keep from becoming a fringe party. They know that they need to take a scalpel to the heart of their party, and remove the cancer. It’ll be painful, but they know that they need to dig out the theocratic, xenophobic, anti-government and racist elements which have served them so well since Reagan’s ascendency in 1980. But, the problem is, they don’t know how to extricate themselves. (I want to use the analogy of the morbidly obese woman who became fused to her couch, but I think it might be in bad taste.) So, while they try to figure that out, they’re beginning to nibble around the edges in little ways, and test the waters outside of the area marked off as politically “safe” by the Tea Party. For example, the day after the election, we heard Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, in a complete reversal, say that Republicans need to help pass comprehensive immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for current undocumented workers. And, even more shocking, we started hearing conservative stalwarts, like Bill Kristol, suggesting that maybe Republicans should give up the fight to extend the Bush tax cuts, allowing them to expire on December 31.

    Clearly, there’s one thing these men hate more than taxes on the wealthy and the thought of undocumented workers voting, and that’s the prospect of losing what little power they have left. And, because of that, it looks as though we might actually start to see some legislative progress made in Washington, after four years of unprecedented obstructionism. And, at the same time, we’ll likely also see scapegoats being sacrificed as the reformation of the party slowly moves forward… Here, with that in mind, are my thoughts on some of the individuals who aren’t likely to recover.

    Shelden Adelstein: Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam Ochsorn, funneled more than $53 million of their money into Super PACs backing Romney, GOP primary hopeful Newt Gingrich, and other Republicans this last election cycle. Had Romney won, it’s been said that Adelson, who is worth over $20.5 billion, would have done quite well on his investment. It’s estimated that Adelson would have received a $2 billion tax cut under the Romney/Ryan plan. More importantly, though, many think that Adelson was backing Romney in order to stay out of prison. According to ABC News, “Adelson’s company has been the subject of a criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials.” (Adelson, according to a lawsuit filed by a former employee, may also have engaged with Chinese organized crime groups to open his Sands casino in Macau.) So it looks as though he gambled on a Romney administration that would be more sympathetic to his situation, and he lost. And not only did he lose on Romney – he also placed losing bets on Connie Mack, Richard Mourdock, Josh Mandel, George Allen, Shmuley Boteach, and Allen West. Out of all of his investments, only one paid off. Dean Heller won his Nevada Senate race against Shelley Berkley… While $53 million may be a drop in the bucket to Adleson, who is the 12th richest man in America, I’m happy to see him defeated in his attempt to subvert democracy by inundating the public airwaves with deceptive ads, and hope that he soon finds himself on trial for racketeering. More importantly, though, I hope that his experience is noted by other billionaires, and that, in the future, they’re less likely to engage in such anti-democratic activities.

    [note: While I'd like to say that unlimited spending on the part of billionaires like Adleson and the Koch Brothers didn't play a role in the election, it clearly did. PAC money not only helped Romney secure the nomination, but it, to a great extent, directed the national debate. It just so happens that, in these races, it wasn't enough to swing the election, either because the electorate saw through the bullshit, or because the Democratic ads, which were also well funded, by unions and private individuals, were more persuasive. This doesn't mean, however, that Citizens United is any less of a threat. Regardless of how things turned out this time, we cannot afford to let up on campaign finance reform, and we need to keep pushing to overturn the Citizens United decision by way of amendment... We might not be so lucky next time.]

    Grover Norquist: Anti-government Libertarian crusader Grover Norquist once famously stated that he’d like to shrink government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” And, over the past few decades, he’s sought to do just that as the head of an organization called Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). In his position as Executive Director of ATR, Norquist has been an unstoppable force – coercing those seeking higher office to sign what he calls the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” or simply “The Pledge,” which is essentially a sworn oath not to raise taxes, regardless of circumstances. And it’s made him an incredibly powerful man. In the past Republican primary, if I’m not mistaken, every candidate signed Norquist’s pledge. In a feature on 60 Minutes this summer, Steve Kroft described Norquist, quite correctly, as being “responsible, more than anyone else, for rewriting the dogma of the Republican Party.” But, now, post November 6, it looks like he may end up on the ash heap of American history. It’s being reported today that few incoming members of the House and Senate, of either party, are signing the pledge. According to The Hill, “About a dozen newly elected House Republicans refused to sign the anti-tax pledge during their campaigns, and another handful of returning Republicans have disavowed their allegiance to the written commitment.” The article goes on to state, “With Democrats picking up seven or eight seats, that means the pledge guides fewer than the 218 members needed for a majority. In the Senate, where Republicans lost two seats, just 39 members of the chamber are pledge-signers, according to the group’s records. That is a drop from 238 members of the House and 41 senators who committed to the pledge at the start of the 112th Congress.” This would have been unheard of last year, but, again, it seems as though the times they are a changin’… Norquist, for what it’s worth, does not believe that people are turning away from his radical “starve the beast” agenda that would see Social Security privatized, The Environmental Protection Agency shuttered, and FEMA defunded, among other things. In an interview yesterday, he said that Obama defeated Romney not because people rejected his extreme Republican ideology, but because Obama portrayed Romney as a “poopy-head.” Meanwhile, not only are fewer members signing his pledge, but, from what I understand, the Republicans are polling their constituents to see just how forgiving they’d be if their elected officials who had signed the pledge, chose to violate it. It’s impossible to know, but it looks as though, very soon, Norquist may not be in a position to hold the American people hostage to his corporatist agenda.

    [note: I think it's probably worth noting that Norquist, despite his comment about wanting to drown the government in the bathtub, would, if given the chance, do no such thing. It's not government that he has an issue with. It's government by the people. What Norquist clearly wants is a legislature that's bought and paid for by corporate America that simply serves to enact legislation drafted in far-right think thanks, like ALEC. (Norquist, by the way, is intimately connected to ALEC.) Furthermore, I should add that this negative reaction to Norquist has been building for some time. In late 2011, Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss was quoted as saying, "Grover Norquist has no credibility, so I don’t respond to him. He doesn’t deserve being responded to." And, at around the same time, Virginia Republican Representative Frank Wolf had the following to say on the House floor. “Simply put, I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with and has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream.”]

    Karl Rove: I hate Donald Trump, but he said something on election night that I liked. Right after he was done advocating violence, and calling for a “revolution,” Trump took to Twitter and said, “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.” As it’s rare that Trump gets his facts right on anything, I think it’s important to take a moment and acknowledge that, at least in this instance, he knew what he was talking about. Together, Rove’s SuperPAC, American Crossroads, and his 501(c)(4) “dark money” entity, Crossroads GPS, spent over $174 million this election cycle, and he has almost as little to show for it as Sheldon Adelstein. Just 1.29% of the $104 million spent by American Crossroads went toward backing winning candidates. (Crossroads GPS fared a bit better, with 14.4% of the $70 million spent going to winning candidates.) And, watching Rove on election night, as he freaked out and demanded that Fox News not call the election for Obama, you could tell that he knew what was unfolding. He knew that his moment was over, and that Crossroads was done. He knew at that moment that all of the wealthy conservatives who had opened their wallets for him, probably wouldn’t be accepting his calls in the future. And, to make matters worse, it’s being reported today that Rove may be in legal trouble for not having filed the appropriate registration for Crossroads GPS. And, with that, as they correctly point out at Salon, the “Myth of Rove,” has been shattered… Not only is he being laughed at on the Simpsons, but his own people are turning against him. According to a senior Republican consultant, “Crossroads was a failure and Rove’s core strategy of base-centric GOP politics is a failure… There are not enough white men for the Rove view to work any more. His time is past.” Hell, even Fox’s Megyn Kelly is talking back to him now.

    Mitch McConnell: At the beginning of Obama’s first term, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that he had two primary objectives… and neither was fixing the economy. McConnell said he wanted to ensure 1) the Republican takeover of the Senate, and 2) the defeat of President Barack Obama. And, last Tuesday, he failed on both counts. And, now, not only will he be severely weakened as Minority Leader, but chances are he’ll face a serious primary challenge the next time he’s up for reelection in Kentucky, where he’s seen by many on the far right as an ineffective “establishment” Republican. But that may not be the worst of it for McConnell. If he does manage to make it though his 2014 primary, he may then suffer the indignity of losing to Ashley Judd in the general election… which may be a very real possibility if McConnell continues on his current path, and forces us off the “fiscal cliff” rather than accept Obama’s mandate and give in on taxes.

    Donald Trump: Speaking of Trump, there’s a backlash brewing. It would seem there’s only so much the American public is willing to put up with when it comes to questioning the legitimacy of our democratically elected President. At present, there are over 500,000 signatures on a petition asking Macy’s to cut all ties with the race-baiting megalomanic. (You can sign here.) It may not be a huge thing, in and of itself, if the retailer stops selling Trump brand clothing and fragrances, but I think it could be sign of things to come, especially as the ratings of his reality television show continue to slide. One can easily see how Trump could have dug himself too deep of a hole this time to make his way out. Birtherism is one thing, but encouraging your fellow citizens to take up arms and revolt is quite another. Judging from their new ad campaign, though, the executives at Macy’s seem to find humor in Trump’s erratic behavior and willingness to be taken in by ridiculous conspiracy theories. (In the new ad, Trump is seen pulling on Santa’s beard to verify his authenticity.) Apparently, however, this view isn’t being shared universally by Macy’s customers, many of whom have apparently been cutting up their store credit cards. And one would hope that this anger would bleed over to The Apprentice. Last year, when Groupon pulled their support for the show, which airs on NBC, in the wake of a particularly grotesque birther rant, it seemed like there was some traction. According to the Hollywood Reporter, many of the show’s advertisers were pulling out. For whatever reason, though, it wasn’t enough to bring the franchise down. Maybe the circumstances are better this time, though. From what I can find online, no decision has been made yet by the network as to whether The Apprentice is coming back. I’m not sure when that decision is typically made, but, last year, the network announced the new cast for The Apprentice on January 4, so one would assume that a decision is being made right now. As that’s the case, I don’t suspect we have much time to waste. If you’d like to join me, you’ll find the network’s contact information here. As for what to say, how about something like, “He’s not only a detestable, loathsome man, but, more importantly, at least from your perspective, his ratings are down. This is an ideal time for you not only get rid of a poorly performing show, but to look like a hero for doing so.”

    Billy Graham: Graham was one of many religious leaders during this campaign cycle who deliberately chose to push the limits with regard to what’s considered acceptable political speech from the pulpit. And, now, as a result, his North Carolina-based church may lose its lucrative tax-exempt status. While no decisions have yet been made, several complaints have been filed with the IRS, claiming that electioneering laws had been broken. Hopefully, as a result, valuable church tax breaks will be forfeited. Regardless, I think it’s relatively clear that the influence wielded by Graham and others is waning. Here, with more on that, is a clip from The Atlantic.

    …79 percent of white evangelicals voted for Romney on Tuesday. That’s the same percentage that Bush received in 2004, and more than Senator John McCain received in 2008. The evangelical vote was 27 percent of the overall electorate — the highest it’s ever been for an election.

    Their support wasn’t enough. Not only did Obama win soundly, but four states voted to allow same-sex marriage.

    (Albert) Mohler (president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) blamed the loss on a “seismic moral shift in culture.” Americans’ values are indeed changing, but more seems to be at work here.

    First, evangelicals’ size is a limitation. While white evangelicals comprised a quarter of the electorate, other religious groups that lean Democratic have grown substantially. Hispanic-American Catholics, African-American Protestants, and Jewish-Americans voted Democratic in overwhelming numbers. Additionally, the “nones” — those who claim no religious affiliation — are now the fastest growing “religious” group, comprising one-fifth of the population and a third of adults under 30. Seven out of 10 “nones” voted for Obama.

    Second, evangelicals’ influence is waning. Conservative Christian ideas are failing to shape the broader culture. More than 3,500 churches close their doors every year, and while Americans are still overwhelmingly spiritual, the institutional church no longer holds the sway over their lives it once did. The sweeping impact of globalization and the digital age has marginalized the church and its leaders.

    Conservative Christian leaders often blame America’s so-called secularization, but as Peter Berger of Boston University argues, “Modernity is not necessarily secularizing; it is necessarily pluralizing. Modernity is characterized by an increasing plurality, within the same society, of different beliefs values, and worldviews.” Evangelicals once presided like chairmen in America’s political boardroom, but they must now sit down with others at a common table to dialogue and search for common ground.

    Third, evangelical leadership is wanting. A quarter-century ago, Christian mobilization efforts were rising, Christian advocacy groups were sprouting, and charismatic Christian leaders were popping up in every corner of the country. This is no longer the case.

    Politically influential pastors like Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy have died, James Dobson retired, and Pat Robertson has been relegated to the fringes of his own community. By any reckoning, few charismatic figures are able or willing to fill these voids.

    The leadership vacuum became painfully obvious during the Republican primaries, when 150 “high-powered” evangelical leaders, including Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer, met behind closed doors in Texas to determine which candidate should receive their endorsement. They chose Rick Santorum, but in the South Carolina primaries a week later, New Gingrich and Romney split two-thirds of the state’s evangelical vote.

    Additionally, organizations like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition are either defunct or defunded, while Focus on the Family has made clear its intention to move in a less political direction. The number and influence of evangelical organizations shaping the public square is greatly diminished.

    These converging trends create a perfect storm for evangelicals and radically transform the American public square. As Shaun Casey, professor at Wesley Theological Seminary, says, “The understanding that the evangelical vote is a kingmaking vote, I think, is now dead”…

    Damn… I want to go on, but I can’t keep my eyes open. I think this is a pretty good start, though.

    This entry was posted in Observations, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

      34 Comments

      1. Edward
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        Can you imagine a world without these men? The thought makes me giddy. I suspect, however, that some will surviving the revolution.

      2. anonymous
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Unfortunately, there’s still an audience out there for the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh and Beck, as demonstrated by the recent secession movement. The Republican party may make the decision to enter modernity, but their base isn’t going anywhere.

      3. Eel
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        I had absolutely no idea that Michael Jackson’s friend and “spiritual advisor” Shmuley Boteach was running for congress. How did I miss that?

      4. Demetrius
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        In 21st-Century America, I find the idea of nominating only old white men as right-wing assholes we would like to see set adrift on ice floes as somewhat out of date.

        Therefore, I would like help rectify this by nominating Herman Cain, Bobby Jindal and Michele Bachman, as well.

      5. Meta
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Demetrius,

        This is the most diverse congressional class ever. Unfortunately, almost all of that diversity is on one side of the aisle. You’re right, though. There are a few Republican assholes who aren’t old, white, men, but they’re few and far between.

        Here’s an interesting infographic on the incoming class.

        http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/11/13/1175491/113th-congress-diversity/

      6. Eel
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        As much as I like the idea of shoving them off on ice floes, I like your other idea about putting them to work in labor camps, building solar powered abortion machines, better.

      7. John Galt
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Mark is racist and ageist. He only chose old white men for execution. In the interest of fairness, I think some black children should be included.

      8. ypsijav
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Since you brought up Billy Graham, the whole scrubbing of Mormonism from the list of cults on his website for political reasons is really interesting. Do all the conservative Christians who demonize Islam and got behind a Mormon candidate really miss the fact that Islam is closer to mainstream Christianity than Latter-day Saints?

      9. Elf
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        I’d love to see all of these men start a U.S. version of The Lemon Party.

        Google it!

      10. Meta
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Speaking of the Dump Trump movement, it looks like the CEO of Macy’s isn’t backing down.

        Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren has come to the defense of the real estate mogul, after an online petition to get the department store to “dump Trump” as its celebrity spokesman garnered more than 500,000 signatures, Buzzfeed reports.

        “Please understand and appreciate that Macy’s marketing and merchandising offerings are not representative of any political position,” Lundgren wrote to Angelo Carusone, the man behind the petition, in a letter. “Ours is a free society compromised [sic] of a wide range of viewpoints.”

        Also, I will never forgive you for making me imagine these six men engaged in a lemon party.

        Read more:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/donald-trump-macys-terry-lundgren-petition_n_2137035.html?1352993802&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

      11. Mr. X
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Who’s down for a protest at Macy’s?

      12. SparkleMotion
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        I dig the talk about how all the divisiveness is on one side of the aisle in a comment on an article whose title suggests that we murder people that you don’t agree with.

      13. anonymous
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Setting people adrift on ice floes is not murder. He doesn’t say that they wouldn’t have food. I think it’s more about banishing them from society.

      14. anonymous
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Speaking of divisiveness, who saw this headline today?

        “Obama Won With ‘Gifts’ To Blacks, Hispanics, Young Voters”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/mitt-romney-obama-gifts_n_2133529.html

      15. 734
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        According to accusations, Adelson developed a “prostitution strategy” for his casino in Macau.

        This is from NBC News.

        “Adelson’s problems began with the sacking in July 2010 of Steve Jacobs, the head of Sands’ Macau operations. He launched an unfair termination lawsuit in October that year, alleging that he was asked to do improper things.

        That in turn seems to have triggered in early 2011 the SEC and Justice Department investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

        As Jacobs’ case has ground its way through Nevada courts, his allegations have become increasingly lurid — claiming that Adelson personally approved a “prostitution strategy” for his casinos, had triad links, and made questionable payments to Chinese government officials. The latter accusation related to the employment by Sands of a well-connected local official.”

      16. Rachel Maddow
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal would like a word with his Republican Party, please: “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that. It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

        http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/15/15192014-jindal-to-gop-stop-being-the-stupid-party?lite

      17. anonymous
        Posted November 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        I would argue that this guy is a bigger loser.

        http://hiphopwired.com/2012/11/15/florida-tanning-salon-owner-commits-suicide-over-obama-election-win/

      18. Meta
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        The line separating the pulpit and politics is being tested locally by Reverend Levon Yuille of Ypsilanti Bible Church . The following of from annarbor.com:

        An Ypsilanti pastor will file an appeal Friday after two courts dismissed his case to challenge a Michigan law that restricts what religious leaders can say about politics, according to the Detroit Free Press.

        The Rev. Levon Yuille, a conservative Christian, filed a lawsuit against Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette last month citing fear his right to speak about politics with his church members and others could be affected by the law, according to the report.

        The Michigan Election Law, enacted in 1954, states that any pastor or religious officer “shall not for the purpose of influencing a voter at an election, impose or threaten to impose upon the voter a penalty of excommunication, dismissal, or expulsion, or command or advise the voter, under pain of religious disapproval.”

        Read more:
        http://www.annarbor.com/news/ypsilanti/ypsilanti-pastor-challenging-law-that-limits-political-speech-of-religious-leaders/

      19. Huff Po
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        A federal lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin-based group representing atheists and agnostics argues that the Internal Revenue Service is violating the U.S. Constitution by allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to get involved in political campaigns.

        The Freedom from Religion Foundation argues that churches and other religious organizations have become increasingly more involved in political campaigns, “blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions.”

        Its lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Madison argues that the IRS is not enforcing the federal tax code, which prohibits tax-exempt religious organizations from electioneering. Not enforcing it is a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment and a violation of equal protection rights because the same preferential treatment is not provided to other tax-exempt organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the lawsuit contends.

        The lawsuit, which was filed against IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman, asks that the court order Shulman to initiate enforcement of the electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations.

        It also asks that the IRS initiate legal action against any churches or religious organizations that are believed to be violating the restrictions.

        Churches and religious organizations obtain a significant benefit from their tax-exempt status while also being able to engage in electioneering that other similar tax-exempt organizations do not do, the lawsuit argues.

        A spokesman for the IRS in Wisconsin declined to comment.

        The lawsuit cites full-page ads run this fall in the New York Times and other newspapers by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that featured a photo of renowned evangelist Billy Graham urging Americans to vote along biblical principles. Graham met in October with Mitt Romney and pledged to do “all I can” to help the Republican presidential nominee.

        The lawsuit also refers to an order from Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Ill., requiring all the priests in his diocese to read a statement urging Catholics to vote and stating that, “Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord.”

        The lawsuit also refers to “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a national event on Oct. 7 in which more than 1,500 pastors endorsed a candidate from the pulpit and then sent a record of their statement to the IRS, hoping their challenge would eventually end up in court.

        The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organization based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has organized the event since 2008. The group considers the IRS regulations against bringing partisan politics to the pulpit an unconstitutional government intrusion.

        For the past three years, the IRS hasn’t been investigating complaints of partisan political activity by churches, leaving religious groups who make direct or thinly veiled endorsements of political candidates unchallenged.

        The IRS monitors religious and other nonprofits on everything from salaries to spending, and that oversight continues. However, Russell Renwicks, a manager in the IRS Mid-Atlantic region, said in October that the agency had suspended audits of churches suspected of breaching federal restrictions on political activity. A 2009 federal court ruling required the IRS to clarify which high-ranking official could authorize audits over the tax code’s political rules. The IRS has yet to do so.

        The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which says it has 19,000 members nationwide, frequently files lawsuits challenging potential violations of the separation of church and state.

        In recent years it has challenged the legality of the National Day of Prayer, the placement of a cross on a war memorial in Rhode Island, and praying before sporting events and other activities at the University of Tennessee.

      20. SparkleMotion
        Posted November 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        I think the FFRF needs to carefully think about what it’s doing. If churches begin to get taxed, then electioneering regulations will no longer apply to them, and the Vatican will begin directly sponsoring billboards. Congrats, your plan backfired.

      21. Meta
        Posted November 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Franklin Graham: God May Have to Cause “A Complete Economic Collapse” to Save Nation From Obama

        http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/11/franklin-graham-god-economic-collapse-obama

      22. anonymous
        Posted November 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        I read an article at the Daily Beast this morning about Marco Rubio’s recent comments on the age of the earth, and though that I’d share the link here.

        Here’s how they introduce it:

        “Marco Rubio said Earth’s age is a great mystery. Fellow rising star Bobby Jindal’s state teaches creationism alongside science. Both Republicans are preaching reform, but if they and others keep pivoting away from common-sense science, the GOP will remain the Stupid Party—and fail. ”

        Here’s the link:

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/20/republican-politicians-must-stop-pandering-to-conservative-populism.html

      23. Elf
        Posted November 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Noticed this quote about Norquist and thought that you might appreciate it.

        “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Georgia television station WMAZ, a CNN affiliate, on Wednesday. “If we do it his way, then we’ll continue in debt and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”

        http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/22/chambliss-fires-off-on-norquists-anti-tax-pledge/?hpt=hp_t2

      24. Stephen
        Posted November 24, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I saw the move “Lincoln” on Thanksgiving and, for two and a half hours, I sat there in the theater wondering what the Republicans of that era would make of Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk. It kept me from enjoying the movie.

      25. Meta
        Posted November 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Lindsey Graham: ‘I Will Violate The Pledge’ To Not Increase Taxes

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/25/lindsey-graham-violate-pledge-increase-taxes_n_2187944.html

      26. 734
        Posted November 29, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        It’s hard to believe, but Pat Robertson came out on Tuesday saying that the world is older than 6,000 years old. “If you fight science you’re going to lose your children,” he said, shocking his audience.

        One wonders if this will negatively impact ticket sales at the Creationism Museum, which Robertson used to promote on his show.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/pat-robertson-creationism-earth-is-not-6000-years-old_n_2207275.html

      27. Meta
        Posted November 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        More people distancing themselves from Norquist.

        Every day, more Republicans in Congress are backing away from Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquit’s anti-tax pledge. For more than 20 years, the pledge, which stipulates that those who sign will never — under any circumstance — vote to raise taxes while in Congress, has virtually been a requirement for Congressional Republicans. According to ATR, just 16 of the 234 House Republicans and 6 of the 45 Senate Republicans that comprise the 113th Congress did not sign the pledge.

        However, the pledge may not have the staying power it once did. As of this writing, more than a dozen House Republicans — including Majority Leader Eric Cantor — and 10 GOP senators have distanced themselves from the pledge to one degree or another.

        Read more:
        http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/30/1259051/22-republicans-norquist/?mobile=nc

      28. Watching Ypsi
        Posted November 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        I can’t even image what it would be if Obama lost and Republicans took control of the Senate also. Norquist would be the man. YIKES!!!

      29. Meta
        Posted December 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        It looks like Ashley Judd might be serious about taking on Mitch McConnell to represent Kentucky in the Senate.

        http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/12/04/1277471/ashley-judd/

      30. Meta
        Posted December 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        It looks like Karl Rove is being demoted at Fox News.

        Karl RoveNew York’s Gabriel Sherman reports that Fox News is scaling back airtime for Republican pundit Karl Rove, in what appears to be a reprimand for Rove’s meltdown during the network’s live election broadcast.

        Sources told Sherman that Fox News chief Roger Ailes has ordered his staff to bench Rove and his fellow GOP pundit Dick Morris, two of the network’s most vocal partisan voices whose predictions turned out to be spectacularly wrong. According to Sherman, producers must now get permission before booking Rove or Morris on Fox shows.

        The move comes as Fox takes steps to rehab its image in the wake of Republican defeats this November. Rove, in particular, has been widely mocked by members of both parties, both for his onscreen tantrum and for the abysmal performance of his American Crossroads super PAC.

        Read more:
        http://www.businessinsider.com/fox-news-karl-rove-2012-12#ixzz2EDQFfc23

      31. Meta
        Posted January 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        James Dobson admits defeat.

        In his January newsletter, the hate group Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson comes out and admits that “Nearly everything I have stood for these past 35 years went down to defeat.” What he fails to understand, or more likely admit to, is why. In his newsletter he proceeds to lay the blame for his failures on the doorstep of President Obama, the Democratic Party and the disappointing Judas Iscariots of the Republican party. There is no acknowledgement that in re-electing this President, the country provided a sound repudiation of Dobson’s brand of extremism. It wasn’t any of the factions he cited in his newsletter that brought about his defeat. It was the electorate, who, among other things, has grown weary of the distortions and ugly tactics employed by social conservatism.

        “Now let me share my heart with you. I’m sure many of you are discouraged in the aftermath of the National Elections, especially in view of the moral and spiritual issues that took such a beating on November 6th. Nearly everything I have stood for these past 35 years went down to defeat.”

        Read more:
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/07/1177030/-A-demoralized-James-Dobson-admits-his-defeat

      32. Meta
        Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        The old men on far right are terrified of Ashely Judd.

        http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/karl-rove-more-ashley-judd-attacks-coming-87365.html?hp=l2

      33. Meta
        Posted March 27, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Ashley Judd just announced that she’s not running in Kentucky.

        http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/ashley-judd-i-am-unable-to-run-for?ref=fpa

      34. Meta
        Posted April 1, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        It looks as though fellow Democrats could have conspired against Judd.

        An adviser to Ashley Judd said that the decision by the actress to pass on a challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) next year was the result of a calculated effort by a small group of Democrats to stifle her electoral prospects.

        In a story published Monday in The Daily Beast, Jonathan Miller wrote that the “most egregious disinformation” about Judd and her would-be candidacy “came from entirely anonymous sources” and helped create an unfavorable narrative. Before she announced last week that she will not run in 2014, reports suggested that Judd told a group of supporters at a private dinner, “I have been raped twice, so I think I can handle Mitch McConnell.” Miller, who attended that dinner, said he “never heard her say anything remotely like that.”

        He also highlighted the recent suggestions that former President Bill Clinton had lobbied against a Judd candidacy in the hopes of getting Kentucky’s Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to run instead. Follow up reports later confirmed that Clinton had no problem with a Judd bid, but Miller said the damage had already been done — and now McConnell may be the ultimate beneficiary of the conniving efforts by Democrats.

        “But pity Alison Lundergan Grimes, the primary beneficiary of the anti-Ashley putsch. Like most Judd supporters, I hope Grimes runs, defeats McConnell and enjoys a long and successful career in Washington,” Miller wrote. “But there are two other equally plausible—if not more probable—scenarios: One, Grimes gets drubbed by McConnell, whose ruthless, take-no-prisoners campaigns have ended the political careers of four of his last five opponents. Or two, Grimes opts out of the race for another campaign, leaving McConnell with no serious opponent.”

        He continued, “All the while, I imagine McConnell sitting back, watching the antics with his sly, tight grin, enjoying how a small group of Democrats duped the so-called liberal media into creating the false narrative of a Democratic civil war. Only a master politician could get so damn lucky.”

        Read more:
        http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/ashley-judd-adviser-small-group-of-dems-duped?ref=fpb

      One Trackback

      1. [...] Judd would be a better choice to represent them in the Senate than the criminally obstructionist Mitch McConnell. (McConnell, it would seem forced Judd from the race after making it know that the election would [...]

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


      9 − = three

      You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

        Connect

        Aubree’s ad Farmer ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Josh Tear Header