Believing in magic and pseudo-science from another century shouldn’t be GOP prerequisites for the House Science and Technology Committee.
Republican Congressman Todd Akin told a Missouri news station:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare… If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Someone who believes nonsense like this has no part overseeing science policy.
Tell Speaker Boehner to immediately remove Rep. Akin from the House Science and Technology Committee.
con-tem-plate: Tweet of the day.
Because who knows more about science and technology that the guy who believes women’s bodies are magical and have biological defenses to spontaneously miscarry a pregnancy by rape if they didn’t like it (when it’s a ‘legitimate’ rape)?
“In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.” — Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), in a statement late Sunday, after saying in an interview earlier that victims of “legitimate rape” have biological defenses that fend off a pregnancy and therefore do not need legal abortion rights.
Clearly he did not “misspeak.” Read his statement: Akin has no alternative explanation for what he meant to say, obviously. Watch the video – his meaning was very clear.
“Comments by Representative Todd Akin, a Republican running against Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, are drawing condemnation after he asserted that victims of “a legitimate rape” have biological mechanisms to prevent pregnancy.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Mr. Akin told KTVI-TV of St. Louis in an interview that was broadcast on Sunday.
The comments drew a sharp rebuke on Sunday from Senator McCaskill, who is in a tough fight against the Republican candidate.
“It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape,” the senator said in a statement. “The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive.”” — The New York Times, “Candidate’s Comments on Rape Draw Criticism.”
Rep. Todd Akin Now Claims That He Misspoke When He Claimed That Women Who Have Been “Legitimately Raped” Don’t Get Pregnant: Akin has released a statement saying that he “misspoke,” although he does not clarify what he was trying to say.
Growing Number Of Conservatives Call On Akin To Withdraw After ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comments: Given his long history of political extremism, Akin’s views have long been out of step with the American political mainstream.
via: red3blog –
Image 1: “Todd Akin has been a great asset to the House Budget Committee. His principled approach to fiscal responsibility is exactly the kind of leadership America needs and I appreciate his hard work. —Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) [source]
Image 2: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” –Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo) | GOP Candidate for Senate [source]
Image 3: “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement.” —Romney Campaign Statement [source]
(Except that time Akin and Ryan introduced a bill that defined “forcible rape”.) [source]
Let’s be sure to show up this November to vote the stupid OUT.
fuckyeahvintage-retro: Grand Avenue in St.Louis, MO (1944)
WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—
Ralph Reed Concern Trolls Over Political ‘Dumpster Diving’ – During his Roundtable appearance on This Week, discussion turned to whether Mitt Romney’s pattern of bullying others and entitled attitude is relevant to the election at hand. [...] Reed actually had the nerve to ask who would want to serve “if they know people will be dumpster diving into your high school or prep school?” Wow, really? Because nothing says dumpster diving like half the Republican Party claiming Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, that he is really a Kenyan usurper, and the other half claiming that he’s Muslim but somehow influenced by an inflammatory Christian pastor in the church he attended for 20 years, and other assorted untrue stories they flog every damn day. Nothing says dumpster diving like pointing at his time in Indonesia as a time where he was indoctrinated by imams, or the nonsense they spewed just this week about how he dealt drugs in college. So here is Ralph Reed, calling a story corroborated by five independent witnesses and Romney himself “dumpster diving” while he and his band of religious thugs are largely responsible for the lies, rumors, and smears they laid upon Barack Obama for the last six years or so. Who would want to serve, indeed? – Hypocrites for Jebus
Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and his kinder, gentler approach to ending Medicare as we know it is no more popular in 2012 than it was in 2011. Which is a problem for House Republicans who voted for it and are now running for reelection. Consider Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY-25) and the convolutions she had in explaining the Medicare vote she took at a town meeting. [...] Her defenses, in order: 1) it’s not law! We all voted for it but that doesn’t mean we actually want it to be law; 2) we’re not going to take Medicare away from you, just your children and grandchildren; and 3) the Senate will never pass it anyway, so this really isn’t a real issue to be scared of, and you shouldn’t blame me for voting to end Medicare as we know it because, even though I voted for it, it’s not going to happen and isn’t that a relief. Oh, and yeah, look over there! Obamacare! Scary! Compelling stuff. Nonetheless, it’s what the Republicans have chosen, again, to run on for 2012. So it would be a really good time for Democrats to make a campaign pledge of no benefit cuts to Medicare, or Social Security. – Daily Kos
In a column for the white nationalist site VDARE.com, John Derbyshire (who was fired from National Review recently) offers unqualified praise for white supremacy: [...] Leaving aside the intended malice, I actually think “White Supremacist” is not bad semantically. White supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements History has come up with. There have of course been some blots on the record, but I don’t see how it can be denied that net-net, white Europeans have made a better job of running fair and stable societies than has any other group. As a reminder, this man who now openly praises a racial caste system wrote for one of the nation’s top conservative publications for nearly 12 years. – Think Progress | (Note: he’s right about one thing: a society run by white Europeans IS one of the better arrangements for white Europeans – just not anyone else.)
UNTIL 2016: Ron Paul effectively suspends presidential campaign – Supporters will focus on picking off delegates already won by other candidates. Paul has yet to make clear what he plans to do with his delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and activists planning on attending have expressed differing views and sometimes confusion as to what their goals will be heading into the event. – TPM
SHHHH! Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Monday during a secretive, closed-door ceremony in the state Capitol as police stood guard to keep out any uninvited political opponents of the sometimes divisive radio show host. – The Washington Post
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
RECALL ELECTION JUNE 5: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has not invested heavily into the recall elections against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R), according to an anonymous Wisconsin Democratic party official. [...] “We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” the official said. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.” – Raw Story | Contact the DNC
Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D) is calling for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon to resign from his position at the New York Federal Reserve Bank to acknowledge that he was in a position of trust after his company revealed that it had recently lost $2 billion as a result of bad bets on derivatives. “I’d like to see some real accountability here,” Warren told CBS host Charlie Rose on Monday. “I’d like to see Jamie Dimon, for example, resign from his position as a Class A director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.” – Raw Story
Romney donor pulls support, backs Obama, over same-sex marriage – “I feel that I no longer wish to support your presidential campaign and ask that you please return the maximum contribution that I gave to you last year,” Bill White wrote in a letter addressed to the former Massachusetts governor and obtained by CNN. “You have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and I do not support your run for president any longer,” White added. [...] White is the chairman and CEO of the New York-based consulting firm Constellations Group. He was previously the president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – the cultural and educational institution whose major presence is the floating World War II Intrepid aircraft carrier sitting on the Hudson River. White told CNN he has advocated on behalf of injured and fallen veterans for 20 years – being awarded the Meritorious Public Service Award from the Coast Guard and from the Navy. – CNN
IRONICALLY, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) says Obama is trying to ‘divide the country’ with marriage equality – Cornyn says that President Barack Obama only announced support for same sex marriage because “he can’t run on his record.” “He’s trying to raise divisive issues up to solidify his base and to divide the country,” Cornyn told CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday. – Raw Story
“I’ve always thought it as something that was still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple. I think it’s the right thing to do, so whether it costs him votes or not – again, it’s not about votes. It’s about people. It’s the right thing to do as a human being.” – Jay-Z, speaking on CNN.
image: (AP Photo/NOAA)
It was only the second time in U.S. history that the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center, which is part of the National Weather Service. The first time was in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S., killing a dozen people and damaging more than 1,000 homes in Tennessee.
This weekend’s outbreak could be a “high-end, life threatening event,” the center said.
[...] The worst weather is expected to develop late Saturday afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan., but other areas also could see severe storms with baseball-sized hail and winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters said. The warning issued Friday covers parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
1) BYE SANTORUM
Here’s a slip you’d NEVER make unless you’re thinking the word, or unless you use the word a lot in private conversations…
WATCH VIDEO below:
2) YOUR 2012 GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: MITT ROMNEY
Because why should the wealthy have to pay the same rates as the rest of us? Romney Campaign Gripes About The ‘Tax Problem’ Created By Romney’s $100 Million IRA — Wall Street Journal the “tax problem” created by Romney’s massive $100 million retirement account: In any case, swelling the IRA to the size Mr. Romney’s reached has “created a tax problem” for the former Massachusetts governor, said a Romney campaign official. Tax-law changes since Mr. Romney’s Bain tenure mean that long-term capital gains in regular accounts now are taxed at 15%. But IRA gains are taxed at ordinary-income rates upon withdrawal, which for Mr. Romney, under current law, would be 35%. “Who wants to have $100 million in an IRA?” said the campaign official. || NOTE: Romney’s own tax plan would alleviate his “problem” by implementing a 20 percent reduction in the top income tax rate. Even before he rolled out the second version of his tax plan, which took his absurd tax cuts for the rich even further, Romney’s tax plan would have cut his own taxes nearly in half.
Exclusive: Paul Ryan Will Endorse Romney — Ryan is appearing on the show of top Wisconsin talk radio host, Charlie Sykes, Friday morning, and Republicans speculated after BuzzFeed reported the endorsement Thursday night that the formal announcement could come Friday morning. The move is also timed to end the Republican contest, coming after another major conservative leader, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, backed Romney. It badly undercuts Santorum’s case that he can rally a conservative opposition to the moderate frontrunner, and is likely to further squeeze the money and political support Santorum has sought to command. The apparent cost of Ryan’s endorsement was Romney’s backing earlier this month for Ryan’s 2013 budget plan, which would cut the top marginal tax rate while reducing spending on Medicare and Medicaid, and shifting the federal health program for the elderly to a private voucher system.
Romney endorsements – FEEL the excitement! — Florida Senator Marco Rubio endorsed Mitt Romney for president yesterday, but you wouldn’t know it if you were listening to him today wherein he said this: “There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president — but they didn’t… I think Mitt Romney would be a fine president, and he’d be way better than the guy who’s there right now.” That’s quite a non-endorsement endorsement. “I wish someone else would have run, but they didn’t, so I guess I’m stuck endorsing this guy.” || NOTE: in case anyone dreams that Marco Rubio is proof that the GOP loves, loves, loves (!) Hispanics / Latinos, and Rubio’ll bring those voters into the ‘big’ tent, never forget what the rightwing base-nuts actually THINK about Hispanics / Latinos: Breitbart.com: If You’re Hispanic, You’re Definitely Not ‘White’
3) REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEA IN THE 21ST CENTURY
GOP Thwarts Repeal Of Big Oil Subsidies — Even though the major oil companies are turning in world record quarterly profits, today the GOP members of the Senate thwarted a bill to repeal their massive multi-billion dollar tax subsidies. Senate Republicans, including Scott Brown of Massachusetts, today foiled President Obama’s plan to strip $24 billion in tax subsidies from the country’s largest oil companies, potentially fueling an election-year issue among voters disgruntled by escalating gas prices. The 51-47 vote was mostly along party lines. Most Democrats, including Senator John Kerry, voted in favor of eliminating the subsidies but fell far short of the 60 votes needed to withstand a filibuster. […] It’s a win-win for the GOP. They get to pocket millions in Super PAC campaign dough via Big Oil donations AND they get to scream about the high price of gasoline. UPDATE: Think Progress points out: “The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas.”
“Republicans could have easily taken the stand of defending the Stand Your Ground laws. They could have said they welcomed an investigation and believed that the investigation would show the truth. But they didn’t do that. Instead, the went after the victim and portrayed him as someone who probably had it coming. This is all we need to know about Republicans and how they approach matters of race. When given an opportunity, they didn’t hesitate for a second to smear a dead kid.” — A comment on the article How The Right Deals With A Problem Like Trayvon Martin [image: liberalsarecool]
Missouri Republicans Embrace Birtherism, Pass Bill Requiring Proof Of Citizenship — HB 1046 was introduced by state Rep. Lyle Rowland (R). He explained why he felt the bill was necessary to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Rowland, a Republican from Cedarcreek, said he sponsored the bill because he doesn’t think there is enough vetting in the current process, which primarily relies on political parties to verify whether candidates meet all requirements. “This would just provide us with the verifying evidence,” Rowland said. Rowland and other Republicans deny that the bill is in response to charges that President Obama is not a citizen, but state Democrats are unconvinced, calling the timing questionable. “There is a large amount of people out there who don’t think our president if a U.S. citizen,” said Rep. Jacob Hummel (D).
4) APOCALYPTIC POTENTIAL (VOTE!)
Ezra Klein: Forecast: Republicans to take Senate in 2012 — Alan Abramowitz projects Republicans will keep the House and win back the Senate in 2012. More on his model here. If Obama is reelected, I’m not sure how much this matters: As Republicans are likely to control the House either way, anything that passes will require their agreement whether or not they also control the Senate. The real takeaway is that if Mitt Romney wins, he’s very likely to have a Republican House and a Republican Senate. And you can make major changes to the tax code, not to mention Medicare and Medicaid, through the 51-vote budget reconciliation process. || NOTE: IMAGINE THIS DEBACLE PASSING AS LAW:
- House Republicans Pass Paul Ryan’s Radical Budget – The House of Representatives today passed the radical Republican 2013 budget, authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), by a vote of 228-191. The budget would gut the social safety net, but give so much in tax cuts to the rich and corporations that it would still increase the national debt. 10 Republicans joined all the Democrats in voting no.
- Just a few reminders about the Ryan budget, and what the House Republicans put down as their political marker for 2012, their vision for a Republican-ruled America: It would give the wealthy a humongous tax break, the lowest tax rate since the Hoover administration; it would gut nutritional assistance, cutting it by 17 percent over the next decade; it would cut Medicare benefits and begin the process of killing the program; it would kill millions of jobs; it turns Medicaid into a block grant and deeply cuts federal spending for it, and for SCHIP, the children’s health program; and it breaks the already agreed upon Budget Control Act of 2011, threatening, once again, a government shutdown. [DailyKos]
1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
- Clooney: Obama’s Chances Are Good, But Don’t Get Cocky - Actor George Clooney on Sunday said that President Barack Obama was likely to be re-elected, but cautioned liberals not to get cocky “because you will always lose.” In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory, Clooney explained that the president has “always looked good to be re-elected.” “I happen to believe that Democrats are just very poor in general at explaining what it is when they accomplish something,” the longtime activist remarked. “If I was a Republican, if Obama was a Republican, I would be selling all of the, you know, he saved the auto industry, he got Osama bin Laden, he passed the health care bill that nobody could pass. If that was a Republican issue, I would be able to sell his presidency as a very successful one. But Democrats are bad at that. We like to pick each other apart. That’s our thing.” “The worst thing you could do is in any way feel safe or cocky because you will always lose,” he warned. Clooney added that unlike his good friend Matt Damon, he was not disappointed in Obama “in the least.”
2) THE 2012 GOP PRIMARY
- Scrambling Santorum lashes out at Romney in pivotal state of Illinois - Santorum, in a television interview on Monday morning, made a series of pointed remarks about Romney that almost certainly rule him out of consideration as Romney’s vice-presidential running-mate. Speaking on CBS, Santorum claimed Romney “is someone who doesn’t have a core. He has been on both sides of almost every single issue in the past 10 years”. That is a damning accusation for a politician, one that the Democrats could happily use as an ad in the fall.
- Santorum ‘does not care’ about the unemployment rate -“I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be. Doesn’t matter to me. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It’s something more foundational that’s going on. We have one nominee who says he wants to run the economy. What kind of conservative says that the president runs the economy? What conservative says I’m the guy, because of my economic experience, that can create jobs? I don’t know. We conservatives generally think that government doesn’t create jobs. That what government does is create an atmosphere for jobs to be created in the private sector.”
- Rick Santorum’s Secret Service Code Name in No Way Shows Messianic Self-Regard - Thought we were done with Rick Santorum, did you? Well SO DID WE! Then GQ had to go discover his Secret Service code name, which is Petrus, as in Rock, as in Peter, as in “And on this rock I shall build my Church,” which in no way, shape or form could be construed as JESUS FUCKING CHRIST THE MESSIANIC BALLS ON THAT GUY!
- Romney looks to win big in Illinois Republican primary - “Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory in Illinois,” Public Policy Polling said Monday in releasing a survey that showed Romney with a 15-point lead over Santorum, up from a 9-point lead in a Rasmussen poll released Friday. The former Massachusetts governor also has a commanding lead in the all-important delegate count as he seeks to be the Republican contender to take on Democrat Obama in the November 6 vote. [...] Romney’s campaign has spent millions flooding the Illinois airwaves with negative ads calling Santorum an “economic lightweight” and “Washington insider” with a voting record that belies the principles he espouses on the campaign trail.
- Romney “connects” with “people” in Springfield IL - ”These pancakes are something else, I’ll tell ya,” said Romney, standing in the dining room of Charlie Parker’s Diner in Springfield admiring the dish known as a “Charlie’s Famous Giant Pancake.” “These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good. I’m looking forward to getting one of these pancakes. Can I get one of these on the way out? Not the super big one, I can’t fit that in the vehicle, all right,” Romney joked. “The car’s only a Chevy SUV.”
3) THE 21st CENTURY REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY
- Sheriff Arpaio refuses to drop ‘birther’ investigation of Obama - “President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011, is suspected to be a computer-generated forgery, not a scan of an original 1961 paper document as represented by the White House when the long-form birth certificate was made public,” the sheriff said at a press conference. But his widely-reported investigation had little impact. “The media all came to make fun of me,” Arpaio told The Arizona Republic. “I’m a little concerned that all of their questions were zeroed in on credibility and that this has been rehashed. They didn’t even ask about the proof of the case. They didn’t ask about the facts that we had.” Many of the so-called “birthers” believe there is persuasive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya in 1961 and that his birth certificate was faked in order to make him eligible for the presidency.
- Hunter DK: “…The main thing Sheriff Joe has proven (and he keeps proving it again and again, for some reason) is that the people of Mariposa County, Arizona are outright morons. That’s really the only reason I can possibly think of for why this clown still continues to hold office, despite federal investigations, a crime rate that has gone up, celebrity ride-alongs gone bad and “investigations” whose only apparent purpose is to repeatedly humiliate all involved. He seems to be bad at every single part of his job except the self-promotion part, and yet he still keeps going strong, so at least the rest of us will have an ongoing source of dark comedy…”
- Illinois Republican primary voters: President Obama is a secret Muslim and might not be American - completely ridiculous “beliefs” and from the state where Obama was a resident, state senator and U.S. Senator. This isn’t Mississippi or Alabama – it’s just hardcore Republican primary voters.
Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Not sure: 37
Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Was born in U.S.: 36
Not born in U.S.: 36
Not sure: 28
Do you believe in evolution, or not?
Believe in evolution: 41
Do not: 43
Not sure: 16
4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN
- Idaho Senate votes to require pre-abortion ultrasound - (Reuters) – The Idaho Senate on Monday approved a measure requiring women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound before ending a pregnancy, joining a number of states passing ultrasound measures to discourage abortions. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives, where it was expected to pass.
- Romney Holds The Line: No Free Birth Control - ”If you’re looking for free stuff, if you’re looking for free stuff that you don’t have to pay for, go vote for the other guy, because that what he’s all about,” Romney retorted, making an economic case against government handouts. “The idea of borrowing a trillion dollars more than we take in is not just bad economics, it’s immoral. I’m not gonna do it, and I’m not gonna make a promise we can’t deliver.” “Where do you suggest that the millions of women who receive their health services, such as mammograms and HPV vaccines, go?” she asked. “Well, they could go wherever they would like to go. This is a free society,” Romney said. “But here’s what I say — the federal government should not tax these people to pay for Planned Parenthood.” // Aaaaand HERE is where one would naturally turn to the “free handouts” to the wealthiest one percent in Romeny’s own “tax plan” which would actually cut his own taxes by half.
5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT
- Democratic Group Celebrates Return Of Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan With Film Trailer - Rep. Paul Ryan’s latest plan for deep tax and spending cuts draws this ad from the liberal group Americans United for Change, taking aim at its slashing popular programs. “Like Weekend at Bernie’s, even when no one in America wanted to see Weekend at Bernie’s II, they went ahead and made the sequel anyway.”
- Republicans to unveil their budget blueprint - [House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's] latest budget poses a risk for Republicans in an election year as it again includes proposed reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, the popular but costly health insurance programs for the elderly and the poor. It would transform Medicare from a traditional fee-for-service health care system for seniors into a voucher system giving them money to purchase insurance on the private market. The Ryan plan would mark “the end of Medicare as we know it,” Representative Janice Schakowsky, a Democrat, told reporters. “Some estimates are it would cost seniors out of pocket some $6,000″ per person per year more than current costs, she added.
- All 3 Missouri GOP Senate Candidates Stumped When Asked To Identify The Minimum Wage - Three Missouri Republicans running to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November were asked during a radio debate on KMOX what the federal minimum wage is and whether they would vote to increase it. None of the three knew what the minimum wage [was], but all knew that they would vote against increasing it, regardless. The candidates’ explanations for not wanting to raise the minimum wage ranged from nonsensical (Brunner said his business gave “better than the minimum benefits”) to extreme, with Akin calling for scrapping the minimum wage altogether. “I don’t think the government should be setting prices on wages in any way shape or form,” said Akin. Steelman was opposed to raising the minimum wage because she “think[s] it’s high enough as it is.” [...] Perhaps explaining their ignorance of the current minimum wage is the fact that none of the three candidates personally live anywhere near it.
- First Day of Spring Vernal Equinox 2012 - Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. (EDT).
- Spring Arrives with Equinox Tuesday, Earliest in More Than a Century - Across much of the United States, this has been an unusually mild winter, especially for those living east of the Mississippi. Not a few people have noted that spring seems to have come early this year. Of course, in a meteorological sense that could be true, but in 2012 it will also be true in an astronomical sense as well, because this year spring will make its earliest arrival since the late 19th century: 1896, to be exact.
- GOOD IDEAS: Brits to See How Taxes Are Spent - LONDON—Every British taxpayer is to receive a personal statement detailing exactly how their taxes are being spent as part of the government’s drive to make the tax system easier to understand and more transparent.Treasury chief George Osborne is expected to announce in tomorrow’s budget that Britain’s 20 million taxpayers will receive the annual statements from 2014. [...] The statements will set out how much income tax and National Insurance—workers’ contribution toward the state-funded health system—each taxpayer contributes. It will also break down the main areas of spending on public services and how much of the taxpayer’s contribution goes on each.
Waking Up to Santorum - As David Axelrod notes, Mitt’s Super PAC is going to be banging away at Santorum, but I don’t think he’s as soft a target as Gingrich, at least for Republicans. His weakness as a general election candidate is his bigotry, but that’s a strength among the 27 percenters, so Romney can’t mention it. Instead, the Romney campaign will be attacking Santorum’s earmarks when he was in Congress. That’s a far cry from adultery and moon bases. Let’s face it: in their hearts, the Tea Party base has secretly wanted Santorum all along, but they held their nose and voted for Romney. With 11 caucuses in March, they can come out of the closet and wallow in it.
Diminishing Santorum’s victories: So tomorrow’s news reports will say it was a big win for Rick Santorum. The numbers, however, are so low as to be laughable: if the vote-per-precinct ratio holds up, a total of 65,000 people will have participated in the GOP caucuses [in Minnesota]. This compares with 1,275,409 Minnesotans who voted for John McCain in 2008, so something like 5% of Minnesota’s Republican voters participated tonight. That is hardly enough to give Santorum a ringing mandate, but, on the other hand, that’s how democracy works. You have to show up.
As a matter of fact, if you announce that there can exist no possible information that might change your mind about abortion, the death penalty, marijuana, same-sex marriage, and the inheritance tax, then yes you are an unreasonable person—or anyway, an unreasoning one. I’ve changed my mind about same-sex marriage as experience has dispelled my fears of the harms from same-sex marriage. If somebody could prove to me that marijuana was harmless or that legalization would not lead to an increase in marijuana use, I’d change my mind about marijuana legalization. And so on through the list. - David Frum
Mitt Romney is on the Wrong Side of Every Issue - The Ninth Circuit Appeals Court struck down Proposition 9 in California today by declaring that it is unconstitutional and, right on queue, Mitt Romney immediately criticized the decision and blamed activist judges for denying the will of the people. [...] I don’t care what space-god Romney worships, but pledging to overturn same-sex marriage as president while also donating millions of dollars to the religious groups bankrolling anti-gay campaigns crosses a line that should not be crossed.
Mormon Church ‘owns unregulated gun sale website’ - KSL.com was criticised by Mayor [Bloomberg]‘s office for running classified adverts which allow individuals to buy and sell handguns and other firearms without proper background checks and no questions asked. The site is owned by Deseret Media, the for-profit arm of the Church of the Latter Day Saints – also known as the Mormons – which has come to prominence recently as a result of the presidential run of member Mitt Romney.
Mentioning Coffee In Romney’s Presence a Form of Grave Offense - Alan Reynolds showed up to a Mittens rally with a sign bearing the (mysterious?) collection of words, “Tea Party Includes Cuban Coffee Romney.” NOT COOL, said Romney campaign staff. Because Mitt Romney does not drink coffee. It is against his magick moon religion. Therefore this hilarious nonsense phrase must be kept away from Mitt AT ALL COSTS and Reynolds was told to leave. No, we don’t understand it, either! Does Mitt Romney melt away like the Wicked Witch if he so much as reads one of the special Mormon naughty words? That’s one theory. The other conclusion one might draw is that Mitt Romney’s campaign staff does not know how to properly interpret teabagger signage, ha ha.
Uh-oh, It’s Morning in America | Paul Krugman - Nobody does hissy fits like Karl Rove; the master of hardball, dirty-trick politics is constantly outraged, outraged, at his opponents’ underhanded tactics. And the latest hissy-target is the Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl, starring Clint Eastwood. Jon Cohn gets it: it’s actually a double-edged problem for the Republicans. They hate any reminder that they were dead wrong on the auto bailout; and they hate any thought that the Democrats are becoming the party of optimism. Hey, only Republicans are allowed to celebrate American success!
President Obama on Super PACs: We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules - This is rather unfortunate, but what other choice does Obama have? If he doesn’t deploy his own Super PACs (while never actually coordinating with them, wink), the gargantuan amounts of money the Republicans will throw into the race would give them an overwhelming advantage: We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules — Blog — Barack Obama.
Bachmann: ‘I was the perfect candidate’ - The Minnesota congresswoman was asked by Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt which of the remaining candidates was the most conservative during an interview Friday, and said none of them measured up to her conservative credentials. “I was. I was the perfect candidate,” Bachmann said in response. [...] “America had their chance with the perfect candidate. But any of our candidates are going to be acceptable to the American people, and more than acceptable, because right now, if you look at the Gallup map that came out this week, President Obama is in big trouble all across the country…. Honestly, I don’t think endorsements make a lot of difference … I’m looking at November. I want to make sure that our nominee wins. And so my goal is to be a unifying person who brings the factions together, because now primaries produce factions within a party. And my goal is to bring the Tea Party, evangelicals, mainstream, establishment, and also independents and disaffected Democrats.“