Up to a Point

03.14.14

PJ’s Political Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatheads

A make-or-break fight for a House seat for… eight months, the CPAC straw poll’s awesome predictive powers, and Eric Holder’s dizzying logic.

U.S. Political Outlook: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatheads…

Spring arrives next Thursday, and with it the 2014 political season. Hearken to the bleating of newborn two-headed freak candidacy lambs. Watch the first tender green buds of poison ivy and deadly nightshade poke their heads through the composted manure of the nation’s electoral garden.

Tuesday’s Special Election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District…

May have been a harbinger of November contests… in pointlessness and cost.

Former unsuccessful lobbyist (his firm lobbied for Social Security privatization) David Jolly (R) and former unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate (she lost to Rick Scott) Alex Sink (D) were neck-and-neck in race for seat left vacant by death of incumbent Bill Young (R). 

If “Jolly Sink Race” sounds like a half-ass Chamber of Commerce stunt to attract tourists, the 13th District does include Clearwater and most of St. Petersburg.

More than $11 million was spent on electioneering, including almost $9 million in outside money from liberal and conservative PACs. Never mind that all three politicians, living and dead, are moderates. And never mind that there will be another election for the same seat in eight months.

A campaign of no importance, for the ballot approval of doddering retirees, having a war chest of $11 million, in a congressional district with 451,557 registered voters. Do the math. Should have given them $25 each and put them in line for the Early Bird Special at Denny’s.

(Sink sank. The 13th Congressional District ship of state flies the Jolly David from its mast. If anybody cares.)

Going to Be Quite a Political Party Fight This Fall, Even If Only One Political Party Shows Up…

“I think we are going to crush them everywhere.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell on Democrats? Nope. Sen. Mitch McConnell on Republican Tea Party-type activists.

“Mitch McConnell is, to me, the essence of the problem in D.C.”

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, the candidate hoping to keep Sen. Mitch McConnell from winning Senate reelection? Nope.  Republican Jim Ryun, the former Kansas congressman and Tea Party-type activist, hoping to keep Sen. Mitch McConnell from winning Senate primary.

Rand Paul Tops Conservative Political Action Conference Presidential Straw Poll…

No denying CPAC’s predictive powers, if you’re betting the under. Previous straw-poll winners:

      2013 – Rand Paul

      2012 – Mitt Romney

      2011 – Ron Paul

      2010 – Ron Paul

      2009 – Mitt Romney

      2008 – Mitt Romney

      2007 – Mitt Romney

Report From CPAC Indicates a Split Within the Split Within the GOP…

The New York Times, noting differences between older and younger CPAC attendees about “cultural conservatism”—and never once using the phrase “right-wing nut”—interviewed Republican Ian Jacobson.

“Known as Rooster, he was 33, with an ample beard, earrings, and a towering orange-and-aqua spiked Mohawk haircut…  ’I want us to return to our roots,’ Mr. Jacobson said.”

CPAC Event Coincides With Beginning of Daylight Savings…

If CPAC youngsters are so libertarian, why aren’t they as creeped out as I am about the government telling me what time it is?

Earworm alert! “Does anybody really know what time it is?”

Plus, “Spring Forward” sounds like some sort of lefty progressive fundraising scam.

Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing CIA spying spies CIA spying on Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing CIA spying.

Democrats, Also Wanting to Return to Their Roots, Are Trying to Attract White Males…

And are so clueless they need even my advice. Beer.  Bass fishing. Fewer tax increases and an FCC ruling requiring more hockey fight highlight reels on cable sports channels. Speaking of which—$329.94 for “NFL Sunday Ticket Max” on Direct TV?! Where’s a presidential executive order when we need one?

White males like rider mowers. Political ads showing Harry Reid on rider mower, mowing the Mall? No, too much danger to tourists.

Bass boats. Bow hunting for big bucks. Political ads showing Joe Biden with a compound bow in a deer stand on a bass boat? Yes, plenty of danger to Joe.

And Republicans Are Trying to Keep Pace With Rapid Changes in Public Opinion on Social Issues…

Marijuana legalization will be on the ballot this fall in more than half of U.S. states, including some conservative states where ballot initiative may conflict with voter-ID laws.

      “Do you have any form of identification?”

      “Dude, I’m standing right in front of you.”

      “I’ll need something with a photograph.”

      “Like a selfie? Cool by me.”

      “But can you prove your identity?”

      “Wow. Prove your identity. I’m like… I mean I work at this artisanal juice bar. But really I’m a drummer in a ska band. And I’ve got this idea for a app…”   

Meanwhile Top U.S. Law Enforcement Official Pleads Nolo Contendere on Enforcing Laws…

First, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Justice Department not to apply the federal law against marijuana in states where marijuana is legal.

Now, Attorney General Eric Holder tells state attorneys general they can refuse to uphold state laws that, in their opinion, defend discrimination, such as laws against same-sex marriage.

“Engaging in that process and making that determination,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, “is something that’s appropriate for an attorney general to do.”

Happen to agree with USAG on marijuana and same-sex marriage. But the idea of enforcing laws according to whether you like them or not seems a little loosey-goosey.

What about the law against the IRS smacking Tea Party-type nonprofits over the head with a two-by-four?

Top U.S. Law Enforcement Official Briefly Hospitalized on February 27th

Attorney General Eric Holder was feeling faint and short of breath. From trying to think logically?

Of course USAG and state attorneys general could resign in protest against laws that, in their opinion, defend discrimination. But that would mean—let’s not talk crazy talk—resigning. 

“Holder-That-Thought” in Kentucky…

State Attorney General Jack Conway refuses to appeal federal court ruling against Kentucky’s ban on gay marriage. Says, “I would be defending discrimination.”

Which he would. But now Gov. Steven Beshear, who doesn’t like the law either, has to hire an outside lawyer to defend the Kentucky law, because that’s the law in Kentucky.

And Kentuckians get to pay two attorneys—one for doing nothing worthwhile and the other for doing nothing at all.

Republicans Better Get Down on One Knee and Make a Proposal Here…

Because 53 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage. And 53 percent happens to be the percentage of the popular vote that Republicans got the last time Republicans had a decisive victory in a presidential election. (Which would be, in case anyone at the RNC is listening, and that seems unlikely, 26 years ago with George H.W. Bush.)

Not That Some Stupid Things in U.S. Politics Aren’t Bipartisan…

Have been looking at the details in the bipartisan Agricultural Act of 2014. Subsidies for fruits, vegetables, and organic produce were increased by 50 percent to $3 billion, a plus for the “eat-your-spinach” Obama administration. While younger CPAC attendees get repeal of 75-year-old ban on growing and researching industrial hemp. You supply the air quotes to go around researching and industrial.

Bonus Stupidity With Potential to Cross Party Lines…

Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing CIA spying spies CIA spying on Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing CIA spying.

Everyone in intelligence community so busy that of course we didn’t find out about Putin’s plans for B&D hookup in Crimea. 

North Korea Holds Elections…

Kim Jong-un and fellow members of the Workers Party of Korea win 100 percent of vote for 700 seats in the Supreme People’s Assembly with 100 percent voter turnout. U.S. political strategists paying close attention.

Dems have much to learn from North Korean get-out-the-vote campaign.

GOP-controlled state legislatures very impressed by North Korean voting-district gerrymanders.

Move Over, Don Rickles…

President Obama’s guest appearance with Zach Galifianakis on “Between Two Ferns” impossible to avoid on YouTube.

President: “If I ran for a third time it would be sort of like doing a third Hangover movie.”

Nolo contendere.