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Court says Texas redistricting law actually discriminated against Latino voters…

 

It seems a redistricting plan signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters. So said a three-judge panel today in a unanimous decision. The judges found that seats belonging to white incumbent members of Congress were protected under the plan while districts belonging to incumbent minorities were targeted for changes.

The court said it was

“…persuaded by the totality of the evidence that the plan was enacted with discriminatory intent.

There was

“…sufficient evidence to conclude that the Congressional Plan was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent.”

It is clear that Texas Republicans  want to suppress minority representation in order to keep a rising Hispanic population from turning this red state into a blue one in the near future.

Texas’ voter ID law is till on the books but is  being challenged by the Department of Justice.

 

Cafe Owner After Hosting Romney Event: “I felt like it was a mocking”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a story like this one from Iowa during the last couple of weeks of campaigning.

Dianne Bauer opened up her cafe in Council Bluffs to Mitt Romney and his campaign for a small round table

Romney in an Iowa Cafe… just like you and me!

discussion last Friday morning before his speech at Bayliss Park.

Bauer has made her cafe available to politicians before with no problems:

“With Rick Perry he made a point of stopping in the kitchen before he ever went to the other side to address the public and the media to thank us and introduce himself to us.  That’s what I thought we would get here, just normal. This was all out, like you’d think Obama was here.”

Bauer’s issues with the campaigns staffers started the night before when they started staging the cafe for the event.

She described them as “arrogant” and said her cafe was not treated with the respect it deserved.

“Stuff got broke. My table cloths they just got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room,”

The campaign told her to send them an itemized list of anything that was broken, and they would pay for it, but Bauer says that won’t fix everything.

“My dad’s picture, an emblem my dad gave me, it got broke. Those aren’t things you can replace,”

Bauer didn’t even get to meet the candidate she closed half of her restaurant down for.

“Every time we tried to go out or look, secret service was right there.”

She was complaining about the event to a friend when reporters overheard her and posted about it online. Romney apparently saw the post and called Bauer himself. He explained that it was just a misunderstanding that she did not get to meet him, but the phone call didn’t smooth things over for her.

“He responded ‘well, I’m sorry your table cloths got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room’ and I took it as mocking. “We’re the ones he’s wanting to get the votes from, you’d think we would have been treated better.”

She says the whole experience left her wondering:

“With how he treated me, is that how he’s going to treat others? You know, if he gets in office is he going to be that way to us little people?”

But one thing is for sure, she won’t be letting any more politicians through her cafe doors.

The Flipper is trying to get back in the good regard of Latinos…

… but he may have moved so far to the right that his move to center is not believeable. Take it’s position on Immigration and the Dream Act.

From the NY Times:

The Flipper - Flopped

The Romney campaign appears to have begun shifting to the center on immigration, after staking out a position to the right of opponents like former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

During the primary fight, Mr. Romney said he would veto the existing version of the Dream Act, or the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would grant illegal immigrants brought into the country as children by their parents a pathway to citizenship. He labeled it a magnet for illegal immigration. And he criticized Mr. Perry for granting young illegal immigrants in-state tuition to Texas universities.

On Thursday, campaign aides said Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, was not referring to the most draconian portions of Arizona’s immigration law when he said during a debate that Arizona could be a model for the nation. He was referring specifically to the “E-Verify” measure that requires employers to check the legal status of job applicants electronically.

Romney is looking at getting illegal immigrants to voluntarily leave the country, too. He’s a real pal to folks who are both a large work force and a growing voting block.

 

 

 

A Quote for the Morning – Here’s some prime speculation…

So the rumor is that Newt has picked Rick Perry to be his VP partner… Wouldn’t that make a swell team?

If there is any chance that a brokered convention, like the one the Repiglicuns are getting closer and closer to having, this could be the nominated package. You can bet the Democrats are saying “Good luck, guys.”

A Newt staffer said this, though:

“Gov. Perry thinks Newt Gingrich is the strongest conservative to debate and defeat President Obama and truly overhaul Washington. The speculation is humbling but premature.”

Primary Poem

Today’s the day that Perry quit.

His backing goes to Newt, not Mitt.

And Newt’s ex-wife may crash his carriage…

She says he wanted Open Marriage.

Now Iowa has changed its score

and Rick leaves Mitt upon the floor.

Ron Paul takes all this at its face…

Ignoring his past views on Race.

So four are left in fume and smoke

And Saturday will be a joke.

Let’s look at South Carolina Polling:

It doesn’t look like a commanding lead for Romney.

 

The former Massachusetts governor’s lead is so small in South Carolina that he’s essentially tied with Newt Gingrich, according to a poll conducted for The Augusta Chronicle by InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research:

Romney and Gingrich are in a statistical tie.

The really dirty advertising is starting across the board, so expect these numbers to change.

The Polls close in New Hampshire in about two hours…

… and none of the news programs have any idea of where the results will be. They are all bouncing around the idea of Romney as the winner without committing themselves to that as a final opinion… and the big controversy is who will come in second.

Will Paul screw up Romney’s lead? Will Huntsman’s apparent rise in poll numbers make him the second placer and hold Romney’s numbers down? And what about the angry drive of Gingrich who seems to want Romney destroyed?

MAKING AMERICA GREAT

On top of everything else, eyes are starting to turn to South Carolina with a question as to how many of these guys are going to be running there. Gingrich is already spending millions on anti-Romney films. Perry is using his New Hampshire campaigning to reach South Carolina audiences… he’s likely to be dead last in NH. He’s also the one most likely to disappear after tonight.

Then there’s Santorum. He doesn’t seem to have the same push he gained in Iowa and, given his views on contraception, welfare reform (ie: take money away from the poor, especially the black poor, so they will work) and his anti-gay marriage and adoption stance, he may be turning folks off – FINALLY!

If I were a Republican (that is sooo hard to say), I’d vote for Huntsman. At least he seems to be campaigning to be everyone’s president… not just right wing weirdos.

Meanwhile in South Carolina, here’s what’s polling:

Stephen Colbert? Are people taking this prinmary seriously?

Quote for a Sunday (about Last Night’s Debate):

English: A photo of author and political comme...

“But the real lesson of this debate is that this crew is the worst assembled for the nomination of a major party that I can recall.”

 – Andrew Sullivan

So true, so true. And this debate was only topped by this morning’s update Debate – or Romney hunt – where the five other clowns got to continue sniping.

Waking up to Romney by 8 votes… Really!

Romney and Santorum… a close tie at 25%, but Romney led by 8 votes. Ron Paul was 21%. Gingrich was 13%. The rest were so low it didn’t matter.

My main view of the Iowa Caucus was that it was meaningless. No one came out with enough of a lead to be the official Republican challenger. The three at the top will certainly be easy pickins’ for Obama (you can come back in November and quote me on that.)

Next Tuesday is New Hampshire and that’s a winner-take-all affair. Let’s see what happens then.

Here’s a good one – Virginia Republican Primary will be a little lighter…

In a major stumble, both Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich came short of Virginia’s ballot requirements and will miss the Super Tuesday state. As far as I know it’s too late for them to do anything about it (perhaps they can seek write-in votes, but that will take mucho effort.)

This is a reasonable sign of each man’s management/organization capabilities, no?

Rival candidates Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) qualified for the primary. On the Democratic side.

It was unclear if Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum or former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman submitted petitions to the state board in time.

This blog is starting its 8th year… and it began with a Presidential campaign…

And here we are now watching a crowd of, frankly, insane Republicans fighting to come up with a candidate other than Mitt Romney. No matter who gains footing… first Bachmann, then Perry, then Cain and now Gingrich… Mitt stays at about 25% of the voters. Nothing seems to drive his numbers up.an

Then again, he has plenty of money and is making fewer mistakes than his competitors, despite his apparent flip flops from his term as Massachusetts Governor.

Obama seems to be focusing on Romney and Perry. I don’t think he worries about Gingrich and he certainly didn’t worry about Bachmann and Cain. What would really be scary for Obama would be Huntsman, the one Republican who seems to cover a broader base of citizenry and who has the talent to serve in office, coming up from the bottom to win the primaries. Given his money and support ratio so far, it doesn’t look like Republicans see the advantage of Huntsman.

So this blog is stomping into the campaigns a little earlier than usual, but that’s the way the world is this year.

Dammit!

Joke from Rick Perry:

“I think the idea of saying, ‘Listen, I’m gonna build a double fence, we’re going to put alligators between it, and we’re going to put lava in there, as well.’ You know, one tries to outdo the other one. That’s 2,000 miles. The idea of building a 2,000 mile fence costs a huge amount of money, takes a very long time.”

– Rick Perry

It just happens that this was a joke Obama had used before and that Perry had criticized ( actually he said that Obama  “interested in trying out forSaturday Night Live, it seems like. He wants to play to what he considers to be the humorous side.”

Quote of the Day – S#*T from Mitt…

Romney Joins the Ranks of the Inverted

“As to what to do for the housing industry, specifically, and are there things that you could do to encourage housing: One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up. And let it turn around and come back up.”

– Mitt Romney on the mortgage crisis,

Wait until they try to find renters that can afford them.

A noted Conservative rates the participants in last night’s Economics Debate…

I didn’t get to see the debate because we don’t get the Bloomberg Network… so I’ve been reviewing it on line in pieces. I’ve also looked at remarks around the web commenting on it. Andrew Sullivan, whose opinions I usually disagree with, made an interesting summary which the parts of the debate I have seen back up:

“Huntsman I can understand and appreciate. Perry is an empty bad suit. Romney lies with such facility it unnerves me. Bachmann is a fanatic, as, although I am extremely fond of him, is Ron Paul. Santorum just seems like a lost child from the 1950s, trying to have the campaign he dreamed about when he was ten. Cain is an egomaniac businessman with a talk show host patter and a mild wit. Gingrich is a giant, gaseous asshole.”

I especially agree with his view of Gingrich, who is still in the race because…?

Debate Audience Does It Again…

It was bad enough that the Republican debate audience did the “let them die” chant at the previous gathering of dolts, last night they booed a gay soldier who asked a reasonable question: would these clowns back up the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.:

Take a look if you missed it:

If , as is estimated by some analysts, the gay population is about ten percent of the voting block, these damned fools don’t seem to mind that they’ve cut off another vote source.<img title=”Send Us Mail” src=”https://underthelobsterscope.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ppals1.jpg” alt=”” width=”72″ height=”72″ />

New Poll pulls Obama ahead of Perry by 11 Points

Perry is heading down!

Last week when Perry pulled ahead of Obama in the polls, the tea party folks were cheering.

Looks, though, like Perry’s “Ponzi Scheme” statement on Social Security and Obama’s active push for the American Jobs Act has switched things around. It’s now 52 to 41 and still spreading apart.

In Republican-only polling, Romney is ahead with moderates, but perry is ahead with conservatives… and conservatives seem to be controlling the Party.

Plenty to watch out for…

Another reason why Governor Perry does not deserve our respect…

Perry Event 2/1/2010

Mr. Death Penalty

From The Nation (these are exerpts…please read the whole article here):

Is Rick Perry Ready to Execute an Innocent Man?

As soon as Rick Perry threw his hat into the 2012 electoral ring, anti–death penalty critics brought up his staggering execution record as governor of Texas: 234 prisoners have been put to death under Perry’s watch, a number of whom had serious innocence claims. Most famous among them is Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 and whose case opened up an investigation that Perry has taken aggressive—and largely successful—measures to squash. But a lesser-known case could also haunt the governor if it reaches his desk: that of Larry Swearingen, convicted and sent to death row for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 19-year-old college freshman named Melissa Trotter in 1998. Like Willingham, Swearingen was convicted largely on circumstantial evidence and a history of run-ins with the law. But Willingham was convicted based on the inexact science of arson investigations, whose flawed assumptions have been slow to evolve. The scientific evidence in Swearingen’s case, medical experts say, is beyond dispute—and it proves his innocence.

There’s another difference: Swearingen is still alive.

Swearingen was scheduled to die on August 18. But his execution was stayed in late July by the state’s highest criminal court, the notoriously pro-prosecution Court of Criminal Appeals, in order to have the trial court consider new evidence: Histological samples of Trotter’s cardiac, lung and vascular tissue that a growing number of doctors, including well-respected Texas pathologists, say show conclusively that Swearingen could not have killed Trotter.

But is that enough? The Swearingen case has raised questions about the intersection of science and the law: how courts and cops view science, and how decisions are made about what kind of scientific proof is “good enough” to override the type of circumstantial evidence that lends itself to the finality of conviction that Texas courts crave—especially in death penalty cases.

—–

Three days after Trotter disappeared, police arrested Swearingen on outstanding warrants. After her body was found, Swearingen was charged with capital murder—according to the state, Swearingen kidnapped, raped and then murdered Trotter by strangling her with a single leg of pantyhose, cut from a pair, before dumping her body in the forest. Prosecutors sought, and got, the death penalty.

Yet Swearingen maintains his innocence, and his date with death has been postponed three times by the courts. At issue is the science surrounding Trotter’s death, specifically, the science of decomposition. Doctors say the histological evidence shows conclusively that Trotter had not been dead for twenty-five days when her body was found. Samples of Trotter’s tissue—taken almost three weeks after Swearingen was locked up—are consistent with that of a person dead less than a week. Despite doctors’ insistence that Trotter could not have been dead and her body left outside for nearly a month, Texas authorities remain unconvinced that this proves Swearingen’s innocence. Trotter’s parents, too, remain certain that Swearingen killed their daughter. “How long can they examine this evidence?” Sandra Trotter asked in the Houston Chronicle this summer. “From the victims’ rights view, when does this end?”

—–

Courts in Texas have proven on numerous occasions that they do not consider scientific evidence as representing a gold standard for reliability. This has happened, infamously, in DNA cases; DNA science is considered so reliable that courts rely on it in the face of whatever circumstantial or eyewitness evidence would contradict it. In Texas, that has led so far to the exonerations of forty-four men, most convicted of sexual assaults—and more than one who had been sentenced to death.

The doctors in the Swearingen case are adamant that the science in question—histology and gross anatomy, the basic building blocks for modern medicine—cannot be dismissed. If the court rejects this evidence, they argue, they are turning their backs on the basic work done by the state’s forensic pathologists, tasked with determining both cause and manner of death, in thousands of cases each year.

So where does that leave Perry? If it turns out the man is innocent but is executed, Governor Perry looks bad, and if he’s guilty (which doesn’t seem likely) and is executed,  President Obama gets the benefit of votes from people who oppose the death penalty.

Even if Perry does stop the execution, death penalty opponents will accuse him of almost executing an innocent man.

An execution could be used to make Governor Perry look tough, or he could grant clemency to court the moderate vote… all his other executions ensure that he has the pro-death penalty vote. If he was going to grant clemency, though, he would have done it by now… and made it a big public relations event.

A quote to make you think…

Rick Perry joins the Ranks of the Inverted

“Look, I am not an establishment figure, never have been, and frankly, I don’t want to be. I dislike Washington; I think it’s a seedy place.”

— Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Don’t you wonder why a Presidential candidate would be so opposed to Washington, DC? It’s like being opposed to our National History, being opposed to being in the location of the seat of power, unwilling to communicate with the rest of the government in its central place.

It’s a good reason not to vote for the guy.

Why Rick Perry requires an Education… this guy is/was a Governor?

Rick Perry on Global Warming:

Rick Perry speaking of his rejection of Evolution :

“Well, God is how we got here. God may have done it in the blink of the eye or he may have done it over this long period of time, I don’t know. But I know how it got started.”

How? Adam and Eve?

For some reason I feel really sorry for Texas. When I was working in Austin a few years ago, I thought it was a really neat State. Guess it shifted a lot after 1999.

Why Rick Perry Should Never Be President…

– and –

Understand? The world has come so far… why go backward?

Hey… Maybe the Republicans realize they have a couple of goofballs leading the nomination league…

It could be that Republicans are beginning to realize what a pair of bozos (ie: Bachmann and Perry) took the lead out of the Iowa Straw Poll and they are starting to get REALLY worried.

While it looks like Bachmann is at the head of the list for the Iowa Primary, Romney seems to have New Hampshire tied up and Perry is claiming the lead in South  Carolina. So, as the race currently stands, there’s no candidate who can chart a likely path to the nomination that involves winning a majority of the leadoff primary states and sealing an early victory, and that’s causing some Republicans to re-evaluate the field.

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governo...

The "treasonous" Ben Bernanke

Karl Rove has come out to say that Perry went too far accusing Fed. Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke a traitor. “I think we are likely to see several other candidates think seriously about getting in. And frankly, they have time to do so,” said Rove.

The last issue  of  The Weekly Standard reported  that Paul Ryan is indeed “strongly considering a run” and is currently on vacation with his family discussing a prospective bid.  So we may have the creator of the worst budget on earth as a candidate in contention with the Religious Righters who are ahead.

And then there’s always the rumored Chris Christie and Jeb Bush Party Salvation Stories.

The Democrats are watching all this with concern… but also with a great deal of amusement. Let’s see what comes next.

Which Candidate Sucks More? Bachmann or Perry?

It looks like the Republican Party has now given up decades of cross-country representation (remember when there were Moderate…even Liberal…Republicans?) and have taken on an identity from the far right, the religious right and the Tea Party.

They are not people of compromise. They are not people who respect (or even recognize) other religions or atheism as American beliefs. They are people who wish to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They want to privatize public schools and destroy teachers’ unions. They won’t create enough income to pay our worldwide debts… in fact many were willing to go into default.

And now they seem to have focused on three candidates: Romney, who changes his opinion and point of view daily depending on the audience… who rejects things he accomplished as Massachusetts Governor… and who, frankly, is living a lie; Bachmann who has taken on representation of the Tea Party… whose knowledge of American History is constantly displayed as, at the least, flawed… who also lies or miscommunicates her own history, both personally and in politics; and Perry, who throws out accusations like “treason” and “socialist” like they were confetti…who uses his religion to mold his constituency… and who also lies or creates illusions about his record and reputation.

So I come down to the question: Who sucks more? Bachmann or Perry? Let me know.

 

 

Quote of the Week – Another Voting Block To Alienate..

Rick Perry joins the Ranks of the Inverted

“Tens, even hundreds, of thousands of Jewish people in the last decades have come to their Messiah. And so Lord, we pray for the revival around the world, and for Israel to come to their own Messiah.”

Texas Governor (R) Rick Perry at his Prayer Rally last weekend.

Apparently people of all religions were invited to Perry’s Rally… as long as they were willing to convert to his religion in the process.

Can’t we get religion out of politics (and government) once and for all?

Rick Perry and the Religious Right show their True Faces…

From TexasTrailerParkTrash:

What Would Jesus Order?

It’s been said many times recently that the GOP is living in a parallel universe, with their own set of facts that have nothing to do with reality as the rest of us know and understand it.

Here is proof, in living color.

These photos were taken at Rick Perry’s Prayerpalooza on Saturday, where he called for seven hours of intense prayer and fasting.

Apparently, the good folks who were in attendance didn’t know that fasting means not eating anything.

Either that, or they have applied the Michele Bachmann Rule of Denial and believe, even as you can “pray away the gay,” you can eat nachos and still call that fasting.

Hey, Babe… thanks for the word from Texas. Don’t you want to keep your Governor and not inflict him on the rest of us? 🙂

Just picked this up by PZ Myers at his great Pharyngula blog…

clipped from scienceblogs.com
 

Holy crap, Texas, how can you stand your governor?

Governor Rick Perry has been talking about education.
 

Well, there is a lot of fat to cut from our public schools, especially those in our biggest urban areas like Houston and Dallas. I am

Texas Governor Rick Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry

concerned that some of the highly diverse Magnet public schools in this city are becoming hotbeds for liberalism. Do we really need free school bus service, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, ESL, special needs and enrichment programs like music, art or math Olympiad? I think we should get back to the basics of the three Rs, reading writing and arithmetic. I mean when is the last time a 6th grade science fair project yielded a cure for a disease?

There are strange, wild, guttural sounds spilling from my lips right now; I dare not transcribe them here lest innocents repeat them, summoning vindictive elder gods to rend their sanity. I’m a trained professional in coping with madness, others may not be.


In this same talk, he also babbles about making private Christian schools more affordable. Kill public education, promote religion instead. That’s his position.When’s the insurrection? Or at least the repeal? Don’t Texans have any self-respect?

blog it

And I thought Rick Santorum was the Stupidest Governor in America.
Now I see it is a Republican disease that infects both of them.