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States whose polls are open early…

 

First Thoughts on NBC put this out last night:

Idaho and South Dakota today are the first states to begin early-in-person voting. Also today, absentee voting begins in Minnesota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Georgia, Arkansas, Idaho, and Maryland. This brings the total number of states already accepting ballots to 12. Thirteen additional states (South Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, and Missouri) will begin absentee or early voting on Saturday.”

So by tomorrow, half the country will be casting votes  (battleground states in bold): AR, DE, GA, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NH, NJ, NC, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV, WI.

Florida is voting today… we’ll see the results tonight.

“The Truth is the New Lie.”

– a line from the Canadian TV Series Slings & Arrows.

What is Truth? What is a Lie? We have been listening to Mitt and Newt go after each other, accusing each other of lying with statements that are obviously true. The assumption is that the voters will believe anything they say.

The upsetting thing is that so many of them will.

First primary poll I’ve seen from Florida…

After Newt’s win in South Carolina, he seems to be having a surge in Florida. I just saw an InsiderAdvantage poll of of 557 registered Republican voters and Gingrich leads Romney by 8 points:

  1. Gingrich: 34 percent
  2. Romney: 26 percent
  3. Ron Paul: 13 percent
  4. Rick Santorum: 11 percent
  5. Other: 2 percent
  6. No opinion: 14 percent

“Gingrich has been closing the gap nationally, according to the Gallup tracking poll. Florida is a reflection that Republicans nationally are moving toward Gingrich.”

– Matt Towery, chief pollster for InsiderAdvantage

Mitt is going to be going heavily into the Florida media market… look for him to be on the offensive instead of the defensive petitions he held in South Carolina… and there are two debates ( first one tonight) before the primary voting.

This will be interesting to watch, unless, like me, you don’t want to miss the new episode of House.

What Fun! The Republicans now have Newt as a Winner :)

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Primary and this morning he exploited his win over all the network Sunday morning news shows. His ego glowed like a radium ion.

So Santorum has Iowa (we guess), Romney has New Hampshire, and Newt now has South Carolina. Now there is no REAL leader and we’re looking toward Florida to see what happens next.

I doubt that Ron Paul is going to quit yet. Wouldn’t it be funny if he took Florida?

There’s also the potential, now, for a brokered Republican Convention… this means that a wholly new candidate could be brought in by the Party and made nominee (Chris Christie, maybe?)

So now we have one candidate that often switches positions solely to get the vote  (Mitt), one that makes Democrats look sane (Newt) and one who puts religion and ant-gay hysteria on top of governing the country (Santorum.)

As to which one of these Obama would prefer to tun against…who knows? Any one of them has great benefits for the Democrats. I’d prefer Santorum, but that is the least likely.

Joh Huntsman is pulling out today…

English: Official photo of United States Ambas...After getting 17% of the New Hampshire vote, John Huntsman, probably the only true conservative in the race, is announcing his pull out later this morning (11 AM ET). Huntsman will most likely be throwing his support to Romney.

Huntsman was the candidate to make no hateful statements about Obama or his Republican competitors. His conservative positions were all about policy and he was the only candidate running with a sense that he was planning to govern the WHOLE country and not just rightists.

This is probably the best thing for Huntsman to do if he is planning on running again in 2016. He has established himself as a known candidate nationwide during the primaries so far and now he doesn’t have to continue with losses. Leaving the campaign while he is now in third place will make him a leader in the future Republican party.

Let’s hear it for Stephen Colbert…

Manager Stewart and Candidate Colbert

Last night on Comedy Central Stephen Colbert announced “an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork” for his “possible candidacy for president of the United States of South Carolina.”Of course, this came after polls for the SC primary showed him first at 5%, then at 7%.

He also handed control of his super PAC, Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, over to his colleague, Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show.”

The PAC is already buying up television air time in South Carolina. They’ve purchased nearly $10,000 worth of time on a broadcast station in the Charleston, S.C. area between Jan. 15 and Jan. 19, and according to a South Carolina news web site, the Palmetto Public Record, Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow is also reportedly “negotiating a substantial media buy in the Columbia market.”

This is all so much more substantial than watching the other candidates as they attack each other for things that each of them do anyway.

Since there are no write-ins in South Carolina, being able to vote for Colbert may not be possible. This will cause a media brouhaha…just wait.

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 of the Day … perhaps one of the best of the last couple of months!

“Taking two positions on every issue, one on the left and one of the right, doesn’t make you a centrist. It makes you a charlatan.”

David Axelrod on Mitt Romney

So we are now heading to New Hampshire where Newt Gingrich has already started to publish anti-Romney ads and the field has been reduced by one Bachmann (we thought we were going to lose Perry, too, but he’s still in, although doing his campaigning in South Carolina.)

Santorum is heading for NH and his score in Iowa is going to attract some money into his coffers, but New Hampshire is not primarily a born-again Xian state and he doesn’t really fit in.

Romney is going to have to move a little towards center to take New Hampshire, but he seems to have no trouble switching positions. Today John McCain endorsed him. You remember McCain… in the last Presidential election’s primaries, when they competed for the nomination, McCain accused Romney of “consistently flip-flopping on every issue.

How things change.

Does it matter who wins tonight?

Maybe. Maybe one or two of these yoyos will drop out of the race. Bachmann, who should, has said she won’t. Huntsman, who will come in at the bottom has not really campaigned here… he may be waiting to see what happens in New Hampshire.

Newt, if he comes in lower than fourth, will likely disappear. Santorum, if not in the top three will either drop out, or skip New Hampshire and throw all his remaining money into South Carolina.

Ron Paul, who is likely to come in second, should really not be in the race at all. I don’t think he is ready to drop out yet and will probably come in second to Romney tonight. Rick Parry is an unknown, but bottom level, quantity. If I were he and came in low tonight, I’d quit or look even more stupid…ooops!

In moving to New Hampshire, someone has to appear to be a moderate. Romney and Huntsman are the only two who can do that. Newt is threatening to do nothing but really dirty Romney attack ads in NH… this may have the backlash of doing Newt in. Let’s hope.

Oh Please Get This Iowa Crap Over With…

One day it’s Newt, the next it’s Ron Paul… then there’s a “surge” for Santorum, plus insufferable jabs at all of them from Bachmann. And, of course, Romney still polls in the 25% range and can’t seem to get major Conservatives behind him. Huntsman might as well be invisible and you wish Perry would be.

And without Herman Cain we no longer have the kind of comic entertainment which lets us ignore the rest of these clowns.

Add to all of this the need of all the news stations (and Fox) to keep all of this brouhaha on the air all the time without even making the least amount of difference. Not one candidate shows any sign of being able to serve all of America.

They all seem to have a view of the Constitution as a document defined by one or two articles… it’s easy to ignore the ones you don’t believe in. No matter how they comment on Obama (or in many cases each other), none of these folks would know a real Socialist if they tripped over one at a Karl Marx picnic on May Day.

And, hey, we still have New Hampshire, South Carolina and all the rest to look forward to.

So much talk about the Second Amendment in the Republican Primaries…

It made me think about Michael Moore’s banned cartoon about Black America:

And it was banned because…?

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.

The Political Quote of the Day… or at least the Afternoon…

By now you’ve heard the news that Newt Gingrich, who returned from a cruise vacation in the Greek Islands and then went to New Hampshire… not to campaign but to promote a documentary made with his wife, had his whole campaign staff walk out on him this afternoon (at last count, 16 people.)

Gingrich’s campaign manager Rob Johnson, strategists Sam Dawson and Dave Carney, spokesman Rick Tyler, and consultants Katon Dawson in South Carolina and Craig Schoenfeld in Iowa all quit to protest what one called a “different vision” for the campaign.

But don’t start thinking that just because the people closest to him don’t want to work with him anymore means Newt is going to stop campaigning – here is his statement posted on his Facebook page:

“I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”

So who is he going to be campaigning with? At the very least, this took Anthony Weiner, who says he will NOT resign, off the front page.

“You Lie” Rifle Part No Longer Available…

Here’s some more good news…

Joe Wilson

As you may know, it was revealed after the Saturday shootings that a gun store in South Carolina was selling an assault rifle part with the etched words “You Lie” referring to Representative Joe Wilson’s (R – SC) shouted words during Obama‘s State of the Union Address in 2009.

The dealer, Palmetto State Armory, put an ad for the item on their web site with the words “Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver.”

Yesterday this report of the products withdrawal from the market was broadcast on CNN:

CNN reports that Rep. Joe Wilson has been told by a South Carolina gun company that it is discontinuing the sale of a rifle part engraved with the words “you lie.”

Wilson, R-S.C., attracted national attention for screaming out “you lie” during a speech by President Obama in 2009.

CNN quotes a letter from Wilson, forwarded to the network by the congressman’s staff, thanking Palmetto State Armory for discontinuing sales of the rifle part.

“I thank you for quickly suspending sales of the product that uses my words,

It’s good to see something like this taken off the market, but it begs the question of why it had been put there anyway (wasn’t South Carolina the first state to secede from the Union causing the Civil War?).

Son of a Bitch! Why do Republicans need to attack first and ask questions later?

Lindsey Graham Makes The Case For Strike On Iran

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
A leading U.S. senator on defense issues says any military strike on Iran to stop its nuclear program must also strive to take out Iran’s military capability. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who sits on the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, said Saturday the U.S. should consider sinking the Iranian navy, destroying its air force and delivering a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.

He says they should neuter the regime, destroy its ability to fight back and hope Iranians will take a chance to take back their government.

His remarks stunned many in the audience at the Halifax International Security forum.
Graham told the audience that newly elected conservatives would back “bold” action against Iran, reports Agence France Presse:
If President Barack Obama “decides to be tough with Iran beyond sanctions, I think he is going to feel a lot of Republican support for the idea that we cannot let Iran develop a nuclear weapon,”
blog it

Let’s get out there and attack, is that it? And now that we have more Republicans in power, here’s a great way to get a new Iraq. And maybe we can borrow more money to pay for it.

Ramona is asking such important questions this morning…

I love reading Ramona’s pieces. This one began:

Fox News and the C of C thank you for voting Republican. But don’t call us, we’ll call you.
So, all you “Mad as Hell” people who idolize Fox “News” and their partners in crime, the Koch Brothers, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Republican Party, let’s hear what you’ve learned from that bunch you’ve been following so religiously. What’s the plan? What’s marvels are in store for you when they take out the government and make it obsolete?”

…and then went on:

clipped from ramonasvoices.blogspot.com

Wait a minute–you haven’t asked?  Okay, then.  Obviously you haven’t been thinking about it, but I have.  I’ve made up a list of questions for you to ask as soon as you’ve put all those constitution-loving patriots back in the cat-bird seat:
How soon will all the jobs be back?
What’s the forecast for a booming housing market?
Can we stop paying taxes now?
When will all wars end?
Can we get the the gays and liberals and non-Christians and brown-skinned people out of our sight ASAP?
Now can we force all kids to pray in school?
How soon before the poor aren’t among us?
Do we have to take our guns to town?
When you outlaw abortions are you going to expect me to take care of those little brats?
When DC is a ghost town will the rents go down?Why is Obamacare bad again?

and last but not least (because this one is very, very, very important):

Do you like me?  Do you really, really like me?
blog it

Thanks, Ramona.

South Carolina GOP chairmen: Sen. DeMint like a ‘Jew’ who is ‘watching our nation’s pennies’

Even a Conservative Publication, The Palmetto Scoop, a conservative e-zine in South Carolina, reacted to the letter with disgust:

Umm… who in mainstream America thinks it’s a good idea to write something like that in a guest editorial? Especially in light of the racially-motivated attention garnered by South Carolina Republican activists over the past few months.

jimdemint

clipped from rawstory.com
Two South Carolina GOP chairmen declared in a letter to a local newspaper that criticism of Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is unfair because he is like a “Jew” who is “watching our nation’s pennies.”

The letter, published by South Carolina newspaper The Times and Democrat, was authored by James S. Ulmer Jr., who chairs the Orangeburg County GOP, and Edwin O. Merwin Jr., who chairs the Bamberg County GOP.

“There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves,” the wrote. “By not using earmarks to fund projects for South Carolina and instead using actual bills, DeMint is watching our nation’s pennies and trying to preserve our country’s wealth and our economy’s viability to give all an opportunity to succeed.”
The racist stereotype came out as the men were offering a rebuttal to South Carolina State Rep. Bakari Sellers, the vice chair of the state’s Democratic party.
  blog it

Responding to the PalmettoScoop article, one commenter made this point:

“South Carolina, too small to be a republic and too large to be an insane asylum.”

That about sums it up.