Friday, February 28, 2014

The Hotline's Senate Race Rankings: Republicans in Command!

National Journal ^ | February 27, 2014 | Steven Shepard and Julie Sobel
The 2014 Senate landscape continues to look challenging for Democrats. Republicans can take back the chamber after eight years of Democratic control with a net gain of six seats, and the seven seats most likely to flip are held by Democrats in states President Obama lost in 2012. The most important change since we looked at the Senate map three months ago is the glut of outside spending, particularly against Democratic incumbents in the majority-making seats of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Alaska. The nonprofit, conservative group Americans for Prosperity has dumped tens of millions into those states, beating up incumbents who now have--at best--50/50 chances of retaining their seats. Republicans are well positioned to win a Senate majority in 2014. A favorable map, combined with a positive national environment driven by disapproval of the health care law, have put Democrats on the defensive. The rankings are best considered in tiers. The first two seats are very likely to flip, while in seats 3 and 4 Republicans are favored to take over. In seats 5 through 7, Democratic incumbents in red states are deeply vulnerable, and if Republicans win the top four, they need only two of the three seats in this tier to control the Senate. Seats 8 to 12 are also close to 50/50 races. Colorado debuts in this tier after the top recruit, Rep. Cory Gardner, decided to run. In seats 13 to 15, the Democratic incumbent is likely to retain control of the seat, although the races bear watching--and Republicans don't need seats 13 to 15 to wrestle control of the majority.
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Five years later, the Tea Party prepares for their Reagan moment!

Washington Examiner ^ | 02/28/14 | Charlie Spiering
"You see, Ronald Reagan was not part of the establishment," talk radio host Mark Levin reminded them. "He was an outsider, and like you and so many others throughout history, he had the courage to stand up and be counted." Levin reminded the audience that Reagan and his supporters were once disparaged by the media and the "ruling class." To illustrate his point, he read assessments of Reagan from the media and his fellow Republicans in the late 1970s. He cited a 1974 column from George Will suggesting that Reagan was too old to run for president and that Reagan supporters were "kamikaze conservatives" left over from the Barry Goldwater era. "Does this not sound familiar to you?" he asked as he audience laughed.
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VA sends $4,800 bill to triple-amputee Purple Heart recipient after he spoke out against Obama!

Poor Richard's News ^ | November 6, 2013
If you want to see where government-run healthcare gets you, look no further than what the VA is doing to Airman Brian Kolfage after he spoke out against Obama. Our veterans who sustained injuries in combat deserve the best treatment we can give them, but the VA just sent Purple Heart recipient Brian Kolfage a bill for $4,000. Here’s the letter he just received from the VA: Kolfage is an outspoken critic of the Obama administration and wants to know why his records were pulled in the first place. He’s written about the whole story on his Facebook page (emphasis mine): Two months ago I received a letter from the VA stating they over paid me and that I needed to provide evidence proving otherwise. So I mailed in everything showing that in fact I wasn’t over paid what they were stating, hard evidence too. I then get a letter stating its been resolved. Now today I get this letter showing that they are taking money out of my disability compensation that I receive for losing my three limbs… I call the number listed and the automated system says call back another day, WTF, you’re taking my money and you can’t even answer the phones. This is the garbage that so many veterans have been dealing with over the past few years. And its complete [expletive] that someone can lose half their body for their country then they pull our records to nickel and dime us because the government is broke. After dealing with this for over a month I’ve decided to share my experience. This is exactly why we do not need a full blown government healthcare system run by the IRS, because they will target opposition, they will mess up, and they will take your money even if its by mistake. Then it will take months to even correct it, and this is just the VA, imagine this on a scale 30,000 times larger! If this is how our nation treats our most severely wounded think about how they’ll treat those who are everyday citizens. The only people who are truly taken care of these days are those who control us and are politicians, they ensure their own are granted every privilege that they can come up with while screwing those who are trying to survive. IS THIS THE CHANGE YOU VOTED FOR? please tell WHY my record was pulled for one thing, and then a background check was done, then my money is being taken… for what? FREEDOM OF SPEECH!? To his credit, Kolfage makes it clear that his objective isn’t to get any money out of this. He’s not looking for sympathy, just to expose how corrupt the VA is. He turned down one twitter user’s offer to pay for his medical expenses:

Three Cups of Tea: Tea Party still holds the high ground this year for its 3rd national election.

National Review ^ | 02/28/2014 | John Fund
The Tea Party turns five years old this week, and the mainstream media are filled with stories saying it has lost clout and influence. Certainly the unfair assaults on it as racist and extremist have taken a toll, but in terms of where the political landscape is right now, I’d easily take the Tea Party’s tactical position over that of its liberal critics. For now, the midterm elections are shaping up as a disaster for Democrats. MSNBC host Chris Matthews said last Sunday that “to the Democrats, this election, a rosy scenario is to lose five Senate seats, not six,” the number the GOP needs to pick up to win Senate control. “They could lose ten,” Matthews concluded. Indeed, Republicans such as Virginia’s Ed Gillespie and Colorado’s Representative Cory Gardner, who had no plans to run for the Senate last year, are jumping in. Gardner told Republican strategist Joe Brettell in a recent interview that he thinks Democratic incumbent Mark Udall can be beaten for one reason: Obamacare. “He’s vulnerable because 335,000 Coloradans have had their health insurance canceled, because he was a rubber stamp for President Obama and displayed a lack of leadership for the state.” In addition, Republican strategists note that the most inexperienced tea-party candidates are unlikely to win GOP primaries this year, pointing to the flagging fortunes of Steve Stockman in Texas and Matt Bevin in Kentucky. An exception is Republican state senator Chris McDaniel, who is closing in on 78-year-old GOP senator Thad Cochran in Mississippi. But McDaniel is a seasoned candidate and Mississippi a safe seat for the GOP no matter who wins the primary. It’s a mistake to focus on a single poll at any point in the election cycle, but this week’s New York Times survey is worth noting because a) the size of its survey means a smaller margin of error than in most polls and b) the Times’ pollster has a history of getting results that lean in favor of liberals in Democrats. If that’s the case, the Times poll spells Trouble for Democrats, with a capital T. Despite the internal fissures within the GOP, Republicans are favored by voters for Congress this fall by 42 percent to 39 percent. A big reason is President Obama’s dismal 41 percent approval rating, with only 38 percent approving of his handling of the economy. Among independents, only 31 percent like his economic performance. That may be one reason why independents now tilt by a decisive 43 percent to 29 percent in favor of Republican candidates for Congress this fall. Democrats will point to a Times poll result showing that 40 percent of voters think Republicans are nominating candidates who are too conservative. But the same survey shows that 41 percent of voters think Democrats are putting up candidates that are too liberal. The two-party system increasingly chafes at more and more voters. But it’s Democrats who have to bring their base out, and there are signs that their voters aren’t as enthusiastic about voting this fall. As much as the media focuses on GOP divisions, consider that four out of ten Democrats now think the economy is “fairly bad” or “very bad.” Even on social issues, Democrats are more divided than commonly thought. Only 55 percent of Democrats now say abortion should be “generally available,” with 26 percent supporting greater restrictions on its availability and 16 percent supporting an outright ban. Obamacare continues to drag down the president’s numbers. A full 42 percent of respondents in the Times poll want it repealed entirely, up from 34 percent in January. Among independents a full 45 percent now support full repeal. All of this looks like good news for Republicans, until one recalls that the last 30 years have seen many GOP challengers to Democratic incumbents falter. In fact, in the 16 national elections since 1982, the GOP has defeated only 14 incumbent Democrats (less than one per election) while the Democrats have defeated 36 incumbent Republicans. And Republicans will have to beat incumbents to have any chance of taking back the Senate. That’s why Obama’s approval numbers’ staying low is important to Republican prospects. It gives them their best chance to create a wave election that could topple incumbents. “Over the last decade, just nine Senate candidates have won elections with a president of their party below his national approval average in their state,” National Journal has concluded. “That’s about one success in every ten races.” On that score, the 2014 Senate playing field is potentially brutal for Democrats. Democrats are defending seats in five states — Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia — where Obama’s approval rating was at or below 35 percent in 2013, according to Gallup. In four other states where Democrats hold a Senate seat that’s up in 2014, Obama’s approval rating was well below his national average of 46 percent: Louisiana (40 percent), Colorado and Iowa (42 percent), and North Carolina (43 percent). In Oregon, New Hampshire, and New Mexico the president had a 45 percent job-approval rating, just below his national average. That’s a whopping total of eleven Democratic seats that could potentially be in play this November. Only a couple of GOP seats are in jeopardy, and in both Georgia and Kentucky the Obama approval numbers are weak. The New York Times poll shows that 24 percent of Americans consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party, down from its high-water mark of 31 percent at the time of the 2010 election. But that still represents an energized base of supporters, many of whom are eager to vote. Democrats don’t have anything like that now, given that the “hope and change” pro-Obama fever of 2008 has faded and it’s so much harder to turn Democrats out in midterm elections. That all helps explain that despite all the premature notices of the Tea Party’s decline this week, there were so many smiles at yesterday’s fifth-anniversary celebration in Washington (sponsored by Tea Party Patriots and, among others). In politics it helps to be right, and most of the warnings tea-party advocates issued about the Obama administration have been validated by events. — John Fund is a national-affairs columnist for National Review Online.

Tea Party Warns of ‘Permanent Damage’ from Proposed IRS Rules

Pajamas Media ^ | 02/28/2014 | Bill Straub
WASHINGTON – A co-founder of the nation’s largest Tea Party organization told a House panel Thursday that proposed regulations limiting the political activity groups can engage in and still meet tax-exempt status will inflict “permanent damage” on the advocacy efforts of grassroots organizations. Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots, told the House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs that the rules proffered by the Internal Revenue Service to limit political activity will “silence” organizations and lead to an “infringement on the rights of the American people to freely associate, speak their minds and petition their government.” “We have produced voters’ guides, hosted candidates’ debates, encouraged voter registration, supported get-out-the-vote efforts and assisted local groups in lobbying on specific local and national legislation,” Martin said. “We have invited members of Congress to speak at our rallies and events not as candidates but as experts on important topics. We have posted news about national events on our social media sites.” “The current rules recognize all these activities as non-political,” she said. “The proposed rules would classify them all as political.” Should the regulations ultimately meet with approval from the Obama administration, grassroots organizations will have to, among other things, disclose the identity of their donors, a requirement that could inhibit fundraising. Outfits largely funded by unidentified contributors have emerged as a significant political power in the last few years. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that such donations have gone from $87.2 million in 2008 to $256.3 million in 2012. The new IRS initiative, announced in November, has left organizations on both sides of the political divide distressed. The agency is looking to update and clarify rules regarding the type of political activities various “social welfare” groups operating under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code can engage in while maintaining their status. The agency decided to review the section dealing with tax-exempt organizations in wake of an ongoing controversy involving political groups, most of which lean conservative, that have had their tax-exempt applications delayed, rejected or subjected to probing questions. Under current law, groups seeking status under 501(c)(4) can only operate “exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” But they are permitted to engage in additional activities as long as their “primary” emphasis remains on social welfare. The proposed regulations would prohibit social welfare groups from involving themselves in get-out-the-vote drives or printing voters’ guides. They would be prohibited from contributing money or other items of value to a candidate or a political party and they face a limited time period when they can directly cite a candidate in a campaign ad or on a website. Thursday marked the final day of a three-month public comment period on the proposed rule changes. More than 100,000 individuals and groups, ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to Martin’s Tea Party Patriots, have weighed in, with many expressing strong objections. On Wednesday, the House, in a 243-176 vote, passed the Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014, which prohibits the IRS from asking taxpayers questions regarding religious, political or social beliefs for one year, a direct stab at the proposed IRS regulations. The proposal has drawn the support of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky. “Grassroots groups right across the political map are upset at what they view as an assault on their First Amendment rights,” McConnell said. “All you have to do is read their own words. One group of primarily left-leaning First Amendment advocates said the new regulation would ‘impose serious burdens on free speech and hinder the democratic processes it serves.’ An official with the ACLU described the IRS’ proposed regulation as creating ‘the worst of all worlds.’” James R. Mason, III, senior counsel for the Home School Legal Defense Association, said his 501(c)(4) group opposes the proposed rule “in its entirety” because it “unlawfully restricts the First Amendment free speech rights of millions of Americans who belong to social welfare organizations and who depend on these organizations to influence public policy and society in beneficial ways.” “The proposed rule would threaten the ability of HSLDA to advocate for homeschool freedom at the local, state, and federal level and would threaten the ability of HSLDA to share what elected officials, judges, and government officials are saying about homeschooling, both good and bad,” Mason said. “Each and every provision of the proposed rule would have a serious negative effect on HSLDA’s ability to advocate for homeschool freedom as we have done since our founding in 1983.” Mason also maintained the proposed rule oversteps the jurisdiction of the Internal Revenue Service. Gabriel Rottman, legislative counsel/policy advisor for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the organization has problems with the IRS package “from a First Amendment perspective and as a simple matter of workability.” “America’s constitutional democracy depends on vigorous and unfettered debate,” Rottman said. “We acknowledge that sometimes political pugilists do not play by Marquis of Queensberry rules. But the First Amendment to the Constitution demands that political speech be protected from government interference with only the narrowest of limitations.” While the ACLU commends the IRS for attempting to address some of the perceived problems with the current regulations, Rottman said “we continue to advocate for a true bright line test that will preserve the ability of groups at all points on the political spectrum to advocate vigorously on the issues of the day without fear.” The IRS has not indicated when it might render a final determination on the proposed rule change.

Senate Candidate From Texas Urges Border Residents To Shoot 'Wetbacks' On Sight!

Fox News Latino ^ | 2/26/14 | Fox News Latino
A Texas businessman who is running for the U.S. Senate in the GOP primary is drawing fire for referring to people who cross the border illegally as “wetbacks” and, later, defending his use of the slur. Chris Mapp, who is among several candidates challenging U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the GOP primary on March 4, used the term during an editorial board meeting with the Dallas Morning News. In explaining its endorsement of Cornyn in the primary, a Dallas Morning News editorial said: “South Texas businessman Chris Mapp, 53, told this editorial board that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land, referred to such people as ‘wetbacks,’ and called the president a ‘socialist son of a bitch.’” Later, in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News, Mapp defended his use of the word and his characterization of undocumented immigrants. He described the slur as normal for Texans. Mapp said its use is as “normal as breathing air in south Texas,” according to the newspaper. “We can't have illegal immigrants, drug cartels, human traffickers or terrorists coming across our border,” he said. “Our borders can either be sealed by choice or force, and so far choice hasn't worked.” Cornyn condemned Mapp’s remarks.
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This should be taken seriously!


Alcohol Labels Just Like Cigarettes

Liquor manufacturers have accepted the Government's suggestion that the following
warning labels be placed immediately on all varieties of alcohol containers:
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your bra and panties. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you
are whispering when you are not. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing
like a retard. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your
friends over and over again that you love them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you
can sing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex- lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can
logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that
you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think
people are laughing WITH you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may be a major factor in
getting your ass kicked.. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WARNING: the crumsumpten of alcohol may Mack you tink you kan
tpye reel Gode.