Democrat Landrieu Defeated in Historic Election

The final major contest of the 2014 midterm election ended the same way so many others had on election night: With a resounding Republican victory.

In a runoff election last night, Republican challenger Bill Cassidy easily defeated (57-43) multi-term incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat. Democratic candidates Edwin Edwards and Jamie Mayo further lost their special House elections.

The result is an historic defeat for Democrats. Landrieu’s Senate seat has been in the hands of Democrats for 132 years. Politico reports Landrieu, now unemployed, was the last Democratic statewide officeholder in the Deep South. Democrats are left without a single governorship or US Senator across nine states. There are now as many black Republican senators as Democratic senators of any skin color in the region.

But Republican victories in 2014 were not limited to the south, of course, complicating the Democratic narrative of racial hatred driving Republican success. Republican candidates won gubernatorial races in deep blue states like Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois. Senatorial candidates were victorious in swing states like Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota.

When they return to Washington in January, Republicans will bring with them control of 9 additional Senate seats and a majority of 54 in the upper chamber. In the House, Republicans will enjoy their largest majority since 1947 (possibly since 1929 pending another race). The deep blue home state of the incumbent Democratic president will be in Republican hands.

Now, it would seem, would be the time for the Democratic Party to take a long, hard look at itself and how it so quickly fell from grace. Massively unpopular signature initiatives (ObamaCare), foreign policy disasters (too many to name), a lawless administration, seemingly a new scandal every week, loyalty to incompetent and corrupt officials, an energy policy that chases green unicorns at the expense of American workers and industry…the list goes on.

No electoral victory or defeat is permanent. But a loss of power can last a very long time, as both parties have seen before. Whether 2016 is the year Democrats turn things around, or simply lose their last hold on American government, will be determined by how they respond to the historic blow they were just delivered by American voters. They can change course and acknowledge their disconnect from Middle America, or continue to pay the political price.

Uruguay’s Pro-Government-Run Weed Industry Candidate Wins

Not a huge surprise in Uruguay, but the left-wing candidate for president won the run-off election in that country today.

What is fascinating is Uruguay has taken socialism to a whole new level. Meet the government-run weed industry. Yes, weed. As in marijuana.

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Tabare Vazquez easily won Uruguay’s presidential election on Sunday, returning to power a left-leaning coalition that has helped legalize gay marriage and moved to create the world’s first state-run marijuana marketplace.

The runoff vote had drawn international attention because Vazquez’s rival, center-right candidate Luis Lacalle Pou, had promised to undo much of the plan to put the government in charge of regulating the production, distribution and sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale.

Yet interestingly:

During his campaign, (the right-wing opponent) criticized the marijuana plan, saying he would shut down the state-run pot market, while allowing domestic cultivation of the plant. Polls show that despite its international popularity, most Uruguayans oppose the marijuana laws and want them repealed. Uruguayan authorities are still in the process of rolling out the pot marketplace.

Can’t wait for the weed shortages. People lined up down the block for rationed weed. Should be hilarious. You know it’s coming.

Democratic Infighting: Obama Fires First Shots Against Hillary 2016

Relations have never quite been friendly between Barack Obama and the Clintons. Neither side ever really forgave the other for the brutal 2008 Democratic primary fight, which found Obama and his cronies smearing the Clintons as racist for daring to oppose him. The Clintons, in turn, haven’t been afraid to publicly contradict Obama and his policies when politically beneficial. Now, Obama has made clear he intends to drag the hostility into the 2016 contest.

OBAMA: And she’s not gonna agree with me on– on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of– running for president is you can stake out your own positions. You’re– and– and have– a clean slate. A fresh start. You know, when you’ve been president for six years you– you know, you’ve got some dings and– (CHUCKLE) you know and– and–

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you don’t mind absorbing a few more if that’s–

OBAMA: No.

STEPHANOPOULOS: –what it takes?

OBAMA: You know, I think– I think the American people, you know, they’re gonna want– you know, that new car smell. (LAUGHTER) You know, their own– they– they wanna drive somethin’ off the lot that– that doesn’t have as– as much mileage as me.

Clinton, of course, has been around the national political scene quite a bit longer than Obama. He’s basically calling her old and yesterday’s news. Which, I mean, he’s not wrong. She’s been angling for the top office for decades, deftly using her post as First Lady to become a US Senator and then Secretary of State, always with her eyes on the White House.

The problem for Democrats is that their bench is actually quite thin. Clinton is a decently strong yet polarizing choice. Their other realistic options at this point are equally stale (who’s ready for Joe Biden?) or too controversial (Elizabeth Warren isn’t carrying Ohio in the general). So they’ll almost certainly have to make-do with the odor of a 1992 Ford Taurus.

Israeli hospital treating daughter of Hamas terrorist, because evil Jews obviously

An Israeli hospital has treated the daughter of a “sworn enemy” of the Jewish state, Agence France-Presse reports. The report indicates the girl is the daughter of Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniya, one of the most recognizable faces of Hamas and its murderous acts.

A spokesman at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv told AFP that the daughter had been admitted for emergency treatment last month, although he was unable to name her due to patient privacy.

A senior official in the Gaza health ministry confirmed a relative of Haniya had received treatment at the hospital, but identified her as a sister of the former Palestinian prime minister.

She had been in “critical, life-threatening condition” when she arrived at the facility two weeks ago, the official said.

Both sources said the patient had been discharged after a few days and returned to Gaza.

Why would Israel provide critical health care services to the daughter of a sworn enemy? Basic humanity, a concept with which Hamas is entirely unfamiliar.

Terrible: New York Toddler Beaten to Death, Mother’s Boyfriend Charged

The 20-year-old boyfriend of a New York City mother is in police custody after allegedly beating her toddler daughter to death at a city homeless shelter.

The 3-year-old girl was beaten to death, and her 5-year-old brother also was beaten in Brooklyn on Saturday, according to the New York Police Department.

The boy was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.

Their mother’s boyfriend Kelsey Smith was taken into custody in connection with the beatings, police said. He was not yet formally arrested and specific charges were not yet filed, police said.

Sources told local media that the boyfriend became enraged after the little girl accidentally soiled herself.

I volunteer as executioner. But sadly New York has no death penalty. Because, you know, that would be cruel.

The “Project for the New American Century” in Today’s World

Commonly referred to as the birthplace of the neoconservative movement in the U.S., the ideas proposed by Project for the New American Century (PNAC) continue to have an impact on global economic strategies and political maneuvers in the present day. Based loosely on the works of Leon Trotsky, the principles developed by PNAC are designed to promote national interests in an increasingly hostile and unequal global economy and to ensure reliable energy supplies and ongoing relevance for the U.S. in the international political arena.

Unlikely Bedfellows

As an avowed Marxist and a Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky would appear to be an unlikely source for neoconservative philosophy. Trotsky’s far-left positions, however, included the concept of Permanent Revolution, an idea that found fertile soil in the far-right PNAC think-tank and provided the basis for some of the viewpoints espoused in its 1997 Statement of Principles. While it is not certain that William Kristol and others integrally involved in the development of neoconservatism were directly influenced by the idea of Permanent Revolution, it is evident from their expressed and written opinions that a state of continual expansion and active protection of U.S. goals and interests throughout the world was the desirable state of affairs. This included exporting U.S. culture and economic belief systems to targeted foreign nations and the protection by any means necessary of critical resources at home and abroad.

Fostering a Global Economy

Some analysts believe that the shift of certain jobs from the U.S. to India, China and other areas of the world is part of the overall plan espoused and disseminated by PNAC. By offering economic opportunities to these regions, it may be possible to instill the principles of capitalism among workers and create a more positive attitude toward Western viewpoints and economic processes. Additionally, providing added financial resources may reduce the likelihood of economic unrest in key areas of the world. By sharing the wealth on a smaller scale, PNAC may stave off large-scale demonstrations and social upheavals that could threaten the goals of the U.S. and the neoconservative movement.

Permanent Revolution and Continual War

A more controversial element of the PNAC agenda involves the willingness of the U.S. to use military force to protect its interests in key areas. Although the second Gulf War was nominally a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, many in the global political community view this as a direct application of PNAC principles to seize control of Iraqi oilfields and to ensure an uninterrupted flow of this fuel to the U.S. If this military action was, in fact, an implementation of PNAC’s stated principles, it would mark a new era in U.S. international relations and would set a precedent for foreign entanglements that could damage American credibility and reduce cooperation in the global political arena.

Understanding the ongoing influence of PNAC principles on U.S. economic activities and military engagements can provide added insights for researchers and can allow a greater degree of proactivity on the part of opinion makers and leaders in the political world.

Cut the Crap, Arm the Kurds

The Associated Press reports that there may finally be a movement underway to arm the Kurds after the Obama Administration has, for years, refused to sell our allies American weaponry. We refused even as we sold some of our finest equipment to the central Iraqi government — equipment that was seized and is now used by the Islamic State (ISIS).

The Kurds have been our allies for eons. They’re a brave and civilized people willing to fight and die to protect their civilians from the advancing jihadists. Kurdish volunteers have continued streaming to the front lines even as fighting against powerful ISIS forces has intensified. They want to fight. They just need the equipment to counter the crap we sold to Iraq that ISIS then stole.

It’s time to cut the crap and arm the Kurds. My position on this is essentially the same as my position on Israel: Let them fight their battles but arm them to the teeth. Their enemies tend to be our enemies. And the people who target them tend to want not only defeat but genocide. We don’t need to send in American ground forces, but we can sell the Kurds American equipment to give them a fighting chance.

Bill Gates Vacations on $330 Million Yacht

What’s remarkable here isn’t that when Bill Gates goes on vacation he goes in style. What’s remarkable is the $330 million yacht is only the third most-expensive in the world.

These days, Microsoft founder Bill Gates is more concerned with helping to save the world than creating the next big gadget. But when the world’s richest man goes on vacation, he does it like no one else.

The New York Daily News captured some photos of Gates aboard “The Serene,” a $330 million dollar yacht that Gates and his family are renting for $5 million per week.

In addition to its 12 staterooms, the 450-foot, seven deck vessel also comes equipped with its own saltwater pool, climbing wall, library, health spa, outdoor theater and even a nightclub spread out over the boat’s combined 48,000 square feet.

Holy crap. Being a software tycoon doesn’t suck, huh?

The yacht actually belongs to a Russian alcohol giant, Stolichnaya vodka distributor Yuri Scheffler. Scheffler is actually an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who tried to steal Scheffler’s wealth through nationalization.

One last note: The “Serene” has its own submarine. Because of course it does.

AP Poll: Obama Hits 40% Approval, ObamaCare Gets More Unpopular

Barack Obama’s approval rating has hit an all-time low in an Associated Press/GfK with just 40% approving and 59% disapproving of his job performance. Dissatisfaction with his foreign policy has hit particularly hard.

—42 percent say the conflict between Israel and Hamas is “very” or “extremely” important to them; 60 percent disapprove of the way Obama has handled it.

—40 percent consider the situation in Afghanistan highly important; 60 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of it.

—38 percent give high importance to the conflict in Ukraine; 57 percent disapprove of what Obama has done about that.

—38 percent find the situation in Iraq of pressing importance; 57 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of it.

It’s hard to look around the world right now, from Russia and Ukraine to Palestine and Israel, and conclude Obama’s foreign policy dealings have been anything other than disastrous. So the results shouldn’t be too surprising.

But the president’s problems don’t stop there. Not only does the poll show Americans now trusting the GOP more to handle immigration (29-25), but another poll finds support for ObamaCare at an all-time low.

Even after survey after survey has recently shown a major drop in the nation’s uninsured rate, Obamacare just had its worst month in a key health-care poll.

Kaiser Family Foundation, which has done arguably the best and most consistent polling on the health-care law in the past four-plus years, found that public opinion on the law sank to a record low in July. More people than ever (53 percent) last month said they viewed the law unfavorably, an increase of 8 percentage points since June — one of the biggest opinion swings ever.

Democrats have long counted on ObamaCare becoming the next Medicare: Costly but too politically beloved by most Americans to actually reform or ditch it. That’s simply not happening. The more Americans learn about ObamaCare, and the more it begins to affect their lives, the less they like it. It’s a political albatross for Democrats, who are already facing an uphill battle in the coming midterm.

Let’s talk tweets and endorsements because some people are complete idiots

I’ve been on Twitter for more than 3 years and really never had a problem with this until now.

Earlier today, I tweeted a link to a Talking Points Memo post — a post that stupidly compared the Russian insurgents, who shot down an airliner, to Tea Party activists:

It opens with “TPM”, the site’s acronym, and a colon to indicate that what follows is what the website is saying, roughly. Simple enough. I’m linking to what someone said. This for some reason prompted a flood of idiots to attack me. Some of the best examples:

There was another golden example accusing me of being an Obama shill, but it’s since been deleted. So I’ll let that one go.

It’s long been a Twitter convention that retweeting something does not equal an endorsement of the material. I would think opening a tweet with the author’s website and a colon, followed by a description of his post that borders on mockery, would be even clearer in that regard.

My actual followers (love you guys from the bottom of my heart) seem to understand that. I’m grateful. But to clarify for the hit-and-run imbeciles: That tweet was not an endorsement of TPM’s theory, nor is any tweet in such a format an endorsement of the author’s work.