Aug 29 2014

The Biannual Silly Season Is About To Begin In Earnest

I know you all just can’t wait for congressional vacations to end and the run up to the term elections in November. So here is a bit of a preview what’s in store:

First up is from the blue eyed crazy man from Iowa.

Steve King: ‘All Bets Are Off’ On Government Shutdown If Obama Acts On Immigration

By Igor Bobic, Huffington Post

One of the most vehement opponents of comprehensive immigration reform said Wednesday that he supports a tactic that could lead to another federal government shutdown.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said that “all bets are off” about the fate of a continuing resolution to fund the government if President Barack Obama decides to unilaterally take action to provide deportations relief for undocumented immigrants.

“If the president wields his pen and commits that unconstitutional act to legalize millions, I think that becomes something that is nearly political nuclear,” King said, according to the Des Moines Register. “I think the public would be mobilized and galvanized and that changes the dynamic of any continuing resolution and how we might deal with that.”

Of course, he’ll easily hold his House seat.

In Kentucky, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch, “the human hybrid turtle,” McConnell is facing a tighter race than was expected from his Democratic challenger, Secretary of State Allison Lundgen Grimes, who leans right of center. But Mitch has some problems that might cost him his comfy seat.

A Kentucky Objection to McConnell’s Pandering to Millionaires and Billionaires

By John Nichols, The Nation

When the political mercenaries of American oligarchy jet off to consort with their electoral paymasters, they never imagine that the interactions will have consequences with constituents. The meetings are conducted in secret, the commitments that are made are never supposed to be revealed.

But, as Mitt Romney learned during the 2012 campaign, this is a new political era – when the old backroom banter about abandoning “the 47 percent” can go public and become the rallying cry for an opponent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was learning that Wednesday, as revelations about the top Republican’s pledges to serve the agenda of the billionaire Koch Brothers came back to haunt him on the campaign trail in Kentucky. Within hours after the revelation of McConnell promising a room full of millionaires and billionaires that he would block minimum-wage increases, the extension of unemployment benefits and student-loan debt relief, his Democratic challenger was signaling that the senator would be held to account at home.

Mitch McConnell’s promise to the Koch brothers

Sen. McConnell delivered a promise during a meeting hosted by the Koch brothers. Lawrence O’Donnell explains why his comments are a turning point in his campaign.

And if Mitch’s woes with the Koch wasn’t enough, there is some hanky-panky. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explains how a political bribery case involving former Iowa State Senator Kent Sorenson could upset McConnell’s campaign

There are a couple of governors having a rough time getting reelected:

Pennsylvania’s incumbent Republican governor has a wee problem with his poll numbers tanking. He’s trailing his Democratic opponent Tom Wolf, 24 – 49. I suppose that may be behind the governor’s reason for expanding medicaid for low income residents under the Affordable Care Act.

Up in Maine, Governor Paul LePage, Republican incumbent, is behind by 8 points in a three way race and he really hates the press.

“The worst part of my life is newspapers are still alive — sorry, I had to say it.”

LePage hasn’t been shy about his dislike of newspapers. In February 2013, he said newspapers were his “greatest fear.” He has also stated he wants to “blow … up” the headquarters of the Portland Press Herald and has boycotted sharing comments with at least three papers in the state.

The governor’s race in Wisconsin is neck and neck 70 days out from election day with the Republican incumbent scandal ridden, Koch brothers beholden, Scott Walker three points behind his Democratic opponent, Mary Burke. Yet, the folks at 538 Blog are predicting a Walker win. Here’s hoping Nate is wrong on this one.

Back in New York, The New York Times refused to endorse incumbent Governor Andrew Coumo, citing ethics, in his primary challenge from Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, who is getting a lot more recognition because of that and Andy’s lame attempts to keep her off the ballot. The primary in September 9.

Let the games begin.

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