September 29, 2010

Unprecedented: Obama's Painting Adopted Home State Illinois Bloody Red
— Ace

Dead heat in IL-8 (Republican Joe Walsh improving versus Democrat Melissa Bean).

The dead-heat results are the second consecutive poll in the past weeks that indicate that Walsh has gathered slightly more strength while Democrat Melissa Bean has remained stagnant among voters.

And Phil "I Don't Care About the Constitution" Hare is in a dead heat too:

This news comes as the National Republican Campaign Committee, the House GOP’s political unit, has a new internal poll saying Schilling is beating Hare, 44-43. National Journal’s Hotline on Call reported the poll this morning.

Even in the governor's race, it looks like it could go Republican:

Polling in the 8th District also showed Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady has a much stronger-than-expected lead in this district, which can largely be attributed to his 17-point lead among Independent voters.

Phil "Mr. Mensa" Hare is refusing to debate, too.

Thanks to PG.

Posted by: Ace at 11:23 AM | Comments (139)
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Trailer for "True Grit" Remake
— Ace

I doubt many will be interested (most readers seem very anti-remake and very pro-John Wayne, so the idea of remaking this film will seem pretty heinous), but if you care, the trailer can be seen here.

Via Ben Domenech.

Posted by: Ace at 10:04 AM | Comments (343)
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James O'Keefe's Odd Prank
— Ace

CNN writes this up to seem as scandalous as possible.

"The plans appeared so outlandish and so juvenile in tone, I questioned whether it was part of a second attempted punk," Boudreau said.

But in a phone conversation, Santa confirmed the document was authentic. Listed under "equipment needed," is "hidden cams on the boat," and a "tripod and overt recorder near the bed, an obvious sex tape machine."

Among the props listed were a "condom jar, dildos, posters and paintings of naked women, fuzzy handcuffs" and a blindfold.

According to the document, O'Keefe was to record a video of the following script before Boudreau arrived: "My name is James. I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort....

"Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath.

"Please sit back and enjoy the show." Boudreau, who has won multiple awards for her investigative reporting, called the comments "ridiculous."

I am guessing that by "seduce" he was joking. She wanted the story "James O'Keefe is a weirdo" so he was going to deliver that, playing a sexual deviant, let her run her story, and then reveal it was all a prank.

It's not the greatest expose because a reporter really can't be blamed for reporting about you what you tell them, you know? But still, it would have been good for a laugh. Not a great scandal, but a funny punking.


There's a context here: The New Republic ran a story called "Spring Breakdown" in the 90s depicting out-of-control sexually bestial conservatives going wild at CPAC. That story was by Stephen Glass. It was completely made up.

But no one questioned it much because, hey, conservatives suck, right? Everyone knows that, right?

Although O'Keefe is being depicted by CNN as if he intended to actually "seduce" this reporter, I think he means "seduce" as in "mentally seduce" as in "con." He was going to play to her preconceived biases to the hilt, and just get ridiculously jiggy with it, and then expose her for having not picked up on what would seem in retrospect like an obvious scam.

If it turns out he did really mean to seduce her, well, that's weird, and I'll eat my words But I think he just meant to be silly.

Posted by: Ace at 09:49 AM | Comments (110)
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House Democrats Win Vote To Adjourn By One Vote
— DrewM

Inside baseball stuff but really odd.

House Democrats on Wednesday barely won a 210-209 vote to adjourn the House without extending the Bush tax cuts.

Thirty-nine House Democrats voted against adjournment after Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) urged opposition to the motion in a floor speech that said it would be irresponsible for Congress to leave without providing certainty on the tax issue. Dozens of Democrats in tough races voted against adjourning.

"Vote no on this adjournment resolution. Give Congress a chance to vote on extending tax rates," Boehner said.

Boehner's floor speech turned the vote on adjournment into a referendum on the tax cuts, which has divided Democrats for months.

The Speaker of the House rarely votes (since it's nominally a non-partisan position that represents the whole House) but Pelosi had to cast the tie breaking vote.

Dozens of House Democrats signed a letter sent to Pelosi urging her to allow a vote to extend all the "Bush tax cuts" before the election. Other Democrats didn't want a vote either because they want taxes to go up or they preferred to have the issue (Republicans want to cut taxes on the rich but not the middle class!).

The latter two groups won and now a lot of the former group are going to lose big time. On their behalf let me be the first to say, Thanks Nancy!

Now the fight moves onto the lame duck where extending the tax cuts for some or all will compete with whatever recommendations the Obama 'Deficit Reduction' panned comes up with. Here's hoping we pick up enough special election seats (WV, DE, IL) to hold the line until January.

Posted by: DrewM at 09:20 AM | Comments (113)
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TN Court: Employees May Sue Bosses Without Cause
— LauraW

Well, technically, no, but that's what this will lead to.

In Tennessee, the burden of proof is now on the accused; an employer must somehow show that they did not harass, intimidate, or discriminate.

The ordinary rule, where one is presumed innocent until proven guilty, does not apply to 'employers,' which are nonhuman insects unworthy of the civil rights we afford to rapists and pederasts.

Need we note that proving yourself innocent of discriminatory behavior is an incredibly difficult task unless you (probably illegally) record every employer/employee interaction?
I see a lot of out-of-court settlement shakedowns in Tennesee's future.

Hey guys. What's the best way for a small business to avoid getting wrongly sued by a minority, a female, or an older employee?

Why, not hiring them in the first place, of course.

Brilliant, Tennessee Supreme Court. Good job.

UPDATED FROM COMMENTS:

28 In Tennessee, the burden of proof is now on the accused; an employer must somehow show that they did not harass, intimidate, or discriminate.

The linked article does not say this. Businesses are no longer allowed to get an automatic dismissal; they must make their case to a jury. If they want to avoid the trial and get the case thrown out before it is even heard, then yes, they must prove the claims are false.

But, contrary to your assertion, the burden of proof is not on the employer if it does go to a trial. The jury will decide whose case is more credible based on the facts presented at trial.

Posted by: The Republican Party at September 29, 2010 02:12 PM (DsU01)

Excellent point. Color me corrected, and contrite. Look, just ignore this whole post. Sorry.
I'm taking a mulligan, by the way.

This one doesn't count.

UPDATE II FROM COMMENTS:

One of the protections associated with the "Burden of Proof" is that an accuser must present prima facie evidence for a case to go to trial. The thinking is that taking someone to trial without such evidence is a waste of time, and the defendants money and resources. Just going to trial itself is costly. This eliminates that hurdle, making it easier for false claims to settle out of court to avoid the cost of trial. In effect Tenn has at law authorized corporate shakedowns. Every other type of case, the accuser has to meet prima facie outside of trial prior to a trial being allowed. In addition if a case doesn't have prima facie, and it goes to trial the trial judge should overturn the jury settlement, judgment notwithstanding the verdict (If appl to Tenn) , so no good reason exists to take a case to trial without prima facie evidence except to force shakedowns out of court in the form of cost saving settlements.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at September 29, 2010 02:28 PM (0q2P7)

I still suck for not reading the article thoroughly. I had it for two days and even had a discussion about it with Tom. What a dorkwad move not befitting a professional amateur cob-logger.

*hangs head in shame*

Thanks to Tom M.

Posted by: LauraW at 08:54 AM | Comments (85)
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Obama Spokesman: Maddow And Olbermann"Provide An Invaluable Service"
— DrewM

You'd think with all the time it takes to do such damage to the country, this administration wouldn't have time to play media critic. I guess they are good multi-taskers.

"If you're on the left, if you're somebody like Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or one of the folks who helps to keep our government honest and pushes and prods to make sure that folks are true to progressive values, then [the president] thinks that those folks provide an invaluable service,” (Deputy Press Secretary Bill) Burton told reporters.

Contrast that to Obama's statement that Fox News has a "Point of view that... is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country"

It's rather unseemly that the White House is in the business of passing out gold stars to certain news organizations and lumps of coal to others. Of course this is nothing new for the Obama gang but it's not wearing any better with age or repetition.

There are only two instances I can really remember the Bush administration getting into it with specific news organizations. One was with NBC over the editing of an interview. In that case, the White House sent a letter to the network and in the other I think there was some back and forth with the NY Times over stories focusing on secret security programs. There may have been others (and I'm not talking about the normal granting of access type issues but public feuds) but I don't recall them.

The difference between this and the last administration (at least on this issue, there's obviously many more), Bush never called into question the legitimacy of either organization, just their judgment in very specific cases. I don't recall Bush saying CBS had an agenda in trying to swing the '04 election by broadcasting lies about his service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Obama however is a thin skinned whiner who simply can't rise above his training as a community organizer and Chicago pol to be President. If you want the big chair and all the vacation time that comes with it, that means you don't get to swing back every time someone takes a shot at you. You don't get to confer approval on the editorial direction of some news outlets and disapproval of others.

Well, obviously a President can do these things but in electing to do so, he once again demonstrates his unworthiness for the office.

Related: Media types are starting to get all worked up over the fact that FNC has a bunch of potential GOP presidential candidates on their payroll as commentators. I admit, it's a little hinkey for a news organization to have actual news-makers on the payroll but none of them are active candidates. Is that a bit of a charade? Sure and Fox (and the individuals) may or may not pay a price for that but as of now, none of the six people identified are candidates, so they are free to hire themselves out to Fox, just like supposed objective journalists are free to take money to go on Olbermann or Maddow's shows.

The real story is that journalists worried about FNC's roster of commentators don't seem to have much interest in the White House giving thumbs up/thumbs down to certain news organizations.

You have to be a fool or a liberal (no need to Venn diagram that one) to think FNC is more dangerous to the republic than an administration with an enemies list.

Posted by: DrewM at 08:22 AM | Comments (142)
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Chris Matthews: Businesses Are Out to Get Obama
— Dave in Texas

I think you got that backwards Chrissy.

More of the same stupid theme that started last week, stinking of flop-sweat and desperation over the coming election apocalypse. It's time to blame businesses for sitting on their hands and waiting out the uncertainty of future federal encumbrances. Jesus Christ, we're still trying to comprehend the impact of Obamacare, so pardon these entities that are possessed of the same survival instinct the rest of us have, for trying to stay alive while Congress keeps pondering new ways to grab more.

Idiot.

via jazz at H2

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 07:36 AM | Comments (207)
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FBI: all your P2P communication are belong to us
— Purple Avenger

Chilling, and ummm...technically retarded.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone...

...To counter such problems, officials are coalescing around several of the proposal’s likely requirements:

¶ Communications services that encrypt messages must have a way to unscramble them.

¶ Foreign-based providers that do business inside the United States must install a domestic office capable of performing intercepts.

Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception...

alfred e neumanThey might be able to strong arm genuine businesses into doing the first two points, but the 3rd is insane and opens the door to the FBI being fed bogus information.

First of all, you don't even need elaborate P2P "software" per se to communicate on a peer level. The ubiquitous PING utility can be used for this, since pings can be sent out with a data block attached, so two people who know each other's IP's can simply sit there sending each other pings with an encrypted payload attached, and have a ICMP packet filter installed to peel out data blocks and queue/feed them to a display utility when an ICMP comes from one of the specific IP addresses you're looking for.

This is NOT freaking rocket science. Any programmer with even a casual knowledge of TCP/IP programming could easily hack up such a workaround in a day or less. I know I could.

There's plenty of public domain sources for PING utilities. The mods to add a user specified and encrypted data block would be trivial. I'd bet such already mod'ed PING already exist if I were to bother searching for them.

Packet filters are pretty easy, so suppose the FBI manages to strong arm everyone hawking P2P software (any online 2 player game for instance) and they all install some sort of backdoor into their apps?

The specifics of what trigger that backdoor are going to remain secret for about 10 nanoseconds, and anyone can write a packet filter to figure out if they're being monitored.

Of course, once you know you're being monitored, its easy enough to create another packet filter to generate/insert bogus outbound data directed to the FBI and/or send the recipient a PING with a data payload indicating your connection is being monitored and everyone should dummy up.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 07:09 AM | Comments (117)
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Submit to Me, Bitch: Dan Webster Vaults Ahead of Alan Grayson
— Ace

Bitch wrinkle kicked.

Webster, a former state senator, leads the freshman congressman 43-36 in the survey of 559 likely voters conducted Sept. 25-27.

Ed Morrissey writes:

Grayson insisted that he ran the ad to defend women, but “women really loathe him,” pollster James Lee reports. Among female voters, Grayson has a 33/53 favorability rating, and Webster beats him by twelve points, 45/33.

More bad news for Grayson -- he's actually still leading with Independents, even in this poll, and still be behind. That probably will not remain the case. Independents often get their news a lot slower than everyone else. I can't see them going for a liar.

Grayson's whole schtick, of course, is that toxic Democratic idea that the way to be "tough" is simply to be obnoxiously dishonest. "Republicans win that way," they tell themselves, and "tough Democrats" fight fire with fire.

Meanwhile they make monsters of themselves. But that's "tough."

Posted by: Ace at 06:50 AM | Comments (143)
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Hunting the Palins
— Geoff

The pressure never lets up on the Palin family. Today they're after Bristol:

A state investigator is apparently checking whether it was legal for "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Bristol Palin to be in a downtown Anchorage establishment while dancing partner Mark Ballas performed.

The question is Palin's age, 19. She could only legally be in Rumrunners Old Towne Bar and Grill last Friday if accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian over 21.

Uh-oh. But wait, there is one more exception:
State law also would allow her to be there if it's been designated as a bona fide restaurant, and she was there only to eat.
A "bona fide restaurant" eh? Well, perhaps the AP could have done what I did: look up this gin joint online and see if it really is a food establishment. In the 30 seconds it takes to find and visit their website, you quickly find their dinner menu, which sounds simply outstanding.

I took the liberty of scanning the Steak portion of the menu (click to enjoy at legible size):

Rum-RunnersSteakMenuSmall.gif


Da-rool, da-rool (4:42). Between that and the Klondike Bacon Cheese Burger, I'm not only convinced that Rum Runners is a "bona fide restaurant," I'm thinking about a dedicated expedition to Anchorage to dive face first into their offerings.

The obvious virtues of the menu aside, I believe that it's clear that Bristol had the right to be in the establishment - the only question is whether she was slugging down shooters and pints while she was there. I'm doubting it, and in the absence of some other indication of a crime, going back to try to find a crime smacks of yet another anti-Palin witch hunt.

And the AP's apparent reluctance to actually spend the minute required to investigate the establishment tells me that they're fine with that.

Posted by: Geoff at 05:29 AM | Comments (315)
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Money Talks
— Dave in Texas

Caught this from justkarl last night, where the DCCC is puttin their money where their mouth is.

So look and tell me, who's noticeably absent from the list morons? I mean, it's just an early buy, but like the man said, "follow the money."

I think the man said that. He was smoking and wearing a leisure suit though, and a tie as wide as my ass, so, it could be a dated reference. Maybe we should follow where the insults to the base are gettin tossed out by President Wonderful and Sheriff Joe on the campaign trail?

Keep in mind it's early, they've reserved ad time in other places, but no buys there yet. This is the week to watch.

ALSO: some more encouraging news via commenter CAC, Dan Webster has a 7 point lead over Alan "Sunshine" Grayson in FL-8.

Alan, submit to your Daniel.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 01:55 AM | Comments (121)
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Top Headline Comments 9-29-2010
— Dave in Texas

Humpday is for lovers.

bdfunds.jpg

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 01:31 AM | Comments (87)
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September 28, 2010

Massive Conspiracy To Defraud The Vote In Houston Conducted By Company... Connected To Obama Activist
— Ace

She was in fact a member of the group "recruiting" voters.

You'll never guess who it is. You already know this woman.

Hint: Che Guevera.

Posted by: Ace at 08:22 PM | Comments (77)
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Ace: This New Sean Duffy Ad Makes Me Want To Be Weird Again
Sean Duffy: Scale of 1 to 10 -- How Weird?
Ace: A Four

— Ace

Sean-Duffy-You-Give-My-Heart-An-Erection.jpg

Sean Duffy: That Seems More Like a Nine
Ace: Dude You Don't Even Want To Know From a Nine

Well, I really was attempting to lay off our candidates with the weird stuff, but then Sean Duffy's campaign people, who really want to get fired I guess, sent me his new ad.

It's more lumberjackin'.


more...

Posted by: Ace at 06:18 PM | Comments (101)
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Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch

Evening all M&Ms.

Christian Proselytizing Near Muslims Legal in Michigan

For now. If you've got the money and time to defend yourself in court.

And not if the Mayor of Dearborn has his way:

"It's really about a hatred of Muslims," [Dearborn Mayor Jack] O'Reilly said. "That is what the whole heart of this is. ... Their idea is that there is no place for Muslims in America. They fail to understand the Constitution."
Umm the Constitution - I don't think it means what he thinks it means.

The fact that they got arrested and had to go to trial for quietly handing out religious fliers seems like a pretty obvious violation of 3 of the 4 clauses of the First Amendment. Plus the police also seem to believe you also don't have the right to video them arresting someone for handing out religious fliers. So the whole episode is disturbingly un-Constitutional in several ways.

And here's video of the incident:

So how did Islam, a religion followed by less than 2% of the US population, manage to become a de facto state religion? more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:23 PM | Comments (838)
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A Word From The King*
— Monty

I been downhearted baby
Ever since the day we met
I been downhearted baby
Ever since the day we met
You know our love is nothin' but the blues
Baby how blue can you get?

*That's Mr. B. B. King, not Aaron Copland as I first thought.

more...

Posted by: Monty at 03:45 PM | Comments (168)
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Sean Bielat: Either I'm Going To Win Or I'm Going To Build a Giant Robot That Will Destroy Brookline
— Ace

I like the cut of this guy's jib.

Posted by: Ace at 11:53 AM | Comments (432)
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Is Steny Hoyer In Trouble?
— Ace

Via Regular Folk United, an upset a-brewin'?

Democrat enthusiasm is way down this year, so their turnout is likely to be far lower. In 2006, a midterm election that was also a big year for Democrats, there were barely 200,000 votes cast in the 5th District race. So if there is a similar turnout Nov. 2, and Lollar merely matches the GOP’s 80,000 total from 2008, that puts him at 40%. Add another 15,000 votes, and he’s in shocker-upset range.

Three weeks ago, I thought Lollar had a shot, based simply on analyzing the district and reading his biography: An up-through-the-ranks Marine intelligence officer — a major in the USMC Reserve. But after having lunch Friday with Lollar, I’m telling you flat-out: This guy’s a winner, if we can just get him the money to do it.

Kick in $20 for Charles Lollar and make it happen.

He's also black, which will help. And also-- handsome. Also, Marine.

I think this guy can do it. Someone's getting shocked on November 2nd.

Dick Morris noted there were Democrats in real trouble who don't even know it yet, since few bother to poll districts like Hoyer's.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Pic from Hotspur of H2

Posted by: Ace at 10:34 AM | Comments (348)
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Nancy Pelosi: "I Will Still Be Speaker In Five Weeks"
Ace: "No shit? Me too!"

— Ace

We're all going to be Speaker of the House, Nancy. It will be so much fun!!11!!

When Nancy Pelosi sat down for her keynote address at Women@NBCU’s annual Power of the Purse Breakfast this morning at Cipriani’s in New York, host Jeff Zucker wasted no time getting her take on the state of politics this year. Specifically, the outgoing NBC Universal CEO and president asked if Pelosi herself would still be in office in five weeks.

“I will still be Speaker in five weeks,” she said. “I have big confidence in my candidates. They’re excellent; they’re battle-tested. They know what they believe, and they’re doing just fine in their districts.”

This is one of those uncomfortable moments when you're speaking to a crazy-person and they're getting all agitated and insistent and they say, "I will be Speaker of the House. You believe me, don't you?"

And you resort to that thing you know is just going to make them come at you with scissors, but what else can you say? "I believe that you believe that, Nancy."

Yeah that doesn't work with crazy-people. They've heard that. That one thing isn't fooling them. Their senses fool them, but not the "I believe that you believe" thing. We should probably retire that one.

Nancy Pelosi For Speaker of the House

And also -- for Cowboy Spaceman! And also -- for Dinosaur!!!


You Know Who Doesn't Believe Nancy Pelosi Will Be Speaker? Senate Democrats. "The House is lost; you have to save the Senate."

House and Senate Democrats are increasingly competing against one another over a small universe of deep-pocketed donors who could make a financial difference in the final stretch before the midterm elections.

In some cases, donors report that they are being urged to fund Senate campaigns at the expense of the House, where Democrats are in danger of losing their majority.

One House Democratic fundraiser said that some Senate operatives are telling big donors and union officials, “The House is lost; you have to save the Senate.”

John Dennis For Congress! He wants to give granny a nice retirement.

Posted by: Ace at 09:28 AM | Comments (354)
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David Weigel Pines for Cindy Sheehan of Yore
— Geoff

David Weigel, yes that David Weigel, continues to show off the journalistic chops that so endeared him to conservatives this past summer. Today he laments the decline of Cindy Sheehan into an irredeemable state of idiocy.

Via Stephen Gutowski, here's the star of the summer of 2005 completing her descent into any-conspiracy-will-do-ism and declaring herself a "9/11 Truther."

There really was a political/cultural moment when Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq, was an un-touchable, credible activist.

No, Davy, there wasn't. That moment never existed. From the start, it was a trivial task to identify Sheehan as an opportunistic, irrational, emotional spooge-rag for the Left. Her "credibility" was manufactured by the media and was believable only to those who were already convinced that George Bush was the spawn of a Hitler/Lucifer/Bonzo love triangle.

People like, I suspect, Dave Weigel, who is only now realizing that she's a loon. Hint to any WaPo refugees currently hiding out at Slate: She. Didn't. Change.

But wait, there's more. He closes with this errant attempt at pith:

I am not, not, not making a one-to-one comparison here, but there is a lesson for tea party activists who are currently and unquestioningly the toast of the conservative elite and the GOP.
First, you have to wonder if he meant "unquestionably," rather than "unquestioningly." But either way, calling Tea Party activists "the toast of the conservative elite and the GOP" is to completely ignore the past 6 months of primary battles and Democratic chortlings over GOP infighting.

Ah well, at least he got "untouchable" right.

Posted by: Geoff at 09:14 AM | Comments (125)
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