After watching Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell raise a little over five percent of her itemized donations from people who could actually vote for her -- that is, from people in Delaware -- we wanted to see how the rest of the Tea Party Senate slate fared.
It turns out that there's not much correlation between where a Tea Party pol got the money and what happened on Election Day. The final, final reports aren't in yet, but the FEC documents so far show that most of them raised a ton of money out of state. Check out the expanded view of all nine.
(Special thanks to our in-house astrophysicist, Summer Ash, for the data-wrangling.)
The first thing I think we need to do is to make sure that Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists. And when I say safe haven, I'm not talking about that there isn't a possibility of a terrorist in Afghanistan. I'm saying that when you look at other countries similarly situated -- Somalia, Yemen, other countries -- that Afghanistan is at least as safe as those countries.
"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina. That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong, fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent, or you will find an attack."
Incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) got just the result he and his campaign were hoping for in the Denver Post today. The paper writes:
Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck has edged away from his earlier endorsement of the consumption tax -- high fees tacked onto common goods such as groceries -- saying now he would push a simplified tax code as U.S. senator. He said he doesn't believe a consumption tax is smart.
Buck's sidestepping comes after Bennet began airing ads calling Buck's tax positions extreme. The so-called consumption tax would fund the federal government by charging shoppers a national sales tax of up to 23 percent extra on everyday items like a loaf of bread. If you're rich, the good news is that you could afford it. If you're poor, you could eat less bread.
The Post notes that Buck supported a national sales tax during the primary. One citation has him favoring replacing the income tax entirely with a sales tax. Now tells the Post, "I think it has to be recognized as an alternative, but it was never my alternative."
In this year of extremist anti-choice Republican candidates, conservatives in Colorado have found a measure that might go too far, even for them. The proposed Amendment 62 would add this language to the constitution: "Person defined. As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term "person" shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being. It's enough that GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck, who would force women to bear their rapist's babies and those of their relatives, too, has backed away from supporting it.
The Fetal Personhood Amendment, as it's known, would categorize fertilized human eggs as people. It gives the zygote the same
rights as those of us who are out in the world and moving around. "To my fellow @Maddow watchers- if a zygote has the same rights as us, can they marry each other?" @ims tweets. "Wait. Not everyone can do that. Never mind." And from Geoff Hinton on Facebook: "If I'm considered a human being at the begining of biological development, does that mean my birthday changes to November, not August?"
And that's not all. According to Leslie Hanks, one of Amendment 62's authors, it would make certain forms of the pill and other contraceptive devices illegal. "Many of the oral contraceptives have an action that makes the womb inhospitable to a developing embryo and, hence, the new living, growing baby is prevented from residing where his or her creator intended until birth."
"I don't care that these folks call themselves conservatives," Rachel Maddow said on the show last night. "If this is limited government, I'm the queen of England. This is really, really, really, really, really, really big government."
Just for kicks, check out Delaware's Democratic Senate candidate on abortion. Chris Coons lists reproductive rights among his signature issue. The site says: "Chris believes that decisions about a woman's health, including issues surrounding pregnancy, should be left to her and her doctor. . . .Chris supports public funding of all reproductive health services for women who depend on the federal government for their health care."
We're curious about candidates in your part of the country -- are any of them taking a strong stand like that for abortion rights? Let us know in the comments, please.
Colorado's Ken Buck is one of five Republican Senate candidates this year who is so opposed to individual freedom that he'd force women to bear a rapist's baby. So maybe it's no surprise that Buck also opposes the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, on the grounds that the military should be as "homogeneous as possible."
Huffington Post has the video of Buck debating Democrat Michael Bennet on Friday, in which Buck says:
It's one thing to deny someone access to the military and to a career in the military, it's another thing to -- for morale purposes and other purposes -- make sure that we are as homogeneous as possible in the military in moving towards the common goal of the security and the military action, as opposed to the distractions that are caused by allowing lifestyle choices to become part of the discussion.
Would that be "homogeneous" as in pre-World War II homogeneous? Buck's clearly talking about gay troops -- and their "lifestyle choices" -- breaking the homogeneity and not African Americans, but the discrimination is just as rank.
President Obama's pretzel logic on gay marriage should be low-hanging fruit for the Republicans -- he supports equal rights for gay people, just not those equal rights. Post-Rove Republicans seem, for now, to be letting it go.
Meanwhile, the second big issues of the culture war is quietly taking over: a woman's right to choose. The Republican Party this year, without actually talking about it, is nominating a group of candidates for top of the ticket races that are more extreme on the issue of abortion than any other slate of top-of-the-ticket candidates in any year.
In Nevada, Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle says the government should force women to bear the children of rape and incest, that it might be part of God's purpose. Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul calls himself "100 pro-life" and says Rand Paul says that in the case of rape, at least the morning-after pill works pretty well.
And in Colorado, the frontrunner for the Republican Senate bid, Ken Buck, says he doesn't believe "in the exceptions of rape or incest."
Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell tells us the new Republican response stems from hard times:
Often, when America is in a period of economic anxiety, it starts looking around for individuals to blame. And sometimes, the very best place to start asserting control is right in the middle of a woman, in her uterus.
The fact is there's been a lot of discourse about women's reproduction. On the one hand, there's this anxiety about the derogatory anchor babies, right? The idea that there's a population that is over-reproducing. And these women should be shunted out of the country. They should be, you know, criminalized and their children should not be given citizenship rights.
On the other hand, there is an anxiety about wanting, particularly middle-class white women, to produce more babies, because, see, what middle-class white women have done is go off and get careers and become equal in their marriages.
And so marriage equality is not just those scary same-sex people but also about these assertive women who are equal in their marriages and therefore not producing enough white children to counter back all of these bad anchor babies.
So there is a whole set of very deep racial and economic anxieties that always emerge whenever we start looking at politicians wanting to talk about controlling the fertility and particularly the reproductive choices of women.