Friday, September 27, 2013

DeMint Wants A Mulligan

Former Sen. Jim DeMint, who left the Senate to make a pile of money scamming wingnuts through the Heritage Foundation, claims that the election of 2012 didn’t count because the Republicans never got their real message out and Mitt Romney sucked as a conservative.

DeMint thinks the election results don’t accurately reflect national sentiment and therefore can’t be used to argue against his desire to move the party to the right. True conservatism never got a hearing—particularly not in regard to Obamacare, which was, after all, modeled after a Massachusetts law signed by Romney. “Because of Romney and Romneycare, we did not litigate the Obamacare issue,” he says. Essentially, DeMint is declaring a mistrial. His side can still prevail, he says, but only by awakening the angry, alienated masses who were put off by Romney’s tepid impersonation of a conservative.

So much for the GOP re-examination, autopsy, and rebranding.  (By the way, as upyernoz reminds us, Romneycare, which begat Obamacare, was invented by the Heritage Foundation.)

The good news is that if the Republicans actually listen to Mr. DeMint — and the point the Business Week article is that he’s the one really calling the shots on Capitol Hill — it’s going to be a very long time before there’s another Republican president.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

All In The Family

Via Huffington Post:

Over the Christmas break of 2010, Mitt Romney and his family took an internal poll on whether he should run for president once more. Twelve family members cast ballots. Ten said no. One of the 10 was Mitt Romney himself.

That’s according to a new book on the 2012 campaign by Dan Balz.

Mitt Romney had other reasons to think that not running might be the wiser choice. Winning as a moderate from Massachusetts who happened to be Mormon was always going to be difficult. “A lot of the thinking on the part of my brothers and dad was, ‘I’m not sure I can win a primary given those dynamics.'” Tagg Romney said. The prospective candidate also knew the sheer physical and family toll another campaign would take. “He’s a private person and, push comes to shove, he wants to spend time with his family and enjoy his time with them,” his son said. “Even up until the day before he made the announcement, he was looking for excuses to get out of it. If there had been someone who he thought would have made a better president than he, he would gladly have stepped aside.”

Which makes you wonder how he would have felt if he had actually won.

We really dodged the bullet there.

Friday, March 22, 2013

News Flashes

A few things I saw while looking around the internet during daylight hours:

  • “I said what?” — Ohio Gov. John Kasich was for civil unions until he found out what he said.
  • “I called dibs!” — Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum discussed teaming up to form a “unity ticket” to run against Mitt Romney last year until they couldn’t agree who would be at the top of the ticket.
  • Dodged that bullet — Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) says he’s not gay, so he won’t marry one.

Carry on.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Catching Up

Go away for a little while for some behind-the-scenes maintenance and look what happens.  Things happen without me.

So I missed out on the big announcement of the election of the new pope.  Turns out to be another old white guy, this time from Argentina, who has 18th century views on things like reproductive rights, marriage equality, the role of women in the Catholic church, and may have been complicit in the disappearance of dissidents during the military dictatorship in Argentina.  A real breath of stale air.

Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned a day after she was questioned about her role in a charity scam involving internet gambling.  She is facing possible criminal charges.  Yes, I know the joke is that it’s an event for a public official to not be facing some kind of criminal charge in order to puff up the resume, but this one seems especially egregious: the scam was supposedly raising funds to help veterans, but the only thing it seemed to be doing was separating suckers — both in the internet “cafes” and through charity appeals — of their money.

Scott Prouty, the man who caught Mitt Romney on tape telling the truth about his views of the 47% last spring has come forward and told his story.  I’m sure he’s already getting the shitstorm from the right wingers who are going to dig into his background and make a huge deal about every time he scratched his ass.

The wingnut circus and trade show known as CPAC has hit Washington.  This annual gathering of the desperate and the doomed brings out the best in the conservative movement, which means we’re going to be entertained with all sorts of amusement.  Fortunately these folks are better at being unintentionally funny than they are at winning elections.  Best quote so far: Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX): “Vietnam was winnable.”  BYO popcorn.

Did I miss anything else?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Piercing General Powell

Charles P. Pierce is not impressed with Gen. Colin Powell’s revelation that the GOP is infused with a “dark vein of intolerance.”

I mean, it’s not like the Republican party was taken over by nasty racist bastards some time in the past four years. It’s been a generational process, going back at least to the conscious decision made by Republican leaders in the mid-1960’s to ally themselves with the powerful remnant of established American apartheid, particularly in the South. This all took place while Powell was rising, first through the military and then through the Republican political establishment.  Earlier in the interview, he claimed pride of place by declaring himself a member of the Republican party of Ronald Reagan, who kicked off his campaign talking about states rights in Mississippi, and who fought for tax-exemptions for segregated “Christian academies,” and of the Republican party of the elder George Bush, who had no compunction at all about letting the late Lee Atwater scrape the country’s racial wounds raw in order to win an election. Of all the people that come to mind, he was uniquely suited to push back against the rising power of polite white supremacy within the conservative movement generally, and the Republican party in particular. As far as I know, he did nothing of the sort. The “dark vein of intolerance” has been in plain sight since 1964. Where you been, General?

It should also be pointed out that waiting until after the election is safely over before condemning extremism in your own party is not exactly a profile in courage.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Reading

Gerrymandered — How the Republicans won the House with fewer votes than the Democrats.

Media narratives of the fiscal-cliff negotiations and the upcoming debt-ceiling brinksmanship often seem premised on the idea that the American people have voted for a divided government and are demanding that President Obama and the Republican House split their differences in a responsible bipartisan bargain, grand or otherwise. But what if the voters, properly understood, haven’t actually sent such a message?

Obama won the popular vote by a comfortable margin and secured a second term in the White House. That same day, more Americans voted for Democratic Senate candidates than Republicans; this led to the inauguration, last week, of a Senate led by Democrats. And a million more Americans voted for Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives than voted for Republican candidates. Yet the new House has a thirty-three-seat Republican majority.

There is one main reason for the electoral anomaly in the House: gerrymandering. Every ten years, following the decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution, state governments redraw legislative and congressional districts. Republicans have done well at capturing statehouses in recent years, even in states that have gone Democratic in Senate and Presidential votes, such as Virginia. In some of these states, Republicans have redrawn district lines with ruthless self-interest to ensure that voters elect the maximum conceivable number of Republicans to the House.

Organizational theory and common sense would suggest that both major political parties engage in such shenanigans equally, when given the opportunity. That may be so over long periods of time; there is no especially convincing reason to ascribe to the Democratic Party any self-effacing idealism about getting its people elected. And yet, in a series of compelling posts recently, the statistical election-modeller Samuel Wang, of the Princeton Election Consortium, has argued that we are in an “asymmetric” period of Republican manipulation of electoral maps.

According to Wang’s math, twenty-six seats out of the thirty-three-seat Republican advantage in the House can be attributed to gerrymandering in states with legislatures controlled by Republicans. He estimates that, in 2012, the number of American voters disenfranchised by this mapmaking—that is, the number of voters whose ballots were effectively rendered meaningless by various forms of stuffing Republican majorities into safe districts—was in the neighborhood of four million.

Permanent Solution to a Temporary Problem — Cory Doctrow mourns the death of internet genius Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide Friday night.  Mr. Swartz was facing prosecution for hacking, but also had another problem: depression.

But Aaron was also a person who’d had problems with depression for many years. He’d written about the subject publicly, and talked about it with his friends.

I don’t know if it’s productive to speculate about that, but here’s a thing that I do wonder about this morning, and that I hope you’ll think about, too. I don’t know for sure whether Aaron understood that any of us, any of his friends, would have taken a call from him at any hour of the day or night. I don’t know if he understood that wherever he was, there were people who cared about him, who admired him, who would get on a plane or a bus or on a video-call and talk to him.

Because whatever problems Aaron was facing, killing himself didn’t solve them. Whatever problems Aaron was facing, they will go unsolved forever. If he was lonely, he will never again be embraced by his friends. If he was despairing of the fight, he will never again rally his comrades with brilliant strategies and leadership. If he was sorrowing, he will never again be lifted from it.

Depression strikes so many of us. I’ve struggled with it, been so low I couldn’t see the sky, and found my way back again, though I never thought I would. Talking to people, doing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, seeking out a counsellor or a Samaritan — all of these have a chance of bringing you back from those depths. Where there’s life, there’s hope. Living people can change things, dead people cannot.

Safety in Numbers — Carl Hiaasen counts the folks in the NRA.

A conservative pollster reported that more than 70 percent of NRA members surveyed support certain reforms that are rabidly opposed by the leadership — requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers, for example, and banning firearm ownership by anyone on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

Another fact that the NRA doesn’t brag about: Its funding increasingly depends on gun manufacturers, not gun owners. According to the Violence Policy Center, 22 firearms manufacturers, including Beretta USA and Smith & Wesson, gave almost $39 million to the NRA between 2005 and 2011.

So it’s basically a corporate shill promoting itself as a grass-roots defender of the Constitution.

In many states the NRA has used campaign contributions and threats of retribution to secure political puppets such as Baxley. The successful tactic has given the lobby a clout that far outweighs the true size of its constituency.

The NRA claims 4.3 million members. If you charitably assume it’s not padding the numbers, the total still represents just a tiny fraction of American gun owners, of whom there are at least 146 million.

In other words, more than 97 percent of legal gun owners in this country — hunters, target shooters, people who keep or carry a firearm for protection — don’t belong to the NRA.

Many gun owners have multiple weapons (I own two, a shotgun and a rifle), but the vast majority don’t keep assault rifles or military-style semi-automatics of the type used on the moviegoers in Aurora, Colo., the children in Newtown or, more recently, four firefighters and an off-duty policeman in Webster, New York.

Doonesbury — Job fair.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lie of the Year

Fact-checker Politifact is problematic in a lot of what they do — Rachel Maddow has a long-running feud with them over their version of what is true or false — but this time I think they’ve got it right.

It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.

People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.

PolitiFact has selected Romney’s claim that Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.

And the competition was really tough, too.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Unbalanced

Dan Froomkin has a great piece up at Huffington about how the press bungled the biggest story of the 2012 campaign.

Post-mortems of contemporary election coverage typically include regrets about horserace journalism, he-said-she-said stenography, and the lack of enlightening stories about the issues.

But according to longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth.

Mann and Ornstein are two longtime centrist Washington fixtures who earlier this year dramatically rejected the strictures of false equivalency that bind so much of the capital’s media elite and publicly concluded that GOP leaders have become “ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

“Both sides do it” will be the epitaph of good journalism in the mainstream press.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Discord Among the Astroturf

Former Rep. Dick Armey is bailing on the Tea Party group he helped start.

Armey, the former House majority leader who helped develop and promote the GOP’s Contract with America in the 1990s, tendered his resignation in an memo sent to Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks, on November 30. Mother Jones obtained the email on Monday, and Armey has confirmed he sent it. The tone of the memo suggests that this was not an amicable separation.

[…]

In the email, Armey indicated that he wants nothing to do with FreedomWorks anymore. He asked that all user names, passwords, and security-related data created in his name be emailed to him by the close of business on December 4. He even insisted that FreedomWorks—”effective immediately”—was “prohibited” from using a booklet he authored. Was Armey’s resignation a reaction to the recent election results? “Obviously I was not happy with the election results,” he says. “We might’ve gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction. But it isn’t that I got my nose out of line because we should’ve done better.”

Armey declined to specify his disagreements with FreedomWorks. Asked if they were ideological or tactical, he replies, “They were matters of principle. It’s how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don’t want to be the guy to create problems.”

I don’t know if this is a sign of a larger trend among the nutsery or just an internal difference at FreedomWorks, but it’s not altogether unexpected after losing an election that they portrayed as the Most Important Election in the history of the world.  They’ve been working on destroying the Democrats and Barack Obama for so long and not only did he get re-elected, the Democrats actually gained seats in the House and Senate.

They also spent a certifiable shitload of money to get nothing.  Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate, spent more than $150 million of his own money, first in support of Newt Gingrich, then on other races, and crapped out.  In Ohio, Josh Mandel spent about $23 a vote to lose to Sherrod Brown.  So there has to be a lot of pissed-off people on the right, and it’s natural that they start eating their own.

You want fries with that?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

As If We Cared

From today’s Washington Post:

By all accounts, the past month has been most difficult on Romney’s wife, Ann, who friends said believed up until the end that ascending to the White House was their destiny. They said she has been crying in private and trying to get back to riding her horses.

To quote the immortal Hawkeye Pierce: “The instrument has yet to be invented that can measure my indifference to that remark.”

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Voters That Mattered

Stuart Stevens, the chief strategist of the Romney campaign, tried to make chicken salad out of chicken shit in an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday.

On Nov. 6, Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income. That means he carried the majority of middle-class voters. While John McCain lost white voters younger than 30 by 10 points, Romney won those voters by seven points, a 17-point shift. Obama received 4½million fewer voters in 2012 than 2008, and Romney got more votes than McCain.

Oh, and Barack Obama wouldn’t have won if he hadn’t been… y’know… black.

There was a time not so long ago when the problems of the Democratic Party revolved around being too liberal and too dependent on minorities. Obama turned those problems into advantages and rode that strategy to victory. But he was a charismatic African American president with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical. How easy is that to replicate?

Well, they’re not going to let that happen again.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Comeuppance

Back during the presidential campaign I noted that one of the good things that could come out of it if President Obama was re-elected would be that folks like Karl Rove and Grover Norquist were beaten badly enough that they went home crying to their mamas.  I was being metaphorical, but in a way it seems to be happening, at least to Mr. Norquist and his anti-tax pledge that held thrall over the Republicans.

Sixteen Republican incumbent Republicans and one incumbent senator who signed the pledge lost re-election, and a total of 56 House members or candidates and 24 senators or candidates lost. As a result, a growing number are abandoning the pledge.

The latest to join the trend is Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the better-known sycophants in the party.  He was preceded by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), although there is doubt that he is any more likely to break with the pledge than he was in the past when it suited him to say it in order to get on TV.

What may be slowly dawning on these folks is that it might not be such a good idea any more to be bound to a man who dreamed up his no-new-taxes pledge when he was in middle school and who still uses the word “poopyhead” in his conversations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gone West

At long last, via the Miami Herald:

Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West conceded his re-election fight Tuesday, two weeks after the vote gave way to court appearances, two partial recounts and unending accusations by his camp that the vote count wasn’t fair.

“There are certainly still inaccuracies in the results” but not enough to change the outcome, the Republican freshman said in a statement conceding the race to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West added.

Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said he was not aware of any concession call to his candidate, simply an email that was publicly distributed.

Charming to the last, eh?

I am glad Mr. West is out of Congress.  It’s not because I disagreed with everything he stood for and everything he said, although that’s a big part of it.  I’m glad he’s gone because he didn’t do anything.  His term in Congress was a complete waste of time.  He accomplished nothing other than to find a platform to shout his paranoia and quirky bile into the headlines.  It was all about him and nothing about the people he was elected to represent.  His record in Congress is a cypher, and while the 112th Congress accomplished very little, he accomplished even less unless you count emulating Joe McCarthy and Frank Burns as something to be proud of.

There have been a lot of men and women who have been elected to office from both parties that did very little to earn their salary or their re-election.  Mr. West, though, did something very few of them did: he further tarnished the reputation of Congress, which I didn’t think was possible.

He’ll probably end up on Fox News and they’ll probably pay him a lot of money to keep saying his stupid and paranoid stuff.  Fine; he can do whatever he wants as long as I’m not paying for it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

This Is How You Win An Election

A lot has been written in the last two weeks about how the Obama campaign pulled off a strong re-election against some incredible odds (and odd people, too).  There’s been a lot of talk about messaging and getting donors lined up, getting the right surrogates out there, having good oppo research, and having an instant counter-strike force ready to take on whatever the Republicans threw out there… or gaffed up on the field.

All of that was important, but it really didn’t matter until the actual votes were cast, and that meant getting every voter that had the slightest inclination to vote for Barack Obama out to the polls, either early voting or on the actual day.  And that took dedication, organization, and just plain hard work.  Not everyone can do all of that, even those who want to.  For some, it’s the time that it takes, for others it’s the cost that cannot be absorbed.  So they found other ways that they could help win the election.

For instance, my parents.  They have been involved in a lot of campaigns in Northwest Ohio for many years, and you might recall that in 2004, my mom was a delegate to the Democratic convention in Boston.  In 2008 they opened their house to visiting campaign workers and volunteers, and this year they did it again.  Yesterday they shared their story with TPM.

I just read the great piece by the man from Idaho who went to Cleveland to canvass for Obama’s re-election. My husband and I were similarly blown away by the dedication to Democracy we saw in the volunteers we hosted. At our house (my husband and I are in our 80’s by the way) we have taken in workers like this man who arrive from all over the country.

We have given them beds and use of our laundry machines plus the occasional early morning glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee. Other volunteers provided home cooked meals at the downtown Toledo headquarters. We had as many as six sleeping in our guest rooms and in the hall between during the ‘08 election run-up. One young man was part of the legal team that advised the campaign staff and came from David Boies’ law firm in New York. He shared his personal life stories with us and we kept in touch for more than a year after he went to work in DC.This year we had at one time four women sharing our two guest rooms. One told her astonished husband she absolutely had to go to Ohio – this being the Thursday before the last weekend – and she lived in Seattle. She caught a plane to Detroit the next day, rented a car and arrived unannounced at headquarters. They placed her with us during which time she walked the streets to canvass in downtown Toledo, rising early and working deep into the evening, grabbing a bite at headquarters and collapsing in our bedroom after 10:00. Another woman came from the Jersey shore and once she found her house was OK put her shoulder to the wheel as well in Toledo doing anything that was needed including the demanding work walking the neighborhoods to get out the vote. Our guest who stayed the longest had taken unpaid leave from Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ office in DC four weeks before the election to work where she knew the need was most critical, Ohio. She was exhausted by the time the votes were all in. She had risen at dawn every morning, canvassed all day – eventually working as one of the team leaders placing volunteers where they were most needed – and she didn’t return until after 11:00 at night. The Tuesday of the voting she finally got to bed around 2:30 Wednesday. When she left two days later we hugged and exchanged addresses. I’ll never forget her or the stories these great women shared with us, some of them hilarious, some frustrating but a lifetime of memories for them and for the two of us.

Obama’s machine stayed dormant after the ‘08 election and then retooled and expanded to the vast organization you saw that blew away the competition. I see this happening again in Ohio. The name is a bit different now; it’s Organization For Ohio today, but it will be in place when needed for the off-term elections and beyond. The e-mails are already beginning. They know me and they’ll call on me again.

Needless to say, I am very proud of my parents.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Short Takes

The clash in Gaza heats up.

Two people are missing, 11 injured in Gulf oil rig explosion.

Capital Hill leaders had “constructive” talks with the president about avoiding the fiscal cliff.

States start signing on to healthcare exchanges.

Hostess Brands, makers of Twinkies, shuts down.

That old devil moonlighting — A New York prosecutor owns up to having acted in porn films in the 1970’s.

St. Lucie County grants Allen West’s request for a recount.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Our Vote Counted

Here’s a bit of interesting news via Miami New Times:

Barack Obama might have gay voters to thank for his reelection, especially right here in Florida. A new analysis suggests that if only straight people went to the polls here, Romney would have pulled off a win by something like two percentage points.

“Similarly, analysis of preliminary returns from Florida show that the 420,000 total LGBT votes cast in the state may be a deciding factor in President Obama’s projected lead in Florida,” reads a new analysis by the Williams Institue. “Though final results aren’t yet known, an estimated 300,000 LGBT Floridians voted for the president — a margin many times larger than the current vote difference between the two candidates.”

Nationally, 76 percent of self-identified LGBT voters voted for the President. Only 22 percent voted for Romney.

In Florida, Obama got 73 percent of the LGBT vote. 26 percent voted from Romney.

It’s a little more than ironic that while the LGBT community may not have all the rights we’re entitled to as citizens — marriage, inheritance, survivors benefits — we still have the one that matters on Election Day.  And we used it well.

The White Party

Charlie Webster, the chairman of Maine’s Republican Party, was shocked to find that there are black people in his state.

In some parts of the state — for example, in some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens — dozens of black people who came in and voted election day. Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody in town knows anybody that’s black. How did that happen? I don’t know, but we’re going to find out.

No racism there, no sirree!

Later, in a chat with TPM, Mr. Webster tried to clarify his remarks by grabbing a shovel and digging deeper.

“If you live in a town of a few hundred people and you go to the post office every day, if there’s someone who doesn’t look like you, you usually know that,” Webster said. “And that’s why when folks called me and said, ‘Where did this Chinese man come from? We don’t have any Chinese people here. Where did they come from?” Well, I don’t know! It’s a good point.”

Webster said he wasn’t racist and that he had several black friends.

“There’s nothing about me that would be discriminatory. I know black people. I play basketball every Sunday with a black guy. He’s a great friend of mine. Nobody would ever accuse me of suggesting anything,” he said. “What I do suggest is that same-day voter registration without voter ID is pretty hard to police, and it’s odd that hundreds of people in a small town would show up.”

See, he mentioned a Chinese guy.  That makes it totally not racist.  So there.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It’s A Gift

After an election, there’s usually a grace period where you’re supposed to cut the loser a little slack and say meaningless things like “well, he ran a good race,” and all that other patronizing crap.  In return, the loser is supposed to go away so the rest of the country can move on to more important things, like who’s been sending e-mails to David Petraeus.

But Mitt Romney isn’t wasting any time showing the world that he’s still a clueless twit with a bitter streak.

According to reports in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, the former Republican nominee said during a call with donors on Wednesday that Obama had been “very generous” in doling out “big gifts” to “the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people” as well as to women throughout his first term. Benefits such as access to “free health care,” guaranteed contraceptive coverage, more affordable student loans, and “amnesty for children of illegals,” all combined to give the president a decisive edge in popularity.

Well, I didn’t get any of those “gifts,” and neither did a whole lot of other people, but we still voted for Barack Obama anyway.

I guess when your whole life is built around greed, it’s hard to see that anyone would do something for someone else without expecting to either pay or get paid for it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Wrong Reasons

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), also the losing vice presidential candidate with Mitt Romney, gave an interview to a local station in Wisconsin and summed up why they lost:

“I think the surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,” said Ryan to local station WISC-TV in his first post-election interview…. Ryan, though, said that the election was not a referendum on his budget proposals and ideas on reforming entitlement programs.

“I don’t think we lost it on those budget issues, especially on Medicare — we clearly didn’t lose it on those issues,” he said.

Nice dog-whistle there with the “urban areas” comment; we’d have won if all those minorities — y’know, the folks whose votes we were trying to suppress — hadn’t turned up.

And yes, Romney/Ryan did lose on the budget issues, because a combined 60% of those polled at the exits said they wanted to see tax rates increased on the rich or for everyone.

Mr. Ryan hedged his bets in the election and also ran for his seat in Wisconsin and won, so he’ll be around for a while.  I suspect the next time we’ll hear from him is when he takes a little trip to Iowa about a year from now.

Short Takes

Iran unveils a new missile system.

Cuba’s dream of an oil bonanza is coming up dry.

Target employees protest against working on Thanksgiving.

Another scandal: General demoted for lavish spending on travel.

Nearly 1,000 uncounted ballots were found in Fort Lauderdale.

R.I.P. Esther Scott, mother of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Folks in Australia and the South Pacific enjoyed the total eclipse.