The Fifteen Craziest Senate Candidates

The Daily Beast

In a crazy campaign season, who’s craziest of all? The Daily Beast, using its Election Oracle and 9 other factors, discovers the 15 Senate candidates scoring highest on our new Wingnut Index.

Somehow, 2010 has turned out to be the year of the Wingnut. An unprecedented array of far out—and mostly far-right—candidates have won closed partisan primaries and now have a real shot at entering the nation’s most deliberative body—the Senate. But how can we quantify the crazy?

In the spirit of rankings that determine candidates’ ideological or special-interest adherence, we have come up with our own Wingnut Index as a way of measuring the extremism of Senate candidates this year. (Subsequent rankings of congressional and gubernatorial candidates will be coming every Monday until the election.) The 15 Senate candidates who earned enough points to grab top slots on the Wingnut Index reflect roughly one-quarter of the total candidates running this year—a fair measure of the extremes’ influence on our politics today.

The 15 Highest-Ranked Wingnuts

In the 10 areas measured, we have reached for binary criteria whenever possible, such as whether the candidate subscribes to the conspiracy theories of being a “birther” or a 9/11 truther, or whether they have compared their political opponents to either Nazis or communists. Evidence of either Bush Derangement Syndrome or Obama Derangement Syndrome was included in the general category of fearmongering.

Hyper-partisan, special-interest-driven voting records were taken into account when possible—for example, candidates who received a 100 percent rating from the Family Research Council or a 100 percent rating from what could be considered their opposite interest group on the left, the AFS ratings by the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees. (In the interest of full disclosure, Barbara Boxer’s 99 rating was rounded up for inclusion.)

Continue reading…

Extending Bush Tax cuts Adds $700 Billion to Deficit

Yep, $700 billion additional dollars to the deficit! 

The White House has released a very easy and simple explanation about the tax cut fight in congress.

Remember, the Republicans will not even discuss the tax cuts for small businesses unless the Dems include the Bush tax cuts for the rich in their plan…

Newsweek: What does ‘Mama Grizzly’ really mean?


Sarah Palin says that a new crop of conservative women will ‘rise up’ to protect their cubs. But will they?

ma·ma griz·zly noun, pl. -zlies

1. Large brown bear, female of the species, native to North America with big claws. 2. A certain breed of U.S. politician, female, who stands for…

…what exactly? On some level, the term isn’t hard to figure out. A mama grizzly is a conservative woman with “common sense,” as Sarah Palin puts it, someone who “rises up” to protect her children when she sees them endangered by bad policies in Washington. She is fearless, and that, in combination with her femaleness, makes her scary—a new kind of political predator. She will take on any foe and, the implication is, rip him or her to shreds.

Palin first described herself as a mama grizzly during her 2008 vice presidential run. She floated the current usage—as a movement—in a speech before a pro-life women’s group in May, and soon she was reflecting on the special qualities of mama bears on her Facebook page. “Mama bears not only [forage] for themselves to prepare for winter, they [work] twice as hard to slay salmon for their cubs, too.” By late June, Palin’s political-action committee had realized the emotional power of the image, and made an Internet ad—nearly half a million views to date, titled “Mama Grizzlies”—which is as plaintive and urgent as a 1960s protest song. It calls America’s women to a sisterhood of grizzlies “because moms kind of just know when there’s something wrong.”

Political pundits and journalists were delighted. Like beauty-contest judges, they began to bestow the mama grizzly title upon the women Palin endorsed, such as Nikki Haley, who is running for governor in South Carolina; Carly Fiorina, a Senate candidate in California; and Susana Martinez, a gubernatorial candidate in New Mexico. Palin was soon anointing mama grizzlies herself. When she endorsed Arkansas congressional candidate Cecile Bledsoe on Facebook, Palin explicitly referred to her as part of a growing list of “commonsense conservative ‘mama grizzlies.’ ”  Continue reading…

Outgoing senators give exit interviews to NBC News (Video)


Unlikely friendships
When partisanship blankets Washington and gridlock reigns, senators say that personal relationships across the aisle are a fundamental element of how the chamber works.  

The late Sen. Kennedy was named often by the Republicans as someone they liked to work with on legislation. 

No one knew Kennedy better and learned more from him about the power of personal relationships than Sen. Chris Dodd. He served with Kennedy for 30 years, and the two were as close as brothers. When Republicans held the majority, Kennedy’s uncanny ability to charm GOP senators into bipartisan deals flummoxed Republican leaders, Dodd said. 


Vodpod videos no longer available. 



Sharron Angle Slams Mandated Health Care Coverage For Autism Treatment, Maternity Leave (VIDEO)

What boggles the mind here is how there is at least 30% of  people who vote that agree with Sharron Angle, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul and Samantha…uh…I mean Christine O’Donnell on the issue of repealing Health Care Reform.  I guess my point of view as a human being who cares about others who may be suffering financially, physically or emotionally, is why not let the government help where help is needed most?   The right feels that everything should be left to the free market to take care of and that eventually, the less fortunate will reap benefits from the “trickling down” of money to address their needs.

Excuse me, but we’ve tried that, under conservative majority rule for over thirty years, since Reagan’s presidency and today, we are STILL feeling the effect of the “free market theory” espoused by conservatives.

The tea partiers and conservative ‘populous’ have bought and been sold a bogus plan that only helps the top 3% of this country.  That would be, the wealthiest Americans.  Many of those viewers and listeners of Fox and Limbaugh are fighting against their own economic interests and it boggles my mind…

Huffington Post

Speaking at a Tea Party rally last year, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle appeared to mock the notion that health care coverage for autism treatment and maternity leave should be mandated.

“Take off the mandates for coverage in the state of Nevada and all over the United States,” she charged in making remarks that were captured on camera and now are being circulated by the Nevada State Democratic Party. “You know what I’m talking about. You’re paying for things that you don’t even need. They just passed the latest one, is everything that they want to throw at us now is covered under ‘autism’.”

In video shot of Angle making the criticism, she can be seen making air quotes as she says “autism.”

The Tea Party darling went on to say, “So, that’s a mandate that you have to pay for. How about maternity leave? I’m not going to have anymore babies, but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things that we want to get rid of.”

Nevada-based station My News 4 reports:

Her comments regarding autism coverage refer to Assembly Bill 162, which passed with sweeping bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2009. Only two Nevada legislators voted no on the bill: Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa, Churchill, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye counties, and AssemblymanDon Gustavson, R-Sparks, Humboldt, Lander, Washoe counties. The bill passed 60-2 in both houses with one legislator absent.

The Las Vegas Sun first reported on the clip of Angle’s comments coming to light on Wednesday.

Angle is vying to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November. The four-term incumbent’s camp didn’t hold back in reacting to the matter.

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In a statement, Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele said, “Sharron Angle’s extreme and dangerous agenda for Nevada has included some exceptionally callous rhetoric, including calling out-of-work Nevadans ‘spoiled’ by unemployment benefits and saying that rape victims should ‘make lemons into lemonade’ by having their attacker’s child, but mocking those suffering with autism – and in fact scapegoating their coverage for our nation’s current health care woes – is exceptionally cruel and represents a new low, even for Sharron Angle.”

WATCH: Angle Slams Mandated Health Care Coverage For Autism Treatment, Maternity Leave

Reid campaign: Angle is crazy and a liar

Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader
Image via Wikipedia


The Plum Line – Greg Sargent 

As I’ve noted here before, what’s striking about the Nevada Senate race is that the primary source of ammo Harry Reid has employed against Sharron Angle — really, the only source of ammo — has been nothing other than her own spoken words. 

Now the Reid campaign is out with a new Web vid — to be blasted to the press later this afternoon — that takes this to a new level, splicing multiple Angle quotes to make the case that she lied three times in one interview about previous controversial things she herself had said. 

The hook is Angle’s interview with ABC News that aired today, in which she was asked to clarify her claim that Obama and Dem big government policies are a violation of the First Commandment. Angle denied she ever said it, but the video evidence suggests otherwise: 


The above video also shows her seeming to deny she ever used the phrase “Second Amendment remedies,” and it shows her insisting that her agreement that there are “domestic enemies” in Congress was taken out of context — both of which are also contradicted by the video evidence. 

The degree to which Angle’s own words have become far and away her most glaring vulnerability really is remarkable. Of course, it’s equally remarkable — and a sign of just how unpopular Harry Reid and Obama/Dem policies are in Reid’s state — that a candidate with Angle’s verbal track record stands a perfectly reasonable chance of becoming the next Senator from Nevada. 

McCain And Hayworth Pound Each Other At First Debate

Cat fight!


Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had his first debate tonight with his challengers, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth and conservative activist Jim Deakin, hosted by 3TV in Phoenix. And one thing was made very clear, as if we didn’t know it already: McCain and Hayworth really don’t like each other, and they’re not trying to hide it as they head toward the August 24 Republican primary.

“Congressman Hayworth is a pretty persuasive fellow,” McCain said early on. “After he was voted out by his constituents he became a lobbyist, and after that a talk show host, and after that an infomercial late night star.” Hayworth was first elected to the House in the Republican wave of 1994, and went on to lose re-election after six terms in the Democratic wave of 2006.

“John claims he’s a Ronald Reagan Republican, and right out of the gate he’s violating the 11th Commandment,” Hayworth responded a short while later. (Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment was, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”) “Now I will admit I made a mistake making that informercial, but I’m willing to admit my mistakes.” By contrast, said Hayworth, McCain isn’t admitting his mistakes in voting against the Bush tax cuts, and in having supported amnesty for illegal immigrants.

McCain at one point criticized Hayworth for blocking reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Then he added: “And by the way, I never supported amnesty.”

This caused the third candidate, Deakin, to laugh out loud. “I’m sorry, you never supported amnesty?” said an incredulous Deakin. “In 1986 you did support amnesty.” He then went on to give his own answer against bailouts, continuing to snicker at McCain.   Continue reading…