In 1985, Grover Norquist founded American for Tax Reform with the goal of advocating for flatter tax rates in the United States. Since then, he's taken his crusade to ever-increasing levels of absurdity in dogmatically opposing every revenue measure to curb the federal deficit. Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" has been influential in re-writing the Republican Party's ideology to avoid compromise and decry revenue-for-spending-cuts deals. As recently as the day before the November 2012 elections, Mr. Norquist's "Pledge" had been signed by 238 House Republicans and 41 Senate Republicans, giving his uncompromising rhetoric an outright majority in the House and the ability to filibuster in the Senate. However, it appears as though Mr. Norquist's empire is quickly collapsing in recent days as the Republican Party seems to have had a fairly significant shift in tax policy.
The incombing Congress will see less that 218 House Republicans having signed the pledge (placing Mr. Norquist finally in the minority) and the number of Senate Republicans signed onto the peldge dropped to 39. Further, GOP Senators Chambliss and Graham (the former having been a staunch Conservative in the ranks while the latter has been known to occasionally break rank with the party leadership) have come out forecfully against Norquist's "read my lips" position in the face of a fiscal cliff and economic calamity (their statements are after the "flip".) Clearly, more than two Republican Senators will need to speak up against the Party's trot towards the extreme, yet that two prominent Republicans would publicly condemn someone who has up until now been considered the standard-bearer of Republican economic ideology is in and of itself sign of a changing wind.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), a safely-entrenched Republican from Long Island, came out Today calling Norquist's "No new taxes" pledge about as relevant to today's fiscal situation as re-attacking Japan for World War II would be.
The list of other GOP Statesmen to have disavowed Norquist is growing. Fmr. President George H. W. Bush, fmr. Florida Governor Jeb Bush, fmr. Utah Governor and China Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Iowa Representative Steve King and numerous others have all bucked the pledge.
Clearly, one should be fairly cautious in assuming that this implies that a Grand Bargain that equally balances spending cuts with needed tax hikes on wealthier Americans will be priority #1 for John Boehner and House Republicans, but it nonetheless is oh so sweet to see Grover Norquist's prized crusade being abandoned by his own Party.
The most I can make out of it are the following points:
- He believes the U.S. Government is trying to control him ("mind control" him)
- He does not believe in God.
- He believes firmly in opposing "federalist laws"
- He believes that the U.S. currency ought be backed by gold and silver.
Imagine this: A man wants to run for President on the Republican line. But he calls himself an "Independent Republican". And he's gay and opposed Prop 8. Oh, and this is his platform:
# I will work hard to end to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
# Pass the federal Employment Anti-Discrimination law (ENDA)
# Eliminate the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
Ned Lamont, the wealthy insurgent candidate who bested Senator Joe Liebermann for the U.S. Senate Nomination in Connecticut in 2006, lost his party's Gubernatorial primary last Tuesday to former Stamfored Mayor Dan Malloy. Despite spending more than $8.6 Million (including a significant amount of money spent by Lamont himself) in his bid, Lamont lost to Malloy decisively, 58%-42%.
An interesting point of Lamont's defeat was his choice in campaign strategy. In Februray, Lamont hired Joe Abbey and with him, brought an entirely different-than-expected course for his campaign.
Lamont tacked decidedly to the political center, talking up "Business" and "Jobs", and with it lost much steam from the netroots, progressives and other key groups that Lamont needed to pull off a win. In the end, Lamont was pummeled and lost by 16 points. His loss can be attributed to a variety of factors, but key among them was Joe Abbey's decidedly Centrist political strategy and its ramifications on Democratic candidates.
There has been a lot of FALSE publicity about Alvin Greene (or Ali G.) spread by the MALICIOUS liars of Vic Rawl and the Democratic establishment! So I, Venu Katta, am here to set the record on Ali G straight!
Such obvious lies must be fought tooth and nail! As such, I have started an official campaign website to set the record straight on Democratic Nominee Alvin Greene. To clarify his stances on the issues, his record, his experience and of everything else.
Check it out: www.alvingreene2010.webs.com
Here's some of Alvin Greene's policy Initiatives:
Oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? No problem for Marco Rubio! Rubio went on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" yesterday to discuss the Oil Disaster. When asked about continued drilling, Rubio has this to say:
"There is going to be drilling off the coast of Florida. There is right now. Other countries are goign to be drilling in the Gulf and off Florida's coast. Cuba is exploring, Russia is exploring. China, Brazil, Venezuela. The issue is not whether there's going to be off-shore drilling or not, the issue is whether America is going to benefit from it or not."
Yes, Marco Rubio doesn't care about anything about the Environment, the Floridian and Gulf Economy linked to that Environment, or anything else. No, he just wants us to stay profitable.
But what particularly strikes me is his rationale for drilling. It's not even that Drilling is Safe (...), it's that other countries are doing it, giving us a justification and free pass to do it as well without consequences. I don't see the oil gushing from the Gulf washing up in Russia, China, Cuba or Venezuela. I see it ending up in Lousiania, Alabama and Florida.
But then again, this new development puts into perspective Marco Rubio's trademark campaign slogan.