Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BREAKING: US To Normalize Relations With Cuba!

Yep: This is great economic news, as many US corporations are salivating to get into that Cuban market

Hay, folks... today's national news is REALLY BIG. Seems that our "Kenyan-born, socialist/commie, fascist, corporo-fascist, (Nazi) "muslim"US President" has just turned fifty-five years of crackpot US western hemisphere politics completely upside down! Read up, peeps:
Yep: This is great economic news, as many US corporations are salivating to get into that Cuban market. Marriott, Hilton, Coca Cola, Citibank, McDonalds, Facebook, United will all benefit. Many Canadian, Chinese and European companies already have head start, of course.

Better late than never, we suppose.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Senate Dems Find an Unwitting Ally in Ted Cruz [and Mike Lee]

Giddy Democrats could hardly believe their good fortune -- Meanwhile, most "sensible" Senate Republicans are "livid"

"Bestest Senate Buddies"
Eye-popping story frm MSNBC, reporting on the latest antics of Texas Senator Ted Cuz and Cruz's "bestest buddy" Utah Senator Mike Lee:
Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are facing a backlash of their own from Republican colleagues after scuttling a deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow lawmakers to leave town over the weekend and vote on the bill Monday.
The agreement between the leaders required the unanimous consent of members, but an unsuccessful attempt by Lee and Cruz on Friday to force a vote on a measure to defund President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration upended their plan.
The result was an extraordinary gift to Democrats, handed to them by unwitting allies: two conservative Republicans who plainly didn’t know what they were doing:
Read the full story,Utah lumpencitizens:
Let's focus further on the blowback:
Giddy Democrats could hardly believe their good fortune. Meanwhile, the other Senate Republicans – who didn’t know what Cruz and Lee were up to, and weren’t in a position to tell them what a mistake they were making – were livid. Many of them were eager to tell reporters – out loud and on the record – how badly their right-wing colleagues had screwed up. Indeed, Senate Dems posted an online collection of quotes from Republican senators bashing the Cruz/Lee gambit – and the list of quotes isn’t short. Asked for her reaction, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) added, I think this is ridiculous."

"What Democrat got thanks to Cruz and Lee: the opportunity to advance dozens of Obama nominees, some of whom might have otherwise failed.
 What Republicans got: nothing."
MSNCC reporter Steve Benen neatly sums it all up, now that the smoke has cleared from Saturday's surprisingly productive Senate session:
It didn’t have to be this way. If Cruz and Lee spent a little more time learning how the Senate works, if they’d bothered to check in with their own leaders about the chamber’s procedural rules, if they’d thought about the consequences of their actions, this would have gone much differently.
Democrats, however, are awfully appreciative of their ignorance.
And yet some folks are still asking why consciencious Utah citizens (including prominent "mainstream" Republicansstrongly support recent changes to Utah's political nomination system, changes which are squarely aimed at dumping "self-centered" and "posturing" Utah politicians. such as "erstwhile" Senator Lee.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Exclusive Poll: Majority of Utahns Support 'Count My Vote,' Oppose GOP Effort to Stop SB 54

In typical GOP fashion, the Utah GOP is now charting the course to construct its own "alternate reality"

Click to Enlarge Image
According to the latest Dan Jone poll, "Nearly 2/3 of Utahns support giving candidates a path to the primary ballot that is outside of the current caucus and convention system. 
A new statewide survey conducted by Dan Jones and Associates poll finds 62% support the "Count My Vote" effort to allow candidates to get on Utah's primary ballot through a petition rather than navigating the current caucus and convention system. Less than a third say they oppose "Count My Vote," UtahPolicy.Com reports this morning:
Utah GOP Chairman James Evans says he's not surprised by the numbers. "This poll is about the 'high-level' view of Count My Vote," he said. "These answers are not unexpected. Utahns support the idea of Count My Vote."

"Evans says they [the Utah GOP} will be in the field with their own polling beginning next week."

In typical GOP fashion, the Utah GOP is now charting the course to construct its own "alternate reality," it would seem:
"As for the numbers showing Utahns oppose the GOP lawsuit against SB 54, executive co-chair of Count My Vote, Rich McKeown said "It's been remarkable to watch a small group of people fight to preserve a system the majority clearly does not want. It's amazing to see the extent they will go to in order to preserve the status quo."

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Readers.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Mike Lee Could Be Vulnerable If Count My Vote Changes Stick

Mike "Shut-down-the-government" Lee's in deep political trouble, wethinks

Tantalizing Salt Lake Tribune story, focusing on the upcoming 2016 General election, through the lens of Utah's new SB 54 dual-track political nomination system  Here are the key paragraphs:
The first crop of candidates to go through Utah’s new nominating process in 2016, if it holds up in court, will include Gov. Gary Herbert, the four Utah House members and — perhaps most notably — Sen. Mike Lee.
Herbert, according to a new poll, won’t have any problems. He’s got a 74-percent favorability rating.
Lee, though, does appear more vulnerable.
A slight majority — 52 percent — view him favorably, while 45 percent have an unfavorable impression, according to the poll released this week by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University. Nearly one-third of those have a strongly unfavorable perception.
In fact, Lee’s overall approval rating of 52 percent is a substantial improvement from a year ago when, on the heels of waging an intense budget battle that led to the federal government shutdown, Lee’s favorability was at just 40 percent and 56 percent had an unfavorable impression, with 43 percent strongly unfavorable.
Check out the full Robert Gehrke story here:
Lee has of course been jumpin' through hoops and workin' like a dog to patch up his rock bottom approval ratings, in the interim since he and his pal Ted Cruz shut down the government in 2013:
Some politicos are still speculating about the real political motivation behind the Count My Vote movement however, according to Mr. Gehrke's story:
"To me, they just have an end game for a particular election cycle," [Utah GOP Chairman James} Evans said, although he wouldn’t name Lee specifically. "Everyone needs to ask the question: What else is going on here?"
Others are more direct.
State Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, who is committed to undoing the nominating changes in SB54, thinks the changes are squarely focused on ousting Lee. If SB54 survives, he said, he expects former Gov. Mike Leavitt, one of the founders of Count My Vote, to challenge Lee in a Republican primary.
So whaddaya think, folks? Does U.S. Senator Lee still have a giant "kick me sign" affixed to his back, despite our Utah electorate's obvious short-term memory deficit?

Our take?

Yep! Mike "Shut -down-the-government" Lee's still in deep political trouble, wethinks, notwithstanding ongoing Utah GOP shenanigans.

Remember what momma taught ya's: "You're judged by the company you keep." And moreover, while Utahns might be a mite "forgetful" from time to time, that still ain't quite the same as political amnesia, is it?

Monday, December 08, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Governor Herbert Lauds GOP For Suing Him - Updated

A callous disregard for the peoples' desire to improve the nominating process

By Blackrulon

I see via a story in the Salt Lake Tribune that Governor Herbert took the unusual step Saturday to "support the Utah Republican Party for suing him this week — as part of its effort to overturn the new law that changes how parties may select their nominees":
If the Governor was concerned about the law he could have vetoed the bill or allowed it to become law without his approval. It appears that he jumped on the bandwagon to approve the bill but now has received pressure to disapprove it.

Even for Utah this is a callous disregard for the peoples' desire to improve the nominating process. It seems he still fears a challenge from Becky Lockhart for governor. He is simply jumping to the far right Tea Party Wing to secure his renomination and reelection. Governor

Herbert was for SB54 before he was against it.

Update 12/10/14 10:22 a.m.: Uh-oh.  Looks like Governor Herbert has flip-flopped again:
Most excellent rimshot from Trib reader Skier Jim: "Who does Herbie think he is? Mitt Romney?"

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune: Rolly: GOP Suit Against Count My Vote Could Backfire

We're inclined to believe that Count My Vote petition negotiators capably "did their homework"

Fascinating Paul Rolly story in this morning's Salt Lake Tribune, suggesting that as the "chips fall" in the Utah GOP's anti-SB54 lawsuit, Utah GOP party boss "James Evans, with all his 'good' intentions, could be the best friend the Count My Vote advocates could have":
"...several legal experts have told me that if any part of the bill is found to infringe on a party’s constitutional rights, its the part that requires a political party to meet certain criteria in order to have its nominee on the general election ballot under that party’s official banner," Mr. Rolley reports.

Mr. Rolley sets forth those SB54 provisions which are most likely to to be vulnerable to constitutional challenge:
In order to qualify to have their nominee from the caucus/convention system appear as their designated candidate on the general election ballot, however, they must agree to certain rules set down by the law. They must change their threshold for a candidate winning the nomination at convention from 60 percent to 65 percent of the delegate vote. They also must have alternate delegates who can sub for delegates unable to attend the convention. And, they must allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary elections.
Mr. Rolley also identifies the statutory provisions most likely to be left intact:
Legal experts tell me that the courts have been consistent in upholding a state’s right to set the criteria for candidates getting on the ballot. More than 40 states already have some form of a direct primary. But political parties do have rights to set their own policies and rules. So if there is a chance of anything being overturned, it would be the rules imposed on the parties under SB54.
If that is struck down, however, the Count My Vote part of the bill — the signature-gathering process for direct access to the primary ballot — would still be intact because when the Legislature passed the bill, it included a severability clause. That means that if one part of the bill is declared invalid, it does not invalidate the rest of the bill.
Taking the foregoing into account, we're inclined to believe that in negotiating the SB54 compromise bill with the State Legislature, Count My Vote petition advocates capably "did their homework."

We'll be sitting on the edges of our seats,  eagerly waiting to find out whether a strong dose of "the law of unintended consequences" is in the cards for the "petulant" Utah party bosses," even in the event that the above-cited portion of SB54 is eventually struck down by the federal court, of course.

Howbout you, O Gentle WCF Readers?

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Standard-Examiner Op-Ed: Weber Commission Needs to Stop Being Disrespectful - Updated

More diplomacy and less drama, Mssrs. Bell and Gibson, please

We're less than delighted to report that there's more unfortunate "bad press" for our Weber County Commissioners Matthew Bell and Kerry Gibson this week, with yesterday's publication, in the Standard-Examiner online edition, of this relatively scathing guest commentary, reeling off a whole laundry list of recent public "faux Pas" committed by these otherwise fine "gentlemen."
Our hope is that, as a consequence of this latest instance of "bad ink," this all ends up being what's called a "teachable moment" for these two incumbent Weber County Commissioners, yes?

More diplomacy and less drama, Mssrs. Bell and Gibson, please. Keep in mind the tried and true Barry Goldwater axiom: "To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable."

A word to the wise ought to be sufficient, wethink.

Just another helpful hint from your old pal Rudi, (who's fillin' in for Miss Manners this week)!

Update 12/5/14 6:00 a.m.: The Standard follows up yesterday's guest op-ed with a hard-copy edition house editorial of its own. "It was an unseemly display by the commission, which has unfortunately been mired in political spats. Commission Chairman Gibson should make an effort to lead the body in a more dignified manner," the SE editorial board intones:
Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

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