Tuesday, September 30, 2014

North Carolina GOP candidate combines drinking and firearms to entice supporters to attend fundraiser. Seriously, what could go wrong?

Courtesy of TPM:  

If you're really nice to North Carolina GOP candidate Jason "Molotov" Mitchell, he may let you fire off a few rounds of his custom AK-47, "The Liberator." 

The man running for state Senate in North Carolina's District 16 is planning a fundraiser on Sunday where supporters can come for the bullets and stay for the Bulleit. 

Entitled "Bullets and Bourbon," attendees are invited to shoot various rifles and shotguns before kicking back with Mitchell over drinks.

 "Take your turn firing the world famous AK-47, the AR-15, the super-cool KSG pump 12 gauge and other firearms!" Mitchell's campaign writes in a Facebook page advertising the event. 

"Fun fact: every one of the firearms listed are banned in at least one other state...but not in NC!" the description reads.

 Wow, combining guns with alcohol. I wonder if any guests will remain alive long enough to donate to his campaign?

But come on! Who does NOT want to contribute to man who chose as his middle name a word meaning an explosive combination of gasoline and fire used during violent political upheavals?

Unsurprisingly Mitchell is kind of an anarchist who is not only a birther, but also a homophobe who contributes to World Net Daily, and helped to create a fantasy film where black terrorists, calling themselves "Zulu 9," murder abortion doctors.

Oh yeah, this guy's a winner.

How in the hell is it that Sarah Palin has not endorsed his campaign already?

GOP Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan skips candidate forum in Alaska in exchange for attending fundraiser in his native Ohio.

Courtesy of the Washington Post:  

The day after Alaska Senate nominee Dan Sullivan (R) was criticized by Democratic Sen. Mark Begich's campaign for missing a candidate forum, he was spotted raising money in Cleveland, Ohio. Sullivan was raised in the Cleveland area and has faced Democratic attacks questioning his Alaskan credentials. 

Sullivan was spotted at The Union Club in Cleveland on Monday morning by American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research firm. American Bridge shared video of Sullivan at the event with The Washington Post. Sullivan's campaign confirmed that he was there to raise money for his campaign.

So first Sullivan's parents contribute $300,000 to American Crossroads, obviously so that it can be given to their son, and then he skips town to avoid a candidate forum in Alaska in order to go to back to Ohio in search of MORE money for his campaign, to go along with the multiple millions already being spent on his behalf by outside interests such as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.

Here's my question.

Why can't Sullivan find money to fund his campaign right here in Alaska?

I'll tell you why, because he is not one of us.

He is a fucking outsider, and he needs money from other outsiders in order to win our Senate seat.

Snoop Dogg offers to perform in Alaska once the state legalizes marijuana. Actually I bet a whole lot of bands offer to play up here once the proposition passes.

Courtesy of KTUU:  

Rapper and marijuana enthusiast Snoop Dogg has promised to perform a concert in Alaska if voters choose to legalize pot. 

The promise came during an episode of Snoop Dogg's GGN webcast in which he interviewed former KTVA Channel 11 reporter Charlo Greene about her on-air announcement that she owns the Alaska Cannabis Club. 

"If we get y'all to vote yes on Proposition 2, Snoop Dogg is coming to Alaska to do a concert, a wellness retreat concert, and I'm bringing some of that California with me to celebrate," Snoop says.

What some people failed to recognize about the Charlo Greene on-air "fuck it, I quit" comment, was that it would bring national attention and support to Alaska's attempt to legalize pot.

In fact Charlo's comment may play an instrumental part in helping us hang onto our lone Democratic Senator.

Right now we have two issues on the November ballot that should help turnout more young liberals in the state. One is Ballot Measure 3 which increases the minimum wage, and the other of course is Proposition 2.

Even though I think both of these issues essentially cross party lines in Alaska, conventional wisdom suggests that it is the liberals who are more likely to be drawn to the polls in support.

THAT could really help Senator Begich who is currently struggling in the polls, and help Alaska to hang onto the one Senator who is not firmly in the pocket of the oil companies.

At this point every little bit helps, and Greene's on air expletive might go down in history as having a significant effect on Alaska politics in 2014.

Fox News hosts make misogynistic comments about female pilot leading air strikes against ISIS. Military veterans write letter condemning them for it. Sarah Palin decides to defend them on Facebook. Just another day in the Right Wing bubble.

Okay so that was what happened on "The Five" last week.

In response sixty military veterans from the United States wrote the following open letter to Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfield. (Or as I call them, Pig 1 and Pig 2.)

Dear Mr. Bolling and Mr. Gutfeld, 

We are veterans of the United States armed forces, and we are writing to inform you that your remarks about United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri were unwarranted, offensive, and fundamentally opposed to what the military taught us to stand for. 

First, foremost, and most obvious to everyone other than yourselves, your remarks were immensely inappropriate. Your co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle was so right to call attention to an inspiring story of a woman shattering glass ceilings in a society where doing so is immeasurably difficult. We never heard an answer to her question: why did you feel so compelled to “ruin her thing?” 

As it turns out, women have been flying combat aircraft since before either of you were born. Over 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) flew during World War II. Seeing as U.S. Army Air Forces Commander “Hap” Arnold said “Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men,” we can probably guess he thought their parking was adequate. The WASP legacy reaches into the present day; on 9/11, then Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney scrambled her F-16. Completely unarmed, she was ready to lay down her own life to prevent further devastating attacks on American soil. 

Thus the skill of women as fighter pilots is well established. And before you jump to the standby excuse that you were “just making a joke” or “having a laugh,” let the men amongst our number preemptively respond: You are not funny. You are not clever. And you are not excused. Perhaps the phrase “boys will be boys”—inevitably uttered wherever misogyny is present—is relevant. Men would never insult and demean a fellow servicemember; boys think saying the word ‘boobs’ is funny. 

The less obvious implication of your remarks, however, is that by offending an ally and cheapening her contribution, you are actively hurting the mission. We need to send a clear message that anyone, male or female, who will stand up to ISIS and get the job done is worthy of our respect and gratitude. 

We issue an apology on your behalf to Major Al Mansouri knowing that anything your producers force you to say will be contrived and insincere. Major, we’re sincerely sorry for the rudeness; clearly, these boys don’t take your service seriously, but we and the rest of the American public do. 

Now you would think that conservatives, who are usually deifying the military, and republicans who are desperate to woo female voters, would join in this condemnation of what were clearly tasteless comments.

But if you thought that then must not have been paying attention lately.

Just a little over an hour ago Palin posted this:

Which links to a Spectator article that essentially attempts to smear the military veterans who participated in the writing of the letter by accusing them of being tools for the Obama administration.

In the article the point is made that the names of the veterans who signed the letter are "never identified." Which I found confusing, because at the bottom of the letter found on Business Insider was this list of names:  

U.S. Army: Michael Breen, Richard Wheeler, Aryanna Hunter, Welton Chang, Michael Smith, Matt Runyon, Jon Gensler, Scott Holcomb, Terron Sims II, Josh Weinberg, Daniel Savage, Matt Pelak, LaRue Robinson, Anthony Woods, Dustin Cathcart, Kayla Williams, Dan Espinal, Jonathan Hopkins, Andy Moore, Kevin Johnson, Brett Hunt, Russell Galeti, Mick Crnkovich, Jonathan Freeman, Dan Hartnett, Dan Futrell, Matt Zeller, Jason Cain, Adam Tiffen, Sharmistha Mohpatra, Justin Graf, Lach Litwer. 

U.S. Navy: Shawn VanDiver, Andrea Marr, Kristen Kavanaugh, Leo Cruz, Scott Cheney-Peters, Margot Beausey, Tony Johnson, Gail Harris, Alex Cornell du Houx. 

U.S. Marine Corps: Geoff Orazem, Gordon Griffin, Timothy Kudo, Jonathan Murray, Richard Weir, Rob Miller, Sonia Fernandez, John Margolick, Katelyn Geary van Dam, Rob Bracknell, Andrew Borene, William Allen. 

U.S. Air Force: Kelsey Campbell, Erik Brine, Chris Finan, Robert Mishev, Karen Courington. 

U.S. National Guard: Kristen Rouse. 

If they are trying to hide their identities they really suck at it. 

But in the end, to quote our next President, "At this point, what difference does it make?"

Now I have no confidence that this Jeffrey Lord of the Spectator has all of his facts right, but even if each and every one of the veterans who signed that letter were Democrats who all voted for Obama, does that change the points they made in the letter? Does it minimize the fact that what the Fox News hosts said was incredibly insulting to women serving in the military, and women in general?

No, it doesn't.

And one would think, regardless of a woman's political point of view, that they would be unified in their disgust at the remarks made by Bolling and Gutfeld.

Which kind of illustrates just how out of touch Sarah Palin is with her gender.

Time and time again she chooses ideology over biology, putting her partisan viewpoints before any support or even empathy for her gender.

More often than not it seems that Palin is almost in denial of her own sexual identity, and disconnected from the struggles that women have gone through in order to provide the opportunities that she has taken full advantage of in her lifetime.

And this, this was who the Republicans chose to represent women all over the country as the first elected female Vice President.

Gee, what a bummer that didn't work out for them.

The city of Ferguson is requesting outlandish fees before handing records over to reporters investigating the shooting of Michael Brown. Now why does that sound familiar?

Courtesy of the AP:

Officials in Ferguson, Missouri, are charging nearly 10 times the cost of some of their own employees' salaries before they will agree to turn over files under public records laws about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. 

Missouri's attorney general on Monday, after the AP first disclosed the practice, contacted Ferguson's city attorney to ask for more information regarding fees related to document requests, the attorney general's spokeswoman said. 

The move to charge high fees discourages journalists and civil rights groups from investigating the shooting and its aftermath. And it follows dozens of records requests to Ferguson under the state's Sunshine Law, which can offer an unvarnished look into government activity. 

The city has demanded high fees to produce copies of records that, under Missouri law, it could give away free if it determined the material was in the public's interest to see. Instead, in some cases, the city has demanded high fees with little explanation or cost breakdown.

Well that is outlandish, and I think with more public scrutiny the city will be forced to change these outrageous demands or risk attracting even more negative attention. Which at this time they can ill afford.

However as I was reading that I realized that I was suddenly having a case of deja vu.

And I am not the only one, as the AP reported a little further down the page:

Other governments also have demanded spectacular fees. During the 2008 presidential campaign, for instance, news organizations asked for emails belonging to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee. 

The Anchorage Press said officials at first wanted $6,500 in search fees, leading the newspaper to withdraw its request. Thousands of pages of those emails were ultimately provided to news organizations for about $725 in copying charges.

Oh hells yeah! Who could forget all of that hullabaloo back in the days before Palin finally threw up her hands and quit?

Remember how they quoted a price to the AP of over 15 million for the emails?

Ultimately of course the state had to cave to the pressure, but it certainly gave Palin and her minions plenty to time to redact anything that might have actually proven newsworthy.

I wonder if the city of Ferguson is taking a page from that same playbook?

John Oliver's report on America's use of drones is a must see.

I know I am supposed to be a mindless Obama zombie, or something like that, but in my opinion this is a very serious situation that needs to be publicized and opened for debate.

Like a lot of Americans I have a number of mixed feelings when it comes to drones.

On the one hand they allow us to take out bad guys with little or no risk to our soldiers, but on the other hand we are asked to place an almost overwhelming amount of faith in our ability to gather solid intelligence on possibly dangerous terrorists, faith that others killed in an attack against a target are ALSO bad guys, and confidence that the drones are being handled by well trained experts and not simply by young soldiers who just so happen to have logged a lot of hours on Playstation playing "War Thunder."

Your thoughts?

You know we have not reported on China for quite some time, I wonder how things are going there? Is that tear gas I smell? Update!

Courtesy of the New York Times:  

A wave of protest in Hong Kong further engulfed the city on Monday as thousands of residents defied a government call to abandon street blockades, students boycotted classes and the city’s influential bar association added its condemnation of a police crackdown on protesters. 

The continued public resistance underscored the difficulties that the Hong Kong government faces in defusing widespread anger that erupted on Sunday, after the police used tear gas, pepper spray and batons to break up a three-day sit-in by students and other residents demanding democratic elections in the semiautonomous Chinese territory. 

On Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong government canceled the city’s annual fireworks show to mark China’s National Day, which falls on Wednesday — an implicit acknowledgment that officials expect the protests to continue for days.

The protesters are seeking fully democratic elections for the city's leaders in 2017, and they appear to be fairly determined.

Don't you just love the smell of revolution in the morning?

Update: Here is aerial footage of the protests. Pretty damn impressive. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

From CNN to Robert Zimmerman, "You and your brother are monsters."

GQ has published a rather comprehensive piece on George Zimmerman and his family, which you can find here.

Here are a few excerpts.

On plans to turn George into a reality star right after George's not guilty verdict:

(Zimmerman's brother) Robert's ultimate goal was to turn George into a reality-TV star. His models were John Walsh, who began hosting America's Most Wanted after his 6-year-old son was abducted and killed, and the Kardashians, whose fame was launched by Kim's leaked sex tape. "I learn a lot from watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians," Robert told me. "Like, use the shit you've got." One idea was for George to be the focus of a Candid Camera-style program. One episode, for example, might feature a professor teaching a class about self-defense, and at the end of the episode it would be revealed—surprise!—that George was one of the students.

On why an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity fell through:  

First, Fox News expected the brothers to fly to New York. That would require George to show his ID at the airport, possibly to a black person. No way, Robert said. Even worse, the network wanted them to fly on February 26, the second anniversary of the incident. Robert tried explaining to a Hannity producer why that couldn't work: "It is like 9/11 for my family! We can't travel together that day—it's like having the whole royal family travel together!" Robert had a better, safer plan: He wanted Fox News to pay for the brothers, plus a full security detail, to drive the 1,100 miles from central Florida. About halfway, they'd need three hotel rooms—one for Robert, one for George, one for the security team—at a place with room service so that George wouldn't have to be out in public. 

Fox News said no. Rebranding the Zimmermans would have to wait.

On the Zimmerman family's paranoia:  

The hotel-hopping went on for nearly two months, until Bob (Zimmerman's father) found a 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom house for rent on Craigslist in a nearby subdivision where most of the homes had been lost to foreclosure. In other words: cheap and very few neighbors. 

There, the family formalized new security protocols. They watched the movie Argo to learn how to live like CIA. Code names for everyone. No mail delivered to the house. No visitors. No talking to the few neighbors they had. No long phone conversations—keep it short and vague to outwit surveillance. Never discuss your whereabouts via phone or text. Keep a weapon close by at all times. Robert slept with his gun. Still does. 

And in case someone—or multiple someones—decided to mount an attack on the house, the Zimmermans pre-packed their own "go-bags" filled with everything they would need to flee in a rush, as well as what they called "footballs"—like the one President Obama has with the nuclear codes—that contained laptops, cell phones, and other essential electronics. 

They also memorized a color-coded threat-ID system. Code blue: Law enforcement at the door. Code brown: Draw your weapons. Code black: Come out guns blazing.

On sticking CNN with a huge hotel bill:

The Zimmermans seized on their brief stint of subsidized luxury. They ran up a big room-service bill, cleaned out the minibars, got their clothes laundered, made several trips to the spa, treated a party of ten to dinner at the hotel restaurant, and bought swag—from bracelets to bath fizzies—at the gift shop. 

Toward the end of their stay, according to Robert, a manager presented him with a bill for $3,600. He says he called CNN, outraged, only to have the producer accuse them of splurging shamelessly on CNN's dime. "You and your brother are evil!" he remembers her screaming. The hotel manager threatened to call the police. Alone in his room, Robert started shaking. He wrapped all the blankets around him, ordered shrimp, chain-smoked cigarettes, got roaring drunk. Nothing helped. He called his mother in a panic. "I can't get warm," he sobbed. "I just can't get warm." 

Unconsoled, Robert called the only person he could think of: Dr. Drew, who'd been kind to him when he went on Drew's TV show shortly before George's trial. He reached a producer, who told him Dr. Drew wasn't available. But the guy was nice, at least. He stayed on the phone awhile and talked Robert down. Eventually CNN agreed to pay the bill, and the next morning Robert returned the only purchases he could: a bottle of Mercedes-Benz cologne and a Ritz-Carlton wallet that George had bought him to say thanks.

Let me assure you that these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Zimmerman family lunacy. 

And keep in mind that THIS is who Fox News defended over and over again during the trial, and who has become a conservative hero since beating his murder charge after gunning down an unarmed teenage boy.

"Comedy is hard." The ladies of The View mock Palin for her Values Voters speech.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

The co-hosts of ABC’s The View on Monday mocked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin‘s weekend speech at the Values Voter Summit, wherein the former Republican vice presidential candidate mistakenly referred to the White House address as “1400 Pennsylvania Avenue.” 

During the speech, Palin cracked a joke about President Barack Obama‘s now-infamous “latte salute” and, when talking about the president’s current home, gave the wrong address. 

“She’s proving once again that comedy is difficult,” said Rosie O’Donnell after the show aired a clip from Palin’s speech.

As you see it is left to poor Nicolle Wallace to come to Palin's defense. Which I think we all  know must really burn her ass.

You know I predicted way back in 2009 that someday Palin's name would only turn up as a question on Jeopardy or the punch line to a joke.

Nice to see how close we are to those predictions coming true. 

Things get all Koched up during Iowa's first debate between GOP nominee Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley.

Courtesy of TPM:

The exchange grew tense during the final minutes after Braley referenced the Koch brothers. Ernst said: "Congressman Braley, you're not running against these other people, you're running against me. I am a mother, I am a soldier and I am an independent leader. You are being funded by Tom Steyer, who is a California billionaire extreme environmentalist." 

Braley retorted: "I realize that and President Obama's name is not on the ballot. And I'm not going to owe President Obama anything on Election Day. You're going to owe the Koch brothers everything."

Personally I think that was a solid hit on Braley's part, but  some of the morning cable news programs thought he was flailing in the wind and that the Koch brothers are still not well known enough to have their name work against Ernst.

And there maybe some validity in that as recent polls show Ernst up by six points:

Ernst leads 44 percent to 38 percent in a race that has for months been considered deadlocked. She leads nearly 4-1 with rural voters, and is up double digits with independents.

It is certainly not yet a done deal, and fortunes could certainly change, but right now it looks like at least one of Palin's endorsees has a real shot at ending up in the Senate, to join Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in gumming up the works even further. 

And that is troubling news indeed.

A little update on what I am working on.

"Uh oh."
So as I mentioned a while back I have been in contact with a source who has been providing me with fascinating information recently. Some of it simply reinforcing what we already know, and some of it quite new, and a little startling.

Before I start sharing, the first thing to get out of the way is all of this iceberg talk.

The term "iceberg" was coined by my friend Dennis Zaki, and at the time he felt that what was about to be revealed qualified as an iceberg that would literally sink Palin's political career.

As all of you know instead she resigned and the iceberg simply melted away. Much to our frustration.

I would not characterize what I am working on as an iceberg, mostly because Palin's political career already sank into the icy depths, and because there is not yet any way to determine what kind of impact this will have on what remains of her, for lack of a better word, "career."

The second thing I want to remind all of you about is that protecting my sources is job one in my eyes. So no matter how often commenters badger me to hurry up or risk losing my credibility, or suggest that I don't deliver on my promises, or simply mock me as if we are on an elementary school playground, none of that will make things happen any faster. 

As for my credibility remember that even though I was reporting interesting behind the scenes information about  Schaeffer Cox, I did not divulge that I was getting that from Bill "Drop Zone" Fulton until the FBI allowed him to come out of the shadows.

Even though he helped to shape our understanding on this blog about Palin's secretive nature, and revealed that Palin was not met by her security detail when she arrived back from Texas that April night in 2008, nobody knew that I had been talking to her security chief Gary Wheeler until Joe used his name in "The Rogue."

And that is going to be true in this case as well.

Which means that what I can share has to be weighed against what it reveals about the source. If it is something that only a handful of people could know, then it can only come out when the source themselves decides that they want to as well.

That could very well be what happens here. But it is still in the negotiation phase.

So what I can reveal at this point is that I have finally had a face to face meeting. That the person is very credible, and that there is documentation to back up their story.

What has been shared is quite a lot about the Palin's parenting styles (Spoiler alert: It's really terrible.), Palin's struggles as mayor, fighting within the family, and Todd's philandering. (It is worse than you think.)

There is more (Oh boy is there!), but that has to be kept on the down low for right now.

If you are not patient and want to run away and never visit this blog again, please feel free to do so and you really don't need to tell us about it in the comments.

If you are a troll who thinks that proclaiming I am liar, or a tease, or that I never follow through with revelations, then know that it will really have no significant impact. (However it's a free country so bash away if you must.)

Keep in mind though that Beldar has appropriated your job as IM's resident troll and has moved trolling to new heights that I seriously doubt that the majority of you are intellectually suited to attain.

Now I cannot provide a timetable as to when things are going to break because that is not the way things work. As I am sure most of you realize.

If you want to know my opinion on what I am hearing I will tell you this, when it gets posted it is going to make troll heads explode all over the damn place.

Oh yeah, all over the damn place. 

GOP choice for Oregon Senate seat is no show at candidate forum. Guess who she's getting compared to.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

Trailing badly in the polls, the Oregon GOP nominee seeking to unseat Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley failed to show up for a candidate forum scheduled Saturday at her request. 

According to Willamette Week, embattled candidate Monica Wehby requested the interview with other nominees be scheduled for Saturday which the paper and other candidates agreed to. However when the time came for the taped interviews to begin, Wehby was a no-show. 

The paper explained that they scheduled the interview “back in July for a day and at a time Wehby’s campaign assured us she would be available. We even rescheduled the interview to suit her, as we did during the primary election campaign.” 

Editor Mark Zusman, who has overseen the paper’s endorsements for 30 years, says he can’t remember a statewide candidate ever failing to appear. 

Speaking with Oregon Live, Wehby campaign spokesman Dean Petrone stated that the candidate never agreed to attend, stating that Wehby had “had a full schedule” of campaign events Saturday. Petrone refused to say what the candidate did on Saturday, and denied she was trying to avoid her opponent. 

“It’s a ridiculous assertion,” Petrone said. “Monica is looking for any chance she could get to discuss the issues with Sen. Merkley.” 

On Friday, Wehby let the deadline pass and failed to confirm her participation in a debate hosted by KGW TV that her opponent agreed to in mid-August.

This of course as inspired some critics to make the obvious comparison. 

However I think this might be a little unfair.

I mean at least Sarah Palin actually got herself elected before she up and quit.

The most threatened President in US history, with what seems to be the least amount of protection.

Courtesy of Slate:  

When a man carrying a knife was able to jump the fence and sprint into the front door of the White House, many said it was symptomatic of larger issues with the Secret Service. A fascinating Washington Post piece today makes it clear just how true that is, recounting how it took four days for the Secret Service to even realize that someone had fired shots at the White House and that seven bullets had struck the upstairs residence in 2011. President Obama and his wife were out of town at the time but their younger daughter Sasha was at home with Michelle Obama’s mother. And Malia was expected back home any minute. 

When Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, a man who appeared increasingly paranoid about the U.S. government and seemingly obsessed with how President Obama “had to be stopped,” fired his semiautomatic rifle out of his car, Secret Service agents were quick to respond. But they were told to stand down, with superiors saying no shots had actually been fired. Even though agents seemed to know that was clearly not true—a pair of agents said they could smell gunpowder while another had heard debris fall from the Truman balcony—they stayed quiet, apparently out of fear of angering their superiors. In the end the conclusion was that two rival gangs had gotten into a gunfight near the White House lawn. 

It was only when a housekeeper found a broken window and a piece of concrete days later that agents began to realize what had happened. The president and first lady were understandably furious. Once the Secret Service actually started investigating, they quickly realized this was no small matter, finding $97,000 worth of damage. 

Mother Jones chimes in reminding us that President Obama has received three times as many threats as previous Presidents. Which of course is not surprising since virtually half of the country does not believe his presidency is valid, with a slightly smaller number not even believing that he was born in this country.

One would think that with the White House resident receiving this vast number of threats that the Secret Service would rise to the occasion and take extra precautions to ensure his safety, and yet there have been numerous cases, including the Colombian prostitution scandal, when it seems that this most respected of security forces seem to be simply phoning it.

I think it is time that somebody cleaned a little house, and perhaps made sure that the people who are the front line of defense in protecting the Commander-in-Chief took their job a little more seriously than those hired to protect clothing outlets in the malls of middle America.

If money really is now to be considered free speech, then the conservatives are screaming at the top of their lungs.

Courtesy of Salon:

There are no guarantees that future Democratic candidates will replicate Obama’s 2012 electoral success. The conservative financiers involved then regard the money that they spent that year as the initial down payment on a long-term investment, even if it did not immediately pay off. After the general election, Sheldon Adelson announced that he planned to “double” his investment in future races. “I happen to be in a unique business where winning and losing is the basis of the entire business. So I don’t cry when I lose. There’s always a new hand coming up. I know in the long run we’re going to win.” Marc Short, one of the strategists behind the political activities of Charles and David Koch, echoed that thought: “Our members are committed to the long term, not to one individual cycle.” 

In preparation for the long-term battle, these billionaires already have altered their campaign approach to maximize the odds of winning. After studying what went wrong with the 2012 campaign, individuals such as Adelson are aiming for a different kind of GOP nominee. According to Adelson’s friend Victor Chaltiel, “he doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee. He wants someone who has the chance to win the election, who is reasonable in his positions, who has convictions but is not totally crazy.” Meanwhile, Republican National Committee member Shawl Steel said that Adelson has learned from the 2012 defeat: “The candidate will have to have a strong resume—no sudden lightning-new guy—will have to build a formidable fundraising apparatus and really be emotionally tethered to bringing in middle-class Latinos, Asian Pacifics, Jews and blacks like never before.” 

Understanding the importance of the top conservative billionaires, GOP strategist and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said that one of the most important elements in the 2016 presidential campaign would be who would win the “Sheldon Primary.” Referring to the super-wealthy benefactor, Fleischer noted that “anybody running for the Republican nomination would want to have Sheldon at his side.” The same is true for Charles and David Koch. With their abundant resources, grassroots network, and willingness to spend to influence elections, their role in the GOP is of utmost importance. And like Adelson, they have sought to learn from 2012 and develop new electoral strategies. From their perspective, it is crucial to adapt to the political environment and alter public outreach strategies. James Davis of Freedom Partners, a Koch-financed group, said donors must test and refine their message: “Being in the field and testing during the slower periods, and in smaller areas, allows you to refine strategy and tactics so that you can make the larger investments with confidence.”

And if you are paying attention to what is happening in this midterm, you can already see how muhc money the Koch brothers and Adelson are pouring into campaigns, and how exactly that money is being spent. 

In Alaska for instance the Koch brothers have spent over one point three million dollars to defeat Senator Mark Begich, with plans to spend another five point five.

But this is just the beginning, the donations are flowing from what seems to be a bottomless pit of conservative money, and there seems to be no end in sight.

As Democrats we have the energy, the ideas, and the numbers. But if money is the deciding factor in who wins elections, then we are all but doomed.

That is why we HAVE to show up in huge number in 2014 and 2016.

We must show up in numbers too big to obscure with piles of money, be too loud to be quieted down by burying us under mountains of  cash, and too energized to be slowed down by purchasing obstacles to place in our way.

We are the future, and we must show them all that the future is not for sale.