How I got on their email list I'll never know. But if the GOP really wants my opinion on what I'd like to see them do to change Washington...
(For the record, yes - I did submit that message)
Political wars include many angles of attack, ranging from sly and misleading PR campaigns to push polls. An attorney from Columbia, SC adds guerilla tactics to the battle plan, though, and in a manner that only defeats the self-proclaimed morality of the Republican Party he represents.
Take Todd Kincannon’s latest warfare against Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, for example. From his tweets on January 23:
Wendy Davis has done more to damage modern feminism than Monica Lewinsky playing Human Humidor with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office.
The best thing about the Wendy Davis fiasco is this: It proves that you can still call a whore a whore. Feminazis ain’t won yet, my friends.
Wendy Davis has solved America’s student loan crisis! Just find a dumbass to pay off your loans in exchange for sex.
His tweets stem from a January 18 article in the Dallas Morning News, which questioned Davis’ character, but by using incorrect information about the Democratic candidate for governor.
Although the newspaper later issued corrections, Kincannon joined right-wing media, including Rush Limbaugh and Erick Ericson, as well as even the Texas GOP, in continued distribution of the false information, although with his trademarked vulgarity.
This was only the latest for Kincannon, though. He’s already well-known for issuance of juvenile jokes through this Twitter account.
In October 2013, he attacked transsexuals:
I have plenty of compassion for trannies. They should all be locked up in mental institutions and their care paid for by the state.
In March 2013, he engaged in personal attack against an Iraqi war veteran:
Has it occurred to you that you can be a paralyzed veteran and a stupid d--- at the same time?
During the Super Bowl broadcast of February 2013, which caught attention from national media, Kincannon issued a slew of racist, heartless messages against multiple targets:
Is the 49ers QB a melungeon, marabou or quadroon? I can’t tell.
This Super Bowl sucks more d--- than an adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money.
In May 2012, he attacked Native Americans:
Hey Injuns, how about eight syphilis-free seashells for North Dakota?
In November 2011, he issued guttural statements about U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi:
“The Crabby C--- from the California Coast”
Would you prefer Nancy the Crooked Whore? More accurate, but also more words.
His behavior goes back further, too. In July 2011, Columbia’s Free Times described his Twitter presence as:
Irreverent, insensitive, cruel and uncouth.
He also promotes Twitter methods to hinder the accounts of non-conservatives in a campaign he calls “#TGDN” (Twitter Gulag Defense Network).
If he needs an excuse for this unprofessional behavior, it won’t be stupidity. According to Columbia’s Free Times, Kincannon graduated high school at the ripe age of 12, and began college at 15. His firm’s site says he earned a bachelor’s degree for a triple-minor in chemistry, mathematics and physics before attending Univ. of South Carolina’s law school.
Breezing through school at an early age seems to have left him without opportunity to mature, though. Kincannon historically defends his messages, and even complains about retaliatory replies he’s received. In a February 2013 interview with Huffington Post Live, for example, he said:
They call me a cracker, or say I’m gay – just all kinds of lunatic insanity.
He regularly claims his web rants are just jokes, and aren’t indicative of his true character. Try telling that to conservative online journal The Trenches, though, the female staff of which revealed he was “sexting” them – not once, not twice, but three times – including nude photographs of himself in messages he sent them in October 2012.
Surprisingly, Kincannon offered legal perspective on that same subject of “sexting” in a September 2011 edition of WACH’s “Good Morning Columbia,” a local news broadcast in which he regularly appeared. His Super Bowl tirade prodded the Fox affiliate to publicly deny affiliation with Kincannon, though.
This history also contradicts a previous public statement from Kincannon. In September 2011, following Rep. Anthony Weiner’s resignation after being caught tweeting suggestive photos, Kincannon tweeted request that people send the Republican who replaced Weiner “some disinfectant. The office needs it.”
He also contradicts with the principles proffered by the Republican Party, the official platform of which resonates in references to God, faith, morality and religion.
Take his retort to one who criticized Kincannon’s recent Davis tweets:
Jesus loves me, this I know. Wendy Davis is a ho.
But despite this contrast with the GOP and its supposed morality, Kincannon’s very Republican, and has even been employed by the party. Between 2004 and 2010, he served as executive director and general counsel of the South Carolina GOP, was a candidate for party chairman in 2011, and once served on the Republican National Committee.
His record of Twitter tirades is causing SCGOP to avoid public association with Kincannon, though. After his March 20113 attacks on the Iraqi vet, the state Republican Party refused to answer questions about any association with Kincannon.
His most recent vulgarities could have the opposite effect of what Kincannon intends, too. While they have gotten his name back in the news, they’ve also drummed up additional support for Wendy Davis, who raised over $12 million in her campaign for Texas governor in just the last six months.
Kincannon caught in twisted tweets
By now, everyone knows that the federal government is shutdown.
What not enough people know, however, is that government was shut down only because House Speaker John Boehner didn’t allow a budgetary extension bill to come to the floor for a vote.
If it had been allowed a vote, the bill would have passed, in fact, keeping government offices (and employees and established services and parks and much, much more) continuously operable.
Twenty-eight Republicans in the House verified that they would have voted for its approval, as well as 200 Democrats. Because that 228 total surpasses majority of the 438 total votes in the U.S. House of Representatives, the budget extension would have passed with no problem.
But it didn’t. Because Boehner didn’t allow it. And the federal government has had to temporarily close dozens of offices and lay off over 800,000 Americans as a result.
This wasn’t a question about that extension bill or its provisions or its fine print, then; the shutdown only occurred because the House never got to vote on it.
So is that legitimate, then? Professional or moral? Is it even legal?
According to 18 U.S.C. § 2384:
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
Note that highlighted line: “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States(.)”
The only reason that House Republicans are blocking any vote on budget resolution is to delay execution of the Affordable Care Act, which became law in 2010, and which was upheld by a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2012.
And remember that the ACA wasn’t event mentioned in the bill that House Leader John Boehner blocked from coming to the floor for a vote.
And remember that the ACA isn’t in any way relevant to that bill, either; no funding for any segment of it came from the budget resolution, after all, and the next phases of its implementation began the very next day, anyway.
So does this shutdown of the U.S. government over such a non-relevant issue constitute sedition, then?
While that’s a question that only scholarly attorneys and historians could answer, let me offer a layman’s response with another question: what would the GOP do if the president had shutdown the government by blocking a budget resolution that didn’t include provision for or mention of Obamacare, even though Obamacare wasn’t included in that bill?
Wouldn’t Boehner be occupying Fox News nonstop with charges and allegations about sedition? Would or would not the House GOP and its lobbyist supporters have the steps of the capitol littered with lawyers strewing subpoenas? Or do you think they’d just step aside and let Obama’s agenda work its way through without any contest?
This shutdown is without basis or foundation, and it’s without precedent. And it could very well be illegal, too, based on the definition of sedition.
Even if this shutdown response to irrelevant factors doesn’t constitute sedition, it’s at least hypocrisy. Just ask the American public.
A recent Washington Post survey finds that 70 percent of the general adult population (and 71 percent of registered voters, please note) disapproves of what Republicans in Congress are doing. To continue the shutdown, then, House GOP is only shooting itself in its own foot.
For the good of the American public, and for their own self-serving good, Boehner and other House Republicans should end this political trick.
If they don’t, it’s time for the American public to file charges of sedition.
In his recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, congressional candidate Mark Sanford reported receiving $2,500 from conservative mogul David Koch on February 1,the Sunlight Foundation first reported.
With a net worth of approximately $34 billion, Koch is ranked by Forbes to be the fourth most-wealthy American. Executive VP of Koch Industries, a conglomerate affiliated with paper, chemicals and oil, he’s better known for political activism and special-interest lobbying.
An apparent basis for his support of Sanford in this special election, the two agree on many political principals.
For example, Koch is a board member of the libertarian Cato Institute. In 1980, he was vice-presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party, running on a platform that called for elimination of Social Security, minimum wage and corporate taxes.
In his own political career, Sanford openly identified with the movement, calling his identification as a libertarian “a badge of honor.” In his previous term in U.S. Congress (1995-2001), he voted against strengthening Social Security and sponsored a bill for its privatization.
Both also have affiliation with the Tea Party. Koch is an original founder of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative organization affiliated with creation of the organization by its partner group, FreedomWorks. He’s also credited with providing ample funding to the Tea Party movement.
Columbia’s The State newspaper says Sanford was a “Tea Party frugal before it was politically fashionable,” and The Daily Beast says he “was Tea Party before there was a Tea Party.”
The South Carolina Libertarian Party, which has no candidate in this race, also identifies with the Tea Party movement, using the “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden Flag in the header logo of its website.
Other notable donors to Sanford’s campaign include Thomas Ravenel, who then-governor Sanford suspended from the state treasurer’s office in 2007 after federal indictment on cocaine charges, and billionaire hedge fund investor Richard Chilton.
Sanford is one of 16 Republican candidates in this special election to fill the 1st District seat, which has remained empty since January when Tim Scott assumed Jim DeMint’s senate office following resignation.
The primary race is March 19; the victor of an anticipated April 2 GOP runoff will face the Democratic candidate in a May 7 final election.
While she’s relieved that the Violence Against Women Act finally become reinstated yesterday, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch is definitely unhappy that it took so long.
And that all of the Republican congressmen from South Carolina voted against VAWA makes it even worse, she says.
“I am horrified by the complete disconnect between the danger that women in South Carolina face, and how their Republican representatives voted,” said Colbert-Busch in a statement released this afternoon.
This reinstatement follows a two-month relative absence of VAWA, which had been in effect since 1994, and only needed formal renewal last year.
In May 2012, however, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives attempted to change VAWA following its Senate renewal, seeking to remove inclusion of programs for Native American, LGBT and immigrant victims of domestic violence.
Voting against this renewal, however, were Reps. Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Tom Rice. Both Scott and Sen. Lindsey Graham voted against the Senate version on Feb. 12.
“These are the very same politicians who are always claiming that they have South Carolinians’ best interests at heart,” said Colbert Busch. “Try telling that to the families of the 39 women—and 13 men—who were killed by their partners in South Carolina in 2011.”
An average of 36,000 South Carolina women are victims of domestic violence every year, according to the state Attorney General, and the state currently ranks second-highest in murders by domestic violence. One of every eight women in South Carolina suffers physical abuse in relationships at least once.
Since first passage of VAWA in 1994, the number of women killed by intimate partners decreased by 34 percent, domestic violence against men dropped 46 percent, and the rate of all domestic violence in the U.S. fell 67 percent.
That Democrats and Republicans think differently is rather obvious to most.
But these opposing political supporters even think from different parts of the brain, a recent study found.
According to the recent (and appropriately titled) “Red Brain, Blue Brain” report, Democrats have higher activity in the left insula – the part of the brain that processes internal cues and emotions – when facing risks.
When Republicans think about risk, however, they have much higher activity in the right amygdale, the region of the brain associated with fear and exterior cues. As a result, these conservative-leaning voters “show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli,” the report concludes in its summary.
In other words, Democrats tend to think through challenging circumstances before responding, while Republicans are more prone to react impulsively and emotionally to outside influences.
The “Red Brain, Blue Brain” study was conducted by professors of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, biology and (of course) political science, and was released by the Public Library of Science on Feb. 13.
Eighty-two subjects who identified their political preferences participated in the research, which included MRI tests conducted as they participated in risk-taking mental exercises and games. Researchers confirmed subject party identification by voting records.
Republican campaign platforms and political ads used that year and in following have been laden with such tactics, too. For example (and see slide show for images at the bottom of this page):
Democrats have more activity in the part of the brain connected with wider social connections, such as friends and issues that affect more people and are inclusive of other parts of the world, the USC study concludes; on the other hand, Republicans are dominantly active in the brain region associated with tight social connections, such as family and their own personal properties and interests.
Both the Republican Party and Tea Party movement slipped in public approval, says a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, with each falling to its lowest rating since Obama first took the White House.
When asked to rate their opinion of the Republican Party, 49 percent of respondents responded negatively; 26 percent offered favorable ratings of the GOP, while 24 percent were neutral. Only one percent were unsure how to rate the political organization.
Forty-seven percent noted negative reception of the Tea Party, as well, with only 23 percent stating positive regard (20 neutral and 10 unaware/unsure).
These ratings found in the Jan. 12-15 poll are the highest in negative scoring for both groups in four years.
In Feb. 2009, just weeks after President Obama began his first term, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found ratings of the Republican Party to be 28 percent positive versus 43 percent negative.
The highest overall rating for the GOP was shortly after the 2010 election cycle. In December of that year, positive perception of the party was 38 percent, while 37 percent rated it negatively.
Favorable reception of the Tea Party movement hasn’t outweighed negative response since June 2010, when it scored 34 percent positive to 31 negative. Since then, it’s progressively declined to the new low reported in the recent poll findings.
Meanwhile, Obama begins his second term with a positive rating from 52 percent of the public (37 negative and 11 neutral), rising from his lowest score of 44 percent in August 2011.
Perception of the Democratic Party rose to its highest in approval (44 percent, versus 17 neutral/38 negative) since July 2009.
This survey of 1,000 American adults has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.