NRA loves Christie’s ridiculous non-plan to deal with gun violence.
Talking Points Memo: Campaign finance reports filed this week by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) show he has collected $3,000 in donations since March from a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association.
The latest of those reports became public Monday, just as Christie’s Democratic opponent in the Garden State governor’s race, state Sen. Barbara Buono, has been hitting him for having a weak stance on gun control.
“We’ve seen really exceptional leadership across the river with Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, but unfortunately, in New Jersey, Gov. Christie has not shown leadership,” Buono told TPM by phone on Monday evening.
“Her criticism has centered on a task force Christie launched in January to address violence following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.,” the report goes on. “Buono has repeatedly described the recommendations issued by that commission as ‘shallow’ and accused Christie of using it to avoid the issue of gun control immediately after the shooting.”
“Shallow” works, but “a joke” would be good too. “He set up this commission right after Newtown. I’m not sure why he set up the commission considering Vice President Biden had already set up a commission,” said Buono. “It really appeared as though it was a delay tactic to delay and put it off hoping that people would calm down after the latest tragedy.”
The commission’s recommendations: criminalize the video games like “Call of Duty,” as well as mental illness. There’s even a call to ban the Barrett .50 caliber rifle — not because it’s been a problem in New Jersey, but because it’s featured in “Call of Duty.” The NRA is apparently cool with this ban, I suppose because it helps lay the blame for gun violence in America on video games and not the deep saturation of guns in our population.
Meanwhile, the state legislature is expected to pass legislation ignoring the panel’s recommendations and instead expanding background checks. That legislation may not have a bright future and this might explain why the NRA is shoring up Christie early — a veto of background checks legislation is pretty much the same as voting against it. Ask Kelly Ayotte how that sort of thing plays in the northeast these days.
A Serious Blow to the GOP’s Rebranding Effort.
After months of soul-searching and wandering the wilderness, the Republican Party has decided it needs to change. Well, not change really, so much as rebrand. After losing every minority group — plus women as a whole — to the Democratic Party in their quest to unseat Barack Obama, it’s become clear that the infamous, racist “southern strategy” is finally dead, dead, dead. No longer are the votes of white Christian males alone enough to elect anyone to national office. It’s now clear that “angry white guy vs. the world” is a fight in which the world will now come out on top, every time. Unfortunately for the GOP, that rebranding effort is scheduled to unravel in the middle of March. Then it will become clear (probably to everyone but the Republican faithful) that rebranding is a hopeless effort — as is real change. In fact, the great unraveling has already begun.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not invited to speak at the annual CPAC conference this year because he broke with conservatives on key issues over the past year, according to American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas.
Cardenas, whose group organizes the conference, wrote in an e-mail to National Journal that while CPAC was “proud” to invite Christie last year based on his record of balancing the budget and taking on teachers unions, Christie’s record over the past year is far less conservative.
“CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” Cardenas said. “Hopefully he will have another all-star year in the future, at which time we will be happy to extend an invitation. This is a conservative conference, not a Republican Party event.”
For those new to all this, CPAC is the Conservative Political Action Conference, a yearly convention that basically serves as the rightwing crackpot prom. It’s a big, boiling pot of extremists of every stripe — racists, anti-abortion zealots, homophobes, talk radio hosts, birthers, people who see Communists behind every potted palm, gun nuts, Islamophobes, etc. For obvious reasons, I tend to refer to it as the Crazy People’s Action Conference — and it is poised to set the effort to paint a kinder, friendlier face on the GOP back to square one, if not into negative territory.
If you need any evidence of that, look at the Christie story. Chris Christie, deservedly or undeservedly, is hands down the most popular Republican in America. There is no question. If you want to drag the GOP back into national relevance, you sit down, you shut up, and you listen to Christie. Yet CPAC believes he’s not worth listening to, because he hasn’t had “an outstanding year.” 70% approval is not an “all-star year,” because he lambasted House Republicans for blocking disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy and now he’s embracing the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. The very things that make him popular with the general public make him unpopular with the hothouse lunatics at CPAC.
And the people who’ve had a great year, by CPAC’s rigid and totally reality-proof standards? People like Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Allen West.
Oh, and Mitt Romney. According to CPAC, Mitt Romney just had an excellent, all-star year.
Bashing the one remaining popular Republican in America is just the start. CPAC speakers will return to immigrant bashing, gay bashing, Muslim bashing, science bashing, Todd Akin-like War on Women frootloopery, accusations of Marxism toward Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular, painting the middle class as “freeloaders,” Christian supremacism, etc. Seriously, just skim CPAC’s history — I’m not exaggerating in the least. And this year you can add gun control fearmongering. Believe me, it’s just going to be worse. For Republicans looking to change the party’s image in the public’s eye, no good can come of CPAC. None at all.
The party can’t change if the base doesn’t change, since somewhere along the line, Republicans decided to lead by following. And the base is ready to listen to Frenzy McCrackpot tell them all about the coming dystopia, where gay atheists force Christians to have abortions in compliance with Sharia law, but they aren’t interested in having Chris Christie tell them how to become popular and become a competitive party again.
Maybe Chris Christie could lead the GOP out of the wilderness and maybe he couldn’t (personally, I think he’s still leading by following, but at least he’s following more people than just the ‘bagger base). In any case one thing’s for sure: the nuts at the Crazy People’s Action Conference are dead set on leading the party deeper and deeper back into those dark woods.
[image via Bob Jagendorf]
Greg Sargent hits Chris Christie dead center.
In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, NJ Gov. Chris Christie attacked Warren Buffett for calling for higher tax rates on the wealthy. “Yeah, well he should just write a check and shut up,” Christie said. “Really. And just contribute. The fact of the matter is that I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it.”
It’s kind of remarkable that Republican officials in positions of real influence and responsibility continue to repeat this silly line in public without any apparent sense of embarrassment.
Let’s try to walk through this really slowly. The problem that Buffett and other wealthy people are trying to solve by calling for higher taxes on their class isn’t simply that they as individuals would like to be contributing more towards the tax burden, but can’t. Rather, the problem as they’ve identified it is a society-wide one: We need a massive boost in revenues to keep society functioning at acceptable levels and to address profound and intractable fiscal problems that threaten the country’s future.
This problem will not be solved if Warren Buffett writes a check. Buffett’s point is that the scale of the problem requires his class as a whole to chip in a bit more to solve it. So doing will require relatively minimal sacrifice, and will prevent more of the burden for maintaining a functioning society — which helps enable wealth in the first place — from falling on those who are far less equipped to bear it. This won’t happen unless taxes are raised on the very wealthy. Voluntary contributions won’t quite cut it. This requires a society-wide solution.
Nothin’ but net. Buffett’s got a lot of money, but he can’t make a dent in the national debt. A bunch of Warren Buffetts can. What Christie — and the rest of the Republican Party — is doing in response to Buffett’s argument is pretending to be stupid. At least, I hope they’re pretending. They pretend to completely misunderstand what he’s saying, which allows them to offer a strawman in response.
“By the way, the ‘just shut up’ response to inequality is not exclusive to Christie,” Sargent points out. “As you’ll recall, the GOP’s likely standard-bearer, Mitt Romney, recently opined that we should confine our discussion of these matters to ‘quiet rooms.’”
That’s because it’s an argument for which they have no answer. They want us to shut up about it, so they can stop pretending to be so dumb.
News Roundup for 10/7/11
-Headline of the Day-
“Michael Bloomberg tells Occupy Wall Street protesters to lay off banks.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just about had it up to here with these darned protesters on Wall Street. Mike wonders why they gotta pick on the banks, instead of protesting the government — like decent ‘baggers do. Unfortunately, his reasoning is just one big ol’ sack-o-stupid.
“Everyone’s got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic,” Bloomberg said during his weekly radio show Let’s Rap With Da Mair. “And if you focus for example on driving the banks out of New York City, you know those are our jobs… You can’t have it both ways: If you want jobs you have to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people.”
Because that’s what the protesters want, don’t let the total lack of any “BANKS GET THE HELL OUT OF NYC!” signs or anyone saying anything like that fool you. The whole thing is about driving those danged banks to New Jersey.
Mike also had some words for labor unions that have thrown their support behind the protests, telling them “their salaries come from — are paid by — some of the people they’re trying to vilify.” He’d have a point, except labor unions pretty much exist to hold employers accountable. Try using that argument on a picket line sometime Mayor, then enjoy all the open-mouthed “WTF, are you stupid?” stares you get.
“We’re just supposed to sit there and be silent while people get hurt?” asks Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “Is that what the mayor’s rationale is?”
Apparently so. Now go home, put on a three-cornered hat and pantaloons, and protest Obama — like a normal person.
Did I mention that Micheal Bloomberg is a gazillion-dollar Wall Street type? I probably should have. (Politico)
-I think you’ve run out-
The Republican Party is taking the news that Chris Christie and Sarah Palin won’t run pretty hard.
Click for full comic
I think you guys are stuck with the nuts you’ve already got. (Go Comics)
“Nearly Half of Americans Cannot Name A Single GOP Presidential Candidate.”
Kind of explains the previous item, doesn’t it? (Wonkette)
Stories to Watch: 10/4/11
“Not gonna happen”
-Headline of the Day-
“Gov. Chris Christie will not run for president.”
After media-fueled speculation that Chris Christie may run for president started a rumor that Chris Christie would run for president, Christie himself shot that rumor down today.
“Now is not the time…” the Governor of New Jersey said in a press conference. “New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.” The news comes as Christie-mania hits a fever-pitch, with at least one poll showing that Republican voters didn’t care whether he jumped in or not. I’m sure the disappointment will be just as impalpable as the excitement was.
Wait for pundits to say this is the latest sign that Christie is still weighing his options. At least, until they get around to speculating as to whether Mike Huckabee might run. (NJ.com)
-Wall Street protests, explained-
Click to embiggen
It’s the modern equivalent of “let them eat cake.” (Truthdig)
“Court turns away lawsuit over Obama eligibility.”
Long story short, Alan Keyes is some kind of record-holding sore loser. (AP)