Posted on September 11, 2012 in Countdown
The Democratic National Convention gave President Obama a notable bump in the polls, putting him 6 points ahead of Mitt Romney (a 4-point increase from pre-DNC polling). The Romney campaign downplayed the news, describing the new poll results as merely a “sugar-high from the conventions.” It is indeed early, and we don’t know how things will change over the next couple of months, but the real bad news for Romney is that Virgil Goode Jr., a conservative candidate from the Constitution Party, has made the presidential ballot in Virginia. Much like the Gore campaign wasn’t happy with Ralph Nader taking liberal votes away in Florida in the 2000 election, Romney can’t be happy with the prospect of someone pulling away conservative votes in a swing state. The Republicans successfully knocked Goode Jr. off the ballot in Pennsylvania, but it remains to be seen whether their efforts will be successful in Virginia, where they are challenging the legitimacy of the signatures he collected to get on the ballot.
If you read our last Countdown from the DNC, you know all about the fiasco that went down with the Jerusalem amendment. It was embarrassing enough that the Dems bent under pressure and brought counterproductive language to be added to the platform in the first place. It was a little more embarrassing that they took three votes trying to get the desired 2/3 majority (and failed). And it was incredibly more embarrassing that they blatantly disregarded the opposition and pretended that the amendment actually passed. So, are the Dems owning up to the mishap, or are they further embarrassing themselves like an 800 pound gorilla attempting to avoid detection by hiding behind a twig? Yes, you guessed it again. “Not one person objected. It’s more a media concern than a delegate concern,” Chairman Villaraigosa told the LA Times. “It was a lot of ado about nothing.” Oh really? Was it the overwhelming delegate consensus that made you do two do-overs? Maybe a fourth vote is in order just to be absolutely sure? We suppose if you’re not going to own up for the screw up, a twig is as good a cover-up as anything.
Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) is working hard to keep you safe. Not only does Poe sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee (and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade), and the House Committee on the Judiciary (including the Subcomittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security), he’s also tried to protect us from Mexico’s “illegal invasion of the United States”, and has introduced legislation to make sure we don’t have any more foreign-born presidents. As of yesterday, Poe has his eyes on a new target: Twitter. Poe drafted a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, asking him to “stop terrorist use of Twitter.” By his estimation, if the FBI shut down the Twitter accounts of designated foreign terrorist organizations, “al-Shabaab would lose some 14,000 followers, Hezbollah 19,000 followers, and Hamas nearly 20,000 followers.” If Congressman Poe fails in this mission to shut down the accounts, he has vowed to quit his job and engage in Twitter battles with terrorists until they fear checking their “connect/mentions” tab more than they do drones.
Reuters recently reported on the international financial ties of Dutch politician and celebrity Islamophobe Geert Wilders. Wilders’ Freedom Party is the only Dutch party to forgo public financing, which means that he has never had to disclose his funders. The Freedom Party is often accused in the Netherlands of being foreign funded. While the party’s campaign finances remain a mystery, Reuters has uncovered evidence that many other aspects of Wilders’ finances are foreign-funded. U.S. groups, including organizations controlled by Pam Geller and Daniel Pipes, have provided Wilders with large sums of money for legal defense. While this is not illegal in the Netherlands, it sheds important light on the United States’ well-funded Islamophobia industry and its attempts to spread its agenda abroad. It is also likely to prompt deeper digging by the Dutch and U.S. press into the Freedom Party’s election financing. The organizations financially assisting Wilders are some of the same voices that constantly allege that the U.S. government is being influenced by a nefarious foreign Islamist agenda. Unfortunately, it does not appear as though the likes of Geller and Pipes grasp the irony when they turn out to be the sketchy ideologues financing a foreign politician.
A new poll shows that Rep. Michele Bachmann actually stands a chance of losing her seat in Congress, despite her national Tea Party stardom and massive campaign war chest. Her lead has diminished to a mere 2 points, largely due to a 20 point swing among independents in just 2 months. Bachmann’s challenger, Jim Graves, stands the best chance of beating Bachmann of any challenger since she was first elected. As his name recognition grows, so do his polling numbers against Bachmann. Shockingly, many of Bachmann’s constituents seem to like their member of Congress to focus on constituent services, rather than garnering national attention via controversy. Even if she survives her neck-and-neck race, Bachmann could lose her spot on the Intelligence Committee, or as she must think of it, “The House Committee on Flippant Espionage Accusations.”