Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Morning Roundup: Political Wipeout

Last night marked the Florida Edition of Republican Primary Debate season 2012. The four main characters played their parts to perfection. Santorum as the creepy, religious uber-conservative. Paul as the bewrinkled, grizzled, M.D. of the Constitution. Gingy as the ideas man with enough skeletons in his closet to open up a human anatomy course supply store, and Mitt "the Stiff" Romney, reprising his role as the uninspiring serious candidate. In anticipation of tonight's State of The Union address, I would like to propose the following: we dispense with the current Primary season set up and run the remaining Republican Presidential contenders thru a wipeout-style obstacle course. Let's see how much venom these yokels have left for Obama after they've been ragdolled by the Face Blaster. Oh I would love to see this.

In more serious news, Mitt Romney finally released his tax returns for 2010. He paid an effective tax rate of 13.9%. This only bothers Democrats for some reason. Last night Romney made a comment during the debate that while his tax rate is low, he still pays a LOT in taxes. I've heard this argument made before. Hey buddy, you think it's a lot that you pay 13.9% of $42 million dollars of income you didn't even have to work for? Boo hoo, that only leaves you with $36 million after doing nothing all year but offering your blowhard opinions to budding young conservatives all across the country. If you made $42k/year, and actually worked for it, you would've paid 35% of your income, $14,700, leaving you just a shade above 27k before city and state taxes. Now if you made 42k and were privy to the same rate you are now, you would've paid slightly less than 6k in taxes for the same year. That is like 60% less in taxes. I know there has to be Republicans out there in this income bracket. Why doesn't this bother people? It's also interesting to me that Mitt Romney dismisses his investment interests with the caveat that his investments are in a "blind trust". This is a good thing? This guy goes around shilling himself as a businessman and yet the extent of his present financial success is being "blindly" handled but some portfolio managers? Either he's lying or this is just another insult to the working class. A guy that has enough money doesn't even need to be bothered with where his money is being invested. He can just hire somebody to do that. Yeah, I can see how he would connect with the average everyday voter.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

This Week on Bunk Bros: Dissecting the "Norris Bump"

This week on Bunk Bros, we will be examining the role that the Chuck Norris endorsement played in swinging the South Carolina Gamecock in Gingy's direction! Tune in!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stephen Colbert - A Citizen United.

Normally, I find it very difficult giving any other political website credit for analysis or commentary that hasn't first been birthed or bequeathed by the sobriety of the Bunk Buds. But I do have to tip my cap to the video series produced by Dan Froomkin of the Huffington Post. They've made an easy-to-digest video series outlining the antics of the top political comedian, possibly of all-time, Stephen Colbert. Stephen's genius knows no boundaries, and this SuperPAC kick he's on is instant vintage!!! Way to go Stevie! The first of a five part video series is below, follow the links for the whole series and enjoy.

Sidebunk: Conservatives as the defenders of family values

Looks like the hard right is flocking to Newt Gingrich's defense in anticipation of his ex-wife's interview which is set to air this week on ABC. It's amazing to me that the folks that declare themselves the defenders of family values are so willing to compromise their convictions for someone who shares their same political ideology (read: tax cuts). Here's what the Bash Brothers of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, had to say today in defense of Gingrich. I'm sure they would have been equally understanding and forgiving had this been a former spouse of Obama (or Gore, or Kerry, or Clinton):

Palin on Hannity: I call them dumbarses. They, thinking that by trotting out this old Gingrich divorce interview that’s old news — and it does feature a disgruntled ex, claiming that it would destroy his campaign — all it does, Sean, is incentive conservatives and independents who are so sick of the politics of personal destruction, because it’s played so selectively by media, that their target, in this case Newt, he’s now going to soar even more. Because we know the game now, and we just won’t put up with it. So, good call media! Way to go to covertly hype this, even Gingrich opponents, for being so brilliant they sure are dumb.

Limbaugh: I got a great note from a friend of mine. “So Newt wanted an open marriage. BFD. At least he asked his wife for permission instead of cheating on her. That’s a mark of character, in my book. Newt’s a victim. We all are. Ours is the horniest generation.” [...] That’s from a good friend of mine, “Newt’s slogan ought to, ‘Hell, yes, I wanted it.’” (laughing) I’m sharing with you how some people are reacting to this.

Rush Limbaugh married his fourth wife in 2010.

Also of note, Gingy's ex bears a striking physical resemblence to what I envision the US economy looking like should a Republican regain control of the White House: BANGED UP.

And The Wheels Keep Spinning 'Round...

More traction trouble on the Mitt Romney express today. Early this morning, various news outlets reported that after a final tally of votes from the Iowa caucases, television-evangelist look-alike Rick Santorum actually came out slightly ahead of Mitt Romney. The final vote count has Santorum ahead of Romney by a scant 34 votes. While this doesn't seem like much, it does change the narrative of Romney steamrolling through the primaries. Instead of being 2-0 thus far with a healthy lead in South Carolina, Romney is now 1-1. In addition to this, the AP reported this morning that Texas Gov. Rick Perry was dropping out of the race and endorsing Newt Gingrich. The reason why this is news for Romney is that while Gallup has him with a 17 point lead in national polls, Rasmussen shows him with only a 3 point lead! The Perry endorsement is all but certain to consolidate support from what i like to call the "psycho-wing" of the republican party (which constitutes roughly 82% of the GOP) behind the G-man. It's worth wondering at this point if a total consolidation of the wack-job vote behind a single candidate, be it Gingrich or Santorum, would be enough to derail the Willard Winnebago. I also wonder who is the tougher opponent for Obama, the moderate Romney, who would appeal to moderates and independents, or a more conservative firebrand, who could potentially ignite the base but may lose the center? Will be fascinating to watch it all unfold.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nate Silver and The Art Of Prediction

Last night I went to City Winery to see Nate Silver record a live podcast for Slate. I've been a fan of Silver's since the 2006 elections, when he started using polling data to reliably predict the outcomes of the contests. Last night's roundtable provided surprisingly little in the way of revelations. Silver did remind everyone how difficult it is to predict elections, owing mainly to the scarcety of historical data but also to the innumerous variables which can affect the outcomes. However he did note that he ran his model yesterday morning against a hypothetical Romney-Obama matchup. Romney came out on top 50.2% to 49.8%. I am personally going to go ahead and chalk this one up to the fact that there is a lot more campaigning and vetting to go before next November. Silver also noted that according to his models, Obama is a shoo-in for a second term should we shave a point and a half off the unemployment rate in the next 10 months. I'm not sure how likely that is, but it interesting to note. Also in the house, or as Michael Steele would say, the heezy, former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer. It's always bittersweet when Spitzer enters the equation. I was a huge fan of the former Governor's, and it was one of the great political disappointments of my life to witness his downfall. Of course, an Obama defeat this November would probably dwarf the devastation I felt when Spitzer was caught in his web of lies. According to Silver, there's a good chance that this happens. Let's hope he's wrong.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Vulture Capitalism"

It's kind of amazing to me that someone of the intellectual caliber of Rick Perry would be smart enough to wack Romney with what I had assumed would have to wait until the general election: the hypocrisy that is Romney's claim that his time spent heading Leveraged-buyout layoff specialist Bain Capital somehow qualifies him as an expert on the economy, as if financial success equals sound economic strategy. Romney's job at Bain was basically to find companies that had assets (debt being considered an asset in this circumstance), find ways to restructure (ie, cut wages, trim payroll, shed labor) and squeeze every ounce of cash or value out of the company before selling it off piecemeal or just straight up shutting it down. Now I'm no economics whiz nor do I claim to be but I have always thought Romney was getting a free pass on his economic track record. The guy bankrupted companies. That sounds remarkably like another W to me. Not somebody I want to throw in charge of an already fragile economy. Now to backtrack a little bit here, I don't want to give Perry too much credit for this. This may be more gaffe than sound strategy. Gingrich has hopped on the criticism caravan on this one as well. These guys are RIPPING into Romney. And it looks like the establishment Republicans are trying to reel them back in line. I'm a little torn because while this is most certainly an issue that will come up in the general election campaign, I wonder if the republicans think but somehow waging this battle now they are taking some of the air out of the balloon? I'd be interested to hear some thoughts about this. Check out this video that one of Newt Gingrich's PAC's has released, entitled "When Mitt Romney Came To Town":

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

W. Mitt Romney: He's a Real Stiffy!

As last night's New Hampshire Republican Primary proved, W. Mitt Romney showed once again just how tepid his support amongst Republican voters really is. Coming in at a Tebow-esque 35%, Romney wiggled and weaved his way to the least inspired victory since last week! It's interesting to ponder the ramifications of a Romney candidacy, given the lack of enthusiasm thus far. From the looks of it, we might be staring at a horse race to be the Non-Romney, a candidate that conservatives can snuggle up to and pool all their pea-brained, limited government, personal responsibility, economic yak n' dash ideologies behind and really show that socialist, wealth-distributor Obama a thing or two in the general. The bad news for Republicans is, Romney really is the only guy they have who stands a chance with independents. I mean, you wanna talk about fringe candidates? Rick Perry talked about seceding from the United States for god's sake. And speaking of God, Rick Santorum's religious ideologies square him up with roughly 14% of all registered voters. Ron Paul wants to shut down the Department of Education and immediately withdraw all American Armed Forces from around the world. While I think that is a noble idea, it's simply not practical. And Newt Gingrich has been married three times! These guys thought Clinton was bad! Basically what this all boils down to is that the best these tax-cut loving nascar fans can hope for this November is the big stiffy in a business suit, W. Mitt. Obama has to be liking his chances.

Dipshit of the day goes to...

John Sununu of New Hampshire! This is a family blog so excuse me for my characterization of Sununu - but he's a dipshit supreme with a side of numbnuts. I caught an interview he did on msnbc earlier in the day with Chris Matthews. Matthews was angering him with his opinion oriented analysis. Sununu offered his support to Mitt Romney, saying Romney is the guy he trusts most to clean up after "...Obama ruined our economy". I was under the impression that Obama took office in 2009, which would leave him unavailable for blame pertaining to the economic crisis of 2008, from which our nation still staggers. That kind of crap really roasts my almonds. It's tough for a pile of chocolate mayonnaise like Sununu to remember as far back as 3.5 years ago.

Speaking of 3.5 years ago - does anyone remember that dude called George W. Bush? I do...and Im still pissed!

So off to South Carolina for Romneyfest '12. Here's some relief from my lingering Bush anger - South Carolina's own Stephen Colbert:

45 second summary of Rick Perry's Candidacy (in Spanish)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Here's a look at the guy with the 2nd most delegates behind the R-man so far...

As previously argued, by me, the Teeb, Romney is running away with this thing despite his tepid support because of the weakness of the field...

After tonight, Im willing to put this out there - Romney is the nominee, case closed, conversation over, that's a wrap, daaaaas it! Willard Mitt Romney is the best the Republican Party has to offer this country. He's the new leader of the GOP. Think about that for a minute, and then think about this:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Balboa Bay Windows...

Do we have any Arrested Development fans here? Check out this image and tell me what you see here...

Monday Morning Quarterbacking... It's Tebow Time!

It was a weekend full of robust right wing rallying cries, as the New Hampshire Republican primary race heated up. With Floppy Poppy Mitt Romney wiggling back and forth like a worm on a hook, Jon Huntsman looks like he's starting to peel off some of the intelligent vote. This is the only guy I could conceivably see in a debate with Obama where something might come out of his mouth that I could agree with. Which makes his chances of earning the Republican nomination all the more unlikely. However it's interesting to me that there appears to be an "anyone but Romney" mentality within the Republican Party. As much of a slugfest as I recall the Obama/Clinton primary battle of '08 being, it seems like Gingrich, Perry, Paul, Santorum etc are really trying to ding up their frontrunner brethren. And much like how at the time the pro-Clinton argument was that such opposition within the party was only going to make the eventual candidate that much stronger in the general, Republicans don't seem generally concerned by the mud-slinging going on so early in this campaign. While I don't doubt that there is a significant percentage of registered republicans who are going to vote for whichever candidate wins the nomination, I do think that there is a growing possibility that if Romney (or Huntsman, for that matter) were to win the Republican nomination, that we may see a 3rd party candidate from the right, which i think would only seal Obama's chances at a second term.

In other republican news from the weekend, christian evangelical wunderkind Tim Tebow continued his improbable march to the promised land by vanquishing the significantly less god-fearing, planned-parenthood-supporting forces of the Pittsburgh Steelers, led by wayward sinner Ben Roethlisberger. All joking aside, I'm just about ready to stop hating on this guy and get my off-peak punched on the Tebow Train. I mean, the way people keep Limbaugh-ing this guy is starting to make me scratch my head. Sure there's nothing personally likeable about this guy. He's a home-schooled meathead draped in a clergyman's tunic. But the kid keeps coming up big when it matters most. I'm buyin!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Honest Republican Alert!!!

and, again, the honor goes to that ol' cooter -- John McCain. enjoy...

Friday, January 6, 2012

GOP Nomination Headscratcher...

There's a lot of talk about the weakness of the Romney candidacy - he's got the money, the organization, this is his second crack at the nomination, yet he still doesn't have wide support from the GOP voters. Many people are talking about the "Romney ceiling" of 25%, and the fact that the GOP electorate has kicked the tires on essentially every single candidate as evidence that the party is unhappy about the Romney inevitability. Check out this article in the National Review Online by Michael Walsh. Walsh declares that Romney will lose the general if nominated. John Podhorezt's quote from the Walsh piece is pretty interesting: "The results last night (Iowa) make it clear that Romney is unquestionably the weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history, scoring fewer caucus votes in Iowa in 2012 than he received in 2008."

That seems like it is true, and I want it to be true. But the part that makes me scratch my head is that while there is evidence to support that claim, there is evidence to contradict it as well. Romney is a bit fluffy, yes - I want to believe that. But Romney is going to be the first candidate in a long time to win both Iowa and NH. Also, new polling reveals that Romney has double digit leads in NH and SC. Three wins at the front of the race would mean high times for the Romney campaign -- who would stop that momentum? So we're looking at the weakest candidate in recent political memory who is also steamrolling through the nomination like Calvin Johnson against the East Chattanooga State secondary. How would one square those opposite narratives?

Here's how I would square it -- They're both right. Romney is a weak candidate. In his career he's been floppin' and flappin' all over the ideological spectrum like a pregnant pigeon stuck in a storm drain. He's weak because he hasn't taken a strong stand on the issues near and dear to the GOP base. But think about it - what does that tell you about the rest of the field?!? The fact that this "weakest party front-runner in contemporary political history" is thoroughly dominating the early calendar tells you what you need to know about the remaining candidates. And don't get confused - if Romney wins all of those contests, he is DOMINATING. He's going to win in double digi's in NH, and possibly double digi's in SC. There's a lot of kerfuffel about Romney's weakness' and electoral misfires on MSNBC and similar outlets. That's spin - he's kinda rollin'. It's a headscratcher.

Bad News For Republicans... The Economy is Getting Better for Everyday Hardworking Americans... Uh-oh!

Bad news for Republicans today. The latest jobs report by the Department of Labor indicates the economy added 200,000 jobs in December. This is a big uh-oh for the republicans, who spend every Sunday in church praying for this country's failure. This report marks the 22nd straight month of economic growth, following 25 straight months of blistering job losses. Honestly, I don't think Obama is without fault, but i think it is indisputable at this point that Republicans view any news that could be considered "good" for Americans, and thus for this President, as bad news for themselves. There is something very wrong with this. Last week, Mitt Romney said the following: "We've never gone into permanent recession or depression," he continued. "The economy will come back after recession. The question is, did he help it or hurt it? Did he prolong the pain or reduce the pain? The truth is, he made things harder to recover; he made more people suffer longer.". I love the inevitability which Romney attributes to the economic recovery. The truth is, had Republicans been in charge, if we got any stimulus at all it would have been much, much smaller, and most likely have had a much larger percentage hard-targeted towards tax cuts for the wealthy. As it were, the chief criticism Obama receives from economists is that his stimulus bill wasn't big enough. The fact that Romney, and by reduction Republicans, now wish to portray economic recovery as an inevitably just shows how oblivious they are to the facts on the ground. Back in 2008, a legitimate Republican Senate candidate to unseat a sitting Senate Majority Leader made a comment that a barter economy wasn't such a bad thing. This is where we were headed! The total collapse of our economy was not outside the realm of possibility. Yet any good economic news is treated as a setback for Republicans. Give me a beej already.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hypothetical "Steele" Cage Match: Herman Vs. Michael

While the level of divisiveness between parties has never been greater, intra-party squabbles continue to create political mayhem. In such instances, all paths to resolution must be explored. Which got us thinking, what politicians would be prime candidates for a Steel Cage Death Match! Well, who better to lead off than Michael "The Token Has Spoken" Steele! I'm sure there are quite a few Republicans that would like to have a crack at Mike. Well let's meet our challenger: Herman "The Human Sex Scandal" Cain! Cain's survival skills in the cage should no doubt be enhanced through his time spent leading that Prime A1 USDA grade Choice Cut Red Meat Republican bastion of conservative principles, the NRA nat'l restaurant association. He also brings his deadly "9-9-9" move to the cage, where he snipes and snips his way to complete oppositional deregulation! It's a fight to the death!

Honorable Republican ALERT:

Doesn't happen often, but I've got some news to report of an honorable Republican: While campaigning for Romney in NH, John McCain took an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC. Todd asked McCain if he felt bad for Gingrich (who had just been ad-bombed in Iowa), thinking McCain, a veteran of such tactics, might sympathize. McCain rightly and honestly said that this is a taste of what's to come with the Citizens United Case -- McCain called it: "the worst ruling in the history of the Supreme Court." McCain also referred to the "everlasting shame" that this dogshit decision will have on electoral politics. Intellectual honesty has been rare in this GOP campaign.

Frankly, Im a little surprised that the CU v. FEC decision isn't a bigger scandal coming out of Iowa. The Romney campaign spent $1.5 mil on positive ads in the state, while his PAC (made of three former Romney staffers) spent $2.8 million all on negative ads. The massive spending on negative ads by his PAC allowed Romney to claim he ran a completely clean campaign while his former aides carpet-bombed the Gingrich candidacy in Iowa. In the CU v. FEC decision, SCOTUS allows for unlimited campaign contributions under the condition that the PAC's and SuperPAC's are not directly coordinating with the candidate/campaign. What do you think? Did the Romney campaign orchestrate this ad strategy? Do you think Gingrich is right to believe that Romney secretly arranged for this? Give me a break. Violating this law could not be easier, the violation of this law is impossible to prove. This law was designed to be broken. Why is this not a bigger scandal?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More bad news for the J-man...

Hypothetical Candidate of the Day: Gene Shalit

Given the un-inspiring nature of the potential Republican Presidential field, the excitement of which i can only compare to watching a televised chess tournament, we here at Bunk Bros have to decided to ponder the "what if's?" and offer our analyses of yet to declare potential Republican Candidates.

Please note: actual political pre-disposition is entirely irrelevant for our purposes. Where applicable we will ponder possible ideological leanings based on the raw data available to us: looks, general demeanor, and gut instinct.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be introducing for your consideration potential GOP presidential candidates. And what better way to kick off this new segment with television's own, Gene Shalit!

Age: 85 years old
Occupation: Humor
Potential Running Mate(s): George Whipple
Pro's to a Shalit White House: The bow-ties. A cuddly, non-threatening white guy to soothe all the Obama haters. Movie nights.
Completely unsupported hypothetical political predisposition: Shalit's got hands-off, small government laissez-faire economic policy written all over him. It's "Morning in America!" again with Shalit at the top of the ticket! Plus, as a secretly gay, closet homophobe, "Big" Gene would fit right in with about 72% of republicans in Congress!

Spotlight: Michele Bachmann's Husband... Mr. Bachmann!

Various news outlets are reporting at this hour that short lived presidential wannabe Michele Bachmann has dropped out of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, a mere 12 hours after vowing to take the fight to New Hampshire. While we here at Bunk Bros never doubted for a second that a withdrawal from the race would be shortly forthcoming last night, what really had us in stitches throughout her vaguely coherent slandering of Obama as a socialist Austrian aspirant last night was the presence of what one could only describe as her better half, or possibly, three-quarters if you will - Marcus Bachmann! This guy is gayer than a Michael Bolton record. Mr. Bachmann has a PhD in clinical psychology, which he has used to practice what he describes as "ex-gay therapy". This guy tries to convince homosexuals that they can be "cured" of their homosexuality. Hell, if I was gay one look at this guy would be enough to cure me!

Bunk Bros Final Thoughts

Just a few final thoughts from the gang over here at Bunk Bros. It might be a brisk 16 degrees outside in this frigid January New York City evening, but the temperature in the Republican Party is a balmy 76! Ron Paul defied all the odds and singelhandedly smoked the three headed Bachmann-Gingrich-Perry monster. At least two of the aforementioned appear highly likely to withdraw from the race in the coming days. Another interesting final observation is the striking resemblance between Rick Santorum and television evangelist personality Joel Osteen. This galloping gang of buffoons has only been surpassed by the nonstop parade of schmucky yokels of yesteryear. It's been an evening for the ages here at Bunk Bros! Good night... and good luck

Bad News for the J-man...

Rick Perry just delivered a partially coherent, Hawkeye state, send-off speech which seemed to foreshadow the future of his candidacy. His candidacy has been dumpy, funky, frumpy, stumpy, and a little bit blumpy. That's no major shock. However, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, one of this blog's fav politicians, endorsed early on Perry while Perry was high on the hog in the early process of the nomination. That'll be another big, steamy, unforced error, plumply dropped on Jindal's career. Well, here's to Bobby Jindal. Jindy has some more work to do on his credibility based upon his Perry endorsement. One more big woops for the J-man.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Live Blogging: Jesse?!?!

Watching Sharpie make a complete blubbering fool of himself during MSNBC's coverage of the Iowa Caucuses, I can't help but yearn for the day's of Rev. Jesse Jackson. Remember when that guy threatened to cut Obama's nuts off?!?! Awesome.

Live Blogging with the MSNBC "Dream Team"!

We're live blogging from Bunk Bros headquarters! It's a lefty-progressives european wet dream with the who's who's of latte-sipping, belgian endive munching, saab drivers. O'Donnell. Maddow. Schultz. Sharpton.

In other news, the Republican voters of Iowa seem to be evenly divided between Romney, Santorum, and Ron "Repeals The Civil Rights Act!" Paul. It's worth noting that the last winner of the Iowa Caucus was evangelical-cum-talk show host Mike Huckabee.

Live blog: Its a tre-way!

There's a three way log jam at the top. Romney-Santorum-Paul, they are all currently holding 23% of the vote. It's gonna be a barn-burner tonight. Let's call the bag man.

Live-Blogging From The Bottom Bunk!

Tonight red-blooded Iowans will cast their choice to decide who will be the Republican nominee to take on President Obama in this November's election. Tax-cutting Iowans of all shapes, sizes, and levels of ignorance will brave the elements to decide between one fact-defying, logic-denying, planned parenthood defunding, medicare dismantling politician or another. Tonight, Iowans get to decide which one of their candidates stands the best chance of regaining the White House and finally driving this country's economy right off the cliff! And Bunk Bros will be there all along to watch in horror and disbelief as these exciting results trickle in! Will it be Mitt "Corporations are people!" Romney? Rick "I'd cut every agency in government if I only knew what they were" Perry? Michele "Obama = Hitler" Bachmann? Or will Newt "what a smart person sounds like to a stupid person" Gingrigh walk away with a come-from-behind W! The stage is set! So grab your 18th century colonial revolutionary war garb - it's time to Bunk Up!