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Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

10-Year-Old Gives Birth in Southern Spain [via the AP via NPR]

Authorities in Spain are considering whether a 10-year-old in Spain should be permitted to keep her newborn baby. An official from Andalusia said the father is also a minor and that mother and baby are in good health. “Under Spanish law, having consensual sex with someone under age 13 is classified as child abuse, an official with the Spanish Justice Ministry in Madrid said. But this particular case is complicated by the fact that the father of the baby is also a minor and it is not clear if he could be charged, the official said.”

Why do Tea Partiers uppercase so many of their nouns? [via Slate]

Slate language columnist John Lackman looks at why Tea Partiers often capitalize nouns not usually considered proper and concludes that it is an attempt to mimic the language of the Constitution, which includes capitalization such as: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Historically, however, such capitalization is attributed not to founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, who rarely capitalized even proper nouns such as I, but rather to Timothy Matlack and Jacob Shallus, the secretaries who actually wrote the physical Constitutions and were wont to capitalize with abandon.

Cambridge scientists may find cure for the common cold [via The Independent]

Researchers at Cambridge’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology have for the first time shown that “the body’s immune defenses can destroy the common cold virus after it has actually invaded the inner sanctum of a human cell, a feat that was believed until now to be impossible.” Within a few years antiviral drugs that enhance the body’s natural defense system could begin clinical trials, scientists announced. “This is a way of boosting all the antibodies you’d be naturally making against the virus. The advantage is that you can use that one drug against potentially lots of viral infections,” researcher Leo James said. “We can think of administering these drugs as nasal sprays and inhalers rather than taking pills… It could lead to an effective treatment for the common cold,” he said. “The beauty of this system is that you give the virus no chance to make its own proteins to fight back. It is a way for the cell to get rid of the virus and stay alive itself.”

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The Tea Party Express, one of the major national Tea Party groups, will soon launch a $250,000 media campaign for Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party candidate challenging longtime Congressman Mike Castle for the Delaware Republican senate nomination this fall. The primary is September 14, just two weeks away, meaning that money will likely have some serious impact on the airwaves. What does this mean for the small state (my home) and for national politics?

Mike Castle. Courtesy Castle for Senate.

First, some background; the seat is that formerly occupied by now-Vice President Joe Biden and currently occupied by Ted Kaufman, who was appointed in 2008 and never planned to run for reelection. (The state’s other senate seat has been held by former governor Tom Carper since 2000; he was reelected in 2006 with 70 percent of the vote.) Castle, 71, has served as Delaware’s sole representative in the House since 1993; prior to that he served two terms as governor. In 2008, he was reelected with 61 percent of the vote.

Christine O'Donnell with Michele Bachmann. Courtesy O'Donnell 2010.

O’Donnell, 41, was the Republican nominee against Biden in the 2008 election; she lost to him by a 30-point spread. She worked for the Republican National Committee before moving to Delaware to work for conservative publisher Intercollegiate Studies Institute; more recently she has worked as a marketing consultant and political commentator, often on Fox News.

The Democratic nominee is Chris Coons, 46, the county executive for New Castle County, the largest county in Delaware with approximately half a million residents. Coons previously clerked for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and worked for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation. Although Coons was elected handily three times, New Castle is the most liberal of Delaware’s three counties.

Eight polls conducted since October 2009 have shown Castle defeating Coons, although the Democrat has been gaining slight ground on the moderate Republican. Four polls show Coons easily beating O’Donnell in November; the most recent put Coons winning against O’Donnell 44-37 (and losing to Castle 48-35).

This new Tea Party backing for O’Donnell has the state GOP worried. In a release, after blasting her for shooting video for commercials at Saturday’s Glenn Beck rally in D.C., they trash her as dishonest and against Republican interests in the state.

O’Donnell has been cited repeatedly lying to voters and manipulating her own political history. Recently, O’Donnell has claimed that she won two out of three counties in Delaware in her 2008 race against then-Senator Joe Biden. Election results show that Biden won overwhelmingly against O’Donnell and that she did not win any counties in the state of Delaware.

Her campaign appears to be getting desperate as the Republican primary is only two weeks away. The most recent Rasmussen poll has shown her support drop by five points in only a month to 36 percent – robbing her of the talking point that she would beat Democrat Chris Coons in November.

The Republican primary is closed to Democrats and independents, and O’Donnell seems confident she can defeat the more moderate Castle in such a primary. Money-wise, even steeped in Tea Party dough O’Donnell is woefully behind Castle, who recently reported raising over $3 million for his campaign.

Everyone, the media especially, loves a surprise victory from a dark horse candidate (coughjoemillercough), so this race will certainly draw increased national interest for the next couple of weeks and likely through November.

Bonus: Far less attention has been paid to Delaware’s House race now that Castle is running for the Senate. The Democratic candidate will likely be former lieutenant governor John Carney. The Republican nomination is still largely up for grabs while two businesspeople fight out a primary. However, it may not matter; Castle largely relied on popularity and longevity to maintain his at-large House seat. Delaware has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+7, making it even more likely the seat will shift parties.

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A recent ad from Harry Reid's campaign attacks Sharron Angle's position on Social Security.

The economy is in rough shape, even by the most optimistic of interpretations. Many industries (coughnewspaperscough) are collapsing beneath us. But there’s one industry, albeit small and seasonal, that seems to be soaring: political attack ads.

According to the Associated Press, state and federal candidates have spent $395 million on attack ads already, far more than the $286 million spent at this point in 2006, the previous midterm election. “More than half” of that has been negative. Furthermore, parties and other groups have added another $150 million so far, ahead of the $109 million from 2006, of which some 80 percent has been negative.

Those figures came from Evan Tracey at the Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Why has the mudslinging started so early and continued so strong? Part of the increased media frenzy is due to the current power setup in Washington. As the incumbent party in the White House and both houses of Congress, Democrats are facing intense pressure and scrutiny from the right. Faced with losing their strong majority in the Senate (not that that’s made for smooth legislative sailing) and almost certainly control of the House, Democrats are facing a referendum on their policies and achievements, which while historic and far-reaching have been anathema to much of the right. Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post’s The Fix blog says:

 The approach reflects a stark reality of this election cycle: going negative is the only way to turn the election from a referendum on Democratic control of Washington to a choice between two candidates. So, go negative — early, often and hard.

Certainly a good deal of that increase is due to the newly established Tea Parties. The AP report singles out Americans for Prosperity, one of the Tea Party groups funded by conservative David Koch (one of the billionaire brothers “who are waging a war against Obama”).

Some Democrats (probably the smart ones) are truly taking to heart the mantra, “The best defense is a good offense.” Democratic strategists breathed easy when Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle won the Republican primary to face Harry Reid this November. She has a good deal of populist support, but has surprisingly alienated many independents with some of her extreme positions, including unapologetically stating there are “domestic enemies” in Congress, disavowing abortions even in the case of incest and rape, and rejecting money from companies that support gay rights. Oh, and hinting at “Second Amendment remedies” against liberal politicians.

It remains to be seen how the Tea Party candidates will do in races across the nation; however, those results will be crucial to media planning for 2012.

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Justice Department Seeks Ebonics Experts [via The Smoking Gun]

Do you speak Ebonics, “a nonstandard variant of English spoken largely by African Americans”? The Department of Justice wants you! Documents obtained by The Smoking Gun indicate the Drug Enforcement Agency is seeking to hire nine Ebonics experts for its Atlanta operation, where they will presumably translate what is essentially a dialect of English for the DEA.

Welcome to D.C., Tea Partiers! [via DCist]

Fox News personalities Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin will host a rally August 28 at the Lincoln Memorial. But with thousands of Tea Party activists fearfully entering the Beltway, a Main Tea Party group posted a guide on how to survive in the dangerous city. First, watch out for the immigrants: “Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries.” Apparently, being an immigrant is necessarily unsavory. Even more importantly, however, stay in away from the bad areas; the guide provides guidelines for how far to go on certain Metro lines, and even to avoid the Green and Yellow lines at all costs. DCist drew up a map showing the safe boundaries — essentially the Mall and Foggy Bottom.

Pay The Cab Fare … And Meet The Author, Too [via NPR]

Yesterday’s “Fresh Air” on NPR featured an interview with Chicago cab driver and hard-boiled crime novelist Jack Clark. He was a Chi-town journalist for years before moving on to taxi and literary pursuits. His discussion on writing is interesting enough, but his stories from his time as a taxi driver, shared with interviewer and former cabbie Dave Davies, are the greatest draw to this 15-minute interview.

Mega Mario: Eataly promises New Yorkers the most exciting, delicious, illuminating food-shopping experience since, well, ever [via New York Magazine]

Iron Chef Mario Batali discusses his new 50,000-square foot Italian-esque gourmet grocery store, Eataly (props on the name), in Manhattan with New York Magazine. It will also contain several restaurants, including a “beef bar,” Manzo, similar to a sushi bar. Most interesting is the “vegetable butcher.” “If you’re not familiar with how to trim an artichoke, we’ll trim you an artichoke. If you don’t think you have time to peel your baby carrots, you can leave them with us and go shop in the other parts of the store, and we’ll peel them. We’ll do anything but cook them.” But don’t think that gets you out of paying for that part. “On your way out, we’ll put the peels in a little separate bag—because they’re going to weigh them at the checkout counter—and then they go into a compost can up front.”

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