WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Debt ceiling vote again looks to be a nailbiter

Remember when we kept hearing Congressional Republicans would never dare mess with the debt ceiling in an election year? Why snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

Yet, here we go again. Even an attempt to link a dent ceiling vote with military pensions may be insufficient. Once again, this thing could come down to the wire.

If one or two bond-rating agencies lower the U.S. credit rating, who will get the blame?

See this update from POLITICO. (Be sure to read some of the comments afterwards. Some are priceless!)


Speaking of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, consider this analysis from a St. LOUIS POST DISPATCH reporter in POLITICO about the case of Erika Harold, a Harvard-educated African-American (although mixed race parentage like President Obama), former Miss America, launching a Congressional bid in a sprawling central Illinois district I know rather well. Other than her opposition to capital punishment on grounds of inconsistent application, she would appear to check all the conservative boxes (anti-abortion; anti-gay marriage; anti-Obamacare; pro-guns), yet the G.O.P. establishment is resisting her...


Posted at 7:54am on February 11, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 8:29am
"...the case of Erika Harold, a Harvard-educated African-American (although mixed race parentage like President Obama), former Miss America, launching a Congressional bid in a sprawling central Illinois district I know rather well. Other than her opposition to capital punishment on grounds of inconsistent application, she would appear to check all the conservative boxes (anti-abortion; anti-Obamacare; pro-guns), yet the G.O.P. establishment is resisting her.."

And that is why the G.O.P. establishment should be ignored... She sounds like a great Republican candidate who should be backed by the R.N.C. in 2014.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Feb 11, 2014 8:54am
Interesting article about the former Miss America, Harvard educated African-American who's wants to run for Congress as a Conservative, TEA-leaning Republican.

She would appear to be answered prayer for the very White Bread European Male Republican party, yet it appears the Illinois G.O.P. doesn't seem entranced with Ms. Erika Harold. Could it be because the G.O.P. already tried running a former beauty queen for VP in 2008, Sarah Palin, and can't believe that someone as pretty as Ms. Harold could be very smart? Or maybe they think she's a wolf in sheep's clothing. A RINO who's background sounds very familiar to Obama's - is her mother from Kenya, other than he never was a Miss America - and fear she'll just be a female G.O.P. version of Obama? Or could it be they the TEA/G.O.P. isn't really serious about wanting to be a more inclusive party welcoming minorities?

It would seem like they should do a good job vetting her and if she still looks as good as she does in her photos, they've hit pay dirt. An attractive, well-educated, conservative, female, minority candidate for Congress. In other words, it's time for their actions as a party to meet their talk.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 9:35am
Oh, terrific! Another affirmative action candidate. Goody, goody.

Tell the truth: If you were seriously ill or injured and your life were at stake, and an MD from an entitlement/victim affirmative action class walked in, which questions would pop into your mind?

Besides, there has to be something screwed up about chicks who enter beauty pageants.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 10:58am
Mike: You may want to look at the actual Tea Party candidates...they are not all old white men, the G.O.P. establishment types (on the other hand) do happen to fit that description.

I will add that on "paper" she sounds like a great candidate...but she does need to be vetted to ensure her stated opinions are real and not mere rhetoric to get Republican support.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 1:04pm
(1) Since you guys don't live in the district, why are you so interested?
(2) You state her positions but failed to mention that she is trying to unseat an experienced Republican house member, Rodney Davis, who holds (and has voted) pretty much the same positions. So, once again tea baggers try to kill off a Republican incumbent and make a Republican seat Democratic. I guess you all have forgotten Christine O'Donnell already. The district has been Republican for 120 years (Rumsfeld held the seat at one time). At least some Republicans are not in favor of what can be seen as an opportunistic move: "Rodney Davis will win and the love child of the D.N.C. will be back in Shitcago by May of 2014 working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires. The little queen touts her abstinence and she won the crown because she got bullied in school,,,boohoo..kids are cruel, life sucks and you move on.. Now, miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS," said the Montgomery County, IL GOP chair.
(3) She only is African-American under the old Jim Crow standards and she is not mixed-race like Obama (who is one-half Black). She is (in order of decreasing per-centage of ancestry) Greek, German, Welsh, American Indian, Black and Russian. But like Obama, she probably picked Black for political advantage, and to get into Harvard.
(4) She enters a beauty pageant with a swimsuit competition and campaigns for sexual abstinence, confirming studies show beauty contest competitors - like strippers - tend to be frigid and get satisfaction from teasing.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Feb 11, 2014 1:14pm
EarlGrey: Yep, that's why I said above they should do a good job of vetting her, so there aren't any surprises later.

I didn't realize she was challanging an existing Republican in Congress. Billsmith said: "Rodney Davis, who holds (and has voted) pretty much the same positions".

That would raise a question as to why is she challenging him and why would Republicans want to gamble losing another seat to a DEM given the odds for incompents being re-elected are usually excellent? Yep, Christine O'Donnell comes to mind.

Maybe EarlGrey and Mrpizza, our two resident TEA folks here, can offer some "inside info" from the TEA circles as to what makes Erika Harold worth that gamble for their branch of Republicanism?

If the incompent were a DEM no question as to the why.

Allan Loudell
Tue, Feb 11, 2014 2:50pm
Looks like House Speaker Boehner is caving to avoid a debt ceiling crisis and credit-agency downgrade for the U.S.

After failing to come up with any scenario to pass the debt-ceiling revision with a majority of House Republicans, Boehner will do that with the Democratic minority in the House. So much for the so-called "Hastert Rule".

As to the story about Erika Harold, yes, the above account leaves out the point that she'd be challenging a Republican already in that House seat. However, although a political veteran of some hard-fought races, Rodney L. Davis is hardly an entrenched incumbent.

The Republican county chairs for the fourteen counties in that Congressional district picked Davis to succeed Representative Tim Johnson (whom I used to cover when he was a member of the Urbana, Illinois, City Council in the mid 1970's), who had announced he wouldn't run again for the seat. The county chairs chose Davis over at least three other finalists, one of whom was Erika Harold, plus another woman.

Yes, that Congressional district is historically Republican, but Davis barely won the general election -- by just about a thousand votes (0.3%). Even central Illinois is becoming less reliably Republican.

Whether any of the other Republicans would've done better in that race, I have no idea.

But county political chairs should watch their mouths when talking about candidates, lest those words become fodder for the other side all too happy to quote questionable language when making the case that the G.O.P. is racist. Otherwise, all the talk about widening the party's appeal and becoming more ethnically/racially diverse will just fall on deaf ears.

And make no mistake: The Republican Party is now confined to a demographic straitjacket. Even Rand Paul said something to that effect a few days ago, warning the state of Texas could turn "blue" within a decade if the G.O.P. doesn't become more inclusive.

P.S. By the way, while Rummy was a Congressman from the 13th Congressional district of Illinois, it wasn't at all the 13th district of today. The 13th district in the 1960's comprised Chicago's elite North Shore suburbs, not a swath across central Illinois. Rummy's high school alma mater was New Trier High School (East), the elite, North Shore public high school with such other alumni as Rock Hudson, Hugh O'Brian, Ralph Bellamy, Ann-Margret, Liz Phair, Ann Compton, Christie Hefner, John Stossel, and yes, Rahm Emanuel.

P.P.S. I'm no fan of beauty pageants either.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 2:56pm
Mike: I agree with you on the vetting (to avoid surprises)...and really know nothing about either of the two Republican candidates beyond the POLITICO story. As I said in my previous post, Erika Harold looked like a good candidate based on what I read in the story Mr. Loudell posted above.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 3:31pm
Alumni also include Jack Ryan, an early political victim of Obama's and the Daley Machine's dirty tricks. Ryan is the ex-husband of Jeri Ryan, Seven of Nine, a human assimilated by the Borg on Star Trek: Voyager. Ryan ran for the Senate against Barry. The couple's divorce records had been sealed by the court to protect their children from embarrassment but Barry, channeling Tricky Dick, released them to the Tribune. Of course, at the time the PC'ers didn't want to hear about it.

I had a client whose father went to high school with Chuck Heston and described him as "an odd duck." That was even before he became a gun nut.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 4:54pm
billsmith, you're starting to sound like MrPizza.

First, re Jack Ryan, how did Obama get the custody records released? The Chicago Tribune filed the motions, and a Los Angeles court released them. Did Obama have that much influence then, that he could make a California court do his bidding? I read at the time that Ryan's Republican primary competitors were the ones that started the whole release thing.

And do you judge doctors' abilities by their color? If I were in trouble and a black/brown/yellow/green doctor walked in, my only question would be "How am I doing?"

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 5:05pm
dunmore: I don't judge by color. I judge by affirmative action and who may have gotten where he is not by ability, but to meet some quota.

And who do you think tipped off the Tribune?

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 7:07pm
billsmith: Thanks for clearing that up. I'm the same way, when I meet a guy from Yale I automatically think, man, this guy is white, he must be smart and intelligent to go to Yale, I bet he got in on his own, no help from his daddy, he could even be president someday.

As for tipping off the Tribune, I remember the questions about Ryan's divorce first surfacing during the republican primary.

Funny how the same people who deride Obama for being nothing but a community organizer before the election now claim he had magical powers to sway judges and newspapers.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 7:38pm
Dunmore? Magic? No, it's the Chicago way.

So, you like affirmative action - a.k.a. reverse discrimination. It's just a matter of whose ox is being gored, I guess.

I didn't vote for Bush, any of them.

And now we have Miss America, the latest hottie to think she should get whatever she wants because everybody wants to f*** her. And like Obama, she changed her race to game the system.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 7:51pm
That does it. I'm through with those Republicans. I'm voting communist!

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 7:55pm
billsmith, I still think you are spouting platitudes. Chicago way? Affecting an L.A. judge? Sorry, don't buy that one.

As for Obama "changing his race"? What does that mean? That he is a white guy who claims to be black when it's convenient? Is that why MrPizza and every Tea and redneck in the country hates him, because he only pretends to be black?

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 8:09pm
So tell me Dunmore, what's the difference between that and Bill Clinton claiming to be the first "black president"?

By the way, we don't give a rat's behind what color Obama is. The problem we have with him is that he's a dictator along the same lines as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. In fact, he makes Vladimir Putin look like an upstanding world citizen.

Tue, Feb 11, 2014 8:25pm
By the way, here's another reason why Russia may be one of the last nations on earth to still have a degree of sanity:


Tue, Feb 11, 2014 9:54pm
Dunmore: You are a believer in reverse discrimination - either because you are a "true believer" in political correctness and think it's OK to punish the innocent for sins of a long-dead past. Or because you belong to a victim/entitlement group and think discrimination is fine if it benefits you. More double-standard hypocrisy.

By coincidence, NPR ran this piece this morning which points out that people often change their racial identification. Racial identity is more fluid than you might think.
Study: Stereotypes Drive Perceptions Of Race
Governments, schools and companies keep track of your race. The statistics are used to track the proportion of blacks and whites who graduate from school. They tell us how many people identify themselves as Native American or Asian. They help us measure health disparities. But there's a problem with all those statistics — and the deeper way we think about race.
Here's an AP story about how Blacks in Portland, OR don't want Honkies moving into the neighbor. If you have White people who don't want Black neighbors, that's racism. But this is OK, ethnic pride.
Trader Joe's drops black-neighborhood store plan

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trader Joe's grocery-store chain has dropped a plan to open a new store in the heart of the city's historically African-American neighborhood after activists said the development would price black residents out of the area.
Also by coincidence, Slate is running this today about the failure and the corrupt origins of Affirmative Action - reverse discrimination. Forget all this crap about judging people by the content of their character. Who invented affirmative action as we know it? Tricky Dick. Why? To overcome Blacks' "basic weakness" (His Trickiness believed in the Jensen-Shockley Hypothesis that Blacks have inferior intelligence, brawn but no brains, good in sports, but can't hack it in the classroom.)
The Massive Liberal Failure on Race

Affirmative action doesn’t work. It never did. It’s time for a new solution.

So, I say again, if my life or liberty is on the line - or that of someone I care about - I want the best help I can get, the best qualified and the most competent. Not somebody who got there to meet some social engineering quota.

Notice it's legacies like the Bushes who dream up these policies and it never costs them; it's never their kids who are pushed out of the American dream to let in some unqualified token. Policies like this turn "the masses" against each other and protect the privileged positions of the elite.

I was brought up to think discrimination was wrong, and then it supposedly worked in my favor. I'm not going to favor discrimination when it works against me.

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 8:39am
Back to the original topic...it looks like that "crazy" Tea Party guy Ted Cruz plans to filibuster to seek out a 60-vote threshold when the Senate votes on the measure.

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 8:46am
dunmore: The Tea Party supporters are not pro-0bama supporters because of this president's POLICIES not his race...period.

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