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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Cantor’

Are Cooter’s Fingerprints On Eric Cantor’s Political Corpse?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 10, 2014

By now you’ve all probably heard that Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, lost what should have been a cakewalk of a primary battle tonight. He outspent his opponent, a Tea Party doofus named Dave Brat, by forty to one, and he still lost. Even better: The Tea Party doofus will now go on to face Jack Trammell, the Democratic nominee, in the general election in November — and Trammell may well stand a chance.

Why do I say this? Well…

There is evidence that Ben “Cooter” Jones’ efforts to get Virginia Democrats to cross over for Brat may have worked very well, indeed. If you compare the election results with a map of the Seventh Congressional District of Virginia, you’ll notice that the most conservative areas — the areas with the fewest Democrats — voted for Cantor, but as you look at the counties surrounding the City of Richmond (a city of which Cantor only has a teeny-tiny chunk in his CD, as it has far too many Democrats — ironically enough, that chunk was one of the few places he won tonight), you’ll see that Brat took those counties, often by wide margins.

Note, also, the very small overall vote totals. Only 65,008 voted in the Republican primary today, and Brat’s victory was with a margin of around 7300 votes. I can well imagine at least 7300 Democrats in Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, New Kent and Chesterfield Counties being sufficiently motivated to punish Cantor and avenge his defeat of Cooter Jones back in 2002. (Quick correction: While the vote totals are still only around 15% of the voting-age population — the total number of residents of any age being 757,917 as of 2010 — it turns out they’re considerably higher than the 47,037 of 2012 — but Cantor ran against a much weaker foe, AND there wasn’t a groundswell for Democratic voters to cross over for Cantor’s primary foe as there was this year.)

Will Cantor’s base rally around Brat sufficiently to sweep him to power? Will a number of them just do what they obviously did tonight, and stay home — except this time out of disgust as opposed to hubris? Will a number of them decide to vote for Trammell instead come November?

Stay tuned.

(Crossposted to MyFDL.)

UPDATE: Over at Daily Kos, VirginiaJeff reports that at least three liberal Dems he knows voted for Brat today just to take out Cantor.

Plus, look at the vote patterns.

Cantor did best in four spots: A very tiny chunk of the City of Richmond, and the three most rural and conservative parts of his district:  Spotsylvania, Orange, and Culpeper Counties.  The counties closer to Richmond, and which are more liberal, voted for Brat, in many cases quite strongly.

That doesn’t happen unless there’s big-time crossover voting going on.

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Eric Cantor To Missouri: Drop Dead.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 30, 2011

I was wondering when this would happen:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is suspending payments for some projects in tornado-ravaged Joplin because of immediate disaster needs along the East Coast after Hurricane Irene. Some spending for other storm-related and flood-related damage in other parts of the country also has been delayed.

A FEMA spokesman said Monday that the agency’s disaster fund has dipped well below $1 billion.

As a result, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said Monday the agency will not consider any new applications for what it calls permanent repair work in pre-Irene disasters.

[…]

But Missouri’s two U.S. senators are still angry over cutbacks facing Joplin.

“Recovery from hurricane damage on the East Coast must not come at the expense of Missouri’s rebuilding efforts,” said a statement from Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican. “If FEMA can’t fulfill its promise to our state because we have other disasters, that’s unacceptable.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, said she will work to make sure Joplin’s repairs are fully funded.

“FEMA should be prepared for all types of disasters and have the resources to respond rapidly and stay until the work is done,” her statement said.

Why is this happening?

Because Eric Cantor would rather see the residents of Joplin starving to death in the streets than spend a penny more on disaster relief — much less actually tax rich people to help pay for it:

Just as Republicans held the country hostage over the debt ceiling (“give us what we want, or else”), Cantor is now trying to do the same over disaster relief (some of which may be needed in his home state of Virginia, which is in Irene’s path). As his spokesperson explained, “Eric has consistently said that additional funds for federal disaster relief ought to be offset with spending cuts.”

It’s one thing to demand offsets in theory, or even at the negotiating table, quite another to do so with a major hurricane bearing down, with a natural disaster possibly at hand. It would be like if a dying man desperately needed a blood transfusion but you refused to give him any unless he gave you his house and car. (Which is actually how health care works in the U.S., but let’s not go there.)

This was Cantor’s response to the earthquake that caused significant damage along the east coast, including in Virginia, it’s his response to Irene, and it’s his response to disaster relief generally. No money unless money is cut elsewhere. In other words: Give us what we want, or else. And you can be sure he won’t agree to cuts to military spending. He just wants to cut programs he’s ideologically opposed to — relatively insignificant funding for, say, public broadcasting, or more significant funding for the poor and those who otherwise are vulnerable and need government help, like Social Security and Medicare.

Consider the message he’s sending to the people along the east coast, in Irene’s path. We’ll help you but only if we can also weaken programs that help you. You get some disaster relief, but, otherwise, screw you. That’s what this comes down to. (Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, has pre-emptively declared a state of emergency. Cantor apparently doesn’t care.)

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Earthquake In Eric Cantor’s District

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 23, 2011

Right next to a nuke plant.

What was that about not needing government and regulations, Mr. Cantor?

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More Proof GOP Wants US to Fail: Eric Cantor Shorts T-Bills

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 27, 2011

Led by their Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressional Republicans staged a temper tantrum last week — rather like the one Minnesota Congressional Republicans staged today by bailing on state budget talks — when they walked out of budget negotiations in order to please their corporate/Bircher tax-hating Southern Strategist base. This has renewed the decades-long debate, which was most famously fueled in recent times by Rush Limbaugh’s comments in April of 2009, concerning whether Republicans want America to fail so they could profit from its failure, either in votes or in cold hard cash.

And now we have more evidence that the Republicans who have the most influence over whether America lives or dies are in fact betting on its failure:

The Wall Street Journal reported the other day (here it is, but it’s behind a paywall) that as of his last disclosure form, House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor owned shares in a mutual fund that is short long-dated U.S. Treasury bonds. He is, in other words, betting that interest rates will rise, and hoping to make money off the fall in prices that would cause. (For my ancient primer on why bond prices fall when interest rates rise, see here .)

Per the WSJ, Cantor had up to $15,000 worth of shares in this fund.

That’s right: Eric Cantor, a man who has more control than all but a handful of other similarly-powerful men over whether the U.S. defaults on its debts by blocking an increase in the debt ceiling, would profit from this personally as interest rates would spike and prices would drop drastically. Even feeding the fear that this might occur could cause milder panics — and in fact has contributed to the recent huge losses the stock market has sustained.

How can this be legal? At all? Or is it, once again, perfectly okay so long as you’re a Republican?

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

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In Treatment of Joplin, Eric Cantor Reveals GOP’s Sick Attitude

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 25, 2011

How sick inside do you have to be to be capable of stiffing disaster victims in your own country just so the rich guys who pay your campaign bills never have to pay meaningful amounts in taxes?

You have to be Eric-Cantor-level sick, that’s how sick. Per examiner.com, via David Dayen of FDL:

As the Washington Times reports, Cantor said any aid would need to be offset by other spending cuts, “If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.” The term “pay-fors” means either spending cuts or tax increases, and the Republicans have firmly stated that they would not pass any tax increases this year. The Washington Times also points out that six years ago, then-House Majority Leader Tom Delay approved Hurricane Katrina aid without offsetting spending cuts. At the time Delay said it was acceptable to just add the Katrina aid on to the deficit.

That’s right, folks: Eric Cantor makes Tom DeLay look good in comparison. Think about how bad you have to be for that to be possible.

The people of Joplin, Missouri are finding out at first hand.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, safety net | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Eric Cantor Is A Lying Sack Of Dung. Discuss.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 5, 2011

David Dayen must have been laughing his head off when he posted this bit of news from the Washington Post:

Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.

On the eve of debt-reduction talks led by Vice President Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) said Republicans remain convinced that reining in federal retirement programs is the key to stabilizing the nation’s finances over the long term. But he said Republicans recognize they may need to look elsewhere to achieve consensus after President Obama “excoriated us” for a proposal to privatize Medicare.

Bullshit. As David Dayen points out:

Um, Republicans aren’t dropping their Medicare phase-out plan because Obama was mean to them. They’re dropping it because it’s deeply unpopular and their constituents gave them an earful about it over the past two weeks. I’m sure this was preceded by freshman Republicans pleading with the leadership to stop the suicide mission. And no doubt Wall Street looking over the shoulder of the House GOP loomed large.

By the way, if Cantor thinks that Democrats and their allies will suddenly forgive and forget about Republicans and their vote to, yes, end Medicare, he’d better not watch TV in October 2012.

Now, Cantor is trying to take back the story. But both the story and his insistence that he’s still with Paul Ryan can be consistent. Cantor will press for the Ryan budget but the Medicare pieces won’t be a deal-breaker. I don’t know why he felt the need to pre-negotiate, but it’s a common Washington occurrence.

Flail away, Eric, fail away.

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How Boehner Bought Off Bachmann’s Buddies

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 12, 2010

The man who forced the Air Force to buy more F-35 engines than it can possibly use has once again demonstrated how to use his control of the perks barrel to his political advantage.

See, all that lovely lip service they paid to Teabagger Queen Michele Bachmann and her loyal subjects during the election went away once the ballots were cast. A key factor shortening the post-election honeymoon to being measureable in nanoseconds was the fact that the Tea Party wing of the GOP is something akin to electoral leprosy, but really, John Boehner and the GOP Old Boys’ Network wouldn’t have given Bachmann and her cohort anything even if they’d won all their races.

How did they stop her? By buying off those few freshmen Tea Partiers that actually won their races, that’s how:

Cantor immediately endorsed Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling as the appropriate conservative choice over Bachmann in the leadership race. More quietly, Boehner’s office did not look with “disfavor,” as one aide put it, on Hensarling’s candidacy — despite tensions between Boehner and Cantor over the years. Their tacit approval of Hensarling, rated as one of the House’s most conservative lawmakers, was seen as a nod toward the more conservative faction of the party.

To make it clear that Hensarling was also a favorite of tea partiers, his staff blasted out endorsement after endorsement from movement favorites such as Reps. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Pence of Indiana and Ron Paul of Texas. Blogger Erick Erickson of RedState threw his heft behind Hensarling, as did tea party hero and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. On Tuesday afternoon, Hensarling’s staff alerted reporters to a story that showed that Hensarling had won “support from tea party Republicans.”

[…]

Once they gained the majority, Boehner and his lieutenants started deploying traditional Washington sweeteners.

Cantor continues to push for reform-minded conservatives on committees such as Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, and Rules — known colloquially as “exclusive committees.” Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Jeff Flake of Ariz. are the leading conservatives who have shown interest in seats on the spending panel. And in a sign of the shifting dynamics of conservative politics, Boehner and Cantor are signaling that they are unafraid to cross longtime Reps. Jerry Lewis of California and Joe Barton of Texas as they seek to circumvent term limit rules to regain chairmanships.

What does it tell you when Cantor, Boehner and Hensarling — three men who can barely stand the sight of one another — quickly close ranks to make sure Michele Bachmann doesn’t get anywhere near the levers of power in the House GOP caucus?

It tells me that they fear what would happen if she was so much as given a minor committee gavel, much less a leadership post. “Siddown and shaddup, Shelly!” is their message to her.

Posted in 2010 | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »