Oregon in play? Really??

August 27, 2012

Normally I’d call whoever said that crazy, but it is Karl Rove, after all:

A lot of the political analysis you hear from partisans is predictable. But sometimes they surprise.

That was the case when Karl Rove spoke at a Politico breakfast event in Tampa this morning. Two examples:

(1) When asked what state, now that Wisconsin and Michigan seem to be in play, would emerge next on the target list, he cited Oregon. He noted correctly that the state House is ied 30-30, Republicans almost captured the governorship in 2010 and tha[t] there’s a left wing constituency disappointed in Obama. He surely remembers that in 2000 Ralph Nader won 5.04% in Oregon and tha[t] Al Gore carried it by only 46.92% to 46.52%.

To be honest, I’d expect Oregon to flip about the same time as California, which would also be when the sun goes out. But, much as I thought of the possibility of Obama losing Illinois, the fact that these questions are being raised at all indicates the depth of the problem Obama faces in his reelection race: he may have to spend a lot of money defending what should be his core states, rather than in the battlefield states where Romney is genuinely competitive. Given that Obama is already having trouble raising enough money to keep up with Romney, spreading what cash he has more thinly could cause a real problem come election day. While I’d love to see a “Red” breakout on the West Coast, I’ll settle for making Team Obama scramble to patch a leaky dam.

Read the rest; there are some interesting observations about the Hispanic vote, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Taliban behead 17 for the heinous crime of dancing

August 27, 2012

“Life and liberty under the Taliban”

And here I thought the judges on “Dancing with the Stars” were harsh:

Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday.

The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have battled the Taliban for years, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields in the south — particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces.

The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late Sunday in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event.

All of the bodies were decapitated but it was not clear if they had been shot first, said provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi.

Information was only trickling out slowly because the area where the killings occurred is largely Taliban controlled, Khan said. The Taliban spokesman for southern Afghanistan could not be reached for comment.

Many Afghans and international observers have expressed worries that the Taliban’s brutal interpretation of Islamic justice will return as international forces withdraw. Under the Taliban, who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, all music and film was banned as un-Islamic, and women were barred from leaving their homes without a male family member as an escort.

Gee, people are concerned about the Taliban returning to power (as they almost certainly will), just because they decapitate people for dancing? Shoot women for going out of the home unescorted? Throw acid in school girls’ faces for daring to learn to read? Whatever for?

Thanks to President Obama’s waffling and halfhearted commitment to Afghanistan (remember when it was his “right war?“), this is what the Afghan people have to look forward to. Obama’s already announced our withdrawal date. The Taliban just have to wait.

And then the party will really get started.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)