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Our good friends at the nationally acclaimed polling firm, Public Policy Polling generated a lot of national headlines today when they reported that a huge chunk of Republican voters in Mississippi and Alabama (Surprise!!)  have some pretty distorted views of reality.

“In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama’s a Christian to 52% who think he’s a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama’s a Christian to 45% who think he’s a Muslim and 41% who aren’t sure.”

Of course, if you think about it, this all makes a lot of sense. After all, the President’s name obviously sounds downright Mooslim, er ah, Muslim, right? In the words of George Cleveland, “I mean come on. Give me a break!”

Not surprisingly, however, it appears that Deep South voters continue to be thrown off by the names of other major candidates as well. According to a recent, less-well-reported poll result, more than two-thirds of Alabama and Mississippi Republicans also think that:

  • Newt Gingrich is a rare South American salamander. 
  • Rick Santorum is the name of the Albanian parliament.
  • Ron Paul is a famous guitar inventor.
  • Mitt Romney is the back-up catcher for the Atlanta Braves.
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The hole that this man and the other anti-contraception nuts are digging just gets deeper and deeper. Check out this morning’s post at Think Progress on Santorum’s latest utterly amazing statements. In case you missed it previously, Santorum has said the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong nearly half a century ago when it struck down state laws that sought to make contraceptives unlawful.

Am sure it’s just a matter of time until the “libertarian” think tanks to weigh in against Big Brother Rick.

This one comes from Timothy Noah at The New Republic:

At a weekend appearance in Ohio, Rick Santorum said this about public education, according to the New York Times:

“[T]he idea that the federal government should be running schools, frankly much less that the state government should be running schools [italics mine], is anachronistic. It goes back to the time of industrialization of America when people came off the farms where they did home-school or have the little neighborhood school, and into these big factories, so we built equal factories called public schools. And while those factories as we all know in Ohio and Pennsylvania have fundamentally changed, the factory school has not.”Where to begin? The idea that the government should be running schools goes back to the nation’s founding. Its principal advocate was Thomas Jefferson, who proposed (in Notes on the State of Virginia) that every child be entitled Read More

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Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but the American process for selecting presidential nominees is nuts. The notion that a few thousand troubled and disaffected ultra-rightists — people so far gone that a big chunk of them actually voted for a truly disturbed theocrat like Rick Santorum – are capable of winnowing the field 10 months before the election is beyond amazing. 

For North Carolinians, the crazy, “front-leaded” primary  calendar is a particular drag since it almost always assures that their choices will be greatly reduced, if not nonexistent come the first week of May.

For progressives, last night’s Iowa caucuses provided a mixture of good and bad news. Read More