They voted for it, before they voted against it. But that was the 7 times they voted to raise the debt ceiling when it was their "President" in the White House.
As ThinkProgress notes in their blog item accompanying the following video compilation of Republicans arguing on the House floor in 2002 and 2004 to raise the debt limit in a clean bill with no spending cuts, "no less than 98 currently serving House GOP members" voted in favor of doing exactly that --- back then --- in order to pay the bills for spending they'd previously approved.
But that was then, with a Republican in the White House, before they decided to create a fake "crisis" in order to terrorize the nation's economy in a shameful attempt to return to power. Hypocrisy on parade...
Anti-war sentiments today are strikingly similar to what they had been in March 1968 when Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-MN) challenged fellow Democrat and incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. In March 1968 only 41% of Americans said "no" when asked whether we made a mistake in sending troops to Vietnam. Today six out of every ten Americans surveyed (70% of Democrats) favor an immediate end to the war in Afghanistan. Another 59% oppose our involvement in Libya.
While opposition to war is similar, the "democracy deficit" --- what Prof. Noam Chomsky refers to in Failed States as the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives --- is much wider today than it had been in 1968.
Medicare, the centerpiece of President Johnson's Great Society, like Social Security, the centerpiece of FDR's New Deal, remains immensely popular with the American people. As revealed by a recent Washington Post poll, 78% of Americans oppose cutting Medicare. 72% favor raising taxes on incomes over $250,000 and only 17% oppose raising taxes on those making more than $250,000.
Yet, the political elites of both major parties, operating, as they did during the Wall Street bailout of 2008, under a contrived crisis mode, are advancing alternative deficit reduction proposals that will, in the words of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (see video below) "do just the opposite of what the American people want."
While third parties are an option, today we sorely need an option that was available in 1968: a Eugene McCarthy...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Science slips onto Fox 'News'; Climate activist Tim DeChristopher sentenced to 2 years in federal prison; Poverty rises near mountaintop removal coal mining; 54 mpg by 2025?; Oil industry profits jump --- again; PLUS: Drilling for oil in the Arctic? Coast Guard says 'we're not ready'... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA delays smog rule for fourth time; Record rain causes deaths, flooding, landslides in S. Korea; Tropical Storm Don bound for TX; Waxman calls out Obama: explain connection between pollution and extreme weather; CA Gov vows to 'crush' foes of renewable energy; Norwegians concede role in salmon virus; Only one deadly strain of e. coli is Illegal; Bad summer sequels: GOP rehashes attacks on environment; Court rules farmers can sue over pesticide drift; Japanese scientists push for more radiation tests on seafood Risks; Sen. Manchin's (D-WV) ties to coal company ... PLUS: The Plastic Bag Wars ...
In a double-length smackdown last night, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show were as good as we've ever seen them, on the Fox "News"/Rightwing's professional ability to live in self-denial and delusion, even while consistently and hypocritically playing the victim card.
It was a collection of rather extraordinary collection of Fox clips, culminating in what Stewart aptly describes as, "some of the most free-range, organically-grown, disingenuous, ideologically-marinated, un-self-awareness I've ever seen in the wild."
Here's the must-watch segment, as broken in to two parts for some reason (they ran consecutively on the show)...
On my Pacifica Radio show today on KPFK in Los Angeles, I discussed yesterday's report at The BRAD BLOG concerning the woman who was forced to jump ridiculous hoops while trying to help her son get Photo ID at the Wisconsin DMV in the wake of the new GOP voter suppression law there which institutes polling place Photo ID restrictions before legal voters are allowed to cast their legal vote.
By the way, I spoke to the woman today --- who'd like to be identified only as Nicole --- and she made clear that her video was not secretly taped (as, for example, James O'Keefe's ACORN hoax tapes were). Her video camera was on the table and in plain sight the whole time, she told me.
As seen (and heard) in her video tape, during the process of trying to get the Photo ID for free at the DMV, as allowed by the new statute, the son's bank statements were rifled through, and questioned as to whether they showed enough "activity" on them. Also, they were almost charged $28 for the "free" ID, which brought up questions as to why the WI DMV policy is to charge applicants, unless they know to "request" the ID for no charge.
I also took the opportunity during the show to offer a bit more background context, including a 1980 sound clip from Paul Weyrich, one of the "conservative" movement godfathers, during which he calls for fewer people to be allowed to vote. "Quite candidly," he said to the convention of Baptist ministers where Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell also spoke, "our leverage in elections goes up when the voting populace goes down."
That's what all of this is about. He says it quite plainly in the video tape.
Weyrich went on to found the non-profit American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC), the group of Rightwingers said to be responsible for writing the polling place Photo ID restriction laws being passed by Republicans now in state after state. I also share some hard stats on who will actually be affected by these laws (and who will not.) And, for good measure, I tossed in some Stephen Colbert speaking about Photo ID and "voter fraud" as well.
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Despite what Rush Limbaugh says, record breaking heat wave breaks heat records; Speaking of climate change deniers, guess what the Norwegian terrorist was?; And speaking of climate change, a new study says it's causing the release of long-buried toxins; Fukushima, four months later; PLUS: House Republicans attack clean air and clean water --- AGAIN ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Appalachian Poverty Concentrated Around Mine Sites; More big Yellowstone fires predicted with climate change; Biting the Bullet, VT Yankee Orders Fuel; Smart Grid Stimulus Creates a Global Player in CO; GA's coastal infrastructure under threat; 'Toxic 20' list released of states with most air pollution; Painting roofs white keeps buildings cool, save $$$; Alarming 'Dead Zone' Grows in Chesapeake Bay; Coal Ash Taints Groundwater at TVA Sites; EPA Program on Children's Toxic Exposure "Flawed"; Natural Gas Drillers Lowball Leases; New Rules Put Pressure On Outdate Power Plants ... PLUS: The true cost of gasoline? $13 a gallon ...
Prepping for tonight's Malloy Show, so very quickly, this from Wednesday night's Colbert Report. Can't tell you how nice it is, after so many years, that I'm no longer one of the very few yelling and screaming about this shit...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Deadly heat wave in the Midwest; Deadly famine in Somalia; More American jobs in clean energy than in oil & gas; Meet America's newest oil spill, now in Alaska (Thanks again, BP!) ... PLUS: It's the end of the line for NASA's space shuttle program --- Can America still do Big Things? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate change 'threatens peace', UN official warns; Most of the U.S. could be energy self-sufficient; Judge denies BP request for White House emails; The true cost of gasoline? $13 a gallon; Polluted China plans carbon emissions trading scheme; Koch brothers declare war on offshore wind; OH Leads List of Top 20 States with Toxic Air; Can Bluefin Tuna Farms Work?; GAO: States Underreporting Violations of Drinking Water Standards; Fracking At Drinking Water Source for 80k in PA Raises Alarms; Staff Tells N.R.C. That U.S. Rules Need Overhaul After Fukushima; Japan Links More Cattle to Cesium-Tainted Feed; Mapping mercury fallout from coal-fired power plants ... PLUS: It's HOT! But Fox only talks about global warming when it's snowing ...
I'd like to take the opportunity, before we get closer to the 2012 election cycle and things change for the worse in the Buckeye State (and as I prepare to step off the grid, and into the mountains for the bulk of the week), to laud Ohio's new Republican Sec. of State Jon Husted for his willingness to stand up for voters by bucking his party and standing against the polling place Photo ID restrictions the GOP is working to implement in his state.
Husted made his opposition plain in a statement late last month, after attempting to work with the General Assembly in order to craft an acceptable election reform bill [emphasis added]:
“I want to be perfectly clear, when I began working with the General Assembly to improve Ohio’s elections system it was never my intent to reject valid votes. I would rather have no bill than one with a rigid photo identification provision that does little to protect against fraud and excludes legally registered voters' ballots from counting."
As The BRAD BLOG has had to explain far too many times over the years --- as based on empirical academic studies and even hard data from George W. Bush's own Dept. of Justice --- legislation implimented in order to restrict access to the polling place as based, ostensibly, on assertions of the incredibly rare crime of voter impersonation at the polls, is meant to do nothing more than suppress voters --- specifically, minority, urban, elderly, and student (read: Democratic-leaning) ones.
Some 18% of the country's legal electorate in this country do not possess the type of IDs required by these laws, and are likely to be disenfranchised or forced to pay a poll tax in order to exercise their legal right to vote, even though polling place impersonation is almost as rare as unicorns and leprechauns.
To that end, while I suspect we may end up taking various issue with Husted's positions or rulings in the future on related matters as the 2012 Presidential election looms in the always contentious state of Ohio, we'd just like to go on record for the moment here, to congratulate him for his intellectually honest stand on behalf of the voters of his state on this particular issue.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I can’t help thinking, since we just celebrated the Fourth of July and we’re supposed to be a country dedicated to liberty, that one of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.
Getting rid of same-day registration. Some states getting rid of all advanced voting. Governor of Florida proposed to reverse his Republican predecessor’s signing of a bill that gave people the right to vote when they got out of prison and they’d finished they’re [sic] probation period, even if they didn’t have a pardon—that’s one of the most important things we can do. Why should we disenfranchise people forever once they pay their price? Cause most of them in Florida were African Americans and Hispanics and would tend to vote for Democrats, that’s why.
Why do we want to get rid of same day registration? Why has New Hampshire made it almost impossible for college students who come from other states but live in New Hampshire most of the year to vote there? Why is all this going on? This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate than the 2008 electorate.
Happily, since we're on the road, we'll associate with Think Progress' Ian Millhiser today who offers more background news on this and the GOP's War on Voting, in which he accurately concludes: "It’s much easier for the GOP to win the game, after all, if they can make it impossible for the other team’s players to even take the field."
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama calls again for eliminating billions in oil subsidies; Coal mine owner Massey Energy kept two sets of books; U.S. Interstate Highway system proves federal infrastructure good for business; PLUS: Jellyfish attack a nuclear power plant --- no, really --- natural disasters and the Achilles heel of the U.S. nuclear industry ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 2010: Second warmest year on record; How rising temperatures change weather; CA delays nation's 1st cap-and-trade emissions auctions; AAAS decries intimidation, threats aimed at climate scientists; Undercover video links major retailers to barbaric handling of pigs; How the meat industry turned abuse into a business model; Dick Cheney's Big Fracking Mess; Google's plan for cleantech world dominance; More radioactive water leaks from Fukushima; "Our economic system must adapt to climate change"; A clean, green economy will arrive 'like a grenade in a glasshouse; How to make solar panels with paint; Environmentalists Speak Out Against Excessive Cheese Logging; Did ExxonMobil break its promise to stop funding climate deniers?; CA to delay its greenhouse gas emissions trading system; Sierra Club Can't Join U.S. Lawsuit Seeking BP Spill Damages ... PLUS: Republican governors AWOL during state emergencies to attend secret Billionaire Koch Brothers event ...
On Sunday, Los Angeles Timesadded the name Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to a very long list of wealthy hypocrites who scream "socialism" all the way to the bank.
Bachmann, like most members of the Plutocrat (aka Republican) Party, rails against what she describes as "entitlements" (Social Security, Medicare and just about any other program designed to promote the general welfare of the American people – in her case even going so far as to label the 9/11 Responders bill as a "new entitlement program"). Yet, as the Times revealed, Bachmann not only voted against ending such "corporate entitlements" as subsidies for the oil and gas industry, but personally benefited from some $260,000 in federal taxpayer subsidies paid to her family farm and another $30,000 state subsidy to her husband's counseling clinic, part of which included monies from the federal government.
While Bachmann denied directly benefiting from either subsidy --- she went so far as to say "my husband and I have never gotten a penny of money from the farm" --- her financial disclosure form reveals that she received income from the farm during the same period the farm received federal subsidies. Her claim that the clinic's public subsidies went to train its employees rather than her pocketbook provides a typical form of plutocratic denial that fails to acknowledge that the use of public funds to educate private sector employees eliminates the need for private employers to expend their own funds for training.
But the Bachmanns are but bit players in the great American corporate welfare scheme...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Summer of Floods, Summer of Fires continues to continue --- now with Extra Nuclear Flavor! Today's unlucky town: Los Alamos, NM and their nuclear labs; Nebraska nuke plants remain dry, sort of, hopefully...so stop worrying!; PLUS: Another climate science denier enters the 2012 Presidential race ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US military spends more on desert tent air conditioning than NASA's entire annual budget; The Spam factory's dirty secret; Middle East has huge climate vulnerability; Bike & pedestrian infrastructure projects create more jobs than car projects; Top 10 Greenest Airlines; DoD plans large-scale integration of electric vehicles; Antarctica ice melt accelerating; Arctic sea ice headed for another major melt this year; EPA warns GOP House bill would 'overturn' Clean Water law; Insiders doubt future of natural gas in US; Insiders warn shale gas may be a Ponzi scheme; New foe for US solar energy: railroad companies; Fox News' Wallace encourages viewers to remain misinformed on climate change; Caribou herd in Canada threatened by tar sands; College grads flocking to green jobs; Alternative nuclear reactor design seeks country willing to fund & build prototype ... PLUS: Meet The ‘Friendly Fracosaurus’: Natural Gas Industry's propaganda special coloring books for children ...
"In a time of universal deceit --- telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell
Ah, the 2012 election cycle is fast approaching. The Plutocrat (aka 'Republican') Party is in the process of garnering funds from far-right billionaires like the Koch brothers in order to present their usual "jobs, jobs, jobs" propaganda.
"Jobs, jobs, jobs" will come to us not only by way of paid-for political ads, but by way of corporate MSM "coverage" which will conveniently neglect to mention that the GOP-controlled House has not offered a single bill that would create a single job, or that the 2010 GOP "victories" have merely produced an all out assault on the middle-class including an effort to eliminate Medicare, an assault on the fundamental right to engage in collective bargaining, and drastic cuts in programs designed to protect the health, safety and economic well being of the vast majority of the American people at the same time they tirelessly strive to protect subsidies for the oil cartel and tax breaks for billionaires.
Against this backdrop, Robert Reich has come up with this two minute, fifteen second explanation of "What’s Wrong with the Economy..."
"Josh", a Right-leaning caller from Madison, WI and a self-identified "civil" and "very fair" person was incredulous that Wisconsin's new voter-suppressing polling place Photo ID restrictions would actually disenfranchise any voters, since they would have a year, he said, to get themselves one if they didn't already have one.
Most telling, though, was the way "Josh" --- a seemingly nice guy, but one who has been used and abused by the folks on the Right who are playing him for an idiot --- began his call explaining what a fair person he was because, as he informed me, he "used to have a Muslim co-worker" with whom he was able to "sit and talk". They even "used to be able to debate" without, presumably, the Muslim co-worker trying to blow him up or, I guess, vice versa!
Here's my amusing/distressing conversation with "Josh" from the Tuesday, June 21 Mike Malloy Show. [Appx 4.5 mins]...
* * *
By the way, here's some information on those 80- and 90-year old nuns turned away from the polling place in 2008 for lack of Photo ID, as I mentioned in reply to "Josh" during the call. And here are the remarkable hoops those nuns, and everybody else in Indiana, must now jump through in order to keep their vote from being completely thrown out if they don't happen to have an Indiana-issued Photo ID on Election Day.
Ironic, all of that, particularly in light of Charlie White, Indiana's new Republican Sec. of State (charged with overseeing the state's election laws), who is currently facing 7 felony indictments, 3 of them for voter fraud, which, curiously enough, were not detected or deterred by Indiana's draconian, voter-suppressing, polling place Photo ID restrictions. But, I guess, he's not a 90-year old nun, a student, or a WWII veteran.