Almost four hours into the PBS coverage of the RNC Convention (yes, I’ve watched almost everything since six o’clock) and I’m getting worried for my Republican friends. They’ve got two more days of this to go and are, I fear, about to run out of women and Hispanics (their black guy comes later on).
This story is of course everywhere, but it still bears repeating.
After a speech in Dallas on Thursday, Jeb Bush also recoiled: “I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective.”
The establishment is taking to their fainting couches again.
Aside from the lobbying, the half million dollar Tiffany bill, the three wives and his famous thin skin, there is this (h/t Don). (Also, those thin lips . . .)
POSTED BY ORHAN
To hell with Michele Bachmann–Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll makes Bachmann look like a God-hating commie. Finally someone has the guts to call out the media for promoting “The Da Vinci Code”, which is “exactly what dictators and socialist rulers did.” Not to mention the political leaders that give scientists the stage “to push their evolution.”
Am I the only one choking on the word ‘Republican’ these days? Eisenhower was a Republican. Nixon and Reagan were Republicans. Gerry Ford was a Republican. George H.W. Bush was a Republican. Not one of them – not one (ummm, maybe Nixon) – would have stood for the truly degenerate behavior of the audiences at the two recent debates. In the first one, when Brian Williams asked Perry if he had any hesitations signing death orders for 234 people, the audience erupted with gleeful applause as soon as Williams said 234. I posted the video here and said that it broke my heart.
Duane at The Erstwhile Conservative (a fine writer by the way) tells us today:
Patti Davis, the daughter of conservatism’s number one icon, said she remembered the first time her father, governor of California, had to order a state execution:
“He and a minister went into a room, got down on their knees and prayed.”
He also points to this from Reagan’s tombstone:
. . . there is purpose and worth to each and every life
(I think Reagan’s politics hurt this country. Deeply wounded us. But I’ve read his letters and know that he was also a man of personal grace and humility.)
Last night I recoiled in shame and horror when the debate audience topped the earlier cheering for executions. Here’s more from Duane on that subject:
Paul’s answer, which essentially was that such an unfortunate fellow [very ill with no insurance] should rely on volunteers and churches for his care, was drowned out by shouts of “Let him die!” from the Republican debate-watching crowd.
I’m reminded of former congressman Alan Grayson’s presentation on the House floor in 2009:
“If you get sick in America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly.”
Yeah, I remember that too.
Posted in 2012 Elections, Civics, health care, History, Politics, Rick Perry, Tea Party
Tagged 2012 elections, Alan Grayson, Capital punishment, GOP debate, health care, Politics, republican, Rick Perry, tea party
A fascinating headline from today’s NY Times:
As Perry Rises, G.O.P. Elite Look Toward Romney
We may assume then, that the Times considers those who . . .
- believe in evolution
- think the world is older than 6000 years
- believe NASA and the Pentagon when they say climate change is real
- think it’s okay to directly elect Senators
- know that teh sex is not the base evil that leads to all the world’s other ills
- don’t much like executing people by the hundreds
- read books and stuff
. . . are, therefore, ‘elites’. Okay.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Economist Dean Baker points out that Republicans are a tad miffed that their vote for Representative Ryan’s plan to end Medicare is being used against them. Various groups around the country are using the vote in attack ads against incumbents, and they lost an upstate New York congressional seat that they held for 50 years. Says Baker:
Medicare is a hugely popular program. Polls consistently show that the program has enormous public support among all political and demographic groups. Not only do Democrats and independents overwhelmingly support the Medicare program, even Republicans overwhelmingly approve of Medicare. Even Tea Party Republicans overwhelming approve of Medicare.
The Republicans can try to deny that their plan actually ends Medicare and hope that voters will be sufficiently confused that they won’t hold the vote against them. They have already been staking out this ground, claiming that they just want to “change” Medicare. Instead of saying that they would give beneficiaries a voucher to use to buy a health insurance policy, which would allow people to understand their proposal, they are instead saying that it is a system of “premium support,” which is a term that no one understands.
This may help with a few pundits, but if the Republicans can’t keep their political opponents from pointing out that their plan actually does replace Medicare’s insurance with a voucher system, this silly charade will not buy them much. People know the difference between being handed a check for $8,000 and being told to go buy insurance and the current Medicare system, which covers most of the cost of most care.
The problem is that those pesky Democrats are actually talking about what the Republicans did. For instance, New Hampshire Representative Charlie Bass tried to keep television stations from running ads that said that he voted to end Medicare, but ran up against that other pesky little problem, the first amendment. In any case, Republicans are going to do their best to convince the public that they didn’t really do what they did: vote to end Medicare.
Baker offers the GOP a simple solution: reverse the vote. Since Republicans control the House, they could hold a vote tomorrow and repeal the budget plan. And they could probably convince Harry Reid to permit a vote that would allow Senate Republicans to do the same. As Baker says, “This is the sort of advice for which they would pay political consultants millions. But the Republicans can get it here for free. If they were smart, they would take it.”
Posted in 2012 Elections, Congress critters, Current Events, elections, From Orhan's Perch, health care, Medicare, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged Charles Bass, Dean Baker, Democratic Party (United States), GOP, Harry Reid, health care, Medicare, New Hampshire, republican
Today, Nicholas Kristof suggests we indulge in a feel-good fantasy when we describe who we are. He starts with a quiz – identify the country:
It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country . . . Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs.
This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t even imaginable, and criminals are never coddled.
The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. . . .citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.
So what is this Republican Eden, this Utopia? Why, it’s Pakistan. . .
This sounds like where today’s Republican Party want to take us.
. . . as America has become more unequal, as we cut off government lifelines to the neediest Americans, as half of states plan to cut spending on higher education this year, let’s be clear about our direction . . .
Posted in Civics, Government, Meet the 112th!, Plutocrats, Politics, religion, taxes, the future
Tagged democracy, Nicholas Kristof, Pakistan, republican, society, US vs. Pakistan
As Congress faces the vote to raise the debt ceiling – something we do every year – the blogosphere is full of posts on the subject. Posts by blogfriends Kay and BeneathTheTinFoilHat led me to Perspectives where there is lots of bloggy goodness on the subject. This chart caught my attention.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Today Wisconsin activists submitted over 100% of the signatures needed to “recall” Republican state senator Luther Olsen from office.
Signatures are now submitted against 3 Republicans — with local volunteers working to recall at least 3 more, according to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Blog Blue Cheddar writes, “About 24,000 signatures were filed today with Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board by the “Committee to Recall Olsen”. The group needed to collect 14,733 signatures.”
POSTED BY ORHAN
Wisconsin Democrats now say they have more than enough signatures to launch a recall of Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke, in the battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) new law curtailing public employee unions. They are filing the petitions today — less than halfway through the 60-day window for gathering the signatures.
The La Crosse Tribune reports:
Recall organizer Pat Scheller said volunteers have gathered more than the 15,588 signatures needed and that they plan to take them to Madison after a noon rally today at La Crosse City Hall.
It is expected to be the first completed of 19 active recall efforts registered between Feb. 24 and March 2 against 16 senators.
POSTED BY ORHAN
Anticipating the coming 2012 campaign, FactCheck.org takes a detailed look at the results of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law. Because of the similarities to the federal bill, much spin is predicted. FactCheck summarizes its findings:
- The major components of the state and federal law are similar, but details vary. The federal law put a greater emphasis on cost-control measures, for instance. Massachusetts is just now tackling that.
- The state law was successful on one big goal: A little more than 98 percent of state residents now have insurance.
- Claims that the law is “bankrupting” the state are greatly exaggerated. Costs rose more quickly than expected in the first few years, but are now in line with what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation had estimated.
- Small-business owners are perhaps the least happy stakeholders. Cheaper health plans for them through the state exchange haven’t materialized, as they hoped.
- Despite claims to the contrary, there’s no clear evidence that the law had an adverse effect on waiting times. In fact, 62 percent of physicians say it didn’t.
- Public support has been high. One poll found that 68.5 percent of nonelderly adults supported the law in 2006; 67 percent still do.
The article is long but worth a read. Check the section “What Happened to Premiums?” (The short answer is that overall they went down — but, of course, it’s much more complicated than that.) Prepare to consume mass quantities of hot air in the lead-up to the election.
Joe Bageant, 1946-2011
Joe Bageant, author of the incomparable Deer Hunting with Jesus and the recently-released Rainbow Pie died yesterday following a four-month struggle with cancer. He was 64. Joe wrote about poverty and class in America with humor and love. His work will live on.
Posted in From Orhan's Perch, health care, Health care reform, Politics
Tagged FactCheck, Health insurance, Law, Massachusetts, Massachusetts health care reform, Mitt Romney, republican, United States
POSTED BY ORHAN
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll, “Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions”, shows some interesting results. Americans overall are against cutting the collective bargaining rights of public unions by almost two to one. Breaking out the results by political affiliation, a slight majority of Republicans supported removing some bargaining rights, but were outnumbered by opposing majorities of Democrats and independents. On the whole, Americans (including close to half of Republicans) are not opposed to public workers engaging in collective bargaining.
I think both the politicians and pundits are in for a rude awakening.
UPDATE BY MOE: Public Policy Polling, a Wall Street Journal fav, says it’s about 52/48 in Wisconsin right now, leaning in favor of the unions. There will no doubt be more polls in the coming days.
Posted in corporate power, economy, From Orhan's Perch, Government, labor, Plutocrats, Politics
Tagged collective bargaining, democrat, Democratic Party, polling, PPP, Public sector, republican, Trade union, United States, Wisconsin
. . . this guy would be the GOP nominee for President. Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana and one-time head of the Office of Management and Budget, both of which, whatever his politics, suggest he has a clue about how the world works.
I’ve liked him for some time, but my opinion of him soared today when I saw some CPAC video in which he named names – talk radio names, FOX News names – in talking about obstacles to getting things done.
Predictably, Mr. Limbaugh of Palm Beach, the most thin skinned of the on air bullies, came right at him today. If Daniels doesn’t back down as others have with depressing regularity, he’ll burnish his credentials even more and prove he has political courage.
But I don’t think he’ll be the candidate. He is tipping his toe in the water, but I hope he pulls it back and waits till
2012, 2016 when a Republican has a chance and I’d just as soon they nominate an adult.
A hell of a lot of talk time, blogsphere and column time suddenly being devoted to the idea that there is no serious difference between the political parties. In spite of the sputterings of the endlessly annoying Dick Cheney.
So let me jump aboard. Since they rinse and repeat each other’s hair, let us call them all . . . the Replicrats!