The Last Of The Millenniums

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Archive for the day “July 10, 2013”

Blog Running – ‘Sabotage governing’

republican obstruction

From Greg Sargent over at WaPo.

‘It’s not unusual to hear dirty hippie liberal blogger types (and the occasional lefty Nobel Prize winner) point out that today’s GOP has effectively abdicated the role of functional opposition party, instead opting for a kind of post-policy nihilism in which sabotaging the Obama agenda has become its only guiding governing light’.

‘But when you hear this sort of argument coming from Chuck Todd, the mild-mannered, well respected Beltway insider, it should prompt folks to take notice’.

‘That’s essentially what Todd, along with Mark Murray and the rest of MSNBC’s First Read crew, argued this morning. It’s worth quoting at length’:

“Here’s a thought exercise on this summer morning”:

“Imagine that after the controversial Medicare prescription-drug legislation was passed into law in 2003, Democrats did everything they could to thwart one of George W. Bush’s top domestic achievements”.

“They launched Senate filibusters to block essential HHS appointees from administering the law”;

“They warned the sports and entertainment industries from participating in any public service announcements to help seniors understand how the law works”;

“And, after taking control of the House of Representatives in 2007, they used the power of the purse to prohibit any more federal funds from being used to implement the law”.

“As it turns out, none of that happened”.

“And despite Democratic warnings that the law would be a bust — we remember the 2004 Dem presidential candidates campaigning against it — the Medicare prescription-drug law has been, for the most part, a pretty big success”.

“But that thought exercise has become a reality 10 years later as Republicans have worked to thwart/stymie/sabotage — pick your word — the implementation of President Obama’s health-care and financial-reform laws”.

‘And this all raises the question’:

‘What’s the line between fighting for your ideology and ensuring that the government that pays your salaries actually works — or even attempts to work’?

‘At some point, governing has to take place, but when does that begin’?

‘We know what opponents will say in response to this: These are bad laws, and we have to do whatever it takes to stop them’.

‘But at what point does an election have a governing consequence’?

‘This from MSNBC’s First Read crew is very well said’.

‘But I’d take it further; it goes well beyond Obamacare implementation and the relentless blockading of Obama nominees for the explicit purpose of preventing democratically-created agencies from functioning’.

‘We’ve slowly crossed over into something a bit different’.

‘It’s now become accepted as normal that Republicans will threaten explicitly to allow harm to the country to get what they want, and will allow untold numbers of Americans to be hurt rather than even enter into negotiations over the sort of compromises that lie at the heart of basic governing’.

‘Sam Stein’s big piece today details the very real toll the sequester cuts are taking on real people across the country, and crucially, it explains that the sequester was deliberately designed to threaten harm in order to compel lawmakers to act to reduce the deficit’.

(Sam Stein’s piece here :

‘But Republicans will not consider replacing those cuts with anything other than 100 percent in cuts elsewhere, which is to say, they will only consider replacing them with 100 percent of what they want’.

‘Meanwhile, Republicans are drawing up a list of spending cuts they will demand in exchange for raising the debt limit, even though John Boehner has openly admitted that default would do untold damage to the U.S. economy’.

‘Indeed, even if default doesn’t end up happening, the threat of it risks damaging the economy, yet Republicans still insist they will use it as leverage to get what they want, anyway’.

‘As Todd and the First Read crew hint at, the GOP campaign against Obamacare is straying into this mode of governing’.

‘Indeed, on Meet the Press this weekend, Todd made this even more explicit, accusing Republicans of “trying to sabotage the law.”

‘The current GOP campaign isn’t just about opposing the Affordable Care Act or arguing for its repeal’.

‘It’s about making it harder for uninsured Americans to gain access to coverage under a law passed and signed by a democratically elected Congress and President, and upheld by the Supreme Court, in service of the political goal of making it a greater liability for Democrats in the 2014 elections (the law, after all, isn’t going to get repealed)’.

‘This is not typical opposition, and its good to hear this stated outright by someone as respected inside the Beltway as Chuck Todd’.

‘The only mystery is why more journalists aren’t willing to point it out. After all, Republicans are making this basic reality harder and harder to ignore’.
From :

But it’s NOT Republican Obstructionism – ‘GOP Drops Food Stamps From Farm Bill’




This is why the Democrats bailed on the farm bill :

‘House Republicans Doom Farm Bill With Extremist SNAP Amendment’
@ :


‘Updated 12:15 p.m. | House Republican leaders have decided to drop food stamps from the farm bill and are whipping the farm-only portion of the bill for a vote that will likely come this week, according to a GOP leadership aide’.

‘The nutrition portion of the bill would be dealt with later’.

‘Cantor has privately been pushing to separate the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps, from the farm provisions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, SNAP accounts for $743.9 billion of the estimated $972.3 billion cost of the House bill over the next 10 years’.

“Cantor believes the best path now is to move forward with a bill that has 218 Republican votes since Democrats proved they cannot be trusted to work in good faith, and that path may be splitting up the bill,” a GOP aide told CQ Roll Call two weeks ago’.
From :

What’s wrong with the Republican Party – ‘Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Homeless Shelter Volunteers Are The Real Cause Of Homelessness’


‘According to a hedge fund manager writing in the Wall Street Journal, homelessness isn’t caused by deep-seated inequities in society, but rather by people like his teenage son who volunteer at homeless shelters’.

‘Andy Kessler, who founded the billion-dollar Palo Alto investment firm Velocity Capital Management, penned an op-ed Monday in which he mocked young people for volunteering, arguing that they were delusional for thinking their efforts would make a difference’.

‘To illustrate his argument, Kessler points to his 16-year-old son, who has been volunteering at a homeless shelter’.

“My 16-year-old son volunteers with an organization that feeds the homeless and fills kits with personal-hygiene supplies for them. It’s a worthwhile project, and I tell him so—but he doesn’t like it when our conversation on the way to his minimum-wage job turns to why these homeless folks aren’t also working. Perhaps, I suggest, because someone is feeding, clothing and, in effect, bathing them”?
From :

But it’s NOT Republican Obstructionism – ‘Boehner Considering Bill To Delay Obamacare’s Individual Mandate For A Year’

republicans block health care

The fact that millions of Americans have gone, are now and will continue to be without heath care insurance….is completely unimportant.

What’s important to the Republicans is that Obama get’s nothing…….

Sadly that’s also what a growing number of Americans get…..nothing.

‘House Speaker John Boehner is encouraging his members to support a crafty legislative response to the Obama administration’s decision to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, according to a highly placed GOP source’.

‘The strategy is two pronged’.

‘First, House Republicans would introduce legislation to effectively authorize the employer mandate delay by statute — effectively making the administration’s decision explicitly lawful’.

‘Subsequently, the House would vote on companion legislation to delay the law’s individual mandate by one year as well, creating a moral conundrum for Democrats, who have supported the reprieve for large employers’.
From :

But it’s NOT Republican Obstructionism – ‘Boehner And The Right Team Up To Quash Immigration Reform’

republicans block immigration

The fact that millions of Americans have gone, are now and will continue to be without legal status….is completely unimportant.

What’s important to the Republicans is that Obama get’s nothing…….

Sadly that’s also what a growing number of Americans get…..nothing.

‘At the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner stated a specific policy preference Tuesday that will alienate the entire Democratic Party if he adheres to it, and thus doom the reform effort. And elsewhere in the Beltway, influential conservatives have grown more confident and explicit about abandoning the immigration issue, for at least a couple of years’.

‘Taken together, it means that enacting new immigration legislation will either require Democrats to cave on a key demand, or require Boehner to abandon his preference and break his word to his conference that he won’t move ahead without a majority of his members in support’.

“It’s clear from everything that I’ve seen and read over the last couple of weeks that the American people expect that we’ll have strong border security in place before we begin the process of legalizing and fixing our legal immigration system,” Boehner said outside the Capitol Monday afternoon’.

‘His spokesman Michael Steel explains that the statement is consistent with Boehner’s “long-standing emphasis on border security.”

‘But it amounts to a de facto endorsement of the conservative view that any steps to legalize existing immigrants should be contingent upon implementation of draconian border policies’.

‘As is Boehner’s custom, it also eschews the word “citizenship,” suggesting that even if Democrats agree to a trigger, he won’t guarantee that it would be aimed at a full amnesty program, and, thus, eventual voting rights for immigrants already in the U.S’.
From :

The Republican ‘War On Women’ – ‘How Republican Budgets Affect Your Vagina’

ohio war on women

This video parodies the set of new abortion restrictions clandestinely placed in the Ohio state budget by Republicans and signed into law by Governor John Kasich (R-OH).

Ohio has been at the vanguard of abortion restrictions for years but these new measures make it even more difficult for women to access abortions. The budget — which was never even debated in public — even redefines where life begins, possibly making a popular form of birth control illegal.

This video does ask you to suspend disbelief as it exaggerates the new restrictions slightly and asks you to accept that a guy who looks like this:

Ohio war1

‘is playing a guy who actually looks like this’:

ohio war2

From :

‘Blue States Should Get a Refund Under Roberts’ “Equal Sovereignty” Doctrine’


‘Among the many disturbing arguments in John Roberts’ Voting Rights Act (VRA) decision, the most pernicious may be his invention of the “equal sovereignty” doctrine’.

‘In his Shelby County majority opinion, the Chief Justice struck down the VRA’s Section 4 formula for determining which jurisdictions must be subject to “preclearance” in part because the VRA “dramatically departs” from the “fundamental principle of equal sovereignty” of the states’.

‘But if Justice Roberts is right that Congress cannot treat different states differently, then the residents of Blue State America should be asking for a lot of money back from the federal government’.

‘After all, under the decades-old dynamic of “red state socialism,” a one-way flow of federal tax dollars from taxpayers in blue states to subsidize government programs and services in red ones’.

‘And at the top of that long list is Medicaid, the very program Republicans want completely handed over to the states in the form of block grants from Washington’.


‘Take, for example, the Medicaid program that in 2011 cost the federal and state governments $414 billion and provided health care benefits to 67 million people’.

‘To be sure, there is no “equality of the states” when it comes to how the program is paid for’.

‘On average, the federal government picks up 57% of the tab, with poorer states like Mississippi and Alabama getting 75% of the funding from Washington’.

‘Averaging 21.8% of states’ spending, Medicaid is now the largest budget item for most. Medicaid not only pays for a third of nursing home care in the United States; it covers a third of all childbirths. (In Texas, the figure is one-half.’)

‘The list goes on and on’.

‘Red state socialism is real’.

‘As a 2007 analysis by the Tax Foundation of federal spending per tax dollar received by state shows, the reddest states generally reaped the most green’.

‘Eight of the top 10 beneficiaries of federal largesse voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney for President’.

‘Unsurprisingly, all 15 states at the bottom of the list–those whose outflow of tax revenue is funding programs elsewhere in the country–all voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012’.

‘Alaska’s number three ranking was particularly ironic, given Governor Sarah Palin’s farewell message warning her state to “be wary of accepting government largesse; it doesn’t come free.”

Yet it is ‘free’ as other States pay for Alaska and the other ‘welfare’ States.
From :

Stories From The Fringe…….Freaks – ‘Rent-a-Paramilitaries Freak Out Wisconsin’


‘Here’s a fascinating little story’.

‘There’s been a battle royale up in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite’.

‘The Republican legislature approved the mine in March over environmentalists’ objections’.

‘Some protests have been staged since the operation got started. But people started to get freaked out over the weekend when the company brought in what the Wisconsin State Journal calls “masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms.”

‘Now two state legislators are asking the company to withdraw the guards/paramilitaries’.

‘One of them, Bob Jauch, “said he was especially concerned that the guards are carrying high-powered rifles more appropriate for fighting wars than for guarding construction equipment in a scenic forest that draws scores of hikers and vacationers in addition to mine protesters.”

‘Now masked guards in camoflage carrying assault rifles do seem a bit more mid-80s Latin American death squad than protecting some mining equipment in Wisconsin. So I started looking into the security company behind the paramilitaries, an outfit called Bulletproof Securities out of Scottsdale, Arizona that Gogebic brought in for the job’.

On Bulletproof’s website, they list all sorts of security/paramilitary type services’.

‘They even have their own ‘border security force’, which is something I thought the federal government took care of. But apparently not without occasional help from Bulletproof’.

‘Indeed, as the site notes, “BPS has at its disposal the latest cache of specialized equipment for border security operations, not typically found in the private sector’.

‘As example, BPS owns heavily armored Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV’s), Tactical All Terrain Vehicles (T-ATV’s), FLIR (mobile thermal systems), mast equipment (eye in the sky), and many other state-of-the-art assets … The presence of BPS will prevent criminal organizations from posing a threat to your personnel or your mission.”

‘If your needs are different, Bulletproof can also provide “a QRF (quick reaction force) tactical unit to secure a manufacturing plant during a heated worker strike.”

‘The company’s website provides an extremely wide range of services and suggests it has a huge amount of equipment to provide Quick Reaction Force services “in ALL conditions.”
From :

A ‘Conservative’ vision for America – ‘Living wage’ mandate in D.C. sends Walmart running’


‘Walmart on Tuesday threatened to abandon three planned stores in Washington, D.C. if the city enacted a so-called “living wage” bill targeting big-box stores’.

‘The Large Retailer Accountability Act was passed in the D.C. Council in late June by a 8-5 vote’.

‘If enacted, it would require retailers that make more than $1 billion per year and occupy at least 75,000 square feet to pay employees at least $12.50 per hour, minus benefits’.

‘Stores with collective bargaining agreements would not be effected by the law’.

‘The D.C. Council will vote on the living wage bill for a final time on Wednesday’.
From :

Republicans 2016 – ‘Rand Paul’s team has another white supremacist’

rand paul8

‘A top staffer is exposed as a pro-secessionist radical, but it’s not the first neo-Confederate on staff’

‘Jack Hunter, who co-authored Rand Paul’s 2011 book and now directs new media for the Kentucky senator, has a past alter ego as the “Southern Avenger,” a provocative radio personality known for wearing a luchador mask emblazoned with the Confederate flag and for making outrageous comments about race and Southern secession, Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon reveals today’.

‘As the arguably white nationalist Southern Avenger, Hunter praised the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, saying he “raise[s] a personal toast every May 10 to celebrate John Wilkes Booth’s birthday,” compared Lincoln to Saddam Hussein, and suggested the great American president would have had a homosexual relationship with Adolf Hitler, had the two ever met’.

‘He also advocated against Hispanic immigration and in favor of white pride, warning that a “non-white majority America would simply cease to be America.”

‘Prior to that, Hunter was a prominent neo-Confederate and pro-secession activist, serving as a chairman in the League of the South, which, according to its website, “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern states from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”

‘Many have called the League implicitly racist, but Hunter denied this in an interview with the Free Beacon, and disavowed many of his earlier statements, chalking it up to the naiveté of youth’.

“I was a young person, it was a fairly radical group — the same way a person on the left might be attracted in college to some left-wing radical groups.” (He said in 2009, when he was in mid-30s, that he still believed much of it — “In fact, I might be getting worse” — and he continued to produce the radio show until 2012, when Paul hired him full-time.’)

‘And the worst part for Paul-land is that it’s hardly the first time something like this has come up’.

‘In late 2009, Rand Paul’s campaign spokesperson was forced to resign after Kentucky blogger Joe Sonka discovered the MySpace page for Chris Hightower’s heavy metal band, which was a fan of KKK gear and wishing people a “HAPPY N***ER DAY!!!” on Martin Luther King Day (that post was accompanied by a photo of a lynching)’.

‘There was also, of course, Paul’s momentary opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964’.
From :

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