Archive for April 3rd, 2007

Links…

Jeff Mangan blames the Good Guv for the Senate’s rejection of his tax credit plan for alternative energy development. Yesterday I slammed Jim Elliot and the GOP in these links for killing the bill, but today, in a soberer frame of mind, I have to agree with Jeff. There were too many problems with the bill, and it was introduced too late.

But the Good Guv opposes the GOP’s attempt to kill same-day voter registration, and that’s a very, very good thing.

Cece testifies before a Senate committee and tells us all about it. Good stuff.

Glenn Beck claims white Christian Americans “get no respect,” and lists a long litany of persecutions against his kind. Er…Glenn? Get a grip on yourself, pal. White Christian Americans own the planet. Enough of the false self pity.

Police records reveal that a secret FBI group violated an anti-war group’s civil rights in 2002. They were detained and questioned about their political and religious beliefs.

Bush claims that his military commanders came up with the “surge,” when in fact it was conceived in a conservative think tank by someone with no military experience. (Military commanders were in near unanimity in their opposition to the “surge.”)

Steve Benen thinks it’s time “to show the President how wrong he is.” Excellent advice.

Reid sums it up: “If the President vetoes this bill he will have delayed funding for troops and kept in place his strategy for failure.”

Where did Keith Richards’ father go? Up his nose.

A new third-party candidate enters the presidential chase, accompanied by some intriguing campaign pledges.

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by Jay Stevens

Paul Krugman has pretty much identified why the current Republican Party and its figurehead – George W. Bush – is in so much trouble.

Income disparity.

The idea is that, during the Reagan era, voters were ready to abandon “big government,” which they saw as taking money from middle-class taxpayers and giving it to unneeded social programs. Then the gap between rich and poor grew, and working- and middle-class families started to struggle.

Krugman:

But today’s Republicans can’t respond in any meaningful way to rising inequality, because their activists won’t let them. You could see the dilemma just this past Friday and Saturday, when almost all the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls traveled to Palm Beach to make obeisance to the Club for Growth, a supply-side pressure group dedicated to tax cuts and privatization.

The Republican Party’s adherence to an outdated ideology leaves it with big problems. It can’t offer domestic policies that respond to the public’s real needs. So how can it win elections?

The answer, for a while, was a combination of distraction and disenfranchisement.

The distraction is, of course, obvious: terror. The disenfranchisement can be seen in the GOP’s quixotic hunts for “voter fraud,” which is a keyword for taking the vote from poor people.

I’m not sure if I would simplify the administration’s terror program and war in the Middle East down to a simple sleight of hand – I do think the administration bought into all that PNAC neocon bullsh*t about stabilizing the region, spreading democracy, etc, in order to secure a critical geopolitical area and its valuable asset: oil. With the ensuing cheaper oil prices, costs would do down domestically, and the rich could continue to get richer, and the rest of us schlubs would have a little more green once gas went back down to a $1 a gallon.

Or something.

Whatever. Krugman’s analysis is spot-on. Rising health care costs, unfair trade policies, and an unfair taxation burden are beginning to weigh down the bulk of the American electorate. Something needs to be done, and the GOP is ideologically incapable of offering any relief.

by Jay Stevens

It’s time for the Senate to stand up and represent the American people.

President Bush, of course, has threatened to veto the recently passed Iraq War supplemental funding legislation that puts a timetable for American troop withdrawal from Iraq. This is the bill that most Americans want.

Harry Reid responded by co-sponsoring Russ Feingold’s bill to cut funding altogether for the war, and put it up for vote in the Senate.

If that vote comes to the Senate, it’s going to be gut-check time for the lawmakers. They’ll have to be bold, and either approve or disapprove of the war, once and for all, right next to their names for us all to remember and hold accountable. That is, knowing the popularity of the war with the electorate, it’s going to be very difficult for Senators up for election in 2008 or 2010 (if funding continues) to continue their support for Iraq.

Kos:

The Iraq Supplemental + benchmarks + withdrawal plan is extremely popular with voters. If Bush gives them the finger, it’ll give congressional Democrats more political leeway in approaches toward ending the war, up to and including defunding.

Meanwhile, Obama has just lost the Democratic primary. Kos says this little stunt doesn’t make Obama a “non-starter” for his primary vote, but it’s a monumental act of betrayal to the party, to the country, to the servicemen and -women serving in Iraq.

(Watch this video and tell me that the war’s worth it, right after you tell me what the h*ll it’s about.)

Wulfgar! — naturally – finds the proper emotional tone when considering Obama’s stupendous gaffe:

People are dying here. America is bleeding money here. The Deciderator wants that to continue such that he might secure his legacy by leaving this clusterfr@ck to his successor. More lives, more money, and so goes the circle of life, death and civil war in a country we have no reason to be in. And, on the one issue that matters most to the American people and America’s future, Barrack Ray Vaughn Obama has signed off on whatever Bush wants. I cannot, I will not, support this man for President.

Or take Colby’s perspective:

Yeah, that is the way to force the President to change his Iraq policy; issue completely empty threats that he doesn’t have to take seriously. Any decent parent could tell you that threats without follow-through are a useless way to change someone’s behavior. No wonder this President thinks he doesn’t answer to anyone, apparently he doesn’t have to!

Don Pogreba:

Insane. If we’ve learned anything that past few years, it’s that “The Decider” doesn’t much care about pressure, or politics, or policy. Obama’s statement is a clear admission that he will, as the Democrats have done over and over, simply cave before the threat of the White House’s crude and illogical rhetoric.

This is a historically weak President, supporting and unpopular and profoundly wrong policy. If this isn’t the moment to stand up, when is?

Amen.

I flatter myself thinking Obama’s people are out there checking in on the blogosphere’s reaction to his unprincipled stand. But if you are, you all just got flamed by Montana Democrats. That’s bad news for you folks, because not only do we like backbone in our politicians, we’re a d*mn good barometer of how the country will fall. And this post is coming from a guy who was this close to backing you, early.

Obama, we’ve been hammering away at our representatives for years now to represent us for a change, and you’ve thrown it in our faces. Thanks. Good luck with that.




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