Food for thought…
H/t: Addicting Info
Most folks knew this since Robert Draper’s book came out. It’s not often that a GOP Senator spills the beans in this way though. Bravo Sen. Toomey…
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) revealed that some members of his party opposed expanding background checks for gun sales recently because they didn’t want to “be seen helping the president.”
Two weeks ago, only three Republican senators voted for the bipartisan background checks amendment sponsored by Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), despite overwhelming popular support for such a measure.
“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it,” Toomey admitted on Tuesday in an interview with Digital First Media editors in the offices of the Times Herald newspaper in Norristown, Pa.
The Times Herald noted that in “subsequent comments,” Toomey “tried to walk that remark part-way back by noting he meant to say Republicans across the nation in general, not just those in the Senate.”
Last week, Toomey placed more of the blame on the president himself, telling the Morning Call, “I would suggest the administration brought this on themselves. I think the president ran his re-election campaign in a divisive way. He divided Americans. He was using resentment of some Americans toward others to generate support for himself.”
Manchin has argued, however, that the National Rifle Association’s decision to score the vote was the main reason the compromise amendment on background checks failed. Without it, he believed, 70 senators — well above the 60-vote threshold needed for passage — would have supported it.
Opponents also pushed a significant amount of misinformation before the vote, including the myth that the legislation would lead to a federal gun registry. In fact, the bill would have made the creation of such a registry a felony carrying a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Toomey was pessimistic on Tuesday about the prospects of gun legislation moving forward, saying it’s “not likely to happen any time soon.”
“The bill is available right now and Sen. (Majority leader Harry) Reid could bring it up for a vote at any time, but we need five people to change their minds,” he said.
Toomey, on the other hand, has seen his poll numbers rise.
Seems like an effort in futility to me. This demonstrates yet again, the GOP’s constant folly of walking the thin line between optimism and delusion…
A group state representatives in Georgia are proposing a resolution that would ask Congress to begin the process of repealing the 17th Amendment, which provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators.
One of the representatives behind this effort, Rep. Kevin Cooke said, “It’s a way we would again have our voice heard in the federal government, a way that doesn’t exist now. This isn’t an idea of mine. This was what James Madison was writing. This would be a restoration of the Constitution, about how government is supposed to work. The fact that this coincides with the 100th anniversary gives us a pretty good snapshot of what has happened to the federal government since then. The federal government has grown exponentially since the amendment was ratified. This would restore the constitution to what it was in 1913.”
Of course, this isn’t really about states’ rights or the intentions of the Founders. The movement to take away the people’s right to directly elect their senators is about keeping Republicans in power. A recent PPP poll of Georgia found that if Max Cleland could be talked into running for his old Senate seat in the state, he would lead each of the top five Republican contenders. If the Democratic candidate is Rep. John Barrow, he would trail the Republican nominee by an average of four tenths of a point. Depending on who the Republicans nominate, the Democrats may have a chance at picking up a Senate seat in Georgia.
The idea of repealing the 17th Amendment is just the latest extreme example of how far Republicans are willing to go in order to hold on to power. Instead of trying to appeal to the changing face of the electorate, a group of Republicans would rather takeaway the popular election of United States senators.
Georgia’s demographics are changing quickly. People of color make up more than 40% of the state’s population. There is also an age gap, as 73.2% of Georgia residents over age 60 are white, but only 46.9% of the state’s school age children are white. The electorate in Georgia is shifting towards the Democratic Party.
Instead of changing with the times, some state Republicans have decided that the answer to their problems is to roll back the constitution to 1913.
Why stop at 1913? If they really want to hold off the demographic wave, they should also seek to repeal the 13th Amendment.
After all, the Founding Fathers also intended for slavery to be legal too.
I reject the notion that the three Senators who questioned UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s professional competence as the next Secretary of State was racially motivated.
I do believe it was unabashedly partisan in nature. It seemed to be a new angle toward side-lining the President’s political agenda for the next four years.
The outrage expressed by Republican lawmakers—spurred by the ambassador reciting intelligence-community-generated talking points that turned out to be partially inaccurate—is very different from their response to another administration official named Rice who was accused of misleading the American public on a matter of national security.
That, of course, is Condoleezza Rice. When George W. Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, some of the same Senate Republicans who are currently attacking Susan Rice supported Condi wholeheartedly, despite her role in helping to make the case for war in Iraq based on bogus intelligence. Back then, Republicans were much more willing to chalk up Condoleezza Rice’s parroting of flawed intel to well-intentioned mistakes as opposed to outright deception, even when the evidence said otherwise. Here’s how some of Susan Rice’s most vocal critics responded to the Bush administration’s disastrous handling of pre-war Iraq intelligence and the nomination of Condoleezza Rice.
This is the only political article that I’ll post today. I believe it’s important to ponder the historical evidence of the contents of this video and draw your own conclusions. I also believe it might be a good conversation piece around the dinner table today.
Once again, Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoy learning the following information as much as I did…
What are they so scared of…?
According to a report by Phoenix, Arizona’s NBC affiliate, Rep. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) U.S. Senate campaign called Democratic voters telling them to vote in the wrong precinct — in some cases as much as 11 miles away from their actual polling place. After telling the Democratic voters to vote in the wrong place, the calls also encourage the voter to “vote Flake for U.S. Senate.” Watch the report:
It’s unclear whether these calls were made accidentally or as part of an intentional strategy to depress the Democratic vote.
Can we finally admit that the GOP’s claim to ‘Family Values’ is just an empty political talking point? -AI
It’s almost a cliche at this point: Conservative candidate declares how much he hates “The Gay” as a way to prove just how much of a family man he his. Family values are important, don’tcha know? Vote for me! I hate gays and I believe in protecting our children!
So he can molest them, instead.
Such is the story of Eric Bodenweiser, front runner for State Senator in Delware. Via Washington Blade:
The indictment includes 113 felony sex charges, including 39 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse — first-degree and 74 counts of unlawful sexual contact — second-degree. Although the indictment doesn’t identify the gender of the victim, the Gape Gazette identified the victim as a boy who allegedly was sexually abused by Bodenweiser between Oct. 1, 1987 and Aug. 31, 1990 when he was between the ages of 10 and 13.
The real story here isn’t that the GOP has yet another pedophile in its ranks, the Democratic Party has had some as well. The take away from this is the artificial nature of the GOP’s opposition to homosexuality. It seems that every other week, another secretly gay Republican comes tumbling out of the closet or another “pro-family” right winger turns out to be a sexual predator.
This is a clear indication that the GOP demands conformity on this issue regardless of how the candidate or elected official actually feels. The idea that a pedophile can look at homosexuality and declare that being gay is a threat to children is laughable. That a gay politician must vocally condemn his own sexual preference while hiding it from the public is sad beyond words.
In both cases, it is absolutely mandatory to follow the party line. This quashing of dissent or reasonable discourse reveals that the GOP’s “hatred” of homosexuals is nothing but a political ploy to enrage religious bigots. They don’t really care about sexual orientation outside of the votes such intolerance can get them.
The fact that conservatives constantly (and 100% falsely) seek to tie homosexuality to pedophilia is more proof that the goal is to whip up hatred for crass political gain. Pedophilia is universally despised (outside of actual pedophiles) so what better vehicle to deliver misplaced loathing to a gullible electorate?
Is there anything more grotesque than advocating a hatred not personally fell, demonizing millions of innocent citizens and creating an atmosphere in which homosexuals are bullied to death and killed outright for nothing more than a politician’s need to stay in power?
I think not.
This popped up yesterday before the debate. It’s not shocking how these spins/lies made an appearance last night.
The acceptance speeches by Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney at the GOP convention were only slightly more grounded in reality than Clint Eastwood’s conversation with an empty chair. Ryan is infamous for his pack of lies, from the attempt to blame President Obama for the closing of a Wisconsin GM factory that began shutting down during the Bush presidency, to the fantasy that Ryan’s austerity agenda is about something other than gutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in order to enrich Wall Street speculators and the insurance industry.
Romney was just as bad, with a rambling rumination on how much he wished Barack Obama’s presidency had “succeeded.” Coming from the man who tried to scuttle Obama’s successful interventions to save GM and Chrysler, and who spent the rest of the president’s first term organizing a campaign to displace him, Romney’s line wasn’t remotely believable.
The Republican Party is not fretting about fact-checkers. Far from it; the GOP has now fully entered the netherworld of post-truth politics, from the wholesale denial of climate change to spreading fairy tales about Obama’s welfare policy. Romney and Ryan know they’re going to need big lies to win. That’s pathetic, but it could work—especially if the mainstream media continue to evade their basic duty to call the GOP on these whoppers.
This poses a real challenge for the Democrats, who can’t get bogged down in the minutiae of every Republican lie—there are just too many of them. Democrats must instead go big, and tackle the GOP agenda, which at its core is dedicated to a massive redistribution of power and income toward the 1 percent, who already have more of both than at any time in the past eighty years. The central lie of the Republican campaign is the claim that the wealthiest country in the world is so broke it cannot fund school lunch programs or Pell Grants, but not so broke that it would ask billionaires to pay taxes or put the Pentagon on a diet. The best way to unmask the GOP is not with charts and graphs. It must be done with economic straight talk. We must explain why Romney and Ryan are lying—because their agenda is so unpopular (as well as unworkable and dangerous to the nation’s recovery). And we must offer a vision for job creation, infrastructure investment and an uncompromising defense of the social safety net.
This is an issue that should be addressed by those involved in the plot to do nothing that the newly elected president proposed to Congress.
It’s been going on for three and a half years and the American People need to know the truth. This article should be passed on to everyone, Right leaning or Left leaning.
TIME just published “The Party of No,” an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” The excerpt includes a special bonus nugget of Mitt Romney dissing the Tea Party.
But as we say in the sales world: There’s more! I’m going to be blogging some of the news and larger themes from the book here at TIME.com, and I’ll kick it off with more scenes from the early days of the Republican strategy of No. Read on to hear what Joe Biden’s sources in the Senate GOP were telling him, some candid pillow talk between a Republican staffer and an Obama aide, and a top Republican admitting his party didn’t want to “play.” I’ll start with a scene I consider a turning point in the Obama era, when the new President went to the Hill to extend his hand and the GOP spurned it.
On Jan. 27, 2009, House Republican leader John Boehner opened his weekly conference meeting with an announcement: Obama would make his first visit to the Capitol around noon, to meet exclusively with Republicans about his economic-recovery plan. “We’re looking forward to the President’s visit,” Boehner said.
The niceties ended there, as Boehner turned to the $815 billion stimulus bill that House Democrats had just unveiled. Boehner complained that it would spend too much, too late, on too many Democratic goodies. He urged his members to trash it on cable, on YouTube, on the House floor: “It’s another run-of-the-mill, undisciplined, cumbersome, wasteful Washington spending bill … I hope everyone here will join me in voting no!”
Cantor’s whip staff had been planning a “walk-back” strategy in which they would start leaking that 50 Republicans might vote yes, then that they were down to 30 problem children, then that they might lose 20 or so. The idea was to convey momentum. “You want the members to feel like, Oh, the herd is moving. I’ve got to move with the herd,” explains Rob Collins, Cantor’s chief of staff at the time. That way, even if a dozen Republicans ultimately defected, it would look as if Obama failed to meet expectations.
But when he addressed the conference, Cantor adopted a different strategy. “We’re not going to lose any Republicans,” he declared. His staff was stunned.
“We’re like, Uhhhhh, we have to recalibrate,” Collins recalls.
Afterward, Cantor’s aides asked if he was sure he wanted to go that far out on a limb. Zero was a low number. Centrists and big-spending appropriators from Obama-friendly districts would be sorely tempted to break ranks. If Cantor promised unanimity and failed to deliver, the press would have the story it craved: Republicans divided, dysfunction junction, still clueless after two straight spankings.
But Cantor said yes, he meant zero. He was afraid that if the Democrats managed to pick off two or three Republicans, they’d be able to slap a “bipartisan” label on the bill. “We can get there,” he said. “If we don’t get there, we can try like hell to get there.”
Shortly before 11 a.m., the AP reported that Boehner had urged Republicans to oppose the stimulus. Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs handed Obama a copy of the story in the Oval Office, just before he left for the Hill to make his case for the stimulus, an unprecedented visit to the opposition after just a week in office. “You know, we still thought this was on the level,” Gibbs says. Obama political aide David Axelrod says that after the President left, White House aides were buzzing about the insult. And they didn’t even know that Cantor had vowed to whip a unanimous vote — which, ultimately, he did.
“It was stunning that we’d set this up and, before hearing from the President, they’d say they were going to oppose this,” Axelrod says. “Our feeling was, we were dealing with a potential disaster of epic proportions that demanded cooperation. If anything was a signal of what the next two years would be like, it was that.”