Republicans

Paycheck Fairness Act Blocked Again By Senate GOP

MITCH MCCONNELL

Alex Wong via Getty Images

 

The Huffington Post

Senate Republicans on Monday blocked for the fourth time a bill that would strengthen federal equal pay laws for women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would ban employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with each other, impose harsher penalties for pay discrimination and require employers to be able to show that wage gaps between men and women are based on factors other than gender.

The bill needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster and advance to a final vote on passage, but it fell short Monday by a vote of 52 to 40. Senate Democrats have brought the bill to the floor four times since 2011, and each time Republicans have rejected it.

“The wage gap not only hurts our families, it hurts the economy,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said before the vote. “If it were reversed, I’d be standing here fighting for the men. It’s not right.”

Republicans say they oppose the bill because they believe it would discourage employers from hiring women, out of a fear of lawsuits. The GOP has accused Democrats of staging a “show vote” on the bill in an election year, knowing it won’t pass.

“At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the last vote on the bill in April. “In other words, it’s just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.”

Women working full-time in the U.S. earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar men earn, according to the Census Bureau. A small portion of that gap, economists say, is due to employers paying women less than men for the same work.

Republicans are trying to engage women voters ahead of the November midterm elections, but their opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act and other equal pay measures has repeatedly been used against them in campaigns.

Democrats Have Their Best August In History and Strengthen Their Position To Keep The Senate

reid-victory

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) |no attribution

This is relatively good news…

PoliticusUSA

Senate Democrats set another fundraising record in August. They are crushing their Republican opponents in fundraising, and find themselves in a much stronger position to keep control of the Senate than the experts predicted.

The Democratic Senate Congressional Committee (DSCC) had their best fundraising month in history in August. Democrats outraised Republicans $7.7 million to $1.6 million. Overall, Democrats have outraised Republicans by $29 million. The DSCC has $25.3 million in cash on hand and no debt.

In a statement, DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said, “With less than 50 days until Election Day, Democrats are in strong position to hold the majority. While the Koch brothers are spending millions on misleading attack ads to prop up candidates like Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Thom Tillis, and others, Democrats are running stronger, smarter campaigns with better candidates. Thanks to our energized grassroots supporters, the DSCC will continue to highlight on the airwaves how Republicans want to privatize Social Security, gut Medicare, and limit access to common forms of birth control as well as heavily invest in the Bannock Street Project, which at its peak will be the largest, most data-driven field operation ever in a midterm election.”

As The New York Times recently reported, a path to Democrats keeping the Senate majority is becoming visible. Democrats have a base of 45 seats. If the Democratic candidates win in Colorado and Michigan, where they currently lead, the party would only need to win three more states to keep their majority. Sen. Kay Hagan leads in North Carolina. A Hagan win would bring the Democratic total to 48. Democrats could keep the by winning in Iowa and Alaska. Wins in those two states, would give Democrats the majority with Vice President Joe Biden serving as the tie breaking vote.

If Democrats win a Republican held seat in Kentucky or Georgia, they could afford to lose a vulnerable seat like Alaska and still keep the majority.

Republicans are putting all of their resources into capturing the Senate, which is why the Democratic fundraising has been so impressive. Having money is the first step towards keeping the majority. The next step is for Democrats to mobilize and get their voters out to vote in November.

There is no doubt about it. Democrats are doing much better than the pundits and “experts” predicted. Republicans were hoping for an early wave that would point to them locking up control of the Senate by now. Instead of a national election, the 2014 contest for the Senate has turned into a state by state battle with no national themes. This is not the kind of election that Republicans wanted to contest.

It is not an easy path, but Democrats have a much better chance of keeping the majority than the political chattering class ever expected.

Immigration is still a huge problem for Republicans

The Washington Post – Greg Sargent

A new narrative seems to be taking hold: Obama’s delay of executive action on deportations — and the backlash it has sparked from enraged advocates — shows the politics of immigration are now perilous for Democrats. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, claims that it shows immigration is a “toxic” issue for Dems as well as Republicans.

That’s true in the short term, but the big picture matters more. And that big picture is this: If Obama does something reasonably ambitious on deportations after the elections, it will very likely restore the larger political dynamic that has been taking shape all year, in which Republicans continue to solidify their image as hostile and unwelcoming to Latinos and Democrats continue to establish theirs as the pro-immigration party.

As I’ve detailed here, Senate Democrats decided, for a range of reasons, that any action on deportations now could imperil their already-tenuous chances of holding the Senate. But the flip-side of this is that after the elections are over, all of the political incentives for Democrats will be flowing in the opposite direction — that is, Dems will stand to benefit politically across the board from ambitious executive action.

There are a number of reasons for this. Democrats have an interest in seeing this happen just before the GOP presidential primary, because it makes it more likely the GOP candidates will out-demagogue one another in calling for Obama’s protections from deportation for millions to be rolled back, pulling the GOP field to the right of Mitt Romney’s “self deportation” stance in 2012. Beyond the debate over the propriety of executive action, Republicans continue to deepen their opposition to theenforcement priorities underlying Obama’s coming action — they haveboxed themselves into a place where they are inescapably calling for enforcement resources to be directed back towards maximizing the deportation of low-level offenders with longtime ties to communities.

What’s more, even as Republicans cling to increasingly toxic positions among Latinos, Dems would presumably stand to benefit in the 2016 general election if the Democratic Party reestablishes — and strengthens — its bond with Latinos, which ambitious executive action would do. Also, asCook Political Report’s Jennifer Duffy has noted, some of the 2016 DemSenate candidates will be running in states with increasing Latino vote shares, amid a presidential year electorate. They too might benefit from action, which conceivably could help Dems increase their majority or recapture it if they lose it this year.

It’s still unclear how far-reaching Obama’s action — which will presumably depend on what the administration determines is legally possible — will turn out to be. But unlike now, the political incentives will all point in the direction of doing something ambitious. Indeed, I suspect one reason advocates are beating the heck out of Obama over his delay right now is to raise the price of reestablishing good relations with activists and Latinos, on the understanding that the President will see that so doing carries great political rewards over the long term. Some advocates fear that if Republicans take the Senate, Obama may punt once again. But it’s also quite possible, given that the political incentives favor “going big” no matter who controls the Senate, that advocates may get their way soon enough.

None of this is to minimize the current anger advocates feel about Obama’s delay. The White House did mishandle the issue by promising action at the end of the summer (though Senate Dems did hamstring Obama by also suggesting the President follow a timetable). The human toll of the delaywill be far-reaching and very real.

However, this issue may end up unfolding just as the gay rights debate did. Gay advocates were deeply frustrated for years with Obama, particularly over his slow evolution on gay marriage. But Obama ended up compiling a very good record on gay civil rights. The result: Gay rights is one of many issues where the Democratic Party has continued to reshape itself around the cultural priorities of an emerging coalition that is giving it a built-in advantage in national elections. As Ron Brownstein has explained:

Combined, these confrontations are stamping the GOP as what I’ve called a “Coalition of Restoration” primarily representing older, white, religiously devout, and nonurban voters who fear that hurtling change is undermining traditional American values. Democrats in turn are championing a younger, more urbanized, diverse, and secular “Coalition of Transformation” that welcomes the evolution in America’s racial composition and cultural mores.

As Obama struggles through his second term, it’s clear one of his signal legacies will be cementing the Democrats’ connection with that coalition’s cultural priorities. It’s easy to imagine Hillary Clinton or another future Democratic presidential nominee offering more centrist fiscal or foreign policies than Obama. But on cultural issues Obama has led his party across a Rubicon…The party’s deepening embrace of cultural liberalism may make it tougher for it to hold some red-state House and Senate seats, but is improving its position with the cosmopolitan states and growing demographic groups that key its presidential majority.

If Obama’s actions on deportations is reasonably ambitious, it seems likely that this broader dynamic will remain in force when it comes to immigration and Latinos, too — whatever current political problems Democrats have run into right now.

GOP’s Obamacare Nightmare Is Coming True: It’s Working

Tj3sy3ylzxtcrr8ekbz4

AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

TPMDC

The politics of the health care law have undergone a sea change since its disastrous rollout last fall, when many conservative operatives were salivating at the prospect of a GOP wave in the midterm elections due to an Obamacare “train wreck.”

But the train never wrecked. The law rebounded, surpassing its signups goal and withstanding a flurry of attacks. The issue seems to have mostly lost its power as a weapon against Democrats, and a growing number of Republican governors — even in conservative states — are warming to a core component of Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion.

To get a sense of why this is worrying for Republicans in the long run, look no further than conservative strategist Bill Kristol’s 1993 memo — “Defeating President Clinton’s Health Care Proposal” — warning that reform would paint Democrats as “the generous protector of middle-class interests” and strike a “punishing blow” to the GOP’s anti-government ideology.

“But the long-term political effects of a successful Clinton health care bill will be even worse — much worse. It will relegitimize middle-class dependence for ‘security’ on government spending and regulation. It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government,” Kristol wrote.

In other words, the real fear back then was that health care reform would succeed.

Two decades later, Kristol’s prophecy is haunting Republicans. Obamacare has provided a lifeline by providing coverage to 8 million people on the exchanges, 7 million under Medicaid expansion and 5 million who bought insurance outside the exchanges but benefit from new regulations like the coverage guarantee for individuals with preexisting conditions. Even Republicans in deeply conservative states are suggesting that the popular new benefits cannot be taken away, even if the Obamacare brand still struggles.

The shift has been crystallized in contentious Senate races this fall. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently signaled that Kentuckians benefiting from the state’sObamacare exchange and Medicaid expansion should be able to keep their coverage. Senate GOP candidates Joni Ernst of Iowa, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Scott Brown of New Hampshire and Terri Lynn Land of Michigan have all refused to call for rolling back Medicaid expansion in their states. The number of television ads attacking the law have plummeted in key battleground states since April, and now even vulnerable Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas is touting his vote for protecting Americans with preexisting conditions under Obamacare.

But even if the Obamacare attacks are fading, Republicans remain poised to make gains in the midterms due to a variety of structural advantages. They continue to oppose Obamacare as a whole, and point out that Americans still react negatively when asked about the law.

“Ensuring that people with preexisting conditions have access to coverage has long been a popular policy, and one where there is bipartisan agreement. It’s the the entirety of ObamaCare that remains EXTREMELY unpopular,” Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, told TPM in an email.

Conservative health-policy experts have argued that Obamacare cannot be repealed without a viable alternative to fix broken parts of the system, but Republicans have failed to come up with one that the party can unite behind.

These are signs that Obamacare is weaving into the fabric of American culture and that the dream of repealing or unwinding it is fading. The massive health care industry is adapting to the post-Obamacare world and fears of double-digit hikes in premiums are fading: early datasuggest the prices for benchmark “silver” plans in 2015 are poised to decline slightly.

“We don’t yet have data for all states, but from these 15 states plus DC I think we can start to see a pattern emerging,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said in an email. “In general, changes in premiums for the low-cost plans in the marketplaces are quite modest, and actually decreasing in many places.”

Stability in premiums means “government costs for premium subsidies … are under control, which is good news for taxpayers,” Levitt said.

In the courts, an ongoing conservative lawsuit to cripple Obamacare suffered a major setbacklast week when a federal appeals court vacated a ruling that would have blocked subsidies in 36 states. Legal experts say the full court is likely to uphold the subsidies when a panel with a majority of Democratic-appointed judges re-hears the case.

For Democrats, the dream scenario was that Obamacare would eventually join Social Security and Medicare as an unassailable feature of the American safety net. Like those other major programs, Obamacare won’t be without its share of problems — cost uncertainties for automatically-renewed plans among them. But after more than 50 House votes to repeal or dismantle the law, few could have predicted that Republicans would start warming up to central pieces of the law within a year of its rollout.

(Photos by the Associated Press)

S.E. Cupp on nude photos: Don’t own things other people want if you don’t want to have them stolen!

S.E. Cupp on nude photos: Don't own things other people want if you don't want to have them stolen!

Jennifer Lawrence, S.E. Cupp (Credit: AP/Arthur Mola/Chris Pizzello)

This is interesting in light of a recent conversation with a TFC regular on this issue…The debate continues…

Salon

Conservative columnist S.E. Cupp has weighed in on the recent theft of famous women’s photos by writing a passionate pro-thievery column for the New York Daily News. In this helpful column, she instructs people to not own things that other people may want, lest someone steal them. (This is real talk. Everyone is too scared to tell you this real talk. Everyone except S.E. Cupp.) Because, sure, stealing is illegal and all, but when people really, really, really want your things, they are just going to take them.

But it’s a little hard to understand just how into stealing Cupp is when she uses the word “hacker” instead of “burglar,” so I fixed that for her. And also, this idea of the iCloud — where you store things that are yours and not other people’s — is a little abstract for some, so I’ve just gone ahead and replaced it with the word “home,” since your home is also a place where you store things that are yours and not other people’s.

I think it really helps make her strong stand for theft much clearer! (Again: I’ve replaced “hacker” with ”burglar” and “iCloud” and “computer” with “home” here, to help make her point even more lucid.) Here we go:

After stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Ariana Grande were quite literally exposed on Sunday by burglars who broke into their homes and then publicly posted hundreds of nude photos from their private photo albums, a pseudo-intellectual debate of sorts emerged (where else?) online over who is to blame for such an outrageous injustice.

This elaborate blame game shifts responsibility from an obvious fact: It just isn’t wise to keep nude photos of yourself in your home if you don’t want them made public.

No, I’m not excusing the burglars, who of course ought to pay for their crimes. Nor am I trying to stifle the right of women to express themselves sexually. I am simply stating what, to most of rational America, is already obvious.

And there’s this!

Yet these defenders of the [celebrities whose private photos were stolen] are downright indignant that you would dare to suggest a simple solution, as if posing for nude pictures is not only the right of every celebrity (who looks as good as Kate Upton does) but nothing short of a feminist statement.

Megan Gibson of Time: “If your reaction to the burglarizing of celebrities’ photos is to blame them for taking nude photos,” she threatens, “you’re pointing the finger at the wrong person.”

The right person, according to her? The burglars. As I mentioned, reasonable people have already decided that what the burglars did is illegal. I’ve not read anywhere in the vast repository that is the Internet a single instance of the burglars being defended. So, thank you for correctly identifying the culprit that everyone else has already identified.

And this!

Comedian Ricky Gervais found himself at the business-end of these indignant defenders of celebrity and feminism (celebinism? feminebrity?) when he tweeted: “Celebrities, make it harder for burglars to get nude pics of you from your home by not putting nude pics of yourself in your home.”

He has since deleted the tweet and assured that he thinks the burglars are “100% to blame” in order to appease this class of professionally offended outragists.

And here’s Cupp at her most pro-theft! (She also thinks women’s bodies are kind of like flashy cars!)

[O]wning things that are valuable, like flashy cars, expensive jewelry or photos of naked celebrities, does actually make you more susceptible to theft. This is not victim-blaming but a fact, and people who own these things know this.

Just as it is rational and reasonable to suggest protecting your credit cards and expensive things from fraud and theft, it is rational and reasonable to suggest the same of your nude photos.

And let’s bring it home!

Rational people actually do suggest you don’t store credit cards in your home, just as rational people like Gervais suggest you don’t keep nude photos  in your home, where stealing them is easier.

I’m very sorry we don’t live in a world where celebrity nude photos are unstealable. But until we have homes that are 100% impenetrable, doesn’t it only make sense to say that if you don’t want your nude photos stolen, don’t take nude photos and store them in homes that can be burglarized?

Apparently the truth is misogynistic.

ABC Poll: Republicans About As Popular As Ebola.

Polls can be manipulated so I take little stock in them, but the headline is hilarious!

Daily Kos

We love to bash Republicans around here, but we’re pretty much political Junkies and know a good deal more about what they’re doing to our democracy and country than most of the general public.  But even if you’re a member of the uninformed public that neglects your responsibility to be an informed citizen, you just can’t avoid realizing just how awful these people really are.

Of course if you’re uninformed enough, you fall into the false equivalence of they’re all the same, and you buy into the meme of a pox on both your houses, so some of this discontent rubs off on the Democrats.

From a new ABC poll

I’ll try to build a little table with some of the results.

Here’s the results for Republicans

                               Favorable            unfavorable
All Adults                       35                       60Registered Voters            38                       60
________________

Democrats                     14                       85

Republicans                    79                       21

Independents                 31                       61
_
________________

Male                             38                       59

Female                          33                       62
_
________________

<$50K                          32                       63

$50K-$100K                   38                      56

>$100K                        39                       61
________________

Liberal                          16                       80

Moderate                     32                       66

Conservative                 59                      38

Hard to find anyone who is satisfied with the dysfunctional party the Oligarchs have built.  But what about the Dems?

                               Favorable            unfavorable
All Adults                       49                       46

Registered Voters            51                       46
_
________________

Democrats                     85                       14

Republicans                    15                       85

Independents                 41                       50
_
________________

Male                             44                       52

Female                          54                       40
_
________________

<$50K                          51                       44

$50K-$100K                   46                      48

>$100K                        53                       46
_________________

Liberal                          73                       24

Moderate                     52                        45

Conservative                28                        70

Now these aren’t the types of numbers that Democrats can jump up and down over, but they’re sure a lot better than the Republicans.  The Dems do better than the Republicans in almost everycategory.  I was pretty surprised to see those numbers broke down by income.  Even the rich are turning against the radicalized Republicans.So this is a ray of hope for Nov.  The question becomes, how many of these people will show up at the polls, and how many will once again vote against their own interests.

The Republican Party’s problem with black people

The Republican Party mascot in front of the Starlite Ballroom at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Washington Post – Jonathan Capehart

Overall, I agree with Ron Christie’s argument in the Daily Beast on “how to really empower black voters nationwide.” The former special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney says, “Republicans need a positive message for people of color, and they need to state that message clearly, and with conviction.” The Republican strategist, who is African American, writes, “Republicans need to expand who they are talking to in communities of color.” Both are very true. But the GOP suffers a bit from denial and has a self-reinforcing image problem that makes it seem inhospitable to people of color, which is something that comes through in the fourth paragraph of Christie’s column.

It jumps off the excellent story last week by Nate Cohn on the potentialpower of the Southern black vote in keeping the Democrats in control of the Senate. “Now we need to see the power of the black vote expand nationwide,” Christie writes, “which will only happen when Republicans and Democrats alike are forced to fight for their support.” And then he adds:

Given that roughly 90 percent of blacks are committed supporters of the Democratic Party, I suspect they will take this voting bloc for granted by promising more government support and handouts — belittling blacks by assuming that a majority of us are interested in “free” stuff from the government. I also assume that they’ll continue pushing the canard that the Republican push for voter ID laws is an attempt to disenfranchise black voters.

Voter identification laws as an attempt to disenfranchise black voters is hardly a canard. Plenty of Republicans, elected and unelected, are on record admitting it. Colin Powell went so far as to take his party to task over its fevered claims of voter fraud. “You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” the former secretary of state said last year in North Carolina. “How can it be widespread and undetected?” Indeed, how can it?

As for belittling blacks, the Republican insistence on peddling makers-vs.-takers nonsense to deny that there are people in this country in need of assistance is a prime example of said condescension. Surely, the GOP must see that it shoots itself in the foot with every utterance of “free stuff.” Good luck getting a look-see from folks loudly branded as moochers by the same people asking to be taken seriously. And let’s be clear: Free stuff is the food sample the folks at Costco hand you, not the food stamps that keep families from going hungry.

A combination photo shows Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel (L) attending a rally in Madison, Mississippi and Republican U.S. Senator ThadCochran campaigning in Pass Christian, Mississippi June 19, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
Tea party candidate Chris McDaniel, left, and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

No sooner did Christie slam “free stuff” than he praised a Republican who saved his seat by highlighting his ability to get “free stuff” from Washington. Christie praised Sen. Thad Cochran’s successful run-off against challenger Chris McDaniel as a model for “how to effectively bring black voters to the polls.” The five-term senator from Mississippi won, Christie insists, “because Cochran did what many Republicans seem reluctant to do: Ask for the support of black voters, and make a real, substantive argument for that support.”

Yes, that is true. But in asking, Cochran did something else. According to a Jackson Free Press story last month, “Cochran tout[ed] his support for historically black colleges and universities, the Jackson Medical Mall and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps.” One man’s “bring home the bacon” is another man’s “free stuff.” Christie doesn’t try to explain how Cochran’s actions didn’t belittle blacks.

Like I said, Christie makes a good point. Democrats and Republicans should actively compete for the African American vote. And there is no denying that he is correct in his assessment that Democrats take black voters for granted. But Republicans make that oh so easy when their condescension, racially tinged rhetoric and questionable policies make them an unworthy alternative.

Two-Thirds Of Republicans Think Impeaching Obama Would Be Justified

No attribution

First of all…on what legitimate grounds would he be impeached?  Secondly, the Right’s perceived “Obama offenses” are mainly made up lies and a host of deliberate misconceptions…

The Huffington Post

Sarah Palin raised eyebrows last week when she called on Congress to impeach President Barack Obama, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows that the former Alaska governor is not alone. A third of Americans, and two-thirds of Republicans, think Obama should be impeached.

Among all Americans, those saying Congress would not be justified in beginning impeachment proceedings against Obama outnumber those who think it would be justified, 44 percent to 35 percent, while 21 percent said they weren’t sure.

The question drew a huge partisan divide. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans said beginning the impeachment process would be justified, while only 8 percent of Democrats said the same. Independents were divided, 37 percent to 37 percent, while 26 percent said they weren’t sure. Overall, 26 percent of non-Republicans said impeachment would be justified.

Impeachment was described in the poll as “the first step in the constitutional process for removing a president from office, in which possible crimes are investigated and charges are made.” A HuffPost/YouGov poll experiment conducted last year found that support for Obama’s impeachment varied depending on question wording, but that at least half of Republicans said they would support his impeachment no matter how the question was worded.

Obama isn’t the only recent president to face calls for impeachment from members of the other party. A 2007 Gallup poll asked the same question about George W. Bush, and found that 36 percent of Americans, including 58 percent of Democrats, 35 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans, said there was justification for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

The 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton also divided Americans along party lines. A 2001 ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 77 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of independents, but only 17 percent of Democrats, thought the House of Representatives made the right decision when it impeached Clinton.

The Gallup and ABC News/Washington Post polls were accessed using the Roper Center’s iPoll database.

In the new HuffPost/YouGov poll, 49 percent of Americans said Obama had exceeded the limits of authority placed on the president by the Constitution, while 34 percent said he had not. Eighty-nine percent of Republicans, 52 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats said Obama had exceeded the limits of his authority.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted July 9-11 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be foundhere.

This story has been updated to include the percentage of non-Republicans who said impeachment would be justified.

Obama Gets Blunt: The Problem is Republicans and Their Failed Trickle Down Fantasies

Obama MN by  WH photog Pete Souza

Obama in MN | WH photog Pete Souza

PoliticusUSA

Speaking this afternoon at Lake Harriet Band Shell in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar in the house, in addition to Governor Mark Dayton, Congressman Keith Ellison and Mayor Betsy Hodges, President Obama let go of the tight constrictions of diplomacy and got real about the problems in DC: It’s Republicans and their failed trickle down fantasies. They just don’t get what people are going through.

“(S)o far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class,” President Obama told the crowd. Lest you think he’s exaggerating, he went through the list and it’s not pretty.

Read on via a White House transcript:

And sometimes I’m supposed to be politic about how I say things — (laughter) — but I’m finding lately that I just want to say what’s on my mind. (Applause.) So let me just be clear — I want you think about this — so far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every single serious idea to strengthen the middle class. You may think I’m exaggerating, but let me go through the list. They’ve said no to raising the minimum wage. They’ve said no to fair pay. Some of them have denied that there’s even a problem, despite the fact that women are getting paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is getting paid.

They’ve said no to extending unemployment insurance for more than three million Americans who are out there looking every single day for a new job, despite the fact that we know it would be good not just for those families who are working hard to try to get back on their feet, but for the economy as a whole. Rather than invest in working families getting ahead, they actually voted to give another massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

AUDIENCE: Booo –

THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo, by the way. I want you to vote. (Laughter and applause.) I mean, over and over again, they show that they’ll do anything to keep in place systems that really help folks at the top but don’t help you. And they don’t seem to mind. And their obstruction is keeping a system that is rigged against families like Ben’s and Rebekah’s.

Now, I’m not saying these are all bad people; they’re not. When I’m sitting there just talking to them about family, we get along just fine. Many of them will acknowledge when I talk to them — yes, I know, I wish we could do something more, but I can’t — but they can’t be too friendly towards me because they’d be run out of town by the tea party. (Laughter.)

But sometimes I get a sense they just don’t know what most folks are going through. They keep on offering a theory of the economy that time and again failed for the middle class. They think we should give more tax breaks to those at the top. They think we should invest less in things like education. They think we should let big banks, and credit card companies, and polluters, and insurers do only whatever is best for their bottom line without any responsibility to anybody else. They want to drastically reduce or get rid of the safety net for people trying to work their way into the middle class.

And if we did all these things, they think the economy will thrive and jobs will prosper, and everything will trickle down.

And just because they believe it, it doesn’t mean the rest of us should be believing it — because we’ve tried what they’re peddling, and it doesn’t work. We know from our history that our economy does not grow from the top down, it grows from the middle out. We do better when the middle class does better. We do better when workers are getting a decent salary. We do better when they’ve got decent benefits. (Applause.) We do better when a young family knows that they can get ahead. And we do better when people who are working hard know that they can count on decent childcare at an affordable cost, and that if they get sick they’re not going to lose their homes.

Yesterday the bear was on the loose at an ice cream shop and today he’s getting real with the truth. Republicans are out of touch with what real people are going through. Indeed, it’s fair to say that most politicians are out of touch with what real people are going through. They believe that talking about the poor and middle class is simply something they have to do to get elected. That’s why it’s imperative for voters to look at a politician’s record.

For example, currently the Republican Speaker of the House is aiming to sue President Obama for taking action to help the workers and citizens of this country after Congress failed to act.

Republicans have rejected all jobs bills, instead clinging to the Keystone Pipeline as a “jobs bill” — when in fact it is just more corporate giveaways instead of an investment in this country. Look at their records to see if it matches with their rhetoric.

No matter the party, they should be for raising the minimum wage, be for extending unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed, for fair pay for women, not be cutting aid to children and the elderly in tough times, want to address climate change, not be advocating for more war when the VA is underfunded and they refuse to fund it, and in general should be putting people ahead of corporations. These used to be bipartisan ideas. If they are not anymore, Republicans need to admit that they are no longer for the working man and woman, against children and the elderly, against our veterans when they get home, and against reality regarding climate change.

President Obama is fired up and taking aim. Wise Republicans (?) would recall what happened to Obama’s past opponents before stepping in more mud. But we all know this GOP is not wise at all.

Fox Host Yells At Michele Bachmann For Trying To Sue Obama: ‘You’re Being Silly’

Cavut and Bachmann

Think Progress

Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto blasted Republicans on Wednesday for preparing to file a federal lawsuit challenging the executive actions of President Barack Obama. During an interview with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Cavuto belittled the effort as “an enormous waste of effort” and “a political football,” suggesting that President George W. Bush used similar executive authority.

The segment devolved into a shouting match, with Cavuto laughing off Bachmann’s indignation about Obama’s use of executive powers.

“You just said it, congresswoman, we might not get anywhere,” Cavuto exclaimed in frustration. “Maybe Republicans are within their rights, maybe the president is within his rights.” As Bachmann sought to defend the suit, Cavuto accused her of “conflating issues and being silly.” “Where was your rage when Democrats were going after President Bush on the same use of executive orders, because I think you knew then that that was a waste of time then and I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now,” he exploded. Watch it:

Cavuto’s real rage came out in response to Bachmann’s suggestion that Republicans in Congress should simply defund the executive branch. “Think about what you’re saying,” he screamed. “Defund the executive branch? Congresswoman! If Democrats had said to you, ‘we’re going to defund President Bush,’ you would have laughed at them and so you should have been.”

As of February, Obama had issued fewer executive orders than all but one of the other presidents since World War II. Republicans, meanwhile routinely embraced the power of Republican president George W. Bush to take action, even at times when he would circumvent Congress by doing so.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,251 other followers

%d bloggers like this: