Category Archives: GOP

>Ground Zero Air Quality Memory Hole

>Remembering how it was back then:

Yesterday, amid boos and hisses from the audience, Whitman tried to defend herself from allegations that she bowed to pressure from the White House regarding New York’s post-9/11 air quality:

WASHINGTON — Former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman angrily denied Monday that she misled New Yorkers about the safety of the air in lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001 collapse of the World Trade Towers.

Appearing for the first time before a Congressional committee investigating the federal government’s response to the attack’s health consequences, Whitman disputed that she soft-pedaled those concerns because of political pressure.

While acknowledging she had received a call from a White House economic adviser about the importance of reopening the New York Stock Exchange, she said her response was that it would stay closed until it “was cleaned and safe.

“Was it wrong to try to get the city back on its feet as quickly and as safely as possible?” she asked. “Absolutely not. We weren’t going to let the terrorists win.”

Ah yes. We can’t let the terrorists win and get in the way of our ability to make gobs of money. Fast forward a decade and the country is up to its eyeballs in debt thanks to the two wars we’ve started in response to 9/11. Ground Zero first responders are still suffering debilitating illnesses from breathing the foul air Christie Todd Whitman promised was safe so the terrorists wouldn’t win. And New York Congressman Anthony Weiner takes the GOP to task for blocking an amendment to the Public Health Services Act that would offer relief to everyone still sick from breathing that foul air:

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) literally lost it on the House floor Thursday over his Republican colleagues’ procedural objection to an amendment to the Public Health Services Act. The amendment would extend and improve health care benefits for 9/11 victims suffering from lasting health complications.

So this is the Republican health care plan: tell everyone it’s okay to breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, eat contaminated food, etc. etc. Then when you get really, really sick they say tough luck. But we sure beat those terriss, yessirree!

See folks, this is why you should never listen to the Republicans. It’s all about making as much money as they can and if you happen to be the poor sap who stands in the way, well that’s just the free hand of the market driving the steamroller.

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Filed under 9/11, Christie Todd Whitman, GOP, healthcare, Rep. Anthony Weiner

>Right Wing Hate, FL GOP Edition

>It’s the Republican Party way. Even among their candidates for congress:

Fla. GOP members shoot Muslim targets at gun range

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — South Florida Republicans held a weekly meeting at a gun range, shooting at targets including cut-outs of a Muslim holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

The GOP candidate to replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz fired at a full-body silhouette with “DWS” written next to its head.

Wasserman Schultz declined comment, but the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called the Tuesday event “extremist” and “sexist.”

Robert Lowry, who’s vying for Wasserman Schultz’s seat, initially described his target as a joke. Minutes later, he called it a mistake.

Others refused to apologize for the Southeast Broward Republican Club event, featuring assault rifles and handguns. A conservative activist said they should stand up for their beliefs in the heavily Democratic county.

This is a sick bunch of puppies, that’s all I can say.

It was bad enough when a healthcare reform protester hung a Congressman in effigy. It was easy for groups like the GOP-supported Americans For Prosperity to distance themselves from the act (though that’s debatable).

But there’s no backing away from this. None.

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Filed under Florida, GOP, right-wing hate

>Party Of No: Swine Flu Edition

>[UPDATE]:

More from the Cavalcade of stupid:

When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.

Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse—with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.

See, Republicans, this is why American voters dumped y’all’s asses back in November. So why don’t you just step aside and let the grown-ups be in charge for a while, ‘mm’kay?

———————————–

Joe at AmericaBlog is apparently the first to notice that the GOP is filibustering HHS Secretary nominee Kathleen Sebelius just in time for the swine flu pandemic:

Never underestimate the willingness of the GOP to put politics over the best interests of the nation. Last week, Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell started a filibuster to prevent confirmation of Obama’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.
[…]

Today, at the White House briefing, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was there as was John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. They were joined by the Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). But, we don’t even have a head of CDC because the Secretary of HHS appoints that person. And, no Secretary of HHS. In fact, as the White House transcript shows, Napolitano had to make the announcement about the “public health emergency” for HHS.

Thank you, GOP! Thank you, Mitch McConnell.

And thank you, George W. Bush:

For the time being, HHS is being led by Acting Secretary Charles Johnson, a Bush-appointee from Utah who spent most of his career working as an accountant.

Hecukva job, Republicans!

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Filed under GOP, Sen. Mitch McConnell, swine flu

>Fox News Caught Serving GOP Propaganda

>Via MediaMatters, Fox News is caught red-handed for being the GOP shills we always knew them to be:

Fox passes off GOP press release as its own research — typo and all

Summary: In purporting to “take a look back” at how the economic recovery plan “grew, and grew, and grew,” Fox News’ Jon Scott referenced seven dates, as on-screen graphics cited various news sources from those time periods — all of which came directly from a Senate Republican Communications Center press release. A Fox News on-screen graphic even reproduced a typo contained in the Republican press release.

Come on, guys. Can’t you even pretend to follow that “fair and balanced” shit you’re always crowing about?

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Filed under FOX NEWS, GOP, media

>Deep Freeze

> Dear Sen. Mitch McConnell:

I know your most pressing concern right now is bringing African American and Hispanic voters into the GOP fold. But in case it has escaped your notice, the state of Kentucky is experiencing an emergency prompted by this week’s winter storm.

A winter storm isn’t all that unusual in January in this part of the world; unfortunately for the people of Kentucky, especially those in the western part of the state, the area’s infrastructure hasn’t been up to the task:

A majority of residents in the counties farthest west have been without electricity for at least 48 hours, and some are facing as much as two more weeks without it. Phone and power lines are strewn about in McCracken County with many utility poles lying in pieces.

Customers with AT&T cell phone service — who happen to be the majority in the region — haven’t been able to get signals consistently since early Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, the state’s adjutant general, said AT&T reported as many as 220 of its cell sites and a slew of its circuits were down mostly because of power outages.

The electric companies in Western Kentucky are particularly overwhelmed.

Virtually everyone in Calloway County remained out of power Thursday, said Judge-Executive Larry Elkins.

“The problem is a major feed line into the county — a major transmission line — is broken,” he said. “Once we get that main transmission line repaired, then we can find out where the smaller problems are. And that’s still a huge number.”

I’m sure it’s a great comfort to the Congress Critters of Kentucky that their constituents will never know they just voted against funding for infrastructure improvements, and are now spending their time hand-wringing over how to bring the Republican Party back from the brink of obsolescence.

Meanwhile, Mr. Beale and I are trying to figure out how to get ahold of our friends and relatives in Trigg and Caldwell counties. A friend who had to make the trip into Nashville yesterday “for supplies” told us the area “looks like a war zone.” People can’t get gasoline because the pumps are electricity-powered, cell phone and traditional phone service are both down, roads are still iced over, and it’s a giant mess.

But don’t worry, folks. Your Congress Critters seem to think that tax cuts will solve all of those problems. After all, they’ve worked so well in the past.

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Filed under economic stimulus, GOP, Sen. Mitch McConnell, weather

>They Were For It Before They Were Against It

>[UPDATE]:

Heh. Turns out one of the “reporters” peddling this phony outrage has already been forced to issue a correction. I think Media Matters is correct: the GOP is just hoping that contraception will be as much of a political hot potato for Obama as gays in the military was for Clinton.

Kinda shows how out of touch they are, but then these days, what doesn’t?
———————————————-

Josh Marshall blows the lid off of the phony outrage peddled by some on the right over Nancy Pelosi’s family planning program:

First of all, the family-planning program that Pelosi supports expanding in the stimulus bill was created in 1972 under the leadership of Republican president Richard Nixon.

What’s being proposed is an expansion in the number of states that can use Medicaid money, with a federal match, to help low-income women prevent unwanted pregnancies. Of the 26 states that already have Medicaid waivers for family planning, eight are led by Republican governors (AL, FL, MS, SC, CA, LA, MN and RI — a ninth, MO, had a GOP governor until this past November). If this policy is truly a taxpayer gift to “the abortion industry,” as John Boehner and House Republicans claim, where are the GOP governors promising to end the program in their states?

Additionally, the process of obtaining a waiver for Medicaid family-planning coverage is extremely cumbersome. A letter written by Wisconsin health regulators in 2007 noted that some states have had to wait for as long as two years before their request was approved. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that eliminating the waiver requirement would save states $400 million over 10 years.

The “liberal” media repeating Republican talking points …. no one could have anticipated that.

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Filed under birth control, economic stimulus, GOP, Speaker Pelosi

>Coming To A Pharmacy Near You

>Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Just as I predicted back in October, there’s a move by three area Christian colleges to churn out hundreds of “Christian worldview” pharmacists.

Just as Regent University was founded to churn out God’s legal team, we’ve got Union, Lipscomb and Belmont ready to pop out morning after pill-opposing, Gardasil-hating, birth-control-is-the-same-as-abortion-believing pharmacists. The fundamentalist Christian worldview is not one shared by the majority of Americans, but by hook or by crook they will impose their belief system on you. Whether you agree with it or not.

Don’t for a moment think this won’t be very, very bad for women’s health. In a state like Tennessee, which is predominantly rural, there simply is not the plethora of pharmacy choices that one finds in urban areas. Come to think of it, with increasing corporatization, urban areas are losing out in that respect, too. Competition used to be a hallmark of the free market economy, but not anymore. Everything is Wal-mart and Walgreen’s these days.

Don’t even start that “free hand of the market” crap with me. That’s a fantasy that Ayn Rand sold on a bunch of idealists too naive to realize they were being pressed into the service of Acme Holdings, Inc. In the global economy, there is no free hand of the market, there’s a jackboot ready to kick citizens into submission. When one corporation has grown into the world’s largest retailer and America’s largest private employer, the notion of any “free hand of the market” is an adolescent fantasy.

And don’t for a moment underestimate what this means for us politically.

Because sure as the GOP used anti-choice and anti-gay-marriage state amendments to flog their base to the polls every four years, we’re going to start seeing “conscience clause” legislation work its way through the state legislatures. You can count on it. I used to wonder what this crowd would do once they’d played out flag-waving, abortion, and gay-bashing. But the truth is, they’ll never run out of issues. There’s always going to be one more issue that appeals to the lizard brain of the American mind.

Just in time for mid-terms in 2010. Why is that important? Because 2010 is a census year, which determines each state’s Congressional seats:

Federal law requires the Clerk of the House to notify each state government of its entitled number of seats no later than January 25 of the year immediately following the census. After seats have been reapportioned, each state determines the boundaries of Congressional districts—geographical areas within the state of approximately equal population—in a process called redistricting.

Yes, elections do have consequences–even in off-years.

There is no “Christian worldview” of the law, and there is no “Christian worldview” of the pharmacy. The only “worldview” is in the hands of the consumer. If you think birth control equals murder, then don’t use it. If you don’t think you can in good conscience dispense birth control, or morning after pills, or anything else, then find another line of work. There’s no “opt-out” option here. There aren’t too many vegans working at the butcher shop at Kroger, are there? See any Scientologists working as psychotherapists? How about Mormons working at beer distributorships?

To the fundamentalist Christians I say: you cannot force your beliefs on other people. To the Republican Party I say: You cannot keep manipulating your way into a Republican majority. These issues are deeply interconnected to me. And to both groups I say: this will backfire on you, miserably.

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Filed under 2010 census, Christian pharmacy, GOP, rants

>Mission Accomplished!

> I never thought I’d see the day ….

Meanwhile, look what your Republican Senators have done:

Republicans Block Extra Taxes On Oil Companies

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies, despite pleas by Democratic leaders to use the measure to address America’s anger over $4 a gallon gasoline.

[…]

Separately, Democrats also failed to get Republican support for a proposal to extend tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. The tax breaks have either expired or are scheduled to end this year.

[…]

The windfall profits bill would have imposed a 25 percent tax on profits over what would be determined “reasonable” when compared to profits several years ago. The oil companies could have avoided the tax if they invested the money in alternative energy projects or refinery expansion. It also would have rescinded oil company tax breaks — worth $17 billion over the next 10 years — with the revenue to be used for tax incentives to producers of wind, solar and other alternative energy sources as well as for energy conservation.

The legislation also would:

_Require traders to put up more collateral in the energy futures markets and open the way for federal regulation of traders who are based in the United States but use foreign trading platforms. The measures are designed to reduce market speculation.

_Make oil and gas price gouging a federal crime, with stiff penalties of up to $5 million during a presidentially declared energy emergency.

_Authorize the Justice Department to bring charges of price fixing against countries that belong to the OPEC oil cartel.

Way to go, GOP! Thanks for being so responsive to Americans in need. The wingnut welfare gravy train chugs on!

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Filed under alternative energy, gas prices, GOP

Bye, Bye Fred?

Fighting for a distant third in the must-win South Carolina primary must be a disappointment for Fred Thompson, and McClatchey observed the former Senator sounds close to dropping out–though for the record, the campaign says it’s still moving forward:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson didn’t drop out of the Republican presidential field after his disappointing finish in Saturday’s South Carolina primary — but he sounded close to it.

About an hour after the polls closed, Thompson addressed a ballroom in a college student union, an event that featured as many students enjoying free beer as it did hardcore Thompson supporters. He delivered a lengthy soliloquy, speaking in the past tense about “clear conservatism,” the cornerstone of his campaign.

A surefire way to draw a crowd to your event is to stage it in a student union and offer free beer (and excuse me, but what university in South Carolina doesn’t have a no-alcohol rule?). Reminds me of the college rock band that named itself “Free Beer” to draw bigger crowds.

Anyway, despite what the campaign says, the folks at RedState have stuck a fork in Fred:

Though South Carolina may not even be the official final nail in the coffin of your candidacy, for those who took the realistic view — unencumbered by their support of your bid for office — the proverbial handwriting had long since been on the wall. After the third-place Iowa finish, there still may have been hope, even though your assured place among the frontrunners had been taken by another out-of-nowhere candidate, Mike Huckabee. However, after the abysmal performances in New Hampshire and Wyoming — not to mention Michigan and, today, Nevada — it became abundantly clear that any talk of Fred Thompson, Republican Nominee for President was, at best, a non-starter.

So, as the results come back in South Carolina, with exit polls showing it a McCain-Huckabee race with Thompson a nonfactor, it seems to be as good a time as any to thank you profusely for your time and for your ideas, to wish you luck in all of your future endeavors, and to turn out the lights once and for all on the Fred Thompson for President experiment.

Sorry, Tennessee Republicans. I know this is a huge disappointment to you. The folks at RedState blame the candidate himself:

Unfortunately, the campaign itself never came together. Despite the fact that it was built around the people’s chosen White Knight candidate, and around the most solid slate of conservative ideas in the race, the Fred Thompson for President campaign suffered from being one of the most lackluster, disorganized, and uninspired electoral efforts that I can remember. For whatever reason, you as the candidate never quite took the ownership of your own campaign that was necessary to make it successful — and, as a result, it foundered before ever really getting out of the harbor.

Indeed, this was the huge flaw in the Fred Thompson candidacy that gave liberals so much comedy gold from the beginning. Folks, when picking future GOP stars, make sure the candidate likes politics. Everyone knows Fred Thompson hates politics and hates campaigning–he’s made no secret of that since he was a Senator–and yet, for some reason felt he should be anointed POTUS anyway. You have to work for these things, Senator. No one hands you the reins of power on a silver platter.

Just as you can’t expect someone who doesn’t believe in government to govern well, you can’t expect someone who doesn’t like politics to run an effective campaign.

Anyway, I’m sure a lot of Tennessee conservatives are in mourning today, possibly even deep denial. As I posted last week, it’s hard out there for a Fred Thompson supporter.

Sorry, folks. It’s over. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

(For more on this, read Newscoma’s excellent post.)

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Filed under 2008 presidential election, Fred Thompson, GOP

>GOP Priorities

>GOP House Reps show where their priorities lie: in scoring political points and playing political games, not making Americans’ lives better:

Democrats are struggling even to pass a middle-class tax cut under the banner of fiscal responsibility. A House plan to shield 21 million mainly Democratic households from the alternative minimum tax, and offset the lost revenue with higher taxes on Wall Street, appears to be unraveling. If it does, so does the vaunted “pay as you go” rule that Pelosi pledged would re-establish fiscal responsibility in Washington after years of rampant Republican borrowing.

Bewildered Democrats have concluded that Republicans simply want them to fail.

[…]

Even Republican moderates are furious. “I think it’s disgraceful,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, as she left the Senate after the last vote before the Thanksgiving recess. “Unfortunately, there are not enough people building bridges. There are too many people destroying them.”

[To clarify, those “21 million mainly Democratic households” are middle class taxpayers who live in high-tax states like New York and California.]

It’s always just about the politics with the Bush crowd, isn’t it? Well, what do you expect from a group whose sole ideology is that government doesn’t work? They’re right: their kind of government doesn’t work. We certainly learned that with Hurricane Katrina. And is anyone really surprised that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s Gulf Coast recovery plan has favored big-business casino interests over that of the people who lost their homes? It’s the GOP way to put profits over people.

I still fail to understand why anyone would put our domestic policy in the hands of a group of people who don’t believe in government’s ability to work. That’s like going to a doctor who doesn’t believe in medicine.

Now it’s time we stopped trusting these clowns wituh our foreign policy, too. From the above-referenced budget story is this:

The White House seems happy to make the argument that the war should be fully funded, while domestic programs should be contained. The war, now in its fifth year, has killed more than 3,870 American military personnel and wounded more than 28,000, and is estimated to have cost taxpayers more than $800 billion if the current request is approved.

[….]

James Horney, director of fiscal policy for the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said, “My impression is that the White House decided quite awhile ago that it was in the president’s political interest to have a confrontation with Congress over budget issues.

“He’s not really trying to take stances on the budget that necessarily appeal to the majority of the American public, but stances that will play well with people currently supporting him, and stances that allow him to still be relevant,” Horney said.

That sounds about right. Who was it that said President Bush’s job is to serve those that voted for him? Oh yeah, that guy.

This is all such a shame. Because we’re talking about a war that every day takes more American soldiers’ lives. We’re talking about people without healthcare and senior citizens still living in FEMA trailers. This isn’t about President Bush or Karl Rove or political games. It’s about America — or, it should be. Too bad the Republican Party has forgotten that.

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Filed under Democratic Party, GOP, Republican Party