Posts Tagged ‘GOP

29
Aug
10

It’s Been a Long Time a Com’in

Orange County, California has been a Republican hide out for so many years; usually the Democrats don’t even travel to the county seeking voters.  Boy this this good news!

Orange County has been a national symbol of conservatism for more than 50 years: birthplace of President Richard M. Nixon and home to John Wayne, a bastion for the John Birch Society, a land of orange groves and affluence, the region of California where Republican presidential candidates could always count on a friendly audience.

But this iconic county of 3.1 million people passed something of a milestone in June. The percentage of registered Republican voters dropped to 43 percent, the lowest level in 70 years.

Orange County Is No Longer Nixon Country

Source NYT (http://goo.gl/UvEv)

16
May
09

Looking Ahead to 2010 and the Senate

vote

I dislike copying an entire page and presenting it in a blog, but there’s no other way to really to get an excellently written assessment of what’s in store for voters in the up and coming 2010 congressional seats.

This page is presented by Council for a Livable World at their link here:

An Early Look at the 2010 Senate Elections

18 Democratic seats up for election

Evan Bayh (IN)
Michael Bennet (CO)
Barbara Boxer (CA)
Roland Burris (IL)
Christopher Dodd (CT)
Byron Dorgan (ND)
Russell Feingold (WI)
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Daniel Inouye (HI)
Ted Kaufman (DE) (retiring)
Patrick Leahy (VT)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Patty Murray (WA)
Harry Reid (NV)
Charles Schumer (NY)
Arlen Specter (PA)
Ron Wyden (OR)

18 Republican seats up for election

Robert Bennett (UT)
Christopher Bond (MO) (retiring)
Sam Brownback (KS) (retiring)
Jim Bunning (KY)
Richard Burr (NC)
Tom Coburn (OK)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Jim DeMint (SC)
Chuck Grassley (IA)
Judd Gregg (NH) (retiring)
Johnny Isakson (GA)
Mel Martinez (FL) (retiring)
John McCain (AZ)
Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Richard Shelby (AL)
John Thune (SD)
David Vitter (LA)
George Voinovich (OH) (retiring)

The landscape

1. Number of seats up in 2010: After the unexpected Specter party switch, Democrats and Republicans now both have to defend 18 seats, but the Pennsylvania contest now swings toward the Democrats.

2. Retirements: At this point, five GOP Senators have announced their retirement at the end of this term, compared to only one Democrat. Open seats are frequently highly competitive.

3. Newly-appointed Senators: There are four Democratic seats previously held by Obama, Biden, Clinton and Salazar. Their appointed successors will be much more vulnerable in two years.

4. Candidate recruitment: Both parties are searching for strong candidates to run as challengers or for open seats, but have suffered some disappointments as favored candidates declined to enter the races.

5. External factors: The decisive factor may be the popularity of President Barack Obama in November 2010 and his success in solving U.S. domestic and foreign problems, especially the recession. Many mid-term elections become referenda on the incumbent President’s party.

The early battleground states

California: The nation’s largest state becomes a battleground only if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) decides to challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) . She will face spirited competition even if he does not run, perhaps from ex-Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R), but should prevail.

Colorado: Political newcomer Michael Bennet (D) was appointed to replace Sen. Ken Salazar (D), who resigned to become the new Secretary of Interior. Well-regarded for his performance as superintendent of Denver public schools, Bennet is little known to voters across the state. Republicans are sure to mount a stiff challenge. Polls point to a close contest in the general election. Bennet raised $1.4 million in the first three months of 2009.

Connecticut: The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Chris Dodd (D) is in trouble. His sagging poll numbers are due to the banking crisis (he is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) and to what the media describes as sweetheart real estate deals. While the state is strongly Democratic, polls show that Dodd will face a strong challenge from former Rep. Rob Simmons (R) or former state senator Sam Caligirui (R).

Delaware: Sen. Ted Kaufman (D) is Sen. Joseph Biden’s former chief of staff. He has announced that he will hold the seat for only two years, keeping it warm for Attorney General Beau Biden (D), one of Biden’s sons who is expected to announce his candidacy after he returns from his military deployment in Iraq. Republicans are hoping to nominate popular U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, a veteran legislator. A March 2009 poll showed Castle leading Beau Biden.

Florida: This Senate contest for the seat of retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R). took a dramatic turn when popular Governor Charles Crist (R) entered the contest in May. He will be challenged from the right by former Florida state Speaker Marco Rubio (R) and on the left by U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D). While Crist has his detractors, he is likely to win the seat easily.

Illinois : Former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s (D) appointment of Sen. Roland Burris (D) embarrassed state and national Democrats. It is not clear whether 71-year old Burris will run in 2010. State treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) is running and has raised over $1.1 million. The GOP is recruiting suburban Chicago U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R).

Kansas: Sen. Sam Brownback (R) , currently serving his second term in the U.S. Senate, has kept his promise to retire after two terms. Two GOP House members, Reps. Todd Tiahrt and Jerry Moran have indicated they will run in the primary. Now that Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) has entered the Obama cabinet, the Republican primary winner is almost surely the general election winner. Democrats have not won a Kansas Senate seat since 1932.

Kentucky: Two-term incumbent Sen. Jim Bunning (R) won by only 23,000 votes in 2004, a strong Republican year, and is considered highly vulnerable. Indeed, some Republicans are urging Bunning to retire rather than risk defeat. He has responded by attacking Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R), also of Kentucky. Bunning had only $376,000 in the bank at the end of March. Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D), who ran in 2004, has declared he will run, as has state Attorney General Jack Conway (D) .

Louisiana: Democrats have been targeting Sen. David Vitter (R) (Mr. Family Values) since his name was found in the D.C. Madam’s list of prostitutes’ customers. Vitter may receive a primary challenge and will certainly face a strong opponent in the general election.

Missouri: Sen. Kit Bond (R) survived a series of credible Democratic challengers over the years. Now he has announced his retirement. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D), the daughter of a recent governor and senator and sister of a congressman, is the early Democratic frontrunner. Early polls show her with a narrow lead over potential Republican opponents, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt and ex-state treasurer Sarah Steelman. This is a toss-up race.

Nevada: In 2004, Republicans upset Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle and hope to repeat that victory by defeating Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (D) in 2010. Potential serious challengers are former U.S. Representative Jon Porter (R) and Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki (R). The GOP will almost surely mount a serious challenge to Reid. While Reid triumphed handily in 2004, he won by only 428 votes six years earlier. At the end of March, Reid had $5 million in the bank. The National Republican Senatorial Committee began running attack ads against Reid in January 2009. Reid may be vulnerable for re-election depending on the state of the national economy.

New Hampshire: This state has been voting increasingly Democratic as evidenced by the defeat of both Republican House members in 2006 and Sen. John Sununu in 2008. Democrats are optimistic about winning another Senate seat in 2010, particularly now that Senator Judd Gregg (R) has announced his retirement. Rep. Paul Hodes (D) has declared his candidacy. The other U.S. Representative from New Hampshire, Carol Shea-Porter (D), will not run.

New York: Gov. David Paterson’s selection of little-known U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) from upstate New York to replace former Senator and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could lead to stiff primary opposition. U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D), who objects to Gillibrand’s pro-gun position, may contest the party nomination. Republican U.S. Rep. Peter King may run. Gillibrand is an effective fundraiser and a formidable campaigner, but not well known across the Empire state. The state’s Democratic leanings make her the early favorite, and she raised $2.4 million in the first quarter of 2009.

North Carolina: North Carolina was carried by Barack Obama in 2008 and elected Sen. Kay Hagan (D) over incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R). Democrats have turned their sights on Sen. Richard Burr (R) . State Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) is considering a challenge. Polling shows Burr only slightly ahead of potential challengers.

North Dakota: Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) will breeze to easy re-election unless Gov. John Hoeven (R) gets into the contest.

Ohio: Ex-U.S. Rep. and ex-Office of Management and Budget director Rob Portman (R) declared his candidacy immediately after the announced retirement of Sen. George Voinovich (R). He may run opposed for the GOP nomination. Democrats face a primary between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and state Rep. Tyrone Yates. Both the primary and general election are wide open. Portman has over $3 million in his campaign treasury, well ahead of either Democratic candidate.

Pennsylvania: Incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter’s (R turned D) surprising party switch in April 2009 has totally shaken up this contest. Threatened with defeat at the hands of former Conservative Club for Growth president Pat Toomey (R), who almost defeated Specter in a 2004 primary, Specter has decided to run as a Democrat. The result is that Toomey is likely the GOP nominee and Specter the Democratic candidate, although the newly minted Democrat may still face primary opposition. However, Specter has $6.7 million campaign treasury.

Additional Reference Sources and Newswire Updates:

The Torturous 13

Making a List and Checking it Twice

Related Newswire Articles on 2010 Elections

12
May
09

Supreme Court Candidates for Justice David Souter

lady justice

icon_digg The following listed candidates are possibilities for retiring Justice David Souter replacement on our Supreme Court.  This list was complied last November by Salon.com and the New York Times. Salon’s panel consisted of the following:

  • Thomas Goldstein, head of the Supreme Court practice for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • David Yalof, associate professor of political science at the University of Connecticut Quantcast
  • Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago law professor and Obama advisor
  • Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School professor and Obama advisor
  • Lucas A. Powe Jr., Supreme Court historian at the University of Texas School of Law
  • Robert A. Levy, chair of the Cato Institute

As for my recommendations of who should to become our next Supreme Court Justice, I’ll have to punt and save that for an additional posting, once all the “chatter” on the net has subsided. However, I do believe President Obama’s choice will either come from the First or Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (map pdf).

The Candidates:

Sonia Sotomayor:

Sonia SotomayorAfter growing up in a Bronx housing project, Sotomayor has risen to become a judge on one of the most powerful courts in the land: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. As a Hispanic woman, Sotomayor would make an attractive candidate if Obama is looking to diversify the court. There has never been a Hispanic on the Supreme Court, and there is only one woman currently on the bench, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sotomayor might also have bipartisan appeal. She is politically moderate, and President George H.W. Bush appointed her to her first judgeship.

Additional information regarding Judge Sotomayor from the NY Times:

Sonia Sotomayor has been a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1998. Before joining the appeals court, she served as a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of New York.

She has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Justice David H. Souter, who plans to retire from the Supreme Court in June.

In what may be her best-known ruling, Judge Sotomayor issued an injunction against major league baseball owners in April 1995, effectively ending a baseball strike of nearly eight months, the longest work stoppage in professional sports history, which had led to the cancellation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

On the district court bench, Judge Sotomayor earned a reputation as a sharp, outspoken and fearless jurist, someone who does not let powerful interests bully, rush or cow her into a decision. “She does not have much patience for people trying to snow her,” said one lawyer in 1995, who had cases pending before the judge and asked not to be identified. “You can’t do it.”

While still in her 30s, Judge Sotomayor became the youngest judge in the Southern District of New York. She was the first American of Puerto Rican descent to be appointed to the Federal bench in New York City.

Born in the Bronx on June 23, 1954, she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8. Her father, a factory worker, died a year later. Her mother, a nurse at a methadone clinic, raised her daughter and a younger son on a modest salary.

Judge Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude in 1976 and became an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She spent five years as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office before entering private practice.

But she longed to return to public service, she said, inspired by a “Perry Mason” episode she saw as a girl. In 1992, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recommended the politically centrist lawyer to President George H. W. Bush, making good on a longstanding promise to appoint a Hispanic judge in New York.

Since then, Judge Sotomayor has demonstrated a willingness to take the government to task whenever she believes the circumstances warrant it. She has taken strong anti-government positions in several decisions, including cases involving the White House, the religious rights of prisoners and even the Hell’s Angels. During her first year on the appeals bench, she received high ratings from liberal public-interest groups.

Deval PatrickDeval Patrick:

As the first African-American governor of Massachusetts and a friend of Barack Obama’s, Patrick is often mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Patrick would bring something that is in short supply on the court: executive experience. But he would also bring a major risk: He has never served in the judiciary. Despite that gap in his résumé, he has some background in the law. Before he was governor, Patrick was a lawyer and President Clinton appointed him the assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1994 — the nation’s highest civil rights position. Patrick is solidly liberal and supports a number of positions, such as same-sex marriage, that could make him a target for Republicans during the confirmation process.

Elena Kagan:

Elena KaganFew names have been floated as often as a potential Obama nominee as Kagan, the dean of the Harvard Law School — Obama’s alma mater. Like Obama, she also taught at the University of Chicago. Kagan served in Clinton’s White House as an associate counsel and domestic policy advisor. Clinton nominated her for a position on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but Republicans stalled her approval. Kagan clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Additional information regarding Judge Kagan from the NY Times:

Elena Kagan is the first woman to hold the position of solicitor general, and is considered a leading candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David A. Souter, who has told associates that he intends to resign.

The solicitor general, who is the only federal official required by statute to be “learned in the law” and is sometimes referred to informally as “the 10th justice,” supervises appellate litigation involving the federal government and presents the government’s views to the Supreme Court.

Before becoming solicitor general, Ms. Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School. She brought with her a powerful and varied résumé and has produced a substantial paper trail. But she has provided few clues about where she stands on the great legal issues of the day, notably the Bush administration’s broad assertions of unilateral executive power in areas like detention, surveillance, interrogation and rendition. She did offer a glimpse of her views in a 2001 article in The Harvard Law Review that considered the “unitary executive” theory.

The phrase is sometimes used as shorthand for the Bush administration’s assertion that it has broad powers that cannot be limited by Congress or the courts. In her article, Ms. Kagan addressed an earlier and narrower meaning of the phrase, one made popular during the Reagan administration, concerning the scope of the president’s power to control the executive branch itself.

She found that such presidential control “expanded dramatically during the Clinton presidency,” a development she largely welcomed. But she said Congress, experts and interest groups should also play a role in informing the executive branch’s actions.

“I do not espouse the unitarian position,” Ms. Kagan wrote. “President Clinton’s assertion of directive authority over administration, more than President Reagan’s assertion of a general supervisory authority, raises serious constitutional questions.”

Ms. Kagan, whose scholarly interests include administrative law and the First Amendment, is widely credited with bringing harmony and star faculty members to the notoriously dysfunctional Harvard Law School.

She served as a lawyer and policy adviser under President Bill Clinton, who nominated her to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That nomination stalled in the Senate.

Before her nomination, Ms. Kagan had never argued a case before the Supreme Court. Early in her career, Ms. Kagan served as clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, who ascended to the court after serving as solicitor general. Justice Marshall called her, Ms. Kagan once wrote, “to my face and I imagine also behind my back, ‘Shorty.

Continue reading ‘Supreme Court Candidates for Justice David Souter’

08
May
09

What Makes Guantanamo Bay Special

guantanmo

icon_digg For the most part there’s very little agreement that I have with the Bush Administration; especially there authored and enacted policies regarding offshore retention prisons and numerous violations in respect to torture in regards to the Geneva Convention.

However, I do subscribe to the fact there are organizations and individuals with the devoted intent to destroy our beloved country at any means possible.

Furthermore, these aforementioned leaders of these organizations and their members must be found, brought to justice in a court of law and sentenced accordingly.

As for the trial proceedings, I’ll trust and place my faith in President Obama and Attorney General, Eric Holder’s decision(s) to choose the correct course of action, which at the time of this posting is being decided.

For the incarceration phase of punishment, it must be within the continental United States!  Meaning, in my own personal opinion “Guantanamo Bay, Camp Delta” must be closed.

I cannot comprehend that we do not have a facility secure enough to house these convicted terrorists.  Within our penal system, in the US, we confine the likes of serial killers, psychopaths, treasoners, drug lords and mafia bosses without one of these criminals ever escaping and endangering the public.

So to me, Guantanamo is just a blight on our country’s reputation of justice and fairness.

There are others who feel the same as I; and yet others within the GOP especially who are using their same old scare tactics that has got us into our current mess with the international community.  An article posted on the Huffington Post, entitled: “On Guantanamo, The GOP Attacks Hard Working Americans” and authored by Adam Blickstein has the following to say (excerpt):

After failing for 8 years to actually keep the world safe from terrorism, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and especially Dick Cheney, are embarking on a renewed push to rehabilitate their failed reputations and political prospects.

In going on the offensive on Guantanamo and torture, though, they not only expose themselves to the American people who see through these transparent attacks, but also to the reality that America has successfully held dangerous terrorists within our own criminal justice system for decades now, some of whom executed attacks on American soil.

They are: Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, who was incarcerated for a time in the nation’s largest city, New York, and now resides in it’s most secure prison, the Supermax facility in Florence, CO where according to a former warden he has never left his cell; also at Supermax, Zacharias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring to kill Americans for his role in the 9/11 attacks; the 6 perpetrators of the East African embassy bombings are also there, as is the shoe bomber Richard Reid.

All these dangerous men have been kept in secure facilities for years now with none of these terrorists being released into our “backyards” as the GOP would like us to think. So how would the transfer of Guantanamo detainees be any different?

Within an additional article, again on the Huffington Post website, and article entitled: “GOP Promotes ‘Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act’ To Prevent Gitmo Closure”, authored by Jason Linkins, which basically states the same as my beliefs and those of Adam Blickstein. Here is an excerpt from Jason’s posting:

The new and exciting idea from your House GOP is a bill called the Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act, which is SUBLIME. At long last, someone had the guts to stand up and express the visionary idea that terrorists should be kept out of America. This will finally keep terrorists out of America, unless they somehow start dealing in subterfuge, or something.

Actually, the bill is merely a backhanded attempt to prevent the closure of Guantanamo Bay, by turning the matter into an internecine war between state governments over who shall house the prisoners presently in detention at the GITMO facility. Greg Sargent summarizes thusly:

The bill attempts to place restrictions on transfers of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, and has two primary features:

It prohibits the Obama administration from transferring any Guandetainee to any state without approval from that state’s legislature and governor

Before transferring any detainee to any state, it requires the administration to notify Congress of the name of the detainee, and to stipulate to Congress that the release would not hamper continued prosecution of the detainee and wouldn’t negatively impact the state’s population.

During World War II we had the “Japanese Inurnment Camps”, which after forty years we apologized to those loyal Japanese-Americans who suffered are mistakes in political policy.

I’m not comparing the individuals in the Inurnment Camps to those individuals housed at Guantanamo Bay, instead I am comparing the concept of “specialized confinement centers” during war and holding people in legal limbo outside of our justice system in camps and under conditions, which prevents the American public, news media and international organizations access to it’s inhabits.

Complementing my posting, for reference, are the following pdf documents and YouTube Video:

JTF-GTMO Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Camp Delta

International Committee of the Red Cross (Guantanamo Bay Report)

The Complete List of Congressional Leaders Briefed on Torture (pdf)

Related Newswire Articles regarding Guantanamo Bay

GOP’s Anti-Guantanamo Scare Campaign Parodied

14
Apr
09

The Democratic Party is Finally Back

2009-04-13-alanaprilchart2

icon_digg7 In a Huffington Post article by Thomas B. Edsall, entitled “Permanent Democratic Majority: New Study Says Yes”, Mr. Edsall points out two areas of growth in the Democratic Party:

  • The increasing numbers of black and Hispanic voters
  • A decisive shift away from the Republican Party by the suburban and well-educated constituencies that once formed the backbone of the GOP

As quoted from the article:

In a March, 2009 51-page paper [PDF] “New Progressive America: Twenty Years of Demographic, Geographic, and Attitudinal Changes Across the Country Herald a New Progressive Majority,” Ruy Teixeira makes a strong case that “progressive arguments are in the ascendancy,” that demographic and geographic “trends should take America down a very different road than has been traveled in the last eight years. A new progressive America is on the rise.”

To further buttress his case, Teixeira has put together “a very cool interactive map that includes 7 levels of exit poll demographics and county-level vote shifts going back to 1988.”

The only slightly negative point in the report was stated: “The only circumstances that could bring back the Republicans is Obama’s failure to stem the recession.”

“Obama does have to succeed, and so far, he’s pretty much on the right track, and the Republicans are definitely not. That suggests to me that he and the Democrats will be able to solidify their majority in 2010 and 2012,” Judis said. “But again, I don’t fully understand what is going on in the world, and events could defy demography.”

Again a quote from the report:

Perhaps the strongest evidence in support of the Teixeira-Judis-Abramowitz thesis is, however, the current inability of the Republican Party to respond to market pressures. Defeat has, ironically, diminished the GOP’s capacity to respond to loss. As the elected leadership gets smaller, the strength of the most dogmatically rigid and least elastic faction has grown. On issues running the gamut from immigration to the economy, this dominant faction has yet to demonstrate “a wonderful corrective” in reaction to losing. Instead, they have retreated further inside an ideological shell that began to show cracks — Bush I in ’92, Dole in ’96, and Bush v. Gore — well over a decade ago.

The full report is available here progressive_america (pdf).

Update 15 Apr 09:

The Floundering Republicans Look for a Turnaround
from TIME.com: Top Stories

Essentially leaderless, lacking a cohesive message and fighting among themselves, Republicans appear to be in disarray, which begs the question — can things only get better from here?

Americans Most Confident in Obama on Economy
Gallup Pools

Americans are not overwhelmingly positive about either the Democratic or the Republican leaders in Congress. Still, the Democrats fare better on a comparative basis. Fifty-one percent of Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the Democratic leaders, compared to 38% in the Republican leaders.

02
Apr
09

The GOP Plan to Recovery

magical_unicorn

icon_digg1 Lets see how long as it been since last September when Americans first learned of our worst economic crisis in almost eighty years?

It’s intuitively obviously to the most casual observer – not long enough for the GOP boys and girls to come up with a fail-safe plan to rescue us from the Democrats Economic Stimulus Package that’s creating a variety of green jobs, improving just about all facets of our digital and concrete infrastructure, resurrect the doomed “middle class”, render lower income tax payers a break in taxes and restore confidence in our country’s future as a world leader.

Now lets consider the benefits of the GOP’s concept of an economic stimulus package (as presented on the first of April (April Fools Day)):

  • Freeze discretionary spending for five years
  • Regressive tax cut for the super rich

That’s about it, no more, but the ramifications are great!  Please carefully read an article publishing on Huffington Post, authored by Bob Cesca and entitled “Insane Republicans Reveal An Insane Budget Plan

It only makes sense that a party currently being wagged by fringe crazy people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michele Bachmann would release its alternative budget on April Fools’ Day.

Not only does the Republican plan freeze discretionary spending for five years in the midst of a recession which, by most accounts and proved by history, will countermand any sort of economic recovery, but it also cuts taxes by 10 percent for the same Wall Street executives whose actions largely got us into this economic mess in the first place. In other words: Congratulations, Republicans, you just released a budget that rewards wealthy corporate executives while blocking any attempt to dig us out of the economic catastrophe they created.

Smart!

The only bit of Republican legislation that’d be more ridiculous would be if Michele Bachmann were to introduce a constitutional amendment thwarting a fake plot to eliminate the dollar as the form of currency in the United States.

Oh wait. She’s already done that. And 30 Republican congressmembers so far have co-sponsored the amendment. 30 Republicans have irrevocably tethered their wagons to the Bachmann crazy train. Excellent. Next on the agenda: a bill creating the Office of Robot Insurance, protecting us from robot attackers who use old people’s medicine for fuel. Speaking of which, the Republican plan also phases out Medicare.

The marquee item, however, in the Republican plan is their inexplicably regressive tax cut for the super rich. Wealthy Americans in the top three tax brackets would see their tax burden cut to a flat 25 percent from previous rates of 35, 33 and 28. According to the Center for American Progress, CEOs from any of the top 800 corporations would receive a tax break of around $1.5 million a year. Meanwhile, if you earn $15,000 a year, your tax break will be around $0 a year.

But get this. Under the Republican plan, Americans are given the option of paying the old tax rates instead of the new, expensive and regressive Republican rates. So, for example, if your household income is $100,000, you could pay the same tax rate as someone earning $15,000. Or you could be a swell egg and go back to your old rate. Aside from the utter lack of fairness in the notion of a $100,000 household paying the same rate as a $15,000 household, who in their right mind would voluntarily pay higher taxes?

Now you might be asking, given that the Republicans are all about fiscal responsibility, how much does this Republican tax cut for the wealthiest three brackets actually cost? Some estimates, according to Steve Benen, project upwards of a $4 trillion price tag. At the very least, according to their own projections, the Republican plan would run up a $500 billion annual budget deficit through at least 2080. Again, the Republican grasp of fiscal responsibility is about as firm as their grasp of reality and sanity. The subtext here being: The trillion dollar Bush tax cuts weren’t irresponsible enough. Let’s go crazy! WOOO!

And by the way, those are annual deficits that factor into the mix a completely insane five year freeze on discretionary spending — a freeze that would surely plunge the American economy into a deep depression. To that point, the Republican plan doesn’t account for such an economic catastrophe, and therefore doesn’t factor such an inevitable consequence into their revenue and deficit projects.

All told, imagine if you will the Monopoly man running up and shoving you into a deep precipice. The Republican plan not only gives that Monopoly man a $1.5 million check for his trouble, but it also cuts the rope you were using to climb out of the hole — provided you actually survived the fall in the first place.

Speaking of holes, did you see the graph Paul Ryan clearly yanked out of his?

2009-04-01-gop_budgets_graph1

Check out that steep blue line illustrating the alleged Democratic budget deficits extending to upwards of 50 percent of GDP by 2060. Put another way, suggesting a deficit that’s 50 percent of GDP is like presupposing a living human being that’s 50 percent marshmallow man. It’s insane. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections only extend out to 2019. Yet the Republican chart somehow extends out to 2080. The steep upwards slope of the Democratic budget begins at around 2030 — 11 years after the furthest CBO projections stop.

What does this mean? For starters the claim on the chart: “Out-years based on CBO’s Long-Term Alternative Fiscal Scenario” is a lie. And the text: “Source: House Budget Committee Republican Staff” might as well say: “Source: Paul Ryan’s Ass.” In other words, that steep upwards slope is entirely made up.

The graph might as well look like this:

2009-04-01-gop_budgets_graph2_bobcesca

Yes, the Democratic budgets will be so out of control they’ll eventually make little curly-cues and travel backwards in time — adding to past deficits — while also looping around the word “government” — you know, because the Democrats love government.

At this point, the laughable street vendor pamphlet that John Boehner rolled out was probably less ridiculous than this actual budget plan and its accompanying Wall Street Journal graph. But it stands to reason that given their track record the Republicans would churn out a budget proposal that’s fully in line with their backwards, zero cred reputation.

I’ve always said I’m not an economist, but when it’s presented this simply, as Mr. Cesca as accomplished to do; only a fool would understand this is more of a curse than it really is a plan.

15
Mar
09

The GOP doesn’t Give-up Turf Easily

icon_digg12

Not to my knowledge dose any of our elected officials have me on their private contact list, nor have I requested such a privilege be extended to me; however, I do follow our country’s online political news very carefully and I don’t recall either President Obama or our Attorney General, Eric Holder mentioning candidates for Federal Judgeship.  I could be wrong?

So, this bring to my mind; why would the Republican members in our Senate ever bring up the issue of rejecting our President’s selections for Federal Judges, “other” than those chosen by the Bush Administration.  What a bunch of spoilt children!

I think these boys and girls should devote more of their concentration on solving the ever increasing and pressing problem of the economy than concerns that may happen on the horizon.

My foundation for this argument and posting comes from an article posted on Politico stating the following:

Federal Judges

Federal Judges

Republicans warn Obama on judges
By MANU RAJU | 3/2/09 6:56 PM EST

President Barack Obama should fill vacant spots on the federal bench with former President Bush’s judicial nominees to help avoid another huge fight over the judiciary, all 41 Senate Republicans said Monday.

In a letter to the White House, the Republican senators said Obama would “change the tone in Washington” if he were to renominate Bush nominees like Peter Keisler, Glen Conrad and Paul Diamond. And they requested that Obama respect the Senate’s constitutional role in reviewing judicial nominees by seeking their consultation about potential nominees from their respective states.

“Regretfully, if we are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our states, the Republican Conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee,” the letter warns. “And we will act to preserve this principle and the rights of our colleagues if it is not.”

In other words, Republicans are threatening a filibuster of judges if they’re not happy.

The letter is an opening salvo in what could be a partisan battle in the Obama years. Democrats regularly complained that Bush nominated conservative judges without consulting them, then the Republican-controlled Senate ran roughshod over them even if the nominees lacked support from homestate senators. Obama’s lawyer Gregory Craig has begun his outreach with senators about potential nominees, and several Republicans have warned Obama that the quickest way to squander bipartisan goodwill is to nominate far-left judges.

To complement the aforementioned posting the following YouTube video, which brings back many a memories regarding how bitter bipartisan fighting can become when Senators were in disagreement over the confirmation of Judge Leslie Southwick.

Judge Leslie Southwick




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