Showing posts with label Republicans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republicans. Show all posts

Sep 21, 2012

In Washington Paul Ryan Is Considered a Serious Thinker

The Philosophy Prince: How Paul Ryan
convinced Washington of his genius

- by Alec MacGillis
"Let me not be alone in the back of the crowd," wrote Richard W. Rahn, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's chief economist, on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, "as I tip my hat to my longtime colleagues on the economic barricades: Thank you, Mr. Gilder, Mr. Kemp, Me Laffer, Mr, Mundell, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Ture, Mr. Wanniski and all the others who helped invent this economic miracle."

One week later the country in the great crash of 1987 "'came within an hour' of the disintegration of the stock market," as noted by Felix Rohatyn, a partner of Lazard Freres and Company. (Johnson. Sleepwalking Through History, America in the Reagan Years; W.W. Norton Company, 1991. p. 381)

The massive deregulation advocated by the likes of Jude Wanniski and George Gilder led directly to the crash of 1987.

Another round of deregulation begun a decade later and accelerated by George W. Bush led to the crash of 2008 and the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Today, Congressman Paul Ryan (who has spent his entire adult career insulated in Washington) and Mitt Romney (a leverage buy-out artist) advocate still more deregulation.

They appear not to have learned anything from recent history and the last 90 years of macroeconomics, or at least nothing can pierce their extremist ideology.

Early in his career as a congressional aide, "[Paul Ryan] nagged Cesar Conda, now Marco Rubio’s chief of staff and a Ryan admirer, so often with questions about supply-side economics that Conda lent him two books to keep him busy—Jude Wanniski’s The Way the World Works and George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty, both foundational tracts for trickle-down Reaganomics," reports Alec MacGillis in the current issue of The New Republic.

Ryan of course is the same creature of Washington who called for ending Social Security in a speech to fans of Ayn Rand, another rightwing whack the coddled Ryan champions and whom Ryan has said is "the reason I got involved in public service."

Ryan and Romney are "preaching the same empty conservative sermon" that has brought us disaster before and will again if we elect these two phonies, as noted by David A. Stockman, who was the director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985.   End Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, increase defense spending, attack Iran, lower taxes on the one percent and in the words of Richard W. Rahn, we can expect another "economic miracle."

This career Washington ideologue and leverage buy-out artist are the perfect front-men for today's GOP and Tea Party—deluded, dangerous and ahistorical.

The fact the Romney was caught on tape saying he doesn't care about working people is a lucky break.

As for Congressman Ryan, his insular background and hostility to social insurance will out to a wide audience as the campaign nears a 45-day sprint to election day as Congress maintains its 11 percent approval rating and the GOP ticket appears in free fall.

Even Scott Walker is running from it.

Apr 4, 2012

Ethics Complaint Against 43 Republican WI Legislators: Inappropriate Gifts from ALEC

By Ernest A. Canning in the BragBlog

The War for Wisconsin continues.

In one of the latest Battles for the Badger State, Brendan Fischer of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a broad-based ethics complaint [PDF] with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B) charging that 43 Republican state legislators are in violation of both the state's ethics and lobbying laws. The named respondents in the March 23 complaint include three Republican Senators, Scott L. Fitzgerald, Van H. Wanggard and Terry Moulton, who are now facing recall elections.

The complaint alleges that lawmakers now serving in the Wisconsin state legislature violated state ethics laws by accepting corporate lobbyist-funded "scholarships", in order "to attend meetings of the American Legislative Council (ALEC)" and that many of them failed to list receipt of monies from the ALEC scholarship fund on their 2011 Statement of Economic Interests, as required by state law. In several instances, the complaint also asserts, legislators received prohibited "gifts" from corporations and their lobbyists in violation of Wisconsin ethics and lobbying laws.

Mar 23, 2011

National Ethics Group: Wisconsin GOP Leaders Knew Using State Patrol Was Illegal

Justice and law under assault
Update II: No word yet on the legal consequences of the illegally using the Wisconsin state police for political purposes, but it appears the Democratic senators have cause for civil and criminal action.

Update: See also Emails show steps considered to punish Dems who fled state (Bauer, March 23; AP) The following (reported by Bauer) is not what we heard from the GOP during the period (Feb. 17-March 11,12) when Democratic senators worked to preserve workers' benefits and collective bargaining by denying a quorum by staying in Illinois. Walker, Fitzgerald, the whole bunch of GOP senators and reps are exposed again as liars. "The emails show that Fitzgerald's staff knew the state constitution barred them from actually arresting the senators other than for committing a crime or acts of treason. 'It now seems that monetary penalties and removal of privileges may be our only recourse,' Fitzgerald legislative aide Rob Richard wrote on Feb. 20, citing the constitutional prohibition on arrest."

Repeated deployments of the Wisconsin State Patrol are an illegal order that ought to have been disobeyed on that basis.

In the political reality in which a manifestly corrupt state government includes:
  • Wisconsin Republican legislative leadership
  • Governor Scott Walker
  • Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen
the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is performing watchdog duties that our state government not only refuses to carry out, but has acted in a premeditated program that has become a criminal enterprise.

"Several documents produced by Senator [Scott] Fitzgerald’s office clearly show his staff was well aware there was no legal authority to dispatch the troopers, and that doing so would have required - at the very least - an amendment to Senate rules. No legislative fix was ever passed, but the troopers were deployed anyway."

- From the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his Republican cohorts in the legislature have some explaining to do. The rookie governor rose to national fame after picking a bare knuckled political fight with Democrats over union rights. He showed up on our radar when he [Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald] illegally sent in the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) to search for the Democratic state senators who had fled to Illinois.

On February 23rd, we submitted open records requests to the Office of the Governor, the Office of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and the Wisconsin State Patrol (which is headed by Sen. Fitzgerald’s father, Stephen Fitzgerald) asking for any records of communications regarding the decision to send troopers out after the legislators. Their responses were surprising.[And incriminating.]
Read just how incriminating, including letters to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), complaints, exhibits and related documents.

Mar 10, 2011

Video of Fleeing Wisconsin GOP Senators after Infamous March 9 Vote

I have never been so disgusted with any level or branch of government, nor political Party as the Wisconsin Republican Party last night.

Mar 2, 2011

Recall The Republican 8 Wisconsin Senators

Recall The Republican 8 Wisconsin Senators; get behind this.

"Make no mistake, these Republican Senators are vulnerable to recall for their radical partisan overreach. Senator Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007. By recalling just three of the eight Senators we are targeting, we can regain control of the Senate."
- Wisconsin Democratic Party

Jan 24, 2010

Desperate Wisc GOP Ineptly Reprises 1986 Gov Race

With Tommy Thompson likely out of the race for governor, a desperate Wisconsin GOP is attempting an old trick.

Back in 1986 it was the dump "Tony the Taxer (Earl)" campaign [and the Thompson-pushed image of black welfare recipients in Milwaukee] that launched Tommy Thompson's entry into the governor's mansion and national prominence.

Now, a Wisconsin GOP Google ad reads:

Tom "the Taxer" Barret (sic)
Higher Taxes, Fewer Jobs
Wisconsin Cant (sic) Afford
Tom the Taxer
Sure, the GOP misspelled Barrett's name and the word "Cant", but that's not the only advertising mistake the GOP will make this campaign season.

Jan 11, 2010

GOP Disaster Just a Matter of Time

Juan Cole:

Why Republicans are Worried
The corporate media are in the tank for a Republican comeback in 2010, and the GOP may in fact pick up some seats in the Senate and the House, though if employment ticks up by the fall, not as many as some are implying. The corporate media made a big deal about two Democrats who are stepping down but not about 6 Republicans who are. But the long-term trends look good for the Democratic Party.

Apr 15, 2009

Clueless GOP

As the Obama uses the fiscal lever (monetary policy won't wok anymore) to stimulate the economy left to him by the GOP and proposes tax cuts for the vast majority of Americans, here's Chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele's latest thinking, lies:

Vice President Joe Biden said during the 2008 campaign that it is patriotic for Americans to pay more in taxes. Since taking over control of Washington, the Obama Democrats have decided we should all be more 'patriotic' having passed or proposed more than $5 trillion in new spending and $1.4 trillion in new taxes.

I don't know about you ... but I don't believe there is anything patriotic about giving more of your hard-earned money to the government to bankroll the liberal Democrats' agenda to increase spending to record levels, change the tax code to redistribute the wealth of working families, and destroy the savings of millions of middle-class Americans.

Jan 28, 2009

GOP Panicking

Today's the big House vote on Obama's economic stimulus plan that among other things "would shower the nation’s school districts, child care centers and university campuses with $150 billion in new federal spending, a vast two-year investment that would more than double the Department of Education’s current budget." (SAM DILLON, NYT)

$150 billion?

Doesn't Obama realize that we could run a war for months with that money? And he wants to blow it on children, health care, education, jobs and all that bad stuff.

The problem for the GOP is that these are precisely the priorities that the American people want, and if Congress passes legislation meeting these demands, the GOP truly will become a regional party.

So, the only path for a party for which power and politics preside over the public good is obstruction and lies. Watch for lots of both.

Nov 26, 2008

Fla Court Rules Gays Get Equal Protection, Adoption Ban Unconstitutional

Has Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy S. Lederman been getting too much sun or is she seeing the light?

Judge Lederman ruled on a legal case challenging a Florida law that bans lesbians and gays from adopting, finding the statute unconstitutional.

The case raises the big question Republicans are pondering as they decide which way forward for their battered Party: Embracing ignorance and authoritarianism or some manner of qualified libertarianism.

[Pictured above-right is Martin Gill with the two brothers he hopes to adopt in Florida.] From the ACLU:
Judge Lederman "struck down a Florida law that bars lesbians and gay men from adopting. The court granted adoptions to a gay man, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, who has been raising two foster children since 2004," reads a ACLU press release.

"The court ruled that the ban violated the equal protection guarantees of the state constitution because it singles out for different treatment gay people and the children they raise for no rational reason. The court also found that the ban denies children the right to permanency provided by federal and state law under the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997."
In 2005, the US Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the Florida law. So, the US Supreme Court that ruled an equal protection violation in Bush v. Gore did not get to rule on a violation in this case.

The case will likely end up in the Florida Supreme Court where four of the seven members were appointed by the late Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles.

We'll get there.

Times are changing, ultimately, such discriminatory laws as Florida's adoption law and the many anti-gay marriage statutes and state constitutional amendments will go the way of laws banning inter-"racial" marriage that were struck down in Loving v. Virginia, (1967) on equal protection grounds by the the US Supreme Court.

Change is gonna come, and likely the GOP will be left behind.

See - Trial Court Decision and Order (11/25/2008) RE: [Frank Martin Gill] John Doe and James Doe for the language of the decision by Judge Lederman.

- via mal contends

Nov 20, 2008

Union Busting Writ Large

As America enters what is feared to be a long and deep recession, one question is whether we save or let fade our auto industry.

The GOP has long been hostile to the auto industry's unions so any union-busting opportunity not used is a wasted opportunity, in their view: Let 'em crash, millions of jobs lost, so what?

House Republicans sitting in their fantasy world spouting free market bromides are capable of anything.

But does anyone believe that saving the millions of jobs that depend on the domestic auto industry is not in itself sufficient cause to act?

The new Congress and President will act, and Republicans as a Party opposing comprehensive measures will find themselves by the political wayside very quickly.

The economy will be geared toward establishing a middle class and raising families by this new administration.

Health care reform and the whole array of initiatives addressing the concerns of real people will become policy next year, and the Republicans will scream while they lose a generation or two of voters who will see the results.

The Wall Street crisis and recession of 2008 will become Barack Obama's 9/11, used to show Bush and the Republicans what the American people are capable of when challenged to act together for the common good and spoken with honestly as fellow citizens.

But unlike Bush, Obama will not lie to the American people and use crises to line the pockets of political allies in opposition to common efforts.

Now is not the time for orthodoxy and lies, and such a state of crisis that is now before us can open up and clarify much of the current social arrangements that is hidden or at least unacknowledged.

As a friend (an anti-bigotry type) puts it, "When the Republicans block saving jobs these 60 next days, this will show the blue collar workers who vote Republican what the Republicans really think of them."

So when Mitt Romney starts talking about excess labor costs and excess retiree costs, our rejoinder should be: Hey, fuck you Mitt, people died so working families can join the middle class, not that we think you're much on labor history.

Oct 29, 2008

The Republicans, Which Way Forward

[Writer’s Preface: We’re going to win but we assume nothing beyond the rapacious, corrupt nature of GOP political operatives exemplified by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen determined to thwart the will of the American people. Van Hollen lost, by the way. GOTV baby, GOTV.]

"The Republicans: Half religious zealots wanting to control every breath every citizen takes. And half ego-anarchist, libertarian cowboys shrilling for no government."
- Tony Kushner, Angels in America (2004)

After next Tuesday's historical defeat, the GOP will do a lot of soul-searching and conclude the GOP needs to drill for more oil, make more enemies abroad, and for God's sake do away with once and for all a woman's right to choose. Deep thinkers, the GOP.

No matter the post-election machinations of the amoral political operatives, I saw Republican future and its name is: Sarah Palin.

We could have not pleaded for a better figurehead.

Jan 6, 2008

John McCain's Whopper on Meet the Press: Bush United Us

Senator John McCain for reasons beyond understanding still gets the red-carpet treatment from the media covering the campaign.

On Meet the Press, after distancing himself from Bush on the salient issues pertaining to Katrina, Iraq and corruption, McCain said this:

"(Bush) led this nation after 9/11 and united us."

Tim Russert let the statement go unchallenged.

Reality check: Were Americans just sitting around waiting for Bush to unite us after 9/11?

Americans were united, the world was united; and Bush took that unity and divided the United States and spread ill will throughout the world to an extent that no American president has ever done in history.

The straight-talking McCain is a joke, and we can expect more political honesty from even the Huckster and Romney than the phony John McCain.


Dec 30, 2007

GOP Running on Empty and Away from Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee

Two things scare the bejesus out of GOP operatives more than a united Democratic party in 2008:

Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee.

Fox News, the Republican media organ, is excluding the libertarian, anti-war Paul from a debate the weekend before the New Hampshire primary because, as James Pindell quotes Paul:

"They are scared of me and don't want my message to get out, but it will (get out). ... They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative."

What the GOP operatives at Fox are afraid of is that Paul will chip away blocks from the Republican coalition needed to be assembled for a winning 2008 presidential campaign. And today's authoritarian, war-at-any-costs GOP does not cut it with Paul supporters, many of whom are veterans.

But the decision to exclude Paul from the debate rather than placate and assimilate him into the GOP fold is, from the GOP perspective, foolish and short-sighted. The GOP underestimates the passion and commitment of Paul's growing supporters and the attempt to suppress Paul is playing right into the insurgent Paul's crash-the-gates appeal.

Huckabee, on the other hand, even as he consolidates the religious right's bigotry block suffers from three tactical political weaknesses: He is perceived to be weak on foreign affairs, weak on crime, and unacceptable to the Wall Street faction of the GOP.

Amusing to watch the GOP, which has used the religious right so effectively the past eight years, have their hidden contempt for the religious right begin to pour out into the open.

Huckabee is worse than Paul in his ability to fragment a winning Republican 2008 presidential coalition that has days away from Iowa eluded the GOP.


Dec 8, 2007

Juan Cole: Romney Says Some Beliefs are More Equal than Others

Juan Cole has an insightful piece pointing out that Mitt Romney is all for instituting a religious test for president, the one you have to pass to win the GOP presidential nominaiton.

John Nichols has a similar piece in The Nation.

Writes Cole:

Mitt Romney's speech in Texas on Thursday was supposed to be an attempt to fend off religious bigotry. Instead, it betrays some prejudices of its own (against secular people), and seems to provoke others to bigotted statements. It has been likened to the speech of John F. Kennedy on his Catholicism. But we knew John F. Kennedy, and Mitt Romney is no John F. Kennedy. Kennedy strongly affirmed the separation of religion and state.

Romney wants to dragoon us into a soft theocracy (not as a Mormon but as a Republican allied to the Pat Robertsons of the world). Kennedy wanted to be accepted as an American by other Americans. Romney wants to be accepted as a conservative Christian by other conservative Christians.

This conundrum is the price the Republican Party is paying for pandering to the religious Right. Can a secular person even win the Republican nomination any more? If you make yourself captive of the Protestant Right, then you will discover that they believe Mormons are heretics. The Republican Party has established its own litmus test, and since it has been a dominant party in recent years, we've all been affected by it. Romney's plight in finding it hard to be accepted by that constituency mirrors the plight of secular and unchurched Americans, on whom the very people Romney is sucking up to want to impose their narrow and sectarian values.