No matter how bad GOP scandals are, Democrats are always skewered by the media and their own party for their scandals. Why is that? Is it because Democratic scandals are worse? I’d have to give that notion a resounding no. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Democratic scandals out there over the years and they aren’t pretty. But corruption and sex scandals – particularly from ‘family values’ candidates – are the worst and they are predominantly members of the GOP that are at fault. Let’s take the case of Anthony Weiner. Weiner texted with six women over the past several years mostly before he was married and some after he married. Weiner, after initially lying out of embarrassment and fear (paraphrasing Weiner here), then came clean. The notorious Andrew Brietbart was behind the outing with what appears to be the help of Congressman Darrel Issa (who denies it, but emails seem to indicate otherwise).
The Weiner scandal has produced a 24-hour ‘beat the snot out of Rep Weiner’ campaign by the ‘liberal’ media and disdain from his colleagues whom have asked him to resign. Weiner, in the mean time, has checked into a rehab facility and asked for a leave of absence from Congress. As of this time, Weiner has committed no crime, broken no ethics violations, and had no physical or attempted physical relationship with any of the women he texted. Granted, his actions show poor judgement on this issue and sending a lewd photo to a woman was idiotic. However, again, he broke no laws.
The GOP – outraged – want him gone. The Democrats, who lack spine, want him gone. Weiner’s constituents want him to stay (56% positive to 33% negative).
In contrast, the GOP has not asked David Vitter to resign. The GOP Senator was guilty of multiple violations of the law when he engaged in sexual acts with prostitutes. Vitter lied about this, indignantly refused to resign and the GOP left him alone (something the Democrats seem unable to do with Weiner). Nor did the GOP ask ‘toe-tapping’ Larry Craig to resign. Craig, said he would resign, but then finished out his term with very few peeps from the GOP. Democrats didn’t exactly raise a huge stink either. It was forgotten by all including the media. That darn short attention span got the better of them. Craig, like Vitter, broke the law. He was arrested in a Men’s bathroom for soliciting sex from the undercover Police Officer in the next stall. Where was the media, GOP, and Democratic outrage then? Did the GOP leadership force him to resign? Nope.
So, I ask again, what exactly is it? Why are Democratic scandals always worse than GOP scandals? Take the more recent attempt at creating a White House scandal with President Obama and the information leaks. There is ample proof to show that the Obama White house has gone after leaks aggressively – and yet the press goes along with the white noise from McCain and his ilk that the White House is behind the leaks. In contrast, none of the media or GOP seems particularly interested in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame – even though that led directly to Vice President Dick Chaney’s office.
There is always an attempt when a GOP scandal breaks to say both parties are equally corrupt or wrong or whatever the media and GOP want to call it for that given situation. The truth is, this is far from true.
President Obama, in a speech in front of a joint session of Congress, repeatedly told Congress to pass the new jobs plan he unveiled as the American Jobs Act. The jobs plan would add approximately 1 to 1.5 million new jobs to the ailing economy by raising the GDP approximately 1.3 percent. Estimates vary, but many economists believe this could lower the unemployment rate to 8.6% by end of 2012. This all sounds great. New jobs to help rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and schools, tax breaks for middle class Americans and small business, funding to help teachers keep their jobs, and a new program to help homeowners that own property that has lost value, to refinance.
Wonderful, right? Of course. But the concern on the part of many Americans is twofold: Will the Congress pass the bill without gutting it and will the President stand firm and fight for this plan or compromise key sections into oblivion – much like the public option part of the health care debate. Remember the public option? The President and his staff would prefer you forget it.
I applaud the President’s latest speech. It seems like he has found his voice again. However, I share many Americans skepticism on whether the President will fight for his own bill and not compromise with the GOP. After all, these are not all Democratic party ideas. Many of the ideas in the bill the President proposed are Republican ideas. That point, however, is lost on the GOP who has made it clear that they will fight the President no matter what idea he supports – even theirs. In fact, they have at times scrubbed their web sites to remove ideas that the President has embraced in speeches. This makes it painfully obvious that they do not want to work with President Obama under any circumstances.
We can only hope that the President realizes this and fights for an intact version of the American Jobs Act before he becomes one of the many unemployed in this country in 2012.
In the next few days, President Obama will unveil his jobs plan to the nation. In the short time since he announced his intention to talk about this new plan, the latest employment numbers have come out and they were not good. According to the August numbers, there was no change in jobs at all – zero. Whether this is good or poor timing for the White House remains to be seen. For instance, the President could use these numbers to his advantage and reach big. Most Democrats and economists certainly want this. However, there is always the possibility the President could play it very conservatively. He could rehash programs designed to spur job growth by emphasizing tax cuts and other breaks for businesses. In other words, small programs, little risk. This, however, would be a big mistake.
The plan the President is going to unveil is much more than a jobs plan – it is a lifeline for his Presidency. Recent high-profile retreats from EPA regulations, deficit measures, and tax cuts for the rich have infuriated most middle-class Americans. Many on the left and center are now openly questioning the President’s leadership and ability to take on a tough GOP opposition without simply caving. While this may or may not be entirely accurate is now not relevant. The media (left and right) have hammered on this over and over to the point where it has started to become mainstream thought. To counter this, the President must take bold action to spur job growth. He must take a risk.
Breaks to big business and banking have not added more working capital to small businesses in the form of lending nor have they encouraged most businesses to hire more people. It is up to the government to help hire Americans by creating a jobs program that rebuilds our national infrastructure, repairs our crumbling schools, creates a coast to coast rail and broadband internet initiative, and helps rebuild areas of our country decimated by natural disaster including – especially – New Orleans. Recent studies have shown that the US gets a D for overall infrastructure. That is an abysmal grade for one of the richest countries in the world. Unemployment remains at close to 9.2%. Why not create a bold jobs initiative that will not only help repair our country’s infrastructure but also reduce unemployment below 9%?
It’s not only the smart thing to do, for our crumbling infrastructure and schools, it is also the right thing to do – for our citizens and our economy.
For the past two years we have heard time and time again that the GOP cannot and will not condone any type of tax increase. According to the GOP, a tax increase, dubiously, included ending some tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. The GOP, it seems, considers that a tax increase – no exception. We have heard this endless diatribe from Paul Ryan, Speaker Boehner, Senate Minority Leader McConnel, and a whole host of other Republicans – including most of the GOP candidates for President in 2012. However, it seems that hypocrisy is alive and well in the Republican Party. President Obama, who recently proposed extending the payroll tax cut that affects most working low-income Americans, met opposition from the GOP. It seems that tax cuts for the wealthy are the only tax cuts that the GOP consider worthy.
I know I’m not alone here, but I’ll mention this anyway. I find this type of hypocrisy on the part of the GOP disturbing. People on the right are always lamenting the possibility of a class war – yet it is the GOP – by their actions – that are sure to ignite a class war. First they attack low income teachers, fire fighters, and police officers as overpaid, and then they fight for every conceivable type of tax break for the wealthy and corporations. Job growth, you see, is the main reason for these tax breaks. Curious how no one talks about George W. Bush’s reasoning for tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. It was for job growth, wasn’t it? And we all know how well that worked out.
Simple truth here is that the GOP are, in fact, waging a class war right now – today. They wage it on the poor, needy, disabled, veterans, police, teachers, unions, and any one that is not a wealthy elite. They cloak their reasons in comfortable euphamisms like ‘job growth’ or ‘free enterprise’. They sometimes even refer to Corporations as ‘people’ (Mitt Romney) or treat them as people (SCOTUS). They give them free reign to make virtually unlimited campaign contributions while simultaneously not mandating any records or reports on the source of those contributions.
In essence, we are seeing an oligarchy. Some may even call it a pseudo form of facism. One thing is certain. If we do not alter our course, if we abandon Keynesian economics in favor of trickle down economics, then we are sure to go back into a recession and possibly another great depression. If that happens I’m sure the GOP will find a way to blame President Obama. Remember, however, that it is the GOP that tirelessly defends and protects the rich in this country – even beyond a level the rich are comfortable with!
Let’s send a serious message to Congress. Do you want to protect Social Security, Medicare for the aged, Medicaid, public schools and the infrastructure of our country? Then let’s do something radical: rescind all of the Bush tax cuts. Not just the cuts for the rich. We, as a whole, have sacrificed very little while our country has been at war on two fronts. Isn’t it time we stop trying to have our cake and eat it too?
The alternative to raising revenue could be far uglier than a modest tax increase for most (larger for the rich and corporations).
Think about it – and then – act. Rescinding the Bush tax cuts for all, removing tax loopholes for Corporations and the rich, and cutting defense spending (which is out of control) will save our social safety net, balance the budget much faster, and help deflate the GOP thirst for gutting programs for the poor while protecting the tax breaks for the rich.
Title 31 USC or the Public Debt Law of 1941 gives President Obama the authority to raise the nation’s debt limit. Let me say that again, the President, under current law, has the authority to raise the debt limit. According to 31 USC 3101 and 3102, the President can instruct the Secretary of the Treasury to increase the debt limit to pay for expenses that Congress has already authorized. In short, the debt that the GOP is now fighting against paying, is debt for services and products that Congress has already authorized. All we need to do now is pay for them.
Specifically, 31 USC 3101, in part, states:
The face amount of obligations issued under this chapter and the face amount of obligations whose principal and interest are guaranteed by the United States Government (except guaranteed obligations held by the Secretary of the Treasury) may not be more than…
31 USC 3102, in part, states:
With the approval of the President, the Secretary of the Treasury may borrow on the credit of the United States Government amounts necessary for expenditures authorized by law . . .
Both indicate beyond doubt that the President can authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to raise the debt limit. A detailed (and eloquent) article puts all of this into perspective quite nicely on the OpEdNews site.
What can we do? Fill out this form to automatically email the President and your Reps & Senators to tell them to ask the President to raise the debt limit as outlined in LAW.
There’s no polite way to put it: the GOP have literally gone off the deep end. In their efforts to appease businesses and the farthest right of their base, while they attempt to make President Obama fail at any cost, the GOP are literally throwing the country down the toilet. They now openly support corporations and their monied interests over the middle class. Rep Paul Ryan (R) wants to chuck Medicare out the window in favor of a system of private insurers and vouchers. Let me say that again – chuck medicare out the window – whilst giving the powerful insurance industry a huge new source of revenue that is sure to hurt the poor, elderly, disabled, and retired populace. Even for the GOP, this is radical.
In the mean time, the drum beats even louder for more and more cuts – with the biggest elephants in the room left untouched – corporate loopholes, generous energy policies and tax breaks for Oil, coal, and other industries, and tax breaks for the rich still intact.
Seriously? And the Democrats cry for (ahem) less cuts, but still advocate for cuts to programs for the poor and middle class. What the hell is going on here?
I am a Democrat and liberal through and through. But I think when President Obama agreed to a tax cut for the wealthy and then talks about everyone tightening their belts and that sacrifices have to be made, I cringe. In this particular instance, the President and Democrats have no more credibility on this issue than their GOP counterparts. How can I take President Obama seriously when he talks about cuts to medicare and other programs for disabled and poor and yet lets tax cuts for the wealthy stay?
Thankfully, in his latest speech, the President is sounding a different tune. He is gearing for a battle in 2012 to take away those corporate loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthy. Let’s see if he actually does it this time around.
Newly minted House Leader John Boehner recently commented that, although the GOP now has control of the house, that President Obama is still in charge. It seems that even with control of the House that the GOP has no intention of taking any responsibility for setting the agenda for the people’s business. Instead, and this should be no surprise, the GOP will simply block the Democrats attempts at passing legislation and helping stimulate the economy. After all, why not do this if they can successfully use this political tactic against the Democrats time after time?
Sadly, even though the Democratic Party did pass health care reform, Wall Street reform, stop the free fall loss of jobs, and create a new consumer protection bureau, the GOP was more successful at whining about jobs and how the cost of these programs were sinking the economy. The result was nothing short of a disaster for the Democratic Party in the recent midterm elections.
If, however, the Democrats are following the correct legislative strategy, then why weren’t they more successful in the midterm elections? It is very clear that the Democratic Party has a messaging problem. They cannot seem to be able to energize their own base nor do they seem able to adequately respond to the GOP and Tea Party attacks without looking like they are ready to fold. The result of all this was a sound trouncing by the GOP. The President, incidentally, has the right strategy, but at the wrong time. His attempts to take the high road and avoid division with the GOP is the better way. Unfortunately, however, all this did was to make the Democrats appear weak in the face of constant 24/7 GOP campaigning.
In the end, despite all their gains in the midterms, the GOP plans to continue the strategy of blocking everything the Democrats do while simultaneously blaming them for getting nothing done. The only sound response to this GOP strategy, is for the Democratic Party to come out fighting hard and to compromise less since the GOP will simply sink anything the Democrats attempt to compromise on. Put simply, the President and his party need to force the GOP to come up with alternatives to their legislation, every hour of every day and hammer at this until the American people wake up and realize that the GOP is truly the party of no.
The GOP are cowards. That’s right – I said cowards. Karl Rove and his ilk are spreading lies, disinformation, and increased half truths by way of corporate funded attack ads. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this is the secretive way that these corporations (some foreign) funnel campaign financing secretly to front groups that produce attack ads and literature that are all 100% against the Democratic Party. The GOP doesn’t even hide the fact that they are working with corporations to raise millions of dollars to attack Democrats.
What is truly disgusting about this is that the GOP defends the secretive nature of their fundraising. What are they hiding? What are they afraid of? The answer is clear: they are ashamed of the backers that fund their attack ads. Why ashamed? If the American Public knew about the businesses that backed the GOP agenda, they would vote against the GOP!
However, without the mandatory disclosure rules of campaign donations, corporations are free to donate to whomever protects their interests best – the GOP. And why would corporate America protect the GOP? It’s simple – for money. The US Chamber of Commerce, leading the charge, wants to help make the GOP agenda a reality. This agenda includes the repeal the health care law, privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and rolling back as many of the new regulations that protect consumers and regulate corporations.
Imagine, for a moment, if you knew that BP funded attack ads that helped a GOP candidate who was friendly to their agenda. A candidate who was against regulations that protect our natural environment from an oil spill disaster. A candidate who was letting the oil industry lobbyists help the GOP write legislation (just as many GOP members did during the first term of George W. Bush). A candidate who did not care about the middle class workers who would be hurt by having their livelihood erased by BP. Would you vote for that candidate knowing all this? Probably not. But the Supreme Court – a right-leaning court for some time now – ruled that corporations are people and have the right to donate in private.
The result of this ruling was nothing less than mayhem. Now, financing from corporations – all done in secret – remove the accountability that those corporations have to the people.
The GOP claim, however, that this doesn’t change anything. Or they claim that Democrats do the ’same’ thing. This is clearly a lie – on a very large scale. Some Democrats are friendly to businesses and support their interests in legislation. This is true. But the Democratic Party – as a whole – does not have an agenda to oust the GOP by employing secret attack ads across a wide spectrum of candidacies. This is anti-American and undemocratic.
In the end, the GOP does not want you – the voting public – to know where their donations (now in the millions) come from. They are happy to hide in the cloak of secrecy that protects their corporate masters. They do not care what is at stake for our democracy and country as a whole. Fortunately, there are many people who do care. The GOP would have you believe that these people do not exist. That we support them and have no problem with their secret campaign contributions.
Again, this is very far from true. Case in point? How about Fox News. When shareholders found out about several $1 Million donations to the Republican Governors Association and the US Chamber of Commerce, they responded angrily to Rupert Murdoch’s evasive answers at a recent shareholder’s meeting.
The GOP and their TeaParty cohorts often talk about taking the country back. This makes no sense to me since in my opinion, they already have the country. If anyone needs to take the country back, it should be the American people and the Democratic Party.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was quick this past week to accuse the Democrats of ‘fanning the flames’ of voter discontent by blaming the GOP for recent threats against 10 House Democrats. The Democrats, on the other hand, have been complaining for a very long time (since the 2008 Presidential campaign) about GOP collusion with extremists that resulted in multiple threats to President (then candidate) Obama’s life.
Indeed, threats of violence to 10 house democrats and vandalism to multiple Democratic headquarters across the country seem related to dangerous rhetoric by the GOP. Such rhetoric included Sarah Palin’s cross-hair map symbols targeting Democratic districts and telling her supporters to ‘reload’. House Minority Leader Boehner was quoted as calling someone a dead man and referred to the health care vote as ‘armageddon‘. Not only that, but extremist threats made were not limited to law makers. In fact, threats directed at the 10 Democrats extended to their spouses, and even, their children.
Cantor’s outrage at the Democrat’s alleged politicization of the threats is disingenuous at best. House Republicans received one call and an alleged incident at Congressman Cantor’s campaign office – none of which was serious enough to warrant police protection.
Democrats, on the other hand, before and after the vote were spit on, called racial epitaphs, and harshly criticized for their sexual orientation. These incidents, coupled with the vandalism and threatening phone calls, were serious enough to prompt the FBI to investigate and for Democrats to receive police protection.
Adding insult to injury, Democrats were beginning to see a more pronounced problem with their GOP colleagues both in the house itself and on the capitol lawn during the health care debate. GOP law makers, live on C-SPAN, cheered on a disruptive tea party protester who was ejected from the gallery of the house during the health care debate, unfurled a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag (now usurped by the Tea Party as their flag) to a jubilant crowd of Tea Party protesters outside, and participated in a plethora of Tea Party protests leading up to the health care vote, even sponsoring some of them with Fox News close behind.
But the crowning achievement of the GOP during the health care debate was when Abilene Congressman Randy Neugebauer interrupted Rep. Bart Stupak during debate on the house floor to call him a ‘baby killer’ for supporting the health care bill publicly (shown in this footage):
For all those tempted to say ‘both’ sides are at fault, both sides own some of the responsibility for outrageous and unprofessional behavior on the House floor or by Tea Party extremists, ask yourself this question: Have the Democrats spit on anyone? Have Democrats told their followers to ‘reload’ in reference to a renewed campaign against a bill? Have Democrats called the President a liar in national TV during a speech to a joint session of congress? Have the Democrats called anyone a ‘baby killer’?
All extremists that call for violent opposition to a democratic form of government or threaten the lives of people because they disagree with them are shameful and dangerous – plain and simple. There is no place for them in our society.
Any law maker, that fans the flames of discontent by cheering on extremist protesters that disturb a house vote, call for the physical replacement of a Democratic member of congress at a Tea Party rally, or side with Governors that threaten to secede from the Union, is an embarrassment and should be censured (at a minimum) or perhaps even prosecuted under federal law (at a maximum).
It is time for the GOP to calm the dangerous rhetoric of the past year. I’m sure they will continue to disagree with Democrats and that is fine. That disagreement in an open and public forum for all to see is what Democracy is all about. Dangerous rhetoric that prompts violence is not.