Friday, April 13, 2012

Inside Out. Rubber and Glue?

Obama’s women problem - The Washington Post

It's always interesting to hear the inside-out view.  The left wing media is full of articles and op-eds pointing out the legislation both passed and simply introduced concerning abortion, contraception, women's health care issues, and equal pay for equal work by Republican lawmakers in the states and in Congress. Mr. Thiessen has found a poll that seems to indicate that women are in approval of these GOP policies.  He has taken his cue from the Romney campaign playing "I'm rubber and you are glue" with women's issues and has boldly accused Mr. Obama of being the real opponent of women and women's issues.


Evidently, the lock-step opposition to women's health issues, equality in the workplace, women's ability to make important choices of their own is, in Mr. Thiessen's view, what pleases women!  It's interesting that the number he uses is Mr. Obama's overall approval rating, emphasis on overall.  Mr. Thiessen should look at some policy specific numbers and get back to us.  He should, as Senator Murkwoski elegantly said earlier this week when she advised her GOP colleagues to "go home and talk to your wife and your daughters." 

Mr. Obama is following all of this with the security of knowing that, on his side of the women's rights issues, the support from women is clear and strong.  He hasn't had to do much to encourage this support except pass hugely important legislation on their behalf. Republicans, who have been fighting the culture wars for 40 years simply can not pivot, as Mr. Theissen would like us to think, and say that all of this battle has won the support of women! They have the difficult job of convincing women that it is the GOP that is protecting their interests.  Mr. Theissen is doing his best.... all the best to him.

This kind of inside out argument is what Mr. Theissen does.  He's good at it. His defense of torture was famously stubborn and provided a lot of much needed cover to his right wing colleagues.  In this he's providing cover for all of the GOP policy makers who want to continue their cultural warfare concerning the role of women in our society.

Be warned....

More work to do...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ignoramus Politics: WAR is a band!

The Maddow Blog - Mitch McConnell, call your caucus

Someone needs to tell the GOP that WAR is a band!  No, actually it's a metaphor that it tossed around in the political world like a beach ball at a WAR concert. Players in the game of Ignoramus Politics [Mr. McConnell in this case]  love to either deny or extol one type of war or another.  In this case the use of the 'war' metaphor is the core of today's episode of Ignoramus Politics.

Here's the honorable Senator holding forth on the false notion that the GOP is somehow waging a 'war' on women's rights, an accusation coming from the opposition with more than a little enthusiasm. 
"There is no issue. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say -- and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska -- 'we don't see any evidence of this.'"
Then we have the honorable senator Murkowski from Alaska:
"It makes no sense to make this attack on women," she said. "If you don't feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters."
Now the honorable  Senator Hutchinson from Texas:
"We cannot afford to lose the Medicaid funding for low-income women to have health care services. We can't keep turning back federal funds that every state gets and then try to find money in our budget that is already being cut in key areas like education.
"I do think that the governor needs to sit down with the federal government and work it out so that we can have our share -- our fair share, not more, but our share -- of money for Medicaid to help low-income women have their healthcare services.
"I think Planned Parenthood does mammograms, they do so much of the health care, the preventative health care, and if they're doing that, then we need to provide those services, absolutely."
And the Senator from Maine, Ms. Snowe:
"You know, it really is surprising, because I feel like it's a retro-debate that took place in the 1950s," Snowe said. "It's sort of back to the future, isn't it? And it is surprising in the 21st century we would be revisiting this issue. And Sandra Fluke should have been commended, not condemned, for her courage in expressing her own views and beliefs before members of Congress." 
Mr. McConnell is playing Ignoramus Politics because he truly expects his constituents to believe him with regards to the assult on women's rights.  He's a smart guy, he just thinks he's talking to folks who aren't paying attention and will believe him. Folks, it's either that or Mr. McConnell and a whole bunch of his wingnut brethren truly feel that women belong at home and subservient to their men.

More work to do.....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ignoramus Politics: The Path to Poverty

1,070 Days

If you live any where near the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, there's a good chance that you received this email from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, our congressman.  He has wholeheartedly endorsed the Ryan Budget as a "path to prosperity." He also famously supports and has co-sponsored the Balanced Budget Amendment. His arguments are those of the conservative literati who drive the ship of movement conservatism.  He has not represented the best interests of his constituents since he swallowed his promise to only serve 2 terms several terms back.  He's found that life in Congress as a willing lackey in the Republican political machine is quite lucrative.

In this email he touts the recently passed budget plan as a document that forces Congress to make tough decisions about what the government can or can't afford.  He calls on the wisdom of "Valley families" who are faced with tough financial decisions each and every day.
Families in the Sixth District and all across our nation understand what it means to make tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford. Yet, far too often this fundamental principle is forgotten in Congress. If Americans must exercise restraint with their own funds, then the government must be required to do so as well.
Ok.  Who can't agree with that?  It's a simple statement, makes sense and is more than likely a very popular position in our district.  Heck.... I agree with this!

This email message is a brilliant example of "ignoramus" politics.  Mr. Goodlatte knows that a message like this resonates well with his supporters.  It is seductive in language and hits the Valley folk with a very friendly resonance.  Mr. Goodlatte goes on to say in the email that the Ryan Budget deals with the deficit, cuts the size of government, repeals Obamacare, and leads to economic growth.  Brilliant....

Did I tell you that the "ignoramus" is us?  Is there any talk of where all that savings is coming from? Is there any discussion of the "choices" we were supposed to be making as a constituency?  Mr. Goodlatte has simply announced the budget decisions of the Republican elite as the economic policy that is in our best interests.  Anyone know what's been decided?

The Ryan Budget is a radical document.  The term conservative can never be rightfully used to describe it. For starters:
So the proposal is exactly as President Obama described it: a proposal to deny health care (and many other essentials) to millions of Americans, while lavishing tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy — all while failing to reduce the budget deficit, unless you believe in Mr. Ryan’s secret revenue sauce.
Republicans have chosen to move 14 million Americans off health care, mostly the ill,  young people and children by moving Medicaid to the states and providing block grants as financial support. If the money runs out? There's nowhere to run.  By repealing Obamacare, they have chosen to support the incredible rising costs of health care for the rest of us by handing the responsibility for our nation's health and well-being to the private health care industry.  Our health is now dependent on our profitability to the insurance industry. If your family's health doesn't match your family budget? That's not a pleasant thought.  Let's not forget the lost deficit reduction gone with the repeal of Obamacare.  The size of government decreases, but OUR family financial burden increases. That's the Republican choice.

The Republicans have decided that Medicare "as we know it" needs to be fixed by handing over that responsibility to the private insurance industries too.  They will give us all a fixed voucher which, again, may help defray the cost of the most expensive health care ALL of us will need, but if it's not enough?.... That's yet another unpleasant thought. Again the size of government decreases, but the financial burden on OUR families increases. That's the Republican choice.

Republicans have chosen to boost the military budget over the objections of the military brass.  The mild-mannered Mr. Ryan immediately discounted their objections famously saying, "We  don't think the Generals are giving us their true advice." He later walked this back, but didn't back off from his budget proposal. 

Republicans have chosen to place a new consumption tax that will hit the lower and middle classes much harder than the affluent upper class.  How does $900 per year sound?  At the same time, Republicans have chosen to give themselves an historic tax cut.  In addition to the tax cuts enacted by President Bush, they will 'reform' the tax code to the tune of a 1.7 million dollar per household windfall for the .1% to $238, 000 per household for the 1%.  This is to be paid for by closing as yet undefined tax loopholes and budgetary assumptions, the so-called "secret revenue sauce" mentioned by Mr. Krugman and others. Remember Mr. Goodlatte's boast that the Ryan Plan makes tough decisions?  We're still waiting.

We the people are the "ignoramus." We fall for the common sense, non-specific, smooth sounding platitude, Mr. Goodlatte's specialty. We would all be better served by observing THIS platitude: "You can't cut spending without cutting spending!"
But Ryan wants to have it both ways: He wants to get the credit for cutting spending, but he doesn’t want to have to propose specific spending cuts. Oh, and he doesn’t want anyone to extrapolate what those cuts would be, either.

Of course, even Ryan’s supporters should see the problem here. If these cuts are too unpopular to detail, then they’re going to be too unpopular to pass. If the only way to defend Ryan’s budget is to beat back any attempts to make it specific, then it’s an empty, useless document.
Mr. Goodlatte, take note.

Monday, April 2, 2012

GOP on the Wrong Side of the LGBT issue... again

Democrats Ask Boehner To Back Off His 'Direct Assault' On Gay Veterans | ThinkProgress

The takeaway:
This intervention once again puts the House of Representatives on the wrong side of the future – supporting discrimination, unfairness, and the denial of basic equality to all Americans. - Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Whip Steny Hoyer (MD)
The House of Representatives is showing once again that they are locked in an ideological iron box.  It is locked from the inside and they refuse to open it. In that box is their certitude that 'the gay' is an abomination and must be opposed or eliminated at any cost. This flies in the face of the American constitution, Christian morality, equality before the law and just plain fairness.  The profound and stubborn ignorance on the part of these ideologically bound autocrats would lead America into a 'New Medieval' age of persecutions, witch hunts, and ignorance. Enough.

More work to do.