Tag Archives: Republicans

Open Letter from a WWII Vet about the Shutdown

Dear VoteVets supporter -

Last week, John Boehner said that Republicans were locked in an “epic battle” to keep the government shutdown going.

As a World War II veteran, I fought in six epic battles. I helped fight the Nazis in the North African seas, and took part in operations that liberated Italy and the South of France, from Germany.

The Tea Party Shutdown is not an epic battle — it is bad governance.

Americans and veterans like me depend on our entire government being open.

I filmed a television ad with VoteVets, and it’s on the air starting today. I hope you’ll watch it and contribute to help keep it up.

http://action.votevets.org/shutdown-ad

After receiving General Wesley Clark‘s email last week, I responded with my personal story about how the shutdown impacts my life, while expressing my disgust with the Republican Party’s politicization of the World War II Memorial shortly after the shutdown began.

I served this nation with honor. Today, I can’t say the same thing about most Republicans in Congress.

Thank you for standing up for me,

Redge Ranyard
World War II Veteran
VoteVets.org

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Filed under History, Politics

Hawks, Non-Interventionists Square Off Over Syria (with Possible 2016 Implications)

President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain...

President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain in a press conference, taking place on March 4, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Congressional vote on whether to strike Syria offers insight into which wing of the Republican Party — the traditional hawks or a growing bloc of non-interventionists — has the advantage in foreign policy debates.

Republican divisions on national security have flared over drone use, aid to Egypt, and the National Security Agency surveillance practices. Tensions have played out in battles between Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. In a rare moment of clarity, Sen. McCain called Mr. Paul and his compatriots “wacko birds.” In return, Mr. Paul suggested that hawks like Mr. McCain were “moss covered.”

Former spats could pale in comparison with the fight over whether to attack Syria, an issue on which Sen. McCain and Sen. Paul will be the leading spokesmen for their party’s two wings.

Mr. McCain has long advocated intervention in Syria’s civil war. After meeting with President Obama at the White House on Monday, he said that it would be “catastrophic” if Congress did not approve the president’s proposal and that such a rejection would result in the United States’s credibility being “shredded.”

Mr. Paul on Sunday made clear his opposition to Mr. Obama’s proposal, taking to Twitter and the talk shows to taunt Secretary of State John Kerry. “John Kerry is, you know, he’s famous for saying, you know, how can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?” Mr. Paul said. “I would ask John Kerry, how can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?”

Mr. Paul is very aware that the vote offers just that chance to reorient the Republican center on foreign affairs, and the debate gives him the chance to re-establish himself as the voice of the Tea Party movement.

Syria has important implications for the 2016 Republican presidential contest. White House hopefuls in Congress will be forced to choose between the wishes of Tea Party activists opposed to a strike and the wishes of more traditional Republicans, whose ranks include some major donors and Israel supporters. A “yea” vote on taking action in Syria would put opponents of Sen. Paul, like Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, on the same side as Pres. Obama.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under International Justice, Politics, War and Peace, World

Votes to “Repeal” Health Care Law Cost Taxpayers Tens of Millions

Friday marked the fortieth (40th!) time the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

I spoke with a friend about the vote yesterday.

“I wonder,” he said, “what these votes are costing taxpayers.”

Strap yourselves in, readers; you’re about to learn what these votes headed by “fiscal conservatives” are costing the American people.

Last year, CBS News calculated that the first thirty-three votes to repeal the ACA took eighty hours of floor time at the House or about two full work weeks. According to the Congressional Research Service, it costs about $24 million to run the House for a week, so it cost about $48 million for just the first thirty-three votes. (I can’t believe I said “just the first thirty-three votes.” This is ridiculous.) That translates to about $1.45 million per vote.

Based on that number, it has cost the American taxpayer a total of $58 million for the Republicans to make their symbolic votes against the ACA.

In addition, the Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that repeal of the bill would add $109 billion to the deficit over the next decade.

Via CBS Miami.

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Filed under Health, National, Politics, Sick Sad World, Stupid Is As Stupid Does

5 Things to Know about the New Arkansas Abortion Ban

Via ThisIsPersonal.org.

Arkansas legislators have overridden Democratic Governor Mike Beebe’s veto of a twelve-week abortion ban, which will go into effect this spring. Here’s what you need to know about the first “fetal heartbeat” abortion measure in the nation:

  1. The governor vetoed the bill because it is unconstitutional. Under Roe v. Wade, women have a right to legal abortion services until the point of viability (which is usually considered to be at twenty-four weeks).
  2. This isn’t the first abortion ban Arkansas Republicans have forced on the governor. Just last week, lawmakers voted to override Gov. Beebe’s veto of a twenty-week “fetal pain” abortion ban.
  3. “Fetal heartbeat” bans are not rooted in science. Heartbeat measures are simply trying to redefine the medical terms of pregnancy.
  4. Arkansas now has the strictest abortion ban in the country. “Heartbeat” bills have popped up across the country, but Arkansas is the only state to have passed them into law.
  5. Republicans realize they are inviting legal challenges. Advocacy groups such as the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights have already threatened legal action against Arkansas. When the governor vetoed this abortion ban, he indicated that he wanted to avoid the court battles it would bring. Now the people of Arkansas will be on the hook for the court costs of these legal battles.

Via ThinkProgress.

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Filed under Law, Politics, Sick Sad World

Romney: “It Kills Me” to Not Be in the White House

Via ABCNews.

In his first television interview since the election, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said that it “kills” him to not be in the White House.

In the interview with Chris Wallace, Gov. Romney also said that he believed he’d won the election until the Ohio election results were announced.

Asked if she thought that her husband would win the election, Ann Romney said, “I for sure did.”

Gov. Romney called his inability to win the votes of people of color “a real weakness” that future Republican candidates will have to overcome: “Uh, we did very well with the majority population, but not with minority populations. And — and that was a — that was a failing. That was a real mistake.”

 

He also admitted that his “forty-seven percent” comments caused him great harm.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/mitt-romney-it-kills-me-not-to-be-president-88332.html#ixzz2MXEAc8f4

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Filed under National, Politics

Senate Kills Wildly Popular Buffett Rule

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in the Oval Office, July 14, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Democrats in the Senate failed to get the sixty votes they needed to move forward with a measure that would set a 30% tax on millionaires and billionaires.

The Buffett Rule, proposed last year by President Barack Obama, grew out of the argument that wealthy people should pay a higher share of their income in taxes than those in the middle class. Its name comes from the fact that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary.

The Senate result was expected; passage in the Republican-controlled House also was unlikely.

The partisan battle has spilled from Capitol Hill to the Presidential campaign trail, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney opposing the measure.

In a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, 72% said they favor the bill while 27% oppose it.

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Filed under Economy, Politics

House Republicans to Struggle with Budget

House Republicans return from spring recess next week to face the difficult task of filling the holes in the House-passed budget.

The budget, which the House passed last month, has faced criticism for cuts to federal programs. President Obama called it “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

Committees will begin drafting legislation to meet a budget-mandated $261 billion in savings over the next decade.

Critics say the budget is less groundbreaking than its supporters say it is. Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, included few details or instructions to make them happen.

The two biggest question marks are on a tax overhaul and “other mandatory” cuts. On taxes, collapsing the current six tax brackets into two, with the highest bracket dropping to 25% from 35%, would cost the Treasury $4.5 trillion over ten years, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Paying for that with loophole closings cannot be done.

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Filed under Economy, Politics

Support for Afghan War Plummets

A Hospital Corpsman attached to the 3rd Battal...

A Hospital Corpsman attached to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines operating in Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

More than two-thirds of those polled (69%) thought that the U.S. should not be at war in Afghanistan, up from 53% four months ago. Sixty-eight percent thought the fighting was going badly.

The poll was consistent with other surveys this month, including a Washington Post/ABC News poll, a Pew Research Center poll, and a Gallup/USA Today poll.

Negative impressions of the war have grown, with more people saying the war was going badly now than did in November.

Forty-four percent said that the U.S. should withdraw sooner than 2014, 33% said the administration should stick to the timetable, 17% said the U.S. should stay as long as it would take to stabilize, and 3% said the U.S. should withdraw now.

Via The New York Times.

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Filed under Polls, World

Romney Wins Puerto Rico

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a GOP p...

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the Puerto Rico GOP primary, CNN projects.

Puerto Rico’s twenty delegates will be awarded proportionally. However, if Romney finishes with a majority of the vote, he will take all the delegates.

Puerto Rico’s primary comes two days before the showdown in Illinois, where fifty-four delegates will be awarded proportionally.

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Filed under Politics

Americans Do Not Understand Government Regulation

According to the latest Pew Research Center survey, 52% of Americans believe that government regulation of business usually does more harm than good, while just 40% believe it’s “necessary to protect the public interest.”

At the same time, most Americans believe that government regulations of the food industry, car safety, workplace safety, prescription drugs, and environmental protection should be strengthened or be preserved.
(SOURCE: PEW RESEARCH CENTER)

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is the biggest when it comes to environmental protection, but even so, only 36% of Republicans polled believe that environmental rules should be rolled back.

Americans favor more regulation when asked about specific industries: a plurality believe that the health insurance, energy, banks, and big corporations are under-regulated.
(SOURCE: PEW RESEARCH CENTER)

Via The Washington Post.

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Filed under Economy, Environment, Polls, Stupid Is As Stupid Does