Posts tagged ‘Republican’

August 29, 2011

Health Reform Implementation in one map

by Vince

The interesting part about the above map is the nuance that does not adhere to partisan regions:

States that have passed exchange bills tend to lean Democratic, but it’s by no means a clear dichotomy.  Both Nevada and California passed exchange bills under Republican governors;Mississippi and Idaho have, over the past few weeks, become increasingly aggressive about setting up exchanges.

Conversely, not all Democratic-controlled states are moving. Delaware and Rhode Island’s state governments are both controlled by Democrats. Neither has moved exchange legislation. Even here in D.C, an exchange bill has sat in committee since its introduction in February.

May 23, 2011

Herman Cain’s In For 2012

by Vince

His video:

March 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“In my life I’ve voted Republican about 75% of the time. I voted for Obama because the only alternative was a cranky, not so bright old man and an attractive, perhaps intelligent but woefully ignorant woman.

I favor small government, flat taxes, elimination of 99.7% of tax credits, and early term abortions, could not care less about gay marriage, and disfavor wandering aimlessly into wars. In most of these respects, Obama is far more liberal than I would like. I would love an excuse to vote against him in 2012. But he is a reasonable, intelligent, decent man with whose politics I disagree. When I look at Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, the tea parties, more of the ignorant woman, Huckabee, Gingrich et al., I’m disgusted,” a commenter at The National Review.

March 25, 2011

Rand Paul in 2012

by Vince
It’s possible
, that is as long as his pops doesn’t run again:

At an appearance earlier this week in South Carolina, the first-term senator and member of the Senate’s Tea Party Caucus said the only decision he’s made on 2012 is that he won’t run if his father opts for a bid.

The elder Paul is seriously considering what would be his third presidential bid, but hasn’t made an official decision.

Rand Paul has trips to both Iowa and New Hampshire on his schedule in the coming weeks.

Rand is a Tea Party politician that I can actually digest. He seems to be acceptable in my eyes except when he says that he wouldn’t of supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because corporations should be allowed to discriminate when hiring workers.

March 18, 2011

Tax Breaks for the Rich vs. Budget Cuts in one graph

by Vince

Again and again, who in a sane mind believes that the GOP is out for the middle class guy? Unless by middle class you mean millionaire.

Hat tip: Good

March 11, 2011

The GOP, again, Runs Over the Middle Class

by Vince

If you have a working brain, the ability to think, and don’t make over $250,000 a year, why would you ever vote again for the Republican Party? What has unfolded in Wisconsin has shown the true colors of the party of the rich. I always believe that people may claim to be anti-racist, caring, and loving but until they are faced with tough situations (building a mosque near Ground Zero, negotiating with state unions, reconfiguring unemployment benefits/tax cuts for the rich) their true colors do not show. Those hot plate issues show where our racist, plutocratic thoughts are (or show how they are lacking / put in thoughtful check).

The GOP, as propagated on Fox News and through various syndicated writers, gives lip service care to the middle class, promising that they look out for the little guys. What their decisions say, over and over and over again, is that they defend the rich, run over the middle class, and prop up wide brush theories that all takers of unemployment benefits are lazy sloths, all teachers are greedy and picket for better compensation, and have no problem holding bad apple cases up as the final, tell all example.

March 3, 2011

The Real Newt Gingrich?

by Vince

This reminds me of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly – do they truly believe what they spout and support or is it all a political choice that brings them many benefits (money, for one!):

A few years later, having fathered two children with his high school math teacher (whom he had married at the age of 19), Gingrich returned to Georgia and launched his electoral career, running for Congress in 1974 and again in 1976. His incumbent opponent was John Flynt, an old-fashioned conservative Democrat best known for being on the League of Conservation Voters’ “Dirty Dozen” list of environmental reactionaries. Unlike many Georgia Republicans who sought to out-flank Dixiecrats by coming across as better-bred right-wing extremists, Gingrich ran to Flynt’s left, emphasizing environmentalist and “reform” themes, and enlisting significant support from liberal Democrats. Unfortunately for him, these were the two worst election cycles for Georgia Republicans since the 1950s (the Watergate election of 1974 and Jimmy Carter’s Georgia landslide of 1976), and he lost narrowly both times.

But then Flynt retired, just as Gingrich’s form of liberal Republicanism was falling out of fashion nationwide, in the run-up to Ronald Reagan’s election as president in 1980. When Gingrich ran for Congress again in 1978, this time against a more conventional Democrat, he reinvented himself as a fighting conservative focused on anti-tax and anti-welfare messages. He also burnished his conservative credentials by heading up a statewide group opposed to President Carter’s Panama Canal Treaty, a major right-wing (and specifically Reaganite) cause at the time. Gingrich won as a newly minted conservative, riding a conservative trend in his state and the country. It’s hard to know whether his earlier liberal persona, which seemed consistent with his private behavior and the polyglot crew of environmentalists he hung out with at West Georgia, or his later conservative incarnation was more genuine. But it is clear his turn to the right was well timed, and launched him not only into Congress but into a career as a national political celebrity.

If you don’t feel like reading all of that, this short bit sums it up:

ut the lesson of Gingrich’s early years is that he has a jeweler’s eye for a political opening and a willingness to transform himself as necessary to exploit such opportunities when they arise. This could be one of those times: Because the 2012 Republican field is exceedingly weak in ways that would benefit Gingrich, he could end up in a surprisingly good electoral position if he decides to run.

February 22, 2011

The GOP’s Leadership

by Vince

William Saletan makes a fantastic point when it comes to GOP leaders and their refusal to dismiss birther allegations:

These three men are confident enough in the personhood of fetuses to support banning abortion. They’re confident enough in the efficacy and justice of the U.S. health care system to block funding of the Affordable Care Act. They’re confident enough in Wall Street, despite the recklessness and bailouts of the last three years, to press for repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. But ask them whether Obama is a Muslim or was born in the United States, and suddenly they’re too humble to impose their beliefs on others. They can only describe “the facts as I understand them.” They can only speak “for me.” They can only “listen to the American people,” not “tell them what to think.”


These men aren’t leaders. They’re followers. To lead a party, much less a country, you have to be able to say no. You have to stand up to liars, lunatics, and dupes on your party’s fringe. John McCain did it, in his clumsy way (there’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim or Arab), when he was the GOP’s presidential nominee. Even Bill O’Reilly andGlenn Beck have done it. They’ve called the birther conspiracy theories “bogus,” “absurd,” and “ridiculous.”


January 20, 2011

Health Care and Cost: Let’s Be Serious

by Vince

One of the common critiques of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is its cost. Some have said that the big costs over a ten year span are mortgaging away our next generation’s livelihood. Reform will cost money and be difficult to take in. The alternative? Yesterday’s House repeal bill.

The House GOP has been quite strident about out of control spending. They have even gone on record as saying they would reinstate a spending method from yore that only allows spending with money we actually have. The repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would in fact shred that very promise:

And they’re going to suspend their own rules about paying as they go to cover the CBO’s $100 billion dollars of projected savings. That shows they’re not really serious about being fiscally responsible. It seems to me that unserious is really the best word, because it covers so much of what’s wrong. When they pander to Fox’s audience with theatrical bills that have no chance of becoming law, that’s unserious. When they talk about fiscal responsibility and then try to add $100 bn to the debt without covering it, in violation of their own grandstanding rules, that’s unserious. But at the same time, when they start investigating the President — when they say this is the most corrupt administration in recent history — that’s unserious as well.

Even though the GOP repeal bill includes a few tweaks, it includes no general plan or policy. Opposition indeed is much easier than governing.

January 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

by Vince

“[Republicans] say it’s a government takeover of health care – a big lie, just like Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing. The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust,” – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN).

December 25, 2010

Not A Very Lame Duck

by Vince

Consider how much Obama has made happen over the last month. One just hopes this bipartisan thing can keep rolling. Obama has shown his versatility, proving he isn’t some uber-liberal community organizer from Chicago set to take over Alinsky style but one who can bend, flex, and work a long game.

I am especially glad the 9/11 health measure bill was passed. I can understand the Republicans blocking it at first for fiscal reasons. Their initial stance will come off as strange, being that they are the unofficial “party for patriots” and they were more than willing to let millionaires and billionaires get off the hook for tax increases.  Republican wariness of big government handouts for fear of abuse in the payouts is understandable. However, check how the stimulus has worked out and how humanity has responded.

Moreover, we all give grace and reasonable doubt to pet projects and politicians who we agree with but somehow can be easier to doubt those we disagree with. That I believe is important for me to remember when I am thinking about this all.

December 6, 2010

The Bush Tax Cuts in One Chart

by Vince

Ezra Klein provides a short note:

The term “tax cuts for the middle class,” which Democrats like to use, has misled. As you can see from the left side of the chart, the “tax cuts for the middle class” also cut taxes on the rich. A family that makes $750,000 a year would pay lower taxes on the first $250,000 of their income. The question has never been whether only middle-class workers should get a tax cut. It’s how much income the tax cut should cover.

December 4, 2010

Civility: Worth Adopting

by Vince

I remember back when I wasn’t as politically interested some liberals were extremely crass towards Republicans and George W. Bush. This could be the out-of-power move; Republicans seem to be highlighted more these days as cry babies, bitter, and whiners whereas I don’t hear much of the same from the left. In the midst of that discussion, there comes the issue of civility. Will one side stand firmly in their ideological towers and not meet their opposite in the middle (or somewhere slightly on one side or the other)?

Peter Wehner puts together a good piece on the topic of civility. I can’t help but see from time to time a certain GOP faithful say that any type of moderation is a treasonous act towards “the founders” and conservative principles. Maybe, but if no progress is made on such momentus issues as the economy and the governments role, health care for the masses, and a holistic immigration policy, we will still all be in square one. However, I can see that the GOP, which is more and more seen today as the party of “no”, may be choosing to say “no” so to reach for power to implement their plans. To them, being in control may be the better option for governing than piecemeal bipartisanship.

Some may still stand by their mantra of preferring ideologically purist decisions than “watered down” or blended approaches (non-biblical even). A political party is not elected to fully reign from top to bottom. If that were so, it wouldn’t be communism but one step closer towards totalitarianism and subsequently walking away from a checks and balances nation.

Certain political figures from both sides as well the religious figures from plethora of religions too easily defer to marking certain individuals or groups as “enemies”. The common claims are that this is the right way and that (or anything else) is wrong, that it isn’t that complicated if you just read (literally, of course) a few certain holy or made-holy (Constitution) documents or that you are a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ or a communist, secular humanist, illegal, et al (name calling that packs more of a toxic stigma than an intention to actually conversate humanly).

What this all does it tramples on the grey; politics and religion are not black and white. Some may want them to be so that all decisions can easily be made in an ideological bubble but that is not reality. Moreover, discourse is trampled on. Stories are not heard or sought, questions are not asked, stereotypes are reinforced, and tempers are raised. Much of the vitriol, both flagrant and glaring as well as the well guised (‘We need to take America back’) are able to be avoided if we (myself included) take the time (and give the time to others) to explain ourselves. Unfortunately,  this complicates itself when realities and values are on separate planets and are quite confusing.

November 19, 2010


by Vince

Rep. Eric Cantor has put together the YouCut program. It is a website through his Congress site that allows Americans to email in suggestions for what should be cut from the government budget. I already emailed in and asked for cuts to be made in the military.

I love how the video by Cantor emphasizes that the “crazy spending” is all being done on the other side. What about the two unfunded wars? Or the unfunded trillion dollar Medicare prescription drug benefit? What also of the ballooning security state after 9/11? In general, why has the military, social security, and Medicare been excluded by Republicans from cuts?

November 11, 2010

Alaska’s Socialism and other Ironies within the Republican Party

by Vince

Anne Applebaum explains:

For decades, Alaskans have lived off federal welfare. Taxpayers’ money subsidizes everything from Alaska’s roads and bridges to itsmyriad programs for Native Americans. Federal funding accounts for one-third of Alaskan jobs.

Here are some of my collective thoughts.

Is it possible for a candidate to overtly loath the very thing that keeps her home state chugging along?

Lisa Murkowski, the amazing write-in Senator in Alaska, flaunts her statist-ran Alaska while Joe Miller wanted to “take back America” with mere scant plans as to how. Murkowski won, pushing forth this question: will Murkowski be the type of candidate to promote spending cuts or is Alaska better off with a Joe Miller type of vague radicalism?

Furthermore, Applebaum reveals the odd paradox in how the votes were shelled out for Repubs:

“…so many Republicans – and so many Americans – don’t practice what they preach. They want lower taxes, higher defense spending, more Social Security and, yes, balanced budgets. They want the government to leave them alone, but at the same time they aren’t averse to the odd federal subsidy. They like the way Miller talks, but, in the end, will they vote for Murkowski?”

How much of the Republican party agenda is too sacred to touch? Time continues to reveal that to us.

November 11, 2010

“Voter’s Didn’t Vote FOR the GOP, but Against Democrats”

by Vince

You would have thought that some of the brighter minds in the Republican Party would have realized that the voters didn’t vote FOR them … they voted AGAINST Democrats. This “Hey! How cool are we!” stuff is going to get tiring.

This John Boehner guy? Still not sure about him. As Andrew C. McCarthy pointed out in this column, Boehner wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street journal about the election and opportunities for Republicans and didn’t once use the word “debt” in that article. At the start of World War II a single American’s share of our national debt was about $370. Today that figure is at $44,370. Boehner focused in that article on earmarks. Earmarks account for less than one percent of our budget. Hey, Boehner … how about a little focus on the REAL problems out there?

We need to ride the Republicans even harder than we did the Democrats. With the Democrats there were alternatives. If the Republicans start enjoying their power a bit too much, and forget why they were put back in charge of the House … then where do we turn?

And the GOP social conservatives? Concentrate, for a while, on how you live your own lives. Nobody is going to force you to have an abortion. Nobody is going to force you to marry someone of your sex. Nobody is going to coerce you into a homosexual act. And you can still pray whenever and wherever you want. Getting back on those tired rants isn’t going to save our country .. it will serve, instead, to deliver us right back into the hands of those who want to destroy — or “fundamentally transform” – America.

~Neil Boortz, a libertarian talk radio host.

Neil hits a lot of this right on. I have been reading more lately from a few different libertarian media outlets. I believe they have some generally good points – government intervention in say, sexting regulations, creates more problems than solutions – but I don’t side with the government standing idly while millions of gallons of oil spill out into the gulf.

Back to Neil’s point, political scientist Seth Masket makes a similar conclusion, that political parties can bring upon themselves their own demise by solely voting and working in partisan ways. Although each party has its own policy priorities that may resonate wit certain sects of the public (health care reform, tax cuts for the rich), they remain quite partisan if they stay solely Democrat or Republican and not bipartisan. Again, the common good is an underlying factor even if it isn’t unambiguously shouted from the roof tops.

Back again to Neil, when a majority of the voting public gets tired of an agenda that they feel anathema (at its worst) towards or simply disagree with, they get bounced out. In this case in 2010, the majority went for Republicans. Unfortunately, as Neil pointed out, guys like John Boehner are so wrapped up in the classic toxic right wing rhetoric that is quite far from our fiscal reality.

November 10, 2010

A Foundation of Lies

by Vince

Andrew Sullivan took a swing at a party’s ideology which is out to distort everything and anything Barack Obama. Dave True put it in simple terms: liberals expect too much civility and conservatives do not. True’s words come true in every piece by Sullivan defending Obama and in almost every sound bite by congressional Republicans.

I see this (strong) case for a political foundation of lies based on your view of the stimulus and bailouts. Then take that and add to it who benefit from them, how the common good is affected by all of that and if you see this all in a short or long term approach.

I encourage everyone to read the full transcript of any speech by any major politician before tuning in to an opinionated columnist or even Fox news. Read it for yourself, interpret it yourself, and make up your own mind. The loud talkers, either by decibel or syndication, take the power grab opportunities via ad hominem tactics. Politics for the ultra conservative and the religiously conservative is about controlling the path and any moderation or “meeting your opponent at the middle ground” is seen as a sign of weakness. In the end, the common good stagnates, gridlocks, and morally withers when a society is lead by quick spoken demagogues.

November 9, 2010

Meet the Freshman Class

by Vince

I have only followed Rand Paul to a certain degree. Being a libertarian, he doesn’t agree with the Civil Rights Act or the government stepping in with the BP spill or any other kind of government intervention that works to help the environment, alleviate racist conditions, or, you know, work for the common good.

November 9, 2010

The Oppression of the Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich

by Vince

Reading this, this, this, and this book over the last 2 months has shaped my thoughts around the issue of taxation, the poor, the rich, and the general good for society.

First, economically: the Bush tax cuts for the rich depend on how you classify the rich. If you include anyone making over $250,000 a year, the cuts would not bring in $600 billion dollars over 10 years. If you classify rich as one making over $400,000 or more, it could be in the upward neighborhood of $3 trillion over 10 years not brought in as government revenue. This group, labeled as “the rich” make up a mere 2% of the taxable population. For a party that loathes fiscal irresponsibility and idolizes a balanced budget, they seem to be dreaming.

Second, socially: how can any Christian who claims to worship and give their life to a pauper (Jesus Christ) and put down the oppressive systems of His day support them today? The religious leaders who were powerful enough stuck with the Roman controllers during the first centuries A.D. The acquisition’s of land, ignoring Jubilee and other Levitical laws (but they sure remember certain but not all purity laws), and levying astronomical tax and interest rates on those who couldn’t ever pay them made what we know as an oppressive system of domination. Jesus looked to rise up against this system of oppression, hence his disruption of the temple activities and holding up of sales, and much of the rest of his ministry.

Today, this system continues to be unfair and lets the rich get off the hook at the expense of the middle class and poor. Surely, many will go back to the economic side of this and say that the rich own the companies and create the jobs. There were no substantial amount of jobs created under George W. Bush with these tax cuts in effect. Why do some continue to dream for this outcome to happen when it didn’t the first time?

I believe Obama has a wise stance on this issue. He believes in continuing the tax cuts for the rich for 1-2 years. I have a serious issue with making these tax cuts permanent. Making them permanent is clearly fiscal irresponsible and does not provide a solid fiscal base for our country to stand on. This is a long term issue if you make them permanent and our country cannot operate forever while letting the rich not pay in. Repealing this law, if made after the end of this year, would take a 60 vote majority. That is a HUGE hurdle to go over to gather all of those votes up. Paul Krugman sums this up in simple terms:

So, for example, we’re told that it’s all about helping small business; but only a tiny fraction of small-business owners would receive any tax break at all. And how many small-business owners do you know making several million a year?

Or we’re told that it’s about helping the economy recover. But it’s hard to think of a less cost-effective way to help the economy than giving money to people who already have plenty, and aren’t likely to spend a windfall.

No, this has nothing to do with sound economic policy. Instead, as I said, it’s about a dysfunctional and corrupt political culture, in which Congress won’t take action to revive the economy, pleads poverty when it comes to protecting the jobs of schoolteachers and firefighters, but declares cost no object when it comes to sparing the already wealthy even the slightest financial inconvenience.

November 7, 2010

The GOPs Fiscal Fradulance

by Vince

Time after time after time, I have listened to little Reps such as Marsha Blackburn and even big pols such as John Boehner attempt to explain their plans for GOP cuts. None have given any plans that are 1) clear 2) rational 3) beyond polemic rants against “government spending / waste” or 4) practical. I am sorry if you voted for this fiscal fraud party last week.

On a similar note, Andrew Sullivan notes that largely this entire midterm election season was about reigning in government spending when the GOP in fact promised to spend more!