Daily Archives: January 5, 2012
Florida’s ‘Save The Fetus’ Womb Invasion
Give Gov. Rick Scott and his Tea Party pals in the legislature another year to screw around with Florida, its laws and it’s people and he’ll have successfully turned what was once a backwards state into a Bronze Age state.
Florida state Rep. Charles Van Zant (R) is starting 2012 with yet another radical effort to ban all abortions in the state unless the woman’s life is in danger. Declaring that “the Legislature acknowledges that all persons are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that first among these is their right to life,” the Florida for Life Act would essentially (and unconstitutionally) make it a felony to perform an abortion except when a physician meets very specific circumstances.
The proposed legislation would impose a maximum penalty of life in prison for any doctor who contravenes the law. What? No lethal injection? It appears that the right-wing’s call for smaller government only applies to Washington politics. In their view, states are free to impose their politician’s religious beliefs on the citizenry no matter how unconstitutional those beliefs may be. How convenient for small-minded anti-choicers.
Meanwhile, on another part of Planet Wingnut, Rick Santorum preaches on the evils of contraception.
“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.” And also, “Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
And that last line pretty much says all anyone needs to know on how Republicans and conservatives view government’s role in people’s lives. From Florida’s abortion ban, to Santorum’s contraception ban, to the entire Republican party’s same-sex marriage ban, all the way to Newt Gingrich’s call to rid the courts of any judge who renders a judgment from the bench which differs with strict conservative ideology…the entire Republican party paradigm is based on the premise that ‘we’re always right, you’re always wrong – end of story.’
If ever there was a political party that needed to be told in no uncertain terms to go fuck themselves and to simply let people lead their personal lives as they wish, today’s GOP is that political party.
The straightforward interpretation of Wednesday’s controversial recess appointments is that they were just another salvo in the ongoing war being waged by the Obama administration and congressional Republicans over nominations. In this view, what’s interesting is that Republicans were blocking a record number of appointees and using continuous “pro forma” sessions — that is to say, keeping Congress technically in session despite the fact that most everyone has gone home — to deny President Obama the power to make recess appointments. In response, the Obama administration is taking the position that, legally speaking, pro forma sessions are recesses — the Constitution is very vague on what is and isn’t a recess — and is making recess appointments anyway. If Republicans disagree, they can take him to court. Congress-expert Sarah Binder thinks, for the record, that they’ll lose that case.
The less obvious, but perhaps more true, interpretation is that Wednesday’s appointments are a salvo in an ongoing war over a controversial tactic that’s Thomas Mann has dubbed “a modern-day form of nullification.”
Obama made four recess appointments on Wednesday. One of them lifted Richard Cordray to head of the Consumer Financial protection Bureau. Another added three members to the National Labor Relations Board. But despite having hundreds of nominees outstanding — including for important positions like the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and the FDIC — Obama didn’t pull a Teddy Roosevelt and make 160 appointments on the same day. Why? What makes these four nominees different from all other nominees?
The answer is that, without them, the institutions they’re intended to lead will fail. Obama’s maneuver was about the agencies, not the appointees. In the absence of a director, the CFPB can’t exercise its powers. The expiration of Craig Becker’s term on the NLRB, meanwhile, means the board is about to fall from three members to two members — a number that the Supreme Court has ruled is less than a legal quorum, and so a number that means the NLRB cannot make binding rulings.
This is not an accident: Republicans have straightforwardly argued that they would obstruct the confirmation of any and all nominees to the CFPB until the Obama administration agreed to radically reform the agency. They were, in other words, using their power to block nominations to kill or change agencies that they didn’t have the votes to reform through the normal legislative order. Much the same has been happening at the NLRB. A That’s what Mann means when he invokes “nullification”: just as the original nullification crisis was about states refusing to implement federal laws that their representatives did not have the votes to overturn, the modern-day incarnation features Republicans refusing to implement laws they don’t have the votes to overturn. And this is what Obama is fighting.
As Brian Beutler puts it, Obama’s maneuver “does more than fill vacancies. It actually restores the power the agency was given under the law — power Republicans were hoping to strip without passing new legislation. That’s the key thread connecting these recess appointments — and why other languishing nominees haven’t been recess appointed.” So though Obama is setting a new precedent with this move, it’s not clear that the precedent he intends to set is related to the obstruction of nominees. Rather, it seems related to Republican attempts to use the nomination process to undermine agencies they dislike.
You can’t take Eric Cantor anywhere without his minder: his press secretary.
On “60 Minutes” recently, Cantor brazenly lied when confronted with the facts about Ronald Reagan raising taxes: the majority leader of the House kept on denying the historical record. Only the desperate off-camera interruption of Cantor’s minder cut off Leslie Stahl’s questions, since Cantor was caught defiantly prevaricating about the myth of the “Gipper.”
On the “Ed Show” on Monday night, Ed Schultz filleted Cantor: “this is what happens when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is confronted with the truth.” In the Schultz excerpt from “60 Minutes,” Cantor denied that Reagan compromised his “principles” regarding tax cuts. In the “60 Minutes” interview excerpt, you can see veteran anchor Stahl miffed that Cantor let his minder shout down Stahl as Cantor sat by silently.
Schultz’s guest commentator, Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, pointed out – as did Schultz – that Reagan raised taxes 12 times during his eight years in office. According to Schultz, “In 1986, Reagan signed the largest corporate tax increase in history.”
Klein pointed out that the current guru of Republicans is Grover Norquist. When Norquist’s no new tax pledge conflicts with the reality of Reagan raising federal taxes 12 times, Cantor is politically obliged to side with Norquist in rewriting history. That is particularly true if, as rumored, Cantor wants to unseat Boehner as speaker of the House and needs the support of the GOP Tea Party faction.
Woe be those, Eric, who challenge the reality of the “Gipper.”
One more piece of advice to Cantor: before the next time you do a television interview, you might remove your dog collar.
Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout
God Screws Up – Michele Bachmann Leaves Race
And then there were six.
When first announcing her candidacy to become the Republican presidential nominee, Michele Bachmann claimed that God had asked her to run. And so the question becomes, was God messing with her or is Bachmann one crazy lady? I’m thinking it’s the latter.
Her farewell speech highlighted her delusional ways in grand fashion with references to taking back the country, repealing Obamacare, (etc.)…because, “Mr. Franklin and all the Founders, all the men, all the women, who have given their last full measure of devotion…and our military, our veterans are watching us…and the God who created us…to keep our Republic free.”
With Bachmann and Cain gone, two of the three least qualified contenders are out of the picture. It appears that Rick Perry (who has the money) hasn’t been embarrassed enough so he’ll be hanging around for his South Carolina thrashing. But then again, with the not-Romney revolving door working overtime as it has, why shouldn’t Perry stick around. If the ridiculous Rick Santorum can climb to the top of the heap, there’s no reason that the equally ridiculous Rick Perry can’t find himself there again.
This much I do know, the Saturday and Sunday Republican debates should be a slugfest. Can’t wait for the Gingrich-Santorum tag team to gang up on Romney. There’s something about perverse sleazeballs ripping each other apart that warms my soul.
Here’s TPM’s goodbye tribute to Bachmann.
And while we’re on the topic of God and lying conservatives, here’s con man Pat Robertson using God and religion to fleece his naive followers into following his political agenda. Blatant lying by a supposed man of God does not get uglier than this. If anyone ever deserved to be struck down by a bolt of lightning, it’s this fraudulent sleaze.