The United States House of Representatives — one-half of the national legislature, which is one third-of the national government, if you’re keeping score in civics class — exists now solely to gin up enthusiasm in, and to raise money from, the increasingly demented political base of the Republican party.
Read more: Republicans Meet About Obama Impeachment – Impeachment Is The New Normal – Esquire
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The Hill reports that about 28% of people surveyed by Gallup said they would rather pay the fine for not enrolling in Obamacare.
Ideology can be dangerous when it is directly opposed to one’s own self-interests.
The quote is John F. Kennedy’s, I found it in a great post by Joe Conason at The National Memo:
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?”…[I]f by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
– John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1960.
Saw this post at Alternet about Jon Stewart ripping into Fox News, again:
“Yes, the president has been somewhat dishonest about the promise of his health care program. But here’s the weird part: his opponents have been lying like motherf*ckers about its effects,”
This is important. This bill would mean comprehensive, national protections against discrimination towards LGBT in the workplace. \
The bill, S. 815, would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Democrats and gay rights groups say ENDA is needed because not every state has approved such protections.
Senate advances gay rights bill | TheHill.
Do you remember when Barack Obama won the democratic nomination for president back in 2007? Do you remember all the accusations that Obama ‘pals around with terrorists’ because he may have been in the same room with Bill Ayers, a former Weather Underground member? The right was unhinged with trying to make a connection between then candidate Obama and a person who was, at one point twenty years prior, was a radical leftist.
Here are some the headlines from that time:
Obama once visited ’60s radicals
Obama Needs to Explain His Ties to William Ayers
Obama’s Ayers problem deepens
Wall Street Journal:
Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools
Rejecting Obama’s Radical Friends
The Weekly Standard:
Obama and Bill Ayers Worked to Get ACORN Teaching Schoolchildren in Chicago
Palin attacks Obama with Ayers
So, it turns out that Ted Cruz’ father actually fought for Fidel Castro during Cuba’s communist revolution. When asked about this, the now staunch conservative said he “didn’t know Castro was a Communist.”
Ask Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, WSJ or the Weekly Standard if they have said a goddamned word about Ted Cruz’s father actually being a communist at one time. Ask them, see what they say, crickets…
I saw ’12 Years A Slave’ this weekend, I highly recommend this film to everyone. It is a gripping and emotional story based on the true story of Solomon Northrup (July 1808 – after 1857), who was a “free-born African American from Saratoga Springs, New York. He is noted for having been kidnapped in 1841 when enticed with a job offer. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him into slavery.” Source: Wikipedia.
While watching the movie, I kept coming back to one question: how have the lives of African Americans fared since emancipation, and particularly since the civil rights movement? As we know, slavery as an enterprise in this continent lasted more than three hundred years. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, that was about one hundred and fifty years ago but as we all know, anything resembling equality for African Americans did not become a reality until the civil rights movement of the 1960′s, culminating with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
So, in essence, it has not been legal to discriminate against African Americans for only fifty years. We still live in a society where institutionalized racism exists. So whenever I hear a white person begin to talk about reverse racism, all I can think of are the three centuries of bondage, the one hundred years of continued racism post-emancipation and the deplorable conditions in which African Americans have had to live in all this time. Slavery and racism decimated the Black community, they have been dehumanized and yet we expect everything to be on a level playing field merely fifty years after the Civil Rights Act?
The Civil Rights Act did not make racism disappear, it merely made it less socially acceptable to do so openly. It occurs to me that our country has not had a day of reckoning for the sins of slavery. It’s tempting to think that the Civil War was that day of reckoning, but sadly, there are still a lot of people who think the Civil War was about states’ rights. Cases like the Trayvon Martin murder make us wonder whether we have made any significant progress in terms of how Black people are perceived in this country. I also see efforts at trying to eliminate affirmative action based on the claims that it is reverse racism. It is the height of insensitivity to call mechanisms like affirmative action, which are designed to level the playing field for people of color, reverse racism. For racism to exist, controlling the power structure is key. That is to say, our country is still very much controlled by whites. We do not live in a system where African Americans control wealth, government institutions or otherwise.
The next time you hear someone say reverse racism, ask them how many of the top 1% in this country are African American?
So, we know that the Tea Party is doing some damage to the Republican brand on the heels of the government shutdown fiasco.
We now know that there are large groups of non-tea party republicans are leaving the GOP. If either the Tea Party breaks off on their own to create a third party (highly unlikely) or if moderate Republicans leave the GOP, this could spell serious trouble for them in terms of national elections for a long time to come.
The only thing that will keep them alive in Congress are the gains they’ve made during the last round of redistricting, a lot of Republicans are now in (temporarily) safe districts and this can cause serious continued gridlock in Congress for the foreseeable future. Basically, we need to be ready for future Democratic presidents having to deal with a bitter and obstructive minority in the House whose representatives will have nothing to lose since they are technically serving the will of those White conservatives in their districts.
So, either we change the rules surrounding the filibuster, including the Hastert Rule, or we will have to deal with threats of filibuster, constantly requiring a supermajority, threats of shutdown every time we need to raise the debt ceiling and blocking nominations for a looong time to come.
To compound matters, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision could help Republicans survive a little bit longer since there are plenty of billionaire conservatives (talking about you, Koch brothers) who are willing to spend millions trying to elect right-wing extremists.
We should be careful what we wish for, not sure if having a divided government does our country any good and while the prospect of winning the White House more often is enticing, without an opposition party that puts the good of the country ahead of politics, we may just get what we have now: obstructionism.