Jack Jenkins: More Than 180 Evangelical Leaders Endorse Obama’s Carbon Reduction Plan
More than 180 evangelical Christian leaders signed a letter this week backing President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, the latest effort in a growing faith-based environmental movement to curb the effects of climate change. On Thursday, theologically conservative faith leaders sent a letter to President Obama endorsing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP),
a sweeping, historic project unveiled in June and set to be officially released next week. Signers of the letter, which was posted on the Evangelical Environmental Network’s website, framed their support in explicitly moral terms. “We see overcoming the climate challenge as one of the great moral opportunities of our time, a chance to fulfill the Great Commandments to love God, our neighbors, and ourselves,” the letter read. “It is God’s love that calls all of us to take on this challenge. That is why we write to offer our support and encouragement for your efforts to overcome the climate challenge.”
The Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland after a confrontation that began with a traffic stop was once cautioned about “unprofessional conduct” in a 2014 incident while he was still a probationary trooper, according to documents released Friday. The Texas Department of Public Safety released Encinia’s personnel file in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press. Encinia had been with the department for a little over a year. For the most part, his file was unremarkable. He received “competent” ratings in all of the evaluations that were released.
However, in an evaluation that covered September and October 2014, his supervisor noted that Encinia “was given a written counseling for unprofessional conduct … for an incident occurring while at a school in Austin.” The documents provided no additional details and a Department of Public Safety official did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday night. The evaluation goes on to say, “In the future, Trooper Encinia should conduct himself at all times in a manner that will reflect well upon himself, the Department, and the State of Texas. This supervisor will ensure that this is done by meeting periodically with Trooper Encinia.”
AP: Suspected Jewish Extremists Burn Palestinian Child To Death
Suspected Jewish assailants set fire to a West Bank home on Friday and burned a sleeping Palestinian toddler to death in an attack that drew Palestinian rage and widespread Israeli condemnation. The attack, which threatens to set off another violent escalation, shines a light on the growing lawlessness of extremist Jewish settlers that Israel is either unable or unwilling to contain. The extremists have for years staged attacks against Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases.
The attacks, known as “price tags” because they exact a price for Israeli steps seen as favorable to the Palestinians, have stirred fear in Palestinians and frustration among critics who say Israel has not done enough to quell the assaults. “This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism,” said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. “This is the consequence of a culture of hate funded and incentivized by the Israeli government and the impunity granted by the international community.”
Tara Culp-Ressler: Some Of The Videos Targeting Planned Parenthood May Be Illegal, Court Rules
An anti-abortion group that has so far released four inflammatory videos accusing Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of “aborted baby parts” will not be allowed to publish additional footage featuring a California company that facilitates fetal tissue donation, thanks to a temporary restraining order issued by the Los Angeles Superior Court. The court order issued this week blocks the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing video footage featuring employees who work at StemExpress, a biological company that partners with some Planned Parenthood clinics to help transfer fetal tissue donations to medical research facilities.
The unfolding controversy plaguing Planned Parenthood has been focused on this type of tissue donation, which CMP misleadingly characterizes as trafficking in baby parts. Planned Parenthood emphasizes that it’s simply helping patients who choose to donate fetal tissue, which can play a role in helping scientists develop treatments for degenerative diseases. The national women’s health organization has condemned CMP’s secret recordings for potentially violating the privacy of staff and patients at their clinics.
President Barack Obama, surrounded by Cabinet officials and members of Congress, signs a series of bills during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. Included in the bills signed is the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015
President Barack Obama’s signature is seen on H.R. 1295 Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015. The president signed into law two hard-fought bills giving him greater authority to negotiate international trade deals and providing aid to workers whose jobs are displaced by such pacts
There is no pleading ignorance about nooses. When you use a noose against a Black person, everyone knows what you mean. Everyone one knows the threat, violence, and racism it represents. Everyone knows that you are terrorizing Black people
President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order, titled “Planning for Sustainability in the Next Decade,” which will cut the Federal Government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40 percent over the next decade from 2008 levels, in the Oval Office. Behind President Obama are senior advisor Brian Dreese and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
White House: Leading by Example On Climate Change: Our New Federal Sustainability Plan
Late last year, in an historic joint announcement with China, President Obama set an ambitious goal for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change – a clear sign that the United States’ commitment to leadership on climate change at home and abroad is stronger than ever. In the latest effort to continue that push, this morning, President Obama signed an executive order that will help us stay on track to meet the new target pledged in China and ensure that the federal government leads by example as the United States moves boldly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting clean energy. This new sustainability plan for the next decade directs federal agencies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.
That means big cuts to the dangerous emissions driving climate change – and also big savings. In addition to 21 million metric tons of emission reductions – the same as taking 4.2 million cars of the road for a year — achieving this goal will save taxpayers up to $18 billion in avoided energy costs between 2008 and 2025. Today’s action builds off of the strong progress the federal government has made over the past six years. Already, federal agencies have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent since the President took office, and increased the share of electricity consumed from renewable sources from 3 percent to 9 percent in 2013. Agencies have also made progress on a number of other fronts, like reducing water use by 19 percent since 2007. But there is much more work to do – and that’s what today’s announcement is all about.
President Barack Obama is given a tour of solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy (DOE). With President Obama (L-R) are DOE HQ Energy Manager Eric Haukdal, DOE Deputy Secretary Liz Sherwood and Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy Kate Brandt
President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at the Energy Department
In his ongoing effort to combat climate change both at home and abroad, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40%. Although the government contributes only a small percentage of total emissions, the cuts are expected to keep 26 million metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the air by 2025 – equal to taking about 5.5 million cars off the road for a year. The order also directs the government, which is the single largest U.S. consumer of energy, to increase its use of renewable energy to 30% of its consumption, giving a further boost to green industries. The executive order comes just days after an international team of scientists reported that the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica –
the largest and most rapidly thinning glacier in the region – is shrinking because of warm ocean water developing beneath it. The process could have “global consequences,” including rising sea level by at least 11 feet, the researchers wrote Monday in Nature Geoscience. On Thursday morning, Obama toured an installation of solar panels at the Energy Department’s headquarters and discussed the new emissions targets with federal suppliers, part of a larger effort to lead by example on the climate change issue. In November, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached an agreement on a climate deal to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the growing crisis of global climate change. The pact includes a first-ever commitment by the Asian country to stop its emissions from increasing entirely after 2030.
On Thursday, President Obama created the world’s largest ocean reserve. The new reserve, an enlargement of the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, nearly quadruples the total amount of US ocean territory that’s protected from commercial fishing, oil drilling, and other activities. Previously, the monument — a cluster of reserves surrounding seven uninhabited islands south and west of Hawaii — covered about 86,888 square miles. The new monument will cover nearly 490,000 square miles in total, with the gains coming from extending the borders to 200 miles off the coasts of Wake Island, Jarvis Island, and Johnston Atoll. This is as far as the US government is permitted to protect, according to international law.
Ari Phillips: The Energy Department Just Announced $4 Billion For Projects That Fight Global Warming
The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday announced that it is issuing a loan guarantee program of up to $4 billion to support innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. In support of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan, the DOE identified five key technology areas for the loan program to support. One is advanced grid integration and storage, which essentially means technologies that better support renewable power on the electric grid. Another is drop-in biofuels, which are biofuels that can be used in existing infrastructure. The DOE also said the program would consider supporting waste-to-energy projects, energy efficiency improvement projects, and projects that would enhance existing hydroelectric facilities.
The Loan Guarantee Program is designed to encourage private investment while minimizing risk to taxpayers. It doesn’t provide direct financing but rather brings down lending rates to help spur private investment. The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation is the latest loan guarantee program issued by the Department. The DOE is also offering loan guarantees as part of the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects program started last December and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. In June, Moniz also announced the awarding of $100 million for the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to facilitate advances in science related to energy production, storage, and use. Also last month the DOE announced $33 million in funding for 13 new projects aimed at developing transformational fuel cell technologies for low-cost distributed power generation.
Two years ago: President Obama walks across the tarmac with Vice President Biden prior to departure from Fort Campbell, Ky., May 6, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
The President has no scheduled public events
12:45 Jay Carney’s press briefing
4:0: VP Biden meets with members of the faith community at the White House to discuss gun safety
Jonathan Chait: State of the Union addresses are wearying rituals, in which stitched-together lists of never-gonna-happen goals are woven into idealistic catchphrases, analyzed as rhetoric by an unqualified panel of poetry-critic-for-a-night political reporters, quickly followed by a hapless opposition-party response, and then, in almost every case, forgotten. This year, plunked into the midst of the tedium was a gigantic revelation, almost surely the most momentous news of President Obama’s second term. “I will direct my Cabinet,” he announced, “to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
Here was a genuine bombshell. It sounded a little vague, and the president did not explain precisely what he intended to do or how he would pull it off. But a handful of environmental wonks had a fairly strong grasp of the project he had committed himself to, and they understood that it was very, very real and very, very doable. If they were to have summarized the news, the headline would have been OBAMA TO SAVE PLANET…..
Michael Tomasky: There Are No ‘Absolute’ Rights – Nearly every idea in the Bill of Rights comes with restrictions and limitations. To think that the Second Amendment should be any different is absurd
Every time I write a column on guns, the howl arises that I am talking about a right that is enshrined in the Constitution, buddy, and I better watch myself. The howl then transmutes into an extended harangue that this right is absolute, and no libtard fascist, whether me or the Satanesque Dianne Feinstein, is going to limit the right in any way.
The first soldier to charge across this rhetorical veld is followed by hundreds harrumphing their assent. The only problem is that it’s an ahistorical, afactual, and barbaric argument. No right is absolute. In fact, the Second Amendment arguably has fewer restrictions on it these days than many of the other first ten, and there is and should be no guarantee that things are going to stay that way. In fact, if we’re ever going to be serious about trying to stop this mass butchery that we endure every few months, they cannot.
VP Biden: ….. We fell short on our first effort to pass Manchin-Toomey in the Senate, but we will not be deterred by one setback. We have an obligation to make sure that the voices of victims, not the voice of the NRA, ring the loudest in this debate.
For too long, members of Congress have been afraid to vote against the wishes of the NRA, even when the vast majority of their constituents support what the NRA opposes. That fear has become such an article of faith that even in the face of evidence to the contrary, a number of senators voted against basic background checks, against a federal gun trafficking statute and against other common-sense measures because they feared a backlash.
…. In the end, I believe we will prevail. And those who wrote off gun safety legislation last month will come to realize that moment wasn’t the end at all. It was the turning point.
BuzzFeed: Kennedy Attacked Romney For Lack Of Women At Bain In 1994 Ad: “Exclusively White And Male”
Manchester, New Hampshire, Oct 18 (Darren McCollester/Getty)
The Alfred E Smith Dinner, Oct 18 (Mario Tama/Getty)
Chron: A defaced painting of President Barack Obama, across the street from The Breakfast Klub restaurant in midtown, will be redone with a new design, said the original artist, Reginald C. Adams.
…. The original mural, done during the presidential election campaign in 2008, was damaged sometime early Monday by vandals who threw red paint on the larger-than-life image across the street from the popular restaurant at Travis and Alabama.
…. Marcus Davis, the restaurant owner, said he discovered the damage when he got to work about 7 a.m. Monday.
“When this happened it was a sad occasion, and yet there was some excitement there in terms of the opportunity it presents,” Davis said. “Just as President Obama has not given up and has turned a negative into a positive, that’s the example I will follow.”
8:40: President Obama tours the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
9:45: PBO delivers remarks (WH Live, the Museum’s website and, maybe, CNN live streaming)
12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press
2:35: PBO presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the Air Force Academy football team
Washington Post: President Obama will issue an executive order Monday that will allow U.S. officials for the first time to impose sanctions against foreign nationals found to have used new technologies, from cellphone tracking to Internet monitoring, to help carry out grave human rights abuses.
Social media and cellphone technology have been widely credited with helping democracy advocates organize against autocratic governments and better expose rights violations, most notably over the past year and a half in the Middle East and North Africa.
….. Obama’s executive order, which he will announce during a Monday speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is an acknowledgment of those dangers and of the need to adapt American national security policy to a world being remade rapidly by technology….
NYT: One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.
“We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” recalled William M. Daley, who was the White House chief of staff at the time. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”
For Mr. Obama, that meeting was a turning point …. increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress ….. the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.
Washington Post: Mitt Romney’s contemptuous attitude toward the importance of public disclosure is increasingly troubling. Whether it involves the details of his personal finances or the identity of his big fundraisers, the presumptive Republican is setting a new, low bar for transparency – one that does not augur well for how the Romney White House would conduct itself if he were elected.
First is the matter of tax returns. Mr. Romney’s campaign, belatedly and under pressure, released a single year’s worth of tax information in January along with a summary for the 2011 return. Now, with a Friday afternoon release conveniently timed for minimum news coverage a week ago, it announced that the candidate had filed for an extension….
…. Then there is the mystery of Mr. Romney’s bundlers… Bundlers play a crucial role for political candidates, collecting donations that can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars to fuel campaigns. The candidates know full well to whom they are indebted. Perhaps Mr. Romney can explain why the public isn’t entitled to the same information.
Paul Krugman: Just how stupid does Mitt Romney think we are? ….. the question was raised with particular force last week, when Mr. Romney tried to make a closed drywall factory in Ohio a symbol of the Obama administration’s economic failure. It was a symbol, all right – but not in the way he intended.
….Mr. Romney somehow failed to mention: George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, was president when the factory in question was closed. Does the Romney campaign expect Americans to blame President Obama for his predecessor’s policy failure?
Yes, it does. Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration’s policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don’t remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.
…. Mr. Romney wants you to forget that Mr. Obama has faced scorched-earth political opposition since his first day in office. Basically, the G.O.P. has blocked the administration’s efforts to the maximum extent possible, then turned around and blamed the administration for not doing enough.
Howard Kurtz (Daily Beast): Forget liberal bias. A new study reveals that the press covered Romney twice as favorably as Obama during the primaries – and declared the GOP race over weeks ago.
During the bruising Republican primaries, there was one candidate whose coverage was more relentlessly negative than the rest. In fact, he did not enjoy a single week where positive treatment by the media outweighed the negative.
His name is Barack Obama.
That is among the findings of a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Washington nonprofit that examined 52 key newspaper, television, radio, and Web outlets.
Norbrook’s Blog: …. other people have examined Accountability Now, which Jane and Glenn Greenwald launched with great fanfare a few years ago. Ostensibly it was to recruit progressive candidates, but it seemed to end up putting money into Jane and Glenn’s pockets:
Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….
But it’s not Jane’s only PAC. Although most of the scrutiny has been on Accountability Now, when you look at FDL Action PAC’s FEC summary, you see something very interesting:
Fire Dog Lake: $90,063 …. Commonsense Media: $9,920
Hmm… it looks like there’s about $100K of “synergy” going on ….
…. recently Jane had a little blow-up, right after OFA announced what the President had raised (“a staggering $47 million in the past three months”)….
FDL Action’s fundraising wasn’t quite as good:
No wonder she’s pissed! Apparently all the previous donors have been thoroughly shorn, and new sheep aren’t lining up….
Norbrook’s post is brilliantly timely in light of Hamsher and Dan Choi’s arrests today outside the White House (along with another 60 or so people who actually do care about the environment – but you won’t hear much about them). They were staging a laudable (in my humble opinion) demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries (the Keystone XL pipeline).
Choi tweeted this yesterday:
Okay, so now that he can’t attack the President any more on gay rights issues – without looking even sillier than usual – he’s discovered (true, somewhat belatedly) that he really, really cares about the planet. And if caring about it so much sees him end up in jail, thereby getting him some attention again (when, really, most had forgotten he existed), then that’s a cross he’d, um, have to bear. Mission accomplished, well done Dan.
Well, you have to admire her purity on this one. She is so passionate and utterly sincere about the blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline she would never, ever have anything to do with anyone who supported it, right?
…..Hillary Clinton’s State Department is holding up the Canadian-American Keystone XL pipeline … unnecessarily inhibiting billions in economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs from being created, the State Department is preventing a much-needed regional stimulus. Click here to tell the State Department to get out of the way of America’s job creators and issue the Keystone XL pipeline building permit!
Americans for Tax Reform
Ah yes, Hamsher’s old buddy, the ‘tax pledge’ guy who makes Rick Perry seems like Mao Tse Tung, the one she collaborated with in opposition to President Obama (and his then Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel).
What? She can partner the lovely Grover on one issue, it doesn’t mean she agrees with him on everything?
Of course! Just like she can team up with President Obama when … oh, never mind.
Any way, those of you who might suggest that this….
…. might have had something to do with Hamsher’s heartfelt concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline – and you can be sure she lies awake at night worrying about it … even though she has a hard-hitting interview with Cenk Uygur the next day (“Jane, you’re, like, soooooooo great!” “I know Cenk – but you are too!”) …. shame on you.
Yes, she has been jailed, and she may well claim she was waterboarded while she was in there, and that will raise her sinking profile, and may even attract a few more dollars to her struggling PAC, but ….. shame on you.
Ooooops, $$$$$ are creating a strain between the Firebaggers.
John Aravosis has started selling these t-shirts on his “I HATE OBAMA SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE WORDS ” blog:
….and that’s made Hamsher’s peeps very, very angry:
Oh noes, the Firebaggers are eating each other alive …. after all, there are only so many $$$$ to go around ;-)
A second PS:
Credit must go to Aravosis, having picked only white male models for the t-shirts he’s being trying to sell so far…
….. he chose a ‘non-white’ man for his ‘Proud Firebagger’ offering. Jeez, if he added a woman to the line-up we might even accuse him of being inclusive.
Thank you Tien Le for the link to Norbrook’s post ;-)
President Obama tours Johnson Controls Inc. in Holland, Mich., Aug. 11
Michael Grunwald (Time): I know President Obama is supposed to be an awful disappointment to environmentalists because he doesn’t talk enough about climate change, just like he’s an awful disappointment to progressives because he doesn’t say enough nasty things about bankers. But people who actually care about what Presidents do, as opposed to how they talk, might be interested in Obama’s trip to Michigan on Thursday. He’s visiting a factory that builds batteries for electric vehicles, a factory that exists for three reasons:
1. Because Obama saved the U.S. auto industry.
2. Because Obama has ratcheted up fuel-efficiency standards, boosting demand for green vehicles.
3. Because Obama created a U.S. advanced battery industry from scratch.
…. the Johnson Controls lithium-ion battery factory that Obama is visiting was financed by his 2009 stimulus bill …. that included an unprecedented $90 billion for clean-energy investments …. The most radical investment was probably a $2.4 billion grant program that helped finance 30 factories building advanced batteries and components, including $300 million for Johnson Controls, which had to match the government dollars with private dollars.
Before 2009, the U.S. was supplying less than 2% of a tiny global market in advanced batteries. When the stimulus-funded factories are all complete, they’ll have the capacity to supply 40% of a rapidly growing global market, about 500,000 batteries a year.
The stimulus will also boost our supply of electric-vehicle charging stations by more than 3,000%. And the Obama administration has provided loans to help Tesla, Fisker and Nissan build electric-car factories in the U.S., all part of Obama’s pledge to put 1 million plug-ins on the road by 2015.
That is what change looks like, even if the President doesn’t beat his chest and call for mass beheadings on Wall Street while it happens.
… the liberals who keep whining that Obama isn’t telling them what they want to hear ought to open their eyes and look at what he’s trying to do. Whining enviros should be especially grateful to Obama …. those standards represent the biggest step the country has ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil … the biggest step the country has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.
….. would you rather have a President who talks about climate change, or a President who does something about it?
The Hill: The Obama administration said Friday that a massive pipeline carrying oil across much of the United States must remain shut down until federal regulators are satisfied that it can operate without future leaks. TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline leaked twice last month, fueling opposition to a pending expansion of the project, which is undergoing a wide-ranging federal review.
The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a “corrective action order” Friday informing TransCanada that it must take a series of steps before resuming normal operations at the pipeline, which runs from Canada to Oklahoma.
“After evaluating the foregoing preliminary findings of fact, I find that the continued operation of the pipeline without corrective measures would be hazardous to life, property and the environment,” Jeffrey Wiese, PHMSA’s associate administrator for pipeline safety, said in the order.
…The order comes at a politically sensitive time for TransCanada. The company is seeking federal approval to expand its Keystone pipeline to carry Canadian oil sands from Alberta to Texas … Environmental groups have mounted a campaign against the Keystone XL project, arguing that it puts the country at risk of major oil spills ….the oil industry and some Republicans have been strong advocates for the approval Keystone XL…..
The People’s View: So Friday night, a government shutdown was averted. And already, you have people in some big orange “progressive” places melting themselves down over how that aversion was a loss for progressives and how President Obama gave in to billions more in cuts. So let’s look at what we know about the deal, what Barack Obama’s negotiating skills gave us…
Let’s start looking at it from the perspective of core Democratic values … the Republicans’ effort to defund family planning blew up in their faces, and President Obama and the Democrats protected this much needed service for poor and middle class women and families….
… The Republicans wanted to block any money from going to implement health care reform, and guess what? They didn’t get that either. And that is a big deal. Although probably the likes of Uygur would have liked health reform to be defunded (so they could claim Pyhrric victory over the failure of an un-implemented law that did not carry his favorite pony item)…
…What else? The environment. Democrats have successfully kept the Republican “EPA riders” out of the budget deal. You know, the same riders that would have told the EPA, in essence, “Carbon di-oxide is not a pollutant, you can’t regulate it!” Politico calls this a major victory for Democrats…
…Not bad, I’ll say. Three pretty big progressive policy initiatives were saved from the Republican axe. Remind me why some of the people who claim to be progressives are whining about this again? …
….how about the screaming idiots on the professional left didn’t take dumps all over the President’s initiatives in the first two years, under the guise of purity politics? How about they hadn’t helped along a depressed Democratic turnout? How about if they had actually helped do proper analysis and sell the benefits of health reform, financial reform, credit card reform, student loan reform, women’s pay legislation, among a myriad of other things? How about they didn’t help turn the House over to the Republicans wholesale?…
…we are laying in a bed that the whiny Left made for us together with the teabagging Right. It’s their own making. What we are looking for are solutions within that framework now. It didn’t have to be this way, but it is. What President Obama needs is for progressives to get his back when he’s fighting for our environment, for women, and for health care in a toxic, hostile Washington, DC…
So please, before you go off the rail with Daily Kos, FDL, Ed Schultz or Cenk Uygur, please do some thinking, and some fact finding. Cool the nerves. Calm down. And read. Then make your own judgments. I think you’ll be more pleased than you think.
NYT Editorial: If the federal government shuts down at midnight on Friday – which seems likely unless negotiations take a sudden turn toward rationality – it will not be because of disagreements over spending. It will be because Republicans are refusing to budge on these ideological demands:
• No federal financing for Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions. Instead, state administration of federal family planning funds, which means that Republican governors and legislatures will not spend them.
• No local financing for abortion services in the District of Columbia.
• No foreign aid to countries that might use the money for abortion or family planning. And no aid to the United Nations Population Fund, which supports family-planning services.
• No regulation of greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency.
• No funds for health care reform or the new consumer protection bureau established in the wake of the financial collapse.
Abortion. Environmental protection. Health care. Nothing to do with jobs or the economy; instead, all the hoary greatest hits of the Republican Party, only this time it has the power to wreak national havoc: furloughing 800,000 federal workers, suspending paychecks for soldiers and punishing millions of Americans who will have to wait for tax refunds, Social Security applications, small-business loans, and even most city services in Washington. The damage to a brittle economy will be substantial.
Democrats have already gone much too far in giving in to the House demands for spending cuts. The $33 billion that they have agreed to cut will pull an enormous amount of money from the economy at exactly the wrong time, and will damage dozens of vital programs.
But it turns out that all those excessive cuts they volunteered were worth far less to the Republicans than the policy riders that are the real holdup to a deal. After President Obama appeared on television late Wednesday night to urge the two sides to keep talking, negotiators say, the issue of the spending cuts barely even came up. All the talk was about the abortion demands and the other issues.
Democrats in the White House and the Senate say they will not give in to this policy extortion, and we hope they do not weaken. These issues have no place in a stopgap spending bill a few minutes from midnight.
….The lack of seriousness in the House is reflected in the taunting bill it passed on Thursday to keep the government open for another week at an absurdly high cost of $12 billion in cuts and the ban on District of Columbia abortion financing. The Senate and the White House said it was a nonstarter. Many of the same House members who earlier had said they would refuse to approve another short-term spending bill voted for this one, clearly hoping they could use its inevitable failure in the Senate to blame the Democrats for the shutdown. What could be more cynical?
The public is not going to be fooled once it sees what the Republicans, pushed by Tea Party members, were really holding out for. There are a few hours left to stop this dangerous game, and for the Republicans to start doing their job, which, if they’ve forgotten, is to serve the American people.