Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘GOP’ Category

Are the Republicans giving up on killing Obamacare?

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Here’s why they might:

blog_obamacare_gallup_republicans

That’s from a good post by Kevin Drum that indicates that at least some Republicans think that the Obamacare fight is over, and the general public won. Worth reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 April 2015 at 1:01 pm

Posted in GOP, Government, Healthcare

81% of Republicans support Net Neutrality; the GOP is trying to kill it

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The GOP really cares nothing about the will of the people—their concern is the will of corporations. Sam Gustin reports in Motherboard:

If anyone thinks that Republicans will roll over and con​cede defeat in the battle over net neutrality, they’re dead wrong.

On the contrary, GOP lawmakers are laying the foundation for a fierce, multi-pronged attack against the Federal Communications Commission’s new open internet rul​es, which are designed to preserve net neutrality, the principle that broadband giants shouldn’t be able to pick winners and losers online.

Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, introduced a “​resolution of disapproval” this week under the Congressio​nal Review Act that would declare that the FCC’s new policy “shall have no force or effect.”

Collins, who represents a rural Northeast Georgia district, said his resolution would be the fastest way to thwart “heavy-handed agency regulations that would slow internet speeds, increase consumer prices and hamper infrastructure development,” according to his office. [If Net Neutrality is killed, you can bet that telecoms will slow internet speeds for everyone unwilling to pay a premium, passed along to customers. Not to put too fine a point on it, Collins doesn’t seem to be all that bright. – LG]

“Resources that could go to broadband deployment will go to federal taxes and fees,” said Collins, whose resolution has attracted 14 Republican co-sponsors and counting. “We’ll all be paying more for less.”

Collins and his colleagues face several hurdles before they can successfully cancel the FCC’s new rules, which are supported by 81 percent of voters nationwide, including 81 percent of Republicans, according to a rec​ent poll conducted by Vox Populi Polling.

But for the most conservative Republican lawmakers, vocal opposition to the FCC’s new policy amounts to great red meat for their core base of highly politically engaged supporters.

On the one hand, these lawmakers can demonstrate their ideological opposition to what they call “federal government overreach.” On the other hand, they can continue to exert reflexive opposition to any policy President Obama s​upports. Many GOP lawmakers accuse the White House of improperly influencing the FCC.

“The FCC likely forged its net neutrality solution under political pressure and will continue to attempt to grow its power in secret, despite Congress’ authority in this matter,” said Collins.

The Collins resolution is just one piece of the overall GOP attack. Last month, Marsha Blackburn, the Tennessee Republican, reintroduced legislation to block the FCC from implementing its new rules. Blackburn said her bill aims to “block the Obama Administration’s efforts to take over the internet.”

Many Republican lawmakers argue that the FCC’s new rules will stifle online innovation and raise prices for consumers. Last month, the GOP subjected FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to a marathon series of hearings on Capitol Hill. At one point, Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican and vocal net neutrality opponent, accused Wheeler of “playing God with the internet.”

The FCC’s new rules also face a fierce industry pushback in federal court. [And that’s no doubt why the GOP, always the handmaiden and servant of big business, opposes Net Neutrality. – LG] US Telecom, a national industry group, and Texas-based service provider Alamo Broadband, have already filed lawsuits calling the new rules “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” by the FCC.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 April 2015 at 12:09 pm

GOP dilemma: Back Putin? or Obama?

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Kevin Drum has a good post on a difficult choice the GOP must make—though I expect they’ll back Putin, whom they actually sort of admire: tough guy, white, takes revenge on journalists who criticize him, etc. Don’t forget that George W. Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul, which (apparently) Bush admired.

Written by LeisureGuy

14 April 2015 at 9:33 am

Posted in GOP, Government, Iran

More good news on Obamacare

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Kevin Drum asks a good question: Why are Republicans so opposed to Medicare, now that it has been proven to work? Look at his post at Mother Jones:

During Obamacare’s initial open enrollment period, the uninsured rate dropped dramatically. Then it leveled out a bit when enrollment closed. So how are things going in its second year?

The latest Gallup numbers tell the story. During the first month of open enrollment, the uninsured rate dropped moderately, and then dropped sharply again during the first quarter of 2015. It’s now down to 11.9 percent:

blog_gallup_uninsured_2015_q1

This is great news, and confirms previous reports. As before, according to Gallup, the biggest drops have been among the young and those with low incomes. This represents millions of people who can now get decent medical care without fear of bankruptcy, and it’s being done at asurprisingly moderate cost. It’s just inconceivable to me why Republicans are so hellbent on ruining a program that’s showing such great results and such great promise for so many people.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 April 2015 at 5:46 pm

Posted in GOP, Government, Healthcare

A New Phase in Anti-Obama Attacks

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The GOP is increasingly a racist party. A NY Times editorial:

It is a peculiar, but unmistakable, phenomenon: As Barack Obama’s presidency heads into its twilight, the rage of the Republican establishment toward him is growing louder, angrier and more destructive.

Republican lawmakers in Washington and around the country have been focused on blocking Mr. Obama’s agenda and denigrating him personally since the day he took office in 2009. But even against that backdrop, and even by the dismal standards of political discourse today, the tone of the current attacks is disturbing. So is their evident intent — to undermine not just Mr. Obama’s policies, but his very legitimacy as president.

It is a line of attack that echoes Republicans’ earlier questioning of Mr. Obama’s American citizenship. Those attacks were blatantly racist in their message — reminding people that Mr. Obama was black, suggesting he was African, and planting the equally false idea that he was secretly Muslim. The current offensive is slightly more subtle, but it is impossible to dismiss the notion that race plays a role in it.

Perhaps the most outrageous example of the attack on the president’s legitimacy was a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leadership of Iran saying Mr. Obama had no authority to conclude negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Try to imagine the outrage from Republicans if a similar group of Democrats had written to the Kremlin in 1986 telling Mikhail Gorbachev that President Ronald Reagan did not have the authority to negotiate a nuclear arms deal at the Reykjavik summit meeting that winter.

There is no functional difference between that example and the Iran talks, except that the congressional Republican caucus does not like Mr. Obama and wants to deny him any policy victory.

On April 3, Colbert King, a Washington Post columnist summarized a series of actions by Republicans attacking the president’s authority in areas that most Americans thought had been settled by the Civil War. Arizona legislators, for example, have been working on a bill that “prohibits this state or any of its political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with an executive order issued by the president of the United States that has not been affirmed by a vote of Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the United States Constitution.”

Republicans defend this sort of action by accusing Mr. Obama of acting like a king and citing executive actions he has taken — on immigration and pollution among other things. That’s nonsense. The same Republicans had no objection when President George W. Bush used his executive authority to authorize the torture of terrorism suspects and tap the phones of American citizens. It is not executive orders the Republicans object to; it is Mr. Obama’s policies, and Mr. Obama.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, . . .

Continue reading.

The GOP really doesn’t care what damage it does to the country so long as the wealthy are protected. That seems to be their job—their only job.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 April 2015 at 10:45 am

A clear look at the destructive and nihilistic aspect of the GOP

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Written by LeisureGuy

3 April 2015 at 4:43 pm

Sen. Tom Cotton, a piece of work

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This guy lacks judgment, to say the least. Andrew Rosenthal writes in the NY Times:

I’m starting to long for the good old days, just weeks ago, when nobody had to think about Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas.

Mr. Cotton, you will remember, was the primary author of the constitutionally outrageous and substantively mindless letter from Republican senators telling the leaders of Iran that they shouldn’t negotiate on nuclear weapons with President Obama. Now, he is adding his voice to those who are telling gay Americans that they shouldn’t get too pushy about their civil rights.

Mr. Cotton was asked by Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday about a law passed by legislators in his home state that is clearly intended to permit businesses and individuals to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.

“In Arkansas,” he began, “we believe in religious freedom.” Mr. Blitzer, to his credit, pointed out that “everybody believes in religious freedom.”

Mr. Cotton countered with the irrelevant fact that President Clinton signed a federal law on which the current assault on gay rights is based. (The comically named Religious Freedom Restoration Act). That’s true. He also signed the Defense of Marriage Act, an outrageous infringement on the constitutional rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans. And he signed the bill that turned military policy against gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces into the moronic law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

So Mr. Clinton was lousy on this civil rights issue. What’s Mr. Cotton’s point?

“It’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities,” he said. “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay.”

So, let’s not worry about civil rights in this country, which Mr. Cotton and other lawmakers can actually protect, but rather in Iran. Why Iran?

I’m so glad you asked — because . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 April 2015 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Congress, GOP, Government, Law

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