Posts filed under ‘2012 Election’
The Obama administration is reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, approving seismic surveys using sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor.
Friday’s announcement is the first real step toward what could be a transformation in coastal states, creating thousands of jobs to support a new energy infrastructure. But it dismayed environmentalists and people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.
The cannons create noise pollution in waters shared by whales, dolphins and turtles, sending sound waves many times louder than a jet engine reverberating through the deep every ten seconds for weeks at a time. Arguing that endangered species could be harmed was the environmental groups’ best hope for extending a decades-old ban against drilling off the U.S. Atlantic coast.
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management acknowledged that thousands of sea creatures will be harmed even as it approved opening the outer continental shelf from Delaware to Florida to exploration.
We’ve all heard it: Unions donate as much money to political campaigns as wealthy donors like the Koch brothers. The Kochs donate to Republicans and unions donate to Democrats so it all works out in the end, right?
No, because that’s not true:
A larger version of this graph and more here.
This spate of retirements (and who knows how many more there are to come in the next, well, hours) goes to show that Democrats have completely given up on retaking the House in this election or any election in the near future. And that’s perfectly rational, because they’re not going to!
In 2012, Democrats won a handsome victory of all votes cast for House members, on the tails of a reelected Democrat president, and still only managed to pick up a handful of seats—nowhere near what they needed to regain the majority. In 2014, by comparison, Democrats are expected to suck. And Republicans have drawn the map in their favor.
For Democrats to regain a majority, they basically need a good state-level election in a Census year by which they can redraw the map to something a little more in their favor…
But surely powerful figures in the minority can “get things done,” even little things, by working with the majority, right? Ha no. The most “action” that House Democrats have seen since they’ve been in the majority has been in helping to bail out John Boehner on things like debt ceiling hikes or funding agreements. There’s really no point to being even a veteran in the House minority at all anymore if there’s no chairmanship on the horizon. House Republicans will not bring up any bill of yours, because why would they? They’re trending more conservative, and House Democrats, at least rhetorically, are trending more liberal. Even if you’re a powerful member of the House minority, like [Jim] Moran [D-VA - 12 terms] or [George] Miller [D-CA - 20 terms], the best you can do is sit quietly during a hearing as a ranking member while the clown chairman berates some mid-level bureaucrat about creeping communism.
One of the images that is seared in my brain is that of President-elect Barack Obama walking up the stairs of conservative columnist George Will’s Georgetown D.C. brownstone in January, 2009 — after he was elected president but before he was sworn in — “to dine with a host of right-wing luminaries.”
At the time I thought wow, this is not good. Obama won by a huge margin but the first group he courted were wingers? He didn’t meet with those who made his win happen?
Fast forward to 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Obama and his White House staff continued to freak the f**k out about what Republicans wouldl think or say about them and voila, we have the mess that is the Obamacare rollout.
Obama and his BFFs weren’t puffed up and proud about what they were doing; confident that it was right and good. They were cowed and intimidated and scared about what Republicans would think or say: HealthCare.gov: How Political Fear Was Pitted Against Technical Needs.
Just think: One man’s insecurities can change the direction of a country (or a world for that matter). What we needed in Obama, imho, was a strong man who called out the Republicans as the paper tigers that they are, but no. He doesn’t have it in him.
One of the most dangerous things happening in the United States today is the right’s willingness to disavow facts and to make up their own, as in this quote from Newt Gingrich in this article published today at CNN.com: Republicans: Don’t Cave on Shutdown:
The left has sold itself on a false history of the 2012 election. According to the left, Obama won the election…
Wow. And I mean WOW. Really? Is the right questioning the election results now?
The president nationally won 65.9 million votes — or 51.1 percent — against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who took 60.9 million votes and 47.2 percent of the total cast, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
So Democrats supposedly stole or altered five million votes?
Newt is recklessly trying to stoke his base but again, this is so dangerous. What it makes for is nobody trusting anybody or anyone or anything, facts, processes and institutions be damned.
In the long run, chaos will result.
Here’s my Tweet of the Day. I would say something like yowzers but this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to how ahem, knowledgeable Tea Partyers are:
Poor Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, he’s been watching too much Fox so-called news. He’s just sure there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of “Illegal voters” out there — somewhere! — but gosh, golly, gee, he’s having a really hard time finding them.
Here’s the tale of the 17 he said were in Boulder County:
Last month, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler gave Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett a list of 17 names, all suspected of voting in the November election despite being non-citizens.
Those names were among 155 people identified statewide as possible illegal voters.
But an investigation by Garnett’s office found that all 17 people were citizens and were able to easily verify their status, the district attorney said Wednesday.
“Local governments and county clerks do a really good job regulating the integrity of elections, and I’ll stand by that record any day of the week,” Garnett said. “We don’t need state officials sending us on wild goose chases for political reasons.”
Garnett said he believes that Gessler referred the names for prosecution because he made a big deal last summer about possible illegal voting in advance of the November election and had to produce results.
Garnett said he wasn’t sure how much it cost to investigate the alleged illegal voting in Boulder County, but he “certainly could have had that investigator work on other things.”
My dear hubby gave Mr. Al the 2012 campaign hat he bought last year.
Al had fun tearing it up.
Kind of says it all as to how frustrated and disappointed we are with him (Obama, that is).
Undoubtedly, losing a presidential election exacts a huge emotional toll on a candidate but when that candidate can’t take his own advice about getting over it, it’s kind of creepy:
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney isn’t through parsing over the final days of the 2012 election.
In addition to a slew of polling that, in hindsight, ended up heavily skewing towards his campaign, Mitt Romney pointed to comments made by a “leading Democrat” who thought the former Massachusetts governor defeated an incumbent president one week before the polls closed on November 6.
“I spoke with a leading Democrat, one of the top leaders of the Democratic party and he said, ‘I thought you had won, one week out,'” Romney told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Friday.
“But all total, you’re not going to spend your time going back and saying, what kind of events could have happened differently,” he added. “I made plenty of mistakes in the campaign. The president made mistakes. No one runs a perfect campaign. The end result was he won, I lost, and you get over that.”
So, Mitt, when are you going to stop spending “your time going back,” and when are you going to “get over” it?
Uploaded to Instagram today by Mitt Romney’s son Tagg:
Just a regular guy.
Republicans Were Against Medicare Cuts Before They Were For Them Before They Were Against Them Before They Were For Them
That title is no joke. Read on:
What Do You do When One Party is This Dishonest?
We’re still waiting for a full rollout of House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, but there’s confirmation now that it will once again rely heavily on retaining the Medicare cuts passed in the Affordable Care Act (even as Ryan’s budget repeals the rest of the law).
[E]veryone is under-appreciating just how outrageous this is. For the second time in a row, Paul Ryan and the Republicans have run a national election campaign (the 2012 presidential election) in which the main theme was bashing the Democrats … for a policy which Republicans support — and indeed are making a key part of the most important policy blueprint that they will roll out this year.
This is no garden-variety flip-flop. It’s a fundamental decision to govern one way and campaign the exact opposite way.
This is one of those cases where it’s so audacious that reporters just don’t want to believe it.
I really can’t think of any comparably dishonest episode in recent American political history. To base not one but two campaigns on attacking the other party for a policy which, between elections, they support…it’s well beyond chutzpah. Oh, and that’s without even beginning to reckon with the fact that the House GOP’s larger Medicare plans call for much bigger long-term cuts than Obamacare made.
1) This wouldn’t happen if Republicans knew, for sure, without a doubt, that the media would report this kind of bait and switch clearly and repeatedly.
2) We’ve got to invent a new word. Outrageous, audacious, dishonest and chutzpah don’t describe what the Republicans are doing now, and have been doing for years. I guess the big takeway is that they’re willing to lie to the American people and tell them during campaigns they’ll do the exact opposite of what they intend to do if elected.
Way to corrode the democratic process guys.
What a difference four months makes:
House Republicans will preserve Medicare cuts that their presidential nominee loudly denounced last year and accept tax increases they sternly opposed just months ago in a new tax-and-spending blueprint that would bring the federal budget into balance by 2023, senior Republicans said Wednesday.
This from the Southern Poverty Law Center (fantastic group):
The Year in Hate and Extremism
Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify.
While the number of hate groups remained essentially unchanged last year — going from 1,018 in 2011 to 1,007 in 2012 — the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) count of 1,360 Patriot groups in 2012 was up about 7% from the 1,274 active in 2011. And that was only the latest growth spurt in the Patriot movement, which generally believes that the federal government is conspiring to take Americans’ guns and destroy their liberties as it paves the way for a global “one-world government.” From a mere 149 organizations in 2008, the number of Patriot groups shot up to 512 in 2009, jumped again to 824 in 2010, and then skyrocketed to 1,274 in 2011 before hitting their all-time high last year.
Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again.
The Hysteria Mounts
Even before the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun and ammunition sales shot up in the wake of the re-election of the country’s first black president, the result of shrill conspiracy theories about Obama’s secret plans to confiscate Americans’ guns. When the killings actually did spark gun control efforts that clearly had not been in the Obama administration’s plans, the reaction on the political right was so harsh that it seemed to border on hysteria.
I know the dates and numbers on the graph are hard to read. Apologies. Go to the “More…” link immediately above to see a larger version.
Remember NASA’s “Mohawk Guy?”
It’s been quite a six months for Bobak Ferdowsi, the NASA flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission, whose aggressively mohawked hair — and otherwise charming appearance — first attracted attention last summer. Now, he is going to be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama in her box at President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“I found out less than a week ago, honestly, that I’d been invited to the State of the Union,” he said. “I freaked out for a few minutes, just needed a moment to gather myself. It’s really cool, I’m really excited, yet again, to represent NASA and JPL and all of the work that everybody here does. It’s really amazing to me. Sometimes I feel unworthy in some ways to do all this. I think there’s so many talented and fun and amazing people on the project that I worked on, but all across our place. I just feel very lucky to get to do stuff like this.”
As for what he is most excited about, he told BuzzFeed, “I’m really excited to get to represent NASA. I’m excited that people have been excited and watching and paying attention. I am excited to — like anyone would be — to meet the First Family. A little giddy with excitement there, I don’t think I have to hide that. It’s really cool.”
The hair colors Tuesday night will not be missed. Bright red and blue streaks run along the top of his freshly coiffed mowhawk [sic].
Republicans are going to hate this because — SCIENCE — but what better way to say it’s cool to be smart?
And I can’t wait to hear what Fox does with it: OMG, there’s one of the Obama’s hippy Muslim friends!
I see Republicans are doing that moderation thing, you know, trying to appeal to middle-of-the-roaders (not):
Lots of chatter about the news that GOP Rep. Steve Stockman, who threatened Obama with impeachment over guns, has invited Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address. Nugent has accepted:
“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama,” Stockman said in a press release. “After the Address I’m sure Ted will have plenty to say.”
That’s a good bet; apparently Stockman is encouraging reporters to interview Nugent after the speech. Nugent, of course, is best known for making this claim, which was investigated by the Secret Service:
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” Nugent said, according to a video that the NRA posted on YouTube. “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”
That’s bad, but if I were the GOP leadership, the prospect of further comments from Nugent after the speech would have me a bit worried. After all, there’s little doubt that reporters will seek him out, and there’s really no telling what Nugent will say. The GOP leadership has not commented on the news.
So this should be interesting. Nugent is so desperate for attention I wouldn’t be surprised if he yelled something out while Obama’s speaking. He’s a live wire but if you don’t believe me, check out some of his more memorable quotes here. He’s a real case.
But we can be sure, the 27%-ers will love Stockman for this!
Now that ol’ Mitt isn’t trying to pretend he’s an unemployed common Joe Blow anymore, there this:
SAN DIEGO – Mitt Romney’s home remodeling plans are back on the front burner.
10News has learned the former Republican candidate for president has lifted the block he placed on the permitting process during his campaign and is now working with his lawyers to fast-track plans that would quadruple the size of his oceanfront La Jolla home.
“We’re very close to being ready for a hearing,” said Matthew Peterson, a lawyer who is representing Mitt and Anne Romney as they try to get through the complicated permitting process necessary to demolish the 3,000-square-foot house and replace it with one four times as big.
So, Mitt and his wanna-be-queen are going to have a 12,000 square foot beach house in La Jolla. (This is the place where he’s going to install that $55,000 car elevator, btw.) We’re talkin’ megabucks here folks. And I think he’s thinks of this as a vacation home.
Yep, just a regular old unemployed dude.
I am so proud of us America for telling him where to stick it.
Now I know why Barack Obama shot that gun. He wants to kill our right to due process:
Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Last I knew, every American is entitled to and guaranteed a trial by a jury of his or her peers before he or she is sentenced to anything, much less death.
Now we have the “liberal” Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama’s Justice Department obliterating that for what will probably be forever.
Blows my mind.
It’s just amazing what Republicans think is important:
During their first three weeks in power, Senate Republicans [in Washington state] have introduced bills to require parental notification for abortions, allow ranchers to kill wolves and let people ride motorcycles without a helmet.
Also on the list: plans to revamp [read, cut] workers’ compensation benefits, repeal the state’s family leave act [that, among other things, gives new parents five weeks off after the birth of a child] and assign A-F grades to public schools. There’s also talk of dumping the state employee pension system in favor of a less-expensive, 401(k)-type plan.
So, they want supposedly want to protect unborn fetuses but for people who are already born they want to increase traffic deaths and health care costs by letting people ride motorcycles without a helmet; kill wolves; cut workers’ compensation benefits; make it so folks don’t have a guaranteed leave plan so they can take time off when they or a family member needs help due to a medical problem; deprive new parents of bonding time with a new baby and make it harder for people to make ends meet in retirement.
What a vicious, hateful crowd.
I like the plain truth President Obama told Steve Kroft in his 60 Minutes interview tonight:
You know, Steve, I gotta tell you, the — you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”
And I like the plain truth he told The New Republic too:
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.
Memo to Obama and all Democrats: Keep it up, hammer away at it, drive it home and for God’s sake, don’t let up!
Yesterday in his inaugural address, President Obama spoke directly to Mitt Romney’s VP pick and alleged Republican economic wizkid Rep. Paul Ryan (WI)
“The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
Knowing Ryan, eventually he’ll deny saying anything about “takers” because it sounds too much like Mitt’s 47 percent comment so when that happens, we can refer him to this:
Thank you Mother Jones!
This high-res photograph over at the New York Times lets you zoom in and see the people on the platform with the President during the inauguration today.
I don’t recall that I’ve ever seen a photo of Mrs. Boehner.
Headline right now over at the conservative Washington Times:
Barack H. Obama Drops Hussein From Inauguration Ceremony
Message: See, he’s trying to pretend he’s one of us. He’s trying to hide that he’s a Muslim from Kenya!
Then there’s this note at the bottom of the article:
UPDATED: The initial post incorrectly stated the president did not use his middle name in taking the oath of office.
Myrlie Evers-Williams gave the invocation today at President Obama’s inauguration. I’m willing to bet most people under the age of about 60 don’t know why that is so poignant.
In 1963, Ms. Evers-Williams’ first husband, civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was assassinated in the driveway of their home, while Myrlie and their three children were inside, by a white supremacist named Byron De La Beckwith.
I am so proud that she, and by extension, her husband, was honored this way today.
Here is a photo of Mrylie Evers (now Evers-Williams) comforting one of her sons at Medgar Evers’ funeral (look at how devastated that poor little boy looks):
My Tweet of the Day:
Inauguration Day trivia:
In an effort to keep pigeons from pooping into his open-top limo, Richard Nixon did one of the most Nixonian things of all time in 1973. He had the inaugural committee spend $13,000 to spray Roost No More, a chemical bird repellent, along the parade route. Dozens of dead birds lined the streets during the inaugural parade.
Dick Nixon. Living up to his name.
In 1829, Andrew Jackson threw a party at the White House after the ceremony and then had trouble getting rid of the riff-raff. As the first “outsider” president, Jackson attracted a rough-and-tumble type of crew to his party. The crowd tramped through the house with muddy boots, ruined the carpets, and tore down some curtains. The only way the White House staff was able to get them out of the house was to put a tub of whiskey out on the front lawn. That did the trick.
Watch the Peace Ball happening now in Washington, D.C.:
Join Democracy Now! as we livestream from the sold-out 2013 Peace Ball at the historic Arena Stage at The Mead Center For American Theater in Washington, D.C. and see speeches from Amy Goodman, Angela Davis, NAACP’s Benjamin Jealous, Ralph Nader, Julian Bond and others, with performances by Mos Def, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and more.
Special guests include:
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Marian Wright Edelman
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.
Unfortunately the likes of Katrina vanden Heuvel, Van Jones, Julian Bond (who I was fortunate enough to meet about 40 years ago), Dave Zirin and Barbara Ehrenreich won’t be invited to the official inaugural balls. Too bad. They have so much to say and to teach us.
Think of this as We the People’s ball, not the corporatocracy’$.
According to inside Washington gossip, Congress and the president are going to do exactly what voters elected them to do; they are going to cut Social Security by 3 percent. You don’t remember anyone running on that platform? Yeah, well, they probably forgot to mention it.
Of course some people may have heard Vice President Joe Biden when he told an audience in Virginia that there would be no cuts to Social Security if President Obama got reelected. Biden said: “I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you.”
But that’s the way things work in Washington. You can’t expect the politicians who run for office to share their policy agenda with voters. After all, we might not like it.
The bottom line is that President Obama and many leading Democrats are prepared to give seniors a larger hit to their income than they gave to the over $250,000 crowd. And the whole reason it is necessary is that the Wall Street types who wrecked the economy say so. Is everybody happy?
Obama. The first black Republican president.
Maybe it’s just me but I wonder if Ann Romney claimed she was a “big, big fan” of Dancing With the Stars because her husband was running for president. Nah! She’d never do that. Would she?
Ann Romney was offered a consolation prize — first lady of Rumba — but after seriously considering it she turned down “Dancing with the Stars” … TMZ has learned.
Sources connected to the show tell us … “DWTS” honchos approached Ann about the gig just after her hubby lost the election and she was “very interested.” You may recall, Ann showed up at last season’s finale and gushed that she was a big, big fan.
House Republican Leaders: Our Tea Party Members Are Crazy, We Can’t Control Them So Give Them What They Want
This is what Republicans call compromise:
Republican leadership officials, in a series of private meetings and conversations this past week, warned that the White House, much less the broader public, doesn’t understand how hard it will be to talk restive conservatives off the fiscal ledge. To the vast majority of House Republicans, it is far riskier long term to pile up new debt than it is to test the market and economic reaction of default or closing down the government.
GOP officials said more than half of their members are prepared to allow default unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes. Many more members, including some party leaders, are prepared to shut down the government to make their point. House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser. “We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.”