Remember when Republicans were screaming about all the “czars” President Obama appointed? No? Good. That’s what they’re counting on (and don’t expect the “liberal media” to remind you of it).
Fast forward to the last few days during which Republicans have been beating the drum for Obama to do just that again…appoint another “czar:”
GOP senators who opposed Obama ‘czars’ now want one for Ebola
Obama caved today — still hoping for bipartisan reconciliation or what; I don’t know — and he appointed an Ebola “czar.”
Three hours later, this is where we are:
Obama appoints Ebola czar… and we are so screwed
Obama Bows to Pressure, Appoints Ebola Czar
GOP blasts Ebola czar pick
Google “Obama appoints Ebola czar” and you’ll see links to hundreds of critical articles.
Nothing like Mr.-Cave-to-Republicans-Since-Day-One to go into the November election caving again. Way to rally the base, huh?
As Jeff Sacks wrote today:
There is no case for an American Ebola czar, least of all another political “fixer” who has no expertise in public health. This is just another case of the Obama administration putting politics before substance, and cowering at the idiocy and vileness of the Republicans in Congress.
The CDC is the world’s pre-eminent public health institution, and Tom Frieden is a consummate professional. And yes, the CDC is overstretched in this epidemic and under-funded, given the relentless attacks on “government” by the Republicans in Congress. And yes, a hospital in Texas performed poorly. These are not signs of disaster; they are signs of the suddenness and unusual circumstances of the Ebola epidemic.
The sad reality, however, is that during his administration, Obama has been so insecure, so incapable of bold leadership, that he has, in the end, sided with the Republicans on the budget cuts that have put the CDC, USAID, and even the World Health Organization (WHO) in danger —the latter because of the U.S. unwillingness to fund the UN properly. Therefore, when the crisis hit, the U.S. and the world were not ready for it.
This is just downright painful to watch.
Oh, and P.S. – I heard on CNN about an hour ago that banning flights is now “on the table” in the White House, something Obama was adamantly against: Ebola: Obama will increase airport screenings, won’t ban West Africa flights.
Expect another cave even though no public health expert says a flight ban would be a good idea. Why? Because Obama = ring in nose led by Republicans.
October 17, 2014 at 6:46 PM
Remember back in 2010 when Rahm Emanuel, then President Obama’s Chief of Staff, reportedly said liberals were “f*cking retarded?” And surely you know about the meme about how Democratic politicians don’t really have to act like Democrats or vote like Democrats because, after all, “where else do Democratic voters have to go?” I mean, they’re not going to vote Republican so they’ll keep voting Democratic, right?
No, they probably won’t vote Republican but they do have another place to go. They can go to their couch instead of to the polls.
What I’m hearing about November is Republicans are way more fired up than Democrats and lots and lots of Democrats have to vote in order to keep Republicans from taking the Senate. But this is precisely the kind of thing that makes Democrats take to their couch in utter frustration:
Democratic FEC Commissioner Joins with Three Republican Commissioners to Gut Political Party Contribution Limits
October 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM
(Image via Wikipedia)
This sentence pretty much sums up where we’re at here in the U.S. when it come to our politicians:
Later today, according to press reports, President Obama will visit LA for a series of events including a speech on income inequality and, in awkward contrast, a $34k-a-ticket fundraiser at the home of Gwyneth Paltrow.
“Awkward contrast” is right.
October 8, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Let’s ponder the long run for a sec here: Who’s smarter? Who’s doing the best job planning for the future?
(Image via @Drgrist on Twiter)
I vote for China.
This is what the U.S. gets allowing itself to become a corporatocracy run by lobbyist$ who drain it via endless war.
September 19, 2014 at 8:58 PM
As soon as the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions were handed down by the Supreme Court I knew it might be impossible to reverse them because as the minutes passed, rich donors poured money into the pockets of politicians, making them less and less likely to vote to overturn them:
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a constitutional amendment meant to reverse two recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign spending.
Senate Democrats needed 60 votes to end debate on the measure, but fell short in the 54-42 party-line vote.
Earlier this week, more than 20 Republicans voted with Democrats in a 79-18 vote to advance the amendment in order to force Democrats to spend the week debating the merits of the measure.
Republicans “forced” Democrats to spend the week debating the measure so they could lay around, doing nothing, as is their wont. They’re killing time until (at last) November 4, when they hope to regain control of the Senate and then, if they do, they’ll twiddle their fingers until the new electees are sworn in in January, 2015. If they don’t win control of the Senate in November, they’ll be furious and they’ll dig in their heels until November, 2016 so keeping Democrats busy with meaningless debates lets them off the hook.
The amendment … would have needed to win two-thirds support to pass the Senate, and then would still have needed to move through the House and be ratified by two-thirds of the states.
The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.
Democrats argued the Supreme Court decision has allowed billionaires to flood the campaign spending system with “dark money” in order to buy election results.
Don’t you love it: “Democrats argued the Supreme Court decision has allowed billionaires to flood the campaign spending system with ‘dark money’ in order to buy election results.” That isn’t a partisan argument; it’s a fact: Political Donations Soar After Supreme Court Rules Against Campaign Contribution Caps. Too bad The Hill found it necessary to imply that’s some sort of dubious spin. It’s verifiable and if they cared about informing their readers, they’d have included data proving it to be true.
So, at this point, I don’t see how we stop our elections from being bought.
September 11, 2014 at 6:17 PM
Boulder County Judge Strikes Down Longmont Fracking Ban
A Boulder County District Court judge has struck down Longmont’s fracking ban but said the ban can remain in place while the city considers an appeal.
Judge D.D. Mallard issued the summary judgment Thursday. In the ruling, she said Longmont’s charter amendment clearly conflicted with the state’s regulations and its interest in the efficient development of oil and gas deposits.
“While the court appreciates the Longmont citizens’ sincerely held beliefs about risks to their health and safety, the court does not find this is sufficient to completely devalue the state’s interest,” Mallard wrote.
The case had been expected to go to trial in 2015.
The ban, passed by Longmont voters in 2012, forbids the practice of hydraulic fracturing, which uses high-pressure water, sand and chemicals to crack open hard-to-reach oil and gas deposits.
Colorado Governor John Nickenlooper — known in these parts as Mr. Howdy Doody — a so-called Democrat — joined the oil and gas industry in this suit. I.e., he effectively sued the citizens of his own state because they voted against the corporatocracy he represents.
Who put “the state’s regulations and interests ” into effect?” Corporate lobbyists who own the Colorado statehouse and the governor.
Again, the citizens of Longmont voted NO on fracking in 2012. A judge nullified that vote today.
Why the hell vote anymore, huh? The system is so rigged, our votes don’t seem to matter.
July 24, 2014 at 8:19 PM
Ah yes, Congress working to create jobs again:
Congress Quietly Deletes a Key Disclosure of Free Trips Lawmakers Take
It’s going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers’ annual financial-disclosure forms.
The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.
“This is such an obvious effort to avoid accountability,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There’s no legitimate reason. There’s no good reason for it.”
Free trips paid for by private groups must still be reported separately to the House’s Office of the Clerk and disclosed there. But they will now be absent from the chief document that reporters, watchdogs, and members of the public have used for decades to scrutinize lawmakers’ finances.
July 1, 2014 at 8:47 AM