Virginia Republicans Oppose Sea-Level Rise Language
Virginia’s Hampton Roads region is at high risk for flooding, and lawmakers and officials in the state are trying to plan for the sea-level rise expected as a result of climate change. But they’re running into a problem: some Republicans refuse to accept the terms “sea level rise” or “climate change.”
never underestimate the power of money in American politics ..
Fifth grader Tyler Sullivan went straight to the top to get his absence from school excused: He got a note President Barack Obama.Sullivan, 11, skipped school on Friday in order to go with his dad, Ryan Sullivan, to see the president speak at the Honeywell factory near Minneapolis where his father works.
While the tween was there, he got a chance to shake hands with Obama, who volunteered to write a note to Sullivan’s teacher explaining the boy’s absence from school.
“Mr. Ackerman –” reads the note, which is written on presidential stationery. “Please excuse Tyler … he was with me!”
No word from Mr. Ackerman, but odds are he accepted young Sullivan’s excuse.
So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.
For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con.
What do I mean by saying that this is already a Republican economy? Look first at total government spending — federal, state and local. Adjusted for population growth and inflation, such spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War.
How is that possible? Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.
Over all, the picture for America in 2012 bears a stunning resemblance to the great mistake of 1937, when F.D.R. prematurely slashed spending, sending the U.S. economy — which had actually been recovering fairly fast until that point — into the second leg of the Great Depression. In F.D.R.’s case, however, this was an unforced error, since he had a solidly Democratic Congress. In President Obama’s case, much though not all of the responsibility for the policy wrong turn lies with a completely obstructionist Republican majority in the House.
That same obstructionist House majority effectively blackmailed the president into continuing all the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, so that federal taxes as a share of G.D.P. are near historic lows — much lower, in particular, than at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
As I said, for all practical purposes this is already a Republican economy.
In the grand scheme of things, Wisconsin and it’s erstwhile governor don’t really matter much. Yet today I read that yesterday’s recall vote in that state is a death knell for unions (it isn’t) and an affirmation of the GOP ideology (it wasn’t) and that Democrats are sore losers (both parties are).
What the recall did show was that rich folk nationwide would stop at nothing to influence an election, even one as small and insignificant as this one. In fact Gov. Walker’s defense of his realm racked up an incredible $30M! As the Washington Post notes:
"As of Monday, more than $63 million has been spent on the recall fight with Walker and his conservative allies vastly outspending Barrett and other Democratic-aligned groups.
Being outspent 10-1 (or worse) is never a recipe for success in a race. Democrats cried foul over Walker’s exploitation of a loophole that allowed him to collect unlimited contributions prior to the official announcement of the recall in late March.”
So what good is our democracy now that it is manipulated by rich folk? The sad truth is that our notion of democracy is dead. Well, dead to us little people. Our voice is drowned under an unending stream of $10s and $20s. Luckily the rich had 10 years of tax breaks to throw at Wisconsin eh?
But that’s not what people will talk about today because we have such worthless news outlets nowadays. But that’s what the discussion we as a nation ought to be having.
100 years from now, Walker, who will be as dead as I am, won’t matter to anyone. Citizens United will be alive and well, fostering the oligarchy it helped create.