The Least, First

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Republicans find unifying candidate: Clinton

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An intriguing post by journalist Ron Elving at NPR, begins so:

clipped from www.npr.org
NPR.org, October 2, 2007 Republicans have found the unifying issue they need to rally their party and lift their election chances in 2008 — and it is an issue with a human face. The face belongs to Hillary Clinton, and the issue is the prospect of her becoming president.

  blog it

In the absence of a unifying candidate (quite the opposite to the usual R vs. D presidential runup), Hillary might supply the glue that prevents a third-party split. Click the NPR link.


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Written by Monte

October 5, 2007 at 10:26 am

Posted in Politics

Headzup: Why Republicans Skip Minority Debates

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A scene from the fabulously WYSIWYG minority-issues debate moderated by Tavis Smiley on PBS: Notice the eager expressions, as Republican candidates await the chance to make their case to minority voters. What’s that? Empty podiums, you say? None of the Republican front-runners even showed up?

Ah, the party of Lincoln is the party of Douglas. I offer Headzup’s well-deserved sendup of the four fundraisers, and of the White Right, who made avoiding minority voters profitable:



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Written by Monte

October 3, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Posted in Politics

Republican Ron Paul does his job

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Think how America begins its wars:

Click for larger viewIn the Spanish-American War, the battleship Maine blew up in Havana. We now know the explosion was an accident, but spectacular news coverage convinced Americans that the Spanish were to blame, and politicians found the excuse they sought to pursue economic dominance of Cuba and the Philippines. 200,000 Filipinos would perish.

Think of the outbreak of WWI: the sinking of the British liner Lusitania. Told it was a German atrocity committed against an innocent British passenger vessel, Americans would yield to Presidential war aspirations. We now know it was ladel with tons of munitions: both British and American governments lied.

USS Maddox - click for larger viewThink of Vietnam: Then-Secretary of State McNamara announced: “While on routine patrol in international waters, the U.S. destroyer Maddox underwent an unprovoked attack.” Now we know the Maddox was on an electronic spy mission in Vietnamese territorial waters (the Gulf of Tonkin) and the CIA was attacking coastal facilities. An outraged but deceived American congress granted President Johnson unlimited war powers.

Think of Iraq: Neocons argued for regime change through the ’90s, but lamented the absence of a “Pearl Harbor-type incident” justifying invasion. Then came 9/11. By January, the President had linked 9/11 to Iraq, and told us Iraq was buying nuclear material and manufacturing chemical and biological weapons. In fear and offended patriotism, Congress bowed, war began. Now we know – perhaps a million deaths later – the evidence was inexcusably weak.

What’s outrageous here is not that the evidence wasn’t really there. It’s that the evidence wasn’t there again, and Congress lacked the wisdom to recognize the old pattern and stop it.

Rep. Ron Paul (remarkably, a Republican from Texas) sees the old pattern developing again. Bravely, he speaks before Congress about the inexorable march toward war against Iran, part of which is captured in this 2 minute clip.

Ron Paul – Gulf of Tonkin

This is what Congress is supposed to do.
Let’s pray they do it.

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Written by Monte

January 23, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Iraq, Politics

What? People who care might impact budget?

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Nate Silver, the bright statistical analyst over at FiveThirtyEight, points out that left-leaning Democrats in the House may have more influence on the debt ceiling/budget cutting wars than it seems: Mr. Boehner may not be able to pass a bill without their help.

Any what might that look like?

The payroll tax cut could be a winner all-around. It’s something most liberal Democrats would like, particularly if it comes on the employee side rather than the employer side or if it is specifically tied to job creation. It is one of the few vehicles available to Mr. Obama to provide for economic stimulus. And, given that the accounting in any deal is likely to be fuzzy, it might give Republicans some cover to say they had voted for tax reform rather than a net tax increase.

Maybe it’s a way to bring a tiny grain of “the least, first” priority to negotiations that appear to bode ill for America’s poor and middle class.

It’s worth reading, here.

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Written by Monte

July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Posted in economy, Politics

Media: GOP ‘death panel’ claims like insisting ‘the earth is flat’

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Outstanding video:  News media anchors express astonishment that GOP leaders (Iowa’s own Chuck Grassley being today’s lead) would be so brazen as to fabricate the “death panel” scare.  It’s like insisting “that the earth is flat.”

The truth? A Republican Congressman wrote a provision into one of the House bills calling for insurance payment to be available to people who want to consult their physician about making a living will.

That’s it.   The rest is simply made up.  There is no government involvement at all.

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