HuffPosts Amanda Terkel Discusses GOP Efforts To Restrict Union Rights On MSNBCs The Rachel Maddow Show VIDEO
Amanda Terkel, Senior Politics Reporter at The Huffington Post, appeared Monday on ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ to discuss new anti-union measures being proposed by Republicans in Congress.
“They’re going right now after air and rail workers. The way it works right now is if you want to form a union, you just need to get a majority of the workers who turn out to vote. But the way that Republicans would like to do it, and the way that it’s been for many years, is you need to get a majority of all workers, even ones who don’t turn out to vote.
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Howard Fineman Discusses The GOP Presidential Contest On MSNBCs The Last Word With Lawrence ODonnell VIDEO
Howard Fineman sat down with Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday to discuss the Republicans likely to seek the GOP Presidential nomination.
Fineman explained the current breakdown of the Republican party:
“There really are at least two Republican parties right now. There’s the Iowa Republican party, and that is the one that’s going to be the first to speak in the nominating race. And there’s sort of the establishment Republican party, and it’s a crude way of dividing things, but it’s pretty accurate.”
He continued, “People like Pawlenty and Romney and Barbour are the ones who think they can speak to the whole country, or at least they haven’t given up on the thought of doing so. Right now the other candidates are focused on one thing, getting 25-30% of the caucus votes in the Iowa caucuses early next winter (continue reading…)
There seems to be a growing tide of GOP buyer’s remorse sweeping the country.
Republicans campaigned in 2010 on creating jobs and cutting spending and the deficit. But once in power, both in the U.S. House of Representatives and in numerous states, all those promises went out the window. Instead they’ve offered a steady stream of items from the traditional far-right wish list: union busting, blocking abortion, redefining rape, limiting voting rights, going after public radio, etc (continue reading…)
After a 2010 Congressional election completely absent foreign policy debates, the irony is lost on no one that events around the world now completely dominate recent headlines. At first glance, it would be easy to see the Republican Party as divided from within as it tries to figure out how America should engage the world. On the one hand, the Tea Party is looking to slash America’s foreign policy budget down to the bone. One the other hand, we have Republican presidential hopefuls calling on the U.S (continue reading…)
The reign of lawlessness continues in Wisconsin.
Last week, a local court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of Governor Scott Walker’s radical proposal to do away with most collective bargaining rights for public workers and cripple labor’s ability to collect union dues. The court put a halt to the publication of the bill (an act performed by the Secretary of State), so there could be a hearing on whether or not the Wisconsin Senate violated the state’s strong open meetings law in its rush to ram the bill through.
This week, Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen charged into court in defense of secret government. He argued that when legislators break the law — the courts can’t do anything about it. Apparently legislators, like Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, have “immunity” from the enforcement of their very own laws.
Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan, where novel interpretations of long established law is a daily occurrence and the billable hours are stacking up.
Pleadings from Fitzwalkerstan
Wisconsin’s open meetings law requires 24 hours’ public notice of meetings or two hours in emergencies (continue reading…)
“And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became the truth.” ~ George Orwell, 1984 (published in 1949)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was in town yesterday (specifically, at Stanford’s Hoover Institute where he could surround himself with sympathetic Republicans) to tell this whopper: “Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.”
It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will creates fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding back (continue reading…)
Only days after the Arizona state legislature voted for punishing budget cuts in education, the now infamous witch hunt and audit of Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American/Ethnic Studies program is readying to commence. Price tag: An estimated $170,000.
In a blistering letter yesterday, Tucson attorney Richard Martinez warned the backpedaling TUSD superintendent John Pedicone that the audit “lacks any legal basis,” and “should immediately cease and desist.” Representing the Mexican American Studies teachers and the Save Ethnic Studies organization in Tucson, Martinez called the investigation a “violation of federal mandates set forth in the Family, Education and Privacy Rights Act of 1974,” among other abuses, and called on Pedicone to “confirm without delay that TUSD’s cooperation will cease immediately or at a minimum comport with all applicable legal mandates.”
Only two months ago, the newly hired Pedicone had referred to Arizona’s notorious HB211 law as “unconstitutional.” If found in violation of the law, which bans any studies that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” TUSD could lose an estimated $36 million in funding (continue reading…)
A $3 fine tacked onto every reckless driving ticket in California could mean $11,000,000 a year for spinal cord injury research for cure — IF Assembly Bill 190 passes the Public Safety committee hearing at the Sacramento State Capitol, April 5th.
If AB 190 passes, money will be put into the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Program: if not, it won’t be.
It is all or nothing, that one day. If AB 190 is voted down, so is the research.
Odds are against us, of course. When trying to cure paralysis, everything is impossible; it is the very symbol of that which is incurable: but we have to fix it anyway.
Here’s the problem.
As you know, it is essentially against the law to tax the rich in California.
We have a crippling requirement of a 2/3 vote to raise any taxes (continue reading…)
The biggest single source of electricity in the United States is coal-fired power plants. And that electricity is way too expensive. The Environmental Protection Agency this past week proposed a rule to make that electricity much cheaper.
You see, burning coal has the unfortunate side effect of releasing mercury and arsenic into the air. It is generally agreed that burning coal for electricity puts at least 48 tons of mercury into the air — the largest unregulated source of mercury (continue reading…)
Are Democrats starting to play some offense? Three reports seem to lead to this conclusion, although at this point it is too early to tell what sort of effect this will have on the political landscape, for both the near future and for the 2012 election season. For now, it is refreshing to see Democrats pushing back on a few key issues, whatever their chances of legislative (or political) success happen to be. And the Democrats have picked three pretty good issues with which to launch this particular offensive — the mortgage crisis, gay marriage, and taxing millionaires.
Let’s take these one at a time. The Obama White House is apparently pushing hard for a quick settlement over the mortgage mess (continue reading…)
Polls show that on the major issues of our time — the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Wall Street bailouts and health insurance — the opinion of We the People has been ignored on a national level for quite some time. While the corporate media repeats the myth that the United States of America is a democracy, Americans, especially Wisonsiners and Ohioans, know that this is a joke.
On March 3, 2011, a Rasmussen Reports poll declared that “Most Wisconsin voters oppose efforts to weaken collective bargaining rights for union workers.” This of course didn’t stop Wisconsin Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislature from passing a bill that — to the delight of America’s ruling class — trashed most collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Similarly in Ohio, legislation to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers is on the verge of being signed into law by Governor Kasich, despite the fact that Public Policy Polling on March 15, 2011 reported that 54 percent of Ohio voters would repeal the law, while 31 percent would keep it.
It is a myth that the United States of America was ever a democracy (most of the famous founder elite such as John Adams equated democracy with mob rule and wanted no part of it). The United States of America was actually created as a republic, in which Americans were supposed to have power through representatives who were supposed to actually represent the American people (continue reading…)
There was once was a fellow named Newt
Who gave his first two wives the boot
He spoke for the House
While he lied to his spouse
Seems he just couldn’t keep on his suit
Claimed “this country” has caused him to stray
(Though his sweetheart was not Fannie Mae)
‘Twas his love for our nation!!
(Newt, try masturbation)
Boehner’s thrilled that at least he’s not gay
No Georgian would call him a peach
(Pair of marital contracts in breach)
Against Clinton he railed
Contempt blatant, not veiled
He don’t practice what he likes to preach
To the White House he’d like to ascend
Crude behavior he’ll have to amend
He caused a kerfuffle
He’s got to reshuffle
Has affairs to which he must attend
His committee will start to explore
(Were he female, they’d call him a whore)
He sure likes to play
And now he will pray
For a taste of the sweet days of yore
“I worked far too hard!!” he has said
Guess his job was to use his (small) head
His wife suffered from cancer
Divorce was his answer
With his mistress he frolicked in bed
But said mistress (soon wife number two)
Was just one in a very long queue
Good ol’ boy didn’t stay
Yet again went astray
As he slipped out, he bid her “Adieu!”
Deftly moved on to wife number three
(Over two decades younger than he)
Begged God to forgive
Let’s live and let live!
Making proud the gang down on Street “C”
So what, finally, are we to do
(Betcha Bill Maher just might have a clue)
With a guy who’s a pig
Wants the President’s gig
And gets hot for the Red, White, and Blue!
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The House Republican budget has a lot of flaws. For one thing, independent reports say the plan will cost 700,000 American jobs. (Talk about a job killer!) But let’s take a look at just one small group of cuts their plan makes–programs to help seniors stay healthy and independent.
Some examples of these cuts include:
Job training & placement for low-income seniors still able to work
Grants and loans to rebuild low-income seniors’ housing
Programs to help seniors with their nutrition
Home heating assistance for low-income seniors
Of course, don’t forget Republican plans to repeal the health care reform bill, which allows more seniors to get home and community-based alternatives to nursing home care.
I’ve been taking care of my elderly father for over a decade (continue reading…)
Last November, Californians did not elect Republican Meg “Money Bags” Whitman to be their governor. We elected a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in the State Assembly and the Senate. Yet five members of the Republican minority once again are in the driver’s seat and they’re determined to run the state right over the cliff. They’ve even hired Schwarzenegger’s old budget director, Michael Genest, as a “consultant” while they block any attempt to address California’s fiscal crisis and — Wisconsin GOP-style — they’re even preventing Californians from voting on the matter (continue reading…)
Though their stated pledges since coming to power have been to ‘cut the deficit’ and ‘create jobs,’ House Republicans will soon take a series of votes to further solidify a radical agenda that does neither.
Instead, this week they will bring to the floor two bills — the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Termination Act, H.R. 839, and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act (H.R. 861) — to end critical programs that help families and communities reeling from the effects of a financial crisis they didn’t create.
Make no mistake; I have been one of the fiercest critics of HAMP in Congress (continue reading…)
Come on now: Let’s take a breath and put this NPR fracas into perspective.
Just as public radio struggles against yet another assault from the its long-time nemesis — the right-wing machine that would thrill if our sole sources of information were Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and ads paid for by the Koch Brothers — it walks into a trap perpetrated by one of the sleaziest operatives ever to climb out of a sewer.
First, in the interest of full disclosure: While not presently committing journalism on public television, the two of us have been colleagues on PBS for almost 40 years (although never for NPR). We’ve lived through every one of the fierce and often unscrupulous efforts by the right to shut down both public television and radio. Our work has sometimes been the explicit bull’s eye on the dartboard, as conservative ideologues sought to extinguish the independent reporting and analysis they find so threatening to their phobic worldview.
We have come to believe, as so many others have, that only the creation of a substantial trust fund for public media will free it from the whims and biases of the politicians, including Democratic politicians (yes, after one of our documentaries tracking President Clinton’s scandalous fund-raising in the mid-90s, the knives were sharpened on the other side of the aisle).
Richard Nixon was the first who tried to shut down public broadcasting, strangling and diverting funding, attacking alleged bias and even placing public broadcasters Sander Vanocur and Robert MacNeil on his legendary enemies list. Nixon didn’t succeed, and ironically his downfall was brought about, in part, by public television’s nighttime rebroadcasts of the Senate Watergate hearings, exposing his crimes and misdemeanors to a wider, primetime audience.
Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich tried to gut public broadcasting, too, and the George W (continue reading…)
The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ on Thursday to discuss potential GOP presidential candidates.
Matthews brought up the significance of Iowa in the nominating process.
Stein explained that the candidates who are successful in Iowa do not always necessarily win the nomination.
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We must begin by acknowledging two current political realities. First, voters strongly believe that Washington needs to fundamentally change the way it does business. This manifests itself, in the abstract, in a robust appetite for fiscal discipline and cuts to government spending. A recent Gallup poll shows that a plurality of voters believe that even Republican proposals to cut spending do not go far enough (and just 25 percent think they have gone too far) (continue reading…)
Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) recently commented that Republicans have “an allergy to science and scientists” during a congressional hearing targeting the EPA. This observation is significant not because of its insight, as Inslee was doing little more than stating the obvious. It is, however, unusual to hear a member of congress make these kinds of matter of fact statements. While debate in congress is often quite intense, Democrats seem uncomfortable saying these kinds of things even when they are painfully obvious (continue reading…)
In the past several weeks election reform laws have been introduced in 31 states including North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Maine and Nebraska. Three main kinds of reform legislation are being floated in these states: elimination of same day registration, elimination of pre-registration, and the creation of mandatory voter ID cards. The enactment of these reforms has long been seen by political scientists as primarily detrimental to turnout among young voters.
All of these efforts are being led by Republicans — who following the 2010 midterms control the majority of state legislatures around the country — at the state level (continue reading…)
Last week, I wrote a letter to Cindy Mann, who leads state services for Medicare and Medicaid, calling for a comment period and a public hearing before Gov. Jan Brewer cuts almost 300,000 people from our state Medicaid program. Brewer has been talking about doing this for months, and unfortunately the Department of Health and Human Services isn’t stopping her. I consider this nothing less than a war on Arizona’s working families (continue reading…)
GOPers, gather ’round. For your consideration, a travesty of bureaucracy: Eighty-eight different agencies make a slew of complex and often conflicting rules that mire thousands of small and mid-sized American businesses in snarls of paperwork that run up man-hours, reduce their company output, profit and hamstring their ability to do business.
It’s exactly the kind of thing that Republicans say is wrong with the system. In this case, I have to agree with you.
These bureaucrats create an immense amount of uncertainty for the businesses under their jurisdiction. Their paperwork consumes nearly one-third (31%) of every dollar that they take in (continue reading…)
Do you bow down before you chow down?
Do you say grace before mealtime? (By grace I mean saying any prayer from any faith tradition before you eat.) Do you? Turns out this is a major indicator of your political bent, Republican or Democrat, according to authors Robert D. Putman and David E. Campbell in their colossal tome American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. I’ll try to keep some suspense here by not immediately revealing which party does which, but I can feel myself already objecting to being so quickly categorized.
First of all, saying grace before you eat is healthy for you (continue reading…)
For a state run by Republicans who purport to be all about less government interference and fiscal responsibility the legislature in Utah has missed just about every mark possible and their current session is one for the record books of villainous overreaching government and horrendous fiscal policy.
Sure, I’m a liberal and I’m all for less government where it’s appropriate and more fiscal responsibility. I think we can all agree that saying otherwise, regardless of our political leanings, would be the equivalent of saying “I hate puppies, kitties, and children.”
But it’s not just Wisconsin’s Republicans that have gone through the looking glass into the nonsense of Wonderland, the Utah legislature is giving them a run for their money. Maybe we’d have more attention paid to the crimes going on in Utah if they were so bold as to officially eliminate collective bargaining agreements, but what they’re perpetrating is no less egregious.
Let’s start with the budget, shall we? Right now the state budget is looking thin because of the economy and the legislature is looking at places to slash. That’s completely understandable, right? In Utah, the state administers all alcohol sales through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) (continue reading…)