Politics


We know the ultra-conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, came up with the idea.

We know that GOP frontrunner employed it in RomneyCare and declared it a “fundamentally conservative” idea.

We know Newt Gingrich also advocated for it.

And now. . . Rick Santorum. Per a 1994 Pennsylvania news article:

Santorum and Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits. Both oppose abortion services and support limits on malpractice awards. Santorum says non-economic damages should not exceed $250,000, adjusted annually for inflation, and lawyers’ contingency fees should be capped at 25 percent.

I still ask how Alabama GOPers support these guys after their rhetoric through the years:

So how do Mike Hubbard and Mike Rogers overlook this “push toward a socialistic-leaning government in this country” with RomneyCare and its “socialist” mandates which “will dampen too many employers’ ability to hire and expand” and “threaten job creation and stability across East Alabama” and “which force citizens to purchase something they do not wish to purchase, a mandate which has never been previously demanded of the populace.

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Mitt Romney stated today:

“What we did was right for the people of Massachusetts,” he said on “Fox and Friends” Wednesday morning. “It is fundamentally a conservative principle to insist that people take personal responsibility as opposed to turning to government for giving out free care.”

A more full video can be found here which also includes Newt admitting that he supported an individual mandate but has now changed his mind.

I cannot wait until Romney’s Alabama campaign chairpersons Speaker Mike Hubbard, Cong. Mike Rogers, and Lt.Gov. Kay Ivey publicly agree that the primary plank of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate, is “fundamentally a conservative principle.” I’m on pins & needles.

 

Evidently, the Alabama Legislative District Maps have gone missing! Remember: they were supposed to be released to the public in early December.

All 35 Senate districts and 105 House districts will have to be redrawn because of population changes since districts were last redrawn in 2001.

The new districts will be based on the results of the 2010 federal census.

Dial said the plan is to meet before Thanksgiving and then have a proposed district plan ready by early December so that legislators on the committee can conduct hearings in their districts.

Dial and Rep. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, plan to introduce House and Senate redistricting bills in the 2012 legislative session, which begins in February. McClendon is the committee’s co-chairman in the House.

Oh no. Some bird must have taken the map to its nest in the dark cave. Let’s hope Dora can find the maps soon.  Let’s hope there is better transparency this time around than there was on the Congressional maps. Last time, the map stayed in the dark cave until the last minute.

[Sen. Gerald] Dial, R-Lineville, said after the original public hearing in Montgomery that there were not any maps. They were there to listen to the public and re­ceive input before beginning their work. Then, a week later, when the committee was con­sidering a plan similar to his, he said he had been working on a plan for weeks, had input from members of the state’s congressional delegation, and had spent hours on the phone with them.

So, while there allegedly was not a map in the works that people could comment on dur­ing the public hearings, there was at least apparently a plan he had been working on for weeks — not with public input, but with the input of seven members of Congress.

Gary Hart accurately identifies the danger of a Newt presidency:

For one or two of us, Mr. Gingrich’s most troubling characteristics are his attention span of a precocious 3-year-old and his latent tendency toward grandiosity. Perhaps in coming years he will learn to be able to sit down for more than five minutes at a time and concentrate and focus on a single thought. That would certainly be helpful in the White House. At present, President Gingrich would make Bill Clinton look sedate. But a president with a messianic sense of destiny and conviction that he is on earth to fundamentally alter history, with a comparison of himself to Winston Churchill (who never exhibited such a sense), is nothing less than a dangerous thing.

Churn up a mixture of messianic destiny, widespread contempt for those who differ, and an almost manic restlessness and we might soon have a nominee for president who, if elected, would provide many Americans with a sudden interest in a rather long sabbatical in more traditional and predictable democracies, especially those without nuclear arsenal.

Newt spells Robespierre.

The GOP filibuster of an up-or-down vote on Richard Cordray nomination only follows the record-breaking obstruction by the GOP Senate.

Did Democrats do the same thing when they were in the minority? As shown by the numbers above:

This isn’t a subjective question on which the parties are entitled to different opinions. There are objective, often quantifiable, answers to the points Politico and Republicans are raising: are GOP senators “replicating” Democratic tactics? Were Dems abusing Senate rules in the Bush era to the same degree that Republicans are abusing them now?

The answer to both is “no,” and the false equivalence does little to advance the discussion.

The Senate keeps an updated table, charting cloture votes by Congress over the last nine decades, using three metrics: (1) cloture motions filed (when the majority begins to end a filibuster); (2) votes on cloture (when the majority tries to end a filibuster); and (3) the number of times cloture was invoked (when the majority succeeds in ending a filibuster). By all three measures, obstructionism soared as Republican abused the rules like no party in American history.

Consider this tidbit: cloture was invoked 63 times in 2009 and 2010, which isn’t just the most ever, it’s more than the sum total of instances from 1919 through 1982. That’s not a typo.

As I pointed before,

Remember when Sen. Richard Shelby thought the politics should be eschewed in the nomination process. For instance, in 2005, he proclaimed:

Far too many of the President’s nominees were never afforded an up or down vote, because several Democrats chose to block the process for political gain. Inaction on these nominees is a disservice to the American people.”

Or when in February 2005, Shelby specifically promised his constituents in Tuscaloosa that he’d do “whatever it takes” to confirm Bush’s judicial nominees, including killing the filibuster.

But this is all perfectly explained when you consider GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s admitted purpose:

The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

Remember John Danforth? Former GOP US Senator from Missouri,  the Senate escort of the Clarence Thomas’ through the confirmation for the US Supreme Court, President George W. Bush’ Special Envoy to Sudan and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He had some critical words for the current version of his party on radio.

DANFORTH: I’ve been watching some of these republican debates and they’re just terrible. Terrible. I wish they would end.  How many have they had?  Something like nine, ten, something like that, it seems like every week there’s a debate and, uh, and it’s embarrassing for me as a republican to watch this stuff.

What he says later expresses my sentiment pretty well:

DANFORTH: What have been the big applause lines in these debates? Well, a statement that the governor of Texas is responsible for killing 234 people on death row. Or that we favor torture. Or that we’re creating a fence on the Mexican border that electrocutes people when they try to cross it. Or when people show up at the emergency room at hospitals and they’re not insured don’t treat them. And that, I mean these are the big applause lines, people just hoop and holler when they hear all that.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the republican party that I was a part of. This is just totally different. And all of these people who are saying this, y’know, and claiming that, y’know, they’re for all this stuff, they also sort of ostentatiously say, “Oh, we’re very religious people. We really, we’re just very pious, Christian people.” They were for torture, and electrocution of the people on along the border and all of that. That doesn’t have anything to do with, is contrary to the Christianity that I understand.

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