Monthly Archives: October 2013

San Francisco’s business of government

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A road trip from Southern California to San Francisco blows up the conservative myth that “government is bad for business” from Mile 1. First, you’ll likely drive up Interstate 5. That’s one of the highways largely built with taxpayer funds as part of the Interstate Highway System. I-5 runs through California’s Central Valley, where a big portion of America’s fruits and vegetables are grown, and it’s not unusual to see agricultural trucks making up 50 percent or more of the road traffic. Those truckers, growers, store owners and consumers throughout the U.S. depend on I-5 and other federal and state highways to move commerce to market efficiently.

Winning the Affordable Care Act anecdote war

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Now that Republicans have failed to stop the Affordable Care Act, their next tactic is to battle the Act in an anecdote war. The mainstream television news media love anecdotes, because they are small shiny objects around which the media folks can get their short attention spans. We saw this anecdote tactic play out, for example, during the recent GOP shutdown, when the media reduced many big, important issues about government to a small sideshow dispute over the World War II Memorial.

The Republicans are The Walking Dead

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The Republican Party is acting a lot like the zombie “walkers” in the tv series “The Walking Dead.” Check out the similarities:

The Republicans’ ludicrous “negotiation” definition

Republicans have already revealed their strategy in the GOP shutdown: take America hostage by shutting down the federal government, and then criticize President Obama and Congressional Democrats for not “negotiating” major concessions, including defunding the Affordable Care Act, in return for Republicans reopening the government. Republicans skillfully repeat this word “negotiate,” but their definition of the term is absurdly narrow. In this context, Republicans only mean that President Obama should negotiate away popular Democratic principles and new laws while he has the GOP shutdown gun pointed at his head.

GOP caught putting party first during government shutdown

Republicans just got caught red-handed putting the interests of the Republican party over those of the country during their GOP government shutdown. First, as the video above indicates, Republican Senator Rand Paul was caught on a hot mic telling his colleague, GOP Senator Mitch McConnell:

I just did CNN and I just go over and over again, ‘we’re willing to compromise, we’re willing to negotiate.’ I don’t think they poll tested ‘we won’t negotiate,’ I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again. … I think if we keep saying, ‘we wanted to defund it, we fought for that, but now we’re willing to compromise on this,’ we’re gonna win.

Then today, Republican Congressman Eric Cantor passed a memo to his colleagues urging a similar strategy to that expressed by Rand Paul, i.e., to say that President Obama and Democrats in Congress are “refusing to negotiate” during the GOP shutdown, and that Republicans are willing to negotiate. Cantor further urges his House colleagues to push for piecemeal bills to fund only parts of the federal government which are popular with the American people, such as reopening our national parks and funding veterans benefits.

Alas, the Republicans’ cynical strategy is now laid bare with evidence on video and on paper: take the United States hostage by shutting down the government, ask for ransom (defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act that is the law of the land), then criticize Democrats for rightfully refusing to negotiate with the hostage takers. Are there any regular folks left in America who think the Republicans give a damn about them?