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June 30th, 2014
thesmithian

'He hit the black diners, barbeques and churches. The gentleman’s message: You know me. I bring home the bacon and will look out for your interests. The harsh, anti-government tea party will excoriate and eschew your causes. And the Democratic nominee can’t win a general election in a conservative, GOP-dominated state like Mississippi. They listened. Tuesday’s runoff posted a record African-American turnout in a Mississippi GOP primary. They didn’t stay home. They did not fall for the knee-jerk mantra, vote Democrat, Democrat, Democrat. Instead, African-American voters stepped up in their best interest. It was a sophisticated and strategic statement.'

more.

March 19th, 2014
thesmithian

'…the RNC’s “Black Trailblazers” event at the Howard Theatre in DC was packed with black conservatives. But that will only get Republicans so far…'

They say they want black votes, but they are still trying to make it difficult for blacks to vote (see Ohio and … Wisconsin). They know their electoral salvation rests in the hands of Latino voters. They know that comprehensive immigration reform will secure it. But they continue to block any action on comprehensive immigration reform…

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March 12th, 2014
thesmithian

Erika Harold doesn’t fit neatly into the taxonomy of today’s Republican factions: She is not a middle-of-the-road Republican. Nor is she a neocon, a Tea Partier or a strict libertarian cribbing Ayn Rand quotes. She calls herself a constitutional conservative. She is anti-abortion rights, pro-gun, believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. She does not support marijuana legalization. She wants to repeal Obamacare. She also is against the death penalty…

more.

February 14th, 2014
thesmithian

Volkswagen wants to establish works councils at its Chattanooga plant…In Europe, these groups…collaborate on issues such as plant rules, work hours and vacations. In VW’s experience, cooperating with employees through these councils increases productivity and profitability. Because the councils discuss labor issues such as work hours, VW and the UAW have determined that to legally establish them in Chattanooga, the plant must be unionized. This is intolerable to the GOP.

bold, ours. more, here.

December 15th, 2013
thesmithian

Obama refused to be extorted into accepting a GOP-authored plan, and legitimizing the kind of brinkmanship that has defined the GOP’s House majority since 2011. In that sense his refusal to negotiate in October wasn’t a failure of leadership, but precisely the tough-minded act of leadership Republicans needed to reach an understanding of the limits of their power.

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November 24th, 2013
thesmithian

…as Obama is finding, it’s hard for one party to make government work when the other party is determined to make government fail. Yes, the healthcare.gov debacle is manifestly “on us,” as Obama had to concede last week. But it happened in the face of a relentless campaign by the G.O.P. to do everything possible to prevent the law from taking effect, or from working if it did.

more.

November 21st, 2013
thesmithian

'The Senate vote Thursday to lower the barriers for presidential nominations should make it easier for President Obama to accomplish key second-term priorities, including tougher measures on climate change and financial regulation, that have faced intense opposition from Republicans in Congress.'

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November 21st, 2013
thesmithian

'If there is any ambiguity left to the G.O.P. reform agenda, let it be put to rest by Michael F. Cannon, the director of health-policy studies at the Cato Institute and a former Republican Hill staffer…'

“The only way to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in a governmental activity,” he testified before a House subcommittee in 2011, “is to eliminate that activity.” When you see virtually every governmental function, a priori, as wasteful, fraudulent, and abusive, from disaster relief to early-childhood education, the only way to save the village, to paraphrase a U.S. military officer in Vietnam, is to destroy it. This, one fears, they can do quite competently.

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November 19th, 2013
thesmithian

Neel Kashkari…is pro-choice, favors same-sex marriage rights and voted for Barack Obama in 2008…Kashkari said he has visited 80 communities to hear from Californians. He’s stayed overnight in an Oakland homeless shelter, visited free clinics, volunteered at food banks, worked on docks and in farm fields and worshiped at a Pentecostal church in south Los Angeles…observers say the attention that GOP luminaries are lavishing on Kashkari—the son of Indian immigrants and a practicing Hindu—underscores the hunger for a new type of Republican in California, where the party holds no statewide offices.

more.

Neel Kashkari…is pro-choice, favors same-sex marriage rights and voted for Barack Obama in 2008…Kashkari said he has visited 80 communities to hear from Californians. He’s stayed overnight in an Oakland homeless shelter, visited free clinics, volunteered at food banks, worked on docks and in farm fields and worshiped at a Pentecostal church in south Los Angeles…observers say the attention that GOP luminaries are lavishing on Kashkari—the son of Indian immigrants and a practicing Hindu—underscores the hunger for a new type of Republican in California, where the party holds no statewide offices.

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November 13th, 2013
thesmithian
Left out of the thousands of words written about…the [GOP’s] nihilistic willingness to crash the world economy, about Republicans’ laser focus on obliterating the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was the fact that two of the poster boys for this suicide mission were the sons of Cuban exiles whose fears about socialism were willingly and willfully exploited by the radial Right.
Achy Obejas, at In These Times
November 4th, 2013
thesmithian

re ObamaCare:

"financial" reasons for [some decisions] were also "political"…driven by GOP sabotage…the very fact that the federal government was tasked with building exchanges for 34 states itself points to the foundational act of sabotage: GOP-led state governments’ determination that "we won’t build that." The websites are for the most part working well in those states that did commit to building their own and making the law work.  Next, the whole massive project has had to operate on a shoestring because the GOP House has kept it starved as funds.

more.

October 31st, 2013
thesmithian

'Senate Republicans are blocking wholesale the confirmation of any new judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The reason is simple…'

The D.C. Circuit tilts conservative right now and so long as the empty seats on the bench remain empty, that conservative tilt remains. Republicans—and the anti-regulation crowd they represent—are particularly concerned about the D.C. Circuit because it has jurisdiction over many of the rules and regulations that the federal government writes. That makes it the front line in the battle between regulators and the regulated, between consumers and business, and between the liberal and conservative legal establishments over the scope and power of the administrative agencies who implement the laws Congress passes.

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October 16th, 2013
thesmithian
I suppose what I’m describing is a particular type of post-truth maneuver. It’s also related to one of my continuing themes, which is that the way that the GOP-aligned partisan press works has made Republican politicians incredibly lazy, since they know that Fox News and the rest of them will fully buy into whatever talking points they come up with…then the (‘neutral’) press covers this stuff…it needs better language…so that readers and viewers can actually be informed about what’s going on.
October 14th, 2013
thesmithian

'Before history is rewritten, it’s important to understand that the American people really have blamed this mess on the GOP and really did revolt against the tea party’s irrationality. The public’s reaction has not been “a plague on both your houses,” even if the shenanigans make Congress as a whole look very bad.'

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