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06.19 Engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% [Trump fires scientist. It would be far better to enable their good work.]

06.19 Can planting billions of trees save the planet?

06.19 Vermont adopts the most comprehensive plastics ban in U.S.

06.19 We’ll Never Solve Immigration If We Don’t Solve Climate Change [Why is our President so willfully stupid?]

06.19 Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted

06.18 Photograph lays bare reality of melting Greenland sea ice ice sheet

06.18 Because 'This Is a Public Health Crisis,' Pennsylvania Gov. Urged to Investigate Link Between Fracking and Childhood Cancers

06.18 The Worst Patients in the World [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]

06.18 Navy Contaminates Local Groundwater and Sewer System in Maryland [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]

06.18 Trump's order to trim science advisory panels sparks outrage [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]

06.18 Call to arms: how can Australia avoid a slow and painful decline?

06.18 Soaring Temperatures Speed Up Spring Thaw on Greenland’s Ice Sheet

06.17 Hopes for climate progress falter with coal still king across Asia [Governments must subsidize very rapid installation of renewable energy to displace all fossil energy—aka DEATH ENERGY—power plants that must be made illegal ASAP]

06.17 Oil companies double down on plastics as public outcry grows [Obscene!]

06.17 Ocasio-Cortez: "We’re Going to Fight to Repeal the Hyde Amendment"

06.15 'The Changes Are Really Accelerating': Alaska at Record Warm While Greenland Sees Major Ice Melt

06.15 So much plastic is being made that "recycling has no impact" [Non-recyclable plastic must be made illegal to manufacture, use]

06.15 Climate crisis: aviation industry hears clamour for electric planes

06.15 We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet [Increased ice melt in polar latitudes has been disguising reality in the middle latitudes. This effect will soon be replaced by record heat as ice volume and seasonal melting increasingly declines.]

06.15 This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion [1:59 video; Bad assumptions foment ignorant actions...]

06.14 The Trans Mountain pipeline is a disaster – but Trudeau can make it right

06.14 The Pentagon emits more greenhouse gases than Portugal, study finds

06.14 Climate crisis: Alaska is melting and it’s likely to accelerate global heating

06.13 Chemical companies at centre of Guardian's Cancer Town series face state legal action [7:56 video]

06.12 'This is not a "what if" story': Tokyo braces for the earthquake of a century

06.12 Plant Species Have Been Disappearing 500 Times Faster Than Normal, Thanks to Humans

06.12 Atmospheric carbon levels are leaping. We can't afford more years like this

06.12 Politics as Usual and Planetary Destruction

06.12 Most 'meat' in 2040 will not come from dead animals, says report

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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

06.19 America has never gone this long without hiking the federal minimum wage [The poor would spend every penny and help the economy and decrease health costs. Only dummies don't understand the costly effects of penury.]

06.19 When migrants arrived in droves, this poor New Mexico city opened its arms [A good example for us all: This is the way we must respond to human suffering]

06.18 It's A Horrible Idea To Privatize The Tennessee Valley Authority And Other Public Energy Assets [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]

06.18 The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas

06.18 Tobacco's 'Special Friend': What Internal Documents Say About Mitch McConnell [His immorality is in complete control]

06.17 Climate change leadership would create a new 'American century' [We must incentivize the strategic good, again, before it's too late.]

06.17 Jon Stewart takes aim at McConnell in continued fight for 9/11 victim compensation fund [2:56 C-SPAN video]

06.17 Drug Cop Worth $400 Million After Bets on Brooklyn Real Estate [A better role-model than Trump or Kushner!]

06.15 Hard Times in the Imperial Valley

06.15 Ro Khanna Forces Beltway Bandit to Refund Millions From Price Gouging

06.15 White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science [When your President is a quack he naturally surrounds himself with sycophants]

Justice Matters

06.19 'Credible evidence' Saudi crown prince liable for Khashoggi killing – UN report

High Crimes

06.18 As promised, Trump slashes aid to Central America over migrants [Is THIS the cruelest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]

06.18 ‘The Saudis couldn’t do it without us’: the UK’s true role in Yemen’s deadly war [If you act psychopathic you are psychopathic; 3:40 Video: Where have all the flowers (and morals and young men) gone, long time passing, sung by Marlene Dietreich]

06.17 'Blatant Theft': Netanyahu Unveils Illegal Settlement Named 'Trump Heights' in Occupied Syrian Territory [Great deal: the U.S. gives Israel $Billions every year, and they name an illegal settlement—to be built on Palestinian land—after Trump]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

06.15 'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion [More equality or bring back the guillotines!]

International & Futurism

06.19 Trump Enabled an ‘Act of Organized Crime’ in Guatemala [Trump and other mafia-dons cause refugees and migrants as much as global warming]

06.19 Ireland to ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030

06.19 Madrid’s new rightwing council suspends low-emissions zone [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]

06.19 UK firms told they face 'deliberate disruption' to hit zero carbon goal

06.19 Donald Trump’s reckless Iran policy casts doubt on the US as global leader [America's reputation has plummeted more speedily since Trump's dubious election, with professionals willfully replaced with less competent appointees or left unfilled in many federal government agencies]

06.19 Women outperform men after Japan medical school stops rigging exam scores

06.19 UK climate plan unclear, says European commission

06.18 'If This Is True, They Are Even Bigger Lunatics Than We Realized': UN Officials Reportedly Believe Trump Planning 'Massive' Bombing Campaign in Iran [Never underestimate the stupidity of the Trump Administration]

06.18 The United States Should Welcome a Strong, United Latin America

06.18 Solidarity With Glenn Greenwald

06.18 Theresa May could yet give us the ultimate parting gift: a Brexit referendum

06.18 The Trump administration's dangerous fever dream about Iran

06.18 Iran will not wage war against any nation, says Hassan Rouhani [Economic sanctions are cruel punishment to innocent civilians causing hate for generations. We will reap what Trump sows.]

06.17 Saudi Arabia May Execute Teenager for His Protests — Including When He Was 10 [America's “best ally” is psychopathically insane]

06.17 Why Venezuela Is the Vietnam of Our Time [Powerful, clear writing!]

06.17 US Attacks Russia’s Power Grid; Trump Kept in Dark

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  Print view: The Republican Future for America
SPEAKING OUT ON THE LOOMING IDIOCRACY:

The Republican Future for America

At every turn, Republicans hamstring the Democrats to create a totally dysfunctional governmental process.

by Don Monkerud
Thursday, 28 October 2010
In the 1960s, 8 percent of major Senate bills were subject to filibusters. Today Republicans filibuster 70 percent of major Senate business. They also refuse to confirm over 240 Obama appointees.

Under the Republican Party's new blueprint for America, BP will no longer be required to clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the F.D.A. will not restrict the new diabetes drug Avandia just because it's unsafe, and donors will be required to keep their contributions to political campaigns secret.

These positions, based on recent votes in Congress, foretell how the Republicans will govern if they win in the upcoming November elections.

Republicans would prevent the unemployed from receiving Medicaid; prevent treatment, screening or compensation for Americans who assisted during the 9/11 attacks on the WTC; eliminate extensions of unemployment insurance; allow the oil industry to write their own rules for oil exploration and clean-up; open all off-shore areas to oil wells; and stop funding state governments to stimulate the economy.

Senate and House Republicans recently voted to prevent bills from reaching the floor, or took positions, that would: bar homosexuals from the nation's military; allow the ash from burning 136 million tons of coal to be dumped into the nation's waterways; ignore greenhouse gases and the build up of CO2 in the atmosphere, fire tens of thousands of government employee; and drastically cut welfare, food stamps, health care for children and other government programs to aid the poor.

Long-term goals of the GOP include eliminating unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, Social Security and Medicare, most government regulations, consumer protection laws, and federal aid to education, along with many other government programs they consider detrimental to corporate-business control of the country. Republicans that are even more radical want to make Christianity the state religion, declare war on Islam, assign the death sentence for performing an abortion, and bomb and invade Iran.

Small government, lower taxes and no regulation, mantras of the Republican Party since the Reagan era, are enshrined in new promises to "take America back." The party's so-called road map—"Pledge to America"—attempts to win new votes for the party and put them in control of Congress, even after their policies led to the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office lists over 300 bills passed by House Democrats that cannot make it to the Senate floor due to Republican opposition.

At every turn, Republicans hamstring the Democrats to create a totally dysfunctional governmental process. For example, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office lists over 300 bills passed by House Democrats that cannot make it to the Senate floor due to Republican opposition. Democrats overcame major Republican opposition to pass bills, often with the aid of only one or two Republicans who switched positions to vote with the Democrats.

While there are no estimates of how many of the 300 bills are progressive, a number of them involve significant changes in the areas of most concern to voters: economic recovery and job creation, consumer protection, assistance to homeowners, affordable health care, clean energy jobs, fiscal responsibility, and national security.

In the Senate, the Democrats again convinced one or two Republicans to join in passing major bills signed into law by President Obama. These laws include: a $30 billion lending program and $12 billion in tax cuts for small businesses; stimulus funds to save 3.5 million American jobs; a new manufacturing enhancement act; extension of unemployment benefits; estate tax relief that protects inheritance for 99.8 percent of citizens; Wall Street reforms; a credit cardholder bill of rights; health care extension for 11 million children; and the creation of 1.7 million jobs in clean energy. Republican opposition was almost unanimous.

"It's hard to compromise with people who are against government solutions," said Congressman Sam Farr of California, a leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "Republicans pushed for the election of ultra-conservative ideologues who don't want to cooperate because they don't think the government should be doing education, fire protection or jails; they want to contract out government jobs to the private sector."

The principle of democratic government—majority rule—is being turned on its head. Minority rule is especially troublesome in the Senate, where the GOP holds up bills passed by the House and threatens to filibuster every Democratic proposal. They also refuse to confirm over 240 Obama appointees, in an effort to paralyze government.

Senators with few constituents are behind many of the filibusters, which points to systemic problems. For example, a California senator represents 18 million voters, while one from Wyoming represents 260,000 voters.

Historians haven't seen such minority obstructionism since 1917. In the 1960s, 8 percent of major Senate bills were subject to filibusters. Today Republicans filibuster 70 percent of major Senate business. Senators with few constituents are behind many of the filibusters, which points to systemic problems. For example, a California senator represents 18 million voters, while one from Wyoming represents 260,000 voters.

The country is in a deep recession, trying to recover from four large items that President Bush put on our national credit card—tax cuts for couples making over $250,000 a year, two wars, and a very expensive prescription drug program—in addition to the collapse of the housing bubble. Republicans hope their negative stance will drive voters away from the polls and allow conservative ideologues to put them in office.

Whether Americans fall for the Republican refusenik stance that's full of contradictions, negativity and faulty logic remains to be seen. The new Republican roadmap to prosperity doesn't add up. Republicans are not only at war with logic, but they are also at war with America.


© 2010 Don Monkerud. The author, who writes from iAptos, California, follows cultural issues and politics and writes occasional satire.



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This story was published on October 28, 2010.
 

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