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11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]

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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]

11.16 Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head

11.16 Why the political fight in Georgia is far from over

11.16 Florida judge sides with Democrats, giving thousands a second chance to fix their ballots

11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]

11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]

11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]

11.15 Big Oil v the planet is the fight of our lives. Democrats must choose a side

11.14 The Real Florida Recount Fraud

11.14 Telling NRA #ThisIsOurLane, Doctors' Photos Show Blood-Soaked Reality of America's Gun Madness

11.14 At Freshman Orientation, Young and Growing Progressive Caucus Makes Clear It Will 'Fight Like Hell' for Bold Democratic Agenda

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.14 Brexit: May tells her cabinet, this is the deal – now back me

International & Futurism

11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]

11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]

11.14 Israel and Hamas launch hundreds of attacks in Gaza clash

11.14 Mueller seeking more details on Nigel Farage, key Russia inquiry target says

11.13 Austin's Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

11.13 Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

11.13 Caravan marks one month on the road: ‘We keep on going, laughing or crying’

11.13 Letter Shows Einstein’s Prescient Concerns About ‘Dark Times’ in Germany

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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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