Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 5.10.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—

BIPARTISANSHIP to the modern Republican: after defeating Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana primary, Richard Mourdock dismissed Lugar’s parting shot.
 
Source: sandandglass

PART OF SEN. RICHARD LUGAR’S searing concession statement – “Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times. Certainly this was understood by President Reagan, who worked with Democrats frequently and showed flexibility that would be ridiculed today — from assenting to tax increases in the 1983 Social Security fix, to compromising on landmark tax reform legislation in 1986, to advancing arms control agreements in his second term. I don’t remember a time when so many topics have become politically unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc… If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader…” Ezra Klein

COLIN POWELL: War with Iraq was never debated — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell provides what may be the most authoritative confirmation yet that there was never a considered debate in the George W. Bush White House about whether going to war in Iraq was really a good idea. [...] “By then, the President did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met — and never would meet — to discuss the decision.” – HuffPo

 
AFTER WEEKS of blaming Obama for rising gas prices, Fox News is asking if the decrease in gas prices may be a bad thing, links the decrease to a weak economy and, again, blames Obama. – Fox News: Rising gas prices were bad. Now falling prices are bad. Both are Obama’s fault

MICHELE BACHANN granted dual Swiss-American citizenship – “Congresswoman Bachmann’s husband is of Swiss descent so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978,” said her spokeswoman Becky Rogness said in a statement given to the Politico.com website and other US media…“Recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family,” the spokeswoman said. – Raw Story 

  • BACHMANN HAS ISSUES with the truth — even about this: Her statement that she has been a citizen since 1978 is based off a technicality – at the time of her marriage, automatic citizenship was granted to those who married Swiss citizens. However, Marcus Bachmann, her husband, did not register their marriage with Swiss authorities until this year – meaning that the Swiss government was not aware of it until recently. — Politico
  • AS A CITIZEN OF SWITZERLAND, Bachmann [and her kids] can now partake in a healthcare system that is the envy of the world. It has transparent costs, it is consumer driven, and it provides near universal coverage. It also has an individual mandate: all Swiss citizens are required to purchase basic health insurance. You may recall that the current Supreme Court challenge against Obamacare rests on the contention that its health insurance mandate is unconstitutional. The Swiss mandate seems to only apply to all residents of Switzerland, so Bachmann may be able to get out of it by not living there full time. – The Daily Beast

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

OBAMA: ‘Same sex couples should be able to get married’ – It’s a breakthrough moment for a president who already has a rather impressive record on advancing LGBT rights, and an unexpected step forward for the gay-rights movement. — Steve Benen [image: drunkonstevphen]

  • That isn’t an “impressive” record. It’s AMAZING. That’s what flummoxes me about many activists. Those are real accomplishments, yet we still had folks (Dan Choi, Aravosis, I’m looking at you) flaming the President. …What is listed here are real actions. …But even if Obama had maintained his earlier position on same-sex marriage, he still has done more to advance gay rights than any other President, by a ridiculously wide margin. Faced with a congress more hostile than what Bill Clinton ever faced, he is UNDOING much of the damage inflicted on the gay community by none other than Bill Clinton. — John Cole

THANK President Obama for supporting marriage equality!

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REID DRAWS A LINE on Rolling Back Sequester – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced yesterday that Senate Democrats would not agree to replace mandated spending cuts unless Republicans agree to a “balanced” approach that asks the wealthy to help pay for it. – Roll Call

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS sees a lesson for the United States in the European elections — “In the United States and around the world, the middle class is in steep decline while the wealthy and large corporations are doing phenomenally well. The message sent by voters in France and other European countries, which I believe will be echoed here in the United States, is that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to experience some austerity also and that that burden cannot solely fall on working families. In the United States, where corporate profits are soaring and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must end corporate tax loopholes and start making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. At the same time, we must protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Austerity, yes, but for millionaires and billionaires, not the working families of this country.” — Crooks & Liars

FROM PETER ORSZAG, after reporting on new evidence that the incomes of the very rich are far more sensitive to economic growth than in the past: If anything, high-earning households should be the ones most in favor of aggressively boosting the economy in the short run — and not just out of benevolence. Yet I suspect, without definitive proof, that support for additional stimulus declines as one moves up the income scale. – Well, I suspect that he suspects right. I also suspect that the very rich (a) just flatly don’t believe that Keynesian stimulus works, and (b) know for sure that tax cuts will increase their disposable incomes. So it’s Team Austerity for them. Sure, they’ll have to ride out the bad times by letting one of the yacht scrubbers go, but everyone has to make sacrifices, right? — Kevin Drum

image: Austerity Fever | NYTimes

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