But my point is: f*ck you.
But my point is: f*ck you.
VAWA was passed in the Senate yesterday, despite 22 Republican men who voted against it:
Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, With No Help From 22 Republican Male Senators: The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization passed through the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 78 to 22. Of those opposing the legislation, all 22 were Republican men. Every female Senator supported the bill. Among the most notable votes against the bill were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
ABL: Listen to FreedomWorks keen about how VAWA is unfair to men: FreedomWorks also worried that the legislation would be unfair to men. “The newest version of the VAWA, S.47, contains very vague and broad definitions of domestic violence,” the organization wrote. “A man that raises his voice at his partner, calls her an offensive name, stalks her, causes her any emotional distress, or simply just annoys her can potentially be prosecuted under the VAWA. Calling your spouse a mean name is not advised or polite, but it isn’t the same thing as violence towards her.” — Which is complete horseshit.
Steve Benen: It’s unclear whether House GOP leaders will even consider the Senate bill, but it’s worth noting that some House Republicans are tiring of their party’s games on this issue: More than a dozen House Republicans sent a letter to their party leaders on Monday night urging them to “immediately” reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act with a bipartisan bill — something the House failed to do in the last Congress.
Obama’s State Of The Union Address (FULL TEXT) » The President spoke about the policies and issues on which he campaigned AND WON a second term.
PDF from the White House of the policies that the President outlined.
Ezra Klein: Imagine, for a moment, that President Obama managed to pass every policy he proposed tonight. Within a couple of years, every four-year-old would have access to preschool. The federal minimum wage would be at $9 — higher than it’s been, after adjusting for inflation, since 1981. There’d be a cap-and-trade program limiting our carbon emissions and a vast infrastructure investment to upgrade our roads and bridges. Taxes would be higher, guns would be harder to come by, and undocumented immigrants would have a path to citizenship. America would be a noticeably different country.
Daily Intelligencer: Joe Biden loved it when Obama suggested that Congress “pass the rest” of his jobs legislation.
“We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.” — President Obama, SOTU 2013
JM Ashby: While I will praise this announcement, I expect the Far Right will say it’s too soon, and the Far Left will say it’s too late.
And the GOP’s response, courtesy of their best hope (this week) for 2016:
The State of the Hydration, in “slow-mo” (notice Rubio NEVER loses eye contact with the camera):
Twenty-two Congressmen invited people whose lives have been touched by gun violence, in an effort coordinated by Jim Langevin, Democrat of Rhode Island. Counterbalancing those invitees is a Texas congressman who invited Ted Nugent. Nugent was investigated by the secret service after saying that if President Obama were reelected he, Nugent, would end up “dead or in jail.” Turned out the answer was c) at the state of the union. — guardian.co.uk
In a speech to the Wyoming GOP, DICK Cheney said that the recent national security choices by President Obama (i.e. Chuck Hagel, John Brennan and John Kerry) were “subpar people.” This from the guy who was part of an administration that chose, among other things, Heckofajob Brownie for FEMA.
Charles Johnson: Sen. Lindsey Graham has appointed himself the King of Republican Bad Craziness, pandering to the far right’s bizarre fantasies about the Benghazi attack with a relentless zeal that would be impressive if it were directed at something actually useful to the country.
New wingnut conspiracy! In the wake of news that Sen. Lindsey Graham is threatening to block the nominations of Hagel and Brennan, there’s a whole new conspiracy theory bubbling up on the right. From ground zero of Obama era conspiracy theories comes the conspiracy theory to top them all: that CIA nominee John Brennan is himself a Muslim.
John Cole: Thinkprogress makes the mistake of taking John McCain at his word. Look, how many times will people fall for this. The McCain / Lieberman / Graham / Snowe / Collins caucus will always say they are in favor of looking at compromise and policies advanced by the President. But in the end, they always find a reason not to, usually because someone hurt their feelings or they didn’t like the seat they were sitting in at the negotiating table at the White House or because Nancy Pelosi smirked on CNN.
“Well, Tom, the problem with saying this is the president’s idea is that you voted for the Budget Control Act. I voted against it. We wouldn’t have ever been talking about the Budget Control Act but for your party refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling something that has been routinely increased as the country needed it. You used that occasion in 2011 August to basically say we are going to default on the country’s obligations or you’re going to give us dramatic spending cuts. That’s how we got to the Budget Control Act.” — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to Tom Cole (R-OK) for his claim that President Obama is responsible for the upcoming sequester.
Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have both been tapped to rebut President Obama’s SOTU before they’ve even had a chance to hear him speak: They’re serving up both kinds of Republicans! Country and Western! The Tea Party and The Tea Party. The difference is that Tea Party hero, Sen. Marco Rubio, can say, “Pro-growth” in español. With that Steve Stifler-like smile and charm, Marco Rubio is there for outreach, and to coerce the Latino vote into bed. And just in case the Tea Party gets a little nervous if there isn’t someone there to speak the native language of “white people” to the actual base, Tea Party hero, Sen. Rand Paul, is there to reassure them that they haven’t been overrun by the demographic shift, just yet. But this is typical Republican Party behavior. They get two chances to make their case, and you get one.
“He’s everything we need and more. He’s modern. He knows who Tupac is. He is on social media.” — GOP strategist Nicole Wallace on Marco Rubio.
The measure, brought to the House floor less than 24 hours after its passage in the Senate, was approved 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting to allow income taxes to rise for the first time in two decades, in this case for the highest-earning Americans. Voting no were 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats. — NBC News
The winners in all of this are Obama, the Senate, and Nancy, who once again impressively whipped her caucus and had only 16 no votes. The vote was effectively over when 30 Republicans voted in favor, but Pelosi still managed to keep all but 16. I have no idea who they are, but I am sure it will be an mix of folks voting against for idiosyncratic district regions and a few diehard progressives. Pelosi is perhaps the best leader I have ever seen at whipping her caucus. She’s better than DeLay, and she leaves no fingerprints. She’s really fucking amazing.
The biggest loser, I think, is Cantor, who came out against the bill before Boehner and then could not deliver 218 votes for an amended bill. Boehner probably worked with Pelosi and delivered the necessary votes from safe districts and then released others in more difficult situations to vote against. Don’t be confused by the small number of Republican “yea” votes, as right now, Cantor, Louis Gohmert, the teahadists, and manic progressives like Matt Stoller (all of whom are nihilists) are probably singing Bill Joel at a piano bar over scotch in Georgetown. Boehner’s support was deep enough in the caucus to deliver that many votes while releasing dozens of others to vote against, and he is probably safe as speaker. Cantor, I think, is done.
Boehner and Paul Ryan voted for the bill; “Dead Eyes” Cantor and Marco Rubio voted against it (let taxes go up on the real ‘Mericans!). The GOP presidential primary in 2016 will be interesting since Republican base-rubes are such complete masochists.
Steve Benen: “To understand why constructive negotiations between the parties have proven to be so very difficult, look no further than this message from one of the Republican Party’s purported “rising stars.”
[...] Either way, the far-right Floridian has summarized a larger problem in just 135 characters. Rubio wants Americans to believe Republicans didn’t push for chained CPI — which would reduce Social Security benefits — as part of the ongoing fiscal talks. We know this isn’t even close to being true — indeed, by yesterday afternoon, GOP senators had agreed to drop this demand that they’d fought for earlier in the day.
Paul Krugman added that Rubio’s bizarre falsehood is a reminder why it’s “crazy” to think Republicans would ever agree to a sensible Grand Bargain: “You can’t make big deals with a totally untrustworthy negotiating partner.”
It’s this kind of nonsense from the FOXpublicans that ensures we’ll be going over the cliff today. Fortunately, going over won’t be the end of the world.
Rubio follows Christie’s lead, ignores Romney: Rubio’s speech was 1,733 words, only a handful of which were “Romney.” What did the senator have to say about his party’s presidential nominee? From the speech: “He’s a devoted husband, father and grandfather. A generous member of his community and church. Everywhere he’s been, he’s volunteered his time and talent to make things better for those around him.” That’s it; that was the entirely of Rubio’s praise of his party’s presidential nominee — at the national convention in which he was introducing Romney. [...] And last night, Rubio used his time in the spotlight to advance himself, not his would-be president. Given the larger suspicion that the Republican Party only tolerates Romney, and is primarily motivated by its hatred of the president, Rubio’s speech helped capture a larger problem.
Not only does the American public not care to hear Lady Romney speak at the Republican National Convention, but apparently no one at the convention wants to hear her speak either. However they all have to pretend since (1) she’s their candidate’s wife and (2) Marie ANNtoinette is supposed be their “hook” to reel in the average, undecided female vote (good luck with that!).
Since all three networks aren’t broadcasting the RNC on Monday night when Ann was originally scheduled to speak, Lord and Lady Romney now have The Help scrambling to rearrange the deck chairs on the RNC-Titanic. They’re demanding that one of the peasants with a primetime speaking slot give it up for Ann. Initially it looked like Marco Rubio was the lucky peasant to be replaced. But the villagers worried that replacing the guy with some noticeable melanin would immediately cancel out any potential off-white votes in November. So they changed their mind and actually had to issue a press release assuring people that Rubio would retain his slot:
The Florida Senator might not get bumped — and dissed — from his primetime Thursday night speaking slot at the Republican National Convention to make way for presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann. [...] she might take former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s primetime slot Wednesday.
[...] “[Rubio]‘s one of the Republican Party’s big stars, the Republican senator from a state Romney needs to win,” said state House Republican Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who was just elected county property appraiser. “I can’t believe they would do this.”
It certainly would symbolize the official end of any semblance of genuine Hispanic outreach by the Romney campaign.
[...] As our partner Adam Smith notes: If Rubio does get bumped, it would be on the heels of the Republicans adopting a platform embracing hard line immigration positions, including encouraging more laws like Arizona’s. Cuban-Americans in south Florida have already taken note that only a few years ago Paul Ryan wanted to open up trade with Cuba. You can predict the Democratic talking points about Romney-Ryan writing off the Hispanic vote.
It seems the RNC thinks that just because they prop up a off-white guy, they’ll reap off-white votes, regardless of their terrible policies and attitudes towards off-white people. Just like they think they can prop up someone with a vagina (Ann Romney, Sarah Palin, etc — someone who is probably not likable to average women), and pull in the female vote, regardless of how terrible their attitudes and policies are for actual vagina owners.
Conservative white men have a hard time thinking outside their conservative white male Big Tent.
First, the person who’s likely not being vetted – ever: Rick Santorum. When he was asked on CNN about serving in a Romney administration, he said: ”Yeah, it is pretty much a flat no.“
However according to Taegan Goddard: Despite reports to the contrary today, Mitt Romney told the media that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is being “thoroughly vetted as part of our process” to select a vice presidential running mate.
Meanwhile, Think Progress found something interesting in Marco Rubio’s new memoir:
In the new memoir An American Son, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) — the son of Cuban immigrants — reveals that he would be willing to cross the border into the United States illegally to provide a better life for him and his family: “Many people who come here illegally are doing exactly what we would do if we lived in a country where we couldn’t feed our families,” Rubio writes in his book, which went on sale Tuesday. “If my kids went to sleep hungry every night and my country didn’t give me an opportunity to feed them, there isn’t a law, no matter how restrictive, that would prevent me from coming here.”
Many, many people feel that way of course. But you have to wonder how that little admission will play in Tea Party USA — or how (if?) it will be covered on Fox “News.”
“People are going to say to me, ‘Why are we going to need to do anything on this now. It has been dealt with. We can wait until after the election,’ and it is going to be hard to argue against that.” — Marco Rubio on President Obama’s announcement about not deporting young immigrants.
Amanda Peterson Beadle writes: Republicans can claim that President Obama went around Congress to give protection to undocumented students, but it was the failure of congressional Republicans that forced him to act.
As many as 800,000 young immigrants could avoid deportation under a new policy President Barack Obama plans to announce Friday, granting work permits to those who entered the country illegally as children… Obama is expected to announce the new policy in a 1:15 p.m. Rose Garden address.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: Reuters]
Meanwhile, at the Republican ranch: They all look alike –
The RNC launched a new Spanish-language website designed to “have open communication about the goals and vision of the Republican Party” with Latino voters. Mashable notes a stock photo in the top banner “featured a group of children that weren’t Latino — but Asian.” – Political Wire
——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
PLEASE BUY TEAM ROMNEY A MAP: ROMNEY AND HIS SURROGATES have revealed an ongoing Cold War fixation. Former Reagan Navy Secretary John Lehman and former Bush administration Ambassador Pierre Prosper, on Thursday derailed Romney messaging in a conference call with reporters by raising the specter of the “Soviet Union” and slamming Obama for not protecting Czechoslovakia — a country that was peacefully dissolved in 1993 and now exists as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. – Romney Campaign Again Warns Of ‘Soviet’ Threat
IN AN APPARENT AUDITION FOR OFFICE, ROMNEY’S PAL, SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-Fla.) delivered a speech on foreign policy that mentioned Russia 13 times. How many times did the senator reference Iraq and/or al Qaeda? Literally, not once. — Maddow Blog
HOUSE GOP THREATENS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN to get steeper cuts to food assistance, financial regulation — After earlier indications that they would make substantial cuts to domestic programs to preserve defense spending, the House Appropriations Committee made it official yesterday, setting a spending level $27 billion below the level agreed to in the debt deal. The committee, bowing to the GOP’s more conservative wing, will make deep cuts to food assistance, financial regulations, and a host of other programs, setting up the potential for a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends in October. [...] After GOP leadership worked with Democrats to form the debt deal last year, the party’s conservatives have seemingly wrangled control back from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). [...] Senate Republicans, despite McConnell’s stated position last week, are now making similar rumblings. – ThinkProgress
VAWA PASSED: The bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 has passed the Senate, and every single Senator who voted against it was a Republican man. — LGF
66% OF THE GOP SENATE VOTED AGAINST VAWA. AFTER THE VOTE, JOHN MCLAME called the GOP’s War on Women “phony,” “ludicrous,” and “imaginary” – During a Senate speech outlining why he supported reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), something that many Republicans oppose, McCain blasted Democrats for “dividing the country in the name of greater fairness and unity.” [...] “Divisive slogans and the declaring of phony wars are intended to avoid those hard choices and to escape paying a political price for doing so.” “Women and men are no different in their rights and responsibilities,” McCain concluded. “I believe this legislation recognizes that. I don’t believe the ludicrous, partisan posturing that has conjured up this imaginary war does.” – McCain: Dems ‘conjured up imaginary war’ on women
HALF-TERM QUITTER SARAH PALIN said on Wednesday that child labor regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor would lead to America’s decline. The federal agency is considering updating the Fair Labor Standards Act by strengthening current child labor regulations related to work with animals, pesticides, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins. [...] “The Obama Administration is working on regulations that would prevent children from working on our own family farms,” she wrote on Facebook… However, the proposed regulations would not apply to children working on [family farms]. – Raw Story
RON PAUL IN 1988: Employers should be able to “sever” contract with AIDS victim and say “Look, I don’t want to deal with you” – CSpan Video
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
WITH A VOTE OF 23-12, THE COLORADO SENATE just approved final passage of the Civil Unions Act, with three Republicans voting in favor of the bill. Though an overwhelming majority of Coloradans support civil unions, the legislation still faces hurdles in the Republican-controlled House. – Colorado Senate Passes Civil Unions Bill
PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS PUSHED TWO POLITICAL FIGHTS over recent days — one over student loans and another on renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. And in pretty short order congressional Republicans have folded on both. McConnell’s signal that Senate Republicans won’t filibuster VAWA is the later tell. — TPM
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN criticized Romney’s “Cold War mindset” on national defense and slammed the presumptive Republican nominee for his “go it alone” foreign policy positions: “Here’s what he says. He says we need “crippling sanctions,” apparently unaware that through President Obama’s leadership we produced just that, crippling sanctions. He emphasizes the need for “a credible military option” and “a regular presence of aircraft carrier groups” in the region, apparently ignorant of the fact that’s exactly what our policy is and what we’re doing. [...] I think it’s fair to say the only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran. If that’s what governor Romney means by a “very different policy” then he should tell the American people. He should say so. Otherwise the governor’s tough talk about military action is just that, talk. And I would add, counterproductive talk. Folks, loose talk about a war has incredible negative consequences in our efforts to end Iran’s nuclear quest. And let me tell you why, because it unsettles world oil markets. It drives up oil prices. When oil prices go up, Iran’s coffers fill up, undermining the effect of the sanctions that are already in place. This type of Romney Talk is just not smart.” – Biden Blasts Mitt Romney’s ‘Loose Talk Of War,’ ‘Cold War Mindset’
——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
DONALD TRUMP DECIDED TO MAKE AN ASS OF HIMSELF in Scotland’s parliament yesterday, demanding the country end plans for an offshore wind farm he fears will spoil the view at his exclusive new $750-million-pound ($1.2-billion) golf resort. In a typically blunt display, the New York property tycoon told an inquiry into renewable energy to stop the wind power efforts in the country’s north. “Scotland, if you pursue this policy of these monstrous turbines, Scotland will go broke,” he said. “They are ugly, they are noisy and they are dangerous. If Scotland does this, Scotland will be in serious trouble and will lose tourism to places like Ireland, and they are laughing at us.” [...] When challenged to produce hard evidence about his claims on the negative impact of turbines, Trump said: “I am the evidence, I am a world class expert in tourism.” The public gallery burst into laughter. – Yahoo!
MITT ROMNEY’S SPEECH INCLUDED THE WORD “America” a numbing 33 times. But there’s something else I want to note from Romney’s speech, something that both Republicans and Democrats do, and it drives me crazy: ”I’ll tell you about how much I love this country, where someone like my dad, who grew up poor and never graduated from college, could pursue his dreams and work his way up to running a great car company. Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car.” You see, Mitt Romney may not have pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, but he has a pair of bootstraps that he inherited from his father, which he keeps in a small mahogany box and takes out and gazes upon every now and again to remind himself of how great it is for someone to have bootstraps, and pull himself up by them, if that’s what he needs to do. All he’s saying is, he knows from bootstraps. – Enough With “Only In America”
MARCO RUBIO AUDITIONS FOR ROMNEY AND THE BASE: U.S. may have to strike Iran (and Russia, and China…) — Rubio, a member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently campaigned with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and has been touted as a possible running mate. [...] “We should also be preparing our allies, and the world, for the reality that unfortunately, if all else fails, preventing a nuclear Iran may, tragically, require a military solution.” Rubio, also lambasted Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin’s preaching of “paranoia and anti-Western sentiments” and the “curtain of secrecy that veils the Chinese state.” “On the most difficult transnational challenges of our time, who will lead if we do not? The answer, at least today, is that no other nation or organization is willing or able to do so,” he said. – Raw Story
TEA PARTY FRESHMAN REP. SCOTT TIPTON (R-CO) relies on campaign contributions from oil and gas companies that he has a financial stake in. Public Campaign reports that one-third of Tipton’s first quarter fundraising comes from corporate PACs and party committees, while only 14 percent comes from small donors of less than $200. – ThinkProgress
BAD TOUCH: REP. FRANCISCO CANSECO (R-TX) CLAIMS TSA ASSAULTED HIM (they made him feel funny in his tummy) during a pat-down at the San Antonio International Airport. “The agent was very aggressive in his pat-down, and he was patting me down where no one is supposed to go,” Canseco told local network KENS 5. – Raw Story
REP. TODD AKIN (R-MO) says the federal government shouldn’t be involved in student loans at all: “America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in.” — TPM
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————
RON PAUL’S CAMPAIGN PULLED IN LESS MONEY FROM THE MILITARY last month than President Obama’s did, according to campaign finance numbers. Paul’s anti-war stances still draw more military donations than Mitt Romney, but the decline is another indicator of his campaign’s increasing status as more of a traveling libertarian speaking series than a traditional effort to win the presidency. On the Open Secrets blog: Overall, Paul retains the lead. Analysis of OpenSecrets.org data shows that so far in this election cycle, members of the military who donated more than $200 have given Paul’s campaign about $333,134, versus $184,505 to Obama and just $45,738 to Romney. But in March, Obama and Paul switched places. Members of the military sent $36,448 to Obama and just $17,733 to Paul. Even though Romney solidified his position as the presumptive Republican nominee, military donations to his campaign remained anemic — only $8,630. – Obama Overtakes Paul Among Military Donors
PRESIDENT OBAMA SAYS the amount of money poured into fighting the scientific consensus on climate change will push the issue into the presidential campaign. [...] “Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that people’s number-one priority is finding a job and paying the mortgage and dealing with high gas prices,” Obama said. “In that environment, it’s been easy for the other side to pour millions of dollars into a campaign to debunk climate-change science. “I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we’re going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way,” he added. – POLITICO
THE WHITE HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY shocked lawmakers and advocacy groups by announcing that President Obama would veto a proposed national cybersecurity bill known as CISPA if it reaches his desk in its current form. [...] The ACLU is one of several advocacy groups staunchly opposed to CISPA over concerns that the bill’s language is so broad that it would allow companies and U.S. intelligence agencies to share unprecedented amounts of personally identifiable information about Web users without proper oversight and accountability. – White House Veto Threat Scrambles CISPA’s Prospects
FOX NEWS SUGGESTS President Obama’s appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is somehow denigrating the office of the presidency. For instance, today on Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson said that it’s “nutso” for Obama to go on “these comedy shows” because it “lowers the status of the office.” – Obama Lowered “The Status Of The Office”? Bush Appeared On Deal Or No Deal