Sep 4 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #852

ON THE RECORD ….

“The best part of my life is I’ve been hired to work for the people of the state of Maine and I’m very humble and very proud. The worst part of my life is newspapers are still alive.” —Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R). 8/28/14

“I’ve been indicted by that same body now for I think two counts, one of bribery, which I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t really understand the details here.” — Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) talking about the indictments against him – of which bribery was not one.

“7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range” via @TeamWON— @NRAWomen — NRA women twitter while the rest of American media was showing videotape of a presumably now-traumatized 9-year-old girl losing control of a fully automatic Uzi before spraying her tourist-friendly “instructor” with bullets.

“There’s no way any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday. When you have the world watching … a week, two weeks of anticipation of what the United States is gonna do. For him to walk out —I’m not trying to be trivial here— in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy. This is a week after Jim Foley was beheaded and he’s trying to act like real Americans care about the economy, not about ISIS and not about terrorism.” — Rep. Peter King (R-NY) on an extended rant about the color of Obama’s suit. 8/29/14

“Whatever these murders think they’ll achieve by killing innocent Americans like Steven, they have already failed. They failed because, like people around the world, Americans are repulsed by their barbarism. We will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to fight against these terrorists and those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.” — President Obama on the beheading of journalist Steven Sotloff. 9/03/14

“Blown away by the wind.” — Staff at an Arizona gun range on why the release forms signed by the family of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed her instructor with an Uzi last week were unavailable. 9/03/14

IN THIS ISSUE

FYI

1. GOP poll of women: Party ‘stuck in past’
2. Andy Borowitz: Nation Debates Extremely Complex Issue of Children Firing Military Weapons
3. The DAILY GRILL
4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)
5. Late Night Jokes for Dems (Revisited)
6. The Colbert Report
7. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Pentagon Hymn, the shores of Tripoli
8. Journalist Roughed Up And Removed From Georgia GOP Event
9. Senate forecast now gives Republicans only slight edge

OPINION

1. Brian Beutler: Yes, Republicans Are Threatening a Government Shutdown Fight
2. Dylan Scott: The GOP’s All-Out War On Obamacare Is In A Death Spiral
3. Robert Maguire: Election 2014 Is Drowning in Dark Money
4. Michael Cohen: The punditry vs. the presidency
5. Tim Dickinson: The Biggest Tax Scam Ever
6. Joan Walsh: The Magical President doesn’t exist: What the left must really do to defeat the wingnuts
7. John Avlon: A Brief History of Wingnuts in America; From George Washington to Woodstock
8. Michael A. Cohen: Congressional elections: expect more of the same
9. Simon Maloy: The right’s “tyranny” paranoia: Why climate deniers are so afraid of Obama now
10. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial: Obama cools it: He has the right approach to foreign hot spots
11. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: Here’s Why You Helpless Tramps Don’t Vote Republican

1. GOP poll of women: Party ‘stuck in past’

A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO. It was presented to a small number of senior aides this month on Capitol Hill, according to multiple sources.

When female voters are asked who “wants to make health care more affordable,” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage, and a 40 percent advantage on who “looks out for the interests of women.” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage when it comes to who “is tolerant of other people’s lifestyles.”

Female voters who care about the top four issues — the economy, health care, education and jobs — vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Most striking, Democrats hold a 35-point advantage with female voters who care about jobs and a 26 percent advantage when asked which party is willing to compromise. House Republicans say jobs and the economy are their top priorities.

Katie Packer Gage, a political strategist who focuses on improving GOP standing with female voters, said women think of “old, white, right, out of touch” men when they think of the Republican Party. 8/28/14 Read more athttp://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/gop-poll-of-women-party-stuck-in-past-110398.html

2. Andy Borowitz: Nation Debates Extremely Complex Issue of Children Firing Military Weapons

Across the United States on Wednesday, a heated national debate began on the extremely complex issue of children firing military weapons.

“Every now and then, the nation debates an issue that is so complicated and tricky it defies easy answers,” says pollster Davis Logsdon. “Letting small children fire automatic weapons is such an issue.”

Much like the long-running national debates about jumping off a roof, licking electrical sockets, and gargling with thumbtacks, the vexing question of whether children should fire military weapons does not appear headed for a swift resolution.

“Like the issue of whether you should sneak up behind a bear and jab it with a hot poker, this won’t be settled any time soon,” he says. Read more at http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/

3. The DAILY GRILL

“We know where ISIS is. What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?” —Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard 8/27/14

VERSUS

“The Pentagon is still developing military options for the president, for the commander in chief, to use against ISIL in Syria. There are some who probably would make the case that it is okay to not have a formulated comprehensive strategy, but just as one pundit I know recently suggested that we could just go drop some bombs and see what happens. That is not what the president believes is a smart approach. The president believes it is important for us to pursue a comprehensive strategy where military action is one component of that strategy.” — White HouseSpokesman Josh Earnest 8/29/14

4. From MEDIA MATTERS (They watch Fox News so you don’t have to)

Daily Caller Column Blames Gay Service Members For Rise In Military Rapehttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/08/28/daily-caller-column-blames-gay-service-members/200579

O’Reilly Didn’t Want To Hear His Pro-Immigration Guests — So He Cut Their Micshttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/08/27/oreilly-didnt-want-to-hear-his-pro-immigration/200576

Laura Ingraham Tells Radio Listeners That Obama Considers Them, Not Islamic State, The “True Enemy”http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/08/29/laura-ingraham-tells-radio-listeners-that-obama/200596

Fox Revives Right-Wing Myth That Government Assistance Pays “Better Than Working”http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/08/28/fox-revives-right-wing-myth-that-government-ass/200592

Fox’s Erick Erickson Understands Why “So Many” Believe Obama “Is A Closet Muslim Jihadist Sympathizer”http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/08/28/foxs-erick-erickson-understands-why-so-many-bel/200590

News Outlet: Karl Rove Twisted Our Reporting For His Anti-Dem Attack Adhttp://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/08/29/news-outlet-karl-rove-twisted-our-reporting-for/200597

A Fox News Analyst Blames Obama For Islamic State’s Beheading Of Steven Sotloffhttp://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/02/a-fox-news-analyst-blames-obama-for-islamic-sta/200605

Sean Hannity Asks If Obama’s “Radical Indoctrination” Affects His Decision-Making On Strikes Against Islamic State http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/02/sean-hannity-asks-if-obamas-radical-indoctrinat/200612

Fox’s Ingraham: Registering Ferguson Residents To Vote Is Part Of “The Politics Of Division”http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/09/02/foxs-ingraham-registering-ferguson-residents-to/200611

5. Late Night Jokes for Dems (Revisited)

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in Iowa campaigning at a big cookout because this is what you do if you want to be president. He’s out there all day telling people the hotdog line is closed for a traffic study.” –David Letterman

“A major wildfire in northern California is now being blamed on marijuana farmers. Everyone in the region’s really angry about it – unless they’re downwind, then they’re totally cool.” –Conan O’Brien

“There’s currently a petition to split California into several states. Among the new states would be Botoxia, Pornsylvania, and of course, the Commonwealth of Kardashiania.” –Conan O’Brien

“This week Dick Cheney called President Obama ‘the worst president of my lifetime.’ Oh come on, Obama may not be perfect, but there’s no way he’s worse than John Quincy Adams.” –Seth Meyers

“To avoid being spied on by the NSA, Germany is considering using typewriters now to communicate so we can’t spy on them. Germany says they may even go further back and start using AOL accounts.” –Conan O’Brien

“The border crisis continues. And a new poll shows the majority of Americans disapprove of how President Obama is dealing with immigration. Of course, those numbers could change if he lets more people into America.” –Seth Meyers

“According to a new study, the largest producer of oil is now the United States. So you know what that means – any day now we’ll be invading ourselves.” –David Letterman

“Rob Ford attended his first city council meeting. But it got weird when he said, ‘Hello, Toronto City Council!’ And they said, ‘This is Buffalo, sir . . . And you have to put a shirt on.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“Congrats to Joey Chestnut. On Friday he won the Fourth of July Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest by eating 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Another guy said, ‘But I ate a hundred!’ Then the judges said, ‘You have to wait until we say ‘Go!’, Governor Christie.'” –Jimmy Fallon

“That’s 61 hot dogs in 12 minutes, or as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calls it – a snack.” –David Letterman

“I guess now Dick Cheney knows what it feels like when someone you though was a friend shoots you in the face.” –Jon Stewart on Fox News’ Megyn Kelly calling out Cheney for being wrong on Iraq

“Iraq is so bad that President Obama phoned Hillary Clinton and asked her if she could start early.” –David Letterman

“A Canadian woman was arrested for having an open container of liquor while driving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s SUV. Although when Rob Ford’s in the car, anyone not smoking crack is legally considered a designated driver.” –Seth Meyers

6. The Colbert Report

Outrage in Ferguson:http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/4komvc/outrage-in-ferguson

ISIS panic: http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/2x4lop/isis-panic

7. Mark Fiore Cartoon: Pentagon Hymn, the shores of Tripoli

http://vimeo.com/104581483

8. Journalist Roughed Up And Removed From Georgia GOP Event

Nydia Tisdale, a citizen journalist, went to Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, Georgia, to record video of speeches by David Perdue, the state’s GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, as well as Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and others.

The video of her being forcefully removed from the event begins at 14.05: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4aNrT-0ITA#t=1010

9. Senate forecast now gives Republicans only slight edge

The Washington Post’s forecasting model now suggests Republicans have only a 52% chance of winning control of the U.S. Senate — down from an 86% chance in July. 9/03/14 Read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/09/03/our-senate-model-is-moving-in-democrats-direction-all-of-a-sudden-why/

OPINION

1. Brian Beutler: Yes, Republicans Are Threatening a Government Shutdown Fight

A rump of Congressional Republicans, alarmed over reports that Obama intends to expand a program deferring deportation for low-priority immigrants, are thinking about using the appropriations process to make Obama relinquish his existing authority.

But the truth is practically irrelevant to the question of whether this presages a government shutdown fight. Just as it doesn’t really matter whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell actually has a government shutdown in mind when he promises to strong-arm Obama next year, or whether he intends to cave.

In either case he’s threatening to use the appropriations process as leverage to extract concessions. That’s a government shutdown fight. And no matter how he plays it, he will unleash forces he and other GOP leaders have proven incapable of restraining. They can’t control the plot.

That’s why Politico’s headline blared “McConnell’s plan to shut down Obama,” and HuffPost warned “Marco Rubio Hints At A Government Shut Down Fight.” Nobody’s saying a government shutdown will definitely happen. But a confrontation is very likely, and Republicans in Congress are the reason. Even if they never say the words “government shutdown.” 8/28/14 Read more athttp://www.newrepublic.com/article/119247/republican-government-shutdown-over-immigration-real-threat

2. Dylan Scott: The GOP’s All-Out War On Obamacare Is In A Death Spiral

Even though Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who fancies himself to be a thought leader in the party, still tweets #FullRepeal with regularity, he’s become an increasingly lonely voice. The use of Obamacare as an effective Republican attack looks almost at its end. It’s been a long time coming.

The politics of Obamacare were never as good for Republicans as they said or necessarily as bad as some Democrats seemed to fear. Dating back to March, polls found that how the law in the midterm elections would affect voters was up in the air

The GOP hasn’t discarded Obamacare completely, of course. It was always primarily a tool for turning out the base, and many Republican voters still see the law as a picture of everything wrong with the Obama presidency. Colorado GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner hit Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) earlier this month in an ad over canceled plans under the law, including Gardner’s own family’s, a real callback to last fall.

But that ad is the exception that proves the rule. As the Times noted on Wednesday, Republicans have turned to other issues to try to fire up their base. Obamacare is now an undercard at best. We’ve come such a long way. 8/28/14 Read more athttp://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-obamacare-2014-elections-no-mas

3. Robert Maguire: Election 2014 Is Drowning in Dark Money

At the current rate, the Center for Responsive Politics projects that dark money spending in the 2014 midterms will easily match or surpass the spending records set in the last presidential elections. If the rate of spending from previous cycles continues, the totals by this Election Day could reach upwards of $730 million or—if the rate seen in the last midterm holds—edge close to $1 billion.

There are no signs of slowing either. Patriot Majority, for one, has already reported as much spending in 2014—$7 million—as it spent in the whole 2012 presidential cycle, and liberal dark money groups as a whole have spent much more so far this cycle, $14.2 million, than they spent in the entire 2009-2010 midterm elections, $10.3 million.

And despite the boom in liberal spending, these groups still don’t compare to their conservative counterparts. Groups on the right have reported spending more than $33 million in dark money, and that doesn’t include the months of unreported spending by groups making issue ads in states with tight races.

Organizations in the Koch network have been spending far more than they did in previous cycles. The $35 million that Americans for Prosperity had already reportedly spent by April of this year dwarfs the estimated $18.2 million it had spent by early August of 2012. AFP says it plans to spend $125 million in 2014—a more than $10 million increase over its overall expenditures in 2012 and nearly $100 million over its 2010 outlays.

Other groups within the Koch network like Freedom Partners and Libre Initiative—both of which claim educating or informing the public as a part of their mission—have begun running ads for the first time, making similarly dubious claims.

Voters around the country should brace themselves for a flood of spending in the coming months, but don’t expect the donors behind it to lay claim to the often deceptive political speech they enabled. 8/28/14 Read more athttp://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/election-2014-is-drowning-in-dark-money.html

4. Michael Cohen: The punditry vs. the presidency

If there is any one lesson from the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in the nearly 13 years since Sept. 11, 2001 it is that – exceptionalist rhetoric notwithstanding – America is far from omnipotent. For all its global influence, the United States cannot dictate world events or force other nations, even close allies, to bend to its will.

Failure to recognize the very real limitations on American power, or the dangerous side effects of many seductively “tough-sounding” strategies, masks the vexing and often imperfect choices that are integral to foreign policy decision-making.

Worst of all, the constant calls for a quick and usually muscular response to perceived national security threats gives Americans a false sense of insecurity. The fact is, while people may be relentlessly, breathlessly trying to make us believe that we’re on the cusp of World War III, the world is actually pretty safe.

Of course, because pundits crave cartoonish notions of leadership and are allergic to uncertainty and deliberation, the President’s ill-considered but honest statement Thursday that the U.S. has “no strategy yet” for dealing with ISIS set off a firestorm of mockery.

But the recognition that any U.S. strategy will be dependent on the contributions of others, will develop and evolve over time and, above all, cannot be constructed on the fly, should be welcomed. While U.S. engagement may help defeat ISIS, it almost certainly will not be decisive. Inevitably it is Iraqis who will shape the destiny of Iraq.

Understanding this with some measure of humility is not a strength of American pundits, for whom everything is about the United States – and, even more simplistic than that, about its President.

Managing America’s role in the world isn’t a game. 8/31/14 Read more at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/punditry-presidency-article-1.1921882

5. Tim Dickinson: The Biggest Tax Scam Ever

Last year the IRS finally collected more in tax receipts than it did before the crash in 2007. But dig a little deeper into the numbers and it is clear we haven’t returned to normal: Corporations paid nearly $100 billion less in federal income taxes last year than before the Great Recession – down nearly 40 percent as a share of GDP. In fact, corporate profits and corporate tax collections are now trending in opposite directions. Profits were up $93 billion last year – to a high of $2.1 trillion, according to the Commerce Department. Yet corporate tax payments actually fell last year by more than $15 billion.

How is this possible?

It goes way beyond inversion. The top names in American business – from Apple to Xerox – have joined in the greatest tax dodge in world history. Using clever accounting games, these corporations have siphoned majestic sums out of the country and into tax-haven shell companies – where the money is untouchable by the IRS.

The numbers are staggering. More than $2 trillion in U.S.-based multinational profits currently sit in offshore accounts, representing, by credible estimates, in excess of $500 billion in unpaid taxes. If that money were deposited in federal coffers tomorrow, it would wipe out the deficit for 2014. And every year that Congress dithers on a crackdown, America is forfeiting an approximate $90 billion in revenue. 8/27/14 Read more at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-biggest-tax-scam-ever-20140827

6. Joan Walsh: The Magical President doesn’t exist: What the left must really do to defeat the wingnuts

The belief that somehow Obama can lead us out of our summer of misery reflects Magical President thinking. Which leads me back to the rapidly approaching and dispiriting midterms. When I reviewed Rick Perlstein’s “Invisible Bridge,” I noted that the major political difference between the right and left seems to be that when defeated and disillusioned, the right gets back to the nuts and bolts work of electoral politics. The left, or some of it, disintegrates, a flank here promoting direct action over electoral politics (a debate that’s understandably renewed by events in Ferguson); a flank there preaching about a third party; and one over there fantasizing about the perfect left-wing challenge to the mainstream Democratic candidate, like that dreamy African-American senator who opposed the war in Iraq who looked so magical eight years ago. Meanwhile, Republicans count on division on the left, and low turnout by the Democratic base of younger, poorer non-white voters, to help them take back the Senate.

And when they do, Mitch McConnell has promised only more obstruction and gridlock. I should point out, this isn’t just a byproduct of Republican victories, but one of the goals. It’s become obvious in the GOP’s approach to Obama that obstruction is at least partly intended to demoralize the reluctant, occasional voters in the Democratic base. For if there’s no action on those “gosh darn” issues, in McConnell’s words, like a minimum wage hike, student loan relief or extended unemployment insurance, let alone immigration reform or climate change, even after Obama became the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to win more than 50 percent of the vote twice, those of us who say that voting is the most reliable path to social change sound either foolish or dishonest. People say, why bother?

Democrats have two months to make sure this election doesn’t turn out like 2010 did. It’s not about the president right now, and we shouldn’t wait until 2016 for a new magical president. The kind of thoroughgoing change we need won’t happen in eight years, or even 80. It’s an eternal battle, the constant effort to expand the realm of human freedom to everyone, against the constant crusade by the wealthy to ensure that the trappings of human dignity – education, leisure, family life, childhood itself – are reserved for those who can afford to pay for them. The Kochs and their allies are trying to repeal the 20th century. Progressives can’t just suit up for that battle every four years. 9/01/14 Read more at http://www.salon.com/2014/09/01/
the_magical_president_doesnt_exist_what_the_left_must_really_do_to_defeat_the_wingnuts/

7. John Avlon: A Brief History of Wingnuts in America; From George Washington to Woodstock

In the long journey from frontier expansion to landing on the moon, there are clear common undercurrents to the paranoid politics advanced by the Wingnuts during different eras in America.

There is always the divisive drumbeat of ‘us against them’—the demagogue’s favorite formula. There is always an emotional appeal to an idealized past, targeted to people who feel besieged by cultural change, paired with the promise of a well-deserved return to power after years of resentment. And there is always the sale of special knowledge, pulling the curtain back on a monstrous conspiracy that will prove once and for all that your political opponents are not just misguided, but evil. The result is not only vindication, but also the self-serving sense that only you can save the republic.

Against this backdrop it’s easy to see the patterns in our recent history, where the angry impulse to delegitimize duly elected presidents of the United States leads to irrational hatreds and cynical posturing. But for some folks, there is a temptation to look at this twisted American history and then use it to rationalize away the unhinged excesses of our own times. The more self-congratulatory among them might be tempted to compare their feuds favorably to the founding fathers’ ugliest partisan fights, providing both benediction and absolution for any hate they might hurl at opponents.

But that self-serving spin obscures the real lesson: Today’s unhinged hyper-partisans are not likely to look any better or wiser in the rearview mirror than the Wingnuts of our past. Instead, they will be at best a stale and bitter punchline of our times and then fade, unloved, into obscurity. 8.17.14 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/17/a-brief-history-of-wingnuts-in-america-from-george-washington-to-woodstock.html

8. Michael A. Cohen: Congressional elections: expect more of the same

The GOP’s solid control of the House should, ideally, not matter as much as it does. There have been plenty of moments when different parties controlled Congress and the White House and, amazingly, legislation was actually passed.

But today American politics has become less of a bicameral democracy and more a parliamentary one, which means that voting along regional lines, or even parochially, has been replaced by straight party-line votes. Republicans, who are supported by uncompromising extremists, vote like uncompromising extremists — that is, when they can agree among themselves, which is increasingly difficult. Democrats follow in turn — and legislating becomes purely symbolic politicking, with no expectation on anyone’s part that bills will become law or that votes matter any more than how they can be spun by political opponents at the next election.

The one outlier this fall is gubernatorial races in places like Wisconsin, Florida, Maine, Kansas, and Pennsylvania, where voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on the Tea Party Republicans who won in the wave election of 2010. These ballots actually do matter because, increasingly, state houses — for better or for worse — are the only places in America where legislative democracy still seems to exist.

But on the national level, 2014 is merely a warm-up for 2016, when Democrats will be poised for bigger gains with the likely presence of Hillary Clinton on the presidential ticket. In the meantime, serious national challenges like growing income inequality, crumbling infrastructure, a tattered safety net, and the unresolved status of millions of undocumented immigrants (to name a few) will remain unaddressed. It’s hard to find much excitement in an election that will almost certainly guarantee two more years of nothing happening in Washington. 8/29/14 Read more at http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/08/29/congressional-elections-expect-more-same/kZFnTs96Lbbi3W0irjxThK/story.html

9. Simon Maloy: The right’s “tyranny” paranoia: Why climate deniers are so afraid of Obama now

One of the hallmarks of conservative commentary over the past few years has been the impressive ability of right-wing pundits to adhere to several different and contradictory caricatures of President Obama without suffering the slightest hint of cognitive dissonance.

Obama’s vacation has come to an end, and he’s transitioned from a golf-crazy layabout who doesn’t even want to preside over the nation into a tyrannical pseudo-king who is ramming his socialist policies down the national gullet.

The socialist tyranny in question is “a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions,” as reported by the New York Times. Conservatives, who tend to believe that climate change is a scam and international cooperation undermines “American Exceptionalism,” lost their minds. “Obama’s Lawless, Heartless Climate Treaty” was the headline at Commentary. “Obama’s new power grab: A climate change treaty without Senate ratification,” screamed Hot Air.

The argument that Obama’s climate agreement is “lawless” isn’t quite accurate. Per the Times, the plan is to update an existing treaty from 1992 and secure “voluntary pledges” from other nations, thus (in the White House’s view) obviating the need for Senate action. And as Newsweek explains, there is actually a heretofore unutilized section of the Clean Air Act that allows the U.S. to enter into precisely such agreements, and without the approval of Congress.

The people who insist upon calling this a “power grab” are actually missing the point; this is the administration opting for weaker policy options because the problem is too important to leave unresolved, and something is better than nothing. “Such an accord would likely fall short of the deep emissions cuts needed to stave off the planet’s warming by more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) over pre-industrial levels — the ceiling that world leaders agreed to in Copenhagen in 2009,” writes Rebecca Leber at the New Republic. To craft any sort of policy with teeth, the Republicans would have to reverse course on climate change and become constructive agents of governance. And that’s just not going to happen.

But, for the person who thinks that Obama does nothing “while the world burns,” here he is doing something to address the actual increase in temperature of the actual world. 8/29/14 Read more athttp://www.salon.com/2014/08/29/the_rights_tyranny_paranoia_why_climate_deniers_are_so_afraid_of_obama_now/

10. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial: Obama cools it: He has the right approach to foreign hot spots

President Barack Obama’s approach to the U.S. role in burning conflicts of the Middle East and Ukraine, expressed in a press conference Thursday, promises that appropriate reflection and consultation will precede any further action.

In taking that position, Mr. Obama reflects the attitude of most members of Congress, which will return to Washington after Labor Day, as well as that of the American public, who remain unenthusiastic about U.S. involvement in another war. The Iraq War is ostensibly over, the Afghanistan War is drawing to a close and the U.S. economy is showing tender signs of recovery.

On Ukraine, Mr. Obama stated clearly that he sees recent developments between that country and Russia as part of a continuity over past months. He said, categorically, “We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem.” In stating America’s commitment to respect its obligations to NATO members, such as Estonia, which he will visit next week after a NATO summit in Wales, he noted that America does not have such treaty obligations to Ukraine.

On Syria, where some U.S. political figures are beating the drums for American military action, Mr. Obama also made it clear that, although the United States would continue to take action in Iraq to protect Americans in the embassy in Baghdad and the office in Irbil in the Kurdish area, he would not expand military efforts there without consulting Congress and without building an international coalition in the region to include Sunni states.

Whether it was the golf, or the break with the family at Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Obama’s posture as the United States approaches the super-heated fall political season is, correctly, one of pouring cooling balm on the flames of war that others are fanning in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria. 8/30/14 Read more at http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2014/08/30/Obama-cools-it-He-has-the-right-approach-to-foreign-hot-spots/stories/201408300022

11. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: Here’s Why You Helpless Tramps Don’t Vote Republican

The “welfare queen” may be the coup-de-grace of Republican dependency animus, a coalescence of every ounce of fear and loathing for the ostensibly indolent that Reaganites could muster. The idea of the welfare queen has been enormously successful, clinging even now to the public imagination when assistance programs are debated. While the image of the welfare queen has been called out for its racialized components, it’s worth nothing that it’s also a heavily gendered, markedly sexualized vision of dependency.

Because the “welfare queen” of stereotypical lore is imagined to rely on the state for support instead of a husband, people tend to see women who use welfare as having failed to aptly live out “family ethics.” The association between state and husband in conservative dependency mythology goes a long way to intimating a pernicious pseudo-sexual relationship between the woman welfare recipient and the “welfare regime,” such as it is. No such accusations tend to fall upon male welfare recipients who, though they may be construed as deadbeats or losers, at least aren’t depicted as ersatz prostitutes.

So the dependency story is strange and uneven, and especially nasty when it comes to women. It probably isn’t such a slam-dunk rhetorical strategy for luring women voters into the Republican fold. Why rely on it?

Republicans can rely on the same old destructive narratives all they want, but women voters are unlikely to be fooled by bad storytelling or awful family policy. If Republican strategists really want to snare the female vote, they’ll need more than better optics. 8/31/14 Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/31/here-s-why-you-helpless-tramps-don-t-vote-republican.html

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One thought on “Sep 4 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #852

  1. Pingback: Sep 4 – DIRECT eZine for Democrats #852 | POINT LOMA DEMS

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