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Look What the Republicans Have Done to My Country

Politicususa

June 11, 2011

On March 14 we published a list of thirty pieces of Republican legislation “that Republicans are using to destroy America.” That list was updated on March 17 with several new items and now we present a completely updated list including those additions from March 17 along with additional pieces of legislation. Furthermore, the list has been rearranged and several new categories introduced, including The War on National Public Radio and The War on Net Neutrality.It has become impossible, due to the sheer volume of nihilistic Republican and Tea Party legislation, to keep this list down to 30 items, and has therefore received a new name, one that matches our level of bewilderment at how one of our major political parties could so hate America: “Look What the Republicans Have Done to My Country, Ma.”

Keep in mind this list, long as it is, is not exhaustive and that it represents a list of Republican legislation that has been proposed, whether signed into law or not. Reader feedback is appreciated; if you have legislation to add that we have missed here, please let us know and it will be on the next list a month or so down the road.

The War on Women’s Reproductive Rights

There is no doubt that the GOP’s first goal is to deprive women of their reproductive rights. It’s so important that we find Mike Huckabee promising Christian conservatives that his number one priority if he runs for president will be abortion. Alternet lists the 10 worst states in which to be a woman.

o    Anti-abortion Laws

Republican legislators have introduced a wide array of laws designed to either outlaw abortion outright or to discourage it by making ridiculous and sometimes humiliating requirements of women who might consider having a pregnancy terminated.

  • Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, has proposed a bill (House Bill 2988) that would prevent any abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.
  • In Georgia, a bill (SB 209) sponsored by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, would close all abortion clinics in the state and require abortions to be performed in hospitals
  • South Dakota wants to require “spiritual” counseling (House Bill 1217) at religious centers before allowing an abortion to take place
  • The Texas State House of Representatives has passed the Sonogram Bill (HB 15), a measure requiring women to get a sonogram before ending a pregnancy, forcing even victims of rape to have a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure. Gov. Rick Perry has signed the bill into law, which takes effect September 1, 2011. There are exceptions in cases of rape and incest.
  • Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill that would not only make abortion illegal but would make miscarriages illegal.
  • Indiana (House Bill 1210) wants to force doctors to lie to women about abortion causing breast cancer despite medical evidence to the contrary in order to discourage women from having abortions
  • Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” (HR 3) that would limit the rape exemption for abortion to “forcible rape” which would have defined many rapes, for example, statutory rape of a minor, as non-forcible and therefore not covered by federal assistance. Mother Jones has reported another aspect of this legislation, that the IRS would be turned into abortion-cops: “Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest,” says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. “If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it.”
  • Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA) introduced a bill (HR 358) would allow states to deny insurance coverage for birth control meaning hospitals could deny abortion procedures and transport to a facility that would provide a woman with an abortion even if failure to provide an abortion would mean the death of the woman
  • · Louisiana State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie wants to sentence both women and doctors who commit this crime the ban to 15 years hard labor. The law would make no exceptions for cases of danger to the health of the mother, incest or rape.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed (by a 234-182 vote) an amendment sponsored by Virginia Foxx (R-NC) prohibiting teaching hospitals from receiving federal funding if they teach doctors how to perform abortions. Unfortunately, as a result of this legislation new physicians will not receive the training needed to save women’s lives. As Correntewire.com puts it, “234 members of the House voted to ban the teaching of medical procedures that are vital in saving the lives of women who have miscarried, or have complications that endanger their health, or who aren’t even pregnant.”

o    Arguing that it is “morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortions,” Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind, introduced a bill (HR 217) in the U.S. House of Representatives to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, despite the many other services Planned Parenthood provides to both men and women, including contraception and STD testing

o    Legalizing the Murder of Abortion Doctors

  • South Dakota flirted with a law to make the murder of an abortion doctor legal as self-defense
  • When South Dakota was forced to drop the idea of murdering abortion doctors, Nebraska and Iowa picked up the idea

o   “Personhood Laws” and Fetal Rights

Seven states are now considering laws that would give fertilized eggs the rights of “personhood” – in other words, fertilized eggs would have the same rights as you or me – a blatant ploy to attack women’s reproductive rights.

MORE HERE

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Tea Party: GOP Will Be Held Accountable For Backing Business In Debt Ceiling Fight

HuffPost- Michael McAullif

First Posted: 06/ 1/11 02:27 PM ET Updated: 06/ 1/11 02:45 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Think of Republicans’ Tuesday vote against raising America’s debt cap as their “honest, I do still love you” sop to last summer’s fling, the Tea Party.

Because, like all such overheated romances, this one could soon be headed for an ugly breakup over money.

Last year, the Tea Party’s interests and those of big business were nearly perfectly aligned, with companies pouring millions into campaigns to oust Democrats. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce alone dropped some $33 million, with 93 percent going to elect Republicans.

But things are different this year, and nowhere will the split be starker than in the fight over raising the debt limit. Those groups represented by the Chamber want it to go up, in order to avoid what Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warns would be a catastrophe. The Tea Party — especially its more loosely organized, grassroots members — adamantly want the debt ceiling to stay put.

The big crunch will come sometime before August, when the United States is expected to begin defaulting on its debt if the limit is not raised. Then, Republicans — and the 86 freshmen who were powered into office on the Tea Party surge in 2010 –- will have to decide if they embrace the entreaties of the business world to increase the limit or the ardent pleas of their tea-sipping supporters who want Uncle Sam’s credit card cut off at the current $14.3 trillion.

“What we’re looking for is real control of Congressional spending, not some fallacy they invent to make the electorate feel good for a temporary time,” said Mark Meckler, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.

A fallacy, in his eyes, would be the plan Congressional Republicans have embraced to raise the debt ceiling once they get concessions on spending cuts and budget reforms from Democrats.

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Donald Trump Has Revealed the Truth About the Republican Party

Johann Hari
Columnist, the London Independent via: HuffPost

Posted: 04/28/11 11:04 PM ET

Since the election of Barack Obama, the Republican Party has proved that one of its central intellectual arguments was right all along. They have long claimed that evolution is a myth believed in only by whiny liberals — and it turns out they were onto something. Every six months, the Republican Party venerates a new hero, and each time it is somebody further back on the evolutionary scale.

Sarah Palin told cheering rallies that her message to the world was: “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way!” — but that wasn’t enough. So they found Michele Bachmann, who said darkly it was an “interesting coincidence” that swine flu only breaks out under Democratic presidents, claims the message of The Lion King is “I’m better at what I do because I’m gay,” and argues “there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”

That wasn’t enough. I half-expected the next contender to be a lung-fish draped in the Stars and Stripes. But it wasn’t anything so sophisticated. Enter stage (far) right Donald Trump, the bewigged billionaire who has filled America with phallic symbols and plastered his name across more surfaces than the average Central Asian dictator. A survey suggests he is the most popular candidate among Republican voters. It’s not hard to see why.

Trump is every trend in Republican politics over the past thirty-five years taken to its logical conclusion. He is the Republican id, finally entirely unleashed from all restraint and all reality.

The first trend is towards naked imperialism. On Libya, he says: “I would go in and take the oil… I would take the oil and stop this baby stuff.” On Iraq, he says: “We stay there, and we take the oil… In the old days, when you have a war and you win, that nation’s yours.” It is a view that the world is essentially America’s property, inconveniently inhabited by foreigners squatting over oil-fields. Trump says America needs to “stop what’s going on in the world. The world is just destroying our country. These other countries are sapping our strength.” The U.S. must have full spectrum dominance. In this respect, he is simply an honest George W. Bush.

The second trend is towards dog-whistle prejudice — pitched just high enough for frightened white Republicans to hear it. Trump made it a central issue to suggest Obama wasn’t born in America (and therefore was occupying the White House illegally) — even though this conspiracy theory had long since been proven to be as credible as the people who claim Paul McCartney was killed in 1969 and replaced with an imposter. Trump said nobody “ever comes forward” to say they knew Obama as a child in Hawaii. When lots of people pointed out they knew Obama as a child, Trump ridiculed the idea they could remember that far back. Then he said he’d “heard” the birth certificate said Obama was Muslim. When it was released saying no such thing, Trump said: “I’m very proud of myself.”

The Republican primary voters heard the message right — the black guy is foreign. He’s not one of us. Trump responded to these charges by saying: “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”

MORE HERE

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During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion

Think Progress- By Travis Waldron at 11:49 am

After pushing the government to brink of shutdown last week, Republican Congressional leaders are now preparing to push America to the edge of default by refusing to increase the nation’s debt limit without first getting Democrats to concede to large spending cuts.

But while the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion.

At the beginning of the Bush presidency, the United States debt limit was $5.95 trillion. Despite promises that he would pay off the debt in 10 years, Bush increased the debt to $9.815 trillion by the end of his term, with plenty of help from the four Republicans currently holding Congressional leadership positions: Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl. ThinkProgress compiled a breakdown of the five debt limit increases that took place during the Bush presidency and how the four Republican leaders voted:

June 2002: Congress approves a $450 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $6.4 trillion. McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor vote “yea”, Kyl votes “nay.”

May 2003: Congress approves a $900 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $7.384 trillion. All four approve.

November 2004: Congress approves an $800 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion. All four approve.

March 2006: Congress approves a $781 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $8.965 trillion. All four approve.

September 2007: Congress approves an $850 billion increase, raising the debt limit to $9.815 trillion. All four approve.

Database searches revealed no demands from the four legislators that debt increases come accompanied by drastic spending cuts, as there are now. In fact, the May 2003 debt limit increase passed the Senate the same day as the $350 billion Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

When Bush was in office, the current Republican leaders viewed increasing the debt limit as vital to keeping America’s economy running. But with Obama in the White House, it’s nothing more than a political pawn.

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Reid says GOP threatening shutdown over family planning funding, Boehner avoids talking specifics

by Jed Lewison for Daily Kos

Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:32 AM EDT

In separate statements late this morning, both Harry Reid and John Boehner agreed that we are very close to an agreement to prevent a federal shutdown, but said an agreement had not yet been reached.

Reid said both sides had agreed on the numbers, but that Republicans continued to insist on banning funds for family planning and Planned Parenthood.

Boehner’s brief statement offered no specifics on the state of negotiations other than to say that he believed we were on the cusp of a deal. He offered platitudes about cutting spending, and urged the Senate to pass the House’s so-called “troop funding bill.” Boehner’s statement, which amounted to no more than three or four sentences, seemed to be focused more on keeping up the appearance of brinksmanship and maintaining support from his caucus than on actually addressing whatever issues remain outstanding.

For his part, Reid said he was “appalled” and “personally offended” that Republicans continued to insist on the Planned Parenthood funding ban. “Men and women should be outraged,” Reid said. “Republicans only have a few hours left to look in the mirror and realize how shameful it wold be” to block a deal over family planning and women’s health services funding. “The tea party is trying to move its extreme social agenda, issues that have nothing to do with funding the government. They are willing to throw women under the bus, even if it means shutting down the government.”

Reid said tea party opponents of Planned Parenthood and family planning funding had a right to debate their views, but that holding the government hostage was unacceptable.

Assuming that a deal is reached today (and I bet there will be one), what will probably happen is that the Senate will take up the so-called “troop-funding” bill that House Republicans passed yesterday, and substitute a “clean” CR to keep government open for a few more days while the details of the deal are written into legislative language. Democrats have already put the House bill into the Senate calendar, making it clear they are contemplating this course of action. If the Senate passed the a clean CR, it would head back to the House, which could pass it later today.

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We can’t know for sure whether or not she recognizes how unserious and unintelligent she is, but, in Sarah Palin, we can plainly see a reality show celebrity who seems to believe that national office doesn’t require the widely accepted prerequisite of “knowing things” — especially things that squarely relate to the national office she has sought in the past and the one she will likely seek this year. Only people with clinical personality issues, well beyond the reasonably normal purview of ego, believe they can achieve the most prestigious elected offices in the United States without, at the very least, knowing basic information about the universe of those jobs.

Ego isn’t new to politics. In fact, it’s almost as necessary as intellectual heft and leadership experience. Anyone who believes they possess the rare potential to be elected by an entire nation to the office of the presidency requires ego beyond that of, you know, everyone. The self-affirmational refrain “I can be the president” is an exceptional thing, so completely exceptional that only a handful of people out of 300 million dare to run for president every four years.

Sarah Palin’s ego, however, is way beyond just about anyone we’ve observed in modern politics. She’s purely narcissistic.

Psychologist Glen Gabbard divided narcissists into two subtypes: the “hypervigilant” shameful type, and the “oblivious” shameless type. Palin’s narcissism naturally falls into the latter end of the diagnostic spectrum. Shameless and oblivious. She appears to be so thoroughly clueless — so blinded by her self-importance and ambition that her syllabus of mistakes are ignored and left uncorrected, and so she arrogantly repeats the same mistakes over and over, and accompanied by, Winning!

There’s no other analysis or diagnosis that more adequately explains Palin’s ongoing problems with the U.S. Constitution.

During the 2008 election, she repeatedly and utterly failed to accurately describe the constitutional (or otherwise) role of the vice president. The very serious job she was seeking, by the way. Not only did she fumble the response once, she fumbled it at least three times. She couldn’t do it in the vice presidential debate against Joe Biden, she couldn’t do it during a post-debate softball interview on Fox News Channel and she couldn’t do it when interviewed by a third-grader. The answer that eluded the Republican vice presidential nominee is readily found in the Constitution. It’s not difficult to find or to read, at least for anyone with a internet access and a pulse.

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Question for the tea party and everyone who voted for tea party Republicans in November: Did you enjoy your purely cosmetic vote to repeal the health care reform law? Personally, I would feel pandered to, and not particularly satisfied with all of that fiscally expensive congressional time being wasted on a vote that meant absolutely nothing. But that’s me.

I mean, you and your peers are obsessively focused on budget deficits and the national debt. Perhaps all of that federal money, all of that federal time and all of those federal resources would have been more effectively spent on something that had a chance of actually happening. Instead, you mandated that your Republican members of the House spend countless dollars on a symbolic exercise in, well, hooey. Nonsense. The political equivalent of pissing into the wind.

Considering that many of us on the progressive side of the political divide supported the health care law in part because it actually reduces the deficit, and considering that many of us on the progressive side of the political divide supported the stimulus and, within it, the largest middle class tax cut in American history, I’m getting a strong idea as to who is more interested in fiscal discipline and who isn’t.

With this meaningless vote, not only have the Republicans proved themselves to be entirely disinterested in reducing the deficit, but they’ve also reinforced their obsession with bumper sticker slogans, self-contradictions and utterly nonsensical political gestures.

Here are two more fantastic examples of how Republicans seriously dislike health care reform, socialized medicine and “government-run” healthcare — that is, until they actually need it.

You may or may not recall a study conducted before the health care reform law was passed by the office of Rep. Anthony Weiner. At the time, 55 Republican members of Congress were enrolled in Medicare, including Senators McCain, McConnell, Kyl, Shelby, Lugar, Inhofe and Grassley. All of whom were opposed to the public option and health care reform.

On the House side, Rep. Weiner’s list includes Peter King, Phil Gingrey, wingnut Virginia Foxx and the godfather of the tea party movement Ron Paul. Seriously, Ron Paul! All 55 members are accepting a form of the public option. Government-run health care. Socialized medicine. I wonder what Ayn Rand would say about Ron Paul accepting Medicare? A program that, more than anything else, will help to bump the national debt from 15 percent of GDP to 35 percent of GDP by 2082. And they claim to be worried about the debt? That’s rich.

Where are the tea party budget hawks — the tri-corned hat reenactors with their misspelled signs and racist voodoo portraits of the president — screeching for Ron Paul to give up his share in American socialism?

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