In a sophistic column in USA Today headlined, “Dems should heed lessons of U.K. vote,” Michael Wolff claims that the conservative election victory in the United Kingdom is a clear warning for Democrats not to stray too far left.
According to Wolff: “Rather than endorsing this leftward shift in politics – a view arguably now animating the Hillary Clinton campaign for president in the U.S. – voters returned the Conservative Party to No. 10 Downing Street with a heretofore unimaginable majority.”
The fatal mistake made by Wolff is that he conflated England’s conservatives with those in the United States. In reality, today’s GOP has little in common with conservatives across the pond, and looks significantly more like the radical U.K. Independence Party, which Wolff describes as “far right” and “anti-immigrant.”
Had the U.K. Independence Party won a smashing victory over progressives, Wolff may have had a point. But the British version of the Republican Party only won four million votes – a 12.6 percent share – which translated into one parliamentary seat. It’s leader Nigel Farage tendered his resignation, although he will now, it appears, remain head of the party.
Wolff deliberately compared apples and oranges in an effort to spook Democrats away from adopting progressive positions. These underhanded scare tactics by the Big Business elite will ultimately backfire. It is because progressive issues are no longer considered fringe and shunted aside to “the left,” but occupy the dead center of the electorate.
This is precisely why majorities support the decriminalization of marijuana, gay marriage, and a rise in the minimum wage. The boogieman, known as ObamaCare, has ceased to be a campaign issue, as Americans have embraced the Affordable Care Act. Americans don’t want their Social Security or Medicare privatized – and they believe in a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. It is Republicans, not progressives, who are badly out of step with the national mood.
Wolff severely undermines his case when he claims “it was in Britain, a conservative revolt, an unwillingness to play loose with hard-won economic stability, or risk the gains, however small, that have been made over the last few years.”
But isn’t that a strong argument for continued progressive leadership – and rewarding the Democrats another four years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
Under the leadership of Barack Obama, employers added 223,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.4 percent, the lowest in 7 years. Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, noted that more than 200,000 jobs have been created “in thirteen of the past fourteen months, the first time that has happened since 1995.”
Even as Republicans claim that Obama is socialist, the stock market remains over 18,000. So, if economic stability is the key issue then it reasons that Hillary Clinton is the obvious winner in a landslide. Who in their right mind would want to risk returning America to the financial meltdown that Republican George W. Bush inflicted on this nation?
In reaction to the latest economic good news on Obama’s watch, presidential aspirant Ben Carson snorted to CNBC’s John Harwood: “I said Obama reminds you of a psychopath, because they tend to be extremely smooth, charming people who can tell a lie to your face with complete — it looks like sincerity, even though they know it’s a lie. I think he knows full well that the unemployment rate is not 5.5%. He knows that.”
It seems that for Republicans the economy is the new climate change. The way to wipe out Obama’s economic triumph is to deny it exists.
Of course, the economy is not perfect – but that has to do with foolish Republican policies and their pathological obsession with deficits. Our economy would have been back on track years ago had Republicans allowed Democrats to create jobs through much needed infrastructure projects, such as fixing bumpy roads, dilapidated schools, and crumbling bridges. Unfortunately, today’s Republican Party can even be partisan over potholes.
More indicative of the upcoming presidential election than Wolff’s silly article is one that appeared on the same page under the headline, “Republicans have lots of choices to ponder in 2016’s packed field.” The USA Today article is about how the GOP Clown Bus rolled into South Carolina to attend the so-called “Freedom Summit.” The cast of clowns that spoke at this gathering included: Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, John Bolton, George Pataki, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump.
While there may be a lot of bodies on stage – the sad reality is that they all hold the same extreme positions in their effort to appeal to white Evangelical voters. Not a single one dares deviate from the Party Line.
The radicalization of the GOP and the mainstreaming of progressive issues in America is why Wolff is wrong. There is no lesson to be learned by the conservative victory in Great Britain.Read More »
Texas Senator Ted Cruz launched his campaign at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. He rode in on a moral high horse, gay bashing and Washington trashing, while pledging to polish America’s “family values.”
So, it is surprising that Cruz has emerged as the preferred candidate for deadbeats and tax-cheats. Media personality and Love Line co-host Adam Carolla endorsed Cruz because the candidate wants to abolish the IRS and replace it with a flat tax.
I can understand this. Cruz already believes in a flat earth, so he might as well support a flat tax. The flat-tax, however, disproportionally harms the poor and middle class, which seems antithetical to his professed Christian beliefs. Perhaps, Cruz is waiting for Jesus to weigh in on this issue. Oh, wait he did:
“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
It is a bizarre endorsement by Carolla (pictured)who gushed, “I want to support Ted. I love me some Ted Cruz.” I’m still trying to figure out how the philosophy of these two opportunistic stage horses aligns. Cruz’ father and his primary political advisor is a fire and brimstone preacher. Ted Cruz is a champion of the blue-nosed Religious Right. Yet, Adam Carolla is a second-rate jester whose claim-to-fame is the risqué radio broadcast Love Line, where he advised young listeners on blow up dolls, masturbation, and 3-ways.
Carolla isn’t the only miscreant to support Cruz for his wacky attacks on the IRS. The candidate’s new Sugar Daddy is New York hedge fund mogul Robert Mercer, an alleged tax cheat who wants the tax collectors banished.
What’s Mercer’s beef with the Internal Revenue Service? About six years ago the IRS began investigating Renaissance, the hedge fund company that made him filthy rich.
In 2014, the New York Times reports, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation accused Renaissance of exploiting abstruse financial structures that allowed his company to bilk the US government out of $6 billion in tax revenue.
According to Sen. Carl Levin, taxpayers “had to shoulder the burden these hedge funds shrugged off with the aid of the banks.”
So, it appears that “Money-bags Mercer” shopped for a shifty candidate willing to close the very agency, the IRS, which is investigating him for potential fraud. Ted Cruz gleefully answered the call and now the buffoon has found a tycoon that can indefinitely fund his nutty campaign. While this may be gold for comedy writers, it is has all the gaudy and goofy appeal of gold fillings for the rest of us.
The chutzpah of Mercer is shocking. Maybe if he receives a few traffic tickets he will hire a candidate to close down the Department of Transportation. Perhaps he will also support Rick Perry who will shutter three entire federal departments, if only Perry can remember what they are.
Robert Mercer is bad news. He was once described as “an automaton” in a book titled, “More Money than God.” But thanks to the destructive force known as Citizens United, every billionaire can buy (or at least rent) a beggar doubling as a presidential candidate. The horrible hedgehog, Mercer, is behind a network of four pro-Cruz Super PAC’s that have raised $31 million.
Mercer (pictured) is clearly the new Sheldon Adelson, who kept Newt Gingrich’s failed campaign on life support longer than Jeb Bush kept a feeding tube in Terri Schiavo.
As in the odd Carolla endorsement, how can Cruz justify cozying up to the shady Mercer? According to the New York Times:
In 2013, a group of former employees sued him for not paying overtime. They also accused him of deducting money from their semi-annual bonuses as a form of punishment for among other things, failing to replace shampoos, close doors, and change razor blades.
This is not to say Mercer and Cruz have nothing in common. Mercer shoveled $1 million into a 2011 campaign to block an Islamic community center in Manhattan. Mercer also spent more than $2 million constructing a model railroad in his Long Island mansion—then sued the builder for overcharging him. That’s the exact kind of unreasonableness and gridlock Cruz brought to Washington!
Ted Cruz set out on his campaign with the goal of being a culture warring Christian. Yet, somehow ended up on Obama Care and was anointed the candidate for deadbeats and tax cheats. I’m no theologian, but I don’t think Jesus is happy so far with the direction of the Cruz campaign.Read More »
The Republicans love to call Jeb Bush the “popular governor” of Florida. Well he was popular, but only with Republicans. The rest of us not so much.
They also love to dub Bush the “Education governor” Again, not so much!!
He took aim at the public school system in his devious plan to privatize. He supported vouchers. He instituted something called Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or FCAT testing – which is a corporate sponsored standardized test.
He also took aim at public school teachers and students. If Jeb Bush was the “education” governor, than why did most teachers despise him during his time in Tallahassee?
His unfair and logic-defying merit and punishment system tying teacher pay to test results gave administrators reasons to teach to the test and forgo real learning. This is why in a 2013 editorial, a Washington Post columnist wrote “the accountability system Jeb pioneered is in shambles.”
According to the Post:
Recently a nonprofit group released thousands of e-mails showing how his Foundation for Excellence in Education has been working with public officials in states to write education laws that could benefit some of its corporate funders.
As a result of Jeb’s corporate scam, teacher morale plummeted. Palm Beach Post editorial writer, Jac Wilder VerSteeg, had this to say:
Former Gov. Jeb Bush has an undeserved reputation as an education reformer. Florida’s recent education progress has come not from implementing Mr. Bush’s policies but from cleaning up after them.
Mr. Bush has been visiting legislators in Tallahassee to talk about education policy. Get out the mops and buckets. Taxpayers also should reach for their wallets, since the former governor’s new big ideas involve transferring more public dollars to the for-profit companies behind him.
Gov. Bush also instituted one voucher program the courts ruled unconstitutional and another “corporate voucher” program that, ironically, lets low-income students avoid taking the FCAT.
Gov. Rick Scott’s frantic reversals in preparation for a reelection run — he has called for teacher raises not linked to the FCAT — show how unpopular Mr. Bush’s education legacy is.
Mr. Bush’s fans note that Florida’s education rankings and results have improved. The dubious rankings give Florida credit simply for having “accountability,” systems even if those systems are bogus.
But the real victims were the students. His so-called reforms were nothing short of devastating. In his miserable test plan, children who did not pass were “retained” and it could happen more than once.
And keep in mind this humiliation and failure generally only affected poor and minority children. This caused havoc in the schools as teachers tried to educate children who were 2-3 years older than the other students in class. These older kids predictably acted out as class clowns or took on roles as class bullies. As troubling as the identity of clown or bully was – it beat embracing the embarrassing role of class dunce.
Instead of working to erase academic deficits though remedial education and moving children to the next grade with their peers, Bush chose to retain and humiliate. But how many 18-year-old High School students, stuck in the 10th grade, dropped out because of this ill-conceived plan? How much poverty, hopelessness, helplessness, and crime did Bush’s politicized educational model cause?
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with one Florida teacher who worked at a mostly minority elementary school. This teacher had walked in on a young girl curled up in a ball in the corner crying. The teacher asked what was wrong. The student said she had just failed Jeb’s standardized test and would be held back to repeat the same grade. Many of her friends were moving on but she wasn’t. She told this teacher that she felt like a failure and a skunk. She’s not a skunk, but Jeb Bush’s education plan sure stunk like one.
Bush is also truth challenged. He’s been touting his success in starting a charter school in Miami. With great fanfare Jeb paraded around with African American leaders touting the Liberty City Charter School, in one of the worst neighborhoods in Florida. This was his banner school – his poster school — that he boasted about to portray himself as the “Education governor.”
So, what happened to the Liberty City Charter School? It went out of business. It is gone. It is now defunct – and with any luck his presidential campaign will be too.
Jeb Bush is not an “Education Governor.” His signature issue is a bust and his so-called achievements are empty boasting. But unless you are from Florida, like I am, you might not know this.Read More »