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Bold, fresh ideas from Republicans

Columnist, former speechwriter for the elder George Bush and frequent
talk-show guest Peggy Noonan urges
“Now’s the time to put a dagger ‘tween their teeth,
wave a sword, grab a rope and swing aboard the enemy’s galleon. Take
the president’s issues, steal them–they never belonged to him, they’re
yours!” … “Really, it’s pirate time.” Essentially, Noonan urges
right-wingers to take a page from the Democratic playbook and to stand
for the little guys, the working and middle classes, against the rich.

How’s that working out for Republicans? Well, let’s see, Louisiana
Governor Bobby Jindal’s bold,
fresh, new idea
is to eliminate state income taxes and to boost the
sales tax instead. What would that do?

According to ITEP, while Louisiana
millionaires would receive a tax cut of around a quarter of a million
dollars, “[the] poorest 20 percent of taxpayers, those with an average
income of $12,000, would see an average tax increase of $395, or 3.4
percent of their income, if no low income tax relief mechanism is
offered.” (And if a low income tax relief mechanism is offered, it will
have to be paid for, almost definitely on the backs of the middle
20 percent, with average incomes around $43,000.)

And Jim DeMint, the former Senator and new head of the Heritage
Foundation insists that welfare reform is an amazing success. What does
that success actually look like?

In the state of Georgia, where 300,000
families survive below the poverty line, 4,000
people are on welfare.
The goal is zero people on welfare. Not
“zero poor people,” but zero recipients of government benefits.

So, er, not very well if you’re a person who’s down on their luck and
in need of assistance. Great, if you’re a wealthy person who doesn’t
like paying taxes.

How about bold, fresh, new ideas on climate

The Washington-commissioned analysis
makes clear that America is already feeling the impact of global
warming; infrastructure, water supplies, crops and coastal geographies
are being noticeably affected, it says, while heatwaves, downpours,
floods and droughts are all both more common and more extreme.

But although President Obama has
brought in a smattering of regulations on greenhouse gases, and his
energy strategy ultimately aims to wean the US off foreign oil,
explicit references to climate change are still few and far between in
Washington, and…

Okay, so that’s a very serious issue and Democrats aren’t making a very
big stink about it. So what are Republicans doing on that?

…most Republicans refuse to
acknowledge any link between human activity and a changing climate.

Hmm, so much for that hope. But hey! Republican Senators can perform
their “advise
and consent
” role that the Constitution gives them.
In Meet The Press, Bob
Schieffer asks Senator John McCain (R-AZ):

SCHIEFFER: What about John Brennan, the
nominee for the CIA? Your friend Lindsey Graham says he should not be
confirmed until we know more about the attack in Libya. Are you going

MCCAIN: I think Lindsey’s right that we need to know. It has been
months now and we still haven’t gotten basic information. Like, what
was the — how were the talking points that were given Ambassador Rice
to tell the American people? And on this program, why weren’t there DoD
assets for seven hours capable of — I mean, there are so many
questions that have not been answered, and Lindsey is right.

Erm, former Secretary of State Condoleezza
and former Senator Joe
(I-CT) both refuse to be tagged as critics of the Obama
Administration’s response to the deaths of a US Ambassador and several
other people in Benghazi, Libya last year. The project of making the
Benghazi deaths into a scandal took a severe hit when McCain skipped
a briefing
on the Benghazi situation in order to complain that he
lacked information on…the Benghazi situation. McCain is beating a
horse that’s not only dead, it’s long since decayed.

McCain also claimed earlier in the conversation that:

By the way, on this process [of
appointing presidential cabinet picks], usually with the previous
presidents, both Republican and Democrat, when they’re considering
nominations, they call in the other side and say — you know, the key
members on the other party and say, hey, I’m thinking about nominating
Mr. X, what do you think about it? There has been none of that with
this administration.

Really? Sorry, but I certainly don’t recall that ever happening under
George W. Bush. Bush just made his decisions and put them out. Not that
there’s anything wrong with that, but McCain appears to be insisting
that President Obama observe a higher degree of cooperation than Bush
ever demonstrated.

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PN3(Ret), USN, 1991-2001

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