The examples can go on forever, but the bottom line is that it’s nice to know that there is someone checking to make sure things are safe. The cost of safety does come at a price however, that’s why we have taxes. In today’s America, not everyone is happy about the idea of safety, and the Republican party is at the top of the list.With each passing year that the Republican party gets pushed further to the right by radical Tea Party conservatives, the more they make less sense. As the conservative movement continues to strike fear into the hearts of Americans by demonizing our own government, they place people in a position to vote against their own best interests. Radical Republican leaders, like Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, scream about the “over regulation” of the government and its supposed “suffocation of business,” but that’s hardly the case, There is a very valid argument about how much government should be involved in business, both small and large, but the Republican party has gotten to the point that no regulation is the right amount of regulation. Programs like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) were put in place to protect the American people and the environment, which the GOP looks to turn a blind eye to. In fact, before the Republican party shifted totally to the radical right, they didn’t mind some of these programs. Former Republican, President Richard Nixon, was the man responsible for the creation of the EPA.
Republicans claim that these regulations that keep people safe are preventing job creation, but that is far from the truth. According to the Commerce Department, since the start of the EPA over four decades ago, industries that have helped support environmental protection have created over 1.7 million jobs and have added over $300 billion in revenue. President Obama and the Democrats shouldn’t get off the hook completely. President Obama has not been as strict on certain regulations as many have hoped, especially when dealing with oil and gas companies, but a major factor is the backlash those regulations would face when entering a Republican controlled congress.
Programs like the EPA and FDA are essential to our society, but if the Republicans gain full control of our government, those programs could be gone for good. The idea of letting business regulate themselves doesn’t work. Should teachers let students grade their own papers? The answer is no because the children would be looking out for their own best interests. Letting business regulate themselves would lead to nothing but a giant mess that the American people would have to pay for, in more ways than one.
Explore: Obama to unveil spying reforms on January 17 Obama to unveil spying reforms on January 17
Obama to unveil spying reforms on January 17 (via AFP)
US President Barack Obama will unveil reforms to the country's spying activities on January 17, his spokesman said Friday, following a ...
on February 01, 2014 at 6:49 PM, updated February 01, 2014 at 7:13 PM |
NEWARK — Gov. Chris Christie's administration today attacked David Wildstein as well as media coverage of Wildstein's allegations that the governor knew more about the George Washington Bridge lane closures than he originally let on, according to a report in Politico.
“Bottom line — David Wildstein will do and say anything to save David Wildstein,” read today's email from Christie's office, titled, "5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That’s Not A Bombshell.”
Christie's office also attacked the New York Times for its initial characterization of the Zegas letter.
“A media firestorm was set off by sloppy reporting from the New York Times and their suggestion that there was actually ‘evidence’ when it was a letter alleging that ‘evidence exists," the email said.
Zegas sent the letter to the Port Authority asking it to reconsider its decision earlier this month not to pay Wildstein's legal bills.
"Evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference" Zegas wrote.
Zegas also said Wildstein "contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some."
Wildstein invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself when he was called before the New Jersey State Assembly last month to testify about his role in the lane closures. Zegas has said several times he wants his client to be granted immunity in exchange for testimony.
>by ROBERT B. REICH | Saturday, January 25, 2014 |
People ask me all the time why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society.
Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy. So why isn’t there more of a ruckus?
The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out.
First, the working class is paralyzed with fear it will lose the jobs and wages it already has.
In earlier decades, the working class fomented reform. The labor movement led the charge for a minimum wage, 40-hour workweek, unemployment insurance, and Social Security.
No longer. Working people don’t dare. The share of working-age Americans holding jobs is now lower than at any time in the last three decades and 76 percent of them are living paycheck to paycheck.
No one has any job security. The last thing they want to do is make a fuss and risk losing the little they have.
Besides, their major means of organizing and protecting themselves — labor unions — have been decimated. Four decades ago more than a third of private-sector workers were unionized. Now, fewer than 7 percent belong to a union.
Second, students don’t dare rock the boat.
In prior decades students were a major force for social change. They played an active role in the Civil Rights movement, the Free Speech movement, and against the Vietnam War.
But today’s students don’t want to make a ruckus. They’re laden with debt. Since 1999, student debt has increased more than 500 percent, yet the average starting salary for graduates has dropped 10 percent, adjusted for inflation. Student debts can’t be cancelled in bankruptcy. A default brings penalties and ruins a credit rating.
To make matters worse, the job market for new graduates remains lousy. Which is why record numbers are still living at home.
Reformers and revolutionaries don’t look forward to living with mom and dad or worrying about credit ratings and job recommendations.
Third and finally, the American public has become so cynical about government that many no longer think reform is possible.
When asked if they believe government will do the right thing most of the time, fewer than 20 percent of Americans agree. Fifty years ago, when that question was first asked on standard surveys, more than 75 percent agreed.
It’s hard to get people worked up to change society or even to change a few laws when they don’t believe government can possibly work.
You’d have to posit a giant conspiracy in order to believe all this was the doing of the forces in America most resistant to positive social change.
It’s possible. of course, that rightwing Republicans, corporate executives, and Wall Street moguls intentionally cut jobs and wages in order to cow average workers, buried students under so much debt they’d never take to the streets, and made most Americans so cynical about government they wouldn’t even try for change.
But it’s more likely they merely allowed all this to unfold, like a giant wet blanket over the outrage and indignation most Americans feel but don’t express.
Change is coming anyway. We cannot abide an ever-greater share of the nation’s income and wealth going to the top while median household incomes continue too drop, one out of five of our children living in dire poverty, and big money taking over our democracy.
At some point, working people, students, and the broad public will have had enough. They will reclaim our economy and our democracy. This has been the central lesson of American history.
Reform is less risky than revolution, but the longer we wait the more likely it will be the latter.
As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) bridge scandal continues to unfold, his allies and defenders have a serious challenge. Under the most generous of scenarios, the governor was clueless about his own team’s corruption, kept in the dark while his top aides abused their power in his name, deliberately crippling a community over petty politics.
Many Republicans and Christie admirers aren’t sure how best to respond, but they’ve taken a long look at the available evidence, and have decided to ask the question that matters most to them: “Isn’t President Obama awful?”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) … praised Christie for taking responsibility, than pivoted to a criticism of Obama. “This was very, very refreshing,” Giuliani said of Christie’s press conference Thursday. “We have had a couple of years in Washington with a lot of situations with IRS thing, Benghazi. We have a president who runs away from press conferences like this. Never takes accountability. Never fires anybody. Here is a guy who acted like a chief executive.”
It’s tempting to just laugh this off as a silly argument from knee-jerk partisan, but Giuliani isn’t the only one seriously pushing this nonsense. As Matt Gertz explained:
The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote in a January 9 piece that Christie’s “contrition contrasts so sharply with President Obama’s handling of the tax agency’s abuse of political opponents and his reluctance to fire anyone other than a military general for anything.” They added, “We raise this mostly because our media friends have been complicit in dismissing the IRS abuses, and for that matter every other legal abuse during the Obama years.”
The talking point has also been regularly featured on Fox News, raised by hosts or commentators on America’s Newsroom, Fox & Friends, Hannity, The O’Reilly Factor, The Five, and Happening Now, as the network turns from ignoring the story to using it as a weapon to attack the Obama administration.
It’s hard to know where to start with such a ridiculous response to a controversy, but consider a few pertinent details.
It took about four months for Christie to publicly acknowledge that his administration was responsible for serious wrongdoing in the bridge fiasco. In contrast, after the IRS story broke on the afternoon of Friday, May 10, 2013, President Obama addressed the controversy in a press conference on May 13, then again in remarks on May 15 in which he announced the ouster of the IRS commissioner, and then again in another press conference on May 16. When Giuliani says, “We have a president who runs away from press conferences,” he has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.
Second, the bridge scandal directly implicates the governor’s office. In contrast, no one in the White House has been accused of wrongdoing in the various manufactured controversies. It’s not exactly apples-to-apples.
Finally – and this is the important one – the Christie controversial is real. There’s actual wrongdoing that’s been extensively documented. Even Christie himself, after mocking the story for months, has finally acknowledged officials within his administration engaged is serious misconduct.
In contrast, the IRS story has been repeatedly discredited, which is why even Republicans gave up on it months ago – there just wasn’t any evidence of wrongdoing. Likewise, right-wing conspiracy theories involving Benghazi completely fell apartunder scrutiny. The attack that left four Americans dead was a tragedy but not a political scandal, and multiple independent investigations have made this fact abundantly clear to anyone who takes reality seriously.
In other words, Republicans and other Christie admirers, instead of dealing with the bridge story on the merits, are comparing the responses to a legitimate controversy and discredited faux-controversies. In their eagerness to defend the governor, they’re criticizing the president for reasons that simply don’t make sense.
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