Posts tagged George W. Bush
With immigration reform nearer to reality than it has been in decades, voices on many sides of this issue have been speaking up. Bear in mind that the bill being considered in Congress is pretty weak tea. It allows a path to citizenship for immigrants who are in the country illegally, but places tremendous barriers in their way, and requires more stringent enforcement of existing laws. Nevertheless, anti-immigrant forces have been arrayed to oppose even this step, labeling it with their preferred trigger-word, “amnesty.”
On both humanitarian and practical political grounds, the pro-reform movement has the better hand. In human terms, it’s hard to deny that America is an attractive place to live, and people come to this country — legally or not — because it is an improvement over where they were. As a practical consideration, no major political party can afford to anger voters (primarily Latino and Hispanic, but also black and Asian) who identify with the eleven million or so undocumented immigrants in the country today. It is widely thought that Republicans cannot win the White House with less than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote, and immigration reform may be an important key to helping GOP candidates move toward that mark.
Just imagine how it could play out. Imagine the Republican Party, which desperately needs Hispanic votes, suddenly came to support a plan to grant full American citizenship to all current undocumented immigrants, on the two simple conditions that they not be guilty of any felonies, and they pass the standard citizenship test. Republicans would win the next dozen election cycles in a series of unprecedented landslides.
Aside from these ethical and political reasons to pass immigration reform, there is another compelling justification — economic. Immigrants, legal or not, are good for the economy. (more…)
“If I had a world of my own,” said Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter, “everything would be nonsense.” It would seem House Republicans are taking this thought to heart, and using it as advice for the future of America. We may be on the verge of seeing an evolution of the Tea Party, from tricorn hats to Alice in Wonderland. It may be an intentional change.
Starting today, House Republicans will unveil the CR or “Continuing Resolution,” their threatened spending plans for the remainder of the fiscal year. After the economic debates of the 2012 campaign, one might think the priorities of the winning party would receive some consideration. Yet it doesn’t appear so. As details of Republicans plans leak out, we’re seeing a move even farther toward austerity and punitive spending cuts than anything envisioned in the Ryan budgets of past years.
The impending budget plan is so far afield, so divorced from reality, that it actually includes a ban on federal funding for the anti-poverty group Alliance of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN — even though ACORN was disbanded three years ago, and hasn’t existed since 2010. (You can read the current proposal for the Continuing Resolution here. Check out page 221.)
That’s not the only bit of nonsense in this Republican plan. The bill includes fewer real discretionary dollars than were available to George W. Bush in FY 2008. This is more an ideological manifesto than a serious proposal.
President Obama’s second term begins on Sunday, January 20, 2013. That is the day he will be officially sworn in, as required by the Constitution. The public ceremony, the pomp and circumstance, will happen the following day, Monday, January 21.
Much of the first term agenda remains undone, or at least incomplete. Americans should expect President Obama to move aggressively on a number of fronts. We need to make our tax system far more progressive. We need comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to full citizenship for all undocumented immigrants. We need to vastly reduce America’s bloated military spending. We need to fully and aggressively implement Obamacare. We need stronger consumer financial protections and much stricter industry regulation. We need to get firm control of gun violence. We need to repeal DOMA. We need to improve education and reduce unemployment. We need to stem global climate change.
In many of these areas, progress for the last four years was agonizingly slow, often impeded or even stopped by opposition in Congress from the other party. An effort to act on climate change is one example, as Cap and Trade legislation passed in the House in June of 2009 but died in the Senate.
Last Friday, January 11, the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released the 2013 draft of its third quadrennial National Climate Assessment (NCA). It’s an enormous document, and it’s a sobering document, underlining the dangers we face and highlighting the need for immediate and bold action. Below are some highlights. (more…)
From a New York Times article:
Wednesday night is attack night. Elizabeth Warren, who is trying to unseat Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, will offer up her particular brand of Democratic-base appeal, while former President Bill Clinton will play the part of Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate who slammed Mr. Obama in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday night. Expect to hear a broad takedown of the Republican agenda.
Last week, we heard Republicans repeatedly asking the question Reagan posed in 1980: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? In preparation for tonight’s festivities, let’s take a look at where we were in September of 2008. (more…)
Today marks a year since the death of Osama bin Laden, the patron and leader behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. At the risk of politicizing those events, let’s look into how those events have been, well, politicized.
From the beginning, the Bush Administration in particular, and the Republican Party in general, have used the al Qaeda attacks for political advantage. On May 1, 2003, President Bush took a victory lap, in an immense staged event on an aircraft carrier, proclaiming that “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” Of course, they hadn’t ended, and things went so badly so quickly that in 2007 the Bush Administration had to engage in a massive “surge” to make up for the disaster of the Iraq war. It was not until August 31, 2010, that a different president, Barack Obama, could honestly declare an end to combat operations in Iraq.
There is a pattern here, not only of Republicans politicizing national security issues, but of President Obama cleaning up foreign policy messes left by President Bush. The response of the Republican Party has been to further politicize these events, and attempt to minimize the successes that Obama had but that Bush couldn’t achieve. (more…)
The United States did it. President George W. Bush knew about it. And he lied about it to all of us.
This is all information that can be gleaned by the roughly 140,000 formerly classified documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) via Freedom of Information Act requests. ACLU researcher Larry Siems then got the unenviable task of reading through all of those documents.
It took him two years.
As part of the project, he started The Torture Report, a website devoted to the research. More recently, with the completion of his research, he published The Torture Report: What the Documents say about America’s Post 9⁄11 Torture Program.
Here are some of the lowlights contained in the mountain of documents. (more…)