Posts tagged Grover Norquist
Things really can change quickly in America. In 2010, Arizona passed the now-infamous SB-1070, a state law which as a practical matter would have required Hispanic-looking Americans in Arizona to carry identification papers with them at all times, and would have allowed citizens to sue police if they weren’t sufficiently zealous in detaining people who look like they may be in the country illegally (whatever that means).
Now, three years later, not only were most of the provisions of SB-1070 struck down by the Supreme Court, and a similar Indiana law ruled unconstitutional by a federal court last month, other provisions of SB-1070 are also being examined. As a further sign that tectonic shifts have occurred, real immigration reform may be at hand. And it will include a path to citizenship. A rather curious collection of interests has lined up behind the idea, each for its own reasons. This doesn’t mean passage is assured, but it does make progress more likely than at any time in more than a generation. (more…)
Immediately after the recent election, Grover Norquist famously said that Barack Obama won reëlection by portraying Mitt Romney as a “poopyhead”. This rather odd remark caused some hilarity among politics-watchers, but it did tend to shine a spotlight on the issue of political name-calling. It also led to the usual hand-wringing about the “lack of civility” and how our election campaigns have become “dirtier than they’ve ever been in history.”
Before we get into this discussion, let’s save some time by stipulating up front that we all do it to each other; right, left and center, and we always have. Name-calling and insults may have survived to the present day, but they are an old and not-so-honorable component of the fabulous sporting pursuit we know as politics. If you don’t believe me, watch this clip that recalls some of the language used by politicians back in the 1800s. (Even if you do believe me, watch it anyhow, right to the end. It’s less than two minutes long and really quite wonderful.)
Some other favorite political insults: (more…)
Two votes happened in the U.S. Senate last Wednesday, votes which highlight how Republicans and Democrats feel about tax rates.
Senate Republicans voted to raise taxes on all Americans. Senate Democrats voted to avoid raising taxes on all Americans. A Democratic-sponsored bill that limits tax increases was passed, despite Republican opposition. Republicans are now insisting that the bill the Senate passed has no chance in the Republican-controlled House. In other words, Republican votes could force everyone’s taxes to go up.
How in the world will Grover Norquist spin this?
That’s not the most amazing part. Democrats have been trying to make the argument that Republicans only care about the super-rich. Republicans have been trying to deny this charge. So to demonstrate their position, Senate Republicans forced a vote on a bill to lower taxes on the super-rich as the quid pro quo for avoiding tax increases on everyone, apparently not noticing that this proves the Democrats’ point.
Let’s review how we got into this peculiar situation. (more…)
Remember over last year or two, how Republicans repeatedly threatened financial disaster? Like high school drama queens in some teenage soap opera, they manufactured one crisis after another. We’re on the verge of another series of showdowns. Get your scorecards ready.
We had the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts at the end of 2010. Republicans insisted we needed to maintain those tax cuts, especially for the wealthy, or else in a fit of piqué the spoiled rich kids would pick up their marbles and stop creating jobs. Part of the deal for extending the cuts included expansions of Pell grants for college students and a temporary reduced payroll tax for America’s working people.
Then, in April of 2011, America found itself on the verge of a government shutdown. 800,000 federal workers came within a hair’s breadth of being temporarily out of work. The spending appropriations finally passed, after an unnecessary soap-opera-like drama. Then we had the debt ceiling debate the following summer. Republican reluctance to raise the debt limit to finance the spending they’d already approved resulted in the first-ever downgrade of the US credit rating. The eventual deal included the creation of a “Supercommittee” charged with finding nearly two trillion dollars in additional debt reduction.
The Supercommittee failed, due to Republicans refusal to consider even one dime in additional taxes. (Thank you, Grover Norquist, the de facto czar of America’s tax policy.) This means we have massive automatic budget cuts set to kick in beginning in January.
Many of these bad deals are coming back to haunt us. The sequel approaches. (more…)
Tomorrow, a one-week extension on funding the federal government will likely pass with the support of a minority of the House.
Wait…a minority will pass it?
This is one of those subtle, strange facets of our legislative government. (more…)
In this corner…“the most powerful man in America not sitting in the White House.” That’s what Lawrence O’Donnell calls him. He has a signed pledge of loyalty from every influential Republican politician, including state governors, Congressmen, presidents all the way up to (and including) George W. Bush, and every one of the currently-serving GOP senators. And yet members of his own party are often critical of, and sometimes at war with him. Frank Gaffney thinks he’s a Muslim Brotherhood sleeper agent, and Tucker Carlson, of all people, once called him a mean-spirited, dishonest, humorless little creep.
Who is this interesting combatant? It’s Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who aggressively lobbies for smaller government, lower tax rates, and absolutely no increases in taxation. Ever. For any reason at all. (more…)