Archive for the ‘Lindsey Graham’ tag
Forgive me for being frank, but after all that’s happened in the last 10 years, it really takes some massive balls or abject stupidity or both to continue to defend the proliferation of semiautomatic and automatic weapons in civil society.
None are bigger than Lindsey Graham’s:
He also tweeted this:
Six bullets in the hands of a mother protecting her twin 9-year-olds may not be enough.— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) January 30, 2013
Where to begin with this logic? In Graham’s scenario, a mother is faced with protecting her kids against two intruders. He claims that six bullets might not be enough to fend off the bad guys, so she might need more fire power. Why not gun like an AK-47 or AR-15?
Am I an unreasonable person for saying that in that situation, the 15-round magazine makes sense?
Yes, and not only unreasonably, but a danger to the constituents you serve. You’re telling us that an untrained mother is going to start a firestorm either inside her own home or on her lawn with a semiautomatic weapon and be able to succeed by herself against two armed men a la some kind of female Jack Bauer? You’re telling us she’s going to be able to aim, compensate for the recoil and in a frenzied few seconds have the wherewithal to surgically gun down the perps? Hell, she’s just as likely to shoot her own kids in the crossfire. And if the number of bullets in a pistol is a concern, what’s stopping a parent from keeping two or three clips locked away with the gun just in case.
I mean the excuses and the irrational hoops these people are willing to jump through to defend guns of war around families and young children is not only contemptible but about as psychotic as the crazies behind Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.
Anyone who reads this blog well knows by now that I make no exceptions when it comes to holding leaders, folks in the media and others accountable for their words or actions. While my overall inclination is toward a certain ideology that generally puts caring for people above amassing wealth, from Democrats to Republicans to Independents, everyone’s feet is held to the fire here.
I think John McCain is one of the most well-respected leaders in Washington, and it has been because of his willingness to work with folks on both sides of the aisle to get things done on the Hill. That, and he’s also one of the most pragmatic, clear thinking among his Republican brethren.
But nothing gets me charged more than exposing outright deceptiveness for what it is, and it can come from the left as much as from the right.
Yesterday, I came across this story from The Daily Beast, which claimed that McCain said on a radio show that he would not work with Democrats and reach across the aisle on the issue of immigration reform.
The originally linked story is from Think Progress, which, it’s no secret, is a progressive website, that probably, just as much as conservative ones, attempts to prop up its messages by begging, borrowing, stealing or by whatever other means to A) trash the opposing sides and B) advance its agenda.
This is a contemptible approach, in my view, no matter what side of the aisle you side with, and it’s a dangerous method for democracy as we know it. Let’s take the McCain case. Regarding the issue of immigration reform, a caller asked, and this is pasted straight from Think Progress’s article:
I would like to ask Sen. McCain if he will make a promise on the air now that if we reelect him, he will not reach across the aisle, especially with Lindsey Graham, for comprehensive immigration reform. Will you not do that for the time you’re in office. (I deleted the unnecessarily bold text where Think Progress claimed McCain wouldn’t reach across the aisle. Text is text. Bolding it doesn’t make it anymore important.)
McCain’s reply as recorded by Think Progress:
Yes ma’am. … I am promising that I will try to address the issue of immigration in a way that is best for the United States of America.
Now, when reading this for the first time, I thought the “…” was a little puzzling. I thought: “Was the ‘Yes ma’am’ just an acknowledgment that he would, indeed, not reach across the aisle or, and more plausibly, simply an acknowledgment that McCain heard and understood the lady’s question? From listening to the actual audio, it appears to be the latter. And did you notice the little chuckle McCain made after the woman was done with her question? This leads me to believe that he didn’t necessarily take the lady’s query terribly seriously and was merely attempting to come up with a reasonable response without outright disagreeing with her. Here is the audio:
I’m not confident that he agreed to that particular promise from this obviously right-winger. As for his part, Lindsey Graham, a senator from my home state of South Carolina, has very admirably reached out to folks on the other side of the aisle, as has McCain, to try to come to a consensus on numerous issues, immigration not the least of them.
After his long years of service of trying to work with Democrats and other leaders to get stuff done in Washington, I highly doubt that just because his state has adopted a new immigration bill, that he would decide out of the blue to turn into a rabid partisan crank. Partisanship, after all, is one component of politics that folks hate about Washington. That makes sense for a logical reason: partisanship (unless there’s a supermajority) rarely succeeds in getting anything done. And its folks like McCain and Graham who carrying the torch of the centrist, which, at least in some small part, bolsters my faith in the process.
It’s disheartening that more GOP members overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus plan. They, of course, made it clear why they did it: not enough (or the right kind of) tax cuts, an “orgy” of spending, as Lindsey Graham dubbed it, etc etc. Despite President Obama’s numerous statements that he would like the bill to be a bipartisan effort, I think it was a rancor move by the GOP to so overwhelmingly vote against it, as if to say, “We can’t have it our way? Fine. We’ll take our cookies and go home.”
Republicans did have an alternative, which was John McCain’s $421 billion plan that focused more on cutting income and payroll taxes and less on spending. Critics like to rail that we shouldn’t just throw money at the problem and that the best way to fix some of our economic woes is to give more tax cuts to businesses, thus creating jobs. But here’s the rub: That sounds like a good idea, but our problems are much larger than job creation at this point. Some of our most basic institutions are in dire need of assistance. This bill, indeed, “throws money,” quite rightly, at three such areas, among others:
Education — In my home state (South Carolina), local school districts are scrambling to make ends meet amid widespread budget cuts from the state. Local officials seem to be doing a good job, at least in the county I live in, of cutting wherever necessary without having those cuts affect what happens in the classroom. But if the cuts continue, what happens in the classroom will eventually be affected, whether it be from cutting teacher salaries and benefits (some of this has already happened) thus not attracting quality educators … from making reductions in the quality of supplies, books and the like to save some cash. The current bill offers $44.5 billion to help local districts attempt to delay cutbacks and layoffs.
Health care — Giving tax cuts to small business is fine, but many small businesses can’t afford private health insurance, and Cobra is outrageous. The bill offers a 65 percent subsidy for those on Cobra, among other provisions, like assistance for states to continue funding Medicaid. One case in my state was that of Medicaid-funded hospice care. The state said it would discontinue paying on hospice, thus forcing those with chronic conditions to visit hospitals, rather than get cheaper home care for their conditions. One child with cerebral palsy was costing $131 per day to be treated by hospice professionals. His mother was paying with Medicaid. Had hospice been dropped, she would have taken him to the hospital or other doctors for the care he needed. One day in the local hospital here for him would have cost Medicaid more than $1,000. It makes fiscal sense to do all we can to keep Medicaid well-funded, lest folks with chronic conditions are forced to settle for indignant care at local hospitals, given the ballooned cost of basic health care. What sort of drain would it mean for the economy if hospitals across the country tanked because there was no system like Medicaid in place to help meet the needs of people who require expensive treatment just to keep them alive? Medicaid is not the least of the institutions which needed money “thrown” at it.
Unemployment — Again, this state’s jobless funds are in trouble. The bill provides $40 billion for states’ unemployment benefits.
(The above information about the stimulus plan comes from this AP report.)
Thus, the Obama administration’s bill is really more than just an economic stimulus; it’s a wide-sweeping plan to not only help put more money in individual pockets, but to bolster some of our most basic, and critical, institutions. It’s also at least a beginning to a potential fulfillment of one of Obama’s campaign promises: to fix broken schools, broken health care and broken infrastructure. It’s far-reaching. Why Republicans see this as a bad thing is a mystery. There were certain elements about it that I question. I haven’t checked if these were eventually axed, but they include:
- A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion pictures;
- $650 million for the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program; and
- $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees. (From: CNN.com)
The Republicans’ notion of smaller government sounds good in theory, but in critical times like this, it’s simply inadequate for such weighty problems. It’s equivalent to if there existed only one small hospital and one hotel in a large metropolis: the institutions are dwarfed by the need. In times like these, the notion of small government breaks down.
It’s also interesting to note that politicians and talking heads who tout such an idea are on board when it comes to certain areas (gun control, financial deregulations, for instance) and all for government intervention in other areas (abortion, gay rights, censorship, for instance). They are all for that silly notion of trickle down economics (Let’s not actually help the poor and middle class too much, let’s wait for the rich’s resources to run down the pipeline. We saw how well that worked as banks and lenders greedily operated almost unchecked, darn near running our entire financial system into the ground. They were clearly interested in funneling some of their cash our way, huh?). Yet, in the latter areas, some on the right believe government has (and should have) a monopoly on morality and seem to think we can’t take care of ourselves and that we should read our Bibles more. The contradiction is shocking.
Regardless, the bill passed to the chagrin of many and will supposedly create about 3.5 million jobs, along with “throwing money at” struggling institutions. We can only wait to see how it will pan out, but what was needed was sweeping reform that tackles many critical areas at once, and right or wrong, this bill gives us that.
Stupid, stupid folks. I understand there are parts of the bill that members of the Senate, mostly Republican, did not agree with, but have these same people been paying attention? There is no time to “go back to the drawing board.” There is no time to retool the bill and then spend more days discussing and voting, discussing and voting, ad nauseum. The auto companies may not even last until the new year.
Why can we not get important measures accomplished at the state and national levels? Partisanship, I would argue, plain and simple.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who played caddy for John McCain through much of the presidential election, said automakers
“… need to make significant, structural changes before they receive federal assistance and those changes should be made in the private sector, ” he said. “No one wants to see these companies fail and workers displaced. I feel for the car dealers and their employees who are being hurt by years of bad decisions made by the leadership of the Big 3. But I also realize that unless major, fundamental changes are made in the way the Big 3 operate, they will likely find themselves right back in the same situation.”
That’s all well and good. And if it happens a second time, no one will be waiting in line to bail these folks out. But right now, not only the fate of the industry (in an incredibly shaky economy), one that exudes the very concept of “Americana,” is in jeopardy, but thousands of jobs in that industry and other associated fields. Sen. Jim DeMint, also of South Carolina, seemed even more adamantly opposed.
DeMint came out early and harshly against the plan, joining four other conservative senators in calling for a business solution, not a “political solution.”
“This is a business and financial problem,” DeMint said, adding that existing bankruptcy laws are designed to allow companies to come out of these situations healthy.
DeMint’s cohort Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama told reporters he intended to slow the legislation down, adding, “No one knows what’s in it.” — The Associated Press
First, how can we deal with an auto industry that may or may not survive a ‘pre-packaged bankruptcy?’ Do we have some assurance that the industry could survive bankruptcy given the negative stigma associated with filing Chapter 11? We have nothing of the sort. Second, why on earth is Sen. Shelby claiming “no one knows what’s in it (referring to the auto loan bill)?” The text is right there in plain view. I quote a portion of it in a previous post. I, in my limited capacities, was able to access it. Is Shelby not? I certainly hope he read it before voting on it. Is he too lazy or unconcerned to bother with its details? To claim that “No one knows what’s in it” is at best, sarcasm, and at worst, a lie.
Bush officials made clear that if Congress didn’t act, the White House would have to step in to save Detroit from collapse with funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to the sources familiar with the conversations.
Heck, in this regard, Bush and his administration have their heads on straight in standing in opposition to his own party. What are folks in the Republican camp thinking? Are they just being ornery? Are they upset about the forthcoming Democratically controlled House and White House and are just playing naughty? What’s the nature of their abject dissent? Perhaps that’s a subject for a subsequent post.