Nope, Sit Down Marco
It's well known among observers of Marco Rubio that he seems to live in an alternate reality from the rest of the world, as does his entire party these days, but Marco truly stands out over the rest.
The latest example of this, and the latest among many reasons why he should be disqualified for life from running for President, came yesterday after President Obama visited a mosque and gave the kind of speech that true leaders give as he reached out to Muslim Americans who are unfairly targeted and discriminated against. While the speech drew praise from just about everyone else, Rubio, who somehow manages to find fault with every last thing this President does, was one of only two people on the planet to say, yes, even this speech was somehow wrong. This puts Rubio squarely in the camp of Donald Trump, who has called for Muslims to be rounded up, registered, and/or run out of the country.
“I’m tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president’s done,” Rubio, a senator from Florida, said at a town hall in New Hampshire. “Always pitting people against each other. Always.”
“Look at today: he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there’s discrimination in America, of every kind. But the bigger issue is: radical Islam. And by the way, radical Islam poses a threat to Muslims themselves.”
President Obama gives a speech reaching out to those very people who have been hurt by angry rhetoric and worse, by many, including Rubio and his party, in an effort to bring people together, yet in Rubio world, this is "pitting people against each other?"
Really? Is this pitting people against each other, Marco?
Now, this brings me to the other reason I wanted to come here today. I know that in Muslim communities across our country, this is a time of concern and, frankly, a time of some fear. Like all Americans, you’re worried about the threat of terrorism. But on top of that, as Muslim Americans, you also have another concern -- and that is your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few...]
[..And since 9/11, but more recently, since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, you’ve seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith. And of course, recently, we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country.
Some of them are parents, and they talked about how their children were asking, are we going to be forced out of the country, or, are we going to be rounded up? Why do people treat us like that? Conversations that you shouldn’t have to have with children -- not in this country. Not at this moment.
And that’s an anxiety echoed in letters I get from Muslim Americans around the country. I’ve had people write to me and say, I feel like I’m a second-class citizen. I’ve had mothers write and say, “my heart cries every night,” thinking about how her daughter might be treated at school. A girl from Ohio, 13 years old, told me, “I’m scared.” A girl from Texas signed her letter “a confused 14-year-old trying to find her place in the world.”
These are children just like mine. And the notion that they would be filled with doubt and questioning their places in this great country of ours at a time when they’ve got enough to worry about -- it’s hard being a teenager already -- that’s not who we are...]
[..We’re one American family. And when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second-class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.
Or, Marco, what about this?
We are one American family. We will rise and fall together. It won’t always be easy. There will be times where our worst impulses are given voice. But I believe that ultimately, our best voices will win out. And that gives me confidence and faith in the future. ..]
[... If you’re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States: You fit in here -- right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America, too. You’re not Muslim or American. You’re Muslim and American.
No, Rubio says he will not tolerate all this dividing of people for political reasons. He won't tolerate any of this talk of bigotry against people who are discriminated against and attacked simply for being Muslims, because RADICAL ISLAM!
"As far as national security, let me just say, I obviously am not happy about the events from last week in Paris, but I think it’s a positive development that it suddenly has cast — forced Americans to confront more carefully the issue of national security, because it is the most important thing a president will do and that is the most important function of the federal government.
And I hope we focus on that more, not just for political advantage, but because the world has become a very dangerous place."
That was Marco Rubio, speaking of the terrorist attacks in Paris last year, which he saw as a positive development for his campaign. So yes, he will not tolerate any of this bringing people together talk. It steps on his narrative of bigotry and warmongering.
There are so many reasons Rubio would be disqualified for the highest office in the land in the real world if so many weren't busy pretending he's newest "bright star" of the GOP, but ginning up fear and hate no matter who gets hurt in the process in order to keep bombing anyone he doesn't like is just one of the bigger ones.
Another is not just his inability to grasp reality, but the fact that he shows absolutely no interest in educating himself about reality anytime in the near future, if ever. His comments and views on the President's speech yesterday at the mosque are just the latest example:
A spokesperson for Rubio did not immediately return a request for comment when asked if the Florida senator had seen Obama’s speech.
Rubio hasn't seen the President's speech, but he just knows it was designed to pit people against each other and divide them. He just knows this.
That's what his now dog-eared script tells him.
This should be more good news for those without access to health insurance.
Louisiana just elected a Democratic governor to replace the disaster that was Bobby Jindal, and immediately, his replacement expanded Medicaid, something Jindal, like so many other Republican governors, refused to do. Now those in that state with low incomes and a desperate need for health care will finally get it.
As we know all too well, Florida Republicans are hell-bent against allowing the same for low income Floridians.
However, given Louisiana's move, President Obama is doing something to entice other governors to do the same:
In order to win over the holdouts, and get coverage to those remaining people, President Barack Obama now wants to tweak the way the federal government pays for its share of Medicaid. Under a proposal that the administration unveiled Thursday, states that come late to the Medicaid expansion, as Louisiana just did, would get the same sweet funding deal as states like Minnesota, Kentucky and Maryland that embraced the expansion initially.
There's just one hurdle though, and unfortunately it's a big one:
Obama can’t do this on his own, however. The small, straightforward adjustment would require an act of Congress. That makes the prospects of enactment extremely dim, because the Republican majorities in both chambers have shown little enthusiasm for modifying the president's health care law -- except in ways that would undermine it.
To say the prospects are dim puts it mildly. Given that Congressional Republicans insist on wasting millions in taxpayer dollars to symbolically vote to repeal Obamacare as it is, and have done so over 50 times already, the chances that they will give him a hand to make it easier for holdout states to expand Medicaid are practically a non-starter. Not to mention the fact that the GOP's media arm is already outraged that the President wants to take steps to cure cancer. Yes, seriously. (Incidentally, the President's proposal to cure cancer will partially take place right here in Florida at Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center, who will play a leading role in the effort.)
This highlights once again that elections have not only consequences, but your vote can mean the difference between life and death for yourself and many others, especially when you elect a politician with an "R" behind their name.
One can only hope Florida voters have finally learned that lesson.
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It's that time of year again when the President takes time to pardon the official White House turkey. While most people find this to be a non-partisan occasion to just enjoy, there are actually members of the right-wing out there who still haven't recovered from outrage over last year's mercy most fowl, because this is Murica and of course.
It seems that last year's pardoning of "Macaroni and Cheese" was an abomination in the eyes of wingnuts everywhere because the President dared, DARED I SAY, to pardon both the chosen and backup turkeys instead of just one. (Pardon me for saying this, but really?) Just why they found this to be (probably) yet another impeachable offense is beyond me and I can't explain it here because I don't speak wingnut.
But the good folks at Public Policy Polling got to the meat and potatoes (mashed, as opposed to sweet, by 55/34) of this and other pertinent Thanksgiving issues, and the results of last year's now fouled pardon were the following:
The examples of the GOP's reflexive opposition to President Obama's agenda are many but this may be the best one yet: by a 27 point margin Republicans say they disapprove of the President's executive order last year pardoning two Thanksgiving turkeys (Macaroni and Cheese) instead of the customary one. Only 11% of Republicans support the President's executive order last year to 38% who are opposed- that's a pretty clear sign that if you put Obama's name on something GOP voters are going to oppose it pretty much no matter what. Overall there's 35/22 support for the pardon of Macaroni and Cheese thanks to 59/11 support from Democrats and 28/21 from independents.
Who knows why this is? Perhaps they saw the second turkey as something similar to an immigrant or a refugee, or perhaps it's just simply "how dare President Obama sign an executive order" over anything, which most wingnuts are pretty sure no Republican President has ever done, just ask them!
The stars of this year's festivities were "Honest and Abe," and Abe was this year's designee to fly the coop:
"I can announce that the American people have spoken, and we have two winners," he said. "Their names are Honest and Abe — I confess that Honest looks like good eating, but this is a democracy."
With daughters Malia and Sasha at his side, Obama declared that "Abe is now a free bird" and will now be designated "TOTUS — the Turkey of the United States."
Perhaps the President returned to tradition and only pardoned one "officially" due to a threatened government shutdown or something if he pardoned both, knowing our current GOP Congress.
But there you have it, just a little something to make any potential family holiday dustups you may have at your Thanksgiving table this year look tame by comparison to those who will even find fault with President Obama over every last White House tradition.
Whether you're in the camp with those who would prefer to have Hillary Clinton join you for dinner tomorrow (24 percent), or if you don't have your very own crazy uncle and/or you need someone with knife expertise to carve your less fortunate turkey and would prefer Ben Carson (18 percent), we here at Beach Peanuts wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Follow on Twitter: @BeachPeanuts
President Obama used his weekly address today to highlight climate change and the very real consequences of climate change denial, which is now a cornerstone of the Republican Party's policies.
One of the biggest climate deniers is, of course, Florida's Governor Rick Scott, whose administration suspended a state employee who dared to write the term climate change and sent him for a mental health evaluation as a condition for returning to work.
As Earth Day is this week, the President also announced that he is traveling to Florida, ground zero for not only climate change devastation, but ground zero for the denial of climate change altogether. He's planning to visit the Everglades, which is now the center of a dispute over land buys and restoration that was overwhelmingly voted for in the last election. Republicans in the legislature, predictably, are ignoring the will of those voters (again) in favor of Big Sugar, because money speaks louder than votes here in Florida, and the biggest donations go to those most willing to do their bidding.
From President Obama's weekly address:
And the fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now. Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons. The world’s top climate scientists are warning us that a changing climate already affects the air our kids breathe. Last week, the Surgeon General and I spoke with public experts about how climate change is already affecting patients across the country. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.
And on Earth Day, I’m going to visit the Florida Everglades to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy. The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country. But it’s also one of the most fragile. Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure – and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry – at risk.
So climate change can no longer be denied – or ignored....
....This is an issue that’s bigger and longer-lasting than my presidency. It’s about protecting our God-given natural wonders, and the good jobs that rely on them. It’s about shielding our cities and our families from disaster and harm. It’s about keeping our kids healthy and safe. This is the only planet we’ve got. And years from now, I want to be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did everything we could to protect it.
If only Scott and the Republicans in Florida would listen. The window for saving the Everglades is closing fast, yet they're more interested in speeding up the clock for the sake of profits, and apparently, about the only way they're addressing sea rise in South Florida is by letting insurance companies profit from homeowners because of it.
Rick Scott and his blind trust will no doubt be long gone when the consequences of his actions destroy what's left of Florida, leaving those who live and work here, and who love this state, behind to suffer the results. He and the GOP don't care what happens to Florida. They can well afford to abandon Florida for greener pastures once they've reaped the rewards, and they probably will. That's why Floridians need to stand up now and say enough is enough. They're ignoring the will of the people, but our voices need to be heard if we're going to save the state from Scott and the GOP. It's time to turn up the volume.
And as for Rick Scott, who likes to talk tough about President Obama, (most recently by suing him for a Medicaid handout he also claimed not to want) I'd be willing to bet the chances that he'll be around for the President's Earth Day visit are slim to none.
It seems like the prefect time for Scott to take a trip to celebrate Earth Day at Big Sugar's King Ranch in Texas with the constituents he really serves.
For those who have waited with anticipation for the day when the Republican Party finally wakes up to realize that people all over the country, their party constituents among them, actually like health care, wait no more. That day has indeed come. However, the wait for a common sense reaction to this uncomfortable realization from that same GOP will probably occur long after those mythical traveling cows return to their pastures, if it occurs at all. They see the problem they've created in opposition to it, but as per usual, they have no plans to take responsibility for it. No sir:
On the one hand, Republicans in Congress are urging the Supreme Court to strike down subsidies for health insurance provided to millions of people in more than 30 states. On the other, they are chiding the Obama administration because it has no plan to avert the hardship that could occur if they win in court.
You see there? It's all President Obama's fault! Because isn't it always?
While the GOP struggles to pin yet another crisis they "predicted" and then helped to create on anyone but themselves, they don't get a pass on this one, and it's laughable that they're actually trying. The argument is beyond absurd even for them. They continue to cling to their constant belief that the American people are so stupid and will believe, even from, say, a hospital bed in a cancer ward, that a life saving treatment that won't cost them everything else in their life is the devil.
Not so fast.
People facing a life and death struggle possess a clarity that many Republicans have never faced, and they're blindly reaching out to grasp the third rail of political theatre: Tangible facts.
Let's review how the GOP have insulted the public's intelligence on the subject of the President's health care law so far and compare that to the newest argument they're presenting in the face of a Supreme Court decision that could make all their dreams of the end of the law come true.
From the very start "Obamacare" was evil incarnate. The Republicans told us that the idea of access to health care that didn't send us into bankruptcy would kill us somehow. The old standard of dying without health care was better then living by gaining affordable access to it because Obama.
Then there were the death panels, and while Conservatives may now want to purge Sarah Palin from their party and their memories, they own her and the horror fantasy she created. They loved the phrase "death panel" and they were all over it like John McCain on a proposed bombing mission.
And who can forget the famed "job killing" properties of the health care law? Never mind that medical care could save your life, access to it would instead somehow kill jobs in the health care industry, perhaps through some magical health care fairies that would take those jobs away just as immigrants are keeping all those Americans yearning to pick tomatoes on the unemployment line, along with their laziness and their never-ending quest to dial up that free stuff from their Obama phones.
And right up there with the death panels were the Holocaust comparisons. The death panel talk may have simmered down but the Hitler references live on. (Here are just two of the most recent examples.) It's just one of the more disgusting arguments made by Republicans that illustrates there is no low they won't sink to in their hate of President Obama and the country that would benefit from every policy he's put forth that they have blocked or attempted to, be it health care, jobs, safety nets or the right to vote.
The law was unconstitutional until the Supreme Court said it wasn't. Then the GOP demonized Justice and Conservative man crush John Roberts for begging to differ. Now that the typical time period for American ADD and amnesia has passed, some members of the GOP are saying it's unconstitutional again.
The GOP also got predictable aid in their scare tactics from the media, especially when PolitiFact pointed fingers at the President for telling the "lie of the year" when he said if you like your health care plan, you could keep it. As usual, this wasn't exactly a black and white issue, but unlike their other ratings, PolitiFact ignored their usual gray area "half true" or "mostly true" declarations, they called it a lie. Yes, some policies were cancelled, but that was because they offered junk plans in the first place, something the law was designed to fix all along. Many of those who had to switch plans got better ones in their place, and many saved a lot of money in the process. But never mind all that. The damage was done, and PolitiFact gave the GOP yet another bullhorn to sound the false alarm, and for their trouble, many are still misinformed on what the ACA does. Just ask them and they'll tell you they hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act. The media says "you're welcome."
Pants On Fire.
When all else failed them, the so called financially conservative GOP resorted to spending billions of taxpayer dollars voting to repeal the ACA more than 50 times, the last vote only in the past week. Their promises to cry wolf repeal and replace has gone on for years, despite the fact that they've never once voiced how that "replacement" would work. Why is that? Well, because they have no replacement. They never planned to. They simply want to hand Americans health and well being back to the wolves in the health care industry that line their pockets when elections roll around. Never mind that many of those same health care companies are also reaping benefits of the law.
This brings us to the latest absurd claim the GOP has turned to now that the Supreme Court that George W. Bush hand picked to promote their ideology is poised to take away health care from the Americans that love what the law has given them: Life.
The same GOP that has been telling us that the ACA was a disaster for years are now saying that if the Supreme Court does precisely what they wanted all along by striking down subsidies for millions, that will create a disaster. The Republican dream come true of all but killing off the law that never created the disasters they predicted will cause "hardship" if conservative justices take it away, and the GOP is now "concerned" that the President has no plan to avert the hardship that could occur if they win in court.
Really? Let me repeat, REALLY? Are you kidding me? That's the new GOP talking point? That the President is now to blame for the disastrous end to the health care disaster that never happened in the first place, and he has no contingency plan for when it happens?
Earth to Republicans: The contingency plan to the health care problem in this country was "Obamacare." You fought it, you demonized it, you lied again and again and again about it, and now that all the horror that you predicted hasn't come to fruition, if the Supreme Court takes Obamacare away from Americans, that will be the disaster you're now concerned with? Yes, it will be a disaster if it happens, but if and when it does happen, the Republican Party owns the result. Not President Obama. Let's not forget that the GOP who wanted to "repeal and replace" Obamacare suddenly dropped the "replace" part of the equation long ago. If you're looking for a missing contingency plan, well, there you are.
People are living with health care they can afford, and they couldn't be happier about it. The grim reaper from the death panels and the second Holocaust never showed up on American's doorsteps. Not only was Obamacare not a job killer as promised, but it's creating them. People like their health care plans, including the ones who didn't get to "keep" the previously worthless and costly plans they had before the ACA determined that insurance had to actually cover health care for a change, and replaced them with better plans.
Everything that Americans have come to love about their health care coverage post ACA may now be taken away, and it's all thanks to the four-plus year long campaign by the GOP to do exactly that. For them to come along now and say the coming disaster the end of the law could bring is the President's fault is beyond absurd. If the ACA dies at the hands of the conservatives' beloved justices, the GOP owns it. Even a GOP constituent living under a preverbal rock recognizes this, and anyone who claims otherwise is being disingenuous.
No "death panel" was created as predicted by Obamacare, but if the Supreme Court, aided and abetted by the GOP, strikes it down now, well, ladies and gentlemen, there's your death panel right there. The GOP will get exactly what they wanted. They've spent years cementing that reality into voters brains, and like it or not, those voters will remember who's responsible when they're sick and once again can't afford to see a doctor.
And that will all happen just in time for the election in 2016.
Good luck, GOP.
There was a brief period of time a couple weeks back when the GOP stopped ignoring veterans and feigned outrage when long waiting lists at the VA were revealed, revelations that most of them knew about already but ignored. People like Not President And Still Bitter About It John McCain, even though the biggest offenders were right under his nose in his home state of Arizona.
Sadly, we have a long history of ignoring our veterans in this country after they've served their purpose in the fight, but you wouldn't know that judging from the outcry on the right, as if this was a new problem, and of course, all President Obama's fault.
Then came the resignation of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, the man who also warned that things like this would result, warnings that at the time fell on deaf warmongering GOP ears. Having claimed a victim, they said this would change nothing, that investigations had to be held! (Then they seized the opportunity to pass a bill as a possible first step toward another dream of theirs, privatizing the VA for profits, which would probably make the problem worse in the long run.)
Well, in a way it didn't change anything. As soon as Shinseki was gone, the GOP went right back to ignoring veterans, and moved on to demonizing Bowe Bergdahl, a POW who served in their war, and in return, regardless what the facts were, he was already Court Martialed in their minds. His family was demonized along with him, received death threats, and his hometown was forced to cancel a homecoming celebration under threat as well.
Because, as we are always told, the GOP supports the troops! Unless President Obama is the one bringing them home.
Posted by Martha Jackovics on 06/15/2014 at 08:39 PM in Barack Obama, Conservatives, Election 2008, Election 2012, Election 2016, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Media, Military, Mitt Romney, Republicans | Permalink | Comments (0)
Rick Scott and the Republican Party's blatant hypocrisy in the VA situation continues at an accelerated pace highlighting their main interest in veterans: To be used as political pawns, nothing more.
The Republican Party (most of which have never served) never hesitate to "Support the Troops" by sending them to battle no matter what the reason, nor the cost. Those same Republicans then ignore the troops forevermore after the fact.
Veterans deserve the utmost care for the sacrifice they make for the rest of us, but sadly, we have a long history of letting them down when they need us the most, and it's hardly a new phenomena as the GOP would seemingly, and laughably, have you believe. They count on short memories and think we're stupid. Case in point: Karl Rove is feigning outrage and running ads off the VA as I write. Yes, Karl Rove.
Not to be left out in his sudden interest in veterans is Florida's own Rick Scott, a man whose only interests in veterans until now was cutting their benefits, denying them the right to vote, and firing his first Lt. Governor when she was caught up in a veterans charity scandal. Highlighting the "she got caught" part.
Then there's his crowning achievement: Denying veterans who would qualify for Medicaid access to the care they need. Yes, many veterans fall into the "Scott gap" between the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, which Scott and his fellow hypocrites refuse to expand.
Yet the problems at the VA have managed to do what no one else could do before: Get the Republican Party to admit that people actually do need health care, that access to health care is in fact a good thing.
Yesterday Scott placed himself front and center in the GOP effort to make political hay with veterans who, up until now, he had no interest in. After all these years in office, he waited until he kicked off his reelection campaign to decide that VA hospitals in Florida needed attention, and in April, he began sending "inspectors" to facilities in what seems to amount to little more than making a very public, headline grabbing fuss. Then he followed up yesterday with a made for lazy reporting announcement.
Sadly, many media outlets in Florida predictably ran with it.
Scott fired off this press release to anyone and everyone:
Marco Rubio is still trying to get himself out of his most recent fumble in climate change denial, and it's easy to note that while he claims the science on that is debatable, what isn't debatable is his effort to keep digging.
Now he's found something to distract from the real issue much like his party turns to Benghazi whenever things go right, like Obamacare.
Rubio's "Benghazi!" is "Abortion!"
Marco Rubio said his liberal critics show their “hypocrisy” when they cite science and label him a climate-change denier when they decline to embrace the science of human life beginning at conception.
In an interview with Sean Hannity on Wednesday afternoon, the Florida senator brushed off a backlash labeling him as a climate-change denier by aggressively accusing left-leaning critics as hypocrites given their abortion rights positions. He said emphatically that the “science is settled” that life begins at conception but that liberals “will never admit” to it.
“Let me give you a bit of settled science that they’ll never admit to. The science is settled, it’s not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life begins at conception,” Rubio said. “So I hope the next time someone wags their finger about science, they’ll ask one of these leaders on the left: ‘Do you agree with the consensus of science that human life begins at conception?’”
“It’s a proven fact,” Rubio said. “That’s a scientific consensus they choose to ignore.”
Rubio's goals here are pretty clear. The first is distraction from the fact that he's a climate change denier. He still is. Shifting the subject to abortion doesn't change what he's said about climate change. Among his many statements is this one:
Despite all the evidence that shows his home state is ground zero for climate change disaster, Marco Rubio is steadfast in his disbelief, ignorance and/or denial of it.
The guy who said "I'm not a scientist, man" when asked how old he thought the earth was has no respect for those who actually are, either. He's still in denial, even though he would have many believe he's planning to run for President.
He's been all over the airwaves the past couple of days demonstrating he's still not ready for primetime, even after years of practice and pretending to run for higher office. In fact, all evidence shows that he may have actually regressed.