Category Archives: GOP

The Main Target: Obamacare Is Right-Wing Proxy For Social Security and Medicare

 

By Karoli

Progressive America Rising via Crooks and Liars

Oct 7, 2013 – Despite all the sound and fury about Obamacare, here’s the truth: It’s not the prime target of the right. The real targets are Medicare and Social Security, as Rep. Barton admits in the video above when he says he wants "real reforms in entitlements".

Over the past couple of weeks, it’s become apparent to me and many others that this entire showdown is not over Obamacare. The ACA is a convenient patsy because it is new, untested, and they’ve managed to poison public opinion around it over the past three years.

The real target is Social Security and Medicare. From a political standpoint, waging a war using those programs as hostage would be so wildly unpopular no sane or insane politician would dare choose that route. And so Obamacare has become the convenient stand-in, a cardboard stand-in for their real goals.

Continue reading The Main Target: Obamacare Is Right-Wing Proxy For Social Security and Medicare

Will Pennsylvania Take North Carolina’s Austerity Path?

PA House GOP Budget Will Kill Jobs And Slow Economic Growth

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

Beaver County Blue via Phillylabor.com

The state legislature will convene on Monday, June 3rd to begin crafting a final 2013-2014 budget. We need to make sure that the state budget supports all working families in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is facing a $500 million deficit. We rank 49th in the nation in job creation, which is reflected by our high unemployment rate. Governor Corbett has cut state funding by $1 billion to our school districts since he took office in 2011, while giving a $1 billion tax break to businesses. In February, Governor Corbett proposed yet another budget that is not in Pennsylvania’s best interest, making even more cuts in education and other areas necessary to keep our great state running. Corbett’s budget continues the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT), costing taxpayers approximately $365 million a year, and fails to expand Medicaid, which would insure half a million hard-working, low income Pennsylvanians at very little cost to the State.

On Wednesday, May 29, House Republican leaders introduced a 2013-2014 budget that is $100 million less than Governor Corbett’s budget that he proposed in February.

Continue reading Will Pennsylvania Take North Carolina’s Austerity Path?

When Will We Find a Member of Congress to Speak for Our Progressive Majority?

Anyone can buy any gun at a PA Gun Show, no questions asked. Just plunk your money down.

Pennsylvania voters favor stricter background checks, poll finds

By James O’Toole

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

April 27, 2013 – Pennsylvania voters overwhelmingly support the extension of background checks for gun purchases at arms shows or online, similar to the measure that recently failed in the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll.

While Republicans and male voters are generally less favorable to gun control initiatives, majorities in even those groups strongly supported the expanded background checks.

Overall, 85 percent of those surveyed in a new poll from Quinnipiac University said they favored the background checks. The same was true for 78 percent of the Republicans surveyed, 93 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of independents.

Asked to describe their reactions to the U.S. Senate’s rejection of the measure on April 17, from a list suggested by the interviewers, 70 percent said they were either "dissatisfied" or "angry" while 22 percent said they were "satisfied" and 5 percent said "enthusiastic."

Among Republicans, 10 percent said they were "enthusiastic" about the Senate action, 35 percent "satisfied," 37 percent "dissatisfied" and 15 percent "angry." Angry also was the response from 59 percent of the Democrats and 27 percent of independents.

Continue reading When Will We Find a Member of Congress to Speak for Our Progressive Majority?

Follow the Money: Don’t Expect Much from Christiana by Way of Supporting Teachers and Public Schools

Representin’ Like A Representative: A Look At Jim Christiana’s Campaign Cash

Jim Christiana with his wife in NyCity as posted to his Twitter feed.

Jim Christiana with his wife in New York City in front of a car fire, as posted to his official Twitter feed.

By John Paul – Founder of BeaverCountian.com

Published on April 07, 2013 at 7:03 pm

State Representative Jim Christiana (R-Beaver) received more political contributions last year than all of the other five state reps for Beaver County combined, money the candidate used to help finance a lavish lifestyle, an investigation by the Beaver Countian has revealed.

Campaign finance reports from 2012 show Christiana received nearly $310,000 in political donations. Democratic Representative Rob Maztie came in a distant second, bringing in just shy of $84,000. Representative Jim Marshall, the county’s other Republican representative, received only $52,675 in contributions.

In just one month, between March 6th and April 9th of last year, Christiana’s campaign saw donations to his campaign in excess of $88,000. He brought in half of that sum again between April 10th and May 14th, another $48,000. The months between May and October saw an additional $164,400 added to his coffers. Despite extensive spending by the candidate, Christiana’s campaign account had over a quarter of a million dollars sitting in it at one point during the last election cycle.

By comparison, Christiana’s rival in the last election, Democrat Bobby Williams, raised just over $20,000 during his entire campaign.

While Representative Christiana failed to respond to inquiries from the Beaver Countian made at the end of March, Beaver County Commissioners say they were stunned to learn just how much money has been flowing through his hands.

Continue reading Follow the Money: Don’t Expect Much from Christiana by Way of Supporting Teachers and Public Schools

Progressive ‘Back to Work’ Budget Wins Praise for Anti-Austerity Approach

‘A reminder that we don’t need to cut teachers and school lunches when we can eliminate wasteful giveaways to fossil fuel corporations.’  Watch Rep. Keith Ellison introduce the budget here:

By Jon Queally 
Beaver County Blue via CommonDreams.org

March 14, 2013 – In the midst of ongoing hysteria about a ‘non-existent deficit crisis’ in Washington, the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Wednesday unveiled an alternative approach to destructive austerity economics by releasing their ‘Back to Work Budget’ plan for 2014.

Pushing back specifically on the dominant talking point of inside-the-Beltway elites, the budget challenges the idea that cutting programs, reducing corporate tax rates, and slashing investments is a pathway to economic prosperity. Its proponents argue the US does not have "a deficit crisis"—as those pushing for steep cuts suggest—but rather, "a jobs crisis."

Presented by CPC co-chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva and Keith Ellison and backed by members of the caucus’ Budget Task force—Reps. Jim McDermott, Jan Schakowsky, Barbara Lee and Mark Pocan—the plan describes how smart investments, not deep cuts to key programs, would create almost 7 million jobs over the first year of its implementation.

“Americans face a choice,” Grijalva and Ellison said. “We can either cut Medicare benefits to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or we can close outdated tax loopholes and invest in jobs. We choose investment.”

They continue:

    The Back to Work Budget invests in America’s future because the best way to reduce our long-term deficit is to put America back to work. In the first year alone, we create nearly 7 million American jobs and increase GDP by 5.7%. We reduce unemployment to near 5% in three years with a jobs plan that includes repairing our nation’s roads and bridges, and putting the teachers, cops and firefighters who have borne the brunt of our economic downturn back to work. We reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion by closing tax loopholes and asking the wealthy to pay a fair share. We repeal the arbitrary sequester and the Budget Control Act that are damaging the economy, and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, which provide high quality, low-cost medical coverage to millions of Americans when they need it most. This is what the country voted for in November. It’s time we side with America’s middle class and invest in their future.

Received as a breath of fresh air of economic sanity, the plan was praised by a variety of individuals and groups.

Continue reading Progressive ‘Back to Work’ Budget Wins Praise for Anti-Austerity Approach

GOP Worships the ‘Hand,’ Disrespects Those Who Work With Them

By Leo Gerard
Beaver County Blue via HuffPost

March 4, 2013 – The invisible hand of the market, which the GOP worships as an infallible god, is curled into a fist and is pounding America’s lowest-paid workers.

Those workers have complained about the grinding poverty level of minimum wage. Wal-Mart warehouse workers and New York fast food workers recently demonstrated. They’re fed up. Well, they would be if they could afford enough to eat. President Obama responded, asking Congress to raise the minimum wage, which was last increased to $7.25 an hour in 2009.

Republicans, the party of NO, replied to Obama’s request with a surly, "No way!" Respect the hand, they said, referring to their beloved spectral regulator of the market. Government, Republicans said, must not tell business what to do, must not "burden" business by requiring it to pay a little more. Republicans never mention the burden under which 18 million minimum wage workers struggle, working full-time for $15,080 a year, barely enough to feed, clothe and house themselves. That’s because Republicans revere non-humans — corporations and invisible hands — while denigrating and disrespecting humans who work with their hands to serve food, care for the elderly and stock shelves.

The disrespect could be heard in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s voice as he derided 47 percent of all Americans as "takers." That huge number Romney despises includes minimum wage workers – 84 percent of whom are 20 or older — whose children receive immunizations and antibiotics through Medicaid because employers paying minimum wage virtually never provide health insurance.

Continue reading GOP Worships the ‘Hand,’ Disrespects Those Who Work With Them

Pennsylvania Republicans To Introduce New Election-Rigging Plan

Republicans in other states are wavering, but not our die-hard right wingers

By Ian Millhiser
ThinkProgress.org

Feb 4, 2013 – Last month, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus called up “states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red” to rig future presidential elections by changing the way electoral votes are allocated.

Under Priebus’ proposal, blue states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania would stop awarding electoral votes to the winner of the state as a whole, and instead would award them one-by-one to the winner of each congressional district. Meanwhile, red states would continue to award 100 percent of their electors to the Republican. This plan appears to have lost steam, however, as several top Republicans in key states announced they will not support it.

Even as Republicans in key states such as Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Virginia came out against this election-rigging plan, however, Pennsylvania Republicans have been eerily quite. We now know why. According to the New Castle News a local paper in western Pennsylvania, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) will introduce legislation this month that will effectively give away a large chuck of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to the Republican presidential candidate, regardless of who wins the state as a whole.

How This Election-Rigging Plan Works

Unlike the plan Priebus backs, the New Republican Plan would not tie electoral votes to congressional districts. Instead, it would award the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes proportionally according to the popular vote, with two additional electoral votes going to the winner of the state as a whole. If the New Republican Plan had been in effect in 2012, Mitt Romney would have received 8 of Pennsylvania’ 20 electoral votes, despite losing the state by a substantial margin.

Continue reading Pennsylvania Republicans To Introduce New Election-Rigging Plan

Union Busting Coming Our Way via GOP and Koch Reactionaries

‘Right-to-work’ legislation proposed in Pennsylvania legislature

 

By Ned Resnikof

Beaver County Blue via MSNBC

Jan 22, 2013 – A little more than a month after Michigan Republicans successfully passed landmark anti-union legislation in their state, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are attempting to follow in their footsteps. Six Republican state representatives are each bringing their own “right-to-work” style bill to the State House floor, as part of an effort collectively known as the Open Workforce Initiative.

One of the legislators involved, Rep. Darryl Metcalfe, has reportedly introduced right-to-work bills during every legislative session of the past 14 years. ”The framers of our Constitution did not intend for our government to become an enforcer for unions,” he explains on his website. “Working men and women should have the freedom to join a union if they choose and to leave that union when it is in their best interest to do so.”

Metcalfe’s success record so far might reassure union allies that Pennsylvania is unlikely to turn into another Michigan. In fact, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, said as much during the Michigan right-to-work battle, telling reporters, “There is not much of a movement to do it.”

However, Corbett has also said he would sign right-to-work legislation if it came across his desk.

Continue reading Union Busting Coming Our Way via GOP and Koch Reactionaries