What if the GOP were the Climate Change Party?

(Ed note: This needs to be spread around… if you like it, pass it on!)

 

By James Thindwa
Some of us say what we believe, and believe what we say. Some of us even fight for what we believe. There are also those who claim to believe something or other, but won’t fight for it. That’s the way of the world. So let’s imagine a world only slightly different, with only the names changed to protect the guilty…
What If the GOP Was the Climate Change Party?
By James Thindwa
Imagine if you will, an alternative universe, in which the GOP believes in climate change, and the Democrats are the naysayers? How would a climate crusading Republican Party approach this most consequential issue?
In their customary hard-nosed fashion, the GOP would no doubt have made more progress on climate change—replete with tough regulations and high-minded international treaties—than we have seen so far. GOP politicians and talking heads would be making hay from all the horrible weather, beating the drums about the grave danger to our “national security” and way of life posed by climate change. They would be warning of gloom and doom and calling for—to hell with cap-and-trade—new legislation with stricter timetables for cutting greenhouse emissions, higher carbon taxes and stiffer penalties for polluters. And they would dare the president to veto it!
Republican politicians would be talking about climate change in town hall meetings, with obligatory reference to the increasingly ferocious tornadoes and hurricanes. “Climate change” and “green jobs” would become synonymous—a mantra seared into GOP political lexicon as Republicans declare that their legislation simultaneously creates jobs, limits greenhouse gases and stimulates the economy. Yes, Republicans would be ready to steamroll Democrats on this one.
For GOP leaders, Irene would be an opportunity to stoke the passions of environmentalists. They would urge activists to hold rallies in Washington and across the country. The GOP media machine—led by Roger Ailes at Fox—would parade environmental leaders on television and talk radio pontificating about local struggles to shut down polluting coal-fired plants, the imperative to raise CAFE standards for autos, insulate buildings and retrofit solar panels—the whole kitchen sink. Rightwing talking heads would be in full swing, prodding activists to hunt down “Democrat” lawmakers at “town halls” to demand they stop protecting Big Oil’s profits at the expense of our country’s future.
For GOP lighting rods like Michelle Bachmann and Sara Palin, climate change would be manna from heaven—red meat for the party faithful. They would be browbeating Democrats for standing in the way of strong regulations and shilling for corporate polluters (yes, they’d say it despite both parties’ footsy-playing with industry—they don’t care about the hypocrisy). Palin and Bachmann would be mocking Democrats for aligning themselves with a fringe element that hates science and would endanger our national security and the planet. Of course, GOP candidates would already have made climate change a central issue in the presidential election, and aiming to place it high up on the 2012 party platform.
GOP Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin givi...

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As expected, GOP strategists would have learned how to capitalize on disasters from their successful experiment in New Orleans, where they quickly moved in after Katrina and expanded charter schools. Thus, a salivating GOP would seize this moment to remind all Americans affected by Irene that climate change is real and urge them to demand immediate congressional action.
For maximum impact, rightwing pundits would cite the Pentagon’s finding that climate change constitutes “a grave national security threat” and the military’s plans to cope. On Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol would advise that invoking the military in this debate “is strategically brilliant” because Democratic are vulnerable on anything to do with “our men and women in uniform.”
On the O’Reilly Factor, Ann Coulter would taunt President Obama for lacking “the kahunas” to take on corporate polluters. She would point to Obama’s cozy relationship with the likes of Exelon, and his silence on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Sean Hannity would harangue the “liberal media” for ignoring the words “climate change” in their coverage of Hurricane Irene. Rightwing hothead and former UN ambassador John Bolton would announce on Fox his new campaign for a new international climate treaty. It would carry heavy sanctions—even military action—against countries that did not sign on.
Finally, GOP leaders would be all over the hypocrisy of Democratic governors for stoking hatred of government even as they, in this crisis moment, expect emergency relief from the federal government. On the campaign trail and in presidential debates, GOP candidates would use Irene to highlight the indispensable role of government not just in public safety, but in healthcare access, infrastructure investment, helping foreclosure victims and reining in predatory banks, and alleviating poverty—that silent but ongoing emergency for millions of women, men and children. They would forcefully explain to voters that paying taxes is not a subversive notion, but an act of patriotism.
(Are you listening, Democrats?)
Fortunately, James Thindwa lives very much in the real world, where he is a Chicago-based labor and community activist. He also writes for In These Times and serves on its board of directors.
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Organizing? ROFL!

This is one of those posts that gets put up in a hurry.  Because of an irritated response. Because it seems to make sense at the time, but after looking at it you realize that it’s in the wrong place, on the wrong blog, and doesn’t completely make sense.

So here I am, a day later trying to fix it.

So….

In 2008 I found myself an Obama supporter.  I didn’t start out that way, but that’s where I landed. Gave money to the campaign. Did some volunteer work.

Hope defeats Fear

Image by Todd Barnard via Flickr

I managed to hang on to that attitude and feeling for close to 2 years. Even weathered the underhanded behind closed doors tax deal from the last time around.  But no longer.

Citizens registered as an Independent, Democra...

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This last set of ‘negotiations’ left me with the clear picture that not only is the Democratic side of Congress completely ineffective, but the President has rendered himself ineffective as well. A Democratically controlled Senate, a Democratic President, Republicans with a bare majority in the House, and the Democrats are on the run. Absolutely tragic.

Change is not easy. It’s one of the most difficult tasks that anyone can set out to do. But that was the job that this President defined for himself. And he’s accomplished some of it.

Mean surface temperature change for the period...

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However, the change that I worry about, the change that involves the keeping a reasonable future for my children, my grandchildren, and their yet to be born children, that change was very nearly the first item to fall off the Presidential agenda. Global weirding, climate disruption, climate change, global warming, whatever you call it was sacrificed to permit a badly mangled, unenforceable national healthcare mandate to limp out of the legislative process.

Global annual fossil fuel carbon dioxide emiss...

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What was the calculation? Was it easier to fight the insurance industry than the fossil fuel industry? Was a short-term immediate potential gain more important than acting on a problem that will take down the whole planet? Were the chances of being reelected part of the decision? Whatever it was, the gamble seems to have been to get a short-term political gain that might kick in sometime in the next few years by sacrificing the future of our culture.

We won’t be wiped out, unless we pass one of those tipping points we suspect exist. No, somewhere along the way we might manage to stop pouring gigatonnes of heat trapping gases into our air, we could survive as a species. With 7 billion of us on the planet, chances are reasonable that Homo sapiens will struggle through for another 300 or 400 years while the planet tries to regain its equilibrium.

So the President, who decided to become the cruise director on the Titanic rather than avoid the iceberg, has now joined the band rather than trying to save any more of the passengers.

On Tuesday, I got this email from the organizers of the Obama 2012 campaign. In multiple formats I sent the following response back to various elements of the organizer’s teams.

Sorry, no, I wasn’t planning on voting Republican next year… I thought I’d wait to see if there will be a Democrat in the running, since President Obama seems to be prepping for a run on the GOP ticket.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Tomorrow:  house meeting
Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2011 18:24:38 -0600
From: tweetingdonal at Gmail <tweetingdonal@gmail.com>
To: info@barackobama.com

On 8/2/2011 5:34 PM, Jeremy Bird, BarackObama.com wrote:

2012
Friend –Tomorrow — Wednesday, August 3rd — volunteers will gather at campaign house meetings across the country to continue laying the groundwork for the 2012 campaign.

This kind of organizing work matters more than ever. Now that President Obama has reached a compromise with congressional leaders to meet our financial obligations and reduce our debt, it’s up to us to get the word out about how important this agreement is and why it’s crucial to have a leader like President Obama in office.

Tomorrow, volunteers will talk about how to build this campaign at the local level —

Here are the details:

What: House meeting

Where:

When: Wednesday, August 3rd
5:00 pm

RSVP now

At this week’s house meetings, we’ll discuss the best way to keep bringing new folks into the political process in our own communities and neighborhoods. It’s important that folks hear about the President’s accomplishments from their own friends and neighbors — from forging this new bipartisan debt compromise to reforming Wall Street, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and passing the historic Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday also happens to be the day before the President’s 50th birthday — and our work to build this campaign through this kind of solid grassroots organizing is the sort of gift he’ll appreciate most.

Will you plan on setting aside a small part of your day on Wednesday for a house meeting? RSVP now to attend in:

http://my.barackobama.com/Birthday-House-Meetings

Thanks,

Jeremy

Jeremy Bird
National Field Director
Obama for America

 

Paid for by Obama for America

McConnell-Reid Debt Ceiling Fail Safe Option Hanging By A Thread

WASHINGTON — The fail-safe debt ceiling plan crafted by the Senate’s top two leaders, Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – is close to being put on political life support, those familiar with negotiations tell The Huffington Post, as lawmakers coalesce around a major deal instead.
Sources on the Hill Thursday morning expressed a newfound — at times defeatist — sense of worry about the political prospects of the proposal, which would cut roughly $1.5 trillion over ten years while granting authority to the president to suggest (but not sign off on) future spending cuts as a condition of raising the debt ceiling now. House Republicans have told leadership that they are sour on the idea, with more than 90 members pledging to oppose it. Another factor contributing toward its demise, however, has been the Obama administration‘s decision to continue to push for a bigger deficit-reduction package, which has led many lawmakers to consider the McConnell-Reid option both insufficient and potentially unnecessary.
“I think it is certainly an uphill battle now,” a Hill Democrat said of the McConnell-Reid plan.

House "Gang of 70-Plus" to Senate "Gang of Six": We Outnumber Your Plan to Slash Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

Unknownname
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2011
Press Contact: Adam Sarvana (202) 225-2435
                                                 (202) 573-2562 cell

House “Gang of 70-Plus” to Senate “Gang of Six“: We Outnumber Your Plan to Slash Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

Washington, D.C.Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today released the following statement on the Senate “Gang of Six” budget proposal:

“This terrible plan could cut Medicare and Medicaid to unsustainably low levels and put seniors’ well-being at risk. Anyone who wants to pass it through Congress should remember that more than 70 House Democrats have already pledged their opposition, and more are signing on every day. The letter we sent to Leader Pelosi July 8 vowing to oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid as part of these budget negotiations has become a growing wave of House resolve to protect these programs. We’re keeping it open for more signatures, and our Gang of 70-plus has the ‘Gang of Six’ completely outnumbered. Newly minted Rep. Janice Hahn signed on as one of her first official acts as a Congresswoman – that’s how quickly it’s picking up momentum.

Republicans have already said they won’t vote for any package, period, because of their opposition to a functional economy. House Democrats hold the key to whatever plan can pass Congress. That’s why the Senate ‘Gang of Six’ proposal is dead on arrival. Instead of toying with ways to slash vital programs in just such a way as to make different budget numbers align on paper, Congress and the White House should follow the path of our People’s Budget: creating jobs, protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, ending corporate subsidies and millionaire tax giveaways, and ensuring our economy works for everyone rather than a greedy few.”

#   #   #

Texas farmers to get disaster relief | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

AVALANCHE-JOURNAL

The Lubbock area’s farmers realized conditions had reached critical proportions before Tuesday’s declaration by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack naming all of Texas as eligible to apply for Farm Service Agency assistance.

Mike Swain, who farms south of Brownfield and also is a Terry County commissioner, said he has logged 35/100ths of an inch of rain since Oct. 21.

“I will be real honest, I don’t need a loan – I need rain,” Swain said.

Vilsack’s disaster designation for 213 counties, along with their contiguous counties, means farm operators in all 254 counties may turn to the FSA because of the conditions of “drought, excessive heat, high winds and wildfires.”

The designation makes emergency loan assistance available for eight months.

“FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available, and repayment ability,” the announcement states.

Farmers also may file applications in 2012 for 2011 crop losses under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program.

Tyson Knight, who farms in Lubbock and Hale counties, said, “I’ve never seen it as dry as this year has been. We’ve had some dry years, but we’ve always had some wintertime moisture.”

About 60 percent of his farming operation is on irrigated land, with the other 40 percent dryland.

Knight predicts the irrigated crops will make money this year, but the dryland, where cotton never came up, will zero out.

Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, said, “It is good that the USDA has recognized the serious nature of the drought in Texas. Agriculture needs to have available all programs that could be helpful in trying to make it through these unprecedented conditions.”

According to U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock, the USDA has taken the correct action to help farmers and ranchers mitigate damage caused by wildfires and drought.

“I hope that FEMA will quickly follow suit and declare a major disaster declaration for affected Texas counties,” he said.

Cattle farmers hurt, too.

“A lot of people have lost their livestock, their homes, their fencing. Fencing costs anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a mile, depending on how you do it,” said Swain.

“I have neighbors down here who say if it doesn’t rain by the Fourth of July, they’re going to have to sell their cow herd. And they’ve been years building it up.

“Beef may become a real luxury, instead of ‘Hey, what’s for dinner?’ ”

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Boehner Proposal Would Cut Non-Security Discretionary Programs 22 Percent, the Deepest Such Cut in Recent U.S. History — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The Boehner proposal would continue tax cuts that average well over $100,000 a year for people making over $1 million — tax cuts that are double the entire income of the typical American household. He would do so even as his proposal would withdraw funds from basic programs and services that most Americans of ordinary means rely on, and despite the fact that CBO has rated the tax-cut extension dead last in effectiveness among an array of options for boosting the current weak economy.

AND it would cut $9 BILLION out of K-12 School Funding, Then there’s his 85% claim, that stuff besides invading countries and hassling people, and robbing us of our privacy, we’ve raised spending on stupied stuff, like trying to get people jobs…
Read the article, and call your representatives… I can’t imagine any of us REAL AMERICANS can afford what he’s asking for. Oh, did you catch that bit, he wants to give his buddies that contribute to his campaign $100K tax break? I could use a $100K tax break. That would cover several years worth of taxes for me 😉
Read this and then do something about it, call your prepresentatives, your Senators and Representatives.