Obama was just using executive orders like dozens of presidents before him (only not as frequently as hardly any of them [for the past 100 years]).
And he was recognizing the reality that even though the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill last year by a margin of 68-32, the House would continue doing nothing to address this very important issue.
So, it's either the biggest constitutional crisis of all time (as per this letter, which I think compares Obama to ISIS), OR it's a pragmatic move in the tradition of several other presidents who used executive orders to deal with immigration, such as Reagan and Bush senior.
Posted 26 November 2014, 9:15 p.m.
My FB reference was a "for example," but is indicative of what Republicans are saying all over the country. Do you know how many joined Sarah Palin with her "Death Panel" lies about the ACA? Or how many Republican congressmen said they didn't really know if Obama was a Christian or born in this country? I got a phone call last year from the NRA about Obama "coming to take our guns." Fox News has obsessed for two years about Benghazi, and in particular the "scandal." This is widespread and isn't about policy disagreements; it's about lies and character assassinations. That should NOT be the strategy of the opposition party, but it is.
As for compromise, one of the deep frustrations liberals have had with Obama is that he starts most negotiations in the middle and then gets pulled further to the right. The ACA was also a significant compromise. Obama picked a model that originated from the Heritage Foundation in the early '90s. And despite the fact that he had won the election with a strong majority of the votes and that Congress at the time had Democrat majorities in both houses, the ACA was still a huge compromise. Liberals wanted a public option and were quite unhappy with how much the ACA supports the system of going through private insurance companies, whose motive is profit, not health. Obama also compromised on the stimulus in 2009. Liberals called for double the $700 Billion that was spent. And if you recall, nearly 40% of the $700+ Billion was in the form of tax cuts.
But for the most part, Republicans haven't been willing to compromise at all. The current bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate by a 68-32 margin can't even get a vote or a counter-proposal in the House. Sen. Lindsey Graham even said this past week that Republicans should be embarrassed for their inability to even put up some kind of immigration bill up for a vote.
This is because when the primaries weed out the moderate Republicans, as has been the case for the past several years, then you get extremists in Congress who simply do not believe in compromise. Not all Democrats are perfect either, but they are willing to compromise. These new Republicans are not. Thus, we have government shut downs, debt ceiling threats, and a very broken Congress.
As for Tom Steyer's money, of course you have to play the game as the rules are written, but I would much prefer his political contributions - and that of all major donors - be made public and be severely limited so as to get as much money out of politics as possible. That is a problem for both parties.
Posted 25 November 2014, 6:42 p.m.
Pearly, my point wasn't that congressmen have called for Obama's impeachment specifically for Benghazi, but that the culmination of rumors and falsehoods perpetuated by Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, and the rest has the more gullible Republican faithful terrified for America and believing Obama is the Devil (that latter part is hyperbole, but not by much.) I've seen dozens of posts on Facebook, for example, of Republicans questioning Obama's right to remain as commander in chief, since he decided to call back troops from helping in Benghazi. Of course, that didn't happen, but that won't matter to many of his critics.
It is to your credit that you aren't aware of all of the silly rumors, but not all conservatives are as discerning as you. (Just read some of the conspiratorial letters to the U-B as prime evidence.) You say that the job of the opposition party is to find and expose the weaknesses, flaws and mistakes of the party in power. And yes, this has certainly been practiced by both parties over the years. But the primary job of any elected official should be to govern, and often to make compromises. This Congress has been unwilling to do this part of their job, and it has damaged the country. Their hatred of Obama and love of corporate money are the two things that drive them more than anything else. And that has been awful to watch.
Posted 24 November 2014, 6:06 p.m.
This editorial says: "...legislators have the power to override the will of the voters with a two-thirds majority. Lawmakers are generally skittish when using this power, fearing a backlash from unhappy voters. This power should be used judiciously — very, very judiciously. This, however, is one of those rare occasions it should be used. "
If you recall, Initiative 728 was passed in 2000 to reduce class sizes and Initiative 732 passed that same year to provide cost-of-living salary adjustments for K-12 employees. Both have been repeatedly suspended by the legislature (and I-728 was eventually repealed).
So, 14 years later, after Washington schools have fallen to 47th in class size, voters have approved another class size measure. And the recommendation is to override this one, too?
The legislators need to figure out how to pay for education, which according to our constitution is the "paramount duty" of the state. It's their job. The people have spoken (again). Let's not give the legislators another easy out.
[This editorial] from The Stranger has some helpful information and serves as a good rebuttal to the one in the U-B.
Posted 24 November 2014, 4:04 p.m.
According to a news article by the Wall Street Journal, "The report Friday found that while public statements by Ms. Rice and other U.S. officials eventually were proven wrong, the inaccuracies stemmed from poor intelligence rather than manipulation of the information." (link at bottom)
(This story echoes most reports, but I'm using the WSJ because it can't be accused of leaning left.)
To be clear, I'm not saying mistakes weren't made that led to the deaths of four Americans. It appears pretty obvious that there should have been better protection for them. Similarly, the dozens of deaths at US embassies and consulates during Bush's term probably included some mistakes, too. And any time something like this happens, it should be investigated. It is also clear the initial messaging from the White House and State Department was muddled.
So...impeach him? Accuse him of treason?
The point is that the Right turned this into a ridiculous witch hunt against Clinton and Obama, filled with wild rumors that have now been debunked. It has dominated Fox News for two years, who now have nothing to show for their shrill, irresponsible "journalism," except for an even more shrill bunch of followers. With Bush, however, the Right ignored attacks on our embassies and consulates that were far more deadly and numerous in number. (See link below to Politifact examination of attacks under Bush.) It's a double standard and has been for the past six years.
Did Obama keep the military from responding to save those men? No. Did the State Department intentionally mislead the public with the statements of Susan Rice? No. There is no scandal. But will Republicans now admit that all of their most dire, "impeachable" accusations have been shown to be false? Absolutely not. It won't even register with them.
And that's the problem.
WSJ report: http://online.wsj.com/articles/house-...
Attacks under Bush: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-met...
Posted 23 November 2014, 8:56 p.m.
President Obama could offer to personally pay to feed a starving baby, and his critics would wonder if the baby was from a Muslim family who got here illegally. The House just published their Benghazi investigation findings, which completely exonerated Obama of all of the silly scandal theories. And it won't matter one bit to those who hate him, because their hatred of him goes beyond a rational policy disagreement.
Net neutrality is a good thing for so many reasons. Big corporations don't like it because buying faster feeds had so much potential for them to grab a competitive advantage over the little guys. But since Obama supports keeping the same net neutrality we've always had, and despite the fact that the internet under this policy has been an unparalleled success, civilization as we know it will come to an end if Obama gets his way on this.
Posted 22 November 2014, 12:04 p.m.
Google is a wonderful thing. :)
Posted 16 August 2014, 9:13 p.m.
Why is Jim Amonette considered an earth scientist? From this [link]:
James E. Amonette, Ph.D., specializes in the areas of environmental geochemistry and soil mineralogy. He has a strong interest in the structure and chemistry of minerals and in the application of spectroscopic techniques, such as laser photoacoustic, Mössbauer, electron paramagnetic, infrared, and x-ray absorption/scattering, to characterize the solid phases and to predict and monitor the reactions associated with the presence of hazardous wastes in soil environments. In recent years he has expanded his interests to include ways of capturing and sequestering C in soils and geological formations. Currently, he is currently involved in projects related to 1) the redox chemistry of iron-bearing clays and nanoparticles and its impact on the reductive degradation pathways of chlorinated hydrocarbons, 2) terrestrial soil carbon sequestration with a focus on amendments (such as fly ash and charcoal), management regimes (moisture), and soil gas monitoring, and 3) monitoring of leakage rates from geologic carbon sequestration.
For nearly a decade, Dr. Amonette co-led a team working on the fundamental molecular-scale aspects of carbonate mineral dissolution and growth processes using a combination of atomic-force microscopy and theoretical calculations. More recently, Dr. Amonette has focused on the catalytic mechanisms that promote the formation of humic materials....
Dr. Amonette has worked on the precipitation/dissolution chemistry of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in soils. He identified the solid solution Ba(S,Cr)O4 as a possible phase controlling the aqueous concentrations of Cr(VI) species and determined the solubility products of several Ba(S,Cr)O4 solids. He also provided infrared spectroscopic evidence for the existence of the amorphous (Fe,Cr)(OH)3 solid solution and for the association of carbonate with Cr in the structure of this compound. Recently, he used laser photoacoustic spectroscopy to measure the kinetics and thermodynamics of trace-level chromate sorption to iron oxides.
Dr. Amonette has more than 28 years of research experience and has been with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) since 1986. He has authored or coauthored more than 57 peer reviewed scientific journal publications, 20 book chapters, 40 technical reports, six patents mainly in the area of photoacoustic spectroscopy, and a book on quantitative methods in soil mineralogy.
Ph.D., Soil Chemistry, Iowa State UniversityM.S., Soil Chemistry, Iowa State UniversityB.S., Soil Science, New Mexico State University
Posted 16 August 2014, 4:38 p.m.
A post today from Robert Reich, whom I believe to be intellectually honest:
"You’d think I’d declared myself a Republican. Since I said yesterday on ABC’s “This Week” that I was impressed with much of Representative Paul Ryan's discussion paper on "Expanding Opportunity in America,” many have accused me of selling out to the devil. Can we get a grip? Unlike Ryan's previous proposals, this one doesn’t cut a dollar from programs for the poor; in fact, it expands the Earned Income Tax Credit – a wage subsidy for low-wage workers. It gives states more discretion for how they use money for the poor, but it’s not a block grant: State plans would still have to be approved by the federal government, and they’d have to monitor various measures of success -- families lifted out of poverty, percentage of people finding work or getting off assistance, growth in wages, high school graduation rates and so on. The proposal puts attention where it belongs -- on poverty and upward mobility for those at the bottom.
"I know, I know. State governments unsympathetic to the poor have too often syphoned off federal money for other purposes. And look at all the Republican state governments that refuse to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act, even though federal taxpayers will foot nearly the entire cost. But the Ryan plan at least offers a starting point for discussion. Have we become so polarized and distrustful we can’t even talk?"
Posted 30 July 2014, 11:36 a.m.
I agree with you here. The point I was attempting to make was that D'Sousa's anecdote of a very rare black female millionaire was - in my view - his way of negating or countering the other very legitimate complaints blacks have had regarding the discriminatory laws and practices they have faced since the end of slavery. I'm not calling for reparations or anything like that, and I DO agree with you that ALL children must be taught they can do or become anything they want; however, the legacy of past racial abuses (and some that is ongoing) has not yet fully passed. There is still work to be done on that front, which I sense that D'Sousa would rather not acknowledge.
It is like showing us the one scientist who is skeptical of global warming and not bothering to interview the 99 who have come to a different conclusion. It's an intentional distortion.
Posted 25 July 2014, 8:14 a.m.
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