Trump Attacks Cantor Over Disaster Relief Funds |
Talking Points Memo’s Evan McMorris-Santoro reports that Donald Trump attacked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) assertion last week that Congress had to find spending cuts to offset disaster relief funds for tornado victims in Joplin, MO, before the funds could be appropriated. At the Faith and Freedom Conference tonight, Trump launched attacks at Cantor and Republicans for their willingness to spend “$10 billion a week” in Afghanistan and “billions and billions” in Iraq while putting conditions on assistance for those who have been “wiped out, killed, maimed, injured” in the aftermath of the Joplin tornado and recent flooding up and down the Mississippi River. As ThinkProgress reported earlier, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) took his own shots at Cantor this morning at the conference.
I’ve never really been the auto bailout enthusiast that some of my colleagues on the left were. America’s car-oriented industrial policy has been very bad for the environment, and as you can, see just because car companies owe their existence to political risks President Obama took on their behalf doesn’t mean they’re going to ease up on this:
Detroit’s major automakers are ready for Round Two in their battle with the Obama administration over fuel economy standards, and this time, they’re hoping new leverage will give them the punching power they need.
And so it goes. You can hardly blame them. A car company’s got to lobby for the interests of car companies. And in their defense, tighter fuel efficiency standards are hardly an optimal policy. I’d much rather see higher gasoline taxes. But of course you can guess who would lead the lobbying charge against that, too.
Thanks for an awesome first week, everyone. I can’t say how much I appreciate your emails, kind words, etc. If anyone’s got special requests for next week, throw ‘em in comments or email me at AlyssaObserves [at] gmail.
Our guest blogger is Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Manufacturing is important to the economy and, especially, to the economic recovery. From its most recent low point in December 2009, manufacturing has added nearly a quarter of a million (243,000) new jobs. But not this month: In May, manufacturing shed 5,000 jobs.
One month of bad data isn’t typically something to write home about. The severe weather in the Midwest and South and the lingering supply chain effects of the Japanese tsunami might have played a role (although the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that’s not likely).
But combined with other news, this is a sobering statistic. Earlier this week, the Institute for Supply Management reported that while the index of economic activity in the manufacturing sector expended in May for the 22nd straight month, the index was sharply lower than in April. And, in May, auto sales were down by 3.7 percent year over year. Combine that with too-low economic growth, and the picture gets a bit grimmer.
What will it take to revive U.S. manufacturing? Well, a good place to start would be to have a plan. A good plan would encourage domestic production and make investments in new technologies that will be the future of manufacturing, like green energy.
UpStart[uhp-stahrt] n. 1. A company or organization with innovative approaches to energy use, carbon pollution, resource consumption, and/or social equity, 2. A company or organization overcoming market barriers to build the new clean energy economy.
While playing an important role, governments and non-profits cannot build a “clean economy” on their own; rather, the private sector must lead the way. And thanks to a growing number of forward-thinking companies, the clean economy is already in the works. In this series, Lisbeth Kaufman of the Center for American Progress highlights “UpStarts” – companies that are shaking up the market, breaking down barriers and helping change the economy.
B Lab is creating a new type of company, the B Corporation, which modifies governance so that managers respond to long-term interests of investors, stakeholders, and the environment, rather than just focusing on short-term profits.
In a Harvard Business School case study on B Lab, co-founder Coen Gilbert explained B Lab’s goals and approach to overcoming market barriers for social entrepreneurs:
There are tons of individual companies that have managed to effectively balance social and business impact. Still, we need to institutionalize the values, standards, and accountability that allow companies to do that. We need systems in place. We need to change the rules of the game instead of continuing to clean up the mess.
We want to look at the root causes. The root causes are not evil people, but rather poor system design. Right now the system is designed to maximize short-term stock value; it does that well, but at the cost of everything else. The question is: How do we have a system that facilitates long term value for the good of society? Read more
With each step in this campaign, repeat GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney walks further away from the principles he once held. Quickly joining climate change, immigration, and health care in the grave on his progressive principles is his pro-choice stance. When he first campaigned for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney promised to “preserve and protect” a woman’s right to choose. That position quickly melted away under the heat of right-wing scrutiny and now, in seeking to garner the religious right vote, Romney is trying to re-brand himself as an anti-choice candidate.
Of course, when a right-wing principle is so new, it’s hard to remember where the right-wing actually stands. Today at a town hall meeting at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester, NH, ThinkProgress’s Brad Johnson asked Romney whether, given his anti-abortion stance, there should be criminal sanctions on doctors or women if abortion should become illegal. Romney shut down the question as irrelevant, stating “I don’t think any political person has talked about criminal sanctions”:
TP: I know that you believe we should repeal Roe vs. Wade and I was wondering if abortion becomes illegal in some states, should there be criminal sanctions against doctors who still perform abortions or for women who get abortions?
ROMNEY:I don’t think anyone’s proposed that, have they? I don’t think any political person has talked about criminal sanctions. I think the right thing for matters relating to abortion is very similar to what I described in other measures which is return this to states. Let the states make their own choice. I’m pro-life and I think this is best handled — like many other things — at the state level.
Watch it courtesy of American Bridge :
It should come as no surprise that Romney seems to have forgotten he himself talked about this issue prior to his first presidential run. “In the case of a doctor, the kinds of penalties would be potentially losing a license or having some other kind of restriction. In the case of partial birth abortion, as I recall, the penalty is a possible prison term not to exceed two years,” he said in 2007.
He also might want to recheck with his GOP colleagues, unless by “nobody” he means several notable figures in the GOP’s presidential field. Just this week, fellow candidate Tim Pawlenty made headlines for dropping his recent statement that there should be no criminal punishment for abortion. Fearing backlash from the GOP base, Pawlenty’s camp quickly reasserted that Pawlenty believes doctors “should be subject to a penalty possibly including a criminal penalty.” Another candidate Newt Gingrich is on the record stating that abortion should be considered a crime and legal punishment should focus “on doctors performing abortions.” Mike Huckabee, a favorite champion of social conservatives, also has said he’d punish doctors paid to provide abortions.
Given how recently he adopted his anti-choice position, it is no surprise that he is not aware how drastic the GOP’s anti-abortion demands actually are. Incidentally, Romney is speaking at the Faith & Freedom Conference here in D.C. tonight. His flip-flops will have to be much more extreme in order to convince the right-wing base that his brand new “principles” are more than convenient politics.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told voters in New Hampshire that the pollution causing global warming needs to be reduced. Breaking with Tea Party Republicans who explicitly deny the overwhelming science, Romney said that it is “it’s important for us to reduce our emissions” that cause global warming:
I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.
Romney has not, however, endorsed any policies that would actually achieve his supposed goal of reducing global warming pollution. In his book, No Apology, Romney endorses the climate policy of Bjorn Lomborg, who grossly misrepresents science to claim adaptation to rapid climate change will be a simple prospect.
Enviroknow‘s Josh Nelson notes that six weeks ago, Mitt Romney told Fox News that he supports increased oil drilling and coal mining:
Well, you get the prices down by convincing people who are investing in gasoline futures, so to speak, the speculators — you let them understand that America is going to be producing enough energy for our needs. And that means we’re going to start drilling for oil. We’re going to use our natural gas resources, which are now extraordinarily plentiful, given new technology. We’re going to use our coal resources. Of course, we’re going to pursue all the renewables, but you have to have oil and gas to power America’s economy.
Memo To GOP: Cutting Child Health Programs Will Increase Deficit |
A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found American children have a much higher illness rate than British children and that the origins of poor adult health can be traced back to childhood. Because this will translate into higher medical costs in the future, David Sirota highlights the Republican’s deficit reduction plans in Congress and many states that cut child health programs, potentially leading to increased deficits and health care costs long term. Cutting kids’ health care is not a deficit reduction strategy. — Sean Savett
Ian Milhiser takes note of an interesting constitutional provision out of California that was enacted last fall. It’s a rule that says if the state legislature doesn’t manage to pass a budget on time, legislators will see their pay docked. It seems like an idea with some promise at the federal level:
Earlier this year, the federal government came within inches of an economically catastrophic shutdown because right-wing lawmakers refused to fund the government unless they could exact some concessions from President Obama. This summer, the GOP could blow up the entire U.S. economy by forcing us to default on our debt unless Obama signs economically crippling spending cuts into law. Meanwhile, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution or anywhere else in federal law that penalizes lawmakers who fail to complete must-do tasks like funding the government or raising the debt ceiling.
California’s pay-docking provision is a good idea, but it probably doesn’t go far enough. Many modern constitutions are designed to make it next to impossible for a government to cripple itself via inaction. Canada, for example, recently had to dissolve its entire government and hold a new election because it’s previous legislature failed to pass a budget.