Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, joins Current TV's John Fugelsang to discuss what's next for President Obama and the GOP now that the sequester has gone into effect. Reich argues that Republicans aren't opposed to the sequester because they're simply against raising taxes, but because they represent the wealthy.
"Republicans are saying no taxes on the rich, no closing of any loopholes at all. Mitt Romney's ... special privileges with regard to private equity and all of the other privileges that the rich have — we want to protect. And we want to protect even at the expense of schools and roads and bridges and women and infants and children programs, and everything else the public needs," Reich says.
The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act on Tuesday, despite the efforts of a group of Republican men who tried to block it.
Florida senator Marco Rubio led a group of 22 male Republicans who voted against the bill, which established a system for helping women in danger from domestic violence. No women or Democrats opposed the bill and it passed 78-22. That's right, the guy that Time magazine hailed this week as the "GOP Savior" voted against helping protect women from violence.
In fact, Rubio was also one of eight Republican senators who last week voted against moving to debate on the revived legislation.
One of the most contentious issues of the bill is that the updated version grants additional protections to immigrants which would encourage undocumented women to report assaults done to them.
Another issue some of the gang of 22 are hiding behind is that they object to the updated VAWA extending protections to LGBT and Native Americans.
On Monday, Vermont Senator Sanders appeared on MSNBC's "Politics Nation" to talk with Rev. Al Sharpton about the ongoing budget negotiations.
"Not only is what they are proposing absurd, I think they are crazy politically." said Sanders. "I think when the people understand that they want to maintain tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, whose effective tax rate is very, very low and at the same time they want to balance the budget by cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, I think people all over this country are going to say, you guys are nuts, you're really out of touch with what ordinary americans are thinking and believing." he continued.
A White House spokesman responded to the GOP's fiscal cliff counteroffer late Monday, saying it "does not meet the test of balance." Erskine Bowles of the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission also criticized the offer.
A few days after the 1993 assassination of Dr. David Gunn, a Florida abortion provider, Todd Akin's longtime anti-abortion and militia pal, Tim Dreste, stood in front of the health care clinic of abortion provider Dr. Yogrenda Shah with a sign that read: “Dr. Shah, are you feeling under the Gunn?” (See the video above.) Shortly afterwards, Akin contributed $200 to Dreste's dark horse race for state representative.
A new report has revealed that Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin was arrested at least eight times in the 1980s at anti-abortion protests, according to newly obtained records.
That is four arrests in addition to four the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last month based on a review of its archives. The arrests were missed in previous searches because the news stories had listed Akin by his given first name, William.The four additional arrests each occurred at a reproductive health clinic in Ballwin, Missouri in St. Louis County between 1985 and 1987.
The arrests reported by the Post-Dispatch came in the same period, between March 1985 and May 1987, but occurred at other clinics. Three were in St. Louis and one in Granite City, Illinois.
On one of those occasions, police had to physically carry Akin into an elevator when he refused to leave the premises, according to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
"Right Wing Watch," a project of People For the American Way, a nonprofit group critical of Akin's ties to radical elements of the pro-life movement, obtained incident reports on the arrests Friday from the St. Louis Country Police Department under Missouri's sunshine law, and provided them to news media.
Akin's views opposing abortion are well-known. In August of this year, he infamously said that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" are physically able to stop themselves from becoming pregnant, a remark that was ridiculed and rejected by medical professionals, women's advocates, and politicians on both sides of the aisle. Akin teamed up with Paul Ryan in 2011 to try to narrow the definition of rape, voted in 1991 for an anti-marital-rape law, called for an end to the school-lunch program and a total ban on the morning-after pill. In 1992, Akin even fought for a narrower definition of child abuse.
Most polls are showing Missouri's incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill with a strong lead over Akin, even though she missed a week worth of campaigning due to the recent passing of her mother, Betty Anne Ward McCaskill, 84.
Evan Axelbank, a reporter with WPTV in Florida, was tweeting late Tuesday night about a memo he received from a GOP campaign adviser to a local candidate there that contained some good news...for Democrats. (See the memo above.)
Axelbank tweeted that a "Worried GOPer leaked memo to me because they wanted to motivate the base, show that loss is possible."
The text of the memo reads:
The early and absentee turnout is starting to look more troubling.
As of yesterday, Republicans made up only 22% of early voters and 30% of returned absentee votes.
This is closer to (and worse than) 2008 where we saw 19% EV and 38% of the absentees. 2010 (our blowout year) was 33% of EV and 45% of AB.
Conslusion: The Democrat turnout machine in the county has been very effective and they are cleaning our clock. Even if Romney wins the state (likely based on polls), the turnout deficit in PBC will affect our local races.
When you are calling or canvassing, remind people how effective our opposition has been and how they must not only get themselves to the polls, but their friends and neighbors as well.
Axelbank spoke with Palm Beach GOP Chair Sid Dinerstein, who is responsible for leading the ground-game criticized in the memo.
Dinerstein says he believes that motivation will not be a problem for GOP voters in Palm Beach Co.
"We are broken glass Republicans, meaning we will walk over broken glass to vote."
Obama has been surging in Florida's early voting for three days now, and apparently it's taking its toll on Florida Republicans to the point that even they don't believe Mitt Romney is going to win. And not that I enjoy kicking anyone when they're down -- okay, I do make an exception for Republicans -- the latest numbers from FivethirtyEight give President Obama a 77.4% chance of winning the election, 299 electoral votes projected for Obama, and 50.4% of the popular vote projected to go to Obama.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010.
On Wednesday morning, CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien asked the Utah Republican if he had "voted to cut the funding for embassy security."
"Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”
During the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers cut $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012, cutting back on the department's request by $331 million.
Consulate personnel stationed in Benghazi had allegedly expressed concerns over their safety in the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Chaffetz and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have alleged that those concerns were ignored.
A Yemeni man was shot and killed by gunman on his way to work at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa early Thursday morning. The car carrying Qassem Aqlan, who headed an embassy security team, was shot at by masked attackers on a motorcycle. “This (assassination) operation has the fingerprints of al Qaeda which carried out similar operations before,” a source told Reuters. Assassination attempts have been frequent since Yemen’s army cleared Islamist fighters out of many towns earlier this year, while the U.S. has been high alert for its embassy staff overseas since the ambassador to Libya was killed with three others on Sept. 11 in Benghazi.
Florida GOP Rep. Bill Young is running for reelection for the 22nd time. But according to Young, he has far bigger problems on his hands.
Young claims that there have been multiple break-ins at his residence, possibly by the evil forces of the Florida Consumer Action Network or the Occupy movement. Young told the Tampa Bay Times that he doesn’t really know who’s behind the break-ins, though he noted: “The Occupiers are after me.”
Young believes that both FCAN and Occupy are “not happy” with him, after an incident where he was caught on video telling a constituent who asked him whether he’d support raising the minimum wage to “get a job.” Both of the groups have denied any involvement.
According to police, there’s no evidence that there have been any break-ins:
“They have investigated one incident. In July an alarm went off at the condo, but police concluded there was no burglary. Instead, they said, a storm blew open a garage door with a faulty lock, setting off the alarm — the second time that has happened in two years.
‘There were no pry markings nor impact marks that would be consistent with a forced entry,’ Officer Shaun Griffin wrote in his report on this year’s incident. Griffin said in a recent interview that, despite the wet conditions outside, police found no wet footprints anywhere inside the condo, another sign there was no break-in.”
Young disagrees with the police report, and said the intruder ”left an item in a very, very prominent place to make sure I knew they had been there,” so then “the wind must’ve blown that item into the house and placed it in a prominent position. That’s a pretty smart wind.”
A Florida resident's answering machine captured a call from a volunteer with the Republican Party of Clay County who was reaching out to potential voters with several important lies about the upcoming presidential election.
From the audio:
"Y'all sound like y'all are senior citizens, right? Yeah. You don't want Obama. You really don' want Obama. Because he'll get rid of your Medicare. You might as well say goodbye to it."
"I don't know if you've done any research on Obama or not, but he is a Muslim... if he had his way, we'd be a socialistic country."
"Pay attention to Fox News."
The head of the Clay County GOP told the St. Augustine Record that the woman was "off-script completely."
We have everything scripted,” Dougher said. “Those are clearly not the views of the Republican Party of Clay County or the Mitt Romney campaign.”
Hmm, I think I'd like to take a look at those scripts.
"For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush -- and the policies of the last GOP White House -- a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee."
The most recent Bloomberg poll shows Bush with a 46% to 49% favorable rating as compared to Romney's 43% to 50%.
It’s only Tuesday, but this week has already packed some punches for Mitt Romney. A new poll found that Southern whites -- long considered one of the linchpins of the Republicans’ so-called Southern strategy -- are bothered by the GOP candidate’s wealth and religion. According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted over several months in 11 states from Virginia to Texas, 38 percent of Bible Belt voters said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who is “very wealthy” than one who isn’t, and many viewed Mormonism as a cult.
Meanwhile, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday showed that a majority favored having dinner with the president over Romney by a 13-point margin. In a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, Obama led Romney by 6 points, buoyed by a 4-point bump from the Democratic National Convention.