Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Call For NRA Brian

Oliver Willis argues that Montana Dem Gov. Brian Schweitzer's extremist pro-NRA, pro-coal stance disqualifies him from higher office in the modern Democratic party, and he's correct.

First of all, Schweitzer courted the NRA for an endorsement. He didn’t just come out in favor of gun rights aimed at hunters and sportsmen as many other Democrats in red states and in national races have (including President Obama) but he actively courted the most extreme of the “mainstream” gun groups in America, the NRA. The group that is in part financed by the gun manufacturers and who has stood against nearly every sensible gun law for the past 20 years or more.
When he obtained that endorsement, Schweitzer didn’t just note it on his website or send out a press release. He appeared at an event with Wayne LaPierre and touted the video on his Youtube page.
Remember, the NRA opposed the weak post-Sandy Hook background checks – something that Republicans like Pat Toomey and John McCain voted for, as did red state Democrats like Mary Landrieu
For a long time I’ve been an advocate of a wider tent within the Democratic Party, and I don’t want them to become purge central like today’s GOP, but you also need to stand for things.

Sadly, yet another deadly school shooting occurred today, this time in Nevada.  The alleged shooter, a student, used a handgun stolen from his parents to shoot and kill a teacher and wounded 2 other students. Given Schweitzer's pro-NRA record, there's no place for him in national office.  And if that wasn't bad enough, his pro-coal record is just as bad:

Schweitzer is also a proponent of fake clean coal technology and other sketchy energy concerns. He asked Montana officials to claim they “support the use of coal money for the completion of your project/projects.” In a profile, 60 Minutes described him as “Montana’s Coal Cowboy.” 
Schweitzer has also backed the Keystone XL pipeline, and described opponents of it as “jackasses.” I’m far from an environmental purist, but especially post-BP shouldn’t we think again and again about tying ourselves to fossil fuels and to the environmental impact that errors in the world of fossil fuels create?

Just as I would have serious doubts supporting any of Kentucky's NRA-loving King Coal Dems for national office for the same reasons, I can't support Schweitzer for President.  Oliver's right:  you've got to stand for something, and YAY GUNS isn't it.

Orange Julius Gets Poll-Axed

The latest CNN/ORC international poll out today has some pretty lethal post-shutdown numbers for the GOP, and for House Speaker John Boehner in particular:

Just more than half the public says that it's bad for the country that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, according to a new national poll conducted after the end of the partial government shutdown.

And the CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that more than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.

The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, just after the end of the 16-day partial federal government shutdown that was caused in part by a push by House conservatives to try and dismantle the health care law, which is President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

According to the survey, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.

This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.

So the shutdown has definitely hurt the GOP, at least in the short term.  Will it mean big gains for the Dems in 2014?  I'm still not sure that will happen.  It would be awesome if that was the case, but November 2014 is a year off.

But if the GOP still has numbers this bad a year from now, well things aren't going to be fun in Happy Republican Land.  I'm betting Cruz and company will find a way to make that happen.

A defiant Ted Cruz vowed to continue fighting Obamacare on Sunday, and criticized his fellow Senate Republicans for not coalescing around his failed strategy.

I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” the Texas Republican said on ABC’s This Week.

Gonna hold you to that, Ted...

Cleanup On Aisle Daiichi

Meanwhile in Japan, yet another admission by the government of PM Shinzo Abe that the cleanup from 2011's nuclear disaster will take far longer than previously estimated...several years longer.

Radiation cleanup in some of the most contaminated towns around Fukushima's nuclear power plant is far behind schedule, so residents will have to wait a few more years before returning, officials said Monday. 
Environment Ministry officials said they are revising the cleanup schedule for six of 11 municipalities in an exclusion zone from which residents were evacuated after three reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant went into meltdown following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The original plan called for completing all decontamination by next March
Nobody has been allowed to live in the zone again yet, though the government has allowed day visits to homes and businesses in some areas after initial decontamination efforts, said Shigeyoshi Sato, an Environment Ministry official in charge of decontamination. 
"We would have to extend the cleanup process, by one year, two years or three years, we haven't exactly decided yet," he said.

A little perspective about what constitutes an "unacceptable" government "disaster" when it comes to efforts to try to fix "huge problems" right?  Maybe the problems we're having over here aren't so bad in comparison, because THIS is what a disaster looks like, people.


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