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How Southern Republicans Aim To Make White Democrats Extinct

State Rep. Stacey Abrams serves as the Georgia House Minority Leader.

Across the state, legislative maps are drawn to split voters along artificial lines to isolate them by race. Legislators see their districts disappear, themselves the target of racial gerrymandering. Citizens rise up in protest and demand the right to elect the candidate of their choice, but the ruling party ignores them. Racial groups are identified and segregated; their leadership eliminated. It is the way of the South. Only this isn’t 1964, the year before the signing of the Voting Rights Act. This is Georgia in 2011.

But this time, the legislators at risk are white men and women who have had the temerity to represent majority African-American districts, and Latino legislators who spoke up for their growing Hispanic population. In crossover districts, where whites and blacks have worked together for decades to build multi-racial voting coalitions, the new district maps devised by the Republican majority have slashed through those ties with speed and precision.  If the maps proposed by the GOP in Georgia stand, nearly half of the white Democratic state representatives could be removed from office in one election cycle. Call it the “race card”—in reverse.

Reapportionment is a dangerous business. Once every 10 years, the naked ambition of political parties wars with the dwindling hope of voters that this time their voices will be heard. In the South, the voting lines traditionally aimed for specific targets—racial discrimination that purged minorities, diminishing their numbers and political power. If a legislator had the poor fortune to be of the wrong race, that district would disappear for a decade or more.  The voters who relied on you would find themselves isolated and polarized, the victims of racial gerrymandering.

For most of the nation, the battle lines are drawn by partisan leaders who search for the sinuous lines that will connect like-minded voters to one another and disadvantage those who have shown a preference for the other side. That, as they say, is Politics 101.

But for a handful of states, the stakes are higher. Below the Mason-Dixon Line and scattered across the country, a legacy of poll taxes and literacy tests required a special remedy—Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act has a simple goal—integrate the voting of minorities into the fabric of our democracy. For any state held to its obligations, no changes can be made to election laws without pre-clearance by the Justice Department. In the last decade, the minority population across the South has increased, and by any measure, the Voting Rights Act has been the engine of racial progress.

In Georgia, the gains made under the Act are undeniable. Districts populated predominately by African-Americans have routinely elected white legislators to speak for them. In enclaves across the state, white voters have punched their ballots to elect African-American and Latino representatives. Crossover districts, where blacks and whites and Latinos co-mingle, have grown in prominence–combining with majority-minority districts to comprise nearly 35 percent of the House of Representatives.

In 2011, Georgia should stand as a model for the South and a beacon for those who believe in the rights of voters. However, based on the maps passed last week by the Republican majority, we are in danger of returning to 1964.

Redistricting is fundamentally about voters, and in Georgia, minority voters comprise fully 42 percent of the population. More importantly, these populations have aligned themselves with majority white constituents to demonstrate political power. Under the proposal, Republicans will pair 20 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of Republicans in the state House and eliminate the sole remaining white Democrat in Congress from the Deep South. The House pairings pit black Democrats against white Democrats in four contests, white against white in another and eliminate multi-racial coalition voting across the state. When the dust settles, between pairings and the creation of GOP-leaning districts, Republicans stand to knock off 10 white Democrats—half the total number. They will pick up seven new seats, for a total of 123 Republican seats, 56 Democratic seats and one Independent. This will give Republicans a constitutional majority in the state of Georgia; in other words, they will be able to pass any piece of legislation without opposition.

Let’s be clear. It is absolutely the prerogative of the majority party to maximize its political gains. No one questions the right of the GOP to draw as many districts as it can legally muster. The issue is not whether the GOP can increase its hold, but how.

The GOP’s newly drawn voting lines in the state of Georgia reveals a pernicious new cynicism in our politics—the use of the Voting Rights Act as a weapon to destroy racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. It is no consolation if individual black legislators benefit in the GOP’s new scheme. The Voting Rights Act was never intended to protect a particular minority. Indeed, the highest goals of the Act, one of modern America’s most progressive pieces of legislation, was to encourage multi-racial cooperation and understanding. Precisely, what we in Georgia have begun to achieve. More alarmingly, this new strategy targeting white legislators is not limited to our state. If effective here, the cradle of the civil rights movement, the strategy is expected to be implemented in mid-term redistricting across the South. Republican lawmakers in Alabama, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia are watching closely.

Today, we all decry a national partisanship that seems unhealthy and corrosive. But there is nothing wrong with partisanship, when it is a battle of ideas. The Voting Rights Act is intended to ensure that differing ideas be heard, that no single voice drown out the rest. Sadly, that is not what we see rising in the South. The Voting Rights Act is in danger of not protecting the promise of a new day, but becoming a new tool in the politics of destruction.

By: Stacey Abrams, Georgia House Minority Leader, Published in U. S. News and World Report, September 19, 2011

September 20, 2011 Posted by | Bigotry, Conservatives, Constitution, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Equal Rights, GOP, Government, Human Rights, Ideologues, Ideology, Justice Department, Lawmakers, Politics, Racism, Republicans, Right Wing, State Legislatures, States, Teaparty, Voters, Wisconsin | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Business Has Been Very, Very Good To Mitt Romney

As the noted philosopher and rock ‘n’ roll irritant David Lee Roth once said, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.”

I often think of his sage words as I watch the early days of the 2012 political campaigns. For the phrase “buy you a yacht,” simply substitute “buy you an election.” Then behold the havoc wrought by Citizens United and other court decisions that have unleashed a mudslide of corporate cash into our electoral system, much of it anonymous, hurling the average citizen out of the democratic equation.

An estimated $40 million will be spent in those nine Wisconsin state Senate recall elections — most of it from outside, third-party interest groups and twice what was spent last year on all 116 of the state’s legislative races. Most believe President Obama will raise a billion dollars or even more for his reelection bid; enough, as NPR’s Peter Overby observed, to buy up all the TV ads on the Super Bowl — four times.

The Republican nominee may also raise and spend a billion. If it turns out to be former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, buying that electoral yacht will be a tad easier than for others. Back in 2007, the New York Times estimated his worth at nearly $350 million, and he plowed a reported $44.5 million of his own money into his 2008 presidential campaign.

Certainly, there has been a deep strain of noblesse oblige throughout the history of American governance, the wealthy feeling the urge (and having the disposable income and free time) to come to the aid of their country, both for good and ill. But with Romney, so much a complaisant creature of the corporate culture that dropped us into our current mess without a parachute, we have a tsunami-in-waiting.

As he scurries to the right, running away from his moderate record as Massachusetts governor (although there’s no escaping the irony of this week’s reports that the state’s upgrade to an AA rating from Standard & Poor’s during his tenure was achieved, in part, through tax hikes), it’s illuminating to remember not only how Romney amassed his personal fortune but also how the fundraising apparatus surrounding him probes for yet more ways to scam the system. Not content with the freewheeling liberties already granted by the courts, his money machine relentlessly pursues ever more insidious routes to the fattest wallets and checkbooks.

The opening chapters may be familiar to you. As a June 2007 article in the Times reported, Romney’s personal fortune was amassed from his leadership at the private equity firm Bain Capital. “Mr. Romney’s Bain career — a source of money and contacts that he has used to finance his Massachusetts campaigns and to leap ahead of his presidential rivals in early fund-raising … exposes him to criticism that he enriched himself excessively, sometimes by cutting jobs to increase profits.” The newspaper quoted Boston University business professor James E. Post: “Increasingly, this world of private equity looks like a world of robber barons, and Romney comes out of that world.”

A similar article that same month and year in the Boston Globe noted that Bain Capital specialized in leveraged buyouts and cited MIT Sloan School of Management professor Howard Anderson. Bain, he said, would do “everything they can” to increase the value of the companies it bought. “The promise [to investors] is to make as much money as possible. You don’t say we’re going to make as much money as possible without going offshore and laying off people.”

Stephen Colbert may have summed it up best:

“Mitt Romney knows just how to trim the fat. He rescued businesses like Dade Behring, Stage Stories, American Pad and Paper, and GS Industries, then his company sold them for a profit of $578 million after which all of those firms declared bankruptcy. Which sounds bad, but don’t worry, almost no one worked there anymore.”

Another of the companies sucked into Bain’s gravitational pull was the medical testing firm Damon Corp. that, according to the Globe,

“later pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government of $25 million and paid a record $119 million fine.

“Romney sat on Damon’s board. During Romney’s tenure, Damon executives submitted bills to the government for millions of unnecessary blood tests. Romney and other board members were never implicated… But court records suggest that the Damon executives’ scheme continued throughout Bain’s ownership… Bain, meanwhile, tripled its investment. Romney personally reaped $473,000.”

But unlike the companies it bought, at Bain itself, even failure could be rewarded — even if your name was Mitt. Take a look at the sweetheart deal Romney got when he took over Bain Capital, a spinoff of consulting firm Bain & Company where he had been an executive. In an arrangement any start-up enterpriser would kill for, as per the Globe, founder Bill Bain guaranteed that if the Bain Capital experiment tanked, “Romney would get his old job and salary back, plus any raises handed out during his absence.” What’s more, if he proved unfit for the task, “Bain agreed to craft a cover story if necessary, promising to bring Romney back to the consulting firm and explain Romney’s return as a matter of his being more valuable to Bain as a consultant.”

Nice. No wonder Romney told an Iowa crowd this week that, “Corporations are people, my friend.” Like Garrett Morris’ Chico Escuela in the early days of “Saturday Night Live,” big business been berry berry good to him. Would that it had been berry berry good to the hundreds fired at companies taken over by Bain Capital.

Yes, corporate people power has served Romney well, especially when it comes to political fundraising. As Huffington Post reported this week, “According to disclosure reports filed at the end of July, 61 registered lobbyists and five lobbyist-linked political action committees contributed $137,650 to Romney’s campaign between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011. The former Massachusetts governor raised more money from lobbyists during this period than all of his competitors combined … Craig Holman, legislative representative for the watchdog group Public Citizen, told HuffPost that Romney’s lead in lobbyist cash ‘strongly suggests that Romney is the favored candidate for wealthy special interest groups, especially K Street. They clearly think that they can get their foot in the door with Mitt Romney.’”

Then there’s this in the July 20 Washington Post:

“The largest corporate sources of money for Romney are mostly finance industry leaders, including Morgan Stanley and Bank of America. Goldman Sachs employees have given nearly a quarter of a million dollars in contributions… The keys to his success appear to be large donors and contributors from the New York area. Nearly three-quarters of Romney’s money came from donors giving the maximum $2,500 contribution, and one in eight of Romney’s donors live in New York City and its suburbs.”

Of the $18 million raised by his campaign in the second quarter this year, one million came from a single trip to New York in May, including a University Club event crammed to its poshly appointed walls with banking executives.

So it’s not surprising that in the Romney camp, the creative accounting techniques perfected by Wall Street are a specialty. It was again The Boston Globe — which seems to have covered Romney’s political ambitions since they first danced in his head — that wrote back on April 15, “The former Massachusetts governor has become a master of a controversial but legal fund-raising technique that relies on a network of loosely regulated state political action committees to collect those funds.”

Example: Four members of the Marriott hotel family, close friends with the Romneys and fellow Mormons, wrote checks totaling $215,000 to Romney’s campaign, far more than an individual is allowed to give to federal political committees. According to the Globe:

“Romney, more fully exploiting the system he employed in the 2008 election cycle, got around those restrictions by taking in contributions through political committees set up under the rules of individual states. Most of the money was then transferred to Romney’s federal political action committee, Free and Strong America, and used to pay the salaries of top aides, political consultants, and traveling expenses.”

Consider, too, the super PAC Restore Our Future, supposedly independent, but run by former Romney political aides in support of their man’s candidacy. Restore Our Future raised $12.2 million in the first half of 2012. Under the new, relaxed rules it can raise unlimited funds but must disclose who contributes and cannot legally coordinate with the candidates themselves or the candidates’ official campaign committees. Of Restore Our Future’s 90 wealthy donors so far, the ubiquitous Marriotts among them, four gave a million dollars apiece. One was John Paulson, described by the website Politico as “a New York hedge fund billionaire who became famous for enriching himself by betting on the collapse of the housing industry.”

The other three allegedly are corporations but none of them conduct any real business. Two, Eli Publishing and something called F8 LLC, each list the same Provo, Utah, address as trusts set up by the families of two executives at the anti-aging product company Nu Skin Enterprises. Nu Skin founders and fellow Mormons Stephen Lund and Blake Roney were big contributors to Romney’s first White House campaign in 2008. (For what it’s worth, twice in the ’90s, Nu Skin was hauled before the Federal Trade Commission and paid a total of $2.5 million to settle allegations of unsubstantiated product claims.)

The other shell company, W Spann LLC, was even more mysterious. As first reported by Michael Isikoff of NBC News, it was dissolved only months after it was created, and just two weeks before Restore Our Future reported the company’s donation. As Isikoff wrote, “Campaign finance experts say the use of an opaque company like W Spann to donate large sums of money into a political campaign shows how post-Watergate disclosure laws are now being increasingly circumvented.”

After days of media demands and questions, the man behind W Spann finally came forward: Edward Conard, a retired managing director of — surprise — Bain Capital. But he only stepped up after the groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center requested investigations by the Justice Department and the Federal Elections Commission. He made his donation “after consulting prominent legal counsel regarding the transaction,” Conard said, “and based on my understanding that the contribution would comply with applicable laws.”

Phony businesses set up for the sole purpose of laundering campaign money and shielding who’s really behind massive contributions? The donors responsible for the dummy corporations all say they have nothing to hide. So why hide it? Maybe to keep their distance, because Restore Our Future could be planning attack ads on Republican rivals and President Obama that will be harsher and more truth bending than anything Romney and his nearest and dearest can officially support.

We need to discover this and other answers before the money machine completely supplants the voting machine, and any last chance to have our voices heard is permanently stilled by cold hard cash.

 

By: Michael Winship, Senior Writing Fellow, Demos, published in Salon, August 12, 2011

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Big Business, Businesses, Campaign Financing, Capitalism, Class Warfare, Conservatives, Corporations, Elections, Financial Institutions, GOP, Ideologues, Ideology, Jobs, Justice Department, Lobbyists, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Unemployed, Voters, Wall Street, Wealthy, Wisconsin | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conservatives Outraged Over Prosecution Of Terror Suspect In Criminal Court

A decidedly unremarkable event by past standards occurred yesterday. The U.S. government brought criminal terrorism charges in a New York City courtroom against a Somali man captured in the Gulf of Aden. This is the first prosecution in criminal court to happen during the Obama administration, but such cases have been a common and extremely successful feature of U.S. policy that passed without notice for decades. This move, however, has provoked the now-typical reaction from conservatives who reflexively oppose every Obama administration action as a radical departure from U.S. norms that threatens the security of the nation. That’s ridiculous, and these conservatives risk U.S. security by pushing to remove a very powerful weapon against terrorists.

Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame was reportedly seized in April onboard a ship in the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen. He is charged with conspiracy and providing material support to terrorist groups—in this case the Somali-based al-Shabaab and the Yemeni-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

The Obama administration revealed that Warsame was held on a U.S. Navy ship for two months and interrogated by the High-Value Interrogation Group, the team drawn from numerous frontline U.S. government agencies established by the Obama administration specifically to question suspected high-ranking terrorists. This produced significant information outlining a deeper connection between al-Shabaab and AQAP than previously known. U.S. officials reportedly discussed all options for Warsame’s future and unanimously decided on criminal prosecution.

Warsame’s trial in New York City is like many previous instances when individuals were seized abroad and brought to the United States to face terrorism charges in criminal court. The most recent similar case dates from the Bush administration, when Afia Siddique was detained in Afghanistan by U.S. troops in 2008 for attempting to shoot U.S. military personnel. She was quickly brought to New York,  convicted, and sentenced to 86 years in prison. During the Clinton administration, Mir Aimal Kasi stood outside CIA headquarters in Virginia in 1995 and murdered two CIA employees as they drove into work. He was captured in Pakistan in 1997 and brought to Virginia for trial, convicted of murder, and executed in 2002.

Neither of these cases or the others like them produced negative responses from conservatives. Once the Obama administration did it, however, conservatives were outraged.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that “Congress has spoken clearly multiple times … of the perils of bringing terrorists onto U.S. soil.”

What perils? There has never been a terrorist attack related to the trial or incarceration of terrorists in the United States.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said, “A foreign national who fought on behalf of al Shabaab in Somali—and who was captured by our military overseas—should be tried in a military commission, not a federal civilian court in New York or anywhere else in our country.”

Forcing all prosecutions of suspected terrorists into military commissions has political appeal because it sounds tougher than using criminal courts. But let’s look closer at that military commission option.

First off, Warsame has been charged only with conspiracy and military support for terrorism. Those offenses are available in military commissions but neither has ever been considered a war crime. For that reason, the Department of Justice believes that convictions on those offenses in military commissions are susceptible to being overturned on appeal.

Further, the extremely short record of military-commissions cases based on conspiracy or material support reveals that those convicted receive short sentences and are quickly transferred back to their home countries and released. The most famous of these cases was that of Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s driver, who was sentenced to only five additional months in custody. The Bush administration sent him home to Yemen soon after.

U.S. criminal courts, on the other hand, have an excellent record at convicting terrorists. In a case analogous to Hamdan’s, Ali Asad Chandia was convicted in 2006 of providing material support for terrorism for driving a member of Lashkar-e-Taibi from Washington National Airport to spots around the D.C. area. His sentence was 15 years. So bin Laden’s driver got five months from a military commission but driving an unknown member of a lesser-known terrorist group resulted in a 15-year sentence in a criminal court.

Since the 9/11 attacks, U.S. criminal courts have locked up more than 200 individuals on terrorism charges while military-commissions convictions can be counted on one hand.

American presidents of both parties have relied on criminal courts for decades because they are extremely effective at convicting suspected terrorists and have an excellent record of producing reliable and actionable intelligence information. Today’s conservatives are trying to deny the U.S. government this valuable tool because they are more interested in using political weapons against President Barack Obama than counterterrorism weapons against America’s enemies.

 

By: Ken Gude, Managing Director of the National Security and International Policy Program, Center for American Progress, July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011 Posted by | 911, Congress, Conservatives, Foreign Policy, GOP, Government, Ideologues, Ideology, Justice Department, National Security, Neo-Cons, Politics, President Obama, Republicans, Right Wing, Terrorism | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Republican Supreme Court Sticks It To The Little Guy (Again)

Once again the United States Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has shown the nation it will always favor corporations over people even if it means conjuring new law out of thin air.  Like Citizens United, the recent 5-4 ruling in AT&T’s favor gutting the power of consumers to file class-action lawsuits against giant corporations tips the scales of justice against the people and renders the enormous power of corporations even more enormous.

When I first heard about the case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion there was little doubt in my mind that the Gang of Five — John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas would figure out a way to ignore Supreme Court precedent and again apply their judicial activism in service to the corporations, and by extension, to the oligarchy they apparently believe the “founders” intended.

It’s kind of funny when we see Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romeny, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich pandering to the “little guy” denouncing “elites” who are trampling on their rights only to remain mute on the fact that their beloved Republican Supreme Court never, ever rules in favor of the “little guy.”

The Republican president Ronald Reagan gave us Scalia and Kennedy; the Republican president George Herbert Walker Bush gave us Thomas; and the Republican president George W. Bush gave us Roberts and Alito.  This cabal has shown over and over again where its true loyalties lie, not to “the law,” not to “the Constitution,” not to “calling balls and strikes,” but to a 21st century version of corporate feudalism.  This new corporate feudalism that the High Court is determined to thrust on the nation is even more exploitative than the earlier brand of Medieval feudalism because it is absent noblesse oblige.

The serfs toiling on the corporate plantation can only continue to pay Chase and Bank of America for their underwater mortgages, ExxonMobil and Chevron for their $4 a gallon gas, and AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and the rest for the privilege of communicating in a modern society.  And if the serfs seek redress the High Court will slap them down before they can get anything substantial off the ground.  With Citizens United placing a stranglehold of corporate power over our state, local, and federal system of elections, we cannot turn to our political “leaders” for redress, we can’t turn to the courts, and we certainly can’t turn to trying to morally persuade sociopathic non-human entities called corporations — so where does that leave us?

In the current context of unrestrained corporate dominance it’s unconscionable that the Obama administration has not done more to blunt its disastrous effects.  The Justice and Treasury Departments, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, etc. could be doing a hell of a lot more in bringing balance to the equation of corporations versus people.  The administration’s lagging performance in holding Wall Street accountable is well known, but it won’t even lift a finger to block grotesque mergers like the one between Comcast and NBC Universal, and AT&T and T Mobile.  In all these mergers and acquisitions it’s always the consumers and the employees who lose, while the CEOs and a select few of shareholders and financiers make out like the bandits they are.

Nothing illustrates the corruption rampant in Washington more than the recent resignation of Federal Communications Commission member, Meredith Attwell Baker, a Republican who Obama appointed to show how “bipartisan” he can be, who is now going to work as a lavishly paid shill for the very industry she was supposedly “regulating.”  Ms. Baker will now make the big bucks serving Comcast/NBC Universal after she voted for the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.  Sweet.   And few in the Beltway see anything unsavory about it.

Our political leaders, our Supreme Court, our captains of industry and finance, are so out of touch it’s going to be a long, long time before ordinary working people see any relief.  All of our institutions, political, economic, even religious, social, and cultural, all of them, are failing the people miserably in pursuit of the Almighty Buck.  The cunning game of appointing young ideologues to the bench has paid off handsomely for the corporate power structure.  Someone should tell those people running around in tri-cornered hats and talking about the “founders” that it might be wise to save an ounce of their collective wrath for the Republicans who have appointed five Justices who are trampling on individual freedoms in service of corporations.

By: Joseph A. Palermo, The Huffington Post, May 15, 2011

May 15, 2011 Posted by | Big Business, Businesses, Congress, Consumers, Corporations, Elections, Justice Department, Lawmakers, Politics, Regulations, Supreme Court | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Boehner Thinks We’re “Broke” But He’s Willing To Splurge

When the Obama administration announced that it no longer considers the Defense of Marriage Act constitutional, and would stop defending the law against court challenges, officials told Congress it could step in and defend DOMA if it wants to. Soon after, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the House would gladly to just that.

Yesterday, Boehner’s office announced it has hired former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to defend the discriminatory law, which seems like a wise choice. Clement is an accomplished attorney with extensive experience who’ll no doubt do a capable job.

But Clement is also a very well paid D.C. attorney, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would like to know what Boehner expects this little culture-war endeavor to cost. For that matter, Pelosi found it curious that the Speaker hired an attorney to represent the House, but hasn’t shared the contract with other congressional leaders.

Today, the picture started coming together.

House Republicans plan to pay former Solicitor General Paul Clement and his legal team from King & Spaulding as much as $500,000 of taxpayer money to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on behalf of House of Representatives, according to a document obtained by the Huffington Post.

“The General Counsel agrees to pay the Contractor for all contractual services rendered a sum not to exceed $500,000.00,” the Contract for Legal Services obtained by The Huffington Post says. The cap could be raised “by written agreement between the parties with the approval” of the House, the document states.

The hourly rate that King & Spaulding will be receiving is $520 per hour — which could actually be considered a deal. Some reports say that the firm’s top attorneys receive as much as $900 per hour.

Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told Amanda Terkel, “The hypocrisy of this legal boondoggle is mind-blowing. Speaker Boehner is spending half a million dollars of taxpayer money to defend discrimination. If Republicans were really interested in cutting spending, this should be at the top of the list.”

That seems more than fair. After all, Boehner has been running around for months, falsely claiming, “We’re broke.” It’s how he justifies proposed cuts in critical areas like education, medical research, infrastructure, job training, and homeland security, even if it makes the jobs crisis much worse.

But if we’re actually broke, shouldn’t House Republicans want to save $500,000 of our money, and not give it to one high-priced lawyer to defend an anti-gay law?

By: Steve Benen, Washington Monthly, Political Animal, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011 Posted by | Bigotry, Budget, Class Warfare, Congress, Conservatives, Constitution, Deficits, Democracy, Democrats, DOJ, Education, Equal Rights, GOP, Government, Ideology, Jobs, Justice Department, Politics, President Obama, Republicans, Right Wing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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