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As we forge ahead to the new legislative session, it is important that we internalize the lessons of the dismal failures from last session.Most of the dominant and sundry legislative battles last year can be explicated by the inane cycle of Republican capitulation. It goes something like this:Democrats propose some odious and profligate legislative idea or budget bill. Conservatives advocate that we uproot the entire premise of the destructive legislation by drawing a line in the sand on the principles that got us elected. Republican leaders eschew conservative principles and acquiesce to the premise that the Democrat legislation or budget is a priority too big to fail. They telegraph the message to Democrats that they will never let the budget bill or stimulus proposal fail, but promise to make them pay for it with reforms or other spending offsets.Inevitably, Democrats unite against the GOP leadership proposal, and we are left with the GOP caving on the spending without the offsets. Then they unequivocally swear to stick it to the Democrats during the next budget battle by finally utilizing their leverage. Repeat and rinse and needed. As the saying goes, the rest is history.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Well, it looks like Iowa and New Hampshire both get to claim one official victim in the 2012 GOP Presidential sweepstakes as Jon Huntsman is announcing today that he is going to be the first to follow Michele Bachmann out the door. Huntsman never managed to get off the floor nationally, and wasn’t able to make enough of a dent in New Hampshire (the one state he actively campaigned in) to gain sufficient momentum and money to carry his campaign forward. So he made one of the few sensible political choices he’s made in this run and decided to drop out while he’s not too far behind.Governor Huntsman was good enough to sit down and talk with me at relative length during the campaign season (see here), and I came away liking Huntsman much more than I did going in. However, even in that interview you could see the seeds of political tone-deafness that ultimately doomed Huntsman’s campaign. For instance, Huntsman is the only Presidential candidate I am aware of who has kicked off his campaign by taking a job working for the incumbent he hopes to defeat. I cannot for the life of me understand why or how Huntsman was unable to perceive how this would play with the GOP primary electorate. Ultimately, I get how and why Huntsman took the job as ambassador to China; he should have understood, however, that it was a choice that would make it impossible for him to run for President in 2012.Please click here for the rest of the post.
Meet Jessica Shearer, Executive Director of the Healthcare Education Project at 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. In the 14-minute video below, Ms. Shearer, sitting in a panel discussion (with an unknown Tea Party activist beside her), discusses a variety of topics, such as:
- The current excitement over the OccupyWallSt movement and what it means to the union movement
- The inability of unions to motivate their own members
- The half-empty buses to last year's One Nation rally
- The election Barack Obama and the subsequent disappointment on his (and the SEIU's) "caving" on health care reform
- The failure of Barack Obama's Organizing for America to realize its potential
- ...and much more
View the video in its entirety. It is an insightful look into the mind of a SEIU activist and insider...a collectivist.Please click here for the rest of the post.