Stories to Watch: 7/2/11
I had a good time in Milwaukee. It seemed it was a good day to get the hell out of Madison. When we left here, it was hot and muggy and just awful. But Summerfest is right by the lake, so there was a nice breeze and the humidity was barely noticeable. All in all, a good call. Now here’s the news…
At this point in time, Herman Cain is probably not measuring the drapes for the Oval Office. How fickle the ‘baggers are.
In his weekly address, President Obama says we can’t afford tax breaks for “millionaires and billionaires.”
Reports of hacker group LulzSec’s death seem to have been greatly exaggerated.
The Department of Justice just called the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. This is kind of a big deal.
Mittens backs off his bogus claim that Obama has made the economy worse since Bush. Of course, he lies as he does so; “I didn’t say that things are worse,” Romney claims. Oh, yes you did.
Finally, Ezra Klein points out that the deficit is a problem that, if ignored, really will go away. The fight isn’t about how to eliminate the deficit, the fight is over how to cushion the blow. “We don’t really have a deficit problem. We have a Congress problem,” he writes. “Congress pretends otherwise, because they don’t want to take the blame for the deficit-effects of the legislation they plan to vote for, but that’s the truth of it.”
John Boehner (Almost) Creates One Job
Republicans have their eye on jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. You know this because they keep saying it. Which is good, because if they didn’t keep saying it, you’d never know. Apparently, creating jobs comes after firing everyone at NPR and Planned Parenthood on the big list of GOP priorities. And beginning to privatize Medicare in 2012. So 2013, I guess, after the elections. That’s when Republicans plan to work on getting people jobs.
One person who won’t have to wait to get a new job is a former Bushie, who Speaker Boehner thinks employing right now is the most important thing ever.
Earlier today, Speaker John Boehner’s (R) office announced that American taxpayers would pay former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. Clement, a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, is widely viewed as one of nation’s leading appellate attorneys. He is also one of the most expensive…
Clement is on track to make $5 million a year, the report tells us, so this guy’s not going to come cheap. But congratulations Speaker Boehner, you’re now on track to create one job. That is, if we’re generous. The guy already has a job, but you’re still throwing work his way.
See, back in February, President Obama announced that his administration wouldn’t defend the Defense Of Marriage Act — which bars the federal government from recognizing same sex unions — because he believed the law was unconstitutional. Republicans, who’d been making a lot of noise about states’ rights and the Tenth Amendment, decided this was the worst thing ever. Apparently, Republicans feel the same way about states’ right as they do about all their other of their basic, core beliefs — they’re for them until they’re not. State governments can bust up unions and deny their citizens healthcare, they can outlaw abortion and decree that brown people show their papers on demand, but if two men or two women want to get married, then states’ rights go out the window — who needs them? Apparently, states only have the right to oppress their citizens. If state governments start expanding freedom and recognizing new rights… Well, clearly something must be done.
And Boehner, being newly concerned about deficit spending, has a plan to both pay for this big-money lawyer and punish the administration for recognizing the Tenth Amendment.
Speaker John Boehner asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s for her support to cut funds for the Department of Justice and use them to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
In a letter sent to Pelosi (D-Calif.) Monday, Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote that the funds Justice would have used to protect the law should be used by the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to protect the act.
"The burden of defending DOMA, and the resulting costs associated with any litigation that would have otherwise been born by DoJ, has fallen to the House," Boehner wrote. "Obviously, DoJ’s decision results in DoJ no longer needing the funds it would have otherwise expended defending the constitutionality of DOMA. It is my intent that those funds be diverted to the House for reimbursement of any costs incurred by and associated with the House, and not DoJ, defending DOMA."
Justice won’t be defending DOMA, because that’s a waste of time, which means they won’t need the money for other things which aren’t a waste of time — like, you know, fighting terrorism and stuff. Can you imagine how the right would’ve reacted to Pelosi wanting to cut funding for the DoJ under Bush? “Siding with terrorists!” would’ve been the phrase of the month.
And is Boehner defending the will of the people, who don’t want same sex couples marrying their sweethearts? Not if you ask the people. The last poll on the issue — taken almost a month ago to the day — found that a clear majority (53%) supports marriage equality, while only 44% oppose. This is a trend toward marriage equality that’s been going on for some time. It’s not going to turn around. So Speaker Boehner wants to cut funding from federal law enforcement to pay for a big-money lawyer, who’ll then defend a law that most people don’t want.
At least he can say he created a job with a straight face. Well, almost anyway…