With Walker Out, Jeb! Makes Play To Become New Koch Favorite With Big Oil-Giveaway Plan
Today Jeb W. Bush rolls out his low energy plan for America. Spoiler alert: Jeb will announce his fossil-friendly, anti-climate plan from the site of an oil and gas company that has been a serial offender of environmental violations. Jeb’s plan promises to provide backwards-looking ideas like more fossil fuels, fracking and horizontal drilling, and some more fossil fuels. What solutions does Jeb offer for addressing climate change? Zip. What’s Jeb’s plan to transition away from finite fossil fuels to a clean energy economy? Zero. What answers does Jeb have for reducing pollution for current and future generations? Zilch.
If Jeb’s all-fossil-fuels-agenda and rejection of responsible efforts to address climate change feels like a blast from the past, that's because it is. Jeb’s energy advisors are a who's who of former George W. Bush advisors, showing once again why a Jeb presidency would be nothing more than a third term for George W. Bush. Like his brother, who let Big Oil write his environmental policy, Jeb derides voters as “arrogant” if they believe the 97% of scientific community that climate change is real and man-made and has vowed to block any real progress like the President’s Clean Power Plan under the false pretense that it will hurt the economy, when independent analysts conclude it will actually create a quarter million jobs. Jeb’s Big-Oil give away proposal shows he would rather be the Koch brother’s new favorite candidate than listen to 97% of scientists or even Republican pollsters who have shown that a majority of self-described conservative Republicans agree that climate change is man-made and poses a real threat.
09.29.15 | permalink
At a fundraiser with George tonight, will Jeb tell donors he’ll ‘Keep Us Safe’ like his brother, who ignored 9/11 warnings and misled the nation into a needless, bloody war in Iraq that fueled terrorist recruitment?
Watch AUFC TV Ad “Safe?” Airing Nationwide This Week That Put Jeb on the Defensive
If Jeb thinks George ‘kept us safe’ even after 9/11, then the last thing we need is another Bush in the White House. For some reason, Jeb seems eager to have a debate over his brother’s failed tenure as Commander in Chief – but by all means, he should go on about how the Iraq war was a ‘good deal.’
REALITY CHECK: George W. Bush Did Not “Keep Us Safe”, A Story Told in Headlines
- New York Times, Sep 10, 2012: ‘The Bush White House Was Deaf to 9/11 Warnings’
- ABC News, May 16, 2002: ‘Bush Warned of Hijackings Before 9-11’
- Washington Post, March 25, 2004: ‘Ex-Aide Recounts Terror Warnings ; Clarke Says Bush Didn't Consider Al Qaeda Threat a Priority Before 9/11’
- L.A. Times, Mar 25, 2004: ‘Terror Not a Bush Priority Before 9/11, Witness Says’
- USA Today, 1/12/2004: ‘[Bush's Treasury secretary] O'Neill: Iraq planning came before 9/11’
- Boston Globe, January 11, 2004: ‘Bush began Iraq plan pre-9/11, O'Neill says
- New York Times, September 24, 2006: Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat’
- Washington Post, Sep 24, 2006: Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Hurting U.S. Terror Fight: The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.
- CBS News, September 24, 2006: Report: Iraq War Made Terror 'Worse'
- Huffington Post, 06/13/2008: ‘Senate Report: Bush Used Iraq Intel He Knew Was False’
- *Bonus Quote: President George W. Bush on Bin Laden, March 13, 2002 – just 6 months after 9/11 : “I just don't spend that much time on him... we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.”
Reaction to Jeb’s Categorical and Delusional Declaration at the Debate that His Brother ‘Kept Us Safe’ :
- New York Times editorial board, Sept. 17: Jeb Bush spun a particularly repellent fantasy. Speaking reverently of his brother the president, he said, “He kept us safe,” and invoked the carnage of 9/11. Wait, what? Did he mean George W. Bush, who was warned about the threat that Al Qaeda would attack? Who then invaded a non sequitur country, Iraq, over a nonexistent threat?
- MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: “Well, he kept us safe, except for that one night. The Secret Service kept Lincoln safe except that one night.”
- Salon, Sept. 17: Jeb Bush’s noxious myth: Dubya didn’t “keep us safe” — he made the world infinitely more dangerous: Look, the Bush family can harbor whatever delusions they like within the privacy of their home. Whatever they have to tell themselves to feel better about the catastrophe that was George W. Bush’s presidency is fine by me. But this patently untrue trope has to die. And the fact that the audience rapturously applauded this remark makes it all the more urgent to correct the record. There’s nothing to debate here: George W. Bush didn’t keep us safe. I’m continually struck by the collective amnesia of the Republican Party. Yes, Jeb, we do “remember the rubble.” That mountain of rubble was the ruins of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed on your brother’s watch. And yes, Jeb, we also remember that it was your brother who received a presidential briefing just one month before those towers fell to the earth, warning him that Bin Laden was “determined to strike in U.S.”
- New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, Sept. 17: It is bizarre to center your defense of Bush having “kept us safe” with a photograph of him standing on the rubble from the worst domestic mass-casualty attack in American history, one that took place under his watch. In 2004, news emerged of a briefing Bush received warning of an impending attack. Subsequent revelations shows that this understates the intelligence Bush had presented to him. The administration dismissed not just one briefing but, as Kurt Eichenwald disclosed three years ago, many warnings of an impending attack by Al Qaeda, believing the intelligence was a disinformation campaign coordinated with Saddam Hussein to distract from Iraq.
- Slate, Sept. 16, 2015: Jeb Cites 9/11 Rubble in Claiming George W. Bush Kept America Safe : Citing the deadliest attack on U.S. soil in history as evidence that someone protected Americans from being killed doesn’t literally make sense.
- Think Progress, Sept. 16, 2016: Bush has oscillated on his brother’s foreign policy record over the course of his campaign. He’s both said he would not have gone into Iraq and also that the war that cost billions was a “good deal.” Many of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy advisers also advised his brother. Today, George W. Bush is one of the country’s least popular ex-presidents.
- Talking Points Memo, Sept. 16: George W. Bush was President when about 3,000 Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. He also authorized the subsequent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, during which more than 4,400 American lives and 115,000 Iraqi lives where lost. Jeb has waded into George’s Iraq War record before, saying he would have invaded Iraq even given the intelligence we have now, before backtracking.
- Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “It’s as if Jeb Bush believes his brother’s presidency began on September 12th, 2001. But we’re not letting Jeb rewrite history. It’s convenient but not honest to ignore the facts that the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor happened on George W. Bush’s watch after dismissing warnings from U.S. intelligence officials weeks before 9/11 that Osama bin Laden was ‘determined to strike in US’ and that his terrorist network might hijack American planes. Terrorism was a low priority for Bush before 9/11, and just six months after 9/11, catching the mastermind behind it wasn’t one either, stating “I truly am not that concerned about him.” By that time, the Bush administration was too busy cherry-picking intelligence to mislead the nation into a senseless, $3 trillion war against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 -- a war that cost over 4,000 Americans their lives, left tens of thousands more injured and served as a major recruitment tool for terrorists. In what was the exact opposite of ‘keeping us safe’, a 2006 intelligence report concluded the Iraq war in fact "made the overall terrorism problem worse.” Jeb surrounding himself with many of his brother’s old advisors that helped sell the disastrous war in Iraq may well explain his rosy revisionism today. But if Jeb Bush really believes his brother kept us safe, then Jeb Bush is the last person Americans should entrust their safety to.”
09.23.15 | permalink
SOURCE: Correct the Record
Jeb Bush on Medicare: “We need to figure out a way to phase out this program.” “Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that we ought to phase out Medicare, the federal program that provides health insurance to Americans once they’re 65. ‘We need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits,’ Bush said. ‘But we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they’re not going to have anything.’” [Huffington Post, 7/23/15]
Jeb Bush: Medicare is an “entitlement” and “an actuarially unsound healthcare system.” “During a town hall meeting here Thursday afternoon, Jeb Bush was put on the defensive about his comments Wednesday night about ‘phasing out’ Medicare by an elderly woman who said she was worried about losing benefits she’s spent years paying for. ‘We’re not going to have adequate coverage for our children or our grandchildren without Medicare. I paid into that for years and years just like all these other seniors here and now you want to take it away?’ said the woman, who did not identify herself and left before the town hall concluded. ‘Why are you always attacking the seniors?’ ‘Well, I’m not,’ Bush responded. ‘Here’s what I said: I said we’re going to have to reform our entitlement system. We have to.’ ‘It’s not an entitlement,’ the woman shot back. ‘I earned that.’ ‘It’s an actuarially unsound healthcare system,’ said Bush, who said something must be done before the system burdens future generations with $50 billion of debt.” [Politico, 7/23/15]
Scott Walker said that cutting “entitlement programs” like Medicare and Social Security is “something that has to be done.” “The governor said entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, are expanding the federal budget deficit. Cutting entitlements won’t hurt the economy, he said. ‘I don’t think that has a negative impact on the economy,’ he said. ‘Politically, it may be a challenge for some folks in this town, but it’s something that has to be done.’” [Bloomberg, 2/23/15]
Marco Rubio supported turning Medicare into a voucher system. “Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, the Florida Republican said he supports gradually raising the Social Security retirement age, which now sits at 67, for future beneficiaries, and embraced Rep. Paul Ryan’s push to transition Medicare into a ‘premium-support’ plan, where seniors would be given a voucher to buy insurance on the private market. ‘I propose we transition to a premium-support system, which would give seniors a generous but fixed amount of money with which to purchase health insurance from either Medicare or a private provider,’ Mr. Rubio said. ‘The choice would be theirs to make.’” [Washington Times, 5/13/14]
Marco Rubio claimed that Medicare and Social Security had “weakened us as a people.” “In another sign that Medicare and Social Security will continue to be major issues in political campaigning and ongoing deficit reduction talks, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has drawn flak this week from Democrats and retirement experts for his comments that such programs have ‘weakened us as a people.’ Democrats called Rubio ‘out of touch’ and ‘beholden to the extremist Tea Party’ for his comments in a speech Tuesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in California.” [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 8/25/11]
Ben Carson said he would eliminate Medicare. “Dr. Carson also advocates an alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Most people could pay most of their medical bills through health savings accounts, he said in his office. He would eliminate Medicaid and Medicare, and for the poor, government would make the contributions to their health accounts.” [New York Times, 3/20/13]
Rand Paul introduced legislation “that would end traditional Medicare.” “A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress. The ‘Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act’ would allow seniors to choose from the array of plans currently offered to the four million federal employees and their dependents in the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, starting in 2014. It would also gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 70 over a 20-year period. The bill was introduced Thursday by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). South Carolina Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint are co-sponsors, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).” [The Hill, 3/15/12]
Chris Christie called for an increase in the Medicare retirement age. “The New Jersey governor, in a speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, called for means testing Social Security, raising the retirement age for Social Security to 69 and gradually raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 by the year 2040.” [WMUR Manchester, 4/14/15]
Rick Perry suggested that Medicare was unconstitutional and a “Ponzi scheme.” “Perry, who referred to the justices as ‘nine oligarchs in robes,’ said he was not convinced that Social Security and Medicare were constitutional. ‘I don’t think our Founding Fathers, when they were putting the term ‘general welfare’ in there, were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of healthcare,’ he said in a book interview with Newsweek last fall. ‘Whether it’s Social Security, whether it’s Medicaid, whether it’s Medicare … they’re bankrupt. They’re a Ponzi scheme. I challenge anybody to stand up and defend the Social Security program that we have today.’” [Los Angeles Times, 8/23/11]
07.27.15 | permalink
The Jeb Bush campaign is blowing it in Iowa. He's getting “torched” in the polls, ducking the straw poll and there's even debate that he'll skip the caucuses altogether. So why is it that the Bush campaign is tanking so bad in Iowa?
For one possibility, let's rewind the tape to 2012. Many, including Obama's own campaign manager, credited Romney's loss in Iowa to a fairly simple, untenable position: Opposition to wind production tax credits, which effect about 6,000 jobs in Iowa. During the 2012 campaign Romney not only opposed the wind production tax credit, he lambasted such subsidies as "boondoggles" from an economic "imaginary world". Maybe it's the same imaginary world where he carries Iowa, because the wind energy tax credits Romney lambasted were also supported by Iowa's Republican Governor, Terry Branstad, and by both Iowa Senators. Heck, even Congressman Steve King supports them. After Romney voiced opposition to the credits, Senator Chuck Grassley said it “felt it was just like a knife in my back". Governor Branstad said Romney's campaign was full of a "bunch of east coast people that need to get out here in the real world to find out what’s really going on.” The Obama campaign hammered him with ads over the issue.
In that same cycle, the Koch brothers’ network stated their goal was to make the Wind PTC “toxic” to Republicans. The oil tycoon brother’s and their network, including Americans for Prosperity, American Tradition Institute, American Energy Alliance and Heritage Foundation have all actively campaigned against the Wind Industry and the PTC.
This brings us back to Jeb Bush who made the strange anti-Iowa move of announcing that he wants to “phase out” any credits for renewables such as the wind production tax credit. But while Bush has been tanking in Iowa, the good news is he’s been offered an audition spot for the Koch brother’s billion-dollar shadow primary.
So why would Bush turn his back on Iowa and repeat such a glaring Romney mistake? It doesn't take a weatherman to know.
05.19.15 | permalink
Dear 47 GOP Senators (you know who you are):
Congratulations on your “breathtakingly reckless intrusion into international diplomacy”. We’re impressed by the “almost maniacal…zeal to deny the president any accomplishments”, despite being completely “unconscious of the damage [you’ve] done to [yourselves]”.
Some people might say that “the senators who signed the letter should be ashamed”, that the letter “amounts to an act of End Times warmongering or merely another bit of cringe-worthy buffoonery on the global stage”. But we stand in awe of this “petulant, condescending stunt”, “depressingly partisan as it is shortsighted”.
It takes a heavy set to “play a role as Official Underminer of a president's direct negotiations”. Real talk: “it’s not every day that a United States senator attempts to… weaken the nation in one cursive swoop”. You may “have done immeasurable harm to [your] image and U.S. credibility in world affairs”, but above all your “disregard for the national security interests of the country…calls into question [your] claims that [your] party can be trusted to govern”.
But governing wasn’t ever the goal, right? “If [you] blow up nuclear talks, it makes war with Iran that much more likely — and nobody would benefit as much from that war as military contractors”… the same ones Tom Cotton met with the day after he sent the letter. Of course it’s not “beyond the pale to write to the leaders of a potential enemy to sabotage the negotiations”!
So who cares about “the credibility of the nation whose constitution [you] took an oath to uphold”. We know your “foreign policy agitprop has moved beyond being merely partisan to downright dangerous” entirely on purpose.
Americans United for Change
with help from:
The Boston Globe
The San Francisco Chronicle
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Salt Lake Tribune
The New York Daily News
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Arizona Republic
The Concord Monitor
The Courier Journal
The Baltimore Sun
The Washington Post
The Sacramento Bee
The Detroit Free Press
The News & Observer
03.11.15 | permalink
03.06.15 | permalink
Just hours before the Department of Homeland Security was set to shut down at the hands of Republicans, Speaker of the House John Boehner threw up one last Hail Mary toward avoiding governing at all costs and kicking the American Security can down the road. Instead, he lost 52 House Republicans and his 3-week continuing resolution went down 203-224. As can be expected, another in a long list of failures by the House GOP leadership was not lost on the Twitterverse.
Wow… Once again, Boehner can't get the votes— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) February 27, 2015
this is biggest repudiation @SpeakerBoehner has suffered yet— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) February 27, 2015
How could anyone watch this and say tax reform, immigration or, frankly, anything will happen this year.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) February 27, 2015
A disaster for Boehner, House votes 203-224 to kill three-week stop-gap that would have kept DHS afloat -- seven hours before deadline— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 27, 2015
It was only a 3 week funding measure — to buy Boehner time for courts to rule — and the GOP wouldn't back him. Amazing.— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) February 27, 2015
Can't help but look at this vote as a rebuke of the GOP leadership. Boehner was only looking for 3 weeks and 20% of the Conf bolted— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 27, 2015
JUST IN: Boehner fails again. The House votes down his plan to stop Department of Homeland Security shutting down. http://t.co/SXmEzfucEB— POLITICO (@politico) February 27, 2015
Speaker Boehner is not listening to these voices inside his own tent... pic.twitter.com/bNyLKo5G58— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) February 27, 2015
The question Speaker Boehner simply cannot answer: what good is a leader whose ostensible followers ignore him?— Steve Benen (@stevebenen) February 27, 2015
Boehner seems to be backed into a corner now that he's managed to avoid for 4 years— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) February 27, 2015
Cantor Effect: Brat voted no on DHS. And brought 4 other Va Rs with him - Forbes, Hurt, Griffith, Wittman. All usually reliable for Boehner.— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) February 27, 2015
Mo Brooks has no confidence in leadership. Bets Boehner goes for full cave, Sept. 30 clean CR. Warns to not put any money on it in Vegas tho— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 27, 2015
Will John Boehner now step down as Speaker? "Leadership aides and key lawmakers didn’t reject the idea outright.” http://t.co/KESapPR9LR— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) February 27, 2015
Why conservatives just knifed Boehner: `Leadership set the stage for this' by agreeing to fund most of the govt in Dec., said Rep. Fleming.— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiPrzybyla) February 27, 2015
02.27.15 | permalink
Republicans in the House and Senate have finally accepted the truth that they were only able to acknowledge as a possibility before: GOP Leadership has NO plan for funding Homeland Security beyond the February 27th deadline if the Senate cannot pass their current bill. But coming to terms with the truth and reacting with common sense are not mutually exclusive Republican traits.
In response to their utter failure to undermine the President’s very popular executive action on immigration, Republicans won’t try to work with Democrats to pass their own immigration bill and fully fund DHS. Instead, they’ll dig back into the tried-and-true GOP playbook to do the only thing they’re really good at: ramping up rhetoric and shouting louder than anyone else.
On Wednesday morning, Speaker John Boehner challenged Senate Democrats to “get off their ass” to pass the stunted DHS spending bill. Knowing his use of “ass” would get him plenty of press over the next few days, Boehner was able to ignore that his counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has already punted the ball back to the House and, more importantly, the President has promised to veto the bill.
But the loudest, most divisive voice came from Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who pulled out his crystal ball to do some blamesplaining (emphasis ours):
Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, who is up for reelection in blue Illinois in 2016, was more direct. "If they're cynically trying to restart the government-shutdown battle, they should be blamed directly. … It's a very dangerous game. If we have a successful terrorist attack—all the dead Americans from that should be laid at the feet of the Democratic caucus," Kirk said.
He wasn’t done (emphasis, again, ours):
“The Republicans — if there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown — we should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans,’” Kirk said Tuesday.
So how did we get to the point where a sitting US Senator decided it’d be advantageous to himself and his party to foretell of terrorism and dead Americans? It’s a short walk off a long pier:
1. The House of Representatives refuses to vote on the bipartisan Senate immigration bill in the 113th Congress.
2. President Barack Obama, seeing the inaction in the House, goes ahead and uses executive action to bring relief to millions of families in the United States.
3. Knowing Republicans would hate this, the President gives them a way out: “Pass A Bill”
4. House Republicans don’t pass a bill.
5. The new Republican majority in both chambers of Congress move to prevent the President’s immigration action through legislation, which doesn’t work.
6. The clock towards a very unsavory Department of Homeland Security shutdown starts to tick louder.
7. Republicans blame Democrats for the deaths of (literally countless because they don’t exist) Americans in (literally countless because they don’t exist) terrorist attacks, all because…
1. The House of Representatives refused to vote on the bipartisan Senate immigration bill in the 113th Congress.
Republicans in Congress can yell above the noise all they want, but their job isn’t to be heard; it’s to ACT. They need to pass a clean DHS funding bill to protect those who protect our homeland.
02.11.15 | permalink
This week at the Democratic retreat in Philadelphia, we saw President Obama and members of Congress energized, ‘fired up’ and ready to make a forceful case for progressive policy priorities that will help working families. Meanwhile, as January comes to a close, it’s clear that the first month of this new Tea Party Congress has been full of division, dysfunction and extreme votes, or as one Republican member of Congress put it:
“Week one, we had a speaker election that did not go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we got into a big fight over deporting children, something that a lot of us didn't want to have a discussion about. Week three, we are now talking about rape and incest and reportable rapes and incest for minors. … I just can't wait for week four.” - Congressman Charlie Dent (R-PA)
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
But unfortunately, week four was no better, with Republicans continuing to propose their extreme policies that would be disastrous for our country:
- Republicans have already made clear their intention to play politics with Homeland Security funding in a reckless effort to stop the President’s immigration executive action that will keep families together. Polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support the President’s path on immigration, and a CBO estimate out this week showed that the House Republicans’ anti-immigrant DHS funding bill would actually increase the deficit by $7.5 billion. This week also saw Republicans stumble on their border bill – legislation that the Secretary of Homeland Security called "extreme to the point of being unworkable" – because they didn’t have the votes on their side for it. Another example of leadership in disarray.
- Polling has also shown that the Democrats’ vision of tax fairness and the middle class priorities laid out by the President in his State of the Union address enjoy wide public support, while the GOP’s trickle-down approach does not. Yet that didn’t stop John Boehner and Mitch McConnell from going on 60 minutes this week to announce that progressive efforts to lift the middle class were “Dead, real dead” in the eyes of Republicans.
- The Department of Health and Human Services also announced this week that the Affordable Care Act is working, as 9.5 million Americans have signed up for coverage. So what did Tea Party extremists in Congress do? Double down on their failed efforts to stop this critical law. They announced their intention to block any attempt to restore the subsidies making health insurance more affordable for an estimated 6.1 million Americans should the Supreme Court strike them down.So what does week five of Republican control of Congress have in store for us? Attempting for the umpteenth time to repeal Obamacare!
So what does week five of Republican control of Congress have in store for us? Attempting for the umpteenth time to repeal Obamacare!
That doesn’t sound like a winning plan to us.
01.30.15 | permalink