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Hullabaloo


Friday, April 08, 2016

 
Warren speaks for the reality based community

by digby


















Elizabeth Warren has no illusions about what's gone wrong in Washington. She wrote an op-ed today spelling it out:
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM recently appeared on “The Daily Show’’ to endorse Ted Cruz for president. During the interview, host Trevor Noah ran an earlier clip in which Graham said that the choice between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz was like picking between getting shot or poisoned. Graham shrugged and said he’d decided to support Cruz because, well, Cruz is poison and maybe there is an antidote. What an endorsement!

The question that Graham and Noah didn’t discuss is how the Republicans painted themselves into this corner. The answer, at least in part, can be found in the Senate, where Republicans have spent years nurturing the extremism for which Trump and Cruz are merely the next logical step. In other words: Republican senators laid the foundation for their presidential front-runners.

Barack Obama won two consecutive elections and has been president for seven years. But since the first day of his presidency, Republican leaders have rejected his legitimacy and abused the rules of the Senate in an all-out effort to cripple the government under his leadership. They refused to try to make government better — opting instead to try to shut down government altogether rather than to accept a functioning government led by someone they didn’t like.

In 2013, as Obama began his second term, Republican leaders flatly rejected his authority to confirm any judges to fill any of three open seats on the second-highest court in the country, and Democrats had to change the filibuster rules in order to move those nominees forward. Once Republicans took over the Senate in 2015, judicial confirmations nearly ground to a halt.

And it wasn’t just judges. Senate Republicans tried to block the president’s nominees to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, the agency that resolves disputes between workers and their bosses. They held up the president’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that defends consumers from shady practices in the financial sector. They held up the president’s nominees to fill top positions in the Environmental Protection Agency, the office that helps ensure that the air we breathe and the water we drink is safe. Republicans had few objections to specific nominees — they simply wanted to keep posts vacant and shut down as many parts of government as they could... 
For seven years, through artificial debt ceiling crises, deliberate government shutdowns, and intentional confirmation blockades, Senate Republicans have acted as though the election and reelection of Obama relieved them of any responsibility to do their jobs. Senate Republicans embraced the idea that government shouldn’t work at all unless it works only for themselves and their friends. The campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the next logical outgrowth of the same attitude — if you can’t get what you want, just ignore the obligations of governing, then divert attention and responsibility by wallowing in a toxic stew of attacks on Muslims, women, Latinos, and each other. 
There's more. Read on. She tells it like it is.

If you are worried about such gargantuan problems as climate change, income inequality, human rights then job one is to make sure that these people are not given the reins to the most powerful nation on earth at their moment of peak lunacy. It is simply unthinkable.

Here's Ted Cruz on climate change talking all kinds of "populist" talk designed to lull people into thinking he cares about the working man. He's one slick piece of work:

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If climate change were a TV show, a hearing in Washington yesterday would be counterprogramming. Senator Ted Cruz held a hearing. He showcased witnesses who questioned the findings of climate science. On the same day, he came by to make his case to us.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Republican presidential candidate raised this issue just as negotiators discuss climate change in Paris. Nearly 200 countries are working out commitments to fight it. None are questioning facts like those on a climate webpage published by NASA.

INSKEEP: NASA says carbon dioxide is at its highest level in 650,000 years. It says 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have come in this century, and Arctic ice has reached its lowest levels on record.

GREENE: For most scientists, debates over human-caused climate change center not on whether it's happening but just how big it will be or how quickly it's coming.

INSKEEP: But climate change remains a subject of fierce partisan debate in the United States. At his hearing yesterday, Senator Cruz heard from scientists as well as an activist who have questioned the science. And in our studios, he offered a reason why he believes vast numbers of scientists have bent their findings.

What do you think about what is seen as a broad scientific consensus that there is man-caused climate change?

TED CRUZ: Well, I believe that public policy should follow the science and follow the data. I am the son of two mathematicians and computer programmers and scientists. In the debate over global warming, far too often politicians in Washington - and for that matter, a number of scientists receiving large government grants - disregard the science and data and instead push political ideology. You and I are both old enough to remember 30, 40 years ago, when, at the time, we were being told by liberal politicians and some scientists that the problem was global cooling...

INSKEEP: There was a moment when some people said that.

CRUZ: That we were facing the threat of an incoming ice age. And their solution to this problem is that we needed massive government control of the economy, the energy sector and every aspect of our lives. But then, as you noted, the data didn't back that up. So then, many of those same liberal politicians and a number of those same scientists switched their theory to global warming.

INSKEEP: This is a conspiracy, then, in your view.

CRUZ: No, this is liberal politicians who want government power over the economy, the energy sector and every aspect of our lives.

INSKEEP: And almost all the countries in the world have joined in to this approach?

CRUZ: So let me ask you a question, Steve. Is there global warming, yes or no?

INSKEEP: According to the scientists, absolutely.

CRUZ: I'm asking you.

INSKEEP: Sure.

CRUZ: OK, you are incorrect, actually. The scientific evidence doesn't support global warming. For the last 18 years, the satellite data - we have satellites that monitor the atmosphere. The satellites that actually measure the temperature showed no significant warming whatsoever.

INSKEEP: I'll just note that NASA analyzes that same data differently. But we can go on.

CRUZ: But no, they don't. You can go and look at the data. And by the way, this hearing - we have a number of scientists who are testifying about the data. But here's the key point. Climate change is the perfect pseudoscientific theory for a big government politician who wants more power. Why? Because it is a theory that can never be disproven.

INSKEEP: Do you question the science on other widely accepted issues - for example, evolution?

CRUZ: There is a fundamental difference, which is in the name of global warming, you have politicians trying to impose trillions of dollars of cost on the world. In the I-95 Corridor, among the Washington elite, global warming is very popular because it makes you feel good about caring for the world. But I'll tell you, you know who I'm concerned about? I'm concerned about the single mom waiting tables right now, who for seven years of the Obama economy has been trapped in stagnation. Her wages have been stagnating. It's harder and harder to make ends meet. And what the Washington elites are trying to do is double her energy bill.

INSKEEP: Do you question other science, like evolution?

CRUZ: Any good scientist questions all science. If you show me a scientist that stops questioning science, I'll show you someone who isn't a scientist. And I'll tell you, Steve. And I'll tell you why this has shifted. Look in the world of global warming. What is the language they use? They call anyone who questions the science - who even points to the satellite data - they call you a, quote, "denier." Denier is not the language of science. Denier is the language of religion. It is heretic. You are a blasphemer. It's treated as a theology. But it's about power and money. At the end of the day, it's not complicated. This is liberal politicians who want government power.

INSKEEP: You know that your critics would say that it's about power and money on your side. Let's not go there for the moment. But I want to ask about this. I want to ask about facts.

CRUZ: But hold on a second. Who's power - but let's stop. I mean, if you are going to...

INSKEEP: Energy industry, oil industry, Texas...

CRUZ: If you're going to toss an ad hominem.

INSKEEP: OK, not meaning to be an ad hominem. But you know. You know there are economic interests on all sides of this.

CRUZ: If you're going to toss an ad hominem, then let's actually respond because there's not a moral equivalency. You say it is about power and money. I'm trying to keep power with the American people. I'm trying to keep power with the single mom waiting tables not to drive up her energy bills. I'm trying to keep power with the teenage immigrant, like my dad was, washing dishes. Now, how is that about power and money other than keeping Washington out of their lives and making it easier for people to achieve the American dream? That's who I'm fighting for.

And here's Trump:


.