The full Republican media “noise” machine is rising up in a full-scale “hissy fit” because the President pointed out that Osama bin Laden was killed a year ago, under his watch. They are pretending to be absolutely outraged, accusing the President of politicizing the killing of bin Laden.
Yes, that would be the very same Republicans known for this:
Here is the 9-11 video shown at the Republican National Convention (oh, no, no politicizing here, look away, look away):
Yes, these Republicans: (Watch the whole video, and remember.)
This post originally appeared at Speak Out California
California’s elected Republicans continue to block any and all efforts to pass a budget, because any honest budget must ask the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share. Even the Governor’s extremely modest one cent sales tax increase was too much for them.
So let’s talk about paying a fair share. David Sirota has a good column today at the Campaign for America’s Future blog, The Aristocrats, Part II – Starring George Will. In the column Sirota writes about wealthy Republicans who complain when regular people get decent pay for performing services that benefit … guess who … wealthy Republicans. Sirota writes,
In a column about underfinanced municipal pension systems today, Will expresses deep anger that veteran police, firefighters and municipal workers eventually get paid well for their services. In one California town on San Francisco Bay, Will tells us that – gasp! – “after just five years, all police and firefighters are guaranteed lifetime health benefits.” The horror.
Such salaries and benefits, of course, are part of a bargain: Enticing people to turn down the high-paying private-sector job and instead run into burning buildings (firefighters), do the dangerous work of apprehending criminals (police), disposing of sewage (garbage collectors) and administrating all the other services that conservatives pretend aren’t necessary (municipal workers) requires, well, an enticement – namely, the promise that making such a public-minded choice will result in decent and stable pay and benefits.
When you accept a public sector job, that’s the bargain: In exchange for being willing to do a tough job and accepting that you won’t have the chance to make hundreds of millions dollars like a corporate CEO, you are rewarded with the chance – if you play by the rules – to make a pretty good living.
Yes, there is a BARGAIN at work here. We, the People have built a system that has been working pretty darn well for the rich. We built a system of roads, schools, courts, police departments and firefighters. We built up a system of laws. We work in the factories and offices.
So we built the system and the rules, and we enforce the rules, and it works out pretty darn well to make a few people really rich. But when we then ask for something BACK — pensions, health care, even worker safety laws — that is just too much. Never mind the bargain, the social compact that was in place. Asking for a penny sales tax increase or asking the wealthiest to pay the same sales taxes as the rest of us when they buy a yacht or jet, well NO that is just TOO much to ask! So they block the budget.
That is, conservatives want to renege on the bargain – forgetting the old adage that you get what you pay for, and you don’t get what you don’t pay for.
The hypocrisy of this logic is obvious when you consider that the Right rarely – if ever – complains about, say, executives ripping off shareholders and harming companies’ fiscal health.
So there you have it. California’s elected Republicans want it all, but don’t want us to ask the corporations and wealthy individuals who finance their campaigns to help PAY for it all.
P.S. Adding insult to injury, the column in which conservative George Will complains that firefighters don’t deserve health insurance and pensions was written to run on September 11. Some of us remember the incredible bravery and sacrifice of New York’s firefighters and how it demonstrated the importance of the physical, legal and services infrastructure that We, the People built.
Join the discussion at Dave Johnson, Speak Out California
Here’s something very important that dropped out of the news. After ignoring bin Laden from the time they came into office, the Bush administration also ignored very clear warnings that an attack was imminent. (Except Atty. General Ashcroft didn’t ignore them – he started chartering jets instead of flying on commercial airlines.)
Remember this? Two Months Before 9/11, an Urgent Warning to Rice,
On July 10, 2001, two months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet met with his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, at CIA headquarters to review the latest on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Black laid out the case, consisting of communications intercepts and other top-secret intelligence showing the increasing likelihood that al-Qaeda would soon attack the United States. It was a mass of fragments and dots that nonetheless made a compelling case, so compelling to Tenet that he decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately.
Tenet called Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, from the car and said he needed to see her right away. There was no practical way she could refuse such a request from the CIA director.
For months, Tenet had been pressing Rice to set a clear counterterrorism policy, including specific presidential orders called “findings” that would give the CIA stronger authority to conduct covert action against bin Laden. Perhaps a dramatic appearance — Black called it an “out of cycle” session, beyond Tenet’s regular weekly meeting with Rice — would get her attention.