2012 Campaign, Latest Republican Outrage, Politics, Republican Freak Show

Senators Who Voted To Protect Oil Tax Breaks Received $23,582,500 From Big Oil | ThinkProgress

In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

A Think Progress Green analysis shows how oil and gas companies have funneled cash to the same senators who protected its handouts:

– The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.

– The senators who voted for Big Oil’s handouts received on average over four times as much career oil cash as those who voted to end them.

– Overall, Senate Republicans have taken $23.2 million in oil and gas contributions. Democrats received $6.66 million.

– Since 2011, Senate Republicans have voted seven times for pro-Big Oil interests and against clean energy three times.

Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA). Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) broke ranks and voted to cut the tax breaks. Two senators, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) didn’t vote.

via Senators Who Voted To Protect Oil Tax Breaks Received $23,582,500 From Big Oil | ThinkProgress.

This is what oligarchy looks like, my friends. Welcome to it. A crumbling empire governed by the greedy.

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2012 Campaign, Latest Republican Outrage, Politics, Republican Freak Show

Santorum Warns Guy Not to Use Pink Bowling Ball – Rick challenges Mitt to Wisconsin bowl-off

(NEWSER) – Rick Santorum bowls a good game, but gay rights groups say he talks an offensive one. “You’re not gonna’ use the pink ball. We’re not gonna’ let you do that, not on camera,” he told a young man while bowling with college Republicans in Wisconsin yesterday, the Raw Story reports. “Friends don’t let friends use pink balls,” he added. Critics say Santorum’s remarks are just the latest in a long line of insensitive statements.

“He’s proven that he thinks LGBT people are second-class citizens not worthy of dignity or respect,” says a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign gay-rights group. “In this case, he’s advancing tired gender norms by implying a boy should be ashamed or embarrassed to use a certain color bowling ball.” Santorum has been bowling his way through Wisconsin ahead of the state’s April 3 primary, and has challenged Mitt Romney to a bowl-off, according to the Washington Examiner.

via Santorum Warns Guy Not to Use Pink Bowling Ball – Rick challenges Mitt to Wisconsin bowl-off.

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Cool Kid, Heroes

Army: US Soldier Was Killed Saving Afghan Girl – Dennis Weichel was run over while moving her to safety, say officials

(NEWSER) – A 29-year-old soldier from Rhode Island was fatally run over in Afghanistan as he saved a young Afghan girl, say the US Army and state National Guard. As CNN recounts the story, Dennis Weichel’s convoy had to stop because kids were in the road. Weichel left his vehicle to shoo them away, but one young girl remained collecting shell casings in the road. As a 16-ton armored vehicle bore down on her, Weichel moved her to safety but was himself run over, says CNN.

Rhode Island’s WPRO has a slightly different take on the particulars of the accident, but the gist is the same: Weichel was killed trying to move the girl to safety. “He would have done it for anybody,” says Staff Sgt. Ronald Corbett. “That was the way he was. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He was that type of guy.” And as the Army no doubt hopes people will notice, not this type of guy.

via Army: US Soldier Was Killed Saving Afghan Girl – Dennis Weichel was run over while moving her to safety, say officials.

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2012 Campaign, Politics, Republican Freak Show

From Train Wreck to Plane Wreck

After another round of Supreme Court questions, Jeffrey Toobin told CNN the fate of President Obama’s health care law looks even worse.

Said Toobin: “This still looks like a train wreck for the Obama Administration, and it may also be a plane wreck. This entire law is now in serious trouble. It also seems that the individual mandate is doomed. I mean, Anthony Kennedy spent much of this morning talking about if we strike down the individual mandate, how should we handle the rest of the law? Now, it is less clear that they are going to strike down the whole law. There does seem to be some controversy in the court about that. Certainly there are some members of the court, Antonin Scalia, Justice Alito, who want to strike down the entire law, but it seemed almost a foregone conclusion today that they were going to strike down the individual mandate, and the only question is does the whole law go out the window with it?”

He added: “Well, it’s hard to imagine how things could be going much worse for the Obama Administration.”

via From Train Wreck to Plane Wreck.

Perhaps if it struck down, it would allow President Obama to push for a single-payer system. Wishful thinking I’m sure, but these days, who knows?

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2012 Campaign, Politics

Obama Holds Large Lead Over Romney

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll finds President Obama with a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney, 54% to 43%.

Said pollster Keating Holland: “President Obama currently wins majority support among groups that have been problematic for him in the past, including men, older voters, and suburbanites. He has a solid lead among independents as well.”

Obama’s approval rating has also inched over the 50% mark for the first time since last May, when the polls were still registering the after effects of the death of Osama bin Laden.

via Obama Holds Large Lead Over Romney.

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2012 Campaign, Latest Republican Outrage, Politics, Republican Freak Show

Romney Tells “Humorous” Story About Closing a Factory

In advance of the GOP primary next week, Mitt Romney tried to prove his Wisconsin connections by relating a “humorous” story about his father shutting down a factory, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

Said Romney: “One of most humorous I think relates to my father. You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors… They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign.”

Romney recalled a parade in which a school band marching with his father’s campaign only knew the Wisconsin fight song, not the Michigan song.

He continued, while laughing: “So every time they would start playing ‘On, Wisconsin, On, Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin.”

via Romney Tells “Humorous” Story About Closing a Factory.

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