After 9 years and 1447 shows, Stephen Colbert, and his alter ego, “Stephen Colbert”, are closing the doors on The Colbert Report.
I can write novels about the genius that is Colbert – and the influence his brand of journalism had on yours truly – but I wont. Instead I’ll just re-pop this great supercut to keep the Nation happy until Colbert brings his Truthiness to CBS in 2015.
Problem is, Obama’s actions on immigration reform aren’t unprecedented, and they’re not abusive. It’s certainly ideal for Congress to actually debate, compromise, and legislate the issue rather than the White House fixing things by Exec Order, but Immigration reform is something EVERY President (including Republicans) since Eisenhower has acted unilaterally on.
It also bears remembering Obama isn’t creating new laws (that’s Congress’s job), he’s declaring how to the government should EXECUTE the already-established 1986 immigration reform laws – completely within his purview as leader of the EXECUTIVE branch.
In particular, one of the big issues Obama seeks to correct are the gaping holes in the 1986 law regarding deportation of illegal family members of legal citizens – something both Saint Reagan and Bush Sr. issued Executive Orders trying to fix. Surprisingly, there wasn’t the ABUSE furor from Republicans then.
The other thing to keep in mind while Congressmen rant like uneducated morons, is that Congress has the ability to pass Immigration reform laws on their own, find compromise, and of course stop Obama’s alleged “controversial” execution of the law. But Congress refuses to act, despite promises to do so for years, and despite polls showing an overwhelming majority of Americans want immigration reform. Shit, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill over 500 days ago, but Speaker of the House John Boehner refuses to even allow the House to discuss or vote on it.
Fact: Immigration reform does not currently benefit the Republican party - and it’s not just because of racism in the base. Immigration Reform means more minority citizens, which means more minority voters as well as more Labor voters — both groups overwhelmingly vote Democrat over Republican. With the loud Republican opposition, any actual reform would be seen as a victory (and reason to show up and vote) for Democrats. It’s bad voter demographics, and probably the biggest obstacle to meaningful reform for over 11 million people living in the US.
Rather than address/debate/solve a problem affecting our country, our children, our families, our schools, our borders, our security, our economy — we’ll hear about how the President is an evil usurper breaking our Constitution because he hates America by acting when Congress refuses to find a legislative solution. Sigh.
“Boeing CEO W. James McNerney Jr. took home $23.3 million last year—well deserved, if the standard was wrapping Uncle Sam around his finger. Boeing received a tax refund of $82 million in 2013, while at the same time winning $20 billion in government contracts. Between 2008 and 2012, the company received $603 million in research-and-development subsidies.”
Although big Corporations like to blame the government, “liberal” policies and lazy Americans for our economic failures and diminishing infrastructure, a recent study detailed just how many Mega Corporations don’t pay their fair share (or any share, for that matter) in taxes back to the American people.
Of the 100 highest-paid CEOs in the US, the study finds, twenty-nine of them received more compensation than their companies paid in federal income tax.
The study reports that if seven giant corporations—Boeing, Chevron, Citigroup, Ford, General Motors, JPMorgan Chase and Verizon—had paid the statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent, they would have owed $25.9 billion. Instead, the seven companies received a combined $1.9 billion in tax refunds, a difference of $27.8 billion. What might have been? What could we do with that lost tax income? How about running the VA for two entire months, the study asks. Or resurfacing 22,240 miles of four-lane roads. Or Universal pre-K for every four-year-old in the country. Three hundred and seventy-seven thousand more public school teachers. The list goes on and on.
These same Mega Corporations that claim taxes are too high and are hurting job creation – even though they’re not paying taxes at all.
These are the same mega-corporations keeping TRILLIONS of dollars overseas to avoid paying American taxes.
These are the same mega-corporations spending billions to influence our elections and buy public officials to do their bidding.
Democracy? Voters? Ha! Although voters of Denton, Texas overwhelmingly voted to ban Fracking in their town (by a 59 to 41 margin), Texas Oil Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick promises that Texas will continue to Frack the hell out of Denton regardless of what they voters want for their town.
Fracking — the process of injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to extract oil and gas from shale formations — has a long history in Denton, one of the most heavily-fracked towns in Texas. At the same time, residents have complained of poor air quality, disruptive noise in residential areas, and an increase in low-magnitude earthquakes.
Explaining her decision to continue giving oil and gas companies permits to drill in Denton, Railroad Commission Chairwoman Craddick also voiced opposition against the ban. She told the Dallas Morning News that the voters’ decision was likely based on “misinformation” about the potential dangers of fracking, and that the oil and gas industry should have done more to communicate with locals.
“We missed as far as an education process in explaining what fracking is, explaining what was going on,” she said. “And I think [the ban] is the result of that, in a lot of respects, and a lot of misinformation about fracking.”
However, education from the oil and gas industry seemed prolific in Denton in the months leading up to the vote. Indeed, the Dallas Morning News reported that the fracking ban represented the most expensive political campaign in Denton’s history, and most of the money came from the oil and gas industry.
Specifically, Dallas News reported that major oil and gas companies like Chevron, Enervest and XTO donated a combined $685,000 to influence the debate over the fracking ban, while environmentalists contributed about $24,000.
That’s right. The Oil Regulator says the voters in the most informed-matter in the town’s history were misinformed, because the Energy companies say Fracking is safe. Just everyone ignore all those pesky scientists claiming Fracking is the cause of their increased health problems, poor air/water quality and earthquakes.
After all, our elected officials should ignore the overwhelming will of the people if their financial backers don’t agree, amiright? Democracy in action, people!
A new survey of Republican voters shows that two-thirds of Republicans want their elected officials to “stand up to Obama, even if less gets done”, rather than “work with Obama, even if it disappoints some GOP supporters.”
Now that the midterm election is over, all the talk about working together, bipartisanship and fixing broken government is all thrown away and its back to “GOP-everything or bust”.
It’s such a shame that half of our voters and half our officials couldn’t care less about helping or even listening to the other half of the electorate that didn’t vote for them.
So much for intelligent debate and efficient, representative government.