Norm Ornstein: Romney vs. ‘Young Guns’ in 2013

On the radio show “To The Point,” Norm Ornstein, Congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative D.C.-based think tank, gave an insightful look into what the “Young Gun” Republicans (Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan) have planned for Congress after the election.

Ornstein, with Congressional scholar Thomas Mann,  is co-author of  It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism. Here’s the critical excerpt:

“The decision to use the debt limit as a hostage taking event was cooked up well before the 2010 elections. It was a conscious approach by the ‘young guns,’ as they call themselves–[Eric] Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan. It was the first time ever that the debt limit had been used as a hostage for another set of goals. You had a large number of Republicans who ran by pledging they would never vote to increase the debt limit. This was not something that just emerged and then it was a question of who would navigate through it. …

The problem that Romney would face [if elected] would be particularly acute, paradoxically, if the Republicans win the House and the Senate. Because I can tell you from conversations with Republicans in both chambers, but especially in the House, and this was Paul Ryan’s plan long before he became the running mate. They’ve got a plan that if they capture everything their going to put together in January the ‘Mother’ of all reconciliation bills, avoid a filibuster, and it’s going to provide the vision of Ryan’s budget, which is far more conservative than what Mitt Romney suggested in that first debate. They are going to try to pass it through on their votes alone and send it to him and, in effect, dare him to veto it. His ability to withstand what would be very conservative policies coming out of a Republican House and Senate would be very limited.”–Norm Ornstein

Listen to the whole interview on KCRW’s To The Point (Oct. 8, 2012).

Jesus of the Billboard: Catholic Sisters Launch Midwest Campaign

Pro-immigrant billboard campaign in Iowa

As Iowa considers taking up anti-American laws targeting immigrants modeled after Arizona, Catholic sisters in throughout the Midwest are leading a public education campaign about what Jesus says about the situation.

“Rooted in the Gospel and the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare,” say the Franciscan sisters of Dubuque, “we publically proclaim that immigrants have God-given rights to be treated with respect and dignity, to work and to access services that satisfy their basic needs. Basic human rights, the right to life and to migrate in search of the means to sustain life, are conferred not by citizen ship but by person hood. We support comprehensive immigration reform that will respect these right.”

Read more below:

Iowa Billboards Show Sisters Support for Immigration Reform

Catholic Sisters Launch ‘Welcoming Communities’ For Immigration Reform

Ten Communities of Catholic Sisters Launch Immigration Campaign

Video: Michele Bachmann Gets ‘Mic Checked’ in Charleston

This is what liturgy looks like. Occupy Charleston addressed Michele Bachmann at a public appearance on the USS York in Charleston harbor. They provide a very fine example of what “speaking truth to power” looks like. Even the call-and-response of the human microphone hints at the kind of power that could be present in religious gatherings.

Also note the classic nonviolence tactics. When one leader is approached by the police, another leader emerges. The “authorities” are confused. To the policeman’s credit, he realized quickly that he couldn’t control the crowd so he controlled what he could, which was Bachmann’s “safety.” So he escorted her out.

In a Facebook post following the event, Occupy Charleston wrote:

“To the people: Today Occupy Charleston shut down a speech by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Together in unison we took advantage of the moment to address the system and the people within it as to the unjust role of corporate money in politics. Michele Bachmann was not our target in this action; she is a representative of the institutional and legal corruption that has infected our country–a system of corruption that values profit over people and is driven by the financial interests of the few against the many.

Political candidates have the finances to create a spectacle to promote the interests of the 1%. This is an ability that is not afforded to the vast majority of the people. Our actions were an attempt to break that spell and to give voice to the 99% and their interests which have too long been ignored by the political establishment. This is not a Democratic or a Republican issue, this transcends petty party politics.”

See what else Occupy Charleston’s got going on.