How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism – Christopher Sellers Apr 22, 2017, 12:00pm EDT

The deep roots of conservative opposition to the environmental state, explained.

That screeching sound you hear this Earth Day is the sound of our federal government making a U-turn on the environment. What a difference a year and an election have made.

Last April 22, the United States was making notable progress on some of our toughest environmental problems. Grassroots mobilizations and other forms of pressure helped nudge America’s political leadership to halt pipelines and craft new policies on climate change, fracking, and toxics. The rest of the world, even China, was coalescing around a commitment to curb greenhouse gases, and the Paris accord had been signed into force.

Trump’s electoral victory has changed much of that. As part of Steve Bannon’s agenda for the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” Trump’s appointees are sharpening their axes for environmental agencies and science. Among their targets: Obama’s climate policies, and the EPA’s budget, which they’ve proposed to cut by 31 percent.

It’s ironic that today’s Republicans see America’s environmental state as such a liability, given that Republican presidents had such a big hand in constructing it. In the early 20th century Teddy Roosevelt pushed a federal system of parks, forests, and monuments. In 1970, it was Richard Nixon who created the Environmental Protection Agency and signed many foundational laws. Even during the last Republican administration of George W. Bush, longtime EPA employees have told me there was considerable if often tacit support by party leaders.

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Stage set for final GOP debate of 2015 –

Watch CNN’s coverage of the fifth Republican presidential debate live from Las Vegas on Tuesday, December 15. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET.Washington (CNN)Nine candidates will appear in prime-time Tuesday night for the final Republican presidential primary debate of 2015, a critical event that will help shape the contest heading into the Iowa caucuses.Businessman Donald Trump, the front-runner for the nomination, will again be center stage flanked by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on his right and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on his left, CNN announced Sunday. The six remaining participants in the prime-time contest will be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.Four candidates — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki — will appear in the first debate on Tuesday evening.

Source: Stage set for final GOP debate of 2015 –

The Easy Days Are Over – By William Saletan NOV. 14 2015 8:06 PM

After Paris, this period of relative peace and easy libertarianism is coming to an end.

If you’re an 18-year-old American, you were 3 or 4 when al-Qaida hit the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. You haven’t seen a major terrorist strike in your country since then. Maybe you heard about the attacks in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, or Mumbai in 2008. But aside from the occasional lone-wolf incident—Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, or the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—you’ve been lucky.

You’ve grown up in an era of peace at home: no world wars, no cold war, and little fear of being blown up or gunned down by militants. It’s an era of libertarianism: We’re less afraid of bad guys coming to kill us, so we don’t see why Uncle Sam should track our phone calls. It’s also an era of isolationism, because our troops have fought two wars overseas, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they haven’t turned out well. We’re sick of those wars, and we feel pretty safe at home. So we don’t want to go fight again.

The libertarianism and isolationism of our time crosses party lines. It affects President Obama, who came into office promising to bring our troops home. But it also affects Republicans. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican presidential candidate who has campaigned on a platform of sending troops to fight ISIS, couldn’t even garner enough support in the polls to get into his party’s undercard debate last week. And if you study surveys on national security and domestic surveillance, you’ll find that Republicans are, by some measures, more hostile to surveillance than Democrats are.

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Trevor Noah Takes On Ben Carson’s Media Bias Claims – Posted: 11/10/2015 03:22 PM EST | Edited: 11/10/2015 03:33 PM EST



“Challenge accepted, Dr. Carson.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at Nov 11, 2015 12.34

Trevor Noah on Monday decided to take a closer look at GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s assertion that the media is vetting his background more intensely than it did for President Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.

Republican candidates have spent a great deal of time so far in this election cycle criticizing the media for liberal bias — from critiquing the way debates have been moderated to complaining about being treated “unfairly” by the media — and Carson has been no exception to this trend. In an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Carson claimed that the media is investigating his past with more fervor than any other presidential candidate in prior elections.

“I have not seen that with anyone else,” Carson told NBC’s Chris Jansing. “If you can show me where that’s happened with someone else, I’ll will take that statement back.”

“Challenge accepted, Dr. Carson,” Noah said on “The Daily Show,” before showing a montage of news clips from the 2008 election cycle in which the media exhaustedly vetted then-Senator Obama’s background — going so far as to question whether he was really a U.S. citizen.

“Yeah, so they vetted Obama to the point where they questioned that he was a legitimate natural-born American citizen,” Noah said. “But at least no one ever accused Obama of not stabbing a guy.”

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Republican Presidential Debate 2015 Full GOP Republican Debate FOX Business Network – Vice News Published on Nov 10, 2015

Republican Presidential Debate 2015 Full GOP Republican Debate FOX Business Network Full Republican Presidential Debate 2015 GOP Debate FOX Business Network All told, the candidates spent no time attacking a reasonably well-moderated debate, and although there were a few intra-candidate attacks, none seemed particularly notable. Marco Rubio was polished. Rand Paul played a bigger role than he has in previous debates. Donald Trump was relatively reserved. Ben Carson certainly helped himself with his performance. Carly Fiorina acquitted herself okay, too. I can’t see this debate stopping Jeb Bush’s slide or doing anything significant for John Kasich. On foreign policy, the interventionism of the field as a whole is intense. On domestic policy, all have aired tax plans that have no chance of becoming law. The winner: Americans, because this debate lasted about two rather than three hours. —Conor Friedersdorf

11:20 pm: Takeaway from Milwaukee: Brace for a new round of Rubio-rising stories. He came into this debate with momentum and he performed to expectations. His trendline is up and will keep going up, though questions remain about his ability to turn elite opinion into votes. Jeb was practically a nonfactor. He is just not good at this, and besides a couple of prescripted answers, he did nothing to stand out. The Jeb-death-watch narrative will also continue after this. Trump was sort of subdued, but he’s never that good in debates. Same with Carson—his voters don’t care that he’s borderline incoherent on any substantive questions. Kasich, as usually, seems to have infuriated base conservatives while appealing to moderates and liberal Republicans. Cruz was also strong. Like the last debate, he and Rubio are going to get the buzz out of this.

In a lot of ways this debate ratifies the status quo going in. No game-changers in that sense. Rand Paul showed up for the first time, but it’s not clear he has much of a constituency in this party. —Molly Ball

11:18 pm: At the start of the debate, I wondered whether Jeb Bush’s decision to hire a media trainer would show on the debate stage and it did, a little bit. Bush’s delivery seems to have improved, but maybe not enough to get him out of his low polling digits. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio again delivered a strong performance. What the two didn’t do is go head-to-head like they had in the last Republican debate. Maybe because doing so just wouldn’t work. It certainly didn’t for Bush then and it’s unlikely it would have for Rubio tonight. And it also may answer the question my colleague Russell Berman noted earlier: Will Bush leave his Super PAC to do the dirty work? Looks like that’s a strong possibility. —Priscilla Alvarez

11:16 pm: Trump: “I’m self-funding my campaign…the United States can be better than ever before.” —Molly Ball

11:15 pm: Rubio: “The 21st century can be a new American century.” —Molly Ball

11:15 pm: Rubio, remembering why he’s here tonight, unlike some of his competitors: “I ask you for your vote.” —Marina Koren

11:14 pm: Cruz: “If we get back to the free-market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country, we can turn this nation around.” —Molly Ball

11:13 pm: In contrast, Spain needs a divider-in-chief to amicably part with the Catalonians and Basques. —Conor Friedersdorf

11:13 pm: Jeb: “I don’t think we need an agitator in chief or a divider in chief, we need a commander in chief.”—Molly Ball

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Ben Carson Says Drug Addiction Is A Symptom Of ‘Political Correctness’ – BY CASEY QUINLAN NOV 8, 2015 3:20PM

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida event benefiting the group's scholarship fund Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida event benefiting the group’s scholarship fund Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks during the Black Republican Caucus of South Florida event benefiting the group’s scholarship fund Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

As voters in numerous states express increasing concern over the rise in drug abuse, current Republican presidential front-runner, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, said the problem can be traced back to an over-emphasis on “political correctness.”

John Dickerson asked Carson about the “human side” of addiction on Face the Nation Sunday after mentioning that 25 percent of New Hampshire voters said drug abuse was the most serious problem in New Hampshire, according to a WMUR poll.

Carson answered that a lack of values and principles were responsible for serious drug abuse:

There are all kinds of addictions and addictions occur in people who are vulnerable who are lacking something in their lives, so we really have to start asking ourselves what have we taken outside of our lives in America? What are some of those values and principles that allowed us to ascend the ladder of success so rapidly to the pinnacle of the world and the highest pinnacle anyone else had ever reached, and why are we throwing away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness?

Watch the response here:

Carson continued by saying the proliferation of heroin use specifically is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by not giving up on the War on Drugs.

Carson’s comments come shortly after two Princeton economists released findings that the rising death rates for middle-aged white people, especially those were less educated, may stem from substance abuse problems. In comparison, the death rates for middle-aged black and Hispanic people are going down. Although there was a sharp rise in the suicide rate for middle-aged white people, drug abuse was most responsible for pushing up the death rate, the New York Times reported.

The alarming rise in heroin-related overdose and deaths across the U.S. has become an issue of national importance. Last month, President Obama traveled to West Virginia, a state hit particularly hard by the crisis, to unveil a series of public and private sector initiatives designed to combat addiction to heroin and other opioids.

George Will’s had enough lying: His battle with Bill O’Reilly is finally an intellectual battle to reclaim the GOP from Fox News – HEATHER COX RICHARDSON SUNDAY, NOV 8, 2015 02:59 AM PST

“Killing Reagan” battle is really for the soul of the GOP. Too bad both sides are grifters and hacks

George Will's had enough lying: His battle with Bill O'Reilly is finally an intellectual battle to reclaim the GOP from Fox News

George Will’s Thursday attack on Bill O’Reilly is not really about Ronald Reagan’s presidency. It is an opening salvo in a fight for control of the Republican Party. In a blistering op-ed—an op-ed, mind you, not a book review—Will savaged the newest book in O’Reilly’s killing series: Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency. Will loathed O’Reilly’s contention that John Hinckley’s assassination attempt started Reagan’s descent into dementia only 70 days into his presidency. But that questioning of Reagan’s mental capacity is not what’s at the heart of Will’s attack on O’Reilly. What’s really going on is that establishment Republicans want to cut the extremists away from the party.

It may be too late.

Will’s criticism of Killing Reagan indicts O’Reilly for, well, making shit up. The book, Will notes, is “a tissue of unsubstantiated assertions.” Neither O’Reilly nor his ghostwriter actually did any research. They did not visit the Reagan Library; they did not interview any of the key players in the Reagan White House. Will calls the book “a no-facts zone,” and condemns it as “nonsensical history and execrable citizenship.” Will uses the inexcusable deficiencies of Killing Reagan to attack “today’s cultural pathology of self-validating vehemence with blustery certitudes substituting for evidence.” In other words, Will has had it with politicians who lie and then bully people into believing in their fantasy world.

The irony of Will’s outrage is that it was President Reagan who enabled such political storytelling to take over the Republican Party. After the second World War, when party leaders tried to resurrect the free-for-all economy of the 1920s that had collapsed into the Great Depression, President Dwight Eisenhower stepped in to articulate instead a new vision for the Republican Party. He led Republicans to back the New Deal consensus. Eisenhower agreed with Democrats that the government must regulate business, provide for social welfare, and develop the nation’s infrastructure, and he believed that bringing labor leaders, businessmen, and intellectuals to the same table—sometimes literally, as he invited men to dinner—to debate would enable political leaders to reach the best possible outcome for the nation. Eisenhower insisted on grappling with the complexities of reality and begged his opponents to do the same.

But businessmen who had thrived in the unregulated economy of the 1920s could not stomach the New Deal consensus. To combat it, they could not use reality-based arguments, for those arguments invariably led voters to government activism. Instead, in the 1950s, those opposed to the New Deal consensus began to create a cartoon version of reality. They laid out a storyline in which America was under siege by secular New Dealers. These “Liberals,” were ushering communism into America by insisting on an activist government that destroyed American individualism and religion.

They sold that storyline with bluster and bullying. Wisconsin’s Sen. Joseph McCarthy led the way. In his highly publicized attacks on supposed communists in Eisenhower’s administration, he presented himself as an outsider defending America from the communists who had infiltrated the government. He hectored witnesses, he bullied, he shouted, he made dramatic—and demonstrably false—statements. By the time fact checkers caught up with old lies, McCarthy was on to new ones. Movement Conservatives noted his techniques.


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