Red state rural America is acting on climate change – without calling it #climatechange

One primary concern in rural areas: higher temperatures put strain on water and energy sources. AP Photo/Robert Ray
One primary concern in rural areas: higher temperatures put strain on water and energy sources. AP Photo/Robert Ray

Rebecca J. Romsdahl, University of North Dakota

President Donald Trump has the environmental community understandably concerned. He and members of his Cabinet have questioned the established science of climate change, and his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has sued the EPA many times and regularly sided with the fossil fuel industry.

Even if the Trump administration withdraws from all international climate negotiations and reduces the EPA to bare bones, the effects of climate change are happening and will continue to build.

In response to real threats and public demand, cities across the United States and around the world are taking action to address climate change. We might think this is happening only in large, coastal cities that are threatened by sea-level rise or hurricanes, like Amsterdam or New York.

Research shows, however, that even in the fly-over red states of the U.S. Great Plains, local leaders in small- to medium-size communities are already grappling with the issue. Although their actions are not always couched in terms of addressing climate change, their strategies can provide insights into how to make progress on climate policy under a Trump administration.

‘Deliberate framing’

My colleagues and I did a survey of over 200 local governments in 11 states of the Great Plains region to learn about steps they’re taking to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt to them. We found local officials in red states responsible for public health, soil conservation, parks and natural resources management, as well as county commissioners and mayors, are concerned about climate change, and many feel a responsibility to take action in the absence of national policy.

In terms of framing, using wind energy is a way to improve local air quality and save money on energy, while also reducing emissions from fossil fuels.
paytonc/flickr, CC BY-SA

But because it is such a complex and polarizing topic, they often face public uncertainty or outrage toward the issue. So while these local officials have been addressing climate change in their communities over the past decade, many of these policy activities are specifically not framed that way. As one respondent to our survey said:

“It is my personal and professional opinion that the conservation community is on track with addressing the issue of climate change but is way off track in assigning a cause. The public understands the value of clean water and clean air. If the need to improve our water quality and air quality was emphasized, most would agree. Who is going to say dirty water and dirty air is not a problem? By making the argument ‘climate change and humans are the cause’ significant energy is wasted trying to prove this. It is also something the public has a hard time sinking their teeth into.”

In order to address the vulnerabilities facing their communities, many local officials are reframing climate change to fit within existing priorities and budget items. In a survey of mayors, we asked: “In your city’s policy and planning activities (for energy, conservation, natural resources management, land use, or emergency planning, etc.) how is climate change framed?” The following quotes give a sense of their strategies.

“In terms of economic benefit & resource protection. This framing was deliberate to garner support from residents who did not agree with climate change.”

“We frame the initiative as: energy savings (=$ savings), as smart growth/good planning, and as common sense natural resource management. Climate change is only explicitly referenced in our Climate Protection Plan adopted in 2009. Most initiatives fall under the “sustainability” umbrella term.“

“We mask it with sustainability, we call it P3 (People, Planet, Prosperity)”

“The initial interest in climate change came about as a result of concern about the potential for poor air quality affecting economic development in the City. Air quality and climate change were framed as being extremely related issues.”

“Climate change is framed as one of several benefits of conservation measures. Other benefits of conservation, recycling, walking, etc. include it’s ‘good for the earth’ (regardless of climate change), healthful, economical, etc.”

The results show that energy, economic benefits, common sense and sustainability are frames that are providing opportunities for local leaders to address climate change without getting stuck in the political quagmire. This strategy is being used across the Great Plains states, which include some of the most climate-skeptical areas of the country.

Local needs and values

Every region of the U.S. will need to address practical questions of how states and local communities can reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Under the Trump administration, it is likely any progress on U.S. climate policy will continue at these subnational levels. That’s why a variety of experts argue that we should encourage the types of pragmatic strategies now being employed by local leaders in red states.

In the Great Plains in particular, local officials are facing severe impacts from higher temperatures, which will place greater demands on water and energy.

Capturing methane gases from landfill can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be a local source of fuel for power.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, CC BY-NC

In our research we found local leaders focus on regional and local issues such as drought, energy and flooding. These are problems that are tied to climate change, but are already a priority on the local level. And the sought-for improvements, such as energy savings, health benefit and flood management, fit well with local needs and values.

For example, Fargo, North Dakota mitigates some of its greenhouse gas emissions and created a new source of city revenue by capturing the methane from its landfill facility and selling that gas to the electricity company. The city trash is now providing renewable energy for local residents and an industrial facility.

Perhaps the question facing us is: Should we reframe climate change and other environmental problems to fit the Trump administration’s priorities with a strong focus on practical solution ideas? For example, Trump has stated that infrastructure projects will be a high priority. That could easily translate into fixing the drinking water crisis experienced by Flint, Michigan and many other cities where it is likely to happen; Trump has also highlighted mass transit, which could help reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

With an administration eager to expand fossil fuel development and consumption, the outlook for federal action on reducing climate-altering greenhouse gases is dire. Given that, reframing climate change to address cobenefit issues seems a logical strategy, and we can look for local government leaders in red states to show the way.

The Conversation

Rebecca J. Romsdahl, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy, University of North Dakota

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Political Scrutiny 101 Top Stories in your inbox. Subscribe.

Advertisements

Deutsche Bank turmoil shows risks of weakening bank capital standards

A whirlwind of speculation about Deutsche Bank’s health has surrounded its headquarters in Munich. AP Photo/Michael Probst
A whirlwind of speculation about Deutsche Bank’s health has surrounded its headquarters in Munich. AP Photo/Michael Probst

Is the financial system headed for another ‘Lehman moment’?

Anjan V. Thakor, Washington University in St Louis

Deutsche Bank, a venerable 146-year-old bank whose very name symbolizes the German financial system, has recently found itself in considerable turmoil.

The kicker came in September when the Department of Justice slapped it with a US$14 billion fine for alleged wrongdoing during the financial crisis. But Deutsche Bank was already being buffeted by a string of bad news. Its stock price has slumped over the past year due to a decline in investment banking and dim prospects for its commercial banking business.

This has led to speculation about whether the German government will have to bail it out and, if it doesn’t, whether markets will soon experience another “Lehman moment” – referring to how the collapse of the U.S. investment bank sparked a global financial meltdown in 2008.

As I see it, these concerns obscure the much deeper problem that afflicts the European banking sector and that a bailout alone will do nothing to resolve: a lack of capital.

It also offers a stark warning for U.S. regulators amid talk of changes to banking rules – especially Dodd-Frank – under the new administration. While some changes to the U.S. financial system may be worthwhile, easing capital standards would be a mistake and make another financial crisis much more likely.

Instead, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic need to make sure there’s no question their banks are able to withstand a shock – whether a billion-dollar fine or something much more severe.

Why Deutsche Bank won’t be bailed out

While allowing a bank that has the size and prominence of Deutsche Bank to fail is obviously an event that could have seismic repercussions, bailing it out is not something that would be easy for the German government to do.

There are many reasons for this. One is reputational. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has been critical of other governments (especially in Europe) for using taxpayer funds to bail out their banks.

Second, there is little support among German taxpayers for the bailout, so it would also be politically costly.

While it’s interesting to speculate about this, there are other questions that are even more pertinent. First, what is the real problem here? Why is Deutsche Bank in the mess it finds itself in? What can we do to prevent our major financial institutions from being so fragile in the future?

There are many factors responsible for what ails Deutsche Bank. Perhaps none figures more prominently than its capital position during and after the crisis.

Who’s the riskiest of them all?

Among its peer institutions, Deutsche Bank is the riskiest based on its “leverage ratio,” which essentially measures how much equity capital it has as a percentage of total assets.

On June 30, its leverage ratio stood at a shockingly low 2.68 percent, or about half the average for the eight biggest U.S. banks, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That means it had only $2.68 in equity for every $100 in assets.

A low ratio means it has less cushion if there’s a problem. Since banks are required to mark many of their assets to market, an adverse price movement that reduces the value of its assets by just 3 percent would completely wipe out its equity.

We can see that the bank’s low capital is bad from at least two perspectives. One is that a 2.68 percent leverage ratio is less than what Bear Stearns had (2.78 percent) in early 2008 before it collapsed and had to be rescued by the U.S. government via a deal with JPMorgan Chase.

Another is that under the Basel III’s capital rules, banks are required to have a leverage ratio exceeding 3 percent. As an interesting contrast, U.S. bank regulators have adopted a 5 percent minimum leverage ratio for domestic banks. (One caveat is that European regulators [European Banking Authority] gave Deutsche Bank a ratio of 2.96 percent earlier this year,slightly higher than what the FDIC gave it, but still very worrisome.)

The ‘doom spiral’

Extensive academic research has revealed that a lot of bad things can happen when a bank has critically low capital.

One is that its internal culture gets skewed in favor of growth and excessive risk taking. Deals that can make the bank a lot of money if they pan out (but can also cost the taxpayers a lot) become more attractive. The other consequence is that there is “debt overhang” – so much debt that shareholders are unwilling to infuse any more equity into the bank since most of the benefits of the new equity will flow to the depositors and other creditors.

So this creates a sort of “doom spiral”: More equity is needed to rescue the bank, but excessive debt stands in the way. So the government finds itself on the horns of a dilemma, either let the bank fail or infuse taxpayer money to rescue it.

Finally, more highly levered banks also make a bigger contribution to systemic risk, which is the risk that the whole system will fail, as we saw during the financial crisis.

We see some evidence of these forces operating at Deutsche Bank. Reports suggest the bank is unlikely to raise new equity because its stock price is “too low” and trading at about 25 percent of the book value of its equity. That means the market thinks the value of the bank’s equity is worth just 25 cents when the bank’s balance sheet states it as one dollar. Put slightly differently, if Duetsche bank states its shareholders equity on its balance sheet as $100, the market will actually pay only $25 to buy it.

One reason for the low stock price is its dim business prospects, thanks to anemic economic growth in Europe and tighter banking regulations. The other, of course, is the aforementioned debt overhang.

With such low capital, it is also hardly surprising that its U.S. unit failed the Federal Reserve Bank’s stress test in June. The only other major bank that failed was the U.S. unit of Santander. When a bank fails a test, it is not allowed to remit dividends back to its parent company and may face harsher sanctions. In addition there is reputational damage and potential loss of customer trust, which can be very damaging to the stock price.

Moreover, consistent with the predictions of academic research, the International Monetary Fund named the bank as “the most important net contributor to systemic risk.” In other words, by keeping capital that is too low from a prudential regulation standpoint, Deutsche Bank is creating risk, not only for itself but for the whole global financial system.

The real concern

So, the real problem for global financial stability is not whether Deutsche Bank will be bailed out. It is the question of what bank regulators are going to do to get more equity capital into banking.

In this regard, U.S. bank regulators have done considerably better than European (and Japanese) bank regulators. During the financial crisis, the U.S. government took equity stakes in banks, effectively recapitalizing them. When the shareholders of these banks repurchased the government’s stakes, private equity capital replaced taxpayer-provided capital, and the U.S. banking system ended up on a much sounder footing as a result.

By contrast, this did not happen in Europe. In fact, banks in Europe lobbied their bank regulators to water down the Basel III capital rules so as to avoid having to raise billions of euros in new capital. As a result, banking fragility in Europe remains considerably higher than in the U.S.

What should be done going forward? I think the single biggest regulatory imperative in banking is to get banks to have significantly higher capital ratios, both in the U.S. and in Europe, although the problem in Europe is more pressing.

And American taxpayers and bank regulators cannot afford to be smug about American banks being better capitalized than European banks. There may be lobbying of the new administration to water down capital requirements but doing so will be bad for the economy, both here and globally. Hopefully we will not repeat the mistakes made in Europe.

We live in a highly interconnected global financial system. European banking fragility imperils the U.S. and indeed the global financial system. Bailouts generally do not foster future financial stability; higher capital does. That’s where the answer lies.

The Conversation

Anjan V. Thakor, Professor of Finance, Washington University in St Louis

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Mileage Rep. Aaron Schock billed for personal SUV adds to legal woes

CT BushS3.JPG

CHICAGO — Rep. Aaron Schock’s world travels have been well-chronicled by him on Instagram, and to his dismay, more recently by news reporters. There are photos of Schock dancing the tango with a long-legged woman in Buenos Aires, parasailing in the Andes and surfing the waves off Hawaii. But what is less known about Schock, and less publicly chronicled, is the number of miles supposedly racked up in the mundane task of driving his Chevrolet Tahoe, much of it presumably around his central Illinois district.

An analysis of government documents and Schock campaign finance records shows that from Jan. 1, 2010, through June 30, 2014, Schock was reimbursed by taxpayers and his political funds roughly $90,000 for putting about 171,000 miles on his personal vehicle.

The news outlet Politico first reported on Schock’s mileage peculiarities. It found that when Schock sold his Tahoe in July 2014, it actually had a total of about 81,000 miles on it, far less than the miles for which Schock was reimbursed. Illinois secretary of state records show that the Tahoe was the only vehicle registered to Schock at the time.

His driving habits, global travels and business dealings have now drawn the attention of the Justice Department. Prosecutors are moving to subpoena potential witnesses as an FBI investigation gets underway in Springfield and Washington, according to sources.

Schock, 33, once a rising star seen as a fresh face for the Republican Party, abruptly announced last week he was resigning from Congress effective March 31.

A spokesman said Schock has “reimbursed all the monies received for official mileage since his election to Congress.” Schock earlier repaid $40,000 for controversial redecorating work he had done on his Capitol Hill office. He admitted no wrongdoing in his resignation statement, saying only that the constant questions were a “great distraction.” Schock was in his fourth term in the House.

Those who follow such matters told the Chicago Tribune that one of the biggest problems Schock faces is explaining to federal authorities why there is a discrepancy in the miles driven and miles paid.

Erroneous billing for mileage is easily proved, hard to refute and a wrong that a jury can easily understand, said Paul Rothstein, a Georgetown University law professor who specializes in public corruption cases.

“There aren’t a lot of legal or factual ambiguities about it,” Rothstein said. “It’s not susceptible to saying it was an unintentional, accidental mistake.”

Charles Tiefer, former acting general counsel for the U.S. House, praised Schock for repaying the money. “It’s not an admission of guilt, but it shows a desire to obey the law as much as you can,” Tiefer said. “Always a good idea.”

Over the years, automobiles and mileage reimbursement have been ripe for abuse by lawmakers, in part, because the records are seldom scrutinized.

The late Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, a Democratic power broker from Chicago, was indicted in 1994 for multiple crimes, some based on personal use of autos paid for by taxpayers and by his campaign. Rostenkowski ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud for misuse of public funds to buy gifts and to pay employees who did little or no official work.

The Federal Election Commission in 2008 found that Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., improperly used $9,812 in campaign funds for vehicle lease payments and repairs that were personal expenses.

Meeks admitted violating federal elections laws, paid a $63,000 penalty and refunded to his campaign committee money used for personal expenses, which also included $6,230 for a personal trainer.

———

Dr. Richard Schock told the Tribune on Thursday that the news media have been “like cockroaches” and have unfairly attacked his son, whom he called brilliant, conservative and moral.

Asked about the apparent overcharging for mileage, Dr. Schock replied, “I have no idea what that’s about. I didn’t keep the books. He’ll have to explain that to whoever he has to explain it to.”

According to House rules, representatives who use a privately owned vehicle for “official and representational business” can be reimbursed for transportation costs. They are reimbursed on a rate-per-mile basis. During the time Aaron Schock owned the Tahoe the maximum rates ranged from 50 to 56.5 cents per mile.

Schock was first elected to Congress in 2008 to represent the Peoria and Springfield areas. The following year, in November 2009, he bought a black 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe from Green Chevrolet in Peoria, according to Illinois secretary of state records.

The vehicle apparently served him well.

On July 19, 2014, Schock was back at Green Chevrolet. He got a new 2015 Tahoe, black, just like the old one, which he traded in. In what experts called an uncommon move, his campaign paid for the vehicle, according to records. Records show Schock’s campaign paid $74,000 for the SUV.

Federal and state law require the owner report the mileage when transferring ownership. Failing to disclose the true mileage can result in fines or criminal charges. Schock’s 2010 Tahoe, according to records, had 81,860 miles on it.

A week later, Schock’s father bought the used Tahoe from the dealership. Dr. Schock said he paid “28,000 something” for it.

Dr. Schock said he did not buy the used Tahoe directly from his son because he was unaware his son was getting rid of it. Dr. Schock said that when his son picked him up for church, that’s when he learned that his son bought a new car.

Why didn’t the congressman keep the old Tahoe? “He said it had too many miles on it,” Dr. Schock recalled.

The owner of the car dealership, Jeff Green, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Green has contributed to Schock’s political campaigns, giving him more than $12,000 since 2008. Green’s name recently surfaced in news accounts about him flying the congressman around on his private plane. In addition, associates of both men said, Green often flew the congressman around Illinois in a helicopter that Green owns.

Schock also bought property from Green that was financed under terms that have raised questions.

Local tax and county land records obtained by the Peoria Journal Star and reviewed by The Associated Press show that a company managed by Schock paid $300,000 last May to buy a commercial property owned by Green, who retained a larger parcel next door. The lawmaker then signed a mortgage application with a local Peoria bank for twice the sale price.

A spokesman for Schock declined to comment about the 2014 land deal.

Questions about how Schock paid for his jet-setting lifestyle have swirled around him for years.

Under federal election laws, expenditures are legal as long as they are used for a political or campaign purpose. The FEC is charged with examining campaign finance reports to determine if the expenses are allowed but has been criticized for lax oversight and has not audited a campaign committee since 2012. However, a complaint can trigger an audit.

The FEC has confirmed it is reviewing a new complaint filed against Schock by the liberal-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The group in 2012 complained about Schock spending $1,136 at a luxury hotel in Greece. Schock paid his campaign back, acknowledging that the hotel bill was not a campaign expense.

The Tribune in 2013 reported that Schock was one of the Illinois delegation’s heaviest spenders on meals and travel. His campaign spent more than $2,600 on cuff links, paid $390 to a seaplane company based in the British Virgin Islands and spent more than $1,500 on concert tickets.

Despite questions raised about his spending, Schock’s penchant for travel did not taper off.

The Tribune recently found that from 2012 to 2014, campaign money spent for travel, including private planes, commercial airfare, stays at luxury hotels and limousine service, nearly doubled.

All told, from 2008 through 2014, more than $500,000 was spent on travel for Schock and others, according to his publicly filed campaign financial reports. That does not include other travel expenses billed to his taxpayer-funded congressional account. Schock spent freely from both his congressional office budget and his campaign funds. His troubles appear to stem from both.

Nearly half of the money went toward hotel stays at places such as Miami’s high-end Fontainebleau resort and the Bohemian Club in Northern California, which Vanity Fair magazine described as an “ultra-exclusive” club for “America’s richest, most conservative men.”

Another $156,000 was spent on private airport access and chartered flights on top of $117,000 for commercial airfare.

Over the past two years, all of the travel charges were paid directly through the campaign accounts, rather than being reimbursed to Schock, and could have covered expenses for guests at fundraising events or other official business. When the Tribune earlier this month chronicled the adventures of the globe-trotting congressman, his aides declined to explain whether his trips — from the Greek Isles to the glaciers of Patagonia — were for business purposes or recreational.

Schock earned a reputation for being a gifted fundraiser and amassed a political fund that campaign finance experts say was unusual given that he was a shoo-in for re-election in a bedrock Republican district. He’s leaving office with more than $3 million in his campaign fund.

Under federal law, Schock cannot keep the money for himself. He may give it to the Republican Party, other candidates and charities, or use it to pay legal bills that might arise from investigations into his spending practices. He also could let the money sit there in the event someday he returns to politics.

Most of Schock’s political donations were spent through his official Schock for Congress campaign fund. That fund, governed by stricter rules than his other political committees, would likely be “subject to more scrutiny” from investigators, said Brett Kappel, a Washington lawyer who specializes in campaign finance law.

Kappel also said having a car bought by the campaign can present another set of problems.

“If you have a campaign car and you’re using it for personal use, you have to keep a log and reimburse the campaign,” Kappel said.

Records show that as of the end of 2014, Schock had not made any direct payments to any of his funds for personal use of the 2015 Tahoe.

Kappel said the ironclad rule is “a congressman can’t take campaign funds and convert them to personal use.

“For people who get caught up in these drip, drip, drip scandals, it’s not a comfortable place to be in,” he said. “There’s also the prospect of the other shoe — or more shoes dropping.”

———

(Richard A. Serrano of the Tribune Washington Bureau contributed to this report.)

assetContent

Continue reading Mileage Rep. Aaron Schock billed for personal SUV adds to legal woes

The Annual GOP Clown Show

download

The Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland wraps up today. Here’s the speaker schedule:  http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/02/26/politicians-and-pundits-at-cpac-2015/

At the end, they conduct a straw poll to show which potential presidential candidate most pandered to the base.

I’ve been following two hashtags on Twitter.  #CPACQ was quickly hijacked by liberals who posted fake questions to the conference. As sample can be found here: http://bluenationreview.com/cpacq-gets/

The other one is #CPAC2015 which also has some interesting liberal tweets. Basically, all candidates/speakers had nothing good to say about President Obama or America under his leadership. Yet, they criticized him for suggesting America had room for improvement. Go figure!

This most bizarre speech so far was by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.  If you enjoy craziness, his speech can be found here: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/duck-dynastys-phil-robertson-rails-against-stds-revenge-of-the-hippies-at-cpac-2015/  In summary, Phil blames hippies for STD’s.

We can only hope this clown show is not what actually represents the real Republican party. A slim hope, I fear.

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary

http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/

What is it With Republicans and Regulations?

Republican-House-Speaker-007

“For congressional Republicans, it’s regulation-hunting season.” So says Jason Plautz in THE NATIONAL JOURNAL. http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/10-environmental-regulations-the-republican-congress-wants-to-kill-20150205 In this article, Plautz cites 10 environmental regulations that Republicans want to address in this Congress. Why are GOP so keen on rolling back regulations on corporations? I believe the answer is simple. Follow the money trail. The same industries that GOP plan to de-regulate also happen to be heavy campaign contributors.

The same thing is true with regulations on the banking industry and Wall Street. Last month they tried to roll back regulations on Wall Street, but they were blocked by Democrats.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/house-republican-push-to-roll-back-wall-street-regulations-fails-1420670814

The hypocrisy of the Republicans, however,  is evident regarding regulations as they are avid supporters of regulations when it comes to marriage equality, voting, abortion and other social issues that do not have large corporations as supporters.  Even Jon Stewart was quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy of the GOP on regulations.  Stewart skewers the GOP on their myth of favoring small government.  http://www.forwardprogressives.com/jon-stewart-slams-idiot-republicans-hypocrisy-government-regulations-video/

Imagine, if you will, a world where corporations were free of regulations. Does that sound like a utopia to you or a recipe for disaster?  Democrats know that our economy only works when there are rules in place to ensure fairness and opportunity for all.

If you’ve never really read it, I encourage you to download and read the Deomcratic Party Platform 2012.  It clearly shows the major differences between Democrats and Republicans. Then, after reading it, I hope you will be inspired to work to elect Democrats.

http://www.democrats.org/democratic-national-platform

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary
http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/

Guiliani’s Outrageous Remarks #UniteBlue #LibCrib @Bannerite

360_10q_0520

We can only hope that the Republican party denounces the outrageous remarks made by Rudy Guiliani at Wednesday night’s private dinner for Scott Walker in New York City. This is what he said, “Speaking at a private dinner for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Manhattan, the former mayor of New York said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Politico reports.  He went on to say, “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” Just reading those remarks makes me angry and outraged.

Today on Fox, he said that the President doesn’t love America like we do. Now, what exactly does that mean? When Scott Walker was asked about it, “Walker declined to comment, saying that Giuliani “can speak for himself.”” httpr://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/rudy-giuliani-i-do-not-believe-president-loves-america-n308886

Remember back in the 2008 presidential campaign when the crazy lady stood up at a John McCain townhall meeting and asked about Barack Obama being Muslim and not born in America? What if McCain had just replied, “Well that’s what some people say.” But, he didn’t do that. He forcefully told her that was wrong information and he corrected her. Where are those kind of GOP now?

Today, the DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz took exception to Guiliani’s comments and challenged all Republicans to say, “Enough”! http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-democrats-respond-to-giuliani-comments-20150219-story.html

I’m not holding my breath waiting because this Republican party panders to the lowest element of their base. They know that saying mean and hateful things about President Obama and twisting his words or taking them out of context gets their RW base excited. It’s disgusting and shows a complete lack of integrity in the party.

Since I wrote this Thursday, Mr. Guliani has doubled down on his remarks. It’s obvious to me that his rhetoric is a smoke screen trying to cover that the Republican party has nothing to offer America.  http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/politics/rudy-giuliani-doubles-down-obama-love-country-interview/

If someone in the Republican party has the grace and dignity to denounce Guilani’s remarks, I will highlight that person in this blog.

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary
http://pageposts1123.blogspot.com/

#1 Top Over Paid CEOs-Anthony G. Petrello-#UniteBlue

10397977_738566442923216_9083766923414199532_n

Let’s start at the top….Anthony G. Petrello, one of the richest men in Houston. A widely known philanthropist in the medical community, he’s the CEO of Nabors Industries, the largest land-based oil-drilling company in the world. “The most powerful man in town,” one lawyer calls him.

Check out this guy……http://ow.ly/J2Okrhttp://ow.ly/J2OM4
Total compensation $68,246,187

00c34b19b4395414550f6a706700271e

Nabors Industries Ltd., founded in 1968 as Anglo Energy, Ltd. (former AMEX symbol: AEL), and currently based in Hamilton, Bermuda, is an S&P 500 oil, natural gas and geothermal drilling contractor operating on land throughout the Americas, the Middle East, the Far East, and Africa. It also performs onshore well-servicing in North America, and provides rigs for offshore oil platform workover, and also for offshore drilling rig servicing.

Republican donor http://www.opensecrets.org/address/contribs.php?zip=77067

Find us on Twitter at @PoliScrutiny101

Find us on Facebook at: Political Scrutiny 101