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As I see the site gearing up for yet another pie fight about something that none of us can really change, we should be focusing on November. It's kind of hard to motivate a group that decides to focus so much on differences as far as political strategy instead of all of the other things that bind us together.

We need to stop fighting with each other about Obama and his administration and do a better job of remembering that we ALL still have a common "enemy" (for lack of a better word), and that's the Republicans. While we sit on this site and fight about what Gibbs said, what he meant, what he didn't say, and a whole bunch of other stuff that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, Republicans are running around acting like they have the November elections on lock.

Last night Rachel Maddow had a segment on something I think we should all be pounding the pavement with. The Republicans want to complain about doing a "bailout" for the States who desperately need the money in a way that won't even add to the deficit of which they all claim to be against, and yet they are fighting to hold on to tax cuts that we KNOW adds to the deficit that will really only benefit the super rich who probably won't miss the extra money that would come out of their taxes.

This is unconscionable.

The fact that the Republicans think they are slick enough to get away with it is what's most amazing. But then, if we all just continue navel gazing and pie fighting they probably will.

"The Wall Street Journal" reported recently on the growing number of places across the country where local governments are unpaving the roads.  They are turning paved roads into gravel roads because paved roads too expensive to maintain.  It is not one little town‘s whacky Luddite solution.  It‘s happening in North Dakota, more than 100 miles of road in South Dakota, in 38 counties in Michigan, and it‘s happening in Ohio, and it‘s happening in Alabama, and it‘s happening in Pennsylvania.

Did you know that cities are actually UNPAVING roads in favor of gavel roads because they can't afford to maintain paved roads? I didn't know that. What's next a horse and buggy? We are supposed to be LEADING the way forward, not falling backwards.

Which means that somewhere in China, it is entirely possible that a business person sat down for a ride on a 200-mile-an-hour state-of-the-art levitating bullet train and crack open "The Wall Street Journal" and read about how in America, we‘ve decided we can‘t afford paved roads anymore.

This point really got me as I rely on public transportation to get to and from work. Imagine how many more unemployed we will have if they can't even GET to their jobs because the city can no longer afford public transportation?

Consider also Clayton County, Georgia.  Clayton County, Georgia, decided to solve its budget crisis by ending its public bus service.  Not cutting back the number of buses, not suspending bus routes, but shutting down its bus service altogether.  More than 8,000 people who rely on that bus service every single day to get to work or school, they are totally out of luck.

And education, a very important issue for me, is also on the chopping block (as usual)

Speaking of school, that is where the state of Hawaii has decided to look to for an answer to its budget woes.  Public schools in Hawaii have been implementing a four-day school week, just not opening schools on Fridays.  Hawaii schools close there are doors on 17 Fridays over the past school year.
Just make do, moms and dads.  How are you going to deal with the childcare issue?
Hawaii, of course, is the home state of President Obama, who made the case today that short-changing education, doing thing like say, cutting down the number of school days, is actually counterproductive to keeping the U.S. economy going.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The single most important thing we can do is to make sure we‘ve got a world class education system for everybody.  That is a prerequisite for prosperity.
Education is an economic issue.  Education is the economic issue of our time.
MADDOW:  If that‘s the case, if education is the economic issue of our time, then how exactly is our economy affected by just lopping a whole day of instruction off the school week?  How exactly is our economy affected by 46,000 education jobs being lost over the past three months?

and I haven't even mentioned the firefighters and policemen and women who are being fired. Not only are THEY losing their jobs, but the people they protect are losing some safety, or they might lose a house, or a loved one.

All of this is going on and STILL the Republicans want to block a bill that WON'T ADD TO THE DEFICIT and WILL HELP THE STATES.

You should really watch the entire segment. I know it's hard to be all "fired up and ready to go" right now for a lot of people (myself included), but even if you aren't "fired up" we need to be "ready to go" or Congress will be getting even LESS done than they are getting done now.

MADDOW:  If that‘s the case, if education is the economic issue of our time, then how exactly is our economy affected by just lopping a whole day of instruction off the school week?  How exactly is our economy affected by 46,000 education jobs being lost over the past three months?
In order to prevent more of that, in order to prevent thing like cops and firefighters being laid off and street lights being shut off, something extraordinary is happening in politics this week.  Members of the House of Representatives are returning to Washington during their August recess to vote emergency funding for states and local governments—a $26 billion state aid bill that will among other things prevent thousands of teachers from being laid off, which is—if you ask Tea Party activists—it‘s a horrible idea to try to stop teachers from being laid off.  Tea Party activists have reportedly planned protests against the aid package in at least a dozen states.
"The Hill" newspaper says, quote, "The activists are upset over $10 billion in the package for a fund to stop teacher layoffs.  They argue that states have hired far too many teachers in the last decade and they should be downsizing the pool of teachers rather than asking for a federal bailout."  See, it‘s a bailout now.
That‘s the argument.  Class sizes are too small.  We need to fire some more teachers, America.
Apparently agreeing with the tea partiers are House Republicans, the vast majority of whom are expected to vote against that state aid bill tomorrow.  Earlier today, soon-to-be former Republican congressman, Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, tweeted this.  Quote, "On the way to D.C., vote on more deficit/stimulus spending.  Spending is destroying America.  Time to stop.  I‘ll vote no."
The number three House Republicans, Mike Pence, stated his opposition to the bill this way.
REP. MIKE PENCE ®, INDIANA:  I have to tell you, I think the American people are tired of more spending, more bailouts, and I think they‘re going to be frustrated with Congress coming back from a recess when we should be listening to the American people to do more of the same.
MADDOW:  For the record, Mike Pence, along with a number of other Republicans, are now railing against the state aid bill for teachers and cops and firefighters while simultaneously arguing to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans—against the state aid bill, which by the way is totally paid for and wouldn‘t be added to the deficit, they‘re against that.  But they are for tax cuts, which are not paid for, and which would add about—roughly $700 billion to the deficit.
Republicans are essentially arguing that rich people can‘t go back to the tax rates they were paying during the Clinton years.  In order to prevent rich people from having to go back to those tax rates, in order to prevent that horror movie, we‘re all going to have to take a kick in the teeth.  We‘re going to have to just load $700 billion on to the deficit.  Sure, it will hurt, it‘s awful, but do it for the rich people.  They hurt so bad in the ‘90s, we can never ask them to go back to that.
Now, as for you people who have kids in public schools, you folks are going to have to suffer.  We are cutting teachers, we are cutting cops, we‘re cutting firefighters, we‘re cutting streetlights, we‘re cutting buses, we are literally unpaving the roads for you—because spending for you is wrong and it‘s bad for America.  Spending for the richest people in the country to have a giant $700 billion tax cut, that‘s right.  That‘s good for America.

It‘s a hell of a choice heading into the fall.

Trust me, if you're unhappy now you DEFINITELY won't be any happier if the Republicans take over either house of Congress (even as much as I loathe the Senate, it is better than a McConnell led Senate). I know "fear" or "the Republicans would be worse" is not good motivation. People like positive motivation. But let's face facts, you see the obstruction the Republicans are doing NOW to bring down Pres. Obama? That's NOTHING compared to what they would be doing if they controlled Congress. Just imagine how much WORSE things would be if none of the legislation that has passed had passed at all. Just imagine. I imagine it would be something like the alternative future on Phineas and Ferb when Candace went back in time and "busted her brothers" on the first day of summer. It would not be pretty.

So watch the segment from yesterday's The Rachel Maddow Show, and imagine if it were YOUR city that going back to gravel, or YOUR city that was cutting off public transportation, or YOUR city that was cutting back on Fireman and Police Officers, or YOUR city taking an entire day off of the school week. Just imagine that, and see if you can't find some motivation to at least make sure we are still in power in Novemeber so at least when we are pushing our Congresscritters, they may actually CARE what we have to say.

All blockquotes in this diary are from The Rachel Maddow Show Official Transcript for Monday, August 9, 2010

Originally posted to Muzikal203 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 09:39 AM PDT.

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