Blog Archives

The House of Representatives represents who?

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

- Mark Twain

One of the options you have when you’re retired like me is to spend time watching the members of Congress debate on C-Span. Indeed, watching them deal with legislation on Budget, Education, Health and other human services is an example of people speaking to each other but not listening to one word the other person says. You get what I mean?

Right now they are debating on “Rules for Changing the Federal Budget Process Bill.” No, they aren’t changing the budget. They are changing the RULES to change the budget as law.

Republicans are saying things like “tax cuts cause higher revenues.” Democrats are saying that “Inflation increases the amount of money needed to carry out necessary programs” like Social Security or Medicare.

At least one (Democrat, I guess) has quoted Grover Norquist‘s favorite statement that he doesn’t want to eliminate government… he just wants to shrink it…until it is small enough to drown in a bathtub. (btw, was Grover Norquist ever elected by anyone, anywhere to serve in Congress as they decide on things like this?)

In the long run, if you are a.) a Democrat proposing legislation or b.) presenting a proposal by President Obama… even if legislation being proposed was sought previously by Republicans… you can assume that the large majority of Republicans will make sure nothing passes. That has been the situation since the 2010 election that brought in all the Tea Party folks.

Do not expect anything to happen this season that will actually solve our very serious problems. Ain’t gonna happen.

Wow… an unexpected Quote of the Day…

I assume this was said in error… but there are many who say that such accidents let out the true beliefs of torchbearers.

“By the way, I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor…”

-Mitt Romney, February 1st, 2012, while talking on the air to Soledad O’Brien of CNN.

You know, I believe his true beliefs actually came out here.

Always keep the truth in mind…

So the SuperCommittee isn’t getting anywhere. So what will the government do about our financial problems.

And what about jobs?

Do Republicans care if 42 million folks work again?
Let’s see what they spend their time on in Congress (thanks to the Daily Kos):


So last week was Tea Party Week… maybe this will scare the rest of America enough to stop criticizing Obama and join ranks…

Take a look:

Let’s make this week Democratic Week…

A quote for the Day re: the Downgrade to AA+

This morning we heard the debunking of the  GOP talking point that the S&P downgrade was due to debt:

“We know the hole we have been digging out of is deeper than we thought. The question is whether or not the stock market dropping 500 points in a day and as much as it did in two weeks, the downgrade is going to be a wake-up call. What is feasible in Washington? The downgrade message, whatever you think of S&P, they mentioned the need for increased revenues and revenues being on the table three separate times. They indicted the Republican Party right now in Washington. It’s a question about whether or not there will be a change in fashion and whether or not it will be a wake-up call that the parties need to work together rather than the Republicans fashion right now, which is any deal is a bad deal.”

- Rachel Maddow on Meet The Press this morning.

The Idiots are “debating” all day…

… but are they coming up with anything? The Senate has  kept the Boehner Bill from getting voted on…. the House has voted down the Reid Bill (which he Senate hasn’t even voted on and which they can’t agree on an up-and-down vote… in which it would pass… or a 60 person vote…which it would fail.)

The Senate is coming to a decision at 1:00 AM… I don’t know if I want to stay up this late and find that nothing takes place.

I wonder if this Congress has any idea how stupid they appear to the rest of us in America? If they did, this would probably not be happening.

Tar and Feather the Politicians…

Ralph Nader signing books at Barnes & Noble Un...

Ralph Nader - "The Spoiler" - if it were not for him, Gore would have been President and we would probably not be in this position right now.

 

As we go through the weekend with both Democrats and Republicans more concerned with which side “wins” or “loses” than with the concerns and complaints of the general public, we rapidly approach the August 2nd Deadline.

So, perhaps they will give themselves a one week extension to figure out how to end this… perhaps even REALLY compromise on a solution. I tell you what would end this now… a consortium of the richest folks in America… called by a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates perhaps… who INSIST on returning to the tax levels they were at under Bill Clinton (when they all made significant monetary advances anyway). Greed, however, is stronger than Good, so I don’t think anything like a voiced opinion by wealthy folks will ever happen.

We are also getting to the extremes… and that brings out people like Ralph Nader (the Spoiler) who is now pushing for a primary challenge to Obama to bring out progressives and liberals dissatisfied with the President’s concessions to the Right. And , of course, the unchangeable Tea-Party Congressfolk can still do plenty of damage before the 2012 elections… the first time Americans can repair the mess they made for themselves in 2010.

If there were a way to just keep the politicians, the corporations, the lobbyists and pigs like the Koch Brothers out of all this and have a national referendum on raising the debt ceiling  and sharing the tax burden mor equitably… a referendum that would stand as law…  we might see a different world. But that will never happen, either.

We are in a deep and slippery-sided pit and climbing out seems damn near impossible. If they cut my Social Security payment and I can’t afford to do this blog anymore, I’ll be heading to DC with my pup tent and sleeping bag, with signs and my megaphone, and I would ask everyone in the same situation to join me.

Murdoch gives more to Democrats than Republicans?

RT4_Keynote_Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Why is this man smiling?

Harry Shearer dropped an interesting stat on Le Show this weekend: last month Rupert Murdoch’s organization gave significantly more in campaign donations to Democrats than it did to Republicans. Of approximately $50,000 in contributions, $32,000 went to Democrats… and primarily those associated with committees relating to the judiciary… as if Rupert had predicted in June the problems he’d be in in July.

However, it also appears that in the last couple of years Murdoch’s empire has given somewhat more to Democrats than to Republicans across the board. As Shearer pointed out, if the Fox News fans realized this, wouldn’t they protest?

Hmmmm.

Beginning the last few days of July and waiting for this @#^&* Congress to do something about the debt ceiling…

Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti

We’re getting awfully close to that August 2d Deadline (1 week from tomorrow) and it doesn’t look like the House and the Senate AND the White House can get together on ANYTHING (especially without using whatever they do as a 2012 election strategy event.)

I’m beginning to hope none of these clowns ever get elected again and we return the country to King George the Third and let him raise the ceiling (what? He’s dead? Crap!)

Doing some history research, I came across the book “Democracy for the Few” by Michael Parenti which was published in 2008 and updated in 2010 (incidentally he gets into my personal peeve of Monsanto with it’s poisoned farmlands and manipulated seedlings in his section on the corporatization of the country.) Taking us back to the Founding Fathers and the Constitutional Convention, Parenti shows us that things are not so different now as they were then… the control of proceedings was held by the wealthy who responded with fear when demands were made by the masses, and gave in as little as possible:

… or, to put it more bluntly, the rich used politics to manipulate the people.

So the Republicans now want a plan which raises no taxes and which will be debated, without solving the problems, right up to the elections at the end of 2012, meanwhile ruining our credit and bond ratings with other countries (and with Social Security which it could conceivably wipe out since the surplus funding we are told over and over again will hold Social Security safe until 2035 in the same Federal Bonds which are being devalued.

Obama has done more than the Republicans, and much more than his Democratic allies, to move to the center and find concessions which would help all levels of our society. Democrats have tried negotiating from Biden’s committee on down only to be faced with opposite leadership walkouts (“I’m taking my bat and going home”) and regular upping of the agreeable compromises (btw, there are NO agreeable compromises here.) Republicans seem to have two needs to fill here: 1. Support their Corporate Funders, and 2. Make sure Obama is not reelected in 2012. In other words, to hell with the American society.

I don’t know what entertainment is forthcoming on C-Span 1&2 this week… I don’t know if I can watch any more of this.

I have to get ready for a middle-class uprising.

If you are tired of hearing Republicans tear down the Affordable Care Act…

… then this video from the Kaiser Family Foundation will give you an overview of what is actually covered, what it costs and how it keeps more people safe than not having it:

Those candidates who “debated” last night should sit down and watch this all the way through.

Quote of the Day – White House weighs in on Weiner…

Jay Carney

Asked what the White House thinks of the Weiner situation and whether or not it supports the Democratic leadership that wants the Congressman‘s resignation, Press Secretary Jay Carney said the following:

“We think it’s a distraction from the important business that this president needs to conduct and Congress need to conduct. Beyond that, I don’t have any comment.”

Carney also said that Weiner’s activity was inappropriate. On the news tonight (an NBC leap into the front line), President Obama said Weiner should resign.

What’s your opinion… are congressional legislators ethical?

According to a poll reported on by The Hill:

58 percent of voters think most members of Congress are “unethical,” while only 25 percent consider the majority to be principled. Seventeen percent are unsure.

Furthermore, those polled didn’t seem to trust one party over another… and 68% believe that ethical standards have declined among politicians in recent decades while only 7% thought they had improved.

The poll was taken three days after Weiner announced his responsibility for sending suggestive photographs of himself to women he didn’t know.

69% of those polled said they somewhat or strongly disapproved of the job Congress is doing,  25% said they somewhat approved and just 3% said they strongly approved. 33% said men in office are less ethical than women.

The figures are based on a national survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

Quote of the Day – Stock Politician Statement #7

“Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person. In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.”

Weiner spokeswoman, Risa Heller

What clinic treats Twitter stupidity?

Should Anthony Weiner resign?

Anthony Weiner

Rep. Anthony Weiner

I have said that I would lay off on the Anthony Weiner brouhaha, but it doesn’t seem to go away… and now some major Democrats are joining virtually all Republicans in saying Weiner should resign his post. I expect that from Republicans… even though they didn’t express the same kinds of thoughts when their officeholders were revealed to have sexual affairs in the past year or so (I’m thinking especially of creeps like Eric Cantor who, it would seem, thinks the main fault with Weiner is that he is a Democrat.

His constituency, on the other hand, as polled doesn’t seem to want the resignation as much as his colleagues. The last figures on the news last night put Keep Weiner at 50% and Dump Weiner at 28% with the remaining 22% undecided. In interviews on the street in Brooklyn and Queens, television reporters found many who said they would vote for Weiner again.

Of the 500 voters surveyed, 61 percent say Weiner’s behavior was unethical, but not illegal. Only Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz shared kind words for Weiner with NY1 on Wednesday, but he also expressed some relief that he was not in the same predicament.

However, 56 percent of those polled say he should not run for City Hall. Weiner was thought to be a front runner for mayor before the scandal broke.

So far, there has been no comment from Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, who is on a European tour with her boss, Hillary Clinton. It is thought that she is the last judgement on the situation and that Weiner would resign if she wanted him to. What kind of advice do you think she is getting from Hillary, who stood behind her husband who didn’t resign during the scandal that almost brought him down?

In my opinion, what he did was both extremely stupid and amazingly juvenile. It was not, however, a crime. It was more of an embarassment, and, as such has no legal grounds for his leaving office. There is the social stigma that this affair puts on Weiner’s character which some would find insufferable… but Weiner seems ready to, as they say, stick it out. It is highly doybtful that he will be able to run for Mayor of NYC in 2013 as he had intended.

So I think he should stay in and see if he can get reelected in 2012. I think his constituents should decide his future and his republican colleagues should support him (unless they are as personally clean as they claim.)

One big result of the Weiner scandal is the drop in use of Twitter by the Congressman’s colleagues. Elected officials tweeted about 28 percent less the week of May 30 to June 3 than the previous week, according to a study by TweetCongress.

A petition worth signing… make sure everyone can vote, not just the friends of Republicans!

Stop Vote Suppression!

Now that they control a majority of statehouses across the nation, Republicans are attempting a bold power grab to disenfranchise voters and repeat the Florida election debacle of 2000.

Right now, states with Republican governors or new GOP majorities are ramming through bills designed to make it harder for people to vote.

They’ll stop at nothing to steal the Presidency.

We have to act now to stop these bills from becoming law. The Democratic Governors Association is the only organization devoted solely to electing Democratic governors who will veto any and all attempts to limit voter rights. Use the form at the right to stand with the DGA and demand that Republicans stop their politically-motivated attempts to suppress votes.

 

Go HERE.

Did you get this message from Nancy Pelosi last night?

I did. here it is:

Nancy Pelosi

Victories like this are what happen when we fight together to protect our core Democratic values.

Congresswoman-elect Hochul’s victory in a staunchly-Republican district has shocked the political world and sent an unmistakable sign that the American people will not stand for the Republicans’ reckless and extreme agenda to end Medicare.

This is our third straight special election victory in New York — and it is truly one for the ages. All of the Republicans’ right-wing outside groups with their secret money and dishonest attacks were no match for the combined strength of grassroots Democrats.

Thank you again for fighting to protect and defend Medicare and bringing us one step closer to regaining our Democratic House Majority.

Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader

Hopefully, this is the start of taking back the House from the crazies.

Unofficial primary results – West Virginia Gubernatorial Races

Republican results (unofficial)

Bill Maloney


Bill Maloney 27,563 45.06%
Betty Ireland 18,891 30.88%
Clark Barnes 5,850 9.56%
Mark A. Sorsaia 2,950 4.82%
Larry V. Faircloth 2,369 3.87%
Mitch B. Carmichael 2,045 3.34%
Ralph William Clark 1,230 2.01%
Cliff Ellis 277 .0.45%

Democratic results (unofficial)

Earl Ray Tomlin


Earl Ray Tomblin 51,191 40.37%
 Rick Thompson 30,572 24.11%
 Natalie E. Tennant 21,954 17.31%
 John D. Perdue 15,904 12.54%
 Jeffrey V. Kessler  6,715 5.30%
 Arne Moltis  481 0.38%

Mountain Party

The mountain Party has no primary. Candidate is nominated in convention.


Thoughts in the Afternoon…

While I’ve been waiting at home for the delivery of my SuperFocus glasses (according to UPS tracking they left the Hagerstown UPS facility at around 7:30 this morning… it is now around 1:30 in the afternoon and they are not here yet. Of course, the estimated delivery listing said they would come at “some time” today… so I’m just going to wait.

Anyway, while sitting here waiting, I was thinking about the things that make politicians the servants of corporations with endless supplies of money, while they ignore the needs of citizens who have little or no cash to spare. Notice I didn’t distinguish between Democrats and Republicans… I can cite instances where members of both parties have knuckled under to Corporate funds. Although I must say that, during this season, and especially after the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, the Republicans are a good ten times ahead of the Democrats in raising corporate donations for campaign ads (about $100.00 vs. $1,000,000.00 so far) and, unlike the small players, the Republican contributions have not been attributed to anyone… they are completely secret.

That’s going to make the campaign season a little off center as we watch TV ads and listen to radio shows. It’s going to be the responsibility of blogs like this one to keep all the players honest. So I hope as petitions come up and phone calls need to be made that my readers will be as active as necessary to help us preserve the America that is run by the People and not by the Corporate Elite.

This seems to be more than just Hopeful…

Steve Israel

Steve Israel

Nothing would make me happier than Republicans, and by that I mean The Tea Party (or the Koch Brothers Front) losing control of the House next year.

Steve Israel (see below) is right on the money here, and if those uncompromising righties don’t sign along with the rest of us to restore taxes on the Top 1%, then they will guarantee the loss of control.

Picked this up at Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

clipped from politicalwire.com

Top Democrat Says Vote Will Cost GOP House Control

DCCC chair Steve Israel (D-NY) predicted to Greg Sargent that today’s vote to pass Rep. Paul Ryan‘s (R-WI) budget blueprint would ultimately cost Republicans control of the House
Said Israel: “When we win back the majority, people will look back at this vote as a defining one that secured the majority for Democrats.”
“Israel said that Dems plan to use the Medicare vote today to go on the offensive against Republicans from now all the way until Election Day 2012. Crucially, Israel said it would be used in every district, even ones that are marginal or conservative — suggesting that on Medicare at least, Dems are hoping to maintain a united national front, rather than letting the messsage be watered down in conservative districts that may be more receptive to GOP messages about fiscal conservatism.”
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Quote of the Day

… from Ezra Klein in the Washington Post, regarding the budget deal Obama made with Boehner on Friday night:

Right now, the economy is weak. Giving into austerity will weaken it further, or at least delay recovery for longer. And if Obama does not get a recovery, then he will not be a successful president, no matter how hard he works to claim Boehner’s successes as his own.

It’s worth your time to read the whole column HERE.

Quote of the Day – Are we trading women’s rights for budget agreement?

The Teabaggers are trying to defund Planned Parenthood, eliminating pap smears and breast exams (and, yes, abortions) for poor women. Patty Murray looked at it as blackmail:

Senator Patty Murray added the GTX into a bill...
Patty Murray

“I am really stunned, and I am angry as a woman that we have come to this after weeks of negotiating on numbers, where we have in principle an agreement on numbers, that there are those in the Republican Party in the House who are willing to shut down the government, take people’s paychecks away from them, because they want to deny women access to health care in this country.”

- Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington

Go Patty! Don’t let Obama concede this one.

 

Wisconsin’s First Turnover… Let’s watch for more…

“Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.” ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

Received this in the e-mail this afternoon:

They just announced — only minutes ago — the final precincts in the WI Supreme Court race and we won!!

WI Republicans are in a panic. There will be a recount, but the damage is already done. In fact, district by district results show major problems for the WI Republican Senators across the state — especially for Republican Senator Dan Kapanke where JoAnne Kloppenburg won his district handily.

As you know, Kapanke is the first of the Republican Senators to have a recall petition filed on him. Let’s see if they can add more to the list…and hold out until January so they can recall Gov. Walker.

Eric Cantor Exhibits Legislative Insanity

The House Majority Leader thinks that the House can pass a law without the Senate also passing it word for word and without the President signing it.

Perhaps Cantor should consult any grade school student who has studied U.S. History and find out what he is suggesting is unconstitutional.

This from HuffPo (if you click their URL below there’s more):

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
House Republicans will introduce legislation, likely by the end of this week, that would make it so that if Congress is unable to come to an agreement over an operating budget, the GOP’s version would simply become law of the land.
The bill, titled “The Government Shutdown Prevention Act,” is designed for the purposed described in its title. In terms of partisan equity, it’s lacking.
Announced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Wednesday, the legislation would make it so that “if the Senate fails to pass a measure before April 6, 2011 providing for the appropriations of the departments and agencies of the Government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, H.R. 1 (as passed by the House on February 19, 2011) becomes law.”
Senate Democrats have rejected passing HR1 since the onset of the government funding debate.
It’s worth noting that Cantor might not be entirely in the loop as to the progress of the budget negotiations…
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BoldProgressives.org releasing new commercial supporting recalls in Wisconsin: focus on education…

This exhibits another increase in support of the anti-Scott Walker and the Republicans Movement. Take a look:

If you want to donate to this program, go to: secure.actblue.com

Beware The Ides of March – especially in Wisconsin

John Nichols has written another revealing article on the Wisconsin situation in The Nation. This one is a really frightening one for any free American: proposing legislation to deny State Senators the ability to serve their constituents.

Nichols cites State Senator Fred Risser of Madison in the article:
“Who does Senator Fitzgerald think he is? Just because his brother is the speaker of the Assembly and his best friend is the governor of Wisconsin does not give him the power to decide who can and cannot vote in the State Senate,” said Risser, whose Senate service began before Fitzgerald was born. “His statement that Senate Democrats can no longer vote in committee is the height of arrogance. In my tenure in the legislature, I have never seen any attempt to deny duly elected legislators their right to vote.”

Here’s a clip, but go into The Nation’s site and read it all:

clipped from www.thenation.com
Wisconsin Republicans have now moved to deny Democratic legislators the right to vote on legislation as it is being considered by state Senate committees.
For the better part of a month, fourteen Democratic state senators denied Republicans the quorum they sought to pass Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-labor legislation—and, in so doing, provided the time for the development of a mass movement that last Saturday drew more than 100,000 union supporters to the Capitol. The Democratic senators have returned and the legislation has passed.
But Republican poll numbers have collapsed. And they are furious.
 

How furious?

Walker and his legislative consigliere, state Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, have now moved to deny the dissenting Democrats the right to participate in the legislative process.

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (Walker in the background) of "Fitzwalkerstan"

The majority leader’s over-the-top actions have led one senior legislator, state Representative Mark Pocan, D-Madison, to begin referring to the Wisconsin as a “third world junta” state that he calls “Fitzwalkerstan.”

While that line gets a laugh, the assaults on representative democracy are serious.

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