Blog Archives

Tax Benefits for the Middle Class with Obamacare

No matter what the Republicans in Congress say as they pass Eric Cantor‘s legislative move to repeal Obamacare (don’t worry, the Senate will send it to the crapper), it should be clear that the health care program benefits the Middle class. Especially with tax cuts.

Take a look:

Save this to argue with your Republican friends (as if they’ll listen!)

If you ask Eric Cantor about Anti-Semitism in the House…

… he avoids the discussion. Does it mean anything?

Listen to the noise!

Tea Partiers are complaining bitterly that Boehner and the Republicans gave in on the Payroll tax problem. Obama supporters are cheering because Barack finally stood up to the House. Boehner is apparently in tears while Eric Cantor fishes for his Speaker seat.

What a way to spend a Friday. I’m exhausted just watching Chris Matthews argue with guests.

As for me… it’s the weekend, Christmas Eve is tomorrow night… and politics will be gone for at least two days.

Quote of the Day – Time for us all to get involved…

“The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are shining a light on one of the most serious problems facing the United States — the greed and power of Wall Street.  Now is the time for the American people to demand that the president and Congress follow that light — and act.  The future of our economy is at stake.”

Bernie Sanders

Senator Sanders hits it right on the head. For my local fans, Occupy Martinsburg is starting this weekend… let’s get out there and see what Shelley Moore Capito (millionaire, btw) is going to do about it.

 

Quote of the Day – From the Democratic Governor’s Conference

Concerning the walls Republicans have built up to block Obama‘s Debt Ceiling proposals:

“I think that there is an extreme wing within their party who have as their primary goal not the jobs recovery, but the defeat of President Obama in 2012.  They know that their formulations, their policies of less revenues and less regulation badly failed our country and plunged us into this recession. So their only way of evening the playing field is to keep the president from being successful in the jobs recovery.”

– Martin O’Mally, Governor of Maryland at the Democratic Governor’s Conference in Salt Lake City.

Truer words were never spoken.

Signing the Pledge

We are pleased to add Grover Norquist to the Ranks of the Inverted

Republicans have signed so many pledges… not to raise taxes under any circumstance (like the government going totally out of business), not voting for any law that gives a woman control of her own body, making sure that marriage  and family raising is as good for African-Americans as it was under slavery… you know the drift.

Well, I think it is time that Democratic candidates had pledges to sign. My first one would be a pledge to arrest Grover Norquist for impersonating an elected official when he tells real elected officials what they can and can’t do. I’m sure if we look into it further, we’ll find that he has messed with our country’s economy primarily for his own benefit. Oh, and in that pledge, let him never be eligible for Medicare or Social Security.

Then maybe we can take a look at a pledge to go after Eric Cantor.  😉

As June ends we see the economy getting worse…

Unemployment looks like it’s starting to go up again, even here in Shepherdstown where we were doing pretty well – something which I think is pretty common in small University towns not based on industry or international trade – and I’m getting more and more pissed off at our Congressfolk who would rather battle for control of the government than the salvation of the citizenry.

Take, for instance, the walkout of Cantor and Kyl from the deficit talks – blaming it n the Democrats seeking tax increases for the rich (after they had already given up three trillion dollars in concessions according to the news on television). Now it seems the walkout was pre-planned and this  was a strategy to throw the Republican position into Boehner‘s lap, keeping the House from any kind of agreement on returning the upper 1% of rich folks from going back to the tax levels that Bush had brought them “temporarily” down to. As they pulled this off, the ability to fund the basics of Medicare and Medicaid seem strained and folks like Max Baucus, one of the few Democrats that I have the least trust in, announced he was ready to look at more cuts in the health care agenda.

If the deficit ceiling is not raised by the end of the next three or four weeks we will have plenty of opportunity to hear both parties blaming the other… both of them claiming that the majority of Americans agree with them. But since the rest of us are all part of that majority of Americans it seems strange that no one really feels the politicians are really speaking for us.

Perhaps it is time for us all to find ways to show that we could work together to solve problems, and send the politicians, lobbyists, Koch Brothers, Fox Newscasters, and all the rest who are making their big bucks on this conflict out into the night.

Maybe we can do it. Maybe.

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.

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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Another Question Eric Cantor is Sidestepping…

Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia

Eric Cantor

If you saw House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R – VA) on Meet The Press yesterday, you know that he evaded every question that was put to him. 

Here’s another from Senators Chuck Schumer (D – NY) and Robert Menendez (D – NJ).

The whole article is available at Talking Points Memo:

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
As promised, Senate Democrats aren’t going to take the GOP‘s health care repeal push lying down
In a letter delivered to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Sunday, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) demand an answer to a question now at the center of the Republican party’s top legislative priority: Will repealing the health care law force seniors to reimburse the government for the $250 check they received in 2010 to help them pay for prescription drugs?
“We are particularly concerned that repeal would reverse the course of making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors,” Schumer and Menendez write. “The [repeal] legislation approved by the House could require seniors to repay the government.”
“Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), has said that “in theory,” seniors would have to return the checks if repeal becomes law,” the letter reads.
You can read the entire letter here.
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House Passes Repeal…Something only 26 % of Americans Support (AP poll). Now what?

Breaking down by party lines the Republicans got Repeal voted through 245 to 189, and it now heads to the Senate where Harry Reid has stated he will block it’s being raised. Although Republicans are expected to find any kind of trick possible to get it brought up in the Senate, it is doubtful that it will happen.

Republicans rejected a procedural maneuver by the Democratic minority to make repeal ineffective unless a majority of the House and Senate withdraw from the federal health benefits program within 30 days after passage by each chamber.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the effort was “an attempt to derail an appeal of the Obamacare bill.

Now the Republicans in the House say they will be proposing a new Health Care Bill starting tomorrow, and Democrats may use this as a way to alter the existing law by bringing in a Single Payer policy, which many of them wanted originally.
Whatever happens, there is very little chance that the current Health Care law will be taken away and the Republicans, instead of creating legislation to increase jobs, has wasted most of the start of their majority presence in the House. The question, then, is why is this man laughing?

Being Civil… Why not take incivility out of naming Bills in the House?

After the Giffords shooting touched off a heated debate over the use of violent political rhetoric, the schedule and name of the health care repeal bill fell into doubt. 

An exerpt from TPM:

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
In the wake of the shooting spree in Arizona, Democrats pressed Republicans to change the name of their health care repeal bill — the bluntly titled “Repealing the Job Killing Health Health Care Law Act.”
No luck. A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says they’re sticking with that name. 

As first reported by Greg Sargent, that vote is scheduled for next week. In a statement sent my way, Cantor spox Brad Dayspring confirms, “As the White House noted, it is important for Congress to get back to work, and to that end we will resume thoughtful consideration of the health care bill next week.”

“A good place to start a more civil dialog would be for my Republican colleagues in the House to change the name of the bill they have introduced to repeal health care reform,” wrote Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) in the Huffington Post.
Changing the name of the bill would require another act of Congress, according to the new Rules of the House.
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Taking a look at the Senate and House live on TV today…

I especially saw just what I expected on the House side… even on votes to get debates started… Democrats vote to move forward, Republicans, virtually 100%, vote Nay on everything…even on things they have suposedly been working on in a bipartisan manner off the floor.

Every stall tactic to waste time is used as well: all votes have to be documented, which adds 5 to 15 minutes to every action (at least that’s what is supposed to happen, but most of the 5 minute votes last for around 12 minutes and the 15 minute votes can go on for close to half an hour.)

On the Senate side, I watched debate on food-related bills designed to protect the public from being poisoned by unregulated food importers, etc. The taffy-heads like Eric Cantor (R – VA) try to tell us this is all a State responsibility, when we know that imports from outside the country are best run from a Federal administrative base. Republicans aren’t going to vote for anything the Dems want to pass… and they will take just as long as the House to do anything, if not longer, as well.

Its going to take a hard push to get things through in the Lame Duck Session… and I just don’t believe the Democrats are ready to do the pushing.

Morning…

Here I am in what must be the only near-progressive county in West Virginia. Oh, we voted for Governor Manchin to take the Senate seat (Manchin is many things, but Progressive is not one of them), and Delegate Doyle seems to have made it back. It looks like Democrat Paul Taylor and not Independent Dunleavy is the County Commissioner. (Update: newest results now in and Paul Taylor is not county commissioner, but Walt Pellish, the Republican, has taken a slight edge – BT) My town seems to have supported Virginia Graf for the house, but Shelly Moore Capito (R) was reelected by the rest of the constituency (which stretches irregularly accross the state).

As to the Federal elections and the state governor races. this was the Republicans‘ election. They swept the House, giving John Boehner a seat of power that I fully expect him to abuse. The cut down on the Democrat lead in the Senate, but at least Harry Reid got reelected in the face of a Tea Party Loony looking like she might take his seat. We’re still waiting to see if Patty Murray takes Washington state. That would help keep the Democratic Senate in a working majority situation.

The thing I am most thankful for is that Christine O’Donnell lost by a large margin in Delaware. While she may not be a witch, she is definitely not an intelligent politician and would have made our lives even harder to get through.

Now I want to see how the Republicans are going to both cut taxes and reduce expenditures at the same time. Whenever winning Reps like Rand Paul were asked how they would do it, they sort of smiled and gave us a “you’ll see.” Even Eric Cantor (R – VA), now in a new seat of power couldn’t come up with an answer to the how-will-they-do-it question. I expect a lot of head-on crashes between House and Senate, Congress and Obama, and the people against the government. It’s not going to be pretty.

My wife said this morning that it might be time to see if there is a way to move to Canada.

Joan Walsh has a great column in Salon…

Here’s a clip from it, but go in and read the whole thing. Then decide for yourself if Eric Cantor is lying to get back at Democrats…
clipped from www.salon.com

Eric Cantor’s phony victim story
Did House GOP Whip Eric Cantor just become 2010’s answer to Ashley Todd, the white McCain supporter who claimed she was assaulted by a black Obama backer in October 2008?
You remember the story: A 20-year-old McCain-Palin volunteer told Pittsburgh police that a black man robbed her, and then, when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on her car, he beat her and carved a B – for “Barack” — into her cheek, and told her she better support the black Democrat. Days later, the clearly disturbed Todd confessed that she made up the attack, and apparently mutilated herself to provide “evidence.”
No one’s accusing Cantor of shooting up his own office, but from the minute he made his claim — also implying he was targeted because he was Jewish — it was almost certain to be untrue. In the very first AP report on the incident, the Richmond police  said the bullet had been fired into the air, not through Cantor’s window.
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There’s more… go HERE.

Obama Won’t Drop Potential Use Of Reconciliation On Health Care

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
President Obama wants to keep the option of using reconciliation to pass health care reform despite calls from Republican lawmakers that he agree to drop the parliamentary maneuver as a “good faith” gesture” before their bipartisan health care summit.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that Republicans coming to the West Wing for the much-anticipated February 25 meeting would be better off arriving “without preconditions.” Asked whether Obama would commit to not using reconciliation — which would allow aspects of health care legislation to be considered in the Senate by an up-or-down vote — Gibbs replied:

The president is not going to eliminate things based on preconditions. And if that’s one of their preconditions, the president doesn’t agree to limiting the way we are going to discuss this.

The day before, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) penned a letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel expressing their reluctance to participate in the health care summit and asking that ground rules be set before talks begin. Among those rules: agreeing to not use reconciliation to make amendments to the Senate health care bill.

Obama

Obama replied: “I am going to be starting from scratch in the sense that I will be open to any ideas that help promote these goals. What I will not do, what I don’t think makes sense… will be another year of partisan wrangling around these issues.”

Thanks to HuffPo for these clips.
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There is One Jewish Republican in the House…

RUSH

… and he is being called on to denounce Rush Limbaugh for equating Barack Obama with Hitler.

This from the HuffPo:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

In the wake of comments from Rush Limbaugh equating Barack Obama to Hitler, a leading Jewish Democratic organization is calling on the House of Representatives’ lone Jewish Republican to repudiate the talk show host.

On Friday, National Jewish Democratic Council David Harris called on House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to denounce Limbaugh’s remarks. Pointing out that the Virginia Republican had said more “Limbaughs” were needed in the GOP just last week, Harris called on “Cantor and the Republican Party to condemn Limbaugh and these utterly contemptible tactics.”

“Mr. Cantor, after Rush’s website antics today and comments yesterday, do you really still think you ‘need’ Limbaugh?” his statement read.

The question wasn’t immediately answered, with Cantor currently traveling in Israel. But Harris’ statement got to a larger point: to what extent should the GOP — and, in particular, its Jewish members — be held accountable for the recent bout of Obama-Nazi comparisons?

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And this from the Simon Wiesenthal Center:

August 7, 2009

reichsadlerInjecting Nazi Comparisons is Bad for the Health of America’s Democracy

The Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized those who have injected Adolf Hitler into the discussion of President Obama’s health care plan.

“It is preposterous to try and make a connection between the President’s health care logo and the Nazi Party symbol, the Reichsadler,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“Americans have every right to be critical of the President’s health care plan but we demean ourselves and everything that America stands for when we compare either Democrats or Republicans to the Nazi Third Reich. Some of us may be too liberal and others too conservative, but none of us are Nazis,” Rabbi Hier concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament.

For more information, contact the Center’s Public Relations department, 310-553-9036.