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Republicans, As Usual, Block Bill to Bring Jobs Home

 

The best piece I’ve read on this subject is over at PoliticusUSA… and while anything I’d write on the Republicans and their ongoing program to outsource jobs overseas, benefit the wealthy and convince the middle class voter that they are really on their side doesn’t come close to this piece by Rmuse, I have condensed it here. You can read the whole article HERE.

Mitch “I won’t let Obama get anything passed” McConnell

Last Thursday, in another attempt to protect corporations and kill American jobs, Republicans blocked a measure to reward companies that brought jobs back to America, and protect their candidate Willard Romney. Republicans in the Senate refused to allow a vote on a bill, The Bring Jobs Home Act, which provided a 20% tax break for costs related to moving jobs back to the United States, at the same time rescinding deductions for companies that moved operations and jobs overseas. The bill was number one on the President’s congressional “to-do list,” but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to amend it with an Affordable Care Act repeal and Bush-era ta x cuts for the wealthy extension.

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Willard “The King of Outsourcing” Romney

With the Senate Republicans action on Thursday, they exposed their agenda of corporate profit protection at the expense of Americans’ jobs. In one fell swoop, they obeyed the Chamber of Commerce, guaranteed more companies will outsource Americans’ jobs, subsidized outsourcing with taxpayer dollars, provided millions for Romney, created jobs in foreign countries, prevented economic growth, and most importantly, killed millions of Americans’ jobs. Their claim the bill was a political ploy by the Obama Administration is patently false because this is the second time in two years Republicans blocked an anti-outsourcing bill.

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The Republican focus on jobs since January 2009 has been killing them, not creating them. They voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus), opposed the auto industry bailout, payroll tax cut and extension, all of the President’s jobs bills, and have blocked any new revenue sources that would fund rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. All of the Republican job-killing measures have as their basis protection of the rich and keeping unemployment figures high, and they are not close to being finished if they win control of the White House and both houses of Congress.

——-

It is a mystery why Republicans get any support from Americans when they have spent the past three-and-a-half years deliberately killing jobs and holding up economic recovery. They have, at every step, demonstrated their allegiance to the wealthy and corporations over the American people, and continue claiming a laser-focus on creating jobs while obstructing job creation and giving corporations tax breaks for outsourcing existing ones. Their contempt for Americans looking for work, or barely holding on to their existing jobs, is nothing short of despicable and by blaming President Obama, they reached a new low in hypocrisy.

So, do you believe what these sociopaths are telling you? The only thing I believe is when McConnell says Obama will never get anything passed… whether we need it or not.

Don’t vote for these people. Keep your jobs here. Encourage businesses to make more. You can bet that the upper 1% aren’t going to make any… and they don’t need the tax deduction because their money is invested in tax free havens like the Cayman Islands.

 

Quotes of the Decade – A New Series

I’ll start with a recent quote by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY):

“This is certainly the most anti-business administration since the Carter years. At least you can say this for President Carter, he was largely incompetent. This administration has actually done a lot of damage to the country.”

And, of course, this was the Administration that saved and revived GM, that cut the amount of Government Spending in relation to it’s income (something Bush and the Republicans never did), and who at least started to increase employment, rather than shoot it into the sewer as in the 8 years preceeding his presidency.
Yet McConnell is listened to with sincere attention by the Press.
This is the same McConnell whose most famous quote this decade was:
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
…and this lack of cooperation started on day one of Obama’s presidency… and persists to this day.

Republicans shoot down Equal Pay law in the Senate.

From RTTGlobal Financial News:

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a bill that Democrats say would increase paycheck equity for women. Republican lawmakers argued the bill would put an undue strain on businesses.

Voting 52-47, the Senate fell eight votes short of the 60 necessary to hold an outright vote on the bill. All 47 Republicans in the chamber voted against it, with the exception of Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who was absent.

The bill, dripping with election-year politics, was intended to close a pay gap between women and men by increasing litigation opportunities for women, closing a variety of legal loopholes, strengthening federal enforcement authority and barring employers from retaliating against employees who share pay information with colleagues.

Even though women make 84¢ an hour for every buck a man makes in the same job (some say 77¢), the attempt today to remedy that situation in the U.S. Senate was pretty much pissed on by 100% of the Senate Republicans.

There are two problems here… problems which won’t go away while we still have the same Democratic-to-Republican ratio:

- The need to have 60 votes, and not a simple majority, to pass an item. This is what is called a “filibuster” and used to be pulled out only rarely, on extremely important bills that had strong disagreements. And it used to require all Senators to be present and those filibustering had to keep speaking on the floor or give up (remember Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington“?). This all changed when Republicans decided when Obama was elected to make ALL votes filibusters… and no one has to speak. They just declare it and it automatically goes to the 60 vote requirement. As Mitch McConnell told us in 2008, he’s not going to let any legislation brought in by Obama pass.

- A significant realization that Senators (both parties) can be influenced (read “instructed”) to vote as requested by their major funders. Corporations and Chambers of Commerce did NOT want to equalize the pay of women to that of men. Why? It would cost them more. So this is why 100% of Republicans…even women… sat on their hands on this one.

Obama was a major supporter of this bill. Romney never said a word about it, even though many expected he would show his relationship to his party by expressing his support for their action.

In his statement on the Republican negative vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked Romney why he had not at least called some of the Republican Senators to say he supported this bill (one of his assistants had e-mailed a response to the net that Romney had always supported equal pay.)

“This is a common-sense measure with broad public support. Nine out of 10 Americans – including 81 percent of men and 77 percent of Republicans – support this legislation. But once again, the only Republicans who are left opposing a common-sense measure to improve our economy and help middle-class families are the ones here in Washington.”

What do you women readers think of this? Does it affect you? Are you paid less than men where you work for similar occupations?

Remembering when Republicans were admired by ALL Americans…

 Read Robert G. Ingersol’s piece on Abraham Lincoln written in 1894. This gives a clear perspective on a Republican leader who served the WHOLE country:

http://www.archive.org/stream/abrahamlincolnle00inge#page/n3/mode/2up

(ever wonder what Lincoln would have thought of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?)

Boehner Caves!

We enter the evening with Speaker John Boehner caving in to a growing chorus of criticism from both within and outside his Republican party. He has agreed to The Senate’s short-term deal to extend a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans.

In a major reversal that appeared to end a standoff with Democrats, Boehner told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he would set a vote in the House on a Senate-passed two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

Boehner’s about-face contrasts with a year of Republican dominance in The House, in which a staunch opposition to higher taxes and spending yielded a string of political successes. Their backpedalling this time handed a rare victory to President Barack Obama and Democrats.

The vote to carry out the 60-day plan should take place tomorrow.

Has the Republican House Sealed its Fate?

“Based on the historical record we can confidently predict that if a large number of incumbents lose their seats next November, it will be because 2012 is a wave election and that almost all of the defeated incumbents will come from the party on the losing side of the wave.”

- Alan I. Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University

Boehner Leads the Ranks of the Inverted

So Boehner turned out the lights and sent the House home, even though Democrats were calling for a continuing discussion to get the interim Payroll bill of the Senate passed, giving 60 days to come up with the final compromise without attacking the economic lives of middle Americans.

Even the Wall Street Journal, not a left leaning publication, tried to get the Republican leader and his Tea Party Poopers to see the three reasons that made the House Majority the bad guys:

Reason #1: House Republicans allowed the Senate to break for the Christmas holiday without explicit orders it would need to come back. In fact, Politico notes that the silence from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is deafening. Reason #2: The Senate passed its legislation by a bipartisan 89-10 vote, raising the question whether a conference committee could produce a deal that could get 60-plus Senate votes. Reason #3: The House GOP didn’t allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, suggesting that it could have passed if they did. Those three reasons will be hard for the House GOP to explain away if the tax cut expires after Dec. 31.”

We are left with no payroll tax cuts for 160 million workers and aid for several million long-term unemployed Americans expiring on Dec. 31. If the Republicans wanted to make Obama look good in this situation, they couldn’t have done it better.

The question now is what will the majority of Americans think when an extra cut comes out of their paychecks and they bring their anger into the public venue (think of the Occupy movement)? Too bad we can’t vote for House members tomorrow!

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.

Jobs Bill Killed!

This was sent to me this morning in John Case’s Daily Mailing:

Another Jobs Bill Killed via Open Congress : Blog by Donny Shaw on 6/23/11

On June 6th, the Senate opened debate on the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011, a bill to reauthorize and expand a long-running and consistently successful job-creation agency, the
Economic Development Administration. The EDA has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, and this reauthorization bill was introduced with bipartisan co-sponsorship and passed out of committee without any dissent from Republicans. But after two weeks of debate, the bill was unanimously filibustered by Republicans and has now been pulled from the floor.

Like the last jobs bill to die in the Senate, the bill was bogged down and ultimately killed by dozens of controversial and unrelated amendments that were submitted to it. Senate rules do not requireamendments to be germane to the bill they are submitted to, so individual senators can choose to use any bill to force a vote on any of their pet issues. By the time the EDA bill was killed, 99 amendments had been submitted, and the list read like an overview of current hot-button political topics. The amendments included everything from raising the debt ceiling, to repealing health care reform, repealing financial regulatory reform, expanding offshore oil drilling, and more.

This problem of non-controversial bills being killed by controversial amendments has its roots in a deal on procedure that Democratic and Republican Senate leaders agreed to at the beginning of this session.
In exchange for Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] keeping bills open to amendments, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R, KY] and his caucus agreed to not mount filibusters of bringing bills to the floor as a matter of routine. As a result, the Democratic majority has been able to hold debates on their legislative agenda, but the Republicans have also been able to turn every debate into an attempt to repeal health care reform.

The Senate Majority Leader has almost complete control over what bills get brought up for debate, so it is the case that most Republican issues stand no chance of being voted on this session outside the amendment process. But the Senate can’t vote on every contentious political topic for every bill, so Reid has to make a decision when to cut off the amendment process and start moving towards passing the underlying bill. In this case, Reid allowed two Democratic amendments and two Republican amendments to be voted on before filing a motion to end debate and move forward towards passage. But since most senators didn’t get to have their pet amendments voted on, they voted against
 he motion to end debate and essentially forced a filibuster. Even Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK], an original co-sponsor of the bill, voted for the filibuster.

And so gridlock prevails, even on the one issue that everyone claims to care about — job creation. Just another example of why Americans have less confidence in Congress than any other institution in American society.

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So the next time Mitch McConnell complains about Obama not doing anything to create jobs, send this article to his office and ask “Why?”

Looks like Harry Reid is going to make Senate Republicans commit themselves to Ryan’s Budget on the Senate floor…

I don’t know if you saw Rachel Maddow last night, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont) made a statement that picked my ears up.

Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from ...

Sen. Harry Reid (D - Nevada)

After commenting on the devastating results the Ryan Budget would have on the lower and middle classes (destruction of Head Start, dismanteling of Social Security, turning Medicare into Coupon Care giving seniors an $8,000.00 coupon instead of coverage – something a senior diagnosed with cancer can spend in the first week), he announced that Harry Reid has a strategy which will benefit Democrats in the upcoming election… He’s going to bring the Ryan Budget to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote. Then all the Republicans who vote for it can be held to it (like the House Republicans) and take the loss in 2012.

In the House, Boehner appears to be wobbling and, perhaps, pulling back on the Ryan fiasco… especially after several local Town hall meetings have attacked Ryan and others about the cutting of Medicare and other problems with his budget – like giving more advantages to corporations and the richest 1% of our population:

Boehner’s recent statement:

“It’s Paul’s idea. Other people have other ideas. I’m not wedded to one single idea, but I think it’s — we have a plan. Where’s the president’s plan to deal with the nightmare that’s facing Americans?”

Organizations like Americans United for Change have another view of Boehner’s being unwedded to Ryan:

“Sorry Speaker Boehner, there’s no ‘take-backs’ or distancing from this one — you and the 224 other House Republicans that voted for the Ryan plan for turning Medicare into Coupon Care now own it.”

So let’s keep an eye on the Senate when they come back (When do these guys actually WORK?), I guess next week. Let’s see if Harry Reid actually pulls it off.

Scott Walker Decides to Become King of Wisconsin.

First, here is the story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Collective bargaining law published despite restraining order

In a stunning twist, Gov. Scott Walker‘s legislation limiting collective bargaining for public workers was published Friday despite a judge’s hold on the measure, prompting a dispute over whether it takes effect Saturday.

The measure was published to the Legislature’s website with a footnote that acknowledges the restraining order by a Dane County judge. But the posting says state law “requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish every act within 10 working days after its date of enactment.”

The measure sparked protests at the Capitol and lawsuits by opponents because it would eliminate the ability of most public workers to bargain over anything but wages.

The restraining order was issued against Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette. But the bill was published by the reference bureau, which was not named in the restraining order.

Laws normally take effect a day after they are published, and a top GOP lawmaker said that meant it will become law Saturday. But nonpartisan legislative officials from two agencies, including the one who published the bill, disagreed.

“I think this is a ministerial act that forwards it to the secretary of state,” said Stephen Miller, director of the Legislative Reference Bureau. “I don’t think this act makes it become effective. My understanding is that the secretary of state has to publish it in the (official state) newspaper for it to become effective.”

Walker signed the bill March 11. Under state law, it must be published within 10 working days, which was Friday.

It hasn’t been printed in the Wisconsin State Journal, the official state newspaper, as other laws are. Late Friday, State Journal publisher Bill Johnston said in an e-mail that the notice for the law had been scheduled to run but had been canceled. He did not elaborate.

La Follette urged caution Friday, saying the measure has not been published yet by his office. He said he believes the law cannot go into effect until he directs the State Journal to publish it, which he has not done.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said it didn’t matter that it hasn’t appeared in the paper.

“It’s published,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s law. That’s what I contend.”

OK, Got it? Walker and Fitzgerald have decided that state law is meaningless when it applies to what they want to do and they are moving ahead, despite the court order and the lack of official publication by La Follette in the official state newspaper.

It would seem that Walker and Fitzgerald… and the state Republican legislators that back them… do not require the law or the judicial branch or even the wishes of the citizens of their state to carry out whatever they want to. If anything laid the basis for revolution, this is it.

Walker has decided to be KING.

A last quote for the day…

“In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin.

“Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will

Sen. Mark Miller

never be forgotten.

“Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.

“Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.”

- Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller

No further comment necessary.

Walker screws the Democratic Senators… and the People of Wisconsin…at the last minute…

…screws the Union workers, too. Screws Wisconsin actually.

He’s using a “nuclear option” to just bring up the anti-Union section of the bill to a vote, which will not require a quorum )since they now claim it is NOT budget related.)

It was also a 180-degree reversal by Walker and state Senate Republicans, who have insisted for the past three weeks that the collective bargaining provision was designed to help alleviate the state’s budget problems. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had previously said he would not attempt to pass any portions of the bill without Democrats present.

Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted 18-1 to strip Union rights and no Democrats were present.

These are outrageous bullying tactics, done without saying anything to the press or public (even though there is a Wisconsin law saying such a maneuver would require a 24 hour public announcement.

From HuffPo:

University of Madison-Wisconsin student journalist Talya Minsberg, who is at the Capitol, told The Huffington Post that there are vastly more people stuck outside than inside due to “airport-style” security measures. Those outside crowded around a window near where the vote was taking place, to shout and protest Republican lawmakers: “You lied! You lied! You lied to Wisconsin!” went one chant. “Shame!” went another.

A mockery has been made of the rule of law and Scott Walker will pay a huge political price for this.

Were you one of the 50,000?

If you were one of the 50,000 people across the country who signed the online petition (and made comments as well) from the Bold Progressives (Progressive Campaign Change Committee), then here are the names and comments being presented to Senator Harry Reid in Nevada:

I often wonder if all the petitions I sign with progressive groups really get through. I guess they do.

Surprise Quote of the Day… Don’t Repeal The Health Care Bill

“It is not the bill that I would have drafted. But it is the law of the land and it is the platform, the fundamental platform, upon which all future efforts to make that system better, for that patient, for that family, will be based.”

- Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in support of NOT repealing Health care. And this guy is a DOCTOR.

Saturday Morning and the Senate is In Session…

… and I’m watching to see if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed.

A procedural vote is expected by noon. If at least 60 senators vote to advance the bill as expected, the legislation could pass as early as late afternoon. Republicans could demand extended debate time, but early indications were that they may not draw the process out further. We’ll see.

This, if it passes, will be the completion of another 2008 election promise by Obama and a successful manipulation by Harry Reid. What Senator McCain tries in holding it off could be interesting.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – So where did the tax cut extension proposal come from?

Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

So who ran the discussions on the tax cut extensions?

- and -

John Sherffius in the Boulder Daily Camera:

Perhaps it was Mitch McConnell who influenced Obama

- and -

Rob Rogers in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:

… or maybe it was Boehner who decided the rich were worth more than the overall economy…

- and -

Jim Morin at the Miami Herald:

… or perhaps Obama just didn’t try.

Here’s a review of the Nevada election…

Republicans were a surprise voting block re-electing Reid over the Tea Party‘s nut case.
This from HuffPo:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Harry Reid Toppled Sharron Angle In Nevada Senate Election With Many Votes From Registered Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid toppled Republican rival Sharron Angle in Nevada’s midterm election last month with support from a perhaps surprising voting bloc, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
According to the Silver State-based outlet:

Preliminary figures show just 2,000 more Democrats than Republicans voted in Nevada’s general election, the secretary of state’s office said Monday. 

Because there were 60,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans at the time of the election, the figures are a clear indication that many Republicans cast votes for Democrat U.S. Sen. Harry Reid rather than for his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle, a secretary of state spokeswoman said.

Reid’s margin was a surprise in a race where a succession of polls showed a dead heat. But he had been there before, re-elected by 428 votes in 1998. 

Reid’s platform was power.

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So here’s what the Right thinks will happen on the extension of Tax Cuts…

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com

McConnell Says Dems Will Cave On Tax Cuts

Signaling confidence that Democrats will stop blustering and cave on tax cuts, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted today that all of the Bush era tax rates will be extended temporarily.

“I think it’s pretty clear now taxes are not going up on anybody in the middle of this recession,” McConnell said on Meet the Press. “It isn’t going to happen.”
McConnell acknowledged that, despite broad Democratic opposition on Capitol Hill, the White House and GOP are currently negotiating a compromise based on a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts, which would likely punt this debate into presidential election season.
“We’re discussing how long we can maintain current tax rates,” McConnell said. “We’re going to have some kind of an extension. I’d like one as long as possible.”
President Obama himself all but signaled that the Democrats lost this fight during a statement about a recently-announced Korea free trade agreement yesterday.
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“We need to redouble our efforts to resolve this impasse — in the next few days — to give the American people the peace of mind that their taxes will not go up on January 1st,” Obama said. “It will require some compromise, but I’m confident that we can get it done.” The White House is pressing the GOP to allow an extension of unemployment benefits and the tax breaks in the stimulus bill in exchange for an extension of income tax rates. According to the Huffington Post, Obama will allow the cuts to expire if the GOP refuses. On that score, McConnell claimed there’s no impasse.

Saturday morning and I’m watching the Senate vote on the tax bill…

Right now they are voting on the Baucus Amendment, which is identical to the bill passed by the House last week. This extends tax cuts across the board up up to $250,000 per family income. If this fails they go to the Schumer Amendment which extends the Bush tax cuts up to $1,000,000.00.

I don’t believe either of these will pass, since the Republicans are holding out for complete extension of all Bush tax cuts… including those for the very wealthy which will cost our country over a trillion dollars this year. However, what will be seen in public is that the Democrats are trying to deal with the two problems of the economy and the deficit, while the Republicans are holding out to make the deficit much, much worse and to benefit the very wealth 1% at the top of our population.

It looks like we are getting a straight “NO” from Republicans (even Brown from Massachusetts and Collins from Maine who were hinted at to be crossovers.) I didn’t see on the Democrat side what Ben Nelson did, or if any other Dem went for the Republican side. It’s no surprise but fucking Lieberman just went with the Republicans (What a surprise!, says my wife.)

Vote on this one was 53 to 36… since, due to the filibuster it needs 60 votes, this one didn’t make it.

____

Harry Reid just interrupted the proceedings to go over the next week’s schedule.

Now they are voting on whether to move forward with the Schumer Amendment with the million dollar break.

____

Schumer’s Amendment would extend unemployment for a year as well.Since it looks like all the Senators are on the floor now, this vote should go faster than the last. Looking at the floor I see that Democrats are talking to Democrats and republicans are talking to Republicans and no pleasant interaction is happening between parties.  Our Senator Rockefeller has voted against this one, and I’m surprised. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, but when even Ben nelson votes for it, I wonder why Rockefeller ties in with the right on this one. Lieberman voted No on this one as well.

Tom Harkin has voted No on this one… and, if so, there must be a reason. Durbin has voted No as well. Something tells me they want to go to the original drafting of the bill with no amendments. Or else they are trying to make sure nothing gets through and the Taxes are automatically restored on January 1st (which, as you know, would be my preference.)

Vote is 53 – 37 and the motion is not agreed to.

_____

Now Mitch McConnell is giving a speech to insult Democrats for wasting time and claiming that there is BiPartisan demand to extend the tax cuts for everyone, including the wealthy, and he also claims that the public agrees (just not the 70% who have been polled.)

So now we’re going into open speeches by both sides. It begins with Mary landrieu (D – Louisiana) commenting on Mitch McConnell’s insults and questioning if he is not embarrassed by saying publicly that his main goal is to prevent Obama from being reelected in 2012.

God, it’s hard to watch this crap.

From The Hill: Collins says ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal must wait for tax cuts By Michael O’Brien

Susan Collins (R-ME), member of the United Sta...

Susan Collins (R - Maine)

Here’s a piece of O’Brien’s article.

The next time someone tells you that Susan Collins is a “liberal” Republican, have them read this…

There’s more at TheHill.com:

clipped from thehill.com
Democrats hoping to move forward with legislation other than tax cuts shouldn’t look to centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to break the logjam.

Collins said again on Friday that, while she would vote with Democrats to end the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, she wouldn’t do so until a debate over tax cuts has been resolved.
“Once the tax issue is resolved, I have made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill,” she said in a statement.

The statement is a sign that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (Ky.) Republican conference hasn’t fractured in its insistence that the expiring tax cuts be dealt with prior to action on any other legislative business.

 

All 42 Senate Republicans wrote Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to inform him that the GOP wouldn’t allow any other issues to move before tax cuts during the lame-duck session.
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Welcome to December… let’s watch Congress drag us further into misery.

We are starting December with a very heavy rain… it began around midnight last nite and was still raining five minutes ago when I brought the dogs in from their 10:30 AM walk. I expect it to keep raining most of the day. The low spots on our back lot are flooded already and I imagine groundwater rises are happening all over town. I’ll find out when I go out to the store a little later.

December begins the three or so weeks that Congress has remaining in the Lame Duck Session before all the overpaid and underaccomplishing elected officials head home for the holidays to brag about what they did or didn’t allow to get passed and beg for money. Perhaps they will leave after making at least one or two progressive legal advances get through before the Republicans take over the House and add to their seats in the Senate. Taxing the Wealthy would be one legal wonder. I don’t count on it as Obama seems, as usual, getting ready to cave. To me, the best thing would be for nothing to happen and the taxes go back in place for everyone.

I heard one Republican Congressman say on a TV interview that if the taxes go back to pre-Bush levels, the average tax increase for us poor middle-classers will be around $2,150.00.  This, of course, is not true… the average is thrown way off by the top 1% of the population whose millions-through-billions in income throw off the 99% that averages in the lower thousands. This is being done to scare the middle and lower class voters into supporting the Reps and Senators being paid off by the Murdochs of the world. I expect my taxes to go up a couple of hundred dollars at most… and the amount that would be taken from the wealthy 1% would bring in a huge amount of bucks… perhaps over a trillion dollars.

In reality, if the overall Bush tax cuts for EVERYONE are extended for a couple of years it will put us the same trillion-plus deeper into debt. And if you think that will improve our economy and increase jobs I have a great bridge to sell you.

This from the Daily Beast on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”…

I guess they picked it up from HuffPo last week.
Hope Harry Reid has his act together and this goes through tout suite:
clipped from www.thedailybeast.com
Reid: Senate Will Vote on DADT
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed Wednesday to bring a repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Senat...

Harry Reid with President Obama

Tell” legislation to the Senate floor sometime in December. In a statement, Reid said the pending defense authorization bill – which contains language ending the ban on openly gay servicemembers – has the White House’s support. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said Wednesday that the repeal is a “priority,” but that President Barack Obama has not lobbied any senators for support. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), who usually caucuses with Democrats but is considered a swing voter on this issue, is expected to hold a press conference Thursday morning with Senate Democrats to “show broad support” for the repeal.

Xtra Insight

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House Dems Press GOP To Abandon Their Federal Health Benefits

The whole article, including the letter to Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner, is at TPMDC. Here’s a clip:
clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
House Democrats are exploiting an embarrassing moment for the GOP earlier this week to highlight the hypocrisy of Republicans’ relentless opposition to health care reform.

Four members — Joe Crowley (NY), Linda Sanchez (CA), Donna Edwards (MD), and Tim Ryan (OH) — are rounding up signatures for a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Speaker-to-be John Boehner, encouraging them to press their members to refuse their federal health benefits based on the same principles underlying their opposition to health care reform.

“It begs the question: how many members of the Republican conference will be forgoing the employer-subsidized FEHBP coverage and experiencing what so many Americans find themselves forced to face? If your conference wants to deny millions of Americans affordable health care, your members should walk that walk.”

 

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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.

If Obama Thinks Republicans Will Compromise, He Is Playing Into Their Hands… AGAIN!

It’s time to take them on, not compromise. There is still a lot Obama can do, even with a Republican House. And he can work on turning them out in 2012.
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Barely an hour after President Barack Obama invited congressional Republicans to post-election talks to work together on major issues, the Senate’s GOP leader had a blunt message: His party’s main goal is denying Obama re-election.
In a sign that combat and the 2012 elections rather than compromise could mark the next two years, Sen. Mitch McConnell on Thursday called for Senate votes to repeal or erode Obama’s signature health care law, to cut spending and to shrink government.
“The only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things,” McConnell said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The Senate Republican leader‘s confrontational tone was in sharp contrast to the posture Obama took Wednesday in the face of a new GOP-controlled House and Republican gains in the Senate.
Obama followed up Thursday morning by inviting Republican and Democratic congressional leaders for talks on Nov. 18.
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