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Congress returning this week after a well-deserved time off (When do these guys actually WORK?

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

After not being in session for over a week (when do these guys actually WORK?) our Congressmen and women are returning this week (of course, Monday, like Friday, is a travel day … when do these guys actually WORK?) and are going to take on the debt limit.

Geithner, the Treasury Secretary, says that the debt limit has to be raised in May or we will default on our debt payments by July. That will destroy our credit rating and make it impossible to borrow money which the country needs to survive.

Some Republicans don’t agree, however, as was made clear on yesterday’s talking head shows.

Official portrait of Tom Coburn, U.S. Senator.

Senator Coburn... Why is this man smiling?d shows.

Senator Tom Coburn (R -Oklahoma) on Meet The Press:

“The debt limit doesn’t really mean anything because we’ve always extended it. The Treasury secretary has the ability, even if this debt limit is not extended, to continue to pay interest on our loans. The idea that this is catastrophic is wrong — what is catastrophic is to continue to spend money we don’t have.”

And Coburn is a well-known economist..what? He isn’t? Sorry.

Representative Joe Walsh (R-Illinois) on Face The Nation:

Rep. Walsh... He looks like he knows...

“Over the course of those few months when the debt ceiling wasn’t raised, Armageddon didn’t hit, the government paid its bills — we’ve got enough government revenues to certainly pay, to service all of our debt. And the administration knows that. The administration’s got to get serious and recognize that we’re not just going to give them a vote to raise the debt ceiling unless they fundamentally change the way this city works.”

Walsh, as you may know, is actively campaigning to extend the Bush tax cuts… is that how we get enough money to pay the debts? Don’t think so.

It’s interesting that, during the Bush administration, that when the debt ceiling was raised 7 times, no Republican objected or said ANYTHING (when do these guys actually WORK?). That shows their collective economic knowledge must have been recently earned… perhaps they read about it in a magazine.

The Embarrassed Republicans and the 9/11 First Responders… an American Drama

When the Senate passed the 9/11 First Responders Bill yesterday it was over 6 Billion Dollars lower than it was originally proposed… primarily because the funding now ends in 2016 instead of 2031… due to Senator Tom Coburn.

Senator Tom Coburn

Coburn vowed to block the 9/11 First Responders  bill, saying he wanted it to be funded through spending cuts. He also claimed the bill had been fast-tracked and skipped committee (but, in fact, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on the bill in June — Coburn, a committee member, missed it.)

 

And then two major things happened that shined the light on Republicans in an embarrassing way: Jon Stewart used a whole evening of The Daily Show not to joke, but to interview New York police, fire and other officials who suffered from the physical affronts that effect first responders; and then a large number of those responders swarmed into Coburn’s office:

As John Feal, head of the First Responders, said:

“Mr. Coburn should be ashamed of himself, because I think before he was a senator he was a doctor and he took an oath to help people that are sick. He’s going against his oath as a doctor. He can vote any way he wants as a senator, but as a doctor, he just embarrassed the medical profession.”

Apparently all the Republicans were so embarrassed that the revised bill got 100% support. Mitch McConnell even made a public appearance to say that they were all for the bill before they were against it (well he had to say something).

This became one of Obama‘s big wins yesterday and Mitch McConnell must have suffered through the press conference the President held in the afternoon which certainly pointed a finger at the Republican opposition.

Republicans used to avoid criticizing each other…

…but it looks like they forgot Reagan’s “eleventh commandment”.
clipped from voices.washingtonpost.com

McCain gets attacked on primary day
Sen. John McCain stands a good chance of winning tonight’s primary against challenger J.D. Hayworth. But that hasn’t kept him from being a victim of party-on-party attacks, so to speak.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) criticized McCain today, claiming the Arizona senator “gets elected because of one thing – earmarks.” Tulsa World reports that Inohofe, in a speech at a Tulsa Metro Chamber breakfast, attacked McCain as a closet liberal for his opposition to earmarks, which Inhofe said were no more than appropriations.
Inhofe made no mention of Oklahoma’s junior, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who also opposes earmarks.
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Then again, I’ve never thought much of Inhofe.
Or, for that matter, Republicans in general.