Blog Archives

A day of celebration underscored by personal madness…

AT 4:30 this morning when I posted Obama‘s win I had had 2 1/2 hours of sleep and needed to be up by five to drive to Hagerstown for the first of five different scheduled lab visits, Doctor conferences, and tests based on the notion that I’d be in surgery with my little brain on Friday.

Then, in the middle of all this, as my wife and I went from office to office (I had fasted for close to 11 hours because of one of the tests… so tired AND hungry) trying to get our neurosurgeon on the telephone to find out the results of yesterday’s testing, we were told the surgery would be moved to Monday from Friday!

Well, you’ve never heard anyone yell as loudly into a cell phone as Elly did to one of the front desk ladies at the Doctors‘ office who informed us of this unannounced time change. You have to understand, she takes time off from her work at the College to take me to these appointments and she manages our schedules and expenses, and she expects that professionals follow professional guidelines and maintain their schedules. They don’t.

There is a chance that they may not be able to do the surgery Monday, either, or that my wife will insist that we find another doctor (my daughters, I think, agree with that, too… I’m to worn out and dizzy to even think about it now. I’ll do what they say.)

So, if there is no surgery Friday, we will probably be headed to Georgetown ( 2 hours away) to interview another neurological practice.  If that does happen, I’ll probably be able to do my Saturday morning radio show on WSHC.

There is Joy In Mudville, though… Mighty Mitty has struck out. If you heard that snivelling concession speech he made (gracefulness is not a Republican skill) at 1:30 in the morning, then you have an idea of what kind of president he would have made.

Now we still have the House of Representatives with a big margin for the Repubs and John Boehner  which will let them trample the legislation we need for the economy, for single payer healthcare, for rebuilding our country and for getting out of all this war. I’m afraid it will be a difficult 4 years. Our support for the president will help get things done.

It will be one of the functions of this blog as long as I can keep it going.

– Bill

 

 

George McGovern has died…

Last week or so I wrote about former Senator  George McGovern who had been admitted to a hospice with a deadly disease. Now, at 90 years old, McGovern has died.

McGovern ran for President 3 times and was nominated once, but lost to Richard Nixon. He was a North Dakota’s Representative to the U.S. House from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. Senator from 1963 to 1981. For 24 years he was one of the leaders of the Democratic Party.

 

My Congratulations to Barney Frank and James Ready…

This week Barney Frank became the first sitting US Congressman to be part of a same sex marriage. For that, he has my best wishes. This from the Raw Story:

Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) married his partner Saturday in his hometown of Newton, Massachusetts, making him the first sitting congressman to be in a same-sex marriage.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officiated the ceremony between the 72 year-old Frank and his partner, James Ready, according to a statement from the congressman’s office. Frank met Ready in 2005, and the two have been seeing each other since 2007.

Many of Frank’s congressional colleagues turned out for the wedding, including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, according to local media reports. In planning the event, Frank said he wanted to invite President Obama—who in May came out in support of same-sex marriage—but was worried the security detail would infringe on the ceremony.

This is sure a sign that we’re in the 21st Century.

The House has voted to take away your privacy – what do you do now?

Yesterday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed CISPA – the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act – by a vote of 248-168. CISPA now goes to the Senate.

CISPA gives the government, including military spy agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), virtually unlimited powers to capture our personal informationmedical records, private emails, financial information — all without a warrant or proper oversight.

Tell Your Senators: Stop CISPA.

And this is not just a Democrats vs. Republicans thing…Civil liberties groups and progressives unanimously opposed the bill, but so did Ron Paul.

President Obama warned the House that he will veto the bill because it does not protect our privacy, but they ignored his warnings.

Let’s hope he doesn’t have to. Get word to the Senate now.

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

… he avoids the discussion. Does it mean anything?

Here’s an evening quote to ponder – from someone who seems like a total schmuck…

From: Allen West
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Allen West joins the Ranks of the Inverted

Look, Debbie . . . let me make myself perfectly clear . . . you are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. . . You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

– Excerpts from an email by Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

If you’d like to join the rest of us who are protesting the sexist behavior of Allen West, go to Emily’s List and sign the petition.

And what caused this attack on Wasserman-Schultz/ here is a summary from The Christian Science Monitor:

Wasserman Schultz offended West’s sensibilities Tuesday when she went after “the gentleman from Florida” on the House floor for supporting the now-passed “cut, cap, and balance” legislation, which requires deep cuts in federal spending. She noted that West represents thousands of Medicarebeneficiaries, as does she, and “is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries, unbelievable from a member from south Florida.”

She also complained that the legislation “slashes Medicaid and critical investments essential to winning the future in favor of protecting tax breaks for Big Oil, millionaires, and companies who ship American jobs overseas.”

Standard rhetorical fare, especially for a national party chair. But West took offense, and turned the dial up a few notches.

Well, that sure sounded vile, despicable and unprofessional to me… and btw, representatives are not allowed to directly address other representatives in the House… they may only address the chair, which Wasserman-Schulz did.

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?

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Addresses The Madison Worker’s Rights Rally…

Dennis really wakes ’em up here. Take a look and see what you think. I’ve never been more impressed with the last liberal from Ohio:

Watching the House go at it on Health Care…

This is a moment of extreme entertainment as the House of Representatives battle over amendments coming from the Republican Congressman King of Iowa trying to stop funding for the Affordable Care Act (which he insists on calling “Obamacare” even though that name has been protested by Democrats). Rosa De Lauro of Connecticut is organizing the Democratic opposition and seems to be doing a pretty good job at it.

Republicans seem to refuse to address the cost of ending the Affordable Health Care Act in lost jobs and extreme cost increases put on Americans by Insurance companies. They are carrying out an assault on the working poor, the elderly and the ill Americans. It is a travesty that we have to go through this.

King is putting out amendment after amendment, all going after the same end: ending what he calls “Obamacare”. Since there is no act with that name, why don’t they just tell him to shut up and sit down?

Happy Darwin Day!


Two Blue Dogs Explain Why They Oppose Repeal

Barbara Barrett wrote this article for McClatchy Newspapers. I picked it up in Truthout.
Here’s a clip, but go in and read it all:
clipped from www.truth-out.org

Rep. Heath Shuler

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, co-chairman of the Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats, voted “no” last year when President Barack Obama’s health care reform proposal came before the House. So did U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell.

But when the Republicans vote today on repealing the health care law, both Shuler and Kissell, Democrats from North Carolina, will side with their fellow Democrats to keep the law.
Shuler earlier this year said that doing away with reform now would be “immoral.” Kissell has told constituents that he would rather chip away at the law through changes and that, in any case, with Obama in the White House and the Democrats still controlling the Senate, the Republican House effort is a doomed effort.

Rep. Larry Kissell

“Simply put: we must live in a reality-based world,” Kissell wrote in a column he disseminates inDistrict 8. “Those who are saying they are able to repeal the law are ultimately misleading the people.”

blog it

“You Lie” Rifle Part No Longer Available…

Here’s some more good news…

Joe Wilson

As you may know, it was revealed after the Saturday shootings that a gun store in South Carolina was selling an assault rifle part with the etched words “You Lie” referring to Representative Joe Wilson’s (R – SC) shouted words during Obama‘s State of the Union Address in 2009.

The dealer, Palmetto State Armory, put an ad for the item on their web site with the words “Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new ‘You Lie’ AR-15 lower receiver.”

Yesterday this report of the products withdrawal from the market was broadcast on CNN:

CNN reports that Rep. Joe Wilson has been told by a South Carolina gun company that it is discontinuing the sale of a rifle part engraved with the words “you lie.”

Wilson, R-S.C., attracted national attention for screaming out “you lie” during a speech by President Obama in 2009.

CNN quotes a letter from Wilson, forwarded to the network by the congressman’s staff, thanking Palmetto State Armory for discontinuing sales of the rifle part.

“I thank you for quickly suspending sales of the product that uses my words,

It’s good to see something like this taken off the market, but it begs the question of why it had been put there anyway (wasn’t South Carolina the first state to secede from the Union causing the Civil War?).

Two quotes to think about…

Having received a blog comment from a conservative blogger, I thought I’d look around and see what conservatives are saying… I don’t often do that unless there is an issue that requires it, but this struck me as interesting.

The quote is from  Virginia Foxx (R – NC):

“This guy appears to be a communist. His beliefs are the liberal of the liberals. There is no evidence whatsoever that this man was influenced by Sarah Palin or anybody in the Republican Party. This man is not a conservative; he’s a fan of communism – that’s the opposite of conservatism…  I don’t think members of Congress incite that kind of rhetoric – I don’t think the things we say incite that kind of behavior. And I don’t know that the things other people say incite it. I just think we have deranged individuals in this country and occasionally they do bad things.”

– Republican U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk in the Winston-Salem Journal

Of course this was the same Representative Foxx who in a 2009 statement on Democrats supporting the Health Care Bill:
“I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that (health overhaul) bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country.”

The things we say may not incite violent behavior (although it is easy to prove that they do), but they can certainly show how much hate there is for folks who may disagree with your position.

Then again, it’s Virginia Foxx. Remember this?:


Staying out of the weather and watching the Congress…

It’s been snowing steadily since nine this morning and, while the dogs love walking around in it, I’m looking for reasons to stay inside today. One of those reasons is to watch the Senate debate the START treaty, which is not even close to the action in the tax cut extension debates earlier on, and flipping back to the House of Representatives who nearly completed debate on the rule for taxes when Rep. McGovern (D-MA) pulled the bill off the floor. Lawmakers are uncertain if they have enough votes to bring the tax bill to the floor.

Before the debate on the tax bill starts, the House first needs to pass the rule on how the debate and votes will go, with a simple majority vote. If the rule passes, the will be three hours of general debate and one amendment to change the inheritance tax provisions in the bill. For the last two hours, though, nothing has happened and the House is now out. The Democrats were supposed to go into a closed meeting, but the word from CSpan is that the Closed Meeting has been delayed. Whether or not they come back this evening, I don’t know.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which the House voted to end yesterday, went the to Senate and lost. The Senate has failed to get past a roadblock on a bill that would repeal the policy banning gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. The procedural vote failed, 57-40, and was mostly along party lines. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.

All in all, it has been pretty dismal in Congress today.

Morning with the House of Representatives…

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

Mark Twain

I’m having a morning of amusing television watching the House of Representatives on C-Span debate the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. Well, right now they are debating the rules by which they will debate the subject (which is funny enough in and of itself).

The Democrats are pushing to extend the cuts to 98% of Americans who earn less than $250,000 a year while restoring the taxes on Millionaires and Billionaires. Republicans are threatening a standoff… either give tax cuts to everyone, including the wealthy, or have the vote held up and watch it die in the Senate.

The republicans are, essentially, wasting as much time as possible with the goal of getting into the next Congress and passing  return to the Bush tax cuts as a return legislative move.

Of course, the thing that would work now is the Democrats in the House pushing this through and the Senate finding two Republican votes to get the filibuster-ending 60 votes which would pass the legislation before everyone trots home for Christmas.

Is this likely to happen? Probably not. There is also the notion that the President has already agreed to a temporary extension for everyone and the wealthy would be taxed again a couple of years down the road. With change in control of the House, this would be highly unlikely…the Republicans, supporting the wealthy, would seek permanence of the extension.

While a fifteen minute vote on the first House rule is going on in the House, I switch to the Senate to listen to Byron Dorgan (D – North Dakota) compare the untaxed Wealthy with the middle class soldiers who get up this morning to get shot at by Afghanistanis. I don’t think anyone is listening (the Senate floor seems to be empty). I’m often curious if Senate speeches accomplish anything at all.

Back to the House where Democrats are voting for the rule and Republicans are voting against it. Surprise, surprise. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Congressfolk voted according to actual values rather than party lines?

Here’s the news of the night! Delay Found Guilty (About Time!)

Now we have something to give thanks for.
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

AUSTIN, Texas — Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay – once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress – was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. 

Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.

Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose heavy-handed style earned him the nickname “the Hammer,” used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.
The verdict came after a three-week trial in which prosecutors presented more than 30 witnesses and volumes of e-mails and other documents. DeLay’s attorneys presented five witnesses. 

DeLay has chosen to have Senior Judge Pat Priest sentence him. He faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge. He also would be eligible for probation.

blog it

Did you see this piece on Elizabeth Warren in The Hill?

If Obama names Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic base erupts like a volcano and votes…

By Brent Budowsky – 09/09/10 03:06 PM ET

Within hours and possibly minutes I expect the president will name Elizabeth Warren to lead the new consumer protection agency, and if he does, the Democratic base will erupt and turn out to vote in far greater numbers than any current poll suggests.

I could be wrong; Obama might give up at the last minute, which would be the last betrayal of the Democratic base and very possibly the death knell of the Democratic House of Representatives. But if he names Warren, the pundits be will amazed, astonished and flabbergasted by the lift this would give to the Democratic base and by the voter turnout that would follow.

If Obama names Warren, consumers would have the strongest possible friend fighting for them all day, every day, at a time of major consumer rip-offs and disastrous consumer confidence that would be lifted with the Warren selection.

If Obama names Warren, veterans and military families who have endured rip-offs and abuses would have the strongest possible friend with Elizabeth Warren.

If Obama names Warren, small business would have the strongest possible ally as she champions fair treatment by small business that has been a piñata being abused by large financial institutions.

If Obama names Warren, the momentum in the campaign would shift powerfully and immediately, with a rejuvenated Democratic base excited and fighting trim, ready to roll, ready to fight, ready to erupt with support that the selection of Warren would inspire.

Warren should be nominated through a recess appointment, not a nomination that would bring a unified Republican filibuster in the tired Kabuki dance that the American people, and the progressive base, have suffered from for far too long.

Read the rest of it HERE

Here in West Virginia’s Second District, I’d like to spread a message from John Case…

Why am I supporting Virginia Lynch Graf for United States House of Representatives in the  2nd district, WV, during this upcoming fall election?

• Virginia Lynch Graf is a person of integrity; she takes no money from special interest groups.
• A life-long educator, she supports job creation, job retraining, and quality education – integral to economic success.
• Graf supports green energy, carbon capture from coal, protection of our waters.
• Graf will work to make tourism our # 1 effort for economic recovery throughout the 2nd district.
• Graf opposes mountain top removal and strip mining which are destroying our beautiful state.

And of course, I am SO ready to send Ms Capito, who was a complete flunky for Bush for the entire 8 years, HOME.

Best wishes — and Commit to Vote on November 2!

My thanks to John Case (for whom I’ll be subbing on WSHC FM on Friday Morning and Monday – Labor Day – Morning. Please tune in) for sending out this message.