Sep 302013

Ted Cruz said “jump” and John Boehner asked “how high?”

It is starting to appear more and more likely that the extremists who have taken over the Republican party are going to get the government shutdown they so badly want. And it’s all over a law they do not like. The Affordable Care Act was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives and signed by the President of the United States. It is the law of the land. Period. The Republicans can throw all the temper tantrums they want and that fact will not change. Health care is here to stay.

If a government shutdown does occur tonight at midnight, the Republicans are going to get the credit blame they so deeply deserve…

CNN Poll: GOP would bear the brunt of shutdown blame

If the federal government shuts down starting Tuesday because of a bitter partisan battle over the new health care law, more people say congressional Republicans rather than President Barack Obama would be responsible, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult.

And six in 10 questioned in the survey say they want Congress to approve a budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown, and if it happens, most people say a shutdown would be a bad thing for the country.

Finally some sense

 Posted by at 21:01  Politics, Republicans
Jun 042013

Finally, somebody in Washington, D.C. talks sense and asks the questions I have been asking since this whole IRS “scandal” broke…

“Each of your groups is highly political. From opposing the President’s healthcare reform, to abortion restrictions, to gay marriage, you’re all entrenched in some of the most controversial political issues in this country – and with your applications you are asking the American public to pay for that work. Many of you host and endorse candidates. The line between permitted political activity and non-permitted political activity can be very fine, and it’s important that tax payers know which side you fall on.”

The gentleman from the great state of Washington is definitely today’s hero.

This whole thing is not about misdeeds at the IRS. It’s about a bunch of whiny babies on the right not getting their way. It’s about a federal agency that didn’t cow-tow to the fanatics in the Tea Party in the manner to which those fanatics feel they were entitled.

And that is all it is.

Jul 312011

Congressional leaders and President Obama have agreed on a deal that would raise the debt ceiling and take steps toward reducing the deficit. It basically gives the Republicans and Tea Partiers everything they wanted. Details here.

The House and the Senate will have to vote on the deal tomorrow after which the President will sign it into law.

Just between you and me, I’d vote against this deal… if I had a vote. The whole “super committee” thing is kind of freaky, plus there is no provision for additional revenue (i.e. taxes on the rich).

I believe I have to agree with Krugman on this one: “The President Surrenders.”

The tantrum continues

 Posted by at 14:20  Politics, Republicans
Jul 302011

And so the temper tantrum continues…

Congressional leaders struggle to work out bipartisan debt deal

With just three days to go before Congress’s deadline to raise the debt ceiling and avoid sending the country into default, leaders continued to struggle Saturday to work out a bipartisan deal that can pass both chambers and be signed into law by President Obama.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered a letter Saturday afternoon to Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), signed by 43 Republicans, declaring that Reid’s debt-limit legislation was unacceptable.

Needing 60 votes to clear a filibuster hurdle, Reid’s current draft is assured of failure in a 1 a.m. vote Sunday. McConnell demanded that President Obama re-engage in negotiations. “It isn’t going to pass,” McConnell said Saturday in a floor speech. “Let’s get talking to the administration.”


UPDATE: The Senate vote that had been scheduled for 1 a.m. Sunday morning has now been moved to 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The clock is ticking.

Jul 292011

John Boehner managed to get his Tea Party debt reduction plan through the House of Representatives this evening… by one vote. Now all he has to do is deliver it to the Senate where it can be put out of its misery.

House passes GOP debt bill over objections of Obama, Democrats

The House narrowly passed GOP debt-limit legislation Friday after Republican leaders revised it to gain the support of recalcitrant tea party conservatives, but Senate Democrats declared it dead on arrival in their chamber and moved to replace it with a bipartisan plan that would raise the federal debt ceiling ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline, averting a potentially catastrophic U.S. default.

The vote was 218 to 210 in favor of a bill offered by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). After revising the plan and intensively rallying Republicans to support it, Boehner was barely able to muster the 217 votes need for passage, but Democrats were united in opposing it. Twenty-two Republicans joined 188 Democrats in voting “no.”

President Obama warned earlier in the day that the House GOP plan had “no chance of becoming law,” and he instead urged Senate Democrats and Republicans to reach a “bipartisan compromise.” He said time is running out to lift the federal debt ceiling and reiterated his objections to a measure that includes only a short-term increase of the debt limit.

Senate Democrats said they remained solidly opposed to the Boehner plan. In debate leading up to the vote, minority House Democrats called the measure a waste of time.

A complete waste of time. Ridiculous.

UPDATE: (as expected)…

Senate kills Boehner debt-limit bill

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted to table Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-limit bill Friday evening, effectively killing it less than two hours after the House passed it.

Democrats and several Republicans defeated the GOP measure by a 59-41 vote, just minutes after it arrived from the House. Democrats opposed the measure because it would require another debt-limit debate early next year.

The move continues a standoff over the debt limit but could set the table for negotiations this weekend on compromise legislation. An Aug. 2 deadline to prevent a default on U.S. obligations looms.

Action in the Senate stalled after the tabling vote when Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky could not agree on how to proceed on Reid’s proposal. Reid later said McConnell wanted a filibuster and refused to negotiate with him. The Senate adjourned until 1 p.m. EDT Saturday.


Texas math

 Posted by at 22:05  Politics, Republicans
Apr 212011

Gail Collins, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, has a must-read column published in today’s edition of that paper: “The New Anti-Abortion Math.

You should go read the entire column. I’ll excerpt a few bits from it here to whet your appetite (if that is necessary).

These days in the budget-strapped, Tea-Party-besieged State Capitol, you can be grateful for any funny anecdote, no matter how badly it reflects on Texas politics in general. Like the time Gov. Rick Perry defended the state’s abstinence-only birth control program by saying that he knew abstinence worked “from my own personal life.”

Right now, the state is wrestling with a fiscal megacrisis that goes back to 2006, when the Legislature cut local property taxes and made up for the lost revenue with a new business tax. The new tax produced billions less than expected to the shock and horror of everyone except all the experts who had been predicting that all along.

Governor Perry blames the whole thing on President Obama.

Texas’ problems are of interest to us all because Texas is producing a huge chunk of the nation’s future work force with a system that goes like this:

• Terrible sex education programs and a lack of access to contraceptives leads to a huge number of births to poor women. (About 60 percent of the deliveries in Texas are financed by Medicaid.) Texas also leads the nation in the number of teenage mothers with two or more offspring.

• The Texas baby boom — an 800,000 increase in schoolchildren over the last decade — marches off to underfunded schools. Which are getting more underfunded by the minute, thanks to that little tax error.

And naturally, when times got tough at the State Capitol, one of the first things the cash-strapped Legislature tried to cut was family planning.

There is more. Go. Read. The link is at the top of this post. I especially love the quote attributed to State Representative Randy Weber (R-Pearland).

“There’s been research done. … It actually shows the highest abortion rate is among women actively using contraceptives.”


Shutdown of 2011

 Posted by at 18:17  Politics, Republicans
Apr 072011

It is appearing more and more likely that the Tea Party (which now controls the Republican party) is going to get the shutdown of the U. S. government that they have been hoping for. There are now less than five hours left.

Bob Cesca has a rundown of some of the riders to the budget that the Tea Partiers are insisting on and to which the Democrats cannot and will not agree. Click here.



Feb 222011

I realize I seem to have a habit of referring you to newspaper columns I find enlightening and that I believe you may also, but bear with me… here’s another. You need to share this one with everybody you know. It’s by Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. and goes a long way toward explaining why you hear a lot of the noise you hear on the television these days…

The Tea Party is winning

Take five steps back and consider the nature of the political conversation in our nation’s capital. You would never know that it’s taking place at a moment when unemployment is still at 9 percent, when wages for so many people are stagnating at best and when the United States faces unprecedented challenges to its economic dominance.

No, Washington is acting as if the only real problem the United States confronts is the budget deficit; the only test of leadership is whether the president is willing to make big cuts in programs that protect the elderly; and the largest threat to our prosperity comes from public employees.

Take five more steps back and you realize how successful the Tea Party has been. No matter how much liberals may poke fun at them, Tea Party partisans can claim victory in fundamentally altering the country’s dialogue.

Consider all of the problems taking a back seat to the deficit in Washington and the media. You haven’t heard much lately on how Wall Street shenanigans tanked the economy in the first place – and in the process made a small number of people very rich. Yet any discussion of the problems caused by concentrated wealth (a vital mainstream issue in the America of Andrew Jackson and both Roosevelts) is confined to the academic or left-wing sidelines.

Please click on the column’s title to continue reading.