Archive for the ‘congress’ Category
Merry Fiscal Cliff(mas)! (via Red Green & Blue)
Hooray (kind of)!!! The so-called “fiscal cliff” has been averted (for now). A deal was reached at the very last minute, and, to save us all from their own manufactured crisis, Democrats and Republicans came together in peace and harmony (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) and voted to increase taxes on the richest…
Surprised? No. But there was some part of me that held out just a little hope that someday, somewhere out there, a reasonable Republican congressman (HA!) would find him or herself in a position of power to do something about, or at least, support, some small effort to mitigate climate change. Alas…
Yes, yes…another day, another incredibly well-executed, painstakingly researched, critically-praised study published that just flies in the face of everything Republicans
blindly promote at the urge of their billionaire overlords believe in.
Ready for the big surprise?
Tax cuts for the rich don’t help the economy. They make the rich richer and promote income inequality.
Did you know that you never have to admit responsibility for any action if you are a public figure? Go ahead and lie through your teeth. Feel free to ridicule and mock minorities. Give whatever boneheaded response to questions comes to mind if you have no idea what you’re talking about.
You can EASILY get out of it later. No harm, no foul. You “misspoke” is all…happens to everyone.
“To misspeak is human”? I’m old enough to remember the infamous “I can’t recall” repetition orgy from politicians and officials testifying to Congress during the Iran-Contra Scandal (yikes…kind of dates me). The new ad nauseam refrain seems to be “I misspoke”. It’s a way of weaseling out of virtually any uncomfortable situation that showcases one or more of a) your complete and embarrassing lack of knowledge about a particular subject that you should know about, b) your knack for lying through your teeth, or c) your general insensitivity/bigotry/astounding jerkitude. It isn’t that you’re “sorry”, it’s not that you “didn’t know,” and clearly not that you were “actually saying something you believe in your heart to be true.” No…you merely “misspoke.”
Here’s some recent classics:
- Congressman Paul Ryan (r-WI)
apologized“misspoke” when he said military generals were lying to Congress (quite a charge, eh?) in claiming support for a reduced defense budget. Clearly, by saying they WERE NOT being truthful, he meant to say they WERE being truthful, but that he didn’t agree with them…I guess. Oops. Human Etch-a-Sketchrepublican presidential contender Mitt Romney “misspoke” when he said, while discussing his economic policy, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” (Because THAT would be wrong.) What he meant to say, of course, was “Let them eat cake.”
- Brian Kilmeade (general idiot – Fox and Friends)
apologized“misspoke” when he infamously said on his show “Not all Muslims are terrorists. But all terrorists are Muslims.” He meant to say, “I’m a bigoted idiot with no concept of the reality of modern terrorism.”
- Lest you think HeffBombs has some kind of liberal bias (THE HORROR!), former Democratic senatorial candidate for Vermont Richard Blumenthal
lied“misspoke” when he (repeatedly) claimed to have served in various war zones in Vietnam during the war. He, in fact, served on an island off the coast of South Carolina. Oops. Whatever, a simple mistake…made several times…in front of large crowds…
- Another bad case of the opposites: former pizza baron/GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain (wow…seriously?) apparently misspoke when he suggested he would be willing to negotiate with Al Qaeda on certain matters. Of course, everyone knows that negotiation is bad and never accomplishes anything under any circumstances. Clearly he meant to say “Terrorists Bad, Pizza Good!!”
- Not exactly misspeaking per se, but an absolute gem nonetheless…Jon Kyl (r-AZ) gave a rousing speech on the Senate Floor during the debt-ceiling crisis in which he said “If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” Ooooh, not quite. Its three percent. But no problem, just a classic case of misspeaking, right? Clarifying the remarks further, his office reported “His remark wasn’t intended to be a factual statement.”
I guess they were all “just saying…”
If not for the enviable intransigence of the republicans – no tax increases of any form under any circumstances – some influential Democrats would have our country more closely resembling post-austerity Greece than the America we love today.
The Debt Reduction Super-Committee (the “Sup-Com“) was mandated as part of the infamous 2011 Debt Ceiling budget compromise…from HELL! You remember, where in exchange for 100% spending cuts, Obama and the Democrats got…nothing.
So, the Sup-Com is trying to shave a minimum of $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. So noble, right? And both parties are working together in the spirit of bipartisanship and good faith to-
Republicans have drawn their line in the sand on taxes. Democrats are testing how close they can come to that line, without establishing one of their own. The latest “compromise” (again, this term has been redefined, meaning one side gets about 99% of what they want, the other side gets 1%) from the Democrats on the Sup-Com, going against the opinion of the vast majority of the entire country: make tax cuts for the wealthy PERMANENT. A classic Democratic fallback, no? Because, if the rich can’t save us, who can?
The previous “compromise” offer was nothing short of brutal either. Hearken back, if you will, to the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, established via Executive Order by Obama in 2010 to address the budget deficit. Not surprisingly, this group couldn’t agree on a series of recommendations, with Democrats pleading a mixture of targeted spending cuts and revenue increases, and republicans pushing for America as pre-revolution France. Co-chairs (moderate Democrat) Erskine Bowles and former (conservative republican) Senator Alan Simpson (who likes to refer to recipients of social security as “lesser people“) finally decided to release their own set of proposals, generally considered as favoring the conservative viewpoint (i.e., big social safety net cuts coupled with tax cuts are our ticket to prosperity!). Fast forward, and the Democrats’ last “compromise” plan fell significantly to the right of these fantastic ideas, with a 6-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, including medicare benefit cuts to individuals with incomes of $12,000 to $15,000 per year.
So, I have to ask again, as I’ve asked many times. What is the strategy? Sacrifice all Democratic gains at the expense of accomplishing something, when that something is an acceptance that eliminating job-training programs and cutting taxes for billionaires is the key to America’s success? What is the remaining Democratic platform (“We’re not quite as far to the right as the republicans!!!”)? If I’m off-base, why isn’t there a coordinated, 24×7 media campaign calling out republican bullshit? THEY ARE WRONG!
Its painful. And in some perverse way, by continually saying no to what could only be a significant conservative victory, by only accepting our-way-or-the-highway, the republicans are actually helping the cause.
I say, let the committee fail. Let the prospect of massive cuts to the defense budget loom large. Then lets see what republicans are willing to offer when the health of the military-industrial complex is on the line.
UPDATE 1: Lets punt!!! Compromise is always easier next year.
Life sometimes gets in the way of the serious political blogging one would like to do in one’s spare time. Nonetheless, even a cursory breeze through the headlines reveals a litany of republican “whatthef*ckery”. I’m continually amazed that this group of loons and jackals somehow, time and time again, convince Americans to vote against their own self-interest and catapult them into positions of power, where they are free to do their best to destroy the lives of their constituents, and of this great country at large.
Where to even begin? When every day brings fresh incredulity, another round of “are you frickn kidding me?”, the seventh exasperated head shaking of the morning? Here’s some good ones:
- In a time of budget-cutting on the backs of the poor and disadvantaged and government spending as THE root of all that is wrong with America (finally, we know!), some thoughtful congressmen and our president pointed out that the government could save about $4 billion a year by eliminating some annual subsidies to oil companies (a rather small proportion of TOTAL subsidies to oil companies, which may be closer to $35 billion), including ExxonMobil, THE MOST PROFITABLE CORPORATION IN THE WORLD. (want to get really angry? Next time you buy a stamp at the post office, just think…thats more than Exxon Mobil paid in taxes in 2009.) Senate republicans, who once claimed they would have to invoke the “nuclear option” in response to Democratic filibustering of ultra-conservative judicial nominations of George W’s (“why, oh why can’t we just have a straight up-or-down vote, like our forefathers intended”), filibustered a bill to repeal oil subsidies, because who, oh who, will think of the oil companies?!?!?. Republicans, now apparently lovers of government spending, and handouts to those who don’t need them.
- Freshman Senator (and “OHMYGOD, THIS GUY GOT ELECTED?” showcase) Rand Paul (r-KY), never a fan of civil rights, now thinks the Bill of Rights could use a little dicing up as well (why stop with just one of our country’s founding documents, right?). Free Speech? Peaceful assembly? That’s commie talk! While Paul is no supporter of racial profiling (for shame, what kind of monster do you take him for?), he does feel that the Bill of Rights should be torn to shreds: “if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.” How about attending a rally of former Nevada republican senatorial nominee Sharon (“Second Amendment Remedies“) Angle? Or listening to a radio interview by potential republican
nutjobpresidential contender Michelle (“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous“) Bachmann? What if the entire prison population was comprised of members of Senator Paul’s very own Tea Party?
- On the lighter side, here’s the republican quote of the week: Newt Gingrich, on Democrats’ use of direct, fully-in-context quotes from a recent Meet the Press interview “Any ad that quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.” ……….. Yes, recently announced (finally, right?) presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was busy issuing his “heartfelt apology” (it was the liberal media’s fault, don’t you know?) to the GOP, following a very public flogging over daring to take a moderate position on the viability of Paul Ryan’s proposal to gut medicare. He has since retracted his words with the usual misspokes and entrapment and misleading questions, blah, blah, blah. By the way, John Lithgow does an excellent Newt Gingrich.
More to come? With the presidential campaign season just a few months away, my guess is…probably.
Just because I haven’t been posting, doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Its been a little more challenging to see the routine slime oozing through American politics, when we are daily confronted with the devastation and sadness of the situation going on in Japan right now. Nevertheless, here are a few recent gems from our dear friends on the other side of the aisle:
- More fun from the state of Kansas: Kansas State republican representative Virgil
PeckerPeck suggests the solution to illegal immigration is simply to get in helicopters and shoot them like pigs.
- Do we really need more reasons to hate this guy? Rush Limbaugh thinks Japan’s natural and nuclear disaster is simply hilarious.
- Oh, this will get us where we need to go: Every single republican member of House Energy Committee denies existence of climate change.
- Robin Hood he a’int: Michigan governor Rick Snyder raises taxes on families living below the poverty line, and then lowers corporate taxes by 86%….because, why not?
- Perhaps taking the abortion debate a bit too far: Nebraska ‘s republican-dominated legislature wants to legalize the murder of doctors who provide abortions.
Ahhhhhh…republicans. Thanks for being the voice of evil in our lives.
More non-working Americans will undoubtedly boost this country’s morale, strengthen the economy and return us on the path to fiscal solvency. With fewer people working, they will have more time to buy things…with all the money they…used to have…I mean, with all the unemployment benefits they will collect…which should be cut…okay, I don’t get it.
Following up President Obama’s rollout of his 2012 budget, republicans are proposing HUGE spending cuts for 2011. Weeper of the House John
Boner Boehner (r-OH): ”If some of those jobs are lost so be it. We’re broke.” (emphasis added). He, of course, was speculating on the loss of the “200,000 federal jobs” created last year as a result of some $60 billion in cuts republicans are proposing. Of course, he’s inserting a little “big government” propaganda in for his tea party supporters: only 20,000 new federal jobs were created last year (remember, there’s the truth and…the truth: republican-version). Independent analysis revealed that the level of cuts republicans are angling for – mammoth cuts to job training, infrastructure improvements, homeland security, NASA, Head Start, the EPA, energy assistance for the poor, public health protection, scientific research and development, to name just a few (and then there’s the amendments) - could result in the loss of 1 million jobs.
One million jobs. Honestly, what could be better to get America back on track?
Welcome to your Tea Party Nation.
And now, we can all relax and enjoy the fruits of last November’s labors…
- Wowwwww: State of Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley (r-…Christians?) post-inauguration speech, minute two: “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister…” Seriously, fastest foot-in-the-mouth ever?
- Here’s to keeping the discourse civil: Yesterday, the new republican-led House of Representatives wasted their time on a purely symbolic vote and passed the cleverly-titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”. Just following the lead of AT LEAST…1 in 4 Americans…who support their efforts. Can’t get enough of that good old “job-killing” meme republicans have been repeating over and over…and over? Let John Stewart tear it apart for you…
- Taking some time to honor the spirit of Joe McCarthy: You know what we need to improve relations with the Muslim community, both at home and abroad? Well, probably not rep. Steve King’s (r-NY and new Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee) highly-publicized upcoming hearings on the “radicalization of Muslims in America”. This will be good…
- Tea Party relishes new, more civil role in political discourse: Tea Party Nation Founder, Judson Phillips, raises the bar: “In 2008, Obama even received campaign contributions from Gaza (I.e. Hamas). So where does a corrupt, unpopular President from the party of treason go for reelection cash? China, of course.” Clearly, Obama is just jealous of the success of the secretive, foreign-funded Chamber of Commerce in catapulting the republican party to victory last fall.
- No one is more persecuted than Sarah Palin: In the wake of a mass shooting involving a prominent politician, criticism from anyone in the media of Ms. Palin’s use of violent imagery to “target” democratic politicians in the midterm election campaign is “blood libel“. Criticism of her use of the term blood libel is, of course, simply “the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers.” Where does the term “blood libel” come from? Never heard of a “pogrom?” Yeahhhhh…thats where we are folks…
- Michelle Bachmann (r-MN) – unclear on how it works: So, efforts to repeal health care reform running into some obstacles are they? I guess the next step is to repeal…the President and Senate!! Oh, Michelle…what would we do without you?
Let the good times roll…
Ahhhhh…just finished basking in the warm glow of the holidays, the exuberance of New Years’ Eve and the (relative) triumphs of the lame duck, post-“shellacking” 111th congressional session – DADT Repeal, 9/11 Responders Health Care Bill, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, Middle Class Tax Cut (oh right, and Uber-rich Folks Tax Cut too). Nice…
But today is a new day. This is the first week of the “new” republican-controlled House of Representatives. Yes, the forces of Mordor have seized control, ushered in by a remarkably forgetful voting population, riding the Tea Party/lunatic fringe wave…and they’ve got a mandate…well, kind of.
So here’s some good times to watch for in 2011:
1. Health Care Reform: Weeper of the House John Boehner’s (r-TX) top priority – deficit reduction. First order of business – repeal health care reform…at cost of $230 billion. Wait for it…”H.R. II – Repealing the Job Killing Health Reform Act”…yeah, that’s the official name…
2. Global Warming: Since incoming chairman, Jim Sensenbrenner (r-WI), voted against the creation of the House Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and led a “delegation” of global warming skeptics to climate talks in Kyoto and Copenhagen, the committee was disbanded on the first day of the new session. Second order of business: don’t let the EPA regulate greenhouse gases (and never mind the 2007 Supreme Court decision granting the EPA that authority). So, if you thought we didn’t make much progress in the last two years…you a’int seen nothing yet.
3. Darrell Issa (r-CA): Stay tuned for EVERYTHING-Gate. With the prospects of his chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee looming large in late October, Issa told Rush Limbaugh that Obama is “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” So, get ready for an onslaught of investigations, and hearings…we’re talkingWikiLeaks-Gate, Fannie Mae-Gate (why didn’t Obama blame the poor?), Regulation-Gate (why all the job-killing environmental, health and safety regulations?), Afghanistan-Gate, walking-the-dog-Gate, playing-with-the-kids-Gate, Quitting-Smoking-Gate…
4. Steve King (r-IA): Just wait until this guy gets started. Yes, the new head of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law is a tad on the scary side. Some notable quotes:
- “Every time we give amnesty for an illegal alien, we deport a liberal.”
- We should electrify the border fence because “we do that with livestock all the time”
5. Louis Gohmert (r-TX): New chairman of Subcomittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security. Terror Babies…need I say more?
And that’s just a small taste of what’s to come…oh my, its going to be a fun 2 years!!!