Tag - Congress

Is Anyone Really Surprised By This?

PaulRyanBeardOutside the Beltway, the right is livid with new Speaker Paul Ryan’s trillion-dollar spending deal with Democrats.

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter says Ryan, just seven weeks on the job, is ripe for a primary challenge. “Paul Ryan Betrays America,” blared a headline on the conservative site Breibart.com. And Twitter is littered with references to the Wisconsin Republican’s new “Muslim beard.”

Source: Fury of the right falls on Ryan | TheHill

Did anyone think that Paul Ryan had a chance of herding the Republican cats in the House? If so, I’d say you should go back to huffing exhaust fumes.

But in a nod to the critics, Ryan has also emphasized that he “inherited” the flawed omnibus from his predecessor, ousted Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and that the cake was “already baked” by the time he was handed the reins in late October.

Those arguments have done little to sway some of Ryan’s critics, particularly on conservative talk radio.

Laura Ingraham denounced the spending package as an “omni-bust” and said Ryan should be “regarded as a declared enemy of the Base.” Mark Levin said Ryan is “already a disaster” and criticized the funding package for increasing the number of visas for foreign workers.

Criticism has also come from Rush Limbaugh, the king of conservative talk radio, who declared that the GOP sold the country “down the river.”

There is no chance in hell that the Republicans in the House are going to be able to work together and accomplish anything remotely resembling sane government. The remnants of the Tea Bagger……. err, I mean Tea Party brigade are as yet uncowed, and still of sufficient numbers to stonewall any attempts at serious compromise; especially when egged on by the hard right conservative pundits. That Ryan didn’t dismantle the bi-partisan coalition allowing for the passage of the budget at least shows he wants to be productive. But he doesn’t have the numbers, any more than John Boehner did, to be strictly partisan in running the House of Representatives.

In the end it all comes down to whether the hard-line conservatives want to have total, uncompromising power, or whether they want to be leaders. They can’t have it both ways.

Republican Outrage at Democratic Personal Attacks

Republicans in Congress are united at denouncing the latest democratic attack on Republicans.

A statement from Speaker Buhner’s Office reads:

Democrats are using Onomatopoeia, alliteration, and bathos to attack prosaic yet grammarless Republicans. We believe this new attack slanders Republicans and especially mocks the Republican Tea Party base. This use of satire and humor is beyond all tenets of civilized debate, and we believe this foul behavior could even lead to a severe and continued attack of sarcasm.

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Floods in The Balkans – US Suspects Floods Caused by Al Quaeda, Balkan Div.

In response to the devastating floods in the Balkans, where they’ve received 3 months’ rain in 3 days, (Making California and most of the Western US Jealous), the US Government is on the alert for the perpetrators.

They’re not looking at the Koch brothers (and other climate change deniers), oh no, they are completely innocent and this was no “extreme weather” event. It’s much more sinister.

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The Problem is not The POTUS, but The GOTUS.

Okay, I ought really be shoveling the 4 foot drift blocking my one and only egress from my apartment, but instead I wondered over to Ian’s blog. After reading this post I left this comment.

If Obama were truly a dictator you could lay the blame for the increased income disparity at his feet. However, he has to contend with another branch of the government. A branch of government that has not even allowed him to hire the people he wants to work in his branch of government.

I’m not a rabid Obama supporter; I believe he is wrong about drone use, as well as not getting behind reigning in the NSA fast enough. However, as an American I’d rather it be recognized that more people than Obama are responsible for crafting and implementing the laws in our country. Had Obama had to deal with a progressive, left-leaning congress, perhaps we would be seeing less of an income disparity.

It’s really an irritating habit of people (inside and outside of the US) to speak of President Obama as some sort of all powerful leader when the rules of being the President of the United States were purposefully written to prevent just that from happening. And as the Constitution of the United States was written by imperfect people (hence the “more perfect union” statement), it’s rather dubious to demand that a leader be perfect.

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Buying the fiction

Today’s media will become rapturous over pretty much any line of bullshit that is fed to it by the power structure these days. A two-year budget that reduces the deficit by $2.3 billion in ten years, we are told by pundits and the media, is a “triumph of bipartisanship.”

Really? For one thing, a two-year budget can’t do anything in ten years; it’s a two-year budget, not a ten-year budget. At best, it reduces the deficit by $4.6 $460 million in two years, and $4.6 $460 million is pocket change.

In this country you can pretty much “fool all of the people all of the time.” The media and voters fall for the fiction that Congress is reducing the deficit by billions (well, two billion), not noticing the fiction in that the reduction is over ten years while the budget is only two years, and falls for the big number (semi-big number), not noticing that the reduction is less than one percent.

And the only thing bipartisan about this steaming pile of dog crap is that both parties looked at the calendar and realized that it is time to go home for Christmas. They bipartisanly agreed that they did not want to spend Christmas in Washington engaging in another futile exercise of shutting down the government, so they bipartisanly agreed to put a bunch of bogus numbers on paper, bipartisanly label it a “budget,” and bipartisanly ram it through both houses of Congress.

Budget deal – Corporate welfare trumps jobless benefits

Same as it ever was....

Same as it ever was….

Christmas came a few days early for corporate interests and won’t arrive for the jobless as a result of the budget deal just announced.  Seeking to avoid the public relations disaster of the last budget fight, Republican negotiator Rep. Paul Ryan worked out a deal to avoid another dust up.   Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), represented the Obama administration

The deal restores some of the cuts from the sequestration process, mainly to defense programs.  It is described as a “small deal” that fails to do much for either deficit reduction or to promote economic growth.

There is no provision for extending Emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits.  Between Christmas and New Years, 1.3 million citizens will lose their benefits.  Another 850.000 will lose benefits by the end of March 2014.

At the same time, airlines got some relief and the planned 24% cut to Medicare physician fees was delayed.  These rates are already low.  The restoration on fees will probably prevent the start of an exodus of physicians away from Medicare.

Some Democrats are upset that the unemployment insurance extension was left out of the budget deal and the Tea Party faction of Republicans complained that there the deal does nothing about deficit reduction.  They’re both right.   Read More

Why are Obama’s poll numbers so high?

Job aproval (+), disapproval (-) ratings since September - Obama and Congress.  Polls since September that measured presidential and congressional job approval. (pollingreport.com)

Job approval (+), disapproval (-) ratings since September – Obama and Congress. Polls since September that measured both presidential and congressional job approval. (pollingreport.com)

 

A new poll found that President Obama’s job approval rating dropped to 42%, and his disapproval rating hit 55%, an all time high.  The popular question is how did his approval rating get this low.?

That’s the wrong question, in my opinion.  Here’s the more salient question.  Why has the president’s job approval rating stayed so high?

In early September, the president got all worked up over the use of chemical weapons, allegedly by arch nemesis Bashar al-Assad of Syria.  Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry reached peak invective at the Syrian government just before either or both the House and Senate stood ready to vote down the request to attack the beleaguered nation.   Russian President Vladimir Putin rescued the administration from an epic legislative defeat through the successful substitution of diplomacy for war.

The administration followed that failure with one closer to home, the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – Obamacare health insurance exchanges.  The Canadian company in charge of the web site apparently never heard of Beta testing and quality assurance.  The person designated to fix the initial problems said the site would be working by the end of November.  Maybe, maybe not.  Read More

At our expense

It's the Money Party in action!

It’s the Money Party in action!

The drama of the government shutdown and threatened default on government obligations is entirely unnecessary.  It is also harmful to the people of the United States.  Government workers and contractors are idle and without income.  Their communities feel the economic impact.  The threat of a default is stalling investment and hiring across the country.  And, the world watches and judges as Congress engages in its dangerous games.

The overarching threat is an incremental shutdown of all government services beginning on October 17.  Either the debt ceiling is raised, something that’s been done 78 times since 1960, or the Treasury department begins paying debts from government funds on hand until that money runs out.  It’s not that we lack the money.  This is a tantrum, pure and simple. Read More

The people spoke through the eloquence of unity on Syria

4thjulyI rejoice that America has resisted
William Pitt to Parliament, 1766

Sixteen years before the British gave up their war effort in the American colonies, William Pitt and others told King George III that he was absolutely wrong to kill and maim Americans seeking freedom. (Image)

Every day of every year from Pitt’s warning in 1766 through the end of the British effort in 1782 was wasted time for the people on each side of the Atlantic.  Lives and opportunities were lost.  The only beneficiaries were the war merchants and the insane monarch, George.  His madness was florid, without any restraint.

A leading newspaper characterized Parliament’s action in 1782 to stop funding the war as the end of “an offensive war in America, for the impracticible object of reducing the Colonies to obedience by force.”  Read More

A serious question for Democrats on Syria

The fake cowboy and the fake liberal are real buddiesLeaders of the Democratic Party and their media side kicks are giving President Barack Obama a free ride on his proposal to attack Syria.  Along with the Republican leadership, they’re ignoring the strong opposition to any attack by citizens in both parties and independents.

The president’s proposed military strike targets a government that has neither attacked nor threatened to attack us or our allies.  Obama did so without any intent to get congressional approval and before any evidence was made public.  He and the Secretary of State announced the attack without regard to clear international law which bars the unprovoked attacks on sovereign nations.

We are told, Trust me.  I’ve made the decision.

Does this remind you of anyone?  The president is Barack Obama but the words sound just like those of former President George W. Bush before the 2003 Iraq invasion.  Read More