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Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Addicting Info- February 3, 2012

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A day after Mitt “Moneybags” Romney stated his lack of concern for the economically disadvantaged (an old school Republican touchstone), President Obama shot back by finally using the right-wing’s bullets against them.  Despite constantly being smeared as a secret Muslim, Barack Obama in fact subscribes to Christianity.  Today’s perverse version of Christianity typically refers to super rich, white proselytizers who flagrantly manipulate the pure teachings of Jesus and spew bilious hatred towards gays, women, single moms, blacks, and the poor and middle-class. It also tends to refer to making a bunch of bombs to kill a bunch of Middle Easterners so that some  defense contactor can continue to eat caviar.  So it’s only natural for thinking people to stay within 100 yards of it. But, much like everything else under the sun, the Republicans love co-opting it blatantly injecting it into politics in order to claim higher ground.

Former president Bush, a simple-minded lummox with virtually nothing to offer other than his ability to relate to even dumber people, understood that invoking Jesus’ name would guarantee universal support of his hawkish foreign policy no matter how severely flawed and unreasonable it may have been.  For that reason, I have been constantly saying that President Obama should put on his best decider face, hold a press conference on the white house lawn, and state that his good homeboy JC told him that he should return taxes on the highest earners to the levels during the Clinton era. But that’s not the style of the guy of the president who sings Al Green.

During the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C. that took place yesterday, the president revealed that his Christian (or Christ-like) faith heavily influenced his economic policies– including calling for the wealthy to pay more taxes and overhauling the healthcare system. He explained to the attendees that the nation’s challenges require smart policies coupled with a strong values system, and not of the philandering on your dying wife, or subscribing to anti-gay policies and making anti-gay rhetoric only to have secret gay sex variety.

It’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income or young people with student loans or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone,’President Obama said.

“For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that, for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,’ he added, referencing verse 48 of chapter 12 in the Gospel of Luke. “To answer the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute,” added Obama.

VIDEO & MORE HERE

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Senator Bernie Sanders on the Senate Floor Feb. 16, 2011

The Nation September 18, 2011

John Nichols

Declaring that “Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history,” and decrying threats to Medicare and Medicaid that would punish Americans who did not cause the current economic crisis, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders brought thousands of progressives from across the Midwest to their feet Saturday, as they cheered his message to President Obama and the Congressional “super-committee”: “We can deal with deficit reduction in a way that is fair and responsible.”

“Instead of balancing the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the most vulnerable,” Sanders said, “it is time to ask the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in this country to pay their fair share.”

In several speeches to crowds that numbered in the thousands who gathered for Fighting BobFest events in Madison, Wisconsin, Sanders continues to spell out the progressive economic agenda that argues against cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to balance budgets and address deficits and for tax policies that end special breaks for the wealthy and multinational corporations that offshore jobs from the United States.

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MEANWHILE ON WALL STREET

       The whole world is watching.

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By CARL HULSE, NYT
August 1, 2010

WASHINGTON — After months of partisan impasse, the House on Monday approved a budget agreement intended to head off a potential government default, pushing Congress a big step closer to the conclusion of a bitter fight that has left both parties bruised and exhausted.

Despite the tension and uncertainty that has surrounded efforts to raise the debt ceiling, the vote of 269 to 161 was relatively strong in support of the plan, which would cut more than $2.1 trillion in government spending over 10 years while extending the borrowing authority of the Treasury Department. It would also create a powerful new joint Congressional committee to recommend broad changes in spending — and possibly in tax policy — to reduce the deficit.

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Poll: Public already losing patience with new Congress

By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

WASHINGTON — Once again, the public is getting increasingly disgusted with Washington.

It sees a failure to adopt remedies for even the most basic, pressing issues of the day, as Congress struggles to craft a federal budget. And incumbents are getting worried about the political implications.

“It’s hurting some of us,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who’s up for re-election next year. “They blame everybody.”

A new Pew Research Center poll shows that about half of Americans think the debate over spending and deficits has been “generally rude and disrespectful.”

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/20/110751/poll-public-already-losing-patience.html#ixzz1HExbAT49

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Despite Earmark Ban, Boehner Brings Home Pork-Barrel Defense Project That Pentagon Doesn’t Want

Think Progress- By Zaid Jilani at 9:58 am

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) likes to tout his opposition to earmarks. Indeed, since first entering Congress in 1991, the congressman has never requested a single earmark. And one of his caucus’s first moves in the new Congress has been to renew a voluntary earmark ban in the House of Representatives, making good on a major campaign promise.

Yet as CAP Senior Fellow Scott Lilly reveals in a new analysis, “No, He Wouldn’t—Would He?,” Boehner and House Republicans appear to have included an earmark-in-all-but-name for the new Speaker’s district in the newly released House Appropriations Continuing Resolution (CR). The CR includes massive cuts to important programs like Head Start and LIHEAP, but one thing it doesn’t cut is $450 million stashed away for the construction of a Joint Strike Fighter engine the Pentagon doesn’t even want.

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12 of America’s Most Crooked Candidates on the Ballot in the 2010 Election

Here are some of the absolutely least deserving candidates for high office.
September 16, 2010 |

Since 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), has compiled a list of the dirtiest, most corrupt critters to scurry across the halls of Congress. The annual report shines some light on the double-dealing and back-scratching of some shady characters, and its release generally gets good play among political reporters.

But 2010 is the year of the upstart, insurgent candidacies — with dozens of “outsiders” on the scene dedicated to “cleaning up Washington,” “taking our country back,” etc. It’s the year of the Tea Parties, and no incumbent is safe. So it’s entirely appropriate that CREW should release a new list this year, one that looks not at the worst sitting members of Congress but at the dirtiest candidates — the people most likely to rank among the most corrupt in Congress if they go on to win their elections.

From James Traficant, running as an independent candidate in Ohio just 14 months after his release from prison on charges of bribery, racketeering and filing fraudulent tax returns, to Alvin Greene, an unemployed and apparently indigent Democratic Senate candidate out of South Carolina who can’t explain how he came up with the $10,000 fee required to file — here are 12 of the absolutely least deserving candidates for high office.

Roy Blunt — Running for U.S. Senate, Missouri

Roy Blunt is a candidate in the Republican primary for the United States Senate in Missouri. For the last 14 years, Rep. Blunt has served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 7th congressional district. As a member of Congress, Rep. Blunt came under fire for a variety of issues including employing the same corrupt tactics that forced his mentor, former Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, to resign. Rep. Blunt’s ethical issues were documented in CREW’s 2006 report on the most corrupt members of Congress.

In 2003, Rep. Blunt divorced his wife of 31 years to marry Philip Morris (now Altria) lobbyist Abigail Perlman. Before it was known publicly that Rep. Blunt and Ms. Perlman were dating – and only hours after Rep. Blunt assumed the role of Majority Whip – he tried to secretly insert a provision into Homeland Security legislation that would have benefitted Philip Morris, at the expense of competitors. Notably, Philip Morris/Altria and its subsidiaries contributed at least $217,000 to campaign committees connected to Rep. Blunt from 1996 to 2006.

Also in 2003, Rep. Blunt helped his son, Andrew Blunt, by inserting a provision into the $79 billion emergency appropriation for the war in Iraq to benefit U.S. shippers like United Parcel Service, Inc. and FedEx Corp. Andrew Blunt lobbied on behalf of UPS in Missouri, and UPS and FedEx contributed at least $58,000 to Rep. Blunt from 2001 to 2006.

Family connections have also helped another of Rep. Blunt’s sons, former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Gov. Blunt received campaign contributions from nearly three dozen influential Missouri lobbyists and lawyers when he ran for governor of Missouri in 2004, half of whom had provided financial support to his father. Earlier in 2000, when Matt Blunt was running for Secretary of State, Rep. Blunt was involved in an apparent scheme, along with Rep. DeLay, to funnel money through a local party committee into Matt Blunt’s campaign committee.

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Crooks and Liars- By Nicole Belle Thursday May 20, 2010 6:00am

Normally, I’d cut this video down from its full 19 minutes, but truly, to appreciate the wonderfulness of Maddow’s approach and the sidestepping Rand Paul attempts to avoid the corner Maddow in which deftly places him, you really must watch the whole thing.

And boy, does Rand Paul squirm under the surgical questioning of Rachel Maddow. He never answers her questions, and how can he? His stance makes no sense. Taylor Marsh:

It’s the nakedness and naïveté of Mr. Paul’s views on civil rights laws, that legislation should not impact businesses, that is not only evidence that he’s unfit for Congress, but that he’s actually dangerous. To think that the United States would no longer require laws to protect minorities is just ignorant and lacking in experience in the real world.

As for his anti-women’s rights views, especially on individual freedoms, it’s absolutely discriminatory against women. It’s appalling in this day and age that a doctor would believe that women should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against her will. The editorial board found his views “repellent” and they are correct. To say that the unborn has “equal” rights to the woman is simply wrong.

I think Taylor hit it on the head: his naïveté is dangerous. Like many–if not most–“isms”, libertarianism may make sense on an academic level, but only when conceived in vacuum of intellectual exercises. In the gritty friction of the real world, the exercise falls apart. To say that only publicly owned entities should be legislated from discriminating ignores centuries of oppression and injustice. Glibly dismissing any real examples such as the Woolworth’s lunch counter by claiming his “abhorrence of racism” and saying that people would vote with their dollar to not patronize those business is laughably naive.

Obviously, the tea party adulation, in all its authoritarian and uncritical glory, did not prepare Rand Paul for prime time. He’s clearly uncomfortable with follow up questions and being confronted with his own stances. Even though he brought it on himself by telling the Louisville Courier-Journal and NPR that he thought the Civil Rights Act should be done away with, Paul whines about “red herrings” and that the act is forty years old, so why is anyone asking him about it? Joan Walsh:

You’ve got to watch the whole interview. At the end, Paul seemed to understand that he’s going to be explaining his benighted civil rights views for a long, long time – but he seemed to blame Maddow. “You bring up something that is really not an issue…a red herring, it’s a political ploy…and that’s the way it will be used,” he complained at the end of the interview. Whether the Civil Rights Act should have applied to private businesses – “not really an issue,” says Tea Party hero Rand Paul.

Methinks Paul better get used to having to answer for his tacit endorsement of racism and oppression of minorities, especially if Tweety’s outrage is any indication of the larger media response. That may play well with the teabaggers, but they’re not going to win Paul the elections. If I was Jack Conway, I’d be smiling right now.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Rand Paul On ‘Maddow’ Defends Criticism Of Civil Rights Act, Says He Would Have Worked To Change Bill (VIDEO)

Huff Post- First Posted: 05-20-10 02:13 AM   |   Updated: 05-20-10 02:21 AM

Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul believes that the federal government blurred the lines between public and private property when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and made it illegal for private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race.

Paul explained his views on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wednesday, just one day after wholloping his opponent in Kentucky’s Republican primary.

Maddow focused on the Tea Party-backed candidate’s civil rights stance after he publicly criticized parts of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Paul told Maddow that he agrees with most parts of the Civil Rights Act, except for one (Title II), that made it a crime for private businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race. Paul explained that had he been in office during debate of bill, he would have tried to change the legislation. He said that it stifled first amendment rights:

Maddow: Do you think that a private business has a right to say that ‘We don’t serve black people?’Paul: I’m not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race. But do discriminate.

But I think what’s important in this debate is not getting into any specific “gotcha” on this, but asking the question ‘What about freedom of speech?’ Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent. Should we limit racists from speaking. I don’t want to be associated with those people, but I also don’t want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that’s one of the things that freedom requires is that
we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn’t mean we approve of it…

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