Showing posts with label US Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Congress. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Waving Buh-Bye To the House Intel Investigation

Now that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has shown that he is compromised in terms of the investigation he is running regarding ties between Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign, the House investigation is officially dead.

So, it's now the Senate's turn and my hope is that things will be taken a little more seriously in the upper chamber. Honestly, there is no more important story than this one. This is not a legitimate presidency until we find out what's going on in terms of all of these connections. I'm happy to see that both Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner will be testifying before this committee.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Phoning It In

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked, that many GOP Congressmen were holding "phone in" town halls (whatever the fuck that means...sounds made up to me) with their constituents over this mini break for Congress. Ah, the party of bravery and strength....

Even worse for them is the belief that is being perpetuated within the right wing bubble that these angry constituents are actually paid protesters. Didn't the Democrats say the same thing in 2009?

How did that turn out? :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pick Up Those Scraps!!

Real Leaders

House Democrats, lead by civil rights icon John Lewis, are staging a sit-in on the floor of the US House of Representatives demanding a vote on new gun legislation that will expand background checks and prevent terrorists from acquiring firearms.

A live feed of the sit in is available here.

This is what real leaders do. They fight for what is right despite any minor discomfort they may feel. Poor leaders, like Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, chicken out, refuse to call a vote, shut down the cameras, and go on summer vacation...while continuing to allow terrorists access to whatever firearms they choose.

Do Republicans really think they can fuck with this guy?

He's the one about to be cracked across the head on the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma, 1965. Today, in 2016, he's doing it again.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hold Them Accountable

When United States citizens are polled on guns, a majority (57%) want more strict gun laws and that includes Republicans. A massive majority (89%) want background checks on all gun purchases. A majority wants a ban on assault weapons (57%). With voting set today in the Senate on four separate pieces of gun safety legislation, keep track of who votes and how they vote.

Hold them accountable.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Republicans And Democrats Working Together?

I think I may have slipped into an alternate reality.

Congress approves formula fixing Medicare doctors pay.

Congress on Tuesday approved a bill to repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement just in time to head off a 21 percent cut in the doctors' pay.

What the-??!! Did I wake up in an alternate reality?

It gets better.

The legislation includes a two-year extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for low-income children and a two-year extension of funding for community health centers.

Maybe there is some hope...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rules For Email Don't Apply To Congress

Well, I guess Congress doesn't have the same email rules that are currently being applied to Hillary Clinton. How convenient for GOP lawmakers who are critical of the likely Democratic nominee for president.

Congress makes its own rules, and has never subjected itself to open records laws that force agencies such as the State Department to maintain records and turn them over to the public when asked. There's also no requirement for members of Congress to use official email accounts, or to retain, archive or store their emails, while in office or after. That's in contrast to the White House and the rest of the executive branch. Official emails there are supposed to be retained, though the controversy over Clinton's use of a personal email account while secretary of state has exposed vague and inconsistent requirements from one agency to another.

I hear the sound of crickets already:)

Oh, and yes, we are officially back to Benghazi again...

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The 2016 Budget

President Obama released his 2016 budget yesterday and, in just about every way, it represents everything the Democrats stand for and everything the Republicans stand against. Here is a breakdown of some of the highlights. In my view, it's the best budget he has put out since he became president. This one jumped out at me right away...

-Provides Tuition-Free Community College for Responsible Students. The President's America's College Promise proposal creates new federal-state partnerships to provide two years of free community college to responsible students, while promoting key reforms to improve the quality of community college offerings to ensure that they are a gateway to a career or four-year degree. If all states participate, an estimated 9 million students could benefit from this proposal.

A big reason why our country was so successful after World War II is the GI Bill. This echoes that legislation and is a great example of middle class economics. An investment in these students now will pay dividends in our economy's future.

Other highlights...

—Spending of $4.0 trillion and receipts of $3.5 trillion would combine for a $474 trillion deficit. For the budget year that ended Sept. 30, the actual deficit was $483 billion. That was a marked improvement from the $1 trillion-plus deficits during Obama's first years in office, when the country was struggling to emerge from a deep recession. 

—A six-year, $478 billion public works program would pay for highway, bridge and transit upgrades. About $238 billion would come from a one-time, 14 percent mandatory tax on the up to $2 trillion in estimated U.S. corporate earnings that have accumulated overseas. That rate is significantly lower than the current top corporate rate of 35 percent. The top corporate rate for U.S. earnings would drop to 28 percent; foreign profits would be taxed at 19 percent, with companies getting a credit for foreign taxes paid. The remaining $240 billion would come from the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is financed with a gasoline tax.

 —The capital gains rate on couples making more than $500,000 per year would increase from 24.2 percent to 28 percent. Obama wants to require estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they are inherited. He is trying to impose a 0.07 percent fee on the roughly 100 U.S. financial companies with assets of more than $50 billion. 

 —Obama would take the $320 billion that those tax increases would generate over 10 years and funnel them into low- and middle-class tax breaks. His ideas: a credit of up to $500 for two-income families, a boost in the child care tax credit to up to $3,000 for each of up to two children under age 5, and overhauling breaks that help pay for college. 

 —Painful, automatic cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies would be eased, with a 7 percent increase in annual appropriations. For 2016, Obama wants a $38 billion increase for the Pentagon. All told, agency budgets would go up $362 billion over the next six years above caps mandated by automatic spending cuts. 
The one that jumps out at me here is the alteration in corporate tax code and foreign profits. Corporations that are keeping their profits abroad should be taxed more and given the incentive, through a lower overall rate, to come back home.

The president has finally gotten smarter on dealing with the GOP. Start with a proposal that is firmly on the left side of the field (at least by today's standards:)) and force the Republicans to compromise on a more moderate approach. Don't begin with a compromise that results in something in the middle on the right side of the field.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Week In Politics

Since the State of the Union, the political scene sure has gotten interesting. As I have previously suggested, the president's approval ratings would rise if he started to appeal more to his liberal base. The fact that he was done in the low 40s was partly due to the left (and not exclusively the right) not approving of him because he was being too moderate. Well, they have come home, folks.

The president's tone in last Tuesday's speech shows that he's finally getting it right. You start off far left and then force Republicans to meet you in the middle. You don't start off at the 40 yard line on the left side of the field. Then you end up with a policy that is on the 30 yard line on the right side of the field. Now he's more or less forced the GOP to meet the reality of governing. Yes, that's right, conservatives. Now YOU GUYS have to deal with approval ratings running 30 percentage points behind the president.

Mitt Romney decided not to run for president today. That's too bad because I would have like to see him gum up and already gummed up field. I've heard a lot of talk about the deep bench on the side of the GOP but I see it more like this.

7 right-wing demagogues that will be shoved down our throats in 2016

In many ways, this is good news, though, because Reince Preibus's dream of being able to hide the batshit will not come to pass. These guys are going to be out there with their short wave radio lunacy and wacky, ideological nonsense, straw manning their way to their next appeal to fear to old, white men who can't seem to get over their problem with their parents...I mean, authority.

I say we let them have center stage for the next few months and then President Grandma can announce her candidacy sometime later in the year. What could possibly go wrong?:)

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Exit Stage Left

What a fantastic end to this Congressional session, eh? Let's see...they did...absolutely nothing. The good news for all you Tea Party and libertarian types is that your ideological mission of having the federal government do as little as possible has been accomplished.

The bad news is that you now have to face your voters:)

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Bringing In The Big Guns

These days, politicians in DC can't seem to get their message across. Americans seem to not want to listen if you are a politician and it certainly shows in the polls with Congress's rating at continued lows. So, what do you do? Enter Bernie Sanders.

When the majority leader, Harry Reid, exhorted colleagues to “deal with the issue of income inequality,” the talk took a spiritual turn. “You know,” declared Senator Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent, who caucuses with Democrats, “we have a strong ally on our side in this issue — and that is the pope.” That Mr. Sanders, who is Jewish, would invoke the pope to Mr. Reid, a Mormon, delighted Roman Catholics in the room. (“Bernie! You’re quoting my pope; this is good!” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois recalled thinking.) Beyond interfaith banter, the comment underscored a larger truth: From 4,500 miles away at the Vatican, Pope Francis, who has captivated the world with a message of economic justice and tolerance, has become a presence in Washington’s policy debate.

Currently, there are around 2 billion Catholics in the world and they all look to the pope as their leader. Pope Francis is not only changing the face of Christianity today but he is clearly affecting politics. He has made inequality his core issue and I think that's going to change economic policy of the United States for the better.

How this all plays out remains to be seen but it's definitely the right direction!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Final Vote

The Senate passed the legislation to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling with a final vote of 81-18. The House vote was 285-144 with 87 Republicans supporting the bill. The president is signing the legislation this evening. 

This is a giant win for the president. Clearly, the Tea Party knows they can't fuck with him anymore on the debt ceiling or funding the government. If they threaten to do this again, it will obviously be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Sort of like their entire ideology. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

About Time

Most of the time, I get nauseated when the left bitches about President Obama. They really have no fucking clue what kind of country we live in today. For the most part, this is especially true when they whine about the president not being tough enough.

But today, I have to say, I was very happy to see the president call the right on their bullshit during his press conference today. The position the right has taken on taxes is so ludicrous that it's embarrassing given reality. Thankfully, most Americans are not with them.

Politifact has an iPhone app, b to the w, which is pretty mega and only $1.99.

And check out this poll.

26 percent blame President Bush, 25 percent blame Wall Street, 11 percent blame Congress and just 8 percent blame President Obama. In all honesty, this poll is just about the right distribution for blame. The other 30 percent could probably be a variety of other sources including the American people themselves.

All of this tells me that the doom and gloom about the president and the Democrats losing in 2012 is terribly short sighted. Most Americans aren't buying the narrative that the GOP and other parts of the right are peddling. It doesn't add up. They simply don't have any solutions for our problems and it's very clear that their past efforts have completely failed.

All they really have left is the media which they fake scorn every chance they get. Without them, I doubt anyone would pay attention to what anyone says on the right. They'd have their own little world where they could blow bowels about fake problems and the rest of us can get on with actually making this country a better place.