Friday, August 9, 2013

Let's be clear about why an immigration bill can't be passed

President Obama said it today, and I don't think anyone seriously doubts it:   If the immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate were brought to the House floor for a vote, it would pass.   And Obama would sign it into law.

But John Boehner has said he will not allow a vote unless he has a majority of Republicans in favor.  He is putting internal Republican politics ahead of the needs of the country.

Remember this.   It's one more nail in the GOP coffin -- or at least it should be.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A few quotes from the day

Some quotes gleaned from the Huffington Post yesterday: 

1.  Bill Clinton, when asked by CNN about Antony Weiner's campaign for mayor of New York, given that Huma Abedin is a top aide to Hillary Clinton and that Bill performed their marriage ceremony:
"We are a hundred miles from that race. . .   Neither Hillary or I was ever involved in the campaign. . . .  There are too many people running for mayor who have been my supporters, who supported her for senator, her for president."
Very diplomatic, Bill.   But I would just like to point out that Huma may be great.  But she married a jerk.   He is no Bill Clinton, who is a political genius with a zipper problem, while Antony Weiner is a small-time wannabe whose main motive seems to be to get attention, from the media and voters, if possible;  from internet sexting, if necessary.

2.  Cornell West, former professor of African American Studies at Harvard, said this about his clash with the former president of Harvard, Larry Summers, that resulted in West leaving Harvard for Princeton:
"To put it bluntly, Summers has always struck me as a legendary gangster with a high IQ, in service of the well-to-do."
I'm not necessarily supporting Cornell West either.   He's always struck me as a bit of a loose cannon with a high IQ.   But I agree with him about Summers, and I hope President Obama comes to his senses and does not appoint him to replace Ben Bernacke to head the Federal Reserve.   Summers seems far too committed to Wall Street;  besides he's a bully and a disaster as an administrator.

3.  Liz Cheney, who has announced her bid to run for the U. S. Senate from Wyoming, told a Wyoming newspaper:
"The special thing about Wyoming is how much democracy here depends on people-to-people interaction."
That's probably true.  So what makes Liz think she can just move to Wyoming and have them elect her senator?  She's not even eligible to get a fishing license, which requires you to have lived there for a year.

You'll notice that none of these quotes is from a current member of Congress.   They went home.   It seems they needed a vacation from not doing anything.   Let's hope the voters keep them hopping.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ready for a race?

What a difference a few months' rest can make.

 Rnc Hillary Clinton

Hillary looks ready to take 'em on !!!


Republican's con game comes home to roost

Paul Krugman nailed it in yesterday's New York Times column.   The Republicans have been running a con game with their political base.    They sold them on this idea that government spending is the big problem in Washington, that what we need is extreme austerity spending cuts -- plus tax cuts for the wealthy "job creators."

So the base sent a lot of spending cut/tax cut zealots to the House, vowing austerity.   The trouble is that Paul Ryan's budget, in particular, and the Republican con game in general sold a big idea without any specifics.   Cut spending, raise taxes, and not only would the deficit disappear but jobs would appear, all would be well, and our happy past life would be restored.

But now it's time for the specifics -- and they can't deliver.  As Krugman says:
"What's happening is that the G.O.P. is trying to convert Mr. Ryan's big talk into actual legislation -- and is finding, unsurprisingly, that it can't be doneYet Republicans aren't willing to face up to that reality.  Instead, they're just running away. 

"When it comes to fiscal policy, then, Republicans have fallen victim to their own con game. . . .  And [now] the party establishment can't get the base to accept fiscal or political reality without, in effect, admitting to those base voters that they were lied to."
There is some glimmer of hope that a few of the more responsible Republican senators are beginning to face reality.   Not so much in the House.   So deadlock may have to continue and hope the voters will take care of the House problem in 2014.


Monday, August 5, 2013

The House votes

With an approval rating of 8% and on track to be the least productive Congress in modern times, the Republican-controlled House has nevertheless been busy.   Here's some of what they've been doing:

1.  Endless hearings and harassment of administrative officials by Darrell Issa and his Government Oversight Committee -- mostly about manufactured non-scandals.

2.  They have voted 40 times to repeal or defund all or parts of the Affordable Care Act, which Obama would veto if it managed to get through the senate.

3.  They have voted 13 times since 2011 to bar any federal funds or contracts going to ACORN, the anti-poverty and social service organization, which disbanded in 2010. Why?

4.   The majority of the mere 22 bills that have reached the president's desk for his signature have been for naming of post offices, with only a few laws of any significance passed.

And these clowns will mostly get re-elected because partisan re-districting has carved out safe seats for them.  And SCOTUS' gutting of the Civil Rights Act will only make that worse.

And now they've left town for a five week (undeserved) vacation.

What gives us the temerity to instruct Egypt on how run a democracy?


Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Mitch McConnell squeeze

It couldn't happen to a more deserving wretch.   Mitch McConnell has a sharp primary challenger from the right and an every sharper one from the left-center for the general election.

There is now the very real possibility that he might not even survive his primary race in Kentucky.    Yesterday at the Fancy Farm traditional political picnic, as expected, his smart, feisty Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, got off some good lines -- the best of which made me laugh out loud.   Describing him as the Dr. No of the capitol hill gridlock, she said:
If doctors told Sen. McConnell he had a kidney stone, he’d refuse to pass it.
That is the equal of former Texas governor Ann Richards' great line as the keynote speaker when Bill Clinton was running against George H. W. Bush:
"Poor GeorgeHe can't help it that he was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
But it's just possible that Kentucky voters won't leave it up to Lundergan Grimes to get rid of unpopular Mitch.  His unfavorability rating in his home state is over 50%.   For an incumbant, that's devastating.

McConnell's less well known Republican challenger from the right is wealthy businessman Matt Bevin.  He turned out to be equally feisty and challenging.   Espousing tea party values and anti-Washington fervor, he attacked McConnell for not being oppositional enough.  Here was his take-away line:
I’m not going to run to the left of Mitch McConnell; I’m not going to run to the right of Mitch McConnellI am going to run right over the top of Mitch McConnell."
So Bevin will pull him even further to the right;   then if he wins, he has to face Grimes who is coming at him from the left.

Nope.  Couldn't happen to a more deserving wretch.