Rage. Probably political rage. Maybe just personal rage. Lots of sarcasm and cynicism. Also pretty pictures.
House Speaker John Boehner yanked the bill to provide $60 billion in emergency aid to states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy to get back at a top lieutenant who defied him over the Fiscal Cliff fix, Congressional sources said Wednesday.
Boehner was angry, the sources said, when Majority Leader Eric Cantor led the revolt Tuesday by conservative House Republicans against the Fiscal Cliff compromise that wound up being passed later in the day, the sources said.
So rather than let Cantor bring the Sandy aid bill he had hammered out with New York and New Jersey lawmakers to the floor for a vote, Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled rank and tabled it - likely killing the aid package for the current session of Congress, which ends Thursday.
Boehner’s decision to pull the bill triggered outrage Wednesday from both Republicans and Democrats in New York and other states devastated by Sandy. They said his decision forces tens of thousands of storm victims to wait even longer for help.
His voice shaking, Rep. Pete King, a Long Island Republican, took to the floor of the House Wednesday morning to launch an extrordinary attack against Boehner, his own political leader.
King called it a “cruel knife in the back” to New York and New Jersey.
Gov. Cuomo, a Democrat, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, issued a joint statement calling the House’s inaction a “dereliction of duty.”
And at a Manhattan press conference, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “Speaker Boehner pulled out the rug from us at the last minute.” He added, “This failure to get relief now could be called the Boehner betrayal.”
The New York Daily News, “Sources: House Speaker Yanked $60 Billion In Sandy Aid Out of Spite.”
Last night, the House of Representatives failed that most basic test of public service, and they did so with callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my state. If you want an example of how non-partisan this issue should have been, I offer this for your consideration: near midnight last night, conservative Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California both spoke on the floor in concert with each other in support of (the Hurricane Sandy) aid package. It’s one for the record books, I suspect.
On the equities, this one should be a no-brainer for the House Republicans, as well. Both New York and New Jersey used the international firm of McKinsey & Co. to assess and quantify the damage to our states. Our professional staffs have spent countless hours with Congressional staff providing leadership and backup documentation for ALL of the damage claims. Governor Cuomo and I have spent hours and hours speaking to individual members of the House and Senate to answer their questions. We worked with President Obama and his administration to satisfy them of the urgent need of this $60 billion aid package.
This was good enough for 62 United States Senators — of both parties — to vote for this package. This was good enough for a majority of the House of Representatives. It overcame all the factual challenges. It just could not overcome the toxic, internal politics of the House majority.
Finally, New Jersey and New York are perenially among the most generous states in the nation to our fellow states. We vote for disaster relief for other states in need; we are donor states sending much more to Washington D.C. than we ever get back in federal spending. Despite this history of unbridled generosity, in our hour of desperate need, we’ve been left waiting for help six times longer than the victims of Katrina with no end in sight.
Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political partisanship of this Congress which places one-upsmanship ahead of the lives of the citizens who sent these people to Washington D.C. in the first place.
New Jerseyans and New Yorkers are tired of being treated like second-class citizens. New York deserves better than the selfishness that we saw displayed last night; New Jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw on display last night. America deserves better than just another example of the government that has forgotten who they’re there to serve, and why.
66 days and counting. Shame on you; shame on Congress.
Christie would later make his anger crystal clear: “All I can tell you is this was the Speaker’s decision. His alone.”
(Mother Jones) - John Boehner gave up on fiscal cliff negotiations after he was unable to get House Republicans to agree to any proposal at all, even one that he himself had crafted. The fate of the Republic, he said, was now in the Senate’s hands. So how is Mitch McConnell handling things?
An aide said Wednesday that McConnell had not been in contact with any top Democrats, including Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, during the holiday break….Always cautious, McConnell has kept a decidedly low profile during the last few weeks of political theater in the Capitol….Behind the scenes, he  helped devise Boehner’s Plan B maneuver, which failed to gain enough Republican votes to be brought up in the House. In the aftermath of that defeat, however, McConnell may be unwilling to take on the job of deal-maker. The reasons reflect the pressures that have buffeted his fellow Republicans.
“I cannot emphasize how little a constructive role he will play in this,” Democratic strategist Jim Manley, a former top Reid aide, said of McConnell. “He’s going to be very reluctant to get involved, and to the extent he does get involved, he’s going to move very slowly.”
No Republican dares to be associated with a tax increase, including McConnell. Grover Norquist and his blood pledge still control them all. Will this change after January 1, when the conversation is no longer about raising taxes, but about lowering them? That would make sense, but sense is in short supply these days in the GOP caucus. Here’s the best quote in the entire story:
“The president made a strategic miscalculation and overreached,” said one GOP aide granted anonymity to discuss party strategy. “He could have worked to reach a fair agreement, but instead he picked a fight, poisoned the well, and now we are likely to have a rather unproductive next four years. The decision he made only hurts himself.”
The president overreached! He spent an entire year campaigning on letting tax rates go up modestly on the rich, and then, after winning a convincing victory in November he insisted on … letting tax rates go up modestly on the rich. In GOP-land, that constitutes “poisoning the well,” and it will now become the official excuse for another four years of bitter obstruction and spittle-flecked conspiracy theories. The whole process took less than two months from start to finish. Happy New Year, everyone.
- then Many states, despite knowing the Affordable Care Act’s imminent November 16th deadline to declare plans for the law’s 2014 insurance exchanges, didn’t bother making any. This is because Republican-governed states, vehemently opposed to the health care law, had wagered on a Romney win and Republican senate takeover that would have allowed for the law’s repeal. If it’s gonna be repealed, why bother making plans or preparations?
- now Mitt Romney didn’t win, which put these dozens of states in a sticky spot. Today came word that the Obama administration will extend the deadline — the states will now have until December 14th to submit plans on how to run their versions of the exchange. Seven states (Alaska, Kansas, Florida, South Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia, and Texas) have confirmed their refusal to participate, in which case the federal government will manage the exchanges itself. source
The Mount Pleasant Journal is one of several newspapers run by Trib Total Media, a media conglomerate owned by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife’s foundation donated hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative organizations ranging from the American Enterprise Institution to the Federalist Society, and he currently serves as vice-chairman of the right-wing Heritage Foundation’s board of trustees.
Last Thursday, at least one of Scaife’s newspapers printed an inaccurate story headlined “Photo ID required for November election,” when, in reality, a court order suspended the requirementthat Pennsylvania voters show an ID or lose their right to vote. The following piece appeared in Scaife’s Mount Pleasant Journal:
Again, the claim that voters will need to show ID in order to vote, as well as the claim that voters who do not show ID will be forced to cast a provisional ballot and then show ID later, are entirely false. The state of Pennsylvania is currently bound by a court order which permits voters without ID to cast normal ballots, not provisional ballots, and to have those ballots counted just like any other. Voters will still be asked to show ID at the polls, but may not be turned away or given a provisional ballot because they do not show it.
Romney said the phrase (“binders full of women”) while answering a question that first went to President Barack Obama about inequalities in the workplace and fair pay for women. Obama answered the question by focusing on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which he signed into law.
Romney took a different route in answering the question. He talked about his time as Massachusetts governor and how he wanted to hire some women – and not all men – for his cabinet.
“And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Romney needed help finding women for posts. There were no women in at the top of the all-male Bain Capital. “Binders Full Of Women” was certainly an awkward phrase to say and it failed to even work as an answer to the question. Instead, it reminded people of a time when women wore girdles or women in China bound their feet as status symbol that allowed them to marry into money. For some, it sounded like a great idea for a Halloween costume.
And like Big Bird, it became an instant meme.
Romney then went a bit patriarchal, reminding me of the Dabney Coleman character in the 1980s movie, “9 to 5.”
“Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school.”
He continued, saying that his chief of staff couldn’t work late because she had to be home “making dinner” and “being with them when they get home from school.”
Romney said, “Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.”
Do fathers not have to get home and cook dinner? Do they not want to be there for their children when school is out? After all, there are such things as single dads who balance children and work. Mitt Romney has obviously been watching too many episodes of “Leave It To Beaver” on TV Land on the campaign trail. The days of Donna Reed are long over, Mr. Romney.
Fox News tries to mislead its viewers (again) by grabbing whatever numbers they find most convenient to fit their narrative.
In this graphic Fox suggests government spending increased from 3.2% of the economy when Bush left office to an average of 23.8% under Obama.
What Fox really did was compare the level of deficits under Bush to overall spending under Obama — two completely different measures of government spending.
Dorothy Cooper, age 96 and a retired domestic worker living in Chattanooga, never had any trouble voting even in the Jim Crow era and missed only one election in her entire adult life. But when she went for one of the state’s new free photo IDs last month so she could keep voting, they turned her away. Why? Her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander, is on her birth certificate, and she didn’t have her marriage license.
Due to Tennessee’s new voting law, she has to have a state photo ID to vote and now, even with her current voter registration card, she can’t get one.
She is older than Voting Rights Act.
Like let’s get this really real yall
Mama has voted without bureaucratic bullshit in JIM DAMN CROW
but the new millenium is trying to keep her out cause her birth certificate ( which is older than the current incarnations of both parties) has her maiden name
from back when the probably write that shit in fountain pen…
I quit all of you
EVERY SINGLE ONE
doing math : She has been eligible to vote since 1937
SHE HAD LESS TROUBLE VOTING AROUND FDR vs. LANDON than OBAMA vs.ROMNEY
God damn it.
Republicans live in a weird alternative universe.
“There have been physical altercations between at least two men on the House floor, and I don’t recall any of them every being banned from speaking,” Byrum said. “It’s just unacceptable to silence women when we’re talking about women’s reproductive rights.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/14/michigan-woman-lawmakers-silenced-_n_1598168.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
Rep. Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) makes an interesting point. The arbitrary lines drawn between what behavior is “acceptable” and what is not are getting more and more abstract and unfounded (anyone remember FL’s Uterati?). The language used in the bill, was absolutely relevant. What’s with the GOP and lady parts? The Republicans in the Michigan House (and elsewhere) are making rules up as they go along and these rules suit only their own agenda. The Constitution has been thrown out - Free Speech? There is no common decency. There is downright childish behavior rampant within our Legislative bodies and no one can or will do anything to bring the level of decorum and respect back for fear of massive media backlash - because, let’s face it: everything is “Breaking News” and everything is extreme, and no one wants to be the “story of the week” and affect their precious chances of being re-elected. Our own legislators behave as if they were characters in The Jersey Shore.
Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home—but not for housing. They are strong for labor—but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage—the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all—but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine—for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing—but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing—so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.
Republicans are currently blocking the extension of lower student loan interest rates because they insist on cutting a health care fund to pay for its cost. But when it comes to the Bush tax cuts, they continue to believe that no budget offsets are necessary to pay for them.
The Hill reports: “House Republicans say they have no plans to pay for the extension of the Bush-era tax rates, a move that could erase the deficit reduction they have achieved since winning their majority in the chamber in 2010.”
In other words, Republicans intend to do exactly what they did when they passed the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in the first place, which (along with not paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or for Medicare prescription drug coverage) is exactly what created our budget mess in the first place.
Welcome, again, to the GOP War on Budgeting. You really couldn’t ask for clearer evidence that Republicans are not only wholly uninterested in reducing federal budget deficits, but even oppose the whole notion of considering individual spending and taxing decisions in the context of an overall budget.