Election

Jan 272015
 

Fitting that Republicans can’t govern. Note that most of their problems are internal, but when necessary, Democrats can apply techniques they observed the Republicans use. Apparently the public won’t notice or doesn’t care who keeps things from getting done.

Republicans discover that it isn’t easy running Congress – The Washington Post By Dana Milbank Opinion writer January 27 at 6:52 PM

“Yes, there have been a couple of stumbles,” John Boehner acknowledged Tuesday.

The House speaker had spoken with dry understatement.

What has happened since Republicans took full control of Congress three weeks ago has been less a stumble than a pratfall involving the legislative equivalent of a banana peel, flailing arms, an upended bookcase, torn drapes and a slide across a laden banquet table into a wedding cake.

Republicans discover that it isn’t easy running Congress – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 7:55 pm on Tue 01/27/15
Jan 222015
 

Obama ditches his illusions about Republicans – The Washington Post  by E.J. Dionne

“At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious,” [President Obama] declared, “that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health-care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years.”

Good news, indeed, and in telling the Republicans that all their predictions turned out to be wrong, he reminded his fellow citizens which side, which policies and which president had brought the country back. …

There is something odd in the notion that Obama is supposed to abandon his convictions because the Republicans won a low-turnout midterm election whose Senate races were fought mostly in territory hostile to Democrats.

Ronald Reagan was never asked to stop being a conservative after Democrats took the Senate in the 1986 elections and emerged in control of both houses of Congress. Republicans praised George W. Bush for his courage in upping his commitment in Iraq through the troop surge, even though the Democratic sweep of 2006 was in large part a repudiation of the war on which he doubled down. Are only progressive presidents expected to trim their sails?

Obama ditches his illusions about Republicans – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:21 am on Thu 01/22/15
Jan 212015
 

Elections have consequences. Remember this in 2016.

Republicans pull a classic bait-and-switch with new abortion bill – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

Just two weeks into the new Congress, [Republicans] voted Tuesday afternoon to bring to the House floor their current priority: a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks. The legislation, which doesn’t even grant exceptions to victims of rape unless they report it to police, was scheduled to be taken up Thursday — on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and coinciding with the annual March for Life.

It was a classic bait-and-switch.

Abortion got barely a mention in last year’s campaign, which led to unified Republican control of Congress. Voters in exit polls said their top priorities were the economy (45 percent), health care (25 percent), immigration (14 percent) and foreign policy (13 percent) — not surprising, given that these are the issues Republicans talked about. A Gallup poll after the election found that fewer than 0.5 percent of Americans think abortion should be the top issue, placing it behind at least 33 other issues.

But instead of doing what voters wanted, House Republicans are making one of their first orders of business a revival of the culture wars. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the new Senate majority leader, has promised to take up the bill, too.

Republicans pull a classic bait-and-switch with new abortion bill – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:18 pm on Wed 01/21/15
Jan 202015
 

Eugene Robinson: Republicans are stubbornly blocking the road on climate – The Washington Post


WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 7: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) holds a telephone conference with reporters in his office on Capitol Hill on January 7, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Andrew Harnik/For The Washington Post)

Eugene Robinson

By Eugene Robinson Opinion writer January 19 at 6:59 PM

“Hold on a minute,” I hear someone objecting. “I seem to recall that last winter featured the dreaded polar vortex, which brought frigid arctic air to much of the United States. Some warming!”

Is that you, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), new chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Senate’s point man on climate change? Let me try to put this in a way you might understand: The planet we live on is really, really big — so big that when it’s cold in our country, which covers only a small percentage of Earth’s surface, it can be hot in other places. At the very same time!

Okay, I’m being somewhat unfair. Inhofe actually reacted to the news of 2014’s record heat by calling the reported increase tiny and meaningless. But his long-held position is not that climate change is overblown or misinterpreted or poorly understood but that it is actually a “hoax” and a “conspiracy.” He wrote a book taking this stance. At times, he has claimed that global warming, if it were indeed taking place, would be a good thing. And he has scoffed at the notion that humans could ever have such a massive impact on God’s immense creation.

Let me repeat: This is the man whose task is to lead the U.S. Senate in setting environmental policy.

Eugene Robinson: Republicans are stubbornly blocking the road on climate – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 11:16 am on Tue 01/20/15
Jan 192015
 

Eugene Robinson: MLK’s prophetic call for economic justice – The Washington Post

King said: “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” …

King explained the shift in his focus: “Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality. For we know that it isn’t enough to integrate lunch counters. What does it profit a man to be able to eat at an integrated lunch counter if he doesn’t earn enough money to buy a hamburger and a cup of coffee?

Eugene Robinson: MLK’s prophetic call for economic justice – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:47 pm on Mon 01/19/15
Jan 142015
 

And screw the rest of us. Try hard to remember this until 2016.

Congress moves toward easing bank, Wall Street rules | Albuquerque Journal News By Marcy Gordon / The Associated Press PUBLISHED: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

WASHINGTON — More than six years after the financial crisis struck, the House is moving toward softening a post-crisis law that brought the strictest rules for banks and Wall Street since the 1930s.

Congress moves toward easing bank, Wall Street rules | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 11:41 am on Wed 01/14/15
Jan 082015
 

Mitch McConnell is off to a bitter start – The Washington Post by Dana Milbank

McConnell hailed the contributions of senators from Henry Clay to Robert Byrd, but his self-aggrandizing claim about the economy brought to mind Byrd’s withering criticism of Republicans as pygmies who “stride like colossuses while marveling like Aesop’s fly, sitting on the axle of a chariot, ‘My, what a dust I do raise.’?”

McConnell, when he wasn’t taking credit for things that preceded his ascent, gave a remarkably angry and ungracious first speech to the body he now leads. It was an 18-minute snarl, dripping with contempt and packed with campaign-style barbs for the president. He didn’t even offer an expression of condolences to the French after the terrorist attack Wednesday in Paris. (He mentioned the carnage to reporters later, after lunch.)

If this opening speech was a sign of McConnell’s leadership, it’s going to be a long and unproductive session.

Mitch McConnell is off to a bitter start – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 1:00 pm on Thu 01/08/15