Apr 142014

Dana Milbank: Republicans kiss votes from women goodbye – The Washington Post

It takes chutzpah to observe Equal Pay Day by sacking the low-wage employee you’ve been snogging.

The Democrats’ accusation of a GOP “war on women” sticks not because of what Democrats say but because of what Republicans do — and the big problems aren’t personal pratfalls but rather public policy. [Accusations of a war-on-women] gain traction because of proposals Republicans are advancing.

Dana Milbank: Republicans kiss votes from women goodbye – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 3:47 pm on Mon 04/14/14
Apr 042014

I’m sure they’ll be rewarded. Now, the Koch Brothers, ad nauseum, can profit from “the general gratitude” of every single member of Congress. I hope to live long enough to piss on Roberts’ grave.

Supreme Court says political influence isn’t corruption | Albuquerque Journal News By Thomas Cole / Of the Journal, PUBLISHED: Friday, April 4, 2014

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:

“In a series of cases over the past 40 years, we have spelled out how to draw the constitutional line between the permissible goal of avoiding corruption in the political process and the impermissible desire simply to limit political speech. We have said that government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford.”

Roberts also wrote, “Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects.” …

Campaign finance restrictions should be seen as a means to strengthen the First Amendment, rather than weaken it, the [Justice Breyer] wrote. “Where enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard,” he said.

Breyer also said:

“Taken together with Citizens United … today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

Supreme Court says political influence isn’t corruption | Albuquerque Journal News

 Posted by at 8:05 am on Fri 04/04/14
Feb 032014

How do we pretend this is NOT bribery?

NM lobbyists kick in campaign money and gifts | ABQJournal Online

SANTA FE (AP) — New state reports show that lobbyists and their clients handed out about $400,000 in campaign contributions to legislators, Gov. Susana Martinez and others in the months leading up to this year’s legislative session.

The contributions are in addition to about $660,000 spent by lobbyists last year for food, drinks, gifts and entertainment for lawmakers and other state officials.

The oil and gas industry accounted for not quite half of the lobbyist campaign contributions from late April through the end of last year, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of disclosures filed by lobbyists with the secretary of state’s office.

A top lobbyist donor was J.D. Bullington, who reported about $81,000 in contributions on behalf of himself and his clients. Nearly $29,000 went to the governor.

NM lobbyists kick in campaign money and gifts | ABQJournal Online

 Posted by at 1:24 pm on Mon 02/03/14
Jan 232014

Dana Milbank: Business interests again on upswing in GOP – The Washington Post

Arguably, corporations never really lost their hold on the Republican Party (and a somewhat looser grip on the Democrats). The wealthy exploited the grass-roots anger of the tea party all along — such as when Glenn Beck, the movement’s de facto leader, urged his followers in 2010 to donate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But corporate interests were displeased that the brinkmanship practiced by tea party lawmakers sometimes turned out to be bad for business. After the government shutdown in the fall, the chamber announced that it would spend $50 million in the 2014 GOP primaries to help “pro-business” Republicans beat tea party candidates. …

[A special election in Florida was won by David Jolly, a corporate lobbyist with a history of giving to Democratic candidates as well as Republicans. His] good showing is a happy event for the influence industry — and Democrats are equally exultant. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has just begun running a TV ad showing a video clip of Jolly in which he says, “I have been a registered lobbyist and I’m proud of the work that I’ve done.”

Federal records show that Jolly, once an aide to Young, built a healthy business as a lobbyist for defense contractors and others seeking a larger piece of the federal pie: corporations, local governments, universities, hospitals, broadcasters and a group that favored expanded oil drilling.

Dana Milbank: Business interests again on upswing in GOP – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 11:03 am on Thu 01/23/14
Jan 172014

They took time out from voting to erase everyone’s memory of Obamacare to hand out money to campaign contributors.

Dana Milbank: D.C. returns to business as usual – The Washington Post

A very different Republican Party rushed a massive spending bill through the House on Wednesday, just 44 hours after it was posted. The bill was 1,582 pages and accompanying explanatory statements added 1,278 more, which means lawmakers had less than a minute to read each page, even if they didn’t sleep.

This was an ugly and gargantuan spending bill, cutting vital programs while sending goodies to well-connected industries. And yet there was some good news in the swift and easy passage through the House, followed quickly by the Senate. It means business as usual is returning to the Capitol.

There’s nothing to love about Washington’s business as usual, in which lawmakers on both sides do the bidding of the powerful. Yet even this is better than the endless crises and constant brinkmanship of the last three years. The spending bill also offers another sign that the tea party activists and affiliated organizations are losing their hold on Republicans. …

? It awards the Pentagon $666 million to study illnesses and afflictions that include Lou Gehrig’s disease and breast cancer — activities not closely related to war-fighting.

? It gives the oil and nuclear industries a bonanza: $154 million more than the Energy Department requested for nuclear energy, and $141 million more than requested for fossil-fuel development, despite enormous oil profits.

?Skirting a ban on earmarks, the bill provides more than $44 million for the Army Corps of Engineers that the administration had not requested. And lawmakers have been issuing news releases bragging about pet projects that are earmarks in everything but name.

Now it’s Democrats’ turn to howl about reading the bill. “My colleagues are being asked to vote on this, over 1,500 pages that nobody has read,” Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts protested during the debate. “I am willing to bet that in a week or so we are going to read an article about something that was in here that nobody even knew about.”

Dana Milbank: D.C. returns to business as usual – The Washington Post

 Posted by at 8:27 pm on Fri 01/17/14
Jan 112014

Founders would think we’ve done OK | ABQJournal Online By Bruce Simmons / Rio Rancho Resident

In response to the Jan. 4 “Rio View” opinion piece by John Knipps of Rio Rancho, “What would our Founding Fathers think?”, I agree that “the need for an enlightened electorate is greater today than ever before.” Even so, his remarks involving the history of our Constitution, Founding Fathers and some of his other opinions were simply a political stance against the current president, the Affordable Care Act, the “Great Society,” and the existing federal government structure.

The following facts counter his statements, and support that our government is in pretty good hands in spite of the problems of the current Congress: … [mjh: it’s worth it to continue to read his points]

Founders would think we’ve done OK | ABQJournal Online

 Posted by at 10:01 am on Sat 01/11/14
Jan 092014

Valencia County rejects late-term abortion ban | ABQJournal Online

LOS LUNAS – After two public hearings and impassioned pleas on both sides of the issue, a proposal to ban late-term abortions in Valencia County has been rejected.

County commissioners voted down the proposed ordinance by a 3-2 vote Wednesday evening. The measure would have banned abortions in the unincorporated parts of the county after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The action comes about two months after Albuquerque voters rejected a similar proposal. …

Chairman Eaton said he had a hard time supporting a measure that was “largely symbolic,” since there are no abortion providers in the county, late-term or otherwise.

Valencia County rejects late-term abortion ban | ABQJournal Online

 Posted by at 2:43 pm on Thu 01/09/14