John Boehner certainly had some big things planned for today: First coffee, then breakfast, then resign his position as Speaker of The House – Wait, what? Yes, that’s right, John Boehner has resigned as Speaker as well as vacated his congressional seat, effective October 30. As keeper of an out of control zoo, I can’t say as I blame him. Who wants to be in charge of a monkey house when all the monkeys want to do is bite the shit out of him and shut the whole thing down? For the entire time of his run as keeper of the gavel, Boehner has had shit thrown at him from every direction. When Boehner was first chosen to be Speaker, he wanted to watch over a Congress that would go on to do historic things, which would glorify his 35 year career in politics. If by historical, he meant historically inept and dysfunctional, he hit the nail on the head.
I don’t know that you can blame Boehner as much as you should blame the Tea Party. In my opinion, Boehner is a moderate by today’s standards: A moderate who is clueless as to how to interact with and negotiate with today’s rabidly conservative Republican. I honestly get the impression that he dislikes the far right as much as the far right dislikes him. The enthusiasm never seemed to be there, when he lip synced to the public about any of the far right talking points. At any rate, he will be gone at the end of the month, and if I had to guess, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is going to replace him. I don’t know much about McCarthy, other that the fact that he was tight with Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, and that he has less than ten years of experience as a congressman (he was elected in 2006).
Whoever gets the nod, it’s going to feel like swimming upstream in a raging torrent of rapids right away. The new speaker will be facing the immediate threat of yet another government shutdown, as well as default. Things are going to have to come together fast, and nothing comes together fast in Washington.
I can only surmise that with a new and improved (for the Tea Party) Speaker, things are only going to get worse for the rest of us. I just can’t help but feel that with Boehner’s resignation, the GOP leadership just took another gigantic step to the right.
Get your popcorn folks.
It’s estimated that the government shut down will cost the tax payers twenty one million dollars a day. In addition, the shut down will slow down the economy to the tune of three hundred million dollars a day. Meanwhile, the stock market began to plummet before the shut down even went into effect. In addition, an estimated eight hundred thousand government workers are now on leave without pay. Furthermore, vital social programs such as WIC will be shut down, leaving many who rely on government assistance to fend for themselves. Looking forward to retirement? Not so fast my friend. You’re application for Social Security most likely will not be processed until the shut down ends. Want to go to a national park or museum? Forget about it, they’re shut down as well. The absurd list of those affected by the shut down goes on and on.
This is our conservative party at work folks – or in this case non work. They are diligently and systematically destroying our country in order to undermine our president. This isn’t a mere temper tantrum over Obama-care: This is treason. This is one of our parties demonstrating a complete disregard for the country they supposedly have sworn to protect and work for. The government could have easily been kept operational if the Republican Party would have budged one iota on their ridiculous demands. The House and Senate could have easily passed a spending bill that did not include the defunding of Obama-care, John Boehner wouldn’t allow it. The GOP isn’t looking out for the American people, they’re looking out for themselves, as well as the likes of the Koch brothers. This traitorous act by the Republican Party is akin to the boy with the football going home until everybody lets him play quarterback. Let me tell you something boys, the game you’re trying to shut down went on without you: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect while you were collectively packing your footballs and going home. Your little game of chicken accomplished nothing, other than seriously damaging our economy. It’s not Obama nor the Democrats who are suffering from your childish and churlish behavior: It’s millions of people in this country who will suffer.
At the very least, the GOP leaders who are leading this crusade against John Q Public simply must be voted out in 2014. At the most, they should be led away from their tax payer subsidized day care in shackles. In closing, I would just like to say this to John Boehner and the rest of his petulant cronies:
- Why the Republicans lost (tv.msnbc.com)
- Senate rejects House funding bill with shutdown in clear sight (thehill.com)
- John Boehner doesn’t have to let the Tea Party paralyze whole government (washingtonpost.com)
- Government Shutdown Begins As Deadlocked Congress Flails (bloomberg.com)
What little time I’ve had to blog lately seems to be sharing pictures I come across on the intertubes. This post is keeping up with that theme. I came across this awesome family portrait while looking at Huffington Post. Two things occurred to me when I first saw it:
1- It’s a vagina, not a clown car. Seriously, who has this many kids anymore? It’s not the Bronze Age.
2- The very unhappy boy in the forefront reminds me of John Boehner – WHAAAAAAAA!
What are your thoughts on Obama’s SOTU? I have to admit, I only caught the last half hour last night. However, I did get a chance to read the full text of his speech this morning. All in all, I thought it was a very moving address. Here are some points that caught my attention:
1. POTUS finished his speech with an extremely emotional bang. His call for tougher gun control regulations were punctuated with recognition of several victims of gun violence. After each name was called, he implored that each victim deserves a vote. Even John Boehner rose to his feet to applaud. However, I couldn’t help but feel that this was nothing more than emotional grandstanding. Obama never once mentioned an actual passing of a gun control bill, he merely called for some form of legislation to be voted upon. He knows full well that nothing will pass through the NRA controlled congress. His rhetoric did make me tear up a little though.
2. Climate change. Yes Mr. President, our climate has changed. You’re a little late, but welcome to the conversation. For the sake of every living thing on this planet. I implore you to lead the way in reducing our carbon footprint. Climate change is an issue that you should be talking about every single day until something is done.
3. Raising the minimum wage. This is also long overdue. There should be no such thing as the working poor. I like the idea of tying the minimum wage to the cost of living index. Make it happen.
4. Improving infrastructure. Again, long overdue. Want to put people back to work? Want to attract more jobs and boost interstate commerce? Improve our decaying infrastructure. It’s a no brainer.
5. Women do deserve equal pay: Twist some arms and make this happen.
6. Cyber security. This makes me little nervous. I can’t help but feel that more of our civil liberties are going to be stripped under the guise of national security and cyber security. It seemed as this part of his speech was pointed more toward hacktivists such as Anonymous, and less toward global terrorist.
7. Transparency of national security. Obama tells us that congress is informed of every program and action taken by our security and intelligence agencies. He also assured that the public would be kept in the know. This was a pants on fire moment for the president. I’m skeptical, as is a majority of the country. Let’s get a look at that kill list Mr. President!
8. Cut Spending, close tax loopholes. I agree, but why fuck with Medicare?
9. Obama seemed more bi-partisan. He worked very hard to remind everyone last night that we’re in this for the long haul. He seemed to throw a little something out to both parties.
The whole time I was watching the speech, Biden’s lack of pupil visibility was freaking me and my partner out. It was very disturbing.
Bonus: Boehner seemed to be an even higher shade of orange.
Over all, I think it was one of the president’s best speeches. He was conciliatory, and he was passionate about issues that are in the fore front of the county’s collective mind. As with every SOTU, I can only hope there’s more action than lip service.
This is just epic. Fucking hilarious too :)
A tip of the tinfoil hat to Yahoo News.
John Boehner and his GOP cronies have a different idea than the rest of us of what a jobs bill actually does. For most sane people, a jobs bill attempts to create jobs. For Boehner and the GOP, a jobs bill does the following:
*Guts the EPA
*Rapes the environment
*Further enables special interest
*Gives yet more tax breaks and incentives to Corporations
*Cuts funding for the Affordable Care Act.
*Cuts unemployment benefits
*Limits safety requirements in the work place by undercutting agencies such as OSHA
The House has passed 27 of these turds, which are now sitting in the Senate. Boehner is railing against the naughty Democrats in the Senate, because they apparently have the brains to recognize corporate serving poppy cock when they see it. In other words, Boehner is pissed because the Senate Democrats are daring to call bullshit, and not passing his bills.
Jeez John, you could at least offer a reach around with your “jobs bills.”
Karoli from the blog Crooks and Liars takes a look at some of Boehners “Job Bills”, and explains why they’re really not:
HR 3630 – The Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2011 – This bill does indeed extend the “docfix” and unemployment insurance for a year, but with a hefty price.
In addition to freezing federal workers’ pay for three years, it requires issuance of a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline in advance of the proposed routing by Nebraska, suspends the newly-issued mercury regulations and extends 100% expensing of business equipment (including private jets). Another so-called “jobs bill”, HR 1938, was passed giving a November 1, 2011 deadline for the Keystone pipeline.
With regard to unemployment insurance benefits, it cuts the 99-week maximum down to a 59-week maximum by mid-2012, allow states to drug-test UI recipients, and allow states to reduce state unemployment benefits and substitute federal funds. It also cuts funding for key provisions of the Affordable Care Act coming online, and adds the requirement to welfare payments that EBT cards cannot work in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos.
Provisions were included to auction more broadband spectrum and reclassify the 700mhz D Block as public safety broadband use only, which would be a huge payoff to Verizon Wireless lobbyists, who won that block with requirements that it remain open, after Google challenged the auction process.
It would force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pay increased guarantee fees similar in scope to those due from large banks as a part of the Dodd-Frank Act, means-tests unemployment insurance benefits and food stamp programs and increases Federal employees’ contributions to their retirement system by 1.5% while freezing pay, so their pensions take a double-whammy.
Finally, it repeals the new timing rules for estimated corporate tax payments for companies with assets of $1 billion or more so that they can use payments of estimated taxes as a timing tool for fourth quarter profit declarations.
None of the provisions outlined above create jobs. They called it a jobs act, but it was really just an act.
HR 1633 – Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011
This bill prevents the EPA from issuing or finalizing regulations revising air quality standards under the Clean Air Act, and excepts farm dust from all references to “particulate matter.”
No jobs there, but if anyone has ever suffered from Valley Fever, they might object to exempting dust, particularly farm dust, from the definition of particulate matter.
HR 10 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011
Guts the regulation process by mandating that every regulation promulgated by approved by Congress after an onerous submission process, while exempting any Congressional finding from judicial review. Call this one the Carte Blanche For Congress To Kill All Regulatory Authority Bill.
What it is not: A jobs bill.
HR 3010 – Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011
HR 3010 is a modified, somewhat less onerous version of HR 10, setting guidelines for whether any regulations are warranted at all even if called for under a statute. Calling an anti-regulatory statute a jobs bill is a little like calling a half-built bridge infrastructure. So again, not a jobs bill.
HR 527 – Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2011
Ostensibly, HR 527 would reduce regulatory requirements on small businesses by forcing an impact study with specific focus on small business before regulation is adopted. It would limit EPA, OSHA and CFPB regulations while presumably protecting “small” closely-held Subchapter S corporations like Koch Industries. Not a jobs bill.
HR 3012 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011
HR 3012 would expand job immigration beyond current limits by eliminating employment-based immigrant visa caps and raising the percentage of total visas granted to 15% from 7%. For this one, I’ll say it IS a jobs bill, but not a jobs bill for American workers. It is the “Elite Immigration Jobs Bill of 2011”.
HR 3094 – Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act
HR 3094 redefines collective bargaining units and makes significant changes to election procedures, including one intended to intimidate employees: an employer-supplied list of eligible voters with contact information provided by the employee.
Not a jobs bill. A union-buster bill.
HR 2930 – Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act
HR 2930 exempts startups raising less than $1 million in venture capital from small investors from SEC registraiton and oversight.
Not a jobs bill. An anti-regulatory bill.
HR 2940 – Access to Capital for Job Creators Act
HR 2940 repeals prohibitions on solicitation or advertising of a securities offering. It’s a companion to HR 2930, and is intended to allow people with no relationship to a startup company to invest in it without any oversight by the SEC. Let’s call this and its evil twins HR 2930 and HR 1965 the “Ponzi Scheme Coverup Acts of 2011”
HR 1965 – Securities Laws Amendment
HR 1965 changes the shareholder threshhold for SEC registration from 500 to 2000 shareholders. It’s not a jobs bill. It’s a “hide from the SEC” bill. Its companion, HR 1970, would exempt SEC registration of public offerings under $50 million rather than the current $5 million threshold.
Many More EPA Acts
So many they don’t deserve to be broken down individually. HR 2273 removes coal ash regulation from the EPA and hands it to the states. HR 2681 would put a legislative stay on cement manufacturing emission standards. HR 2250 would put a legislative stay on EPA boiler MACT rules. HR 2401 would require analysis of all EPA regulations relating to air, waste, water and climate change. HR 2018 would restrict EPA from issuing any revisions to existing water standards or issuing a new standard for a pollutant if the state has already adopted one or there is an existing standard in place. In other words, ignore any new scientific research after an initial standard has been set. HR 2021 amends the Clean Air Act to open oil and gas exploration off the Alaska coast. HR 910 strips the EPA of authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, a direct assault on efforts to limit man-made contributions to climate change. HR 872 expands the use of pesticides, fungicides and rodent without EPA approval.
Many More Oil and Gas Drilling Acts
There is HR 1231, which would require the Administration to allow offshore oil and gas drilling and exploration in order to meet set domestic production goals, effectively forcing the moratorium on offshore drilling to be lifted to meet goals. HR 1229 requires the Energy Secretary to consider any offshore drilling permits within 30 days of receiving it and provide application denials in writing within 60 days of the application. Another “forced moratorium lift” bill. HR 1230 forces sales of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico and Outer Continental Shelf of Virginia. It also lifts requirements for environmental impact statements and grandfathers in a 2007 document as authority for environmental impact.
Special Interest Legislation, or Pandering to Corporate Interests
HR 1904 proposes an exchange of land so that Resolution Copper, LLC can mine copper on what is now part of the Tonto National Forest.
HJ Res 37 is a resolution of disapproval on net neutrality.
HR 2587 prohibits the NLRB from restricting where an employer can locate. This is in response to the NLRB’s objection to the Boeing plant relocation to South Carolina, a right-to-work state.
These would fall under the anti-labor, anti-environment categories, but not particularly effective job creators. In fact, in Boeing’s case, the jobs lost would hurt the economy more than jobs created in a right-to-work state where employers are not obligated to adhere to industry standards on contracts, safety or other issues.
Posted from my piece of crap Blackberry
- How the GOP led House is working for America (liberaltalkingpoints.wordpress.com)
- Boehner: House Will Attach Keystone Pipeline to Infrastructure Bill (crooksandliars.com)
- GOP, Dems in dustup over EPA’s reach (politico.com)
- Senate votes down Rand Paul move to curb EPA regs (hotair.com)
- Curb on EPA Farm Dust Regulations Moving Forward (dakotavoice.com)