Archive for bipartisanship? What bipartisanship?

VIDEO: Andrea Mitchell clashes with GOP Rep. Duffy over military death benefits, #GOPshutdown, #Obamacare

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andrea mitchell vs sean duffy

As Paddy said to me on the phone, this is about as close as we'll ever get to Andrea Mitchell saying "F*** you" to someone. I was right there with her, he was obnoxious. The look on her face in my screen grab above says it all:

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Here are some excerpts: Andrea Mitchell:

We are now in day eight of the government shutdown that we have been told was unthinkable and wouldn't happen. Now we learn that the families of our soldiers killed in Afghanistan are being denied benefits because of this colossal failure of leadership. [Please read David's post, U.S. Shutdown Denies Fallen Soldiers Survivor's Benefits] How do you tell that to the families whose loved ones gave their lives for all of us?...

But the larger point, Congressman Duffy, is these mini CRs-- mini continuing resolutions-- that's the whole question of taking little pieces of the government. The issue is not that this is a small matter, it's a very big matter, but so is the matter of the kids in Head Start.

So is the problem of the single moms who aren't getting food stamps and aren't getting their help.

So down the road are the survivors benefits and that fund is going to run out in weeks if not months.

So you can't take this piecemeal, Congressman. Isn't the issue that someone has to sit down and figure out what to do about the stalemate that has led to this disgrace?...

Congressman, you're asking him -- that's a nonnegotiable demand. Why not sit down and negotiate over entitlement reform, which is something you all have been demanding and that he has offered in his initial budget? You're putting on the table a nonnegotiable demand.

Then Duffy went on a rant blaming the media for, well, everything. That didn't sit too well with Andrea Mitchell.

We've asked questions of both sides. that's not fair.

But Duffy kept ranting and browbeating.

Mitchell:

With all due respect, this is about military death benefits to kids, 19-year-old kids who died in Afghanistan and who are not returning home, this is about what their families are entitled to by law and what they are not getting.

This is not about what you want in Obamacare and not about what the president wants on the debt ceiling.

Duffy:

Don't spin that on me.

Pot. Kettle. Spin.

Mitchell:

You consider it a small ask that he gets rid of the central part of his health care plan that was upheld by the vote, of a presidential election and the United States Supreme Court?

Duffy:

Andrea, hold on. That's your spin.

Mitchell:

That's not spin.

Deaf ears, Andrea, deaf ears...

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Former Maine Senator Olympia Snowe: There must be "a counterweight to the extremism"

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bipartisan

Video added:

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Former Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe has an op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times about the "calamitous capacity for dysfunction" in the legislative branch of government. She's a firm believer in enacting laws "that genuinely improve the lives of" Americans, but sadly, the "corrosive political environment" is making that impossible.

Cooperation was once "the norm," but now, not so much; collaboration is fast becoming a thing of the past as Congress lurches from one crisis to another.

However, she ends her piece on a hopeful note, calling for a groundswell of grassroots support for bipartisanship. In the current hostile political environment, good luck with that. But who knows? We the People do have the power to create change, so there is a glimmer of hope:

Ultimately, we get the government we demand.

What is required is a political reward at the ballot box for those politicians who work toward common ground, and a penalty for those who do not. That's my message now. And to further it, I've established Olympia's List, a rallying point for those interested in identifying and supporting candidates who are willing to reach across the political aisle and follow the principles of consensus-building. And at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where I am a senior fellow, we are encouraging Americans to join a new effort called Citizens for Political Reform to demand bipartisanship.

There are already plenty of incentives for incendiary rhetoric and thwarting action. We can alter those incentives. What is necessary now is a counterweight to the extremism, a groundswell of recognition that there is strength in compromise, courage in conciliation and honor in consensus-building that will leave a legacy of responsible stewardship for the generations to come.

bipartisanship1Note: Edited to correct.

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Mitch McConnell pretends to intend to work together with President Obama

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mitch mcconnell make obama one term president

On Inauguration Night back in 2009, the GOP conspired to obstruct and destroy President Obama’s every attempt to reach across the aisle in order to create programs and laws that benefit Americans. You can read about that unpatriotic plan here: GOP plot to obstruct- Obama aide in bed with GOP lover: “How do we get a stimulus deal?” Reply: “Baby, there’s no deal!” and watch a clip of Vice President Biden calling them out.

The Republicans plan failed miserably, as has been driven home by President Obama's landslide re-election and today's inauguration speech.

However, the GOP found little to like in Obama's address. For example:

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed, saying, “The climate change part was, on one level, frankly strange. I think he believes it, I think he’s sincere, but it’s still strange. The great energy revolution we’re living through is called oil and gas.”

Yes, continuing our dependence on oil is Newt's idea of revolutionary and cutting edge. What a forward thinker.

Despite his party's bitterness and petty/irrational criticisms, Mitch McConnell is fake-reaching out and pretending to want to work with the president. Nothing could be more laughable. Does he really think Obama is that gullible? Or that we are?

Reuters:

The president’s second term represents a fresh start when it comes to dealing with the great challenges of our day; particularly, the transcendent challenge of unsustainable federal spending and debt,” McConnell said.

Republicans are eager to work with the President on achieving this common goal, and we firmly believe that divided government provides the perfect opportunity to do so,” he said.

Together, there is much we can achieve,” the Senate Republican leader added.

And by "fresh start" he means Obstruction Version 2.0.

And by "eager" he means reluctant.

And by "achieve" he means block.

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So much for Romney's "bipartisanship" claims

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Michael Wines at the New York Times has a thing or two to say about a thing or two regarding Willard M. Romney's boasts about how well he played with Democratic others while he was governor of Massachusetts.

Not so fast, Willard. If by "working across the aisle" you meant "clashing," then yes, you're correct. Not only is your political tone deafness is showing, so is your proclivity for lying:

But on closer examination, the record as governor he alluded to looks considerably less burnished than Mr. Romney suggested. Bipartisanship was in short supply; Statehouse Democrats complained he variously ignored, insulted or opposed them, with intermittent charm offensives. He vetoed scores of legislative initiatives and excised budget line items a remarkable 844 times, according to the nonpartisan research group Factcheck.org. Lawmakers reciprocated by quickly overriding the vast bulk of them. 

The big-ticket items that Mr. Romney proposed when he entered office in January 2003 went largely unrealized, and some that were achieved turned out to have a comparatively minor impact. A wholesale restructuring of state government was dead on arrival in the legislature; an ambitious overhaul of the state university system was stillborn; a consolidation of transportation fiefs never took place.  [...]

[H]is own education reforms went mostly unrealized. His promise to lure new business and create jobs in a state that had been staggered by the collapse of the 2000 dot-com boom never quite bore fruit; unemployment dropped less than a percentage point during his four years [...]

But in contrast to his statements in the debate, many say, Mr. Romney neither mastered the art of reaching across the aisle nor achieved unusual success as governor. To the contrary, they say, his relations with Democrats could be acrimonious, and his ability to get big things done could be just as shackled as is President Obama’s ability to push his agenda through a hostile House of Representatives.

More here.

Democrats say Romney lied during debate — and it is going to cost him.

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VIDEO- Mitt Romney: "We developed ... respect and rapport, even though we disagreed... I went to them and said, 'Will you give me unilateral power...?'"

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See how well Willard Romney works with Democrats? As long as they give him unilateral power, everything is hunky dory!

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Hey kids, it's Saturday! That means "Jermajesty" trumps real news!

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It's Saturday morning, kiddies, and you know what that means! I'm cranky! And why am I cranky? Because I started the day by watching cable "news" programs. Of course, we all know that there's nothing going on today, so the hosts were bantering and mugging for the camera and ... I'm sorry, hold everything. I'm hearing something is going on: Dems, GOP still at loggerheads as clock ticks.

But that didn't stop CNN's T.J. the News Dee Jay from wasting time on a segment about naming babies, including the Jermaine Jackson "Jermajesty" moment. How did we ever get through our day without hearing that story?

Over at MSNBC, at least they acknowledged the political insanity that is currently taking place in Congress. Punditiot Pat Buchanan opined on the fake debt ceiling fiasco and came out with the remarkably deep and meaningful, "I think we'll end up with both parties being extremely bitter." Gee, Pat, ya think?

In an earlier conversation, Alex Witt was talking to a Texan Congress member (I missed his name) who refused to answer her questions, relying instead on the tired old conservative talking point, cuts, cuts, cuts work and raising taxes doesn't create jobs.

Of course Witt failed to follow up with, "How do cuts, cuts, cuts create jobs?" because from here, it looks like our troops are worried about not getting paid for the jobs they do, and people are being laid off right and left (no pun) because of cuts to government agencies and programs, hence, slashing a slew of jobs, and... well.. this:

For instance, teacher training, making college affordable (Pell grants), public school systems, libraries and museums, disease research, small business assistance, public safety/law enforcement, child care, community development, airport improvements, all major ports, roads, bridges, buses, light rail, highways, sewers and other infrastructure improvements, food and agriculture products, including Florida citrus, substance abuse and mental health treatment, disaster mitigation, immigration, job training and violence against women efforts are all connected to some federal program that could be affected by budget cuts. The next time you renew your passport, see a bus stop or a painted line on a U.S. Highway, take a sip of water or breathe clean air, know that your tax dollars are being put to use, and funding for one of the programs that helps you and your family could be cut.

But nobody bothered to get into any of that. Not Alex Witt, not T.J. the D.J., nor anyone else.

And so I remain cranky.

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BREAKING NEWS: House passes a bill that will die in the Senate! UPDATE: It died in the Senate.

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What a waste of time. Compromise schmompromise. Via a CNN email alert:

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to pass Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling and implement sweeping cuts in government spending.

The plan now goes to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he has the votes to table the measure, effectively killing it. Reid is planning to spend the weekend pushing what top Democrats insist is a more centrist piece of legislation.

Boehner had scheduled a vote on the bill on Thursday but canceled it after he was unable to line up enough GOP votes. On Friday, Boehner tried to make the plan more appealing to conservatives by including a provision requiring congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt ceiling is extended through 2012.

The federal government will hit its debt ceiling on Tuesday and without congressional action will be unable to meet some of its financial obligations.

The vote was 218-210, with 22 Republicans voting against the The Boehner's debt plan and no Democratic support. It increases the debt limit by $900 billion.

D.O.A.

R.I.P.

I tweeted this commentary earlier: Explanation for collective Republinsanity: They all hit their heads on the debt ceiling. #CeilingWhacks

'Nuff said.

UPDATE: Here are the 22 who voted No.

UPDATE:

The Senate has rejected the debt-ceiling plan that was backed by House Speaker John A. Boehner and approved earlier today by the House of Representatives.

Lawmakers will now work this weekend to devise a debt-ceiling plan that could pass both houses of Congress before a potential federal default.

More soon at http://www.latimes.com/.

The vote was 59-41.

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