Archive for debt ceiling

John Boehner Plays Uncle Remus - Is Blackface Next Insult?

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Uncle Remus

"Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." Yup, that's the song good ol' boy John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives chose to sing as he exited the podium yesterday after announcing his unconditional surrender to President Obama over the budget ceiling. Boehner not only took it on the chin from the President, he also took a number of body blows and whippings from his own party -- the conservative GOP right wing.

This was not a good day. Yet what does the Speaker do, he soothes his bruised ego and battered body exiting the press conference singing and humming. 'Atta boy, Boehner. Smile and never let the people know how hurt you really are.

Speaking of hurt, that brings me to the topic of the song Mr. Speaker chose to show his emotions, his feelings, his state of mind. Usually we find a song that fits what we're thinking deep down inside. In this case, I wouldn't have been surprised if after his battles he wasn't singing "Ol' Man River." But frankly that would be racist. And John's not racist... though...

Yet what he did choose leads me to question his roots. His state of mind. What he's really thinking. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah? It's not exactly "Hi-ho, Hi-ho, it's off to work we go.." Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah is a 1947 Oscar winning song from the Disney movie, SONG OF THE SOUTH. It was sung in the film by a character known as Uncle Remus -- today thought of as Uncle Tom. You couldn't get more racist if you had sung "Dixie."

Wikipedia on SONG OF THE SOUTH:

The film's depiction of African-American former slaves and of race relations in Reconstruction-Era Georgia has been controversial since its original release, and is now commonly regarded as racist. Consequently it has never been released in its entirety on home video in the United States.

Really Mr. Boehner? The theme song from one of the most racist films of all time is all you can fill your mind with? This country's got enough racial troubles, you don't need to be smirking and driving another wedge into our fragile union.

Here's the short ending of his press conference. He's got the orange face thing down perfectly. I'm just surprised, in his state of mind, he didn't go all out and do the presser in Al Jolson blackface.

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Wednesday Links

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Photo: Eileen Blass, USAToday

              Photo: Eileen Blass, USAToday

Blocking the vote: Florida County eliminates minority-heavy polling places

Rain and Sleet Move into Metro Atlanta Area

Be sure to read the explanation of why the first recipe is called
The Sure Thing.
Red Red Gingerbread (Karen Noel Hearn's Food Blog

What John Mackey sees as fascism, I see as, finally, a health care law which lets millions of people get health care who would have been turned down before the Affordable Care Act.
Whole Foods Founder John Mackey On Fascism And 'Conscious Capitalism'

Why Boehner Gave Up on the Debt Ceiling

MSNBC confirms NJ Senator Gordon says no members of Christie's office will appear before committee

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What I will not write about today: News stories, links, and snarkitude

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frustrated36

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

  • House GOP Finalizes Demands to Raise Debt Ceiling- They want to trade a one-year extension for approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, or for repeal of the Affordable Care Act's risk corridors. What, no Benghazi demands? You're sli-i-ip-ping, GOP.

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

drunk wine bulance

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GOP Demands Mighty Big Tits For Few Tats

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TitForTatw348h344

Mitch McConnell is a spokesperson for the latest round of fiscal disasters the GOP is trying to foist on the American public. He's going about it on behalf of his party in a very strange way.

In order to get the Republican votes necessary for a clean debt ceiling passage, here's what Senator McConnell, the Kentucky Fried Cuckoo bird had to say, according to The Hill:

“I think for the president to ask for a clean debt ceiling when we have a debt the size of our economy is irresponsible. So we ought to discuss adding something to his request to raise the debt ceiling that does something about the debt or produces at least something positive for our country,” he said on "Fox News Sunday."

Okay, ladies in gents, there seems to be need for some 'tit for tat' here. And never let it be said the GOP doesn't like tit or tat.

So what's the conservative right wing have planned? Hold onto your seats. It's the XL pipeline. Yup, that is what they're going to hold as hostage. Maybe not for the reasons you think, but for the reason future ex-Senator McConnell indicates: the GOP needs a reason to raise the debt ceiling. Well, that reason is the oil spill cleanup the XL pipeline is likely to cause us.

Don't take my word for it, just take a look at history. Go ahead. I dare you:

Over the past 28 years, the cost in dollars as well as lives and property loss due to oil spills could have been spent on wiping out our debt, totally. But instead, we're in the red. And why? Because we've ended up covering so much of the loss. Our federal government has most generously tried to keep private industry (big oil) from experiencing the losses they caused.

So once again, McConnell and the entire GOP want something to allow us to continue to run. Well, if they get the XL pipeline, it's just a matter of time before we have a disaster of untold size and loss. With it will come federal aid. That's the tit for this very thirsty GOP'ers who want to leave us in tatters. We bail out the XL disaster and those companies line the pockets of the GOP protectorate.

We need a clean debt ceiling bill. Not a polluted one the Republicans are pushing for. This is the time for Democrats and Obama to take a lesson from Nancy Reagan and the recent GOP party -- Just say no!

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McConnell & Ryan Vow To Become Hostage Takers

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hostage taker

Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader is saying that he feels there won't be a clean debt ceiling bill. He's not alone. Two days ago Paul Ryan said the same thing. And you know something, they may be right. McConnell cites a few examples of significant legislation that have been attached in the past to raising the debt ceiling. Four of them, actually. Considering there's been scores of debt ceiling raises in the past, giving four examples is good for demonstration purposes, but not necessarily a mandated need based on past actions.

“I think the debt ceiling legislation is a time that brings us all together and gets the president’s attention, which with this president, particularly when it comes to reducing spending, has been a bit of a challenge..."

Mitch, Mitch, Mitch. You're nose is starting to grow. You know that during Obama's residency in the White House, the deficit has SHRUNKEN by nearly a half. So I'm not sure where you're coming off making that kind of bold face lie. Wait. I take that back. You're a Republican leader. You possess that inbred trait to rise to leader.

Okay, putting that aside, I will agree that this debt ceiling approval should be accompanied with some sort of demand and I've got just the one. How about a joint request from you and Paul Ryan for the President to accept your letters of resignation. Save yourself the embarrassment of being the first sitting Senate Majority Leader since Tom Daschle to lose in general election. As for Ryan, he's proven himself worthy of a trip to the sidelines when he sold the conservatives down the river with his recent budget bill. If the Democrats wrote it themselves, they couldn't have done much better. Way to go, Paddy Murray.

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"Never vote for politicians claiming government is evil, because- if elected- they can prove it."

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cruz bill for 24 billion via Nicole SandlerImage via Nicole Sandler

Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Did Congress learn anything?,” Editorial, Oct. 17, and “Economic hit from impasse could endure,” Oct. 18

According to your front-page article, “Standard & Poor's U.S. chief economist estimated that the shutdown and debt-limit standoff cost the economy $24 billion in reduced activity in the final three months of the year.”

So, I submit this invoice:

From: The U.S. economy;

To: Sen. Ted Cruz and the tea party;

$24,000,000,000 (and counting).

Please call for information on our easy repayment plan.

Norman Palley
Culver City

***

The ultimate blame for the bad behavior of elected officials lies with those who elected them.

The lesson to be learned from the recent political fiasco should be abundantly clear by now: Never vote for politicians claiming government is evil, because — if elected — they can prove it.

Until we change our voting habits, we can only expect more of the same.

Angus Andrews
Westlake Village

***

The willingness of the Republicans to throw the country under the bus had nothing whatsoever to do with the budget or the deficit; it was driven solely by their hatred of the Affordable Care Act and its architect, President Obama.

They want to gut the act before tens of millions of voters are able to avail themselves of health coverage previously denied them.

Their worst nightmare is that the act may actually do some good and that the Democrats accrue political capital as a result.

Herb L. Weinberg
Los Angeles

***

Of all the decisions I've made in my life, three turned out to have been particularly important: my move to California, my remarriage to a wonderful second wife and my leaving the Republican Party two years ago.

Considering the recent actions of the Republican members of Congress to try to repeal or defund Obamacare, I would be embarrassed to call myself a Republican today.

Wally Grayson
Santa Monica

***

It makes no difference whether it's called the tea party or the coffee party or the vodka party or the gin party: It's still the Republican Party.

George Shahinian
Huntington Beach

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How to avoid another #GOPshutdown

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maddow gop shutdown because they can

How so we avoid another shutdown? Well, for starters, be pro-active, stay on the offense, elect Progressives (starting at the local level on up), get off your collective hineys and vote in every single election and help others to do the same, give tea partiers and other irrational conservatives the boot, demand that Democrats stay strong and unified, challenge the media when they misinform voters, and make it even more obvious to America which Republicans are responsible (and irresponsible) for the hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions and billions of dollars lost because of their self-interests and consuming concerns about re-election.

Other than all that, in today's Los Angeles Times, David Gamage and David Louk presented another idea.

David Gamage is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley School of Law. David Louk is a law student at Yale Law School and a doctoral student in the Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program at UC Berkeley School of Law. Their L.A. Times op-ed is based on their forthcoming research paper.

Here are the bare bones of their idea. Please read the entire op-ed for more details:

It doesn't have to be that way. State and federal legislators should follow the lead of Wisconsin and Rhode Island and enact provisions for automatic continuing appropriations. Under such rules, if lawmakers fail to negotiate a new budget on time, the previous year's budget automatically carries over until a new spending plan is passed. This gives legislators the opportunity to negotiate without the threat of a looming and costly shutdown. [...]

If the federal government had adopted a default budget mechanism, House Republicans and Democrats might still be bickering over the passage of a timely new budget. But the government would continue running while lawmakers negotiated.

So what do you think? It sounds reasonable, but what are the arguments against their "default budget policy"?

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