Archive for funding

GOP To Starving Unemployed: Live With It. I'm Getting My Nails Done


Marsha Blackburn Representative Marsha Blackburn

Sometimes we as people get in over our heads. It's at times like those that we hope no one calls on us to explain our lack of knowledge or skills. Yesterday, on national TV, we got a glimpse of such an event. The interviewer MSNBC's Chris Jansing interviewed Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. The relatively unknown representative who faces reelection in November was advised to become the sacrificial lamb for the GOP in explaining the Republican's reluctance to extend long term unemployment insurance.

They sent her out unarmed and facing a well prepared journalist in Jansing.

Here is someone that her state of Tennessee elected, entrusting her to look out and protect their interests. Her state, BTW has a 8+ unemployment rate vesus a national 7.1. So of all people, she should be concerned with her constituents. But when you're a paper tiger, you go out and take all the slings and arrows that common sense tosses your way, with a smile and your ignorance. Her defense of fighting the extension is that it's not the problem, jobs are the problem. She dismisses that during the last Republican tenure in the White House, passing this, unpaid for, was standard stuff -- over 7 times.

Instead she blames Harry Reid and President Obama. Noticeably absent from that guilty group was her own, Speaker of the House, John Boehner. His job (oops, there's that word again) is to help create jobs. And as a congresswoman. she is part of Boehner's caucus, not Reid's or Obama's.

The two questions that Jansing didn't ask the syrupy sweet puppet from the Volunteer State is "If jobs are the big problem, what's your jobs plan?" What bill have you brought up that creates jobs?

If you want to see how crazy wackadoo the lemming GOP House has become, and how out of touch the dilettantes are thinking, watch this. Every point the Congresswoman makes, she's shot down by Jansing. When you have nowhere to turn and you're out of ammo, here's what you look like. Priceless is the moment, toward the end when she's asked what she would say to the people of her state who have higher unemployment than the average -- she doesn't offer them help. No, instead she offers them compassion. Tell me how much food you can put on a poor person's plate with compassion. How much heat you can add to your home when the polar vortex comes knocking on your door. strictly with compassion. This clip would be hysterical on Saturday Night Live, if it weren't so real.


Sallie Mae Go Away


Elizabeth Warren

Start with this jaw-dropping introduction by Huffpo:

Student loan giant Sallie Mae is currently under fire from lawmakers, federal regulators, consumer groups and student advocates for allegedly violating numerous consumer protection laws. The company is facing accusations that it cheats soldiers on active duty, engages in discriminatory lending, pushes borrowers into delinquency by improperly processing their monthly payments, and doesn't provide enough aid to borrowers in distress.

Then I say, screw them. No wonder Senator Elizabeth Warren has been calling for investigations into the student loan industry.

The U. S. Department of Education surely has options. Luckily there's a small window of opportunity here before the current contract with Sallie Mae is up in June.

The new contract, which would run through June 2019, is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Last year, Sallie Mae recorded $84 million in revenue from its Education Department contracts. But the company wants more.

In its latest annual report, released in February, Sallie Mae told investors that in the 2013 fiscal year, the Education Department was projected to originate more than $121 billion in new loans and dole out more than $1 billion in servicing and other fees -- a large slice of which Sallie Mae hoped to capture.

Why isn't the DofE out there soliciting bidders? Something's not right here -- and the implication from this perceived closed bidding is that there's some shenanigans going on here. If we're willing to offer bail outs and support a 'too big to fail' philosophy, why don't we support 'small enough to fail but small enough to care?' Why not a consortium of smaller financial institutions and investors who want to make big money?

Student loan default rates have become alarmingly high. But much of that could be attributed to the onerous overseeing of Sallie Mae and their untoward business practices. If Sallie Mae cheats, why reward them?

Even better put is Senator Warren's comments:

The agency has yet to respond to a Sept. 19 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticizing it for its apparent inability to hold Sallie Mae accountable, despite what Warren described as a “pattern of breaking the rules and ignoring its contractual obligations.”

If Sallie Mae’s past actions have not warranted an end to its federal contracts, Warren asked Education Secretary Arne Duncan, under what circumstances would the department terminate a contract with a law-breaking company?

What we need is to listen more to Senator Warren and less to Sallie Mae -- and it's mouthpiece, Arne Duncan. C'mon Mr. Secretary, grow a pair -- a big pair -- and stand up for the students of America, not a corrupt, lawbreaking organization.


Have Republicans Gone 'Big Government?'


Who Are You

Let's play "Who Are You?"

Who's currently pushing for immediate funding in big government? The programs in question-- Military, Veterans, national parks, Head Start, Women and Children in Poverty (WHIP), National Institute for Health (NIH), SNAP, Air Travel Safety, food safety?

That's such and easy-peasy question. The answer is the Democrats.

Well, we'll give you part credit for that answer. The real answer is currently, it's the Republicans. Now that the government shutdown, which they caused is having frightful repercussions, the results of their reckless and perilous game is causing huge backlash.

NBC claims to be "SHOCKED" by the horrible numbers in a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. And that hasn't been lost on the GOP and even the Tea Party (yes, they really are two parties but that's a different discussion). What should be shocking NBC more is the list of what this desperate, out of touch, old white man's party are now backing. It's as if Professor Backwards was delivering the new Republican platform.

Professor Backwards

Everything the GOP has fought against, they're now for -- and when do they want it? Now!

Ted Cruz turning over in his grave with this bevy of spending bills hasn't been lost on MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Last night's segment of HARDBALL featured this clip:

The Republicans, in the light of public outcry are both being shown to be selfish elitists and big government. They shut down the government. You'd have to be living in a hole underground not to know that. And there's still some who live down there, but most have come to the surface. After years of being lied to and sold a bill of goods, cut down the government, they don't do anything for you as a mantra, the truth is being realized. While they were in their subterranean bunkers, the Democrats and Independents were above ground working for everyone's benefit.

The Republicans and Tea Partiers, not so much, as the clip above shows.

When this shut-down and debt ceiling fiascoes subside and our short memories return, the battles will rage once again. But hopefully there will be some who remember how they were effected by this shutdown. Whether it was parks, military funerals, food for the poor, business, medical clinics or whatever, the sting might last long enough and snap public opinion around a bit, so we can reinstate and improve both the efficiency of the government as well as respect and acknowledge what part it really plays in our lives.

The only one's who won't forget are sadly those who return to a live in a vacuum life, a bubble, or the Tea Party. They'll resurface another day, armed with wackadoo thinking and plotting to bring down our government. Hopefully intelligence and this current experience will defeat them and their representatives.

Doesn't this shutdown make you wish there was an election right now where you could shout out with your vote how displeased you are with the current crop of Republican elected officials?


GOP Trying To Rebuild Baby Tossed Out With The Bathwater


Baby with the bathwater

In their ill-conceived zeal to  repeal, or disable the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans made some missteps. They forgot to calculate what would be getting tossed or defunded if the government shut down. It's the baby with the bathwater syndrome.

Now just passing a clean CR would rectify all of that, but delusional John Boehner (who one commentator said during the shutdown, the pronunciation of his name would return to how it's spelled) has forgone that option. It would make him look weak. Really John. You, Mr. Crybaby look weak. I just can't see how that's possible.

So the plan to save face after putting over 800,000 people out of work was to rebuild the baby who got tossed. First the GOP started with national parks, or actually they started slowly. Just the WWII veterans memorial part who Fox News reported, via Tucker Carlson, as costing nothing. As I wrote on an earlier post, he must assume that the maintenance and security at the monument are freebies, all done by volunteers.


Anyway, from there, the House Republicans took to more of the Dr. Frankenstein experiment. They added legs and other extremities with their passage of bills funding all National parks, NIH, Head Start, WIC (Women, Infants & Children) nutritional program, Cancer research, Veterans benefits, NSA, and Disaster (FEMA) relief.

Oh, and let's not forget the big one, the torso for this monster baby, funding back-pay for all government officials who were put on furlough. This big body part would be kind of the torso. That got a 100% support from the House. Unfortunately, guaranteeing to pay employees their full restitution without their doing the work isn't  meeting such a staunch support in the Senate. Gangrene or tissue rejection has already begun on that one, according to senior physician, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

This is resulting in the desired small government baby actually becoming a larger, oversize doll.

Large doll

Piecemeal rebuilding is not the same as just using the simple clean CR. Now we're stuck. The odds 'n ends parts aren't being synchronized and working because some of the vital organs, like the heart, liver and a brain still aren't installed.

So while the Republican, change that, the Tea Party-led medical team continues to try to stitch the government monster back together, time is wasting, big business who supports them is being hurt and losing money, the public is turning away from the Republicans and looking for a new set of doctors, the Democrats. With the right Democratic medical team, led by Chief Resident in Charge, President Obama, the patient may survive.

But this is going to involve more than taking two aspirins and calling the POTUS in the morning. It requires the Speaker to call for a vote on a clean continuing resolution and the prognosis is good that the baby patient will survive. Kids are resilient.  We won't get to know for sure until there's a vote, but if it doesn't come soon, this baby is history.

Basically, if there's no clean CR, which most of the House Democratic doctors and a small portion of GOP'ers think would be the best prescription right now, the baby will look like this:

Frankestein baby

Or, Dr. Boehner can go the clean route and have this:

Ken Doll 2


I don't know about you, but I prefer the clean CR and the doll immediately above.

Calling Dr. Boehner, Dr. Cruz, Dr. Lee. Code red. Bring a crash cart to the ER. The patient is waiting.


Obama To Big Business, Be Scared. Be Very Scared This Time



Washington is fighting. Nothing too new there. Call it almost business as usual. Republicans and Democrats not seeing eye-to-eye. No big deal.

But this time it's gone a bit farther, and for the first time in 17 years we have a shutdown. But that's not too earth-shattering. It's happened before and will probably happen again. What's the concern?

The concern is that Big Business relies on the GOP to protect them. To fight all regulations and allow them to run wild in the streets. In return the Republicans are given money for their campaigns. It's a vicious cycle and one that costs the middle class both fair representation and money.

What has changed and the president made it clear in his Thursday meeting with titans of big business in a private White House meeting, is in the recent past, there was a spokesperson for the GOP, someone who represented their unified party.

That no longer exists -- it's like trying to negotiate with a foreign government in the middle of a civil war. Who really represents the country -- or in this case, the party?

We know who it isn't. It's not John Boehner. It also isn't Mitch McConnell who wasn't even allowed to speak after the closed door session with the leaders of both houses in the Oval Office.

On appearances, there's Senator (Rafael Cruz) running the House of Representatives, and a small faction of the House majority party. At the same time he's being shunned in his own chamber, the Senate. His objective appears to be destruction of the United States. Total anarchy. It's the asylum being run by the insane inmates and there's no one to negotiate with. Certainly nobody sane.

Under this uncertainty, Big Business can't thrive. So they're switching beds. They're leaving the comfort of their money stuffed Republican mattresses and coming over to sleep with the Democrats. It's an uneasy alliance at best, but until the Repubs can get their House in order, the certainty, and the will of the people, is being represented by Obama and the Democrats.

Here's how PBO put it to CNBC's John Harwood. It's the same dire warning "O" gave big business. The first day of the government shutdown, the market dropped. The second, a day after meeting with the president, the market's crashing big time. So fear has gripped Wall Street. It should ripple and reach the Republicans soon -- or they won't have two nickels to rub together come next election. It seems this assessment is enough to leave more than the president "exasperated."


Republicans to Democrats: Your Votes Don't Count


Showdown in Washington

During this showdown mess over the CR (continuing resolution) which will fund our government, the Republicans have not totally ignored the people's voices. They've actually lied about it. They're trying to convince America that in 2012, that last general election, they won a mandate. They forget that they lost the Senate, lost seats in the House of Representatives, AND the presidency.

Earth to GOP, you went 0-3.

They lost the Presidency in total votes (and electoral), basically on a mandate for Obamacare. Perhaps the biggest difference between the president and his opponent, the erase-a-slate, flip-flopper, Romney.

They lost the house of representatives  in total votes (representing Obamacare on a local level) though they retained control by number of members. If you consider the 60 Tea party members as a separate party (they're hardly your grandparents GOP-ers) then Republicans actually came in second and Democrats first. That is if there's a 3-party system for which current actions indicate there may actually be.

They lost the senate (on Obamacare) in total votes (representing statewide campaigns)

So with this .000 batting average, they  have the gall to claim they speak, as a party, for the people. Their delusional, fuzzy math eludes even the simplest of thinkers. To the public, total votes is our mandate. It's our voice. And we spoke with our votes.

The choice we made is for Obamacare, like it or not.

Wild West Showdown

Those Republican Representatives are pretty cocky. And they have reason to be. They can drink, carouse and whoop it up because their security is locked in. According to The Daily Beast about a week ago:

Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced legislation in January to prevent any member of the House or Senate from getting paid in the event of a government shutdown. A similar bill passed the Senate unanimously in 2011, but the House never voted on it. This year, as the likelihood of a shutdown looks more certain than ever, Boxer's bill has one co-sponsor, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

"How is that Republicans who are urging a shutdown of the government are not co-sponsors of my bill?" Boxer said Friday. "They want to protect their own pay, they want to protect themselves and their families, but they don’t seem to care about the single mom who works as a custodian in one of our government buildings who is struggling to get by ... These Republicans are willing to put the livelihoods of millions of American workers at risk—but not their own."

unashamedSo Mr. Boehner and your drunken cronies (as reported by multiple sources) on the floor of the House, take your responsibilities and hopefully your apparent lack of sobriety into account. Pass a clean funding CR and stop playing games. Lives are at stake.

Though you have no skin in this game, the public does. If you can't pull your caucus away from their Scotch and gin, to do the right thing, we're coming for your orange hide. Nailed to an old tobacco barn might send a colorful reminder that you work for us, not the other way around.


Zombies, No. Heartless, Yes


Science keeps us going.  And here's what may be happening next. A heartless society. And that may be the key to living forever -- or at least as long as we wish.  Tomorrow is nearly here -- thanks to science today.  Don't let the Republican led fight for education and scientific cuts go through.  You want good health?  You need good research and well-educated minds.  It costs money.  But aren't we all worth it?