When it comes to the government shutdown (again) over Obamacare, the Democrats are so lucky to have Reince Preibus speaking for the opposition. He's so ineffective in making a case, mealy-mouthed about the last shutdown, caught in a lie on national TV, and now THE poster child for the defective Tea Party fool.
Of course, it's a lot easier to look stupid when you face a tough-minded, resolute thinker like Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But she didn't pick the opposition, the Republicans did. Chairman P. beached their ship last general election, he's sure to hit the same sandbar next time around with the type of thinking like he displayed on CNN this past Sunday.
When people say a fish stinks from the head down, so do political parties. Here's the "head" of the Republican party. Take a sniff. Warning, you won't like the stench.
War costs money. And spending tax revenue on Defense is what the Republican party is all about. Certainly education, jobs, healthcare, immigration, women's right to chose, our infrastructure, science, technology, global warming, clean air, renewable energy can all go to hell in the GOP-run world. It's DEFENSE SPENDING that's the only thing that matters. They'll sacrifice all other things to keep war going and to stop peace at any cost -- even if it means killing seniors if that's what's necessary. Nothing has priority over the DOD. Go Pentagon!
If you don't believe me, The Huffpo reports this:
A pair of House Republicans have a new bill that would spare the military from sequestration by cutting the Social Security benefits of many Americans who already experience painful federal budget cuts.
Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) are introducing the Provide for the Common Defense Act on Tuesday. The legislation would cancel out the next two years of sequestration cuts for the Pentagon by putting a heavier burden on senior citizens and federal workers.
Through Secretary of State Kerry, the Obama administration has so far successfully avoided further confrontations in Syria over chemical weapons use -- the real WMD's that Bush only lied about. Those weapons, through negotiated peaceful means are being destroyed as of this writing. This, of course was done over the hawkish objections of the Republican party stalwarts and pro-war at any cost mouthpieces, McCain and Graham.
The cost of American human lives on that peaceful, negotiation front? Zero.
Now it comes to Iran -- our biggest threat in the middle east. For nearly 30 years, we weren't even directly talking. Now we are. On this Iran front, where the same GOP warmongers have been pushing for armed conflict, we've reached a tentative accord to curtail and perhaps even reverse the nuclear threat this country presents. A conflagration there would certainly lead to potential world war and resulting annihilation. One would think that a potential peaceful solution would meet with cheers and hosannas, but we're dealing in Congress with the GOP war merchants, and peace means they can't justify increases in military spending. Damn, they might have to legislate within their own designed sequestration restraints.
We're not finished with Syrian and Iranian threats by a long shot. But we've barely given peace a chance and the Republican military industrial complex is trying to starve our seniors, just in case. They want to cut their benefits substantially reducing their already meager existances. If there ever was, as Michele Bachmann claimed, death panels, it's got to this GOP goon squad. This time it's being chaired by Reps. Jim Bridenstine and Doug Lamborn. It's not called the Affordable Care Act. It's known as the Common Defense Act (CDA). The only thing common about it is the continuing war on the middle class and poor it propagates.
In the GOP/Tea Party world we need more nukes, less Grandmas and Grandpas.
BTW, rumor has it there's a secret bill being circulated as a fall back if this CDA doesn't pass. It's going to require the oldest Social Security recipients to work to qualify for senior benefits. Over 75 and you'll be forced to register to be outfitted with explosives and dropped as bombs in the Middle East if this bill doesn't pass.
Remember Slim Pickets in Dr. Strangelove? Just picture John McCain playing that iconic role of Major King Kong.
You may be wondering what ORD is and if you have it, is it curable?
Well, ORD is a phrase, coined by Republican political strategist, Ford O'Connell, who worked on Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign. Though McCain lost to Obama, O'Connor made a name for himself in political circles as a man who understands the national branding of a party.
ORD is Obsessive Reagan Disorder and O'Connell ranks it highly as a reason the Republicans can't move forward. From The Hill:
Rule #1 of the political analyst's newly released book, "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," is: "Ronald Reagan is dead. Accept it."
"The Reagan fixation is a drag on the future success of the GOP at the national level. It undermines the candidates because it becomes a crutch for their inability to articulate an actual agenda or a forward-looking vision," he writes.
Republicans have always excelled in hindsight. Sadly for them, America is looking forward, for a vision of the future. Reagan ain't it.
I'm a strong believer that Reagan was bad for America and never did understand why the Republicans fixated on this guy. I know that will spike the hairs on the back of some people's necks, but he was a failure as a president. His trickle down economics nearly ruined the generation that followed him. It took Clinton to clean up that spill.
He was guilty of trading arms for hostages (Iran) and the military drug scandals down in Nicaragua. He was corrupt and sadly, quite ill during the final two years of his office. If it wasn't for Nancy Reagan, we wouldn't have had any president at all. His one foreign policy victory, if you can call it that, was getting Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Beyond that, his illegal actions while in office ranked up there with Nixon and Watergate. He knew he was breaking the law but did it anyway. He was everybody's friend, as well as everybody's fool.
Perhaps I'm being too rough. If you're looking for the good things Reagan did, you have to look domestically. You can't overlook that he signed the amnesty program for immigrants, building a pathway to citizenship for 3 million undocumented workers. Today, that would get him kicked out of his own party. He also raised taxes 11 times. That would get his GOP Conservative membership card cut up in no time. So who really are these GOP stalwarts talking about when they invoke the name of Reagan? Though they won't admit it, a moderate Democrat today.
So bye-bye Gipper. If the GOP wants any chance at the White House they need to consider this:
Among the book's 10 rules or "winning plays": "Stop Giving a S--t About Obama's Birthplace," "Hug the Gays (No, Really)" and "Kill Immigration Reform, Kill the GOP."
You know, for a Republican, this O'Connell guy has his sh** together.
Well, when there's a problem, you call in a specialist. If you're kitchen sink backs up, you ring up a plummer. If you're electrical power goes out, you dial the electrician. So when your website goes down, who do you call?
If you're normal thinking, you'd get on the horn and bring in an IT guy/gal. A specialist or team of experts in internet technology. That's what Obama did. But the Republicans have a better approach. You reach out for physicians...and stat!
According to The Hill:
Eleven Republican doctors are running for the Senate, hoping that voters will see their medical expertise as an asset amid the administration’s botched rollout of ObamaCare.
“We go into medicine for one reason, and one reason only: Because we care about people, we want the people who we serve to have a productive, happy, healthy life,” he added. “That’s the kind of policymaker we should have in place in dealing with healthcare policy.”
This sounds very good on paper, at least to the GOP. There's a botched rollout on Obamacare. So who do you call? A doctor?
In their narrow-minded thinking this is a medical issue. Hello... it's an IT problem not a healthcare issue. And if they already know that, then there's really a bigger issue at hand. The pesky and stubborn anti-healthcare party is looking for help in killing the Affordable Care Act as it's ready to be birthed. But it's too late for that. As Dr. Frankenstein proclaimed, "It's alive! It's alive!!!"
Obamacare is viablein the pro-life vernacular. Bringing in doctors to "kill it" prior to delivery is antithetical to the right to life agenda of the GOP. At this point, it's a late term abortion. The due date is January 1, 2014.
What the GOP has lost sight of is what's really ailing here. It's not the ACA - the law - it's the ACA's website. It's Healthcare.gov. It's been floundering since it's rollout. The law isn't failing, the website is. So if the Republicans really did want to help, they'd be running their finest IT people. Computer geniuses. That's who fixes IT problems, not doctors who fix people. You don't need an engine mechanic when all you have is a flat tire.
Doctors running in Senate races from North Carolina to Oregon are all pitching voters on their experience in the medical field.
If the GOP wants to run doctors for the senate, that's fine. But won't their Hippocratic Oath make their first obligation be to cure what really ails their party? It's called "obstructionitis."
If Republicans think being a doctor makes you a good senator, just look at their Tom Coburn, Rand Paul and ex-senator Bill Frist. All three of them with questionable ethical backgrounds. Frist took to the senate floor and admitted to diagnosing brain damaged Teri Schiavo's condition based strictly on a video. Tom Coburn is just plain crazy and Rand Paul? You can be the judge of that yourself. There are still questions as to whether or not he's a board certified, licensed doctor.
GOP, go ahead and run your doctors. But unless these candidates also have a computer science background, they're a little late coming to the party. You're the same people telling George of the Jungle to "watch out for that tree" after he's smashed into it.
It’s not unusual for doctors to seek elected office. But it’s not necessarily typical for them to win, however. The Senate counts only three physicians in its ranks. Last year, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, a Democrat who ran largely on his record in medicine, lost to now-Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).
So flaunt your medical degrees all you want. It's reliable lawmakers that we need. People who work on Wednesdays, not take them off to play golf. Then again, in the Republican world, that may be an asset. Each day they're not working in Congress is another day they're not working against the welfare of the people.
Go out and grab your golf clubs, as the country clubs say, "It's doctor's day." We're better off hearing you shout, "Fore," on the golf course than "Nay" on the Senate floor.
There are times when it pays to heed a warning. The Senate is no exception.
For the past two years, Harry Reid has pleaded with the Republicans in the Senate not to abuse the filibuster rule, forcing 60 votes to get approval of presidential nominations to bench seats and as federal department heads. Over and over again, the Majority leader warned that abuse of the filibuster would lead to the 'nuclear option.'
The obstinate party of 'no' called the Democrats perceived bluff and they got themselves 'bitch slapped" as a result.
They brought it on themselves. You would hope they've learned lesson. We'll see.
The latest huffing and puffing, posturing from the GOP Senators, is the Blue Slip rule. If you haven't heard of it, here's how it's explained on Wikipedia:
Both senators from a nominee's state are sent a blue slip in which they may submit a favorable or unfavorable opinion of a nominee. They may also choose not to return a blue slip. The Senate Judiciary Committee takes blue slips into consideration when deciding whether or not to recommend that the Senate confirm a nominee.
So just like the Hastert Rule in the House, it's generally followed BUT NOT BINDING. It's nothing more than a pocket rule, not a law. It's simply a method of doing business.
Once again the Republican senators, led by their leader, Mitch McConnell, are looking for ways of gumming up the government rather than to make it work smoothly -- as a political talking point to advance their public standing. They're threatening to use the Blue Slip procedure to hold up the President's nominations to the court. And once again, Harry Reid is warning them that the Blue Slip procedure will be adhered to only so long as it's not abused. That is called a warning.
Time will tell. The Blue Slips will be distributed to the appropriate senators as nominations are announced. If the GOP-ers act reasonably, then everything will stay the same. But if they capriciously abuse this "courtesy," the next step is they get bitch slapped again. The gentleman's agreement won't be enforced. Any change to the Blue Slip procedure would be up to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont. He's not going to be tolerant very long.
Hopefully the Senate Republicans and their obstructionism will subside. If they want to be taken seriously they'll remember another old adage, "Once bitten, twice shy."
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