Archive for gridlock

"The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party definitely are showing that they have growing influence"

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elizabeth warren wing of dem partyPhoto credit: Tim Pierce

As I said in this post, for medical reasons (and unfortunately, more have arisen) I have to cut back, so I'll be posting much less often. This is one of those times when I felt compelled to jump in, because this is positive news, something we all need to jolt us out of our constant state of frustration with Washington DC.

It comes via the Los Angeles Times in an article that explores the recent move by Senate Democrats that changed the filibuster rules:

After pushing through one of the most significant rule changes in Senate history, Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a solemn tone: "This is not a time for celebration."

I understand but disagree. In a sense, it is time for celebration. We can celebrate the recent infusion of a few stiffer spines to the Democratic party, as in: not caving on the GOP government shutdown fiasco.

And we can celebrate the Democrats actually acting on their more-than-justified, long overdue resolve to end filibusters against most presidential nominations. Kudos Dems, you threw cold water all over the endless sabotage by Senate Republicans and their incessant obstruction that created a dysfunctional, do-nothing government. Or as I like to call it, Democracy Demolition.

Now it looks like there's more good news in our future:

Next on their agenda is extending the filibuster rule change from presidential appointments to legislation, which would enable the Senate to move on issues including gun control and climate change. [...]

"The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party definitely are showing that they have growing influence in the caucus, and in government in general," said Matt Wall of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group that works to promote progressive candidates and issues in Democratic primaries. On Friday, Warren circulated a fundraising letter to supporters on behalf of Merkley and Udall, thanking them for their role in changing the rule.

So yes, there are a few positive outcomes after the years and years of blocking, dirty tricks, and efforts to derail and destroy President Obama and the Democratic agenda. Hopefully, a gobsmacked GOP is getting a taste of things to come.

gobsmacked 2

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VIDEO: "Sen. Gridlock Mitch McConnell can't light the house on fire, then claim credit for putting it out."

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mitch mcconnell lundergan ad

Mitch McConnell first has to win a primary against tea partier Matt Bevin, and if he does, he'll have to beat Alison Lundergan Grimes in order to remain in the Senate.

She's been ahead in the polls recently, in part because of McConnell's involvement in the GOP government shutdown, so poor old McTurtle has his shell hands full.

Don't mess with Alison, Mitch.

gop shutdown lundergan adCheck out her new ad:

Alison for Kentucky:

If you've read anything about Senator Gridlock Mitch McConnell's role in the government shutdown, then this new video from our campaign is a must see.

We won't stop until voters across Kentucky know the truth about Senator McConnell. So please, watch our video and then help us put it on the air and retire Mitch. Join Team Switch: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute...

Together, we will make this campaign a success.

Please donate if you can. If you do, and she wins, that means you will have helped rid the U.S. Senate of Mitch McConnell.

Mitch McConnell gop obstruction gridlock lundergan ad

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Congress "sleazed out of town," including "the majestically useless Rep. Darrell Issa," as sequester damage continued

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congress recess cowards cartoon

Michael Hiltzik has yet another excellent column in today's Los Angeles Times. This one tackles our do-nothing, incompetent, obstructionist Congress members slithering away for a five-week break while the rest of us try to figure out a way to cope with the dump they took on us, otherwise known as the sequester.

Hiltzik expertly debunks the notion that "economic damage from the sequester cuts haven't all come true, so things aren't that bad" while noting that lawmakers' salaries--surprise!-- aren't cut. Nope, they're not affected, but you know who is? "The penniless, the disabled, the homeless and the very young."

Here are excerpts from the very end of his post. Please read the entire thing, because it's a thorough, detailed exposé of the damage inflicted on the people of this country, on their health, their livelihoods, and their psyches. The first paragraph includes the best description of Darrell Issa I've ever read:

So what was Congress up to in the weeks before it went on vacation? The House passed a dead-on-arrival measure repealing the Affordable Care Act (which of course benefits lower-income Americans) for the 40th time. The lawmakers debated a bill, introduced by the majestically useless Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), to name all coastal waters out to the U.S. 200-mile jurisdictional limit after Ronald Reagan.

All the rest has been gridlock, grandstanding and gutter politics. There's some debate over whether this Congress has been the worst in history or merely one of the bottom two, but either way it's bad enough. For this they deserve a vacation that the average European would envy?

So the sequester stands, with very uncertain prospects for its being lifted in the fall. The 535 statesmen and stateswomen of Capitol Hill will be hitting the golf course and lazing on the beach while millions of their constituents worry about how to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

The test of a civilized society is that it looks out for its neediest members. With this Congress in place, we're failing that test.

I'd duck out too, if this was all I had to offer.

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Video- The Colbert Report: Senator Gridlock

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ENTIRE VIDEO: Pres. Obama speaks in Chattanooga, Tenn., scoffs at #Keystone, at GOP for having no jobs plan

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Obama Chattanooga Tennesse middle class jobs speech

President Obama's speech starts at about 22:50.

He spoke at an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tennessee on his "grand bargain" proposal. Despite the GOP's pre-emptive rejection of his ideas, he's trying to break the gridlock over the deficit by cutting corporate tax rates in exchange for job investment to help the middle class.

He suggested boosting natural gas production (as well as solar and wind energy) as long as we "protect our air and our water." Elaborate, please, Mr. President, because fracking is already hurting our air and our water.

And then he came to my favorite part:

I am laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot in a 21st-century economy. Now it’s time for Republicans to lay out theirs. If they’ve got a better plan to bring back more manufacturing jobs, or create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure for the long run, or help workers earn the high-tech skills our businesses demand, let’s hear ‘em. But gutting protections for our air and water isn’t a jobs plan. Gutting investments in things like education and energy isn’t a jobs plan. Putting all your eggs in the basket of an oil pipeline that may only create about 50 permanent jobs, and wasting the country’s time by taking something like 40 meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare isn’t a jobs plan.

Waitwhat? Did he just imply that he may very well reject the Keystone XL tar sands Pipeline disaster-in-waiting project? Oh pleaseohplease make it so.

And the mockitude of the GOP was entertaining, too.

Here are a few more excerpts from the speech as written:

We’ve seen a faction of Republicans in Congress hurt a fragile recovery by suggesting they wouldn’t pay the very bills Congress rang up, and threaten to shut down the people’s government if they can’t shut down Obamacare. Then, rather reduce our deficits with a scalpel in a way that promotes growth – by cutting programs we don’t need, fixing ones we do, and making government more efficient – this same group has left in place a meat cleaver called “the sequester” that harms growth, hurts our military, and guts the investments in education, science, and medical research we need to make this country a magnet for good jobs.

So here’s the bottom line: I’m willing to work with Republicans on reforming our corporate tax code, as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs. That’s the deal. [...]

[From the delivered speech, off script:] I get it, I'm not popular in Tennessee. But I've run my last campaign, so I don't need to spin. The truth is...  [and then he went back on script]...

The very last part of the speech got a lot of cheers. Check it out.

mitch mcconnell gridlock obstruction

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Quinnipiac Poll: Majority Blame GOP Obstruction For Gridlock, Not Obama’s Lack Of Persuasion

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lightbulb postit

Sometimes they're just not as stupid as I think. Via TPM.

A little more than half of American voters attribute gridlock in Washington to Republican obstructionism and not President Barack Obama's inability to persuade, a poll released Friday found.

According to the latest survey from Quinnipiac University, 51 percent of voters believe gridlock is mainly a result of the congressional GOP's determination to block any of Obama's initiatives. A mere 35 percent blamed gridlock on Obama's lack of "personal skills to convince leaders of Congress to work together."

Obama has drawn blame from both Republicans and the press for purportedly being too isolated and unwilling to perform the type of cajoling necessary to making a deal in Washington. Chief among those critics has been New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who blamed Obama for the failure of gun legislation in the Senate because he "doesn’t know how to work the system."

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Cartoons of the Day- The 113th

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113th

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

113th2

Via.

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