Archive for gridlock

"Absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for GOP"

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democracy setback

A report just came out from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. It confirmed what many of us already knew: that Americans are "staying away from the polls in droves." Not good, not good at all. The prediction is that the midterm primary elections will set record lows in voter turnout. "Who cares?" many of you may be asking. Well, per the Los Angeles Times, that would be a real setback for democracy:

Why does that matter? “It presents a danger to our society insofar as democracy does thrive on the consent and involvement of the governed,” said Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan election research center and a decades-long student of voter behavior. “Leadership needs some form of mandate.”

The study says a major factor in the low turnout is a sense of futility: congressional districts consciously drawn to favor one party or the other, which leave many voters wondering why they should bother participating when the outcome is preordained.

Got that? Gerrymandering is a major culprit. Scroll through our many posts on that subject.

gerrymander definition

To repeat, low voter turnout is bad for democracy... and usually bad for Democrats, specifically.

Adjacent to that article was another one about a different kind of setback. It has a somewhat encouraging title (key word: somewhat), No partisan wave building for fall elections, but GOP gains likely:

[F]or now, the absence of a strong wave comes as something of a setback for Republicans, who had hoped earlier this year that the unpopularity of President Obama's healthcare law would guarantee big gains for them.  [...]

The public's dismal view of Congress probably accounts for some of that lack of enthusiasm about voting.

That last sentence is an understatement, IMHO. Our own Sherry Hardy wrote a great post about that here, and I followed up here.

Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

And from the Timing Is Everything Dep't., Steve Kornacki subbed for Chris Matthews on Hardball and treated us to his own "Let Me Finish" segment in which he opined on the long game for Democrats:

Kornacki:

Right now, at least, it doesn't look like a big Republican wave is building, and it does look like Democrats can at least hold their own this fall. And if they can do that, then it sets up the real battle in 2016...

In 2016, Republicans won't just get to take shots at the White House, they'll have to put up a candidate of their own. They'll have to write a platform of their own, run on an agenda that might not sit that well with most Americans. There could be a huge opportunity for Democrats...

2014 is important to [the Democrats], but 2016? That's the ball game.

You know what to do:

vote  turnout  gotv

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"Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

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Not a skit, our actual Congress, gaa! Maddow

Our own Sherry Hardy covered Rachel Maddow's edible take-down of the Worst Congress Ever in her post, 'Get Out and Push', Says Maddow of the Useless, U.S. Congress. Maddow went ballistic, and rightfully so. Wowee, do GOP obstructionists suck, and yes, I'm using the official elitist left vernacular. Before going any further, I have to share a couple of the best parts from the segment Sher put up. And by "best" I mean most relatable, because Rachel's Moment of Gaa! was surely felt by many of us. Here are four very short clips (under a minute each) that represent some of her best outbursts. Here she is, blasting Congress to smithereens, and by Congress she meant Republican members thereof:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow:

"Not a skit! Our actual Congress! Gaaa!"

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maddow:

"This is truly historic failure."

ding ding ding

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

All of this brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor in which readers responded to former Rep. David Dreier op-ed that was meant "to assure readers that it's not as bad as it seems in Congress. The nearly unanimous response from the nearly two dozen readers who sent us letters: Are you serious?"

Here you go, because our voices matter:

It's been tried many times before, the guilty claiming innocence by accusing the victim.

Dreier does just that. He blames the people for being divided, implying that the members of Congress themselves are not at fault. This is why only 13% of Americans approve of Congress, according to a January Gallup poll. Eighty seven percent of the people being of one mind in their disapproval doesn't sound like division.

Fewer laws have been passed by this Congress than by any other in the last 65 years, and Dreier says it's not really that bad. I think it is time for a reality check.

Frances Pin, Marina del Rey

..

Dreier deludes himself and, even more sadly, us.

We have a do-nothing Congress not because Americans are deeply divided. Important legislative efforts on immigration, the minimum wage and gun control did not die because of deep division, as a large majority of Americans favored these measures.

Is Dreier saying that shutting down the government and threatening its solvency came because of voter division? The failures came because the GOP was listening to the radical tea party members of Congress, who represent a very small minority of the population.

It is self-serving for Dreier to blame the division of the people — actually, insulting.

Jim Hoover, Huntington Beach

..

Dreier states that he is continually asked, "Is Congress completely controlled by big money and special interests?" and "Is it more partisan and dysfunctional than ever before?"

He never answers. Instead he tells us how there are always two opinions to every issue and groups of constituents on both sides.

I have to assume that he avoided answering because the answers are both "yes."

Ted Bacino, Palm Springs

..

Dreier blames the diversity of Americans for Congress' obstructionism.

Of course we are diverse, and we are better off for it. However, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated in 2010 that his main goal was for Barack Obama to be a one-term president, he revealed quite clearly what the Republican Party was all about: not diversity, but settling scores.

Robert S. Ellison, Arcadia

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Fvx's Megyn Kelly Accuses Nancy Pelosi of Sexism Re Hobby Lobby

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Image 66
Are you kidding me? Megyn Kelly has less credibility to talk about sexism than Sean Hannity has, although she used to have slightly more than Ann Coulter.

Not after this banner month over at Fvx Nation.

Hobby Lobby Affected us all in different ways. For those of us who arrived on the planet standard with a uterus, we were for the most part displeased with a SCROTUS who decided to insert one more public bit of scrutiny way too close to our imperiled lady parts.

TJWomenVotingRepublican

Then there were the kooks who celebrated the decision as a herald to the return to an America they had feared they lost, one where women have such an absurd rigaramarole set in front of them to obtain birth control that it becomes an impediment to health and family planning.

They are currently doing a Holly Hobby Hobby Lobby Regressive Porn flick to celebrate … Rick Santorum made it happen. Gag. Not kidding. Here's a blurb from Raw Story to catch the Ick from firsthand.

… the documentary — called One Generation Away: The Erosion of Religious Liberty — on Sept. 1.

A trailer for the movie points to the Hobby Lobby case that the Supreme Court decided on Monday as proof that the government is trying to destroy religious freedom. Filmmakers compare the situation to Nazi Germany, when Christians in Germany did not “wake up.”

Image, Big Fish Ink

Image, Big Fish Ink

Megyn Kelly must be one of the producers. She set herself up at Fvx Noise as the arbiter of all things female after 9 p.m. (before Hannity comes on to bring the testosterone back to Fox standards), and wasted no time in blaming the woman clearly at the heart of the controversy.

Nancy Pelosi? All right, Megyn, have your absurd 'say'.

Yes, the First Female Speaker of the House in these United States, normally considered a fierce proponent for fellow dames, is secretly sexist and bent on destroying womanhood as you know it, Megyn Kelly.

Who can even begin to address the Wrong therein?

gop disaster zone gop candidate

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President Obama Finally Chastises the Regressive, Do Nothing GOP

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mytoast

A justifiably agitated President Obama, perhaps feeling freed by the home stretch ahead, finally blew his top about the absurd levels of idiocy being promulgated and phoned in daily by the Do Nothing GOP and their Teabagger fueled un-compassionate conservatism.

Obama rarely uses the Bully Pulpit … but oh, when he does it's a powerful thing. He was the Adult in the Capitol.

Enjoy the highlight quotes and footage, taken from the stellar Obama Scold, a Friday speech in Min-ne-sota, and excerpted from Politico.

 “I might once have said, ‘I want to raise the minimum wage so sue me if I do.’ I just didn’t think they would take me literally,” he said Friday.

gop-lies-big

He also offered congressional Republicans an opportunity to work with him on immigration reform. “You’re mad at me for a broken immigration system? Let’s hold hands” and make progress, he said, before moving to dismiss that possibility.

“They don’t do anything, except block me and call me names,” Obama said.

Ain't that the gawd's honest verity.

“The critics, the cynics in Washington, they’ve written me off more times that I can count,” he said. “Don’t think that we’re not making progress. So yeah, it’s easy to be cynical. In fact, it’s kind of trendy. Cynicism passes for wisdom.”

But, he added, “cynicism doesn’t invent the Internet. Cynicism doesn’t give women the right to vote. Cynicism is a choice — hope is a better choice.”

Fvx predictably called Persident Obama a feckless whiner. I can verify that, take my word for it and move on. But it was first block on MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki. Vid below.

bushmeme

It doesn't hurt the presidential angst level that he is, in effect, being sued by Republican leadership in the House. Agent Orange Bo(eh)ner (as a friend calls him), was clearly scared merde-less by Eric Cantor's Fall from the Wall and jumped on the pre-impeachment wagon early.

Dems in the West Wing, and assuredly President Obama himself, has legislative goals for the remainder of his second term, and they may now well be in jeopardy. Wouldn't you be wicked pissed off?

Steve Kornacki of MNBC's Up had the awesome Anna Marie Cox, strategist l. Joy Williams and Russert the Younger on to discuss. Have a gander.


It's not even merely the controversial legislative matters that are stuck in gridlock until the god damned Holy Grail is brought in, the most basic functional government obligations are simply frozen or in some kind of quicksand that ordinary humans have no trouble navigating.

Congress has essentially abandoned ship, SROTUS is handing down Right Wing Nut Job decisions with more fists than an Indian deity and Americans are just a little bit frustrated with Washington as well! Both the House and Senate, under Teabagger pressures and the usual GOP bullheadedness, are eschewing duties left and right.

boehner2

Mostly Right, which is so very, very wrong.

It was high time for a proper scold, and 'good on' President Obama for being the adult in the nation -- and giving it.

Keep Bringing It, President Obama … Yes We Can vote those asshats out!

thanks,obama

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"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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