Archive for House Republicans

Yawn: Weekly jobless claims slip... again. #BlameObama

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jobless benefits unemployment down

Fox Biz keeps bugging me with upbeat email alerts like the one below. And we all know that they are the single most reliable source of information in the entire world, so I pay attention to every word. Since I can't keep all the good news bottled up inside, especially on a day filled with very bad news (AP Reporting that Malaysian Air 777 Was "Shot Down" over Ukraine), I had to share. Again. Yawn. Yes, one more time, weekly jobless claims fell and nobody on cable news [sic] seems to have noticed. And if they did notice, they failed to report it to the rest of us.

Then again, since when as the news [sic] media performed up to expectations? And by expectations I mean standards that meet or surpass that of playing Telephone.

Here's the latest:

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits fell to 302,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 305,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 310,000 from an initially-reported 304,000.

Seriously, if this keeps up, Republican impeachment and lawsuit efforts will start to look even more ludicrous than they already do.

Nonetheless, with jobless claims sliding, there's only one thing left to do. Say it with me now, everyone:

blame obama

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Anti-immigration protesters are afraid of children

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pro immigration protesters Murrieta CA

"Many of them are fleeing violence and extortion from gangs..."

And many of them have been raped:

“It’s not just the heat that could kill them but there are other dangers. Officials at Lackland Air Force Base told us that one-third of young girls that come across – and they were just like little babies; 10, 11, 14 years of age. That about one third of them get raped and/or abused on the way here.

"This is about the kids, that's what it's about."

"They're destroying our country."

"President Obama has called it a humanitarian crisis."

President Obama is right.

Here's an idea, protesters. If you don't like what's happening, call on Republicans in the House of Representatives to get off their obstructionist asses and support an immigration reform bill. It would likely pass... if they'd allow a vote, that is.  Actually, this could very well happen... after the November elections. That way those Republican paragons of bravery can say they accomplished something on immigration reform just in time for the next election cycle in 2016. How courageous of them.

By the way, Boehner, how's that Latino voter outreach shaping up?

But what struck me about this particular protest was the following. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Police said about 100 to 150 people met the buses a few blocks away from the Border Patrol station, chanting "Go home" and "We want to be safe."

The detainees — many of them women and children from Central America — had crossed the border in Texas recently and were flown to San Diego by the Department of Homeland Security.

I watched Tamron Hall's reporting on this today (video unavailable), and the person "on the ground" did indeed confirm that most of the immigrants were women and children. Ooo, scary. Better get out the firearms and hide the kids, protesters. After all, you "want to be safe."

anti immigration protesters CA Murrieta

statue of liberty give me your tired your poor

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Do-nothingest House GOP ever decides to top themselves

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GOP fail jon stewart House GOP

chart do-nothing congress via Maddow Blog Steve BenenChart via The Maddow Blog's Steve Benen

How many ways can we say "worst, do-nothingest House of Representatives ever"? Probably about 232, and they all have an (R) attached to their name. The House GOP has made it a second career to obstruct in between recess breaks.  Their first career is fundraising. Their tied-for-second career is lying and smearing President Obama.

To their credit, they're really, really good at taking time off.

What a legacy.

Now, in an obvious effort to maintain their stellar record of doing absolutely nothing, blocking all things Obama, and creating the terrible government that they're dying for American voters to hate, this is their next Big Plan, per WaPo:

After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.

Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.

Yes indeedy, boys and girls, they've successfully divided the government-- as well as their own party-- and now they're blaming that divided government, the one that they created, for their very own failures.

*Fanfare* Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Frank Luntz (mainly because I don't want him):

“It is an acknowledgment of where they stand, where nothing can happen in divided government so we may essentially have the status quo."

Of course, there are plenty of things they can do. For example, why give up so soon on repealing Obamacare after only eleventy thousand tries? And when in doubt, pass more doomed forced-birth bills, hold more hearings on settled non-controversies, and by all means, keep on pursuing Benghazi!!!!

worst congress ever gop fail

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Einstein must have had Republicans in mind when he defined "insanity"

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please proceed

tweet Heritage losing electionsLink

Apparently the Heritage Foundation and Scott Walker are bound and determined to dig their heels into that heap of elephant dung they've created. They're clearly oblivious to the world around them, as well as to Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

And apparently #2, they are bound and determined to lose elections. Running to the right? Really, GOP? As President Obama would say, "Please proceed."

Here are two headlines from today's Los Angeles Times:

Obamas visit immigration hunger strikers

President and Michelle Obama visit hunger strikers near the Capitol and discuss possible ways forward on the stalled immigration overhaul.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with the group for about 30 minutes in a heated tent near the steps of the Capitol to discuss the immigration bill that has stalled in the House.

And:

GOP promise of immigration reform fades a year after election

Despite the importance of the Latino vote, divisions among Republicans leave immigration reform at a standstill.

Changing the way the party talks about immigration is about all House Republicans have to show for their efforts over the last 11 months — and even that effort has notable exceptions. [...]

In fact, the House's most visible immigration-related action was a measure to defund an Obama administration program to defer deportations of young immigrants, a vote that increased Latino animosity even though it failed to become law.

Now stop and think about that contrast, GOP. Who do you think Latino voters will overwhelmingly support... again? Take a wild guess.

Republicans furrow their collective brows and write Very Important political autopsies about softening nothing but their words, and then their (in)actions continue to speak volumes.

So does their timing.

Happy holidays.

reinvention my ass

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A video anthology of #GOPcruelty and obstruction

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GOP obstruction 4 charts

The above charts are from the Rachel Maddow segment below. They illustrate the GOP obstruction of major pieces of legislation that are wildly popular among all parties. And here are a few examples of GOP cruelty:

  • Education cuts
  • Government shutdown
  • Food stamps cuts
  • Women's health services cuts
  • Sequestration, austerity
  • Forty-plus attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Anti-immigration, anti-DREAMers
  • Voter suppression
  • Anti-gay rights

Please take the time to watch the three videos below all the way through.

Please realize what we're up against.

Please make others aware of the infantile, self-serving, appallingly inexplicable behavior, policies, and politics of the Republican party. They may not be able to win national elections, but they've managed to redistrict in enough states to win locally, in state legislatures, and congressional races, resulting in bad laws and very conservative courts that make decisions that support those bad laws.

If this upsets you as much as it does me, then you know what to do: Vote. And in 2014, get out the vote and help people get to the polls. Until then, educate everyone you can, assist as many people as possible with registration, and above all, never EVER keep your mouths shut. Be clear. Be loud. Be heard.

This is becoming all out political war, and we-- and democracy as we know/knew it-- can't afford to lose:

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Chris Hayes did a segment on what Republicans are giddily calling "Obama's Katrina" and he called them out on several things, including their shameful gloating:

I find myself pissed off at just about everyone... But most of all, I'm quite simply appalled as I watch a Republican party and conservative movement not even pretend to hide their glee and schadenfreude over problems with the law they have done everything in their power to to sabotage, destroy, and discredit...

What the hell is wrong with you?

The only path left is to [go] forward. No retreat, no surrender, no. Going. Back. The only way out is through.

In one clip, Jon Stewart summed it up perfectly:

The crazy part is, it's conservatives and Republicans that are in the biggest rush to make the comparisons: "Remember that terrible thing that Bush did, that we fought for eight years to convince you wasn't bad, but actually good? Well now we use those very incidents as the low water mark for your guy!"

Rachel Maddow takes it from there:

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The other day I posted, John "I See No Need for ENDA" Boehner welcomes anti- #LGBT group to Capitol Hill.

Rachel covered that in more detail and expanded the discussion into an overview of how infuriatingly destructive and obstructive the GOP is:

... [ENDA] never will become law, as long as John Boehner will not allow it to be voted on in the House, and he says that that is his decision. If that bill did come up for a vote in the House, it would most certainly pass. It is a really popular thing. ...

It's favored by a huge proportion of Democrats and a huge proportion of Independents and also by a really big proportion of Republicans. 60% of Republican voters support this. A big, bright, clear majority of Republican voters wants our country to have a law like this. But Republicans in Congress won't let it happen.

And it turns out that that exact dynamic holds on a bunch of things right now in Washington.

John Boehner again this week insists he would also not allow a vote on immigration reform. And just like the nondiscrimination bill, immigration reform is super, super, super popular...

The only people who do not want it are John Boehner and presumably some other House Republicans. But they're against everybody else in the country. They're completely against public opinion on this issue, including the public opinion of Republicans.

They're also completely against public opinion on the issue of the minimum wage....

On background checks for guns, right? Background checks for guns are supported by 81% of Americans, broadly speaking. Background checks had huge support among Democrats, among Independents, and look, among Republicans. Expanded background checks for gun purchases are supported by gun owners. Expanded background checks are supported by NRA members. But these guys in Congress, the Republicans in congress, say no....

Remember the Buffett Rule that said billionaires shouldn't pay lower tax rates than their secretaries? Democrats support that, Independents support that, Republicans support that. It's just the Republicans in Congress who say no, even though their own voters like the idea.... Republicans in Congress will not allow an issue like that to even be voted on, even though their own voters want it...

This is what is called a pattern. In representative democracy, if you are in an elected office and if you pursue policies that are very unpopular, and you block policies that are very popular, something is supposed to happen to you.

It's like the elephant in the elephant's room. Republican policy ideas, both in terms of what they like, but especially what they don't like, Republican policy ideas are very, very, very, very strongly at odds with the views of the American people, with even most Republican voters.

They believe they have one winning issue on health reform, where their opposition to the president's health reform law is closer to public opinion on that issue, which is still in flux. They think it's closer on that issue than it is every other major policy issue in the country right now where they stand against the rule of the public and even the rule of their own voters.

Why don't they pay a higher cost for that? And why haven't Democrats figured out a way to make them pay a higher cost for that?

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Rachel also did a segment on Wisconsin Republicans, which again illustrates the nasty, condescending, discriminatory, dangerous attitudes, plans, and heavy-handedness of the party now that they control that state:

This is so strange, I don't even know how to explain it...

... In the legislature, at least, since the Republicans and Governor Scott Walker took over in Wisconsin, it seems more and more like Wisconsin is losing its mind...

Whatever used to be the normal expectations for normal, middle of the road Midwestern governance, those days really are gone. In Wisconsin anyway, those days seem gone.

Shake off any apathy or feeling frozen into inaction due to frustration that you may have and start using your voice. This kind of conduct by the right is no longer an option, and it's up to us to make some very necessary, very urgent changes.

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John "I See No Need for ENDA" Boehner welcomes anti- #LGBT group to Capitol Hill

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being gay in russia

Boehner:

I am opposed to discrimination of any kind — in the workplace and any place else. But I think this legislation — that I have dealt with as chairman of the Education Workforce Committee long before I was back in the leadership — is unnecessary and would provide a basis for frivolous lawsuits. People are already protected in the workplace. I am opposed to continuing this.

Listen, I understand people have different opinions on this issue, and I respect those opinions. But as someone who has worked in the employment law area for all of my years in the statehouse and all of my years here, I see no basis or no need for this.

Of course not. Why would there be a need when 21 states have protection laws? To hell with The Gay in the other 29.

Oh that Boehner and his wacky, zany GOP House Speakery wisdom.

Which brings us to the World Congress of Families (WCF), a group that thinks being gay is a “deviation” and compares homosexuality to pornography, promiscuity, and incest, per a report by Think Progress.

As if that's not bad enough, they've gone so far as to organize trips for anti-gay leaders to go speak with Russian lawmakers. So it goes without saying that the obvious thing to do would be to shun the WCF, because we here in America believe in equal rights, civil rights, and compassion for all.

Right, John Boehner?

After all, there is already way too much protection for gay Americans, and they clearly are not the targets of ongoing discrimination and need no further support.

Think Progress:

Just a day after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claimed the LGBT workplace protections are “unnecessary,” he is making sure that an anti-gay group has a place to meet on Capitol Hill. [...]

These laws and proposed bills have been directly tied to the influence of U.S. anti-gay activists who WCF sent to Russia, and now these are the values Boehner believes deserve a voice on Capitol Hill. It’s unclear how this endorsement of discriminatory values squares his belief that there is “no need” to protect the LGBT community from the very same kind of unfair treatment.

The Boehner's spokesman claims that this was "routine" not should not be viewed as an endorsement one way or the other.

How's that outreach thing workin' for ya, GOP?

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Senate approves Employment Non-Discrimination Act 64-32. Elizabeth Warren: Your turn, Boehner! #ENDA #LGBT

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enda

The Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) 64-32 in an historic step on gay rights. 10 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill:

The legislation would create federal workplace protections for gay and transgender people by banning employers from making hiring and firing decisions on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Republicans voting in favor of ENDA were Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Dean Heller (Nev.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Pat Toomey (Pa.).

Thirty-two Republicans voted against it.

Well, that only took two decades. But I digress. This is definitely a...

moment of happy smaller

I also got an email today from Sen. Elizabeth Warren that made me even happier:

Laffy,

A year ago last night, I made a promise to you. I stood on the stage at our election night party and I said:

"I won't just be your Senator, I will also be your champion."

Every day that I'm in the United States Senate, I think about those words from my election night speech.

Yesterday, I gave a speech on the floor of the Senate about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – legislation that would finally protect LGBT Americans from discrimination in the workplace.

Equal marriage is now the law in 14 states. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have put in place laws to protect against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the Supreme Court has rejected the Defense of Marriage Act.

For many years, Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman Barney Frank led the fight in Congress to pass ENDA. I thought of them, and thought about how many of my friends and neighbors, how many people across this country, had worked so hard for this moment.

I felt a deep joy to be on the floor of the Senate today to hear the roll call and the bill finally pass. I thought to myself: We're one step closer to a country where equal means equal.

Now we turn to the House Republicans. They seem ready to stop the bill in its tracks – to continue their fight against the promises of equality that define our country, to resist the will of the American people. If they resist, I'm ready to fight. We are not going back.

When I said I wanted to be your champion a year ago, I meant a champion for ALL of us. Students trying to get an education without going broke. Seniors trying to live with dignity on their Social Security benefits. Parents trying to make ends meet on a level playing field. And every American trying to work without fear of losing their job over who they are and who they love.

To everyone who shared your hopes and dreams with me during the campaign and put your faith in my ability to fight for you, know this: it's been a year, but I'm still ready to fight.

Whether that means standing up to extreme Republicans in the House or demanding accountability for big banks that break the rules, I'm still ready to fight.

I'm still ready to fight because I believe as strongly as ever that when we fight, we can win.

Thank you for continuing to be a part of this. You have always had my back, and I will always have yours.

Elizabeth

Ball's in your court, Boehner. How's that GOP outreach thing workin' for ya?

David has more in his post, ENDA: Times Have Changed, So Have The Votes.

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