Archive for obstructionism

More Jobs Than Expected In Today's Jobs Report

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Jobs

WaPo:

The U.S. economy added a solid 175,000 jobs in February, despite harsh winter weather that many analysts expected would curtail hiring, according to government data released Friday morning.

The report from the Labor Department showed the job market has steadily improved since hiring plunged at the end of last year. On Friday, the government actually increased its estimate for job creation in December and January.

So once again, despite all the Republicans spiteful and political efforts to stifle the Obama economy's recovery, they couldn't. Okay, these numbers, these gains, are modest and nowhere near where they could be. But can you imagine if the Republicans would pass the Obama jobs bill and the extended unemployment benefits bill how much more we could have grown?

Instead of making appearances at the CPAC conference with rifles and Looney Tunes rhetoric, maybe these elected officials would have time to pass some meaningful legislation.

On the downside, unemployment did go up a tick: 0.1% to 6.7%. That's not terrible considering the storms that attacked the midwest and south. But this uptick didn't have to be if the GOP would do their job -- and stop voting on repeals of Obamacare (we just had the 50th vote) and look to real matters. When will the Republicans come into the 21st century and not settle for living back in the 20th?

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GOP Healthcare Plan Recalled - They Discover Their Plan Raises Taxes, Lowers Coverage

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egg on your face

Oops. Who's got egg on their face now, GOP?

So it's not quite as easy as the Republicans thought it would be to find a better working, comprehensive, healthcare plan than Obamacare.

The GOP revealed their healthcare plan earlier this week to drumrolls and coronets -- trumpeting the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act. They were proud to point out they solved all the problems with the current ACA. They had it, as Tom Coburn said, "all worked out." They'd fixed all the harmful elements of Obamacare and now they could put it forth for a vote. This long awaited, well-thought out plan was going to replace Obamacare and still provide additional coverage to the many who are/were uninsured.

President Obama, in his State of the Union Speech the other night said he'd welcome changes if they were going to help. But he cautioned, they had to be improvements, not just changes.

Well, one or two of the Republicans heard this warning and took a look at their new bill. Lo and behold, their bill wasn't paid for. It would call for increased taxes.

tax increase

What? Republicans increasing taxes? Yup, that's what their bill would have done. That wasn't going to fly. So they quickly recalled their bill.

According to TPM:

It appears that the Senate Republicans who put forward their own alternative to Obamacare have quietly refined their proposal, undoing what would have been a significant tax increase on most Americans.

But the devil is in the details. The original eight-page proposal released by the Senate Republicans -- Richard Burr of North Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Orrin Hatch of Utah -- said that the new cap would be "65 percent of an average plan's costs." Health policy experts told TPM that this would likely result in a big tax increase on most Americans and some would probably lose their insurance.

Well, now, seems the GOP stalwarts and obstructionists found out providing healthcare to the uninsured isn't all that easy. Voting to repeal is a no brainer. But substituting a comprehensive and cost efficient plan ain't so easy. Now these Tea Party and conservative blowhards have a bit of egg on their faces. They've had to recall their bill. Gee, now isn't that something?

Here's what the new, now recalled plan would have done:

The Congressional Budget Office recently analyzed a similar, though not identical, proposal and estimated that it would raise $613 billion in revenue over nine years, while six million people would lose their employer coverage in the five years after it took effect. Under the GOP's plan as originally proposed, if you had an average health plan, you'd pay taxes on 35 percent of its costs.

The GOP fights for tax loopholes and benefits for the rich, but now they want to tax the health plans of the middle and lower class? How un-American.

Sometimes it's best to leave things alone for a bit, find out how they're running in their early stages, then come up with fixes. Tossing out the baby with the bathwater, then making public fools of themselves touting the Republican fix, then finding out it's a fraud is not the way to win elections. Then again, who wants the Republicans to win elections and further ruin our country? Let them run on their new healthcare plan which insures fewer people AND RAISES TAXES on the middle class and poor. Let's see how far that gets them in non-gerrymandered districts and in statewide senatorial campaigns.

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Video- President's Weekly Address: Weekly Address: Working Together on Behalf of the American People

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Sen. Grinch McConnell Spreads War On Christmas

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Grinch McConnell

Mitch McConnell isn't making any friends on either side of the aisle lately. By definition of his obstructionist policies, the Democrats don't like the minority leader's determined actions to hold up nominees and bills facing full floor votes in the senate. It's that obstructionism that led Harry Reid to invoke the nuclear option  And plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.

Someone please explain to the minority leader how things work. We elect a President and he gets to make certain appointments. Then it's up to the Senate to decide if there's valid reason to not allow the chief executive to have his people. It's not for the opposing party (the losers) to deny the selections without a valid reason. Just not liking the President isn't one of those.

So now Obama's picks are sailing through the Senate. In the last ten days, more nominations have been approved than in the first 11 months of the session. The reason is simple. It's not the quality of the nominees. It's the lack of necessary votes by the minority to stop the elected President from doing his job and doing it the way he wants.

Now Mitch McConnell doesn't like Obama's selection of John Koskinen as IRS commissioner,. Notice I didn't say he objected to the nominee's qualifications, just this man's personality. Thus, we have a limited filibuster on the floor. This isn't going down well with Democrats who want to vote and go home, but it's also making the Republicans angry. Senators like Jim Inhofe.

THE HILL:

Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, went so far s to display an enlarged picture of his family on the Senate floor and plead with colleagues to let him get out of town in time to celebrate his 54th wedding anniversary.

“I would sure like those 20 kids and grand kids [who] are waiting for me for a big dinner on our 54th wedding anniversary tomorrow night,” he said motioning to the photo of his family behind me.

“So have mercy, give us a break and let’s try to get this thing voted on and go home,” he added, referring to the Defense authorization bill, which has been held up as part of the year-end gridlock.

So Mitch has his hands full, even with his own people. But interestingly, look at the self-serving reasons Inhofe gives in wanting to go home. He wants to party with his family. He wants to celebrate his anniversary. He wants mercy -- a break -- so he can just get things going and go home.

Where was that kind of thinking when it came to shutting down the government? How about voting on the unemployment insurance extension? Wouldn't those effected people like to get going with their lives, too? Where was your compassion then?

It's easy to put the blame on Mitch. He deserves it. But there's enough to spread around. I hope Harry keeps the GOP obstructionists as long as it takes to do what the President was elected to do -- run a government with the people he wants doing it. News flash to Republicans, Obama won. It's over a year now and you're still making believe it didn't happen. Well that'll give you something to talk about when you're still in session over the weekend instead of sipping your toddies and singing carols with the family. Obstructionism's a bitch, or should I say, a Grinch.

UPDATE:

McConnell, threatened with desertions from his GOP cohorts and Reid got together and with both sides wanting to go home for the holidays (how trite) an agreement was reached. The Republicans dropped their demand to use all of their allowed time to hold up votes and by mid-day today, all of the nominations and official business will be concluded. The last vote is scheduled for 1 PM EST.

The only casualty of this rush to the exits is the vote on the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve Board. A final vote on her confirmation is now planned for January 6, instead of this Saturday evening.

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