Archive for recess

There's So Much Right About This Story

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Christian Bucks

Perhaps what makes this particular story so uplifting and full of youth, innocence and promise. It's the antithesis of how our Capitol Hill clowns do things. This isn't a liberal or a conservative politician in this tale, but rather by a regular kid -- a second grader in Pennsylvania, Christian Bucks.

He doesn't care about obstructionist politics or denial of civil responsibilities, or even raising the minimum wage. He thinks about school, recess and friends. His peers. Too bad his Governor doesn't feel the same way as he denies Medicaid coverage in his state. But Christian's just a kid and shouldn't have to worry about partisan politics. And taking sides out of the equation, he shows the importance of just caring to do something good for others.

Though a popular elementary school student himself, Christian's recognized the proliferation of some of those not so fortunate in his school. He thinks about many of his schoolmates who suffered through loneliness, being excluded and just plain not having a friend. During a trip to Germany where he saw something called a buddy bench. The concept stuck with him and he brought the idea back home. He may have shared the wonders of a European vacation with his friends, but with his school principal, Matthew Miller, he shared a more important vision.

And good ideas are hard to keep down. Thus, this week his school, Roundtown Elementary School in York Pennsylvania, unveiled the Christian Bucks Buddy Bench. And like a whisper in the wind, this story caught on, not just in the local area, but in other cities across the country as well. He's gone viral. And his idea of the buddy bench is growing exponentially.

Shunned kids, unpopular students, the shy, the awkward or just different are being given a safe haven on the buddy bench. It's an opportunity to make new friends, a place where they can get sit until they find someone or something to lift their spirits or give them added confidence. Sometimes all a kid needs is someone to play with. And now the students at Roundtown Elementary know where they can go to find that person. Shyness often can be overcome with just a kind word or a simple invitation, "Hey, you wanna play or wanna do somethin'?" from a peer. A new friend can emerge from the crowded void of inclusion.

Watch this uplifting NBC video and make your day a meaningful one. If you have school age kids, think about raising this idea at their playground. And if you don't have kids, or your children are older, consider donating a bench like this to a school. In these days of bullying and youth suicide, this may even be a life saver. It's just a thought, but a good one that should be passed on.

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Eric Cantor's 2014 House schedule allows for even MORE time off

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maynard g. krebs work

Here's what I wrote in 2012: Republicans control the calendar in the House of Representatives. They're cutting back their work schedule. Again.

And this: 113th Congress: Work?!

Then earlier this year I wrote this: Sequester schmequester: House GOP votes to recess for the week. Senate, too.

Here's what I wrote a few days ago: VIDEO-- Why everybody would like to be a member of Congress: Lots and lots of time off. Lots.

Here is what the calendar for the first session of the 133th Congress looked like:

congress calendar

And now, unbelievably, it's getting worse. Eric Cantor just released the House calendar for 2014:

House calendar 2014

Roll Call:

The House is scheduled to be in session 113 days in 2014.

This schedule is:

  • laughable
  • disconcerting
  • embarrassing
  • bewildering
  • ridiculous
  • outrageous
  • contemptible
  • self-serving
  • obscene
  • aw-w-wkward!

Feel free to add to the list.

Are Republicans trying to lose more voter confidence? Then again, with less time at work, there's less time to obstruct. Meantime, they can keep using their trusty town hall mob scenes meetings to spread their lies and make their threats.

Here's why I feel the way I do:

chart bills passed by Congress thru 2012 worst GOP fail

...and dropping.

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VIDEO-- Why everybody would like to be a member of Congress: Lots and lots of time off. Lots.

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maynard g. krebs work

congress calendarLink

Back in November 2012, I posted 113th Congress: Work?! It included this segment from The Rachel Maddow Show:

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

Then in February 2013, I posted Sequester schmequester: House GOP votes to recess for the week. Senate, too.

Now here we are, nearly exactly a year after my "Work?!" post, and, coincidentally, there is another Rachel Maddow video to share:

Rachel Maddow:

Nice deal right? ... That kind of a schedule and a six-figure salary for doing it? That's a combination that is impossible not to love.

More vacation... that's their big plan.

And now the GOP is thinking of cancelling more days again. During this session. Again. They're only working 19 more days this year, see, because, see, they can't figure out a way to "fill their agenda." No, I'm not kidding, watch the video.

They had time for a government shutdown, but no time to work on immigration reform. Make that, "no time to work," period. They are on track to be the most unproductive Congress in history.

chart bills passed by Congress thru 2012 worst GOP fail

Since John Boehner became Speaker, the House has accomplished nothing.

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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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Cartoons of the Day- GOP Recess Townhalls Are Back!

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townhalls2

Paul Fell

townhalls

David Horsey

townhalls1

Paul Fell

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Cartoons of the Day- Congress On Vacation

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vacay

Steve Sack

vacay1

vacay2

Chris Britt

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Shhh. Listen. Hear Anything?

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Serenity

Ah, the quiet serenity of Congress on adjournment. No more harsh screaming across the aisles. No more chest pounding as to who's more right wing that the next guy. No more useless repeal Obamacare votes.

During this month long break from the frenetic Congressional world of gridlock, I'm going to go out on a limb. I think Congress is actually going to get a lot done -- by leaving town.

Kreskin predicts

My prediction is --  think Kreskin Predicts for you old enough to remember the Amazing Kreskin -- that the next "scandal" in Washington is going to be Recessgate. It's going to be all about recess appointments and Article II of the US Constitution.

I predict that executive orders are going to be flying fast and furious a week after the last stragglers of congressional legislators have left town. Obama is going to use the powers that he has to make appointments, activate portions of stalled bills and he'll force the GOP's hand.

I predict Obama's going to silence his liberal critics by doing this and showing some balls. He's going to upset the apple cart called the GOP Congressional Quagmire (or business as usual). They've already threatened to shut the government down. I predict Obama calls their bluff.

I predict he announces limitations on the NSA's snooping domestically. He'll have his fingers crossed, behind his back when he says it, but he's going to look to appease the left.

I predict there will be some sort of jobs authorization plan, a liberal/progressive interpretation of his powers. Even if these are reviewed by SCOTUS when they return in October for their constitutionality, the effects will be felt immediately. And public opinion will trump the GOP's austerity program.

I predict judges -- at least in the District of Columbia. After all, the President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

I predict he's arranged, in a gentleman's agreement with a few resignations coming in soon that he'll fill in August. Their replacements are already standing by.

I predict that under the Article II of the Constitution, the president appoints ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other officers as allowed by Congress. The president can fill vacancies in offices without Senate approval if the Senate is out of session.

I predict wherever necessary, the President will issue rules, regulations, and instructions called executive orders, which have the binding force of law upon federal agencies but do not require congressional approval. Every opportunity will be tapped. Look for some sort of global warming or infrastructure plan to be put into effect.

I predict none of this will happen. How's that for playing it safe?

Fortune teller

Obama's only got three years of his final term left. He squandered away the first year trying to work with the Obstructionist party. He has found that like American Express Cards, his political capital isn't accepted here. He's too proud and intelligent of a man to want "I Couldn't Get Anything Done" to be  his legacy. The man's not a quitter. He may not be up to all of our expectations, but who is? There's Catholics right now running around scared because Pope Francis dared to ask "Who am I to judge" when asked about gay priests. So there's no pleasing all the people, all the time.

Capitol Building at night

Obama is fully aware that we the people elected him on the promise of change. Well maybe we're on the cusp of seeing that -- starting with the flexing of the Chief Executive's powers during the congressional hiatus, when the capitol has gone dark.

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