Archive for Senate Republicans

They feel it. You know it! Meet four Op-Ed poets


poetry your poem here

The Los Angeles Times invited readers to submit Op-Ed poetry and ended up receiving more than 1,500 submissions. They printed some of them today, and they are a must-read, but a few of them were indisputable home runs that I feel compelled to share.

Please click over for the others, because every one of them was thoughtful and well-executed:

A Haiku

Top tier doing well

Their employees not so well

"Trickle down" didn't.

Sally A. Seven is a retired experimental social psychologist living in Claremont.



Clippety cloppety!

Senate Republicans,

Stuck in a stubborn e-

Questrial phase,

Deaf to all factors not


Greet all his bills with a

Chorus of Neighs.

Peter Larsena is a retired graphic artist and wood sculptor who also enjoys sculpting verse.


A Second Shot

When Washington listened to what Summers said

They shot the economy right in the head

But since evidently it isn't quite dead

They're thinking of making him chair of the Fed.

Barry Goldman is an arbitrator and mediator who lives in Michigan.



The English language

has no more deadly cliché

than "Boys will be boys."

Laurel V. Corteslives in Riverside.

I will be posting one more poem, but it's longer and deserves its own page. Stay tuned.


2014 Senate math


Businessman pushing large rock uphill

The Cook Political Report has a chart that you should click on and read. It's all about how the 2014 race for Senate is shaping up.

They correctly state that the information in the chart is all subject to change (understatement) and based on assumptions, but the bottom line is this:

Democrats need to win 2 of the 6 competitive seats to hold* the chamber. Republicans need to win 5 of these 6 seats-- including unseating 3 Democrats-- to win a 51-seat majority in the Senate. All six states were won by Romney in 2012.

*With Biden being the tie-breaking vote.

Please link over to see the details.

At the top of the chart is this encouraging sentence:

Senate majority still an uphill battle for Republicans

Let's hope it stays that way.


Disability community shocked, hurt. Senate aide: "One of most shameful moments I've witnessed... utterly appalling."


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As I wrote yesterday, and as you can see in the video above, even Republican, 89-year-old disabled vet Bob Dole couldn’t sway 13 GOP senators to ratify U.N. disabilities treaty. And it was utterly shameful, a genuinely disgraceful episode. In fact, the outcome was so painful that it brought Lawrence O'Donnell to tears:

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Now it's becoming clearer than ever that Republicans don't value life at all, unless of course, they think they can squeeze votes from uninformed and gullible voters by saying they do. It's becoming clearer than ever that Republicans say one thing and do another. It's becoming clearer than ever that heartless far right hypocrites need to go.

As  Josh Rogin reports, the disability community was shocked and hurt:

David Morrissey, the executive director of the United State International Council on Disabilities, told The Cable in an interview that his group and many others had been assured by numerous GOP senators that they would vote in favor of ratification, but then disabilities groups were given no warning when those senators reversed themselves and voted "no." [...]

The scene both inside and just outside the Senate chamber Tuesday before and during the vote was heart-wrenching, several observers said. Wounded war veterans and other disabled people filled the gallery above the floor and the hallways outside the chamber, expecting to celebrate months of effort, only to have those hopes shattered as the roll call vote was read aloud.

"That was one of most shameful moments I've witnessed during my time in Washington," one longtime senior Senate aide said. "I thought it was utterly appalling."

"The reaction was one of emotional hurt. There was weeping in the gallery," said Morrissey, who added that disability groups will remember the GOP senators who torpedoed the treaty ratification effort and groups have labeled the 38 the "wall of shame."

As Morrissey went on to say, this is what happens when right wing crazies try to agitate home schoolers, "pro-lifers" [sic], and parents with disabled children.

Be proud, GOP. Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.


Even Republican, 89-year-old disabled vet Bob Dole couldn't sway 13 GOP senators to ratify U.N. disabilities treaty


(Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images)

Being a well-respected, wheelchair-bound, 89-year-old former Senate majority leader and former GOP presidential nominee still wasn't enough for Bob Dole to convince his fellow Republicans to support an initiative to extend the rights granted to Americans under the Americans with Disabilities Act to citizens of the world.

Wanna know who had more influence than Dole did? Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation's advocacy arm, Heritage Action, and the Family Research Council, plus sympathetic, tenderhearted types like Glenn Beck and Rick Santorum. They got jittery over the idea of "U.N. overreach."

Or as I like to call it, good will.

Josh Rogin is reporting that Santorum's Patriot PAC sent out a fundraising e-mail shortly after the vote claiming credit for the defeat.

Here's what GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte, a supporter, said:

“Senate ratification of this treaty would reflect America’s leadership role in breaking down barriers for disabled individuals. It would take a step toward making it easier for disabled Americans to live and work overseas, without impinging on U.S. sovereignty or Congress’ authority to determine our disability laws. Veterans service groups are especially supportive of the treaty, which would help level the playing field for disabled veterans who are abroad.”

But Bob Dole couldn't get 13 Republicans to ratify the treaty. Per Roll Call, only seven "joined Democrats to back U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, which would have expanded rights to disabled people globally." Those seven were Ayotte, John Barrasso, Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Olympia J. Snowe, Richard G. Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain.

There were a few cowards who could have made a difference, but chose not to:

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., changed his vote from a “yes” to a “no” after it was obvious the treaty would fall short of ratification. Cochran is up for re-election in 2014 and could face a primary challenge from his right.

The other self-serving members of the Wussy Four who were skittish about being primaried were Saxby Chambliss, Lindsey Graham, and Lamar Alexander.

Happy holidays! 'Tis the season! Goodwill toward men (and women)!

Disabled men and women around the world will be eternally grateful to these compassionate "Christian" "pro-lifers" who will now have to live with their decision to deny people everywhere a little common decency. Be proud, Republicans.


Senate Republicans, who claim to live for tax cuts, block Democratic small-business tax cut


Republicans love tax cuts. They insist on them. They adore them. They live for them. They lerve them, crave them, and eat them for breakfast. Unless...

...Democrats support them.

Especially a Democrat whose name rhymes with Schmarack Schmobama.

Via Roll Call:

Senate Republicans made good on their threat to filibuster a Democratic small-business tax cut bill today, ensuring the bill fell seven votes short of what it needed to move forward.

The Senate voted 53-44 to limit debate on the bill and move to final passage, but 60 votes were needed to overcome the filibuster. [...]

The Senate small-business bill would provide tax breaks for business that add to their payrolls, either through new hires or increased pay, and would allow businesses to accelerate the way in which they deduct business expenses.

Please note, it did pass because there were 53 votes. Except for that whole filibuster thing that put a damper on that whole passing thing.

Harry Reid said he has the votes to defeat a GOP measure to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year.

File this post under: GOP Hypocrisy.

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VIDEO: Harry Reid may "recommend to the president he recess appoint all these people — every one of them."


Via Think Progress:

Last Friday... Senate Republicans refused to allow the Senate to move forward with a vote on 90 pending nominees to federal positions...

Reid’s statement is the second time in two months that he’s indicated the highly unproductive status quo is not acceptable.... His statement on Friday is another hopeful sign that Reid’s caucus might be prepared to take real action to ensure that the Senate minority can no longer threaten our government’s ability to function.

As Think Progress points out, the GOP is shooting themselves in the foot. By constantly obstructing, they're forcing the recess appointments, which pretty much defeats the whole purpose of obstructing.

Then again, Republicans aren't known for their logic.


Obama "needs to take a Valium before he comes in & talks to Republicans. He's pretty thin-skinned."


President Obama met with Senate Republicans today, for over an hour. A fat lot of good it did him.

Actually, the outcome is pretty much what one would expect, given the political climate these days. And by these days, I mean since President Obama was elected by a wide margin and the Party of No filled with panic and resentment:

"He needs to take a Valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) told reporters. "He's pretty thin-skinned."

Good attitude, Pat. Way to talk about the commander in chief. Let's think back to 2001-2008 for a minute, shall we? What if the Dems had treated the worst president ever the same way? Would you have uttered similar disrespectful words about him? Even after he invaded a sovereign country illegally? Even after he tortured detainees? Even after he illegally spied on U.S. citizens? Even after he lied us into a fraudulent war? Even after he lost the trust of the whole wide world?

But back to the meeting.  What was the takeaway?

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.): Testy."

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.):  A "lively discussion."

And by lively, he meant testy.

The president: "We had a good, frank discussion on a whole range of issues."

And by frank, he meant testy.

Robert Gibbs:

"Obviously, there were continued differences on some of these issues. But the president believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views with the conference."

And by continued differences he meant testy.

Brownback said Obama explained and explained that he was "under pressure from his left".

And President Obama asked for bipartisanship.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn. questioned "the audacity" of Obama's asking for Republican help Tuesday after bipartisan talks on financial reform broke down and his landmark health-care bill passed solely on Democratic votes.

"My question is again: How can you reconcile that duplicity? You say that, but then the big issues have been constructed in such a way to absolutely be partisan," Corker said. "How can you come in on a Tuesday after [the financial bill vote]? . . . It was odd to me."

What's odd to a lot of us is how one party, the GOP, can allow obstructionism to trump democracy, even after the president continues to reach out over and over again. That's what's odd to us.

It also makes some of us a little... testy.