Archive for Susan Collins

GOP Digs Deep Hole In Their Heads

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digging holes

When I was a kid, the joke when you were bored was to go outside and dig a hole. If you dug deep enough you'd come up in China. And as kids, I have to say everyone in my neighborhood at one time or another gave it a go. Why not? We all loved Chinese food.

Before long we'd get a few feet deep and then get tired and give up. We were, after all, kids and we needed something to amuse ourselves with on that "boring" Saturday afternoon.

Now we come to adulthood. Congress was bored, waiting for the next election and too lazy to work during the remainder of their terms. So they took a shovel and started digging. The plot of land they chose was marked Obamacare.

So, we find the Tea Party led excavators digging away, digging away. Suddenly, they damage a water pipe, (the government shutdown), and they find themselves not only knee deep in water, but hot water. With the public.

One solution is to stop digging and scamper out before you're swallowed up and drown. Another is to grab a hold to the life raft that's suddenly appeared -- the approaching debt ceiling and ride it to shore.

Or... The wackadoo digging club could try reaching a rescue by digging even deeper and faster, getting below the water. The risks are greater but what lies underneath the H2O could be even greater. It might even be better than China. It could be Shangri-La. Not sure what kind of food they serve there, but I gotta believe it's great.

Two main choices, swim to shore while they can (passing the clean CR on government spending) or grab a hold of the debt denying diggers and their newest ring leader Paul Ryan and keep digging faster and deeper. And hope.

Here's what knucklehead Wisconsin Representative Ryan has prescribed, reported the Washington Post:

The Wisconsin congressman is rallying conservatives against a Senate plan to fund the government and raise the debt ceilingthe Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The plan, proposed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), would fund the government through March and raise the debt ceiling through January.

Ryan's main concern appears to be delaying the health care law's individual mandate, but ThinkProgress points out that Ryan also emphasized the need to give employers the ability to deny birth control coverage based on moral or religious reasons.

Paul Ryan is now back to fighting the Obamacare law after he was and then wasn't doing that. This is certainly a contemporary Faye Dunaway moment from Chinatown.

Evelyn Mulwray: It's the debt ceiling.
[Gittes slaps Evelyn]
Jake Gittes: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: It's Obamacare...
[slap]
Evelyn Mulwray: It's the debt ceiling...
[slap]
Evelyn Mulwray: Obamacare, Obamacare.
[More slaps]
Jake Gittes: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: It's the debt ceiling AND it's Obamacare!

And as the Republican parties, both of them, are contemplating what to do, they're continuing to dig. They refuse to fund the government and pass an increased debt ceiling. They even refuse to admit they don't even know what they want.

But certainly with Senator Collins plan there was the room for negotiation. And also, this is a Senate plan, not a House plan. Why is House member Ryan trying to scuttle the life raft when after all is said and done, the vessel was one of his own design. That thing called the Ryan Budget. Remember that, Paul?

Obvious to anybody but the fringes, the sequester numbers are not workable, but could sustain things for a short period. It's a possible way to go, but also not the preferred. Yet its a step in the right direction and there's no gun to anyone's head.

The actual way to go is pass a clear CR and get the government back up running at full power. Stop punishing the people for the Republican's political games.

Christians to the lions

This is similar to tossing the Christians to the lions for the Roman's entertainment. That civilization had a rise and FALL. Stop today's Romans, the Republican Party, who are trying to bring us down again.

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The hypocrisy of GOP outrage over the IRS targeting conservative groups

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Via aaateeshirts.com

Before I write another word about this, it's important to clarify to those who seem to consistently miss so many similar points, that this isn't about my defending the IRS. I'm not. It's about the hypocrisy of some on the right.
 
Take Joe Scarborough for example. He asked the IRS to target the NAACP ten years ago. Now he's objecting, on Twitter, to the IRS targeting conservatives:

@JoeNBC:

 
scarborough tweet IRS hypocrisy
 

Then there was GOP Senator Susan Collins who was outraged, outraged, by the IRS targeting conservative groups:

Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, yesterday called for a more aggressive response from the administration, calling on Obama to personally condemn the IRS action.

“This is truly outrageous and it contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She termed it “absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review. And I think that it’s very disappointing that the president hasn’t personally condemned this and spoken out.”

But ten years ago, she and Joe asked the IRS to target the NAACP. Here's the article mentioning the letter from Sen. Collins and  former Rep. Scarborough to the IRS, asking them to target the NAACP titled, "IRS audit of NAACP was asked":

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s chief fundraiser asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the NAACP's tax-exempt status shortly after the 2000 presidential campaign, questioning whether the civil rights organization had inappropriately sought to influence the election. [...]

The other lawmakers included: Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine, Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, Rep. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia, Rep. Larry Combest of Texas and Rep. Joe Scarborough of Florida, now an MSNBC personality. Like Ehrlich, all are Republicans.

Did I mention that the IRS audited Greenpeace at the request of an ExxonMobil-funded group?

As I type this, Rev. Al Sharpton is reporting on this very thing. Good.

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VIDEO-- Is Kerry's Senate seat real target of GOP Benghazi suicide squad? And GOP, about those embassy cuts...

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

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

To put it quite simply, if Obama backs down from appointing Rice due to the Republican Benghazi brigade, conventional wisdom has it that he is likely to appoint John Kerry to become Secretary of State.  If that were to be the case, Kerry's seat would become vacant.  [...]

Enter Republican Scott Brown [...]

As BuzzFlash at Truthout reader Emiliano de la Fuente e-mailed us today: "If the GOP is successful in squashing the idea of Susan Rice for Secretary of State and the President nominates John Kerry, it will immediately eliminate a Democratic senator and will give Scott Brown a chance to wiggle into position... Since he just ran in 2012, his name will be fresh in many voters’ minds."

In modern campaigns, political brand names are significant and Brown is one of those guys who even Democratic pundits and politicians in DC like to call in their village way "a very likeable person."   

It may be Massachusetts, and this theory may be a stretch, but remember that Brown was elected to the Senate once already – and remember that not too long ago Massachusetts elected Mitt Romney as governor.

And remember that the Republicans are indicating that they would be prone to give Kerry a relatively easy confirmation hearing in the Senate.  That's a scenario that will test Obama's mettle and how many chits he wants to call in for Rice at a time he is trying to proceed with budget negotiations.

Please read the whole post here.  And Mark has added this post: Colin Powell's Fabricated UN Iraq War Speech Was Fine With "Bomb, Bomb" McCain and Graham

And just for good measure, this L.A. Times letter from the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Senators unswayed by talks with Rice," Nov. 28

Isn't there just one donkey willing to call out the elephant in the room when Republicans insist on ranting on and on about Benghazi? Simply put: Which party was responsible for the hundreds of millions of dollars withheld for embassy security improvements over the last few years, adversely affecting the work and safety of our diplomats abroad?

Perhaps the questions about U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice's statements after the Benghazi attack should be aimed at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his Republican colleagues in Congress who refused to properly fund embassy construction and security.

Dean James Loomos

Venice

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Video- Susan Collins is first GOP senator to oppose Ryan budget proposal

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I'm sure she's not going to be the last either, especially since congress is on vacation, so there'll be plenty of opportunities for constituents to "communicate".

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VIDEO: Senate votes to overturn DADT. Susan Collins thanks gay service members.

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In a landmark for gay rights, the Senate on Saturday voted to let gays serve openly in the military, giving President Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

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DADT Watch: 500,000+ signatures and counting

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Greg Sargent is reporting that Organizing for America has collected more than half a million signatures supporting DADT repeal, and they will deliver it to Susan Collins's office tonight.

There will be no vote on DADT tonight. It should take place tomorrow.

Why it's difficult to allow equal rights to anyone in our military (or anywhere else) is beyond me.  Gays, lesbians and straights have been serving together until now, but suddenly they shouldn't, because they can ::gasp!:: talk about it, be who they are, not have to lie?  The logic escapes me.

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"Senior Senate Democratic aides are in a panic this morning about the prospects for repeal of don't ask don't tell"

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At least President Obama is doing his phone thing, but this is not good news:

Senior Senate Democratic aides are in a panic this morning about the prospects for repeal of don't ask don't tell, because talks with Senator Susan Collins over her procedural demands have hit a wall, with the Democratic leadership dismissing her requests as unreasonable and counterproductive, a senior Dem aide close to the talks tells me.

The talks are continuing as we speak, so all is not lost yet. Indeed, the logjam in the discussions comes as Dem leaders have stepped up their efforts to get moderate Republicans to agree to vote for cloture on repeal, with President Obama personally calling Senators on both sides, the aide says. [...]

... Collins has demanded that Reid allow what's known as "unlimited debate" on the bill in order for her to vote for repeal, the aide close to the talks says. Reid has rejected this demand, the aide continues. The problem is that this could allow any Senator to hijack the proceedings by introducing a "non-germane amendment," thus holding the floor.

Reid said he'll bring the Defense Authorization Bill to a vote tonight.  We need a win... badly. Stay tuned.

Greg Sargent has more details here.

H/t: Jamie Kilstein

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