Archive for U.S. Congress – Page 2

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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Public faith in Congress falls, so do weekly jobless claims

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worst congress ever gop fail

Americans don't much like Congress. What an understatement. Let me reword that. Americans hate Congress. There, that's better.

And for good reason. GOP obstructionists prevent any progress on fixing immigration, the economy, our schools, voting rights, civil rights issues, you name it. And the hostility and head-butting are constant. The infighting among Republicans is entertaining to Dems, but that must play into these numbers, too.

Via Gallup:

Gallup Congress poll

Americans' confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of 10% in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question. [...]

The current 7% of Americans who place confidence in Congress is the lowest of the 17 institutions Gallup measured this year, and is the lowest Gallup has ever found for any of these institutions. The dearth of public confidence in their elected leaders on Capitol Hill is yet another sign of the challenges that could face incumbents in 2014's midterm elections -- as well as more broadly a challenge to the broad underpinnings of the nation's representative democratic system.

Seven. Percent.

whoa smaller

Major shrinkage. And I'm not just referring to their numbers. After seeing that poll, Congress members (no pun) must certainly be feeling, er, inadequate:

shrinkage smaller

Which brings us to more reports of shrinkage, this time courtesy of every liberal's favorite source, the always reliable Fox Biz. Via an email alert:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 312,000 from an upwardly revised 318,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected claims to fall to 314,000 from an initially reported 317,000.

Which just goes to show you, there's good shrinkage and bad shrinkage. Fair and balanced reporting, brought to you by TPC.

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

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"Here's what your money is buying right now..."

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gop your money

We have written countless posts about the Supreme Court's terrible Citizens United decision, followed by their latest debacle, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the other appalling Supreme Court ruling that favors billionaires and allows them to influence our election outcomes.

Even Garry Trudeau couldn't keep quiet about it any longer: The Koch brothers can buy anything, including Doonesbury!  As I said in that post, a very few obscenely wealthy individuals are able to spend lavishly on candidates, politicians, and potential votes while, try as you might, your money simply can't compete with the endless supply of cash donated by the corporate big boys.

And with that, another installment of today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Money won't buy you votes," Opinion, April 20

Sure, money won't buy the vote of a regular person, but it sure can buy members of the state legislature or Congress. Here's what your money is buying right now:

Profits on gun sales fund the National Rifle Assn. and ensure that even when little kids get slaughtered at school, universal background checks won't pass the Senate despite the fact that about 90% of the country supports them.

Wealthy people who make money from investments make sure they don't get taxed at the same rates as wage earners.

Money strangles the implementation of banking reform. And it makes sure that no matter how many floods, fires or hurricanes we have, nothing is done about climate change.

Best of all, money buys donors the ability to hide behind "social welfare" organizations so nobody knows who's doing these evil things.

Joanne Zirretta

Aliso Viejo

**

A large war chest doesn't guarantee victory, as Republican Meg Whitman learned in 2010 when voters elected Democrat Jerry Brown governor by a wide margin.

But what money does allow is for the wealthy to buy the loyalty of politicians. The handful of GOP presidential hopefuls who visited billionaire Sheldon Adelson recently offer proof of that.

Most Americans agree that the latest Supreme Court rulings loosening campaign finance rules were steps in the wrong direction.

Kyle Laurent

Newhall

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Fla. GOP conservative candidate's double life as bizarre vampire

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Jacob Rush double life vampire gop florida 2

Jacob Rush double life vampire gop floridaPhoto via St. Peters Blog

Here we go again, another "conservative" candidate for U.S. Congress (this time from Florida) leading a double life and revealing himself to be a complete crackpot. No hype, this guy's got serious issues. St. Peters Blog has the full report, and it's a must-read.

Here's how Jacob A. Rush, "conservative straight shooter," wants us to see him:

However, in his super duper ultra secret double life, Rush belongs to "a nationwide community of gothic-punk role-players who come together to take on personas of vampires and other supernatural beings" who deal with "night-to-night struggles 'against their own bestial natures, hunters, and each other.'” I'msorrywhat?

What is up with conservatives named Rush? But I digress.

One of his supernatural personae goes by the name of "Chazz Darling" (Carlos Danger's swashbuckling unbuckling, brother?), a member of the Mind’s Eye Society, aka “Camarilla.”

fear 2

St. Peters Blog:

Among the photos still available on the wiki are:

Burning books
Aiming shotguns at dogs
Dressed as a vampire
Dressed as a demon
Satanic symbolism
Being chained and gagged
Bloody angel wings

Note: For the uninitiated, a succubus is a female demon who appears in dreams, usually in human form, to seduce men through sexual activity.

hiding under covers fear

This is what he wrote, as "Chazz Darling":

At first I thought you were just stupid and I wanted to stick my dick in your mouth to shut you up while I snorted a line off my new machete that was blessed by Rui (sic) but then I remembered that you were typing so my dick would really have to be in your hands to keep you from typing but since you are walking in Omaha that’s not really realistic right now.

I’m sorry, I tried.

Rae tells me that you are a Maiden, and it’s your job to be kind of stupid and that I’m not supposed to have intercourse with Maidens.

You shouldn’t believe everything that people tell you or you’re going to end up naked and sore, tied to the floor of a van marked “Free Candy.”

And stop letting people torpor (sic) you.

Except for the run-on sentences, poor word choices, perversion, vulgarity, and apparent mental illness, ol' Jake shows real promise! He'll fit in just fine in GOPland. He won't even need a speech writer, what with all that literary talent oozing out of what's left of his mind.

And hey! Nothing says "family values" like a "conservative straight shooter who wants "to stick my dick in your mouth to shut you up while I snorted a line off my new machete."

That should go over well with conservative voters.

family values my ass

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Cover-up: Border agents created pretext to shoot Mexicans

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cover up 2 cover-up

What's that saying again? Oh yeah: The cover-up is worse than the crime... or as in this case, at least as bad. The Los Angeles Times is reporting on border patrol agents who purposely got in the way of oncoming cars in order to justify using deadly force against Mexican drivers. And then U.S. Customs and Border Protection kept their violent little activities hush-hush... from Congress.

The law enforcement experts who wrote up a review of dozens of cases recommended that agents should be trained "to get out of the way… as opposed to intentionally assuming a position in the path of such vehicles." Ordinarily, law enforcement agencies make use-of-force policies public, but not in this case.

And to make matters worse, per Mexican authorities, U.S. border agents who kill Mexicans "are rarely disciplined and the results of investigations are not made pubic for years." According to the Times, the authors said that border agents would stand right there in the road so they could shoot drivers who were trying to avoid arrest. These drivers "posed no direct lethal threat to them or others." Welcome to the U.S.A.:

Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.

The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which had commissioned the review, has tried to prevent the scathing 21-page report from coming to light.

House and Senate oversight committees requested copies last fall but received only a summary that omitted the most controversial findings — that some border agents stood in front of moving vehicles as a pretext to open fire and that agents could have moved away from rock throwers instead of shooting at them [...]

The [internal] response rejects the two major recommendations: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can't cause serious physical injury.

Meanwhile, in Arizona:

Border-area residents, upset with what they called an increased militarized presence in their community, began an effort Wednesday to monitor Border Patrol actions at a federal immigration checkpoint about 25 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Arizona.

Organizers with a humanitarian aid group called People Helping People in the Border Zone have called on the Border Patrol to remove the checkpoint in Amado, a town of about 300 people. Some residents say they have to deal with unnecessary delays, harassment and sometimes abuse at the checkpoint.

welcome

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Who's leaving the US Senate, in one handy chart

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US Senate letterheadbuh bye by Kelly Kincaid

The US Senate will be missing a few overpaid members in the near future. Recently, I posted Who's leaving the US House of Representatives, in one handy chart. Now it's time to fill you in on who's spending more time with their family running away from leaving the upper chamber.

So here you go, a sequel to Chart One. Meet Congressional Exodus, Version 2.0. This time you're getting a handy dandy at-a-glance opportunity to see which members of the US Senate are waving bye-bye.

members leaving the US Senate(Sorry, no link, subscription only, but attribution is on the image)

As annoying and frustrating as some of the departing Dems have been, at least they were Dems. Sort of. The next big challenge will be getting enough people to the polls (thanks for nothing, voter-suppressing Republicans) to maintain our majority.

This is where all of you come in. All kidding aside, this is of ultimate importance: Come November, your biggest priority should be to Get Out the Vote, and of course, getting yourselves to the ballot box. Let's avoid a 2010 redux, mmkay?

I'm repeating myself here, but for once I agree with every one of those who are exiting, even the ones I never see eye to eye with on anything ever. After all, who in their right mind would want to be a part of such a combative, obstructionist-filled, filibustery, when-the-hell-will-the-United-States-House-of-Representatives-pass-one-of-our-bills group of Citizens United progeny?

I don't want to belong to club Groucho Marx

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Who's leaving the US House of Representatives, in one handy chart

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U.S. House of Representatives terrible no good day

buh bye by Kelly Kincaid

For your consideration, a handy dandy at-a-glance chart that allows you to see which members of the US House of Representatives are waving bye-bye.

Or as I like to call it, Get Out the Freakin' Vote in 2014, Dems, because the last thing we need is another Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Do-Nothing, Obstructionist, GOP-led Congress.

America, the Congressional Exodus is now in progress (Or is that "regress"? I retort, you deride.):

members leaving the US House of Representatives 2014(Sorry, no link, subscription only, but attribution is on the image)

They're leaving in droves. Gee, can't imagine why.

rats_leaving_ship1For once I agree with every one of these people, even the ones I never see eye to eye with on anything ever. After all, who in their right mind would want to be a part of that impotent, petty, self-destructive, imploding group of Citizens United progeny?

I don't want to belong to club Groucho Marx

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