Archive for Vice President Biden

President Obama: We need reforms "from campaign finance to how a filibuster works."

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Mitch McConnell gop obstruction gridlock filibuster reforms

Our government badly needs to advance all kinds of reforms, says you, says I, says President Obama. Major overhauls that would cut through the insanity that is the U.S. Congress are in order.

As most people know by now, the GOP has obstructed virtually every piece of legislation that President Obama and/or the Democrats have proposed, because that was their Big Plan on Inauguration Night 2009. I wrote about that here: GOP plot to obstruct- Obama aide in bed with GOP lover: "How do we get a stimulus deal?" Reply: "Baby, there’s no deal!"

Remember this?

And this?

Republicans set all kinds of records to make their corrupt little dreams come true:

chart filibuster maddow smaller

As a result of all their blockage (and some really bad voting choices by some very anti-Democratic voters), we are stuck with the do-nothingest Congress ever:

chart bills passed by do-nothing Congress

As a result, Senate Democrats pushed through a controversial rules change known as the "nuclear option":

But that rule change wasn't enough, because it only applied to Senate approval of executive and judicial nominees. The GOP is still standing in the way of legislation that would help create jobs, give women equal pay, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, eliminate voter suppression, pave the way for immigration reform, raise the minimum wage, provide the poor with life-saving programs, you name it.

In other words, Republicans are cutting off democracy and progress at the knees at the expense of the health and welfare of American citizens. They don't care about us, they care about their own agenda based on their usual greed, re-election goals, power, and money.

Here's what President Obama said at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in New York. Via Roll Call:

“So my main message is one of hope. We’ve got all the ingredients to make this the American Century, just like the last one. To achieve it, though, we’ve got to make sure our political system works better. And, yes, there are all kinds of reforms that we need to do, from campaign finance to how a filibuster works, to going after Republicans hard when their main political agenda when it comes to — or main election strategy is preventing people from voting — we’ve got to push back on all that stuff. But ultimately, there are enough voters out there to deliver if we can turn them out.

And that’s what the DSCC is all about. That’s their priority. That’s my priority. And I hope it becomes yours as well. Thanks.”

That's right, President Obama said that the Senate needs to change campaign finance and "how a filibuster works."

And the GOP needs to change, period.

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Thanksgiving 2013: A political comic's list of thank-yous

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thanksgiving animated gif

Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

THANKSGIVING 2013

Ahh. Thanksgiving. Best Holiday Ever! Love it all. The fact that a national holiday falls not on a Monday but a Thursday. How wacky is that? A regular Thursday in dead solid center fall. Where the weather could be 80 and sunny or 20 and snowing. Or, in certain parts of the Midwest, both.

Love the fact that its all about food, family, friends and football. 4 of the 5 Fs. Remain seriously amused by the winking obsessive conspiracy that binds an entire nation together concerning the specifics of the ritual burning of a large flightless bird. Free range. Brine. Air chill. To stuff or not to stuff. Seriously, is that the question?

You’d have to be a third stage tertiary Grinch not to love a parade featuring 80-foot helium filled balloons. Snoopy bouncing off a light pole. Ending with the season’s first appearance of the corpulent bearded one in the scarlet suit.

Don’t forget the silly creeping madness of Black Friday, which now begins early Thursday and threatens to encompass the entire week. People camping out for days. To save, what… six bucks? But for those tented hours, they are adventurous pioneers. Marvel Super Consumers.

And love the way that though this pageant of greed and gluttony lasts 4 whole days, when all is said and done, even amidst the drunken family brawling, sometimes moments for reflection can still be found. And you can bet that this round- headed political comic has much to be thankful for. Among them being:

--The 113th Congress, which has the unique ability to make hysterical lunacy seem so ordinary.
--Barack Obama for finally making the Presidency mock-worthy again.
--Sarah Palin who refuses to shut up no matter how tightly irrelevancy embraces her.
--Vice President Joe Biden for gaining immeasurable respect just by shutting up.
--The Cheney family who apparently feel about each other the same way the rest of us do.
--Ted Cruz for not only grabbing the national right- wing nut job baton from Michele Bachmann but waving it high.
--Pope Benedict for his inability to hide a scowl whenever Pope Francis does… anything.
--Chris Christie for so generously providing such a large target rich environment.
--The Tea Party for waving their arms in the air like they just don’t care.
--Alec Baldwin for truly embodying the phrase… “he who lives by the sword, dies swallowing the sword.”
--Mitt Romney for disappearing so completely, we’re left to wonder if he really ever existed at all.
--John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell for their strict adherence to the musical advice, “don’t go changing.”
--ObamaCare because who can’t appreciate a website rollout that “could have gone smoother.” An anvil studded with titanium spikes could have rolled smoother.
--Walter White for altering the calculus of what it means to go out on your own terms.
--The NRA and the NSA for just being themselves.
--Anthony Weiner for his series of continuing comebacks. May he experience many more.
--Rob Ford for proving that California is not the source of all political wackiness in the world.
--The GOP, waging an internal war for it’s very soul. GOP Soul. Short book. Put it on the shelf right next to Barack Obama Leadership Skills. Paula Deen at the Apollo.
--Vladimir Putin for proving that Toronto is not the source of all political wackiness in the world.

Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” in its final 3 Tuesdays at the Marsh. San Francisco. Through December 17th. themarsh.org Or willdurst.com to find his calendar.
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V.P. Biden: Republicans who slowed Violence Against Women Act renewal are a "Neanderthal crowd"

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biden big f'ing deal

Renewing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) should be a no-brainer. Then again, House Republicans aren't known for their mental acuity, and Vice President Joe Biden knows it. The GOP has never exactly warmed to the idea of expanding access to certain visas for non-citizens who were victims of domestic violence.

Clearly, beating up, maiming, demeaning, and psychologically damaging non-citizens doesn't affect all those compassionate, family-valuesy Republicans the way beating up, maiming, demeaning, and psychologically damaging U.S. citizens does.

Standing by and doing nothing as women experience pain and suffering apparently doesn't faze them, especially women who look and/or sound different than conservative white male Congress members.

This must all be part of that stellar GOP rebranding effort intended to win over more female voters.

And as he is wont to do, Joe Biden called them out.

CNN:

Touting the success of the Violence Against Women Act, Vice President Joe Biden described those in Congress who slowed the renewal of the measure as a "Neanderthal crowd."

"I'm going to say something outrageous," Biden said at an event at the vice president's residence in Washington Thursday night to celebrate the 19th anniversary of act, which is designed to protect women from domestic violence.

Biden, who took a leading role in the mid-1990's in drafting the legislation when he was a senator from Delaware, said "surprisingly last year we ran into this sort of Neanderthal crowd," to laughter, adding that "I'm serious, I mean, when you think about it, did you ever think we'd be fighting over 17 years, 18 years later? To reauthorize this."

applause gif

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"Welcome to Extreme Campaigning. 24/7": GOP calls Hillary "too old. That’s right. Republicans. The party of Reagan."

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hillary clinton new website

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

I watched about two minutes of the above Meet the Press segment before literally screaming "STFU!" at the Tee Vee Machine and turning the channel. This 3+-year-long election coverage and endless, pointless speculation turns my stomach when I think about all the actual news and events of the day that go unreported.

With that, today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

LET THE PANTS SUIT DANCE

It’s time to address the burning question singeing the lips of every American this summer: What will happen to Bryan Cranston’s pork pie hat after Breaking Bad ends its run? Okay, maybe that’s number 2. The big one is who’s going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate in November of 2016? 38 months and counting.

Having gone almost a year without the least meager of Presidential Race morsels to munch on, journos are doing whatever it takes to jump- start a tasty plate of appetizers. Also, it’s August, which means politically, there’s less going on in Washington than a vacuum in a crater at the southern most base of Neptune’s thirteenth moon.

If you suspect this might all be a bit premature. YES. INDEED. YOU BET. Your instincts are correct sir. This sort of speculation normally doesn’t kick into gear until a year and a half out; two years, tops, but the accelerated pace is today’s norm. Rapid is the new sauntering. Welcome to Extreme Campaigning. 24/7.

Of course, they do have a point. President Barack Obama’s second term has already entered its 7th month. It is more than an eighth over. The guy is history. Spent. Taking up space. Got the “How Can We Miss You If You Won’t Go Away” Blues. Way beyond lame duck, he’s a differently-abled turducken. A quadriplegic platypus. His goose is undergoing severe cookage.

Barack could nip the suspense in the bud by stepping down and giving Joe Biden a leg up. Because the job will not be Biden’s for the taking. He’s going to need a crowbar the size of Idaho to pry the nomination from a certain someone who’s already spent 8 years in the White House. Albeit, in the East Wing. And not baking cookies thank you very much.

Even the GOP considers that former tenant their major threat since they’ve launched a couple preemptive strikes against the Clinton of Hillary. And isn’t it refreshing to see them get past their internal squabbles to concentrate on what’s really important to the Party?

They’ve threatened to boycott NBC and CNN if the networks run planned specials on the Former First Lady and have taken to calling her… too old. That’s right. Republicans. The party of Reagan. Same guys that ran Bob Dole whose campaign slogan was “hey you punks, get off my lawn.” Can’t wait for them to charge her with being too white as well. And too rich.

Last time Hillary was the front-runner, it didn’t turn out too well and other names being bandied about are: Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Emanuel and Cory Booker, who just locked up the Democratic slot for the New Jersey Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by the late Frank Lautenberg.

Booker may be the biggest wild card. Imagine Ms. Hill is sweating like a squad of Sumos in a sauna just thinking about a young charismatic fast-track black guy serving less than one full term in the Senate hijacking her coronation ceremony. Again.

His staff encouraged Bill Clinton to be Bill Clinton, with, “Let the Big Dawg Eat.” This time, it’s more of a “Let the Pants Suit Dance.” And everyone better start paying attention or the handicapping of the 2020 race will begin as well. My money’s on Chelsea.

5 time Emmy nominee, Will Durst’s new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” every Tuesday, at the Marsh, San Francisco. Go to… themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com. Also info on other gigs like the Humor Times benefit @ the Sierra II Theater in Sacramento on August 23.

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7-year-old boy gets handwritten letter from Joe Biden

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bidenletter

What a mensch. I'd let him take a stab at the Presidency. Can we do a Kickstarter for the chocolate bullets?

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin boy wrote Vice President Joe Biden with an unusual suggestion for making the nation safer: Create guns that shoot chocolate bullets.

On Monday, he got an unusual response: A handwritten note from Biden on vice presidential stationery.

(snip)

The student, Myles, wrote to Biden, President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore several months ago. It was after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and gun violence was in the news. Myles had been having lunch with the school’s reading specialist, Barbara Rankin, when he told her he had an idea.

“He said if we have chocolate bullets, nobody would get hurt and nobody would be sad,” Rankin said. “I’m going to start crying again because he was so insightful.”

(snip)

Then an envelope from Biden’s office arrived Monday at the school office. It went to Flynn since Myles had signed his letter with his first name but no last name and the school’s address. The school did not release Myles’ last name Monday, and his mother did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press.

Flynn rushed the letter up to Myles’ class where she shared it with him and his classmates.

“Dear Myles,”
the letter said. “I’m sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter. I really like your idea. If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier. People love chocolate. You are a good boy, Joe Biden.”

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V.P. Biden: "We don't want to blow it like the last administration did in Iraq, saying 'weapons of mass destruction.'"

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"WMD? Nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?"

"WMD? Nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?"

Rolling Stone is running Doug Brinkley's interview with Vice President Joe Biden, and for those of us who barely have time to breathe, The Week has seven fascinating highlights: Vice President Biden talks Syria, gay marriage, and why he and Obama are "simpatico."

One of those highlights goes a little something like this:

Now, I love John McCain — I just went out to do an event for him. We used to be close friends, and we're trying to get that back a little bit. Campaigns have a way of causing those things to wane.... But here's where we are with regard to Syria: With all the credibility we've gained in the world, we don't want to blow it like the last administration did in Iraq, saying "weapons of mass destruction."

Vice President Biden is a wise, wise man.

But apparently, the Obama administration still doesn't want to look back, only forward, when it comes to considering prosecuting BushCo for war crimes. And that is not very wise.

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Vice President Biden backs public disclosure of torture report

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biden big f'ing deal

This is one of the reasons I'm a Biden fan. Roll Call:

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Friday night that he supports making a classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and enhanced interrogation more available to the public. [...]

"I think the only way you excise the demons is you acknowledge, you acknowledge exactly what happened straightforward,” Biden said. He explained his position that issues related to torture must be laid out before a country can move beyond them, citing the war crimes committed in the Balkans and other acts of torture overseas.

“The single best thing that ever happened to Germany were the war crimes tribunals, because it forced Germany to come to its milk about what in fact has happened,” Biden said. “That’s why they’ve become the great democracy they’ve become.”

That's a whole lot saner than New York State Sen. Greg Ball (R) suggesting the use of torture on Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Now if only the vice president would back a full investigation and eventual prosecution of those in the Bush administration who “indisputably” practiced torture and had “no justification” for doing so.

Biden made his remarks at the same forum in Sedona, Arizona at which he said to John McCain, if the  2008 economy had been better “I think you probably would have won.”

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