US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT
Bipartisanship is a four letter word to the tea party zealots in Congress.
This week, Congressional Republicans dismissed President Obama’s proposal for corporate tax cuts out of hand. Last year, the president proposed the American Jobs Act, which House Republicans didn’t even consider despite the inclusion of tax cuts for businesses that hired new employees.
The president generously proposes and the House GOP caucus automatically disposes. Corporate tax cuts are the holy grail of the Republican Party, so the GOP’s resistance to the president’s proposals makes me think that House Republicans would automatically reject any proposal from the White House. I’m sure that Republicans would even find a reason to reject a plan initiated by Obama to build a memorial on the capital mall dedicated to conservative hero Ronald Reagan.
The president has given up on congressional Republicans, but he hasn’t given up on the American people.
[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]
In a series of speeches and proposals, Obama has discussed the urgent need to invest in projects that will put Americans back to work and rebuild our sagging infrastructure of bridges, water systems and transportation. The president has also explicitly denounced the politics of austerity as a road to prosperity. The sequester budget cuts have already slowed the economic recovery and the additional cuts that the tea party wants will reverse the fragile economic recovery.
The president has said that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s package of budget cuts, his so called Path to Prosperity, is really the path to austerity, which runs directly into the road of recession. Besides austerity, the only thing that congressional Republicans have to offer is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would, in turn, repeal the new restrictions against predatory health insurance company rip offs.
There’s just one problem . . .
First, Republican candidate for President Mitt Romney and his wife refused to release extensive tax returns to assure the American people that they were not hiding untold wealth offshore.
Today, once thought of Vice Presidential candidate for the Republicans is being investigated for alleged financial misdoings: His name is Bob McDonnell and he is the Governor of Virginia. That state’s attorney general is also being investigated for “gifts” from the same guy in the McDonnell scandal.
FILE – In this Jan. 1, 2010 file photo, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh speaks during a news conference in Honolulu. Director Betty Thomas said John Cusack’s production company has a script ready that will star the actor as Limbaugh in a film planned for 2013. It’s not typecasting: Cusack is an outspoken liberal. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file )
The unabashed face and voice of the Republican Party is Rush Limbaugh who is costing his company, Cumulus Media, millions as sponsors reject the vitriol that issues from Limbaugh’s ratty radio perch. Use my search feature to learn more about the excesses of Rush Limbaugh.
There’s a new normal in the Senate–at least for now.
Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement on filibuster rules Tuesday morning, averting threats of a Harry Reid “nuclear option” (and the GOP ire that would have come with it), allowing most of the president’s nominations to proceed unobstructed. The deal’s bottom line is that Democrats will leave filibuster rules in place and Senate Republicans will confirm nominations of several Obama cabinet members. The deal is considered a win for the president. But while the nuclear option was averted this time, it remains on the table for future conflicts.
Majority Leader Harry Reid explained to Chris Hayes on Tuesday night that he needs to keep that option. “I have to have the ability to protect not only the Senate, but the country…Listen, they wanna filibuster, let them filibuster. And we’ll override those filibusters and if they get too out of hand, we’ll revisit all of these things again.” This is the third time the nuclear threat has been given in the past two and half years, but Reid felt comfortable saying that the three-plus hour long meeting in the Old Senate chambers on Monday night marked “a new norm” for the Senate.
Use of the nuclear option has been brought up twice before during Reid’s leadership. While an important tool to break through gridlock, the nature of D.C. politics means that as much as it can help, it can also hurt. “There’s recognition on both sides that the shoe can be on the other foot rather quickly and that people in the majority today will be in the minority tomorrow, and vice versa,” said Texas Republican John Cornyn. The GOP attempted to invoke this tactic in 2005.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER OF NEVADA (D)
Harry Reid told his caucus in a Thursday meeting that he “ate shit on nominees” during the Bush administration, allowing votes on some pretty awful nominees when he was leading the minority, instead of leading filibusters. He says he did it because he thought it was the right thing to do after Bush won re-election, and because of the bipartisan Gang of 14 agreement. And look where we’re at today.
Reid reportedly also began that caucus meeting Thursday “by apologizing to his colleagues for cutting bipartisan deals to avert the nuclear option, including at the beginning of this year.”
But the siren song of a deal is always there, and Reid needs to resist it. He needs to remember—and remind his caucus continually—that they’ve been down that road too many times already, and it doesn’t work. He needs to fight any attempt in his caucus to splinter off into some “gang” that promises it will be different this time, really.
It’s time for Reid to finally do this. It’s time for him to force Republicans to either let the Senate function again, or lose their power to block the president’s nominees. Tell him so. [QUOTE]
“Be a Lion”
By JOHN KERR & ALBERT KLEINE
House Republicans reportedly plan to remove food stamp funding from the federal farm bill, a move that stands to further jeopardize the survival of the critical anti-poverty program. This move comes after years of right-wing media figures demonizing food stamp recipients as lazy or dependent, with Rush Limbaugh going so far as to propose dumpster diving as an alternative.
Here’s a look back at some of the most egregious right-wing attacks on food stamps