Tag Archives: Harry Reid
During the Vietnam War, Secretary of Defense Hagel served in the 9th Infantry Division from 1967 to 1968, reaching the rank of sergeant. He received two Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He served in the same infantry squad as his brother, and they saved each other’s lives on different occasions.
Of the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) Senators who filibustered his nomination as Secretary of Defense 32 of the 43 have never served a day in uniform – not one day; of those who have two were/are JAG officers – not exactly combat duty – three served less than a year and were discharged, and only one is a fellow Vietnam Combat Veteran with Hagel.
Served – Lindsey Graham, Roger Wicker, Dan Coats, Jim Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, Mike Enzi, Johnny Isakson, Mark Kirk, John McCain, Pat Roberts and Jeff Sessions
Never served – John Cornyn, John Thune, John Barrasso, Roy Blunt, Jerry Moran, Richard Shelby, Jeff Flake, John Boozman, Marco Rubio, Saxby Chambliss, Mike Crapo, Jim Risch, Chuck Grassley, Jerry Moran, Rand Paul, David Vitter, Deb Fischer, Dean Heller, Kelly Ayotte, Jeffrey Chiesa, Richard Burr, John Hoeven, Rob Portman, Tom Coburn, Pat Toomey, Tim Scott, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Ted Cruz, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson.
To their immense credit, Susan Collins, Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns and Lisa Murkowski voted against their party’s filibuster.
It’s never surprising to see how the far-right always manages to have war hawks who have never served, and yet who will criticize the service of those who have.
I’m sitting here wondering what kind of bloody massacre will happen in this country before members of Congress do the right thing?
How many first graders will have to have their bodies ripped into shreds in their classrooms before Congress decides some weapons and magazines should not be generally available?
There are times when I’m ashamed of those who serve in Washington, and this is definitely one of those times.
Shame on Congress, but especially shame on the Democratic leadership for not putting up a fight. Shame on Senator Harry Reid, and the other weak kneed members of the Senate (Democratic and Republican); you’re cowards and don’t deserve the high honor to serve.
If you’re not going to ever fight the tough fights, step down and let someone step up who will, as Lawrence O’Donnell once said, “Some things are worth fighting for, even if you lose.”
The blogosphere is a buzz with Republican Tea Party (GOTP) National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ manly attack on United States Senator Harry Reid on Sunday, while attempting to defend GOTP presidential wonder boy Willard Mitt Romney’s reluctance to release any tax records, at one point calling the Senate majority leader a “dirty liar” for his accusation Willard hasn’t paid any taxes for more than ten years.
“As far as Harry Reid is concerned, listen, I know you might want to go down that road. I’m not going to respond to a dirty liar,” Priebus told ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos. “If that’s on the agenda, I’m not going go there. This is just a made-up issue,” Priebus declared while prancing down the very road he claimed he wasn’t going to go down.
“You’re saying you’re not going to go down that road?” Stephanopoulos responded. “You just called him a dirty liar. You stand by that — you think Harry Reid is a dirty liar?”
“I just said it,” Priebus said.
Senator Reid has said he’d heard from an early Bain Capital investor who claimed Willard didn’t pay taxes for a decade; and while an ever increasing number of politicians on both sides of the aisle are calling on Romney to release more of his tax returns so as to dispel the rumor, Priebus continued to respond.
“I think this president has a problem with the American dream,” he mewed. “That he would trot out Harry Reid and try to divide this country and spread this division and hatred, it’s ridiculous, it’s wrong, it’s untrue.”
Democratic National Committee Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Romney could end all the discussion by releasing his returns.
“I do know that Mitt Romney could clear this up in 10 seconds by releasing the 23 years of tax returns that he gave to John McCain when he was being vetted for vice president, ” Wasserman Schultz said. “Because one year of tax returns, like he’s released, could just be for show.”
When Senator Reid went to the floor of the Senate this past week making his accusations, fellow Senator John McCain sat nearby; McCain has in his possession 23 years worth of Romney’s tax records, records he presumably looked at in 2008 while vetting Willard for his possible VP choice, and yet Senator McCain didn’t stand and dispute Reid’s claim. It’s all becoming “curiouser and curiouser!”
The Huffington Post’s reporting that the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has attacked congressional Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members for possibly losing the payroll tax cut standoff to President Barack Obama.
The Editorial began recounting how GOTP Senate leader Mitch McConnell “famously said a year ago his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.”
Earlier this week GOTP House members killed the two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and a provision avoiding Medicare payment cuts to doctors by a 229-193 vote. The Senate had voted by an 89-10 margin to extend all three for two months. All three provisions expire on 1 Jan 12. GOTP House members want the Senate to return and negotiate over a compromise plan but Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he won’t negotiate until the House approves the Senate’s package.
Finally Senator Reid has shown some back bone against the Tea Party conservatives across the aisle; what’s even better about this situation is McConnell had clearly struck a deal with Reid, and Boehner has to have been part of it as well but then his Tea Party compatriots cut his knees out from under him led by Eric Cantor.
The conservative editorial board wrote that the GOTP has “thoroughly botched the politics.” The board also added that Obama’s in a “stronger re-election position today than he was a year ago.”
After 1 Jan 12, the payroll tax paid by workers will rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent and benefits for the long-term unemployed will expire if Congress doesn’t pull its head out of its collective fourth point of contact. Doctors will also face a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements scheduled to take effect on 18 Jan 12.
The icing on the cake for the President is that 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain of Arizona showed his approval of the editorial tweeting, “WSJ is right on the mark here.”
When the smoke clears from this latest GOTP catastrophe, the President will once again come out on top, John Boehner may find himself stepping down as Speaker, and the Tea Party will come out as having attempted one bridge too far; come 2012 the bill will come due and local Congressional Districts will likely toss the riff raff out turning the House back to a Democratic majority. The Tea Party’s angry white guy shtick only plays so far and they’ve been on stage well past their collective curtain call.
President Barack Obama using the strength of the bully pulpit took the battle into the enemy’s home turf today pitching his $447 billion jobs program of tax cuts and new spending in Richmond, VA, the home District of the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) whiny boy – House Majority “Leader” Eric Cantor.
“I know that folks sometimes think they’ve used up the benefit of the doubt but I’m an eternal optimist,” the President told more than 8,000 people at the University of Richmond. “I’m an optimistic person. I believe if you just stay at it long enough, after they’ve exhausted all the other options, folks do the right thing.”
Thus far, the GOTP has remained “noncommittal”, which is much better than remaining “diametrically opposed”.
“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration,” GOTP House Speaker John Boehner, said after the president’s speech. “We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.
“It’s my hope that we can work together,” Boehner added.
You hope the President gives serious considerations to what ideas? The ideas the GOTP voted for in lock step to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veteran’s benefits? The so-called “plan” put forth by Paul Ryan? Is that what passes as ideas today in Boehner’s world?
“You should pass it right away,” the President told GOTP lawmakers more than once, and he pledged to campaign for its enactment “in every corner of this country.”
The President masterfully made his point about where he would take the fight when he identified the need fix a certain bridge; “There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky,” he said. Coincidently the two states represented by the Speaker and Senate GOTP leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell was not fazed, and retorted in typical obstructionist fashion, “For months, we’ve been engaged in a national debate about spending and debt, about the need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, about the need to rein in government. … Yet here we are, tonight, being asked by this same president to support even more government spending with the assurance that he’ll figure out a way to pay for it later.”
Yes, that’s right Mitch always with the negative ways. But what is to be expected from a Senator who declared his number one priority is to make sure President Obama only has one term? Not to put Americans back to work; not to defeat Al Qaeda; but to make sure President Obama only has one term. Wow, what a sterling example of unselfish service to our country. Kind of makes you want to run right out and add Mitch’s likeness to Mount Rushmore doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, getting back to meaningful, adult, conversation on the country’s troubles, the President said the tax cuts he’s recommending would mean $1,500 a year for the typical working family and $80,000 for businesses with 50 employees of average pay, and he said he would outline legislation in coming days to offset the bill’s $447 billion price tag so it wouldn’t add to federal deficits.
All-in-all, the President’s asking for $253 billion in tax cuts, with an additional $194 billion in new spending to fund highway and other construction projects, modernize schools, stabilize blighted neighborhoods and help states hire teachers and first responders.
Of course McConnell wasn’t the only GOTP dinosaur to oppose the President’s challenge, soon to retire – thankfully – Senator Jon Kyl whined, “Rather than offer a new road map for recovery and reform, he merely dusted off a tired agenda of old ideas wrapped in freshly partisan rhetoric.”
Very insightful offering from Kyl, who’s serving on the newly formed uber-committee responsible for finding ways to cut the nation’s debt and has threatened to walk out if anyone suggests further cuts in defense spending. If I were a Democratic Senator I would suggest it every time the committee met just to push his buttons and see if he would be true to his treat, or to just see if his head would explode.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat, was as hopeful as ever saying he hoped the proposals would “present a litmus test to Republicans. I hope they will show the American people that they are more interested in creating jobs than defeating President Obama.”
Yeah, you hold on to that happy thought Senator, that and some fairy dust and one day you may just fly. Are you kidding me? Do you really believe the GOTP members of Congress are going to do anything to willingly help this President get the economy going? Most of them want things to stay as bad as possible in hopes of defeating him in 2012; and no, that is no exaggeration.
Democratic House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi is coming out swinging at her GOTP counterparts, “Republicans have a choice to either work with Democrats on the immediate need to create jobs or waste more time when American families are demanding action.”
Personally Congresswoman, I predict they’ll do nothing. They’ll hope to stall as long as possible. From a political point of view it’s a disaster either way for the GOTP. If they help the President the rabid Tea Party members of the far-right will eat them alive; but if they do nothing, the President and any Democratic opponents will be able to truthfully paint them as the do nothing party they’ve become. It’s a win-win for the President, and a masterful play.
If his GOTP presidential opponents come out against the plan then they have to defend why. Again, a masterful play by the President; he’s put them in an indefensible position. They can stall, or oppose, and be portrayed as being anti-recovery and friends to the wealthy, or they can come out in support and be devoured by the Tea Partiers.
In going on the offense the President looks Presidential, while the GOTP presidential crazy 8’s in comparison look like fools.
Well congratulations Republican Tea Partistas (GOTP), you’ve achieved something no one else has ever done in the history of our nation, you’ve given the nation’s full faith and credit a black eye. The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Standard & Poor’s, one of the world’s three major credit rating agencies, cited “difficulties in bridging the gulf between political parties” as a major reason for the downgrade from U.S.’s top shelf AAA status to AA+, the next level down; of course the GOTP and Democratic law makers quickly jumped on the blame the other party bandwagon.
But whose fault is it?
Only one thing’s changed this go round of the debt ceiling argument, and that’s the introduction of the Tea Party – or as I like to call them, the Tea Partistas – who secured around 80 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections and who have been reaping havoc ever since. It was their moronic insistence the debt ceiling is tied to cutting spending, and their equally moronic insistence that taxes cannot be raised, especially not on the top 2% – or the absolutely uber-wealthy in the country.
It was the Tea Partistas’ holding the economy hostage, demonstrating to the rest of the world that we now have right-wing political Jihadists bent on bringing everything down if they don’t get their way that has shaken the world’s view of America, it’s why Standard & Poor’s lowered our rating, citing “difficulties in bridging the gulf between political parties” as a major reason for the downgrade. The rating agency has essentially lost faith in Washington’s ability to work together to address its debt.
The downgrade, hours after markets closed on Friday, is a first for the United States since it was granted an AAA rating in 1917. Reportedly S&P warned about a downgrade as far back as April. Its decision came just four days after fractious debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling ended in a compromise that would reduce the country’s debt by more than $2 trillion. S&P said Friday the cuts did not go far enough.
This is where things become clouded and suspicious however with regards to S&P, and to which side the company is politically aligned. Only one group in Washington right now is making the same mewing as S&P and that’s the Tea Partistas. Is it possible the rating company is making a down grade in order to somehow gain by it?
AP is reporting that officials at the Treasury Department fought the downgrade until virtually the last minute, and that administration sources familiar with discussions said the S&P analysis was fundamentally flawed. S&P had sent the administration a draft document in the early afternoon Friday and the administration, after examining the numbers, challenged the analysis.
In a statement, Treasury said, “A judgment flawed by a $2 trillion error speaks for itself.”
GOTP potential opponents of the president in 2012 pounced on S&P’s announcement.
Michele “Krazy” Bachmann, the Tea Partista favorite, called on Obama to fire Geithner and quickly submit a plan to balance the budget, not just reduce deficits; and Mitt “Flopsy Mopsy” Romney said the credit downgrade was the “latest casualty” in Obama’s failed economic leadership.
S&P said in its report that downgrading the U.S.’s credit rating reflected the agency’s belief that the debt deal Congress pulled together was not sufficient “to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.” S&P said that in addition to the downgrade, it is issuing a negative outlook, meaning that there was a chance it will lower the rating further within the next two years.
A downgrade a notch lower, to AA, will occur if the agency sees smaller reductions in spending than Congress and the administration have agreed to make, higher interest rates or new fiscal pressures during this period.
Basically S&P is now attempting to hold the country’s economy hostage too; this sounds just like the Tea Partistas. The not so subtle threat that S&P “will lower the rating further within the next two years” is highly suspicious timing basically stating it will do it again sometime during the presidential campaign cycle. Who would that benefit? The GOTP candidate and the S&P because the conservatives want to further deregulate the stock market and financial institutions. We can probably expect the stock market to plunge on Monday.
GOTP House Speaker John Boehner said he hoped the downgrade served as a wake-up call to the Democratic Party.
“It is my hope this wake-up call will convince Washington Democrats that they can no longer afford to tinker around the edges of our long-term debt problem,” Boehner said in a statement. “As S&P noted, reforming and preserving our entitlement programs is the `key to long-term fiscal sustainability.”
Again, the Speaker’s statement makes this down grade highly suspicious and suggests perhaps it was coordinated with the GOTP strategy all along? Boehner cites, “reforming and preserving our entitlement programs is the `key to long-term fiscal sustainability.” So now, according to Bonehead, and allegedly the S&P, the only way to fix the debt problem is to stick it to the poor and the elderly.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid believes Bonehead and his interpretation of the downgrade is wrong, and suggested S&P’s action shows that a mixed policy of raising taxes and budget cuts – was the correct way to move forward.
“The action by S&P reaffirms the need for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines spending cuts with revenue-raising measures like closing taxpayer-funded giveaways to billionaires, oil companies and corporate jet owners,” Reid said.
S&P’s actions are suspicious, and it appears the group may have overplayed its hand, especially when the main reason it cites for the downgrade could have come straight out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth – or the GOTP playbook; obviously a balanced approach makes the most sense.
The GOTP catapulted the economy to the brink of disaster by cutting taxes while simultaneously taking the country into two wars; it was the actions of the Bush/Cheney team – wholeheartedly supported by Bonehead and company – which put us here, coupled with Mitch McConnell’s filibustering essentially every bill passed by the House for the first two years of the Obama Administration. There is only one party to blame, it is not something both parties put us in, it was the actions of the Republicans now sealed to the Tea Partistas which has done this. If the President is able to place the blame where it belongs and convince the country of how gross negligence by the GOTP has so thoroughly screwed things up then he’s re-elected; otherwise then we are in for a long slide into economic catastrophe.
Clearly the tax cutting supply-side economics sophistry of the right has failed; it hasn’t produced any jobs and has robbed the country of much needed revenue, and the President needs to hammer away at this until it sticks. Point it out clearly and say it as many times as it takes for the majority of Americans to get it. Reaganomics doesn’t work. It didn’t work in 1980, and it doesn’t work now, even Reagan knew this; he raised taxes eleven times during his presidency to garner revenue. The GOTP just doesn’t get it, Reaganomics has become its mantra, and they’ve become fiscal jihadists willing to destroy everything if they don’t get their way – they’ve become economic terrorists.
The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that the federal government is likely to lose more than $1 billion in airline ticket taxes because the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) House of Representatives has left town for a month without resolving a partisan standoff over a bill to end the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration.
They passed the debt ceiling bill and ran for the hills leaving more than 100,000 contractors out of work along with more than 4,000 FAA Inspectors – the people who inspect our airports for safety. No big deal.
Since the FAA’s operating authority expired the government’s lost more than $200 million since airlines are unable to collect taxes on ticket sales. The FAA’s last long-term funding bill expired in 2007. Since then, Congress has been unable to agree on a long-term plan. The agency has continued to operate under a series of 20 short-term extensions.
Of course the GOTP doesn’t mind because that’s just evil tax money not being collected, and it’s just government employees who have been laid off
While it’s true the Senate (controlled by the Democratic Party) recessed on Tuesday until September, the House (controlled by the GOTP) fled Monday night, probably attempting to outrun angry Tea Party mobs because Boehner didn’t let the government default. It must be remembered that the House of Representatives is where all bills relating to funding start, and with the GOTP tucking tail and running, the House is now recessed, hence the FAA remains unfunded.
President Obama reportedly implored Congress on Tuesday to settle the dispute before leaving town, calling the stalemate “another Washington-inflicted wound on America.” But of course the GOTP ignored the President and went on a no doubt much needed vacation after the grueling weeks of whining and lying to the American people on what raising the debt ceiling would mean.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Republicans were trying to force the Democratic members to accept policy concessions they would be unable to enact through normal legislative procedures. Democratic Senators and Congressmen tried repeatedly over the past two weeks to pass a bill extending the FAA’s operating authority without the subsidy cuts, but were blocked by Republican senators each time.
“Republicans are playing reckless games with airline safety,” Reid said in a statement. “We should not let ideology interfere with making sure that Americans’ air travel runs as smoothly and safely as possible.”
Just one more example of the current reckless behavior in the GOTP which seems to believe the government shouldn’t be regulating anything in our country, and wants to dismantle all federal power to do so; allowing the rich and powerful so-called “job creators” to do whatever it wishes, believing that businesses or the free market will regulate them. Yeah, OK, they should hold on to that happy thought, that and some faerie dust, and one day they’ll fly.
Democratic Members of Congress claim Tea Party fanatics – which for some reason control far more of the Republican caucus than seems logical – are using the air services cuts as leverage to force them to give in to the GOTP House on a labor provision, which the White House has said President Obama would veto. It appears the provision is one more part of a national effort by Republican Tea Partistas, both in Congress and in state capitals, to undermine organized labor.
Through the provision the GOTP is seeking to overturn the National Mediation Board’s ruling approved last year allowing airline and railroad employees to form a union by a simple majority of those voting, as compared to the old rule where workers who didn’t vote were treated as “no” votes.
Democratic leaders and union officials reportedly say the change puts airline and railroad elections under the same democratic rules required for unionizing all other companies. But Republicans complain that the new rule reverses 75 years of precedent to favor labor unions.
“Democrats have to decide if they are going to be the handmaidens of the labor unions in every policy,” Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate GOP leader, told reporters. “Every now and then they should put the American people first instead of their constituency.”
Of course perhaps someone should say the same to Mr. Kyl; that Democratic members will do as he suggests just as soon as Republican Tea Partistas of Congress decide if they’re going to continue to prostitute themselves to the rich and powerful. “Every now and then the GOTP should put the American people first instead of its very limited – the top 2% – constituency.” He’s the quintessential pot calling the kettle black, and one of the biggest hypocrites in Washington. But what should we expect from the man who claimed 90% of what Planned Parenthood did was give abortions. He’s a hypocrite and a liar.