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GOTP House Buckles Under Pressure?

Well, wonder of wonders, the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) dominated House buckled under and approved legislation preserving jobs on transportation projects from coast to coast and avoiding interest rate increases on new loans to millions of college students. The bill, which then sailed through the Democratic controlled Senate (for once with no threats of GOTP filibusters), was then sent for the President’s signature.

With the bill’s passage, just over $100 billion can now be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs over the next two years, projects that would’ve expired Saturday without congressional action; it also ends the stalemate over student loans.

Under the bill, interest rates of 3.4 percent for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates will continue for another year, had the uber-right Tea Party members had their way, interest rates would have mushroomed to 6.8 percent for 7.4 million students expected to get the loans over the coming year, adding an extra $1,000 to the average cost of each loan.

The Democratic-led Senate passed the measure by a 74-19 vote, after the GOTP-run House approved it 373-52; with all the no votes – of course – being cast by the uber-right conservative members of the Congress.

The final version of the transportation measure dropped a provision – which had drawn a Presidential veto threat – that would have forced government approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas coast.

According to the Associated Press (AP), White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration was glad Congress acted “before middle class families pay the price for inaction.” He said President Obama will keep pressing for approval of more of his job-creating proposals from last year, to hire teachers, police officers and firefighters and for tax credits to companies that hire new workers.

Financing for most of the measure came from extending federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel for an additional two years which levies, unchanged for nearly two decades, are 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel and which fall woefully short of fully financing the highway programs they were designed to do.

About $20 billion would be raised over the next decade by reducing tax deductions for companies’ pension contributions and increasing the fees they pay to federally insure their pension plans. In return, a formula was changed to, in effect; let companies apportion less money for their pensions and to provide less year-to-year variation in those amounts.

Additional revenues will be raised by charging interest on subsidized Stafford loans no more than six years after undergraduates begin their studies.

A loophole was also tightened making it harder for businesses with roll-your-own cigarette machines to classify the tobacco they sell as pipe tobacco – which is taxed at a lower rate than cigarette tobacco. The change is expected to raise nearly $100 million.

The measure also extends Federal flood insurance programs that protect 5.6 million households and businesses, allowing higher premiums and limiting subsidies for vacation homes to help address a shortfall in the program caused by claims from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

It also steers 80 percent of the billions in Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP and others for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion to the five Gulf States whose beaches and waters were soiled by the disaster. The money would have otherwise gone to federal coffers.

Federal timber subsidies worth $346 million would be distributed for another year to rural counties, while other funds would be steered to rural school districts.

No matter how this is sliced it’s a victory for the President and a loss for the GOTP, particularly for the uber-right Tea Party; it’s one more victory in a week of victories which saw the Supreme Court’s overturning of the most controversial parts of Arizona’s papers please bill and the upholding of the Affordable Care Act. Try though they might, spinning this beyond their own will be extremely difficult.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in 2012 Election

 

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Take our country back?

I woke up this morning to beautiful spring sunshine; I knelt down next to my bed and thanked my Heavenly Father for watching over my family and for all the blessings He has given me, and asked for protection and guidance through the day; then I picked my scriptures and studied for about 15 or 20 minutes.

I went outside, noting there were no police officers waiting to haul me off to jail, and saw my flag was still in its traditional spot, my cars were still in my driveway, my house was still where I’d left it, and I heard the music of birds chirping, people saying goodbyes to family members as they left for work or school and enjoyed the warm sunshine. I noticed there were neatly rolled up newspapers in my neighbor’s driveways.

I went back inside, and just for fun, checked to see my fire arms were still safely in place and that my pantry still had food in it and then looked around to ensure no soldiers were sleeping uninvited in any of the bedrooms or in my den or living room; then I turned on my computer and read the morning news, where I noticed another half dozen protests in Wisconsin, New York, Oakland … I checked my emails, replying to one addressing a concern from one of my members of Congress, and then I commented on a myriad of political topics on blogs and Facebook. I also checked my bank statements, purchased some books, and watched an amusing video or two.

I hear a lot of “discussion” about “taking our country back”, about coercion and usurpation, but I’m still trying to find which of my “liberties” has been seized by the big, bad, federal government?

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Right Wing Crazies

 

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President Obama will attack Romney’s faith?

If you needed proof it’s time for Republican Tea Party (GOTP) Senator Orrin Hatch to retire, look no further than his remarks “warning” supporters that President Obama might attack GOTP presidential “yes I’ll say whatever to be your nominee” hopeful Willard Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith in the general election.

And the President will do this because Romney isn’t already a politically target rich environment when it comes to his continual minute-by-minute flip flopping on every issue from A to Z? Really Senator, that’s the best ya got?

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz is describing that suggestion as “preposterous” and “utter nonsense.”

“Let’s remember that President Obama has had so many things hurled at him – birth certificate questions, whether he is or is not a Christian,” Wasserman Schultz said. “For them to suggest that religion will be injected by President Obama and the Democratic Party, I mean, I think they need to take a look inward at the accusations that their party and their supporters have hurled before they take that step.”

Hatch made the remark in response to a question at a political event being held in – wait for it – northern Utah; but that wasn’t enough for the “senior” senator, he felt he needed to use the line a second time after a debate in Draper, Utah.

“For them to say they aren’t going to smear Mitt Romney is bologna,” Hatch said. “It’s way out of bounds, but that’s what is going to happen.”

First, someone needs to help the Senator understand it’s been his boy – Mitt – who’s been smearing his opponents, including the President, pretty much nonstop for the last couple of months; and second, it’s been the conservatives of the GOTP who’ve been hitting Willard on being a Mormon. It’s a pretty desperate attempt by a senator trying to grab some headlines. More fear mongering and gloom and doom from the party that brought you 9-11, Afghanistan, Iraq and the worse economic decline since the great depression. The GOTP knows one song, gloom, gloom and when that doesn’t work, more gloom.

Hatch’s assertions aren’t sitting particularly well with fellow Latter-day Saints who are Democrats, said Craig Janis, who’s working for Utah Democratic Party to recruit LDS Church members.

“Divisive and unsubstantiated claims about religion have no place in our debate,” Janis said. “This is a country that was founded on the principles of respect and freedom for religion … we hope that, going forward, Senator Hatch will remember that, as a statesman, he is held to a higher standard of conduct, and will choose his words more carefully.”

Unfortunately Senator Hatch was scared out of his wits two years ago when the Tea Party ousted his longtime fellow conservative Bob Bennett, and now he’s playing their tune; let’s see how long it takes for him to also embrace the birther notions as well; it’s time to retire Senator, you’re embarrassing yourself, your family, your state and your fellow Latter-day Saints. There’s no room for this kind of vitriol, and frankly sir I used to think better of you.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2012 in 2012 Election

 

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