Sunday, October 14, 2012

Why Sequestration Could Sink Dozens of GOP Hypocrites In Congress-- And One Running For Vice President


Buck McKeon, founder & chairman of the Drone Caucus

Ryan got caught up in his hypocrisy (and mendacity) several times during the debate Thursday. The most embarrassing moment was probably when he got called on his lies about requesting stimulus money after he has been running around the country campaigning against it and calling it pork. He was also exposed as a liar several other times one of which was when he starting whining about sequestration, a favorite whine of many Republicans-- particularly House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon here in California. Both Ryan and McKeon (as well as 172 other Republicans and 95 Democrats) voted for it. It passed on August 1, 2011, 269-161. 66 Republicans didn't go along with Ryan and McKeon (95 Democrats voted with the GOP and 95 Democrats voted against the GOP). Those 161 congressmembers thought sequestration was a bad idea. On our side Raul Grijalva, Tammy Baldwin, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Brad Miller, Dennis Kucinich, Keith Ellison, Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson, Jr. Judy Chu, Donna Edwards, John Conyers, Jerry Nadler, Lynn Woolsey, Jose Serrano, Barney Frank, Jan Schakowsky... most of the most progressive Members of Congress voted NO. Plenty of Blue Dogs voted against it too, as did a few dozen very conservative Republicans-- like Ron Paul, Justin Amash, Jason Chaffetz, Joe Walsh, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Louie Gohmert, Todd Akin... Why did all those right-wing Republicans vote NO, while Paul Ryan, Buck McKeon, Patrick McHenry, Ed Royce, Rick Berg, Eric Cantor, Mary Bono Mack, Tom Reed, Charlie Bass, Frank Guinta, Joe Pitts, Darrell Issa, Mike Rogers, David McKinley, Mike Coffman vote YES-- and then all turn around and start whining about it?

Early in September Romney was on Meet The Press slamming Members of Congress who voted for sequestration, perhaps not fully aware that he was slamming 174 Republicans, including his running mate. That same Sunday, Ryan, who wrote the bill, was on Face the Nation doing what he does best: lyin'. But he was lying to Norah O'Donnell and Norah O'Donnell isn't a GOP shill like Hannity or O'Reilly. And she called Ryan out on his bullshit. When she pointed out that he-- like the other 173 Republicans-- had voted for the sequestration bill he wrote, his desperate response was "Norah, you’re mistaken." But she wasn't. Ryan may have wished and fantasized he was voting for some other bill but the one he's on record voting for-- along with the 172 other Republicans he and McKeon led astray-- includes a trillion dollars in cuts to the Pentagon, cuts they're complaining about now, but cuts they were willing to vote for back then in order to get cuts to civil jobs they oppose. Ryan’s statement after voting for the bill contained not a single word of criticism about the defense cuts. As O’Donnell correctly noted, Ryan said the bill “represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy” and that “The agreement-- while far from perfect-- underscores the extent to which the new House majority has successfully changed Washington’s culture of spending.”

There are over 2 million jobs on the line now. And many Republicans, like McKeon, are running around like chickens without heads trying to shift the blame away from themselves. But McKeon, like Ryan, pushed the vote through and is on record voting for it. He keeps trying to but he can't make that record go away. Old Buck has been resorting to hysterics in trying to take military funding out of the legislation that he voted for, but not trying to avoid job cuts for working families. [At the debate last week he said protecting civil jobs isn't something he's concerned about.] He's trying to avoid profit cuts for America's big arms manufacturers, their CEOs, and their shareholders. McKeon's ignorant claims that President Obama is doing nothing to avoid these cuts, fails to take into account McKeon voted for this and sent it to the President's desk. But, McKeon has a plan. He wants to cut $1 trillion from Medicare and Social Security to fund his special wars and weapons systems that even the Pentagon doesn't want.  His opponent, Dr. Lee Rogers, has been hitting him hard on his foolish behavior and reminded voters in Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the Antelope Valley that the George Mason University economic impact survey predicts 225,000 job losses in California alone. That how many jobs McKeon voted to cut-- while fighting to keep his own. "If we lose jobs in our district," Rogers told me two weeks ago, "you can consider that pink slip signed by Buck McKeon. I will stand up for working families in our district. I won't let our big corporations or our government take advantage of them and I would never let Medicare be sacrificed at the hands of war profiteers." After McKeon stumbled all over his own weak message in the debate, Rogers reiterated that "sequestration is bad national policy and going to be devastating for California's 25th district. Both, Buck McKeon and I agree on that point, with one major difference; he voted for it. In our debate, McKeon said that he's there for the defense industry and that someone else ought to be watching out for the other side. What is this other side? It's the FAA's Air Traffic Controllers, the FBI, the DEA, the National Weather Service, education programs, Medicare providers, and social services. Well, that someone else is me. I'm running to be the representative from the whole 25th district. Defense and non-defense sequester will be awful. There is no other side. There is only our side.

And, of course, it isn't just Ryan and McKeon who brought this disaster down the pike. There were 172 other Republican Members of Congress who also thought Ryan's idea was just swell. One was Joe Pitts (R-PA), who never opposes the GOP leadership on anything. His opponent, an Iraq War vet, is Aryanna Strader and she's as opposed to sequestration as Lee Rogers is. "What we can't do," she told me this morning, "is allow, for political gain, politicians like Congressman Joe Pitts set an arbitrary date that will put us into a precarious national security position... without strategically thinking through what precise areas need to be cut in order to balance our budget. Sequestration is a political stunt that is not only bad for our military but it is detrimental to our government civilian workforce. However, what we can do through schedule attrition rates within the civilian workforce we can effectively reduce the size of government. The Department of Defense has publicly acknowledged that they need to create a much leaner fighting force. What we must do: (a) allow for military professionals to identify cuts while maintaining our national security and (b) hold them accountable."

You can help defeat careerists like Ryan, McKeon and Pitts and replace them with independent-minded, responsible progressives here on the Blue America main page. Time is getting short.

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At 11:14 AM, Blogger John said...

When one makes an objective assessment of the portion of the annual federal budget devoted to our making of perpetual war and support thereof, it comes to half or more.

This is on the order of $1.5 Trillion, with a "T", like turd, which McKeon clearly is. (For example: )

However, THE problem is that we are a militaristic society as evidenced by how much of our taxes we allow to go to war-making materials and "services" are and how extensively and continuously they are used.

To be honest, there ARE American family jobs, and lots of them, associated with "Turd" McKeon's protection of "profit cuts for America's big arms manufacturers, their CEOs, and their shareholders," assuming a decent fraction of our war making expenditure is still spent in the US.

The struggle is against 1) effin' "austerity," which means bargain basement prices for everything in the country to allow the hyper-rich to really make them meager multi-billions go farther and 2) our addiction to war that costs so much but makes NOTHING lasting - except billions of enemies around the world.

Oh yes, there IS that little issue of total hypocrisy for "our grand Christian nation," the one of impeccable "morals." It's enough for one to HOPE for the existence of the GOD this country, alleges to adore, but which, by its own "religious" standards, it defiles profoundly, more each day.

Oh, to be present at that long-awaited judgment day,
to hear what God (actually a Cuban lesbian) has to say, and do, about the US. I wouldn't expect any disappointment - as there was for debate #1.

John Puma


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