Sunday, February 28, 2016

Keeping Score On Which Democrats Have Been Naughty And Which Have Been Nice


The Republicans gave their base a little smooch Friday by passing Bob Wittman's H.R, 2406, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreation Enhancement (SHARE) Act. The first thing I noticed about the bill is that it passed 242-161 with all but 4 Republicans backing it and all the Democrats except 12, mostly Blue Dogs and New Dems, voting NO. Sometimes the easiest way to figure out the toxicity of a bill is to see who the co-sponsors were. In this case there were 37, primarily far right kooks like Tom Emmer, the Minnesota crackpot who took over Bachmann's seat when a scandal forced her to resign, Jody Hice (GA), Scott DesJalais, the Tennessee doctor who was drugging his female patients and raping them and some especially heinous NRA-Democrats: Gene Green (TX), Ron Kind (WI) Tim Walz (MN) and Collin Peterson (MN). President Obama had already warned he would veto it, but this kind of a bill is catnip for right-wing Democrats. In his explanation of why he opposed it, L.A.-area progressive Democrat Ted Lieu got into what was wrong with the bill.
On its surface, the SHARE Act expands access to federally-controlled lands for hunting, fishing, and recreation shooting. In actuality, though, the bill is an unnecessary and destructive attack on protections for animals and the environment.

For example, it blocks President Obama’s efforts to restrict the illegal trafficking of ivory; allows hunters to acquire permits to import polar bear trophies; reissues a Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist the gray wolf; and, prevents the regulation of toxic substances, such as lead, present in hunting equipment.

Additionally concerning is that the House blocked the adoption of amendments that would have protected the Arctic Refuge and certain ocean national parks.

I am deeply disappointed by the SHARE Act’s passage. We are fortunate to live in a nation with policies that allow for the preservation of unique species and pristine wilderness areas, like Yosemite National Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Instead of tearing down our nation’s bedrock environmental protections, we must strengthen them so that these sites and species can be enjoyed for future generations.
These were the Democrats who crossed the aisle to vote with the GOP and their NRA allies... the same reprehensible crew that almost always does:
Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE)
Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA)
Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL)
Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Gwen Graham (Blue Dog-FL)
Ron Kind (New Dem-WI)
Rick Nolan (MN)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
Filemon Vela (Blue Dog-TX)
Tim Walz (MN)
Most people seeing a list like this would immediately ask, "Did you forget Patrick Murphy (Nww Dem-FL). He rarely misses a primo chance to skip across the aisle and vote with the Republicans. But instead he didn't bother to show up for work yesterday. Like Rubio, whose seat he;'s campaigning for, he doesn't feel voting is all that important anyway. There were a whole slew of important amendments that Democrats were trying to tack onto the bill to make it less toxic, like banning people from firing ranges who are prohibited from owning a gun (i.e., dangerous criminals). Since Murphy got into a tough primary battle with Alan Grayson, he's been skipping tough roll calls, though usually ones that force him to chose between his Wall Street financiers and ordinary Florida families, roll calls where he's spent 3 years backing Wall Street and screwng her constituents. That's dangerous in a statewide primary... so Murphy just hides out when those votes get called.

Grayson noticed too, of course. "Patrick has a hard job to do," he said "and it’s one he promised not to shirk. Instead he went shopping for campaign photo-ops today. Avoiding difficult votes on tough issues has become his specialty, especially when his campaign donors are watching. While the rest of us did our job today, Murphy was copying Marco Rubio’s MIA work habits. Florida deserves better than that in its next Senator." We agree. If you do too... please tap the thermometer:
Goal Thermometer

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