Friday, February 17, 2017

No, Unfortunately, The Republican Agenda Is Not A Mirage


Wednesday House Republicans rolled back another Obama rule so that-- after Trump signs it-- when people file for unemployment compensation they will be able to be drug-tested. Looks like the GOP is eager to ramp up the War of Drugs again-- and fill those private prison jail cells for their campaign donors. Kevin Brady's blil passed 236-189. Four of the very worst right-wing Democrats crossed the aisel to vote with the Republicans:
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR)
And-- lo and behold!-- this horrible legislation is rendered "bipartisan."

Yesterday, John Harwood reported for CNBC that when ole Rahm met with Trump, he came away chattering that Dreamers will be safe-- one was arrested in Seattle this week-- and that the GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act will fail but that the Republicans will achieve Wall Street;'s top priority of neutering Dodd-Frank, setting the predatory banksters loose to plunder America again.

When Jennifer Steinhauer reported in yesterday's NY Times that the GOP's grand vision for Congress is falling apart and now looks like a mirage, she wasn't taking into account that the one tie that binds all Republicans for all wings the party is the greed and selfishness factor and that the pro-Wall Street/anti-Dodd-Frank mania is far from a mirage. If they accomplish not else but that, they're go to their political demises happy as pigs in shit. Sure, Trump and amateur, a buffoon and a bungling moron, but Republicanism inches forward.
Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere.

After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.

The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago-- which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border-- has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.

At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills. President George W. Bush came into office with a congressional blueprint for his signature education act, No Child Left Behind.

But in the 115th Congress, the Senate has done little more than struggle to confirm Mr. Trump’s nominees, and Republicans ultimately helped force his choice for labor secretary, Andrew F. Puzder, to withdraw from consideration on Wednesday in the face of unified Democratic opposition.

The House has spent most of its time picking off a series of deregulation measures, like overturning a rule intended to protect surface water from mining operations. For his part, Mr. Trump has relied mostly on executive orders to advance policies.

The inactivity stems from a lack of clear policy guidance-- and, just as often, contradictory messages-- from the Trump administration, which does not appear to have spent the campaign and transition periods forming a legislative wish list. Democrats have also led efforts to slow the confirmation of nominees to Mr. Trump’s cabinet who might otherwise be leading the charge.

“When you spend a lot of time talking about policy and debating policy in the presidential campaign, it is far easier to be specific about legislation when you get into office,” said Austan Goolsbee, who served as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration. “President Trump spent the campaign fleshing out nothing in detail, so it’s not really a surprise that they can’t even agree on priorities, much less on actual legislative detail.”
Chief New Dem, Jim Himes, who was looking forward to teaming up with the Republicans to push the goals that bind the GOP and the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, is disappointed. "It’s painful for someone like me who was excited about infrastructure and tax reform. It seems like the administration and the majority are nowhere." But don't cry for Himes, an ex-Wall Street bankster and one of Wall Street's favorite members of Congress-- he's taken $5,547,712 in legalistic bribes from the Finance Sector since first getting into Congress in 2008-- his top priority is still very much on track: screwing with Dodd-Frank. Just ask House Financial Services Committee chairman, Jeb Hensarling! As we mentioned over the weekend, Trump's cascading unpopularity isn't slowing down the Republican (and New Dem) mania to kill Wall Street reforms-- and the #1 priority is the CFPB.
House Republicans are making a big move against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which was designed for basically one reason: to prevent crooked, avaricious, greed-obsessed banksters from preying on bank customers and investors. The Members of Congress the banksters pay off most richly are determined to deliver for their bankster masters by destroying the extremely successful agency.

...The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee will move forward on legislation to neuter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its power to crack down on predatory business practices, according to a leaked memo that emerged on Thursday and infuriated Democratic defenders of the bureau.

The memo, drafted by the chairman, Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas and a longtime foe of the consumer agency, aligns House Republicans with President Trump in the latest attack on President Barack Obama’s legacy. The memo detailed plans to weaken the leadership of the agency, allowing the president to replace the bureau’s director at any time. Legislation in the works would limit the bureau’s enforcement authority, reduce its ability to make rules and repeal its consumer complaint system.

It would also greatly shrink the enforcement tools at the consumer watchdog’s disposal, blocking it from being able to go after businesses engaged in deceptive practices and restricting its oversight of big publicly traded companies that are already regulated by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This would substantially change the structure of the C.F.P.B. and greatly limits the scope of its authority,” said Hunter Wiggins, former principal deputy enforcement director at the bureau.

The proposal was part of a broader set of policies that Republicans have been devising to roll back the Wall Street regulations known as the Dodd-Frank Act, which emerged from the 2008 financial crisis. While Mr. Trump also supports dismantling the law, Republicans would probably be unable to accomplish a sweeping repeal of Dodd-Frank without the support of some Democrats.
That's where Himes and his New Dems come in. They just have to be a tiny bit patient.

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At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

And treason may be next in the long line of potential Republican atrocities. If they don't move on Trump's impeachment they will be complicit with Trump's entanglements with a foreign country and manipulation of our election process. But hey, do they care? No. They only care about letting Wall Street loose, letting the corporations loose, allowing the ruination of our environment, having only working people pay taxes and getting rid of Obamacare. By the way, what exactly is it that they don't like about Obamacare? Has this ever been described? What are their general goals in its replacement? Nothing, so that's why the repeal is going nowhere. They would never replace it with anything people would support.

Uh oh. No unemployment for pot smokers? Or addicted pill takers? Well, that should rule out a huge proportion of filers. And it would cut down drastically on unemployment and save the government lots of money. Hey, maybe it will pay for that wall! This new law will be very hard on all those drug addled Trump supporters in those poor red states! Many of them get government money. This will be a big comeuppance for them!

How come Congressmen aren't tested for drugs as a requirement to hold office? Let's have a protest rally for this!!

At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The biggest reason they're flailing is the lack of white house participation and the unconstitutionality of what they want.
It's also that the Rs want, truly lust, to kill people by denying them sustenance and health care... and their bloodlust is showing through. And some of them who still care about optics (only a few) are trying to come up with a façade that will fool the rubes that they're going to kill so that this doesn't blow up in their faces.

Der fuhrer's agenda is all about fear(mongering) and hate. He wants a homogeneously white male society. He could not care less about much of anything else. He likes making money in Russia, so the deep state, who wants to foment a mythical "limited war" with Russia over some hapless populations in the Mideast, is at odds with der fuhrer. With Mattis in place and Flynn's disgrace, the next guy nom'd will be another deep-stater for sure. Harward, who would have been good for Mattis, just said no for unknown reasons -- not likely that he doesn't want war.

So you have bifurcated policy agenda and neither gives a fuck about the other's.
It's not that either is hostile to the other. It's just that they don't work well together.
Der fuhrer does not play well with ANYONE. If you are white and performing fellatio, he might like you. If not, he hates you. period. Any disagreement or failure to give him his tongue bath... he hates you and tries to ruin you.
Congress, including the democraps, are driven by giving tongue baths to their yoooge donors. The Rs want to transfer wealth from the 80M who they want to kill to their big donors.

There are some intersections -- tax cuts for the wealthy, dereg... -- but der fuhrer just wants his hate to be codified first.


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