Friday, December 18, 2015

And The Real Paul Ryan Has Now Stood Up-- Freedom Caucus Impotent To Do A Thing


The new Gallup poll that asks how satisfied respondents are with Congress found that just 17% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans approved the job Congress is doing. It's been a long slide since 2001 when a narrow majority of Americans actually thought Congress was doing a decent job. "In the past, " writes Gallup's Jeff Jones, "partisans may have been happy just to have their party in control of Congress, but now it appears Republicans take little solace in their party's majority status if it does not produce results in the form of passing legislation they favor. Republicans' poor ratings of Congress are a major reason for the institution's lower overall approval rating. Former Speaker Boehner was the target of much of the party's frustration, leading to his resignation this fall. Now new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will attempt to move the GOP agenda forward. Unlike Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Republicans view Ryan positively overall. How long that positive view will last remains to be seen, especially considering that the Republicans' chances for seeing their favored legislation become law remain very slim as long as a Democratic president is in office."

Regardless of the new beard, I'd say Ryan's approval rating among Republicans started dropping big time Wednesday when GOP voters got a look at the Omnibus he is pushing through the House. So the Liberty Caucus, which was already screwed over by Ryan in how he negotiated the deal behind closed doors and then just dumped it on them without giving them the time they needed to study it adequately (which, I presume, has something to do with Amash's opposition even if all he talked about was how Ryan sneaked in unconstitutional domestic spying provisions.) But it was Rush Limbaugh who was the first to articulate Republican rage over Ryan's horribly flawed Omnibus. "The country," he announced on his Hate Talk broadcast yesterday, "was just sold down the river again by your very Republican Party." And then he started getting madder a and madder. Obviously, he's playing fast and loose with the facts but what he says on Thursday is what Republicans parrot all weekend. He was yelling about "stabs in the back" the way the Nazis were before they came to power in the 1930s.
I have a headline here from the Washington TimesWhite House Declares Total Victory Over GOP in Budget Battle. That headline's a misnomer. There was never a battle. None of this was opposed. The Republican Party didn't stand up to any of it, and the die has been cast for a long time on this. I know many of you are dispirited, depressed, angry, combination of all of that. But, folks, there was no other way this could go. Because two years ago when the Republican Party declared they would never do anything that would shut down the government and they would not impeach Obama, there were no obstacles in Obama's way and there were no obstacles in the way of the Democrat Party.

When you surrender the power of the purse-- and that's the primary power the House of Representatives has. Not a penny of money can be spent in this country by this government without the House of Representatives authorizing it. Obama can spend all he wants, but if the House doesn't give him the mechanism, he can't spend any of it. But the Republicans squandered that. They gave up the power of the purse. The reason they did that is because for some inexplicable reason, they are literally paranoid and scared to death of even being accused of doing something that would shut down the government.

So to avoid even the accusation that they were going to or would ever even think of shutting down the government, they signaled that whatever Obama wanted to spend, he would get, because they figured that had less damage to them politically than the allegation that they were shutting down the government. So, very simply, ever since the Republican Party became the party of keeping the government open at all costs, we get bills like this. There's simply no stopping the Democrats. There's no mechanism. Every constitutional mechanism found in the power of the purse, Separation of Powers, the Republican Party years ago gave it away, in total fear of the media.

Now, there's also a factor that needs to be mentioned, too, and that is that many Republican donors want every bit of this money spent, and they have donated voluminously to key Republicans in order to get the money spent. So it's not all Republican fears. It's not all Republican caving. A lot of it is Republican fealty and loyalty to some of their donors. Some people today looking at this, and this is 2,009 pages. It's said to be a spending bill. Among the things that it does, it fully funds Obamacare. It fully funds Planned Parenthood. That, to me, is unforgivable, with everything now known about what goes on behind closed doors at Planned Parenthood, and that the federal government, led by a Republican Party, sees fit to pay for it. It is beyond comprehension, and it is a total squandering of moral authority to fully fund the butchery at Planned Parenthood. This spending bill fully pays for Obama's refugee plans, fully. This spending bill, this budget bill quadruples the number of visas Obama wants for foreign workers. This is even a slap at American union workers. Not the leaders. The union leaders seem to be in favor of it, but blue-collar people, known as working people, have been sold down the river along with everybody else here.

This spending bill even fully pays for every dime asked for by Obama on all of this idiocy that's tied up into climate change. Everything Obama wanted, everything he asked for, he got. You go down the list of things, it's there.

And this is causing some people to wonder if they just dreamed all that stuff about Boehner resigning. And then other people are wondering if they even dreamed all that stuff about the Republicans winning the largest number of seats they've had in Congress since the Civil War. We had two midterm elections in 2010 and 2014, which were landslide victories for the Republican Party. The Democrat Party lost over a thousand seats nationwide in just those two elections. People went to the polls in droves wanting exactly what was rubber-stamped last night (or what will be) stopped.

And instead they showed up in record numbers and they it turned out and they just defeated Democrats down the ballot. In the process, they elected Republicans to stop this. And now the Republicans have the largest number of seats in the House they've had in Congress since the Civil War. And it hasn't made any difference at all.  It is as though Nancy Pelosi is still running the House and Harry Reid is still running the Senate. "Betrayed" is not even the word here. What has happened here is worse than betrayal. Betrayal is pretty bad, but it's worse than that.

This was out-and-out, in-our-face lying, from the campaigns to individual statements made about the philosophical approach Republicans had to all this spending. There is no Republican Party! You know, we don't even need a Republican Party if they're gonna do this. You know, just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that's what's happening anyway. And these same Republican leaders doing this can't, for the life of them, figure out why Donald Trump has all the support that he has? They really can't figure this out?

Repeated stabs in the back like this-- which have been going on for years-- combined with Obama's policy destruction of this country, is what has given rise to Donald Trump. If Donald Trump didn't exist and if the Republican Party actually does want to win someday, they'd have to invent him. It's just mind-boggling when you figure out everything that has been granted Obama. All the money, the tax increases, the Cadillac plans in Obamacare. All kinds of punitive things in Obamacare, delayed yet again so that people will not be made aware of the pain and suffering Obamacare's gonna cause.

This budget even gives Obamacare cover by delaying some of the most harsh aspects of it. And the reason for that is, delay the harsh aspects and you prevent people from learning what they are, at the same time you get more years for the tentacles of Obamacare to deeply weave themselves into the fabric of society, making repeal of the thing more politically difficult. So you could also say that the Republican budget bill actually improves the odds of Obamacare surviving and growing. You have to look long and hard for this whole thing to find any opposition to anything the Democrat Party wants.

Jeff Sessions, senator from Alabama, is calling this a betrayal, fully funding the Obama immigration agenda, the climate change agenda, increasing foreign workers.  He said, "This is why Trump is now triumphing here and probably will win. The voters have come to believe that their own party's elites are not only uninterested in defending their interests, but-- as with this legislation and fast tracking the president's international trade deal-- Republican voters would not be wrong to conclude that their own Republican leaders are hostile to them, just as Democrat leaders are hostile to Republican voters."

And as Sessions points out, "This legislation represents a further disenfranchisement of the American voter." Clearly! In the last two midterm elections, the American electorate has stood up and loudly stated, 'No. We don't want this. Stop this." It didn't matter. It's so bad that over at they're making excuses for Paul Ryan. I think in some places in the left-wing media, they can't believe the scope of the betrayal. They're feeling a little guilty at how easy this has been. They're feeling a little guilty here. I'm joking, of course. But one of the columnists said, "Hey, you know, you guys need to cut Ryan some slack. He was left with a huge mess and not much time to fix it."

Isn't that what they always said with Boehner? "He was left with a huge mess"? Isn't that what they always say about Obama? "He was left with a huge mess. Man, it was much worse than he even knew. Nobody told him the truth." It seems to be a constant refrain and excuse. "According to Sessions, the American people elected Republicans to the majority in Congress in 2014 as a rejection of the Obama administration's immigration policies," and any number of other things. "'That loyalty has been repaid with betrayal,' he said... Sessions added, 'As feared, the effect is to fund the president’s entire immigration agenda.'"

"Planned Parenthood Unscathed in Spending Bill," from a very happy and cheering "Planned Parenthood is praising Democrats in Congress after the spending bill released early Wednesday morning spared the organization from cuts. As expected, the spending bill does not defund Planned Parenthood, a clear deal-breaker for Democrats, but the absence of spending cuts is still noteworthy given the intensity of the push to defund the group..." There was never any intensity to... It's what we now know.

There wasn't any intensity to defund. All there was is just a bunch of words, just a bunch of people standing up saying they were going to. This wouldn't stand. They were gonna lead an effort to defund it. But nobody ever meant it. "Planned Parenthood Vice President Dana Singiser praised congressional Democrats on Wednesday for 'holding the line against these harmful policy riders and cuts to key women's health programs.'" Also from, another reporter cheering as well. "Funds for Obama Climate Deal Survive." They were never threatened, never in peril. There wasn't a battle."Secret Deal Quadruples Foreign Workers-- Chamber of Commerce Backs Guest Worker Program." Translation: More cheap labor will eagerly be brought into the country under a visa program or they will be employed. "Hey, why not, Rush? The unemployment's rate's 5%. We got plenty of room for foreign workers." Right. That, to me... All this Republican campaign stuff going on obfuscating or clouding this a little bit, but that really is the news of the last 12 to 18 hours.

Sanctuary cities, fully funded. All Mideast immigration programs, fully funded. All these things that have been exploited by terrorists. Sanctuary cities, fully funded. All refugees, fully funded. The release of criminal aliens, fully funded. Everything!

The Democrat leftist wet dream has just been paid for.
Not exactly. The bill that passed the House yesterday, the Tax Extenders crap, which was, in political reality, Part 1 of the Ryan Compromise Limbaugh is crying about, had every Freedom Caucus clown on board except Justin Amash. And 77 mostly corrupt conservative Democrats, like Patrick Murphy, Gwen Graham, Donald Norcross, Sean Patrick Maloney, Tammy Duckworth, John Delaney, Collin Peterson, Ann Kirkpatrick, Joe Crowley, etc. joined the Republicans to pass it. Donna Edwards explained why they were terribly wrong to do so:
Once again, Republicans forced a last-minute deal with this tax extenders package that is awful fiscal policy for the nation and is a holiday giveaway to their corporate friends’ interests. Yes, this package makes the child tax credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent, all of which I support to help working families’ make ends meet and reduce poverty. However, these family-focused tax credits should all be indexed to inflation to come close to meeting future needs.

When taken in totality this unpaid-for package will cost an estimated $803 billion, including interest, over the next decade, with sixty percent of the tax cuts going to corporate special interests. The costs of making many of these extenders permanent is expected to add approximately $2 trillion to the debt and deficits over the next 20 years. While Republicans send billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations, they have forced massive cuts to discretionary spending, threatening the government’s ability to invest in and protect the American people. This legislation makes things even worse, and is simply unacceptable.

By permanently extending many of the tax policies without offsetting their cost, Congress is reducing the “revenue baseline for the future. This would make it less costly, and therefore easier, to reduce tax rates in the future as part of a revenue-neutral, comprehensive tax overhaul and would likely increase pressure to cut spending in order to reduce future debts and deficits. We need more revenue coming into the federal government, not less, to fund critical investments in education, health care, research, security, and infrastructure. I urge President Obama to veto this legislation, so Congress can work on fair, comprehensive tax reform that helps working families in Maryland and across the country move ahead.
Of course the Freedom Caucus or Liberty Caucus or whatever those phonies are calling themselves this week, know that uncomfortable feeling in their butts is Ryan's dick-- and no one doubts that had Boehner presented this budget-- his head would have been mounted on a trophy plaque at Tortilla Flats by now. Instead, it looks like they're all going to give him a carefully choreographed pass-- even after Heritage called on them to vote NO, laying out all their reasons and ending with an ominous: "Heritage Action opposes the omnibus spending bill and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard." David Brat, the one who was unhappy that Eric Cantor wasn't pure enough, was praising Ryan out of one side of his mouth and saying that "The end product here is just cleaning the barn; it’s a disaster; we’re breaking our pledge on the budget caps to the American people, we’ve lost fiscal discipline, and we’re throwing it all on the next generation" out of the other side.

Matt Salmon, may actually have enjoyed by screwed by Ryan. "Paul," he told the media, "made some pretty sustainable commitments about things we’ll do next year: a major overhaul of our tax system, welfare reform, replacing Obamacare. These are major things. If we do those things and define clearly what we stand for, that’s the best we can hope for." He also postured for his base supporters, snarling about vetting standards for Syrian refugees being dropped from the bill at Pelosi's insistence. Gee, you can see why Rush has gone even more insane than usual! Ted Cruz wrote an OpEd for Politico about why he'd like to shut down the government again instead of voting for Ryan's omnibus. It's an endless, naive litany of Hate Talk Radio complaints about democracy under Obama aimed straight at the far right fringe of Republican primary voters.
[I]n a tactic that will go mostly unnoticed, this government funding deal was once again negotiated behind closed doors, and then, like several recent “must-pass” bills, will be rammed through the Senate in no time with limited debate and no floor amendments via a parliamentary mechanism called a "privileged message." A privileged message is a tool that has been abused by Congressional leadership to circumvent committees of jurisdiction and bypass regular order of business to expedite legislation for immediate final passage.

Leadership is employing this tactic to pass a one-trillion-dollar-plus spending bill at the last minute in a matter of days without giving the American people a chance to debate whether it advances their ideals or their best interests. It’s all or nothing. Take it or leave it. They will countenance no debate on whether we should continue to fund Obamacare, or Planned Parenthood, or the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal. There’s one light switch to fund the government, and we can turn it either on or off.

This morning, Ryan's Omnibus passed the House 316-113, with Ryan getting the majority of the majority he had been sweating about. 150 Republicans voted for it and 95 Republicans voted NO. I was more concerned that even more Democrats voted for this ugly bill than Republicans did! 166 Democrats voted YES and just 18 voted NO, although the 18 included some of the best Democrats in Congress, like Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan, Xavier Becerra and Ted Lieu. More on this mañana.

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At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that we have the American Dolchstoßlegende, can the American Enabling Acts be far behind? Herr Trumpf will need the legal cover that eliminating the Constitution would provide in his quest to conquer the world.


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