The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label GOP Obstruction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOP Obstruction. Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2016

GOP Obstruction As A Barrier To Economic Progress

An interesting must  read from over two years ago regarding the business of the US economy. We consistently hear and read republicans and non-elected conservatives railing about 74% of the nation feel we are headed in the wrong direction. Is it a reality American's direction is solely an edict from the president Does Congress and state governments have any responsibility? What does the SCOTUS play in the nation's directions? How about contrary data indicating Barack Obama, the nation's 44th President, is currently receiving favorable numbers at the level of 56 percent?

The two-year piece is worth the quick read for anyone who values information that counters pure propaganda from the Right.

Dave JohnsonThe Cost To Our Economy From Republican Obstruction And Sabotage

The Republican political strategy has been to obstruct efforts to help the economy for everyone but the wealthiest few, and then campaign on complaints that the economy isn’t helping anyone but the wealthiest few. It’s working.
In President Obama’s July 12 weekly address he said, “So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.” He could have said, “Since 2009.” Since the 2009 “stimulus,” Republicans have obstructed pretty much every effort to help the economy. In the Senate they have filibustered hundreds of bills, and since the “stimulus” they have managed to keep anything from passing that might help the economy.
In the House, Republicans have refused to allow votes on anything that seriously would help the economy, instead passing only tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, spending cuts on essential things like maintaining our infrastructure and scientific research, and cutting regulations that protect people and the environment from being harmed by corporations seeking profit.
Republicans have blocked every effort since the stimulus to maintain infrastructure, hire teachers, raise the minimum wage, give equal pay for women, stop special tax breaks for millionaires corporations (especially oil companies), stop tax breaks for sending jobs out of the country, provide student loan relief, help the long-term unemployed, and more. Instead they insist on even more tax breaks for oil companies and billionaires, on cutting environmental protections, deregulating oil companies, and so on.
Obstruction Using Senate Filibusters
How many bills have been filibustered by Senate Republicans since President Obama took office? Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein, in “All Filibusters, All the Time,” writes, “The correct count of how many bills have been filibustered during Obama’s presidency is: approximately all of them.”
That’s what it means to have a 60-vote Senate, which is what Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans declared as soon as Obama was elected. Almost every measure and, until Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats invoked the nuclear option last fall, almost every nomination, had to have 60 or more votes to pass. That’s a filibuster.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of bills Senate Republicans have filibustered since President Obama took office — just a few:

  • Equal Pay for Women

  • Minimum wage increase

  • Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act

  • Bring Jobs Home Act – stop tax breaks for moving jobs and production facilities out of the country

  • Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011 – rehire 400,000 teachers, firefighters, paramedics and police officers.

  • Student loan reform – ease the crushing burden of student loan debt by at least allowing refinancing to lower interest rates

  • Extended unemployment benefits – for the long-term unemployed

  • Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — let working people join unions – filibustered in 2007, killed by threat of filibuster 2009

  • Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act – let public safety officers join unions

  • The Buffett rule – ensure millionaires pay a comparable tax rate to middle-class Americans

  • Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act

  • What would it have meant for the economy and jobs to launch a post-stimulus effort to maintain and modernize our infrastructure? How about reversing the tax structure that pays companies to move jobs out of the country? How about equal pay for women? How about a minimum wage increase? How about hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders going back to work? How about being able to organize into unions to fight for wages, benefits and safer working conditions? How about relief from crushing student loan debt?
    All of those things blocked, and people wonder what the economy is just slogging along…
    Obstruction And Economic Sabotage In The House
    In the House Republican leadership has been following what is called the “Hastert Rule” to obstruct bills that would win with a majority vote. This is not a real “rule”; it is a partisan method of limiting what Democrats and moderate Republicans can accomplish. Republican leadership will not bring a bill up for a vote unless a majority of Republicans are for it. In other words, even if a bill would pass with most Democrats and some Republicans voting in favor, it can’t even get a vote unless it fits with Republican doctrine. (Actually that would be Republican funder doctrine, which is basically oil companies, Wall Street and a few ultra-billionaires.)
    So instead of looking at what has been blocked in the House, which would be literally everything Democrats and up to 49 percent of Republicans think would help the economy, we should look at what has passed. What has passed is a record of economic sabotage. Republicans claim there are more 300 bills passed by the House that are held up in the Senate. (Note that The Washington Post took a look at this and found that “In 11 of the past 19 Congresses – more than half – more than 300 bills were waiting for Senate action by the time the Congress completed its work.”)
    Of particular note among the passed bills is the Republican “Path to Prosperity Budget” (a.k.a. the “Ryan budget”). It is described as “Cuts spending & implements pro-growth reforms that boost job creation.” It dramatically cuts taxes on the rich. It privatizes Medicare. It cuts spending on infrastructure, health care for the poor, education, research, public-safety, and low-income programs. It turns Medicaid, food stamps, and other poverty programs into state block grants.
    Tax cuts aren’t going to fund schools or repair roads and bridges. And lo and behold, this Republican budget that passed the House cuts taxes and cuts funding for even maintaining – never mind modernizing – our vital infrastructure needs. This is a budget of economic sabotage.
    Other Republican House “jobs” bills, listed at Speaker Boehner’s “jobs” page include:
    • Repeal ObamaCare
    • Working Families Flexibility Act – Eliminates overtime pay
    • Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs Act
    • Approve Keystone pipeline, to build a pipeline across the country so Canadian oil can be soil to China, easing an oil glut here and bringing prices back up.
    • More offshore oil drilling
    • Student Success Act – Promotes charter schools, cuts federal programs and support for schools
    • Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act – blocks regulations on coal ash
    • Energy Consumers Relief Act – block government regulation of oil companies and carbon pollution
    • Stop Government Abuse Act – “Provides small business owners with tools to protect against government harassment.”
    • Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act – “Stops the IRS from implementing the president’s health care law”
    • Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act – “Requires congressional approval of any new regulation with an economic cost of at least $100 million”
    • National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act – Facilitates the development of strategic and critical minerals used to support manufacturing jobs. (Note Senate Republicans filibustered this.)
    • Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act – Prevents regulations on fracking
    • Responsible And Professionally Invigorating Development Act – Expedites the approval for new energy projects

    • Electricity Security & Affordability Act – Protects coal-fired plants from regulation Preventing Government Waste & Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act – prevents coal regulations

    • Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act
    • North American Energy Infrastructure Act – promotes cross-border pipelines.
    • The Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act – Expedites the approval of liquefied natural gas export applications
    • Lowering Gas Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act – expanding production of oil and gas
    • Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act – Permanently extends a ban on Internet access taxes
    OK, got that? Their “jobs” bills include things like cutting government support for schools, stopping regulations on coal ash, requiring people receiving federal assistance to work, and drill-baby-drill. Oh, the list even includes bills that Republicans filibustered in the Senate.
    It is not clear how getting rid of public schools and replacing them with charter, private and home schools is about “jobs.” It also is not clear how banning taxes on Comcast internet access “creates jobs.”
    Many of these so-called “jobs” programs are really about subsidizing and assisting the oil and coal companies that provide so much of the funding for the Republican Party and conservative propaganda apparatus. (Note that Koch Industries is at heart an oil company.) They’re just called “jobs” programs because people need jobs – because Republicans have been blocking actual jobs programs.
    And what about direct sabotage? Who can forget the Republican hostage-taking of the debt ceiling, when they threatened to take down the entire world economy unless we cut back on things like maintaining our infrastructure, scientific research, public health, hiring teachers and other things we do to make our lives better? There was a direct cost of $18.9 billion, but then there was the resulting credit rating downgrade, the pullback by businesses worried that they might actually do this, and so on.
    Who can forget the terrible cost to the economy of the government shutdown? There was adirect cost of $24 billion, but also the reduced fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. And the continuing harm from loss of confidence in our government’s ability to, well, govern.
    The Voting Public Doesn’t Know
    The Senate filibusters of real job and economic recovery efforts, the House’s so-called “jobs and growth” bills, the debt ceiling fights, the cuts in economically necessary spending like infrastructure maintenance and finally the government shutdown combine to show an incredible record of economic sabotage. This was the Republican plan, we saw it unfold, and now we see Republican campaigns running against the “Obama economy.”
    However, the voting public is largely unaware of this record of obstruction and sabotage and the effect on the recovery. Seriously, go out and ask around. If you are reading this you are likely a highly-informed person. So you might be aware that there have been filibusters, but maybe not that there have been up to 500 or more Republicans filibusters.
    The corporate media obscures the obstruction and sabotage. The corporate/conservative propaganda apparatus blasts out diversion and distraction. And, of course, the Democrats are not presenting a unified explanation of how Republicans are hurting the economy and how they would make things better. (Until recently President Obama blamed “Congress” in general, and the media still does.)
    If Republicans take the Senate this fall, will they continue the obstruction and sabotage? What if they later also take the presidency? Here’s the thing, they know their tax cut, deregulate, smaller government nonsense does not work to boost the economy. Any economist will tell you, history will tell you, and common sense will tell you that taking money out of the economy won’t help the economy. It’s bad enough now, what happens to the country if they win? It’s well past time to be fed up with this. Vote, make sure your friends and family vote. Volunteer to talk to people about the urgency of voting. It’s all we have left.
    By the way, here is what that 2009 stimulus spending accomplished — we went from losing more than 800,000 private sector jobs a month to gaining 100-250,000 a month:

    Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    GOP Obstruction: A Modern Day "Alamo"

    Have you ever heard the phrase "Judicial Activism?"  

    Sure you have heard the phrase, it is as popular among conservative politicians and demagogues as the words "Ronald Reagan." The words are almost 100% phraseology deployed on the Right as it facilitates mind-influencing rhetoric which so easily sticks with the listening public and the viewing public.

    There is no more deeply ingrained judicial activists than judges appointed for the Republican party.  If you doubt my point, think about Scalia, his man-child Thomas, Alito and, yes, Roberts. Three of whom we have been observed attending moneyed GOP or conservative events (often away from cameras). 

    The death of Scalia has handed both President Obama and the GOP majority Senate a unique problem: a US SCOTUS comprised of only eight Justices at a time when an evenly divided Court could lead to no final adjudication of key cases. Both the conservatives and progressives stand to gain from decisions that will not face proper adjudication because of a missing ninth vote. Obama will nominate a replacement and GOP leadership has declared there will be no interaction the US President's nomination. Alas, GOP obstruction at the highest levels in US government, yet again. Maximum obstruction from people who claim "strict interpretations" of the US Constitution.

    McConnell Cornyn Wont Meet With Obama SCOTUS Nominee

    We would expect more from a congressional Majority Leader who refers to President Obama as a "lame-duck" preside. A lame-duck president is an Oval Office holder who was defeated by an opponent and who is serving out her/his final months in office. For some McConnell's characterization may work to make them feel good, but the fact is Obama has never lost an Oval Office election. Yes, we should not expect more from McConnell, but the recent obstruction from a conservative member of the Court is a new phenomenon. Alito joins the lock-step republicans. If you believe Republicans are strict (interpretation) constitutionalist, you probably also believe they are fiscal conservatives.
    This is pretty ugly for all Americans . The Constitution is only good as long as it can be used for this conservative...Posted by Susan Thompson on Wednesday, February 24, 2016
    Let's recap.  McConnell and company have worked against President Obama since well before he was inaugurated in 2009.  A group of 17, including Paul Ryan, literally met the evening of President Obama's inauguration to plot obstruction (thus performing a degree of sedition). Needless to say, the GOP fulfilled its mission of obstructing America for the full two terms.  As we moved towards Obama's "fourth quarter", McConnell and company step on the grave of their chief SCOTUS regressive via refusing to consider filling his bench seat.  

    We hear the party on the Rguiht claim, "oh refusal to consider a nominee isn't new." The current lock-step railing in opposition to considering a nominee is well within the law has taken place in the past and is the thing to do. "Let the next president, fill the vacant seat!"  Words from a party which could very well see Donald Trump atop their ticket with the heavens only knows as a VP candidate. Imagine the nation's number one carnival barker, serial liar, a hero of white supremacists, and reality TV mogul nominating a SCOTUS Justice!

    Friend of the TPI, Mike Victor dug deep regarding the GOP's basis for denial of a replacement hearing.  

    Mike Victor
    History doesn't repeat. It rhymes.  
    The spectacle of white Southern conservatives opposing executive orders by a president issued to help African Americans (always on high-falutin' philosophical grounds, of course) has a long history in our country.  
    I randomly stumbled upon this gem this morning while installing Encyclopedia Britannica: Executive Order 9981 that abolished racial segregation in the United States military. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

    "In ...
    See More

    Executive order issued on July 26, 1948, by U.S. Pres. Harry S. Truman that abolished racial segregation in the U.S. military. Beginning with the initial skirmishes of the American...

    The utter shame of it all!  StumbleUpon

    Sunday, February 14, 2016

    GOP Obstruction Again Moves To Full Bloom: Scalia Leaves The Court (VIDEO)

    Scalia's unexpectedly leaves the Court....

    What does it mean for the nation? A key question once the rational American moves beyond common GOP obstructionism, as stated by some GOP 2016 presidential candidates and Senate Majority Leader  Mitch McConnell.

    The rational person would look towards the US Constitution and very relevant SCOTUS case load and realize, the seat must be filled (yesterday).  Yet, we live in a world where a political party adopted an all-out obstruction campaign against the nation's 44th President as he was literally being inaugurated in 2009. We live with a party that went total obstruction within one year of President Obama's 2008 General Election win. Before the declaration of obstruction, planning seeds were sown at a seditious meeting in early 2009.

    GOP Operative Newt Gingrich joined a group of noted obstructionist on the evening of Obama's first day in office. As the meeting closed Gingrich offered the following comment.
    "You will remember this day," Draper reports Newt Gingrich as saying on the way out. "You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown."
    Within two years of Obama (44), McConnell spoken openly and unabashed to the Heritage foundation (A Koch cesspool) about obstructing Obama, which aligns with obstructing the nation.

    A true set of moments in US History, both perpetrated by the GOP.

    As Senate Leader with Constitutional responsibility regarding the composition of the Court, Mitch McConnell again adorned his obstructionist hat and spoke.

    Within hours of the announcement of Scalia's death, McConnell spoke:
    "The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," the conservative leader said in a statement following the news of Scalia's death. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president."
    The GOP will push from leave the Court absent a Justice for to facilitate political obstruction.

    We offer a couple of perspectives on Scalia's departure. Friend of the TPI, Brenda Kay Richards, offered a perspective via a Facebook post (follows next). Later in the evening, MSNBC's Ari Melber facilitated an interview that delineated the prospect of leaving the Court with an empty seat until after the fall elections 

    Brenda Kay Richards
    A quick thought about Antonin Scalia before calling it a night. 
    It is rather fascinating for the lack of a better word, to read and observe the myriad of reactions to the death of Scalia. 
    As he was in life, Scalia remains a divisive figure in death, and not surprisingly there are those who are offended and outraged by the celebratory reactions to Scalia's sudden death. Additionally, there are efforts underway to diminish, downplay and rewrite portions of Scalia's personal and professional history. The unvarnished truth is, Scalia himself helped to create the bitter, unsympathetic, harsh, unkind, uncaring, callous and hard-hearted reactions to his sudden demise. 
    We are all familiar with the principles of karma: cause and effect; reap what you sow;   if you do good, you do good to yourselves likewise, if you do evil, you do evil to yourselves; tit for tat; consequences, etc.. But what we don't appreciate about these fundamental truths is - when they manifest themselves in all their unpleasant glory.It could be successfully argued that Scalia, like many individuals in positions of authority, grossly misused the power which had been given to him. Scalia was well known for his insensitive and deeply hurtful comments, statements and judicial opinions which bordered and often crossed right over into racism, bigotry, homophobia, sexism and religious intolerance. 
    Now I'm not going to argue about Scalia's legal mind, I will leave that discussion for individuals much more qualified and knowledgeable on that subject than myself. 
    But it important to remember, Scalia seemed to enjoy and even relished being the person who was deeply disliked, even hated. He stood strong in his beliefs in the righteousness of his actions as a Supreme Court Justice, so why should any of that change now that he is dead?
    End Brenda Lay Richards

    MSNBC, SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein....

    Let's watch an obstructionist GOP enact one of its last cases of Obama Obstruction as the next few weeks unfold.


    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Deal Or No Deal: Traitors? Sedition? Disrespect? Obstruction? Open All Four Cases, GOP!

    Pdf copy linked here

    Jake Tapper, CNN, interviewed freshman Senator Cotton (R) AR. this afternoon. The CNN segment is close to six minutes in duration, but it is important to know the caliber of politician we are electing to the US Congress.

    The level of overt ignorance from the freshman Senator is both overwhelming and dangerous. Some writers have indicated he is at his core a war hawk. He has indicted a desire to derail the Iranian nuclear negotiations. While Cotton is making the rounds on CNN (and other media) with a patched-up story about the intent of the letter, it is impossible to ignore his core beliefs on the matter. It is also impossible to overlook the sadness with which 47 of his party fellow senators joined-in on the subversive act against President Obama. 

    Since, we reported on the open letter via today's GOP Ignominious, there is no need to rehash the piece beyond this link.

    The open letter ends with the word "Sincerely" and signature of 47 "treasonous" GOP members of the US Senate. An interesting choice of words to close such a monumental case of US treason or if shy of treason a clear case of violation of federal law.

    Bob Cesca's The Daily Banter captured the folly and asininity of the letter while offering simultaneous illustration of how the Senatorial act violates the Logan Act.
    The senators’ letter is an unserious act of anti-diplomacy specifically designed to undermine the president’s efforts to conduct foreign affairs in his capacity as chief executive. As such, the correspondence tests the limits of the Logan Act, which reads in part, 
    “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

    While the letter’s signatories are U.S. senators, that does not mean they have the “authority of the United States” as required by the law since when it comes to conducting foreign policy, the executive branch is the United States, taking into consideration the occasional “Advice and Consent of the Senate” as prescribed by the Constitution. However, this letter is neither advice, nor consent. It’s directly addressed to leaders of a foreign government presently involved in talks with the U.S., and it is designed to thwart those talks. Unless the senators were authorized by the president to address Iran’s leaders in this letter, a case can be made that 47 U.S. senators just violated a federal law that carries a prison term of up to three years.
    The open letter is the perfect example of seasoned members of the US Senate following an ideologue while again using the most pathetic obstruction against all things Obama. It is yet another historic archive to US history, that follows John Boehner's invitation of the closest manifestation of an autocratic and divisive international leader behind Vladimir Putin to speak from the floor of the US Congress. An invitation that did not set well with a majority of pool respondents to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Poll. I should add the conservative WSJ.

    WSJ excerpt....
    Nearly half of American voters think that Republican lawmakers should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without first notifying President Barack Obama, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds. 
    Some 48% of registered voters said they disapproved of inviting another leader to speak without first checking with the president, while 30% said congressional Republicans should have done so. Just over a fifth said they didn’t know enough to say.
    Yet with Sheldon Adelson well seated in the second floor gallery of the Chamber, Boehner and his frequent applauding horde of elected officials probably could not care an iota less about public sentiment. The world watched a speech from the Israeli leader delivered with a mega financial donor to the GOP (who happens to be Jewish in the gallery) and an opportunity to lash-out at President Obama was far more important to the GOP.

    The open letter is a natural metastasized result of GOP strategy while skirting US Law and reaching back 200 years in US History. There is another exhibition of a GOP core value from the open letter.

    The Grand Ol Party is so regressive in its methodology, it literally mimics a time in US history when the young nation chose strategy to combat the King of England. As the American (New World) colonials enacted their pre-Revolutionary war rhetoric and dissension against England, colonial leaders adopted an effective strategy. They directed their grievances and retort against Mother England to the English Parliament, effectively deployed plenary avoidance of King George III. King George was known for a mental state that did not lend to productive colonial grievances nor avoidance of militarist reaction from England. Utter disrespect from the colonials and seditious acts against "His Majesty", was unprecedented and intended to usurp and end-run established authority.

    The colonial's strategy must have initially astonished the His Majesty with the level of imbued disrespect; well outside the scope of common practice. Existentially, the colonial's actions were truly revolutionary. Yet, the colonial leader's knew their goal and deployed their sedition with the focused desire for a terminal act. In the case of the colonies: The Revolutionary War.

    The GOP also has focused intent in their unprecedented acts of sedition. Acts that some have categorized as treasonous. They wish to embarrass President Obama. Their acts are also yet another example of metastasized obstruction from a group of white men (and to a much lesser degree Senate women) who are so averse to Obama as president they act outside of accepted rational thought and behavior. We must also remain cognizant of the power inherent in paying ones debts to those to funded their elections. Imagine the glee and satisfaction derived be the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson and their millionaire club cabal when their elected officials pursue skirmishes with a president they literally hate.

    Thus we have a Republican Party that is working like a dedicated 'ant colony' to subvert the nation's 44th President. 

    White House response?

    White House Press Secretary, Josh Ernest from the video 57 minute mark through the following 10 minutes. 

    President Obama's reaction was muted, respectful of his audience, yet stinging (and accurate).

    The New York Daily News summed-up the misguided treasonous act from all but seven GOP members of the US Senate.

    View image on Twitter

     And to think, you do not realize the level of cancer you have placed in the Congress.