Mark your calendars for April 29. The current funding of the federal government expires on April 28, and Congress is set for a two-week recess just before that deadline.
The Tea-Publican “Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” fresh off their “Obamacare repeal” clusterfuck last week, now have a month to figure out how to avoid yet another GOP government shutdown.
Good luck with that.
Remember, the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, vowed: No more government shutdowns while he runs the Senate. But the Turtle Man does not run the House, where the GOP’s alleged boy genius, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin” and Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan — the architect of the “Obamacare repeal” clusterfuck last week — is in charge. Boy genius just realized last week that “doing big things is hard.” No shit Sherlock. Ryan proved that he cannot herd cats in his own caucus, i.e., the GOP House Freedom Caucus. This is not likely to turn out well.
Ten legislative days before funding would run out, Congress is heading toward another government shutdown showdown. Democrats and many Republicans are likely to refuse to go along with President Trump’s request for money for a border wall financed in part by outsize cuts to medical research. And the specter of another fight over Planned Parenthood funding is also in the offing.
Now that you are recovering from your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to talk about the next important date on the calendar, and it’s not Christmas.
It is December 11, 2015, the day the government will again run out of money if the Congress and the president cannot agree on a budget, and the government will be forced to shut down.
As I have previously explained, Tea-Publicans in Congress are using the reconciliation process for this year’s budget because it does not allow for a “filibuster” in the Senate and can pass with a simple majority vote. In other words, it is an end-around the “regular order” of passing bills.
But the radical extremist Tea-Publicans in Congress are taking things a step farther and also loading up the budget appropriations bills with “poison pill” riders, i.e., their “Wingnut Wish List” of regressive measures that are not germane to the appropriations bills, and that may be outside the scope of the reconciliation process (that process can change existing laws to conform tax and spending levels to the levels set in a budget resolution, but not make substantive law changes).
On this very day in 2015 there are still liberals who cling to the belief that the anti-abortion stance is merely a ploy by wily “establishment” (whatever the hell that means) Republicans to keep the rank-and-files docile and the campaign coffers full. I, of all people, still hear this claim constantly from I know! “They’ll never overturn Roe! They need abortion as a wedge issue too much!”Continue reading →
On Wednesday, the mutinous GOP House Freedom Caucus took Captain Queeg the TanMan hostage and forced him to pull the scheduled vote on the resolution of disapproval of the Iran agreement. They then forced the nominal Weeper of the House to accede to their hair-brained “Tortilla coast gambit” based on a debunked conspiracy theory about IAEA “secret side deals” with Iran. The GOP House Freedom Caucus ‘Tortilla Coast gambit’ to delay the Iran deal is a fraud.
On Thursday, the House voted on two resolutions claiming that the President had not given them all the information required to be reviewed by Congress under the Iran review law passed by Congress. Not true: As Max Fischer wrote:
You can read, for yourself, the law that Congress passed articulating its authority to disapprove the Iran deal. Section 135 describes the congressional review period, and specifically articulates the documents that the Obama administration is required to give Congress. There is nothing in there about the text of IAEA safeguards agreements with Iran.
These two resolutions from the GOP’s Gimmicks-R-Us Shoppe were approved on a straight party-line vote without a single Democrat in support. Roll Call Vote491 243-186 (straight party-line vote); Roll Call Vote 492 245-186 (straight party-line vote). This demonstrates that the TanMan is not in command of his mutinous ship.
Yesterday, I posted a notice about the Fall Membership Meeting of PDA Tucson. The headline speaker was to be Congressman Raul Grijalva.
The Congressman had to cancel, so the PDA meeting is being postponed until Thursday, Nov. 14.
Here is a link to the event on Facebook. You can find updates there or on this blog. We had hoped that Grijalva canceled because he was called back to DC to vote on lifting the shutdown and the debt ceiling, but given this afternoon's headlines that vote appears to be a distant dream.
October 14 Blog Post:
With the government shutdown, historic gridlock in Congress, and multiple protests errupting, Washington DC has been a hotbed of political activity.
While some Arizona Democrats are cozying up to the Republicans, Congressman Raul Grijalva continues to be a leader of the progressive movement. Last week, he and other progressive Congressmen were arrested at a recent immigration reform protest in DC (above). He also spoke with Democracy Now about the shutdown and immigration reform.
This Wednesday, October 16, Grijalva will give a Washington update at the Fall Membership Meeting of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Tucson Chapter at the Ward 6 midtown office.
Following Grijalva, will be a two-part discussion of healthcare reform. Andrea "Connect the Dots Lady" Witte will use her usual wit and great graphics to explain the Affordable Care Act, and Dr. Eve Shapiro, PDA Tucson Steering Committee member, will discuss Medicare for All and why universal healthcare should remain our goal. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the meeting starting at 6:30 p.m.
Here is the information from PDA Tucson.
Please join PDA Tucson for the fall general membership meeting.
The agenda will include: Update of the goings-on in the US Congress by Congressman Raul M. Grijalve
Presentation on Affordable Care Act by Andrea Witte
Medicare for All/Single Payer, better than ACA by Eve Shapiro
Report on PDA National activities
General discussion on future direction/activities of PDA Tucson
Meeting will be held as follows: WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013 WHERE: 3202 East 1st St (Tucson City Council Ward 6 office) TIME: 6:30 pm (doors open at 6)
We hope you can join us; we especially need your thinking on future PDA Tucson areas of focus.
We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation's insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up to the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson's account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.
We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.
[Video after the jump.]
This is what they came to Washington to do — to break the government of the United States. It doesn't matter any more whether they're doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party's mouthbreathing base.
Their rhetoric is so far from the truth that it is shocking. While they are trying to "save" the US from health insurance, millions of Americans are signing up for Obamacare (AKA the Affordable Care Act). In the first three days, 8.6 million unique users logged on to Healthcare.gov to shop the health insurance exchanges in the first three days.
Or are they just so incompetent that they dazzle themselves with their own brilliance, as Paul Krugman suggested in today’sNew York Times? Quoting the Mann-Ornstein book “It’s Even Worse than It Looks,” he writes:
G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent. So much so, in fact, that the Dunning-Kruger effect — the truly incompetent can’t even recognize their own incompetence — reigns supreme…
It has been obvious for years that the modern Republican Party is no longer capable of thinking seriously about policy. Whether the issue is climate change or inflation, party members believe what they want to believe, and any contrary evidence is dismissed as ahoax, the product of vast liberal conspiracies.
Watch House Speaker John Boehner’s arrogant ignorance at work in this video interview with George Stephanopoulos. He repeatedly asks Boehner where this will all end and why he refuses to allow a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution on the budget. A defiant Boehner repeatedly says he can’t bring a “clean CR” up for a vote because it won’t pass. (Prove it.) He couldn’t care less about the hardship that Republican Party is inflicting on our country and potentially the world. Where are Senator John McCain and other more moderate Republican silverbacks? Someone needs to take Boehner aside and tell him “game over.”