Tag Archives: Congress

News Roundup – Rangers fail, Kevin McCarthy cannot speak, Watching Failure

It is unclear how it could have been much worse. The Texas Rangers reportedly have one of the best bullpens in major league baseball. They are leading 10-6, at home. It is the top of the ninth inning. The Texas Rangers and their fabulous bullpen give up five runs and end up losing to the Los Angeles Angels, 11-10. It was an epic failure. It is unclear how a team comes back from such a devastating loss.

Kevin McCarthy is running for John Boehner’s old job. He has made several recent television appearances which simply did not go that well. His speaking style is somewhat difficult to understand. I am not sure whether he has dyslexia or has word-finding difficulties or what. He is difficult to understand. I mean, he really cannot speak the English language. This begs the question, how did he get elected to Congress if he cannot communicate effectively? Personally, I find it sad that he cannot communicate. He did manage to mumble and bumble himself into a huge pickle when he stated that the Benghazi Committee was specifically formed in order to hurt Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

There was a time when we really did not focus on failure in the United States. We could watch television and look for excellence. The Gong Show was the first show that I remember in which Americans would wait for contestants to fail. That was funny. That was riveting. Now, with reality TV, we look for people to fail all the time. Sure, American Idol can find some absolutely fabulous talent, but at the same time many Americans tune in to those early shows to watch folks crash and burn on national TV. There is this new show on the NFL network called Undrafted. In this show we follow NFL hopefuls. These folks were drafted and, for the most part, their prospects for making the NFL are somewhere between slim and none. I am sorry, but I do not find this compelling TV. I find it sad. On the Golf Channel, we can see the same type of thing. Web.com participants battle low-ranking PGA participants for 50 PGA cards. We can see young and up-and-coming golfers make it on the PGA tour but at the same time we can see somebody like Jhonattan Vegas, a one-time rising star who is battled injuries, struggle and then flame out.

The deeply dishonest Republican Budget

I’m  currently making my way to a trauma conference. I have internet access – sort of. Currently, I’m “enjoying” in-flight internet access which is kind of like getting access to the internet and kinda not. What makes the internet great is access to content – videos, original documents and the like. With this in-flight thing, I really can’t download big files and uploading smaller files to Dropbox has proven problematic. So, I’m not going to be able to get the work done that I had planned on doing. This means that I can (should be able to), I hope, post to my blog. 

The House and Senate Republican budget plans are so deeply dishonest that they are laughable. Sure, Democrats have pushed “pie in the sky” budgets but anyone could look at the budget and understand the nuts and bolts of the budget. The GOP has decided that we need more mystery in our lives. So, this budget, like several before, doesn’t spell out where a lot of the budget cuts are coming from. One of the most laughable items in the budget has to do with repealing ObamaCare. It seems that Republicans not only want to kill ObamaCare, but they want to cut Medicare on top of that. All of the revenue generators that were added to ObamaCare in order to control costs would be cut, of course.

More from CBPP:

  • Balance the budget in ten years through massive cuts in domestic programs, with no revenue contribution;
  • Hit programs for low- and moderate-income Americans exceptionally hard, with about two-thirds of its budget cuts likely coming from programs for the less fortunate, thereby exacerbating poverty and inequality;
  • Repeal health reform and cut Medicaid deeply on top of that, likely causing tens of millions of people to become uninsured or underinsured;
  • Essentially balance the budget only on paper, with the help of two huge “magic asterisks” that are as large as Chairman Price’s — about $1.2 trillion in entitlement cuts over ten years that are left essentially unspecified, and about $1 trillion from the repeal of health reform’s revenue-raising measures without any identified replacement (as explained below);
  • Cut funding below the already-damaging sequestration levels in the years after 2016 for non-defense discretionary programs — the part of the budget that funds education, job training, early intervention programs for children, basic scientific and medical research, and transportation, all of which are important to increasing opportunity, raising productivity, and boosting long-term economic growth;
  • Shrink federal spending to stunningly low levels, measured as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), that are unprecedented in modern America and far below the levels in recent decades, including the Reagan years; and
  • Eliminate a 2007 Senate rule that creates a point of order against budget reconciliation bills that increase deficits over the coming ten years, such as the 2001 and 2003 reconciliation bills that included huge tax cuts without any measures to offset the costs.

Come on. I’m happy to debate conservatives on supply-side economics. This is not debateable. This is a half-budget or maybe not even that much. Oh, this kind of craziness is new. This isn’t a “they all do it” kind of thing. If you take our democracy seriously then this can’t be tolerated. (Dear GOP, please complete this budget. Insert the magic numbers and tell us what you are planning on doing. If you can’t do that, can you simply admit that you hate the poor and most of the middle class and be done with it?)

Republican obstruction – A history lesson

Recently, a friend of mine threw up her hands over the dysfunction in Washington. I told her it was by design. The GOP wants you to be frustrated and mad. When you are pumped up with emotion, you can’t think straight. This is exactly what they want. Then I got the retort of those who really don’t follow politics – both sides do it. They are all the same. Nope. No. They aren’t.

From Washington Monthly:

For the record, here’s a little walk down memory lane of Republicans talking publicly about their strategy for obstruction:

1993Bill Kristol writes a memo outlining a strategy for Republicans on President Clinton’s health care reform proposal.

Faced with forceful objections in the past, the [Clinton] Administration has generally preferred to bargain and compromise with Congress so as to achieve any victory it can. But health care is not, in fact, just another Clinton domestic policy. And the conventional political strategies Republicans have used in the past are inadequate to the task of defeating the Clinton plan outright. That must be our goal…

Simple, green-eyeshades criticism of the plan…is fine so far as it goes. But in the current climate, such opposition only wins concessions, not surrender…

Any Republican urge to negotiate a “least bad” compromise with the Democrats, and thereby gain momentary public credit for helping the president “do something” about health care, should also be resisted.

2003Governor Deval Patrick recalls Grover Norquist’s comments on plans for a “permanent Republican majority.”
Continue reading Republican obstruction – A history lesson