Tag Archives: Washington

When Kathy Told Rush She Was Going Galt

30 Apr

Courtesy of @KathyWeppner4NY, Here is the audio of Kathy Weppner’s (R-Galt’s Gulch) pledge to His Rushness that she and her husband are going to earn less before Obummer’s cadre’s take it all.

http://telly.com/embed.php?guid=1IH4DKR&autoplay=0

Is anyone going to follow up with her on this? Has Dr. Weppner, in fact, cut back his hours so as to protect his income from Barry’s commissars? Also, when can we expect to see her audio and text archives come back online? Is there something she’s hiding?

But Chris Collins Voted Nay

18 Oct

The revisionism has started early. Ted Cruz Republican Chris Collins is playing an elaborate game of make-believe, and the only way it will work is if we’re as stupid as he assumes us to be. The Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski reports that Collins is attempting to urinate on all our legs, all the while insisting that it’s a meteorological phenomenon. 

Collins is now denying that he supported the disastrous GOP shutdown, and is claiming that tea party underpants gnome Ted Cruz did everyone a disservice. Say what, now?

Both Rep. Chris Collins of Clarence and Rep. Tom Reed of Corning said in response to questioning that it was a mistake for House Republicans to tie the funding of government to defunding of Obamacare – a strategy that they and the GOP leadership had agreed to under pressure from tea party forces.

Collins, in an interview, blamed the failed strategy on Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who goaded several dozen ultra-conservative lawmakers in the House to pursue the shutdown strategy.

“I think Sen. Cruz has done a disservice to the Republican Party,” Collins said. “He is an extremist, and he’s the one that had the rallying cry of repeal Obamacare, defund Obamacare, delay Obamacare.”

This is astonishing. I slow-clap the chutzpah here. Collins’ entire congressional tenure is founded on his denunciations of OBAMAPELOSI and Obamacare. Now he’s saying that he’s not just another irrelevant backbencher, but a useful idiot for the tea party? Even though he voted to shut down the government and risk default unless Obamacare was defunded, he thinks it was a bad idea? Even though, all the while, he voted precisely the way Ted Cruz did, now all of a sudden Ted Cruz is an “extremist” because he holds exactly the same position as Collins vis-a-vis Obamacare? Surely we’re through the looking glass, here. As a reminder, 

While downstate Republican Congressman Peter King was hammering the stupidity and pointlessness of the Ted Cruz/tea party position, Chris Collins blindly got led along

The local congressmen likened the bipartisan agreement to “kicking the can down the road,” and said they could not support it because it does not include long-term budget reforms.

Still, both of them sharply criticized the strategy that started the shutdown in the first place. “Shutting down the government over Obamacare was obviously a mistake,” Collins said. Without the shutdown, “we would have been talking about the failure of Obamacare in starting up on Oct. 1, proving the point it was not ready for prime time. Instead, the shutdown overwhelmed.”

As early as mid-September, Collins voiced concern about tying the defunding of Obamacare to the must-pass continuing resolution to fund the government in the new fiscal year that started Oct. 1. Instead, he said at the time, the House would be better off focusing its energies on the Oct. 17 expiration of the debt ceiling.

Nevertheless, Collins voted for the GOP legislation that tied the funding of government to the defunding of Obamacare, and a follow-up bill to delay the health reforms for a year.

Asked why, Collins said: “Because ultimately that was the bill that was put forward to vote on. And you can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good …. There will be things you don’t like but in this case it was a bill to keep the government open. We needed to keep the government open. There was not another bill.”

Collins blamed that fact on Cruz and his acolytes, who pushed the shutdown showdown over the objections of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other House GOP leaders.

“I think Ted Cruz and that extremist group, which is focused on something that can’t be done as long as this president is in office, has distracted us from moving forward and working on deficit, entitlements, tax reform and immigration reform,” Collins said.

So, shorter Chris Collins: yes, if my friend jumped off the Empire State Building, I would do that, too. 

But look at the “can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” quote – he applied that to the idiot positions he took because his friends told him to, but he didn’t think it equally applicable to reopening the government and avoiding default on existing sovereign debt?

If you took the time to read through all of Chris Collins’ shutdown-era Tweets yesterday, you’d have noticed that he had voted to restore funding to certain programs. It was as if Republicans like he suddenly discovered that the federal government didn’t exist solely to hand out Cadillacs to welfare queens, but also affected people who may be potential prime Republican voters. 

During the shutdown, Collins voted to restore funding to America’s National Parks, and to the National Institutes of Health. (Roll Call 513, 514). Collins thought linking Obamacare to a shutdown was such a bad idea, he voted to do so no fewer than four times.  The more their poll numbers tanked, the more federal programs Collins suddenly thought were “essential” – WIC, the FDA, Head Start.  Suddenly, they were cherry-picking the affected programs that were making the news.  He tried to tell you that it sort of sucks that cancer kids and tourists were getting shafted because of the tantrum party’s Ted Cruz Pointlesspalooza. Well, a continuing resolution to fund the government without affecting Obamacare would have restored funding to all of them

Wednesday night’s overwhelmingly bipartisan vote to re-open the government and avoid default on our sovereign debt restored funding. The National Parks and Smithsonians were open today. The NIH, NASA, and the PandaCam were all back up and running Thursday. 

But Chris Collins voted nay. (Roll Call 550). 

Re-opening the government returned 800 FAA employees – some of them safety inspectors – to work. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is back at work. So are the workers at the National Transportation Safety Board and the United States Department of Agriculture, making sure our skies and food are safe. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is once again making sure your kids’ tchotchkes are free from lead paint. 

But Chris Collins voted nay. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is again working to ensure that you breathe clean air and drink clean water. The Food & Drug Administration is once again working to approve new medicines and ensure that your food and medicines are reasonably safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to ensure citizens’ health, and the National Institutes of Health are back at work trying to cure cancer. 

But Chris Collins voted nay. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is back to work investigating claims of discrimination. The National Labor Relations Board is once again ensuring that workers are not being illegally exploited. Economic data will once again be analyzed, and loans put on hold due to the shutdown at the Federal Housing Authority can be reopened. Low-income people’s housing will once again receive their Housing & Urban Development funding, the National Weather Service will get back to work tracking hurricanes, and the National Geological Survey will monitor the ground for devastating earthquakes. 

But Chris Collins voted nay. 

CIA personnel are back to work, as are people providing services to veterans. 

But Chris Collins voted nay. 

All of these essential services that “we the people” have tasked the federal government with providing are being restored. 

But Chris Collins wanted none of it. If it was up to him, they’d all still be closed, their people furloughed. We’d now be threatening default on our sovereign debt. This is good for small business how, exactly? 

The amazing truth is that Chris Collins is not a leader, but a follower. He will take positions that go directly against the best interests of his constituents and the country when his friends tell him to. He will vote for things he thinks are dumb in order to try and get one over on the President, and when it fails miserably, he’ll try to weasel out of it and throw his buddies under the bus. He might feel comfortable calling Ted Cruz an “extremist”, but there is absolutely no sunlight between Cruz’s position and Collins’. They are like-minded in everything – except Cruz led while Collins followed along, blindly and unquestioning, even when he supposedly thought it was dumb.

Chris Collins isn’t just irresponsible, his willingness to keep the government shut down and to risk default and global financial catastrophe is downright dangerous. Never forget that Chris Collins voted “nay” to reopen the government and keep you and your family safe, and that he risked another recession. You can be a Republican and see that this is bad for people and small business. 

Might Want to Stop Digging

16 Oct

Courtesy Marquil at EmpireWire.com

Personal, not Principle

6 May

The Republican Congress didn’t reject universal gun background checks on principle, but because

The magnitude, intensity, and obsession of rightist hatred of the president is unprecedented in the history of American politics because it has poisoned the ability of Republican leaders in Congress to work in good faith with a twice-elected American president.

This GOP leadership’s fear and sanction of rightist hatred towards the president foments a near total obstruction against anything the president and Democrats propose, creates a near total gridlock of government in Washington and demonstrates a contempt for long-held notions of American civic life that have traditionally been accepted by all major political parties.

That comes from that leftist rag the “Hill“. 

Oh, My God

19 Apr
Buffalo City Hall

Photo by Flickr user W Alex Fisher

Consider this scenario: 

Antoine Thompson returns to Albany, replacing Tim Kennedy. 

Byron Brown goes to Washington, replacing Brian Higgins. 

Tim Kennedy moves into the 2nd floor of City Hall, replacing Byron Brown. 

All of these rumors are floating around town, gaining steam. So my question is, are we living a Stephen King novel? 

What I Learned

3 Aug

So far, I’ve learned that the Democrats capitulated to tea party hostage-taking, abetted by mainstream Republicans; I’ve learned that the Republicans have sold out the tea party; I’ve learned that Gabby Giffords’ appearance on the House floor was a brazen stunt, concocted by Democrats to inject sympathy into the process; I’ve learned that Gabby Giffords’ appearance on the House floor was a brazen stunt, concocted by the White House to embarrass Democrats into voting in favor of the debt ceiling deal; I’ve learned that the debtpocalypse deal will guarantee a second recession because the government’s hands are now tied; I’ve learned that the debtpocalypse deal is horribly awful, and that anyone who took Econ 101 could tell you so – that you never pull trillions out of a recession economy; I’ve learned that the debtpocalypse deal is a return to fiscal sanity and responsibility, and that Washington is finally getting its fiscal house in order; I’ve learned that the supercommittee that will be constituted to establish cuts will be responsible; I’ve learned that the supercommittee that will be constituted to establish cuts is just a “catfood commission” that will determine how much more awful it can make the lives of Medicare-dependent seniors.

I do, however, agree with this:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/RBReich/status/97890093695647744″%5D

I did learn that the Dow dipped 2% yesterday upon news of a debt deal, and that doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I also learned that Senator Mitch McConnell has never worked a day in his life in the dreaded private sector.

In short, the country is well past having an honest discussion about fixing the economy, and both sides have become radicalized. This compromise is precisely how the country was founded to run. If we wanted to guarantee that policies or bills would be introduced and passed, we’d have a parliamentary system.

I learned that the Democrats have no game, and don’t know when or how to play a good hand. I learned that the Democrats suck at messaging, and the President makes a nice speech, but can’t – or won’t – advocate for what he believes in.  This country is ruled right now by the tea party.  Progressives, meanwhile, are pissing all over President Obama rather than Republicans and their tea party dog waggers.

I’m no economist, so I’m not going to pretend to inject my own opinion about whether this compromise is a disaster or not. I’m returned to the notion that re-election is the matter of tantamount importance in Washington. I also get the sense that President Obama’s entire raison d’etre is to prove to the tea party that he’s not the soshulist Kenyan usurper they think he is, which is as pointless as it is unnecessary.

Manufactured Crisis Averted

1 Aug

HT Marquil at EmpireWire.com.

Without analyzing a debt/deficit/spending/cuts deal that was cut just yesterday and I haven’t had an opportunity to review, I continually ask myself over these last several days why Washington is so willing to cut on the backs of the elderly, the poor, and the middle class, and why it so adamantly refuses to ask the very wealthy to pay, e.g., what they paid in income taxes back during the roaring 90s.

What will the tea party fad be replaced by, and when?

The Death of Compromise

29 Jul

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) breaks down what’s going on right now in Washington, as Speaker John Boehner (OH-8) can’t get his caucus to back a horrible plan to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling, but re-engage in this process in 6 months – a plan that won’t see the light of day in the Senate.

One of the stories coming out of last night’s aborted vote indicated that cuts would be further sharpened, affecting Pell Grants.

The differences couldn’t be more stark now: the Republicans, led by the tail by the tea party, want to further hurt the poor and middle class in order to ensure that the wealthy are protected. The Democrats, led weakly by an increasingly feckless President, want to further hurt the poor and middle class by cutting federal Medicare and Social Security entitlements and gently repeal the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.

This – and the death of compromise – is why the #fuckyouWashington hashtag has become so popular on Twitter.

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Leadership Through Tweets

12 Apr

Jane Corwin, who has spent the last couple of years doing bugger-all in Albany, and is now making stuff up about Kathy Hochul instead of touting her weak roster of non-accomplishments, is all over this tough budget stuff that was going down in Washington last week.

Although the budget compromise process in Washington ended on Friday April 8th, on Monday April 12th, Ms. Corwin had just got through “reviewing” it, and instead of offering an opinion or a position or a hint of how she might have voted, she asked her Twitter followers what she should think:

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Literally within hours of the budget compromise being reached, Kathy Hochul released this statement:

“Tonight, with just over one hour before a massive a government shutdown, the United States Congress finally came to a budget compromise.

“For days, I have called on my opponents, Republican Jane Corwin, and Tea Party-endorsed candidate, Jack Davis, to join me in supporting a budget compromise to no avail.  I am thankful Congress has worked through their disputes and finally come to this compromise that cuts spending.  However, I am greatly dismayed at the lack of concern Jane Corwin and Jack Davis have shown on this issue.  Instead of supporting what was right for the people of the 26th District, my opponents chose to play politics and avoid the issue at hand.

“If Jane Corwin and Jack Davis were currently serving in Congress, their apathy towards the budget compromise would have delayed students their loans, seniors their social security benefits, small business owners their loans, veterans their benefits, military men and women their paychecks, and hard working families their tax refunds.

“We cannot allow partisan politics to stand, which is why once elected I will work with all Members of Congress to make sure this fiasco does not occur again.  I will work hard to pass a 2012 budget on time that makes substantial cuts, while still ensuring essential services are not disturbed.  We cannot decimate Medicare and break the promises made to our seniors.”

Like it or not, it’s a thoughtful and well-considered position. Yet four solid days later, Jane Corwin doesn’t know what she thinks about it all. (For the record, neither Jack Davis nor Ian Murphy have offered up any sort of substantive statement on the averted shutdown, either).

Four days later, Hochul continually taunts Corwin for her refusal to take a position on this. She made the point in a tongue-in-cheek release claiming to be the “only candidate to support the Sabres”:

“Now that the regular season is officially over, I congratulate the Sabres on an amazing 40th season and look forward to watching them in the playoffs.  Since my opponents – Republican, Jane Corwin, and Tea Party-endorsed candidate, Jack Davis – have refused to take a position on Congress’s budget compromise, I now call on them to immediately join me in rooting on the Sabres in their run for the Stanley Cup”

I mean, if Davis and Corwin can’t formulate an opinion on the most important thing the Congress has accomplished since this special election process began, it is right for Hochul to call them out and mock them.

This isn’t some silly game like going to Albany as a minority freshman, where frankly you don’t have to be smart or interested to keep getting re-elected. Going to Congress isn’t some jejune exercise that can easily be bought with personal millions just because you have an enrollment advantage.

Corwin continues to prove that it is she, and not anyone else, who is the joke candidate.

Aw, They Let Him Hold “KILL”

22 Mar
Chris Lee (NY-26)

What an unfortunate sign for Chris Lee (NY-26) to hold (click to enlarge)

Chris Lee (NY-26)

Chris Lee (NY-26) Pandering to the Tea Partiers (click to enlarge)

Holding “KILL” is like Teabagger Christmas. 

You stay classy, Chris Lee (NY-26).