In what must be the first move in the 2014 election cycle, a large group of Republican House members voted for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and at the same time voted AGAINST VAWA. So, even though the money that runs the Republican Party was against the VAWA, most Republicans knew that voting against it would look bad.
So Speaker John Boehner scheduled votes for a Republican version of the VAWA that excluded help for immigrants and Native Americans on tribal lands, among others. So King and his ilk could vote for that version, thus claiming they voted FOR the VAWA, even though this version failed to pass. Then when Boehner allowed a vote on the Senate passed version of the VAWA, which the Republicans opposed, King and his ilk could vote against it. Thus, when he goes to campaign in 2014 whether it be state-wide or in his district he can claim that he voted FOR VAWA or he can claim he voted AGAINST VAWA depending on the crowd. The version that passed is quite popular.
Implicit in this maneuver by Steve King is that he thinks the average Iowa voter is an idiot. So think about what Steve King’s opinion of you is, if you are in an area where he is on the ballot.
The full story is here and names others playing the same trick.
A story posted on alternet the other day got me to thinking: it really is time for the new American narrative to be told. The old one where people work together and compromise for the better of the whole country is long out of date. Finding out the real truth when coming of age can be quite traumatic for many. Often they realize that not only is the national narrative is filled with manure, so is much of what they are told day in and day out. On second thought maybe the untrue national story does serve a greater good.
8 Giveaways To Corporations
During a conversation with a friend last week I made the statement that “the big money always wins.” And once again, while the country was all atwitter about the “fiscal cliff” and who was winning or losing, the big boys weren’t worried, they knew they would win. In this article we find out that while some had their taxes raised some corporations once more made out like bandits. Same old, same old. I am sure that gave some consolation to Republicans.
Means Testing SS & Medicare
One of the most often offered answers to the so-called “crises” concerning Social Security and Medicare is to means test those who receive benefits. After all, why should the rich get a social security? Why shouldn’t the rich pay for their own medical care? Read the reasons in this article and arm yourself for that eventual tea bagger who claims that means testing will save these two great programs. If you happen to think “divide and conquer” when you read this, you are on the right track.
House Blocks Violence Against Women Act
No real surprise here is there? Just the continuation of Republicans trying to keep women in their place. Nothing personal. Many Republicans have mothers, sisters, daughters and even friends who are female.
Gov. Christie Surprised By Republican House.
Imagine what must be going through Chris Christie’s mind when he found out on his own that Republicans are asses when it comes to aiding misfortunate Americans. Imagine what will go through his mind when he finds out he is one of those hated Republicans.
Harry Reid Gets Unanimous Consent For Pages Of Nominees
Lawrence O’Donnell, who served for years as chief adviser for Sen. Moynihan and as chief of staff for the Senate Finance Committee, dug into that background to report a huge story that no one else reported on. For the first four years one of the tactics that Republican senators employed to cripple the Obama presidency was to automatically filibuster damn near every nominee for anything that the administration sent to the senate for confirmation.
So after all the fanfare of the fiscal cliff story, after all the reporters were gone, Harry Reid quietly brought the numbers of the nominees to the floor and through an agreement with Sen. McConnell, each was passed with a unanimous consent vote. Now the administration can do its job. A thing of quiet beauty.
Medicare Costs Down Dramatically
Hard to believe, but once more Republicans are using “facts” that are not true. The claims that Medicare costs are spiraling out of control are demonstrably not true. And the changes that the Affordable Care Act will bring will help reign them in even more. Peter Orzag, formerly of the Obama Administration and now of Ctiti, has put together some numbers and charts which show Medicare costs down dramatically with a downward trend. This should be a game changer.
I certainly miss the days when real facts were used in debating policy.
Do not forget what women mean to the Republican Party. Basically your worth is measured as a carrier of babies. They do not care about your health, they do not care about your rights, they do not care that you are treated as a second class citizen in pay and benefits. Yet they want your vote.
I hope you give back to them in the way they deserve. I am sure my daughters and my wife will. They know who fights for them and who doesn’t.
Vote for Obama. Vote for Dave Loebsack, Bruce Braley, Christie Vilsack or Leonard Boswell. And be sure to vote for Democrats for state offices. If you don’t, you will find medical procedures closed off to you in Iowa as they are in Mississippi and South Dakota just to name a couple of states.
Vote as if your life and the lives of your families depend on it, because this time it truly does.
One thing that has simply confounded me during the general election campaign is that Romney continues to get at least a 44% level of support pretty much since the beginning. This guy is perhaps the worst candidate in history and yet just shy of half the population claims they will vote for him. H. L. Mencken‘s most famous quote “No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby” seems to have been made for this very situation
From day one of the primaries, Romney has flip-flopped and lied as he felt was needed. He drowned his opponents in oceans of cash, even though his opponents were probably one of the worst collections of politicians ever. He has lied from day 1 and constantly changed positions. All his life he has been kowtowed to. The guy is a jerk. He has ruined thousands perhaps millions of lives in his own country with his business practices.
And he is no patriot. Were he a patriot he would willingly pay taxes on monies he earned in America to keep our society strong. Just like running an election or running a business, money is the fuel to keep government strong. When our leading citizens hide their money in offshore accounts, that means they have no faith in their own government. And this guy wants to lead the country that he himself has no faith in, that he himself refuses to support.
It’s like he owned a restaurant but won’t eat there because you know the food is bad cause you have poisoned it. Or maybe a better analogy would be that he were CEO at Johnson and Johnson yet held stock in Procter and Gamble and Unilever, etc. And now to hear that he is invested in China is like the ultimate slap in the face. Maybe they will take you in after you lose. It would be to America’s shame that we would elect someone who can’t even support the country 100%.
Yet nearly half the people will vote for Romney. I was frankly ashamed that the Republican Party would even proffer such a piss poor candidate and citizen. I can’t for the life of me understand why any American would vote for him or how they could justify it. He has stated time after time his policies will be the same that nearly crashed the world economy. The only policy that he has consistently backed is yet more tax cuts for the rich from which he will get a huge personal benefit. The rest of us can starve and freeze.
I have yet to her a truly legitimate reason to vote for a guy who won’t even fully support his country.
Great Rant From Maddow.
For those who missed it, Rachel Maddow had one of the greatest rants I have yet heard on right wing media and the fact free bubble in which they exist. When Mitt Romney looked so surprised by Candy Crowley’s statement of facts on Obama’s Libya statement it was because his buddies at Fox “News” had been lying to him and he took it as truth. Whoops! Catch it here.
Republicans At All Levels Remember This
Come November, Women Will Remember!
Listing: Republican Enemies – Are You One?
I have been on the road a lot this year. Geez am I sorry. I think we need a contest in Iowa to identify the worst stretch of paved road in Iowa. We already know that Iowa’s bridges are among the worst in the country. The good news is that after driving over Iowa’s railroad track roads, your car may well break down before reaching the bridge. Maybe we should be sell insurance policies at the borders to make money?
One of the worst stretches was finally fixed this summer, Hwy. 70 from West Liberty to Nichols. We used to talk of “bouncing” down to Nichols and we meant just that. But the rest of Hwy. 70 ain’t much better. I have been in all but the Northwest sector of Iowa recently and let’s face it, Iowa roads are generally bad. But we dare not raise a tax for fear that someone will squawk. Hey, Branstad, maybe fixing the roads and bridges would create some jobs?
Citizens United Lets Romney Buy A Nomination
See what Citizens United wrought. The Republican Party was all behind what many consider one of the 2 or 3 worst decisions ever made by the Supreme Court (Dred Scott and Plessy V. Ferguson come to mind). No doubt that in this age of media being all powerful, with some 90% of the media in Republican leaning hands, it sure looked like a shoo in that Republicans up and down the ticket could simply overwhelm everyone with advertisements and friendly news reports and like robots we would all vote Republican.
So Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all dug into their deep pockets and the very deep pockets of rich men looking to buy a president and the money race was on. Mitt won because his own pockets are extremely deep as are those of his (no, not friends) uh, supporters (wannabe owners). And Mitt literally bought himself a nomination for President.
During the primary there were many disturbing signs of what kind of a candidate Mitt would be. By that I mean lousy. But the money bet on Romney and they would not be denied. Citizens United kind of gave themthe right to buy a candidate after all. So, hundreds of millions of dollars later, they are realizing that they have probably bought the worst candidate for president ever. If they had ever thought beyond their own pocketbooks and considered what kind of a president Romney would be they would probably shake in their boots like many of us do.
Running on a platform of ending Medicare and Social Security, giving more and bigger tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on the middle and lower class, pulling back a chance at health care that was for many (one third or more) out of reach until Obama, treating women like property and treating any but white males as less than citizens, is a hard sale.
$250,000 is Middle Class?
When I hear lefty talk show hosts reacting to this comment by Mitt Romney on Meet the Press a couple of weeks ago as a sign of how out of touch Mitt is, I think they are missing another take on it. Mitt has very blatantly shown his disdain for anyone who doesn’t have money. That means those below a certain level. For us those “with money” start at the point of about $100,000/ year. For the rich, anyone below $250,000 / year are not worthy of their concern. More likely anyone below a million $s per year is worthy of disdain.
What You Can’t Buy, Steal or Supress.
As noted in the first part, Mitt Romney and his party figured they could buy the election. Thank goodness 50% + 1 appear do not want to be bought. So the back up plan still no doubt involves the computers that count our votes. Hopefully, the margins will be large that stealing votes will be obvious. Last line of offense for them is to suppress votes of those who don’t look like they may vote for Republicans. One of the major groups this year will be women.
So far courts have been stepping in to stop supression. Let us hope they can continue to do so right up to election day. They have one more line of suppression, a group called “True the Vote” that claims they will physically be at the polls to intimidate those who they don’t believe should vote. I am expecting this to fall flat on its face, but it sure is a good reason to vote by mail.
Women: A Very Good Reason Why Not To Change Your Name When Married.
One of the major suppression efforts is to stop those whose name on their birth certificate does not match the name on the voter rolls. Guess who that will affectthe most? Women who changed their last name to that of their husband’s upon marriage and somehow the local government has somehow lost record of the marriage.
Come November, Women Will Remember!
In this article John Archer says things that really scare me. To open with, he talks about reforming Medicare using the Paul Ryan plan as a start. For those of you who can’t remember, the Paul Ryan plan is the voucher program for Medicare. This is where an older person gets a check from the government that is equal to about a third of what would be needed to buy insurance over age 65. Then with this check in hand, said elder person is supposed to sweet talk some humongous insurance company into selling said elderly person a health insurance policy for what the voucher is.
Now if Archer had ever touched reality, he would know that even healthy young people can’t get a health insurance policy for what he and Ryan are proposing for a voucher amount. It may take 3 to 4 times as much and probably would cover very little. Remember, they also want to bring back the policy where pre-existing conditions are no longer covered. So, my guess is that most of the ailments of a 70 year old were probably pre-existing. This is one hell of a good deal for the insurance companies; not so much for the older folks.
And if you are young don’t think it won’t affect you. Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa will have to live somewhere after they sell all their belongings to pay for crappy health insurance. Probably won’t get much either since most older folks will be selling their estates at the same time.
But there are real and simple ways to strengthen Medicare that would work quickly and would not harm the Medicare program in the least. The first one is already in the works. That is now the part of Obamacare that ends the huge gift to the insurance companies known as Medicare Advantage. This was another boondoggle from our friends at Bushco. People were allowed to pick up private insurance that was paid for by Medicare and which thus syphoned off funds for the Medicare program. This is the $716 Billion that keeps getting bandied around. There is little use for it except to make insurance companies rich.
Second is to change the Medicare drug bill to allow the administration to negotiate huge quantity drug prices with providers. This is what is done in every other first world country and is also done in the US with the Veterans Administration. Price discrepencies for the same drug bought through Medicare or the VA differ as much as 90%. A savings of 50% could probably be easily achieved. Has Archer looked into that I wonder. You may remember the arm twisting and “stop-the-clock” procedures that Republicans employed get this big, wet sloppy kiss to the pharmaceutical industry through. You may also remember that Rep Billy Townshend (R- La.) immediately quit his congressional seat to take a multi-million dollar job as a lobbyist for the - you guessed it – pharmaceutical industry.
Finally, simply lowering the age of eligibilty would bring healthier folks into the pool which would in turn lower the cost per individual due to less outlay per individual. The ultimate best outcome would be to allow everyone eligibility to Medicare, thus ending Medicare as the dumping ground for people when their medical bills get high at the end of life or on disability. As a matter of fact, raising the age of eligibility for Medicare as Archer and Ryan propose only makes the costs worse.
Archer also makes a statement that “We don’t have an issue with access to health care. An individual is sick, they can walk into a hospital and get service.” If he doesn’t know that statement is crap, then he is more out of touch than even Romney. I hope someone asks him how this works out in the real world during a debate. I am guessing his dealings with people who would be using such services is quite limited.
Let me add another that didn’t get touched on in the story, but I am sure Archer would have a problem with. That is safe abortions on demand. Let me add a corollary which is that all insurance coverages cover the cost of birth control. This prevention would lessen unwanted pregnancies and thus the demand for abortion would decrease dramatically. But the radical right wing Republicans are against both birth control and abortion.
I would like to ask Mr. Archer one other question, on behalf of my child-bearing age daughters. Why is it that simply because they are female, they can not receive a legal medical procedure if they needed it to save their lives in much of the United States? Is this what you want for your daughters, Mr. Archer?
Come November, Women will remember!
The real sin against Republicanism that Todd Akin committed is not that he really believed that women can’t get pregnant in thcase of a “legitimate” rape. His sin was that he said it out loud. This appears to be a somewhat common belief among Republicans. It is one that Steve King appears to subscribe to. see here
Question For Mr. King
So that leads to a question for Mr. King that was once asked of Dan Quayle. Quayle accidentally answered it honestly which led to a big hoo-hah at the time. Quayle was asked what he would do if his (then 13 year old daughter) found out she was pregnant. Quayle responded that he would support whatever decision she made. An honest answer and I would think what most parents would do. Especially in the case of rape or incest. But Quayle was beaten mercilessly by the “birth at any price crowd.”
So Mr. King, I know nothing of your family. I am betting there is a young girl among them though. Let us say she is 13 and is raped and becomes pregnant – something that happens 34,000 times a year in America – would you honestly force this girl to carry the pregnancy to term knowing that this will probably scar he psychologically for life? Knowing that this child will be a reminder of probably the worst moments in that girl’s life for the rest of her life?
For nigh on 50 years, Republicans have done all they can to neuter or kill one of the most loved government programs – Medicare – ever. And up until this year most in the media would treat such Republicans the way they should be treated – as fringe characters in the drama of life. Yet for some reason with the inclusion of Paul Ryan on the Republican ticket, their ideas are being given play by the media – with Fox driving the story hard.
Given the lack of critical thinking skills by many Americans these days, some people are taking their arguments seriously. But remember that private insurers want nothing to do with the expensive to care for old folks and that is the reason we have Medicare today.
On the Iowa Front
Don’t forget that Iowa is but 1 vote in the Senate away from becoming Wisconsin. Branstad is salivating as is ALEC, the corporate-led legislation writing group. They see Iowa as yet one more they can put in their column for things like privatized schools, privatized prisons, privatizedlibraries and shoot your neighbor laws. Believe me, if Republicans win, Iowa loses big time.
I have daughters.
For some reason, I am having a hard time understanding why my daughters cannot have all legal medical procedures in the United States. This boggles my mind. As a male, I am not restricted as to what legal medical procedures I may have. If they need a medical procedure in the most advanced country in the world, then they should be able to receive it.
I heard what Akin said decades ago
Many, many decades ago as a just coming to puberty young man, I heard the story that women could not get pregnant through rape. Story was that women had a defense mechanism that stopped them from getting pregnant when they didn’t want to. This was the days long before sex education in school, but I was still able to ferret out the truth within a year or two.
I would have thought Akin would have at least questioned that story simply because on its face it sounds like bull crap. One statistic that has boggled me during this week is that 34,000 pregnancies result from rape in America every year. That is 100 a day. My goodness we are a violent, violent society.
Women Will Remember
Come November, Women will remember!
I am writing this on Monday as it crosses my heat weary mind. Over the years, many folks have invited me to take a trip south, to a place called Hell. I have graciously declined knowing that our travel budget is quite limited and that the climate was a might sticky and sultry for my tastes. I like it cool. But it seems that Hell must not be getting enough business lately and appears to be offering free samples.
Either that or I have actually died and am here on a permanent basis. I can’t really tell. I had always figured most of my friends would end up here. Near as I can tell most of them are here also, so it looks like we may have all come here together. Well thank goodness I have company.
Why is it when presented with facts, republicans demand “the truth”, like they’re two different things? (Stolen from an internet comment)
Eminent Domain for Underwater Housing?
Representative Brad Miller of North Carolina discusses an idea from San Bernardino County in California to help out underwater homeowners and help restore some sanity to their housing market. And of course Wall Street is going nuts about it. Well worth the read.
Electronic voting machines and gambling
The software code used in gaming machines, at casinos, is regulated and transparent.The software code used in voting machines is deemed ”proprietary”, by the corporations that own them, and therefore is not subject to inspection. Do I have my facts correct? Well, we must make sure the games are honest or nobody would play them.
Another problem the Aurora murders uncovered.
One of my first thoughts about the massacre in Aurora was for those who were injured but lived. What about their insurance? Surely some weren’t insured. And even for those that were there is the specter of coverage limits, denial of charges and future “pre-existing condition” denials should the ACA be stopped by Republicans. Of course, for this tragedy charity is offering to cover many of the shortfalls.
But is this the system we want to have in place for the next tragedy? We know that something tragic will happen again. Why can’t we prepare for it and be ready ahead of time. This is the concept behind insurance. In the case of general tragedies, the insurance of the whole should come into play. That would be all of us acting through our government.
And the very best way to fix this problem immediately is to enact universal health care or medicare for all as quickly as possible.
I see that Congressman Loebsack is sponsoring legislation to help farmers survive the drought without losing their land. I don’t know what a republican from our district would do. But based on their candidate’s regurgitation of tea party talking points, my guess is that he would be more than happy to let you go bankrupt so the wealthy could swoop in and buy up the land of those unable to meet payment – er – I mean let market forces work.
Thank goodness we have a congressman who will do the right thing.
Unions slip, corporate power expands greatly.
For all those who bad mouth unions and have cheered at their demise, let me remind you of one of the worst consequences of unions losing what little power they had. Unions were one of the biggest checks on the unfettered power of corporations. Without unions we will see more and more politicians beholden to the corporations because they will be the major contributors to all candidates. Those are not donations for corporations, but investments with large future payoffs expected.
The corporate backed lawmakers will deepen the trend of making off-shoring work legal, will negate laws that protected worker’s health and safety,stymie real competition and dismantle living wage and social safety net laws. If you vote for an anti-union candidate you are cutting the throat of all current and future workers – especially your kids and grandkids.
In November, Women Will Remember
One issue that sure get more play in Iowa is Gov. Branstad’s stated position to buck the increased Medicaid money from the ACA in 2014. While this may shine up Terry’s image in the tea party circles, it is especially painful to those who depend on Medicaid, many of them single parent families headed by females. Few of them have alternatives, so by refusing the money, Branstad is rubbing their faces in the poverty that grinds on them daily.
To me the best way to combat this is to elect Democratic majorities in both houses of the Iowa legislature. The legislature can then help Branstad see the light on this issue.
Terry, my friend, it is very easy to be callous when you yourself are brining in over a quarter million a year.
ALEC was last week!
Missing your Republican legislator? He may have been at the ALEC canvention, getting a money recharge and his orders for next year. Saves them the trouble of thinking.
“Don’t speak to me about your religion; 1st show it to me in how you treat other people. Don’t tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all her children. Don’t preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live & give.”
Pat Robertson maybe? How about Mitt Romney? Or someone from the evangelical community such as Tony Perkins? No, the answer is Newark Mayor Cory Booker, most recently noted for literally risking his life to save his neighbor from a fire.
On the other Hand:
“A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private. So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?
To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society of the principal of solidarity where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good. By not having big government crowd out civic society, but by having enough space in our communities so that we can interact with each other, and take care of people who are down and out in our communities.
Those principles are very very important, and the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenants of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life. Help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence.”
Rep. Paul Ryan, twisting Catholic social doctrine to justify shredding the safety net for the poor and eliminate things like food stamps.
Once Republicans did care:
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
Spoken by President Eisenhower in 1953.
Note that Ryan’s budget also expands military spending while cutting aid for the poor.
Austerity drives the UK to round 2 recession
Keynesian economics was once considered to be the go to concept to deal with recessions and depressions. The concepts are fairly simple. When the economy slides into a recession, governments make up for declining jobs by employing people and getting money into circulation. Now the go to concept is AUSTERITY! Keynesian economics worked well for decades. Just out of the chute, Austerity doesn’t seem to be working very well. PM David Cameron appears to be married to Austerity to end the recession in Britain. So far, Austerity is doing what most people thought it would do – making the recession worse.
Who would have thought it?
Grassley once again shows he hates women. (VAWA re-authorization)
Two years ago Iowans had the choice to send a liberal woman to the senate or return Chuck Grassley. One of the issues that Roxanne Conlin brought up was Grassley’s voting record on women. Well she wasn’t lying. Grassley once again put Iowa on the map of backward states with his opposition to the re-authorization Violence Against Women Act.
This is a bill that was near unanimous when first passed and also near unanimous when it was reauthorized twice. Now Grassley is leading the opposition as once again the Republican Party declares women not to be full citizens of the United States.
Can we fire Senators? Maybe Romney could fire him? Romney likes to fire people.