Tag Archives: John Boehner

New Yorker Shows Obama Getting His Health Care Revenge On Republicans

 The Huffington Post

Republicans are not going to like the New Yorker’s latest cover.

The illustration nods to Obamacare’s recent victory, and shows President Obama feeding medicine to a little boy.

That’s just not any little boy though — it’s Mitch McConnell. Artist Barry Blitt told the magazine, “I enjoyed drawing Ted Cruz, John Boehner, and Michele Bachmann as petulant children—and I especially wanted to draw an open-mouthed Mitch McConnell being spoon-fed his meds.”

(h/t Gabriel Debenedetti)

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Filed under Affordable Care Act, New Yorker Magazine

House Republican concedes that GOP’s interests aren’t aligned with the country’s

House Speaker John Boehner holds a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Boehner wants credit for letting Democrats do the hard work of governing.| attribution: Reuters

Daily Kos

This is an incredible statistic about Tuesday’s vote in the U.S. House to raise the debt limit through March 2015:

The 28 members of the Republican majority who voted for the bill — a meager 12 percent — was the lowest percentage for a majority on passage since the House began publishing electronic data on votes in 1991.

The clear implication, says Carl Hulse of The New York Times, is that the vast majority of House Republicans voted against a measure that they actually wanted to pass: The “vote no, hope yes” phenomenon. This pattern—public opposition coupled with private support—is utterly dysfunctional, says Hulse, and the amazing thing is that at least one House Republican agreed with him:

“The incentives are not aligned,” one House Republican acknowledged in conceding that the debt limit vote was not exactly what the framers intended when they drew up the plans for how the House would operate.

On issue after issue, what we’re seeing is a House of Representatives in which the majority party is utterly incapable of governing, whether it’s immigration reform or the government shutdown or turning to Democrats to save the country from default. And it’s pretty clear, not just from that quote above, that Republicans—at least the somewhat smart ones—understand the dysfunction.Take, for example, what happened when House Speaker John Boehner told his caucus that he would allow Democrats to supply the votes to avoid default:

But they didn’t speak up or clap. Boehner just stood there for a moment after he finished, eyed the room, and walked toward his seat. On his way there, Boehner shook his head, then turned to the nearly mute crowd and wondered aloud why he wasn’t getting applause. “I’m getting this monkey off your back and you’re not going to even clap?” Boehner asked, scowling playfully at some tea-party favorites.In a second, attendees snapped back and dozens of them applauded, but there were no cheers. “There was, how do I say it, a polite golf clap,” one House GOP veteran said. “But that, thank God, was the end.”

Think about that: Boehner not only announced to his caucus that Democrats would be doing their job for them, but he saw it as an accomplishment—and wanted to get some credit for it. In a sense, it’s hard to argue that Boehner did the right thing by sidelining his party and letting Democrats prevent an economic catastrophe. But the real lesson shouldn’t be that Boehner deserves credit for figuring out how to govern despite having a caucus divided between crazies and hypocrites—the real lesson should be that if Boehner always needs Democrats to bail him out, then next November, voters should make his job easier by putting Democrats back in the majority.

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Filed under John Boehner

5 important political stories to watch in 2014

Would Boehner lead another shutdown? | Photo: (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Week – Taegan Goodard

1. Will Republicans win back control of the Senate?Most political forecasters give Democrats a minuscule chance of taking back the House of Representatives, so most attention will be on the six seats Republicans need to have the majority in the upper chamber.

The seven most vulnerable seats all belong to Democrats right now: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

2. Will Congress pass immigration reform? A bill has passed the Senate but House leaders refuse to bring it up. Considering the inability of this Congress to pass almost anything, it’s hard to give much hope to immigration reform — particularly in an election year.

However, two things could force the issue. First, national Republicans know they must improve the party’s standing with Hispanic voters and immigration reform is a key issue for this increasingly important voting bloc. Second, Speaker John Boehner has given signs he may move pieces of the Senate bill independently.

3. Will there be another fiscal showdown? Despite a bipartisan budget deal earlier this month, another major battle could be coming in the New Year over the debt ceiling. The federal government is expected to exhaust its borrowing authority by the end of February.

Though many Republicans want to use the event as leverage over the Obama administration to cut spending or tie it to legislation the White House opposes, the politics are brutal for the GOP. The self-inflicted wounds of the government shutdown on the Republican party are still raw and could act to prevent a major battle.

4. Will ObamaCare be a big issue for the midterm elections? Republicans will do everything in their power to tie the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act to Democrats like they did in the 2010 midterms. It helped them retake control of the House.

But the White House is throwing every resource at their disposal to get the law implemented and move beyond the problems that crippled the health care exchange website. If millions of people are getting health insurance they otherwise could not afford by summer, it could end up being a non-issue or even a positive for Democrats.

5. Who knows? Politics is amazingly unpredictable except one thing is almost certain: There is usually a big political story we cannot predict.

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Filed under GOP Leadership

Chamber of Commerce Wants to Rein in GOP: No More ‘Fools,’ ‘Loser Candidates’

Michele Bachmann – [Image via Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons licensed]

Good luck with that COC…

The Raw Story

The GOP’s corporate allies have set a New Year’s resolution they hope will lead to electoral victory in the 2014 midterms: “No fools on our ticket.”

Republican House leaders are planning to impose discipline on unruly members to help avert the party squabbles that badly damaged the GOP brand, and major donors and advocacy groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads intend to develop and fund more centrist candidates.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said Scott Reed, the top political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told the Wall Street Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Presumably, Reed’s talking about candidates such as Mark JacobsBob Vander Plaats,  Chris McDaniel and David Barton.

Party leaders also plan to promote legislation, such as child tax credits and flextime for hourly workers, in hopes of appealing to working families.

“Working middle-class families are struggling to find a good-paying job, get ahead and keep more money in their pocket,” said Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “House Republicans will continue to offer conservative solutions that help create better conditions for them to succeed.”

Republican House Speaker John Boehner signaled this shift earlier this month when he chided conservative activist groups that opposed the two-year budget compromise.

The Speaker’s deputies also worked behind the scenes to quiet internal dissent by warning committee chairmen that opposition to the deal could jeopardize their committee posts.

“The Speaker, and the entire leadership team, urged all House Republicans to support the [budget] agreement, which lowered the deficit without raising taxes,” said Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel.

Committee chairmen had helped derail a farm bill earlier this year and extended the federal government shutdown.

Party leaders will test their clout next month when Congress considers a bill to keep the federal government running and later in the spring when lawmakers consider whether to extend the debt ceiling.

The debt-ceiling debate will take place as Republican primaries start in early March, and the party’s business wing intends to advocate against Tea Party candidates.

The Chamber of Commerce plans to spend at least $50 million to promote business-friendly candidates who they think can win a Republican Senate majority, and they hope the GOP House might pass a farm bill and reform the immigration system.

But conservative activists groups say that won’t happen.

“Lawmakers do not have a monopoly on information, and we will continue to communicate directly with their constituents on important legislation as it moves through Congress,” said Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, part of the Heritage Foundation think tank. “(Lawmakers) will find it difficult to go back home and defend votes that increase spending, increase deficits and undermine the rule of law.”

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Filed under GOP Radicalism

LUMPS OF COAL…

The Huffington Post

These Charts Show Just How Good Congress Was At Being Terrible In 2013

Congress did very, very little in 2013 — setting all-time records for both most unproductive and most unpopular Congress ever. Both the House and Senate have passed dozens of bills that the other chamber ignored, leaving only 65 bills to make their way to the White House and be enacted into law. This count is the latest as of Monday, Dec. 23, and includes the most recent eight bills signed into law by President Obama on Friday, Dec. 20.

House Speaker John Boehner had this to say about what’s been accomplished: “The House has continued to listen to the American people and to focus on their concerns. Now, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s jobs, whether it’s protecting the American people from ‘Obamacare,’ we’ve done our work.”

Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post.

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Filed under 113th Congress

Tuesday Blog Roundup – 12-17-2013

The fear of a black Santa continues

Judge orders NSA to stop phone spying

Paul Ryan On Immigration: ‘No Amnesty’

Christie scandal almost too absurd to believe

Obama suffers most from year of turmoil, poll finds

Snowden to Brazil: Swap you spying help for asylum

Jeh Johnson confirmed as secretary of homeland security

Senate Conservatives Fund accuses Boehner of discrimination. Against conservatives.

Arizona Woman Gets Punched for Saying ‘Happy Holidays’ Instead of ‘Merry Christmas’

Media Matters staff: Fox’s Sean Hannity: “The Pope Sounds Like He Is Against Capitalism”

Homophobic RNC Committee Member Accuses Gay Colleagues Of Manipulating Health Benefits

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Rachel Maddow – Right-wing rejects Mandela’s hero status

Maddown Up All Night via screencap

Rachel Maddow 12-11-2013 (Screencap)

The Raw Story

No matter how bad it seems for Democrats right now, said Rachel Maddow on her show Wednesday night, it’s worse for Republicans. In spite of the fact that the Obamacare roll-out was messy, the Republican Party right now is being roiled in an intense internecine civil war that is keeping the party completely paralyzed.

This week the U.S. Senate is having all-night sessions as the Republicans attempt to slow down voting on a clutch of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees.

“None of them are controversial,” Maddow said. “All of them are likely to be confirmed when their nomination comes up for a vote. But, Republicans have decided they’re going to take a really long time to do that.”

And, she added, the Republicans won’t get anything out of this political stunt that they wouldn’t get if they did nothing at all. The slowdown of voting is purely symbolic.

Senate Republicans are protesting the Democrats’ decision three weeks ago to dispense with the normal two-thirds’ majority needed for presidential nominations. Instead, now they only need a simple majority, action Democrats took in response to constant abuse of the filibuster by the GOP.

At the time of the vote, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell told Democrats, “You’ll regret this.”

Now, payback appears to be coming in the form of Republicans staying up past their bedtime.

“This is Mitch McConnell’s big idea?” Maddow asked.

“This was the Democrats’ whole idea,” she said, “to try to make clear that the Republicans are abusing the filibuster.”

“It’s amazing, it’s like he was hired by Democratic bloggers to illustrate what’s wrong with Republicans in the Senate right now,” she marveled.

But that’s nothing compared to what’s happening in the House of Representatives.

“If there is one thing to take more pleasure in than your opponent’s outraged display of his own impotence in defeat,” Maddow said, “it’s got to be the spectacle of your opponent being driven to his knees by infighting on his own side.”

In the House, “open warfare” has broken out between tea party Republicans and Republican Party stalwarts like Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), who are entering into a tentative budget deal with House Democrats.

This has outraged right-wing publications and pundits, who see any deal with Democrats as treachery and a danger to America.

Politico quoted Senate Conservatives Fund executive Director Matt Hoskins as saying, “John Boehner has apparently decided to join Mitch McConnell in the war on conservatives. McConnell called us fringe traitors who should be locked in a bar and punched in the nose, and now Boehner is lashing out at us too. Conservatives everywhere need to understand that the party’s leadership has declared war on them. If they don’t fight back, they will always regret it. We’re going to hang together or hang separately.”

All but cackling with delight, Maddow said, “Covering politics doesn’t get any better than this.”

Watch the video, embedded below:

Via MSNBC – The Rachel Maddow Show

 

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Filed under GOP, Rachel Maddow

10 things you need to know today: December 7, 2013

A storm ice-locked Texas on Friday.  

A storm ice-locked Texas on Friday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The Week

Unemployment drops, a deadly ice storm pummels the South, and more

1. Obamas to travel to South Africa next week
The first couple will visit South Africa next week to attend memorial services for Nelson Mandela. A tribute is scheduled for December 10, and the funeral will be held on December 15 in Mandela’s home town of Qunu. [Politico]

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2. Unemployment falls to lowest level in five years
A new jobs report revealed that the economy added 203,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell from 7.3 to 7.0 percent, the lowest level in five years. Much of the decrease can be attributed to federal employees returning from the shutdown. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]

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3. U.K. outranks U.S. for research quality
When it comes to research, what the U.K. lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. A new report by publishing giant Elsevier reveals the U.K. outpaces the U.S. in research caliber. While the island nation accounts for only 0.9 percent of the global population, it houses 4.1 percent of researchers and 15.9 percent of the world’s most highly cited articles. [The Guardian]

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4. Ice storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power
A deadly storm pummeled the South from Texas up through the Ohio Valley, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Multiple people were reported dead, thousands of flights were canceled, and 267,000 power outages were reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone. [Chicago Tribune]

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5. Robinson Cano leaves Yankees for Mariners
After a seven-season run, 31-year-old Robinson Cano is leaving the Yankees. The former MVP reportedly accepted a $240 million offer to join the Seattle Mariners for 10 years. [New York Times]

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6. Republicans want to terminate emergency unemployment benefits
House Speaker John Boehner cited the November jobs report as evidence that emergency unemployment benefits should not be extended after their December 28 expiration date. The GOP faces staunch opposition from the Democrats and the White House. “As our economy continues to gather steam, now is not the time for Washington to put on the breaks,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. [Talking Points Memo]

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7. HIV returns to men ‘cured’ of the virus
HIV has returned to the two men thought to be cured of the virus by bone marrow transplants. The news suggests that HIV may hide deeper in the body than previously thought, as the men went several weeks without any trace of the virus. [Huffington Post]

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8. Facebook mulls ‘sympathize’ button
Facebook is considering a button for users who want to engage with something a friend shares, but don’t necessarily want to “like” it. The sympathize button would address the awkwardness of responding to negative posts. [Atlantic]

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9. Spotify will launch free mobile streaming
Spotify users will no longer be restricted to desktop streaming. The Sweden-based music company is planning a free mobile version of its app, which was previously only available for a $9.99 monthly fee. This new feature poses a real threat to mobile radio stations like Pandora. [Wall Street Journal]

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10. Majority of stranded whales escape
Pilot whales stranded in the Florida Everglades captivated the nation this week. And while 11 of the 51 did die in the shallows, coast guard officials believe the remainder of the whales escaped back into the sea. [The Guardian]

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Ted Cruz posts Mandela tribute on Facebook. His fans go crazy.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ted Cruz answers a question from a television reporter Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Houston. Cruz is running against Democrat Paul Sadler to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) attribution: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Daily Kos

You’d think a tribute to one of the greatest leaders in modern history would be controversy-free, but no. The statement from Ted Cruz on his Facebook page:

Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe. He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free.We mourn his loss and offer our condolences to his family and the people of South Africa.

Cue the crazies. Here is a glimpse at the top-rated comments on the post:

Comments on Ted Cruz Facebook page.

attribution: screenshot from Facebook

 

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Filed under Nelson Mandela, Ted Cruz

Evening Blog Roundup – 12-3-2013

Constitutional experts man a highway overpass. (AP)

 

Benghazification Begins

The blurred line between caricature and reality

Boehner Hires Top Tier Immigration Policy Aide

Arafat did not die of poisoning, French tests conclude

Cisco Says NSA Costing Them Major Business Abroad

The Best Obamacare News That Nobody Is Talking About

Here’s Your Very Latest Foolproof Reason to Impeach Obama

As do-nothing Congress dithers, a million set to lose unemployment insurance

Poll: Tea Partiers More Likely Than Other GOPers To View Snowden Positively

John Boehner On 113th Congress Being Least Productive Ever: ‘We’ve Done Our Work’

 

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