Tea Partiers: U.S. ‘can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship’

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

Oh my goodness, the craziness coming out of the GOP never ceases to amaze me…

The Maddow Blog

A few incumbent Republican senators have primary opponents to worry about — most notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — but Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) doesn’t appear to be one of them. The two-term senator and former governor remains fairly popular in the Volunteer State and is generally expected to win re-election easily.

But yesterday, a group of Tea Party organizations wrote Alexander a letter, urging him to quit and make room for a more right-wing candidate. Their letter included a classic line, that speaks volumes about Tea Partiers’ ideology.

“During your tenure in the Senate we have no doubt that you voted in a way which you felt was appropriate. Unfortunately, our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous.”

Got that? After more than a decade on Capitol Hill, Alexander has developed a reputation as a senator capable of working with people he disagrees with — and the Tea Party groups consider this outrageous. “Compromise and bipartisanship” have been repackaged as insulting words senators would be wise to avoid.

Indeed, the letter added, “Quite honestly, your voting record shows that you do not represent the conservative values that we hold dear and the votes you have cast as Senator are intolerable to us.”

Reading the letter, one might get the impression that Alexander has a voting record slightly to the left of Olympia Snowe, infuriating the GOP’s far-right base. But reality belies the caricature.

The Tennessee Republican has voted against every major priority pushed by President Obama; he has a 77% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union; he recently argued the minimum wage shouldn’t exist at all; and in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Alexander told a national television audience, “I think video games is [sic] a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people.”

Lamar Alexander, in other words, is a conservative Republican. To say he’s too moderate to represent the right’s interest is like saying Dick Lugar should be defeated in a primary. Oh wait.

For what it’s worth, Alexander has no announced primary opponent, though it now appears likely that Tea Partiers are looking for one.

Maddow: Republicans still trying to intrude into your bedroom

Maddow: Republicans still trying to intrude into your bedroom (via Raw Story )

Friday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow pointed out that in spite of whatever attempts the GOP is making at the national level at rebranding itself, the party is lost without its “bedroom intrusion agenda.” Even as national Republicans like Olympia Snowe come out in favor…

Senators Who Voted To Protect Oil Tax Breaks Received $23,582,500 From Big Oil

It appears that in Washington D.C. money talks and bull crap walks.  This article definitively shows Americans who their Senators really work for.  Clearly, it’s not for their constituents.

Think Progress

In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

A Think Progress Green analysis shows how oil and gas companies have funneled cash to the same senators who protected its handouts:

– The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.

– The senators who voted for Big Oil’s handouts received on average over four times as much career oil cash as those who voted to end them.

– Overall, Senate Republicans have taken $23.2 million in oil and gas contributions. Democrats received $6.66 million.

– Since 2011, Senate Republicans have voted seven times for pro-Big Oil interests and against clean energy three times.

Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA). Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) broke ranks and voted to cut the tax breaks. Two senators, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) didn’t vote.

Republicans have taken an overwhelming 88 percent of oil and gas contributions this election cycle. While showering politicans with cash, the oil industry also spent over $146,000,000 on lobbying last year.

Although 55 percent of Americans want to see Big Oil welfare end, the GOP once again largely acted in-line with their Big Oil donors.

The full list of oil contributions for the Senate is listed below, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics:

Senator Since 2006 Career Vote
Akaka, Daniel (D-HI) 6,800 33,500 Y
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) 159,350 414,550 N
Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH) 142,368 142,368 N
Barrasso, John (R-WY) 409,900 416,650 N
Baucus, Max (D-MT) 193,800 358,815 Y
Begich, Mark (D -AK) 153,705 153,705 N
Bennet, Michael (D-CO) 137,170 137,170 Y
Bingaman, Jeff (D-NM) 130,499 446,440 Y
Blumenthal, Richard (D-CT) 8,500 8,500 Y
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) 363,950 760,598 N
Boozman, John (R-AR) 101,352 141,952 N
Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) 19,350 40,075 Y
Brown , Scott (R-MA) 198,660 198,660 N
Brown , Sherrod (D-OH) 14,850 63,250 Y
Burr, Richard (R-NC) 234,800 549,852 N
Cantwell, Maria (D-WA) 39,666 61,116 Y
Cardin, Benjamin (D-MD) 39,400 71,900 Y
Carper, Thomas (D-DE) 48,600 71,060 Y
Casey, Bob (D-PA) 103,150 103,150 Y
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) 260,300 381,192 N
Coats, Daniel (R-In) 144,783 348,908 N
Coburn, Tom (R-OK) 190,400 552,163 N
Cochran, Thad (R-MS) 94,250 231,485 N
Collins, Susan (R-ME) 83,900 175,643 Y
Conrad, Kent (D-ND) 72,150 312,403 Y
Coons, Chris (D-DE) 13,373 13,373 Y
Corker, Bob (R-TN) 414,250 462,950 N
Cornyn, John (R-TX) 1,197,275 1,877,550 N
Crapo, Mike (R-ID) 94,300 314,689 N
DeMint, Jim (R-SC) 149,323 248,389 N
Durbin, Richard (D-IL) 23,100 66,800 Y
Enzi, Michael (R-WY) 126,800 305,650 N
Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) 63,500 179,750 Y
Franken, Al (D-MN) 19,200 19,200 Y
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) 67,882 74,050 Y
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) 64,150 154,875 N
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) 132,500 270,050 N
Hagan, Kay (D-NC) 17,550 17,550 Y
Harkin, Tom (D-IA) 61,550 189,500 Y
Hatch, Orrin (R-UT) 310,750 452,425
Heller, Dean (R-NV) 122,100 210,050 N
Hoeven, John (R-ND) 263,289 263,289 N
Hutchsion, Kay Bailey (R-TX) 476,586 2,223,271 N
Inhofe, James (R-OK) 550,350 1,367,523 N
Inouye, Daniel (D-HI) 25,850 65,850 Y
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) 130,900 248,514 N
Johanns, Mike (R-NE) 82,800 82,800 N
Johnson, Ron (R-WI) 113,950 113,950 N
Johnson, Tim (D-SD) 62,350 127,706 Y
Kerry, John (D-MA) 4,710 407,570 Y
Kirk, Mark (R-IL) 159,750 207,750
Klobouchar, Amy (D-MN) 19,716 19,716 Y
Kohl, Herb (D-WI) 1,300 Y
Kyl, Jon (R-AZ) 145,900 334,332 N
Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA) 492,030 891,574 N
Lautenberg, Frank (D-NJ) 40,800 95,900 Y
Leahy, Patrick (D-VT) 250 10,250 Y
Lee, Mike (R-UT) 50,350 50,350 N
Levin, Carl (D-MI) 23,100 92,844 Y
Lieberman, Jo (I -CT) 84,850 196,250 Y
Lugar, Richard (R-IN) 67,600 217,225 N
Manchin, Joe (D-WV) 141,300 141,300 Y
McCain, John (R-AZ) 2,622,764 2,870,491 N
McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) 55,058 55,058 Y
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) 759,450 1,154,011 N
Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) 58,900 118,650 Y
Merkley, Jeff (D-OR) 6,500 6,500 Y
Mikulski, Barbara (D-MD) 9,650 47,710 Y
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) 139,000 385,496 N
Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK) 320,326 533,489 N
Murray, Patty (D-Wa) 21,716 57,366 Y
Nelson, Ben (D-NE) 217,650 271,555 N
Nelson, Bill (D-FL) 56,617 86,117 Y
Paul, Rand (R-KY) 106,840 106,840 N
Portman, Robert (R-OH) 313,858 323,458 N
Pryor, Mark (D-AR) 153,650 183,800 Y
Reed, Jack (D-RI) 5,200 12,850 Y
Reid, Harry (D-NV) 136,550 349,336 Y
Risch, James (R-ID) 88,350 88,350 N
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) 250,000 429,800 N
Rockefeller, Jay (D-WV) 73,550 310,250 Y
Rubio, Marco (R-FL) 244,034 244,034 N
Sanders, Bernie (I -VT) 5,500 7,200 Y
Schumer, Charles (D-NY) 64,200 239,551 Y
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL) 106,200 297,500 N
Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH) 12,300 21,000 Y
Shelby, Richard (R-AL) 50,900 352,700 N
Snowe, Olympia (R-ME) 73,200 173,900 Y
Stabenow, Debnbie (D-MI) 35,750 54,100 Y
Tester, Jon (D-Mt) 26,400 26,400 Y
Thune, John (R-SD) 189,835 649,462 N
Toomey, Patrick (R-PA) 315,366 362,716 N
Udall, Mark (D-CO) 120,110 169,029 Y
Udall, Tom (D-NM) 105,329 150,210 Y
Vitter, David (R-LA) 612,850 1,018,685 N
Warner, Mark (D-VA) 20,400 59,200 Y
Webb, Jim (D-VA) 26,006 26,006 N
Whitehouse, Sheldon (D-RI) 25,550 25,550 Y
Wicker, Roger (R-MS) 356,400 538,810 N
Wyden, Ron (D-OR) 43,264 117,864 Y
TOTAL 16,994,910 30,116,264
GOP 13,586,309 23,249,395
Dems 3,318,251 6,663,419
Independents 90,350 203,450

Methodology: Analysis includes oil and gas contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more to Senators between the 2006-2012 election cycles and over their career, using data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Friday Blog Round Up

Sheriff Claims Obama Birth Certificate Forged

Did Obama say everyone should go to college?

Romney’s and Obama’s tax plans, in one chart

Olympia Snowe: Why I’m Leaving The Senate

Gas prices are no silver bullet for GOP

Fox Attacks On Obama Ignore Bush Apology For Quran Desecration

The Funniest Rick Santorum Photo You’ll See Today

Andrew Breitbart Dead At 43

Newt’s Undead Campaign Is Helping Romney?

Romney Pants On Fire

Limbaugh: Make Sex Videos, You Slut

Herman Cain Watches Girl Torture Goldfish From Mountaintop

Wednesday Blog Round Up

Romney wins AZ, Michigan

Olympia Snowe is right about American politics. Will we listen?

Fact-checking the Arizona presidential debate

Seniors and the Wealthy Save Michigan for Romney

The Tea Party Loves Socialism, Fakes Otherwise

Rick Santorum Loses Catholic Vote In 2012 Michigan, Arizona Primaries

How The Right Redefines “Fairness” To Push Tax Hikes On Poor People

Conservative Experts Say That Obama Was Right To Apologize For Quran Burning

Hungry Detroit Boy: ‘Tomorrow Is My Night’ To Eat. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Snyder Slashes Safety Net

Rep. Allen West: “A Second Holocaust Looms If America Doesn’t Back Israel”

Ryan Plan Dies In Senate … But 40 Republicans Voted For It

It’s like Oliver Willis says….we’ve got their names in Congress and in the Senate now. 

In the next two elections, those congressmen and senators who are up for re-election will have to answer for their vote that put millionaire subsidies ahead of people who have paid into Medicare for years and will be denied Medicare as we know it.

Oliver Willis

We know they want to kill Medicare. We’ve just got some names now.

In a tell-tale sign of trouble ahead, there were significantly more defections among GOP moderates than in a similar partisan show vote in March testing support then for an earlier House Republican budget initiative focused on discretionary spending cuts.

Maine Republicans, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, voted in opposition this time, as did Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. And the same Medicare controversy made it impossible to win over any Democratic moderates, despite their unhappiness with the higher spending levels of President Barack Obama’s own budget.

Politico has more…

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Maine’s Madman Governor Paul LePage Strikes Again

The Daily Beast

Just 100 days into Gov. Paul LePage’s Tea Party-fueled administration, his fellow Republicans are fighting back, defeating his push to bring back toxic baby bottles. Now Maine faces a choice between the Republicanism of moderate Olympia Snowe or the more bellicose LePage, reports Colin Woodard.

After November’s election, Maine Republicans had reason to feel heady. Their candidate, Tea Party-backed conservative Paul LePage, was headed to the governor’s mansion in Augusta, where the GOP had won a majority in both legislative chambers for the first time in nearly half a century.

But a hundred days into his administration, Gov. LePage has managed to alienate legislators, invigorate his opponents, and generate more negative national press attention than any Maine politician since James G. Blaine, who retired from the U.S. Senate in 1881. On the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, he told the NAACP to “kiss my butt.”   He defended a campaign to lift a ban on the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A in baby bottles by joking that the worst thing that could happen is “some women may have little beards.” Then he had a mural illustrating the history of Maine’s labor movement taken out of a Department of Labor waiting room after an anonymous letter compared it to murals in North Korea aimed at “brainwashing the masses.” The removal triggered large protests by artists and union members, and a possible federal Department of Labor fine in excess of $60,000, for breaching the terms of a grant that helped cover the mural’s purchase, and widespread editorial condemnation, with the Bangor Daily News describing the act as “straight out of Orwell’s world.”

“Gov. LePage has spent the early days of his administration seeking out third-rail issues,” says Ron Schmidt Jr., chairman of the University of Southern Maine’s political science department. “In traditional political math, he should be trying to grow his base”—LePage won by 1 point, with 38 percent of the vote—“but things like the mural could even erode his base.”

The central question in Maine politics has been whether Republican lawmakers would stand by LePage’s more contentious proposals, such as rolling back all environmental laws to match laxer federal standards. Recently it has become clear that many of them are frustrated with the governor, and that the feeling is mutual. On Monday, eight of 20 Republican state senators criticized the governor’s often bellicose behavior in an op-ed published by the state’s largest newspaper chain. The next day, LePage’s bisphenol-A initiative was rejected 35-0 in the state senate, after a 145-3 defeat in the House.

Continue here…

With Millions Losing Benefits, Ben Nelson Blocks Extension Of Unemployment Insurance

Ben Nelson is a Democrat who has consistently voted against the jobs bill, giving the GOP their much needed filibuster majority to keep this bill down!  Nelson is no stranger to siding with house GOP members when it comes to fiscal issues.  It appears that the social and economic issues that the unemployed face means nothing to these cretins!

Talking Points Memo

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) last night prevented his fellow Democrats from finally passing legislation to extend needed unemployment insurance benefits to out of work Americans. It was the third time the legislation, which has been repeatedly pared down and reshaped in the hunt for votes, has failed to overcome a filibuster. But it was the first time that success or failure rested on a single deciding vote. And because Nelson, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, joined Republicans and blocked the bill, it will likely not pass until mid-July, after the Senate returns from Independence Day recess. By then Robert Byrd’s replacement will be seated, and Dems will have the votes they need to pass their jobs bill.

Here’s what happened.

The Senate was by all accounts done for the day, and any further attempts to extend unemployment insurance would have to wait another day. But at about 8 pm, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to give it one more shot and called the vote, which had to be held open to allow Senators caught unaware to reach the chamber. When it was all said and done, the final vote was 58-38 with three Republicans not voting.

Of course, it requires 60 votes to break a filibuster, meaning Democrats were two votes shy. So why does this fall on Ben Nelson? When a cloture vote fails, the Majority Leader often switches his vote from yes to no. But he’s not joining the filibuster. It’s a parliamentary maneuver that allows him to bring the issue back to the floor easily at a later time, without having to go through the longer process of filing for cloture again.   Continue reading…