The conventions are over; we're in the home stretch. Or, for some people - perhaps they have lives that are more interesting than mine or perhaps they simply are not interested in politics - they're just tuning in.
Something too many people don't recall is that our government has three main bodies, checks and balances. They may think that Obama is a dictator (some actually feel that way) instead of realizing that he is being held back by the Worst. Congress. Ever.
Now that Congress is returning to DC and now it's time to focus on doing whatever we can to rid ourselves of the Republican members of the house. It's true that they have a terrible rating, but I think we need to remind other voters of their dreadful behavior for the last few years. After all, many people - and certainly the MSM - have extremely short memories. So, below the squiggle are some of the highlights. Feel free to add to bulk up the list with your own memories!
The destructive and irresponsible behavior of the Republican controlled House has been amazing/appalling during the last two years. They have been working (when they have been working) against the American people. Here are a few examples:
Congress has not only not been getting anything done, they've been taking vacation when they should have been working
There will be three more unemployment reports before the election. Congress has gone on vacation for the next five weeks, leaving work on their desks involving jobs, taxes and the budget deficit.He talks about other pressing issues which have been ignored in favor of holidays: infrastructure and cybersecurity; drought relief; not to mention jobs, the budget and taxes.
Congress managed to get through last year without passing one single piece of significant legislation. It would be hard to do worse than that, but this crowd may actually manage to do it.
However, it's not like they have been completely idle. Here are some of the things they have been doing:
They have been trying to kill the Post Office
NYT on the post office
In 2002, it was discovered that the Postal Service was wildly overpaying its retirement obligations to the tune of $71 billion. Not surprisingly, it soon began advocating for ways to use some of that excess. One bill passed that did almost nothing to solve the problem. Later bills that would have fixed the problem, however, all ran into the same stumbling block: they would have ostensibly added to the deficit. And the Bush administration was adamant that it would veto any bill that wasn’t deficit-neutral.They have been trying to repeal Obamacare
Thus it was that a new fund was established in 2006 — for the prepayment of health benefits for future retirees, with the Postal Service agreeing to pay between $5.5 billion and $5.8 billion annually. The money simply goes into an escrow account, where it is invested in special issue Treasury securities. Thus does it somehow magically help with the deficit. Also, of course, no sooner did the bill become law than first class mail began to fall off the cliff. The prefunding requirement became a noose around the Postal Service’s neck.
Incapable of simply letting the Postal Service go free — imagine what that would do to the deficit! — Congress continues to micromanage it, offering various ways for it to cut costs and raise revenue. The Postal Service, for instance, wants to cut Saturday delivery to save money; a Senate bill passed in April defers that decision for two years. But at least the Senate bill offers some relief from the absurd prefunding of health benefits. It would also return some of the excess retirement funding.
The postal reform bill that has emerged from the Republican-led House of Representatives, however, does no such thing. Representative Darrell Issa, the chairman of the committee that oversees the Postal Service, talks fiercely about the need to lower labor costs, while describing the Senate bill as a “bailout.” What he is doing, of course, is using the fact that the Postal Service is going broke to impose a slash-and-burn approach — while ignoring the central reason the post office is running out of money: Congress itself. Meanwhile, the bill that emerged from Issa’s committee has never been brought to a vote on the House floor. Default notwithstanding, there won’t be a vote anytime soon. After all, the Congressional recess is right around the corner.
Despite being very well aware that it would be futile to attempt to repeal Obamacare, because it would be rejected by the Democratically held Senate - and/or vetoed by President Obama, the House has brought it up over and over.
The vote was the 33rd time the House has voted to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act, but Wednesday's vote was the first House action to repeal since the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law nearly two weeks ago.War on Women's Health
With the reality that it will also be the 33rd time that the measure will fail to be passed by the Democratic-led Senate, Wednesday's action ultimately winds up being only political in nature, giving Republicans material for their political races to tell voters that they are committed to sinking the health care overhaul.
Congressional Republicans held a hearing about birth control and religion last Thursday, and the take-away image from the gathering is a shot of the key witnesses: five middle-aged men representing various religious organizations.It's pretty clear that they don't understand how women's bodies work, as Representative Todd Akin made clear when he said women don't reproduce when they're raped.
Fairly or not, the spin coming out of the hearing was not about how religious institutions might be threatened by a federal requirement that employees be provided insurance coverage for contraceptives, which is what the committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, intended. Instead, the story became how women were left out of a discussion about birth control.
Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP's candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, caused a huge stir the other day with his comments about how women who are true rape victims rarely get pregnant.Trying to destroy our credit rating
"If it's a legitimate rape," he said, "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
In 2011, the Republican-led house nearly refused to lift the debt ceiling, and even though it finally did so, the political histrionics hurt our position in the world,ition in the world and did lead to our first downgrade ever with Standard and Poor's.
But the brush with default has added a new dimension.Refusal to Renew the (formerly VERY popular) Violence Against Women Act
It has left America’s creditors and allies alike wondering what had changed in American politics that a significant part of the country’s political elite was suddenly willing to risk the nation’s reputation as the safest place for the rest of the world to invest.
It raised questions about whether the United States now faces brinkmanship over a variety of issues between an emboldened conservative movement and a president whose authority is under challenge. And for all the talk on the right about “American exceptionalism,” especially among members of the Tea Party, it put doubts in the minds of many about whether America’s military and economic dominance is something the country is still willing to pay for — and will always survive.
This is another way they show their hatred for women.
From a letter to Knox News:
The Violence Against Women Act, passed by Congress in 1994, was intended to protect victims of domestic and sexual abuse and bring their abusers to justice. By 2000 the law was seen to be so effective and popular that its reauthorization passed the U.S. House 371-1 and the Senate 95-0. This April, the Senate again approved a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, but the House bill omitted new protections for gay, Indian, student and immigrant abuse victims contained in the bipartisan Senate bill. Despite overwhelming support for the revised version of the law in the Senate, the Republican leadership in the House blocked its passage.Refusal to Compromise:
Simply dealing with Democrats has been a death blow to the career of many Republicans - despite the madness. They have been trying to become even more right wing, making me wonder how far right it is possible to go.
Then, of course, there’s the simple fact that Lugar was in a position even to write this concession speech. Over the past three years, there’s been a systematic effort uniting crucial parts of the conservative infrastructure to cull the Republican Party of legislators who are willing to compromise with Democrats.So, as we know, the best thing to do is to work at letting them know what it is like to feel unemployed!
I know of course that I am preaching to the choir here. But, dear choir, I want you to learn these notes so you can sing them loud and clear!
The list goes on and on. Perhaps we can have a top 10 or top 25 so that we can plaster them everywhere.
On a very different note (I like my own segue), if you like Greek mythology then go here.