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Harold Meyerson at the Washington Post takes on right-to-work laws in The Lansing-Beijing connection:

The gap between U.S. capital income and labor income hasn’t been this great since before the New Deal; why widen it still more? The answer, in Lansing no less than in Beijing, is political. The Republicans who took control of the Michigan statehouse in 2010 understand that Democrats’ foot soldiers come disproportionately from labor. GOP efforts to reduce labor’s clout help Republicans politically far more than they help any Michigan-based businesses or local governments. (The legislation, which Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed into law Tuesday evening, establishes right-to-work requirements for the public sector, too.)

Those who doubt that the intent of Michigan’s laws is more political than economic should consider the two kinds of unions exempted from its reach: police and firefighter unions. Their contracts are among the costliest that local governments confront: Police and firefighters generally (and rightly) retire earlier than do other public employees, with relatively generous pension benefits. But in Michigan, police and firefighter unions often endorse Republicans. Shrinking their treasuries and political power by subjecting them to right-to-work strictures would only damage Republicans’ electoral prospects (and may well play poorly to voters).

Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post displays another example of her finely honed penchant for upsidedownism in The double-down president:
Boehner’s good-faith attempts at a deal, offering new revenue through reforms as well as leaning toward some limited tax-rate increases, have been met with mockery. Obama’s laughable idea of a balanced deal includes taking control of the debt ceiling and doubling revenue demands, while offering little in the way of spending cuts.
Jules Witcover at the Baltimore Sun asks Is anybody sad that Jim DeMint is leaving the Senate? and wonders whether he irritated Democrats or Republicans more:
The South Carolinian's decision may reflect personal frustration with his ability to move his party more to the right in the Senate. But it also highlights the growing influence of outside voices like Mr. Limbaugh and ultraconservative radio and television commentators and supposedly independent super-PACs in shaping public opinion on right-wing causes.

In a political world increasingly driven by big money, conservative Republican-leaning groups like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute have until fairly recently led the way as aggressive generators of intellectual content. But effectively selling their ideas to a broader constituency has been another matter. For all of Mr. DeMint's talk of waging "the battle of ideas," his prime contribution in changing hats may be as a salesman, not a philosopher.

Maureen Dowd at The New York Times just can't steer clear of the "slutty" label in A Tale of Two Women, a column that otherwise contains only others' opinions about the controversial film Zero Dark Thirty and the fictional and real version of the woman whose doggedness tracked Osama bin Laden to his Pakistani hideout.  

Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times warns about the lousy record of predictors in the presidential sweepstakes this far out from the next election in :

With the dust barely settled from this year's election, voters are already being asked whom they like for 2016, and on the Democratic side, it's a landslide for Clinton, with 61% of Democratic voters favoring her.

And that has produced a wave of predictions from people who ought to know better.[...]

That doesn't mean the rest of us have to fall for Hillarymania. Yes, she's done a generally estimable job as secretary of State, but the last president to ascend from that springboard was John Quincy Adams. Yes, she'd be the most experienced candidate in the race, but that was true in 2008 too, and she bungled the campaign.

Besides, it's not clear that Clinton wants to run.

Leo Gerard at In These Times writes Dethrone ‘Filibuster King’ Mitch McConnell:
McConnell is the filibuster king, master of all that he and his minority minions can obstruct. With the filibuster, he zealously bludgeoned to death bills passed by a majority in the House and supported by a majority in the Senate. What was intended to be a precision tool McConnell brandished as a machine gun, murdering all majority-supported legislation in sight. Filibuster is derived from the Dutch word for thieving pirates. It is the minority stealing voting rights from the majority.
Dan Kervick at New Economic Perspectives writes Full Employment as the New Progressive Paradigm:
The fact is that the progressive movement in America, at least so far as electoral politics goes, was bumped over the political cliff long ago and is barely hanging on by its fingernails at the edge of the precipice. Ambitious progressive dreams of social transformation have now been replaced almost entirely by scrambling, draining efforts just to slow down the pace at which the plutocracy takes the gains of the past away from us.

We have a Democratic administration that now openly pursues and endorses policies that just a generation ago Republicans would not have dared to propose in public. We are asked to feel grateful for a health care reform plan that entrenches the corporate power of Big Health and is an adaptation of the plan put forward by Republicans in the 80’s. And if Barack Obama—who actually won the election—manages to limit the cuts in Medicare to just $100 billion or so, he’ll count it as a victory. Any plans to expand the role of social insurance programs or the role of democratic government in the equitable provision of public goods and services? Out of the question!

Lynn Stuart Parramore at Alternet writes 6 Things Money Shouldn’t Be Able to Buy:
In Santa Ana, Calif., they call it “pay-to-stay,” a system in which those arrested for relatively minor crimes can pay around $100 a night for a clean, quiet, less-crowded alternative to a squalid county jail. Money can buy you amenities like iPods, exercise bikes, cell phones, and even work-release programs. According to Prison Legal News, a Pasadena program advertises to “clients” in brochures inviting them to “Serve your time in our clean, safe secure facility! ... We are the finest jail in Southern California.” The price tag? $135 per day. [...]

Strapped local and state governments argue that the pay-to-stay programs generate much-needed cash. But what about fairness? Apparently that's expendable.

Leonard Pitts Jr. at The Miami Herald writes that a Good pol should never say never:
Sen. Lindsey Graham says that if Democrats agree to entitlement reform, “I will violate the pledge for the good of the country”—a stirring statement of patriotism and sacrifice that warms your heart like a midnight snack of jalapeño chili fries.

In other words: bull twinkies. If you want the truth of why a trickle of GOP lawmakers is suddenly willing to blaspheme the holy scripture of their faith, it’s simple. The pledge used to be politically expedient. Now it is not.

Mark Bittman at The New York Times writes Pesticides: Now More Than Ever:
After the publication of “Silent Spring,” 50 years ago, we (scientists, environmental and health advocates, birdwatchers, citizens) managed to curb the use of pesticides and our exposure to them—only to see their application grow and grow to the point where American agriculture uses more of them than ever before.

And the threat is more acute than ever. While Rachel Carson focused on their effect on “nature,” it’s become obvious that farmworkers need protection from direct exposure while applying chemicals to crops. Less well known are the recent studies showing that routine, casual, continuing—what you might call chronic—exposure to pesticides is damaging not only to flora but to all creatures, including the one that habitually considers itself above it all: us.

Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine writes Politico Accidentally Exposes Beltway Elite, mocking Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen for revealing their insularity while failing to recognize his own.

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Comment Preferences

  •  equal protection argument for legal challenge? (13+ / 0-)

    Might the new Mich law's exception for police and firefighters' unions be the basis for an equal protection argument against the new Michigan law?  What rational basis is there for distinguishing among the alleged beneficial or deleterious effects between all other unions (public and private sector) and those two public sector unions?

  •  Re: Chait column (10+ / 0-)

    Skimming the comments and this pops out:

    Politico is not the product of journalism. It is, in the words of Charles Pierce "Tiger Beat on the Potomoc",
    Ain't that the truth.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:47:58 AM PST

  •  There's a theme in this roundup... (12+ / 0-)

    The Far Right is angry, bitterly angry, over this past election, and will redouble their efforts to impose their wills on the majority of Americans.  

    The fringe right is too well-funded by rich kookoos to just go away, let alone compromise and get the work of the people done.  They are also too well-heeled to care if they damage the rest of us.  

    The theme developing on the Far Right since election day:  get mad, then get even.

    •  I hope you weren't surprised (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, Minnesota Deb, Laconic Lib
      The Far Right is angry, bitterly angry, over this past election, and will redouble their efforts to impose their wills on the majority of Americans.  
      They are still gearing up and I am still anticipating a bloody outburst because these fuckheads truly believe their bullshit and given that the lot of them are abject racists who are armed to the teeth, I say it's a safe bet that we see a few of them lose it and hurt people.

      Just a matter of time, really.

      The Inaguration is approaching as well as all the frenzy of this fiscal pimple bullshit. They really believe that is real too.

      People this delusional are going to act upon their delusions.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:20:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Au contraire Mr Meyerson....the goopers are world, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dopper0189

    country, state, city, community-firsters....They could care less about party.

  •  My issue with saying Dems using GOP idea meme (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalSal

    We all acknowledge that the Dixiecrats left the Democratic party and became Republicans, we also acknowledge that they took their old segregationist instincts with them. What we don't say or lament is any idea that they took Democratic ideas with them, because we understand they were conservative ideas. Yes the old Dixiecrats were housed in the Democratic party but the ideas they took with the were neither liberal or progressive.

    What we don't seem to want to acknowledge is that the old Rockefeller Republicans came into the Democratic party and also took their ideas. The Rockefeller Republicans obviously were Republicans but they were liberal Republicans. The voters in New England, the MidAtlantic states (NY, NJ, eastern Penn, Delaware, Maryland), Michigan, and the North West (Oregon and Washington) that used to vote Republican are now solidly Democratic.

    My point is this: why do we not say the GOP moved left to win Dixiecrats but we do constantly echo the idea that Democrats moved right to win Rockefellers? I think we actually reinforce a frame by constantly repeating to the public that Democrats moved right, rather than arguing that Rockefellar  Republicans moved left.

    In politics oft repeated declaration have a way of becoming political reality. I'm not saying their isn't some truth to the idea Democrats have moved away from the left. Just wondering if we're over blowing it and helping it along?

    Tips or flames.....

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:57:54 AM PST

    •  The reality is that we HAVE moved right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, tb mare, Laconic Lib

      All you have to do is read the 1980 Republican platform that Ronald Reagan ran on.  It's to the left of the Democratic 2012 platform on many issues.  

      President Dwight Eisenhower once famously said that nobody outside of some crazy oil men in Texas would even consider cutting Social Security benefits, yet here we are and DEMOCRATS are considering cutting Social Security benefits.

      Anybody who has looked at our political history over a long period of time will conclude the same exact thing.  Our political spectrum has DRAMATICALLY shifted rightward in the last 30 years.  Anyone who claims otherwise is a fucking liar or a woefully ignorant.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:06:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is about messaging so calm the cussing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        One of the reason we keep moving rightward is that Republicans are better at messaging especially the subliminal and emotive kind.

        My point went completely over your head because your thinking intellectually I'm concerned with the message we're sending.

        -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

        by dopper0189 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:11:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with what you're saying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          is that it's factually incorrect.  The GOP didn't move left to win over Dixiecrats.  The Dixiecrats already were center right on many issues and on race related issues were extreme right along with the John Birchers.

          The other problem with what you're saying is that the Democrats DID move right.  After Reagan wiped the floor with the Democratic Party the DLC was formed with the explicit goal of moving the party right to attract pro business interests.  For over 20 years the Democrats have nominated people who came from the center of the political spectrum (which in that time has moved ever right) and from the right side of the Democratic Party.  Bill Clinton (DLCer), Al Gore (DLCer), John Kerry, Barack Obama all were Centrists, on the right of the Democratic Party.  

          So you can try and push the meme that the GOP moved left and that the Dems didn't move right, but frankly history will tell us otherwise.  History will tell us it's simply bullshit.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:28:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm arguing how to sell it you're arguing the fact (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades

            Two completely different things. Notice how the GOP leaders and talk radio keep arguing that Obama doesn't have a mandate even though he got a higher percentage of the vote that Reagan did in 1980? Why is that? It's about how to sell something to your "troops" in order to keep them pushing the party in the way you want.

            Step back for a minute and think about that.

            -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

            by dopper0189 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:38:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I have been dismayed and appalled to see Dems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, Ohkwai

      including Obama, repeating the GOP frame about the Cliff bullshit.

      it rewards the GOP when we - Dems and the Prez - use THEIR FRAMING of an issue ESPECIALLY when that framing AND that issue are total bullshit.

      But that IS American politics: Fighting to keep the right thing from ever occurring and making sure wild-assed bullshit is protected.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:23:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems have major messaging issue across the board (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just wondering if this is one of them?

        -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

        by dopper0189 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:26:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. It is both a messaging fail (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib

          as well as a general fail for not imposing their own frame.

          As far as I know, dems still have no understanding of framing whatsoever.

          And Obama is still hoping for a campfire and smores from the GOP.

          The Dems have serious and needless issues.

          Fucking Harry Reid was a boxer, dammit - he was TRAINED to hit people in the head to win.

          What happened?

          Why can't Dems fight like the GOP?

          What is the fucking disconnect?

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:29:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Harry Reid IS fighting (4+ / 0-)

            But frankly if he's shadow boxing in the forest and strikes a blow will anyone notice?  Fox is too busy hyping some bullshit story about union thugs.  CNBC is on a propaganda push for austerity called 'Rise Above'.  The other news are looking for the next missing blonde and completely ignoring the fact that Reid is fighting.  

            Oh Wall Street noticed yesterday.  They tanked immediately because they really want the Dems to cave and cut everything and when Reid said that he didn't see a deal anytime soon because of the GOP's insistence on the Dems proposing cuts, they literally shit their beds.

            The disconnect is in the media.  The Media isn't reporting our side because they're biased.

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:35:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes - he did happen to do a few things well (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Laconic Lib

              recently, which only makes my commentary more valid: he OBVIOUSLY CAN, so where does the fighter spend most of his time???

              Why can't dems manage to screw the GOP half as much as the GOP screws the rest of us?

              The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

              by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:03:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's not just the frame. (8+ / 0-)

            The Democrats are playing defense when they have every right, and opportunity because of the election outcome, to play offense.  Instead of putting forth their own ideas for reducing the deficit (apparently reducing the deficit has been moved to the top of the priority list and "jobs, jobs, jobs" has been relegated to the memory hole), they are content to argue the details of Republican ideas.

            For instance, why aren't the Democrats fighting for a reduction in the age people would be eligible for Medicare?  Why aren't we insisting that Wall Street pay a transaction tax instead of the middle class giving up their home mortgage deduction?  Why aren't we insisting that the mortgage deduction be available only on primary residences instead of every home or ski chalet that the rich buy for themselves?  Why aren't the deductions for charitable contributions higher?  Why isn't Medicare allowed to negotiate prices for drugs?

            We need to be on the offensive instead of arguing about how much to give in to the Republicans.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:48:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maureen Dowd has a remarkable talent for dropping (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deminva, skohayes

    a column about once a year that is so refreshingly acerbic and on target you're really happy that you read it, and then the rest of the time she just delivers gutpunches to your sanity.

    Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better?

    by ConfusedSkyes on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:59:10 AM PST

  •  Good round up this morning, MB, thanks! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, skohayes, Laconic Lib

    The Chait article in particular was fascinating.  Kathleen Parker is rapidly Rubinizing herself--I usually skip over her columns.

    Welcome to another day of inequality, fellow Kossacks!  One  day soon we'll be "serfing" instead of "surfing."

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:59:43 AM PST

  •  Allowance. (5+ / 0-)

    Remember when "breadwinners" used to give housekeepers an allowance with which to purchase the ingredients with which to actually bake the bread?
    That's what Congress is up to -- playing breadwinner, now that playing doctor has grown stale.

    What they ought to be doing is paying. But, as the banksters have also discovered, paying out money is a really dreary enterprise. Gamblers, even financial engineers, have much more fun. And so do deprivators. Though, one has to be a bit of a sadist to enjoy the deprivator's line of work.

    Are Boehner and company sadistic enough? That is the question. The other question is how long will it take for the American public to catch on that the shortage of money is a gigantic fake.
    Maybe it would help if the President stopped using the word "political" and pointed out that Congress is aiming to grab Americans by the balls and squeeze until it hurts.
    Then the question would be why they would want to do that and the answer is because the majority haven't been voting right. Willard tried to tell them, but the people wouldn't listen.
    What's the point of being keepers of the purse, if pulling the strings tight doesn't make people do right?

    When was the last time you heard about the advantages of incumbency? That should tell you something.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:00:44 AM PST

  •  Boehner's good faith attempt at.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Laconic Lib

    ....throwing sick, old people into the street.

    That noble man.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:06:40 AM PST

  •  Next time a GOoPer complains (6+ / 0-)

    about doing something during the lame duck session and claiming the opposition is ramming it through, Michigan 2012 should be shoved down their fucking throats and out their assholes.  

    Can anyone show as blatant an example of ramming through their ideology during the lame duck session as this?

    Hopefully it will be used as a bludgeon to destroy the GOP in Michigan for a generation.  It'll probably take that long to undo the damage done.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:10:16 AM PST

  •  You Have To Hand It To the GOP (8+ / 0-)

    Although I abhor just about everything the Republican Party stands for, I must admit that it is amazing how they can get things done. Just think for a minute. After the 2000 election, Bush charged ahead like he had won a mandate bigger than FDR in 1936, LBJ in 1964, Nixon in 1972, and Reagan in 1984 combined, and after a fairly narrow re-election victory in 2004, he just kept charging ahead. From 2009-2011, Republican minorities in the House and Senate were able to hold back, delay, and kill legislation proposed by Democrats, and since 2011, Mitch McConnell has been running the Senate as minority leader. This is kind of maneuvering is something that Democrats are incapable of and it's not because they are more principled, more high-minded, or more public spirited than the Republicans, it's because too many of them are committed to Republican interest and values, their public pronouncements notwithstanding.

  •  Mitch is whining in a fundraising letter playing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, DRo, skohayes, Laconic Lib

    the victim card....

    http://blogs.courier-journal.com/...

    In fundraising pitch, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has ‘huge target…on my back’

    WASHINGTON – In another pitch to potential donors to his 2014 re-election campaign, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in full-throated attack against President Barack Obama, saying the president “has placed a huge target squarely on my back.”

    McConnell, Kentucky’s top Republican and a frequent critic of Obama’s policies, has no Democratic opponent yet for this Senate re-election bid, but he has raised more than $7 million so far.

    Here is the message ”Team Mitch,” McConnell’s campaign, sent via e-mail on Friday to potential contributors:

    Dear Patriot,

    If you are driving toward a cliff, would you press down hard on the accelerator? Of course not — you have common sense!

    But that’s exactly what the Obama Administration did this week with their laugh-out-loud “plan” to raise YOUR taxes by over 1.6 trillion dollars.

    If you saw the news story, you may know that I LITERALLY laughed out loud as the Treasury Secretary detailed this absurd scheme.

    But once it became clear he was serious, it was no laughing matter.

    And now, the situation is becoming even more dire.

    President Obama and his allies have not only pressed harder on the gas pedal as we careen toward the cliff, now they’re threatening to set the car on fire too.

    The Obama Administration actually asked for a permanent, unlimited borrowing limit in addition to their huge tax hike!  

    To my great surprise, yesterday President Obama’s allies in the Senate said they would happily pass the unlimited debt bill. I enthusiastically blocked their attempt but I was stunned at my colleagues’ willingness to give President Obama that kind of power to put American taxpayers in debt even further to countries like China.

    Although I was able to stop them yesterday, they will be back. The White House is busily lining up Wall Street special interest groups to pressure my colleagues in the Senate. I need your help.  Can I count on your support to fight against President Obama’s plan for unlimited debt?

    The problem in Washington is that too many people are addicted to taxing, borrowing and spending, with no controls on any of them.  

    This dangerous game has to stop, because it is bankrupting our country.

    I will stand firm as I lead Senate Republicans. I hope you will stand with me.

    And if you do stand with me, I hope you’ll agree to help with a contribution of $50, $100, $250 or even $500 today.

    The fact is, I can’t do it alone. I need you to stand right beside me.

    To show you are with me and oppose this egregious power-grab, please contact your Congressman and Senators today and urge them to stand firm.

    And please, if you can, help me keep up the fight in the Senate with your generous contribution right away.

    Thank you.

    Mitch McConnell

    Republican Leader

    United States Senate

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:11:55 AM PST

    •  Gotta love the fucking balls on the turtle (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, skohayes, DRo, Laconic Lib
      The Obama Administration actually asked for a permanent, unlimited borrowing limit in addition to their huge tax hike!  

      To my great surprise, yesterday President Obama’s allies in the Senate said they would happily pass the unlimited debt bill. I enthusiastically blocked their attempt but I was stunned at my colleagues’ willingness to give President Obama that kind of power to put American taxpayers in debt even further to countries like China.

      IT WAS HIS FUCKING BILL THAT HE FILIBUSTERED!!!!

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:15:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hahaha (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Laconic Lib

      My representative sent out an email whining about being taken off the budget and agriculture committees, LOL!

      It is clear that an insider "scorecard" was used to rate how often members voted the way House leadership wanted us to. If this is in fact true, then this flies in the face of our form of government. The last time I checked, I am supposed to serve as the voice for the First District in Kansas -- not as another "yes man" in Washington. The reason Washington is in the poor shape it is in is precisely because there are too many "yes men" willing to cut insider deals that fail to fix any of the real problems facing our nation.

      My other colleagues who suffered the same punishment have joined me in asking House leadership to release the scorecard. You, my constituents, deserve answers just as much as I do. Kansans sent me to Washington to be their voice -- the voice of reason in a government that spends, borrows, and taxes too much. I make no apologies for defending our shared goals, values, and conservative principles.

      I was actually applauding Boehner for getting rid of this jackass- one of 4 reps that voted against Paul Ryan's budget because it didn't go far enough.
      He also voted to move the Farm Bill out of committee, then voted against it because there weren't huge cuts to the food stamp program in it like he wanted.
      This is one of those Tea Party Koch Brothers boys, who campaigned on jobs, and in another e-mail sent out 2 weeks ago, told his constituents he was voting against the wind subsidy (even though it could create as many as 37,000 jobs in the next year alone) because it cost too much.
      This is the same guy who voted FOR oil and gas subsidies, because it would KILL jobs to get rid of it.
      The cognitive dissonance makes my head hurt.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:47:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  BREAKING: Jobs coming back to the USA (6+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Oh....

  •  Please tell me that NONE OF YOU are surprised (7+ / 0-)

    in the LEAST that the GOP has been full speed ahead with their anti-America agenda.

    Nobody should have thought for a noan-second that these fuckers would somehow do some 'soul-searching' about their loss. These asswipes have no soul and no shame and zero sense of decency.

    They have fully launched themselves into destroying Michigan because they can. Nobody seems able to stop them DESPITE them being losers. it is terrifying to me they can get away with this and it will piss me off to no end to learn that people let their gaurds down because they thought the GOP was somehow sincere in their post-election remarks.

    Republicans and their ilk are sociopaths to the core, irredeemable, dangerous.

    And they are proud of this.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:17:02 AM PST

    •  Of course we can stop them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, Meteor Blades

      All we have to do is show up at the voting booth in 2014.
      People need to understand the real threat is coming from the state governors we have, not congress.
      How many of you live in states where the governors (like mine), refused the federal start up money for health care exchanges?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:49:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Banks too big to be prosecuted? (6+ / 0-)

    An "extra pundit" piece is a bit interesting. The Washington Post's business section contains "Justice Department outlines HSBC transactions with drug traffickers" which notes:

    “HSBC is being held accountable for stunning failures of oversight — and worse — that led the bank to permit narcotics traffickers and others to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through HSBC subsidiaries, and to facilitate hundreds of millions more in transactions with sanctioned countries,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said at a news conference in New York on Tuesday.
    Later the article notes the bank facilitated evasion of sanctions on "Iran, Sudan, Cuba and other countries" including tutoring on how to strip out identifying information.

    The upshot? A fine and deferment of criminal prosecution, a prosecution that would likely quickly be first option if a small organization had done likewise. So:

    “If these people aren’t prosecuted, who will be?” asked Jack Blum, a Washington attorney and a former special counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who specializes in money laundering and financial crimes. “What do you have to do to be prosecuted? They have crossed every bright line in bank compliance. When is there an offense that’s bad enough for a big bank to be prosecuted?
    and
    In deciding not to prosecute now, Breuer said the Justice Department considered “the collateral consequences,” including the possible effects on the worldwide financial system if HSBC’s ability to operate was ruined by criminal conviction.
    How nice! Too big to fail and too big to be prosecuted for apparent criminal activity.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:17:44 AM PST

    •  THIS is when you see Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, Laconic Lib

      start whining about jobs- "well of course we can't prosecute this bank for money laundering- THINK OF THE JOBS LOST, OMG!!"

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:50:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's days like today where i just shake my head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, tb mare

    and decide: this country is lost. best to get out.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:24:14 AM PST

  •  How would it play to voters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, tb mare, Laconic Lib

    to have police officers and firefighters storm the Capitol brandishing torches and pitchforks?

    Does anyone doubt they would do so if they were treated like their civilian brethren?

    Where's the solidarity?

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:28:18 AM PST

  •  What's happening in Michigan is yet another (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, tb mare, Laconic Lib

    example of how Republicans have the stomach to go after what they want by whatever means at their disposal.  Whether or not what they're doing is irrelevant for my point here.  They stop at nothing to achieve their goal.  Meanwhile, Dems can't even get on the same page as to whether or not we should significantly change the filibuster via the means we have at our disposal at the beginning of next session.  And Obama has already said he won't use the 14th Amendment to sidestep the Repugs on the debt ceiling.  And in the end, all we have left is our self righteousness to show for it.  Ask yourself, if the shoe were on the other foot for these two issues, what do you think the GOP would do?  They'd change the filibuster and they'd invoke the 14th to raise the debt ceiling, and it would take them all of about six seconds to reach that decision.

    Oh, and save me the "sink to their level" and "moral high ground" replies.  It takes some brass to do the things that need to be done sometimes to lead a nation.

    •  That's the problem (4+ / 0-)

      when dealing with thugs who are intent on destroying us, some on our side take the position that we should try to reason with them first.  Hell that's why we're painted with that stereotype.  The only way to stop thugs intent on destroying us is to fucking destroy them first, by any means available.  ANY means.

      The modern day GOP will not stoop until they destroy this country.  The fact that some are hesitant about using weapons (for example filibuster reform, 14th amendment) available to defend ourselves from them is ridiculous.  They would not hesitate and neither should we.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:46:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I wanted Democrats to be authoritarians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      More Questions Than Answers

      I would vote for Republicans.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:52:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Police and firefighters exempt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, skohayes, Laconic Lib, Eric Nelson

    If the state's right-to-work legislation is so very good for workers, why then did republicans make sure to exempt police and firefighter unions? Why not include them in the deal so that they too can share in the power to choose goodness?

  •  Kathleen Parker's Laziest Column in Months (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, skohayes, Laconic Lib

    She's not even making an effort to think clearly:  Obama likes to say that elections have consequences, so now he wants to have his way, the rest of the country be damned.  

    Well, no, Ms. Parker.  A majority of Americans voted for President Obama's re-election, after a campaign in which he explicitly and continually pledged to eliminate the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.  So it's not "the rest of the country be damned."  It's the mandate that comes with a majority vote.

    What would Ms. Parker say if the President announced that he wasn't so interested in eliminating those tax cuts?  Praise his bipartisanship, I suppose.  

    A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

    by deminva on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:44:08 AM PST

  •  "Obama’s laughable idea of a balanced deal" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, skohayes, Laconic Lib

    Really? You want to go there?

    Every Republican idea of a "balanced deal" for the last 4 years (and more) has been "Give us everything we want, and then we'll turn around and ask for more, and if you give it all to us, and say 'please' and 'thank you', then maybe we won't shoot the dog."

    I should get over being gobsmacked by the hypocrisy, but I never do.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:19:04 AM PST

  •  I hate to say this (0+ / 0-)

    But the left needs to learn from the republicans.

    To them a lost election is nothing more than a bump in the beltway. They have an agenda, they agree on that agenda and they will pursue that agenda through every channel, all the time.

    When you have fucking REPRESENTATIVES that you elect to government, you have a right to EXPECT them to pursue the agenda for which you elected them.

    If they are in opposition you EXPECT them to push the government as hard as they can, every fucking day. Its what they get paid for.

    Never mind that the people who voted for these people are deluded and almost brain-dead, their votes counted and they WANTED what the right was offering and they are being given the best value for money that their votes can buy.

    If the left had half as much grit and determination we would live in a MUCH better world. But it hasn't, it keeps offering up its own vision, its own political capital, its own fucking voters, to keep the peace in the house.

    Until the left learns that the price of democracy has to be paid every damned day by the people elected to preserve it, it may keep winning elections but keep achieving well below par.
    /rant

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:12:17 AM PST

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