Category Archives: Congress

Image

How About This as an Amendment to the Constitution?

Buffet Rule

ED EDWARDS, GODSPEED!

Former Louisiana Governor EDWIN EDWARDS has announced his candidacy for a Congressional seat. He has already set the State record as Governor having held that seat for 16 years. Now at the age of 86, having also served a term in prison allegedly for corruption, and then marrying a woman who became his third wife and having a 7 month old baby, Edwards has proved  that he is more than capable of doing what many others consider the impossible.

EDWARDS, like those earlier lovable rascals, the brothers Long, Huey and Earl, proves that the impossible in Louisiana only takes a little longer than the possible. The Media, of course, are snootily dismissive. Louisiana media because it is bought and paid for by the ONE PERCENTERS and national media because they prefer their politicos to be easily pigeon-holed, and ED is not.

We wish EDWARDS well for a number of reasons: first, a colorful politician has the wherewithal to be a mover and shaker on his own without the strings which encumber most conventional politicians; second, because we acknowledge that criminal prosecutions in Louisiana are but politics by other means, they are not the neutral arbiter of truth and justice; and, finally, because any 86 year old man who marries a woman 52 years younger than himself and fathers a baby should be recognized as a leader of grand inspiration!

ap110729015450

Edwin and Trina Edwards on their wedding day

Congressional Caucus for Full Employment

The Democrats have been playing defense for decades. If they want to retake Congress and build a better America, they need to take the initiative. John Conyers and Frederica Wilson are two Members of Congress who are asserting leadership advocating for Full Employment.

Congressional Black Caucus members John Conyers (D-MI) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL) are forming the Full Employment Caucus. This comes amidst a cry for the President to address growing income inequality and as Democrats in Congress push for an increase to the federal minimum wage.  Wilson and Conyers have been pushing the “full employment” idea since November, but this month they are creating a caucus that, according to an op-ed penned by Wilson in the Miami Herald, “advocate for policies to create needed training and work opportunities fields including infrastructure repair, building efficiency, early education, public health, and community revitalization.”

One staffer with knowledge of the caucus told Politic365 the caucus hopes to bring together experts to identify proven strategies of job creation as well as generate support for existing bills such as the AMERICAN JOBS ACT and the FULL EMPLOYMENT ACT, bills introduced by Wilson and Conyers respectively.

Recent labor statistics has the unemployment rate as low as 6.7%. The news isn’t all good for the American workforce however, as many are dropping out of the labor market because of an inability to find jobs. Participation has ticked down to 62.8% the lowest since February 1978. Black unemployment rate remains nearly double the national average at 12%.

The call for full employment is not new. It was a message Dr. King carried toward the end of his life. In 1967 he gave a speech to the SCLC calling for full employment and a guaranteed minimum income. Duke University professor Dr. Sandy Darity has also made the case for full employment. Darity, who is the chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, is also an economist who has pushed for a National Investment Employment Corps  as a response to the persistent unemployment felt by many in the wake of the Great Recession.

Reprinted from the Crew of 42 http://www.crewof42.com/

Mike Grimm, Republican Bully of the Week

MikeGrimm

MIKE GRIMM, is the Republican Representative from the 11th Congressional District of New York, he is also a former Marine and former FBI agent assigned to monitor the Mafiaso John Gotti’s mob. It appears he might have been taking a lot of notes since then he appears to have adopted a Mobster’s demeanor.

During last night’s post-State of the Union talkfest, Grimm was interviewed by a TV reporter. Grimm broke off the on-air interview abruptly when he didn’t like the reporter’s question. The Congress-critter returned shortly after walking off set to threaten the reporter saying, “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.”

Apparently the Bully-boy has done this before. One night at a nightclub while he was on a date with another man’s wife, he threatened the life of the cuckolded husband and pulled a gun on a bouncer. At that time an NYPD police officer testified that Grimm said that he would take care of his date’s husband warning, “I’ll fucking make him disappear where nobody will find him.”

Hey, Grimm-ster, me an’ da boyz wuz talkin’ bout ya. We’s decided dat if da boy reporter disappears, we’s gonna come an’ visit ya. Ya know wadda we mean, doncha?

 

“Free Lunch” Congressman Jack Kingston

GOPCongressman

Tea Party darling says that School Kids who can’t afford to buy a lunch should be required to work for their lunches — cleaning up after or serving their fellow students. Jack says they should learn that there ain’t no free lunch.

It may astound one to learn that there are “Free Lunches” for Congress-critter Jack who billed the U.S. taxpayer for $ 4,200 to pay for the lunches he had while “working” as a Congress-critter. What he took from the Treasury could have paid for 2000 school lunches!

Jack is a hungry boy. It turns out that in addition to spounging off the Taxpayers, Jack has wolfed down another  $ 4,300 for lunches from Corporate contributors over the same time period. Growing boys need a lot of food and $ 9000 in lunches is more than many families spend on food in a year.

Republicans’ Christmas War on the Poor

In 1965, President Lyndon B Johnson and a bipartisan majority of Congress declared WAR ON POVERTY and enacted what became the second act of the New Deal providing Food Stamps, Medical Assistance, Housing Subsidies, Legal Services, Job Corps and various other programs. In 2013, the 113th Congress under the stewardship of John Boner and other denizens of denial such as Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul have moved in a different direction: the REPUBLICANS in CONGRESS have declared War on the Poor.

Paul Ryan said he read it in a book somewhere by Ayn Rand that Medicare and Social Security should be slashed (he never followed up on Ayn’s life to discover that the Queen of Mean actually was dependent on Social Security AND Medicare in her declining years).

Rand Paul, also relying on an Ivory Tower “study”, says that everyone knows the best way to end unemployment is to end Unemployment Compensation. You know that does make perverse sense: when the unemployed and their families die of starvation and the elements, they won’t be counted as an unemployment statistic any longer.

Republican Congress-critters aim to dump 1.3 million OFF of Unemployment Comp this Christmas season. Merry Christmas! This achievement is added to other such objectives as kicking 2.8 million off food assistance, dumping 57,000 kids out of Headstart, dropping Seniors’ 18 million meals-on-wheels, ending heating aid for 300,000 and eliminating housing assistance for 140,000 poor families.

Here’s a helpful suggestion for Republicans, howabout tattooing numbers on the soon-to-be starving, homeless and freezing so that we track the Republicans’ accomplishments as they die off. It worked for Adolf and Heinrich.

Whoopee! A Compromise Budget

So Congress-critters have gotten together and agreed upon a budget without shutting down the Government, what an accomplishment.

Sure, they stiffed the longterm unemployed. And food stamps remain cut, and will be cut again. Government employees will see their pensions tapped.

But look on the bright side: No one tried to tax the Super-Rich and the 115 Corporations of the S&P 500 which paid NO TAXES last year will continue to use their loopholes in future tax years. The TRILLION dollars sitting in offshore accounts untouched by Uncle Sam remain protected. And all the more important, the U.S. will maintain its bases in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else. America will continue to outspend the next 15 world powers together for military operations. No change to the profits of the military-industrial complex.

The $ 50 BILLION in direct subsidies to the oil industry remain in place. As does the mechanism for distributing a couple hundred BILLION in corporate welfare (Taxpayers actually pay McDonalds to sell hamburgers overseas). Big Pharma will still enjoy the benefits of having drugs developed at public expense and then given to them for profiteering. And the grateful Health Insurance industry will enjoy over a TRILLION in new revenue courtesy of Obamacare (i.e. Romneycare, or Heritage Foundation ‘Care).

The Media will trumpet this sacrifice of America’s interests as a reasonable compromise accepted by Left and Right, they’ll do that because that’s what they’re paid to do.

Coked-Up Tea-Bagging Congress-Critter

Not too long ago when Congress began discussing imposing a drug testing requirement on recipients of public assistance — TANF, SNAP, Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid — the DISSENTING DEMOCRAT opined that Congress-critters should be drug-tested.

In an act of supreme irony, Representative Henry “Trey” Radel (Republican Hypocrite – FL), and Tea Party darling, was arrested for cocaine possession. This is an instance of divine justice because Radel was one of the sponsors of the “Crackdown” on welfare recipients. Radel argued then that the taxpayers should not have to fund drug users; regardless, Radel will not step down from his Congressional office and will continue to collect taxpayer money.

Incidentally, this particular proponent of Family Values, prior to bellying up to the public teat, made his money selling porno websites in English and Spanish. God, don’t you just LOVE the Tea Party>

The Rough Beast Slouches Towards Bethlehem**

The Grand Bargain looms. As the DISSENTING DEMOCRAT has been lamenting for the past several years, the Democrats will be primary culprits in the dissolution of Social Security and Medicare as-we-know-it. Obama and his are the greatest threats to the continuance of the New Deal’s Social Security and the Great Society’s Medicare programs active today. The essay at COMMON DREAMS warns that unless Progressives unite and mount a comprehensive campaign, the Obama-crats and the Repugnantcans will slice and dice what remains of the national commitment to a decent and just society.

As [Richard] Eskow*, citing ample evidence, writes:

Not only do [Democrat leaders] apparently want to cut “entitlements” – some such cuts are included in the President’s current budget – but they’ve essentially conceded as much, leaving them very little negotiating leverage.

For their part, Republicans say they’re willing to give up the harmful cuts known as sequestration – and only those cuts – in return for Social Security and Medicare benefit reductions. Their defense-contractor patrons would be amply rewarded in return for sacrifices from America’s seniors and disabled.

Within the established circle of Beltway punditry and cable news shows, the idea of a negotiated settlement in which Democrats offer up cuts to earned benefit programs like Social Security in exchange for some sort of vague “revenue increase” is now heralded as the “obvious” and “mature” course for Congress and the Obama White House.

However, as Eskow argues, “entitlement cuts are not an ‘adult’ position” but rather “the conservative position” of long-standing.

Further, pushing back against Democrats who have embraced the idea of a so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ with their Republican counterparts, Eskow says that unless a broad-based populist movement against such a deal manifests—and soon—the American public should expect some scenario in which programs like Medicare and Social Security receive long-term cuts in exchange for a short-term budget deal with Republicans.

More and more, Eskow writes, “we find ourselves in a Bizarro-World situation where too many Democrats speak like Republicans, most Republican Party leaders speak like right-wing extremists, and the Republican Party ‘insurgents’ sound more and more like the leaders of paramilitary militias.”

This lurch to the right is not only bad economics, he argues, but clearly bad politics, too. He writes:

Any scenario which leads to Social Security or Medicare cuts would be bad for seniors. It would also be bad for any politician who supported it.

A recent poll by Lake Research shows that 82% of all Americans oppose cuts to Social Security, including 83% of Democrats, 78% of independents, 82% of Republicans – and, in one of the most startling findings of all, fully three-fourths of all self-described Tea Party members (74%). (Social Security Works has a video and a petition on this subject.)

Democrats hold the advantage on this issue right now, which means it’s theirs to lose.

But for those Americans forced to watch the increasingly ‘Bizarro-World’ of Washington politics surrounding the budget battle, what is the scenario in which the idea of Social Security or Medicare cuts are vanquished? Eskow predicts the odds are slim, but argues the only scenario to be hopeful for is one in which “progressives, both officeholders and activists, lead a popular movement which reflects public opinion and defends these programs from so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ cuts.”

* Richard Eskow is a Fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future

** T S Eliot’s poem “The Second Coming”

FROM COMMON DREAMS http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/21-4

The Fat Lady is About to Sing

We’ve said before that we love Barack Obama for the enemies he has made. We did not vote for his re-election and have criticized him on foreign and domestic policy. We believe he is the worst Democratic President of the 20th and 21st  centuries and the most conservative Democrat since Grover Cleveland. Nevertheless, he IS the President and the seditious shenanigans of the Wacko Caucus should be resisted.

The Wackos say that they are out to get Obama. This may be their motivation but what they are really doing is destroying our democratic-republican form of government. The Congressional caucus pushing us over the cliff are not fiscal conservatives indeed they are not conservatives of any kind. They are the 21st century Brownshirts burning down the Reichstag and setting the stage for the finale of Democracy.