Tag Archives: budget

Will the Real Jan Brewer Please Stand Up?

29 May
Inspiration strikes?

Inspiration strikes?

In many ways it would probably be far easier to believe that Hell has frozen over, or that Dick Cheney has a heart (not just a heart facsimile), or that poverty has finally been eradicated than to believe Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s recent broken clock moment. In a stunning display, she demanded legislative support for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Yes, you read that correctly.  The Governor who signed a bill to allow concealed weapons in Arizona the day before the shootings in Tucson, the Governor who believes women should have no rights to govern their own bodies, has now vetoed five bills and will continue to veto any bill that comes before her until Arizona expands Medicaid and passes a state budget. Medicaid expansion is one of the lynchpins of the Affordable Care Act and would help millions of Americans.

Governor Brewer stated:

I warned that I would not sign additional measures into law until we see resolution of the two most pressing issues facing us: adoption of a fiscal 2014 state budget and plan for Medicaid.  It is disappointing I must demonstrate the moratorium was not an idle threat.

Of course, this has not made our Jan popular at her own Tea Party.  The ever charm-free Senate President Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) told NBC News that he would do everything in his power everything ” to keep a vote on Medicaid from even coming to the floor.”  Lovely! I guess Biggs (ironically named) has a very small heart for any population that is underserved and dependent on Medicaid.

I’m not sure what has gotten into Brewer’s Tea, or perhaps she has stopped drinking Bachmann and DeMint’s homemade brew.  While I am still not a fan of Brewer, I feel I have to acknowledge good behavior. We have three branches of government for a reason. It’s good to see an executive applying some checks and balances to an out-of-control legislature and demanding proper care for the citizens of her state.

Bigot of the Week Award: May 3, the Broken U.S. Congress

3 May
Bigot of the Week

Bigot of the Week

The entire U.S. Congress managed to earn this week’s BWA as they ignored the plight of millions of Americans and adjusted the federal budget for their own convenience. As the idiotic budget sequester continues to pinch government agencies, many people are suffering. Clinics have reduced hours, education programs are being cut, and seniors in some locations are losing meals on wheels due to the across-the-board cuts that should never have happened.

Republicans in the House and Senate have been whining for weeks about the sequester, blaming the President for actually following a law that they passed. This week, however, things got really ugly. Because of the blindly even cuts, the FAA has had to reduce air traffic control. This has resulted in some flight delays, with a ripple effect that has inconvenienced many travellers. Frequent fliers — like lobbyists, the wealthy, bankers, and members of Congress — are particularly inconvenienced. So this week the Senate unanimously approved a bill to change funding for the FAA; the House overwhelmingly approved the bill, with 92 Democrats jumping on board.

President Obama called Congress out for their hypocrisy. He declined to veto the bill given its probability of passing again and wasting legislative time, but insisted that lawmakers fix the whole problem, not just a small piece that makes them sad. What a pathetic display of classism and callous disregard. Apparently America continues to become the land of the Rich and Privileged. Adding this to the gun control failure makes me itch for the next election.

Dishonorable mention goes to two very different men this week. First up is ESPN commentator Chris Broussard. Responding to NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out interview, Broussard injected his narrow KKKristian values into the story.

If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, then the Bible says you know them by their fruits. It says that, you know, that’s a sin. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ.

I just loved Chris Broussard  when he was on Saturday Night Live as the Church Lady!

Professional conspiracy hack Alex Jones joins the bigot parade as well. Known for his anti-Muslim rantings and bizarre theories, Jones showed an even uglier side. Arguing — for no apparent reason — against what he calls “fake rights” for transgender Americans, he uttered this gem.

I don’t want my daughters growing up in a country where some transvestite comes walking into the thing [bathroom] hopped out of their brain on drugs vomiting and crapping all over the place.

I don’t want any children growing up in a world where Alex Jones has any say in it whatsoever.  What kind of monster is Jones?

On Social Security, Is the White House Possessed by Thatcher’s Ghost?

10 Apr
If she's laughing, be afraid.

If she’s laughing, be afraid.

This week one of the prime movers in late 20th Century geopolitics died. Margaret Thatcher’s deeply conservative, pro-corporation, anti-business, slash the safety net and cut the taxes approach to governance helped set the stage for the fiscal gambling and international financial meltdown from which we are still struggling to recover. Remember her effort to secure a poll tax–oh she was a madcap, our Maggie. With a legacy like that, you might think that smart politicians would steer clear of her policies.  The English Punk group, The Jam gave the world an all too accurate portrait of Thatcher with their song, Town Called Malice, which basically addresses the death of the middle class and economic oppression.  The architects of this oppression were Thatcher and Reagan.

Sadly, the President of the United States — a DEMOCRAT elected by a coalition of the poor, people of color, women, and other marginalized and oppressed people — seems intent on taking an unprecedented and disastrous budgetary step. In the latest mind-numbingly awful round of budget “negotiations” with Congress, the White House has made it clear that cutting Social Security is part of the package.

This makes no sense. Even St. Ronnie the Addled, Thatcher’s partner in crime in the 80s, famously noted that cutting Social Security did NOTHING to reduce the deficit. Worse, the proposed plan, tying benefits to a particular Consumer Price Index, is viciously regressive. Those who depend on Social Security — the elderly disproportionately from marginalized populations — have expenses that don’t fit with chained CPI. The bulk of their expenses are health care, which increases much faster, and non-discretionary spending. You know, like food. The White House proposal effectively shoves retirees into poverty even faster.

The President’s stated goal seems admirable: compromise. Like all his fiscal wrangling with the GOP, however, he seems to think that compromise starts with capitulation and goes downhill from there. By taking the first ever major blow to Social Security, a Democratic President is easing the country into the Teahadist dream world where the New Deal and Great Society are erased forever.  Looks like most Americans will need to get used to eating cat food.

It isn’t too late. Many Democrats in Congress oppose the President’s plan and have proposed much more sensible starting points for budget negotiations. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support these smarter plans. Then contact the White House and make it clear that putting Social Security on the chopping block is unacceptable. If that doesn’t work, we should start raising some money to hold an exorcism.

Chris Christie: Storm Damage and Broken Clocks

30 Oct

Governor Chris Christie (R – NJ) has never been shy about his criticisms of the Obama administration. It’s especially notable, then, to see him set aside politics this week as his state copes with the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Noting the importance of Federal assistance as New Jersey copes with natural disasters the like of which it seldom sees, Christie praised the President and his hands-on approach to the storm.

The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit. I’ve been on the phone with him, like I said, yesterday, personally, three times. He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it. It’s been very good working with the president, and he and his administration have been coordinating with us great. It’s been wonderful.

Truly a broken clock moment for Gov. Christie, who deserves credit for doing everything he can for the citizens of his state.

Hurricanes don’t have politics; they devastate everyone in their path. Sadly, the GOP ticket for the White House has indicated an approach that would have left New Jersey in a very different situation. Remember nearly a year ago when “severely conservative” Mitt Romney was wreaking devastation on his primary opponents? He actually indicated that he found Federal disaster programs “immoral” because of their impact on the budget. His running mate, Paul Ryan, is a primary architect of a proposed Federal budget that would gut the Federal Emergency Management Agency. As the New York Times notes:

Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.

In spite of this, the President has worked with his administration to significantly improve disaster response protocols, making the aftermath of Sandy easier to bear despite the horrific devastation. This storm provides a sad, practical illustration of the importance of this election.

TSM wishes the best for everyone feeling the effects of Sandy and sends all our positive energy to the storm-struck states.

Hero of the Week Award: August 17, Soledad O’Brien

17 Aug

Hero of the Week

I must confess that I have never been a fan of CNN.  I  have always found the network to be biased to the right and in the past six years it has in many ways mimicked Fox (Faux) News.  What a wonderful surprise and delight to see Soledad O’Brien engaged in real journalism and completely prepared with FACTS as she counters the LIES regurgitated by the exceedingly charm free John Sununu.

Sununu predictably offered the Republican talking points about the Ryan budget plan’s impact on Medicare.  The only thing that made his blatant lies bearable was O’Brien quoting directly from Romney.  I’m consistently amazed at how many in the Republican party try to deflect from the truth with the , “look over there, something shiny,” as their voices grower louder in an attempt to bully and intimidate. Sununu is clearly the school yard bully; kudos to O’Brien for standing up to him and holding her ground as a journalist — something exceedingly rare to witness today.

Click here to watch the video of our hero Soledad O’Brien.  Warning: Brace your self while watching the Petulant, Pugnacious Pig, Sununu.

I will conclude with an address to Mr. Sununu: Dear Mr. Sununu, I’m sorry, but there is just no way you can make Romney and Ryan look like anything other than the bigoted, homophobic, misogynist, rich white boys that they are.  You see, most Americans can read and hear and we can read and hear the words coming from Romney’s mouth, even after he tries to take them back — time after time after time after time…

Romney – Ryan: Robotic, Ridiculous, Repellent

12 Aug

After weeks of making a mess of everything he touched, Mitt Romney decided to make a bold move an announce his running mate. Eschewing the “boring white guy” theme his handlers had promised, he opted for Teamaniac Rep. Paul Ryan (Evil – WI). Looks like he’s still making a mess of everything he touches.

Like Romney, Ryan has been honored with our Bigot of the Week Award. He’s also a firm adherent of Ayn Rand’ s objectionable Objectivism and deification of capitalism. A firm supporter of the War On Women and opponent of LGBT equality, his voting record in the House is almost identical to that of known loon Michele Bachmann. In fact, an aggregate score shows him to be the most conservative VP pick by a major party since 1900, a list that includes Dick Cheney and Richard Nixon!

Ryan is best known as the architect of a House budget plan so odious that even John “The Great Capitulator” Boehner thinks it’s a bit harsh. A key component of the budget is the end of Medicare as we know it. That makes one wonder why Mitt would make this pick, other than to keep up his string of really bad decisions. Romney’s strongest support is from older white voters. Those voters, particularly in swing states, are very opposed to any change in Medicare. By tacking so far to the right with his VP pick, poor ol’ Mitt has found a way to alienate potential voters without appealing to the rare moderate undecideds who might actually have bumped up his numbers. Rabid Ryan will firm up the base, but all that does is more firmly secure states that are already bright red. Pundits and journalists alike are baffled.

After months of dithering, deceiving, and dodging, Mitt has finally sent one strong signal. His campaign is dedicated to the small-minded and vicious voices that have stalled the recovery, dedicated themselves to opposing the President at the expense of the people, and pursued a narrow fringe agenda. The governing strategy of a Romney-Ryan administration is clear, and it holds no hope for the middle class or the disenfranchised.

Bigot of the Week Award: April 8

8 Apr

Bigot of the Week

I’m consistently saddened by the plethora of fools to chose from each week for BWA.  I was tempted to give a collective BWA to the Tea Party for the potential government shut down which has nothing to do with the budget and everything to do with protecting wealthy white folks. So when I learned that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) was again listening to the strange voices in his head, I knew he would earn this week’s BWA.  Yes, audience. Ryan is taking his lead from, the model of bigotry and homophobia, the Heritage Foundation to come up with budget proposals. I have to ask, what kind of Kool Aid are y’all serving up there in Wisconsin? When questioned about his budget proposals including the his solution for Medicare, Ryan’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment about the CBO analysis. But the congressman has repeatedly said that applying what he calls “free-market principles” to the insurance market is the best way to control costs.  Click here for more information on the ball of crazy known as Paul Ryan.

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