Category Archives: Politics
Sadly this law would never be passed. But I would like to propose The Government Shutdown Act. Here is how the law would work:
In the event of a government shutdown or an impasse on raising the debt ceiling:
1) All members of the house and senate must report within 24 hours to the floors of the house and senate. Failure to do so is considered an act of resignation and the member is removed from office.
2) The doors to both chambers are sealed. 10 Port-A-Johns are placed on the floor of the senate and 25 on the floor of the house.
3) Members are allowed only to keep literally the clothes on their back. No briefcases, purses or luggage of any kind and of course no changes of clothing.
4) Simple meals of soup and bread are served 3 times a day.
5) Each member is issued a wash basin, tooth brush, tooth paste 2 gallons of water, any required medication and an army blanket.
6) Members are not allowed to leave their floor until a bill is passed either funding the government, raising the debt ceiling or both, depending on the situation. Leaving the floor is considered resigning one’s office. Those who resign are ineligible for running for either branch of congress for life.
7) Members receive 0 pay from the time the doors are sealed until a bill is passed ending the shutdown, raising the debt ceiling or both.
OK, I know such a law would never be enacted and is probably unconstitutional. However, there should be some price congress must pay. This last time around they cost the economy 24 billion dollars. Ted Cruz is already talking about shutting the government down again.
At the very least Senators and members of congress and their staffs should receive no pay during a shutdown. It would be nice to have a parliamentary system where both houses could be dissolved and a snap election called.
As it is, we have the 2014 election. Anyone voting for republicans who wish to shutdown the government or who think a default by the US is no big deal, deserve the continued crises and disfunction such a vote would bring.
After 16 days of partisan bickering, reason and sanity have prevailed over the politics of extremism and extortion. When early Thursday after President Obama signed a bill to open the government and raise the debt ceiling. Earlier the Senate passed the bill 81-18 and the House followed passing the bill 285-144.
It should be noted that the majority of House Republicans voted against the bill. After causing the crisis by refusing to fund the government, and with the reputation and creditworthiness of the United States in dire jeopardy, they put party and their agenda above the good of the country. If there was any doubt about how far out of touch the Republican Party is with the wishes of the American people, this vote clarified with laser like focus where the Republicans stand. The Republicans were willing to do anything to get what they wanted regardless of the harm caused to America.
I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see just how the 9 members of the Hall of Shame voted on this bill to stave off disaster.
1) Congressman John Culberson -R Texas Voted Nay
Culberson to remind you was the fellow who compared shutting down the government to the heroic passengers who confronted the hijackers on 911. Apparently to this moment, he is gripping his butter knife and shouting “Let’s Roll!”
2) Congresswoman Michele Bachman -R Minnesota Voted Nay
Ms. Bachman was the lady who spoke of how happy the Republicans were about shutting down the government. Well the government is open and the debt ceiling raised. Double bummer huh Michele?
3) Congressman Marlin Stutzman -R Indianna Voted Nay
Stutzman is the felliw who said Republicans needed “to get something” although he didn’t know what that something was. He is now pouting cuz the mean old president didn’t give him anything.
4) Congressman John Boehner -R Ohio, Speaker of the House Voted Aye
Boehner speaking to a radio show in Ohio said “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win.” Apparently in Boehner’s view, putting the country thru 16 days of turmoil, hurting our economy, damaging our reputation and bringing us to the brink of disaster, represents fighting the good fight. I call it dangerous, irresponsible brinkmanship. And yes he did vote aye and he didn’t block the vote from being taken, but he will get no kudos from me for that. He should have allowed a vote from day 1 and saved the country from all the unnecessary trauma and turmoil. Boehner in my mind should lose his speakership. He should lose his seat in the house and go back to being a janitor. Then he can clean up messes instead of making them.
5) Congressman Paul Ryan -R Wisconsin Chairman of the Budget Committee Voted Nay
Ryan was the man who advocated solving the crisis by having a budget conference and adopting entitlement reform in an op ed piece in The Wall Street Journal. The law that he voted against sets up just such a committee, even putting Ryan on as a leader. Apparently Ryan isn’t interested in negotiating unless he has a gun at the fellow’s head. His vote against staving off economic calamity does show one thing very clearly. America made the right choice when they rejected him as vice president. This man is completely unfit for office.
6) Congressman Ted Yoho -R Florida Voted Nay
Yoho speaking about not raising the debt limit said this: “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.” I don’t think I need to say more. This fellow is just clueless.
7) Senator Ted Cruz -R Texas Voted Nay
He was one of the driving forces behind the whole Republican strategy of shutting down the government. After the vote he was vowing to continue the fight against Obamacare. Sadly, we haven’t heard the last from Cruz. He will continue to be a negative force in politics until the good people of Texas vote him out of office. Fellow Republican John McCain said it best when he called Cruz a “whacko bird.”
8) Congressman Eric Cantor -R Virginia House Majority Leader, Voted Aye
Cantor voted aye but like Boehner he will get no praise from me. HR 368 changed the rules so that no other person but Cantor or his designee could use a parliamentary procedure to bring a vote on a resolution to open the government. He and Boehner refused to allow such a vote, instead subjecting the country to 16 days of needless suffering.
9) Congressman Steve Stockman -R Texas Voted Nay
Stockman was the fellow who spoke of the need of congress to listen to the people. This man himself is stone deaf when it comes to listening to the American people. The American people overwhelmingly wanted an end to this entire sad escapade but not Stockman. He voted nay.
So there we have it. Of my 9 members of the Hall of Shame, 7 voted against the bill to avoid a default and open the government. The other 2 Boehner and Cantor could have called a vote any time during the crisis and ended it, but refused to do so until America was brought to the edge of disaster. I believe my 9 choices proved themselves worthy of their badges of shame.
Sadly, we face another deadline in a few months. Cruz is already saying he won’t rule out another government shutdown. If that happens, the Hall of Shame will be re-opened for new members.
Hopefully this Republican inflicted damage to our nation and economy will soon be over, but until that happy moment, I will continue inducting members to the hall of shame. Sadly it’s difficult to choose with so many deserving candidates.
Today’s worthy inductee is Republican congressman representing Clearwater, Texas, Steve Stockman. Stockman is one of the Republicans who decided the continuing resolution to fund the government must be used to defund Obamacare.
Speaking of his brilliant strategy, Stockman said, “Americans want Congress to do two things, work together on our national fiscal crisis and stop Obamacare. It’s time Congress started listening to them.”
I’m sorry Mr. Congressman, but you are the one not listening. Americans wanted two things from Congress, to keep the government open and to raise the debt ceiling. Your strategy to blackmail America isn’t working.
And working together on our national fiscal crisis? Hmmm, and the way to do that is by creating a huge totally unnecessary crisis, that is raising unemployment, shrinking the economy and decreasing tax revenues? I took a macroeconics course in university. I must have missed the lecture on how shrinking the economy shrinks the deficit.
You manufacturers of this and other crises love telling us what the American people want, even as you go about doing what we don’t want. Americans are fed up with having a circus in Congress every 6 months. We are tired of the politics of extortion that is now the Republican strategy of governing.
For causing needless, unwanted pain to our beloved country and for just being an overall bonehead, I hereby induct you, Steve Stockman into the Hall of Shame. I hope in the future you will start listening to what the American people want. It’s not so difficult really. All we want is an end to all this dysfunction and for members of Congress to do their jobs.
Today’s inductee is a man whose hypocrisy has reached a level rarely seen in American history. I am speaking of Virginia Congressman and House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor.
In an op ed piece for The Washington Post. Cantor had this to say:
“For three years, Congress and the White House have been building to this moment. Not the debt limit or Obamacare specifically, but this clarifying moment of Washington dysfunction. President Obama has led us here by continually thwarting the will of Congress and dismissing its role in our constitutional republic. This must end.
The president not only has refused to negotiate on issues of debt and spending but also has mocked the very idea of engaging with Congress. President Obama has repeatedly made clear that he feels it is beneath the office of the presidency to work in a bipartisan way with the legislative branch.”
Wow Mr.Cantor, how terrible that someone would thwart the will of congress and not be bipartison. But that is exactly what you and the house republicans have done when you passed HR368.
Under the normal rules of the house, any member of the house can make a motion to vote on a senate resolution, but on October 1st, the republican dominated rules committee passed HR368. HR368 removed the privilege to call for a vote from any member of the house and gave that privilege solely to the majority leader (Eric Cantor) or his designee.
So here we have Cantor piously lecturing the president of the United States about not acting in a bipartisan way and thwarting the will of congress, when the Republicans purposely rigged the rules so that Cantor alone can call the vote to end the shutdown. Is that acting in a bipartisan way, Mr. Cantor? You respect the will of Congress so much that you made it impossible for them to vote without your permission. You know that such a vote would end the government shutdown before you could advance your partisan agenda.
You speak of Washington dysfunction, when you are the poster boy for Washington dysfunction. You sir are a hypocrite pure and simple. I am aghast that you would have the nerve to write such an op ed accusing the president of the very acts you yourself have blatantly committed.
For hypocrisy, demagoguery, and being a very sad excuse for a congressman. Eric Cantor, you are hereby inducted into the Hall of Shame.
For those who would like to learn more about HR368 and how the republicans rigged the game, you can watch this video. http://youtu.be/0Jd-iaYLO1A
Today’s inductee is a man whose ego is only outdone by his demagoguery. Yes I am talking about first time senator, Ted Cruz.
Commenting on the shutdown, Cruz said, “I opposed the shutdown from Day One. I think it was wrong that President Obama and Harry Reid forced the shutdown. They forced the shutdown because they wouldn’t compromise on Obamacare,”
So here we have one of the chief architects of the shutdown blaming the whole thing on President Obama and Senator Reid. Cruz and his fellow extremists hold America hostage and then blames the president for not being willing to overturn legislation passed 4 years ago.
Over the weekend, Cruz joined a protest of war veterans over the closing of the World War II Memorial. It is a common attribute of criminals to return to the scene of their crimes to enjoy firsthand the havoc they have caused. Only a pure demagogue causes a government shutdown and then protests its effects. It reminds one of Hitler setting the Reichstag on fire and then going before the cameras and blaming the communists for it.
Cruz is the champion of the politics of extortion. Elections, normal legislative process, even the will of the American people mean nothing to this man. He has brought the US to the brink of default because he dislikes one piece of legislation. He likes to speak of the millions of Americans harmed by Obamacare. That’s kind of funny because Obamacare was rolled out less than 2 weeks ago. I don’t know how you measure the effects of a program in such a short time, but then again Cruz was telling everyone how much it was hurting America even before it was implemented.
The Republicans lost the fight over Obamacare more than 4 years ago, when the law was passed. They lost when the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality. They lost when Obama was re-elected against a candidate running on a platform to repeal Obamacare. They have tried unsuccessfully to block its implementation 40 times in votes in congress. So when they can’t get their way thru any other means, they resort to blackmail and extortion.
You can try to twist and spin the facts Mr. Senator. Demagogues always do. The truth is the shutdown is your responsibility. It is your desperate strategy for accomplishing that which you can achieve in no other way.
You Mr. Cruz have ambitions to be president. No man fit to be president would put this country thru all this trauma as part of their strategy to govern. You are not fit to be a US senator, let alone president of the United States. You are a charletan. I will vote for you once and once only. I will vote you into the Hall of Shame, a dishonor you so richly deserve.
For some unfathomable reason, the house Republicans responsible for the government shutdown seem to think of themselves as heroes. Apparently manufacturing crises in order to extort concessions from the other side is to be likened to the brave acts of some of history’s heroes.
At least that is what today’s inductee believes. I am speaking of Florida’s Tea Party member, Ted Yoho who had this to say of the government shutdown: “It only takes one with passion — look at Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King.”
Perhaps Mr.Yoho could explain how throwing 800,000 people out of work, harming the economy, weakening our security all while defying the will of the American people who have overwhelming expressed their desire to end this shutdown, compares to people who worked towards freedom and human rights.
I Think Mr. Yoho does have one thing right. It only takes a few idiots in congress to inflict pain on 300 million Americans. I would suggest he use more appropriate people to explain what he is doing. Men like Osama Binladen, Moammar Gadhafi or Al Capone. These were men skiiled at hostage taking and extortion. In other words, men skilled in Republican tactics.
For thinking you’re a hero, when really you’re a zero, I hereby induct Ted Yoho to the hall of shame. Yoho a former veterinarian turned rabid congressman will hopefully soon again be dealing with horses’ behinds instead of being one.
Today’s inductee to the Hall of shame is a man who does not understand the concept of having a mandate. In the 2012 elections, the Democrats won the presidency, added to their majority in the senate and gained seats in the house.
It used to be that in America elections mattered. In the distorted world of the Republicans, the losers call the shots and the winners must give in to the losers’ demands.
Today’s inductee is a loser. I am speaking of none other than former vice presidential candidate and Wisconsin Congressman, Paul Ryan.
Whoa Whoa Whoa, you say. Ryan is one of the good guys. In his op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, he offered a plan to in his words “end the stalemate”. The plan most noticeably made no mention of Obamacare and instead focused on entitlement and tax code reform. Ryan should be commended for pointing to a clear path out of the present impasse.
Such views ignore some important facts. Ryan is Chairman of the Budget Committee in the House. Isn’t passing a budget the primary responsibility of his position? As I said yesterday, the Republicans refused 18 times to go to conference with the senate so a budget could be passed.
I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully curious about how a budget chairman spends their time when there is no budget. I guess they spend their time on voting yes on bills to block Obamacare and working on budgets that they know will not pass the senate.
The truth of the matter is Ryan is one of the most powerful members of the house Republicans. He did nothing to prevent the current impasse. He has presidential aspirations but has the inability to even cross the aisle to pass a budget.
Sorry Mr. Ryan but you don’t get to ignore the Senate calls to go to conference on a budget all year, then wait until the government has been shutdown over a week to hop on your white charger and ride into the fray as the man to solve the crisis. And what are you offering? Oh just part of the platform you ran on as the vp candidate and lost. You would no doubt ask for the country to adopt your whole platform in exchange for doing your job if you thought you could get away with it.
Don’t be fooled by Ryan’s attempts to paint himself as a reasonable Republican searching for a way. Ryan is one of the chief architects of this manufactured crisis, whose sole purpose is to advance an agenda rejected in the 2012 elections. You want to be president some day Mr. Ryan? The first thing you need to learn is to respect the voice of the people. The loser of an election doesn’t get to set the agenda.
The fact of the matter is you are just another practitioner of the politics of extortion. You were given the opportunity to negotiate on the budget for months but the Republicans only want to negotiate when they have a gun pointed at the other guy’s head. You say you want entitlement reform. I would love to see you and the rest of your party to stop feeling they are entitled to get some concession from holding the country hostage. It is this Republican entitlement program that needs to be ended.
I would never vote for you for president, Mr.Ryan I will however vote for your induction into my Hall of Shame. Congratulations you may not possess the qualities that make a good president but you do have the perfect mix of ambition, demagoguery and deception that makes you a fit candidate for the Hall of Shame.
Today’s Hoser (Hall of Shamer) is none other than the CEO of the House of Representatives. Yes, I am speaking of the Chief Extortionist Officer, John Boehner, the Speaker of the House.
This man shoulders more responsibility for the continuing government shutdown than any other. If he were simply to allow a vote on a clean resolution to fund the government, it would pass and the government would reopen. Unfortunately, Boehner won’t allow that. He’s taken the hostages and insists on being paid.
Boehner appeared last Sunday on ABC’s This week, insisting there were simply not enough votes
for a clean bill to pass. This is laughable coming from a man who allowed 40 votes on blocking, defunding ot delaying Obamacare. I think after the first few votes, he probably knew what the outcome would be the other 37 times, but that didn’t stop him.
Now with the nation looking to him to show some leadership, he refuses to allow just one vote on a clean resolution. Why is that? He knows that he would lose such a vote. Not only that, a vote would force members to go on record as being either for or against continuing the shutdown. The American people deserve to see how their own representative votes on such a measure. A vote means accountability and that is something many Republicans simply don’t have the stomach for.
Boehner has also continually blamed President Obama for refusing to negotiate. Boehner even went so far as to say, “Obama owns this government shutdown.” This is another laughable talking point. This is a kidnapper, who derides you for not paying his ransom.
As far as the unwillingness to negotjate, let’s look at the facts. Normally, the way a budget is passed is the house passes a budget, the senate passes a budget and the two chambers conference and negotiate to come up with one final version to send to the president. The Republicans refused 18 times to go to conference on the budget. Why did they do that?
The Republicans knew that if a budget were ever passed, they would lose the gun they like to hold to America’s head. Normal legislative process is not how the house Republicans operate. Instead they wait until a fiscal crisis gives them maximum leverage. I can imagine Boehner meeting with his party leadership. “OK boys, we got em over a barrel again, what do we want this time?”
The American people deserve better from our elected government officials. I would tell Boehner to enjoy the last 12 months of his gavel, because the 2014 elections are going to put an end to your reign of terror and close a very dark chapter in American history. But not to worry Mr. Speaker, your membership in my Hall of Shame will still remain.
Today we have a superb candidate for the hall of shame. In just a few ineloquent words, he embodied what is wrong with this Republican led government shutdown.
I am speaking of a great public servant. A man who puts country above party. A humble self-effacing man. I’m speaking of none other than Howe, Indiana’s Marlin Stutzman. Congressman Stutzman very clearly explained the Republican’s strategy in regards to the shutdown: “We aren’t going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
So in other words, we took the hostages, now give us something and don’t you dare disrespect us. This kind of mentality shows how self serving Republican strategy has become. We can expect that every time a resolution is needed to fund the government, the Republicans are going to block it until we “give them something”. Never mind how much it hurts the country, the Republicans have made this type of extortion politics the hallmark of their way of governing. They are unable to accomplish anything thru legitimate legislative process, so every 6 months or so they use the opportunity to withhold funding to “get something”.
Mr. Stutzman, you are very wrong. You are disrespected. You are reviled, ridiculed, and scorned. By your own words, you admit you don’t even know what you hope to accomplish. Maybe before you throw 800,000 people out of work, hurt our country in a myriad of ways, maybe just maybe you might want to know why you are doing it. You sir, are a pathetic excuse for someone who is supposed to be a public servant.
For your disregard for your responsibilities as a US Congressman and just overall asininity, you are hereby inducted into my Hall of Shame. Congratulations on this badge of disrespect. You’ve certainly earned it.
I thought I should be fair. Idiocy is not limited to one sex or one geographical area. Yesterday’s inductee was a male from the south. Today’s inductee is a northern female. None other than Congresswoman Michele Bachman, who represents Stillwater, Minnesota.
Still waters are said to run deep, unlike Ms. Bachman’s thinking or her commitment to the rule of law. Speaking of the government shutdown, she said, “This is about the happiest I’ve seen members in a long time because we’ve seen we’re starting to win this dialogue on a national level.”
So the Republicans lost in Obama’s first election. They lost in the vote which passed Obamacare. They lost in Obama’s re-election. They lost in the Supreme Court. They lost in the 40+ votes to stall or water down Obamacare. But now that they’ve managed to shutdown the government, they are absolutely giddy.
Nothing like hurting the economy, threatening our security, making it very difficult to conduct foreign policy, hurting farmers who cannot get their usual government reports, etc etc etc, ; nothing like that to make the Republicans happy. I guess if millions of uninsured Americans got health insurance, that would be a real bummer.
For reveling in the harm you are doing to our country, Michele Bachman is our second inductee to the Hall of Shame. I guess if you manage to cause the US government to default on its obligations and cause the world’s financial system to collapse, that would be pure ecstasy!