Speakership before Country: Boehner won’t take back the fate of the nation from the Crazy 80

Boehner still won’t allow a vote to go to the floor if a majority of the majority can’t pass it. He doesn’t want to face a mutiny on the Good Ship Teabagger. It doesn’t matter if a majority of the House would pass the Senate bill, Boehner’s pandering to the tea crowd extremists who, in reality, are never going to agree to anything that’s remotely acceptable to the Senate / Administration. So.

Meet John Boehner’s new problem. Same as his old problem. — The Fix 

After a more-than-two hour meeting with GOP members, Boeher emerged to tell the press that there was in fact no Republican House plan. “There are a lot of opinions about what direction to go,” Boehner said. ”There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do.”

According to WaPo’s Lori Montgomery, Boehner’s walk-back from a plan that seemed solid enough for the White House to release an official condemnation of it was due to worries that Boehner and the Republican leadership simply couldn’t wrangle the 217 votes they needed from within their own ranks to pass it.

House Republicans Poised To Spurn Senate Debt Deal — TPM

House Republicans look ready to reject a pending bipartisan compromise in the Senate and propose their own plan for re-opening the government and raising the debt limit.

Here are the details of the new House bill that the leadership presented to Republican members at a closed door meeting Tuesday morning, according to multiple House GOP sources.

  • Temporary spending bill to re-open the government until Jan. 15.
  • Increase the debt limit enough to last until Feb. 7.
  • A two-year delay of Obamacare’s medical device tax.
  • A requirement that the Obama administration verify the income of Americans receiving tax subsidies through Obamacare (specifics pending).
  • A revised version of the so-called Vitter Amendment, in this case requiring Congress members and executive department officials like President Obama — but not their staffs — to purchase insurance through the law’s marketplace without federal employer subsidies.
  • Eliminates Treasury Department’s ability to use “extraordinary measures” to avoid default.

The House is expected to vote on the bill today.

Market reaction: 

Down, down, down—which is great news for the tea party.

Pelosi, Reid slam Boehner’s reckless effort to sabotage deal to end shutdown, avoid default — DailyKos

In Pelosi’s words:

What you saw here earlier was a Speaker who did not have the votes for his proposal. So why are they doing this to the American people? Sabotaging a good faith bipartisan effort coming out of the Senate, wasting the public’s time. And in this case, time is money. Time is money. This is going to be very costly to our economy. [...] This Republican habit of sabotaging of any effort to move forward is a luxury our country cannot afford.

Of the GOP’s antics, Reid said it was “hard to comprehend this logically.”

The tea party driven part of the Republican party doesn’t follow logic. Why would they want to close the government for 15 days and have us default on our debt? Introduction of this measure by House Republican leadership is unproductive and a waste of time. Let’s be clear: The House legislation will not pass the Senate.

24-hour warning: By the way, red states take in more federal money than they pay in taxes

Paul Begala thinks it’s a shame that sequestration cuts can’t be limited to states which take in more federal money than they pay in taxes and are represented by politicians who refuse to pay for the spending that their constituents demand (and have come to expect):

“This could be fun. Oklahoma so hates Obama’s big spending that every single county in the state voted for Mitt Romney. Oklahoma has twice the percentage of federal employees than the U.S. average, and Okies get $1.35 back from Washington for each dollar they pay in taxes. So close the massive FAA center in Oklahoma City. Move it to Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district, where they love big government. Two years ago I made a similar argument about Kentucky, calling on Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to put the Bluegrass State in detox for its addiction to local pork. No such luck. But perhaps the principle can apply to the sequester: enforce it only in states whose elected representatives won’t support the taxes needed to fund the spending they want.” — A pox on one of their houses

Some facts:

Mother JonesEven as Republicans gripe about deficit spending, their states get 30 cents more federal spending per tax dollar than their Democratic neighbors:

It’s no secret: The federal budget is expanding faster than tax revenues, a trend that’s been fueled by the rapid growth of entitlement programs and exacerbated by the recession. As a recent New York Times article documents, even as fiscally conservative lawmakers complain about deficit spending, their constituents don’t want to give up the Social Security checks, Medicare benefits, and earned income tax credits that provide a safety net for the struggling middle class.

This gap between political perception and fiscal reality is also reflected in the distribution of tax dollars at the state level: Most politically “red” states are financially in the red when it comes to how much money they receive from Washington compared with what their residents pay in taxes.

A look at 2010 Census and IRS data reveals that the 50 states and the District of Columbia, on average, received $1.29 in federal spending for every federal tax dollar they paid. That means that some states are getting a lot more than they put in, and vice versa. The states that contributed more in taxes than they got back in spending were more likely to have voted for Obama in 2008 and were more likely to be largely urban. (There are some clear exceptions: For instance, New Mexico, a rural, Democratic state, gets more federal money per tax dollar than any other state.)

Added to that is “the world’s least surprising chart” from Brad Plummer

new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that most Americans like the idea of cutting federal spending in the abstract — they just can’t agree on any specific areas they’d actually like to cut…

[...] Foreign aid is far and away the most popular suggestion for the chopping block, but even here, it’s a close call — 48 percent of respondents said cut it, 49 percent said keep it the same or increase it. (Foreign aid makes up less than 1 percent of the federal budget.) In no other spending area is there majority support for cuts.

The tide has turned… and it’s turned away from career war profiteers in Congress:

Think Progress: A new poll released by the Hill newspaper has found that more voters favor slashing military spending versus cutting spending on domestic programs like Medicare and Social Security in order to reduce the debt and deficit.

Voters are tired of funding the GOP’s Forever Wars and think there should be spending cuts — but they think the cuts should be to all those other programs and services they personally don’t like or use (like foreign aid — only 1% of the budget). And while everyone in the country continues to subsidize the red states’ appetite for federal cheese, red state conservatives will continue to tell themselves that they deserve more federal cheese than blue states (or that it’s not federal cheese – it’s freedom cheese!). So we’ll see how long Teapublicans can hold out on their belief that only Democratic states and Democrats will be ‘hurt’ by the sequester.

Source: questionall

Want to see how much your state will lose with sequestration cuts? Go here.

The GOP’s short term memory loss on the Sequester

Republicans on the sequester: then and now –

Jed Lewison says Eric Cantor has outlined the GOP position on the sequester:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he hates the sequester:

I don’t want to live with the sequester. I want reductions in spending that make sense. These indiscriminate reductions do not make sense.

But he doesn’t hate it enough to repeal it or replace it with something Democrats and Republicans can agree on. As a result, he says, Republicans will move forward with the sequester.

And we’re going to hurt a lot of people. And it’s up to the president, really, to act now.

So Eric Cantor, who voted for the sequester in the first place, now says it doesn’t make any sense. He says he’d like to replace it, but only with spending cuts that target Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social insurance programs. Cantor says that unless Democrats agree to such cuts, Republicans will move forward with implementing the sequester—even though doing so will “hurt a lot of people.”

Steve Benen felt the need to annotate Eric Cantor’s remarks about the sequester: 

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday and presented an interesting argument regarding looming, automatic sequestration cuts. It’s so amazing, let’s annotate this one paragraph.

“You know, the problem is, David, every time you turn around, the answer is to raise taxes [1]. And, you know, he just got his tax hike on the wealthy. And you can’t, in this town, every three months, raise taxes [2]. And again, every time, that’s his response [3]. And, you know, we’ve got a spending problem. Everybody knows it [4]. The House has put forward an alternative plan [5]. And there’s been no response in any serious way from the Senate or the White House [6].”

Ready for this?

[1] Democrats aren’t proposing a tax increase; they’re proposing a compromise including spending cuts and new revenue through closing tax loopholes.

[2] The new revenue from a slight increase in top marginal rates was the first increase in income tax rates in two decades. Once every 20 years is not the same as once “every three months.”

[3] “His,” in this case, refers to President Obama, who’s repeatedly offered congressional Republicans overly-generous offers on debt reduction. Indeed, that’s what he’s done “every time.”

Read the rest…

Roll Call: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California has urged Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to cancel the planned district work period next week so both sides can work out a deal to avert the $85 billion automatic spending cuts under sequester. “Democrats are eager to work with Republicans to find solutions, not sequesters,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to Boehner on Monday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney: “The notion much propounded by the spin doctors on the Republican side that the sequester is somehow something that the White House and the president alone wanted and desired is a fanciful confection. The fact of the matter is, as I think you all recall in the wake of the passage of the Budget Control Act, it was the Republicans, including the Republican Leader of the House, who celebrated it as getting 98 percent of what they wanted.”

From the White House Fact Sheet: Sequester (click to read it all): 

113th Congress sworn in today, good fcking riddance to the 112th

Portrait of the 113th Congress – The Hill: “In the House, there will be a roll call vote at 11 a.m. for new members and the swearing-in at noon, followed by a ceremonial swearing-in in the Rayburn House Office building at 3 p.m., which is where new members will get their photo taken with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The lower chamber will gain 82 new lawmakers on Thursday: 35 Republicans and 47 Democrats. This year’s Republican freshman class is much smaller than the legendary class of 2010, which caused many headaches for Boehner.”

think-progress: Meet the Senate’s new women caucus.

A primer for the 113th Congress – latimes.com: “Democrats gained slight ground in both houses in the 2012 election, though control of both remained in the same hands: Democrats still run the Senate and Republicans the House. The GOP leads, 234 representatives to 201, in the House, having lost eight seats to Democrats. And in the Senate, Democrats lead, 55-45, counting independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who will caucus with them. Republicans lost two seats and Democrats gained two, including the closely watched race in Massachusetts between Elizabeth Warren and departing Sen. Scott Brown. The incoming congressional class features a record number of female (100), Latino (31), Asian American (12) and openly gay or bisexual (7) members, along with 43 African Americans.”

FLASHBACK: Two years ago — 112th Congress sworn in, GOP flexes muscles: With the ceremonial swearing in of the 112th Congress, Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, promising a fierce challenge to President Barack Obama and the potential for legislative gridlock in the countdown to the 2012 presidential election. Rep. John Boehner, a long-serving Ohioan from a working-class background, was awarded the speaker’s gavel Wednesday, ending the historic term of Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco liberal who was the first woman to preside over the House. The speaker is second-in-line for the presidency after the vice president.

[...] Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell said the voters had made it clear they “want lawmakers to cut Washington, tackle the debt, rein in government and to help create the right conditions for private sector growth.”…Many Republican freshmen will feel obliged to answer the call of hardcore conservative constituencies that sent them to Washington on contentious matters such as the need to raise the federal debt limit…..By way of example, House leaders set their first spending cut vote for Thursday, a 5 percent reduction in the amount spent for lawmakers’ and committees’ offices and leadership staff. Aides estimate the savings at $35 million over the next nine months. Republicans have pledged to vote at least once a week on bills that cut spending. And the new House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor, challenged Obama to include significant spending cuts in his State of the Union address on Jan. 25. But Republicans acknowledge they must do more than simply oppose Obama’s every proposal, as they did the past two years of Democratic rule.


Gov. Chris Christie rips Boehner and the House majority

image: demnewswire

“There is only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: the House majority and their speaker, John Boehner. This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Natural disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with Democratic governors and Republican governors. We respond to innocent victims of natural disasters, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. Or at least we did until last night. Last night, politics was placed before oaths to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting to watch.

Last night, the House of Representatives failed that most basic test of public service, and they did so with callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my state. Sixty-six days and counting — shame on you. Shame on Congress. Despite my anger and disappointment, my hope is that the good people in Congress — and there are good people in Congress — will prevail upon their colleagues to finally, finally put aside the politics and help our people now.”

— Governor Chris Christie, reacting to Rep. John Boehner’s refusal to allow a vote on an aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday night.

TP Update: The New York Daily News reports that Boehner “yanked the bill to provide $60 billion in emergency aid to states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy to get back at a top lieutenant who defied him over the Fiscal Cliff fix.”


I agree with Christie but I’m surprised that he’s surprised. It’s disappointing he’s disappointed. It makes you wonder why Republicans continue to elect Republicans. What else can be said?

From Tuesday night:

An important reminder from Charles Johnson: “Even for someone not known for mincing words, Christie’s remarks were unusually pointed and direct; he called the House’s failure to act on the Sandy legislation “a disgrace” and “disgusting,” and said Speaker Boehner had refused to take four phone calls from him last night. Christie also made it clear that he thinks the “fiscal cliff” debate was a manufactured fiasco, calling it a “fake” and sarcastically referring to it as an “epic battle.” Note that Christie is still very much a right winger in every way that counts, so as entertaining as this might be, don’t get too starry-eyed about him. For example, even on issues like global warming, which arguably contributed to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Christie toes the anti-science Republican line.”

257 to 167

The measure, brought to the House floor less than 24 hours after its passage in the Senate, was approved 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting to allow income taxes to rise for the first time in two decades, in this case for the highest-earning Americans. Voting no were 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats. — NBC News

There’s an incredible number of articles / posts that are judging the “winners” and “losers” of yesterday’s lengthy House soap opera (see this). I happen agree with John Cole’s assessment the most:

The winners in all of this are Obama, the Senate, and Nancy, who once again impressively whipped her caucus and had only 16 no votes. The vote was effectively over when 30 Republicans voted in favor, but Pelosi still managed to keep all but 16. I have no idea who they are, but I am sure it will be an mix of folks voting against for idiosyncratic district regions and a few diehard progressives. Pelosi is perhaps the best leader I have ever seen at whipping her caucus. She’s better than DeLay, and she leaves no fingerprints. She’s really fucking amazing.

The biggest loser, I think, is Cantor, who came out against the bill before Boehner and then could not deliver 218 votes for an amended bill. Boehner probably worked with Pelosi and delivered the necessary votes from safe districts and then released others in more difficult situations to vote against. Don’t be confused by the small number of Republican “yea” votes, as right now, Cantor, Louis Gohmert, the teahadists, and manic progressives like Matt Stoller (all of whom are nihilists) are probably singing Bill Joel at a piano bar over scotch in Georgetown. Boehner’s support was deep enough in the caucus to deliver that many votes while releasing dozens of others to vote against, and he is probably safe as speaker. Cantor, I think, is done.

Boehner and Paul Ryan voted for the bill; “Dead Eyes” Cantor and Marco Rubio voted against it (let taxes go up on the real ‘Mericans!). The GOP presidential primary in 2016 will be interesting since Republican base-rubes are such complete masochists.

The adults make a last-ditch effort on the fiscal cliff

Reuters: Obama said he was “modestly optimistic” that an agreement could be found that would prevent taxes going up for almost all working Americans.

If things cannot be worked out in the Senate, Obama said he wanted both chambers in Congress to vote on a plan of his that would increase taxes only for households earning more than $250,000 a year.

The plan would also extend unemployment insurance for about 2 million Americans and set up a framework for a larger deficit reduction deal next year.

“The hour for immediate action is here. It is now. We’re now at the point where in just four days, every American’s tax rates are scheduled to go up by law. Every American’s paycheck will get considerably smaller. And that would be the wrong thing to do,” Obama told reporters.

He was speaking after an hour-long meeting in the White House with the two Senate leaders plus their counterparts in the House, Republican Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

A total of $600 billion in tax hikes and cuts to government spending will start kicking in on Tuesday if politicians cannot reach a deal, which could push the U.S. economy into a recession.


The President’s Weekly Address: Congress must protect the Middle Class from income tax hike –

In part:

“For the past couple months, I’ve been working with people in both parties — with the help of business leaders and ordinary Americans — to come together around a plan to grow the economy and shrink our deficits.

It’s a balanced plan — one that would protect the middle class, cut spending in a responsible way, and ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more. And I’ll keep working with anybody who’s serious about getting a comprehensive plan like this done — because it’s the right thing to do for our economic growth.

In just a couple days, the law says that every American’s tax rates are going up. Every American’s paycheck will get a lot smaller. And that would be the wrong thing to do for our economy. It would hurt middle-class families, and it would hurt the businesses that depend on your spending.

Congress can prevent it from happening if they act now.

Leaders in Congress are working on a way to prevent this tax hike on the middle class, and I believe we may be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time.

But if an agreement isn’t reached on time, then I’ll urge the Senate to hold an up-or-down vote on a basic package that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends vital unemployment insurance for Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future progress on more economic growth and deficit reduction.” …

Today’s last-ditch summit at the White House

The Washington Post: “President Obama summoned congressional leaders to a Friday summit at the White House in a last-ditch effort to protect taxpayers, unemployed workers and the fragile U.S. recovery from severe austerity measures set to hit in just four days. The White House said Obama and Vice President Biden would host the four senior lawmakers — Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — at the Oval Office meeting Friday at 3 p.m. EST.”

Steve Benen answers questions about White House negotiations today:

What is it, exactly, these folks have to talk about?

Putting aside all the posturing, press releases, and finger pointing, the fact remains that nothing has changed except the calendar. Republicans still don’t intend to compromise, don’t want to present specific ideas to further their own goals, and don’t intend to act until the president negotiates with himself, coming up with a plan filled with preemptive concessions, predicated on guesses as to what GOP officials might find acceptable.

So what’s the point of today’s White House chat?

I suspect one of two scenarios is true:

1. Participants have been very quietly working out the details of a compromise, and today’s meeting is about sealing the deal while working out a legislative strategy. They’re closer than is publicly known, and today, they’ll try to work out the final details.

2. Everyone knows failure is inevitable, and there’s no way a deal can be reached with Republican extremists, especially with so little time remaining, so today’s meeting is motivated by theatrics — they’ll go through the motions so no one can say they didn’t at least try to sit in a room and talk to one another.

If I were a betting man, I’d put money on the latter.

I have a third question: did Democrats plan to go over the cliff all along?

Nancy Pelosi wishes John Boehner would man up

John Boehner is having a very hard time with the idea of not automatically putting his political party and the super rich first:

MSNBC: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have much sympathy for her successor’s predicament. “Figure it out,” she scolded Speaker John Boehner about dealing with the fiscal cliff.

“Pelosi cited her own experience dealing with President George W. Bush’s request to fund the unpopular war in Iraq. A fierce opponent of the war, Pelosi still wanted to ensure that the troops weren’t left high and dry. Her strategy: hold multiple votes. Democrats could go on record as opposing the war, but could still vote to fund it.

“Do you know what it was like for me to bring a bill to the floor to fund the war in Iraq?” Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s tough, but you have to do it if you don’t want to put your members on the spot. Figure it out. We did.” [...]

“Working on the same principle, Pelosi urged Boehner to bring up a bill extending middle-class tax rates under a suspension of the rules, which would require a two-thirds majority to pass—something she thinks is possible. Tax rates for the wealthiest Americans would then automatically go up at year’s end. “It’s painful, but it’s the job he signed up for,” said Pelosi.

“Democrats say they won’t accept a solution unless it includes tax rate increases for America’s wealthiest. Closing loopholes and capping tax deductions for the wealthy—as some Republicans have suggested—is not enough, say the Dems.”


Pres. Obama and Minority Leader Pelosi on raising the eligibility age of Medicare

President Obama: “When you look at the evidence it’s not clear that it actually saves a lot of money. But what I’ve said is let’s look at every avenue, because what is true is we need to strengthen Social Security, we need to strengthen Medicare for future generations, the current path is not sustainable because we’ve got an aging population and health care costs are shooting up so quickly.” [from an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters which aired Tuesday night.]

Nancy Pelosi: “On paper, it appears to save money for the federal government. In practice, it simply shifts the cost of health care to newly uninsured 65- and 66-year-olds, forcing them to pay more for their care out of their own pockets. It makes older Medicare beneficiaries pay higher premiums.” [from a USA Today op-ed published on Tuesday.]

Sounds like a “no” to me.

Nancy Pelosi wishes Boehner “Happy Birthday” and “FckYouVeryMuch” to Luke Russert


Oh, snap! 


The only person still unaware Luke Russert has a job because of his dad is… Luke Russert

The only person still unaware Luke Russert has a job because of his dad is… Luke Russert

Huffington Post: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had a sharp exchange with NBC reporter Luke Russert on Wednesday.

Twerp Russert: “Some of your colleagues privately say that your decision to stay on prohibits the party from having a younger leadership and hurts the party in the long term. What’s your response?”

Nancy Pelosi: “Next! Oh, you’ve always asked that question, except to Mitch McConnell!”

Russert: “No, excuse me. You, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Clyburn, you’re all over 70. Is your decision to stay on prohibiting younger members from moving forward?”

Pelosi: “Let’s for a moment honor it as a legitimate question, although it’s quite offensive. You don’t realize that, I guess.” She went on to say that she had no concerns about the question Russert raised, adding flatly, “the answer is no.”

Shorter L’il Luke Russert: NANCY PELOSI’S AN OLD WOMAN! Why is she a leader of anything?!

Really, someone needs to say to Luke Russert, “Some of your colleagues say you’re an untalented rightwing hack and the one reason you’re currently employed as an NBC reporter is ONLY because of your father’s legacy. What’s your response?” 

It’s called nepotism, Luke — or a “legacy hire,” if you like.


Might as well: the Do Nothing Congress will now take a two-month vacation

House Quits Until After Elections: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that the House of Representatives won’t be returning to session after next week until after the Nov. 6 elections, National Journal reports. A planned one week in Washington at the start of October has been scrapped.

On Thursday Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said:

“I want you to know the Democrats stand ready to be here for as long as it takes to pass a jobs bill, to come to agreement on a budget bill, to avoid the sequester… Unfortunately, the Do Nothing Congress wants to go home. Instead of leaving town for seven weeks after being gone for four or five weeks [this summer], let’s work across the aisle to restore fiscal responsibility, put people to work, and strengthen the middle class. We absolutely have to do that for the American people,”

Republicans are the E. coli club

“…If you could depend on the government for one thing it was that you had to be able to trust the water that our kids drank and the food that they ate. But this is the E. coli club. They do not want to spend money to do that.”Nancy Pelosi, addressing the Republicans’ small government ideology.

Citizens United and transparency: it really is your choice

What are the Democrats working on, with regard to donor transparency and the ridiculous idea that “corporations are people too” Citizens United ruling?

The Raw Story reports that Nancy Pelosi wants to fix the SCOTUS’ Citizens United ruling: “In a conference call, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters, “We must amend the constitutional to fix Citizens United.” Her latest call to action was spurred by Monday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Montana’s 1912 law limiting corporate spending in political campaigns based on its 2010 Citizens United ruling. The court’s decision led Montana’s governor Brian Schweitzer (D) and Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (R) to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision.”

Great! What are the Republicans working on?

Mitch McConnell speaks to Fox NewsThink Progress reports that now Mitch McConnell things campaign donor disclosure amounts to “harassment” and “intimidation:” “In a speech… to the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took the stunning view that attempts to let voters know who is paying for political messages amounts to a “political weapon” aimed at intimidating political critics. [...] The whole point of disclosure is allowing voters to know who is speaking and to evaluate the credibility of that person or interest. If disclosure were only about harassment and intimidation of political opponents, surely disclosure of donations to political candidates is just as likely to lead to such harassment of donors.”

House Republican Leadership Address The Media After Conference MeetingAnd the LA Times reports that now that contribution limits for campaigns are gone, Republicans are no longer interested in public transparency: “During their long campaign to loosen rules on campaign money, conservatives argued that there was a simpler way to prevent corruption: transparency. Get rid of limits on contributions and spending, they said, but make sure voters know where the money is coming from. Today, with those fundraising restrictions largely removed, many conservatives have changed their tune. They now say disclosure could be an enemy of free speech.”

Your choice in November is pretty clear: do you believe in greater transparency with regard to corporations, churches, and individuals donating hundreds of millions of dollars to political campaigns, Super PACs and politicians — or do you defend greater secrecy for the wealthiest donors? Vote your choice, knowing that billionaires and profitable corporations aren’t making these business investments (political donations) for nothing. And history, even as recent as the past 30 years, tells us they’re surely not working for the  betterment of our society but to enact laws to make themselves even wealthier.