House votes to reopen government, delay default: 285 to 144

…WITHOUT repealing, defunding, or delaying the Affordable Care Act.

After the past two weeks (and the +40 votes on Obamacare prior to this), tea party relevance can be measured with the following EKG:

This vote could have been held two weeks ago, saving the American public at least $23 billion and much heartache, if not for the Republican House and their “Hastert Rule.”

Also notice over half the Republican House members voted for default and to keep the government shut down. That’s not leadership and it’s certainly not patriotic.

The Senate vote earlier was 81 to 18.

Tea party ideology as illustrated with fictional villains


The debt ceiling…

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.

The strange love-hate relationship Evangelicals have with Jesus

Phil Zuckerman: Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus –

“Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world. Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor — especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training — anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the Prince of Peace.

What’s the deal?

Before attempting an answer, allow a quick clarification. Evangelicals don’t exactly hate Jesus — as we’ve provocatively asserted in the title of this piece. They do love him dearly. But not because of what he tried to teach humanity. Rather, Evangelicals love Jesus for what he does for them. Through his magical grace, and by shedding his precious blood, Jesus saves Evangelicals from everlasting torture in hell, and guarantees them a premium, luxury villa in heaven. For this, and this only, they love him. They can’t stop thanking him. And yet, as for Jesus himself — his core values of peace, his core teachings of social justice, his core commandments of goodwill — most Evangelicals seem to have nothing but disdain…”

10 most common jobs: public vs. private sector and the Republican agenda

WHAT MIDDLE CLASS? If you’re a teapartier who claims to be worried about your children’s (and grandchildren’s) futures because of the national debt, you might want to re-examine the priorities that Fox and the Koch brothers are selling you. Would you recognize a class war if you saw one?

Here are the 10 most common jobs in the public sector (federal, state, and local):

Tables above: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


And here are the 10 most common jobs in the private sector:

Table: GovExec

Here are the mean wages earned for the most common private-sector jobs.  NOTE: The poverty level for 2012 was set at $23,050 (total yearly income):

Did you know these were the 10 most common jobs? This is what we have after America’s manufacturing / retail industry was Reaganized / Bain-Capitalized. The bottom line is that out of 10 of the most common private-sector jobs in America, three pay BELOW the poverty level, and three more pay just above the poverty level — that’s 6 out of 10 of the most common jobs that pay wages near the poverty level!


So while the 1% wealthy-elites are busy funneling all available profits and cash into their off-shore accounts (from the ever-increasing productivity and labor of their employees and from executive bonuses, corporate welfare, loopholes, and exemptions), the rest of America is transforming into a nation of Walmart workers, waitresses, and janitors who earn poverty-level wages for full-time work.

Conversely, it’s probably safe to presume that the most common public-sector jobs listed above pay a little better than poverty-level.  So when Republicans and the wealthy want to eviscerate government (and government workers) at all levels, it’s not really about spending and the deficit or fiscal responsibility. It’s about how (and to whom) tax revenue will be distributed, and it’s about engineering our expectations for employment in the private-sector.

If you employ less government workers and take tax revenue away from the social safety net, you now have a bunch of money you can funnel over to corporations and the wealthy through loopholes, corporate welfare, and exemptions (those off-shore accounts don’t fund themselves!). In turn, corporations and wealthy individuals will continue to reward their politicians with a steady supply of hefty campaign contributions and a seat on their board after retirement.

Additionally, instead of increasing private-sector wages to be more in line with public-sector wages (which would be reasonable since costs increase and so should wages), the goal of the wealthy-elite and their career politicians is to bring government wages down to more closely match what Walmart workers and janitors earn. But remember: labor unions are The Evil. Plus if there are less government jobs, there will be more competition for shitty-paying private sector jobs. Not only do they want to pay poverty-level wages to a majority of Americans (more money for themselves), but they want people to believe it’s the only fair solution.  And that’s where Fox, Rush, and astroturfs like Tea Party Patriots come into play.

To the teapartiers: look at those tables above and think about what wages you hope your kid or your grandkid will be able to earn in the future. Doesn’t that resonate more personally for you? Shouldn’t this be as important as the non-issue of the national debt? I call the debt a non-issue because if/when a Republican is seated in the White House again, it will in fact be a Non-Issue to that political party’s agenda once more. And when that day comes that they move on — because they will move on — you’ll be earning poverty-level wages, watching Fox ‘news’ and, spittle flying, defending more tax cuts and some newly manufactured reason to go to war in some other country. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

There are nice things out there and this is why we can’t have them

Romney voters vs. everyone else in the world.

Inauguration Day through the eyes of Fox “news” and its viewers

More: Let’s Celebrate The Inauguration With The Best Of “Thanks Obama!” GIFs

Source: thanks-obama

Feefees hurt in Michigan: Tea Party advocates protest union supporters, get yelled at

Joe.My.God: “Early this morning Tea Party advocates traded screams with union supporters on the steps of the Michigan Capitol Building.  Breitbart has posted the below video.”

WHERE do these plutocracy-supporting, low-wage-jobs-loving, Koch and Walton ass-kissing, shoot-themselves-in-the-foot people come from?

Racism in the Republican Party? That’s mind blowing!

Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski posted a photo entitled: Man At Romney Rally Wears Mindblowingly Offensive Shirt: “The Getty Images photo was taken at a Romney/Ryan campaign event in Lancaster, Ohio on Friday. A Romney spokesperson commented that the shirt was “reprehensible and has no place in this election.””


Are their “minds blown” because the guy wore an offensive shirt or because he wore a shirt that loudly proclaims the racism that they’ve all participated in but agreed to not be so blatant about? It’s okay for Mitt to joke that “no one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate” (and to use Donald Trump and his flagrant birtherism for campaign cash), to run ads claiming President Obama is cutting welfare requirements to “shore up his base,” and to speak to a room full of wealthy people, like him, about how 47 percent of Americans won’t take personal responsibility for their own lives and that’s why they’ll vote for Obama.

That’s all supposedly quieter, just some harmless dog-whistling. But according to Team Romney, this shirt is “reprehensible and has no place in this election.” Uh huh — it has no place in this election NOW, four weeks from Election Day, when they’re trying to appeal to potential voters outside their circle of extremists.

But guess whose minds aren’t “blown” by this shirt? Everyone who’s been paying attention to the Republican Tea Party since 2008.

Do you really want change?

VOTE! Help Others Secure Their Voting Rights!
via: phroyd

What ever you care about, are you more likely to be able to have a conversation about it with the GOP or the Democratic Party? GOTTAVOTE.COM

Remember 2010? Don’t negotiate with terrorists.

The Tea Party is driving the GOP train, and they want Mitt Romney to know it

A vote for Mitt Romney (really, any Republican at this point) is a vote for a Teaparty sock puppet.

ABC News: The stunning Texas victory of Ted Cruz, a young Tea Party-backed Republican over an establishment candidate vying for a Senate seat, has already so emboldened the insurgent conservative movement that activists are warning Mitt Romney he had better get on board. “These guys [newly elected Tea Party candidates]” are going to force Romney to the right,” said Andrea Shell, a spokeswoman for Tea Party group Freedom Works. “That is our entire mission.” “If we can elect a really conservative House and Senate that will force Romney to go along with our bold conservative agenda,” Shell said. “He’s going to have to really, really go to the right. He’ll be working with guys in the House and Senate. He won’t be able to get away with too many middle of the road policies, especially on things like the deficit.”

Remember what Grover Norquist said:

“We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.”

via: ihatepeacocks

Fox “News” viewers

GOP Class Warfare: tax cuts for 20 million vs. tax cuts for 2 million

It’s pretty easy to see who loses under the Republican Senate tax plan: More than 20 million families would lose tax credits under Sen. McConnell’s tax plan, compared to the 2.1 million high-income households that would lose some of their George W. Bush-era tax cuts under the Senate Democratic plan. (source: Center for American Progress)

amprog: It’s pretty easy to see who loses under the Republican Senate tax plan: More than 20 million families would lose tax credits under Sen. McConnell’s tax plan, compared to the 2.1 million high-income households that would lose some of their George W. Bush-era tax cuts under the Senate Democratic plan.

(source: Center for American Progress)

Work harder, plebeians: wealthy Americans need more tax cuts

image: waronidiocy 

Kevin Drum would like to remind everyone what the outrage from the top elite is all about:

“I just want everyone to be absolutely clear on what this “narrative of aggrievement” is all about. It’s about Obama’s proposal that the marginal tax rate on income over $400,000 should rise from 35% to 39.6%. That’s your aggrievement. That’s your entitlement. That’s your socialism. That’s your class warfare. An increase in the top marginal tax rate of 4.6 percentage points. Four. Point. Six. This is what America’s most prosperous citizens are up in arms about. This is why Barack Obama is an enemy of capitalism. These are the spiteful shackles he proposes to use to subjugate America’s engines of job creation. It’s the reason America’s wealthiest citizens are so frightened about the future of their country. 4.6 percentage points. Just let that sink in.”

It will be interesting to see what shiny object(s) the GOP will introduce into the news cycle this week, to distract their not-wealthy voting base from paying attention to the Tax Cuts For The Rich Bill they’re trying to fast track. Maybe Romney in Israel, drumming up a new war with Iran?

GOP fast-tracking tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, paid for by eliminating our deductions

Maybe Republican voters who earn $250,000 a year or less can explain how the Teaparty / GOP politicians they voted into office are working for their constituents and not for their wealthy donors. Get a load of this:

The Republican majority in the House have introduced a bill designed to extend tax cuts for the wealthy and make it harder to modify tax law. They want to bring the bill to a vote this coming week. That was fast, right? Why are they doing it? Because Democrats in the Senate extended the Bush tax cuts last week — but only for incomes of $250,000 or less. Suddenly the do-nothing, “party of no” is actually doing something — they’re going to protect the wealthiest one percent from a tax increase of a whopping 4.6% and give them even more of a tax cut.

The Raw Story: “Earlier this week, Democrats in the Senate scored a major coup in the fight over tax cuts. In a 51-48 vote, lawmakers passed legislation that would extend Bush tax cuts for the middle class, people making $250,000 a year or less, but not preserve tax breaks for the wealthy, which are set to expire at the end of the year. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA) voted with Republicans.

“Republicans in the House have responded with legislation that calls for their own version of “tax reform,” a set of regulations that would shift the tax burden down the income ladder while giving millionaires an average of $187,000 in tax cuts in 2014. The Republican changes would encourage companies to invest overseas, reorganize tax brackets, reduce taxes on corporations and restrict them to a permanent rate of 25 percent or less …[and] increase taxes on families making less than $200,000 a year and repeal tax credits for low-income Americans signed into law by President Obama.”

Think Progress: “If the House GOP bill were adopted, tax reform legislation would “have special protections in the U.S. Senate, limiting the opportunities for lawmakers to use blocking tactics.” But the GOP bill only calls for a certain kind of tax reform — specifically that which would benefit the rich and corporations. Under the GOP’s fast-track approach, a tax reform bill would have to consist of:

      1. a consolidation of the current 6 individual income tax brackets into not more than two brackets of 10 and not more than 25 percent;
      2. a reduction in the corporate tax rate to not greater than 25 percent;
      3. a repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax;
      4. a broadening of the tax base to maintain revenue between 18 and 19 percent of the economy; and
      5. a change from a ‘‘worldwide’’ to a ‘‘territorial’’ system of taxation.

“As Citizens for Tax Justice noted, these changes would massively benefit the wealthy and corporations, shifting the tax burden down the income scale. In fact, consolidation of the tax code in the way the GOP envisions would give millionaires a $187,000 annual tax cut, while likely increasing taxes on the middle-class and working families, due to the elimination of deductions upon which they depend.”

And there you have the GOP’s idea of “tax fairness.” If you make less than $250,000 and you’re all for giving away your tax deductions to help finance bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent, then by all means keep supporting the Republican Party. If you’re dumb enough, or brainwashed enough, to believe that Republicans in the House and Senate really care about gay marriage or any of the other social issues they use to get you to vote for them, you’d better read this again. Look at what they can accomplish and fast track when it’s something that really matters to them: protecting their wealthy benefactors.