Category Archives: Congress

Barney Frank’s Nipples Steal The Show During House Address

This is one headline- and picture and video- that I really hoped never to see….

It also serves as evidence that the guy who wrote the book in my previous post is so deadly wrong….

Here is the article, if you must, you can click the link and see the pictures and video at the Huffington Post….

Outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) appeared to have the congressional equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction Monday, when he delivered an address from the House floor and ended up being upstaged by his own chest.

Dressed in a snug, light blue crew neck shirt with a jacket draped over his shoulders — perhaps because he’s now wearing a large cast on his left hand — Frank stood at the podium to deliver a speech on bank failures, and instead raised questions about how cold it was in the House chamber.

Frank has announced that he will retire when his current term is up. No longer beholden to electoral politics, it’s possible that we’ll see some more unusual sartorial decisions before he departs the halls of Congress.

Before he decides to go with this outfit again, which doesn’t appear to fit under traditional House floor dress code, perhaps he should consider tracking down a “manzier,” the undergarment invented by Cosmo Kramer in the 1990s sitcom “Seinfeld.”

via Barney Frank’s Nipples Steal The Show During House Address (VIDEO).

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Newt Gingrich: The Return of the Megalomaniacal Opportunist

Very good perspective on Newt Gingrich and his lack of  character from Maureen Dowd in today’s New York Times.

It will be interesting to see if Newt does pull off his comeback against Romney for the GOP nomination.

Either one should be an easy target for President Obama, but Newt is especially easy to take on and hopefully take down.

The man is, as Maureen says, a megalomaniac, a liar, and a hypocrite.  The more you get to know Newt, the more you grow to hate him.  And to feel slimy for just reading about him…

My only concern is that, if by some fluke he does win the Presidency, he could be by far the biggest danger to both the country and the world.

Again, this guy is a megalomaniac.  And probably a sociopath….

Romney is a mundane opportunist who reverses himself on core issues. Gingrich is a megalomaniacal opportunist who brazenly indulges in the same sins that he rails about to tear down political rivals.

Republicans have a far greater talent for hypocrisy than easily cowed Democrats do — and no doubt appreciate that in a leader.

Gingrich led the putsch against Democratic Speaker Jim Wright in 1988, bludgeoning him for an ethically sketchy book deal. The following year, as he moved into the House Republican leadership, he himself got in trouble for an ethically sketchy book deal.

Gingrich was part of the House Republican mob trying to impeach Bill Clinton for hiding his affair with a young government staffer, even as Newt himself was hiding his affair with a young government staffer.

Gingrich has excoriated Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for dragging the country into a financial spiral and now demands that Freddie Mac be broken up. But it turns out that he was on contract with Freddie for six years and paid $1.6 million to $1.8 million (yacht trips and Tiffany’s bling for everyone!) to help the company strategize about how to soften up critical conservatives and stay alive.

At a Republican debate in New Hampshire last month before this lucrative deal became public, Gingrich suggested that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should be put in jail. “All I’m saying is, everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who were at the heart of the sickness that is weakening this country,” he said.

Another transcendent moment in Gingrich hypocrisy. He risibly rationalized his deal, saying he was giving the mortgage company advice as a prestigious historian rather than a hired gun.

Gingrich boasts that he’s full of fresh ideas, but it always seems to essentially be the same old one: Let’s turn the clock back to the ’50s. Just as Newt, who dodged service in Vietnam, once cast the Clintons as hippie “McGovernicks,” now he limns the Occupy Wall Street protesters as hippies who need to take a bath and get a job.

Maybe the ideal man to fix Washington’s dysfunction is the one who made it dysfunctional. He broke it so he should own it. And Newt has the best reason to long for the presidency: He’d never be banished to the back of Air Force One again.

via My Man Newt – NYTimes.com.

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The Median Net Worth Of A Member Of Congress Is Five Times Higher Than The Median American Household

And we wonder why they just don’t get it?

They live in an alternate universe!

These guys and gals live in a little bubble called Washington, DC, sheltered by their wealth, and have no idea how the real world operates…

Nothing will change as long as the Congress is run by the rich for the rich….

 

Part of the reason the richest 1 percent of Americans have captured our politics is because they are able to finance political races, issue campaigns, and lobbyists. But the other reason some of the richest Americans have been able to control our politics is because they themselves have gotten elected to positions of power at a much higher rate than the rest of us.

As Roll Call points out today, the estimated median net worth for a member of Congress in 2010 was $513,000 (this is strictly an estimate as assets are reported in ranges). Meanwhile, the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s David Rosnick points out that the net worth of the median household in the United States that same year was closer to $100,000:

via The Median Net Worth Of A Member Of Congress Is Five Times Higher Than The Median American Household | ThinkProgress.

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Why are Bikes and Walking Trails Being Targeted by Congress?

I can tell you!  It’s because they don’t use gas or oil!

Our current Congress Trolls think it’s Un-American to go more than 5 feet unless you are driving a gas guzzling American made hummer type monstrosity.

Remember their motto:  “What’s good for Exxon Mobil is what’s good for America.”

If you aren’t going to be riding around in the car, they prefer you lay on your sofa and watch Fox News while eating Frankenfoods….

And please note, Rand Paul, the Libertarian darling who fooled so many people in the last election cycle, is doing his bit here…..I thought he wanted the government to stay out of everything?  I’m all for more infrastructure spending.  All for it.  But it should be in addition to these expenditures for walking and bike trails.

From Jay Walljasper at Shareable.net:

 

How in the the world can biking and walking be controversial?

They’re good exercise, fun to do and—as an alternative to driving everywhere—help us save money and the environment.  Both biking and walking are increasingly popular for transportation and recreation today, thanks in large part to a recent flowering of federally-funded trails, bikeways and pathways that make getting around on two wheels and two feet safer and more convenient.

But in these antagonistic political times, bikers and walkers are now targets of controversy for some members of Congress.  In September, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn proposed stripping all designated federal funding for bike and pedestrian projects from the pending Transportation Bill. After an outpouring of opposition from citizens coast-to-coast, Coburn withdrew his amendment.

Now bicyclists and pedestrians are under attack again, this time in an amendment from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. He wants to redirect every last penny of money dedicated to bicycling and walking to bridge repair instead.

via Shareable: Why are Bikes Being Targeted by Congress?.

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Obama bypasses Congress to offer lower student loan payments for millions

This is a good start to addressing a big problem…

And “extra credit” to the President for getting around the insensitive, obstructionist Republican Congress

From DailyKos.com:

The Obama administration today announced some actions it can take to bypass Republican obstruction and reduce the burden of student loans for millions of current students and recent graduates, at no new cost to taxpayers.

Currently, an income-based repayment program lets people with student debt reduce their loan payments to 15 percent of their discretionary income; after 25 years, remaining debt is forgiven. Last year, Congress passed a law reducing that 15 percent to 10 percent and forgiving remaining debt after 20 years. That was set to go into effect in 2014, but President Obama is using regulatory authority to make it take effect in 2012. The administration estimates that this could reduce payments for 1.6 million people.

More:   Daily Kos: Obama bypasses Congress to offer lower student loan payments for millions.

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Elizabeth Warren and the Social Contract

The more I see of Elizabeth Warren, the more I love her….

She is one smart – brilliant- woman and I hope to God she gets elected to the Massachusetts Senate seat so she has a platform to run for President in 2016.

I also love that she talks about the Social Contract.  I was thinking I was the only one left who believed there was such a thing….

We desperately need more politicians like Elizabeth Warren…

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John Fleming, GOP Congressman, Blasts Obama Over Buffett Rule: I Can’t Afford A Tax Hike

Poor baby….

Just scraping by on $400k a year….

After deductions, I’m sure….

 

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) appeared on MSNBC Monday morning to express opposition to President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction plan, which includes a proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy.

Fleming charged that the plan is a terrible idea which kills jobs provided by wealthy “job creators” who pay personal income taxes. When asked about his business ventures — including his role in a number of Subway restaurants and UPS stores — from which he earned $6.3 million last year, Fleming told MSNBC host Chris Jansing that his business expenses left him with little to tax “by the time I feed my family.”

Fleming told Jansing that the $6.3 million is “before you pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment and food.”

“The actual net income of that was a mere fraction of that amount.”

“By the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over,” Fleming said.

via John Fleming, GOP Congressman, Blasts Obama Over Buffett Rule: I Can’t Afford A Tax Hike.

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Poll: Just 12% happy with Congress

I want to know what’s wrong with the 12% who are “happy” with Congress!  There aren’t that many rich people….

It will be interesting to see how this plays out by the time the elections roll around next year.  Either people are going to throw up their hands and stay home- thinking it doesn’t matter if they vote- which is what the GOP wants or people are going to throw the bums out…

Who knows which way it will break?

From CBS:

In the midst of a bleak economic landscape and after a bruising battle over the federal budget deficit, approval of Congress now matches its all-time low, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

Just 12 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing – the same as the lowest percentage recorded in this poll, reached in October 2008, right before the November elections.

Dissatisfaction with Congress cuts across party lines. Republicans, Democrats, and independents all overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

Though most Americans disapprove of both parties in Congress, they disapprove of Republicans more. Seventy-two percent of Americans disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, compared to 63 percent who disapprove of the Democrats in Congress.

Among Democrats, more approve than disapprove of the job Democrats in Congress are doing. That is reversed for Republicans – more of them disapprove than approve of the job members of their own party are doing in Congress. Independents disapprove of both parties in Congress.

In keeping with Congress’ dismal review, just 6 percent of registered voters think most members deserve re-election – the lowest percentage ever in CBS News Polls during the past 20 years, and a lower percentage than the 9 percent who thought so right before the 2010 midterms.

(Credit: CBS News/NYT Poll) Americans are usually more positive when assessing their own representative in Congress.

That’s true now, too – 33 percent say their representative deserves re election – but nearly six in 10 registered voters don’t think their own representative deserves re-election. That percentage is close to the highest found in CBS News Polls.

via Poll: Just 12% happy with Congress – Political Hotsheet – CBS News.

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Eric and Irene: Have you left no sense of decency?

Great article from Paul Krugman on Eric  Cantor and his evil ways.

In case you missed it, Cantor now wants to require all disaster aid for Hurricane Irene be off set by budget cuts…

As Krugman says, he’s holding Irene’s victims hostage.  The good news is that George Allen, the probable GOP Senate nominee supports him and his position.  I hope they go down together.

I just can’t quite figure out how my birth state can justify electing people like this….

Back in the day, people who showed such callousness and disregard for people in trouble would have been shunned…

It’s no longer the gracious, genteel Virginia I once knew.

 

 

“Have you left no sense of decency?” That’s the question Joseph Welch famously asked Joseph McCarthy, as the red-baiting demagogue tried to ruin yet another innocent citizen. And these days, it’s the question I find myself wanting to ask Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, who has done more than anyone else to make policy blackmail — using innocent Americans as hostages — standard operating procedure for the G.O.P.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Cantor was the hard man in the confrontation over the debt ceiling; he was willing to endanger America’s financial credibility, putting our whole economy at risk, in order to extract budget concessions from President Obama. Now he’s doing it again, this time over disaster relief, making headlines by insisting that any federal aid to the victims of Hurricane Irene be offset by cuts in other spending. In effect, he is threatening to take Irene’s victims hostage.

Mr. Cantor’s critics have been quick to accuse him of hypocrisy, and with good reason. After all, he and his Republican colleagues showed no comparable interest in paying for the Bush administration’s huge unfunded initiatives. In particular, they did nothing to offset the cost of the Iraq war, which now stands at $800 billion and counting.

And it turns out that in 2004, when his home state of Virginia was struck by Tropical Storm Gaston, Mr. Cantor voted against a bill that would have required the same pay-as-you-go rule that he now advocates.

But, as I see it, hypocrisy is a secondary issue here. The primary issue should be the extraordinary nihilism now on display by Mr. Cantor and his colleagues — their willingness to flout all the usual conventions of fair play and, well, decency in order to get what they want.

via Eric and Irene – NYTimes.com.

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US Firms Paid More to CEOs Than Taxes in 2010

This just isn’t right….

From CNBC:

 

Twenty-five of the 100 highest paid U.S. CEOs earned more last year than their companies paid in federal income tax, a pay study said on Wednesday. It also found many of the companies spent more on lobbying than they did on taxes.

At a time when lawmakers are facing tough choices in a quest to slash the national debt, the report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a left-leaning Washington think tank, quickly hit a nerve.

After reading it, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, called for hearings on executive compensation.

In a letter to that committee’s chairman, Republican Darrell Issa, Cummings asked “to examine the extent to which the problems in CEO compensation that led to the economic crisis continue to exist today”.

He also asked “why CEO pay and corporate profits are skyrocketing while worker pay stagnates and unemployment remains unacceptably high”, and “the extent to which our tax code may be encouraging these growing disparities”.

In putting together its study, IPS chose to compare CEO pay to current U.S. taxes paid, excluding foreign and state and local taxes that may have been paid, as well as deferred taxes which can often be far larger than current taxes paid.

The group’s rationale was that deferred taxes may or may not be paid, and that current U.S. taxes paid are the closest approximation in public documents to what companies may have actually written a check for last year.

$16.7 Million Average

Compensation for the 25 CEOs with pay surpassing corporate taxes averaged $16.7 million, according to the study, compared to a $10.8 million average for S&P 500 [.SPX  1219.64    6.72  (+0.55%)   ] CEOs. Among the companies topping the IPS list: eBay [EBAY  30.885    -0.065  (-0.21%)   ] whose CEO John Donahoe made $12.4 million, but which reported a $131 million refund on its 2010 current U.S.taxes.

via Fiscal Policy: US Firms Paid More to CEOs Than Taxes in 2010: Study – CNBC.

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