Shuffling Federal Paperwork

The right-wing part of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, with John Boehner in the role of spineless lackey rather than courageous Speaker, has shut down much of the federal government. Eighty Republicans had signed a letter expressing their intent to shut down the government. It was a political act of defiance against government by people who themselves were government. The millionaire representatives have grabbed the media, which they publicly say they hate—except for one TV network and a few loud-mouth blowhards on radio—to proclaim their demands. They demand the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, be defunded. To these ultra-conservatives, the most important health care insurance protection in the nation’s history is a socialist trap, just like Social … Continue reading

Holding the American People Hostage

by Walter Brasch   Judges who wish to assure that a jury has no outside influence will sequester them. Legally, a sequestered jury is seized by authority and isolated from all outside influences. The jurors are escorted into and out of the courtroom. They aren’t allowed to read newspapers, listen to radio news, or watch TV news, ’lest they could be influenced by the media. They are escorted to and from meals, and isolated from other customers. They can’t discuss the case with family or friends. They can’t even go home at the end of the day; they’re housed in hotel rooms. In the summer of 2011, a bipartisan “super-committee” was supposed to come up with a reasonable budget to … Continue reading

Reid Gives Credit To Boehner For ‘Surrender’ On Debt Limit

While GOP House Speaker John Boehner was complaining that the newly inaugurated President Obama was set to “annihilate the Republican Party,” Senate Majority Leader was praising Boehner for passing a bill to raise the federal debt limit which “surrenders” the Republican extremism of the past. Unlike 2011 in which congressional Republicans turned an increase in the federal debt ceiling into a partisan battle over steep federal budget cuts, the House Wednesday approved a bill which decouples an increase in the debt ceiling from spending cuts. “This bill surrenders the hostage Republicans have taken in the past by decoupling the full faith and credit of the United States from cuts to Social Security and Medicare, or anything else. In substance, this … Continue reading

Obama Campaign Reactivates To Pressure GOP

Just a month after President Obama won his campaign for a second term, his campaign apparatus sprang back to life Wednesday, urging supporters to keep pressure on the GOP to sway towards the president’s favored tax policies. In an email to supporters, Obama campaign chief Jim Messina urged supporters to ask Americans in Republican districts to contact their members of Congress to back an extension of tax cuts for the middle class while allowing the cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers to expire at the end of the year. GOP House Speaker John Boehner so far has resisted that approach to resolving the so-called fiscal cliff. “Whether you voted for the President or not, he’s fighting to keep taxes low for … Continue reading

With Eyes On Healthcare Reform, Another Patients’ Rights Battle Brews

While public attention might be on this week’s second anniversary of healthcare reform — and next week’s legal challenges against it at the Supreme Court — consumer advocates already have moved onto the next battle for patients’ rights in Congress. Nearly two dozen consumers’ groups wrote a letter Wednesday to GOP House Speaker John Boehner, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and other lawmakers to object to H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act. Although its supporters argue the legislation — which has been on the table since Republicans retook control of the House last year — would help contain healthcare costs, opponents say the opposite would be true. The letter to congressional leaders signed by Consumer Watchdog … Continue reading

For Women’s Day, Democratic Senators Push John Boehner To Quit Birth Control Fight

In observance of International Women’s Day, all 12 Democratic women senators sent a letter Thursday to House Speaker John Boehner calling on him to rescind his pledge to push forward with efforts to restrict women’s access to contraception after the Blunt amendment was defeated in the Senate. The senators’ letter comes in the wake of Boehner’s public pledge to continue efforts to limit birth control access in the House, where a similar version of the Blunt amendment has over 200 co-sponsors. “Women are tired of being targets for a political strategy that endangers their health care and they want it to stop,” the senators’ letter says. “It’s time for you to put an end to the attacks on women’s health … Continue reading

Democrats Pull Ahead In Congressional Vote

For the first time since the 2010 election, Democrats have taken the lead in the congressional vote and this poll shows that third-party defections on the presidential ballot could prove devastating for the Republicans, according to a new poll out Friday. Moreover, the intensity gap has shifted in the Democrats’ favor and Democrats have moved to parity on the economy after 28 months in deficit, the Democracy Corps poll finds. More than half of all voters (53 percent) say that the more they watch the Republicans in Congress, the less they like what the Republicans have to offer; only 39 percent say they like it more — a 14 point margin. The country is equally repelled by the Republican presidential … Continue reading