Monday, July 16, 2012

Last Call

Nothing's going to pass Republicans in the House before they go on semi-permanent vacation to campaign next month, and that includes any House version of the Senate Dem bill passed in April designed to rescue the Post Office and save tens of thousands of jobs.

Republicans signaled last week that the House would likely not vote before the August recess on a postal bill from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the Oversight Committee chairman, and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.).

Senators and outside industry observers decried that holdup, saying that any delay reduces the chances of lawmakers coming together on a broad postal reform package. The Senate passed its own postal reform bill in April, and key senators are waiting to negotiate a compromise bill with the House.

“The longer the House delays reforming the Postal Service, the more likely it is that nothing happens,” said Art Sackler of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group that represents the private-sector mailing industry.

The postponement of work on the postal bill also comes as House GOP leaders have shown little to no interest in advancing the chamber’s farm bill, another piece of legislation that could be a tough vote for some in the Republican rank-and-file.

At the same time, with the November elections less than four months away, GOP leaders in the House have scheduled a series of messaging votes meant to highlight the differences between the parties on issues like healthcare repeal and extending current tax rates.

That has left some observers concerned that, even if the House can pass its bill after it returns in September, final negotiations on a postal revamp could spill over into the lame-duck session after the election.

Republicans are increasingly expecting to hold the House in November, so they figure they can delay all they want to.  They figure the country won't punish them for continually trying to sink the economy under President Obama by wasting everyone's time with meaningless message votes and job-destroying cuts.

They're probably right.  Of course, the fact that a large percentage of Postal Service employees are minority means that House Republicans can let the USPS fall apart, call for tens of thousands more job cuts, and then blame President Obama for the loss of middle-class jobs for African-American and Latino families.

It's worked so far.  There's no reason to believe it won't work again.

Best Work Perk Ever

Happy Monday!  While most of us trudge back to work, reflect on this:

Bart Lorang may be the best boss ever.
The CEO of Denver-based internet start-up FullContact API said in a market that is competitive for top talent, he wants to keep his employees happy and refreshed.
The flip-flop wearing founder offers his employees $7,500 for what he calls "paid, paid vacation," however there are rules.
"One, you actually have to take a vacation to get the money," Lorang said. "Two, you have to disconnect from work, so that means no calls, no emails, no tweets, no work of any kind."
Even Lorang admitted he has trouble following his rules.
"I suck at it," he said.
Good sir, I would be willing to give it a try.  Read the whole article for more awesomeness, including how he feels workers should be able to let go to do a better job in the long run.

Trial For Woman Who Killed Husband With Boiling Water

A judge has ordered trial for 39-year-old Jesusa Tatad, who, in a jealous rage, went into her sleeping ex-husband's room and allegedly poured a pot of boiling water over him

Tatad, a Daly City woman, was allegedly upset because she believed her ex-husband was seeing another woman; the couple had divorced, but were still living together at the time she doused him with hot water, according to press reports

Her fiery rage left him with second- and third-degree burns across 60 percent of his body, which eventually killed him, prosecutors say.
As if boiling water wasn't enough, as the man jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, Tatad allegedly then hit him on the head with a baseball bat, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
He had such a will to live that he still managed to flee and get the attention of a guard, who got him prompt medical attention.  It just wasn't enough.

Expect follow up when available.

Godzilla Teaser Gets Some Attention

SAN DIEGO — In an afternoon packed with new footage from films like The HobbitMan of Steel andPacific Rim, Legendary Pictures head Thomas Tull sneaked in one more little surprise for the Comic-Con faithful: A sneak peek at his studio’s upcoming Godzilla remake.
Showing scenes of a dusty metropolis crushed into a pile of rubble complete with hollowed-out buildings, the less-than-a-minute clip’s voiceover — by J. Robert Oppenheimer — intoned, “We knew the world would not be the same…. A few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture…. Vishnu takes on his multi-armed form and says, ‘Now, I am become death, destroyer of worlds.’” Once the line was completed, the screen flashed to a brief look at a terrifying-looking Godzilla in profile.Without even saying what he was about to show, Tull told the Hall H diehards Saturday that he had something he wanted to share. What played was a short-but-oh-so-mouthwatering tease of the apocalyptic-looking Godzilla film.
“I’ve loved Godzilla since I was a kid, and frankly we just wanted to see a kickass Godzilla movie,” Tull said following the clip.
I've always wanted to see a kickass Godzilla movie, too.  The one with Matthew Broderick wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I wanted.  I wanted to see something more epic and show the full destruction of Godzilla's wrath.

I can't wait for them to release it for public viewing.  

President Obama In Cincy Today

President Obama chose Cincy’s Brent Spence Bridge as the backdrop to introducing the American Jobs Act last year, and the Queen City is once again in the spotlight today as he returns for another major visit to talk up his economic record here and what it means to the tri-state.  He’ll be at Music Hall around 2 PM this afternoon.  I’m hoping you have tickets, I’m stuck up here in Mason for the day.

Obama is holding a town hall event in Cincinnati, one of the state’s most heavily Republican areas. Ohio and Florida again are shaping up as the most intensely competitive states in the presidential race. 
White House aides said Obama will cite news reports suggesting that Romney’s plans for limited taxing of overseas profits by U.S. companies would encourage foreign job growth. The two candidates have repeatedly accused each other of outsourcing American jobs.
The White House said Obama will renew his call for extending the Bush-era tax cuts on all households except those earning more than $250,000 a year. Romney says the wealthiest Americans also should keep their tax breaks because they are the most likely people to create jobs.

And no, Cincinnati isn’t as Republican as you think.  Ask Mayor Mark Mallory, who is thrilled to see the President and is one of his strongest supporters in Ohio in his Enquirer op-ed this morning.

During the week of the Fourth of July, President Obama visited Ohio to talk about a great American comeback story made possible because of a bet on the American worker. 
He visits Cincinnati today with the same message, reminding residents of the choice between two very different economic visions, placed on two very different kinds of bets. Where President Barack Obama bets on America’s middle class, Mitt Romney bets against them. Where Obama is moving us forward, Romney would hold us back.
And as a mayor, I believe there are two areas where that contrast is most clear: economic security and public safety. Cincinnati is moving forward with the president’s policies that invest in the soul of our economy – our small businesses and manufacturers, teachers and safety forces. We have more work to do, but our city has a partner in the White House who understands how we leverage federal investments to promote local growth.

The Enquirer of course is immediately complaining about the expected traffic snarl.  That’s the Enquirer for you.  Still, I expect the President to continue kicking ass on the trail like he did this weekend in Eric Cantor’s neck of the woods.  There’s a reason he’s following that up with a visit to Orange Julius’s backyard today.

Guess who just got back today, driving all the orange men crazy.

Also, the Enquirer’s Amanda Van Benschoten is liveblogging the President’s arrival and visit here.

Boehner Crying Foul

It's funny, I remember Orange Julius screaming earlier this spring that President Obama was "campaigner-in-chief" and spending too much time fundraising and not "doing his job" in Washington.  Of course, we now find out that John Boehner has been fundraising himself and not doing his job in Washington and that he's bragging about it.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) raked in nearly $8.5 million in the second quarter of fundraising this year to protect his hard-fought GOP majority in the House.

According to a memo released by his political office on Sunday afternoon, the highest-ranking House Republican has raised close to $80 million dollars for GOP candidates – through his political committees, appearances at member events and contributions solicited from Boehner-signed National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) fundraising letters – since taking the gavel in 2011.

Cory Fritz , spokesman for Boehner’s leadership political action committee, The Freedom Project, attributed the hearty fundraising for House GOP races during a presidential election year, to the current policies of President Obama.

If you're wondering why the American Jobs Act died, why the House GOP has done nothing to help the American people and instead chosen to waste $50 million in 30+ votes to try to take affordable health care away from ten of millions of Americans, it's because they were too busy using the time to raise unlimited money from the fat cats who want to buy our government lock, stock and barrel.

The Obama/Romney race is certainly important, but we have to remember legislation comes from Congress, and we need to win there even more badly.  Should the GOP get control of the Senate and keep the House, we'll see nothing but another 2 years of useless votes...including ones on impeachment no doubt.

Should Romney win as well, you can kiss the last 80 years of legislation goodbye.

Retroactive Activity

And Mitt Romney's awful week, which started with the Vanity Fair piece about his offshore accounts and $100 million tax-deferred IRA account, has now turned into Mitt Romney's awful month.

Ed Gillespie, a senior campaign advisor for Mitt Romney, appeared on Meet the Press this morning to answer questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, and unveiled a new excuse for why Romney should not be held responsible for the company’s actions during a time in which he remained CEO and president:
GREGORY: He was still financially linked to Bain. And of course, a lot his fortune is due to his time with Bain. Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?
GILLESPIE: He actually retired retroactively at that point. He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain.

"Retired retroactively" and got $100,000 a year for it.  And he's still hiding his tax returns from those years.  That's the most ridiculous thing I think I've heard so far this campaign season, and it included Perry, Bachmann, and Cain.

Mitt's campaign is openly bleeding now, and multiple Republicans are now calling for Romney's full disclosure, like William "The Bloody" Kristol.

It's coming apart for Team Romney now.  Completely.


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