Thursday, February 27, 2014

Last Call For Veteran Levels Of Stupid

To recap, Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill to help wounded veterans because mean ol' Harry Reid wouldn't let the GOP add an amendment authorizing new Iran sanctions, which would sabotage our foreign policy and undermine President Obama.

In a 56-41 vote Thursday, the motion to waive a budget point of order against the bill failed, as Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the Republican roadblock.

GOP Sens. Dean Heller (Nev.) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) voted with Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) refused to allow a GOP substitute amendment to get an up-or-down vote because it included Iran sanctions, which he said were unrelated to veterans’ issues.

“I hope all the veterans groups have witnessed all the contortions the Republicans have done to defeat this bill,” Reid said Thursday. “Shame on Republicans for bringing base politics into a bill to help veterans.”

Amazing.  Here's what the GOP blocked:

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) bill, S. 1982, would have expanded veterans' healthcare programs, given veterans in-state tuition rates at all schools across the country and provided advanced appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It also sought to permanently fix a cut to the growth rate of veterans' pensions. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bill to avoid a cut in the growth rate for current service members and veterans, but anyone enlisting after 2013 would still see a cut. Sanders’s bill would have eliminated that cut as well.

Nope, can't have that.  Gotta have the Senate minority run our foreign policy instead of the President and State Department, because Obama Derangement Syndrome.

The Aftermath Of Arizona's Bill

With Gov. Brewer vetoing the "religious freedoms" bill, Republicans are walking away from the doomed strategy to try to enshrine legalized discrimination into law.  The Arizona disaster has now led Ohio lawmakers to pull a similar bill introduced earlier this year.

One of the sponsors of the religious freedom bill being considered in the Ohio legislature, Democratic Representative Bill Patmon, says the plan is dead.

“We are pulling the entire bill — not just support or anything, but the bill is being pulled off the legislative agenda by my request,” Patmon said.

“There is too much misunderstanding and misinterpretation in this particular case and when you find that, then you have to maybe go back to the drawing board…”

Patmon says he was pushing the bill because he wanted to make sure there were protections for people who wear a cross necklace, a yarmulke or some other religious symbol in their workplaces.

But critics of this bill said it could open the door to widespread discrimination of gay Ohioans. Patmon says the language in this bill was not clear enough.

“There are different interpretations of it. That’s a concern for me. I don’t want different interpretations whether it is the ACLU or someone else. There should be only one. And that is to make sure people have religious freedom,” Patmon added.

Bill Patmon may have believed the bill was about religious freedom, but it's not.  It's about weakening civil rights legislation, period.  And the bill apparently was so bad that Ohio Republicans, which last year enacted some of the worst anti-choice regulations in the country and may leave the greater Cincinnati area's 2.2 million people without a single legal abortion provider by October, have scrapped the bill entirely.  Even they won't touch it now after what happened in Arizona.

Think about that for a sec.

Under The Gun With Rand

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Unfortunately My State) continues to be a petulant little twit whenever possible, this time putting a hold on President Obama's pick for Surgeon General for the completely radical view that the thousands of preventable gun deaths each year in the US might be a health issue.

On Wednesday — two years to the day after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) placed a hold on President Barack Obama’s nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, over Murthy’s view that gun violence represents a significant public health threat.

“In his efforts to curtail Second Amendment rights, Dr. Murthy has continually referred to guns as a public health issue on par with heart disease and has diminished the role of mental health in gun violence,” wrote Paul in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“As a physician, I am deeply concerned that he has advocated that doctors use their position of trust to ask patients, including minors, details about gun ownership in the home… Dr. Murthy has disqualified himself from being Surgeon General because of his intent to use that position to launch an attack on Americans’ right to own a firearm under the guise of a public health and safety campaign.”

Which is funny, because actual physicians and not ones accredited by their own make-believe board like Rand Paul here believe that guns are bad for kids.

In fact, just yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new guidelines recommending that households with children who are diagnosed with depression should remove guns and ammunition from their homes entirely.

The AAP has long taken a firm stance on the danger that gun violence poses for children. “This should not be a political issue. Gun violence is a public health issue that profoundly affects children and their families,” said AAP president Dr. Thomas K. McInerny in a letter to Congress urging robust gun safety legislation on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. “We know what works — strong laws to enforce background checks and safe storage. But our elected leaders need to find a way forward to protect our children.”

But this view, the view of the majority of pediatricians, is of course somehow radical in the eyes of Rand Paul, as he continues to embarrass himself nationally with idiotic grandstanding like this.


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