Thursday, September 25, 2014

Last Call For No Holders Barred

While I agree with everything Steve M. wrote today about the GOP complaining that appointing Eric Holder's successor during the lame duck session after the elections would somehow be "unconstitutional" I think the bigger picture here is that the massive, massive disrespect shown by Sen. Chuck Grassley and others is truly awful.

“Rather than rush a nominee through the Senate in a lame-duck session, I hope the president will now take his time to nominate a qualified individual who can start fresh relationships with Congress so that we can solve the problems facing our country,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Grassley, who voted to confirm Holder in 2009, lamented that his tenure “was strained by his lack of respect for Congress, the American taxpayer and the laws on the books. “

He noted, however, that Holder has committed to remaining on he job until a successor is named, allowing for the confirmation process to run its course.

Oh well.  Guess you lose on this one, Chuck.

“There’s no doubt the president will try to ram through a lame-duck Senate another partisan hack for attorney general,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. “We cannot allow that to happen."

We cannot allow.  Exactly who are you to tell the President what he can and cannot do?  Sit the hell down and shut the hell up.  I am so bloody tired of this nonsense.  You get zero say, madam.  Zip.  Stuff it where the sun don't shine.

Republicans have repeatedly urged Democrats to refrain from pushing through any non-emergency legislation in a lame-duck session, arguing that lawmakers who have lost their seats would have no accountability.

That holds true for selecting Holder’s replacement, said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which will consider the eventual nomination.

“Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced,” Cruz said.

Nope.  100% Constitutional.  Nothing you can do about it.  You lose, sir.  Good day.  Enjoy your replacement.

Of course, the point is to raise so much outrage that our "liberal media" starts actively questioning whether or not President Obama should just resign because, well, you know that anyone that one appoints won't have credibility.

Optics, you know.

Pay To Play The GOP Way

Looks like some GOP intern screwed up, and CREW and the NY Times got their hands on the donor's list for the PAC for the Republican Governors Association, the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee.  The results are depressing:

Among the R.G.A. documents is a 21-page schedule of the policy committee’s Carlsbad meeting last year that lists which companies attended, who represented them and what they contributed. The most elite group, known as the Statesmen, whose members donated $250,000, included Aetna; Coca-Cola; Exxon Mobil; Koch Companies Public Sector, the lobbying arm of the highly political Koch Industries; Microsoft; Pfizer; UnitedHealth Group; and Walmart. The $100,000 Cabinet level included Aflac, BlueCross BlueShield, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Novartis, Shell Oil, Verizon Communications and Walgreen. 
Other documents detail, in part, what they got in return. 
One 2009 document states the benefits of a Governors Board membership, for a $50,000 annual contribution or a one-time donation of $100,000, saying it “offers the ability to bring their particular expertise to the political process while helping to support the Republican agenda.” 
Board members received two tickets to “an exclusive breakfast with the Republican Governors and members of their staff”; three tickets to the Governors Forums Series, where “a group of 5-8 governors discuss the best policy practices from around the country on a particular topic”; and a D.C. Discussion Breakfast Series, among other events. 
If they bump up to Cabinet Membership — $100,000 annually or a single payment of $200,000 — contributors also receive two invitations to “an exclusive Gubernatorial Dinner,” an “intimate gathering with the Republican Governors and special Republican V.I.P. guests” at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington. 
Political finance experts say the practice apparently laid out in the documents is not illegal, and probably not unusual. In hundreds of pages posted on the web, the Republican governors group put it down in black and white. 
“It’s not that you don’t suspect this, but here you see these companies paying the governors for access,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. “Americans all think it’s pay-to-play politics. This is what confirms it.”

Now, two things here.  One, don't kid yourself, Democratic governors are doing this too.  The donors are different and the price tags are probably similar, but the honest fact is Democrats do pay for play like Republicans do.

Two, all politicians are for sale and will be until we get the billions in cash  out of the system. These corporations are the only constituents that your governor, your representative, your senator, your mayor, and your city council or county commissioners care about.

BREAKING: AG Eric Holder Resigning, Sort Of

Eric Holder apparently stepping down, but will wait to resign until a successor is named.

Which, thanks to SCOTUS, cannot be done until after the elections when the Senate is back in session.  Expect the GOP to stall until January, when they'll have more seats in the Senate.  If they have 51 and control of the Senate, I can't see anyone Obama would appoint as getting confirmed.

Effectively, Holder may remain until the end of President Obama's term if that happens  I  mean, do you expect anyone Obama would pick would get through a confirmation hearing if the GOP's in charge?

Senate control always was important, but is even more so now.

Dennis The Menace Returns

If there's one person in the Democratic party more ridiculously obnoxious than Ralph Nader, it's Dennis F'cking Kucinich, who I am now convinced is running for the Dems' 2016 nomination on the platform of "Let's indict Obama the War Criminal".

Last week Congress acted prematurely in funding a war without following the proscriptions of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. (The day of the vote, I urged Congress to resist this dangerous and misguided legislation.) But even while the funding was given, the explicit authorization to go to war was not. To authorize a war, Congress must vote for war. It has not done that yet. 
To sell its case, the administration is borrowing from the fear mongering tactics of the Bush administration. ISIS poses no direct, immediate threat to the United States --The White House even said so yesterday, just hours before bombing commenced - yet we are being sold make-believe about ISIS sleeper cells. 
This attack on Syria, under the guise of striking ISIS, is by definition, a war of aggression. It is a violation of international law. It could lead to crimes against humanity and the deaths of untold numbers of innocent civilians. No amount of public relations or smooth talking can change that. 
And yes, members of this Democratic administration, including the president who executed this policy, must be held accountable by the International Criminal Court and by the American people, who he serves

And while Congress really should debate Syria and hold a vote, they're too busy campaigning to care. Also, we have tried diplomacy with Iran and it's making progress, but Congress tried to kill that too. Look, I'm less than happy about us bombing ISIS targets in Syria. The best we can hope for is that it forces ISIS to the negotiating table, and even I think that's not going to happen.

Here's the real problem:  John Boehner refuses to hold a vote on authorization for Syria until the next Congress is in session.

“I have made it clear that I think the House and the Congress itself should speak,” the speaker said in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with First Draft. 
But Mr. Boehner believes a post-election, lame-duck session is the wrong time for such a weighty decision. “Doing this with a whole group of members who are on their way out the door, I don’t think that is the right way to handle this,” he said. 
Mr. Boehner, who is open to a more expansive military campaign to destroy the Islamic State, thinks lawmakers should take up the issue after the new Congress convenes in January… 
I would suggest to you that early next year, assuming that we continue in this effort, there may be that discussion and there may be that request from the president,” he said.

So complain all you want to about Obama not having permission from Congress, when Republicans in Congress refuse to even debate it.


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