Tag Archives: congress

Politifact needs to learn arithmetic

Last week Bill Maher said: “There are 278 Republicans in Congress. (With Eric Cantor’s defeat), they are now all Christian and all white except for one black senator, who was appointed.”

With tortured twisted reasoning, Politifact rates that Half True. First they describe the Dems:

The 2012 elections ushered in the first Buddhist in the Senate (Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono, a Democrat), the first Hindu in either chamber (Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat), and the first Congress member to list her religious affiliation as “none” (Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat) . . . They joined two Muslims (Democrats) and a Unitarian Universalist (a Democrat).

They don’t offer a total of non-Christian Dems in Congress. It’s 37. Now here’s what they say of Congressional Republicans:

When it comes to Republicans,192 of 278 GOP members identify with a Protestant denomination (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.), 70 identify as Catholic, three are Orthodox Christian, and 12 are Mormon (more on that in a moment). Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, is Jewish and makes No. 278, but Brat, the Republican who could succeed him after the November election, is Catholic.

So until the next Congress is sworn in in January, we can count 277 Christian and one Jew. Politifact notes that some people don’t consider Mormons Christian. Which matters not at all because that’s how Mormons identify.

So that’s  37 non-Christian Dems and one (ONE) non-Christian Republican. Yup, that’s half alright.

Are Republicans all white?  Politifact says half-true because there are seven Hispanics. For some reason they felt compelled to mention that there are also three  GOP Senators .

To say the other Republicans in Congress are all white depends on your definition of “all white,” which isn’t always so easy to define.

There are no other African-American Republicans in Congress (there are 43 black Democrats). There also are no Asian or Pacific Islander Republicans in Congress (there are 13 Democrats).

But there are three Hispanic Republican senators and seven Hispanic Republicans in the House. Those Hispanics?

So there you go – the Dems have 56 and the GOP has seven. Definitely half.

 

 

Just sayin’

Rep. Steve King:

“I think it’s a constitutional violation” and “We’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office.”

House Speaker John Boehner:
“There’s a Constitution that we all take an oath to, including him!”
And then, of course, there’s this:

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said Tuesday night he left President Obama’s State of the Union speech early after “hearing how the president is further abusing his Constitutional powers.”

“I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers,” Stockman said in a press release shortly after Obama’s speech ended. “Needless to say, I am deeply disappointed in the tone and content of tonight’s address.”

Stockman said Obama was promising to “break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree.”

He doens’t look so dead to me.

Aha. Jim Inhofe is 78 years old and has been on Medicare, a truly socialized medical insurance plan, for 13 years. inhofe

Three weeks of bombing; missed every target

The final vote in the Senate was 81-18, with 27 Republicans voting yes.  Here are the Republicans who voted no (from NRO Online):

Senators David Vitter (La.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), John Cornyn (Texas), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Dean Heller (Ariz.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Pat Roberts (Kan.). Senator Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) did not vote.

So what’s the message going to be on talk radio tomorrow?

No surprise here

From Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog today:

Banks are dumping T-bills. “With Washington’s fiscal standoff still unresolved, large financial firms have been unloading investments once considered pristine, suggesting a wild week ahead for markets. Banks are dumping short-term government debt, usually one of the most plain-vanilla investments available, amid fears that Congress and the White House won’t reach an agreement by Thursday to raise the debt ceiling…Senior Treasury officials convened by phone Sunday afternoon to discuss the evolving market conditions, an agency official said…The Securities and Exchange Commission is monitoring bank capital levels and the amount of short-term Treasurys held by financial firms, among other things.” Damian Paletta and Dan Strumpf in The Wall Street Journal.

World should ‘de-Americanise’, says China following default fears. “In China, Xinhua, the official government news agency, said that as American politicians continued to flounder over a deal to break the impasse, “it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanised world”…Xinhua attacked America’s pre-eminent position in the world, adding that “such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated”.” Philip Sherwell and Malcolm Moore in The Telegraph (UK).

The US would be the first major Western sovereign default since 1933 Germany. “Reneging on its debt obligations would make the U.S. the first major Western government to default since Nazi Germany 80 years ago. Germany unilaterally ceased payments on long-term borrowings on May 6, 1933, three months after Adolf Hitler was installed as Chancellor. The default helped cement Hitler’s power base following years of political instability as the Weimar Republic struggled with its crushing debts. “These are generally catastrophic economic events,” said Professor Eugene N. White, an economics historian at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. “There is no happy ending.”” John Glover in Bloomberg.

Lessons learned? Nah, the righteous don’t need no stinkin’ lessons

From Ezra Klein (Wonkblog) this morning:

Thursday’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll hit the Republican Party like a bomb. It found, as Gallup had, the Republican Party (and, separately, the Tea Party) at “all-time lows in the history of the poll.” It found Republicans taking more blame for the shutdown than they had in 1995. It found more Americans believing the shutdown is a serious problem than in 1995.

Even worse for the GOP is what the pollsters called “the Boomerang Effect”: Both President Obama and Obamacare are more popular than they were a month ago. Obamacare in particular gained seven points.

The Boomerang Effect – yup, that’s exactly what happened after the GOP impeached Clinton (instead of doing the nation’s business). His favorability, which had been lackluster before the impeachment, soared.

Lessons never learned I guess.

Let’s round up some random stupid. Today: Rep. Joe Barton

220px-Joe_Barton_OfficialRep. Joe Barton (R-TX-Tea Party caucus), in Congress since 1985, is Chair Emeritus on the Energy and Commerce Committee. This is from a 2010 hearing on wind turbines:

“Wind is God’s way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it’s hotter to areas where it’s cooler. That’s what wind is. Wouldn’t it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I’m not saying that’s going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can’t transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It’s just something to think about.”

Maybe he only plays the fool. Quotes like that take up all the oxygen while:

The organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) put Congressman Barton on its CREW’s Most Corrupt Report 2011.[45][46] The article states that on Barton’s 2008 financial disclosure statement, he inaccurately reported on the source of a natural gas interest that he bought into. The share was purchased through a longtime donor and supporter who later died. This was discovered by the Dallas Morning News in 2010.[47] According to the Dallas Morning News article, Barton made over $100,000 on the investment. The article and CREW Report both point out how Barton buying this undervalued asset from an “advisor” on energy issues could be a conflict of interest to the Congressman’s position as the Chair of the House’s Energy Subcommittee.

The Congressman’s ethics have been noticed at home, so he’s had a few challengers lately. Nevertheless, he’s never been re-elected with less than 60% of the vote.

Because we all want smart capable people representing us in Congress, don’t we.

Oh Michele we will miss you . . .

Before she leaves us for good, Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Outerspace) is doing her best for late night comics everywhere. Here’s she’s commenting on recent US foreign policy in the Middle East. Or something. And it means that End Times are near.

SPOILER ALERT! Best line ever ever ever:  “Yes it gives us fear in some respects because we want the retirement that our parents enjoyed.”

“This happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history,” Bachmann told Jan Markell, radio host of “Understanding the Times,” on Saturday.

“Rather than seeing this as a negative, we need to rejoice, Maranatha Come Lord Jesus, His day is at hand,” Bachmann added later. “And so when we see up is down and right is called wrong, when this is happening, we were told this; that these days would be as the days of Noah. We are seeing that in our time. Yes it gives us fear in some respects because we want the retirement that our parents enjoyed. Well they will, if they know Jesus Christ.”

Groucho, now a member of the Tea Party Caucus

Thanks to blogfriend Frank of A Frank Angle who just dropped this bit of deliciousness into a comment thread:

Sometimes the answer is so easy . . .

(UPDATED BELOW) Cousin Den made me laugh . . . again.

UPDATE: . . . and again . . . (from Eugene Robinson):

“Republicans in Congress are like a dog that chases cars and finally catches one. There is a fleeting sense of accomplishment, followed by sheer panic.”

Repeating myself, but . . .

Interesting that President Barry made this exact point yesterday. I guess he’s reading my Facebook feed cuz I said this on Monday in a comment thread – and in a post here. And I wish he’d said it sooner.

Obamacare is the law, as passed by the Congress, signed by the President, upheld by the US Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the American people when they re-elected that President. That’s the way the US gov’t is designed to work. Half of those who tell pollsters they disapprove do so because it doesn’t go far enough – they wanted a single payer plan. The demand to defund or delay Obamacare comes from a single branch (and only a small minority of that branch) trying to undo – by holding hostage – a law created in the way designed by the Constitution.

 

Fascinating interview: WaPo and National Review

Ezra Klein today in his Wonkblog:

Robert Costa is the National Review’s Washington editor and one of the best-sourced reporters among House Republicans. Like many others, I’ve relied on his reporting in recent days about how House Republicans are strategizing around the government shutdown. But it left me with some questions, particularly around Speaker John Boehner’s strategy. We spoke by phone this afternoon, and a lightly edited transcript follows.

I found the interview informative. Here’s a small outtake:

EK: But why isn’t it [a clean resolution or a "CR"] an option? A few dozen unhappy members is an annoyance, but how is it a threat? Wouldn’t Boehner be better off just facing them down and then moving on with his speakership?

RC: So there are 30 to 40 true hardliners. But there’s another group of maybe 50 to 60 members who are very much pressured by the hardliners. So he may have the votes on paper. But he’d create chaos. It’d be like fiscal cliff level chaos. You could make the argument that if he brought a clean CR to the floor he might have 100-plus with him on the idea. But could they stand firm when pressured by the 30 or 40 hardliners and the outside groups?

While the House burns like Atlanta . . .

UPDATED BELOW: From Forbes magazine this morning:

But a new survey of 1,976 registered voters finds that only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded. 29 percent believe that “Congress should make changes to improve the law,” 26 percent believe that “Congress should let the law take effect” and see what happens, and 12 percent believe that the law should be expanded. The bottom line? Voters are skeptical that Obamacare will live up to Democrats’ hype. But they also believe that it should be given a chance to succeed.

Universal health care (which Obamacare is most assuredly not – at least not yet) has been a political objective, indeed a platform goal, of the Democratic Party  since Truman (Teddy Roosevelt and Nixon liked it too). So it has been a stated goal of at least half this nation for decades. It is now the law, as passed by the Congress, signed by the President, upheld by the US Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the American people when they re-elected the President who sponsored it. That’s exactly the way our Federal government was designed to work.

The House GOP is not pursuing the will of the American people, they are pursuing a Party objective. They forget that they are only one of three branches of government (and only half of that branch!). 

Our Founders knew well to build in protections against a tyranny of the minority. UPDATE: commenter Alan Scott points out – correctly – that I am wrong here. Our Founders built in protections against a Tyranny of MAJORITY. My bad.

The minority half of one branch of our government is on the wrong side of this.

Articles of Confederation bitchez!

Because that worked so well.  Who needs a balance of powers anyway? Checks and balances? Bleh.  We have a US Senator is ‘whipping’ votes in the House of Representatives. A significant cohort of the Congress is ideologically committed to the destruction of a strong Federal government. The House Speakership - designed to wield enormous power – now powerless. Who really needs him any more? Put the world economy at risk during a fragile recovery? So what if that usually leads to World Wars. That’s the world’s problem. – and damn Europeans and Mooslims.

Shut it down. Take it down! USA! USA! USA!

I asked my old friend Wikipedia for a few random factoids about the debt and that debt ceiling thingee:

  • 800px-US_Public_Debt_Ceiling_1981-2010US government indebtedness has been the norm in the financial history of the nation. The carriage of debt in Western Europe and North America by governments has been normal for the past 200 years, so the US situation is not unique.
  • The US has been in debt every year except for 1835.
  • Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly report on the amount of the debt ($75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791).
  • Every President since Herbert Hoover has added to the national debt expressed in absolute dollars. The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962,[1] including 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W. Bush, and three times under Barack Obama.

Seriously?

Ezra Klein yesterday (formatting added by Moe):

The House GOP’s debt limit bill — obtained by the National Review — isn’t a serious governing document. It’s not even a plausible opening bid. It’s a cry for help. In return for a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling, House Republicans are demanding:

  • a year-long delay of Obamacare,
  • Rep. Paul Ryan’s tax reform plan,
  • the Keystone XL pipeline,
  • more offshore oil drilling,
  • more drilling on federally protected lands,
  • rewriting of ash coal regulations,
  • a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions,
  • more power over the regulatory process in general,
  • reform of the federal employee retirement program,
  • an overhaul of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations,
  • more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget,
  • repeal of the Social Services Block Grant, more means-testing in Medicare,
  • repeal of the Public Health trust fund,
  • and more.

It’s tempting to think that this is Boehner teaching his conference a lesson. They told him what they wanted, and he’s going to let them have it — good and hard. House Republicans are walking into the debt-ceiling negotiations with an opening bid that makes them look ridiculous. This looks like an Onion parody of what the House’s debt-ceiling demands might be. It’s a wonder it’s not written in comic sans.

Filibuster(?) update . . .

. . . Ah well, I now hear that Cruz’ ‘filibuster’ is “in name only” as the vote has already been scheduled and his talkie-talkie can’t delay it further. So it’s theatre and therefore well suited to our Cuban Senator from Canada who is totally – TOTALLY – a natural born citizen.

Filllibuster!!! Popcorn please!

ringmasterLadies and gentlemen! Citizens of television land! I call you to gather at the CSpan for the Greatest Show on Earth!! Ted Cruz has taken the floor.

This is the third real filibuster in the last few years and that should be a good thing. I much prefer it to the invisible procedural nonsense of  placing holds.  Last year, Bernie Sanders (D-VT) did eight hours and last winter Rand Paul did thirteen hours. I don’t think either changed any minds, but they were presented honestly and honorably.

But this one? After hours of Ted Cruz sends the whole populace rushing for the showers, other Congress Critters might decide that doing business in the shadows was the better idea after all.

Maybe they’re smoking dope in the Oval?

How else to explain this kind of thinking – some in the Administration  have put  out this projection for Obama’s presidency going forward. They draw it as an entirely passive future. They’re saying if we fail at this, we’ll fail at everything else because it’ll be out of our hands. Perhaps some staffers think saying this would be heard by the Congress as a threat; they would be wrong – a weak Obama is the opposition’s wet dream.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — President Obama and his advisers view the coming decision on military action against Syria as a potential turning point that could effectively define his foreign policy for his final three years in office. . . .

Mr. Obama and his team see the votes as a guidepost for the rest of his presidency well beyond the immediate question of launching missiles at Syrian military targets. If Congress does not support a relatively modest action in response to a chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people in Syria, Obama advisers said, the president will not be able to count on support for virtually any use of force.

Although Mr. Obama has asserted that he has the authority to order the strike on Syria even if Congress says no, White House aides consider that almost unthinkable. As a practical matter, it would leave him more isolated than ever and seemingly in defiance of the public’s will at home. As a political matter, it would almost surely set off an effort in the House to impeach him, which even if it went nowhere could be distracting and draining.

As a result, Mr. Obama would be even more reluctant to order action in the one case that has most preoccupied military planners: the development of a nuclear bomb by Iran.

He said that. Really [UPDATED**]

Paul Ryan is very concerned.

In a USA Today column, the Ayn Rand acolyte says that Obama is  “interested in tax reform for corporations, not for families or small business,” adding “the President claims his economic agenda is for the middle class, but it’s actually for the well-connected.”

He said that. Really.

I learned this from Dana Milbank who, in his column this morning, sees other Republicans picking up on that meme.

To further illustrate that they can say pretty much anything and be taken seriously, there’s this:

John Boehner, asked at a news conference this week about Obama’s series of speeches on the economy, replied: “If I had poll numbers as low as his, I’d probably be out doing the same thing if I were him.”

He said that. Really.

Milbank comes to the only possible conclusion:

Obama’s that rare socialist who is in bed with big business . . . Republicans haven’t decided whether Obama’s a socialist or a plutocrat, a tyrant or a weakling, arrogant or apologetic.

* I probably don’t have to add this, but it’s irresistible.  A year ago (and probably last week as well) Ryan accused Obama of supporting “a government-run economy” and of ‘denigrating people who are successful”. He charged the president with leading the nation toward a “cradle-to-grave, European style welfare state.”

He said that too. Really.

** UPDATE: My daily alert from The Patriot Post just popped into my mailbox and lookee here: Editor Mark Alexander isn’t aboard with Mr. Ryan. Alexander is offended by those economic policy speeches coming from one “Barack Hussein Obama”:

Obama has been regurgitating the same phony talking points since then, insisting the economy is improving but stirring the class-warfare pot claiming the middle class and poor are not keeping pace. Naturally, he suggests the solution is more taxes and government spending.

Hey, as it says above, whatever works.

Looks like today is ‘Posting-a-bunch-of-pictures-and-graphs-day’

Like this one via cousin Liz (family day too?) - this is from her Facebook page where she says “Now it’s all coming together . . . “. So much for “Representatives’ being representative.

congress wealth

Civilization is always ending, isn’t it. What a bitch.

Maybe the good Congressman Gomert (or, as watertiger has named him, Screwy-Louie) could have scrounged around and quoted someone a bit less randy than Solomon when condemning same-sex marriage.

According to the Bible at I Kings 11:1-7: Solomon had 700 official wives and about 300 concubines – so, a thousand ladies, give or take.

 

This actually happened, in the hallowed halls of the United States Congress, in the very heart of Western Civilization, in the 21st Century

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Wednesday introduced legislation that would “automatically” punish family members of people who violate U.S. sanctions against Iran, levying sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

The provision was introduced as an amendment to the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, which lays out strong penalties for people who violate human rights, engage in censorship, or commit other abuses associated with the Iranian government.

Cotton also seeks to punish any family member of those people, “to include a spouse and any relative to the third degree,” including, “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids,” Cotton said.

It really happened. Today. No kidding.

East Coast storms and Oklahoma storms: totally not the same thing

coburninhofeFederal assistance to Oklahoma? Duane notes that its two Senators (Inhofe and Coburn) aren’t too sure about that Federal funding stuff in theory. They didn’t want to step in after Sandy and they’re always trying to defund FEMA. But here’s what Inhofe had to say this morning on the teevee:

JANSING: You know there were a number of people along the East Coast who weren’t happy about your vote on Hurricane Sandy . . . you said the request for funding was a “slush fund.” . . .  is there money to help the people here in your home state rebuild?

INHOFE: Well, let’s look at that. That was totally different . . .

Yup. Totally different. I get that.

What Inhofe and Coburn don’t seem to grasp – well,  here, Duane says it best:

Yet despite the efforts of Inhofe and Coburn, the FEMA trucks will show up in Oklahoma throughout today and beyond. Those trucks are representatives of the American people, most of whom live far, far away from Moore.

Let me repeat that: Those trucks are representatives of the American people.

We can, however, take some comfort that both of the esteemed Senators, while not crazy about that food and rescue equipment part, did ask for prayers.

You may know that Duane lives in Joplin MO and two years ago a tornado devastated Joplin; 161 people died. His post a few days later is one I’ve never forgotten and it still touches me. Read it. That’s probably pretty close to what they’re feeling in Moore OK about now. It begins:

Sunday evening, before the onset of the cruel aftershocks that continue to pummel our devastated city with remorseless storms and rescue-impeding rains, my youngest son and I undertook a journey to a destination he—a high school student and baseball player—seemed desperate to see.

He wanted to go to his school.

Read the rest.

But not the Admiral? I’ll bet Mullen scares him. Ooooohhhh.

The chief (singularly cheerless) cheerleader - after FOX News of course - of the Benghazi non-scandal, Rep. Darryl Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee, has a working thesis: “scandals, scandals, it’s all scandals, and cover ups too!”. Having still failed to uncover any actual wrong-doing, he’s now subpoenaed Ambassador Thomas Pickering to testify about why Pickering didn’t interview Hillary Clinton for his investigation (the official one).

Pickering has said before that he would testify before Issa’s panel about last year’s Accountability Review Board report on the attack . . . Pickering and Mullen [Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pickering's co-chair] have refused,  however, to submit to a transcribed interview with Issa and his staff, calling  the closed-door proceeding an “inappropriate precondition” to their testimony.

“Your refusal to allow staff investigators to interview you is inconsistent with  your commitment to be ‘tough and transparent’,” Issa wrote to Pickering. “In  light of your continuing refusal to appear voluntarily for a transcribed  interview … I have found it necessary to issue a subpoena to compel your  appearance at a deposition.”

Lovely. Rep. Elijah Cummings put it clearly:

. . . the Chairman is now accusing Admiral Mullen, the former Chairman of  the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Ambassador Pickering, a seven-time U.S.  ambassador, of being complicit in a cover-up.”

Issa did not subpoena Mullen.

It’s not like she’s Fox & Friends! She’s Peggy Noonan, my dears, Peggy Noonan

Charles Pierce at Esquire tells us today that Wall Street Journal columnist and TV pundit, Peggy of the Noonans, thinks Obama was rude to Dubayew Thursday down at that library opening. She scolds:

He veered into current policy disputes, using Mr. Bush’s failed comprehensive immigration reform to buttress his own effort. That was manipulative, graceless and typical.

Here’s what the fake President said, what Noonan described as ‘graceless’:

Seven years ago, President Bush restarted an important conversation by speaking with the American people about our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And even though comprehensive immigration reform has taken a little longer than any of us expected, I am hopeful that this year, with the help of Speaker Boehner and some of the senators and members of Congress who are here today, that we bring it home – for our families, and our economy, and our security, and for this incredible country that we love. And if we do that, it will be in large part thanks to the hard work of President George W. Bush.

And there was this:

Back to the point. What was nice was that all of them-the Bush family, the Carters and Clintons-seemed like the old days. “The way we were.” They were full of endurance, stamina, effort. Also flaws, frailty, mess. But they weren’t . . . creepy.

PIERCE: Back when the Clintons actually were in the White House, Peggy Noonan called the First Lady at the time, among other things, “a highly credentialed rube,” a “person who never ponders what is right,” and “a squat and grasping woman.” But not creepy, not like the current First Family.

(Psst, Peg doesn’t like the Kenyan much. And as she’s speaking here in family plurals – FLOTUS and the daughters? Also creepy. )

How Obama fails after he wins

Maureen Dowd, who often makes my teeth hurt as much as Wolfe Blitzer, gets it exactly right today. The gun purchase background check legislation should have passed the Senate and could have passed the Senate, if it had just a little push from the Oval Office.

How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system . . . It’s unbelievable that with 90 percent of Americans on his side, he could get only 54 votes in the Senate. It was a glaring example of his weakness in using leverage to get what he wants. No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him . . .

President Obama thinks he can use emotion to bring pressure on Congress. But that’s not how adults with power respond to things. . . .

The president was oblivious to red-state Democrats facing tough elections. Bring the Alaskan Democrat Mark Begich to the White House residence, hand him a drink, and say, “How can we make this a bill you can vote for and defend?”

Sometimes you must leave the high road and fetch your brass knuckles. Obama should have called Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota over to the Oval Office and put on the squeeze: “Heidi, you’re brand new and you’re going to have a long career. You work with us, we’ll work with you. Public opinion is moving fast on this issue. The reason you get a six-year term is so you can have the guts to make tough votes. This is a totally defensible bill back home . . . ”

. . . Obama should have pressed his buddy [Sen Tom Coburn]: “Hey, Tom, just this once, why don’t you do more than just talk about making an agreement with the Democrats? You’re not running again. Do something big.”

This is where Obama fails. He needs to remind himself that he is “the most powerful man in the world” and then he needs to get his hands dirty.

and thus they reach perfection . . .

See, there is justice.

Congresswoman M.B. is the new Congresswoman M.B., or, the new way of saying “You lie!”

Step aside Michelle Bachmann, there’s a new piece of low hanging fruit in town.

It seems Obama recently said “Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” when he was asked if he’d ever fired a gun.

Oh yeah? A statement like that calls for serious congressional attention because it’s an important matter and we can’t just take the word of the President of the United States. Because it’s too important.

Meet Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn:

“If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos? Why hasn’t he referenced this at any point in time?” Blackburn said Monday on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Sunday snork-snork

hilary randH/T to Susie for this.

 

The cleverest and most subversive thing the House GOP could do

(UPDATED BELOW)

Dear House GOP:

You may have noticed that America doesn’t like you anymore. And America now expects the worst from you.

I have an idea how you can change that – pass the debt ceiling increase quickly, without a lot of drama. You’ll leave the punditocracy speechless.

Ehhh, they’ll never do it.

UPDATE 1/19: Yikes, they did do it! Yesterday. For three months. And I’m guessing when it comes back in 90 days, they’ll pass it if the spotlight can be turned elsewhere.