[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

House Speaker John Boehner: 'I decided today is the day.'

Washington (CNN) John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who steered his party to an overwhelming House majority in 2010, said in a news conference Friday afternoon he had decided only that morning to announce his plans to resign from Congress.

"Last night I started thinking about this and this morning I woke up and I said my prayers -- as I always do -- and I decided today's the day I'm going to do this. As simple as that," Boehner said during an emotional Capitol Hill press conference a day after he had a moving encounter with Pope Francis. He will step down as Speaker and leave Congress at the end of October."

[identity profile] jom-art.livejournal.com

I believe in education, as almost the only way how to advance in life.
I don't think there is a conspiracy behind this statistics, like certain party is creating future voters, because the other party usually followed by educated folks. I guess South don't know better.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Here are the House committee chairs for the next session in Congress. And the Senate's first appointments were made public yesterday. As Rachel Maddow noted, they have remarkable consistency, suggesting that maybe Republicans no longer feel that diversity is important to their electoral success.

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

WASHINGTON -- Rand Paul, a leader of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, helped kill a bill meant to rein in the National Security Agency. Huh? The USA Freedom Act, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), received 58 votes on Tuesday night -- two short of cloture, the magic number in the Senate that allows a bill to proceed to an actual roll call. The 40 Republicans and one Democrat who voted against cloture mostly did so because they thought the bill went too far. Paul also voted against NSA reform -- because, he said, it didn't go far enough.

More here @ the source.

Mods, could we have a Rand Paul tag, please?
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

Context of Tuesday's results

In the North Carolina Senate race, state house speaker Thom Tillis beat Senator Kay Hagen by a margin of 1.7 percent, or about 48,000 votes. In the Kansas governor’s race, Governor Sam Brownback beat back challenger Paul Davis by a margin of 2.8 percent, or less than 33,000 votes. In Virginia, Senator Mark Warner eked out a victory over challenger Ed Gillespie by only 0.6 percent of the vote, or just over 12,000 votes. The Florida governor’s race was decided by only a 1.2 percent margin, with Governor Rick Scott narrowly beating former Governor Charlie Crist by just under 72,000 votes.


[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

A few weeks ago, incumbent Senator Thad Cochran was fighting for his political life. Thanks to large support from Democratic African Americans, Thad Cochran fended off a possible defeat last Tuesday. As the New York Times editorial wrote:

The prospect of electing an intemperate Tea Party candidate who was openly nostalgic for Confederate days was so repellent to many black voters in Mississippi that they did a remarkable thing on Tuesday, crossing party lines to help give the Republican Senate nomination to Thad Cochran, in office for 36 years. Now it’s time for Mr. Cochran to return the favor by supporting a stronger Voting Rights Act and actively working to reduce his party’s extreme antigovernment policies.

In Mississippi, as in many Southern states, politics has become so racially polarized that blacks generally vote for Democrats and whites for Republicans. But after Mr. Cochran came in second during the first round of primary voting earlier this month, he made an unusual appeal for help from black voters in the runoff. Many responded, the precinct results showed, and the reason was clear: Chris McDaniel, who was challenging Mr. Cochran, threatened to return the state to an era they loathed.
[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

On Friday, a gay CBS journalist accused Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) of being gay and in the closet. Itay Hod said in a long Facebook post that he is fed up with closeted anti-LGBT politicians and the media the shields and coddles them, then named Schock as one such politician. “People always say, ‘No one has the right to out anyone,’” he wrote, “that coming out is a private matter. I disagree. As you can imagine, not a very popular opinion. But bear with me.”

“Here’s a hypothetical,” he continued. “What if you know a certain GOP congressman, let’s just say from Illinois, is gay? And you know this because one of your friends, a journalist for a reputable network, told you in no uncertain terms that he caught that GOP congressman and his male roommate in the shower…together?”

Raw Story.

Earlier this week, Schock's Instagram account was featured on a gay rights' blog "The 7 gayest Aaron Schock Instagram posts of 2013," and that Instagram account was made private just a few hours ago. Rep. Schock actively opposes gay marriage, and when asked by reporters why his only response was "I just haven't." His record for gay rights is pretty dismal:

Schock voted against adding sexual orientation to the already-existing hate crimes law.
Schock opposed the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Schock opposes the repeal of DOMA.
Schock is against gay marriage; and
Schock is for the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would add language to the US Constitution banning gay marriage and likely striking down every gay rights law and ordinance in the country.

The documentary Outrage looks in depth at the issue of outing closeted lawmakers, providing a detailed history and voting records. "They have been chasing us for years; we're going to chase back."

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

ETA: Deal reached.

Senior Republican and Democratic lawmakers indicated Tuesday that negotiators had reached a budget deal that would raise military and domestic spending over the next two years, shifting the pain of across-the-board cuts to other programs over the coming decade. The deal, while modest in scope, amounts to a cease-fire in the budget wars that have debilitated Washington since 2011 and gives lawmakers breathing room to try to address the drivers of the national debt — growing health care and entitlement programs — and to reshape the tax code. Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the Senate Budget Committee chairwoman, who is leading the negotiations, said it was likely that she would present it publicly Tuesday afternoon.

But the accord is taking increasing fire from conservatives on and off Capitol Hill, who are excoriating Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the House Budget Committee chairman, for rolling back immediate spending cuts in exchange for promised savings that may never materialize. Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, which is influential with House Republicans, came out against the deal even before it was announced, as did Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by the conservative Koch brothers. “The American people demanded, and were promised, reasonable spending limits,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. “Politicians choosing to go back on their promise will be held accountable for their actions.”

[identity profile] telemann.livejournal.com

The Senate just concluded a vote and has changed its rule to require only a simple majority for judicial appointments.

Tensions between the two parties have reached a boiling point in the last few weeks as Republicans repeatedly filibustered Mr. Obama’s picks to the country’s most important appeals court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Senate has voted on three nominees to the court in the last month. Republicans have blocked them all, saying they would allow the president no more appointments to that court. Democrats, who filibustered their own share of Republican judicial nominees before they took control of the Senate, have said that what the minority party has done is to effectively rewrite the law by requiring a 60-vote supermajority threshold for high-level presidential appointments. Once rare, filibusters of high-level nominees are now routine. By leaving the appeals court with a bench of just eight full-time judges — there are 11 full-time seats — Democrats argue that Republicans are denying Mr. Obama his constitutional powers to appoint judges and reshaping the nature of the federal judiciary. The filibuster changes Democrats are pushing for, which can be passed with just a 51-vote majority under a procedural move so contentious it is known as the nuclear option, would not affect Supreme Court nominees.

[identity profile] aviv-b.livejournal.com

Oct 2008: "You'll never get elected and pass healthcare."
Nov 2008: "We'll never let you pass healthcare."
Jan 2009: "We're gonna shout you down every time you try to pass healthcare."
July 2009: "We'll fight to death every attempt you make to pass healthcare."
Dec 2009: "We will destroy you if you even consider passing healthcare."
March 2010: "We can't believe you just passed healthcare."
April 2010: "We are going to overturn healthcare."
Sept 2010: "We are going to repeal healthcare."
Jan 2011: "We are going to destroy healthcare."
Feb 2012: "We're gonna elect a candidate who'll revoke healthcare NOW."
June 2012: "We'll go to the Supreme Court, and they will overturn healthcare."
Aug 2012: "American people'll never re-elect you-they don't want healthcare."
Oct 2012: "We can't wait to win the election and explode healthcare."
Nov 2012: "We can't believe you got re-elected & we can't repeal healthcare."
Feb 2013: "We're still going to vote to obliterate healthcare."
June 2013: "We can't believe the Supreme Court just upheld healthcare."
July 2013: "We're going to vote like 35 more times to erase healthcare."
Sept 2013: "We are going to leverage a government shutdown into defunding, destroying, obliterating, overturning, repealing, dismantling, erasing and ripping apart healthcare."



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