Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged John Boehner

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House Republicans Now Just Watching Ben Affleck Movies

Gawker writer Jim Newell sums up House Republicans nicely:

Counselors at the youth summer camp that we know more commonly as the “House Republican Caucus of the 112th Congress” penciled in time for a movie yesterday! All of the campers were so excited to relax a little bit after pretending to be members of Congress for so long. And better yet, they got to watch an R-rated movie — without their parents’ permission! Is that even legal?

Here’s the scene as described by theWashington Post. They were meeting to discuss the their latest camp project, “Fucking Up the Nation’s Credit For No Reason Whatsoever: Should We?” It’s a tough one. But maybe Ben Affleck and his ragtag band of Boston goons were able to get through to these kids:

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the party’s vote counter, began his talk by showing a clip from the movie, “The Town”, trying to forge a sense of unity among the independent-minded caucus.

One character asks his friend: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later.”

"Whose car are we gonna take," the character says.

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.

"I’m ready to drive the car," West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full -throated support for the [Boehner] plan.

Allen West, he’s the coolest!

Bickering children, that’s it. And yes, they really did watch a movie clip for “unity’s” sake.

Filed under US House Debt ceiling default politics Republican republicans Allen West John Boehner

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Boehner’s Response Is Work of Political Fiction

Johnathan Alter, writing for Bloomberg, rips apart House Speaker John Boehner’s speech last night. A sample:

Speeches by politicians are usually full of spin, biased use of facts and appeals to emotion. President Barack Obama’s address to the nation last night on the debt ceiling was no exception. House Speaker John Boehner’s response was in a different league. It was chock full of statements that simply aren’t true.

Let’s go to the videotape.

Boehner: “Here’s what we got for that spending binge: a massive health-care bill that most Americans never asked for. A ‘stimulus’ bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.”

Facts are stubborn things. Whatever one thinks of it, the Obama health-care law wasn’t part of the “spending binge.” The law has yet to significantly contribute to the budget deficit because most of it hasn’t been phased in yet.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus bill created millions of new jobs, which as a factual matter is at least as “effective” as a David Letterman monologue. And anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of the 2008-09 economic meltdown knows that it was “sparked” by a crisis in private debt, not “the national debt.” The latter wasn’t a big problem when, say, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bust.

Emphasis is mine. The health care bill is being targeted simply because they don’t like it. The national debt sparking crisis is one of the GOP’s own creation, as Alter rightly observes:

Boehner: “You see, there is no stalemate in Congress.”

We do see, and our eyes tell us the plain truth: There is in fact a stalemate in Congress.

Boehner: “If the president signs it,” meaning the House bill, “the crisis atmosphere he created will simply disappear.”

Boehner is right that if Obama fully capitulated and signed the House bill, the crisis would end. But it’s simply untrue to suggest that the president “created” the “crisis atmosphere.” Saying so is Orwellian.

Conservatives can legitimately argue that they were right to turn the debt ceiling into a crisis to achieve their ends. But it’s unfair to blame someone else for creating something you created yourself - and, make no mistake, the Republican Party has turned what should be a standard procedural increase to the debt ceiling into a potential calamity.

Your move, Mr. Speaker.

Filed under John Boehner Party of no conservative conservatives politics US Debt ceiling obama Barack Obama Democrats deficit default

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We have run out of time… This was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue. It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. I’ve been left at the altar now a couple of times. And I think that one of the questions that the Republican Party’s going to have to ask itself is, can they say yes to anything?

So far I have not seen the capacity of the House Republicans in particular to make those tough decisions. And so then the question becomes, where’s the leadership, or alternatively, how serious are you actually about debt and deficit reduction, or do you simply want it as a campaign ploy going into the next elections?

President Barack Obama, responding to House Speaker John Boehner’s abrupt withdrawal from talks on a debt ceiling increase. He has summoned congressional leaders to the White House on Saturday to sketch out a new plan before the Aug. 2 deadline.

The dispute resulted from Obama and other Democrats asking that some of the deal included expiration of tax subsidizes for corporations and the top 1% of Americans. Republicans claim voters don’t want any tax increases (actually expiration of subsidies) or the debt ceiling to be raised.

Hmmm…

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

Filed under debt debt ceiling Obama Barack Obama politics John Boehner negotiating seriously? Democrats Republicans Republicans would sell their own mothers for a political ad

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Boehner: Big deficit deal won't work

House Speaker John Boehner said Saturday that he has told President Barack Obama that he wants to pursue a smaller $2 trillion deficit reduction deal, not the larger effort sought by the White House.

Obama, Boehner and other congressional leaders are due to meet at the White House on Sunday at 6 p.m. EDT, with staffers working through the weekend to lay out options.

There could be some hard bargaining in the session but it is not likely to produce a final deal, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Boehner also tamped down expectations that Democrats and Republicans could reach agreement over the weekend. He said on Friday that the two sides must overcome serious disagreements on taxes and spending cuts.

"It’s not like there’s some imminent deal about to happen," Boehner told a news conference. "This is a Rubik’s Cube that we haven’t quite worked out yet."

Looks like Boehner may have blinked in this asinine game of debt-ceiling chicken with the US economy. I really hope this doesn’t mean they’re going for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

Filed under John Boehner politics debt ceiling Obama politics budget budget cuts government government spending default deficit blink

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Group: Boehner broke the law by spending $500,000 to defend DOMA

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint Tuesday against House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), alleging that he violated the law and House rules by agreeing to pay an outside law firm $500,000 to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In the complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), CREW charged that Boehner had violated the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits “making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law,” according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The $500,000 contract represents more than 35 percent of the Office of General Counsel’s budget. “With more than two-thirds of the fiscal year having passed, the office will not have sufficient funds to pay for both its remaining salaries and expenses and the DOMA defense,” according to the complaint (PDF).

Boehner could face a fine of $5,000 and two years in prison if found guilty of violating the Antideficiency Act.

How very fiscally conservative of him…

Filed under John Boehner DOMA conservative conservatives law crooked politics

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An open letter from Tea Party Nation to Speaker Boehner

So, the Tea Party is cool with vets not getting benefits, troops going unpaid, etc. all because of an ideological pissing contest? The quote from Charlie Sheen is the icing on the cake. The idea that the response to this gridlock is “Duh, winning” sums up everything I think about the Tea Party and their reason for existence. They don’t give a shit about this country - only winning. The shutdown would cost money, you people get that, right? Here’s a letter from Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

As you know, I have been very critical of you in the last few weeks. I am sure you did not appreciate it when I said Charlie Sheen was making more sense than you. While I have been very unhappy with you, what I want is something I think you want and it is a phrase that Charlie Sheen has made famous. “Duh, winning.”

I want to win. I want the conservative Republicans to defeat the liberal Democrats because in this fiscal mess that we are in, if conservative Republicans defeat liberal Democrats, America wins.

Since it now looks like we are going into a government shutdown, this gives you the chance to step back and revisit the spending proposals and do something really worthwhile. Instead of cutting spending by $32 billion or $39 billion, lets do something radical. Let’s win by cutting spending by $300 billion. It’s a little short of the $1.65 trillion I want to see, but it is a good start.

How would this happen?

That is a good question. The liberal Democrats have acted like it is the end of the world, as we know it when we are talking about only $32 billion. How can we possibly win with $300 billion?

It is simple. A month ago, the Government Accounting Office, hundreds of billions of dollars could be saved by eliminating programs that have failed completely, are totally inefficient or are duplicative. Get the GAO report, and on Monday morning, tell the White House, this is your new budget proposal. $300 billion in cuts, all by eliminating waste and inefficiencies.

What will Obama, Pelosi and Reid do?

They will not like it, but how are they going to argue against cutting waste from the Federal Government? Americans of all stripes, conservative to liberal agree on one thing. They do not want their tax dollars wasted. Americans may disagree on how much spending there should be and what programs deserve funding and even what the tax rates should be, but I doubt you will find a single, sane American who is not offended at the idea of his or her tax dollars simply being wasted.

Over a month has passed since the GAO report came out. I have wondered why Republican Senators and Congressmen have not had fistfights over who got to introduce the legislation eliminating that spending.

So far, the Tea Party reaction to your tenure as Speaker has ranged from lukewarm to very displeased. In one stroke, you can change that. Move to eliminate $300 billion from this year’s budget through the elimination of waste, fraud and inefficiencies; you will have the Tea Party movement in the streets with signs reading “Boehner for President.”

This is a winning strategy. It helps America by dealing with our urgent debt and spending crisis and it helps conservative Republicans defeat liberal Democrats. It is a good plan and there is no reason not to go for it. Remember, “duh, winning!”

Judson Phillips, Founder of Tea Party Nation

Just a quick little side note from TPM:

Minutes after the crowd that was assembled at an Americans for Prosperity-backed Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill on Wednesday broke out into chants of “shut it down,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that the Tea Party doesn’t want the government to shut down and that Democrats would unfairly blame the movement if it did.

Nope, not unfairly, it appears. Cutting off your nose to spite your face isn’t winning. It’s losing, and losing big. Duh.

Filed under tea party Tea Party Nation shutdown government government spending John Boehner orange orange boner hypocrisy

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I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.
Rep. John Boehner, on today’s tragedy in Arizona. He’s right. 

Filed under John Boehner Gabrielle Giffords democracy political violence

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The GOP's Michele Bachmann Problem: By trying to push her aside, House Republicans may have created their own worst nightmare.

Michele Bachmann had a very good 2010, by most measures: She held on to her Minnesota congressional seat by a wide margin, raising more money than any other House Republican candidate along the way. She enjoyed more media attention than ever, beloved as she is by TV bookers for her willingness to be memorably bombastic and serve as a near parody of the far-right…Her savviest move of the year, though, was turning her anti-tax rhetoric into Tea Party stardom and forming the Tea Party Caucus in the House, which made her into the gatekeeper for an important new voting bloc.

And yet, just at the moment when it seemed as if Bachmann’s fringe would have to be welcomed into the fold, establishment Republicans pushed her back. Her bid for a post-election leadership position—the GOP conference chair—met with barely concealed dismay. Incoming House Speaker John Boehner put two other Tea Partiers on his transition team while conspicuously ignoring Bachmann. She resorted to reminding him via Politico why he ought to kiss her ring: “There was a real question, even 18 months ago, about whether the Tea Party would become a third party. I worked really hard to pull them to our party because we have to have a two-party system. I have been able to bring a voice and motivate people to, in effect, put that gavel in John Boehner’s hands, so that Republicans can lead going forward.”

If Boehner’s gratitude is nowhere to be seen, it is because Bachmann presents a particular headache for the GOP. The Tea Party helped propel Republicans into office by attacking Democrats; now, with the dirty work done and popular support for centrist compromise growing, wild cable TV statements are looking more like a liability…But by withholding from her the formal power she believes she has earned, the GOP has probably compounded the problem. 

The new dynamic is already in effect: After the GOP put the less tea-stained Jeb Hensarling of Texas in the conference chair position, Bachmann moved rapidly from faux-graciousness to promising an insurrection “against our own leadership" if it failed to accomplish what the Tea Party had asked for. In a November interview with the New York Times, she came across as almost thuggish, pointing out both her street cred (“I’ve been willing to take on my own party, my own leadership, my own president before, so I would be willing to do that again, if I felt there’s a principled reason to do so”) and her movement’s might.

Michele Bachmann is literally batshit insane. And yet, in Laramie, Wyo., there’s a truck rolling around with a “Palin/Bachmann 2012” sticker. I really think that’s a ticket that will either give the White House to Democrats in 2012 or cause the apocalypse. 

Filed under Michele Bachmann Sarah Palin GOP Conservative conservatives STFU John Boehner Problem GOP? Tea Party Teabaggery What hell hath unleashed

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How can Republicans explain efforts to defeat a human rights bill because of $67 million in potential spending while simultaneously pushing for a tax cut deal for wealthy Americans that will add $858 billion to the deficit? Is this at all credible?

Conor Williams, writing for The Washington Post blog, PostPartisan

Williams is referencing the GOP killing the “International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2010” in the US House.

According to The Huffington Post:
The bill would ensure that child marriage is recognized as a human rights violation, and develop comprehensive strategies to prevent such marriages around the world. The legislation seemed likely to garner strong bipartisan support in Congress, and in the Senate, it did. But last night, the bill was voted down in the House by Republicans who argued the bill is too costly and could lead to increased abortions — gripes the measure’s supporters say have no basis in reality and are just excuses to kill the popular bill.

The measure, introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), passed the Senate by unanimous consent and attracted a list of 42 cosponsors, including Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)…The House version, introduced by Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), had 112 cosponsors. What’s interesting is that some of them — such as Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) — actually voted against the bill. In the end, only 12 Republicans backed the measure; nine Democrats defected to the GOP side. So what happened?

This week, a GOP whip alert went out about the child marriage legislation, saying that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Committee on Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) all oppose it.

The email: “S. 987 authorizes $108 million over 5 years without sufficient oversight of the taxpayers’ money…There are also concerns that funding will be directed to NGOs that promote and perform abortion and efforts to combat child marriage could be usurped as a way to overturn pro-life laws.”

There is no justification. None. There is NO WAY to pretend there is no class war, and no war on the poor, be they in the U.S. or outside of it. The fact that Republicans are envisioning the issue of child marriage being usurped to loosen abortion restrictions betrays their own playbook: They will usurp any issue to serve the interests of the rich, so why wouldn’t those bleeding hearts usurp this to kill babies? It’s what we would do!

Our political system is completely broken.

(Source: The Huffington Post)

Filed under Child marriage Feminism Abuse Misogyny GOP Republicans republican John Boehner STFU Conservative conservatives Tea Party Teabaggers Teabaggery

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Barbara Walters Rips Tearful John Boehner: 'This Guy Has an Emotional Problem'

li13el:

Emotional problem? He has a drinking problem; the crying is just a symptom.

I’m 100% sure that if Nancy Pelosi cried, she would not have been celebrated like the orange boner. I wouldn’t be shocked about the drinking problem. I lived in Ohio and I heard the gossip.

(Source: technipol, via rebel-rebirth-deactivated201402)

Filed under Ohio John Boehner Nancy Pelosi orange boner Barbara Walters GOP STFU Conservative conservatives Republican US House