Stupid is as stupid does: McConnell filibusters his own bill

Don’t dare someone to do something they’re willing to do. Just a suggestion:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced legislation to raise the debt ceiling on Thursday, apparently with the intent of showing that even Democrats would not support such a bill.

However, McConnell’s plan backfired after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called for a vote on the legislation, which would have given the president the authority to raise the federal debt ceiling on his own. The top Senate Republican was forced to filibuster his own bill.

“What we have here is a case of Republicans here in the Senate once again not taking ‘yes’ for an answer,” Reid said, after McConnell announced his filibuster. “This morning the Republican leader asked consent to have a vote on this proposal, just now I told everyone we were willing to have that vote — up or down vote. Now the Republican leader objects to his own idea. So I guess we have a filibuster of his own bill, so I object.”

And this is why the filibuster procedure has to be changed.

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Dirty Harry Reid

So Harry Reid pulls something out of thin air (Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes in 10 years), admits he’s probably making it up, and the people who gave us ,,,

1) Obama’s a Muslim
2) Obama’s a socialist
3) Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real
4) Obama pals around with terrorists
5) Obama’s plotting to take away your guns
6) Obama’s college transcript is phony
7) Obama is organizing concentration camps
8) Obama was born in Kenya

… those people have the nerve to get upset that someone is making something up about their candidate? And the best part is that Mitt Romney, who isn’t releasing his tax returns, is saying that Harry Reid has to prove his allegations by getting Mitt Romney’s tax returns and releasing them?

In the words of Dirty Harry, “Go ahead. Make my day.”

Here’s where compromise with the GOP gets you

John Boehner - Caricature

No need for tears

We have a debt crisis. Unemployment is awful. The economy is turning into a dead shark. And Obama is still trying to compromise with the party that spent outrageously and cut taxes for eight years and put us in this mess.

So how is the American public taking this?

President Obama’s job approval rating is at a new low, averaging 40% in July 26-28 Gallup Daily tracking. His prior low rating of 41% occurred several times, the last of which was in April. As recently as June 7, Obama had 50% job approval. …

Obama’s 40% overall approval rating nearly matches the recent 41% approval Americans gave him for handling the debt ceiling negotiations. Though Americans rate Obama poorly for his handling of the situation, they are less approving of how House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are handling it. Gallup does not include ratings of Congress or congressional leaders in its Daily tracking, and thus, there is no overall job approval rating of Boehner, Reid, or Congress directly comparable to Obama’s current 40% overall job approval rating.

Here’s the thing.

Come election day 2012, America might be pissed off at John Boehner, but he only has to answer to the 630,000 people who live in Ohio’s 8th congressional district, an essentially conservative suburban area made up of small towns (it only touches part of Dayton) that’s 90% white. A solidly Republican district. And only about 200,000 of its residents voted for Boehner over his Democratic opponent by a margin of more than 2 to 1.

America might be pissed off at Barack Obama, too, on election day 2012. But he has to answer to the entire country. So if his numbers keep going down, John Boehner will have a better chance of remaining in Washington after the 2012 election than Obama has.

So Obama better be aware the “middle ground” he so desperately wants to plant his flag on can quickly turn into quicksand.

The rise of the scorpion

So after days of arm twisting to get far right members of the Republican caucus to vote for a debt ceiling/spending reduction bill that had absolutely no chance of passing in what we call reality, John Boehner amended his losing bill to make it even more radically right-winged and it passed the house on a party line vote, only to be completely killed by the Senate two hours later.

It was a complete waste of time.

Now, the Republican senators are refusing to support the Senate bill offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid, which shouldn’t matter, because the Democrats are the majority party, but does matter because the GOP will filibuster and not allow anything to pass.

And we are three days from defaulting as a nation.

Meanwhile, the clueless of the world insist on bipartisanship, which I now realize doesn’t mean two sides working together toward a common goal, but means Democrats caving in to the ravings of an opposition party that has lost its mind.

But here’s something else to consider. The Republican actions are done to placate an extreme, unreasonable base. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to go out of their way to draw Republican support, and in the process appear to enjoy going out of their way to piss off a loyal rational base.

Every Democratic action designed to improve our domestic situation has been reviled by the GOP and watered down to attempt to get Republican votes that never will come. As a result, our economy is collapsing, unemployment is rising, and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen. Democrats cut government jobs because Republicans say so. But jobs are jobs, and every cut adds to unemployment, reduces the workforce that provide tax revenue, and leads to an economic shortfall that only widens the deficit. The Democrats reduced a stimulus bill because the Republicans said so, and as a result, the economy has stagnated, because that spending would have added jobs and reduced the unemployment rate. Democrats backed off the efforts to allow tax breaks for the rich to expire because Republicans said so, and as a result people on the top end of the economic spectrum can charter private jets to fly their kids to summer camp or build $200,000 playhouses for their four year old daughters, while people on the other end of the spectrum are barely surviving.

Maybe we shouldn’t be sniping on the venal behavior of the Republicans. One columnist used this analogy: They are the scorpions, while the nation is the frog they’re about to sting. Maybe we need a group Democratic legislators who are as loyal to or as fearful of their base as the Republicans are as loyal to or fearful of theirs. If you keep treating the base with contempt as Democratic leaders are currently doing, that base isn’t going to be around when the next election rolls around. Then, the scorpions win. And we all die.

No room at the asylum

John Boehner

An embarrassed orange

There was supposed to be a vote in the U.S. House by now on the Republican budget/deficit plan. This morning, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Tanning booth) said the vote on his plan would be at 6 p.m. Then the GOP said the vote would take place at 7. It’s now 9:20 and nothing has happened.

Considering the face that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Slot machine) said that Boehner’s plan would be immediately voted down if it got to the Senate, you’d think that the House procedure would be a no brainer … the Republicans pass Boehner’s plan, the Senate rejects it, and then the Republicans get to mouth off on how Democrats want to waste your money and have no concern for the debt the country is in. Seems like a great propaganda opportunity. The Republicans have the majority in the House. This should be over by now. And there’s no reason to stay up all night to find out what happens.

But at this minute, Boehner doesn’t have enough Republican votes to get his own bill passed. Which means he has no control over his delegation. Which shows that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

And Obama wants to reach a compromise with these guys?

Speaking of lunatics:

Michele Bachmann refuses to answer reporters’ questions about her husband’s “gay cure” therapy and declares him and their business off limits to press.

Bachmann (R-Flat Earth) is seeking the GOP nomination, and she’s saying that asking about her family-run business (which tries to “cure” gay people) and asking about her husband (who runs the clinic and tells clients to “pray the gay away”) is out of bounds. Apparently that means asking whether her clinic receives federal funds is also out of bounds. Let’s not even get into the idea of intruding into people’s lives, wasting government money and denying Americans their civil rights.

But Bachmann is making a point that attacks on family members should be out of bounds. Sort of:

But Bachmann has a very different take when it comes to other candidates’ spouses: She’s repeatedly attacked Michelle Obama in the harshest terms and specifically challenged the press to join in on her condemnations….

More recently Bachmann took to Laura Ingraham’s radio show to condemn the First Lady’s initiative to promote breastfeeding as an effort to enact a “nanny state” and said Obama’s agenda was “very consistent with where the hard left is coming from.” Moreover, she mused that the media was failing to address the issue out of a bias towards the White House.

I’m old enough to remember when Republicans were sane. Seems like a lifetime ago.

UPDATE: It’s worse than expected. Boehner didn’t have the votes so they put the vote off at least a day. Instead they voted on whether to rename a post office in Hawaii. The tea baggers really do want to destroy the country.