Tag Archives: Mitch McConnell

SENATE: GOP’s Fight Against 9/11 Heroes …reminder


Two weeks ago, Senate Republicans successfully filibustered a bill that would provide health benefits to September 11th first responders who have contracted illnesses as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals during their response to the attacks.  Named after James Zadroga, a responder who was killed in 2006 by respiratory disease, the bill sets aside money to monitor and treat the health of these firefighters, police officers, and construction workers, and would reopen the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which provides payments for job and economic losses. When it was initially filibustered, no Republican Senator came to the floor to explain why the bill, which was fully paid-for w ith spending offsets, didn’t deserve to pass. That shameful performance led Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to dedicate an entire show to taking both the Senate and the media to task for refusing to make the bill a priority. “So guess what, Republicans? Here’s the deal: Your ‘We’re the only party who understands 9/11 and its repercussions’  monopoly ends now,” Stewart said. Other media commentators piled on, and with a few fixes made to address concerns regarding how it is paid for, the bill has new life and could pass this week.

A REAL NECESSITY: According to researchers at the Albert Einstein University’s Montefiore Medical Center in New York, the dust at the World Trade Center site was “a combination of the  most dense, intense particulate matter [fire fighters and EMS personnel were] ever exposed to in an urban environment.” David Prezant, a specialist in respiratory medicine, explained to Voice of America that respiratory ailments arising from exposure to that dust results in “a persistent, real decline that requires long-term monitoring and aggressive treatment.” A report by the AFL-CIO in September of this year revealed that 13,000 first responders were still being treated for health problems, nine years after the attacks took place. “They told us if we did our job, they’d take care of us. We did our job. Now we’re sick and  they don’t remember who we are anymore,” said Greg Staub, who retired from the New York City Fire Department in 2009 due to chronic lung problems. When Stewart asked first responder John Devlin what he thought of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) giving a teary farewell to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) on the Senate floor while the Zadroga bill languished, Devlin responded, “Where is his human feeling for — not only for us, we represent the brother and sisters…that can’t come out and speak like we can.” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is one of the strongest proponents of the Zadroga bill, said on Good Morning America yesterday that “ thousands will die because they don’t get adequate medical care” unless the bill is passed.

PROCESS OVER SUBSTANCE: The callous response of many Republican Senators to these very real health concerns has been nothing short of appalling. For instance, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) insisted that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy  were a higher priority than the Zadroga bill. While in the Senate rotunda, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) stepped around a first responder asking for his support, telling him, “I can’t help you.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) even called the Capitol Police when some first responders planned to stage a sit-in at Senate offices. When Republicans weren’t ignoring actual first responders, they were proferring nonsensical procedural reasons for opposing the bill. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), for example, said that the bill was being considered “in a hurry, in a lame duck session,  without a hearing, without understanding what the ramifications are and whether we can amend the bill.” However, the bill was first introduced in the House four years ago, has been available in the Senate since 2009, and received a Senate hearing in June 2010. Senate Republican excuses have worn thin amongst even those on the right, with former Republican congressman Joe Sc arborough asking, “How did this become a New York issue? That is like Pearl Harbor becoming a Hawaii issue in 1951. It’s ridiculous.” Last week, former GOP Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said “every Republican” should support the bill.

THE CHAMBER’S OPPOSITION: As ThinkProgress’ Lee Fang reported, “While Republicans quietly snuffed out efforts to compensate 9/11 heroes, they were aided by a quiet lobbying campaign by the powerful lobbying front — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” The Chamber didn’t like that the bill was being paid for by closing a tax loophole used by multinational corporations who park their income in tax havens; the Chamber warned that closing the loophole would “damage U.S. relationships with major trading partners” and “aggravate already unsettled financial markets.” The Chamber, of course, has repeatedly lobbied against important pieces of legislation — including an extension of unemployment benefits for jobless workers — because they were paid for by eliminating some of the many tax breaks that corporations exploit to pay little or no U.S. corporate income taxes. This time, the Chamber was quite successful in its lobbying push, as Sen. Susan Collin s (R-ME) released a statement saying that she would only support the bill if the pay-for were changed. Ultimately, the change was made, which led Schumer to say, “We now have the votes, we’ve made some modifications that some of our Republican colleagues requested and if no one does undue delay, just stands up and delays and delays and delays, we will get this done.” However, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is still threatening to block the bill

Republicans … say one thing and continute to do another on the floor of Congress


demsVrepub

just another rant …

The 113th Congress went on vacation, with fewer days worked than the people they seem to keep voting against …some Republicans call lazy … the nonsense continues with the 114th Congress, who only worked approximately 80days

Do you wonder if $175K is a lot for about 126 days of work per year? Yes, take a deep Breath as the Peoples business is up against some deadlines as Republicans choose to keep facing off with the Democratic Party while looking childish.  President Barack H Obama Won Election2012, his 2nd term yet some conservatives in Congress act like Mitch McConnell’s statement to make PBO a one term President or that Waterloo comment are still valid least he makes the effort to shut down the government again.   Yes, breathe in slowly then slowly release your breath … be still, then repeat the process when needed as insanity in the News, Weather, Sports and Politics begins

I have to ask, since when did Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham or their small group of teabag members have control over the governing party. They certainly act like it every time they get a chance to be on cable TV.  These men, who say one thing while planning takedowns in secret rooms have tossed their title of Public Servant down the nearest sewer. Now, I wonder how we will ever pass VRA, immigration reform and other bills For Americans kept off the floor of Congress because of those poison pill amendments.  Again, how childish and how tough is it to understand the Republican Party needs to be more inclusive, though trust, respect and future votes are not seasonal or easily earned nor should they be. It makes a voter wonder, can Republicans stop flip-flopping for just a minute so Congress can get the People’s business done.  Yet, the tantrums continue. Okay, stop and take a deep breath as the talking points meme disguised as debates, votes and amendments begin on the floor of Congress.

If you listen to Republicans, they act; remember (act) like they plan to be in bipartisan mode but they have shown themselves to be less than trustworthy less than bipartisan and their votes … proof of how they actually feel cannot be denied or overlooked.

Yes, Congress has taken the time to bring issues such as Student Loan Rates Gun Safety Immigration to the floor of Congress and all connected to jobs. It is important to call your member of Congress because the Republican tactic to stall or quietly throw poison pills in amendments is happening right this very moment. I ask you to please call your member of Congress and tell them to pass a Climate Change bill, respect reproductive rights, VRA, immigration reform and pass #theAmericansJOBsACT, as all Americans need a path toward Stability not Austerity, which is what Republicans seem to keep pushing.

I want America to wake up, push back, and demand all members of Congress do the People’s business

#MidtermsMatter

Republicans see themselves as stewards of the purse strings in the House of Representatives and they are, but it does not give them the right to act or do what they want as if their party is governing.

#Midterms will decide what kind of life we all want our next generation to navigate through … please take the time to understand who is causing America to decline  … The House holds the American #PurseStrings which is why the #FlintRescueAid, Infrastructure, Budget among a large list have been held hostage

Washington in the News …sensible Washington


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Support Senate Bill 6083 and House Bill 2196 to Legalize Cannabis Cultivation

I support medical use of cannabis, patients rights and #HouseBill1024 ~ Nativegrl77

 

Friday the 13th …


To be sure, we have all thought about the history of Friday the 13… right

just another rant …

 I think we have all used it as an excuse, but if you take everything, our POTUS has had to address over the last six years you hope that other superstition about everything happening in sevens is right around the corner.  The 114th Congress, controlled by Republicans meets less, holds hearings paid for by taxpayers, debates and votes on legislation that does not support their constituents or their best interests. They are the epitome of what Friday the 13 is all about and while voters were warned, we have two years to experience the wrath of the party of no.

In addition, as if that was not bad enough, did you know that the 2015 calendar is giving us 3 Friday the 13ths and weather that is beyond odd?  while our fellow Americans in the NE get more snow blizzards with extreme cold … which may lead to flooding, while the NW is experiencing warm temps and more than enough rain to make up for some drought

We must all remember that this is not only disaster weather season it is also when Republicans go into full campaign mode.  We used to think that government is there when all else has failed.  The fact is the Party of No says one thing does another hoping the voter sees nothing.  Unfortunately, unlike the tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding that happens mostly Republican States, we see the disaster that seems atypical of the Republican Party of No. We all need to question those States with Republicans in control who have not in my opinion invested enough money or effort in making sure all their constituents are safe, have an emergency plan, a place to go or transportation to evacuate. Though, if you listen they want and advocate less government, less taxes, less debt, less spending unless their state needs money to plug their budgets or women who dare want need reproductive rights …  just a few of several examples of why in this election year people need to be more aware.

We all know a vote for Rand Paul is a vote for going back in time when a certain group treated Women and Minorities like things or inanimate objects. In fact, the current class and culture warfare is enough to see why we the People should not vote for any Republican until they stop the racism, discrimination and that family values platform that takes women back to a time when being seen but not heard and producing babies all the time was the norm. It is not a healthy way to live and all I have heard from Republicans are unhealthy attitudes toward women, gays, children, and people of colour, who they really want to control and or disenfranchise at the ballot box. We only have to look at the number of brown and black men in our jails and or prisons, who more often than not are charged excessively compared to white defendants.

I think we all agree that this has to be the worse time or moment to be President of the US yet, if folks would do their research, the improvements or changes are moving us into the right direction but change takes time.  Though we all heard about the meetings and requests for money from Wall Street and Banks by Republicans as reported by talking heads on cable or hearing Speaker Boehner made a visit and held a presser which showed him shaking hands with one if not both Koch brothers.

Speaking of Money, it is important to be reminded of the stimulus, which Republicans voted down but knew they were all going to get for “their” constituents anyway, gave out big checks and took credit for the money while bashing and stating the Obama Administration is spending excessively.  Who knew that Republican Governors would plug their budgets, give the stimulus to their “special interest groups”, or make big bold statements at ribbon cuttings. I guess it should have been obvious to us that Republicans had an agenda that included eliminating social programs or persons employed by the State or Federal government. They say the best middle class jobs are created by small business people but the fact is most are public service positions.  It is important to remind folks that Republicans say stop spending, stop entitlements and continue to be the Party of No while being pro-Wall Street, pro-Banks; maybe doing backroom deals or fund-raising with folks like the Koch bros for the upcoming elections; in spite of We the People.  The question is …why if in the right state of mind anyone would vote Republicans into Political Office in the upcoming midterms knowing that it will be bringing back the status quo. The change in 2014 means voting for members of Congress who will have the courage in this vile environment to put People before Profit and Party, at this moment it is a Democratic Party. We all know that did not happen so our next attempt to get the positive change we need is to vote for the Democratic Party all down the ballot in 2016.

In my utopia, those wanting to be in public service would be required to believe in equal rights for everyone, true Reforms of entities that gamble while creating products meant to fail that impact or demolish our economy locally and globally.

Nevertheless, that is just my dream and ok, it’s Friday the 13th

Social Security cuts: The clearest explanation anywhere


a repost

Dear MoveOn member,

If you want to understand the fight over Social Security cuts that ended last week (we won!), you’ve got to hear this podcast.

We’ve put together what might be the clearest and most entertaining explanation of the battle that you can find anywhere. It’s a story that goes a lot deeper than what you might have read in the paper. And it’s online now, free.

Yes! I want to hear the inside story of the Social Security battle.

If you like this podcast, subscribe on iTunes for more! Or you can listen on our website here, with Stitcher (an Android and iOS app), or by subscribing via RSS.

This is no dry policy debate. This is a story of Wall Street billionaires, Tea Party obstructionists, grassroots progressives—and an Obama administration trying to find its way. It’s the real story behind the constant clashes over the debt ceiling, the deficit, and the so-called grand bargain. And it’ll leave you cheering.

Joining us is a guy who was at the center of it all. We interviewed Alex Lawson, the charmingly fired-up wonk-activist who, working behind the scenes, led a citizen coalition—including MoveOn members like us—to challenge the idea that there was any good reason to propose Social Security cuts. In fact, we argued, Social Security should be expanded.

You’ll love not only Alex’s energy but also his bracingly insightful point of view. Even on an issue that might feel intimidating or complex, things look pretty clear when you’re David aiming your slingshot as you look up at Goliath.

Click here to open iTunes and check out the podcast (and subscribe and review!) … or listen at our website here.

This is a story that all of us are part of. MoveOn members and our allies have stood strong in the conviction that nobody in this country should have to work for a lifetime and wind up in poverty. The fight goes on, of course, as it always does. But there’s something deeply gratifying about being on the right side of history.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ben Wikler

P.S. “The Good Fight” is a MoveOn-backed podcast and radio show about people changing the world. Since launching a few months ago, we’ve hit the No. 1 spot on the podcast charts, been named one of Apple’s best podcasts of 2013, and interviewed guests from Senator Al Franken to Sister Simone Campbell, the nun who helped save Obamacare. Our goal: tell the inside stories of the fights behind the headlines, introduce you to the heroes and villains shaping politics, and inspire more people to get involved.

If you like the show (every episode is on iTunes!), help us spread the word! And we’d love your feedback. Tell us what you like and how we can get better, and pitch stories, at show@thegoodfight.fm.