“Liberal” New York Times Serves as GOP House Budget Plan Accomplice (March 21, 2013)

NYT-Ryan

An increasingly rare event since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010, the party of “no” is generating headlines for doing something other than antagonizing the President of the United States at every opportunity. It’s easy to forget with this bunch that they were ostensibly hired by the American people to legislate and keep our great democracy functioning.

In fact it has become such a novelty to see the House doing any business as usual, that when we encounter a headline such as “House Passes Plan to Avert Federal Shutdown,” it is found on the front page of The New York Times as breaking news. Apparently learning a small lesson from New Gingrinch’s hubris and folly circa 1995, Speaker John Boehner and his ilk passed a measure that will keep the government afloat through September. Well done, ladies and gentlemen.

But before we host a national ticker tape parade in honor of the House’s decision to do one of its’ most fundamental jobs, theTimes piece by writer Jonathan Weisman informs readers that allowing the government to continue operating was not all the busy GOP did today. They also, “passed a Republican budget blueprint that enshrined the party’s vision of a balanced budget that would substantially shrink government, privatize Medicare and rewrite the tax code to make it simpler and flatter.” Am I alone in my cynical view that the GOP is quite content with this example of lead burying?

Will we as a voting republic ever be free of the Ryan budget plans? Did we not reject this fraud masquerading as “responsible” government in November of 2012? Most vexingly it appears that the GOP is rather proud of its pass-and-run trickery. According to Weisman, “With a final flurry, Republican leaders sent the House home before noon Thursday for a two-week recess, confident that they had outmaneuvered President Obama and the Democrats in the running fiscal fight from the last redoubt of Republican control in Washington.”

Yes, they certainly deserve a rest after this latest example of disingenuous legislation. Another time-wasting maneuver from a group who seems last to understand that the majority of Americans are disinterested in its fiscal platform. That the revised Ryan plan has zero shot of being signed into law appears not to perturb this gang of thieves. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, called the plan “an uncompromising, ideological approach to our budget issues,” and went on to observe, “The American people voted, and they resoundingly rejected the direction this budget has taken for the third year in a row.”

Tell that to the increasingly insulated and hearing-impaired Republican leadership. However in this instance, my anger is better directed at Weisman himself, as well as his superiors at the Times. We have all been subjected to GOP complaints of a “liberal media bias” that favors President Obama. We have collectively audited this whining ad nauseum. Yet the supposedly liberal-leaning Grey Lady has bestowed the gift of cover for House charlatans who would like you to forget they continue to serve the same warmed over plate.

When the story becomes “This just in! The House is kind enough not to hold the country hostage while offering the same old sh*t,” there is something very wrong with our nation’s investigative journalism apparatus.

Welcome to the Jungle: The GOP Dysfunction Infused 112th Congress Reports for Duty (November 13, 2012)

They’re here. They of the 64 percent “Poor” performance rating, according to a late-August publication from Rasmussen Reports, while only eight percent of the voting public was confused enough at the time of the poll to pronounce the group’s accomplishments “Good.” Exactly no one judged the body “Excellent” when it comes to getting things done. You know who I’m talking about.

It’s Congress!

The greatest example of petty taunting and counter-productivity since the 7th grade lunch table returns to Capitol Hill today, fresh off President Obama’s re-election and just in time to do battle over measures that must be implemented to avoid the looming “fiscal cliff.” There are just seven weeks left to reach some form of agreement that would take the place of mandatory budget cuts and tax hikes that may very well deepen the already painful Great Recession.

Here we go again.

Removing the annoying shackles of campaign promises of bipartisanship, the GOP is back to its old tricks. While calling upon President Obama to work with House Republicans, Speaker John Boehner has reiterated the Republican Party’s opposition to raising any taxes to deal with the country’s debt and deficit. Because it’s always so much easier to roll up one’s sleeves and work together on a balanced approach with a group that demands full and total capitulation.

For years now it has been stupefying to watch Republican lawmakers wax philosophical about the “immorality” of our nation’s deficit while remaining quite willing to risk our collective future in order to save millionaires a few bucks. And in keeping with the party’s high moral standards, it is apparently acceptable to savage the social safety net and burden the poor and already-struggling middle class in order to save the “temporary” Bush tax cuts. Is anyone buying this?

The new faces showing up for work in Washington today offer an American public that wants to see something done a tiny sliver of hope. Democrats picked up two extra Senate seats that they didn’t have in October, for a total of 53 spots. Five of the newly elected Senators, across both parties, are strong women like consumer advocate and male-model crusher Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. It is also true that Dems collected three extra seats in the House than they had before, and may have found themselves at an even lesser disadvantage, were it not for the eminently questionable redistricting resulting from the 2010 U.S. Census.

How does a party retain power while losing the popular vote? Ask former President George W. Bush.

Regardless of its partisan makeup, this Congressional class may find it a lot harder to kick down the road. If the record turnouts and general rebuke of incumbents is any indication, the struggling electorate simply won’t tolerate further stagnation. A positive result of Capitol Hill’s growing paralysis since Obama took office in 2009 is a growing sense that Republican lawmakers care a lot more about winning and protecting their wealthy donors then they do about their constituents. They have a real opportunity to here to demonstrate otherwise. It will no longer do to play the blame game.