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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010


So Mike McIntyre, one of North Carolina's most notorious blue dogs, votes with the Republicans Sunday night and casts a 'no' vote against H.R.3590, perhaps thinking the vote would make him popular, or less unpopular with Republicans in his neck of the woods, but today one of his Republican challengers, Will Breazeale, says that McIntyre's vote was "part of political gamesmanship in Washington, not an expression of his genuine disagreements with the bill."

That's the way one of the 40 dozen John Locke machine sites characterize Breazeale's complaint. Here are Breazeale's actual words (or some of them):
Casting a vote just to boost your re-election chances, while being unable to influence other members of your party to join you, shows a total lack of leadership.

Blue dogs just don't get any respect, in or out of their party.

Fellow blue dog Heath Shuler in the NC-11 gets some of that same Republican medicine.

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Losing Ugly 

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has an interview with GoBlueRidge up this a.m. She utters the words "leftist" and "very radical leftist" and then pivots immediately to point with alarm at Mexican people: "I believe the next thing that will be done will be to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants."

If you can't win on the facts, pound the table and yell, eh Madam Foxx?

This from the fine and upstanding human being who said the following things:
"There are no Americans who don't have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare." July 24, 2009, in a Capitol Hill press conference

A Republican health care plan would "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government." July 28, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. Congress

"I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that [health reform] bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country." November 2, 2009, on the floor of the U.S. House

"I don't see raising the minimum wage as helping American workers." Quoted in an article in Roll Call, Dec. 10, 2009

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Hypocrisy Watch 

NYTimes quoted a certain local Congresswoman late last night RE the health insurance reform bill:
Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said it was "one of the most offensive pieces of social engineering legislation in the history of the United States."

Let's see now: the interference of the Republican Congress in the Terri Schiavo case in March 2005 was not, then, the most obnoxious "social engineering legislation in the history of the United States"? We watched Bobblehead Foxx cheerleading in the U.S. House through that particular debate.

She's against "social engineering legislation," except when she's for it.

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North Carolina's Blue Dogs 

On passage of H.R.3590 (219-212), North Carolina Democrats Mike McIntyre, Heath Shuler, and Larry Kissell all voted with the Republicans. Those no votes won't earn them any support from Republicans come November, while driving away their own base.

Kissell, particularly, can ill afford losing his base ... unless, of course, the Republicans actually nominate Machine Gun Tim D'Annunzio to run against him.

Shuler ... who knows? Haven't seen any Republican challenger among those running in the primary who looks like a winner.

McIntyre ... he's been voting with the Republicans so long he's barely indistinguishable from ... Howard Coble.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

David Frum: Republicans' "Waterloo" 

Worth reading: Conservative columnist and former speech-writer for George W. Bush, David Frum's slashing attack on Fox News and the yak-masters of talk radio for making it impossible for Republicans in Congress to compromise with this president and save themselves from their "Waterloo" moment ... which is happening right now, tonight, in the health insurance reform vote.

Frum thinks Republicans are waaay over-optimistic about taking back Congress come November.

Frum points out that the bill being passed tonight is really very "Republican" in basic outline (and, gee, thanks for reminding me about why I secretly hate it!):
...the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney's Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

Frum sez to his tea-partying confreres: Get over yourself! This bill will never be repealed.

And he sez this: "We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."

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unCivil Rights 

Foot soldiers for the Republican minority in Congress -- a devil's sabbath of tea partiers, birthers, racists, bigots -- invaded the Capitol yesterday. They chanted "faggot" at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). They chanted "nigger" at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.), both members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Someone spit on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), another black legislator, and House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said, "I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus."

That's just the slime that's gotten reported.

Yup. We shore do hope these fine specimens of humanity are the people who get control of our government!

At least one Republican member of Congress on the Sunday Morning Gasbag shows tried to excuse the behavior -- "Well, people are just so angry" -- without bothering to acknowledge that the misplaced rage has been artificially ginned up by a wealth of misinformation and outright lies spewed by leading Republicans and going back at least a year. Sarah Palin had her tongue all wrapped up in that. And Michele Bachmann. So did our own Rep. Virginia A. Foxx ("at least we Republicans won't be putting people to death like the Democrats!"). The gullible, the naive, the under-informed either fell for that bilge or find it convenient to hang their racism from those particular hat racks.

Haven't been personally enthusiastic about the Senate bill about to be passed, but I confess to being driven to root now for its passage, witnessing the desperation of Karl Rove on ABC this a.m. Rove was either severely over-caffeinated or showing the true panic of realizing a Democratic victory in this matter will damage his own ... shall we be generous and call it "his own legacy"? (His credibility was already as damaged as a Pinto in a roll-over.)

Or take the true creepy mendacity of the fake memo trotted out on the House floor by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) yesterday. Unfortunately for Garrett, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) also happened to be present, and he don't take no shit. Weiner called out Republicans for the lie, while our own Virginia Foxx tried futilely to come to Garrett's aid. Watch it.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

The World Tomorrow 

A foretaste of what North Carolina politics are going to look like, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has unleashed the power of corporations and other business interests to buy elections (in Citizens United v. FEC).

The end of land-use planning in this state, because real estate developers don't like it. Just for starters.


Talk to the Hand 

Congressman Heath Shuler (NC-11) sez he isn't influenced by who's giving him money.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that on March 4 Congressman Shuler was the beneficiary of a breakfast fundraiser at the offices of Patton Boggs, a super powerful Washington law firm that shills for the health care industry. "Patton Boggs represents ... Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, insurers, physician and care providers, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies." They invited all their powerful lobbyist buddies to come on down for a bagel and cream cheese with Congressman Shuler. Don't you know they all whipped out those check books.

"We don't vote based on who's made contributions, never have," said Shuler's chief of staff, Hayden Rogers.

No, hanging out with those well groomed, expensively heeled "suits" would never sway the likes of Congressman Shuler. We're supposed to believe that (having not only fallen off the turnip truck yesterday but also having landed on our heads).

Footnote: There was some oo-ing and ah-ing last week among North Carolina organizers for OFA that Shuler had budged slightly, going from definitely against President Obama's (Senate) plan for health-insurance "reform" to "undecided." If we could discover within us any enthusiasm whatsoever for that Senate bill, we might be mildly inclined to cluck over that tiny morsel. It's not how Shuler ultimately votes that bothers us so much as his bland denial of the wholesale theft of democracy going on under his buttered toast.

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