July 11, 2013 at 9:13 am #92501
Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound McDonnell is going down!
As you make it through the day, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.July 11, 2013 at 9:15 am #92502
Good Morning, EveryoneJuly 11, 2013 at 9:15 am #92503
Republican filibuster derails student loan bill
By Steve Benen
Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:24 PM EDT
Congress already missed its deadline last week on protecting student-loan interest rates from spiking, but Senate Democrats had a plan to keep the lower rates in place for another year while negotiations continued on a more permanent solution.
That bill reached the floor this afternoon, and a majority of senators supported it. But in today’s Senate, we don’t count whether a bill has a majority — we count whether a bill can overcome a Republican filibuster.
The Senate on Wednesday failed to advance a bill backed by Democratic leaders that would keep student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year.
In a 51-49 vote, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster and proceed with the bill.
It would have been 52-48 but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had to switch his vote for procedural reasons. Regardless, literally every Republican in the chamber supported the filibuster, as did Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine), who prefer a separate compromise bill that ties interest rates to the 10-year Treasury rate.July 11, 2013 at 9:18 am #92504
House, Senate prepare new attacks on federal health care law
By Steve Benen
Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:15 AM EDT
It was just two months ago that House Republicans voted for the 37th time to repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act. Soon after, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters that Americans should expect more of the same from his party for the indefinite future. “We’re going to keep the focus on Obamacare,” he said.
He really wasn’t kidding. Here’s what we saw from the House GOP yesterday…
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced Wednesday that the House will vote in July to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year, a move that comes in response to the Obama administration’s decision to delay the employer mandate for a year
and here’s what we saw from the Senate GOP yesterday.
Senate Republicans are launching another effort to defund parts of President Barack Obama’s health care law, including what their campaign chairman referred to Wednesday as “the death panel.”
All 46 Republican senators signed on to a letter spearheaded by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., that calls for a permanent delay of the health care law.
At a news conference unveiling the letter, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said he and his far-right colleagues would push measures intended to block enforcement — apparently forever — of the employer and individual mandates. Moran added that he would “offer an amendment that will defund IPAB, the so-called death panel.”
Yes, more than three years after the Affordable Care Act became law, we still have confused Republican senators making “death panel” references in public.July 11, 2013 at 9:20 am #92505
Boehner warns House GOP will be weaker without immigration reform
By Russell Berman, Molly K. Hooper and Erik Wasson - 07/10/13 06:36 PM ET
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urged their House Republican colleagues to pass immigration reform legislation in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, with the Speaker arguing his conference would be “in a much weaker position” if it failed to act.
A divided House Republican conference met for more than two hours in the basement of the Capitol to begin hashing out a response to the sweeping immigration bill the Senate passed last month.
Boehner spoke at the outset of the meeting and reiterated his pledge that no immigration bill, including a final House-Senate conference report, would come to the floor without the support of a majority of the House GOP. But both he and Ryan, the House budget chief and the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2012, made the case that the House GOP should take action on immigration in a way that reflected the party’s principles, Republicans in the room said.
Boehner “said we’d be in a much weaker position if we didn’t act,” according to Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). “He clearly wants to act, thinks something needs to get done. Frankly, our principles are probably closer to where the American people are, but it’s incumbent upon us to act.”
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/310259-boehner-gop-would-be-in-much-weaker-position-without-action-on-immigration#ixzz2Yk6sruMz
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on FacebookJuly 11, 2013 at 9:21 am #92506
Billionaire Koch Brother Says Eliminating The Minimum Wage Will Help The Poor
By Rebecca Leber on Jul 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm
A conservative mogul worth $43 billion says he knows the secret to helping poor people. According to Charles Koch, the U.S. needs to get rid of the minimum wage, which he counts as a major obstacle to economic growth.
On Wednesday, the Charles Koch Foundation launched a $200,000 media campaign in Wichita, Kansas, with a hint of expanding it elsewhere. It is the Kochs’ biggest media buy since they promised to do more to “persuade politicians” after suffering losses in the 2012 election.
In an interview with the Wichita Eagle published Tuesday, Koch said that the minimum wage is one policy he is working against:July 11, 2013 at 9:22 am #92507
Eric Cantor Dreams Up A Shockingly Stupid Plan To Kill Obamacare
By: Jason Easley
Jul. 10th, 2013
Majority Leader Eric Cantor has come up with a plan to kill Obamacare that is so full of holes that it takes Republican House stupidity to a brand new low.
The National Review Online reported:
Cantor urged his colleagues to use the White House’s delay of the employer mandate as a political battering ram against the administration’s prized law.
“Seize the moment,” Cantor told them. The delay, he predicted, could “destabalize the coalition for Obamacare.”
He then called on the House to pass a one-year delay of the individual mandate to go along with an employer-mandate delay.
“After both bills pass we combine them into one bill to send to the Senate,” he said. “On the delay of the employer mandate, we will make the point that the president doesn’t have the authority to just ignore the law. It will also force Democrats into the position of supporting or opposing the president.”
There are several problems with Cantor’s plan. There is the little fact that the White House has already announced the delay of the employer mandate. House action isn’t required. There is no reason for the House to be passing a bill. Secondly, so what if the House passes a bill delaying the individual mandate for a year? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can do the same thing to the House bill on the individual mandate that Speaker John Boehner and Eric Cantor are doing to the Senate immigration bill. Reid can ignore their bill, and toss into the pile with all of the other meaningless legislation that the Republican led House has passed that will never see the light of day. Democrats won’t be forced into a position on anything, because they will ignore the House bill.
It is almost as if Majority Leader Cantor is living in some sort of alternate reality that prevents him from being able to see what is going on in the real world. Here is what will happen if the House follows through on Cantor’s knuckleheaded strategy. Democrats will use the House passed bill in their argument for why they should be given back the majority in 2014. Instead of passing jobs legislation, or dealing with any of the issues that the American people care about, House Republicans continue to dream up new and different ways to kill Obamacare. Democrats will argue that House Republicans refuses to pass any meaningful legislation, which is why they need to be shown the door.July 11, 2013 at 9:23 am #92508
House GOP pushes immigration reform to the brink
By Steve Benen
Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:00 AM EDT
House Republicans have found themselves in an awkward position on the signature policy dispute of this Congress. A bipartisan Senate coalition has approved a popular immigration reform bill that enjoys the enthusiastic backing of President Obama, business leaders, GOP strategists, leaders from the Latino community, and a clear majority of the country.
The problem, of course, is that House Republicans, for reasons that range from mysterious to dumb, hate the bill and are eager to kill it.
So, what’s a House majority caucus to do? GOP leaders and members met in a Capitol Hill basement yesterday afternoon for two-and-a-half hours in the hopes of figuring something out. They didn’t come up with much, but they did reach one firm conclusion: House Republicans have no intention of even considering comprehensive immigration reform.July 11, 2013 at 9:26 am #92509
Don’t Buy The Media Lie: Democrats Aren’t Why Student Loan Interest Rates Doubled
By: Jason Easley
Jul. 10th, 2013
The media is blaming Senate Democrats for student loan interest rates doubling, but the truth is that 0 Senate Republicans voted to lower the student loan interest rate.
The media is spinning the failure to pass a bill that would return student loan interest rates to previous levels as the fault of Senate Democrats. Time’s Swampland blog described the situation as, “The gridlock paralyzing the Democrat-controlled Senate springs from arguments between two factions, one bipartisan and one Democratic.” This story line of division among Senate Democrats has been repeated over and over again. Heck, even The Washington Post has been pushing this narrative.
See if you can spot the Democratic division in the partisan breakdown of today’s vote to move forward on the student loans bill:July 11, 2013 at 9:28 am #92510
House Republicans Use Bogus Scandal As an Excuse To Slash The IRS Budget
Jul. 10th, 2013
As part of their aversion to taxation, and the Internal Revenue Service, House Republicans are planning on slashing $3 billion from the IRS’s already pathetically underfunded budget, and besides just hating the concept of taxation, there are several likely reasons for starving one of the most critical departments in government. For one thing, Republicans have made no secret underfunding the IRS is punitive for what they cite as “inappropriate actions” over the phony scandal when IRS employees performed their due diligence in scrutinizing political groups filing applications for 501(C)(3) “social welfare” tax exempt status to conceal dark money donors in political campaigns. In fact, slashing the IRS funding is part of a series of GOP bills to punish the IRS that includes withholding 10% of the agency’s enforcement budget until they stop investigating conservative political groups’ applications according to a so-called “taxpayer watchdog” group.
The bad news for government revenue is part of a spending bill for fiscal 2014 released by Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers (R-KY), that allocates $4 billion less than President Obama’s budget called for and over $3 billion less than House Republicans allotted last year. However, there is more at stake than just crippling the IRS from collecting revenue to keep the government operating and providing for the general welfare. Republicans have panted for a means of blocking execution of the Affordable Care Act, and underfunding the agency effectively denies their request for 16,500 new IRS agents over the next decade to oversee implementation of the health law.
Cutting the IRS budget, especially enforcement and collections, is starving the government of much needed revenue, especially when Republicans are in a debt and deficit cutting frenzy. In 2006 alone, the IRS was so pathetically underfunded, and understaffed, they left $385 billion in owed and uncollected taxes primarily from corporations and the rich. The Republicans’ deliberate underfunding serves more than just punishing the agency for doing its job policing phony “social welfare” applications and thwarting the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, they are letting their wealthy contributors off the hook for taxes they owe. Plus, as a value-added benefit, starving the government of funds is part and parcel of their oath to lobbyist Grover Norquist to assist him in cutting “government down to size where he can drown it in a bathtub.” What better way to underfund the government than neutering the agency responsible for executing House Republicans’ oath to “lay and collect taxes… to pay the debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States?”July 11, 2013 at 9:29 am #92511
The Republican blitz to shut down abortion-providing clinics is a national story
By Will Femia
Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:47 AM EDT.
The various state-level Republican battles in the national Republican war on women are typically regarded individually. Even among activists, the focus is on discrete instances: individual bills like Wisconsin’s recent #SB206, a spotlighted state like #StandwithTXwomen, or distinctive local features, like today’s #MotorcycleVagina from North Carolina.
But taken collectively, the national significance of state-level Republican anti-abortion legislative activism is clear. Where American women nationally voted overwhelmingly (55% to 44%, with the largest gender gap in Gallup poll history) against the Republican candidate who said he would be “delighted” to sign a federal abortion ban into law, what American women in Republican controlled states are actually getting since the 2012 election is a drastic dismantling of their reproductive rights.July 11, 2013 at 9:30 am #92512July 11, 2013 at 9:46 am #92513
The GOP Is Terrified Obamacare Could Be a Success
Jul 11, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
Why are Republicans so scared of Obamacare? Because, says Jon Favreau, they’re frightened that it might actually work.
Has anyone else noticed how pathetically frightened the Republican Party is that Obamacare just might succeed?The Koch brothers really dislike Obamacare. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)
I know, we’re all supposed to think the End Is Nigh because the government has decided to give the 10 percent of large employers who don’t insure their workers another 365 days to do so before levying a small penalty. This could not possibly be a reasonable accommodation to protect jobs and businesses, because as everybody knows, this president hates jobs and businesses.
No, this brief delay must be a sign that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is destined to result in abject failure. After all, that’s what every Congressional Republican with the ability to hit send on a press release has told us, over and over again, hoping that repeating their prediction enough times will somehow make it true.July 11, 2013 at 9:55 am #92514
ENDA’s opponents fall silent
By Steve Benen
Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:46 AM EDT.
We talked yesterday about a key Senate committee easily approving the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Though the final vote was 15 to 7, the bill enjoyed bipartisan support.
For those who support civil rights and oppose discrimination, the vote offered new hope that ENDA might have enough support to overcome a Republican filibuster on the Senate floor. But while we wait for that, Chris Geidner noted something interesting about the developments in committee yesterday.
The opposition to LGBT rights, a regular part of politics in the not-so-distant past, was given no voice as a Senate committee voted 15-7 in favor of legislation that would ban anti-LGBT job discrimination by most employers across the country.
There remain wide swaths of the country where virulent anti-LGBT attitudes control the dialogue, but the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee provided an unexpected view Wednesday into what the next phase of LGBT rights battle could look like.
No one spoke in opposition to the bill….July 11, 2013 at 11:14 am #92517
Why 20-week abortion bans matter
By Steve Benen
Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:17 AM EDT
As Republican policymakers nationwide push new restrictions on reproductive rights, it’s amazing how multi-faceted the crusade has become. We’re seeing trap laws intended to close health clinics and mandates for medically-unnecessary ultrasounds and requirements that doctors tell lies written by politicians to their patients and more.
But it’s the 20-week abortion ban that seems to have become especially popular on the right. Of all the various measures, it’s the only one to generate attention at the state and federal level — the U.S. House already passed its version, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reportedly intends to do the same in the U.S. Senate, though there’s some evidence he’s getting cold feet.
I can imagine for some, this proposal may not seem as offensive as, say, mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds that women neither want nor need. After all, the argument goes, what’s the big deal if the cut-off point shifts from 24 weeks to 20 weeks?
Andrew Rosenthal had a good piece answering that question.
The way the Catholic Association mentions “late-term” abortions, you might think the only women who had them were lazy and callous, just waiting around until the last second for no good reason.
But as Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, told me in an email, nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks; abortions later on often involve rare, severe fetal abnormalities and real threats to a woman’s health. In many cases, women are facing the need to terminate a desired pregnancy, not an unwanted one.
Ms. Richards cited the case of a woman in Nebraska, Danielle Deaver, whose water broke at 22 weeks, depriving her baby of most of the amniotic fluid. “Her doctor told her that the fetus could not develop or survive,” Ms. Richards said. “Despite this, she was forced to live through 10 excruciating days waiting to give birth, because her doctors feared prosecution under her state’s 20-week abortion ban.”
It’s exactly why medical associations consider these measures so dangerous.
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