Category Archives: Blue Dogs
I will be the first to admit I despise most Blue Dogs. I understand how the Dem’s ‘big tent’ theory includes such people, but that said…I personally can’t deal with people who vote against their own self-interests or those of their constituents in so blatant a manner. So, when I read this writeup, I felt a little better about how things will shakeout in the 112th Congress. From the Politico link:
Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) attacked the health care bill in March as a massive government overreach, weighted down with new taxes but short on real reforms.
But repeal it, the way House Republicans would? No way, says Shuler, one of his party’s most conservative members.
“There are some very good things in this bill that have already become law,” Shuler said this week, citing the ban on pre-existing conditions for children and steps to close the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole for seniors. “It is not just wrong but immoral to take those things away.”
Shuler was one of 13 Democrats who opposed their party’s top legislative achievement in 2010 and won reelection. Now they have that rare chance for a do over — another opportunity to stop health reform — but most of them say they won’t do it.
The reluctance to take the ultimate step and support a full repeal encapsulates the knotty politics of a health care law that passed along strictly partisan lines. The group is being pulled in one direction by Democrats who want a united front to blunt momentum for the repeal effort and in the other by Republicans ready to accuse them of being hypocritical and dog them on the campaign trail if they back the new law now.
One top Republican, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, predicted a “significant number” of Democrats would back repeal. But so far, at least, few in the group appear willing to side with opponents of the law — even though they are among them.
Only two Democrats have committed to voting for repeal, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma and Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas. Four — Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, John Barrow of Georgia, Ben Chandler of Kentucky and Tim Holden of Pennsylvania — remain uncommitted. McIntyre, however, has said in the past that he favors repeal.
“I voted against it three times, so I don’t know why I would vote not to repeal it,” Ross told POLITICO. “It’s consistent with what I’ve done. It seems pretty simple to me.”
But to the seven Democrats leaning against repeal, the math is more complex. This group includes Shuler, Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Larry Kissell of North Carolina and Jim Matheson of Utah.
The Rethugs ‘slash and burn’ policy will not appeal to many Dem’s, regardless of their ideology. If the R’s want to change something, they need to replace what they are shitcanning, its a no friggin brainer. Since the Rethugs are short on brains, it stands to reason that simply killing a bill of this magnitude will not sit well with intelligent folks.
Plus, denying the harm repealing the HCR bill would cause, not only to people, but to the deficit shows how full of shit and hypocrisy the Rethugs are. Boehner’s comment that the CBO’s numbers were ‘their opinion’ is so fucking lame it defies logic. From the NTY link:
The budget office did not comment on Mr. Boehner’s remarks. Douglas W. Elmendorf, its director, has frequently said his office applies the longstanding budget rules. He says it uses its own professional expertise, as well as consulting with outside experts, to derive its projections, which represent the “middle of the distribution of likely outcomes.”
Mr. Elmendorf has warned that Congress may find it difficult to follow through with parts of the health care law, particularly the cuts to Medicare. The law’s cost would rise if the cuts were not enacted.
In the report on Thursday, Mr. Elmendorf, a former Clinton administration official appointed in 2008 when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, said that a preliminary analysis showed that repealing the law would increase federal budget deficits by a total of $145 billion from 2012 to 2019 and by $230 billion between 2012 and 2021.
Moreover, he said, if the law is repealed, 32 million fewer people will have health insurance in 2019, compared with estimates of coverage under the existing law. As a result, he said, the number of uninsured would be 54 million, rather than 23 million, in 2019.
The Rethugs could give two shits how many people would remain uninsured. They do not even attempt to address that issue. The R’s vision going forward appears to be this: If we don’t like certain facts, we deny their existence or call them someone else’s opinion.
Standard operating procedure for those asshole’s wouldn’t you say? Karl Rove should be proud.
The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected by 15 to 8 a “public option,” or government-run health insurance plan — the first significant setback for the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
Five Democrats joined all 10 Republicans in opposing the plan, suggesting that more trouble lies ahead when the House of Representatives and full Senate consider the legislation in mid-to-late-October. Four committees, three in the House and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, previously had backed the government-run option.
Want to know which Democrat’s fucked us? Here they are:
Democratic opponents of a public option cited a variety of reasons for their opposition, including concerns about the impact of a public plan on rural areas and its ultimate cost. Democrats opposed to a public option were Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., Tom Carper, D-Del., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.
Fucking DINO’s. Punk ass bitches. Newsweek’s take on today’s bullshit:
The committee then voted on a similar, if slightly less liberal, amendment offered by Chuck Schumer of New York. It was shot down 13-10 with two Democrats, Nelson and Carper, switching their positions.
Prospects for a public option aren’t entirely dead. There’s still the possibility of a public-option trigger that Olympia Snowe, who voted against Rockerfeller today, has expressed support for. It has yet to be discussed by the Finance Committee.
Not once but twice the fuckers fucked us. Ain’t that some shit.
Oh and fuck Snowe’s trigger option. Trigger is a friggin horse or part of a gun for christ’s sake.
Michael Moore says it best for me.
The friggin’ ratbastards have agreed to provide immunity to the Telco’s and institute sweeping changes as to how our government can spy upon us. They are calling it..cough..choke..a compromise. From the WSJ via The Carpetbagger Report:
After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said. […]
The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.
The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.
As Steve notes, Glen Greenwald’s pov on this is spot on. The fucking Blue Dogs were the ones championing this bullshittery to enable our government a free rein on spying without a warrant and providing the fucking Telco’s with retroactive immunity. They played the fear factor card just like the Rethugs do..and evidently it has worked..even Obama has jumped on this fucking bandwagon. From Greenwald:
So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words — the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists — and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.
That’s the “compromise” Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now — according to very credible reports — pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It’s full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law. In the U.S. now, thanks to the Democratic Congress, we’ll have a new law based on the premise that the President has the power to order private actors to break the law, and when he issues such an order, the private actors will be protected from liability of any kind on the ground that the Leader told them to do it — the very theory that the Nuremberg Trial rejected.(emphasis Greenwalds)
With Democrats such as these in office..who is really our enemy? Seriously folks..who? The Rethugs only need to enlist the help of the fucking Blue Dogs and snap..it gets done.
Reprinted from TomPaine.com-It’s worth your time….this is why the Dem’s are fast becoming my former party.
November 15, 2007
An attorney in Los Angeles, Al Meyerhoff is co-counsel for the class in the Enron shareholder litigation.
Perhaps Ralph Nader was right.
The leadership of the Democratic party recently had the rare opportunity to significantly recast the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was a highly watched choice in certain quarters—and in many boardrooms. Which Democrats would show up? Those favoring broad and systemic reform of our nation’s markets? Or “Blue Dog” business Democrats, happy with shifting campaign contributions and seeming more like Republicans every day? Unfortunately for the country, it was the Blue Dogs by a mile.
Created as part of the New Deal, the SEC, with future Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas as its Chairman, was the ultimate Depression era watchdog—safeguarding the public from the fraud and dishonesty that so characterized Wall Street in those sad times and in these times too. For the better part of 70 years, the Commission did its job, but as markets changed and expanded, the Commission’s powers often proved insufficient. Its role also lessened—especially during the roaring 90s, when deregulation reigned supreme. Happy to fill this regulatory gap, the fraudsters came out from under their collective rocks at Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, HealthSouth and elsewhere.
Then, of course, the cows came home. The market collapsed. Americans of every economic stripe – from small investors to multi-billion dollar institutional investors—lost hundreds of billions of dollars—their pensions, their life savings, their homes, their faith in the financial system. Confidence in the integrity of U.S. markets was rocked worldwide. Suddenly everyone—the Congress, the pundits, the investors, the bankers—were all asking the same question. How could our institutions fail us this badly? Where was the SEC? Asleep at the switch, that’s where—an afterthought—understaffed, underfunded, out-gunned and by now often too cozy with The Street it was supposed to regulate.
Some of the harshest SEC critics were, of course, Democrats. The criticism was a tad muted, however; some of their own, like Clintonista Robert Rubin (now head of Citibank), had lobbied the Bush Administration on Enron’s behalf.
Slowly, we have crawled back. Congress enacted Sarbanes-Oxley almost unanimously, signed with fanfare by born-again regulator George W. Bush. The Justice Department awoke—and the worst of the lot, Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling and Dennis Kozlowski and Bernie Ebbers and even poor Martha Stewart went off to prison. Class-action lawsuits brought record recoveries; at least some shareholders got some of their losses back. Even the financial media, for too long the cheerleader (some would say lap dog) of corporate America finally found its voice. It was morning in America.
But now the sun may be setting again. The reform balloon in Washington has burst. Clean up Wall Street? Have you seen those Democratic campaign coffers lately? Oversight hearings? Sure, but over how Sarbanes-Oxley is making American markets “uncompetitive” in our global economy.
Meanwhile, buffeted by the price of oil and the subprime mortgage meltdown, the market shifts, turns and bounces, more of a kangaroo than a bull or bear. And what clearer evidence could there be that markets don’t regulate themselves than this subprime mess? It’s the 20s all over again—mortgage brokers giving loans willy-nilly, banks turning them into bonds, some rated “AAA” based on next to nothing, them selling them to us—at a hefty fee.
The Democrats were faced with a dilemma in nominating candidates for these two SEC vacancies. Which breed to choose: pit bulls or cocker spaniels. Get tough or go for the green? Money barks.
Perhaps the two nominees eventually chosen, Luis Aguilar and Elisse Walter, will eventually grow into their jobs. But frankly, nothing in their background now will put the fear of God (or the SEC) in America’s corporate boardrooms. Neither has a lick of experience in acting on behalf of investors. Aguilar, who will replace Roel Campos, was general counsel at Invesco and has questioned the effectiveness of Sarbanes-Oxley. Walters has spent her career inside the Beltway as a regulator.
What the SEC needed was a shakeup, not on-the-job training. The Democratic nominees should have sent a strong, clear message that there is a new sheriff in town. The last Republican appointment, after all, former conservative Republican Congressman Chris Cox, is a card-carrying champion of deregulation. Who on the SEC speaks for investors? Who will argue that we cannot trust brokers, bankers and corporate executives to give us a fair deal, especially in markets like these? Isn’t that debate what democracy—and elections—are all about?
Consider just a few of the issues the reconfigured Commission will soon be called upon to decide:
* Will Sarbanes-Oxley (enacted in response to the excesses of the late 90s) be effectively implemented or instead rolled back to improve American market “competitiveness”?
* Will shareholders be provided greater ability to nominate members to corporate boards?
* Will the nation’s major emitters of greenhouse gases be required to disclose their potential liability for climate change?
In a very real sense, this choice of these two SEC nominees was actually a litmus test for the Democrats and about far more than the Commission. For the past seven years, our government has been of the corporation, for the corporation and by the corporation. In response to that pro-big business agenda—and corresponding K Street cronyism—the voters threw the rascals out. DeLay, gone. Armey, gone. Abramoff, gone. Pombo, gone. The new Democratic majority came into office with (to use an overused term) a mandate. Clean house. No more business as usual. We’re a democracy, not a plutocracy.
For the first months, the new Congress got the message. A fresh wind blew and real reforms happened—from the minimum wage to campaign finance reform. Now it seems that that wind is becoming a gentle breeze. Reforms impacting the rich and powerful, like taxing hedge funds or eliminating sugar subsidies, have come to a standstill. Those newly in power seem more concerned about keeping it than using it.
A year ago, many of us thought we took the country back from the robber barons. But Democrats are becoming Republicans before our eyes. The term for this is “Blue Dog.” But given the power of money in filling these two SEC jobs, perhaps we need a new term for these Democrats: Green Dogs. Pass the mustard.
I am tired of hearing we have no other choice. They(the Dems) know that about the progressives and we have to show them that we do have choices..they just aren’t going to like them.