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Look at the actual votes for and against TARP in the HOUSE in 2008

January 6, 2013 in Class War, Congressional Antics, Economy, Politics

Here is the first vote when the intentions of TARP were crystal clear (to bail out financial institutions who had made stupid business decisions).  The Democrats still were overwhelmingly in favor of TARP

Yes – 140
No- 95

Yes 65
No 133


HERE IS THE FINAL VOTE–after Congress was lied to about bailing out folks who were upside down on their mortgages.

YEAS = 172
NAYS = 63

YEAS – 91
NAYS – 108


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    Another example of Republicans supporting violence against women

    December 7, 2012 in Congressional Antics, Conservative Nonsense, Poverty, Women's Rights

    Once again Republican leadership makes a public stand for violence against women–this time violence against a minority group of women–American Indian women.  Will they never learn?  Apparently not.  Republican leadership seem hell bent to destroy the GOP.  In fact, even referring to it as the “Grand Old Party” today is a misnomer.

    Eric Cantor is holding up passage of a bill in the House that in part  includes VAWA protections for Native American women that comes at a time of appallingly high levels of violence on tribal lands. One in three Native American women have been raped or experienced attempted rape, the New York Times reported in March, and the rate of sexual assault on Native American women is more than twice the national average.

    This is interesting because in October 2009 no less than 30 Republican white males in the Senate voted against the right of rape victims like Jamie Leigh Jones to be tried in a court of law.  Apparently it’s OK for a Corporation to rule in a case of violence against a woman but it’s not OK for a tribal court to rule in a case of rape committed by a non-Indian on tribal land.

    In Oct, 2009 thirty of Cantors buddies over in the Senate thought it was OK to allow corporations to replace our court system in cases of rape. You may remember the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of Halliburton who was gang-raped in Iraq by Halliburton employees and then locked up and held prisoner in a storage container by her attackers for several days before one her guards let her out. Because Ms. Jones, as a condition of employment, had signed an arbitration agreement with Halliburton, her rapists (employees of Halliburton) were immune from US law.

    30 Republicans in the Senate actually voted against a bill designed to protect government contractors who are raped by their co-workers. Until this law was passed in October 2009, employees such as Jamie Leigh Jones, as a condition of their employment, were required to sign a legal document saying that they would agree to settle any differences they might have with the corporation out of court.

    The Franken Amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill (Amendment number 2588, H.R. 3326) passed the Senate 68-30 on Oct. 6, 2009.



    When you are thinking your vote is not important, please remember that Senator Al Franken was elected by a margin of only 312 votes.  Just think!  If Senator Franken had not been elected, H.R. 3326 might never have been passed.  A few Republican Senators (I think the number was five) crossed party lines to vote for this bill–all the Republican women and Senator Grassley were among those Republicans who did vote for this bill.

    Regarding President Barack Obama comment on violence on tribal lands “an affront to our shared humanity.”
    Mr. President,  From what I see, we have yet to “share humanity” with native Americans.   The overall percentage of American Indians living below the federal poverty line is 28.2%” (2008, American Indians Census Facts). The disparity for American Indians on the reservations is even greater, reaching 38% to 63% (2006, National Center for Education Statistics, and other sources).   Where, Mr. President is the “shared humanity” you speak of?


    Indigenous communities are their own strongest asset. Ultimately, indigenous peoples must look inward to themselves for leaders, institutions, innovation, and community consensus for taking on the task of developing healthy, sustainable, culturally grounded indigenous communities that will be satisfying and sustainable into the indefinite future.

    And the same goes for local communities all over the USA.  There is a lesson here–not only for Native American communities, but for local communities all over the USA.  We must stop looking for solutions from Washington DC and start working together to create them for ourselves at a local level.


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      Republican Party lost several hundred thousand white male votes on Tuesday

      December 5, 2012 in Congressional Antics, Conservative Nonsense, Politics

      HARD RIGHT REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE MUST HAVE A DEATH WISH FOR THEIR PARTY–to have the nerve and lack of grace to vote down a bill for our Vets literally in the face of one of their own who has been wounded serving our nation.  Their greed has obviously removed any traces of shame or conscience.

      If any veteran was paying attention to what happened in the House on Tuesday, December 4, 2012, the GOP no doubt lost several hundred thousand white males votes.

      Dole, a lifelong Republican politician who was disabled during World War II, made an extraordinary appearance on the Senate floor Tuesday as lawmakers prepared to vote on a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled.

      Dole, now 89, frail and in a wheelchair (and just six days out of the hospital), hoped his presence would sway his party to approve the treaty, which is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act that he pushed through Congress in 1990.

      But his party, now controlled by the hard right, rejected it. With 38 Republicans casting “no” votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty.


      The Senate Republicans Who Turned their Backs on Vets

      I wonder how many of these 40 hard-right asses have a yellow ribbon “I support the troops” on their car?  I’ll bet that at least two or three of them do.  It would be interesting to check out their cars.  Regardless, I’ll bet every last one of them wears a USA flag–as if they support anything other than themselves.

      Alexander (R-TN)
      Ayotte (R-NH)
      Barrasso (R-WY)
      Blunt (R-MO)
      Boozman (R-AR)
      Burr (R-NC)
      Chambliss (R-GA)
      Coats (R-IN)
      Coburn (R-OK)
      Cochran (R-MS)
      Corker (R-TN)
      Cornyn (R-TX)
      Crapo (R-ID)
      DeMint (R-SC)
      Enzi (R-WY)
      Graham (R-SC)
      Grassley (R-IA)
      Hatch (R-UT)
      Hoeven (R-ND)
      Hutchison (R-TX)
      Isakson (R-GA)
      Johanns (R-NE)
      Johnson (R-WI)
      Kyl (R-AZ)
      Lee (R-UT)
      Lugar (R-IN)
      McCain (R-AZ)
      McConnell (R-KY)
      Moran (R-KS)
      Paul (R-KY)
      Portman (R-OH)
      Risch (R-ID)
      Roberts (R-KS)
      Rubio (R-FL)
      Sessions (R-AL)
      Shelby (R-AL)
      Thune (R-SD)
      Toomey (R-PA)
      Vitter (R-LA)
      Wicker (R-MS)

      Mark Kirk and James Inhofe did not vote.

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        Tell Congress and the White House to end their either/or politics!

        December 1, 2012 in Congressional Antics, Economy, Politics

        That should be the battle cry of the people:  NO MORE EITHER/OR POLITICS.  Wall Street and Congressional politicians better be careful what that wish for (no more taxes) because they could be getting what they are asking for and a lot more.  It looks like more and more people are waking up to the falsehood that either/or is.

        Both sides of the aisle have used the phony either/or technique to lead the rest of us  to solutions that are not in the best interests of the majority.  I’m happy to see that many more people all over the Internet are pointing out what a false viewpoint EITHER/OR really is.  The “either/or” sell has gotten our nation into a world of hurt many times:  ”Either you are with us or you are against us, either we attack Iraq or they will overcome us with their weapons of mass destruction.   Either you fork over $700 billion dollars to a few too-big-to-fail banks right now or the USA will be a failed state . . ”  and on it goes.  These are only two examples of how the either/or mentality has manipulated us in the wrong direction.

        Today they are trying to do it to us once again with their faux fiscal cliff.  One side is saying “either you turn over the Social Security coffers to Wall Street to manage and eliminate Medicare, or the nation will go broke” and the other side is saying “either you remove the tax cuts for the rich or the nation will go broke.”

        false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacyfallacy of false choiceblack-and/or-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of informal fallacy  that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The Congressional leaders of our nation have manipulating us with their either/or strategy for years and we have been falling for it like sheep being led by judas goats to our own slaughter.

        I have been writing about the fallacy of the either/or choice for several years as have others. [Links to two of them are shown at the end of this post.]  Now I see more and more often that people are suggesting  we might really have more than two choices available to solve our problems.

        Just this morning I read such an article in the Huffington Post.

        Zach Carter suggests ten ways that Obama and Congress could trim without new income taxes or cuts to entitlement programs.  Here are eight of them:

        1. Prison Reform could make a $680 billion hit to the standard 10 year budget

        2. Ending the Drug War would put another $150 billion in our pockets

        3.Allowing Medicare to negotiate with big Pharma could save $500 billion

        4. Reigning in offshore Tax havens could have us $1 trillion for the standard 10 year budget ($100 billion a year)

        5. De Privatize government contract work.  On average, contractors are paid nearly double what a comparable federal employee would receive for the same job, according to the Project On Government Oversight.

        6. Immigration:  Less Detention, more ankle bracelets.  It costs $122 per person per day while monitoring people costs as little as $15 a day.

        7.Financial speculation tax.  This tax could raise about $150 billion a year for the federal governmnt

        8. Carbon tax  This tax could generate $80 billion a year


        From prior iflizwerequeen posts on this topic.

        Why no Jobs?  Look to the False Strategies of BOTH Parties – June 6, 2011

        Are American Voters going to change the false notion that it is necessary to  ”sell the farm” to Wall Street to have jobs?  July 29, 2010

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          Let’s clean out the biggest pork barrel of all: Homeland Security

          November 30, 2012 in Congressional Antics, Politics

           Homeland Security by State (Click here for interactive map)

          The nation has committed billions of dollars to improving homeland security since 2001, including large sums awarded to states in preparedness grants.

          This map is part of an ongoing effort to document the continuing costs. Click on each state to learn how authorities there have managed, or mismanaged, anti-terrorism funds from the federal government. Download source documents tracking funds for each state. See more homeland security reporting from the CIR project America’s War Within. Follow our ongoing coverage on CIR’s homeland security blog Elevated Risk.


          Indeed, the more things change, the more they remain the same.  Here is a post I wrote in  2011 regarding observations from Dan Froomkin  of Huff Post on the topic along with a re-post of copy I wrote in 2009.

          The more things change, the more  they remain the same

          This morning [Sept 10, 2011] HuffPost  ran a piece by Dan Froomkin titled:  9/11 Attacks led to half-trillion dollar Homeland Security Spending Binge.  In February of 2009 I wrote a post on that same topic:

          When it comes to pork, the Republicans bring home the bacon.

           Some of the largest porkers in the Congressional barrel are the ones that the Republican Congress passed in the name of National Security after 9/11.

          That’s right! And you can start with the largest hog of them all Homeland Security! If you listen to some, you would think that Homeland Security has kept us all safe. But to continue the Pork analogy–that is pure hogwash.

          To listen to them, ordinary law enforcement is not enough to fight these Islamic radicals (and they tricked the American people into believing this so they could pass their pork). The truth is that every single terrorist plot that has been prevented since 9/11 was prevented through good old-fashioned police and intelligence work that was in place before 9/11. Nothing fancy. No star-wars technology required.

          Furthermore if you go along with their claptrap, then you must believe that it is more likely for “Islamic terrorists” to strike in Wyoming or Nebraska than in New York or Los Angeles. 

          The Republicans devised a formula to take security money from high-risk (and mostly liberal) states like New York and California and give it to lower-risk (and mostly conservative) places like Wyoming and Nebraska. This was silly from a security standpoint—the only explanation was that the Republican Congress was using 9/11 as an excuse to hand out pork sandwiches to their friends.

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            Ethics Complaint filed against Rep Issa for Improper Use of House Resources

            November 14, 2012 in Congressional Antics

            Washington, D.C.  Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) alleging Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) violated House rules by using official government resources for political purposes.

            On November 2nd, Rep. Issa posted a video on the official website of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, purportedly exposing wasteful government spending on official state dinners.  The video, however, appears to be nothing more than a political ad attacking President Obama.

            Read CREW’s complaint against Rep. Issa

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              If you had any doubts left regarding the unity of Democrats and Republicans

              December 1, 2011 in 2012 Elections, Congressional Antics

              Their votes on Tuesday should convince you otherwise.

              The Senate voted Tuesday to keep a controversial provision to let the military detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial — prompting White House officials to reissue a veto threat.

              The measure, part of the massive National Defense Authorization Act, was also opposed by civil libertarians on the left and right. But 16 Democrats and an independent joined with Republicans to defeat an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would have killed the provision, voting it down with 61 against, and 37 for it.

              Backers of the military detention of Americans–a measure crafted by Sen. Carl Levin D- Michigan defended the agreement.  Have these people all gone senile on us?  Let’ get them all the hell out of Washington in 2012.

              Listen to this trip from Sen. Lindsey Graham R, S.C.:  ”The enemy is all over the world.  Here at home.  And when people take up arms agains the United States and are captured within the United States, why should be not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?  They should not be read their Miranda Rights.  They should not be given a lawyer.

              Look at the Democrats who joined the Republicans no surprise to me:  The final vote showed bizarre fractures among Democrats, erasing the usual barriers between conservatives and liberals. The 16 who voted for the harsh detainee rules were Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Clair McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.). National defense hawk and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) also voted in favor of the tougher language.


              In case you don’t recognize it, folks, this is the attempt of the 1% to replace local police with federal military and to replace our court system with them as well.  The Congressional members supporting this should be in prison themselves–at the least they should all be voted out of office.

              The White House is threatening to veto it.  We can only hope that this is real and not just another example of Obama’s twisted rhetoric.

              See also Senate Considering Bill Declaring American Homeland as a Battlefield

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                Senate Considering Bill Declaring American Homeland as a Battlefield

                December 1, 2011 in 2012 Elections, Congressional Antics

                Scenes from the battlefield created by Wall Street profiteers–many of whom are leaders of our government and now they are widening their range of terror to include the American people.  If you vote for a Democrat OR a Republican/Tea Party in 2012, you are a fool.

                If you want to see what a “battlefield” looks like after Wall Street finishes with it, visit Iraq where you can witness the almost complete destruction of a nation’s infrastructure.  But heck, you don’t even have to visit Iraq to witness the devastation of government leadership that puts the profiteering of the rich ahead of the safety of the majority. You can look at the photos of the aftermath of Karina, or the collapse of the I35 bridge in Minneapolis.

                If you thought Washington’s attempts to turn our nation in a full-blown police state had reached their limits, you would be wrong. Senators Carl Levin (D) MI and John McCain (R) AZ, are bringing this bill to the Senate floor on Monday after having held secret committee meetings while never holding even one hearing on this bill which authorizes military action against US citizens, right here in the United States.  Carl Levin, a Democrat is the sponsor of this bill so defend that Democrats.  The truth is that the leadership of BOTH parties is equally anti-American.  You may also take note that Carl Levin is also the same B who co-sponsored the Korean free trade agreement that will ship 169,000 American jobs overseas and increase the US trade deficit by $16 billion.  (Eric Cantor was the sponsor of the Korean trade agreement–isn’t “bipartisanship” wonderful?)

                Read S. 1867 and then call your elected official in Washington DC.



                 Rob Port of Say Anything Blog reported on Monday of yet another assault that the millionaire Senators in Washington have in the works for us.

                And, of course, if the American homeland is a battlefield than those in American declared to be enemy combatants can be denied certain rights under the Constitution. They can be assassinated, they can be detained without habeas corpus rights, etc.

                But hey, it’s for national securityso what’s the worse that can happen?

                The Senate is set to vote on a bill today that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yardwithout charge or trial.

                “The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,” writes Chris Anders of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

                Under the ‘worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial’ provision of S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is set to be up for a vote on the Senate floor this week, the legislation will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports the bill.

                No surprise that a creep like Lindsey Grahmam support the bill.

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                  A failure to celebrate! The failure of the Super Committee is a victory for the majority of Americans!

                  November 21, 2011 in Congressional Antics


                  Ryan Grim, from the Huffington Post described the true mission of the Super Committee perfectly when he described it as an “ill-conceived scheme to make an end run around public opposition to major spending cuts to entitlement and social programs.”  That’s exactly what it was–another scheme perpetrated on the American people by the multimillionaires in Congress to transfer our wealth and the security of our retirement years to Wall Street crooks. The “Super Committee” was made up of 60% multimillionaires.

                  Indeed, as Grim stated:  ”. . . The White House and congressional leaders had thought that by empowering the the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction with broad powers to sidestep the traditional congressional quagmire, the panel would somehow be able to craft a “grand bargain” that trimmed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while perhaps raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting the defense budget.  .  . ”  Source

                  Furthermore, I hope that it does not escape the notice of Democrats that President Obama has been trying every way he can to accomplish what George Bush could not and privatize Social Security.  One of his favorite strategies is by using special committees that operate outside the democratic system.  You may recall that he also promoted and even appointed members to a “BiPartisan”  Deficit Commission.  Instead of focusing on budget items the commission zoned in on Social Security, an entitlement program that is totally funded and was not within the scope of discussions for  deficits since money for Social Security is not part of the budget.

                  Someone needs to tell these jokers that we need to redefine “bipartisan” in economic terms. A millionaire agreeing with another millionaire is hardly a “bipartisan” decision.

                  Interesting to note that among all these members of the Super Committee, not one of them pays Social Security on their total income each year as do most of the 99%.  You see, after $106,000, the rich don’t have to pay Social Security taxes.  While the rest of us pay Social Security on 100% of our annual income, the rich only pay on a small percentage of their income.  For example, $68,000 of their income earned as members of Congress is tax free from Social Security taxes.

                  All Americans should pay Social Security tax on 100% of their annual income–not just the 99%.


                  The biggest drain on the budget are the Wall Street War profiteers who incidentally have helped to make many of the millionaires on the Super Committee even richer.  Unless some of the Republican shysters like John Kyl pass a bill going around the end zone of democracy, sequestration will be triggered and 16% of the Defense budget will be trimmed–as it should be.  To listen to some of the conservatives in Congress you would think this is the end of the world.  They refer to such cuts as “unprecedented.”  That’s not true–a 16% cut in Defense Spending is a measly percentage compared to cuts made in the past under previous Presidents.

                  Furthermore we need to be changing our economy from one that is dependent upon the sale of munitions and killing machines to one that makes its money from the sale of products that promote, not destroy humanity.

                  From Foreign, we have the following statistics on cuts to the defense budget.

                  Eisenhower cut the defense budget by 27%
                  Nixon cut the defense budget by 29%.
                  Bush Senior by 17%
                  Reagan by 10%

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                    Panetta defends the Libya Mission

                    October 7, 2011 in Congressional Antics

                    Various sources on the Internet report that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met today with troops at a naval station ins Sicily.  This station has been the base that has launched thousands of air missions including surveillance drones against Libya.

                    Panetta said that critics have been proved wrong by the coalition’s success.  First of all, what success? Second of all, at what cost to the MAJORITY of the American people?

                    Panetta said that the Global Hawk is capable of flying around-the-clock patrols at high altitudes and sending back broad pictures of what’s happening on the ground.  Again, at what cost to the American people?  Furthermore, if this technology can send back pictures of what’s happening on the ground, then why hasn’t Gaddafi been captured.

                    Libya is nothing more than another way to line the pockets of the war profiteers.

                    So who profits exactly?

                    Northrop Grumman does.  They are the ones who make the Hawk.


                    How much does government welfare to Northrop Grumman Cost the American people for this aircraft?

                    The Global Hawk costs about $35 million USD (actual per-aircraft costs; with development costs also included, the per-aircraft cost rises to $218 million USD each. [WIKI]


                    Why should the American people give handouts to Northrop Grumman?

                    Excellent question–especially when  Northrop  Grumman ranks #3 on  the Federal Contractor Misconduct list  put out by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).  According to this government site, Northrop Grumman has 35 instances of documented misconduct at a cost of  $850.7m to the American people.


                    And Washington leaders have the nerve to talk to the American people about making sacrifices when many of them are lining their own pockets though stock ownership of Northrop Grumman?

                    The only way this will end is to replace members of Congress with members of the majority. We are not going to change these people. We must remove them.

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