Sen. McCaskill gets Tweets

October 4, 2013

Sen. Claire McCaskill gets Tweets on the government shutdown, sometimes from people who appear unfamiliar with major concepts of civilized life.

[Here’s the text, in case Twitter isn’t displaying properly for you:  (quote)Some of today’s hate: “shut the f* up you baby killing, veteran disrespecting, butt ugly sack of shit bitch.” His profile says he’s a Christian. (end quote)]

The old hymn says,

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Worse, or better if the Tweeter tries to live up to it, is verse three:

We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

Wow.

English: Claire McCaskill, member of the Unite...

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, speaking during a committee hearing. Wikipedia image

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Tea Partiers slip into “elite lifestyle,” with parties and aides to do everything . . .

December 20, 2011

From the venerable and regenerated Capitol Hill journal Roll Call:

Heard on the Hill: Steven Palazzo’s Staffers Tapped for Odd Jobs

Covering the office of Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) has almost become a job unto itself for HOH. There are his staffers’ wild parties in Annapolis, the fallout of which involved pecans. There are his Mississippi accounting firm’s interesting ownership and business classification issues. And now there are his, or more specifically his staffers’, adventures in odd jobs.

Sources close to the office revealed that Palazzo and his wife, Lisa, used at least two staffers as de facto babysitters here in Washington and tapped federal employees to help the family move into a new apartment.

House ethics rules prohibit Members of Congress from using staffers for their “personal benefit” — see the farmer-staffer program of ex-Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) — though some personal tasks, such as picking up dry cleaning, can occasionally be categorized as official business.

One former aide apparently logged about 40 hours helping the Palazzos relocate from Capitol Hill to Penn Quarter in August. That time was spent moving and arranging the Palazzo personal effects as well as pingponging between the new apartment and home-decorating stores at the behest of Lisa Palazzo.

Palazzo aides confirmed that fellow staffers participated in the move but maintain those involved were compensated for their time from the Palazzos’ personal accounts.

During the course of a month, “the employees worked nine and 15 hours [during work days] respectively,” Palazzo Deputy Chief of Staff Hunter Lipscomb asserted. According to Lipscomb, the then-office manager and Lisa Palazzo calculated the staffers’ hourly wages to be $16.83 an hour. The office deducted $151.47 and $252.45 from the respective staffers’ paychecks to account for the Congressional work hours lost.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the office budget manager, who has over twenty years of Congressional pay roll experience, recommended the strict following of standard Pay Roll Office practice of reducing pay and reimbursing with personal funds for work voluntarily done by the two former staffers during office hours. Any out of pocket expenses incurred have been reimbursed to the former staffers and they were compensated with personal funds for any additional after hour voluntary work. The office fully followed the recommendation of the office budget manager and has been in consultation with the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer to ensure total compliance,” Palazzo Chief of Staff Jamie Miller explained in an email statement.

At least one staffer acknowledged receiving a check from the Palazzos in October.

Whether any money changed hands for untold hours of babysitting remains in question.

Sources say that during the summer, the three Palazzo children were chauffeured to the weeks-long Capitol Experience Camp in the Cannon House Office Building — where Palazzo’s office is located ­— by a staffer each morning. After camp let out, a staffer — sometimes two — would collect the children and then return them home. Aides would routinely bathe and feed the children, chaperone them at the pool or movies and eventually put them to bed.

By all accounts, Palazzo covered all meals and extracurricular activities. The office insists staffers were also paid in cash for their lost personal time, a claim at least one babysitter refuted.

WarrenRojas@cqrollcall.com | @WARojas
NedaSemnani@rollcall.com | @neda_semnani

So now we know:  What will Tea Party people do to bring government closer to the people when they get elected?  They won’t do anything, but, perhaps, suggest the people should eat cake.  That could be the new Tea Party bumper sticker:  “Let them eat cake!”

Will the Tea Party complain? I wouldn’t bet on it.  It’s a “party” after all, right?

Will the news even make it back to Mississippi?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Sojourner Jim Stanley.


Quote of the moment: Charles Dodgson and Tea Party logic, “six impossible things”

September 27, 2011

John Tenniel's drawing of Alice A-dressing the White Queen, in "Through the Looking Glass" 1865 - Wikimedia image

John Tenniel's drawing of Alice A-dressing the White Queen, "Through the Looking Glass" 1865 - Wikimedia image

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), Through the Looking Glass, Chapter V, “Wool and Water.” 1871 (Gutenberg edition)

Below the fold; the quote in larger context.

Read the rest of this entry »


Voting today in Wisconsin: Recall the Tea Party?

August 9, 2011

If Wisconsin voters have 401Ks or pension plans, you’d think it would be a complete rout in the six recall elections today in Wisconsin, no?

Here’s where we learn the perils of Americans who get their news from Fox News, and don’t read newspapers.

So, I get e-mail from the AFL-CIO Working Families Network — are you paying attention, Wisconsin?

Aug. 9, 2011

Wall Street greed
The Republican extremists who lit the fire that burned the nation’s credit rating work for a handful of billionaires and corporations. We didn’t say that. The corporate bible Forbes
said it
.

Wisconsin voters are going to the polls today to make history and recall the Walker 6. Those six are Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) closest state Senate allies who spearheaded his move to take away the collective bargaining rights of public employees and ram through a budget devastating to working families.

Read More

Got comments? Post them at blog.aflcio.org.

 Wall Street Gets Nervous About Who It Put in Office

Take Action: Tell Verizon to Stop Attacking the Middle Class

 New Taxes Won’t Turn Millionaires into Fleeing Tax Refugees

Would the AFL-CIO attract more voters if they noted the six Republicans are part of the Tea Party team that drove America’s financial future off the cliff? Wisconsin voters could send a message to Congress today, were they so inclined.


Encore post: “Don’t play chicken with the debt ceiling!”

July 30, 2011

If only they had listened last April when I first posted this!

A blast from the past:

BusinessWeek cover, April 18-24, 2011 - Don't play chicken with debt ceiling

BusinessWeek cover, April 18-24, 2011 - Don't play chicken with debt ceiling; chicken image by Jan Hamus/Alamy

Not every one of the Bloomberg Businessweek covers has been a hit, but a lot of them are — vastly more entertaining since Bloomberg took over the old workhorse magazine.

This one packs a political punch along with visual excitement.

And it’s right. Do any Republicans pay attention to the finance and business worlds anymore?

Articles inside are informative, too — see Peter Coy’s article, and did you see the article on the debt ceiling issue and the views of past Treasury secretaries?

Hey! Republicans! Stop playing chicken with the nation’s credit, will you?

Graphic - dangerous game on debt ceiling -- Businessweek

Businessweek graphic from April 18-24, 2011 issue - click for larger view at Businessweek site; chicken image by Jan Hamus/Alamy


No bus coming, so Republican/Tea Partiers call cops on Grandma

May 25, 2011

Republicans and Tea Partiers in Michigan can’t exactly be accused of throwing their grandmothers under the bus, but only because there was no bus coming at that moment.

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, scheduled a meeting with Tea Party supporters last Saturday.  When senior citizens showed up, apparently fearing they would raise some questions about the Republican budget plan with figuratively throws grandma under the bus with drastic cuts to Medicare, organizers called police, claiming the post-65 group had started physical violence.

You couldn’t make this stuff up, could you?  If it were fiction, who would believe it?

Read the full story at DailyKos (with links to ThinkProgress):

One way Republicans have found of dealing with the bad press and hostility they’ve faced in public meetings over their highly unpopular budget plan has been what’s actually a pretty typical Republican response: censorship. They’ve clamped down on reporters and citizen journalists, barring them from recording the events.

In Michigan, they’ve taken it up a notch, courtesy of Tea Party control freaks who not only banned a group of senior citizens and reporters, but called security on them at an event with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI).

Rep. Justin Amash held a townhall meeting sponsored by a Tea Party group on Saturday sponsored by a Tea Party group, but a group of senior citizens and two reporters — including this one — were denied entry to the event.The traditional purpose of a townhall meeting is for an elected official to meet with his constituents in public, giving the people a chance to ask questions and engage in dialogue with their representatives. But neither the organizers nor Amash apparently wanted to hear from or speak to a group of concerned senior citizens — even at a time when the fate of Medicare is being debated in Congress.

About eight senior citizens arrived at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin College campus for a chance to question Amash concerning his voting record in regards to eliminating Medicare.

Once barred from attending the event, the seniors stood out in the parking lot where they were taking questions from this reporter and Tanya Somanader of Think Progress, the two members of the media who were denied access. Eventually, six security guards arrived on the scene and said that both the seniors and the reporters had to leave.

Amash, and the Michigan Republicans, appear to be too embarrassed to talk about the GOP budget approved by the House of Representatives.  Those senior citizens kicked out of the meeting had been invited to attend by the Tea Party, apparently unaware that their ideas are unpopular among their own nominal supporters.  Invited, then kicked out.

Amash and Republicans should be embarrassed.

At least the security guys who responded also saw the humor in the ridiculous situation


Now they reveal the monsters that live within their breasts . . .

May 11, 2011

Just let ’em ramble, they’ll spin enough rope to hang themselves.

Do you ever wonder what are the fondest dreams of tea partiers (tea baggers) and the rash, radical right?

Here, they confess, in “Post-Constitutional America”:

The idea of raising a governing majority to actually roll back the New Deal is quixotic fantasy. Even in the most fiscally conservative moment in recent history, the idea of simply removing all the social democratic infrastructure of the New Deal is not even being broached by GOP politicians. Not even Sen. Rand Paul proposes it.

They shouldn’t take Quixote’s name in vain like that.

Seriously, what is left of the New Deal?  For a few examples,

  • There is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which saved countless banks in the past two decades.
  • There is the Securities and Exchange Commission and the rules on honesty in trading in securities.  Only a fool would wish a repeal to those.
  • Vestiges of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration remain, keeping small farmers from going broke and losing the family’s inheritance and heritage to speculators in the prices of commodities — not that it doesn’t work some evil these days supporting big corporations (but over at What’s Wrong With the World, they prefer the latter, one might think)
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Social Security

Why would anyone want to roll back those programs?

Outright rejection of the “progressive agenda,” the pro-democracy, pro-American, human-rights friendly political movement of the late 19th and 20th century, is one of the uglier manifestations of conservative politics of the past decade, and especially of the past year.  When confronted with the things they actually propose, those who make the proposals usually sputter that they don’t mean to do that, that they have been misunderstood.

The misunderstanding is in thinking that positive improvements in our laws are, somehow, deserving of roll back.  Why shouldn’t we bring back Jim Crow?  Why shouldn’t we bring back child labor, unclean food, unclean water, tainted meat and non-working, damaging pharmaceuticals?  They don’t know?

Have logic and common sense suddenly died?


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