Tag Archive: United States Congress


Congressman Gowdy Continues To Impress

 

 

 

Published on Dec 16, 2013

” South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that the Obama administration’s deliberate flouting of congressional law “has reached an unprecedented level,” claiming the time is now ripe for Congress to take the White House to court over executive overreach.

  Gowdy spoke with Fox News’ Shannon Bream about a House resolution authorizing a congressional lawsuit against the executive branch. Although individual lawmakers do not have standing to challenge the president, the provision would allow the institution of Congress itself to sue the Obama administration for ignoring laws passed by the legislative body.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Congress In Revolt On Iran Deal

 

 

 

 

” With the blistering New York Times editorial condemning sanctions efforts underway in Congress (“a breakthrough agreement at risk” falsely implies there is a U.S. -Iran agreement on key points), you know the administration is nervous, very nervous. It seems bipartisan contingents in both the House and Senate are unwilling to be threatened by the totalitarian regime in Tehran, which has threatened to call off the whole deal (which isn’t even a deal) unless the Congress shuts up. It is quite extraordinary — both the Times and the mullahs vilifying Congress’s efforts merely to enforce the terms of U.N. resolutions on Iran’s illegal weapons program.

   This is not a partisan affair. Democrats and Republicans are both involved in efforts to stop Iran’s march toward a nuclear arms capability. Both sides are alarmed at a White House running toward appeasement.”

 

 

   Exhibiting a rare example of spine , Congress refuses to roll over for the appeasers in the White House . Good for them . Good for US.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check Out This Poll On Congressional Popularity

 

 

 

    Admittedly this poll is from very early in 2013 and so does not exactly reflect current trends regarding Congress but we found it enlightening nevertheless . As a matter of fact recent polls have shown Congress to be even less popular than the 9% that this poll gives them credit for . Ah , for the good ol’ days .

    As we know the most recent polls show our illustrious leaders with a 6% approval rating which makes the results of the above referenced one even more startling … Congress even at 9% approval was found to be less popular than a host of common pests , maladies and annoyances … read on and soak in the love felt by the American public for our elite leadership .

 

 

” Facing low approval ratings after a historically unproductive 112th  session and a series of last-minute showdowns over fiscal matters, Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, the rock band Nickelback, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and Brussel sprouts.


    When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington DC political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69) than Congress.

 

 

    On the plus side , Congress did manage to be more popular than the ebola virus , gonorrhea and meth labs , but if you can’t beat out cock roaches and head lice it’s time to retire …

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Young Americans For Liberty for bringing this poll to our attention .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Big Pharma Likes Your Healthcare Plan, You Can Keep It

 

 

” But in politics, never assume rules are written simply with the public good in mind. Almost always, the rules ended up how they ended up because special interests with insider access were able to tweak them. So it is with the coverage that Obamacare mandates.

HHS’s first proposed rule on prescription drug coverage required insurers to cover at least one drug in every class of drug — in short, one drug for cholesterol, one drug for epilepsy, etc. Drugmakers wanted more. Led by the lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry argued that HHS should require all insurers to not only cover one drug per class, but also to match the benchmark plan in their state.”

And Big Pharma won. HHS’s final rule, issued in late November 2012, required all plans to cover “the greater of” one drug per class or whatever the state’s benchmark plan covers.

So if your insurance plan met state mandates and covered one or more drug per class, it still might be illegal if it didn’t cover as much as the “benchmark” insurance plan. PhRMA and its member companies like Eli Lilly and Pfizer care about this in part because more bare-bones prescription drug plans may cover only generic drugs and not the more costly name brand drugs covered by the benchmark plans.

The more comprehensive the drug coverage, the more expensive the premiums — thus the cancellation of many low-premium plans.

This wasn’t the only win for drugmakers in Obamacare, of course. The industry famously got a prime seat at the drafting table of Obamacare (and thus a slew of subsidies and favors) in exchange for millions of dollars in ads supporting the legislation — and ads backing the Democratic senators endangered by voting for it. For all the Big Pharma goodies the White House and Senate Democrats packed into the text of the bill, the industry got even more favors as HHS implemented the law.

The drug industry spent more on lobbying in 2009 and 2010 than any other industry. Sally Susman, who oversaw Pfizer’s lobbying shop, was a top Obama bundler in 2008 and 2012. After the law passed, drug companies hired up plenty of the staffers who shaped the bill from both Congress and the White House.”

 

    The present structure of our governing body (congress) not only allows this kind of blatant corporate cronyism , it practically requires it . The quid pro quo between our “representatives” and big business is how the system has been wired by the players involved and so nothing that comes out of Washington these days is done with the actual voters in mind.We the taxpayers are being fed a line of bulls**t and getting taken for a ride , all in the name of corporate profits and politician’s re-elections .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 It’s Not A Bug , It’s A Feature

 

Shut down Government

 

” For a country that is supposed to be the most powerful in the world, the fact that Americans have today woken up  to find large swathes of their nation closed for business is humiliating.

Thanks to President Barack Obama obduracy over his flagship healthcare policy, Democrats and Republicans have failed to reach agreement in Congress on the federal budget, forcing the US Government to close down for the first time in 17 years, with around 700,000 federal workers being placed on indefinite leave.

While the White House insists that essential areas of the government, such as the military, will continue to function, the shut down represents yet a further blow to the prestige of the Obama administration at a time when it is still reeling from its inept handling of the recent Syrian crisis.

There was a time not so long ago when the world looked to America for both political and economic leadership. But now that can no longer be taken for granted thanks to Mr Obama’s inability to provide decisive leadership on either front.

 

 

Read On

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Disability Rolls Swell In A Rough Economy

 

 

 

” The fast expansion of disability here is part of a national trend that has seen the number of former workers receiving benefits soar from just over 5 million to 8.8 million between 2000 and 2012. An additional 2.1 million dependent children and spouses also receive benefits.

The crush of new recipients is putting unsustainable financial pressure on the program. Federal officials project that the program will exhaust its trust fund by 2016 — 20 years before the trust fund that supports Social Security’s old-age benefits is projected to run dry.

The growth of the disability rolls has accelerated since the recession hit in 2007. As the labor market tightened, workers with disabilities that employers previously accommodated on the job — painful hips, mental disorders, weak hearts — were often the first to go. Finding new work often proved difficult, causing many to turn to the disability rolls for support.

The migration of so many people from work to the disability rolls is raising concern among lawmakers in Congress that the program is being stretched beyond its original intent of providing a safety net for former workers whose medical problems make them unable to work.

Last week, the Government Accountability Office found that the program made $1.3 billion in potentially improper payments to people who had jobs when they were supposedly disabled. The allegedly improper payments represent less than 1 percent of disability payments.

While fraud remains a concern, policymakers say the program’s biggest vulnerability is the subjective criteria that create a large gray area for applicants. A worker with physical impairments that are difficult to document precisely, like a bad back, can tolerate the condition while on the job but claim it as a reason to go on disability if he falls out of work for a prolonged period.

Many recipients first go on unemployment, which can last a few months or even more than year. Disability, by contrast, can pay out benefits for decades. The vast majority of recipients never return to work.

“The disability program is increasingly becoming a long-term unemployment program,” said Richard Burkhauser, a Cornell University professor who co-wrote a book on disability policy and has testified before Congress about the program. “We see a lot of it now because of the effects of the recession.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Must Be More Of The “Hope & Change” We Were Promised

 

 

 

” Just 49 percent of Americans said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the federal government to handle international problems, according to a Gallup poll released Friday. The previous low was 51 percent in 2007.

The public’s trust is even lower when it comes to domestic issues. Just 42 percent of Americans answered with a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the government to handle issues at home, one point below the previous low from 2011.

Democrats have far more confidence in the government than Republicans: 78 percent of Dems trust the government on international issues compared to just 35 percent of Republicans. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Time To End The Corporate Welfare

 

 

” The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inflicted enormous losses on the insurance industry and businesses. In the wake of the disruptions occurring in the insurance market at the time, the government enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 to create a “temporary” federal backstop against catastrophic losses. This program subsidized private risk with public funds through a cost-sharing program for which the government does not receive any compensation.

The compelling need for the program was unclear even in the smoldering aftermath of 9/11. Yet in response to effective lobbying by the insurance industry and business interests, Congress has twice extended the program. The program is now scheduled to sunset at the end of 2014, 12 years after this supposedly temporary program was instituted.

If there was some ambiguity about the program’s need before, there is none now. Terrorism risk is not more severe than other insurable risks such as natural catastrophes, and a federal backstop stakes public money to protect the insurance industry, and subsidize the terrorism risk insurance premiums for commercial policyholders. The private market is capable of underwriting this risk. This policy analysis suggests that the program should sunset as scheduled in 2014, thus ending this form of corporate welfare.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Records Of Christine O’Donnell Tax Snooping Disappear

 

 

” Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.

The revelations to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office came Tuesday as the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, formally reopened its investigation into the matter by re-interviewing Ms. O’Donnell.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest Rates To Double On New Student Loans

 

 

 

” This higher rate will apply only to new subsidized loans taken out starting this month. Unsubsidized Stafford loans, in which the borrower pays the interest, have been at 6.8 percent for years.

Students with subsidized loans typically graduate with $9,000 in this type of debt, and the doubling of the rate means they will pay $216 more a year in interest, said Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors.com, a network of educational resources for parents and students.

Student loans faced a similar interest-rate crisis last year, but Congress eventually agreed to maintain the rate at 3.4 percent for another year. Financial aid directors had their fingers crossed that something similar would happen this time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World To U.S. Congress: I’m Not American But I Have Privacy Rights

 

 

” In a letter sent today to the United States Congress, an international coalition of non-profit organizations called upon the U.S. government to protect the privacy and freedoms of not only its citizens, but of people everywhere. As news of the alarmingly broad reach and scope of America’s surveillance program reverberates around the globe, now is the time for the United States to pass formal privacy safeguards to protect the billions of foreign Internet users whose communications are stored in U.S. servers or whose data travels across U.S. networks.

EFF joined more than 50 NGOs—including European Digital Rights, Association For Progressive Communications, Center for Technology and Society (Brazil) and Thai Netizen Network—in signing the letter, which was organized through Best Bits, a global network of civil society organizations.  In its letter, the coalition also expressed grave concern over information-sharing between U.S. authorities and the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium and New Zealand.”

     How can America continue to lay claim to being the custodian of the internet and the guardian of free speech when the world looks on and sees nothing but a massive violation of privacy rights , both of Americans and themselves ? The hypocrisy is plain for all to see , even if DC refuses to acknowledge it .

‘FALSE’: CONGRESS DENIES OBAMA CLAIM ‘EVERY MEMBER’ BRIEFED ON SURVEILLANCE

 

 

 

 

” On Friday morning, President Barack Obama defended his administration’s massive telephone records surveillance programs by explaining that “every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.”

There’s only one problem: both Republican and Democrat Congresspeople say that isn’t true. On Friday afternoon, the press office for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, tweeted, “Obama’s claim that ‘every Member of Congress’ was briefed is FALSE.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Constitution: Birthed In Self-Determination

 

 

 

” The proper question in any political system is who are the sovereigns?

Is the President the Sovereign?  Is Congress the Sovereign?  Is a King the sovereign?  Are the people the Sovereigns?  Why so much confusion over the question of whether the Union is a democracy or a republic?

The answers to those questions seem to puzzle many commentators.  Though the Union is a constitutional republic, for arguments sake, let us assume the Union was a democracy.  It doesn’t alter the fundamental truth regarding sovereignty.  The people are the sovereigns and the people are the source of all power in our political system.  However, the system is not majority rule, nor it is a system of absolute power where might makes right.  Our entire political system rests on a single fundamental principle — the consent of the governed; the right to self-governance and self-determination.”

 

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

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End Of The Line For Holder?

 

 

 

 

” Attorney General Eric Holder may have lied in testimony given to Congress given earlier this month. Even if it was not under oath, the offense would be a felony subject to a maximum of five years in prison. The exchange actually happened with Hank Johnson (he of “imagine a world without balloons” and other greatest gaffe hits). This is what the memory-challenged AG had to say:

First of all you’ve got a long way to go to try to prosecute the press for publication of material. This has not fared well in American history… In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material. This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

You see, Eric Holder is the kind of guy who remembers with fine detail what he did do to cover his behind, but when it comes to the actual main components of the scandal at hand, he just don’t know.

If it turns out that Holder lied to Congress when he said the prosecution of the press for publication of material “is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of,” the habitual line-stepper will be in career-ender kind of hot water. And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy; Holder has pulled off more improbable escapes than Harry Houdini.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Obamacare’ Poll Finds 42% of Americans Unaware It’s Law

 

 

 

 

” A new poll finds that many Americans are confused about the health care overhaul legislation commonly called “Obamacare.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation released results of a non-partisan study today finding more than 40 percent did not even know the law was in place.

“Four in ten Americans (42%) are unaware that the ACA [Affordable Care Act] is still the law of the land,” the report says, “including 12 percent who believe the law has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent who believe it has been overturned by the Supreme Court and 23 percent who say they don’t know enough to say what the status of the law is.”

The survey showed public opinion on Obamacare is at its second-lowest rating in the past two years.

Less than half – 40 percent – of adults viewed the ACA favorably, whereas 35 percent said they viewed it unfavorably. Another 24 percent said they did not know or refused to answer.

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, one of the original crafters of the bill, earlier this month predicted a chaotic implementation process for the Affordable Care Act. “I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” Baucus, D-Mont., said.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running The Numbers On DHS’ Ammo Purchases

 

 

 

DHS Components Total Round Purchased In FY2010-2012 Total Inventory
CBP 141,624,536 94,404,329
FLETC 61,131,009 18,797,942
FPS/NPPD 11,692,000 2,500,000
ICE 66,494,000 42,300,000
TSA 37,800,000 29,909,514
USCG 28,853,241 70,258,197
USSS 13,956,460 5,563,380
Total DHS 361,551,246 263,733,362

 

 

” I provided you a response from the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday concerning the large number of rounds of ammunition that they are soliciting for. I continue to leave it up to the reader to determine if they think DHS’ response is truthful or not. However, their response came just two days after they solicited for 360,000 more .40 caliber hollow point bullets. DHS told us these are for training purposes and, in fact, these are being sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico, which is the same location that 240,000 hollow points were sent to last month. However, I want to provide you with more details that DHS has put in print and ask some questions.

The current solicitation can be found on the Federal Business Opportunities website and you will notice that the “Bid MUST be good for 30 calendar days after close of Buy.” So this purchase is not one of those “over five years” kinds of purchase.

Several congressmen have pushed DHS on these purchases, which resulted in the response from DHS, including fifteen that banded together to get answers. Some of which were not addressed. “

 

 

 

 

 

President Obama Appeals to Newtown Tragedy to Push for Stricter Gun Laws

 

 

” President Obama gave his weekly address and revisited the Newtown tragedy in an appeal to Congress to pass universal background checks, restrictions on private gun sales, and the assault weapons ban.

Adam Lanza planned his grisly murders for years, and if it weren’t a ‘military-style’ rifle, it would have been something else, like fire or explosives. Are we going to ban fire too? Because in 2009 there were over 58,000 arsons, costing an average of $17,411 each in damage. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are an average of 375 deaths each year from arson, which is also more than those killed by all rifles.”

 

 

 

GOP INTRODUCES ‘VIRTUAL CONGRESS’ RESOLUTION WHEREBY LAWMAKERS WOULD WORK FROM HOME DISTRICTS, NOT D.C.

 

 

” Excerpted from The Hill: Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) wants to create a “virtual Congress,” where lawmakers would leverage videoconferencing and other remote work technology to conduct their daily duties in Washington from their home districts.

Under a resolution Pearce introduced on Thursday, lawmakers would be able to hold hearings, debate and vote on legislation virtually from their district offices.

While Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may have recently nixed the Web company’s work-from-home policy to boost its performance, Pearce believes a remote work arrangement may benefit Congress and make lawmakers more accountable to folks in their home districts.

Pearce says the resolution would eradicate the need for members to jet back and forth from their districts to Washington each weekend. This would allow lawmakers to spend more time with their constituents rather than the armies of lobbyists from K St., he argues.”

 

 

 

Obama Government Re-Arrests Four Dangerous Criminal Aliens It Released During Last Week’s Temper Tantrum

 

 

 

 

 

” Is the Obama administration acknowledging that it unleashed at least four dangerous criminals on the US public last week? Yep.

The Obama administration said Thursday it had rearrested and brought back four of the most dangerous immigrants it released from detention last month in the run-up to the budget sequestration.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton testified to Congress that his agency released 10 “level one” offenders, and has gone out and apprehended four of them. He said the other six are nonviolent. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congress Blocked Kerry From Offering More Aid To Egypt

 

 

 

” Secretary of State John Kerry had hoped to offer considerably more aid to Egypt than the $250 million he announced during his trip to Cairo but was blocked by Congress, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said.

“This is not the aid package that the administration wanted to announce,” Royce told The Hill. The administration wanted to release a “larger sum,” but bowed to the wishes of Royce’s committee as well as congressional appropriators, he said.

Royce wouldn’t say how much Kerry had hoped to announce, but the State Department has been pressing Congress to greenlight $450 million in direct aid since last fall.

“Our approach is not the full-throttle administration approach of delivering all the aid that they wanted to deliver, but rather a measured approach of tying tranches to results as it pertains to the peace treaty with Israel, to cooperation with respect to smuggling [into Gaza] and with respect to economic reforms to guarantee civil rights and the rule of law within Egypt,” he said. “That’s the pressure that we’re applying.” “

 

 

 

 

 

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INTERNAL GOVERNMENT EMAIL: MAKE SEQUESTER CUTS AS PAINFUL AS POSSIBLE

 

 

” Lawmakers say the email is further evidence that the Obama Administration is seeking to inflict maximum pain for the minimal $85 billion in cuts.

“This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AK).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Busting 5 Myths About the Minimum Wage

 

 

 

 

” When someone says “minimum wage,” what comes to mind?

Do you think of teenagers flipping burgers? Or a single parent trying to feed several kids?

While President Obama and other proponents of a higher minimum wage want you to visualize that single parent, the truth is that a burger-flipping teenager or college student with a part-time job paints a much more accurate picture of the minimum wage in America.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. Today, Democrats in Congress are arguing that the President didn’t go far enough, proposing an increase to more than $10 an hour.”

 

 

Democrats Complain About Presence Of Debt Clock On Capitol Hill

 

 

Debt 22.17 02.26.13

 

This screenshot shows the debt at 10:17pm eastern on February 26, 2013 . Click the graphic for realtime debt .

” Some members of Congress apparently don’t like to be reminded about how much debt the country continues to rack up. Rep.  and  Rep.  both issued complaints about the displays, according to video of the hearing.”

 

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