The Watering Hole, Monday, November 10th, 2014: Mitch Makes Plans

Today I’m just going to throw a few topics out here, good, bad, or meh

A few excerpts from yesterday’s Washington Post article by Lori Montgomery and Robert Costa, headlined (rather lengthily) “GOP crafts narrow agenda for new Congress, seeking unity, Democratic votes”:

“Within hours of solidifying their control of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John A. Boehner were quietly laying plans for a series of quick votes in January aimed at erasing their obstructionist image ahead of the 2016 elections.

Considering the previous unfortunate efforts of the Republican Party to slap a different varnish on their tarnished image, I can only cringe wondering what kind of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser(tm) “quick votes” these two have in mind. What would they deregulate first? IOW, what will be the Rs’ first BS “repeal this job killer” meme in 2015? And are Boehner and McConnell, while “seeking unity”, keeping an eye on their own far-right-flank tea-nut gallery? Megalomaniac Senator Ted Cruz (R-PlanetTexas) is not one to allow the limelight to stray far from him, and is already making obstructionist noises. Boehner and McConnell are fools – yes, I could stop right there, but – if they think that Cruz is going to bow to their so-called “leadership.”

“First up: Action on long-stalled bills with bipartisan support, including measures to repeal an unpopular tax on medical devices and approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Whoa, tortoise, whoa! [gets out baseball bat, “I said WHOA!”] Why you sly bastards! First, Boehner and McConnell know damn well that repealing the medical devices tax, however unpopular it may or may not be, will undermine one of the sources for funding the PPACA, aka Obamacare. Boehner has been shown by FactCheck.org to have been lying about the negative effect that the Medical Device Tax would have on jobs. Repealing the Medical Device Tax is just one way that the Republicans would start to unravel the PPACA without actually repealing the act itself.

Now let’s get to “approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.” It seems that everyone, except the few people/companies who stand to gain from the construction of the pipeline, is against that. This is definitely an example of the incredibly ballsy, obviously and provably false claims that the project would be a “job creator.” Temporary American jobs, yes; a few (50 or so) permanent American jobs, yes; but nowhere near the thousands that the pipeline’s proponents would have us believe. There are so many good arguments against the Keystone XL, it’s truly amazing that any politician is still promoting it; unless, of course, well-funded interests are funding them.

There’s loads more from the WaPo article, but there’s also more information in the New Republic’s article called “This is How the New GOP Senate will try to Dismantle Obamacare”, by Jonathan Cohn.

So far everything points to the Rs major obsession for the past several years – if they can’t repeal the ACA, they’ll just kill it with a thousand cuts.

This is our daily open thread – talk about whatever you want.

32 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, November 10th, 2014: Mitch Makes Plans

  1. I’d like to see a Republican bill that produces most of what they want in one simple paragraph, then offer it for an up or down vote. It could read something like, “Effective in 90 days from this date, each and every financial asset of each and every person whose net worth is less that $1 million will hereby and hereinafter be placed in a special account which is hereby designated as the CBFAA, the Corporate and Billionaire Financial Assistance Act. This reverse Robin Hood act will allow the final transfer of each and ever dollar in circulation today to those who most understand that the sole purpose of money is to ensure the full power of the State to those who are not thd lazy bums who make up 99% of the population.”

    There should be a clause defining how much of said transferred wealth should go to political leadership and how much is to be spent on global war, etc., along with a second clause to deny the right of any president that is not an old white man to veto the bill.

    That should satisfy everyone but the Anti-Amurka-Communist-Marksist-Facist-Nazi-Negro (read:Democrat) Party.

  2. Remember, folks, one of the first things a Republican-controlled Senate can do is change the rules, for, say two years only, to eliminate the filibuster.

    I’m guessing a Republican-controlled Congress will defund ObamaCare, the Federal Labor Relations Board, and just about every regulatory agency out there. Or shut down the government if they don’t get their way – i.e. if Obama vetoes their budget bill, they’ll just keep passing the same one over and over in a game of political ‘chicken’.

    I’m also guessing they’ll open up all sorts of investigations into anything and everything Democratic. I wouldn’t be surprised if Republicans introduced Articles of Impeachment against Obama on Day One of the New Congress.

    • I agree. Impeachment. They’ll go for it. But . . .

      On what grounds? Which “high crimes and misdemeanors” are in play? How are “misdemeanors” defined in this context? I’m unaware of ANY “impeachable” offense, in the presidential context, since G.W. Bush left the Oval Office. Is there anything legitimate that might actually be legitimate grounds to go after Obama?

      • Extra-judicial killing of American citizens…… but they were brown and had Arab names so no foul..

    • They think they’ll box Obama in by offering their version of the platform they think their man-date gives them.
      But they’ll be hard pressed to override popular vetoes (read impossible), and get Democrats to agree to anything that reverses the New Deal provisions like Social Security. As they defund the health care initiative, people will feel the impact immediately. Let’s see how much damage they can actually do in two years..
      As for 2016//
      Republicans will have to defend 24 seats, compared with 10 for Democrats. And the raw numbers don’t even tell the whole story. Seven seats held by Republicans — Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — were carried by President Obama in 2008 and 2012. And there is chatter about potential Republican retirements in Arizona and Iowa. If either John McCain or Chuck Grassley decided to call it a career, each of those races would be major Democratic targets.
      Enjoy your sandbox, Republicans, and see you don’t get too much sand up your asscrack.
      h/t WaPo

    • From Ted Cruz, Collosal Idiot:

      “Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.

    • Obama seems to be ‘pivoting’ to a more liberal agenda, at least in his public advocacy. The FCC needs to reclassify the internet providers as common carriers and get the issue behind them.
      I wish he’d pivot to a position against the TPP.

      • I wish he’d change his last name to Roosevelt and start kicking Repug ass. But meanwhile, I’ll take Net Neutrality, no Keystone Pipeline, and absolutely NO TPP.

        And it’s OK with me if Ted Cruz goes back to Cuba where he belongs. And stays there.

    • I give Breitbart full credit given that at least there was no complaint that Obama was trying to appoint an old Country singer to the job. Last thing we need in the DOJ is a ‘Coal Miners Daughter,’ for chrissake. I’m impressed that the wingnuts have stopped short of going there.

    • Who the hell is Brad Pitt? And why would anyone give a shit who it’s married to? Why is something as inane as that the only thing college “students” seem to know squat about?

      No wonder the Repukes get lotsa votes.

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