Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 – No Deal is Better Than a Bad Deal

I went to a rally on Saturday.  It was held in front of the local office of Representative Jim Gerlach (R).  He represents the Pennsylvania 6th Congressional District.  Of course, neither Jim nor his staff were there as they don’t work on weekends.  The Republicans in Congress want us to work until we are 70 years old before we can collect our Social Security retirement money.  On the other hand, they only want to work 1/3 of the year and still collect full pay and full benefits.

Rep. Jim Gerlach was re-elected in November and that is because he tells his constituents that he is a “moderate”.  That’s bullsh*t.  He is a placeholder for Republican votes and he votes as he is told to vote by the House Speaker, John Boehner.  Gerlach voted to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid yet the local press was silent about his vote.  His opponent didn’t have much money and he had a large territory to cover to get name recognition.  The media area is the greater Philadelphia area which makes it expensive to advertise.  Rep. Jim Gerlach refused to debate his opponent because he didn’t want anyone to know anything about his opponent, Manan Trivedi.  As for town hall meetings, they are held via the telephone because Gerlach does not want to be confronted by unhappy constituents.  Yeah, I’ll say it.  Rep. Jim Gerlach is a coward.

Enough of my rambling.  Here is a picture of the poster that I was holding.  H/T to Outstandinginthefield for the wording and thank you to everyone else for your good ideas.  I will hold onto those for possible use at another time.


Live in your strength!

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!  Be heard!  Contact your House Representative!

(this is cross posted at Pennsylvania for Change)

Sunday Roast: Dreary and Familiar

SSDD in the Senate:  Republicans are blocking almost all legislation from moving forward, and continue to block the President’s nominees for important offices.

With the biggest disaster to hit this country going on in the Gulf, a disaster that will touch all of our lives before it’s over, obstruction is still SOP for Republicans in the Senate.  Exactly what is it going to take for the American people to say ENOUGH!!!?  Stop spending all your time trying to de-legitimize this President, and do the job you were elected to do — for the people.

Here’s something to discuss in the comments section:  What event or events can we point to that sounded the death-knell to the importance of the People in this country?  When did ‘We the People’ lose our footing, on this slippery slope to oligarchy?  Suggestions on how we can fix this mess?

This is our daily open thread.
Feel free to discuss this topic or anything else on your mind.

Of Bailouts, Buyouts and Bankruptcy

Why the big push to bailout the banking industry? the automobile industry?

One word:  PENSIONS

Pension funds are invested in stocks. Bankrupcy wipes out those stocks, leaving pension funds unfunded. If it’s a private fund, retirees will suddenly stop getting their checks.  If it’s a public fund, taxpayers will have to make up the difference.

Mainstream media, even non-mainstream media, has not reported on this, but it’s out there, the unheard, unseen elephant in the room. To my knowledge, this is the first report that mentions this looming economic disaster:


The Indiana State Police Pension Fund, the Indiana Teacher’s Retirement Fund and the state’s Major Moves Construction Fund claim the deal unfairly favors the interests of Chrysler’s unsecured stakeholders ahead of those of secured debtholders such as the funds.

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“You picked the wrong fight”


Department of Veterans Affairs: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) asked the Senate Veterans Affairs committee to delay voting on the “nomination of Tammy Duckworth, an injured Iraq war helicopter pilot, to be an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” Contacted by ThinkProgress, Burr’s Press Secretary, David Ward said that Burr is waiting for the answers to several questions he’s put to the White House and Duckworth, but would not disclose what those questions were.

Several other nominees are being held up by Republicans, including Dawn Johnsen,whose nomination is being held up because Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) has ideological differences with her (i.e. she has strongly criticized the Bush administration national security policies, and she was the legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America for a few years).

Sen Burr, you look ridiculous holding up Tammy Duckworth’s nomination as an assistant secretary at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

What questions do you have about Ms Duckworth, sir?  Too embarrassed to say?

Maybe you just have something against Ms Duckworth getting on with the job of directing the VA’s public affairs operations, as well as programs for homeless veterans.

Sen Burr, you have picked the wrong fight.  Move on…

Senate Republicans Block Oil Speculation Bill

Today, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on legislation to rein in speculation in the oil markets. Instead, they are calling for votes to expand oil drilling at home as well as expansion of nuclear energy.

In a 50-43 vote, Democrats failed to gain enough support to bring the bill forward for consideration on the Senate floor and now face another week of energy debate as Republicans threatened to hold up the measure to hammer home their “drill more, use less” policy.


“There’s clearly nothing more important in the country for Congress to deal with…than the price of gas at the pump,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The Minority Leader said his party would continue to hold up business on the Senate floor until Democrats allowed them to offer a series of amendments on expanded offshore drilling, oil shale development, nuclear power and other energy solutions.

“We’re not getting off this bill very quickly,” said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Read the full report here.

This comes on the heels of the Republicans obstructing oil companies drilling on the 68 million acres of public land they already have leases on instead of obtaining new lease rights – at dirt cheap prices.

If you are expecting any relief at the pump, don’t look to the Republicans to help you.

It sounds as if we need to contact our elected officials and tell them what we think. Click here and then on your state for all your elected official’s contact information. Remember, letters and faxes are more effective than calls.

h/t: Liam at TPM.

UPDATE: FireDogLake and DailyKos have more on this.

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