Tag Archives: GOP House

News & Comment

George Bush: When Unelected Judges Make Law, It’s ‘a Threat to Our Democracy – and It Needs to Stop’

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GEORGE W. BUSH, 2007: When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they had a clear understanding of tyranny. They also had a clear idea about how to prevent it from ever taking root in America. Their solution was to separate the government’s powers into three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Each of these branches plays a vital role in our free society. Each serves as a check on the others. And to preserve our liberty, each must meet its responsibilities — and resist the temptation to encroach on the powers the Constitution accords to others.

For the judiciary, resisting this temptation is particularly important, because it’s the only branch that is unelected and whose officers serve for life. Unfortunately, some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy — and it needs to stop.

News & Comment The Line

The Line: Republicans Secretly Love Government Spending

  • Sam Stein at Huffington Post, Aug. 10, 2011: “A Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, [Tea Party Caucus Chairwoman Michele] Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama’s stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled “fantasy economics.” Bachmann made two more of those requests to the Environmental Protection Agency, an institution that she has suggested she would eliminate if she were in the White House … Combined with previous revelations that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband’s business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the tea party’s most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a constructive role — at least in her life and district.
  • Sam Stein, Huffington Post, July 5, 2011: “Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). On March 8, the freshman Republican co-signed a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration requesting that the Department of Transportation fund a project to improve a runway at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport. The cost of the improvement: $4.365 million. Less than a month later, on the floor of the House, he declared that ‘our nation is broke. The federal government has maxed out its credit card.'”
  • Blogging Blue, July 6, 2011: “[Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn.] spoke directly with Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about federal funding for the Cates Landing port project after funding for the project was imperiled by House Republicans who wanted to cut transportation spending as a way of cutting overall government spending. Following his conversation with Secretary LaHood, Rep. Fincher wrote a follow-up letter seeking assistance in “obligating” the $13 million federal grant for the Cates Landing port project.”
  • New York Times, July 19, 2011: “An examination of spending bills, news releases and communications with federal agencies obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that nearly two dozen freshmen have sought money for projects that could ultimately cost billions of dollars, while calling for less spending and banning pork projects.” Republican hypocrites on spending include Reps. Tim Scott, S.C.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; Sean P. Duffy, Wisconsin; Michele Bachmann and Steven M. Palazzo, Miss.
  • Quad-City Times in July: “[Tea party favorite Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill.,] has been critical of the stimulus law, which was enacted before he was elected. But he said Friday more of the money should have been devoted to infrastructure projects. “If the government would have taken a lot bigger chunk of that money and put it into infrastructure, we’d be doing a lot better today,” he said.
  • Airport Business, March 17, 2011: “[Tea Party Caucus member] Congressman Allen West (FL-22) announces today the award of a $21 million dollar Federal grant to the Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood International Airport to be used towards the construction of a much needed, second commercial runway. The runway project will generate at least 11,000 jobs and be complete in the fall of 2014 with an estimated budget of $791 million.”
  • DCCC.org, autumn 2010: “[Right-wing extremist Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.,] signed a letter to Secretary LaHood, along with 14 other members of the North Carolina Congressional Delegation, requesting funds from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant in order to ‘reroute and construct a new bridge over the Yadkin River on Interstate 85,’ saying the existing bridge has ‘far exceeded its design lifespan.'”
  • Steve Benen, Washington Monthly, Feb. 16, 2010: “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the stimulus “misses the mark on all counts,” but encouraged the Labor Department to invest stimulus money in his district, highlighting a project he said would create 1,000 jobs. Reps. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), both right-wing opponents of the recovery efforts, did the same thing.”
  • Right-wing Korean cult-owned Washington Times, February 9, 2010: “[Tea Party Caucus member] Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican who became famous after yelling, “You lie,” during Mr. Obama’s addresses to Congress in September, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Mr. Wilson elbowed his way into the rush for federal stimulus cash in a letter he sent to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking funding. “
News & Comment

GOP House Judiciary Committee Resolves to Put ‘In God We Trust’ on All Federal Buildings – What Will That Cost?

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Artist rendering of proposed GOP sign on the new federal building in San Francisco
Just four months ago the tea party Republicans won control of the House by campaigning on reducing the deficit and promising to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But in the 12 weeks since they officially took over, what they have shown is that, despite their new “tea party” branding, this current batch is no different from the GOP pols who ran Congress in the Bush and Gingrich eras.

Like typical politicians, the tea party Republicans have not even bothered to deliver on their campaign promises. They have done nothing to create jobs — they haven’t even held a hearing on employment. And their approach to reducing the deficit is to cut programs that help the middle class, sick and elderly or that are counter to their right-wing ideology, while adamantly refusing even to discuss raising taxes on the 400 American families that control $1.27 trillion of the nation’s wealth — that’s $3.175 billion per family.

Instead, the GOP House has resorted to the same sort of ideological gimmickry that was their predecessors’ hallmark. Since they took control of the House in January, the tea party has:

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News & Comment

Ayn Rand Was a Good Ol’ American Socialist – Just Like You, Me and 226 GOP House Members

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According to a new book “100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand,” by Scott McConnell, late in her life, Ayn Rand, the tea partyists’ anti-government patron saint, went on the government dole. That’s right, when the going got tough, Rand, the “every man, woman and child for him or herself” objectivist, author of “Atlas Shrugged,” the cartoonish libertarian bible that is the second-best selling book in the world, availed herself of good ol’ red, white and blue American socialism.

Any time the citizenry bands together to pool its resources to cover the costs of a community benefit — whether it is fire and police protection or other emergency services; public institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries; or infrastructure like streets and highways, bridges and tunnels, airports and harbors — that is, by definition, socialism.

According to McConnell, who is the founder of the media department at the Ayn Rand Institute, a social worker he interviewed had helped Rand, who was known to the government as Mrs. Frank (Ann) O’Connor, and her husband sign up for government benefits in 1974, when Rand, a lifelong, two-packs-a-day smoker, was 69 years old and going broke from the costs of treating her lung cancer.

A freedom of information request confirmed that Ayn Rand, or Ann O’Connor, received thousands in benefits before she died eight years later. Efforts to confirm that Rand received Medicare payments were inconclusive, but, technically, Medicare is a part of the Social Security system so it is more likely than not that she did.

Here, according to the oral history, is how Rand justified her late-life conversion to socialism:

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Verbatim

Verbatim

“I’m not suggesting that we’re going to agree on everything, whether it’s on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don’t have a lot of room to negotiate with me. You’ve given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you’ve been telling your constituents is, ‘This guy’s doing all kinds of crazy stuff that’s going to destroy America.'”

— Pres. Obama, speaking to the Republican House members at their retreat in Baltimore