Senate Democrats moved up their schedule to vote on the Paul Ryan budget, which phases out Medicare and block-grants Medicaid, today, when the sting of the NY-26 special election is fresh in Republican minds.[...]
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Just how many bills banning government funding of abortion
does Rep. Virginia Foxxxxxxxxx think we need?
Not content to defund health care for women, the Republicans in Congress, who just can't stop obsessing about abortion, have now passed yet another bill, brought to us by the lovely Rep. Virginia Foxxxxxxxxx, to prohibit government funding of abortion. Only this one also bans medical programs that receive government dollars from even teaching students how to perform abortions. Because taxpayers shouldn't have their hard-earned dollars spent on training doctors to provide health care to women.
But despite the endless parade of bills to make it really, really, really clear that taxpayers should not pay for abortions, Rep. Foxxxxxxxxxx still wanted to make it "crystal clear." In case the bill they passed three weeks ago didn't quite get the message across.
The measure is an amendment to H.R. 1216, the Republicans' latest never-gonna-happen attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Because nothing creates jobs like passing ideologically-driven symbolic measures to appease teabaggers and woman-haters everywhere.
Next up: a bill to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to repair roads that lead to medical schools that teach doctors how to perform abortions, and to re-re-reiterate that taxpayer dollars should not be spent on abortions. And then I'm sure they'll get around to that jobs, jobs, jobs thing.
The U.S. Senate is expected to start debate on the budget passed by the House of Representatives last night. The Every Child Matters Education Fund strongly opposes this budget because it will reverse decades of investment in the health, education, and safety of children. They will also vote on an even more extreme proposal offered by Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. They may start voting on them sometime after 5:00 p.m.
Please take a moment to tell both your Senators to vote NO.
The Senate schedule is subject to change - but if they don't vote tonight, they will soon. Your Senators need to know that their constituents DO NOT WANT massive cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/food stamps, education, and pretty much every other human needs program. And especially do not want these cuts to pay for massive new tax cuts for the richest among us.
That's why we've made it easy to contact them: click here for a letter you can email to your Senators. We hope you'll personalize it by adding something of importance to you in the middle of the letter. Individualized emails get much more attention. But personalized or not, please take a minute to tell your Senators how important it is to vote no.
These budgets are much more about shrinking government and cutting upper-income taxes than about reducing the deficit. They hurt low- and moderate-income people, cost millions of jobs, threaten our fragile economic recovery, leave millions (including seniors) without vital medical coverage, and close off opportunities for our children to share in future economic growth.
The bad budgets that are expected on the Senate floor:
The House-passed Budget Resolution: Over 10 years, it would slash $4.3 trillion in needed services, about two-thirds of which help low-income people. At the same time, it gives tax breaks worth $4.2 trillion almost exclusively targeted to the top 5 percent, leaving relatively little for deficit reduction. This budget proposal would set rigid limits on Medicaid and food stamps/SNAP, resulting in a 35 percent cut for Medicaid by 2022 and an almost 20 percent cut in food stamps. Starting in the second decade, the House budget would turn Medicare into a voucher, doubling the burden of payment for its beneficiaries. Far from helping the economy, this plan would cause the loss of 2.2 million jobs over the next two years.
Here's an example of winners and losers in the House Budget Resolution:
Just one of the new tax cuts benefiting high-earners would give a $1.64 million tax cut to a household earning $8.5 million. But the cuts in food stamps/SNAP would take away $147 a month from a low-income family of four. And a family with two children with a parent working full-time at the minimum wage would lose about $1,500 a year from a cut in the Child Tax Credit.
For more information about the House budget, click here.
Senator Patrick Toomey's budget proposal: Senator Toomey (R-PA) has drafted a budget that cuts even more than the House plan (spending 3 percent less over 10 years). It is less specific than the House budget, but would also restrict Medicaid spending, and would target other programs like food stamps/SNAP, Unemployment Insurance, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families for cuts (such programs would be cut back to 2007 levels by 2014). The plan outline speaks of "reform of welfare programs" by setting fixed annual spending caps. Domestic programs requiring annual appropriations (such as education, housing, job training, and many social services) would be slashed back to FY 2006 levels, a deeper cut than the House budget proposes, with spending reduced from $515.1 billion in FY 2011 (this year) to $435 billion in FY 2012. Senator Toomey's plan also makes a one-year cut of $188.4 billion from programs that do not need annual appropriations, including Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child welfare programs, unemployment insurance, etc. The plan indicates that more than half this figure will come from programs that provide income security for low-income people. This plan also reduces tax rates for the wealthiest and for corporations, with the stated goal of remaining revenue neutral (however, the "special tax breaks" that would be eliminated to pay for rate reductions are unspecified). For more information about the Toomey budget plan, click here.
When so much is at stake, please don't let your Senators say that no one cared enough to contact them. Don't delay! Click here to send the letter!
Thanks to the Coalition on Human Needs for the information and links provided.
Every Child Matters Education Fund
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Gingrich reemerges as top defender of Ryan and Ryan plan ... against people who are saying what he said two weeks ago. [...]
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The Republicans are not reacting well to last night?s massive Democratic win in NY-26 which became a referendum on Representative Paul Ryan?s plan to end Medicare. Ryan tried awkwardly to laugh off the drubbing with the help of his dear buddy Joe Scarborough on MSNBC this morning but only looked like a petulant child in the process. His party is clearly on the defensive. His Leader ? Speaker Boehner ? haplessly fired off this tweet:
GOP Path to Prosperity preserves & protects Medicare for retirees & future generations & leaves it completely unchanged for those 55 & over
Uh yeah, okay. As Leader Pelosi?s office helpfully pointed out in this memo, it was Boehner, Ryan and the House Republicans who voted to:
Re-open the prescription drug ?donut hole? for current Medicare beneficiaries (including for ?those 55 & over?) Nationwide, nearly four million seniors would pay $2.2 billion more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone. [ DPCC Report]
Eliminate the free annual wellness visit for current Medicare beneficiaries (including for ?those 55 & over?) This could force at least one million seniors to pay over $110 million more for annual wellness visits in 2012. [ DPCC Report]
What?s that word again? That?s right ? PWNed. The reality is not fun for national Republicans.
Even traditional media analysts are offering up the following ominous dose of conventional wisdom for the national GOP:
The reality is that the total fealty to the Ryan budget increasingly demanded of Republican presidential candidates by the party?s base runs directly counter to the unpopularity of making drastic cuts to Medicare among the general electorate.
Not only is that a major political problem for the party but it?s one without a simple solution.
Of course the Republicans think that the simple solution here is to
lie ?message? their way out of it:
?I think we need to be more aggressive in defining that Obamacare cuts Medicare,? said Christian Ferry, a senior Republican consultant. ?Then, if the Ryan plan is our position for going forward, we need to actually get out there and define what it is and what it is not in an aggressive, offensive manner, rather than allowing the Democrats to play gotcha, scare politics as they did in NY-26.?
Aaah, yes. Ferry and his GOP cohorts think just lying harder about Affordable Care Act is going to make their problems go away. That is not going to happen because more than a year has passed since ACA became law and not a single senior has seen their Medicare benefits cut. What the new health care law did do away with was waste and abuse in the form of billions of dollars, filling up the pockets of private insurance companies (Republican sugar daddies). As noted by the Economic Policy Institute, "[e]liminating these overpayments [to private insurance companies] would free up $157 billion over 10 years.? You can read more about the waste and abuse issue that ACA eliminated in this Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report. So trying to make their Medicare problem go away by crying about needless subsidies to the big insurance companies as ?cuts? is just not going to work.
So, back to the main event. What are the Senate Republicans going to do tomorrow? Are they going to bear hug a Ryan budget that even Republican Senators like Olympia Snowe are calling "a race to the bottom"? Think about what someone like Senator Dean Heller is going to do. Is he going to vote to kill our Medicare program and throw our seniors off the cliff twice? He already voted to do it once as a member of Boehner?s crazy GOP caucus. Imagine the problems that will create for him in a battleground state like Nevada.
If all the so-called ?moderate? Republican Senators abandon ship when the RyanCare comes on the Senate Floor, that will pull the rug out of all the Republican Congressmen ? voting to end Medicare ? representing districts that were won by President Barack Obama in 2008. Any way you look at it, the picture is not pretty for the Republicans. It?s no wonder they are sounding like petulant children today.
(h/t Heather for the video)
Today Republicans are angry that Obama didn't fail & that the auto bailout worked
There was a lot of celebrating in Detroit yesterday-- not to mention at the White House-- when it was announced that Chrysler had repaid, with interest, the $5.9 billion loan it got from the U.S. Treasury to keep afloat. ?The loans gave us a rare second chance to demonstrate what the people of this company can deliver,? Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said. ?We owe a debt of gratitude to those whose intervention allowed Chrysler Group to re-establish itself as a strong and viable carmaker.? That would be President Obama + 205 Democrats and 32 House Republicans. The Auto Industry Financing And Restructuring Act passed 237-170 on the evening of December 10, 2008. Led by Boehner and Cantor, 150 Republicans (+ 20 sleazy Blue Dogs, most of whom were defeated in the next election) voted against rescuing the auto industry. Don't they look foolish today?
The total Chrysler returned to the Treasury, including interest and other loans, was $10.6 billion-- which represents a full recovery of all the money the Obama Administration put towards rescuing the company and saving all the jobs, ancillary businesses and communities involved-- six years ahead of schedule. And this comes just a few weeks after GM?s announcement of a $2 billion expansion, which will result in the creation or retention of 4,000 jobs spread across 17 facilities in eight states. We?re starting to see second shifts and stronger sales all across the country. In Michigan, as well as in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Missouri, since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the auto industry has added 115,000 jobs-- the fastest pace of job growth in the auto industry since the 1990s. This is what President Obama said just about one year ago (April 30, 2009):
"Chrysler has not only been an icon of America's auto industry and a source of pride for generations of American workers; it's been responsible for helping build our middle class, giving countless Americans the chance to provide for their families, sending their kids to college, saving for a secure retirement. It's what hundreds of thousands of autoworkers and suppliers and dealers and their families rely on to pay their bills in communities across our industrial Midwest and across our country."
In 2009, Mr. Romney said Mr. Obama?s plans for rescuing the automobile industry were ?tragic? and ?a very sad circumstance for this country.?
A Romney spokesman said on Tuesday that the president?s plan was modeled after one Mr. Romney advocated in 2008.
?Mitt Romney had the idea first,? said Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney spokesman, citing the Times opinion article. ?You have to acknowledge that. He was advocating for a course of action that eventually the Obama administration adopted.?
...?Mitt Romney must think that the entire country has fallen into a state of amnesia if he believes he can get away with this revisionist history,? said Brad Woodhouse, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. ?The record is clear. Mitt Romney would have let G.M. and Chrysler go bankrupt without extending them a dime of federal assistance.?
Democratic officials noted that Chrysler and General Motors received the federal aid only after they entered bankruptcy ? not before, as Mr. Romney?s spokesman asserted.
And they said the bankruptcy?s success depended on the federal money.
?Mitt Romney is doing circuslike contortions to get out from under the damaging words he uttered in 2008,? said Jennifer M. Granholm, a former Democratic governor of Michigan.
Chrysler?s repayment of its outstanding loans to the U.S. Treasury and American taxpayers marks a significant milestone for the turnaround of Chrysler and the countless communities and families who rely on the American auto industry. This announcement comes six years ahead of schedule and just two years after emerging from bankruptcy, allowing Chrysler to build on its progress and continue to grow as the economy recovers. Supporting the American auto industry required making some tough decisions, but I was not willing to walk away from the workers at Chrysler and the communities that rely on this iconic American company. I said if Chrysler and all its stakeholders were willing to take the difficult steps necessary to become more competitive, America would stand by them, and we did. While there is more work to be done, we are starting to see stronger sales, additional shifts at plants and signs of strength in the auto industry and our economy, a true testament to the resolve and determination of American workers across the nation.
While discussing President Obama’s response to the tornadoes that devastated Missouri on his radio show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz shifted into an attack on conservatives for focusing more on the cost of disaster relief than the desperate need for it. Schultz decided that the best way to mark that contrast would be to launch a personal attack on talk radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham after she criticized President Obama for continuing the Ireland leg of his European trip as disaster relief began. Ingraham critized the “tone-deafness” and the disconnect between “heartbreaking pictures and then President Obama lifting a glass of Guinness.” But, she also emphasized she “didn’t want to make too much of it.” Schultz responded:
President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.
Schultz can certainly disagree with Ingraham on policy, but her personal life has nothing to do with disaster relief in Missouri. Schultz’s crass remarks about Ingraham were an ineffective way to make an important point. For a leading progressive commentator, they’re unacceptable. Ed Schultz, who has criticized conservatives for their sexism, should apologize to Laura Ingraham during his show tonight. And he should remember that there’s more to building a progressive movement than attacking regressive conservative policies. Respect for women and women’s issues is a core fundamental value, and should never be compromised.
“”So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I?m glad we won this race in New York,” Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, ?I hope[...]
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If you are explaining, you're losing.
Watch Privatizing Ryan explain for over ten minutes how his scheme to privatize Medicare and throw everyone who is under the age of 55 today on the tender mercies of the private insurance industry is really about saving Medicare (by destroying it).
And that brings us to the de facto second rule of politics...When David freakin' Gregory pushes back and looks like something resembling a journalist, you are well and truly fucked.
Ryan is well and truly fucked.
*** (A word of warning...Do NOT play a drinking game where you take a shot or chug a beer every time Paul Ryan says "Look, first of all..." because you'll be blind drunk gy the time you get to the end of the video and you'll be passed out when we convene tonight's Drinking Liberally meeting at the Record Bar in Westport.)
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