Tag Archives: unemployment

If We’re So Broke How Come Billionaire Companies Pay No Taxes?

So, you keep hearing the GOP and the Tea Party types tell us how broke we are. GOP is trying to convince us that taking money from Meals on Wheels, Medicare, Social Security, Planned Parenthood, WIC, Unemployment, etc. in order to pay down the debt and reduce the deficit.

They fought Obama hard demanding he leave George Bush’s tax cut for the wealthiest 2% in the country for another two years. They forced him to make a deal with them so he could actually pass legislation that helps the average American household. Keep in mind, President Obama is the person you have to fear. I mean seriously I’d be scared too if there was a guy in the White House telling the wealthy and the corporations that the free ride they’ve gotten used to since the Supreme Court appointed George Bush to the position of President of The United States.

Before G.W. and his handlers took over the top 2% in the country were paying close to 36% in taxes under Bill Clinton. Refresh your memories if you need to but that helped to create the BUDGET SURPLUS that G.W. quickly squandered away. Problem is he also cut their taxes so low there was no way to replace that, so they cooked the books. The left the cost of the wars and countless other things from the budget, so it didn’t look too bad to Americans.

Then American got a new President. One that told us almost immediately the deficit was actually much higher than reported by the previous administration because they omitted things like the cost of war.

But here we have a list of who has all the money and why the middle class, women, seniors and the poor are now being told it is up to them to share the sacrifice but what about these people?

When do share they begin sharing the sacrifice?

1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.

2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.

3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.

4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.

5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.

6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.

7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.

8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.

10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was nice enough to put the list above together for Americans so they can see just who really matters in this country now. It isn’t us folks, it’s them.

Sanders has called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. He also introduced legislation to impose a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires that would yield up to $50 billion a year. The senator has said that spending cuts must be paired with new revenue so the federal budget is not balanced solely on the backs of working families.

“We have a deficit problem. It has to be addressed,” Sanders said, “but it cannot be addressed on the backs of the sick, the elderly, the poor, young people, the most vulnerable in this country. The wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country have got to contribute.

Will we sit by and continue allowing the Koch funded Tea Party and GOP to lie to us while bashing the President so they can continue rewarding the wealthiest in this country with the money they are stealing from us?

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GOP continues the assault on Americans to keep their corporate sponsors happy

From the Huffington Post:

Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats Saturday defeated a bill to reauthorize unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and a plethora of tax provisions for the middle class not because of the bill’s trillion-dollar deficit impact, but because it did not include tax cuts for the rich.

“In economic times like these, 9.8 percent unemployment, you should not raise taxes on anyone,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told HuffPost.

Two bills were defeated. By a vote of 53-36, seven short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster, the Senate rejected a measure by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) that would have preserved Bush era tax cuts for lower- and middle-income taxpayers, but would have allowed cuts for people earning more than $200,000 a year to expire. Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Jim Webb (Va.), Russ Feingold (Wisc.) and Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman (Conn.) joined Republicans in voting nay. The Senate also rejected a bill by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) that would have extended all the cuts, but not for anybody making more than $1 million.

The Baucus bill would have preserved Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits Programs created in 2008 as a customary response to rising unemployment. The programs provide up to 73 weeks of federally-funded benefits for when layoff victims exhaust the standard 26 weeks of state-funded aid. The programs lapsed last week, threatening a holiday cutoff for two million unemployed.

After Saturday’s vote, it seems the only way Democrats will be able to overcome Republican opposition to the benefits will be by attaching them to a reauthorization of tax cuts for the rich.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said after the vote that he expected a tax cut deal to be reached by Thursday.

Sen. Schumer said at a press conference that some Democrats would be willing to drag the tax debate on into January. “There are lots of people in our caucus who do have that appetite, there are some who don’t. We’ll have to see what happens.”

Corker declined to say whether he thought unemployment would be included in the deal, as did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).


Rep Mike Pence thinks voters want the GOP to put the need’s of America’s wealthiest before all else

This guy truly is disgusting. Laughing when asked if the GOP would be willing to compromise with a tax hike on those making over 1 million a year in order to extend unemployment benefits. Nope, not gonna do it. That’s not what the voters wanted. They voted for us because they wanted us to hear loud and clear they don’t want us to do anything that lessens their burdens. Nope they voted for us because they want us to know the top 2% in this country come first.

More likely the GOP knows now thanks to the disastrous Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to fund political campaigns, that if they don’t serve ONLY the needs of the wealthy the wealthy will ‘Teabag’ them with whatever bum they can pay off to run against them and they’ll fund them in ways the GOP can’t compete with. So gotta keep that 2% happy so I can keep my place in Washington where all the perks are there for the taking and none of work is in the making.

Maybe someone should e-mail a link to this article to Mr. Pence. Looks like voters are already having a change of heart when they’re actually faced with facts.

That many Americans don’t pay attention when they decide how to vote is being borne out by the post Nov. 2 polling and interviews with voters.

For instance, a Bloomberg poll found that two-thirds of voters believe that their taxes had gone up under Obama and the Democrats, that the economy has shrunk and all that TARP money to bail out the banks is lost, never to be recovered. Further, most believe that the new health care law will increase the deficit and that illegal immigration is multiplying.

The truth, of course, is that 95 percent of Americans have had their taxes cut by about $400 a year under Obama’s stimulus program. The economy has been growing for five straight quarters and the banks have repaid most of the TARP funds they received. The government will actually wind up with a small profit. Even the beleaguered auto industry is paying its money back. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the health care law will actually lower the deficit within a few years and, if anyone bothered to check, the number of illegal immigrants this year is about a million fewer than in previous years.

A majority of senior citizens voted for Republicans even though it’s the party with the agenda to privatize Social Security and drastically alter Medicare.

What’s obvious is that the Republicans, led by talk radio bashers like Rush Limbaugh and “fair and balanced” Fox News, along with an expensive and relentless television ad campaign, did a fantastic job of convincing Americans that up was down and down was up. Meanwhile, the Democrats did a miserable job of telling the real story.

That master of propaganda, Nazi Joseph Goebbels, would have been proud. The GOP and its allies succeeded in creating a throw-the-bums-out angry electorate, most of which didn’t care to look deeper. As one wag put it, “We’re so angry that we’re going to throw the bums in.”

It will be interesting to see just how that works out.

The dilema of so many Americans doesn’t matter to the GOP. Not one bit and Mike is more than happy to tell you so. The jokes on you America.


Members of Congress wealth increases 16% in last year, but they vote NO to extension of Unemployment Benefits prior to the Holidays

Just before they broke for the Thanksgiving holiday Congress took another vote on extending Unemployment benefits for the nearly 2 million Americans still looking for work. The GOP voted overwhelmingly NOT to extend the benefits. Now they’re comfortably at home or on vacation somewhere ready to enjoy their lavish Thanksgiving holiday.

Before Congress adjourned for their Thanksgiving break, House Republicans blocked a bill that would have reauthorized the programs for three months, insisting that its $12 billion cost be offset with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. Many expect Democrats to cut a deal by Christmas, preserving the benefits perhaps by attaching them to a reauthorization of expiring tax cuts for the rich.

Next we’ll see them try to use this as leverage to force the President into extending tax cuts for the wealthy. They will try to hold Democrats and The President responsible for THEIR NO VOTES while lobbying behind the scenes for their wealthy friends, donors and benefactors.

For all the complaining and lies they’ve thrown at the President over the economy they have had a good years. Their personal wealth went up over 16% from 2008 to 2009. Guess it hasn’t been a bad year for the fat cats in D.C. and those filling their coffers. Never mind the struggles of unemployment, lost homes, lost retirements, lost insurance for the millions of Americans now feeling the pain of George W. Bush’s dismal handling of the economy. Anyone think it’s not a coincidence we didn’t start to see and feel the full effects of his failures until he walked out of office free and clear.

In the House, the study found, median wealth grew to $765,010, up from $645,503 in 2008. In the Senate, median wealth grew from $2.27 million in 2008 to $2.38 million in 2009.

The new data comes as lawmakers consider whether to extend tax cuts for couples making $250,000 or more – a move that apparently would benefit many members of Congress. The Obama administration wants to confine the tax breaks to earnings under $250,000, although it has signaled it might be open to a compromise with Republicans over the issue.

Researchers at CRP also identified 251 millionaires in Congress, including eight lawmakers worth $10 million or more.

The top three on the list were Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), with holdings exceeding $303.5 million; Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), with $293.4 million; and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) at $238.8 million.


Politico recently reported we now have 237 millionaires in Congress.

The CRP numbers are somewhat rough estimates – lawmakers are required to report their financial information in broad ranges of figures, so it’s impossible to pin down their dollars with precision. The CRP uses the mid-point in the ranges to build its estimates.

Senators’ estimated median reportable worth sunk to about $1.79 million from $2.27 million in 2007. The House’s median income was significantly lower and also sank, bottoming out at $622,254 from $724,258 in 2007.

But CRP’s analysis suggests that some lawmakers did well for themselves between 2007 and 2008, even as many Americans lost jobs and saw their savings and their home values plummet.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gained about $9.2 million. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) gained about $3 million, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) had an estimated $2.6 million gain, and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) gained about $2.8 million.

Some lawmakers have profited from investments in companies that have received federal bailouts; dozens of lawmakers are invested in Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Did you catch the part in bold? Read it again if you need to. Read it slowly. We are supposed to trust that these very millionaires go to work every day in D.C. reminded of the pain and struggles of regular Americans? It’s very doubtful that any of these folks have ever experienced a complete wipe out of their savings or lost a home, had to tell a child there is no chance of college, or spend months sometimes years trying to find a job.


The Hypocrisy of the GOP marches on!

Well it’s been another stellar week for the Grand Ol(d) Party. The one thing they’ve mastered………..lying, hypocrisy, manipulation and obstruction all in fine form over the last several days. When they aren’t running from studio to studio spreading lies over the television airways they’re behind closed doors organizing their strategy of NO.

So let’s see what did they grace us with this week……………………………………..

Republican Fundraising Strategy: Stoke ‘Fear’ of Obama and ‘Socialism’

The veil has been lifted off of the public veneer of Republican fundraising strategies, with Politico’s expose yesterday of a 72-page PowerPoint document which details plans to stoke “fear” of President Obama and pledges to “save the country from trending toward socialism.” The document also contains an offensive slide, entitled “The Evil Empire,” which contains a crude caricature depicting Obama as the Joker from Batman labeled Socialism; an image frequently seen at tea party protests. When news that the controversial document was published, reached the Republican National Committee, staffers moved quickly to try and distance Chairman Michael Steele from its contents, claiming he wasn’t aware of it. But this particular horse has already left the barn, as it were, and despite all of the backtracking in the world, it’s been obvious for quite some time that the Party of no ideas will sink to despicable levels of fear and hate-mongering to reclaim power.

According to the report in Politico, the document not only spells out in graphic terms, the Republican strategy of capitalizing on voter’s fears and prejudices, but also considers its donors to be idiots:

“The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.” The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.” The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.”

A hard copy of the PowerPoint document was left at the Gasparilla Inn & Club hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, and was retrieved by a Democrat and given to Politico.

Besides the offensive cartoonish depiction of President Obama as a Socialist Joker, “The Evil Empire” slide also depicts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), as Cruella de Vil and Scooby-Doo, respectively.

Another slide asks: “What can you sell when you do not have the White House, the House, or the Senate…?” The answer: “Save the country from trending toward Socialism!”

The marketing section continues with a slide that divides potential donor groups into direct marketing and major donors, with the smaller direct marketing donors under the heading “Visceral Giving” and the major donors tagged with the heading, “Calculated Giving.”

The motivations of the smaller tea party dupes, include “Fear,” “Extreme negative feelings toward existing administration” and “Reactionary.”

And the motivations of the major donors, include “Networking Opportunities,” “Access,” “Wall of Fame” and “Ego-Driven.”

RNC Fallout: ‘Ashamed’ donor closes checkbook:

A prominent Evangelical figure and Republican donor says he will end his contributions to the organized Republican Party in reaction to the leaked fundraising presentation that advised using “fear” to solicit contributions and displayed an image of President Obama as the Joker from Batman.

Mark DeMoss, who heads a major Christian public relations firm in Atlanta and served as a liaison to the Evangelical community for Mitt Romney in 2008, wrote Chairman Michael Steele yesterday that he was “ashamed” of the presentation, calling depictions of Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority Leader Harry Reid “shameful, immature and uncivil, at best.” More at Politico

 RNC Finance director behind fundraising pitch

Then we have Mr. Jim Bunning (R-KY)who went out of his way to hold up any progress in Washington over the past week. Never mind that also meant holding up unemployment benefits for millions, held up state contracts, suspended the National Flood Insurance program and many other important stimuli needed but also felt that the unemployed need to get used to. I think his exact words were ‘tough shit’.

 This week in crazy: Jim Bunning.  He held unemployment benefits hostage in the chamber for days. But behind the scenes, things were even stranger.

WASHINGTON — There was one thing Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., did this week that only seemed crazy. Trying to flee reporters on Monday, Bunning ducked into an elevator in the Hart Senate Office Building and insisted they stay out. “Excuse me, this is a senator-only elevator,” Bunning growled repeatedly (before flipping off the reporters who were trying to talk to him).

That may have sounded nuts, but actually, the Capitol and its surrounding office buildings are filled with elevators that only elected members of Congress are allowed to use. By insisting on his right to ride up and down in peace, Bunning did a useful service and brought more widespread attention to one of the weirder perks lawmakers get.

As far as how he spent the rest of his time recently, though, Bunning easily qualified for “This Week in Crazy” honors. For five days, the former Major League Baseball pitcher held federal unemployment benefits hostage while he ranted about the need to find a way to pay for them. The bill that Bunning blocked also provided federal highway projects that employed 2,000 people, increased Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, and allowed satellite TV operators to carry local channels in some rural areas.

And yes, it was expensive — about $10 billion. But blocking it over the price tag would be less crazy if Bunning hadn’t joined every Republican and voted against a measure to require federal spending to be paid for. (Democrats classified the bill Bunning blocked as emergency spending, because it was temporary, which meant it wasn’t subject to the new pay-as-you-go rules that Bunning had opposed.)

Behind the scenes, though, the situation was even stranger. Democratic aides tried for several days to persuade Bunning to drop his objection by agreeing to a vote on an amendment that would have paid for the extension. They say he refused until they could guarantee he’d win the vote. (In the end, he didn’t come close, getting the support of only 43 senators, mostly from the GOP.) Even Republicans were blindsided by Bunning’s stunt — he loathes his fellow Kentuckian, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and around Capitol Hill, a lot of people wondered whether Bunning’s real goal was just to make McConnell suffer. Bunning’s little game handed Democrats fresh ammo in their rhetorical war with Republicans over Senate rules; the sight of one angry old man bringing the chamber to a complete halt for the better part of a week probably didn’t convince many voters that things like the filibuster aren’t being abused.

And we have Mr. Roy Ashburn (R-CA) leading anti-gay rights opponent in his home state California out cruising the streets drunk with the man he met at a GAY BAR! Yes folks Mr. Anti-Gay seems to be a frequent visitor of his states many gay bars. Maybe he’s just doing research.

State Sen. Roy Ashburn was arrested Wednesday morning on charges of driving under the influence in Sacramento.

Sources told the CBS affiliate KOVR in Sacramento Ashburn was seen leaving Faces, a gay nightclub in midtown Sacramento.

Sgt. Rick Campbell of the CHP in Sacramento said he pulled over Ashburn at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday after Campbell noticed a black Chevy Tahoe weaving in his lane at 13th and L Streets.

He had bloodshot, watery eyes and smelled of alcohol and completed a field sobriety test at the scene, Campbell said. He said Ashburn was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and arrested on misdemeanor charges at about 2:10 a.m. “He was extremely cooperative throughout the entire process,” Campbell said.

When the officer stopped the state-issued vehicle, the driver identified himself as Senator Ashburn. He was arrested without incident and charged with two misdemeanors: driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol level higher than .08 percent or higher.

A male passenger, who was not identified as a lawmaker, was also in the car but was not detained.

Ashburn was booked into the Sacramento County Jail, where he remained for eight hours before being released on a $1,400 bond. The vehicle Ashburn was driving has been impounded at the Capitol for 30 days.

Ashburn served six years as a state Assemblyman before being elected to the State Senate.

According to Project Vote Smart, Ashburn’s voting record shows he has voted against every gay rights measure in the State Senate since taking office including Recognizing Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages, Harvey Milk Day and Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws.

“We can’t expect our politicians to be saints, but we can expect them to follow the law,” said Steve Maviglio, a Sacramento-based Democrat strategist.

Ashburn represents the 18th Senate District, encompassing Kern, Tulare, Inyo, and San Bernardino Counties.

To see Ashburn’s charging documents, navigate to the following link: http://www.kvsun.com/pdf/ashburn.pdf

Ashburn taking leave amid questions over sexual orientation.

DA: Republican state senator had .14 blood alcohol.

Anti-Gay Lawmaker Reportedly at Gay Club Before DUI Arrest

Liz Cheney still out trying to make the world forget her father was a criminal and deserves to be behind bars. Of course she’s also trying to get people familiar with her face and name so she can swoop in and fill the void that will be left once Sarah Palin’s star finally burns out and fades away. Sarah seems to be on a faster track to burn out than maybe Liz expected so she’s amping up the ol GOP fear card (see above). Liz is amping up the same ol tired argument that we’ve only been safe in this country for 8 short years. Otherwise we’ve always been at risk and unsafe but not when her Daddy was there. Nope. Her Daddy was taking care of us and we should be really, really scared of the other guy in office as he probably has no desire to keep us safe. Hmmmmmmmmmm now if Liz could just get those guys that used to work for her Dear Ol’ Daddy to agree with her and all would be right in the world.

Liz Cheney: Taking flak from the right as well as the left

Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz has become a political lightning rod. Now she’s going after Justice Department lawyers who represented terrorist suspects. Not all conservatives are happy with that.

Like her father before her, Liz Cheney has become a political lightning rod. No surprise, perhaps, but now the sparks are coming from the right as well as the left.

On her “Keep America Safe” website and through conservative media, the former vice president’s daughter most recently has been hammering away at Justice Department lawyers who previously represented Guantánamo detainees.

The “Al Qaeda Seven,” she calls them, portrayed in silhouettes alongside a photo of Osama Bin Laden and with creepy background music. (More Monitor reporting on the Cheneys’ attacks on Obama here.)

Shades of ‘Tail-Gunner Joe’

This has brought pushback from the left, naturally, generally boiling down to charges of “McCarthyism.”

Writing at Salon, Glenn Greenwald calls the “Al Qaeda Seven” video by Cheney’s group “certainly one of the more repugnant political ads of the last decade, if not the most repugnant.”

“Joseph McCarthy himself couldn’t have done a better job of using fear and insinuations to smear his political enemies,” said People For the American Way president Michael Keegan. “Most Americans understand that McCarthyism was a shameful chapter in American history, but the Cheney wing of the Republican Party seems to have embraced Senator McCarthy’s utter lack of shame.”

But the ad is being criticized from the right as well, including those who have served in Republican administrations. (The Monitor’s Linda Feldmann explored whether Dick Cheney is helping or hurting the GOP. Click here.)

One of these is Peter D. Keisler, assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, who argued in court against lawsuits filed by Guantánamo detainees.

“There is a longstanding and very honorable tradition of lawyers representing unpopular or controversial clients,” Mr. Keisler told the New York Times. “The fact that someone has acted within that tradition, as many lawyers, civilian and military, have done with respect to people who are accused of terrorism – that should never be a basis for suggesting that they are unfit in any way to serve in the Department of Justice.”

Rachel Maddow’s excellent take on Liz Cheney’s “Al Qaeda Seven”:

Then we have Mr. John McCain, still hard at work earning his way back into the party after he let ‘That One’ beat him at the game. John’s sole and primary mission and function in the Republican Party is now nothing more than a daily reminder of how far he’s fallen.

He’s been forced to turn on every single belief or ideal he ever held sacred in order to stand in the way of his former opponent regardless of the damage to his reputation or those Americans he once wanted to do sooooooooooooooo much for.

Report Discredits Letter Waved About By McCain As Evidence Of Military Opposition To DADT Repeal

Although respected military figures such as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Gen. Colin Powell have spoken out in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), opponents are still insisting that most military commanders believe that gay men and women serving openly in the military would have disastrous consequences.

One of the reports these opponents hide behind is by “Flag and General Officers for the Military.” It’s a letter signed by 1,000 “distinguished retired military leaders” who all say they oppose DADT repeal: “Our past experience as military leaders leads us to be greatly concerned about the impact of repeal [of the law] on morale, discipline, unit cohesion, and overall military readiness.” On Feb. 2, for example, a “cranky” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “Well, I hope you’ll pay attention to the views of over a thousand retired and flag general officers” when considering whether to repeal DADT. Frank Gaffney, president of conservative Center for Security Policy, cited the letter in a Washington Times op-ed that same day.

However, a new Servicemembers United report obtained in advance by DC Agenda severely undermines the legitimacy of this letter. Some of the problems:

– The average age of the officers is 74. The “oldest living signer is 98, and several signers died in the time since the document was published.” Servicemembers United Executive Director Alex Nicholson added that only “a small fraction of these officers have even served in the military during the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ period, much less in the 21st century military,” so it’s hard to believe that they “know how accepting and tolerant 18- and 21-year-olds are today.”

– “At least one signer, Gen. Louis Menetrey, was deceased when the letter was published and didn’t sign the document himself. According to a footnote on the letter, his wife signed the document for him after his death using power of attorney — six years after Alzheimer’s disease robbed him of the ability to communicate.”

– One signatory said that they “no longer want to be a part of the letter, writing to the organization, ‘I do not wish to be on any list regarding this issue.‘”

– Multiple generals said they “never agreed” to sign the letter in the first place, writing “I never agreed. To represent either side of this issue” and “I do not remember being asked about this issue.”

– At least seven officers “were involved in scandals tarnishing their careers.” Gen. Carl Mundy, for instance, gained negative publicity when he told CBS’s 60 Minutes that “minority officers do not shoot as well as the non-minorities.”

In June 2009, a PBS’s Ray Suarez also did a report on the letter, reporting, “The NewsHour contacted a number of four-star officers requesting an interview for this story. However, none agreed to speak to us on camera. One general expressed surprise his name was even on the list, since he says he had never agreed to sign the letter, and at least three officers listed as signatories are dead.”

McCain Backs ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

McCain appears to shift on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell …

McCain’s DADT Support Letter Signed By A Bunch Of Dead Guys

And they’re still running the Never have we voted using reconciliation for something so important meme because they have nothing else. No good ideas, no compromises, no proposals, no cost cutting measures, nope……nothing…….nada.

So as all good Republicans do………………they just repeat the same old lies and talking points over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and hopefully one of them sticks.

Just watch this short video of each Republican that attended the recent Health Care Summit. You hear any new ideas, any individual thought, any concern for Americans, any facts, any points, any anything? All I hear is there must have been a Powerpoint presentation on the stupidity of Health Care with all these folks in attendance before the summit. Seems they’ve all memorized the same 2 to 4 sentences. I mean this is all seriousness……………….are you flipping kidding me? This is what you brought to the summit?

Media have repeatedly allowed GOP senators to attack use of reconciliation

Media have not challenged GOP criticisms of reconciliation process. Media Matters for America has documented a pattern of journalists uncritically quoting Republican senators criticizing the decision to use reconciliation, without noting that those same senators — including Alexander, McConnell and Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — voted to allow the use of the budget reconciliation process to pass legislation during the Bush administration, including tax cuts.

Congress previously used reconciliation to pass major changes to health care law.
Reconciliation has repeatedly been used to reform health care. On February 24, NPR noted that many “major changes to health care laws” passed via reconciliation. Additionally, during a February 24 broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition, correspondent Julie Rovner quoted George Washington University health policy professor Sara Rosenbaum saying: “In fact, the way in which virtually all of health reform, with very, very limited exceptions, has happened over the past 30 years has been the reconciliation process.”

Congress used reconciliation to pass Medicare Advantage. As part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, enacted through the reconciliation process, Congress — which was controlled by the Republicans at the time — created the “Medicare+Choice Program,” currently known as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part C. The program allows seniors to enroll in HMO-type plans rather than the traditional Medicare fee-for-service plan.

Congress used reconciliation to pass COBRA. As stated on the Department of Labor website, as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, Congress gave “workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances.”

Congress used reconciliation to pass Patient Self-Determination Act. As part of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act, which requires hospitals, nursing homes, HMOs, and other organizations that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to provide information about advance directives and patients’ decision-making rights.

Republicans repeatedly attempted to use reconciliation to pass increase in Medicare eligibility age. The version of the Balanced Budget Act of 1995 introduced by then-Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) using the reconciliation procedure contained a section providing for raising the Medicare eligibility age. As the CRS reported, the provision was stricken from the bill during floor consideration on the basis of a point of order that the provision was “extraneous” to matters appropriate to reconciliation.

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 — also introduced through the reconciliation procedure — also included a provision to raise the eligibility age. Fifty Republicans voted in favor of waiving a point of order against the provision that it was extraneous, allowing the provision to remain in the bill. The final version of the bill signed by Clinton did not contain this provision.

GOP used reconciliation to pass Bush tax cuts, welfare reform

GOP used reconciliation to pass Bush’s tax cuts. Republicans used the reconciliation process to pass Bush’s 2001 tax cut, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001; Bush’s 2003 tax cuts, the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003; and Bush’s 2005 tax cuts, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2001 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; that the 2003 tax cuts would “reduce projected total surpluses by approximately $1.35 trillion over the 2001-2011 period”; and that the 2005 tax cuts would “reduce federal revenues … by $69.1 billion over the 2006-2015 period.”

Republicans repeatedly voted to use reconciliation to pass components of welfare reform. Congress employed the reconciliation process to pass welfare reform in 1996 as part of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Senate Republicans previously included welfare reform provisions in the Balanced Budget Act of 1995, which Clinton vetoed. As CRS reports, 46 provisions of the bill were deemed extraneous by the Senate’s presiding officer. Fifty-three Republicans voted in favor of a motion to waive the point of order, but the motion — which requires 60 votes — failed on a 53-46 vote.

Barbara Boxer Calls Out Republicans on their continued hypocrisy:

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Republican Reconciliation Hypocrisy

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