Tea Party House Republicans Plan Two Month Pre-Election Vacation, Spend That Time Telling Americans Government Doesn’t Work

In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, Eric Cantor is a douchebag.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., announced on Friday that, after next week, the House won’t be returning to session until after the Nov. 6 elections.

A planned one-week session in Washington at the start of October has been scrapped. That means when the House adjourns next Friday, the chamber will not be scheduled to cast any votes again until Nov. 13.

Speaking on the House floor, Cantor said that the decision for House members not to return to the Capitol in October has been made given the Senate’s anticipated passage next week of a bill to keep government running beyond the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year, a bill already passed on Thursday in the House.

 

Here’s the stuff they left on the table.

1. Violence Against Women Act re-authorization. Though a bipartisan Senate majority passed the a strong re-authorization bill in April, the Republican House leadership refused to allow a vote on the Senate version of the bill. The House passed a watered down version on a mostly-party lines vote, leaving victims to wait for House action.

2. The American Jobs Act. Republicans have been blocking President Obama’sjobs legislation for more than a year. Though House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) promised in 2010 that a GOP Congress would focus on job creation, he has blocked this bill’s immediate infrastructure investments, tax credits for working Americans and employers, and aid to state and local governments to prevent further layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public safety officials.

3. Tax cuts for working families. In July, the Senate passed a bill extending tax-cuts for the first $250,000 in annual income. The Republican House leadership has refused to consider the bill, holding it hostage to their demands for a full extension of Bush-era tax cuts for millionaires.

4. Veterans Job Corps Act. The Senate is currently considering bipartisan legislation to help America’s veterans find jobs. The Air Force Times reports that the Republican House has “shown no interest” in the legislation to support those who served the country.

5. Sequestration. A spokesman for Boehner said earlier this week that stopping budget cuts he voted for last August “topped our July agenda and remains atop our agenda for September.” While House Republicans have complained about the imminent spending reductions and passed a bill that would require President Obama to find offsets for spending cuts they don’t like, Republican Leader Canter could not name a single compromise he was willing to make to get a deal.

6. Farm Bill. Despite strong support for a 5-year farm bill from even conservative groups like the Farm Bureau Association — the House leadershiphas not scheduled a vote on the bill. The current law expires September 30. Without passage, 90 percent of the work of the Department of Agriculture could be defunded.

7. Wind tax credit. The Senate may act next week to renew an expiring wind energy tax credit. Despite bipartisan support — including from original author Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the Examiner notes that the House is unlikely to pass the renewal. Despite GOP calls for energy independence, the expiration has threatened the wind energy industry and already led to job cuts.

 

via House Republicans Plan Two Month Vacation, Leaving Key Bills Awaiting Action | ThinkProgress.

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Boehner’s office cuts off C-SPAN cameras as GOP takes verbal beating

A strange thing happened Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill.

As Rep. Stenny Hoyer (D-MD) attempted to call for a vote to extend a payroll tax cut to middle class and working Americans, his Republican colleagues adjourned the House and walked out of the chamber. And if that weren’t odd enough, it got even stranger: As Hoyer railed against them for failing to help working Americans, footage from C-SPAN went silent, then cut away.

Moments later, C-SPAN took to the Internet to explain that it wasn’t their doing, but someone working for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

via Boehner’s office cuts off C-SPAN cameras as GOP takes verbal beating | The Raw Story.

You can see the video here before Boehner had it cut off.

The bill passed the Senate 89-10, after the partisan House version failed.  So now the House refused to vote on the Senate version (Republicans don’t want to be seen voting down a working class tax cut…but they want to vote against it), and instead tries to reconcile the two versions.

What the video shows is the Republicans cutting off debate and refusing to vote on the Senate version…they had to cut off the video or Cantor’s lies about what happened might seem plausible.

UPDATE:

“We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing the issue of critical importance to this country, and that is the continuation of the middle class tax cut, the continuation of unemployment benefits for those at risk of losing them, and a continuation of the access to doctors for all those 48 million seniors who rely on them daily for help.”

And that’s when the audio cut out. Seconds later, footage faded to a shot of the capitol from outside.

Moments later, someone at C-SPAN took to Twitter and explained: “C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras – the Speaker of the House does.

Eric Cantor Pushes For Title of Biggest Douchebag Ever

i think he’s pretty close at this point.

Recall, this is the guy that walked out of negotiations after Democrats had the audacity to propose altering the depreciation schedule on corporate jets.

Now he has spotted another cluster of spending that is waaay more wasteful than that, and the oil subsidies, and pretty much everything else…

As Monday’s White House budget talks got down to the nitty-gritty, Eric Cantor proposed a series of spending cuts, one of them aimed squarely at college students.

The House majority leader, who did most of the talking for the Republican side, said those taking out student loans should start paying interest right away, rather than being able to defer payments until after graduation. It is a big-ticket item that would save $40 billion over 10 years.

[full story]

So, to a douchebag like Eric Cantor, that makes perfect sense.  Anyone who has to take out student loans *obviously* already has the money to immediately pay them back without first using them to invest in an education.

He’s put up a few other absolutely idiotic suggestions the last few days.   Republicans, if you want to know why everyone thinks you’re a party filled with selfish, lying douchebags, screwing over everyone to protect that wealthy 1%, look in the mirror that is Eric Cantor.

Republicans are resisting not just tax increases but significant cuts in defense spending, the sources say.

So…even the entire “cut spending” b.s. that the Republicans had “on the table” wasn’t actually about Republican spending on the table.

Obama returned to this theme in the talks, saying everyone is being asked to sacrifice except rich people. The Republicans repeated their belief that any tax increase  would damage the fragile economy.

This really is such a load of crap.  We have two economies right now.   The recession one, where 90% of us live with 9.2% unemployment, and the real economy one, where the recession has officially ended, corporate profits have never been higher, and the wealthy are doing just fine.

So the Republicans concern-troll the economy and taxes, then turn around and complain about the unemployment numbers , which were brought on by firing government employees, and the debt limit, brought on by cutting more taxes, and used the whole situation an an excuse to cut more taxes, more employees, and more services.

The sickest thing about the whole deal…the entire play has come out of a context and an economy where the wealth has never been more concentrated that it is now.   And Cantor, and the douchebag parade, want to consolidate it further.

“Concentrate the wealth” is pretty much their rallying cry.  And it’s working, the wealth is being concentrated.  This sucks for 99% of us (those peons that have to borrow money to go to college), but its great for the douchebags on the payroll of the 1%.  Douchebags like Eric cantor.

Eric Cantor, D-Bag Extraordinairre, Typical 21st Century Republican

So I’ve mentioned before I’ve been following the debt limit discussions currently going on in Washington.   They came to a halt last Friday after Eric Cantor (R-VA) deciding that constantly saying that taxes SIMPLY CANNOT be part of the solution to government debt wasn’t working and everyone kept asking him to be more realistic.

That was never going to happen.  His departure from the “debt commission” was planned.

GOP aides and lawmakers said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) decision to exit debt talks led by Vice President Biden was inevitable.

The timing of Cantor’s exit from the talks has been discussed for weeks, and senior House Republicans cast it as a natural progression for the negotiations.

“There have been discussions about when these talks need to end and when the Speaker and the president need to get in the game,” one GOP aide explained.

[full story]

When the guy quit last week, he had this to say…

“There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation,” Cantor said. “I believe it is time for the president to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue.”

What’s wild about this is that Cantor is now using the economic troubles caused by running huge deficits (created by tax cuts) and a war (paid for with…tax cuts) and lax regulation, as an argument against raising any government revenue.    The doublespeak here is off the charts.

Luckily there are a couple honest Republicans out there to try and balance out this stuff.   Well, former Republicans.  So it takes old people who have seen the errors of their ways to make the obvious point to the oblivious masses, old people like Reagan’s budget guy.

The sickest thing here…if Obama hadn’t given in to the hostage takers last December…we wouldn’t be having this “crisis” or this discussion.  The Bush Tax Cuts would be gone, and we’d be back on the path to fiscal sanity.

What’s even more wild is that about half of *actual* Republicans are rational enough to understand the governments can raise taxes to pay down government debt.

On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.

This is the disconnect, BTW.  Four out of ten *actual Republicans* understand how low taxes are right now, and that they can be used by governments to pay down debt.   But when you get to Republican leadership, the support for any kind of taxes at all drops directly to 0%.
If you don’t understand why this is, you don’t understand how campaign finance reforms have made the Republicans a party that represents the interests of 1% of the population, but is able to use their wealth to buy 50% (and sometimes more) of the government.     Sit it on this meeting to find out how that works.

Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, had between $1,000 and $15,000 invested in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. The fund aggressively “shorts” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable. (A short is when the trader hopes to profit from the decline in the value of an asset.)

According to his latest financial disclosure statement, which covers the year 2010 and has been publicly available since this spring, Cantor still has up to $15,000 in the same fund. Contacted by Salon this week, Cantor’s office gave no indication that the Virginia Republican, who has played a leading role in the debt ceiling negotiations, has divested himself of these holdings since his last filing. Unless an agreement can be reached, the U.S. could begin defaulting on its debt payments on Aug. 2. If that happens and Cantor is still invested in the fund, the value of his holdings would skyrocket.

I think we can all rest happy knowing that if the U.S. defaults on their debt, Eric Cantor will do just fine.    Heck, the fund is up 3.3 percent just since he quit last week.

NPR Tape Edited, Re-Mixed, Then Offered as “Truth” (ruminations on the “Fox Style” of news storytelling)

It’s a curious world we live in, to be sure.

Back when I was growing up, oh so many years ago, I recall hearing about this concept of “investigative reporting”.  This would be a situation where, usually, someone was abusing their power to take advantage of others.  An intrepid reporter would then investigate, reveal the facts they collected, and once the abuser was revealed to world, they would be shamed and clean up their act.

In 21st century this trend has now been reversed.    With the unabated consolidation in media and business over the past 20 years, there are now very few large organizations that aren’t connected either via advertising deals or direct partnerships to the media conglomerates.    So now the targets of such investigations aren’t the powerful, but the weak.  

Now it is the poor and needy who are the targets of investigations, and those who look into all the facts of the case are villified.    In this new paradigm accurate reporting is not the goal, indeed, accurate reporting is the opposite of the goal here.  In accurate reporting, facts are collected first, then the story is written.   In this paradigm, we’ll call it “Fox Style”,  the story is written, then the facts are presented (or omitted) in such a way as to reflect the point of the story.

Which brings us to our latest datapoint, a “sting” on NPR.   Here is a typical headline, lede paragraph reaction to the original…

WASHINGTON — A National Public Radio executive was captured on hidden camera calling the tea party movement racist and xenophobic and said NPR would be better off without federal funding, in an embarrassment likely to fuel the latest round of conservative attacks on public broadcasting.

The video was posted Tuesday by James O’Keefe, the same activist whose undercover videos have targeted other groups opposed by conservatives, like the community organizing group ACORN and Planned Parenthood.

It drew swift reaction from Republicans in Congress, who are renewing efforts to cut funding to public broadcasters. NPR and PBS have long been targets of conservatives who claim their programming has a left-wing bias. Similar efforts in the 1990s and 2005 were not successful, although public broadcasters take the threat seriously.

[full story]

This was quickly jumped on by the usual suspects as evidence of their pre-concieved notions.

“We’ve just exposed the true hearts and minds of NPR and their executives,” O’Keefe said in a letter posted on the site. He asked supporters to sign a petition urging Congress to review NPR’s funding.

“This disturbing video makes it clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to NPR,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said in a statement. He added that executives have “finally admitted that they do not need taxpayer dollars to survive.”

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/james_okeefe_nj_conservative_activist_relea.html

It doesn’t surprise me that Eric Cantor is out there pushing this silliness.  This is the guy who complained about being targeted by violence  (after a bunch of Dems had their offices vandalized after HCR passed…and months before Giffords)  when a stray bullet came down out of the sky and broke a window in his office.*   

But enough about that, let’s look at how big this latest lie turned out to be

Al Tompkins, a senior faculty member for broadcasting and online at the Poynter Institute, says to David that he tells his children there are “two ways to lie. One is to tell me something that didn’t happen. And the other is not to tell me something that did happen.” After comparing O’Keefe’s edited tape to the longer version, “I think that they employed both techniques in this,” Tompkins says.

One “big warning flag” Tompkins saw in the shorter tape was the way it made it appear that Schiller had laughed and commented “really, that’s what they said?” after being told that the fake Muslim group advocates for sharia law. In fact, the longer tape shows that Schiller made that comment during an “innocuous exchange” that had nothing to do with the supposed group’s position on sharia law, David reports.

Tompkins also says that O’Keefe’s edited tape ignores the fact that Schiller said “six times … over and over and over again” that donors cannot buy the kind of coverage they want on NPR.

Scott Baker, editor in chief of the conservative news site The Blaze, tells David that after watching the two-hour video he came away with the impression that the NPR executives “seem to be fairly balanced people.”

[full story]

 One of the more glaring headlines that has come out of this is usually along the lines of “NPR Exec calls Tea Party racist”.   This is a fairly funny one.   First up, you’d have to be a racist or a Tea Partier to not see the solid stream of race-based crap emanating from that direction  (Whar Birf Certifikat Obamao Wher?!).  Second, the NPR exec was quoting Republicans…

Ron Schiller speaks of growing up as a Republican and admiring the party’s fiscal conservatism. He says Republican politicians and evangelicals are becoming “fanatically” involved in people’s lives.But in the shorter tape, Schiller is also presented as saying the GOP has been “hijacked” by Tea Partyers and xenophobes.

In the longer tape, it’s evident Schiller is not giving his own views but instead quoting two influential Republicans — one an ambassador, another a senior Republican donor. Schiller notably does not take issue with their conclusions — but they are not his own.

Another example…

On the shorter tape, for instance, one of the fake donors is heard assailing a “Zionist” influence on the media — and Liley, NPR’s senior director of institutional giving, is heard responding affirmingly.

The O’Keefe associate posing as potential donor Ibrahim Kassam says NPR is “one of the few places that has the courage to present it [fairly]. There’s kind of a joke that we used to call it National Palestinian Radio.”

Some laughter follows. But the shorter tape does not include Ron Schiller immediately telling the two men that donors cannot expect to influence news coverage.

“There is such a big firewall between funding and reporting: Reporters will not be swayed in any way, shape or form,” Schiller says on that longer tape, in one of several such remarks.

The entire thing was re-mixed to get reaction quotes to stuff said waaay earlier.

In addition, several times the donors seek to goad Schiller and Liley into making inflammatory statements about conservatives or Fox News personalities, and they deflect them. At one point, Liley explains that she attended Purdue University, which she describes as a conservative and respected research university, and that people there relied on Fox to get much of their news.

Menz, the digital forensics consultant, said he found some of Schiller’s actual remarks disturbing. But by analyzing time stamps, Menz concluded that many of Schiller’s remarks in that shorter video are presented out of sequence from the questions that were posed.

“For me, in my background, it immediately puts things into question,” Menz said. “You really don’t know what context these were in, what was going on in the 20 minutes before and after this question was asked.”

Finally we got to why this crap gets pushed out, and who fell for it…again…

Tompkins said O’Keefe’s editing is repeatedly and blatantly unfair.

“Except for a couple of unfortunate forays for political opinion, I think that Ron Schiller actually did a fairly remarkably good job of explaining how NPR works and what you can and cannot expect if you contribute money to the NPR Foundation,” Tompkins said.

Blaze editor Baker said he emerged from analyzing the tapes with a surprising degree of respect for the professionalism of the two NPR executives, Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley.

“I think if you look at two hours in total, you largely get an impression that these are pretty — they seem to be fairly balanced people, trying to do a fairly good job,” Baker said.

In recent days, several influential journalists have written that they regret giving O’Keefe’s NPR videos wider circulation without scrutinizing them for themselves, given his past record and some of the objections that the Blaze first raised. They include Ben Smith of Politico, James Poniewozik of Time magazine and Dave Weigel of Slate.

“The speed at which the media operates when a video comes out is a problem,” Weigel said Sunday. “I mean, the rush to be the first to report on a video — and, let’s be brutally honest, the rush is to get traffic and to get people booked on [cable TV] shows to talk about it — and that nature leads you to not do the rigor and fact-checking that you would do in other situations.”

And that, I think, is my point:  “Fox Style” journalism: Big Headline and Conclusions First, Fact-Checking later, if ever….is now the norm.   Congrats, Roger, you won.   You’ve turned the news world in its head.  Now it’s the impression, not the facts, that matter. 

This story is now added to piles of crap that make up much “common wisdom” around these parts.   Not only has pretty much everyone reported on the initial b.s. story (and won’t do much, if any, of a mea culpa), but those of us who waited to see how it played out before going off not only lost of the initial reaction, but now have to deal with the legions of derp-tards who have had their wildest dreams validated and won’t spend nary a second contemplating how dishonest this whole thing turned out to be.

Nor will they do so next time, if history is a good judge of the future.

——

*

When Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking Republican leader in the House, held a news conference Thursday to accuse Democrats of exploiting the threats and vandalism they have faced since passing the health care bill, to reap publicity and partisan advantage, he got quite a bit of publicity himself by announcing that a bullet had been shot through the window of one of his Richmond campaign offices earlier in the week.

But an investigation indicated that the bullet, which was fired Tuesday about 1 a.m., was probably not aimed at his office, the police said Friday.

“We believe it was a stray bullet as a result of random gunfire,” Gene Lepley, the public information manager for the Richmond Police Department, said in an interview.

 [full story]

Yes, Eric Cantor is *that big* of a hypocrite.

Republicans Bring Honesty Back to Government Introduce : “Repealing the Grandma Killing, Job Killing, America Hating, Socialist, Unpatriotic, Total Government Takeover of Health Care Law Act”

Ok, full honesty…that title is a slight embellishment.

The *actual* title of the legislation only includes one refernce to killing, “This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act’’.

This is a curious thing to do, since there actually is no “Job-Killing Health Care Law” on the books.   There is one that keeps insurance companies from canceling policies on people after they get sick, and one that expands access to health care, and one that removes lifetime caps from insurance payments so chronic illness doesn’t always lead to bankrupty….I wonder if that’s the one Republicans want to repeal?   

Get used to this, BTW.  The Derp-a-Derp Congress just took their seats.

House Minority Leader John Boehner was fired up and ready to go at the Tea Party rally today.

He even held up his pocket copy of the Constitution, pledging to “stand here with our Founding Fathers, who wrote in the pre-amble: ‘We hold these truths to be self evident …”

[full derp]

If reading aloud documents doesn’t prove to you that Republicans love America more than you (especially when they boo certain “unAmerican” amendments]), then it’s pretty obvious you are a socialist.  Probably a literate one too, which is waay worse.

More on this later…but I was shocked, *shocked*, that the folks who made up a new term and put in the title of unconstitutional law would get out of the gate quickly doing the exact same thing.

UPDATE:  Oh yeah, I remember these guys…

House Republicans announced Monday that they would vote to repeal health care reform legislation next week. The legislation that they would repeal, according to an estimate by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, would reduce the budget deficit by $143 billion over a decade.

 According to the rules laid out by the incoming House Republican majority, the House must pay for all new legislation that increases federal spending – and a repeal bill, of course, is a form of legislation. That would suggest that they must come up with $143 billion to make up for the cost of repealing the health care bill.

 The GOP solution? To exempt repeal from that rule.

 On page 26 of the GOP rules package, which will be voted on tomorrow, is word that Republicans can “exempt the budgetary effects of legislation repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010.”

(Also exempt, incidentally: The cost of extending the Bush-era tax cuts and the estate tax under the tax deal worked out late last year, changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax, the cost of a 20 percent gross income deduction for small businesses, and the cost of implementing trade agreements. In addition, tax cuts in general do not have to be paid for.)

This is just for those that haven’t caught on yet, the reason we have a $14,000,000,000,000 deficit is largely that last bit, Republicans believe that “tax cuts in general do not have to be paid for”.     Take a balanced budge, cut taxes, and you run up a deficit.  Do it for 30 years and you get a $14,000,000,000,000 hole and whole generation that thinks this makes sense.

BTW, Eric Cantor (R-eally?) covered up this b.s. with a HUGE whopper.

UPDATE: Asked about the budget implications of repeal Tuesday afternoon, Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said: “I think most people understand that the CBO did the job it was asked to do by then the Democrat majority and it was really comparing apples to oranges because it talked about ten years worth of tax hikes and six years worth of benefits. Everyone knows beyond the ten-year window this bill has the potential to bankrupt this federal government as well as the states.”

First up is his subtle accusation that the CBO is playing politics.  The 6 year/10 year thing is a false talking point.  The benefits of the bill (1o years worth) have already kicked in (stuff like keeping “kids” up to 26 on insurance, spending cap removal, ending recission b.s.).  These aren’t funded by taxes.  The stuff that is…kicks in when the taxes do.  Cantor is lying about that.

He’s also lying about the longer term “cost”.  Be very careful when anyone talks about what “everyone knows” while trying to convince you of something….

First, the preliminary estimate released by the CBO on March 18, 2010, does not say the legislation will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years. Rather, it projects that in the second 10 years, the legislation would reduce deficits “in a broad range around one-half percent of GDP.”

In order to arrive at the $1.2 trillion figure, Pelosi — and other Democratic leaders who have cited it — had to extrapolate that number based on a forecast of where the gross domestic product will be 10 to 20years from now (which the CBO doesn’t do).

So, to re-iterate…the CBO says that “long term” HCR is likely to reduce deficits by half a percent of (then) GDP.   Knowing what GPD is going to be in 20 years is not an easy thing to do, but they tried and that’s what they came up with…savings of roughly 0.5% of GDP in the second decade.  That’s a big number, BTW, as our GPD is huge (about the same size as our deficit, curiously enough).

So Cantor takes a highly caveated guestimate which says one thing (HCR saves money over the short term and the longer term) and then flatly declares that everyone knows the opposite is true…despite *his own scorekeeper* saying he’s full of shit.

He’ll get away with this.  That’s why they do it.