“It all points to a culture of political intimidation. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the culture of intimidation is simply confined to the Executive Branch. The Administration’s allies in the Senate are trying to intimidate their political opponents as well. What I’m talking about, is the persistent threat by the Majority to break the rules of the Senate in order to change the Rules of the Senate—in other words, to use the nuclear option—if they don’t get their way.
WASHINGTON — Two prominent old-line Senate Republicans threw down the gauntlet to their more conversative colleagues on Tuesday, challenging them to stop obstructing the passage of a budget.
Led by tea party Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), Republicans have been preventing the Senate from sending the budget it passed earlier this year to a conference committee with the House, at which major differences between the two chambers’ budget bills would in theory be worked out. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been supportive of the blockade.
But on Tuesday, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) blasted the obstruction in a Senate floor showdown with Paul.
McCain went so far as to call his fellow senators’ actions “bizarre.”
Buy anything on the Internet lately without paying sales tax? In all but a few states, you’re probably a tax cheat.
That’s right, even if Internet retailers don’t collect sales tax at the time of the purchase, you’re required by law to pay it in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Here’s the problem for states: hardly anyone pays the tax, and there’s not much states can do about it.
The Senate is expected to pass a bill Monday making it easier for states to collect sales taxes for online purchases. Some of the nation’s largest retailers are rejoicing. But small-business owners who make their living selling products on the Internet worry they will be swamped by new requirements from faraway states.
Slightly more voters say they’ll vote Democratic in the 2014 congressional elections than Republicans, bucking a historical trend of the president’s party losing seats in his sixth year, a new poll Wednesday shows.
Forty-one percent of voters said they’ll vote Democratic while 37 percent said they’ll vote for Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac University survey.
Overall, 48 percent of voters want one party to control both the Senate and House, while 43 percent would like it split. Sixty-four percent of Democrats want complete control, while 30 percent of them want it split. Meanwhile, 50 percent of GOPers want complete control while 44 percent it split. Among independents, 53 percent want complete control and 35 percent want it split.
They will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done — trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you — but their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest. I say misplaced, because to preserve their dignity and their legacy, they should have heeded the voices of their constituents. They should have honored the legacy of the thousands of victims of gun violence and their families, who have begged for action, not because it would bring their loved ones back, but so that others might be spared their agony.
This defeat is only the latest chapter of what I’ve always known would be a long, hard haul. Our democracy’s history is littered with names we neither remember nor celebrate — people who stood in the way of progress while protecting the powerful. On Wednesday, a number of senators voted to join that list.
… . can’t help protect and extend their radical agenda. If this continues with issues like say, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, how long until these same said Tea Partiers continue to provide their support to these Republicans?
Sources inside the Senate tell me that the Republican Conference is scared to death of the tactics of Senators Lee, Cruz and Paul – that it is supposedly putting them in a tough spot.
Several of the Republicans are using the Manchin-Toomey compromise plan as an excuse to cave on the gun filibuster. They claim that Senators Lee, Cruz, and Paul are running ahead of the conference in their insistence on a filibuster.
What they fail to see is that the cloture vote is the vote to stop the gun legislation from passage.
Several Republican Senators intend to vote against the filibuster, but then vote against the overall bill. This is too clever by half. The GOP does not control the Senate as the GOP is want to say every time they don’t want to fight.
Their only power to block a gun control bill is to unite and filibuster.
Voting for cloture is voting for the gun control bill because, again, as the GOP reminds us, they are not in the majority. The only way to stop it is to filibuster.
Lest you think the Republican Party would in any way seriously change course for the 2014 mid term elections, this official GOP mailing that arrived on my doorstep this week will show you otherwise.
It’s clear from this letter and the accompanying survey that the GOP are bound and determined to keep the crazy train rolling through 2014 and beyond.
The letters opens with the following:
Your answers to this survey are extremely important to helping us stop the Obama-Democrat agenda. As Chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee, I will use the results of this survey to inform my fellow members of the Republican Senate Leadership team about your views and opinions on critical issues.
Through this survey we can tightly focus our battle against the Obama-Reid Democrats push to expand the Federal Government into every area of our lives and businesses, creating a massive, all-encompassing welfare state with sky taxes, limited freedoms and a culture of dependence.
And if the point still isn’t clear to you the four page (yes, 4) letter states the following on page 3:
…We must aggressively work to make sure every American understands that the higher taxes advocated by the Obama-Democrats have stifled economic growth, slowed job creation and added unnecessary burden to families and working men and women.
…We must aggressively promote the idea that a smaller, more efficient government that protects our freedom is preferable to the Liberals’ goal of an all-encompassing, cradle to grave government.
…And we must IMMEDIATELY (bolding IS in the original document) keep fighting to undo the horrible, jobs killing “ObamaCare” healthcare plan with its ever increasing costs, punishing mandates on businesses that are already leading to cuts in employer funded insurance and other measures that will undermine quality care - and put more power over our live into the hands of unionized federal bureaucrats.
We face an uphill battle to break through the biased media smokescreen and force President Obama and the Senate Democrats to accept the will of the American people.
In case you’re wondering, no Bryan Fischer didn’t write this thing, although it seems like it could have easily been cobbled together from his Twitter feed.
Also, the GOP states they want to “force” the President and the Democrats to accept the will of the American people. You’d think 332 electoral votes would make the will of the people pretty clear. Apparently not.
The letter ends with (what else?) a plea for donations with a minimum of $30.
Here a couple of scans from the document:
Third page of GOP Senate Survey Letter
From there we move on to the survey and boy is this thing interesting. Here are a few select questions, complete with their insanely biased phrasing:
Which issues are most important for Republicans in the Senate to focus on this year?
- Fighting tax increases
- Stopping passage of amnesty for illegal immigrants
- Protecting local control of education
- Scrutinizing Obama’s judicial nominees
- Blocking efforts to pass another wasteful “stimulus” plan
- Repealing Obamacare
- Stopping expansion of federal welfare programs
- Stimulating job creation with tax incentives and credit gurantees
Do you support an in-depth investigation into government lending programs to failed “green” companies such as Solyndra, that were run by cronies of the President?
Do you believe President Obama’s strategy of treating all other countries as equals to the United States has strengthened our security and weakened the resolve of those who seek to do our nation harm?
Do you believe Russia is a threat to the safety and security of the United States?
Are you in favor of creating a new federal government bureaucracy to oversee and administer healthcare insurance, set prices for health services and act as the “single payer” of all healthcare expenses?
Do you support the Democrats efforts to wipe out all state laws regulating or restricting abortion?
Do Republicans in the U.S. Senate have a responsibility to fight against liberal special interest handouts, tax increases and massive new government programs?
There’s much more than that. You can find the entire survey uploaded below.
Obviously, the Republican party thinks the same strategy that cost them dearly in the 2012 Presidential election will somehow be the ticket to gaining senate control in 2014.
It’s rather unfortunate that we live in a day and age where tripe like this can be presented as an official Republican Party document.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party are set to attack the Republican frontrunner Michael J Sullivan for the Senate seat vacated by Secretary Kerry. They will hold press conferences to highlight Sullivans opposition to same-sex marriage and his opposition to the assault weapons ban.
“We believe that by shining a light on Sullivan, who is widely recognized as the Republican front runner, we can show that the Republican Party is much like the national Republican Party, out of touch, driven by the Tea Party to take extreme positions, and on the wrong side of the issues for Massachusetts,’’ state Democratic Party chairman John W. Walsh said in a statement Tuesday.
But there is another angle to the Democrats’ strategy. By highlighting Sullivan’s socially conservative positions, they hope to energize the GOP primary electorate, propelling Sullivan to victory and thereby ensuring that the Democratic nominee will face the most conservative of the three Republican candidates in the June 25 election.
Anti-Science Bill Dies in Arizona
Arizona’s Senate Bill 1213 died on February 22, 2013, when the deadline for Senate bills to be heard in their Senate committees passed. A typical instance of the “academic freedom” strategy for undermining the integrity of science education, SB 1213 specifically targeted “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming[,] and human cloning” as supposedly controversial. Unusually, however, a sponsor of the bill, Judy Burges (R-District 22), told the Arizona Star (February 5, 2013) that climate science was her primary concern, complaining of imbalance in the presentation of climate change in the public schools.
Anti-Science Bill Dies in Oklahoma
Senate Bill 758 (document), the so-called Oklahoma Science Education Act, which would have undermined the integrity of science education in the Sooner State, is dead. February 25, 2013, was the deadline for Senate bills to pass their committees, but the Senate Education Committee adjourned its February 25, 2013, meeting without considering it. Still active in the Oklahoma legislature is House Bill 1674 (document), styled the Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act, which differs from SB 758 primarily in mentioning “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” as supposedly controversial topics. HB 1674 passed the House Education Committee on a 9-8 vote on February 19, 2013.
Anti-Science Bill Dies in Indiana
Indiana’s House Bill 1283 died on February 25, 2013, when the deadline for House bills to have their third reading in the House passed. The fate of the bill was not unexpected: its sponsor Jeff Thompson (R-District 28) told the Lafayette Journal and Courier (February 3, 2013) that he thought that it would not receive a hearing in the House Education Committee, and a spokesperson for the committee’s chair said that it would not receive a hearing due to the volume of bills and the limited time to address them.
Claiming that “some subjects, including, but not limited to, science, history, and health, have produced differing conclusions and theories on some topics,” HB 1283 would have allowed teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the strengths and weaknesses of conclusions and theories being presented in a course being taught by the teacher” and prohibited state and local education authorities from prohibiting them from doing so.
After Initial Problems, SpaceX Dragon Now Looking Good On Orbit
A dramatic series of events unfolded this morning shortly after the private commercial company SpaceX launched their Dragon capsule into space. This launch was part of the second of 12 planned missions to bring supplies and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS).
To be clear, things are looking good now, and it looks like the mission will proceed. Just not quite as planned.
A House panel defeated several bills Thursday that would put restrictions on abortions, including one bill that would require a woman to view an ultrasound and another that would require a face-to-face consultation before receiving an abortion.
The House Health and Welfare Committee voted 8-7 — with Democrats voting against and Republicans voting for — on six abortion-related bills. Among those was Senate Bill 4, which would require a woman to have a face-to-face consultation with a doctor or a designee before receiving an abortion; and Senate Bill 5, which would require an ultrasound before an abortion.
Senate Bill 4 and Senate Bill 5 have been passed by the Republican-controlled Senate for several years but have never cleared the Democrat-controlled House. Anti-abortion activists emphasized Thursday that SB 4 and SB 5 would give women the information they need before agreeing to a medical procedure.