It’s the most dangerous time of an election year on Capitol Hill. It’s neither rabbit season nor duck season. It’s lame duck season, which means that crazy things may (and probably will) transpire between now and the first session of the new Congress in January.
With a huge spending bill to pass before a government shutdown on December 9th, we will see as much fluff squeezed into it as possible. That’s the problem with lame duck legislation. Many of the people voting on it have no accountability to the voters. On their way out the door, they can do what’s best for them, their cronies, or even their future lobby bosses.
The lame duck session also gives the major parties an out so they don’t have to address controversial items before an election. The punted impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, while not directly attached to the lame duck session, is an example of something that would have happened if this weren’t an election year.
All business should be taken care of before the election. Voters will have a chance of holding Congress accountable with their votes. Important decisions won’t be made by people who won’t even be around in a couple of months. Doing so will help to reduce instances of real or perceived corruption such as the infamous reindeer farmer who swung the vote for a trillion dollar “cromnibus” in 2014.
Should Congress do anything during lame duck sessions? Of course. They should be prepared to handle emergencies. This doesn’t require a pre-established session; unlike the Great Depression and WWII, we should be able to pull Congress together quickly in case of emergency. What they should be doing during lame duck sessions is preparation. Transition of a new Congress is relatively smooth today, but it can be improved. Moreover, the time can be used by politicians who will be part of the next Congress to work towards future legislation that’s voted on during the first session of the next Congress. This will allow Congress to work more efficiently by reducing the learning curve and preparation time.
All of this can be done through Constitutional Amendment, though such a drastic measure hasn’t been necessary since the ratification of the 20th Amendment. Instead, internal rules can be put into place and agreed upon by both chambers and both parties. The rules could be changed in the future, of course, so it wouldn’t be as powerful as an Amendment, but it’s better than nothing. Perhaps if we ever hold a Convention of States, we could include such an Amendment, though it’s unlikely something so small would even hit the radar.
There are bigger issues to address, but we can’t continue to let the smaller issues slide as a result. Lame duck sessions can be easily resolved. We simply need enough people to stand up and say they don’t want the most corrupt seasons of every election year to continue to harm the nation.
At least half of the governors in the United States have refused to take the Syrian refugees and “refugees” or called for a halt to the resettlement which the federal government, meaning President Obama, is intent upon seeding in cities all around the nation. But, it appears that these governors have no legal leg on which to stand, since it is the US Congress that establishes “an uniform Rule of Naturalization” and, back in 1980, the Democratic Party-majority 96th Congress passed the Refugee Act, which, of course, was signed by Democrat President James E. Carter. (I would say something cutting about Democrats here, but I’m sure that the Act seemed like a good idea at the time. However, it is important to know which party did what.)
And of course, President Obama knew this going in, or at least his advisers did. So, in spite of state executive orders, like the one accomplished yesterday by Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), the die is likely cast.
So what can we expect?
My friend, Everett Powell, says this:
The one thing the Feds can’t do is force the states to provide services and support for Obama’s refugee program – which by all accounts makes it EXTREMELY difficult for them to continue the resettlement.
I suspect what you will see done is vast numbers of people just being dumped at bus stops and train stations in the States resisting for the sake of creating images for a media campaign of people suffering sleeping in the streets. We are entering winter and there will be such a caterwauling out of the White House about cruel uncharitable Christians and GOP barbarians as the world has never seen.
That is certain, but there is something else to expect. If the mean, horrible Red and Reddish states (like Michigan) will not provide services for these people, they will migrate to those which will, like California and other states which are already overloaded with people on various forms of welfare. This will speed up the financial reckoning for these states–and for the country–something which is already in view.
And even if there is not one terrorist among the new arrivals, this will bring chaos.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abandoned his bid for speaker Thursday afternoon just minutes before the election, throwing the House of Representatives into chaos.
Outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced during a meeting of House Republicans that elections were being postponed. Pandemonium broke out in the Longworth Office Building, where Republicans had been expected to nominate McCarthy, as lawmakers and aides reacted to the news with astonishment.
“With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I am asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones wrote in a letter to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).
Feel free to disagree (Yid with Lid does) but I’d like to point out the day started with former Vice president Dick Cheney endorsing him and he’s a smart enough cookie not to spend political capital foolishly. He would have figured the Benghazi remarks wouldn’t sink him but likely wouldn’t have known about anything Walter Jones might have been referring to.
On Thursday a federal grand jury indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert for breaking banking laws and lying to FBI agents. Prior to his entry into politics, Hastert was a teacher and a state champion wrestling coach at Yorkville High School 50 miles southwest of Chicago. The charges are rooted in a sexual affair with a male student at that school–the over $1 million the man nicknamed “Coach” in Congress was apparently hush money to keep the man quiet.
Amid the reports of the bombshell Hastert indictment was news that legislation authorizing a $500,000 statue of the former speaker for the grounds of the state capitol was introduced earlier this month by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who is also chairman of the state party. According to AP, Hastert, citing the ongoing state budget crisis, declined the offer. Or more likely, he saw his indictment on the horizon.
Madigan’s proposed 2016 Illinois budget includes a $4 billion deficit–despite constitutional requirements that the state budget must be balanced. But Madigan, who was arguably the most powerful Democrat in state government even when Illinois had a Democratic governor, somehow found money–or maybe he didn’t–to put the Coach in bronze.
Worse, Illinois’ public worker pensions are unfunded by an astounding $110 billion.
Democrats are not serious about cutting spending in Illinois.
As for Hastert, his speakership was of the Illinois-kind. House Republicans who played Denny’s game were rewarded earmarks–and that reckless spending contributed to the end of the GOP majority in the House in 2006.
The Coach also played footsie with Illinois Democrats–and he was a leader in the bi-partisan graft machine dubbed the Combine by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass.
So in a way, while Hastert is deserving in a twisted way of the honor of $500,000 statue, preciously scarce taxpayer funds should not be squandered on this monument.
Given the educational standards advanced by Democrats in public school one might expect members of the party to have issues with basic skills such as math comprehension & Geography and problem solving.
However the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representative is Nancy Pelosi who having been born in 1940 was educated long before her liberal fellows took over the educational system and under her leadership her caucus is giving strong evidence that not only are their mathematical skills on par with former Democrat speaker Tip O’Neill but their geographical and problem solving skills are greater than expected.
To wit, they have taken a look at the electoral map and have concluded that there is little or no chance of their party convincing enough voters in increasingly conservative congressional districts nationwide to return control of the house to their party anytime in the decade, let alone in the near future leaving their liberal agenda in doubt.
“Personally, I don’t want to waste two years,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said Wednesday. “And I think that the crazy Tea Party type would probably not be willing to work with us on anything.
“My hope is that, what comes out of this is that Boehner realizes that there are some people in his caucus who are unreasonable, and you can never get them to say ‘yes’ to anything,” McGovern added. “Rather than spending so much time agonizing over how to please them, maybe he just ought to focus on how you build more bipartisan coalitions and actually get some things done.”
McGovern is making perfect sense here, why bother spending millions of dollars in a futile effort to sell your horrible destructive ideas to the American public when you just have to win over already elected republicans in fairly safe districts? The math is so much easier.
And if there is one thing we know if there is one thing the GOP establishment and leadership have in common with the Democrats, it’s their absolute hatred of the GOP conservative base.
You might want to keep that in mind the next time the GOP asks you for money.
One might debate if this is a smart diplomatic move or no when dealing with an ally, but perhaps Israel’s prime minister is using a Christian standard to judge who is a ally or no:
“Either declare the tree good and its fruit is good, or declare the tree rotten and its fruit is rotten, for a tree is known by its fruit.
One could take a look at the condition of the Middle East to see how good his policies have been, but rather than rehash the last few years let’s take a peek at two events of this week
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will represent the United States at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Tuesday—rather than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden—while other countries are slated to send their heads of state.
well it’s not like other heads of state are showing up…oh wait:
“Heads of state from France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark will be present,” Wiser adds.
President Barack Obama will cut short his three-day trip to India to travel to Saudi Arabia to pay respects following the death of King Abdullah, U.S. and Indian officials said today, hours before the U.S. president was to depart for New Delhi.
The schedule change means Obama will skip plans to visit the Taj Mahal, the white marble monument of love. Pradeep Bhatnagar, a top state official based in the city of Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, said U.S. security officials informed him of the cancellation today.
So let’s get this straight, the head of a Regime that doesn’t allow women to vote, or drive & restricts Christians & Jews (if they were allowed) is worth this Administration time.
Remembering murdered jews by either the Nazi’s or Islamic Terrorists is not.
Update: Now I know why Obama took the bust of Churchill out of the Oval Office
When in November 1932, shortly before Hitler came to power, and Churchill was in Munich doing some historical research about the First Duke of Marlborough,…an intermediary [Putzi Hanfstaengl] tried to get him to meet Hitler, who was in Munich at the time and had high hopes of coming to power within months. Churchill agreed to meet Hitler, who was going to come to see him in his hotel in Munich, and said to the intermediary: “There are a few questions you might like to put to him, which can be the basis of our discussion when we meet.” Among them was the following question: “What is the sense of being against a man simply because of his birth? How can any man help how he is born?”
This may seem a simple sentiment to us now, but how many people, distinguished people from Britain, the United States and other countries, who met or might have met Hitler, raised that question with him? So surprised, and possibly angered, was Hitler by this question that he declined to come to the hotel and see Churchill.
We’ve been getting a lot of advice from our media betters about how the GOP should act, about how they should reverse Harry Reid’s rules and how they should now respect the sentiments of the new Democrat minority, that same minority that was willing to back the Reid rules when it worked to their advantage.
Now that they have been defeated there are plenty of bills still sitting on Harry Reid desk waiting to see the light of day.
I want to see how many of those bills Harry Reid allows to make to the floor. I want to see how many are sent to the floor, I want to see if the old rules are returned, I want to see if the last months of this congress will be the same as the previous 23.
Until we see this, nobody on the GOP side should even give lip service to anything our friends on the left want.because there is absolutely no reason for them to believe that if Democrat fortunes rise again they would treat the GOP any differently
Let me introduce you to Ann Wofford she is the GOP candidate running in the Massachusetts 3rd District for congress
Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching her debate incumbent Niki Tsongas in Devens Ma. and if you following my livetweet of the debate you would realize she is something special.
Tsongas is a practiced debater and a well spoken woman but Wofford not only answered questions directly but her plain-spoken opponent was not only more than a match for her but bluntly spoke truths that would make any Conservatives’ heart go pitter patter on comprehensive healthcare
question on jobs #wolford Talks about regulation killing jobs ” Congress has shown it can’t do comprehensive anything” #ma3#ma3debate
Those three quotes: The Federal government is not here to save us, Nobody believes this president anymore and “Congress has shown it can’t to comprehensive anything” would all be best sellers at any GOP event nationwide and are sentiments that a majority of the country might support.
And when Niki Tsongas pushed a minimum wage increase as a panacea for women in distress & the middle class in distress Wofford bluntly answered “We live in two different worlds.” that pretty much sums up conservatives vs liberals on real life. I summed up the debate here
And livetweeted throughout the event. I didn’t shoot much video other than the closing statements
but the Lowell Sun site has video available. but that not what struck me about this debate.
as I mentioned when summing up this is the first time I’ve gone to a Tsongas debate and didn’t see a line of Niki Tsongas yard signs lining the road that you take to the debate, in fact if I didn’t know which road to take or have printed directions a person driving through the main road through Devens who have absolutely no idea this event was going on.
I submit and suggest this was deliberate, Tsongas is a good candidate but Wofford is an impressive woman and the last thing you want if you are an incumbent of the Gilligan party in one of the most depressed districts in a state is to highlight an opponent that simply radiates competence.
But that point raises another. It’s one week before election day. Why am I only now discovering this about Ann Wofford?
The district is considered relatively competitive, and Tsongas has several times barely cleared 50 percent against relatively unknown and outspent GOP opponents. There have even been competitive primaries for the chance to face her.
But this time, nobody stepped up—which is why, Wofford tells me, she decided to do it herself. “I just feel that is outrageous,” for the incumbent to go unchallenged, she says. “I do not feel that I am represented by my current congressperson, and I refuse to be told you have no choice.”
In a year when competence is the #1 issue, in an era where the left is constantly pushing the “anti-woman gop” lie don’t you think that a highly competent, poised woman who can go toe to toe with a long-term incumbent might be someone you want to push? Particularly when you’ve only got three contested congressional seats in the state:
Wofford, a chemical engineer with 17 years in the private sector, was raised in Western Massachusetts and now lives in Haverhill with her husband and two daughters. She emphasizes fiscal responsibility, concerns about the Affordable Care Act (her husband works in New Hampshire, where just one provider participates in the health insurance exchange), and securing the borders against illegal immigrants. Her rhetoric, while not rabid by any means, is a bit too Tea Party-tinged for most of the state, but will resonate with a lot of people in that district.
So will her demands for more transparency in the federal government, and her charge of “dysfunction” in Washington politics. “It’s a separate world, where they help each other,” while the middle class stagnates, she says.
So you’ve got an intelligent, well educated and successful woman running in a competitive district and the party is doing squat to push her? Excuse me?
If I was the in charge of pushing the GOP in the state neither I nor any of my surrogates would be making a media appearance without mentioning Ann Wofford. If I had a visiting out-of-state party member visiting I’d have Ann on stage to meet them. The moment any person from either the left or the press (but I repeat myself) breathed the words “War on Woman” I’d be throwing Ann Wofford in their faces.
At the very least, Wofford stands as a welcome female face for a Massachusetts Republican Party sorely lacking them. Good luck trying to remember the last Republican woman nominee, let alone winner, for Congress or U.S. Senate in the Bay State.
On the national level I understand the party not putting a lot of resources into Massachusetts because, well it’s Massachusetts one of only 4 states that Obama is not upside down but that doesn’t excuse people at the state level not getting the word out. Other than Mary Lotz, Frank Ardinger and Richard Shufford I haven’t even heard a person mention her name. let alone tweet it.
After all how are you going to get the national party to kick in to turn things around if you don’t even let them see when you have a diamond in the rough?
I admit that this is my first piece on Wofford this cycle & I should have gotten to her sooner but despite what some might think I’m not paid to promote the GOP (although hits to DaTipJar are happily accepted) and there are people in the party who are, hell I’m not even a republican.
Anyway her web site is here. She deserves your support and attention because this is a woman to watch even if you have to figure out to watch her on your own.
The Republicans blocked a bill on Wednesday that could have increased the minimum wage. President Barack Obama and Democrats are furious, but Republicans are holding firm.
The current minimum wage is $7.25 an hour; with an increase over three years, the wage would have been $10.10 an hour.
The rhetoric from democrats looking for $10.10 has been pretty steady including yesterday on Morning Joe.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said that she supports raising minimum wage in the state of California to $26 an hour, adding that she doesn’t think such a hike would hurt small business owners.
Speaking on CNN’s “Crossfire,” the California Democrat disagreed with Republican congressmen looking to keep minimum wage the same, or in one case, to be abolished as a whole.
While the left continues to use this issue to play the class war card this actually sets up the right for the perfect counter which was, ironically provided by by Democrat Governors in Maryland:
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) touted his state’s move to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and knocked Republicans for blocking a similar measure this week in the U.S. Senate during a speech to Nevada Democrats on Friday night.
HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday became the first in the country to pass legislation that would increase a state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, the same rate President Obama wants for the federal minimum wage.
The bill passed the General Assembly, which Democrats control, largely along party lines. It was approved 21 to 14 in the Senate and 87 to 54 in the House.
I think these are both incredibly foolish moves for their states but consistent with the right of individual states to go their own ways. In terms of the midterm elections and beyond I think the Republicans should highlight, promote and applaud these moves by the bluest of blue states.
In fact we should point to those states where the left has overwhelming unstoppable control like Rhode Island, Vermont and even Massachusetts to do the same saying: “Go ahead blue states, raise that minimum wage to $10.10, in fast raise it more.” If I was the GOP I’d even challenge California dems to follow Barbara Lee’s advice & push their minimum wage all the way to $26 an hour.
At the same time I’d encourage Red States like North & South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas to stand pat & let free market forces dictate wages.
And then lets watch the fruit of these moves.
If the left is right then these moves will create booms in their states, The whole New England region will have a renaissance! Maryland economy, already fueled by federal dollars and K-Street, will become even stronger. As for California, if they raise that wage to $26 and hour will become the new promised land.
We can watch business flock to all of these blue states to operate and bring prosperity, tax revenues and population will come with it. By the time of the 2020 census the left will reap the greatest of political rewards of increased population and representation putting them in the driver’s seat in the house for a decade.
The left will have cause to celebrate their good fortune.
But if they’re wrong, their states will further entropy. Small business will continue to flee along with tax revenues and population and only the need to feed and clothe those who remain and to support the bureaucracy will keep business there at all and the Red States will have a lock on the House that will begin to resemble the Democrat dominance that wasn’t broken till 1994.
If the left truly believes in what they are pushing, they’ll make that bet in every state they currently control. and if the right is smart they’ll prompt and goad them into it until they do.
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