McConnell takes Republican hypocrisy to a new level

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been reminded of his support of the Citizens United ruling after he warned big businesses to “stay out of politics” as they denounced a controversial new voting law in Georgia …

He issued his call for firms to “stay out of politics” as Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines criticized the policy along with other firms. Major League Baseball also announced that it would relocate the 2021 All-Star Game due to be held in Atlanta …

A number of commentators reacted to the Republican leader’s remarks by reminding him of his support for the Citizens United ruling that permitted corporations, unions and other outside groups to spend unlimited sums on elections.

“Mitch McConnell knows corporations are not people—that’s why he’s so quick to silence them,” the End Citizens United campaign tweeted Sunday. “He only considers them ‘people’ when cashing their checks and watching their dark money ads in support of his campaign of voter suppression and gridlock.”

There’s little or no need to fill in the details of McConnell’s hypocrisy. He fits the role of leader of the Republican Party in Congress perfectly. Deciding what they want, taxing American workers and their families to pick up the tab. He knows exactly which class owns his heart and soul. If he had one.

Republican leadership unveils their immigration plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his party’s long-awaited plan on immigration on Wednesday, telling reporters, “We must make America somewhere no one wants to live.”

Appearing with House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell said that, in contrast to President Obama’s “Band-Aid fixes,” the Republican plan would address “the root cause of immigration, which is that the United States is, for the most part, habitable.”

“For years, immigrants have looked to America as a place where their standard of living was bound to improve,” McConnell said. “We’re going to change that.”

Boehner said that the Republicans’ plan would reduce or eliminate “immigration magnets,” such as the social safety net, public education, clean air, and drinkable water…

Attempting, perhaps, to tamp down excitement about the plan, McConnell warned that turning America into a dystopian hellhole that repels immigrants “won’t happen overnight.”

“Our crumbling infrastructure and soaring gun violence are a good start, but much work still needs to be done,” he said. “When Americans start leaving the country, we’ll know that we’re on the right track.”

In closing, the two congressional leaders expressed pride in the immigration plan, noting that Republicans had been working to make it possible for the past thirty years.

I have nothing to add to such a complete description of the goals of Republican politics.

Thanks, Mike

Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager named as Ron Paul’s bribery bagman


“Just make the check out to cash!”

The campaign manager for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican locked in a tough re-election battle, resigned late Friday in fallout from a scandal stemming from his time with the 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaign.

McConnell is facing Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes in a race Republicans view as important if they are to secure control of the Senate.

While denying any wrongdoing during his time working for Paul, Jesse Benton said blah, blah, blah, blah.”

Benton was the spokesman for the libertarian Paul’s unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign when, during the Republican primary season, a supporter of a rival candidate was secretly paid by a Paul staffer to publicly switch sides.

Former Iowa Republican state Senator Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty this week to concealing $73,000 he was paid to endorse Paul over U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann.

McConnell has dropped Benton like the hot potato he obviously is.

Maybe handling a smooth job of bribery was one of the qualities that appealed enough to McConnell to choose him as campaign manager. Lots of money floating around the political career of a bought-and-paid-for hack like Mitch McConnell.

Drug maker gets even more favors from Congress courtesy of the phony fiscal cliff

Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the “fiscal cliff” bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs.

The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients.

The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company’s chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period.

Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay, according to several Congressional aides of both parties.

Supporters of the delay, primarily leaders of the Senate Finance Committee who have long benefited from Amgen’s political largess, said it was necessary to allow regulators to prepare properly for the pricing change.

But critics, including several Congressional aides who were stunned to find the measure in the final bill, pointed out that Amgen had already won a previous two-year delay, and they depicted a second one as an unnecessary giveaway…

The provision’s inclusion in the legislation to avert the tax increases and spending cuts that made up the so-called fiscal cliff shows the enduring power of special interests in Washington, even as Congress faces a critical test of its ability to balance the budget.

Amgen has deep financial and political ties to lawmakers like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senators Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy as the leaders of the Finance Committee.

RTFA, read ’em and weep. It’s business as usual in Congress for so-called conservatives who save their philosophical discourse to limiting civil rights and civil liberties – with no limits on the kickbacks they take from corporate America.

It stinks on ice!

Republicans block bill guaranteeing equal pay rights for women


Senator Barbara Mikulski and Lily Ledbetter
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Republican legislators have blocked a bill in the US senate that would have made it easier for women to sue their employers to ensure pay equality…With politicians voting along exact party lines on Wednesday, the Paycheque Fairness Act introduced by Democrats fell eight votes shy of the 60 necessary to make it to the senate floor for debate.

“It’s a very sad day here in the United States senate, but it’s a sadder day every day when paycheck day comes and women continue to make less than men,” Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving woman senator and a supporter of the bill, said after the vote.

The White House had been an advocate of the bill, which Democrats said would have strengthened laws against wage discrimination by barring companies from retaliating against employees who voluntarily share pay data with colleagues, and would have made it easier for women to file pay discrimination lawsuits…

Mitch McConnell, the senate minority leader, said no Republicans were voting for the legislation because…blah, blah, blah. He lies like a rug.

Lilly Ledbetter, the woman whose name was attached to prior equal pay legislation that became the first bill signed into law by Obama in early 2009, watched the procedural vote from the senate gallery.

“This is not right. This country is smarter, we’re better than this,” she said…

Today’s Republicans have never encountered a bill supporting and expanding civil rights and civil liberties they didn’t oppose. The lies advanced to rationalize away opposition vary from year to year, bill to bill. The truth remains the same. They can’t countenance every American having an equal opportunity to succeed.

Buffett challenges Congressional Republicans: You pay – so will I


C’mon, Mitch – put up or shut up!
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Warren Buffett is willing to put his money where his mouth is, if only congressional Republicans would join him.

The billionaire investor, in the new issue of Time magazine, says he will donate $1 to paying down the national debt for every dollar donated by a Republican in Congress. The only exception is Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell – for whom Buffett said he would go $3-to-$1.

The idea stems from a New York Times opinion piece Buffett wrote last August in which he said the rich ought to pay more taxes. It sparked an instant controversy, with some Washington conservatives calling on the 81-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” to voluntarily pay extra…

He went on to tell the magazine that what the country needed was a system that favored people who were not born investors.

“We need a tax system that takes very good care of people who just really aren’t as well adapted to the market system, and to capitalism, but are nevertheless just as good citizens, and are doing things that are of use in society,” he said.

Republicans will do anything to help their cause – except help the country.

Obama vows national aid for Joplin – Republicans say NO!


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

President Barack Obama promised victims of the deadliest U.S. tornado in 65 years that the federal government would help them rebuild, saying on Sunday it was a national tragedy.

“The cameras may leave. The spotlight may shift,” he told a memorial service for the 139 known victims of the May 22 twister. But the federal government “will be with you every step of the way until Joplin is restored and this community is back on its feet,” Obama said to a standing ovation from survivors.

Before the service in an auditorium at Missouri Southern State University, Obama rolled up his sleeves and toured a disaster scene where crushed cars, piles of wood, clothing and a broken dishwasher lay helter-skelter amid the debris on lots where houses once stood.

The president, who returned on Saturday night from a six-day trip to Europe, vowed to cut through any federal red tape to help with rebuilding that he predicted would be “a tough, long slog.”

This is just not your tragedy,” he said after meeting survivors. “This is a national tragedy and that means there’s going to be a national response.”

Meanwhile –

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor assured the people of Joplin, Mo., Sunday that Congress will help them recover, but said the funds must be offset elsewhere. That means they won’t get a penny until after negotiations in Congress to cut other programs designed for working folks.

Cantor also said House Republicans “absolutely” stand by the Medicare plan of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., despite losing a special election in New York last week.

So, he didn’t miss a chance to back privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare over to our “friends” in the Insurance Business.

Republicans will not participate in any “negotiations” if proposals include removing subsidies to oil companies, corporations actually paying their fair share of taxes and removal of the Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

That’s what Republican aid for folks in Tuscaloosa and Joplin looks like.