The response from Vinson? He had “never shot anything other than a water moccasin…”
Today, however, we learn that he ruled that the health care reform law, and the individual mandate, “must be declared void” (as mcjoan of Daily Kos tells us here, that brings the count to 14 rulings in favor of the law and 2 opposed).
So it is plain now that Vinson has his eyes on bigger game than he let on earlier (appropriate for someone who apparently feels a kinship with a poisonous snake).
(And why am I not surprised that Vinson is a teabagger, as noted here?)
Update 3/3/11: Uh, did Vinson get his law degree from a box of Cracker Jacks? How the #@$! does he expect anyone to supposedly reconcile the health care law in seven days??!! (here)
If you’re like me and the hair on the back of your neck is standing up a bit over this, good (for those of you who aren’t suspicious about this, please read the third bulleted item from here; if you aren’t now, you will be).
That’s pretty hilarious coming from a guy who voted to expand rights for gays and lesbians, but later said he regretted the vote; agreed to a “health impact fee” on cigarettes after pledging to fiscal conservatives not to raise taxes; spread a lie that Obama would pass a tax on anyone owning an IRA or 401(k); and vetoed a gas tax to pay for bridge repairs in Minnesota after the disastrous collapse of the I-35W bridge (that veto was overridden, fortunately…actually, I’m not sure what is more at fault here on these awful decisions, cowardice or stupidity – all of this is noted here).
Have fun watching the parade pass you by, "T-Paw." I’m sure Little Ricky will let you borrow his crying towel.
WASHINGTON – Republicans won dozens of elections last fall after claiming Democrats had focused too little on creating jobs. Now GOP lawmakers stand accused of the same charge, using their new House majority to push to repeal the president's health care law, restrict abortions and highlight other social issues important to their most conservative supporters.So far, so good, until the false equivalency festival begins, and Babington gives us this…
Republican leaders say they have a jobs agenda, kicked off by their attempt to unravel what they call the Democrats' "jobs-killing" health overhaul.
Democrats scoff at this notion, and they're hounding Republicans to show how they can put more people to work.
"It's astonishing to me how tone-deaf the Republicans have been in the first weeks of the session," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. "They've talked about everything but jobs."
"Both parties risk appearing to cater to their hard-core supporters at the expense of political centrists worried mainly about jobs."Oh yes, those beloved "centrists" will save the day with bipartisanship, of course (tell me when the spaceship lands).
Read this, Chucky, and tell me, between the Democrats and Republicans, who's focused on job creation and who isn't.
Update 2/1/11: And speaking of non-focus on job creation, I give you this.
(Indiana Repug U.S. Sen. Richard) Lugar said at a breakfast with reporters this month that he believed that many Tea Party supporters were motivated by anger “about how things have turned out for them.” They want to express themselves, but their complaints often boil down to nothing more specific, he said, than “we want this or that stopped, or there is spending, big government.”Uh, yep (substitute “all the” with “any”)…
“These are all, we would say, sort of large cliché titles,” he said, “but they are not able to articulate all the specifics.”
The advocates in Indiana, which national Tea Party groups say has the most organized of the primary efforts, point to Mr. Lugar’s push for the New Start nuclear treaty, which the Senate approved in December; his sponsorship of the Dream Act, which would grant a path to citizenship for limited groups of illegal immigrants; and his votes for President Obama’s picks for the Supreme Court, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.Kind of like the shape of your noggin, Holwager, I would guess, based on this item later in the story…
“The senator would call it bipartisanship, but we think you’re siding with the other side,” said Greg Fettig, a Tea Party supporter in Indiana.
Another, Mark Holwager, said, “He may have been a conservative at one time, but he definitely leans to the left now.”
Mr. Holwager argued that there is a disconnect between Tea Party supporters and many of their representatives in Washington.Why, bless Holwager’s pointed little head; I haven’t encountered such unrestrained egomania and selfishness since this legendary post from Red Stater Cynthia Sneed after Dubya’s more-or-less-not-counting-Ohio electoral victory in 2004 (in response, I give you this, this, and particularly this).
“Heartland America doesn’t feel the same way as people in the cities,” he said. “We do believe in religion, we go to church all the time, we shoot and fish, and love our families. Some of the time you wish folks in the cities would come live with us and see how we live.”
I mean, isn’t his implication just precious that, if you don’t shoot or fish, then you must not go to church or love your families? The purity of his hatred is almost virginal.
If you’re moved to drop Holwager a line and share your thoughts, then why don’t you click here to visit his Facebook page? You can tell him that, if he truly represents “heartland” America, then I’ll take my crowded, decadent, artsy, thoroughly-snow-covered-street-filled cities any day of the week.
And by the way, stay the hell out, Holwager, or else I might be inclined to disregard the whole “love thy neighbor” bit.
Fitzpatrick's most valuable asset is his rep as a squeaky clean Eagle Scout, dedicated, doing his best, listening with brooding earnestness to all. Spoil that image, make people believe he's just another arrogant Beltway pol, and he's history in the next election.Mullane then goes on to claim that “(Since its founding in 2003, CREW) has worked to ‘press allegations of impropriety almost exclusively against Republicans,’ according to Time magazine. Its executive director is Melanie Sloan, a former staffer for Democratic Congressman John Conyers and Sen. Charles Schumer. Enough said.”
It's not a new tactic. It was deployed in 2006, when Fitzpatrick was a one-term incumbent. At the time, Democrats attempted to portray him as political soul mate to Jack Abramoff, the infamous (and formerly imprisoned) K Street Republican lobbyist.
The allegations, concerning tainted campaign cash, were tenuous. But in politics that's academic. It's the headline-grabbing charges aimed at critically injuring reputations that matter. Wreck people because they are wreckable.
In his 1996 book, "Blood Sport," James B. Stewart depicts Washington, D.C., as an amoral city where politics, allegations and investigations are employed to destroy. It's the Beltway pastime.
Stewart quotes from a note left by Vince Foster, White House legal counsel, who killed himself as media jackals and Republican partisans attacked him as he handled several Clinton Administration scandals: "Here, ruining people is considered sport."
In Washington, the recipe for ruining reputations is this: Target and tar. Ridicule. Enlist pundits to commit daily slander and libel. Cue lobbyists and activist lawyers who pose as "good government" types. Aim, fire and voila! The next election could swing your way. It's the reward for being a "concerned citizen."
So, it is no surprise that the oath gaffe ethics complaint was filed by an outfit calling itself Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. ("CREW.")
Gee, that’s interesting, since, as noted here, CREW has called for an investigation into White House-lobbyist relationships (“Democrat” dirty laundry – funny; this of course comes from a “Republic” Party web site), as well as an investigation into the senatorial “campaign” of pretend Dem South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene (here).
Oh, and Mullane also tells us that “Democrats attempted to portray (Fitzpatrick) as political soul mate to Jack Abramoff, the infamous (and formerly imprisoned) K Street Republican lobbyist.”
Speaking of which, any word on whether or not Mikey The Beloved intends to return that pesky little campaign donation from a certain formerly dancing, disgraced-and-now-convicted-and-sentenced ex-House Speaker, which might as well have come from Abramoff (here)?
And funny, but I cannot recall hearing concern from Mullane about “headline-grabbing charges aimed at critically injuring reputations that matter” and “(wrecking) people because they are wreckable” when Patrick Murphy represented this district in Congress for four years.
I had the opportunity to attend Congressman Fitzpatrick's town hall on health care. While I commend the congressman for affording his constituents the opportunity to speak out, I can't say I was impressed.It sure is interesting to see Mikey in action without the Courier Times acting as his PR service, isn’t it?
The first thing I would like to highlight is how the atmosphere surrounding the event differed in comparison to the raucous period when health care reform was debated in Congress.
Absent was the shouting and personal attacks, and opponents of repeal treated the congressman with respect even as they disagreed with him. Their behavior stood in stark contrast to the viciousness former Congressman Murphy endured from opponents. It spoke volumes to the difference of civility between the sides.
That said, I feel many of us left the town hall thinking our congressman has little understanding of important provisions included in health care reform. Instead of showing leadership, Fitzpatrick demonstrated an alarming lack of knowledge regarding the new law, forcing constituents to educate him on legislation he claims to understand.
For example, Fitzpatrick repeatedly stated that he wants a bill that increases competition and allows consumers to purchase insurance plans across state lines. This prompted several frustrated constituents to point to the part of the law that includes insurance exchanges, which provides the competition Fitzpatrick is asking for.
Beginning in 2014, these exchanges would allow individuals and small businesses to pool together and shop for the best price by comparing plans from a variety of insurance providers. This is a major component of the new law, one which will have a major impact on making health insurance more affordable.
After few awkward moments of silence, Fitzpatrick conceded that he was not familiar with that aspect of the bill, and said it was something he would "have to look at."
To make matters worse, the congressman had no clue on what age children are able to stay on their parent's health insurance as a result of reform. Fitzpatrick stated he supports that provision, but didn't know if they were allowed to stay on until the age of 21 or 22. Actually it's 26.
Allowing individuals to stay on their parent's plan not only benefits countless college and high school graduates who are having a tough time finding employment and affordable health coverage, but it's a provision that received enough media attention that it's hard to believe Fitzpatrick isn't clear on the facts.
Not only did the congressman reveal how little he knows about the bill, he ignored repeated calls from constituents to provide his own plan for health care reform. It would be great if the congressman wrote an editorial to this paper laying out, in detail, his own vision for improving health care.
Furthermore, Fitzpatrick did not explain what would happen to those who are already reaping benefits from the law if it is repealed.
What happens to the children with pre-existing conditions who are now covered under the legislation? What happens to the young adults who are on their parents' insurance? What happens to seniors who are enjoying free preventive care and financial assistance for their medication?
These are questions that Fitzpatrick has not yet addressed, but shouldn't come as a surprise to any who attended the town hall.
Throughout the meeting, it became clear that the congressman's main concerns with the bill focused on how it affects businesses rather than how it benefits individuals. He even went as far as to gripe that Walmart would have more paperwork to do as a result of reform.
Addressing the concerns of businesses is necessary, but ignoring the concerns of the people is irresponsible and makes one wonder if Fitzpatrick is more interested in Walmart's paperwork load than covering the uninsured.
Throughout the campaign, many opponents of the law charged that Democratic lawmakers passed health care reform without even reading the bill. Now our congressman has voted to repeal the law before understanding how it would affect millions of Americans, including children, whose lives depend on it.
Constituents are supposed to come to their congressman to learn more about legislation coming out of Washington. At Fitzpatrick's recent town hall, it was the constituents who told the congressman what's in the legislation.
It's disappointing that the congressman didn't really understand the new law and the beneficial impact it has had and will continue to have on this country before voting for the law's repeal. Even if it was nothing more than a symbolic gesture to the tea party, it may be a vote the congressman will come to regret, one that many of his constituents won't forget.
Samantha Kiernan, Falls, is a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania studying political science and sociology.