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The Cost Of Our 'Do-Nothing' Congress

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

Come this Friday, hundreds of US Congress men and women will be flying out of Washington.  Representatives and Senators, headed out, headed home, for a five week August recess.  And here’s the thing:  they’ve done almost nothing in Washington.  The label is “do-nothing” Congress.  Democrats use that label to attack.  Some Republicans wear it almost as a point of pride.  But in a world of so much change and challenge, can we afford inaction?  This hour On Point:  the “do-nothing” Congress tag, and the cost of standing still.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Thomas Mann, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. Co-author with Norm Ornstein of “The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America And How To Get It Back On Track” and “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.”

Harry Holzer, professor of public policy at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. Former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nancy Cordes, Congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Katrina Pierson, former Texas Congressional candidate. Tea Party activist. (@KatrinaPierson)

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Congressional negotiators agree on VA reform: What will they fix? — “It looked like a compromise VA reform bill was in deep trouble after the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committee chairmen clashed publicly on Thursday after weeks of negotiating behind closed doors. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, made up Thursday evening, and agreed to continue working on compromise legislation.

The Hill: Dems eye vacation strategy for ‘do-nothing’ Congress – “Behind President Obama, the Democrats have been touting a long list of legislative priorities they hope will resonate at the polls in November, including proposals to raise the minimum wage, extend emergency unemployment benefits, overhaul the nation’s immigration system and provide equal pay to women in the workplace. Those proposals have roughly no chance of passing through the Republican-controlled House .”

New York Times: A Do-Nothing Congress? Well, Pretty Close – “This House is on track to produce the lowest number of legislative proposals since the Clinton administration. Through mid-May, representatives introduced 18 percent fewer bills compared with the same point in the previous Congress. That’s the largest drop between Congresses in the period beginning in 1995, when Republicans overturned decades of Democratic rule in the House.”

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  • Obamunism 2.0

    If the Congress wants to do something productive and beneficial for the country, then it should start by impeaching Obama.

    • Ray in VT

      Well, if you can’t beat a Democrat at the ballot box….

      • Fredlinskip

        Hey Ray, you reckon “Guest” who has been trolling this site for weeks, might be Honest Debate using his neighbor’s computer?

        • Ray in VT

          Maybe. He might be visiting in order to buy more tinfoil for his hat so that Obama can’t read his anti-Obama thoughts and send the IRS after him and put him in a FEMA concentration camp.

          • jomuir

            the FEMA camp is in Benghazi!

          • Ray in VT

            I knew it!

        • Acnestes

          It might be the roob. He’s in with the Worcester bags in some, “official”, capacity and they probably want to maintain plausible deniability.

        • harverdphd

          You need to get out more…

          • HonestDebate1

            It’s hilarious! I rule their minds.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. Every time I see one of my brother’s cows raise her tail I think of one of your comments.

          • HonestDebate1

            I, Guest and RWB are honored.

          • Ray in VT

            The cows leave less of a stink in their wake, though.

        • hennorama

          Fredlinskip — nah, [Debates?NotHe] generally doesn’t provide sources for his nonsense, unlike “Guest”/Jay/(un)InformedAmerican/57 States/Obamunism 2.0/etc.

      • Cacimo

        LOL. Does that apply to a President who won by corrupt use of the IRS.

        • Ray in VT

          Care to provide some evidence of the President using the IRS in a corrupt way and how that would have and how that translated into 5 million more votes?

    • anamaria23

      Grow up. There is nothing to impeach over and you know it.

    • Zack Smith

      Nixon was impeached for far less than the high crimes committed by Obama. Foremost crime – the admitted assassination of an American citizen without due process http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/5/22/obama_admin_admits_for_first_time_it_killed_four_us_citizens_in_drone_strikes_outside_war_zones

  • Ray in VT

    I am glad to see that a VA deal has been reached. That’s something at least. I am still trying to figure out, though, how it is that we’ve come to the point where we can’t even get a long term deal on how to pay for infrastructure work.

    • Don_B1

      They have to file it (yesterday?) and pass it by Thursday which will be the last legislative session day until the second week of September. And who knows what, if anything, would pass then?

    • hennorama

      Ray in VT – that’s an easy one: The Pledge

      “I, [name] pledge to the taxpayers of [jurisdiction] and to the American people that I will:

      ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

      TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

  • Guest

    If the Congress needs something to do, they could start by repealing Obamacare. Then instead of being called the ‘Do-Nothing Congress’, they would be called the
    ‘Did-Something Good for America’ Congress.

    • Ray in VT

      The millions of people who have gained access to health care coverage over the past year would very likely highly disagree.

      • Don_B1

        It might take something like that to get enough of the “I don’t need to vote in off-year elections” “Democrats” to go out and vote enough of the “do-nothing” idiots out of office in the fall.

  • Fredlinskip

    Good news- There is a general election coming up for House of Reps in November, so we have opportunity to “vote all the bums out” as we have often heard expressed.

    Bad news- in the 435 districts elections, less than 1 in 25 seats are even competitive.
    Currently, It makes no sense TO HAVE ELECTIONS in 418 of 435 districts across the country for our Representatives.
    Witness the magic of computer-generated gerrymandering!

    So why don’t we simply not have elections in these 418 districts??
    With all that $ saved we can give these Congressman bonuses for the GREAT job they have done working together to solve issues in behalf of the American people.

    In Senate, GOP continues to abuse filibuster rule in an unprecedented way, making sure that very few issues even are “deliberated”, which renders the concept of a Democratic majority virtually meaningless.

    So much for Democracy.

    • MrNutso

      You artfully summarize why all those polls showing how low Congress’ ratings are are meaningless.

      • Ray in VT

        Exactly. Most people will keep on voting for their person. It’s everybody else’s guy who is the problem.

  • Gloucester3

    “House is on track to produce the lowest number of legislative proposals since the Clinton administration. ”
    Not my idea of ‘achievement’.
    I would like them to produce a tree structure of fed govt. Once KNOWN, then we could organize it to run effectively, efficiently. Not THEIR goal. Their goal is job preservation, raising money , raising barriers.
    Harry Reid, McConnell,Pelosi,Rangel… have NO idea whar it is to be a ‘regukar person’. Nor do they care. As long as their contributors
    are happy.

  • HonestDebate1

    There is a misnomer that Congress means the House but it means the Legislative branch that includes the Senate. It is in the Senate where the real obstruction is. The House has done their job.

    • Acnestes

      As in, “Heckuva job, Brownie!”

    • Ray in VT

      Congress can either be the House or the House and Senate together.

      Like on immigration reform? The House has been quite good at trying to undermine the ACA, defund ACORN or pass out a bunch of tax code carve outs under the guise of jobs bills.

      • HonestDebate1

        Undermine the ACA? Now that’s funny. Who has undermined his own law more than Obama? And did those most excellent 25 or 30 jobs bills passed in the House get a vote in the Senate? Heck Harry Reid wouldn’t even allow a vote on Obama a few Obama budget proposals. And why on earth should we fund ACORN? Did that get a vote in the Senate?

        • Ray in VT

          It’s not very funny at all. One wonders why the GOP wants to strip funding for the law, thereby creating deficits that they supposedly oppose, or why it is that they are so opposed to getting health care access to millions of people. I guess that they just want the free market to take care of it.

          The “most excellent 25 or 30 jobs bills passed in the House”. Now that is a laugh. Economists don’t seem to view them as “most excellent” in terms of whether or not they would in fact create any jobs, but let’s just repeat the TOP mantra about them.

          Why does the House need to vote on repeatedly defunding an organization which does not exist? Surely it isn’t to rile up the base. I guess that that is one waste of taxpayer dollars that you can get behind. Maybe the House can vote on whether or not we should extend aid to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Maybe the Senate can get around to voting on that.

          How’s that immigration reform vote going in the House?

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s a very shallow analysis. Obama has decreed Obamacare legislation 39 times. Concluding Republicans want to deny people health care is as about absurd as it gets. That is why we’re so divided. Democrats insist Republicans are evil and dispassionate. Republicans just think democrats are stupid.

            So if you and your buddies determine a House bill is not worthy then the entire Legislative process grinds to a halt? If the bill is bad let it get voted down.

            Immigration reform is dead. Obama failed.

          • Ray in VT

            Talk about a shallow analysis. Please just give me the standard TOP lawless Obama ruling by decree some more. If you repeat that lie enough maybe it will become true.

            Republicans don’t want to deny health care to people? Is that why they keep trying to get rid of a law that has brought access to millions of people and have denied Medicaid expansion in many states that they control?

            My friends aren’t doing anything in Congress, and I certainly don’t have the ability to advance or block any particular bill.

            Indeed. Obama failed. He couldn’t get the TOP to vote on something that overwhelmingly passed the Senate. He should have called the House and they would have passed it, right after Yanukovych brought Ukraine into the EU. How’s that up or down theory that the Senate is supposed to use working for that bill in the House? Really well, right?

      • TFRX

        I believe that’s “triple super re-defund ACORN”, to use the correct term.

        • Ray in VT

          That is also probably a “jobs bill”.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — what’s hilarious is [Debates?NotHe] discussing a “misnomer,” presumably with a straight face.

        • Ray in VT

          The irony is probably lost, as he believes the lies that he tells, which he insists makes him honest, or at least not a liar, “by any definition”.

  • Michiganjf

    These Republicans who supposedly don’t like “the government simply throwing money at problems…”

    They do absolutely NOTHING but impede solutions for political reasons, then, when they HAVE TO ACT (as with the current Highway or Veteran’s administration Bill), they SIMPLY THROW SOME MONEY AT THE PROBLEM!!!

    Hypocrites!

  • Markus6

    Ya gotta take the good with the bad. My guess is that most legislation increases the national debt (which is different from the deficit, btw). So, on average the do-nothing congress has slowed the growth of the debt by being incompetent.

    Lots of good things didn’t happen. Nothing on climate change, or capital gains tax or greater efficiency in government or improvements in ACA (like throwing it out and replacing it with single payer). We haven’t fixed the disastrous supreme court ruling on Citizens United.

    But some bad things didn’t happen. Comprehensive immigration reform (i.e. amnesty) doesn’t yet send a signal to tens of millions to start packing for the US. I’m not sure, but still think we’re still under reduced government spending (or at least slowed growth in spending). We haven’t let John McCain push through attacks on everyone short of Canada.

    And what does it matter as this crowd will just wring their hands and vote the same people in next time.

  • HonestDebate1

    Just think how much better off we would have been if Congress had done absolutely nothing for the last 5 1/2 years.

    • Ray in VT

      You just go ahead and believe that, buddy.

      • HonestDebate1

        I certainly will, I can make the case.

        • Ray in VT

          Yes, but it is likely to be as incredibly flimsy as the other cases that you build, support and then declare victory on despite being mostly or totally wrong on either the facts or how the events that you cite actually impact each other.

          • HonestDebate1

            You just go ahead and believe that, buddy.

          • Ray in VT

            Your faulty arguments and ignoring of the most basic of facts speaks volumes on the issue.

          • couchdog27

            not a good idea to engage MonoJello..

            it’s like giving a tea bagger a platform

          • Ray in VT

            MonoJello?

          • couchdog27

            less than honest debater = mono jello

            one track, with the substance of gelatin… don’t expect him to know or use facts, let alone logic or reason… that would be divisive to his attempts at a point

          • Ray in VT

            I have never heard that one.

          • couchdog27

            made up the nick name for HD1 after watching him argue without anything to back his point

          • Ray in VT

            Ah, I see. I thought that perhaps it was a term that was out there in the ether.

          • couchdog27

            only if I go viral

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe do a song. Set it to the tune of Mello Yellow.

          • couchdog27

            of the point… but I always thought mello yellow was some how related to urine… so in this case…maybe it would work

            ur in town

          • Ray in VT

            It sounds like it could be. Apparently there was a rumor about how it was about how one could get high from smoking banana peels.

          • couchdog27

            I forgot about that… but every song from the 60′s was rumored to be about drugs of some sort — and perhaps were…

          • Ray in VT

            Apparently Country Joe McDonald came up with the Mellow Yellow story.

          • couchdog27

            He also came up with

            Give me a F

  • Ed75

    I don’t think it’s a do-nothing Congress so much as a divided Congress. The president blames the House Republicans for not bringing up the bills he wants, which they don’t agree with, but when the House passes a bill it is killed in the Senate by Harry Reid, since the Democratic Senate leadership doesn’t agree with it.

    • HonestDebate1

      Bingo. The democrat controlled executive branch and Senate seem to think the House doesn’t get a say.

    • TFRX

      “Divided” congresses used to not just jam up all the stuff ever simply because the minority opposition wanted to.

      How many countries in the world don’t have a US ambassador because Obama nominated someone, anyone?

      • Ed75

        Yes, one would have to say that it’s very partisan also, but to me that’s based on a profound disagreement.

        • Ray in VT

          Is that the profound disagreement that the President should not be able to nominate people for top posts and expect them to get timely votes?

          • Ed75

            The partisan fighting has gotten pretty rough, and perhaps unfair, on both sides.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed it has gotten pretty bad, but let’s not pretend that both sides are equally to blame here.

          • Godzilla the Intellectual

            We don’t have to pretend – because it’s reality.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think so, but perhaps you disagree.

          • TFRX

            Bullshit on your BothSides.

          • Ed75

            That’s put in a funny way.

        • TFRX

          Your polite doesn’t cover up your stupid.

          • HonestDebate1

            Nobody would accuse you of that.

      • Ray in VT

        The list of open posts is fairly extensive:http://www.defenseone.com/politics/2014/06/senate-politics-leave-28-countries-no-us-ambassador/87508/

        There appear to be a number of cases where political gridlock is slowing down the movement of nominees.

  • HonestDebate1
    • jefe68

      Wow, that was stupid. I want my 2 minutes back.

      • HonestDebate1

        Does it take you 2 minutes to grasp 48 seconds?

        • Ray in VT

          I took me the extra minute and 12 seconds to translate from the Canadian.

          • MrNutso

            Eh?

          • Ray in VT

            Just referencing that Cruz was born in Canada. All of those people who were insisting that Obama couldn’t be President because he supposedly wasn’t born in the U.S. or that because one of his parents wasn’t a citizen seem to be curiously quite regarding Senator Cruz and his potential White House run.

          • MrNutso

            Got it eh. Knew what you meant eh. ;)

          • Ray in VT

            I didn’t even think of the eh as a commentary on my comment.

          • hennorama

            Hoser.

          • MrNutso

            Take off.

          • HonestDebate1

            Is Cruz running? And Obama is not an American? Who knew?

          • Ray in VT

            Teabaggers seem to think that they know. World Nut Daily is still pushing the birther b.s. I think.

          • TFRX

            As a fan of the best Canadian football movie ever, sometimes Canadian English takes some translating.

          • Ray in VT

            I loved that show. I once tried to make mashed potatoes with laundry detergent.

          • TFRX

            My favorite CFL Canadianism is the 15-yard penalty for “objectionable conduct”. Sooooo Canadian.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that my father-in-law’s high school friend’s dad coached the Alouettes at one point.

          • TFRX

            Name of coach?

            And were those the original Als (before Vince Ferragamo destroyed them almost singlehandedly) or the new ones, with the Alouette-with-teeth logo?

            (That I don’t have to look any of this up should be a bit scary.)

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not sure. I never asked because the name wouldn’t have meant anything to me.

          • hennorama

            BLAME CANADA!

          • Ray in VT

            That’s what Brian Boytano’d do.

        • jefe68

          Your obtuseness is showing.

    • OrangeGina

      If you want to take obstruction, then let’s talk about the Republican plan to obstruct Obama legislatively, etc., to make his administration a failure.

    • MrNutso

      Senator Ted Cruz, de facto leader of House Republicans.

      • HonestDebate1

        I wish.

  • Matt MC

    As much as I would like everything I want to happen now and to happen decisively, our democracy was designed to divide, slow, and take the reigns of power away from any one branch of government. The bigger problem is that we as a nation have not decided what we want. We are deeply divided and therefore elect a divided government. Is it so surprisingly then, that we have a “do nothing” Congress with such an apathetic, divisive, and easily distracted public? The best thing that could happen from this impasse is that we break the two party system, and come up with something more responsive to our complex national/global needs.

  • HonestDebate1

    The reason Harry Reid won’t allow so many bills a vote is not because they are partisan hack bills that can’t be taken seriously. It’s because they might pass.

    • Ray in VT

      He’s wary of many pointless and unrelated amendments put forward by the GOP that are designed to embarrass vulnerable Democrats in an election year.

      • HonestDebate1

        No dude, he changed the Senate rules. He doesn’t allow amendments if he doesn’t want them.

        • Ray in VT

          Democrats say that Dole did the same thing. More crocodile tears from conservatives who don’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

          • HonestDebate1

            What’s that rumor got to do with the first point you made and I refuted, Mr. Wizard?

          • Ray in VT

            How is it a rumor, and what exactly do you think that you have refuted, Mr. Animal Torturer.

          • HonestDebate1

            Anytime a sentence begins with “Democrats say”, I consider it a rumor. Add to that I don’t know what rule you are talking about or why it matters at this point. Let’s just say Dole is the devil and most corrupt Senate leader in the history of the universe. So? What’s that got to do with anything.

            I refuted your contention the Reid was concerned about amendments. He simply doesn’t allow them, problem solved.

          • Ray in VT

            “Anytime a sentence begins with “Democrats say”, I consider it a rumor.” That is a fine example of the sort of poor logic and shallow thinking that I have come to expect from you.

            Why the disrespect for former Senator Dole? Why are teabaggers so nasty?

            Here’s the problem with your refute claim. I am working from the definition that to refute is “to prove that (something) is not true”, while you seem to be working from the definition that “to say that (something) is not true”. So let us say that you say that what I have said is not true, but you have not proved it.

        • jimino

          He is simply using the same tactics used by the Republican-controlled house throughout the 90′s. Actually, he’s being much more deferential to the minority than Hastert and DeLay ever were.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is Hastert? Who is Delay? Who is Dole? I may have read about them in an ancient history book somewhere. I think it was called “The Price of Tea in China”.

          • Ray in VT

            Indeed, because history began in January of 2009, that’s why no teapublican can seem to recall anything bad that happened before then.

          • jimino

            Thank you for being so honest about your ignorance of history and politics.

            When did you start paying attention?

          • HonestDebate1

            About the time you started missing the point, decades ago.

          • jimino

            What point would that be?

    • Michiganjf

      Or maybe because they’re wrong-headed stupidities with all the wrong priorities which begin with all the wrong premises.

      • HonestDebate1

        Then the votes in the democrat controlled Senate will not be there, the bills go down in flames and there is a foundation to move forward.

    • John Cedar

      Exactly.
      If the SCOTUS would tweak our Constitution so that Reid could not enact rules to make himself a dictator of congress, as he has, a lot of things would get done in congress.

      • Ray in VT

        What authority does the Supreme Court have to make or alter the rules of the Senate?

        • John Cedar

          The SCOTUS has the power to interpret the Constitution any law they want too.(AKA…make up rules)

          The SCOTUS has meddled with this clause many times, “Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections,Returns and Qualifications of its own Members”

          It would not be a stretch in the least for the SCOTUS to put constraints and/or requirements on how “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings”.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it would be a stretch.

          • John Cedar

            OK

          • Ray in VT

            It’s always somewhat hard to say until it actually happens.

          • John Cedar

            Whether it is a stretch or not, is not particularity relevant . The Court routinely stretches the Constitution much further. And if you don’t agree with that, that’s fine too. Surly you can find at least one SCOTUS decision that find ridiculously flawed in how it was arrived at.

            And in the spirit of that way of thinking, it could be argued that the founders intended the congressional Representatives and Senators to have more rights than just a vote on what the leader says they can vote on. That the rules of each house were supposed to pertain to pedant parliamentary Roberts Rules of order type prescription, rather than be allowed to render so many in congress without true input on anything.

      • jimino

        “tweak our Constitution”

        That must be the right wing terminology for activist judges implementing their agenda through their judicial rulings.

        • John Cedar

          It is my term, (which makes it bipartisan terminology), to describe the Court making a ruling on a Constitutional matter.
          Whether it is judicial activism or not, would depend on how plausible and convincing the logic in the ruling is.

      • MrNutso

        The Senate has been creating their own rules, since the Senate was created, but only Harry Reid is to be blamed for using those rules?

    • StilllHere

      It’s a tough year for Democrats in the Senate with the upcoming elections not looking good. Harry’s just trying, and succeeding, to avoid difficult votes for his candidates that might hurt their re-election chances.

  • AC

    what do you mean ‘do nothing’? i heard they blocked the president from ordering pens, that’s something!!
    big, historical, monumental even! sigh – they will def be remembered as the dumbest people to ever handle this country (can anyone confirm this as true or did i believe a joke rumor?)….
    i sometimes think our enemies are driving this petty, stubborn, uncompromising division-how much fun to watch us tear ourselves apart and move in and take over!! or it could just be the libertarians….
    right wings and liberals alike are both responsible, i think. if you’re going to stand in such a tight corner, i have no sympathy….

    • TFRX

      They blocked President Obama from ordering pens?

      Wow. I almost believe that. We’ve reached the magical place in GOP obstructionism where I can’t tell if that idea started from The Onion or Reuters.

      • HonestDebate1

        It was misguided, they should have gone after the ink.

      • Ray in VT

        They’re trying to stop him for signing the bazillion EOs that he has.

    • MrNutso

      He keeps stealing them from the White House supply closet.

      • TFRX

        That’s because he’s left-handed, and you know that lefties hate pencils.

    • J__o__h__n

      Which liberals are the problem? You have to be a journalist to engage in false equivalency.

      • AC

        ? if you believe in all or nothing, then i stick you in the ‘part of the problem’ category. i’m not into sports, nor am i a journalist….

  • John Cedar

    NPR is usually more subtle when they carry the water for the democrats.
    The “Do Nothing Congress” pejorative must have tested well in focus groups.

    • J__o__h__n

      What have they done? Time to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare yet again . . .

      • HonestDebate1

        That would make it 7.

        • Ray in VT

          Then there’s the other 45 to consider.

          • AC

            they’ve tried to repeal the healthcare act 45 times?!?!?! what’s that quote about defining insanity?

          • Ray in VT

            A lot of the votes have been to defund it wholly or in part or to make other significant modifications:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/03/21/the-house-has-voted-54-times-in-four-years-on-obamacare-heres-the-full-list/

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it’s a talking point. I suppose you could make the same argument for 6.

            http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/03/17/no-house-republicans-havent-voted-50-times-repeal-obamacare

          • Ray in VT

            A talking point, like Obama rewriting the ACA 39 times?

          • TFRX

            Who to believe–some Foxnews bullshit, or anything else?

          • Ray in VT

            Much of the time I’ll go with the anything else, as long as it isn’t some creationist anti-climate change petition or a white supremacist group telling me, via perhaps a dedicated reader, how bad black crime against white people is.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who do you trust?

          • jefe68

            Fox news, hahahaha you can’t really think that’s serious journalism.

          • MrNutso

            Some votes were because there were new Republican Representatives that campaigned on voting to repeal the ACA, so House leadership held a vote.

  • nj_v2

    Republican Doomesday Cult (Mark Fiore video cartoon)…

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/4ES10hpEmPg?fs=1&rel=0&iv_load_policy=3&autoplay=1

    • HonestDebate1

      Wow, that was stupid. I want my 2 minutes back.

      • nj_v2

        Nah, stupid is your posting history.

        Let us know when you win a Pulitzer Prize.

        • jefe68

          I think he’s up for putz prize though…

          • TFRX

            Have you reversed those two words?

  • John_in_Amherst

    Doing evil, in the guise of doing nothing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-north-carolina-republicans-put-ideology-above-lives/2014/07/28/724081cc-169e-11e4-85b6-c1451e622637_story.html?hpid=z2

    The GOP obsession with making Obama look bad by obstructing the workings of the government is not “doing nothing”, it is deliberately endangering lives and diminishing the capacity of the US to compete economically by allowing infrastructure to deteriorate and education to languish. The question is, will the GOP spin machine (AKA the ‘Dark Money’ tsunami funding political attack ads, FOX & talk radio) be able to keep convincing the public that the GOP “game plan” is NOT irresponsible politicking? We as a nation elect politicians who are convinced government is the enemy, and we are surprised at the dysfunction?

    • TFRX

      Dana Milbank? Dana Milbank is actually losing a touch of his myopic Beltway Inbred worldview?

      Wow.

      • HonestDebate1

        Who do you trust?

        • TFRX

          Go away, little troll.

          • couchdog27

            Mono Jello… is a barnacle on the keel of intellectual thought ;-)

          • TFRX

            I lke the Mono Jello idea, but if I’ve learned two things about Jello* it’s that 1) Jell-O is digestible, always 2) and there’s always room for it; it will never end up being the catalyst for bad things like that “wafer thin mint” in the Monty Python movie.

            (*From the tiredest stand up comics’ lines, “What’s with hospital food?” and “What’s with airline food?”)

          • couchdog27

            ha….

        • nj_v2

          I trust she.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I wonder how much coverage will be given to the way Harry Reid runs the Senate — using obscure rules to block votes, amendments and debate.

    Somehow I suspect the discussion will be pointed solely at the GOP controlled House.

    • MrNutso

      Drop Harry Reid from your argument and you have a good point. The Senate has been creating their own rules right from the start and Reid is doing what all Majority Leaders have been doing Things like holds, blue slips, super majorities, cloture votes need to go.

      • TFRX

        But that’s not the argument. The argument is “Harry Reid is the worst EVAH”, then when called on it, “Harry Reid is like everyone else, awful, I hate all bad pols, because IandEveryoneLikeMeWasNeverARepublican and ThereAren’tAnyRepublicanHere just IndependentConservatives”.

    • John_in_Amherst

      The holds on nominations are in the senate, where senators don’t even have to reveal who it is that initiates the hold. Obama has had many times the number of nominations held up than ANY other president, ever.

      • Ray in VT

        I think that that last part is true at least as far as top level appointments. I’m not sure if it is generally, but one would have to think that it would be at least close.

  • nj_v2

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/junejulyaugust_2014/features/the_big_lobotomy050642.php?page=all

    June/July/August 2014

    The Big Lobotomy
    How Republicans Made Congress Stupid

    A debilitating brain drain has actually been under way in Congress for the past twenty-five years, and it is Sensenbrenner and his conservative colleagues who have engineered it.…

    …A debilitating brain drain has actually been under way in Congress for the past twenty-five years….In 1995, after winning a majority in the House for the first time in forty years, one of the first things the new Republican House leadership did was gut Congress’s workforce. They cut the “professional staff” (the lawyers, economists, and investigators who work for committees rather than individual members) by a third. They reduced the “legislative support staff” (the auditors, analysts, and subject-matter experts at the Government Accountability Office [GAO], the Congressional Research Service [CRS], and so on) by a third, too, and killed off the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) entirely. And they fundamentally dismantled the old committee structure, centralizing power in the House speaker’s office and discouraging members and their staff from performing their own policy research….

    Why would conservative lawmakers decimate the staff and organizational capacity of an institution they themselves control? Part of it is political optics: What better way to show the conservative voters back home that you’re serious about shrinking government than by cutting your own staff? But a bigger reason is strategic. The Gingrich Revolutionaries of 1995 and the Tea Partiers of 2011 share the same basic dream: to defund and dismantle the vast complex of agencies and programs that have been created by bipartisan majorities since the New Deal. The people in Congress who knew those agencies and programs best and were most invested in making them work—the professional staffers, the CRS analysts, the veteran committee chairs—were not going to consent to seeing them swept away. So they had to be swept away.…

    The first effect is an outsourcing of policy development. Much of the research, number crunching, and legislative wordsmithing that used to be done by Capitol Hill staffers working for the government is now being done by outside experts, many of them former Hill staffers, working for lobbying firms, think tanks, consultancies, trade associations, and PR outfits. This has strengthened the already-powerful hand of corporate interests in shaping legislation, and given conservative groups an added measure of influence over Congress….

    Over the years, as Congress’s in-house capacity for independent policy thinking atrophied, the House GOP largely ceded that responsibility to Heritage, which has aligned itself with the Tea Party since former Senator Jim DeMint took the helm in 2013. The think tank became the only outside group that was allowed to brief members and their staff at the influential weekly lunches of the Republican Study Committee, the policy and messaging arm of House conservatives….

    (excerpts)

    • MrNutso

      I’ve read a lot about this. Not surprisingly, they are following a national trend of dumping brains for glitz, since hiring in congressional communications has risen something like 12 or 20%.

    • anamaria23

      Thus, the decimation of one of the world’s great deliberative bodies which is the now the laughingstock of the civilized world.

  • MrNutso

    Is Katrina Pierson included for balance? If so where is the person from MoveOn.

    • HonestDebate1

      4 against 1 is about right.

      • MrNutso

        How are the other 3 partisan like Pierson? And by the way, I prefer there be no partisan guests.

        • Ray in VT

          All reporters and perfessers are libruls.

      • Ray in VT

        4 informed people versus 1 partisan hack.

        • J__o__h__n

          I assume former candidate means that even Texas voters rejected her.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah. She lost to Pete Sessions in the primary it looks like. There is a good bit here:

            http://www.texasobserver.org/katrina-pierson-bubble-bursts/

            “Pierson received some $11,000 in unemployment benefits from the Texas
            Workforce Commission from January 2012 to November 2013—meaning she was
            receiving government support during a period in which she consulted for Ted Cruz’s senate campaign and was planning for her own run.”

          • hennorama

            Hmmm … that looks familiar …

          • MrNutso

            Texans like their Representatives to be ultra conservative, just not crazy.

    • hennorama

      MrNutso — I’m sure Ms. Pierson is included to discuss extending unemployment benefits.

      After all, “Pierson received some $11,000 in unemployment benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission from January 2012 to November 2013—meaning she was receiving government support during a period in which she consulted for Ted Cruz’s Senate campaign and was planning for her own run [for a seat in the House],” so she’s something of an expert on the topic.

      Source:
      .http://www.texasobserver.org/katrina-pierson-bubble-bursts/

      • MrNutso

        Only because she’s a maker and not a taker.

    • StilllHere

      The host.

      • MrNutso

        Okay, that made me laugh.

  • TFRX

    Once upon a time there was a group called No Labels, a crew of far-right to middling centrist power brokers, dedicated to the idea that there were tens of millions of reasonable, radical centrists equally mad at BothSides for their equal amounts of gridlocking and meanness and untenable policy goals.

    Well, no more. No Labels has basically adopted the GOP’s side without the label.

    Hilarious stuff, if one was like me and smelled the skunk everyone else was petting like it was a housecat. Harrowing stuff for those foolish enough to believe them.

    • MrNutso

      As Groucho Marx said, I don’t care to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

    • Kathy

      “Centrism” in DC almost always means the Democrats move to the right and the Republicans move further to the right.

  • atakemoto

    I think the fact that the House is ready to pass a bill blocking truth in advertising regarding airfares says it all. How sad that what they seem to be able to agree upon is a bill that encourages deception.

  • Michiganjf

    If you want to know who to blame for a “do nothing Congress,”

    look to Republicans who are boasting that this is EXACTLY what they want and they are HAPPY ABOUT IT!!!

    TOM,
    DON”T let them squirm out of it and blame Democrats, when they state specifically that this is what they want!

  • MrNutso

    Nice sound bites Teddy. Try enumerating what would be in tax or regulatory reform first so the American people have an idea what you are thinking.

  • Mari McAvenia

    One simple fix: Vote all the incumbents running – again – OUT of Congress in 2014. It really doesn’t matter which party label the person is wearing on their sleeves ( R/D ) because they are all guilty of shoving giant wads of corporate cash up them anyway. What’s the worst that can happen? They make chaos for Americans by refusing to do their jobs, as it is, so let’s give ‘em a little voter chaos right back!. It’s sure to baffle pollsters, the media and lobbyists, alike, when we all decide that enough congressional do-nothingness is more than enough.

    • MrNutso

      Oh you crazy dreamer!

    • TFRX

      Those “real America is fed up” (used to be called Angry White Men elections) memes always seem to pop up when a Democrat is in the White House.

      Funny, that.

      • Mari McAvenia

        It’s not about the presidency. There is a term limit for presidents. It’s all about congress and their penchant for sitting on their asses for decade after decade doing absolutely NOTHING for their constituents. Throw the bums out!

        • TFRX

          However, those Fed Up Throw The Bums Out memes got all over my TV exactly three times in the last 20 years:

          In 1994. In 2010. And they’re trying like hell to make it the same in 2014.

          When 2006 happened and the Dems won, when 1998 happened and the Dems won, it wasn’t predicted, wasn’t the buzz between Labor Day and the first Tuesday in November, and wasn’t echoed in political coverage (the stuff that drives the news) for months and months afterwards.

          Our press corps is always telling us “Everything is Good News for Republicans”.

      • HonestDebate1

        The angry white man never existed, it was just another trumped up meme.

    • jefe68

      The problem with your comment is that it leaves out gerrymandering which guarantees the incumbents keeping there seat. The tea party has also pulled the GOP to the far right which is not helping. When you have people calling Obama a socialist or extremely left wing you can see how extreme there ideology has gone.
      And gone they are, Obama is nothing but a centrist Democrat with strong Wall Street ties. Hardly a socialist.

  • skelly74

    It’s time for recess…YEAH! Tag, you’re it! Hahaha.

  • TFRX

    Tom, to balance out the “people who don’t want Congress to Congress” guests, where are the boot-on-the-ground real people who need Congress to do its job? Can’t someone channel their inner Studs Terkel here?

    • hennorama

      TFRX — do you mean something “inner Studs Terkel” such as “Why won’t somebody shut dis broad up?,” or actual Studs Terkel stuff, such as:

      That’s what we’re missing. We’re missing argument. We’re missing debate. We’re missing colloquy. We’re missing all sorts of things. Instead, we’re accepting.

      Studs Terkel

      Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/studsterke277963.html#OVOlvBgYTtRsXJ8P.99

      • TFRX

        Little o’ column A, little o’ column B.

  • Deborah Hilscher

    Why are any Members of Congress still collecting a paycheck? If I were as unproductive on my job as they have been on theirs I’d be fired!

    • J__o__h__n

      Why not keep paying them; their bosses don’t care.

    • Ray in VT
    • StilllHere

      Not messing stuff up is part of their job.

    • Don_B1

      Most, if not all, are millionaires so that would not be a big detriment. But in last fall’s government shutdown, on woman (R) said she needed her check, but obviously didn’t see the other federal employee’s need for a regular check.

      Better to have tax bracket rates go up in 5% increments for each six months in which any important issue is not dealt with, or a solution honestly attempted.

      Not practical, but in this situation, what is if it has to be done quickly.

  • MrNutso

    Why does there have to be a Tea or any Party perspective?

    • nj_v2

      NPR is now constantly worried about accusations of “liberal” bias by the right-wingers. Stacking most of the panels with center and center-right representatives and relegating genuinely leftist viewpoints to only the most occasional representation isn’t enough, so gotta bow to the Teabaggers every so often.

      • TFRX

        Did you hear Amy Goodman on an NPR member station? The NPR local stations are often full of talk that’s simply better than what is approved for carrying on “the mothership”.

        http://wnpr.org/post/conversations-democracy-now-host-amy-goodman-and-guitarist-yovianna-garc

        I tuned in partway through and said to myself “Dang, I hope this is an interview with a new NPR mothership news producer or obmudsman.”

        • Don_B1

          Links to articles and videos by Amy Goodman may be found at the Nation of Change website.

        • nj_v2

          Yeah, i overgeneralized a bit there. Yes, some of the smaller stations cast a wider net.

          • TFRX

            The thing is, until I knew who it was, I thought NPR was finally putting on its “big boy (and big girl) journalism boots”.

            It’s now between 4p and 6p local time, when the NPR mothership does its worst.

  • Michiganjf

    Tell your guest that our country had “divided” government for 50 years (1942-1994) during which Democrats controlled Congress, but governing and legislation NEVER came to a standstill!

    Republicans today are DETERMINED NOT TO GOVERN, with a STATED policy of wanting to undermine government in the minds of Americans!!!

  • TFRX

    Caller Keith, I’d like to know where all that “don’t enable extreme thought” calming down was a decade ago.

    Forget politicians, who had careers to lose.

    Mere citizens like me got called a treasonous traitor for being right about Iraq. Then Guantanamo. Then torture. Then all of a sudden, something happened (I can’t put my finger on it) and criticizing the President was in, and CompulsoryPatriotism wasn’t on TV any more.

  • StilllHere

    The fallacy of NPR’s take here is that something has to be done. Sure there’s some tweaking here and there that might be worthwhile, but nothing urgent. Sometimes doing nothing is the right thing to do, and that’s where we are now. Have a good recess Congress! That bill designating September as “Gospel Music Heritage Month” can wait until you get back.

  • TFRX

    Poor little John Boehner. Trying to pretend so hard to be a Teabagger, but so not committed to it. And always, so bad at his job.

  • MrNutso

    Gasp, the caller is alluding to the “c” word!

    • Ray in VT

      Which one is that?

      • couchdog27

        Koch?

      • MrNutso

        Compromise.

  • AC

    as someone who deals with it everyday, the infrastructure is in bad shape. it’s not a ‘consensus’, it’s fact.

    • StilllHere

      Really, I think that it’s in fine shape and I just put 2,000 miles on the car over the last two weeks crossing the country, including numerous bridges. There was plenty of construction taking place. Everyday I take the train that runs on schedule all the time. So to me, I don’t see the urgency.

      • AC

        read the guages. do a little tapping. your eyes often tell the biggest lies. also, i travel a lot as well, by airport too – omg. it’s bad. you go to other countries and everything is modern and new. (tho i admit pollution is out of control in many of those same places)

        • StilllHere

          I judge an airport by how quickly I can get through it, not on how comfy the chairs are.

          • AC

            you’re reaching there friend. and totally in the wrong direction…

          • Don_B1

            But you can see the truth of what I posted a week or so ago about Republican goals?

          • AC

            can you remind me?

          • StilllHere

            Really? How do you judge an airport?

          • AC

            efficiency. duh.
            pfft – comfy seats. i weigh 120#s. all seats are comfy.
            the hubby’s 6’1″, 185#. i think he does consider comfy seats important….

          • StilllHere

            So how quick you get through it? I thought I was reaching.

          • AC

            efficiency embodies time, effort and cost. because 1 in every 3 planes i take lands within a 15min projected ‘time-frame’ window does not account for traffic and road congestion getting there, parking ease and cost, check in, security clearance, services available, cell phone/wifi reception, boarding protocol, selfish fellow passengers, air traffic control overloads, delays and false starts, time it takes to attach the jetway (plane may technically have met on the ground eta PRIOR to this time waster), luggage recall, access to transportation, tons of other small crap that wears you out if you travel a lot – i bill for every hour i’m travelling, even if it’s just to TX, and i ALWAYS end up with overtime. well, with the exception of flying in for a day meeting, which is rare…

          • StilllHere

            I’m not sure how much of this is actually within the airport’s control. Denver’s got a nice, relatively new airport with wonderful roads and parking but it’s in the middle of nowhere. You can’t move LaGuardia.

          • AC

            what do you think infrastructure is? it is not one ‘piece’. i don’t think you must travel often. even by train.
            my train is consistently 10 mins late, i have not actually tracked it but it seems if not daily, every other day. it drives me a little crazy because altho i know what they have to deal with, the adjustment should’ve been made by now for pete’s sake!!!
            and i also happen to get the scoop on which tracks are non operational and redirects, so maybe i just have insider info, but i’m still betting you don’t really get around or live in a rural area…

          • StilllHere

            Selfish fellow passengers, cell phone reception, boarding protocol …

            I travel into dozens of airports every year, utilizing taxis, trains, rental cars, Zipcars, Uber and relatives. It all works for me, but I’m not a complainer by nature. I think you must travel between two spots and like to complain.

            You have your experience and I have mine. I take urban, suburban and Amtrak trains on a daily or monthly basis. All compete with the car/bus and if they weren’t satisfying customers, they’d lose out.

          • AC

            ok!
            ignore the other ‘insight’ and have the last word. i won’t be changing your mind and i have to deal with reality.
            thanks anyway!!

          • StilllHere

            Wow, so only what you see is reality and those observations, no matter how minimal, allow you to draw systemic conclusions. Thanks for the insight.

          • AC

            also; i should add: a little insight into which runways are shut down because sink holes have formed, but i think i’m not supposed to talk about that publicly….

      • TFRX

        You’ll fall through that bridge when you come to it, dipshit.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        So, why do bridges collapse, then? What about the electric grid? Is that all hunky dory, too?

  • Michiganjf

    The ONLY THING WORSE than a “do nothing Congress,” would be a Congress run entirely by Republicans!!

    Our country would be taken backward 150 years if they were able to fully implement their agenda!

  • Mandala8

    3 questions: 1) Why is the House not required to vote on anything that passes the Senate, and vice versa? This alone would change how much legislation gets passed. 2) Why is it legal to create legislative districts that make no geographic sense, and are designed only to give one party an unbreakable majority to often elect what is actually a minority candidate? 3) How do we fix the focus that many (most?) Senators and Representatives first look to what gets them re-elected vs. what’s best for the country?

    • Don_B1

      Campaign finance reform! Campaign finance reform!

      It is not a panacea, but it is a necessary though not sufficient requirement. Lawrence Lessig of Harvard is working to accomplish significant campaign finance reform through an Amendment to the Constitution.

      The detailing of legislative districts has to be taken out of the legislature’s power, making elections like the 2010 election which allowed Republican state legislatures and governors to gerrymander their states so that Republicans can control the House of Representatives while receiving, in total votes, some 500,000 or more less than the Democrats.

      We have let the governmental system decay into this morass and now it is only the voters who can fix it because everyone else gets benefits for the system as it is.

      Because the Tea/Republicans represent the greatest current present danger, they must be voted out of office, but with voter followup to the winning candidates that they will suffer the same fate if they do not accomplish these two crucial issues.

  • TFRX

    Who said “60 votes” to get something thru the Senate?

    Did the Senate expand to 118 while I wasn’t looking, or is this the planned effect of everyone in our mainstream media now trained to reflexively say “OfCourseObamaNeededSixtyVotesAndOnlyGotFiftyfour”?

    • Don_B1

      The old sixty-vote filibuster rule. But count on a Republican Senate to abolish it so they can send their retrograde bills to the President for his signature/veto.

      I suspect most of those bills will be so regressive that the President will veto them and they will die without the necessary 2/3 majority to override the veto.

  • AC

    i thought they are SUPPOSE to do executive orders….i thought the complaint was he wasn’t doing enough either….?

    • hennorama

      AC — you’re applying logic and reason to Congress, which is seldom a good idea.

    • MrNutso

      He’s not doing enough right up until he’s doing too much.

      • Don_B1

        They would be all over him for not doing his job if he didn’t try to make laws work, just like when President George W. Bush extended a Medicare Part D deadline because it was necessary, but when President Obama does the same for the PPACA, they are planning to sue him over extending the deadline for mandatory purchase of insurance.

        And of course, Speaker John Boehner in a USAToday OpEd, just returned to the manufactured charge that President Obama waived the job requirements for welfare. The totally false charge was originally made by the Romney campaign in 2012.

      • hennorama

        MrNutso — an all-powerful, do-nothing, king, who acts alone?

        • Don_B1

          They call him an impotent god, unable to do what they want and all powerful in doing everything that they don’t want done.

          • Ray in VT

            Like how immigrants are both lazy and take all the jobs?

          • Don_B1

            Exactly!

    • jefe68

      As you can see by your comment, that the GOP and the right seem to suffer from a type of spilt personality syndrome.

  • couchdog27

    Do nothing Congress would be okay — IF

    most everyone didn’t agree that we need

    * Immigration reform
    * Campaign reform
    * Climate Change standards
    * on and on

    Need to go back to: I don’t care if you are against me, just get out of the way so I can get something done

  • hennorama

    Ms. Pierson — if you think Congress should do nothing, why did you run for Congress?

    • MrNutso

      Duh! To do nothing. What better job could you ask for.

      • hennorama

        MrNutso — I guess it’s better to get government money (A Congressional salary) for doing nothing in Congress than to get government money (unemployment compensation) while working on Sen. Cruz’ campaign,

        Lot’s more lucre in Congress.

        • couchdog27

          Unfortunately they get way more money from lobbyist to make their salaries a pittance

          • TFRX

            Yep. Running for Congress takes a certain amount of money (and more for Senator), leading to a beholdenness effect.

            Don’t know how ordinary-income one can be and really run for Congress (especially if one can’t use their granddaddy’s Rolodex of important and / or wealthy contacts) any longer.

          • couchdog27

            Well there is campaign reform

            But I would bet there are more lobbyists against that that most anything

          • Don_B1

            Ask Lawrence Lessig of Harvard University!

            Professor Lessig is working on passing just such an amendment, by a Constitutional Convention, or the threat of it.

    • Ray in VT

      To make sure of it?

  • Ray in VT

    We’re not a democracy. Great. More TOP gasbaggery.

    • jefe68

      They are good at being obtuse and mendacious.
      As is noted by some of the folks who post here.
      Who does she sound like?

      • Ray in VT

        It’s just like any other Teapublican broken record on just about everything.

    • MrNutso

      Tea Bagger talking points. We’re a Representative Republic. Representatives are Democratically elected. Tea Baggers deny we are a democracy to justify that their view of what Americans want.

      • Ray in VT

        Many of them do seem to have an alternative lexicon that often runs counter to what everyone else has agreed upon.

  • MrNutso

    Spending has only declined slightly since? Katrina, what numbers are you looking at?

  • jefe68

    Wow, Katrina Pierson is a real piece of work.

    • Don_B1

      A true arguer by the “Gish-Gallop”!

  • TFRX

    Tom, are you prepared to rebut this spew of breath-control talking points?

    How many times do you have to be the sucker who invites some Tea Party loser on?

    And ask your Tea Party Texan about Texas’ idea of taking direct election of US Senators away.

  • MrNutso

    Exactly what I expected to come out of Katrina Piersons mouth.

  • couchdog27

    The snake logo is wrong for the tea baggers, they need an ostrich with their head in the sand… or up their…never nimd

    • TFRX

      That Gadsden Flag used to have meaning.

      Of course, there are other things which have been connotatively warped after centuries of normative use.

      • hennorama

        TFRX — it still has meaning to some, like the two Cliven Bundy-ites who allegedly assassinated two Las Vegas police officers last month, then killed a civilian.

        They reportedly draped a Gadsden flag over one of the officers’ dead body.

        • TFRX

          Class, classy stuff.

          (Just a tangent I was wondering about and confirmed per Wikipedia. The two Gadsdens anyone’s heard of are related. Gadsden of Gadsden Flag fame was the grandfather of the Gadsden of Gadsden Purchas fame.)

          • hennorama

            TFRX — Thanks. I enjoy finding things out along the way, often while trying to learn something else.

  • JP_Finn

    C’mon, get this lame-o off of the air. Fair and balanced coverage does not necessitate listening to a right-wing dingbat.

  • TFRX

    ScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfter
    ScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfter
    ScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfterScandalAfter

    Tom, you really need to vet your right-wing guests better.

    I got a buck that this idiot guest is going to say Hobby Lobby next.

    • MrNutso

      At least nobody said Benghazi. Opps.

      • Ray in VT

        Stand down order? What?

        • hennorama

          Where was the President?!

          • Ray in VT

            Plotting his revenge.

          • hennorama

            So not watching a “YouTube video” then?

  • Michiganjf

    GOOD GOD TOM!

    REALLY???!!

    This Tea Party Idiot??

    Well,
    maybe Americans SHOULD here these morons rant as often as possible… it does indeed put their stupidity into perspective.

    • jefe68

      Come on now, their trying to fair and balanced….
      However, I agree she’s out to lunch.
      Stupid is as stupid does.

  • Ray in VT

    Gee, I wonder what drove up spending as a share of GDP? A decline in GDP and rises in spending that can easily expected during economic downturns. Only declined somewhat? That percentage is down pretty significantly since the peak.

    • MrNutso

      Massive tax cuts, two unpaid wars, unpaid Medicare Part D and the worst economic crisis, since the great depression. But, since that all happen when a Republican was in the White House, it doesn’t count.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Oh no Tom, not the climate change canard.

    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, it’s not like we’re hot on the heels of the hottest May and June on record and the second hottest April.

    • StilllHere

      It’s cold today, here comes global cooling.
      It’s hot today, here comes global warming.

      • nj_v2

        Climate change is mentioned, here come the idiot comments from the denialsphere.

        • jefe68

          At least the troll is predictable in his lameness.

          • pete18

            Lame and predictable is writing “troll” every time you post.

          • jefe68

            There are just so many right wing trolls on this forum, what word should be used?
            Regressive right wing hand wringer.
            Or right wing whiner.
            How about mendacious meme monger.
            Or low information bottom feeder.
            Take your pick… I find you to be more of the mendacious meme monger and hand wringer type.

            The lameness is there, and you seem to be good at doubling down with the above mentioned right wing lameness.

            Stupid is as stupid does…

          • pete18

            Define what makes the right wingers trolls and you not? You are as repetitive, lame and meme filled as anybody. There must be some subtlety in what you do that I’m missing.

          • jefe68

            Not all right wingers are trolls. My comment is aimed at the ones who post here day in and day out. Some of whom seem to do it 24/7.

            If you don’t like it you could go to some other forum or just ignore my comments. I ignore about 80 to 90% of your BS.

            There you go Mr. Mendacious, keep up the hand wringing and whinging.

          • pete18

            “My comment is aimed at the ones who post here day in and day out. Some of whom seem to do it 24/7.

            I’m still trying to figure out what it is that you do differently from them.

    • jefe68

      Oh no not the deniers canard.

  • James

    This Katrina Pierson is being obnoxious. She’s not entirely wrong, but she’s in over her head and is resorting to basic fox news talking points.

    • Ray in VT

      If not entirely wrong, then I think that it is pretty close. I agree with your other points though.

      • James

        Well it is true that the President does have a lot of influence over policy, independent of Congress, and that the last time a single party controlled everything it was the Democrats between 09 and 11

        • Ray in VT

          Those things are true, which was why I went with pretty close to entirely wrong.

  • Benjamin Williams

    Because tearing down the government, withholding necessary food and healthcare from poor families, and pushing for massive corporate welfare is really in the benefit for everyone.

    Mr. Ashbrook, will you please stop giving a platform to ignorant folks like Ms. Pierson? The sheer lack of awareness is absurd, and giving them a voice no this program is only legitimizing their ignorance.

    • couchdog27

      I think it is okay to give a platform, but Please.. point out the faults in that thinking

      • TFRX

        That’s not the Nice Polite Republican way.

  • Matt MC

    Katrina: “The federal government was set up to ensure domestic tranquility, provide defense, and for the general welfare. No where does it say it is the duty of the federal government to provide basic necessities for people.”
    Tom: “Well, there’s the general welfare part.”

    • Matt MC

      Non-verbatim, of course. For-give-a-ness, please.

    • hennorama

      That damn Tom Ashbrook, taking the low road and using facts, again.

  • nj_v2

    Oh, please. Do we really need to hear Ms. Pearson’s self-parodying, idiotic ranting (“We’re not a democracy.” Why pay attention to climate change)?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The magic of our system? Where are we: Hogwarts?

  • TFRX

    “Does that make you an Obama partisan” our hosts asks Mann?

    Where’s this gainsaying Devils Advocate argumentation against your Tea Party guest?

  • ajhodge

    Katrina, would you pay somebody to do no work and instead of doing the job you hired and pay them to do, go off three days a week and make money in other ways (i.e., fundraising)?

  • SuziVt

    Do we really have to give time to paranoid right wing tea party types like Katrina? They are going to blame anything & everything on President Obama. They’re going to miss him, but they’ll still find another scapegoat. Katrina is forgetting what a disaster our president inherited from George Bush. Those destructive radicals pick & choose facts from history & it is ALWAYS, their way or the highway! They demonize anyone & everyone that disagrees with their way of thinking. They are contributing to the ruin of this wonderful country. They’re insidious & grossly negative.

  • rich4321

    This Congress is the most useless Congress in the U.S. history. We the tax payers did not pay them for their bigotries. In any other private corperations. Even the Mcdonalds, imbeciles such as this congress will long be fired.We the tax payers are the boss, why can’t we fire them?

    • StilllHere

      Because we are not unhappy with them, we just like to pretend we are.

      • Mari McAvenia

        You mean YOU are not unhappy with a corrupt, inept bunch of narcissists dragging the country down. Most of us are deeply unhappy with the situation as it is. March to your own dull, redundant drumbeat and I’ll keep thinking for myself, thank you.

        • StilllHere

          Please, you’re whining isn’t supported by what happens every two years at election time.

          • Mari McAvenia

            Hmmm, this from the #1 whiner in the forum. When “your guy” loses we’ll see who whines the loudest then.

          • StilllHere

            Ouch. Thankfully most of America isn’t as unhappy as you.

        • jefe68

          He thinks he’s in the royal family.
          Hence the use of the third person.

      • nj_v2

        Haha! “…we”

        As if StillaTroll speaks for anyone but his sad, trolling self.

        • StilllHere

          Haha, you’re a still a douche.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      And the most useless US in history. Hoober Doober

  • MrNutso

    So Katrina, If you get elected will you vote to return taxes to at least GOP GOD Reagan levels? I thought not.

  • Brian P. Kasso Gaidry

    Political, economic and social fundamentalism is just as dangerous as religious fundamentalism, because fundamentalism is based on BELIEF, and belief its by its very nature unstable.

    Religious fundamentalists will attempt to destroy the world if it won’t be constrained to their narrow idealogical beliefs, (and of course it won’t). Likewise political, economic and social fundamentalists will attempt to destroy their government, economy and society if they won’t be constrained to their narrow idealogical beliefs, (and of course they won’t either).

    • GWelch

      There’s nothing wrong with belief, per se. Fundamentalism is belief that ignores or excludes facts that are contrary to that belief.

      • Brian P. Kasso Gaidry

        Agreed, GWelch. I didn’t mean to imply that belief was a bad thing, only that belief is a very limited way of knowing. Belief gives us some footing to stand on until new facts and knowledge that challenge or disprove our beliefs become evident.

        The problem with fundamentalists of any kind is that, as you say, they ignore or exclude facts in favor of unquestioned belief. In the most extreme cases, fundamentalists experience such destabilizing cognitive dissonance that they would rather destroy the facts, the presenters of facts, the scholars of facts, and a world of reality rather than let go of their beliefs.

        This is what makes fundamentalism of any kind so dangerous, and one of the things which make real transformative change so difficult.

  • hennorama

    Thank you Ms. Pierson, for contrasting “Tea party people” with “professionals,” verifying that the “Tea party people” are anything but.

    “Out of the mouths of babes … “

  • GWelch

    A bit of irony that the person decrying a governmental focus on climate change is named Katrina…

  • TFRX

    Quoting a billionaire who says “let’s tear it up”, Pierson?

    Lady, you gotta get out more. There are military retirees in Texas, no? Ask some of them about this “ruin it stuff” and their VA and their pensions. You better be rich enough to Go Full Brazilian on us: Gated-with-machine-gun-guards community. Armored limosines. All the potable water and three gas generators and the gas to run them (and don’t forget to pour in the Sta-Bil, as gasoline does go bad.)

    No. Just fukking no. If it’s such a goddamn tenable idea, she and all her little Teabagger friends can do it when the GOP is in the White House and controlling both halves of Congress.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    More people = less country. So, please, Sir. Can we have more? {immigrants}

  • PI Mack

    Me thinks that this show could have more learned discourse than what we are hearing.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It’s so embarrassing to be a Vietnam-era Veteran today. Thank you, Congress. Fortunately, my own VA facilities are first class. No thanks to you, Congress.

    {though my own Congressman re: Veterans, isn’t a complete pillock}

  • John_in_Amherst

    The Grand Obstructionist Party IS doing some things in Congress, like this: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/07/house-republicans-pass-bill-lower-taxes-rich-and-raise-taxes-poor

  • hennorama

    The House is scheduled for about one dozen days in-session over the months of August, September, and October.

    Pretty good gig — do nothing, take over a month off, come back to “work” a dozen days over 8 weeks or so.

    All at an annual salary of $174,000 (and up, depending on position) plus bennies.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      The bennies include a Rolodex full of corporate contacts, where you can “work” for a very good salary.

  • Kathy

    Congress is not dysfunctional. Congress is not partisan. Congress is not divided.

    The United States is in a cold civil war.

  • Irving Steinberg

    I am all in favor of listening to all sides and finding a common way forward. That’s the American way. Listening to the Tea Party and Conservative supporters, I hear echos of other “Utopian” movements, such as the radical left of the 1960s and Communism: Everything is based on pure belief, no compromise, and that it is simply just do what “we” say, and everything will be returned to some perfect “Eden”. Instead of Marx, they quote Rand, instead of the international, they intone God Bless America, and instead of proletariat and bourgeois, they speak of makers and takers. They demand the constitution be read in a vacuum of 1789 yet ignore of the complexities and contradictions of the era and the document, quoting passages like one would read the bible, with no regard to reality. Extremism, whether left or right, is both a dead end and a dangerous detour.

  • Mooretep

    Mark Twain said:
    “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
    Will Rogers: “This country has come to feel the same when congress is in session as when a baby gets hold of a hammer.”

  • Morgan Barnes

    Can someone get this guy to stop saying UH.UH.UH after every word?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Then teach Obama how to stop saying it. HD

    • nj_v2

      Some people are better writers than speakers. Just gotta role with it, though i agree it’s annoying. At least he’s talking rational substance.

    • hennorama

      Morgan Barnes — at least he wasn’t “uptalking,” and turning statements into questions.

      That phenomenon is bothersome?

      • TFRX

        I think you forgot the interjected q-mark:

        “That phenomenon? is bothersome?”

        • hennorama

          TFRX — I stand corrected?

          • TFRX

            No, seriously: Uptalk practitioners can easily tend to put q-marks in the place of commas in addition to at the end of sentences.

          • hennorama

            TFRX — indeed, and thanks for the punctuation tip regarding representing the phenomenon.

          • Ray in VT

            Suggestion:

            “indeed? thanks for the punctuation tip regarding representing the phenomenon.”

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — indeed. Thanks? for the punctuation tip regarding representing the phenomenon Suggestion.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re welcome?

  • JP_Finn

    Yeah…I’m gonna go ahead and suggest that Parliament or the Bundestag gets to hold the title of “greatest legislature in the democratic world” these days (it’s certainly not Congress). Jack: I feel for you, bro’.

    • JP_Finn

      Oh, wait, was that not Jack Beatty?–dude sounds like he could be Beatty’s brother. My b.

  • M S

    Remember people, they are us.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      I thought corporations are us. HD

    • rich4321

      They are not us. They are the people under the pretense to be one of us. Once they are elected into the office, their true color come out.

  • couchdog27

    Conservatives are proving they aren’t spending money… well if you thinking kicking the can down the road so the repair of infrastructure will be even more expensive (if not more dangerous)

    Anytime they stream line government could also save money — but yea, say doing nothing saves money

    • MrNutso

      If they aren’t spending money, why are we spending so much on DOD and DHS?

      • couchdog27

        Ironical complaining about our deficit at the same time…

  • Scott B

    Thomas Mann’s co-author, Norm Ornstein (conservative, American Enterprise Institute) said it best about the Republican party:”The problem with the Republican party is that they deny fact, science, history, and experience.”

    Listening to Katrina, that’s multiplied several rime over by the Tea Party, who have an even greater ability to believe their own bullsh!t.
    Our founding fathers, one and all, did a lot of compromising before ratifying the Constitution. Congress listens to it’s constitutuants?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Norm Ornstein is no conservative. He is a self identified centrist.

      • TFRX

        So, you’re saying “Once the centrists revolt against GOP obstructionism they can’t hardly get on TV and radio anymore”?

        Cos that’s what everyone’s thinking.

        • Scott B

          Especially around election time, when it makes for good sound bites. But that follows the pattern the Republicans themselves have set up for elections with their “purity tests” for conservatism, and look where it’s led them – Crazytown.

      • Scott B

        He’s said that he is a conservative and Republican, but not the kind of conservative and Republican of today that’s let itself become polarized, wagged by the tail of the far left (Tea Party), and led down a path of ignorance.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Who are you to define “conservative”?

        True conservatives would be doing everything possible to address climate change. You know – conserving the earth we depend on for our lives.

      • StilllHere

        Exactly, and perhaps left-leaning at that.

  • TFRX

    “Conservatives need to prove they’re not spending any money (in Congress). Democrats need to do things that appeal to their base.”

    False Equivalence much, Nancy Cordes?

    Time to tell the experienced Congressional reporter about the maker and taker states. And how many Republicans campaign on bringing home the bacon. And how the words of right-wingers on Capitol Hill far outpace their ability to cut things (except for spiting The Other).

    • couchdog27

      I think the point might be — in both cases they are appealing to their bases

      • TFRX

        And someone on Capitol Hill, the Congressional Reporter for one of the big three networks, should not have to be told by the likes of me that policy matters.

        Unless Nancy Cordes is just a sucker for right-wingers beating their mighty fiscalconservative chests about not wanting to spend money. While fighting for every cent they can get for themselves, their districts, and their (red) states. The primacy of us bluestaters as “tax donors” to the “fiscally conservative” and/or Tea Party-led states in the union is well documented.

        And at the same time, she will just up and “observe” about how they lob “tax and spend” at people who want govt policies and programs that the GOP was on board with even during the Reagan years.

        Nancy Cordes is so “savvy” about politics her brain is threatening to fall out.

    • nj_v2

      Mainstream, inbred newsworld. They have to preserve their access.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    The failure of the college degree: there’s a week of shows in that one.

  • MrNutso

    Joe, it’s what comes with campaign contributions that makes them stupid.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Lean times don’t apply to the populace. If waistlines are the measure.

    The Gross Waistline Product: much more reflective of “progress” than GDP which only measures economic activity.

    • StilllHere

      Or anything else, if you compare us to our global peers.

    • Dave Lister

      Unfortunately, it’s more of a product of living off cheap but unhealthy junk than of prosperity.

  • couchdog27

    How sad is it, one has to point out we are a democracy

  • TFRX

    Caller Troy, the distinct difference between now and the ’80s is that Tip ONeill didn’t have any interest in dumping all over Reagan.

  • J__o__h__n

    Boehner is no Tip O’Neill.

  • MrNutso

    Why is it Obama who is not strong and not Boehner?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      Too poofs in the same ballet. Both want to be the prima ballerina. HD

  • lesliemf10

    we’re not a democracy; we are now an oligarchy. The richest people control congress in many ways: 1) a person cant get elected without lots of money supplied by the very rich; 2) congress then write specific loopholes in the tax law and other legislation and regulations to benefit those who donated to their campaigns. The rich control the USA, not the people in general.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Congress types should pick up their own seat and go to work.

  • MrNutso

    Nancy, you are living in a dream world.

    • StilllHere

      She lives in DC, so yes.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      She must be on the MJ a Month club list. HD

  • mother_ness

    To the point your speaker made about the American public having to just break down and vote for one side – and then let them stay in power for a while – I say bring on the class warfare. I’m talking to you, Poor Republican voters – you are so obviously and continuously screwed over by your own side, it’s amazing.

    • StilllHere

      Yes, become Democrats and be a ward of the state for multiple generations.

      • Ray in VT

        or be a conservative state and become a ward of the Federal government for generations.

      • TFRX

        Just like all those taker red states.

        Oh, wait…

  • rich4321

    No one in the Congress has the interest of the American people. Republican
    and Democrat alike. They only care about their own power gains.

    • Mari McAvenia

      Exactly. That’s why they need to be ousted. All of ‘em.

      • nj_v2

        Except mine. I like mine.

      • rich4321

        Well said. How can we fire them?

  • armoredsaint

    Amazingly, the liberals are in print and on-air with the jaw gaping position that President Obama has nearly zero percentage of fault for today’s circumstances domestically or overseas. The claim is this is still due to Bush and a “do nothing” congress. It is beyond absurd and if you so.should you agree to this, know that you are a liar or an imbecile, either way, you should not be taken seriously on political matters.

    • couchdog27

      this is the funniest thing I have read in a while..

      • TFRX

        I like the construction, but I don’t know, I’m not all that sold on the likeness.

        If I didn’t know it was Sarah Palin (glasses, machine gun), would I identify her as Sarah

        Palin?

        Of course, she’s doin her damndest to keep her place atop the wingnut welfare gravy train. Michele Bachman or Marsha Blackburn aren’t going to topple her soon.

      • armoredsaint

        Yet you are somehow too inarticulate to explain why. Next!

    • StilllHere

      On a bad day when the Bush thing isn’t working, they’ll blame it all on Reagan. So sad.

      • couchdog27

        second funniest thing I have read today…

        A lot of people would do well to go and look at some of the things those two chestnuts did

        • StilllHere

          You don’t get out much do you.

          • couchdog27

            Now this might be one of the best insults ever… except it is not.

            If you want to learn about what a bad president Reagan was (eclipsed by Bush of course) you need to research what the did… unfortunately ‘getting out’ isn’t really how you research, unless you mean ‘get out and go to a library’ get out and read a newspaper/// get out and learn the facts..

            I guess if I ‘got out to a desert or a forest… a desolate island… I might think bad was good or get out and put my head in the sand…?

            Nice insult, just wrong situation.

          • StilllHere

            I was commenting on your sense of humor.

          • couchdog27

            no I don’t get out much… I get my jokes (humor) from reading what the far right believes to be a fact.

            …so maybe that is an accurate insult..

          • StilllHere

            Not that I’d call myself far right, though probably right of you fiscally, but what fact did I get wrong?

          • couchdog27

            I believe you think all those left of you…. should

            not blame anything on Bush or Reagan (that they are faultless… I guess)

            and that all those left of you do… is blame them, that they/well have no other tact on the political discussion…. I mean there is a ‘do nothing congress’ discussion where prominent republicans have said they are going to do nothing to make Obama fail… but it is the fault those ‘left of you folks’ point this out

          • StilllHere

            I don’t see any facts here.

          • couchdog27

            okay… I thought you said something about people blaming Reagan and Bush for problems… that is or isn’t a fact…

            I will let you have the last word, since I am clearly wrong here.

          • jimino

            What fact did you state?

          • StilllHere

            It’s a fact that you are a douche.

          • jimino

            And you reach your true level of discourse.

          • jimino

            “Standard operating procedure to insult the person rather than to logically dismantle the claim.

            Nothing to see here.”

            warryer

          • StilllHere

            I’m commenting on his/her sense of humor.

    • nj_v2

      Amazingly, right-wingers have re-appropriated liberal to apply to anyone that unconditionally supports Obama. Real liberals criticize him, and the even more right-wing Republicans, based on issues, principles, and record, and not on the kind of mindless partisanism this post invokes.

      Real liberals are an endangered species, a plight exasperated by their conflation with faux-/fake- and neo-liberals, as done in this post.

      • couchdog27

        I would guess to the ‘right’ anyone who is a free thinker is ‘liberal’ and in a way, they are liberal in their ability to think…

      • armoredsaint

        You know what, I don’t necessarily disagree with everything you’ve just said. I think today’s liberal is not progressive at all but instead regressive so why don’t the real liberals take the reins back instead of being led around by the nose by the far left, incompetent hateful neo liberals?

    • jimino

      “You don’t get out much do you.”

      Still Here

      • warryer

        Standard operating procedure to insult the person rather than to logically dismantle the claim.

        Nothing to see here.

        • hennorama

          From below:

          StilllHere [-->] couchdog27 • 21 minutes ago

          You don’t get out much do you.

          • StilllHere

            In reference to his/her sense of humor, but context isn’t your forte, much less facts. I always appreciate your lurking though.

          • hennorama

            Stilllhere — TYFYR.

            The two verbatim remarks were interestingly juxtaposed. That’s the context, if you actually care.

          • StilllHere

            Based on what you find interesting, I’m inclined to believe you don’t get out much, do you?

          • hennorama

            OK, now that was amusing.

          • pete18

            Best line of the day.

          • Ray in VT

            “context isn’t your forte, much less facts”. That is pretty rich coming from one such as yourself.

      • armoredsaint

        it’s understandable that you couldn’t make a point but instead felt the need to go after the messenger .Without substance, all you have are insults. Very typical of the left. Tthank you for the demonstration.

        • hennorama

          armoredsaint — one question:

          Is the following an insult (emphasis added)?

          “It is beyond absurd and if you should agree to this, know that you are a liar or an imbecile, either way, you should not be taken seriously on political matters.”

          • armoredsaint

            Hen, thanks for the question. it would be insulting if I couldn’t qualify or prove it. Then I ask you to look at the policies and decisions made by this president who in almost every turn weakened the country and our resources and weakened our poltical prowess globally.

          • hennorama

            armoredsaint — thank you for your response.

            So, your words “would be insulting,” under certain conditions, and if those conditions were met, then your words were an insult.

            Good to know.

            It’s curious then, how you wrote to [jimino], that “all you have are insults. Very typical of the left.”

            Doesn’t that then make you a member “of the left,” however you define “the left,” given that your words were an insult?

            If you would be so kind, please demonstrate how you could “qualify or prove it.”

            Then please also demonstrate how “this president … in almost every turn weakened the country and our resources and weakened our poltical prowess globally,” if you would be so kind.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • armoredsaint

            Poor thing, you’re confusing yourself. I wrote that if you somehow believe Obama has next to nothing to do with today’s train wreck we call America then you must be either a liar or an imbecile. That is not an insult but an opinion based on a mountain of evidence.

          • hennorama

            armoredsaint — TYFYR.

            Firstly, I’m neither “poor” nor a “thing,” and am not confused.

            You wrote a comment that, according to you, “would be insulting” under certain conditions, specifically, “if [you] couldn’t qualify or prove it.”

            When asked to “qualify or prove it,” you did not, impying an inability to do so.

            This implies that your words are an insult, according to your own conditions.

            In addition, you wrote a comment critical of [jimino], to whom you wrote “… all you have are insults.”

            It seems you are confused, hypocritical, and inconsistent, based on your comments in this thread.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • armoredsaint

            Now now, calm down. Can’t qualify it? I must have missed the request.

            AERP American Economic Recovery Plan: $787B wasted since we saw no recovery. It was a Democratic smash n grab. Obama supporting unions painted bridges and paved roads to cities with no jobs.

            AHP Affordable Healthcare Plan;
            Higher rates, can’t have your doctor in millions of cases, worse coverages so what did he fix?

            Foreign Policy; Russia, Israel, Iraq, Libya, N Korea, Britain, Poland, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen,….where are our relations better than when Bush was in office?

            Fast & Furious, Benghazi scandals, using the FDA, IRS, Justice Department, NOAA, Commerce departments as political weapons against American citizens.

            He is absolutely the worst POTUS in history…much to Jimmy Carter’s relief.

      • hennorama

        “Get the L out of here.”

  • Chicken lady

    I believe that the best solutions to problems are resolved when a broad group of different perspectives are involved in the discussion and solution; however, the Tea Party representative in this discussion did nothing but regurgitate the TP laundry list of complaints/wants. Period – no room for compromise or nuanced discussion. Certainly there is someone within the Tea Party that can discuss their thoughts and possible solutions with thoughtfulness and some degree of flexibility. Maybe there is not – every time I hear Senator Cruse, he talks as if he’s the mouthpiece for a deity and he’s leading the charge to a large extent. I’m beginning to think that Congress needs to vote to spend some money on some therapists to work on mandatory group therapy for every member of Congress until people regain their rationality or they go home.

  • James

    I think Ms. Cordes has it, as long as there was wide spread conscientious that(to quote Dick Chaney) “Deficits don’t matter” then it was easy enough to be flexible enough to make enough people happy to get legislation through. After the massive stimulus in 2009 (and for what?) the right lost it and had an enough is an enough moment.
    Personally I believe that if you got the debt down, you would cool enough tempers that you could get your infrastructure bills and the like through.
    Of course the response on the left to the failure of the stimulus was that the largest stimulus since the Great Depression wasn’t big enough, so they want more deficit spending.

    • StilllHere

      If only there was a party or a loose affiliation of groups that called itself a party that was concerned about debt levels, deficits, out-of-control government spending and a generally overreaching government….

    • Ray in VT

      Whereas I think that part of the current situation is a reaction to the increases in the deficits and debts in the wake of the Recession, I am inclined to think that there would be less opposition if the current President was a Republican. That is just my opinion.

      I do not think that one can say that the stimulus failed. At least a majority of academic studies of it conclude that it at least somewhat worked.

    • HonestDebate1

      That Cheney quote is insanely out of context. Libs love that sort of thing.

      • Ray in VT

        So with FY 2013′s deficit coming in at 4.1% of GDP and projected to shrink to 3.7% in FY 2014, then it basically shouldn’t matter, correct? Those numbers are only slightly larger than under Bush and are much smaller than several years under Reagan.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — actually, CBO projections for FY 2014 are for the deficit to be 2.8% of GDP, a figure which is below the average of the last 40 years. FY 2014 is projected to be the fifth consecutive year this figure (deficit as a percentage of GDP) has fallen.

          As it usually does each spring, CBO has updated the baseline budget projections that it released earlier in the year. CBO now estimates that if the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit in fiscal year 2014 will be $492 billion. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit—at 2.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—will be nearly a third less than the $680 billion shortfall in fiscal year 2013, which was equal to 4.1 percent of GDP. This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the deficit has declined as a share of GDP since peaking at 9.8 percent in 2009 (see the figure below).

          http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/images/pubs-images/45xxx/45229-land-Baseline1-yellow.png

          See:
          http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45229http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45229

          • Ray in VT

            Thanks. I was looking at the White House historical tables.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — no worries.

            Please excuse the riff:

            “There you go again, believing something out of the White House.”

          • Ray in VT

            Well, we certainly can trust a government source, even when our argument is based on a government source.

          • hennorama

            “Yes, we can?”

      • jimino

        So what he really meant was that people who vote Republican based on what those candidates say they stand for are stupid or gullible, since they never actually do it once elected.

        That’s the context, right?

        • hennorama

          jimino — perhaps [Debates?NotHe] meant that quoting someone “insanely out of context” is only done by the nefarious, misleading, unnamed “Libs.”

          After all, everyone knows that those who quote President Obama having said “You didn’t build that” are all “Libs.”

        • HonestDebate1

          Obama is a deficit hawk. A fiscal scrooge. But then Cheney said deficits don’t matter so Obama figured, “heck, I’ll quadruple it, Cheney said it’s cool.”

          It reminds me of all those people who were dead set against the Iraq war. No way, no how. But then Cheney said we would be greeted as liberators so 50 nations, the UN, Congress and the American people said, “Oh, then by all means”.

          It’s silly.

          BTW, Paul O’Neil said Cheney said that after O’Neil objected to the second round of tax cuts which merely accelerated the first round. then an extra over half trillion rolled into the treasury and the unemployment rate began to plummet.

          • Ray in VT

            Hahahahahaha. The deficit exploded before Obama entered office.

            I’ll hand it to Bush & Co. They knew how to sucker people. A lot of those “liberators” weren’t willing to take our word for it when we actually found a guy who had and was using chemical weapons.

            The Bush tax cuts didn’t drive growth. They certainly drove deficits, which were okay as long as it was a Republican in the White House.

          • HonestDebate1

            After four years of ragings tax cuts and wars the deficit was $151B. But believe what you will.

          • Ray in VT

            Irrelevant. The claim, or often the suggestion, is that the tax cuts drove growth and spurred revenue increases. I do not think that the evidence supports such a claim, but believe what you will. You’ve never let something like a lack of evidence deter you in the past.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude you just told me it was driving up deficits and you don’t even have a correlation. The evidence refutes your claim. That is true whether the tax cuts influenced the 52 months of falling unemployment, over a half trillion of extra revenue and shrinking deficit…. but they did. Everybody knows it.

          • Ray in VT

            Funny how Bush never was able to match those numbers as a share of GDP that Clinton and his higher tax rates attained. You can claim what you want, but your claims, as usual prove nothing, as they are rarely based upon facts, at least facts that have anything to do with each other.

          • HonestDebate1

            My claim disproves you so now you want talk about Clinton. Such a supple wrist.

          • Ray in VT

            No, it does not. My black shirt did not make it sunny today, and the Bush tax cuts did not cause what you claim.

            I would need much practice in order to get my wrist to be as supple as a masterdebater such as yourself.

            Also, when were those 52 months of falling unemployment? They weren’t consecutive, were they?

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you just stupid? You said the tax cuts drove up the deficit as the deficit went down and revenues went up. You can say the tax cuts had nothing to do with it, fine. The evidence clearly shows they did not drive deficits. You don’t even have a correlation Ray. Where is it?

            At least you can ignore the tech bubble, Newt’s influence, the peace dividend and say the Clinton caused the good economy by himself. That’s a correlation you can swear is causation. You’d just be wrong but here you’re not even close.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s not about me. What are teabaggers so nasty? So many seem to have such a bad taste in their mouths. One wonders what that could be.

            “The evidence clearly shows they did not drive deficits.” Hey, believe whatever lies you want if it helps you to continue to maintain the intellectually bankrupt beliefs upon which you have carefully constructed your warped worldview.

    • hennorama

      James — ignoring all of your “the stimulus didn’t work” comments, please explain exactly how you propose to get to a Federal surplus. Will you:

      A. Increase Federal revenue
      B. Decrease Federal spending
      C. Do both

      In other words, what revenue sources (taxes, fees, etc.) would you increase; what spending would you decrease; or, how would you do both, exactly?

      • James

        a little from column A (mostly in the form of ending loopholes
        and a lot from column B

        • hennorama

          James — thank you for your response.

          Care to be “a little” or “a lot” more specific?

      • HonestDebate1

        D. Grow the economy

    • TELew

      I think the Republican’s “enough is enough” was based on the fact that a Democrat had been elected president, not any real concern for fiscal responsibility.

      • Ray in VT

        The push for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution didn’t seem to get any attention when there was a Republican in the White House, but that is probably a coincidence.

    • dizzy7

      Actually, the stimulus was quite successful at preventing another Great Depression, or perhaps you haven’t noticed that both the unemployment rate and the annual deficit have been on a steady downward trajectory since 2009.

  • Dave Lister

    I’m waiting for the Republican party and the T party to split. They have to eventually, since there’s no room for compromise or negotiation from the TP’ers even with conservative Republicans. It’s either that or get primaried out of existence.

  • grifdog

    Thanks Tom for the timely discussion. Please provide follow up shows focusing on the specifics of this subject between now and November. If I had the opportunity to call in I would have provided as an example of “do nothing” Congress is ” Why have I heard so much about the need to approve the Keystone Pipeline as a “jobs” and energy security bill while until just recently heard no loud voices about the failure of Congress to address beyond a “cooking the books” band aid to responsibly address the Highway Trust Fund. A critical need for our economy and a “real” long term jobs bill.

  • Shawn

    Maybe it is time for term limits in the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate. I used to think our legislators were supposed to represent the interests of their entire constituency. I am learning that is not true. At best, they seem to represent the 52% of voters that voted for them. At worst, they seem to represent those interests that paid the bulk of their campaign costs. And somewhere in between best and worst, they seem to represent their own personal philosophy. We voters need a way to efficiently identify what our representatives are actually doing and what the effect of those actions have been. Then we can respond intelligently at the ballot box when we find we saddled ourselves with a non-governing government.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      The only “people” they represent are the corporations.

  • Guest

    I remember when the Dems controlled both Houses of Congress during Obama’s first two years in office, the Dems and Obama couldn’t even get a budget passed!

    • hennorama

      Obamunism 2.0 — how long before you turn this into a “Guest” comment?

      [Answer: in less than 2 minutes.]

      • HonestDebate1

        Who but you cares?

        • jefe68

          The 6 others who agreed.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — it is implicit that [Debates?NotHe] cares on some level as well, given his comment, as do those who [Vote up] regarding his comment.

          • jefe68

            Indeed.

        • Steve__T

          ????????

    • Ray in VT

      So? The GOP passes its budgets in the House and doesn’t stick to them when they pass the spending bills. A budget is just a plan and not an actual authorization.

    • StilllHere

      It was Reagan’s fault.

      • Guest

        Don’t forget to blame the weather. Those June snowstorms can really unleash havoc on the economy.

        • Ray in VT

          Is that why only 288,000 jobs were added to the economy in June? Darn you, snow.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        I dont think they ever controlled both houses and not by a majority large enough to do anything

    • TELew

      If I recall correctly the Senate Republicans, joined by a handful of Democrats, pretty much stopped most of what Obama wanted.

      • Guest

        The Democrats still controlled both Houses of Congress, yet Obama and his party still couldn’t pass one single budget, as is mandated by the US Constitution.

        • TELew

          Refer to above for explanation.

          • Guest

            Even Obama’s own Supreme Court Justices are ruling against the Obama Administration.

          • TELew

            Well it’s good that some Supreme Court justices are independent minded enough not to always rule as “liberal” or “conservative.” Unfortunately, there are about four SCJs that always seem to rule along ideological lines.

      • dizzy7

        That’s right. The Dems controlled the House and had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate only for a few months—until Scott Brown was elected to replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate. From that point on the Republicans were free to pursue their scorched earth policy of filibustering and blocking any attempt to pass legislation or confirm justices and agency executives.

        • TELew

          Actually the conservative Democrats, ie. “Blue Dogs”, were never committed and often opposed “liberal” Democratic measures. Hence, the “filibuster-proof majority” only existed on paper.

      • StilllHere

        Sounds like bipartisanship. What more do you want?

  • hypocracy1

    Who wants to bet that if the GOP wins in 2016 they will immediately approve the infrastructure programs Obama proposed?

    • StilllHere

      What infrastructure programs?

  • FrankensteinDragon

    The congress does nothing because it is paid to do nothing. W live in a corporate society. Corptoratism (fascism) controls governemnt completely and absolutely. It has for a long time. Since the beginning of this country, corporate elements, robber barons, fascists have work tirelesly to break the system for one reason–they are against democracy and always have been. They see it as their duty to make sure it doesn’t function. They get elected, they bribe, they fund super pacs, they present idiot A and Idiot B for elected-office office or shill A and Shill B, and ensure the Republic is broke.

    You want to change the system? Pluggin holes wont work. You have ot end corporatism. You have to amend the Constitution to give every citizent he right to vote, and make Corporations illegal or temporary with NO RIGHTS–they are not human beings, NOT PEOPLE, –you need to end corporate financing, soft money, bribes, and make electioneering and the Internet and all telecommunications public utitlies for the people by the people and not for corproations and profit. And if you really want to fix the system–you need to throw the republic out with the dirt bath water because the only thing that will truly fix the system is direct democracy, no elected officials, no congress, no president, no supreme court. Universal suffrage and open action committees.

    If you do not discuss this you are shamefully in compliance with the war against democracy.

  • Sy2502

    Frankly, considering how badly they mess things up when they do something, maybe it’s better if they do nothing. After all, do we really need more laws? We have thousands of laws already, why aren’t they enough?

    • StilllHere

      Fair question, that I don’t think was answered at all during the hour or here.

    • Gary Ferrini

      I’m certainly sympathetic to your idea that Congress messes things up but do you really think the answer is no more laws but better ones? I’m sad to think we are so paralyzed in our partisanship that we are heading to ruination and I don’t see answers. One would hope our leaders would battle at the margins but come together for the common good and cross party lines where demanded by good sense. However, that doesn’t appear likely in the current climate and I doubt it’s forthcoming.

      • Sy2502

        I absolutely agree with you about better laws rather than more laws. I think in an ideal situation, it would be nice to scrap all current laws except the Constitution, and start from scratch from there. Simple, clear laws, which means few laws and no loopholes. The current system of legal labyrinth does one thing and one thing only: feed lawyers.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      This music has too many notes!

  • Art Toegemann

    A cursory search of the Comments here finds no mentions of the over 40 known, futile attempts to overturn the ACA; and the abusive, excessive filibustering. This has not been business as usual.
    Remember.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Too bad they weren’t successful. The majority of Americans want it overturned.

      Major social programs should never be rammed through with one party support.

      • dizzy7

        Then I’m guessing that you favor the repeal of Social Security and Medicaid since the Republicans hated and voted as a bloc against both of those programs. If we had to wait for Republican support, no social welfare program would ever be passed–lots of tax cuts for the rich, tho.

        • HonestDebate1

          Those were bipartisan, debated and read. Obamacare not so much.

      • Kevj1

        Worried,
        When the 135 MILLION who start losing their coverage in 4 weeks, October 1st., and when they see the $5,800 single & $13,600 family of 2 or more Out of Pocket cost’s, PLUS Premiums PLUS a new Service fee PLUS a NEW Tax, there will be literally MILLIONS of un-happy voters who will force the Democrats out of every office for giving their YES vote in 2009.

    • pete18

      If only they could go back to the one-party, reconciliation methods to pass a program that overhauled the US Healthcare system and economy and didn’t have public support. Then they could be a “do something” congress again!

    • HonestDebate1

      There were six.

    • jefe68

      Wait for after the midterm elections this fall.
      We might see impeachment on the docket if the extremist get their way. Then we will see some serious dysfunction in action.

      • Kevj1

        Jefe68
        Did you call Nancy Pelosi an “Extremist” when she and other Democrats filed notice of Impeachment in 2008 against George Bush? We sure saw some serious dysfunction out of the Democrats then, Hell, we still do.

  • Guest

    The ‘Obamacare Repealing-Congress’ sounds very appealing.

    • hypocracy1

      Last time I checked they didn’t do that either.. just sayin’

      • Ray in VT

        Maybe they can vote on it again before the recess.

        • Kevj1

          Ray,
          Oct 1- 90 Million start losing Employer Health care
          Next Oct 1- 45 Million start losing their Personal Health care. And that is 4 weeks before the mid terms, and when they see the new rates, service fee and new taxes, people will REVOLT!

          • Ray in VT

            For all of the doom and gloom from last fall, millions more people have health care coverage now then a year ago. Given the constant sky is falling claims from opponents of the law, and given how as of yet these claims have been all for naught, then I’m not expecting the sky to fall this autumn either. I think that the worst nightmare of the American Right is that this thing will actually work.

          • Kevj1

            Why would a Harvard law professor(?), Senator and President rather BREAK HIS LAW, than Implement his Crowning Achievement until AFTER the next TWO elections? Ask him. You say nothing bad happened, “The sky isn’t falling” yet, because 90% of this badly NEEDED bill has been put on hold because 4 years after the ACA mess was written, someone sat Obama down and read the bill to him, more than 150 democrats wrote and met with the President and told him the ACA bill would destroy their chance’s in the upcoming two elections
            As of 8/15 7.8million paid, but over 5 million lost coverage. The OUT of Pocket costs : Single – $5,800
            Family 2 or more $13,600 PLUS Premiums, service charge and Tax. When the ACA is up and running, only 33 Million will remain un-insured and the CBO estimates the total ACA costs to be 7.8 Trillion over 10 years, Obama promised it would be DEFICIT NEUTRAL, If you like your Doctor.

      • StilllHere

        Last time I checked they didn’t ‘Do-Nothing’ so playing loose with facts seems ok.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Caller Keith (at ~9 minutes) is invoking a false equivalency. The Republicans are the only “side” in this obstructed Congress.

    • Kevj1

      Neil Blanchard -msnbc scholar -
      The HOUSE passed 5 Bi-Partisan Budgets.
      The Senate passed 1
      The House sent over 300 Bi-Partisan bills with money for almost every part of our economy, to the Senate. The Senate passed 21 out of over 300.
      Neil, when a President say’s he WON’T NEGOTIATE with Congress, whose to blame?

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Climate change is case in point – delaying action is making things worse and worse. The longer we delay, the more expensive the problems will be.

    • harverdphd

      meh

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Nice to know you care about the world. And how we humans treat it.

        We only live here. Meh …

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The Republicans / Teaparty wants the Congress to obstruct legislation, because they think that proves that government is broken.

    Talk about self-fulfilling prophecies!

  • Gary Ferrini

    I agree but even in my most optimistic moments, I can’t imagine such a reform. Personally, I think a parliamentary system would provide better representation for minorities on all sides. Christians, African-Americans, Hispanics, labor, women, people of divergent sexual orientation, and others could have parties which actually represent them and those parties would be forced to form coalitions to succeed in attaining goals. The two party system of today is hopelessly ineffective and don’t provide more than symbolic representation for the groups mentioned.

  • TyroneJ

    What seemed to get lost in the show this morning is that the Nation is divided pretty much 50-50, and has been for a very long time. Anyone thinking there has been some type of mandate to go forth and radically change the direction of the country in the last decade and a half is simply delusional.

    Obama won in 2008 & 2012 with 53% & 51% of the popular vote respectively, which means essentially half the voters voted against him.

    Before Obama, Bush won in 2000 & 2004 with 48% & 51% of the popular vote respectively, which means essentially half the voters voted against him as well.

    The voters, like it or not, are pretty evenly divided and that means gridlock. Many parts of the Nation are so hyper polarized (such as Massachusetts where I live), that the average person in these hyper polarized places really does not know many folks with opposing views, and so are clueless as to how evenly politically divided this Nation really is.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Majorities are very often slim. But that is no excuse for this Congress.

      • pete18

        It isn’t an excuse, it’s an explanation. If half the country wants one thing and the other half wants the opposite, then congress will not ( and should not) be able to move on a lot of issues.
        Unless of course, there was a president who didn’t loose support in his second term, was a good leader, could work well with both parties in congress and bring forward legislation that he promoted and explained that would gather the support of a majority of the public.

        So I guess it will be awhile.

    • harverdphd

      Exactly..which is why inaction is important at this point. Tom stated that the president is elected…but so are all others in the legislative branch who are acting in accordance with the rules. There is no easy fix: Daschle and Snowe can go home because there is no legislative solution. The situation will evolve into a solution. That’s the beauty here. I can’t help but conclude that the founders instinctively expected this.

      • Jay Rich

        I disagree. This divide is why compromise and dialog is important at this point. To move this country forward, there are things that should have been done. Obamacare, for instance, if the GOP didn’t like it, there was plenty they could have done to make it more acceptable to them. Instead they sat on their hands and did nothing except complain.
        This is why congress misses people like Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd – they were able to work with the opposite side of the aisle and actually get things done.

        • Godzilla the Intellectual

          I think the ideologies both parties subscribe to are completely banal. We need new parties.

        • Kevj1

          Jay Rich -
          You are wrong.
          Senator McCain begged Harry Reid in the final vote for the ACA “Senator Reid, Please tear up your bill and let’s sit down , work together on a Health Care reform for all of America’s people”, Reid said “Senator McCain, our bill is already written and that’s the one we’re going with” Thus LOCKING the GOP OUT of forematting and finalizing the ACA. Obama sat inbetween Reid and Pelosi and it was HIM who sat on his ass and said NOTHING! A real man, a real President would have stood up and said SOMETHING, anything and KEPT HIS WORD.
          Now we have a community organizer/Harvard Law Professor (?)Senator/turned President, who would rather break his law, and NOT implement his Crowning achievement, Until after the next Election, because after 3 years someone took the time to read it to him and he see’s just how destructive and damaging this mess actually is. October 1st, 90 MILLION will start receiving cancellation notices for their Employer sponsored Health care, and next OCTOBER 1st, 45 MILLION will start getting cancellation notices for their personal Health care. And when they see the cost, they will REVOLT.
          Out of pocket- Single > $5800
          Out of pocket – Family of 2 or more $13,600 ALL PLUS Premiums, new service fee and TAX! And Obama PROMISED the ACA would be DEFICIT NUETRAL – It’s NOT. The CBO puts the cost at $7.9 TRILLION over ten years, and it will cost at least 500,000 JOBS! The Cleveland Clinic just laid 3000 off, with another 7,000 next year. And when it is all up and running, only 30 MILLION will be uninsured. Progress, Huh Ray?

    • JS

      Really? Which part of Massachusetts do you live in? My town consistently votes for Republican candidates, I know many Republicans and even some teabaggers.

      • TyroneJ

        Do you know how to read? Look at my profile.

        • JS

          Why the question about reading? I didn’t look at your profile nor would I care to. I don’t list my town in mine and wouldn’t think to look for someone’s town there either. I ask you a simple, straightforward question, I see no reason to cop an attitude.

          My town has a population of 22,000 and has a Republican Board of Selectman, a Republican Sate Senator, and a Republican State Rep.

          And I know many folks ranging from proud Socialists to Tea Party members, and everything in between.

  • Gato Pardo

    Quite frankly when all they do is to screw us up all the time..maybe is better they go on vacation so we can have peace…

  • Pointpanic

    Is it really a “do nothing” Congress? or just one in the pockets of the corporate multi-nationals? I wish a voice from ,say, the Public Interest or the Green party were included in this show.

  • hennorama

    Mr. Kevin — it’s actually one of the genius elements of the US government that each state has equal representation in the Senate.

    Here’s a factoid for your consideration:

    Half ot the US population lives in 146 counties (out of more than 3000 counties and county-like jurisdictions).

    If we went to a system that was a “truly democratic and accurately representative government,” Presidential campaigns would be focused in these counties (and a few others), which would not exactly be “representative.” And potentially half of Congress could come out of less than 5% of the counties in the US.

    There’s both a map and a list of the counties here:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/half-of-the-united-states-lives-in-these-counties-2013-9

  • Zack Smith

    Thank you for having Katrina Pierson on to represent the Tea Party perspective. Matt Kibbe from Freedomworks would be a good guest to book for a full show to field callers’ questions and comments.

  • crtum

    For an example of the divisiveness of Congress just read the comments!

    Americans are deeply divided today and this is reflected in Congress. Unfortunately we had 2 liberals and a tea party member as guests.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      And with Tea Party rhetoric like gut, hollow out, eliminate cripple and no compromise, how is does responsibility for this mess not lie solely in their camp? Their idea of negotiation is that they tell their opponents what they want and then hold government hostage until their opposition gives in.

      Holding the US economy hostage, risking default is the opposite of patriotism. It’s economic terrorism.

  • Eliza_Bee

    I have been investing for many years to fund retirement, will be retirement age in a few years, and as such, I have had it up to here with people like the Tea Party guest, who glibly promote default on the US debt.

    I looked her up on the web, and she looks fairly young and may not have much at stake yet. Thank heavens the voters of Dallas had the good sense to reject her and her irresponsible, ruinous policies. IMHO, Sen. Cruz and others who are ready to wreck our economy are traitors.

    • Kevj1

      Eliza B.
      If you look back, the Republicans and some Democrats wanted Obama to postpone the Individual Mandate for one year. It was then, while sitting on a stage with President Vlad Putin, when asked Obama said “I WILL NOT NEGOTIATE WITH CONGRESS”. It was with that comment all Budget negotiations ended and on October 1st. 2013 at 12:01 am, Harry Reid shut the Government down. When GW Bush needed to raise the DEBT LIMIT, BARACK OBAMA voted NO, on seven requests. Stating that ” I can not continue to finance a President with failed policies”. Now when Obama needs to raise the DEBT limit and someone votes NO, they are labeled a RACIST, and told they don’t want to see Obama succeed because he’s black. And Obama goes back to his Campaigning (6yrs) yelling “Tell them to pay our bills”. As a Senator/law professor It was OK for him to vote NO, 7 TIMES. Was he a RACIST?

  • Guest

    I’d rather have a ‘Do-Nothing Congress’ than a Congress that passes jobs-killing legislation like Obamacare, which the Congress exempted itself from.
    How convenient.

    • hennorama

      “Guest” please explain why you contimue to “delete” your comments.

      • Guest

        Why do you care? Maybe he/she forgot her/his username and/or password? Or his/her phone doesn’t accept cookies. But really why do you care?

        • hennorama

          Stilllhere — why do you care why I might care?

          • StilllHere

            You’re right. It’s just so pathetic to see your stalking and lurking. I don’t care. Enjoy yourself.

          • hennorama

            Stilllhere — your apathy is unsurprising.

          • Beelzebub

            This ping-ponging is quite entertaining, but gets old real fast.

          • hennorama

            Beelzebub — thank you for your response.

            Is getting old real fast a good thing or a bad thing?

          • Kevj1

            Like watching pong

      • Eris

        What a tedious exchange.

        • hennorama

          Eris — thank you for your response.

          What did you find to be “tedious,” and what part did you find to be an “exchange”?

          [After all, there was no reciprocal giving and receiving between "Guest" and [hennorama].]

  • Eliz Donovan

    What a great discussion: In my opinion, all three branches of the government (President, Congress and Supreme Court) as an entire group are currently broken. So “Do Nothing” may be appropriate in general. The productive thing to do would be to start a whole new discussion around a way forward. Shifting focus from the current unproductive mindset of blame to one of advocacy for the people they represent. (A challenge considering both Democrat and Republican Representatives struggle to meet party fund raising goals creating a conflict of interest; they are pushed to special interest to look for $$$ and unfortunately vote where the dollars lead them.) A good first step would addressing party dependencies freeing Representatives to address the challenges we face as a Nation untethered.

    I would then suggest as a next step focusing on the shrinking of the middle class. Everyone benefits from a strong middle class; it is the single most pro-business and deficit reduction action we can take as a country.
    There are always going to be outside issues such as immigration and climate change.
    The most important thing the government can do is to work together, realign priorities and regain the trust of the American People.

  • hennorama

    Mr. Kevin — thank you for your response.

    The linked website might not be to your liking, but they used Census data to produce their map and list. Do you object to the Census Bureau as a source, too?

    The genius of the equal representation in the US Senate is that it ensures that all states have a true stake in the Federal government, and their points of view can be strongly represented.

    A diversity of views is healthy, IMO.

    Without such representation, our government might easily become a “tyranny of the majority.”

    It might also result in the permanent minority status of one of the two major parties, and having a large segment of the populace with no real prospect for electoral success. This would tend to foster disunity rather than unity.

    You do have a good point about DC, though.

    Thanks again for your response.

  • Max Entropy

    How is it that neither Tom nor guests explored how the stalemate might be an intentional consequence of how monied interests manipulate events in DC? Not only do they rent members of Congress, they influence policy makers and regulators to avoid taxing or regulating hugely profitable and influential industries, such as pharma, energy, and finance. Look at how Dodd-Frank has been systematically gutted.

    Elizabeth Warren recounts a talk with Larry Summers when she was overseeing the financial collapse bailout. He told her that she could either be an insider and have influence or an outsider without influence, and that insiders do not publicly criticize other insiders. That’s the code we must break to restore our democracy, republic, or whatever the heck you want to call it.

  • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

    Congress should not be judged by how many laws are passed. It should be judged by the quality of laws and the review and possible repeal of outdated laws…. http://lstrn.us/1qhTDb8

    • Seldoc

      Congress should be judged by whether or not they are addressing the problems that our country faces. By that standard, the current Congress is an abysmal failure.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    With Tea Party rhetoric like gut, hollow out, eliminate, strangle, smother, cripple and no compromise, how is does responsibility for this mess not lie solely in their camp? Their idea of negotiation is that they tell their opponents what they want and then hold government hostage until their opposition gives in.

    Holding the US economy hostage, risking default is the opposite of patriotism. It’s economic terrorism.

    • Kevj1

      Mark,
      Who said:
      ” I will NOT Negotiate with Congress” then turned
      around and Negotiated with the Taliban ? Here’s a
      hint, it’s the person who ran for Office and promised
      “To work with the Republicans to come up with a
      Health care reform Bill for the American People, then
      LOCKED the GOP out, by NOT KEEPING HIS WORD?
      BARACK OBAMA

    • Kevj1

      Mark,
      Senator Barack Obama voted NO 7 times when GW Bush went to Congress and asked to raise the DEBT limit.
      Obama said “I can not continue to support a President with failed policies” and this moron say’s he’s a Harvard law Professor? Is that a good enough example of someone or party “HOLDING THE GOVERNMENT HOSTAGE? Is it “Risking DEFAULT? Was Obama labeled a RACIST each time he voted NO? Bush was WHITE, and Obama must have wanted to see him and our country fail. Now when a Senator votes NO, Obama YELLS “Tell Congress to pay our bills”. Mark, being a no info d voter, and the rest of the Democrats will be crushed like the bugs they are, this November. The Tea Party will sweep your crushed ass’s up and throw the Democrats out. Such Irony

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ M. A. Cayer

    So, if we see Congress members during recess should we avoid and ignore or pursue and confront?

  • Cutler Hamilton

    Katrina Pierson just makes me angry.

  • Salty

    Just heard Tom indicate that he didn’t realize we are a republic of the democratic variety rather than a “democracy”. Now, I believe Tom is better educated than most but, this was enlightening. We have a huge job to educate around how our government works.

    • Eliza_Bee

      Could you be more patronizing? I’ve been listening to On Point for quite awhile, and Tom has a very good handle on how our government works.

      I have a sneaking suspicion that Republicans tend to really like the idea that we’re a “republic” because of the political advantages they’ve gained by gerrymandering.

      • Salty

        So Republicans gerrymander? Uh, what’s called when Dems do it? I don’t think any group should do it. Has little to do with Tom’s surprise at the fact we are a republic rather than a democracy.

      • Kevj1

        Here in Ohio, a few months back, a few Democratic Senators were complaining about the re-drawn district maps were, and how un fair the system was. They refused 3 open sessions to discuss and add their opinions. No one showed up. Then the republicans brought out the maps that the Democrats “Gerrymander” last time they were in charge, and there was silence.

  • Gary in Florida

    First let me say that I am a big fan of On Point. I get to listen to it most nights and really appreciate the way you present the facts and questions fairly and accurately. Regarding the “Do nothing congress”, I feel that if they are going to refuse to do the job they were elected to do, i.e. run the country in the manner that the majority of the population wants, they should not in good conscience accept a paycheck. That is tantamount to breach of contract and by the rules of corporate America subject to withholding of payment.

    That, along with the trouble in the Middle East and Asia (Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Russia, etc.) leads me to a comment made on your show by a former military person about high school students who solved real world problems that our ego-maniacal leaders could not. It was actually a group of 4th graders and the information can be found here, https://www.worldpeacegame.org/. This program is like a tiny ray of hope for the human race and I wish it would catch on globally. Maybe the reason that children are able to find solutions to such far reaching problems is because they have not yet been corrupted by the system that we “grown-ups” insist on perpetuating and foisting on the entire world.

    One look at our own Democracy (or rather, Plutocracy) is all it takes to make the rest of the world question why they should institute such a system. We have no one to blame but ourselves but perhaps we should take advantage of all of our resources and look to future generations for ideas.

  • Kevj1

    Seldoc -
    OBAMA SHOULDN’T HAVE LIED

  • Kevj1

    Thomas Booker,
    MSnbc isn’t working out for you. Can’t you look up facts? it takes seconds. It is NOT an INCOME PROBLEM! It is a SPENDING PROBLEM! Taxes were raised on the rich, and Obama has raised 33 more through his “Dream bills”.
    Why would a Harvard law Professor(?), President STOP speaking about the deficit? Because it is one more of the HOPE & CHANGE dream of his to cut the deficit in half in four years, has turned into a SIX year NIGHTMARE, NO we can’t. Just like all of the other Hope & Change bullshit the Democrats fell for. Failure’s- VA, TSA, GITMO, FAST & FURIOUS, IRS, BENGHAZI, IRAQ (really ended the war, Huh?),Russia, Ukraine, Lybia, Syria (Red CRAYON cost over 182,000 life’s), NSA, MARRIAGE ACT, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, DETROIT, FOOD STAMPS, ACA(nightmare job killer), EQUAL PAY FOR FEMALE WHITE HOUSE STAFF (-11%), WON”T NEGOTIATE WITH CONGRESS, BUT NEGOTIATES WITH THE TALIBAN,
    SOLYNDRA, KEYSTONE on & on & LIE, LIE lie
    Our Friends don’t trust us, and our enemies don’t fear us.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

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Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

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