Rep. Steve Stockman (R – Texas) has announced that President Obama’s actions are unconstitutional and impeachable a full day before Obama announced any of his actions. Later Stockman compared Obama to Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein in a bid to continue his calm and reasoned response to new gun control measures. Even Fox News harridan Greta Van Susteren called the comparison “a stretch” – and if you’re making Greta look smart, you know you’re hitting the ball out of the moron stadium.
House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases failed to get enough support from Republicans in the U.S. House Of Representatives to even be brought to a vote. The plan would have cut spending on government programs while raising taxes on those with income exceeding $1 million. In other words it was Boehner’s “Plan A” with the letter “B” instead of the letter “A”.
Under the provisions of the 12th and 20th amendments to the Constitution, it is possible that Hillary Clinton could become President of the United States (acting) in 2012. The process would start with an electoral college vote tie between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is also possible that monkeys might fly out of my butt, and have even smaller monkeys flying out of theirs. Because the idea that John Boehner wouldn’t resign as Speaker of the House to become President, even temporarily, is pretty far-fetched.
Representative Darrell Issa (R – Lake Elsinore CA) has proposed renaming the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends from 3 miles offshore to 200 miles offshore, the Ronald Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Democrats have introduced similar legislation that would change Issa’s name to “Snot Vampire” – although GraceLessLand was unable to ascertain what the new name was in reference to.
A report issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reveals that Countrywide Financial used special loan practices to bribe members of Congress and other government officials. The Committee started its investigation in 2009, and revealed that “sweetheart” loans were extended to thousands of people, including lawmakers and former executive branch officials. thousands of Countrywide employees, as well as employees of Congress, the White House, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other government entities.
For the first time in the history the United States House of Representatives has voted to hold a sitting Attorney General in contempt of congress, finding Eric Holder “guilty” of withholding documents pertinent to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigation into the “Fast and Furious” gun-running fiasco.
Holder now joins the more than 80% of Americans who hold Congress in contempt.
Seventeen Democrats joined 238 Republicans to vote in favor of House Resolution 711, for a final vote tally of 255-to-67 in favor of finding the Attorney General in contempt – even though President Barack Obama invoked his “executive privilege” to shield Holder and the documents. It was the first time Obama has used executive privilege. Almost every U.S. president has used executive privilege to deny Congress access to information – George Washington was the first in 1796 when he denied the House access to documents relating to the treaty John Jay negotiated with Great Britain. Ronald Reagan used the privilege three times. Bill Clinton used it a whopping 14 times. George W. Bush invoked the rule six times.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Lake Elsinore CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, spearheaded the effort to find Holder in contempt. Issa contends that Holder not only withheld subpoenaed documents, but also lied to Congress about his involvement in the gun-running scheme that ended with a border patrol agent being murdered with a weapon the government supplied to Mexican drug lords. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is also suspected of lying to Congress in a letter claiming they had no involvement in the “Fast and Furious” operation.
The contempt vote is unprecedented, and seen by many as a political tactic to attempt to overshadow administration victories in the courts on immigration and health care issues – in particular the recent Supreme Court decisions on Arizona’s immigration law and the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Some have suggested there may be racist overtones, as Holder is black and has been a particular target of Obama’s opposition throughout his first term.
Whatever the motivation, the contempt vote is unlikely to have any actual consequences for Holder, and merely sets the stage for a showdown in the courts to attempt to enforce the House subpoenas for documents. In 1974 the Supreme Court denied a claim of Executive Privilege by then-President Richard Nixon, although in that decision it upheld the general validity of the Executive Privilege power of the presidency.
After years of trying to get legislation passed that would gut guarantees to due process of law, Senator John McCain finally won one today when the Senate passed a new Defense Bill that includes McCain’s new military detainee policy.
The new policy allows the military to detain anyone suspected of being an al Qaeda operative for an indefinite period of time without recourse to the courts. This policy affects both non-citizens and citizens alike.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D – California) said “I object to holding American citizens without trial. I do not believe that makes us more safe.”
Senator Lindsay Graham (R – South Carolina) said “You have people on the left who hate saying ‘the war on terror’. They would never ever use the military and always insist the law enforcement be used because they don’t buy into the idea that we’re at war. They want to criminalize the war.” Graham went on to say “These are precisely the kind of al Qaeda agents this bill will allow us to round up and make disappear – starting with that wrinkly old bitch Feinstein!”
President Barack Obama has indicated he will veto the budget bill, although that seems unlikely since such a veto would take resolve, aggressiveness, and balls – none of which the President possesses.
Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D – AZ) returned to the House of Representatives yesterday after being severely wounded in an assassination attempt in January. Giffords returned to vote in favor of the new debt/spending package negotiated by President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders.
House members greeted Giffords with a standing ovation on her return to the House floor, and members of both parties shook hands and embraced her. Except for the Tea Party cranks, of course, but then these are people who go to their own rallies armed with handguns just in case one of their own is overcome by a liberal spasm and has to be put-down.
By a solid majority the Republican House of Representatives voted to approve the latest debt ceiling increase, allowing the United States to borrow trillions more and go even deeper into debt than ever before in history. Fiscally responsible Democrats tried to defeat the bill but had no chance in the GOP-dominated House – and may have to pass the bill through the Senate even though they have a slim majority there, due to Republican threats of reprisals on future legislation.
So-called “Tea Party” Republicans were dancing in the streets around the country to celebrate their victory over liberals by passing legislation that may someday cut spending by some token amount while increasing debt almost infinitely, thus guaranteeing the advent of a fiscal apocalypse and bringing their ultra-rightist prophets predictions of economic doom to fulfillment.
Liberals all over the country were downcast as their attempts to inject some economic responsibility into government finances were swept away by the landslide GOP vote in the House. “It’s spend, spend, spend, baby!” House Speaker John Boehner announced as the final vote was tallied. “Cocaine and hookers for everyone!”
President Barack Obama and House and Senate leaders announced today they have reached an agreement on the U.S. debt. The plan calls for increasing the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid default, and then convening some kind of congressional committee later sometime to do something about reducing the deficit, maybe.
The plan might reduce spending by a trillion dollars someday, and there might also be tax reform to increase revenues, although no one is sure.
The agreement does clear the way for both Republicans and Democrats to move forward with their election campaigns without the distraction of taking care of the nation’s business, and without being pinned-down to any real policy that might prove unpopular with one or the others’ constituencies.
So after weeks of fighting, arguing, whining, moaning, crying, threatening, and acting like spoiled children, the nation’s leaders have decided to go back to business as usual.