Friday, October 9, 2015

Mistah Speaker.....

Contest shapes up for House speaker

It's now wide open:

"McCarthy exit from speaker race sends House into chaotic scramble" by Matt Viser and Tracy Jan Globe Staff  October 08, 2015

WASHINGTON — Republican majority leader Kevin McCarthy was stymied in his bid for House speaker by rebellious archconservatives Thursday, leaving a gaping void in the top ranks of Congress and drawing the Capitol into an atmosphere of chaos.

I'm suppose one, such are the labels cast around. I usually vote in Republican primaries, but maybe not this year.

McCarthy had been the presumptive favorite to win the seat and succeed John Boehner, who is resigning at the end of the month because of his own inability to unite the chamber’s majority party.

McCarthy’s abrupt withdrawal from the race once again rocked a caucus that has made crisis, brinksmanship, and turmoil the hallmarks of Republican House rule. Lawmakers said they were shocked when McCarthy pulled his name from consideration at a closed-door meeting Thursday.

Moderates fumed, even cried. Conservative hard-liners crowed. No one could predict what would come next.

Maybe a Draftkings employee could, but I want to know when we can eat him. Tongue in cheek already salivating.

Many eyes turned to Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and the vice presidential nominee on Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012. But Ryan has said repeatedly he does not want the gavel.

I don't blame him.

“Over the last week it has become clear to me that our conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader,’’ McCarthy said in a statement, an acknowledgment that, if he could win at all, he could not secure a resounding endorsement.

The development was another huge victory for Tea Party-backed Republicans, who have effectively staged a coup of their leadership, but that faction also has no viable candidate to put forward.

That is such charged language for a pyrrhic victory at best.

The discontent gives Democrats an opening to cast Republicans — who won control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014 — as a party so divided that it can’t govern. Similar tensions are roiling the Republican presidential primary, with outsider candidates who are looking to disrupt Washington leading in the polls.

“These guys don’t know how to govern. They need a grown-up in the Republican Party,” said Representative James McGovern, the Worcester Democrat.

Some 40 Republican representatives belong to the Freedom Caucus, which prides itself on an uncompromising mentality. They said Wednesday night that they would oppose McCarthy, dooming him when the full caucus gathered Thursday to choose a speaker in an ornate House committee room.

I'm not saying compromise is never warranted. Strange how it is so valued domestically while a war machine government is nearly intractable abroad. 

How many compromises made along the road to Hell, anyway?

To overcome that hurdle, McCarthy would have had to peel off 11 of those 40 Freedom Caucus members to reach the minimum 218 votes required to become speaker. He would be unlikely to count on any Democrats, who almost certainly will back Nancy Pelosi in any speaker vote, as is customary. Cross-party coalitions are unheard of and would be an extreme long shot in this era of partisan divides.

“We basically unseated two speakers in two weeks,” said Representative Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Kansas who was elected in a wave of Tea Party victories in 2010.


The uncertainty in House leadership spreads to the US economy.

Now they are going to blame this for the failure of the private central banking Ponzi scheme!

Maybe Congre$$ should take back the printing and regulation of currency, 'eh?

Congress must raise the nation’s debt ceiling by Nov. 5 or send the United States into a debt default, which could devalue the government’s debt and send shock waves through the global economy. In early December, Congress needs to approve some sort of budget to avoid a government shutdown.

Don't worry, they will. Boehner, Obama, and McConnell have been working on some bills for months behind this show-fooley production found on the front page.

Seeking to inject calm into the tumultuous atmosphere Thursday, Boehner declared that he would remain in his post beyond his scheduled departure date of Oct. 31 if the Republicans can’t settle on a new speaker before then.


But as a lame duck with his hand weakened, the chances of Boehner unifying the fractured Republican caucus at this point appeared slim. Some lawmakers were hoping for a “caretaker” speaker to oversee the House temporarily, but even that would do little to solve the underlying issues....

Now we are looking like Europe.

The full House is scheduled to vote on a new speaker on Oct 29. Boehner was personally lobbying Ryan to reconsider and pursue the post, according to press reports. Publicly, Ryan was not budging.

“Kevin McCarthy is the best person to lead the House, and so I’m disappointed in this decision,” Ryan said in a statement.

Two other long-shot candidates — Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Florida — faced a tough battle to broaden their support.

“There’s a lot of internal fracturing,” Chaffetz said in a Thursday afternoon press conference. “We need to find a way to unite the party.”

Just dial up a false flag terror attack. Doesn't that usually work?

Credit ceilings and potential government shutdowns have been used by Republicans as pressure points multiple times since they seized power in the House.

Did they? I thought they won an election in the greatest democracy ever known to man. Did I ever get that wrong.

Hard-liners have demanded that Boehner extract concessions from Democrats in return for raising the debt ceiling or averting a government shutdown. Republican leaders have tried to make the case that such an approach is unrealistic and that voters would hold them responsible — not the Democrats — for the economic consequences of going over the cliff.

Remember that fraud?

The Freedom Caucus on Wednesday night took a vote and narrowly decided, as a bloc, to support Webster for speaker.

“We have decided we are better when we are unified,” said Representative Raul Labrador, an Idaho Republican who helped found the Freedom Caucus. “And we have a better ability to inflict change when we are unified. . . . They could easily ignore one person. They can’t ignore 40.”

He's got a point there.

McCarthy also suffered self-inflicted damage in his quest for the speaker’s office. He drew the anger of many Republicans, conservatives and mainstream alike, when he suggested publicly that the goal of the hearings on the 2012 fatal attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was to damage Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, not investigate wrongdoing. That appeared to confirm Democrats’ longstanding allegations of a political vendetta.


Benghazi remarks hurt McCarthy’s speaker bid
McCarthy says he erred about Benghazi panel

That is what brought about the Chaffetz challenge.

But as the leadership’s number two Republican behind Boehner, and few other alternatives, McCarthy had still been the overwhelming favorite. He had the endorsement of many members, including Boehner.

Conaway said he sent McCarthy a text message Thursday morning that said, “I’m looking forward to calling you Mr. speaker.” McCarthy shot back a text that simply said, “Thank you.”

But at the conference meeting, McCarthy puzzled members by sitting in a chair at the front of the room, where a candidate for speaker would not normally sit.

He stood and asked for consent to speak out of turn, then announced he would not be running.

Boehner — whose own problems with the fractious House Republicans have provided fodder for late night comedians — canceled a planned Thursday night appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon.

Ah, the celebrity of politics (or politics of celebrity. Same thing now).

Minority Democrats were happy to sit on the sidelines and watch Republicans twist in the political winds, although they worried about where Congress is headed now and the dangers ahead....

Iceberg, right ahead!



"Amid the jockeying, House Republicans met behind closed doors Tuesday evening for an unusual members-only meeting. Lawmakers said it was a wide-ranging discussion on how they move forward from their inability to satisfy fed-up voters. Many are embittered after years [in which] Congress has lurched from crisis to crisis, often driven by a small group of Tea Party-backed lawmakers."

Or AIPAC lobbyists.

Also see:

House to vote on new speaker on October 29
Jason Chaffetz makes bid for House speaker

Has he been vetted?

"Secret Service official wanted to leak legislator’s information" by Carol D. Leonnig and Jerry Markon Washington Post  October 01, 2015

My print copy was by Alicia Caldwell of AP.

WASHINGTON — An assistant director of the Secret Service urged that unflattering information the agency had in its files about a congressman critical of the service should be made public, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.

Just another stunt, right?

Scores of U.S. Secret Service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. 


‘‘Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,’’ Assistant Director Edward Lowery wrote in an e-mail to a fellow director on March 31, commenting on an internal file that was being widely circulated inside the service. ‘‘Just to be fair.’’

An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee.

Two days later, a news website reported that Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, had applied to be a Secret Service agent in 2003 and been rejected.

The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S. Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, John Roth. "It doesn't take a lawyer explaining the nuances of the Privacy Act to know that the conduct that occurred here — by dozens of agents in every part of the agency — was wrong," the report said.

Good thing to know the WaPo web piece picked up by the Globe cleaned up things.

That information was part of Chaffetz’s personnel file stored in a restricted Secret Service database and required by law to be kept private.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson personally apologized to Chaffetz again Wednesday, the congressman told The Associated Press.

The report by John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, singled out Lowery, in part because of his senior position at the agency. The report also cited Lowery’s e-mail as the one piece of documentary evidence showing the degree of anger inside the agency at Chaffetz and the desire for the information to be public.

"It's intimidating," Chaffetz said. 

And angering. They are supposed to be protecting people like him.

I don't care what your political persuasion; this is an outrage!!

Lowery had been promoted to the post of assistant director for training just a month earlier as part of an effort that Secret Service director Joseph Clancy said would reform the agency after a series of high-profile security lapses. Clancy had tapped Lowery to join a slate of new leaders he installed after removing more than two-thirds of the previous senior management team.

Then they didn't remove enough, and there is no change!!!!!!!

Johnson said in a statement Wednesday that "those responsible should be held accountable"


During the inspector general’s probe, Lowery denied to investigators that he directed anyone to leak the private information about Chaffetz to the press and said his e-mail was simply a vent for his stress and anger.

Then he is not qualified for his job and is a risk -- as well as being a liar. 

So when does the Obama Administration get around to prosecuting this leaker?

"I am confident that U.S. Secret Service Director Joe Clancy will take appropriate action to hold accountable those who violated any laws or the policies of this department," Johnson said. "Activities like those described in the report must not, and will not, be tolerated."

It's the same regurgitated slop we hear time after time after time, and nothing is done, nothing changes.

The Chaffetz file, contained in the restricted database, had been peeked at by about 45 Secret Service agents, some of whom shared it with their colleagues in March and April, the report found. This prying began after a contentious March 24 House hearing at which Chaffetz scolded the director and the agency for its series of security gaffes and misconduct. The hearing sparked anger inside the agency.

And this is how they respond, huh? God forbid any public official under their care dies or is assassinated. Did they hate JFK, too, because they sure did a sloppy job there?

Clancy also apologized Wednesday for "this wholly avoidable and embarrassing misconduct" and pledged to hold those responsible for the data breach accountable.

You know what? Shove your f***ing apology!

The inspector general’s inquiry found the Chaffetz information was spread to nearly every layer of the service.

Yeah, every employee was encouraged to pass it on to their pre$$titue contact so they could slander Chaffetz -- by an anonymous official who was not authorized to release the information.

"I will continue to review policies and practices to address employee misconduct and demand the highest level of integrity of all our employees," Clancy said in a statement.

Will you pass me that salt shaker, please?

Staff members in the most senior headquarters offices, the president’s protective detail, the public affairs office, the office of investigations and field offices in Sacramento, Charlotte, N.C., Dallas and elsewhere accessed Chaffetz’s file — and many acknowledged sharing it widely, according to the report. The day after the March 24 hearing, one agent who had been sent to New York for the visit of the president of Afghanistan recalled that nearly all of the 70 agents at a briefing were discussing it.

Looks like it was taking up more time and attention than any security threats, huh?

Employees accessed Chaffetz's 2003 application for a Secret Service job starting 18 minutes after the start of a congressional hearing in March about the latest scandal involving drunken behavior by senior agents. Some forwarded the information to others. At least 45 employees viewed the file.

All told, 18 supervisors, including assistant directors, the deputy director and even Clancy’s chief of staff knew the information was being widely shared through agency offices, the report said.

Who do you think directed it?

Chaffetz applied to join the Secret Service through a field office and was rejected and labeled "Better Qualified Applicant" for unknown reasons. Chaffetz said he never interviewed with the agency and does not know why his application was declined.

In an e-mailed statement, Clancy said: ‘‘I have reviewed the DHS OIG Report and have provided additional information to the DHS IG. The Secret Service takes employee misconduct very seriously, and as I have stated before, any employee, regardless of rank or seniority, who has committed misconduct will be held accountable. This incident will be no different and I will ensure the appropriate disciplinary actions are taken.

Blah, blah, blah.

Assistant Director Ed Lowery suggested leaking embarrassing information about Chaffetz in retaliation for aggressive investigations by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into a series of agency missteps and scandals, the report said.  


How Lowery!

‘‘On behalf of the men and women of the United States Secret Service, I again apologize to Representative Chaffetz for this wholly avoidable and embarrassing misconduct. Additionally, I will continue to review policies and practices to address employee misconduct and demand the highest level of integrity of all our employees.’’

Days later, on April 2, the information about Chaffetz unsuccessfully applying for a job at the Secret Service was published by The Daily Beast, an Internet publication.

Then why am I reading (or not) this slop?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, whose department includes the Secret Service, urged in a statement that those personnel who had engaged in inappropriate conduct should be held responsible.

Lowery, who is in charge of training, told the inspector general he did not direct anyone to release information about Chaffetz and "believed it would have been inappropriate to do so," the report said. 

Roth said in his report that it was ‘‘especially ironic and troubling’’ that the Chaffetz information circulated so widely inside the agency and yet Clancy did not know about it. Even Clancy chief of staff Michael Biermann and deputy director Craig Magaw had been privy to the information, the report said, but did not alert Clancy.

He told Roth the email was "reflecting his stress and his anger."

Clancy had previously raised concerns about the failure of his staff to keep him properly informed. At the March 24 hearing, he said he was ‘‘infuriated’’ that he was not alerted by his senior management to an incident earlier that month in which two senior supervisors drove onto the White House complex after a night of drinking and crossed through an active bomb-investigation scene.

And he was picked to reform the place? Or cover up all that stuff as a willing dupe?

‘‘He testified that he was ‘working furiously to try to break down these barriers where people feel that they can’t talk up the chain,’ ‘‘ Roth wrote. ‘‘Yet the Director himself did not know.’’

Roth’s investigation examined not only who accessed Chaffetz’s personnel file inside the service but also who disclosed information about the file to the media. The Daily Beast first reported on April 2 that Chaffetz had once been rejected for a job at the service. The Washington Post reported additional details later that evening.

One official told The Post that the material included a parody poster that pictured Chaffetz leading a hearing on the Secret Service from his congressional dais, with the headline, ‘‘Got BQA from the Service in 2003.’’ Within the Secret Service, ‘‘BQA’’ is an acronym meaning that a ‘‘better qualified applicant’’ was available.

Roth’s report said investigators were unable to pin down how The Post and the Daily Beast obtained their information. ‘‘Because of the significant number of individuals who had knowledge of Chairman Chaffetz’s application history, we were unable to conclusively determine the universe of sources of the disclosure . . . to individuals outside of government,’’ the report said.

Well, the NSA has access to all the electronic traffic so give them a call. They can't NOT KNOW!!

Roth himself has faced criticism over his handling of the investigation because he allowed inspectors from the Secret Service’s internal affairs office to sit in on interviews and question some witnesses alongside his investigators.

It's like the beginning of the Watergate investigation of CREEP employees. 

So what does the Secret Service have to hide?

Legal experts and former government investigators have said the service’s involvement was a potential conflict of interest because top officials at the agency had an incentive to embarrass Chaffetz. Experts also expressed concerns that it could deter internal whistleblowers from coming forward with additional allegations of misconduct, for fear of retribution by their bosses.

I think that message was a big part of this character assassination of a Congre$$man.


Isn't there anybody for Boehner to work with?

"Democrats see opening to work with John Boehner" by Tracy Jan Globe Staff  September 29, 2015

You traitors.

WASHINGTON — The list of fiscal issues House Speaker John Boehner could address in his final month is long: raise the federal borrowing limit, pass a multiyear transportation bill, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, extend tax breaks that are set to expire, and seal a long-term budget deal that lifts the automatic spending cuts, known as “sequestration,” that took effect two years ago after the 2011 debt ceiling crisis.

“There’s an opportunity right now, given the fact that Boehner doesn’t have to worry about [a GOP insurrection],” said Representative Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat. “The door’s wide open. Our leadership and certainly the rank and file are interested in getting things done.”

He's mine, and I left the spot blank last time.

The Treasury Department has said that it is expected to hit the federal borrowing limit by early November. Representative Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Boehner will need Democratic support to raise the debt ceiling.

“He realizes he has to get this done in order to clear the deck for the next speaker,” Lynch said. “His preference was not to show division within his own party but, in this case, he doesn’t have much of an alternative.”

Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California, said that Boehner, an Ohio representative, and his successor will have little choice but to court Democrats to pass any legislation.

“With a Democratic president and sufficient Democratic support in both chambers to sustain vetoes, working with Democrats will remain the only sustainable path to moving our country through the Republican calendar of chaos that lies before Congress this fall,” Hammill said.

Boehner pledged Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to “get as much finished as possible” before leaving office.


Lest anyone grow too optimistic over how much can be accomplished in October, Boehner has to be mindful that his actions will affect his successor, likely to be Representative Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican who as the House majority leader is next in line for the speakership.

McCarthy needs to assuage the hard-right in his party in order to win....

Didn't do it.

Representative Thomas Massie, a Tea Party Republican from Kentucky, said a vote for McCarthy would be a vote for the status quo, someone more likely to compromise with Democrats.

‘‘I don’t see how members of the Freedom Caucus can vote for Kevin McCarthy and go home to their town halls and tell them that things will be different now,’’ Massie told the Associated Press.

Representative Richard Neal, a 14-term Massachusetts Democrat and the longest-serving member of the state’s House delegation, who has known Boehner for 25 years, said Monday that those reading Boehner’s departure as an opportunity for cooperation are missing the point.

“The opposition is going to come from the libertarian wing of the Republican Party now,” Neal said. “The argument here is really between the right and the hard right.”

The notion that Boehner would create a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to push through legislation is extraordinary in this era of divided government. In fact, there’s even an informal rule in recent decades that a Republican speaker would not allow a floor vote unless he’s able to secure support from the majority of the party.

Are you tired of the narrative yet as all the $pecial intere$ts are serviced?

But Boehner’s comments opened the door for Democrats to appear willing to be bipartisan — even if some doubt it will happen.

Even if Boehner does rally enough support from Democrats, Neal said, the Republicans controlling the House Rules Committee still need to go along with his plan to bring any bill to a vote.

The internal fight among Republicans clamoring for leadership positions could also put a damper on whatever grand plans Boehner may have.

Boehner may well bring the Export-Import Bank reauthorization to the floor, which he supports along with the vast majority of Democrats, “as an act of good will,” Neal said, “but it will surely set off a firestorm on the far right.” The Export-Import Bank, a federal agency established during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, helps American businesses export goods and services by providing credit to international customers. Its authority expired July 1.

It's a green mon$ter, if you know what I mean.

“The problem is Republican leadership is so unpopular with the base of the Republican Party that anything that appears to be conciliatory might not be well met by Republican members,” Neal said.

That, and the fact that it is a $lu$h fund for corporate welfare.

Frank Guinta, a New Hampshire Republican, said Boehner told the Republican caucus during his Friday meeting with them that there are a number of things he would like to accomplish in the next month but did not elaborate.

“The speaker has every intent to move as much legislation as possible,” he said. “The conference wants to see some of this done. That allows for the new leadership team to start fresh. But it’s just not possible to get everything on our wish list in October. Some of the political issues still exist.”

He's still there?

And even if Boehner is able to push some key legislation through to address the pending fiscal deadlines, the Senate still needs to sign off.

“They still have the Ted Cruz problem,” said Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, referring to the Texas senator’s call to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood as he runs for the Republican presidential nomination. “We have to wait and see what Ted Cruz has to say about all this. Is the Republican Party going to continue its race to the extreme right, or come back to the middle so that we can govern?”

He hasn't been getting much campaign coverage from the Globe lately.

One Democratic leadership aide warned in an interview Monday not to expect much from Boehner’s “barn cleaning efforts.”

“We’ve heard him talk about how much he wants to get things done for a long time,” the aide said, before offering his interpretation of Boehner’s “Face the Nation” interview. “The summary of yesterday’s interview was ‘I was never in charge. I’m not in charge now. And I won’t be in charge later.’ ”



Thought I would Export and Import this before heading to the Senate:

"New England firms fear loss of international sales; Congressional fight over Import-Export bank limits credit lines" by Jay Fitzgerald Globe Correspondent  September 25, 2015

Boyle Energy Services and Technology Inc. recently purchased a 70,000-square-foot building in Merrimack, N.H., anticipating an expansion that would create 50 jobs, largely based on the overseas sales of the firm’s services and energy technology products.

But Michael Boyle, president of the Manchester, N.H., company, said he is now uncertain how fast and how much he will be able to expand, given the recent demise — and increasingly unsure resurrection — of the US Export-Import Bank, which provides the insurance and lines of credit his firm needs to sell and compete in foreign markets.

“Anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of our business is overseas, and we’re severely challenged by this infighting over the Export-Import Bank,” said Boyle, noting he is finding it hard to line up larger overseas transactions. “It’s hard finding private-sector alternatives to what the Export-Import Bank offers. It’s going to hurt our plans for growth if something isn’t done.”

Boyle Energy is just one of thousands of businesses across New England and the country scrambling to find insurance, credit, and other financial services needed to export products. The reason: The Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that provides financial services to boost the sale of US goods in foreign markets, effectively went out of business on June 30, when Congress failed to act on reauthorizing the agency.

As a result, the Export-Import Bank can no longer conduct new business with companies like Boyle Energy. Instead, the agency is merely winding down past business transactions until, or if, Congress reauthorizes the agency. If Congress fails to act, the agency ultimately would shut down altogether.

The Export-Import Bank was founded in 1934 as a way to help businesses and boost the economy during the Great Depression. Last year, the agency handled 3,700 transactions valued at more than $27 billion — and returned $675 million to the US Treasury. Its loan delinquency rate is less than 1 percent, lower than at many private lenders.

For more than a year, the Export-Import Bank had been caught in the middle of a battle pitting conservative critics, who view the agency’s services as a form of “corporate welfare” and “crony capitalism,” against supporters of the bank, who see it as indispensable to helping US companies compete in the global economy.

The congressional haggling has left New England companies that export everything from lobsters to sophisticated technology products in limbo.


In Lynn, workers at General Electric Aviation’s jet and helicopter engine factory are nervously eyeing events in Washington. Earlier this month, General Electric announced it would shift 500 jobs abroad due to the Export-Import Bank’s inability to help finance future international deals.

Thanks, GE, and that seems so odd since.... 

"GE, the largest US company, has sparked national attention to corporate taxes because it paid no federal tax bill last year, even though it turned a $14.2 billion profit." 

Not only that, they got a $3.2 billion refund -- and get to write the "lo$$es" off for the next twenty years.

Rick Kennedy, a spokesman for GE Aviation, said the company’s move would not immediately affect operations in Lynn, where about 3,000 employees make aircraft engines sold around the world. But Kennedy said the Lynn plant could eventually lose some jobs, if the Export-Import Bank remains permanently shut and GE has trouble selling its engines overseas.

That prospect infuriates Ric Casilli, business agent at the IUE-CWA, Local 201, which represents more than 1,400 workers at GE Lynn. “This is just another dagger at the throat of the manufacturing industry,” Casilli said.

GE might die?

But critics of the Export-Import Bank say large multinationals like GE, which earned more than $15 billion in 2014 on nearly $150 billion in revenues, should not have a problem exporting. Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action of America, a conservative group in Washington, said companies can and should find private firms to provide export insurance and credit — and not rely on a government agency.

“Small companies across the country are able to export just fine without the Export-Import Bank,” Holler said. “The Export-Import Bank is just not needed.”

Al Giandomenico, president of the Export Insurance Agency in Walpole, said many firms do get by without the Export-Import Bank. But many other exporters rely on lines of credit provided by US banks to maintain cash flow while waiting for overseas payments — and those banks often require some sort of export insurance if firms do a lot of business overseas.

That's what it always comes down to, doesn't it? Banks!

In particular, small companies have a difficult time finding adequate export insurance because they’re viewed as too risky by private insurers, said Giandomenico, whose firm brokers export insurance between firms and insurers, including the Export-Import Bank.

“It’s the small companies that are being left without choices,” said Giandomenico of the Export-Import Bank impasse. “They’re the ones getting hurt by this.”

I'm $ure he has no $elf-intere$t in the thing.

Carly Seidewand Eppley, vice president of global sales at Resin Technology LLC in Groton, said her 12-employee firm could get hurt if the Export-Import Bank isn’t reauthorized. Her company sells polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin used in construction products, from piping to vinyl sidings.

Until recently, her company paid the Export-Import Bank about $140,000 a year to guarantee a $14 million line of credit. Since the federal agency closed for new business in July, Resin Technology has only been able to obtain an $11 million credit line — a 21 percent cut in available credit that hurts her company’s ability to conduct larger transactions.

“That’s a huge deal,” she said. “Other countries have their own export-import banks and our foreign rivals can tap into that available credit. But we can’t. I’m no longer on the same level playing field with our overseas competitors.”

I'm tired of seeing bu$ine$$ in this country bitch, e$pecially in my Bo$ton Globe.


Turns out the resignation wasn't that sudden after all (web got stinky NYT sh**):

"Mitch McConnell looks toward long-term budget talks with Obama" by Andrew Taylor Associated Press  September 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — Having dodged the immediate threat of a government shutdown, congressional Republican leaders are looking ahead to talks with President Obama on a long-term budget pact.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Tuesday he and House Speaker John Boehner spoke with Obama recently, and he expects talks to get underway soon.

Already were (keep reading).

McConnell spoke as the Senate wraps up a debate he engineered on a temporary spending bill that would keep the government open while the negotiations stretch through the fall. The measure, expected to clear the House and Senate just hours before a midnight Wednesday deadline, would keep the government running through Dec. 11.

At issue are efforts to increase the operating budgets for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies still under automatic spending curbs that would effectively freeze their budgets at current levels. Republicans are leading the drive to boost defense while Obama is demanding equal relief for domestic programs.

There have been plenty of $upplementals for the war machine.

The conversation between McConnell, Boehner, and Obama took place earlier this month — before Boehner announced he was stepping down under pressure from Tea Party-backed conservatives.



Boehner’s surprise resignation announcement Friday followed unrest by arch conservatives in his party.


Boehner and McConnell opted for a bipartisan measure that steers clear of the furor over Planned Parenthood and avoids the risk of a partial government shutdown — over the opposition of the most hardline conservative Republicans.

RelatedHouse OK’s special panel to probe Planned Parenthood

That should really light a fire under some people.

Also see:

"Reconciliation is limited to certain tax and spending measures, so Republicans can’t use it to repeal the entire health law. But they can gut it."

I told you reduced filibuster power would bite Dems on the ass. 

Wednesday’s scheduled vote comes after a 77-19 tally Monday easily beat a token filibuster threat. The House also is expected to approve the bill — stripped of a Tea Party-backed measure to take taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood — before Wednesday’s deadline.


McConnell is under fire from tea party conservatives who demand that he fight harder against Planned Parenthood, even at the risk of a government shutdown. But McConnell is focused on protecting his 2016 reelection class.

One of the Republicans’ presidential aspirants, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, on Tuesday endorsed a partial government shutdown as a way to gain leverage over Obama.

“Why don’t we start out with the negotiating position that we defund everything that’s objectionable, all the wasteful spending, all the duplicative spending, let’s defund it all and if there has to be negotiation, let’s start from defunding it all and see where we get,” Paul said in a Senate speech.

“But it would take courage because you have to let spending expire,” he said. “If you’re not willing to let the spending expire and start anew, you have no leverage.” 

He's another guy getting about zero coverage from the Globe.

Last week, Democrats led a filibuster of a Senate stopgap measure that would have blocked money to Planned Parenthood. Eight Republicans did not support that measure, leaving it short of a simple majority, much less the 60 votes required to overcome the filibuster.

“This bill hardly represents my preferred method for funding the government, but it’s now the most viable way forward after Democrats’ extreme actions forced our country into this situation,” McConnell said Tuesday of the stopgap.

Republicans have targeted Planned Parenthood for years, but secretly recorded videos that raised questions about the organization’s handling of fetal tissue provided to scientific researchers have outraged anti-abortion Republicans and put them on the offensive against the group. The group says it is doing nothing wrong and isn’t violating a federal law against profiting from such practices.

It's all public relations.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who hopes to be his party’s presidential nominee, took to the Senate floor after the vote Monday to denounce the Republican leadership. Cruz is using his rivalry with GOP leaders like McConnell and Boehner as a way to define himself for conservative voters who dominate the GOP presidential primary electorate.

‘‘You want to understand the volcanic frustration with Washington? It’s that the Republican leadership in both houses will not fight for a single priority that we promised the voters we would fight for when we were campaigning less than a year ago,’’ Cruz said.

Asked about the criticism, McConnell demurred. ‘‘I try very hard to stay out of the presidential race,’’ he said. 

Remember him saying his job was to make Obama a one-term president? 

What an asshole!!!!!!

The White House weighed in Monday with a statement endorsing the stopgap measure since it would allow ‘‘critical government functions to operate without interruption, providing a short-term bridge to give the Congress time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.’’


RelatedSenate likely to OK new spending bill to avoid shutdown

"Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, stripped a provision that would cancel federal funding of Planned Parenthood in exchange for keeping the government open. McConnell is under fire from Tea Party senators who demand that he fight harder against Planned Parenthood, but McConnell is more concerned with protecting his 2016 reelection class from political damage."

"With clock ticking, Congress OK’s spending bill to avert shutdown; Short-term fix avoids solutions to core disputes" by David M. Herszenhorn New York Times   October 01, 2015

With only hours to spare!

WASHINGTON — In the House, the measure was approved only because of strong support by Democrats — a sign of just how angry rank-and-file Republicans remain over their powerlessness to force policy changes on the Obama administration.

Toldja! The win was a loss!

In one last display of their fury, House Republicans on Tuesday adopted another resolution to cut off government financing to Planned Parenthood, but the temporary spending bill does nothing to resolve the core disputes between Republicans and the White House, setting up even bigger battles in the months ahead.

Congressional Democrats and Obama administration officials said they were eager to begin negotiations with Republicans on a longer-term spending measure. It is far from clear, however, that any deal can be reached soon, given the upheaval in the House. 

I suppose McCarthy stepping aside didn't help.


While Boehner has expressed a desire to do as much as possible before he leaves Congress at the end of October, it seems unlikely that many of the big issues can be resolved before his departure. The House is scheduled to be in session only 13 days in October.

Actually, it looks like he will be staying longer now.

There is a weeklong recess for Columbus Day, and there will be several distractions. Not only do House Republicans need to choose new leadership next week, but on Oct. 22, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, will be on Capitol Hill to testify before the Select Committee on Benghazi.

Any TPPs for her?

Asked how much Boehner would be able to accomplish, Representative Peter Roskam, Republican from Illinois, replied: “Less than he thinks.”

Continuing the bitter debate over spending on the Senate floor, each party blamed the other for forcing the government to the edge of a shutdown. Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and the Senate majority leader, noted that Democrats had blocked all 12 spending bills that were approved by the Appropriations Committee. It was “part of some arbitrary strategy,” he said, “to force our nation to the brink.”

McConnell said Democrats should shift tactics if they want to achieve a broader fiscal agreement. “I think the American people are ready for our colleagues to finally get serious and get back to work,” he said.

When you start doing that let us know.

He added, “Moving forward will require Democrats to turn the page on bad habits and dysfunction.”

The Senate Democratic leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, noted Boehner’s resignation and described the Republicans as being in disarray. “He’s resigning because he knows he can’t deal with these people,” Reid said.

“We have to do better than just keeping the federal government operating by a continuing resolution,” he said. “We have to stop devastating sequester cuts from hitting our military and our middle class.”

Reid warned that the fight over raising the federal debt ceiling would be more urgent than the spending fight.

“We all know that in a matter of weeks unless we act the United States will lose its ability to pay its bills,” he said. “If you think shutting the government down is bad, and I do, it pales in comparison to the government defaulting on all its debts.”

To hell with them and the private central banking scheme, Harry.


Enough distraction:

"The real divide in America" by Robert B. Reich   September 28, 2015

The antiestablishment backlash we’re witnessing in American politics — the surge of support for outsiders like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson among Republicans, and for Bernie Sanders among Democrats — is connected to the view shared by many Americans that the current economic and political game is rigged against them.

Latest related:

Sanders Loses His Cool
Ripping Apart Ben Carson's Campaign 

They like Rubio now, and I like Linc (that's a good campaign slogan!).

Despite the recovery that began in 2009, voters believe that government [i]s “run by a few big interests looking out for themselves.”

The evidence i$ right in front of us.


Many Americans have expressed their mounting frustrations by not voting. The largest political party in America is neither the Republican party nor the Democratic party; it’s the party of nonvoters. Only 58.2 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election.

Turnout in midterm elections is always lower, but in the midterm elections of 2014 a measly 33.2 percent of the voting-age population turned out – the lowest percentage since the midterm elections of 1942, which, not incidentally, occurred in the middle of World War II.

Voting percentages are fine, but what do you do when the elections are illegitimate due to fraud?

The antiestablishment backlash can be heard in populist rhetoric coming even from the Republican Party. “[We] cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street,” said Republican senator Rand Paul, in seeking to position himself for a 2016 presidential run.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz, another presidential aspirant, has accused the “rich and powerful, those who walk the corridors of power,” of “getting fat and happy.”

The sincerity behind these statements might be questioned, but sincerity is not the point. Such statements are uttered because those who make them know they will be received enthusiastically by the voters they are courting.

Polls show, for example, support among self-described Republicans as well as Democrats for cutting the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they are no longer too big to fail. 

Look, biparti$an$hip!

In 2014, Republican Representative David Camp, House Ways and Means Committee chairman, proposed a quarterly tax on the assets of the biggest Wall Street banks in order to give them an incentive to trim down. “There is nothing conservative about bailing out Wall Street,” said Rand Paul.

Camp was coincidentally investigated by the federal government.

Similarly, rank-and-file Republicans as well as Democrats are in favor of resurrecting the Glass-Steagall Act, which used to separate commercial and investment banking until it was repealed in 1999 by a coalition of congressional Republicans and the Clinton White House. 

Liz Warren filed a bill and Harry Reid never brought it up for a vote.

In 2013, when Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation to recreate such an act, Republican Senator John McCain cosponsored it. Tea Party Republicans expressed strong support of the measure, even criticizing establishment Republicans for not getting more fully behind it.

How about that, huh?

There is also growing bipartisan support for ending “corporate welfare,” including subsidies to big oil, big agribusiness, big pharma, Wall Street, and the Export-Import Bank. Progressives on the left have long been urging this, but by 2014 many on the right were joining in. David Camp’s proposed tax reforms would have eliminated dozens of targeted tax breaks. Ted Cruz urged that Congress “eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism.”

Gee, and the $elf-$erving Globe article above made it sound like Democrats were all for the EX-IM bank.

Finally, grass-roots antipathy has grown toward trade agreements crafted by big corporations.

And another one is soon to be signed by Obummer!

In the 1990s, Republicans joined with Democrats to enact the North American Free Trade Agreement, join the World Trade Organization, and support China’s membership in the WTO.

But more recently, rank-and-file Republicans as well as Democrats turned against such agreements. “The Tea Party movement does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” stated Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation. “Special interests and big corporations are being given a seat at the table,” he said, while average Americans are excluded.

And yet somehow it will still pass Congre$$ on a fast track.

It is likely that in coming years the major fault line in American politics will shift from Democrat versus Republican to antiestablishment versus establishment.

It already has, Bob. Where ya' been? It's either freedom or fa$ci$m now.

That coming divide will pit much of the middle class, working class, and poor, all of whom see the game as rigged, against many of the executives of large corporations, the inhabitants of Wall Street, and the establishment billionaires, who are perceived as doing the rigging.

That inequality is more than a divide, it's a yawn!


Where they should all be, including the politicians:

"Senate’s plan overhauls sentencing rules" by Mary Jane Jalonick Associated Press  October 02, 2015

WASHINGTON — Senate conservatives and liberals on Thursday united behind an overhaul of the criminal justice system, a rare bipartisan agreement.

The legislation, years in the making, comes as disparate voices have spoken as one in saying the current system is broken, from President Obama to the ACLU to the conservative Koch Industries.

I can't think of a better reason to be opposed.

At the same time, national attention has focused on how police and criminal justice treat minorities after several high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police, including high-profile cases in Missouri and Maryland.

Still, the legislation faces an uncertain future in the more polarized House.

The measure revealed Thursday would give judges the discretion to give sentences below the mandatory minimum for nonviolent drug offenders.

I'm supposed to be for that, but it's all in the application, isn't it?

Some current inmates could have their sentences reduced by as much as 25 percent by taking part in rehabilitation programs, if they are deemed to be at low risk of offending again. The bill would also create programs to help prisoners successfully re-enter society.

There are not enough jobs for law-abiding citizens. WTF?

Among the senators’ goals: making the sentencing system more fair, reducing recidivism, and curbing prison costs.

Since 1980, the federal prison population has exploded, partly because of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

It's an indu$try now.

‘‘This historic reform bill addresses legitimate over-incarceration concerns while targeting violent criminals and masterminds in the drug trade,’’ said Senator Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee.

When someone argued this years ago they were insulted and called stupid.

The bill would eliminate mandatory life sentences for three-time, nonviolent offenders, excluding violent offenders, sex offenders, inmates convicted of terrorism charges, and some others.

The package will have momentum in the Senate. It was negotiated by Grassley and the top Democrat on the panel, Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Texas Senator John Cornyn, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat, were also lead negotiators.

At a news conference Thursday, the senators congratulated each other for a bipartisan compromise at a time when such agreements are rare.

‘‘This is the way the system is supposed to work,’’ Cornyn said....

And it might keep some of them out of jail.


Well, I've said my piece for the day.


Disorder in the House amid leadership crisis

And they are leaving for 10 days? 

They weren't too disordered to do this:

"The House of Representatives voted Friday to reverse a 40-year-old ban on oil exports, giving major oil companies a political victory at a time when they are suffering from lower oil prices and falling profits. The House vote of 261-159 included 26 Democrats in favor of the legislation, but it continues to face a major challenge in the Senate as well as the threat of a White House veto."