PoliticusUSA is clearly a progressive website. Oh, an occasional right-winger will offer a snarky and generally ill-informed comment, but for the most part the Jason Easley-founded site leans left. It’s really too bad there are far fewer righty than lefty visitors. Progressives, liberals, Democrats, call them what you will, are mostly aware of the off-putting, counterproductive, politicized, even dangerous bills that come skulking out of the Republican-dominated 113th House of Representatives. Bills intended to be nothing more than red meat for their voracious hoards of fed, Obama, ACA, minority and LGBT haters. But when the truth of the legislation is spelled out on the taffeta of honesty and objectivity, there could be just enough emerging thoughtful Republicans willing to become thoughtful Democrats for the sake of their country and loved ones.
Currently, there are 233 decidedly thoughtLESS house Republicans, whose destructive votes reflect an incredibly narrow political aspect directed away from at least 95% of the population as the billionaire Koch Klub, giant corporations and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) literally define the votes of your elected representatives. A majority of the time, the aforementioned and their net-stocking lobbyists actually write the special interest legislation serving only a tiny, percentage of privileged Americans. House Democrats number 199 with 3 vacancies.
I took a look at the most recent house votes tracked by ‘Roll Call’ in my Sunday paper. Not surprisingly, my state of South Carolina’s House Congressional delegation voted as one. This bunch would save a lot of time and travel expenses by just sending one House member and one Senator to Congressional sessions. There’s almost never any disagreement over their ridiculous votes, the legislation is hardly ever read by the members beyond a cursory staff summary and maybe the first few pages of a bill, so why bother traversing the 500 miles when you could be home shaking your fist with your gaggle of Tea Party lemmings, at the federal government? This same ghastly gov that pays your $174,000 salary, plus benefits and retirement (eligible after 5 years), COLA increases, franking and other dandy perks like permission to make 15% of your congressional salary in outside ventures, a perk that I truly believe is mightily abused by most members.
Here’s the latest legislative cretinism evolving out of our local Republican puppets. Colleague Easley had a nice piece on the president’s reaction to the Republican rejection of equal pay for women. Here are some more particulars. Democrats, trying a little duress in their desperate attempt to get the Republicans to recognize women as valued and equal partners with men in the workplace, tried yet again to see to it that Jane Doe was paid exactly what John Doe was paid for the same work. To put the squeeze on the right, Democrats introduced a motion that would delay enactment of HR 1872, a favored Republican accounting shell game that would threaten funding levels of student loans among other negatives.
Equal pay is long overdue. As Easley pointed out, according to Census Bureau 2011 stats, women are paid 77% of what men earn for the same labors. Let’s carry this a little further. In real money terms in comparing median wages, that’s a dollar differential of over $10,000 a year. You can actually be expected to work 48 years before hanging ‘em up. Lucky John will see his bank account balloon by about a half-million bucks over his equally (and probably more so) hard working colleague, Jane. And some women still vote Republican? Final vote; 179 for equal pay and 217 against. Appalachian Trail (by way of Argentina) horndog, Mark Sanford, predictably rejected the proposal. For a liar and unfaithful husband, what level of respect would you expect? Speaking of lies, Joe Wilson of “you lie” fame, cast an eager no, along with Issa Committee bully, Trey Gowdy, whose patronizing inquisition of Kathleen Sebelius hastened her departure as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Who wants to be badgered by an egomaniacal sexist? More witless anti-woman votes came from Republicans Duncan, Mulvaney and a guy named Tom Rice. Relative newcomer Rice earned his bones by being one of a plethora of simpletons to introduce a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
There was one pro-woman vote in the state’s delegation; Democrat, James Clyburn.
Another utterly distasteful Republican bill creates “Republican Rules to measure spending.” This heartless piece of junk would make it even easier than it already is for Congress to cut discretionary spending. Sanford, Wilson, Gowdy, Mulvaney and Rice thought it was a great idea. The lone Democrat, Clyburn, voted no. A Democratic motion tried to preserve funding for such programs as student loans, nursing-home safety, educating disabled children, aviation, food safety, veteran’s benefits and local police. In other words, guarantee that no cuts would take place in these programs. Republicans voted the motion down, 191-221. Not even close. Clyburn was the yes vote from SC; the usual suspects, the no votes.
By now, most of you are familiar with the assorted budget plans put up for consideration in the house. Let’s review. The Ryan joke (isn’t it aways?) wants to cut back on Pell Grants, turn Medicaid and food stamps into state-run block-grant programs so when the money is gone – oops! And think of the abuse of red states transferring funds willy nilly all over their budgets. Partially privatizing Medicare is also on the wish list, the hits just keep on coming. Some Republican representatives, thinking with their campaign hats on, voted the budget down, making the final tally pretty close at 219 in favor, 205 against. South Carolina right-wing representatives are so far gone that actually putting thought into a vote never occurs to Sanford and sons. They were unanimous in their approval.
The Democrats and the Black Caucus had the most realistic and humane budgets. Their budgets included increased spending on education, transportation and scientific research among other reasonable programs. To prove that the progressive’s brain throttle was wide open, there was not a mention of funding creationism and intelligent design. Fully funding ACA and bolstering the safety net programs were on the table of the Black Caucus and, yikes, I spied a passage on raising marginal income-tax rates on millionaires. Surprise, surprise, the Republicans and a few of their DINO allies voted this one down 116-300. Ahhh, to be black in the U.S. House of Representatives.
There you have it. Just the latest in the thousands of Republican examples in the form of voting fact, not Fox opinion, of just where Republicans stand in their non-existent service to humanity. Unless there’s war-profiteering in the killing of mostly innocent foreign populations and huge campaign contributions to be had, it will always be thus for the far right radicals.