Tag Archives: Congress

Is it Time for “No Show” Town Halls?

Given that members of Congress, usually Republicans who do not want to answer questions about a far right agenda that does not mesh well with actual human beings back home, are reticent to schedule town halls for fear that they will look like schmucks maybe it is time for constituents to schedule their own town halls.

A group of progressives in Fort Collins has scheduled a town hall to talk about Senator Cory Gardner.  The organizers invited Gardner and members of his staff to attend, but they do not expect any official attendance.

We should do the same thing in Iowa.  Here in Iowa’s first district Representative Rod Blum has only scheduled some office hours in small towns and avoiding the larger, albeit more liberal, large cities of Cedar Rapids or Waterloo.

Senator Chuck Grassley is little better.  After spending a career making a big deal of visiting all 99 Iowa counties in the so-called “full Grassley” he seems to be going out of his way to avoid constituents in his most recent town halls.  Look at the list of towns: Hampton, Iowa Falls, Garner, Charles City, and Parkersburg.  Really going out of your way to meet the people, eh Chuck?

Are members of Congress so embarrassed by their own legislative agenda and the behavior of the Trump administration that they are unwilling to meet with constituents?  Looks like that is the case.

How Does Jason Chaffetz Sleep at Night?

The answer is that he probably curls up with a nice bedtime story like Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, kisses the picture of Grover Norquist on his nightstand, and counts email servers until e fades into blissful slumber.

Unfortunately, for the rest of the United States this no-talent a$$ clown of an elected representative is one of the primary oversight authorities as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee.  This committee is normally tasked with conducting hearings and investigations into the behavior of government officials.  You know, like someone using an unauthorized email server.  Where have I heard about that before?

You would be led to believe that given the current presidential administration’s inability to conduct itself within any reasonable standard that the cries of “foul!” from this committee would be heard loud and clear.  You would be guessing wrong.

Does Jason Chaffetz feel there is a need to investigate the disturbing ties between former Trump administration member Michael Flynn and Russia?  Nope.  Michael Flynn had contact with agents of the Russian government as a private citizen to discuss diplomatic matters, which is against the law, but Jason Chaffetz has decided “no blood, no foul” because there is no political hay to make.  Actually doing the job you were elected to do conflicts with marching orders from the Koch Brothers or whatever organization is paying your way these days.

This is the same member of Congress who thinks that the constituents showing up to his town hall are paid protesters because they disagree with his right wing whack-a-doo agenda.

I would hope that the larger voting public would see that their elected representatives have no interest in serving their interests as long as they will vote on single issues or party lines out of a dogged loyalty that does not align with current reality.

On the bright side this is the same member of Congress who got owned by a ten year old when she asked if he believed in science.

What is Rod Blum Hiding?

A while back I called Rod Blum a coward.  I stand by that assertion because as the current presidential administration has shown itself to be nothing more than a totalitarian farce masquerading as a modern democracy he has remained silent.

How quiet?  Just try and find something that Rod Blum has said about anything that has transpired over the past couple of weeks.

His Twitter account is basically a bunch of motherhood, apple pie, and America content for the right wing set.  About the only topical tweet was a comment on the March for Life.

His Facebook page is more of the same minus a recent comment about the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to take the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.

I think it is high time that we up the pressure on the Congressman from the 1st District of Iowa to start answering where he stands on positions taken by the leader of his party—Donald Trump—and actions taken by his party.

I will call his office in Washington D.C. and Cedar Rapids, IA every day until I receive adequate answers to the following questions:

  1. When will Rod Blum hold a public forum in Cedar Rapids—the largest city in his district—to answer constituent questions?
  2. Does Rod Blum support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
  3. Does Rod Blum support proposed changes to Medicare?
  4. Does Rod Blum support proposed changes to Social Security?
  5. Does Rod Blum support the recent restrictions on entry into the United States put in place by executive order?
  6. Does Rod Blum support a congressional investigation into the Russian hacking that may have influenced the U.S. electoral process?
  7. Does Rod Blum support a congressional investigation into Donald Trump’s potential conflicts of interest?

I will provide updates, including the most recent comments from staff and additional questions, on the following linked page.

If you want to make calls yourself use this handy website to assist you.  Let me know where your representative stands on these issues.

The Joni Ernst Watch 10/19/2015

When it comes to Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst or Steve King it’s clown shoes all day, every day. Recently, the conversation in Iowa has turned away from our homegrown whack-a-doos and focused on the nutcase circus that will be the Republican caucus.

Steve King is really enjoying his moment in the sun as the right wing clown car is circling the state of Iowa trying to get his endorsement in some misguided faith that it represents true political gravitas. Given his new popularity, King has really been mouthing off lately which for him is saying something considering his past statements about…um, everything.

Apparently, he does not believe Muslims can assimilate into American culture:

But I can’t find models of the folks that, say, do the hajj to Mecca, I can’t find models where they’ve assimilated into the broader culture of civilization wherever they’ve gone.

What does this puffed up joker even mean by the words he speaks? I am guessing that he wants to see instances where Muslims came to a new country, renounced their faith, and became Christian. That might satisfy him.

He just couldn’t let things go and like right wing icon Joe Arpaio King decided to let loose his love of tents in the desert:

Then send them into Saudi Arabia, where they have the air-conditioned tents at Mecca. Those tents are not busy for 11 months out of the year, and they would assimilate into that civilization like a hand into a glove.

This is the same guy who thinks that voters will reward the Republican Party in November 2016 with even more leadership authority based on their excellent stewardship over the last couple of years. Good luck with that.

When confronted with conflicting realities most Republican candidates are best advised to just turtle. It will be better for your brand. Take Ted Cruz. The Calgary, Canada born senator from Texas recently spewed some right wing garbage about immigration and deportation while standing in front of a bible verse that is commonly interpreted to be about helping immigrants.

Maybe Steve King just needs to jump on the Trump bandwagon. In Nevada Trump is leading with 38% of the vote in recent polling.

One of the great tropes of the right wing is that the Jews were persecuted because they did not resist the pogroms of Nazi Germany. Never mind that this was the same militaristic state that crushed the combined armies of the France and the United Kingdom in stunning fashion. Keith Ablow, who somehow still manages to make people watching Fox News believe he has some kind of authority on some topics, really doubled down:

Granted, hindsight is 20/20. But it turns out it was a bad idea for any Jew to have turned over a gun. It was a bad idea for any Jew to have boarded a train. It was a bad idea for any Jew to have passed through a gate into a camp. It was a bad idea for any Jew to do any work at any such camp. It was a bad idea for any Jew to not attempt to crush the skull or scratch out the eyes of any Nazi who turned his back for one moment. And every bullet that would have been fired into a Nazi coming to a doorway to confiscate a gun from a Jew would have been a sacred bullet.

Sure Keith, a police state backed by a modern military was going to back down from a core belief because someone owned a handgun.

The Joni Ernst Watch 10/5/2015

When it comes to Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst or Steve King it’s clown shoes all day, every day. Recently, the conversation in Iowa has turned away from our homegrown whack-a-doos and focused on the nutcase circus that will be the Republican caucus.

Representatives Steve King and Rod Blum—both of Iowa and both of questionable judgment—voted against the continuing resolution to keep the government operating.

It is always a good idea to elect people to government whose sole mission is to see how bad they can run the government.

Steve King cannot figure out why Planned Parenthood remains popular:

I haven’t paid any attention to the polls. But am I surprised? Yes. That would explain some of the reasons why the leadership is not committing to defund.

Maybe the reason lies in the fact that Planned Parenthood provides a lot of services to women that would go unmet if the organization were defunded? But keep banging that drum. Over and over again.

However, Steve King is not as bad as House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz who presented this horrible, no good, very bad graph:

BS_anti_PP_chart

See the problem? That’s right. In Republican World 327,000 is bigger than 935,573. Your “liberal math facts” do not apply when there is hay to be made with right wingers.

Chaffetx probably learned how to make graphs and present “facts” from the same jokers who put on the Values Voters Summit. The final session of the recent conference was entitled “How to Argue the Social Issues with Liberals and Libertarians” and was held in a standing room only conference room.  I find it interesting that the Values Voters Summit is concerned with libertarians as well, but oh well.

Remember, Rush Limbaugh is the standard bearer of what the right wing believes. Limbaugh now postulates that NASA is just a tool for “Muslim outreach.”   I do not even know what to say in response to logic smackdowns like that.

The Joni Ernst Watch 9/28/2015

When it comes to Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst or Steve King it’s clown shoes all day, every day. Recently, the conversation in Iowa has turned away from our homegrown whack-a-doos and focused on the nutcase circus that will be the Republican caucus.

Joni Ernst has been quiet lately, but maybe she has just been drowned out by the circus that is the Republican party these days. It looks like she is going to take a stab at rolling back clean water rules.

Does Steve King think he is “man-splaining” to Pope Francis:

I think that it would be better for the Vatican to focus more on theology, and less on this thing that they’ve now had to have a name change from global warming to climate change.

Then again, King just seems to hate on everybody:

The people on our side who pay any attention to this at all understand sharia is incompatible with the Constitution and that a sincerely devout Muslim — I might say, a devout Islamist — cannot seriously give an oath to support the Constitution, because it’s incompatible with his faith.

So, John Boehner just up and quit. No seriously, he behaved just like everybody’s fat, racist friend on South Park Eric Cartman:

cartman-screw-you-guys

Jeb! does not like multiculturalism very much:

We should not have a multicultural society.

Well, that was emphatic.

God damn, Sarah Palin is a moron.

BTW, who hasn’t confused Leonardo da Vinci with Leonardo DiCaprio?

The Joni Ernst Watch 9/21/2015

When it comes to Joni “Make ‘em squeal” Ernst or Steve King it’s clown shoes all day, every day. Recently, the conversation in Iowa has turned away from our homegrown whack-a-doos and focused on the nutcase circus that will be the Republican caucus.

Consitution Day came and went on September 17th…what, you did not throw a party? Steve King was not going to let the day go by without issuing a statement. Naturally, it was full of Republican word soup like founding fathers, God, Constitution, God, history, God…you get the idea.

Steve King apparently wants America to look like it did when the Constitution was signed over two hundred years ago. On a talk show with a host known for advocating the modern enslavement of refugees King said this on the demographics of immigration:

Tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.

What he is really saying is Republican code for “I want to see a white America.”

I wish that I could pull something positive out of Wednesday night’s Republican debate in California. Maybe Rand Paul’s surprisingly accurate statement that the Iraq War was a major mistake and the ramifications of that war are directly tied to the rise of ISIL…ISIS…whatever.

Donald Trump is a bully and a blowhard…and he is exactly who the Republicans deserve after years of coded phrases about liberals being “weak” or “European” or “kind of like the French.” You want a manly man? You got him now and it is a joy to watch. Never mind that this “manly man” has declared bankruptcy several times, is from New York City, and never served in the military. Just saying.

Someone let Chris Christie on the stage and he continued to lie. His favorite trope right now is to claim that he was appointed U.S. attorney on September 10th, 2001. See, he was on the front lines right before the attacks of September 11th. Oh wait, he was actually appointed U.S. attorney on December 7th, 2001. It’s a few months difference, but isn’t that just a technicality among friends?

Let’s just chalk it up to a yelling match on the playground. It did give us some quality reaction shots though:

trumpfaces

Nothing could prepare me for the horror of the post-debate “spin room” where Jezebel’s correspondent was brave enough to tread.