January 19, 2013
upwithchris:

Newly elected Rep. Mark Pocan said on Up w/ Chris Hayes today that Congress is less popular than “cockroaches and traffic jams.” Why is that? Well, the Republican Party’s extreme rightward shift over the last three decades may be largely responsible for just how dysfunctional Congress has become.
According to new data published this week by political scientist Keith Poole, Republicans in the House of Representatives are now more ideologically extreme than at any time since 1879. And as a result, the distance between the two parties, as measured by Poole, is larger than at any time in more than a century.
A lot of the credit for this trend, according to conventional wisdom, goes to the Tea Party. But Poole’s data shows that the Republicans’ rightward shift began long ago, in the late 1970s. And not only that, but even the most moderate Republicans — the tenth ideological percentile, or light red line in the chart above — are now as extreme as the most extreme conservative Republicans were in the 1970s. Put another way, the most conservative member of the House of Representatives in 1976 would, today, be considered the most moderate.
That’s how far the Republican Party has drifted.

upwithchris:

Newly elected Rep. Mark Pocan said on Up w/ Chris Hayes today that Congress is less popular than “cockroaches and traffic jams.” Why is that? Well, the Republican Party’s extreme rightward shift over the last three decades may be largely responsible for just how dysfunctional Congress has become.

According to new data published this week by political scientist Keith Poole, Republicans in the House of Representatives are now more ideologically extreme than at any time since 1879. And as a result, the distance between the two parties, as measured by Poole, is larger than at any time in more than a century.

A lot of the credit for this trend, according to conventional wisdom, goes to the Tea Party. But Poole’s data shows that the Republicans’ rightward shift began long ago, in the late 1970s. And not only that, but even the most moderate Republicans — the tenth ideological percentile, or light red line in the chart above — are now as extreme as the most extreme conservative Republicans were in the 1970s. Put another way, the most conservative member of the House of Representatives in 1976 would, today, be considered the most moderate.

That’s how far the Republican Party has drifted.

(Source: upwithsteve)

December 20, 2012
motherjones:

A defense spending bill includes a broadened version of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin’s anti-gay provision.

motherjones:

A defense spending bill includes a broadened version of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin’s anti-gay provision.

November 9, 2012
"Hey Tammy, lemme mansplain that for you!"

downlo:

Unfortunately, it looks like newly elected Senator, Tammy Baldwin, has a condescending male jackass for a colleague:

[Wisconsin Senator Ron] Johnson’s new counterpart from Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate will be Rep. Tammy Baldwn (D-Wis.), who defeated Republican Tommy Thompson.

Johnson said he spoke with Baldwin on Wednesday, and he hopes he they can work together — just as soon as he explains “facts” about the federal budget to her.

“Hopefully I can sit down and lay out for her my best understanding of the federal budget because they’re simply the facts,” he said. “Hopefully she’ll agree with what the facts are and work toward common sense solutions.”

Baldwin has served in Congress since 1999; Johnson took office in 2011. Presumably, Baldwin is already familiar with how the federal budget works. She also double-majored in college in government and mathematics.

(via winkinggorgon)

July 17, 2012
Republicans for vote to give themselves the old golden healthcare system, while trying to remove yours. Republicans want their own preexisting conditions covered, but not yours.

abaldwin360:

WASHINGTON — Democrats are mocking Republicans in the House of Representatives for voting to repeal the health care reform law and keep their own enhanced medical care.

When Congress passed the health care law, it required members of Congress to get their insurance on exchanges with the rest of the public. But in voting to repeal that law, Republicans and a handful of Democrats were also voting to go back to the old system where the lawmakers get a sweeter deal than most of the rest of the country.

They also voted against a Democratic motion that said members of Congress who support repealing the health care law must also repeal the good stuff they get, such as lifetime care and insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions.

Democrats tried to demonstrate how Republicans distanced themselves from voting to protect their own deal by capturing a slew of GOP members on video saying they didn’t vote to protect their own care, as seen below [at the link]. The clip features a number of Republicans in tight races this year, as well as GOP budget guru, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

“House Republicans refuse to admit they voted to give themselves taxpayer funded lifetime guaranteed health care instead of having the same health care as their constituents,” said Jesse Ferguson, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, referring to the fact that members of Congress are eligible for retirement benefits after just five years.

“House Republicans didn’t just vote to protect insurance company campaign donor profits this time, they’re even helping themselves to lifetime taxpayer-funded government health care and now they need to be honest with their constituents and admit it,” Ferguson said.

read more

So… “Fuck you I’ve got mine”?

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

June 29, 2012
Got outstanding student loans? You’re in luck: Congress just passed legislation keeping your interest rates at 3.4% for another year.

shortformblog:

Rates were set to double at the end of the month, but a huge package negotiated by Democrats and Republicans will retain the low(er) rates for another year (this only applies to federally-backed loans). The legislation passed the House and Senate today, and the White House has indicated that President Obama will sign it. So, yay! There’s a lot more policy in the bill, too, including extensions of federal highway programs and national flood insurance.

I haven’t seen it mentioned, but I assume the bill passed without Rand Paul’s fetal personhood amendment?

March 22, 2012
theatlantic:

The Worst Part of Paul Ryan’s Budget

Paul Ryan’s budget takes us back to 1950. That’s not a metaphor. That’s a statistic.When the CBO projected Ryan’s plan four decades into the future, it concluded that the size of government would shrink to 15% of the economy by 2050. How small is 15%? As a share of GDP, it would be the smallest government since 1950/’51. Here’s Ryan’s proposed 2050 budget and our real 1950 budget, side by side. The Y axis is percent-share of GDP.
On the one hand, these governments are basically the same size, as a share of the economy. On the other hand, they are also completely different governments. In 1950, Medicare didn’t exist, Medicaid didn’t exist, and Social Security was 3% the size of defense spending. Today, those three programs account for practically of the projected growth in government spending. […]
In Ryan’s 2050 budget, the “All Else” category shrinks to 3.75% of GDP. How small is 3.75%? Let’s put it this way: Mitt Romney has proposed defense spending at 4% of GDP … and defense spending makes up only about half of this category! Ryan’s own ten-year projection doesn’t let defense spending fall below 3%. It’s unlikely he wants it to fall much further. That would leave 0.75% of GDP to do everything else. 
Today, 0.75% of GDP is about $100 billion. That is about as much as we spend on education and vocational training in the discretionary budget, as Michael Linden of the Center for American Progress pointed out. Imagine if everything else disappeared. It would leave nothing for infrastructure. Nothing for unemployment insurance. Nothing for food stamps. Nothing for border patrol. Nothing for the FDA, FAA, or FBI. Nothing for research and development. Nothing, even, to pay people to work in government! Do you think it’s important to support our veterans with health care, education, and retirement security? Sorry. Veterans programs currently cost more than 1% of our GDP. There would be no room.
Read more.


If this fall’s election doesn’t change things, I honestly fear that I might have a stroke from all the stress.

theatlantic:

The Worst Part of Paul Ryan’s Budget

Paul Ryan’s budget takes us back to 1950. That’s not a metaphor. That’s a statistic.

When the CBO projected Ryan’s plan four decades into the future, it concluded that the size of government would shrink to 15% of the economy by 2050. How small is 15%? As a share of GDP, it would be the smallest government since 1950/’51. Here’s Ryan’s proposed 2050 budget and our real 1950 budget, side by side. The Y axis is percent-share of GDP.

On the one hand, these governments are basically the same size, as a share of the economy. On the other hand, they are also completely different governments. In 1950, Medicare didn’t exist, Medicaid didn’t exist, and Social Security was 3% the size of defense spending. Today, those three programs account for practically of the projected growth in government spending. […]

In Ryan’s 2050 budget, the “All Else” category shrinks to 3.75% of GDP. How small is 3.75%? Let’s put it this way: Mitt Romney has proposed defense spending at 4% of GDP … and defense spending makes up only about half of this category! Ryan’s own ten-year projection doesn’t let defense spending fall below 3%. It’s unlikely he wants it to fall much further. That would leave 0.75% of GDP to do everything else. 

Today, 0.75% of GDP is about $100 billion. That is about as much as we spend on education and vocational training in the discretionary budget, as Michael Linden of the Center for American Progress pointed out. Imagine if everything else disappeared. It would leave nothing for infrastructure. Nothing for unemployment insurance. Nothing for food stamps. Nothing for border patrol. Nothing for the FDA, FAA, or FBI. Nothing for research and development. Nothing, even, to pay people to work in government! Do you think it’s important to support our veterans with health care, education, and retirement security? Sorry. Veterans programs currently cost more than 1% of our GDP. There would be no room.

Read more.


If this fall’s election doesn’t change things, I honestly fear that I might have a stroke from all the stress.

March 8, 2012
theatlantic:

Senate Gridlock Explained in One Chart 
[Image: National Journal]

theatlantic:

Senate Gridlock Explained in One Chart 

[Image: National Journal]

9:04am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZbBMFyHfS2H8
  
Filed under: Politics Senate Congress 
December 17, 2011
"The fact that there was any debate over whether to call in experts on such a matter should tell you something about the integrity of Congress. It’d be one thing if legitimate technical questions directed at the bill’s supporters weren’t met with either silence or veiled accusations that the other side was sympathetic to piracy. Yet here we are with a group of elected officials openly supporting a bill they can’t explain, and having the temerity to suggest there’s no need to “bring in the nerds” to suss out what’s actually on it… The chilling takeaway of this whole debacle was the irrefutable air of anti-intellectualism; that inescapable absurdity that we have members of Congress voting on a technical bill who do not posses any technical knowledge on the subject and do not find it imperative to recognize those who do.

This used to be funny, but now it’s really just terrifying. We’re dealing with legislation that will completely change the face of the internet and free speech for years to come. Yet here we are, still at the mercy of underachieving Congressional know-nothings that have more in common with the slacker students sitting in the back of math class than elected representatives. The fact that some of the people charged with representing us must be dragged kicking and screaming out of their complacency on such matters is no longer endearing — it’s just pathetic and sad."

Joshua Kopstein, Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works (via drinkyourjuice)

This friends, is the most important article you’ll read today.  (via shortformblog)

(via shortformblog)

November 3, 2011

According to a Roll Call analysis of Congress members’ financial disclosure forms, the collective net worth of American lawmakers jumped 25 percent to over $2 billion in just the last two years — with 50 of the richest Congressmen and women accounting for 90 percent of the increase.

According to a Roll Call analysis of Congress members’ financial disclosure forms, the collective net worth of American lawmakers jumped 25 percent to over $2 billion in just the last two years — with 50 of the richest Congressmen and women accounting for 90 percent of the increase.

(Source: kateoplis, via pantslessprogressive)

9:22pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZbBMFyBTpQTI
  
Filed under: Congress wealth 
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