Congress

Paul Ryan Should Call Donald Trump Before Congress

Congress Debt Control

Given everything we know about Paul Ryan, I think it is safe to say that there will be no House Armed Services or Intelligence Committee hearings into what Donald Trump wants Russia to do on behalf of the Republican Party:

In an interview that aired Thursday morning on "Fox and Friends," Donald Trump said he was not being serious when he called on Russia to find and release emails deleted by Hillary Clinton.

Fox News' Brian Kilmeade told Trump that Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said that Trump's comments hoping Russia would hack into Clinton's server were a national security issue.

"You have to be kidding," Trump responded. "His client, his person deleted 33,000 emails illegally. You look at that. And when I'm being sarcastic with something..."

Kilmeade jumped in to ask, "Are you being sarcastic?"

"Of course I'm being sarcastic," Trump replied. "But you have 33,000 emails deleted, and the real problem is what was said on those emails from the Democratic National Committee. You take look at what was said on those emails, it's disgraceful."

Everything that Donald Trump said in public would trigger House hearings, investigations, special committees, and joint sessions of Congress if a Democrat had said them out loud to the working press. So far, I don't see any stories in the press where Ryan has asked the people who work for him to investigate open entreaties for espionage against the Democratic Party. This is because he really has no idea what kind of a man he endorsed and how big the tiger is after he grabbed onto the tail. 

Only Democrats get investigated under Paul Ryan's watch. Who doesn't already know that?

By the Way, Republicans Are Still Assholes

There are Republican Members of Congress who don't want President Obama to create any more national monuments. Apparently, they're not assholes--they just care more about the land than anyone else:

Cliven Bundy may be in jail, but he still has friends in Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives next week is expected to vote on a proposal that would exempt 48 counties, primarily in the West, from the law that has been used for more than 100 years to protect archaeologically, culturally, and naturally significant resources in the United States, including the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.

The counties that would be exempted from the Antiquities Act of 1906 cover more than 250,000 square miles — an area nearly the size of Texas. The amendment, which was authored by Rep. Stewart (R-UT) and Rep. Gosar (R-AZ), appears to have two main purposes.

First, it would block the efforts of local communities in Maine, Utah, Arizona, and elsewhere which have been asking President Obama to establish new national monuments in their states.

In southern Utah, for example, the president would not be able to respond to the requests of tribal nations that he protect the Bears Ears area, which is a hotbed of grave robbing, looting, and desecration of sacred sites. It would also prevent the president from protecting Gold Butte in Nevada, where Cliven Bundy illegally grazed his cows for decades, as a national monument.

[...]

Second, the Stewart-Gosar amendment would make a major concession to the demands of scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and his followers who argue that the U.S. government should have no authority over national public lands in the West. Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan were arrested and indicted in February for their involvement in armed standoffs with federal law enforcement officials in Nevada and Oregon.

Now, I don't want to make any unfair generalizations, but if one of the outcomes of your amendment is to make things better for Cliven Bundy and his family, you might want to consider whether or not to self-identify as an asshole going forward.

The Balls on These People


Dead men can vote, apparently:
Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation fellow, last week argued that the Supreme Court should count the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's votes in cases in which the justices have already cast preliminary votes.
During an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios, von Spakovsky noted that after hearing oral arguments, the justices meet and cast votes in the case before writing the decision.
"So that’s the point at which they know how a case is going to be decided and the chief justice then makes assignments of who will write the majority opinion etc.," von Spakovsky said, according to audio posted by Right Wing Watch. "I think the chief justice has an absolute obligation to give credit to Scalia’s vote in those cases that have already been decided, even if he didn’t write his opinion yet, because they know how he would have voted."
I'm sorry, but that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. And we now have a very interesting precedent--dead men can now vote. The established rules and precedents of the Supreme Court no longer apply. This is, indeed, a world turned upside down, but it does not have to be. If we would just follow the Constitution, the president could nominate a new justice and we'd be good to go.

Funny how the only people stretching reality and changing things and making shit up are the ones who are trying to replace the Constitutional originalist.

The one truth in all of this is the fact that, when a Supreme Court Justice dies, the party in power gets to name the replacement. That's why justices retire. That's why elections have consequences. And that's why, on President Obama's watch, the Republicans have lost again. They can't stand it. They're doing backflips and flipflops and engaging in flights of fancy in order to justify the fact that they just lost control of the Supreme Court.
Basically, though, a guy who made his living complaining about voter fraud wants the Supreme Court of the United States to let a dead man vote. You couldn't make this up if you tried.


An Ethics-Free Congress



You can tell the Republicans are in charge because ethics no longer matter. Michael Grimm was re-elected with a felony indictment hanging over his head and, thanks to a safely Gerrymandered district, he won his race going away.

And yes, there is a precedent here. William Jefferson was a corrupt Congressman from Louisiana who stuffed the money in his freezer and told everyone to go pound sand when they politely asked him to resign from Congress. You can read about that here and then do a comparison and contrast with how the GOP leadership has basically thrown their hands in the air over a convicted felon like Grimm. Reading that old story was like stepping into a time machine.

Ethics in Congress? Really? And people actually cared about that stuff? Wow.


Institutionalizing Racism


Representative Steve Stockman wants to institutionalize the idea of using racism to mock the President of the United States:
The controversial rodeo clown who on Saturday fired up a crowd at the Missouri State Fair by wearing a mask of President Barack Obama — and encouraging a bull to run him down — now has a standing invitation to perform in Texas, a Republican congressman said Wednesday. 
Though the clown has been banned from future state fairs in Missouri and the other performers have been ordered to undergo sensitivity training, Rep. Steve Stockman invited the rodeo group to perform in his congressional district near Houston. 
"Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if it’s speech they don't agree with… They want to crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama, even if it's a rodeo clown with a harmless gag," Stockman said in a statement.
"Liberals" want this? No, I'm sorry to have to explain this but liberals want the racist attacks on the President to stop. Conservatives have no ideas, nothing to govern with, and they are madly appealing to a base that wants to see the President humiliated on a daily basis by race hustlers and people who don't understand humor or satire.

How is it that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live can all mercilessly mock and satirize the President and do this in a non-racial way? Let's see. Perhaps by not going with material that shows the President being run over by a bull in order to delight the crowd? And perhaps by not using the mask that mocks his appearance and features?