Tag Archives: Cornyn

Thrown Under the Bus Again: The GOP Made a Pact with the Devil

Posted by LibbyShaw

The Republican Party threw the American people under a high speed train fast tracked straight to hell.

Again.

Predictably Republicans made a pact with yet another devil. This time the GOP sold its and our souls, too, to the hottest and most irresponsible devil in hell.

Let me introduce the banking devil for whom we emptied our U.S. Treasury in an extraordinary effort to save the American economy.

Tragically the Bush Administration and its rubber stamping Republicans in Congress failed to set up any rules, enforcement mechanisms, proposals for accountability, transparency or pay back benchmarks before it allowed the devil to empty our national piggy bank. Sure, guys, just back up your 18 wheeler big mother trucks to the U.S. Treasury and we will help y’all load the bags of taxpayer cash.

Clearly the GOP is totally on board with the banker devil run lawless casinos on Wall St. The devil is gambling with our money that includes our savings accounts, investment portfolios, retirement savings and bail out taxpayer dollars. The GOP also gave its blessing to a continuation of the banks extensive abusive consumer practices. Usury level interests rates and fees anyone? Worse, the GOP obviously does not have a problem with the obscene Wall St. bonuses, earned on the backs of our savings accounts, portfolio investments, not to mention again, the sucker U.S. taxpayer bucks, thank you.

I guess the sold-out Republicans are also supportive of the banks refusal to lend money to small businesses and consumers because it is more profitable for banks to gamble with our money instead.

Hell, at least we know for certain that the Republicans are completely on board with obstructing our nation’s economic recovery. If small businesses cannot get jump started with an influx of cash, it cannot do business. It cannot meet its inventory needs nor can it make payroll. If mortgages cannot be re-negotiated, bankrupted homeowners cannot hold on to their homes. Consumers cannot purchase new homes or cars if we cannot borrow money, either. Nor can we improve or make substantial repairs to our homes if the banks won’t lend home equity funding.

Republicans don’t care. They simply do not care about the people.

Yesterday Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) informed the Huffington Post that the GOP signed a political pact with the banks to kill off regulatory reform measures.

The allegation of a quid pro quo was based on an email that Durbin received last spring after his amendment to allow judges to modify mortgages for homeowners who enter bankruptcy was defeated on the Senate floor. During a discussion to promote publicly-financed elections on Friday, the Illinois Democrat relayed that, shortly after the defeat of his “cram-down” amendment, a “banker friend” forwarded him the note from Tanya Wheeless, president & CEO of Arizona Bankers Association.

I have contacted the market presidents for each of the three banks (Chase, Wells and Bank of America) and explained that in my humble opinion it’s a big mistake to cut a deal with Durbin and alienate our (in Arizona) Senator,” Wheeless’s email reads. “I also told them that I thought this would drive a wedge in our industry. [Senator Jon] Kyl has pointedly told them not to make a deal with Durbin and then come looking to Republicans when they need help on something like regulatory restructuring or systemic risk regulation.”

Repeat:

…Come looking to Republicans when they need help on something like regulatory restructuring or systemic risk regulation.

The smoking gun email is included in the link above.

According to Senator Durbin:

The email, he added, “is a total smoking gun as far as I’m concerned. It tells the whole story and it is in writing as to what is happening behind the scenes… So when people say I don’t know if we should have public financing because that is my tax dollars, I can tell them that their resources, whether tax dollars or personal wealth, are being impacted every day by decisions being made by the special interest groups.”

Special interest groups obviously own most if not all of the GOP and 12 lousy Democrats. Earth to Democrats, having a D behind your name means you are supposed to vote as a Democrat, not as a pimped out Republican, sell-out Republican lite or an anti-democracy, reactionary teabagger. Nor are you supposed to cave into to the greed infested fat cats.

Fortunately, Senate Democrats have not given up. New cram down legislation is likely making a come back.

An amendment allowing judges to modify mortgages on primary residences for homeowners in bankruptcy will finally find a home as part of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173).
The amendment, which is being offered by Representatives Conyers (D, MI), Turner (R, OH), Lofgren (D, CA), Marshall (D, GA), Cohen (D, TN), Miller (D, NC), Nadler (D, NY), Delahunt (D, MA) and Waters (D, CA), is potentially the best news homeowners and our economy have had in quite some time.

The amendment is essentially the same as H.R. 1106, a bill passed by the House on March 5, 2009, by a vote of 234-191, but subsequently defeated in the Senate by a vote of 51-45. The measure needed 60 votes to pass over Republican objections, and 12 Democrats succumbed to pressure from the banking lobby and voted nay.

Check out Senator Durbin’s searing indictment of bankers on the Senate floor:

One other argument that I think takes the cake: “Senator, you understand the moral hazard here. People have to be held responsible for their wrongdoing. If you make a mistake, darn it, you’ve gotta pay the price. That’s what America is all about.” Really, Mr. Banker on Wall Street? That’s what America is all about? What price did Wall Street pay for their miserable decisions creating rotten portfolios, destroying the credit of America and its businesses? Oh, they paid a pretty heavy price. Hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money sent to them to bail them out, to put them back in business, even to fund executive bonuses for those guilty of mismanaging. Moral hazard, huh? How can they argue that with a straight face? […]

We want America to be strong, but if it’s going to be strong, you should be respectful, Mr. Banker, of the people who live in the communities where your banks are located. You should be respectful of those families who are doing their best to make ends meet in the toughest recession that they’ve ever seen. You should be respectful of the people that you want to sign up for checking accounts and savings accounts, and make sure that they have decent neighborhoods to live in. Show a little loyalty to this great nation instead of just your bottom line when it comes to profitability. Take a little consideration of what it takes to make America strong…

I’ll offer this Durbin amendment as I did last year. When I offered it last year, they said, “Not a big problem, only two million foreclosures coming up.” They were wrong. It turned out to be eight million. And if the bankers prevail today, and we can’t get something through conference committee to deal with this issue, I’ll be back. I’m not going to quit on this […] At some point, the Senators in this chamber will decide, the bankers shouldn’t write the agenda in the United States Senate.

Bankers and their enabling Republican lawmakers are oblivious to the notion of moral hazard. Since the Reagan Administration, the Republican Party has been on a crusade to insulate the banks and the corporate sector from its own risk taking. Those big government loathing, tax paying hater Republicans stuck the entire fat cat enabling mess on the backs of the American people.

At least the folks in Illinois can count on their lawmakers like Dick Durbin to step up. Unfortunately for those of us in Texas, however, we have no such luck.

We are tragically saddled with cartoon like characters and carnival barkers. The three below are just a few examples.

Senator Cornyn claims in one sentence that Senate Democrats want to kill private health insurance companies. In the next he says Senate Democrats intend to hand over $450. billion to to private insurance companies. Talk about double speak and stupid talk.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Senator Hutchison tells serial lies about health care reform and uses the usual GOP scare tactics. Ohmigod! Health care reform would be disastrous for the American people. Not. What we have now is horribly disastrous for 47 million uninsured Americans.

And then there is this.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet our distinguished governor.

The Party of No says no to everything that would help the people whether it is with extending unemployment benefits, banking regulation and fairness practices, jobs, health care reform and the economy. Today,in his speech at the Brookings Institute, President Obama told us precisely where Republicans stand on everything.

Hat tips to Jed Lewison over at Daily Kos for providing the video clip of President Obama’s talk below.

It is about time, Mr. President. Your words are long overdue.

In a sober tone, President Obama portrayed the Republican Party as opportunistic, obstructionist, and deeply hypocritical, accusing them of both having created the economic crisis we face today and having done nothing to help solve it. He also slammed their hypocritical attacks on government spending, reminding them that they are the ones who created the deficit, and that the recovery act represents just a small portion of it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Texas, more than a few really rather drop dead and serious kick ass changes are long overdue.

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Disgraceful: Senator John Cornyn Opposed Anti-Rape Amendment

Posted by LibbyShaw

Senator John Cornyn (R)

It seems that 30 misogynist Republicans in the U.S. Senate are totally OK with rape, at least where women are concerned. Predictably in yet another routine attempt to serve their corporate masters, (this time the GOP stood by Halliburton) Republicans voted against women and for corporate contempt of rape victims.

Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work — and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.

In October, 30 Republicans voted against Sen. Al Franken’s amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would de-fund contractors who prevent their employees from suing if they are raped by co-workers. Since then, those Republicans have faced outrage for what critics say amounts to support for rape.

Instead of standing up to take responsibility for or clarifying their disgraceful votes, Republican cowards are instead attacking Al Franken, blaming him for their votes.

Jamie Leigh Jones

Jamie Leigh Jones

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) accused Franken exploiting the story of Jamie Leigh Jones — a former KBR employee who says she was locked in a container in Iraq after alleging she was raped by co-workers — to further his political agenda.

Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape –and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

I guess Franken held a sledge hammer over Cornyn’s head and said if he did not vote against the anti-rape amendment Franken would crack it over his head.

What shameless cowards.

I could not agree more with Laura Clawson over at Daily Kos.

To summarize the Republican position: As women, we are not “average Americans,” and gang rape is not a “serious” issue. As women, no matter how powerful we become on our own merits, the Republican establishment will still be hoping for a man to come along and put us in our place.

Not every Republican signs onto these views — indeed, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the Franken amendment, giving the lie to the NRSC’s claim of partisanship — but this is the undercurrent of the party’s policies. This is what they’re hoping to get voters to overlook when they run a Sarah Palin or a Kelly Ayotte for office. This is why Bob McDonnell’s campaign for Virginia governor has been such a popular campaign stop for 2012 prospects: because of, not despite, his opposition to marital contraception and women in the workplace. This is why David Vitter (who voted against the Franken amendment) is still a senator in good standing with the party of alleged sexual morality.

You don’t have to go very far beneath the Republican surface claims of equality-but-not-really to get to the rock-bottom sense that women just don’t count, that our rights and our wellbeing are always subordinate to whatever interest of men they might conflict with. When it comes to it, even the (themselves sexist) notions of chivalry and protecting women come behind protecting the right of corporations to imprison their female employees to shield their male employees from rape charges and still get government contracts.

This latest vote against anti-rape legislation should be a chilling and sober wake up call for all women.

In October 2009, Sen. Franken tears into KBR’s front man. It is well worth watching.

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John Cornyn’s Serial Lies About the Senate Health Care Reform Bill

Posted by LibbyShaw

Cross posted on Daily Kos, Texas Kaos and The Burnt Orange Report.

This morning I received the following electronic newsletter from Senator John Cornyn on the Senate Health Care Reform Bill.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released his 2,074-page health care bill, which Senate Budget Committee analysis shows will cost American taxpayers $2.5 trillion when fully implemented over ten years. (My bold.)

Until we have had a chance to read the full 2,074 page Reid Bill, it’s impossible for Americans to fully grasp what the Majority Leader has cooked up behind closed doors. It is my hope that Sen. Reid will afford all Americans the same courtesy that he had: ample time to study the legislation and deliberate the best way to proceed.

Lie 1 debunked: The proposed Senate bill saves $127 billion over first ten years.

And in the second ten years we will realize even more savings.

Over the second 10 years, CBO projects even greater cost savings–up to $650 billion, with the caveat that after 10 years, their analyses become highly uncertain.

Do you have a problem with saving lives and money, Senator?

Why are Republicans constantly moaning and bellyaching about having to read a long and complex bill? If they are too dumb or lazy to read, why bother running for office? And as far as cooking stuff behind closed doors, isn’t that what you Republicans did since Ronald Reagan?

Come on sore loser, give us a break.

There is more.

What we do know so far, as reported by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is that this bill will have a wide, negative impact on Americans across the board – from seniors on Medicare to small business owners to future generations of Americans who will be footing the bill. The bill will increase taxes on all Americans by nearly half a trillion dollarsand breaks the President’s pledge not to raise taxes on working families earning less than $250,000—at a time that unemployment is at a 26-year high.

Huge whopper 2 in bold above.

This is a disgusting fear mongering LIE. The vast majority of Americans will not receive a tax increase. The link above will give readers a glimpse into the Republican’s record of lying on just about every piece of legislation proposed by Democrats. Lie, obstruct, scare. Repeat lie, obstruct, scare. That is what the GOP has become.

And there will be a wide negative impact on Americans across the board from Seniors on Medicare to small business owners to future generations? Huh?

Lies 3, 4. 5. That, Sir, is called a bold face lie and you are using scare tactics. The bill is not going to hurt Medicare. Period. It will impact Medicare Advantage which some folks, not all, have. Honestly, I find it disingenuous and hypocritical for Republicans, who have wanted to get rid of Medicare for years, are suddenly concerned about and defending it.

A national public option means competition. Therefore small businesses will finally be able to afford to cover employees, or at least offer plans that their employees can afford. What on earth is wrong with that? And as far as hurting future generations this is all a bunch of fear mongering sewage. If anything we’ll have a healthier population precisely b/c 94% of Americans will have access to affordable health care coverage.

While CBO has not been given time to analyze the Reid bill’s impact on premiums, every other independent analysis to date has found that Reid’s new mandates and taxes will increase health care premiums on American families. The Reid bill increases taxpayer spending and liability for health care over the next ten years—instead of reforming our already insolvent entitlement programs. It will gut the already insolvent Medicare program by $464.6 billion, hurting access to care for seniors. It includes a government-run public option that will, according to CBO, have premiums higher than private plans and cause millions of Americans to lose the coverage they currently have. The largest expansion of Medicaid since it was created means the Medicaid program will be the only coverage option for 60 million Americans. It will also impose $28 billion in punitive taxes on employers who do not comply with Washington’s new job-killing mandates.

I should put this entire excerpt in bold b/c it one pack of lies after another.

Lie 6. The so-called independent analysis comes from the Lewin Group that is tied to big insurance.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the Lewin Group, a health care research consulting firm, is owned by Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group.

Sure, they are independent.

Huge whopper 7. Cornyn said the bill would gut Medicare.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Alliance for Retired Americans Executive Director Edward Coyle, AFSCME Director of Retiree Programs Steve Regenstreif and the Florida Democratic Party today responded to the lies and misinformation the GOP is spreading about seniors and health insurance reform–including RNC’s lies, which today announced a misleading ad on their “Seniors Bill of Lies.”

Since the health insurance reform debate began, the GOP has attempted to spread lies and misinformation about how health insurance reform will affect seniors. But the truth is, President Obama’s reforms will lower costs, protect choice and provide more options. Seniors in particular will benefit from health insurance reform as it will eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, will end wasteful subsidies to the insurance companies and close the Medicare Part D prescription drug “donut hole.” For seniors age 50 to 64 who are not yet eligible for Medicare, the reforms proposed by President Obama will ensure that seniors who are between jobs or have a pre-existing condition cannot be denied coverage by the insurance industry.

Indeed, AARP has come forward to debunk the lies spread by Republican lawmakers.

There are many naysayers who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo and will stop at nothing – including lies — to derail health care reform. Many will try to scare Americans with myths and fabrications about proposed health care legislation —tactics they believe will block vital changes to our nation’s broken health care system.

Make no mistake: opponents of health care reform have powerful tools at their disposal, including the ability to spend exorbitant amounts of money on television, newspaper, and radio ads to spread their myths.

AARP is committed to debunking these myths so that our nation can move toward the ultimate goal of quality, affordable health care for ALL Americans. Here are a few of the most popular myths about health care reform, followed by the facts that debunk them.

The link above debunks the lies one by one.

Myth: Health care reform will weaken Medicare and reduce benefits.

Fact: This is a scare tactic used by special interest groups trying to block progress on health care reform. The plain fact is that none of the health care reform proposals being considered by Congress would cut Medicare benefits or increase out-of-pocket costs for Medicare services. In fact, rather than weaken Medicare, real health care reform will strengthen the financial solvency of the Medicare program. Let me make this absolutely clear: AARP does not support legislation that would weaken Medicare benefits.

Huge whopper 8. Cornyn says the health care reform bill includes a government run public option that will have premiums higher than private insurance. This is where we see just how joined at the hip John Cornyn is with the health care industry.

Fact: CBO Estimates Show Public Plan With Higher Savings Rate.

In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates, a spokesman for House Speaker Pelosi said.

There is more.

Lie #1: “trouble … for the national debt.” The public option has been deemed a cost-saver by the Congressional Budget Office, $110B for the strongest proposed plan, $25B for the weaker plan (that is in the Senate bill).

Huge whopper 9. Senator Liar, Liar Pants on Fire insists that millions of Americans will lose coverage they already have. As we know by now, this laughable and is pure nonsense. Cornyn as all other delusional Republicans who are 100% pimped out to the health care industry believes if we have a robust public option, folks will be automatically pushed into and it and the poor innocent health insurance companies will lose patients. Please. Cry me a freaking river. Republican lawmakers should be reminded that insurance companies are spending millions upon millions of dollars to fight health care reform. Even Fox Fixed News gets it! Maybe if the health insurance industry put those millions into actual health care instead of denying it and handing out death sentences we wouldn’t have needed major HCR in the first place.

The five largest private insurers and the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans spent a total of $6.4 million in the first quarter, an increase of more than $1 million from the same quarter last year. The industry is working to counter proposals endorsed by the White House that would offer a government health insurance option for millions of Americans.

Besides as Paul Krugman states below, the magic of the marketplace does not work in health care. A public option is less expensive than no public option.

Serious students of health care have known for a long time that the magic of the marketplace doesn’t work in health care; the United States has the most privatized health-care system in the advanced world, and also the least efficient. The pale reflection of this reality in the current discussion is that reform with a strong public option is cheaper than reform without — which means that as we get closer to really doing something, rhetoric about socialism fades out, and that $100 billion or so in projected savings starts to look awfully attractive.

It has also been clear from international evidence that universality is cheaper than leaving a few people expensively without care. That’s reflected now in the projected savings from a strong employer mandate.

Lie 10. John Cornyn implies that health care reform will introduce a new level of entitlement. There they go again with their big ugly entitlement obsession. God forbid should poor folks and the struggling working and middle classes receive something they deserve as everyday hard working Americans.

Lie #2: “it still creates a whole new government entitlement program”. An entitlement program is a government program that people of a certain criteria have a legally enforceable right to get benefits from, meaning the government has to find the funds one way or another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are entitlement programs.

The public option simply is not an entitlement program. It would be a choice alongside private plans in a health insurance “exchange” or marketplace. And it would be “self-sustaining,” funded primarily by the premiums of its customers, just like with private insurance.

Government subsidies would help those who couldn’t affordable the premiums. But that is true with any of the plans in the health insurance exchange, public or private.

That big bad guvmint run socialized health care is really about choice and competition. And if our esteemed Republican lawmakers have such a problem with big guvmint run single payer socialized taxpayer funded health care, well, why don’t they give up their own?

It must be nice for folks to have a representative in Congress who will actually stand up for his constituents.

John Cornyn has not only been busted as a serial liar on health care reform, he’s also been outed for his heartless cruelty in blocking health care reform.

John Cornyn say he and his staff will be pouring over the bill.

These initial findings are troubling, to say the least. My staff and I will be pouring over the 2,074 pages, assuming we are given the time to do so. You can access the full text of the Reid bill from my web site:http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/?p=HealthCareReformHQ.

Is that right? It seems to me, Senator, that you have been against this bill before it was even written. If you and your staff really poured over the bill you would have never sent me your misleading, disingenuous and fictional newsletter either. Representatives Weiner and Grayson show respect for their constituents. You, on the other hand, continue to ignore the needs of most of yours, Sir, and you continue to insult our intelligence on a daily basis. Texas has the highest number of uninsured residents and yet you and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison simply do not care. Period. The two of you have the finest health coverage tax payer money can buy so to hell with the people of Texas.

Republican Talking Points:

Lie. Obstruct. Scare.

Lie. Obstruct. Scare.

That and this:

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