harbinger of next congress

I am only stating the blatantly obvious here: when the 112th Congress convenes next year, the Republicans will be in control. We’ve already seen them try to muck things up in the 111th’s lame duck session, in particular: How Mitch McConnell Convinced Republicans To Derail Dems’ Spending Plan. The spending bill — not to be confused with the huge tax cuts compromise bill — was meant for structuring the funding of the Federal government had been worked on for the last year or so by folks on both sides of the partisan divide, only to be shot down at last moment by a “coalition” of GOPers pledging to reject all “earmarks”.

The Republicans made mincemeat of the First Responders Bill, intended to help with the medical care of the first responders to the 9/11 tragedy — who are suffering from any number of health issues due to breathing in the air for weeks after the attack after being assured by the NYC and federal governments that it was harmless — over baseless charges of irresponsible spending: Kyl On 9/11 First Responders Bill: ‘Why Would They Need $6 Billion?’ If you go read the whole article, I want you to note the irony that part of the size of the bill is due to — wait for it — insurance companies refusing medical care to these people.

In “GOP Votes in Favor of Marrying Little Girls!” (see first comment on article) and In “Shameful Act,” Republicans Kill Bill to Prevent Child Marriage, we see how GOPers falsely claimed the Child Protection Marriage Act would cost $108 million — it wouldn’t have. It was a blueprint for most effectively using existing monies already being spent abroad in order to reduce child marriages. The clincher seems to have been the inclusion of the words “health care services” — upon which Boehner clutched his pearls and screamed “Abortion, abortion!” and down it went.

As for the Dream Act. I think the GOPers just handed the next three generations of hispanic voters over to the Dems. As LA Time’s article Dream Act may come back to haunt the GOP points out, demographics are against them on this one. We need to resolve the immigration issues along a number of fronts, but the racist, xenophobic elements of the GOP are not going to help at all, and will set us back a number of years.

And let’s not forget the sabotage done to START: Republicans fail in second bid to amend START. Note the second paragraph, explicitly linking partisan reasoning behind the “anger” at START, rather than principled “in the country’s best interests” that should be the primary reason for supporting or opposing legislation. At the moment, the fate of START is unknown — it’s playing out right now. You can find good reasons for ratifying START here: Obama invokes Reagan to push START treaty.

In light of these recent developments (though not at all recent attitude) coming from the GOP arm, which is poised to take over Congress next year, it’s worth reading this The 9 Biggest Conservative Lies About Taxes and Public Spending to see how they have, and will continue to do so, derailed any number of important bills. There are no real surprises here, of course, but there’s lots of excellent meaty facts to back up how wrong these claims are that you can potentially use if you’re stuck at the holiday meals with any uninformed Fox-watching relatives. My favorites are #3 and #4…

GOP Lies:

  1. Cutting Taxes Leads to More Money for the Government
  2. Conservatives’ Favorite Economist [Laffer] Proves the Point
  3. Taxes on the Rich Keep ‘Wealth Producers’ from ‘Creating Jobs’
  4. The Opposite: Tax Cuts for Upper Earners Spur Job Growth
  5. Only Half of American Families Pay Taxes
  6. Americans Are Taxed to Death
  7. We’re Being Killed by Runaway Government Spending
  8. Conservatives Favor Low Taxes and Limited Government
  9. Taxes on Top Earners Are Actually Taxes on ‘Small Businesses’

I’m almost tempted to suggest a Watch the 112th Congress Drinking Game, but I’m rather fond of my own liver…

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