Showing posts with label Republicans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Republicans. Show all posts

Monday, January 9, 2017


It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It -- it kind of broke my heart when I saw it. And I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life. 

 And this instinct to humiliate, when it's modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. 
Meryl Streep is my hero, and not for the first time.  She said what needed to be said about President-elect Donald Trump in her speech at the Golden Globe Awards.  When Trump mocked reporter Serge Kovaleski's physical disability, he should have been shunned by everyone, including sane members of the GOP, and eliminated from the field of candidates.

When the tape of Trump boasting about assaulting women was released, his candidacy should have been finished, over, done, but that did not happen.

Trump invited his friend Putin to hack Hillary Clinton's email, and I don't recall a GOP outcry at the time.  The vast majority, if not all, Republican members of Congress endorsed Trump in the end. Putin followed through, hacked the Clinton campaign's email server, and interfered with the election.  Now, too little, too late, a few Republican leaders are "concerned".  That Trump is unfit to serve as president is obvious, but where were the sane Republicans who should have been speaking out forcefully against Trump for months and months?

Also, now that the election is over, Democrats are far too quiet about Trump's unfitness to suit me. The Democratic leadership, with some exceptions, seems overly focused on a smooth transition of power, but a smooth transition to what? Maybe the focus should be on the disastrous nightmare that will follow the smooth transition. WTF?

Friday, December 16, 2016


Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and law Professor David S Cohen from Drexel University in The New York Times:
There's no shortage of legal theories that could challenge Mr. Trump'a anointment, but they come from outsiders rather than the Democratic Party. Impassioned citizens have been pleading with electors to vote against Mr. Trump; law professors have argued that winner-take-all laws for electoral votes are unconstitutional; small group of Hamilton Electors is attempting to free electors to vote their consciences; and a new theory has arisen that there is legal precedent for courts to give the election to Mrs. Clinton based on Russian interference, All of these efforts, along with grass-roots protests, boycotts and petitions, have been happening without the Democratic Party. The most we've seen is a response to the C.I.A revelations, but only with Republicans onboard to give Democrats bipartisan cover.
Clinton won nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Trump won by 1% in Pennsylvania, but he received all 20 electoral votes, which disenfranchises the people who voted for her in the state and in all the other winner-take-all states. Why not support the Hamilton electors in the Electoral College in doing the job as described in The Federalist Papers #68? Why have the Electoral College at all if it's never to be used for it's proper purpose?
It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.
Tumult, disorder, and mischief abound in Trump's leadership and in his team. Democrats generally fight fairer according to Marquess of Queensbury-like rules and traditions, and Republicans take off the gloves and fight unbound by tradition and unwritten rules, which makes the fight assymmetrical, leaving Democrats at a disadvantage. As witness, during the writers' joint appearance on Chris Hayes' All In, Lithwick notes the 300 days the nomination of Merrick Garland languished in the Senate with no forward movement. Sorry, I can't get the embed link for the video to work, but you can try this link and look for the title Should Democrats act more like Republicans?.

If electors choose not to vote for Trump and write in another name besides besides Clinton, and no candidate receives the required 270 votes, the decision would go to the House of Representative. Of course, the majority will vote for Trump, but then the responsibility for the Trump presidency and its consequences will rest entirely in the hands of Republicans.

My post is not about laying blame for what's past, but rather about what Democrats do now. The electoral vote is on Monday, November 19, so there's very little time. Is there a way to stop the Putin-Trump co-presidency of the world?

Friday, July 29, 2016


The GOP and others on TV and the internet remind us early and often about polls that show large numbers of people in the US believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Keep in mind that our president is not a dictator, and Republicans will have held the majority in both houses of Congress for six years of the president's two terms in office.

Republicans were determined to make Obama a one term president from the day he took office. They failed and were angry and frustrated and further motivated to block nearly every initiative the president put forward to Congress, even to the extreme of shutting down the government when they didn't get what they wanted.

At this moment, it's hard to believe that no matter which party held the presidency and the majorities in Congress, the two parties once worked together to govern the country. The list of things left undone when Obama leaves office would be much shorter if he'd had even a minimum of cooperation from Republicans in Congress.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Fox News and friends, including Sen David Vitter (R-LA), are freaking out over President Obama's extension by a few days of the deadline for the sign-up period for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Once again, Republicans demonstrate signs of impaired memory about the rollout of Medicare Part D under President George W Bush.

Below is the text of my letter to Sen David Vitter in response to his recent email suggesting that I send him my ideas on Obamacare.

Dear Sen. Vitter,

Your recent email on Obamacare is nothing but a load of malarkey.  If you see those words as acceptable, you must really think I'm stupid.  After a bad start, Obamacare is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing.  Perhaps your memory is not entirely clear about the rocky beginning and the extension of the deadline in the rollout of Medicare Part D under President George W. Bush.
'In May of 2006, just days before the end of open enrollment, President Bush took administrative action to waive “penalty fees for very low-income seniors and people with disabilities who sign up late” and allowed “the same impoverished beneficiaries to sign up for Medicare drug coverage until Dec. 31.”

“In other words, you can apply after May 15th without penalty,” Bush told seniors during an event in Florida. “And that’s important for low-income seniors to understand.”
Republicans seem to have selective memory recall about the periods in recent history when they were running the show.  Why not spend your time and our tax dollars doing something useful, such as helping the uninsured in Louisiana obtain health insurance, rather than repeatedly harping on the evils of the Obama administration?  The constant reiteration of the same old, same old is beyond tiresome.

Thank you for your attention.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Email No. 1

Dear Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): 

I cannot understand why Republicans in the US Congress, who make much of personal responsibility when the matter under discussion is programs for the neediest among us, think it's right and proper for the federal government of the United States to default on debts that are owed, an occurrence which has never happened before in the history of the country. Why is paying our debts a matter of controversy? 

You may not approve of Obamacare, but it is the law of the land, and the issue has nothing to do with upholding the full faith and credit of the US government and paying debts that we owe. If you and the members of the Republican party think the American people will place the blame for their recklessness and irresponsibility on the shoulders of President Obama, I believe you are sadly mistaken.

Of course, you may think your position will play well in Louisiana in your campaign to replace Sen. Mary Landrieu, but I would not count on it. You are elected to serve the American people in the Congress of the United States, therefore you are part of the government. Your present position to wreak havoc on the entire country by holding the government hostage on the debt limit is quite disappointing to at least one of your constituents. 


June Butler (aka Grandmère Mimi)


Email No. 2

Dear Rep. Cassidy:

Earlier today I sent you a message on the debt ceiling.  Looming imminently is the Monday deadline for passing a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown.  Here again Republicans in the US House display a recklessness and disregard for the welfare of the people you were elected to serve.  Please pass the clean bill that the Senate sent to the House to continue the functions of the government, of which you are a part, to avoid a government shutdown.

Republicans, not President Clinton, were blamed for the shutdown in 1995 and 1996, and history will once again repeat itself as the blame will be placed firmly on the shoulders of the GOP.  Why don't Republicans learn from history?


June Butler


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Five Democrats voted against strengthening background checks for gun sales.

Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas
Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.
Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, who switched his vote only to allow the measure to be called up again. 

Double shame on you, senators.

Four Republicans voted for the bill.

Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine
Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois
Sen. John McCain of Arizona

Thank you, senators.

The rest of the Republican senators, double shame on you.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Today I feel as though I've been trying with my bare hands to hold President Obama and Democrats in the Senate and the House accountable to implement the policies which led me to vote for them in the first place - policies which will bring a measure of fairness and equality to the citizens of the United States.  I know I'm not alone and that many others are fighting, too, but I'm tired and about ready to give up.  Among the politicians who know what is right, few have either the courage or the will to do the right thing.

I'm tired of the Democrats' appeasement of Republican politicians who apparently care only about rich donors who fill their campaign chests.  Keep in mind that all in the Congress are well-cared for with their yearly automatic raises that they don't even have to vote on, and their generous benefits and pensions.  I'm tired of Democrats who feel the need to express politically-correct concern about the deficit at this time, when they know what the people of the country want and need are jobs and money to pay their bills and buy the goods and services that are produced here, which would help the economy recover.  A strong economic recovery would, in itself, help reduce the deficit.  Why don't elected officials in the Democratic Party stop talking about the deficit and stay on message about creating jobs, jobs, jobs and a return to a robust economic recovery?  Our infrastructure is falling apart.  Why is it a good thing for the wealthiest country in the world to have a collapsing infrastructure?  Put people to work repairing and rebuilding.

Why is the stock market booming, reaching record heights, when so many in the country are suffering?  Watch the video below, which has gone viral.  The graphs are shocking, and, for me, depressing as they demonstrate the ever-widening income gap between the poor and middle class and the richest people in the country, the inequality that few politicians in the country are willing to address with realistic policies that will improve conditions for a large majority of the people.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


The people of the country will blame you for the sequester.  The military/industrial complex will blame you for the sequester.  If the sequester goes into effect, and the country plunges into another recession, you will be blamed.  Wake up.  You can't win this one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Senator Marco Rubio (R - FL), who will give the official Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight, voted against the Expanded Violence Against Women Act today.
The 22 Republicans who voted against it were:

Sens. John Barrasso (WY)

Roy Blunt (MO)

John Boozman (AR)

Tom Coburn (OK)

John Cornyn (TX)

Ted Cruz (TX)

Mike Enzi (WY)

Lindsey Graham (SC)

Chuck Grassley (IA)

Orrin Hatch (UT)

James Inhofe (OK)

Mike Johanns (NE)

Ron Johnson (WI)

Mike Lee (UT)

Mitch McConnell (KY)

Rand Paul (KY)

Jim Risch (ID)

Pat Roberts (KS)

Marco Rubio (FL)

Tim Scott (SC)

Jeff Sessions (AL)

John Thune (SD).
I'm pleased Senator David Vitter (R - LA) was not among the Republicans who voted against the bill.  Women, especially, and men, too, take note of the names of the senators who voted against the bill.   The expanded bill offers protection to "gays, undocumented immigrants and Native American women who suffer from domestic abuse."

Friday, January 18, 2013


It’s looking increasingly as if House Republicans won’t crash the world economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, at least not right now. Score a big one for the White House (provisionally); its bet that it wouldn’t need a way to bypass the ceiling is looking like a winner (although it ain’t over until the tanned guy cries).
Paul nearly caused me to spew orange juice all over my keyboard with his final parenthetical comment.  Don't misunderstand me: Krugman has a biting wit, but it's not usually of the sort that will cause liquid to be spewed, so I was unprepared.

The reality that they will be blamed for a default seems finally to be dawning on Republicans.  That they would even contemplate such a move as not paying bills that the government owes seems quite reckless.  Their chief supporters of the GOP, investors, banks, and corporations, don't like the present uncertainty either.  Even now, the fact that the matter of the debt ceiling is not settled puts a drag on economic recovery.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


It sure looks as if we’re going over the fiscal cliff, but that may be the least of our problems. The debt ceiling is a much bigger and more dangerous issue, and it looks very much as if Republicans are set to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States if they can’t get their way.
Read the entire post.  I wanted to add "stupid" to my title, but I refrained in the spirit of the season of peace and good will, but I suppose thinking "stupid" is in the same category as lust in the heart.  Oh well. Mea culpa.

Paul Krugman is my favorite economist.  Why the president and Democrats in Congress don't pay attention to Krugman is a mystery to me. He knows his subject, does the research and the math, and speaks what looks like plain common sense to me.  He should be Secretary of the Treasury, but, if offered the position (not likely), he might not accept.  A Facebook friend reminded me that Krugman won the Nobel Prize, which should count for something, however I fear certain citizens of the country view Nobel Prizes as a liberal plot, thus it counts for nothing with them.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Yes, I do feel a bit sorry for Boehner, who now has something else to cry about. He thought he was the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, but, though he should have known before now, he is not the leader of the GOP, because there is no longer a Republican Party to speak of, but only a group of individuals, each with his own agenda, who are responsible only to those who gave them money to get elected and feel no responsibility whatsoever to govern the country.  Charles Pierce says it best: 
There is no possible definition by which the Republicans can be considered an actual political party any more. They can be defined as a loose universe of inchoate hatreds, or a sprawling confederation of collected resentments, or an unwieldy conglomeration of self-negating orthodoxies, or an atonal choir of rabid complaint, or a cargo cult of quasi-religious politics and quasi-political religion, or simply the deafening abandoned YAWP of our bitter national Id. But they are not a political party because they have rendered themselves incapable of politics.
With whom does President Obama negotiate if and when talks about avoiding the fiscal cliff resume?  Obviously, Boehner cannot call the troops to order.  Is another Republican in the House capable of doing the job?  Anyway, Obama was giving away far too much in the deal, but the Republican members of the House did not have the good sense to appreciate their Christmas gift and and ended up saving the president and certain Democrats from themselves.  So it's probably off the cliff or the gentle incline - take your choice.  The Republicans really need to stop scaring investors, banksters, and financiers with their brinkmanship in this fragile economy.

Oh, and to change the subject, Obama nominated John Kerry as Secretary of State.  Kerry is an excellent choice, but he is likely to be swiftboated all over again (yawn), just as Susan Rice was swiftboated out of contention for the cabinet post, through no fault of her own.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The right wing of the Republican Party (increasingly all that exists of the Republican Party) has a general problem of starting with its platform and reasoning back from it to a premise from which it would follow, no matter how absurd and fantastical the premise.

So, the GOP knows it supports Big Oil. Since burning petroleum puts carbon dioxide in the air, which causes global climate change and potentially great harm, Republicans should rethink their partisanship for oil, coal and natural gas. Instead, they deny that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect and climate change.

Likewise, Akin started from a premise that a fertilized egg is a legal person, and that abortion is always forbidden. Presented with the conundrum of whether a woman should be made to bear the child of her rapist, he tried to deny that women can get pregnant from rape. Actually, on the order of 32,000 American women get pregnant that way every year. Akin’s position, and his reasoning, are common among Republican representatives and senators today.

Many politicized evangelicals in the United States have led a bizarre charge against Muslim law (sharia) being recognized by the courts here.

They are shameless, however, in wanting to impose on all Americans the Christian version of sharia. If they don’t believe in abortion, why don’t they just not have one? Why are they busybodies, wanting to make laws for the rest of us?
Excellent commentary from Juan Cole at Informed Sources.   The Republicans come together to decide on a desired conclusion and then offer twisted truth and outright lies as evidence for arriving at their conclusion.

Akin is not alone.
Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG- TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
Someone needs to tell King the story which remains tattooed in my brain - that of the nine year old Brazilian girl who conceived twins as a result of being raped by her step-father.   Because of her size, her own life was at risk, and she could not have carried the twins to viability.  What would King recommend in such a situation?

Oh, and the girl's mother and the medical staff who performed the abortion were excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church.  The step-father was not, because repeatedly raping a nine year old girl is not an excommunicable offense. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


From the New York Times:
For a year now, Britain’s economy has been stuck in a vicious cycle of low growth, high unemployment and fiscal austerity. But unlike Greece, which has been forced into induced recession by misguided European Union creditors, Britain has inflicted this harmful quack cure on itself.

Austerity was a deliberate ideological choice by Prime Minister David Cameron’s ruling coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, elected 17 months ago. It has failed and can be expected to keep failing. But neither party is yet prepared to acknowledge that reality and change course.

Austerity is a political ideology masquerading as an economic policy. It rests on a myth, impervious to facts, that portrays all government spending as wasteful and harmful, and unnecessary to the recovery. The real world is a lot more complicated. America has no need to repeat Mr. Cameron’s failed experiment.
(My emphasis)
But that's just where we're headed here in the US, with the obstructionist Republicans in the House and the Senate who will not cooperate with a jobs bill. Make no mistake: theirs is not an ideological or principled stand. The goal of the Republicans is to block all efforts to get the economy on the upswing but rather allow the situation go from bad to worse over the next year, in order that they may electioneer on the failure of President Obama. That's just how cynical the Republicans are. They will sacrifice the people and the country for the sake of politics.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


You gave away the store in your "negotiations" with Republicans. Why bother with the circus mockery of "negotiations"? Just give the Republicans what they want up front.

Sadly, it seems we have truly come to the end of two-party governance. We now have the Republican Party and the Republican-lite Party (aka the Democratic Party). Where do we go from here?

Friday, April 15, 2011


What Sen. Vitter wrote:
Dear Friend,

If you didn't get a chance to watch President Obama's address on fiscal policy yesterday, you might be better off. It was nothing more than a partisan campaign-style speech that doubled down on raising taxes.

What the president has failed to realize is that the problem isn't that our taxes are too low – it's that the current spending habits in Washington have created a recipe for disaster. The answer is not increasing taxes or perpetrating ugly class warfare, but to make bold spending cuts so we don't leave this fiscal mess for our children and grandchildren. Increasing taxes during this economy would seriously hurt America's job creators.

If it weren't such a serious problem, it would almost be comical that the president claims that Obamacare will help reduce the deficit yet fails to acknowledge how much his failed bailouts, stimulus and other reckless spending have contributed to the fiscal mess we're in....

What I wrote:
Dear Sen. Vitter,

I watched the speech, and I thought the president's suggestion that the rich pay their fair share of taxes for the privilege of living in this great country was one of the best parts of the speech.

I also noted that the president placed the blame for blowing the budget squarely where it belonged, on the tax cuts for the rich and two off-budget wars that were never paid for during the presidency of George Bush and his Republican cohorts running wild, including you.

You have a nerve, Sen. Vitter. Do you think I'm stupid?

June Butler

And if asking the richest amongst us to pay their fair share is "perpetrating ugly class warfare", then I quote George Bush and say, "Bring it on!"

UPDATE: My friend Counterlight reminded me in a comment of Warren Buffett's words in a CNN interview with Lou Dobbs:
BUFFETT: Yeah. The rich people are doing so well in this country. I mean, we never had it so good.

DOBBS: What a radical idea.

BUFFETT: It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be.

The interview took place in 2005! The inequities are even greater today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


...who blew the budget. The best of Obama's speech yesterday, in my humble opinion:
America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000. We went from deficit to surplus. America was actually on track to becoming completely debt free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. We increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program — but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending. Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts — tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.

To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our nation’s checkbook, consider this: In the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.

But that’s not what happened. And so, by the time I took office, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement that is now starting to take place. When I took office, our projected deficit, annually, was more than $1 trillion. On top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that, like most recessions, led us to temporarily borrow even more.

Others, such as Kevin Drum at Mother Jones and Duncan Black at Eschaton, agree with my humble opinion.

Let's not forget.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


From Frank Rich at the New York Times:
That’s not to say there is no fiscal mission in the right’s agenda, both nationally and locally — only that the mission has nothing to do with deficit reduction. The real goal is to reward the G.O.P.’s wealthiest patrons by crippling what remains of organized labor, by wrecking the government agencies charged with regulating and policing corporations, and, as always, by rewarding the wealthiest with more tax breaks. The bankrupt moral equation codified in the Bush era — that tax cuts tilted to the highest bracket were a higher priority even than paying for two wars — is now a given. The once-bedrock American values of shared sacrifice and equal economic opportunity have been overrun.

Please read the entire splendid opinion piece.

UPDATE: Another excellent opinion column which includes the stories of working people who are struggling and some who have hit rock bottom by Bob Herbert also in the New York Times. Read their stories. Herbert says:
It would be a mistake to think that this fight is solely about the right of public employees to collectively bargain. As important as that issue is, it’s just one skirmish in what’s shaping up as a long, bitter campaign to keep ordinary workers, whether union members or not, from being completely overwhelmed by the forces of unrestrained greed in this society.

The predators at the top, billionaires and millionaires, are pitting ordinary workers against one another. So we’re left with the bizarre situation of unionized workers with a pension being resented by nonunion workers without one. The swells are in the background, having a good laugh.

I asked Lynda Hiller if she felt generally optimistic or pessimistic. She was quiet for a moment, then said: “I don’t think things are going to get any better. I think we’re going to hit rock bottom. The big shots are in charge, and they just don’t give a darn about the little person.”

"...they just don't give a darn about the little person," understates the attitude of the predators. They are contemptuous of the little people.