Showing posts with label US House of Representatives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US House of Representatives. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Whoa! I've watched all the episodes of Season 1 of the American version of House of Cards, the fictional series based on operations of the US government in Washington DC produced by Netflix. Kevin Spacey, as Francis Underwood (D-SC), majority whip in the US House of Representatives, is da bomb. Makes ya feel raght proud of yoah democracy, don't it? I'm late to the party, but I'm, hooked, though after watching some of the episodes, I felt I needed a shower. Does our government really function so slimily and crookedly up there in DC? I hope the series presents an exaggerated view of evil in the operations in our nation's capital, but I'm not certain.

The series is well-written with many quotable lines, most not suitable for polite conversation.  I'm way behind the curve in watching, but it's great to discover a show that's so good and to know I have more episodes to watch.  I can't recommend the series highly enough, if you've the stomach for it. I had no idea what I was missing, as the American version of the series is brilliant.  

Kevin Spacey is amazing as Frank Underwood, and he's well-matched with Robin Wright, who holds her own in her role as his wife, Claire. One critic compared her to Lady Macbeth.  At first, I thought I'd find Spacey's asides to the audience annoying, but I love them.  Shakespeare!  Frank and Claire are the ultimate power couple, and I wondered early on if they would stop at murder if they could get away with it.  Soon enough I had my answer.  Francis is the do-it-yourself Godfather.  No mess or blood.  A clean kill.  I confess, I'm somewhat embarrassed to be mesmerized by a show that portrays the ruthlessness and cynicism of insiders in our government.

The first season ends with Underwood in deep water facing the difficult task of making his way to the surface and rising above.  If you've watched, you know, and, if you haven't watched and intend to, I hope you're not reading this.  You can't say I didn't warn you.  And please, no spoilers for Season 2.

Monday, September 30, 2013


Another dastardly Republican plot is afoot to convince young people not to sign on to the Affordable Care Act but rather to pay the penalty. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) speaks strong words about the people in the groups participating in the scheme.
Tuesday begins a 6-month race to enroll as many uninsured people as possible in the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges. For the markets to be effective, they need millions of customers, and for elderly participants not to vastly outnumber younger ones.

It’s in this context that well-heeled conservative groups are appealing to uninsured young people to remain uninsured — part of a backdoor effort to undermine the structural integrity of the health care law. (My emphasis

Their efforts have attracted the attention of one senator who recounts how being insured saved his life when he was a young adult, and who has since then watched others die due to lack of coverage. And he doesn’t mince words with those who’d take risks with other people’s health security.

“That’s a scandal — those people are guilty of murder in my opinion,” Sen. Angus King, a Maine Independent who caucuses with Democrats, told me in a Friday interview. “Some of those people they persuade are going to end up dying because they don’t have health insurance. For people who do that to other people in the name of some obscure political ideology is one of the grossest violations of our humanity I can think of. This absolutely drives me crazy.”
Sen. King is my hero for his plain-speaking in naming for what it is the despicable deception in the pressure groups' attempts to convince young adults they do not need health insurance.  The extreme right in the US care about nothing and no one in their determination to achieve their own political agenda whatever the cost to people other than themselves.

Even as those of us here at home watch in horror the spectacle of Republicans in their recklessness and intransigence risk the welfare of the entire country in their refusal to vote on the clean budget bill from the Senate, my friends from other countries watch with dismay and incredulity the continuing temper tantrum of the extremists Republicans in the House.

As David Kurtz from TPM says:
It can't be reiterated often enough: If John Boehner puts a temporary spending bill on the House floor, without any anti-Obamacare stunts in it, it would pass.

He can do it today and avoid a shutdown, or he can do it in a few days or weeks and end a shutdown. It's up to him.
Rep. Boehner, at least some of us are aware that the Hastert Rule is not in the US Constitution, and you can, if you so choose, bypass the rule at any time. 

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


Saturday, July 27, 2013


Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs, usually known as Lindy Boggs (March 13, 1916 – July 27, 2013), was a United States political figure who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and later as United States Ambassador to the Holy See. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Louisiana. She was also a permanent chairwoman of the 1976 Democratic National Convention, which made her the first female to preside over a major party convention.

She is the widow of former House Majority Leader Hale Boggs, and the mother of three children: Cokie Roberts (a television news commentator), Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., (a prominent lobbyist), and the late Barbara Boggs Sigmund, a mayor of Princeton, New Jersey, and a candidate in the 1982 New Jersey Democratic senatorial primary election. No female representative from Louisiana has served in the House since Boggs left office.
Lindy and Hale were ahead of their time in Louisiana in support of civil rights. Though Lindy's life was not without deep sadness, as both her husband and daughter died untimely deaths, she courageously carried on after being elected to Congress and in her retirement, for she never retired from doing good.

In a 2000 interview recounting the tragedy which thrust her into a political career, Mrs. Boggs displayed the grace and charm for which she was known.

“I’ve been very privileged. I’ve had some heartaches, but I’ve also had some wonderful privileges,” she said.

[Cokie] Roberts called her mother "a trailblazer for women and the disadvantaged." 

When Boggs announced her retirement in 1990, she was the only white representing a black-majority district in Congress. "I am proud to have played a small role in opening doors for blacks and women," she said at the time.
Read the rest of the lovely tribute to Lindy, the steel magnolia, icon to many women, especially southern women, who had such "grace and charm", and who was never challenged by an opponent in the 19 years she served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Lindy was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, where Grandpère spent his childhood and youth on a small farm. She was cousin to Mayor deLesseps "Chep" Morrison, who is thought by many to be one of the best mayors New Orleans ever had.
O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our
prayers on behalf of your servant Lindy, and grant her an
entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of
your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for
ever. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer)  

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.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Just unbelievable! Granted they only have 20 women in their camp and even less minorities, but this is UNDENIABLE, IN YOUR FACE the party of rich white men! SICKENING! House GOP Committee Chairs Will All Be White Men In Next Congress.  The Huffington Post.
Not even one.  Not even a token minority or woman chairperson.  Are Republican politicians teachable?