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Posts Tagged ‘House Of Representatives’

The GOP Jobs Bill

Posted by italco on May 30, 2011

 

 Here is the Plan to create jobs for America http://www.majorityleader.gov/Jobs/HRP_JOBS.pdf

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Republican Congress Says NO! Again?

Posted by italco on April 18, 2010

All 41 Republican senators have signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying they are opposed to the financial regulation bill put forward by Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s office announced today.

Republicans had sought to send Democrats a letter threatening a filibuster of the financial reform bill, but Sen. Susan Collins of Maine would not sign onto the letter, the Hill reports. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002732-503544.html?tag=mncol;lst;2

“Obama said he still hoped to win Republican support for the bill but lashed out at Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, accusing him of making a “cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts — when he knows that it would do just the opposite” http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1714350320100417

18 months ago I was involved in a debate on CNN ireports with several conservative republican bloggers in reference to the conservative republicans “circling the wagons” and immediately attacking President Obama and his agenda before President Obama was even sworn into office.

Over the past 18 months, I have witnessed the conservative and republican bases develope into  movements (tea party, birthers, constitutionalist, independance caucus, ect…) and have watched as  the republican congress have “unsuccessfully” attacked, obstructed, and voted against every single piece of legislation the President has attempted to get passed into law.

On the flip side, I have watched the democrats broker industry and personal agenda deals which have only served to fuel the public’s mistrust in them. Talk about handing the conservatives and republicans the ammunition to attack them with.

I warned the conservative movements then and have continued to advise that the answer is not “anger”. Anger will only back fire on the party spewing the rhetoric. The answer is to truly put your country before self, party and industry (with sincerity). That means getting behind your President and working with those on the opposite side of the aisle. Didn’t we vote and send them to Washington to represent us?

Posturing, spinning, and just saying No just doesn’t fly with me.

I am disgusted with our Congress on both sides of the aisle. There is no ethics and too many conflicts of interest. I plan on supporting the candidate(s) who runs on ethics reform and means it. With 88% of congress up for re-election, this election should be about “Accountability”…after all, isn’t this the same Congress that took us to the brink of economic collapse?

 

“Beat The Drum”

 

Posted in news, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Coffee Anyone?

Posted by italco on March 14, 2010

We demand a government that responds to the needs of the majority of its citizens as expressed by our votes and by our voices; NOT corporate interests as expressed by misleading advertisements and campaign contributions.

We want a society in which democracy is treated as sacrosanct and ordinary citizens participate out of a sense of civic duty, civic pride, and a desire to contribute to society.  The Coffee Party is a call to action. Our Founding Fathers and Mothers gave us an enduring gift — Democracy — and we must use it to meet the challenges that we face as a nation. http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/content/about-us

Unlike their Tea Party counterparts, who want a smaller government with less influence, coffee partiers believe government can provide solutions, and they want politicians to work together in a more civilised way.

“We need to get together as citizens and show them [politicians] that we can sit down and talk about these issues; that we can solve problems and develop solutions; that we may not agree on everything, but that we can agree on a lot,” says Mr Clayton. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8566574.stm

Despite the reactionist origins of her group, Park says the Coffee Party doesn’t want to be seen as the anti-Tea Party. Like the grass-roots conservative movement, Park says people drawn to the Coffee Party feel the federal government doesn’t represent them, either. The two groups might even have a lot to talk about.

“I think it’s important for us to actually meet with people who identify themselves as Tea Party members and sit down and have coffee or tea with them,” she says.

“In fact, after they dumped tea into the harbor, the Continental Congress declared coffee the national drink,” Park adds. “That became the solution to the problem.”  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124648089&ft=1&f=1003

I am very happy to see a movement like this come along at the exact time it is needed.

No progress or even positive change will come with the anger of the right and the gloating on the left.  

We need to find the center and have civil discussions.

We need “tolerance” and solutions.

Beat The Drum

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Ethics Committee – Guardian Of Our Law Makers?

Posted by italco on February 27, 2010

The House ethics committee ruled Friday that seven lawmakers who steered hundreds of millions of dollars in largely no-bid contracts to clients of a lobbying firm had not violated any rules or laws by also collecting large campaign donations from those contractors. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/26/AR2010022602864.html?wpisrc=nl_headline

The Law Maker becomes the guardian of industry and their Ethics Committee’s become guardians of the Law Makers.

Who is the guardian of the citizen?

I always believed it was suppose to be the representatives we voted into office.

They all seem to be bought and paid for and shifted their loyalty to the industry.

It is time to change that!!

“Beat The Drum”

 

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Reforming Congress On Way Out?

Posted by italco on February 21, 2010

“Bayh has issued a call for the Senate to change its venerable filibuster rules, making it tougher for a minority to block action.

Right now, it takes 60 of the 100 senators to overrule a minority that wants to block a vote on legislation or nominations. Bayh said the number should be changed to 55. Bayh also wants to require filibustering senators to be physically present, something that used to be the rule as the above Sleeping Beauty shot attests.

Defenders of the Senate filibuster argue that it’s an integral part of an institution and that the nation’s founders wanted the upper legislative chamber to act as a parliamentary speed bump, forcing deliberation and compromise into the law-making process. Critics say it’s an undemocratic and outmoded piece of legislative arcana that thwart the will of the nation’s majority.

And just who are the defenders of the filibuster? Why Republicans. . . and Democrats. And who are the critics? Why Democrats. . . and Republicans. Which side they take depends on whether they happen to be in the majority or minority at the time.” http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2010/02/bayh-calls-for-senate-to-change-filibuster-rules/1

I am getting a clear picture.

If they are planning on staying in congress they have no intention to call for reform of any kind…but, once they decide they have had enough, they want make the “correct” changes for America.

I am starting to like the “Term Limits” reform of an earlier post. Maybe knowing they are leaving sooner than later, they will want to leave a legacy for others to follow.

“Beat The Drum” for an honest and ethical Candidate to step forward and run on “Ethics Reform”! 

 

Posted in news, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

2010 In Da House!!

Posted by italco on January 2, 2010

 

While all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are theoretically up for grabs next year. In reality, however, only 10-15% are actually contested in most years. Many seats are held by deeply entrenched incumbents (such as John Murtha in Pennsylvania’s 12th District and Don Young in Alaska) who have been in their seats for decades, have a track record of bringing home the goods for their constituents, and are therefore so popular with their constituents that they can stay in office as long as they want to. Others, like John Lewis (GA-5) and Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) represent districts with a very strong partisan lean and face little or no opposition from the other party.

This year, however, could be different. The electorate is very divided. Conservatives will be very motivated after two consecutive bruising election cycles. Progressives may be disappointed in what they see as the failure of the current government to go far enough and stay home next November. And there is a higher number of freshmen representatives seeking their second-term and retiring representatives leaving open seats than is normal. While 2010 might not be a repeat of 1994, the Republicans still stand to make significant gains, even more so than the President’s party usually loses in his first midterm elections. http://www.examiner.com/x-32222-Philadelphia-Elections-2010-Examiner~y2010m1d2-2010-US-House-races-preview

The above article is an excellent read and I can agree with most of what it says but feel the need to add my own opinion to key elements that are going to affect this years race.

The conservative party has severely damaged its creditability in their efforts to derail and oppose every bill congress tried to pass this past year. The most critical damage was their opposition to the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. The GOP took a hard-line against an entire race when they opposed her nomination. The hispanic community is not going to be very forgiving of the GOP over this.  The other key eliment is the Black community. All the grandstanding comes across as prejudice and does not set well with the “majority” of Americans who have been bearing witness to it all. 

In the past, there has been a division of the two races within the two parties. It should be interesting how well the Democrats come out of this with the majority of the 2 races in their camp.

Another area of concern and interest to me is the “Palin Factor”. While most of us view her as a bit of an airhead and don’t take her too seriously, there is a faction out there who worship the ground she walks on. 

My take on the effect she will have is based on her past. She and Todd have a history of going against the political grain and may very well be attempting to form a 3rd party, which in turn, would divide the GOP to even lesser strength than it has already has lowered itself to.

I believe the Democrat’s will become stronger and the GOP will lose additional seats.

I said this a year ago and will say it again. Stop focusing on President Obama and focus on your country. We need to be “United”.

We are not the “Divided States Of America” please quit trying to make us that way.

 

 

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“Beat The Drum” Success Story!!

Posted by italco on June 16, 2009

Anti%20Corruption_Eng

Fellow blogger and ireporter “CTLSS” wrote to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics because she was concerned about the members of congress that are helping draft new health care policy, that are heavily invested in the private insurance industry. Here is a copy of the letter she wrote on June 16th 2009.

To whom it may concern:

I am writing this because it has come to my attention that there are members of congress that are helping draft new health care policy, that are heavily invested in the private insurance industry. This is simply not an acceptable situation. These congressmen and women need to either get rid of the investments, or recuse themselves from serving on this committee. They simply cannot be trusted to make decisions based on what is best for the American people when their wallets may be affected.

“Almost 30 key lawmakers helping draft landmark health-care legislation have financial holdings in the industry, totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in a sector that could be dramatically reshaped by this summer’s debate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), for instance, has at least $50,000 invested in a health-care index, and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a senior member of the health committee, has between $254,000 and $560,000 worth of stock holdings in major health-care companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck.

The family of Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee drafting that chamber’s legislation, held at least $3.2 million in more than 20 health-care companies at the end of last year.

While no congressional rules bar members from holding financial stakes in industries they regulate, some ethics experts suggest that it often creates the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly if there is a chance that the legislation could result in a personal financial boost.

The first big congressional moment on health care comes Tuesday in the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which will consider a liberal-leaning proposal that includes the creation of a “public plan” meant to be a government-administered alternative to private health insurance.

On that 22-member panel, at least eight senators have financial interests in the health-care industry wortha minimum of $600,000 — and potentially worth as much as $1.9 million. The investors include Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), a senior member of the panel, who holds at least $165,000 in pharmaceutical and medical stocks, and freshman Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who holds at least $180,000 in investments in more than 20 health-care companies.”  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

She received a response the very same day!!! Here it is.

“Dear Ms. Schmitt,

I am responding to your email sent to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) today regarding your concerns about conflicts of interest amongst members of Congress. Unfortunately, OGE does not have the authority to investigate individual instances of wrongdoing and has no jurisdiction over the legislative branch of the government. OGE was established by the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 as the office responsible for setting policies aimed at the prevention of conflicts of interest in the executive branch of the Federal Government. OGEassists executive branch departments and agencies in implementing ethics rules and policies that deal with conflict-of-interest laws, post-employment restrictions, the standards of ethical conduct, and the public and confidential financial disclosure systems.

You may be able to obtain more information regarding your concerns through the Senate Select Committee on Ethics or the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Senate Select Committee on Ethics
202-224-2981
http://ethics.senate.gov/

House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
202-225-7103
http://ethics.house.gov/

I hope this information proves helpful for you.

Kim H. Kaplan
Government Ethics Specialist
U.S. Office of Government Ethics

Way to “beat the drum” Ctlss…you rock!

Our NO does count and and they need to know that we are not going to tolerate corruption.

It is not alright to have a vested interest in the companies they govern. That is insider trading…How can they govern us with ethics when it effects their pockets directly. None of us should be tolerating this behavior.

It is not alright to accept gratuities from these corporations or the lobbyist that represent them…that is where corruption starts

Thanks to CTLSS , we all know where to send in our concerns. Help us “beat the drum” and end corruption in congress…let your voices be heard…tell them what you think!

It is just a mouse click and typing on the keyboard for your voice to be heard. Links are provided. Also see and read Ctlss’ ireport http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-273775 on this subject.

Posted in news, Politics, Scandalous | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Congress and the “Conflict Of Interest”

Posted by italco on June 13, 2009

Congress

Almost 30 key lawmakers helping draft landmark health-care legislation have financial holdings in the industry, totaling nearly $11 million worth of personal investments in a sector that could be dramatically reshaped by this summer’s debate.

 Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), for instance, has at least $50,000 invested in a health-care index, and  Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), a senior member of the health committee, has between $254,000 and $560,000 worth of stock holdings in major health-care companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck.

The family of  Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee drafting that chamber’s legislation, held at least $3.2 million in more than 20 health-care companies at the end of last year.

While no congressional rules bar members from holding financial stakes in industries they regulate, some ethics experts suggest that it often creates the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly if there is a chance that the legislation could result in a personal financial boost.

The first big congressional moment on health care comes Tuesday in the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which will consider a liberal-leaning proposal that includes the creation of a “public plan” meant to be a government-administered alternative to private health insurance.

On that 22-member panel, at least eight senators have financial interests in the health-care industry worth a minimum of $600,000 — and potentially worth as much as $1.9 million. The investors include  Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), a senior member of the panel, who holds at least $165,000 in pharmaceutical and medical stocks, and freshman Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who holds at least $180,000 in investments in more than 20 health-care companies. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

Let’s think about this for a minute. Our elected officials, the ones we put in congress, have “personal” holdings in companies they pass laws on and govern.

I guess I am naive, because I thought that would be illegal. Even an attorney won’t represent a client he/she has a conflict of interest in representing and a Judge will abstain from hearing a case he/she has a personal involvement with.

Yet, our elected officials not only get a handsome salary, benefits not available to us, retirement compensation for life, gifts from lobbyist, and they get to govern the rules for companies they have personal holdings in.

Makes me wonder how many received “stocks” in companies in exchange for their votes in congress. They are not required to disclose this information so it would be easy to hide!

Why are we tolerating this?

“Beat The Drum”

(go here to get info on your representatives)  https://italco.wordpress.com/politics-anti-government-corruption/ 

 

 

Posted in news, Politics, Scandalous | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Gingrich Says Obama’s ‘Already Failed’

Posted by italco on June 9, 2009

Republican Fundraiser

If Newt Gingrich said it then it has to be true! Mr. Gingrich has been correct on everything he has ever said, ethical in everything he has ever done, and the most knowledgeable in his field, right? Leaving out past adultry acts and claims from ex-wives concerning neglect…Let’s take a look.

Concerning 911 Mr. Gingrich said;

 “Mohamed Atta, and several other 9/11 hijackers were in the United States illegally,” ….ooops

 What he meant was, All of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September 11th, including Atta, entered the United States on a tourist or student visa http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/20/gingrich-rewrites-911-history/

Let’s go back to Jan of 1997

The House voted overwhelmingly to reprimand House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and order him to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in the House’s 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing. Gingrich admitted that he brought discredit to the House and broke its rules by failing to ensure that financing for two projects would not violate federal tax law and by giving the House ethics committee false information. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/leadership/stories/012297.htm

Fred Wertheimer – Frontline interview (Fred Wertheimer is the president, CEO, and founder of Democracy 21, a non-profit organization dedicated to campaign finance reform. From 1981 to 1995, he was the president of Common Cause.)

Fred was asked about Newt Gingrich. His response was; Newt Gingrich is perhaps the leading practitioner of the Washington influence money game, certainly one of the two or three top practitioners. So, when it comes to money, lobbyists, the break-down of the political system, Newt Gingrich is the opposite of revolutionary. He is the chief protector, preserver, and defender of this corrupt system. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newt/newtintwshtml/wertheimer.html

Lets see what Mr. Gingrich has to say about President Obama failing and what other republicans today are saying about Mr. Gingrich.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said President Barack Obama’s plan to fix the economy through stimulus spending and government intervention to boost companies like General Motors Corp. has “already failed.” 

Bureaucrats managing companies does not work, politicians dominating the economy does not work,” Gingrich told about 2,000 Republicans who attended the event at the Washington Convention Center last night.

Some Republican leaders hailed Gingrich, the leader of the 1994 “Republican Revolution,” as a de facto head of the party at a time when Republicans are looking for ideas to lead them back to the majority.

In introducing Gingrich, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin called him the “architect of the last reform movement” and “the man of ideas.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20090609/pl_bloomberg/affk5skijh5s

President for 6 months and President Obama has “already failed”. I suppose he shouldn’t be smiling at the Russians either? but, thats a whole other story…

Yep!!! It would appear Mr. Gingrich knows his stuff (sarcasm intended).

 Is Mr. Gingrich the absolute best representation the conservative republicans could find?

Posted in news, Politics, Scandalous | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Congress Bills Taxpayers For TVs, Cameras, Lexus

Posted by italco on June 1, 2009

Congress

By LOUISE RADNOFSKY and T.W. FARNAM

WASHINGTON — Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings spent $24,730 in taxpayer money last year to lease a 2008 luxury Lexus hybrid sedan. Ohio Rep. Michael Turner expensed a $1,435 digital camera. Eni Faleomavaega, the House delegate from American Samoa, bought two 46-inch Sony TVs.

The Senate and House release volumes of the reimbursement requests for these allowances, but do not make them available electronically. A Wall Street Journal review of thousands of pages of these records for 2008 expenses showed most lawmaker spending flowed to areas such as staff salaries, travel, office rent and supplies, and printing and mailing.

But it also turned up spending on an array of products, from the car leases and electronics to a high-end laptop computer and $22 cellphone holder. Rep. Howard Berman expensed $84,000 worth of personalized calendars, printed by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, for his constituents. A spokeswoman for Mr. Berman, a California Democrat, didn’t return requests for comment.

Rep. Hastings, a Democrat, and Rep. Turner, a Republican, made their purchases in the third quarter. Rep. Faleomavaega, a Democrat, bought the TVs for $1,473 apiece in mid-November. Spokespeople for the three didn’t return requests for comment.

“This information is not widely available to the public,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense. “This is stuff that every constituent should be able to know.”

The House and Senate administrators can deny reimbursement if they deem an expense request to be inappropriate. Jeff Ventura, spokesman for House chief administrative officer Daniel Beard, said no formal records are kept on the number of claims deemed inappropriate, but that such instances are rare. The Senate operates similarly.

See full story at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124364352135868189.html#mod=todays_us_page_one

Understand , this is just budget items we are talking about here. This does not include the lobbyist “freebees”. The entitlements our Congress endulges in are disgusting.

This is why the 2010 election is so important. We The People need to stand up and be heard. We need to make or lawmakers understand that we are tired of this type of politics. “Beat The Drum” and root out corruption in congress in 2010. I have designed an entire page dedicated to this very thing. Please visit my blog page and hold your representatives accountable for their actions. Why should they receive so much and have such great benefits while those of us who elected them struggle? Make your voice heard!!

“Beat The Drum”

(go here to get info on your representatives)  https://italco.wordpress.com/politics-anti-government-corruption/ 

Posted in news, Politics, Scandalous | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »