Archive for January 29th, 2010

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President Obama takes questions from House GOP

January 29, 2010

President Obama today spent 90 minutes taking questions from the House GOP Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

The bad news for the GOP is that President Obama not only took their tough questions, but he answered them — and he was tough, forcing the GOP to confront the facts instead of their make-believe Fox News reality.

In fact, to get a sense of just how effective President Obama was, Fox “News” cut off the Q&A session before it ended (CNN and MSNBC both carried the full event live).

You can view the full video:
http://www.dailykos.com/tv/w/002521/
but if you just want a taste of what it was like, check out this portion of President Obama’s response to a question from Mike Pence, in which President Obama calls out Republicans who on the one hand condemn the stimulus but on the other “appear at ribbon cuttings for the same projects that you voted against.” Watch:

President Obama’s tone was calm, reasoned, and respectful — but he did not give an inch, and did not let Republican lies go without challenging them. It was really quite extraordinary.

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Congressman’s Foundation Has Money for Golf Outings, but Not for Scholarships

January 29, 2010

by David Wallechinsky

Frontier Foundation, established seven years ago by Congressman Steve Buyer (R-Indiana) to award scholarships, has yet to help any students, but it has financed Buyer’s golf game. Buyer’s foundation has collected more than $800,000, while not giving out a single scholarship, and prompting a government watchdog group to ask for an investigation of the congressman’s operation.

Rep. Steve Buyer, R-IN

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has written to the IRS to see if it will investigate whether the foundation violated federal tax law by “failing to operate for its stated public purpose of helping needy students and by doing little more than paying for the congressman to play golf with donors with interests before his committee.”

Buyer, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been the beneficiary of donations from pharmaceutical and tobacco businesses. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), the drug industry’s main lobby, donated $200,000 to Buyer’s foundation.
CREW also is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to delve into the matter and determine if Buyer violated ethics rules “by abusing a charity for private purposes and by trading legislative assistance for donations to the charity and a job for his son.” PhRMA hired Buyer’s son, Ryan, to be its “federal affairs manager.”
In 2003, Buyer created the Frontier Foundation, with the (stated)  intention of handing out scholarships once the fund reached $100,000. The foundation has now raised $880,000, but Buyer now claims it needs $1 million before it can start giving out assistance. It has been able to pay for fundraising golf outings at luxury locales, however.
(You won’t hear about this on Faux Noise.  This is It’s OK if you’re a Republican. –  G)
(Update – today Rep. Buyer announced that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term and will not be a candidate in November.  That brings the Congressional retirement count to 15 Republicans and 12 Democrats.)
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Miss me yet?

January 29, 2010

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Senate Republicans have jusy one answer for Democrats: No

January 29, 2010

By Dana Milbank

Friday, January 29, 2010

In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Obama asked lawmakers to “work through our differences, to overcome the numbing weight of our politics.”

On Thursday, Republicans sent their answer.

The Senate took a vote on extending the federal debt ceiling — without which the United States would go into default. All 40 Republicans voted no.

The Senate took a vote on requiring Congress not to pass legislation that it can’t pay for. All 40 Republicans voted no.

The Senate took a final vote on passing the overall plan. Thirty-nine Republicans voted no. The 40th, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), skipped the vote.

The state of the union is . . . unchanged.

(The “Party of NO” unanimity against “paygo” rules is particularly odd, since Republicans were for it before they were against it.  What in the living hell are Senate Republicans trying to accomplish?  And why should anyone vote for them to help them do it? – G)