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Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:12 PM

47 members of Congressional Progressive Caucus won't promise not to cut Social Security and Medicare

Unbelievable. Exactly what does it take to be called a Progressive today? Not much, apparently.

As of today, after many weeks of progressive lobbying and pleading and petitioning nationwide, 47 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have refused to sign the letter, initiated by Congressmen Alan Grayson and Mark Takano, pledging to “vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.”
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/10-1

111 replies, 11162 views

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Reply 47 members of Congressional Progressive Caucus won't promise not to cut Social Security and Medicare (Original post)
unrepentant progress Apr 2013 OP
forestpath Apr 2013 #1
MotherPetrie Apr 2013 #39
LiberalFighter Apr 2013 #56
michigandem58 Apr 2013 #108
SamKnause Apr 2013 #2
99Forever Apr 2013 #3
unrepentant progress Apr 2013 #5
magical thyme Apr 2013 #9
Jackpine Radical Apr 2013 #58
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #70
Jackpine Radical Apr 2013 #73
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #75
Lifelong Protester Apr 2013 #104
SheilaT Apr 2013 #19
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #20
SheilaT Apr 2013 #25
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #29
gateley Apr 2013 #79
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #80
HiPointDem Apr 2013 #85
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #87
HiPointDem Apr 2013 #88
graham4anything Apr 2013 #96
graham4anything Apr 2013 #90
neverforget Apr 2013 #92
graham4anything Apr 2013 #93
neverforget Apr 2013 #94
graham4anything Apr 2013 #95
sabrina 1 Apr 2013 #97
graham4anything Apr 2013 #99
HiPointDem Apr 2013 #98
magical thyme Apr 2013 #103
Samantha Apr 2013 #45
tblue Apr 2013 #59
graham4anything Apr 2013 #71
DJ13 Apr 2013 #82
gateley Apr 2013 #76
graham4anything Apr 2013 #91
quakerboy Apr 2013 #102
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Apr 2013 #111
magellan Apr 2013 #6
LineReply .
ChangeUp106 Apr 2013 #4
unrepentant progress Apr 2013 #7
LineLineLineReply .
ChangeUp106 Apr 2013 #8
unrepentant progress Apr 2013 #10
Squinch Apr 2013 #62
99Forever Apr 2013 #13
unrepentant progress Apr 2013 #16
woo me with science Apr 2013 #49
99Forever Apr 2013 #67
quakerboy Apr 2013 #100
octoberlib Apr 2013 #11
magellan Apr 2013 #12
Cali_Democrat Apr 2013 #14
valerief Apr 2013 #38
choie Apr 2013 #61
tblue Apr 2013 #63
indepat Apr 2013 #15
raouldukelives Apr 2013 #54
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #17
magellan Apr 2013 #21
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #22
magellan Apr 2013 #24
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #27
magellan Apr 2013 #30
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #32
magellan Apr 2013 #35
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #36
magellan Apr 2013 #46
dflprincess Apr 2013 #55
SheilaT Apr 2013 #47
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #48
haikugal Apr 2013 #68
Faryn Balyncd Apr 2013 #18
SheilaT Apr 2013 #23
magellan Apr 2013 #31
villager Apr 2013 #26
spanone Apr 2013 #28
jsr Apr 2013 #33
PennsylvaniaMatt Apr 2013 #34
Bluenorthwest Apr 2013 #66
PennsylvaniaMatt Apr 2013 #72
duffyduff Apr 2013 #106
daybranch Apr 2013 #78
cheapdate Apr 2013 #86
AllyCat Apr 2013 #37
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #41
stupidicus Apr 2013 #40
woo me with science Apr 2013 #50
Demo_Chris Apr 2013 #60
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #83
stupidicus Apr 2013 #107
Honeycombe8 Apr 2013 #42
randome Apr 2013 #65
unrepentant progress Apr 2013 #89
Honeycombe8 Apr 2013 #110
hog Apr 2013 #43
jerseyjack Apr 2013 #44
99th_Monkey Apr 2013 #51
valerief Apr 2013 #52
winter is coming Apr 2013 #53
PinkFloyd Apr 2013 #57
randome Apr 2013 #69
randome Apr 2013 #64
mountain grammy Apr 2013 #81
diabeticman Apr 2013 #74
Hoyt Apr 2013 #77
ReRe Apr 2013 #84
Scootaloo Apr 2013 #101
duffyduff Apr 2013 #105
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #109

Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:18 PM

1. Frauds. Just like Obama.

 

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Response to forestpath (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:48 PM

39. +1

 

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Response to forestpath (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:22 PM

56. Obama was never a progressive

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Response to forestpath (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 11:05 AM

108. Obviously progressive doesn't mean unrealisitc

 

And these folks, like the President, are both.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:22 PM

2. Shysters

Sickeningly infuriating !!!!!

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:27 PM

3. We need a list of these traitors.

Time to start prepping to primary each and every one of them.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:33 PM

5. The link to the list is in the article, but I'll reproduce the list here

From: http://www.rootsaction.org/news-a-views/601-progressive-caucus-members-who-havent-stood-up

  1. Karen Bass
  2. Xavier Becerra
  3. Earl Blumenauer
  4. Suzanne Bonamici
  5. Michael Capuano
  6. Andre Carson
  7. Donna Christensen
  8. Judy Chu
  9. Yvette Clarke
  10. Steve Cohen
  11. Elijah Cummings
  12. Rosa DeLauro
  13. Donna Edwards
  14. Sam Farr
  15. Chaka Fattah
  16. Lois Frankel
  17. Marcia Fudge
  18. Janice Hahn
  19. Jared Huffman
  20. Rush Holt
  21. Sheila Jackson-Lee
  22. Hakeem Jeffries
  23. Eddie Bernice Johnson
  24. Joe Kennedy III
  25. Ann McLane Kuster
  26. John Lewis
  27. David Loebsack
  28. Ben Ray Lujan
  29. Jim McDermott
  30. George Miller
  31. Gwen Moore
  32. Jim Moran
  33. Eleanor Holmes Norton
  34. Frank Pallone
  35. Ed Pastor
  36. Chellie Pingree
  37. Mark Pocan
  38. Jared Polis
  39. Charles Rangel
  40. Lucille Roybal-Allard
  41. Linda Sanchez
  42. Jan Schakowsky
  43. Louise Slaughter
  44. Bennie Thompson
  45. John Tierney
  46. Mel Watt
  47. Peter Welch

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:42 PM

9. oh my effing dawg. Chellie Pingree is on that list.

 

Never in a million years would I have expected to see her there. She will be hearing from me.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:26 PM

58. Gwen Moore & Mark Pocan too. Arrrgh!

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #58)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:48 PM

70. they both signed the CPC letter though.

I trust them with this.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #70)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:50 PM

73. I most certainly hope you're right.

Gwen has never pissed me off; Mark is a somewhat unknown quantity.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #73)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:54 PM

75. Gwen inspires me.

She and Jan Schakowsky are amazing. I know Mark thorough people I trust and love in Madison.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #58)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 10:22 AM

104. Wow! That shocked me too.

I hope PeaceNikki is correct. I was flabbergasted to see their names on this, but hoped that maybe they know something about this we don't.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:00 PM

19. I see my Rep is on that list.

 

I'll be calling his office tomorrow.

I'll send an email right now.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #20)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:20 PM

25. Nope.

 

His name is not on the signature list.

He's a terrible Representative in my opinion. Unfortunately, his family is very political in this state (New Mexico) and his father was in the State House of Representatives for many years, and had been Speaker of the House for several terms.

Lujan, the younger, became our Rep when the previous one, Tom Udall, successfully ran for the Senate in 2008. I think Lujan's main problem is that he feels entitled to his job and needs to be primaried.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #25)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:23 PM

29. Oh, boo. :( Only 10 of the 47 didn't.

2. Xavier Becerra 
24. Joe Kennedy III 
25. Ann McLane Kuster 
3. Earl Blumenauer 
30. George Miller 
32. Jim Moran 
34. Frank Pallone 
38. Jared Polis 
5. Michael Capuano 
6. Andre Carson 

Lujan did sign the CPC letter that stated, in part:

We write to affirm our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits in any final bill to replace sequestration. Earned Social Security and Medicare benefits provide the financial and health protections necessary to keep individuals and families out of poverty. Medicaid is not only a lifeline for low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and families, it is the primary source of long-term care services and supports for 3.6 million individuals. We cannot overstate their importance for our constituents and our country.


That is why we remain deeply opposed to proposals to reduce Social Security benefits through use of the chained CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments. We remain committed to making the changes that will extend solvency for 75 years, but Social Security has not contributed to our current fiscal problems and it should not be on the bargaining table.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #29)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:02 PM

79. Then why not sign that Grayson thing?

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Response to gateley (Reply #79)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:04 PM

80. you know very well I cannot answer for any, let alone 47 of them.

I can tell you that I would not sign a Grover Norquisty pledge.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #80)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:32 PM

85. it's not a grover norquisty pledge. it's a pledge not to cut social security.

 

"to vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.”

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #87)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:38 PM

88. I don't. The norquisty pledge is working for the pubs. Too bad our team can't even take a stand

 

on basic social benefits and is instead proposing republican shit like selling off TVA.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but after a while people wise up. And they are.


"Taxpayer Protection Pledge"

In which the pledger promises to "oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #88)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:08 PM

96. I am taking a stand. Most of the 47 are civil rights heroes. I will 100% back those 47.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #85)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:53 PM

90. Alan and Ron Paul seem to have a lot in common.

 

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #90)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:57 PM

92. Are equating Alan Grayson with Grover Norquist?

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Response to neverforget (Reply #92)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:02 PM

93. Blood oaths? How Ron Paulish.

 

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #93)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:03 PM

94. You can't even answer the question

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Response to neverforget (Reply #94)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:06 PM

95. Alan Grayson voted twice as the only democratic officeholder with Ron Paul FOR austerity.

 

said people should live within their means.

I wouldn't sign anything with someone who agrees with Rand or Ron.

What is interesting is-
most of the 47 on that list are black.
This reminds me of Rand Paul.

Joe Kennedy is on the list.
Elijah Cummings in on the list.

Sorry, I won't sell them down the river to agree with Ron and Rand Paul.

In fact, it might be time to primary Grayson himself.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #93)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:09 PM

97. You didn't answer the question.

Never mind, in a way you did, thank you!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #97)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:12 PM

99. 47 -most are civil rights heroes which is far more important issue to the Democratic party.

 

over one Alan Grayson who I never heard of who keeps getting mentioned by the same crowd that hates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

I will back Elijah Cumming any day.
And go against anyone who threatens him.

Of course he has been threatened many times in the past.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #90)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 11:11 PM

98. so do you & the boggers.

 

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 08:36 AM

103. phew! Chellie signed it.

 

Thank you. I've linked to it. I think I will email it to her this weekend and ask why she won't make that promise.

She has made exactly one vote that left me appalled: NDAA. And that was shortly after a personal visit with Michelle Obama. I wrote to her and asked about that and got an form email answer (expected) about a totally different topic (:wtf

So I was left seriously wondering about what she and Michelle talked about, aside from organic gardening (Chellie is a small organic farmer).

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:55 PM

45. That is truly a show-stopper

I can't believe some of those names.

Sam

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:26 PM

59. Wtf?????

Who do they think they are?

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:48 PM

71. I am going to call them and thank them for not caving to the 5%.

 

Some of the finest people in the house are on that list, and the 5% is going to sell them down the river?

What is very interesting is, the rightwing tea party hates with a passion, so many on this list.

They must be doing something great.

I won't sell any of them down the river.

BTW-I still don't understand and not one person has attempted to explalin-
why did Alan Grayson vote twice with Ron Paul and against all the democratic party people to vote FOR austerity?

Is Alan actually allgined more with the libertarian feeling?
He voted TWICE with them against the democratic party.

Why?

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #71)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:14 PM

82. No surprise

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:00 PM

76. Shelia Jackson Lee?? Joe Kennedy III??? Jim McDermott??? Charlie Ragel??? WTF????

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:54 PM

91. 47 heroes. 47 people Ron Paul would love to get rid of.

 

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 03:18 AM

102. Would never have guessed 3.

Time to send some letters and ask some questions.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 11:20 PM

111. Well, mine is on the list but doesn't require a stern talking to...

 

It's a BFD when Jan Schakowsky (Chicago) has to split from Barack Obama!

Washington, D.C. – In response to the inclusion of chained CPI in the president’s FY 2014 budget, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), John Conyers (D-MN) and Donna Edwards (D-MD), and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka held a press conference declaring their opposition to cutting benefits earned by America’s working families.

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/hot-topics/senate-and-house-leaders-aflcio-president-richard-trumka-stand-against-chained-cpi

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:33 PM

6. +1

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:28 PM

4. .

I don't know...we hate Norquist's pledge so much. Don't think we need to be making one ourselves.

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Response to ChangeUp106 (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:36 PM

7. I think it's fine as a one-off tactic

There's nothing wrong with pinning down a politician on a particular issue, and the list is useful to bring pressure on the others. Where I'd have a problem, is if this became SOP. If it becomes a litmus test that any candidate who wants to run as a Democrat must pass, then it's as bad as Norquist's pledge.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:39 PM

8. .

But wouldn't we pretty much be saying that if/when you vote against SS we will primary you? That would pretty much establish a "test" to run.

I'm of course all for getting these people to defend SS, I'm just saying it reminds me of the GOP tax pledge.

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Response to ChangeUp106 (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:43 PM

10. We've never had to really worry about Social Security being cut before

I think the stakes warrant the use of the tactic this time.

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Response to ChangeUp106 (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:35 PM

62. But if they vote against SS, we WILL primary them.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:49 PM

13. It's called having a boundary...

... of that which you will tolerate. All issue aren't equal to all voters, but this one comes close. If you want call it a litmus test, I don't mind, but consider that this is a matter of life and death, actual survival for many, I won't bend on this one. Support Social Security and Medicare or be primaried, it's just that simple for me.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #13)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:54 PM

16. Exactly

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #13)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:05 PM

49. Well said.

Some issues are fundamental to our core values and basic human morality. These are far too important to be reduced to bargaining chips.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #49)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:39 PM

67. Thank you Woo...

.. that means a lot to me coming from you.

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Response to ChangeUp106 (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 03:05 AM

100. Why not?

Politicians should have things they say "never, no, in no form" to.

And then we should be free to vote for them or not based on our knowledge of their actual policy stands.

Far better that than they have these squishy sorta positions that they abandon at the turn of a hat, positions mostly inferred on based assumptions due to political party or minor comments.

I disagree with the topic of Norquists pledge, not the concept of a politician pledging to support or fight a particular policy.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:44 PM

11. Mel Watt? Oh hell, no.

His office is getting a phone call tomorrow( whether it does any good or not).

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:45 PM

12. The four, core principles of the Progressive Promise:

1. Fighting for economic justice and security for all; [font color=red]FAIL[/font]
2. Protecting and preserving our civil rights and civil liberties;
3. Promoting global peace and security; and
4. Advancing environmental protection and energy independence

From About CPC - What is CPC?

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:50 PM

14. Someone got to them

 

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:47 PM

38. anthrax, anyone? works every time. nt

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:32 PM

61. I think many of them don't want to do anything

that appears to be against Obama.

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Response to choie (Reply #61)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:36 PM

63. Oh please let it not be that.

It does look like many members of the Congressional Black Caucus have yet to take a stand against Pres. O's cuts. I hope they just haven't moved on it yet. They're usually good on the issues. Really. If we don't have them then we really really need to do done serious housecleaning.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:53 PM

15. Hopefully no one on this board is still under the delusion that this is

not a right-wing government which was bought and paid for by the uber-wealthy, large corporations, and oligarchs, and is operated almost solely in and for their interests and at the detriment of all of the rest of us.

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Response to indepat (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:19 PM

54. If it isn't apparent to anyone yet, it never will be.

I think the only delusion is that you can assist those corporations for self-gratification and still not self-identify as part of the problem.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:03 PM

21. So why won't 47 of them sign the letter?

Does it mean those 47 aren't opposed to "any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need" as the letter states, only Chained CPI?

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Response to magellan (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:06 PM

22. I am not sure, we should ask them. But I do not believe for a second that many of those would

support cuts. Read the letter that they DID sign their names to:

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/press-releases/progressive-caucus-cochairs-statement-to-president-obama-social-security-benefit-cuts-hurt-our-economy1/

4/5/13


Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today responding to reports that President Obama will include chained CPI in his annual budget.

“Republicans have been trying to dismantle Social Security ever since President Roosevelt proposed it during the Great Depression. We should not try to bargain for their good will with policies that hurt our seniors, especially since they’ve been unwilling to reduce tax loopholes for millionaires and wealthy corporations by so much as a dime.

“One hundred seven Members of the House of Representatives, a majority of the Democratic Caucus, have already stated our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. Americans all over the country depend on every single dollar they get from Social Security to put food on the table and pay for housing. Using chained CPI will shift more costs onto already struggling American families, seniors, veterans – including our 3.2 million disabled veterans who also depend on the Social Security calculation for their Veterans Affairs benefits – individuals with disabilities, and children on survivors’ benefits.

“This week, a new study from the New America Foundation finds that proposals to cut Social Security benefits could be disastrous for our economy because the recession has led more seniors to rely to Social Security for income. Cutting benefits now, when people are already struggling to make ends meet, will mean unnecessary hardship for millions of people. It is unpopular, unwise and unworkable.”

The text of the Feb. 15 Schakowsky-Conyers- Grijalva-Ellison-Edwards letter opposing chained CPI is below.



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^



February 15, 2013



Dear President Obama:



We want to thank you for standing strong in the American Taxpayer Relief Act to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid from benefit cuts that would jeopardize the well-being of millions of Americans.



We write to affirm our vigorous opposition to cutting Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits in any final bill to replace sequestration. Earned Social Security and Medicare benefits provide the financial and health protections necessary to keep individuals and families out of poverty. Medicaid is not only a lifeline for low-income children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and families, it is the primary source of long-term care services and supports for 3.6 million individuals. We cannot overstate their importance for our constituents and our country.



That is why we remain deeply opposed to proposals to reduce Social Security benefits through use of the chained CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments. We remain committed to making the changes that will extend solvency for 75 years, but Social Security has not contributed to our current fiscal problems and it should not be on the bargaining table.



Similarly, we oppose proposals to increase Medicare cost-sharing requirements or to raise the age of eligibility. Half of all Medicare recipients live on less than $22,000 a year – yet they spend, on average, three times as much of those limited incomes on health care as other Americans. Raising their already heavy cost-sharing burden or increasing the age of eligibility doesn’t lower health care costs, it just shifts them to those who can least afford more financial burdens – seniors, people with disabilities and their families.



A commitment to keeping the middle-class strong and reducing poverty requires a commitment to keeping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid strong. We urge you to reject any proposals to cut benefits, and we look forward to working with you to enact approaches that instead rely on economic growth and more fair revenue-raising policies to solve our fiscal problems.



Sincerely,



Schakowsky, Jan

Ellison, Keith

Grijalva, Raúl M.

Conyers, John

Edwards, Donna

Barber, Ron

Bass, Karen

Bera, Ami

Bonamici, Suzanne

Brady, Robert

Braley, Bruce L.

Brown, Corrine

Brownley, Julia

Bustos, Cheri

Butterfield, G.K.

Capps, Lois

Cardenas, Tony

Cartwright, Matthew

Castor, Kathy

Christensen, Donna M.,

Chu, Judy

Cicilline, David

Clarke, Yvette D.

Clay Jr., William "Lacy"

Cleaver, Emanuel

Cohen, Steve

Conyers Jr., John

Courtney, Joe

Cummings, Elijah

Davis, Danny K.

DeFazio, Peter

DeLauro, Rosa L.

Deutch, Ted

Duckworth, Tammy

Edwards, Donna F.

Ellison, Keith

Eshoo, Anna G.

Faleomavaega, Eni F. H.

Farr, Sam

Fattah, Chaka

Frankel, Lois

Fudge, Marcia L.

Garamendi, John

Grayson, Alan

Green, Al

Green, Gene

Grijalva, Raul

Gutierrez, Luis

Hahn, Janice

Hastings, Alcee L.

Hinojosa, Rubén

Holt, Rush

Honda, Mike

Huffman, Jared

Jackson Lee, Sheila

Jeffries, Hakeem

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

Johnson, Henry C. "Hank" Jr.

Kaptur, Marcy

Kildee, Daniel

Kirkpatrick, Ann

Langevin, Jim

Lee, Barbara

Lewis, John

Loebsack, David

Lofgren, Zoe

Lowenthal, Alan

Lujan Grisham, Michelle

Lynch, Stephen F.

Maloney, Carolyn

Markey, Ed

Matsui, Doris O.

McDermott, Jim

McGovern, James

Meng, Grace

Michaud, Michael

Moore, Gwen

Nadler, Jerrold

Negrete McLeod, Gloria

Nolan, Rick

Norton, Eleanor Holmes

Pastor, Ed

Payne Jr., Donald

Pingree, Chellie

Pocan, Mark

Rangel, Charles B.

Roybal-Allard, Lucille

Rush, Bobby L.

Ryan, Tim

Sablan, Gregorio

Sanchez, Linda

Scott, Robert C.

Serrano, José E.

Shea-Porter, Carol

Sinema, Kyrsten

Sires, Albio

Slaughter, Louise

Speier, Jackie

Takano, Mark

Thompson, Bennie G.

Tierney, John

Titus, Dina

Tonko, Paul D.

Vargas, Juan

Veasey, Marc

Velázquez, Nydia M.

Waters, Maxine

Watt, Mel

Waxman, Henry

Welch, Peter

Wilson, Frederica



cc: Speaker John Boehner

House Minority Leader Pelosi

Senate Majority Leader Reid

Senate Minority Leader McConnell

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #22)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:16 PM

24. I did read it

It only mentions their opposition to cutting SS via Chained CPI, not other cuts.

I'll just ask my rep, Congressman Grayson, what excuse they gave. If any.

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Response to magellan (Reply #24)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:22 PM

27. Only 10 of those 47 didn't sign the CPC letter. They are:

2. Xavier Becerra 
24. Joe Kennedy III 
25. Ann McLane Kuster 
3. Earl Blumenauer 
30. George Miller 
32. Jim Moran 
34. Frank Pallone 
38. Jared Polis 
5. Michael Capuano 
6. Andre Carson 

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #27)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:30 PM

30. Even more interesting

Joe Kennedy III wouldn't sign either letter? Funny how we associate certain names with certain ways of thinking. Wrong to do but I did.....

Well, since it's late now I shot an email off to Grayson. If I get a response I'll share it.

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Response to magellan (Reply #30)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:32 PM

32. Thanks, that would be cool. Or ask him to reply here!! :)

I was glad to see some of my favorite Democratic warriors on both and some on just the CPC letter. There are at least 3 that are not on the Grayson pledge (but on CPC letter) that I personally hugged and have great trust in.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #32)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:41 PM

35. Drats, I wish I'd thought of that

...asking him to reply here!

I'm afraid my trust in any politician is now exactly where it should be: zero. Deeds, not words. And eternal vigilance. But I do feel very fortunate to be able to call Grayson my Congressman.

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Response to magellan (Reply #35)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:46 PM

36. I have severe "Representative envy" of you and many others.

I am in an infamous red red county in WI. I live vicariously through you all and work to further the strong progressives nearby. We have some great Democrats here in WI. Tammy Baldwin is the only one I can call my own but it makes me smile ear to ear to do so.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #36)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:56 PM

46. Oh my

I don't envy you a bit, but I feel some of your pain: we've got Voldemort for a Governor. He's bad, but I don't think I'd trade him for Walker.

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Response to magellan (Reply #30)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:19 PM

55. I had the same reaction

and I don't think his great-uncle Ted would approve of him not signing.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #27)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:57 PM

47. Ben Ray Lujan

 

is my Rep, and his name does not appear on the list of those who signed.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #47)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:01 PM

48. Oh, thanks for clarifying!!

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Response to magellan (Reply #24)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:41 PM

68. Let us know what he says...

I'd like to know what they have against Grayson.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 07:58 PM

18. These Representatives need a MILLION telephone calls a day until these cuts are DEFEATED.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:11 PM

23. Okay, here's the text of my email:

 

Dear Representative Lujan,

I understand that you are one of the Democrats who has not signed the letter which was initiated by Congressmen Alan Grayson and Mark Takano, pledging to “vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.”

You need to sign the letter. You need to commit yourself to protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Social Security itself does not contribute at all to the deficit, and it can be funded into perpetuity by raising the cap on earnings that pay into Social Security.

As for Medicare and Medicaid, since we are the ONLY first world country that does not provide universal health care, those two need to be more fully funded than they are. We should have Medicare for all, rather than any plans to cut back or to raise eligibility requirements.

Far too many of us do not have paid-for health care. Unlike, say, a U.S. Representative. And many of us have no pensions, thanks to changes that encouraged companies to stop funding their pensions and putting the burden on employees to save and invest.

I sincerely hope that you will reconsider your position, and will sign the letter soon. If not, and if you actually vote to change or cut those programs, I will work very hard for any Democrat who will support them, and who will run against you next year.

Thank you for your time.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #23)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:31 PM

31. Nicely stated

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:22 PM

26. The Ides of April is definitely here

 

We're just a pretend "republic" after all.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:23 PM

28. the whole pledge thingy is bullshit...

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:37 PM

33. By their fruits ye shall know them

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:40 PM

34. Wait a minute...

We rail against "no compromise" Conservatives, and think it is absolutely ridiculous when the far-right mounts a primary challenge against a member who is at least willing to CONSIDER compromising on an issue like taxes (an opinion that is just as strongly held on the GOP side as SS is on our side), but we are witnessing the same thing here on our side.

Something that DRASTICALLY helped our party in 2012 was the mindset that our party was the one who was willing to "compromise" and "make the tough decisions" for the "overall good of the country"...as much as we might not like it. And if it wasn't for that belief held among voters in 2012 about the OVERALL Democratic Party, we very well could have been here today railing against President Romney's plan to privatize Social Security, something that would be much worse than anything Chained CPI would do (which is something that will not go through anyway).

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #34)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:39 PM

66. I do not agree with your unsupported assertion that willingness to compromise and

 

make cuts helped our Party. I think only a slack jawed idiot would declare that compromise in and of itself is any sort of goal at all, a deal is only good if it is a good deal, only a good compromise is popular, not compromise at any cost not compromise just to compromise. And yet you claim that making any old crumby compromise is what Americans want, why we won. Do you have anything to back up this crazy claim? Americans don't want jobs, secure futures, economic security, they want compromise. They don't want excellence, they want compromise. Crazy talk.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #66)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:50 PM

72. Well, A Gallup poll backs up my claim about the GOP and the notion of "compromise"

From Gallup: American's Top Critique of GOP: "Unwilling To Compromise" - http://www.gallup.com/poll/161573/americans-top-critique-gop-unwilling-compromise.aspx

I was just trying to make the connection that looking at the overall view of the Democratic Party, we are more willing to "compromise - and yes, that does mean putting something that we don't like on the table, like Chained CPI, just like we want the GOP to put additional revenue on the table. That sort of attitude helps our image as a party.

Plus, even though simply cutting Social Security is not supported by many at all, what IS supported by a large majority of Americans is deficit reduction in a balanced way, including taxing upper income people (In the President's budget, Chained CPI is only on the table with $580 billion in new revenue, something that has gotten overlooked a lot in this debate.)

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #66)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 10:44 AM

106. You don't compromise with destroying 80 years of Democratic policies, period.

 

You hold the president accountable, not kiss his right-wing, neoliberal ass.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #34)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:02 PM

78. point taken

but what you are really saying is that when democrats seem to be doing what the majority wants, they win. In this case, the majority is against the chained CPI. Supporting this cut is so scary that the republicans leaders themselves would never suggest it aloud for fear of losing large numbers of supporters. Have you not noticed the unwillingness to open discussions with the President now that this has been put into the budget?
The republican leadership are still trying to sell us on an alternate universe- a universe that says benefits earned or unearned should all be looked at as unearned and even worse undeserved. In their facade world anything going to anyone other than tax cuts for the rich are to use their words undeserved entitlements. The way they want us to see it is Debt is evil,Government has debt, paying beneficiaries keeps us from paying debt, beneficiaries are evil, it is okay to steal from them. It is all so evident in their cognitive dissonance, but now Obama has laid out a straight forward decision for them and us to make. Are we going to refuse to refund the social security payments that have been made as promised for over 70 years or are we willing to steal directly through the chained CPI to serve the rich, while labeling it necessary reduce our debt? Obama has brought the decision front and center. Those that support the chained CPI will suffer at the polls, no matter their party. The American people are demonstrating their opposition to it across the nation, regardless of party. The resentment of the people is showing. Obama has raised the activism of the country to include far far more than the Tea Party ever consisted off. Seniors, health advocates, veterans, government retirees, the Unions, AARP, activist progressive organizations such as Moveon and DFA, as well as local democratic parties are just some of the organizations speaking out on this. Further many many republican voters and independent voters are now being forced to take a stand on what is now a clear issue and they stand against the chained CPI as well.
President Obama has no future election. He is the leader of the democratic party and he does that in the way he chooses. The chained CPI discussion has so far been a great blessing as a method to focus the people. Now democrats congressmen and women and republican congressmen and women have the responsibility to demonstrate whether they are governed by the loudly expressed and highly visible will of the people or the large payments made as silently and as invisible as possible. I appreciate the dialogue the president has forced upon the country.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #34)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:32 PM

86. You seem to be in the minority here...

and I believe I'm in it with you. Republicans have a thirty-three seat majority in the House. The choice is either concessions and compromise or continuing stalemate. The consequences of continuing stalemate are easy to predict -- two more years like the last two years.

Which means we continue the endless, mindless, lurching from one crisis to the next. We continue to grant the House Republicans at least two more years to play their dangerous game of chicken. We continue to grant Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan outsized, prominent, positions on center stage and allow them to repeat their spurious and fallacious "arguments". We continue to have the people's business held hostage by the House Republicans. We continue to see our government funded by one "emergency appropriation bill" after another, which is a horrible way to do business and gives the Republicans great opportunities to create all sorts of mischief.

I believe there is a substantial risk in continuing in this manner. We could go back into recession. We could see all sorts of public good eroded and destroyed in these "devil's bargain" emergency appropriations bills.

(Note: I'm sure there are some people who might say, "how much worse could a recession be? It couldn't be worse than this." All I can say is, yes it can.)

I'm not diminishing the importance of reduced SS benefits to many people, but something has to be conceded or there will be no agreement, i.e. stalemate, with the consequences being as described above. I think that many members of the Progressive Caucus understand this, as difficult as it may be.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:46 PM

37. Time for me to call Marc Pocan.

Did not work for that guy to do this kind of damage. He's going to hear it from me.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:49 PM

40. they need to be primaried in 2014 then if they're up for election

 

and that's that

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Response to stupidicus (Reply #40)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:07 PM

50. +100000

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Response to stupidicus (Reply #40)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:31 PM

60. At a minimum, yes

 

I will not vote for anyone who votes in favor of cuts to social security.

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Response to stupidicus (Reply #40)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:17 PM

83. ridiculous. how many of those representatives do you know anything about?

Just because they didn't sign The Pledge doesn't mean they support SS cuts. Most of them signed a letter to Obama firmly against. Many are strong progressive Democratic warriors and you want to toss them aside?

Terrible.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #83)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 11:01 AM

107. I'll leave that up to their constituents to determine

 

if they are willing to support BHO's budget with that (and things that aren't in it, which is another story) in it then yeah, not supporting them is what democracy is all about.

Just because they are firmly against it as a single item hardly means they are willing to prevent the passage of the entire budget with a no vote, does it?

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:51 PM

42. You mean like the Norquist pledge? That's a stupid idea, to sign a promise against some future event

no matter what economical emergencies or situations may exist or arise. And semantics may mean that something is called a cut when it's not, or vice versa.

IMO, it's not wise for a politician to sign ANY pledge, as a matter of principle. Stating his philosophy and intention should be enough.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #42)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:39 PM

65. I didn't see your post before I posted my own.

 

You are absolutely correct.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #42)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:46 PM

89. But it's not some vague future event

It's here. Now. This was the White House's formal budget proposal as required by law. From here it goes to the House and Senate Budget Committees. What's wrong with pinning down your Congressperson's position on an imminent issue?

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Response to unrepentant progress (Reply #89)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 10:23 PM

110. I'm against the Norquist pledge, and anything like it. Which this would be. For one thing...

as I said...semantics gets in the way. What you might call a cut, I may not....and vice versa.

We also want politicians who do what's best, under whatever circumstances may arise. We don't (or at least I don't) want them signing pledges for this, pledges for that. They campaigned on their philosophy, made promises already...and we voted based on that. If they reneg on their campaign promises, they would betray a pledge...so what's the point, anyway.

I would say that Obama would say that the chained cpi is NOT a Social Security cut. So even if he had signed a pledge, he wouldn't consider it broken.

It's meaningless and unnecessary and a sideshow.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:53 PM

43. jerks

 

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 08:54 PM

44. Of the N.J. names, Holt is the biggest surprise.

 

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:11 PM

51. WTF? I thought double negatives (..WON'T promise to NOT cut..) are supposed to be positive??

 

Not so much in this case

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:12 PM

52. I guess 'Progressive' doesn't mean what it used to mean. nt

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:13 PM

53. I'm more interested in action than in loyalty oaths.

Whether they've signed a pledge or not, I'm going to primary anyone who votes to cut SS or Medicare.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:24 PM

57. This is why I'm pondering giving up on voting at all...

It seems these days BOTH PARTIES are the same road to hell. Just one gets you there faster than the other by not offering any illusion that it doesn't care about anyone but millionaires. When so-called progressives are for cutting SS and Medicare, it's time to hang up my "chad".

But honestly...If Democrats vote for this "grand bargain", I hope and pray they lose their shirts in 2014. Yes, it'll be hard to take years of hearing idiots discuss the merits of rape and rape babies or homosexuality being like drinking and global warming denial...But I'm so sick and fucking tired of every election I ever vote in being about voting for the perceived lesser evil. Frankly, about now I'd just as soon replace Pelosi herself with a Rand Paul clone. At least then there's a chance that someday THEY might get replaced with an actual liberal.

I am so tried of being sold out.

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Response to PinkFloyd (Reply #57)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:46 PM

69. * Sigh *

 

1. Health care that addresses pre-existing conditions and contraception.
2. Gay rights going forward.
3. Gun control going forward.
4. A consistent push for more equitable taxation.

And you say there is no difference between the parties?

We don't have nearly the amount of progress we SHOULD have but, no, the parties are NOT the same.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:37 PM

64. They should no more promise this than Republicans should pledge not to raise taxes.

 

It's ridiculous. No one knows the future.

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Response to randome (Reply #64)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:11 PM

81. Of course. Congressmen take a pledge to uphold the Constitution..

they have no business signing pledges on the side to NEVER do something. I didn't like the Norquist pledge and I don't like this one.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 09:52 PM

74. Great Now we have PINOs Pregressives In Name Only

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:00 PM

77. Maybe they are being realistic about the big picture.

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Thu Apr 11, 2013, 10:22 PM

84. Congressional Progressives for/against the SS cpi gimmick!

K&R

...marking so I can refer back to!

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 03:12 AM

101. So the question needs to be asked; what, exactly, do they see their "progress" leading towards?

 

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Response to unrepentant progress (Original post)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 10:39 AM

105. I have been telling you we have a government run by and for gangsters

 

The billionaires and Wall Street want that money.

Those 47 people aren't Democrats.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #105)

Fri Apr 12, 2013, 11:34 AM

109. You think they "aren't Democrats" because they didn't sign this? Bullshit. How many do you know?

Just because they didn't sign The Pledge doesn't mean they support SS cuts. Most of them signed a letter to Obama firmly against. Many are strong progressive Democratic warriors and you want to toss them aside?

They haven't voted on anything. Unless and until they do or make any statements OTHER THAN the one they already have - firmly against and and all SS cuts, then we'll talk. Until then, you're being ridiculous.

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