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Journal Archives

Pelosi threatens to end Dem participation in Benghazi probe

Pelosi said McCarthy’s comments show the panel is political, “unethical” and should be dismantled.

“It's just a stunning admission on the part of the Republican leader that the Benghazi Committee was created with a political purpose in mind. In fact, it's really an ethical question,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. “It makes the whole operation practically an unethical operation.”

Pelosi said Democrats will continue to participate in the panel for now, but she suggested that could end if they deem the panel unserious.

“It's obvious that it should be disbanded based on the leader's own words. But since we recognize Republicans do not intend to do that I would encourage my members to continue to participate, and then we will see how much longer they want this to go on,” Pelosi said. “How long we will participate depends on how serious they are, and we haven't seen any signs of seriousness.”


Pentagon: Troops will not get paid during a shutdown

The Pentagon is starting to distribute plans to its personnel in the case of a government shutdown, according to a Friday memo to military and civilian employees from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

During a government shutdown, all military personnel would continue in a normal duty status, but they would not be paid until Congress provides funding, the memo says.

Some civilian employees could be furloughed while others would report to work, it adds.
The memo said the Pentagon has made "necessary updates to our determinations of civilian employees who would continue to report to work in the event of a lapse in funding, and civilian employees who would be placed on furlough."


welfare queen GE Ships Hundreds of Jobs Overseas, Blames Lack of Corporate Welfare

$36 billion in federal contracts and a negative tax rate is cruel and unusual punishment, according to General Electric.

GE’s corporate tax strategy is simple: whenever possible, don’t pay. According to a 2014 report by the nonpartisan Citizens for Tax Justice, GE was one of over two dozen companies that paid $0 in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2012. In that same time period, GE made $27.5 billion in profit and paid an effective tax rate of -11.1 percent, netting it a tax refund of over $3 billion.

But even with at least $108 billion in cash in tax-free accounts overseas and an average effective federal income tax rate of only 1.6 percent over the last 5 years, GE has the gumption to effectively relocate 500 jobs offshore while blaming a lack government resources for its decision. This could be a calculated move to either bilk US taxpayers of millions of dollars more, or to leverage other countries, like France, to pony up if the USA will not.

GE, which claims Congress’s failure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is the reason for its threat, received $35.8 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts between 2000 and 2012. To get an idea of how much that is, that figure is 7 times more money than GE made in profits in 2010. The fact that GE wants the Ex-Im bank reauthorized is an open admittance of the company’s dependence on taxpayer handouts — the bank is the poster child of corporate welfare. Before Republicans blocked its reauthorization, the bank had an estimated $112 billion portfolio. Its 2013 annual report revealed that 81 percent of its portfolio subsidized multinational corporations — two-thirds of which went to just ten companies that made hundreds of millions, and even billions in profit.


House moves one step closer to lifting ban on crude oil exports

The House Energy and Commerce Committee took a major step Thursday toward allowing crude oil exports from the United States.

Three Democrats joined all of the Republicans on Thurday in voting for a bill that would lift the decades-old ban on exports. The tally was 31-19.

The vote sends the legislation to the full House for final passage, something that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said would happen in the coming weeks.
Republicans said the bill would benefit the economy, jobs, national security and other areas, while most Democrats decried it as a giveaway to oil companies that would threaten energy prices.

“America wins when we support free trade and open markets, and this bill would lift the 40-year-old restrictions on oil exports that President Ford signed into law in 1975. Much has changed since 1975 when these restrictions were imposed but the dramatic growth in domestic oil output over the last decade has flipped the script,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the committee’s chairman.


that headline should be congress colludes with big oil to drive up gas prices

McConnell tries to lower GOP expectations on spending

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Wednesday that he and the House Speaker are discussing a short-term government funding bill to avoid a shutdown on Oct. 1.

McConnell (R-Ky.) also warned his GOP colleagues that they are almost certainly going to have to accept spending levels above those in the 2011 Budget Control Act that introduced the sequester, the series of automatic cuts and ceilings meant to restrain federal spending.

The GOP leader blamed Democrats for not allowing Republicans to move forward on any appropriations bills, which he said had delayed any progress.

“And so we are inevitably going to end up in a negotiation that will crack the Budget Control Act once again,” McConnell said


Bush questions John Roberts's appointment to Supreme Court

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush cast doubt during Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate on whether Chief Justice John Roberts should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court.

“We need to make sure we have justices with a proven, experienced record of upholding the Constitution. That is what we need. We can’t have — the history in recent past is ‘appoint people that have no experience so you can’t get attacked.’ That makes it harder for people to have confidence they won’t veer off,” he said in a rambling response.

“John Roberts has made some really good decisions, for sure, but he did not have a proven, extensive record that would have made clarity the important thing.”

Roberts, who has drawn the ire of many conservatives for two decisions upholding ObamaCare, was nominated by Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, in 2005.


Polling numbers

On the Democratic side things are pretty steady. Last month Hillary Clinton led Bernie Sanders by 35 points and this month she leads him by 35 points again- she's at 55% to 20% for Bernie Sanders, 4% for Martin O'Malley, 3% for Jim Webb, and 1% each for Lincoln Chafee and Lawrence Lessig.

Clinton is over 60% with African Americans (65/14) and 'very liberal' voters (65/26), over 50% with 'somewhat liberal' voters (59/25), women (59/18), seniors (56/19), Hispanics (54/13), and white voters (52/24), and in the 40s with men, (49/24), younger voters (48/20), and moderates (47/19).

Clinton's favorability numbers with Democratic primary voters have hit their lowest point at 63/26, while Sanders' 49/21 is up from 42/26 in July. But for now those shifts in favorability don't seem to be affecting the overall horse race numbers too much. We found Sanders ahead in New Hampshire last week and other polling has shown the race tightening in Iowa, but Clinton remains a resounding leader nationally.

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