Florida Representative Alan Grayson Discusses ‘Wall-Street’ Democrats


Secular Talk

Earlier this month – on Thursday, July 9th – Florida Democratic Representative Alan Grayson announced that he plans to run for the senate seat that will be vacated by Republican Marco Rubio.

Rubio is running for U.S. President.

Grayson and his aggressive style are well-known on liberal web sites.  He has reportedly outlined platforms for his campaign, including protecting senior citizens, requiring companies to offer paid sick leave, and promoting universal health care, writes Florida news station local10.

He reportedly said he is the only candidate running for the senate seat who is focusing on those issues.

“This is the ‘it’ campaign of 2016. Just like Elizabeth Warren was the ‘it’ campaign in her race,” Grayson said, according to Florida news station wftv.com.

“I’m going to be running a Barack Obama-style campaign. I am going to try and wake up and electrify the electorate with all the good we can do for each other,” said Grayson.

According to wftv.com, Grayson has passed more amendments than any other congressman.

He discussed the senate race with Fox radio host Alan Colmes.

http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/florida-rep-grayson-enter-race-sen-rubios-seat/nmtgM/

http://www.local10.com/news/rep-alan-grayson-to-run-for-senate/34069930

https://reasonablyliberal.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/alan-grayson-on-the-tpp-and-trade/

Michigan Sponsors Its Own Religious Freedom Bill


NBC25

Michigan lawmakers are working on passing their own Religious Freedom Act, states wwmt.com. The legislation is called Senate Bill No. 4.   It has been introduced and is now in committee.

Two other religious freedom bills are also being considered in the state, states attn.com.

The TV show Flashpoint in Michigan had a discussion Sunday about a religious freedom bill coming to Michigan.

Devin Scillian was joined by Randy Richardville, Stephen Henderson, Jill Alper and Sandy Baruah to talk about religious freedom acts and whether one might be coming to Michigan.

Richardville, a former Michigan Senate majority leader, said that he doesn’t think that Indiana’s situation will have a major effect on the state of Michigan.

Alper, a political strategist, talked about the governor’s reaction to the increasing talks about religious freedom acts and what it means moving forward.

Baruah, the President and CEO of Detroit Regional Chamber, says that this issue is very bad for business. He said having laws like this in place prevents the best workers from coming into the state.

Henderson, of the Detroit Free Press, said that the issue has become more aggressive and assertive and talked about what could happen to settle the case.

GOP Budget Increases Military Spending, Cuts Domestic Funding

Secular Talk

The L.A. Times states, “House Republicans released a 2016 spending blueprint Tuesday that seeks to fulfill the GOP goal of balancing the budget in 10 years, but does so by slashing Medicare and other safety net programs while dramatically boosting military spending.”

The budget re-visits old right-wing proposals a “signature proposal for overhauling Medicare with a voucher-like private insurance option,” states the L.A. Times.

U.S. News and World Report wrote that there was a potential stalemate between conservatives who are “deficit hawks” vs. conservatives who are “defense hawks.” The vote in the House was 228 to 199.

“Leadership managed to convince enough members of the far-right Freedom Caucus, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to support a proposal that met dual goals of balancing the budget and increasing military spending, giving them enough support to pass a budget without the help of Democrats or Republicans insisting against any increase in spending,” states U.S. News and World Report.

Republicans see the budget rules as the best way to tackle a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, since only a simple majority of votes in the Senate are required under a special budget process called reconciliation.  So they see “de-funding” Obamacare as the best way to “repeal” it.

The budget “purports to cut $5.6 trillion off the deficit and balance the budget within a decade, repeals the Affordable Care Act and slashes nondefense discretionary spending,” states U.S. News and World Report.

In February, the House of Representatives voted to repeal The ACA (“Obamacare”) for the 56th time, states the New York Times.  It didn’t work out. The law is already up and running and insuring people.

The Senate passed a Republican-authored budget plan early on Friday that “is similar to one passed by House Republicans on Wednesday,” states Reuters. It seeks $5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years while boosting military funding.

Reuters:

“The 52-46 vote on the non-binding budget resolution put Congress on a path to complete its first full budget in six years. It came at the end of a marathon 18-hour session that saw approval of dozens of amendments ranging from Iran sanctions to carbon emissions and immigration policies.”

“…both documents seek to ease the path for a repeal or replacement of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law.”

Does this sound like a budget that the President will sign into law?

(Updated post)

The Hill: McConnell Fails To Deliver

According to The Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is failing to deliver.

After just over a month, McConnell is reportedly on the brink of breaking his promise to avoid shutting down government agencies, according to The Hill.

At the same time, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) continues to lash McConnell and Republicans in the Senate for failing to ram through a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that blocks the White House plan to halt deportations.

Just last December, McConnell claimed: “We don’t intend to engage in rhetoric nor actions that rattle the public.”

McConnell has already had to break his pledge to return the Senate to “regular order.”

He celebrated getting more votes on amendments on the Keystone XL bill than had been allowed in all of last year, but he shut down Democrats seeking to debate the pipeline.

“That led to complaints that he was in a hurry to help several Republicans get going to California for a weekend retreat with billionaire donors Charles and David Koch,” says The Hill.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) told reporters that McConnell went “Right back to a process of shutting everything down, even stopping people from having 60 seconds to speak about their amendments.”

“There is no sign that McConnell intends to reverse the ‘nuclear option’ rules change made by Democrats when they held the majority. McConnell had complained bitterly when Democrats made that shift but now shows no sign of wanting to switch the rules back again,” says The Hill.

“Sen. McConnell promised the moon but delivered a box of rocks,” said Adam Jentleson, the spokesman for Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate Minority Leader.

“The Republican Senate has started off as the least productive, most partisan, most contentious Senate in recent memory,” said Jentleson. “From bypassing committees on every single bill so far to trying to silence senators who dared to disagree with him to failing to hold a single Friday vote, Sen. McConnell is running a closed and partisan process that is extremely unproductive for the middle class.”

More:

http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/233365-juan-williams-mcconnell-fails-to-deliver-in-senate

GOP Launches Full Assault On Reproductive Rights: Are Democrats The Underdogs?

31 of the 50 governors are Republicans. 69 out of the 99 state legislative bodies (Houses and Senates) are Republican dominated.

The state legislators have been able to expedite one of their top policy priorities – restricting access to abortion – given the historic gains they made in last year’s midterm elections, according to the Huffington Post.

State lawmakers have raced to file bills concerning all aspects of the procedure. As of last week, lawmakers have introduced more than 100 bills regulating abortion in more than half of all states, according to data from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.”


TYT Network

Obama Signs Suicide Prevention Bill For Veterans

Amidst partisanship over health care in the U.S., one issue received support from both parties, according to U.S. News and World Report: curbing suicides among American veterans.

The issue was not mentioned in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, but it became clear early this year that both Democrats and Republicans would rally around it.

The Senate voted 99-0 to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act on Feb. 3, while the House voted 403-0 in favor of it last month. Obama signed the bill on Thursday.

The bill is named after a Marine Corps veteran who killed himself in 2011 after he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder following deployments to Iraq and in Afghanistan.

Last December, Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, single-handedly stalled the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act in the Senate, saying that it carries too hefty a price tag and the VA could already handle it.

Veterans groups said the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act , which would require a report on successful veteran suicide prevention programs and allow the VA to pay incentives to hire psychiatrists, is desperately needed.

Tennessee Minister Gives Prayer Asking Jesus To End Medicaid Expansion

June Griffin, a “longtime crusader for Christian values,” gave the opening prayer for the Tennessee Senate recently.

After taking special prayer requests, she went into a prayer to end any effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.

More:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/03/1362064/-Christian-minister-opens-Tennessee-Senate-with-prayer-to-end-Medicaid-expansion#

Majority Report