Mr. Speaker, today I rise quite saddened by the news that the Susan G. Komen race for the cure has made a political decision. A fine nonprofit that I have been associated with for years, I have run in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure, I have walked in the race for the cure, I have been the emcee at a number of events locally that they have held, so I have been a big booster of the Susan G. Komen organization, but not anymore. Their announcement yesterday that they are no longer going to fund any organization that is being investigated by a federal, state, or local body means that Planned Parenthood is no longer going to receive $600,000 a year. Now, ironically yesterday the Komen organization also announced and with great concern in a statement that the dismal rate of breast cancer screening with women who do not have insurance is something like 38.2%. Last year the Planned Parenthood organization was responsible for over 700,000, 700,000 breast cancer screenings for women who are poor, for women who don’t have insurance, for women who seek to get the health care they get through Planned Parenthood. So over the last five years there have been four million breast cancer screenings by Plant Parenthood. Komen has funded about 170,000 of them through Planned Parenthood. So what does this mean? Well, I guess it means that Susan G. Komen has decided to become a 501-c-4 because no longer did they want to be providing nonprofits, they want to become a political advocacy group. Last time I checked, we were all presumed innocent until proven guilty and we look to investigations in the federal judicial branch, we look to investigations by the U.S. attorney or the district attorney. Far be it for us to rely on the House of Representatives holding a hearing as being emblematic of justice because oftentimes it’s a political sandbox. Now, this investigation is one that has been called on by Mr. Stearns who is the Subcommittee Chair of Energy and Commerce on Oversight. The hearing has never been held. So why would Susan G. Komen take the remarkable step of saying they are no longer going to fund Planned Parenthood? I suppose when we review NIH and bring them under some investigation that they will stop funding NIH to the tune of $1 million, or I suppose that when we have a pharmaceutical company that we bring to the hill to ask them questions about a particular activity that they will stop accepting sponsor money from that particular pharmaceutical company. All of you across this country that feel that Susan G. Komen should stick to what it knows and that is breast cancer research and breast cancer screening and support and promote those activities by organizations that do the research and do the screening, I ask you to call them at 1-877-465-6636 and tell them that you want them to stick to what they know. Let’s not make this a race to the political bottom. I yield back.
Many thanks to Liba for giving me this opportunity. My blog focuses on informing the electorate. I’ll focus on this during the week, with some new articles, a few shameless self-reblogs, and a few pieces from the very awesome people I follow. I’ll keep it interesting, and I’m pretty sure you all…
"I don’t see how anyone who confronts Obama’s record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. … How can you vilify Romney as a heartless plutocrat unfit for the presidency, and then enthusiastically recommend a guy who held Bradley Manning in solitary and killed a 16-year-old American kid? If you’re a utilitarian who plans to vote for Obama, better to mournfully acknowledge that you regard him as the lesser of two evils, with all that phrase denotes. … Keen on Obama’s civil-libertarian message and reassertion of basic American values, I supported him in 2008. Today I would feel ashamed to associate myself with his first term or the likely course of his second. I refuse to vote for Barack Obama."
i definitely view him as being the lesser of two evils, but more so a President with potential. still, can anyone argue that Mitt Romney is better? i mean, with a straight face and without reference fictions propagated by Fox News or Rush Limbaugh? in the end though, it’s Congress that’s the problem. why won’t anyone acknowledge or push this? Congress is where most of the blame lies, and i don’t mean obstructionist Republicans. i mean the failure of the premiere lawmaking body of the American government unable to do its job, overwhelmed, either willingly or reluctantly, with pressure from outside sources, lobbyists, special interests, staking their futures on monies from these people and then returning the favor. where are the interests of the American people in this Congressional mix? they are by the side of the road way back there in the 70s, it seems.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is now refusing to explain a bill that he co-sponsored with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) that critics say would have redefined rape, providing federal assistance only to victims of “forcible rape.”
but he’s not done putting his foot in his mouth yet.
“Nobody is proposing to deny birth control to anybody,” Ryan remarked. “And I don’t think [women are] going to take the bait of all these distractions that the President is trying to throw at them.”
As a member of Congress in 1999, Ryan voted to deny birth-control coverage to federal employees. He later co-sponsored the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which would have criminalized some forms of contraception. And he vowed to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, calling the president “paternalistic” and “arrogant” for mandating that birth control be covered by all health plans, including those offered by religious organziations.
it’s a bitch when your Congressional record comes back to bite you on the ass, ain’t it?
A review of every bill Paul Ryan has co-sponsored that did not fail provides a picture of what Ryan has contributed to the nation over his years in public office.
- Ryan served as co-sponsor on eight bills that successfully provided for the issuance of new commemorative coins. These coins celebrated: American veterans who are disabled for life; the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center; the Boy Scouts of America Centennial; the San Francisco Old Mint; Jamestown’s 400th Anniversary; Benjamin Franklin; American Bald Eagle recovery; and the American buffalo (which, we can all agree, is a truly majestic animal).
- Ryan has honored Wisconsin as a co-sponsor of efforts that celebrated: the 100th anniversary of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; the Wisconsin Badger football team for an outstanding season and 2011 Rose Bowl bid; that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wis.; and also the renaming of several Veterans Administration and Post Office buildings in the state.
- Speaking of post offices, in addition to sponsoring the renaming of one after Les Aspin, Ryan successfully co-sponsored the renaming of U.S. Post Office branches in Schertz, Tex.; Dixon, Ill.; and Madison, Wis., giving us the Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Post Office Building.
- Ryan has co-sponsored five successful resolutions honoring Ronald Reagan. These measures: established the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act; renamed a post office in Dixon, Ill., the “President Ronald W. Reagan Post Office Building”; authorized the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site; recognized the 90th birthday of Ronald Reagan; and provided for “the award of a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to former President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Reagan in recognition of their service to the Nation.”
- Ryan has co-sponsored successful legislation banning animal crush videos.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
"Whoever wins Election 2012, Americans will wake up the next morning losers, for at minimum it will be another four years living under a president likely to prove a disaster for the country, at least if you think that another four years of cronyism, extrajudicial killing, growing deficits, imprisoning scores without charges or trial, waging extra-constitutional wars, and spying on innocent Americans is a disaster. I don’t mean to suggest, partisans of one stripe or another, that there is no difference between Obama and Romney. If you could run parallel versions of America under each man I am sure the outcomes would be different in many specifics, and also in aggregate: One would be really bad for the country, the other would be even worse for it."
Conor Friedersdorf, in a masterful essay decrying both Obama and Romney.
the key is Congress, not the President
“Two raging wildfires in southwest New Mexico merged on Thursday to become the biggest blaze among fires that have torched forest and brush in parts of five Southwestern states.” - Reuters, 5/25/12
The above cartoon displays how many citizens view Congress — we ask questions and we get little in response.
It’s troubling and it’s why Congressional approval ratings have been hovering at historic lows over the past year.
But as citizens, we don’t have to continue to ask questions. We can take action, and when we collectively apply that power, we will begin to receive more than silence and gridlock. That’s why at skimmerhat, we believe in education and action.
Check out some of the other political cartoons and memes we have gathered here.
"Considering members of Congress “on an individual basis,” Kerrey says, “you should presume patriotism.” But he thinks congressional rules favor partisan gridlock: “I am campaigning to amend the Constitution to abolish both the Republican and Democratic caucuses. . . . We should not allow Congress to organize by party. How can you work with someone who is raising money to defeat you? The rules of Congress have to change, and they can’t be trusted to rewrite their own rules."
— great thoughts!
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is criticizing the House Republican budget for cutting food stamps and other social programs too drastically. Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, says his Catholic faith served as a guide when he wrote the spending plan, and that runaway government debt is what will really damage programs for the poor. But the bishops say making disproportionately large cuts to the food stamp program — $33 billion in reductions over 10 years — fails to meet the church’s “moral criteria” to “serve poor and vulnerable people.” Is slashing spending on food stamps really immoral?
Yes. We have to help those in need: More Americans than ever are struggling in this sour economy, says Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite in The Washington Post, and it’s our “moral responsibility” to help them. “The ‘small government’ or even ‘no government’ folks want to say that the churches should pick up the slack on taking care of the poor instead of us paying taxes for a social safety net.” But churches simply “can’t do it all without the government.”
and from what i’ve seen and read (check the stats), churches won’t. why feed the poor when the church can have a new congregation hall with a flat screen TV and a new bingo machine? i’m all for the church to participate in helping the community, but it’s way too easy to call them out for not doing hardly anything most of the time with all the “good church-going people” around and all the money that goes into churches and never comes out again. last stats i saw, churches typically put less than 10% of their “income” back out to the community. now, what kind of community pillar is that, i ask?
BAM! Congresswoman Jackie Speier dropkicks Susan G. Komen
number of protesters against billions of dollars of bank/mortgage fraud arrested? hundreds. number of bankers committing billions of dollars of fraud arrested? at least two that i’ve seen so far
Update (11:15 a.m. EST): In Congress’s lower chamber, Rep. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which activists have opposed along with PIPA, said he would also halt consideration of the bill. “I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products,” he said in a statement in response to Reid’s announcement that he would delay a vote on PIPA. So now progress on passing both bills has been arrested indefinitely.
Original: The Senate just announced it would delay a vote on the PROTECT IP Act, one of the two bills online activists have been campaigning hard to stop, which is a pretty clear sign this week’s blackout of Wikipedia and other sites worked. “In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the Protect IP Act,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The bill known as PIPA would make it easier for the U.S. Department of Justice to ask for a court order to disable a site it believed was infringing on U.S. copyrights. Online information activists say it hinders free speech and innovation, and Reid’s announcement on Friday indicates he thinks there’s merit to that argument. “I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.” Reid said. Now that they have an opening, the bill’s opponents are going to have to either kill it completely or come up with some language that will satisfy the internet freedom activists as well as the powerful entertainment lobby, which has been pushing for PIPA and its House analog SOPA to pass.
probably helped someone like Reid to make a decision after a bunch of Republicans backed off and a list of campaign donations from Hollywood to a long list of Democrats was published all over the internet. hmmm. corruption much?
the words “Congress” and “corruption” are becoming synonymous
Why shouldn’t same sex couples have equal rights? According to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), it’s because equality is just too expensive.
from a friend who works for a Congressman
THE SENATE: Convened at 10 with plans to hold dueling votes at 3 that will kill off both the Obama transportation jobs proposal ($50 billion for public works construction and $10 billion for a new infrastructure loan fund) as well as the Republican alternative, which is to extend many highway and mass transit programs through September 2013 — while blocking or reversing a range of unrelated federal regulations. Advancing either measure will require 60 votes; none of the 47 Republicans will break ranks and vote for the president’s plan and only a couple of the 53 Democratic caucus members will back the GOP idea.
Senators will also confirm two new federal trial judges: Scott Skavdahl, a Wyoming magistrate, and Richard Andrews, Delaware’s top criminal prosecutor.
THE HOUSE: Convened at 10 and will start legislative business at noon, with plans to take up two more measures that would help small businesses raise capital. One would ease SEC regulations on the advertising of new securities. The other would allow companies to sell $2 million in stock using “crowdfunding” methods without registering with the SEC. Passage of the second bill may be put off until tomorrow, because today’s last vote is promised before 7.