House Democrats

Democrats only care about dying veterans when their jobs are in danger

Eric Shinseki

**After this story was written news broke that Eric Shinseki officially resigned today as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and that wait times at VA facilities may be related to employee bonuses. No word yet as to what an official investigation into the matter may look like, but Congress has called for an inquiry.

In yet another entry in the annals of weird and conflicting policy ideas from the Democrat side of the aisle, Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki is taking a beating from left-leaning politicians looking to hang onto their seats on the Hill in the wake of the abhorrent stories of veterans dying and committing suicide while awaiting treatment in VA facilities around the country.

There really is no excuse for what’s been going on because we’re not talking about annoying bureaucratic realities where you don’t get a tax return in a timely fashion. People who served their country were treated as secondary to a system that clearly couldn’t handle the demand.

But hiding that inefficiency came first in the form of secret waiting lists, while treatment of veterans took a back seat. And Shinseki is no doubt responsible for his agency’s negligence. But the calls for his head, as CNN points out, may be more about political savvy than concern for ailing vets.

Thos calls began after a damning VA Inspector General’s report indicating that “1,700 military veterans waiting to see a doctor were never scheduled for an appointment and were never placed on a wait list at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Phoenix.” But, also as CNN points out perhaps a bit more cynically, those on the Hill lighting torches have something in common:

“Fiscally conservative” Blue Dog Democrats fail to protect taxpayers

Blue Dog Democrats

Much ink has been spilled in the last few years over the decline of the Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives. Just this week, the Washington Post ran a story noting that this group of purportedly centrist Democrats will has seen its numbers fall from 50 members four years ago.

“[T]he Blue Dog Coalition is a shell of its former self, shrunken to just 15 members because of political defeat, retirements after redrawn districts left them in enemy territory and just plain exhaustion from the constant battle to stay in office,” wrote Paul Kane at the Washington Post. “Several are not running for reelection in November, and a few others are top targets of Republicans.”

There actually 19 members of the Blue Dog Coalition, though three members aren’t running for reelection in 2014. Reps. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC), whose districts were targeted by Republicans, decided to retire. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) is running for governor in Maine. Other members of the Blue Dog Coalition face tough bids for reelection, which could further dwindle its numbers at the beginning of the next Congress.

Blue Dog Democrats claim to “represent the center of the House of Representatives” and purport to be “dedicated to the financial stability and national security of the United States.” In news stories, reporters will frequently refer to Blue Dogs as “fiscally conservative” or “deficit hawks.”

Why Does Change Taste So Bitter?

So this is what change tastes like…pretty much the same as what we were being fed before, except more bitter and by force; like castor oil, except it makes us worse, not better.

At nearly 11PM on Sunday, March 21, 2010, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the culmination of generations worth of liberal ideological dreams, a year of contentious debate, and months worth of open bribery, extortion, arm-twisting, vote-buying and the use of arcane parliamentary tactics such as reconciliation and “deem-and-pass”, all in order to pass a bill that no one had a clue would end up looking like when it was signed. Why? Because the bill that was signed is not the one that will be implemented. That comes with the passage of the Senate amendments to make the House Democrats happy.

Why would so much time and effort be put into passing a bill that became more unpopular the longer it was in the public eye? Quite simply, because it is not about health care, it is about power. Power of 1/6th of the American economy, which conveys an enormous amount of influence for those charged with allocating those resources and privileges, and power over the health (and therefore life and death) decisions of over 300 million people.

President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi both came into power campaigning on a promise to end the Republican “culture of corruption” in Washington. Instead they doubled down. They promised us the most ethical and transparent Congress and administration in history. They promised debates on major legislation would be broadcast on C-SPAN, and that everything would be out in the open. They promised us a new way of doing business in Washington. We have a new way, alright…the Chicago way. Al Capone would be proud.

Live-Blog: House votes on ObamaCare

Welcome, Instapundit readers!

The House is scheduled to take up ObamaCare just after 2pm. It’s still unclear if Democrats have the 216 votes required to pass it, though there is a claim this morning that the votes are there.

As of now, 37 Democrats are voting “no” or likely voting “vote.” Thirty-eight (38) defections are needed to kill the bill. Politico has a list of possible switch votes.

Licking their wounds, House Democrats lash out at Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

The 2014 elections were not kind to House Democrats. Republicans now have their largest majority in over 60 years, and some in the Democrats’ dwindling minority are looking for someone to blame.

Barack Obama is the obvious first choice. He said a little more than a month before Election Day that, though he wasn’t on the ballot, ‘[his] policies [were] on the ballot. Every single one of them.” How’d that pan out? Earlier this year, Nancy Pelosi said Obamacare would be a “winner” for Democrats on Election Day, but polling shows Obamacare’s popularity is still on the decline as premiums continue to rise.

And now that the dust has mostly settled on the 2014, House Democrats are taking out their frustrations on Pelosi, who has held a firm grip on the Democratic caucus since 2003 when she was first elected to lead her party in the House.

POLITICO reports:

The discontent with Nancy Pelosi is breaking out in the open.

Democrats in the House have quietly grumbled about Pelosi since suffering devastating losses on Election Day, but there is a growing number of members willing to go public on their party leaders.

Gaffe-prone Hillary Clinton plans join Nancy Pelosi to raise money for House Democrats

Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will spend some time away from promoting her book, making hilarious gaffes, and earning $225,000 per speech to join House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC):

A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide said the former secretary of State will join Pelosi in her home district this fall as part of Clinton’s midterm campaign tour. She’s also expected to headline fundraisers for the rest of the party’s major campaign committees, and will kick off her fall campaign schedule with an appearance at Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) annual steak fry next month.

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said Democrats are “thrilled and grateful” that Clinton plans to help the party as they fight to pick up seats in the House this fall.

“Secretary Clinton is an extraordinary force for our values and will relentlessly fight to jumpstart the middle class. We’re thrilled and grateful that she is lending her support to our shared goal of electing a Democratic House of Representatives that will put a stop to the endless cycle of dysfunction and shutdowns from this Republican Congress,” he said.

Nancy Pelosi won’t be Speaker next year: Republicans are poised to keep control of the House, and probably pick up seats

Nancy Pelosi

Forget the annoying fundraising emails from House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the talk from left-leaning pundits about the House being in play this fall. It just ain’t going to happen, folks. Because math, as USA Today notes:

In 2012, congressional district lines were redrawn, as is constitutionally required every 10 years, based on population shifts. Republicans had the upper hand in many states after the GOP won control of governorships and state legislatures following the 2010 Tea Party wave. The end result has been a precipitous drop in the number of competitive seats and a rise in the number of seats considered so safely Republican or Democratic that they are unlikely to ever switch party control.

Today, roughly 50 districts in the 435-member House make up the entirety of the 2014 battleground.

The non-partisan Cook Political Report ranks just 16 of those districts, 13 held by Democrats and three by Republicans, as competitive enough that neither party has a clear advantage with fewer than 100 days to go before Election Day.

The current House makeup includes 234 Republicans and 199 Democrats, and there are two vacant seats that are safely Democratic. That means Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats for a takeover. They’d have to pick up 17 Republican seats and lose none of their own, or make even greater gains in GOP territory to make up for any losses.

Basically, Democrats have virtually no shot of taking control of the House this year. The numbers just aren’t there. Obviously, there are some other factors in the mid-term equation as well.

How convenient: House Democrat forgets that she actually wanted impeach George W. Bush while railing against House Republicans

House Democrats are really playing up the lawsuit that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) plans to file against President Barack Obama. Before and immediately after Wednesday’s vote to authorize the lawsuit, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee blasted out nearly two-dozen fundraising emails to its list, most of which play up the phony prospect of impeachment.

Let’s not kid ourselves here, the impeachment talk is being driven by Democrats. Sure, they’ll point to a handful of mostly backbench Republican lawmakers who’ve said they’re either open to impeachment or would vote for it. But there aren’t many on the GOP’s side of the aisle who are seriously considering such a step.

Don’t tell that to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, though. She ran to first reporters she could find to tell them how the vote on the lawsuit “is about the road to impeachment.” Boehner, of course, has already said House Republicans have no plans to impeach President Obama. It’s the political tit-for-tat that drives pretty much everybody crazy.

With all of that said, however, most Democrats are conveniently forgetting that, unlike this current situation, there was actually a push in the House in 2007 to impeach then-President George W. Bush.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), for example, claimed last night that, even though President Bush took the United States into a war based on false premises, Democrats never sought to impeach him.

Here are 8 fundraising emails the DCCC sent on Monday referencing Boehner’s lawsuit and the nonexistent threat of impeachment

Monday was another busy day at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). They sent out another round of fundraising emails that use Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) threat of a lawsuit and the White House’s fake concern about the “threat” of impeachment to motivate the Democratic Party’s base into sending them money.

Between Friday morning and Sunday night, the DCCC sent out, by our count, 11 fundraising emails that mention the “I” word. On Monday, they blasted out eight more emails to their list. Though not all of them mention impeachment (most of them do), the emails are part of the same fundraising campaign.

We keep emailing

Barack Obama just emailed me!!!



We keep emailing

As you can see, this from DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) and he cares so much that he just wants to “make sure” you’ve seen that email from “Barack Obama.”



Today in Liberty: Darrell Issa may hold White House official in contempt, Senate Republicans block anti-Hobby Lobby bill

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War

— Issa may take action against defiant White House official: David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, may find himself in contempt of Congress for his refusal to testify yesterday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on violations on the Hatch Act. “I can’t rule it in or out, yet,” said Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), according to Politico. “I can’t answer what we will do in this case, but I can tell you that there is a similar case that occurred under President [George W.] Bush and the similarities are significant.” Democrats on the committee, of course, defended the White House, which has ostensibly claimed executive privilege in order to prevent Simas from testifying. Because, you know, the suspicious political activities of the White House are basically state secrets. Or something.

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