Thursday, March 14, 2013

This & That!

-The Who’s Who of the Republican Party convened in Washington today to kick off their annual CPAC convention.  This invitation only schmooze fest is an opportunity for the party’s elite to showcase their stars while breaking out their most inflammatory rhetoric.  If you can get past the divisive, racially charged hate speech you can learn a lot about the party by who has been asked to speak.  This year the headliners are:  Donald “Birther” Trump, Sarah ‘I can see Russia from my house” Palin and newcomer Ted “”channeling Joe McCarthy” Cruz. This soiree use to be about showcasing those in the party who had a legitimate chance to win elections.  But in recent years it has been more about promoting the noisemakers than anyone of substance.  Chris Christies’ absence is a case in point.  So much for the rebranding of the Republican Party!
-Speaking of Ted Cruz.  The arrogant, condescending freshman senator has gone out of his way to make a name for himself among the most radical wing of his party.  In recent weeks he has personally attacked the president, questioned the new Secretary of State’s patriotism and gone on a spree of innuendo and character assassination that rivals Joe McCarthy.  Today he lectured Senate Judiciary Chairman Dianne Feinstein on the tenants of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as it pertains to the right to bear arms.  Feinstein, a 20 year committee veteran who held elected office before Cruz was a gleam in his daddy’s eye, slapped Cruz back into place.  But Cruz is like a cockroach...he just keeps crawling out from under the woodwork.  Check out the Cruz/Feinstein back and forth on Google.  It’s worth a look.

-The above noted confrontation between Cruz and Feinstein took place during the committee's debate over Feinstein's new assault weapons ban legislation.  The new bill was passed by the committee and will now be voted on by the full senate.  Not one Republican on the committee voted for the bill. It has been 90 days since the Sandy Hook shootings.  The Bushmaster rifle that was used in those killings would have been banned had George W. Bush and the then Republican congress not allowed the former assault weapons ban to expire.  They say that the odds of this new bill passing are slim and none.  Given the carnage at Sandy Hook and the fact that the new bill exempts over 2,500 different types of firearms; we have to wonder why the politics behind this are so contentious.  As Senator Feinstein said to Cruz: "How many types of weapons do you need?"      
-Over that past several weeks the president has reached out to Republicans in an effort to forge a compromise on fiscal issues.  He has dined with senate Republicans and had Paul Ryan over for lunch.  This week he has gone up to Capitol Hill to meet with House Republicans on their own turf.  For the past four years Republicans have criticized the president for his unwillingness to sit down and work with them on major issues.  Not that he giving them the time they requested, they are criticizing his motives.  They say this is all for show.  They call it his “Charm Offensive”.  Damned if you do…damned if you don’t.     


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