Democrat = socialism as fast as we can

Republican = socialism as fast as we dare

Tea Party activists and others should pay attention here: Eric Cantor and John Boehner are implementing a strategy that makes it look like they are on your side, but are in fact stabbing you in the back. Source: Redstate

The GOP’s Wimpy Whip

Cantor’s staffers boast of the congressman’s ties to a top-drawer list of Washington lobbyists, from the logical base of AIPAC to JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and to Virginia’s sentimental favorite, Philip Morris. (It is worth noting that there is a cozy overlap between Cantor’s benefactors and those of Minority Leader John Boehner.) Cantor produced an astonishing $60 million in the 2008 cycle, and he made certain his favorite House members understood his magnanimity. “He runs around handing money to people,” an observer comments. “He has people say great things about him on TV.  It’s about the money.”

This swag-swinging braggadocio, while useful in Washington’s version of Monopoly, did lead to sweaty troubles for the clean-cut Cantor during the credit crisis of 2008. Cantor’s talent for obedience led him to voting with John Boehner, Roy Blunt and other House bosses for the TARP bailout plan that was concocted by the crafty Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs vet Hank Paulson. Cantor also was an enthusiastic supporter of the TARP-embracing John McCain, whose presidential campaign fell off the cliff with the bailouts.

After the election, Cantor grew alarmed that he was on the wrong side of the Republican tracks and, according to a witness, “crawled on his knees to beg forgiveness” from the House survivors who had voted not once but twice against the TARP folly.

GOP Traditionalists to Lead Panels


WASHINGTON—House Republican leaders cleared the way for two longtime traditionalist lawmakers to head powerful congressional committees over the objections of some tea-party and conservative activists.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R., Ky.), who has sought earmarks throughout his career, is set to become chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal spending. Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.), criticized by some conservatives for votes in support of some Democratic initiatives, was chosen to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee. Mr. Rogers, 72 years old, has served in Congress for 30 years, and Mr. Upton, 57, for 24 years.

Messrs. Rogers and Upton were officially backed Tuesday by the Republican Steering Committee, a 34-member panel that makes committee assignments. The full complement of House Republicans will consider the choices on Wednesday, and approval is likely.

These chairmanship battles were particularly contentious because of the enormous power wielded by the two committees in areas of keen interest to conservatives who energized the Republican surge in the midterm elections—federal spending, health-care policy, environmental regulation and energy policy.

The Appropriations battle was especially close. Both major candidates, Mr. Rogers and Rep. Jerry Lewis (R., Calif.), are among Congress’s longtime pursuers of earmarks, the special items that lawmakers insert into spending bills. Earmarks are a big target of the tea-party activists who helped fuel the GOP takeover.

Critics say the use of earmarks essentially means spending priorities are determined by deal-making, while defenders say the Constitution gives lawmakers the job and duty of making spending decisions this way.

Mr. Rogers over the past three years obtained 135 earmarks worth $246.4 million, according to the Taxpayers for Common Sense, which opposes earmarks and subsidies. Mr. Lewis and a third candidate, Rep. Jack Kingston (R., Ga.), also won millions in earmarks. Yet as they sought the chairmanship, each insisted he was best-positioned to fight earmarks.

Some activists weren’t persuaded. “The whole system has been go-along, get-along as far as spending,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “It’s something they all grew up in. They are all recent converts.”

Speaker-designate John Boehner (R., Ohio), in part to ward off such criticism, announced this week he was supporting a seat on the Appropriations panel for Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), a longtime earmark opponent.

The fight over the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship was similarly bitter. That panel oversees enormous sectors of the economy, including health care and telecommunications.

With Republicans in control, the committee could become a launching pad for efforts to repeal President Barack Obama’s health-care law and for challenges to the administration’s energy policies, including a move by the Environmental Protection Agency to curb greenhouse gases.

Mr. Upton’s candidacy came under siege from conservatives who disagreed with his votes in support of expanding a children’s health program and his backing of energy conservation measures, such as a phase-out of the 100-watt incandescent light bulb. Congressional offices were deluged in recent days with calls from activists opposing his bid.

Seeking to tap into that frustration was Rep. Joe Barton, a Texan who had led the committee before the Democrats claimed the majority in 2006. Mr. Barton was rebuked by leaders of both parties earlier this year when he apologized to BP PLC executives during a hearing on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Mr. Barton’s candidacy also was complicated by other political baggage. Like Mr. Lewis, he would have needed a waiver to become chairman, since GOP party rules prohibit any lawmaker from holding the top slot on a panel for more than six years.

Many of the more than 80 newly elected Republicans made it clear they didn’t want to circumvent that rule. “Consistently, the freshman class thinks that the rule, which doesn’t allow waivers, is a good one,” said Rep.-elect Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Mr. Upton has played up his conservative bona fides in recent weeks, vowing more vigorous oversight of Mr. Obama’s special assistant for energy and climate policy, Carol Browner, a longtime nemesis of coal producers and oil companies.

A more immediate challenge for Mr. Upton may be preserving his panel’s turf. Rep. Doc Hastings (R., Wash.), the likely chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, is lobbying House leaders to give his panel jurisdiction over energy.

But such maneuvers are common when power shifts on Capitol Hill, and it isn’t clear how much support Mr. Hastings’s proposal has among Republican leaders.

The steering committee also backed Rep. Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.) to head the Financial Services Committee, over Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.). As chairman, Mr. Bachus could play a central role in determining the future of mortgage-guarantee agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Mr. Bachus has called for taxpayer exposure to Fannie and Freddie to be capped and for the two troubled agencies to compete in the private market or be placed into liquidation. Aides to the lawmaker said he would also conduct rigorous oversight of the Obama administration as officials implement the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.

Republicans and Short Term Memory Loss

Posted by RedState Insider

A Snapshot From Georgia Politics

Earlier today, Erick posted an item asking “Did You Vote Republican For Nothing?” It’s a good and timely question, as is “did Republicans learn anything from this election, the rise of the Tea Party, and the crushing defeat of a liberal tax-and-spend agenda in November?”

Looking purely at recent national and local political news relevant to folks in just one state – Georgia – it now seems the answer to the first question is “yes” and the answer to the second might just be “no.”

Yesterday, House GOP leadership elevated Hal Rogers, infamous porker and earmark fan, to the post of Appropriations Committee Chairman, where he will be free to lard it up while Republicans seek to reclaim the mantle of fiscal conservatism—rhetorically, we must assume. In taking that step, the House GOP leadership passed over Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston, an infinitely better choice had they actually wanted to govern in a fiscally conservative manner, rather than preach spending restraint while enabling waste we can’t afford.

And in Kingston’s home state of Georgia, currently, a Tax Council has been reviewing the tax code and is widely expected to recommend in the very near future a number of actual or de facto tax hikes. These are rumored to include the “sunsetting” or enforced expiration of certain tax exemptions (so taxes will go up), as well as a hike in the state’s cigarette tax.

At least one Republican state representative, and rumor has it, outgoing Gov. Sonny Perdue, is fully on board with the idea of pursuing one or more tax hikes being weighed by the Council. This is despite the fact that it was reported last month that for five months straight, state revenue has been higher than during the same period last year. No doubt this kind of scene is being played out in states across the nation, where Republicans elected to cut spending, and oppose any and all tax hikes, are suddenly being tempted by tax increases as short-term fixes to budget woes. No doubt many Republicans in Congress now responsible for “governing” are easing into greater comfort with the idea of big spending, like we have seen with the debate about extending unemployment benefits again.

The message of the election was crystal clear to those of us who watched the defeat of people like Georgia Democratic Rep. Jim Marshall this November, but it looks like it is being forgotten already by some Republicans who we entrusted with power. It’s our job to make sure they remember

GOP gets queasy over earmark ban

Moderate committee picks jar conservative ascendancy in House

The Daily Caller – By Jonathan Strong

In a move at odds with a Republican transition into control of the House of Representatives that has left many on the right smiling, GOP leaders Tuesday paved the way for three moderates to head crucial committee slots over their more conservative challengers.

The Republican Steering Committee backed Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan to head the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky to head the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama to head the Financial Services Committee.

Each of the three new chairmen-to-be has come under fire from conservatives hoping GOP leaders would pick their more conservative rivals.

Upton, 57, faced revolt from the Tea Party group FreedomWorks for a long record “full of votes for more regulation, more spending, and more taxes.”

Though he spent the past month sprinting to the right, Upton has for years often found himself among a small minority of Republicans siding with Democrats on key votes.

Rogers, 72, is a longtime champion of earmarks who just this past August was dubbed “Porker of the Month” by the group Citizens Against Government Waste for “sponsoring legislation that could give federal funding to his daughter’s nonprofit organization, which promotes overseas wildlife protection for cheetahs.”

Bachus, 62, negotiated the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts with Democrats on behalf House Republicans, but lost the confidence of many conservative members in the process. He was one of 59 Republicans who voted for President Obama’s “cash for clunkers” program which paid individuals to destroy their used cars and buy new ones instead.

By picking Bachus, the Steering Committee put itself at odds with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who blasted Bachus’s “bigger government agenda” in an exclusive statement to The Daily Caller.

GOP sources said Palin’s call galvanized conservatives on the race but angered some insiders who resented her interfering in the matter.

The picks jar what has in many other ways been a conservative ascendancy in the House.

For instance, incoming Speaker John Boehner backed anti-earmark crusader Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona Monday for a slot on the powerful appropriations panel only three years after he punished the right wing rebel for insubordination.

“He’s listening. He gets it,” Leslie Page, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, said about Boehner before the committee picks had been announced.

Republicans “are determined not to blow it,” said famed political handicapper Charlie Cook in his weekly column, “the leaders seem to know that they scored an unearned run in this election and that they have been given an opportunity that they probably didn’t deserve.”

Though the committee picks are unlikely to poison relations between GOP leaders and conservative activists, it will surely raise conservatives’ suspicions about the long-term trajectory of the party.

Many on the right privately express fear Republicans will drift from their campaign promises, especially as the large class of freshmen become accustomed to Washington’s ways.

The committees Upton, Rogers and Bachus will head are particularly important because they will form the front lines of the GOP’s fight against the Obama administration’s agenda.

Upton, in chairing the Energy and Commerce Committee, will preside over health care issues. Right wing activists are pushing for repeal of the president’s health care law and may be disappointed in lesser steps.

Rogers will preside over spending issues, which are at the very heart of the Tea Party enthusiasm that played a key role in the huge GOP victories on Election Day.

Bachus will preside over Obama’s far-reaching financial reform legislation as it is implemented and oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

We had a choice in the elections

Socialist Party A or Statist Party B