Tag Archive: Eric Cantor

Cantor Temper Tantrum: No Taxes, No, No, No (Up Date)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Up Date below the fold

Call a Wahmbulance for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as he quits the debt ceiling talks with Vice President Joe Biden:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, said Thursday that he was quitting  the debt ceiling negotiations being led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. because of an impasse over the role of taxes in any final deal.

“I believe that we have identified trillions in spending cuts, and to date, we have established a blueprint that could institute the fiscal reforms needed to start getting our fiscal house in order,” Mr. Cantor said in a prepared statement.

“That said, each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”

David Kurtz at Talking Point Memo says this may not be such a big deal:

The read we’re getting is that this could be merely an indication that the emissaries to the talks have gotten as far as they can get and that the remaining heavy lifting is going to have be done by the principals: President Obama and Speaker Boehner.

Meanwhile, Speaker John Boehner doesn’t sound to pleased that he will now have to defend the Republican stand that tax increases are off the table:

“I understand his frustration, I understand why he did what he did, but I think those talks could continue if they’re willing to take the tax hikes off the table,” he said.

One possible interpretation of Cantor’s pullout was that he needed Boehner’s authority to negotiate revenue increases necessary to complete a far-reaching deal with Democrats, but Boehner made repeatedly clear on Thursday that he had not budged at all on the issue.

“Tax hikes are off the table,” he said. “First of all, raising taxes is going to destroy jobs….second, a tax hike cannot pass the US House of Representatives — it’s not just a bad idea, it doesn’t have the votes and it can’t happen. And third, the American people don’t want us to raise taxes. They know we have a spending problem.”

(emphasis mine)

Boehner may be correct on point two but he is so wrong on one and three that is totally laughable and flat out lies that the press refuses to counter. Americans know we have a revenue problem because of the Bush/Obama tax cuts and loop hole in the tax code. Americans overwhelmingly support tax increases on millionaires. I don’t think Boehner is stupid, I think he is a tool of his corporate masters.

My only question now is where the hell is the Democratic leadership to counter this? Why aren’t the Democrats out in front of the cameras pointing out how wrong the Republicans are? The Democrats need to listen to the people, too and take Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid off the table as well.  

Eric Cantor Blocks Tornado Relief

Eric Cantor

This story is usually attributed to HuffPo around the internet, as if Arianna’s cash-cow featured actual reporting, but the real source is the ultra-right Washington Times…

http://www.washingtontimes.com…

And for those weasels it was really all about a “learning experience.”

“Cantor learns DeLay’s lesson on disaster spending”

“House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.

“If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.

That stands in stark contrast to then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who six years ago stumbled when, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he said emergency spending would be tacked on to the deficit.

At the time, Mr. DeLay said the GOP, which had controlled Congress for most of the preceding decade, had whittled the federal budget down so well that there wasn’t room to cut enough to pay for the billions in hurricane-related spending.

“It is right to borrow to pay for it,” he said, adding that cuts could “attack the very economy” that Republicans were trying to bolster.

He took flak from conservatives who said after years of expanding budgets under President George W. Bush, Republicans in Congress should have turned to cuts before deficit-spending.”

Healthcare: A Blast From the Past

December 7, 1964  from a newspaper in the national archives

Says Medicare Bill Will Be Passed

Newark – Speaking at a meeting of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters at the Military Park Hotel here Friday, Joseph J. Sear, president and chairman of the board of the Progressive Life Insurance Company of Red Bank, said the outcome of the recent election makes it virtually certain that the 89th Congress, meeting in January, will pass a Medicare bill, and that it will be signed by the President.

“We, in the accident and health insurance business,” he said, “should have no fears that the passage of such a bill will hurt our business unless it becomes the opening wedge for a socialized medicine program such as in Great Britain, which includes everyone from cradle to the grave. The bill before Congress is generally restricted to providing medical aid for persons 65 years of age and older under the Social Security Program, and we are still insuring primarily persons below the age of 65.

“Since I last spoke to you 13 years ago, (note: 1951) the people cared for by hospital expense policies increased from $85 million to $145 million and the people cared for by medical expense policies increased from $28 million to $102 million, and the trend is still upward.”

Forty Six Years Later

March 23, 2010. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka Dole/Nixon/RomneyObamaCare, signed into law by “Democratic” President.   2009 Bill passed by Senate still lacks universal coverage and the option of purchasing government insurance, but contains universally loathed tax mandate and excise tax pushed by “Democratic” Senator from Massachusetts and WH “Economist” consultant from MIT.  Bill not designed to add more Medicaid coverage until 2014.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

September 17, 2010. Number of uninsured Americans now rises to 50.7 million, or 1 out of 6, or 16%.   Workers now paying 47% more for family health insurance coverage than in 2005, while employers pay 20% more.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/n…

January 3, 2011 New Republican Majority leader Eric Cantor introduces bill to rules committee called “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Law Act”   “Effective as of the enactment of Public Law 111- 148, such act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such act had not been enacted.”

pdf download text here: http://rules-republicans.house…

January 4, 2011  from Kaiser Health News-

House Republicans have scheduled a Jan. 12 vote to repeal the health care law. While the measure is expected to pass the House, Democrats in the Senate have pledged to stop the bill.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or…

January 5, 2011 Shuffle the Deck Chairs on the Titanic


The Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, created just after the law passed, is about to be folded into the federal Medicare agency, signaling a major organizational shift just months after the office was created, administration officials said.

In addition, Michael Hash, who has been serving as a top White House health adviser, has taken the reins of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. Hash succeeds Jeanne Lambrew,  who has been director of the office since May 2009 and has played a central role on the health law. Lambrew, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, will stay on at HHS as an adviser to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The insurance oversight office was headed by Jay Angoff, who battled with insurance companies both as a Missouri official and a class-action litigator. He’ll become a senior adviser to Sebelius.

The office will become part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and will be managed by Marilyn Tavenner, deputy administrator of CMS.

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or…

January 5, 2011.   Blue Shield of CA seeks rate increases of up to 59% for customers by March 1st. They blame costs of hospitals

http://www.latimes.com/health/…

Hospitals treat the un insured when their health descends into the most expensive crisis mode,  and pass the markup, make it up prices along to the insured, while charging the uninsured the highest rates, so they can still have their debts “sold.”

And nothing has changed the basic dynamic of leaving a portion of the population uncovered to act as a price lever on the rest.

Nothing.

A million and a half people filed for bankruptcy last year.  The leading cause is uncontrolled medical debt.

Blue Shield spent $16 million on federal lobbyists in 2010.  The top recipient was “Democrat” There Will Be No Public Option Blanche, the former Sen. Lincoln of Arkansas.  Eric Cantor got $22,500.

http://www.opensecrets.org/org…

They have a PAC, too, for their executives to use.

http://www.campaignmoney.com/p…

There’s more – each of those executives will be making other, individual donations.

But in CA, the real action is at the state level.  How they loved Schwarzenegger, the ex governator.  And the Republicans. And the Democrats.  Last year’s money bomb:

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

most complete list of donations in 2009 – 2010 election cycle:

http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

Poor Jerry Brown only got $2,500 out of all of that ?  

 

Good for the Jews? Fourth Annual Upper West Jewish Christmas Essay

“You know, like a good Jew, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.”

-Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearing, responding to Lindsay Graham’s question, “Where were you on Christmas Day?”

Justice Kagan — Definitely good for the Jews, and a perfect introduction for the Upper West Fourth Annual Jewish Christmas Eve Diary, in which each December 24, we Torah folk huddle around a handsome piece of driftwood,* rest after a tough war on Christmas and review the year for Yids.

On Kos, in 2007, we groused about right wing Jews like Bill Kristol.  In 2008, we commiserated about Bernie Madoff. And in 2009, we kvetched about Joe Lieberman and kvelled about Bernie Sanders.

(cross-posted on Kos)

And 2010?  Well, just for starters, this year I realized that Barack Obama is a Jew.  Don’t believe me? Follow me below:

The Year in Jews:

1.  Barack Obama

The Birthers and Dunkers have it all wrong.  Obama cannot be a Muslim.   First, as we know by reading certain diaries here, he is a capitalist tool who has sold out the left.  On the other hand, to the teabaggers, he is a dangerous Marxist/Communist who nefariously wants to “spread the wealth.”

Well, there’s only one group that has consistently been denounced as being both capitalists tools and communists at the same time:  Since Father Coughlin and before, and in Hollywood, Jews have been simultaneously villains of the left and right.

So by definition, Barack Obama, marxist revolutionary and capitalist tool, must be a Jew.  

2.  Eric Cantor

An open letter to Eric’s mother:


Dear Mrs. Cantor,

    Eric seems like such a nice Jewish boy.  What is he doing hanging out with such a disreputable bunch of goniffs like  Michelle Bachman, John Boehner, Darrel Issa and Andy Harris (the “I want my government health care guy”).

Please have a talk with him.  Really, it’s a shonda.

With concern,

Upper West

3.  Jew or not a Jew?

Amar’e Stoudemaire? (21st c. Willis Reed, in my view)  visited Israel, but a long shot (farther than a three pointer).

Forever Rapper Drake.  Yes!

Pink?  Yes.  So what?

Natalie and Mila.  Of course!  Best Jewish fantasy/reality cinematic ballet stars evah!

4. Abe Foxman: Schmendrick of the year:

From the Burlington Coat Mosque to Glenn Beck on Soros, Abe has been a complete disgrace.  Just cut it out, Abe.  You’re embarrassing us.

:::::::::::::::::

So, nu?  Who are some other newly revealed Jews?  What were your favorite Jewish events of 2010?  New Nixon and Kissinger tapes — anti-Semite and self-hating Jew?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

***********


* My mother, a devout Jewish Ethical Culturalist, every year actually decorated a nice piece of driftwood she got from the beach from our house in Rockaway Beach when I was a kid. Last year’s diary mentioned that she was in the late stages of Pulmonary Fibrosis.  She died a month later at 94, after a life filled with dance, beauty, music and love.

Cantor predicts Republican future at The Economist summit

Originally featured on JTA’s Capital J blog.

Predictions for what 2010 will bring were aplenty yesterday at The Economist‘s summit in Washington, DC celebrating the release of its World in 2010 edition.  The event featured several influential speakers who gave their two cents on issues of economic, political and cultural significance.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

One of the seemingly few bright spots for the GOP in an otherwise dismal 2008 election cycle was the ascent of Virginia Representative Eric Cantor to the position of Minority Whip.  While many state voters cast their ballots for a Democratic Presidential nominee for the first time ever, several ballots included votes for both Barack Obama and Cantor.  What was on the minds of voters, as reported at the time, was that Cantor was something of a tolerable moderate.  Ever since then, however, Cantor has taken his position as the second ranking Republican House member and used it for predominately obstructionist ends.  As this article states, if anyone ought to claim the title of Dr. No, Cantor should.    

What has always concerned me about the supposedly cozy relationship that the United States has with Israel is how the right-wing deifies this most atypical of all Middle East nations.  According to conservative rhetoric, Israel can do no wrong and as such must be protected as some kind of sainted child from the scourge of terrorism and Arab aggression.  In their way of thinking, Israel is a buffer zone against hostile regimes and a virtuous champion of “our” values.  As such, it must always stay strong to contain and repulse potential threats.  Yet, it would go against logic and reason to assume that any country is perfect.  Each and every nation makes significant mistakes and lest someone with selective reading skills miss the point, my stating this does not make me somehow Anti-Israel, Pro-Terrorist, or Anti-Semitic.  

When you marry this fawning Pro-Israel talk with Evangelical Christianity, then the effect produced is truly frightening.  Most Evangelicals believe Israel to be the Holiest of Holy sites.  In their way of thinking, this tiny country is the precise location where the inevitable will come true and the long-promised war between God and Satan, Good and Evil will transpire.  Though much about the Christian Right frightens me, the power and potential exploitation of self-fulfilling prophecy fills me full of dread the most.  But even so, Evangelical Christianity and Judaism are a union of convenience, much like the one that exists between the United States and Israel, rather than a pairing based on shared purpose.  Many Evangelicals hold a particular reverence for Jews, but also believe it is their stated agenda to convert them to Christianity.  Though both religions utilize the same scriptural teachings, the interpretation and emphasis of the same words and concepts is vastly divergent.        

The latest Eric Cantor soundbyte, which must have been constructed with the clear design to inflame and to invoke response deserves a response.  Though I diligently try to ignore those clearly aiming to start a political controversy and/or a resulting war of words, I simply couldn’t stay silent on this matter.  Too much hypocrisy and irony exists within it to not raise my voice in protest.  Observe.    

…Cantor…express[ed] his opposition to Obama’s “disproportionate focus” on halting the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank instead of adopting a policy geared toward eliminating the “existential threat” posed to Israel by Iran’s nuclear program.

“If you look at the policy that this White House has followed, it certainly does not seem as if we are dealing with a true friend” of Israel, Cantor said.

What constitutes “a true friend of Israel” is a matter for debate and one, particularly in this context, notably not set by the Jewish nation itself.  Instead, it frequently finds use as a political talking point, designed to criticize and shame those possessed of a point of view in opposition to the whims of whomever is making it.  I would question whether, strictly speaking, Cantor is a “true friend of Israel”.  Few conservatives in this country are willing to note that if the label “socialist” could be pinned to any nation, Israel might well have a strong claim to the distinction.  State-owned businesses and industries have existed within the borders of the Jewish state ever since its founding in 1948.  While in times past many Israelis more heavily favored a socialistic system and many still do today, the nation is nonetheless highly dependent on U.S. assistance, whether it be in the form of military or economic aid.  This has created a conflict.  The unenviable position between playing by Washington’s rules or governing their country by the ways they themselves would prefer is not an easy one.  That, in and of itself is not a particularly uncommon response.  Since we have the biggest guns and, until recently, had the strongest economy, the countries we actively assisted always had to modify their own political leanings against Washington’s hard line and heavily conditional purse strings.

Furthermore, Israel’s system of government is based heavily on the European Parliamentary model, containing a wide variety of disparate political parties, instead of the predominant bicameral system we use.  It is, in effect, a European state transplanted to a region that has never known anything resembling Democracy, and the fact that tensions and aggressions would exist between it and its neighbors does not take a rocket scientist to explain, nor to understand.  Some assume that Arab states strongly dislike Israel for purely petty, superficial reasons, but the truth is that it is such an bizarre anomaly in comparison with the rest of the region, that a mutual degree of distrust and fear which exists ought to be obvious.  

Cantor has, true to party line, recently spoken out against health care reform.  If he were a true friend of Israel, as he implies that he is, he would take into account this reality.  

Simcha Shapiro calls Israel’s health care system “socialized medicine with a privatized option”.

Israel has maintained a system of socialized health care since its establishment in 1948,[citation needed] although the National Health Insurance law was passed only on January 1, 1995. The state is responsible for providing health services to all residents of the country, who can register with one of the four health service funds. To be eligible, a citizen must pay a health insurance tax. Coverage includes medical diagnosis and treatment, preventive medicine, hospitalization (general, maternity, psychiatric and chronic), surgery and transplants, preventive dental care for children, first aid and transportation to a hospital or clinic, medical services at the workplace, treatment for drug abuse and alcoholism, medical equipment and appliances, obstetrics and fertility treatment, medication, treatment of chronic diseases and paramedical services such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy

To the Obama Administration’s credit, they have fired back with a response to Cantor’s charge.

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to respond to Cantor’s comments but said that securing a lasting two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians was “how you can be a true friend to Israel.”

The lessons to be drawn from this are many.  As we have done many times before, this country likes to project its own agenda and its own internal political squabbles onto whichever country happens to be the current topic for debate.  The irony here, among many, is that other nations, believe it or not, have their own strong opinions, their own distinct political persuasions, and their own means of conducting business.  I suppose it would be inevitable that any country as large and influential as we are would project its own narcissism onto countries not nearly as fortunate and privileged as we are.  I have frequently made a point to ask people who live in other countries what honestly bothers them about the United States.  The number one gripe, regardless of national allegiance, is that it seems as though we really believe that the world revolves around America and, not only that, in so stating this we assume every other nation ought to acknowledge our importance and dominance, too.  It’s one thing to be a superpower and have that status influence the discourse of other countries.  It’s quite another thing altogether, however, when we assume if not altogether demand that other countries ought to make our concerns their concerns as well.  This situation proves to be another unfortunate example of a behavior we would do well to discard.      

Cantor tells uninsured woman with growing tumors to Find Charity

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    The woman in the video below is Patricia Churchill, who tells the story of a member of her family who lost her job and insurance and has cancer that needs treating NOW.

    The full quote of what Rep. Cantor (Fink-VA) said was “there is probably 23, 24% of the uninsured that is already eligible for an existing government program […] Beyond that, I know that there are programs, there are charitable organizations. . .”

    Rep. Cantor went on to say “No one in this country, given who we are, should be sitting without an option to be addressed.”

    Yesterday, Eric Cantor called for “Scrapping” the Public Option.


     Transcript and more below the fold