While You Were Sleeping….

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have been busy carrying out their mandate  to make Government Smaller. In reality what they are doing is handing back control of our future to the Pirates on Wall Street, the predatory banks, the greedy oil industry led by the Koch Brothers, trying to deny all Americans affordable health care, attacking women through the use of a time warp to take us back before Roe vs Wade, and basically declare a vengeful war on not just Democratic Policy and the goals of our elected President, but on the very constituents that elected him. Make no mistake, this is only one front in the war to punish the voters that support the Democrats. There are other fronts. In Wisconsin, Gov.  Scott Walker is trying to break the union of public sector employees…but not all unions, just the teachers and other state and municipal workers that traditionally vote Democrat. he is leaving alone the unions that back Republicans. In Ohio the same moves are being contemplated and Gov. Cristie who has it in for the unions in New Jersey is doing the same thing. A number of other states  are working to find a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under debts including the pensions, as well as the ability to void union contracts. In South Dakota they are contemplating a law that would no longer make it an offense to kill people. Abortion providers that is. If passed this law would allow a ruling in a court of law of Justifiable Homicide if someone were to decide to kill an abortion provider. Robert Reich, a Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley has a pretty good assessment of the Republican Strategy here but make no mistake, this is practically a declaration of war on democratic voters and the whole Lower and middle income population of the U.S. There have already been threats to call out the National Guard in Wisconsin to combat teachers and librarians and clerks from your local DMV office….well, maybe them it would be okay.

.Here are some of the things your House of Representatives did early this Friday:

  • Voted to strip funding from just about every EPA project, including air quality, emissions, and water pollution monitoring. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA had the power to regulate greenhouse gases as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. So, the Republican party has unilaterally decided to trump the Supreme Court. Under the guise of carrying out the “peoples mandate” of smaller government the House Energy and Commerce Committee made this a top priority in budget cuts. In reality the committee is stacked with people elected directly using Koch Brothers funds. The Koch Brothers own the second largest privately owned company in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of $21.5 Billion each. Think about that. Between them they could pay the budget deficit for two or three states and still have enough money left over to buy a couple of Major League Franchises. You may want to call that a push for smaller government, but it sounds like a push for BIG BUSINESS to me. But I guess that when you have $43 billion between you, you can over rule the Supreme Court.
  • Defunded NOAA  At first this doesn’t sound so bad, but when you consider that the NOAA is the main agency riding shot gun on BP in assessing the damage done by BP’s irresponsible actions on the Deepwater Horizon Spill and making sure that BP follows the direction of the courts and the government is limiting and repairing that damage as well as compensating gulf businesses effected by the spill, it becomes a major move to again, take from the poor and give to the rich.
  • Stripped funds to administer the Affordable Care Act. This will eventually go to the Supreme Court, but pay attention to how they treated the Supreme Courts decision with their defunding the EPA rule.
  • Eliminated funds for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is almost a rider on the EPA defunding.
  • Continued $53 billion in oil subsidies. Why are we, the tax payers, subsidizing a couple of guys worth $43 billion and their cronies in the other oil companies.?Especially when they won’t have to spend all those millions of dollars to make sure their companies don’t pollute the environment?
  • Tried to eliminate Davis-Bacon rules for government projects (that failed) if they had managed to push this one through, it would have meant that Congress would no longer have had to pay prevailing wages and benefits contractors and employees on Public Works Projects. The Davis-Bacon laws have been on the books since 1931 and were meant as a safe guard against under cutting pay and benefits on government projects. Again, an attempt to screw the working man.
  • Stripped federal workers of their salaries in positions within agencies targeted for defunding. This one is kind of vague since it still has to go to the Senate and won’t actually be passed right away, but it means that if you are an EPA Inspector who has worked for the agency, inspecting mine safety, inspecting refineries, paper mills, etc…for safe working conditions and proper hazardous waste disposal, safe emissions etc…you no longer get paid.
  • They have also cut additional funding for the SEC. This means that the SEC won’t even have the money they had last year when they were going after Madoff, nor the money to pursue prosecution of other corporate Pirates. Further, it provides no moneys for the new Consumer Protection organization which is supposed to police among other things, the mortgage industry and credit card companies so that illegal foreclosures and fraudulent interest rates don’t get charged. again, a win for big business and a bif loss for the citizens of the U.S. that don’t have 8 figure bank accounts.

Of course, last week they defunded Planned Parenthood, FCC allocations for enforcement of Net Neutrality rules which means that the big internet providers like AT&T can deny you equal access to the internet if someone pays them more  or if they decide they don’t want you going their unless you pay a fee. It’s interesting to note that AT&T is a big donor to the Republican party. Again, a move for big business and a loss for the average citizen. Next up is deregulation of “for-profit colleges” which probably shouldn’t concern us since none of us will be able to afford to send a kid to college anyhow. The Republicans like to say that we must cut spending to preserve the future, but it looks more like they are trying to assure that the average Joe in this country won’t have a future. As an aside, John Boehner, their leader, tried to spend on a redundant engine for a future fighter jet. An expenditure that the Sec. of Defense doesn’t even want. It was interesting to note that said engine would be built in or near his home district by another big company, GE. Also a big Republican fund raiser.And that’s the…

Dirty Lowdown


About DirtyLowdown
I was born in Pomona, California at a very young age. I had a pretty normal childhood…or I was a pretty normal child hood if mom is telling the story. I was a paperboy who always porched , usually on the subscribers porch. I washed cars and bussed tables which left me with a life time affliction of chapped lips. I was a soda fountain jock-jerk and a manic mechanic but my first real job was as a labor organizer in a maternity ward. Then, because of the misjudgment of a judge I spent nearly 10 years in the service of our country mostly on KP duty. Our country sure turns out a lot of dirty dishes. I am a past master at pots and pans. They eventually recognized my real talent and let me wander around some very unfriendly places carrying a big radio that didn’t work. Along the way I took up the bass guitar, jotting down stories, electronic engineering and earned a degree in advanced criminal activities. I spent most of my adult life, if you can call it that, working in the I.T. industry, which I was particularly suited for since we worked in rooms with no windows. On and off I taught in colleges, universities and reform schools as a student teacher… I like smog, traffic, kinky people, car trouble, noisy neighbors, and crowded seedy bars where I have been known to quote Raymond Chandler as pickup lines. I have always been a voracious reader, everything from the classics, to popular fiction, history to science but I have a special place in my heart for crime fiction, especially hard-boiled detective fiction and noir. I write a book and music review blog for all genres at The Dirty Lowdown and another dedicated to Crime Fiction and all things Noir called Crimeways. It’s named after the magazine that appeared in the Kenneth Fearing classic, The Big Clock. There I write scholarly reviews of the classic hard boiled, noir and crime fiction books from the 20's through today. Mostly I drool over the salacious pictures on the covers. I also write for Technorati/BlogCritics where I am part of a sinister cabal of superior writers.

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