PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FINANCING
Remember their self-congratulatory "Pledge to America" which stung Democrats for "limiting openness and debate" and vowed to "ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square"? Remember how Speaker John Boehner's first words out of his mouth after taking control of the House were about "real transparency" and "greater accountability"? He declared, "we will welcome the battle of of ideas, encourage it, and engage in it--openly, honestly, and respectfully."
I don't know who the "we" is here but either "we" is a figment of Boehner's imagination or "we" have short term memory loss or "we" is up to Republican dirty tricks.
Without one committee debate, without one hearing, and with little fanfare, Republicans plan to rush a bill to the floor Wednesday that would eliminate the federal government's presidential financing system, which has been around since the aftermath of Watergate--another era of Republican dirty tricks.
In case Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann happen to be reading this, the Presidential Election Fund was created by Congress so that candidates wouldn't have to rely on corporations and deep-pocketed donors to finance their campaigns. It provides matching tax dollars to the small donations received by candidates who agree to publicly finance their campaigns, instead of relying on private donations. The voluntary donation is a whopping three bucks.
Since 1976, every Democratic and Republican presidential candidate has used the public financing system except Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Obama opted out of the program and instead raised $745 million from small and large private donors and corporations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.Legislative reform to the bill to make presidential public financing more competitive has received wide bipartisan support over the years:
More recently, Rep. David Price (D-NC) introduced the Presidential Fund Act, which would notably increase the funds available to candidates who opt in to public financing. In 2007, when Price introduced his bill, cosponsors included three Republicans—Reps. Mike Castle of Delaware, Todd Platts of Pennsylvania, and Shays. (Castle and Shays no longer hold office.) Price offered the bill again in 2010, and says he intends to offer it yet again in the 112th Congress. As for the Republicans' plan to gut public financing, Price remarks that it "looks like the Republican Party moving to toss red meat to the tea party."Reform experts say if it passes, "it will roll back more than 30 years of law born out of the Watergate scandal, eviscerating one of the few remaining protections stopping corporations from heavily influencing, if not outright buying, American elections."
To see what other sneak attacks Eric Cantor is buzzing about, go to majority leader dot com/you cut. You can vote for, but not against, three different proposals. You can also "suggest" ways to cut federal spending. For a start, I'd like to suggest cutting congressional salaries and increasing the number of days congressmen must be in session, and, probably even more importantly since they don't accomplish anything anyway, repealing their free government health care. They should have to work for it.
RAPE REPUBLICAN STYLE
This was the title I used in an article stinging 30 Republican Senators who voted against the Jamie Leigh Jones' anti-rape bill last October. Obviously the GOP still has women issues because they're trying to rewrite the definition of rape--one of their "you cut" measures that the House Majority Leader seems to have overlooked on his web page.
Presently, federal laws prohibit the use of government funds to pay for abortions except in cases where the mother's life is endangered and for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. But the "No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act", which Boehner considers a top priority, "contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases."
A rape is a rape is a rape in my book, whether or not it is a case of force by a stranger, incest by a family member or statutory rape. A young girl's body is violated, period. An adult woman's body is violated, period.
But apparently the 173 GOP co-sponsors think that if a 14-year-old-girl puts on makeup and winks at a 22-year-old man, she's consenting to a romp in the sack. Forget about adult coercion and adolescent hormones just beginning to rage in a body possessed by a mind too young to have more than a vague notion of the consequences of s-e-x. Forget about the culpability of the perpetrator; he was just stoned or drunk and she told him she was 18. Boys will be boys - wink, wink.
Since young girls who get pregnant wouldn't be able to use tax benefits to pay for abortions, "parents wouldn't be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn't be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense."
In cases of incest, victims would have to be under 18 to receive federally funded abortions.
"Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes."
As Mother Jones so cryptically states, the bill, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.), represents a "frontal attack" on long standing exemptions. This essentially means that young girls and adult women get raped twice - once by an adult male and once by the Good Old Perpetrators under the influence of stupidity, heartlessness and the right-to-lifers. All to save a few pennies.