The meeting room at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center was quickly filling up last Wednesday night, the 2nd of January, as the monthly meeting of the Board was about to begin. No “OB-time” here, as the Chair, Jane Gawronski, gaveled the meeting to order right at 6:00 pm. In the audience was a “who’s-who” of the community’s merchant establishment and friends, and it included the heads of the OB Town Council; the merchants’ group, the Mainstreet Association; the local non-profit OB Community Development Corporation.
Two of the leaders of the effort to reform Senate filibuster rules, Sens. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tom Udall of New Mexico, are now saying that 48 senators have confirmed their support for making the filibuster a real, talking filibuster. Further, all 48 have committed to reforming the filibuster by using the “constitutional option”—that is, by changing the rules of the Senate with a simple majority of 50 votes plus the Vice President.
There are seven Democratic members of the Senate who have not yet committed to reforming the filibuster in this way: Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein of California, Carl Levin of Michigan, Max Baucus of Montana, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Inside.. The UT’s Gospels of Fear and Falsehoods, Gun Control Proposal, Nurses United and much more… [Read more…]
Qualcomm Corporation headquartered in San Diego has been lobbying Congress for a “tax holiday” that would allow it to “repatriate” millions of dollars held offshore in tax free jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the New York State Common Retirement Fund, has sued Qualcomm over disclosure of use of stockholder funds for political purposes.
Grover Norquist is happy. After the fiscal cliff deal was passed in the House, he pointed out that Obama blinked on his $250,000 line in the sand on taxes and that, by locking in the Bush tax cuts for 98% of Americans, the Democrats’ ability to defend the legacy of the New Deal has been greatly diminished. He’s right.
By Joshua Holland / Alternet
It’s bizarre how people distinguish between serious and unserious proposals.
With another debt-ceiling show-down looming, talk of the ‘platinum coin option’ – declared deeply unserious in 2011 – is once again gaining some traction. Here’s Josh Barro over at Bloomberg:
I’m glad to see Representative Jerrold Nadler lending his support to the idea that President Barack Obama should avert a debt-limit crisis by issuing large-denomination platinum coins, as permitted by 31 USC § 5112. [Read more…]
North San Diego’s Congressional Representative Darrell Issa’s making the news this week as his vote against the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (also known as the fiscal cliff bill) and his support of Speaker John Boehner’s decision to adjourn without taking up a disaster relief bill has come under fire.
The Washington-based Media Matters group cited Issa as an example of media malfeasance in reporting on the so-called ‘fiscal-cliff’ negotiations over the past week, noting that the Congressman was given ample air time to attack the pending deal without mentioning his personal financial interest…
Meanwhile, over at CNN this morning Rep. Peter King (R-NY) lashed out at Issa, for defending Speaker Boehner’s decision to adjourn Tuesday night before taking up the Sandy relief package. Issa also denounced the bill as being “packed” with pork.
(Yes, I’m back from vacation. Come on inside to read more GOP horror stories) [Read more…]
By Laura Gottesdiener / Alternet
It’s payback time—literally. In Florida, hundreds of homeowner and neighborhood associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to upkeep their repossessed properties, according to—of all things— a CNN Money report.
Florida is one of the states hardest hit by foreclosures, and there are nearly a half-million foreclosed houses now standing vacant and often slowly deteriorating. When a bank forecloses on a house, evicts the family and then repossesses the property, it also assumes responsibility for maintaining the home and yard and paying homeowner or condo association fees. Yet, some of the nation’s largest and richest banks have been unable or unwilling to upkeep their properties—prompting neighbors across Florida to declare enough is enough.
One Miami lawyer, Ben Solomon, has filed more than 1,000 liens against banks for failing to maintain their properties or pay their homeowner association fees. And when the recalcitrant banks don’t comply, Solomon slaps them with a foreclosure notice—131 thus far. [Read more…]
Fiscal cliff talks go to the brink, as lawmakers are optimistic for a deal; yet Republicans lack any incentive to deal; Huntsman: “GOP devoid of a soul.”; Hillary Clinton hospitalized; Turner, Smith, dismissed from Chargers
Congress remained in session over the weekend as Republican and Democratic leaders met throughout in an effort to stave off the looming slip over the edge of the fiscal cliff (or curb or slope). If a deal is not struck by midnight tonight (New Year’s Eve), all of the Bush tax cuts will expire—not just for the top 2% of earners—and hundreds of billions in draconian budget cuts will be automatically enacted.
The current fiscal cliff deal is the result of negotiations a year ago between the White House and the Gang of 12 SuperCongress, a group made of six legislators from each party, and from both chambers of Congress. The sequestration deal (or fiscal cliff/curb/slope) was put into place as a sort of poison pill; an incentive for the SuperCongress to actually come to a deal.
It didn’t work. Republicans never had any intention of negotiating in good faith, and here we are today. [Read more…]
By Les Leopold / Alternet
It was another year of Wall Street treachery. Those who took down our economy still have not been held accountable. Instead, Wall Street successfully lured the political establishment into a phony fiscal cliff/austerity debate. So instead of creating programs to put millions of Americans back to work, Washington is debating how much more to take away from the poor and the middleclass. Let’s take a closer look at the most disastrous economic events from 2012.
Here’s our countdown: [Read more…]
Farm bill impasse in Congress could cause prices of dairy products to skyrocket; the do-nothingest Congress in history; San Diego poised to lose state funding for construction projects; Issa’s witch hunts to continue; Obama thriftiest president since Eisenhower
Prices for a gallon of milk stand to rise from a current average of around $3.65 to $6 to $8 per gallon, according to a report in the NY Times. That’s because of an impasse in Congress (of course) that is stalling the passage of a new farm bill. The Senate has already passed its version of the bill last July. The House has yet to bring its own version to the floor.
Without a new farm bill, according to the report, the government would be forced to follow a farm law enacted in 1949 that would require the federal government to purchase milk at prices that would be determined by production costs…..from 1949. Adjusted for inflation and other factors, that would amount to more than double the current price. Keep in mind that production costs 60 years ago were a lot higher because milk production was done almost exclusively by hand.
If Congress fails to act (which is likely…..more on that later), then dairy companies would be forced to look for alternative sources for their milk, such as importing it from New Zealand. [Read more…]
Mayor Bob Filner calls out dysfunctional Congress; Starbuck’s embarks on a “Come Together” campaign; Wingnuts decry Sandy Hook as a government conspiracy; Balboa Park Golf Course getting a makover
In an interview yesterday with KPCC, the Los Angeles area public radio station, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pulled no punches in criticizing Congress and the Congressional leaders he left behind after 20 years to run for Mayor.
The bottom line, the reason he chose to run for mayor instead of returning to Congress for what would have been his 11th term, was the same thing Filner said to SDFP colleague Annie Lane and I when we sat down with the then mayoral candidate back in April for the OB Rag: Congress is a complete, dysfunctional mess.
The mantra of shrinking government down to a size “where you can drown it in a bathtub,” as Grover Norquist likes to say, became the overriding principle in the House in 1994 when Newt Gingrich first became Speaker. Since then—and especially since 2010—it’s only gotten worse.
“I couldn’t believe the kind of people who had come and taken power,” Filner said of the Tea Party wave that took control of the House. “Many of them had never had any government experience. They had no respect as it were for government per se. I mean, I don’t know why you run for government office with the intent to close up government.” [Read more…]
NRA to push for guns in schools; Speaker Boehner puts one foot over the fiscal Cliff; Scott Peters to serve on Armed Services Committee
So this is what the NRA meant by “offering meaningful contributions to ensure this never happens again?” They probably should have stayed silent like they did for the first five days after the Newtown, CT, school shooting. After going completely radio silent, shutting down their Facebook page and Twitter account, earlier this week the National Rifle Association released a statement promising to be a constructive partner in the debate over what to do in the wake of the latest, and most horrifying mass murder at the hands of a deranged gunman. [Read more…]