Establishment Republicans Lashing Back At Tea Party (Teabaggers)


There is news that a deal is underway that will allow for the government to reopen and the debt ceiling increase to be passed.  In other words sanity (at least in the short term) will be allowed to rein in Washington.

This also means that the Tea Party will not gain what they wanted (defunding the Affordable Health care Act), or extracting any of the other ideas that were on their ever-changing wish list.  Recall the Keystone Pipeline?  While it appears likely that there may be a change to the medical device tax, that is something that very likely given the degree of angst it created on both sides of the aisle, would have been removed anyway in regular budget negotiations.

In other words the Tea Party will have shot their wad with the shutdown and missed the target.   In the process they have royally ticked off the rank-and-file Republicans.  So much so that some in the establishment of the GOP are seeking payback.

From county chairmen to national party luminaries, veteran Republicans across the country are accusing tea party lawmakers of staining the GOP with their refusal to bend in the budget impasse in Washington.

The Republican establishment also is signaling a willingness to strike back at the tea party in next fall’s elections.

“It’s time for someone to act like a grown-up in this process,” former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu argues, faulting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and tea party Republicans in the House as much as President Barack Obama for taking an uncompromising stance.

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is just as pointed, saying this about the tea party-fueled refusal to support spending measures that include money for Obama’s health care law: “It never had a chance.”

The anger emanating from Republicans like Sununu and Barbour comes just three years after the GOP embraced the insurgent political group and rode its wave of new energy to return to power in the House.

Now, they’re lashing out with polls showing Republicans bearing most of the blame for the federal shutdown, which entered its 11th day Friday. In some places, they’re laying the groundwork to take action against the tea party in the 2014 congressional elections.

Wisconsin Republican’s Language Does Not Match Reality Over Property Tax Cut

I can not recall a more lofty bunch of words used to describe a political move than what took place Thursday at the Wisconsin State Capitol when leading Republicans took to the microphone.  The big news was that homeowners would get $100 million in property tax cuts.  With a state surplus in revenues Governor Walker decided to call a special session of the state legislature to pass the bonanza to state residents.

But unlike the Jerry Lewis Labor Day telethons there was not a lot to show after the drum roll and the numbers were released.

The property tax on the median-valued $148,000 home would be about $13 less —  $2,925 — than what it would be under current law on the bill mailed in December,  according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

And the tax bill would be about $20 less — $2,954 — the following December,  the fiscal bureau said.

But some homeowners wouldn’t see any cut. The taxes that homeowners pay vary  across Wisconsin based on home values and where they live.

But one could be excused if they did not know that due to the rhetoric flowing from the podium where leading Republicans stood with Walker.  Never has such grand sentences been gushed out over so little.

Today is a really good day for the taxpayers and the Wisconsin families that we  are lucky enough to represent,” (Speaker Robin) Vos said.

And we are so lucky great minds like yours represent the state.

But not to be outdone, came the words of one who more and more resembles a wax museum face.  Does anyone advise her about the use (or overuse) of cosmetics? I am not trying to be unkind, but  she is not applying correctly.

“I’m very proud to be here,” (State Senator) Darling said. “I know there are going to be a lot  of Democrats supporting this initiative. And we can be saying, ‘On Wisconsin.’  What a great day for Wisconsin.”

Always looking to scorn the educators and schools the GOP will make sure the refund will flow through the school aid formula — but will not  be available for schools to spend.

Now what will I do with my $13.00?

Let me add, in closing, that I am not one who thinks surpluses should be used for political gimmicks such as Walker is proposing.  Rainy day funds are essential for governments to have, and if Walker were smart (I know, I know the gag line is too obvious) he would have allowed the money to work for the state instead of his narrow political ambitions.  The voters of this state are not going to be duped by this political TRICK before an election year.

GOP Has Made Health Care Law More Popular

GOP shutdown has had one benefit.

It has made the Affordable Health Care Law, the very thing the conservatives were riled about, even more popular.


Here are maybe the most worrisome numbers for the GOP in our poll: After the shutdown, the health-care law has become MORE popular, and a majority believes the government should be doing MORE. Per the poll, 38% see the health-care law as a good idea, versus 43% who see it as a bad idea — up from 31% good idea, 44% bad idea last month. In addition, 50% say they oppose totally eliminating funding for the law. That’s up from 44% who said they opposed that move in a Sept. 2013 CNBC poll. And by a 52%-to-44% margin, respondents believe the government should do more to solve problems. Back in June, the public was split, 48% to 48%, on whether the government should do more or less. “That is an ideological boomerang,” says NBC/WSJ co-pollster Bill McInturff (R). “As the debate has been going on, if there is a break, there is a break against the Republican position.”

Clearly the GOP is making plans, and I suspect fast ones, on how to surrender to reality, and end the government shutdown.  Many observers are predicting Tuesday will be ‘white-flag’ day for the teabaggers.

I think after this fiasco for the Republicans we will not hear of a government shutdown for a very long time.


Regine Schlesinger Hits 40 Year Mark At WBBM NewsRadio 780 In Chicago


This news makes me smile for two reasons.

First, can you think of anyone who has lasted in the same radio job for 40 years?  That is almost an impossible feat to accomplish.  But that is what Regine Schlesinger has done at WBBM Newsradio from Chicago.

The old saying you are not really a broadcaster until you are fired from a radio job does not apply to this professional woman.  Thank God!

The second reason this makes me smile is that her voice and news reporting is one that I have listened to since I was a teenager.  In other words during most of her time at the station, I have heard her report on almost every news topic under the sun.

Just the other day in the car following a hair cut James and I tuned to WBBM and there she was reporting a news story.  Her unmistakable voice filled the car.  I did not know at the time she was observing 40 years at the station this year.  Rather I just take it for granted that she will be there when I need the news.

That is the power of radio and the warm voices that become our friends over the airwaves.

As Robert Feder notes she has a remarkable story.

Born in France to parents who survived the Holocaust by being on Schindler’s List, Schlesinger came to America at age 2 and grew up on the North Side of Chicago. Straight out of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she landed a job as a writer and producer at Newsradio 780 in 1973. Six years later, she moved up to reporter and anchor at the CBS Radio station.

Here is a link to Regine Schlesinger’s report on Betty White cutting the ribbon on Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications.


Facebook To Remove A Privacy Setting

Many people are going to find this news discomforting.  For myself, I am not overly concerned.  But the trend by Facebook to have less walls for privacy is something that should be discussed.

The social media giant is taking the last steps to remove an  old search setting called “Who can look up your Timeline  by name?” which controlled who  could find you and see your status updates and photos.

The search setting was automatically  removed last year for people who weren’t using it.

If you are using it, you will get a  notification in the coming days, letting you know it will be removed:

Facebook Search

As a reminder of the  importance of privacy on Facebook, the best way to control what people can see  is to choose the audience that can view each of the individual things you share. 

In short, if you post something as “Public”  that means anyone on Facebook can see it. If you post something as “Friends  Only” that means only people you are friends with on Facebook can see it. And so  on. It’s very important to pay attention to these settings when posting new  photos and status updates.

In the coming weeks, people who are sharing posts publicly on Facebook will also see a notice reminding them that those  posts can be seen by anyone, including people they may not know.