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Not exactly what every member of Congress aspires to, but Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has a spot in Jon Stewart’s opening Wednesday night. She’s one of the featured clips in Scoldplay, or Jackass Carrousel, in which Stewart points out that members of both parties seem to dismiss the need for an apology when it’s a member of their party that’s under fire, but want an “I’m sorry” from a member of another party.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
She’s about 2:30 into the segment.
When a president talks, congresspersons listen…and then they talk, too.
Such was the case Wednesday night when Barack Obama talked about health care reform, and members of Congress talked about Obama’s talk.
Go inside the blog to see what the honorables who represent the Inland Northwest had to say.
Town hall meetings are under the microscope this August as some
members of Congress find hostile constituents waiting when they’re back from
Liberals and conservatives argue whether the town halls represent the general public mood or ginned up outrage. In truth, they may be a little of both. Town halls are many things – participatory democracy, political theater and off-season campaigning.
What they are not, however, is a particularly good place to get information.
This summer’s hot topic is health care reform, brought on by congressional consideration of a bill that fills more than 1,000 pages and is so vague that people are understandably confused and concerned. But the best way to clear up that confusion isn’t always by asking about a complicated subject while a dozen or so other people wait anxiously in line behind you and 400 or more of your neighbors cheer or boo.
Then there’s the other problem: sometimes people say things that just aren’t true, and members of Congress either don’t bother to correct them, or say other incorrect things.
Bad news for “birthers”, those people who think Barack Obama
isn’t legally president because he wasn’t born in the
Birthers may have briefly harbored hope – and people who think the whole idea is crazy as bat spit may have arched an eyebrow – about two weeks ago when the Eastern Washington Republican gave a wishy-washy answer to a question about Obama’s legal qualifications to a blogger from the Huffington Post while hurrying up the Capitol steps.
Asked if she thought Obama was a natural-born citizen, constitutionally permitted to be president, she replied: “We’re all going to find out.”
Asked what she believed personally, she said: “Oh, I’d like to see the documents.”
Some members of Congress are getting an earful about health care reform and other topics at their town hall meetings this August break from the session.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office released the first few days of her public schedule for the August break, and it starts with a discussion of health care and a town hall for seniors on Wednesday up in Colville.
She’ll be talking to the Colville Chamber and the Colville Rotary about health care reform at the Rotary Pavilion in City Park at noon.
She’ll also have a Seniors Town Hall at the Northeast Washington Ag Center, 317 W. Astor, at 3 p.m.
Colville is usually pretty friendly territory for McMorris Rodgers, so the shouting might be kept to a minimum.
For the rest of her public schedule, to date, go inside the blog
Gotta love a story with legs, and that’s exactly what the Barack Obama birth certificate “controversy” seems to have.
Love it even more when the legs include local folks or place. First it was Orly Taitz asking Chief Justice Roberts a question about the controversy down at the University of Idaho. Now we have Huffington Post asking Republican members of Congress whether they think Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen, eligible to serve as president.
And the second person in the video? Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, queried as she jaunts up the steps. Rep. Dave Reichert of suburban Seattle also shows up about 1:15 in.
From the other side of the political spectrum, we have a conservative voice none other than Ann Coulter saying conservatives don’t care about this, have dismissed it, says the “birthers” are cranks and it’s only the liberal media that’s trying to make it an issue.
Callers to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tele-town hall meeting were pretty convinced that the government shouldn’t take over health care and the Eastern Washington Republican should do everything in her power to stop socialized medicine.
She didn’t much disagree.
Among her comments on proposals by President Obama and other Democrats were that they want to put the government between you and your doctor, take away your choice of doctors and hospitals, that they won’t reimburse doctors enough for services, and the process needs to be slowed down because it is moving too fast.
She also said Washington state’s Basic Health Plan has grown to the point where it’s too expensive.
Interestingly enough, while no one disagreed with her in the first 45 minutes (we had to take another call and lost the connection at that point) there were some scenarios that seemed to contradict her basic premises. One woman with kidney disease complained that Medicare didn’t cover the alternative treatments she was taking instead of dialysis. Alternative treatments can be effective, but requiring an insurer to cover them can boost the cost of premiums.
One man with an unemployed son who has three children and a wife who works without insurance said they can’t get insurance and wondered why Social Security couldn’t help out… which sounds suspiciously like expanding government health care.
McMorris Rodgers suggested that one of the solution for the man’s son, and others without insurance because they are out of work is to improve the economy.
Her event was competing for folks’ attention with Obama’s live press conference, scheduled at the same time. She said, however, that her event was scheduled when they thought the presidential press conference was going to be an hour later.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is holding a town hall meeting by phone at 4:50 this afternoon. Her office is using some new program that will dial 99,999 households in Eastern Washington and ask if they want to hold for the congresswoman.
She wants to talk about health care reform, but you can probably get in a few questions about other topics.
If you want in, you can call her office at 509-353-2374 and ask to be put on the list.
Politicians and local business persons are gathering Thursday morning in an effort to convince the Shiners to keep their Spokane hospital open.
It will be bipartisan, with Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican, in front of the hospital building on the lower South Hill. They’ll be joined by members of Greater Spokane Inc., which put out a “Save Shriners” announcement Wednesday.
Press conference is 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 5th and Lincoln.
Not intentionally, of course. But Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is being noticed.
She showed up on Wednesday night’s Daily Show, as Jon Stewart was having fun with the politics of health care.
After he pokes fun at Obama’s speech to the AMA, Stewart takes on congressional Republicans’ talking points in response. McMorris Rodgers follows Boehner about 3:55 in, and, as a bonus, is the face on the screen as he goes to commercial.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Heal or No Heal|
For the record, Patty Murray’s favorite word is “help.” Maria Cantwell’s is “oil”. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ is “students.”
In the Idaho congressional delegation, Mike Crapo’s fave is”energy”. Jim Risch’s is “guard”. Walt Minnick’s is “Idaho”.
That’s the conclusion of Capitol Words, a new Web site that combs through the Congressional Record for speeches and comments by members of Congress, then counts how many times they use words other than a or the or and or…well, you get the picture.
The record for some of the region’s honorables is much longer, because they’ve been around for years. For Minnick and Risch, who just arrived in January, it’s sparse, but the site also tracks their predecessors Larry Craig and Bill Sali.
Go inside to see the top 5 for each.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wants knock off Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Just how badly, it’s hard to say.
When the Eastern Washington congresswoman does something the Democratic caucus doesn’t like, the DCCC likes to chide her in a press release. This week, after she voted against some reforms of the credit card industry, they took to the Internet to do just that.
But it appears they just use one of their “cookie cutter” diatribes. You know, the kind where they write one statement for a bunch of targeted opponents and just fill in the blank for different congress persons. They essentially say the same thing…even when they purport to be quoting someone for a pithy comment.
How do we know that? Well, because we read it — apparently more closely than they did.
It starts: “As more families get hit by excessive credit card fees and unfair interest rate hikes in this recession, today Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers maintained his clear record of support in protecting the interests of big credit card companies instead of hardworking Americans.” (we put in the boldface…they didn’t mess up and emphasize it.)
Later they supposedly quote Andy Stone, the western regional press person for the committee: “Today, Representative McMorris Rodgers had a real opportunity to protect responsible consumers who play by the rules but once again, he sided with big credit card companies.”
Stone, who’s job it is to talk to the media about McMorris Rodgers shortcomings and her eventual opponent’s good qualities, obviously knows that she’s not a he. So obviously, he didn’t really say this, so the quote is … how shall we put it…phony.
A call to Stone, who’s normally more careful about these things, confirmed that he knows McMorris Rodgers is a she. No excuses, they just made a mistake, he said.
The Air Force should be releasing the draft version sometime in May of its “request for proposal” on a new aerial refueling tanker.
That’s one of the things Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and members of the Greater Spokane Inc. delegation learned during their visit to the Pentagon today.
In a telephonic press conference this afternoon, McMorris Rodgers said Air Force officials said a new tanker, refered to as the KC-X, “remains the No. 1 priority.” They expect to award the contract, worth an estimated $35 billion, in the first half of 2010.
Talk of a new tanker has been bandied about since 2001, and has gone through several missteps, miscues and mess-ups. Some were the fault of Congress, others, the fault of the military.
“They recognize there have been some misstakes made,” McMorris Rodgers said.
The latest iteration has some powerful members of Congress suggesting the Air Force split the deal between Boeing and Norhrop-Grumman-Airbus, to avoid the Texas death match the two airplane manufacturers are locked in…
Greater Spokane Inc. is on its annual “mission to Washington, D.C.” where it will have a first-ever audience with the two top Air Force honchos, AF Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and AF Secretary Michael Donley.
The mission is a yearly opportunity for local government and business types — many of whom deplore federal spending and the size of the federal deficit — to lobby members of Congress for some money for programs in the Inland Northwest. One of the things they desperately want is for the Air Force to build a new aerial refueling tanker to replace the KC-135 … and stick the first couple dozen of them at Fairchild Air Force base.
They’ll get no argument from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who will be escorting them to the Pentagon, her staff reports in a press release. The Eastern Washington Republican notes that Fairchild crews are flying tankers that are more than 50 years old and “we wouldn’t get on a passenger plane that old. Our military shouldn’t have to rely on planes that old, either.”
Or, as GSI President Rich Hadley put it: “We thought about driving a ‘57 Ford to D.C. to make the point that the KC-135 refueling tankers must be replaced and that Fairchild AFB is ready to be the first operational base to accept them.”
Which suggests a number of questions…
Good Morning America did a piece this morning on “Moms in Congress”, featuring Cathy McMorris Rodgers fairly prominently. Not sure what the news peg was…the lead in suggests it’s “spring and fertility”, but perhaps it’s just a slow news day.
Tonight’s your chance to ask it is coming up.
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is appearing live on KSPS tonight and taking questions from the public. The show airs at 7 p.m. on Channel 7, and viewers can call 800-278-4315 to ask a question or send it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-mail questions are already being collected, so you don’t have to wait for start of the show to send yours in.
In the interests of full disclosure, I’m on the set with moderator Steve Becker to be asking questions and follow ups. But this really is not a shameless plug to get people to tune in to watch me (As someone with a face that’s perfect for radio, I expect to be on-camera considerably less than the congresswoman and Becker.)
The National Journal has developed a great resource for figuring out where your congressional delegation stands on on the political spectrum, an interactive graphic that combines the scores of several rating groups, then ranks the honorables with their photos.
Rating systems aren’t new, of course, but this one is just more fun. It’s available by clicking here.
In it, we learn that the National Journal’s calculations place Patty Murray as the Senate’s most liberal member, based on last year’s votes. That puts her 17 slots ahead of Maria Cantwell, her fellow Washington Democrat, 76 ahead of Larry Craig, who was Idaho’s senior senator until he retired last year, and 79 ahead of Mike Crapo, also R-Idaho. Four Republicans — all westerners — tied for the ranking of most conservative in the Senate.
What about the House? Washington, of course, is a mixed bag. Idaho, not so much. . .
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is dabbling in Web videos with a YouTube offering that catches her before and after President Obama’s speech. It’s pretty interesting, but it seems the director may have watched too many “West Wing” episodes where the characters walk and talk.
In an interview last week, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers fairly succinctly described the problem a Republican governor would be in right now when faced with the prospect of taking or not taking federal money from the economic stimulus package.
“It would be very difficult to say ‘No’ to money from the federal government,” the Eastern Washington Republican, who voted against the bill, said.
The Sunday talking head shows gave lots more depth and context to that dilemma, with Republican governors taking opposing sides.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to say ‘No’ to some things.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is saying ‘Yes.’