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Today’s fun video2: Congressional leaders sing ‘We Shall Overcome’


If there is video of Congressional leaders looking more uncomfortable than this, we'd be shocked.

Whether it's because they don't want to be  holding hands or they don't know the words to 'We Shall Overcome or they can't carry a tune in a bucket, it's hard to say. But we're guessing whatever staff member set this thing up yesterday is looking for a new job today. 

Today’s fun video: Boehner opponent’s ad. Funny or over the top?


Some folks will say that J.D. Winteregg, House Speaker John Boehner's Republican primary opponent, is pretty clever. Others will say he went beyond the bounds of good taste.

What do you think?

A bloc against Obamacare

One reason the shutdown remains so intractable is a core of House Republicans who signalled in August they wanted to eliminate the federal health care reforms.

In a letter to Speaker John Boehner, 80 House Republicans said they supported using the "power of the purse" to end the law. It didn't get much attention at the time, but in the last week, as the shutdown loomed and then occured, national political commentators have pointed to the letter, and its author Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, as a key to they deadlock.

Several readers have asked if Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers or  any of Washington's GOP House members signed onto the letter.They did not. But Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho did.

For a map of the districts of those who signed on to the letter, click here.

Boehner Tweaks Neutral Labrador

House Speaker John Boehner drew applause from a crowd of 430 backing 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson with a clear misstatement: he said Simpson’s 1st District colleague and fellow Republican was backing Simpson in his primary race. “I want to thank Raul Labrador for being here today and being supportive of his colleague in his re-election bid,” Boehner said Monday at a Boise event that raised more than $95,000 for Simpson’s campaign for a ninth term. Trouble is, Labrador has said he will remain neutral in the contest between Simpson and tea party challenger Bryan Smith, who is endorsed by Club for Growth. Labrador is allied with tea party groups and the anti-tax Club for Growth, which Simpson expects to raise up to $2 million on behalf of Smith/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is one of the better congressman. The fact that Tea Party darling Raul Labrador won't back him for re-election says more about Labrador than Simpson. What do you think?

Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/was-boehner-ribbing-labrador-about-support-of-simpson/#storylink=cpy

Boehner in Boise, predicts ‘whale of a fight’ over debt limit in the fall

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner raised more than $95,000 for 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson in Boise yesterday, reports Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman, speaking at a $50 a plate luncheon at the Boise Centre that drew 430 and a roundtable for 36 high-dollar contributors.  The speaker, a close ally and friend of Simpson, was on the 22nd day of a 35-day cross-country bus tour supporting GOP House members seeking re-election. Simpson faces a challenge from Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith as he seeks a ninth term. Boehner said, “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that he is re-elected.”

In his address to the luncheon crowd, Boehner predicted “a whale of a fight” over the debt limit in the fall, Popkey reported. “I’ve made it clear that we’re not going to increase the debt limit without cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit,” he said. “The president doesn’t think this is fair, thinks I’m being difficult to deal with. But I’ll say this: It may be unfair but what I’m trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices. We’re going to have a whale of a fight.”

Popkey reports that 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador, who has said he’s remaining neutral in the primary race, attended the luncheon; read Popkey’s full report here.

Labrador As Next House Speaker?

Though he’s just in his seventh year of public office — four of those as a junior member of the Idaho House — 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador has landed in a Top 10 of possible successors to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. The list was prepared by Roll Call reporters Emma Dumain and Matt Fuller in a column titled “10 Republicans Who Could Be Speaker.” Labrador is listed last on the list, which begins with more conventional candidates including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Congressman Raul Labrador become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives?

Read more here: http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/forget-governor-idahos-labrador-touted-as-next-house-speaker/#storylink=cpy

Two speaker prospects from Inland NW?

Roll Call thinks so, anyway.

In one of its "what if" pieces- - - as in What if John Boehner was no longer speaker, who would get the job? —  the Washington, D.C., newspaper for Congress and those who watch it closely lists Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Raul Labrador as two of its 10 possible replacements.

They'd have to be called long-shots, considering that the majority leader usually ascends to the speakership unless one party loses control of the House. So Eric Cantor is at the top of the list. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Boehner: if businesses get relief, rest should

WASHINGTON – Framing a new argument against President Barack Obama’s health care law, congressional GOP leaders called Tuesday for a delay in the law’s requirement that individual Americans carry health insurance.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other senior Republicans told Obama in a letter that his decision last week to grant a one-year delay for employers but leave in place provisions for individuals and families had created many new questions and concerns.

At a Capitol Hill news conference, Boehner vowed to hold another vote this month to remove the individual mandate, arguing that it was necessary to “correct this injustice.”

Do you agree that the delay should extend to individuals?

Labrador: No snub from Boehner

1st District Rep. Raul Labrador says it’s not true that he’s being snubbed by Speaker John Boehner on a fundraising trip to North Idaho, an event scheduled for Friday in Coeur d’Alene; the Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article today suggesting Labrador may not have been invited, though the event is in his district. “I was invited four weeks ago,” Labrador said. “They keep inviting me, they keep wanting me to go, but just, for me it was a bad weekend.” He said he did make a plane reservation in case he was able to make it to the event, which Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is holding for Boehner to raise funds for GOP candidates; the fundraiser originally had been planned for Pullman, Wash. but was moved to Coeur d’Alene.

Both Labrador and McMorris’ office said the speaker has asked their offices not to comment on the speaker’s travels; that’s what led to the misunderstanding about Labrador’s role, when his office declined to provide any information to the Press. Said Labrador, “Absolutely, yes, I was invited. I’m not sure if I’m going to able to make it, but I’m excited that the speaker’s coming to my district.”

Raul Mum Re: Boehner CdA $$$raiser

From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Vice President Joe Biden applaud during a ceremony to dedicate the statue of Frederick Douglass, seen behind them today in the Emancipation Hall of the United States Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner will be the focus of a fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene in which 1st District Congress Raul Labrador wasn't invited. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S Speaker of the House John Boehner will visit Coeur d'Alene Friday for a private fundraiser in Congressman Raul Labrador's 1st District. According to organizers, Labrador is not attending the private event, and he's not talking about it either. "Sorry it's taken me awhile to get back to you," said Labrador's spokesman Todd Winer, responding to repeated inquiries about the event. "We don't have any comment on the story you're working on." Ron Nilson, CEO of Ground Force Worldwide, is helping to organize the event at the local level. He said Ed Schweitzer, CEO of Schweitzer Engineering in Pullman, is hosting the event/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Hmm. Let's read between the lines. Why would Congressman Raul Labrador not attend (not be invited to?) fund-raising event in his district that features House Speaker John Boehner? Pay back?

Boehner: Edward Snowden is a traitor

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a "traitor" in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday.

"He's a traitor," he said. "The president outlined last week that these were important national security programs to help keep Americans safe and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face."

"The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it's a giant violation of the law," he said. Full story.

Do you consider Snowden a traitor, a hero or something in between?

House: No tax cut deal

WASHINGTON – The fate of the two-month Social Security tax break extension suddenly became uncertain Sunday as House Speaker John Boehner said he and most Republicans were opposed to the plan.

“It’s pretty clear that I and our members oppose the Senate bill,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Republicans, he said, want a longer-term fix.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said: “This is the latest example of the tea-party Republicans sacrificing the good of the country on the altar of extreme ideology.”

Agree or disagree with Van Hollen?

Labrador Among Key Swing Votes

Freshman 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador's vote is among a handful that will decide today's expected tally on House Speaker John Boehner's debt and deficit reduction bill, according to The Hill. "He's leaning no but he's still undecided at the moment," said Labrador spokesman Phil Hardy Thursday morning. The vote is expected to begin about 3:45 p.m. Mountain Time. Idaho's 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson, a subcommittee chairman and close ally of Boehner, is expected to vote for the bill. Labrador is among a group of 39 House Republicans who pledged to oppose any bill that raises the debt ceiling unless it includes major cuts, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment. Boehner's bill doesn't include a balanced budget amendment/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: What should Raul do?

Boehner: ‘Get Your Ass In Line’

House Speaker John Boehner (pictured in AP file photo) leveled tough words at fellow Republicans Wednesday, telling conservatives who are unhappy his bill doesn't go far enough to "Get your ass in line." Boehner's admonishment came during a closed-door meeting, during which House GOP leaders sought to rally support for their debt bill, according to two Republican sources who attended the meeting.  The Ohio Republican told members he was working hard and didn't want to turn around and not see an army behind him. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia also said it was time to pull together and pass the House GOP debt bill, instead of feeding a storyline that pits Republican against Republican/Deirdre Walsh, CNN. More here.

Question: Will Boehner and mainstream Republicans be able to keep Tea Party Republicans in line long enough to forge a debt-ceiling compromise?

Tea Party crybabies want it all???

Good morning, Netizens…


Cartoonist David Horsey set off a political bonfire this morning with this cartoon of John Boehner being derailed by a Tea Party baby. Oh, Lord, there are so many ways to read this. After all, didn't the Tea Party members all get elected by promising on their honor to never raise taxes? While I am not a Tea Party advocate, I do find it unusual, even odd, that an elected official actually keeps their campaign promises, and it appears that is what they have done.


Of course, all Tea Party members and Republican wing-nuts might spend a few quiet moments in the corner thinking about what would happen if a national default were to take place.


There are many of us out here, who have faithfully paid into our Social Insecurity funds who stand to lose everything. This, of course, does not include Medicaid payments and those on military retirement who would stand to lose everything; that is simply unacceptable.


Are the Tea Party members saying they are willing to stop all funding for these?


I not only say no, I say Hell no! Of course, your results and opinions may differ.



Tweeting With The President

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey, left, answers a question posted by House Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio, seen on the screen, during the first ever Twitter Town Hall today in the East Room of the White House in Washington. New York Times story here. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Question: Do you follow anyone on Twitter?

Brinksmanship to prevent government shutdown…

Good morning, Netizens…

According to cartoonist David Horsey, the art of hostage taking as taught by Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner is a good study in brinksmanship, in my opinion. Given the amount of hyperbole and grandstanding involved over the previous weeks, it would appear that David Horsey's cartoon may have hit the nail on the head; the Republican strategy appears to have worked.

However, before anyone breathes heartfelt sighs of relief, after saving federal funding for Planned Parenthood I should hasten to point out we aren't through with the federal budget by a long shot. There are still lots of sacrificial lambs awaiting delivery to the altar politic before the ink is dry on the national budget, a fact I am certain Speaker Boehner is wisely keeping beneath his collar.

In case you are wondering, why was Planned Parenthood chosen to be Boehner's hostage? Just last Friday, for example, Republican Sen. John Kyl of Arizona fired the opening salvo on Planned Parenthood when he said on the Senate floor that "if you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood. And that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."

Get used to the deception. It just isn't so.

Despite the fact Kyl was eventually forced to rescind his statement, as despite Planned Parenthood being a truly big target to Conservative Republicans, over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does do is NOT abortions. So it stands to reason when Boehner was searching for a highly-visible hostage that he could broker into tax cuts, who else could he grab?

Once President Obama sensed that Boehner was willing to hold Planned Parenthood as his hostage, and that Republicans were, for the most part, behind the elimination of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, he had to acquiesce and cave in to the other demands to save us from government shutdown.

Of course, this is only my interpretation of the saving of our government, and perhaps your opinion(s) may differ.


Paging ‘Saturday Night Live’

House Speaker-designate John Boehner of Ohio wipes away tears as he waits to receive the gavel from outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. during the first session of the 112th Congress, on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier today. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

On his Facebook wall, Sam Taylor writes that he's sad that Nancy Pelosi is no longer House speaker. But he isn't sad for the reason you might think. Sam: "Kristen Wiig does a hilarious impression of her on SNL. The less the minority leader is in the spot light, the less she'll likely be on the show. However, a bonus: There will probably be more John Boehner skits. Congress: An endless supply of jokes for Saturday Night Live sketches!" Later, a Facebook friend consoles Sam with this thought: "SNL has it easy with Boehner — just cry all the time."

Question: Which SNL characterization of a politician is your favorite (besides Tina Fey's Sarah Palin)?

Boehner Becomes House Speaker

Rep. John Boehner was elected speaker of the House, sealing newfound Republican power-sharing in Congress and drawing the curtain on the history-making Nancy Pelosi era at the helm. Cheers broke out among GOP lawmakers on the House floor on Wednesday as Boehner, a veteran lawmaker from Ohio, defeated Pelosi in the roll call for speaker. His rise to the helm of the House was virtually guaranteed months ago, when the midterm elections returned Republicans to control of the House, which they had surrendered to Democrats four years ago. Pelosi was the first woman to rise to the speaker's post/Laurie Kellman, AP.

Question: Are you optimistic that the 112th Congress, with Republicans in control of the House, can do a better job of helping run federal government than the Democratic controlled one of the last 2 years?

Pelosi Loses The Spotlight

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California is shown on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, past the set up for the news conference for House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner of Ohio. The petite woman in purple silk edged her way behind a raucous mob of reporters awaiting the next speaker of the House, a speech to veterans behind her and an unclear future ahead. Attuned for four years to the comings and goings of current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, few in the crowd noticed, and none bolted the stakeout to follow her. It was a snapshot of Pelosi’s state of political suspension in the last days of her history-making speakership, dethroned by the electorate and struggling to defend her grip on the leadership of her caucus. The spotlight has moved on. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Quotable Quote: “Nancy Pelosi is throwing a party to celebrate her time as Speaker of the House. If you would like to get her a gift, she’s registered at Bed, Bath & Don’t Blame Me” — Jay Leno

Question: Would you like to see Pelosi become the Minority Speaker in the next Congress?

Dogwalk: Give Me Politicians Who Cry

Remember too how the boomers wanted men to be more like women? Softer. Sensitive. More open with their feelings? Now it appears we may have one about to become the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner . I rather like seeing that in a man. One who can tear up over the Star Spangled Banner or even just from watching a sentimental movie. Of all things that can make a politician ‘one of us’ I think a genuine display of sentimentality just might be it. Forget the beer and bowling shtick/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Do you prefer politicians who can tear up — and show their human side?

House Speaker John Boehner sans socks…

Good morning, Netizens…

KXLY-TV’s Mike Gonzalez sometimes gets it right. There is an interview segment on Facebook and Youtube showing an interview between Gonzalez and John Boehner from a number of years ago. Something was missing though, like… BOEHNER’S SOCKS! So GMNW is holding a sock drive for him. Send or bring socks to 500 West Boone.


I want to see a candid picture of Boehner’s face when the socks begin arriving.


The pendulum is swinging…

Good morning, Netizens…

Whether you agree with him or not, cartoonist David Horsey has struck a nerve perhaps in this morning’s cartoon featuring Speaker John Boehner arriving on the front door of the White House to confront President Obama. The subtle touch of “Boehner’s Army” being portrayed as the Confederate Army does seem to be a bit of a stretch perhaps, but then you have only to consider some of the statements made during and since the election.

From Boehner’s own words, the first item on the agenda is to eliminate Obama’s Health Care completely. That is now something that is high on the list of things the Republicans want to change. They propose to start dismantling reforms that now keep people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance, allow young people to stay on their parents’ insurance to age 26 and raise the hope of guaranteed care for 20 million folks who cannot now afford or obtain insurance. I ask you, is this forward progress?

Perhaps Horsey should have attempted to characterize some of the big insurance conglomerates and corporations in this drawing. Could it be they are celebrating with the thought of Obamacare going away? In my mind, they would seem to profit from undoing the rules of Obamacare, but nobody really is focusing on that.

Of course, it has been noted by Horsey in his comments that there has been no consensus that Obamacare is as seriously flawed as the Republican attack ads during the election tried to suggest. According to several of the polls I have read, it is nearly an even split between those in favor of Obama’s Health Care Reform and those who think it needs to be ended now. That, to my way of thinking, is not a clear consensus.

John Boehmer had better be careful where and how he steps in his new role. Once people realize what they are giving away by dumping Obamacare in the trash the pendulum may begin swinging the other way in the next election.

Of course, your results may differ.


Idaho’s Big Winner: Mike Simpson

The Republican takeover of the U.S. House makes Rep. Mike Simpson (pictured in AP file photo, left) chairman of Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies and the second-ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. The two committees are in charge of funding the federal agencies that control 64 percent of Idaho’s land area. Simpson also was an early supporter of House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner. The Idahoan is one of six Republican congressman in Boehner’s inner circle/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Who were the winners & losers from the 2010 elections, locally & statewide?