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Sideshow: Boehner, Pelosi kiss and make-up?

Time now for the Sideshow!

To prove that bipartisanship is still alive and well, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gave Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) some cheeky love in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday as they celebrated the passage of a Medicare reform package.

Following this bipartisan display of affection, Twitter users made their rounds of responses:

Next, Governor Chris Christie made an appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon where they discussed Christie’s smaller physique despite the number of jokes Fallon makes about Christie’s large size in his monologues.

“Wait a second,” said Christie, “If I ‘look great,’ what the hell is with all the jokes every night?”

Prior to his appearance, Christie received a question from a Girl Scout during a recent town hall meeting where she asked, “What’s your favorite dessert?”

Christie answered, “I want everybody to tune in tomorrow night to The Tonight Show to get the answer to this question.”

Here it is:

Finally, as Hillary Clinton was campaigning in New Hampshire, Bill Clinton was spotted sporting a pair of hot pink sneakers while taking a stroll in Washington D.C.

He was walking along Massachusetts Avenue and spotted by NBC News’ Andrew Rafferty.   A real man knows how to rock the pink. 

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Bruce Jenner Is A Republican, Thinks John Boehner Would Be Ally To Trans …

bruce Jenner

One of the biggest reveals to come out of Bruce Jenner’s historic interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday was when Jenner came out…as a Republican!

(Note: Jenner has not requested the use of female pronouns or shared a new name, so following GLAAD’s lead, we will be using male pronouns in this article.)

When Sawyer asked Jenner’s thoughts on President Obama being the first president to even mention the word “transgender” in his State of the Union address, he admitted, “I’ve always been on the more conservative side.”

He went on to say that he would definitely ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to help champion trans issues, saying he thinks “they’d be very receptive to it.”

Meanwhile Log Cabin Republicans’ National Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo showed support for Jenner, making the following statement:

“As the nation’s only organization representing LGBT conservatives and straight allies, Log Cabin Republicans congratulates Bruce Jenner in the tremendous courage he demonstrated tonight, being true to himself both in terms of his personal identity as well as his political identity. There is a home for you in Log Cabin Republicans — as there is for all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender conservatives and straight allies.”

Do you think McConnell and Boehner will embrace Jenner in the way that he hopes?

h/t: Towleroad 

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Regular Guy John Boehner Releases Another Lawn Mower Video

It has become a political rite of spring. For the second year in a row, House Speaker John Boehner has released a video of himself with his lawn mower. 

Titled “Lawn Care 101,” this year’s clip, features Boehner going to his local hardware store to pick up a newly-sharpened blade for his Toro mower. 

“This is how it’s supposed to be,” Boehner says while running his thumb across the blades sharp edge. “That cuts grass, it doesn’t tear it.” 

Back home, the Speaker is seen affixing the new blade, and adding oil to the mower, before the message, “Happy Spring” appears on the screen. 

A press release accompanying the video touts the Speaker as someone who “still irons his own shirts, washes his own dishes, and yes … cuts his own grass.”

Boehner has often used his social media channels to promote the notion that he’s a regular guy who does regular things when he’s not overseeing the business of the House of Representatives. A video the Speaker cut during his 2014 re-election campaign was even titled “Regular Guy.”

“When it’s all said and done, I’m just a regular guy who has been given a chance to do a big job,” Boehner says in the spot. 

To that effect, the lawn mower has been utilized two years in a row.

During a 2014 appearance on the Tonight Show, Boehner told then-host Jay Leno that he wasn’t interested in running for president, in part, because he wouldn’t want it to interfere with his lawn mowing.

“I like to cut my own grass,” Boehner said. “You know, I do drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes. And I’m not giving that up to be the President of the United States.” 

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Senate Democrats Push Mitch McConnell To The Breaking Point By Refusing To …


Senate Democrats sent a strong message to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by refusing to back down on their demand that anti-abortion language be removed from the human trafficking bill.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said:

The most important question for a party in power is simply: “Can you govern?” Or in other words, “Can you steer this ship? Can you pilot this great nation of ours?” We are just over 100 days into this Republican-controlled Congress, and it is already clear that the Republican Leader and his side are not up to the task.

For evidence, look no further than Republican’s botched handling of the human trafficking bill before the Senate. The Majority Leader and the Assistant Majority Leader took a good, bipartisan piece of legislation and steered it right into the rocks.


What has taken place on the direction of human trafficking is an effort to obfuscate, to hide the real purpose of the legislation. We all agree that human trafficking should stop. With this legislation we have before us is a step in the right direction and we want to support that legislation and our friend the republican leader says all ire complaining about is a sentence or so. That’s why people spend all these years going to law school and taking these contracts courses. That’s why my friend, Assistant Republican Leader who served as a trial court judge, a Texas Supreme Court justice, he dealt during his entire career with lawyers coming to him talking about sentences in a contract or sentences on a piece of legislation. That’s what this is all about. And we should eliminate those sentences that here allow Hyde to be expanded to non-taxpayer money. We cannot allow that to happen.

It’s over 100 days into this Congress, we should move forward and get this bill done and it’s time on this legislation Republicans right the ship. If human trafficking legislation is any indication, Republicans haven’t a desire to govern dependably and I think that’s unfair. I hope, I hope that this cloture vote will be defeated. Perhaps at that time people will finally come to the realization we’re willing to do whatever needs to be done to change this language so that Hyde language does not apply to taxpayer dollars.

Like I said, we’re just over 100 days into this Congress. It’s not too late. There is time for Republicans to right this ship, if they want to. But if the human trafficking legislation is any indication, Republicans haven’t any desire to dependably govern.

Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans are trying to prove that they can strong arm their agenda past the Democrats. For Republicans, this legislative battle is about demonstrating their power. Democrats don’t want to set the precedent of agreeing to anti-choice language that gets unnecessarily attached to legislation. Senate Democrats have a legitimate complaint about what Sen. McConnell has done to this piece of legislation.

Reid pointed out in his remarks that Democrats have offered four different potential solutions, but Republicans have rejected them all. Senate Republicans are tanking their own legislation by turning it into a partisan power play, Republicans have demonstrated that they aren’t interested in coming to the middle and governing. The difference is that it is Mitch McConnell’s job as Majority Leader that is on the line.

McConnell has grown increasingly desperate to demonstrate that he can lead a majority that is capable of governing. Democrats are well aware of McConnell’s desperation, which is why they aren’t backing down. Pushing is coming to shove for Sen. McConnell, and he has to make a decision. Either he is going to come to the middle and govern, or he is going to go down with the sinking Republican ship.

One thing is certain. Democrats aren’t going to be strong-armed, and they are not going to back down.

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Boehner Attempts to Undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

John Boehner

Because the preamble of the United States Constitution speaks of “We the people,” rather than “We the corporations,” Speaker of the House John Boehner does not quite reach that proper, patriotic tone when he says, “No more regulation without representation.”

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today applauded House passage of H.R. 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act, which would establish a small business committee to advise regulators throughout the rule-making process:

“One reason small businesses are still struggling is that they don’t have a seat at the table where regulators are making the decisions. This bipartisan plan ends regulation without representation and gives small business owners a real say in the process. We shouldn’t just be listening to the people who create most of the new jobs in America; we should be empowering them to help develop rules that will protect investment and innovation. I’m sure I’m just one of many current and former small business owners pleased we have acted today to hold the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau accountable.”

Did you catch that last part? The CFPB makes businesses accountable by protecting consumers. Boehner wants to reverse how this works, and make those who protect consumers held accountable to businesses.

Which defeats the purpose. Republicans called the CFPB “unnecessary government overreach” and Boehner appears to think he’s found an underhanded way to defang federal protection of consumers like you and me. The claim to be helping small businesses is just subterfuge.

H.R. 1195, otherwise known as the “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act,” is sponsored by Republican Robert Pittenger, Representative for North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, and introduced on March 2, 2015.

It is, its description tells us, a bill “To amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 to establish advisory boards, and for other purposes.” The details and rationale of the bill are described here.

In essence, the bill establishes a “Small Business Advisory Board” which “will ensure small businesses have the opportunity to provide input to the CFPB regarding their concerns.” This is the part Boehner is pushing. There is more – the ominous “other purposes” – but we will get to that in a moment.

Of course, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose mission it is to “make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”

The CFPB’s core functions are:

  • Write rules, supervise companies, and enforce federal consumer financial protection laws
  • Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
  • Take consumer complaints
  • Promote financial education
  • Research consumer behavior
  • Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers
  • Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance

You might notice the CFPB protects consumers from businesses and corporations, big or small. Because, as the Romans wisely said, “Let the buyer beware.” And the Romans would know. They didn’t have a CFPB.

We can point out on the one hand that it defeats the purpose if the businesses consumers are being protected from get to pick and choose their own regulations. This is not at all a promising trend for consumers.

Republicans call HR 1195 “bipartisan,” but the bill has 15 Republican co-sponsors to only four Democrats. The vote yesterday was 235 yes versus 183 no. Only four Democrats voted for the bill, which tells you just how bipartisan it really is (see who voted for and against here).

And in fact, as Nancy Pelosi has pointed out, H.R. 1195 is just “the latest House GOP attempt to undermine the CFPB which protects hard-working American consumers.” No surprise given the long history of Republican opposition to the CFPB in the first place and its attacks on it since.

Far from simply adding a voice for small businesses, an important aspect of the bill (an amendment by Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), is that it cuts the CFPB’s funding by placing a ceiling on its budget.

One of the bill’s Democratic co-sponsors, Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), urged opposition to the bill, saying Republicans “put the torch to it.”

The same Republicans who are willing to throw away billions through government shut-downs, repeated investigations of Benghazi, suing the president, repealing Obamacare, and pointless other invented scandals, attack what they call the “CFPB’s bloated, wasteful spending.”

For all their claims to be champions of the middle class, that is what the Republicans think of spending money when the money is actually helping Americans like us.

This spending ceiling is something the administration naturally says it opposes. Not only does the CFPB not need additional committees, but, says the White House,

“…the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1195 as amended by House passage last week of the rule for consideration of the bill, which would reduce the cap on the total amount of funding that could be requested by the Director for the CFPB for FYs 2020 and 2025… These reductions to the caps could result in, among other things, undermining critical protections for families from abusive and predatory financial products. If the President were presented with H.R. 1195 as currently amended, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

So Obama’s advisors have said they will recommend he veto the bill.

Now he will get his chance.

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Obama Takes Down Dick Cheney and The Koch Brothers At White House …

Obama 2015 White House Correspondents' Dinner

President Obama came out swinging and pulled no punches while taking out Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, and devoted an entire segment to the Koch Brothers during his White House Correspondents’ Dinner remarks.


Obama kicked it off with a joke about Joe Biden shoulder massages. Obama quipped after the midterms that he didn’t have a bucket list, but he has something that rhymed with bucket list. Immigration executive action, bucket it.

The President made a joke about being a secret Muslim. Obama made a joke about his looks, “I look so old, John Boehner’s has already invited Netanyahu to speak at my funeral.” The president said that his legacy is beginning to take shape. He said today, thanks to Obamacare you no longer have to worry about losing your health insurance if you lose your job. You’re welcome Senate Democrats.”

Obama leveled Dick Cheney, “A few weeks ago Dick Cheney said he thinks I am the worst president of his lifetime, which is interesting because I think Dick Cheney is the worst president of my lifetime.”

The President next took out Mike Huckabee for saying that Americans shouldn’t join the military until Obama leaves office, “Mike Huckabee recently said people should join our military until a true conservative is elected president. Think about that. It was so outrageous that forty-seven Ayatollahs wrote us a letter trying to explain how our system works.”

Obama took out Michele Bachmann for her prediction that he would bring about the end of days, “Now, that’s a legacy. Lincoln, Washington, they didn’t do that.”

President Obama made a Hillary Clinton joke. I have one friend just a few weeks ago she was making millions of dollars a year, and she is now living out of a van in Iowa.”

Obama took a jab at the media, including CNN. The President drew groans for a joke about MSNBC’s record low ratings.

President Obama pounced on Jeb Bush for identifying himself as Hispanic, “Look, I understand. It’s an innocent mistake. It reminds of when I identified myself as an American in 1961.”

None of the jokes were hurtful or malicious, but President Obama definitely brought the funny to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. His other jokes included takedowns to Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum.

Obama took out the Koch brothers and compared Rubio, Cruz, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker to The Bachelor. Obama took out the Kochs and said it was insulting to the candidates that the Koch brothers have to spend a billion dollars to get voters to like them.

The highlight of the event came at the end when Keegan-Michael Key came out to act as Obama’s anger translator Luther.

This was one of the best sets of jokes from Obama at the WHCD during his presidency. It was great fun and a must watch.

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John Boehner Says We Finally Have a Senate That is Actually Working

Republican leaders Senator Mitch McConnell and John Boehner speak after a bipartisan meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington
House Speaker John Boehner’s Press Office informed us yesterday that, “In an interview on Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, Speaker Boehner discussed the first 100 days of the new Congress, his recent visit to the Middle East, and more.”

That “more” is a euphemism for a heavy dose of lies. What stands out is the following pronouncement:

Finding common ground for the American people: “I think the fact that we have a change of leadership in the Senate has certainly made a difference. … The fact that the Senate is actually working is helping us. It’s fostered bipartisan, bicameral discussions on cybersecurity, on trade, on the collecting of foreign intelligence, elementary and secondary education reform. There’s a whole host of things where there are bipartisan, bicameral conversations.”

I do not believe a bigger lie has come from John Boehner’s lips unless it is in the repeated claims that the House has actually created jobs.

But “a change of leadership in the Senate has certainly made a difference”?

Really? This begs the question: For Republicans, what does “working” actually mean?

It is a claim, fortunately, that is easy enough to examine.

Mitch McConnell, as Steve Benen wrote at MSNBC, “has taken congressional obstructionism to a level unseen in American history, effectively rewriting the rules of federal governance because it suited his partisan agenda.”

This is the same man who pledged last summer to end Senate dysfunction. It is impossible to say that without laughing. Go ahead and try.

The Senate has been, for the past six years, a theater of the absurd, where all the key roles are held by Republicans. McConnell is the guy, after all, who said of his own opposition to healthcare reform,

“It was absolutely critical that everybody be together because if the proponents of the bill were able to say it was bipartisan, it tended to convey to the public that this is O.K., they must have figured it out.”

You remember how the Republican-controlled Senate, led by Mitch McConnell:

  • Finally confirmed Loretta Lynch (and then only 56-43) as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States after a delay of months? As Harry Reid pointed out, she “waited longer to be confirmed than the first 54 Attorneys General combined.”
  • Tried to turn an anti-human trafficking bill into an anti-abortion bill, was repeatedly opposed by Senate Democrats, and ultimately failed?
  • Passed a top-down, rich-get-richer budget which, as the White House said, “refuses to ask the wealthy to contribute a single dollar to deficit reduction, putting the entire burden on the middle-class, seniors, low-income children and families”?
  • Invited a hate-group leader to testify before a Senate subcommittee on religious freedom? Sure, this is only a subcommittee you say, and not the entire Senate, but The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, is chaired by none other than presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham, and also boasts Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell;
  • Sent a treasonous letter to Iran in an attempt to subvert the president’s foreign policy?
  • Tried multiple times to overturn Obama’s immigration Executive Order – and failed?
  • After spending six years obstruction Obama as the Senate minority, deciding as the Senate majority that filibusters should be outlawed?
  • Blocked a Democratic amendment to actually keep the Keystone XL Pipeline oil in the United States?
  • Passed the oil-company enriching, ecology destroying Keystone XL Pipeline but without enough votes to override the promised presidential veto?
  • Blamed Obama for the Senate’s inability to function because of years of Republican obstructionism? McConnell is the guy, remember, who said back in August 2010 that the White House had to do what the Republicans want, even if Republicans are only the Senate Minority.
  • Finally confirmed Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General after a wait of a year-and-a-half?

There is a reason President Obama has called Mitch McConnell’s Senate leadership embarrassing: it is.

After bragging about obstructing President Obama and deciding up front they will make him a one-term president, and being very public about it to boot, McConnell and his fellow Republicans have decided none of that happened, that we won’t possibly remember any of it, or have film or transcripts, and that it was all Obama’s fault nothing got done, and that filibusters are bad.

If anything, Republicans are worse with recent history than with Early American History.

The Senate got very little done during those long years of Republican obstruction, and it has gotten less done with McConnell as Majority Leader. Boehner actually thinks he is a good House leader so you can see where he might think McConnell is also a good leader, but the GOP has reached a new low if they think we have a functioning legislative branch. To the extent it is doing anything at all – no, let’s cut to the chase: it’s not doing anything at all.

And this – nothing – is apparently the Republican definition of success. What we pay for is a functioning legislative branch. What we get from Republicans is sleight of hand.

With no respect at all to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell – because they have earned none – I think we can do better, and will, in 2016.

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Spring rituals: Birds fly north; baseball starts; John Boehner mows lawn

Speaker John Boehner oils up the lawn mower. (Screen shot from YouTube video)

Speaker of the House John Boehner oils up the lawn mower. (Screen shot from YouTube video)

It’s that time of year when Speaker John Boehner posts video of his lawn care habits.

The Ohio Republican posted video on his YouTube page of the spring ritual of putting a newly sharpened blade on his Toro push mower and refilling the oil. In a press release his office notes that even though he is the Speaker of the House, he “still irons his own shirts, washes his own dishes, and yes … cuts his own grass.”

A year ago Bohner posted a video on Instagram showing him mowing his lawn.

Of course, while he does these thing himself, it’s his taxpayer-paid staff that makes and posts the videos.

Roll Call had a nice story last fall about his staff’s effort to use social media to “showcase the Speaker’s lighter side.”

“It’s not like these things are done without a lot of thought,” said digital communications director Caleb Smith.

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John Boehner Did Not Gain Any New Conservative Fans After Saying This About …

House Speaker John Boehner sat down for an interview with Bloomberg Politics recently to discuss the scandal regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send and receive official emails during her time as secretary of state.

“She violated the law,” Boehner insisted, “and the idea that she was going to use her own server and do official business on it goes against every transparency issue that the president likes to tout.”


When asked what policy she violated, he responded that she would have had to “sign a sheet when she got there that she was going to preserve all of these records. At some point, they just can’t ignore the fact that there are a lot of public documents on this server that the American people have a right to see; and we believe it is time for Mrs. Clinton to turn that server and all its documents over to the IG – the inspector general – at the State Department.”

He confirmed that, if Clinton refuses to cooperate, “all options are on the table” – including a House subpoena.

“It’s important for the American people to know the truth about what happened in Benghazi,” he said, “and it’s important to know what was going on at the State Department before, during, and after the events that occurred in Libya.”


Boehner’s palpable irritation dissipated somewhat, however, when he was asked whether Bill and Hillary Clinton are “ethically and morally fit to return to the White House.”

He replied that the Clintons are “good public servants” and “good people,” acknowledging that “there are questions that have to be answered.”

Do you think Hillary Clinton should release the contents of her server? Let us know in the comments section below.

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John Boehner: ‘If I’m 70 years old still walking around here, just shoot me’

Monica Crowley

President Bush, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and the American Dream

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