Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

Monday, March 22, 2010

North Carolina's Blue Dogs 

On passage of H.R.3590 (219-212), North Carolina Democrats Mike McIntyre, Heath Shuler, and Larry Kissell all voted with the Republicans. Those no votes won't earn them any support from Republicans come November, while driving away their own base.

Kissell, particularly, can ill afford losing his base ... unless, of course, the Republicans actually nominate Machine Gun Tim D'Annunzio to run against him.

Shuler ... who knows? Haven't seen any Republican challenger among those running in the primary who looks like a winner.

McIntyre ... he's been voting with the Republicans so long he's barely indistinguishable from ... Howard Coble.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, February 01, 2010

Foxx Won't Lift a Finger to Preserve the Blue Ridge Parkway 

The Blue Ridge Parkway is indisputably a major economic engine for the 5th Congressional District of North Carolina, as well as elsewhere. Almost 20 million visitors come every year and drive its two-lane blacktop and buy fuel, food, lodging, and the geegaws that gladden the tourist heart, generating almost $2.3 billion in revenue annually in North Carolina and Virginia.

Even conservative Republican Senator Dick Burr realizes its economic importance for his state. Burr has signed on as cosponsor with Sen. Kay Hagan of a 75th Parkway anniversary bill which would authorize the preservation (by purchase) of up to 50,000 acres of land along the Parkway route. Heath Shuler (NC-11) is a key sponsor of the House version of this bill.

Conspicuously missing from the House bill's list of co-sponsors are two who actually represent counties through which the Parkway passes ... Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and Virginia Foxx (NC-5).

Foxx's explanation is all rigid conservative ideology. She wouldn't spend a dime, not even to help her own constituents.

The Winston-Salem Journal scolds her in an editorial this a.m.: "...we can't afford to get behind on preserving the parkway. The recession is lifting, and resort property prices will soon resume their steady climb. We should have money for land ready so that orderly development can be balanced with preservation -- our responsibility to future generations."

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Proud To Be a Parrot 

Heath Shuler (NC-11) got called out here and in many other places for obediently inserting language in the Congressional Record supplied to him by a major drug company ... by way of justifying a further watering down of health care reform (giving Big Pharma 12 years of shielded exclusivity to "biologic drugs" before cheaper generics could be introduced; alternative legislative language would have granted five years of exclusivity).

The Shuler organization has decided to handle the bad press on this issue by coming out and essentially saying he's pleased to be a Huge Tool.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Morning Laundryline 

For all the dissension in the Democratic Party, the Republicans have their own internal rotting fish heads.

Congressman Heath Shuler (NC-11) following not just PhRMA's talking points but the talking points that PhRMA specifically tailored for Republican members of Congress ... about protecting PhRMA's huge profits by way of prohibiting generic versions of certain cancer & AIDS drugs. UPDATE: Tom Sullivan at Scrutiny Hooligans goes a more complete blow-by-blow of all this under the appropriate headline "Corporate Ventriloquism."

The Barracuda bites the hand that fed her.

North Carolina Republicans, even with headliner Dick Armey and the personal blessing of Jesus Christ, can't get but 400 measly protesters out in Raleigh over the weekend? Who'd a thunk it!

Republican conservatives dismember their most promising politicians. Fine by me.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Heath Shuler 

Congressman, can you read? Or has all that Special Interest cash seared your retinas?

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office sez that the House bill with the "more robust" public option would reduce the federal deficit in the first 10 years.
Moderate [sic], "blue dog" Democrats in the House largely oppose the robust public option and instead argue for a government run insurance option that could negotiate reimbursement rates directly with doctors and hospitals. CBO's analysis of that approach was not available according to Democratic sources, but aides say the preliminary analysis shows it does not save as much as the approach pushed by Pelosi.

Or, by tomorrow, will there be a new excuse for not supporting actual competition?

Labels: ,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Some Blue Dogs Back on the Porch 

Ryan Grim is reporting that "whip counts" of the Blue Dog Dems in the U.S. House is showing that the overwhelming voter support for a public option in health insurance may be having some impact. Grim writes that there is now a "lack of concerted, ideological opposition to a public option." The Blue Dog caucus is split.

The bluest of the Blue Dogs, and the leader of their opposition to actual health care reform, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), has a looming scandal on his hands. Ross took a big fat payoff (or ... "bribe") from an "Arkansas-based pharmacy chain with a keen interest in how the debate [on health care reform] plays out."

When a dog turns this blue, there's usually corporate money supplying the color. We're looking in your direction, Heath Shuler.

Not that these Democratic outliers in the House will ultimately matter to reform or to history. It's the corporatist Democrats in the Senate that hold all the power on this issue.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shuler Mad at Democrats in His District 

Heath Shuler of the NC-11 reportedly held a meeting with Democratic Party leaders in Haywood County that reportedly turned rather ugly. Seems that those Democratic loyalists were pressing Shuler on why he was such a g.d. Blue Dog and wouldn't support a public option for health insurance. Shuler has shown flashes of irritation before with Democrats who just don't seem to understand that a Blue Dog hears a different whistle.

Shuler's name is now the first signature on a letter that Blue Dogs wrote to Henry Waxman demanding that certain language in H.R.3200 that PhRMA doesn't like be changed to language that PhRMA likes much better because (hey!) PhRMA wrote it after Billy Tauzin and other big drug company wheeler-dealers had a meeting with Rahm Emanuel and the President during which a bribe of $150 million was offered by PhRMA to promote the president's health-care "reform," so long as that "reform" did not include any price controls on the drug industry. Matt Taibbi has the inside scoop.

So guess what? Heath Shuler is about to be the recipient of some pro-Heath Shuler advertising by PhRMA, in appreciation for his service to killing real reform.

And actual Democrats are left wondering just how are we better off with corporate interests buying our guys just as assiduously as they bought the other guys.

Labels: , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting by