Tag Archives: U.S. House

AOC is earning her stripes

I have taken a shot or two at first-term U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the past few months, suggesting she’s still a bit too green to be getting all the media attention and hype she gets.

Well, I think AOC has turned an important corner.

She stepped to the microphone during a U.S. House of Representatives session this week and took to task a veteran Republican colleague, Ted Yoho, for blurting out a profane epithet at her during a confrontation on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

AOC spoke on behalf of women across the country who are verbally abused and accosted by men in power and said, in effect: We are not going to take it any longer!

To which I say: Stand tall, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez!

The event occurred after Yoho and AOC exchanged a few heated words on the Capitol steps. She reportedly walked away and then heard Yoho call her a “fu**ing bitch.” The Hill newspaper reported the incident. Yoho then took to the floor to deliver what I like to call a “non-apology apology.” He didn’t say he was sorry for using such crass language. He said something about being married for a long time and for having daughters, which makes him aware of how he should talk to women.

Ocasio-Cortez stood on the House floor and said the following, according to the Chicago Tribune: “This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural,” said Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calling it a culture “of accepting a violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.”

I should point, too, that AOC happens to be part of the so-called progressive “squad” of four legislators who have been singled out by Donald Trump, who once told them to “go back” to where they came from. Hmm. The other three are Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ihan Omar and Rashida Tlaib; AOC, Pressley and Tlaib all were born in the United States, while Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen. They all are women of color and they all deserve to be treated with respect as elected American politicians.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a serious dose of truth to power in a 10-minute speech on the floor of the U.S. House.

I’ll leave you with this, from AOC: “Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man.”

Get elected to Congress, and enrich yourself?

Median income of Americans has fallen since 2003.

How about the incomes of their elected congressional representatives? It’s gone the other direction.


And to think that some members of Congress want a pay raise, that 174 grand a year isn’t enough, that only “rich people” can serve.

That’s the line being pushed out there by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., along with other members of the House and Senate who gripe that they’re underpaid.

Check out the link attached to this blog and you might get a different idea of just how “impoverished” some of our elected reps and senators have become — which is to say they aren’t impoverished in the least.

Many of them have seen their portfolios increase while serving on Capitol Hill.

How does this happen? In some instances, senators and House members parlay their public standing into positions on corporate boards. All they do, then, is belong to boards of companies that reap tremendous profits and then distribute some of that wealth among board members.

Hey, it’s great “work” if you can get it.

This is the kind of stuff that makes the plea such as what’s been coming from Alcee Hastings sound ridiculous on its face.

Let’s can the give-us-a-raise talk.

'Schock and awe' probe could expose others

Aaron Schock is about to leave his congressional office.

The Illinois Republican quit his House seat amid swirling controversy over how he spent lots of public money on extravagant outings around the world. The young man has expensive taste and now it might be that he accepted gifts illegally … allegedly.


A grand jury is looking into it. Congress should examine it, too.

Indeed, the Aaron Schock story suggests there might be a giant iceberg under that ethical tip.

Is he the only member of Congress to live large? Might he be the lone member of either legislative chamber to, um, take staffers on outings that go far beyond their official duties?

A part of me seriously doubts he’s alone in this kind of alleged misbehavior.

I don’t intend here to beat up on Aaron Schock. He’s going to face authorities back home in Peoria, Ill. What’s more, his resignation from the House stunned his colleagues; Speaker John Boehner didn’t know Schock was leaving until he actually announced it publicly.

The one-time rising GOP star, though, is leaving some questions that need answers.

Is he the only one who has done the things he’s been accused of doing?

I doubt it. Is Congress ever going to look inward and start a thorough House-and-Senate cleaning?


McConnell acts like a grownup on DHS bill

Well, glory be.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell actually is capable of acting like a governing grownup. Good for him.

He wants the Senate to pass a “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding measure, without trying to undo President Obama’s executive action on immigration. He’s now putting the screws on the House of Representatives, which might resist the Senate boss’s efforts to keep DHS functioning after Friday.


Without the funding bill, DHS will furlough 30,000 federal employees and will effectively shut down, putting the nation’s borders at risk of infiltration by undesirables — you know, drug smugglers and terrorists.

It’s not that McConnell wants to give Obama a pass on the immigration action. He said he’s willing to vote on defunding the executive action after voting on the DHS bill. Whatever.

The big story is that McConnell is willing to avoid shutting down a key national security agency over a partisan political fight.

National security — protecting the homeland, for instance — ought to be above partisanship. In this day and time, though, everything becomes a partisan battle. Everything!

Congress has shown a propensity for pulling rabbits out of its hat. The DHS funding issue has a lot of Americans — including me — worried about the level of gamesmanship both sides are willing to play, even if it involves protecting the nation.

Lawmakers have three whole days to get this thing done.

Do it, ladies and gentlemen.

Is Obama wrong about Congress's incompetence?

President Obama’s critics hammer him constantly because of his expressed frustration over the do-nothing Congress.

Is he wrong about his “friends” on Capitol Hill? Far from it. Consider this week’s follies.

* The House of Representatives shelved plans to vote on a $659 million bill that would address the border crisis involving all those young refugees fleeing into the United States illegally.

* Then the Senate failed to muster enough votes on a larger, $2.7 billion, package to tackle those very problems.

* Then the House leadership postponed that body’s five-week summer recess, citing the logjam over this refugee issue.

All of this seems to be forcing the president to take, um, executive action to get something done about a problem that supposedly has risen to the level of “national emergency.”

Except he can’t do that, because the Republican-controlled House has just voted on party lines to sue the president over his alleged overuse of executive authority.

Obama has been poking fun at Congress because it cannot work with the White House, among its own members, with members of the other party, or get anything done on behalf of the people who sent them there.

And they’re just itching to get out of town for the rest of the summer.