Monday August 4, 2014
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If former Congressman Barney Frank were a Republican from, say, Missouri, and the President of the United States was a Republican from, say, Oklahoma, and Frank said that the President's Administration had lied to the American people, that would probably be pretty big news.
And, when I say "pretty big" there would be a fireworks show coming out of Rockefeller Center in New York City where MSNBC lives.
I don't mean metaphorical verbal fireworks. I mean, they would have hired the guys that put on the 4th of July program at the National Mall in Washington, DC, with an encore by the Boston fireworks people.
Alas, Barney Frank is a former Democratic Congressman and the current President is a Democrat from Illinois so the only thing that is true about that first bullet point is: Barney Frank really did say that Obama's Administration "just lied to people" about the business of being able to keep your health care plan.
In an interview with Huffington Post reported by Zach Carter, Barney Frank said of President Obama:
"Frankly [no relation], he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn't true. And you shouldn't lie to people."
Barney Frank isn't endorsing Ted Cruz for President any time soon and still supports Obamacare, but that quote will likely show up in political ads this Autumn.
Obamacare: The gift that keeps on giving.
The official five-week August Recess for the U.S. Congress began this past weekend - although a day late because House Tea Partiers wouldn't vote for the immigration bill proposed by the House leadership.
I wanted to include the House calendar for the rest of the year by linking to it on the Secret Decoder Ring page. However all I got was a notice that a "403" error had occurred and I was forbidden to see it.
Thursday was Rep. Eric Cantor's (R-Virginia) last day as Majority Leader before being replaced by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) on Friday.
We'll just put it down to first day jitters on the part of McCarthy's IT people.
Nevertheless, Politico.com's Katie Glueck has some good tips for Members as they head off to a much needed vacation before they come back for a couple of weeks before they take another couple of weeks off to go home a and campaign for their re-elections.
The big thing is not to get caught hanging out in Paris or Rome even with your own family when your constituents are (a) without potable water as in Northwestern Ohio (Marcy Kaptur - D); or (b) where unemployment is at almost 27 percent (that is NOT a typo) as in Yuma, Arizona (Ra�l Grijalva - D); or (c) where "exceptional draught" conditions have been declared as in Bakersfield, California (the aforementioned Kevin McCarthy - R).
There was a time when Members of Congress and their wives (there were almost no women Members back then) would schedule all manner of fact finding missions to major hotspots in France, the UK (including Scotland, golf clubs optional), Italy, Germany, or even Australia where it is Winter.
Nowadays, of course, because of the pesky bloggers, cable news reporters, and Obama's having tapped Angela Merkel's cell phone most Members stick close to home.
The other day former WH Press Secretary and now Fox analyst Dana Perino defended the break, Tweeting:
Congress is taking a five week recess which isn't necessarily a vacation - many work a lot when they go home. Don't we want them listening?
To which @richgalen responded:
@DanaPerino Lol! Good one! Oh, you're serious. Sorry.
Mullings, you will be pleased to know, will be soldiering on throughout the month of August, although occasionally it will be written in places other than Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to that Barney Frank interview, to the "403" error (and the famous "1202 error from the Apollo lunar lander), and to Politico's advice to Congressmen and Senators.
Also a pretty good Mullfoto showing a very creative bumper strip I spotted in front of my post office last week.
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