This week, the House Ways and Means Committee is poised to demonstrate exactly how the rules get rigged. Beginning on Tuesday, the committee will mark up a series of bills on corporate tax breaks -- known as "extenders" because they have been extended regularly every year or two for over a decade.
There were two political stampedes this week, both towards and then back away from the same man: rancher Cliven Bundy. So, at least for the spectators, it was an amusing week in politics.
Immigration reform isn't a policy debate for Hispanics. It stands as a proxy for societal respect. While it's not fair to judge the GOP based on people like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), he and other anti-immigrant Republicans have become the effective spokespeople of the GOP on this issue.
Next Thursday, May 1, is the National Day of Prayer -- that abhorrently unconstitutional congressionally mandated day each year when our government tells us all that we should pray.
In the days before Easter Sunday, we think of the immigrants whose dreams are being deferred. We think of the gains and losses suffered by faith communities that have fought this fight for generations.
Congress is now doing what it normally does, in an election year. This is not intended to sound cynical, as I actually think it is a good thing for a divided Congress to stand up for its divided beliefs -- even while knowing that almost none of the bills it now votes on have a prayer of becoming law before the election.
Unlike the Tin Man who wanted a heart, the scarecrow who wanted a brain, and the lion who wanted courage, many Republicans are content being heartless, clueless and cowardly.
On issue after issue, party leaders spew egregious factual falsehoods. They're doing so only secondarily because they are so often misinformed. Instead, their overriding goal is to appeal to what they understand to be the biases and prejudices of their evermore authoritarian base.
There's a simple reason why the Democratic agenda has powerful momentum this year.
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Speaker John Boehner might want to remember that advice when Nancy Pelosi unveils her discharge petition for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill at a press conference tomorrow morning.
President Obama has the legal authority to act to stop the deportation machine and he cannot simply pay lip service to immigration reform while deporting our families.
Speaker John Boehner could end deportations of undocumented immigrants today. Boehner can call an open vote of the House -- as he has done many, many times, ignoring the "Hastert Rule" when convenient -- and pass comprehensive immigration reform. Today.
Republicans despise America's poor and jobless. The GOP made that perfectly clear by repeatedly denouncing them and cutting food stamps and unemployment benefits. But last week, Republicans revealed that they also hate hard-working Americans!
Is it the job of members of Congress to serve the interests of their corporate pay masters or to support the working class of 30 million Americans whose wages have failed to keep up with inflation as corporate profits and bosses pay have soared?
It is morally bankrupt to deny citizenship and healthcare to millions of people who have worked hard and contributed to our economy for decades, simply because of their undocumented status. Allowing them to work legally would strengthen our economy and bolster the Medicare system.
Even when Republicans weren't shooting at their own feet this week, it appears they were conducting a circular firing squad instead. The 2014 campaign, in other words, is off to a raucous start... and it's only February.