Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Very Very White Republican Leadership

Can you spot the hidden minorities in this collage of the first 19 Republicans named as House committee chairpersons for the 113th Congress?

The Republicans have taken some shots recently for naming white men as chairmen of all of the House committees. Well, that’s not fair. After the criticism arose, they still had two slots to fill, and they found a white woman, Candice Miller of Michigan, to chair one of them–House Administration committee. John Boehner described this person’s responsibilities as “ensuring that the House runs efficiently and smoothly”–or, as Jon Stewart said, the “Housewife.”

Miller (right) had been a member of the larger and more prestigious Homeland Security committee, and a subcommittee chairperson, and she wanted to become its new chairman. Normally, you choose a chairperson from the persons who have been serving on that committee. But in picking a chairman for the House Administration committee, Boehner had to look outside the existing committee. But hey, at least they now have diversity in the committee chairpersons–19 white men, 1 white woman, and 1 more chairmanship to go.

Actually, the Republicans have more diversity in the current House (which serves until January). Currently, the House chairmanships include 1 woman and 1 hispanic. That would be Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (right), a Cuban-American from Florida who chairs the important Foreign Affairs committee. She’s the ranking Republican woman in the House, serving since 1989. She had to give up her chairmanship because she had served her maximum of 6 years on the committee. Interestingly, they waived the limit for Paul Ryan so he could keep his chairmanship of the Budget committee. Since he’s a white guy, do different rules apply?

In addition to being a hispanic woman, Ros-Lehtinen is a minority in several other ways: she’s a Scientologist, she’s one of three Republican members of the LGBT caucus, and she was the first House Republican to suport same-sex marriage. Not, I’m assuming, a Tea Party favorite.

To be fair, the Republicans don’t have a lot of choices. Out of 235 members of the House, the Republicans have just 17 women, 1 black, and six hispanics. The Democrats alone have 61 women. In the 2012 elections, the Republicans lost 6 women, 1 black, and 1 hispanic. So their minority representation isn’t headed in the right direction.

John Boehner hasn’t yet named a chairperson of the Ethics committee (which, like Budget, has no subcommittees). I imagine he’s searching real hard for a woman or minority.

Anyway, here are the current (through January 2013) House committees, each of which has 2-13 subcommittees, each with their own chairpersons. I pointed out, with each committee, how many subcommittee chairpersons are non-Caucasian male. The Democrat line indicates not the chairperson, of course, but the ranking Democrat on the subcommittees. If you want to factcheck this, go to Wikipedia.

Agriculture (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 woman
Democrats: 3 hispanics, 1 black woman

Appropriations (13 sub-committees)
Republicans: 2 white women
Democrats: 2 women, 2 blacks, 1 hispanic, 1 asian

Armed Services (8 sub-committees)
Republicans: all white men
Democrats: 3 women, 2 hispanics

Education and Workforce (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 white woman
Democrats: 1 hispanic, 1 woman

Energy and Commerce (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 white woman
Democrats: 1 black, 2 women

Financial Services (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: 2 white women
Democrats: 3 women, 1 hispanic, 2 blacks

Foreign Affairs (8 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 hispanic woman
Democrats: 2 woman, 2 blacks

Homeland Security (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 white woman
Democrats: 4 blacks, 4 women, 1 hispanic

House Administration (2 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 1 white woman

Judiciary (6 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 3 black, 1 woman

Natural Resources (5 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 2 hispanics, 1 woman

Oversight and Government Reform (8 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 3 black men

Rules (2 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats:1 black man

Science, Space, and Technology (6 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 2 black women

Small Business (6 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 white woman
Democrats: 2 women, 1 asian, 1 black, 1 hispanic

Transportation and Infrastructure (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 2 black women

Veterans’ Affairs (5 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 white woman
Democrats: all white men

Ways and Mean (7 sub-committees)
Republicans: All white men
Democrats: 1 black, 1 hispanic

Intelligence (4 sub-committees)
Republicans: 1 woman
Democrats: 1 white woman

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Sometimes You Hear Something Fresh…NOT

While listening to ESPN on the way to work, I heard Mike & Mike interview a pro football player. He said something very profound, something I’ve never heard before. He said, “We just have to take it one week at a time.” Wow! Rarely have I heard something so original, so insightful…except from every other football player ever interviewed since the Dawn of Time.

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Gridlock USA

My guess is that the Dems and Reps will work out some kind of temporary fix to avoid the dreaded fiscal cliff, with a new fiscal deadline in 3-4 months. Then we’ll spend those months continually fussing over the same issues, and ultimately reach a VERY PROMISING deal which pushes a final decision down the road another 3-4 months…and after that, another temporary fix that puts another fiscal cliff at the end of 2013.

And by the end of 2013, after all kinds of pseudo-activity and countless meetings and innumerable press conferences and grand posturing, pretty much nothing will have been done.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future of life in gridlocked USA.

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The Unseemly McCain/Graham Crusade

John McCain and Lindsey Graham are ferociously opposing the idea of Susan Rice being named Secretary of State. Turns out Rice has strong ties to the company that wants to build the Keystone pipeline. Why are McCain and Graham opposed to the Keystone pipeline? (I apologize in advance to the sarcasm-challenged.)

While we’re at it: McCain and Graham say Rice isn’t qualified to lead the Secretary of State because of statements–which everyone agrees were in error–made a few days after the Benghazi attacks. Statements she based on intelligence information she was given.

Let’s go back ten years ago. McCain and Graham both trumpeted the need to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein, they insisted, was building weapons of mass destruction. They based this on years and years of intelligence assessments–not information based on an event a few days beforehand. Assessments which proved to be in error.

So, using their own barometer, on what basis are McCain and Graham qualified to lead, if they were so wrong in misleading the country into a war which has cost thousands of American lives, and ten of thousands of Iraqi lives?

Or does a different set of rules apply to McCain and Graham?

Seriously, guys, just back off from this petty, petty witchhunt.

McCain, of course, picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, so his assessment of women’s leadership capabilities shouldn’t be questioned.

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Among Mayans, Not a Lot of Concern

The only ones not worried about the Mayan calendar are the Mayans. In the Yucatan State in Mexico, which still has a large Mayan population, a Mayan cultural festival will be held December 21. They’ve already set the date for their 2013 festival.

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