Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I sure hope he is held accountable for this vote when he runs for re-election next year.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Gus Bilirakis LOVES being dependent on Middle East oil (No wonder he supports the immoral war in Iraq!)
"...move the United States toward greater energy independence and security, to increase the production of clean renewable fuels, to protect consumers from price gouging, to increase the energy efficiency of products, buildings, and vehicles, to promote research on and deploy greenhouse gas capture and storage options, and to improve the energy performance of the Federal Government..."
In response to the arrest on terror charges of two students from the University of South Florida, Gus wants to further crack down on foreign students by requiring more vigilance on the part of university officials. Just think, pretty soon, if we pander enough to the fraidy-cat Americans, there won't be any brown people coming to our shores to study! Oh, how happy Lou Dobbs will be!! (Or is it only Mexicans that Lou hates? It's so hard to keep up...)
Seriously folks, isn't this getting ridiculous? Every time I go through airport security and have to remove my clogs, I realize how the stupid (and inept) actions of one purported shoe bomber have terribly inconvenienced a multitude of travelers.
It makes me realize that the terrorists have truly won.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, has a few questions for the Transportation Security Administration about pipeline safety after a trio of teenagers drilled into a pipe carrying ammonia in the Riverview area of Hillsborough County, causing evacuations.
“I want to let you know that I am going to be contacting TSA about the security of these pipelines, especially in the Tampa Bay area," Bilirakis told Hawley. He plans to follow up with a letter. He added, “I hope that you will ... take this matter very seriously and respond to my inquiry expeditiously.”
Wow, a letter. I guess the terrorists out there are shaking their boots. Expeditiously.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
When Gus Bilirakis spoke to the assembled veterans and their families at Curlew Cemetary to mark the day, he and fellow Bush enabler, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Jerry F. Custin, used the solemn occasion to pimp their immoral war in Iraq on the back of a dead soldier. Nothing like a good Internet tome to stir up and confuse as you appeal to the patriotic feelings of the veterans. These guys are masters at it. Custin shared the story of Army Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, whose essay "Hope Rides Alone" has been circulated on the Internet
The 23-year-old soldier from Alabama addressed the criticism he heard against the Iraq war.
"Even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me," Jeffers wrote. "In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And then, I will be alone."
Said Custin: "Unfortunately, Sergeant Jeffers won't get to walk down the streets of America next year. On September 19th, he was killed in Iraq
Nice to know that these war enablers have missed the point of Armistice Day completely, isn't it? Just more of the same from Bush's gang. Offer platitudes to the veterans while supporting policies that continue to put our military in harm's way. And of course, don't bother to take care of our veterans when they return home. God forbid we should raise taxes on the rich to pay for the GOP folly.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Poor Children and Gays - Thumbs Down!
First the S-CHIP bill (NO to healthcare for poor children), and now Gus Bilirakis joins the hateful, homophobic caucus and votes a big NO on H.R. 3685, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007.
Something to ponder--
What would Gus say to a gay Greek veteran about government healthcare or employment discrimination?
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
"Accompanied by US Regional Coordinator for SAE Theodore Spyropoulos, Tamvakis also met with US House of Representatives members John Sarbanes, Gus Bilirakis and Zachary Space to discuss the promotion of Greece's national issues in the US Congress and the strengthening of relations between the Greek expatriates and the motherland."
S-CHIP? Healthcare for poor children? Ending the war? Holding the Bush administration accountable for lies and incompetence?
Saturday, November 3, 2007
For the past two weeks, Gus Bilirakis has been in the local news for hosting a couple of workshops on identity theft. Good for him.
But much more common are stories like the one I got today. I would say 60-75% of the coverage of Gus is on Greek-related issues. Here is the link to the latest, along with an excerpt:
"Friday a Kiev issue of the Kommersant daily reported that Denisenko met with Republican Senators George Voinovich and Sam Brownback, and Gus Bilirakis, the head of the support group to the Greek Orthodox Church in the House of Representatives."
A few thoughts came to mind as I read this:
- "...head of the support group to the Greek Orthodox Church in the House of Representatives." WTF? Support group for a church in Congress? Is this the best use of Gus' time in Washington?
- If Gus Bilirakis puts that much time and energy into supporting the Greek Orthodox Church in Congress, shouldn't his votes reflect his religious values? If so, then why did he vote against giving more poor children healtchare through the S-CHIP program?
- Is this another example of Gus pandering to one of his two big constituencies (Greeks and veterans) while ignoring the rest of us?
Monday, October 29, 2007
Will he have the political courage to change his vote and override a veto this time? Don't count on it.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Don't think of sick children.
We torture but it's okay as long as we say that we don't use or condone torture.
War is patriotic but our kids make other choices.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Without even seeing that he was proving my point, an aide to Congressman Gus Bilirakis told me this morning that his own daughter gets government healthcare.
Here's the scenario: Democracy for America and the Democrats in NW Hillsborough County, FL, have collected healthcare stories from citizens around the state which we have delivered to our Congressional representatives. The delivery to Rep. Bilirakis' (FL-9) office was delayed because we wanted to give them to an aide during his monthly "Community Outreach" event. This morning, I took the stack of stories to the library where the event was held. The 40-something male aide was browsing the bookshelves when I got there.
We went into the private meeting room and I gave him the stories and asked that the Congressman sign on as a co-sponsor of HR 676 for single-payer healthcare. I also asked him to pass along the word that we would like to see Congressman Bilirakis vote to override George Bush's expected veto of the S-CHIP bill.
He then told me that the Congressman was against the bill because it would be giving healthcare to children whose families earn more than $80,000 dollars per year. I told him that had been taken out of the bill, but that it didn't matter, because ALL children, in fact, all Americans, deserve healthcare.
He then said "...children in this country are not denied healthcare. My own daughter, who is in her twenties and makes minimum wage, gets her healthcare at the County Health Department. So no one has to go without healthcare in this country."
My response was, "So your daughter gets government healthcare." He was a bit flustered.
"No," he said. "She goes to the health department and gets care."
"But that's government healthcare, paid for by the taxpayers."
I'm not sure if it ever registered that his daughter is taking advantage of a program exactly like S-CHIP. (Would you call that hypocrisy or stupidity?)
We talked in circles for awhile longer, but he was having none of it. There's no way that Gus Bilirakis (legacy congressman) will ever override this veto, despite the fact that his own aide's family can't afford healthcare. He follows White House marching orders and in the words of this morning's St. Pete Times editorial, "this is about ideology and politics, not money."
Crossposted on dailykos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/10/3/121949/040
This is about ideology and politics, not money. Bush would limit the capacity of a successful program and instead push tax credits to pay for health care, which won't work and has little support in Congress. The low-income families who need SCHIP the most are not going to get their child into the doctor with tax credits.
In the Tampa Bay area, a veteran and a freshman sided with sound policy over partisan politics. Reps. C.W. Bill Young of Indian Rocks Beach and Vern Buchanan of Sarasota were among 45 Republicans who voted for the bill, but that's not enough to help Democrats override a Bush veto. If only Republicans Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville and Adam Putnam of Bartow had been as open-minded and could see the light.
Monday, October 1, 2007
On September 25, H.R.3653, sponsored by Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL), to hold the current regime in Iran accountable for its human rights record and to support a transition to democracy in Iran, was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill makes a direct link "between the state of freedom and democracy within Iran and the efforts of the current regime of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and the long-term success of the global war on terror." Senator Brownback (R-KS) introduced the Senate version of the bill, S. 1534, on May 25, 2007 and it was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.Read more on this blog.
Something's not right here folks. Gus Bilirakis can barely pronounce "Iran," let alone come up with an idea like this on his own. It would be laughable if it weren't so deadly serious.
Btw, another laughable thing (pointed out by someone on Daily Kos) is the U.S. having the nerve to criticize someone for human rights abuses. Sadly, we lost all moral authority on that one years ago.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Let's hope that Gus' Democratic opponent hammers him with this every single hour of every single day until November 2008. For this, Gus must pay dearly.
(Several Democrats, including Kathy Castor, also sold us out on this one. If they don't come around and vote to override Bush's promised veto, then let's make sure they suffer the same fate as the Republicans. If we can't count on their support for this, then what good are they?)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Gus, who heard "encouraging news" in the pathetic shilling of General Petraeus before Congress a couple of weeks ago, would rather continue pouring money down Bush's Iraqi shithole than take care of America's uninsured poor children. Has there ever been a more disgusting example of pandering: pandering to failed Republican policies on healthcare, to Bush's attempt to salvage his legacy, and to laughable claims of Republican fiscal responsibility?
From Congressman Rahm Emanuel:
"This week, the President asked for $200 billion more for the war in Iraq. In the same week, the White House said the bipartisan plan to give 10 million children health care included ‘excessive spending’ and threatened to veto the plan. For this President who helped rack up three trillion dollars in new debt, it is not about the spending, it is about priorities and the President has made his clear.”
Gus has shown us once again what his priorities are. He stands first and foremost with George Bush, and not with American families. Remember that on Election Day 2008.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Vice-president Dick Cheney waves as he greets military personnel at MacDill Air Force Base. (Chris Zuppa | Times)
Vice President Dick Cheney invoked images of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., in an address at MacDill Air Force Base today in which he again linked the war in Iraq to the war on terrorism.
"Our world really did change six years ago," Cheney told more than 500 military members gathered in an auditorium not far from CentCom, which overees the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. "They have inflicted great harm and have a taste for more."
To read more about the hypocrisy of the Bush/Cheney Administration:
I wonder if Lil' Gussie's mommy was available to drive him to this GI Joe and Barbie play time. You know the drill...slap some medals on 'em, invoke 9-11 and "fearism", pat them on their heads and send them to certain death. Think about it. It is the perfect scam. They will create more funerals so they can make their quick "cameo" appearances where they can talk about brave soldiers, 9-11, Iraq, fearism and terrorism. It is the perfect scam that keeps on giving more dead soldiers, more grieving families and more money in the war profiteers pockets.
I saw Gus Bilirakis at the Memorial Day ceremony at a local cemetary. He read from a script and slithered away during a Memorial ceremony. He didn't even have the balls to stay for the whole thing.
Gus will continue to vote our soldiers to their deaths while his mommy and daddy teach him how to drive. I hope that they remember to bring his booster seat for each lesson. In the meantime, my military family members are dedicated and over worked patriots who deserve better treatment than this. And they are the lucky ones. They are still alive and well...for now.
He singled out U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Indian Shores for praise. The congressman, who was sitting in the front row during the speech, is one of the president's strongest allies, Cheney said.
Well there goes another little boy playing GI Joe. Let's stroll down memory lane, shall we? Rep Bill Young visited Walter Reed countless times yet never did anything about the conditions there when he had the power to do so.
So many fake patriots, so little time.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I was working at the tri-county Democratic booth (Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough) when I looked up and there he was (only my second Gus sighting, btw). Of course, he was surrounded by handlers, including an older woman who might have been (and probably was) his mother. We've written of her before here at GusWatch. I'm too lazy to find the link, so trust me on this one.
Anyway, one of the handlers brought Gus over to meet us. I surprised myself when I immediately told him that I didn't want him to give Bush any more money for the war in Iraq, and that I wanted him to do what he could to bring our soldiers home from Iraq now. Gus tried to counter with the tired, "But what will happen if we pull out?" To which, I replied, "What will happen if we don't?" Gus was then left to convince me of how very seriously he takes the war in Iraq.
Before he moved on, I also told him that I hoped he would support House Resolution 676, which calls for single payer healthcare, and then I told him we would be delivering healthcare stories to his office in the very near future.
Here are my impressions:
(In my best southern accent) Bless his heart. He is so obviously in over his head. He can only talk in the vaguest of generalities, and he has the most pathetic and creepy handshake. Why did his family let him run for office? They won't be able to protect him from the vultures (us) forever.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Maybe Gus Bilirakis should hire me to do his press releases. After all, I have to correct them almost daily now:
"As a member of the
Will Gus Bilirakis sign the petition?
We, the undersigned, urge the United States Senate to pass Senator Dodd's Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 (S1668) to assist the Gulf Coast region in rebuilding the infrastructure lost after the Katrina and Rita disasters.
Passage of this bill is an important step towards returning the Gulf Coast residents to their homes.
"As a member of the House Subcommittee on European Affairs, Congressman Bilirakis expressed his sincere sorrow over the devastation in Greece by stating, “My heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this horrific tragedy. I commend and recognize Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the Greek government in their efforts to get these blazes under control.” Congressman Bilirakis added, "The unity and solidarity of the brave people of Greece that has arisen from the ashes of these fires is representative of the Greek spirit and pride that so clearly defines this nation."
Why are we not happy? It was the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Couldn't Gus have mentioned that?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Again, I feel compelled to tweak Gus' latest press release because it is full of errors and disinformation.
The departure of Attorney General Gonzales will allow the Justice Department to move beyond theOnly then will our Justice Department be once again free to enforce our nation’s laws.
distractionsillegal actions facedcommitted under his leadership. I support a full investigation into Alberto Gonzales'illegal activities and I encourage him to be forthcoming in his testimony. If his memory is as bad as it seemed when he last testified, then he should be Baker-acted for his own safety.
The Justice Department is vital to our nation’s safety and security. Today’s announcement has created an opportunity for new leadership to embrace a refocused and bipartisan agenda that will enable the Department to effectively and faithfully restore the balance of power and undo the outrageous attacks on the U.S. Constitution so that we can enforce our nation’s laws including the Separation of Church and State.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
It is time for Gus to honor our troops by supporting health care for all. It is time for Gus to vote to end the immoral occupation of Iraq. It is time for Gus to really start talking to our troops. My military family members need real representation. Medals don't keep our troops safe or bring them home to their families. It appears that our troops agree with me:
Call at National Guard conference for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq greeted with standing ovation DAVID McFADDEN, Associated Press Writer
August 25, 2007 6:08 PM
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - A call by Puerto Rico's governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation Saturday from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.
Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila said the U.S. administration has ''no new strategy and no signs of success'' and that prolonging the war would needlessly put guardsmen in harm's way.
''The war in Iraq has fractured the political will of the United States and the world,'' he said at the opening of the 129th National Guard Association general conference. ''Clearly, a new war strategy is required and urgently.''
Acevedo said sending more troops to Iraq would be a costly blunder.
To read the rest of the article, click on:
Sunday, August 19, 2007
FPC Wiki Page
Official House Site
Official Campaign Site
WaPo Voting Database
On the Issues
Project Vote Smart
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I am certainly not going to knock cancer research, but I would like to point out that 44+ million Americans might not be able to reap the benefits of that research because they can't get healthcare in America. And some of that 44+ million are children that Gus voted against covering with the SCHIPS bill a couple of weeks ago.
Now about that trip to Baghdad. Is anyone but me noticing some eerily similar stories coming out of the mouths of those returning from Iraq these days? From war cheerleading think-tankers like Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack to Rep. Shelley Moore Capito to our very own Rep. Gus Bilirakis, things are still bad, but (surprise, surprise) there is progress being made! (links will be provided later)
In today's paper, Washington Post reporter Jonathan Finer pens an op-ed that spells out what these trips really are. Finer thinks Congressional Reps have a duty to visit the wars they are funding, but denies the importance of these trips for determining what is actually happening on the ground. Here's his recounting of a recent back and forth between Sen. Lindsay (Goober) Graham and Sen. James Webb on Meet the Press:
Last month on "Meet the Press," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a supporter of the war, chided his Democratic colleague James Webb. "Have you been to Iraq?" asked Graham, who has visited seven times.
"I've been a member of the military when the senators come in," replied Webb, who has not visited Iraq but fought in Vietnam during a long military career. "You know, you go see the dog-and-pony shows."
Well, our Gussie saw himself a dog and pony show.
In conclusion, Finer warns:
As Washington anticipates a September report assessing the troop surge, there is good reason to be skeptical of such snapshot accounts.
UPDATED - From Sunday's New York Times - Returning soldiers give us their thoughts:
Thursday, August 16, 2007
But, one of the most interesting things in the article is the following quote form Kyra Jennings of the DCCC:
'DCCC’s Southern Regional spokeswoman, Kyra Jennings, confirmed that (John) Dicks met with Van Hollen about the race, and that “We are excited that he is considering a possible challenge. Bilirakis “has only been in Congress a short time, but already has shown he’s not going to be an effective leader.” '
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
FL-1: Jeff Miller (R) - Nay
FL-2: Allen Boyd (D) - Yea
FL-3: Corrine Brown (D) - Yea
FL-4: Ander Crenshaw (R) - Did not vote
FL-5: Ginny Brown-Waite (R) - Nay
FL-6: Cliff Stearns (R) - Nay
FL-7: John Mica (R) - Nay
FL-8: Ric Keller (R) - Nay
FL-9: Gus Bilirakis (R) - Nay
FL-10: CW Bill Young (R) - Nay
FL-11: Kathy Castor (D) - Yea
FL-12: Adam Putnam (R) - Nay
FL-13: Vern Buchanan (R) - Nay
FL-14: Connie Mack (R) - Nay
FL-15: Dave Weldon (R) - Nay
FL-16: Tim Mahoney (D) - Yea
FL-17: Kendrick Meek (D) - Yea
FL-18: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) - Nay
FL-19: Robert Wexler (D) - Yea
FL-20: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) - Yea
FL-21: Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) - Nay
FL-22: Ron Klein (D) - Yea
FL-23: Alcee Hastings (D) - Yea
FL-24: Tom Feeney (R) - Nay
FL-25: Mario Diaz-Balart (R) - Nay
Let these people know what you think about them. Go to their page at the FPC Wiki to find their contact info.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
On second thought, what more is there to say?
- Gus Bilirakis voted against giving more children healthcare in order to spend Medicare dollars on privatization.
- Gus Bilirakis voted for the FISA bill in order to give George Bush and Alberto Gonzalez more power to spy on American citizens.
- Gus Bilirakis was in the news for sponsoring another bill to keep the veterans' vote (if only he cared about the active duty soldiers who are currently spilling their blood, sweat and tears in Iraq.)
- When Gus Bilirakis isn't pandering to veterans, he's sucking up to the Greek community. He seems to be more concerned with the occupation of Cyprus than he is with the American occupation of Iraq.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
H R 3074 Recorded Vote
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations for FY 2008
Bilirakis - NO
making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
White House Threatens Veto of Transportation-HUD Bill
CQ TODAY MIDDAY UPDATE
July 23, 2007 – 2:17 p.m.
As expected, the administration issued a veto threat Monday against the fiscal 2008 Transportation-Housing spending bill, denouncing its “irresponsible and excessive” spending level.
The $104 billion bill funding the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments (
Bush has threatened to veto any spending bill that exceeds his fiscal 2008 budget request.
But members of the House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee say the cuts the administration wants in this bill would mean underfunding the 2005 surface transportation law , which mandated specific spending levels each year.
Debate will begin Monday, but a vote on final passage is not expected until Tuesday.
Under the bill, highway programs would receive $40.2 billion, $1.1 billion more than enacted last year and $631,000 more than Bush requested. The Federal Aviation Administration would receive $14.6 billion, $140 million more than last year and $545 million more than requested.
The community development fund, which helps localities build housing in low-income areas, would receive $4.2 billion, $408 million more than last year and $1.1 billion more than Bush requested. HOPE VI, which funds revitalization of deteriorating public housing projects, would receive $120 million, which is $21 million more than last year; the administration had sought to eliminate the program.
CQ Today Midday Update
Political Clippings compiled from BNN Frontrunner and CQ Politics.com.
© 2007 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Check out this headline:
"Injured Iraq vets sue VA over health care delays"
Can we please stop giving these false patriots credit for supporting the military?
Frustrated by delays in health care, a coalition of injured Iraq war veterans is accusing VA Secretary Jim Nicholson of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment.
The class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks broad change in the agency as it struggles to meet growing demands from veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Suing on behalf of hundreds of thousands of veterans, it charges that the VA has failed warriors on several fronts — from providing prompt disability benefits, to adding staff to reduce wait times for medical care to boosting services for post-traumatic stress disorder.
...The lawsuit also accuses the VA of deliberately cheating some veterans by allegedly working with the Pentagon to misclassify PTSD claims as pre-existing personality disorders to avoid paying out benefits. The VA and Pentagon have generally denied such charges.
Please read the entire article. The Republican Party is morally bankrupt.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Remarks as edited and adapted by thefos for a reality check on our American military crisis due to the U.S. led Iraq Occupation:
Gus Bilirakis Commemorates the
WASHINGTON (20 Jul.) -- Last night, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), member of House Foreign Affairs Committee
and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to commemorate the 33rd4 1/2 anniversary of the invasion of CyprusIraq by U.S led Turkishmilitary forces.
Gus Bilirakis' press release:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today not only as a privileged member of this body, but particularly as a Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
I stand before you today to recall an anniversary that has racked the
Mr. Speaker, even though the tragic events of the
This anniversary is a time for America to solemnly remember the
Since the invasion,
Another tragic result of this
Since the invasion, international governing bodies and human rights groups have condemned
The international community and the American people have expressed their support for
On the occasion of this anniversary, America needs to take a long and hard look at its own commitment toward helping the
Mr. Speaker, I believe that because of this continued
Indeed, according to: http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/07/07/15/10139330.html,
the White House appeared resigned to the fact that the Iraqi parliament is going to take August off, even though it has just eight weeks to show progress on military, political and economic benchmarks prescribed by the United States.
My understanding is at this juncture they're going to take August off, but, you know, they may change their minds,White House press secretary Tony Snow said on Friday.
You know, it's 54 degree Celsius [130 degrees Fahrenheit] in Baghdad in August,he said, sympathetically.
Our own US Congress plans to be on vacation from August 3 to September 4, 2007.
In fact, Mr. Speaker,
I urge all of my colleagues to act and help this body put our own stamp of support on the
America, a friend of the
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Just posted it on Youtube. It’s yours:
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 at 1:25 pm and is filed under DHS, bilirakis, counterterrorism, GWOT, homeland security, al-qaeda, terrorism. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
It is now 11:19 PM. Were any comments permitted?
While Gus tries to instill fear in his constituents, what is Gus afraid of?
Maybe he is afraid of a mother of 5 or maybe Dramatic Chipmunk found Gus in the shower...
Friday, July 13, 2007
From the web site Congresspedia:
The Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act (H.R. 2956) was introduced by Armed Services Committee Chair Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) on July 10, 2007. The bill, similar to the Levin-Reed Senate measure, would require that the U.S. begin redeploying troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill's passage. It would also require that the U.S. have a "limited presence" in Iraq by April 1, 2008. President Bush would need to submit a report to Congress outlining the specific goals of the remaining troops in Iraq, along with timetables for their completion.
Bush enablers like Gus Bilirakis deserve to be forever haunted by their continued support of this pointless war.
We can only hope that the voters in FL-9 will see through Bilirakis' superficial acts of kindness to veterans, and in 2008 demand a Congressman who will give our military the real support it needs. Bring the troops home NOW, Gus!!
College Cost Reduction Act of 2007
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: College Cost Reduction Act of 2007
Bilirakis - NO
And, of course, the White House Threatens to Veto:
Student Loan Reform Still Faces Obstacles
US News and World Report
With House passage of the 2007 College Cost Reduction Act, student loan reform has moved one step closer to reality, but significant obstacles remain.
The House bill approved Wednesday would increase the maximum Pell grant for low-income students by $500 over the next four years to $5,200 in 2011, cut interest rates on need-based federal loans to 3.4 percent from 6.8 percent, and provide tuition breaks for students who commit to teaching in high-need public schools once they graduate. It would also partly forgive loans of graduates who take public-service jobs, including nurses, first responders, and school counselors.
The bill is the biggest change to college education financing since the 1944 GI Bill, says its sponsor, Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat who chairs the House Education Committee.
The Senate is likely to vote soon on a similar bill, which got committee approval in June. The Senate bill, sponsored by Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Education Committee, would raise the Pell grant an extra $200 by 2012 to $5,400 and doesn't include an interest-rate reduction on federal loans. Nor does it include tuition assistance for those who become public school teachers.
Both bills would cap the amount graduates pay on student loans each month at 15 percent of their discretionary income. Like the House version, the Senate bill would slash subsidies to lenders to pay for the changes.
Senate passage could land a version of the reform bill on President Bush's desk by September, but resistance to the proposed policy changes is growing. Bush's senior advisers said in a statement Tuesday they will recommend that the president veto the bill "because it fails to target the neediest students currently in college and creates new mandatory federal programs that are poorly designed and would have significant long-term costs to the taxpayer." The statement released by the Office of Management and Budget also says the proposed loan-forgiveness policies are an inefficient way to encourage graduates to go into certain professions.
America's Student Loan Providers, an industry group, opposes many of the reforms. It argues that the subsidy cuts would force lenders to wipe out interest rate discounts they now provide to borrowers. Kevin Bruns, the group's executive director, warns that the reduction in profits for loan companies would force some lenders to close up shop, reducing competition and options for students. Republican members of Congress have called the House bill fiscally irresponsible.
At the same time, student and other groups have backed the proposed reforms. The Project on Student Debt praised the House bill: "The combination of additional grant aid, increased availability of federal loans, and payment caps will help students avoid costly private loans and allow them to graduate from college less burdened by debt."
Monday, July 9, 2007
"I do not agree with President Bush's decision to fully commute Lewis Libby's prison sentence," Bilirakis said in a statement. "While commutation is perfectly within the President's constitutional discretion, Mr. Libby was tried by a jury of his peers and was convicted of a felony.
"The fact that Mr. Libby committed this crime while serving as a public official makes it all the more egregious. Excessive or not, Mr. Libby's sentence should be respected."
I guess Gus Bilirakis was caught between a rock and a hard place on this one. I think that our phone calls brought it to his staff's attention that he couldn't support Scooter Libby's "Get out of jail free card" so soon after his no amnesty statement about immigration.
I applaud Gus for his statement about Scooter Libby even though he buffered it with a nod to Bush's ability to abuse the U.S. Constitution any time he wants to.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
I got the feeling that Patty was expecting the call. Please let us know what response you get when you call the congressman's office.
Monday, July 2, 2007
“As an American, I do not accept this line of thinking. The reality is that amnesty is not an answer to this complex and endemic problem. As a nation of laws and a nation of legal immigrants, it is simply wrong to reward unlawful behavior with amnesty.
I wonder what Gus Bilirakis thinks about George Bush commuting the prison sentence of Scooter Libby. Is there a double standard at play here? Is there one standard for those who break the law by entering our country to seek a better life, and another standard for White House cronies who have broken the law at the behest of the administration? I urge you to call Congressman Bilirakis' office tomorrow and ask him.
Washington DC Office
Temple Terrace Office
Palm Harbor Office
Thursday, June 28, 2007
H R 2638
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for FY 2008
making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes
Bilirakis - YES
Here's How Gus Voted Down Both Party Lines:
(Bold = Voted With Democrats/Against GOP)
(Italic = Voted Against Democrats and GOP)
|Date||Vote||Position||GOP opinion||DEM opinion|
|Vote 491: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||No||Yes|
|Vote 490: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 489: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 488: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 487: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 486: H R 2638||No||Yes||No|
|Vote 485: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 484: H R 2638||No||No||No|
|Vote 483: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vote 482: H R 2638||Yes||No||No|
|Vote 481: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 480: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 479: H R 2638||No||Yes||No|
|Vote 478: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 477: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 476: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 475: H R 2638||Yes||No||No|
|Vote 474: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 473: H R 2638||No||Yes||No|
|Vote 472: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 471: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 470: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vote 469: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 468: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 467: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 466: H R 2638||No||Yes||No|
|Vote 465: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vote 464: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 463: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 462: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 461: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 460: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 459: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 458: H R 2638: Department of Homeland Security Appropriations for Fy 2008||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 457: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vote 456: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vote 455: H R 2638||Yes||Yes||No|
|Vote 454: H R 2638||Not Voting||Yes||No|
|Vote 453: H R 2638||No||No||Yes|
Thursday, June 7, 2007
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act
Bilirakis - NO
to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research
QUESTION: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass
BILL TITLE: Human Cloning Prohibition Act
Bilirakis - NO
to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prohibit human cloning, and for other purposes
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
So far, I am underwhelmed.
I've been meaning to write about Gus' co-sponsorship of a VERY IMPORTANT BILL. I'll have to come back later with the particulars, but for now just know that Gus is on the case. Is he trying to help bring the Iraq War to an end? NO! Is he trying to help the people of the Gulf Coast as they continue to struggle nearly two years after Katrina? NO! Is he trying to solve our healthcare crisis? NO! Is he working to fix No Child Left Behind or improve the dropout rate in American schools? NO! What is it that is so deserving of Gus' attention? Turns out the new dollar coin has "In God We Trust" on the side instead of on the face, and that, my friends, is what is bothering your rubber stamp Congressman. Heaven help us.
Friday, June 1, 2007
I was also thinking about my military family members and how thankful I am that even though my brother in law only gets to see his 5 month old and 6 year old sons via a web cam once a week, at least both he and my sister are alive and well.
I wasn't sure what to expect but I wasn't prepared for the pompous partisan package decorated to impersonate patriotism. I knew we were in trouble when the Master of Ceremonies, Colonel Jerry F. Custin USAF, (Ret) gushed about Congressman Gus Bilirakis' glowing accomplishments, when in reality, his power ranking is in the basement:
So as I post this video of Gus Bilirakis reading the GOP script, his words ring painfully hollow as I heard that 10 more U.S soldiers were killed in action on Memorial Day. In my mind is the wounded Iraq War veteran who was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on Memorial Day. Although Anderson Cooper interviewed more than one wounded soldier, this one Iraq veteran's story was particularly heartwrenching. He was not expected to live, but survived in spite of losing most of his blood. His forearm is a mangled mess but he was only receiving a small percentage of his rightful disability benefits. He lost his home and was living in his car. Thankfully by the end of the show, CNN's influence had helped him finally receive the benefits he earned on the battlefield.
With that in mind, I give you the Congressman who represents the Republicans in my district:
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Then suddenly, last February, I accidentally stumbled upon Congressman Gus Bilirakis speaking on C-Span. Yep, I spotted Gus actually delivering a speech. Correction - I watched him read the White House talking points verbatim. At the time, he was reading the GOP party line against the resolution against the Iraq escalation.
I thought to myself, "Honestly, shouldn't he know them by heart now?"
Even though he should know them by rote, Gus read the usual Luntz speak and got louder as he climaxed with a list of terrorist attacks beginning with the World Trade Center in 1993 and ending with a big finale of September 11th. As Lil' Gussie read the usual crap, I was struck about how awkward and bizarre his delivery was. No wonder he was never available for speaking engagements before election day. Would any voter really have voted for him if they heard him read in person? Gus repeated a chopping motion with his hand as he read his script. Gus Bilirakis indeed voted no but I don't remember hearing about his service to our country. Where did he serve?
On Memorial Day, May 28, 2007, we finally spotted Gus in action. Susan S and I attended the Curlew Hills Annual Memorial Day Service in Palm Harbor, FL.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
This week, Gus Bilirakis voted with the majority to keep funding this disastrous occupation. Because his party (and some spineless Democrats) would rather prop up George Bush than make him accountable for the failures in the war, we will stand by helpless as more of our brave men and women die for nothing.
Keep calling Congressman Bilirakis' office to express your disgust with his rubberstamping of Bush's policies. Here are the numbers:
Here are the numbers:
(Casualty figures from www.icasualties.org)
Sunday, May 20, 2007
As a member of the 110th Congress, Gus Bilirakis has done nothing to end this quagmire. He is "rubber stamping" Bush's folly, just as his father did. It's time to DEMAND that Gus Bilirakis follows the will of the American people and not the will of George Bush. Please call his office and make your voice heard. DO NOT STAND BY AND ALLOW ONE MORE SOLDIER TO DIE FOR NOTHING. Gus needs to support the Democratic efforts to bring our troops home.
Here are the numbers:
+ 1(202) 225-5755
+ 1(813) 985-8541
+ 1(727) 773-2871