Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Thursday, February 23, 2017

House GOP Rushes to Block Federal Funds For Sanctuary Cities

House Republicans are moving swiftly to punish so-called sanctuary cities, and have already introduced at least three measures to block federal funds for municipalities or college campuses that limit their cooperation with federal officials on deporting undocumented immigrants.

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) introduced HR 83, known as the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, last week to strip federal funding from such jurisdictions. As mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Barletta gained a national profile for approving ordinances aimed at driving out undocumented immigrants, most of which were found unconstitutional.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Is a Wildly Popular Fascist

In 2016, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte placed his country prominently on the global radar screen—too prominently, in the opinion of some Filipinos.

Duterte’s campaign to rid the Philippines of drug users and pushers through extrajudicial executions elicited shock even among the most hardened observers. And his now legendary cursing of President Obama as a “son of a bitch”—part of an angry farewell to a long-standing alliance with Washington and an embrace of China—upended Asian geopolitics.

Senate Republicans Decide That Ethics Can Wait

As many as four top Cabinet nominees of President-elect Donald Trump will receive confirmation hearings this week without having completed financial disclosure reports and ethics agreements, breaking a longstanding tradition in the Senate.

Citing the importance of the new president having his national-security team in place immediately, Republican leaders are intent on seating as many of Trump’s Cabinet picks as possible by the time he takes office on January 20. In pushing ahead, however, they are brushing aside a warning from the director of the independent Office of Government Ethics that their aggressive hearing schedule is “cause for alarm.”

Republicans are playing with the future of the entire health insurance industry

Since President Obama first signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans have been itching to dismantle it. And come January 20 — the day Trump takes the oath of office and Republicans have a majority in the House and the Senate — they will actually have the capacity to do so.

In other to expedite the process, Senate Republicans have one strategy in mind: repeal and delay. They want to repeal Obamacare quickly and give themselves a two to three year grace period to create an alternative policy.

White nationalism normalized: Politico co-founder offers effusive praise for Breitbart

During an interview with Breitbart News Saturday, Mike Allen, Politico co-founder and a journalist characterized as one of the most powerful in D.C., offered effusive praise for Breitbart, saying he “admire[s] so much of what’s been built at Breitbart.”

Allen, who quit Politico last year and appeared on Breitbart to promote his new Axios project, said Breitbart readers “benefit” from the “illumination” the outlet provides about “this ‘New World’” and characterized Breitbart’s coverage as “very smart.”

Russia slates 'baseless, amateurish' US election hacking report

The Kremlin has hit back at a US intelligence report blaming Russia for interference in the presidential election, describing the claims as part of a political witch-hunt.

“These are baseless allegations substantiated with nothing, done on a rather amateurish, emotional level,” Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists on Monday. “We still don’t know what data is really being used by those who present such unfounded accusations.”

Supreme Court considers if exonerated people can be charged the same fines and fees as the guilty

Imagine that you are hauled into court for a crime you did not commit, convicted, then forced to turn over a fortune in fines, fees and court costs as a result. Then, after an appeals court throws out your conviction and the charges against you are dropped, you are told that you aren’t allowed to have your money back — even though the state’s only basis for taking that money from you was an invalid trial judgment.

Have we learned nothing?

Kevin O’Leary may not be a “vampire cockroach”, as he once referred to a guest on his reality TV show Shark Tank, but he is a near relative.

He may not have called the field of candidates seeking to fill the star-spangled shoes of Stephen Harper “nothing-burgers”, but he will if he gets serious about rumbling with them.

And it hasn’t happened yet, but the Conservative party will have “a future in bad theatre”, if the man who views his money as soldiers he sends out every day to take prisoners ever becomes Conservative leader.

The Twisted Ideology That Appeals to Jihadists and Neo-Nazis Alike

In the last few years of the 20th Century a new form of fascism emerged in a period of resurgent neofascism. Called the Third Position, it seeks to overthrow existing governments and replace them with monocultural nation states built around the idea of supremacist racial nationalism and/or supremacist religious nationalism. Third Position neofascists have organized in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, and they maintain some kind of loose network, at least for the purposes of discussing their shared ideas and agenda, but in some cases involving meetings and even funding.

Five Ways GOP Repeal of Obamacare is Taking From The Poor and Giving to the Rich

On Friday in a town hall meeting in Washington, President Obama said he would be happy to replace Obamacare with a better program but said Republican critics haven’t proposed anything that would bring better results by any objective measure.

“From the very start, in the earliest negotiations in 2009, 2010, I made clear to Republicans that, if they had ideas that they could show would work better than the ideas that we had thought of, I would be happy to incorporate them into the law,” the president said. “And rather than offer ideas, what we got was a big no, we just don’t want to do this.”

Meryl Streep Goes After Donald Trump In Powerful Golden Globe Speech

Meryl Streep gave a career-defining speech Sunday after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, slamming President-elect Donald Trump for his anti-immigration stances and for mocking a disabled reporter while campaigning for office. She then encouraged viewers to support the Committee to Protect Journalists, something Trump surely discourages. It was a huge middle finger directed to a politician who can’t even dream of Queen Meryl’s grace.

Let's call 'fake news' what it really is: propaganda

Breitbart, Fox News, Alex Jones, and countless other conservative websites practice propaganda—or what is now called “fake news.” Of course you would not know that it’s propaganda because the mainstream media refuses to call it what it really is. Most of us (myself included) had never heard the term fake news until an innocent business targeted by the purveyors of this “fake news” created a wild fantasy, a hoax story that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex abuse ring from the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor. This was not fake news: it was propaganda.

Did Putin help elect Trump to restore $500 billion Exxon oil deal killed by sanctions

The “Russian hack news … is delegitimizing,” explained former George W. Bush speech writer David Frum in a recent article. The conservative Frum was famous for authoring Bush’s controversial “axis of evil” speech about the danger posed by Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.

But it appears our democracy and our children have a new axis to worry about: Putin, Trump, and ExxonMobil, whose CEO Rex Tillerson — an extreme Russophile and long-time director of a US-Russian oil company — is Trump’s puzzling choice for Secretary of State.

Mitch McConnell is ignoring the cabinet confirmation procedure he demanded in 2009

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate plans to rush forward this week with confirmation hearings for many of Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet and other key executive positions. Though many of the picks have not yet completed the customarily required ethics clearances and background checks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has shown no willingness to delay.

“They’ve made pretty clear they intend to slow down and resist and that doesn’t provide a lot of incentive or demonstrate good faith to negotiate changes. So I think we’re going to just be plowing ahead,” his deputy, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told Politico.

Republicans Would Repeal Obamacare In Precisely The Way They Accuse Democrats Of Enacting It

The story that Obamacare opponents tell about its enactment is that backers conceived the health insurance proposal in secret, misled the public about its provisions, and passed it without thinking through the consequences.

That’s a totally accurate account ― of what Republicans are planning to do right now.

Koch Astroturf Army Cheers Union Busting in Kentucky

On the first day that the Kentucky legislature got underway with a newly elected Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican governor, the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity group blew the whistle and legislators jumped to do their bidding.

This week, the Speaker of the House Jeff Hoover rammed through the legislature three bills to break the back of unions and lower wages for highly-skilled construction workers.

Blue State Voters Subsidize Southern Red State Voters, Not the Other Way Around

A recent article in Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) scathingly debunks the "racialized rural mythology" that conservative white rural voters subsidize urban residents. In fact, in general, the opposite is true. FAIR rebuts this fiction, which is embedded in rural culture and politics, with the revealing raw facts:

On an individual level, too, rural residents are more likely to receive government benefits than urban or suburban residents; a Pew survey (12/18/12) found that 62 percent of rural residents had received Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare or unemployment benefits, vs. 54 percent of urban dwellers and 53 percent of suburbanites.

Don’t let racists fool you: The Chicago kidnapping isn’t about Black Lives Matter. It’s about the violence faced by people with disabilities

A brutal crime in Chicago shocked the nation earlier this week after four teenagers kidnapped an 18-year-old student and tormented him over Facebook Live — punching him, kicking him, and tearing off his clothing while he screamed for help. What made the crime a front page story, however, isn’t that it was live-streamed over social media: The perpetrators — Jordan Hill, Tesfaye Cooper, Brittany Covington, and Tanishia Covington — invoked the name of the president-elect during the attack. “F**k Trump!” the assailants yelled. “F**k white people!”

This Governor Is Defying The GOP And Pushing To Expand Medicaid To Over Half A Million People

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) says he’ll quickly expand Medicaid in his state before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. His vow sets up a confrontation with Republicans in the state who have explicitly passed a law barring him from making such a move.

Cooper said Friday he sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week requesting the expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which Trump and Republicans in Washington, D.C., have pledged to repeal. The expansion extends Medicaid eligibility to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Under the ACA, the federal government would pay for 95 percent of the cost of the expansion and then a little less each year until paying 90 percent in 2020.

Michael Moore gives me hope: 5 reasons why he’s a leader the left needs now

If I told you in 2015 that Donald Trump would win the presidency and Michael Moore would be the one person on the left to get it all right, you’d have told me I was nuts. While much of our attention has been drawn to figuring out how an orange-faced reality TV star who campaigned on sexist and bigoted rhetoric will be getting the nuclear codes in a matter of days, let’s forget about Trump for a minute and give Moore his due. Moore refused to be beaten down by the events of 2016. And he shows every sign of making 2017 better then we could have ever expected.

Putin and the Populists

Donald Trump is practically alone in mainstream American politics in his consistent praise of Vladimir Putin and insistence that the United States would benefit from warmer relations with Russia. But that inclination to view Putin more as ally than adversary places Trump squarely in line with the racially infused, conservative-populist movements gaining ground in both America and Europe.

And that means the intra-GOP friction over Russia between Trump and more traditional foreign-policy thinkers like Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina points toward a much larger debate over the priorities that should drive American foreign policy.

The Washington Post published a false story, but it’s not fake news

On December 30, my phone flashed with a news alert that Russian hackers gained access to the United States’ power grid. The Washington Post broke a story saying that a Vermont utility found malware code previously associated with other Russian hacks, and that it was evidence of a breach in the U.S. electricity grid. But that last part—the most important piece of news in the story—was inaccurate, and the Post ran a correction: A computer at Vermont’s Burlington Electric was hacked and implanted with malicious code, but it wasn’t attached to the state’s power grid.

The economy grew by 2.2 million jobs in 2016

The economy added 156,000 jobs in the last month of 2016, while the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.7 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 175,000 jobs to be added.

Meanwhile, revisions to October and November added another net 19,000 jobs compared to what was previously reported.

Overall, the economy added 2.2 million jobs in 2016.

Nancy Pelosi: Intel Report On Russian Hacking Is ‘Stunning’

WASHINGTON ― House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday that a forthcoming intelligence report on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election provided a “stunning disclosure.”

Pelosi wouldn’t tell reporters outright whether she thought the hacking had affected election results. Instead, she said excerpts of the report would be released later in the day and pushed the press to connect the dots.

Republicans face the obvious on Obamacare: Their replacement will be worse

On Thursday Politico’s Playbook made a point about the current Republican attitude toward a repeal of Obamacare that seems like an important admission:

    Republicans are now realizing how hard it will be to replace the law, and many of them have plainly settled on the fact that they will never be able to craft a plan to insure as many people as Obamacare does.

Planned Parenthood President Perfectly Lays Out Despicable Hypocrisy of the GOP's Defunding Agenda

While the majority of Republicans make the empty claim that they are "pro-life," they fail acknowledge proof that defunding Planned Parenthood ironically increases the infant mortality rate.

Take Texas, for example, where the infant mortality rate has spiked in the past five years. Because Planned Parenthood serves as an entry point into reproductive care, by slashing funding, low to middle-income women had a difficult time finding a location to provide services such as a prenatal referral. Texas now has the developed world's highest infant mortality rate, although the remainder of the U.S. performs lower overall.

How ISIS Could End Up Leading to Saudi Arabia's Demise

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."

One of the Reasons Republicans Hate Food Stamps? It Helps Democrats Win Elections

Food stamp spending has declined for the last two years, with 13.7% of the population currently using the program compared to a high of 14.9% in 2013, but that hasn’t stopped the GOP from looking to cut billions from the program. Many believe that the Democrats making a robust defense of food stamps would be politically unwise, but a new paper suggests this assumption might be incorrect.

Russians Ridicule U.S. Charge That Kremlin Meddled to Help Trump

MOSCOW — Spies are usually thought of as bystanders who quietly steal secrets in the shadows. But the Russian versions, schooled in techniques used during the Cold War against the United States, have a more ambitious goal — shaping, not just snooping on, the politics of a nation that the Soviet-era K.G.B. targeted as the “main adversary.”

That at least is the conclusion of a declassified report released on Friday that outlines what America’s top intelligence agencies view as an elaborate “influence campaign” ordered by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia aimed at skewing the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

Why Employers Are Rolling Back Raises

Just a few weeks ago, over four million Americans were poised to benefit from new overtime regulations at the start of the new year. The new rule—which would require time-and-a-half pay for those working more than 40 hours a week—was part of an executive order signed by President Obama in 2016. The order would have effectively doubled the salary threshold for mandatory overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476—forcing employers to either pay many more workers overtime, or bump their salaries beyond the reach of the threshold. But with a new administration poised to take over, it looks like many of those workers won’t be getting higher pay after all.

Virginia Congressman Behind Ethics Rollback Attempt Accused of Conflict of Interest Over Pipeline

US Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, led a surprise effort this week to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), giving no advance notice about the proposed changes and allowing no debate on his measure before putting it up for a secret-ballot vote. The OCE was created in 2008 following corruption scandals resulting in prison sentences for three congressmen.

An Intelligence Report That Will Change No One’s Mind

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its most detailed report on alleged Russian hacking aimed at interfering with the presidential election on Friday.

The 25-page report states that the CIA, FBI, and NSA have concluded that Russia was behind a series of attacks, as well as disinformation disseminated via various media, with the goal of undermining faith in U.S. elections and harming Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects and her prospective administration. They have concluded, however, that there was no meddling in vote tallying.

Did Putin Direct Russian Hacking? And Other Big Questions

In a “declassified version of a highly classified assessment” released on Friday January 6, the U.S. intelligence community laid out its judgment that “Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” with the specific goal of harming Hillary Clinton’s “electability and potential presidency.” The report went on: “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

Planned Parenthood Supporters Brought Petitions To Paul Ryan. They Got A Locked Door

WASHINGTON ― Planned Parenthood supporters tried to deliver petitions with thousands of names to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday, urging him not to defund the reproductive health care provider.

They were greeted by Capitol police and a locked door.

The women’s health care advocates hoped to present Ryan with 87,000 petitions opposing his announcement Thursday that Republicans will defund Planned Parenthood as part of their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

DNI report: Overwhelming case proves Russian hacking, but there’s no smoking gun

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released its official report on the alleged Russian hacking efforts directed against the 2016 presidential election. It is a report that, like so much of the case indicating Russian culpability, contains an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence — but there’s still no smoking gun.

“‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’ is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment that has been provided to the President and to recipients approved by the President,” the report begins. Perhaps anticipating that its lack of conclusive evidence proving Russian involvement would be seized upon by critics, the authors explain that “the Intelligence Community rarely can publicly reveal the full extent of its knowledge or the precise bases for its assessments” for fear that future investigations could be compromised.

Virginia county approves massive natural gas compressor over community outrage

A $5-billion, 600-mile, multi-state natural gas pipeline project cleared another hurdle Thursday evening, when the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors in Virginia approved an application to build a compressor station.

If constructed, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), proposed by the energy company Dominion, will run from eastern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to North Carolina and Virginia. But the project faces major public opposition — even in Buckingham County, where Thursday’s meeting dragged on for five hours, and many residents testified in opposition.

Fears that UK is heading towards 'train crash' Brexit

Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s new permanent representative in Brussels, faces the daunting task of stopping what colleagues and critics suspect is a tumble towards a disorderly exit from the European Union.

Where once the choice was between hard and soft Brexit, the new worry in diplomatic and business circles is that the UK is heading for “train crash” Brexit, a scenario in which incompatible negotiating demands from Downing Street and the other 27 member states result in Britain walking away without a deal on either the terms of separation or future trading relations with the EU.

An Intelligence Report That Will Change No One’s Mind

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its most detailed report on alleged Russian hacking aimed at interfering with the presidential election on Friday.

The 25-page report states that the CIA, FBI, and NSA have concluded that Russia was behind a series of attacks, as well as disinformation disseminated via various media, with the goal of undermining faith in U.S. elections and harming Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects and her prospective administration. They have concluded, however, that there was no meddling in vote tallying.

Paul Ryan Reveals Why Republicans Have A Big Obamacare Repeal Problem

Sometimes the most clarifying statements in politics are the ones that make no sense.

A case in point was something that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Wednesday, during a press conference on Capitol Hill. The subject was Obamacare, which Republicans consider one of history’s great disasters, and their effort to repeal it quickly now that Donald Trump is about to become president.

Federal government’s refusal to let widow into Canada 'out of line'

For 18 months, Christopher Campbell-Durufle has been trying to convince immigration officials that his mother-in-law in Colombia is a legitimate traveller with no intent to overstay her welcome in Canada.

Since 2015 the Toronto man has made three failed attempts to help Ofelia Chavez Ruiz obtain a visitor visa to see him and his wife but could not figure out the reasons for the rejections, which occurred despite documentation showing the 76-year-old woman’s strong ties — and desire to return — to her homeland.

The Brutal (and Fact-Checked) Numbers on Killing Obamacare

Donald Trump and congressional Republicans emerged victorious in November thanks in part to their repeated denunciations of Obamacare. At a rally in July, Trump noted the efficacy of attacks on the Affordable Care Act: "One of the things that gets constantly…the biggest applause is a repeal and replacement of Obamacare." Since the election, some Republican lawmakers have softened their stance a bit, suggesting that Obamacare may simply be "scaled back." But there's little doubt that they will still make a show of upholding their promise to chip away at, if not totally repeal, Obamacare. Trump, who once advocated universal health coverage, has said he will replace the existing plan with "something terrific," though he has yet to offer a serious alternative.

Canada Headed For Decades Of Deficits, Finance Department Projects

OTTAWA — Federal numbers released quietly by the government late last month are painting a bleak picture of Canada's financial future — one filled with decades of deficits.

The report, published on the Finance Department website two days before Christmas, predicts that barring any policy changes the federal government could be on track to run annual shortfalls until at least 2050-51.

Ece Heper, Canadian Woman, Arrested In Turkey For Allegedly Insulting President

A Canadian woman has been arrested in Turkey for allegedly insulting the country's president in comments posted on Facebook, her Turkish lawyer said Thursday.

Ece Heper, 50, was arrested in the city of Kars in northeastern Turkey, and charged on Dec. 30, Sertac Celikkaleli told The Canadian Press.

Heper, a dual Canadian-Turkish citizen, had been in the country since mid-November, according to her friends.

Why Tom Perez Is a Strong Competitor Against Keith Ellison in the Democratic Party Racerogressive clash.

Progressive Democrats gazing upon the fight for the leadership of their party ought to be delighted. The two leading candidates for chair of the Democratic National Committee—Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Labor Secretary Tom Perez—are each battle-hardened and experienced progressives with much to offer their partisan comrades. Yet the contest for the DNC's top post has widely been cast as a clash between wings of the party, with Ellison as the champion of the insurgent left and Perez as the candidate of the establishment. That depiction misrepresents the face-off and fixates on the wrong question: who has better progressive street cred? With the Democrats deep in the hole—a minority in both houses of Congress, out of the White House, holding only 16 governor slots and merely 31 of 99 state legislative chambers, and lacking a deep bench or a flock of rising stars—the tussle for DNC chief ought to focus on who can best do the nuts-and-bolts job of rebuilding the party from the ground level.

Rush To Repeal Obamacare Draws Warning From Another GOP Senator

More Republicans are expressing anxiety over plans to repeal Obamacare before reaching agreement on a replacement plan.

And now one GOP senator has said clearly the two steps should happen simultaneously.

The senator is Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and during an interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press Daily” on Thursday, he said, “I think when we repeal Obamacare, we need to have the solution in place moving forward.”

The Astonishing Transformation of Julian Assange

It’s not that unusual for a public figure to go from hero to villain. But going from villainy to heroism? That’s a tougher road to traverse.

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and central figure, has managed to do both over the last few months, culminating in a remarkable embrace by the president-elect two longtime critics on the American right, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin. Over the same time, some of Assange’s erstwhile champions on the American left have drifted away, disillusioned by the way WikiLeaks attacked Hillary Clinton during the presidential election. Has Assange changed, or is his rehabilitation on the right, and his loss of esteem on the left, simply a factor of political exigencies within the United States? The answer is a little bit of both.

 Why Workers Everywhere Should Be Scared by Kentucky’s Assault on Unions

“A lot of working people voted for change in this election,” argued Bill Finn, the director of the Kentucky State Building and Construction Trades Council, as Kentucky legislators were shredding labor rights in the Bluegrass State. “They didn’t vote for this. They didn’t vote for a pay cut.”

Finn got that right. Kentucky Republicans launched the new year with a race to enact sweeping anti-labor legislation, and they weren’t concerning themselves with the question of whether they had a mandate to assault labor unions and undermine wages and workplace protections. They are moving immediately, aggressively, and thoroughly to implement an across-the-board assault on workers and the unions that represent them.

How Paul Ryan Won Over Every House Republican (Except For One)

WASHINGTON ― In October 2015, with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) vowing that he would restore regular order and give members more control over the House, nine Republicans ― 10, if you count one member abstaining ― said no to Ryan becoming speaker.

On Tuesday, only one Republican voted against him.

When the House GOP held their internal elections behind closed doors in November, at least four conservative lawmakers left the room so they wouldn’t have to audibly register their discontent with the speaker. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) went into an antechamber of the sprawling Ways and Means Committee room and waited until the vote was over.

Paul Ryan: We’ll Defund Planned Parenthood In Our Obamacare Repeal Bill, Too

WASHINGTON ― With so much attention on GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare this month, there’s a detail to their plan that may slip under the radar: Their bill will strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, too.

“Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said during a Thursday press conference, referring to the process Republicans are using to pass an Obamacare repeal bill with a simple majority of votes instead of a supermajority, which means Democrats can’t filibuster it in the Senate.