Sen. Richard Burr

Richard Mauze Burr (born November 30, 1955) is the senior United States Senator from North Carolina. A Republican, Burr represented North Carolina's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives for five terms, and was elected to represent North Carolina as a U.S. Senator in the 2004 election.

Do-nothing Burr inadvertently exposes danger of not expanding Medicaid

Getting his rhetorical wires crossed:

"Today our biggest challenge is to keep delivery points in place," said Burr, noting that four community hospitals in Georgia had closed and rural N.C. hospitals in Pungo and Wilson were facing operating deficits. While lamenting the challenges hospitals face, he also re-emphasized his support for the state's decision to not expand eligibility for Medicaid, the government program designed to pay for care for the poor and disabled.

Several legislators challenged him on the seemingly discordant stances, given that North Carolina's hospitals had lobbied for the expansion as a vehicle for new revenue to offset the cuts in reimbursements under the Affordable Care Act.

The bottom line is, Republicans knew well ahead of time that not expanding Medicaid would cause huge problems for patients and providers, problems they counted on to derail the Affordable Care Act. And as far as Burr pointing to problems in Georgia:

Richard Burr's staff block reporter from econ development meeting

But she was offered a sandwich as a consolation prize:

Of course, when a U.S. senator comes to town, you want to hear from him. And since Burr’s office had sent out his schedule in a “media advisory,” we at the Post figured that wouldn’t be a problem. We were wrong.

When a Post reporter arrived just before the luncheon was about to start, she was met by Robert Van Geons, director of RowanWorks, the local EDC. “Who invited you?” Van Geons asked the reporter. Her editor, she replied.

Van Geons informed the reporter this was a private event and she couldn’t come in, a decision he apparently confirmed with Burr’s people. She was, however, welcome to take some photos beforehand and have a sandwich before leaving. No thanks, the reporter said.

I'm sure Burr's office will try to spin this as simply a "misunderstanding" by a young staffer, just as I'm sure everybody will forget when the Teflon Senator comes up for re-election. But this kind of exclusivity and dodging public scrutiny is sickening.

Burr gets owned by Canadian doctor

What happens when a lawn mower salesman debates an MD:

“On average, how many Canadian patients on a waiting list die each year? Do you know?” Republican Senator Richard Burr asked at the end of a prickly exchange with Dr. Danielle Martin, vice president of Medical Affairs at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital.

“I don’t, sir, but I know that there are 45,000 in America who die waiting because they don’t have insurance at all,” she said.

Ouch. Burr may need to see a trauma specialist after that one...

Burr and company using bogus stinktank to bolster ACA alternative

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma published a press release yesterday, touting that something called the "Center for Health Economy" gave a glowing review to the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It's been picked up by several Tea Bagger and conservative sites.

If you'll recall, Burr, Hatch and Coburn recently introduced this legislation as part of the party's "all Obamacare, all the time" campaign for the midterm elections.

I've done some Google searching and, for the life of me, I can't find anything at all about the "Center for Health Economy". It's only when you go to the website for the release, you find out the proper name of it is the "Center for Heath and Economy" and, Googling that, you discover it's a stinktank started by a Republican operative a few weeks ago and funded by the Republicans.

Sen. Burr co-sponsors healthcare bill repealing ACA

From The Hill:

Three senior Senate Republicans on Monday proposed an alternative to ObamaCare that would replace “job-crushing” federal mandates with a voluntary system led by the states.

The legislative blueprint from Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would eliminate all of the healthcare law’s federal rules, including the unpopular requirement to purchase insurance under the threat of penalty.

But the GOP proposal, known as the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility and Empowerment (CARE) Act, would also weaken one of ObamaCare’s most popular provisions, by giving insurers an opening to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

Burr tries to flog the Benghazi dead horse

Apparently "feelings" are now a credible intelligence resource:

This bipartisan report is a step forward in our understanding of these events, but should not by any means be viewed as a final verdict. To the extent this report is incomplete, it is not due to the Committee's unwillingness to investigate, but the State Department's intransigence.

Despite the Committee's best efforts to investigate all relevant threads of information, I still feel strongly that there remains a disappointing lack of accountability. It is my hope that this bipartisan report will serve as a foundation to continue the discussion and search for answers."

Of course it could have been avoided. This was not a natural catastrophe, it was man-made, and any such situation would have different outcomes if behaviors had been different. But serving in any capacity (journalism, NGO volunteer, diplomatic corps, etc.) in a post-war, post-revolution environment is inherently dangerous. And Republicans' obsession with this particular incident, which had a relatively small loss of life (not downplaying it, it's a fact), is drawing attention away from numerous other threats that still exist. And that negligence rests safely on the backs of those who are trying to generate political capital from what happened in Benghazi.

Dick Burr goes after Federal government employee pensions

Let them eat cat food when they retire:

Republican Sen. Richard Burr has reintroduced a bill that would end pensions for new federal employees. Burr had sponsored a similar bill in 2011 but it didn't very go far in the Democratic Senate.

So Burr and Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia have reintroduced the measure that would end pensions for new employees but would would allow federal employees to start Thrift Savings Plan, which is the equivalent to a 401 (k) plan paid for by the government and 3 percent employer match. Federal employees could keep their current pensions.

3 percent? Really? That's supposed to be "in line" with the private sector? The private sector in Somalia, maybe. Make no mistake, this isn't as much about attacking government as it is Burr trying to line the pockets of all his donors in the pension fund industry. I'm sure he's got a short list of those to put forward if this plan ever makes it out of the Senate.


Received a call from my Dad this evening. He mentioned that he tried to email Richard Burr's office this evening but the website had all but shuttered. I checked it out, and sure enough, it's still basically nonfunctional. There is a message about the shutdown, a phone number, and his D.C. mailing address, but that's it.

At first I thought this seemed extreme but reasonable. The staff is probably pretty thin and maybe they are all doing this. Then I checked out Kay Hagan's website and guess what? Fully functional, email and everything.

Burr nails it; Tillis fails it

I'm not a member of the Richard Burr fan club, but when you're right, you're right, and Senator Burr got it right this time:

"I think it's [shutting down the federal government to de-fund Obamacare] the dumbest idea I've ever heard of," Burr said. "Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president, the Affordable Care Act is going to be law."

Tricky Thom Tillis, though, was (surprise!) evasive. After railing against Obamacare to incite his extremist base, Tillis showed that he is thoroughly unprepared to be a US Senator with his non-answer:

NC's Burr signs on to nut job law prohibiting any worker protections

Demonstrating that extremist nut-job ideas aren't isolated to the Pope-Koch North Carolina legislature, North Carolina's Senator Richard Burr has joined with many members of his Republican caucus and signed on as a sponsor of something called the “Enumerated Powers Act of 2013".

What the heck?

Well, it's another one of those attempts by the Tea Bagging extremist Republicans to "return" the US to it's Constitutional roots. ThinkProgress has the scoop.

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