They Were Republicans

Had an interesting conversation a few months ago with a couple of folks who had worked for several previous administrations. In LA people can talk about the film industry. In Vegas, it’s the Casinos. In Washington, there are a lot of folks who stay around after serving positions in the Government – so depending on whether you are in a room with DoD and Military people – or a group of Beltway Bandits and Civilian Agency people… It seems that everyone has some experience in – or with one or more parts of the Federal Government.

There is an “inside the Beltway” – it is just not the “groupthink” campaigning politicians try and stereotype it as.

So…the discussion…

What happened to the Republicans? Where did they go?

Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R) wonders the same thing -

Former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel: Republican Party Has ‘An Astounding Lack Of Responsible Leadership’

Former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE) can’t muster any praise for his Republican colleagues’ behavior in Congress over the past few months. In an interview with the Financial Times, Hagel blasted GOP leadership for their “irresponsible actions” during the debt ceiling debacle, noting that “I think about some of the presidents we’ve had on my side of the aisle — Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr., go right through them, Eisenhower — they would be stunned.”

“Disgusted” with the debt ceiling negotiations, Hagel called it “an astounding lack of responsible leadership by many in the Republican party, and I say that as a Republican.” “Does anyone not believe what’s happened here the last couple weeks in the market was not a complete, direct result of the lack of confidence that came out of that folly, that embarrassment?” he asked. Watch it:

Asked about Tea Party influence, Hagel said the Republican party is too captive to a movement that is “very ideological” and “very narrow.” “I’ve never seen so much intolerance as I’ve seen today,” he said. Later surveying the GOP 2012 field, Hagel said the party may need to rebuild, agreeing that Republicans are now “too far to the right.”

 

 

Time to Clean House, and Senate

Repeat After Me - Tax Cuts Make You Fly!

In what has already become the most disastrous failure of the American political system in history, political extremism in this country may well have killed the fatted calf of the American economy. The only question I have at this point is WTF were those folks in Wisconsin thinking – who only threw ot 2 of the 6 nutjobs bent on converting the state to a simulacrum of Nazi Germany,

Politicians depend on the American public to have a short memory. So unless thanger felt by the electorate in this poll converts into some sort of action in the streets…

It’s likelythat the same old failures will be in the same old jobs come 2012.

CNN Poll: Time to clean house in Congress?

Need more evidence that Americans are extremely angry at Congress?

Well, here you go: According to a new national survey, for the first time ever most Americans don’t believe their own member of Congress deserves re-election.

Read full results (pdf).

And the CNN/ORC International Poll released Tuesday also indicates that while Republicans may have had the upper hand in the recent battle over raising the debt ceiling, they appear to have lost a lot of ground with the public and the party’s unfavorable rating is now at an all time high.

Only 41 percent of people questioned say the lawmaker in their district in the U.S. House of Representatives deserves to be re-elected – the first time ever in CNN polling that that figure has dropped below 50 percent. Forty-nine percent say their representative doesn’t deserve to be re-elected in 2012. And with ten percent unsure, it’s the first time that a majority has indicated that they would boot their representative out of office if they had the chance today.

“That 41 percent, in the polling world, is an amazing figure. Throughout the past two decades, in good times and bad, Americans have always liked their own member of Congress despite abysmal ratings for Congress in general,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Now anti-incumbent sentiment is so strong that most Americans are no longer willing to give their own representative the benefit of the doubt.  If that holds up, it could be an early warning of an electorate that is angrier than any time in living memory.” Continue reading

“A Sugar Coated Satan Sandwich”

Hopefully, they will shoot this bill down today…

Debt Deal Emerging With Rightward Tilt

President Barack Obama’s rightward lurch to reach a $3 trillion deficit reduction deal with no guarantee of additional revenues had liberals fuming and Republicans all but declaring victory Sunday afternoon.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said early reports of the new deal appeared to be “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.” The Missouri Democrat said the CBC hadn’t yet made a formal declaration that the group would oppose it, “but this is a shady bill.”

“This deal trades people’s livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it,” ripped Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, before House Democrats had even been briefed. “The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want.”

The President Surrenders

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.

The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.

Indeed, slashing spending while the economy is depressed won’t even help the budget situation much, and might well make it worse. On one side, interest rates on federal borrowing are currently very low, so spending cuts now will do little to reduce future interest costs. On the other side, making the economy weaker now will also hurt its long-run prospects, which will in turn reduce future revenue. So those demanding spending cuts now are like medieval doctors who treated the sick by bleeding them, and thereby made them even sicker.

And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.

 

America…Sold Down the River on Debt Deal

Thanks President Obama – for selling America down the river…

Again.

All bow down at the altar of conservative intransigence.

What next? You going to cave on bringing back slavery?

To Escape Chaos, a Terrible Deal

There is little to like about the tentative agreement between Congressional leaders and the White House except that it happened at all. The deal would avert a catastrophic government default, immediately and probably through the end of 2012. The rest of it is a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists. It will hurt programs for the middle class and poor, and hinder an economic recovery.

It is not yet set in stone, and there may still be time to make it better. But in the end, most Democrats will have no choice but to swallow their fury, accept the deal, and, we hope, fight harder the next time.

For weeks, ever since House Republicans said they would not raise the nation’s debt ceiling without huge spending cuts, Democrats have held out for a few basic principles. There must be new tax revenues in the mix so that the wealthy bear a share of the burden and Medicare cannot be affected.

Those principles were discarded to get a deal that cuts about $2.5 trillion from the deficit over a decade. The first $900 billion to a trillion will come directly from domestic discretionary programs (about a third of it from the Pentagon) and will include no new revenues. The next $1.5 trillion will be determined by a “supercommittee” of 12 lawmakers that could recommend revenues, but is unlikely to do so since half its members will be Republicans…

This for you, President Obama. Buy your own damn gold frame…

Official President Obama Yellowback Donkey Award

Who Made the Debt, Again?

At last – a clear answer to “Who made this mess.”

It was Bush, and the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans trashed America’s economy, and conservative policies have been a disaster since Raygun.

24editorial_graph2-popup.gif

 

How the Deficit Got This Big

With President Obama and Republican leaders calling for cutting the budget by trillions over the next 10 years, it is worth asking how we got here — from healthy surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and the promise of future surpluses, to nine straight years of deficits, including the $1.3 trillion shortfall in 2010. The answer is largely the Bush-era tax cuts, war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recessions.

Despite what antigovernment conservatives say, non-defense discretionary spending on areas like foreign aid, education and food safety was not a driving factor in creating the deficits. In fact, such spending, accounting for only 15 percent of the budget, has been basically flat as a share of the economy for decades. Cutting it simply will not fill the deficit hole….

First, the Bush tax cuts have had a huge damaging effect. If all of them expired as scheduled at the end of 2012, future deficits would be cut by about half, to sustainable levels. Second, a healthy budget requires a healthy economy; recessions wreak havoc by reducing tax revenue. Government has to spur demand and create jobs in a deep downturn, even though doing so worsens the deficit in the short run. Third, spending cuts alone will not close the gap. The chronic revenue shortfalls from serial tax cuts are simply too deep to fill with spending cuts alone. Taxes have to go up.

Hey Cantor! Know When to Fold ‘Em!

Some 71% of Americans disapprove of Congressional Republicans’ handling of the debt crisis, while just 21% support the GOP’s efforts, a CBS News poll finds. Congressional Democrats fare better, but only slightly so: 58% disapprove of their work on the issue; 31% approve. President Obama gets the best poll numbers of all the players, but his 48% disapproval figure remains larger than his approval rating, at 43%.

71% Disapprove of GOP’s Debt Efforts

Republicans Cripple American Credit Rating

Conservative Screw America... Again.

In a continuing effort to save corporations and rich individuals from paying their fair share of taxes under the misguided conservative maximum that making the rich richer makes them buy more Bentlys …

Republicans have already damaged America’s Credit Rating. Moody’s has announced it will downgrade the US’s credit rating based on the fact that irrational whackjobs like the Tea Baggers can cause a default – even if there is not actual underlying or precipitating crisis.

I hope it was worth driving your average American’s Mortgage interest up a point for conservative “principles”.

Moody’s: Abolish the debt limit

The United States should do away with the debt ceiling altogether to bring greater certainty to investors in U.S. Treasury bonds, Moody’s suggested Monday.

With the August 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling barely more than two weeks away, the bond-rating agency issued a report Monday noting that the U.S. is one of just a few countries that has a statutory borrowing limit and saying that the limit creates “periodic uncertainty” for investors, Reuters reported.

Moody’s threatened last week to downgrade the AAA rating of the U.S. government if it is unable to meet its debt obligations next month and perhaps even if Congress and the White House are able to reach a deal.

In the past, Moody’s has considered the risk of U.S. default on its debts very low because Congress has routinely approved hikes to the debt limit, but with negotiations between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans at an impasse, the agency is less confident.

“The current wide divisions between the House of Representatives and the Obama administration over the debt limit creates a high level of uncertainty and causes us to raise our assessment of event risk,” analyst Steven Hess wrote in the report.

But, he said, “We would reduce our assessment of event risk if the government changed its framework for managing government debt to lessen or eliminate that uncertainty.”

Rather than continuing to use the debt ceiling in an effort to keep U.S. borrowing down, the government should look toward Chile, Moody’s suggested. There, “the level of deficits is constrained by a ‘fiscal rule,’ which means the rise in debt is constrained though not technically limited.” Chile is considered to be Latin America’s most fiscally sound country.

And, the report noted, it’s not like the debt ceiling has been effective in keeping U.S. debt down: Congress has in the past raised it often and has not linked it to spending levels.

This from the other major rating firm, Standard and Poor -

U.S. warned of possible downgrade

U.S. lawmakers got another stern warning from a leading credit rating agency on Thursday that there is now a very real possibility that the country’s top-notch credit rating could be downgraded in the next three months.
Standard & Poors said in a statement it was placing the United States’ sovereign rating on “CreditWatch with negative implications.”
“[O]wing to the dynamics of the political debate on the debt ceiling, there is at least a one-in-two likelihood that we could lower the long-term rating on the U.S. within the next 90 days,” the agency said in a statement.

Tim Scott – The “Smart” Black Republican… Gets Stupid

Congressman Tim Scott of South Carolina has been hailed by many as the “smart” black Republican so far, for his refusal to prostitute himself with the sort of Lawn Jockey antics of Alan West of Florida – or Herman Cain.

Here, he jumps off a cliff, claiming he would seek to impeach President Obama for following the 14th Amendment.

THAT’s STOOOOOOOOPID!

And Tim Scott should have the IQ not to go there.

Whether the disputed clause in the 14th Amendment -

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law…shall not be questioned.”

is applicable or not is a Constitutional question. In no way, other than in the most brain dead brainwashed conservatives fecund imagination does a Constitutional interpretation issue between the Executive and Legislature reach the “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” bar set for the impeachment of a elected Federal Official…

However – trying to short circuit that conduct of legitimate business by the Government through the illegal and baseless threat of Impeachment…

Might.

President Obama… Is That a Spine?

Increasingly frustrated with Republican obstructionism, President Obama is finally doing something he should have been doing all along…

Getting out that rhetorical 2 x 4.

President Obama lashes out at Republicans: Raise taxes for the rich, don’t cut services for middle class

President Obama ratcheted up rhetoric in the heated deficit talks Saturday, challenging Republicans to support students and seniors rather than the rich.

Obama acknowledged that tough choices would be required as the budget deadline approached – and drew a stark contrast between the alleged priorities of the two parties.

“Now, it would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them,” said Obama in his weekly radio address. “Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help – then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else.”

Obama echoed his frustrated remarks from his press conference last week, saying that sacrifices would be forced onto the backs of the less-fortunate if the Republicans would not consider taxes on the wealthy.

“We’ve got to say to a student, ‘You don’t get a college scholarship,’” he said. “We have to say to a medical researcher, ‘You can’t do that cancer research.’ We might have to tell seniors, ‘You have to pay more for Medicare.’”

“That isn’t right and it isn’t smart,” Obama said.

The President praised the first round of bipartisan deficit talks – led by Vice President Biden - that identified $1 trillion in possible cuts.

But negotiations stalled last week after Republicans refused to consider any tax increases. The Senate cancelled a planned recess next week to keep budget talks alive.

Federal officials said that he nation will reach its debt ceiling in early August and would no longer be able to borrow money to keep the government working. White House officials have said a preliminary deal must be reached by July 22 to guarantee there would not be a shutdown.

I don’t believe you wanna get up and dance…

14th Amendment to The Rescue? Debt Ceiling…

Sweet Justice that the Amendment to the Constitution granting full citizenship rights to former slaves, which yesteryear’s Republicans passed, and is stoutly opposed by todays perverted version of Republicans who wish they could repeal it.

May again save the Union…

Digging Out of the Mess Republican Conservatism Created

This time from modern day Republicans bent on destroying the country.

14th Amendment: Democratic Senators See Debt Ceiling As Unconstitutional

Growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for a deal that would raise the debt ceiling, Democratic senators are revisiting a solution to the crisis that rests on a simple proposition: The debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned,” reads the 14th Amendment.

“This is an issue that’s been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. “I don’t think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I’ll tell you that it’s going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, ‘Is there some way to save us from ourselves?’”

By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that the constitutional solution puts the question in its proper context — that the debate is over paying past debts, not over future spending.

“The way everybody talks about this is that we need to raise the debt ceiling. What we’re really saying is, ‘We have to pay our bills,’” Murray said. The 14th Amendment approach is “fascinating,” she added.

The White House referred questions on the constitutionality of the debt ceiling to the Treasury Department. Treasury declined to comment…

The 14th Amendment became law in the wake of the Civil War, pushed by a Republican Congress eager to extend citizenship rights to freed slaves. But it also included a section dealing with federal debt: The government wanted to make clear to the market that even though loans to the Confederacy would not be paid back, any loans made to the U.S. government were still good.

In 1935, the Supreme Court held that despite the Civil War context, the amendment clearly referred to all federal debt.

“While [the 14th Amendment] was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation,” the majority wrote in Perry v. U.S. “We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression ‘the validity of the public debt’ as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations.”

The law at issue, which tried to override the validity of a bond offering, “went beyond the congressional power,” the Court ruled, setting a precedent that has not been overturned.

Because the government borrows based on its full faith, Congress doesn’t have the authority to undermine that confidence by reneging on its obligation to its lenders, the ruling declared.

“To say that the Congress may withdraw or ignore that pledge is to assume that the Constitution contemplates a vain promise; a pledge having no other sanction than the pleasure and convenience of the pledgor,” reads the opinion, delivered by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. “This Court has given no sanction to such a conception of the obligations of our government.”

President Barack Obama, who taught constitutional law, hasn’t been afraid to assert executive authority. Most recently, he issued what amounted to a legal analysis defending the White House position that the military’s operations in Libya were not in violation of the War Powers Act…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers