Archive for July 24th, 2011

24
Jul
11

‘where things stand’

Steve Benen: …. as Sunday winds down, there’s no end in sight to the Republican-generated crisis ….Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is stepping up, preparing his own creative plan:

Mr. Reid … was trying Sunday to cobble together a plan to raise the government’s debt limit by $2.4 trillion through the 2012 election, with spending cuts of about $2.5 trillion. He would seek to avoid cuts to entitlement programs, but it was unclear how those savings would be achieved … Notably, the plan does not currently contain any new or increased taxes, an approach that many in his caucus would probably balk at.

At first blush, it may sound crazy that Reid would present a “compromise” with $2.5 trillion in cuts with no additional revenue – in effect, a plan that could have been crafted by Republicans weeks ago – but in Reid’s defense, it’s worth emphasizing that the Majority Leader probably counts half of those savings (at least) from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In general, Republicans don’t consider cuts to be cuts unless working people are suffering in some direct way, so his approach isn’t likely to go over well, but if GOP officials want a $2.5 trillion plan with no revenues, Reid is prepared to give them one. Add it to the list of possible ways out.

….. in the meantime, Wall Street is gearing up for a very busy morning:

U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will slump after rallying within 1.4 percent of a three-year high, as President Barack Obama and Congress failed to reach an agreement on raising the federal debt limit, intensifying concern of a default…..

I’d note for context that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both closed at roughly at three-year highs on Friday. Republicans will likely wipe out those gains very quickly.

Full post here

24
Jul
11

latest…

Thanks Bob

24
Jul
11

50

Full interview at NPR

Thanks COS

24
Jul
11

‘we the people are with you, mr president’

Dear Mr President,

As you well know, President Lincoln had these words for the US Congress in 1865:

The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes…. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high
places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong it’s reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

What irony that the Republic’s first black President is the person called upon to defend everything that our Founder’s crafted and that 235 years of patriots have strived to achieve.

What irony that the Republic’s first black President now confronts the ‘party of Lincoln’ as it unabashedly strives to do what Jefferson Davis and his treasonous bandits failed to accomplish during their attempt to not just preserve enslavement but render the Republic a defunct democracy and, thereby, comprehensively deny the inalienable rights of each person irrespective of the color of their skin, their personal faith, their economic status.

Yes, President Obama, it comes to this moment that a non-white American citizen, a multi-cultural, empathetic, brilliant human being, a community organizer and eloquent statesman, a scholar and an internationally recognized champion of all that is the essence of the human spirit – it comes to you to lead America from the brink of the most concerted, vastly funded onslaught of all that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution represent.

You have millions of your fellow citizens standing with you. No poll. No analysis. No pundit. No one can obscure for you the fact that WE THE PEOPLE are with you, Mr. President.

If we now face the 21st Century equivalent of January 1861, if we now face the 21st Century equivalent of April 12, 1861, Mr President, millions of Americans stand with you to preserve the Republic from the totally obvious threat by the very, very few ultra-wealthy, and ironically yet again, the under-educated, fear-driven, pitiful bigoted few whom enabled the destruction of the ‘party of Lincoln’ and replaced it with a pack of treasonous barbarians too inept to realize that in serving their ultra-wealthy, skillfully manipulative masters they are witless slaves – at least the slaves Lincoln and the Republic were trying to free knew they were slave. Oh, the irony.

Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

Bob

****

Sent by Bob to President Obama via the White House online form

24
Jul
11

is treason the word?

Washington Post (Thank you Ladyhawke)

July 19

****

Thom Anderson (SCNow.com): “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

That is the oath that members of the United States Congress, both houses, take as they begin their duties. Sounds good, but a majority in this Congress put an asterisk on it. Maybe they had their fingers crossed as they recited the oath.

The asterisk concerns a pledge, developed in the ‘80s by a 20-something fellow named Grover Norquist, who grew up rich and privileged, received two degrees from the dreaded Harvard, and then went directly into partisan, highly ideological company in the Reagan White House where he got the “inspiration” for the oath. An Internet search indicates he has never worked in the “real America” that right-wingers so revere, only in strong ideological company.

… When they sign this pledge, politicians promise that under no circumstance, not war, not danger of the government defaulting on legally and properly owed debt, not danger that the infrastructure will crumble us into Third World status, will they tolerate an increase in government revenue….

In other words, when these politicians swore before God and their country that they take their obligations “freely” and “without any mental reservation,” they were not truthful. How can they claim to face their obligations in Congress freely when they have made a prior pledge they consider unbreakable not to do certain things? They can’t.

…. This pledge of which most voters are unaware has been taken by some Congressmen since the 1980s. It was a major reason that a “conservative” president and Congress not only failed to pay for a war that has gone sour but cut taxes as they entered it, turning an inherited surplus into a huge deficit.

They also added an expensive Medicare drug benefit without funding, further increasing the deficit. This higher cost they created, they now use as an excuse to scrap Medicare.

Also, you wouldn’t pick a music-hater to conduct an orchestra. Why pick a government-hater to run your country? When electing people who are against government, think of Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. They don’t have real governments.

Full article here – thanks again Ladyhawke

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Let’s never forget, Norquist is the traitor Firedogfake’s Hamsher teamed up with when they campaigned together for the resignation of Rahm Emanuel:

Kevin Drum (Mother Jones, December 2009): Apparently Jane Hamsher has decided that a healthcare bill that provides a trillion dollars worth of benefit to low and middle income workers is so odious that mere opposition isn’t enough. Nor is opposition that increasingly employs the worst kind of right-wing talking points. No, it’s so odious that it deserves a scorched earth campaign against the Obama White House in partnership with Grover Norquist. Hard to know what to say about this. What’s next? A joint Twitter campaign with Sarah Palin? A letter writing campaign cosponsored by Richard Viguerie? A joint lawsuit with Orly Taitz? Jeebus.

****

Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT): If China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage.

Well, wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists.

We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.

…. on this issue, many House Republicans aren’t serious, they’re just obsessive in a destructive way. The upshot is that in their effort to protect the American economy from debt, some of them are willing to drag it over the cliff of default.

…. Republican zeal to lower debts could result in increased interest expenses and higher debts. Their mania to save taxpayers could cost taxpayers. That suggests not governance so much as fanaticism.

More broadly, a default would leave America a global laughingstock. Our “soft power,” our promotion of democracy around the world, and our influence would all take a hit. The spectacle of paralysis in the world’s largest economy is already bewildering to many countries. If there is awe for our military prowess and delight in our movies and music, there is scorn for our political/economic management.

While one danger to national security comes from the risk of default, another comes from overzealous budget cuts — especially in education, at the local, state and national levels. When we cut to the education bone, we’re not preserving our future but undermining it.

… “The attack on literacy programs reflects a broader assault on education programs,” said Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic member of Congress from Connecticut. She notes that Republicans want to cut everything from early childhood programs to Pell grants for college students. Republican proposals have singled out some 43 education programs for elimination, but it’s not seen as equally essential to end tax loopholes on hedge fund managers.

So let’s remember not only the national security risks posed by Iran and Al Qaeda. Let’s also focus on the risks, however unintentional, from domestic zealots.

Full article here

24
Jul
11

the southern strategy, 2011

From the youtube channel PoliticalArticles




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