Archive for July, 2011

31
Jul
11

deal done

Details on the deal here

THE PRESIDENT:  Good evening.  There are still some very important votes to be taken by members of Congress, but I want to announce that the leaders of both parties, in both chambers, have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default — a default that would have had a devastating effect on our economy.

The first part of this agreement will cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years — cuts that both parties had agreed to early on in this process.  The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President — but at a level that still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research.  We also made sure that these cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on a fragile economy.

Now, I’ve said from the beginning that the ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balanced.  Despite what some Republicans have argued, I believe that we have to ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions.  Despite what some in my own party have argued, I believe that we need to make some modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to ensure that they’re still around for future generations.

That’s why the second part of this agreement is so important.  It establishes a bipartisan committee of Congress to report back by November with a proposal to further reduce the deficit, which will then be put before the entire Congress for an up or down vote.  In this stage, everything will be on the table. To hold us all accountable for making these reforms, tough cuts that both parties would find objectionable would automatically go into effect if we don’t act.  And over the next few months, I’ll continue to make a detailed case to these lawmakers about why I believe a balanced approach is necessary to finish the job.

Now, is this the deal I would have preferred?  No.  I believe that we could have made the tough choices required — on entitlement reform and tax reform — right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.  But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year.

Most importantly, it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America.  It ensures also that we will not face this same kind of crisis again in six months, or eight months, or 12 months.  And it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.

Now, this process has been messy; it’s taken far too long.  I’ve been concerned about the impact that it has had on business confidence and consumer confidence and the economy as a whole over the last month.  Nevertheless, ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise.  And I want to thank them for that.

Most of all, I want to thank the American people.  It’s been your voices — your letters, your emails, your tweets, your phone calls — that have compelled Washington to act in the final days. And the American people’s voice is a very, very powerful thing.

We’re not done yet.  I want to urge members of both parties to do the right thing and support this deal with your votes over the next few days.  It will allow us to avoid default.  It will allow us to pay our bills.  It will allow us to start reducing our deficit in a responsible way.  And it will allow us to turn to the very important business of doing everything we can to create jobs, boost wages, and grow this economy faster than it’s currently growing.

That’s what the American people sent us here to do, and that’s what we should be devoting all of our time to accomplishing in the months ahead.

Thank you very much, everybody.

President Obama smiles briefly while approaching the podium to speak in the briefing room at the White House about the debt negotiations, July 31

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Steve Benen: …. It’s done. It’s a deal. That doesn’t mean passage is a sure thing — nothing in this process is ever a sure thing — but the relevant players are on board.

… The Speaker clearly doesn’t love the plan, but in a hilarious twist, Boehner said failing to pass it would lead to a “job-killing default.” That would be the same default Boehner has been willing to pursue for the last several months.

The odds of passage in the Senate are much higher, though it’s unclear when that vote might occur and/or whether the Senate will wait for the House to act. The House remains a tougher lift, where a left-right coalition will make getting a majority very challenging.

…. To clarify something important, Boehner’s presentation gives the impression that new revenue is impossible under the bipartisan congressional commission. That’s false; new revenue is possible and will be a key goal of Democratic members. Whether the revenue is likely or not is a separate question, but for those who saw that and were concerned, Boehner’s claim is just factually wrong.

Full post here

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Greg Sargent (Washington Post): So the final deal has been announced, pending approval by the House, and one of the key new pieces of the compromise is that the Congressional committee tasked with coming up with a second round of spending cuts in exchange for the later debt ceiling hike would be forced to act by the new “trigger.” In the event that the committee deadlocks, that trigger would force an even division of non-defense and defense cuts, and since the latter is anathema to Republicans, they would not have any incentive to deliberately sabotage the committee in order to force the deep entitlements cuts they want.

The White House’s argument is that even if the deal is far short of what liberals hoped for, Republicans have effectively surrendered the amount of leverage they were expected to have over entitlements cuts. Now that the committee — which is half Republicans and Dems — will all but certainly advance a package of cuts in exchange for the later debt ceiling hike, the argument is that Dems can live to fight it out another day on entitlements.

The White House is also arguing that the deal sets the stage for a relitigation of the tax cut fight, and it’s now distributing talking points to outside allies that are heavily devoted to making that case on entitlement and taxes, an argument that seems designed to quiet angst and criticism among liberals….

Full post here

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A Word From Tally….

Nothing is agreed to until EVERYTHING is agreed to. The VOTE IS TOMORROW, so allowing your hair to be set on fire by the MSM, PL, & EmoProgs is POINTLESS.

While President Obama’s statement seems very reasonable, including TAXING THE F**KING RICH, I still believe there will be a CLEAN BILL, and that is what the goal is.

There is no time to write detail into any “agreement” they have floating around either house right now, much less read it, pass it around, and vote on it.

Much more importantly – the GOPTeaHadists will NEVER agree to a SuperCrongress, or any tax hike. NOT. F**KING. EVER.

A CLEAN BILL is an EPIC WIN no matter what the hysterical Pundit-Idocracy™ says.

How?

1. NO CUTS. Cuts of any kind would be deadly in this economy. F**k, we need to give money to the FAA at this point. 

2. No more holding the country hostage. This will be put to bed until 2013.

3. By doing nothing….. the BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE.

4. Obama can introduce an EPIC Infrastructure/Jobs bill that he can beat the GOP with from now until election day.

5. The GOP/TeaHadists have shown the world:

– just how much they hate America, their Government, their fellow countrymen, science, intelligence, math, and everything the Koch Bros tell them to.

– how insane they are.

– how willfully ignorant they are.

– how full of poison they are.

– how they are finishing the work of Bin Laden.

The Dems & POTUS are ALL well aware of this list. Everything that is happening now is theatre to allow the few adults who are left in the GOP to look respectable, and marginalize the Crazies®. So before you go jumping any Dem’s shit who votes the way you don’t like tomorrow – or think they should, or says something you don’t agree with – keep the above in mind. THAT IS THE PLAN.

And remember: Nothing is agreed to until EVERYTHING is agreed to.

Princess Potty Mouth Cassandra still says – CLEAN F**KING BILL.
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by Bobfr
Dear Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi,

At this point you and the President have done everything you possibly can given the Radical Republicans extortion tactics.

Please realize that millions of Americans are grateful.

Now, however, is the time to place the glaring light of accountability on the Radical Republicans.

Please request that the members of your respective Senate and House Democratic Caucus hold their vote until every Republican is on record with their vote. If the majority of Republicans in the Senate and House, respectively, do not support the legislation then please urge every member of your respective Caucus to vote NO.

If the Radical Republicans are not willing to overwhelmingly support the legislation they extorted then NO Democratic member of the House or Senate should support that legislation.

President Obama, duty sworn to protect and serve the Constitution, can act decisively through the Section 4 of the 14th Amendment and, even more importantly by his enforcing 31 USC 3103, to avoid default and protect the credibility of the USA.

But, under no circumstance, should the extortionists be allowed to prevail. If they are unwilling to overwhelmingly support the legislation their irresponsible actions forced to a vote, then no one should provide them any support.

Thank you,

Bob

Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

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Thanks Bob and Tally

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Craig Crawford: Why Obama Won Debt Deal – The President got what he most wanted, postponing another debt ceiling fight until after the election and without politically damaging entitlement cuts.

Everything else is eye wash. Most of the spending cuts are in the out years, which is another way of saying it won’t happen.

And one more committee to study cuts? Oh please, even if they call it a “super” committee that’s always a Capitol Hill euphemism for doing nothing. Adding so-called triggers for cuts if goals aren’t met also means nothing. Remember Gramm-Rudman?

Giving up tax increases on the wealthy is probably Obama’s biggest concession, but that fight lives for another day when the Bush cuts are scheduled to expire later on.

Even if liberals beat up the President for this deal, he wins. Nothing would help him more in his obvious effort to move to the center and appeal to independent voters for reelection.

Link

Thanks Cha

31
Jul
11

tick tock….

AP: “We don’t have a deal.” That’s what a top White House official said about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s claim that a bill to raise the debt ceiling is “very close.” Senior White House adviser David Plouffe told NBC’s Meet the Press that President Obama and the GOP are in general agreement on a package that would cut the deficit in two stages, but key details are still being worked out. Plouffe suggested that negotiations are still focused on how to get Congress to approve a deficit-cutting plan of tax and entitlement reform later this year.

31
Jul
11

nancy

Steve Benen: … the debate was fairly intense on the House floor anyway. The decorum and niceties that are generally common during congressional debates were forgotten, with many speakers finding themselves booed and derided by their rivals on the other side of the aisle.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stood out, however, for showing the kind of spirit that inspires confidence in her leadership.

…. Why did I like this so much? It’s not just the message, which happens to accurate. It’s also because Pelosi said something provocative, drew the disdain of her rivals, and said it again.

It was almost as if Pelosi were saying, “Oh, you didn’t like that one? Then let me repeat it for you.”

Update: I neglected to mention a point of context. Pelosi’s remarks came in defense of Reid’s plan to resolve the Republican debt-ceiling crisis. In other words, Pelosi was giving a speech in support of a conservative plan that cuts spending and doesn’t raise taxes, but was still booed by the GOP.

Full post here

31
Jul
11

progress

30
Jul
11

standing together

President Obama met with Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Saturday afternoon for an update on Capitol Hill debt negotiations, a White House official said. The meeting ended at 5:05 p.m.

30
Jul
11

‘all presidents should be so loved’

Jonathan Capehart (Washington Post): …. I want to dispute Peggy Noonan’s assertion that “nobody loves Obama” ….  she didn’t talk to my ex, Giuseppe, an Italian who came to this country to pursue the American Dream and fell head over heels for Barack Obama in 2007 …. Giuseppe has become my Obama barometer. If the president loses Giuseppe, he’s sunk.

Giuseppe remains firmly in the president’s corner. I asked him to read Noonan’s op-ed and to send me his reaction. Read it for yourself.

Don’t believe her!
    I LOVE the guy, and I LOVE the family.
    Instinctively. I connect to him like I have never connected with any politician EVER before . . . here or in Italy.
    The man could be my friend. He speaks my language, he is smart, he is funny. I could hang out with him any time. I feel I would talk to him or share my life with him like he was you, or Marques, or Willie, or Maurice or ada!
    I guess Noonan doesn’t know nobody like us! Or more simply she is just practicing the most popular sport among conservatives. . . . which is ganging up on him . . . cause he is too smart, real and genuine in a way that they could never be .. . .because they live in another reality, one that is shrinking up around them.
    It’s time for these people to start realizing that this country and this world do not revolve around them and that they DEFINITELY are NOT the future of this country! And what they believe in and want will matter less and less, it’s just a matter of time.

Giuseppe watched Obama slog through politically debilitating events such as health care, the gulf oil spill, the battle to end “don’t ask don’t tell” – and now this debt-ceiling fight that has the United States staring at default or downgrade or both for the first time in history. And his faith in the man has not wavered one bit.

All presidents should have such “grim support” or be so loved.

Full article here

Thanks Proud 😉

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Here’s another excellent piece from Capehart this week:

The headline of Jackie Calmes’s “White House Memo” today in the New York Times is a source of great consternation and agitation for me. “President on Sidelines in Critical Battle Over Debt Ceiling” reflects the Beltway meme that President Obama is invisible in this epic fight over raising the debt ceiling. That he was pushed off the stage by Congress to get this done. As the chatter in the echo chamber reinforced itself, folks glossed over or forgot that the president ordered Congress to come up with a plan.

At a dramatic, post-market-close news conference at the White House Friday, Obama announced that the grand bargain he and Speaker John Boehner had been working on for weeks had collapsed. Clearly exasperated, the president issued a command to Congress…..

…. Obama can’t win, it seems. Calmes writes today, “Mr. Obama is in danger of seeming a spectator at one of the most critical moments of his presidency.” Yet, last week Peggy Noonan declared, “It is time for the president to get out of the way.” Obama is not perfect. Watching how he goes about governing is akin to riding in the front seat of a roller coaster without a lap bar. But at no point do I ever think he’s disengaged or been invisible.

As we saw with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and even the secret talks between Obama and Boehner over a big deal on the debt ceiling, this president by and large eschews theatrics for getting stuff done. And this drives people crazy.

For better or worse, we have a president who firmly believes that Congress is a co-equal branch of government. Just as the Founders envisioned….

If by Tuesday, Aug. 2, Congress has not passed a bill or if it has put forth one the president can’t sign, it will be incumbent upon him to take control to save the nation’s economy, assuming lasting damage hasn’t already been done. And if or when he does, there better not be a complaint from anyone.

Full article here

30
Jul
11

joan? get well soon – that’s an order!

I hope she won’t mind me passing this on, but our beloved pal Joan has been suffering from some ill-health recently – I just wanted to let you all know so you could pass on your love and best wishes.

You know Joan, though – her indestructible spirit will have her back to 100% any day soon.

Love ya Joan, look after yourself.

30
Jul
11

weekly address

29
Jul
11

d.o.a. – boehner bill passes house, rejected by senate

(Roll call here)

 Statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney on the House voting to pass John Boehner’s debt ceiling bill Friday:

The bill passed today in the House with exclusively Republican votes would have us face another debt ceiling crisis in just a few months by demanding the Constitution be amended or America defaults. This bill has been declared dead on arrival in the Senate. Now that yet another political exercise is behind us, with time dwindling, leaders need to start working together immediately to reach a compromise that avoids default and lays the basis for balanced deficit reduction.

Senator Reid’s proposal is a basis for that compromise. It not only achieves more deficit reduction than the bill passed in the House today and puts a process in place to achieve even more savings, it also removes the uncertainty surrounding the risk of default. The President urges Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House – a plan the President can sign by Tuesday.

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Steve Benen: …. Why’d the House waste nearly a week on a doomed right-wing plan that House Republicans didn’t much care for? Especially after wasting last week on a similarly doomed right-wing plan that was immediately rejected by the Senate? The point had something to do with giving Boehner “leverage,” though the end result is a weakened Speaker, a divided GOP, and a nation perilously close to the most dramatic, needlessly destructive, self-inflicted wound imaginable.

President Barack Obama and Press Secretary Jay Carney walk along the Colonnade of the White House towards the Oval Office, July 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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TPM: As promised, all Senate Democrats aligned Friday night to kill the just-passed House Republican bill to raise the debt limit.

The roll call fell closely along party lines, 59-41, with all Democrats voting to table Speaker John Boehner’s controversial bill, joined by several Republicans who also oppose that plan.

Now we enter a period of calm. Before midnight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to introduce his own debt limit bill – amended to include more spending cuts, and a few as-yet undisclosed carrots, to entice enough Republicans to overcome a filibuster and pass the legislation.

Senate Democratic aides confirm that the legislation is being updated now, after consultation with Republicans, but the precise details are tightly held.

They need to get those details right. House Republicans have scheduled a symbolic Saturday vote to knock down the original version of Reid’s bill – a move meant to illustrate that without further cuts and enticements can’t Reid’s bill pass the House.

Once the tweaks are completed, and the bill is introduced, Reid will set the wheels in motion to pass it. If all goes as currently planned, he’ll file cloture on the plan tonight. Because it will be attached to a privileged vehicle – the stripped bare shell of Boehner’s plan – it will tee-up a 1 a.m. Sunday vote to end an expected filibuster. If there are 60 votes – and that’s the crucial if – that will lock in a vote on final passage after 7 a.m. on Monday. Then it’s back to the House, with fingers crossed.

29
Jul
11

business as usual…

President Obama meets with, from left; Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, Benin President Boni Yayi, Guinea President Alpha Conde, and Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, July 29, in the Cabinet Room of the White House




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