Archive for July 13th, 2011

13
Jul
11

“obama lit him up. cantor sat in stunned silence”

“Obama lit him up. Cantor sat in stunned silence,” said an official in the meeting. “It was incredible. If the public saw Obama he would win in a landslide.”

(You know how I hate linking GOPolitico – but that line was way too good to resist)

….. Democratic sources dispute Cantor’s version of Obama’s walk out, but all sides agree that the two had a blow up. The sources described Obama as “impassioned” but said he didn’t exactly storm out of the room.

“Cantor’s account of tonight’s meeting is completely overblown. For someone who knows how to walk out of a meeting, you’d think he know it when he saw it,” a Democratic aide said. “Cantor rudely interrupted the president three times to advocate for short-term debt ceiling increases while the president was wrapping the meeting. This is just more juvenile behavior from him and Boehner needs to rein him in, and let the grown-ups get to work. “

On exiting the room, Obama reportedly said that “this confirms the totality of what the American people already believe” about Washington, said a Democratic official familiar with debt negotiations, that officials are “too focused on positioning and political posturing” to make difficult choices.

****

ABC: Amidst discussions of credit ratings agency Moody’s putting the U.S. on review for downgrade, President Obama told congressional leaders today that by Friday they all have to decide what they’re doing: a compromise package to reduce the deficit, or if there’s no willingness to compromise, some other way to raise the debt ceiling and avoid defaulting.

The president made the declaration at today’s deficit reduction meeting in the Cabinet Room, which began at 4:24 p.m. ET and ended at 6:16 p.m.

A Democrat familiar with the negotiations, said that the group went through discretionary and mandatory spending cuts – more than $1 trillion over 10 years – that had been discussed in the earlier talks led by Vice President Joe Biden.

The group agreed to return to the table tomorrow afternoon to talk about mechanisms for those cuts and possibly to address health care spending (Medicare and Medicaid) and a possible extension of the payroll tax cut…

…Eric Cantor raised yet again the possibility of a short-term fix, which President Obama, seemingly frustrated – according to Republicans – shot down, abruptly ending the meeting.

****

CBS: As negotiations continue over raising the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid any potential default on America’s fiscal obligations, the daily meetings at the White House on the subject have been getting more tense, people familiar with the negotiations tell CBS News.

Wednesday’s meeting was the most tense meeting of the week, a GOP aide told CBS News. In fact, the president ended the meeting by abruptly leaving the room.

…A Democratic aide described the meeting in different terms to CBS News, saying the participants had a constructive conversation on the numbers, and talked specifics.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor reportedly kept pushing for a short-term deal, which President Obama promised to veto if it reached his desk.

13
Jul
11

okay, now i’m starved….

WH: President Obama was wrapping up an interview with Mario Andres Moreno for Univision Miami’s Channel 23 at the White House in May when the conversation turned to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bulls were one game away from facing the Miami Heat and a friendly wager was struck … if the Bulls won, Moreno would send the President some Cuban Fritas and if the Heat won, the President would send Moreno some fully loaded Chicago Dogs.

As fate would have it, the Bulls lost to the Heat and Moreno won the bet.

Last week, as promised, a large package of hot dogs with all the fixins arrived at Channel 23’s offices in Miami with everything needed to bring the Chicago Dog experience to the Sunshine State. Inside the insulated box were packages of all beef hot dogs, poppy seed buns, yellow mustard, bright green relish, onions, tomato wedges, pickle spears, sport peppers and celery salt – as well as a note from President Obama himself…

During the evening news broadcast, Mario Andres Moreno sat in his anchor’s chair with his Chicago Dog waiting in front of him as he recounted the story with his co-anchors.  A screen shot behind them featured a picture of the President, a hot dog, and the tag, “Palabra Cumplida”- “Kept His Word.”

13
Jul
11

groundhog day

President Obama meets with Congressional leaders regarding the debt ceiling, July 13, in the Cabinet Room of the White House

Vice President Joe Biden looks back at the photographers after President Obama kidded him that the VP never gets photographed because he sits at the opposite side of the table

13
Jul
11

‘laughably bogus’

Adam Serwer (Washington Post): Republicans are touting yet another poll that purports to predict the end of the Jewish allegiance to the Democratic Party. Citing a new poll by John McLaughlin and Pat Caddell they have convinced themselves that this time, Obama really is in trouble among Jewish voters.

…. the poll is laughably bogus. Not only does their sample skew conservative, (only 64 percent of respondents voted for Obama, as opposed to the 77 percent of Jewish votes he actually got) but many questions are phrased in as leading a manner as possible. Indeed, given the wording of the questions, it’s actually surprising that 63 percent of respondents overall approved of Obama.

Here’s their phrasing for a question on Obama’s policy on Israel:

Considering what President Obama has proposed for Israel just over a year before his 2012 re-election campaign – a return to the 1967 borders, dividing Jerusalem, and allowing the right of return for Palestinian Arabs to Israel – how concerned would you be about President Obama’s policies towards Israel if he were re-elected and did not have to worry about another election?

….. Again: Obama hasn’t proposed “a return to the 1967 borders”…

What’s surprising is that only 67 percent of Jewish voters in the poll said they were concerned about Obama’s policy towards Israel should he be reelected – this, even though M&C invented out of thin air the idea that Obama supports a “right of return” for Palestinian Arabs … this question seems to have been designed to elicit panic about Obama among the poll’s staunchly pro-Israel respondents, but even that wasn’t enough to do it.

The phrasing in this poll is comically skewed …. As always, the game is to perpetuate the sad conservative meme that this time, really this time, American Jews are going to abandon their liberalism and vote Republican because Obama is a huge anti-Semite. The only thing this poll reveals is how badly some want to keep this storyline going.

More here

13
Jul
11

‘texas debt growing at faster rate than federal government’s’

Think Progress: For all his talk of fiscal conservationism on the national stage, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hasn’t been so parsimonious at home, where his state is racking up debt at a faster rate than the national government and in greater amounts than most other states.

Perry regularly attacks President Obama for engaging in “too much spending” and running up too much debt, but as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Mitchell Schnurman writes today, Texas’ refusal to raise taxes has led to its own debt ballooning faster than Washington’s:

From 2001 to 2010, state debt alone grew from $13.4 billion to $37.8 billion, according to the Texas Bond Review Board. That’s an increase of 281 percent. Over the same time, the national debt rose almost 234 percent…

…..While Texas lawmakers have refused to raise taxes – and often criticize Washington for borrowing and spending – the state has been paying for much of its expansion with borrowed money.

…..as Schnurman points out, Texas didn’t have two wars, the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, recession-combating measurs, and other big-ticket national expenditures. And Texas’ “borrowing isn’t slowing.”

The state’s debt belies Perry’s boisterous rhetoric on his economic stewardship.  …. Texas’ obstinate refusal to raise taxes helped create the largest budget shortfall in the state’s history, leading to devastating cuts to government services – one town had to lay off its entire police force – and Perry using budget gimmicks and federal stimulus dollars to balance his budget.

Full post here

Thanks Fred

13
Jul
11

so rupert, how are things these days?

Steve Benen: While the right doesn’t seem at all pleased with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed solution to the debt-ceiling crisis, opposition among conservative Republicans is far from unanimous.

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, one of the more influential pieces of Republican media real estate, got on board with the McConnell plan this morning. After several hundred words about how much the editorial page doesn’t like President Obama, the WSJ argued ….

… according to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, a “bipartisan deal” on debt reduction would include the spending cuts Republicans want, entitlement cuts Republicans want, and the existing tax rates Republicans want. Democrats, in this “bipartisan deal,” would get nothing.

President Obama, the editorial board, “won’t go along” with this.

He’s obviously history’s greatest monster for rejecting such a “bipartisan deal”.

Full post here

****

The Wall Street Journal is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of Fox News’ owner Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation

13
Jul
11

oooops ….. 27%?!

You have to chuckle at this Sunshine State News article about Rick Scott’s latest approval ratings – they don’t mention until the seventh (seventh!) paragraph that he’s down to 27 percent!

Before then there’s a truly heroic attempt to spin the figure, with two – two! – Tea Party creatures quoted supporting him.

The article also talks about the “venom” directed at Scott from “across both genders and all corners of the state” and how “Left-wing activists” have “assailed Scott from day one for his budget cuts….”.

Venom? Left-wing activists? Translation: regular Florida folk are angry about what this lowlife is doing to their state.

The final word is given to Richard Johnston, a Palm Beach County-based Republican consultant: “Any place you have reform, that creates negativity as well … It’s a byproduct of leadership.”

😆

13
Jul
11

but, but, but …..

Aaron Blake (Washington Post): … Obama’s team made a point to reinforce that they’ve still got the enthusiasm of the grassroots. They noted a total of more than 550,000 donors – another record for this early in a campaign – 98 percent of whom contributed $250 or less…

This is good news for Obama, who many thought might lose his grassroots support when he ran for reelection as an incumbent. His report shows that he can still tap the average American for money and suggests there’s still plenty of enthusiasm for his presidency.

More here

MSNBC: The best news for Obama: More than 550,000 donors contributed to the campaign with an average of $69 per donation, which means that Obama’s small-money army is there and can give again – and again and again. (In fact, it says that 98% of its donations were $250 or less.)

13
Jul
11

‘he just doesn’t know what to do’

Steve Benen: …. take a moment to watch this exchange, and pay particular attention to the length of the pause and the look on Boehner’s face.

Baier asked the Speaker what happens if there’s no deal Congress chooses not to raise the debt ceiling. Boehner just sat there for a few seconds, unsure what to say. Eventually, he shook his head and conceded, “I don’t know.”

The Speaker probably didn’t expect this process to unfold this way. He’s help take the hostage, threaten to shoot the hostage, and Democrats would pay the ransom. But Dems want to compromise and Boehner’s caucus doesn’t. The Speaker doesn’t really want to shoot the hostage, but he neglected to craft a backup plan.

And now he just doesn’t know what to do.

Full post here

13
Jul
11

cantor? sit down and shut up. ;-)

Washington Post

Dana Milbank: Eric Cantor has perfected the strategic sneer.

It comes, frequently, when he answers a reporter’s question about something President Obama has said: The House majority leader’s lip curls up on the left side and a look of disgust washes over his face….

Cantor … is answering calls for compromise with contempt. He shook his fist during a news conference Tuesday and said that Obama’s thinking is “unfathomable to me.” To Obama’s complaint that the wealthy are not sharing in the budget sacrifice, he scoffed: “There is plenty of so-called shared sacrifice.” Asked about Obama’s belief that people like him should pay more in taxes, Cantor retorts: “You know what? He can write a check any time he wants.”

He draws out the vowels in a style that is part southern, part smarty-pants. Had young Cantor spoken like this at his prep school in Richmond, the bigger boys may well have wiped that sneer off his face. Yet even then, Cantor was accustomed to having things his way. According to Cantor’s hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch, the quotation he chose to accompany his yearbook photo was “I want what I want when I want it.”

What Cantor wants now is power – and he is prepared to risk the full faith and credit of the United States to get it. In a primacy struggle with House Speaker John Boehner, he has done a deft job of aligning himself with Tea Party House members in opposition to any meaningful deal to resolve the debt. If the U.S. government defaults, it will have much to do with Cantor…..

Full article here




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