Archive for July 27th, 2011
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pictured as he speaks to the press following more U.S. debt reduction talks on Capitol Hill, July 26, 2011
Well, something like that because their letter promises to reject Boehner’s Debt-Limit Plan.
Fifty-three Democratic senators have signed a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner saying they intend to vote against his plan for an increase in the debt ceiling, virtually assuring its defeat in the Senate even as the speaker lines up Republican votes to pass it in the House on Thursday.
Votes are not final until they are cast. But if the Democrats hold to their promise in the letter, Mr. Boehner’s plan for a six-month increase in borrowing authority will not make it to President Obama’s desk.
“We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill,” the senators say in the letter. “We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why.”
In the letter, the senators argue that a short-term extension of the debt ceiling would “put America at risk” and “could be nearly as disastrous as a default.”
Some compromise there, eh?
I say the House GOP and whatever Democrats who dare, pass the bill anyway and dare Dingy Harry to hold it up for defeat in the Senate.
To the Democrats then, you voted twice against House passed plans, so if it breaks the American economy, you own it baby – House/Senate Democrats and President Obama.
Here is the double dare letter to Boehner:
Dear Speaker Boehner,
With five days until our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, we need to work together to ensure that our nation does not default on our obligations for the first time in our history. We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill. We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why.
A short-term extension like the one in your bill would put America at risk, along with every family and business in it. Your approach would force us once again to face the threat of default in five or six short months. Every day, another expert warns us that your short-term approach could be nearly as disastrous as a default and would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating. If our credit is downgraded, it would cost us billions of dollars more in interest payments on our existing debt and drive up our deficit. Even more worrisome, a downgrade would spike interest rates, making everything from mortgages, car loans and credit cards more expensive for families and businesses nationwide.
In addition to risking a downgrade and catastrophic default, we are concerned that in five or six months, the House will once again hold the economy captive and refuse to avoid another default unless we accept unbalanced, deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security, without asking anything of the wealthiest Americans.
We now have only five days left to act. The entire world is watching Congress. We need to do the right thing to solve this problem. We must work together to avoid a default the responsible way – not in a way that will do America more harm than good.
And, here I thought Dingy Harry “The Iraq War is Lost” Reid was a deal maker?
Default, here we come….
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It is a good start towards replacing Obama as President next year.
It is, as many conservatives have said in floor speeches and statements of support for the Boehner bill, an important first step. The immediate cuts are small relative to our $14 trillion debt, but the trajectory of spending will now go down.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it is important to remember this has to come to a vote in the House. (I suspect it won’t be all that close, unfortunately relieving some die-hards of the necessity of discarding their political purity.) It also has to get through the Senate, where other hardline Republicans, not to mention a whole lot of Democrats, will have to decide: Boehner or default?
And should this get through both houses, the president will have zero choice in the matter. He will sign it, and we will avoid default. And then the spinning begins. As for those GOP pols and pundits who favored the burn-down-the-building approach, there is perhaps time to reconsider whether they want to be on board with a vote that may change the course of our fiscal future and the shape of the Republican party.
Read Rep. Paul Ryan’s treatise on the revised legislation here.
And, looking at the polls today in the key battleground states, in another year, the GOP House Leadership will not have to worry about negotiating with Harry Reid or the White House.
These are my links for July 27th from 14:23 to 15:29:
- White House ‘rickrolls’ Twitter critic – Tensions may be high in Washington amid a stalemate in talks to raise the US debt ceiling but the White House is keeping a sense of humor.
White House officials were replying to questions on Twitter on Wednesday when a Tennessee man named David Wiggs complained that the discussion was "not nearly as entertaining as yesterday's."
The White House quickly fired off a reply to @wiggsd on its Twitter feed, @whitehouse.
"@wiggsd Sorry to hear that," the White House said. "Fiscal policy is important, but can be dry sometimes.
"Here's something more fun: tinyurl.com/y8ufsnp."
The link is to a video by pop star Rick Astley singing his 1987 chart-topper "Never Gonna Give You Up."
"Rickrolling" is an Internet phenomenon begun several years ago whereby an unwitting user who clicks on a link is directed to the video of Astley's song.
Glad they have the time to do this on the taxpayer's dime.
- Will Janice Hahn Run For The "Black" Seat After Redistricting? – Newly minted Rep. Janice Hahn faces a tough choice if she wants to stay in Congress for more than a year. By the looks of the latest redistricting maps, she will be drawn into a coastal district that also includes Rep. Henry Waxman.
Waxman has been in Congress for 36 years, and is as close as it gets to an immovable object. So that leaves Hahn with one other option: run for the "Gardena-Compton" seat.
The problem with that is it's supposed to be a "black" seat — and Hahn is not black.
The idea that she would run for the seat — and cut L.A.'s black representation in Congress from three seats to two — is already stirring anger among the black political community.
In an email making the rounds today, activist Basil Kimbrew accuses Hahn of having "disrespected and betrayed the black community." Kimbrew claims that Hahn told him she will run for the Gardena-Compton seat, which also includes Hahn's home in San Pedro.
Kimbrew goes on to say that African-Americans who worked to elect Hahn in her special election were "duped" and "tricked" — and would have been better off supporting Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Also running for the Gardena-Compton seat are Assemblyman Isadore Hall and Rep. Laura Richardson. Hahn represented Watts on the L.A. City Council and has enjoyed strong support in the black community, in part due to the legacy of her father, Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.
Janice Hahn should enjoy her time in DC and hope to get a job in the second term of the Obama Administration.
Posted by Flap in Dilbert, tags: Dilbert
These are my links for July 27th from 13:51 to 13:59:
- Carney makes an accusation – The Obama administration has never been backward about leaning forward on Fox News. The network has proven a durable, go-to villain to rally the base and stoke indignation against a perceived antagonist on the right.
But White House press secretary Jay Carney, going after Ed Henry from Fox News on Wednesday, misfired all over the place by also insulting House Speaker John Boehner for being a "showboat" and exposing a level of secrecy and political calculation in the debt limit negotiations that runs counter to promises President Obama ran on.
The day after the two tangled over Henry's request for specifics on Obama's plan, Carney and Henry were back at it again. Henry asked at the briefing when Obama's plan might be submitted to the Congressional Budget Office.
"Ed, I understand, we can do this again, OK?" Carney said. "Has the speaker of the House shown you the positions he took in detail in the negotiations that were designed actually to achieve a compromise, as opposed to having a showboat?"
"We put forward a budget, we put forward a framework," Carney said.
Questions about Obama's plan — where is it, what's on it — are proving tricky for the White House, because the omission is suddenly getting traction. Talking about an appealing, detailed plan doesn't work if you don't produce the plan. The lack of disclosure also doesn't track with Obama's pledge on transparency.
The White House explanation — that any plan must be held close so it won't be instantly politicized and defeated is very backroom, politics-as-usual — a way of doing things that Obama vowed to reject.
Read it all
- Obama’s Towering Inferno – This is a make-or-break week for me with my own deadline — hence the relative radio silence from me around here. I’ve been trying very hard to reserve a few brain cells on the side to follow the debt-ceiling stuff as I wade through more obscure research. Yesterday, I took time out to watch the Jay Carney grilling discussed in the Corner yesterday. I think it may, in a small way, be a watershed moment. No, not for the country. But for the WH press corps. Carney seemed to be providing a real “Hey I guess you’ve just figured out we’re full of shi…nola” moment.
It is an amazing thing that the press corps has taken this long to really pin the White House down on the simple fact that Obama is the one playing political games here, creating rules for others to follow while not following them himself. The public explanation for why he doesn’t want to put forward a plan of his own makes as much sense to me as the Korean-language instructions for a photocopy machine. All I know is that the White House says it doesn’t want to release a plan because it will be held accountable for having a plan, but no one should criticize the White House for not having a plan because they actually offered one verbally that was full of “specifics” nobody will specify and the Republicans are in the dark about.
Oh, and even though the president insists that if we don’t raise the debt ceiling on August 2 — cats will sleep with dogs, disco will come back, Carrot Top will move into the apartment over your garage, the Chinese will put saran wrap over our toilet bowls — he insists that he will veto any plan he doesn’t like should it actually pass Congress. Of course, saying he will veto a plan makes it less likely to pass Congress and hence prevent Götterdämmerung. So there’s that.
Read it all….