Flap’s Links and Comments for April 16th on 04:59

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 16th from 04:59 to 13:26:

  • Santa Monica at Daybreak | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Santa Monica at Daybreak #tcot #catcot
  • Los Angeles Running Club – Looking at Malibu | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Los Angeles Running Club – Looking at Malibu #tcot #catcot
  • Flap’s Links and Comments for April 15th on 19:41 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Links and Comments for April 15th on 19:41 | Flap's Blog – FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
  • @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-04-16 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-04-16 | Flap's Blog – FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
  • President Obama Issues “Signing Statement” Indicating He Won’t Abide by Provision in Budget Bill – Political Punch – President Obama Issues “Signing Statement” Indicating He Won’t Abide by Provision in Budget Bill
  • President Obama Issues “Signing Statement” Indicating He Won’t Abide by Provision in Budget Bill – In a statement issued Friday night, President Obama took issue with some provisions in the budget bill – and in one case simply says he will not abide by it.

    Last week the White House and congressional Democrats and Republicans were involved in intense negotiations over not only the size of the budget for the remainder of the FY2011 budget, and spending cuts within that budget, but also several GOP “riders,” or policy provisions attached to the bill.

    One rider – Section 2262 — de-funds certain White House adviser positions – or “czars.” The president in his signing statement declares that he will not abide by it.

    “The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority,” he wrote. “The President also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, and do so not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it. Legislative efforts that significantly impede the President's ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities or to obtain the views of the appropriate senior advisers violate the separation of powers by undermining the President's ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

    Therefore, the president wrote, “the executive branch will construe section 2262 not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.”

    In other words: we know what you wanted that provision to do, but we don’t think it’s constitutional, so we will interpret it differently than the way you meant it.

    During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama was quite critical of the Bush administration’s uses of signing statements telling the Boston Globe in 2007 that the “problem” with the Bush administration “is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation.”

    Then-Sen. Obama said he would “not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law.”

    The president said that no one "doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president's constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that."



    Something the GOP should keep in mind during the next two budget fights. Obviously, they didn't this time…..

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 14th on 06:25

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These are my links for April 14th from 06:25 to 07:55:

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 13th on 16:04

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 13th from 16:04 to 19:10:

  • Tim Pawlenty urges lawmakers to reject 2011 budget deal – Likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday urged lawmakers to reject the budget deal designed to avert a government shutdown. 

    Pawlenty, who presided over a state shutdown as governor of Minnesota, said that the bipartisan deal that would cut $39.9 billion in spending from this year's budget does not make enough reductions.

    President Obama's lack of seriousness on deficit reduction is crystal clear when you look at the budget deal he insisted on to avoid a government shutdown," he said in a statement. "It's no surprise that President Obama and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] forced this budget, but it should be rejected. America deserves better."


    As they should.

  • CBO Says Budget Deal Will Cut Spending by Only $352 Million – A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the fiscal 2011 spending deal that Congress will vote on Thursday concludes that it would cut spending this year by less than one-tenth of what both Republicans or Democrats have claimed.
    A comparison prepared by the CBO shows that the omnibus spending bill, advertised as containing some $38.5 billion in cuts, will only reduce federal outlays by $352 million below 2010 spending rates. The nonpartisan budget agency also projects that total outlays are actually some $3.3 billion more than in 2010, if emergency spending is included in the total.
    The astonishing result, according to CBO, is the result of several factors: increases in spending, especially at the Defense Department; decisions to draw over half of the savings from recissions; and cuts to reserve funds and and money for mandatory-spending programs that might never have been spent.


    Figures and I sure wouldn't vote for this turkey.

  • Obama: Still No Salesman – Obama’s anti-Ryan speech:

     1) Obama tends to defend the welfare state in ineffective paleolib terms. It’s mostly “compassion” and taking “responsibility for …  each other,” whether we work or not. But most of the welfare state is now at least in theory work-tested–and Clinton showed it is much easier to defend if you say it’s what citizens get if they go to work every day, etc.

     2) The all powerful Independent Payment Advisory Board will save us! This is always Obama’s deficit solution. Democracy can’t handle the truth!(“It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels.”) But will Congress freely cede power over who gets what treatment to an unelected “advisory” board of experts? It happens with the Fed. But health care involves actual constituents living and dying;

    3) The speech defines a failure to tax the rich–i.e. keeping rates where they are–as “spending.” Way too clever;


    Read it all

  • Rep. Paul Ryan responds – Perhaps the president’s most egregious gimmicks were on health care:

    • Instead of proposing structural reforms that would actually reduce health care costs, the President proposed across-the-board cuts to current seniors’care.

    • Strictly limits the amount of health care seniors can receive within the existing structure of unsustainable government health care programs.

    • Gives more power to unelected bureaucrats in Washington to determine what treatments seniors should or shouldn’t get, against a backdrop of costs that continue to rise.

    • Conceded that the relentlessly rising cost of health care is the primary reason why the nation is threatened by debt, and implicitly conceded that his health care law failed to solve the problem.

    • Eviscerates the only competitive element anywhere in health-care entitlement programs — the competition amongst Part D prescription-drug plans — which allowed the drug benefit to come in 41 percent under budget.

    • Acknowledges that the open-ended financing of Medicaid is a crippling financial burden to both states and the federal government, but explicitly rejected the only solution to this problem, which is to give states the freedom they need to design systems that work for the unique needs of their own populations.


    Now, if Paul Ryan were to run for the Presidency…..

    I am sure he is on everyone's short list for VP.

  • Rep. Paul Ryan Responds to President’s Disappointing, Partisan Speech – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan made the following statement after listening to the President’s speech on deficit reduction:

     “When the President reached out to ask us to attend his speech, we were expecting an olive branch. Instead, his speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis. What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander-in-chief; we heard a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.

    “Last year, in the absence of a serious budget, the President created a Fiscal Commission. He then ignored its recommendations and omitted any of its major proposals from his budget, and now he wants to delegate leadership to yet another commission to solve a problem he refuses to confront.

    “We need leadership, not a doubling down on the politics of the past.  By failing to seriously confront the most predictable economic crisis in our history, this President’s policies are committing our children to a diminished future. We are looking for bipartisan solutions, not partisan rhetoric. When the President is ready to get serious about confronting this challenge, we'll be here.”


    Read it all

  • CBO: Last week’s $38 billion budget deal only reduces this year’s deficit by … $352 million; Update: GOP leaders lobbying for votes – The deal does eliminate $38 billion in “new spending authority,” but as we learned yesterday in agonizing detail, spending “authority” and actual spending are two very different things. So to sum up: In less than a week, we’ve gone from $61 billion in cuts to $38 billion in cuts to $15 billion in real cuts to $352 million in deficit reduction this year, which is less than one percent of the number agreed to in the budget deal. I can’t help but suspect that tea partiers might feel a tad … antsy about that trend.

    Tim Pawlenty issued a statement earlier this afternoon urging congressional Republicans to reject the budget deal tomorrow:

    The more we learn about the budget deal the worse it looks. When you consider that the federal deficit in February alone was over $222 billion, to have actual cuts less than the $38 billion originally advertised is just not serious. The fact that billions of dollars advertised as cuts were not scheduled to be spent in any case makes this budget wholly unacceptable. It’s no surprise that President Obama and Senator Reid forced this budget, but it should be rejected. America deserves better.

    That’s a nifty way to polish his fiscal conservative cred with the base, but as of last night Cantor was insisting that they have the votes in the House. Maybe that’ll change after the CBO numbers start circulating, but if I had to bet, I’d still bet that it’ll pass. The conversation’s already moved on to bigger money, partly thanks to the erupting war between Obama and Ryan over entitlements and partly to the chess match between Democrats and the GOP over the debt ceiling. And because most of the public’s already moved on from the shutdown drama, if the Republican caucus forced one now, they’d inevitably get more blame than they would have if the shutdown had happened last week. So, yes, it’ll probably pass — but by how much is anyone’s guess.


    The CR's passage may be in doubt now with the CBO report.

    The GOP leadership sold out again. Shocking – NOT.

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 13th on 14:31

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 13th from 14:31 to 15:25:

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 13th on 14:02

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 13th from 14:02 to 14:05:

  • The president speaks, says very little about America’s debt issues – As I and many others expected, Obama today gave a speech about nothing much at all — if you don’t count attacking the only viable debt-reduction plan out there. He didn’t endorse the Simpson-Bowles plan. He did not propose a Social Security fix. He did not provide an alternative to top-down rationing of Medicare. One wonders how the White House thinks this helps the president.

    It was rather embarrassing in what it did offer: negotiations with Joe Biden, more defense cuts and taxes on the rich. How utterly trite.


    Read it all

  • Mitt Romney says President Obama deficit plan ‘too little, too late’ – Expected Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney immediately pounced on President Obama’s deficit-cutting proposal, saying it didn’t go far enough and relied too heavily on tax increases.

    “President Obama’s proposals are too little, too late,” Romney said in a statement released minutes after Obama today finished his speech outlining his plan. “Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for ‘solutions’ highlighted by higher taxes.”

    Obama proposed a menu of options to reduce the deficit, including cuts in defense spending, an overhaul of the tax system, and an end to Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier Americans. The plan would lower the deficit by about $4 trillion over a dozen years.

    Obama’s proposal comes in response to a House Republican plan that would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over the next decade. That plan would allow the Bush tax cuts — now set to expire in 2012 — to be extended indefinitely, and Republicans have opposed any proposal to end the tax break.

    "With over 20 million people who are unemployed or who have stopped looking for work, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on job-creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across America,” Romney said in his statement.


    Tax and Spend

Flap’s Links and Comments for April 13th on 13:33

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 13th from 13:33 to 14:00:

  • Rep Paul Ryan Blasts President Obama Speech as ‘Dramatically Inaccurate’ – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan didn’t appreciate President Barack Obama’s Wednesday afternoon remarks, particularly the president’s critique of the budget Mr. Ryan offered last week.

    The Wisconsin Republican called Mr. Obama’s characterization of his plan “dramatically inaccurate” in a press conference in the Capitol moments ago.

    “What we heard was a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief,” he said. “This is sad and unfortunate. Rather than building bridges, he’s poisoning wells.”


    Why, of course.

    Somebody explain to me why a President can believe such inaccurate spin?

  • EPA Boss to Speak at Youth Climate Conference With Van Jones and International Socialists – Here are some of the workshops and breakout sessions available to attendees:

    From the BP Oil Spill to the Japanese Nuclear Crisis: Why Capitalism is Killing the Planet

    The past year alone has highlighted the massive toll taken on our planet by the coal, oil, and nuclear energy industries. Yet President Obama continues to support these three industries, which have produced not only ecological catastrophe but also widespread human suffering. This panel will discuss why this is the case, how it is linked to a system of global capitalism that puts profit before the needs of human beings and the planet, and how we can move beyond the capitalist ecological crisis.

    Chris Williams, International Socialist Organization
    Heather Kangas, International Socialist Organization
    Amanda Duzak, International Socialist Organization

    Isn't that nice? A member of the White House is speaking at a conference where avowed socialists are going to tell kids why capitalism is destroying the planet.

    For those unfamiliar, this is what ISO stands for:

    The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is committed to building an organization that participates in the struggles for justice and liberation today–and, ultimately, for a future socialist society. […]

    A world free of exploitation–socialism–is not only possible but worth fighting for. The ISO stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky in the belief that workers themselves–the vast majority of the population–are the only force that can lead the fight to win a socialist society. Socialism can't be brought about from above, but has to be won by workers themselves. […]

    We see our task as building an independent socialist organization with members organizing in our workplaces, our schools and our neighborhoods to bring socialist ideas to the struggles we are involved in today, and the vision of a socialist world in the future.


    Well, fancy that. The Obama Administration on the same program as international socialists who would have thunk…..