House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the podium today and laid out, in no uncertain terms, the Republican's true motives for playing chicken with the debt ceiling. Motives which most of the American people are unable to connect the dots to because they do not have the time or the information necessary to do so.
I would just expand on Pelosi's comments and add that this latest round of Republican brinkmanship and hostage taking has very little to do with the deficit, the national debt, or even finance in general. It has everything to do with the social agenda of the radical Right.
The debt-ceiling, and thus the full faith and credit of the United States, is simply the vehicle which they are currently using as a scorched-earth bargaining chip to accomplish their long-standing goal of eliminating what remains of The New Deal. President Obama hinted at this last night during his speech, and Nancy Pelosi is stating it fairly clearly today.
President Obama and our thin majority in the Senate are the only things preventing the Republicans from achieving their goals, so you had better damn well show them some support and a little solidarity.
We must remove from office as many Republicans as we possibly can next year.
Obama Inauguration Pastor Reminds Us the Poor Do Not Pay Enough Taxes
Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren, whom you may remember as the official evangelical homophobe schlub selected to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, thought fit to weigh in on the debt ceiling debate. How does Jesus feel about taxes, Rick?
Half of America isn't paying taxes! Which half, the corporations? General Electric? Exxon Mobil? Citigroup? No, probably he means "the poors," the full half of America that doesn't earn enough income to pay federal income taxes, but who do pay myriad other taxes for things like eating, wearing clothes and driving vehicles. Let them be, Rick Warren, they aren't getting into heaven anyway. Jesus doesn't love them, or they'd have millions of dollars from book sales, like Rick Warren.
FACT: the Republicans are responsible for the deficit. Proof:
Boehner and Cantor, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) have all voted for some of the biggest contributors to the debt — the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts, and President Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan — which helped to double the debt over the past decade
Together, a Bloomberg News analysis shows, these initiatives added $3.4 trillion to the nation's accumulated debt and to its current annual budget deficit of $1.5 trillion. [...]
"There's plenty of blame to go around," for the debt, said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, an Arlington, Virginia-based group that advocates for balanced budgets. "If there had been no Barack Obama, we would still be bumping up against the debt limit.'"
Anyone who says this is "Obama's spending" and "Obama's debt" is lying. Plain and simple. They're lying to you.
Republican Hostage Taking – or 'I Thought We Don't Negotiate With Terrorists'
He admitted to using the threat of a catastrophic default to extort the nation into rewriting the Constitution to force a permanent era of conservative governance.
Staggering: US debt clock.
"If the GOP wants to ensure that President Obama isn't reelected, all it has to do is not make any deals with Democrats and default on August 2. My companies have defaulted four times---in 1991, 1992, 2004, and 2009 --- and look what it's done for me!"
Clowns to the right of me .....
This does say it all, doesn't it:
Exempting war spending—which goes untouched in Boehner's plan—the legislation would reduce spending by only $5 billion next fiscal year. And its impact on the deficit is even less—a paltry $1 billion.
This provides occasion for yet another penetrating glimpse of the obvious: the debt ceiling battle is not about the debt. It's about the Republican attempt to rob the middle class and the poor to feed the rich.
That the collateral damage will be the long term erosion of America's capacity to create wealth and wield power is…acceptable, it seems.
Meanwhile, back at the headquarters of the Party That Hates America™, Boehner's claque of merry pranksters are trying to rewrite the bill to grab back a fig-leaf of deficit cutting respectability.
Paul Krugman in a short, succinct comment:
At this point, we just have to accept it as a fact of life: Obama doesn't, and maybe can't, do outrage — no matter how much the situation calls for it. The purpose of last night's speech, if there was one, was to rally the nation against crazy Republicans. But there were no memorable lines, no forceful statements of the very stark reality. "Now, now, that's not reasonable" isn't going to move multitudes.
It turns out, I'm sorry to say, that he wasn't the one we were waiting for.
Krugman is referring to Obama's lack of outrage in his most recent speech. But he might as well be referring to his lack of fight for progressive (or even Democratic) values.
There is no party in American politics, and no presidential candidate, who represents Progressive policy and values. That's a problem.
There's no place to vote your dissatisfaction, which means there's no way to measure your dissatisfaction. Obama needs a primary as a gift, the way a blind man need eyesight. How will he see what's out there waiting for him if there's no way to show him.
Without a primary, 2012 will be a battle between the Koch-financed and the Bank-financed for control of the country. Dueling billionaires, like choosing between the third son of Caesar and the fourth son to wear the crown
Reminder: Republicans held both chambers of Congress from 2003 to 2006, and had a Republican in the White House. They not only didn't approve a balanced budget amendment, they never even held a vote on it. In fact, the last vote on a BBA was in 1997, when Bill Clinton was president; the Senate defeated it by a single vote.
GOP Tries To Build United Debt Front By Watching Violent Movie Together
What is still the best way in 2011 to convince a room full of intransigent Republican males to join your team? You promise them a little violence and a little mayhem. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy sat down a group of GOP lawmakers to show them a scene from a Ben Affleck movie called The Town as a way to boost "togetherness" in the caucus during these eternal debt fights. The movie is about bank robbery, Ben Affleck is the bank robber, and the line McCarthy played for lawmakers goes like this: "I need your help. I can't tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we're going to hurt some people." HURT! They know that word. Sweaty, excited faces all around! Where do they sign up for whatever John Boehner is asking them to vote for? How soon does the hurting start? Oh, and can we guess which Florida military nut congressman immediately changed his position on the debt ceiling after watching the clip? READ MORE »
"Since 2009, Senate Republicans have forced virtually every bill to pass the 60-vote cloture threshold before it could come to the floor for actual debate. This unprecedented obstruction forced Senate Democrats to find 60 supporting votes -- as opposed to a simple majority of 51 -- to pass health care reform, financial regulatory reform, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the economic stimulus package, and nearly every other bill they considered, and killed critical legislation like a climate change bill, immigration reform, and the DREAM Act. In addition, Republicans have successfully filibustered an unheard-of number of judicial and cabinet-level nominees, hindering the efficacy of both branches. ... But after they failed to get 60 votes for their Cut, Cap, and Balance plan last week, a group of Senate Republicans is urging Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring it to the floor for debate, thus allowing it to pass with only 51 votes."
The Rude One: The View From Across Oceans on Our Debt Ceiling Idiocy
Attendance @ tea bagger events is down by 50%
Since she announced her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination a little over a month ago, Michele Bachmann has spent $4,700 on hair and makeup. Even John Edwards was shocked when he heard this.
Michele Bachmann Bravely Collects Salary For Not Doing Her Job
Why is Michele Bachmann trying to hypnotize this llama? Llamas are not television cameras, Michele. The llama looks a lot more calm than we would feel with Michele Bachmann right in front of our face like that. Here is a fun fact: Michele is more engaged in creeping out this llama than she is with her elected, salaried job of representing her constituents in Washington. Bachmann has missed nearly 40% of House votes since she began her campaign! http://wonkette.com/450054/michele-bachmann-bravely-collects-house-salary-despite-not-really-working