Tag: Senate

Boehner Flinches from the Abyss

So for all of the stress, the House GOP leadership (including Paul Ryan), a minority of Republican Congressmen, and a majority of Democrats
passed the tax deal they were offered by the Senate. The Rich (less than 1% of the population) got tagged with a 4.6% increase (horrors!) and caps were placed on deductions, among other meaningless items.

I suppose it is palatable since we have at least gotten the remainder of Bush’s tax cuts to remain permanent. Even Grover Norquist has twisted this and basically said that since the tax cuts had expired, those Republicans who voted for this deal were voting for a tax cut, not an increase. Interesting contortion.

But then there’s virtually no spending cut in this deal. The increased revenue is not going to make a dent in the deficit. For all the drama, we slapped a few million wealthy people with a small tax raise and refused to address the fact that spending is out of control. It’s a pathetic failure of the entire political establishment.

It is easy to blast Boehner today, but what choice did he have? Yes, I personally believed it would have been best to go over the cliff and let the chips fall where they may. However, I knew that Boehner wouldn’t do that. He didn’t want to take the blame for tax increases on the middle class (it’s going to happen eventually anyway) and it was too tempting to target the unpopular minority that is top earners. Also, he likes grand, useless compromises for some reason.

On the bright side, around 2/3 of the House GOP broke with Boehner on this deal and hence have political cover. Boehner has set himself up beautifully for the inevitable coup and primary challenge that he has coming.

I would say that he was courageous to do this IF I actually believed that the deal means anything. It doesn’t. It’s too little, too late, and still comes across as a major defeat for the GOP. We could have gotten a tax deal as useless as this one weeks ago and not had the brinksmanship that managed to make Obama look like a triumphant, responsible statesman.

Boehner must not be returned as the Speaker of the House, even if means leaving the post vacant. The real fight is going to be over the debt ceiling and Boehner cannot be counted on to do right either by his party or the nation.

Bluster from the Filibuster Buster

It seems that Senator Harry Reid (D-Mordor) is out to finally change the Senate rules to limit the circumstances under which a filibuster (or threat of one) can be done.

My response? Good.

For too long, the filibuster has been abused by the minority party (both parties at one time or another) to choke the business of the Senate. Worse, Reid has been hiding behind it as an excuse for not allowing anything to get done.

If he wants to change the rules and start taking more accountability for the poor performance of his chamber, fantastic. Yes, it will suck as long as the Democrats are running the Senate, but I wanted this to happen when the GOP ran the show too.

This should happen. Let’s start seeing some voting out of there and quit letting them all take political cover behind arcane, non-Constitutional rules.

Administration Expectations

I’m more interested in what happens after Inauguration Day than what happens on Election Day. As much as I want Obama out of office, I wonder how much it would really matter if he loses. My own sense is that his election is all about who is going to be holding the bag of shit when it finally breaks.

As I’ve said in another thread, I think Romney is going to win on Tuesday (assuming that the ballots are all counted and there aren’t any court challenges to deal with). I like Romney and even favored him in 2008. Not that I had any special love for anti-gun, big capitalist, Mormon governors from liberal states. I simply thought he was the best qualified because of his executive experience. His positions are a bit (to put it mildly) flexible and I can easily see him being a Bush-style disappointment on the domestic policy front. But I’m not here to give reasons to vote for or against him. Hal has done an utterly thorough job of it already. Obama could win too, sure. Sometimes my foresight is blinded when I confuse what is happening with what I hope will happen. It’s why I try to stay emotionally unattached. Maybe enough people believed Bill Clinton when he said at the DNC that nobody could have reversed the damage in four years and Obama will pull it together if we just give him another term.

One of these two assholes is going to win, that’s all we know. If Romney wins, he comes into office with a Democratic Senate Majority (or Minority, not sure what to expect here) Leader who has already vowed not to work with him. He will also have a hostile press that will suddenly start noticing again how jacked up our economy and foreign policy are. The potential for a quagmire is limitless. What can he do?

Obama will suffer with an uncooperative House and maybe a Senate. Reid has been, at best, unhelpful to Obama so I have to wonder how much good it would do for Democrats to hold the Senate with an Obama win. Worse, if he wins, it will because of the angry, fearmongering campaign he ran. The divisiveness is not going to fade away just because he squeaks by in a narrow win. Bush made this mistake in 2004 and paid for it dearly the minute he tried to accomplish anything. He was right that something needed to be done, but the other side found that it was better and safer to reject compromise. They turned out to be right–for their own political gain.

Traditionally, presidents in their second terms face scandals and don’t seem to accomplish much. Reagan had Iran/Contra, Clinton had his privates made public, and Bush was simply ground down by Iraq and Katrina. Obama already has Benghazi percolating, even though most of the news media is helpfully keeping the story quiet and not asking a lot of pesky questions until the election is safely over. Obama will do what what he has been doing for the past two years: throwing up executive orders with zero permanence beyond 2016. I suspect that if he wins, he’ll leave a hollow legacy and ultimately destroy the Democratic brand for at least 12 years (to the extent he hasn’t already; we’ll know soon enough).

That’s not a reason to want him to win, but it just highlights the impossibility for either one to accomplish anything with his bag of shit. That bag contains the long-awaited double-dip recession, more credit downgrades, the possibility of inflation, rising threats overseas, and on and on and on. Gridlock is great when we want to avoid the kind of populist overspending that drives us further into debt, but when the government is so dysfunctional that it refuses to pass a budget for four years even as credit agencies continue to warn it about its recklessness, we should worry.

The questions I have are:

1. Are Americans just too divided and partisan to work with those on the other side of the aisle to solve major policy problems? If so, we are well and truly fucked.

2. What sacrifices does each side need to make to effect a Great Compromise to seriously address the economic and debt crisis? I say that the GOP needs to allow some of the Bush tax cuts to expire since they’re clearly not having any stimulative effect at this point while the Democrats need to give up some of their sacred cows.

3. What the hell is it going to take to get away from this 47% vs 47% nonsense where both parties favor their base and win elections by lying to independents? Are we really that divided or is there common ground somewhere?

Recently, Matthew Dowd wrote a fantastic article about the need for a “peace accord” after the election between divided Americans and I like his thinking. We are way too obsessed with seeing points scored against the other side while ignoring the fact that nobody is driving the bus. This isn’t going to change just because Romney or Obama wins and will only get worse if the outcome is seen as questionable. Somebody needs to win BIG and it just isn’t in the cards.

But how do we do this peace accord thing? Are there any people in government/media/anywhere who have the credibility and know-how to even negotiate this? We can’t seem to quit looking past getting our team into office to realize that the people we elect aren’t governing.

I’ll do my part and turn out to vote, but I’m keeping my expectations safely low until I see evidence that the electorate even wants leadership. Right now, I’m not seeing it and that’s why we’re going to be stuck with nothing but the fool who wins.

Rahm Emanuel was right about not letting crises “go to waste” and it’s obvious that nothing is going to happen until disaster is staring us in the face. In the end, I guess I’m only voting for Romney because I’m less afraid of what he’ll do with it. Anyway, sorry to fill your weekend with darkness!

I knew this was all politics and not about solutions…

In a move that pissed me off, the congressional republicans buckled and offered the democrats $300 million in new taxes, only to have the democrats rebuff the offer, now making it all but obvious that their intent from the beginning was to have the special debt-reduction committee, which has two weeks left, fail for political reasons.

Congressional Republicans have for the first time retreated from their hard-line stance against new taxes, offering to raise federal tax collections by nearly $300 billion over the next decade as part of a plan to tame the national debt.

But Democrats rejected the offer Tuesday — along with the notion that Republicans had made a significant concession that could end the long-standing political impasse — leaving a special debt-reduction committee far from compromise with less than two weeks until its Thanksgiving deadline.

Democrats said the tax increases in the GOP offer would be dwarfed by major new tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest households, including a reduction in the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent.

“They’re anxious to promote a certain concept with all of you,” Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), one of the negotiators, told reporters. “I’ll be very clear that whatever they put there doesn’t get the job done.”

Oh, sure the democrats, whom have made it very clear that they want to get a minimum of one to one ratio on new taxes, or as the propaganda machine calls it, new revenue, are demanding a dollar in new taxes for each dollar in cuts – that way big government stays big, and they can keep buying votes – and blame the fact republicans will not acquiesce for their thumbs down. But lets be honest here and point out that any kind of deal would be turned down by the democrats, because if they make one Obama loses his most potent weapons – the “Do Nothing Congress” accusations that pretend republicans also control the Senate and not Harry Reid, whom has blocked everything the House has send him – and that’s not gonna happen. The republicans seem to know this.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fired back that Republicans are “working diligently to get a solution” and accused Democrats of trying to block a deal. McConnell said he suspected that “the folks down at the White House are pulling for failure because, you see, if the joint committee succeeds, it steps on the story line that they’ve been peddling, which is that you can’t do anything with the Republicans in Congress.”

Right on Mitch. And the democrats continue to ask for what they know the republicans can and should never give them.

Members of the supercommittee had planned to continue talking Tuesday afternoon, but a bipartisan meeting was abruptly canceled, and neither side appeared optimistic about the prospects for a breakthrough. “I have yet to see a real, credible plan that raises revenue in a significant way to bring us to a fair, balanced proposal,” Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the Democratic co-chairman of the panel, told reporters.

These request for insane tax hikes, in fact, as far as I am concerned for any tax hikes that isn’t one where the 47% that today doesn’t pay any taxes now have to pay them too, need to be DOA. And that’s because these “cuts” all come in a decade, long after Team Obama is gone, while the taxes happen yesterday. That’s basically a guarantee that the nanny-staters will keep spending like they are doing now, racking up the deficit to grow the collectivist dependant base they depend on for votes, then the cuts never happen. Fuck that. That’s why this:

Late Monday, some GOP supercommittee members finally crossed the anti-tax line that their leaders had drawn in the sand. In a meeting that dragged on nearly to midnight, Sens. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) and Rob Portman (Ohio) and Reps. Dave Camp and Fred Upton, both of Michigan, presented a new proposal to Democrats Kerry, Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.).

Pisses me off. If they give into them now, the commiecrats will just keep saying no until they either get the ridiculous 1 for 1 option they want, which to put things into perspective means they want $1 trillion in taxes now for the promise of a $1 trillion cut 10 years from now, or they will kill the thing, and give Obama his campaign bumper sticker. The fact that the do nothing congress is courtesy of Harry Reid will never be mentioned by the LSM.

Democrat Senate kills 2nd Obama jobs bill: rape and murder to follow according to Veep!

Yep, 2 democrats and Joe Lieberman from my state joined the republican minority in the democrat controlled Senate to kill another stinker of a bill, in a 50-50 vote that fell far short of the 10 votes needed to hit 60. It was too obvious that this stimulus–light bill, as written, amounted to nothing but funneling $35 billion to as Reid put it to shore up the bloated public sector that democrats buy votes from, under the guise of creating/saving jobs. It fooled nobody and it died because of that.

Frankly it is now obvious to me that Team Obama at no point had any interest in passing this bill, or the bigger ½ trillion stimulus part deux one that died a similar death earlier, either- Obama wouldn’t be out there, on a tax payer subsidized campaigning bus tour, but in DC trying to work out a compromise that would be both fiscally responsible and realistically targeted at job creation, if he really cared about this thing passing – but wanted it to go down in flames. That is likely so they can then demagogue and use it as a political cudgel to accuse republicans of not caring about fire fighters, cops, and teachers. Their strength isn’t governing but campaigning, with a healthy dose of LSM obfuscations of truth & facts, and that is what is going on. Don’t be fooled, and when you hear the demagogueing, don’t let it stand. In the mean time the people suffering from 3 botched years of Keynesian economics continue to languish and fall behind, while the connected rock the proveribial house. Crony capitlaism at it’s best, but the problem is Wall Street, not government and those that make a living lobbying it for things paid by others. I see why Biden told us to be ready for more rape and murder…

Perspective…

Let’s discuss our Demcorat controlled Senate and our country’s budget:

Budget: Over the weekend, Senate Democrats passed a dubious milestone — going 900 days without fulfilling their legal obligation to pass a budget. Worse is the fact that this gross dereliction of duty has gone largely unnoticed. You have to go all the way back to April 29, 2009 — just three months after President Obama took the oath of office — to find the last time Senate Democrats managed to discharge their legal obligation to produce a budget plan. That’s right — legal obligation. It says right in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that the Senate must produce a budget resolution by April of each year. Instead, all the country has gotten from Senate Democrats are excuses.

Can you imagine if this had happened when Bush was president and republicans controlled the branch pulling this stunt? What about if the republican controlled house decided to do this right now? Anyway, what have the senate majority holding donkeys been up to?

In May, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said “it would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage,” since the so-called Gang of Six was working with Vice President Biden to come up with a debt reduction deal. In early July, Republicans sent a letter to Reid asking where the Democrats’ budget was. Turns out, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., had a plan ready to be unveiled, but Reid forced him to keep it locked up. Ostensibly that was because of the then-ongoing debt ceiling talks. Democrats did, however, find the time in May to force a vote on the House Republican budget plan, but only in hopes of embarrassing their Senate counterparts.

Politics baby! Reelection and keeping power over what’s best for the country. The plan is to fool the rubes into keeping them in power so they can use the next 4 years after that to really screw us hard. And they will do it all to “help” the unfortunate many… If you believe that I have a bridge crossing the Atlantic ocean to sell you. The LSM was not available for comment.

It was all about the propaganda value

As was expected Obama’s “job’s bill”, which really was nothing but stimuluspatronage part deux and doomed from the start, died. But if you look at the LSM reporting this defeat in the Senate, you would never know the truth of why and how this thing went down in flames. From that Reuter’s article, we get:

(Reuters) – The Senate defeated President Barack Obama’s job-creation package on Tuesday in a sign that Washington is likely too paralyzed to take major steps to spur hiring before the 2012 elections. The $447 billion package of tax cuts and new spending failed by a vote of 50 to 48, short of the 60 votes it needed to advance in the 100-member Senate. Voting was expected to continue for several hours but would not affect the outcome.

Wait a fucking second! I know that republicans control the House, but last I looked it was fairly obvious to me that the democrats controlled the majority of the votes in the Senate, where Harry Reid has been lording the stupid over us all. So how did a democrat controlled congressional organ fail to pass “The One’s” new bill? The real story here, contrary to the bullshit peddled by the LSM and doubled down on by this crappy Reuter’s reporting, is that this pile of shit was so toxic that most democrats could not swallow it. And that’s even AFTER Reid had amended it to please the class warriors that would then have to face their angry leftard constituents at home! Two democrats still defected and voted against it. My bet is that if the margin had been higher in favor of democrats, that the bill would STILL have been defeated with even more democrats voting against it. That’s how idiotic and bad it was.

And this is why I agree with this Wall Street Journal article that these morons never had any real chance of passing this, knew that but didn’t really care about doing anything to address the abysmal job market and economy they have straddled us with, and that it was always about exactly what we now hear the DNC propaganda outlets peddling: evil republicans killed the bill that would have solved all our job problems!

It’s never been about jobs with these people, it is about their power and spreading the wealth to increase their power. Don’t be fooled.

Growing to like it..

CNN has a poll they released yesterday questioning respondents about what Dingy Harry Reid called the worst piece of legislation ever – yeah worse than Obamacare.. impossible! – which for those of you living under a rock, is the bill proposed by the Republican controlled house referred to as the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. This bill, which amongst other things comes with cuts over $100 billion, immediately, from the 2012 fiscal budget, caps and rolls back federal spending to under 20% – which I still feel is ridiculously high – and then not until 2021, which I also feel is way too far out there, and finally sets the stage for a balanced budget amendment as a prerequisite to allowing he debt limit to be raised, is a good first step. And contrary to the lies from the usual lefty morons, it doesn’t touch either the holy social programs that are on pace to bankrupt the country soon, like Social Security & Medicare, nor touch the other benefit Obama threatened to hold hostage if he didn’t get his way: Veteran benefits. It’s a good first step, but that’s all it is. Too few cuts happen now, and too much of the promised reduction is hanging out there, too far in the future, to be taken seriously. But IMO, that balanced amendment thing makes all of it worth the trouble.

So back to the poll. I am sure the idiots at CNN where surprised by their results, which went against what they hoped for even when they likely rigged the sample to favor the left’s point of view, and ended up having to spin heavily when reporting on it. But the fact is indisputable: they result was 2 to 1 in FAVOR of the bill. Sane Americans want smaller government, despite what the left tells us.

Of course, the left’s leadership’s reaction to that is, and Reid has basically made it clear, is to kill this bill in the Senate. Why? Double why, when some 20 democrat senators like the deal. Well, it seems that we got the truth from the House Minority leader, Steny Hoyer, whom basically pointed out that the amendment would make the democrat’s top priority – to raise taxes on people to feed the monster and grow it bigger – a near impossibility. And he basically also makes the case against the amendment on the basis that only a fringe bunch of insane fiscal conservatives, that have no home other than the republican party, are the only ones that want to thwart what he and the other Obamanauts want. I guess he missed that CNN poll or actually believed the spin by CNN when they reported the results. The left is pissed that they can’t hike taxes. Yes, they really are. Makes me want to smile.