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News Roundup – Government Shutdown, Iran, Marital Secrets

Navy yard shooter – Aaron Alexis

For those who like the creepy or macabre, there’s video of Aaron Alexis walking around the Navy Yard with a Remington 870 shotgun.

I don’t see how we avoid a government shutdown. The Democrats are not going to negotiate on a bill that’s already passed Congress and has already been verified by the Supreme Court. ObamaCare is the law of the land. The Democrats are not going to back down or cave on this issue. President Barack Obama said that he is not going to negotiate with the good faith and credit of the American government. I think this is the stance he should’ve taken years ago. Instead, he capitulated, waffled and negotiated. I believe this has emboldened Republicans to believe that they only need to bluster in order for Democrats to go and cower in the corner. This time, it looks to me like Democrats are going to hold strong. There’s a significant fraction of the Republicans in the House who don’t believe in negotiation. Therein lies the impasse. There was a ridiculously cute story in the Washington Post this morning. Some reporter went to Westchester, Ohio, which is in John Boehner’s district. The reporter walked around and talked to a bunch of his constituents about the imminent government shutdown. Nobody knew anything. It seemed as if nobody knew that there was an imminent government shutdown. One gentleman said, “they’ll work it out – they always do.” I think this guy is 100% wrong. I think we are in for some significant badness.

By the way, in case anybody was noticing, the Senate voted to restore funding to ObamaCare. Is anyone surprised? (more…)

We Must Recognize (Update)

Well no, there seems to be something in the air. It is a craziness that has infected Washington. For some reason, Speaker John Boehner believes that we have a spending problem. The problem isn’t that our tax revenues are ridiculously low. That’s not the problem. The problem is spending, according to Boehner. Watch the video as he stomps off:

It is time for Americans to recognize what we are watching. We are not either watching a negotiation between Democrats and Republicans or we are watching some sort of complicated economic equation between liberals and conservatives. The data is clear. We do not have a spending problem.

We have a revenue problem.

The data is clear.

In 2001, President Bill Clinton and the Democrats handed President George W. Bush and the Republicans a budget surplus. We were paying down the deficit. We started two wars which were not paid for. Not one Republican has stood up and said that this was irresponsible and that we should cut the Pentagon budget in order to make up for the spending. That would make sense, wouldn’t it? The Bush administration then turned around and gave huge tax cuts to the rich. I have no problem with giving tax cuts to the rich. If we have a surplus of money and the tax cuts are not going to cut into the surplus then great. Unfortunately, the tax cuts killed the surplus. They are continuing to do damage today. The Bush administration sold the American people on the fantasy that tax cuts pay for themselves. These tax cuts have not. Finally, the economic downturn has decreased revenue and therefore increased the  deficit.

None of these concepts is all that difficult. I use no fancy math. There were no smoke and mirrors. All of this information is easily obtainable. So, we must recognize that there is something else going on. This is not an argument over spending. This is an argument over whether we will let Republicans kill programs that they hate. It is that simple. WE must recognize what is truly going on.

Update: Erza Klein has a great summary of what’s going on with this debt ceiling impasse.

What it is: The debt ceiling is a legal cap on the amount of money the Treasury can borrow to fund existing government functions. It essentially authorizes the Treasury to borrow the money necessary to pay the bills incurred by the federal government.

Where it came from: Before 1917, Congress authorized the Treasury to issue bonds for specific purposes. But that meant approving every bond separately. To fund World War I, Congress decided to give the Treasury more latitude by instituting caps on how much it could borrow through each type of bond, rather than forcing it to get every new bond approved separately. In 1939, this was changed so that most bonds were bound by the same limit, effectively creating the general debt ceiling we have today. (more…)

By |2011-07-22T12:46:17-04:00July 22nd, 2011|Budget, House of Representatives|Comments Off on We Must Recognize (Update)

Adding Up the Lies in the Presidential Debates

Tonight, we watched the first nationally televised presidential debate between John McCain and Barack Obama. As a result of following this campaign closely for over 12 months, I know the candidates and their positions. It still amazes me how McCain can lie and tell the truth with the same expression on his face. For example, when Obama stated that Henry Kissinger said that he supported direct negotiations with Iran, McCain replied with a straight face that Kissinger never said that. Oops. It turns out that Kissinger said exactly that. So, either McCain was “naïve” and has no idea what his advisor is even saying or he was lying. Take your pick.

Five former Secretaries of State had a forum last week. Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger and James Baker all advocated talking with your enemies.

Here’s more on Kissinger’s position from the Huffington Post:

I’m in favor of negotiating with Iran. And one — (unintelligible) — of negotiation is to put before Iran our vision of a Middle East — of a stable Middle East and our notion of nuclear proliferation at a high enough level so that they have to study it.

It’s not only Kissinger’s position, it is the position of James Baker and Colin Powell as well. Here is what Powell said at last week’s forum: “We should start to talk to them. Don’t wait for a letter coming from them. Start discussion. We’ve been talking to them up through 2003.” When asked whether we should take the initiative, Powell responded, “Yeah. We shouldn’t we? What are we afraid of?”

From the Washington Post Fact Check:

McCain seriously misstated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it.

Overall, I think that Obama did well. McCain tried to make him seem small and inexperienced, but I don’t think that it worked. And even though McCain tried to tie Iraq into everything, Obama did a great job of untangling Iraq and pushing the problems in Afghanistan. At best, McCain fought to a tie in a subject that was his strong suit.

Daily Kos has some polling numbers on how Americans thought the candidates did.

By |2008-09-26T23:30:21-04:00September 26th, 2008|Election 2008|Comments Off on Adding Up the Lies in the Presidential Debates
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