Weekly Address 01-30-10

 Posted by at 09:43  Politics
Jan 302010
 

From the White House weblog:

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama promised to rein the deficit, citing three specific steps to this end. He praised the Senate for restoring the pay-as-you-go law, which in the 1990’s contributed to the $236 billion surplus at the end of the decade. It is no coincidence that after ending PAYGO, that surplus became a $1.3 trillion deficit. He has also proposed a freeze in discretionary spending, which will increase investments in jobs creation and middle class tax cuts while cutting spending for redundant or ineffective programs. And finally, the President called for a bi-partisan Fiscal Commission to hammer out concrete deficit reduction proposals.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The transcript of the president’s weekly address, as prepared for delivery, is available after the break.

Continue reading »

Jan 292010
 

Each week at this time it is our distinct honor and immeasurable pleasure to present you with the best political and editorial cartoons published during the week just ending. Remember that, although it should not, your mileage may vary. Just click on a cartoon to make it bigger. When you do so, a set of icons should magically appear at the bottom of your browser window (if your browser is working correctly). You may use those icons to navigate your way through a slide show. Enjoy.

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As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Saturday additions:

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Republican retreat

 Posted by at 16:39  Politics, Republicans
Jan 292010
 

The Republicans in the House of Representatives are holding a ‘retreat’ in Baltimore, Maryland. President Obama met with them today. He spoke for a bit and then took questions for over an hour. It was compelling television (for those of use who are into such things).

Transcript here.

Enjoy. I sure did. (Never pick a fight with a law professor.)

All of us, then, have a choice to make. We have to choose whether we’re going to be politicians first or partners for progress, whether we’re going to put success at the polls ahead of the lasting success we can achieve together for America. Just think about it for a while. We don’t have to put it up for a vote today. Let me close by saying this: I was not elected by Democrats or Republicans, but by the American people. That’s especially true because the fastest-growing group of Americans are independents. That should tell us both something. I’m ready and eager to work with anyone who is willing to proceed in the spirit of goodwill. But understand, if we can’t break free from partisan gridlock, if we can’t move past the politics of no, if resistance supplants constructive debate, I still have to meet my responsibilities as president. I’ve got to act for the greater good, because that, too, is a commitment that I have made. And that, too, is what the American people sent me to Washington to do.

 

Jan 292010
 

In Wednesday’s State of the Union Address, President Obama reminded us that “just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.” As Dana Milbank of The Washington Post tells us, the GOP issued their response the following day…

On Thursday, Republicans sent their answer.

The Senate took a vote on extending the federal debt ceiling — without which the United States would go into default. All 40 Republicans voted no.

The Senate took a vote on requiring Congress not to pass legislation that it can’t pay for. All 40 Republicans voted no.

The Senate took a final vote on passing the overall plan. Thirty-nine Republicans voted no. The 40th, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), skipped the vote.

The state of the union is . . . unchanged.

You can read his entire column here.

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State of the Union 2010

 Posted by at 21:36  Politics
Jan 272010
 

President Barack Obama just finished delivering his first official State of the Union Address.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A full transcript of that address follows the break.

Continue reading »

Cons arrested

 Posted by at 17:06  Politics, Republicans
Jan 262010
 

In case you missed it…

Activist filmmaker arrested in senator’s office

James O'Keefe
James O'Keefe

NEW ORLEANS – A conservative filmmaker whose undercover videos shone a spotlight on alleged corruption by the liberal activist group ACORN was arrested with three other men and accused of plotting to wiretap the New Orleans offices of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

The FBI said in an affidavit that James O’Keefe was among the four men who were arrested Monday. Special Agent Steven Rayes said O’Keefe was helping two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, who were dressed as employees of a telephone company and attempted to interfere with the office’s telephone system.

Flanagan is the son of William J. Flanagan, the acting U.S. attorney for western Louisiana. William Flanagan’s office confirmed his son was among those arrested, but declined further comment.

The fourth man was identified as Stan Dai. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

Republicans.

See also: “ACORN ‘gotcha’ man arrested in attempt to tamper with Mary Landrieu’s office phones.”

UPDATE: From The Washington Post… “Conservatives react to charges against ACORN foe.”

Conservative supporters of O’Keefe claim he and two others entered Landrieu’s office in an effort to conduct another undercover video sting — to show on video that citizens trying to call the senator’s phones to complain could not get through.

Read the entire article. It’s loads of fun.
 

SOTU Preview

 Posted by at 15:45  economy, Politics
Jan 252010
 

President’s Obama’s first official State of the Union Address is scheduled for this Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST. This morning, he and Vice President Biden held a meeting with the Middle Class Task Force. During that meeting, several themes were previewed which will likely make their way into Wednesday evening’s speech. Among them:

  • Require companies that do not offer retirement plans to enroll their employees in direct-deposit retirement accounts unless the workers opt out.
  • Increase the “Savers Credit,” a tax credit for retirement savings, for families making up to $85,000.
  • Change some of the rules for 401(k) employer-sponsored retirement savings accounts to make them more transparent.
  • Increase the child tax credit rate to 35 percent of qualifying expenses from the current 20 percent for families making under $85,000 a year. Families making up to $115,000 would be eligible for some increase in the tax credit.
  • Increase child care funding by $1.6 billion in 2011 to serve an additional 235,000 children.
  • Boost government spending by $102.5 million for programs aimed at helping families who provide home care for an aging relative.
  • Ease the burden for student loans by limiting a borrower’s payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance.

Noticeably missing was any mention of health care reform. (Not quite true, actually. The President did mention “health care that’ll be there when you get sick.”)

A transcript of both the Vice President’s and the President’s remarks follows the break.

Continue reading »

Quote of the Day

 Posted by at 17:24  Politics, Republicans
Jan 242010
 

Andre Bauer
Andre Bauer

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.” — Republican Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer of South Carolina.

UPDATE: Mr. Bauer has apologized for the above remarks. Says he is not against animals.