Can Kicked Again

 Posted by at 21:39  economy, Politics
Oct 162013
 

Disaster has, for the moment, been averted thanks to the Democrats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. A deal was reached that will reopen the government until January 15, 2014 and will raise the debt ceiling until February 7, 2014. We will fight this battle all over again after the first of the year.

Here is the final vote in the House of Representatives:

Note that all 198 Democrats voted in favor of continuing with this little experiment we like to call the United States of America. 144 Republicans voted to flush the whole thing while only 87 Republicans seem to like the country.

The vote in the Senate was 81 in favor and 18 against. All 18 no votes were Republicans. They were: Ted Cruz (Tex.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Tex.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Dean Heller (Nev.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Tim Scott (S.C.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.).

President Obama promised to sign the legislation immediately. The United States government will be open for business tomorrow.

Thank you, Democrats.

Oct 152013
 

They’re going to do it. I have been saying for more than a decade that the number one goal of the Republican party was to destroy the United States of America. The bastards idiots are actually going to do it…

Debt Talks in Disarray as House Balks

WASHINGTON — With the federal government on the brink of a default, a House Republican effort to end the shutdown and extend the Treasury’s borrowing authority collapsed Tuesday night as a major credit agency warned that the United States was on the verge of a costly ratings downgrade.

After the failure of the House Republican leadership to find enough support for its latest proposal to end the fiscal crisis, the Senate’s Democratic and Republican leaders immediately restarted negotiations to find a bipartisan path forward. A spokesman for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said Mr. Reid was “optimistic that an agreement is within reach” with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.

With so little time left, chances rose that a resolution would not be approved by Congress and sent to President Obama before Thursday, when the government is left with only its cash on hand to pay the nation’s bills.

“It’s very, very serious,” warned Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”

A day that was supposed to bring Washington to the edge of resolving the fiscal showdown instead seemed to bring chaos and retrenching. And a bitter fight that had begun over stripping money from the president’s signature health care law had essentially descended in the House into one over whether lawmakers and their staff members would pay the full cost of their health insurance premiums, unlike most workers at American companies, and how to restrict the administration from using flexibility to extend the debt limit beyond a fixed deadline.

Even so, the House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, and his leadership team failed in repeated, daylong attempts to bring their troops behind any bill that would reopen the government and extend the Treasury’s debt limit on terms significantly reduced from their original push against funding for the health care law. The House’s hard-core conservatives and some more pragmatic Republicans were nearing open revolt, and the leadership was forced twice to back away from proposals it had floated, the second time sending lawmakers home for the night to await a decision on how to proceed Wednesday.

This is what you get when you vote for Republicans, people. I hope you learn a lesson from this. It may well be your last opportunity.

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Weekly Address 10-12-13

 Posted by at 10:30  Politics
Oct 122013
 

“Let’s Get Back to the Work of the American People”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed his meetings with members of Congress of both parties and the ongoing effort to reopen the government and remove the danger of default from our economy. The President urged Congress to pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this shutdown. In his message, the President also called for paying our bills, and preventing an economic shutdown.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

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Transcript after the break.

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Oct 112013
 

Seems it’s Friday again already. Here is this week’s installment. Click on the first thumbnail to start your slide show.

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

Saturday addition:

Shutdown damages GOP

 Posted by at 22:21  Politics, Republicans
Oct 102013
 

I realize that our Republicans do not believe in polls unless the numbers are in their favor, but this one has to hurt…

NBC/WSJ poll: Shutdown debate damages GOP

The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level.

By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96.

Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, which are both at all-time lows in the history of poll.

And one year until next fall’s midterm elections, American voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress to a Republican-controlled one by eight percentage points (47 percent to 39 percent), up from the Democrats’ three-point advantage last month (46 percent to 43 percent).

What’s more, Obama’s political standing has remained relatively stable since the shutdown, with his approval rating ticking up two points since last month, and with the Democratic Party’s favorability rating declining just three points (from 42 percent to 39 percent).

Perhaps if our Republicans started acting like adults rather than spoiled, screaming children people would have a better opinion of them. Since that is not likely to happen any time in the near future, they are just going to have to learn to live with the consequences of their actions.

Consequences like:

Republican Party Favorability Sinks to Record Low

With the Republican-controlled House of Representatives engaged in a tense, government-shuttering budgetary standoff against a Democratic president and Senate, the Republican Party is now viewed favorably by 28% of Americans, down from 38% in September. This is the lowest favorable rating measured for either party since Gallup began asking this question in 1992.

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Oct 082013
 

President Obama delivers a statement from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing of the White House.

Think about it this way. The American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don’t get a chance to call your bank and say, “I’m not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox. If you’re in negotiations around buying somebody’s house, you don’t get to say “Well, let’s talk about the price I’m going to pay, and if you don’t give me the price then I’m going to burn down your house.”

That’s not how negotiations work. That’s not how it happens in business; it’s not how it happens in private life. In the same way, members of Congress — and the House Republicans, in particular — don’t get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs. And two of their very basic jobs are passing a budget and making sure that America is paying its bills.

The complete transcript of the President’s statement follows the break.

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Oct 062013
 

Here is your Sunday reading assignment. It’s an article by Michael Cohen of The Guardian and it explains quite clearly why President Obama and the Democrats cannot give in to the demands of the Republicans. To do so would mean an end to democracy in America.

Dear President Obama: Don’t cave to the GOP’s extortion politics

To a casual observer of American politics the ongoing government shutdown and prospect of a cataclysmic debt default in the next two weeks may look like just another round of “DC dysfunction” between two parties hopelessly polarized and ideologically divided. It’s not. While the government shutdown is nominally about the Republican crusade against Obamacare, the issues at stake are far bigger than one law or even one president or one Congress. In reality, the psychodrama playing out in Washington is about the future of democracy in America.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. Unless the GOP’s brand of extortion politics is thwarted, America’s democratic institutions will be so badly subverted that the nation will simply find itself in the position of staggering from one manufactured crisis to another with potentially both political parties threatening economic and political Armageddon if they don’t get their way. That is, quite simply, no way to run a democracy and it’s why the only option facing President Obama and the Democratic party is to win this showdown and force the GOP to concede defeat.

It’s important to understand at the outset that US democracy, for all of it many flaws, is one based on the idea of political compromise. In a system with so many obstacles to legislative outcomes – two houses of Congress, a separate executive branch and tons of minor obstruction points in each institution – there really is no other way to get things done.

That has dramatically changed in just the past few years. It’s not that compromise was always achievable in the past (the failure to break the Southern block on civil rights legislation is an obvious example), it’s that the search for common ground has simply been thrown asunder, replaced instead by extortion politics.

Click on the article’s title to continue reading.

P.S. If you need further proof of Mr. Cohen’s argument, you need look no further than right here: “Boehner: No ‘Clean’ Votes on Reopening Government or Debt Ceiling Without Negotiations with President Obama.”

P.P.S. I’m in no way sure that anybody is even visiting here anymore. It’s been a long time since the last comment. My web host changed the URL for this blog from esoterically.net/weblog to just esoterically.net. Perhaps that’s the reason. I’m just not sure. Anyway, if you’re here, please leave your thoughts in a comment if for no other reason than to assure me that somebody is visiting. Thanks.

Oct 052013
 

I do not know if you are aware of this, but the Republicans trot out somebody each week to deliver their “weekly address” in rebuttal of the President’s weekly address. This week they spun the bottle and it pointed to John Cornyn of Texas.

I have never posted any of the Republican weekly addresses because they are just too crazy. However, I’m going to post this one by Senator Cornyn just so you can witness for yourself how delusional these folks really are. They are either delusional or complete hypocrites and liars. I prefer to think of them as delusional, giving them the benefit of the doubt. It is entirely possible, though, that they are hypocrites and liars. You decide.

Be sure to continue on to the previous post for the real weekly address.

If you need a refresher on the truths behind the Republican Shutdown, please see “Shutdown for Dummies.”

Disclaimer: John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are the senators from my home state of Texas. I have never voted for either of them and never will.

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Weekly Address 10-05-13

 Posted by at 10:05  Politics
Oct 052013
 

“End This Government Shutdown”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama said that Republicans in the House of Representatives chose to shut down the government over a health care law they don’t like. He urged the Congress to pass a budget that funds our government, with no partisan strings attached. The President made clear he will work with anyone of either party on ways to grow this economy, create new jobs, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul – but not under the shadow of these threats to our economy.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

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Transcript after the break.

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