Jul 102014
 

President Obama was in Austin, Texas today. He spoke at some length mainly about the economy and the obstructionist Republicans in congress. My favorite and, I feel, the most relevant part of speech was:

The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. (Applause.) Maybe it’s just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some principle out there that I haven’t discerned, that I haven’t figure out. (Laughter.) You hear some of them — “sue him,” “impeach him.” Really? (Laughter.) Really? For what? (Applause.) You’re going to sue me for doing my job? Okay. (Applause.)

I mean, think about that. You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job — (laughter) — while you don’t do your job. (Applause.)

There’s a great movie called “The Departed” — a little violent for kids. But there’s a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg — they’re on a stakeout and somehow the guy loses the guy that they’re tracking. And Wahlberg is all upset and yelling at the guy. And the guy looks up and he says, “Well, who are you?” And Wahlberg says, “I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.” (Laughter and applause.) Sometimes, I feel like saying to these guys, I’m the guy doing my job, you must be the other guy. (Applause.)

So rather than wage another political stunt that wastes time, wastes taxpayers’ money, I’ve got a better idea: Do something. (Applause.) If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, let’s team up. Let’s pass some bills. Let’s help America together. (Applause.)

Here’s the video. A complete transcript of the President’s remarks will follow the break.

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Dec 042013
 

President Obama discusses the twin challenges of growing income inequality and shrinking economic mobility and how they pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream.

Since 1979, when I graduated from high school, our productivity is up by more than 90 percent, but the income of the typical family has increased by less than eight percent. Since 1979, our economy has more than doubled in size, but most of that growth has flowed to a fortunate few.

The top 10 percent no longer takes in one-third of our income — it now takes half. Whereas in the past, the average CEO made about 20 to 30 times the income of the average worker, today’s CEO now makes 273 times more. And meanwhile, a family in the top 1 percent has a net worth 288 times higher than the typical family, which is a record for this country.

So the basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed.

The full transcript of the President’s remarks follows the break.

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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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Oct 032013
 

President Obama was in Rockville, Maryland today and spoke about the economic impact of the Republican Shutdown.

The only thing that is keeping the government shut down; the only thing preventing people from going back to work and basic research starting back up, and farmers and small business owners getting their loan — the only thing that’s preventing all that from happening, right now, today, in the next five minutes, is that Speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes-or-no vote, because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his party. That’s all. That’s what this whole thing is about.

Here is the video. The full transcript of the President’s remarks follows the break.

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Sep 302013
 

There is a tendency in the American media, whenever something goes wrong with government, to report that both sides are equally to blame. Nope, not this time. The United States government will shut down in about half an hour, and this one falls squarely on the backs of the Republicans.

Q: who’s to blame for government shutdown? A: the Republican party

There is a frustrating tendency in American political reporting to adopt a position of “both sides-ism” – as in, “both sides” are equally to blame for the nation’s chronic political dysfunction. Sometimes, it must be said, this assessment is correct. After all, the US political system was practically designed to breed legislative gridlock.

Not this time, however.

There is one party that is solely to blame for the first government shutdown in 17 years. And it’s the Republican party.

Indeed, the debate happening in Washington right now is not even between Democrats and Republicans. It’s not even about the deficit, or the budget, or government spending priorities. Rather, it is one strictly occurring between Republicans who are trying to find some magic bullet to destroy “Obamacare” – the country’s fiscal health be damned.

In the House of Representatives, bills that would allow the government to continue to operate were amended with provisions defunding or delaying Obamacare. This is, for Democrats, a nonstarter. The reason is obvious: the Affordable Care Act is the president’s signature achievement and he is not going to sign a bill that undoes or even delays it.

Nor should he. Obamacare is the law of the land. It was passed by Congress, signed by the president, upheld by the US supreme court, and it is already going into effect. There is no reason for President Obama to be cowed by such legislative extortion.

Yet, rather than accept the reality of Obamacare, Republicans are using the prospect of a government shutdown and/or a default on the nation’s debt to try to stop it.

Click on the article’s title to continue reading.

Sep 302013
 

President Obama spoke this afternoon about the Republican/Tea Party shutdown of the federal government that will likely occur at midnight tonight. Here is part of what he had to say. A full video of his statement follows the quote.

“One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election.

“Congress needs to keep our government open, needs to pay our bills on time, and never, ever threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

“Time is running out. My hope and expectation is that in the 11th hour once again, that Congress will choose to do the right thing and that the House of Representatives in particular will choose the right thing.

“Unfortunately, right now, House Republicans continue to tie funding of the government to ideological demands like limiting a woman’s access to contraception or delaying the Affordable Care Act, all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party.”

Full transcript follows the break.

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Jumpstarting job growth

 Posted by at 16:50  economy, Politics
Jul 302013
 

The President in Chattanooga, Tennessee today…

But so far, for most of this year, we’ve seen an endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals. And we keep on shifting our way — shifting our attention away from what we should be focused on, which is how do we strengthen the middle class and grow the economy for everybody. And as Washington heads towards yet another budget debate, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

And that’s why I’m visiting cities and towns like this -– to lay out my ideas for how we can build on the cornerstone of what it means to be middle class in America. A good job with good wages. A good education. A home to call your own. Affordable health care that’s there for you when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you’re not rich. More chances for folks to earn their way into the middle class as long as they’re willing to work for it. And, most importantly, the chance to pass on a better future for our kids.

Full transcript follows the break.

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Reigniting the economy

 Posted by at 18:34  economy, Politics
Jul 242013
 

Just imagine the economy we could all be enjoying right now if the Republicans were not fighting this President every step of the way…

So, yes, Congress is tough right now, but that’s not going to stop me. We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress, to make things happen. We’re going to go on the road and talk to you, and you’ll have ideas, and we want to see which ones we can implement. But we’re going to focus on this thing that matters.

The full transcript of President Obama’s remarks follows the break.

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And the rich get richer

 Posted by at 10:25  economy, Politics
Jul 062013
 

If this doesn’t get your dander up, I honestly do not know what will (other than Republicans, of course)…

CEOs Make 273 Times the Average Worker

If you’re the CEO of a major company today, you make, on average, about 273 times more than the average worker. That’s according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) of the CEO-to-worker pay ratio at top 350 firms. The average pay, EPI found, was $14.1 million in 2012, up 12.7 percent from 2011.

That’s a big change from a half-century ago. In 1965, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was about 20-to-1, but it grew over the next three decades, and that growth picked up speed in the ’90s. It peaked in 2000 before the early 2000s recession, with a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 383.4-to-1. It hit a lesser peak again in 2007, before the Great Recession, with a ratio of 351.3-to-1. During the recovery, CEO pay has been climbing upward once more. At the same time, for most Americans, wages have remained stagnant at best.

I mean, come on, most of these guys can’t even throw a football!