Saturday, July 30, 2011

Senator Marco Rubio: “You talk about delay tactics? They have delayed for two years”

Sen. Rubio Beat a Dead Horse in the Senate Today. His Name Is John Kerry. - Redstate

Sen. Marco Rubio [R-FL] took to the Senate floor for a 15 minute speech on the Debt Ceiling debate. Around 7 mins in Sen. John Kerry [D-NVA] thought he would try and debate him. Hilarity ensued.

‘We either save this country or we do not. And to save it, we must seek solutions.’ - The Corner

◼ Be aware: Journolist Lives: The Democrat-Media Complex's Hostage Meme (you hear Kerry try to pull it in the clip) - Doug Ross


Rep. Darrell Issa on Latest Fast and Furious Hearing

Washington Is Annoyed at Wall Street’s Failure to Panic

Washington Is Annoyed at Wall Street’s Failure to Panic - CNBC

(L)ots of people in Washington, D.C. expected that this would be a week marked by panic in the markets. Stocks would tank. Bonds would get clobbered. The dollar would do something dramatic. And all of this would help convince reluctant lawmakers that they had to reach a compromise on the debt ceiling.

“We were following the script from 2008. When the market collapsed after TARP failed, that spooked everyone enough to get them to fall in line. We thought the same thing would happen this week,” he said.

Instead, the market has just been on a quiet, non-panicked slide.

Stocks have sold off by a couple of percentage points, but nothing that indicates a real fear trade in the works.

Harry Reid's Bill voted down in House

House to vote on Reid’s debt bill — before he offers it; Update: 43 GOP senators sign letter opposing Reid’s bill; Update: House defeats Reid’s bill, 173/246 — with Democratic help - HotAir

Update: That’s that. Reid’s bill burns in the House, 173/246 — with 11 Democrats voting no. Not sure who they are yet; probably liberals who were unhappy with his cuts-only approach, but we’ll see when the roll comes out. A curious detail: Two Republicans initially voted yes before changing their votes. Stand by while we wait to find out who they are.

Update: Reid and Pelosi are on their way to the White House for a huddle with The One.

Update: Here’s the House roll. The 11 Democrats who voted no: Barrow, Boren, Braley, Loebsack, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson, Ross (AR), Schrader, Visclosky, and, er, David Wu. So it wasn’t just liberals in opposition.


Debt-limit debate: 43 Republicans say they will reject Reid’s plan - Washington Post
Obama accuses House GOP of wasting 'precious days' with legislation - The Hill via Drudge
In the Senate: REID FILIBUSTERS OWN BILL! - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times
"We would be happy to have that vote tonight," Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republicans' leader, offered.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid objected, even though the vote would occur on his own bill. He instead said the chamber would have to run out the full procedural clock, which means a vote in the early hours Sunday morning.

He said he would be willing to move up the vote if Republicans didn't insist on a 60-vote threshold, which has become traditional for big, controversial items to pass the Senate. But the GOP held firm on that demand, so Mr. Reid said he would insist on the full process, which he said would show the country that Republicans were being obstructionist.
MOODY'S: Nobody's plan will work - The Hill

Humboldt County redistricting committee to begin drawing maps

While only three Fieldbrook residents commented Friday, the turnout was substantial compared to the last few meetings, officials said. After a decent turnout at the first meeting, in Eureka, a good turnout in Scotia -- which was attended by many Southern Humboldt residents -- and in Blue Lake, officials said the turnout at the second Eureka meeting and Arcata's meeting was dismal. - Times Standard

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass said she's not sure why residents are not attending, but the silence may be a sign of apathy... ”I'm trying to figure out a better feeling for what people want,” she said, adding that she thinks the redistricting committee has made great efforts to collect comments.

Obama’s exclusive George Soros waivers

“Millionaires and billionaires,” President Obama says derisively, must make more “sacrifices” and live by the same rules the rest of America lives by. But there are seven little words that will never appear on the White House teleprompter: “And that means you, too, George Soros.” - Michelle Malkin

By now, the Obama “leadership” style should be blindingly apparent: Do nothing, lie in wait, and then counter-attack. Never present a plan if you can possibly help it, but deal exclusively in bromides and platitudes as you stake out the moral “high ground” and get ready to ambush the other guy.

Think of it as the Permanent Insurgency campaign. - Michael Walsh at National Review

Meanwhile, have your media allies, talking parrots, and court lickspittles prepare the ground with standard-issue talking points — “The Tea Party Republicans are terrorists,” for example....

Use the bully pulpit as a bludgeon against your political enemies. Make cheap, demagogic appeals to your dwindling base of supporters to do your lobbying work for you. Say the same thing over and over, no matter how much TV time you need to pre-empt.

Adamantly refuse to be pinned down about the specifics of anything, and have your platoon of Baghdad Bobs continue to insist (as good liberals always do) that up is down, black is white, and wishes are really horses, if not actual unicorns.

Presidential leadership failure, then and now

For Reid, Durbin, and Obama, a (very) partisan record on debt ceiling

(O)n July 24, Reid cast himself as a bipartisan compromiser, trying to talk sense into his partisan adversaries. "We hope Speaker Boehner will abandon his 'my way or the highway' approach," Reid said, "and join us in forging a bipartisan compromise." - Byron York/Washington Examiner

...A look at Reid's record, however, shows that in the last decade his own voting on the issue of the debt ceiling is not only partisan but perfectly partisan. According to "The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases," a January 2010 report by the Congressional Research Service, the Senate has passed ten increases to the debt limit since 2000. Reid never voted to increase the debt ceiling when Republicans were in control of the Senate, and he always voted to increase the debt ceiling when Democrats were in control.

Other Democrats have also accused Republicans of partisanship in the debt fight. "It's time for bipartisan leadership, not partisan gamesmanship," said the number-two Democrat in the Senate, Richard Durbin, after Republicans pulled out of budget talks with President Obama. And Obama himself described the debt debate as a "partisan three-ring circus" -- leaving no doubt that it is Republicans who are practicing partisanship.

At look at Durbin's record shows that he, too, has voted along absolutely partisan lines. In the last decade, Durbin never voted to increase the debt ceiling when Republicans were in control and always voted to increase the debt ceiling when Democrats were in control. As for Obama, there were four votes to raise the debt ceiling when he was in the Senate. He missed two of them, voted no once when Republicans were in charge, and voted yes once when Democrats were in charge....

Flashback: Tim Geithner on the U.S. Debt Rating in February 2010

According to a article dated February 10, 2010, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the U.S. is in no danger of losing its AAA debt rating even though the Obama administration has predicted a $1.6 trillion budget deficit in 2010. - American Thinker

"Absolutely not," Geithner said, when asked in an ABC News interview broadcast yesterday whether a downgrade is a concern. "That will never happen to this country."

A Post-American Planet - Decline starts with the money, but it doesn’t stop there.

That thoughtful observer of the passing parade, Nancy Pelosi, weighed in on the “debt ceiling” negotiations the other day: “What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.” - Mark Steyn At National Review

It’s always good to have things explained in terms we simpletons can understand. After a while, all the stuff about debt-to-GDP ratio and CBO alternative baseline scenarios starts to give you a bit of a headache, so we should be grateful to the House minority leader for putting it in layman’s terms: What’s at stake is “life on this planet as we know it today.” So... read the rest
Mark Steyn is author of the forthcoming After America: Get Ready for Armageddon This title will be released on August 8, 2011.

Issa launches investigation into Obama's new fuel economy standards

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa launched an investigation Friday into a series of closed-door meetings between Obama administration officials and major automakers that resulted in beefed-up vehicle fuel economy standards. - The Hill

Issa sent out letters to executives of the country’s major automakers Friday alerting them to the investigation and requesting that they keep all documents related to meetings with administration officials on the standards.

In the letters, which were obtained by The Hill, Issa says the administration’s efforts to negotiate the fuel economy standards “raise serious concerns.” The new rules, which were announced Friday by President Obama, will also limit consumer choice, Issa says.

“I am concerned about the agreements lack of transparency, the failure to conduct an open rulemaking process, as well as the potential for vehicle cost increases on consumers, and negative impact on American jobs,” the letters say.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Redistricting Maps Approved: Thompson Out

Redistricting Maps Approved: Thompson Out - Ryan Burns at The Journal
Congressman Mike Thompson’s home of St. Helena has been excised from our district (along with Clearlake, Napa and Davis) in favor of hoity-toity Marin County... Humboldt County still falls within the district boundaries of State Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) and Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata), though their respective political landscapes have shifted somewhat, with Evans’ district picking up Marin and Del Norte counties and Chesbro’s acquiring a hunk of Santa Rosa.
New Calif. political maps to favor Democrats - Times-Standard
California Citizens Redistricting Commission approves final draft maps; litigation expected to follow - Times-Standard
The citizens commission established by voters to create an independent process for drawing California's legislative and congressional districts has delivered on its first set of maps, voting to adopt new boundaries that appear to increase the reach of majority Democrats.... Final certification is due by Aug. 15, allowing time for technical fixes.
California redistricting panel got earful about draft maps - LA Times
Passionate input from across California amounted to an extended conversation about what makes a community and what unites and divides the state's residents.

Who Is Scaring Californians Away From Signing Petitions For Ballot Initiatives?

Who Is Scaring Californians Away From Signing Petitions For Ballot Initiatives? - Redstate
Coincidentally, though a spokesman says the SEIU is not involved with the radio ad, the purple behemoth is sending out its thugs personnel to “persuade” Californians not to sign petitions.
California: Shadow group begins to interfere with initiative signature gathering
Radio ad claims signing initiatives increases risk for identity theft - Sacramento Bee
The 60-second spot, which is airing on at least one Southern California radio station, features a man telling his spouse she should not have signed a petition at the grocery store.

"The Legislature called it an identity theft starter kit. Now we really need to watch our bank statements and credit information," he says.

"That's it, I'm not signing any more petitions," the woman responds. "I guess the lesson here is not to give our name and address to anyone we don't know."

The identity of the group behind the ad remains a mystery, but the timing of the launch suggests its aim is to derail one of several high-profile measures currently trying to qualify for the 2012 ballot.

The spot claims to be paid for by a group called "Californians Against Identity Theft." The coalition has no website and has not filed a campaign committee with the Secretary of State, though the content of the ad likely would not trigger disclosure requirements because it does not mention a specific measure or candidate....

SEIU California is dispatching its own representatives to the streets to persuade voters not to sign petitions. The union has sent members a toll-free number to report canvassers circulating petitions for the measure, urging them to dial in "if you see someone trying to fool voters in your community into signing away our rights."

SEIU California spokesman Christopher Calhoun said the union's effort is intended to "make sure folks get a chance to hear our side of the story" before signing the petitions.

He said the union is not involved in the radio ad.

It's IMPORTANT to know that: Under state law, it is illegal to use initiative signatures for anything other than the initiative petition. Election code also prohibits felons ineligible to register to vote from serving as signature gatherers.

Read more:

Boehner: "This House has acted."
End This Crisis - John Boehner at National Review Online

The people’s House has spoken — not once, but twice — presenting the other chamber with legislation certified by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as cutting trillions of dollars in spending over the next decade while providing an immediate increase in the national debt limit.

In contrast, in the six months since President Obama formally requested that the debt ceiling be raised, the Senate has passed nothing.

Time is now of the essence. The quickest way for Congress to eliminate the possibility of default and ease the growing turmoil in our economy is for the Senate to take up the House-passed bill and send it to the president today. As Senate Democrats themselves noted today, a House bill that has been sent to the Senate and then tabled is “still pending” — meaning it can be taken up and passed at any time.

Both parties have been entrusted with power in Congress. Neither party has been authorized to take risks with the full faith and credit of the United States.

For the sake of our country, and the sake of our economy, the House has passed a responsible bill that can pass the Senate. Now it’s time for our colleagues in the Senate to pass it, send it to the president, and bring this crisis to an end.

House passes GOP debt bill over objections of Obama, Democrats; Senate votes to table

The vote was 218 to 210 in favor of a bill offered by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). After revising the plan and intensively rallying Republicans to support it, Boehner was barely able to muster the 217 votes need for passage, but Democrats were united in opposing it. Twenty-two Republicans joined 188 Democrats in voting “no.”

President Obama warned earlier in the day that the House GOP plan had “no chance of becoming law.”
- Washington Post

Boehner 3.0 Tabled - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

"Are we better off that the Boehner bill passed the House? I say absolutely, the narrative is that the House passed a debt ceiling extension and the Senate killed it."

Why The Tea Party & House GOP Are NOT Failing, But Succeeding - Strata-sphere


Boehner Debt-Ceiling Bill Barely Passes House 218-210; Twenty GOP ‘No’ Votes The Other McCain
Boehner 3.0 Passes House - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Rand and Ron Paul with Cavuto re: the Debt Ceiling vote


New Obama motto: Yes, We Spam! President Barack Obama takes debt battle to Twitter, loses more than 40,000 followers in one day

Barack Obama Twitter Spams The Nation, Loses 10,000 Followers And Counting - Mediaite
Obama takes debt battle to TWITTER, loses more than 33,000 40,000 followers... - NY Daily News
New Obama motto: Yes, We Spam! - Michelle Malkin
Thousands ‘unfollow’ @barackobama on Twitter - Washington Post

“I just unfollowed @barackobama seemed like a good #compromise,” wrote one Twitter user named @eriktimmons.

“Congrats to the spammer of the month... mr. president; @BarackObama,” wrote another, Michael Pangopoulos, whose Twitter name is @mostblind.

The mixed reviews are likely to be studied closely by the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, which has been trying to build its Twitter network with a series “tweet up” events with power users of the social media.

To put it another way, he lost twice as many followers today as jobs created last month. - HotAir

Obama Approval Drops to New Low of 40% Similar to his approval rating for handling the debt ceiling negotiations

President Obama's job approval rating is at a new low, averaging 40% in July 26-28 Gallup Daily tracking. His prior low rating of 41% occurred several times, the last of which was in April. - Gallup
Obama Loses Re-Election Support in New Poll - Real Clear Politics

Now, just 41 percent of registered voters say they would send the president back to the White House while 40 percent prefer to elect a Republican candidate, according to a Pew Research Center survey. In May, the president led a generic Republican, 48 percent to 37 percent.

The Pew poll suggests independent voters are driving this drop. In May, 42 percent of independents supported Obama's re-election, while 35 percent preferred his challenger. Now, that figure is upside down: 31 percent of independents are inclined to vote for him in 2012 while 39 percent want to replace him with a Republican.

Additionally, 54 percent of independents disapprove of Obama's job performance while 36 percent say he is doing a good job as president, down 13 points since May. Among all registered voters, his approval ratings are under water, 48 percent to 44 percent.

Boehner plan comes out on top in new CBO analysis requested by GOP

The debt-ceiling plan authored by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) cuts the deficit by more than the plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) if an assumption about war funding is removed from the Reid bill. - The Hill

Without assuming a drawdown in military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Reid bill only cuts the deficit by $909 billion. That's $8 billion less than the $917 billion Boehner plan. With the war funding factored in, the Reid plan cuts $2.176 trillion over 10 years....

The newly revised Boehner plan has the potential for even greater savings because it would require a balanced budget be enacted. Depending on how it is structured, a balanced budget could require many trillions of dollars in deficit cuts to achieve.

Boehner gets standing ovation from Senate Rs - ABC

4.9% unemployment in Mexico vs. 9.4% in US... Illegal Aliens Head South to Mexico in Search of 'American Dream'

Improving Mexican economy draws undocumented immigrants home from California - Sacramento Bee via Drudge

Obama White House TWITTER campaign against Republicans

New York Times reporter advises White House media staff on Twitter - Daily Caller

(New York Times’s Jennifer) Preston tweeted her own suggestion to a White House flack, saying “@macon44 Hi there. I heard the President ask the people to tweet re: debt ceiling. Are you guys using specific hashtag?”

A minute later, she tweeted a followup to White House flack Jesse Lee, saying, “Hi Jesse, what’s the hashtag that you guys are urging people to use in their tweets to Congress re: debtceiling.” Lee is the White House’s s director of progressive media & online response. (RELATED: New WH talking point: Boehner is the Grinch, and he’ll steal your Christmas)

At 11.04, the White House’s press shop announced a new hashtag for Democrats to use when targeting GOP members of Congress. The message read: “@NYT_JenPreston People responding to POTUS shld use #compromise. As he said, it is ‘time for #compromise on behalf of the American people’”

Obama Takes to the Cyber-Bully Pulpit - National Journal

When President Obama said to tweet your lawmakers and ask them to compromise on raising the debt ceiling earlier on Friday, he really meant it.... Obama's campaign Twitter account, @BarackObama, has set out to spread the word of congressional Republicans who are on Twitter. "You heard the President. So here's what we're doing: throughout the day we'll post the Twitter handles of GOP lawmakers in each state," the account tweeted....

Earlier on Friday, Macon Phillips, the White House director of digital strategy, tweeted that "#compromise" was the hashtag of the day for tweets of this nature.
The campaign is also crowdsourcing, asking followers to tweet them additional handles of GOP lawmakers.

But could this strategy have an unintended consequence for the president? With 9.4 million followers, Obama's campaign account is one of the most followed. Mentioning GOP foes to Obama's followers could help boost their followings on Twitter.

By midafternoon on Friday, that seemed to be the case.

"Thanks @BarackObama for pushing @RoyBlunt over 11,000 followers today!" tweeted Amber Marchand, communications director for Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

"Looking forward to all the new followers @BarackObama sends my way today in his Twitter spam campaign," tweeted Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.

Katie Hogan, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, declined to comment, but a House Republican staffer thought Obama was making a mistake.

"He’s going to be jumping into a dogfight, given that 80 percent of our conference, and 90 percent of the freshmen are on Twitter," said the staffer, who is not authorized to talk to the media. "Does he really want to go there?"

President twit - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

This is laughable and childish. But it’s what passes for presidential leadership these days.

Would mandate that the second hike of the ceiling could only occur after a balanced-budget amendment passed both chambers of Congress and went to the states for ratification.

New Boehner bill likely to pass the House - HotAir
DOCUMENT: Latest Version of House Speaker Boehner's Debt Plan - National Journal
Support shifts as Boehner adds balanced-budget amendment - The Hill
House Republicans will link passage of a balanced-budget amendment to Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) last-ditch debt-ceiling plan, which GOP lawmakers said would move the measure to passage in a high-stakes vote later on Friday.

Republican lawmakers voiced confidence the enhanced bill would pass muster with conservatives, as Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) predicted the balanced-budget amendment change would bring 10 to 20 more GOP members on board....

(Democrat Harry) Reid has also vowed to hastily kill the Boehner plan, should it make its way through the House.

Barack Obama’s Secret Plan to Save America, Solve the Debt Crisis, and Fight the Freemasons

Obama Sees ‘Plenty of Ways Out of This Mess,’ But Offers No Specifics - CNS News

“The power to solve this is in our hands,” Obama said. “This is one burden we can lift ourselves.”

GDP at 1.3

Weak growth raises worry, debt fight poses risk - Reuters

The U.S. economy came perilously close to flat-lining in the first quarter and grew at a meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June period, leading economists to warn of recession if a stand-off over U.S. debt does not end quickly....

The U.S. economy in the first quarter expanded at just a 0.4 percent pace, a sharp downward revision from the previously reported 1.9 percent increase. While the recovery stepped-up in the second quarter, economists had expected a stronger 1.9 percent reading.

Fourth-quarter growth was revised to a 2.3 percent rate from 3.1 percent.

"The second quarter disappointed, but the first-quarter downward revision is more disturbing. It advances the pangs of concern. The debt ceiling nonsense is not going to help us. We're already in an economy that is subpar," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Gold soars, Dow plunges... - CNBC

Apple Now Has More Cash Than The U.S. Government - Business Insider
According to the latest daily statement from the U.S. Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion at the end of the day yesterday.

Apple's last earnings report (PDF here) showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June.
In other words, the world's largest tech company has more cash than the world's largest sovereign government.

That's because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not.
Consumer Sentiment Falls to Lowest Level Since March 2009 - CNBC
via Drudge

Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama.

They've Lost That Lovin' Feeling - Obama still has supporters, but theirs is a grim support. - Peggy Noonan/Wall St. Journal

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home Depot CEO says Obama is frighteningly divisive, unpresidential

Home Depot mogul hammers O over 'fat cat' talk - New York Post

"The debt ceiling will be raised . . . by next week," he said. "They'll come to some juncture where they're going to say, 'This is not what I wanted, but it's the best I can get.' "
But "the destruction he is inflicting by his behavior will carry on long after we have settled the debt limit."
"Divide us and we all lose. And this has got to stop," Langone pleaded. "And if he's listening, or one of his people are listening, and you can quote me exactly for what I say, he is not acting presidential, he is behaving in a way designed, in my opinion, to divide us and make us look at each other with skepticism, with suspicion.
"That's the end of America as we know it when that happens."

No vote tonight; Update: Vote tomorrow; Update: Hoyer now talking about Fourteenth Amendment option

Debt-ceiling update: Vote coming tonight … at some point; Update: 10-14 GOP senators against Boehner’s plan? Breaking: No vote tonight; Update: Vote tomorrow; Update: Hoyer now talking about Fourteenth Amendment option - HotAir

Pressure on Boehner: Failed Vote Could Ruin Speaker

UPDATE: Boehner Yanks Debt-Ceiling Bill at Last Minute! Vote Postponed

link - The Other McCain

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) announcing her support of the bill: Few freshmen in Congress can rival Ellmers’s credentials as the total Tea Party conservative, so her support of the bill is highly significant.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m. ET: It’s complete madness on Capitol Hill, folks. One GOP staffer says they got the news about the delay via an e-mail sent out by the Democrat whip team. Meanwhile, they’ve heard nothing from Republican whip, Kevin McCarthy, who is said to be still twisting arms to get votes for the Speaker’s bill.

And here’s the scary thing: McCarthy was the head of the GOP’s “Young Guns” candidate recruitment program in the 2010 mid-terms. There are freshmen who owe McCarthy big-time, so if the vote had to be delayed because he can’t promise 218 . . . Dude.

So it’s a total clusterfark in the GOP caucus at this point, although they still expect to have a vote tonight.

Boehnergeddon; Update: Vote delayed; Update: Boehner may hold vote whether he has the votes or not - HotAir

A note of hope from NRO’s Andrew Stiles: “Paul Ryan tells me they’re gonna pass this thing. Says he’s confident.”

Sarah Palin to Congressional Freshmen: For Such A Time As This

Republicans campaigned on a promise to rein in out-of-control government spending and to repeal and replace the massive, burdensome, and unwanted health care law President Obama and the Democrat Congress passed earlier this year in defiance of the will of the majority of the American people. These are promises that you must keep.


Reid spokesman: ‘Boehner’s bill dies tonight’

“Boehner’s bill dies tonight,” Reid communications director Adam Jentleson wrote on Twitter. “Forever.” - Daily Caller

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the legislation today. Reid said Thursday afternoon he plans to put the bill up for a vote in the Senate afterwards.

“As soon as the House completes its vote, the Senate will move to take up that bill,” Reid said, “and it will be defeated tonight.”

“No Democrat will vote for a short-term Band-Aid that would put our economy at risk and put the nation back in this untenable situation a few short months from now,” he said.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, shot back in an email to The Daily Caller: “House Republicans will vote today on a second bill to raise the debt limit and end this crisis, while Senate Democrats have failed to pass any bill to do so. Why can’t Senate Democrats say ‘yes’ to this reasonable, responsible and bipartisan solution?”

Speaker Boehner: Let's Pass This Bill & End This Debt Limit Crisis

Obama Talked About "Gun Tracing" in 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama still deny authorizing the lethal program, despite President Obama specifically asking Holder to conduct a complete review of current gun enforcement policies during a joint press conference in Mexico City with Mexico President Felipe Calderon in April 2009. The quote below starts at 1:16 in the video.
“Our focus is to work with Secretary Napolitano, Attorney General Holder, our entire Homeland Security team, ATF, border security, everybody who is involved with this to coordinate with our counterparts in Mexico to significantly ramp up our enforcement of existing laws. In fact, I’ve asked Eric Holder to do a complete review of how our current enforcement operations our working and make sure we are cutting down on the loop holes that are causing some of these drug trafficking problems. Last point I would make, is that there are going to be some opportunities where I think we can build some strong consensus I’ll give you one example and that is the issue of gun tracing, the tracing of bullets and ballistics and gun information that had been used in major crimes.”

MItch McConnell Offers Strong Support for Speaker's Deficit Reduction Plan

No time for political bluffing

Letters to the Editor - The Times-Standard

Earlier this week, President Obama said he couldn't be sure Social Security checks would go out on Aug. 3 if the debt ceiling weren't raised by Aug. 2. This was a scare tactic intended to frighten seniors, and thus Congressional Republicans. Mr. Obama has yet to present publicly a list of cuts in federal costs he will support. He insists that a package must include tax increases, not because they are needed to reach a cost-reduction goal, but because he believes in income redistribution. Republican negotiators have said they would agree to some revenue raising by way of curbing some subsidies, exemptions and deductions, but not an increase in tax rates when the economy is as weak as it is. Thus, the two sides should be able to come together. It is time for the president to engage in straight-forward negotiating. This is no time for political bluffing. He knows the Social Security checks will go out, come what may.
Peter Hannaford
Chairman, Humboldt County Republican Party

Congressman Mike Thompson: ”Make no mistake -- I'm not afraid to cut spending where it's deserved,” Thompson said. “In fact, I've voted to cut more than $100 billion in spending this year alone and am prepared to vote for more reductions."

Thompson: No budget that ruins Medicare, Social Security
CONTACT U.S. Representative Mike Thompson
Cannon House Office Building
Room 415
Washington D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3311
317 3rd St., Suite 1
Eureka, CA 95501
Eureka phone: 269-9595 Fax: 269-9598 (contact via webform)

Locally: Supervisors punt rezone decision to next month; board action puts county in breach of lawsuit settlement

Rezoning decision awaits Supes today; after marathon meeting, board continues discussion - Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
After a marathon session Tuesday high on acrimony and disagreement but short on decisions, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will continue meeting today to determine the fate of a massive effort to rezone properties throughout the county for multifamily housing developments.
Supervisors punt rezone decision to next month; board action puts county in breach of lawsuit settlement - Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors opted Wednesday to put off a final decision on its multifamily rezoning effort for about a month in a vote that puts the county in breach of a recent legal settlement and jeopardizes hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding.

Voting 4-1, with 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace dissenting, the board delayed a decision on whether to approve a massive plan to rezone dozens of parcels throughout the county to accommodate multifamily housing developments until its Aug. 23 meeting. The board made the decision to allow more time to consult with the McKinleyville Community Services District, which stands staunchly opposed to the plan that would place 45 percent of the rezoned properties within its service area.

At the start of Wednesday's meeting, Lovelace also took a moment to apologize to the Humboldt Association of Realtors, after saying Tuesday the group seemed to have “lost its soul.” Lovelace deemed the remark “unwarranted and unhelpful,” saying it was made in frustration.

The county's plan -- plagued by a tight timeline -- seeks to rezone about 55 parcels throughout the county to allow for the development of more than 1,000 multifamily units, a little more than half of which would be designated for low-income families. Under state law, the county needs to rezone enough properties to provide for the construction of at least 980 multifamily units.

"Those aren't bumps, Mr. President, they are 20 million real Americans whom your policies have failed. With unemployment near 9% and half a million people looking for work, Ohio deserves better”

In his June visit to Ohio, President Obama explained that rising unemployment rates were just “bumps on the road to recovery”. Governor Romney responded, "Those aren't bumps, Mr. President, they are 20 million real Americans whom your policies have failed. With unemployment near 9% and half a million people looking for work, Ohio deserves better”, he continued. “President Obama said if he didn't turn around the economy in three years, he would be looking at a one term proposition. He's right."

Gary Johnson says he plans to stick it out through 2012

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is the first to admit that even after months of campaigning, hardly anyone has heard of him. And that's the very reason he refuses to drop out in his run for president.... - Yahoo

"There are 13 candidates now in the Republican race. I think 12 of them are vying to split up the social conservative vote, and I'm not one of those," he said. "I think that's what's being contested in Iowa."

For him, the strategy is to stick it out longer than most of the others, until the GOP field dwindles to the last few candidates. The idea then, he explains, is to let the frontrunners battle it out among themselves, while he continues pitching his heterodox small-government-and-personal-freedom message.

"Having three candidates in the race--me being one of them, talking to California, I think that'll be quite the audience," he said.

Having already deployed the heavy weapons from the presidential arsenal, including a national address on Monday night and a veto threat, Mr. Obama is in danger of seeming a spectator at one of the most critical moments of his presidency.

President on Sidelines in Critical Battle Over Debt Ceiling - NYT
“I don’t think a president is ever completely helpless, but having said that, my interpretation of the nationally televised address that he gave was that he had no arrows left in his quiver,” said Bill Galston, a former Clinton administration official and now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a research organization. “If he’d had another card to play, that was surely the time to play it. He’s the ultimate decider but, on the other hand, I think his capacity to shape what gets to his desk has been substantially reduced” as Republicans stand their ground, Mr. Galston said.
Obama 'Unpresidential,' 'Petulant' 'Dividing Us': Langone - cnbc
President Barack Obama's conduct during the debate over the debt ceiling has divided the country and will inflict damage that will last well after the battle is over, former New York Stock Exchange director and Wall Street stalwart Ken Langone said.

While he believes a debt deal will get done and in fact favors a plan closer to what the Democrats are proposing, Langone told CNBC that Obama's behavior has been "unpresidential."

"He is dividing us as a nation," Langone said. "He's not bringing us together. He's willfully dividing us. He's petulant."

“Why doesn’t he have a plan?” Simple: Because he can’t. The minute the President evinces a budget plan, the game is up. No liberal budget will stand up to scrutiny.

The Man Without A Plan - Roger L Simon at Pajamas

There is no money left for deficit spending in our aging society. The welfare state is kaput. It’s gone — probably for generations to come...

Plans are dangerous because someone might scrutinize them. Someone might point out that social security was enacted in 1935 when life expectancy was 61.7 (It is now 77.9 and increasing) and, if it isn’t overhauled, it’s finished. No, you better stay away from these plans. Better to have vague theories and pronouncements. (No, I’m not going to say “hope and change,” but you know I was about to.)

All is not lost, however, in this most unPanglossian world. When you are finally able to shake free of liberal-statist ideas or, as Miniter explains, are forced to abandon them because the state itself is broke (not yet Greece, but close enough), you get a tremendous bonus: the pleasure of self-reliance.

When finally free from the bromides of their ultra-bourgeois ideology, even liberals realize you feel better when you do things for yourself. Most of us know from our own families and friends that the happiest people are those who have made their own way, not those who have had life handed to them, either by inheritance or from the state.

Why the Democratic Party is Doomed - Richard Miniter at Forbes

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

90 Seconds to National Debt Crisis

A downgrade of the United States' AAA credit rating is a bigger risk than a default and could over time add up to 0.7 percentage point to bond yields, members of a U.S. securities industry group said on Tuesday.

Downgrade seen adding $100 billion to U.S. funding costs - Reuters

CBO scores Boehner’s new bill: $22 billion in savings this year, $917 billion over 10 years

The new bill does, at least, keep his promise to produce savings in an amount greater than or equal to the amount of the debt-ceiling increase... - HotAir
‘The Best We Have Available’ - National Review

Rep. Bill Flores (R., Texas), a freshman member of the House Budget Committee, tells National Review Online that support for House Speaker John Boehner’s (R., Ohio) deficit plan is “really growing.”

“It’s not a perfect plan, but it is the best plan that we have available,” he says on his way out of a weekly meeting between GOP leaders and freshman members. “Those of us that are very concerned about the future of our country and for our kids and grand-kids think that it’s the right thing to do to pass this bill.”

Flores was one of 39 House Republicans to a sign a pledge promising not to vote to raise the debt ceiling unless “Cut, Cap, and Balance” legislation was enacted. He has since, along with several others, including Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.), backed off the pledge, arguing that Boehner’s plan “reflects the principles” of “Cut, Cap, and Balance.”

Boehner says revised debt plan yields greater cuts - Reuters

Palin to Keynote Labor Day Tea Party Rally in Iowa

The Labor Day weekend visit to the nation's first voting state comes after Palin indicated during an appearance on Fox News earlier this month that she would make her decision about whether to launch a campaign in August or September. - Real Clear Politics

All signs now point to September as the month when Palin would throw her hat into the ring, as logistical concerns ranging from fundraising to getting her name on the ballot in various states would likely preclude further delay....

One of the Tea Party of America's co-founders, Charlie Gruschow, had previously founded the Des Moines Tea Party before splintering off to start a new group with some like-minded colleagues.

Gruschow praised the work of a highly motivated group of volunteers who have been setting the groundwork in Iowa for a Palin campaign, which almost all of them deem to be inevitable.

"I can only surmise that she's very, very popular here," Gruschow said of Palin's level of support among Republican caucus-goers in Iowa. "And it didn't hurt at all when she introduced her movie in Pella. The feedback I've gotten was it was an awesome movie, and there are more people becoming more endeared to her."

Republican activists from New Hampshire plan to visit Texas next week to encourage Gov. Rick Perry to run for president

"Most of the folks who will be going down have seen what Gov. Perry stands for and his strong conservative track record," Mahoney said Wednesday. "And I think there's a large bloc of New Hampshire Republicans who feel like his stance on the issues are exactly what the country needs right now." - AP via Drudge

Gallup: Perry would start in second place

Balance the Budget

As former President Ronald Reagan says in this video, “Most Americans understand the need for a balanced budget and most have seen how difficult it is for the Congress to withstand the pressures to spend more. … We tried the carrot and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government’s squandering and overtaxing ways and save our economy.”

In a news conference on July 11, President Obama answered a reporter's question on public skepticism about the value of raising the national debt ceiling by saying, "The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes."

Whether or not Americans were paying attention then, they sure are now, especially if they watch Fox News Channel. - LA Times

Among those tuning into cable news to see the president's latest speech on the debt ceiling at 6 p.m. PT on Monday, FNC viewers outnumbered those watching competitors CNN and MSNBC by a comfortable margin.

Over 3.5 million watched the president's address on FNC, with a slight uptick to 4 million for....

...the GOP response from Speaker of the House John Boehner (with over 1.2 million in the coveted Adults 25-54 demographic). CNN came in second, with just over two million viewers for both the speech and the response. MSNBC brought up the rear with nearly 1.6 million for the speech and slightly less for Boehner's comments.

While CNN's ordinarily anemic primetime ratings normally spike during speeches, conventions and other political events, it may have lost some viewers because the speech came smack in the middle of network primetime...

FNC viewers were treated to a particularly tart response to Obama's remarks from contributor Charles Krauthammer, who said, "I thought I was cynical until I heard that speech."

MSNBC's Chris Matthews pointed out the president didn't "make news," as presidents usually do when they ask for a primetime TV slot, and said, "the President should not have gone on national television to give a political address."

CNN senior political analyst David Gergen labeled both addresses as "partisan."

And, finally, taking off his comedian hat for a moment and putting on his political pundit hat, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, under the title of "Armadebtdon 2011: The End of the World as We Owe It," commented on the Commander in Chief's request for Americans to call their congressional representatives by asking, "Did the president just quit?"

ATF Manager says he shared Fast and Furious Info with White House

Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O'Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: "you didn't get this from me." - CBS

"What does that mean," one member of Congress asked Newell, " 'you didn't get this from me?' "

Let me just list the stuff that we’ve learned this week - Redstate

Issa: Getting to the Bottom of Who Authorized & Knew About Deadly Operation Fast & Furious

Of the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling we have now, $4.5 trillion got added by Democrat-controlled Congresses since taking control in 2007. That corresponds exactly with the expansion in spending by Democratic Congresses over the same period:

Who owns the debt-ceiling issue again? - HotAir

Since 1990, the debt limit has been raised a total of $10.1 trillion, but nearly half of that increase has occurred since September 2007. -

Both parties have a great deal of responsibility for bringing us to where we are today. However, the assertion that it’s more the fault of George Bush and Republicans rather than Barack Obama and Democrats is patently absurd. These charts show exactly where spending increased, by how much, and the actions taken by Congress under control of each party — and every one of them shows the rate of increase in discretionary and mandatory spending rising faster under Democrats than Republicans, and the debt-ceiling hikes going up significantly faster.

All of this misses the point, however. We elected this Congress to change the way the federal government operates. Trimming $71 or $74 billion a year in spending won’t turn the tide on debt aggregation; we need fundamental, structural reform of spending that reduces to zero the amount of money we have to borrow on an annual basis to pay our bills.

Democrats have no plan

Even as House Republican leaders work to retool their deficit reduction package, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the plan will not get a single Democratic vote in the Senate, dooming it to fail.
Dem lawmaker: 'Nobody I know' has seen Reid plan... - The Hill
"I'm not going to commit to something that nobody I know has seen and had a chance to analyze," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said. "I want to see it."
House Democratic leader urges Obama to raise debt ceiling without Congressional approval... Politico
Rep. James Clyburn and a group of House Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling if Congress can’t come up with a satisfactory plan before the Tuesday deadline.
Boehner, Reid both back at drawing board

RNC: Change Direction

Obama’s Battleground-State Blues

The president’s national poll numbers aren’t good, but they’re worse in battleground states. - National Journal (image source)

President Obama’s job approval rating in the latest national polls has been in the danger zone, ranging from 42 percent (Gallup) to 47 percent (ABC News/Washington Post), with every survey showing him with higher unfavorables than favorables. Needless to say, it’s not a good place for a president to be, especially since his numbers have worsened over the past two months.

The race for president isn’t a national contest. It’s a state-by-state battle to cobble an electoral vote majority. So while the national polls are useful in gauging the president’s popularity, the more instructive numbers are those from the battlegrounds.

Those polls are even more ominous for the president: In every reputable battleground state poll conducted over the past month, Obama’s support is weak. In most of them, he trails Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. For all the talk of a closely fought 2012 election, if Obama can’t turn around his fortunes in states such as Michigan and New Hampshire, next year’s presidential election could end up being a GOP landslide.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Governor Tim Pawlenty's Statement on Speaker Boehner's Debt Limit Proposal

Statement on Speaker Boehner's Debt Limit Proposal

"President Obama has run up a dangerous amount of debt since taking office, and I greatly appreciate Speaker Boehner for courageously leading the fight to stop him from running up even more. Speaker Boehner has now put forth two plans; that would be exactly two plans more than what the President has offered. The debt limit is a line in the sand where Republicans can force the tough decisions to fix our nation's finances, and taxpayers cannot afford for us to back down now. I am for the plan that will cut spending, cap it, and pass a balanced budget amendment, but unfortunately this latest bill does not accomplish that."
Tim Pawlenty

Democrats’ game plan: Split GOP

Democrats are trying to drive a debt-limit wedge between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). - The Hill
'The Key is McConnell': White House Looks to GOP Senate Leader for Help - Jake Tapper/ABC

With debt negotiations locked in what President Obama last night referred to as a “stalemate,” the president is looking to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, for help.

Specifically, the president hopes McConnell will be able to persuade House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to support legislation that will raise the debt ceiling and reduce the deficit – and that can pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president.

“The key is McConnell,” a senior White House official tells ABC News.

Whether that would mean McConnell is able to “move” Boehner to support the bill being offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., or a version thereof after Boehner’s legislation fails to pass in the Senate, as many assume may happen, will be dictated by circumstances, the official said.

But Senate GOP sources say that the White House should likely look elsewhere.

McConnell worked with the Speaker on the Boehner bill and strongly supports it. The GOP leader believes that at the end of the day the choice will be between Boehner’s legislation and possible default, and the president will be forced to sign Boehner’s legislation, which would force $1.8 trillion in additional cuts in 2012.

Reid’s plan, Republicans say, not only couldn’t pass the House, it can’t sustain a filibuster in the Senate.

6:09 Minutes: "Show Us The Plan!": White House Press Corps vs. Carney on Obama's Debt Plan

White House on Budget-Talk Secrecy: ‘That’s How it Works’ - Wall St. Journal

George Soros dumps investors to avoid new financial regulations, Seeks to avoid Democrats' new disclosure rules...

Soros to close Quantum fund to outsiders Financial Times
George Soros, the billionaire hedge-fund manager and philanthropist best known for breaking the Bank of England in 1992, will return capital to investors in order to avoid reporting requirements under the Dodd Frank reform act. - The Street
The reason? Under new requirements from the Dodd Frank act, hedge funds are required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission by March 2012 if the fund continues to manage more than $150 million in assets for outside investors. The new requirements would call for funds to report information about the assets they manage, potential conflicts of interest, and information on investors and employees. The act allows an exemption for what the Commission considers "family office" advisers.

Meanwhile: ◼ Feds reportedly buying up farmland they flooded; Soros in on it - foodfreedom
George Soros, the Feds, and America’s Flooded Farmland -
Commodities broker Ann Barnhardt wrote on her website: “A Missouri farming and ranching contact just got off a conference call wherein he was informed that the federal government is sending out letters to all of the flooded farmers in the Missouri River flood plain notifying them that the Army Corps of Engineers will offer to buy their land.”

The Kansas City Star supports this claim, reporting that 17 Missouri families received a letter from the Army Corps of Engineers “offering to buy private land along the Missouri River for a wildlife conservation project. The letter was dated June 6, when floodwaters were beginning to rise.”

Later in the article, it was noted that “Karl Mueller, chief of civil works for the Army Corps’ Kansas City office, said the agency was not taking advantage of the flooding to buy farmland” and that the letters were a case of “unfortunate timing.”

When asked if the government would be compensating them for losses, Ms. Barnhardt told this reporter: “Of course not. The feds are calling it an act of God.”

Ms. Barnhardt also makes the stunning connection of George Soros and a company he is investing in called Ospraie Capital Management. It seems Ospraie is also buying farmland, and Soros’s investments have netted him control of “the third-largest grain company in the U.S., with 280 million bushels of storage capacity.”

White House to FOXNEWS: 'Tell your viewers there's nothing to worry about'

Hours after urging compromise: Obama team threatens to veto Boehner debt plan "The speaker's proposal cannot pass the Senate, will not pass the Senate, will not reach the president's desk," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. - USA Today
...Carney said today, "It's time for Democrats to give, for Republicans to give, to reach a solution that's not ideal for anyone, except for the country."

If they can't reach a consensus, what's Plan B? "We're working on Plan B," Carney said....
Obama Calls for Compromise on Debt: Americans Fed Up With 'Partisan Three-Ring Circus' - ABC via Drudge
...With the clock ticking toward what he called a “reckless and irresponsible” default, the president said he has told both leaders to come up with a “fair compromise” in the coming days that can pass both houses of Congress.

However, Obama did not outline what that compromise might be....
While officials from the Obama Administration raised their rhetoric over the weekend about the possibility of a debt default if the debt ceiling isn't raised, they privately have been telling top executives at major U.S. banks that such an event won’t happen, FOX Business has learned.
Desperate Obama tells followers to pressure lawmakers as he pushes new plan... - CNN via Drudge

BORGER: 'Nobody today is talking about tax increases -- except Barack Obama'... video - CNN


White House to FOXNEWS: 'Tell your viewers there's nothing to worry about'... - Real Clear Politics

Reminder: Obama's last venture into public specificity was his February budget, which proposed accelerating the nation's descent into debt. It was rejected by the Senate 97-0.

Congress Reminds Obama He's President, Not King - George Will for Investor's Business Daily

Between 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday, the nation began a constitutional course-correction. The current occupant's vanity and naivete — a dangerous amalgam — are causing the modern presidency to buckle beneath the weight of its pretenses. And Congress is reasserting its responsibilities.

Gunwalker/Fast&Furious: Issa: Obama admin intimidating witnesses in ATF gun probe

The Obama administration sought to intimidate witnesses into not testifying to Congress on Tuesday about whether ATF knowingly allowed weapons, including assault rifles, to be “walked” into Mexico, the chairman of a House committee investigating the program said in an interview Monday. - Stephen Dinan and Chuck Neubauer-The Washington Times

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, said at least two scheduled witnesses expected to be asked about a controversial weapons investigation known as “Fast and Furious”received warning letters from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to limit their testimony.

Mr. Issa's committee is set to hear testimony from six current or former ATF employees, including agents and attaches assigned to the bureau’s offices in Mexico, about the operation — in which, federal agents say, they were told to stand down and watch as guns flowed from U.S. dealers in Arizona to violent criminals and drug cartels in Mexico....

Mr. Issa also said he is certain the Fast and Furious operation was known by most top officials at the Justice Department and that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. either knew and misled Congress, or was so out of the loop that he’s guilty of mismanagement.

“How is it that the No. 2, 3, 4 at Justice all knew about this program, but the No. 1 didn’t?,” Mr. Issa said. “Is it because he said ‘don’t tell me’? Is it because they knew what they were doing is wrong, and they were protecting their boss? Or is it that Eric Holder is just so disconnected … ?

“Whichever it is — he knew and he’s lied to Congress, or he didn’t know, and he’s so detached that he wasn’t doing his job — that really probably is for the administration to make a decision on, sooner not later,” Mr. Issa said.

Discussion at Lucianne

The National Scope of the Gunwalker Scandal. Lanny Breuer & four border state ATF SACs implicated in report. "Lions! And tigers! And bears! Oh, my!" - sipseystreetirregulars

Witnesses to ATF gunrunner operation to name names - 'By the end of this, they'll prove that orders came from the very top' - WorldNetDaily

"Nothing will ensure that Obama is held accountable except the American people and their demand that we get to the bottom of this. This is a bottom-up scandal. I mean, it was broken by alternate media on the internet," (Investigative journalist and Second Amendment analyst Mike) Vanderboegh observed.

"The ATF agents themselves broke it on their web site and [it was] picked up by me and David Codrea. Then we used that information to get U. S. senators to send people out to talk to the Whistleblower agents," Vanderboegh said.

House GOP revolts against Boehner plan

House Republicans do not have enough support to pass their debt-ceiling increase plan on their own, a top conservative said Tuesday as his party’s leaders tried to cobble together a coalition of Republicans and Democrats to put the bill over the top. - Washington Times

“There are not 218 Republicans in support of this plan,” Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who heads the powerful conservative caucus in the House, told reporters Tuesday morning....

Mr. Boehner’s bill would reduce future discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion, grant an immediate debt increase of $1 trillion, and set up a committee to work on trillions of dollars in future deficit reduction either through more spending cuts or tax increases, which would then earn another future debt increase. It would also require both the House and Senate to hold votes on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

But conservative Republicans in the House, many allied to the tea party movement, said they don’t just want votes on the amendment, they want an assurance it will be sent to the states. Mr. Jordan and other conservatives said they would prefer the Senate vote on the debt increase the House passed last week, that includes deeper spending cuts and requires both chambers approve a balanced budget amendment and submit it to states for ratification before any debt increase happens.

MacIver Institute: "Wisc. Assembly Democrats Would Have Added $1.7 Billion in Spending, Created $1.4 Billion Deficit."

"Wisc. Assembly Democrats Would Have Added $1.7 Billion in Spending, Created $1.4 Billion Deficit." - Althouse
Analysis of Budget Amendments - MacIver Institute
As it was passed by the legislature, the new state budget erased the structural deficit and is scheduled to leave the budget $300 million in the black.

However, had the Assembly Democrats been successful in their attempts to amend the budget, the plan would have left the state with a $1.4 billion deficit going into the 2013-2015 budget deliberations.
Read the report

Reactions: Obama's Speechifying

The president stumbled four times over the past week. - National Review Online
OBAMA: AFTER 2 1/2 YEARS, A HAS-BEEN - Powerline
The President was the Obama we have all come to expect: hyper-partisan and divisive, to a degree I have never seen in any other chief executive. And I go back to Eisenhower. His talk was full of transparent lies. And Obama is an economic illiterate, which has resulted in most Americans writing him off as a failure. A plurality of Americans regard him as a terrible president. So one wonders whether anyone was listening to him tonight with an open mind.

Obama’s performance was, in my view, awful. Why? Because, as the president has revealed himself to be inept on one issue after another, the lingering question has always been: is he, nevertheless, some sort of political genius? After all, his one undoubted talent is fundraising; he is the greatest money-machine in the history of American politics.

But tonight–and this is the point I really want to make–Obama dispelled any idea that lurking behind his incompetence on matters of policy and administration is a gleam of political shrewdness
House speaker says Obama won't get 'blank check' - AP

Two speeches, two visions - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post
President Obama’s decision to give a speech tonight was proof that things have not gone well for him. He threw (another) tantrum in the Friday news conference, he turned down a bipartisan deal presented to him Sunday and thereby took himself out of the limelight. Tonight’s speech was not intended to “solve” the impasse but to make sure Obama would get credit if a deal is struck and avoid blame if it is not.

The speech itself was part panic attack, part platitudes and a whole lot of class warfare (corporate jets! hedge fund managers!). He stood awkwardly at the East Room podium, minus any press corps. He began with a ponderous recap of the budget train wreck, and then described his grand bargain (light on the details, because, of course, he never put a concrete plan out there). He ridiculed the Republican plan...
Chris Matthews: Obama ‘Shouldn’t Have Gone On National TV To Give A Political Address’ - Mediaite
Chris Matthews argued that he considered using primetime television space for a political debate a bit of an error, and after going into detail on how the aesthetics of Speaker John Boehner’s speech were off, lamented that President Obama had gone on TV to give that sort of speech.

Prompted by O’Donnell’s question about the President’s decision to use primetime space for what he admitted was a debate and not a new development, Matthews noted that “there’s some concern in the media, our media, about that,” because the President “openly stated that this is a debate” and by Republicans being given a direct response, “it did put the President almost on an equal level.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ron Paul gets big endorsement ahead of crucial Iowa contest

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has fresh bragging rights after picking up what is surely a coveted endorsement on Monday. - CNN (image source)

Cory Adams - the Republican chairman of Story County in Iowa – endorsed the Texas congressman's presidential bid at a campaign event in Ames, Iowa.

That's significant for a few reasons. Ames is the largest city in Story County, home to over 50,000 residents. And it is in this city that a widely-watched showdown between the GOP presidential candidates will play out on August 13. The Ames Straw Poll will test the candidates' popularity and could be a sign of their electability.

Having the endorsement of such an influential political figure in and around Ames will surely give Paul's campaign something to boast about as it aims for a strong showing in that contest.
Ron Paul

Speaker Boehner’s Website Crashes After Debt Plan Speech – Too Many Hits

Speaker Boehner‘s website crashed tonight during his speech to the nation. via Gateway Pundit

Obama spoke on the debt crisis again tonight, and Boehner spoke too. - Althouse

Obama’s Plea to Flood Congress With Calls Backfires in One Member’s Office -

Speaker John Boehner: Address to the Nation on GOP Plan to Address America's Debt Crisis w/TRANSCRIPT

TRANSCRIPT: Before I served in Congress, I ran a small business in Ohio. I was amazed at how different Washington DC operated than every business in America. Where most American business make the hard choices to pay their bills and live within their means, in Washington more spending and more debt is business as usual.

Good evening. I'm John Boehner. I serve as Speaker of the whole House -- of the members of both parties that you elect. These are difficult times in the life of our nation. Millions are looking for work, have been for some time, and the spending binge going on in Washington is a big part of the reason why.

I've got news for Washington -- those days are over.

Obama’s Prime-Time Address: A Dog Whistle to the Astroturf

link - Breitbart's Big Government

Tonight, President Barack Obama made good on his threat to Eric Cantor to take his case “to the American people.”
The people he’s counting on most, however, are not the general public, but the small core of left-wing activists planning nationwide protests at congressional offices tomorrow.

Former “green jobs” czar Van Jones let the proverbial cat out of the bag today in a column at the Huffington Post entitled: “Tuesday: Rallies Everywhere to Save the American Dream“...

Likewise, has sent emails to its members, asking them to demonstrate outside Republican congressional offices tomorrow...

Then, in his speech to the nation tonight, Obama called upon Americans to tell their members of Congress to compromise –clearly referring to Republican members of Congress alone...

At the risk of speculating too boldly, the timing here is too convenient to be accidental. President Obama is probably coordinating his message this evening with the message that the left-wing faux grass-roots will try to broadcast around the country tomorrow, hoping to portray their well-planned efforts as a spontaneous response to Obama’s prime-time address.

Rather than a sincere attempt at persuasion, it was more likely a dog whistle to the left-wing Astroturf–the signal to begin a carefully staged media campaign in the last days before the debt ceiling deadline, the better to position Obama politically when August 2nd passes–no matter what deal has been reached, or not, by then.

To get a mandate, GOP must win another election

The entire House of Representatives is elected every two years. The voters in 2010, with unusual clarity, elected a House determined to reverse the Obama Democrats' vast increase in the size and scope of government. - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

But determination is not enough. Barack Obama, elected in 2008, remains in office armed with a veto. The friendly mainstream media permits him to use euphemisms to insist on tax increases that were roundly rejected by the voters in 2010.

And the Senate, two-thirds of which was elected in the Democratic years of 2006 and 2008, retains a Democratic majority that, though unable to pass its own budget, can frustrate House Republicans' attempts to deliver on their more recent mandate.

The lesson is that you have to win at least two elections in a row to make the kind of policy changes that the Obama Democrats made in 2009 and 2010 and that House Republicans want to make now.

President Obama, continuing to make use of his White House bully pulpit, will address the nation on Monday night on the “stalemate over avoiding default and the best approach to cutting deficits,” Jay Carney, the press secretary, announced in a Twitter message late in the afternoon. UPDATED

◼ UPDATE: House Speaker John Boehner will give Republican's side immediately after Obama speaks TONIGHT ABC via Drudge


The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll

23% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21... Forty-four percent (44%) of Democrats Strongly Approve while 75% of Republicans Strongly Disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% Strongly Approve and 42% Strongly Disapprove.

"This is a person of unique substance"

Blogger's Briefing: New Palin Film "The Undefeated" 38.33 minutes

"The Undefeated" - pro and con - Discussion at Althouse

Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross to leave seat wide open for Republicans

The ranks of the Blue Dogs have already dwindled significantly, thanks to the 2010 midterm election, in which a number of moderate incumbents met defeat. According to the WSJ, “mod Dems” in the House shrank from 51 in the 110th Congress to just 25 in the 111th. - HotAir

From a certain nostalgic, idealistic perspective, the shrinking numbers of Blue Dogs is truly lamentable. How nice it would be if our senators and representatives still met over friendly meals and met in the middle on controversial issues! But from a practical, forward-thinking perspective, the increasing polarization at least makes the choice between big-government and small-government advocates clearer (especially when Republicans actually hold the conservative line — but more on that in another post!).

It’s certainly encouraging to see the congressional delegation of a conservative state like Arkansas actually reflect the conservatism of the state. Ross’ exit opens the door for a complete transformation of that delegation.

Exiting the sinking ship? Ark. Dem. US Rep. Mike Ross won't run again - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

Obama kills bipartisan deal, then Reid resorts to smoke and mirrors - Endorses New Plan with 'Sham' Savings...

Obama still pushing for tax hikes... - AP
The president made his comments to the National Council of La Raza on Monday as congressional leaders struggled against time to come up with a plan to meet an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the nation's debt ceiling.
Obama kills bipartisan deal, then Reid resorts to smoke and mirrors - Endorses New Plan with 'Sham' Savings... - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post via Drudge
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is devising a sham that will never pass muster in the House. A Capitol Hill source with knowledge of the plan tells me: “It includes $1.2 trillion in OCO [Overseas Contingency Operations] savings . . . which was assumed anyway, $1.2 trillion (over $1.1 trillion less than [Majority Leader Eric] Cantor identified in the Biden talks) and $300 billion in interest savings.” A Senate aide says dryly that Reid “has about a trillion in ‘savings’ from ending the war in Iraq that’s already going to end.” And a disgusted House adviser bluntly tells me that Reid’s plan “isn’t real.”

We shouldn’t be too harsh on Reid. HE DID reach a bipartisan deal with the House. But the president squashed it. (Note to Congress: Next time don’t ask, just pass it and leave town.) Now we are back to gamesmanship.
'Cuts' include money not spent in Afghanistan over next 10 years... - FOX
BOEHNER: Plan 'full of gimmicks'... - AP

Washington Times: Is Obama a pathological liar?

His late-evening news conference Friday was a tour de force of flat-out, unadulterated mendacity — and we’ve gotten a first-hand insider’s view of the president’s long list of lies. - Washington Times/ANALYSIS/OPINION

Obama administration's charm offensive fails to win over business groups

The Obama administration’s push to mend its relationship with business has gone cold only six months into the effort. - Peter Schroeder and Bernie Becker/The Hill

Complaints abound about the regulations pouring out of federal agencies to implement the federal healthcare and financial regulation laws.

There’s also fear that labor-friendly policies emerging from the National Labor Relations Board and tax-reform legislation expected in 2012 will further hold back growth.
“With the Obama administration, it just seems to be relentless,” said David Rhoa, owner of a bulk-mailing facility based in Kalamazoo, Mich. “I’ve become accustomed to the fact that this pummeling keeps coming.”