SCRATCH PANEL CHAIR APPOINTED

Reid appoints DNCC chair to Catfood Commission II.

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Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), DNCC rainmaker and war industry goombah views some ground combat vehicle with Maj. Gen. Galen Jackman.

Did you catch the Barack Obama Leon Paneta vaudeville act the other day. Paneta said the war department budget cannot be touched. Obama agreed. Obama is of course the choreographer and puppeteer who pulls Penata’s strings. It will be interesting to see how this little dance plays out in the Senate Cut and Gut Committee which is supposed to be considering reductions in war stuff.

And this show debuted just days before another member of the White House servants pool, Harry Reid, appointed two war industry goombahs to the Obama’s Second Catfood Commission. The president’s first Cut And Gut Commission, you will recall, failed miserably so this time he wants to try one in the Senate. He made this one as fail-safe as he possibly could.

Reid appointed White House loyalist and Democratic National Campaign Committee rainmaker Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and the ever switchable John Kerry of Massachusetts (I voted for it before I voted against).

Both senators tie in beautifully with the Obama-Paneta. Both senators are war industry goombahs who collect vast sums of scratch from war corporations and their K Street consiglieri and they are unlikely to vote for significant cuts to the war budget – another reason to be fearful that Obama and the Dems are out to get Social Security and Medicare.

The moral of the story is you don’t have to be Italian to be a corporate crony.  

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The Lady of Maine Strikes Again

The Lady of Maine strikes again and will the ides of February doom Obama’s presidency. The stimulus debacle revisited and why its now too late for the president to reverse course.  

(Reposted from 2009 but still very appropriate).

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Maine’s two right wing darlings. There’s an old saying in politics: Be careful what you vote for; you might get it.

Obama signed the stimulus in February of 2009 and may have ended his chances for a second term on that very day. The package was designed to fail from the very beginning and leading the pack that doomed the bill to failure was none other than Olympia Snowe.

The lady of Maine did a remarkable job stonewalling Finance Committee members during negotiations on a stimulus package. She balked and hesitated and balked some more until she was able to engineer a bill so diluted that it was destined to fail.  She wielded her limited power so deftly that she became the central figure in helping to design a weakened stimulus package that Republicans knew beforehand would be inadequate and could not even begin to rouse a multi-trillion dollar economy out of its prolonged slumber.

If I were a Republican leader the task I would have assigned to Snowe was exactly the feat she performed:  To make damn sure any stimulus bill that came out of committee would be so enfeebled that Republicans could proclaim it a bust before the funds were even exhausted.  Then, if at all possible, massage the bill so any job creating potential would begin to peter out just before the elections.  On condition that she deliver this half baked artifice out of committee, the leadership would grant the lady of Maine permission to vote for the bill – which was an absolute necessity anyway if the plot had any chance of success because the strategem needed at least some Republican support to become law.

Snowe was successful beyond her leadership’s wildest dreams. She and the Republicans not only outfoxed Obama and the mental pygmies who advise him.  They crafted a bill that failed on cue.

Here is what Snowe crammed down the Democrats’ throats.  The final bill allotted one third of the funds to tax cuts; another third to the states to apply to unemployment benefits and to stem the flow of public servant layoffs; and last but not least one third was assigned to job creation.  The funds that remained after the worthless tax cuts and the aid to the states and that went into new job creation amounted to some 280 billion dollars – a grievously inadequate sum by all accounts.

So the stimulus that was designed to fail failed just as the Republicans anticipated it would and after which they loudly and proudly proclaimed its failure to a job hungry nation.  The bill, as planned, became an election issue as it began to fizzle on cue a few weeks before the polling date.

Olympia Snowe from the bucolic state of Maine revealed herself to be crafty enough to outwit the city slickers from Chicago and a handful of Ivy League snoots to boot.

The economic Einsteins who advised the president were not only duped by the lady of Maine.  The plan they thought they hatched fell apart at the seams before they even knew they had one. These giants of economic forecasting were full-of-themselves certain that the economy would cycle into recovery and the recession would end in two years like all recessions do; and that jobs would gush forth just in time for voters to go to the polls to elect Democrats; and that voters, now deliriously ecstatic, would do this by majorities so vast that these White House wizards were drooling to swallow anything Snowe shoved at them if only she would agree to something or anything so they could get a bill passed and then loll about for a couple of years waiting for the economy to blossom; and, as anybody with half a brain knows, the recession would end as recessions always do, like ya know, in just about two years.  They could then proclaim their ingenious policy a grand success and wallow in the praise the pundits would heap upon them for wizardry unsurpassed in the annals of economic prognostication.

As we all now know and what the economic Einsteins, now in a self induced stupor, belatedly discovered, they were wrong.

The nation continues to suffer under depression like conditions as the economy worsens, business under-performs and Congress, as always, has its hands tied by Republican obstruction.

Through it all, the lady of Maine can smile unctuously.  For her double-dealing did indeed engineer the perfect economic storm:  an inadequate stimulus package designed to fail on cue right before the election.

And as for Obama, who couldn’t have selected a worse group of economic advisers, he is now left with the shambles he was duped into. Having agreed to a woefully inadequate stimulus package, he must now shoulder the blame for its failure and suffer the consequences as duplicitous Republicans proclaim the president’s entire economic agenda a total bust and accuse him of having failed America.

Because of his grievous miscalculation early in the administration Obama has lost all credibility on the jobs issue. His speech before a joint session, now with John Boehner’s permission, will be of no avail.  The Republicans set the trap to years ago and the president remains firmly in its grasp. 

THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENCY

Obama rejected the Fourteenth Amendment option much too quickly. But the path is still open if he can muster the gumption to use it.

If Republican­s raised a Constituti­onal question, the case would have to go before the Supreme Court. In that eventualit­y a defendant would have to show personal harm – a difficult propositio­n.

A shrewd lawyer could probably conjure up a ridiculous harm a la Bush v Gore and present the case. However,it would likely be recognized the world over as a purely political maneuver and be rejected by public opinion as such. Obama would have the people on his side – a powerful force if he chose to hammer the opposition with it.

Also, something to keep in mind is that the Court has no Constituti­onal authority to declare any law or action unconstitu­tional. That authority derives solely from precedent and an action of this type by the Court would raise questions of separation of powers, particular­ly in the event the president were to declare a national emergency and claim that he is invoking the powers granted to him by the Constituti­on as commander in chief.

Moreover, some scholars have pointed to the oath of office of the president and claimed that the oath itself grants the president the power to refuse to obey a law (or a decision of the Supreme Court) if he construes the law as unconstitu­tional.

The case of Andrew Jackson against the Second Bank of the United States offers some insight into the powers of the Executive versus the Judiciary. Jackson vetoed the law establishing the bank after the Court declared the law constitutional.

And in Worcester v Georgia, a pro-Indian decision of the Court with which Jackson disagreed, the feisty president is said to have remarked that “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it”. Marshall did not enforce it and avoided a confrontation with the Executive but the affair sheds light on the powers of the two branches vis-a-vis each other. 

So Obama has options. What he lacks is the courage to deploy his powers.


Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

THE RAHM DOCTRINE

Liberals have been voting for “Democrats” for too many years because the Republicans are “worse”. No doubt. But guess what. Conditions are worse under the Democrats as well.

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The Rahm Doctrine scores big with the Obama White House whose members have expressed open disdain for liberal supporters.

We liberals are all victims of what I call the Rahm Doctrine, that is, we will vote for a Democrat regardless of his views because we have no place else to go. And since we accept the idea that the Republicans are worse and we have no choice but to vote for Democrats, conditions are indeed worse and will continue on that path.

So according to the Rahm Doctrine, Obama is free to ignore or marginalize his base because they will vote for him regardless of what he does even though he and his administration have openly expressed their disdain for liberal supporters.

Obama’s snark attack on the social safety net could finally destroy the party of the people. If we observe, we can see that the party of the people has morphed into the party of the corporations and it is now very similar to the GOP. The party will survive of course but only as a somewhat lesser monster than the Republican party.

Bill Clinton is largely responsible for the decay that has infested the party. But Obama has taken up the cause. He is an apostate. He has renounced traditional party values by choosing to attack the last vestiges of FDR’s New Deal.

Sad to say that blind devotion to these two tragic figures simply because they have claimed the Democratic mantle validates the Rahm Doctrine which, as I have said, advocates marginalizing liberals while it eats like a cancer at traditional Democratic party values.

So if you are a party loyalist and vote party regardless of policy, I cannot agree with you. But I wish you well nonetheless.

DINO OBAMA

Most of the $14.5 trillion debt was accumulated under Republican presidents, in many cases supported by Republican majorities in one or both Houses of Congress and by right wing Democrats.

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If Democrats can’t dump this guy in 2012 they need to put as much distance between him and themselves before he destroys the party altogether.

The debt has risen under Obama. But much of it has accumulated as a result of sharp revenue declines due to high unemployment and the continuation of tax cuts for the wealthy. Also contributing to the deficit are Obama’s continuation of the Bush wars; a huge and unnecessary war budget; and Wall Street thievery and the subsequent taxpayer bailout.

An inadequate stimulus – that included worthless tax cuts; needed aid to the states; and some money for job creation – was also a factor.

***

Republicans are responsible for nearly 75% of the total debt. Granted Democratic Congresses were involved in the accumulation. But Republican presidents repeatedly signed off on the debt without so much as a whimper from fellow Republicans.

We are actually in the midst of a revenue crisis. Tax collections as a percent of GDP are at their lowest levels since the 1950s.

Let’s raise taxes on the wealthy.

***

Republicans are largely responsible for the deficit. The budget was headed in the direction of long term balance when Clinton left office. The deficit was $10.5 trillion when Bush exited. We must all be tired of hearing that Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling 7 times under Bush – with hardly a care in the world.

The current stand off by the GOP is hypocritical and crassly political as past actions clearly reveal.

They remain intransigent primarily due to the expectation that Obama will fold as he has done routinely in the past. In this case, though the Republicans are not simply facing down Obama. They are holding the entire nation hostage.

They are waiting until Obama surrenders and offers cuts to the social safety net without making even the slightest concession. Foolishly, Obama has jeopardized his presidency by offering cuts anathema to his base without an agreement in hand.

It remains to be seen how Obama’s offer of safety net cuts will play in Tampa-St. Pete; or Peoria for that matter.

***

Greece said to at 130/100 debt to GDP. Japan 220/100. Italy 120/100. Japan’s economy is doing as well as can be expected; better than the U S economy. And the Japanese are still borrowing at record low interest rates.

U S revenue was 6% of GDP in 1950; 1% today. The U S is beset by a devastating revenue crisis. Unless revenue increases, full recovery may take a decade if it occurs at all.

Let’s raise taxes on the wealthy.

***

There is a backlash coming no doubt. Voters are beginning to understand that the only agenda Republicans have is to advance the decades old vendetta against the social safety net.

Unfortunately, we have in the White House a president who seems to share that vendetta.

No one can question any longer that the man is a DINO and hopefully liberals are coming around to the realization that it is better to have a Republican president that a right wing Democrat.

Why? Democrats in Congress would be more likely to resist the agenda of a right wing Republican rather than supinely accommodate the policies of the DINO as they are now doing.

Although they are still Democrats aren’t they?

If they had any gumption at all, the Dems would abandon this president in 2012. Put as much distance between him and themselves as they possibly can and as fast as they possibly can. In other words, dump this guy before he destroys the party altogether.

Anyone care to venture a guess how the president’s cuts will play in Tampa-St. Pete??? 

OBAMA SUPPORT DWINDLING

I will fulfill my obligation to vote as always. But in the future I refuse to vote for any candidate whose views I cannot support. I wasted two votes on Clinton and one on Obama – both men right wingers on economic issues – and I refuse to waste any more votes on the right wing of the so-called Democratic Party.

Obama lost the House in 2010 because of his duplicity on the health insurance issue. He engaged in backroom deals with the Pharma and Hospital industries and personally killed the public option. His deceit was exposed and he lost the election for the Democratic Party in the House.

Obama has been an ardent supporter of cuts to Social Security and Medicare. You’ve have only to refer to his rigged Cat Food Commission to substantia­te that accusation­. More recently he has put SS and Medicare cuts on the table in the pretend deficit “crisis” negotiatio­ns.

Moreover, while attending to the trumped up deficit issue, Obama has ignored the unemployme­nt crisis, the health insurance crisis and the revenue crisis (tax collection­s are at the lowest level of GDP since the 1950s).

Why? There’s an old mob saying: You gotta have the geetus. And that goes double in American politics. Obama intends to get his share. So far, so good.

About Barack Obama 2012

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

SPECTACULARLY INEPT

The cuts the president is focusing on will impact largely on the social safety net.

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The multimillionaire whose multis are about to increase dramatically. 

By putting millions of Americans on the chopping block Obama committed a political act of spectacula­r ineptitude no matter how you try to spin it. Eleven dimensiona­l chess?????  More like Tiddlywink­s.

The Republican­s will have a field day.

The sound bites are about to go into production and will hit the airwaves continuous­ly beginning next summer. “Obama wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare. The Republican­s turned him down.”

Obama could be crushed for this blatant misstep alone.

Real Democrats have to put distance between themselves and Obama or he will take down the party along with his presidency just as he did in 2010 with his duplicity on the public option.

Yes, Republican­s frame the debate just as they always do. But in this case Obama is their most ardent advocate. Perhaps he sees greatness in his legacy if he can tame the deficit “crisis”. But his advocacy has blinded him to the genuine crises of the day: Unemployme­nt, the health insurance crisis and the root of all this evil – the revenue crisis.

If no one on his staff pulled him back from offering the self-immol­ating cuts to the social programs, it means only one thing: The White House is unalterabl­y committed to cutting Social Security and Medicare. If Obama doesn’t do it this term, he will do it next should he be reelected.

 

Sadly, liberals are already beginning to rally around this man’s political corpse. Slaved to the Rahm Doctrine – that liberals have no place else to go so they can be discarded to be resurrected only on election day – the left wing of the party will do what it can to reverse what more and more seems like a lost cause.

However, progressives must consider alternatives. For example, if a Republican president is elected Democrats will have enormous incentive to stand fast against unreasonable, unwarranted and unjustified spending cuts and address the real crises of the day: Unemployment, health insurance and the root of it all – the revenue crisis.