Tuesday Evening Extras | Open Thread

This song is dedicated to all Americans and President Obama who heeded the President’s call to ACTION.

Thanks for COMING OUT for THE BOSS.

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29 Responses to Tuesday Evening Extras | Open Thread

  1. Republican Senator Admits That He Wants To Bring America Down


    In a Monday evening interview on Hardball With Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah admitted that he wants to bring America to its knees if an amendment is not passed in Congress that would force Americans to live under conservative governance despite which party the people elects. Here is the transcript.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS: How many days do you think we have, on the outside, to get this debt ceiling through before we have a problem? How many days?

    LEE: I don’t know, maybe ten days.⁠

    MATTHEWS: Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses? That’s what you’re demanding.

    LEE: Yes. If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.

    MATTHEWS: And you think you’re being reasonable by saying you want a two-thirds vote in the House, which is Republican, and in the Senate which is Democrat. You want the Democratic Senate, by a two-thirds vote, to pass a constitutional amendment or you want the house to come down?

    LEE: Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying and I’ve been saying this for six months.
    Lee’s amendment would require all tax increases by passed by a super majority of Congress, two-thirds of each house, which makes it virtually impossible to raise taxes. This is especially of interest to the wealthy and corporations. That particular provision is similar to the anti-tax amendment passed in California which killed that state’s finances. Lee’s amendment would also require spending levels to drop to the 1966 level, which would be catastrophic to all Americans. The 1966 level was $134.4 billion, compared to $3.5 trillion in 2010. To get back to 1966 levels, Social Security and Medicare would be cut by 25% and many other programs and departments would be wiped out or watered down to the brink of uselessness, even national security. The nightmare gets worse actually. Because Lee would be writing these cuts and requirements into the Constitution, the American people would lose the power to overrule them by electing different people. In other words, even if America voted to give 100% of government control to Democrats, we would be forced to always live under conservative rule.

    This invisible power that Republicans wish to write into law is a complete perversion of our Constitution and values. Add to that the fact that Republicans also want to create a supercongress, which basically is a third house in which a handful of politicians can pass legislation by an up or down vote, and what you get is a conservative tyranny legitimized by the Constitution. And Lee’s leverage is the American economy. Lee, and I assume other Republicans, are willing to bring down the American economy through catastrophic default and millions of American jobs with it, so that they can re-write the Constitution to force us to live under conservative rule. If Americans think Republicans love the Constitution and the people, they are sorely mistaken.

  2. State Rep. Bobby Franklin Found Dead


    Jenny Hodges, a close friend who considered Franklin to be like a brother, said in an email to Northeast Cobb Patch that another friend went to check on the legislator this morning and called police to break in. Hodges speculated that Franklin suffered a massive heart attack. “He was having extreme chest pains,” she said.

    “He was probably one of the most misunderstood Georgia politicians. His hate mail came from all over the country,” Hodges said. “But for the few of us who loved and understood him, he was really wonderful and a man of integrity.”

    Updated July 26 at 5 p.m.

    Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin, who courted controversy with legislation that would criminalize miscarriages and with comments criticizing tornado victims, was found dead in his Northeast Cobb home just before noon today.

    The Cobb County Emergency Communications Center dispatched officers to Franklin’s house in the 4500 block of Cedar Knoll Drive for a welfare check, Cobb County police spokesman Officer Michael Bowman said in a statement this afternoon.

    “Upon arrival the officers had to force entry into the residence, where they found a deceased male,” Bowman said in the statement.

    The dead man has been identified as Franklin, 56, a Cobb County Republican known for an extreme brand of conservatism.

    No foul play is suspected in the death, Bowman said. The Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office has the body.

  3. opulent says:

    Just a little CREEPIN 2 listen 2…don’t know how 2 embed

  4. rikyrah says:

    Boehner’s Boners

    by BooMan

    Tue Jul 26th, 2011 at 07:40:36 PM EST
    Speaker Boehner is hilariously incompetent. He’s trying to round up votes from his raucous caucus and he’s screwing everything up. First he got kneecapped by the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union. Then he got caught trying to punk his caucus with a misleading PowerPoint presentation. And now the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has given a crappy score to his bill that shows it would save a mere $850 billion over the next decade. He’s making George W. Bush look like an able administrator.

    I’m sure the Tea Party appreciates his efforts to pull the wool over their eyes.


  5. rikyrah says:

    Hoyer: After Default Crisis, Look Forward To Another Government Shutdown Fight

    Even if the debt limit fight is resolved without lasting consequences for the country, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) predicted Tuesday that the country will face more perilous brinksmanship when funding for the federal government expires at the end of September.

    In response to a question from another reporter, Hoyer distinguished between the appropriations impasse of 1995, which resulted in a weeks-long government shutdown, and the current fight over borrowing authority, which could result in a debt default, and, which Hoyer noted, is much, much graver. But don’t assume that the GOP will lose its appetite for confrontation after this fight’s over.

    “You can shut down the government for two or three days, five days, a week, that’s not good, we saw that in Minnesota, it’s not good policy,” Hoyer cautioned. “But you’re not putting the image, and credit, and standing of the United States at risk. That’s what we’re doing today.”

    He continued. “This is not analogous to ’95. This was a dispute — and very frankly I think we’re going to be back at that dispute come October 1 of this year. They passed appropriation bills that won’t pass the Senate. They know that. This is a crowd that is committed to simply its political, ideological agenda. Not to making law.”

    Just to put a fine point on this: Since the GOP took over the House this year, the government narrowly avoided a shutdown in the Spring, is teetering on the brink of a debt default now, and, according to Hoyer, may end up fully shutdown this fall.

    And if Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gets his way, we’ll see a repeat of this debt limit crisis early next year. Sensing a pattern here? So is Hoyer, At the end of his briefing, in response to no particular question, Hoyer said to himself “I can not believe what we’re doing.” Emphasis his.


  6. rikyrah says:

    GOP Retooling Debt Limit Plan After Damaging CBO Score

    Moments after the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis finding that the House Republicans’ debt limit bill falls far short of one their key goals, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) decided to rewrite the legislation.

    “We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit – with no tax hikes – and we will keep that promise,” reads a statement from Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “As we speak, Congressional staff are looking at options to re-write the legislation to meet our pledge.”

    What that means for this weeks hijinx on Capitol Hill is unclear. Republicans had hoped to vote on the legislation Wednesday. That might still be possible if Boehner’s staff decided to tweak the amount of new borrowing authority they’re willing to allow immediately upon the enactment of the legislation. But if they decide to include more spending cuts (or otherwise tweak budget-relevant parts of the bill) then rescoring the plan could delay a House vote for quite some time.

    More when we know it.


  7. rikyrah says:

    Bachmann Wanted To Eliminate Mortgage Lending Programs After Receiving The Maximum Loan From Them

    By Tanya Somanader on Jul 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) political platform is built on the idea that people should rely on neighbors and God, not government. In that vein, the existence of the government sponsored mortgage enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is practically heretical. A “fierce critic” of the mortgage-lending programs and their role in the financial crisis in 2008, Bachmann has repeatedly called to abolish the GSEs, wanting them to “wind down and file for bankruptcy.”

    Thus, it is somewhat surprising to learn that “just a few weeks before Bachmann called for dismantling the programs,” she and her husband actually took advantage of a home loan backed by those very same entities. According to the Washington Post, the Bachmanns received the maximum loan available from either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to help finance a “5,200-square-foot golf course home”:

    Just a few weeks before Bachmann called for dismantling the programs during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, she and her husband signed for a $417,000 home loan to help finance their move to a 5,200-square-foot golf course home, public records show. Experts who examined the loan documents for The Washington Post say they are confident that the loan was backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. […]

    The experts said the Bachmanns bought a more expensive home using typical strategies during a time of easier credit. With their existing home still on the market, they assumed liability on the same day for the $417,000 mortgage and a $249,999 secured line of credit backed by the residence, records show.

    The $417,000 mortgage was the cap of what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would loan at the time in her region.

    While hypocritical, the Bachmanns’ situation is not uncommon. In fact, “millions of other home purchasers” and “other members of Congress” took advantage of the lower interest rates that occur due to government backing. Indeed, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back more than 90 percent of the mortgages in the U.S.

    This is essentially why Bachmann’s demand to gut Fannie and Freddie Mac “would cause significant uncertainty among the investors in GSE-issued mortgage-backed securities,” thus “threatening the primary source of mortgage credit we have.” Such a serious blow to the already-fragile housing market would severely hinder economic recovery and shove housing policy back into the 1930s. As TP Economy editor Pat Garofalo pointed out, “removing all government support for the mortgage market would take us back to an era when only the very wealthy had access to homeownership.”

    Earning $174,000 a year, that might work for Bachmann. But for the millions of Americans who still dream of owning a home, her hypocritical ideology shouldn’t make it past the front door.


  8. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal
    July 26, 2011 4:35 PM
    Public sides with Obama in debt-ceiling fight

    By Steve Benen

    Reflecting on the debt-ceiling fight, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) recently said, “If I were Boehner and Cantor, I’d get one of our highly respected Republican pollsters to come over and brief them. Right now, we’re not winning the battle.”

    That was two weeks ago. They’re still not winning the battle.

    Most Americans would like to see a mix of spending cuts and tax increases be part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, a new poll finds, aligning the majority with President Barack Obama’s position.

    Of those surveyed for a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday, 56 percent said they want to see a mix of approaches used in an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. The poll was conducted overnight Monday, as Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) voiced their views on the impasse in negotiations in back-to-back televised primetime speeches.

    “It does seem to be that the popular narrative is falling on the side of the president on this one,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said.

    By some measures, these results appear to be getting worse for Republicans. The Reuters/Ipsos poll found only 19% agree with the GOP’s cuts-only demands, while 12% want no cuts in spending and prefer debt reduction through tax increases exclusively.

    The same poll found a plurality of respondents blames congressional Republicans for the impasse.

    These new numbers come on the heels of new data from the Washington Post/ABC News poll, which showed pretty awful numbers for President Obama, but also showed the public siding with Obama over Republicans on jobs and even the deficit.

    And there’s also new data from a National Journal poll that found most Americans would rather see their taxes go up than see Congress cut entitlements. Even self-identified Republicans agree.

    Reading all of the recent polling, it’d be a mistake to suggest Democrats and Obama are faring well. Overall, the American mainstream is deeply unhappy about nearly everything — the economy, the political process, their prospects for the future — and no one in DC is especially popular. It’s not as if the DNC and the West Wing have reason to celebrate the latest survey results. They don’t.

    But any fair reading of the polls over the last couple of months, as the Republicans’ debt-ceiling crisis has intensified, finds that while the public is broadly frustrated, the GOP fares the worst — by a wide margin. Republicans are seen as too unwilling to compromise, too reckless, too wedded to bad ideas, too indifferent to the needs of the middle class and seniors, and too reluctant to even consider a balanced agreement with additional revenue.

    Democrats aren’t winning any popularity contests, but compared to the GOP’s current standing, Dems enjoy vastly more public support.

    Occasionally, we’ll still see Republican leaders suggest “the American people” are on the GOP’s side. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.


  9. rikyrah says:

    If Corporations And The Rich Paid Taxes At The Same Level As The 1960s, The Debt Would Disappear

    By Zaid Jilani on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    As congressional negotiators continue to debate the contents of a deficit reduction package, discussions are reportedly tilting toward a deal that will include spending cuts but no revenue increases.

    Over at the Campaign for America’s Future, the Institute for Policy Studies’ (IPS) Sam Pizzigati notes that one way to very easily tackle U.S. debt going forward would be to increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy to levels more closely matching mid-20th century rates. Pizzigati cites an IPS paper from last spring to make the argument that if corporations and households making more than $1 million paid the same rates as they did in 1961, our debt would virtually disappear in a decade:

    Some numbers — from an Institute for Policy Studies report released this past spring — can help us better visualize just how monumental this political failure has been. If corporations and households taking in $1 million or more in income each year were now paying taxes at the same annual rates as they did back in 1961, the IPS researchers found, the federal treasury would be collecting an additional $716 billion a year. In other words, if the federal government started taxing the wealthy and their corporations at the same rates in effect a half-century ago, the federal debt to investors would almost totally vanish over the next decade.

    As ThinkProgress has previously reported, the richest Americans are paying their lowest taxes in a generation. Additionally, Center for American Progress experts Michael Linden, Seth Hanlon, and Jordan Eizenga have shown that the United States is actually very low-tax compared to other developed countries.


  10. rikyrah says:

    For all her faults, Diana Ross still ROCKS!

    she has STAR written all over her.

  11. rikyrah says:

    uly 26, 2011, 5:09 pm
    The Cult That Is Destroying America

    Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis — a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences — it’s increasingly obvious that what we’re looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system.

    And no, I don’t mean the fanaticism of the right. Well, OK, that too. But my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are.

    No, the cult that I see as reflecting a true moral failure is the cult of balance, of centrism.

    Think about what’s happening right now. We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

    So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

    The reality, of course, is that we already have a centrist president — actually a moderate conservative president. Once again, health reform — his only major change to government — was modeled on Republican plans, indeed plans coming from the Heritage Foundation. And everything else — including the wrongheaded emphasis on austerity in the face of high unemployment — is according to the conservative playbook.

    What all this means is that there is no penalty for extremism; no way for most voters, who get their information on the fly rather than doing careful study of the issues, to understand what’s really going on.

    You have to ask, what would it take for these news organizations and pundits to actually break with the convention that both sides are equally at fault? This is the clearest, starkest situation one can imagine short of civil war. If this won’t do it, nothing will.

    And yes, I think this is a moral issue. The “both sides are at fault” people have to know better; if they refuse to say it, it’s out of some combination of fear and ego, of being unwilling to sacrifice their treasured pose of being above the fray.

    It’s a terrible thing to watch, and our nation will pay the price.


  12. Ametia says:

    Rev. Al’s going to address the Little Rock, AR. Black Valedictorian next.

  13. Fanaticism, Hatred and Racism Rule The Day In America Now


    There is no longer any doubt that the country – or at least a small and disproportionally powerful segment of the country – is in the grip of a kind of insanity that I don’t recall ever witnessing.

    The fight over raising the debt limit has little or nothing to do with fiscal policy or the size of government or competing beliefs about the role of government in public life.

    It has to do with hatred, ignorance and fanaticism. Hatred – of President Obama because, a) he is a Democrat; and b) because he is black. Ignorance – of the most basic history of the United States – up to and including the years between 2001 and 2008. And a fanatical obsession with one idea: that taxes are the single greatest threat to individual liberty.

    • Ametia says:

      It’s amazing how suddenly, after 2009 healthcare debates and the raging teabaggers reared their ugly heads, folks are now getting a phucking CLUE!

  14. Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Plan Found Insufficient By Wall Street: Bank Of America Report


    WASHINGTON — There has been a quick and concerted effort on the part of Democrats to paint House Speaker John Boehner’s final debt ceiling proposal as insufficient to avoid the possibility of a downgrade of the United States’ AAA rating.

    When CNN’s Erin Burnett reported Monday evening that the raters at Standard & Poor’s would not be satisfied with a plan that neither lifted the debt ceiling through the 2012 elections nor reformed entitlement programs, party leadership jumped on the news.

    If the sequence seemed a touch too political, it shouldn’t have. Even before Boehner (R-Ohio) offered his plan, which would force $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years while creating a powerful congressional commission to find $1.8 trillion more, Wall Street was warning that a short-term increase in the debt ceiling would be insufficient.

    A July 22, 2011 report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, passed to The Huffington Post by a Wall Street source, outlined the economic fallout of a resolution to the debt ceiling crisis along the lines of what Boehner is crafting. Their forecast was far from reassuring. The report reads:

    Our base case view is that the debt ceiling will be lifted around August 2. The resolution will involve a short-term extension and a provision for a commission to draft out a longer-term fiscal plan. However, this creates the risk of no follow-through on the tough decisions in an election year and should keep fiscal risk alive in the markets.

    We expect a knee-jerk reaction of lower rates and a flatter curve on the announcement of such a plan. However, we would expect the reaction to be reversed due to credibility issues. We recommend a core steepening stance.

    We expect S&P to downgrade the US credit rating to AA at some point in the next couple of months. We expect the other rating agencies to keep the outlook to negative.

    The most significant risk to our base case scenario is that the debt ceiling is not raised and the Treasury defaults or needs to prioritize payments.

    IMF Chief Says U.S. Must Raise Debt Ceiling, Warns Of Threat To World Economy


    WASHINGTON — The impact of a failure to raise the U.S. borrowing limit could extend beyond America’s borders and damage the global economy, the chief of the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

    In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Christine Lagarde urged U.S. political leaders to show the same “political courage” that European leaders demonstrated last week, when they agreed on several new measures to address that continent’s debt crisis.

    President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers are at an impasse in negotiations to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. The federal government is at risk of defaulting on its debt after Aug. 2 if an agreement isn’t reached by then.

    Credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have warned that they will downgrade the United States’ top credit rating if an agreement isn’t reached. Standard & Poor’s has also said it may reduce the nation’s credit rating if there aren’t steep cuts to the U.S. budget deficit.

    Lagarde said a default or downgrade of U.S. debt “would be a very, very, very serious event not just for the United States but for the global economy at large.”

    U.S. Treasury bonds play a “central role” in world financial markets, the IMF said in a staff report Monday. U.S. Treasury securities have traditionally been seen as the safest investment in the world. More than $4 trillion of Treasurys are held by governments in China, Japan and other countries, as well as by private investors. That means higher interest rates on Treasurys could have a global impact.

    Lagarde said sharp cuts in government spending and other measures to reduce the budget deficit may slow the economy in the short run, but not by much.

    IMF research has found that a 1 percentage point cut in the deficit could reduce economic growth by one-half a percentage point over two years. For that reason, policymakers should agree on measures that lower deficits but implement them in future years, she said, when the economy is stronger.

    But IMF analysis also shows that the impact of deficit cuts could even be positive, she said, as it could bolster business and consumer confidence.

  16. CBS News: Obama: Republicans will have to take responsibility if no debt deal and Social Security checks don’t go out.

  17. rikyrah says:

    GOP Demand Obama Protect Social Security, Cut Something Or Other
    Republican lawmakers from the House and Senate gathered on Tuesday to repeat demands that the Treasury Dept shield seniors, soldiers, and bondholders from any ill effects of a default crisis. They’ve created legislation to this effect as well, which they urged the White House to back. Once again, however, the top sponsors of the measure are silent on what should be cut back instead.

    Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) was asked repeatedly by reporters what payments Treasury Department should suspend to make up for the guarantees to Social Security and troop pay. He offered no specifics.

    “There’s room for other payments to be made,” he said. “It is not our intent to specify every last dollar, but rather to identify these vitally important programs and avoid default on our debt.”

    The Treasury Department has said that Social Security payments may be suspended to deal with a default crisis if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2. While Social Security, troop pay, and interest payments would not take up all the revenue projected to come into the Treasury on their own, the Bipartisan Policy Center (which Toomey cited in his press conference as well) has warned that the process will be so “chaotic” that “handling all payments for important and popular programs (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense, active duty pay) will quickly become impossible.”


  18. rikyrah says:

    My Take on the State of Play
    by BooMan
    Tue Jul 26th, 2011 at 03:56:20 PM EST

    Pew Research finds that 68% of the people support a compromise on the debt ceiling even if they don’t agree with the deal, while only 23% support standing on principle even if it results in default. My question is this. What percent of that 23% are voters that the president has a chance of winning to his side in November 2012? I believe the answer is pretty close to zero percent. So, the president has won the political battle here, which it was very important for him to do. However, that doesn’t get him out of the woods.
    The Tea Party Republicans, now joined by the Club for Growth and the National Taxpayers Union, are rejecting John Boehner’s proposal. If he can’t pass his own bill, he’s going to have to try to pass something with the help of most Democrats and about 60 Republican reps who haven’t bought into the Tea Party nonsense. This is an outcome Boehner has tried to avoid with all his might because it could very possibly cost him his gavel. People forget, but Speaker Boehner lost his leadership position in the 1990’s, and it’s not something he’s forgotten. Perhaps this is why he’s been in denial about what needs to be done.

    My sense is that the White House thinks there is support among Republicans in the Senate for the Reid plan, but no one wants to step on Boehner’s shoes. They’re waiting to see if he can pull a rabbit out of a hat and pass his proposal. I think Boehner has criminally mismanaged this situation. I recognize that he had no good options, but he chose the wrong one. Even if his bill passes, it won’t become law because the Democrats are not even considering caving. Passing it will just make it much harder for Senate Republicans to come in and save the day, making default a much more real possibility.

    In any case, I don’t know why the Tea Partiers would betray their promises and principles by caving into Boehner. What would the Tea Party be if it compromised?


  19. rikyrah says:

    Don’t Even Think About It: Obama Would Veto Boehner Debt Plan
    The Obama administration is making its opposition to Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) two-step approach to raising the debt-ceiling crystal clear.

    President Obama not only only dislikes the Boehner plan, but if somehow it defied all odds and got through the Senate and reached his desk, he would veto it. In a brief yet pointed Statement of Administrative Policy released by the White House Office of Management and Budget Tuesday afternoon, Obama’s senior advisors said they strongly oppose the Boehner plan.

    The Obama administration is making its opposition to Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) two-step approach to raising the debt-ceiling crystal clear.

    President Obama not only only dislikes the Boehner plan, but if somehow it defied all odds and got through the Senate and reached his desk, he would veto it. In a brief yet pointed Statement of Administrative Policy released by the White House Office of Management and Budget Tuesday afternoon, Obama’s senior advisors said they strongly oppose the Boehner plan.

    We don’t think it’s going to come to pass so [that question] is a hypothetical,” Carney told reporters.

    About an hour later, the OMB released the veto threat language.

    On Tuesday Boehner’s plan, which would trade a $1 trillion debt ceiling increase for roughly $1.2 trillion in cuts, seemed dead in the water as Democrats attacked it for going too far and forcing Congress to return the issue early next year and Republicans pilloried it for not going far enough. Some Tea Party-backed GOP members, as well as fiscal conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, are opposing the plan because other packages with deeper cuts and protections against more spending have already passed the House this year

  20. rikyrah says:

    We Get The Sacrifice, They Get The Wealth’: A Fired-Up Pelosi Tears Into GOP Deficit Plan
    Speaking to a crowd of union workers on Capitol Hill today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unloaded on Republican plans to lower the deficit through deep cuts to government services in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. Frustrations are running high in Congress with the default deadline rapidly approaching, and Pelosi spoke with a fire that suggested the endless debate over the debt ceiling is taking its toll on her patience.

    “This isn’t just about them saying we should reduce the deficit,” she said, adding: “This is an excuse. The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government plain and simple. They don’t just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the department of education. They want to destroy your rights.”

    Pelosi said that Democratic approach to the debt and deficit problem isn’t just more balanced, as President Obama has said, but is aimed at improving the lot of the middle class workers she was speaking to. The purpose of the press conference was to address the continuing battle over the NLRB, which has pitted the core constituencies of both parties against each other.

    As with everything on the Hill these days, however, the debt ceiling crisis seeped in, with Pelosi tearing into the Republican budget cut demands near the end of the session.

    We all want to be fiscally sound,” she said. “We don’t want to do harm to our economic growth but we know that if we can save some money, we’d like to do that.”

    The Republicans, Pelosi said, her voice rising, have something very different in mind.

    “They do not like the government,” Pelosi said. “They’re riding an engine of popular support for, ok we have to reduce the deficit. And they’re using that to destroy.”

    “The Speaker has said that between him and the president they have a different vision of America and that’s how come their budget proposals are different,” she sad. “Quite different…We get the sacrifice, they get the wealth.”


  21. LOL! ♥ this was great and how many here would like to be able to wear a dress like that? I’m raising my hand! Have a good evening sweet ladies.

  22. rikyrah says:

    July 26, 2011 10:00 AM

    Republicans oppose Reid playing by GOP rules

    By Steve Benen

    There was a public service announcement that was fairly ubiquitous in the mid-80s that folks in my generation probably remember. A dad confronts his son about using drugs, and demands to know how he learned to use drugs. “From you, all right?” the son says. “I learned it by watching you!”

    I thought of the PSA yesterday when Republicans started complaining about Harry Reid’s debt-reduction plan including the savings from war draw-downs. If GOP leaders asked the Senate Majority Leader where he came up with such a crazy idea, Reid could very easily respond, “From you, all right? I learned it by watching you!”

    The No. 2 Senate Republican blasted the debt ceiling package unveiled Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying its reliance on $1 trillion in savings from the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan amounts to “phony scoring.”

    At the same time, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona acknowledged Republicans have supported the same approach.

    Reid’s plan is flawed, but it has its charms, and arguably offers a credible way out of this mess. As we discussed yesterday, the proposal features $2.7 trillion in cuts with no new revenue, just as Republicans demanded. But nearly half the plan relies on savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Republicans insist, then, that Reid’s total savings aren’t real, and that “counting money not spent on wars that the nation is already planning to end is widely viewed as a budget gimmick.”

    On a wonky level, it’s not an unreasonable point of criticism. The problem for Republicans is, they’re in no position to complain — both Speaker Boehner’s plan and Paul Ryan’s budget include $1 trillion in savings from the end of the wars. And Republicans say they love Paul Ryan’s plan, holding it out as the gold standard on budget issues.

    In other words, Reid is simply copying and pasting from the GOP playbook. If he’s using smoke and mirrors, they’re using smoke and mirrors.

    When the White House said Reid’s plan features cuts that have been “previously agreed to by both parties,” that’s literally true. The Senate Majority Leader’s blueprint includes discretionary cuts that Republicans endorsed in the Biden-led talks, and includes war savings that Republicans included in their own plans.

    I realize that, as far as Republicans are concerned, spending cuts only count as real cuts if they force working people or seniors to suffer in some meaningful way. But Republicans have nothing to whine about it when both parties are playing by the same GOP rules.


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