Sunday, July 24, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1689, July 24th, 2011

PHOTO INDEX: PRESIDENT HARRY S TRUMAN.

PULLING A TRUMAN

Ever since Barack Obama came onto the political scene, he has been compared with various past Presidents. Being from Illinois a few compared him to Lincoln. That in my historical estimation is a bit overstated. Some compared him to John Kennedy. As a matter of fact, Obama got the endorsement of the Kennedy clan because he was said to remind them of the energy and clean slate of the JFK New Frontier of the 1960 campaign. Taking over as President in one of the worst economies since the Depression, there were some that compared him to Franklin Roosevelt. There was an iconic Time Magazine of Obama in a top hat smoking a cancer stick with the FDR trademark cigarette holder. As Obama embarked on his ambitious health care and stimulus agenda, he was compared to the domestic Lyndon Johnson. That of course was an insult to Johnson since Obama caved on the stimulus (which should have been bigger) and heath care (which should have been a single payer system). Perhaps the problem is that Barack Obama has been compared to so many former Presidents that he has not staked out a claim of his own for the office. But Friday afternoon, with the debt crisis coming to a climax, and House Speaker John Boehner essentially dissing the office of the Presidency, maybe Barack Obama should fashion himself after Harry Truman. Truman was a man of singular beliefs in America. He knew he didn’t come to the office as an elected choice and he took his fair share of criticism personally. That stuff rolled off him very easily but Truman never let any political opponent disrespect his office. And on Thursday and Friday, John Boehner did just that. By walking out of a meeting, by refusing to return the President’s phone calls, by having staffers tell the President “no” he wasn’t going to call back, John Boehner the Speaker of the House disrespected the Presidency. Truman fired Douglas MacArthur for that, he sat in stone silence when Dwight Eisenhower sat in the limo on the way to the 1953 inaugural and he wrote about how he took seriously as a President and ex President the office he held. And for this current Speaker of the House's actions, President Obama should land on this guy like a ton of bricks. I get that Boehner is trying to hold on to his job. (He’ll be axed as Speaker before this session ends because of the Tea Party Caucus). But you don’t disrespect the office. President Obama held a news conference on Friday night and explained his position. It is abundantly clear that the GOP is hellbent on destroying this country’s credit rating to protect the rich. It is clear that the GOP has undermined every compromise (even noticed by the media) to make sure President Obama fails. It is now time for the President to get this done. It is now time for the President to expose the Republican House as a bunch of jackals that want to ruin this country. The debt ceiling takes one sentence to extend. It was extended 18 times in Ronald Reagan’s tenure, 8 in George W. Bush’s tenure. This President at a cost to his own popularity in his party is giving the GOP spending cuts. And they sit and say no. What is so disturbing to me is to hear the callers to my friend Sue Henry’s show spout out the rhetoric handed out by the right wing talk show hosts. Like lemmings they are following these reactionaries over the cliff. It is time to stop this foolishness. It is time to call out John Boehner and his colleagues (two of which sadly represent us in Lulac land) as pathetic, disrespectful, unpatriotic, obstructionists that put political partisanship above the economic interests of this nation. Obama’s actions in these negotiations prove the old Truman quote and it applies to the GOP:
"I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."
Here is the text of the President’s statement from Friday:
Good evening, everybody. I wanted to give you an update on the current situation around the debt ceiling. I just got a call about a half hour ago from Speaker Boehner who indicated that he was going to be walking away from the negotiations that we’ve been engaged in here at the White House for a big deficit reduction and debt reduction package. And I thought it would be useful for me to just give you some insight into where we were and why I think that we should have moved forward with a big deal. Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.
In addition, what we sought was revenues that were actually less than what the Gang of Six signed off on. So you had a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans who are in leadership in the Senate, calling for what effectively was about $2 trillion above the Republican baseline that they’ve been working off of. What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes -- tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.
So let me reiterate what we were offering. We were offering a deal that called for as much discretionary savings as the Gang of Six. We were calling for taxes that were less than what the Gang of Six had proposed. And we were calling for modifications to entitlement programs, would have saved just as much over the 10-year window. In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal. If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue.
But in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, I was willing to take a lot of heat from my party -- and I spoke to Democratic leaders yesterday, and although they didn’t sign off on a plan, they were willing to engage in serious negotiations, despite a lot of heat from a lot of interest groups around the country, in order to make sure that we actually dealt with this problem.
It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. And, frankly, if you look at commentary out there, there are a lot of Republicans that are puzzled as to why it couldn’t get done. In fact, there are a lot of Republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it couldn’t get done. Because the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the American people believe we should have a balanced approach.
Now, if you do not have any revenues, as the most recent Republican plan that’s been put forward both in the House and the Senate proposed, if you have no revenues at all, what that means is more of a burden on seniors, more drastic cuts to education, more drastic cuts to research, a bigger burden on services that are going to middle-class families all across the country. And it essentially asks nothing of corporate jet owners, it asks nothing of oil and gas companies, it asks nothing from folks like me who’ve done extremely well and can afford to do a little bit more.
In other words, if you don’t have revenues, the entire thing ends up being tilted on the backs of the poor and middle-class families. And the majority of Americans don’t agree on that approach.
So here’s what we’re going to do. We have now run out of time. I told Speaker Boehner, I’ve told Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, I’ve told Harry Reid, and I’ve told Mitch McConnell I want them here at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. We have run out of time. And they are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default. And they can come up with any plans that they want and bring them up here and we will work on them. The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.
And the reason for it is we’ve now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done. The economy is already weakened. And the notion that five or six or eight months from now we’ll be in a better position to try to solve this problem makes no sense.
In addition, if we can’t come up with a serious plan for actual deficit and debt reduction, and all we’re doing is extending the debt ceiling for another six, seven, eight months, then the probabilities of downgrading U.S. credit are increased, and that will be an additional cloud over the economy and make it more difficult for us and more difficult for businesses to create jobs that the American people so desperately need.
The American people expect action. I continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. And the American people I think are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action as opposed to dodge their responsibilities.

13 Comments:

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following was an e mail sent to the President by a Democrat. As you can see, they are not happy with him either.
Mr. President, The subject I used is "Seniors" but only because there is no "Deceiver" subject choice.
I'm wondering how you slept last night after telling the entire country that you receive letters from seniors who can't buy food but you are willing to take the heat for cutting Social Security and making even harder for future generations to live. Do you think we have it any better than your mother or grandmother?
Where do you get the nerve to tell us, the people who believed in you that you are willing to stand up to the heat for cutting Social Security? Taking the heat is easy when compared to hot having food. You plan to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and you also plan to take away the only real tax break the working poor get, the mortgage interest deduction tax break. The oil companies and big business will continue to receive their billion dollar tax breaks, fly private jets paid by tax breaks and we the working poor and senior citizens can't even have the mortgage interest tax break. What kind of a man are you? Your promise of hope we can believe in was pure BS, an empty campaign promise. You Mr Obama deserve nothing from us, especially respect or gratitude. You lied to us, you turned your back on us and you destroyed any hope we had for the future. But at the same time, the Republicans stand fast and make you cave in and crawl! I know you don't read these emails but it is the only outlet I and other Americans have to relieve our frustration with you. I can't wait to vote against you, even if it is for a Republican. They get their way anyway so why give you the honor of being President of the United States. With all due respect Mr President, you are not half the man I thought you were.

 
At 2:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never, and will never vote for a republican for any office including dog catcher if they still had such an office!

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger JimboBillyBob said...

David:

There is plenty of blame to go around. I'm not diving into the blame war. There's too much ammunition for all parties involved. Everyone just ends up shot in the foot and nothing gets done.

Perhaps our leaders should use the criteria I use when deciding where I stand on political issues:

Is it the right thing to do for the people?

Will it strengthen or weaken us?

Can I face myself in the mirror after deciding where I stand?

That's it. Those are my litmus tests.

And as to the third criteria, that is where the great lost art of compromise comes into play. If the person across the table is as convinced of the first two criteria as you are, then you have to work constructively to find a way for each of you to face the mirror come morning. You may both nick yourselves shaving, but no one will bleed to death.

What Washington has forgotten is that America must come first, or a fruit of great promise will die on the vine.

From where I sit, as someone who deeply loves his country, it appears our federal government is hopelessly broken and blindly partisan.

The difference between the United States and the Titanic at this critical moment in our history is that the Titanic blundered into an iceberg. We're aiming at them, and the folks on the Bridge are arguing about which side of the ship should sink first, the port side or starboard.

The rest of us are just hoping we can swim hard enough to keep our heads above water.

These are not America's finest moments.

James O'Meara, Sr.

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I nominate Obama for Dog Catcher. Putting dogs in a cage to eventually be put to sleep is no different than cutting Social Security and Medicare. The hope we can be lieve in has become the "NO HOPE TO BELIEVE IN."

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESPONSE
I nominate Obama for Dog Catcher. Putting dogs in a cage to eventually be put to sleep is no different than cutting Social Security and Medicare. The hope we can be lieve in has become the "NO HOPE TO BELIEVE IN."
I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I AM NOT AN OBAMA FAN. I VOTED FOR 4 REPUBLICANS FOR PRESIDENT IN MY LIFE, FORD IN '76, REAGAN IN '80, BUSH 41 IN '92 AND DOLE IN '96. BUT THERE IS NOT EVEN AN ALTERNATIVE TO OBAMA FROM THE GOP. THERE IS NO PLACE FOR A MODERATE THINKING PERSON TO GO TO THE GOP. WE CAN ONLY HOPE HE STANDS UP TO THESE PEOPLE. THE SPEAKER'S LATEST PLAN IS TO HAVE A 2 PART EFFORT, EXTEND THE DEBT CEILING TILL THE END OF THE YEAR AND THEN GET CUTS FROM MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY. THAT'S WHAT HE SAID ON FOX TODAY. NOTHING ABOUT CUTS FROM THE WEALTHY. THE GOP HOUSE THIS TERM HAS DONE WHAT EVEN RICHARD NIXON'S CRIMES IN THE 70S COULDN'T DO TO ME, TURN ME INTO AN UNRELENTING OPPONENT OF THE NATIONAL GOP.

 
At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. It's OK for Obama to walk out but not Boehner?

 
At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 7:44
OBama is the President! Boehner is a George Hamilton tanned silly ass winer who cries at the drop of a hat and is an embarrasment to Ohio.
The President is to be treated with respect. The Dems managed to treat W respectfully for no other reason than that he was President.
This whole show is assinine

Yonks,
Your friend Sue Henry trumpets the
Republican Part line pretty well herself.

 
At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:44 WTF? Are you stupid? Obama was telling them that he was fed up with their demands that the working people continue to make the sacrifices while they (Republicans) refuse to cut the tax loop holes enjoyed by the rich. What don't you get about that? The Republicans don't give a shit about the working poor (us) they only care about big money. Boehner refers to them as the "job creators" and he is right, they are job creators in other countries and they pocket the tax free (Exxon/Mobil - GE etc) billion in income while not paying a dime in taxes to support the country they gave them what they have. Social Security and Medicare should NEVER be touched. They are not the blame for the current [problems and in fact are financially solvent for the next 25 years. And if they do go broke, who the hell cares? We give billions to countries who vote against us in the UN but we can't put a few bucks into our own senior citizens? You my friend need to wake the hell up and stop carrying the banner of the rich.

 
At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't walk out on the President. It was never done to that idiot Bush, so respect for the office demands better decorum!

 
At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Pope George Ringo said...

Honest assessment, Yonk: What is your "read" on prospects for Obama's re-election chances?

 
At 10:18 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

IN RESPONSE
Honest assessment, Yonk: What is your "read" on prospects for Obama's re-election chances?
I THINK HE IS IN DANGER OF BEING A 1 TERM PRESIDENT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE HAVE FRAMED HIM IN A NEGATIVE WAY. HE HAS TO COME OUT AND BE THE VOICE OF REASON LIKE HE HAS BEEN DOING THE LAST FEW DAYS. BUT WITH SUCH A DEARTH OF REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES, EVEN THE MOST MODERATE IS EATEN ALIVE BY THE TEA PARTIERS, HE MAY BE A BETTER ALTERNATIVE.

 
At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should have at least 2 more parties, or better yet NO parties. But I guess we're way too gone for that now!

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our Constitutional form of government the Speaker and the President are actually on par with one another, as is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
We don't have a dictatorship, we have a government consisting of 3 separate branches of government that provide checks and balances. The President is the head of the executive branch, the Speaker of the Legislative and the Chief Justice of the judicial. As much as we may not like it they are equals in dealing with governmental matters. The Congress writes the laws and the President can either sign, veto or pocket veto the bill. The president has no constitutional business sticking his nose into the legislative process.

 

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