"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reports of a Debt Compromise are Circulating this Morning

This article from John Podhoretz is very good of explanation of what is going on today about some of the Republicans we have in the Congress who will vote "NO" when they don't get 100% of what they want for their agenda.  I am still shocked that there are members of Congress and Tea Party leaders who actually thought we could take over the House, and we were going to bully our way into getting something passed immediately to roll back and cut the deficit when there was a Democrat Senate and a Democrat President. 

It takes two election cycles to make a real agenda change but these people are demanding it now or they will vote NO!  One of them, Bachmann wants to run for President on the Republican ticket -- we would suggest she would be better off with her mentor Ron Paul to run as Libertarians because being NO all the time is not what thinking Republicans are all about.  The best one is thinking the Balanced Budget Amendment is going to pass the Senate -- no way that is happening with this Senate.  Taking a vote on the BBA is one thing that should happen to set the stage for after 2012 but passing -- not in your wildest dreams. 

After reading this column by Podhoretz, all I could think is that he nailed it as he explains a lot of the difference between the common sense Republican conservatives where I belong and the 'my way or no way' crowd where you find Bachmann, DeMint, the Paul's, Lee (UT), and now Palin. 
Containment, Rollback, and the Debt Compromise 
John Podhoretz

07.31.2011 - 9:12 AM

As of now—Sunday morning—word is there’s a deal between the White House and Republicans on a deal to raise the debt ceiling. No tax increases. $1 trillion in immediate budget cuts. A required $1.5 trillion in cuts by November as designed by a bipartisan committee or (if the House and Senate do not agree on them) automatic cuts to Medicare (to scare Democrats) and Defense (to scare Republicans).

If the details are true, and the deal holds, it’s an astonishing achievement for the Right—the most significant conceptual shift in American politics since Bill Clinton​ announced his support for ending welfare in 1996. Without question, there are elements on the Right that will not see it this way—that will say the deal is a sellout, that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are craven, they are enablers, they are carrying Obama’s water. I’d like to suggest a political analogy from the past that might help explain why they are wrong and why they are being unjust to those who support a deal.

In the wake of the effective Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe after the second world war, the fall of China to Mao, and North Korea’s invasion of South Korea, American anti-Communism split into two camps. One camp actively advocated what was called “rollback”—the application of military force to force the Soviets and their clients to retreat from the countries they had overrun. The other camp supported the doctrine of “containment,” which argued for quarantining Communism within the countries that had fallen under Soviet domination and remaining in a state of cold war with the Soviets and their proxies.

Both rollback and containment had as their goal the defeat of the Soviet Union and world Communism. But the strategies were different. The rollbackers said the peril was so imminent the failure to effect the change immediately would lead to the inevitably victory of the Communists. The containment advocates said we did not have the means to roll back Communism militarily, but if we held the line, over time Communism would self-destruct owing to its evil, its impracticality, and its inability to compete with the free peoples of the West.

The supporters of rollback were uninterested in the political reality of that moment. They believed the U.S. was locked in a titanic moral struggle literally between the forces of evil and the forces of good, and anything less than the commitment of all available resources to win the battle was a form of surrender. They were morally in the right, but practically in the wrong.
Today those who oppose raising the debt ceiling on the grounds that we need to solve the debt crisis immediately or we will be destroyed by it are the direct descendants of those who supported rollback.

Everyone on the Right agrees that the U.S. is on an unsustainable fiscal path that must be altered. The difference comes down to the acceptance of political realities. Just as the United States could not effect rollback in the late 1940s (or any time thereafter), so too the Right and the Republican Party cannot effect a revolutionary change of course on July 31, 2011 with the Senate and the White House in liberal Democratic hands. The strategy, like containment, must have a longer time horizon, though it has the same goal: Ending the entitlement state before it swallows up the rest of the country.

The conceptual triumph of the Right is evident in two elements of the supposed deal. Take the fact that there are no new tax hikes. It was only 12 days ago that Barack Obama​ warned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor not to “call my bluff” and said he would go to “the American people on this.” He did; his poll numbers tanked. The “balanced approach” he advocated backfired on him even though he and his people continued to claim it had overwhelming popular support.

Now take the fact that in exchange for an increase in the debt ceiling of $2.5 trillion, there will be corresponding dollar-for-dollar cuts. That establishes a new budgetary precedent, a rational and sound one, on the question of the national debt ceiling, one that will restrain presidents of both parties as we go forward.

So who are Obama and the Democrats in my analogy? They are the accommodationists of the early 1950s (and their progeny throughout the Cold War) who declared that the anti-Communist right was a hornet’s nest of crazy people who would ignite a war and get us all blown up. They wanted peace and harmony and cordial relations with the Soviets and their proxies just as the accommodationists today want to put their heads in the sand and refuse to face the moral and political and fiscal threat emanating from the entitlement state. Whereas the rollbackers were wrong strategically but right morally, the accommodationists were wrong strategically and wrong morally.

But those who advocated containment were right strategically and right morally. And their descendants are right to support the debt-ceiling deal. 
Excerpt:  Read More at Commentary Magazine
This article is filled with common sense.  We didn't get in this deficit over night and it is not going to fixed overnight.  There is little difference between the approach of the ones on the right and the ones on the left who put their own idiology first with their 'my way or no way' approach.  There are times you have no choice but to compromise to start the process of reaching your eventual goal of a balanced budget and no deficit.  Look what happened when Democrats controlled the House and Senate in big numbers along with the White House.  They rammed through the bills with no hearings as you had to pass the bills in some cases to learn what was in them. 

We just came through two years of that mentality but now some of the right think they can do the same thing.  They are not facing reality of the situation and frankly don't seem to care.  Both parties have to work together to solve the debt ceiling problem and the runaway deficit spending that started after 9/11.  The deficit spending took off big time after the Democrats took over the Congress in 2007 but we hadn't seen anything yet when they not only kept the Congress but elected Obama and grew their numbers to the point Republicans had a small voice.  There was no compromise, just runaway spending to repay their donors and allies and institute their socialist agenda.

Still haven't recovered from members of the Tea Party and the Palin letter threatening to primary Republicans like Lt Col Allen West and others on the afternoon of the vote on the Boehner bill.  Not a peep about defeating Democrats.  That seems to be a non-starter with the Tea Party leaders who are more concerned about making sure Republicans who don't follow what they want face primary opponents from the 'my way or no way' crowd while not saying a word about going after Democrats.  Is the goal of the Paulbots and Libertarians to take over the Republican Party along with the Congress?  We will have more on that in a later post as some research is already out there and more to come.

Republicans far out number the Ron Paul/Libertarian Tea Party members especially when you take away the Republican activists from some Tea Parties in TX and FL.    Those none Paul/Libertarian people are now being heard in the halls of Congress as they are calling and writing their Reps and Senators to get on board and solve this debt ceiling crises.  They are not willing to take a chance on what might happen.  The dire warnings are there.  You could compare it to a tornado or hurricane warning when they tell people to evacuate or go underground.  Sometimes it hits in different places or is not as deadly as they predict but along comes a major hit and some people are not prepared because they have convinced themselves it is not going to happen.  It is called not facing reality. 

Don't think you want to play around with default of the United States anymore than you do with a tornado or hurricane headed your way.  That would be foolish and why a compromise needs worked out -- no side is going to come out with everything they wanted but frankly that is what happens in negotiations.  Ever buy a house -- chances of you getting the price you offer unless it is full price is slim to none. 

It is time for Republicans who do not get out and demostrate, carry signs, or shout down members of Congress to be heard even more in the halls of Congress.  These are the people who work and pay the income tax who were dubbed the 'Silent Majority' a long time ago.  We will throw in some of the Independents who left after the 'my way or no way' crowd took over in their area.  Those common sense Republicans are being heard loud and clear -- negotiate, compromise to get the best deal possible, and then look to the future to elect more Republicans in the Senate and a common sense Republican in the White House to get the deficit under control and down to zero with making responsible cuts over a period of time.

You don't pay your House off in seven months after you buy it unless you strike it rich, so what makes anyone think we can cut all the deficit in seven months especially with our economy being so weak. 

Dr. Coburn (R-OK) has a plan he released, BACK IN BLACK, outlining thousands of detailed budget options within every federal department and nearly every major program that, if taken together, would result in savings of more than $9 trillion over the next decade.  Will all those cuts pass Congress, most likely not but Dr. Coburn will keep coming back and getting them a little at a time.  He understands how it works that you start small and then it grows.  He doesn't expect everything to happen over night but in the next decade.  That makes sense versus "I want it NOW" mentality.

This common sense Republican Conservative is proud to stand on the side of Dr. Coburn who understands to get what is best for America, that it it necessary in some cases to reach across the aisle and jointly work together to get the best results.  He is attacked from the far left and far right on many occasions.  Heard him called a RINO, sell out, traitor, for starters but words don't bother him and he keeps moving the ball forward a little at a time.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tea Party groups Target Cong Allen West (R-FL)

Is Tea Party National leadership out of control?  There is little doubt left after they threatened they are going to primary Allen West who just days ago was a favorite of the Tea Party. Who are these people?  Listen to this audio with Laura Ingraham's interview with Colonel West and make your own decision if you don't think the Ron Paul Tea Party movement is out of control.

This website and myself as an individual stand firmly behind Colonel Allen West of Florida who has shown he puts American First along with his constituents first not the National Tea Party leadership. To go in a few days from being the darling of the Tea Party to a defector from the Tea Party is one of the most ludicrous attacks I have ever witnessed in all the years I have been around politics.

Listen to Colonel Wests' Own Words:

Tea Party is schizophrenic: Rep. Allen West 
The State Column | | Friday, July 29, 2011 
Florida Republican congressman Allen West seemed to avoid commenting on whether the Tea Party was responsible for the political gridlock in Washington, saying Friday that he would not comment on on the movement’s role in the debate over raising the nation’s debt limit. 
“One minute they’re saying I’m their Tea Party hero, and three, four days later I’m a Tea Party defector; that kind of schizophrenia I’m not going to get involved in it,” Mr. Allen said on Laura Ingraham’s show Friday. 
“I won’t raise taxes. I will reduce spending, and I won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling,” Ms. Bachmann said on Thursday. “And I have the titanium spine to see it through.” That said, with Wall Street ending its worst week in a year, pressure is growing on congressional leaders and the White House to reach a deal before Tuesday. The current debt ceiling is $14.3 trillion and a failure to increase it by next Tuesday has triggered warnings from the Obama administration and others of global financial chaos, which could manifest itself in a major drop by indexes on Monday if investors do not anticipate a deal is close. 
In a Facebook post to Tea Party Republicans, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin defended the movement’s role within the debate, saying Republican lawmakers should stand firm in their opposition of raising the nation’s debt limit.  
The Florida Republican’s comment came just hours before the House voted in favor of a debt plan put forth by House Speaker John Boehner. The House voted Friday in favor of passing Mr. Boehner’s debt plan, which included a Balanced Budget Amendment, 218 to 210.
Still, Tea Party leaders urged the movement’s members in Congress to resist calls for increasing the debt ceiling.

“We cannot rob from our children and grandchildren’s tomorrow to pay for our unchecked spending today,” Ms. Palin wrote.

Minnesota Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann echoed Ms. Palin’s support, telling supporters to continue their cause and to push against calls from congressional leaders to increase the nation’s borrowing limit.
What happened to the Tea Party people who were correct about the deficit and runaway spending that we applauded when they were speaking on the Mall in DC and had some common sense? They obviously are back in their states in their local Tea Parties.  The national leadership has morphed into arrogant, my way or no way group of people who if don't vote their way, they will come after you. Paulbots are alive and well in the National Tea Party movement as are what appears to be Democrats because the National Tea Party is threatening to primary Republicans and not a peep about the Democrat candidates. Connect the dots.

This paragraph from Rich Lowry of National Review reflects the sentiments of a lot of common sense Republicans who are not establishment and not Tea Party but have been activists for years working in campaigns to send good people to DC who will represent their whole district and state and will put the Country before reelection:
The tea partiers in Congress will have to make their own bows to statesmanship. If David Gergen is ever on CNN praising them for their supposed responsibility, they might as well not have come to Washington in the first place. They should never become house-broken. On the other hand, they can’t let tactics become destructive to their ends, or oppose anything that doesn’t meet a test of absolute purity. 
Excerpt:  Read More from Rich Lowry at the National ReviewLowry's statements above made me burst out laughing when he mentions Gergen praising the tea partiers in Congress.  So true!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Paul Ryan: The Truth Comes Out -- Reid Bill "Guts Defense"

Looks like the reason for tabling the two House bills, first Cut, Cap, and Balance, and now the latest bill passed by the House this afternoon is a smokescreen for gutting defense.  Since that is the case, why did Republican Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), David Vitter (R-LA), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Mike Lee (R-UT) vote with the Democrats to table the House legislation that contains the Balanced Budget Amendment that these people are supposed to be pushing.

If you have the answer, please email me at truesoft.474@gmail because I would love to hear your theory if you don't want to be published or you can post on this thread.  Would love to hear an explanation because it makes zero sense especially in light of how a Reid bill that Obama wants guts defense.  Now we know why Obama turned down the compromise that had been reached last weeks -- he wanted to gut defense in favor of his domestic wasteful programs.

Paul Ryan: Reid Bill "Guts Defense"

5:09 PM, Jul 29, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK

The Pentagon US Department of Defense building
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan agrees with conservative national security experts that Harry Reid's debt ceiling bill is much worse than Boehner's bill for our national security.

"The Reid bill guts defense--I mean guts it--and leaves domestic spending alone," Ryan told reporters today in the Capitol. "Ours doesn't do that."

As Philip Klein reported yesterday, the Reid bill would cut defense by as much as $50 billion more than the Boehner bill just in the next two years. Over 10 years, Reid's cuts would amount to "hundreds of billions" more than Boehner's bill.

So the fight over the final compromise isn't solely an exercise in political theater. The composition of the cuts sets apart the Boehner and Reid approaches. Defense cuts will be a major sticking point as both sides push to resolve the debt limit issue this weekend.

Speaker Boehner to the Senate: End This Crisis

End This Crisis 
At moments like this, the arrogance of Washington is most evident not in its actions, but in its inaction.
These are challenging days for our country and its people. 
Americans are worried about jobs. They’re worried about our economy. And they’re worried about our debt. The debt-limit crisis, thrust upon our citizens this summer, has intensified these anxieties. 
The U.S. House of Representatives has now sent to the Senate not one, but two bills that would bring the crisis to an immediate end. 
Reflecting the will of the people, both bills passed by the House would cut trillions of dollars in spending, advance the cause of a constitutional amendment requiring the federal government to balance its budget, and impose caps on future spending to stop the expansion of government while we give our economy a chance to grow and create jobs. 
Both bills also raise the debt ceiling for President Obama past the end of this year, averting the possibility of a damaging national default. 
At moments like this, the arrogance of Washington is most evident not in its actions, but in its inaction. 
In the face of a debt explosion that threatens the future of our country, the Senate has not passed a budget in more than 800 days. The House passed a historic one in April. 
In the face of a government shutdown this past spring, the Senate produced no solution and initiated no bill. The House did. 
And to date, faced with the possibility of a national default that could destabilize our already shaky economy, the Senate has sent the House nothing, while the new majority in the House has acted twice. 
The House demonstrated not arrogance, but leadership last week when a bipartisan majority — including many who came to Washington opposed to raising the debt ceiling under any circumstance — passed the Cut, Cap, & Balance Act for the greater good. 
The House demonstrated not arrogance, but leadership today by passing the Budget Control Act, bowing not just to the will of the American people and their desire for a timely and responsible end to this crisis, but also to the Constitution, which gave us the reality of a bicameral legislature. 
The legislation passed by the House this evening is not perfect, but it is a positive step forward in the effort to cut spending, clamp down on the growth of government, and reduce our debt. 
The bill was constructed on a commonsense framework that was pre-negotiated last weekend with the bipartisan leadership of the Senate, in an honest and sincere effort to bring the crisis to an end. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats walked away from that framework over the course of this week. 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a good man. His character is not in question. But the fate of this legislation, and possibly our economy, hinges on his ability to reason with the president, and with his caucus. 
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. 
— John Boehner is speaker of the House. 
Source:  National Review 
Will the Senate and Obama listen or will they up the rhetoric?

Went to National Review for some updated commentary and once again was not disappointed.  Now you can read the real facts about what is about to happen:

What Happened? What Now?July 29, 2011 12:36 P.M. By Kathryn Jean Lopez 
I am hearing some optimism about this morning’s move. It relies on this understanding of events: 
House GOP leadership had two problems last night. One was obviously getting his plan out of the House, getting Cap, Cut, Balancers on board. The second: John Boehner needed to give Harry Reid something that he could change. It’s now the Balanced Budget Amendment. 
That second point is a positive spin on what really happened: The whole GOP caucus simply did not buy Boehner’s optimism about forcing Reid to pass an unamended bill. And so by adding the BBA language, the House forfeits the possibility of Harry Reid passing the Boehner bill and sending it to the president untouched. 
So what does the new path look like? This tweaked Budget Control Act will pass the House. The Senate will strip out the BBA language. It will pass the Senate. When it goes back to the House, Boehner loses some of his caucus again, but Pelosi will have to get some of her members on board. If this is such a crisis moment, Democrats are the party in power. Boehner negotiated with his caucus and got an imperfect bill that the Democratic Senate could work with — with a statement of principles in it including the BBA. Then the Democrats, who do run Washington, after all, will have to step up to the plate. 
Ball’s in your court, Harry Reid and Barack Obama, in other words. 
Enter the commenters …  
Read More at National Review from Katheryn Jean Lopez
This is a brilliant plan to put the ball in the court of Obama and Reid who have assured Americans that without raising the debt ceiling, the United States will default at midnight on 2 August.

Would hope after all of this that some people in the Congress actually understand that the Democrats still run Government with the Senate and White House in their hands.  We can change that in November 2012 but we have a long way to go before that happens.  Time for Republicans to play it smart and keep backing the Senate and Obama into a corner with passing these bills even if the Senate tables them on the orders of Obama.  Then take it to the people how obstructionists that the Senate and Obama are with their refusal to do what is best for the American people by getting the deficit under the control.

It is a tailor made campaign issue that needs to keep being pushed:
House Leadership passed several bills on the debt ceiling that the Senate wouldn't even vote on  electing to table instead.  Is this an example of bi-partisanship that Obama and Reid claim they want?  
Then we always have "Where is the Senate budget?"

This afternoon is  much brighter then it was yesterday at this time.  There is an old saying where there is a will there is a way and the House Republican Leadership are living up to that saying.  No one has worked harder than the Republican House Leadership and its members to try and put a bill together that both sides should want to pass.  The catch -- Democrats got so used to getting only Democrat bills rammed through the Congress for Obama to sign in 2009/2010, that now they balk at any Republican ideas to lower the deficit in a meaningful way.  The Democrats need to grow up and quit acting like spoiled brats.

Boehner adds balance-budget amendment and picks up support

Obama and Reid have said they wanted a bi-partisan agreement.  This new Debt Ceiling bill has a bi-partisan balanced budget amendment (BBA):
The House had scheduled votes on two BBAs for this week. Under the revised Boehner plan, the sending of either to the states, including a version that attracted significant Democratic support in the mid-1990s, would allow for the second debt-ceiling increase. 
Reid has been in the Senate long enough that he should remember the BBA from the mid-1990's unless he has selective memory loss which would not shock me at all.  He seems to have a lot of those moments unless it benefits Democrats and their donors.

Will any House Democrats have the nerve to buck their leadership and vote for this revised bill.  The charts I have seen the Democrats put up are a joke and a farce during this debate.  If House Democrats are so worried about the AAA rating falling to AA, why are they not getting on board with a BBA which will steady the markets?  The Democrats runaway spending since Obama became President has led to this crises from the failed stimulus waste to the Obamacare bill that is unaffordable and has already cost jobs.  I expect nothing out of the Senate or House after Hoyer whined that Republicans were working on a bill without their input when they (Democrats) did have input on the weekend.  

The bi-partisan bill on the floor of the House yesterday was the agreement worked out by the Senate and House Leadership from both parties over the weekend but the Pelosi/Hoyer House Democrats would not let one person from their side vote for that bi-partisan bill that Hoyer said was not bi-partisan.  Go figure out that reasoning and when you have figured it, please let us know.

Now the House has a more right leaning bill on the floor which is actually a better bill then they had yesterday when the Democrats got stubborn and refused to vote for the bill.  Yesterday's bill that Reid and all 53 Democrats signed a letter saying that the Senate wouldn't pass ignored the fact he (Reid) was part of the agreement.  Once again looks like Obama got Reid to move the bar and change the ground rules.

Obama took to the airwaves this morning to once again attack Republicans on not working in a bi-partisan fashion when he is the least bi-partisan of anyone.  He is also the last one to the table to get involved as he was out campaigning and ignoring the debt ceiling approaching.  

If the media wasn't so one sided, they would be pointing out Obama was campaigning while the initial talks were going on as he had zero interest as he raised campaign funds.  They would also point out how Obama poisoned the water of anything truly bi-partisan by his continual attacks on Republicans as he is not acting Presidential but as a Presidential candidate.  The "I Won" President started out this Democrat Only approach and hasn't stopped.  When he says bi-partisan, it is pure rhetoric as it is obvious he resents having Republican input.  Would hate to think where our deficit would be without the House going Republican in 2010.

This is also the same group of Democrats whining that rammed Obamacare through the House and Senate with Pelosi telling people you had to vote for it to find out what is in the bill.  Republicans have given the Democrats equal time to debate this unlike what the Democrats pulled for three years before the 2012 election.  

After this vote today, the ball is going to be in the Democrats court in the Senate.  What are they going to do with this House bill, table it like they did the House bill Cut, Cap, and Balance on a procedural vote refusing to have a true vote on the bill?

The Senate Democrats have NO budget once again and on 1 October we are facing the end of the fiscal year.  They have had the House passed budget since April and yet have nothing for the CBO to score.  The incompetence of this President and the Democrat Leadership in the Senate and previously the House has put this Country in the mess financially we are in today because of their runaway spending and talking about cuts they never put on paper in a bill.  All talk and no substance.

Where is the President's bill to balance the budget he has been touting -- we are betting he has zero, zip, nada and it is all rhetoric or it would have been put on the table for the CBO to score long before this.

States have BBA's so why doesn't the Federal Government?
Support shifts as Boehner adds balanced-budget amendment
By The Hill Staff - 07/29/11 11:12 AM ET 
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. 
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a key holdout, and a Senate candidate, quickly took to Twitter after the meeting to say that he was a yes vote. The conservative Club for Growth also offered a tentative endorsement. 
Republican lawmakers say the Boehner framework would still pave the way for the debt limit to be raised through the 2012 election in two chunks. But it would also 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. 
The announcement came following perhaps the most crucial conference meeting of Boehner’s Speakership, and less than a day after House GOP leaders stunningly had to pull back on Boehner’s plan to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit shortly before it was scheduled for a vote.
Top GOP lawmakers then spent a pizza-fueled Thursday evening arm-twisting hesitant members of the rank and file, before deciding to regroup Friday morning. 
Excerpt:   Read more at the The Hill about what the obstructionists Reid and Obama have to say.  They want Republicans to be bi-partisan while they immediately say they will not approve any House bill.  The ball will soon be back in the Democrats court so what are they going to do now!  Throw another fit and refuse to allow a vote on the bill?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The vote on the debt ceiling is postponed!

Some of the hard core right Tea Party won't believe it, but the support for the bill in Congressional offices I have talked to today is running in favor of passage.  Republican leadership should put the blame where it belongs -- first on the Democrats and then on the Tea Party Republicans that put their reelection ahead of what is good for the Country.  Many Republicans across America are tired of the National Tea Party leaders and their attitudes along with some members of the Tea Party Caucus run by Bachmann.  They obviously could care less if the Country defaults which it has never done before. 

When Congressmen Mike Pence and Allen West got on board so should have the rest. 

Maybe it is time the Republican "NO" members of the House on the debt ceiling rise became Libertarians instead of Republicans because they don't reflect most Republicans I know but do reflect Ron Paul and his Libertarian agenda.
Vote on Boehner's debt-ceiling plan postponed

Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2011
2:37 p.m. (pdt)

House leaders have postponed a vote scheduled for this evening on the debt-ceiling plan offered by House Speaker John Boehner, an acknowledgement that there are not enough Republican votes to ensure passage.

Cong Mike Pence (R-IN) speech on passing the Boehner bill on the House Floor this afternoon

Cong Pence hit this one out of the park once again as he explains in a clear, concise manner what has to be done and why he supports this bill.

When you watch the Congressman ask yourself why any Republican is opposed to this bill? In fact, why are the Democrats opposed?

He is going to make a very good Governor of Indiana.

Dr. Coburn Email: 9,000,000,000,000 Ways to Balance the Budget Letter to Senate colleagues

A short time ago, this email from Dr. Coburn (R-OK) arrived in my inbox with a small sampling of what can be cut from the budget to start cutting the deficit.

Cannot believe someone making $1M a year had the nerve to apply for unemployment.  There is so much waste here that you no longer wonder how we got such a high deficit.  Time to do the right thing for America and start cutting.  Dr. Coburn has an excellent start in his email and you can view the full report, "Back in Black," at the following links:
Dr. Coburn’s full report is here. A section by section outline of the report is here. A summary of savings is here. Highlights of the report here.
Yet some members of the Tea Party and the right say he is not a conservative with a 100% conservative voting record and a plan to cut the deficit?  We will take more Dr. Coburn's any day of the week in the Senate as he doesn't hesitate to do the hard work to put a plan together.  His hardworking staff is AWESOME and always has been from day one when he went to the Senate in January of 2005.
This is a letter that Dr. Coburn sent to all of his Senate colleagues yesterday: 
July 27, 2011
9,000,000,000,000 Ways to Balance the Budget 
Dear Colleague, 
Nearly everyone in Washington agrees we must reduce the deficit, but few offer any specifics as to how to do it. Last week, I released a report, BACK IN BLACK, outlining thousands of detailed budget options within every federal department and nearly every major program that, if taken together, would result in savings of more than $9 trillion over the next decade. 
I do not expect anyone to agree with everything recommended in this report, but I expect everyone will find things with which they agree. With negotiations stalemated, I wanted to bring your attention to some very simple commonsense ideas I believe most of us—and most Americans—regardless of party or ideology could support that would save at least $355 billion. 
End Unemployment Payments to MillionairesSavings: $186 million over ten years
Nearly 3,000 households with incomes of $1 million or more were paid a total of $18.6 million in unemployment insurance benefits in 2008. Those earning $1 million a year do not need and should not qualify for unemployment compensation. 
Stop Payments to Dead PeopleSavings: Over $1 billion over ten years.
Washington sent over $1 billion to more than 250,000 deceased individuals over the past decade. The federal government paid for dead people’s prescriptions and wheelchairs, subsidized their farms, helped pay their rent, and even chipped in for their heating and air conditioning bills. Some of these payments were fraud, some were incompetence, and some were intentionally required by law. Congress should end payments to the dead and federal agencies should ensure beneficiaries and participants of government payments are, in fact, alive. 
Eliminate DuplicationSavings: At least $50 billion over ten years
In March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report examining just 34 missions of the federal government and identified hundreds of duplicative and overlapping programs costing more than $215 billion a year. These included 47 separate job training programs, 88 economic development programs, 82 teacher quality programs, and 56 financial literacy programs. “Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services,” GAO concluded. Another independent study identified at least 180 economic development programs within more than a dozen different agencies costing taxpayers about $17.9 billion annually. Duplication within the federal bureaucracy should be consolidated. 
Eliminate Sweet Heart Deals for Government ContractorsSavings: At least $2 billion over ten years
The federal government pays over $500 billion annually to contractors. In 2009, $170 billion worth of contracts were awarded without competition. Competitive bidding for government contracts helps ensure the highest-quality services for the lowest cost, while no-bid contracts waste billions of dollars with little apparent benefit to anyone other than contractors. No bid contracts should be eliminated. 
Collect Unpaid Taxes Owed by Federal EmployeesSavings: $1 billion over ten years
Nearly 100,000 civilian federal employees were delinquent on their federal income taxes in 2008. These federal employees owe a total of $962 million in unpaid federal income taxes. The IRS should collect these overdue taxes. 
Reduce Congress’ Spending on ItselfSavings: $3.82 billion over ten years
Since 2001, Congress has boosted its own budget by 55 percent. At the same time, the average American wage increased by only 23 percent. In real dollars, the budget of the House and Senate has grown by more than $1 billion over the last decade. Congress must lead by example and do more with less. Congress’ spending on itself should be reduced by at least 15 percent. 
Stop Overpaying Drug CompaniesSavings: $480 million over ten years
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) overpays pharmaceutical companies nearly a million dollars a week. According to the Government Accountability Office, drug companies were overpaid $3.9 million in a single month! HRSA should be required to routinely monitor prices to ensure taxpayers are not being overcharged and take immediate corrective action to recoup any excess payments. 
Reduce Unnecessary Government PrintingSavings: $4.9 billion over ten years
Federal agencies – excluding the Department of Defense – spend nearly $1.3 billion a year on routine office printing. A third of this printing is unnecessary, according to an independent analysis. Agencies should put an end to this wasteful habit and administrative accounts of each department should be reduced accordingly. 
Eliminate Unnecessary Printing of Congressional DocumentsSavings: $312.2 million
In the digital age, printed copies of Congressional reports and other documents are as likely to grace a landfill as a bookshelf. In 2010, nearly $100 million was allocated for Congressional Printing and Binding account. A representative of the Government Printing Office (GPO) recently testified, “70 percent of the GPO’s funds are used to digitize legislation, schedules and other federal records, while 30 percent is used to print hard copies.” Reducing the Congressional Printing account by 30 percent would put an end to the wasteful practice of printing and distributing congressional documents that are almost immediately thrown away. The documents would still be available online and users could decide whether or not to print hard copies. 
Get Rid of Unneeded Federal PropertiesSavings: $15 billion over ten years
The federal government has over 63,000 buildings that are underutilized and not utilized at all. This number has increased by more than 12,000 from only two years ago. It costs over $1.2 billion every year to operate these properties. The federal government should dispose of all excess properties within five years. According to the Obama Administration, at least $15 billion could be saved if the federal government gets rid of its unneeded properties. 
End Subsidy for Ethanol BlendingSavings: $2 billion one time savings
Ethanol producers reap the benefits of a vast array of government assistance, including tax credits, grants, loans, loan guarantees, federally-directed markets, and a federal minimum usage mandate. The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit provides a 45-cent-per-gallon federal tax credit to producers who blend ethanol with gasoline. Ethanol-blended fuel is nearly a third less efficient than gasoline, has contributed to the increased price of corn, and can cause engine damage. Ethanol subsidies are outdated, duplicative, and have failed to meet the intended goals of greater energy independence with a cleaner fuel alternative. The ethanol tax credit should be eliminated immediately.Limo
Reduce the Number of Limousines Owned by the GovernmentSavings: $115.5 million over ten years
In the past two years, the federal government’s limousine fleet has grown by 73 percent. The federal government had 238 limos in 2008 and that number reached 412 last year. The number of limos owned by the federal government should be reduced to its previous level. 
Reduce Federal Vehicle FleetSavings: $5.6 billion over ten years
Federal agencies own or lease over 662,000 cars, vans, sport-utility vehicles, trucks, buses and other vehicles. Since 2006, the federal vehicle fleet has grown by five percent and the cost of maintaining and servicing those vehicles has grown over 25 percent, to $4.6 billion. These vehicles consume about a million gallons of fuel per day. The General Services Administration will purchase more than 100 more vehicles this year. Instead, the number of vehicles in the federal fleet should be reduced by at least 20 percent. 
LuggageReduce Junkets and Unnecessary TravelSavings: $43.3 billion over ten years
The federal government spends $15 billion on travel every year. All travel that is not mission-critical should be ended. 
Reduce Advertising by the Federal GovernmentSavings: $5.6 billion over ten years
The federal government spent almost $1 billion on advertising last year. While some advertising may be needed, much of it is wasteful and unnecessary and this amount should be cut in half. 
Limit the Amount Spent to Host Government ConferencesSavings: $1 billion over ten years
The federal government spent at least $2 billion on conferences between 2000 and 2006. Some conferences may provide important venues for exchanging ideas or providing training. Others appear to be little more than government funded vacations at beachside resorts and other exotic destinations. Traveling to meetings and hosting conferences are, in large part, no longer necessary with the availability of teleconferencing. Total spending on conferences should not exceed $100 million annually and conferences should only be held when other options are not feasible. 
Use Better Measure of Inflation to Determine Increases in Benefit PaymentsSavings: Approximately $180 billion over ten years
Many government benefits are automatically increased for inflation every year, based on the consumer price index (CPI). For more than 15 years, many budget experts have agreed the current CPI mechanism outpaces actual inflationary growth, causing the cost of government programs to rise rapidly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics developed a more accurate measure of inflation, known as Chained CPI, which over the last ten years has grown at a slightly slower rate than the current measure for CPI. Congress should adopt the recommendation of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to transition to Chained-CPI government wide to ensure this automatic spending increase is as accurate as possible to avoid uncontrolled automatic spending increases in federal programs.Movie
Eliminate Hollywood Liaisons
Savings: $34.4 million over ten years
Many federal agencies have offices and programs to assist Hollywood movie producers and television execs, often with the goal of ensuring a positive portrayal of the federal government. The agencies have at least 14 employees costing $1.2 million. These should be eliminated. 
Stop Purchasing Excess LandSavings: $4.1 billion over ten years
The federal government has spent more than $430 million to purchase additional land since the start of the recent recession and more than $2.3 billion over the past decade. At the same time, the Department of the Interior maintenance backlog on public lands has surged to as high as $19.9 billion, resulting in serious risk to visitors and deteriorating conditions of important national treasures. The National Mall, for example, has been so neglected it has been called a national disgrace. Until the federal government can afford to take care of the land it already owns, it should be prohibited from purchasing additional land. 
End Payments for Coal Cleanup When Projects Have Been Certified as Being CompletedSavings: $1.23 billion over ten years
The federal government continues to send funds intended for the cleanup up abandoned coal mines to several states and tribes that have already been certified as completing their work. The funds are unrestricted and have essentially become slush funds. These dollars should be used only for their intended purpose and directed to states with abandoned sites, with excess amounts should be returned. 
Suspend the Automatic Pay Raise for Members of CongressSavings: $6 million over three years
Members of Congress typically receive an automatic pay raise every year. Congress voted to freeze the salary of its member for the past two years at $174,000. The pay for members of Congress should be frozen for at least three more years. 
Get the Department of Defense Out of Education and the Grocery Store BusinessSavings: $19 billion over ten years
The Department of Defense currently operates hundreds of grocery stores and dozens of elementary schools in the United States. These grocery stores are in the same communities that have Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway, and other choices for military personnel. Instead of paying our soldiers more money and allowing them to choose where to shop, we subsidize thousands of federal employees to work in grocery stores around the country. Similarly, the Department of Defense employs thousands of teachers in a unique school district called the Department of Defense Education Activity. Under the Pentagon’s management, taxpayers are spending more than $50,000 per student enrolled in these schools. The Pentagon should shut down its education bureaucracy, send much of this money to bolster local public schools, and return the rest for debt reduction. 
Terminate HHS’s Community Economic Development ProgramSavings: $38 million over ten years.
The mission of the Community Economic Development program (CED) duplicates 180 other government development programs, has a very low success rate, and does not fit within the mission or expertise of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to HHS’s most recent report to the Congress, only one out of five funded projects within the CED program were successful. Due to its lack of success, duplicative nature, and inappropriate placement within HHS, CED should be eliminated. 
End Federal Subsidies to Wealthy Doctors and Hospitals for Health Information TechnologySavings: $15.6 billion over ten years.
The federal government mandates and subsidizes the use health information technology (IT) for doctors and hospitals, despite scant evidence doing so will lower costs. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize the purchase of health IT by doctors and hospitals. 
Stop Medicare Payments for Uncovered ServicesSavings: $1.97 billion over ten years.
Medicare currently only pays for medically necessary chiropractic services, but a HHS Inspector General report found the program improperly spent $178 million on chiropractic services in 2006. Implementing and enforcing current policies, along with more careful reviews of documentation, could save taxpayers nearly $2 billion over a decade. 
This list is just a handful of the savings options contained within BACK IN BLACK. I would encourage you to review the thousands of other recommendations. I would also be interested in hearing other debt reduction ideas you might have. 
Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
U.S. Senator 

Senate Democrats Standing for Reelection or Retiring in 2012

Will the Tea Party Leaders finally wake up and realize who is the enemy here and target the Senate Democrats who are up for reelection instead of incumbent Republicans?  This is their opportunity to step up to the plate to go after the obstructionists Democrats who want to keep spending and still have not presented a budget in over two years.  Below is the list the of Senate Democrats who are running for reelection or are retiring.

Current Senate Democrats who are retiring as of today:
Akaka (HI), Conrad (ND), Bingaman (NM, Webb (VA), and Kohl (WI)
Would bet that Webb was not all that comfortable with some of his votes and his not about to face former Senator George Allen in the 2012 election.  Senator Allen only lost by around 5,000 votes to Webb the last time so I would rate VA as good chance for a pick-up.  Conrad retiring from Red State North Dakota should be a sure pick-up.  New Mexico and Wisconsin will depend on who runs.  Forget Hawaii -- wouldn't waste NRSC money there except very limited.

Now for the current incumbents who are running -- have to ask myself why a few of them are running starting with Ben Nelson of Nebraska:
Feinstein (CA):  Don't waste the money there -- better to spend money in CA trying to split it into two states -- has more of a chance of success then beating Feinstein 
Carper (DE):  Republicans had a chance to pick up a Senate seat in DE with Biden becoming VP but nominated O'Donnell and blew that chance.  Can Republicans get their act together and take out Carper who is now running for a full six years?   
Nelson (FL):  Florida is turning back red in 2012 for President so will that be enough for a Republican to beat Nelson?  We think it is and money should flow into the GOP candidate's coffers to take on Nelson. 
Cardin (MD):  Wouldn't waste money in Maryland -- tried it before and it has not worked. 
Stabenow (MI):  This could be a pick-up for Republicans as former Congressman Hoekstra is running for Senate along with some other good candidates.  Michigan elected a Republican Governor Rick Snyder so they could keep the trend going. 
Klobuchar (MN):  She has a Democrat opponent so this will be a wait and see after the primary. 
McCaskell (MO):  She has a Democrat opponent.  Believe this will be a pick-up by Repubicans as her record does not match the voters of Missouri. 
Tester (MT):  We have a hard time believing that Montana has two Democrat Senators and expect Tester to have a hard time winning in 2012. 
Nelson (NE):  Shocked he is not retiring as Nebraska is a very Red State.  Before Obama took office, you could count on Nelson voting a lot with Republicans.  Now he is an almost a solid  Democrat vote.  Expect a Republican pick-up. 
Bob Menendez (NJ):  Couldn't believe he won the last time but with Christie as Governor would list this as a toss-up or leaning Dem depending on the Republican opponent. 
Gillibrand (NY):  Running for a full six years and wouldn't waste time or money in NY. 
Brown (OH):  Shocked when he won in 2006 and expect him to be sent to the unemployment line in 2012. 
Casey (PA):  Not sure he can be beat but wouldn't rule it out depending on who comes out of the Republican primary. 
Whitehouse (RI):  Wouldn't spend much money here unless there is a turnaround in real polling by people who know RI. 
Cantwell (WA):  Don't waste money in Washington. 
Manchin (WV):  Running for a full six years -- with a good Republican candidate, think there is a possibility to beat him as he has been voting like Obama/Reid want for the most part.  Can the WV Coal Country count on him?  We don't think so.
There you have the Senate Democrats who are running along with my analysis as of today on how I think the races could shake out next year. Right now I would list North Dakota and Virginia open seats along with Nebraska, Missouri, and Ohio as definite pick-ups for the GOP.  Depending on the polling, you could see Ben Nelson of Nebraska decide to retire.  Those five seats would give us a Republican majority in the Senate.  Also believe there are other seats that are good candidates for pick-up as well starting with Florida.

The people running for the Senate as Democrats, incumbents and new candidates, are the ones we want to be concentrating on for defeat in 2012.  Time the Republican Senate took a strong stand on supporting their incumbents and going full force against the Democrats.

Time to 'Take Back the Senate' in 2012 and stop the juvenile behavior we are seeing out of Reid and their Leadership as they bow to Obama's wishes.

Believe Republicans will defend all their seats including the open seat in Texas.

All 53 Democrat Senators sign letter to Speaker Boehner: "Your Bill Will Never Pass"

Now we have the 53 Democrat Senators threatening the House members they will not vote for the Boehner bill because the bill will never pass the Senate.  It was based on news reports from the CLOSED Republican Conference Meeting.  Arrogance reigns supreme in the United States Senate.

What are the Democrats afraid of with the Boehner bill?  It will pass the House and they will be on the hook with Obama for the default of the United States if they don't pass the House bill?  The Democrats just handed the House Leadership a rallying point to pass the bill and send it to the Senate to show the American people that the Democrat Senate has no intention of cutting spending and are willing to let the United States default or are bluffing.  Either way it is a win for the House and the American people will see the truth about this bunch of Democrats and their agenda.
July 27, 2011

Dear Speaker Boehner, 
With five days until our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, we need to work together to ensure that our nation does not default on our obligations for the first time in our history. We heard that in your caucus you said the Senate will support your bill. We are writing to tell you that we will not support it, and give you the reasons why. 
A short-term extension like the one in your bill would put America at risk, along with every family and business in it. Your approach would force us once again to face the threat of default in five or six short months. Every day, another expert warns us that your short-term approach could be nearly as disastrous as a default and would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating. If our credit is downgraded, it would cost us billions of dollars more in interest payments on our existing debt and drive up our deficit. Even more worrisome, a downgrade would spike interest rates, making everything from mortgages, car loans and credit cards more expensive for families and businesses nationwide. 
In addition to risking a downgrade and catastrophic default, we are concerned that in five or six months, the House will once again hold the economy captive and refuse to avoid another default unless we accept unbalanced, deep cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security, without asking anything of the wealthiest Americans. 
We now have only five days left to act. The entire world is watching Congress. We need to do the right thing to solve this problem. We must work together to avoid a default the responsible way – not in a way that will do America more harm than good.

/s/ All 53 Democrat Senators
IMHO, this letter from Reid and his 52 Democrat puppets, will help pass the Boehner bill.  Obama has threatened to veto the Boehner bill which is a signal to House Democrats to vote against so it is not bi-partisan.  Bet there is one Oklahoma House Member Dan Boren who is not going to listen to Obama or Pelosi as he is a lameduck now but didn't listen to them before.  He voted for the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill.

Will Common Sense Prevail in the House on the Debt Ceiling Vote?

Senator DeMint has finally proven to many Republicans that he has a lot rhetoric but never offers a plan of his own.   His threats against those in the House voting for Boehner plan were not something I would expect out of a US Senator.  Asked a good friend what other Senator would do this and he came up with LBJ and maybe John Kerry.  That's not someone a Republican Senator would want to be compared with IMHO.  DeMint telling House Members if they vote for the Boehner plan to raise the debt ceiling, they will be out of power for years is totally irresponsible.  He called a Tea Party Rally for yesterday and maybe 100 showed up to protest the Boehner bill -- they seemed to be as many reporters as Tea Party people for his rally:
Today's (7/28/11) Tea Party rally outside the Senate -- the "Hold the Line" rally -- attracted a few dozen activists, and about as many reporters. Here's a shot of Jim DeMint addressing the crowd, more members of which were in the shade to the right. 

Could this poor turnout along with the irresponsible Republican Study Committee's emails urging conservative groups to turn out their people to call Congress to tell them to defeat the Boehner bill have turned the tide in support of the Boehner bill?  Have some members of Congress finally realized that all these threats from DeMint and the National Tea Party leaders mean nothing in the long run.  What means something is that the United States does not default.

When DeMint steps up to the plate with a plan, I might listen but until then he needs to stop grandstanding and interfering in the business of the House.  With some of the candidates he and the Tea Party Express pushed in 2010, it kept us from having more votes in the Senate.  Do you realize how bad it was to have a DeMint Tea Party candidate defeated in AK with a write-in?  Looks like we are on the same page as The Wall Street Journal who seems to have their 'groove' back in their articles:
Strangely, some Republicans and conservative activists are condemning this as a fiscal sellout. Senator Jim DeMint put out a statement raking the Speaker for seeking "a better political debt deal, instead of a debt solution" (emphasis, needless to say, his). The usually sensible Club for Growth and Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, are scoring a vote for the Boehner plan as negative on similar grounds.If the Boehner plan fails in the House, the advantage shifts to Harry Reid's Senate plan. (my emphasis)
But what none of these critics have is an alternative strategy for achieving anything nearly as fiscally or politically beneficial as Mr. Boehner's plan. The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. 
Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. (my emphasis) The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout. 
Read that paragraph from the WSJ  and wanted to start applauding the Journal for telling the truth.  Two of the worst candidates that Republicans have ever nominated came courtesy of DeMint and the Tea Party Express.

Quit Club for Growth yesterday for several reasons one being they have way overreached compared to when Senator Toomey was in charge, and their aligning with Sen DeMint left me no choice because I don't share his political ideology of 'my way or no way' so I asked for no more emails and no more of their snail mail newsletters which are a waste a lot of money.  One person quitting is not going to make a difference, but I wanted them to know that at least one person stood on their own principles and realizes that sometimes you have to compromise whether you like it or not.  That is something that the DeMint crowd cannot get through their heads as they truly believe only they have all the answers, but have no plan to present.  Kind of like all the rhetoric surrounding the Senate budget -- lot of talk and no substance.

Speaker Boehner has not been shy in saying this plan is far from perfect but once it passes the House, then its the democrats on the hook.  That should be clear to anyone with the least bit of political savvy which is missing in this 'my way or no way' culture among some members of Congress.  As for the National Tea Party Leaders, their voices have far less clout then they had a year ago before they started with the threats against Republicans.  Get that Republicans not Democrats.  Never have witnessed anything like it and the head of Tea Party Nation, Judson Phillips, who is being sued for breach of contract by a Las Vegas hotel, is calling for Speaker Boehner to step down.  Who is going to listen to him?

When article after article starts talking about facing reality, it is telling Republicans in Congress to get to get their act together and as Eric Cantor said "Quit whining and vote."

Reading this article from the WSJ has me sitting me nodding my head in agreement starting at the very beginning of Republicans opposing the Boehner bill playing into the hands of Obama.  They nailed the article right there by stating the truth.  Sometime today, we will know the truth if common sense prevails in the House versus the 'my way or no way' ideology.
The GOP's Reality Test
Republicans who oppose Boehner's debt deal are playing into Obama's hands. 
The debt-limit debate is heading toward a culmination, with President Obama reduced to pleading for the public to support a tax increase and Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid releasing competing plans that are the next-to-last realistic options. The question now is whether House Republicans are going to help Mr. Boehner achieve significant progress, or, in the name of the unachievable, hand Mr. Obama a victory. 
Mr. Obama recognizes these stakes, threatening yesterday to veto the Boehner plan in a tactical move to block any Democratic support. The White House is afraid that it will pass the House and then become the only debt-ceiling vehicle if Mr. Reid can't get 60 votes for his own proposal in the Senate. This would short-circuit Mr. Obama's plan to blame the GOP for a U.S. credit downgrade, any market turmoil, a possible default, and the lousy economy too.
Under the two-phase Boehner plan, Congress would authorize $1 trillion in new debt in return for $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade. Most of that will come from caps on domestic discretionary spending over 10 years—the Pentagon and homeland security are exempt—with automatic spending cuts if the caps are breached. While one Congress cannot bind another, the proposal would at least guarantee real reductions in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. 
In the second stage, the House and Senate would convene a 12-member joint select committee with a deficit reduction goal of $1.8 trillion by November. The majority and minority of both chambers would each make three assignments, and any plan that secured seven votes or more would get an up-or-down vote in both chambers with no amendments. 
The danger for the GOP is that the committee could end up proposing tax increases, since the committee's only remit is the deficit, not the larger fiscal landscape or the size of government. A poorly chosen Republican nominee could defect, and any structural change to entitlements almost certainly can't pass the Senate. 
Then again, unless the plan passed, Mr. Obama couldn't request the additional $1.6 trillion debt ceiling increase that he would soon need. The political incentive is for a reasonable package, and many Senate Democrats also don't want to vote for tax increases before 2012. 
The debt-limit debate is heading toward a culmination, with President Obama reduced to pleading for the public to support a tax increase and Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid releasing competing plans that are the next-to-last realistic options. The question now is whether House Republicans are going to help Mr. Boehner achieve significant progress, or, in the name of the unachievable, hand Mr. Obama a victory. 
Mr. Obama recognizes these stakes, threatening yesterday to veto the Boehner plan in a tactical move to block any Democratic support. The White House is afraid that it will pass the House and then become the only debt-ceiling vehicle if Mr. Reid can't get 60 votes for his own proposal in the Senate. This would short-circuit Mr. Obama's plan to blame the GOP for a U.S. credit downgrade, any market turmoil, a possible default, and the lousy economy too. 
It's true that the Boehner plan doesn't solve the long-term debt problem, but Mr. Obama won't agree to anything that does. The GOP plan also may not prevent a U.S. national credit downgrade, but it has a better chance of doing so than Mr. Reid's. The Boehner plan is the most credible proposal with a chance of becoming law before the 2012 election.   
Excerpt:  Read More at The Wall Street Journal 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fred Barnes: Reagan and Boehner, Two Peas in a Pod

This article by Fred Barnes is so true and matches my memories of Ronald Reagan as President -- always thought of him as the President who was willing to take his gains in increments and then all of a sudden the Democrats would realize he had won the day and got most of what he wanted.

That should be a lesson to some conservative ideologues who want it all now or nothing.  They probably should not play poker -- Reagan was the master of the winning poker hand against the Democrats.  Smile on his face, good natured, not threatening and all of a sudden he had what he wanted when he started off.  He gave a little to get a lot eventually.  He was in no hurry and willing to take his time because he knew with a Democrat Congress he would have to play it smart.

These two paragraphs by Fred Barnes sum up President Reagan and why he was able to get so much accomplished because he didn't just say NO!

Lots of politicians are smart. Reagan was wise. He knew that, in politics, you never get everything you want in one swoop. You take what you can get now and, if all goes well, come back for the rest later.  
It’s fine to stand on principle. You’d be hard pressed to name a Republican leader who was more principled, as a conservative, than Reagan. But Reagan applied his principles over the long run, and that’s why he achieved so much.
This should be a lesson to those Republicans who are against raising the debt ceiling under any circumstance.  If they asked themselves what would Reagan do, they wouldn't like the answer.  It is also why when some of them use Reagan to bolster their side, they are not being honest.  He was a man that put Country first, Party way second, and re-election at the end.   That's how it should be so when Obama tries to channel Reagan he fails miserably as well.

Reagan was his own man who loved America and always did what was best for all Americans and our Country.  His upbeat personality made him likable because he didn't go around threatening fellow Republicans in public if they didn't do what he said.  He would be appalled at what he would see from some Republicans today who call themselves conservative Republicans when they are more Libertarian than Republican.

Fred Thompson is correct -- GOP got what it wanted -- Don't Push It!  Paul Ryan Backs Boehner Plan!  John Bolton: Former ambassador John Bolton has just released a statement of support for John Boehner’s debt ceiling plan, arguing that the speaker of the House’s plan is good for “all conservatives, especially those concerned with American national security.”  

Those are just a few of conservatives with their comments on the Boehner plan.  Are they going to be called names and RINO's by the Tea Party and some members of Congress now?  That seems to be the mantra of some so-called conservatives who put themselves and their ideology first.

President Reagan was right in the 80's and his philosophy is right today.  When you don't control the Congress and the White House, you take your wins and live to fight another day which the House Republican Leadership understands well.  Shame on the ones who are more beholden to the Tea Party for their reelection then they are at putting America first.  We didn't get in this hole overnight and we are not going to get out of it overnight.  We cannot afford to lose the credit rating and default?  Those members who put the wishes of the Tea Party first don't have a clue about how Ronald Reagan governed and most likely don't care.

Reagan and Boehner, Two Peas in a Pod

5:34 PM, Jul 27, 2011 • By FRED BARNES 

What would President Reagan do in the debt limit battle? That’s unknowable, but we do know what his goal would be: get the best deal possible under the circumstances. Reagan never let the perfect or the unattainable keep him from achieving the good.
Reagan spent the 1980 campaign promoting a 30 percent, across the board tax cut on individual income. It would be phased in over three years, starting in 1982.

Since Democrats controlled the House by a sizeable margin, Reagan couldn’t get exactly what he wanted. True, he could have held out for a 30 percent cut – and probably gotten nothing. Instead, he trimmed his tax proposal to 25 percent over three years, starting in 1983, and Congress passed it in 1981.

Reagan’s tax cuts weren’t the only reason the economy soared, but they were a big one. And those cuts turned out to be a down payment on a further reduction in tax rates in sweeping tax reform in 1986. If he hadn’t compromised five years earlier on tax cuts that lowered the top rate to 50 percent, it’s unlikely he’d have succeeded in cutting it to 28 percent in 1986. 
Reagan faced a similar situation on national security. In the campaign against Jimmy Carter, he’d advocated a tough stance against the Soviet Union that included an expensive military buildup. Most Democrats were opposed. 
He made a deal, if only a tacit one. Democrats would go along with a surge in defense spending and Reagan would accede, to some extent anyway, to higher domestic spending. Deficits grew, but the groundwork was laid for winning the Cold War. 
Now, back to the debt limit fight. Would Reagan support the Boehner plan for cutting spending while agreeing to a hike in the debt ceiling? I think so. He would see it as the best deal that’s attainable at the moment. Sure, he would favor deeper cuts, lower spending caps, and a balanced budget amendment, too, but he would recognize those can’t pass now. He wouldn’t let his pursuit of them keep him from achieving something substantial now. 
By first grabbing what he could, Reagan opened the way to driving tax rates down later to the level he wanted all along. The result: an economic boom that lasted for a quarter century. He accepted a tradeoff between military and domestic spending. The result: we won the Cold War.
Source:  Weekly Standard

The Real World: Costs of Republican Intransigence

This article is well written and to the point.  Some Republican members of the House and Senate need to understand they represent all their district and/or state not just the Tea Party.  The threats coming out of some members like Jim DeMint in the Senate made my blood boil with his comments in an email from World Net Daily and is exactly what Koffler is talking about.

DeMint has NO plan but he is threatening the House Members to vote 'NO' on any debt ceiling rise or they will be out of power for years.  What's he going to do, join with the National Tea Party leaders to take out Republican incumbents that don't vote the way he wants.  For $29.99 you can also join the World Net Daily campaign to fax all House Members using DeMint's comments.  NOTE:  Wrongly identified the cost of faxing at $29.99 to Jim DeMint originally when it should have been Joseph Farrah of World Net Daily:
Farah was referring to Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina who told ABC News today that Republicans who support raising the debt limit without first passing a balanced budget amendment and massive across-the-board spending cuts will be out in 2012.

"You're gone," he said, "destined to be swept out of Congress by a wave of voter anger. Based on what I can see around the country not only are those individuals gone, but I would suspect the Republican Party would be set back many years. It would be the most toxic vote. I can tell you if you look at the polls, Democrats, Republicans, independents, they do not think we should increase the debt limit."

Farah says DeMint is absolutely right. 
If he is so powerful, why couldn't he get a vote on the House debt bill which the Senate tabled.  There is a reason he is not in leadership as we are seeing right before our eyes -- he only has one agenda 'my way or no way' which is also the agenda of Obama.  Now DeMint is also telling House Republicans what to do?

Bad way to run government because in negotiations are the name of the game so often and no one usually gets everything they want.  You make the best deal possible and live to fight another day.  We should be thankful we even have the House because without the Republican leadership, a Pelosi house would have given Obama a blank check which many like DeMint have conveniently forgotten.

Did DeMint and others along with the National Tea Party actually think that winning the House was going to be the way to ram their conservative agenda through with Obama in the White House set to veto.  If it was, naive is the word.  So is DeMint going to use the debt ceiling to raise more money to defeat Republican incumbents who don't do what he says?  Time will tell.

This is one Republican not wanting to risk the credit rating of the United States to score political points and understands that we only control one leg of the three legged stool to get things passed and signed into law.  Looks like we elected a group of people who don't understand how government works and are part of the 'my way or no way' crowd which doesn't work for either side and is not 'The Real World.'  The people with backbones are going to stand up and be counted by voting for the House bill while others continue to whine and run to the media.  I have called several offices of Republicans to give them my support on getting the cuts necessary to raise the debt ceiling and not take a chance of what could happen with default.
The Costs of Republican Intransigenceby Keith Koffler on July 27, 2011, 10:16 am 
The GOP is set to self-immolate. Which is fine for starting Arab Springs, but real bad for governing and gaining power in the United States. 
Republicans have before them two options – one by House Speaker Boehner and the other by Senate Majority Leader Reid – that extend the debt ceiling without raising taxes. 
Obama will sign either one in order to avoid a default, you can be sure. Republicans are in the drivers’ seat. And they’re going to throw it all away because the cuts aren’t enough.
I have a plan. It's not a good plan, but it is a plan.
Photo by Keith Koffler
Republicans are right to seek a deal that makes vast cuts in spending. President Obama has raised spending to a 25 percent of GDP, the highest ever.  
But they are wrong to insist on their perfect world in which entitlement reform and discretionary spending cuts solve the deficit problem without any tax increases at all. Because unfortunately, the United States is part of the Real World. 
Let me describe The Real World
Republicans do not control the Senate or the presidency. 
This is not because God made Obama president and Harry Reid majority leader.   
The American people did. And God is not going to interfere and make Obama and Reid do serious entitlement reform and major cuts to spending. If Republicans want these changes, they need to elect Republicans to at least one of these positions in 2012. 
In the real world, the amount of taxes currently collected by the federal government, at about 14.5 percent of GDP, is currently at its lowest level since the presidency of Harry Truman. The last year of the Reagan administration, it was just above 18 percent. Did you know that? 
That’s not to say that taxes shouldn’t be right where they are, and that Obama isn’t seeking an increase in taxes so he can keep spending as high as possible on the health reform law and other “investments” – aka “spending” – that are the things that really get him out of bed in the morning. 
Excerpt:  Read More from Keith Koffler at The White House Dossier Blog
It is so refreshing to read these articles from someone who is not afraid to tell it like it is.  Shame that some Republicans are not facing 'The Real World' and prefer to live in their fantasy world where they control everything.  Sorry to burst DeMint's bubble but as has been said before he costs us some seats in the Senate along with the Tea Party Express by getting involved in primaries when they should have stayed out.

Then we have the DeMint backed Senator Lee of Utah who won't vote to raise the debt ceiling until a balanced budget amendment is passed which means a NO vote for a long time.  No way is a budget balanced amendment passing the Senate this year or next but like his mentor DeMint and others they will risk taking control of the Senate to grandstand by saying they will vote NO about raising the debt ceiling without even reading the bill.  One of GOP candidates voted no after signing a pledge to vote yes on the Cap, Cut, and Balance -- Michelle Bachmann followed the lead of her mentor Ron Paul to vote NO against her own pledge.

We call on House Republicans to stand tall and pass the best bill they can get that Obama and the Senate will get on board.  It is not going to be perfect -- far from it, but if they don't pass a bill and the United States defaults, then the House will be blamed.  Forget entitlements for now as they are not going to be part of this debt ceiling bill because there are not enough votes in the Senate.  Just be happy there are no new taxes and time to vote as Majority Leader Cantor has said instead of whining.

Fortunately, most thinking members of the House are not willing to take that chance and we expect a bill to be passed out of the House that the Senate can vote on and Obama can sign if Obama doesn't move the bar again. Those Republicans voting to increase the debt ceiling will be our heroes for putting America first and not default despite pressure from the Tea Party who has vowed to defeat them.  They will have put Country before Party and their own reelection.  Now that is what you call sacrifice.