Archive for John Boehner

The Great Prevaricator

Sounds like President Pant-Load-I-Mean-Crease lies even when you can’t see his lips moving:

President Obama placed a phone call to House Speaker John Boehner this afternoon to congratulate him on passing three free trade agreements through the House of Representatives Wednesday, but what started as a courtesy call ended with the two leader’s disagreeing over job creation.

According to a read-out of the phone call provided by the office of the speaker, once the president and speaker finished exchanging niceties over the FTAs, Boehner “respectfully challenged” Obama for saying he had not yet seen a plan from Republicans to create jobs.

“I want to make sure you have all the facts,” the speaker told the president during a phone call that lasted about 10 minutes, according to the read-out.

The speaker then reminded the president that House Republicans put forth a Plan for America’s Job Creators in May, and recalled that he and other members of the GOP leadership team had spoken with Obama and his staff about the plan and they’d referred to it on numerous occasions, including in letters addressed to the president.

“The speaker told the president that when he sent his jobs plan to the Hill, Republicans pledged to give it consideration, and have done so,” the read-out stated. “The president was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found. The speaker also noted that a number of the president’s ideas have already been acted on in the House, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a three percent withholding bill approved by the Ways & Means Committee today that will be considered on the House floor this month.”

I know Boehner is never far from tears, but I think he could snap President One (Iron) over his knee like an errant putter.

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Seven Birdies, Five Bogeys

Guess what that’s about….

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Vice President Biden set the tone at the start. Waiting for Obama to make his way down the center aisle, they stood before the House and had a talk — not about jobs, but about golf.

“Seven birdies, five bogeys,” Boehner reported to Biden.

“You’re kidding me!” the vice president said.

“I missed a four-foot, straight-on birdie on the last hole,” Boehner said of another round.

“Whoa!” the vice president said.

“So, the next day,” Boehner went on, “I shoot an 86! Ha, ha, ha!”

“That’s incredible,” the vice president said.

Boehner went on about other memorable golf moments before an aide let the men know that their microphones were live.

Because no one cared what Obama had to say and no one is listening any more.

- Aggie

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Don’t Get Even, Get Mad

This is my understanding of the order of events:

Obama tees it up for 10 straight days on the links of Martha’s Vineyard, promising his latest, awesomest stimulus program in September—just be patient;

At the approach of a hurricane, he vamooses, heading to the nearest telephone with a photographer close by;

Without consultation, he decides his latest failure-to-be must be delivered in the Roman Colosseum—as the venue is not available, he settles for the US Congress;

When informed (but not consulted) of the command performance, Congress demurs, citing the long-scheduled debate for the same time;

Claiming “coincidence”, Obama backs down like the mongrel, mutt that he is;

Deciding the optics look bad, Obama concocts anger, indignation.

That about right?

The White House was well aware the president’s speech would conflict with a planned Republican debate sponsored by POLITICO and NBC to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The debate would be broadcast live by MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo and live-streamed by POLITICO.

Yet the White House did not see this as an obstacle. “With all due respect, the POLITICO-MSNBC debate was one that was going on a cable station,” the White House source said. “It was not sacrosanct. We knew they would push it back and then there would be a GOP debate totally trashing the president. So it wasn’t all an upside for us.”…

Maybe I have this wrong. Maybe the Obama admin deferentially approached Boehner, who gave them the back of his hand. Maybe the president is the aggrieved party.

Nah.

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A Glorious Hissy Fit

This should put a smile on your Monday Morning Face

Paul Krugman hates the debt deal.

A deal to raise the federal debt ceiling is in the works. If it goes through, many commentators will declare that disaster was avoided. But they will be wrong.

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

My personal favorite part of the debt deal, btw, is that Nancy Pelosi won’t vote on it until she reads it!!! My second favorite part is that Paul Krugman is having this conniption fit on the pages of the NY Times.

Start with the economics. We currently have a deeply depressed economy. We will almost certainly continue to have a depressed economy all through next year. And we will probably have a depressed economy through 2013 as well, if not beyond.

The worst thing you can do in these circumstances is slash government spending, since that will depress the economy even further. Pay no attention to those who invoke the confidence fairy, claiming that tough action on the budget will reassure businesses and consumers, leading them to spend more. It doesn’t work that way, a fact confirmed by many studies of the historical record.

I guess we’re about to find out. The confidence fairy that told us that spending gobs of money would avert a deep recession was F.O.S. Perhaps this one is wrong too. Or perhaps Krugman is wrong.

So those demanding spending cuts now are like medieval doctors who treated the sick by bleeding them, and thereby made them even sicker.

And then there are the reported terms of the deal, which amount to an abject surrender on the part of the president. First, there will be big spending cuts, with no increase in revenue. Then a panel will make recommendations for further deficit reduction — and if these recommendations aren’t accepted, there will be more spending cuts.

Jeez, he sounds annoyed.

Listen, our liberal friends. If you have the sense that something nasty is being shoved down your throats, please recall the health care bill, which was shoved down the throats of every single American without your leadership even reading it. Now remember it again. And again. And then stop telling the rest of us that you are somehow being treated unfairly.

Back to the calm, :) Aggie. Guess who the Left is blaming?

Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.

First of all, he could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call.

And even now, the Obama administration could have resorted to legal maneuvering to sidestep the debt ceiling, using any of several options. In ordinary circumstances, this might have been an extreme step. But faced with the reality of what is happening, namely raw extortion on the part of a party that, after all, only controls one house of Congress, it would have been totally justifiable.

Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.

It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.

In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t.

That last paragraph shows that Krugman has moved into Aggie’s corner. I felt that way about how the health care bill was handled. And, more broadly, about the rhetoric accompanying all eight years of George W. Bush’s rather successful Presidency (average.. maybe 5% unemployment, right?). There is a deep dislike between factions of the US public. One wonders if we will someday break into several countries. It might not be the most intelligent way to resolve our differences, but hatred rarely leads to intelligent decision making.

- Aggie

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Two Men That Hate Each Other’s Guts

Did anyone catch the Obama speech and the Boehner rebuttal?

They aren’t even pretending at all anymore.

- Aggie

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A War Powers Action [UPDATE] [AGAIN!]

Finally!

Dear Mr. President:

Five days from now, our country will reach the 90-day mark from the notification to Congress regarding the commencement of the military operation in Libya, which began on March 18, 2011. On June 3, 2011, the House passed a resolution which, among other provisions, made clear that the Administration has not asked for, nor received, Congressional authorization of the mission in Libya. Therefore, it would appear that in five days, the Administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission…

Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution. The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.

Therefore, on behalf of the institution and the American people, I must ask you the following questions: Have you or your Administration conducted the legal analysis to justify your position as to whether your Administration views itself to be in compliance with the War Powers Resolution so that it may continue current operations, absent formal Congressional support or authorization, once the 90-day mark is reached? Assuming you conducted that analysis, was it with the consensus view of all stakeholders of the relevant Departments in the Executive branch? In addition, has there been an introduction of a new set of facts or circumstances which would have changed the legal analysis the Office of Legal Counsel released on April 1, 2011? Given the gravity of the constitutional and statutory questions involved, I request your answer by Friday, June 17, 2011.

Allahpundit questions the politics of this salvo, but I don’t see that Boehner—Congress, actually—has any choice. Like it or not, the War Powers Resolution has been the law of the land for 38 years, and Obama doesn’t appear to give a hoot about it. Boehner puts it exactly right: “The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.”

I think Qaddafi is a murderous scumbag, and I hope he dies. I think the President, as Commander in Chief, should be given leeway to conduct affairs in this nation’s defense. But the law says he has to consult Congress, and the Constitution itself gives Congress the power to declare war.

Obama can’t avoid this forever. And he shouldn’t. Boehner is just doing his job, our job.

UPDATE
C U in court, sucka!

A bipartisan group of House members will file a lawsuit Wednesday challenging U.S. participation in the Libya military mission.

The administration will provide a report to address a June 3 House resolution that raised questions about the president’s goal in Libya, how he hopes to achieve that goal, why he has not sought congressional authorization for involving U.S. troops abroad and how much the conflict will ultimately cost, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

The lawsuit, which will be formally announced at a Washington news conference, will cite the War Powers Resolution as well as the role of Congress in protecting taxpayers’ money, said Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina, one of the 10 legislators filing it.

A statement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, an anti-war liberal who is leading the lawsuit effort with Jones, said that the lawsuit will “challenge the executive branch’s circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad, in violation of the Constitution.”

“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies,” Kucinich said in his statement.

Personally, I wouldn’t stand next to Kucinich unless in a hazmat suit (his wife’s a different story), but he is a consistent little hobgoblin.

UPPERDATE

As Michael Savage just said, we’ve gone from “I did not have sex with that woman” to “We are not at war with that country.”

The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces have not been in “hostilities” at least since April 7, when NATO took over leadership in maintaining a no-flight zone in Libya, and the United States took up what is mainly a supporting role — providing surveillance and refueling for allied warplanes — although unmanned drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles as well.

They argued that United States forces are at little risk in the operation because there are no American troops on the ground and Libyan forces are unable to exchange meaningful fire with American forces. They said that there was little risk of the military mission escalating, because it is constrained by the United Nations Security Counsel resolution that authorized use of air power to defend civilians.

Maybe so, but you have to threaten to sue these guys to get them to tell you anything, even lies (which I suspect this is).

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That Explains It

President Obama has taken a lot of grief for his obsessive habit of taking to the golf course every weekend, not least on Memorial Day itself, while US forces are involved in three war zones around the globe. While he has a government to oversee. And a family to help raise.

But that’s all been unfair. He’s got an a** to kick:

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner will get another chance to mend their many differences, this time on the golf course. Messrs. Obama and Boehner will meet at an undisclosed golf course on Saturday June 18th, a White House official said.

Obama might want to wrap a mashie around the throat of Boehner for this alone:

In two votes — on competing resolutions that amounted to legislative lectures of Mr. Obama — Congress escalated the brewing constitutional clash over whether he ignored the founding document’s grant of war powers by sending U.S. troops to aid in enforcing a no-fly zone and naval blockade of Libya.

Minutes after approving Mr. Boehner’s measure, the House defeated an even more strongly-worded resolution offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, that would have insisted the president begin a withdrawal of troops…

The Kucinich resolution failed 148-265. In a telling signal, 87 Republicans voted for Mr. Kucinich’s resolution — more than the 61 Democrats that did.

Still, taken together, 324 members of Congress voted for one resolution or both resolutions, including 91 Democrats, or nearly half the caucus. The size of the votes signals overwhelming discontent with Mr. Obama’s handling of the constitutional issues surrounding the Libya fight.

The story explains that the resolution will likely die in the Senate. But why is there any resolution at all? The law on the books is clear on Obama’s responsibility as C-in-C:

(a) Written report; time of submission; circumstances necessitating submission; information reported
In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced—
(1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances;

the President shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth—
(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces;
(B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and
(C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement.

Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 1543 (a)(1) of this title, whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress
(1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces,
(2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or
(3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.

I’m sure there are people on staff at the White House who bring this up, but I guess they keep getting hushed up:


Not while the President is working on his short game!

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Peter Hussein Pan

The president who won’t grow up:

During an interview with ABC News in his Ohio district today, Boehner said he personally trusts the president, but accused him of not being honest with Americans about taxes, Medicare and deficit reduction.

The topic was the bipartisan deficit commission, which was appointed by the president and issued a controversial report late last year recommending tough spending cuts, tax reforms and reforming Medicare and Social Security.

“While I didn’t agree with everything they did, there was a lot in their proposal that was worth of consideration. And what did the president do? He took exactly none of his own deficit reduction commission’s ideas. Not one. Come on! It’s time to grow up and get serious about the problems that face our country,” Boehner said.

Keep those tissues handy, John, because I don’t think he’s planning to grow up any time soon.

Based on available evidence:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days.

He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project.

The project was scuttled because of the “emissions” of one scow? One?

Don’t talk to me about oil profits. Shell is out $4 billion without one drop of oil to show for it. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Mexico, and a whole lot of other nice places who love us unreservedly are counting their money with front-loaders.

What happened to freeing us from a reliance on foreign oil, Abu oumama? Or is that a promise only for odd days, like parking in Manhattan?

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Dems Ask: Is There Any Way To Get Rid Of This Guy?

Racism, obviously.

The compromise that Obama struck last week with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to keep the federal government running contained steep cuts to some of the party’s most cherished programs—nutrition for poor women and children, long-stalled transportation projects, funding for community health centers—as well as language barring the District of Columbia from using its own tax dollars to finance abortions.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, warned that the $38 billion in promised cutbacks would hurt the most vulnerable Americans. “We don’t have enough time to talk about the ways it violates our values,” he told The Daily Beast.

There is no more visible symbol of Democratic disgruntlement than the woman who was perhaps the president’s closest ally when she wielded the speaker’s gavel. When Nancy Pelosi voted against the budget measure Thursday, she did little to hide her anger with the White House over the fact that Obama, for the first time, had left her out of the negotiations on a major deal. Instead, he chose to work directly with Boehner and Reid to hammer out the compromise that each could take back to their caucuses for approval.

“I have been very disappointed in the administration to the point where I’m embarrassed that I endorsed him,” one senior Democratic lawmaker said. “It’s so bad that some of us are thinking, is there some way we can replace him? How do you get rid of this guy?”

“I feel no ownership of that or responsibility to it, except to say we don’t want to shut down the government,” the minority leader said. “As was pretty evident, House Democrats were not a part of that agreement.”

It’s all nonsense, of course. Obama will be their nominee; they will campaign vigorously to see that he gets reelected, and he probably will succeed. But they are tantruming today.

- Aggie

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Are You Listening, John Boehner?

People are trying to tell you something:

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of those who voted in today’s elections nationwide favor repeal of the national health care bill passed by congressional Democrats in March, including 48% who Strongly Favor it.

Rasmussen Reports telephone surveying nationwide after the polls closed found that 40% are opposed to repeal, with 32% who Strongly Oppose it.

This mirrors what we have found every week in surveys since March.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of those who voted today are at least somewhat angry at the current policies of the federal government. That includes 42% who are Very Angry. Only 32% are not very or not at all angry about those policies.

Yeah, I think he heard:

Emboldened by a commanding House majority and Senate gains, Republican leaders vowed Wednesday to deliver on their “golden opportunity” to roll back the size of government and President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

“The American people spoke and I think it is pretty clear that the Obama-Pelosi agenda is being rejected by the American people,” Boehner said.

“I think it is important for us to lay the groundwork before we begin to repeal this monstrosity,” Boehner said.

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear anything but “repeal this monstrosity”. I hope it wasn’t important.

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