Archive for John Boehner

New World Order

So, how did Obama react to the shellacking he took Tuesday?

Did you really have to ask?

President Obama is playing golf today with a few of his usual crew of younger White House aides. It’s the 46th time he’s played this year and the 203rd of his presidency.

Of course he would.

But this is typical of him too:

Republican Speaker John Boehner asked Obama to let Republicans work on reforming and modernizing immigration early in the new session, Barrasso said.

Vice President Joe Biden asked Boehner how long he needed to pass a bill: “February 15? March 15?” said one congressional source familiar with the discussions, who said Obama was visibly irritated and stopped Biden.

But another congressional source disputed that account. “At no time did the President cut off the Vice President,” said the Democratic source, describing Obama as “courteous and firm” during the immigration discussion.

Right. Just as “courteous and firm” as Michael Corleone was to Fredo in G II. From: “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.” To: “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart.” And Biden sure is Fredo.

But shame on Boehner asking permission to craft legislation. What a lickspittle dogsbody.

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You Know Who Gets To Keep Their Doctor? Members Of The Ruling Class

Harry Reid and John Boehner in “delicate negotiations” to exempt members of congress and staff from ObamaCare

I’ve written this as if it has already happened, but they are only in negotiations. So call and write every single congress critter plus the White House to protest. They dragged us into this miserable plan. They should live it.

Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.
The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.

A source close to the talks says: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”
Yet if Capitol Hill leaders move forward with the plan, they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public. By removing themselves from a key Obamacare component, lawmakers and aides would be held to a different standard than the people who put them in office.

This is a problem for the geniuses who voted for this bill, but somehow not for the rest of us:

The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere. Older, more senior staffers could also retire or jump to the private sector rather than face a big financial penalty.

By all means, go to the link and read it all. Then get busy. Liberals have tried for decades to make us more like Europe. They have largely succeeded. Soon we will have a special class of government officials who have very fine health care, you know, the kind that you and your family used to have. Below them will be well-heeled individuals who somehow know how to goose the system, are connected to the powerful, etc. And then the peasants. That’s you.

– Aggie

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Boehner Re-elected, Says He’s Done With Private Meetings With Obama

Right. Now he’s done.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is signaling that at least one thing will change about his leadership during the 113th Congress: he’s telling Republicans he is done with private, one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.
During both 2011 and 2012, the Speaker spent weeks shuttling between the Capitol and the White House for meetings with the president in hope of striking a grand bargain on the deficit.

Those efforts ended in failure, leaving Boehner feeling burned by Obama and, at times, isolated within his conference.

He has disappointed everybody, even himself.

– Aggie

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The Political Cliff

Less than two months ago, some of us thought Obama-ism was dead and an era of conservative ascendancy was at hand. If that sounds apocalyptic, well, blame the Mayans and the solstice. (And Karl Rove and Dick Morris.)

How the hardly-mighty have fallen! Mitt Romney is more secluded than Howard Hughes, leaving the Republicans with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner as the face of their party.

Oy.

If only Paul Ryan had thrown Boehner off that cliff instead of the invalid granny!

Patience, dear boys and girls, patience!

After the failed effort to get the fiscal cliff “Plan B” passed this week, some powerful conservatives on Capitol Hill are reportedly pushing for Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan to replace embattled House Speaker John Boehner.

On Friday night’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” fill-in host Laura Ingraham said her sources indicate a coup may already be underway in Congress.

“I had a well-placed conservative voice today on the Hill email me and said he’s beginning to hear rumblings — I already gave something away, ‘he’ — he’s beginning to hear of a move to replace the speaker of the House,” Ingraham said. “We’re in the middle of this tussle with the Democrats, more than a tussle, and is that the right time to put that out there? And people are floating the name of Paul Ryan to be House speaker. But Ryan did support … Plan B.”

There is policy, and there is politics. The GOP is right on policy—we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem—but hopelessly outmatched on the politics. Granted, it’s not fair when the media persistently depict your opponent as the Messiah, complete with halo…

… but at least you have to try!

Actually, I think Boehner had the politics right here, too. As counterproductive as it is to raise taxes in an economic slump (or moribund recovery), that’s where the sentiment of the people is. Obama may have used demagoguery to steer it that way, but he was reelected, and, to paraphrase Aggie, reelections have consequences.

Boehner’s Plan B would have let the Bush-era tax rates expire for people with incomes over a million dollars—the very millionaires whose wealth Obama wants to spread. Not quarter-millionaires (those earning $250,000): the real McCoys. Again, I disagree with the policy, but it makes a better argument. We gave you the millionaires you asked for, Mr. President; now what are you going to give the American people? Obama’s threatened veto, and Harry Reid’s refusal to even take it up, would at least have made it clear who were the stonewallers.

What an epic fail when he could not deliver. He may have been torpedoed by the Tea Partiers to his political right (with whom I am in broad agreement), but the failure was still his.

I have felt since the election that the Republicans need to re-brand. Not on policies—or not all policies, anyway—but on image. We are not a party of double-chinned, googly-eyed, cry-babies—or not all of us, anyway—but young men and women, some of color, who are as passionate about the direction of this country as any MoveOn or Code Pink activist.

Maybe this is the time and the opportunity to show that.

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RA-A-A-A-CIST!!!

Oh, a democrat said this? A black Democrat?

Never mind.

House Speaker John Boehner declared Wednesday that his chamber will approve a so-called “Plan B” to avert a crush of tax hikes just 13 days away, despite President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowing to oppose it.

The move came as talks between Boehner and Obama suddenly hit a standstill. Boehner’s decision on Tuesday to put forward the “Plan B” — which would raise taxes only on those making over $1 million, and preserve current rates for everyone else — angered the White House. On Wednesday morning, the White House issued a formal veto threat, as the president urged Republicans during a press conference to “peel off the partisan war paint.”

In response to the president’s criticism and resistance, Boehner called a press conference — which lasted less than one minute — to declare the House was moving forward and put the onus on the president to get Democrats on board.

“Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American,” Boehner said. “Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”

War paint? Could any comment be more racially insensitive? Of all the acts of “spiritual genocide”!

Imagine how upset must be this poster woman for the Native American experience:


Anne Klein meets Pocahantas

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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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